Three months after they acquired the syringe of the drug from Division, Cassie Holmes turned fourteen. She and Nick Gant ran for another three years before they finally freed her mother. Kira was there to help but nothing more. Cassie had asked Nick about Kira sometime when she was fifteen and she had noticed the pusher always had a separate room which she shared with Cassie. All Nick would say was that it had gotten too hard for both of them to tell what was real and what was a push when they were together so they had gone their separate ways, except when they need each other’s help. Cassie was secretly glad over this turn of events.
Cassie was glad to be reunited with her Mother on her seventeenth birthday. The three ladies sat up talking for hours while Nick slept in his room. Mother tells Cassie that she had let herself get caught so she could help Kira out. Kira wondered how she helped. Mother mentioned the marble then and Kira laughed. When she had escaped Division it had been a narrow thing. If it hadn’t been for a marble caught in the door, she would have been trapped. Cassie could believe it. Her Mother’s plans have always been long range and complicated.
Cassie wasn’t surprised when her Mother mentioned her latest vision. She had seen a variation on it since the night after she and Nick escaped Hong Kong all those years ago.
“He’s never going to go for it,” Kira said. She was saddened that she wasn’t going to be the bride but that ship had sailed long ago from Coney Island.
“Leave him to me,” Mother said. She left the room and could be heard knocking on Nick’s door across the hall.
Nick got up from where he’d been trying to sleep. It was strange the things you got used to, and the presence of one blond sleeping on the other bed in his room was one of those. It had always happened when Kira was with them, that he couldn’t sleep because they got two rooms and as the only man he was by himself. Somehow in a little over three years, Cassie had eroded twenty three years of being on his own. Granted for the first thirteen he’d had his Father but, he’d always had a separate room to sleep in even if it was literally the closet.
He was surprised to see Mother standing there and not Cassie.
“May I come in?” Mother asked.
“Sure,” Nick shrugged as he stepped back.
Mother dropped to sit on the bed and she studied him, this man she had sent her little girl to find. Many mothers would worry about the propriety of sending a thirteen year old to be with a twenty-three year old man not related to her. Mother had admitted that she’d had some of those qualms but she had been reassured by her visions. One of the most reassuring of those she was here to make sure came true before she set off on her final mission.
“Was there something you wanted?” Nick asked, nervously. “Or something you’ve seen?”
“It’s sort of both,” Mother said. “Cassie tells me she’s seen it too.”
“What?” Nick asked.
“That you will be a part of our family,” Mother said.
“Um, thank you,” Nick said not sure where this is going.
“I mean literally,” Mother said.
“You’re going to adopt me?” Nick asked. “Aren’t I a little old for that?”
“Not that way,” Mother said with a wry smile. She let her words sink in.
Nick thought and came up with an answer and dismissed it. She couldn’t be talking about that. Cassie was still too young for that. She couldn’t mean that. Could she?
“I know what Kira and I have to do,” Mother said. “And I know we succeed, but it ends badly. I need to know that Cassie is safe. With family.”
“Are you saying what I think you’re saying?” Nick asked.
“Yes, son,” Mother said with a smirk.
“You mean Cassie has seen this?” Nick asked, wondering how long Cassie had known and why she never told him.
“In a manner of speaking,” Mother said. “She mentioned seeing what happens when you two are alone afterwards. I didn’t ask for details and she didn’t give them. She did say that she has been seeing that since Hong Kong three years ago.”
Nick sank to the bed. The implication of that, a thirteen year old having visions of her and him having sex, disturbed him. It wasn’t so much as the possibility had never occurred to him. It had off and on over the last year or so but that she was so young and had seen it, that had bothered him.
“You want me to marry your seventeen year old daughter?” Nick asked to make sure it had been spelled out and everyone knew exactly what was happening. “Is that even legal?”
“It is if I sign the license giving my permission,” Mother said. “And yes, I want this. I’m not going to lie, your age difference concerns me, as a Mother. But as a watcher, I see what happens if you don’t marry.”
“What is that?” Nick asked.
“Death. Destruction. Failure of everything we’ve worked for,” Mother said.
“And if I do?” Nick asked, needing to know how to choose.
“Less death and destruction. And Division goes down,” Mother explained. “And my daughter happy like she hasn’t ever been.’
Nick sat and thought for a bit. “What about me?”
“You stop running and find contentment,” Mother said. “I know it isn’t as good as happy, but…”
“But it’s more than I’ve ever known,” Nick agreed. “When? Where?”
“Day after tomorrow in Vegas,” Mother said. “Kira and I need to be there anyway.”
Nick stood up and looked at Mother. “I guess I have a proposal to make.”
“Yes, you do,” Mother agreed. “Send Kira in here. She and I have plans to make.”
Nick nodded as he left the room. He crossed the hall to find Kira already opening the door. They looked at each other for a bit and then the pusher looked away. She went into the room Nick had just left. Nick took a deep breath and went in the open door.
Cassie sat on the bed she shared with her Mother, knees drawn up to her chest and her arms around her legs. She looked so young. Nick felt like the biggest pervert in the world. Somehow this felt both right and wrong and he wasn’t sure which he’d end up feeling.
“I suppose you know why I’m here.” Nick said, trying to break the tension.
“I do,” Cassie agreed. “But I think it will need to be said, to count.”
“You’re right,” Nick said. He dropped to a knee in front of her. It was easier when he looked up into her eyes. “Cassie, will you marry me?”
Cassie dropped her hands from around her legs and scooted forward on the bed and leaned in close.
“Yes, Nick, I will,” she answered looking him straight in the eye.
“Good.” Nick stood up to pace the room. “Why didn’t you ever tell me that you saw us …together?”
“Why would I? It didn’t affect the missions at hand and it came and went,” Cassie said. “At first I was unsure what I was seeing and by the time I figured it out I knew it was years in the future. I could tell, even without the gift, that if I told you ‘By the way, Nick, someday , a couple years from now, we’ll be married and having sex.’ You’d leave. And we’d be back to the future where everyone dies.”
“So you carried it alone?” Nick said.
“That is the fate of a watcher,” Cassie said as she got up to stand next to him.
Nick reached for her hand and took it in his own. “You’re not alone and never will be again.” He squeezed her hand reassuringly.
Two days later, Cassie was wearing a new dress, blue streaks in her hair and standing before an Elvis in Vegas. Nick had gotten a new button down the front shirt and jeans for the occasion. Kira and Cassie’s Mother stood as their witnesses as they exchanged their vows.
After the ceremony, Mother hugged Nick and Cassie. She had Nick swear to protect his new bride before she and Kira left to start their plan to get into the Division central computer. Nick and Cassie hopped the first plane from McCarran. It proved to be to Hawaii. Once they got to Honolulu, they took a cab to the beach and got a hotel room there. It was more than they’d normally spend but it was their wedding night, no matter what Nick thought about that, he’d do the right thing for Cassie. She deserved a little consideration. Besides, if everything went the way Mother said, the time for running would be over soon.