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
5. Chapter 5 - Run
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I am trying to keep his pace, but he's just walking SO slowly. Every once in a while I see a plant that needs inspecting or a little bird I want to catch sight of before Jasper scares it off so I run ahead. Then I remember that he seems to enjoy this meandering pace so I go back to his side. It's probably more than just curiosity and boredom that makes me flit back and forth so quickly. The truth is that I am nervous. Being in his company is wreaking havoc on my peace of mind, my thoughts warring between fear and excitement. The internal cacophony is so loud that I am half running from distraction to distraction to keep myself in the present. I have a vague recollection of saying something inane to Jasper a bit ago about a flower, but I was so distracted I'm not sure now what I said. He gave me a strange look, which confirmed my assumption that it was entirely mindless. So now I am studiously keeping my mouth shut while my mind is on vacation, as I should have been doing this whole time.
Every time I come back to him I can't help but walk back facing him, turn with him as he continues to walk, and fall into step behind him. I still can't quite bring myself to turn my back on him in the open. When I run on ahead I circle to the side first, finding something interesting beside the path, then go on, keeping him in my peripheral vision. I am more than aware that I somehow got to sleep last night with him nearby and he didn't hurt me, but instinct is hard to reason with.
I skip back in my roundabout way and take his hand. Even if I am nervous and on edge, I love the feeling of closeness to another being I find when I hold his hand. It's like everything will be alright, even this fear. Like nothing will go wrong and if it does it will have been worth it just to have known him. I have no idea if this feeling is unique to him, his kind or not unique at all, as I've never held anyone's hand other than my family, in another lifetime. I fall into step a bit behind him, partially to be able to look at him and just as much to keep an eye on him.
Every time my back is to him, even when I am far ahead, my mind screams at me that a predator is following me and I should run away, that he is strong and dangerous and unpredictable. Even if I have amused him so far, I don't know when he might lose interest and snap. I am pretty sure, after the drama last night, that my blood doesn't interest him, at least not anymore. But I have learned that there are fates worse than death, especially with the capacity for timeless memory. There are a lot of other things that might...suggest themselves to him if I stick around too long. The thought makes me shiver involuntarily. I don't want to think of Jasper like that, but the truth is that I really don't know him, however much I think I do from seeing him in my visions. He had been my anchor for years, my hope that I won't stay alone forever. And if he ever decided to try something like...that, like Charles, I would probably so thoroughly give up on this life that I would wish my blood called to him.
But that brings me back to the irrational trust that brought me to the diner in the first place. I have seen him for years. Surely my visions wouldn't bring me to someone only to have him hurt me again, would they? I hope not, because it is that vague intuition that keeps me with him, intuition and the fear greater than what he can do to me - fear of the familiar loneliness that threatens from the recesses of my mind. I know that demon, and this small amount of tense companionship is almost worth anything he might want to do with me. I already carry, scared into my psyche, the vision of a pedophile raping me that never happened. Even the real thing can't be as traumatic as having your life ruled by an event that never took place. Not that I'm not thankful that Charles was caught in time, but I wish the truth had been presented to me a bit less vividly.
I'm sure if my life had continued on its normal path I probably would have been able to mostly get over it, eventually. Even with the additional memory afforded to me by being some small percent supernatural I still like to believe that with my family and friends and sister to distract and support me I would have been able to put it behind me and go on with my life. But that event that started my visions changed my life, marked me as different and was foreshadowing to my biological father showing up in my life and turning everything upside down. The vision of Charles was the beginning of the end, and I've had decades alone to dwell on it while no one else can know the full truth.
Not that Jasper knows everything, even after having witnessed my most eventful breakdown since my first vision, decades in the making. But he knows what I am, something that I can't share with anyone, and it is freeing to be able to simply respond to my environment, unrestricted by human pretenses. I am torn between wishing he knew it all, wishing to know everything about him and that he knew everything about me, and a strong determination that he should never find out, that it is my darkest secret kept only to me. No other soul has ever known what I saw. Not my parents or even Charles himself. It is my own private horror. Something in me wants to keep it locked away there.
If I want to keep it a secret I will have to figure out another sleeping arrangement. I don't recall the nightmare last night, so he probably hasn't seen it yet. But someday he will if he keeps sticking around, watching me sleep. Given his experience with my little...episode...and my explanation, having a name and who knows what other details given to him in my unconscious screaming would probably be enough to help him put the pieces together. At my various homes I sleep with my face in the pillows, muffling the sound if I should happen to have the nightmare. My unnatural lungs are strong enough to filter enough oxygen through the fabric to allow me to breathe comfortably, so it seemed like the simplest solution. Although on rare occasion I still wake up others, I've been able to explain it away casually enough because their ears are not sensitive enough to pick out names and words muffled through a pillow and walls.
I am suddenly unable to bear the annoyingly slow pace that Jasper has set for us. I have to run, to get some of this anxiety out of my system, if no other reason. "Can we run?" I ask impulsively. We've been walking in silence for hours, so breaking it seems unnatural and he looks at me, surprised.
I also want to get to the others. I have a feeling that he and I will never really be whole until we find them, but I don't know why. They have eyes like Mark and they treat each other as a family; I long to remember a family, even if I am not included. I don't know if they will accept us, but just being near them would be wonderful.
"Yes, this pace is killing me, I want to run." I realize that I sound like a whining child, so I give him my best innocent but impatient look and I catch the beginning of a responding grin before he recomposes his face.
"Ok, you go on and I'll keep up." This was not what I was hoping for. I can't quite bring myself to have my back to him yet, and I think running like that would probably just about invite another breakdown or an all out run for my life. Who knows, maybe that would bring out the predator in him again after all, a self-fulfilling prophecy? But in any case, that wasn't going to work. I stuff down the panic that had already begun to take over my mind and resolve to stay focused.
"I want to see how fast you can run, maybe I can keep up." This sounds like a plausible enough excuse, and he seems amused by the thought.
"I don't think you've ever seen my kind run." He tries to hedge diplomatically, but I will not be moved on this one, so without a second of hesitation I respond,
"I don't think you've ever seen my kind run." At this his composure breaks enough to allow a smile, if only for a second, to light up his features. It's breathtaking, enough to nearly make me forget his crimson eyes. He is beautiful. I'm brought back by him pulling his hand away and the feeling of loss is almost tangible. I like touching him. I like him being close. That realization alone is enough to shock me back to the present and he takes off through the woods, gracefully finding sturdy footing among the wet leaves and uneven ground. I start after him. He is right, he is faster than me, but running as hard as I can I am able to keep him in sight, so I consider that a small victory. After a couple seconds he falls back to my speed, running with me. I slow marginally to keep him in front of me, and if he notices he didn't say anything.
"You are faster than I thought." He concedes, his dark eyes shining with...surprise maybe, but something else I can't place.
"Thank you, I guess," is all I can manage without sounding breathless. I haven't gotten to run like this in a long time. Even at this slightly slower pace it is all I can do to keep up. But even that isn't enough to keep my thoughts busy as we fall back into silence.
I wonder if finding the golden eyed group will help ease my mental war. Maybe having them around too will make it easier to relax around Jasper. I don't know that they are entirely trustworthy, I've even seen flashes of the bronze haired boy with blazing red eyes, but I know that they are our next destination. Now that we can run, it will only be a day or two until I can figure out how to get to them. I know the general area from clues in my visions, but I'm counting on something more tangible when we get close enough. Hopefully my visions won't disappoint me this once, when I really need them.
As we wander on through the woods and another hour passes, it occurs to me again that she might have no idea where we are going. It still doesn't really bother me though. What a strange feeling; I've never before followed someone that I didn't know where they were leading me. This girl in particular could be leading me nowhere and I'd follow her happily. This probably should bother me, but as I have been doing since I met her, I push it aside as if that sort of thing occupies my mind all the time.
She is still walking beside me, a step behind. I keep her in my peripheral vision though, and that satisfies my need to watch her. I can't take my eyes off of her. Part of the current fascination is the absolute dissonance between the serene mask on her face and the conflict of her thoughts. I have never met anyone so composed that I can't see the emotions I feel from them with my gift on their countenance, at least in their eyes, when I have the advantage of knowing what I'm looking for.
But she seems able to hide it all from the world, and for the first time in my long existence as a vampire, I am questioning my gift. Can she really be feeling all of these strained emotions and let nothing show through to her eyes? Maybe she is some sort of exception and my gift is going haywire, inventing emotions incorrectly. But somehow I doubt it. She just seems to care about people. Maybe she just learned well to keep her dark secret hidden away to protect others. I wouldn't put that sort of selflessness past her; even in the short time I'd known her. I wonder if she has ever confided in anyone the nightmare that still haunts her. If her explanation yesterday is any indicator I'd say no. She clearly needs to talk to someone. Maybe someone in this group she thinks we are headed toward can help her. My thoughts are cut short when she breaks the silence of the trip. It startles me a bit; neither of us has spoken for hours.
"Can we run?"
What a strange question. Won't she get tired trying to run for any distance? She is obviously small, but in a malnourished sort of way, not a wiry athletic sort of way. And the prospect of keeping a slow jog with her on and off for a few minutes at a time seems much more irritating than just walking. Hoping to dissuade her I clarify. "Run?"
"Yes, this pace is killing me, I want to run."
Maybe I misjudged her, but I doubt it. I had watched her dance off into the underbrush earlier to go back into town but she didn't seem particularly fast, but at least she might have better endurance with the small amount of venom in her blood. I decide it might be best to let her at least try, I'll let her set the pace to see how fast she can comfortably go. "Ok, you go on and I'll keep up."
Her response is unmistakable, even visibly breaking her solid composure for a second. She doesn't like that idea one bit. I catch a brief but powerful surge of fear reflected deep in her eyes, but just as soon as I notice it she has regained her composure and replies.
"I want to see how fast you can run, maybe I can keep up." Although it seems reasonable enough, I don't want to take off and leave her, and I don't want to frighten her if she doesn't know that my kind has a much different definition of run than the average human. I tried to hedge again. "I don't think you've ever seen my kind run."
Not missing a beat she replies, "I don't think you've ever seen my kind run."
I can't help the smile that follows in response; I just didn't expect that from her. Well, I guess that settles it. She seems to understand that I'm not talking about human jogging speed so I am slightly hopeful that she might have some of my kind's speed in her yet, it will make traveling on foot with her much more efficient, assuming we actually have somewhere we are going. I turn from her and take off into the woods. She hesitates for a second, something like confusion in her emotions, but quickly recovers and follows. I can hear her footfalls much faster than I had anticipated. She is certainly not as fast as me, but she can manage to keep a reasonable speed if I slow down a little.
I fall back to beside her with a small grin. "You are faster than I thought." I concede. The smile doesn't have long on my face though, she immediately falls back a step to behind me, again. If I had been suspicious before that she was doing that on purpose, all doubt was now removed. Why won't she stay with me? She makes a response, but it doesn't seem important.
I thought I had noticed something strange in her body language toward me as we had been walking earlier. If her sudden fear at my suggestion that she lead wasn't telling enough, this blatant attempt to keep me in her sight certainly is. She is still afraid of me. And that really bothers me. Even if not consciously, her instincts are still trying to protect her from me. It is ironic, really, when my instincts are warning me back but my mind wanting nothing more than to protect her from anything dangerous. Maybe that's why my instincts are telling me to leave. I'm more of a danger to her than anything else.
I have no idea why this should bother me, her instincts should be telling her to run away. They should have delivered that message some time yesterday. Hadn't I even thought to myself that she should have been feeling this fear all along? Why does it bother me now that she is wary? It probably has something to do with the strange urge I feel to protect her.