“You can't create a monster, then whine when it stomps on a few buildings.”
Lisa Simpson, The Simpson's
"I need to make a phone call."
The announcement comes out of the blue and catches them all off guard. Suddenly they all have trouble looking at him. They were expecting this request months ago and, now that he's finally asked, none of them know how to answer it. The fact that he's asking to make a phone call fills Bella with relief on one level, but worries her on another. She knows this conversation isn't going to end well.
Carlisle is at work so it's Esme who fields the question, her face a picture of sympathy. "I'm sorry, Jack, but you can't call anyone," she tells him. "If you contact your family there is a risk that they will find out the truth about what happened to you. If they do the Volturi will not only kill you, but they will kill everyone you talk to and possibly anyone your family talk to."
Jack shakes his head. "The Volturi will become involved if I don't
make the call."
The response causes all of them to freeze and Bella's stomach to drop to her shoes.
"What do you mean?" Jasper asks.
To Bella's surprise, Jack looks to her when he speaks. "I'm the first human you've fed from, aren't I?"
"Carlisle said that you told him that you didn't feel any desire to taste my blood again after Alice and Rosalie pulled you off me. Why didn't you want my blood anymore?" he asks.
The question catches her off guard.
Bella frowns. Her memory of feeding from Jack is still so hazy and she's been so filled with guilt that she's never really thought about it. Bella never had trouble with humans before Jack. While she's tried to avoid them, she's been close enough to catch their scent, but she never has attacked one... and she's fairly certain that if she did attack one she wouldn't be able to stop. The scent of human blood is indescribable.
Not for the first time, she finds herself wondering about the details of Jack's attack. "Your blood was unappealing."
He turns to Edward. "You can't read my mind."
It's not a question, but Edward answers anyway. "No."
Next he turns to Alice. "And you couldn't see my future. You mentioned before that it's all fuzzy? "
She nods and, interestingly, neglects to mention the blurry visions. Bella's almost certain now that they're from Jack, especially now he wants to make a phone call.
"And I have trouble reading your emotions," Jasper finishes for him. "I can feel powerful emotions, but your more subtle emotions are difficult to access. Where are you going with this?"
Jack doesn't have a chance to answer, because Rose suddenly joins the conversation. "You know why their powers don't work on you as they do on others, don't you?"
Bella always thought that Edward and Alice's blind spot with Jack is his power manifesting itself, but now she's not so sure.
"Why?" Edward wants to know.
Bella is more than a little curious herself.
"I can't tell you."
"Why can't you tell us?" Esme asks gently. "Jack, I know this has been extremely difficult for you, but you must know that you can trust us. We want to do everything we can to make this easy for you. We want you to be a part of this family."
Jack smiles at Esme with a gentleness that Bella has never seen from him before. "I appreciate the offer, Esme, but my reasons for secrecy have nothing to do with my distrust of you."
"Why can't you tell us?" Edward asks.
"I guess you could say I have to follow rules similar to the ones the Volturi expect your kind... our kind to follow. I can't tell anyone because I'm not allowed. My secrets – and my existence – are classified."
Everyone in the room freezes at his words, at the implication behind them.
"Classified?" Rose repeats, confused.
"There's a reason why no one has been looking for me," Jack tells them, avoiding the question. "But it's only a matter of time before people start to get worried by my prolonged absence."
"Why haven't they come looking for you before now?"
"Because they have instructions to leave me alone. By all rights, they are supposed to let me live my life until I'm ready to either contact them or rejoin them. Sooner or later, however, someone will start to worry," he tells them. "Didn't any of you think it was a little suspicious that my disappearance didn't make the news?"
A feeling of dread washes over Bella. "What will happen if you don't make your phone call?"
He hesitates for a moment. "They'll come looking for me."
"Who's 'they'?" Jasper wants to know.
"Friends of mine." He makes a face. "Technically speaking, they're not my
friends, but because of my connection to O'Neill they'll search for me."
"O'Neill?" Jasper repeats.
Jack nods. "Colonel Jack O'Neill, United States Air Force."
The only sound that can be heard in the house is the sound of the table cracking under Rosalie's hands. ~*~*~Okay, so he wasn't exactly telling the truth when he asked to make his phone call. Jack's pretty sure SG-1 and O'Neill know he's missing by now. School started months ago, so his absence would have set off some alarms with his teenage friends. Jack has no doubt all the authorities have been alerted, but the military would have pulled any photographs and information about him from the internet to ensure no one accidentally sees a picture of a teenager who looks exactly like Colonel O'Neill did when he was a teenager. Jack's also pretty sure they would have already started searching for him, even though O'Neill did promise to leave him the hell alone. They just wouldn't have found him. Jack had been careful to cover his tracks on his trip to Canada and the vampires tracks would be impossible to trace.
He also wasn't telling the truth when he said he needs to make a phone call. He's not sure if wants to make a call or not. The fact of the matter is he's a little scared of the consequences.~*~*~
They're all still in shock when Jack disappears upstairs and it's only when Jack turns his music on that they react.
Esme immediately calls Carlisle. Alice is growling in frustration as she tries in vain to see if she can see Jack's future. Rose is furious, the dining table is now completely destroyed, and Emmett is doing everything in his power to keep her calm. Surprisingly, the only two not openly reacting to Jack's announcement are Jasper and Edward. They're simply staring at one another. Eventually the others notice.
"What is it?" Emmett asks, glancing between the two of them.
"I think Jack is keeping something from us," Jasper says.
"What do you mean?"
"When he asked to make the phone call, his emotions were... interesting. In fact, his emotions have been quite interesting for a while now."
"Interesting, how?" Rose demands.
"When he spoke about someone coming to look for him, there was pain and grief."
"He's hurt because no one has come looking for him?"
"No. I could only feel his pain when he started talking about the humans in his life having instructions to leave him alone." Jasper says. "Whatever reason they have for keeping away from him hurts him a great deal. He had some doubts as well. It seemed like he doubts anyone will come look for him or maybe find him."
"Does it really matter?" Rose asks. "Unless you are able to tell me if he was lying, it doesn't matter what he's feeling. If there's even a chance
of someone from Jack's past somehow finding us..."
"She's has a point," Emmett agrees. "If what he said about the Air Force Colonel is true, we're in deep shit."
Bella fights to urge to scream. "Could you tell if he was lying?"
Jasper shakes his head. "Not without a heart rate."
"What about his emotions? Was he nervous, scared?" She wants him to be lying. He has
to have been lying about an Air Force Colonel coming looking for him.
"He's just angry, although I don't think it's entirely directed at Bella like I originally thought. Some of the anger he's feeling is actually directed towards the people he was talking about." Jasper sighs in frustration. "Although, I admit that he still feels some serious rage towards Bella. Considering his volatile mood and his feelings for Bella, this could be a problem."
Bella's heart sinks.
"He could use his hatred towards Bella to destroy us," Rose says what Jasper doesn't.
"Do you think this is why Alice has been having those visions? Because Jack wants to contact someone?" Emmett asks.
Alice nods. "I think so. Nothing has changed since he made his announcement."
"What about our futures?" Bella asks. "Are we all still all right?"
"Yes," Alice concedes. "But I don't know the extent of interference Jack has on my visions. I've had visions since he came to us, but nothing of significance, just visions about minor decisions. I haven't had any connected to Jack, period. I'm not sure if that's because of Jack or it's because we simply haven't made any significant decisions."
Emmett swears. "If your lack of visions are because of Jack we're screwed."
"Maybe. I just don't know!" Alice says, frustrated. "I don't know if it's Jack or because we haven't decided anything to change our future. I don't even know whose decisions to look for. I tried to look for that Colonel O'Neill Jack mentioned, but all I get are more blurry visions. I think..."
"What?" Rose demands.
"I don't think Jack has made a definite decision. Even though his visions are blurry, they occur in a pattern that reminds me of someone constantly changing their mind. I think it has to do with this call. He wants to make the call but he hasn't made that final decision. He's hesitating."
"Or maybe he's not hesitating and the reason our futures haven't changed is because Jack's ability to make a call relies on us," Edward points out. "There is at least three of us with Jack at any given time. He doesn't leave the house, so unless he goes into a populated area or attempts to steal our phones, which will be difficult given that we outnumber him, he has to rely on us allowing him to contact someone. We haven't made a decision so our futures haven't changed."
That doesn't reassure Bella in the slightest. "What do we do?" What can I do?
She wants to ask. The entire family is in danger, serious danger, because she killed Jack.
No one has any answers.
Her perfect life has turned into the perfect nightmare. ~*~*~Jack knows that as soon as he makes the call whoever he calls will insist on seeing him and that's why he's hesitating. He plans to tell O'Neill to stay away until he doesn't want to eat the people he once thought of as family, but he's not sure O'Neill will listen. He sure as hell wouldn't in O'Neill's shoes. Jack knows, without a doubt, that he'll kill any human who comes near him. His bloodlust is a bit more manageable, but he doesn't think he'll be able to resist human blood right now, not if it's as good as everyone describes.
Although, the fact that he knows he'll kill someone is reason enough to call O'Neill. ~*~*~
Carlisle arrives home two hours after Jack's request. Bella, along with every other member of the family, listens as Carlisle attempts to talk to Jack. He doesn't tell Carlisle anything that he hasn't already said and Bella feels something akin to dread wash over her.
"So what do we do now?" Esme asks.
The entire family is at a loss. Without Edward and Alice's abilities to guide them, they're not sure what to do.
"You should make the decision," Edward says to Carlisle. "See if maybe that triggers Alice's visions."
Alice screams.~*~*~Jack swears as soon as he hears the scream because he just knows it has something to do with him.
He's all the Cullens ever talk about. ~*~*~
Alice's screams chill Bella to the bone. Every member of the family momentarily freezes at the sound before taking action. Emmett and Jasper race to her side. Rose and Esme are standing helplessly next to Bella as they watch Alice sob. Edward is standing with Carlisle across the room, his face a picture of horror as he watches Alice's vision in her mind. Bella sees Jack standing at the top of the stairs, watching Alice in concern.
"Alice, sweetheart." Jasper gently pulls her into his arms. "What did you see?"
Alice shakes her head.
"She's terrified," Jasper mutters to them. He runs his hand through her hair. "Edward, what did she see?"
Edward doesn't answer the question at first, his eyes still on Alice and whatever they're seeing. The sight of Edward so scared terrifies Bella more than she can say.
"A war," he says finally, causing them all to gasp.
"War?" Jack repeats.
"Another newborn army?" Bella asks, terrified.
He shakes his head. "Humans and our kind, the Volturi."
The Volturi? Her heart sinks. Instantly she knows exactly what is behind this vision. Who
is behind it.
"Wait? Humans? You mean a war between vampires and humans?" Emmett asks.
"It's hard to tell. There are humans there, some with strange weapons."
"Humans with strange weapons?" Jack moves down the stairs and stands in front of Edward. "There are humans with strange weapons fighting the Volturi?"
Edward's eyes narrow. "Yes."
"Can you describe them to me, the weapons?"
Alice looks up at the question and moves away from Jasper. "They're shaped like the letter 'z'."
"Were there many casualties? Human casualties."
Alice nods. "All of them. The Volturi are feeding from them in my vision."
Jack closes his eyes.
"You're dead as well," Alice tells him. "Almost all of us are."
Bella lets out a cry of alarm at her words. Given Jack's expression, she knows
that this vision is a result of Carlisle deciding to allow Jack to call Colonel O'Neill.
"Alice and I are the only ones left," Edward continues, still staring at Jack. His expression is no longer horrified, but thoughtful. Angry, even. His eyes blacken. "There is a man in the vision, a human, that looks remarkably like you, Jack. An older version of you, about sixty, but the resemblance was significant. From what I could tell he was killed moments before Alice's vision became clear."
Jack says nothing.
"Interestingly, a majority of Alice's vision was blurry until the very end."
"Edward, what are you saying?" Carlisle asks.
"I'm saying that I think Alice had her first vision from Jack," he tells them. "When you made the decision to allow Jack to call Colonel O'Neill it gave Alice a back door into a vision based on Jack's decision to contact his friends. But a majority of the vision was still blurry, at least it was until the man who looked like Jack died. Jack must tell Colonel O'Neill what he is and obviously Colonel O'Neill acts on that knowledge, given the number of military personnel in the vision."
"And the Volturi obviously find out," Carlisle finishes for him.
Bella gasps. She wants to tell Edward that he's misunderstanding the vision, but she can't. Bella knows all too well how Alice's visions work and if Jack had simply told Colonel O'Neill that he was alive and well, Alice wouldn't have had that vision. The fact that Alice saw this immediately after Carlisle made his choice means that his decision set off a chain of events that are certain.
"You plan to betray us?" Jasper asks as he gets to his feet. "Why?"
"Humans should know about us, or at least be aware of our existence," Jack says, not bothering to deny the accusation. He doesn't even look at all apologetic. "I was going to call O'Neill, the guy who looks like me, and tell him about our kind."
Bella can't believe what she's hearing... or maybe she can. In fact, she's not sure she would be any different in his situation. "Weren't you worried about you killing him?"
Jack shakes his head. "I was planning on telling O'Neill to wait until my year was up. He would have listened, I think."
"Why would you put him at risk?" Carlisle asks. "Surely after everything we've told you about our kind, you know that humans are no match for us. You know that telling him would only endanger him."
"Why?" Jack lets out a bark of laughter. "For crying out loud, we're creatures who need to feed off blood to survive! We're so strong and indestructible that an army of less than a hundred vampires could wipe out a human army of thousands. There are some of us who have extra powers; ones who can see everyone's thought with a touch, cause pain with a single look, hunt a person down wherever they are and that's just for starters!
"And then, of course, we have the good
vampires. Okay, sure, you guys eat animals but as far as I'm concerned, that doesn't make you – us – any less dangerous," Jack says, his eyes on Carlisle. "I mean, you Changed a seventeen year old kid because you needed a companion. You damned a seventeen year old kid to this hell because you were lonely, and then you damned three more people to make a better life for yourself! You may think that's okay but, personally, I think it's seriously fucked up. Although, not as fucked up as pretending to be a family and sending your 'kids' to a place where they are surrounded by kids, real
kids, every single damn day. You say you're peaceful vampires, but you don't think twice about endangering human children! Christ, you don't even have a problem when a century year old vampire starts dating a seventeen year old human girl. You want to know why I wanted to tell the military about your existence? That's
why! Humans need someone on their side and it sure as hell isn't you or this family."
Bella feels sick by the time Jack finishes. She's never heard someone speak with such venom. She knew Jack hated her, but she never realised that extended to all of them, Jack himself included.
"You hate us," Jasper says unnecessarily.
Jack nods. "We don't belong here. We shouldn't exist."
"You said that you were going to tell O'Neill to wait until you're no longer a newborn," Edward says. "In Alice's vision there were a lot more humans there than just O'Neill. Does this surprise you?"
"They were armed. All of them."
"We're a threat."
The meaning behind Jack's words slam into Bella and suddenly it feels as though her world is crashing down around her.
Bella wonders what she created. ~*~*~Jack's more than a little disappointed that his plan to involve O'Neill in his new living Hell turned out to be not such a good idea. He thought for sure that telling O'Neill would end this... Although, technically, it does, but not the way he wants.
"We're a threat?" Jasper repeats, taking a step towards him. "So you were going to offer us up to the military? You wanted them to kill us?"
When Jack doesn't answer Jasper blurs across the room towards him.
It surprises Jack how hard it is to keep still and not fight back. Jasper's hand is now around his neck. He knows that Jasper is going to kill him soon. The thought alone is actually enough to take the fight out of him. Not because he doesn't want to die, but because he's already dead and there are far worse things than a permanent death.
This existence being one of them.
When Jack doesn't answer Jasper shakes him again, but before Jack can even open his mouth another figure blurs across the room, slamming into Jasper and knocking them all to the ground. The impact causes Jasper to let go of Jack and when Jack looks up to see who rescued him, he sees something that, well, confuses the hell out of him.
Bella Cullen is standing directly in front of him growling at Jasper. ~*~*~
It's instinct and guilt that has Bella growling at her brother-in-law as well as pure desperation. She knows, even though no one has said, that Jasper is going to kill Jack. Bella knows how this family works and how very important they are to each other. Threats to the family aren't tolerated and the fact that one of Jack's decisions has brought about this vision means that he is a threat to this family. One that they won't hesitate to deal with.
Since this is a threat that Bella's created she can't let that happen. At least not until she's had a chance to fight for Jack, maybe even talk him around. Bella can't bear the thought of the family in danger, but she can't bear the thought of Jack being killed.
He is her consequence, her responsibility, and she can't give up on him. Not yet.
"Bella!" Edward exclaims. He's hurt or maybe confused that she's putting herself between Jasper and Jack. She wishes she knew what to say to Edward. God, she wishes she could look him in the eye.
"No," she says, though she's not sure what she's saying no to.
"No?" Jasper repeats. "Bella..."
"He doesn't understand," she says. "He doesn't know us. He doesn't know that this life isn't always bad."
As the words leave her mouth she knows they're not true and that, maybe, Jack understands all too well. Bella's certainly beginning to.
"He's only a kid, Jasper, and he doesn't understand the consequences of what we are," Bella implores him. "Give him a chance. You know that futures not going to happen now. Carlisle won't let him make the call and even if he did, I'm sure Jack won't tell them anything, not if it means the death of his friends."
"She's right, Jasper," Esme agrees.
Jasper doesn't like it. "Alice, the vision..."
"Is gone, completely," she tells him. "Our futures are normal."
Reluctantly, Jasper nods and steps away. Bella lets out an unnecessary sigh of relief. Although, truthfully, she's not sure she's done the right thing. ~*~*~"Well, that was unexpected," Jack mutters to himself.
He's back in his room now, his music playing loud. He knows the family are downstairs having yet another family discussion about what they're going to do with him.
Jack won't be calling the SGC any time soon, not after what Alice saw. The Cullens may not care about consequences, but Jack does. He still believes that vampires are a threat to humans and that they should be destroyed, but calling in the military isn't the best way handle the problem. He realises now sending humans to deal with vampires is like sending the space shuttle to take care of a Goa'uld Mothership.
He just needs to find another way.~*~*~
There's a tension in the house that's never been there before, even after Jack joined them. It's been over two months since Alice's vision and their confrontation with Jack and everything is different. Bella's not sure if they ever will recover, at least not while Jack is with them.
Jack stays away from them more than ever now. Their confrontation didn't bridge the gap between them, it just widened it. He rarely leaves his room, only to hunt, and makes no effort to talk to any of them. Bella's not sure what's going to happen or how it's going to end. Sometimes she gets the feeling Jack is only biding his time with them, that as soon as he's out of his newborn year he'll disappear.
Whatever happens she knows nothing will ever be the same.
She finally gets it now, understands why Edward fought so hard to keep her from this life and why he didn't want her to become one of them. She finally gets why he hated what he was so very much, because Bella hates what she is now.
She loves Edward with all her heart, but she wonders now if she had known the true consequences of her choice, if she would have made the same decision.~End~