Title: Puppet

Author: D.L. SchizoAuthoress

Rating: PG-13

Warnings: Mentions of violence and death, perhaps a little profanity. Rating may go up in further chapters.

Summary: Evan Treborn can revisit his memories and change the past. But what if he's not the only one who knows about it?

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A/N: I confess, I'm an Elden Henson fangirl-to the level of making banners and icons featuring him, of watching every movie he appears in that I can get my grubby little paws on, of squeaking and twitching in the movie theater every time he came onscreen. I love the man, I won't lie to you. And it's not just because he's beautiful-trust me, you don't want to argue that point-it's because he's such a talented actor.

In 'The Butterfly Effect', Elden was given a sort-of main role. He was fifth in the credit list, so I guess that makes him officially a supporting actor. But give the guy ANY room to manuever and he'll steal the scene. He hijacked the movie, that's for sure. Now, I'm definitely not swooning over Ashton Kutcher, but I admit that he did a pretty good job with his part-still, it was Elden Henson's portrayal of Lenny that tugged my heartstrings.

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"Puppet"

'First Time Around'

Sometimes, when he pastes the little decals on his planes, Lenny wonders why he ever started hanging out with his cousin Evan and the Miller kids. The three of them were all fucked up, and Tommy never liked him anyway...but then again, no one ever liked fat, ugly, stupid Lenny-ever. And if people knew the truth...if people knew what the four of them had done, well, everyone would hate fat, ugly, stupid, reclusive Lenny...and screwed-up, violent, evil Tommy...

But would they hate poor, innocent little Kayleigh? Or sick, sorry, sad little Evan?

Of course not.

Poor, innocent little Kayleigh only went along with her brother because she had a terrible home life, and he was the only one she could still love and trust. And sick, sorry, sad little Evan only wanted to protect the girl, right? Like a proper hero. But it was Tommy who came up with the idea to blow up the mailbox, and it was Lenny who went along with it...like a weakling. And it was Lenny who stood there like a statue, watching as that mother and her baby got closer; it was Lenny who knew that they were going to die and didn't stop it...like a coward.

And it didn't end there. No, once he'd come home from the hospital...once they couldn't find anything wrong with him except the lingering traces of shock, that bastard Evan and his little girlfriend had come to his window. They had enticed Lenny out into the open...out to the junkyard...out to where Tommy Miller waited, with a bonfire and a dog and a tightly knotted bag.

He tried; he really did, to untie the knots-to let Crockett out. But he couldn't, he couldn't even save a stupid dog. All he could do was watch, numb, as Tommy shoved that burning branch against the bag...listen to those horrible, painful, suffering screams...

So Lenny paints his planes to look as real as the pictures, pastes the little decals on, and strings them up in his room. He pretends that he's still thirteen, pretends that he's just come home from the hospital...

That this time, Evan and Kayleigh never come for him.

It's the only way that he can even pretend that he's okay; it's the only way that he can still imagine that he has stayed sane.

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Lenny Treborn's world is perfectly structured, with every aspect of his existence as a thirteen-year-old boy carefully preserved. The walls are still painted to look like the sky, the wooden bookshelves still hold comic books-although these now languish in Mylar packaging, untouched-and the bed is still shaped like a big plastic racecar. He goes to bed at night and prays, prays that Tommy Miller and Kayleigh Miller and Evan Treborn stay away forever.

But then, when has God ever listened to a killer?

One day, Lenny's bedroom door opens, and cousin Evan strolls in like he owns the place. And Lenny's mom is blandly, awfully cheerful, like it is perfectly normal for her nephew to visit Lenny. As if Evan hadn't ruined Lenny's life.

He listens dispassionately to Evan, who is awkwardly casting about for topics of conversation-commenting on the model airplanes...talking about...that day...

Evan talks about that day and tries to laugh flippantly, as though it were nothing. As though he couldn't remember, really couldn't remember. Lenny can't conceive of not remembering, because explosions and fire haunt his dreams, haunt his days. The screams of the dying keep ringing in his ears, and then Evan's voice cuts through, that boy's despised, idiotic voice, and Lenny feels the old numbness spreading again. The words coming out of his mouth are Tommy's-his voice, gravelly and low, sounds so much like Tommy's vicious teenage snarl that Lenny is afraid.

But Evan is either too deaf or too stupid to be afraid of those words, of Tommy's voice coming out of Lenny's mouth. He pushes, he prods, he pleads...

And Lenny slams him into the wall, breaking a bookcase and snapping several model airplanes from their fishing line in the process. His eyes-cold, haunted, dead-bore deep into Evan's wide, frightened ones; his fingers flex and tighten around Evan's neck, which is rough with stubble. Maybe Evan says something, maybe he doesn't. Maybe Lenny says something, maybe he doesn't. Lenny is too far-gone to know. All he knows is that Evan is leaving, going, gone...and that he is alone again.

Alone and broken, a terrified twenty-year-old man, crying like a child.