You don't have permission to post in this thread.
Silence is what filled the room at first. A long, ringing few seconds of silence.
Alice stood there, starring up at him, and he brain ran miles a minute before slowing to a stop on one thing in particular. [b "...Come with me, Jazz,"] she said softly, that nickname she had given him finally ringing from her lips once more. She took his hand, leading him out of the bathroom, and into her room. In there, it was a mixture of her things and Stephenie's things. Her lift integrated with the pseudo-motherhood of her infant sister.
She let him over to the table chair that had replaced the desk-chair he had removed–one of many things he had taken with help of his family–when he had left her. She had no way of knowing it, but all of those objects to big to hide beneath the floorboards were in his room back at the forest home.
The short girl had him sit down in the chair, opened her desk drawers, and pulled out a hairbrush and... an about 12 inches wide by 10 inches tall rectangle. About an inch thick. It seemed to be some sort of large picture frame with (possibly) some sort of plaque on the lower half of the frame.
Once opened, it revealed exactly that. There was four children in the photo, all blonde save for one girl. Three of the children were female, and the fourth and eldest appeared to be the only male. There was a brunette man with a large mustache, and a brunette woman who resembled the eldest of the young girls perfectly. And, at the bottom of the frame, there was a gold plaque with information. It listed dates of birth and the year the photo was taken, but what seemed the most important was the names upon it:
[center [b The Whitlock Family – 1853]
Jasper Lee Whitlock Sr. (1820) | Meredith Louise Granville (1828)
Jasper Lee Whitlock Jr. (1844) | Meredith Jade Whitlock (1847)
Carol Louise Whitlock (1852) | Leela Joy Whitlock (1853)]
[b "I started hunting for anything I could after I had to stay home for the first two weeks after getting back from Phoenix. The story you told me about the pocketwatch just... sticked in my head,"] Alice explained, tone hesitant. She wasn't sure how he'd react, but she hoped it would be positively. [b "I fond a smalltown in southern Texas that had a memorial museum and statue to all the families that lost relatives in the Civil War. I had them send me a replica of the picture and a custom frame with all the same info in the museum. It got here around December. I have a bunch of printed records of the Whitlock family history up to modern day, though it's not the clearest since none of the girls could carry on the name, s-so... um... Yeah, I have those if you want them."]
He did as he was told, slumping into the chair for her to wash the days-old grime from his hair. Jasper kept his eyes on her the entire time, not wanting to look away. She looked happy as she recounted her educational success, pulling a smile to his face. [b "I know that everything over the last few months might say otherwise, but I am incredibly proud of you,"] he murmured to her.
Once she'd rinsed the shampoo from his hair, he reached for the towel to dry his curls. A longing pulled in his chest, missing the feeling of her fingers working their way through his hair. He dried his hair just enough that it wasn't dripping on his shirt before hanging it to dry over the curtain rod. The bathroom was small quarters, putting them nearly chest to chest. Blonde hair fell in his eyes as he looked down at her, wondering how the hell he could have ever left her side.
[b "Anything you need from me right now, Alice, I'll do it. I will go if you want me to, or I will stay right here as long as you need,"] he promised. [b "I am entirely at your mercy."]
Downstairs, he could hear the jovial tones of his family cooing over the two babies. Their happiness was a stark contrast to the tension filling the bathroom as he stared down at the girl he loved more than anything in the world. [b "What do you want me to do?"]
[b "I'm pretty sure half of the reason he's so pissed I offered you a shower is because he knew it meant some of his clothes would be going on you,"] Alice had turned away as he changed, biting her lip because she didn't need [i that] heartbreak of knowing more intimately what she'd be missing.
She turned around when he gave the okay, glancing him over, and rolled her eyes with a small, almost fond smile as she took in his hair. So, taking hold of the flannel's sleeve, she guided him off to the bathroom and, after insisting she needed him to be in a chair for her own comfort and easy access, she had his head tilted back against the sink and shampooed hands sudsing through his hair. Her own hair, as long as it had gotten since he'd been in her home last, was pulled into a bun on her head. Her face wasn't as skinny-looking as it appeared when he hair wasn't hanging down.
[b "...I'm going to be graduating as Salutorian in two months,"] Alice informed him softly after a few moments of silence. [b "Jessica deserves the Valadictorian spot more than me, and they were getting to multiple decimal places just to decide which of us was gonna have it. She's worked harder than I needed to, and I know if I was still in Phoenix I'd have no hope, but here... she deserves it."] She smiled softly, and despite knowing it wasn't needed, she told Jasper to close his eyes before rinsing the shampoo from his hair.
Jasper allowed himself to be dragged away by his family, feeling their overwhelming feelings of adoration at the two youngsters they were currently fawning over. [b "Do I really smell that bad?"] he looked at his shirt as they climbed the stairs.
He'd grown used to the shirt and jeans over the last few days, and therefore was used to whatever smell was coming off of him. So much so that he couldn't notice it. [b "Vampires don't sweat, but I guess fighting in grimy conditions will do that to you,"] he glanced at his dirt-smudged hands.
He didn't quite feel right, borrowing clothes from Charlie's closet. Had he not taken his spare shirt and pants from Alice's room when he left, he would have had his own to change into. Unfortunately, he hadn't anticipated he'd ever be standing in the Swan house again. So, he pulled a flannel shirt and jeans that looked about the closet size.
[b "You sure he's not going to kill me for taking these?"] he raised an eyebrow at her.
It was a pointless concern, seeing how even Charlie's most powerful firearm wouldn't even dent his skin. Jasper was just desperate to hear Alice speak for as long as he could; an audible reminder that she was real, and truly in front of him. He'd hallucinated her so many times in his absence that he wasn't entirely confident that he could tell the difference if there were two of her in front of him.
[b "This is Stephenie Mary Dwyer. Renee knows I plan on changing my name officially to 'Alice Marie Swan' once I'm eighteen, so she wanted to preserve the 'Mary' name with little Stephie here,"] Alice bounced the baby a little, cooing softly at her.
As Bella moved over her expression softened, some of the sadness leaving to be replaced by a different kind of sadness that wasn't... as sad as the former. She loved how enraptured her immortal aunt and uncle looked with the infant. That was good.
At Jasper's gentle suggestion, she let out a faint giggle, giving a weak grin, [b "Nah, she's just like her big sister; she just doesn't like being cold. She'll get used to it pretty quick, though. It just doesn't help that she's only about four days older than little Gabe over there. Small world, huh?"] Alice giggled just a little more, wrapping the baby more properly in the blanket. Then, slowly, she handed the little girl off to Bella. [b "...She has the same brown hair as us and Renee, Bella, but uh... the eyes? They're hazel,"] she glanced at Edward, remembering a long-ago conversation about the Cullen clan's human eyecolors, [b "...ya know, like Phil's."]
Smiling, she turned, and with a shaky breath she tugged on Jasper's sleeve. [b "Come on, blondie, you really do need a shower. You reek."] Then, casting one more little smile at her no longer whimpering little sister, she started to lead Jasper toward the stairs.
[b "Half sister?"] Jasper's eyebrows furrowed in confusion as she rose from her chair to go upstairs.
He glanced to the rest of his family, who appeared just as unsure as he was feeling. [i "I didn't realize Alice had a sister,"] Bella met his eyes.
[b "Neither did I,"] Jasper got to his feet.
Moments later, his non-existent breath left his lungs at the sight of another little one in Alice's arms. The baby was definitely not comfortable with a room full of new strangers, and she fidgeted restlessly in Alice's hold. [b "Who might this be?"] he asked when he found his voice again.
Bella moved from her place beside Edward to slowly approach the baby, eyes widen and emotions swirling. [i "She's beautiful,"] she cooed, reaching a hand out to smooth the baby's thin hair down.
Jasper could feel her longing, and didn't miss the glance Bella threw towards Edward. His brother, too, was glancing between the two small children, a flicker of jealousy aimed at Rosalie and Emmett with their new son.
The baby girl twitched in surprise at the coldness of Bella's fingers, whimpering slightly and trying to burrow further into Alice's arms. [b "We're not scaring her, are we?"] Jasper worried, looking to his -former?- girlfriend's eyes. [b "We're a lot to take in at once. Especially Emmett. He's kind of a bear."]
[i I still consider them my family too. Even if they don't want to be.] Alice thought to herself, glad that the only thing Edward had ever been able to sense of her thoughts were sort of the aura, rather than the actual things.
She sat in the chair, wincing as the backdoor slammed, and watched as Gabriel whimpered but was quickly soothed by Emmett and Rosalie. She was getting ready to get up when Jasper came back, waving him off with a shake of her head... though she did take the glass of water, sipping from it. [b "[i You] are the one who needs a shower, Jasper. Your clothes reek. Besides, I can't rest yet. Charlie slammed the door and-"] a wailing ripped through the house, making her sigh, [b "And little baby half-sis never sleeps through loud noises. She wails whenever there's a storm."]
For a moment, it occurred to her that the vampires might not have realized that Stephenie was already living with her.
[b "I'll be right back,"] she declared, and headed upstairs, going for her bedroom, and in there a crib was once more returned to the corner like it had been years ago when she herself had been in that room. Alice wasted no time in picking up her sister, instantly shushing her.
Oh, she was going to miss her once the Cullens left again. She'd have a good, long, possibly immortal life though. How could she ever not want such a gift for someone so precious. So, with a smile, she headed back downstairs with the one-month old of her own blood to go bring her down to the family with the other one-month old that had been saved.
Jasper wanted to smile with pride at how Alice had completely taken control of the situation, but the stricken look on Charlie's face and the guilt still eating away at him kept him staring at the ground. One by one the Cullens filed out of the SUV, following orders to get in the house. Charlie glanced between Alice and Jasper with a look of pure rage, but he stalked off to the house without another word.
[b "Small but mighty,"] Jasper spoke quietly, barely able to meet her eyes. [b "Thank you. For defending my family,"] he clarified. [b "They don't need to suffer for my mistakes."]
Whether or not he deserved a place in her home was another story. But, he was not about to disappoint Alice Swan again. He followed after her, arms ready to catch her if she so much as stumbled. His family had arranged themselves around the living room, Emmett cradling Gabriel in his arms as he fed him a bottle, trying to explain the rules of the baseball game Charlie had been watching on tv.
[b "Take a rest, I'll get you some water,"] Jasper gestured to the armchair beside her.
In the kitchen, he took a moment to close his eyes and bask in the familiarity of being in her home, with her just a few feet away.
[i "I don't know what kind of spell you have her under, but you aren't getting away with this bullshit that quickly,"] Charlie hissed from beside him. [i "I'm not going to forget the months of hell you put my daughter through."]
Jasper turned to face him, appreciating that he was at least speaking quietly so as to not upset Alice further. [b "I'm not asking for forgiveness, Charlie. I deserve everything you can throw at me. All I'm asking is that we can be civil to one another in front of her. At least until she's regained her strength. Do it for her, not out of compassion to me,"] he pleaded with the older man.
The cop's jaw tensed before storming out of the room. The back door slammed shut, and Jasper could see him through the kitchen window stalking towards the pile of wood and axe waiting by the shed. If Charlie Swan was going to use an axe to take out his rage, Jasper was glad it was on the firewood.
Moving back to the living room with her drink, he knelt beside the chair and handed it over. [b "Esme and Bella can help you get washed up and changed, if you need,"] he murmured to her, feeling her exhaustion. [b "The rest of us can wait down here. Get to know the new little family member a bit more,"] he cast a look towards little Gabriel, staring up at his new father with a look of awe.
The car ride home hadn't been as... painful as she feared. She was curled up between Bella and Edward, the latter alternating between petting at both her's and Bella's hair. With the length she had gained, they looked even more earlier similar than they had before the relevation that they had been related by blood when Bella had still been human.
That wasn't important, though, even if Alice found her mind latching onto it. What she found really important was that... it didn't hurt to be around them. She was still terrified of what she thought to be their inevitable departure, but being around them... felt better. Felt concrete.
It made her feel whole, and even if they did end up abandoning her again... she thinks she could survive it this time.
But then they got to her houe, and her peace was wrecked. She had tried to convince Charlie that she could get out of the car herself, that she was fine, and she tried to tell the vampire family in the car with a whimpering Gabriel in Rosalie's arms that it was okay, but it seemed no one was listening to her. The vampires were focused on her father, and her father was in full protection mode.
[b "Stop it!"] Alice finally snapped, a fire in her voice as she jerked herself out from under Charlie's arm. [b "All of you stop it. I'm so damn tired of people making choices around me, and right now, I'm making the choice. If just for five minutes, I'm making the decisions. It's my choice if I forgive people, and it's my choice if I hear their apologies. And this is my house too, and it's at least half my choice if people aren't welcomed here, so it's also my choice on how to be hospitable,"] she breathed a little heavily, but that fire remained. Strong and new, never before seen, but so ever Alice it was heartwarming.
[b "And [i my choice] is for Emmett and Rosalie to come inside so they can make a bottle and change their baby, it is [i my choice] for Bella and Esme to come inside and meet Stephenie, it is [i my choice] for Edward and Carlise to come inside too since making them wait in the car is unfair,"] she paused, finally looking at Jasper, and said a little less desperately than before, [b "...and it's [i my choice] for Jasper to come inside and take a damn shower, because he looks like he hasn't bathed in months."] She offered him a small smile, but then slowly turned attention to Charlie.
The officer looked ready to argue with his daughter, he really did.
[b "Please, daddy? Just... for one night, let me have choices I can make. I don't even know why you're [i panicing]. Didn't Jacob leave you my note?"] Alice begged, promptly ending Charlie's resistance, and at his confused look she let out an exasperated, tired sigh.
Rubbing her hands down her face a moment, she picked her backpack onto her bag, and turned to stare down both the vampire family and her father. Then, she pointed at the houe with an expectant 'March!' sort of expression as she arched a single eyebrow.
He wanted to tell her that she was wrong. To prove just how much he loved her, and how sorry he was for everything he had put her through. He wanted to fall to his knees and beg for forgiveness, even though he didn't deserve it. But his selfishness was not what Alice needed at that moment. She didn't need to hear his self-pity.
Without question or hesitation, Jasper welcomed the chance to put his arms around her. She was so small that he doubted he'd even notice the added weight of carrying another person, even if he was human. He must have been making her cold, being pressed to his chest like she was in the bridal-style hold he had on her but her exhaustion was keeping her from either noticing or caring.
The Cullens averted their eyes as he approached the SUV. Once more, he was grateful to his family for their understanding. Bella immediately moved to the window seat, shoving Edward to the opposite side to make room for Alice between them. Jasper allowed her to reach out and take her niece from his arms.
He settled himself in the middle row of seats with his back pressed to the window so he could still watch Alice. He needed to keep his eyes on her, otherwise she might disappear. Bella fussed over her to make sure she was comfortable, taking off her unneeded jacket to lay over Alice like a blanket to warm her up.
[b "We're ready to go,"] Jasper murmured quietly to Carlisle. [b "Please take us home."]
The entire drive, he prepared himself for the onslaught of anger Charlie was going to rain down on him. He knew it was coming. He'd destroyed the man's daughter, mentally and emotionally. He deserved every beating the police officer could possibly inflict on him. When the pulled up in front of the house, Jasper could see him already waiting on the porch. Bella must have texted him they were coming.
[b "She's okay, Charlie,"] Jasper spoke, getting out of the SUV to help her down.
[i "Keep your goddamn hands off of her,"] Charlie snapped, shoving Jasper aside even with his family watching. [i "You're the reason she's like this."]
He stood to the side as her father reached into the vehicle, letting the relief and anguish Charlie was feeling wash over him. Jasper closed his eyes, knowing he would be crying if he could. [b "I'm sorry."]
[i "She doesn't need your apologies, and I sure as hell don't want them,"] Charlie spat, arm around his daughter. [i "Just get the hell out of here and don't let me catch you around my house again."]
[i ...Was he going to call me 'sweetheart'?] Alice wondered, blinking her eyes furiously. Jasper had sort of... rarely used terms of endearments beyond the word darling, and even then that had felt kind of rare to her.
She looked at him slowly as he sat down next to her, the brunette's expression filled with confusion and conflict as she did her damnedest to process everything her was saying to her.
[b "...I... I-I don't hate you,"] her breathing hitched a little, she doing her best to try and hold back her tears. [b "I [i love] you, Jasper, e... e-even if you don't love me, and...a-and I... I-I'm just really confused and tired now."] Tears started to fall, and she rubbed stubbornly at them. Her head hurt as her thoughts turned to wanting to go home, but she didn't care, because she wanted her own bed.
She looked at him again, biting her lip even as a few tears continued to silently trickle, she struggling to try and give an answer to his offer for him and the rest of the Cullens to drive her home. It took a few seconds of staring, but finally she found a way to convey it even if her mouth was refusing to form to the words; she turned towards him, sniffling once, and then opened her arms up in a silent request to be carried.
It had been a common thing before they left, though usually it resulted in piggy-backing. Alice very much hoped it wouldn't be the piggy-back option this time, but the one where he held her instead.
God, he was the worst thing to ever exist on this planet. Alice couldn't even bear to stand him long enough to endure the ride home with them. Why else would she be out there, thinking she needed to call someone to come and get her? Now he wanted to suffer at the hands of the Volturi all over again.
[b "Sweethe-"] he began to speak, cutting himself off from using the term of endearment he no longer deserved to say to her. [b "Alice, you don't need to call anyone. I wasn't about to just leave you here to fend for yourself getting back to Forks."]
Taking the unspoken risk, Jasper adjusted to sit next to her, their arms close enough to touch. At the very least, she didn't seem to recoil from him. He could feel, however, the utter sadness she was experiencing. [b "I know I'm probably your least favourite person in the world right now,"] he spoke quietly. [b "And you have every reason to hate me and get as far away from me as possible. I honestly don't know why you came for me, after what I did. I don't deserve forgiveness. I'm not going to ask for it. But please, Alice, don't think for a second that I want to be anywhere but right next to you, always."]
Jasper spotted the rest of his family coming out of the airport. They must have seen him too, as Carlisle gestured toward the public parking lot where his SUV was waiting. Jasper nodded in return, mouthing a quick thanks.
Turning back to Alice, he searched her face for any sign that she wanted him to go away. [b "If you can stomach being around me for another hour, please let us take you home. I want to see you get there safely, with my own eyes. You don't even have to sit next to me, if you don't want to,"] he tried a sad attempt at making her smile.
When she wasn't able to 'escape' the airport as quickly as possible, Alice had subconsciously accepted the fact that one of them wanted to find her, that they would, and she'd have to end up seeing one of them again and ultimately prolong the pain she'd been steadily preparing since take-off from Italy to endure once more.
That didn't stop her from tensing up from the moment Jasper touched her knee, but she at least had found enough self-will to not flinch away from the chilled touch that had once managed to make her feel utterly warm.
[b "Hey, Jasper,"] Alice greeted, lowering her hand from her face, giving a tight smile. Her eyes had turned red-rimmed, and the brown there was shiney from wetness, but she had yet to actually shed tears. Slowly, though, the smile melted off her face, her gaze drifting to just look at the pale hand upon her knee. She hesitated a moment, unsure if she'd regret the action or not, and slowly moved her hand to cup over his. And, like a marshmallow putting against a rock, she gave his hand a small squeeze.
[b "...T-There's no one who can give me a ride home."] That had been what she finally said after a few long seconds, eyes burning just a bit more as the threat of tears grew, [b "A-Angela can't, and Charlie's at work, and just... I-I don't have anyone else to call."] Her voice sounded lost, heartbroken, and as hesitant as if she expected to be mocked for her perdicament.
Jasper was positive that his non-beating heart was going to hammer out of his chest with the level of anxiety he was feeling. He'd taken his eyes off of her for less than a moment and she'd disappeared on him. Separation anxiety was more prominent now that he'd lost her once and gotten her back in his life. The idea that she vanished without him knowing was enough to make him feel physically ill.
He'd stopped several times to ask airport staff and security if they'd seen her. Most hadn't, but one security guard remarked that he'd seen a girl matching her description heading for the exit. [b "Thank you!"] Jasper called over his shoulder, running in that direction.
When he finally spotted her, he was hit with a combination of emotions. Relief first, washing through his veins at the sight of her unharmed. Then the fear crept in again once he realized that she was trying to keep her emotions in check, which began hitting him in tidal waves.
He'd hurt her.
He'd hurt her terribly, and there was little he could do to make her feel better.
No amount of apologies or begging would undo the damage he'd inflicted. Jasper hadn't ever felt this helpless before. Not even when he was under Maria's control. All he could do was tighten his fists at his side, and slowly approach where she sat.
Kneeling down carefully in front of her, he reached his hand out to gently touch her knee. [b "Alice?"] he spoke quietly, not wanting to draw more attention from passersby.
Alice had texted Angela, asking for a ride and explaining away her weekend of absence away as a 'family thing'. It hadn't taken long for Angela to respond to Alice's request for a ride home form the Seattle airport, but the response had been a negative one. The other girl was watching her twin siblings, and apologized profusely, so of course Alice immediately forgave her.
It wasn't Angela's fault her life was normal. Her heart did break a little when the other suggested she call Jacob for a ride home, but that wasn't Angela's fault either. That was just because Alice was... and asshole, probably. She didn't deserve nice things.
[i 'You're too nice for you own good, my little Mary. One day that'll be the death of ya.'] Thinking over her Grandma Swan's often said words, the young adult couldn't help but agree with them. Her niceness really would eb the death of her one day, wouldn't it? The pins-and-needles burning sensation along her thighs was proof enough of that.
Tucking her phone away, Alice closed her eyes, going back to once more focusing on her breathing and trying not to sob her heart out in public. The last thing she needed was a racing heart or drawing any sort of attention to herself, after all. Reaching up, she tucked one hand over her eyes, and then she lightly thunked her head agains the stone pillar the bench was hidden behind.
All posts are either in parody or to be taken as literature. This is a roleplay site. Sexual content is forbidden.