If I Never Remember

rylie_icon.png zan_icon.png

Where: Primatech Paper - Advanced Level

When: August 5, 2012

What: It's hard to say if Rylie will remember her life in 2012.

It's an odd thing, when ever being the Mayor's Son doesn't help get you out of something. After their trip into 1955, Zan and Rylie were brought… somewhere and put into what can only be called holding cells. They have the same one, even, mostly because they're not here because they're dangerous advanced that need to be controlled, but because The Company isn't quite sure how much of their memory they're walking out of here with.

Doubly so, in Rylie's case.

They had to sedate her, because she was a little too hysterical after the portal, but even when she woke up, she hasn't been terribly talkative.

For his part, Zan had mostly kept it together. Outwardly. Signs of his deepening worry have become more physically evident. Between pacing or sitting and watching Rylie from one of the four corners, with no sleeping to be had. It's been an effort to keep himself contained, to not lose his composure and make matters even worse, and to give her as much space as the room would allow.

There's been plenty of laps made around the room recently, and it's sitting time again. As always, his vigil is unwavering though he's currently taking his anxiety out on a thumbnail. He'd given up on trying to make small talk, and now is no different, waiting for her to be ready to talk instead of pushing the issue.

It takes a while. But Rylie, whatever the state of her mind, has never been one to be quiet for too long. He can see when she gets too curious not to speak. Her shoulder rolls. She lifts a hand to wipe at her eyes. She straightens her shirt. All that and she doesn't even turn around when she starts talking.

"Why do you know my name?" Something that never did get explained to her. "The Doctor said you were looking for me, but he never told me who you were."

Hands lower, as well as his eyes, taking a beat to make sure he can answer. Even still, Zan's voice, though quiet, holds fear in it when he speaks. "We've been dating for a couple of months," he says, looking up at her again. "You work for my dad, so we've known each other for a while longer than that. But we started going out just a couple months ago."

He doesn't stand, and his movements are slow enough he could be moving around a creature liable to spook, but he unfolds himself some, legs folded in front of himself and hands needfully clasped in his lap. "We've actually been through a lot together."

Laughter greets that explanation, but not amused laughter, not even mocking laughter. Just someone who can't quite grasp what's happening. A hand runs over her face and she shakes her head a bit. "This is impossible," she says, just a whisper. "I've been working at Pearlie's for two years. There's no boyfriend, and I can't say I've been through a lot, except just now. That man, he made the Moulin Rouge explode."

As if this were a novel concept.

"And we walked through a wall into… some… place, did you see that car?" The Company car, certainly unlike anything they had in Fifty-Five. There's a small pause before she turns enough to look over her shoulder at him. "What have we been through together?"

"That's how I felt the first time we went to the Moulin Rouge," Zan answers. He hasn't raised his voice, the fear he feels still works its way into his words. "That it was impossible. You sang, you headlined for Eartha Kitt. You were amazing at it." There's definitely no flattery, words coming out honestly. "We watched her sing a couple of songs and then returned, just like we did the other night. But we both wanted to stay. We only went because a guy ran into me at a gala my dad was hosting or… something. He pressed a note into my hand with the address of the house we came out of the wall into."

He lets out a shaking breath and carefully eases himself a little closer. "You like to DJ, and you'd take me to raves out in the desert," he begins. Easier stuff first. "You told me about them when we ran into each other at the diner. At one of them… we were kidnapped. And held for about a week, somewhere. When we finally broke out, something happened and… I remember getting put onto a stretcher in an ambulance and you holding my hand to the hospital, then visiting a couple of days later. That's just a couple of things we've experienced. There's more." He watches her, hoping something will spark.

Rylie's brow furrows. There are words in there that don't click, but she seems to be able to grasp the meaning from context well enough. "I don't know. Um. Are you the crazy one or am I? I just… I never sang before. And never jockeyed a disc or anything. Girls aren't supposed to go to wild parties in the desert, not good girls. Even in Las Vegas."

She doesn't say she's never been, not explicitly, at least. "So… who are you? You know who I am, sort of, who are you?"

"That's just some of it," Zan points out. "You're my dad's assistant, but your passion has always been music. You have a room devoted to it at your house. You started DJing in college, you sing and play drums, you said you'd help me with musical pieces for my movie. Girls do go to wild parties in the desert, even the good ones, in our time."

Zan scrapes his teeth against his lower lips, taking a second for himself before he answers. "I'm Zan. Well, Alexander Caldecott, second son of the Mayor, James Caldecott. He's your dad's friend and kind of like a second dad to you. I don't get along with my dad, and I have an older brother named Tim who I tolerate, two younger twin sisters named Marlie and Madison, and my mom is Stephanie. But I'm Alexander, and I prefer to be called Zan. I'm a student, at UNLV, studying to become a screenwriter. I had been considering joining the police force, but just before we ended up in Nineteen Fifty-five, I had taken Mrs. Crain up on her offer for funding a film. The one you were helping me with."

The explanation has Rylie tilting her head, as if it would help her absorb the information. It doesn't seem to click anything into place, though. Her brow furrows and she leans back against the wall behind her. "I'm supposed to have a family here. But I have one there, too. Then, I guess." Time travel might be a new concept, but the evidence is pretty overwhelming. And so is the situation. She turns her head away again, her fingers coming to try to brush tears off her cheeks. "I'll never seen them again, will I?"

If they even really exist.

"Rylie." Zan's voice, still quiet, wavers for the first time. Though not with the worry he's been feeling, but with an ache of seeing her in pain. He slides closer, brows knitting with concern and fear. "You do have family here," he says as he offers a hand to her. It's unassuming, hesitant and more friendly than familiar. "Whatever… whatever was in that other time wasn't… It had to have been fabricated, somehow. To make you think it was real. The Doctor, maybe. But this is where you belong. This time, now, not then."

There's little pause as he continues, still watching her. "Your life is here. Always has been. You… you left me a note that said you had to go back. Because you visited a guy in the hospital and somehow concluded that we'd changed something at you thought you needed to fix it. I spent a week there trying to find you, afraid of coming back without you, having to tell your family and mine… Never seeing you again."

A look goes over his way, then down to the hand. She hesitates, but her hand reaches out to take his. A combination of needing comfort and being familiar with him on some level, even if she doesn't remember.

And Rylie shifts quickly from taking his hand to crying against his shoulder. It may not be entirely ~appropriate~ in her nineteen-fifties mindset, but no one's watching anyway. Well, no one she can see. People are most definitely watching.

"What if I never remember? If that's all true, what if I never remember and I'm… lost here forever?"

A slight tug to one corner of his mouth hints at a smile when she accepts his hand, though it's sad with his otherwise unchanged expression. Zan gives her hand a gentle squeeze to be a comfort as the quirk in his cheek proves to be short lived. But there's no hesitation to let her cry on his shoulder, his arms wrapping protectively around her shoulders and back.

His arms tighten around her at the question, as if a hug alone would make it all better for her, head tipping to rest against hers. And it takes a couple of moments before he can find his voice to answer.

"I don't know," he says after swallowing against a lump in his throat. "But I'll do anything, whatever it takes to help you remember. If it's telling you about life here or… anything, I'm not giving up on you. And whatever happens, Rylie, I won't leave you."

Rylie ends up crying against him a little longer, but it slowly eases out, and she wipes at her eyes before she leans back again. It doesn't erase the evidence of all the crying, but at least she's not sopping. She looks at him for a long moment before a crooked smile comes to her face.

"Not that you could leave right now if you wanted to."

She lets go of him then, to stand up and move over to the glass that shows them an empty hall. Her hands press against it as she lets out a sigh. Conversation seems to be over for now, perhaps depressingly so.

And he lets her cry, without rush or impatience, simply holding her for as long as she wishes. Then when she leans back, Zan doesn't try to constrain her, but returns her look. That shadow of his earlier smile shows again when she graces him with her own.

The smile slips away when she turns for the door, worry replacing it. Deep creases furrow his brows, but he doesn’t try to come up with a response. No, he couldn’t leave now if he wanted to, but they’ll be let out eventually and he’s determined to remain with her regardless of circumstance or scenario. Arms draw around his knees and he takes to chewing on his bottom lip while watching her, waiting for the next time she’s ready to talk.

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