rionaleonhart: okami: amaterasu is startled. (NOT SO FAST)
Riona ([personal profile] rionaleonhart) wrote2017-08-14 10:02 pm

Fanfiction: New Game? (Until Dawn)

Taking things out on fictional characters? I don't know what you're talking about. At least I've started writing again, I suppose.


Title: New Game?
Fandom: Until Dawn
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: 2,500
Summary: Mike is caught in a time loop. Maybe this means he can save everyone. Then again, maybe it doesn't.



“Wouldn’t be a visit to the Washington lodge without these creepy totems lying around,” Mike says, poking it with his foot. It rocks a little.

“Ugh.” Jess shudders. “I hate those things. Doesn’t touching them make you feel weird?”

“Weird how?” he asks.

“I don’t know,” Jess says. “Like something bad is about to happen.”

“Jess,” Mike says. “We’re on our way to the love shack. Something amazing is about to happen.”

-

Jess is dead when he reaches her.

Mike drops to his knees, shaking uncontrollably, from the adrenaline, from the cold, from the fact that Jess is lying in front of him with half her fucking face ripped off. This can’t be real.

He has to keep moving, but it keeps hitting him, over and over again. He’s trying to stay focused, to stay alive himself, to figure out what the fuck is going on here, but it slams back into him every time it slips his mind for half a second: Jess is dead, she’s gone, her parents don’t know, the others don’t know. She’s never coming back. They were having a fucking snowball fight a few hours ago. It doesn’t seem possible.

He could have been faster. He could have taken more risks.

Maybe he could have saved her.

Could he have saved her?

And then Sam is telling him that Josh is dead as well, ripped apart by a sawblade, and he can’t process it, can barely feel anything. There’s no room in him to react.

Josh is alive, it turns out. Maybe Jess could be alive too, Mike’s mind whispers. He knows she isn’t. He knows she fucking isn’t. Can’t he be allowed to trick himself into believing it, just for a moment?

Emily is dead. There’s a gun in Mike’s hand. He knew the second he pulled the trigger that it was a mistake. He thinks he might have known before he pulled the trigger that it was a mistake. He doesn’t know if he has any control over his actions any more. It’s like he’s in a car that’s broken through a barrier, gone straight over the edge of a cliff, and all he can do is watch the ground rushing toward him.

Ash and Chris are dead. He doesn’t even know how. Sam stumbles back the second they enter the wendigo’s lair, her hands over her mouth. “Oh, God,” she’s saying. “Oh, my God. I left them behind.”

Matt is dead. His body is hanging upside-down. When did that happen?

“Emily might know,” Sam says, when he asks. It’s not like we can ask her, her look says.

And then Josh is dead a second time, and none of this is real. It’s too much. It’s too fucking much. It’s not possible.

Mike survives. That might be the worst part. He’d just assumed, everyone being picked off, one by one, that it’d be him at some point. And then he and Sam are out in front of the burning lodge, alive, and there are rescuers, and he can’t—

He can’t be rescued from this. Because that means he’s going to have to deal with it. He’s going to have to live with it for the next month, the next year, for decades, and—

Fuck, he was supposed to die up here. Like everyone else.

He wasn’t supposed to get out.

He wasn’t supposed to get out.

-

“Wouldn’t be a visit to the Washington lodge without these creepy totems lying around,” Mike says, poking it with his foot. It rocks a little.

“Ugh.” Jess shudders. “I hate those things. Doesn’t touching them make you feel weird?”

“Weird how?” he asks.

“I don’t know,” Jess says. “Like something bad is about to happen.”

Mike pauses.

“I kind of know what you mean,” he says.

-

Something just – fuck, something just dragged Jess through the window, what the hell, what the hell

He runs out after her. He runs faster than he ever has before. Doesn’t hesitate, doesn’t falter.

She’s going to be dead when he reaches her.

But she isn’t. She’s alive, she’s stirring. He drops to his knees beside her, tries to help her.

Fails.

There’s a black pit in his stomach. It feels like it was already there, somehow, just waiting to be opened up again.

-

He spares Emily. He has the gun in his hand; it’s all shaping up to be the same. But he doesn’t pull the trigger.

It’s because of Jess, he thinks. Last time, he knew she was dead. This time, there’s a chance, there’s a chance that she might be alive. He hasn’t seen any bodies. Death doesn’t feel like a real thing that they’re facing yet.

Last time? This time? What the hell is he thinking?

-

Death comes crashing in hard when they enter the wendigo’s lair. Matt, Chris, Ash.

Sam’s got her hands to her mouth, she’s saying she left them behind, and Mike is standing there thinking this feels really fucking familiar, and it’s a moment before his mind wakes up to three of my friends are dead.

A few minutes later, Josh is dead as well.

-

Jess is alive. One of the rescuers says they picked up a blonde girl near the mines, says she gave her name as Jessica.

She’s alive.

“Where is she?” Mike asks. “Can I see her?”

And then he and Jess are having a snowball fight. He drops his snowball and runs at her and hugs her, hard, and she yelps.

“Hey! No tackling!”

“Sorry,” he says. “I just – God, I’m glad you’re okay.”

“It was a snowball,” Jess says, frowning at him. “I’ll survive. Are you okay?”

He hesitates. Why did he...?

“I don’t know,” he says.

-

He stumbles when he’s crossing the river. She’s dead by the time he reaches her.

-

“I asked you to light a fire,” Jess says.

“Yeah,” Mike says, staring at the fireplace.

“I just thought I should remind you,” Jess says. “In case you forgot. Given that it’s been, oh, about a thousand years since I asked.”

Mike is thinking about burning to death. It feels like a memory.

-

Jess gets pulled through the window.

Jess gets pulled through the window.

Jess gets pulled through the window.

He’s getting into a helicopter, counting up his dead friends in his head.

He and Jess are having a snowball fight, and his mind is screaming how many times has this happened?, and he doesn’t know why.

-

He tried to stop Jess, but she went out there anyway, yelled into the night, and now she’s back indoors. He grabs the rifle.

“Maybe you didn’t hear me,” Jess says. “I need your other gun. What are you doing?”

“I don’t know,” he says, and Jess gets pulled through the window.

Mike is out of the door in seconds, but the wendigo (the what?) is faster. He follows the trail. Thinks about stopping for a moment, trying to find Jess with the rifle’s scope, get his bearings, make sure he’s heading in the right direction.

Doesn’t do it. Moves on instinct.

He doesn’t know how, but he knows where he’s going.

-

He doesn’t know how, but he knows where he’s going.

He knows where he’s going.

He knows where he’s going, and he knows how.

He physically drags Jess away from the window before the thing can get her, and the night starts over again.

He tells Jess they shouldn’t go to the cabin, and the night starts over again.

He tells Sam that Josh has set up some fucked-up thing, and the night starts over again.

He stays quiet, he lets it grab Jess (he fucking lets it grab Jess, he knew it would happen, it’s his fault), and the night carries on, and maybe this time they can get it right. Maybe this time they can all live.

(They don’t.)

-

He’s figuring it out. Slowly, painfully, with a hell of a lot of missteps. But he’s figuring it out.

Sam always makes it to the end of the night. She’s okay, she’s safe. No matter what happens, she’s safe. It’s a small comfort in this endlessly repeating hell.

Mike himself usually makes it to the end of the night. There was one time he got a little too complacent, a little too seen-this-all-before in the lodge at the end, and he didn’t stay still enough, and Hannah tore him apart. For a moment, seeing her coming at him, all he could think was maybe this is over at last. And then there was pain and pain and fucking agony and Sam screaming and fading and darkness, nothing, not a thing, and then he came to face-down on the ground, Jess lovingly shoving a snowball down the back of his collar, and it was the beginning of the night, it was all starting again.

And there’s still that echo of burning in the back of his mind. He doesn’t know when that happened, but it’s there. Sometimes he wonders whether he really pissed Sam off on an early loop, got her so angry she flipped the switch when he was still in the house, roasted him alive. He probably shouldn’t try to replicate that.

Jess makes it if he gets to her fast enough. Sometimes he doesn’t. He tries. He gets to her in time more often than not, now. But sometimes he slips, sometimes he messes up, sometimes he gets to the grate and there’s nothing there and he walks toward it with sickness rising in his gut, knowing her corpse is about to plummet down the shaft.

Emily makes it. So long as Mike doesn’t shoot her. He remembers the gun shaking in his hand. He thought—

Emily makes it. Mike’s taken to sneaking a scarf into the safe room at the start of the night, handing it to her later on, quietly advising her to keep her bite covered up. It’s simpler if Ashley never sees it.

Chris and Ash both ended up dead, the first few loops, or at least the first few loops he remembers clearly, the ones after he figured out he was looping. He left them in the safe room, they were fine, and then he walked into the wendigo’s lair and there they fucking were. It took him a long while to figure out what he could do, but in the end it was simple. Pull Sam aside before leaving the safe room, tell her, hey, whatever you do, make sure nobody gets left alone.

He still forgets to tell her, some loops, and he feels like shit when he realises what he’s done.

It’d be simpler if he could just figure out who needs protecting and stay with them. But it’s like there are certain paths he has to stay on, and if he strays too far everything resets, he’s back at the beginning of the night. He has to stick with Jess at the beginning. He has to team up with Sam by the end. He has to head back to the sanatorium, even knowing it’s not a great idea. He can’t expose the truth about Josh too early. He can’t tag along with Matt and Emily, and not just because Matt gives him an extremely suspicious look if he suggests it.

And that’s a problem, because Matt keeps ending up dead.

He’s starting to think there’s no way around it. In some fucked-up way, he might be getting used to the sight of Matt’s body, hanging upside-down in the wendigo’s lair. In Hannah’s lair.

And then he enters the lair, on loop number fuck-knows-what, and something is different. That’s all he knows at first: something has changed. It takes him a moment to figure out what.

“Matt,” he says, grabbing Sam’s arm.

“What?” she asks, turning sharply. “Where?”

“Not here,” Mike says.

“Well, thank God for that,” Sam says. “So what about him?”

Mike scans the chains and beams above them. Nowhere to be seen.

“Maybe he’s still alive,” he says. “So what was different this time?”

“What?” Sam asks.

He hasn’t been paying enough attention. Fuck, all these loops, how is he supposed to keep track—

“Did Em say anything to you?” he asks. “About Matt?”

“What, after she got back to the lodge?” Sam asks. “Uh, she seemed pretty pissed off with him. Said he abandoned her.”

That’s what was different. Mike was tired of the loops, bored, openly flirting with Emily at the start of the night, just for something to do. Just causing conflict for the sake of it. Matt was getting pretty pissed off. Jess wasn’t too impressed either.

So he guesses he put a wedge in Matt and Emily’s relationship, and maybe they split apart at some point in the night. And Emily still survived, but whatever normally puts Matt in the wendigo’s larder, that didn’t happen.

He was an asshole, and it saved Matt’s life?

So everyone’s alive. Everyone’s alive, this far into the night. This has never happened before, there’s always been someone strung up in the lair. Maybe this time...

But there’s still Josh. There’s only one route out of here. Hannah will break his head open or she’ll drag him away. It seems like the only way to save him is to make sure he never ends up here. But not leaving him in the shed resets the loop.

“He should climb up with you,” he tells Sam, when they’ve picked Josh up.

“Josh?” Sam asks. “I don’t think he’s that strong a climber.”

“He’s gonna have to be,” Mike says. “I’m pretty sure I saw the wendigo back the way we came.”

Sam hisses air out through her teeth. “Fuck.”

So they climb.

Josh falls and breaks his neck, because of fucking course he does.

-

How long has this been happening? How many loops? He has memories from before the mountain, but they’re vague and sparse when he tries to think back to them, like they happened a long, long time ago. He hadn’t really realised, until now, that something was wrong with his past; he’s been busy worrying about all the things wrong with his present.

It keeps repeating. It keeps repeating and repeating and repeating, and he doesn’t know why, and he doesn’t know when it stops.

Maybe it’ll end if all of them get out alive.

(Josh is dead. Josh is gone.)

He can’t save Hannah and Beth. The loop starts too late for them. But it should be possible for the rest of them, right?

(Josh is dead. He stumbles, and Jess is dead. He shoots Emily right between the eyes, even knowing that the bite is harmless, because he needs to fucking shoot something. It’s not like it’s permanent, right?

He shoots everyone in that safe room and then walks out into the snow and screams until Hannah finds him.

The next time he tries, he really tries, he tries so fucking hard, and Josh still gets dragged away, and everything still gets reset.)

There’ll be a happy ending. There has to be. There must be a reason he’s going through this hell over and over again.

He’ll save everyone. It has to be possible.

It has to be possible, right?
thenicochan: (Chris Until Dawn)

[personal profile] thenicochan 2017-08-15 06:32 pm (UTC)(link)
I love this. It broke my heart, and I love it. It's like Until Dawn and Undertale had a broken, awful little baby. I love it. Did I mention how much I loved it?


Mike shooting everyone at the end was... it hurt. It was great. It was awful.

...I loved it.