Disclaimer: All recognizable characters belong to people far wealthier than I - Joss Whedon, Stephenie Meyer, & Robert Joseph Levy.
They had ultimately settled on the Cullen place for Faith’s care which upset Professor Dormer. She had reluctantly agreed that Dr. Cullen would probably be better able to care for her as he knew what Faith was and what she was fighting against.
Faith’s body was fighting hard against the venom. Carlisle believed it was possible with her metabolism and accelerated healing abilities she might be able to fight the venom and pull through unchanged.
She had gone from ice cold to burning with fever. Carlisle didn’t seem worried, he said it was a good sign that her body was trying to burn out the venom. He was a little concerned about how high the fever had gotten.
Jasper put his hand on Faith’s forehead causing her to flinch. He drew back quickly, “Sorry.”
“No, it feels good actually.” She grabbed his hand and placed it on her feverish cheek.
“You are going to beat this you know,” he said as he caressed her face, sending confidence and calm to her.
Bella takes a turn sitting with Faith. She thinks Edward had allowed her to do it on purpose. From the state Faith was in Bella had begun to believe Edward about the length of time for a transformation and the excruciating pain.
Still, if it meant she could be with Edward forever she would endure it.
She remembered Faith’s words to Jasper in the jeep, ‘If it happens, I want you to kill me’.
Faith is delirious - she keeps muttering about the ‘father’ and shifting restlessly in her bed.
During the night Faith’s condition took a turn for the worse. Her temperature plummeted and again her body was ice cold and wracked with spasms.
“Jasper, I know this is hard but you have to hear it.” Carlisle looked at his adoptive son, “even with you protecting her - Faith isn’t going to live even a normal human life span… her physiology is different for one thing. Her adrenal gland and thyroid are operating overtime. They will burn themselves out most likely before she reaches twenty.”
Seeing the outrage on Jasper’s face he continued, “You have two choices, son – enjoy the little time you have with her and deal with the pain when it comes or let her go now before this can go any farther.”
Jasper knew whose feet this should be laid at. He went to seek out the source of his ire.
“This is your fault,” Jasper faced off with Edward.
Edward began to sputter a protest, but Jasper cut him off.
“If you had not left Bella in the mountains because you had something to prove…no it goes back much further. If you had not brought Bella to that clearing a year ago. Then James would never have seen her, we would not have had to kill him, and Victoria would have never had this vendetta in the first place!”
Edward could tell Jasper was working himself into a towering fury. He tried to placate him, “Jasper, Faith is just as human as Bella is. And she knew the risks of becoming involved with us - with you.”
“No, Faith is strong,” Jasper spat, “We would never have had to go through all of this trouble to protect Faith. Bella is the weak link! And you!”
Edward was helpless in the wave of his fury.
“You refused to change Bella so that she *could* protect herself. Now Faith is dying because she was protecting your love!”
“Faith is not really dying, Jasper,” Edward said softly hoping to calm his brother, “she is changing. She will be more like Alice.” He knew the instant he said it that it was exactly the wrong thing to say.
“Like Alice! Faith is nothing like Alice!” Jasper growled. “When this is over, I am done. I am leaving. If she will have me I will take Faith and you will never see us again. Good luck protecting Bella next time.” With that Jasper was gone in a vampiric flash of speed.
He perched on a boulder and cursed the capricious fate that was threatening to steal Faith’s life. He wished he could fix what was wrong with Faith. He wanted her to find some sense of normalcy in her already strange world, not a vampire. He wanted her to be happy. She deserved it for all she had helped him to heal after Alice.
Jasper sat lost in thought. She was worthy of far better than him. He was the monster that Edward feared himself to be. His scars were enough proof. He was wrong to think even for an instant that he should bind Faith to him.
What he had told Edward was wrong, when this was over he would not leave with Faith, he would leave alone.