Authors note: First published fan fiction so tell me what you think! I wrote this because I love the Parent Trap (1998) movie, but I think the characters got off a little too easy. I mean you have a secret twin that your parents conspired to keep you apart from and one parent that is willing to never have any interaction with you at all and you're automatically okay with it? Come on that's got to cause some issues in a kid right?!
Disclaimer: The Parent Trap (1998) belongs to Disney. I own no characters in this particular fan fiction.
The thunder exploded in the damp Californian night rattling the window and jerking Hallie awake. She laid there for a moment, slightly disoriented, as the last wispy ghosts of her nightmare faded into the darkness of her room. The red-head snuggled closer to the wall that bordered one side of her bed, pressing the soothingly cool texture against her sweaty forehead. There, in her near fetal position, she controlled her breathing and felt her heart rate slow as she listened to the rain drops hit the outside of the wall.
Hallie shook her head at herself once she was calm. She couldn't believe she had that dream again. It had been such a long time she had almost forgotten about it. Well, not really but still…
The thunder crashed again, more fiercely than before, shaking the window and vibrating the wall this time. Hallie stiffened, listening to see if the noise had woken her sister across the room. After a moment she relaxed, and just began to turn her thoughts back to her dream when she felt the covers being lifted. The bed shifted as Annie crawled in beside her and rearranged the blankets to cover both of them.
Hallie didn't turn around to face her twin or make any indication that she could feel Annie's back slightly touching her own. She didn't say anything because she knew if she opened her mouth she would tell her sister to go back to her own bed, and this would embarrass and upset her. Instead, she just suppressed a sigh.
They were getting too old for this.
They would turn fifteen in a little less than four months. Yes, that was far too old for this. She hadn't minded when they were younger, especially right after their family reunited. They had chosen to stay in the same room because they had wanted to, not because it was necessary. The Californian house had plenty of vacant rooms, but they wanted to stay together. They had missed the first eleven years of each other's lives, and they knew they only had a few precious years before they separated again to start different lives away from their family. It was inevitable; their interests differed far too much for them to wind up at the same place. They knew this even back then, and it had made Hallie feel good to know that she could offer her sister comfort when she was afraid, but now it needed to stop.
Hallie had always thought being afraid of thunder was silly. She could understand being afraid of lightning, that could strike you or just about anything around you, but thunder was just a loud rumbling noise. Annie was only afraid of thunder.
Of course, Hallie had never told her sister that her fear was ridiculous knowing that Annie was the more sensitive than she would like to admit, something that Hallie secretly associated with the fact that her sister had been raised solely by their mother for the first eleven years while she had been raised solely by their father. Nick had started sending her back to her own bed when she was four, something her mother always berated him for after finding out. The conversation always went along the same lines:
"Oh come on Liz, kids have to learn to face their fears and comfort themselves."
"I agree, but I think they should at least know their alphabet first."
"Well she knew most of 'em. That's close enough right?"
Then they would laugh and forgive each other because it was a silly thing to argue about. Hallie sometimes wondered how they could forget the past so easily. They never talked about those eleven years that they had spent as a broken family. Sometimes she wished they would just so she could maybe understand.
She was tempted to ask them sometimes, why it had been so important that they could never see each other again, not even to visit the daughter that wasn't in their custody. It made Hallie angry sometimes to think about, but she would never ask because there were things she didn't want to know. She didn't want to know whose idea the separation had been or how they had stomached the idea of never seeing one of their daughters again. On her darkest days she hated them for it. For what they had done and what they had almost done.
The dream was always the same. She would be walking down a random dark street when she would run into Annie and her mother going the opposite direction. When she would try to speak to them they would never know who she was. A cold feeling of fear always came and she would desperately try to explain, but they would never believe her. They would just look at her like she was crazy and hurry away, leaving her alone in the darkness.
What made it so scary wasn't the dream itself; it was the knowledge that it was very close to what could have been. On the days that she hated her parents she would think about meeting her twin at Camp Walden. Annie always said it had been fate. Hallie wasn't so sure. It was painful to think about, but if any little thing had gone differently, if she hadn't fenced that day, if Annie had felt too tired to take up the challenge, or even if Annie had picked up a different brochure for girls camps that where in America there was a good possibility that they would have never met. Their family wouldn't exist, not like it was supposed to.
Hallie had first had the reoccurring dream on the night after she and Nick had come after Liz and Annie once they had left for London, then again the night before her parents' second wedding. It came at least three times a week for the next six months, then sporadically for awhile, and finally not at all… until now.
The red-head knew what any shrink would tell her, her sub-conscious was just processing her fear of her family separating again. It was a natural thing to feel, given her family history. This made Hallie wonder if she and her sister's tendency to randomly switch places was "natural." It was just for the hell of it, at least that's what Hallie would say if anyone ever noticed. No one ever did. Was it natural for one to know everyone who sat beside the other in her various classes? Was it natural to know exactly what the other would order for lunch on any given day with any given choices? Where they really so unconsciously scared of being separated that they felt the need to keep up the ability to hide behind one identity or the other?
No, it wasn't natural. Their parents never fought, at least not often and usually not about anything too serious. They shouldn't need to do this anymore.
The thunder crashed again and she felt Annie flinch out of a light sleep. Hallie shook her head again and reminded herself that she really did love her parents and the family they had now. That's what mattered.
As Hallie closed her eyes to return to sleep, a strange thought came into her head. It had been raining on the day her mother and sister left to go back to England. There hadn't been any visible lightning, just an occasional roll of thunder…
She bolted up then, laughing hysterically, because it was funny in a sick twisted sort of way. She felt Annie sit up too and knew she was staring.
"Hallie?" she asked her voice slightly fearful. "W-what's so funny?"
Hallie kept laughing, tears where rolling down her face but Annie wasn't so sure that they were from being amused.
"Hallie?" Annie was very afraid now, and her English accent became more pronounced to prove it.
"We're so messed up." The laughing twin finally managed to choke out. "We're so screwed up and you don't even know it!" And she laughed some more because it really was funny.
Annie, too flabbergasted to respond, simply continued to stare. Hallie stopped laughing abruptly, making her twin flinch.
"Go back to your own bed." She said, suddenly serious as she reached out and pushed her sister onto the floor before lying to face the wall again.
Annie sat on the floor for a moment, regaining her wits.
"Hallie?" she asked again once she stood to look at the figure lying in the bed. Hallie was already asleep.
Annie returned to her bed, not noticing the roll of thunder that shook the room. She had more important fears to worry about now.
Another Note: Well, now that you've read it I should clear up a few things. First, Hallie isn't completely crazy. She has a lot of issues and the reality of the situation just got dumped on her all at once. Annie has issues too, they're just not as pronounced. (I might do an Annie-centric later since this one was mostly Hallie. What do ya think huh huh?!) I also don't think that Liz and Nick are terrible parents. They clearly care a lot for their kids. They've just made some big mistakes, which I think deserve some addressing. That's all. Hope you liked it!