A/N: Another new idea that hit me shortly after I discovered the deal between 20th Century and Netflix fell through. That's right—Terra Nova may never see a second season now :( But I swear I'll be here and I'll keep on writing for this fandom. I hope a lot of you will. And please keep reading. I kind of need that.
Now—the premise is simple. Maddy is infected with that same virus that makes people forget things. She gets taken back to a time in her past she'd rather not remember, and Mark gets a devastating glimpse of her life in Chicago in 2149, all while he tries to make her remember who he is, because the root that cures the ailment was destroyed along with the rest of the crops, and it'll be sometime before it grows back or a synthetic copy can be produced. This will probably end up spanning multiple chapters, so please review so that I'm aware you all want more. Also—I'm considering discontinuing "Frozen in Time" and "The Future of the Past" in favor of more conventional stories. If you agree, let me know. If you disagree, still let me know. I have to know that whatever I write will actually be read, or else there isn't a point to it. Thanks :)
Two days. Two days without Maddy Shannon? Would I make it? We've been apart before, but things were different this time around. Normally, when we're apart, I'm OTG and she's safe in the colony, waiting for me. This time, though, it was Maddy who was headed OTG to research new medicinal and nutritional crops to replace those destroyed by the Phoenix Group bastards. The science division had requested her specifically. Of course they had—Maddy's more brilliant than all of them combined.
I applied to be on the armed security squad that would accompany them out into the jungle—just to ensure Maddy was safe. I know she can take care of herself out there just as well as anyone else. But I would feel much better if I were there. As Maddy always said—it's scarier to be the one left behind, waiting. I never really understood what she meant until this moment.
Of course, I wasn't selected to go on the mission. People were bound to talk if I was allowed to spend the night unsupervised with the sheriff's teenage daughter. And I understood this. I wasn't happy, but I understood. Maddy's dignity is more important, and she would have good protection. I just had to make sure none of the guys my age got any ideas…
"We're heading out soon," she told me, dropping her pack and worming her way into my arms. That was a phrase I was used to saying to her.
"Be careful out there," I murmured. This was a phrase she was used to saying to me.
She smiled, obviously aware of the reversed roles. "I'll be fine, Mark. You said it yourself—I'm in capable hands."
It's true. I did tell her that. "Doesn't mean you can't be careful anyway," I reminded her, tucking a dark strand of hair behind her ear. I kissed her golden cheek, wanting to savor every moment before she had to go. It'd be two whole days before I got to see her again. All too soon, the dreaded command rang out. Maddy offered me a wan smile as she headed for the rhino that would take her outside.
"Maddy!" I ran, caught her shoulder, spun her around. She looked at me with widened brown eyes. "I love you," I told her quickly, pressing my lips to hers and savoring the sensation I was going to be deprived of for two days. "Always," I added once we broke apart.
"And I love you too, Mark. Always." I smiled and watched her go. I loathed admitting it, but going OTG would be good for her. And if she remembered the self-defense techniques I taught her, then she'd definitely be able to hold her own out there. I would miss her, but I also knew that she would be fine. In the meantime, I had perimeter patrol to worry about…
Two days came and went, dragging by painfully slow. I almost forgot Maddy wasn't in Terra Nova a few times, starting to walk to her house before realizing she wasn't here at the moment. And I worried whenever I thought of that. Maddy always explained how afraid she felt when I was gone, not for herself but for me. I thought it was a little excessive at the time—adorable, but unnecessary—but after experiencing it myself, I can vouch that waiting is definitely a scary activity.
But Maddy came back, a bit dusty and disheveled, but she appeared no worse for wear, which was a relief. I practically launched myself at her as soon as I spotter her familiar hiking boots stepping off the truck.
"Maddy!" I touched her shoulder gently and she spun around, almost recoiling from the contact. Well that was surprising. "I'm sorry," I apologized quickly. "I didn't mean to startle you."
There was a certain…hazy aspect to her eyes—normally a clear brown. Maybe she was just tired…
"Oh…no it's okay…" she paused, "Mark. I just wasn't expecting you to come up behind me, you know?"
I nodded, frowning a bit at how long it took her to say my name. "Maddy, are you okay?"
"Yeah, yeah I'm…I'm totally fine," her brows creased, like she was trying to remember something.
"Good," I scooted closer to her, sweeping dark hair from her face and leaning in to kiss her. Her breath hitched and she tensed up. I instantly pulled back, releasing her. Had I been holding her too tightly? It was possible—I was really excited to have her home. "Did I…did I hurt you?" I asked worriedly.
I noticed her turn several shades pinker. "No. I'm fine," her voice was a little…different. Almost…shy? Which was weird given the fact that we were going on fifteen months together.
"I'm going home now…I really need a shower. I'm all dirty," she brushed dust off of her clothing and the furrow in her brow increased.
"Yeah, go relax. You've earned it," I rested my hand on her shoulder, careful not to squeeze too hard, opting instead to draw her into a hug. "I love you," I murmured.
Maddy paused and I could feel her tense a little again. "I…love you too," she replied haltingly, pulling away. "I…I should go home," she headed off toward the markets.
"Maddy, you're house is that way," I pointed in the opposite direction.
"Right," she touched her forehead briefly, frowning in thought. "Right," she repeated and then walked off in the direction I pointed. Now I was really worried. Was she just disoriented and distracted? I ran to catch up to her.
"Maddy, is it okay if I come visit you tomorrow—you know, once you've had time to rest?"
Maddy paused momentarily, then nodded her head with a smile. "Yes. I'd like that very much."
Those words were a relief. She seemed genuinely happy at the thought of me coming to visit once she was well-rested, and I figured that she was just tired and therefore disoriented. I knew what it was like—going OTG can be stressful and you seldom sleep more than a few hours at a time. "Great. I'll see you tomorrow," I promised.
I came to visit her late in the morning the following day. I had volunteered to work graveyard that night so that I could come see her when she was likely to be up and awake. It was past eleven-thirty when I knocked on her front door. There was silence for a while. I knew that Mr. Shannon and Dr. Shannon were both at work, and that Josh was probably either with Skye or at Boylan's working. And Zoe was in school, which left Maddy home by herself. I waited patiently, and soon caught motion in my peripheral vision. I whipped my head around to see what it was, and caught motion behind Maddy's bedroom window. A familiar silhouette appeared behind the glass. She was home, looking at me, which meant that she wasn't answering the door on purpose.
My mind and heart raced. Was this really the moment I had been dreading? The moment when she realized that she could do far better than me? The moment she realized there were other young men in the colony who would gladly take her if given the chance? I'm not normally insecure, but from the moment I met Maddy I knew she deserved someone far better than me. Someone at least comparable in intellect to her brilliant mind. I swallowed hard and knocked again, a little more persistently this time.
I guess the way I knocked finally persuaded her to come answer the door because it swung open cautiously a few seconds later. Maddy peered timidly out from around the doorway. "Hey, it's just me," I said gently, wondering exactly what had her all riled up and hoping she wasn't angry with me.
I was mentally steeling myself in case she really did want to break things off, but the three words she spoke next were far more devastating than a break-up. Because Maddy Shannon opened her beautiful mouth and said: "Who are you?" It wasn't harsh, nor was it cruel. It was fearful and uncertain. Which made it a genuine question. Maddy had no idea who I was.
I reached out to her gently, trying to touch her face, stroke her cheek gently, reassure her that everything was fine because I knew that something had to have screwed with her memory now—probably that virus that had wiped Commander Taylor's memory and Dr. Shannon's at one point too. She recoiled from my hand, shrinking back, eyes shut.
"Please," she squeaked, and my heart almost shattered at the vulnerability in her voice—a vulnerability I had never heard in her or anyone else before. "Please don't…don't do that to me," she pled. "I…I can help you with what you need just…just please don't hurt me."
It was like I was running at eight times my normal workout pace—the way my heart beat rapidly. She was terrified. She honestly thought I was here to hurt her. Or that I wanted something from her. Maddy had opened up to me before, at least partially, about the horrors of Chicago in 2149. Was she flashing back there now? Was I about to witness the full extent of her horror?
"Maddy, I'm not here to hurt you, and I don't want anything from you…"
"That's a lie," she broke in. "That's what all of you say to me, and then you just come and…and threaten me and make me help you, so I'm not going to fight or…or ask for something in return…I just…I'll help you pass whatever class you want but please just…just go away when I'm done. Please." The words spilled from her lips like the time she had rambled about brachiosaurus teeth. Only there was nothing adorable about this ramble. This was sheer terror and self-preservation, and the true nature of what had happened to her in 2149 was becoming more and more apparent.
"Maddy," I tested, voice soft and gentle, trying not to spook her. "Maddy, do you know where you are?" It was a simple question, but it would prove to me everything I needed to know.
Her eyes widened as she glanced around at the greenery that I knew didn't exist in Chicago in 2149. "A dome?" she questioned tentatively. My heart dropped into the pit of my stomach. That confirmed it. She didn't know where she was, much less who I was. In her mind, this was some super-large dome in the future. And yet, I had to ask a second question. Even if I already knew the answer. I had to. I didn't want to, but I wouldn't rest unless I heard it from her lips.
"Maddy, do you know who I am?" I asked, and I could hear the crack in my voice. It was stupid to get my hopes up—she had already questioned my identity once before—but there was a part of me entertaining the notion that maybe her memory had been jogged. Because I didn't want her to forget me. I could never forget her.
She looked at me, really looked, like she was thinking, trying to recall a name or a face or something. Hope surged through me. Maybe she hadn't forgotten. Not entirely. But then she shook her head slowly and I could feel the moisture welling up in my eyes because I was feeling this strange feeling in the pit of my stomach.
And it's a feeling I've never experienced before and never want to experience again: the feeling of being well and truly forgotten…
That is, if you want it to be ;)
A/N: So what d'ya think? Good idea? Bad idea? Just so you know, I'm cancelling "Frozen in Time" due to poor reception BUT "The Future of the Past" will continue on as planned, at least for a few more chapters. This story has potential (I think so, anyway) but the only way you'll get more is if I hear you guys want it. I mean it this time—no more updating and trying to keep a dwindling audience! So review if you liked it and want more!