Timelines

Mar. 18th, 2007 02:44 pm
abetterlie: (Default)
[personal profile] abetterlie
Time has always a been flexible thing where Connor was concerned. The summer after Connor arrived in Los Angeles, Fred tried to calculate his age. She had kept track of her years in Pylea through her scribblings on the wall; it had been her link to sanity, she said, and asked him whether Holtz had not done something similar. In truth Holtz had at first, had tried to keep adherence to a calendar, but Connor had been too young to remember by the point his father had given it up.

There were events, though, that he could use to differentiate the years. The year he first managed to track his father down within three days was a different year from the one they found the swamp with the poisonous flowers, and that in turn had been at least much later than the time Connor had made his first spear, and so on. After some recounting and a lot of frowning, Fred had worked out an equation that said he was seventeen years old, going on eighteen in November.

Fred was a mathematical genius, but to this day, Connor has no idea whether she got it right.

Cyvus Vail, who created one set of Connor’s memories, was very precise about years and dates. It helps keeping the two different timelines in his head without going crazy, though sometimes, they blur: dates, months, days, hours, those are for events which never happened. They are sharp-edged and fitting to exact moments the way photos do in an album. He is four years and seven months on the day his sister Mere is born, and it is two o’clock in the afternoon of the following day when his father brings him to the hospital to watch the new baby through the glass protecting it and the other babies. Connor stretches out a hand which presses against the glass, frustrated, and leaves a very visible thumb print because he has been eating a peanut butter sandwich before they got here. The hospital watches all show 2: 32 exactly when this happens, except it never did.

The other memories are not associated with dates in his mind; not just the Quortoth ones. He has no idea on which day he crossed dimensions, but he remembers the taste of ice cream on Sunny’s lips when she kissed him, and the sense of the sun setting down while she did. He doesn’t know on which day his father died, either, except it was two days after that, but what he can still remember is the way the stars and the neon light from the pier reflected in brittle fragments on the dark sea when Gunn and Fred talked about Angel going after Holtz behind his back. It was autumm when Cordelia returned to the Hyperion, but he doesn’t know which week; what he remembers instead is the way her hand felt when taking his and the sound her feet made on the pavement when she ran away with him.

It’s a wild mixture now. Sometimes he remembers the days on which things happened, and sometimes he doesn’t. Sometimes he thinks “September” when recalling a drive to Monterey, an encounter in a hotel room and a flight to Boston; sometimes he recalls anger, curiosity, the taste of whiskey and intoxication.

Perhaps his two timelines are still running, and never became one. Perhaps he just keeps crossing from one to the other and back, some kind of construct of different selves. Doesn’t really matter, though, except when both timelines somehow fail to produce memories. Recently, someone asked him what he did on 9/11. Connor thought, blanked out and concluded that Cyvus Vail, sorcerer extraordinaire, did not cover that one, so he made a story up.

Later, he went back to the old equation Fred had given him, which included his actual birth date, and realized he had not even been born then. So perhaps somewhere, there was a third time line, covering the live of that baby on the photo Cordelia had, the photo that showed herself and Angel. Supposedly, there is a world without shrimp out there, so presumably there is one where that baby is still a child and actually wearing that hokey t-shirt Angel says he bought.

Perhaps. If there is, Connor can’t remember it, and he doesn’t want it, not really, because if he did, it would mean giving up his other two timelines, and whether they consist of dates or sensations, they mean too much to ever want a third.
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July 2010

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