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I'll Always Love Her

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Maxine sat hunched over on her bed, her face in her hands. It was 6:00 P.M. The skies were a dark blue and moon shined brightly. It had been only a couple days after Chloe's death, but her guilt and grief were as strong as ever. Tears streamed down her face onto the carpet. 

Why? She thought. Why did Chloe have to die? She didn't deserve this! I wanted to save her! I could've! I should've! But why couldn't I save her and Arcadia Bay? It wasn't fair! It wasn't fair! It wasn't-

Her thoughts were interrupted by her cell phone ringing. Max sighed as reached over to her bedside table and grabbed her phone. She looked on the screen to figure out who was calling her. It was Joyce. She immediately answered. 

"Hello, this is Max," She spoke into the phone, her voice cracking. 

"Hi Max, it's Joyce. I just wanted to check up on you and to remind you that you're always welcome to come over and talk to us. I know things must be hard after...you know..." 

"Yeah..." Max sniffed, wiping the tears from her eyes. "Is it okay if I come over now actually? I'm sorry if I'm being a bother." 

"No, no! We'd would love to see you! I'll head over there to pick you up, okay?" 

"Alright." 

"I'm getting into my car now! See you soon, sweetheart!" 

"See you soon, Joyce!"

With that Max hung up. She stood up and tucked her phone into her pants pocket. She stepped out of her dorm room to find Kate Marsh waiting for her. 

"Kate, what are you doing here?" Max asked. 

Suddenly Kate ran up to her and wrapped her arms tightly around her. Max accepted the hug, pulling Kate closer to her. 

"I heard about what happened to Chloe, Max. I'm so sorry! I want you to know that here for you! If ever feel like talking or just hanging out, I'm up for it!" 

"Thank you, Kate...I'm here for you too..."

"Thank you, Max! You're a wonderful friend!" 

"God, I hope so..." 

They held each other for a few more seconds before pulling away. 

"Where are you going anyway?"

"Chloe's mom is coming to pick me up. I need to see her again." 

"Oh okay." 

"I'll see you tomorrow, Kate!" Max said, waving as she walked off.

"Bye!" Kate called.

Max waved to her as she walked off. As she walked down the hallway, she noticed Kate's dorm. The whiteboard beside it read "Will bang 4 Jesus." Max rolled her eyes.

"Great, Kate's still being bullied despite my best friend's death."

She quickly headed over to it and wiped away the message with her elbow. She took out a black marker and drew a peace sign on it instead. She smiled to herself before walking in the direction of the exit. She pushed open the doors and stepped outside. She was immediately hit with a cool pleasant breeze. The crickets chirped and the stars glowed. The atmosphere made her feel slightly clamer. 

Her cell phone rang again. She took it out and answered the call. 

"Hello?" 

"Hey, Max, it's Joyce again! I'm parked in front of the school." 

"Okay, I'm coming!" 

"See you in a bit!" 

"See you!" 

Joyce hung up after she said that. Max then shoved her phone back in her pocket and ran out to the campus. When she saw Joyce's car, she rushed over it. Joyce smiled at her as Max got into the car and sat in the passenger's seat. After she buckled her seatbelt, Joyce started up the car and they rode off. 

"Thanks for letting me come over, Joyce!" Max said as she and Joyce entered the house. 

"Don't thank me! You're always welcome here! You could even sleepover if you want to!" 

"I don't want to step over my bounds..." 

"It's fine, dear! You used to sleepover here all time when...Chloe was alive..." 

Max held her hand comfortingly. Joyce breathed, tearing up. 

The house phone rang, causing Joyce to race over to the phone and answer it. 

"Hello, this is Joyce Price, who is this?" 

"Hello, Joyce, it's me David." His voice was strangled. 

"David, what's wrong?" 

Max stood behind her listening in on the conversation. 

 "I'm at the school! I called the sheriff..."

"Why? What happened?!"

"...Joyce...a student is dead."

Joyce covered her mouth in shock. Max's eyes widened.

"Who?" Max murmured.

"...Kate Marsh is dead."

"No!" Max screamed. "Oh God...Not her..."

Max's eyes watered, her body shaking violently. 

"Wait! Is that Max?" David exclaimed. "Shit! Max, I'm so sorry you had to find out this way! I know she meant a lot to you. But don't worry! I'll find the fucker you did this and make them pay! I swear to you!" 

"...Thank you, David..." 

"You're welcome, Max. I'll be back later tonight, Joyce. Have a good night." 

"Good night, David." 

David hung up. Joyce set the phone down and turned to Max, immediately pulling her into a big hug. Max cried, her tears pouring down her face. She hugged Joyce back. The woman gently stroked Max's hair. 

Max let out a heavy sigh. I'm sorry, David. Max thought. But I have to avenge Kate, even if it means using my rewind powers again. 

Chapter Text

Max sat in Mr. Jefferson's class listening to another one his lectures. Unfortunately in this timeline he was alive and free. But if he was Kate's killer, he wouldn't be for long. The school bell rang. The other students started getting up to leave before Jefferson spoke up. 

"Wait. Before you all go, I think we should all give Kate Marsh a moment of silence. I understand that this is hard for all of you and-" 

"Not all of us," Sarah muttered. 

"Shut up!" Victoria snapped. 

Max's jaw dropped. Did Victoria just defend Kate? Max thought. 

"Come on! Kate was just another stupid needy slut!" 

"That's enough." Mr. Jefferson said, firmly. 

"Kate is dead, Sarah! Someone killed her! At least pretend to care!" 

"Why do you even care? You're one of the main reasons she was so miserable!" 

"I didn't want her DEAD!" 

"Yeah!" Taylor joined in, standing beside Victoria. "What I did was wrong! Kate didn't deserve to be treated so badly!" 

Victoria smiled at her. "Thanks for having my back!" 

"Of course! You're my best friend! And plus I've always wanted to give Sarah a taste of her own medicine! There's only one Victoria in this school and that's you!" 

"Kate is still just a-" Sarah was cut off when Mr. Jefferson slammed his fists onto his desk. 

"THAT'S ENOUGH!" He shouted angrily. 

With that the girls shut up and everything was quiet. The silence lasted for a few minutes before Jefferson let the students leave. Max exited the classroom, wondering why exactly Victoria stood up for Kate. She decided to find her and ask her. Maybe she'd even help her find out who killed Kate! 

Victoria would most likely be in her dorm room. Max headed out of the school building to the girl's dorms. 

She gently knocked on Victoria's door. 

"Who is it?" Victoria called from inside her room. 

"It's Max! I want to know why you told off Sarah!" 

"Why do you care?!" 

"Because you were always so mean to her!" 

"She's dead, Max! What else is there to say?" 

"There has to be more to this! Let me in!"

"Go away!" 

"Please Victoria! Don't you want to find out who killed her?"

"...Fine." 

Victoria unlocked the door and opened it. 

"Come in." 

Max walked inside the room. Victoria's room was uncharacteristically messy. Max thought since she acted so high and mighty that her room would've been cleaner. Something was definitely up. 

"Victoria, tell me why you really stood up for Kate."

"Ugh! Look despite what I did...I actually kind of...liked Kate. She was sweet. Kate was one of the few people outside of the Vortex Club that liked me." 

"If you liked her, why did you bully her?" 

Victoria sighed. "I don't know. I have a reputation to uphold! I have to be the best no matter what! It's what my parents expect from me and...I don't want to disappoint them. Now I just feel guilty for making her feel so shitty!" 

"I understand. Anyway, will you help me?" 

Victoria thought for few moments before nodding. "Alright." 

"Thank you." 

"So who are our suspects?" 

"I don't have very many right now, but I can think of a few people. You won't like this, but I need you to trust me. Can you please do that, Victoria?"

"Geez, that's kind of dramatic! But okay I trust you!" 

Max took a deep breath, mentally preparing for Victoria's reaction. "I think it's Mr. Jefferson or Nathan Prescott." 

"What?! You've got to be kidding me!" 

"I know this sounds crazy, but Jefferson has a Dark Room where he took photos of an unconscious Rachel Amber. And according to him, Nathan Prescott accidently overdosed her on drugs. And they buried her body in the junkyard. I know you have a crush on him, but he will only hurt you!" 

"...How do you know this?"

"I can rewind time. In a past timeline Chole and I found the Dark Room and Rachel's corpse. He originally thought Nathan was to blame, but when Jefferson shot Chole I realized we were wrong. The Dark Room is a...horrible place...and I don't want anyone else to have to go through what I went through! And DON'T want Jefferson to kill you again! I know you are a good person and you deserve to be happy!" 

Max's eyes filled up with tears. 

Victoria hugging her. "Okay, okay! I believe you! We're not going to let him hurt anyone else, okay! We're going to find this Dark Room and have him arrested, then we'll find Kate's killer! It's okay, Max. I'm here for you! I'm not gonna let some sick fuck kill me like they did Kate!" 

Max gulped. "Th-Thank you Victoria!" 

"Let's go get this guy!" 

Max wiped her eyes. "Yeah!" 

The two girls left Victoria's room and headed outside. Warren stood outside the dorms, waving at Max. Max smiled, waving back. 

"Hey, Warren!" Max greeted. 

"Hi Max!" He glanced at Victoria and then looked back at Max. "What are you doing with Victoria?" 

"We're going to catch a criminal, wanna join us?"

"Hell yeah!" 

The gang headed to the barn in Warren's car. Max and Warren sat in the passenger seat, while Victoria had to sit in the back. 

"That's insane, Max!" Warren exclaimed. "Not only can you mess with time, but Mr. Jefferson's an evil bastard!" 

"Yeah..." 

It wasn't too long of a drive to the old barn. The group stepped out of the car. Victoria crossed her arms. 

"So where's this 'Dark Room'?" She questioned. 

"It's inside the barn underground, hidden under all the hay. Come on! I'll show you!" 

They all froze when they heard a gunshot coming from inside. 

"Come on! It could be the killer!" 

The gang rushed inside the barn only to find Mr. Jefferson lying face down on the ground. There was a small bloody bullet hole on the back of his head. A note was taped onto his back. 

Victoria screamed, looking away from the body. 

Max and Warren stared in shock and regret. 

"We could've saved him..." Warren whispered. 

 Max bent down and read the note aloud. 

"It says 'I knew you'd come here. You wouldn't believe how easy it was to bring Jefferson here! All I had to do was threaten to expose him and his little Dark Room. Kate was also an easy kill! Funny girl she was. You should've heard her screams and cries! It was magical! I loved how she begged for mercy! Ha! But don't worry Maxie! You and your detective gang will be meeting me soon! Killing you will be Heavenly!'"