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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 :(


16. Carlisle

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 3101   Review this Chapter

"He jests at scars that never felt a wound.
But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun"

JPOV

She was scared, I could feel it. She was trying desperately to hide it, to cover the fear with other emotions, to drown it out – though to hide it from me, or herself, I wasn't sure. I didn't want to let go of her hand as she walked forwards, towards Edward and Carlisle, and I walked beside her, ignoring the burning in my throat that her closeness magnified, ignoring the fact that the dress she was wearing was the exact colour of blood, ignoring the warning looks Edward was shooting me. I focused all my thoughts solely on her.

There was a chair on the other side of the room, that she was being led towards, a clinical and ominous looking chair. She sat down in it, one leg jiggling as she sat, her other hand gripping the arm of the chair. She was more than just scared of the tests, I could feel it. She was scared of the visions. I was reminded vividly of the purple bruises that had marred her white skin, that night in Port Angeles. The bruises which had only just faded. No wonder she was scared of them.

“Alice, before we begin, I need you to tell me about the visions. When did they start, how often are they, any from recently you can remember, anything.” Carlisle was speaking in his calm, soothing voice. One he usually reserved for terminally ill patients, and I resisted the urge to snarl at him. Alice was fine, she was perfect. There was nothing wrong with her.

Her voice was quiet when she first spoke, but it didn't waver, and she looked him directly in the eyes, “They started about a year ago, after my mother died. I'd never had one before that, I don't know what happened. One minute my father was shouting at me, and the next I was seeing myself driving to Forks.

I don't really understand how they work – it's not like there's a handbook on how to deal with your mind when it goes insane. I think...from what I've gathered, that the future is...subjective? It depends on the decisions that people make, and I can't see anything until a decision has been made. Or at least in theory, right now they're a little unpredictable.”

She broke off with a small laugh, and I could feel faint traces of humour emitting from her. Her fear was fading slightly, and I wasn't to blame. I'd decided long ago that I wouldn't use my talents on Alice, unless she especially asked me too.

“Can you describe any of your visions to me Alice? Especially the...the recent ones?” Alice tensed slightly, and I tightened my grip on her hand, my thumb rubbing circles on her palm. She smiled at me gratefully, and I was nearly overwhelmed by the amount of love she was feeling. I could hardly dare to believe that she was directing all of that love at me.

“I had one, when I was in Port Angeles” she started, her fingers tightening round mine, “I...I was walking down an alley when I had it, and it was only a few minutes into the future. There were these men, and...one of them grabbed me by the throat, and held a knife to my stomach. There were two others holding down a woman...and she was screaming...she was in so much pain...it was...horrible.” she broke off, pulling her fingers from mine and pressing her hands to her eyes.

“Carlisle!” I said desperately, “Carlisle, please!”

“Jasper, it's Ok. I want to get this over with.” I thought for a moment. She seemed to be reassuring me a lot recently. Calming people was supposed to be my job, but here she was, this tiny girl, turning my life upside-down. I smiled slightly at the thought.

“I had a vision this morning” she whispered. My head jerked down to look at her, all traces of my humour disappearing. She didn't seem to want to look at me, and was staring intently at the floor, “I was...in the shower. And then I had one. In it I was...I was walking across the floor in my room, and Jasper was there, and I...I fell.” she pressed her lips together, and a strong feeling of dread filled me. I had a sinking feeling I knew exactly what was coming. I chanced a glance at Edward, and immediately wished that I hadn't.

His face was twisted in anger, and he was glaring at me. I looked back at Alice, “What did I do Alice?” My voice was as quiet as hers had been.

Her eyes met mine, blurring with tears, “Do I have to go into details? Long story short, I bled. And...you, well you weren't happy about it. Or maybe you were, it was hard to tell”

I tried to speak, but she held up a hand, cutting me off, still refusing to look at me, “My last two visions, the one this morning and the one in Port Angeles, they...I'm not sure. But I've been getting...injured from them. Mostly bruises, like...like they're becoming reality, whether or not the decision has been made.”

“Bruises?” Carlisle said, “Alice...could you show me them?"

No, no, no, no I thought frantically, no please, anything but that! I looked at Edward, Please Edward, I can't see this!

He shook his head very slightly, and I winced. I didn't need to read minds, to know what he was telling me. Carlisle needed to see the damage that the visions were doing to her, and I needed to stay here. She needed me.

Alice was standing, her hands trembling slightly, as she undid the first few buttons of her dress, crossing her arms over her chest, and turning to face the wall, showing us her back. I felt sick.

Marring her perfect skin, were two arm-shaped bruises, deep purple, curling round her, and ending on her back. Bruises that were the exact size and shape of my arms.

Edward and Carlisle were talking in front of me, lightly running their fingers over her back, muttering to each other, to Alice. She didn't speak, just nodded and shook her head at appropriate times.

I couldn't move, I couldn't hear anything. My ears were ringing, everything was muffled. I could only focus on Alice, on the bruises that were my doing. These ones weren't the work of a man in an alleyway in Port Angeles. These were mine. I was the monster here.

I choked slightly. I knew I was a monster, it was something I lived with every single moment I was awake. But Alice, having to experience it like that, having to be reminded of the fact that I wanted so badly to kill her. It was like realising it all over again.

I fell to my knees in front of her, as she turned back around, re-buttoning her dress, pushing my thirst to the furthest corners of my mind, “Alice” I breathed, “Alice , I...”

But there were no words. There was nothing I could think of to say, nothing that could make this moment any better. She sat back on the chair, her eyes fixed on mine, and she reached forwards tentatively, laying her warm palm on my cheek, her gentle touch sending pinpricks of emotion across my skin.

“Jasper”

She didn't need to say anything else – I could feel it in her emotions. No words were needed.

We didn't move for a long time. Or it might have just been a few minutes, I didn't know. Everything blurred down to her touch, her smell.

Carlisle cleared his throat slightly. Alices eyes flickered from mine, to him, and faint waves of embarrassment hit me, from her. “Alice...I think we should start some tests now. I don't really know how this will work, I have some theories, but I'm not sure – I've never met someone with a talent like yours.”

He crossed to her side, pulling the lead of a heart monitor over, and fixing it to her finger. A steady beep filled the room, and she wrinkled her nose, “That's really going to get annoying. I hope this won't take long.”

Carlisle smiled, “Hopefully. I'm going to monitor your heart rate for a while. And then...I was thinking, maybe I could do an EEG, to monitor brain activity?”

Alice nodded, taking a deep breath, “Are you going to do something to...make the visions happen? Or are you just hoping that they will. Because we could be here for a while.”

Carlisle nodded absent-mindedly, seemingly lost in thought as he pressed buttons on the heart monitor, “Change of plans then. We'll do the EEG now, and measure your heart rate at the same time. I won't go into all the technical details with you, I'll just tell you what to do Ok?”

“I feel ridiculous.” She muttered, probing delicately at the wires encircling her head, plugged into the plastic cap, which covered half of her spiky hair. Edward chuckled as him and Carlisle plugged wires into complicated looking machines.

“Jasper? Jazz, distract me. Please.” she implored, turning those ridiculously big blue eyes on me. Who was I to refuse her?

“What shall I do darlin'?”

She shivered slightly, “That accent's distracting enough. In a good way”

I smiled at her from across the room. I'd had to leave when they fitted her with an IV, in case she bled, but now I was sitting opposite her, feeling slightly more relaxed than I had in a long time.

“Are you ready Alice?”

She took a deep breath, readying herself. I wasn't sure what she was going to do – I wasn't sure she even knew what she was going to do. She closed her eyes, gripping the arms of her chair, her breathing slowing.

Time ticked by, signalled only by the beeping over her heart. The room was silent, save for her heartbeat. Carlisle was hesitating in front of her, ready to act as soon as something happened. Edward was standing behind her, his eyes closed, following her thoughts with his mind. Heartbeat faded into heartbeat as we sat frozen, waiting.

I was about to stand up, to tell Carlisle that it was useless, when it happened.

Alice let out a wild gasp, her eyes flying open, unfocused and bleary. She was frozen, rigid in her chair, as unmoving as a vampire, her eyes wide and wild.

The beeps on the heart monitor sped up, blurring into one, her heart pounding erratically, faster than it ever had before. Her emotions screamed at me, like she was begging me to help her.

Edward froze behind her, his hands pressed to his head, his face screwed up in pain, and confusion.

Carlisle was at one of the machines, examining a piece of paper that was spewing from the side, his emotions showing nothing but shock.

“Stop! Please stop!” Alice gasped, collapsing in her chair, her breathing laboured. I ran to her side, but before I could speak, her back arched, and her eyes closed, as she let out a scream of pain, her eyes moving wildly behind their sockets.

“Carlisle!” I roared, “Carlisle, do something!”

“I can't Jasper! I can't stop halfway through!”

“Stop it! Stop the machines, turn it off!” I was screaming over Alices moans of pain, “Do anything!” I leapt forward, wrenching at the wires, trying to rip them away from her skin, to do anything to stop the pain.

I was half way towards the chair, when I found myself restrained by two pairs of iron-strong arms. Emmett and Rosalie had appeared behind me, their arms holding me back as I clawed to get free, to get Alice out of the chair.

“Jasper!” Alice moaned, tears streaming down her face, “Help me!”

“Let me go!” I screamed again, lunging forwards, desperately trying to wrench myself free of their iron grip.

She collapsed in her chair, her tiny frame quivering violently, shaking with sobs. “Emmett, Rosalie” Carlisle spoke quietly, but they heard him, they let me go.

I was by her side in a heartbeat, wrenching the wires off her head, holding her face in my hands, wiping her tears away with my fingers, “Alice? Alice, talk to me! Please darlin'!”

She let out a choking sob, and fell forward, wrapping her arms around my neck, pressing her face into my shirt. I stiffened slightly at her sudden contact, clenching my jaw shut. I closed my eyes, and placed my arms gently around her, ignoring everything except the feeling of her in my arms. I heard Edward and Carlisle talking behind us, but I ignored them, concentrating on the fact that I could hold her in my arms – even only for a few moments – and successfully resist the urge to kill her.

As though she knew what I was thinking, she let me go, backing away from me, leaning back into her chair. I froze – had I done something to scare her off?

But I understood as she gave me a weak smile. She wasn't scared of me, she was scared for me. She didn't want to tempt me any further by being close to me.

“Alice?” Carlisle spoke quietly, “Alice, Are you Ok? I'm sorry”

“It's Ok Carlisle, I wanted it to happen. It wasn't your fault, it's the visions. They...they always hurt. But this was worse, it was like...like they were punishing me”

“Alice about that last vision?” Edward said, turning to look at her, and I saw her flinch slightly, “You've have others like that haven't you? I could tell.”

“What was it?” I said, wondering If I wanted to know.

“Vampires.” Well that wasn't what I was expecting, “Three of them, coming here. Bypassing on their 'travels'. They'll be here tonight.”

“Oh.” That wasn't good news. The last thing I wanted was to place Alice right in the path of three more vampires. No doubt three very non-vegetarian vampires.

I concentrated on rubbing Alices hands, “Jasper? You know how you can calm people. Well I wouldn't mind so much if you did that right now.” her voice was tremulous and tentative, like she was unsure what I'd say. How did she not know that I would do anything for her, especially after seeing what she'd just been through, calming didn't seem like such a bad idea.

I focused, and sent a gentle wave of soothing lethargy over her. She relaxed visibly, her shoulders dropping as the tension eased away.

“Oh and also she saw us playing baseball tonight” Edward said, that perked me up very slightly – I loved playing baseball. “Yeah, there will be a storm over the mountains, but the clearing will be dry. Perfect”

I knew what Edward was doing, and I was thankful for it.

“Alice?” she looked up, her face dry, her eyes looking a little brighter, “You up for watching a game of vampire baseball?”

She nodded, getting up from the chair, “You still owe me a tour, Jazz.” Her voice was tremulous, but she was doing her best to hide it.

She stood, still shaking slightly, her legs trembling as she swayed gently, “Alice” I said, standing beside her, taking her elbow gently in my fingers.

“I'm fine Jasper” she said through gritted teeth, “I just need to...you know. Walk it off”

She took a few steps, her knees quaking as she did, but she continued anyway. I could feel her determination.

“Jasper. Tour.” she said through gritted teeth, and I nodded. She didn't want anybody to make a fuss, she wanted to act normal. I glanced over my shoulder at my brother and father, but they weren't paying attention to me. They were pouring over strips of paper, and readings from the machines, muttering so quietly, so fast, that Alice couldn't hear them.

“Of course. How could I forget?” I brushed my fingers against her arm, leading her from the room, trying to ignore the hushed conversations between Edward and Carlisle, too low for Alice to hear.

“Carlisle, I don't know what she did. One minute her mind was blank, like she was searching for something, and the next she was being bombarded with images. It was like she opened a dam, and the stream of visions was too strong for her.”

“Edward, her heart rate was going crazy during her visions, but the EEG shows that she should have been very relaxed. I'd go so far as to say comatose. Her brain waves were very low, and I'm not sure why...”

I was shaking, not with pain like Alice, but with anger. If Alice hadn't been there, I wasn't sure what I would have done to Carlisle and Edward, what I would have done for them putting the love of my life in a chair, and effectively watching her torture herself. I could only feel the slightest hints of satisfaction that at least Edward had suffered along with her.

But that satisfaction was short lived, as I thought how great her pain must have been to hurt a vampire.

I shook my head, focusing on Alices breathing, as I led her towards the door at the end of the corridor, “This is...my room” I said, and pushed the door open.

She took one step in, stood gazing at the room, taking in every inch. Her eyes lingered on my guitars, leaning against the opposite wall, on the dark mahogany wood of the double bed next to the window, the window itself, stretching across the wall, one window pan open, the leaves of the trees outside blowing in the breeze.

She crossed the room, and sat on the bed, turning to face me, “I'm guessing those tests didn't show great results. Did they.”

She didn't want me to answer – she knew. She'd known as soon as I'd agreed to calm her, I could feel it then, and I could feel it now, anxiety growing steadily in the corners of her brain.

“Alice it'll be OK” I said softly, kneeling in front of her again, “I won't let anything happen to you. I promise”

“I know you won't Jasper. I trust you.”

I smiled faintly, leaning back on my heels, taking a deep breath of the clean air that blew threw the open window, “So, baseball?”

She grinned, and although it didn't quite reach her eyes, it was still there, “Baseball.”