see chap. 1 for warnings, notes, disclaimer
+ Chapter 11
I wasn't sure what to think. Whether to believe that Max and I were partners
working undercover. Whether to believe that we weren't married. Whether
to believe Max's claim that he loved me, both as I usually was and as
Odin. Whether to keep trusting Max.
But something deep inside me kept insisting that I had to trust Max. That
he would never *deliberately* hurt me. That he was truly sorry that his
rejection this morning had.
And that same instinctive something was telling me that Max was right.
That we were in danger. That we were being observed with more than casual
interest when we were in public together.
Then there was the whole question of the dreams and the memories that
still kept slipping through my mind. How much of that was real? Was it
all part of my past? The thought made me shudder.
If all of the dreams, all of the fragments of images and sounds and smells,
were real - were memories - then I wasn't sure that I wanted them back.
Many of them were ugly and sickening. Frightening. But I wasn't exactly
going to have a choice about remembering them. The wave of knowledge,
the cold calculation of exactly how I could take Max down and get away,
that had washed over me this morning and had literally made me sick had
made that clear. I wished that I could forget that particular knowledge
all over again. Though... If we were really in danger, I might need it.
It might make the difference between me being a liability and an asset
to Max. The thought of actually using some of the things I'd remembered
made me feel slightly nauseous - but if I had to do it to protect Max...
I didn't think that I would even hesitate.
And that made me even more confused. Max had said that I had never shown
any indication of being interested in him before. But I couldn't understand
how I could love him so much after only a few days yet have not cared
for him at all before that. Had I cared but hidden it for some reason?
Or had it taken losing my memory to make me really *look* at Max and realize
what an attractive, incredible person he was? I didn't know and frankly
that was one of the things that I wanted to remember the most. I *needed*
to know why Max and I weren't really together. Weren't really married.
Because I wanted that so damn bad... How could my "real" self not feel
the same way?
I hadn't known how important the knowledge that he was *mine*, that we
were joined in marriage, was to me until I found out that it wasn't true.
That there was no promise, no commitment, binding us to each other. I
wanted to *make* it true, and I wanted to do it *now*. I didn't want to
have to wait until we were "home", wherever that might be, and Max was
able to tell me about my past. Didn't want to wait for the return of memories
that might or might not actually come back.
But I - reluctantly - had to admit that I understood Max's position. It
wouldn't be fair - either to my "normal" self or to him - to take things
any further right now. At least not until I knew more about myself, even
if I hadn't actually remembered things on my own. I didn't think that
my feelings towards him would change; couldn't imagine how that could
even be possible. But then I was so completely lacking in knowledge about
the situation that I really couldn't be sure. No matter how much I might
want to believe otherwise.
I sighed and flopped onto my back. All of this thinking was completely
defeating the purpose of our return to our room. I was supposed to be
resting for the party, not lying here worrying. The fact that Max had
chosen to stretch out on the couch instead of in here with me wasn't helping
matters any. "Max? Are you sleeping?" I asked softly. I didn't think he'd
hear me if he was. But if he wasn't...
"No. I'm not, Odin. You can't either?" Max's response was just as soft
as my question had been.
"No. Join me?" I requested hesitantly. There was a moment of silence,
then a creak from the couch as he rolled off of it. Once he crawled onto
the bed with me, I curled against him the way I had that first day that
he brought me here after the accident. Soaking up his warmth and the feeling
of safety that still went along with Max, despite all the confusing events
of the past two days.
"Hey Odin - once we get up, before the party, you want to shower together
I knew that despite his suggestive tone, he wasn't talking about having
a little - fun - in the shower, not after the discussion we'd had earlier.
And I didn't think that he was just talking about saving time by taking
our shower together. He was offering a chance for a few more brief words
on topics that were otherwise forbidden. Whether he had things he felt
I needed to know or just wanted to give me another chance to ask some
questions didn't matter. I'd take whatever I could get that might help
resolve some of my confusion. "Sure."
"Okay," he said, yawning. He dropped a casual kiss on top of my head as
he wrapped his arm around me. As his breathing slowed and he dropped off
to sleep, I relaxed and followed suit, hoping that the dreams would let
me rest peacefully this time.
For once, I didn't wake up alone. Max was still sleeping, his arm still
draped around me. And I didn't wake up with everything a complete blank
either. There were still great, gaping holes in my memory. But now I knew
that I'd had a very - odd - childhood. That my earliest memories were
of travelling with an assassin who went by the name of Odin Lowe. That
he'd died and I was later - recruited - by a creepy scientist who went
simply by the name Dr. J and that he trained me to be a Gundam pilot.
I still didn't know whether Odin was my real name. Lowe himself had called
me "Kid" or "Boy" or "Junior". J had called me either "01" or "Boy". Whether
I was simply still missing that piece of information or whether I somehow
hadn't actually had a name was something that I didn't know. There were
a few gaps during the time that I was in training too. Considering that
some of what I remembered were things that I would have rather left forgotten,
I didn't think I was in any rush to recover the bits that were still missing.
And I didn't know what happened after I was sent on a training mission
that went wrong. I remembered a pretty young girl and her cute little
puppy. I remembered screaming a protest as a mobile suit fell in the wrong
direction. But that was it. That was when I'd gone from asleep and dreaming
to wide awake in a heartbeat.
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