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Natural Equilibrium

Summary:
Apart, their natures would lead to self-destruction. But, when entwined, perfect balance ensues. Missing moment from Breaking Dawn. Alice/Jasper.

Novel Novice Twilight Challenge


Notes:
A/N: Bella is my missing twin. Rose is someone I understand so much it's disturbing. And there came a moment I wondered… what about Alice? I was surprised by how much I got to know both her and Jasper while writing this.
A/N 2: I submitted this story to the January-February Twilight Novel Novice Challenge, and some days ago there was a lot of screamig and laughing going on in my bedroom when I found out it won first place. I still can hardly believe it. The lovely banner was granted to the winners.
A/N 3: Endless thanks to my wonderful beta Essay33, without whose help this story wouldn’t be as good as it is.


1. Chapter 1

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1717   Review this Chapter

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage." - Lao Tzu.

I could remember seeing my future from the first time I opened my eyes.

Permeating my brain, brimming over my mind. The outside world had been blurry, surreal, compared to that first image.

It was a confusing, blank existence, those first days of my life. One that may have driven others to dementia - turned them into total savages, my brother Edward would say. Others, but not me. Because where other people needed memories of their past to orient themselves, to find some sense of self, I had my own kind of memories - memories of the future.

My past was actually never much of an issue until James revealed it to Bella, except for some instants of idle curiosity on eventful days. It stung, when I found out how little my biological family had cared for me, how easily they had locked me up in the dark, forged my death for the sake of their social façade, and then simply forgotten me.

But there was no crushing pain. They were never family to me, the way Rose's parents were a real thing for her, or the way Esme's lost son was a permanent sorrow in her extensive heart.

The only family I had ever known were the Cullens. I had memories of them decades before I actually met them, just like I was already friends with Bella before I talked to her for the first time (silly, reluctant Edward; cliché as it may be, he really should have known better than to bet against me, than to try to thwart fate).

It was hard for me to imagine what it must be like for others not to have the unfaltering faith I always had in this - in being a part of my vampire family, in loving Jasper and being unconditionally loved back by him. Bella would constantly tease me, funny girl, about how average people had to deal with not knowing on a daily basis.

Even so, in her own way, she had the same kind of unshakable certainty. It would be obvious even to the blind that my brother worshipped the ground she walked on. Nonetheless, I was still besieged by the recollection of the way she had looked that afternoon when I came to comfort Charlie, thinking her dead, and found her alive - or something like that. The image of her hollow, lifeless eyes never failed to draw a wince from me.

I had tried to understand how overwhelming the pain of such an absence could be, but I'd never been fully able to comprehend the feeling - because there wasn't a second of my eternal existence that Jasper hadn't been a part of. Upon opening my bright, blood-red eyes - or perhaps while they'd still been closed - the primordial and overpowering image I'd had was of Jasper. He was the first thing I had ever seen, my first certainty, my first emotion, the first picture in my flawless memory. I didn't know what it was like not to have Jasper.

And there was no way we could exist separately. It was an irrefutable knowledge for both of us. It was also the reason I generally stuck my tongue out at him when he let his overprotectiveness get a little out of hand, because I understood how he felt. He was the empath, but between the two of us it was as if I had the ability to read emotions, too. I could always tell what he was feeling.

And he was feeling guilty now. In typical Edward fashion. Moping and wallowing in self-recrimination. I hated it when he did that. It was as if he turned off the sun, depriving me of all warmth and contentment.

Determined to change this - tenacious as I was, not annoying and prying as Edward would say - I crept up behind him, throwing my arms around his neck, and kissed his cheek. He stroked my hands once, but otherwise remained stock-still.

"Jazz..."

"I'm failing you, Alice," he interrupted me, his voice strained. "You, Carlisle, all of them. But mostly you."

I frowned. "You do so like to speak nonsense..."

"You were the first person who ever believed in me, Alice. In my goodness. In my aptitude for becoming a decent man. In my strength to restrain from taking lives. And yet, decades afterwards, I'm still as bad as I was while I lived with Maria.

"I would tell myself it was so hard because Carlisle's lifestyle is so unnatural for our kind. And here is Bella, hours old, and she's already managing altogether perfectly. Unnatural, indeed. I am the only one in this family who can't get over his bloodthirst."

As much as his suffering hurt me, I let him talk, get it all out. Anyway, I already knew he would get over his doom-and-gloom lapse in the end. All the same, it was up to me to snap him out of it. It was one thing you learned after years of living half in the present and half in the future - knowing that something would ultimately get done didn't get it done. You had to get your hands dirty.

And in this, it was always up to me to get Jasper out of the darkest regions of his mind. Ironic, how he could influence others' emotions, but not his own. Only I could do that.

And I had done it, did it, and would keep doing it forever, if that was what it took to bring a smile to his beautiful, soft lips. His happiness was worth every effort I had ever made, his love was worth every hour I had waited for him, alone and unloved. And without a doubt, I wouldn't mind trading everything I had ever had, everything I had ever been, just for his love.

"My brave, overly-sensitive soldier." I dropped from his back and stood beside him, holding one of his hands in both of mine. "Jazz, no one's judging you. No one's expecting you to be more than Bella or any other stupid thing like that." I huffed when he gave me an incredulous look from the corner of his eye, and decided to try a different angle. "Seriously, Jasper, do you think anyone's got time to worry about you right now? Bella's probably making a fresh attempt at chewing Jacob's head off while we speak, and that's bound to keep them all busy for a spell, you know."

He chuckled darkly at that, and I smiled back, glad that I was making some progress.

"That's not likely. She's probably got too much self-control for that," he retorted. But there was a hint of humor in his voice.

"Perhaps. I wouldn't know, in reality, since I'm aggravatingly blind as of late."

This time, he laughed out loud. I glared at him.

"I'll make you a deal," he proposed, turning to face me. "If you stop brooding and complaining about your lack of sight, I'll be good and try to get over my frustration with myself."

I sighed. It seemed it was always like this between us. One minute I was the one comforting him, trying to help him come to terms with his weaknesses and his strengths. And the next, things got turned around and it was him comforting me, saving me from falling entirely into the future and forgetting that it was the present that mattered.

What a pair we were. But, sarcasm aside, we truly were perfectly matched. Alone, we most probably would have crumbled apart, driven insane by our natures, our gifts. Together, we managed to balance each other out, to keep each other sane and considerably happy.

My frustration couldn't hold long when he was smiling at me like that.

"We've got a deal, then," I agreed, letting mock reluctance color my voice just to have the opportunity to watch him smile a little longer. In my opinion, he didn't smile as much as he should.

Suddenly, he took me in his arms and kissed me with an abruptness that would have startled a human brain. I kissed him back, and basked in every minute sensation. He kissed me tenderly, yet passionately, softly, yet needily, making me feel as if he would suffocate the second his lips weren't plastered to mine, the way he only kissed me when there were just the two of us. Jasper, though other people may take him for a cold person, was in truth a shy man.

I hugged him back and laughed, just because I was ecstatic, just to revel in the sound. It wasn't like I'd had a lot of reasons to laugh lately.

I held my hand out to him, and he took it, repeating a gesture we'd shared countless times. It was always as heart-stirring and loaded with infinite meaning as that first touch.

Linked by our hands, we ran back to the house. I may not be able to see the future when Jacob and Renesmee were involved, but I knew our loved ones would be needing us, both of us. Because we were part of what was going on. We belonged in the Cullen family as we never had anywhere else.

The clouds were gone for now, it seemed. I knew my endearingly irritating husband would still brood and castigate himself later, but I would make sure we found a way for him to get over his self-restraint issues - an intelligent way. We would work it out as we did everything else - together.

Our existence may be disturbed a lot of the time, we may have to spend forever struggling to overcome what we were, we may slip and be haunted by our failures. But all that faded into the background the second we held each other. As long as we were united, no problem could be too grand for us to sort out. I needed no visions to be sure of that.