Guilt overwhelms Jasper as Alice silently stews. Pairings: Alice/Jasper
1. Chapter 1
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Word Count: 1,752
Summary: Guilt overwhelms Jasper as Alice silently stews.
Disclaimer: Twilight belongs to Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended. This story is designed to increase fan appreciation of her work. No money is earned from the writing of this story.
Authors Notes: Special thanks to my betas, Not From Stars and Pinkowitch.
The tranquil evening alone together should have been relaxing, but I was unbearably on edge. Irritation had been building in me since we sat down. The level of annoyance continued to increase with each passing moment. Since I could think of no explanation for my irritation, I knew that the feeling wasn't my own. The source of emotions was the love of my life, who was sitting next to me on our bed. Obviously, I was the cause of the problem. I'd been racking my brain since the sensation began, trying to remember anything I could have possibly done to make her feel this way. The worst part was her silence. She was always very upfront with me. It was unlike her to stew over something quietly. Whatever I'd done, it had to be something awful. How was it possible that I didn't even have a clue what it was? Becoming infuriated with myself for my inability to recall my transgression did not help with the tension that was mounting within me. Unable to take it anymore, I finally breathed, "What did I do, Alice?"
"What?" she asked, surprised. Her head popped up from the magazine page that she'd been staring at for well over an hour.
I sighed. My unbeating heart clenched with pain. "Alice, whatever offense I've committed, I'm truly sorry. I'm unsure of what has caused you to feel so irritated with me, but if you will please just explain to me what I've done, then I will give you a proper apology."
"Jasper, I'm not . . ." she started to say, but she cut herself off with a shake of her head. She realized the futility of lying to me about her emotions. She said nothing else in response. My punishment would be more of the silent treatment, then.
"Please, Alice?" I begged.
She pursed her lips. "It's not the sort of thing that it's fair for me to get angry at you for."
That statement confused me. What sort of thing was it, then? But it didn't matter. If I'd upset Alice, then whatever I'd done had been wrong. Her opinion was the only thing that mattered to me, fair or not. "I don't care. You're upset. Making that right is the only thing that matters to me. Please, Alice, what did I do?"
The irritation ebbed away only to be replaced by a deep sadness. "That's just the problem," she explained. "It's not something you've done, yet." She emphasized the key word.
"Oh." I was taken aback by her response. That possibility hadn't occurred to me. "Can't you just tell me what it is, and then I won't do it? I'll never do anything that I know will upset you."
She gave me a small smile but shook her head. "I thought of trying that an hour ago. Telling you doesn't work. You still do it."
"What do I do, Alice?" I didn't want to know the answer, but surely it couldn't be worse than the unimaginable sins I was suddenly fearing.
She considered leaving me in the dark. I felt the exact moment she resolved to tell me the truth. Apprehension filled me; it was mine this time, not hers. "You kill a girl from school."
All of the air rushed out of me in one shuddering breath. The muscles of my lungs, suddenly paralyzed, refused to inhale. The room was spinning. I literally felt like I was falling, falling into a pit of despair. How did you cope with knowing for certain that you would murder an innocent in cold blood again soon? Forcing myself to swallow down the venom that burned my throat, I simply nodded my understanding. I had no doubt. If Alice had seen it, I would do it.
"I've tried making a dozen different decisions since the vision first occurred. Feeding in abundance, staying home from school, even moving on, nothing makes a difference. I can alter the scenario, change the timing of it somewhat, but inevitably you succumb to temptation."
Thinking on it, I was forced to acknowledge what I'd subconsciously known for a while: the craving was getting worse. Animal blood wasn't sating my thirst anymore. Being around humans, especially weak teenagers, was growing harder and harder by the day. I was a killer, a demon. Alice's declaration meant I was helpless to prevent it. That purely evil part of me was going to take control. In that moment, I truly hated myself.
"Do you stay with me, Alice?" my voice cracked. I knew the answer. From the moment that I'd met her, she'd promised to stay by my side. Still, every time that I failed I worried that this was the time that she wouldn't be able to forgive me, that she would finally recognize me for the monster that I was. I couldn't survive without her. I needed to hear her say it.
"Always, no matter what decisions we make. You're the constant in my future. You know that," she gently reminded. Pure love radiated off of her. It was impossible to doubt her sincerity with emotions like that rolling off of her so strongly. She moved closer to me and put her arm gently around me.
I was dangerously close to breaking down. I never let anyone see me that vulnerable, but I knew that I didn't need to hide it from Alice. She'd already seen me at my worst. I vaguely wondered where Edward was. Was he listening to my pathetic thoughts? Or had he already heard Alice's an hour ago? Was he discussing with Carlisle what to do with me?
"Shh, shh, don't," Alice soothed. "I'm going to figure out something. I haven't been making alternate decisions for too long. I just need to start thinking more creatively. I'm not going to let this happen to you, Jasper. I know how much it hurts you when you lose control." She was running her fingers softly through my hair, knowing that it always calmed me. "Just let me concentrate on my visions for a while longer, alright? Will you be okay if I do that?"
I nodded mutely, and she kissed my forehead. "I'll think of something, Jazz," she promised before she withdrew to herself again.
The guilt I felt for the slaughter that I was sure I was going to perpetrate was overwhelming. That wasn't the worst part, though. I couldn't help but think about the terror and the pain that I knew I would feel when I did it. I'd felt it a thousand times before, but each time shattered me a bit more. Repeatedly reliving the emotions and pain of death would destroy anyone's sanity. That still wasn't the hardest part. The worst was the feelings emanating from Alice and knowing that I was the cause. Focused on her visions as she was, she was unable to control her emotions. The positive energy that always flowed from her was gone. It was replaced by fear, frustration, and sadness.
I was trembling. Instinctively, I curled my knees up to my chest and wrapped my arms around them. Closing my eyes, I rested my head against my legs. Alice's mood was affecting me again. I was rather skilled at detaching myself from the emotions of those around me. I had learned out of necessity, but I couldn't manage to do it then. I wasn't used to having to isolate myself from Alice. Her constant source of hope was all that kept me going from day to day. I'd become dependent on it. Now it was impossible to severe the bond linking us together. I felt her emotions as my own.
We sat in eerie silence for hours with Alice lost in her visions and me drowning in her emotions. Growing angrier and more frustrated by the minute, I couldn't take it any longer. Fueled by my own rage, I began pacing our room. I was not going to be responsible for making my Alice feel this way. She was almost distraught now, and I was NOT going to be the one that caused that. I couldn't stand hurting her like this. I . . . I didn't care what the visions foretold. I wasn't going to do it. Every time I felt the hunger, I would focus on this feeling. I would remember how giving into temptation would hurt my Alice. No matter how starving I was, no matter how much agony my nearness to the humans caused me, I would not ease my own pain only to upset Alice. I could never act on those impulses if I recalled how Alice felt right then.
Alice's eyes popped open as she gasped. Her pupils constricted as she returned to the present. "What changed?"
I stared at her in confusion. I forced myself to stop pacing, but I balled my fists at my side as I tried to control my inwardly directed anger. "I'm sorry, what?" I asked.
"What did you just decide? I'm positive the change wasn't me. You just did something." She closed her eyes for a moment longer to be certain. "You don't do it anymore. In fact, you don't slip for a very, very long time now. What did you decide?"
I was disoriented by an odd sensation of relief and curiosity. After taking a moment to absorb Alice's returned hope, I smiled. "I decided that I would never do anything to hurt you." I'd found something stronger than my craving for blood, namely my longing for Alice's happiness.