Hey, it's a new story that has nothing to do with the Cape!
Rating for implied rape and self-harm*.
Un-beta'ed, so quibble away.
- o - o -
No one remembered their abductions.
That wasn't necessarily true, as Steve Bentley would have loved to point out. He remembered his all too well. It was what woke him up at night, a scream dying on his lips and realizing he was soaked with sweat. It was what drove him to get up and run twenty or thirty miles at midnight, down the damn freeway outside the apartment he shared with his girlfriend.
No one was supposed to remember.
But he did. He remembered it all too well. He'd been taking photographs of what he'd thought was a drug deal. Due to his power from hell, he remembered it all too well. Everything he'd ever taken a picture of, he could remember. It hadn't been a snitch those dealers had been shooting…it'd been him. Him, dead as a doornail on the desert ground.
No one talked about their abduction, because it didn't happen.
For him, it had happened. Steve told Tess he woke up at night and went for runs because he couldn't stand being confined after spending most of his working life chasing people and criminals down all over the planet. He never told her that he remembered what the two drug dealers had done to him while he was half-conscious and stretched out in the trunk of their suburban; still woke up feeling their hands all over him. Never told her that he ran so he had an excuse to spend three hours trying to scrub his skin off, or that he tried to escape the perpetual nightmare of the Möbius loop he'd been trapped in for… God, for nearly eight years. Reliving that moment, every night…
No one remembered their abductions. Because they just weren't supposed to.
Steve knew why everyone said they didn't remember their abductions: They didn't want to face what they'd been trapped in for years, sometimes decades. Tess woke up with nightmares that had him craving malted milkshakes with little red cherries on top at two in the morning sometimes. They never spoke about them or acknowledged the nightmares, but he knew what woke her up, screaming and sobbing.
The abductions didn't happen, so there were no nightmares.
He always came back to bed after scrubbing at least a layer of skin off. Tess never said anything, and neither did he.
Because no one was supposed to remember…
- o - o -
A few notes for anyone who's read this: Möbius is a short film starring David Lyons as a photographer named Steve. Long story short, he gets trapped in a möbius loop, probably for all eternity. In this case, it was his abduction that turned him into one of the 4400. Tess is a canonical character who was abducted from the 1950s; she's a telepath. Yes, I know she's canoncially involved with Kevin Burkhoff. This story is in an AU where she isn't. My sincerest apologies to canon purists.
*Scrubbing a few layers of skin off every night counts as self-harm in my book. It's not healthy for anyone, even one of the 4400.