A/N: I was playing through Life is Strange for the third time when it occurred to me that the dead animals, the atmospheric disturbances, aren't a result of Max's power, but rather, a result of Chloe's continued existence. I believe that she was fated to die that day in the bathroom, at Nathan's hands; that's why going back in time to that moment and allowing her to die prevents all those disasters from happening. If it was the result of Max's powers screwing with time and space, jumping back wouldn't prevent anything from happening, because from the universe's perspective, everything that happened in the game would've still occurred. It's Chloe's death in that moment that resets everything. I came to this realization when I reached the alternative timeline on my third playthrough. Everything that happened in the original timeline was still occurring in the alternate timeline as well, even though it's obvious that Max never used her powers in the alternate timeline. There are two episodes of the old Charmed series that show the cosmic consequences of someone being slated to die, yet being saved. I think Chloe was meant to die in both timelines, but the car accident didn't kill her due to some strange fluke. Maybe the roof was supposed to cave in and didn't; maybe the seat belt was supposed to catch around her neck and snap it, but it came loose before her neck could break all the way, who knows. I'm crossing universes in this story to try to explain in as scientific a manner as possible, why Chloe's existence would have such consequences.
Max and Chloe were sitting in the park in Seattle, enjoying lunch together, when a man approached. "Pardon the interruption. My name is Adam Pierson. I was hoping to talk to your blue-haired companion, if I might?" he said, addressing Max. Chloe spoke up, "I don't know what you want to talk to me about, but Max is my girlfriend. As in, make out, have sex with, girlfriend." Richie held up his hands, saying, "Whoa, that's between you. I have nothing to do with that. I sought you out, because I heard about what happened in your hometown of Arcadia Bay. I have an explanation for what happened, but I need to talk to you alone."
"Anything you tell me, I'll just tell Max, anyway."
"That's up to you. But I have to live by a certain set of rules, and those rules state that I can't explain what I have to tell you, in front of anyone else."
"It's okay," Max said. "Go ahead. I'll be here."
"You sure, hon?"
"Yeah. Go ahead."
"Ok." With that, she rose, gestured for Adam to follow her, and they headed over to another table a few feet away. Once they sat down, Adam began his tale. "My real name is not Adam Pierson. It's Methos. I am an immortal, over five thousand years old. I could prove it to you, but this is kind of public, and I really don't feel like dying, again. The reason I'm telling this, is because you are what we call a pre-immortal. You have the chance to become an immortal, like myself. You simply have to die, first."
"I don't want to die. And Max wouldn't want that, either, after she worked so hard to save me."
"So, she's the reason you're alive."
"Yeah. She saved my life. A school bully name of Nathan Prescott was going to shoot me in the girl's bathroom at Blackwell Academy, but Max stepped in and set off the fire alarm, spooking him. Then, we were messing around in the junkyard with a gun I had stolen from my stepdad, and apparently, according to Max, I managed to shoot myself, twice. After that, we were walking along the railroad tracks behind the junkyard and for some reason, we decided to lay down on the tracks. When we heard the train coming, my boot was stuck and I couldn't get up. Max ran up the hill behind me, found a crowbar, got into the shack, found a pair of pliers and ran back down, cut the wire to the switch control and switched the track so I could get my foot out, then put the track back. She says she did it all without rewinding, but I'm not sure I believe her."
"Rewinding? What do you mean?"
"Shit! Forget I said anything."
"No. Please, explain."
Chloe took a deep breath, trying to organize her thoughts. She did have to send it up to her girlfriend, ever since she forced her to quit smoking, she was able to breathe better and had more stamina. Which definitely came in handy. She turned her thoughts away from the lecherous, and tried to figure out how to tell Methos about Max's rewind power. "Ok. Well, apparently, I died in that bathroom. Nathan shot me and I died. Somehow, it triggered a hidden power inside Max and she was able to rewind time around herself. She remembered everything, but for everyone around her, including me, it was like it never happened. Because for them, it didn't. So, she went back into the bathroom, just like the first time, but this time, she set off the fire alarm, distracting Nathan, so I could escape."
"And when you shot yourself in the junkyard, she also rewound time to save you."
"Yeah. Shortly after that, birds started dying by the dozens; whales beached themselves and died, then a tornado hit Arcadia Bay and completely wiped everything out. Max had the option to sacrifice me to save the town; I even begged her to do it, but she refused. She let the town be destroyed, instead. Said she couldn't live without me. At the time, and even now, we kind of figured that it was her constant meddling with time that caused all of that."
"I can tell you definitively, that that is not the case. When someone is fated to die, there are cosmic consequences when that person continues to exist beyond the point that they were supposed to die. For a pre-immortal such as yourself, those consequences are magnitudes greater: on the order of global disaster, the longer you continue to exist. The deaths in your hometown bought you some time, but the longer you put it off, the more likely that the universe will start hunting you again. If your girlfriend can rewind time, she should allow you to die in that bathroom. You'll come back to life, after, as a full immortal, and none of the disaster's that you lived through will occur."
"Wow. That's harsh. Let me talk it over with her and I'll let you know."
"Ok." So, Chloe rose and walked back over to where her girlfriend still sat, and divulged everything that Methos had told her. "I'm inclined to believe him. I mean, it sounds really far-fetched, but hell, you can rewind time. Compared to that, the existence of immortals seems pretty common. What's next, vampires and werewolves?" Max laughed out loud. "Maybe. But I'd have to jump back through the picture of the butterfly, and I can't. I destroyed it, remember?"
"Yeah. You don't have any other pictures that you could use that were taken around the same time, do you? I mean, I know Jefferson destroyed your journal." Max shook her head. "No. I can't use just any photo. It has to be one that I'm actually in. I've tried it, just to see if I can go anywhere I want in time, or if I'm limited. I figured I was pretty limited in what I could do, but I wasn't entirely sure what the limit was."
"That was reckless, Max. I know you have your rewind powers, but you're the one always telling me that you can't always rely on them."
"I know. But I've been flexing my muscles, so to speak, and not only do I have better control, but I think the power has actually gotten stronger. I still can't go that far without a photograph, though."
"So, we'll just have to do it, now, then. Prevent any more disasters from appearing. I love you Max. I know you'll have your rewind at the ready, just in case."
"Of course. I can't let you die, not permanently." They shared a kiss, then Chloe walked back over to Methos, inviting him to come with them to their apartment, where they would have the privacy they needed. Upon arriving, Methos removed a dagger from his waist and approached Chloe. "Wait!" Max called out. "First, let me take a picture. It'll be easier to go back just in case you're wrong. And second, how the hell do you know for sure that Chloe was the cause of all of that."
"That's right, I forgot to tell you about that, didn't I? Ok. I'll tell you, then. It was almost three thousand years ago. Even before the founding of the Roman Empire. I was traveling through what would become modern day Egypt. There was this young man, probably in his twenties, that everyone said was incredibly lucky. Several times, something bad happened, but each time, he came out of it unscathed. He was a pre-immortal, and the shock of a violent death meant that he would become immortal. But the region was experiencing disasters the likes of which they'd never seen before. Birds and fish dying right and left: snow coming out of a clear, hot blue sky: the Nile was starting to dry up: there had been over a dozen sandstorms in the previous week: an eclipse blocked out the sun for two whole days: and finally, two moons appeared in the night sky. Apparently, you experienced some of the same phenomena. I actually watched him be rescued twice from accidents that should have killed him. Finally, I pulled him somewhere private, told him what he was, what I was, and gave him the choice. Either he died, or the disasters would get worse. At the time, I was only guessing that the two were connected. But as soon as I killed him and he became an immortal, everything began to return to the way it should have been. Everything was perfectly normal, as if nothing had ever happened."
"Was it the same person who saved that young man both times?"
"Yes, it was. Why?"
"Maybe the person who save him was like me, and was rewinding time to save him."
"Possibly. At the time, I was unaware of such a power, so perhaps."
"So how long will Chloe be gone?"
"I don't know." When the brunette glared murder at him, he held up his hands in surrender. "I don't. It could be minutes, it could be hours. I knew someone one time that was gone for three days. It depends on the person and, I believe to some extent, the severity of the damage to their body. The less damage that needs to be repaired, the faster the person will return."
"Okay. Just make it fast, ok? I don't wanna suffer."
"And I don't want to cause your suffering." Chloe struck a pose as Max raised her camera, taking a picture of, she believed, the most beautiful woman in the world. The blue-hair raised her shirt up to just under her bra and nodded at Methos, who stepped forward, quickly and efficiently plunging in the knife where it would do the least amount of damage, cradling her body as she fell. Max landed on her knees on the other side, pulling the taller woman against herself, wrapping her arms around her. Together, they sat and waited. After an hour, Max was sending the old immortal looks that, if looks could kill, he would have died in a million different ways, each more painful than the last. Finally, though, there was a gasp from between them, a couple more shaky breaths, then bright blue eyes fluttered open. She looked up at the hot brunette holding her and whispered, "Hi."
"Hi," Max said, shakily. "Glad to have you back."
A/N: This idea came to me after realizing that the dead animals take place in both timelines, even though there's no evidence that Max ever used her rewind powers in the alternate timeline. In fact, she doesn't even see Chloe until we see her in the game. I understand that someone who was meant to die, but was saved, repeatedly, could cause problems throughout the rest of the world, but the things we see in the game are extremely violent reactions. It's almost like the entire universe hinges on Chloe's death. Which makes no sense, since she seems like a nobody (cosmically speaking), but if she was meant to be part of something larger after her death, like, maybe, The Great Game, then the reactions of the world around them start to make a lot more sense. I will say this up front: I could be wrong, and with my luck, I most likely am, but I seem to remember an episode of Highlander: the Series, where one of the characters details similar events taking place when a pre-immortal was supposed to die, but didn't. Again, I could be wrong, but that's where the inspiration for this story came from. Hope you like it.