|Time and Time Again
Author: ajfankeith PM
An Emmerdale story...with a 'nod' towards another long-running TV show!Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Sci-Fi - Aaron L. & Jackson W. - Chapters: 3 - Words: 6,253 - Reviews: 19 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 07-02-12 - Published: 06-28-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8263931
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Time and Time Again – Chapter 3
DISCLAIMER: I am not connected to Emmerdale and its characters, which belong to ITV
Jackson was still sitting at the kitchen table, staring at the mobile phone, when Aaron arrived home.
"You OK?" asked Aaron, seeing that his boyfriend looked anxious.
"Is this some kind of sick joke?" Jackson asked, showing Aaron the picture on the phone.
"That's it! I never thought of that!" Aaron shrieked.
"What are you talking about?"
"The proof I needed! God! Why didn't I think of it before! The Whitby trip! I've got some pictures on there, taken in May, 2011...have you seen the skydiving ones?"
"That's me?" Jackson looked astonished; there was no way of telling the identity of the skydiver in the 'long shots'.
"Well, you and a trained skydiver; you couldn't do it on your own, being a paraplegic; we had to get the go ahead to do it; for medical purposes."
Jackson sat in stunned silence; he was still having trouble taking it all in! He half-believed that Aaron had planted 'doctored' pictures on his phone! "You didn't leave your phone here on purpose; just so I'd find these pictures, did you?"
Aaron reached out and took Jackson's hands in his own, "No, Jackson! I swear! I wouldn't do that to you! I honestly forgot that those pictures were on it; I wish I'd thought of it before; when I was trying to find proof of what I was saying! We went on a trip to Whitby in May, 2011. I arranged that skydive as I was trying to convince you that life was still worth living...you were at such a low ebb."
"But, this is impossible!" Jackson was shaking his head, "How can I see myself in the future? The whole thing's mad!"
"Now you can see why I'm having trouble believing it myself!" Aaron continued to grip Jackson's hands, "I know I lived through it all; yet it still seems like a dream!"
"OK!" Jackson suddenly pulled himself together, "If your story is true...and I'm saying a big IF...when did you meet this weird old man in his time machine?"
"November, 2011. It was five months after you..." Aaron could not form his next words.
"After I died?" Jackson had the details of Aaron's story lodged firmly in his mind.
"Yeah!" Aaron said in hushed tones, "After the day my world ended."
"But," Jackson was trying to rationalise the situation, "If I'm in a wheelchair in May 2011 and then I met my end in June, surely that's still going to happen? You can't change history!"
"But I have already!" Aaron looked into Jackson's eyes, "I've stopped you from crashing your van...you're OK now!"
"But, I may have escaped that disaster...but, surely, I am still due to meet my end..."
Aaron butted in, "Don't talk like that, Jackson! I've saved you!"
"I don't know, Aaron! Anyway, here's another thought...if you have 'come back' in time, why aren't there two of you? One who was here in the first place; and the 'you', as you are now, from the future?"
"I don't know, do I?" Aaron looked perplexed, "I'm not an expert in time travel, even though I've done it!"
Paddy entered as they were having their conversation. Aaron showed the pictures to his surrogate father and Paddy had to sit down; from the surprise!
"So, you were telling the truth!" Paddy gasped, "I'm sorry I didn't believe you!"
Aaron smiled at Paddy, "It's OK, I understand! I still don't believe it myself!"
That night, before turning in, Jackson was in the bathroom and Aaron had stripped off to his boxer shorts in the bedroom, when he stopped to look in the mirror. He gagged with shock! The room behind him was totally familiar but, there, as plain as day, was another image of himself; standing behind him! Not only that, but his 'other self' was dressed in his work overalls! Aaron spun round to look at the doppelganger, but there was no sign of the apparition! He looked in the mirror again, but his 'other self' had vanished. He sat down on the bed, pale and shaking.
Jackson entered and saw Aaron sitting on the bed. He could tell that he was upset and sat beside him, "What's the matter?" he said.
Aaron turned to Jackson and fell into his arms, sobbing uncontrollably. Jackson cuddled him and stroked his cropped hair, "Hey! Come on! What on Earth's got into you?"
Aaron drew back to look into Jackson's big brown eyes, "What have I done?" he gulped out between sobs, "Why did I ask to come back in time? Something horrible is happening to me! I'm going mad!"
Jackson did not understand what had upset Aaron so much, so he just pulled him into another hug, trying to soothe away his anguish.
Aaron slept fitfully that night. The image in the mirror had totally unnerved him and he kept reliving it. He was also having a weird dream. He was back in the woods where he had met the mysterious time-traveller, only this time there was no old shed, but a round table surrounded by dark, hooded figures. He could not see their faces, but he somehow knew that they were not human. The four, unearthly figures all turned towards him and pointed at him with sharp, bony fingers. Aaron woke up abruptly in a cold sweat!
The next morning, Aaron was already awake when Jackson stirred. Jackson looked at his boyfriend and smiled, "You feeling any better?" he asked.
"I hardly slept a wink!" Aaron said with a yawn, "When I did sleep, I was having a really strange dream!"
"I thought you were a bit restless! Are you going to tell me what's bothering you?"
"I've already stretched you to breaking point with my time travelling tales! This is going to sound even more weird; if that's possible!"
"I told you, I believe you!" Jackson reached for Aaron's phone, "Especially now I've got some proof," he pushed the button to enter the photo gallery, but it was blank! "Where have the pictures gone? You haven't deleted them, have you?"
Aaron grabbed the phone from Jackson's hand, "Oh no!" he cried, pressing the buttons frantically, "They've gone! The pictures, they've all gone!"
Aaron started to cry and Jackson immediately pulled him into a hug, "Never mind! I saw them...Paddy saw them. We can't have both imagined what we saw! Anyway, you still haven't told me why you were so upset last night."
Aaron calmed down; Jackson always had that influence on him, "Well, it was the weirdest thing! I was looking in the mirror and I could see another one of me, standing behind me! I turned round, but there was no-one there! When I looked again, he was gone!"
"You mean; you were gone?" Jackson wore a puzzled frown.
"No, I was still there, this other 'me' was gone. He...or is that me? I was wearing my work overalls!" Aaron looked into Jackson's eyes, "I told you it would sound ridiculous!"
"Well, I know something really freaked you out! It couldn't have been a trick of the light, could it?"
Aaron knew that Jackson was only trying to find a rational explanation, so he remained calm, "No, Jackson...I know what I saw! It was as clear as anything!"
"Well, I suppose, with all that's happened to you, you're bound to start seeing things!"
"You think I'm a head case, don't you?" Aaron looked hurt.
Jackson once more hugged his boyfriend, "Of course not! If you say that's what you saw, then I believe you. I know I was sceptical at first...anyone would be, but, somehow, you've come back through time! I don't know how or why, but I know you, Aaron; and I know you wouldn't make all this up!"
"Thanks!" Aaron kissed Jackson; to have his boyfriend's belief in him meant the world to him!
Aaron could not concentrate; his mind was still on the events of the previous night. A combination of stress and lack of sleep meant that he was in no fit state to work but, he had to earn a crust and his uncle Cain would not be best pleased if he skived off for no valid reason!
Cain left him on his own in the afternoon. He was all alone in the garage and working on an old Ford Fiesta. As he lifted his head from under the bonnet, he caught sight of someone in overalls, standing near the door. The sun was shining outside, so he could only see a silhouette and thought that Cain had returned.
"I thought you were going to be missing for the rest of the afternoon!" Aaron said, but there was no reply.
"You might at least answer..." Aaron stopped short; for the figure by the door was not Cain; it was himself!
"Oh...my...God!" Aaron gasped.
The 'Aaron double' said nothing, but stood in silence, beckoning him to follow.
Aaron freaked out, "No, go away! You're not really there!"
Aaron shut his eyes tightly in disbelief. When he opened them again, the figure had gone!
Jackson returned home to find Aaron sitting in the kitchen in the dark. He flipped on the light and crossed over to his boyfriend. He could see Aaron looked upset and was shaking like a leaf!
"Hey!" Jackson put his arm around Aaron's shoulders, "What's the matter?"
"I saw him again!" Aaron spoke softly; breathlessly.
"Well, me! It looks like me...but, how can it be?"
"In the mirror again?"
Aaron's eyes focussed on his lover, "No! In the garage! Oh, Jackson...I know I must be going mad!"
Aaron's tears were falling and Jackson just wished that he could dry them all and calm his boyfriend. Aaron looked towards the door of the cottage and cried out, "He's here again!"
Jackson also looked towards the door, but could see nothing untoward, "Where, I can't see anyone!"
"Then I am going mad! He's beckoning to me again!"
"Why don't you follow him," Jackson tried to humour Aaron; he was beginning to think that his loved one was, indeed, slipping into insanity!
"I'm scared, Jackson! Why can I see myself? Where will he take me?"
"Look, I'll come with you. Maybe if you go wherever he wants you to go, he'll leave you alone!"
Aaron thought about it for a few moments. Jackson's idea made sense to him, so he stood up and walked towards the door. His double continued to beckon him on; and they walked out of the village in the direction of the clearing in the woods where Aaron had found the time machine. As they approached, with his double still urging them to follow him, Jackson suddenly let out a gasp, "Now that, I can see!" he said.
In the clearing, there was a large, circular table surrounded by four hooded figures, just like in Aaron's dream!
"This is what I could see in my nightmares, Jackson!" Aaron stood open mouthed. Just beyond the table, he could see a semi-circular portal, almost like the entrance to a railway tunnel. His 'double' stood by the portal and waited. Then, one of the hooded figures drew back his hood to reveal his face. He had a kindly face, much like that of a favourite elderly uncle. Aaron felt strangely calm and spoke, "Who are you, why have you brought me here? And who is that?" he pointed towards his doppelganger.
"So many questions! But, that's understandable! Firstly, I am Savin, one of the Time Lords! Secondly, you are here to put right a wrong; and thirdly; that, young man; is you!"
"How can it be me?" Aaron looked perplexed.
Savin smiled, "You are human; you do not understand the concept of a 'temporal paradox'! You travelled back to a time where you already existed; but you can only exist once in a given time! Your 'other self' is trapped in the paradox and he wants you to go back!"
"But," Aaron gripped Jackson's hand, "if I go back; I'll lose Jackson again! I can't lose him, not a second time!" Aaron's tears streamed down his face.
"We are not ogres!" Savin said, calmly, "We know why you wanted to go back! Rarely have we encountered such a strong and powerful love! You must return to your own time, but you will still have Jackson; it will not upset the time line if he lives a full life, but we will need to wipe his memory of these events and erase any trace of the 'future' that you have seen."
Aaron thought back to his mobile phone, "The photographs?" he said.
"Yes!" Savin replied, "Anything which let you glimpse the future has been erased. Now...please join your 'other self' in the portal so that the time line can be restored!"
"Jackson!" Aaron turned to his lover, "Don't ever forget that I love you! I'm just terrified I'll never see you again!"
"You heard what he said," Jackson nodded towards Savin, "we'll still be together when you return! I love you too."
Aaron kissed Jackson and then, slowly and with fear in his heart, walked towards the portal. Jackson watched Aaron enter and, as he did so, he held out his arms to the 'double' that Jackson still could not see. The 'two Aaron's' embraced; and then, the portal closed and vanished into thin air.
The next thing he knew, Jackson found himself lying in bed next to Aaron, with no memory of the events in the woods. The sun was streaming through the windows and, somewhere nearby, a cock crowed to herald a brand new day.
Aaron roused and looked at his boyfriend, "Morning!" he smiled at the face he loved, "I had a lovely dream last night!"
"You did?" Jackson kissed Aaron passionately.
"Yeah, you and me were back on that beach in Lanzarote! Shall we go again next year?"
"Yeah!" replied Jackson, "I think we can fit it in between the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics!" he chuckled, "2012 is going to be our year...I just know it!"