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Desperation

Summary:
What would have happened if Jasper had gotten a hold of Bella at her birthday party? **Note: This is co-written with 'sweetishbubble.'Desperation Banner


Notes:
Desperation Banner


4. Chapter 4

Rating 5/5   Word Count 4171   Review this Chapter

Desperation - Chapter 4

EPOV

Bella's funeral destroyed me. Once I declared my intentions to her, and kissed her goodbye, I simply died inside. I did not participate in her burial - I couldn't watch as her body was lowered into the ground, never to see the light of day again. It was too much to bear.

I wasn't sure what day it was - it didn't really matter - my life was over. Laying across my couch, I draped my arm over my eyes. What was the point of looking at anything, when all I wanted was to look at my Bella. Image after image of her dying flew across my mind constantly, only to change occasionally to an image of her in her casket. My family had been checking on me, their thoughts invading my mind, trying to coax me into conversation, Esme especially. She was worried about me - well, that was an understatement. Rosalie even glanced in on me a couple of times, her thoughts typically annoyed with my state of being. The door to my room opened and closed repeatedly, but I ignored it every time. Once, it was Alice that came in, but she didn’t bother me with her questions, she was too far lost in her own thoughts. She simply wandered into my room, curled up on the couch next to me, rested her head on my shoulder, and let me be. Jasper was out again, and she was worried and needed comforting, so of course I allowed her to stay with me. She was overwhelmed with sadness and confusion.

All I could think about was everything I had planned on doing and experiencing with Bella. I had been looking forward to graduation - the first and only time I was truly excited for it. The thought of spending warm days in the sun and quiet nights in my room; I had been eager to experience what truly being with someone would be like, as well. After marriage, of course, it would have been unfathomable to be able to share myself like that with Bella...

This only made me think of the wedding we could have had; to see Charlie walk her down the aisle toward me, to look into her tear filled eyes as we said our vows to each other, and raising her veil, embracing her as my spouse. I had wanted nothing more than someday knowing that she was my wife - that she belonged to me, and only me. I wanted to love her like Carlisle loves Esme, to know her like Jasper knows Alice, and to desire her, like Emmett desires Rosalie.

I missed her, I needed her. My heart yearned to know that she was okay - that she was at peace. I needed to hear her sweet voice, and until I made a decision on what I was going to do, I knew I wouldn't be released from this hell anytime soon.

One afternoon, as I listened to the rain echoing off my window, I allowed my mind to explore various options for the future. As they played out in my mind, I was careful not to settle on any one decision just yet - I had to be cautious of Alice and her sight. Thinking of the possibilities, I was immediately reminded of what each choice would mean to Carlisle and Esme. In every sense of the word, they were my parents - the two people I held in highest regard in this world. Whatever I chose to do, they would be directly affected by it, and I detested that. I didn't want to cause them anymore grief then they already felt, but I could not sit here and do nothing.

Invariably, without realizing it, my subconscious drifted too far, and I began focusing on details I shouldn’t. One of those was the idea of simply leaving - wandering the Earth endlessly, moving from place to place, without any reason or purpose. As that sounded horrifying, I began to imagine myself ending my journey in Italy, where I knew I could seek an answer that would mean -

Suddenly my thoughts were interrupted as my frantic sister’s hurried footsteps and distraught thoughts rang in my head. Of course, I’d slipped, and indulged my imagination too much, and Alice had a vision of it. I would have to break my silence momentarily and speak to her to quell her suspicions and put her at peace. Sighing, I waited for her to reach my room, knowing that from now on, I would have to handle this differently. No more wandering thoughts, no more daydreaming. I would not only have to convince Alice that nothing was happening, I would have to lie to myself - make myself believe it too, at least until I made a definite decision. I didn’t want to clue her in to anything again, especially if I chose the one that would upset them all the most, as she would surely do everything she could to stop me. This would be difficult to say the least.

A moment later my door creaked open, and Alice hurriedly came in, gazing intently at me, her eyes narrowed.

"Edward...what exactly are you thinking? My vision...was unclear - just flashes, nothing concrete, but I did not like what little I saw," she whispered. "You will not go wandering around by yourself for eternity, damning yourself to relentless misery, and you will never, ever be going to Italy. At least not that part of Italy." The vision was fuzzy, with images of both options overlapping and blurring into one another, but she had still gotten the point.

Quickly, I did what I needed too - I told myself I would stay here in Forks, with my family. I made myself believe it, accept it. I shut every other part of my brain down, erasing the distracting thoughts, concentrating on very few aspects, and waited. As far as any thoughts of my future, this was the only reality I would consider...for now. As long as I didn’t make a clear decision, and limit how far I let my wistful daydreams roam, I should be able to keep her at bay.

Just as I had hoped, her eyes took on the familiar distant look, and I saw that the new vision showed me sitting in my room, staring at Bella’s photographs aimlessly. I had succeeded, at least for now.

She lightly shook her head, meeting my gaze suspiciously. "Care to explain yourself, Edward?" Alice asked warily.

"I’m sorry to have worried you, Alice. I was simply lost in my thoughts, and for only a moment, those two ideas had passed through my mind. You know I wouldn’t want to hurt you, or the family like that. Everything’s alright, Alice," I murmured, my tone sincere.

She studied me for a moment. She was feeling slightly better about it, as she was surprised at my willingness to speak with her.

"Alice - you know it’s going to be fine, you just saw that for yourself. You would know if anything changed again. I’m right here, and I’m not going anywhere, alright?" I asked, hoping to calm her. As far as I was concerned, that was true...for now. I was just glad she couldn’t read minds, like me.

After another few moments, she slowly nodded her head, seeming to accept my words. Her thoughts were still slightly worried, but her mind was already drifting back to Jasper, wondering if he was alright.

Shortly after that, she returned to her room, seeking Jasper’s comforting arms. From where I sat on the floor, I raised the volume of the music, leaned over, rested my head in my hands, and closed everything else out.

My body was screaming to hunt, but I didn't see the point anymore. I had no one to live for. It didn't matter how bad my thirst was, all I wanted to do was let go.

APOV

I've never felt so disturbed. What was odd, was that I was familiar with death. I'd seen so many people killed, even had a hand in it many, many times - too many times to count. This was so incredibly different. I didn't remember much from my human life; all I knew was that my family had locked me away in an asylum. Shock treatments had erased the rest. Honestly, I wasn't so sure I wanted to remember any of it, if my very own family had me committed and faked my death.

From the moment Edward met Bella, I had known she'd be special to me. After experiencing centuries of timidness from humans we encountered, we'd become accustomed to keeping our distance. Her open demeanor had been so refreshing. I had seen the beauty in her, her willingness to trust someone unconditionally. More than that, I had seen that she'd eventually be with us - forever. How was I supposed to deal with the knowledge that because of a horrible mistake made by my husband, she was torn from this world?

If anyone could sympathize with what Jasper dealt with on a daily basis, it was me. Granted, I couldn't read his mind, but the two of us were connected in ways that normal people would never understand. From the point I saw him in my mind, when I was leaving the asylum, I understood his pain. He struggled with what was right, conflicting with what his body called for. He’d been trained to kill, and it was immensely difficult for him to push the carnal pull aside, after having it drilled into his brain for centuries.

I was familiar enough with the awful burning, parched feeling. Waking up, alone...the thirst had been overwhelming. If I hadn't 'seen' Jasper, I don't know what would have become of me. Granted, I killed plenty of people in between, but if I hadn't found him, I don't think I would have found my sanity. Remembering the pull of the thirst, I shook my head, trying to bring myself back to the present. He was still fighting that pull, every day of his life, whereas the rest of us could mostly push it aside as long as we stayed well-fed.

The funeral was sheer hell. All of us were so distraught, and it was so hard to keep myself together. I kept getting flashes of one of us possibly leaving, but I couldn't tell which one of us it was, and it kept changing. I was fairly certain that it was either Edward, or maybe even Jasper, but when I asked Jasper about it, he said he hadn’t made such a decision, and reassured me that everything was fine. I hadn’t had any visions telling me otherwise, so maybe it was Edward. He was refusing to speak to anyone, so I decided I would keep a close eye on him, and watch for any signs. Just the thought of my family losing another member was enough to almost put me over the edge.

The burial was difficult as well. I wanted to go home with Edward, but I forced myself to be with the rest of the family, with Jasper. He was adamant that he attend...he was torturing himself. When they lowered Bella's casket into the ground, Charlie had to walk away, and Renee collapsed into Phil, almost hysterical. It was probably a good thing Edward wasn't there to witness it.

Jasper and Edward were both worrying me. Edward was unresponsive to everyone. He allowed me to sit with him occasionally, when Jasper was out hunting, so I wouldn’t have to be alone. I understood his silence, so I didn’t push him...I wanted him to heal, and he needed this time to be alone. I knew he would look into my mind to see how I was doing, but just as quickly, he’d drift away again.

Jasper could barely look me in the eye; he held me, but not like before. It was almost as if he were trying to detach himself. He blamed himself for what happened, and no matter how many times I told him it was an accident, he didn't believe me. Surely he felt the emotions coming off of me...he knew how upset I was, no matter my words. That was the problem with Jasper - he would always know exactly how each of us was feeling, regardless of how much we tried to reassure him. The worst part was that he wouldn't talk to me, unless he needed to. Of course he said things to calm me down when I was overrun with guilt, but other than that he was silent. It was so hard trying to control my emotions so I wouldn’t upset him further, and it made me feel horrible. I don't know how I'll survive if he stays this way.

The afternoon I had the scattered, uncertain vision of Edward mindlessly roaming the Earth, combined with flashes of Volterra, I had decided I would make him speak to me, whether he wanted to or not - there was no way I’d let either of those possibilities become reality for his future. Surely this occurrence was what I had been getting flashes of lately - it must have been Edward, fighting with thoughts of leaving. I was surprised when he spoke so openly to me; he’d been so completely quiet, ignoring everyone. His sincerity helped convince me that it had only been a passing thought, not to mention the second vision, which had shown him in much the same manner he has been lately, staring vacantly at the wall in his bedroom. Still, I would keep an eye on him; I didn’t want this as his future either, but when compared with the other two recent options, it would have to do for now. He needed time to heal.

EPOV

Charlie was downstairs, speaking to Jasper. I heard his arrival, but I couldn't face him again yet. He had brought copies of the photos displayed at Bella's funeral for me to keep. After I was sure he was gone, I got up to go retrieve them.

As I reached the top of the stairs, I froze. Jasper was still downstairs, and I could hear his thoughts clearly now, for the first time in days, aside than his usual self-loathing. He must have forgotten to continue to block me, thinking I wasn’t paying attention.

"I have to get rid of these before Edward sees them..."

The audacity! That did it; I losing all control, flew down the stairs, and ran into him full-force. He was thrown across the room, the pictures of Bella falling to the floor.

"What the hell, Edward? What are you doing?" Jasper exclaimed, surprised.

"Shut up - don't even speak to me!" I roared in response.

I attacked again, forcing Jasper to defend himself. We made quick work of utterly destroying the living room, as furniture was tossed around, Esme's collectibles smashed. Thankfully, she wasn't home - Rosalie and Esme were at Charlie's house, helping Renee tie up loose ends. Suddenly, Emmett came flying in through the back door. He made a quick assessment of the situation, and instantly I felt myself up against the wall, restrained.

"Edward, get a grip, man. What's going on here?" he questioned.

Jasper stood on the other side of the room, looking regretful, with Alice, who had appeared out of nowhere - she had followed me downstairs, having seen what was going to happen when I decided to lunge at Jasper.

Jasper spoke first. "Just a misunderstanding, Emmett," he murmured, clearly distraught.

"The hell it is," I spat in reply.

Jasper let out sigh of exasperation, as I struggled against Emmett's grip.

"What happened?" Emmett asked again, a bit more forceful this time.

"He was trying to get rid of pictures of Bella," I seethed. "He just wants me to forget her, pretend none of this ever happened...as if that were possible."

Jasper sighed in frustration. His thoughts were pleading with me to calm down and listen, which was ridiculous.

"What pictures are you talking about?" Emmett asked, slightly confused.

"Charlie dropped off copies of the pictures Renee used at the funeral - I was only looking through them," Jasper answered tensely.

"You were going to throw them away - I heard your thoughts! Those pictures are mine - you have no right!" I exclaimed harshly.

"No, Edward, I wasn’t going to throw them away. If you had listened more closely, then you would have realized that. I was going to set them aside, so that you would have them later...after you’re able to deal with this better," Jasper explained. He took a deep breath, trying to calm himself. "Edward, I was only thinking of you. I know what this has done to you, and I thought it would help if you didn't have all of these constant reminders around in plain sight. This has been extremely difficult for me, as well - I see what I've done to your life. To all of your lives," he added, glancing warily around the room.

"Difficult for you, is it? You don't hear her voice in the wind, see her face everywhere you look. You don't have the overwhelming pain that grips me every minute, of everyday. She was my world, and you took her from me. I have never asked for anything except that you use caution around her, and you couldn't even manage that. You'll never know my pain - you'll never have to feel your heart break like mine did." Even as I spoke these words, I began to regret them. I knew Jasper was in pain, but the mere thought of him hiding those beautiful pictures from me made me furious - I couldn't help but lash out at him.

Jasper spoke, quietly. "Maybe you don't agree, but what I'm dealing with is just as bad, at least to me. Overwhelming guilt consumes me, knowing that I killed her. I do see her face every minute of every day, I hear her scream, and I see her fear. I also have to see you, which hurts more than anything, Edward. My very own brother; it's agony seeing you in this much pain, all because of me. I know you'll never forgive me for this, as I could never ask you to. Do you think it's easy to live with the fact that I took away the only thing you have ever truly loved in your life? That I destroyed the one thing that finally allowed you to live, the one thing that finally set you free?"

He paused, glancing over at Alice, and his thoughts became darker. "And what about Alice? My very own wife - the one thing that I live for, the one thing that makes this whole existence tolerable. The woman I would do anything for, give anything to...and here I end up taking away the best friend that has caused her so much joy. It's hell knowing that because of me, her husband, she's suffering immeasurably. All I've ever wanted to do is make her happy, and all I've managed to do is cause her the greatest amount of pain she's ever known. It's too much to bear, although I deserve every bit of it. If I could change the past, I would. I'd give my very life to bring Bella back - so you would feel complete, Edward, so Alice would have joy, so Emmett would laugh again, so Carlisle wouldn't feel disappointed in me, and so Esme wouldn't feel like she lost another child to death, all over again. I have done nothing but feel the onslaught of emotions coming from all of you, ever since I ruined our lives by making that horrible mistake." He glanced briefly over at Alice, then at Carlisle as well, who had arrived home from work half way through Jasper's response. He had remained in the shadows of the room, quiet, taking in the scene unfolding before him. His thoughts revealed his deep concern, but he wasn’t surprised; he'd been cautiously waiting for Jasper and I to clash.

Jasper continued, almost whispering. "Despite what many of you have said, to placate me, you forget that although you can hide emotions with words, as well as expressions, you cannot hide the way you feel inside...especially not from me." His expression darkened, as bitterness consumed him. "I know what each and every one of you really feels toward me, whether you want to feel it or not. I know that when my beautiful wife holds me, and tells me that she's not mad, that she still loves me, she's actually wrought with anger and grief." He glanced back down at Alice, who was shaking, desperately grasping his arm, trying to get him to look at her.

"Jasper, I do love you - all of this has just been so hard to accept! Please, please, please believe me when I tell you that you're still everything to me, that I can't live without you. I can't help that I'm upset, but it's not with you - it's just the whole situation! I'm so sorry, Jasper. Please understand me...please know that you've always been everything to me, from the second I woke, and that you always will," she pleaded desperately, standing on her toes, trying to reach up to her husband's face. It was heartbreaking; she clearly wanted him to hold her, yet he remained mostly unresponsive.

Jasper sighed heavily, smiling bitterly at his wife. "Alice, I love you, perhaps more than you will ever understand. You deserve a happy life...you had one, until I shattered it. You've always worried about my ability to adapt to this lifestyle, and I did everything I could to make you proud of me, to prove I was worthy of you. I've failed you now, and in the worst way. I not only failed to keep my word, I stole one of the brightest lights in your life away. I cannot stand to feel the pain coming from you, knowing I caused it. I want you to be happy, Alice, you deserve it. All I am doing is getting in the way, making things worse."

Suddenly, Alice's eyes blurred, her expression glazing over. Emmett no longer held me against the wall...we were all standing still, mostly entranced by what Jasper had been saying. I glanced over to Carlisle, who was still silent, his thoughts grave. His expression was one of great remorse.

As the vision ceased, my sister lightly shook her head, then looked up at her husband, with one of the saddest expressions I've ever seen.

"No," Alice whispered, her voice shaking with despair. "No, Jasper, no." She reached out, clinging to him.

I had seen the vision in her mind as she saw it, and I turned my gaze back to Jasper, confusion and shock registering in my expression. Alice’s mind was screaming at me, begging for my help.

"Edward, he's going to leave! Do something! You can't let him go!! Please!"

Jasper reached down, lifting Alice up in his arms, embracing her. "Alice, it's for the best. Know that wherever you are, I'll always love you. I'm just not made for this lifestyle; however, you are - you're amazing, Alice." Jasper leaned in, and softly placed a kiss on his wife's forehead, then one on her lips as well, before lightly placing her back on the ground. She stood frozen, completely in shock.

I had to say something; I felt like this was mostly my fault. "Jasper, stop. This isn't necessary...we will work this out. Don't go."

Jasper held up his hand, signaling me to stop. "I'll leave one way or another, Edward. Sure, you and Emmett can restrain me, if you choose; however, I will find a way to go at some point. I can continue to block you from my thoughts for as long as it takes." He glanced back at Alice. "I hadn’t really decided until now...until this conversation, but this has been coming ever since the - accident. Don’t make it harder on Alice by prolonging the inevitable, Edward." He met my gaze wearily. He was telling the truth.

Jasper turned, moving towards the door. We all stood frozen - it was as if none of us believed this was actually happening.

"Son, wait!" Carlisle exclaimed, desperate.

Looking over at Carlisle, Jasper merely uttered one word. "Don't," he said, abruptly shaking his head.

With one last look at Alice, he turned back to the door, and a moment later, he was gone. It took about two seconds for Alice to collapse onto the floor, completely overcome with despair.