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The Late-Night Time Travelers’ Philosophy Club

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Lucy loaded the lifeboat with as much era-appropriate currency and gold as she could scrounge up, as well as extra clothes for the both of them. They could go to Europe, she thought. There were places it wouldn’t be as bad for Rufus to travel with her, though nowhere would be completely safe. A complicating factor was that neither of them spoke German (the language of scholarship at the time), and her French had gotten her through the GRE but wouldn’t last two sentences of spoken conversation. The question of where to live was a diverting problem, and she needed that right now.

When Rufus returned, the devastation in his face kept her from doing more than offering a smile of sympathy. If he wanted to talk about the people he’d left behind, she’d be there and then.

“Do we need any other equipment?” she asked.

He shook his head. “Strap in, I’ll close up.”

If her hands shook while she was fumbling with her seatbelt, Rufus wasn’t going to judge her for it. The door started to swing closed on their old life—

And there was an arm blocking the way. “Ow!”

Rufus quickly hit the release button.

“The hell,” Wyatt said, swinging in all the way. “That door tried to break my arm!”

“This isn’t an elevator, it doesn’t automatically open,” Rufus said, then shook his head. “What are you doing?”

Wyatt plopped himself down across from her and reached over to redo her straps. Her nerveless hands fell to her sides, letting him work. “I know you’re both smart, so I know you didn’t think I was gonna let you strand yourself in the past without me.”

Lucy swallowed. She forced her fists to unclench. “Jessica—no one expects you to—”

He shook his head. “You’re my team,” he said simply. Then he closed his eyes and turned his face from her. “Anyway, it turns out—she can live without me just fine.” Lucy could feel that there was a story underneath that simple statement, but she wasn’t going to hear it right now. “So, we gonna blow this pop stand?” He finished with her buckles, but didn’t withdraw his hands all the way.

After a moment, she reached up and gripped his hands in her own. They couldn’t go backwards in their own personal timelines, but they could go forwards.

“Let’s go fix time,” Rufus said, and they were off.