Sidestory - Sometime in 2004

by Caroline Smith

Becky was at a club somewhere in 2004 and she was exceptionally drunk. When she had first left everyone in 1931 she had got herself a job as a waitress on the island in order to make herself enough money to get by, since she didn't know how long she would be gone. But after meeting her childrenor at least running into the children she could one day haveshe had just taken her money and gone to a bar. She had never gotten drunk in her life until seven days ago when she had started drinking but she was sure this was as good enough a reason as any to start.
Would knowing that they were meant to exist affect her future and stop them from ever existing? When she had left it didn't look as if Maeve was having much luck with letting herself forgive Donald ­ in a lot of ways she had probably been trying too hard; she hadn't just tried to forget the future and reach that point naturally, she had tried to force it out of fear that if she didn't then it would never happen. Would Becky be able to stop herself from doing that? She didn't have anything to forgive Toby for ­ although she couldn't accept it, she could understand Toby's desire to fix things when they went wrong ­ but she knew that things couldn't just go back to the way they were when she eventually went home.

"Hey, you want another drink?"

Becky blinked and turned to look at the tall man standing nearby and grinning at her. She was leaning, propped up against the bar, and she wasn't sure what it was that made him think she needed another one, but she was quite happy to let some more vodka drown her feelings and fears away. "Sure, if you're offering."

The man laughed. "What guy wouldn't be? I'm James, by the way."


James ordered drinks for them both and then turned to look at Becky. "You here on your own?"

"Yepworking on getting rid of my last pay packet."

"Well this's a pretty damn good way to do it," James laughed again.

She missed Toby. Damn, she missed him. There had been one stage, when she'd only had a few drinks and it was just starting to hit her, that she just wanted to go home and curl up in his arms and hope it would all just go away. She had even half started to teleport away. Of course then she remembered about their children ­ the son who could make himself just as transparently ghost-like as she used to become; the daughter who was half-tortured by all the changes in the world that she and Toby had implemented ­ and all she had wanted was another drink.

"So've you got a boyfriend then?" James asked as she took a sip of her vodka and coke.

"Sort of," she murmured. "I kinda left him."

"What happened?"

Becky shrugged. "I just needed some time away."

She wished she could talk to Libby now, like she had used to when they had lived together. She wished they still lived at the Freak Show and she could go there and talk to Libby about it all and somehow feel better about it. She might be older than all her friends but in so many ways she felt like just a child, desperate for someone to tell her it was all going to be okay. But she had never had anything like that even when she had been a child ­ Dominick and Fiona might have loved her but neither could ever promise a happy endingand of course a part of her still sometimes had trouble accepting that it had really been her who they had cared for in the labs and not another part of her called Rebecca.
Her...childrenhad said they knew Fiona but they couldn't have meant the same person because if she really had been the Rebecca in the labs then the last thing she had ever said to Fiona was that it would be better for them all if she didn't exist ­ because all she did was get upset and betray how close they were. Becky had perfected the art of freezing Dominick and Fiona out in order to protect them from any of the doctors who felt the need to use people as collateral to get you to do what you wanted. If they thought you didn't care about anyone, and you did what they asked, then no one would suffer over you. It was better that way.
She had cared about Dominick and Fiona just as much as she cared about Libby and Dan ­ they were family. But she had lost count of the number of times she had watched them suffer when they had come into the common room barely able to walk, and all she could see was the hurt that they couldn't hide ­ the hurt that she could so perfectly look their way as if they meant nothing to her. Of course both of them had understood, both of them knew she cared about them ­ but that didn't make it any easier to remember those moments.
Before she knew it, she had had three more drinks with James and now they were both having a bit of trouble with voicing their thoughts.

"So d'you livelive near here?" James asked, grinning at her.

"Nope, miles away. Years away," Becky replied, spontaneously laughing.

"You got somewhere t'stay t'night?" James asked.

"Nah, b'I'll find somewhere."

"You could stay with me," James replied, moving closer to her.

Becky just laughed and then said, "I love this song, come on, let's dance."

She grabbed his hand and pulled him up to the dancefloor, drunk enough to just let the pounding rock music vibrate through her body and to forget everything but the swirling lights and the crowd of bodies pressing against her own. It wasn't any real kind of comfort to the loneliness she felt, but then she had been trying to block out loneliness for such a large chunk of her life ­ the loneliness of not being able to voice her feelings to her first real family; the loneliness of having no-one to turn to; and now the loneliness of knowing that she couldn't go back to the people she loved because of a decision she herself had made. Now she didn't really care. Anything would do. So long as it made her forget for a while.

She found that when James moved behind her and put his hands on her hips, pressing against her so that they could dance together, that it was so much easier just to go along with it than to move away. She leaned her head back on his chest, closing her eyes, and just let him move her body to the music. It seemed like the only thing that really existed in her world was this moment ­ it was all that her brain wanted to have to deal with and she didn't try to fight it. She had spent so long trying so hard to find some sort of solution to hers and Toby's different views on her time travelling and she had found nothing. She knew talking to him wouldn't help because all they had ever done was end up arguing. Maybe she should have asked Alana how her parents took her visions ­ maybe she would have had the answer. Maybe she would have been able to tell her whether it all really did balance out in the end ­ every person dealt the same level of good and bad things no matter what you did. But maybe she wouldn't.

"I need another drink," Becky declared, pulling away from James and heading for the bar.

They had an offer on shots of Aftershock and she promptly downed five of them, James laughing and following suit. She paused for a moment to wonder exactly how many units of alcohol she had had, before shrugging the thought away and letting James lead her back to the music.
She didn't exactly know how it happened because after a while all of her thoughts just blurred themselves away, but the next thing she remembered the club was closing and she was stumbling out of the doorway, hanging onto James in an attempt to stay upright. He wasn't that much better himself, since he had been matching her drink for drink and they probably looked like a right pair of drunken, giggling idiots.

"Did you see that guy'n the leathers?" James laughed as they weaved away from the club. "What a dickhead!"

"W's the thick geeky glasses kinda ruined the look," Becky giggled.

"Wanna c'me back t'mine? I got booze."

Becky laughed at the trouble the poor guy seemed to be having with the word 'booze' and then, narrowly avoiding a lamppost by making them both stumble onto the empty road, said, "Sure, why not?"

But they didn't get anywhere near as far as the alcohol, because as soon as James had closed the front door to his flat, he turned and pressed her against the wall, kissing her and moving a hand down to her thigh to pull her closer. At that point, all she could remember thinking was that she was sure it must be the Aftershock that was preventing her from being able to move away. She couldn't seem to move at all, except when James moved her body for her. Without even knowing what was moving her legs, because she was sure that her brain wasn't capable of doing it for her, James moved her to his bedroom, all the while still kissing her and touching her.
She collapsed on the bed and for a moment just lay there, staring blankly at the ceiling. And then James moved on top of her and she found herself looking right into his eyes. It was like the moment froze and all she could see was his face ­ it wasn't the face that she wanted to see and they weren't the eyes that she wanted to look into. But then his head moved away. She could feel his hands push her top up towards her breasts and his lips pressed down on her navel.
And suddenly she just felt ill. She just wanted to get away. It was all wrong. She shouldn't be there. She shouldn't be letting this guy do this to her. She just wanted to go home and be with Toby. Before she knew it she had started to cry, the tears slipping past her eyes as painful reminders of how stupid she was being.

"Get off me! Get off!"

She rolled away from James and fell to her knees on the floor.

"God, what the hell am I doing to myself?" she sobbed.

She tried to teleport but even that she couldn't seem to manage at first. She flickered out but didn't move anywhere at all.

"What's your problem?" James asked. "I thought you wanted this?"

But that just made her cry even more. She didn't even know where she wanted to teleport to but she knew she had to get away and she finally managed it.

On to Tuesday, August 17, 2004 (AIM)

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