Summary: What's more dangerous than being a transgenic when the whole country's hunting you down? How about being a transgenic with amnesia… You guessed it: it's a return-of-Zack story.
Spoilers: Anything from either season's fair game. Set somewhere after the season finale.
A/N: After the last couple of episodes of the season, I've been wondering, frantically, 'What about Zack?!' The guy's got amnesia and the rest of the world has kill-the-transgenics fever… hmm, strikes me as being more than a little vulnerable in his current condition. I thought it was unfair for them to just ignore his whole situation, so that spawned this little story idea.
Prologue: Futures Remembered, Pasts Forgotten
--The Future, not the Past--
If there's one thing she knew about the past, it's that that's where it belongs.
She'd learned that lesson slowly, the hard way, but she'd learned it. You can't clutch to the past while heading toward the future. One of them had to give. One of them, you had to let go. And that choice was already made for her. For better or for worse, through no decision of her own, she had an important role in the future—a role unknown, but no less crucial for it.
She had to live for the future.
Max watched Joshua's flag—all of theirs flag now—blow in the wind, the new sensation of fierce pride flowing through her veins. Her hand gripped Logan's tighter, and when she finally tore her eyes away from that sight, directing them toward him, a small smile graced her lips. At the same instant, Logan turned and met her gaze.
She raised her hand, holding his, to bring their intertwined fingers into view. "Thank you," she told him softly. "For this, for what you did today, for everything you've done these past few weeks, even with all that's been going on between us." His expression warmed visibly at her words, the corners of his mouth lifting slightly. But he said nothing, waiting for her to continue.
With a small breath, she did. "And thank you for the past two years. For everything you've done, and everything you've been. And for understanding." She squeezed his hand once and released, and now that small smile on his face faltered slightly, confusion claiming those blue eyes. "I'll never forget all that you've done for me."
Her fingers pried loose of his, gently but deliberately, and he didn't stop her. He was too busy staring at her face, all warmth having disappeared from his own.
But Max was still smiling, a soft expression of contentment and acceptance, and though she knew he didn't understand now, she hoped he would in time.
Because moving forward meant letting go. And she had finally let go.
--The Past, or no Future--
If there's one thing he knew about the future, it's that it can't exist without the past.
But he had no past to speak of, no point from which to begin the process of moving forward. It didn't matter what little bits and pieces the others gave him, because he didn't remember it. And if he didn't remember, it was useless.
He who does not learn from history is doomed to repeat it.
Funny how he could remember something like that—some anonymous quote he'd picked up who knew when, under what circumstances—but he couldn't remember something as simple the sound of his name spoken by a familiar voice. Not the voices he heard during the day, the ones that provided him with those bits and pieces of the past, but the ones that haunted him in the middle of the night. The voices that cried out to him when he had no power to respond, voices that begged for him to remember.
It was an itch beneath his skin, one that he could scratch and scratch and scratch at, but never reach.
The others told him to move on, to live and let the past return in its own time. But what they didn't know, what they didn't understand was that without the past, he couldn't move on.
It was like being plotted down halfway through a maze and being told to find his way to the finish. Except he had no idea which way was forward, and which way back. Every step he considered taking was wracked with indecision. A part of him said that it was tactically unsound to make a move without being fully apprised of the situation.
Success depends on having a well thought-out plan that's executed with precision.
But another part told him he just needed to know. When he looked into the mirror, he needed to know whose face it was that stared back at him. When he went slept at night, he needed to know whose dreams it was that he dreamt.
Without the past there is no future. And if he wanted the future, Adam had to find his past.