Title: Got the Holy Spirit

Author: Del Schiz

Rating: PG-13

Warnings: Mentions of traumatic events and child abuse.

Summary: Tommy Miller, in the timeline where 'he saved that lady and her baby.'

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A/N: Here's a piece of trivia for you--the title comes from one of Seth Green's lines in "The Italian Job".

The reason that I wanted to write this story is because I always felt that if any timeline in "The Butterfly Effect" was 'perfect', it was the fourth one. True, Evan Treborn lost his arms and his mother is dying of lung disease, but that's consequences for you. Of course, Evan is an escapist, and thus an idiot, so despite the fact that almost everyone else is happy in that reality, he changes things. Bastard.

This story is from Tommy's POV.

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"Got the Holy Spirit"

Despite what everyone thinks, I didn't suddenly have a change of heart over the illegal firecracker in the mailbox. I saw Evan running out across the street, and I knew that he was going to take that thing out of there, even if it was too late. I was already jealous of him, taking my sister's love away from me like he did (as I thought at the time), and so I bolted straight for the woman with her baby, shouting, "Get down, I'll save you, lady!"

And then the explosion, the one that changed everything.

So, you see, my motivation for my actions that day were entirely selfish. I wanted to be a hero, I wanted to be the one that everybody coddled and loved and paid attention to. It was only later that I had a change of heart, when I saw Evan in the hospital, burned and bruised and broken--and especially when I heard the doctors talking about the 'irreparable damage' to his spinal cord, and that they'd have to amputate his arms. I saw Mrs. Treborn looking defeated and betrayed, always hovering near Evan's bedside, even when he was unconscious. She started smoking heavily, multiple packs a day, once the doctors told her about Evan's looming disabilities. It was her way of dealing with it, I guess.

That was the first time I'd ever prayed, and I mean really prayed, not just for things I wanted or thought I needed. I prayed for Evan and his mom, begged God to not let the doctors mutilate him like they were saying they had to. Most of all, I prayed that he wouldn't die. At thirteen, I still hadn't had a personal brush with death--I barely knew either of my surviving grandparents, and Dad didn't allow us to have pets or anything. And suddenly, I was looking right in death's face, and I was scared. If Evan could die, then that meant...anyone could. Anybody I loved could be taken away from me.

In the week before his operation, Evan finally came to. His mom, aunt, uncle, and cousin were all there to tell him that he was paralyzed from the waist down and that he was going to lose both of his arms. Lenny told me that he 'freaked out a little', but I'm sure that was an understatement.

But by the time that Kayleigh and I saw him again, he had accepted it. Evan met even my sincerest apologies with a soft smile and a "Don't worry about what you can't change," or "At least nobody died." It took him a few months to get the hang of the prosthetic arms and the wheelchair, but the three of us--Lenny, Kayleigh, and I--were there for him. We supported him and kept on being his friends when most of the other kids just shied away and spoke in derisive whispers about 'the crippled kid'.

As we grew older and entered high school, Kayleigh started showing a definite interest in Lenny. Often, they'd slip off together, leaving Evan and I to our own devices. I never felt threatened by Lenny's interest in my sister, partly because he always treated her like I thought she deserved, and partly because Evan vouched for his cousin's honorable intentions. Evan was really the glue that held us together. Sure, we took care of him when he couldn't do certain physical things, but whenever things got bad or didn't turn out like we'd expected, he'd come up with the solutions. We depended on him.

Seven years later, and Evan's mother is in the advanced stages of lung disease, and I can see that Evan is taking it hard. He's used to having the answers to everything. Shoot, I'm used to him having the answers everything. But there's no way to think our way out of this. This is death. Again.

**to be continued**