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The Sunshine Train

Summary:
Create your own banner at mybannermaker.com!John F. Kennedy said once that the courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy. A man does what he must, in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures, and that is the basis of all morality.
I couldn't agree more.
Courage was the reason I was here. Courage and love. We know Edward and Bellas story during Twilight, but what if it was different? What if Alice was the new girl, and Bella was already a vampire? Would Jaspers self-control hold out when he meets a girl whos blood smells so intoxicating to him? Mostly AxJ, all canon pairings. Thank you so much to MoonSpinner for the amazing banner!!


Notes:
Read on and enjoy. Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight, and i never ever ever will :(


15. The Cullens

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 3323   Review this Chapter

"Younger than she are happy mothers made"

APOV

I stood under the hot water, feeling it pour down my back, flattening my hair to my head, smiling as I pictured Jasper finding me an outfit. I figured that him being over a century old, and having Rose as a sister, he'd be clued in to what teenage girls wore when they met their vampire boyfriends vampire parents. I hoped he was anyway, because I sure has hell had no clue.

I laughed slightly, revelling in the fact that I could use the word vampire in a sentence so easily. Sure it was a sentence that I thought to myself – but it still counted.

I wasn't worried about meeting his parents – far from it. I'd met Carlisle at the hospital, and even though it was a brief meeting, he didn't seem to hate me. I was slightly worried about meeting Esme, his mother. Ever since my mothers death I'd found it awkward to be around happy families but I was hoping this wouldn't be an issue.

I wondered what would happen if they didn't like me – what if Jasper had to choose? There was no doubting that he would chose his family. He'd lived with them since before I was even born, I didn't expect him to choose me. I wouldn't want him to choose me over them.

I massaged shampoo into my short hair, feeling slightly dizzy from the heat, and swaying against the shower door. I was just reaching for the shower dial to turn the heat down when -

I was walking across my bedroom floor, wrapped in a towel with my hair sticking up in clumps around my head. Jasper was standing opposite me holding an armful of clothes, “I chose you an outfit!” he said, sounding far too excited and pleased with himself, like a child who had just discovered the meaning of life. I smiled, and leapt towards him, not looking where I was going.

My toes caught on the corner of a floorboard, and I fell, twisting to avoid a pile of shoe by my feet. I saw Jaspers hand, hesitate towards me, before he froze. I looked up from a heap on the floor, my eyes meeting his. I glanced down, to see a flash of red trickled down my leg, from where my knee had caught a loose nail. I barely had time to open my mouth and gasp, when a sudden hard force slammed into me, throwing me backwards against the door.

Jaspers arms were fixed around me in a terrifying and bone-crushing embrace, as his teeth snapped at my throat, his teeth a white blur.

I gasped, my eyes opening, choking as hot water trickled down my throat. I became faintly aware that I was curled on the floor of the shower, my back pressed against the cold tiles. I closed my eyes for a moment, trying to fight my thoughts.

I'd been so stupid, acting so carefree, not paying any attention to the fact that one wrong move around Jasper would kill me. I didn't want him to kill me – obviously, but that wasn't what I was cursing myself for.

I couldn't do that to him, I was tempting him enough, just being around him. I was causing him pain just by being in the same room as him – and I'd forgotten. How could I forget? How could I be so careless?

I opened my eyes, sitting up and hugging my knees. My eyes focused on a trail of dark red spinning down the plughole, and I looked at my leg. There, on my knee, was a small slice, emitting a trickle of red blood down my leg. I gulped, and submerged my leg in the water, washing the blood away quickly. I wondered if Jasper could smell it from my room down the corridor, and pressed my finger to the cut, attempting to stem the flow. I glanced down at my stomach, and my breath stopped in my throat. Across my abdomen and chest, where two long, wide strips of purple. Arm shape bruises, like someone very strong, had seized me, and half thrown me across the room.

I didn't realise I was crying until I tasted the salt on my lips. I pulled my legs up into the foetal position, and laid on the floor of the shower, sobbing.

A swift, but tentative knock drew me from my thoughts. I didn't know how long I'd been laying there, but the water now pouring over me was barely lukewarm.

“Alice?” Jasper said softly from the other side of the door, “Alice, have you dissolved in there?”

I let out a short gasp of laughter, “Not quite, Jasper. Sorry I was...distracted”

My voice was croaky and painful, like it always was after a vision, and I winced slightly, “I'm getting out now. Have you chosen me an outfit?” I prayed to God it wouldn't show the bruises. I didn't feel like explaining my recent vision to him.

“Yes” I could hear the pride in his voice, and laughed again, “I'll leave it outside for you. I...erm. I'll go wait in...downstairs.”

I didn't answer, and it was silent outside. I got out of the shower, standing in front of the full length mirror, examining my bruises. One curled around my waist, the other round my chest, ending in hand shaped patterns on my shoulder blades. I winced as I towelled myself dry, pressing on the tender skin. I'd have to be careful, and not draw attention to those today. Great.

I stretched an arm out of the door, seizing the pile of clothes, and drawing them back inside. I nearly laughed when I saw Jaspers selection for me. A bright red shirt dress which came to just about my knees, and matching shoes. He really had some sort of obsession with that colour. I wondered briefly if it was because the red was the colour of blood. It seemed pretty morbid, but then again – he was a vampire.

I danced down the stairs, taking extra care in my heels – something I would never have bothered with before, but I was only just seeing the danger of my house. I could fall down the stairs, and into the mirror, shattering the glass and causing myself to bleed – a lot. Or I could simply hold the banister and get a splinter – a tiny piece of wood, causing one tiny drop of blood. But it was still blood.

Jasper was leaning against the front door, smiling slightly as he watched me. I smiled back, “So Mr Hale, who's driving?”

“Well seeing as you don't know where it is...”

“Hey! You directed me yesterday, and that went fine!”

He raised his arms in defeat, as he unlocked the door and started down the rive, swinging my car keys between his fingers, “If you let me drive, you can have full control of the CD player”

“Deal” I said, redirecting myself to the passenger, not missing the way he kept himself a few feet away from me, the deep breath he made as I moved away from him. I tried very hard to not be offended.

“I'm going to regret letting you choose music, aren't I?” he said, as I searched for a CD.

“Hell yes.”

You've got the money maker
They showed the money to you
You showed them what you can do
Showed them your money
Make you get out out out oh yeah
You'll get out out out oh yeah

You are the money maker
She wants to overtake you
You know you want to make her
Show her your money maker
She said out out out oh yeah
She said out out out oh yeah

“Rilo Kiley? Really?” He said. I shrugged, gazing out the window. We were passing over the bridge at the Calawah River, the road winding lazily northward, the houses flashing past us growing bigger, and further apart. We sped up as we reached a misty forest, the houses gone, the road twisting ahead of us.

“ I just realised, I have no idea where you live.”

He chuckled slightly, turning onto an unmarked, unpaved road, the forest encroaching on both sides. “Not far from here. We...like to keep out of the business of town.”

I raised my eyebrows slightly, what was there that was busy about Forks?

After a few miles, which flashed by as the dial on the speedometer strained towards the right, the forest thinned, and we found ourselves near a small meadow. Or was it a lawn? I couldn't tell. Sixe primordial cedars shaded nearly an entire acre of land with their sweeping branches, holding their protective shadow right up to the walls of the house that stood among them.

I smiled, this was exactly what I'd been expecting. The Cullen family didn't suit the stereotypical 'crypts and dungeons' image of vampires. They were beautiful, timeless and graceful. Just like the soft, white faded house that rose in front of us. I was out of the car, and staring up at it, at the three stories tall, rectangular and well proportioned building. A building that was at least one hundred years old, but still retained some form of modern charm.

“It's beautiful” I breathed, “I'd say I was speechless, but I'm not. There are too many words, I just can't choose one.”

I heard, rather than saw him smile and beckoned for me to follow him. I was glad we were walking towards the house, unable to tear my eyes away from it.

“Ready?” he whispered as we reached double glass doors.

“As I'll ever be” I said with a smile, as he pushed the doors open and stood back to let me in.

The inside of the house was completely different to the exterior, but somehow it fit. It was very bright, very open, and very large. The back wall had been entirely replaced with glass, letting the morning light stream in, casting shadows on the white carpets. I could see the lawn stretching down to a wide river, beyond the shade of the massive cedars.

Waiting to greet us, grouped in front of a huge staircase, which dominated one whole side of the room, was Jaspers family.

I'd seen Dr. Cullen before, so I was prepared for his outrageous perfection. At his side was the only member of the Cullen family I had yet to meet. Esme, I assumed.

She had the same pale, beautiful features of the rest of them, and was small and slender, but less angular than her family, with soft curves, and billows of caramel coloured hair.

Behind them, I could see Bella and Edward, standing hand in hand. Bella smiled at me, and Edward gave me a slight nod.

To his right was Rosalie, who had her arm around Emmett, another member I hadn't really spoken to. Rosalie smiled, and Emmett grinned, but none of them made any move to approach me – trying not to scare me off, I guessed. I wondered if I would have to take matters into my own hands.

“Good morning Dr Cullen” I smiled, bouncing forwards with my hand outstretched, “It's good to see you again.”

He took my hand, giving it a shake, his face breaking into a smile, “Carlisle. Please. I glad we're meeting under better circumstances than last time.”

“Yeah, there's nothing worse than almost dying from a fire to put a slight downder on first impressions!”

I heard Jasper chuckle from a few feet behind me, and felt suddenly uplifted as both Esme and Carlisle laughed. Maybe this wouldn't be as hard as i'd thought.

I moved onto Esme, “Hello Mrs Cullen” I said, holding out my hand again, not at all surprised by her tentative, but freezing cold hand, “It's nice to finally meet you. You have a beautiful home.”

“Thank you” she smiled, her lovely face lighting up, all previous hints of caution disappearing, “I'm so pleased to meet you too.” I felt there was a slight weight behind her words, as though she was thinking me for more than that, but I didn't dwell on it.

“Bella!” I said, dancing forwards and hugging her tightly, hearing the slight gasps of Esme and Carlisle behind me. They weren't prepared for the fact that I didn't actually mind, that they were vampires.

“Hello Alice” Bella said with as much enthusiasm, hugging me back. I winced slightly as she pressed against my bruises, Damn I thought, I'd forgotten about them. Stepping back, I noticed the look on Edwards face. A look of confusion and slight shock. I was about to greet him, when Rose distracted me, “You look nice today Alice.”

I smiled at her, “Thanks Rose. Jazz picked me an outfit, and I have to say, I was worried at first!”

A splutter of laughter from her left stopped me. Emmett was snorting into his hand, “You let her call you Jazz? Really? Alice what on earth did you do, for him to let you give him a nickname?”

I grinned at him, “It's a secret” I winked. Emmett froze, before leaping forwards in the blink of an eye, and scooping me into a hug. I laughed in shock as my feet left the floor, and he spun me round, “I like you Alice!”

“Thank you Emmett!” I gasped, partially from the pain of him pressing into my bruises, combined with the loss of air, as he practically crushed my lungs.

“Emmett maybe you should let her go before you kill her!” Jaspers voice sounded slightly desperate, but there was something else there. Longing? Jealousy? I wondered if maybe it was because he wanted to be the one hugging me. I stepped back as Emmett let me go, stumbling slightly as the room spun around me.

I felt a pair of cool arms catch me, holding me steady, and looked up into Jaspers eyes, the only things that weren't moving. I closed my eyes, trying to control the dizziness, and heard Rosalie slap someone, hissing angrily, “Congratulations genius, you nearly killed her! She'd only been here 30 seconds!”

Her angry muttering faded, and I opened my eyes to see the room empty, except for Jasper and me. “Where...where'd they all go?” I said, straightening up from his arms, trying to distract myself from the cool hand on the small of my back.

He chuckled, “They're giving us some room. And yelling at Emmett for nearly killing you.”

“I'm fine” I muttered, crossing the room, and sinking into the impossibly soft sofa, “Do they like me?”

I felt him sit next to me, not touching but close enough, “Yes. Esme and Carlisle do especially, and Rose and Bella, but you knew that. Emmett likes the idea of having a little sister.”

“Edward?” I turned to look at him, pulling my legs up beneath me. “Edward...he'd confused. He understands my struggle – Bella was a human when he met her. But he...doesn't trust me. He could barely keep his control when he met Bella, and his was so much stronger then, than mine is now. He's worried about...if this ends badly. It could have serious ramifications for our family, and he doesn't want that. And he'd curious about your visions, mostly. So's Carlisle.”

“Oh” was all I could say. I thought for a moment, processing this, looking round the room for anything to distract myself, “You have a piano?”

It wasn't really a question, because I could see the piano there, the glossy dark surface shining in the light.

“Yes. Do you play?”

I nodded, “My mother taught me when I was 6.” I sat down on the seat, running my fingers over the keys. Jasper sat next to me, his knee brushing against mine, “Play me something.”

I shook my head, “I don't like playing for people."

“Please?” I made the mistake of turning to look at him, of looking into his golden eyes. My heart thumped erratically against my ribcage. It actually hurt. His voice turned impossibly soft“If you play for me, I'll play for you”

It was an offer I couldn't refuse, especially when he looked like that, “Fine” I said, turning from him, “I've never written anything of my own, so I'll play a cover. Don't judge me.”

“Wouldn't dream of it!”

I pulled a face, and played a few chords, stealing myself for the fact that I was going to sing in front of him. Singing in front of people was not my best friend. And now it would be worse – especially because his family would no doubt hear me. I opened my mouth, as my fingers played out the beginning of the verse, Well, I thought, here goes nothing.

“I was stained with a row in a day and on my own,
As you walked into my life, you showed what needed to be shown,
And I always knew what was right I just didn't know that I might peel away,
And choose to see with such indifference sight...

And I will never see the sky the same way,
And I will learn to say good-bye to yesterday,
And I will never cease to fly, if held down,
And I will always reach too high,
Cause I have seen,
Cause I have seen twilight”

My eyes were squeezed shut, and I didn't want to open them. I stopped singing, and took my hands from the piano, leaving the last note to echo in the large room.

“Wow.” said Jasper next to me, after a moment. I didn't need to open my eyes to know that he meant it, I could hear the sincerity in his voice, “You're definitely playing for me again.”

“Can I have a tour?” I asked, wanting to change the subject, but also because the huge house was intriguing me. Jasper leapt up so suddenly that I jumped back a few centimetres. “Sorry” he said, turning to me, and holding out his hand. I took it, and he pulled me up, so I was standing.

He paused for a moment, his head cocked slightly towards the ceiling, before letting out a slight groan, “Sorry darlin'. The tour might have to wait. Carlisle and Edward...want answers.”

Before I knew it, he was leading me up the stairs, his fingers barely touching my arm, but I followed him anyway, “It's...better to get it over with” he muttered, leading me down a long corridor. We stopped opposite a dark wooden door, with a crucifix hanging over it, and Jasper knocked, opening the door a split second later.

“Carlisle what –”

“Jasper it's fine, I just want to run some...tests” I stopped listening. They were going to do tests on me, like I was some sort of freak. Kind of hypocritical for the vampires I thought, but I...was curious. Just as curious as they were – maybe more. I wanted to know about my visions as much as they did. I needed to know what was happening to me.

“I'll do it” I said, my voice quiet, but causing the argument that was growing between Jasper and Carlisle to come to an abrupt halt. Carlisle furrowed his brow, “You changed your mind quickly” he said, curiously.

“Her thoughts were practically a blur” Edward moaned, pressing his fingers to his temple, as I noticed him for the first time, leaning against the wall. Carlisle was nodding thoughtfully, and I frowned. What did it matter if I made quick decisions. I lived impulsively, why did they care?

Jasper was speaking to me, standing closer to me than he ever had before, his hands on my shoulders, “Alice you don't have to do this.”

“Jazz, I want to. I need to know what is going on in my head. Please. It'll be Ok.”

I took one of his hands, turning to face Edward and Carlisle, twining my fingers with Jaspers, “Ok Carlisle, let's do it.”