Title: Throw it all Away
Characters: Zach, Mr Bennet (better known as HRGM), and the Haitian
Disclaimer: Belongs to Tim Kring and all other associated people.
Summary: Mr Bennet isn’t happy about Zach springing his daughter at Homecoming, or the events of that night. He takes it upon himself to ‘correct’ the problem.
Word Count: 1,191
WARNING: This is my take on a missing scene, so spoilers for 1x11 “Fallout”
Zach sat at his desk, fingers breezing over the keyboard as his eyes skimmed from left to right across the page on the screen. His headphones sitting comfortably over his ears, music blasting, he nodded his head as the thumping drums pounded in his ears, yelling along to the lyrics in his own version of singing at the really memorable parts of the chorus. He saw his mother briefly appear in the doorway, catching her wave in his peripheral vision. He glanced to her, nodding more to the music than the indication of what she was saying to him. He gathered she was heading out somewhere – she had the car keys in her hands. He looked back to the screen.
“I just don’t need it! I can’t stop bleeding!” he sang.
He stopped, looking at the blinking cursor. Slowly he lowered the headphones from his ears down to the back of his neck. That didn’t help. There was a knock downstairs. Zach, as always, presumed his mother would get it. Again the knock sounded. Zach looked quizzically at the screen before turning his attention to the doorway.
“Mom?” he called out. “Someone’s at the door!”
No response. Again the knock sounded, this time almost like the pounding of the drums. It sounded rather urgent. Shifting his chair back, Zach headed out of his room and down the stairs, looking around the hallway and into every viewable room on his way down. His mother was nowhere to be seen. Maybe she locked herself out again. But that was an odd thought, he had seen her with the keys.
Unlocking the front door, he pulled it back to reveal a grown man standing in the doorway – Claire’s father. He didn’t look as if he had been pounding on the door in such an insistent manner. In fact he looked rather genial as he smiled down at Zach.
“Mr Bennet,” Zach said. He stuck his head outside the doorway, looking to see if Claire had come with him. There was no other reason for her father to suddenly just ‘drop by’ unless Claire was with him. But he appeared to be alone. And the fact that he was here, on his own, worried Zach. Especially after what had happened to Claire last night. “Is everything okay? Where’s Claire? She’s not hurt, is she?”
“Oh no,” Mr Bennet said pleasantly, taking a step towards Zach, forcing the teenage boy to move back inside the house. “Everything is quite okay with Claire.”
“Wh-where is she?” Zach asked, feeling a little intimidated.
“She’s at home,” Mr Bennet answered matter-of-factly. Zach looked at the man perplexingly, wondering exactly why he was here. He seemed to survey the place before his gaze settled back onto the young man before him. “How long have you known Claire, Zach?”
“Uh,” Zach moved his jaw, considering how to answer. Was this a trick question? “All my life, sir?”
“No. That’s not what I meant,” Mr Bennet said calmly. His eyes narrowed as if he were able to read exactly what Zach was thinking from the expression on his face. “Try again, Zach. How long have you known Claire? Really known her?”
“I’m not sure what you mean.”
“Yes you are.”
Zach lowered his gaze guiltily. What was her father implying? Did he know Zach knew her secret? But he didn’t know her secret… maybe he was under some other impression. Like maybe Zach was just another Brody – and look what happened to him.
“You’ve been hanging around our house quite a bit these past few weeks,” Mr Bennet continued. “In fact, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you dropping by for a number of years now.”
Zach shook his head. Swallowing hard, he looked back up to the authoritative looking figure before him. All the pleasantries seemed to have vanished now, replaced by a darker and more demanding overtone.
“A few weeks, sir.”
“Weeks? Or months? When exactly did you two decide to be friends again?” Mr Bennet inquired. Zach shrugged. “That’s too bad, Zachary, because I really would have liked to have known.”
“Why?” Zach asked, all the more confused.
“Because you seem to have a greater influence over my daughter than I do. And I’m not happy about that, Zach. I don’t appreciate someone who’s only known my Claire for a few weeks breaking into my house to convince my daughter to run away with him to Homecoming.”
“Oh, listen,” Zach said, holding up his hands in defence. Surely this whole conversation was due to his involvement in Claire almost being killed at Homecoming. “I’m really sorry about that. I honestly didn’t know that was going to happen. I just wanted Claire to have her moment in the sun.”
“How noble of you,” Mr Bennet commented. “But from now on, I make Claire’s decisions for her, not you.”
“Why don’t you let Claire make up her own mind about that?” Zach retorted.
“Oh, she’ll understand,” Mr Bennet replied.
He nodded towards the doorway and Zach saw there was another person standing there, a dark skinned man, somewhat European looking. A heavy silence seemed to fall in his presence. It was frightening to see that almost dead look in his eyes as he approached Zach. Zach backed against the wall of the stairs, but he had nowhere else to go, no-one to call to, and he didn’t understand what was going on.
“No!” Zach cried, swatting the man’s hand away as it came closer to his face, but the Haitian was strong, and he gripped the boy with his other hand, holding him fast.
“Just make sure he doesn’t remember Claire,” Zach heard Mr Bennet’s voice echo in the background. “Take him back a year or two. I can’t recall having seen him after the sixth grade.”
Zach had woken up on his bed, twisted in some kind of awkward position, his headphones still around his neck. He figured the huge headache was because he’d slept on them. He couldn’t remember what he was doing beforehand, but he must have drifted off. It was a call from Claire that had woken him. She made him drag himself all the way over to the school for absolutely nothing, other than to see her freak out. Seriously, she must be on something.
But it was only once he got home that things began to get confusing. He found tapes of a film he only had vague memories of putting together. He was missing three out of the pack and had no idea where they were.
It was only a few days later he realized things were not right. He found an order in his emails and a charge on his credit card that suggested he had bought some book on evolution. The book was nowhere to be found within his room, or anywhere else throughout the house. Curious, Zach googled the title, and was surprised by what he found. Why did this seem familiar to him? And why did he get such a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach once he came across the section about spontaneous regeneration?