The Sunshine Train
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!!
Read on and enjoy. Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight, and i never ever ever will :(
24. An Impasse
Rating 4/5 Word Count 2941 Review this Chapter
"Then I defy you, stars!"
Jasper's face broke into the most beautiful, and devastatingly heartbreaking smile, and he leaned forward, pressing his forehead against mine. “And I love you Alice.”
I pulled away slightly, examining his face with my new eyes, determined to memorise any slightest detail that my human eyes might have missed. The way the left side of his mouth creased into a slight dimple on his cheek, the way his eyelashes were startlingly dark for someone with such fair hair, the slashes of honey that ran through his otherwise deep brown eyes.
“You need to hunt,” I murmured, running my fingers underneath his eyes, around the deep purple crescent shapes.
“So do you,” he whispered back, leaning his cheek into my hand and closing his eyes.
My eyes flickered to the shapes behind his shoulder, still standing tensed and ready. I frowned slightly, hurt. Did they still think I would attack them?
My face crumpled with sadness, and I cursed inwardly the fact that I had never been able to control my emotions. I could feel my anger bubbling up, and was overwhelmed with the sudden urge to hurt.
I'd barely registered my own thoughts, before I was ripped from Jasper's grasp, and found myself pinned against the back wall, pushed so far into it that flakes of plaster pattered to the floor, locked in a cage of arms.
I could hear Jasper's loud protests, but barely listened. My eyes were transfixed on the dust swirling through the air, the tiny chips of paint and brick, being buffeted this way and that with every motion. I watched them in their celestial dance, twirling and swirling, until they hit the floor. They made barely a sound, quieter than a whisper of air, but still I heard it, and my anger was forgotten.
Edward's grip on me had loosened, and I looked up at him, cocking my head slightly. Now that he was closer, I could see that he was quiet pretty. Not a patch on my scar-ridden blond god, but I could sort of see what Bella saw in him.
A chuckle reached my ears, and my eyes darted over his shoulder, fixing on Jasper's face.
“She always did have a short attention span,” he said, the humour still evident in his voice, as he darted to Edward's side, easily pulling his arms off me.
“I was angry.” I said, trying to make sense of what had just happened, “I wanted to hurt someone, but...I don't know why.”
“You're a newborn Alice. Newborns are vicious, violent and confused. It's strange that you have even this much control!”
“You need to hunt,” he said again, turning back to face me, “You much be thirsty.”
His words brought to my attention the one thing I had yet to acknowledge. The last of the fire was burning in my throat, and showing my signs of ever fading.
I brought my hands up to clasp the outside of my neck, hoping that the icy degrees of my skin would somehow sooth the flames, but it was to no avail. I swallowed desperately, feeling the venom slide past the ache, doing nothing to quench my thirst. I growled at myself, annoyed.
“I...don't know how.” I said, pausing as Jasper pulled me gently towards the door, past the watching eyes of the Cullens, who had so far been silent.
He smiled again, and my heart ached, “It's simple darlin'. Instinctual, even. You can watch me first if you like.”
I nodded, and slipped my hand more firmly into his, allowing him to lead me from the room, towards the stairs.
I marvelled at everything. At the feeling of the soft carpet between my toes, the brush of every individual fibre against my feet. At the rainbow reflections of colour bouncing off every surface, the shining light from the sky outside, bursting through the wide windows. The different shades of blond and light brown that nestled in the waves of Jasper's hair. I watched as the colours changed; gold, honey, tawny, ash, platinum, amber, copper, hitting almost white where the light hit it, and back to gold.
“You better tell me what has you so intrigued darlin'.”
“Your hair.” I said absently, dancing my fingers across the wooden grain of the stair railings. He chuckled again.
We were at the bottom of the staircase, and halfway across the room towards the glass door, when a movement in my peripheral vision made me freeze, but only for a split second.
Before I'd realised I was moving, I had crouched low, my legs tensing, a growl rippling from my throat, instinctively protecting myself against the figure that stood in the shadows on the other side of the room.
My human eyes would have barely been able to make out the shape of the person, but my eyes could see her perfectly, and I frowned, not moving from my position.
Jasper's arm closed suddenly around my waist, his hands on my shoulders, his voice whispering in my ear, “Ali, it's Ok. It's just your reflection. I think Rose left this mirror here on purpose.”
I could nearly hear him roll his eyes, but I didn't care for the moment. I was looking at myself.
I found myself walking slowly towards the mirror, my quick steps taking less than a second. I reached my hand up to touch the glass, glass I would have once found completely smooth and flawless, glass that I could now feel every tiny imperfection and dent of, as I ran my fingers cross the surface.
I was still short, still tiny. My hair still framed my face in a spiky halo, my fringe flopping carelessly over my forehead, and even though I was standing completely motionless, my hair was still moving, each strand whispering around my face, as though blown by some unknown breeze.
My skin was paler than it had been, each limb glowing with an empty whiteness, starker than a sheet of paper, glowing with strength and agility. I could see the newly strengthened muscles rippling behind my skin, eager to be used.
My eyes snapped up, and I gasped, throwing my hands over my mouth.
They were red, a deep burgundy and claret colour, that seemed to draw all darkness towards them, burning in the pale white of my face. The last eyes I'd seen that had looked like that had been the eyes of the hunter. My hands began to tremble.
Jasper was in front of me immediately, stroking my hair, holding my shaking hands inbetween his.
“Hey, Alice it's Ok!” he whispered, his voice calm and soothing, “They'll fade, they'll be gold in no time.” He didn't need to ask me what was wrong, he already knew.
I nodded into his shoulder, not trusting my voice yet, my throat still sore with the neverending burn of thirst.
The moments ticked by as we stood there, I heard them, echoing through the still silent house, from a long forgotten clock somewhere upstairs. I didn't know where the rest of the Cullens were, I didn't mind, I just closed my eyes and leaned into Jaspers shoulder.
“So, hunting?” he said, breaking the silence.
I nodded tentatively, and slipped my hand back into his, letting his guide me out of the glass doors of the house, pulling me towards the river at the end of the backyard. I was lost, marvelling at the textures of his skin, when I realised the world around us was blurring, the grass a flash of vivid greens, but every blade of glass, every flutter of leaves were still completely clear. I could make out every single detail of the world around me.
I stopped abruptly, stopping as soon as the thought entered my mind, and turned back to face the house, acres away. The blades of grass leading up to our feet were still in perfect condition, not a single one had been bent of snapped, not a single one was out of place. There was no evidence at all that we had recently passed by.
I shook my head slightly, and turned back to Jasper, who was watching me with slight amusement.
“I was just rememberin' that day we went up the mountain, the amazement in your face as you looked at trees and plants and flowers. Immortality is never gonna get borin' for you, is it?”
“Hell no!” I laughed, the sound echoing over the stream in front of us, as I turned my full attention to it, “Are we swimming?”
“We can if you want, I was just plannin' to jump.”
“Jumping's fine.” I mused, briefly, unconsciously, calculating distances, the angles of the suddenly razor-sharp looking rocks.
Jasper gave me a quick glance, before taking a small – 9 and a half centimetre – step back, and launching himself over the river, arcing in a graceful curve, his skin flashing in the light, before he disappeared into the thick trees.
“Awesome.” I muttered without realising, and heard his invisible laugh in response.
I backed up a few paces, taking a deep unnecessary breath. My mind flashed briefly back to that wonderful – albeit slightly bleary and faded – memory, the first time Jasper had run with me on his back. I remembered the feeling of exhilaration, and smiled.
I took two steps, easily calculating the distance needed to place one foot on a flat stone, the amount of pressure needed to send my body soaring through the air, the wind whipping at my face. Without even thinking, I caught hold of a nearing branch, and swung myself into the tree beside it, landing easily in the top branches. The fragile wooden limbs didn't even sway as I landed in them, grasping the trunk with my fingertips, my eyes reaching out as far as they could, seeing all that I could see.
The air shifted slightly below me, and I glanced down to see Jasper scaling the tree, reaching my side in less than a second, “At this rate you're never gonna get a chance to hunt Ali.”
He tried to sound angry, but his eyes gave him away, and I smiled, reaching down to muss his hair.
“Come on then!” I sung, letting go of the branches, and dropping easily to the forest floor, “Teach me how!”
He landed softly beside me, and nudged me gently, indicating a direction with his head, before setting off running. I darted after him, my legs making three strides, where he made one. I caught up with him easily, and ran beside him. It was a strange sensation, completely new, and completely wonderful – running but feeling no exhaustion, feeling no punishment and ache for the exertion of so much energy.
My feet were barely touching the floor now, it was more like flying than running. My bare feet hardly caressed the thorns and leaves of the forest floor, they felt only air. I wanted to run forever.
Jasper seized my arm, pulling me to an abrupt standstill, face to face with him, so close that I could feel his breath on my face as he spoke, “What do you hear?”
His voice was a quiet whisper, barely there. And as soon as it stopped I could hear everything. But I knew he meant something specific, so I opened my ears further, letting them seek out the sound, past the trickling of water in the creek, the fluttering of bird's heartbeats in the trees. There. Overlapping the sound of the water was...heartbeats. Strong and heavy, the thick sound of pumping blood.
My throat constricted slightly, and I swallowed a fresh mouthful of venom.
“By the creek, Northwest?” I said, barely making a sound.
“Yes,” his voice was congratulating, “Now, what do you hear?”
I waited a moment, before a soft breeze fluttered around my face, washing a wave of new scent into my nose. The apple-grass-sea breeze scent that was Jasper, and a warmer, richer scent behind them. Something salty and tangy. Something that was surprisingly unappealing. I wrinkled my nose, and Jasper smiled, “It takes getting used to.”
He winked, “Watch me,” and then he was gone from my side, disappearing into the trees, silently hunting.
I crept a few feet, watching him through the branches of the trees.
This time there were no words, nothing to describe how Jasper hunted. He ran as fast as lightening, his attacks as silent and deadly as a cobra. Before the elk even knew they were being attacked, two of them were dead, the last turning and galloping into the trees. His lips pulled back over his teeth in an elegant snarl, and he sank them deep into the neck of the first elk, his eyes closing, his fingers gripping the fur as he drank.
He threw the discarded carcass aside, and moved onto the next one, drinking deeply, before standing straight in front of me.
His clothes were perfect, not a hair was out of place. He looked like he should be attending a wedding, rather than hunting.
A drop of blood escapes his lips, as he pulled his hand across his mouth, and slid down his chin. I bit back a smile, and darted to his side. I ran my finger down his chin, following the ruby trail, and placed it slowly on my tongue, closing my eyes as the taste exploded in my mouth.
It wasn't nearly as unappetizing as it had smelled but...it wasn't nice.
Jasper smiled at the expression on my face, before, “Your turn.”
“Excellent.” I muttered.
The third elk hadn't gotten far, or at least hadn't gotten far enough, and I caught up with it a few seconds later. I launched myself easily onto the great animal's back, gripping easily with my heels as it bucked frantically. I focused on it's neck, my teeth sinking in like a knife into butter, draining it of it's blood like it was something I'd been doing for years.
The creature sank to it's knees, and I unconsciously shifted position, gripping it hard with my arms, as I swallowed greedily. The taste was all wrong, but it was warm and rich, and soothed my throat, sliding past the fire and easily quenching it.
I stood, letting the carcass fall to the floor.
How could I still be hungry? That creature had been twice the size of me! I frowned angrily, and turned back to face Jasper, my mouth poised to start complaining, when the wind shifted again blowing in a new scent from the south.
For about one eighty-fourth of a second.
And then I ran.
My mind was focused on one thing – the scent. The sweet, appetising scent of...something. The mouthwatering, tantalising smell filling my nostrils, making what I'd just drank fade completely from my mind, the thirst in my throat growing ten-fold.
My mind zeroed in, the scent growing stronger as I ran, focused completely. Directly.
I could hear them now, the pounding of their heart, the pumping of blood. The smell.
I took one more step, aiming directly for the flicker of colour I could see through the trees, one more step before the world around me faded away, the colours changing, swirling, rearranging into...
I was running as an almost blur, leaping, landing delicately on the back of a hiker, their face a mask of shock for a moment, before I sunk my teeth deep into the flesh of their neck. A trickle of deep, ruby red blood ran down their neck, escaping my teeth.
A woman was standing by the body of a man, a man with a bite mark just visible in his neck. His eyes were closed, his skin tinged blue. He was dead. And she had been his wife.
I was sitting in Jasper's room, my arms wrapped around my legs, rocking gently. My eyes were glowing a brighter red than they had been, my face was twisted in anguish and horror. Jasper stood behind me, his words were soothing and comforting, but I could see his face. I could see his pain.
I gasped for breath I didn't need. It was a reflex, a gasp of shock.
I was frozen, standing completely still; a marble statue. I could still hear the hiker, but the scent had faded from my thoughts.
Had I caused Jasper that pain? Was he ashamed? How could I do that to him?
But then a new though occurred to me, that vision hadn't caused me pain. It hadn't hurt, it was almost...nice.
Was that what they were from now on? Just an easy, accessible glimpse into the future, one that wouldn't hurt, wouldn't kill?
“Wow.” I breathed.
“Ali, you've been doin' a hell of a lot of exclaimin' today, and I feel inclined to ask why.”
Jasper's voice jerked me out of my contemplative state, and I noticed him standing in front of me, his brow furrowed, confused.
“Sorry Jasper...I...I think I just had another vision, and it...didn't hurt. It was....amazing!”
“But you were hunting! And you managed to stop!”
“I...I know, I saw myself killing them. But...I saw you, and you were sad, in pain. Because I killed someone, and I don't want to cause that pain.”
“So you managed to stop hunting? Alice, that's...that's amazin'!”
“Jasper...” the present caught up with me, pushing the futures from my mind, “Jasper I was going to kill him!”
“Alice,” Jasper pulled my face up to look me in the eyes, “Alice you didn't. You didn't kill him. You were goin' to, but you didn't”
I nodded, my thirst suddenly forgotten.
“Jasper? Let's go home.”
I slipped my hand into his, marvelling at how perfectly out fingers fitted together, like two missing pieces of a puzzle, that had finally found each other.
- First Sight
- Open Book
- Blood Typing
- Scary Stories
- Port Angeles
- Mind Over Matter
- The Cullens
- The Game
- The Hunt
- Phone Call
- Hide and Seek
- The Angel
- An Impasse
- Epilogue: An Occasion
- Authors Note.
- Alyss In Wonderland
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- 07 Jan 09
- 08 Apr 09