you [don't] look pretty in blue
Written for my friend, Maddie (aka MadelineSwan), who is a brilliant writer. Go check out her stuff.
1. you [don't] look pretty in blue
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1266 Review this Chapter
Even the strongest of us fall off the wagon, don't we?
--Twilight, ch. 13--
Jasper's worst fear was coming true.
He didn't fear enclosed spaces, or falling, or fire. He wasn't scared of snakes, bears, or scorpions. He wasn't afraid to fight, wrestle, or even to cry. He wasn't even afraid to die -- actually, at the moment, he was thinking death might not be so bad as everyone made it seem. No, nothing a normal person was afraid of had ever affected him in any way.
The only thing he feared was blue.
An invincible vampire, afraid of some stupid color? He could just imagine himself walking into some kindergarten classroom, completely confident...until he glanced at a couple of desks and saw some blue crayons -- spazzing out completely and having to run from the room in fear. But even that mental image couldn't bring a smile to his humorless features. He knew he wasn't afraid of the color blue, exactly.
His gift was to know the feelings of everyone around him acutely, sharing them, manipulating them, projecting them. And not only could he feel emotions, feel them deep within his heart as though they were his own...but he could also see them. It was hard to explain to someone without his sensitivity.
When a person was very angry, for example, the air around them sizzled with scarlet threads of power, crackling and popping in fury. Sometimes the red was also shot through with sparks of brilliant green, for jealousy -- it was the funniest emotion to see someone wear because they always looked like a Christmas decoration, spoiling the effect. Grey was sadness: the aura was soft and forlorn, sometimes seeming to drip downwards almost like rain.
His favorite emotion -- both to see and feel -- was love. It smothered the person inside with pure, brilliant gold, making them glow. People in love looked like two angels when they stood next to each other, their two halos merging and becoming so bright, it almost hurt to see. It made his heart sing to see two such people, both of them looking nothing so much as angels.
There were other colors, of course, and sometimes the difference between yellow and yellow-green was subtle enough to warrant a completely different emotion. After all the years and practice he'd had with his gift, these varying shades of feelings had become obvious to him. He could now understand the emotions behind colors that were beyond his ability to even name, much less describe. Others were easier to understand...like the color blue.
The reason he feared blue was because blue represented disappointment. Of course, to see this on other person meant nothing to him. It wasn't that every time he saw a disappointed person, he was afraid. The only time he shook with nervousness and sobbed with anxiety was when he saw a blue aura around his one and only love.
Alice could tell him to do anything, and he would do it. If she ordered that he kill himself, he'd be dead before she could blink. If she told him to torture himself slowly with a red-hot iron, he would gladly do it, only for the knowledge that it would please her. And if she wanted him to leave her -- forever -- he would.
God help him, but he would.
It would hurt him more than anything if she was disappointed with him. She hadn't been, yet. But he knew that what he'd done was more than enough to warrant the dreaded blue aura.
It had happened like this. He had been hunting after having delayed for far too long -- it had been over two weeks since he'd last "eaten". So, resigned, he'd left Alice at the house and run out to the woods, intending to catch a deer, or an elk -- just something to tide him over so that he could return to his love. He could feel her reluctance to let him go, and he was anxious to be back. Without much conscious thought, he started to track a large moose through the underbrush.
Suddenly, without warning, his nostrils flared. A feral snarl ripped through his throat and he changed course, turning right and running faster than he had to try to catch his prey. He savored the aroma of something he hadn't had in so long, something he'd been craving ever since he'd been born...
It was probably a hiker, foolishly traveling alone, not thinking about the dangers of the forest -- but Jasper was beyond the realm of thought, merging with his instincts instead. The rush of the smell to his head was tantalizing -- it promised him that if he drank from this human, he'd be satisfied like he hadn't been in a long, long time. Images from a former life flashed through his mind: battlefields full of freshly bleeding corpses, ripe for the tasting, and he groaned with hunger. There was no stopping, now.
Unexpectedly, he ran through a couple of trees and into a clearing where the human was taking a nap. It was a woman, he realized, but it didn't really matter. Her aura was a very faint white of peace, just barely glowing around her sleeping form, but he hardly noticed. He was a fierce predator now, his only conscious thoughts on the way that her blood made his muscles tense and venom flood into his mouth. In the time it took for her to draw her last breath, his mouth was at her throat. Sharp white teeth sank through gossamer skin and pierced the thick vessel full of glorious, life-giving blood. He gulped greedily, still in full animal mode, drinking from that spot on her neck until he felt nothing else forthcoming.
Sated, he closed his eyes and stood up, wiping the blood from his mouth. But when he opened his eyes, something was wrong.
Alice was standing before him.
With a blue aura.
Waves of disappointment rolled off of her and crashed into him at full force, knocking him to his knees. His head hung, eyes squeezed shut, broken sobs wracking his chest so that even if he wanted to breathe, he wouldn't have been able to. How long he lay there in front of her, he didn't know, nor much care. He didn't want to look up and see her timeless eyes full of that look he had nightmares about. Just the thought made him cringe in agony, and so he didn't move. Surely she would tell him to leave her and never come back, for he had broken her trust, now.
Eventually, after what seemed like years but had only been a few minutes, Jasper heard her move above him. Her thin fingers stroked the side of his face and tilted his head up to look at her. His eyes were clenched shut and he shook with the effort of not opening them. He didn't want to have to face her.
Gently, she spoke. "Jasper. Open your eyes."
Reluctantly, he did, still shaking with silent sobs -- only because she had ordered would he open his eyes. Although he didn't want to see that frightening blue aura again, she had commanded it, and he had to obey.
To his intense amazement, the air around her was a soft white of peace, with a shimmering halo of gold.