This story is based on the ABC series Flashforward. It was a great show. "Was" being the key term here, since they rudely decided to cancel the show after one season. Sigh. I'm not holding a grudge, what? Technically, this story happens alongside the show. However, the Russos are in New York and Flashforward is set in LA. So no characters interact from the two shows.
According to Flashforward, the blackout would have occurred at 2 pm in New York. However, since I decided to write the chapter before checking my facts, I have conveniently moved the blackout to 5 pm. Because I'm the author and I get to do that.
A special thanks to lovelylilly for reminding me to write this and giving me her opinion on this chapter :) Hope you enjoy the story.
[October 6, 2009.]
It was just an ordinary day, you have to remember that. Everyone carried on with their daily lives. They did the tasks they always did, saw the people they always saw. Enemies still hated each other and lovers remained so. Subways still ran on time and the stars didn't fall from the sky. The day held no exceptions, except maybe a few birthdays here and there.
It was just an ordinary day, you have to remember that. But it was the day the most extraordinary thing happened, which touched the lives of every living human being forever.
"Ugh, do I really have to?" Alex plopped down on the couch besides Max with I-don't-want-to-be-here written all over her face.
"Alex, we are supporting your brother!" Theresa reprimanded.
"But it's only his geeky science class presentation. It's not even a science fair or anything. And it's bound to be boring regardless how many times he practices presenting it or who listens to it," Alex continued to complain.
Theresa sighed. "Just sit down and listen."
Justin shook his head as he opened his tri-fold display. Alex would be Alex.
He cleared his throat and stepped to the side to reveal the bullet points, quotes, graphs, diagrams, and a bit title that read MANY WORLDS THEORY. Alex yawned.
"Okay. So the Many Worlds Theory is a theory regarding quantum physics, which is a science based on a space time continuum. Quantum physics studies the location of matter, like an electron, and the time it existed there." Justin paused to see the looks on his family's faces. Whoosh. All of it went right over their heads.
"Anyway," he continued, deciding to speak fast before they all fell asleep on him, "the Many Worlds Theory provides a possible answer to the many questions of quantum physics. It suggests that an infinite amount of worlds exist and every time a decision is made or a path is taken, the world splits into one new world for every alternate choice.
"For example, the Schrödinger cat is a hypothetical cat that is placed in a box and, well…uh…" Based on the absolutely lost looks on his family's faces, Justin decided that maybe his well thought-out, scientific explanation was too much. Like Alex said, this wasn't even a science fair of science nerds that cared. This was a presentation in his high school class, where he sometimes wonders if the teacher even knows what she's talking about.
So instead, he walked up and took Alex's hand. He placed her open hand palm up on his while she gave him the strangest are-you-psycho look he has ever seen. "So pretend there is a small cat on Alex's hand and a dish of poisoned cat food. If the cat eats the food, he dies. If the cat doesn't, he lives. There are only two outcomes, a 50-50 chance that he will live or die. Right there, two worlds split: one in which the cat lives and one in which the cat dies,"
Justin closed Alex's hand. "What happened? Did the cat live or die? Since her hand is closed, the outside world doesn't know the answer, so in that moment both worlds exist." He opened up Alex's hand again.
"The cat lived," Alex stated, like she was certain.
"Okay then. In this world, the cat lived. But in another world, happening in parallel time, the cat died. It's like alternate universes in all the sci-fi movies. One wrong choice would lead to a whole new world in the future. Only, we can't jump from world to world. Once we decide, there is no going back. Do you get it?"
Justin had to fight the urge to laugh. Max definitely had his thinking face on again. He was trying so hard to wrap his mind around it that the gears in his head just might implode. And Alex had her mouth slightly open and nose slightly scrunched in concentration. "That…actually kind of makes a little sense," she whispered.
"What's that?" Justin sarcastically exclaimed. "Alex actually understands physics?"
"Justin," Jerry warned. "Your sister is a smart girl."
Alex beamed. "Yeah! Just don't say that in public."
Pointing to a picture and carrying on with the presentation, Justin said, "And in this infinite number of different worlds that we live in, there is also the factor of a little something we call destiny. Some people think that it is already predetermined how we will end up." The picture was like a tree, many branches growing from a stem, each branch being a world split. One path was highlighted in yellow. Destiny.
"But what happens if you accidentally end up in the wrong world after a split?" Alex asked. "What if you go away from the chosen path?"
"Well as you can see on this diagram, sometimes, later on, these worlds will merge back together. It's the universe trying to push us back on track after a mistake. Like, maybe these two people were supposed to meet in a park and fall in love and get married, but the guy got sick that day. Destiny will have it that they meet somewhere else and, eventually, get right back where they are supposed to be. The Many Worlds Theory."
Alex, Theresa, and Jerry clapped. Max finally broke out of his thinking face and spoke, "Wait, I think I got it. I had cereal this morning. But in another world, I had toast this morning?"
"Um, sure," Justin answered. "We already went over…whatever."
Theresa got up to start fixing dinner while Max and Jerry stayed on the couch to watch TV. Justin still wasn't going to let Alex off that easily for the rare occasion that she actually attempted to understand something scientific and educational.
"Interesting stuff, isn't it?" he asked as he picked up the poster board and started carrying it to the stairs.
She followed him and was about to agree when she caught on to what I was going at. She's Alex. She's wicked clever. "Oh drop it! I'm just…I find the destiny thing fascinating because I'm a girl. That's all. And of course you would be the one to turn something romantic and lovely like destiny and make it explainable by physics."
"Because everything is explainable by science."
Suddenly, Justin tripped. On the ground, he found that his shoelaces, for some strange reason, got tied together.
Alex smirked. "Everything? Even magic? I swear, you are no wizard at all."
With Justin still lying on the ground, she stepped over him and started going upstairs. He didn't really expect her to offer a hand to help him up or anything. Actually, if she did, he would probably get suspicious.
It was just an ordinary day, you have to remember that. And up until then, the whole day had been normal in every way.
But then the clock struck 5 pm, Eastern Standard Time.
Theresa fell, the pot she was holding crashing to the ground with a loud clang. Max, cheering for his favorite basketball team, fell back onto the couch. Jerry, well, he was already asleep. Justin collapsed back onto the floor in the midst of sitting up. Alex had climbed two steps when he knees stopped holding her up and she fell, her foot getting stuck between the steps and her ankle snapping before she landed on Justin with thud.
And outside, millions and billions of people—all over the world—fell down simultaneously. Some were fortunate and landed on something soft, like grass or carpet. Some were less fortunate. Cars with unconscious drivers crashed into everything. Surgeons passed out in the middle of an operation. Surfers fell off their boards into the water, sinking and sinking and never getting back up.
On October 6, the planet blacked out for two minutes and seventeen seconds. The whole world saw their future.
It was dark outside. The clock on the bedside table read 10:00. But he didn't have a digital clock, Alex did…
Oh. He was lying on Alex's bed. That's...odd. Then there was movement beside him. She was laying there too. That's, well, slightly freaking him out a little bit.
The second her fingers touched his arm, his whole body erupted in tingles and sparks.
Justin must be dreaming. He wanted to gag. But how could this be a dream? He's asleep, surely, for just a moment before he was on the floor because Alex had magically tied his shoelaces together. And it was five in the afternoon, not ten at night. What the crap? Yet, it seemed more than a dream. Everything was so clear, like he was conscious. There was also a clear distinction between the thoughts of the dream-Justin, who was obviously sick and enjoyed the touch of his little sister, and the thoughts of real-Justin, who was going to be sick soon. No matter how much he tried, though, real-Justin couldn't move his arms or legs to get the heck out of there.
Dream-Justin was in control. Real-Justin was simply intruding in his mind.
"Justin…" she whispered. It wasn't the stage whisper shout thing he was used to. It was soft and sweet and caring and above all, lustful. It sounded like…
In the time it took for him to think of what it sounded like, she was on top of him and kissing him like there was no tomorrow.
Yeah. It sounded like that.
Dream-Justin was thrilled, content, and (much to real-Justin's disgust) yearning for her too. Alex put her hand on his cheek, then up to his hair, then down to his chest. Real-Justin knew this was wrong in every dimension possible. Dream-Justin didn't care.
Then, with their lips still connected, Alex's hand trailed down until she reached his jeans. That's when real-Justin realized he didn't have a shirt on. And he had no flipping idea where it could possibly be.
Justin blinked a few times. At first, he thought he was still in the dream because Alex was on top of him groaning. But then he felt the hardwood floor underneath him and heard Alex mumble "Justin!" into his chest. This time, it was full of urgency, not lust.
"Justin!" She raised her head to look at him. There were tears in her eyes. "I…I think I broke my foot. Or sprained my ankle or something."
All the confusion and horror about his dream were quickly forgotten as he gently helped his sister up. Once he was sitting upright and she was in his lap, he lifted her right leg that was stuck between the steps. She cringed and cried out in pain.
It was then did Justin notice that maybe he wasn't the only one who randomly fell asleep and dreamed. His mom was just now getting up from the floor. What was she doing there when she was cooking earlier? His dad and brother both stood up slowly and walked towards Alex, but they had a confused look on their face. And how did Alex end up on top of him anyway? Wasn't she just walking up the stairs?
"What happened?" Theresa asked. That was easily the most popular question asked in that minute worldwide.
"I don't know," Alex answered, clutching Justin's shirt to prevent herself from crying out again. "One second I was on the stairs and the next second I was on Justin. It was like I fell asleep. But my foot got caught when I fell and now it hurts so much." Her voice cracked as she hurried to wipe away the tears. Because Alex doesn't cry, not even in front of her family. Justin instinctively wrapped his arms around her to comfort her; then he remembered the dream and quickly let go.
"We'll get you to the hospital right away," Jerry said. "But the strange thing is, the same thing happened to me. I also fell asleep."
"Me too," Justin agreed.
"Me too," said Max. "And the people in the basketball game!" They all turned to the TV where basketball players, coaches, and the audience were all slowly getting up with dazzled expressions.
Theresa gasped. They all turned to see her looking out the terrace. "Guys…I think it happened to everyone."
Jerry and Max went to join her but when Justin tried to get up from underneath Alex, she shrieked and he immediately sat back down.
Soon, the sirens of ambulances could be heard from outside. Jerry turned the TV to the news station in hopes that someone, anyone could explain why everyone seemed to have fainted at the same time.
"What about me?" Alex asked. "Help?"
"Honey, there are so many car accidents out there," Theresa explained. "The hospital is probably filled with patients. A broken ankle is minor compared to all the victims out there."
"So I just get to sit here in pain?"
Theresa looked around uncertainly. "I don't know…uh…I mean, Justin, can't you do a spell or something?"
He immediately pulled out his wand, but from shock or whatever, he could not think of the right spell if his life depended on it. If Alex wasn't in so much pain right then, she would have teased him about Mr. Perfect not being so perfect after all.
"Stop the hurt, mend the broken," Jerry helped.
His two kids looked up at him in confusion. "That doesn't even rhyme!" they both shouted.
"It's magic, not Mother Goose!" he retorted.
Justin cast the spell and then Jerry wrapped her ankle because the spell was only a temporary pain reliever. Although he really wanted nothing more than to be away from Alex and his messed up hormones at the moment, Justin helped her wobble to the couch on one leg and then sat on the chair, as far apart from her as possible. Those were definitely not butterflies inside his stomach. He was definitely not affected by the fact that Alex sat on his lap for a good ten minutes. No, that was just dream-Justin.
"It is believed that a global blackout has just occurred," the news anchor announced a few hours later. Some security camera footage was shown of people walking by and then falling to the ground, all together, just like that.
"We don't know why or how, but we do know that the entire human race was unconscious for two minutes and seventeen seconds. Not only that, in the time we were blacked out, we experienced what the Los Angeles FBI are calling flashforwards. We all had a dream-like vision of the future. And until proven wrong, every vision we had was of April 29, 2010. They were not ordinary dreams; they were a jump in consciousness. Analysts have reason to believe that anyone you saw in your flashforward saw you in theirs. Although the blackout has caused millions of deaths, the rest of humanity has collectively seen what they will be doing in six months. I'll admit, on April 29th, I will be here giving a broadcast as always," the news anchor chuckled dryly. "Further investigation is underway as we speak. We encourage you all not to panic. We need to cooperate to fix this mess."
"Oh my god, a flashforward!" Theresa exclaimed. "Like a flashback, but…you know…haha, I get it! So it's true? Whatever you saw will come true?"
Her family just stared at her because none of them have seen her this excited since…forever.
"What did you see, Mom?" Max asked carefully.
Theresa squealed. His mom actually squealed like a teenage girl. "I was in the hospital—"
"Oh my god, were you okay?" Jerry asked.
"Of course I was, just listen! I was in the hospital because I had just given birth to a baby!"
"…" "…" "…" "…"
"Aren't you guys excited? Oh and Max, you were there too. But the rest of you weren't, which was odd."
"Wait, Mom, you're having a baby?" Alex asked. "Aren't you like too old?"
Oooh. That was an insult. Theresa's excited face turned into a glare. "No I am not too old. And I'm not completely sure I'm having a baby. I'll go to the doctor's once all the blackout craziness dies down. So what did you see?"
But before the question was finished, Alex, Justin, and Jerry all ran off.
"Hmm, I wonder what got into all of them," Theresa said. "Oh well. I guess it's just you and me, Max, like in my flashforward."
It was about 2 am when Justin finally faced the fact that he simply wasn't getting any sleep that night.
Okay, it really wasn't that bad at dinner. He just had to pretend Alex wasn't sitting next to him and had to fake a coughing fit to cover for how he jumped ten feet in the air when she put her hand on his arm and asked him to pass a napkin. No, he was doing pretty well.
Then, instead of the tank top and pajama bottoms she was wearing last night, she decided to wear an oversized t-shirt instead. You would think that that would have been a good thing as it covered all her curves he had only just now recognized, but there was the problem that she wasn't wearing any pajama bottoms. And as she picked up her toothbrush and hip-bumped him aside so she could get to the sink, he nearly choked on his toothpaste. And he wasn't staring at her butt or her hot pink underwear when she bent down to spit. No, not at all.
But that's just it, you know. Justin had accidentally walked into his sister's room when she was changing multiple times before. He has seen her in her underwear before. It was no big deal, really. She would just scream at him and chuck anything within arm's reach at him, then he would duck, apologize, and leave. It was forgotten within five minutes. He was never bothered by it.
They were siblings for crying out loud. They used to take baths together when they were little. Of course, they don't anymore, but it was nothing that got Justin blushing and hot.
When he went to sleep, however, instead of clearing his mind, his stupid flashforward kept replaying over and over again in his head. In the beginning, he passed off his freaking out as left-over horror of the vision. Surely he was disgusted by it, like any brother would be at the prospect of kissing his sister. But deep down, where he will never admit, he knew all this anxiety was because he liked it, just a little.
Justin knew he would never, in a million years, in a million worlds, ever think about Alex that way. He was her brother! But one glimpse of her in a new perspective, one feel of her touch, and one taste of the lust, of the love, of the yearning, and of her, well that was all that it took. One sample of her drug and he is completely addicted. He can't help it.
The future he saw would never have happened. Until he saw it in his flashforward.
Today, two paths had split. One in which the blackout didn't happen and one in which it did. The second the flashforward started, Justin—and everyone else—stepped into the second world and there was no going back. Perhaps, of the infinite number of worlds out there, this was the only one he would ever dream about kissing the sleeping girl next door. But this was the world he is living in now. Even one in a gazillion is still a likely probability.
Alex was so wrong. The cat was totally dead.
Oh destiny. This is what he gets for trying to figure it out for an A in physics.
October 6th. It was just an ordinary day, you have to remember that. But it was the day Justin Russo was unwillingly pushed off the edge and started to fall...for his sister.
There is a good chance you are reading this because you read my other jalex story Finding May. However, don't get your hopes up too high. This story will be less than 10 chapters, probably 6, one for each month leading up to April 29th. I don't know if they will all be in Justin's POV since that makes it very hard to reveal everyone else's flashforwards.
But what did you think? Hopefully the Many Worlds Theory wasn't too confusing. Hopefully it was somewhat accurate too :P
Oh and if you haven't seen Flashforward...well, I guess I don't really recommend watching it since they aren't making a season 2 and season 1 ends in many terrible cliffhangers. It's a wonderful show for geeks like me, but once you start watching it you will be addicted and then heartbroken when you watch the last episode. Just a head's up.