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 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.
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.
The (woman in the) other portrait was me!
"How is this possible?" Christine whispered. "How can it have happened?"
Erik shrugged. "From time to time certain bone structures are repeated without a blood tie. No human face is entirely unique, my dear. I daresay somewhere in the world there may be another poor devil who looks like me."
Phantom, Susan Kay
Todd was horrified, but the pretty nurse opposite him lit up like a Christmas tree when he said her name.
"Yes, sir, I'm Alice."
Todd just stared at her, wide-eyed.
"Mr. Laurence, are you all right? Is your pain worse? Can you tell me what's wrong?"
When he didn't respond, she took a ginger step toward him and explained why she was so glad he knew who she was.
"We spoke two days ago when you woke up briefly, and I wasn't wearing a nametag. I told you my name, and you evidently remember it. That's wonderful! We need to tell Dr. Nayhurn as soon as he arrives."
Todd drew in a ragged breath as his hands grew icy. After another long moment, he realised he was probably starting to scare the girl (Alice!), and managed to look down at the plain white cotton hospital blanket.
Alice Henson had moved away from Llanview six months after Powell beat and brutally raped her in the hospital parking garage. When Todd asked Ray about her, his appointed therapist had grudgingly admitted she'd moved to Colorado, but refused to tell him any more.
What in God's name was happening to him?
If Alice had had a daughter in 1995, the year after she was attacked, she'd only be 15 now. Even the chance that Alice had had an identical twin wouldn't solve this one. This girl was very attractive, but easily in her late 20's.
The same age Alice had been when Powell terrorised her.
Yeah, and just to frame you. It was your fault he raped her, just like he raped Marty.
Shut your piehole, cricket!
Todd saw Alice's eyes widen as she took a step back. He realised he must be looking at her like she was the Ghost of Christmas past, but he couldn't help it.
Could Alice have had a secret daughter when she was only 13 or 14, and given her away? That would explain the age…
Could she be a niece, a younger sister or a cousin named in honor of her relative?
This girl didn't resemble Alice Henson – he would swear on his life it WAS her. He'd almost gone back to jail after being falsely accused for her rape – you didn't forget the face of someone you were connected to that way.
The common name and the identical face could be explained away separately, but together? Not a chance. Todd licked his dry lips and asked a question that seemed so simple, so innocuous; he couldn't believe how much was riding on the answer.
"What's your last name, Alice?"
She smiled hesitantly, but answered him immediately.
"Henson. I'm Alice Louise Henson."
Oh God Oh God Oh God…
Todd leaned his head back and closed his eyes. He didn't harbor any hope that he would wake up and find this all a bad dream, but he needed a second to breathe before he took the next step he knew he must.
"Could you please bring me today's paper?" he asked her. Lots of people in his life would probably call him a coward – he'd called himself one many times – but this was selfishness, not bravery. He needed the truth, and he needed it now.
She didn't respond.
When he opened his scratchy eyes, the worry on her smooth, gentle face told him he'd hit jackpot.
"I don't think I should do that, sir."
"Why not, Alice? It's just a newspaper," Todd wheedled, but she was too smart not to guess the reason he wanted it.
"Mr. Laurence, you woke up two days ago, and when you found out the date, you became so upset that Dr. Nayhurn had to sedate you."
Todd took a deep breath, which pummelled his aching ribs, and sat up as much as he could, which hurt worse.
He looked closer at her.
"Please," was all he said.
To his relief, she didn't say any more before she left the room. She was back within a minute and with downcast eyes, handed him the folded object he'd insisted on having.
Todd unfolded it with icy fingers and saw with no surprise at all that it was a copy of The Banner. And right there, above all the news that was fit to print, were all his suspicions confirmed.
August 28th, 1992.
Todd let the document fall to the ground through his numb hand. He'd seen the date clearly enough, and he had no interest whatsoever in the events covered in the paper.
After all, if what he feared was happening was happening, he'd already lived through them 18 years ago.