Apollo shielded his eyes from the sunlight as he yawned. His dream was so vivid the night before that he couldn’t help but look around the room for any signs the two intruders could have left. There weren’t any and Apollo sighed in relief. It was all just a weird dream. He changed into his normal clothes and collapsed back onto the bed. He was exhausted for some reason. He let his mind wander over to his dream once again. Something that Mason said seemed off to him…his parents were planning on calling a psychiatrist for him. He rubbed his eyes instinctively. It must have been a subconscious fear of his for him to be conjuring that thought up in a dream. Finally, Apollo willed himself not to lay in his bed all day and headed downstairs for breakfast.
“Finally you’re awake, you lazy bum!” Ambrose sighed in annoyance.
“Give him a break, he’s had a long weekend,” Leia said calmly.
“Yeah bro, I’m exhausted. I plan on going back upstairs once I finish my cereal,” Apollo admitted.
“Don’t tell me you forgot what today was.” Ambrose picked up Coco and stroked her fur lovingly.
“It’s tuesday?” Apollo yawned.
“Oh, he’s just messing with you. Relax, don’t get so upset with your brother,” Leia commented before walking over to the kitchen.
“Don’t take this away from me! It took three years of begging to get mom and dad to let me move out!”
“What are you talking about? You’re moving out? You just started high school, how can you be moving out?”
“Apollo…are you alright? In a few months I graduate and then after the summer I’m going to Sunlit Tides Community College. You and Lynette said I could move in with you guys until I get a steady job and can afford my own place.” Ambrose placed the back of his hand against Apollo’s forehead. “You’re not burning up or anything. Is this some kind of joke?”
“Alright Ambrose, where are the cameras?” Apollo asked in an annoyed voice. He was getting tired of the games. Ambrose wasn’t making any sense!
“What the hell, stop trying to trick me! Just get ready. Lynette claims she’s found the perfect apartment for us. We’re meeting her there in a half hour, so hurry up and finish your cereal.” With that Ambrose walked off, leaving a dumbfounded Apollo. he pulled out his phone, looking at it for some sort of answer. The phone in his pocket wasn’t the smart phone he had had just last night. It was slimmer and looked brand new. He fumbled with it for a few seconds trying to get it to turn on. When the screen finally illuminated, he saw the date. Exactly three years from yesterday. How did that even make sense…unless Mason was really in his room last night. Apollo shook his head vigorously. It couldn’t be true. He must have still been asleep, or his brother was playing some sort of joke on him.
Apollo headed upstairs and changed into more comfortable clothing. He refused to believe that time had just passed so quickly. This was just some elaborate joke. Ambrose outdid himself this time, Apollo laughed bitterly. Why go through all that trouble? He kept trying to rationalize the situation in his head until he heard the same voice from last night. “Apollo Gray, still looking as young as ever.”
Apollo snapped around. “What the hell is going on here?”
“I told you I was changing your timeline didn’t I? You really need to pay attention. I thought you were the genius in the family,” Mason smirked.
“What does that even mean? How can you control time? What are you?” The questions shot out of his mouth quickly, like bullets.
“Calm down. I’ll answer your questions gladly. Everything I said last night was true. I am Caleb’s father and I was married to your grandmother at one point. Your grandfather Levi is my younger brother. I also said that your parents were thinking about sending you to a psychiatrist right?” Apollo could only nod. So many thoughts were going through his head. He hadn’t believed it and yet he saw it in front of his face. Mason was someone magical, at the very least. “Well, in your original timeline, you’re not supposed to go see a psychiatrist. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but lets just say that because of seeing that psychiatrist, you’re not the same person. What you thought your future would be like is starkly different. You’ll see when you go and meet up with Lynette.”
“What? What is she even doing here in Sunlit Tides anyway? Her and Tommy are supposed to be in Twinbrook with their parents!”
“You don’t get it, do you?” Mason took a seat on the foot of Apollo’s unmade bed. “This is three years into the future. You’ve just graduated from Sims University. You have a degree in business and an offer to work at a famous corporation. You passed with flying colors. With Tommy gone, you had no distractions. Lynette decided she wouldn’t be tied down by her family and went back to university, taking out a whole bunch of student loans. She’s in debt right now, but you know…that’s life. Katherine seemingly disappeared from your life which you’ll be happy to know and so did Damian.”
“What?” Apollo let out a deep breath. “So…Tommy is still in Twinbrook then?” Even through all of the confusion the only person on his mind was Tommy. Apollo longed to feel him in his embrace just one more time. Their initial meeting was brief, but it was filled with so much raw passion that he couldn’t imagine a life without Tommy. He didn’t care what year it was, time was time as long as he could correct it with Tommy.
“Well…not exactly. He’s somewhere, but I’m not going to tell you and ruin everything I just built for you. trust me, as it stands right now you have the perfect life and Tommy doesn’t fit into the equation.”
“That isn’t fair, who are you to tell me who I can and can’t have in my life?” Apollo asked angrily.
“You can thank the guardians for that. they have the power to stop me at anytime, but they haven’t have they? They could have stopped me before I even did anything, but they see what I did to the timeline. it’s better for both of us. Remember, if you want a good life…you have to forget about Tommy.”
“Idiot!” Apollo screamed angrily as he watched Mason’s figure fade away.
“I’m sorry. I know how much he means to you, but I…I just can’t accept that. Remember what you said to me that day in the tomb, when we went to France? There’s something about being held in your father’s arms. I wasn’t held in his arms, I was rocked to sleep by Uncle Caleb. I don’t feel that closeness to dad and I don’t know if I ever will.” Apollo fell silent as he thought of Mason”s claims the night before. Caleb was his son? It didn’t make any sense at all. Mason was so young, younger than Caleb even. It couldn’t be. But so far, Mason was able to change his timeline. If that was the case, then did Mason somehow manipulate his own to keep his youth, and if that was possible, why didn’t he use it to his advantage with Athena? “Apollo…” Ambrose said softly.
“Hmm?” He looked up a bit dazed from his thoughts. “Did I pass the exit?”
“Yeah,” Ambrose let out a soft laugh and lightly touched his brother’s arm. He was glad to have Apollo back from university. He was still his same absentminded self.
“Hey Babe!” Lynette laced her arms around Apollo’s neck.
“Hey, keep the PDA to yourselves!” Ambrose whined.
“Hey, you want to live with us!” Lynette laughed.
“Free rent,” Ambrose shrugged, pushing passed the two. “What’s up with you Apollo? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
“Yeah, you do look kind of pale. Are you alright sweetie?” Lynette leaned in closer to Apollo’s stiffened body. What the hell was going on? He wanted to shout, push her away, do anything to dispel her affection. Anything. But he couldn’t move his body. Was this what Mason foreshadowed? “Apollo, hello!” Lynette placed her hand on his forehead. That would be the second time someone did that today.
“Why are your arms around me?” He managed to choke out.
Lynette released him and took a step back, offense written on her features. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know it wasn’t acceptable for your own wife to touch you. I apologize your highness.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s jetlagged from the honeymoon.”
“Oh my gosh! Do you think that he’s sick? They do say not to drink the water in a foreign country. Oh! What if there was parasites in his water and now their ingesting his insides!?” Lynette cried out.
Apollo looked at the fear in her eyes and he thought back to the affectionate hug she gave him. She had honestly cared about him and his well being. Apollo wouldn’t have minded playing along with this future until he could sort out his original path, because of his strong friendship with Lynette. She would be bearable to deal with, except for the fact that he couldn’t pretend to be in love with her when the only person he could think of was her step brother. He loved Lynette, he truly did but more of like a sister. When they said you would be marrying your best friend one day, Apollo was sure that they didn’t mean this. He bit his lip nervously and eyed Lynette, still not believing that they were married. There was her ring displayed proudly on her right hand and his was missing. Another thing for him to remember. “I’m fine…what are those?” Apollo tried to focus on something else. Anything else.
Lynette had a manilla envelope hanging out of her red leather tote bag. She was the only one gaudy enough to carry around such an accessory. In normal circumstances he’d laugh but right now, he was bewildered. “These are our wedding pictures. They’ve developed, I just thought that you’d want to see them.” She wiped the straying tear from her right eye.
“I’m sorry…” Apollo offered weakly. “I’m just not feeling myself today. I’d love to see your pictures…erm…our pictures.”
“Hard concept to get used to right?” She grinned. “We’ll look at these and then head inside the house to see if it’s the right one for us.”
Apollo’s eyes glided over the images. They both looked extremely happy and he had to admit that Lynette did look breathtaking. He studied each image. He wasn’t frowning in a single picture. Not a single one. They looked like a power couple. He felt his breath speed up slightly as he became hysterical. A few tears fell down his face at the realization that he didn’t know himself anymore.
Lynette clutched his arm tightly and leaned into him. “I had the same reaction when I saw them too. We look so in love. I’m shocked that the camera guy could capture all of our emotions. I want to hang these four in the new house. Especially the one where we’re kissing.” Apollo let her dry his eyes with the palm of his hand. He couldn’t help but feel like he was betraying Tommy and if he was married to Lynette, what happened to Tommy? Was Tommy at the wedding too?
“Ok, ok. Enough of this. I’m heading inside. I want to see our new humble abode.” Ambrose waltzed into the house with Lynette and Apollo right in tow.
“Lynette…this is one bedroom!” Ambrose sweatdropped.
“Well…I mean it’s pretty cheap. I thought we could just use sleeping bags and stuff until we get enough money.”
“We could make it work,” Apollo shrugged. There was physically no room in this house for them to sleep in the same bed and that made Apollo all for the idea.
“See,” Lynette said.
“He’s whipped. He’s going to agree with whatever you say.”
“That’s not true! Besides, I’m not exactly rich. The student loans have piled up.” Lynette frowned.
“I told you, our dad is willing to pay for the house.” Ambrose told her.
“Apollo and I both agreed that that’s a terrible idea. Your parents have outstretched so much kindness to us, that I possibly can’t accept anymore. Apollo is starting this new job soon and so we can manage on our own. Don’t you want to live the broke university student life?”
“Not really, I’d like to sleep in a bed.”
“Ok, you get the bed and Apollo and I will take the floor.”
“Absolutely not! I’m not staying in the same room as you guys! You guys can barely keep your hands off of eachother, I don’t think I’d stand in much way!”
“Ambrose!” Apollo groaned. “Let’s just weigh our options before we settle oky? I’m sure the right house is out there.”
“You see? This is why I love you.” Lynette kissed his cheek affectionately. “You’re so smart and rational. It’s kind of hot, actually.”
“This is what I’m saying.” Ambrose grabbed Apollo’s arm and dragged him outside. “Let’s go, Coco is getting antsy.”
“Do you want a ride?” Apollo asked Lynette.
“Apollo, geez…mom told her to come over today after house hunting. You’re so freakin forgetful.”
“Right, I knew that. I was just testing you!” Apollo chuckled nervously.
Lynette giggled. “He’s so funny too!”
“I’m going to warm up the car. Why don’t you walk Coco so she doesn’t have an accident in the car?” Apollo told Ambrose as he swiftly maneuvered his way out of the house and away from the two pink haired people in the bedroom.