Author: Loz (lozenger8)
Rating: White Cortina
Word Count: 685 words.
Notes: Drink, but that's about it.
Back when he used to care about these things, used to think about these things, he told himself he knew where to draw the line. There were actions he would never take. Words he would never say. Never was a word in his vocabulary and he’d use it quite a bit. Still, when you’re younger, you’re impressionable and idealistic, aren’t you? And it’s maturity and experience which beats it out of you, like a thousand rats in a sack. Don’t get me wrong, he still knew where to draw the line. The line had shifted forward considerably, that’s all. Usually it didn’t bother him. He didn’t give any of it a second thought. Life was not meant to be wasted in navel gazing introspection, life was about getting out there and acting. Except that was it, wasn’t it? He was always acting. He couldn’t just be. He had a face to maintain, an unyielding position to uphold. The buck stopped with him.
Back when he’d taken the last drink, he’d been able to stand reasonably okay. His head had felt all fuzzy-like, and his eyes hadn’t seemed to want to go in similar directions, but his feet were solid on the ground. He lurched a little bit to the left. He bent a little bit to the right. And somewhere along the way he doubled over. But for the most part, he reached the door. Out into the cold night air, that’d help him get his senses back. Of course, outside, the air wasn’t actually that cold. It was relatively warm by his discerning standards. A trickle of sweat edged its way down his forehead and across his neck. He flung a helpless hand towards it and missed.
Back when as far as he knew, Hyde was just another place on the map, more nights like this than he would care to mention would occur. But it seemed that these days he didn’t need to crawl into every bottle on the shelf to escape from the past. He was living in the present almost every moment of every day. Because he’d witnessed too many cock-ups lately and he was not going to stand for it. He wasn’t standing right now. He was half sitting on the kerb. Half lying also. You know how sometimes you’re not sure how you got somewhere, but you know that you were meant to be there anyway? That’s how he felt. Not in relation to where he was right currently, but at any other time of the day. At work. Somehow, and he wasn’t sure how, but somehow, he thought that all of this was the undeniable it.
Back when Cartwright’d first told him, he’d laughed. He’d said that she’d gone off her trolley. But it seemed to him that there was danger in not listening to those who spoke in utter earnest, and everything she said made some kind of reaction occur in his head, like little woodlice dancing on salt. So now he was stuck with a problem. He had to start thinking more about the past. Except it wasn’t the past, was it? It was now. And it was all so confusing that he thought his brain would blow up. So the bottles became ever more tempting. Just for this night, mind. Tomorrow he’d be up and early, trying to figure out the pieces that made a Sam make more sense.
Back when life was complicated but not especially crazy he thought he knew exactly what he was going to do at exactly the right moment. After three times the normal limit of alcohol he usually consumed and several hours thinking about things no sane man should ever think about, he had no idea. About anything. That was why he was knocking on a door at three in the morning. That was why, when he saw Sam standing with a halo of light round his left side and a curious expression on his face, he stumbled forward.
“Back when I was a kid, I believed in time travel. You tell me why I should believe it now.”