Sorry for the delay, this week was kind of long and crazy. Hope you enjoy!
Max pulled her hand back and grabbed her head. The telltale headache she always got when rewinding a bit too much hit her. Ugh, Christine didn't seem to be affected by this anymore. I wonder if I will get there too? As much as she was focused inward at the moment, she kept hearing her name being called and had to focus back out.
"Max?" came Victoria's voice, sounding genuinely freaked out.
Max was confused as she looked around. The courtroom was indeed empty, save for her and Victoria. She found a clock and noticed that it was definitely before the trial started. Wait, what's Victoria doing here? She looked at her friend who was shaking in her seat.
"Max? What was that? What just happened?"
She couldn't believe it. Blinking several times while looking at Victoria, she finally broke her silence. "I think I just brought you back in time with me."
"Is that what you were doing the whole time that week?"
"That had to be some trip," Victoria responded before looking even more freaked out. "Oh no, Max, your nose." She reached her hand out to Max.
For her part Max was rather used to this and just used her fingers to wipe away the blood. "It happens. Now let's get out of here, we have to stop Frank."
Grabbing Victoria's hand, Max stood up and dragged the blonde with her out of the courthouse. Victoria protested the entire time, wondering why they just couldn't warn the guard. Max suggested it would work as a backup plan, but her goal was simple, convince Frank to not go through with it. After all, for all his skeeziness, Frank's love of dogs was a net positive in the world.
Reaching the parking lot, the two girls saw Victoria's car (empty of course) and Frank's RV. Max was confident, more confident than Victoria had ever seen her as she marched right up to the RV and knocked on the door.
She heard rummaging behind the door before Frank opened it.
"Do I know you?"
Max froze, frowning. Technically he didn't know her she realized. She only knew him in the alternate reality.
"No, you don't," Max said confidently, "but I'm here to stop you from making the second biggest mistake of your life."
Frank looked irritated at this. "All you bratty college age kids think you know me and what kind of mistakes I've made. You don't know nothing." He was slamming the door shut on her.
"You sold Nathan the drugs used to kill Rachel," Max blurted out. Victoria gasped, and the door stopped moving. Slowly it started to reopen and Frank was no longer irritated, he was pissed. She had seen him this pissed before, but that was when he was ready to kill her either at the beach or in the diner.
"I know you loved Rachel Amber, and she loved you. I know you blame Nathan for overdosing her, but it was your drugs that were used to kill her." Max was standing firm, alpha like as she demanded Frank to challenge her words.
Victoria watched in horror as Frank stood waiting, as if his own mind was running through the calculations of what he should do in this circumstance. "How do you know about…?"
"Chloe Price," Max said, a little less aggressively now.
Frank definitely frowned at this. "Bitch died owing me money."
"And how would Rachel feel if you called one of her best friends a bitch, and the fact that the money Chloe borrowed was for the both of them?"
A pause from Frank, and another frown. He shook his head as he changed tactics. "And what is it you think is going to be this second biggest mistake of my life?"
Max reached back and grabbed Victoria's hand for moral support (and just in case). "I think you're going to go into that courtroom and before Nathan is confined for a decade to a mental hospital you're going to pull out a gun and shoot him before committing suicide yourself."
Frank looked stunned. His jaw flapped open and closed several times. He had no utter idea how this girl, this waif he had never met before could seem to know so much about him. Even more it was like she was predicting the future. He had planned exactly that.
Max ignored the question and continued on. "Frank, have you done some things that have caused real harm? Yes. But you've also done some real good. I know you've rescued dogs that were trained to kill, dogs that were part of fighting rings. You've done good in the world and Rachel would be pissed if you did what you're planning to go through."
More flapping of the jaw without sound coming out. Frank wondered if he was dreaming, or perhaps he already shot himself in court and this was some sort of purgatory where his life was being examined before his very eyes.
Frank sighed and nodded. "You're right," he said quietly, almost dejectedly. "Rachel would hate me for doing it. You have no idea how much I miss her, or how much it kills me that it's because of my actions that she is dead."
"You have a second chance here Frank. You know the truth, you know how you screwed up. Make sure this kind of thing never happens again. Help others not repeat your mistakes. You can still do a lot of good in this world in Rachel's name."
He took several deep breaths. He nodded and pulled out the gun he was going to use. Victoria started to pull at Max out of fear, but Max stood firm. Frank removed the clip from the gun and held it out to Max who calmly took it.
"Nathan was manipulated, he was a vulnerable kid. I'm sure you saw how manic he was. I bet you even noted it in your sale book. He will get his chance to heal, and you can start your penance."
Frank couldn't believe how he had just been talked down by this girl and her scared friend. He of course recognized the blonde, she was a friend of Prescott's, but this new girl. Was she some sort of guardian angel?
"Thank you," Frank said quietly.
"Good luck Frank," Max said and started to turn away.
"Wait," Frank called out, stepping out of the RV?
Max turned and looked at him.
"Who are you?"
Max smiled, "My name is Max Caulfield."
Frank's heart skipped a beat. "So you were there when the Prescott kid…"
Max nodded, "Murdered Chloe, yes."
A sigh escaped Frank's lips. "I suppose if you, who also lost someone to that kid can let him be, then so can I. Thanks Max Caulfield. If you need something…"
She smiled. "I appreciate that Frank. Good luck out there." With that she turned again and started heading back to the courtroom. It was almost time after all.
Max ditched the ammo in the garbage can outside the court and they walked back into the building and found the same seats as before. Victoria was oddly quiet the whole time and Max looked at her expectantly.
When Victoria finally broke the short vow of silence she seemed to take she did it in a big way. Victoria grabbed Max's face and pressed her own lips to Max's hard. Max responded in kind as the girls kissed sitting on the benches in the courtroom. When Victoria finally broke it she blushed.
Max remained confused by a lot of things when it came to Victoria, Chloe, and relationships in general still. But admittedly she felt that kiss was quite hot.
"What are you sorry for Victoria?"
"I know that you're still trying to figure things out doofus. I just couldn't help that. You were brilliant back there. You didn't rewind at all, right?"
Max tilted her head in thought. "No, I guess I didn't. I must be getting good at this."
Victoria couldn't help but smile, and the two girls talked quietly about the experience up until the hearing started.
The two let things proceed as normal. When it came time the prosecution and defense both stood at the judge's order.
"Given that I have no evidence to the contrary, and that the people are amenable to this solution, this court accepts the not-guilty plea and orders Nathan Prescott assigned to a psychiatric hospital for an indeterminate amount of time."
He banged his gavel and the hearing was over. Victoria got up and headed closer, hoping to say hi to Nathan. Max remained seated, content to watch as Victoria and Nathan briefly reconnected before Nathan was taken away.
When Victoria returned Max stood, ready to head out. That's when they were approached by a woman. Victoria seemed to recognize her and she broke into a soft smile. When Victoria and the unknown woman hugged Max checked out the competition. Competition? The girl was fairly skinny, short dirty blonde hair that was slightly longer than what Chloe's had been. She looked tired, as though she'd been up for several days, and the area around her eyes was red.
"So this must be Maxine Caulfield?" the woman asked Victoria after breaking the hug.
"Max, never Maxine," Victoria and Max said together before both giggling.
The woman looked a bit confused but shrugged. "Good, I was hoping to talk to you Max." She held out her hand, "I'm Kristine Prescott, Nathan's older sister."
Don't forget I post story related stuff on my tumblr. lismovingforward . tumblr . com