September 22, 2010
Have I mentioned how much I hate having my plans ruined?
Okay, so it wasn’t such a big deal, but still. I was in the middle of a really, really, really great idea for Nessie’s birthday party, and it was so much fun to watch that I was smiling like a total lunatic when Edward poked his head into my room.
“Carlisle’s waiting, Alice,” he told me mysteriously. “You know he has to be at the hospital later, so let’s get to work.”
I just stared blankly at him. What are you talking about? I asked in my head, trying to shake off thoughts of the party so I could deal with whatever super-fun (not!) plans Edward and Carlisle had made.
“You don’t know?” my brother asked in astonishment. Then he allowed himself a quick, smug smile before explaining. “Carlisle and I have been discussing your … er, handicap, regarding the wolves. We’ve come up with some rather interesting theories -” Around this point in his lecture I saw what he and Carlisle had in mind for me. I heaved a resigned sigh and glanced down at my party-planning notes longingly. But, since I knew there was no getting out of this one, I very reluctantly got up and followed Edward, who was still blathering on about the scientific progress we were going to make today. Even if it was a good idea, I still allowed myself to drag my feet like a petulant child all the way to Carlisle’s office. (Didn’t slow us down anyway.)
So what they had been planning while I was planning way more interesting things was some more training. Only this time, the training was for me instead of Bella.
Chattering excitedly about how Zafrina had helped Bella improve her natural powers, Edward gestured to a leather wingback chair and sat down in the matching one in front of Carlisle’s massive desk. I sniffed and stuck my nose in the air, ignoring the chair in lieu of the floor – I much prefer sitting cross-legged anyway, and I was really not thrilled to be playing along with the boys’ theories instead of working on much more important things. Like the party, only two and a half weeks away; there was still so much to do. And of course, Renee would be here soon, so we should really be working with Bella, not me.
I looked up, still frowning, to see Edward smiling patiently at me. “Alice, Renee’s visit is the reason we’re working on this now instead of some other time,” he informed me in his musical, yet still bossy, voice. He snickered as that little thought hit his mind, but refrained from any comebacks he might have in mind, as Carlisle had begun speaking.
“Yes, our hope is that, with careful practice, you may be able to see future events even when the wolves will be involved,” he began, frowning in concentration as he shot a glance at his beloved records. He had cataloged everything about our kind since the very beginning of his existence, and was probably overjoyed at the thought of a new breakthrough. As he continued to explain the probability and logic of the experiment, I bit my tongue (not literally, but you know) to hold back my own thoughts, and hoped Edward wouldn’t get annoyed enough to share them either. Wasn’t the mere existence of vampires illogical in the first place? Not to mention shape-shifters, for heaven’s sake. It’s all supernatural stuff, magic – so why should there be any rhyme or reason to any of it?
Still, overcoming my “blind spot” with the wolves would be a huge help. It still frustrates me so much to be held back in that way, so I would cooperate with this day of scientific fun, and I would genuinely try to see if it would work. And I would try not to be annoyed that I didn’t know if it would work or not because of the direct involvement of the wolves.
Because, of course, Seth had come into the room to assist in our work. Carlisle and Edward hadn’t really explained their idea to anyone, just asked Jacob if he could spare a wolf for a few hours, so Carlisle now turned his attention to Seth and repeated much of what he’d just told me.
“… and since Alice can now see Renesmee with perfect clarity in her visions, we believe that there is a chance she may be able to see the wolves as well, with enough practice.” Seth bobbed his head as Carlisle explained the premise of the theory.
“But, uh …” Seth hesitated, glancing between me, Edward, and Carlisle, clearly unwilling to burst their mad scientist bubble. “Well, isn’t that just because Ness is half-human and half-vampire, both things Alice has been and is now? I mean, sure, I’m human too, but Alice has never been a shape-shifter like us, and -”
My brother cut in smoothly, which was just as well, since Seth’s many grammatical errors were hard for the infinitely better-educated of us to politely overlook. He’s just a kid, he can’t help it, but still … “It’s a possibility we are prepared for,” Edward admitted, a slight crease forming between his brows as he turned to look at me. That made three of them, all staring holes into my head as if they could just will my mind into cooperation. Edward brightened slightly as he continued, “Still, Alice is not a half-breed, and never has been. That means she had to overcome the difference between herself and Rensemee in order to see her in the future, so there is every reason to at least attempt this.” Carlisle, Edward and Seth all nodded in unison at the end of that sentence, and the effect was so compelling that I almost nodded too. Catching myself just in time, I decided that actually working on this couldn’t possibly be more boring than just talking about it all day.
“Well, let’s get started,” I sighed, ready for the massive headaches that were sure to come.
Carlisle straightened in his chair and produced one of his record books, turning it to show us a chart as he began, “There are several different approaches we intend to take here. We know that the wolves’ presence affects Alice’s ability, since Jacob’s proximity eased her … ah … mental obstacles during Bella’s pregnancy. We also know that a wolf’s involvement in a future event causes it to blur and, ultimately, become lost to Alice. Let’s begin by testing Alice’s ability to predict Edward’s actions with Seth standing next to her …”
The afternoon wore on slowly, as my brother and adopted father seemed to have anticipated every little variation of my ability (or lack thereof) to see the wolves in my visions. I struggled constantly with my patience, reminding myself that Galileo, da Vinci, and Newton had had their fair share of difficulties too, but where would we be without their work? If they hadn’t allowed anyone to stand in the way of science, I shouldn’t either. In the midst of my noble thoughts, I caught Edward biting back a grin.
Under his breath, he breathed, “So now you’re a scientific genius?” just low enough that Carlisle and Seth wouldn’t hear.
Actually, I was empathizing more with their poor guinea pigs, I shot back, earning another twitch of his lips as he attempted to suppress laughter.
I saw that Jasper and Emmett would be returning from their hunt in twenty-two minutes, and breathed a silent sigh of relief. In fact, Jasper would probably be thrilled with our research! He definitely considers my inability to see the werewolves’ future actions as a tactical disadvantage, though by now we shouldn’t have to worry about that. Still, at least with him here -
“Carlisle!” Edward barked suddenly, startling Seth and I completely. “Write this down: Alice just saw Jasper and Emmett’s return, even though -”
“ – Seth is standing right next to her, yes, excellent,” Carlisle murmured, scribbling away frantically. I took advantage of his preoccupation to roll my eyes while he wasn’t looking. I mean, it’s practically impossible to offend him, the way he regards all of us – he gives us way too much credit. Still, I think I’d rather slaughter an entire church full of saints than hurt my father’s feelings.
At least with Jazz here, my boredom and annoyance could be felt without offending Carlisle. And his presence would make this whole project at least marginally less boring and annoying. I snuck a glance at the clock behind the desk, though I knew exactly how many more minutes and seconds would elapse before Jazz arrived. Maybe when Carlisle had to leave for work, I could draw some sketches of my party plans for Jasper; he’ll definitely get a kick out of the plan I dreamed up earlier -
The sight of Edward’s fingers snapping in front of my face brought my attention back to the project at hand, and I snapped my teeth at his hand in warning. I know you did not just snap your fingers at me, dear brother, I thought fiercely, narrowing my eyes. He laughed out loud – boy, science sure does improve his mood! – and returned to his seat.
“Just try to focus on the future, Alice,” Carlisle reminded me gently and ever-patiently. (See what I mean?) “In fact, why don’t you think of that party you’re planning for Renesmee? I assume the wolves will be in attendance -”
“HA!!!” I exclaimed, jumping to my feet. I heard, rather than saw, Seth jump in surprise, as I was already halfway to my room. Grabbing my party notes, I raced back to the office. With a huge smile of delight, I settled back down on the floor and prepared to work on our awesome experiment. “OK, Galileo, da Vinci, Igor, let’s get to it!”
“What? How come I’m Igor and not some hotshot scientist?” Seth whined indignantly. I ignored our lab assistant and closed my eyes, returning to the fantastic idea I had been working on earlier. This was a major improvement. Now all I needed was Jazz by my side, and I would never want to quit!