Title: What You Say

Author: Girl Who Writes

Characters: Alice, Jessamine

Word Count: 2254

Rating: T

Genre: Angst, Drama

Summary: Post-New Moon. Edward might have thought Aro was their reckoning, but Alice knows for her, it is Jessamine's hurt.

Notes: Written for JaliceWeek20's Day 3 prompt: Canon Gap-Fillers. I don't normally enjoy writing missing scenes from canon, so I put my twist on it and switched Jasper out for Jessamine for funsies. I've got a much longer Alice/Jessamine WIP in the works, and I kind of LOVE writing Alice and Jess, so I had a lot of fun with this.

Takes place after Alice, Bella and Edward return from Volterra in New Moon.

Thank you for reading!


"I'm sorry."

They're the first words she says to Jessamine when she gets back from Volterra.

When they get off the plane, Bella is pale and twitchy, and everyone is fussing around her and Edward. Maybe Jess has already put them all off, pushing interest and focus off of her and onto the human girl. Or maybe they don't see what Alice does.

The rigidness in her stance, the way she's holding herself so tightly, so she takes up no more space than she needs to, the blank look on her face… Alice wants to run to her side, to wrap her arms around Jess and reassure her. Draw out every that is causing the pain, tension, the fear.

Except she knows exactly what - who - caused it, and more than that, Jess isn't in that place. Not in such a public place; Alice won't be able to touch her until she's calmed; when her gift is not stretched to the very breaking point.

So she stands as close as to Jessamine as she dares, and she stares into those golden eyes that she loves so much that are so blank yet sharp, and knows that this is not yet over; Edward might have thought Aro was their reckoning, but Alice knows for her, it is Jessamine's hurt.

The drive home with Carlisle and Esme is… taunt. She answers Carlisle's questions honestly, and halfway home, Jess takes a quiet breath and that's good. That's a step closer to Jess purging all the toxic emotions she's trapped inside herself, a step closer to talking and explaining and apologizing a dozen times over.

The relief Alice feels when she sees the Forks house washes over her, and then she realizes what she's done, and she cannot even look back at Jess; she knows now. Knows how afraid Alice was, knows how close she was to never coming home again.

Esme smiles gently at both of them as they troop up the stairs; light and dark, tall and small, both looking like they're off to their own executions.

She sees the confrontation in her mind; the words are changing and a little bit muffled because of it, but it happens like this - she sits cross-legged on the bed with her head bowed, and she apologies. Jess rages at her, properly destroying the rocking chair, two lamps, and her closet door before storming off into her study. Then Jess will come back and hold her so tight that not a single molecule can get between then, when they are just a single entity scented of roses and salt and rain and basil, and they will curl up together on the bed like that, pressed together until the fear and the grief and the guilt slowly ebbs.

That is how it happens until it doesn't.

Her Jess does have such a bad temper. She just can't remember the last time it was directed at her (yes she can - '49, Toledo. That was an ugly argument and Alice is still properly ashamed of her part in it.)

So Alice goes to take her place on the bed, on the blue floral duvet that she bullied Jess into picking out for them (Jess decided on the one she thought Alice would like best even though Alice had given her two choices she already liked equally because that's just how they decided things). Except, she never gets to take a seat on the bed, because Jess has changed her mind and the future is scrambled, as Jess grabs her arm and spins her around.

The rage is second to only the fear in Jess's eyes and Alice wants to cry, wants to weep out her apologies because it was always about protecting Jessamine, never about anything else. Not about trust, not about ability, not about anything more or anything less than the fact that of everything that Alice was prepared to hand to Aro, prepared to cut down and sacrifice, Jess was never on that list.

"I'm sorry," she manages, in a small voice, unable to tear her gaze from Jess's.

"Sorry for what?" Jess hisses back, her eyes hard. "Sorry for running away? Sorry for lying? Sorry for deciding some human girl is worth more than yourself? Sorry for giving up the one thing that kept us safe? Should I keep going?"

Alice is shaking now, shaking with the weight of Jess's disappointment and fear and hurt.

She grasps Alice by her shoulders and half shakes her. "Why did you do it? Why, Alice? Do you love Bella Swan that much? Edward? Are they worth that much to you? Because they sure as hell aren't worth half as much to me as you are.

"You lied to me, Alice."

All the fight seems to seep from Jess, and she jerks away, leaving Alice feeling like she's been stripped bare, and quite ashamed.

"I didn't want you to worry." The words sound childish and feeble, not at all convincing.

"Not to worry?" Jess's foot strikes out, and the rocking chair is kindling in the corner; at least her visions were right about one thing. "Do you know what it was like, the waiting? To know what you were walking into? To not know if you'd ever walk out? If I'd ever see you again?"

Alice wants to crawl into her arms right now, to hide there and admit that she was terrified, terrified for Edward and Bella, and then terrified for herself and Jess. But she knew that Jessamine wasn't in that place yet, was still letting out all her pain and fear, her gift still raw from waiting with the rest of the family, absorbing all of their pain on top of her own. The time will come when they wrap their arms around each other and Alice will murmur her fears into Jess's ear and Jess will do everything she can to soothe them

But that will be later. For now, it is about Jess's pain, Jess's rage.

"You swore to me you would never lie to me, and you would never leave me. Remember?" Jess snaps, pacing the room like an agitated lioness. "Remember promising me that, Alice?"

"I do, of course," Alice said softly.

"So why? Why did you do it?" Jess is suddenly towering over her. "Make me understand, Alice."

"Because they're family. Because I couldn't stand back and let Edward die for such a stupid, senseless reason when Bella was always going to be one of us - the visions never changed. But then I thought Bella… I swear, I didn't think I'd make it, I thought I'd just be there to help Charlie through it," Alice whispered.

She swallowed hard. Jess was silent, watching her carefully, a judge, jury, and executioner all in one - and Alice will accept her judgment willingly.

"There was no way you could have been there. If Edward had seen any one of us, he would have revealed himself faster, and Aro would have punished all of all. If you had been there, Jess, there was no future that showed us walking away. The only chance for survival was if it was just me and Bella - even Carlisle would have died, Jess."

"There were a million alternatives, Alice - I could have stayed in the goddamn car," Jess said in that dangerous, low voice.

"You think there was ever a chance of you sitting in a car waiting whilst I faced the Volturi? Jess, that was never even a possibility. You couldn't be there." Alice was pleading now and reached out to grab Jess's hand.

Within a second, Jess has her pressed against the wall with her legs looped around her waist, Jess's hand cradling the back of her head.

"Never again," Jess says sternly.

"Never again, I promise," Alice said breathlessly.

"Promises aren't exactly your strongest argument right now, Miss Cullen," Jess bites back, and then they are kissing, roughly - Jess's kiss is harsh and unforgiving, and Alice melts into her arms, letting her love take what she needs to heal the hurt.

She lets Jess push her down onto the bed, her mouth hard and demanding as her hands dive under Alice's clothing. For an empath, Jess has always been so incredibly physical, and it's never ever been a bad thing since she knows exactly what she's doing. Her mouth is hot as it makes its way down Alice's neck and when Alice gets her wits about her and reaches for Jess's shirt, her hands are quickly pinned on either side of her head, Jess breathing, "don't you dare move," in her ear as her shirt and bra are torn away, Jess's knee is between both of Alice's legs and if this is her penance, Alice is going to go down willingly. She's already got matching bite marks on the inside of both her thighs, overlapping from dozens of similar encounters over the years.

Jess has her stripped, except for her panties, and is staring at her with a dark but satisfied look, as her gift ripples through Alice, who arches slightly on the bed, her hips rolling against Jess's knee. She catches a glimpse of them in the mirror over the dresser, a nearly obscene tableau of Jess hovering over her fully clothed, and her splayed across the bed in only her underwear, grinding against Jess's denim-clad leg.

Jess leans forward, cradling her head so gently, pulling her gift back enough for Alice to remember coherent thought, but instead of kissing her, Jess's lips graze her ear as she whispers, firm and cold, "mine."

And Alice is willing to agree to anything because that's the moment that Jess strikes, her hand sliding into Alice's panties and everyone is going to hear everything tonight because she doesn't even need to ask to know that Jessamine feels the same - like an exposed nerve, a cornered animal. The threat has passed, but it is also coming for them, in some kind of hazy future, and if incredibly loud sex is how they're going to deal with that new knowledge, well, there are worse coping methods.

Jess lets them both leave the room when they are summoned to Bella's meeting.

"Calling family meetings now," she mutters, and Alice elbows her. Jessamine's grudge-holding is legendary - nothing Bella does between now and graduation will be immune to her judgmental commentary. Right now, though, with her legs feeling a little shaky and her own plans for her mate for the next day or two forming in her mind, Alice thinks the trait is cute.

Emmett starts to applaud when they both walk in, and for once Jess just rolls her eyes and high-fives him, whilst Alice primly takes a seat. Bella's looking at the spot just beyond Alice's left ear, her cheeks quite red, so she must have been here for at least an hour when Jess just wanted to see how loud Alice could get… Edward just looks like he's living his worse possible day, and - between their reunion, and having seen why Bella has called the meeting - Alice figured it might definitely be in the top ten.

Jess sits beside her, resting her foot on the back of Alice's chair, and Alice tries not to smirk when she feels the strands of love and lust and mischief twist their ways around her.

The vote for Bella joining the family goes just as she sees it, even ending with Edward shattering the television into three large pieces. As Bella departs and the rest of the family raise to disappear into the depths of the house, Alice leans over and rests her head against Jess's arm.

"You know I'm going to kill Edward for putting you in danger," Jess says conversationally.

"You have the right to be angry," Alice agreed, nuzzling against her arm like a feline. "But you know murder would upset Esme, and wouldn't really solve anything."

Jess scowls, and in one motion, Alice has been lifted and settled into Jess's lap. "A maiming then."

Alice giggles, though she knows that Jess has never made a hollow threat in her life. Her temper is legendary, and apparently, Edward will be facing a reckoning with Jess as well.

"Don't be mad," Alice said, looking up at her love. "Never, ever doubt that every single thing I do, I do it for you. For us. Because you are everything to me, and I want to protect you, and there's nothing that I can think of that I wouldn't do to keep you safe and happy, Jessie."

Jessamine closes her eyes and rests her chin on Alice's head. "I don't need protecting when it puts you in danger; that will never be okay with me," Jess replies.

"And I will never be okay with you risk yourself to protect me, so I am afraid we are at an impasse," Alice retorts cheerily, reminding them both of Maria's visit to Calgary in '76.

Jess rolls her eyes but nods infinitesimally so she doesn't have to move her head. She sighs, such a heavy sound and Alice aches to make this better, to erase the hurt completely. But she knows that will take time, and she's never been known for her patience.

"I love you," Alice says meekly, settling against Jess's chest.

"I never doubted that," Jess says mildly, and the future flutters and reforms, and Alice smiles, happy to sit quietly with Jess for awhile. Everything will be okay but, most importantly, Jess will be okay, and that's all Alice ever wanted.

Notes

- I really wanted Jessamine to be distinctively herself instead of just a name-swapped Jasper. Jess's temper is definitely a lot closer to the surface than Jasper's, and there's no old-school chivalry because they're both badass women.

- Yes, Edward's reckoning with Jess has been written. You should follow me on tumblr (goldeneyedgirl) to get a look at some of the stuff I write before I formally post it. ^_^

- Poor Edward's delicate Victorian sensibilities were not prepared for Jess and Alice back in 1950, and they are not prepared now either.