Thanks for the welcome back! It's so exciting to be back in Roswell land, even if this is an AU and all
In case anyone missed it, I posted a new chapter starting on page 11
September 2nd, 2011 – Day 1784 and counting
Being awake can be so
Max's brain was overwhelmed. He had no idea where he was, why he was there, or what was he supposed to do now. At the back of his mind, he had the terrible feeling that he'd done something monumentally wrong, but as he walked through unfamiliar halls and descended to an unknown basement, he couldn't master his ability to walk straight, let alone remember what he'd been doing five minutes ago.
His stomach cramped. His heartbeat was in his ears, and his head felt as if it were three times larger and ten times lighter.
What the hell is happening to me?
Blindly, he followed whoever was guiding him, and for moments he realized it was Parker, and then he would get confused and thought he was somewhere at the base. He blinked several times, the world spinning too fast.
"Here Max… Sit down, okay?"
He sat down somewhere and the next thing he knew was that he was on his back, though he had no idea how.
Was this Parker's apartment?
Light shone in his eyes, startling him. He shut them, white little spots following him into the darkness.
He opened his eyes and found Frank staring down at him. The disorientation threw him off, and nausea rose in his throat.
"Max? Max, are you okay?" Parker asked, adding to the confusion. What the
hell is going on?
"How did you know where to find us?" an older woman asked. An older woman who wasn't Maggs.
Wait, didn't Maggs said something about meeting her outside?
The memory was blurry, but the need to find her became so great, he actually managed to sit up—and then fell back to bed. He was so cold he started trembling, alternative looking at Parker and Frank, as if they were in some sort of revolving door, each one taking turns.
"When did he start with withdrawals?"
"About four hours ago? I—I'm not sure. They drugged him with something, and he escaped. I found him hiding in the woods, disoriented."
"What are we dealing with here, then? Multiple drugs and withdrawal symptoms?"
He turned on his side and retched, halting all conversation around him. Shutting his eyes tight, he heard Frank's voice, "What happened with Summers?"
was he? At the base, with Frank and Maggs and Summers? Or was he with Parker, at her apartment or her lab or somewhere?
"I don't really—really know," he heard his voice answering, but it wasn't him. He was trying so hard to not throw up he was certain
his mouth was shut.
Seconds went by, reality playing too many tricks on him.
"What's happening to me?" he whispered, something cold refreshing his neck.
"You're running a fever," Parker answered. "You missed your dose, and we're trying to come up with something. It—it might take a while. Just hold on, okay, Max? You're not
going to die."
That explained why he felt so sick, but it didn't explain Frank.
"Is Frank here?" he managed to ask, refusing to take the glass of water Parker was offering.
"No. No, we're at John's house. He changed places—Max?"
Parker's voice vanished, and he was back at Frank's lab, concerned eyes and a grave face letting him know something was wrong.
"Summers's dead, Max. And you're the only one who can tell us why."
Joy and dread collided in Max's heart. He'd killed dozens of people by this point, but he'd never killed someone he'd known—worse, he didn't even remember doing it. And although he would never miss that bastard, death was hardly the right punishment. He'd wanted Summers out of his life, but never like this.
He asked this other Max, and he got a flashback, of Summers holding a needle—and threatening to get all his secrets out.
"Parker!" he yelled, his heart accelerating at the prospect of someone finding out about his plan, his doctor, his friends. "Parker! Parker! PARKER
"I'm right here! Max! Max! Come on! I'm right here!"
She held his face, willing him to look at her and nothing else. "I'm here, I'm not going anywhere. Do you understand, Max?"
"I see—I see Frank," he told her, confused at his dual realities.
"Shh… You need to rest."
He shook his head, haunted by the idea of Parker being taken away. "Summers wanted you. He didn't know about you but he was going to find out. Frank—he wants to know, too, even if he doesn't know."
"You're not making sense. Here, take a sip, we need to get some fluids into you."
"I don't want to answer him, Parker. He wants to know what happened… Is he here? I see him."
"You mean—you mean you literally see him?"
He nodded, apprehensively, holding his stomach as another wave of nausea hit him. "He's telling me Summers's dead, and I'm the only one who knows what happened…"
"De—dead?" she whispered back, clearly as confused as he felt.
"Parker? Who's real?"
"What else do you see?" she asked instead. Max shook his head, he didn't want to keep jumping between here and there. What if there
was reality and this was a dream?
"What's going on?" the older woman's voice was back. NotMaggs sounded as practical and straightforward as the RealMaggs, though.
"I think he's remembering what happened to him when he was drugged yesterday."
"You said John sent you here, but where is he? I keep calling his cell phone, but he's not answering."
"I—I’m so sorry to have to tell you this, but—" Parker's voice was full of worry, and through the touch of her hands, Max saw himself telling her to go to his house. No. Not me. John told her to come here.
John, who'd told Parker he was going to take his place. It clicked then, somehow, somewhere in his brain, and Frank finally made sense: He was looking through John's eyes.
"He's at the base," he told Parker, who was looking at someone else.
"He's where?" NotMaggs asked, her voice too high for Max's liking.
"Max, are you seeing John? Do you know if he's safe?" Parker asked, nodding slightly as if encouraging him to say yes.
"I don't know… What if you're not real and Frank is? What am I supposed to answer? I don't remember Summers. I don't remember—I don't want to be there."
Honestly speaking, he didn't want to feel like crap, either, but he would go wherever Parker went.
"Don't tell me he found a way back." NotMaggs was angry, that much was clear. "Where's John? What did you do to him?"
"He changed places with Max," Parker answered, standing up and going away. He wanted to follow, he wanted to get up and make sure they were safe. He wanted so many goddamned things it wasn't even funny.
"He called me here," John said, dragging Max back to Frank's lab. "He—he told me he was going to give me my fix…" John said, trailing off just enough for Max to shudder. That was true, he remembered Summers's eyes, hungry for answers, eager for Max to fall prey of the truth serum.
"He attacked me, Frank. He wanted something, I don't know what, and he said—he said
he was going to give me my dose."
"But he didn't," Frank finished, patting him on the shoulder. "Summers played with fire and got thoroughly burned to a crisp. There's going to be an investigation, kid. A lot of people will be questioning you, the project, this entire fiasco. We need you to remember what happened as best as you can, do you understand, Max?"
. Frank hadn't called him that in ten years, if not more.
"Take me to Summers's lab," John requested. "Maybe that will clear my memory."
Max recoiled at the idea, and thankfully, got out of there and came back to Parker's hideout. No, wait… John's house.
It was hard to keep facts straight.
"Parker?" he whispered.
No one answered. Maybe he'd been in more than two realities? He shivered and hugged himself. Fragments of ideas danced in front of his eyes: John with Frank. Parker with John's wife.
Summers's surprised eyes as Max threw him against the wall.
He'd wanted Max's secrets, and he would have stopped at nothing to find Parker. Fear cursed through Max's veins once more. He was nothing but poison to Parker's life. He and his addiction and—
I'm an addict
, his words echoed in his mind, the clearest of all the fragments that taunted him. I'll do anything—anything, to get my dose.
He saw—he felt
—everything he'd done to Parker at that motel: how he threatened so she would call the base and get him back. He hadn't been drugged then, he'd been craving
his drug, craving it beyond Parker's friendship—craving it beyond Parker's life.
What have I done?
"Parker?" he whispered again, afraid that she'd left. But why wouldn't she?
"Parker?" It didn't matter, he kept repeating her name, making it his mantra. If he was going to die, he wanted to at least have a friend in his mind.