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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 :(


26. Epilogue: An Occasion

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2761   Review this Chapter

"And I will do it without fear or doubt,
To live an unstain'd wife to my sweet love."

APOV

The run back seemed faster than the run to where we had hunted. Maybe we were running faster, or maybe I was just too lost in thought to notice the time passing. Either one, it didn't matter. All that did matter to me right then, was Jasper's hand looped around mine, and the prospect of an eternity with him, teetering right on my horizon.

Questions were still flitting unbidden around my head, questions that balanced on the tip of my tongue, but I bit them back. I didn't want questions and talking, not for a minute. There would be hours of questions later, I didn't need to be a psychic to know that. I just wanted the silence for now.

We were back at the house all too soon, and even as I jumped gracefully over the water, I could hear the voices of the family. Quiet and hurried whispers, urgent and confused. I tried not to listen, not sure if I wanted to know what they were talking about.

“Alice?” Jasper's voice was as quiet and calm as ever, filled with unsaid questions that he knew I would hear.

I nodded, and tightened my hand in his, crossing the lawn in less than a dozen strides, hearing their voices stop short as they heard us approaching. I could see them, sitting grouped in the living room – Edward and Bella side by side on the couch, Rosalie sitting in an armchair with Emmett leaning against the wall behind her, arms folded. Carlisle was standing in the middle of the room, with Esme just behind him, her hand on his arm.

They all turned to look at us for a fraction of a second as we entered, before their eyes flicked back to their respective positions. I didn't miss the smile that ghosted across all their faces for a moment, and realised that I must look a state.

I turned briefly to the mirror, still leaning against the wall a few feet away, and flinched slightly at the state of my reflection.

My hair was sticking in every direction, framing my face in a dark halo. My lips were smudged a deep red, mirrored by the flecks of red that spattered the white lace nightgown I had been dressed in during my change, that I hadn't changed out of. I looked like an escaped mental patient, not helped by the slightly animalistic and wild expression in my red eyes. I frowned.

Edward let out a startled laugh as he followed my thoughts, and I did the most childish thing I could have done. I stuck my tongue out at him.

That seemed the break the monotony and tension that had been hanging in the air, as everyone broke into slight chuckles at my antics.

I wrinkled my nose at them, and turned back to Jasper, who had settled on the piano seat – and sat cross-legged in front of him, my back against his legs. I faced my eyes to meet Carlisle's, and raised my eyebrows slightly, gesturing for him to start talking.

“How was the hunt, Alice?”

I was about to open my mouth and answer, but Jasper cut me off, “Carlisle, I made a mistake. Alice caught the scent of a hiker, someone in the woods. I didn't know they were there until it was too late, but –”

“You let her hunt, without checking first? Jasper you know the risks! She –”

“Carlisle, let me finish! She caught their scent and started hunting, yes. But then she stopped, she had a vision.”

“She was able to stop hunting them? Did the vision hurt her?”

Jasper didn't speak, and I took it upon myself to answer Carlisle's questions, “It didn't hurt, it was just like a dream. The world around me changed, and it was like I was there. I could feel hear, touch and smell everything. Just like as if it was...normal. I saw the man – the hiker. I saw myself killing him; I saw the wife he would leave widowed if he died; I saw people at his funeral. I saw –” my voice faltered slightly, but I felt Jasper's fingers brush my shoulder blades gently, and I continued, “I saw me, with red eyes. And Jasper, trying to comfort me. I didn't want to be that monster, so I...stopped.”

Carlisle stared at me for a moment, wonder in his eyes, “Amazing,” he breathed, “Not only the astounding self-control, but the pain that the visions caused fading completely!”

“I have a theory,” Bella spoke up, her head cocked slightly in thought, “About Alice's self control. Maybe this is what newborns are like, if created like she was. Admittedly, she was created the same way as most of us – before death. But she knew about us first. She wasn't bitten by a rogue rampage of nomads,” her eyes lingered on Carlisle before she continued, “Or in the midst of war,” she glanced at Jasper, “She knew what had happened, she didn't freak out. She didn't act on the instinct to fight and protect herself, because she knew didn't need to.”

We all took in this new information for a moment, everyone pondering their own thoughts on the subject. My mind was stuck on the glance Bella had cast at Jasper. In the midst of war.

Darlin', I could give you a blow-by-blow account of the Civil War if you asked for one.

I needed to ask Jasper about his past.

But just as that thought occurred to me, another barged its way into my mind, making me gasp aloud, throwing my hands over my mouth. Something that had been irritating me since I woke up, something I couldn't quite remember, but that I felt I needed to had just come into light.

Isaac.

“Jasper!” I whirled around to face him, scrambling up onto my knees, “Jasper, what happened to my uncle!?”

He passed a quick glance to Edward, and then to Carlisle before he answered me.

“When you were changing, we told him you were in an accident. Someone,” he glared in Edward's direction, “Thought it might be best if we told him you died. But I didn't agree, and I knew you wouldn't either.”

I heaved a slight sigh of relief, but desperation was still swirling around my mind.

“Alice, we told him that you were involved in a car accident, and were in a hospital in Phoenix, and that you would soon be transferred. We would call him when he could come and visit you. That was two days ago.”

So he didn't think I was dead – that was a plus. But what would I tell him? I wouldn't let them tell him that I'd died, but he would notice, eventually at least, that I wasn't ageing!

“Alice, we can tell him whatever you want to tell him. Anything. We can ring him tomorrow, Ok?”

I nodded, comforted slightly. Isaac didn't know what had happened, and I still had time – not much time – but time, before I had to talk to him. Time enough to come up with a good story.

“Alice,” Edward began, tentatively, “You do realise, that you won't be able to see Isaac, for quite a while, don't you? Your self control so far has been, well, amazing. But we don't want to put either of you in that situation.”

I already knew this, of course. It hadn't taken me long to realise, somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind. But it still hurt to hear, that I wouldn't be able to see the only member of my family that I loved, because there was a possability of murdering him.

I pressed my fingers against my head, like I used to, when suffering from a particularly painful migraine, and tried desperately to organise my thoughts.

Ok, my inner monologue mused to itself, talking in incredibly short sentences, possibly in the hope that I would understand better, you are a vampire. This is good. You seem to have some sort of super self-control. This is also good.

I nodded faintly to myself, wondering just what Edward was thinking about me right now, as the monologue continued.

You may not be able to see Isaac for quite a long time, and however bad this is, it is necessary for his safety.

“What is she doing?” I heard Esme's voice, barely there, in the silent room.

“She's talking to herself.” Edward's voice was fused with a hint of amusement, and he left it at that, giving me my peace.

Exactly thirty seven minutes later, I raised my head, and stared straight at Carlisle, “I have some questions.”

He nodded warily, “Hit me.”

“Why did it burn while I was changing? Is that what the venom does, or was that just me? Why did you change me anyway, not that I mind, I just wondered; was that the only option? What happened to James and Victoria, did they die? Was anyone hurt? How did you know where I was?”

The words came out as a barely discernible blur, faster than the flutter of hummingbird's wings, but I wasn't done yet. I rounded on Jasper, sitting behind me.

“Why did you save me, when I expressly told you not to? What do you think I would have done if he'd killed you?!” My voice was raising to an almost hysterical pitch, ripping through numerous octaves as it went. Jasper's eyes widened slightly, and he looked very slightly scared.

I was still talking, but my mind was wandering back to months before, an old memory from months before. One that was blurry and faded, and had absolutely nothing to do with the current conversation, but it added a new question to my ever growing list.

“Why did Rose call you Jasper Whitlock a few months ago, I thought your name was Hale? And Bella!” I twisted back to face her, “James said he knew you! That he met you a long time ago, when you were still human! Is that true? What happened, and why didn't you tell me!?”

Bella looked suitable abashed, but another thought occurred to me, and I turned back to face Carlisle, “Where do vampire's come from, anyway?”

Shock flicked across his face for less than a second, before her chuckled slightly, but I cut across him before he could say anything, “What, are you honestly saying that you've never wondered?”

“Of course I've wondered Alice, but you may as well ask 'where do humans come from?' Evolution. Something went wrong, but I'm not entirely sure what. A new species evolved, sparked rumours and stories, and became vampires. I've been researching way back into our history, exploring this very subject myself. Maybe you would like to join me sometime?”

It was a tentative suggestion, as though he was expecting me to say no, and I couldn't blame him. The last time I had been almost alone with Carlisle, he had unintentionally tortured me.

I gave him my brightest smile, trying to convey that I didn't hold anything against him, “Of course! I'd love to Carlisle!”

“Excellent! Now, to answer your previous questions. Yes, the venom always burns during the change, but I suspect that the change lasted longer for you, and may have been more painful due to the extent of your injuries – there was more for the venom to fix. Your injuries were very severe, you had suffered four broken ribs, two puncturing your lungs, and one breaking through your skin, along with a shattered cheekbone and jawbone, multiple fractures up your spine, rendering you nearly paralysed, and two broken arms. I had to change you, there was no other option, and besides, someone,” he nodded his head pointedly at Jasper with a slight smile, “made it expressly clear that he didn't want you to die.”

I flinched slightly at the almost faded memory of James snapping my arms, but rounded on Jasper again, “Well?”

He rolled his eyes, leaning forward slightly and I noticed the clenching of his fists as Carlisle had mentioned my injuries, “Alice Brandon! Don't 'well' me! Did you really think that I would leave you to walk into the potential lion's den alone, to your death alone?! I would never let that happen, no matter how many times you asked me! There was no chance of him even hurting me not when it was 3 on one, and even if he had, you would be safe. That's all that matters to me.”

His eyes had darkened, and his voice tinged with slight anger, but I knew it wasn't directed at me, and I couldn't bring myself to feel even the slightest bit annoyed at him for saving me any more. I smiled.

“And, I was born Jasper Whitlock. I go by Hale at school, obvious reasons.” I nodded, it was obvious.

Bella spoke up next, her voice quiet. As I turned to look at her, I noticed her and Edward's hands, clasped tightly together, “I did meet James, so did Edward, but it was years ago – centuries, before I was even a vampire. I...I'll tell you the story one day Alice, I promise.”

I nodded, accepting this easily.

“I killed James, Alice,” Jasper half-whispered behind me, as though he was expecting this snippet of information to somehow scare me, “Victoria...she escaped. Emmett and Edward tried to track her, but they...they couldn't find her. Esme wasn't hurt at all, she's fine,” he gestured to Esme, who was smiling at me gently, he eyes filled with sorrow, “To find you, we followed Victoria and Esme's scent to the church.”

“Esme?” I whispered, “Esme do you blame me? I'm sorry, I really am!”

“Alice, no! Of course I don't!” she fell to her knees in front of me, “What on earth would I blame you for? It's my fault that I let Victoria capture me, my fault that everything happened!”

“It's not your fault Esme, it's James' fault. For everything!” I threw my arms around her, marvelling slightly at how her skin, once hard and cold, now felt...almost human.

The cold rays of spring sunshine were breaking softly through the usual Forks clouds, fanning out in shimmering shapes across the wooden floor. The sun was dipping low on the horizon as the birds screamed out their last twilight songs before darkness.

The family had drifted away, showing no sign that nighttime was approaching; Edward and Bella settling by the piano, Bella leaning her head on Edward's shoulder as his fingers played across the keys; Emmett chasing a giggling Rosalie into the garage; Carlisle retreating to his study, I could heard him turning pages at a flickering speed above us; and Esme settled in the kitchen, murmuring as she sketched onto a pad. I suspected that she was planning on redecorating Jasper's room to accommodate both of us.

We had made our way upstairs, and were sitting face to face on Jasper's pristine bed, the windows wide open, blowing the soft evening breeze towards us.

I breathed in the now familiar, but somehow still alien, scent of the outdoors, tasting animals and flowers on my tongue with every unnecessary breath. And I loved it.

The hours slipped by unnoticed, our words filling the space between us, Jasper's face still perfectly clear in front of me despite the gathering darkness. I told him of my past, any minute detail I may have missed in those first few weeks of school. I told him of my thoughts during the change, of the hours I spent sleeping and missing him as he hunted James. I told him of the things I would miss as a human.

“It gets easier,” he murmured, brushing his fingers across mine, and pulling me down next to him, so we lay side by side, “and you have eternity to get used to it.”

“Eternity” I mused, threading my fingers between his, as we lay next to each other on the sheets, watching a new day dawn through the window, “It seems like an awfully long time”

“Only when you have someone to share it with” He breathed against my neck.

I turned to face him, watching the faint sparkles of sun bounce of our skin, reflecting against each other, “So what now, Mr Whitlock?”

He smiled, his fingers tracing patterns on my hip, “And they all lived happily ever after.”