Max is Missing
A/N: Hey, so this idea came to me and it has developed greatly from my original idea for this story so, I hope you enjoy.
Thirteen year old Max Caulfield watched as her best friend’s father walked out the door, forever. She wouldn’t ever see him again. In a way she killed William, it was her fault.
Chloe Price walked out of the small kitchen area and looked worriedly at her best friend. Max’s eyes looked lost. She felt lost, alone, ashamed, and most of all she felt an overwhelming sadness. Chloe touched her shoulder, as a comfort to her younger friend. Max forced a smile which turned into an expression of horror as she watched Chloe disappear in front of her eyes, just falling into nothing.
The next thing she knew the winds howled and rain pelted Max’s pale skin. The short brunette could barely see her own hand as she held it in front of her face. She squinted her azure orbs, trying and make out landmarks that would give her an idea of where she was.
The lighthouse seemed to stand taller in that moment, it seemed like it was so strong, safe. It almost felt like it was pulling at Max. She saw Chloe’s pleading face flash behind her eyes for a moment, begging her to not let her go, to come find her…
~Present Day 2013~
Max’s blue eyes shot open and she found herself in a shitty motel room in her hometown, Arcadia Bay. She rolled over, groaning loudly as she saw the clock read 6:30am. The sleepy brunette buried her face into the pillow, she had this nightmare every night for nearly a month, which was weird because she hadn’t had it in years. It always feels so real. Like I’m there, again, then that tornado shows up… Ugghhh. I guess superpowers can’t save me from myself.
Sheshivered, pulling the scratchy blankets closer as she listened to the rain pitter patter on the foggy window. Because that helps my subconscious. Max sarcastically thought, with a snort, while moving to lay on her back. The storm and Chloe still at the forefront of her mind, Max focused on the calming pitter-patter of the rain, trying not to jump to the conclusion of freak storm.
Max eventually dragged herself out of bed and stumbled into the bathroom. She took in her ragged appearance in the mirror. My hair. She sniggered, taking in the brunette locks with the tips still dyed a black color. Dog, it hasn’t been this short in years, or this light. I guess I kinda got used to the black…
Shaking her head Max splashed water onto her face and brushed her teeth, removing the smell of her morning breath.
Time to put on my daily armor. Max pulled on a black hoodie, with blue jeans and, army green combat boots. “I could stop by the Two Whales for breakfast,” and a crazy fucking nostalgia trip. Max grabbed the keys for her old moped off the bedside table. Okay, so maybe not her moped, but thats not relevant at the moment. Slinging her beat up camera bag over her shoulder and closing the motel room door behind her, Max wandered outside to her car.
After driving around the town at least twice Max finally got up the nerve to go inside the little diner. Damn, I haven’t been to this place in years. Wonder if Joyce still works here… Would that be a good or a bad thing? Max took a deep breath and pushed open the squeaky door, upon entry Max noticed the diner was relatively empty. The only customers being a cop and some shady looking guy over in the corner booth. I guess everyone else is at home, hiding from the rain. God, it smells so good. Breakfast. Now.
Max found her way to a booth at the far side of diner, near the jukebox. She slid her fingers over a mathematical equation carved into the tabletop. Nerd graffiti. Ugh, I embarrass myself sometimes with my own thoughts. The brunette took off her bag and dropped it onto the seat next to her. Pretending to read the menu, Max attempted to keep herself from stressing over the inevitable guilting conversation that would soon be coming.
“Mom, please, I promise I won’t ever take advantage of free food again,” Max glanced up as she heard a girl begging behind the counter. “You can’t make me work!”
“Chloe you and I both know…” Max didn’t pay attention to the rest of the conversation as she looked to Chloe. Oh my dog, thats her, that’s Chloe. Is that my Chloe? Wow, she’s changed, I guess I have too. Time powers will do that to a girl. Max chuckled as she imagined her childhood best friend’s reaction to her powers. She’d probably want to take over the world or test if I could fly.
Max was jerked out of her thoughts by a woman’s voice with a southern accent. Joyce. Fuck.
“Good morning, hon, what can I get for ya?” Joyce asked brightly, her voice making Max think of all the times she had come here with Chloe. “Hey, darling, are you al-” Joyce took in a large breath, as she recognized the young woman in front of her, “Well, if it isn’t Max Caulfield.”
“Hi, Joyce.” The nervous brunette mumbled as she cleared her throat.
“Joyce, what did you just say?” A blue haired girl asked with a slightly aggressive tone. Chloe. Wow, she looks… different. Yup, Max, different. That’s all. Just- “Max?” Chloe questioned, although, she ready knew exactly what her mother had just said. The blue haired punk took a step towards the anxious smaller girl, her features twisted into an angry expression.
“Chloe, hey.” Max cringed at her own awkwardness and, staring down at her lap, began fidgeting with her fingers. She came back for Chloe but maybe this was too fast, maybe she should’ve waited until she felt ready. She had arrived in Arcadia not even 48 hours ago and she was already sitting in a booth, at the diner, feeling like a kid again. That is, until she managed to force herself to look at Chloe. Oh, Chloe… The punk’s features looked as if they had been permanently set into a frown. What happened to my beautiful carefree best friend? Max wondered, before she had to take a moment to make sure she hadn’t said that out loud. She’s still beautiful, albeit in a different way, still completely mesmerizing, though. Her eyes are still just as blue and- Max, what are you doing?! Stop it. Stop. She is your best friend you haven’t seen her in ages, it’s understandable to be…excited… Right? Ugh, whatever just shut up, brain, do I have an off switch?! …Wait, how long have I been staring. Oh shit!
Maxcould feel her face heating up and she quickly averted her eyes. Chloe smirked, sauntering towards Max’s booth, it seemed she had calmed down a notch at Max’s obvious discomfort.
“After all these years, you’re still Max Caulfield.” Chloe still had that smirk plastered across her face, “Awkward as fuck, Max Caulfield.” The bluenette added, she was enjoying this way to much, not that Max felt she didn’t deserve it, she probably would’ve let Chloe slap her across the face at this point.
Max was no longer looking at the blue haired girl in front of her but instead seemingly very interested in her own beat up boots.
“Belgian waffle, if I remember right.” Joyce asked, with a knowing, yet apologetic smile on her lips as she gently placed a hand on Max’s tense shoulder.
“Yeah, thanks, Joyce.” Max replied relaxing the tiniest bit at Joyce’s warm, welcoming expression. Sadly, that didn’t last long, as Joyce walked behind the counter and Chloe slipped into the unoccupied seat across from Max. Chloe stared at the little photographer sitting across from her, her eyes fixated on the top of Max’s head, as that’s all she could presently see of the brunette.
“Heeey, Maaax?” Chloe prodded, as she ducked her head trying to get a decent view of Max’s obscured face. “You gonna let me see you, or are you just planning on hiding underneath the table all day.”
Max slightly lifted her head and glanced over at Chloe, who leaned back against her seat. “Oh, good she’s alive, I was afraid you’d gone all zombie on me.” The punk joked, as she locked her eyes with Max’s before quickly moving her gaze towards the window. Max lifted her head all the way and gave Chloe a quizzical look, feeling just as surprised as Chloe was that she was still alive. Thought she would’ve kicked me all the way back to Seattle, if she didn’t kill me first. Max thought, inwardly cringing at the thought of going back to the place she had never really considered her home.
“Yeah, hey, Chloe. H-How have you been?” Max stumbled over her words and suppressed a groan over making herself look even more like a loser than she already felt.
Chloe’s jaw tensed and Max winced at the look that crossed her best friends’s face. Can I still call her my best friend, do I have that right?
“Well, Max, I’ve been absolutely amazing. First, my dad dies, then, my best friend moves away. Oh, and now my new best friend is in California, probably sleeping with her photography teacher, so she can further her modeling career, and then she can leave me too. I’ve definitely had the best five years of my life.” Chloe huffed out all in one breath, sarcasm practically dripping from her words, but something more than anger hidden behind her eyes.
Max didn’t say anything, instead she simply averted her gaze, again.
“Max!” Chloe practically shouted, “Can’t you at least look at me!” The bluenette slammed her palms onto the scratched tabletop, causing it to shake and Max’s head snapped up at the sharp noise.
That’s it. I know she’s upset, but she didn’t call me either. Besides, it’s not like I even could… Max groaned to herself, wishing for at least the third time, that day, she could just shut off her brain and get some peace. Sure, Chloe has a right be as angry as she wants, but she doesn’t even know what Max herself has been through. However, it’s not quite the right time for sob stories, so Max decides to keep her mouth shut about certain matters for the time being.
Chloe curiously looked at Max, making her realize she had gone quiet again. Dammit, I need to work on that, my inner monologue can seriously ramble.
“Look, Chloe,” Max started her voice sounding exhausted and her face showing defeat. She didn’t want to fight, especially not with Chloe.
“Save it, Max, why are really even here!” Chloe yelled, obviously not taking the brunette’s quieter tone as a sign to calm down.
“God, Chloe!” Max raised her voice, letting her prior intentions of not fighting slip out the window. “You’re not the only person in the world with problems! I haven’t even seen my parents in years!” Max wanted to smack herself as she realized what she had just revealed but was to angry to stop, or rewind to change it. “I came back here so I could get a start on my photography career and reconnect with my best friend but all she wants to do is pick a fight with me.” Max was loudly shouting now and she practically threw the money on the table as she saw Joyce come out with their food. Storming towards the doors, Max could almost feel Chloe’s regretful, pleading gaze as she rushed out towards her car.
The brunette jumped into her car and drove off furiously, attempting breathing exercises to try and calm herself down. Goddamn it, Chloe! Why do you have to be so.. You, sometimes!? Max actually laughed at how ridiculous this whole thing was at that point. What was I thinking, coming back here? Max pulled out a bottle of clear liquid as she stopped her jeep, unsure of where exactly she was going.
Her body was on autopilot as she hiked through the woods at the edge of Arcadia Bay and found herself at their old fort. Chloe and I used to come out here all time as kids. I miss it, I miss her. Did I just fuck up my chance? Max ascended the ladder and sat herself down with her legs dangling over the edge of one side of their fort. As there were only three walls, Max found herself staring out into the sunset with a over half empty bottle of alcohol at her side.
“No way, Max, you’ll never catch me!”
“But I’m Super Max, I have to be faster than you, Chlo. I’m a superhero!”
“More like a super nerd!” Chloe giggled running away from Max, “Besides I’m Captain Price, Chloe Price.”
Both girls burst into a fit of laughter as Max caught up to Chloe. They were standing mere feet apart, until Chloe’s face broke into her signature smirk. “Pirate captains beat superheroes any day.” The blonde girl smiled, seeming very proud of herself as she smugly took slow steps backwards, away from Max.
Max pouted, “No fair, I wanna be a pirate too.”
The look on Max’s face made Chloe’s lips curl into a full on grin as she declared Max her First Mate, and stepped towards her friend, closing the distance between them. They linked arms and rushed over to their tree fort, officially renamed the pirate fort, from that moment on. Chloe even marked it, in red, on the map of Arcadia Bay with a skull and cross bones.
Max was pulled out of the memory as her thoughts drifted back to their conversation at the diner that morning. Okay so I fucked up, yeah, but so did she… But I shouldn’t have just walked out like that. Max Caulfield, everybody, runs from her problems like a pro. Max took another swig of the alcohol and it burned her throat, but she welcomed the feeling. It made her feel real, she needed that. Before Max could completely lose herself in her wallowing, there was a creaking noise of someone coming up the ladder, interrupting her pity party.
“Looks like we both had the same idea.” Chloe whispered, wandering over to where Max was sitting and plopped down beside her. “Sorry about before…” Chloe trailed off, she’d never been good with apologies. Max smiled at that, Chloe was always so stubborn.
“Don’t. I mean, it’s my fault too, I shouldn’t have just walked out like that.”
“No kidding.” Chloe mumbled, only for Max to shoot her a look which Chloe returned with one of apology.
Sighing, Max offered the clear bottle of alcohol to Chloe, who raised an eyebrow before reaching out to grab the neck of the bottle. For a moment their fingers touched and Max couldn’t help think how warm and soft Chloe’s hands felt. “We should really sort things out.” Max pointed out, reluctantly breaking the silence of their moment.
The punk took a long swig of the drink in her hands before replying, “I know,” she paused, “but for right now can we just sit here and watch this day end.”
“Sure, Chloe.” Anything for you. Max wanted so desperately to add as they sat watching the sun disappear below the water. Even knowing they still had to sort out their issues, they still had a connection which neither girl could really ignore. Yeah, we can definitely sort this out later, but I have to be careful, I have to protect her. There is no way I’m letting my fucked up past get her hurt. Max thought, losing herself in the sunset, as she tipped her head back and took another swig from the bottle, trying desperately to numb her rushing thoughts.
Let me know what you think. Criticism is welcome. I hope you are all having a great day!
*flies off in spaceship*