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Life As We Remember by starlight

BRIAN 

 

Emmett showed up, most likely concerned about my sanity, and upon seeing Michael sitting on the couch at Marilyn’s, his too. Only after watching the two of us for a second he look confused. He saw Carl but ignored him to watch Michael.

 

“That's different,” He said looking at Michael.

 

“Marilyn’s worried about it.” Michael tells him. 

 

“Well it's not normal for you.” Emmett tells him. 

 

“Yes we get it, a world where Michael no longer pines over me. Can we get to why you're here.” I tell him, impatient to get home. It feels like the longer we're stuck here the less chance we have of getting home.

 

“Sure, it just really makes it more believable to me that you’re from an alternate time, seeing Michael not simpering in your presence.” Emmett tells me.

 

“Can we get on with the plan? It's not really fun to remember how pathetic I was running after Brian.” Michael asks.

 

“You want me to go to this bar that sells underage ass, then I make sure the pimp and muscle give the cops enough that they don't simply walk while the hustlers end up in jail or as a toy for human pieces of shit.” Emmett tells him, as we both stare at him. 

 

“Please guys, the cop needs to learn Woody’s isn't the place to talk to Brian about anything.” Emmett tells us, proving our point to Carl. “Don’t worry I spread it around tonight that the bear wanted a little cops and robbers action from Brian.” Emmett tells Carl.

 

“Bear?” Carl asks.

 

“Yeah, it's what we call guys that look like you.” Michael tells him, enjoying Carl's discomfort.

 

“I'll brush up on my gay language and etiquette later, right now we need you to sign some releases that you volunteered to do this. We plan to arrest you with everyone else, but you won't be charged. It makes it so no one thinks you were involved.” Carl tells him. 

 

“Why would that matter, if they're all being arrested?” Emmett asks.

 

“Because one of them is a cop. Unlike the rest of the world, other cops aren’t happy to see one of their own arrested. It will save you from harassment later.” Carl tells him. 

 

“When do you need me?” Emmett asks.

 

“Friday night, we don't have a lot of time to get you ready.” Carl tells him. 

 

“For what? I go in and buy the kid.” Emmett tells him. 

 

“We need the two selling the kids to admit their part in it. Otherwise we don't have any reason to arrest them. Being in the bar is just that, if we don't have solid proof.” Carl tells him. 

 

“Doesn't a police officer have a responsibility to you know, stop crime? I mean I get the guy is off, but how is it okay to ignore what's going on under his nose?” Emmett asks, making a valid point.

 

“In this case, he's committing the crime.” Michael adds.

 

“I need you to trust me, who am I going to take down? I need to know, because I've had to be careful who I selected to be in on this. If my judgment is wrong, then we just wasted manpower for it all to go south.” Carl asks.

 

It was that moment of truth that in every life, Carl balked at. If he did this time, then Michael would need to convince Brian to help him. It's one thing he still could do at this point in time. “Does the name Kenneth Rickert sound familiar?” I ask. 

 

“Are you out of your fucking mind? You want me to go after the chief of police’s old partner. The guy's won awards for being an outstanding cop.” Carl tells me. 

 

“Super Cop or not, it doesn't mean he's above the law. You told me it 

didn’t matter, but I guess you were blowing smoke up my ass.” I tell him. 

 

“Brian, it's not me not wanting to do my job, it's that I report to Stockwell. He's going to want this buried because he'll be tainted by it.” He tells me. 

 

“Then don't tell him. It's not like you can't act surprised by one of your fellow officers being dirty. From what I see on the news people do it all the time. You know, like the neighbors who said Johnny was such a sweet, quiet boy. We never knew he was cutting up bodies in his basement.” Emmett tells him. 

 

“I need to think about this, I'm not saying no. It's just going to cause a shit storm.” Carl says, getting up and walking out.

 

“So after this I should get to know Justin?” Emmett asks, as if it was all he cared about.

 

I let Michael and Emmett talk, deciding to see why Marilyn has been hiding in her room. When I got to her door she opened it and went back to sitting at her vanity table.

 

“Still think I'm wrong including people?” I ask, sitting on the bed.

 

“You've always done things your way, so it's stupid of me to worry.” She tells me. 

 

“That's a change.” I tell her. 

 

“When fucking Angels tell me to butt out, I listen.” She tells me. 

 

“Why are they telling you to butt out?” I ask. 

 

“The same reason they talk to Justin in your timeline, they have faith in you. Which is never given lightly, so for once I'm going to help but not interfere.” She tells me. 

 

“Why were they talking to Justin?” I ask. 

 

“Because he questioned why every life with you had you both fighting to be together. They needed him to understand why.” She tells me. 

 

“It’s a question I ask myself. My life is different there, my parents are everything I used to dream they would be. Justin and I are building a life we wanted, without the bullshit that plagued me here. If it wasn’t for this crap, we'd be figuring out who to have Kira with. Instead we're fighting a fight that should have ended when we altered this timeline. I don't understand why Lindsay was allowed to do any of this, she was supposed to be in hell.” I tell him. 

 

“Do you want to know? It might be better for you to see. Although I'm not sure you're going to like what you see.” She tells me.

 

“Then tell me.” I tell her. 

 

“It's easier to show you. But before I do, understand that only you and Michael will see it. Everyone else won't, because they can't.” She tells me.

 

I followed her out of the room. Emmett and Michael were talking, and told us they'd rather stay here. Marilyn drove us to the girls house and parked a couple houses down.

 

“She'll be out in a second.” She tells me. 

 

The front door opens and Lindsay comes outside, it wasn’t until she reached the mailbox that I noticed anything. “What the hell?” I ask, staring at her.

 

“To everyone else, they see the face they know, in your case you see what's hidden under it.” She tells me. 

 

“There's nothing.” I tell him, staring at her. Her face was blurred as if she was out of focus.

 

“She's not really Lindsay anymore, she's a wraith. In order to be here she had to come back as she truly is. There is nothing left of the woman you once knew. You're not fighting Lindsay anymore, you're fighting against what hell made her.” He tells me. 

 

“What happens in the next life or the one after, do we keep doing this?” I ask. 

 

“No. If she fails it's really over this time. Unlike the Big Guy, his son doesn’t take to kindly to failure.” He tells me. 

 

“Why are you showing me this?” I ask. 

 

“Because you blame yourself for bringing Lindsay into your lives. That isn't Lindsay anymore, just an empty shell. It's not your fault the woman you once thought of as a friend turned out to be a vessel determined to have vengeance for Lindsay’s perceived wrongs.” She tells me. 

 

“I'm tired of it.” I admit.

 

“I know, but once you finish this, it's your life to live. Justin will be there at the end of this.” She tells me. 

 

The weight I was carrying lightened, because part of the way I was feeling was not having Justin with me. It's different than the last time, because I loved him before I met him again.

 

“He loved you enough to find his way back to you. Now it's time for you to find your way back to him.” She tells me, driving away.

 

“We still have Sierra, Gardner, and Ted’s crazy ex.” I tell him. 

 

“After you deal with Rita and Rickert, Gardner will likely run for the hills.” She tells me. 

 

“If he doesn't?” I ask. 

 

“It might be good for you to take a trip to help him see his error in taking on you and Justin. He believes what Lindsay was selling him, only she has nothing on you when it comes to selling anything.” She tells me. 

 

“It's time to get Carl with the program.” I tell him. 

 

 

 

 

 

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