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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 :(


17. The Game

Rating 4/5   Word Count 4262   Review this Chapter

"Death lies on her like an untimely frost
Upon the sweetest flower of all the field"

APOV

What could I say. I didn't want to tell Jasper that I was absolutely terrified. That every single time I closed my eyes, I saw him killing me in a thousand different ways, that I lived in fear of my next vision, that the pain was escalating to such great heights, that afterwards it hurt to breath, hell it even hurt to live.

So I didn't, I smiled, and told him that yes, I was excited about the baseball game, and no I wasn't scared of the vampires that were coming to town. I knew he could tell I was lying, however good at it I was, he was better.

He could feel my worry and pain, I could tell. But he didn't say anything, so neither did I.

He stopped outside my house, a fine rain misting in the air, sparkling on my eyelashes, sugaring the black seats of my car. It was early evening, the sun was shining bleakly through the clouds directly in front of us. Jaspers hands on the steering wheel glimmered in the dull light, and I smiled.

“Alice,” he turned to me, “You are without a doubt, the strangest creature I have ever met.”

I raised my eyebrows, mock offended, “Oh, so I'm a creature now?”

He smiled slightly, “You know what I mean. One minute you're in pain, the next minute your fine. One minute your sad, the next you're happy. I don't know what to make of it! You feel...so much! So many emotions are swirling around your mind, I don't know how you can stand it!”

I laughed, “Jasper. If my mothers death taught me anything, it's to live for the moment. We're not all like you, we don't all have the guarantee of immortality, of eternity. I can't be afraid to do something, just because I'm unsure of the consequences. I'm not going to be frightened by the prospect that my brain could effectively kill me, the next time I have a vision. I'd much rather focus on you. Speaking of which, ready to meet my uncle?”

He nodded, pausing for a split second, before opening his door, leaping out, dashing round the bonnet of the car, and appearing outside my door, before I had time to blink.

“You're such a gentleman” I muttered, as he held out his arm to me.

“Growing up in the 1850's does that to a person” he said, leading me towards the door, “Your uncle isn't home yet”

I nodded, “His shift ends soon, he'll be home in about half an hour. And don't worry, if he's anything like me, which he is, he'll like you.”

We'd been sitting opposite each other on the sofa cross-legged, me chattering aimlessly, him nodding along, barely speaking, listening intently, when a knock on the door stopped me mid-sentence.

Jaspers head was turned towards the door, a scowl in his face, a low growl sounding in his throat, “I take it that's not my uncle?” I said, and he shook his head. I stood, walking towards the door, feeling Jasper moving silently behind me.

Billy Black was sitting in his wheelchair in the porch, his hat low over his head dripping with rain. Jacob was standing behind him, a slight, apologetic smile on his face, his eyes widening slightly as he saw Jasper behind me.

“Billy, Jake” I greet cheerfully, moving out of the way, so Jacob could wheel Billy through the door, “What brings you guys down here?”

“Fishing.” Billy grunted, glaring at Jasper, his eyes flashing, “We bought Isaac some of Harry Clearwaters home made fish fry – he used to love it”

I felt Jasper tense behind me slightly, his fingers brushing against my elbow, “He'll be home soon Billy, his shift must be over by now. How about you and Jacob” I gave him a meaningful look, “Go and dry off, I'll just...” I trailed off, gesturing slightly at Jasper.

Jacob took the hint, and wheeled Billy into the living room, leaving me and Jasper alone in the hallway.

I turned to him with a slight groan, “I'm sorry, I –”

He cut me off, placing his finger against my lips with a slight smile, “It's not your fault Ali. I'll be back when they're gone.”

I was going to ask if he promised, but the words stopped in my throat. I didn't need to ask him that, I trusted him. I gave a slight nod, and he was gone, disappearing in front of me in a blur, leaving a slight breeze to swirl around my legs.

I smiled slightly, and turned back to the door, ready to face whatever Billy had for me.

“Jacob, go and see if you can find that picture of Rebecca, it should be in the car somewhere.” Billy said, as I entered the room.

He slouched back into the rain, and I sighed, settling myself opposite Billy, waiting for him to speak. The silence grew between us, until my ears were ringing, and I was gritting my teeth. I hated the silence.

“Alice.” He said, and then he hesitated, seemingly searching for words. I froze on the edge of my seat, waiting.

“Alice, Isaac and I were...good friends. We still are good friends.”

“I know, he always talks about you.”

He hesitated again before continuing, carefully choosing his words, “And I can't help but notice that you're spending a lot of time with the Cullens.”

“Only one of the Cullens.” I muttered, staring him right in the eyes, “And he's technically a Hale”

His eyes flashed again, and I pressed my lips closed. Now wasn't the time to talk.

“I know it's none of my business.” His voice was rising now, gaining emphasis with each word, “But I don't think it's a very good idea.”

“It's not any of your business.” I agreed, staring out of the window, into the drizzling rain.

He sat up straighter, raising his eyebrows at my tone, his eyes darkening, “You might not know this, but the Cullen family has an...unpleasant history on our reservation.”

I frowned, turning back to him, “Actually Billy, I did know that.” I saw shock register in his eyes, but continued, “But their reputation - as you put it, couldn't be deserved could it? Because the Cullens haven't set foot on the reservation for a long time, have they?”

My words seemed to bring him up short, reminding him of the agreement that both bound and protected his tribe.

“That's true” he said stiffly, “You seem...more informed than I expected.”

“Perhaps I'm more informed than even you are, Billy.”

He nodded slightly, considering. “Is Isaac well informed?”

I flinched slightly, twisting my face, “Isaac likes the Cullens. I'm introducing Jasper to him tonight. I'm sure he'll like him.”

“You didn't answer my –”

“There was no picture in the truck Dad” Jacob complained, entering the room, cutting Billy off. I chuckled as I looked at him, his dark hair dripping rain into the collar of his shirt. He pulled a face at me.

“Oh. I must have left it at home.” said Billy, suddenly detached, looking away from me for the first time. He spun round to face Jacob, “Lets go son, Isaac won't be home for a while.”

Jacob nodded, “Ok I guess. See you Alice” he said waving, which I returned.

“Look after yourself Alice” Billy said, his voice thick with implications. I didn't say anything.

I was turning on the oven, and pulling food out of the cupboards when I heard a cool voice, with a slight accent behind me, “You know, I never learnt to cook. I wish I had, but it's one of the few things that I don't need to be able to do now.”

“I love cooking” I said, laying chicken in a tray, “My mother taught me how to as soon as I could reach the oven. I decided cooking for Isaac might put him in a good mood and –”

“Make him less likely to hate me?”

I nodded, shaking pepper over the chicken, and placing the tray in the oven, before turning to face him. He was leaning against the table, smiling slightly. I didn't both asking him how he got in, not sure if I wanted to know the answer or not.

I looked down, wiping my hands, and focusing on my shoes and dress. Baseball. Maybe I should –

“Maybe you should change.” he murmured, his eyes drifting over me, “Baseball, and all.”

I nodded, “Isaac is about 2 minutes away” he continued, “I'll leave, and arrive a few minutes after him. To pick you up”

I pouted, “Why do you bother coming back if your just going to leave again 30 seconds after?”

He chuckled, leaning forwards to run a finger down my cheek, “You look adorable when you pout”

I stuck my tongue out at him, unable to tear my eyes away from his.

“One minute thirty seconds” his whispered, not breaking his gaze from mine.

“I don't care” I said, my voice so quiet I could barely hear it.

Seconds ticked by, but I barely noticed. He was all that existed. I hated having to blink, missing those few moments that were spent with my eyes closed, when I could be staring at him.

“Fifty three seconds” His voice was strained slightly, and he swallowed audibly, but he stayed, he never moved.

“Thirty four seconds” I panicked slightly, I didn't want this moment to end. I didn't want him to leav again, however short a time he would be gone. I didn't want to have to blink without him there, without the guarantee that I would see his face when my eyes reopened.

“Twelve seconds” I could hear Isaacs car now, the soft purring of the Volvo's engine in the distance, winding down the road.

“Eight” Jasper leaned forwards slightly, cupping my cheek with one hand, taking a slow, but very deep breath, his jaw slightly clenched.

“Five” The car engine had stopped, and I could hear the doors unlocking, hear him stepping onto the gravel pathway.

“Three” Each of his footsteps was louder than the next, crunching on the gravel, towards the house.

“Two” The key was turning in the lock, each click of the mechanism echoing in the otherwise silent house.

“One”

“Alice?” Isaacs voice rang through the house, and even though I'd been expecting it, I still jumped very slightly, jolting out of my hazy revere, my world that revolved only around Jasper.

He took his hand from my cheek, reaching down, taking my hand and pressing a kiss to my fingers, before darting away. So fast, my eyes couldn't follow him, he was out the back door, and across the garden, before Isaac entered the kitchen.

“Afternoon Alice”

I nodded, not trusting my voice, clearing my throat several times, and turning back to the oven.

“I'm cooking dinner” I said, hoping he wouldn't notice the unnatural flush on my cheeks, and the way I held onto the counter for support, as I took the chicken from the oven. Isaac didn't speak as I collected plates and set the table, but leaned back in his hair, closing his eyes and massaging his forehead.

“Long day?” I said, placing his meal in front of him.

“You have no idea.” he sighed, taking a mouthful of chicken, “The ER was short-staffed this afternoon, and five people were seriously injured in a car accident. Two of them didn't make it.”

He needed something to distract him, so I opened my mouth, “I'm going out tonight. I have a...sort of date with Jasper Hale.”

That did it. Isaacs head snapped up, and interest sparked in his eyes, “Really? Which one's Jasper?”

“The blond one. One of the twins.”

He nodded, “I like the Cullens. Carlisle is a great man – wonderful doctor. I've only met his children once or twice, they must never get ill.”

I laughed, if only he knew.

“He'll be here to pick me up soon...he wanted to be introduced to you, as my...boyfriend” Boyfriend didn't seem quite the right word, but I didn't want to go into details.

“So do I have to put on an angry father-figure face?” Isaac laughed, “and be all, 'What are your intentions with my Alice?'” he said, pulling a face.

“Please don't” I moaned, dropping my head into my hands.

The doorbell rang, and I leapt up to get it, tugging Isaac with me by the sleeve of his scrubs. He rolled his eyes and followed.

I hadn't realised how heavy the rain outside had gotten, until I saw Jasper shaking raindrops from his hair, as he stood in the porch. My breath caught in my throat.

Isaac nudged me slightly, and leant around me, “Come on in out of the rain Jasper, you must be freezing!”

“It's nice to meet you finally sir. Alice always talks about you.”

I glared at him from behind Isaacs back, “Does she now? Well she's got to find something to talk about I guess, the amount that she does talk!”

They both laughed, and I growled slightly. I did not invite Jasper into my house so him and Isaac could laugh at me.

“So I hear your taking her out tonight?” Isaac peered through the window, into the rain, “Will she get her heels muddy, because if she does she'll hit you.”

“If I allowed her to get her shoes muddy, I would take it upon myself to replace them as soon as I could.”

Isaac grinned, “Keep talking like that, and she'll stick with you forever!”

I cleared my throat, “I'm going to get changed, please don't take that as a sign to say that I don't enjoy you both laughing at me”

What do I wear whilst playing Baseball? I thought desperately, raking through my wardrobe. Dresses, skirts and heels were an obvious no-no, but I felt strange being out of my comfort zone. Wearing jeans and sneakers was such a rare occurrence for me, but the thought of Isaac and Jasper being alone downstairs together spurred me on. I groaned as I wondered what on earth they would be talking about. I seized the first shirt I saw, and buttoned it as I ran down the stairs, sliding across the floor, and crashing breathlessly against the sofa.

They both looked up at me, smiles still on their faces, laughing again as they saw the expression on mine. Jasper was looking a lot more relaxed than I'd seen him for a long time.

“Isaac is telling me stories of you when you were little.” he said, smiling.

“Of course he is” I muttered, “Come on Jazz, we don't want to keep your family waiting do we?”

He nodded, getting up and shaking Isaacs hand, “It was nice to meet you sir, I hope we see more of each other in the future”

“I hope so too. Take care of my girl, Jasper, she's special”

“She definitely is” he said, looking over Isaacs shoulder at me. I smiled, and opened the front door, stepping out into the thinning rain.

I was halfway down the drive when I noticed, behind my car was what could only be described as a monster Jeep. Its tires came up higher than my waist. I heard Isaac let out a low whistle from the door, “Good luck getting in that, Shorty”

“Shorty?” Jaspers voice was suddenly by my shoulder, and I glared.

“It's what he calls me. I'm the shortest in the whole family – and that includes my ten year old cousin.”

I gouged the distance between the ground and the open door, wondering if I could jump for it, when I felt cold hands around my waist. Jasper lifted me easily into the seat, the strain barely showing on his face, although his head was angled slightly away from me.

He was by my side in a flash, revving the engine, as I sorted out the buckles that made up some kind of off-road harness, around me.

“This is a...big Jeep” I said, as we tore down the road, the Jeep roaring through the rain.

“It's Emmett's. He has a collection of Jeeps, and I thought it would be too wet to run the whole way.”

“The whole way? So we're running some of the way?” I couldn't keep the excitement out of my voice, and I bounced in the seat, helped by the bouncing of the Jeep, as we cut across a rocky mountain path. I watched in amazement as he navigated the winding path, through the thick dark rain.

And then we were at the end of the road, the trees forming green walls on three sides of the Jeep, the rain slowing every second, until it was a mere light mist, the sky lightening through the sparse clouds.

“We're on foot from here” he said, cutting the engine, and sliding from the car. I could hardly wait, and was out of the harness, and leaping the few feet drop from the car, a few seconds after he appeared at my door.

He smiled at my enthusiasm, and scooped me in his arms, throwing me across his back, as he had yesterday. My arms dug into his shirt, and I peered over his shoulder, closing my eyes and enjoying the feel of the wind on face, as we glided through the trees.

I smiled at the blur of green that we passed, smiled as his hair tickled my face, as the wind nearly knocked the breath out of me.

We stopped all too soon, and he let me go gently, so I dropped neatly to the floor, and busied myself with plucking leaves from my hair. He smiled, and reached out, pulling a scrap of green ferns from my fringe, brushing his fingers against my face as he tugged it away.

Over his shoulder I could see his family, grouped together in the field behind him, staring at us. Even from this distance I could see the incredulity on their faces – apparently they weren't expecting his self control to be strong enough for him to carry me, and then touch me, almost casually. I didn't mind if they didn't trust him, because I did. I trusted him more than I thought was possible.

We walked across the field, him matching his stride to mine, as the wet grass brushed our legs. We met his family half way, and I noticed Carlisle marking bases, and Rosalie and Emmett passing a ball between them.

“Ready to watch us play some ball?” Jasper said, turning to me. I grinned and nodded. He smiled again, the intensity in his gaze burning into me, before he turned away, dashing across to his brothers in a blur.

A loud echo of thunder crashed around us, and I looked up to the almost clear sky, marvelling.

“You don't play with them?” I asked Esme, who was lingering by my side.

“No” she smiled, “I prefer to keep them honest.”

“She thinks we cheat!” Emmett's voice rang across the grass towards us, and Esme laughed.

“I know you cheat!” she called back, taking my arm, and guiding me towards a flat slab of rock, where she stood. She shook her head at me, “Honestly, the arguments they get into, you'd think they'd been raised by wolves!”

I laughed, “You sound like my mother” I said, a hint of sadness creeping into my voice, however much I fought to keep it away.

She gave me a sad smile, and placed her arm around my shoulders, “I know the pain you feel Alice.” she said, her voice quiet, “I love my family, I think of them as my children but, did Jasper tell you I'd lost a child?”

I shook my head, “A few days after he was born.” she continued, “That's why I jumped off a cliff.”

“Jasper said you fell” I said, unsure of what else to say.

“Always the gentleman, he is” she smiled, “He was one of the last to join our family, although he is the oldest. I'm so happy he's found you Alice, I've never seen him like this before. You've changed him”

“So you don't mind” I started, hesitant, “That I'm...wrong for him?”

She shook her head, laughing slightly, “You're the opposite Alice, you're just right for him. You are exactly what he needs! It will work out.”

She stopped, and lowered herself to the floor, and I settled next to her, looking out over the field.

They appeared to have formed teams; Edward was far out in left field, Carlisle stood between first and second bases, and Bella held the ball, stood on the stop that be the pitchers mound.

Emmett was swinging an aluminium bat, standing farther from the pitchers mound than I would have thought possible, with Jasper behind him, catching for the other team. None of them were wearing gloves, but I wasn't surprised.

Bella stood straight, motionless, not a hair blowing out of place. She held the ball with both hands at her waist frozen, then, like the strike of a cobra, her right hand flicked out, and the ball smacked into Jaspers hand.

“Strike” I muttered, and Esme smiled at me, “You play baseball?”

“Not really – my uncle watches it all the time. I've never actually played.”

Jasper had hurled the ball back at Bella, who grinned at him,before flicking her wrist out again.

This time, the bat swung in a blur, and smashed into the virtually invisible ball. The crack of impact was shattering, echoing off the mountains in a thunderous roar. I immediately understood the need for a thunderstorm.

The ball shot across the field, disappearing into the depths of the forest, Emmett blurring around the bases, Carlisle shadowing him.

I frowned; where was Edward?

“Out!” Esme announced in a clear voice, and I saw Edward spring from the trees, the ball clasped in his fist.

“Wow” I breathed.

The inning continued before me. It was impossible to keep up with the speed of it – the rate their bodies raced around the field, the flash of the flying ball.

I quickly learned the other reason they waited for a thunderstorm, as Jasper batted. Carlisle ran into the ball, and raced Jasper to first base. As they collided, the sound crashing like the falling of two boulders, and I jumped up, concerned, my heart beating fast. I was about to run towards them, when Esme caught my arm.

“Safe” she called across the field, and Jasper threw me a grin.

The scores constantly changed as the game continued, the thunder rumbling on ahead of us, but we stayed bone-dry. Carlisle was up to bat, when I was thrown to the ground, my eyes burning.

I squeezed them shut, gritting my teeth, as a sharp pain ripped through my heart, searing through my body from the inside out.

The vampire with vivid orange hair, and brilliant crimson eyes was flying across the ground, perfectly synchronized with the two males at her side. Their eyes were narrowed as they followed a scent through the trees, tracking something.

A flash of white was visible in the womans hand, as she raised her arm, holding a white baseball tightly in her fist. They ran through the trees, into a clearing, their posture turning defensive as their eyes fell upon another group of vampires at the other end of the field.

The female was speaking rapidly, her mouth moving as a blur, but I couldn't hear what she was saying. Something was dragging me out of the vision, the colours were swirling together as a blur, something crashing in my ears.

Cold hands were pressing against my cheeks, cooling down my burning skin, as I choked back into conciousness.

“Alice? Alice?!” A voice was calling my name desperately, and I opened my eyes. Jasper was kneeling next to me, his face inches away from mine as he crouched over me. Behind him I could see Carlisle, his face twisted with concern, and Edward, grimacing in pain and anger.

“Alice, what happened?” Jasper said, pulling me gently into a sitting position, holding me against his chest.

“Carlisle!” I gasped, “Vampires. Three of them, they're coming this way! They heard you playing and –”

I broke off, looking desperately at Edward. He gave me a slight nod and continued, “They're curious, and running. Less than five minutes away.”

“Can he make it?” Carlisle's eyes flashed from Jasper, to me, and back to Edward, who shook his head.

“No, not carrying her, but the last thing they need is to catch the scent and start hunting.”

His voice was a flurry of words, and I strained my ears to hear clearly, stumbling slightly as Jasper helped me to my feet, his arms locked around me.

“There's only three” Emmett scoffed, “Let them come”

I barely noticed the family spreading out around me, as Jasper turned me to face him, his face a mask of despair.

“I should never have bought you here, not while there was the slightest hint of danger. I'm so sorry”

I shook my head and didn't speak, the stress in his voice tearing a hole in my heart.

The seconds ticked by, and none of them moved, frozen in a half circle in front of me, their eyes trained on the forest to our right.

Jaspers breathing stopped, and he took one step in front of me, angling his body in slight defensive crouch, turned towards the trees, hearing sounds of passage too faint for my ears.

I curled my fingers into his shirt, and waited.