Disclaimer: Total Recall is a 2012 remake of the 1990 film of the same name, which in turn loosely based on the 1966 short story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" by Philip K. Dick. Total Recall was directed by Len Wiseman, written by Mark Bomback and Kurt Wimmer. It is distributed by Columbia Pictures. This is a work of fan fiction using characters and situations from this movie. I do not claim any ownership over them. This story is for entertainment only. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
AN: Cross-posted at LJ and AO3.
They saved the Colony. Lori is dead, Melina is with him and the sun shines, painting the world in yellow hues. It looks and feels warm.
Everything is good, for a few days, and then the dust settles and he feels lost.
He remembers the day he went to Rekall and asked for Mac. And Mac, an experienced seller, who read him so accurately and in just a few questions managed to find his dream.
"Secret agent. That's you, right?"
He remembers it striking a chord.
Then a few minutes later, the SWAT team had surrounded him, and the sound of safety being turned off had flipped a switch inside of him and he moved.
- And kept moving, his body dancing its deadly dance all on its own, for days afterwards.
He thinks that his own hands should feel alien to him, but the weight of a gun in them is familiar like few things are nowadays.
He wonders what other skills he might have, what knowledge lies hidden inside his mind. He spends days-
Weeks, months, years
-trying to find out.
Melina moves in with him. She was a member of the resistance and thus moved often, for safety reasons, and never really put down roots. The night before she comes, he deletes all the pictures with Lori on them and throws away her belongings.
When he touches her wedding ring, his fingers feel as if burnt.
He keeps the window and the door to the balcony open the entire night, because the apartment smells of her and he can't breathe.
He freezes that night and in the morning sniffles. He feels miserable and remembers, fondly, his childhood room and the window he opened wide one night only to have his mother come and close it, saying "You'll catch a cold, Dougie." She had smiled and tucked him in-
"You were raised by your father, not your mother."
Melina's words ring in his ears and his step falters. The cup drops from his nerveless fingers and shatters on the floor.
"What about this one?" He asks Melina, pointing at the scar on his leg.
"You got it in the car crash that killed your father."
"...I was in the car."
She looks away, uncomfortable.
He hates that he has to ask, hates that she knows when he doesn't.
When he should.
He doesn't know why he was raised motherless or what kind of man his father was.
The father he remembers not having was a factory worker who died in a work related accident three days before Doug was born.
He takes his gun and thinks he hears a voice of his past say "Don't point if you're not ready to shoot, Carl.", but the memory is too hazy to grab a hold of.
He is pretty sure that his father was not a factory worker.
Maybe violence is in his blood.
He washes his hands in the sink. The blood colors the water red.
His phone rings just as he finishes drying his hands.
"Do you have it?" Cohaagen asks.
"Yes." He answers.
Behind him, a man lies dead.
He wakes up, satisfaction thrumming in his veins.
Next to him, Lori-
He remembers the metallic smell of blood and doesn't feel sick.
Hauser was a harsh man. That much he has managed to figure out.
He chose Melina-
-and to be the men who betrayed everything he once fought for.
That doesn't mean that sometimes, when he looks at the dark ceiling of their apartment, he doesn't see white walls instead-
The walls of an apartment he has seen only once, and doesn't remember living in
-and everything feels wrong.
He tries not to think too much about the fact that when someone calls his name-
Hauser or Doug
-he responds to both without a pause.
He kisses Melina and feels like he is cheating on his wife.
His fingers play the notes on the wood of the table as if there is an actual piano underneath them. He wants to play, wants to see what melody his hands will make, but he can't afford to buy a piano.
He thought about going to the bar and asking Murray if he could play, but that place reminds him of Harry.
He put a bullet through Harry's head. There will be no more switching places in the Fall. There is no more Fall. Melina says it's a good thing.
Harry never was so the man he killed wasn't Harry. That is a good thing.
That is a painful thing.
Once he starts thinking about it he can't stop.
How long has he known Murray for? It can't be the two years he remembers. His neighbors, his coworkers, his boss…
How many of them were agents and how many of them were just paid or forced to pretend?
How many of them were real?
He closes his eyes tightly to try and stop the tears. He is not sure if it is frustration or grief that makes him want to cry.
It is that name that tears away the last vestiges of his control, and makes the tears fall. As Melina sits next to him, he turns his head away so she won't see.
She doesn't say another word, just sits next to him and lays her head on his shoulder. She takes one of his hands in hers and stays.
He is grateful.
"Have you ever been to Rekall?"
She looks stricken and he almost regrets asking when she chokes out "Once."
He doesn't ask again.
He remembers loving his wife-who-is-not-his-wife and he remembers killing her.
It hits him later. The woman who chased him, who tried her best to kill him is the woman he remembers falling for. Remembers the first time he made her smile (made her frown), the day they married (the days they fought), the smell of her skin, the feel of her hair under his fingers and the warmth he felt when he woke up to find her curled up next to him.
He mourns the death of his wife even though the only place she ever existed is in his mind.
He has nightmares of shooting the one with her face and wakes up with a sob.
Melina doesn't wake up and in the morning he doesn't tell her of his nightmares. The mere mention of Lori's name angers her and he tries to avoid doing that. He doesn't dare tell her that he feels like a widower. She lost Hauser, in a way, since he will never again be exactly as he was and he fears that one day she will realize that and leave.
He doesn't want that.
- Even though sometimes it feels as if things between them are happening too fast, too soon.
Melina asks how he escaped when Cohaagen's men were about to restore his memories and he tells her about Hammond.
"Were you friends?"
"Yes." He knows that much.
He wonders if maybe not-Harry fashioned his act after a real friend of Hauser's. He doesn't think so. He doubts he and Hammond were drinking buddies.
Some bonds are formed in spilt blood and shared kills.
"I forget sometimes, that you don't remember." Melina remarks as they are eating their breakfast.
Breakfast! He keeps expecting someone to crash trough the window and start shooting. Just the thought of it makes him feel exhilarated. He glances subtly towards the window but no one crashes through it.
"You still move the same way you did before."
He doesn't deny it. Can't.
"You talk the same way. React the same way."
"That's new, though." She says, nodding towards his open book.
"I like to read."
"I know. That hasn't changed. The type of the books you read is new."
He thinks of the heavy tomes he saw in Hauser's apartment and then of the Ian
Fleming's novel he is currently reading, and is not surprised. Hauser wouldn't have felt the need to read about something that was his everyday life. Doug, on the other hand, had felt that something was missing and had tried to find it.
"I like them." He says and turns the page.
Something is still missing.
He is unemployed. The Resistance is not really needed anymore so there is no work for him there. For years-
-he was a factory worker, but the factory is in the UFB and there is no way to reach it anymore. Thousands of others used to work in the Federation and now they are not working anywhere.
No work means no money. People will go hungry. Some will starve and some will try to rise above others.
There will be riots soon. He doesn't ask Melina whether she sees it as well, but she never goes out without a weapon. He thinks that answers it.
Maybe he will be able to carve out a place for himself in this world that is to come. His mind races with possibilities.
"I know that look, Hauser."
"What look, Melina?"
"The one that says you're planning something and I'm not going to like it."
She does know him well. The thought makes him pause as he waits for the resentment it usually brings, but it is slow in coming. It makes him feel lighter, somehow.
He sends her a quick smile and watches as she relaxes and smiles back, relieved.