Summary: Todd finds himself transplanted back in time…to encounter Marty and his younger self. Can he undo his worst sins and kill his darkest demons before they're born?
Disclaimer: This tale is directly inspired by Stephen King's excellent novel 11/22/63, in which an ordinary man finds a wormhole back in time and uses it to try and stop tragedy before it occurs. No copyright infringement intended.
The characters and some of the dialogue and backstory herein are the property of the ABC network. No copyright infringement intended. This is a non-profit fan fiction written for entertainment purposes only.
The italicised flashback dialogue in Chapter 1 is the property of ABC.
Trigger Alert: Please Note - This story includes detailed background/plot references to rape and sexual violence. No explicit sex is included – reader discretion is advised.
Author's Note: In this story, Victor Lord Jr. does NOT exist and Todd does not have a brother. Adult Todd in this story is as portrayed by Trevor St. John. Younger Todd is as portrayed by Roger Howarth.
Glory, built on selfish principles, is shame and guilt. - William Cowper
Guilt always hurries towards its complement, punishment; only there does its satisfaction lie. - Lawrence Durrell
December 21st, 2010
Rodi's Tavern was seasonally styled in bright lights of all shapes and colors. They wound around table legs and dangled from the ceiling. Wreaths even hung on the door. Thankfully, there was no mistletoe in sight.
The scotch was twenty years old – single malt. It was the best Rodi's had to offer, and the best that money could buy. It was rich and sent a wonderfully agonizing path of fire roaring from his tongue down to his gut.
It wasn't working.
He was nowhere close to the numbness that was the only reward of plowing shots like he'd been for the last hour and a half.
Why are you surprised, pal? You have a strong resistance to booze. Doesn't even cause you impotence. Just ask Marty. She knows. You were pretty soused the night of the Fling, but you could still put it to her with no problem. None at all.
Shut the hell up!
Todd was on his seventh drink, and he still couldn't get the sneering voice in his mind to can it. No more than he could get Marty's face out of his mind when she looked at him, horrified, and declared, "Hope's all I have."
Not true. She had a nice home, tons of money in the bank, a doctorate, a good job in her trained field where her colleagues thought she walked on water, and pretty soon she'd probably have McPain back too. Todd didn't see how John could leave Marty for long – even with gals as fetching as Natalie and Kelly waiting in the wings.
Never mind what she has. You couldn't even have the papers couriered to her. You had to go to her house personally and give her the news yourself. Not to mention laugh at her with Natalie in her own living room.
Starr didn't know yet that he'd tricked her into signing the restraining order that would keep Marty a hundred feet away from Hope. He supposed it was only a matter of time before she found out – and like as not, she'd hate him for it.
Well, what choice had he had? It was for the best. In time, Starr would realize that.
Marty's huge, bleeding heart had almost gotten Hope and Starr killed. If she hadn't harbored that loco bitch Hannah, the girls never would have been kidnapped, and her precious Cole wouldn't be in jail either.
And if Cole hadn't shot that scum Elijah, he would have kept going after all the girls. Maybe even Jack and Sam. Killing Marty's baby before it was even born wouldn't have been enough for him. No way, no how. Cole did you a favor – and he'll be paying for it the rest of his life.
"Another, my good sir. Make it a double," Todd called to the bartender as he held up his glass.
The tall, brown-haired young man handed a burly patron who'd been matching Todd shot for shot another slug of Jim Beam.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Manning, but I can't serve you anymore."
"You what? You're cutting me off?" Todd scowled. "No way. He hasn't shut up yet."
"Who, sir? Is another customer disturbing you?"
"The Jiminy Cricket on my shoulder," Todd explained.
"Just give a man his drink," insisted Todd's seatmate, glaring at the bartender with bleary eyes. "S'almost Christmas."
"I'm sorry, Mr. Anderson, but this will have to be your last as well."
"The hell you say!" the portly man erupted. Even over the constant background noise of the crowded, smoky bar, Todd winced at the grating sound.
"Just gimme my keys," Todd ordered.
"I can't do that, Mr. Manning. You handed your keys to me over an hour ago so you could keep purchasing drinks. You can come and pick your car up in the morning…"
Todd cursed a blue streak, shook his head in weary disgust and dug out his wallet. "Never mind. I'll go call myself a cab. I'm a cab."
He stood up from his stool and tossed two hundred-dollar bills on top of the bar. Way too much, but what the hell. 'Twas the season.
"Here. Keep the change. Top of the Christmas to you."
"Good night, sir," the bartender said quietly. "Be safe."
Todd snorted as he threaded his way through the scratched, wooden tables to access the restrooms in the back corridor of Rodi's before he left the esteemed premises.
"Goddammit!" he growled as he clipped his knee hard on the corner of the pinball machine.
It's not the same one Marty played the night she blew you off, but it's a nice one, isn't it, pal? Almost like the pinball machine from The Accused. Just think – if they ever recast that movie, you could play the lead role.
Any of the lead roles. You're a shoo-in, pal. You've got three finished rapes and one attempted to your credit, and hey – now you've been raped yourself. You'd be a natural.
"For the pleasure of shutting you the hell up!" Todd snarled to his cricket-voice.
He banged through the bathroom door – and a blast of icy wind howled victoriously at him. It was the kind of biting cold that made you wish for snow to come and take some of the chill from the air. Nice move. He hadn't accessed the men's room at all; he'd gone out the back door into the alley. With no jacket.
Todd swore vilely as he kicked the chain-link fence in front of him.
A fence that was all too familiar.
"I've been waiting for you, Marty..."
He'd blamed her for exercising her right to free speech, just like he'd blamed her for everything else. The familiar rage was choking him slowly. He'd wanted to share that feeling. His teachers had always said he wasn't a good boy when it came to sharing.
And didn't he just love to prove people wrong – especially about him?
"You listen to me very carefully…'cause you know what happens to bad girls who don't listen, don't you?"
Visions of sugarplums and pounding gavels and thoughts of what they did to rapists in prison danced in his head all night, and booze wasn't enough to help him sleep.
"You're not going back on that stand. There's not gonna be a second trial. And you're not going back on that radio show, either…"
His girl had defied him, of course. Even back then, he hadn't expected anything less or anything else. Not that that had appeased the red fury that made him pin her against the fence.
"Maybe you'll get me all excited again, and we'll do it right here in the alleyway!"
He'd torn off the breast pocket of her chambray shirt and tried to stuff it in her mouth. In the end he didn't have to – her terrified cries choked her easier than the cloth could have.
Muscle memory was powerful thing, after all. It didn't matter if the magic feather was a sweatband or a piece of a blouse.
Todd bitterly applauded his younger self – it had been the absolutely perfect move to keep her quiet.
Then her friend had come out – just in time.
"Get your hands off her right now, Todd!"
"I thought I was a pretty good teacher – but it looks like I'm going to have to give Marty here another lesson. And guess what, little Looney Bird? You get to watch!"
Marty's petrified whimpers and yelps clanged in his mind. They easily drowned out the present noise of Bon Jovi crooning "Please Come Home for Christmas" back in the bar.
"Don't fight me, Marty. Don't…"
The last thing he remembered was the sensation of his thudding heart, which felt like it would crash through his chest, leaving him dead before he could take her, stake her, claim her, make her scream, make her his. He'd be gone, and she'd be happy…
Then thunder had boomed in his head.
That was the last thing he knew. Everything else that happened, he'd heard from the doctors and the police.
Todd clenched the chain link of the fence tight in his ungloved hands, marveling at how frigid through it was. Cold enough to burn.
Just one Patrick Ewing swing to his head had stamped his ticket "Game Over". And given him his gorgeous scar to boot. The brave brunette had saved Marty, just like her boyfriend Velveteen had saved the day at the Tabernacle.
If Luna hadn't come along, who kn-
Todd's thought cut out as he heard a sudden outraged squealing of brakes.
Then everything cut out.