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Jasper's Calling

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It starts with Alice. She's been looking into her past and is sitting on the floor, surrounded by papers and books. He can practically see her sadness rolling off her like haar on the shore, can practically feel the cold mist seep into his bones.

He sees a paper dated from 1901. 'Mary Alice Brandon' is written in a box at the top, it's a birth certificate. He sees another dated from 1919. A death certificate. Another has the exact same date, it's a patient file.

It's for a mental asylum.

His eyes dart through the details. Her age, family, place of birth, her condition, who admitted her, her treatment. Her treatment.

Electroshock therapy.

A mix of rage and sheer disbelief fills him.

How could someone do this to Alice? His dear sweet, ball of sunshine, Alice?

She still hasn't said a word, just reading the book in her hands. He breaks his usual stoic stance and bends down, wrapping his arms around his wife. He can feel the cold mist warm a little, as she leans into his embrace.

He helps her look into her past, and ends up branching into general mental health. The evolution of the study of mental health and wellbeing. He keeps reading and reading and reading. 

It gets to the point where he has read all he can and he decides he wants to pursue this even further. He decides to study psychology and psychiatry, next time they go to college.

It's 2012 and the Cullens are in high school again. This time, Jasper is being overwhelmed with how much anxiety and depression there is amongst the students. He hasn't gone to college since his decision to study psychology and psychiatry, but he has far more knowledge than he did before. His time spent researching has given him more insight to his gift.

Anger looks like radiating heat, the air shimmering like the horizon across a desert. 

Happiness makes the person look brighter, like someone flicked a light switch.

Sadness is a bit like the fog that surrounded Alice, but not quite as intense. It's more like mist on a cold December evening. What he saw with Alice felt more like grief.

Panic attacks look like erratic spikes. Like broken glass on a speaker. But with no rhyme or reason, it looks and feels nothing like music.

Anxiety looks like charged air. Like electricity is about to arc through.

Depression is like a dark cloud, it hangs above the person's head like rain is about to pour. He's seen that same cloud over Edward for years, he recognises it in Bella too.

When someone is suffering from both, it looks and feels like a brewing thunderstorm.

He doesn't envy them.

The teenagers that surround them in the high school are amidst a mental health crisis. Suicide rates are higher than they've ever been, and there are more and more teenagers being diagnosed with mental illnesses. Partly to do with the ever mounting pressure placed on these kids, but also partly due to better recognition of mental health problems. 

One September night, Carlisle comes home and he looks more tired than anyone had ever seen him.

She was 15.

The marks on her arms were like broken ladders and she had chosen the highest place she could find. A cliff.

Esme and Bella left the room.

Jasper decided enough is enough.

He makes a plan and sets it into motion.

He starts at home.

He walks Edward through his depression and self-hatred. It takes a long time because Edward is still as stubborn as a mule and Jasper earns a glare for essentially calling him an ass. But eventually, Edward eases out of thinking himself as a monster, of believing that his soul is damned ("because god damn it, Edward. It's been over a century and you still believe in this same shit"). Occasionally, those old thoughts and feelings come back but the cloud is blown away by the wind soon enough.

Rosalie, as much as she hates the comparison, is just as stubborn. Her problems are less routed in religion but more in her perfectionism and turmoil with unattainable goals. He helps her come to terms with the idea that there is more to life than having children, that the gender roles and ideals of her time period are not the be all, end all. Reminds her that she is a mechanic with degrees in electrical engineering, astrophysics, and business. That she has defied the expectations that were on her and that she thrives in that. From then on, when she walks with her head held high, it feels like less of an act and more like her own truth. 

Esme never quite got closure on her human life. She has long outlived her abusive ex-husband but the trauma is still very alive. The events leading up to her own cliff edge still hover with her, ever so faintly, and Jasper sees it. After many nights of talking and a small trip to Ohio and Oregon, Esme gets the peace she never knew she needed. 

Bella's problems were always very apparent, and they were never going to be fixed by falling in love with Edward or by becoming a vampire. She lacks self-confidence and she her self-worth is so small it could fit on a pin. They start by talking about Renée, how she had been doing things to appease her mother. That her mother had been too young to be a parent and that it resulted in Bella raising herself most of the time. They discuss her life before Forks, like who she left behind, if anyone, what she misses, how she felt going from a big city to a small town. Eventually, Bella starts to see herself a bit more like how she sees the rest of the family. She sees herself more confident, standing a little taller, speaking a little louder, and making sure her opinions are considered. She feels stronger, and it has nothing to do with being a vampire. 

It's 2018 and he's graduated with a degree in a field he never thought he'd go into.

He opens a mental health clinic, and he caters his therapy to each individual.

He makes it free for everyone, and everyone is welcome. He even sets up a little cafe so that people can wind down with a tea or coffee. Esme bakes cakes and biscuits for the clients every day.

When they move from town to town, he opens another clinic and employs other therapists to work for him, he can't be everywhere at once, after all. He doesn't want to blow their cover either, so he quietly manages everything from the background like he's always done and sets a legacy in motion. No one truly knows who runs it, but all the paperwork is in order and there is nothing bad that anyone can dig up, so people keep going and getting the help they sorely need. 

Word even spreads to the supernatural. They travel to find Jasper, in the hopes of getting some peace after so long. Some have troubles from a couple of years back, others have centuries of pain to work through. He treats them all the same and only asks that they spare a little for the people who work for him, since donations also help keep the clinics running.

Several years have passed and Jasper steps back to look at what he has built and how he has grown, himself. 

His control is much better, he hasn't slipped up since that one incident with Bella. He still stands straight, with his hands clasped behind his back. Some habits are hard to kick, though he suspects he did it even before he became a soldier. But now, his edges seem softer, and his eyes are kinder, like he has made peace with his own demons.

He feels like he is really and truly part of the family, instead of a liability that they need to keep an eye on. 

Now, he stands shoulder to shoulder with Carlisle, both with standing up to help humankind, physically and mentally.

Now, he truly feels like he is Carlisle's son.