Cassie doesn't lie to Nick. She just keeps things from him sometimes, even though she trusts him with her life and has basically since before they met (since the first time she saw him, really, long before they ever met). At first, the things she kept from him were things about Kira--they were never pleasant things, and at the time, he'd still thought he was going to see her again.
It's been three years and ten months since that was true, and they don't ever talk about it. Which brings the list of topics they don't talk about up to an astounding three: Kira (dead, not his fault but he thinks it is), Cassie's sad lack of a love life (actually all his fault, but he can never know that), and any future where they survive taking down Division.
That's why it's so shocking when, one night, as they're working their way through a six pack of cheap beer, Nick turns to her and says, "Are you happy?"
Cassie chokes on the mouthful of beer and spends a couple of minutes trying to breathe again before she can answer. It's a nice night, and they're sitting on the curb outside their motel room, legs stretched out in someone else's parking space. Spring is in the air, and it's getting dark later each day. As far as she can tell, there isn't a Division agent within three hundred miles of them.
"Yeah," she says when she can speak again. "Right now, at this second, I am happy." She closes her eyes, and opens them again. "And the universe hasn't ended. Shocking." She lifts the bottle to her lips for another sip. He hates when she drinks to make the visions clear, so now they make a date of it, though she's pretty sure the word "date" has never crossed his mind in relation to her or their relationship.
"I meant, you know, after."
"After?" She's not sure if it's the beer making her dumb or him obscure. "After what?"
"After we burn down Division." He looks at her and she feels like she's going to fall into those eyes of his, all the sincerity he usually hides behind sarcasm on full display for once.
"Since when are you a maudlin drunk?"
"I'm not drunk," he replies, "and you didn't answer the question."
"Occasionally," she says.
"And you never thought to mention it?"
She thinks of those glimpses of the future, his hands on her shoulders, her mouth on his neck, the way their hips slot together when they move. She's never told him, because she's also seen the futures where it happens and he leaves, disgusted with himself for even thinking of her that way, let alone following through.
"It's never been clear," she says, which is mostly true. "It's like seeing the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that hasn't been completely painted yet, let alone put together. So I can see an ear and a foot, but not what's in between."
She peels the label off her bottle, fingers damp with condensation, and tosses the little balls of paper at him. He laughs when they bounce off his arms and shoulders. One gets stuck in his hair and she reaches up to brush it out. He stops her before she can, his fingers wrapping easily around her wrist. They're warm, and her heart speeds up in response. Stupid physiological response. She wonders if he can feel it in her pulse, if everything she's not saying in words is spelling itself out to him in the fluttering beat of her heart.
She shakes her head, trying to clear away those thoughts. "What?"
"In these happy futures, are you--Am I--Are we--"
"Yes," she says, more a breath than a word. She'd say she doesn't know what he's asking, but she doesn't lie to herself either.
She closes her eyes, reaches for it the way she's learned to over the years: her intention to save her mother, and his to make sure nobody ever loses someone they love to a Division lab again. She sees more, this time, though, feels it like it's happening now, the brush of his stubble against her skin, down her throat and between her breasts. She shivers and tries to bite back a moan at the sensation.
"Cassie?" And that's not the laughingly seductive Nick of her vision, it's the nervous one of the here and now, tipping her chin up and staring at her with concern in his eyes. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah," she manages, swallowing hard. His other hand is still wrapped around her wrist. "Yeah."
"What did you see?"
"This." She leans forward and presses her mouth against his, tasting beer and heat when he gasps in surprise and his mouth opens beneath hers.
For one long moment, he doesn't respond, and she can feel the heat of mortification burning out the heat of desire, and then he moves her, lifts her into his lap without breaking the kiss, one hand settling on her hip, the other tangling in her hair so he can keep her in place and slant his mouth over hers.
She's kissed other boys (okay, one other boy, a Shifter they met in Amsterdam, though when he made himself look like Nick for her, she'd shoved him away, angry, and hasn't tried again), but it hasn't prepared her for Nick, for the way he puts his whole body, his whole self into it, like kissing her is the only thing he's ever done or ever wants to do.
"And you never thought to mention this?" he murmurs against her ear.
"I--It doesn't always go well."
Another hot, open-mouthed kiss against her jaw, then the sharp skim of his teeth down her throat. "How about now?"
"Yes," she says, and then, embarrassingly, "Please."
She can feel his laugh rumble up through his belly and chest, feel it vibrate against her skin. "Okay," he says. "I think I like this future."
"Mm hmm," is the only thing she can manage in response.
She feels like she's floating and it's only when she opens her eyes that she realizes he's standing up, still holding her, and not just with his arms. She can feel the pressure of his gift against her skin, keeping her safe and pressed up tight against him.
"Cassie?" he says again. "You wanna take this inside?"
She wraps her legs around his hips and presses her face against his neck. "Yes," she says. "Yes, I do."
She keeps an inner eye out as he lays her on the bed and covers her with kisses. After he pulls her t-shirt and his off and presses her back into the mattress, skin-to-skin, she watches to make sure this really doesn't end badly, that this isn't one of the times he leaves afterward, wracked with guilt. His mouth on her tits, his hands on her thighs--it gets harder to keep track of the future when his fingers curl into the wet heat between her legs (and next time--and there will be a next time; she's going to make sure of that--she'll try to stay more in the moment), but every time she looks, all she sees is them, in that jigsaw puzzle future that hasn't been finished yet.