Terrified Neil looked around for anything to defend himself with. He could hear the steps coming closer fast. His eyes fell on a baseball bat and he quickly grabbed it. When he turned around, Julie was standing only a few feet away from him.
"Stay away!" He yelled at her.
"Neil, I don't want to hurt you. Why don't you believe me?" Julie asked quietly.
"I bet that's what you told them." Neil said, pointing at the two bodies. He tried to hide the panic that he was feeling.
"They had to die. It couldn't be changed. But everything I did, I did to protect you."
"Protect me?" Neil yelled. "You ... you're holding me prisoner in this house. That's not my idea of protection."
"I needed to show them some results. They were starting to lose patience." The expression on Julie's face was almost desperate.
"They? Who are they?"
"My people. When they saw you in that cave, they wanted to grab you, to get the information out of you. We need to know why you are fighting us, Neil, how you found out about us. We couldn't get to you in that cave, your friend was always watching you and we didn't want to warn them. So they send me to become your friend. But ... I started to like you and ... I thought if I could gain your trust, you would tell me all your memories. And you did. You do trust me."
"I did trust you. That was before you turned into a crazy maniac." Neil replied, the fear now evident in his voice.
"I told them I needed more time, but they weren't listening. They wanted me to inject you with a drug that would bring back your memories. You would have told us everything we needed to know, only you wouldn't remember it later. But you would have remembered that I injected you with something and I couldn't ...And I knew you would have never let me inject you the drug voluntarily, that's why I gave you sleeping pills."
"What? You ... you drugged me?" Neil interrupted her. He should have known something was wrong when he was starting to feel tired all of the sudden.
"It was the only way. You have to believe me. I really just wanted to protect you." Julie said. She almost looked like she would cry any second. She started to slowly walk towards Neil.
"Stay away from me!" Neil yelled again, holding the bat higher.
"Neil ..." Julie began, but was interrupted by an angry voice from behind.
"Stay away from my son!" Chuck Taggert yelled. He had arrived only minutes ago. Kurt and Angela had already been waiting for him before the house.
Julie didn't turn around, she just kept looking at Neil. "Who do you trust more, Neil? The man who tried to kill you? Or me? I never hurt you. I ... I love you."
"Neil ..." Chuck desperately tried to get his son's attention.
"Shut up!" Neil shouted in a panicked voice. He didn't know what to do. He felt like he was surrounded by enemies.
"Neil, please. You know you can trust me."
Looking back and forth from Julie and his father, Neil slowly let the bat think. He wanted to believe her, but right now he wasn't sure if he was thinking clear. Smiling Julie walked a few steps towards him. She had almost reached him, when three shots rang through the air. Shocked Neil stared at Julie as she sagged down to the floor. He could see the shot wounds on her back, but it wasn't blood coming out. Instead there was some sort of blue liquid pouring out of the wounds. Terrified he could do nothing but stare at her.
"Neil, step away from her." Chuck said quietly as he walked to his son. Even though the girl looked dead, one could never be too sure with the sentients. And seeing the blue liquid coming out of her wounds, it was clear she was one.
Horrified Neil looked from Julie's body to his father. Chuck could see the fear in his son's eyes.
"Neil, it's okay, you're safe now." Chuck tried to calm him.
"No ..." Neil whispered as he backed away from his father. Seeing that his son was still afraid of him, Chuck stopped walking towards him. He thought about the right words to stay, but Angela was faster than him.
"Neil, you remember me, right? I never lied to you. I know you have some confusing memories, but there is an explanation for everything.
"You told me we were camping. I hate camping!" Neil yelled at her. He had reached the wall and couldn't back away any more. There was no where to go for him. With panic in his eyes he stared at the three people in front of him. He didn't know who he should trust any longer.
"We had to come up with something quickly. The truth just sounded ... too weird at the time. But we will tell you everything now. I promise. And then you will understand ..."
"No!" Neil screamed. Then he was hit with the stabbing pain in his head again. Holding his head in pain, he sagged to the floor, letting the baseball bat slip from his hand. All kinds of memories came flashing back to him, too many to really comprehend any of them. He thought he was going crazy with all the images in his mind.
Seeing his son's agony, Chuck quickly walked to him and pulled him into a tight embrace. "Everything will be all right again, Neil, I promise you. It will be okay ..."
Neil fought the embrace at first, but as the pain in his head got stronger, he didn't have the strength to fight back. He let himself sink in the strong arms of his father, who hold him tightly, trying to ease his pain. When the pain finally got too much, Neil gave in to the darkness that was starting to surround him and slipped into unconsciousness. Helpless Chuck watched how every sign of life drained from his son.
"We gotta get him out of here." Angela said. Nodding Chuck pulled his son up and carried him out of the house. Neil was dead weight, but Chuck didn't care; he wouldn't let go of him now. He declined Kurt's offer of help; he had promised Neil that he would be safe and he wouldn't let anyone get near him, not even Kurt or Angela. When Neil would wake up, he would only see his father at his side, no one else.
It took them only a few minutes before they stepped out of the house and went to their cars. Carefully Chuck laid Neil on the backseat of Kurt's car and sat himself next to him, holding him tightly. Angela took Chuck's car and they quickly drove away.
"Maybe we should get him to a hospital." Kurt said worried. Neil still lay quietly, not moving or responding to anything. "He's in shock. If it gets worse ..."
"No, we get him home. This whole thing started in a hospital. When he wakes up, he needs to be in surroundings he knows." Chuck said determinedly. He wasn't sure if this was the right choice, but he knew that getting Neil to a hospital wasn't the right one.
For hours Chuck had sat next to Neil's bed, waiting for any sign that his son would wake up. He already had his doubts if it had been a good idea to bring him back home instead of a hospital. But he wanted Neil to wake up in surroundings he knew. He wanted Neil to feel safe when he opened his eyes – Chuck didn't think he could bear to see the look of fear in his son's eyes again.
An hour later Chuck was close to call for Kurt, who was still waiting in the living room with Angela, to help him get Neil into hospital after all, when his son's eyes fluttered open. Neil glanced around the room in confusion first until his eyes fell on his father.
"Dad?" He whispered.
"I'm here son." Chuck said relieved.
"How did I get here? What about Julie?" Neil searched the room frantically with this eyes, expecting to see her standing in some corner. He tried to pull himself to a more upright position, but his head swam at the movement and he felt the stabbing headache returning. Groaning he let his head fall against the wall behind behim, but he didn't lie down again. "I would give my right hand for an aspirin right now."
"I thought you might need some." Chuck replied smiling, handing him a glass of water and a pill against the headache. "Julie is dead. You don't have to worry about her anymore."
Both stayed silent for a moment and Chuck watched his son intently. He looked pale and exhausted. He wished there was anything he could do.
"Feel better?" He asked after a while.
"I've been better, but I'll be okay." Neil said quietly. He looked thoughtfully at his father.
Chuck couldn't even begin to describe the relief he felt at seeing no fear in Neil's eyes.
"Dad, I think I remember everything ... or almost everything. It was stupid to think you wanted to kill me. I know now ... I'm sorry." Neil looked down at his hands, embarrassed that he thought his father would ever hurt him.
"You don't need to apologize, Neil. What you did and thought was understandable. We ... I should have told you the truth about everything right from the start." Chuck replied ruefully. Neil would have never ran away and right into the hands of that sentient bitch if he had known the truth.
"So, it's all true? The space shuttle, destruction of earth, sentients ..." Neil looked hesitantly at his father. He was half hoping that those images were just the result of his vivid imagination. It would be a lot easier.
"Yes, it's all true." Chuck said quietly.
They both stayed quiet for a while again. It was Chuck who broke the silence first. "Neil, I ... I know I scared you away eventually because I didn't tell you the truth about our past. And I ..."
"Dad ..." Neil wanted to interrupt him, but Chuck stopped him.
"No, let me finish. I know you didn't fully trust me even before those memories came back. And I ... I know that was my fault. We never had a real father/son relationship. At least not a good one." He cleared his throat. "I want to change that from now on." Chuck added determinedly.
Neil looked surprised at his father. He had never seen him like this before. "Okay." He eventually said quietly.
"Okay." Chuck smiled at his son. He suddenly noticed how exhausted Neil looked. "Get back to sleep, son. You're going to need your rest."
"Sounds like a good idea." Neil replied yawning. He was already lying down again, when he remembered something. "Dad, what about the lab?"
"The lab?"Chuck looked at him confused.
"Kurt and I were looking for it in the woods before my accident."
"We'll take care of that tommorrow. I think we all need a break today."
"Okay." Neil didn't waste another thought on the sentient lab and closed his eyes again. He was asleep only seconds later. Chuck watched his sleeping son for a while. He promised himself that his time he would work hard on his relationship with Neil. They only had each other now. He hoped it wasn't too late.
A.N.: I'm so sorry for the long delay. Real life hindered me from posting this earlier. Thank you all for reading this story. I hope you enjoyed it. Lapdance22, Tai and especially Blue Eyed Dragon Girl, thank you so much for your reviews. It was very encouraging to know that people actually like this story. :-)