Give It Another Shot [Chapter 6]

[vc_custom_heading text=”Give it another shot
Chapter 6: The white knight and the sidekick” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:24|text_align:center” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%20Condensed%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C700%2C700italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”]

Chloe left the house and drove to the hospital as fast as she could. She was really pissed she overslept like that, but knew she couldn’t help it. To be honest, she felt like a truck had run her over. No wonder she crashed so hard the moment she laid down on her bed. Since Max had come back, she could count the hours of her daily doses of sleep with her fingers, only using one hand.

Max. Everything was so… strange now she was back. Everything felt so right… even if it wasn’t. Rachel was dead, Prescott had shot Max in the chest, she had been hurt, a lot, physically and mentally wounded, screwing around with time and reality, altering the fabric of time in a careless and dangerous way and to top all of that a psycho had been on the loose around Blackwell.

“How was it possible that everything was so fucked up but also so right in the same time?”

She parked the truck in the same spot she had used for the past weeks and got inside the building, restraining her urge to run. There was no time for feeling embarrassed, she just couldn’t wait to reach Max’s room and see her face light up with that sweet smile of hers.

She ignored all the people going and coming through the hallway. A smile had been spreading on her face when she finally reached room 203 and opened the door without knocking.

“Ahoy, capt’n, how are you…” She froze, with a hand still on the door handle. Max wasn’t alone. “… doing?”

There was a blonde girl with a high bun and a relaxed smile on her face, sitting on the couch which Chloe had used as bed the night before. She recognized Kate Marsh even if she hadn’t see her since she was attending Blackwell.

“Oh, man, don’t say something stupid about roofs or viral videos or… just don’t talk. At all..”

Another unexpected visitor was sitting at end of Max’s bed, a boy Chloe didn’t recognize. Brown hair, silly smile on his face and a green shirt with a kitty wearing lenses. All of this rang a bell in her head.

“Waldo? Walther? Willy? What was his name?”

But she didn’t have a lot of time to think, since the whole scene was a little… awkward. She was still in the door frame with her mouth slightly open, looking at the two unexpected guests.

“Chloe” Max saluted, with that sweet and beautiful smile. “What took you so long? You said you’ll be back in no time!”

“Sorry, I… crashed really hard.”

Chloe entered the room and closed the door behind her, not so sure how to act. She just waved at the two others with an awkward “What’s up?” which they returned with enthusiasm.

“Kate, you knew Chloe already didn’t you?” Asked Max.

Kate nodded, never stopping the smile on her face.

“And Chloe, this is Warren” Max introduced the guy.

“That was the name! Hello, creepy stalker. Nice to meet ya.”

“Hey there” He greeted.

Chloe almost choked when she saw her best friend roll her eyes while Warren wasn’t looking.

Warren, Kate and Max spent a while talking about Blackwell and the weird things that had been happening. Kate had to go to the police to testify, since she was another victim of Prescott and Jefferson, but she seemed to be coping with it just fine. Max asked about how it turned out and what she told the police, but she didn’t really know much about what actually happened. She didn’t remember exactly how she ended up dosed in a Vortex Club party or in the dark room and Max seemed relieved by that fact.

Chloe’s eyes never left Max’s face, not even for a second. She took note of every single expression latter showed: Worry, anxiety, curiosity, fear, relief, happiness. The way her eyebrows got lower when she was talking about something serious, the way her freckles contrasted on her soft skin, the way her lips curved when she smiled, the way she bit her lower lip when she was thinking…  She looked better than the last couple of days, less pale, less tired. And there was that glow in her eyes, the same glow Chloe saw when she had opened her eyes for the first time said her name. But now it was even brighter.

“Are you going to write a fucking poem? You may have accepted what’s going on, but now isn’t the time to deal with it!” Thought Chloe, kicking herself mentally. “Go back to the conversation. Now.”

Max just asked Warren about the weather and sci-fi stuff, like time travel, in an obsessive way that didn’t escape Chloe’s attention. For a moment she thought Warren knew about her power, but Max insisted it was just asking out of curiosity and Warren didn’t find it odd at all. He just seemed absolutely happy to answer her questions, ignoring how strange they sounded. Maybe a little too happy… The guy was all over her, it was embarrassingly obvious.

“So, if you go back in time and change things… That could affect the weather.” Explained Warren. “Let’s say… I don’t know…”

“A tornado.” Said Max automatically, her gaze fixed in Warren’s face. Then she looked away with a chill visibly going down her spine.

Chloe could feel her blood boil through her veins when Warren touched Max’s knee, hidden under the blankets and asked if she was okay. Max nodded.

“Man, stop looking at her like she is… I don’t know, a plate full of pancakes. She’s not edible, you know? Get your dirty nerdy hand off there.”

“A tornado?” This time, Max was asking.

“Maybe.” Answered Warren, shrugging. “I’m not a real scientist, even though I play one in school. But time travel is always cause and effect. Like chaos theory. For every action there is a reaction… you could create a chain reaction and cause a weather anomaly. Possibly, a tornado.

There was a moment of silence, while Max was frowning, thinking about something with intensity. Chloe again, wanted to be able to read her mind.

“So, I get you’re just doing some research in case you develop an awesome super power?” Joked Warren.

“Charming. You don’t know how close you are, dude…”

Max smiled awkwardly and exchanged a knowing look with Chloe.

“Maybe…”

“Well, if you need a sidekick, you know who to call…”

That single phrase set Chloe on fire. She noticed how her guts gave a jump and started twisting horribly.

“You wish, buddy. The sidekick place is taken.”

In the corner of her eye she noticed Kate looking at her with a smile on her face. Her smile had changed, like she could see through her and read her mind like an open book. That creeped the hell out of Chloe.

“Man, am i being too obvious? I’m just… staring at her, of course you’re being fucking obvious…” Thought Chloe, forcing herself to look at Kate, who’s sincerely and happy smile grew wider.

Chloe smiled back, awkwardly. She felt like somebody just punched her in the gut. Again.

“That or Kate Marsh can actually read minds. Holy hell, I can’t deal with this. And If I keep listening to that geek rumble about quantum physics and climate changes I’m going to lose my temper.”

“So… how’ve you been, Chloe?” Asked the blonde girl with a soft voice.

“Hey Captain obvious, She asked you a question! Answer her!”

“Oh, eh…. I’m good. Better now. You know, after…”

She couldn’t avoid looking at Max with a sad expression.

 “After that psycho shot my best friend instead of me.” Thought Chloe.

“She feels better now.” Said Kate with a reassuring tone. Exactly like she knew what Chloe was thinking. “She told us about what happened. I’m glad she’s okay.”

“Yeah… me too.”

“You visit often?” Asked Kate, with genuine curiosity. She didn’t seem to be nosy, even though Chloe knew the motive behind her question.

“Uh… yeah. Kinda.”

The short answer may had dissuaded Kate to pursue the conversation, but she kept smiling regardless, like that was enough to know what was going on in Chloe’s mind. The blue haired girl felt the blush spread over her cheeks furiously.

“I’ll have a smoke” Announced Chloe, interrupting Warren’s speech about chaos theory, showing Max her cigarette package.

“Don’t go far.” Said Max, looking at her with bright eyes. Chloe nodded as her feet rushed to the door before anyone could see how awkward her expression was.

“That was so fucking close.” Thought Chloe once she was outside.

She leaned over the side of her truck, holding a cigarette in one hand and Max’s journal with the other. She let the smoke go through her clenched teeth, trying to relax.

“I know Kate. She of all people, wasn’t asking it to be nosy but… What I’m supposed to say? Hella yes, I’m around here all the fucking time because I have an amazing crush on my best friend who saved my ass from being shot. Nice talking to you.”

She dragged her cigarette again, feeling it burn on her throat. It was kind of comforting as the nicotine ran through her system.

“And of course, there was the knight in shining armor.” She thought with disdain.  “ I’ll be your awesome sidekick, Max!’. Asshole.”

She tried to ignore the little voice in her head, awfully similar to Rachel’s, that whispered she was jealous of the guy. Chloe shook her head to drive away that thought, in vain.

“I’m not jealous.” She told herself, letting the cigarette fall though her fingers. She extinguished it with the heel of her right boot, using more strength than necessary. “He’s just not capable of handling Max. The little geek doesn’t know shit about how to treat her!”

Rachel’s voice teased her, and said something like the only one good enough for Max was Chloe herself. Chloe growled deeply.

“I didn’t say that.” She thought as she let go a frustrated sigh. “Okay, now I’m lying to myself. You better cut the shit, man. I need to go back inside before Max sends a search party.”

When she returned to the hallway, she found Kate standing there, looking at an ugly portrait hanging over the wall. She was all by herself, like she was waiting for something. Or somebody.

“What’s she doing here?”

“Hey, Kate.” Called Chloe, waving a little. “You’re leaving already?”

“Yeah, it’s a little late.” Answered the young girl shyly.”I’m just waiting for Warren, he offered me to take me back to Blackwell.”

“He’s still inside?” Asked Chloe, feeling how her neutral expression was muting in an homicidal mask little by little.

The girl nodded.

“So, the creeper is in Max’s room alone with her. Fucking epic.”

She approached the door of the room 202 and put her hand on the handle, ready to interrupt, but her curiosity got the better of her. Even with the constant whisper of the people around the hallway, she could hear their voices through the slim door. She leaned closer, trying to focus on the sound of Warren’s voice, almost touching the wooden door with her right ear.

“… Wondered… Do you have any plans this weekend?”

Chloe could imagine Max raising her eyebrows.

“Well, I’m stuck here for now.” She said. It was something actually obvious. “I’m not sure when I’ll leave.”

“Well… since I got a new car recently I was thinking about going somewhere. There’s a drive in nearby, they are going to hold a sci fi movie marathon soon… so… I was thinking… we could go together.”

“Oh.my.god… You just asked out a girl who’s hospitalized because she was fucking shot in the chest!! Great timing, dude!” Thought Chloe, scandalized.

She could enter the room, just interrupt him, tell him he was being absolutely selfish and insensitive dick. But something stopped her. She noticed her muscles were tense and her knuckles white as she squeezed the door handle. Her mouth was dry and she could feel her heart racing behind her ribs, like it was about to jump out of her chest. Butterflies rampaging in her stomach, totally wild. She didn’t move an inch, listening more carefully.

“Oh…” Max sounded awkward, but not like she was caught off guard. “I’m sorry, Warren. I’m not exactly in the mood for movies with all that happened.”

Chloe’s gut gave a little jump when Max’s voice reached her ears.

“I told you you were jealous…”  Chloe growled internally.

“Well… Maybe when things just get back to normal I guess…”

“She said no, dumbass. Shut it.”

“I don’t think so, Warren.”

“It’s just a movie, Max. Nothing…”

 “Enough.”

Chloe stepped into the room with a wide grin of self confidence.

“Whoa, did I interrupt something?” Asked deliberately, with her eyes fixed in Warren’s upset expression.

“Well, yeah…” He started to say, but Max interrupted him almost immediately.

“Not at all.” She said with a wide smile of relief. “Kate’s waiting for you, Warren. We can talk about this later.”

Two seconds of tense silence.

“Okay…”

The guy waved at Chloe with sadness and left the room with his head low and his shoulders down, utterly defeated.

“Man, that was intense.” Said Chloe, trying to hide her smile.

“I just knew you were listening though the damn door. I hate this..” Complained Max with a sigh. “It seems like this has to happen in every fucking time line I’m in.”

“I’m sure he’s not the only bro at Blackwell who likes you, tiny Max.” Said Chloe, sitting on Max’s bed and looking at her with that characteristic grin of hers.

Max left slip a groan.

“Believe me, I don’t want any of Blackwell’s bros pestering me…”

Chloe’s grin went wider.

“So… Are you planning to replace your actual sidekick?” Asked Chloe.

Max chuckled and took her hand, intertwining their fingers. She seemed to be pretty interested in Chloe’s nails, while a soft blush took over her cheeks.

“Never.” She said. “Do you want to keep talking about the journal or…?”

Chloe thought about that for almost an entire minute. Suddenly, it felt like the room temperature dropped a couple of degrees.

“I… maybe I should ask about him.” Thought Chloe, remembering that page of the journal. Another reality, another timeline, another life…So different, so twisted in comparison…

 

“Whatever happens, I want you to be strong. I’ll always have your back.”

 

Max raised her head when she didn’t answer. The blue haired girl was looking at her with intensity, a sad expression on her face and a couple of tears shining in the corners of her eyes. She frowned her lips, not sure where to start.

“Chloe, what is it?” Asked Max, concerned.

“I’ve been thinking and… I need to ask you something.” Said Chloe, looking away. “But… I’m not sure if I want to hear it.”

Max leaned forward, trying to catch her eye unsuccessfully.

“You can ask me anything, Chloe.”

“Well… here goes nothing.” Thought Chloe.

“What was it like… seeing my dad again?”

___________________________________________________________________

First chapter: https://lifeisstrangefans.com/give-it-another-shot-chapter-1/
Next Chapter: https://lifeisstrangefans.com/give-it-another-shot-chapter-7/
Previous Chapter: https://lifeisstrangefans.com/give-it-another-shot-chapter-5/

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