Mary Alice, Full of Grace
Pre-Twilight, a twist in genetics allows Alice to remember her childhood.
She remembers when the visions started, her family, and a dark moment of her past that makes meeting Jasper more eventful. Jasper's violent past and restless future beg her to tread lightly around this stranger. Will she be able to dig deep enough to find the gentle soul in there somewhere? Or will she scare herself away from the only one who can help her heal? **This story might seem a bit out of character at moments, but it's because Alice and Jasper finish BD still only 2-D, I take the liberty of giving them a few more aspects than SM has time to, so be warned! :) **Warning- contains allusion to childhood sexual abuse, please don't read if you are sensitive to that topic Jasper There were no secrets in this house with Edward, Alice and I were both uncomfortable with that thought. The difference is, in Alice's secrets she's the victim, but in mine, I'm the villian. Edward would need more than his gift, in fact more than both of our gifts, to truly understand the shift of gravity that took place when she put her tiny hand into mine. I may not have let myself entertain it at the time, but I knew in that moment that something changed and I was never going to be the same. I also knew that it had to do with the half- starved little girl who so brazenly took my hand. Was she checking to make sure I hadn't found my human genes while she was asleep? I guess so. Next time she's unsure what sort of creature I am, I should advise her to ask. She just about learned exactly what kind of monster I am with that little stunt of hers. Alice The words escape before I can even think about them. "You're even more beautiful in real life." She reminds me of my mother, her expression full of concern and compassion. He's gorgeous, rugged and tough, and the unbidden observation only makes me more nervous. He's beautiful because he's a predator, the most dangerous of them all. Emmett One minute I'm sitting here wondering what in the world we're doing having a powwow on the back lawn, and the next Edward and Jasper stalk off out of earshot and it's just me and the Chiclet, alone in the grass. I hope that my brother has an amazingly good reason for leaving us here like this, because it isn't exactly my idea of a good time to sit here and scare the hell out of a toy- sized girl.
So, I found this site and decided to try it out :) This fic is also on Twilighted and FF.net, so if you get hooked and I don't end up continuing on this site, you can find it there :) http://twilighted.net/viewstory.php?sid=10293 http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5843497/1/bMary_b_bAlice_b_bFull_b_of_bGrace_b There is also a forum on Twilighted if you're interested in discussing the story! http://twilighted.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=12601
2. Chapter 2- The Familiar Stranger
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"You kept me waiting a long time"
I can see his expression darken in confusion. Of course, I have just greeted him as an old friend, almost scolded him for staying away. Of course he is confused; the poor man has never seen me before in his life. I can see the shop owner out of the corner of my eye, his focus conflicted. He wants to be happy for me, that I have found the one I was waiting for, but he is afraid of this menacing man and afraid for me. I am afraid too, but I know that I have to find out.
Before I can talk myself out of it, I reach for his hand and gently pull his fingers out of a fist, sliding my hand into his. His visage isn’t softening, but he isn’t moving to stop me. His hands are cold, freezing. Like Mark. Somehow this was going to be ok. He may have the monster’s eyes, but he had Mark’s touch, and I am comforted.
I am suddenly aware of the interest of half of the town burning into my back, so I gently tug on his hand to follow me. I watch him begin to resist, but then, probably out of curiosity more than anything else, he is moving to follow me. We are crossing into the pouring rain, so I decide to try again. I can’t offer him the name my father gave me, his precious Mary Alice. But I have the feeling that I will regret making up another one. I want him to know me. I will offer him as close to the truth as I can.
“My name is Alice. But I’ve never heard yours.” This elicits me another guarded glance. He must think that I am crazy, but he is humoring me for the moment.
“Jasper.” His voice is raspy, as if he is unaccustomed to using it in everyday activity. This is some measure of interest, so I flash my best smile of appreciation. He seems marginally amused, and under the harsh shadows I think I caught a hint of a smile.
“Jasper. It fits you well. Will you be staying for a while, or do we need to leave soon?” This catches him mid stride and I am immediately sorry as his eyes narrow and he yanks his hand free of mine.
I have seen him for so long that I have always assumed once I see him I will stay with him. I forget that he has never seen me before, to him I am an interesting stranger, a tiny girl with wild black hair and strange behavior. To me, he is my hope that I won’t live eternity alone. To him, I am an odd little girl who took his hand when everyone else cowered. He isn’t moving, so I don’t either. Maybe I will think of something to convince him to stay, if I don’t move he might not either. His expression seems to be softening, if even only the slightest bit.
This girl is the strangest human I have ever met. She doesn’t have the good sense to run away? Everyone in the room is unconsciously backing away, and she approaches me. Does she have a death wish? Maybe. I turn to face her, ready for trouble. There is a strange smell in the room I can’t place and it is making me uneasy. It’s sweet like the human scent swirling around the room, but earthy, like a strange, sensual perfume. I hear her heart falter. I can feel her fear now, maybe she has some sense after all. But before I can even finish that thought she is touching me, pulling at my fingers. I have no idea what she is trying to do, but I find myself so curious that I allow her.
She intertwines her fingers. Her touch is like fire. I have never felt any human like her. She might be dying of the fever that preys unsuspectingly around here, that would explain her bizarre behavior. A sudden calm begins to fill me and I realize that it is radiating from this tiny, strange girl. She is smiling down at our hands. I am so curious that when she tries to tug me toward the door I follow her. I have no idea what to expect, I have never seen this reaction on any human I have watched or hunted. She clearly doesn’t know that she is dying. Or maybe she does. The strange calm is laced with the most delicate tension now, but not anywhere near the terror her instincts should be providing for her.
“My name is Alice. But I’ve never heard yours.”
What a strange introduction. Was that some sort of cultural norm I had missed while I was off traipsing around the territory with Maria? Of course she has never heard my name, I’ve never laid eyes on her before. But I offer her my name out of habit, when a lady asks you a question, you answer, after all. “Jasper.”
This seems to please her, and she flashes me the most beautiful smile I have ever seen. Before I can even decide how to respond, I feel the corner of my mouth begin to turn up in response, just slightly, and I can feel her joy as she notices it as well. This strange, strange human is getting to me, and I have no idea how. I realize that she is talking to me again, and I focus back on her words “Will you be staying for a while, or do we need to leave soon?”
I yank my hand away from hers in shock before I even realized that I have moved. We? Who the hell does she think I am? I can feel her regret and it confuses me. She is upset that I didn’t expect her to be my permanent companion? That thought is amusing. What an interesting pet she might make, I consider taking her along just to see what Maria would say, if I ever ran into her again. But then again she might not last that long, the burning of her hand left a strange warmth even now. I don’t know much about humans, but I’m pretty sure that kind of sickness doesn’t toy long with its victims, she probably doesn’t have long to live. Maybe she will be dinner tonight. I have seen how the sickness takes humans, and for once I am not thinking only of my own thirst. I try to picture her laying on the street like I’ve seen some of the others, moaning and wishing for death.
With the burn in her skin that is probably where she should be. I am suddenly overcome with curiosity. I know that she poses no threat to me, and maybe that is what possesses me. I reach out my hand to touch her face. Her face can’t burn like her hand, it isn’t flushed with fever and her eyes are alert and bright. As soon as my fingers curiously brush her cheek I finally feel the fear, immediate and crushing. She has realized that she is walking into her demise, taking the hand of the very angel of death himself. She’s frozen. This tiny little girl who has no idea that she is already dead, ravaged by sickness that wipes out towns, has finally realized that she stares into death’s eyes. What a fascinating moment, I have never been so captivated in my long life. I know that I am terrifying her, but I don’t move.
He is touching me. Like Charles, his hand grazing my cheek. I’m not breathing, the air escaping while I stand here paralyzed. No one gets close to me. No one touches me without my consent. No one touches me. Ever. I know that I am panicking, but I can’t help it. I might lose him if I can’t pull myself together, but that only adds to the building hysteria. I need him to stop but he doesn’t move. I can barely see him through the haze of panic, but he doesn’t even seem to notice.
Years ago, decades, nearly a century, but only seconds. I am curled in a corner, screaming silently and clawing at the cold cruel hands, but nothing is happening. My mind betrays me, my knees lock to keep me vertical and my vision is black. I can hear happy splashing of water and I blanch, reeling against the perfect memory. I squeeze my eyes closed but the darkness doesn’t respond, the vision comes closer and closer, the light trickling in and the sound becoming more and more clear. I am not sure if I am screaming out loud or only in my head, because I can’t hear anything. I don’t even notice that he has withdrawn his hand.
The horrific vision is getting closer and closer, every second is memorized even though I haven’t seen it replayed since that first night. I know that my breathing is making everything worse. Air comes in short, strangled, desperate screams and when I can’t stop myself from hyperventilating I hold my breath to try to get back in control, which only leads to more strangled screaming when I start to see dancing stars in the vision and have to breathe again. I can’t look away from him. And I can’t move, he just sits there in the doorway, watching me with that terrible look in his eyes. How did I miss that the first time?
He’s touching me, again, holding me close and taking me somewhere. If I let him get me back to wherever he wants me this will never end, he’ll have me forever, no one will save me. I have to get away, somehow.
And now, much earlier than I remembered, his hand is over my mouth, trying to keep my quiet. I lash out at him, but his body is like stone, unyielding and cold. The panic is getting worse, and my breathing continues to betray me. I can’t get away. There is nowhere to escape. He has me and this time I won’t get away.
Her panic is clearly building, but I am not moving. I had thought this was just her instincts catching up with her, but she’s not moving to run, and this is somehow different…I’m not sure what about me is finally frightening her so much, she is the one who strolled right up to me and took my hand. If the message of danger is finally getting through to her then her body is clearly treacherous toward her, because it is not providing her with any sort of flight mechanism.
She is just standing there, her eyes wide and terrified. I can’t move, I recognize fear, like a familiar dark melody, but this is an intensity and tenor I have never felt before. I have felt fear of death, I feel it daily, rushing into me with each drop of my victim’s blood. I know the fear of betrayal, for all of her posturing, Maria reeked of it. I know fear of failure, fear of pain, fear of the unknown, and all sorts of other strange variations.
But I have never felt this. It is an emotional strength I have only felt it in my own kind. It is an intensity that is impossible to attain with the few years humans are allotted on the planet, even if they live to an unusually old age. But the content, the pitch, the tone of this fear is foreign to me. It is so intense. She seems to be drawing back, into her mind, but this doesn’t comfort her. I feel a slight tremor run through her and the terror is intensifying, which only a moment ago I would had been sure was impossible.
I can’t handle it any more, I drop my hand, but the hurricane of emotions continues to assail me. With her fear comes her scent, and I am overcome with the same sweet, musky, earthy and seductive fragrance from the diner. Was that strange scent hers? I bring my hand to my face and inhale, the perfume multipling, overtaking my senses for a second, distracting me even from the assaulting fear from the small girl before me. What is this creature? I don’t have long to puzzle over this because, before I can think too hard on this question, she stumbles backwards, shaking and begins to scream.
I am no longer touching her, and her eyes are closed. It’s becoming more and more clear to me that this terror has little to do with me. What a strange concept, death himself is standing here puzzling at misplaced fear. But I don't take time to figure this out, people will come to see what is going on, even in the pouring rain, so I have to act quickly. I could run, no one would ever find me, but I would be leaving her here to tell the story, and that didn’t seem like a great idea. And even if it would have been, I can’t bring myself to leave her here, clearly scared, almost literally out of her mind. Maybe whatever she was actually afraid of would find her. And she is such a unique creature, I have to find out more. But I can’t have her keep screaming, so I make a quick decision, pulling her up by the shoulders and knees and running.
She is light, her tiny frame barely registering to my arms as present, but her panic has redoubled. I know it isn’t going to help in the short term, but I need her to be quiet. I push her face into my chest, holding her there with the hand around her shoulders, she has to stop screaming, just long enough to get out of town. Only a few more seconds and she can scream all she wants. The immediate response nearly knocks me over, I stumble for the first time in my infinite existence.
Panic, but I am getting used to that. But also strength. This tiny creature is trying with all of her might to escape me, and doing a much better job than is possible. She clearly has little combat training, but her sheer strength is shocking. I am sure in a normal fight I could have easily bested her, but in this strange position, holding my opponent close to me rather than keeping her away, I can barely stumble the last mile out of town, her tiny fists raining down on my chest and arms, occasionally landing a blow hard enough to make me stumble.
Finally. A clearing far enough away to let her go. I get close enough and dump her unceremoniously on the open ground. She surprises me again, this girl has more oddities than any other creature I have encountered in my long existence. She stays there, screaming and clawing at her skin. I am sure now that she is entirely unaware of my presence. My attention is divided between warring senses. Her odd behavior has me on my guard, but the overwhelming perfume is enough to nearly knock me over, it is covering me, sinking into my pores as the heat of her proximity melts away. I am entirely uncertain of everything regarding this girl’s behavior, but I am certain of one thing. I have to know what she is. And if possible, I need her with me. This intoxicating scent pulls at something deep inside me. I would figure anything else out.
Another scent is mixing with the original, a stronger, sweeter, scent that draws me back from my revelry. My attention returns to immediately learn that it is her blood. She is clawing at herself, ripping open the skin on her arms, her chest, her legs, still screaming, but the tenor is changing into angry sobs. She can’t have that much blood in her, I have to stop her before she kills herself. What a strange creature. I catch her hands, restraining only them.
She is still afraid, but her body is once again betraying her. She is exhausted, physically and emotionally, and she can’t fight back. She collapses into me, her blood and tears soaking my shirt. Tantalizing. Absolutely excruciating, the beast inside me demands action without permission. I release her hand and catch the side of her neck gently, holding her to me in what must appear a comforting gesture. Unbidden I act, against every mental faculty that demands to know what she is and how she is doing this to me. The monster relishes for only a second, hovering fractions of a centimeter over her neck, feeling, smelling, hearing her heart push the perfume to her veins. I can’t help myself.