Jasper was used to worshipping the ground Alice walked on, idolizing her as an infallible, iron-strong goddess. One snowy day the situations are reversed, and he finds himself the stronger of the two. How can he help her understand that, no matter what she's done, she is still an Angel to him?
Here's a quickie, Jazz/Alice one-shot that I did because of my tidal wave of Breaking Dawn inspiration. I hope you enjoy! Please review! :D
1. Angel's Mistake
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2598 Review this Chapter
"Jasper, she should be home in a few minutes," Esme reminded me, "you don't need to wear a hole in the chair."
I paused in drumming my fingers on the edge of the antique olive-green armchair and glanced up, "Sorry, Esme. Just impatient."
She smiled softly at me, "I understand. I wish for Carlisle to be home as well."
I knew she was telling the truth. Although she was content, there was an undercurrent of wild, torrential yearning that wound through her system. Esme was very similar to me. Neither of us functioned well when our respective partners were gone.
Carlisle had saved Esme, and shown her the light in this world. After attempting to commit suicide because her baby - the product of an abusive marriage - had died after only three days of living, he had bit her, and introduced her to a life of love and hope. Alice had done something similar for me. When I was stuck in a never-ending whirlpool of depression and darkness, she had danced right in, clasped my hand, and pulled me out.
"I wonder what is keeping them," Esme sighed, "perhaps Emmett was too overzealous with the grizzlies again. We really must tell him to treat it as less of a sport and more of a necessity."
I shrugged. Emmett, no matter how many times he was scolded, would always treat everything in life as a game. Whether it be grizzlies or terminal illness, he found amusement in everything.
"Maybe the animals were further than they thought," Esme mused.
"Maybe," I replied.
She heaved a sigh, and then sat lightly on the couch that matched my chair. Her white dress contrasted nicely with the green cushions.
"Where's Edward?" I asked curiously.
Esme smiled, "He went to go get a piece for that car. The auto shop in town didn't have it, so he decided to go spend the day in the city looking for it."
Ah. Edward was in the city.
I glanced out the window at the swirling snow, and realized that he was in no danger of being caught by the sun. The way this storm was turning out, we'd probably be cold and snowy for a good few weeks.
The clock ticked loudly. Another few minutes passed.
Esme was impatient, although her perfectly still body did nothing to imply it. But her blood was racing, and her hands tense. As a mother figure, she was probably imagining all the possible worst-case scenarios. Not that there were many considering even my tiny wife could fend off the most violent of humans.
Finally, she stood up, "I'm going to wait out in the yard. Besides, the snow looks nice."
Nice wasn't a word I'd use to describe it. I was from the South, I enjoyed heat, humidity, and the intense, baking rays of the sun. Of course, being a vampire, I wasn't really allowed to enjoy the sun anymore without being extraordinarily cautious.
"Are you going to stay in here?" she asked.
Before I could reply, I felt an overwhelming sense of panic and fear clog my senses. Frenzied worry danced across someone's system.
Esme turned to glance questioningly at the door. It swung open, and Rosalie burst through.
Her face was paler than usual, her eyes a shocking gold. But her expression was what startled me. Rosalie, usually so cool and composed, looked shaken and absolutely terrified.
"What happened?" I demanded quickly.
Rosalie swallowed. Her panic bit through me, causing me to be harsher than usual.
"What happened?" I repeated harshly, louder.
Worry colored Esme's tone, "Rosalie, dear, what is it?"
"Alice," she said dazedly.
"What is it?" I jumped up immediately, "what happened?"
"She . . ." Rosalie hesitated, biting her lip. Then she buried her head in her hands, "we didn't know, there wasn't supposed to be anyone there! And we were all distracted by Emmett and the bear, and then before we could stop her, she . . ."
"She what?" I asked, not bothering to restrain my emotions. My uninhibited worry and fear caused Rosalie to become even more hysterical, and for Esme to shift frantically, wringing her hands.
"She slipped!" Rosalie wailed, "there was a human - a hiker - and she wasn't in control, and she couldn't stop herself . . ."
I was out the door before she could finish her sentence.
The cold snow stung my face as I blurred through the storm, the wind whipping at my jacket and pulling my hair back. I didn't care though. My only thoughts were on Alice - my light - who had done a terribly dark deed.
I sped up.
The eerie white landscape flew past, a dull smear of light gray shadows and flurries of snowflakes. I ignored all of it, following Rosalie's nearly invisible footprints that she had created in her haste to return home.
Alice had slipped. Alice had killed a human. The words were foreign, feeling heavy and uncomfortable as they floated through my mind. Usually it was me that had messed up and taken a human's life. But this time, incomprehensibly, it had been Alice.
It was strange, I felt more anguish and distress for Alice then I had ever felt when it had been myself that had done the unforgivable. Perhaps it was because I knew Alice would take this so much harder. It would be only her second time ever tasting human blood.
Her record was a thousand times better than mine.
She was a thousand times better than me.
Finally, I reached the place where, obviously, my family had been hunting. The snow was stained with blood - animal, from what I could tell. A grizzly carcass was slumped next to a tree, where Emmett had not yet disposed of it. Emmett himself stood, wide-eyed, about twenty yards away. Next to him was Carlisle.
"Where is she?" I asked, frantic.
Carlisle looked pained, "We . . . she came to her senses, and ran. We're not sure where she went."
"Where's the body?" I asked.
Emmett pointed to a tree. I understood immediately.
"She needs you," Carlisle pushed his hair back, deeply troubled, "follow her scent before it's lost in the storm. Try and come home as soon as you can. Tell her none of us are upset with her."
I nodded, stared at him for one long moment, and then turned and ran. Alice's sweet, almost citrus-like smell led north, into the blizzard.
The wind whipped viciously against me as I darted through the trees. Alice had obviously been disoriented and grief-stricken in her haste; her trail zigzagged randomly, and twisted and turned like a knife through someone's heart. Once she re-crossed her own trail, her frenetic turns causing her to complete a circle.
Not seven seconds after leaving Carlisle and Emmett, I found her.
She was curled up against a tree, sobbing. If it weren't for her bright red jacket, I wouldn't have spotted her. Her knees were drawn up to her chest, her head buried in her hands. I had never seen her look so hopeless, so . . . fragile.
Quietly, I walked closer to her. When I was five feet away, I stopped.
She knew I was there. Her sobs continued though, dry and echoing in the whistling wind. Waves of agony and self-loathing emanated from her tiny frame, each one hitting me like a rockslide. I absorbed it, but refrained from easing her suffering with my powers. I knew that, no matter how much it hurt me, she needed to be upset.
As I waited for Alice to acknowledge me, I sifted through the various thoughts that had layered painfully in my mind. Why hadn't Carlisle or Rosalie noticed the hiker sooner? Why couldn't Emmett stop her? Why had she been unable to retain control, maintain her perfect human façade?
And, from the dark depths of my mind, an unbidden thought rose. Why couldn't it have been Rosalie or Emmett? Why did it have to be sweet, innocent Alice?
My frozen, lifeless heart nearly splintered as she cried even harder, her entire body trembling with the force of her pain. But I was powerless to help; I could do nothing but watch until she wanted me.
Why hadn't I agreed to go hunting with them? Undoubtedly if I had been there, then I would have been the one to gaffe and kill the human. It would have been better that way; Alice wouldn't be in pain and everyone else wouldn't be so dazed and upset. It would have been unsurprising if I had messed up.
But I had said no. I hadn't needed to hunt, and I was in the middle of a rather intriguing book of Philosophy. For my own selfish reasons, Alice had been exposed to a terrible situation, and her instincts had gotten the better of her.
Alice didn't deserve this. She was the sweetest, kindest person I knew, apart from Esme. She didn't deserve to have the permanent stain of human blood on her small white hands.
I clenched my fists tighter as the snow swirled around, distorting Alice's sobs. My wife curled into an even smaller ball, and wept tearlessly. She was ashamed, now, and abhorred herself from her sin.
Slowly, her sobs began to become less harsh. Eventually she simply cried, whimpering slightly in her anguish.
Finally, after many long minutes of crying, and the wind biting at my marble skin, she raised her head a fraction of an inch. Her voice was fragile, heartbroken.
At last, I could comfort her. In a flash I moved forward, kneeled down, wrapped my arms around her, and held her tiny, icy body as close as I possibly could. The snow was uncomfortably frigid, but I paid no attention to it. Alice was the most important.
"I killed him, Jasper," she choked out slowly, the words filled with misery, "he probably had a wife and a family, and I killed him, all because I couldn't control myself."
"I don't blame you, Alice," I said softly, "everyone has moments of weakness. As strong as you have been, I was beginning to think you flawless."
She turned slightly and buried her head in my shoulder, "It doesn't matter what I have done in the past, I just murdered someone! A moment of weakness is inexcusable if the consequences are so great."
Her body shook harder.
"Alice, you cannot change what you are," I gently a lock of black hair behind her ear, "just as a predator cannot change the fact that it was born to kill, neither can you. You have done remarkably with the cards you were given, but you cannot blame yourself for obeying your natural instincts."
"But I killed him," she breathed, "I . . . I don't know what came over me. I was hunting, and he just smelled so much better than that bear. And I just . . . I couldn't stop myself." She shuddered, "there was so much blood. . ."
The wind whipped my cheek. I held her tight.
"What if he had a wife who loved him, or a little daughter that he doted on?" Alice asked quietly, "he probably has a mother and a father, and a wife and kids. There are people who will be hurt by my actions. Nothing I can do will bring him back. They'll have to live the rest of their lives without him, not knowing that a . . . monster killed him out of hunger. They'll assume he froze to death."
"You're not a monster," I disagreed gently.
"I can imagine his family, probably holding dinner for him until he gets home," Alice swallowed, her voice high, "and they'll wait all night, but he'll never show up."
"Everyone dies, Alice," I reminded her, "one day, he would have eventually perished. So will his family. You simply sped up what was inevitable."
"I shouldn't have though," she shook her head in furious self-disgust, "I should have had better control. I should have been ready, prepared for him. Why hadn't I seen him?"
"You didn't decide beforehand to attack him," I pointed out.
She looked up at me with bright red eyes, tormented, "I could have prevented it. I could have maintained control, walked away, and let him live to go home and kiss his daughter good night. But I didn't."
"We both know you had no control at the moment, Alice," I said, rubbing her arm and ignoring her crimson irises, "you were hunting. Your instincts were in control, and there was a human nearby. It could have happened to any of us."
"Not Carlisle, or Edward," she said dejectedly, "they would have stayed calm. Carlisle did stay calm. And I murdered him."
I sighed, "Alice, I would have lost control too. I have killed so many more people then you, all of them innocent and good and pure. The most I can ask of myself, as you frequently tell me, is too try and be good. It is all you can ask of yourself as well."
She contemplated this silently.
After a few moments, she curled closer to me, "Try as we might, it doesn't change what we have done."
"But it can prevent the acts that may happen in the future," I reminded her, "remember the man you killed today, and think of him whenever you're tempted in the future. Think of your sadness - which is unbearable - and I know you will never lose control again. You are stronger than I am, Alice, I know you are."
In an act that made my heart leap, the corners of her lips twitched upwards, "You are strong too, Jazz. You just have to believe it."
I shrugged. I didn't agree with her - how could I be stronger than Alice?
She turned, and looked me head-on with her scarlet eyes, "Thank you, Jasper."
I smiled crookedly, "For what?"
She leaned forward, and kissed my cheek, "For being here. For understanding. I can't do anything to bring him back, but you're right. I can work harder, and prevent that from ever happening again. It's the most I can do."
"We'll send money to his family, too," I leaned my head back against the tree, "make life as easy as possible for them."
She nodded in agreement. Then, she sighed. Shame and sadness seeped through my mind.
"They don't blame you," I said, answering her emotions, "Carlisle understands. They're only worried for you. Each of them has messed up before, they all know what you're feeling."
"Thanks," she whispered. Then she turned and leaned back against me, staring out at the white blizzard, "but can we stay here a little longer? I don't want to face them now."
"Of course," I held her even closer, "whatever you need, Alice."
The wind blew her hair into even spikier disarray. She whispered, so softly I almost didn't catch it, "I love you, Jasper Whitlock."
"I love you," I replied, "despite everything I've done."
"Despite everything we've done," she corrected.
I smiled, and kissed the top of her head.