a/n: you guys are so sweet omg. special thanks to ReidLuver/lizziecat for being friends and lighting a fire under my ass to write more Jurassic park stuff. for those of you who are like me and have trouble with character visualization, here's a few physical details for misty. she's half-Puerto Rican (on her biological mother's side) and jewish on her father's side (so not white). she wears glasses. in this story, her outfit is a denim button-down paired with khaki shorts and hiking boots (hey it was the nineties). ok let's get this wagon train a moving. ahead: blood, swearing.
"Doctor Grant? Can you hear me?"
There was sand trapped in the minute crevices of his eyes. He weakly willed his body to wash it away with a quick surge of tears, but he was far too dehydrated to even produce perspiration anymore, let alone waste precious moisture on a minor inconvenience. His tongue sat heavily in the parched landscape of his mouth; his lips were cracked riverbeds in the midst of a major drought.
"Doctor Grant? Can you look up here? Can you hear me?"
He couldn't recognize the voice. The cognition part of his brain was missing in action; the only comprehensible thoughts he was capable of forming were hazy observations about the warm band of pain belting his chest and a surviving urge to hold Ellie one last time. Her skin would be like porcelain beneath his callused hands, her lips polar caps against his sunburned cheek.
Ellie would want him to open his eyes. Ellie believed in him. Ellie was out there, somewhere, waiting for him.
Alan Grant managed to lift his puffy lids and squint up the fleshy kaleidoscope of concerned faces. Though he longed so deeply for water that he would have wept like a child for even a glass of it, the first word to straggle out of his arid throat was "Ellie".
The air tasted like their trailer after Ellie showered: humid and fresh and vaguely redolent of tropical flowers. He subconsciously reached for her hand across the bed, groping for her slender fingers. They were musician's fingers, graceful, grasping, beautiful things. She would take his hand and he'd press a kiss to her scalp, smelling the lingering traces of her shampoo and allowing it to lull him into a pleasant sleep.
Alan Grant opened his eyes to a depthless sky. The storm had passed, revealing a scattering of pinprick stars that appeared to shimmer with febrile, delirious light in the mist. It was not a lack of moisture that plagued him now, but an abundance. His clothes were soaked through; it was his violent shivering that had awoken him. Some distant part of himself, a part that had been born shortly after his Jeep careened off the steep roadway and dumped into God's sandbox, panicked upon realizing his hat was missing.
His hat was the least of his worries.
He became aware of a familiar fire alarm of pain blaring just below his ribcage, then of an agony in his left arm. His splinted ribs from the desert crash had been broken again; he couldn't place the pain in his arm, which volleyed between stinging and burning. Breathing was a bit of a challenge, but not nearly as arduous as it had been in the desert. Above all, Alan was freezing and very, very confused.
The scene returned to him like uncovered bones that, bafflingly, didn't seem to form a whole skeleton. There had been walkie-talkies… something bright red and horribly hot in his hand… someone screaming hysterically. He couldn't pin down his surroundings: there was asphalt beneath him and the distant squalls suggested he was somewhere forested, but he wasn't able to register much of anything other than the stars above.
Had Ellie been there? No, she had gone back to the resort…
Alan's mind was suddenly lit with a piercing clarity that punched through him like a fallen icicle. He was still in Jurassic Park. The red heat had been his flare, which had burned his arm; Alan could dimly remember the sparks catching under his wristwatch and cooking the flesh beneath it. And the screams… the children had screamed as the Rex buried her deadly maw into their Jeep.
The Rex. It had to be out there.
Rationality gripped him and Alan found the strength to turn onto his right side. Pain rippled through his chest as his disturbed ribs shifted with the movement. Blinking furiously to clear his vision, Alan squinted at the road ahead. He could perceive a single figment: his Land Cruiser. The other had vanished, as had the Rex; Alan was infinitely grateful for the latter, but the absence of the former tweaked his gut with dread. If the Rex had shoved it over the paddock ledge, the kids were dead. No child could survive such trauma.
For whatever reason, this resonated deeply with Alan and he slowly pulled himself into an upright position. Ignoring the pulsing ache in his side, he shakily stood. It was then that the final thunderheads parted and a starburst of pain illuminated his head. He stooped, as if struck, and reached for his forehead with his capable hand; his fingers came away bloody. Surprised, Alan glanced around him and found himself surrounded by the wreckage of the little restroom hut Gennaro had retreated into when the Rex first escaped.
Gennaro. Had he survived? Had Ian survived? Alan couldn't help but mentally berate Ian for pulling such an idiotic stunt: he could have easily distracted the Rex long enough for Ian to put on the big damn hero act and rescue the children. Oh no, that wasn't theatrical enough for Ian Malcolm. No sir, he had to uncap his own flare and charge into the night. An insufferable bastard, right up until the end.
That wasn't fair, though. As much as Alan disliked Ian, he logically knew Ian had only acted out of concern for the children and his own daughter. Misty. The name unleashed a fresh deluge of anxiety. He hadn't seen her get out of the car, but if neither he nor Ian had managed to save the kids, Alan felt that Misty would have gone in their place.
The moan, however faint, jolted Alan from his thoughts. He twisted back to the worst of the wreckage, most of which was indistinguishable in the darkness and waterlogged. Upon closer inspection, Alan saw an unmistakable slash of red and followed it to a chunk of drywall, which he painstakingly overturned with his good arm. The sight that greeted him prompted a short, guttural rasp of fear; it was the sort of sound one might utter seconds before drilling into a Pinto on the freeway.
A severed leg, dressed in a bloody sock and loafer, had been discarded there. Teeth marks embroidered its upper thigh, where most of the flesh had torn free in errant chunks and strips; strings of meat hung from it like Christmas garland. A voice in Alan's head calmly informed him that this limb belonged to Donald Gennaro. Then it told him the Rex had eaten the rest of him.
Another moan rose from a heap of synthetic palm leafs, divorcing Alan's gaze from the jarringly white leg. He followed the sound to the heap, where he knelt down and found himself face to face with an incredibly familiar visage.
The man's mouth twitched in a wan semblance of his smarmy smirk. "Remind me… to thank John… for a lovely weekend."
Alan dismissed the urge to roll his eyes and began to peel the leafs off of Ian's shuddering body; to his dismay, most were completely drenched in blood. For the second time in just a minute, he was greeted by another gory leg. Thankfully, this extremity was still attached to its owner, though just scarcely.
Ian's left leg was protruding from his body at a rakish angle and was bleeding profusely from a grisly wound marring his upper shin. The bone was doubtlessly broken, if not in several places. Alan leaned in to ensure the bone had not punctured the skin and found that it hadn't, which was good news. A compound fracture would become infected within the hour and, if their circumstances didn't better, kill Ian quickly and painfully. As agitating and lewd as Ian was, Alan would never wish such a fate on him.
"Is it… on fire?"
"No, just broken," Alan replied, shrugging off his denim jacket. Compound fracture or not, Ian had probably already lost a liter and a half of blood, and was not in any state to part with any more of it. He tied the garment tightly around the wound, stemming the flow and acting as a slapdash tourniquet; Ian, now without his eyeglasses, glanced blankly down at Alan's work.
"Nice job," he complimented with a dizzy grin.
Alan chose to disregard this adulation. "Ian, your leg's pretty bad. We have to get out of here, though. I'm going to have to drag you back to the Jeep."
The word Jeep penetrated through Ian's mental fog and restored a feverish glimmer of recognition to his dark eyes. "Misty…"
"I don't know. The other car is gone, I don't… I don't know where it went. I haven't seen her or the kids yet." Just Gennaro's leg, he thought sickly.
Ian blinked, attempting to comprehend this information and failing in doing so. "She… she called me 'daddy'…"
"Oh." Alan hadn't been able to hold an intelligent conversation with the man when both of their minds were performing at their zenith. Talking to a shell shocked, bloody Ian Malcolm was—to his immense surprise—even more difficult.
"She never does…"
Deciding words wouldn't affect Ian one way or another, Alan hooked his arms under Ian's own and began to slowly drag him out from under the last of the debris. The man's brow contracted briefly with pain, then relaxed as Alan lugged him across the roadway. They were both silent. The steamy, chitter-filled night did their talking for them.
By the time they reached the undisturbed vehicle, Alan's shoulders felt like a streamer of taffy that had been stretched beyond its limits and the burn on his wrist was ablaze. Ian wasn't a large man by any means, but his body was a waterlogged deadweight that reminded Alan distantly of the equipment he and his colleagues had to unpack for the computer. At least the equipment had been packed in a neat box. Ian was packaged much less conveniently.
Alan glanced through the driver's window to confirm the car was empty, then opened the back door for Ian. The half-conscious man noticed this and chuckled softly, alerting Alan. "What's so funny?"
"Opening doors… for me," Ian explained before dissolving into quiet, painful hysterics. Alan jotted down a mental note to give Ian the car's complimentary water before heaving him up into the backseat. Along the way, they both felt Ian's leg thump against the siding; the man sobered considerably. "Ow."
"Sorry, sorry…" Alan pushed Ian up against the opposite door so that his head would be elevated and situated his injured leg on the seat. "There."
Alan shut the door and climbed behind the wheel, where he immediately collapsed against the seat. His body had already ached with exhaustion before dragging Ian halfway across the world: now, he was happily prepared to relinquish himself to slumber. However, Ian had different plans.
"Misty… she got the kids." It was less of a question and more of a confident statement.
"I guess so," Alan mumbled. He remembered the water and fished his canteen out of the Jeep's cupholder. It had survived the attack. This struck Alan as both funny and somewhat saddening. "Here. Drink that."
Ian accepted it with a tremulous hand; Alan monitored his efforts to thumb up the nozzle and bring it to his lips, praying the man wouldn't choke to death on a single sip of water. Fortunately, Ian managed to latch his mouth onto the nib and swallow. It probably wasn't as delectable as the contents of his flask, but it would help him shed the last vestiges of shock.
Finally, Ian's lips parted from it. He returned the canteen to Alan, who was overjoyed to find that Ian had left him a generous portion. While Alan nursed his ration, Ian spoke again in a slightly stronger voice: "She hated the kids."
This didn't surprise Alan. He had detected her contempt when the Murphy siblings burst through the Visitor Center's doors. Like her father, Misty wasn't very discreet when it came to her emotions. "I know."
Ian found Alan's gaze and smirked. The expression had lost some of its condescension, which Alan chalked up to the blood loss. "You do too."
"I guess so."
"But I know that she'd save them," Ian continued. "She… she loves her siblings, in her own way. She'll learn to love them."
Alan pictured the Jeep smashed against the paddock floor, its occupants victims of blunt force trauma and the Rex's appetite. If the Rex had been successful in her hunt for a meal of children, there would be no kids for Misty to learn to love. And no Misty had she actually rescued them.
"I'm going to check the radio," Alan told Ian, changing the topic. "If no one answers… I guess we'll just sleep here tonight."
"An intriguing proposal," Ian replied with a cheeky raise of his eyebrows.
"Ian, no offense, but please stop talking." With those words finally off his chest, Alan went about testing the channels on the radio, then the dropped walkie-talkie. As his new roommate pawed around with the technology, Ian stared up at the Jeep's plastic, rain-dimpled sunroof. Misty had survived. He was certain of it.
And if she hadn't, Ian would willingly sacrifice himself to the next prehistoric monster that decided to bare her teeth.
Misty Malcolm, sore but very much alive, evaluated her options.
Upon reclaiming Lex from the storm drain, she had explained to the siblings that their main objective was to locate the resort. There was no use in returning to the road above and by venturing out into the thick of the park, they might encounter some means of communication along the way. Though Lex had initially campaigned against this idea, the appearance of a Stegosaurus quickly changed her mind.
They had set off along the way of the road, wearily trudging through the heart of the jungle. The rain had ebbed and turned to humidity, which clung to their enervated bodies like winter coats. Misty would have had no difficulty traversing a forest like this on a good day, but with the oppressive heat and the unremitting ache beleaguering every muscle, she was struggling to even stay upright.
The kids fared no better. Misty had given both a cursory examination before setting off and discovered injuries that, in spite of being relatively few for two children who had been battered by a dinosaur, were still somewhat troublesome. Lex had either twisted or sprained her right wrist during the fall and sustained a nasty-looking, but shallow, gash to her temple. The windshield had purpled the side of Tim's face with bruises and delivered a cut to his ear that was still bleeding heavily. They were both tired, probably too tired to walk. If Misty could barely conjure the strength to plant one foot in front of the other, she knew the kids were preparing to keel over.
Maybe they could find a shed of sorts. Or a barn. A park like this had to have a storage facility system. It might have been the most sophisticated amusement park ever built, but it was no different from the city zoo in the respect that it had animals that had to be monitored and corralled for the occasional checkup or cleaning. Maybe they could find a working radio. Or even a car. If not, it would at least be a place to sleep.
To her right, Tim tripped over a root that had squirmed its way out of the earth; Misty caught his shoulder before he could fall. "Whoa there…" She pulled him into her arms, ignoring his halfhearted protests that he didn't need to be carried. Within seconds of getting him situated, Tim had his head tucked on her shoulder. He was dead to the world.
Lex matched Misty's strides, occasionally casting the older girl nervous glances. "Are you okay to carry him?"
"Are you kidding? He's a lightweight," Misty said with a tired smile. "Besides, I can't expect him to walk so long after that. I'd pick you up too if I could."
Lex giggled, but her pointer finger was firmly coiled around a blonde curl. If her braid wasn't so mud-caked, Misty suspected the girl would have had a nice chunk of hair tucked in her mouth. She had similar plans for her knuckles once they were available.
They walked in a silence that was punctuated only by errant twig snaps and roars of distant dinosaurs. Misty despised the way the latter sound made Lex stiffen with panic, as if the creature was scant seconds away from barreling through the moss and snatching her up. It was only to be expected, but Misty still hated it.
When Lex spoke again, her voice was a shivery whisper. "Misty?"
"What do we do if a dinosaur comes back?"
Misty had given the scenario some thought, but after the Rex's show-stopping performance, she couldn't imagine another creature living up to such expectations. "Well… if a dinosaur tries to attack us, I'll, uh… I'll fight it."
The blonde girl flashed doubtful eyes at her companion. "You'll fight it?"
"Uh, yeah. I've got some muscles. I'll just fight it until it gets bored and moves on. You'll see, Lex. If another dinosaur dares to mess with us, I'll fight it. Float like a butterfly, sting like a T-Rex. That's my motto." They both erupted into slightly hysterical fits of laughter.
Even though Misty had dodged giving her an answer, Lex felt strangely reassured. Misty was in charge. She was capable. She had the brains and the brawn and maybe not the tact, but two out of three wasn't bad. And above all, Lex couldn't help but think that Misty had begun to care for their wellbeing: not much, of course, but enough so that Lex didn't feel despised. Since arriving on the island, she had been nothing short of a jinx and all of the adults treated her thusly—even Misty.
Not anymore, though. Misty was treating her like a person. And Lex greatly appreciated that.
The older girl shifted Tim into her other arm and smiled in spite of herself at the unconscious sigh of content he elicited. He was warm in that inexplicable way kids were when they were young. It made her think of Roger, who could still be carried and insisted upon it, whether a pair of arms were available or not. She couldn't wait to see him and Kelly again. Even though only twenty four hours separated their last conversation, Misty's timekeeping abilities had fallen by the wayside. Yesterday felt like a year ago, the attack like a week. The night ahead was an eternity.
Misty stepped over a log in her path and decided to keep talking. Remembering Kelly and Roger had depressed her, which only added another ball to the chains around her weary legs. "Lex, I've decided my dad's alive."
She fumbled for an appropriate response. "Oh… I'm sure he and Doctor Grant escaped."
"I mean, I decided he's alive. I could spend all night wondering if he's dead and imagining going home without him, but that's stupid. I can just decide he's alive. And then I'll only wonder how he'll react when we see each other again. Do you get it?"
Lex, who didn't get it, nodded.
"My dad and I are big on thinking. The power of thinking, I guess. He's a mathematician, which requires a lot of thinking, and I'm a teenager, which also requires a lot of thinking, and we've decided that if you think something enough and set it up in your head like it's real, then it is real. You could call it wishing, but it's more just logic. If you imagine yourself getting in an accident every time it rains, then eventually you'll get in an accident because you've set it up in your head that it'll happen. But if you think: 'I've got good tires and I'm a responsible driver. I won't get in an accident.' Well, then you've set it up in your head that you won't."
"So… if I think something hard enough, it'll happen?" Lex asked cautiously.
"If you think it the right way," Misty corrected. "I can't just think my dad is alive. I have to set it up that way. I have to think of him running from the Rex, then hiding in some bushes. I think of him and Doctor Grant walking back to safety together. I think of them being alive. Get it?"
"Yeah, I get it," she said. The concept was still a little murky and more than likely the product of Misty's exhaustion, but Lex was allured by the mysticism of it. She was very into that sort of stuff: horoscopes and star charts and positive-thinking and meditating. Misty hadn't struck her as the type to buy into it, but this method was grounded in logic more than nature. "Can I set up us getting back to the resort?"
"Go ahead," Misty invited.
"Okay…" Lex closed her eyes for a brief moment, mapping out her strategy. "We walk until we—"
"You think that we walk."
"Right. I think that we walk until we find a shed and sleep there. I think that we get up and find the main road again. I think that we follow it back to the resort, where Grandpa and Doctor Grant and Doctor Sattler and your dad are all waiting for us. I think that we have something to eat together, then we go back home." Lex opened a timid eye, trying to meter Misty's reaction by just her silhouetted expression. "Was that right?"
"It was perfect. It's how I hope this whole thing goes down."
They only had to walk for another ten minutes or so before Lex's first premonition came true.
A storage facility with a barred entrance was tucked into a patch of greenery, abutted by a vacated two-Jeep parking garage and an empty pen that was far too snug to accommodate anything dangerous. Misty almost wept at the sight of it. She was reminded of all those cartoons she watched with Roger, where the protagonists trudged across the desert until they stumbled upon that lush oasis with enough fresh water and ripe fruit to sustain them for the rest of their exodus. While this shed was far from an oasis, it at least had a roof and four walls. No tropical fruit required.
Misty gently shook Tim awake and set him down on his feet so she could scan the area. She circled the facility first, checking for claw marks or fresh tracks; upon finding neither, she peeked in the garage and pen. The place was a veritable ghost town.
She returned to the pair feeling reasonably confident. "I think we're safe, guys. You can go ahead and squeeze through the bars."
The two children slipped through easily. "I think you can fit," Lex said.
It was a tight squeeze, but Misty managed to squirm her way through. The facility's interior was nothing remarkable: hay bales were stacked like Lego bricks against the wall and a rummaged-through toolkit had been abandoned in the corner. Otherwise, it bore a startlingly resemblance to a prison cell. Luckily for them, décor was not their top priority when it came to living quarters.
Misty snapped the plastic band around one of the bales and created two impromptu pallets from the musty, barn-sweet hay. "Okay… this should do for tonight. You guys go right to sleep and we'll leave the second we're all awake."
The children were too tired to even answer. They merely flopped down on their uncomfortable bed and arranged themselves accordingly; Misty watched, feeling puzzlingly sad. She wished she could have supplied them with some words of comfort, of humor, but nothing of the sort occurred to her.
"Good night, guys," she finally said.
"Good night," they chorused.
And they fell prey to the darkness.
Misty was jolted from her restless doze by an arm latching around her own. She sunfished back into consciousness, prepared to battle whatever creature had invaded their space just as she had promised Lex.
To her surprise, it was Lex. The girl was curled against Misty's side as if her body was shelter against some invisible storm; the arm-latching had been subconscious. Once her senses returned to her, Misty realized Tim was on her opposite side, head buried into her ribs.
They had chosen to sleep with her. Two children who had known her for all of six hours had flocked to her for protection and, if their rhythmic breathing was any indication, she had supplied them with just that.
Misty fell asleep with a smile. Her dreams were dark and meaningless.
a/n: get hype. the stuff about alan's crash in the badlands was taken from the book, which makes reference to alan crashing his jeep in the desert and being stuck for four days. anyway, due to popular demand, there will most likely be another installment of "family" soon that revolves around alan and ellie visiting the kids. however, I'll be busy until Thursday, so don't expect that anytime this week. anyway, I hope you enjoyed this installment and will stick around for the rest of the ride.