Sidestory - Saturday, May 28, 1932

by Caroline

Becky was sitting by a stream in the forest, her eyes closed and her back against a tree. She had woken from a nightmare just past midnight and hadn't been able to sleep after that. The images of Toby and Lu together had just kept swimming around at the back of her head ­ like they were taunting her. She had dreamt that everything had worked out, their kids were born and everything was okay. But then they had died and been reborn...and this time Toby met Lu first and he was happy with her. Or something like that anyway. She sighed. Was Lu being dead supposed to make it better? At least now she knew that Toby had had feelings for the woman before all the bad stuff happened ­ in some ways it alleviated the painful thought that she hadn't been good enough for him to wait for. But in other ways, it just hurt ­ it hurt that the man she loved had cared about someone else like that. She hadn't expected it to hurt so much.
She was interrupted from her reverie by the sound of voices nearby.

"Look, mate ­ I know you got some problems but that ain't part of what I do."

Another man sighed. "Know anyone who does?"


"You shouldn't be so high 'n' mighty, Jack ­ you ain't any better than us. Everyone's got a weakness. One day you'll have a problem you'll need gettin' rid of 'n' all."

"Maybe ­ but it ain't today and it sure as hell won't be tomorrow either. I ain't getting involved."

"Yeah, alright ­ I get yer point ­ see you round."

Becky heard one of them moving away and she teleported to stand right in front of Jack. His eyes widened in shock and then he suddenly cursed. "Becky, what in the hell are you doin' here?"

"Nothing that would upset Libby, anyway," Becky replied pointedly.

Jack shook his head, looking tired. "That wasn't nothing. The guy's just a bit desperate to get someone off his back, is all. But the guy won't be so easily knocked out the game as he reckons."

Becky suddenly looked worried. "You're not doing anything that could put Libby in danger, are you? Or that could upset her?"

For a moment, Jack didn't answer, suddenly thinking about Libby and how she must feel about the whole smuggling thing. He wasn't really much of a man for words so he could never really explain why he was so drawn to smuggling or how he felt about Libby. He hoped she knew from his actions ­ he had spent bloody ages trying to find the kind of ring she wanted. Then he finally said, "Don't worry. I don't want Libby hurt anymore than you do."

"Well you'd better not let her be," Becky said softly. "None of us would let you get away with it."

"I'm sure you wouldn't," Jack replied. "So what're you doing out here so late?"

Becky shrugged. "Couldn't sleep. But I didn't want to go too far away from home."

"Don't tell me ­ it's cos of that wife of Toby's dyin', ain't it?"

"You know about that?"

Jack smiled weakly. "I hear most things eventually. People tend to talk about things after a few drinks."

Becky turned to look away in the direction of Lu's home town. "Toby went to see her grave. I don't know if things'll ever be the same between us."

"Well I reckon you can't really blame him, whatever Libby says. You did leave after all. When I got myself arrested, my girlfriend found someone else. When you're not around, sometimes you do get left behind."

"Yeah, but if you didn't have Libby and your girlfriend turned up tomorrow ­ would you go back to her?"

"Glory ain't the type to go back to the past. I knew she wouldn't ever come back t'me so I wasn't exactly gonna sit there hopin' she would."

"I wish it was that easy for me," Becky sighed.

"Well, d'you still love 'im?"

"Of course, I do," Becky murmured. "But every time I'm with him, I think of her. I don't think even her death's gonna change that."

"I know it ain't worth muchbut I reckon if you both still love each other, it's worth at least tryin'. Mibbe if y'started spendin' time with 'im again you'll stop thinking about her."

Becky sighed. "Maeve went through that with Donald. She only made herself feel worse and gave him all this false hope that it might work out. It's stupid and pointless."

Jack rolled his eyes. "Well I don't know then. I just think the two of ye looked a lot less like yer faces were trippin' you when you were together."

"Nothing's changed," Becky murmured. "I left to try and sort things in my head and I came back cos I missed him, but really nothing's changed. We'll just end up with the same problems as before."

"Or ye might work 'em out after going through all this crap," Jack shrugged. "Look, it ain't my job t'fix your problems anymore'n his. I've got a bed to get back to."

"Yeah, sure," Becky nodded. "That's okay. I wasn't really expecting a nice easy answer."

"D'they exist?" Jack chuckled as he turned to go.

"Jack?" Becky asked hesitantly.

"Yeah?" he turned to look at her.

"Are you happy with Libby? Like really happy? Like everything's great and we're gonna grow old together kind of happy?"

Jack paused, a slight rather loving smile on his face. "YeahI guess I am."

"Well, at least one of us freaks from Coney Island'll get to be happy then," Becky smiled. "Libby wasn't always in the past ­ it's good to see her like this now."

"I ain't done much really," Jack said with a weak smile. "But 's good you think I've helped."

"Shame you can't help all of us, eh?"

She teleported away and Jack stood watching the place where she'd been standing for a moment. The smile faded from his face and for a moment he looked far more serious than any of the law-abiding residents of Marquis had ever seen. Despite what Libby had told him when she explained about Becky's past, he still saw her as just a kid. And one who shouldn't have such heavy things to deal with. Not that Toby was much better but Becky, when she'd first brought up Toby, had inspired in him all those old protective feelings for his sisters with the miserable expression on her face. He knew there wasn't really anything he could do for her but it didn't stop him from wishing that there was, that there was some bad guy who could be stopped ­ just like there had been with his family.
In the end, he just sighed and turned away to head back home.
Becky watched him go from behind a nearby tree and sighed herself. She was tired of it all. Tired of feeling so sad and in so much pain. Maybe it would be better if she tried spending time with Toby but she didn't know if she could cope with that, especially since she knew Toby must be hoping that with Lu gone, they could try to start again.
Jack always made everything so simple. She didn't know how he managed it. In the end, she just went back to sitting by the stream, meditating, until the early morning.

On to Saturday, June 11, 1932

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