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The Road Less Traveled

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Garcia paces back and forth on the B Deck landing near the Grand Staircase.

He can’t believe that he’s nervous about taking Lucy out on a proper date.

He looks at the clock which is surrounded by Honour and Glory Crowning Time, a piece of carved artwork that is said to have been inspired by a chimney designed by Percier and Fontaine for Napoleon Bonaparte which had been published in 1812 in a book titled Recueil de décorations intérieures.

It’s 5:40 now.

Five more minutes until he will knock on the door to the Sitting Room and escort Lucy aft towards the À la Carte Restaurant – where the filthy rich dine on this fine ship.

“Mr. Flynn?”

He turns around and looks down at Alice, the maid who had been helping Lucy get dressed the other morning.

“Alice, right?”

“Yes, sir.” She nods her head. “Miss Lucy asked me to have you wait here for her instead of havin’ you knock on the door. Said she’d like to make an entrance.”

He smiles. “How is she?”

“Very happy, sir. Looks like royalty,” Alice says as she nods her head and walks away. “I hope you’ll both be havin’ a good night, then.” Alice curtsies to Garcia, and walks away.

Garcia runs his hand through his hair and takes a deep breath. He knows he has no reason to be nervous. He and Lucy are already closer than most couples are on a first date. Of course, most couples aren’t thrown into a situation where they have to jump through time, and save each other’s lives while being initially bonded by a journal from the future that happens to detail the idea that a romance between them wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world.

John Jacob Astor and his wife Madeleine approach him. They stop to speak to him.

“Mr. Flynn, is it?”

“Yes?”

“My wife and I were just talking about you, and were concerned about your wife, Lorena. You two haven’t made many appearances since the night your wife was attacked. Is she all right?”

“She’s recovering just fine. However, because of what happened she prefers to avoid the dining and reception areas. Although we have accepted an invitation from the captain for tomorrow night’s dinner.”

A smile crosses Madeleine’s face and her eyes look behind Garcia. “She’s very beautiful.” She lifts her chin to gesture behind him.

Garcia turns around and finds himself speechless as Lucy makes her way to him. Her hair is pulled back into a messy French Braid, and she wears a small crystal and sapphire tiara on her head. She’s in a shimmering gown of royal blue silk beneath a black lace cover. Sheer periwinkle sleeves, and a scoop neck cut. Her locket and his ring rest just above her cleavage.

The Astors nod their heads at Garcia and leave.

Lucy stands in front of him, feeling very self-conscious. She nervously pulls at the white lace gloves on her hands as if she’s worried that she’s not wearing them correctly.

“Lucy…”

“I couldn’t cover all the bruises,” she’s quick to deter any compliment.

“I… I wasn’t… I didn’t… I…” Garcia fumbles to find words.

Lucy lowers her eyes.

“You’re beautiful, Lucy…”

She smiles when she looks up into his eyes. “Thank you, and you… look like you got a haircut.” She reaches up and runs her gloved hand along the side of his head. “Thank you for not shaving.”

“I know how you like the scruff.”

He winks then offers her his arm as he leads her aft of the Grand Staircase, a few minutes’ walk from where their suite is located on B Deck, to where the À la Carte Restaurant is located, not far from the third class promenade.

They can hear the restaurant’s orchestra playing None But the Lonely Heart by Tchaikovsky as they approach the restaurant’s Reception Room.

“Nyet, tolko tot, kto znal,” Garcia says the name of the song in Tchaikovsky’s native Russian. “In English it’s ‘none but the lonely heart,’ but the Russian actually translates to ‘no, only someone who knew.’”

Lucy shakes her head, smiling. “Ok, I have to ask… how many languages do you speak?”

“Oh, I don’t know maybe ten, twelve…” He stops in the middle of the restaurant’s Reception Room – referred to as the Palm Court by passengers – and thinks out loud, “English and Croatian, obviously. Romanian, Spanish, French, German… Portuguese, Italian, Russian… Bosnian and Serbian, but I don’t really count those since they’re so similar to Croatian, um… enough Nepali, Pashto, Persian, and Arabic to get by, um… I think that’s it. I did study Latin and Greek at school, but I didn’t keep up with those.”

“That’s fifteen, Garcia. Seventeen if you want to count Latin and Greek.”

“I don’t.” He rubs the back of his neck. “Fifteen, really?”

Lucy nods her head. “That’s…” She wets her lips. “So impressive. Um…” She leans close to him and speaks quietly, “And don’t think your juggling of languages the other night didn’t get me hot. I had no idea what you were saying, but oh… my… God.”

“Perhaps I’ll forget English in bed from now on,” he winks, then asks, “So, the LaRoche family will be joining us?” He smiles at her. “It’ll be nice to converse with you in French,” he inhales deeply and adds, “a language you might consider bringing into bed-”

“About that…” Lucy tucks a strand of hair behind her ear. “The LaRoches… I canceled. I thought about what you said about spending time together, just you and me, and… as much as I’d love to sit and chat with Joseph LaRoche and his wife, I’d rather just be with you.”

They walk through the Palm Court, and are surrounded by passengers too rich to mingle with the regular first class passengers in their Dining Room. Names like Astor, Goelet, Widener, Vanderbilt, and Lady Duff-Gordon greet them as they pass by.

Garcia smiles at Lucy, and leads her inside the restaurant.

They both pause and take in their surroundings. While the first class Dining Room is beautifully decorated, it holds nothing to the room before them. The lights are low, and the room is furnished in Louis XVI style with Axminster carpeting. Chairs at every table are of French walnut and upholstered in a pink, rose pattern tapestry.

The restaurant is luxurious and romantic.

Garcia gestures with his arm to show Lucy to a table for two in a far corner of the room. Lucy is speechless as she gazes around her at the carved French walnut paneling of the walls which are trimmed with gilt-brass accents, and the ceiling is molded with intricate flower and ribbon motifs.

They pass by oval mirrors on the wall, designed to resemble windows, and she pauses when she sees their reflection.

“Lucy?”

“I wish we had a camera with us,” she says.

“Might want to check with Karl. In our timeline, he brought his smart phone back on a couple trips.”

“And you wear your smart watch,” she says, taking his hand and running her fingers across his watch beneath the sleeve of his coat.

Garcia looks at their reflection in the mirror and it feels as if somehow, they’ve been transported to another reality where time travel isn’t real, and Rittenhouse doesn’t exist. Even though he knows they’re in 1912, right now – in this moment – everything feels normal. He gazes at Lucy. She looks like a sparkling diamond on his arm. And with the carefully sculpted shape of his scruff, and the way his stature towers over her small frame, it makes them both look quite regal.

“I wish we could find a way to keep that dress.”

“Oh, well, now I really wish…” she lowers her voice, “that this ship had a different fate.”

“Me too, draga.”

“Maybe I could wear it tomorrow night, that way-”

He gives her a curious look.

“Hey, people were wearing a variety of clothes that night. Pajamas, dressing robes, evening gowns… I’m just saying that it wouldn’t be strange for me to be…” She pauses as Garcia pulls out a chair for her, and she sits. “For me to be wearing this dress.”

Garcia sits across from her at the table, which has a crystal vase with pink roses and white daisies.

Lucy picks up the gilt and cobalt blue fine china dinner plate. “I forgot that this restaurant isn’t managed by White Star Line.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah, um… a man named um… Gatti ran it, and brought his own staff on board. They aren’t part of the ship’s regular crew.”

“And that explains why the White Star Line logo isn’t all over everything in here.” He picks up a fork and examines it. “Look at how clean the silver is. It’s like it’s… glittering.”

“While we’re used to a little bit of tarnish in the design of our silver, in the Edwardian era that was considered dirty. Just imagine, after we eat someone will use a tiny little brush to make sure that any hint of tarnish is removed from every piece of silverware used here tonight.”

Garcia leans across the table with a boyish grin on his face. “I feel so out of place here, Lucy.”

“I know, right?” She laughs quietly. “I’m afraid we’ll see the menu and have no idea what anything is.”

And just as a waiter places two menus in front of them, the orchestra on the bandstand begins playing Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana.

Garcia nods at the waiter, and he leaves them alone.

“Do you know if there are any places where I’d be able to take you dancing?” he asks, as he peruses the menu.

“Other than in the third class General Room?”

“Mhm.”

“Unfortunately, there isn’t.” Lucy looks up and sees the disappointment on his face. She reaches across the table and holds his hand. “But… there’s no rule against taking me in your arms in the Reception Room and dancing with me there. And considering our recognizability among first class passengers, it might even turn into an impromptu ball if they join us.” Lucy smiles, pats his hand and then opens her menu.

They are quiet as they lull over their meal options.

“Prime rib might be good,” Garcia says.

“Red meat tends to give me stomach aches… I’m thinking I might try the Egyptian quail, but…” She squints her eyes, and reads aloud, “what is Clear Green Turtle Soup?” She looks up at him. “Is it made with real turtles?”

“Yes, ma’am. It is,” a waiter interjects, standing next to their table ready to take their order. “It contains turtle meat and fennel seeds soaked in Amontillado sherry and beef bouillon, seasoned with mint, rosemary, sage, basil, allspice berries, and marjoram.”

“I think I’ll go with the Egyptian quail,” Lucy says as she hands the waiter her menu.

“And for you, sir?”

“Prime rib, please. And could you bring us a bottle of your finest wine?”

“Yes, of course.”

The waiter leaves.

Garcia watches Lucy as she studies her surroundings. She’s quiet, thoughtful, and he sees some sadness in her eyes. “What are you thinking?” he asks.

“How beautiful this room is, and…” Her eyes fall on John Jacob Astor across the room. “And how tomorrow…” She closes her eyes as she lightly shakes her head. “I really don’t want to think about that tonight.”

“Me neither, so… I’m thinking after dinner, before we sneak into the swimming pool, we take a long walk up on the first class Promenade Deck… gaze at the stars…”

“You just want to kiss me, don’t you?”

“Me?” He feigns offense. “No. I am a proper gentleman.” He fails miserably at trying not to laugh at himself. “But it sounds to me like you can’t get this afternoon’s almost-kiss out of your head.” He winks at her.

Lucy blushes. “I’m having a hard time getting a lot of things out of my head, Garcia.” She smiles. “And you know full-well what you were doing on deck when you had your hands on my breas-”

Lucy presses her lips together as the waiter places two wine glasses on the table and fills them with a bottle of White Burgundy wine. Another waiter places a plate of lightly buttered, toasted bread between them, a bowl of chilled caviar, and mother-of-pearl spoons.

The waiters leave.

“Have you ever had caviar?” Lucy asks.

“My grandmother loved it. Me, not so much.”

“In the ninth grade, my French class went on an in-town field trip to a French restaurant, and any student who tried either escargot, or caviar was given ten extra bonus points on our next exam.”

“Did you try it?”

“I did. I had both the caviar and the escargot because I was ambitious, and thought having both meant that I would get an extra twenty points on the next exam.” She smiles wide and laughs. “I was wrong. It was an either-or kind of deal.”

Garcia laughs. “Was it good?”

“I wouldn’t say I would have it again, but I had an easier time swallowing the snail over the fish eggs.” She squirms as a shiver runs up her spine. “I don’t know, there’s something unsettling to me about eating fish eggs. I think caviar, then I’m thinking fish eggs, and then I’m seeing tadpoles swimming around.”

“Tadpoles are the larva of frogs and toads, Lucy… not fish.” He chuckles.

“I know that now, but when I was a stupid kid who didn’t care to pay attention in science class until we talked about Marie Curie, I thought fish eggs were where tadpoles came from.”

Garcia laughs. “That’s adorable.”

He takes a piece of toast and tops it with caviar, and just as he’s about to put it in his mouth, Lucy says, “If you eat that, you better hope the flavor is completely gone from your mouth before you even think of kissing me.”

He freezes with his mouth agape as he holds the caviar in front of him. He tilts his head, to acknowledge her warning, and sets the bread down on his plate. He does not eat it.

“Here’s something you may not know…” he says.

“What’s that?” she asks.

“You know how I’m wearing my watch?”

“Yeah.”

“I think it has a camera built into it.”

Lucy leans forward. “Are you serious?”

He nods.

“I mean… why didn’t you remember this earlier? You could’ve been taking pictures around the ship… there are rooms in this ship, including the one we’re in right now, of which no pictures exist.” Lucy holds her hand over her forehead in disbelief. “I can’t believe…” she shakes her head, “all this time?”

“I guess I should’ve known to bring this up sooner since you’re a historian…”

“Well, yeah.”

She rises out of her seat and leans across the table. “Be discreet and snap some photos of this room.”

“Hard to be discreet when you’re standing up, leaning over the table, Lucy.” His eyes linger on her cleavage before looking up into her eyes. He gestures his head to his right where several passengers are watching her.

Lucy quickly sits down. “Was I being loud?”

“A little.”

“Well, when they go back to their own conversations, take some pictures, ok?”

“I will.”

“Do we know where Karl is tonight?” She asks. “I mean… you look incredibly handsome, and I’m in this dress that Madeleine Astor gave to me, and I’m wearing a freaking tiara, Garcia. A tiara. I’ve never worn a tiara before in my life. To be able to have a photo of us on the Titanic when we get back…” Lucy sits back in her chair and crosses her arms over her stomach, not looking especially lady-like. “I would get it printed and framed. I’m not lying. It’ll be on the fireplace, next to our wedding photo.”

“Lucy…” Garcia’s eyes scan the room as he leans toward her. “Calm down… I won’t be able to get any pictures if you’re… you know… acting like we’re at Portola’s back in San Francisco, and you’ve had a couple of beers.”

Lucy sits up straight and runs her hands across the front of her dress to iron out wrinkles. She leans towards Garcia. They’re both hovering over the center of their table, and she tells him quietly, “You can’t take me anywhere.” She cups his jaw in her hand, and kisses his cheek.

Garcia nods, his eyes drifting behind her.

Lucy turns her head and sees the waiter bringing their main course.

They are quiet as they eat their meal. When Lucy takes her final bite of her quail, the string quartet begins playing Nearer My God to Thee. She watches as Garcia finishes his meal. He remains silent as well. They both know that the song was reported by witnesses as being the last song the band plays the night the ship perishes in the North Atlantic.

Garcia wipes his mouth with his cloth napkin and sets it down.

“Are you ready to go?” he asks.

“I am.”

He stands and offers his hand to help her from her chair. He places his hands on her shoulders and gives her a comforting squeeze, and whispers to her, “I paid for our meals in advance earlier today when I had no idea what to do, so we don’t need to wait for the bill.”

They pass the cashier who gives them a friendly nod as he wishes them a pleasant evening.

Instead of wrapping her arm through his, Lucy holds his hand. “Thank you for dinner.”

“You’re welcome.” He raises her hand to his lips and kisses the back of it. “So… did you want to find Karl? See if he’ll humor us and take our picture?”

“Could we?”

“Of course.”

They make their way up the Aft Grand Staircase. Lucy loses her footing and slips, but Garcia steadies her so she doesn’t fall. “You ok?”

“That didn’t happen because I’m clumsy,” she tells him. “Today, the ship lists towards the port side so everything on the ship is a little uneven.” Lucy points in the direction she slipped, “and the list to port was caused because of the extra coal being moved to that side of the ship because of a fire on the starboard side.”

“Did you get a degree in Titanic studies alongside your PhD in history?”

“No. I was fourteen years old when Titanic was released in theatres, and aside from the love story, I was fixated on the history of it all. I read as many books about the ship as I could. Borrowed videos from the library, documentaries about the ship. And when I was fifteen years old, I even wrote a history book about it. Obviously, it was never published, but still. I had a hyperfocus.”

Garcia smiles, and tells her, “I know some things about it, but I want you to know that I… I feel safe on this ship because you’re here with me.” He opens the door to the first class Promenade, and then removes his coat and helps her into it. “I’m a tough guy, and I can put up an act, but I felt as scared as I was the night that I stole the Mothership when I stepped foot on this ship.”

Lucy nods her head. “I’m glad that somehow, I make you feel safe because… most of the time I feel like I’m running around, not having a clue what I’m doing. All I bring with me is the history. The facts. And when things change… I feel so helpless.”

“You’re not helpless, Lucy… remember the time you shot a rock off the top of my head without really looking? I can’t even do that.”

“Yeah… I guess, but… I don’t enjoy the training I received at Rittenhouse, and I don’t like handling guns.”

“You know more about this ship than anyone else on our team. There’s that.” He squeezes her shoulders to try to make her smile.

“Do you think if time travel didn’t exist that we would have met?” she asks. “I know you’d still be with Lorena, and you’d have Iris, and probably baby number two or three on the way, but… do you think if we met in a timeline where none of this happened, that we would have still found each other and been friends?”

“Absolutely,” he answers confidently. “And do you want to know how I know?”

“How?”

“Fate. I believe that you and I were meant to meet. I think it would happen in any timeline. Even in the one where you didn’t survive the car accident. I… I was there at the river, Lucy… and I know that you… that you think that your biological father saved you in the original timeline, but… sweetheart, it was me.”

Lucy looks up at him. “What?”

“Why else do you think the younger me showed up at the side of the river that night?”

“But my… Benjamin Cahill was there. I saw him.”

“And I’m saying my memory of that night, it was just me, you, and your car in that river.” He stops walking and faces her, holding onto both her hands. “Before we went back to try to stop them, you described that night to me and my mom, and… everything you said, I could see in my mind because I was there. I pulled you out of that car, Lucy. I held your chin above water. I ran and made the call to 9-1-1, and I sat with you, with my fingers on your wrist to monitor your pulse. I walked with you as the EMTs carried you to the ambulance, and Lucy, draga… you held my hand just before they took you away.”

“Oh my God…” She lowers her head. “When we went back you said something in the car about saving me again, and I… we had a disagreement, and weren’t exactly getting along so, I… I decided not to ask you what you meant by it, but… that’s what you meant, wasn’t it? That it was you?”

He nods. “See… even in a timeline where time travel didn’t exist, our paths still crossed.” He smiles. “So, yeah… I believe that we were always meant to cross each other’s paths. We were always meant to become friends, and-”

“Lovers?”

He cups her face in his hand, and looks her in the eye. “Lovers.”

Lucy takes a deep breath and leans her face into the palm of his hand.

She closes her eyes.

“You know what, Garcia?”

“Hm?”

“Take your watch off and open the camera app.”

“What about Karl?”

“We don’t need him. We can take a picture ourselves, selfie-style.”

“That’s not formal.”

“I don’t need perfection. I want to capture the night the way it feels in my heart. Fun, and spontaneous.” She rolls up the sleeve of his shirt and removes his smartwatch. “What’s the passcode?”

“Iris’s birthday. Zero, seven, one, four.”

Garcia stands behind Lucy and watches as she finds the camera app on the watch. She hands it back to him. “You have longer arms than me, and you’re taller so… you’re our selfie stick.”

He holds the watch high above them.

Lucy smiles as she leans back against his chest. He bends his knees so that his cheek presses against hers, and just before he hits the button to snap the picture, he turns to her, kisses her cheek, and snaps the photo.

Lucy spins around, grabbing the watch out of his hand. She finds the photo and places her hand over her heart. “Awww… we are too cute.” She swipes to see what photos he discreetly took at the restaurant, but there are no other photos to swipe to. “Garcia…” Her voice remains playful though disappointed. “You forgot to take pictures in the restaurant.”

“The food was good, and my stomach took over my brain,” he explains. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s ok. Maybe photos of the restaurant were never meant to be taken.”

She hands him back his watch, and he puts it back on his wrist.

Though they are outside, they can hear Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2 playing from somewhere inside the ship. A tender piano piece that exudes romance, its joy, and the playfulness of new love.

Garcia takes Lucy’s right hand in his left, holding it over his heart. Then he places his right hand on her lower back as she rests her left arm on his shoulder. He looks down into her eyes as he guides them with the music, gently swaying in the cool night air, taking her hand and twirling her at the appropriate highlights in the music, then pulling her back into the dance hold.

“This is Chopin’s most famous piece of music,” he says quietly.

“And it isn’t very easy to learn to play,” Lucy adds.

“You play the piano?”

“Not anymore, but I did through high school.”

“I’d love to hear you play someday,” he whispers into her ear.

“I don’t know if I’d be any good.”

“Doesn’t matter.”

He takes her hand and twirls her again.

She laughs quietly as he pulls her back to him.

“I always got teased when I was a kid,” he says. “All my friends were into popular music in the 80s and 90s, but I uh… I grew up listening to music my grandmother played. You know, the music of Perry Como, Marlene Dietrich, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, opera, classical…”

Chopin’s Nocturne ends and the band picks up the pace with Johann Strauss’ The Blue Danube Waltz. Garcia looks down at Lucy and smiles, “Do you know how to waltz?”

“I waved at my mom while standing on stage singing On The Good Ship Lollipop, remember?” She pokes his chest and laughs. “I took ballet, but I never tried ballroom.”

“I can show you.”

“I’m clumsy,” she playfully warns him. “I might step on your feet.”

He holds her, positioning her in a waltz hold so they are standing about one foot apart. His right hand is on her left shoulder, and his left hand beneath her arm, holding her upper back. “Ok… place your left hand on my arm, near the shoulder, and step back with your right foot… then step sideways to the left…” He leads Lucy as she initially looks down at their feet. “Now, close your right foot to your left so that your feet are almost touching.”

Lucy smiles up at him, her eyes sparkling like the stars above. “Am I doing it?”

“Slowly, but I’m not done teaching you.” He laughs, and continues his instruction, until they move almost perfectly with the music. Lucy missteps a few times, but he maintains the lead and gets her back on track. The song ends, and he spins her out, and bows to her.

Lucy clasps her hands together and laughs. She’s smiling so much it hurts. “Honestly, Garcia, I thought you dancing with me at Hedy’s party was a fluke. I had no idea that you can actually like dance dance.” She wipes a tear from her face.

“Are you crying?” he asks, taking a step closer to her.

“I’m just so happy right now.”

It both breaks and warms his heart to see her in tears because of happiness. It means the world to him that he can make her smile. He wraps his arms around her, and says, “I promise to do more things that make you happy, Lucy.” He kisses her forehead.

“So, what do you have planned next?”

“We could do some star gazing, but it’s getting a bit cold out here. Or we could check out the Squash court, see if we could play a game or two, or purchase tickets to the Turkish Baths to warm up a bit.”

“I believe that’s closed after six o’clock,” Lucy says.

Garcia nods his head.

He wraps his arm around her waist and they walk towards the front of the ship.

“Swimming pool?” Garcia asks, raising his brow.

Lucy looks up at him and smiles. She steps out of his arms, picks up the front of her dress, and starts running towards the first class entrance a few feet away from them.


With no steward on duty, accessing the Titanic’s swimming pool on F Deck was not difficult at all.

Garcia paces outside the dressing rooms where Lucy is still inside one of the stalls – he assumes that she is attempting to undress without his help. They obviously didn’t bring bathing suits with them, so he’s stripped down to his black boxer briefs.

“Are you sure you don’t need my help?” he asks.

“I’m good,” Lucy answers. “I uh… I shocked Alice earlier because I told her that I didn’t want to wear the chemise and corset tonight.”

He laughs. “Then what’s taking you so long?”

“I’m… I’m trying to get my hair tied up so that it doesn’t get wet.” She pauses. “You can go on and get in the water without me. I’ll just be another minute.”

“I could help with your hair,” he offers.

“No, no… that’s all right.”

Garcia raises his brow as he turns around. He rests his hand on the wooden railing along the length of the pool. The maximum depth of it is six feet, but it’s only filled to the five foot mark. It’s a small, only about thirty feet by fourteen feet in size, with stairs leading down into the water on each end. There’s a clock on the steel wall to the left, and it reads just after eleven o’clock.

He looks back at the dressing room Lucy is in, and then down at his smartwatch. It’s waterproof, so he doesn’t have to take it off. He turns it on, and finds the camera app. He snaps a photo of the pool, and thinks to himself that maybe he’ll get up early tomorrow morning and walk around the ship to take pictures of the ship for Lucy. He’d like to surprise her with a collection of photos he took of the ship later. Perhaps give them to her in a scrapbook for her birthday one day.

And maybe tomorrow, before the collision, they can get Karl to take a picture of them together. He’s certain that the selfie he snapped earlier doesn’t include much, if any, of the ship in the background.

He looks down at the water and wonders how cold it is. It’s filled with sea water, and is supposed to be heated. He walks to the far end of the pool, takes a breath, and dives in. In seconds, his hands touch the wall at the other end of the pool. He comes up for air and shakes the water from his head.

The water temperature is just right.

He places his feet on the bottom of the pool. It’s not deep at all, but he thinks Lucy might have to tread to keep her head above water, or perhaps he could convince her to wrap herself around him and…

The door to the dressing room stall clicks open, and Lucy steps out.

She figured out a way to get all of her hair in a bun on the very top of her head. She’s wearing her black panties, and walks towards the pool stairs with her arms folded across her breasts.

He wets his lips as he eyes her from head to toe.

“No bra?” he asks, swimming towards her as she descends into the water.

“No,” she answers. “The dress was fitted enough that I didn’t need it.” She looks at him and smiles. “Apparently, I was in the mood to corrupt Alice this evening.” The water reaches her waist and she continues to conceal her breasts from him.

“I’ve seen you before, draga… you don’t need to cover up in front of me.” He smiles adoringly at her.

“I can’t be shy?” she asks as she sinks into the water.

“I like shy…”

Lucy takes one last step and moves towards him, but the depth of the water is deceiving since Garcia’s head is so high above its surface, and the water comes up to the bridge of her nose. She quickly uses her toes to push herself back up.

Garcia laughs, and takes her into his arms. He presses his forehead on hers and teases, “I think you forgot you aren’t as tall as me, hm?”

She wraps her arms around his neck.

Beads of water are on his forehead, and she wipes them away with her hand. She studies his face. Her fingertips trace over the small creases beneath his eyes, and her thumb runs across his eyebrow before she holds his face in her hand. She kisses his cheek and cups his ear between her fingers, circling her thumb gently over the curve of his ear.

He exhales and spreads his hand wide on her upper back. He moves his other arm beneath her ass to lift her just slightly out of the water. He buries his face into her neck and kisses her.

Lucy tilts her head to rest against his. She closes her eyes and relaxes, slowly weaving her fingers into his hair. “This is nice…” she whispers, “… being here with you…” She trembles as he kisses her collarbone. “That feels good…”

He murmurs her name and lowers his hand to caress her ass. Her body tenses at his touch, then relaxes again as he glides his hand slowly up and down her outer thigh. He nibbles on her ear as her breath deepens. She nudges his face with her chin, and he kisses her. He’s slow, and methodical as his tongue slowly explores her mouth. He moves his hand from her thigh, to her waist, grazing over the side of her breast. His lips leave hers momentarily as he cups her breast in his hand. He pauses, and strokes his thumb gently across the hickey he left on it the night before. He smiles contentedly, looks into her eyes, and kisses her again, running his hand to hold onto her upper back.

Their lips part again, and he takes a deep breath as she moans his name. He lowers his mouth to the top of her chest as he holds onto the back of her head.

Lucy presses her chest forward, searching for more contact, and he doesn’t disappoint. He takes her nipple between his lips and flicks it with the tip of his tongue.

She grabs onto his face with both her hands, and forces him away from her breast so she can kiss him. She wraps her legs around his waist, and relishes the sparking sensations that race throughout her body as he gropes her breast, squeezing it a little more roughly than before, then pulling and tugging at her nipple with his fingers as she opens her mouth wide to him, kissing him desperately.

Her breast slips out of his grasp, and she quivers at the loss of his touch.

She pulls back, staring into his eyes, her pupils dilated and her breathing heavy.

She smiles.

“You know, I’m not a huge fan of swimming,” she murmurs. “But this… if this is what I’ve been missing out on, I’m going to have to go swimming with you more often.”

Garcia smiles, and strokes the side of her face. “It might be a mood breaker, but can I uh… can I ask you something, Lucy?”

She nods.

“In 2003, you… you ran into the river, and… you barely made a few strokes before you came close to inhaling water, and… I don’t ask this to embarrass you, but… you can swim, right?”

Lucy lowers her eyes. “I uh… like I said I’m not a huge fan of swimming. I like going to beaches, but I never went out in the water any deeper than my waist. I’m pretty much a sunbather. Um… my mom, she made me take swim lessons when I was a little kid, and I ugly cried my way through them. I would scream if they tried to take the floaties off my arms. Eventually, my mom pulled me out of lessons. I’ve gone swimming at friends’ homes, but always stayed in the shallow end.”

“You were in the dressing room a long time… did you not want to swim tonight?”

“Did you forget that I was the one who started running here in the first place?”

“You know what I mean,” he says quietly.

“You’re here… with me, and…” She touches his chest. “I’m ok.” She smiles to assure him. “Plus, I’m not drowning inside a sinking car, in freezing water, so there’s that.”

He looks at her, but he doesn’t smile. It’s easy to connect what happened to Lucy in 2003 with what will take place tomorrow night.

Lucy strokes the side of his face. “Hey… why so gloomy all of a sudden?”

He shakes his head. “We still don’t know how tomorrow night will play out, and… if something happens and you fall into the water, I need to know that you’ll be able to swim to safety.” He looks into her eyes. “Can you do that?”

She shakes her head and presses her lips together to try not to cry. “No… I… I can swim in pools, but open water? No. I can’t… and when we went back to 2003, and I went into that river, I thought I could, but… Garcia, you have no idea what it’s like to be incapable of getting out of a car that’s filling with water. Freezing water that overtakes you, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.” She cries. “And… and being on this ship… it’s like one big car, only I know that it’s going to sink, and I know people are going to drown, and… and I’m on it, and I came here for you, and for Karl, and to use my knowledge of history to help… but I am so terrified that I’m going to end up in the water, and that I won’t know what to do, and that I won’t be able to overcome this to save my life if it happens.”

Garcia pulls her against him, and holds onto the back of her head as she cries into his neck.

“I shouldn’t have come,” she sniffles. “I should’ve listened to you and stayed home with your mom.”

“I won’t let anything happen to you, Lucy.” He pulls back to look into her eyes. “I promise that I will not leave your side. If you get pushed off, or slip and fall into the water, I’m diving in after you, and I will swim, with you in my arms, to a lifeboat.”

Lucy hiccups, she’s crying so hard.

She nods her head.

He kisses her cheek, and holds her face in his hand. “I know we said we wanted to try to save as many people as we can, but Lucy… I don’t give one shit about anyone else but you.” He holds her neck firmly in his hand. “When the first lifeboat is ready to load, I’m getting you in it, and I won’t take no as an answer.”

Lucy shakes her head, and swallows hard. “No… I know the timeline. I don’t need to be on the first lifeboat. I can still help save lives, please don’t take that away from me. I don’t want you to see me as someone who can’t do this job. And I know we fought about how you left that stupid note about not coming back to me until you defeated Rittenhouse, but I’m here with you. I’m at your side, and we are going to fight together.”

“And if you get pushed, or lose your balance, or…”

“Then I’ll stay near the back, and work on encouraging people to get in the boats, and you can be helping to load them, and launch them. Making sure they’re packed full before leaving the ship.” She looks into his eyes. She takes a deep breath and exhales. She holds onto the back of his neck, and closes her eyes. “I needed to get that off my chest. To say it out loud what I’m afraid of the most,” she tells him. “Thank you.” She brushes a loose strand of wet hair off her face. “I’m only slightly embarrassed that I told you that I basically don’t know how to swim.” She smiles, and adds, “Not well, at least.”

“I could teach you, if you want.”

“Tonight?”

“I taught Iris how to do it in a day.” He smiles at the memory. “She was only four years old, a natural in the water. And she was begging me to let her jump off the high dive, and we get out of the water, and…” He chuckles. “She starts running away from me, and I lose track of her because she’s so little, and it’s the summer crowd, and then I see her waving at me from up on the high dive platform, you know, about thirty-two feet up in the air.”

“Oh my God.” Lucy’s eyes are wide. “I would never.”

“And Iris is up there and she’s waving and smiling, and shouting at me, daddy look! And then she jumps, tucks into a cannonball, and hits the water. And let me tell you, Lucy… I ran so fast and dove right in after her, scared to death that my baby was hurt, and I get her to the surface and she giggles and says, again!

“So, she took after you?” Lucy flashes a sly smile.

“I guess you could say that,” he says. “Nothing ever scared her, well… except for the monsters hiding in her closet.”

“You were an amazing father, Garcia… and I cannot wait until we start a family of our own.”

He lowers his voice and asks, “What about your theory that time travel could affect our fertility?”

“I don’t know…” She lowers her eyes. She trails her hand down the middle of his chest. She looks up into his eyes as she positions her hand on his boxers, above his penis. “The sooner we start trying, the better?”

“I thought you said before that you don’t want to make love on this ship?” His voice rumbles in her ear, and he presses his hand on her abdomen.

“I don’t, but… I don’t mind what we’ve already done…” She kisses his neck. “And if we’re trying to get pregnant then… there’s no need for protection, and-”

“And you accuse me of being horny,” he teases.

“Can I stroke you?” she asks quietly, applying slight pressure against his dick.

“Mmhmm…” He nods, giving his consent. “Just… remember it might not take much to get me off, and…” He swallows. “I don’t really want to… you know, in the pool.”

“Mmm…” Lucy moans as she continues kissing his neck. She keeps her hand above his boxers as she slowly uses her index finger and thumb to stroke his length. Her heart flutters when he groans deep in his throat when she turns her hand to lightly caress his balls.

“Earlobe…” he murmurs.

“Hm?”

“Nibble on my earlobe…” he repeats himself, raising his hand to grope her breast.

Lucy’s eyes roll back as he lowers his mouth to her breast, and pinches her nipple between his lips. She looks down at him and catches a smug, hormone-induced grin on his face. She flicks her tongue over his earlobe, and then tenderly sucks at it with her lips. His dick twitches in her hand, and she slides her hand to the waistband of his boxers, lowering her hand inside. Her fingers linger at the rim of his pubic hair, and his body stiffens as her thumb and index finger slowly stroke the skin of his erection.

“Garcia…” she moans in his ear, continuing to move her fingers up and down his length.

He grunts as his hips thrust forward uncontrollably as she wraps her hand around his shaft and gives him a gentle squeeze. Her strokes are slow, and firm, and everything he enjoys about being touched intimately. Then her grip on him loosens, and her fingertips are gliding and dancing over the underside of his dick, and my God… the muscles in his abdomen, and his chest, and even his arms twitch outside of his control.

“You ok?” She asks, kissing his forehead. “Do you want me to keep going?”

“Mmhm…” he groans.

Her touch is exquisite.

She slides her hand further between his legs, allowing the palm of her hand to slowly pump against his testicles as her middle finger strokes his perineum. The tip of his dick hits the soft skin above her wrist, and he gently thrusts against her, and… he gasps, his eyes and mouth open wide.

His body tenses.

“S-stop…” he stutters, on the verge of orgasm – an orgasm he doesn’t yet want.

Lucy removes her hand from his boxers, and then holds onto him with both hands behind his neck.

His chest moves quickly up and down as he breathes deep.

“Too much?” she asks.

He lowers his head, and exhales sharply.

He doesn’t answer her.

He continues breathing hard.

She looks at him.

And she doesn’t know what to do.

“Garcia…?”

“I’m ok,” he says. “I just… I was too close, and I don’t want…”

“What don’t you want?” Lucy runs her hand through his hair.

“Not in a pool.” He smiles weakly. “And I’ve got to figure out how to delay getting to the finish line, you know?” He chuckles. “I might have to take up masturbating again to figure it out.”

“Can I watch you?”

His face flushes red, half shocked that she asked the question, and partly touched that she wants to be there with him as he does it. “Are you serious?”

“Yes.” She wets her lips. “And… you could watch me… if you want…” Her heart pounds as she suggests this. “And um… I uh…”

“What is it, Lucy?” His voice gravels with arousal.

“I’ve um…” She lowers her eyes, and plays with the hair on his chest. “I’ve already… on the ship, when you were sleeping…”

He smiles and says, “I know.”

Lucy’s eyes go wide, and she pushes away from him, falling out of his arms and backward – with a small yelp – into the water. She no longer cares if her hair is wet, and she stays underneath the surface until she has to come up for air.

“Lucy, oh my God, are you ok?” He laughs.

“You saw me doing that?” she asks meekly, and suddenly shy. “Why didn’t you say anything?”

“I didn’t want to embarrass you if you didn’t want me to know you did that,” he says, approaching her, and wrapping his arms around her.

The loud creak of a door opening catches their attention.

They’re in the middle of the pool and look towards the room’s entrance.

A man enters, looking rather lost.

The man’s eyes fall on them, and he doesn’t act surprised at all. Instead, he lowers his glasses down the bridge of his nose and looks at them, and asks, “Flynn and Lucy?”

Lucy looks at Garcia and says quietly, “Finally, someone knows my name. Took Alice long enough to get that out.”

Garcia stands in front of Lucy to keep this man from seeing any more of her than he might have already seen. “Can we help you with something?” he asks.

The man shakes his head and rushes to the railing at the side of the pool, looking down at them.

“My name is Stanley,” the man says. He looks left and then right. “Enjoy your happiness while you can because I’ve… things are going to get bad. Very bad after New York.” He groans and presses the palm of his hand on his forehead, and shouts. “NO! STOP IT! NOT NOW!”

His voice echoes in the room.

And then he is quiet.

He looks down at them again, as if seeing them for the first time. Then he looks around the room, disoriented. Not entirely sure how he got here. “I-I’m sorry,” he says, almost in a completely different voice. “I’m not sure how I…” He looks back at Garcia and Lucy. “I wouldn’t let a steward catch you two in here,” he warns. “Mixed gender swimming is prohibited.”

The man nods awkwardly, and leaves the room.

Garcia turns his head to look back at Lucy, she’s clinging onto his waist, unsure of what was going to happen.

“A drunk?” Lucy asks.

“Definitely a drunk,” Garcia answers, nodding his head, but taking note of the man’s appearance.

Lucy makes her way to the stairs, and he follows behind her as she gets out of the pool.

“There’re no towels,” she says, wrapping her arms across her breasts.

“I guess there’s not.”

They laugh.

“I guess we’ll look like drowned rats as we walk back to our room, huh?” Lucy says, making her way to the dressing room. She stops and looks back at him. “You coming?”

He glances at the clock on the wall, and tells her, “It’s going on 11:30, hopefully there aren’t many people still up. And if they are, why should we care? We’re that eccentric couple, traveling in J.P. Morgan’s parlour suite, who got in a shootout, and can’t keep our hands off each other no matter where we go on this ship.”

He quickly grabs his clothes from the dressing room he undressed in, and then joins Lucy in hers.

He closes the door just in case other drunks wander in.

Lucy is taking her hair out of the bun on top of her head, and wringing it out as best she can. Garcia glances at her breasts, then looks away. He bends over and peels his wet boxer briefs off his body, and wrings them out as well, and uses the damp garment to wipe water off his body.

He turns around and Lucy is watching him, with a curious smile on her face.

“What?” He asks.

“Nothing,” she says as she looks around for something she could use to try to dry off.

Garcia chuckles. “Here.” He tosses his boxers to her, then bends down to pick up his trousers on the bench beside them. He steps into the pants, gently presses down on what remains of his erection to position himself properly, and then he buttons the fly. Then he grabs his dress shirt and buttons it, tucking it into his pants.

He glances at Lucy and she’s wiping water from her arms and her chest.

She looks up at him.

She sets his boxers down, and takes his waistcoat, and tells him, “Turn around.”

He does, and looks back at her. “Aren’t you going to get dressed?”

She slides his arms into his waistcoat and circles around to face him. She tugs at his white dress shirt to smooth it, and straightens out its collar before she starts to button the vest from bottom to top. “Turn around,” she tells him. As he turns, she places her hands on his shoulders, and then runs them down his back to smooth the garment. She tugs on its sides, and rests her hands on his hips before lightly caressing his ass. “Your ass looks good in those pants, Garcia,” she says, going up on her toes to kiss his jaw.

He turns around when she lets go of him.

“Lucy…”

“Hm?”

Her back is to him, and he stands behind her. He fingers the small lily tattoo on her lower back, and then caresses her ass. He leans down to tell her, “Just checking to see if your panties are dry yet…” He kisses her cheek. “Still a bit damp.” He hooks his thumb on her waistband, and tugs on it slightly. “I can put them in my pocket if you don’t want to wear them.”

She turns to him, trying not to smile.

She doesn’t give him an answer either way.

She picks up her evening gown, and asks, “Do you think we’ll be portrayed in any of the Titanic movies?”

“Probably not.”

He watches her as she raises the gown above her head, and lowers it. The silk fabric slowly falls over her skin, caressing her where his lips have been, and in places they have yet to worship.

“Imagine if we are… we’ll never be able to watch A Night to Remember, or 97’s Titanic, without cringing at two actors groping, and devouring each other with their mouths in every place they can.” She looks at him. “Imagine watching Hollywood’s version of our time on this ship, our make out sessions, possibly even our kinda-sorta skinny dipping in the pool, play out on TV in a room full of friends. Or worse yet, with your mom. Can you imagine the comments she’d make about our sex life?”

Garcia winces. “Yeah… that would be bad.”

He picks up his coat and shrugs into it as Lucy picks up the royal blue heels that Madeleine Astor gave her to wear with the dress. She carries them in her hands as Garcia offers her his arm.


Lucy stares at her reflection in the mirror.

Unblinking.

It’s 2:15 in the morning.

Sunday, April 14th.

In twenty-four hours and five minutes, the Titanic will disappear into the Atlantic.

She can’t sleep.

She tried.

Garcia even sang whispered Croatian lullabies to her to try help her fall asleep, but it didn’t work.

She turns her head and looks at him.

He’s asleep.

She stands up and quietly leaves the room, wrapping herself in her burgundy robe as she considers just stepping out onto their private promenade deck. But she decides to leave the suite entirely.

She makes her way down the corridor, her bare feet hitting the cool linoleum tile beneath her as she makes her way to the Grand Staircase. Her eyes soak in everything around her. No one else is here. She’s alone as she makes her way up to A Deck where she can access the Promenade. She passes the first class Smoking Room, and even it seems empty at this ungodly hour of the morning.

It chills her to think that twenty-four hours from right now, the stern of this ship will be upright, making its final plunge into the freezing cold water, leaving over a thousand souls behind her to die.

Lucy opens the door to the Promenade and steps outside.

The air is cold.

Colder than it has been the entire trip – a sign that the ship is nearing ice.

She walks toward the front of the ship, but stops to look out into the blackness that consumes her. She looks down at the water. She can’t see it, but she can hear it rushing as the ship thrusts forward towards its untimely death. She shivers at the thought of how cold the water is, and how it might feel if she fell into it. It would be so much worse than the night of her car accident in 2003.

“Can’t sleep either?”

Karl’s voice is quiet, and it’s only when he uses a lighter to light a cigarette that she sees that he’s sitting in the corner, on one of the deck chairs behind her.

She shakes her head. “No.”

He stands up and holds out his pack of cigarettes. “Smoke?”

“No, thank you.”

Karl takes a long drag and exhales.

“Garcia sleeping?”

“Yeah.”

“He and I go way back, you know?” He leans against the rail. “The night before any battle or fight, he always slept hard and long.” Karl chuckles. “There was this one time in Afghanistan – about three years after I first met him – and we were with a Marine task force preparing for the next day’s fight with the Taliban.” Karl takes a drag off his cigarette. “Anyway, Stiv had just introduced Garcia to Lorena a couple days before, and that night the two of them went AWOL. I later found out that he wanted to take her on some kind of date.”

“He took me on a date tonight,” Lucy says quietly.

“That doesn’t surprise me. Before shit gets real, he uh… I think he likes to escape from reality. To try to do something normal before facing his own mortality.” Karl sees the worried expression on Lucy’s face. “Hey, don’t worry about him. He’s made it this far.” He offers her a comforting smile, and takes another drag off his cigarette. “So, it’s the night before the battle and I go into the barracks – I’m bloody drunk, and singing at the top of my lungs, tripping over shit, and making a ruckus. I flip on the lights and see Garcia out cold, in bed with Lorena next to him. She’s shushing me, trying to keep me quiet so he doesn’t wake up.”

“Lorena was in combat?” She asks, using a tone that suggests she’s comparing herself to Garcia’s late wife, a woman competent in battle – when she, Lucy Preston, is not.

“She was an interpreter,” Karl answers. “She could handle a weapon, and could probably defend herself quite well, but she wasn’t in the thick of things.” Karl flicks the ash from his cigarette. “When she joined the team back in 2010, Garcia gave her proper weapons training.”

“Team? You mean… against Rittenhouse?” Lucy furrows her brow; she didn’t know this.

“Garcia didn’t tell you?”

Lucy shakes her head.

“I guess that’s all right since the other night I blurted it out to him too. Maybe he’s still trying to process the information, and how much it changes what he thought he knew of his life in my reality.”

“How did she die in your timeline?” Lucy asks.

“Rittenhouse sent a hit squad to their home in the middle of the night, led by Wyatt Logan, and it was a bloodbath, Lucy, I’m not gonna lie. I’ve seen the crime scene photographs from their home in San Diego. What Logan did to their little girl…” Karl’s hand shakes as he lifts his cigarette to his mouth. He takes a long drag. “Iris was left unrecognizable. You couldn’t have pieced her skull back together if you tried. And Lorena…” Karl shakes his head. “I don’t know how it went down in yours and Garcia’s timeline, but I pray to God that it wasn’t as brutal as it was here.”

Lucy closes her eyes.

Garcia has never talked to her about the details of his wife and daughter’s murder, so she doesn’t know.

“Anyway…” Karl exhales smoke through his nose. “I suck on these cancer sticks to take the edge off before battle, and Garcia escapes from reality and gets a good night’s rest.”

“After we got back to our room… the way he was touching me… he did make it feel like a last-night-on-earth kind of thing. And he’s not wrong. This ship will sink, and over a thousand lives will be lost.”

“You know he plans to throw you into the first lifeboat, right?”

“Well, no… he’s not.”

Karl raises an eyebrow and kinda wishes that he’d be on the starboard side of the ship to see how getting Lucy safely into a lifeboat goes down. Garcia is stubborn, and Lucy is feisty. If it weren’t a matter of life and death, that would be quite a scene to watch play out.

“My feet are cold,” she says, her voice breaking.

“Should’ve worn shoes.”

Lucy lowers her head, fighting back tears. She doesn’t want to cry in front of Karl, but it happens anyway.

Karl looks at her. He takes one last drag from his cigarette and flings it over the railing. He drapes his arm over Lucy’s shoulder. “I’d cry too if I weren’t trying to be invincible,” he tells her.

Lucy laughs through her tears.

“I know you’re scared, Lucy. We all are – me, Garcia. We’ve all been on this merry-go-round before. Travel back in time, do something so small that you don’t think it will change anything, and then get home to find out something has changed.” He pauses. “My point is that you need to be prepared for things to not go as they’re supposed to. And don’t allow yourself to get stuck trying to stop that from happening. Focus on the goal which is to get the fuck off this ship.”

Lucy lowers her head and wipes her tears away.

“Tonight, after she hits…” Karl manages to soften his voice. “Garcia isn’t the only person who will fight to get you off this thing. If something happens, you can come to me, and I’ll punch faces, and take lives, to get you to safety.”

“You barely know me,” Lucy says.

“You mean a lot to someone I love.”

Lucy’s face scrunches. “You love Garcia?” She shakes her head. “I mean… guys can love guy friends, so-”

“Yeah… something like that,” Karl says, but he’s thinking about Amy, and how she would want him to do everything he can to get her sister off this ship. “Do you know what your plan is once we get back home?”

“No. I’m not even sure that I can call your reality home.”

“Home is where your family is, right?”

Lucy nods.

“Garcia, he’s your family. His mom… Hell, Garcia’s like a brother to me, so that makes me your family too. And I know you haven’t met the team, but they’re gonna love you, and… I think of them as family too, and my home is that damn silo bunker in Montana.”

Lucy plays with her locket and Garcia’s ring on her necklace chain.

Karl notices the ring.

“So, he gave it to you again, huh?”

She nods.

“You know, I was in the car when you two had that fight. I uh… I heard almost everything.” He waits to see how she reacts, but she says and does nothing. “Garcia can be an idiot sometimes, but he always does stupid things with good intentions.”

“I know.” She shakes her head and sighs.

“I worry about him though,” Karl admits.

“Oh?”

“Yeah, um… I hope this doesn’t offend you, but you distract him. Before he knew for sure that you were on this ship, he was focused on the mission, but I could still see that he was wondering if you were here or not. Then after he found you – and I’m sure I don’t have to say this, but… his focus has been ninety-nine percent on you.”

“And that worries you?”

“Only because I know how he is when he’s distracted. He doesn’t always think things through. He acts with his heart, not with his mind. And I guess I’m worried that he’s going to be so worried about you that…” He sighs.

“Then it’s a good thing that I’m here because I can get through to him. He’ll listen to me, and…” she shivers, and Karl subconsciously rubs his hand on her arm in an attempt to warm her. Lucy eyes him, but says nothing of it. She continues, “I think I can keep him from doing anything stupid.”

“Not that I think he’ll do anything stupid when he knows the ship is sinking,” Karl laughs to try to lighten the mood, removing his hand from her arm.

They are silent again, and listen to the sound of the water roaring below them.

“My feet are so cold,” she says again. “I should go back to bed.”

“Yeah, me too.”

Lucy turns to face Karl.

She hugs him and places a kiss on his cheek.

“Remember, we’re meeting in our suite at eleven o’clock.”

“I set the alarm on my watch.” Karl smiles.

“I’m not sure if Garcia will be there or not since he’s hoping to prolong his tour of the Navigation Bridge with the captain after dinner. He said he wants to be there when the ship hits the iceberg.”

“Do you really think he’s going to do that?” Karl asks, raising his brow.

Lucy rolls Garcia’s ring between her fingers. She shakes her head. “No. He’ll probably be with me from the moment he wakes up in the morning, until we disembark the Carpathia in New York.”

Karl smiles. “You know him well.” He pats her on the shoulder. “Goodnight, Lucy.”

“Goodnight, Karl.”


Lucy shivers as she steps inside the first class entrance, and rubs her hands quickly up and down her arms in an effort to warm herself. She shakes her head.

It’s weird.

Having a normal conversation with Karl.

Before this mission, the last she saw him was when he manhandled her in Paris in 1927. She didn’t get to know him beyond that, but she had been certain that she wouldn’t have liked him.

But this new timeline’s Karl… he’s different.

Sure, he’s crude and suggests inappropriate things about her and Garcia – thankfully not having a clue about how far things have come between them on this ship – but once you get past that, he’s really not a bad guy.

He actually seems like someone Amy would’ve befriended in her rebellious teenage years, and therefore Lucy would’ve been his friend too. And then there’s the story Garcia told her about how Karl sent birthday gifts to Iris every year, and helped Iris hunt down monsters in her closet during Thanksgiving with water guns.

Her opinion of Karl, most decisively, has changed.

She walks slowly down the corridor, passing the first class Smoking Room that she thought was empty earlier, but now the door opens and a group of three men exit. They stop and fall immediately silent upon laying their eyes on her – the fake-for-now Mrs. Garcia Flynn of Wednesday night’s infamous Reception Room shootout – as she is passing them in what 1912 dictates is highly inappropriate sexy, and dirty lingerie.

“Gentlemen,” Lucy says confidently, nodding at the men.

She crosses her arms over her chest so they don’t see too much of her bra, and continues walking away from them. She picks up her pace, and before she knows it, she’s running down the corridor. Passing through the Reception Room and down the Grand Staircase to B Deck. She nearly runs straight into one of the first class stewards as she turns the corner, and heads to the corridor of hers and Garcia’s parlour suite.

She quietly closes the door, just slightly out of breath from her sprint back.

She smiles, and laughs at herself.

The looks on those men’s faces was priceless.

No doubt they never expected an impromptu peepshow aboard this luxurious ocean liner.

Lucy sits down on the floor near the Sitting Room’s fireplace – it’s not a functional fireplace, but it does have an electric heating element inside it. She rests her feet near it to warm up. She did a couple of stupid things going out on deck tonight. The first, deciding to wear this see-through robe over her bra and panties. The second, going barefoot. The last thing she wants to do is crawl back into bed with Garcia, and wake him up with her icicle toes.

She bends her knees and leans forward to rub her feet, and reconsiders wanting to wake him up to ask for a foot rub – and who knows what late night activities that would lead to as he has taken almost every opportunity to touch her, and to be intimate with her.

She smiles to herself, thinking back on their time on this ship. She really had no intention of enjoying herself, and she had told Maria as much. She didn’t think it was going to be possible to enjoy herself on this ship, knowing what was going to happen. But somehow, Garcia found a way to help her relax.

He made her happy when she thought it would’ve been impossible.

And the touching, and the kissing, and the… Lucy bites her lip thinking about his fingers and what magic they can weave between her legs. And the way he felt in her hand…

She has no doubt that the two of them will make love soon after they return to 2017. How could they not? They’re going to witness and experience the sinking of the Titanic. They are going to survive the disaster together. It will be intense, frightening, and emotional. There’s no scenario where they return and don’t immediately take each other in their arms and fall into bed, leaving a trail of clothing behind them on the floor.

Lucy glances behind her at the bedroom door when she hears soft snoring coming from Garcia.

Her Garcia…

She smiles as she thinks to herself, Lucy Elizabeth Flynn.

She will take his name because there’s no way she wants to keep Preston, a name so strongly associated with Rittenhouse.

She stands and goes to stand in the door frame.

Garcia is sleeping on his back, with one hand resting on his chest.

She walks to him, and sits next to him on the side of the bed.

All this time he’s known that she is Rittenhouse lineage.

Rittenhouse, who had his wife and daughter so brutally murdered.

And despite her blood connection to the organization, he still loves her.

He’s done terrible, horrible things in the name of destroying Rittenhouse.

To try to erase her family line from history, all the while doing everything he could to protect her.

He’s killed, and burned his way through history to save his girls, even if that meant doing truly awful things to her before they were fighting on the same side.

Lucy brushes the back of her hand across his cheek, and then wipes a tear from her face.

He stranded her in the past during the French and Indian War. He’s kidnapped her, assassinated President Lincoln in front of her, allowed Nazis to capture her, and left her with no easy escape at the Alamo, even suggested that he was sorry for whatever could happen to her when he thought he was going to kill her grandfather in the 1950s.

But somehow despite his wrath through history, he didn’t lose himself completely. He was always on the right side, fighting Rittenhouse from day one. It seemed that she was the only one on the team who understood that. Who understood that he wasn’t a murderer, or a terrorist.

He used to scare her, but not anymore.

She sees it in the way he looks at her, in the way he touches her, the way he makes her smile, the way he takes her in his arms… Lucy runs her hand over a scar on his shoulder… the same arms she used to run from. And now… she has never felt more safe than when she is with him.

He used to be her endangerer, but now, he is her protector.

His head tilts to the side and his hair falls onto his forehead. She smiles down at him, brushes it back, bends down, places a kiss on his cheek, and thinks to herself, I love you, Garcia Flynn.

She stands, and leaves the bedroom as silently as she entered it.

A pen and a stationary pad are on the table in the middle of the room. She sits down and pulls them to her, and begins writing.

Sunday, April 14, 1912

I feel obligated to put into words how I feel today. It’s not even three in the morning, and I can’t sleep. I have too many thoughts in my head about what tonight will bring. I’m scared. I’m terrified, but somehow knowing that you’ll be there with me makes the weight of tonight’s event less daunting. I feel like I should write something about the history of this ship’s sinking because that’s what Journal Lucy did in her journal. She weaved details of historic events in between personal journal entries. But what is there to say about the Titanic that we don’t already know?

I didn’t think that I’d be able to enjoy my time on this ship because I know its fate. The past few days have been the happiest days I’ve had since all this began. I like that we’ve been able to take the past days and breathe. To get to know each other better without the threat of being interrupted. That has been so important to me, Garcia. The way I feel when I’m with you – I’ve never felt this way before, and I never want it to end.

I find myself thinking about what happens next. We’ll get back to Houston, and then I assume we’ll go to the bunker together. I look forward to meeting the new timeline’s Jiya and Rufus. I miss them both so much, and it hurts that they don’t know me, but I have to believe that we’ll be friends. And Amy… she’s out there somewhere. She thinks I died in 2003, and for her, I did. But I’m alive now, and I so badly want to see her again. I want her to meet you. I want her to stand up with me at our wedding. For her to hold our baby in her arms.

I haven’t had that dream about her for a while. The one where it seems we’re in a warzone, Amy’s covered in blood, telling me: “let me go, it’s ok, save him.” After Rufus told me that Jiya had been having visions, I wondered if maybe my dream was a vision too. Could traveling through time alter the way our brains process the passage of time? Could some of our dreams actually be us traveling through time with our minds?

Lucy is startled when Garcia leans down and kisses her on the cheek.

She looks up and sees his messy bedhead, and hears the grogginess in his voice when he says, “Interesting theory…” and points at what she’s written.

“Did I wake you?” she asks.

He shakes his head. “No… I have to pee, but heard you out here and wanted to say hi.” He yawns, then waves at her, and still in a daze he says, “Hi.”

Lucy smiles.

He’s adorable.

“You coming back to bed soon? I miss you… tako mi nedostaješ.” He yawns again and stretches his arms over his head and arches his back.

“I’m having trouble sleeping,” she says.

“Mmm…” He runs his hand over his face. Then kisses her on the top of her head. “I’m gonna go piškiti, and then gonna sleep-avi, and želim te pored sebe.…”

Lucy doesn’t know if he knows that he’s mixing languages, so she asks, “What’s želim te pored sebe?”

“You…” he pats his hand over his heart, “next to me.”

Lucy sets down her pen and stands next to him. “If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were drunk.”

“No.” He grins, and playfully boops her nose with his finger. “Just sleepy…”

Truly adorable.

Lucy follows behind him as they head back towards their bedroom.

He stumbles and Lucy touches his lower back to steady him as he walks down the short corridor to the suite’s bathroom. He turns in, neglects to turn on the light – he’d better not miss – and Lucy goes into their bedroom.

She takes off her dressing robe and rubs her hands up and down her arms. It’s colder tonight than it has been. She’d sleep in just her panties again because… reasons, but… her eyes fall on Garcia’s dress shirt, and it looks so warm and comfortable with its long sleeves.

She removes her bra, picks up his shirt, slides her arms into it, and buttons just two buttons in the middle of the garment. She leaves enough of it unbuttoned should Garcia – in his drowsiness – want to get handsy with her again. She smiles, imagining how sexy he would be lazily fumbling his hands all over her body while half asleep.

She crawls into bed, and pulls the covers over her, and waits for him.

The toilet flushes, water in the sink runs, then she hears him gargle water. He burps, clears his throat, and moments later he’s crawling back into bed beside her.

She wraps her arm across his waist, and rubs his nose with hers. “You are adorable when you’re sleepy, dušo...” she says, trying out a pet name for him.

He opens one eye and smiles at her, and murmurs, “You know what means dušo?”

“Mhm, I do…” she whispers, “sweetheart…”

He wraps his arm around her and nuzzles his head into the crook of her shoulder, and with one sigh, he’s asleep again. Lucy kisses his forehead as she tucks her hand between them, resting it above his heart.


The sun began seeping into their bedroom sometime after six.

Lucy never fell asleep.

She spent the rest of the early morning hours warm in bed, listening to Garcia’s snoring, and adjusting her position when he would shift during the night. Karl wasn’t wrong when he told her that Garcia could sleep long and hard the night before a battle.

His body is warm and she’s engulfed in his arms with her head resting against his shoulder. Their legs are intertwined and her arm is draped across his waist. She moves slightly, and he mumbles in his sleep, drawing her closer to him. Being held by him so tightly, even as he sleeps, makes her feel safe. As if nothing in this world can harm her.

She caresses his face and looks at the specks of silver in his stubble and at his temple, and she wonders how much more attractive he might be if he stopped dying his hair. She moves even closer to him, and presses her lips to his shoulder, gently rubbing his arm. Her fingers lightly stroke his scars – the gunshot wounds he’s acquired since she’s known him, as well as the scars he obtained before.

He rolls onto his back and sprawls his arm out so it hangs over the edge of the bed, his leg pushing at hers. He’s kind of a bed hog when he sleeps deeply. His mouth is open and he lets out a loud snort. Lucy covers her mouth and laughs quietly. She sits up and leans across him, reaching over to his outstretched arm. She grabs his wrist and brings it back to look at his watch.

It’s a few minutes after one o’clock in the afternoon.

They’ve missed attending Captain Smith’s religious service in the first class Dining Room. Not that she’s religious, just that last night she thought taking part in it would be nice considering what will happen tonight. They’re also missing lunch which has just started and will conclude in about an hour and a half, but that doesn’t matter because maybe they can get a snack or small meal at the Café Parisien later this afternoon. She would love to take in the atmosphere of a Parisian café on board the ship before their time here is over.

She should wake him.

But she doesn’t have the heart to do it because he looks so at peace when he’s asleep. She rests her head on his shoulder again, and places her hand over his heart. His chest rises and falls slowly as he breathes.

He stirs, and mumbles, “Mmm… morning… dobro jutro…” He rolls onto his side, drapes his arm over her, kisses her lips, and rubs his nose on hers. “Did you sleep ok?” he asks.

“I did,” she lies.

He moves, stretching his muscles. He yawns. “Looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day,” he says, even though he knows exactly what the night will bring. He closes his eyes again.

“You know it’s already the afternoon,” she says.

She strokes the side of his face and places a soft kiss on his eyelid.

He inhales sharply and starts to sit up, but Lucy presses on his chest so he remains lying next to her. “I uh… I ran into Karl last night when I couldn’t sleep and he told me that on nights before battle, you… well, he mentioned a time you took Lorena on a date, and then said that you tend to sleep a lot.”

He chuckles quietly at himself, and runs his hand through his hair. “Yeah… I uh… I used to do that.”

Lucy runs her fingers through his chest hair and quietly asks, “The night before you stole the Mothership… what did you do? You know, that was normal?”

“You mean like… did I take someone out on a date? Because I didn’t.”

“What did you do the night before?”

“I uh…” he turns to her, “I actually did nothing the night before. I was too busy planning the raid on Mason Industries. However… hours before I… I ditched my team to attend one of your lectures. I sat in the back, and…” He smiles at the memory. “You’re quite the professor.”

“I don’t remember what that lecture was about.”

“President Johnson’s Johnson,” he reminds her. “How, to understand history we have to get inside people’s… Jumbos.”

Lucy runs her hand over her face and laughs at herself. “Yeah… that sounds like one of my controversial lectures that my mother wished I didn’t do.”

“You had every kid in that classroom interested in President Johnson’s role in the Vietnam War, Lucy. Like I said… you’re quite the professor.” He kisses her again.

“Thank you.”

She smiles and curls up against him.

“The uh… night before I stole the Mothership, I wanted to be well-rested, but…” he squeezes his eyes shut. “I was terrified. Hesitant. I trusted the Lucy who gave it to me, but I always had doubts about the accuracy of the journal because I knew history could change. I questioned a lot of what was in it, Lucy. I thought that I had to see with my own eyes that what she wrote was true. And sometimes the accuracy of the journal was… well, it was more than I expected. Then other times it was so far off from what I was doing that I wasn’t sure I could depend on it.”

She lowers her eyes. Quiet. Thoughtful. Then she hesitantly asks, “What will you do with the actual journal when we get back?”

Instead of answering, he asks, “What do you want me to do with it?”

“I don’t know…” she trails her fingertips across his chest, and keeps her eyes lowered. “I don’t want to tell you what to do, Garcia.”

“Throwing the photocopy overboard… that was one-”

The door to the Sitting Room flies open, and Karl runs into their bedroom and flips on the light.

Garcia rolls over, sitting up, shielding his eyes from the light.

“Karl?”

“Murdoch’s dead,” Karl says, agitated.

“What?” Lucy sits up and throws her legs over the side of the bed. She stands up. “What do you mean? How?”

“He was found shot point-blank in the head in his quarters an hour ago.”

Lucy looks back at Garcia.

He gets out of bed and asks her, “How does this make things worse?”

“Umm…” Lucy stands, and starts unbuttoning the shirt she’s wearing so she can get dressed. She shakes her head. “Murdoch is the officer in charge of launching the lifeboats on the starboard side. The side you and I were going to help on.” She walks out of the bedroom to get a dress from the wardrobe. She returns. “He was quick to get the lifeboats into the water, much faster than Lightoller on the other side of the ship. He allowed men into the boats if there were no other women or children nearby…”

Lucy gives Karl a look asking him to turn around as she gets dressed.

Karl turns, and crosses his arms over his chest.

“So, ok. Rittenhouse has killed Murdoch,” Karl says. “But we can fix that, can’t we?”

Lucy removes Garcia’s shirt and hands it to him. He puts it on, then steps into his trousers. He asks, “I’m sure another junior officer will take his place, right?”

“Absolutely,” Lucy answers, stepping into her corset. She goes to Garcia and turns around, hanging onto the bedpost so he can tighten the laces. “Karl, you can turn around,” she says. “I’m more-or-less covered. Moreso than last night, anyway.”

Karl turns.

He wasn’t expecting to see Garcia tightening the laces of her corset. He rolls his eyes.

“Garcia and I were already going to try to help him, so we can help whoever takes his place in history.” Lucy gasps as Garcia tugs hard on the laces. “Hey, not so tight.” She looks back at him, concerned.

“I’m sorry, I’m… I’m just…” Garcia trails off, shaking his head.

“No. Garcia, what are you thinking?” Lucy asks.

“I’m angry,” he answers, glancing at Karl. “We should have been more focused on finding the Rittenhouse agent, but instead, I fucking dealt with this like some kind of vacation, and now a man’s dead because, what? We shrugged our shoulders at Rittenhouse and said oh well just so…” He looks at Lucy, “Lucy and I could play house on this goddamn ship?”

Lucy turns and touches his arm, “Garcia, why don’t you-”

He steps away from her, almost swatting at her not to touch him.

She’s startled by his reaction to her, and she glances at Karl.

Garcia looks at Karl too, and says, “Fuck.”

Lucy turns her back to him, and swallows back tears as she steps into her dress. She turns around again, and Garcia is refusing to look at her. She asks, “Garcia…? Can… can you help me with the buttons?” She indicates the buttons on the back of her dress.

He’s still seething at himself for not being one-hundred percent focused on this mission, so he ignores her.

“Hey, don’t be an asshole, and help your girl,” Karl tells him. “Don’t shove her aside because you think this murder rests solely on your fucking shoulders.”

Lucy turns her back to them, and reaches behind her own back and tries to get all the buttons. Her eyes are warm, and her throat tight as she struggles not to cry. She feels like Garcia isn’t only placing blame on himself, but also on her. And her corset feels tight, even though he didn’t tie it any differently than before. But it feels tighter than it’s been, and now it’s getting hard to breathe.

Her heart hurts, and now she’s blaming herself for even coming to 1912 because it really does seem that she is too much of a distraction for Garcia. That he’d be better off without her. She bends at the waist and coughs, inhaling quickly.

She’s panicking.

“Lucy, are you all right?” Karl asks, throwing side-eye at Garcia.

She shakes her head and looks at Karl. “I-I can’t…” Although she’s stepped into her dress, she’s tugging at the laces of her corset to try to loosen them. “I can’t wear this.” She glances at Garcia, who is looking at her with concern. Her heart is racing, and she takes quick, shallow breaths. “I can’t…” She stands up straight with her eyes closed, fighting back tears. “I… help me… I need out of this-”

“Lucy… I didn’t tie it that tight-”

Garcia watches as she darts out of the room, into the Sitting Room. He follows, with Karl close behind – giving him a death glare. By the time he’s stepped into the Sitting Room, Lucy has the door open and is shouting out into the corridor, “Alice! I need your help!”

She presses her hands against the door frame and closes her eyes, trying to ground herself.

Behind her she hears Karl and Garcia.

“So, you’re really gonna make her feel like shit, huh?” Karl accuses.

“I’m not mad at her. I’m mad at myself.”

“You know, if this Alice shows up to help Lucy, she’s going to assume you’ve hurt her, and it’ll be Alice comforting her, and trying to make things right for you. Is that what you want?”

They stop talking when they hear Lucy grunt, and then slam the Sitting Room door closed.

She stands with her hands on her hips, looking at them.

“Garcia,” she looks at him. “What’s done, is done. We can’t go back and undo the last few days. We can’t erase the fact we enjoyed ourselves last night. And I don’t want you blaming yourself because Murdoch was murdered. There’s nothing we can do about it. I need you to focus on this mission now.”

He sees tears are still welled up in her eyes. He nods his head, takes a breath and goes to her. “I’m sorry I made you feel that I think taking you on a date was a mistake... it wasn’t.” He goes to her, standing tall in front of her. She looks up into his eyes, still struggling to get her breathing under control. “Lucy…” He lowers himself to her. “Look into my eyes…” he takes hold of her hands, and squeezes them gently. “Breathe… tell me, how do my hands feel on yours?”

“Cold…”

He runs his thumb over her knuckles.

“Cold, and… like you need hand lotion…” she sniffles.

He nods his head, and kisses her forehead. “Do you want to take off the corset, or do you want me to button the back of your dress?”

“Dress.”

He moves behind her, moves her hair over her shoulder, and buttons her dress.

Lucy looks at Karl, and he looks at her.

She nods her head slightly to let him know that she’s all right.

“I think we’re all gonna be on edge today,” Karl says. “We all know what’s going to happen, and at what time, and we need to understand we’re all going to deal with today in our own way so that there are no misunderstandings between us all.”

Garcia finishes buttoning her dress. He places his hands on her shoulders, and massages her.

“Looking at the bright side,” Karl says. “If Emma hoped killing Murdoch was going to make this worse, I think she was wrong. He didn’t survive the sinking anyway, and no matter what, lifeboats will still be launched. And who knows, maybe the guy who replaces him will pack more bodies into those boats, and more lives will be saved, right?”

“Are you saying we do nothing about this?” Lucy asks.

“The captain informed us that there will be no announcement of Murdoch’s death so that the passengers won’t be worried. He doesn’t want to cause any kind of unease, or panic. He thinks the killer is the same person who attacked you on the first night. And although we don’t know who this Rittenhouse dick is, he’s followed through with his orders, so-”

“I don’t think we can continue to let our guard down,” Garcia says. He gives Lucy’s shoulder a gentle squeeze before walking towards Karl. “If this Rittenhouse guy knows about us, I think we need to be on alert. He’s killed Murdoch, and gotten away with it. That might give him confidence to come after us.” He looks back at Lucy. “There are no orders to kill Lucy. I uh… I spoke with Emma that first night too, before the shootout, and… she indicated that she had no intention of letting Rittenhouse know that Lucy exists in their timeline again.”

“You talked to her?” Lucy asks. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“What I am worried about is if Wyatt told them Lucy exists when they returned.” Garcia looks at Lucy. “If he did that, then I have reason to believe they might risk coming back on board this ship today, to try to capture her before we hit the iceberg.”

“What do they want with Lucy?” Karl asks.

Lucy goes to them, scared now that at any moment someone could burst through the Sitting Room door and grab her to take her back to Rittenhouse. She stands next to Garcia, taking his hand in hers, and tells Karl, “In our timeline, my mom, she… Rittenhouse intended to take me back to 1725 so that a man named Byron Rittenhouse could impregnate me with his son… David Rittenhouse.”

“The group’s founder?” Karl sneers, disgusted. “Wait… you’re… you’re his mother?”

“There’s a journal that another me wrote in 1725, and in our timeline – and probably this one if they got their hands on it – they believe that means I’ve always been destined to become the…” she swallows hard, “Mother of Rittenhouse.”

“What the fuck?” Karl looks at Lucy, and then at Garcia. “You don’t let her out of your sight.” Karl reaches behind him and pulls his gun out of his waistband holster. “Still got your gun on you?” he asks Garcia.

“In my coat pocket.”

“Lucy?” Karl asks.

“I didn’t bring a weapon.”

Karl nods his head, then checks that his gun is loaded. “Ok, so here’s the plan,” he says. “I’m going to scour this ship as much as I can this afternoon. Check cargo to see if the Mothership is back. I still have no idea who Emma was talking to, but chances are he’s still on the loose, and that means me and Garcia could be his next target.”

“And what are we supposed to do?” Lucy asks. “Stay in this room all day?”

Karl and Garcia share a look; that thought has crossed both their minds.

“If my being out in the open can reveal this guy to us, then I’m going to do it. Garcia will be with me, and he’s not going to let anything bad happen to me. He’s armed, and I don’t… I don’t want to feel like I have to hide.”

“I’ll try to check in with you guys as much as I can,” Karl says, shoving his gun back into his waistband holster.

“We’ll stay on the A Deck Promenade, and near our room,” Garcia tells him. “If you find the Mothership, or anyone from Rittenhouse… take care of them.”

“Do I destroy the Mothership? Or if it’s here, do we want to take it back to New York to get off this bloody ship?”

“We take it to New York,” Lucy answers. “If we can avoid being on it when-”

“What about saving lives?” Garcia asks.

Lucy shakes her head. “I… I want to, but if we can avoid being on this ship as it sinks, I choose to leave.”

“Kill the bastards, secure the Mothership, leave,” Karl reiterates. “Got it.” And with that, Karl exits the room, shutting the door behind him.

Garcia turns to look at Lucy. In her dress from 1912, she looks frail.

“Any chance you have a spare gun?” she asks.

“I don’t.”

She lowers her eyes and wraps her arms around him, resting her head on his chest. “If we can’t get to New York tonight, I’ll pull myself together so you don’t have to worry about keeping an eye on me the entire time.”

He pulls away from her and looks into her eyes. “Do you know how to knock someone out with a punch?”

“Rittenhouse trained me, remember?”

“I want to make sure they trained you right,” he says. “You, ah… one foot behind you, the other ahead, like this,” Garcia takes a fighting stance, and raises his arms up, balling his fists. “Make sure you bend your knees to help with balance… and relax.”

Lucy mimics his stance, and he walks behind her and makes slight adjustments to her position. He places his hands on her arms. “When you hit, aim for their temple. If you hit it right, and hard enough, it’ll cause your opponent to blackout.”

“Hit the temple…” Lucy repeats, holding her stance.

“I know some teach to hit with the palm of your hand, but in this case, you need to use your fist because it allows you more strength.”

Lucy throws a punch into the air, stopping short, and brings her fists back to her.

“No,” he corrects. “Follow through, like this.” He demonstrates a punch that goes all the way through the air. “And watch my hips,” he tells her as he demonstrates the follow-through again. “See how I twist my hips to help generate more power as I move towards my target?”

Lucy nods, and tries again.

Garcia is quiet as he watches, then he places his hands on her hips, and leans down to her. “Let me guide you so you can feel when it’s done right, ok?”

“Ok.”

Lucy takes position again, clenches her fists, and punches forward as Garcia twists her hips with her forward motion.

“Did you feel it?”

“Well, yeah… your hands are on me,” she smiles at him. “Let me try without you.”

He takes his hands off her and watches her again. He smiles. “That’s good.” He takes her hand and touches the metacarpal bones of her index and middle fingers. “When you punch, you want to make sure you keep these bones as straight as possible as you hit your opponent.” He strokes the knuckles of her index and middle fingers. “This is your point of impact. They’re the strongest bones in your hand. You don’t want to hit hard with your pinky or ring bones because they’re smaller, and they are weaker. That means that they are more susceptible to break, ok?”

Lucy nods her head. “I hope I don’t need to do this.”

“Me too.” He takes hold of her wrist. “Don’t bend your wrist or fingers either.”

“Ok,” she says nervously.

Garcia stands in front of her and holds his palm up to her. “Punch my hand so I can check your form. Don’t hit too hard, just how you think you should hit.”

Lucy fixates her gaze on the palm of his hand. She takes position, balls her hand into a fist, and throws a punch into his hand.

“Don’t twist your wrist on impact,” he tells her. “Keep it straight and strong. Only twist slightly at the hip to generate more power.” He pauses. “Try again.” He holds his hand up to her again. “You can hit harder if you want.”

She tries again, harder.

Garcia clasps his hand around her fist and allows her momentum to follow through.

“That was good,” he says, smiling.

“Karl probably won’t appreciate it,” Lucy laughs.

“Oh?”

“I punched him in the face, kicked him, and stomped on his foot when he found me the other night,” Lucy smiles. “And I threw a flower vase at him.”

“Yeah, he told me about that.” Garcia laughs, shaking his head. “He certainly has a knack for getting beat up through history.” He rubs the back of his neck. “Are you planning on hitting him again?”

“No,” she answers. “But I have a knack for hitting him when he startles me, so…”

Garcia looks at her with soft eyes.

“What?” Lucy asks, suddenly very aware of the way he’s gazing at her.

“Nothing,” he says. “We don’t have to stay in this room all day.”

“I wasn’t planning on it, to be honest. Not even with the possibility that Rittenhouse might come back for me.”

“Why don’t we go get something to eat at the Café Parisien?”

Lucy walks to him and tugs at his shirt, straightening it. She looks up at him through lowered eyes as she tucks in his shirt. “A lunch date?” she asks. “Or are our Titanic dating days over?”

“It can be a date,” he says, chuckling a bit as Lucy’s hands tuck his shirt into the back of his pants. “But I think we need to stay in public because…” He leans down and kisses her forehead. “Because when you and I are alone… I think we both can admit that we only focus on each other, right?”

Lucy swallows hard, and grazes her hand along the side of his ass before removing her hand from him.

She nods.

“And after we eat,” she takes hold of his wrist and looks down at his watch. “We can casually stroll through the ship, forward to aft, and discreetly take pictures of the ship?”

He huffs and grins at her. “I was going to get up to do that this morning before you woke up, but obviously I slept in.”

“I didn’t get any sleep at all,” she tells him. “Is it a bad idea for me to have coffee today?”

“It’s a vasoconstrictor,” he says. “It’s almost two o’clock in the afternoon, so I don’t think having a little will hurt you tonight. But… it’s best to avoid caffeine if you have hypothermia because it elevates your heart rate, which can increase the rate your body temperature drops.”

“Then I’ll have water.”

“How important is it for me to get pictures?” He looks at her. “I ask because if you didn’t get any sleep, maybe sometime before dinner you should take a nap and try to get a couple hours sleep.”

“If we don’t get pictures, it’s all right. I just… this ship is amazing, and…” her eyes scan the room they’re in. “It’s ok.” She looks at him. “I don’t think I’ll ever forget our time on this ship.”

“Me neither.”

Lucy goes to the table and puts on her shoes as Garcia puts on his coat, checking that his gun is still in its inside pocket.

“Why didn’t you bring a shoulder holster?” she asks.

“I did. It’s…” he points to the bedroom. “I took it off the other night.”

“Can you put it on?” she asks, caressing his forearm. “Remember in Chicago…?”

“I do.”

“How you took off your coat when you came back with that dress…?”

“Yeah?”

“You were wearing one then, and I…” she looks up, her eyes bright, “goddamn you for being so attractive, Garcia Flynn.”

“You know,” he smiles, half-chuckling, “I thought I saw you checking me out, but I wasn’t sure.” He strokes her cheek. “Were you thinking about how you wanted to undress me, and have your way with me then?”

“I think I covered my Chicago World’s Fair fantasy last night, so what do you think?”

He steps back, looks at her, removes his coat, and then disappears into the bedroom.

He emerges adjusting the shoulder holster, and securing his weapon in its place. He winks at her and says, “Maybe one year for Christmas I’ll buy you a thigh holster.” He goes to her and places his hand below her hip, touching her upper thigh. “There’s something incredibly sexy about the way the strap fits snug against a woman’s thigh, and I’d kinda like to see that look on you, Lucy.”

“So… a tight black turtleneck sweater… black panties…” Lucy holds onto his waist, and goes up on her toes to whisper in his ear, “thigh-high boots, and… a thigh holster?” She bites gently on his earlobe.

“Boyshort panties…” he groans.

“Mmm… I think I can manage that…” She strokes the back of his neck with her fingers. “You want to roleplay rival spies, or…”

“Lucy…” his voice croaks. “We… we shouldn’t be…” He closes his eyes as her lips gently suck on his ear and as thankful as he is that he told her to target his earlobe, they really need to focus. He places his hands on her shoulders, and she purrs his name into his ear. “L-Lucy… as…” He pauses, almost giving in to her when her mouth presses against his. He runs his hands down her arms, and holds onto her hips. He moans her name, and takes a breath as he pulls away from her. “As much as we both want this to continue…”

“Mmhm…?” Lucy hums as she kisses his jaw.

“We need to focus, draga…” He is firm as he places his hands on her shoulders. He wets his lips and tells her, “When we get back, I promise that I’ll take you to bed, and we won’t come up for air until we’re both thoroughly satisfied.” He runs his hand over her hair. “But right now, I need to recite some nursery rhymes, and then afterward we’re going to go have lunch.”


Karl has run up and down the length of the ship on both its starboard and port sides five times. He’s picked locks into rooms that the Mothership couldn’t possibly fit in even if someone tried to land it. There’s no sign that Rittenhouse has sent anyone back in the Mothership to grab Lucy and take her back to Rittenhouse.

And as relieved as he should be, Karl doesn’t find any relief in the idea that it looks like they’re going to have to endure the chaos and trauma of tonight’s evacuation after all.

He checks his watch.

It’s going on six o’clock.

He plans to keep his eyes peeled for the Rittenhouse agent who murdered Murdoch, but his gut tells him that they’ll never figure out the man’s identity. He grabs onto the metal railing and runs quickly up the crew’s access stairway at the front of the ship. He walks quickly past the few first class passengers who are strolling on deck before the bugler makes the call to dinner.

The air temperature is the coldest it’s been since the ship left Southampton. He sees Garcia and Lucy standing at the rail, their heads close, speaking to each other.

“Guys!” Karl calls out to them.

Garcia is obviously on edge because upon hearing someone call out to them, he pushes Lucy behind him and reaches inside his coat for his weapon. He doesn’t draw it, but his hand is on it. He relaxes when he sees Karl.

Lucy steps towards him, “Did you find it?” Her voice is filled with hope.

“Nothing,” he answers. “I’m sorry.”

“No sign of the Rittenhouse agent either,” Garcia says.

Lucy lowers her head and wipes away a tear.

“Is she all right?” Karl asks.

“Just stressed.” Garcia looks down at Lucy, and wraps his arm around her. “Very stressed.”

“Is she gonna be all right for tonight? Kinda need everyone to be focused,” Karl says, adding, “I don’t mean to upset her by saying that, but… we can’t be running around on deck distracted, you know?”

“Even if I’m not ok, I’ll make myself be ok,” Lucy says. “I spent six weeks inside Rittenhouse, I think I can handle tonight.”

“I can keep poking around, but I was thinking that maybe I should see what I can start doing to prepare for the evac,” Karl says, eyeing the lifeboats on the Boat Deck above them. “I’m thinking I’ll steal blankets and bread, and hide them inside the lifeboats while you guys…” he looks at them, “What are you guys going to do in the meantime?”

“Honestly?” Garcia says. “Lucy told me she didn’t get any sleep last night, so I’m thinking after we have dinner, that we’ll just be in our room. She’ll take a nap, and I’ll be with her in case Rittenhouse shows up.”

Karl eyes Lucy. Her demeanor concerns him. He looks at Garcia and asks, “Still meeting in the suite at eleven?”

“Yes,” Lucy answers. “I brought some things that I think might help us stay warm.”

“Then I’ll see you guys then.” He goes to Lucy, and touches her shoulder, and speaks quietly to her. “You keep your eye on him too, ok?” Lucy nods and Karl gives her a sweet smile. “He conceals ‘nervous wreck’ well, doesn’t he?”

Lucy glances up at Garcia, and studies his face. The lines around his eyes seem more pronounced, and his jaw is tense. He’s been taking care of her, and how she feels about tonight, so well that she hadn’t paused to ask him how he’s doing. Lucy looks back at Karl and nods her head, yes, he conceals his nerves well.

Karl looks at Garcia, and then leaves them alone.

Lucy turns to Garcia and holds onto the lapels of his coat. “I’ve talked your ear off all day, Garcia. And you’ve comforted me, but if you need to talk to me about what you’re feeling, I’m here for you too.”

“I won’t lie, Lucy.” He takes one of her hands in his. “I’m worried about you. Worried that Rittenhouse might come to take you off the ship and back to your mom. Worried that somehow, if they don’t, that we’ll end up in the water and I won’t be able to keep track of you, and you’ll struggle to swim to safety. I’m worried that whoever takes Murdoch’s place will refuse to let me on the lifeboat with you, and if that happens, you’ll stay on the ship with me.” He looks into her eyes, pleading with her. “Just promise me that if you get into a lifeboat, that you’ll stay in it. Even if I’m not there with you.”

“Tell whomever is in charge that I’m your lunatic wife who’s dressed in men’s clothing, and if I’m without you on the lifeboat, there’s no telling what crazy thing I’ll do. Scare them with a B.S. story about a time I tipped a canoe when you weren’t with me because… I don’t know, make up some wild story so they’ll want you to accompany me.” Lucy smiles at him. “I’m not leaving this ship without you, Garcia.”

“We’ll figure it out,” he says confidently. “No matter what happens, both of us-”

“And Karl.”

“All three of us will be in New York in a few days.”

“And back chasing Rittenhouse,” she says, disheartened.

“I know you don’t want to return to that alternate 2017, but Lucy… that timeline’s Garcia, he’s been building a team. Not just the group at the bunker in Montana, but Karl said something about how there are people working with us in other parts of the world. I don’t know how many people there are, but it’s more than you, me, my mom, Jiya, and Rufus now.”

“And even with more people they still haven’t stopped Rittenhouse? Is a larger team supposed to make me feel better about our chances of defeating them?”

“I hoped so.” He gives her a soft smile.

“I appreciate it, even if I’m doubtful of it.” She returns his smile, and places her hands on Garcia’s chest. “I know they haven’t sounded the bugle to let us know to get ready for dinner, but… I’m cold, and… why don’t we just go get ready now?”

“We do have dinner with the captain,” he says.

“I know he invited us to dine with him, but I don’t think it’s going to happen because Murdoch was murdered. Still… I think I can handle the looks, and pointing fingers, and being called Lorena…” She trails off. “I’m sorry. I make it sound like I don’t like people calling me by her name.”

“I don’t like it either, draga. We can correct them tonight if you want.” Lucy loops her arm through his and they make their way towards the entrance. “I should probably tell you then that last night, I went on deck wearing only my underwear and that see-through dressing robe, and… I don’t know who they were, but three men saw me in that, so…”

“You’ve been scandalous again?” He laughs. “We’ll probably get back and there’ll exist a movie just about the notorious Mrs. Garcia Flynn and her inappropriate escapades aboard the doomed ship.”

“Yeah…” she rolls her eyes at herself, and nods her head. “I have a bad feeling that you and I are going to go down infamously in Titanic history-”

“Make out in the Reception Room… getting caught by that guy as we kinda skinny dipped in the pool… me standing around the ship’s maid in my boxers… you running around without a bra in that robe…” Garcia chuckles, feeling embarrassed. He rubs the back of his neck. “New love really doesn’t care about inhibitions, huh?”

Lucy blushes, she looks down at the wooden deck. She shakes her head and says, “At least no one was there for the other, more… intimate moments, hm?”

He stops walking and presses her back against the wall next to the first class entrance door. He trails his finger down the side of her body, intentionally grazing the side of her breast. He rests one arm on the wall behind her. He smiles as Lucy touches his chest, and looks up into his eyes. He strokes the side of her face, and tilts her head back as he leans down to kiss her.

Her hand rests on his forearm and she sighs into his mouth as the intimacy of their kiss grows.

Every time he kisses her his heart races, as if it’s soaring, free from the burden of grief.

He will never forgive himself if anything happens to her tonight.

Lucy pulls away, and lowers her eyes. “The time we’ve spent together on this ship, Garcia… I feel we’ve grown closer than we were before, and…” she trails off.

“And the past few days have been the happiest days you’ve had since I stole the Mothership?” he asks.

Lucy looks up at him, nodding.

He kisses her forehead. “I read the little journal entry you left on the table.” He pats his coat. “I have it tucked away in my coat so no one else can read it, and it’ll be on me when we get in the lifeboat tonight.”

“You make me so happy, Garcia,” she says quietly. “Thank you.”

He smiles, and tells her, “I love you, too.”

He kisses the top of her head, and takes hold of her hand. Then he opens the first class entrance door, and they enter the ship. Making their way down the Grand Staircase to their suite.


That evening, as the sun sets ahead of the ship, it ignites a golden, glittering path for the ship to follow towards New York. Karl stands at the very front of the ship’s bow and watches as the sky transforms its color into a warm composition of red, orange, and yellow ahead of him on the western horizon.

Other than the continuous drop in the air temperature this afternoon, nothing looks or feels different to the 2,208 souls on board, but to him, all he feels is impending doom.

A gut feeling that the worst of their mission is yet to come.

Karl remains at the ship’s bow until all that’s left of the sun is a thin red line ahead of the ship.

He looks up.

The stars sparkle above him.

And he knows somewhere ahead of them is an iceberg that rises at least 100 feet above the water, and is at most 400 feet in length. An iceberg that makes contact with this ship in only seconds, delivering a severe enough blow to make her founder in under three hours. An iceberg, that in weeks after sinking this ship, and killing over 1,500 people, will melt into harmless sea water as it continues to move south in the Atlantic Ocean.

Karl sighs, shoving his hands into his pockets.

He makes his way up to the Boat Deck.

His eyes are fixated on the lifeboats ahead of him.

Now that everyone is preoccupied with dinner, it’s time to get shit started.


The band is playing an upbeat tune – Comic Cake Walk, composed by Robert Vollstedt – in the first class Reception Room as passengers make their way down the Grand Staircase to wait to be let into the Dining Room. Tonight’s dinner will begin with raw oysters and assorted hors d’oeuvres, followed by consommé Olga or cream of barley soup. After, they will be served Atlantic salmon which will be served with mousseline sauce. For their fourth and fifth courses, passengers will choose from filet mignon, sauté of chicken Lyonnaise, lamb, roast duckling, and beef sirloin.

The room is filled with an airiness unbecoming of the horror that awaits them hours from now. The richest people aboard the ship chatter mindlessly amongst themselves, about things that will seem trivial to those lucky enough to find a seat in one of the twenty lifeboats that will be launched tonight.

The room quiets as Garcia and Lucy descend the Grand Staircase.

This is their first appearance for dinner in the Dining Room since the shootout here a few nights ago. They walk arm-in-arm, and Garcia guides her in a manner that he’s presenting her to the room as the most precious person in his life. Like everyone in the room, his eyes are on her. They’re dressed formally like everyone else, Garcia in a coat and tie, and Lucy in the same royal blue evening gown she wore the night before.

Whispers and murmurs follow them as they make their way through the crowd.

Lucy stops and turns to him, asking quietly, “Do you see the captain?”

“I don’t,” he answers. “I think we’ll have to sit with-”

“Maybe we can find Molly Brown and take her up on her offer?”

Garcia nods.

They pass Lady Duff-Gordon, who steps towards them, and quietly comments to Lucy, “I spoke with Alice earlier, and she says that I ought to ask you about who designed your undergarments in Paris.”

“Oh?” Lucy’s eyes are wide and she looks up at Garcia, who’s standing there trying not to laugh. “I um… well, my husband he uh… he has peculiar tastes along the lines of less is more.”

“So, I’ve heard,” she discreetly scans Lucy’s body. “Perhaps later you’ll be needing assistance out of your gown, and I might help? I’d love to see what my rivals are designing in Paris these days. And perhaps…” She looks at Garcia, “I could entertain your husband with some ideas of my own?”

Lucy almost snort-laughs at the expression on Garcia’s face. “Yes, um… my husband does love naughty lingerie.”

“I wouldn’t say my tastes are naughty, Lucy…” he says, offering a polite smile to Lady Duff-Gordon. “I just… I enjoy looking at my wife’s body and don’t like it covered up before late night activities.”

Lucy’s eyes are wide. She can’t believe he said that. She laughs and it brightens the entire room.

He continues, “I do, however, enjoy the process of unlacing a corset. There’s something about the uh… tugging and pulling of the laces that feeds right into my animalistic desires for my wife.” He smiles at Lucy, and doesn’t stop there. “What lingerie reveals, and what it doesn’t reveal, plays a very important role in male arousal.”

Lucy blushes, and looks down at the floor.

“Well,” Lady Duff-Gordan says, fanning herself. “How long will the two of you be staying in New York? I’d love to set up a meeting to discuss what lingerie arouses men, especially a man with less is more tastes, like yourself, Mr. Flynn.”

“We won’t be in New York long, but perhaps if we run into each other again on a trip back to England?” Garcia says.

“Or perhaps I could visit your stateroom after dinner, and I could-”

“Tonight is not a good night though,” Lucy interrupts. “I’ve promised my husband that we’d spend time alone after dinner.” Lucy smiles. “We’re working quite hard to start a family of our own, and well…” Lucy flashes Garcia a smile as she indiscreetly runs her hand over his ass, and his face flushes red. She ignores it and continues speaking, “Let’s just say that we don’t have time tonight, but perhaps tomorrow evening you can help me get ready for dinner?”

“I would be delighted,” Lady Duff-Gordon takes hold of Lucy’s hands, and leans to give her a small kiss on the cheek. “Do enjoy yourself tonight, dear,” she says, winking at both of them. “I guess I should find my husband. He seems to have gotten away from me again. It was nice meeting you.” She nods her head and walks away.

“Lucy… are you trying to embarrass me?”

She pinches his cheek. “I like it when you blush.” She winks at him, and then wraps her arm through his again as they walk towards the Dining Room doors that have just been opened. “Her name is Lady Duff-Gordon, but her birth name is actually Lucy, and she and her husband, Sir Cosmo-”

“Cosmo?”

“Yes, Cosmo…” She laughs at the look on his face.

“Like the character in Singin’ in The Rain?”

“Same name, but that movie doesn’t come out for a few more decades,” Lucy says, then speaks so quietly that Garcia has to lean down to hear her. “Anyway, after she and her husband board the Carpathia, they are accused of bribing the crew members who manned their lifeboat to not go back to try to save the people who were left in the water, out of fear that their lifeboat would be swamped. And then on the Carpathia, her husband was seen writing checks for the men who were on their lifeboat. When they gave testimony in England a month later, she claimed to not recall any specific conversations had while on the lifeboat, and claimed that she remembered very little because she had suffered seasickness.”

“Did he bribe them?” Garcia asks, enthralled by this story.

“I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure what happened – like with so many other details unknown about tonight – but the final report by the inquiry determined that they did not bribe the crew to keep them from rescuing anyone in the water.”

Behind them, in the Reception Room, the crowd grows louder, and it doesn’t grab their attention until they hear three gunshots.

BAM! BAM!

.

.

.

BAM!

Then: chaos.

Women shriek in terror, and men hurry themselves to push women out of their way to see what has happened.

Garcia and Lucy turn around in time to see the shooter shove a gun into his mouth.

Lucy’s eyes go wide, and she quickly turns into Garcia just as the man pulls the trigger on himself.

People around them are running and hustling, and pushing others every which way.

“GET THE WOMEN OUT!” a man exclaims into the crowd.

“Garcia?” Lucy looks up at him, terrified by the expression on his face.

They thought Rittenhouse had completed their task when Murdoch was found murdered.

They underestimated Rittenhouse again.

And now another man is dead.

“Where’s Karl?” Lucy asks quietly.

“I don’t know.”

Garcia scans the room. Men and women are running everywhere. Some fleeing the scene, and others making their way back into the Reception Room, crowding it.

Garcia takes a strong hold on Lucy’s hand as he starts making his way through the crowd towards the carnage at the landing of the Grand Staircase. The clothes of men and women who were in close proximity to the shooting are splattered with blood.

The crowd is thick, and he has to push and shove his way through it.

A man grabs onto Lucy’s waist, and her hand slips from Garcia’s.

She screams, not knowing if this is another member of Rittenhouse come to take her back. Garcia spins around and punches the man square in his face, muttering “fucker” under his breath.

He grabs Lucy, and tucks her under his arm.

Lucy hangs onto him.

Her heart pounds in her chest, and she’s terrified.

Another man tries to pull her away from Garcia, shouting at them, “Are you mad!? You don’t drag your wife with you to see blood!”

Lucy is able to shake the man’s hold on her. She hangs onto Garcia’s coat, and feels his gun in his shoulder holster. He’s armed, and she knows if push comes to shove, he will use it to protect her.

Through the crowd, Lucy catches sight of the two bodies on the floor, and she’s struck by the fact that everything she knew about tonight, Sunday, April 14th, 1912, the night the Titanic collides with an iceberg, has changed.

She doesn’t know who has just been killed, but if Rittenhouse ordered it, that man’s presence – combined with that of First Officer William Murdoch – was very important.

“Stay away!” Another man shouts at her.

And another man has wrapped his arm around her waist, and is trying to pull her from Garcia’s grasp.

Garcia stops and gives the man a look that stops him in his tracks.

The man lets go of her immediately.

Lucy’s head spins at the sounds of the men and women around her. Men are shouting orders, women are shrieking, and crying. The room feels like it’s starting to close in on her, and her heart pounds in her chest. It’s getting harder and harder to breathe.

She closes her eyes and focuses on the way Garcia’s hand feels.

He’s holding onto her arm so hard that she can already feel the bruising.

She takes quick, shallow breaths.

She has to pull herself together. If she can’t handle this, how the Hell is she going to handle the evacuation on deck later?

She forces her eyes open, and shouts, “MY HUSBAND IS A DOCTOR!”

Some men nearby look at her, it’s strange to hear a woman try to assert control of this situation.

She pleads, “Please… let us through!”

She slips on blood and brain matter, and has to grab onto Garcia’s forearm to keep from falling. He looks down on her to check that she’s all right, then scans the room before letting go of her arm. He kneels next to the man who was shot, and checks for a pulse. Nothing. He shakes his head, then looks at the mangled face of the Rittenhouse shooter. Half of the man’s face has been blown away.

Lucy places her hand on his shoulder, wanting to maintain contact with him, anchoring herself to him so that he knows she’s still with him.

He stands and slowly scans the room, searching for anyone else who might come forward and reveal themselves to be Rittenhouse.

Lucy looks down at the murdered man.

Her eyes widen, and she is paralyzed with fear.

“Garcia…” She gently tugs on the sleeve of his coat. But he doesn’t hear her in the calamity. “Garcia…” Her voice is urgent, scared.

He looks at her, his eyes following hers to look at the man on the floor.

“Lucy… what is it?” he asks, leaning down so he’s level with her.

“That man,” she says, “is Thomas Andrews.”


The crowd in the first class Reception Room has thinned. Dinner was canceled and passengers were instructed to go to the À la Carte Restaurant up on B Deck for their meal.

Wanting to get as much information about this shooting as possible, Garcia and Lucy decided to forego dinner to stay to speak with the Master-At-Arms about what they witnessed.

Lucy watches Garcia from across the room as he speaks with Thomas King and Captain Smith about what happened here tonight. They spoke with her, of course, but being that she’s a woman, her version of events and her opinion on the matter aren’t exactly taken into consideration.

She leans against the wood paneling of the Reception Room. The band has been summoned to try to calm the passengers who have remained since the shooting occurred.

A man passes her, with his wife on his arm. Lucy reaches out to him and lightly touches his arm. “Excuse me? Do you have the time?” she asks.

“Half past eight, ma’am.”

“Thank you.”

Lucy sighs.

Three hours until impact.

Garcia needs to hurry so she can review with him and Karl – wherever he is – the ramifications of Thomas Andrews’s murder. She watches Garcia. His back is to her and he rubs his hand on the back of his neck. She wonders what they’re talking about.

He nods his head, shakes the hands of Captain Smith and Thomas King, and makes his way back to her.

“Well?” she asks.

“We need to find Karl,” he says quietly.

He motions for her to follow him and they make their way up the Grand Staircase, passing the two dead bodies that have been covered with white tablecloth.

“Captain Smith told me that his plan is to increase the ship’s speed to try to get to New York much sooner than planned. He has serious concerns about the safety of all passengers with the attack on you and its shooting, Murdoch’s murder, and then again with tonight’s murder-suicide. He wants to get everyone off the ship as soon as possible.”

“That could play well in convincing him to launch the lifeboats quickly,” Lucy muses.

“I brought up concerns about ice, and he shrugged them off, assured me that this ship is unsinkable. He believes that since she’s unsinkable, if anything happens, it’ll only delay us by minutes.”

“He can’t speed it up,” Lucy says. “I guess if he does it’s possible the ship could miss hitting the iceberg altogether, but I… and if the ship is going faster than it should when it hits the iceberg…” She shakes her head. “If it hits at a higher speed-”

“The ship risks sustaining more damage than it should-”

“Right.”

“And it would take longer to slow it down, and with the extra forward motion because of increased speed, more water enters into the ship and it would fill with water much faster.”

They turn and walk through the lobby of C Deck, making their way as quickly as they can to reach the Boat Deck where they hope to find Karl. Certainly, he’s heard about the murder-suicide that took place this evening.

They reach B Deck and see Karl running from the corridor that leads to their parlour suite.

“Karl!” Garcia shouts.

He skids to a stop, looking relieved to see them.

Lucy picks up the front of her dress and runs to Karl. “Tell me that you’ve been prepping the lifeboats,” she says as she passes him, heading to the suite she shares with Garcia.

“If by prepping, you mean stealing blankets and shoving them inside the lifeboats then, yes, I’ve been prepping them.”

Garcia walks next to Karl and quietly tells him, “Thomas Andrews was murdered before dinner tonight.”

Karl looks up at him and shakes his head.

Lucy reaches the door to their suite’s Sitting Room. She tries to open the door, but it’s locked.

She looks back at Garcia and he’s retrieving the room key.

He unlocks the door and they enter.

“This is bad,” Lucy says, turning to face them, her arms crossed over her chest. “Murdoch was, well, that was bad too, but it wasn’t exactly detrimental.”

“All the crew has heard is that there was another murder onboard,” Karl tells them. “But Garcia says it was some guy named Andrews? I’m not down with the history, so… who’s he?”

“Andrews is the ship’s designer,” Garcia says. “If you’ve seen a guy walking around the ship taking notes, it was him.”

“So, he’s the reason why this ship is sinkable?” Karl asks.

“I don’t think anyone can take blame for it,” Garcia says, looking at Lucy. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but Andrews actually wanted the ship to have 48 lifeboats, and watertight compartments that went up as high as B Deck instead of E Deck, but he was overruled.”

“That’s right.” She nods her head.

“But he was just here making notes on how to improve his designs, so I guess I’m not understanding how his death can make things worse,” Garcia says.

“The captain was supposed to summon Andrews to the bridge. He was supposed to go with the captain to inspect the damage,” Lucy says, reaching behind her to try to undo her dress. “The captain believes that this ship is unsinkable, and it was Thomas Andrews who told the captain that the ship would sink. It’s because of Andrews that the captain makes the decision to order the crew to uncover the boats for evacuation as soon as he did.”

“So, what you’re saying is that someone needs to convince the captain, otherwise we might not get all the lifeboats launched?” Karl asks.

“Pretty much,” Lucy says.

She looks at Garcia and motions to the back of her dress for help.

He goes to her and starts unbuttoning her gown.

“And during the evacuation, Andrews searched staterooms, and told passengers to go up on deck. He urged people who didn’t see a reason to go out in the cold and wait for a lifeboat because they believed the ship can’t sink,” Lucy says, holding onto the front of her dress so it doesn’t fall down in front of Karl.

Garcia walks into the other room.

“One of us could do what he did, right?” Karl asks. “Not be on deck, go room-to-room, and get people out on deck?”

“No,” Lucy shakes her head as she slips off her shoes. “None of us needs to be inside the ship after the collision. There’s too much that could go wrong. We still don’t know if Rittenhouse has sent anyone here to get me. The deaths of Murdoch and Andrews have… well,” she huffs in frustration, “I no longer know anything about what happens during the ship’s evacuation tonight.”

Garcia returns, with Lucy’s bra in hand, and the clothes she laid out before dinner that she plans to wear tonight. She turns her back to Karl and lets her dress slide down her body as she puts on her bra. She shakes the dress off her leg and steps out of it, turning to Garcia. He gives her a men’s white button-up shirt. She puts it on, and then steps into men’s trousers.

“Aren’t you going to layer up?” Karl asks.

“You said, you’ve been putting blankets in the lifeboats?”

“Yeah.”

“I’ll cover up with one of those once I’m in a lifeboat, and…” she looks behind her towards the bedroom. “Garcia and I will strip our bed and bring those blankets on deck with us too.”

Garcia clears his throat. “Honestly, I know Murdoch and Andrews played important roles tonight, but I think the worst thing is that Andrews’s death has everyone distracted. The captain, the crew, all the passengers who were in the room when he was killed. You’ve seen how the passengers and the crew gossip on this ship. Who’s to say the men on lookout won’t be talking about it and notice the iceberg later than they’re supposed to?”

Karl adds, “And after she hits, imagine the panic. People are already on edge. Hell, we’ve all been on edge today and we know what’s going to happen.”

Lucy nods as she tucks the front of her shirt into her pants. “And to have two murders after Emma attacked me on the first night…” Lucy rubs her hand on her forehead.

Garcia turns to Karl and tells him, “And the captain is planning on speeding up the ship to try to get us to New York sooner.”

“I can go start uncovering the boats now,” Karl says.

“Not yet,” Lucy says.

“So, what you’re saying, Lucy, is…” Garcia wets his lips, “the longer it takes Captain Smith to accept the inevitable, the longer the crew waits to start loading the lifeboats?”

“Yes.”

“And the longer he takes, the more the ship will sink, and once passengers realize what’s going on…” Garcia looks at Karl. “Well, I imagine there’s a higher risk of violence and chaos on deck.”

“We could try loading them before receiving a direct order from the captain,” Karl suggests.

“We could try, but I’m not sure the three of us could convince the crew to do that,” Garcia says.

“Plus, I’m a woman, and no one likes to listen to a woman in 1912,” Lucy huffs.

“I have experience in crowd control. I should be able-”

Garcia interrupts Karl, “Yeah, but you don’t have experience in crowd control on a sinking ship without enough lifeboats to go around.”

“So, basically what we’re facing here is the worst possible case scenario?” Karl shakes his head. “We’re so fucked.”

“And if the captain does decide to increase the speed,” Lucy shakes her head. “I’ve been terrified of this night since before Maria and I stepped into her time machine, but I held onto the history. I held onto the facts. I told myself that no matter what happens, the timeline of the ship’s sinking couldn’t be changed. I was wrong, and now… I can’t help thinking that more people are going to die.”

“I can try to talk to the captain,” Garcia suggests. “He seemed Hell-bent on rushing to New York, but maybe if I express concern over ice again-”

“He’s known about the ice warnings since yesterday. He even posted warnings to the bridge earlier today. That doesn’t convince him to be careful in this ship’s original timeline, so I imagine he’ll be stubborn about it now too.” Lucy closes her eyes in frustration, then adds, “Especially if Ismay is still feeding the idea of glorious headlines into his ear.” Her voice reveals anger.

“Nothing very glorious about two murders on board, a suicide, and the fact you were attacked and involved in a shootout,” Karl says.

Lucy nods her head. “We can’t waste our time trying to convince the captain. We need to get out there on deck, and do everything we can to minimize the loss of life.”

“Ok,” Karl says. “I’ll go back on Boat Deck and do what I can to get the boats ready for when the captain finally orders the evac. You two, I don’t know, maybe figure out how to start getting people on deck? Maybe if more people see the ship hit the iceberg, they might be more willing to get off the ship sooner rather than later?”

“Ok,” Lucy says. “We can do that.”

“Once we’re on lifeboats, if you find yourself shivering, pick up an oar or a wooden plank and help row. It’ll keep your muscles warm,” Garcia says, wanting to make sure Lucy and Karl are mindful of what they need to do to take care of themselves.

Lucy sits down and rummages through her bag. She removes three pairs of cotton socks, three pairs of wool socks, a roll of duct tape, and plastic Ziploc bags. She puts on the socks, covers them with a Ziploc bag, and then uses the duct tape above her ankles to seal it.

“Smart move,” Karl observes. “Not that we’re jumping into the water, but if anything happens to the lifeboats and water gets in… at least our feet won’t get frostbite.” He grabs the two pairs of socks, and the plastic bags, and plops down on the floor and puts them on.

Garcia looks at his wristwatch. “It’s almost nine o’clock,” he tells them. “We still have time to get our thoughts together.” He nervously runs his hand through his hair. “Karl? Do you think we need to worry about Rittenhouse trying to get Lucy before the collision?”

Lucy looks at Garcia, and their eyes meet. The idea that Rittenhouse could come back and try to capture her has upset her all day.

“No,” Karl answers. “I’ve gone through the ship a few times over, and no one’s brought the Mothership back.”

“Do we think we need to worry about any other agents from 1912?” Lucy asks, getting out of her seat so Garcia can sit down and put on the socks, and waterproof them.

Garcia sits and removes his dress shoes and socks, replacing them with the socks, and the plastic bags Lucy brought with her from 2017.

Karl shakes his head and answers her question, “If there are other agents on board, I don’t think they’re going to give a shit about Rittenhouse once they realize the chance of them dying tonight is inevitable.”

“I won’t leave your side, Lucy,” Garcia says as he stretches the duct tape and seals it above his ankle. “C’mere,” he motions for her to come to him. She does, and he takes hold of her hand. “Sit down… with your back to me.”

She raises her brow, but does as he asks.

She sits down in front of him with his legs on either side of her body. She leans back against the chair, and expects that he’s going to massage her shoulders. Instead, he undoes the chignon at the base of her neck, and starts running his fingers through her hair, smoothing out any tangles.

“This isn’t going to get weird, is it?” Karl asks with a raised eyebrow.

“No,” Garcia says, wetting his lips. “I’m just going to braid her hair.”

He begins sectioning off her hair, and Lucy looks at Karl and smiles, but it can’t cover how scared she is.

“I’ll probably not be on the same lifeboat as you two,” Karl says, watching as Garcia braids Lucy’s hair. “So… after we part ways on deck, we’ll all meet up the next morning on the Carpathia, right?”

“Yes,” Lucy nods her head.

“I know we talked before about when we need to be off this thing, but if the timing is changed due to the increased speed of the ship, or Andrews not being there to convince the captain to order evacuation, then… I mean, when do we get off?” Karl asks.

“I don’t know, but once the bow is under water, there won’t be a lot of time left. I’m uh… I’m no longer an authority on the history of this ship, so…” She lowers her head, feeling helpless.

The three of them are quiet as Garcia continues to weave Lucy’s hair into a tight French braid.

“Any tips on rowing a boat?” Lucy asks nervously.

“Make sure the oar is secured in the oarlock,” Karl tells her. “Your back should be facing the front of the boat, your feet secured… use an overhand grip.” Karl demonstrates by balling up his fists, palms down. “When the oar is in the water, don’t dip it deep, keep it near the surface otherwise it’ll be hard to row.”

Garcia ties the bottom of Lucy’s braid with an elastic band, and places his hands on her shoulders. He leans down and tells her, “I know how to row, Lucy. You won’t have to worry about it.”

“I’ll want to keep warm, so yeah… I’m going to worry about it.”

He nods his head and looks at Karl.

They share a look.

Lucy lowers her head.

The weight of tonight’s disaster is bearing down on them.

“Um…” Garcia breaks the silence. “If you get frostbite, don’t rub it. Uh… signs of frostbite are numbness, burning and throbbing sensations, redness of the skin, stinging…”

“We won’t have access to any place warm for a few hours if that happens, Garcia,” Karl tells him. “Best bet is to wrap up in blankets, and cuddle together to keep warm.” He pauses. “Not that the two of you need any encouraging to cuddle.”

“You too, Karl,” Lucy says. “I know the plan is that you’ll get off on a different lifeboat than us, but you need to make sure you’re keeping warm too.”

Karl nods.

“Ideally, we should all get in the same lifeboat,” Garcia adds.

“We need to have faith,” Lucy says with a sigh, grasping at what little history she still knows to calm her. “The captain is experienced. He joined White Star Line in 1880 and this is meant to be his retirement voyage. He’s one of the world’s most experienced captains. Even without Andrews, he’s smart enough to know that he’s lost the ship.”

“When should he give the order to evacuate?” Garcia asks.

“It was around midnight,” she answers. “If it’s much later than that, then we know that things are going to be worse.” Lucy stands and runs her hand over the braid Garcia weaved in her hair. “The first lifeboat was launched one hour after the collision, at 12:40, and the crew was still able to get all twenty lifeboats off the ship. But if there’s any delay in launching, I expect that number will be reduced.”

Karl stands, and Garcia gets out of the chair.

The three of them look at one another, not really knowing what to do as they wait for the inevitable.

Garcia looks at his wristwatch. “It’s nine-twenty now.” He sighs. “We have two hours and twenty minutes until impact. Maybe sooner if the captain does speed it up.”

“I’m dressed as a man now, so I don’t know if I should be running around the ship until I absolutely have to,” Lucy says. “How about you two go sync your watches with the ship’s time so that the time you have is as accurate as possible. I’ll stay here and… I don’t know-”

“Take a nap,” Garcia says. “You didn’t sleep at all last night, and you didn’t nap this afternoon, and even if you get an hour in, that’s better than nothing, ok?”

“No,” she says. “I won’t be able to sleep because I’ll be thinking about what’s going to happen.” She touches his arm. “I’m a member of this team, and I can do something to help. You two don’t have to protect me now that Rittenhouse isn’t a threat.” She gives him a look. “Karl, give me your hat,” she tells him.

Karl hands it to her, and she puts it on. She walks away from them and disappears into the bedroom. She emerges wearing one of Garcia’s other coats. She gathers up her braid and tucks it into the back of the coat.

She looks at them.

“I’m going to third class,” she says. “I know I don’t speak more than a couple languages well enough to communicate with everyone, but I want to make sure the sisters are on deck, and if other people follow, then that’s more people we might be able to save.”

Garcia and Karl share a look.

“Do you want me to go with you?” Garcia asks, afraid to let her go off on her own.

“No. I’ll be ok,” she assures him. “You two use your muscle to get the boats ready, and fill them with blankets, and anything else you think might be useful until the Carpathia gets here.”

Garcia’s face is tense, and he looks into her eyes, nodding his head. Trusting that she can take care of herself without him. “I want all three of us to meet outside the gym on Boat Deck at eleven,” he says, turning his wrist and removing his watch. He goes to Lucy, and puts it on her wrist. “I synced my watch earlier before speaking with the captain and the master-at-arms downstairs.” He looks into her eyes and tells her, “You wear it.”

Lucy nods her head, and runs her fingers over its screen. She’d ask Karl to take their photograph, but it doesn’t feel appropriate now that they are fast heading towards collision.

“I uncovered five lifeboats already,” Karl says. “In addition to grabbing more blankets, me and Garcia can try to get them all uncovered so the deck crew doesn’t waste time having to do that once the captain gives the evac order.”

“And make sure you’re drinking plenty of water too, Karl,” Garcia tells him. He looks at Lucy, “You too.” He shakes his head. “We didn’t even get anything to eat for dinner because of what happened. Um…” He runs his hand through his hair.

“I don’t really have an appetite,” Lucy says, adjusting Karl’s hat on her head.

“I still want you to eat something, even if it’s a small slice of bread.”

“I’ll grab something in the third class general room,” she says.

“Should I grab some alcohol and bring it at eleven?” Karl asks.

“No,” Garcia answers. “Alcohol causes dehydration, and dehydration increases the risk of developing frostbite. Stick with water.” Garcia gives Karl a stern look.

“Ok, then… let’s get our asses into gear,” Karl says.

He and Garcia head to the Sitting Room’s door.

“Wait,” Lucy says, going to them. “Tonight will be unpredictable, and I know we say we’re going to meet by the gym at eleven, but in case things happen outside our control…” Lucy hugs Karl, and tells him, “Don’t play the hero, ok? Get off this ship as soon as you can because I don’t know if there’s anything we can do to stop the mess Rittenhouse has created.”

Karl rests his chin on her shoulder and says softly, “Remember what I told you last night. He’s not the only one who will fight to save you. Come to me if you two get separated, and can’t find each other, ok?”

Lucy pulls out of their embrace and nods her head.

She glances at Garcia, goes to him and runs her hand down his arm without saying a word.

Their eyes meet, and she rises on her toes to kiss his lips.

“Eleven,” she says, her voice weak.

He nods.

Then he and Karl exit, leaving Lucy alone in the room.

She closes the door behind her and looks around, and then types in the passcode to Garcia’s watch. Her hand shakes as she opens the camera app, and she snaps a photo of their Sitting Room. Then proceeds to do the same with the private Promenade, the bathroom, the two dressing wardrobes, and then their bedroom.

She sits on the edge of the bed, and lies down on her side.

Her lips quiver, and she can no longer hold in the stress she’s been feeling all day.

She cries.


Garcia peels the cover to a lifeboat off and drops it onto the wooden deck. Karl hands him a small pile of blankets, and he throws them into the boat.

“So, she was asleep when you went back for the blankets, and you didn’t wake her?” Karl asks.

“I didn’t have the heart to,” Garcia says. “We weren’t even gone for twenty minutes, and she fell asleep.” Garcia juts his chin towards the Bridge. “Any idea who’s replacing Murdoch on watch tonight?”

“I think Lightoller is doing a double shift.”

“Think it’s too much to hope that he reacts differently and we avoid this mess altogether?” Garcia says as he and Karl walk to the next lifeboat.

They unhook the canvas lifeboat cover and peel it off, throwing another pile of blankets into it.

“So, I uh… I took Lucy on a date last night.”

“I’m aware.”

“Nice dinner in the restaurant… slow dancing on deck… and then we went swimming in the pool.”

“Have a good time?”

“I haven’t felt that happy in so long, Karl. It was… it was nice,” he chuckles. “More than nice.”

“I’d ask if you laid her, but I think I’ve caught on that you two are semi-celibate.”

Garcia doesn’t comment.

While he and Lucy haven’t consummated their relationship, they have enjoyed each other intimately on board this ship.

He clears his throat, and says, “I talked to her about my concern about her inability to swim.”

“And?”

“She’s ok in swimming pools, but not open water.” He looks at Karl. “I don’t know what would happen if she falls in. Well, I know I’d jump in after her, but in freezing cold water, it only takes minutes before death consumes you.”

“Might not want to wear a lifebelt then, huh?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well…” Karl takes out a pack of cigarettes and lights up. “Imagine trying to swim fast in a lifebelt. It would slow you down, and if you have to swim fast to an already departed lifeboat, well…”

Garcia shakes his head. “She told me she doesn’t want it, but I’m putting her in one of the first boats, Karl. I can’t risk anything else going wrong. She’s already been through so much.”

“What’s your plan when we get to New York? Going back with her to Houston, or coming back to the bunker?”

“My mom’s machine only seats two, and I want Lucy to go back to Houston. But I also don’t think my mother wants to go to the bunker, so… I’ll be going back to the bunker, but I’m not staying long. Just long enough to get my things, touch base with the team about what our next step is, and then I’m going back to Lucy. And I’m going to stay with her until she’s ready to join us in Montana, and I have no idea how long that could be. I trust that you’ll be ok without me there for a while?”

“You briefly met the team, so you don’t know this, but we’re a well-oiled machine. Our Garcia made sure of that because he understood that timelines can change, and that any one of us might cease to exist because of changes to history, and that the rest of the team would have to carry on.”

Garcia nods.

Karl flicks his cigarette, and says, “Last night, when me and Lucy were talking, I let it slip that my timeline’s Lorena was on the team. I don’t know if that was something you wanted her to know or not.”

“It’s ok.” Garcia sighs as they make their way to the next lifeboat. “I’ve tried to think about that, and it never crossed my mind that Lorena would be accepting of this war, and what I’ve had to do to fight it. I always assumed that if I saved her, she would be horrified by the man I’ve become. And then I find out in this alternate timeline, she would’ve fought Rittenhouse with me?” He shakes his head. “I told Lucy that if I saved my girls, I’d hug them and then walk away forever-”

“And now that you know Lorena would love you despite all the shit you’ve done, you’re reconsidering?” Karl asks.

“No. But um… it makes me question if the Lorena from your timeline is the same Lorena I love.” He pulls the cover off another lifeboat, and Karl hands him another stack of blankets. “There have been so many changes to history that affect timelines, that sometimes I wonder if maybe these machines aren’t only time machines, but also machines that travel between parallel worlds.”

“The changing history thing is what makes the present day change, Garcia. I don’t believe we’re being transported from one parallel reality to the next when we go on these missions.”

“I know, but if Lorena could be part of the team, and my Lorena never heard the name Rittenhouse, then she’s two very different people.”

“The heart of who someone is, that doesn’t change,” Karl says. “Think about it… say Lucy was raised Rittenhouse from the very beginning. Completely brainwashed into their ideology. Then one day she meets you, and you become friends. Do you think there would never come a time when she would question what it is that Rittenhouse does? Do you think a Lucy could exist that would sit back, shrug her shoulders, and agree with them? Or do you think no matter what circumstances, she would always come to the decision to try to destroy them, and ask you to help her?” Karl places his hand on Garcia’s shoulder. “You can change history all you want and it will consistently fuck up the present day you came from, but you can’t change who people are. Their minds, their hearts, their souls…”

“So, at heart, Lorena is still the woman I fell in love with, but because Lucy died in 2003, somehow, she learned of Rittenhouse and joined the fight?”

“You, well, the Garcia from my timeline, told her about Rittenhouse, you asshat.”

“Why would I, he…?”

“You got your hands on that journal the night Lucy died. That journal became a part of you, well… a part of the Garcia from my timeline, and he figured the best way to protect his family was to let Lorena know.”

Garcia nods and looks out at the water. He tells Karl, “I threw the photocopy overboard.”

Karl falls silent, and takes a long drag off his cigarette.

“The original is with my mom, probably in the time machine in New York as she waits for us. And… Lucy… she saw me throw it overboard, and I told her that I don’t need it anymore, and it’s true. I don’t. But… that journal means so much to me, even if the information in it is irrelevant. If it hadn’t been for her bringing it to me, if I never read it. I… I was going to kill myself, Karl, but what I read in that journal, it saved me. And I think Lucy is expecting me to get rid of it when we get back, but I really don’t know if I can.”

“You’re skating on thin ice,” Karl says cautiously.

“I know.”

“You need to talk to her about wanting to keep it, and after the fight you two had on the phone, I don’t think she’s going to be happy to hear it.”

“I’ll need to find the right moment to bring it up.”

“Can I be frank with you?”

Garcia nods.

“Burn the damn thing,” Karl says bluntly. “My gut feeling is you’ll lose her if you keep it.”

Karl picks up the next pile of blankets and makes his way to the next lifeboat.

Garcia looks out at the ocean again.

There’s nothing to see except the stars shining above.

Everything else is black.

“Karl?”

“Yeah?”

“We’ll meet by the gym at eleven, ok?” He pauses. “I’m… I need to be with her.”

Karl salutes him, then turns to uncover another lifeboat.


Garcia sits down on the edge of the bed, and caresses the back of his hand across Lucy’s face. Without removing his shoes, he crawls into bed and spoons up behind her.

Don’t worry, I’m a friend. I mean, I will be a friend.

He kisses the back of her neck, and closes his eyes, taking himself back to that fateful night in São Paulo.

I know about Rittenhouse. I know what they did to your family. Your wife Lorena, your daughter Iris.

He grasps onto Lucy’s hand, never wanting to lose her.

Be careful, Garcia. You’re important in ways you can’t even imagine.

Those were the last words Lucy said to him in São Paulo. If it weren’t for that Lucy, he never would have fallen in love with his Lucy.

She moves in his arms, turning to face him.

Her eyes are still closed.

He sighs.

“Lucy…” he brushes his fingers across her forehead, and kisses her cheek.

She smiles as her eyes flutter open.

“I brought food and water,” he whispers.

The smile fades from her face as she remembers where she is.

“What time is it?” she asks.

“Ten-thirty,” he answers, lifting her wrist in his hand to look at his watch.

Her breathing increases as a chill runs up her spine.

One hour and ten minutes until impact.

She sits up, gets out of bed, and goes to the dressing table where Garcia put a pitcher of water and a plate full of bread and fruit. She fills a glass with water and downs it. She brings the plate of food back to bed. She sits cross-legged next to him, and nibbles at a slice of bread.

She shakes her head and sets the bread back on the plate. She lies back down on her side, facing him. “I’m not hungry.”

He nods his head and whispers, “It’s ok…”

“I’m scared,” she whispers.

“Me too.” He runs his hand on her arm. “You didn’t go to third class?” he asks, picking up the plate and placing it behind him. He turns to her and takes her in his arms.

“No… and I didn’t mean to fall asleep…”

“I’m glad you did,” he whispers.

She makes herself small against him, curling her knees up, and holding onto his shirt with both her hands. She sniffles and cries silently in his arms.

He lets out a heavy sigh, and nuzzles his face against her hair as he quietly hums Moonlight Serenade. He holds onto the back of her head, then softly sings the song to her, “I stand… at your gate… and the song that I sing is of moonlight…” he strokes his thumb against her temple, “I stand and I wait, for the touch of your hand in the June night…” he kisses her head, “… the roses are sighing… a moonlight serenade…” He’s quiet and then speaks quietly, “Remember when we were in the record store in 1941, and we both held up the same Glenn Miller record?”

“Mhm.”

“You told me ever since you were a little girl that you imagined dancing your first dance with your husband at your wedding to that song…”

“The instrumental version, yes.” She looks up at him. “Why?”

“Not five seconds after you said that I was imagining dancing with you at our wedding, to that song, and leaning down and singing it into your ear, kinda how I was just doing…”

“I think we’re crazy.” She laughs quietly, but her nerves are still apparent.

“Oh?”

“When we were in 1941, it had only been a few days since I arrived at prison? And we were both already like,” she deepens her voice to mimic him, “I’m gonna marry her,” she returns to her normal voice, “and… I’m gonna marry him.” She touches his face, and sighs. “We barely even knew each other then.”

“And my mom married my dad after knowing him for only four months, so… falling in love so quickly isn’t impossible.”

“Obviously, I know. It happened with us, but still… if your mom found out you told me that you intend to propose one day, she’d probably think you knocked me up, right?”

“One day, I will…” he nuzzles his face into her neck and pulls her close to him. He kisses her lips, then pulls away to ask, “After we’re married… how soon do you want to have kids?”

“Oh? We’re having this conversation now?” She laughs, running her hand through his hair. Her heart beating for reasons having to do with Garcia Flynn instead of with this ship. “I think I’ve already said that if I got pregnant now, I’d be happy, so it doesn’t really need to be on any specific timeline. When it happens, it happens.”

Garcia places his hand on her waist, and wets his lips. He whispers, “I can’t wait to make love to you, Lucy…”

She touches his jaw, and kisses him.

He presses his hand on her hip so she lies on her back, and he settles between her legs. He looks down at the fabric of her white dress shirt as he caresses her breast.

“I love you so much, Lucy…”

She opens her mouth as his lips brush against hers, and their tongues are slow and deliberate as they explore each other. Lucy wraps both her arms around his neck, and he lowers his face into her chest, using his chin to push open the not fully buttoned shirt so he can kiss the soft curves of her breasts.

With one hand he begins unbuttoning her shirt, kissing and nibbling the skin between her breasts as he does. He pulls the fabric to the side to reveal her black lace bra. He nibbles at the fabric above her nipple, and then lowers his face below her breasts. He holds onto her middle back as he trails kisses down her abdomen.

Lucy holds onto each side of his head with her hands, and arches her back when his tongue circles around her navel. His chest presses against her core, and oh my God does she want him to go further. And he does, slowly kissing and sucking at the skin of her lower abdomen before grasping onto the waistband of her trousers and slightly pulling them down to kiss her just above the edge of her pubic hair.

He stops to look up at her.

Her chest is heaving and everything about her body language tells him that she’s anticipating and wants more. For the first time today, she looks relaxed.

He gives her a devilish smile when her eyes meet his, and he nefariously growls, “I bet I know where you want my mouth next.” He keeps his eyes locked with hers as he slides down her body and rubs his jaw against her centre. “But… you’ve got these trousers on, and…”

He crawls back up her body and kisses her passionately.

Their lips part, and she’s smiling at him. Her eyes study his face as she runs her fingers through his hair. She slides her hand down and cups his jaw, then traces her thumb across his lips.

She inhales and slowly exhales.

She looks into his eyes, and they kiss again with the longing of two people needing each other before the end of the world.

Lucy sighs.

With him, she’s at peace.

She turns her head to the side, and then looks back into his eyes.

“I… I love you, Garcia…” she whispers.

His heart skips a beat upon hearing her say those words to him for the first time. He smiles at her and rubs his nose against hers. He lifts her chin with his fingertips, and whispers, “I love you more…”

She closes her eyes and smiles faintly as tears fall down her cheeks. Garcia pulls her closer to him, and tenderly kisses away each individual tear as he strokes her cheek with his thumb.

His heart aches.

Yearning for her though she’s here in his arms.

Her body trembles as she cries, releasing pent up stress and anxiety that she’s carried every day she’s been on the Titanic.

“Shh… it’s ok…” he whispers. “I’m here…”

She looks up at him, and he kisses her lips until she lowers her face into the crook of his neck. Her hands clasping onto his shirt. He rests his head on hers, and holds her.


An hour later, they are on deck, waiting for Karl.

Though Lucy cried and released some of the stress she had been feeling, she is now full of nervous energy, and is rambling to Garcia.

“Over one-hundred years have passed and we’re still fascinated with the Titanic. Books are still being written about the ship. Check out YouTube and you’ll find old and new documentaries,” Lucy says, as she stands next to Garcia, nervously fiddling with her necklace as he leans against the exterior wall of the gym.

It’s 11:25. They’re on deck, and Karl is twenty-five minutes late.

And they’re not entirely sure if he’ll show up to stand with them to watch the iceberg float by the starboard side of the ship.

“Then there’s the human arrogance in claiming that they have conquered Mother Nature,” Lucy continues, “and declared a ship unsinkable. The celebrities on board… it’d be like everyone finding out Britney Spears, Oprah, Justin Timberlake, Eminem, and George Clooney were in the South Tower on 9/11. And like with 9/11, the Titanic sinks slowly, which allows us to imagine ourselves in that tower, or on this ship, and ask what would we do if we were in the shoes of the people in those situations?”

Garcia checks his watch and looks up and down the deck.

Still no sign of Karl.

“And we consider the drama, the bravery, cowardice, sacrifices, and the selfishness of passengers desperate to live. There’s the heroism of the men who stay inside to keep the power running, the Marconi operators who work until the captain relieves them of their duties. The romance of Isidor and Ida Strauss who refused seats on a lifeboat, and died together.” Lucy pulls the front of her coat across her chest and shivers. “The desperation to fight to save your own life, of not knowing whether your loved ones were still on the ship as you watched it sink below the surface from the safety of a lifeboat.” Lucy looks up at Garcia, he’s half paying attention to her, half worried about Karl. She sighs. “I should feel privileged as a historian to be here tonight to witness and experience this first hand, but… all I feel is fear.”

Garcia nods. “I think I smell ice in the air.”

“What time is it?” she asks.

He looks at his watch. “Eleven-thirty.”

Lucy trembles as she takes a deep breath. “Ten minutes,” she says. “Well, ten minutes if the captain maintained the speed the ship is meant to keep as it hits.”

“Should we walk towards the front to get a better view of the collision?” Garcia asks.

“No.” She shakes her head. “We’d have to leave the Boat Deck to get closer to the bow. And I don’t know about you, but I feel safer standing close to the lifeboats.”

Garcia wraps his arm across her shoulders, and kisses her temple.

He runs his hand up and down her arm to try to keep her warm.

“I’ve been thinking about what happens if we get separated,” Lucy says. “I think we’ve both been so distracted with each other that we haven’t been thinking straight.” She looks up at him, and holds onto his arm. “We think getting separated would be the worst possible thing to happen before we get into a lifeboat, but it’s not... if either one of us dies-”

“I don’t want you to worry about that, Lucy.”

“If we get separated, we go immediately to the gym, and wait inside for the other to join us,” she tells him.

“Ok.” He nods.

Lucy breaks free of his arm and goes to the rail, peering towards the front of the ship.

Garcia stands next to her, resting his elbows on the rail. “You can’t see anything,” he observes. “Just the stars.”

Lucy squints her eyes. She thinks she sees a haze, or something just to the right of the ship. She stands back, knowing that chunks of ice fall onto some of the ship’s decks during the collision.

“Garcia…”

“There’s… I think I see a haze at the surface,” he says, leaning slightly over the rail for a better look.

CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!

Garcia strains his eyes and sees what looks like a large black object silhouetted against the starlit sky.

“Garcia…”

“I can see it, Lucy…”

“Please… come here…”

The ship slightly jolts as it makes impact with the iceberg, and the sound of the ice tearing into the steel plates sounds like the derailing of a train. The vibration is so much more than either Lucy or Garcia expected, and Garcia loses his footing as he steps backward towards Lucy.

He takes hold of her hand, and she squeezes it tight.

“… four… five… six… seven… eight…” Lucy is counting how long the ship makes contact with the iceberg, “… nine… ten… eleven… twelve… thirteen…” She looks up at Garcia, her eyes wide as the ship continues to scrape along the iceberg. “It was only supposed to make contact for ten seconds.”

Then the vibration and the grating stop.

“I… I can’t do this, Garcia,” she tells him, shaking her head vehemently. “We’re not supposed to be here.”

Lucy’s heart pounds in her chest, her breathing is fast and shallow. She tugs at the top button of her shirt to unbutton it, but she can’t because her hands are trembling so much, she can’t control them.

She stumbles backward, and Garcia has to grab onto her so she doesn’t fall.

Instinctively, she pushes at him.

Then she’s crying, and choking on air.

She brings her hand to her throat and gasps.

“Lucy, look at me,” he tells her, but she doesn’t do as he says. “Hey! Look into my eyes.” She shakes her head and continues gasping for air with her hand on her chest, so he grabs onto both sides of her head, lowering himself to her level. “Lucy… you’re safe with me, ok?” He remains calm. “Breathe…” He takes her hand and presses it against his chest. “Feel my heartbeat.”

She looks into his eyes, and nods.

“I’m dizzy,” she tells him.

“Do you want to go somewhere else?”

She nods her head, and grasps onto his arms.

He looks around and leads her inside the ship’s gymnasium.

He watches her closely.

Her breathing is returning to normal, but she continues to struggle with balance, so he walks with her as she goes through the room touching the wooden panels of the wall, and the textured windows. She turns to him, and reaches up to touch his stubble. 

“I’ll be ok,” she tells him. “I have to be ok, because if I’m not ok, then I’m a liability, and I can’t… I can’t be that right now. I have to be that girl who holds a knife at Nazis and hijacks the Hindenburg, who stood with a noose around her neck and stalled being hanged in Salem… I have to be that person now because if I’m not…”

“If you’re not, you still have me,” he says, cupping her jaw in his hand.

She closes her eyes, nods her head, and then looks up at him. “I can do this,” she says. “What time is it?”

He checks his watch. “Eleven-thirty-five.”

Lucy nods and listens. “We hit the iceberg five minutes earlier than what originally happened.” Lucy feels another wave of panic hit her. She squeezes her eyes shut and pushes the sensation away. “We should hear the sound of the steam being released from the funnels any minute now. That happens when the captain orders the engines to stop.”

Lucy steps away from him and exits the gym.

On deck, Garcia looks up at the four funnels. He shakes his head. “The ship is still moving forward… that’s not good.”

“No, it isn’t. And with more than ten seconds of contact, the water is going to sink this ship faster than two hours and forty minutes.”

“Looks like we’re slowing down.”

“That means the captain is probably doing an inspection of the damage with the ship’s carpenter,” Lucy pauses. “Andrews is supposed to be with him.”

“When should he order the engines to stop?”

“If we’re lucky, in about five minutes. If we’re not lucky, longer than that. We’ll know once the steam gets released from the funnels.”

Lucy walks over to the rail and looks towards the front of the ship. She shakes her head. “I think I can already see the front is sinking.”

“So, what should we do now until we can load the boats?”

“Wonder where Karl is,” she answers.

“There’s still time,” he says. “Maybe we should go get the lifebelts from our room?”

“We can do better without them. They’re bulky and can limit how quickly we react to what’s going on. We’re not going in the water, so there’s no need.”

“We could go back inside and tell people we saw the collision, and that it looks bad. Try to start convincing people to get on deck before the captain orders the evacuation?” He looks at his watch. “Eleven-forty-three,” he says.

“The captain is supposed to order the evacuation around midnight. The engines should be stopped by now,” Lucy says. She takes a deep breath and thinks. “You trust Karl is ok, and that we can leave this deck without him for a few minutes?”

“I’m sure he’s somewhere doing something that he thinks will help us in the long run.”

Lucy nods. “Ok then… let’s go back inside and see what we can do to get people on deck.”

She holds her hand out to him, and he takes it.


“But this ship is unsinkable.”

“Yes, that’s what the advertising said, but do you really think fifty-two tons of steel can’t sink to the bottom of the ocean?” Garcia asks the man he’s speaking to.

“I think I’ll wait and see what the captain orders,” the man tells him, then walks away.

Garcia scans the room. Even though it’s after midnight, passengers are still awake and distressed over the murder of Thomas Andrews that happened in this room only a few hours ago. He looks at Lucy. She’s standing in the corner, speaking with their maid, Alice.

Lucy is talking to her calmly.

Alice nods her head, hugs Lucy, and then quickly walks away from her.

Alice passes Garcia and nods her head, stops, and then turns to speak to him. “Mr. Flynn?”

“Yes?”

“Your wife told me what she saw out on the deck, and… you should see to it that she puts on more clothes, and her own lifebelt.”

“I’ll see what I can do.” He gives Alice a reassuring smile, and pats her shoulder. “And please, be calm when you tell others what she told you. It’ll be safer for us all if people aren’t in a frenzy, ok?”

“Yes, sir.”

Alice hurries away.

Lucy goes to Garcia and touches his arm. “If you close your eyes, you can kinda feel the ship is dipping forward,” she tells him. “It’s terrifying.”

“You need more clothes, Lucy,” he tells her. “Let’s go back to our room-”

“Blankets,” she says. “We should go get the blankets from our bed.”

Garcia watches as Lucy makes her way to the Grand Staircase. He looks at his watch, it’s fifteen minutes after midnight. He puts in his passcode, and looks both ways and quickly snaps a picture of the room and the staircase. Lucy looks back at him, and raises her arms as if to ask what he’s doing still standing there.

He walks quickly to her and starts up the stairs. He’s just about to reach Lucy when he trips, loses his balance, and falls forward on the stairs. Lucy bends down and helps him back up.

“Ship is listing forward, towards the port side,” he tells her.

“Are you ok?”

He nods. “Yeah… at least I didn’t fall backward.”

They reach B Deck and suddenly hear someone running up the staircase from a lower level. He’s panting and out of breath, and frantically looking around as he says, “I’ve just seen water on E Deck!” He pauses. “There’s water on E Deck!”

Concern crosses the faces of some passengers in the room, and others mock the man, telling him that he’s lying, and that this ship can’t sink.

Garcia checks his watch. “It’s almost twelve-thirty,” he says quietly to Lucy.

“We shouldn’t get the blankets,” she says. “We need to get on deck. I think this ship will sink much faster than…” she trails off, takes a deep breath, and says, “Let’s go.”

She takes his hand, and together they return to the Boat Deck.

The ship’s crew has gathered now, and look confused as to why all the lifeboats are already uncovered, and filled with blankets and other supplies.

Garcia and Lucy share a look, and a smile creeps onto her face. She rises on her toes and kisses his cheek, she asks, “Did you get to all the lifeboats?”

“All except the collapsibles on the roof of the Officers’ Quarters.”

Then, a deafening roar of steam comes barreling out of the funnels.

Garcia and Lucy cover their ears and look at each other.

Lucy’s mouth moves, but Garcia can’t hear her.

“WHAT?!” he shouts, stepping toward her.

Lucy pulls at the sleeve of his coat to lower him to her. She cups her hands over his ear, and shouts, “BEHIND YOU!”

And even that close, he has a hard time hearing her over the roaring steam being released from the funnels. He turns around and sees Karl running towards them, looking like he’s shouting too.

“… WIRELESS… DISTRESS… CQD AND… SOS!” is all Garcia and Lucy can kind of make out above the roar of the steam.

“WHAT?!” Lucy screams at him.

Karl goes to both of them and pulls them close to his face, and yells, “I TOLD THE WIRELESS OPERATORS TO START SENDING A DISTRESS SIGNAL!”

“THAT’S GOOD!” Lucy shouts. She grabs Garcia’s arm and looks at the time on his watch. “THAT’S SOONER THAN WHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN!” She hugs Karl, and yells at him. “GOOD THINKING!”

Karl steps away from them and digs into his pants pocket, pulling out three whistles. He throws one at Garcia, and hands one to Lucy. “USE THESE IN THE LIFEBOAT TO…” Karl shakes his head; this noise is unbearable. He shouts louder, “USE THEM TO GET THE ATTENTION OF THE OTHER LIFEBOATS!”

“WHERE’D YOU GET THESE?!” Garcia shouts.

“STOLE ‘EM FROM THE OFFICER’S SUPPLY!” Karl answers.

Behind them the door to the first class entrance opens and a swarm of people run out onto the deck. Some are carrying their lifebelts, others not.

Lucy looks up at Garcia and then at Karl, and scrunches her face asking them what they think is going on. Garcia shrugs, and Karl holds up his index finger, pauses, and then runs into the crowd and disappears back inside the ship.

Lucy rises on her toes and yells into Garcia’s ear, “SO MUCH FOR OUR ‘DON’T GO BACK INSIDE’ RULE, HUH?”

As more and more people swarm the deck, someone standing near the rail gets bumped and falls overboard. The crowd nearest to him cries out, loud enough to be heard over the steam. People are shouting, screaming, and pushing through the crowd. Having seen the panic, the deck crew now tries to get the first lifeboats attached to their lowering davits.

Lucy stands behind Garcia, hanging onto his waist. He has one arm at her side, and he presses it against her to keep her firmly against him.

It’s not even one o’clock in the morning and things are already chaotic.

There is no order.

Unexpectedly, Karl tugs on Garcia’s sleeve, and Garcia almost elbows him hard in the face, but Karl catches his arm.

“WATER’S COMING FAST UP THE STAIRCASE! LOOKS LIKE IT’S ALREADY ON C DECK!” He looks at Lucy, then at Garcia. “I GOTTA GO HELP LOAD THE BOATS BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!” Karl looks directly at Garcia and shouts, “GET HER INTO A LIFEBOAT IMMEDIATELY!”

Garcia glances down at Lucy. His jaw is tight, and he’s fighting back tears. He knows Karl is willing to sacrifice himself to save others. And he’s not ready for them to say goodbye in case they never see each other again.

Lucy steps away from Garcia, and looks at Karl. His eyes are red as he fights back tears. And he’s scared. Lucy hugs him tight, and yells at him, “DON’T YOU DARE GO DOWN WITH THIS SHIP, KARL!”

She steps away from him, wiping tears from her eyes, and is bumped by another passenger who is fighting his way through the ever-growing crowd.

Garcia goes to him, and wraps his arms around Karl, holding him close. He pulls back, and holds Karl by the head and kisses his forehead. He looks back at Lucy, she’s holding her hands over her ears, so he yells at Karl, “AMY!” He pauses. “GET OFF THIS THING SO YOU CAN GET BACK TO AMY!”

Karl nods, and with one last look at both of them, he runs away, disappearing into and fighting his way through the thick crowd.


Gunshots ring out as another one of the ship’s signaling rockets is fired into the sky.

Karl looks up as the rocket bursts into white streaks and blue colored balls.

He shakes his head. They’ve been firing off those damn rockets every five or ten minutes. These idiots have no idea that current maritime regulation for distress rockets is to fire one rocket in one-minute intervals. There was talk among the crew earlier that another ship had been spotted on the horizon, and Karl thinks he may have seen it too, and if this mystery ship is nearby, they probably won’t think anything about rockets being fired at five-minute intervals.

And he’s too fucking busy right now trying to load as many passengers into this first lifeboat that has yet to be launched from the port side. Karl turns around and grabs a woman, and places her inside the lifeboat. She shrieks and cries out, reaching up towards a man who was at her side.

But Karl can’t care.

He looks back at the man who has tears in his eyes, and he decides to fuck this ‘women and children only’ horse crap that Lightoller is enforcing.

“Get in,” Karl tells the man.

The man shakes his head, and says, “I cannot in good conscience take a seat from a woman or child.”

Karl shakes his head and looks around because right now effing Lightoller is shouting orders that they need to start lowering, and the fucking lifeboat is filled with maybe thirty passengers, when it can fit at least sixty-five men.

Behind him, a man is pushing his wife forward to the lifeboat, and another man tries desperately to pull him back so his family can get to it first. The two men start yelling at each other, and one man throws a punch. Children are screaming, and women are crying, and everything is a fucking mess.


Lucy steps over the body of a man who was shot in the chest in front of her as she rushes a mother and her child towards Garcia who is standing at the side of the next lifeboat to launch, helping people get into it as safely as he can.

He doesn’t like that Lucy has been hanging back, and he hates that she refused to get into the first lifeboat that launched. All of this is made even worse by the fact that some passengers have used guns when other passengers got in their way.

It’s chaos.

It isn’t supposed to be like this.

And it scares the shit out of Garcia.

“LUCY!” he calls out to her.

This lifeboat is almost full, and if she hears him and comes to him, they’re getting into it now.

“LUCY!” he calls out again, but she can’t hear him among all the chaos.

He watches her as she tries her best to fight through the crowd, holding onto the hand of a young woman. Lucy blocks someone’s elbow from striking her in the face. Their eyes meet, and she nods her head to let him know that she’s ok.

Then his eyes fall on Joseph LaRoche.

He’s further back in the crowd, and is doing his best to protect his girls. One of his daughters is in his arms, the other in his wife Juliette’s arms. The two men make eye contact, and Garcia turns and shoulders his way through the crowd to him.

“Venez avec moi,” Garcia tells Joseph’s wife.

Garcia takes her free hand and forces his way back to the lifeboat. He holds onto Juliette’s hand as she steps carefully into the near-capacity lifeboat. She hands her youngest daughter to another woman and reaches up for her eldest daughter. Joseph lowers the girl to her mother.

“You can go with them,” Garcia tells Joseph.

“No. First the women,” Joseph argues.

Lucy manages her way through the crowd, with a younger girl tucked beneath her arms. She looks at Garcia. “She says her mom was in the first lifeboat we launched. Get her off this ship.”

Garcia nods, and helps the young girl into the lifeboat.

The officer in charge of launching the boats is yelling at him now, shouting at him to stop loading people into the boat so they can lower it.

“Lucy…”

He holds his hand out to her.

Another gunshot is fired nearby, and Lucy ducks, looking around.

She shakes her head, and goes to Garcia.

“Not yet.” She turns to Joseph LaRoche and steps aside for him. “Be with your girls, Joseph. The lifeboat needs a man on board who can help row. Can you row?”

“Yes, of course,” he answers. He looks at Garcia and asks, “Will your wife not leave without you?”

“Apparently not,” Garcia says. “Come on, get in before it leaves without you.”

Garcia steadies Joseph as he steps down into the lifeboat.

He turns around and looks at Garcia and then at Lucy, and says, “Thank you.”

“LOWER AWAY!”

Crew on both sides of the lifeboat take the thick ropes into their hands, lean back, dig their heels into the wooden planks of the deck floor, and begin lowering the lifeboat as carefully and as quickly as they can.

Garcia looks back at Lucy.

She’s trying to move a dead body out of the way, tugging at his feet.

“Lucy-”

“Help me move him, or shut up and let me do it myself,” she tells him.

Another rocket is launched above them, and white and red glitters above them in the night sky.

Garcia bends down and grabs the dead man’s wrists, and Lucy grabs his ankles, and together they carry him to the edge of the ship, out of the way of people rushing the lifeboats.

“Time?” she asks.

“Almost ten after one.”

Seven more gunshots are fired somewhere else on deck.

Garcia moves to stand closer to Lucy.

“We can’t stay on here much longer, Lucy. It’s too chaotic.” He looks behind her as the officer and crew struggle to manage the crowd as they try to load the third lifeboat on the starboard side.

Lucy looks around them at the madness.

Women are sobbing, children are screaming, men are fighting, and guns are being used to threaten and to kill others. She looks towards the front of the ship, trying to see if the water is rising over the bow. But she can’t see, so she places her hand on Garcia’s shoulder, and hoists herself up on the railing. She leans over, but lifeboats block her view. She huffs in frustration, and steps up higher on the rail. She nearly slips and falls, but Garcia grabs her by the waist and lowers her to the deck.

“Are you trying to fall in?” he asks, as if she’s lost her mind.

“Water’s not over the bow,” she tells him. “We still have time.”

“Lucy,” he’s firm with her. “No. We don’t.”

She pushes away from him and heads back to where another lifeboat is being lowered, half-full.

“NO! STOP!” She shouts. “You can get more people in that boat!” She yells at the officer in charge.

“Step back, boy!” The officer shoves her and she falls onto the ground.

But Lucy stands back up, and grabs the man by his coat. “Look, water still hasn’t come over the bow. We still have time to get more people into the boat if you remain calm and don’t panic.”

“Boy…” the officer looks at her as if she’s lost her mind. “Do you really think we can control this now?”

He turns away from her and continues his instruction to the crew to lower the half-full lifeboat.

Lucy spins around, searching the crowd for Garcia, but she doesn’t see him. She looks towards the next lifeboat that they will start loading, and she runs to it. The deck crew is already readying it in its davits. She knows the plan was to meet in the gym if they got separated, but making her way through this crowd is too dangerous. So, she waits for him at the next lifeboat.

Her eyes scan the crowd for him, and then she sees him trying to break up a fight several feet away. He’s holding one man’s arm up high in the air, to prevent that man from aiming a gun at someone else. She can almost hear him snarl as he makes the decision to punch another man’s nose with the palm of his hand. The man with the gun, pulls the trigger and fires three bullets into the air.

A loud roar of terror washes over the ship from the bow.

Lucy looks to the front of the ship, but she sees nothing, so she crawls up onto the edge of the lifeboat and hangs onto the lowering ropes and looks.

Water is coming over the bow.

“Karl…” she says under her breath, hoping to God that the man is smart enough to already be in one of the lifeboats launched from the other side of the ship.

Lucy takes a deep breath, and hops off the lifeboat.

She has lost track of Garcia again, but heads in the direction where she saw him trying to stop a fight. She pushes her way through the crowd, and finds him involved in a hand-to-hand fight with another man. He gets punched in the face and recoils backward, his back slamming up against the window of the gym, shattering the glass. He grunts as he balls up his fist, but his opponent is quick, and Garcia gets hit again. He loses his footing as the ship takes a sharp twist towards the port side, and he falls to the ground.

“GARCIA!” Lucy rushes towards him, and when his opponent tries to get in her way, she balls up her fist, and punches the man square in his nose.

She bends over Garcia and helps him to his feet, and he wipes blood from his lip.

He wraps his arm over her shoulder and holds her close as more gunshots are fired.

A bullet ricochets off the wall next to them.

Garcia takes Lucy’s hand, lowers his face to hers, and calmly tells her, “It’s time.”

She nods and grasps onto his wrist, and allows him to drag her through the violent crowd. He’s bodychecking, and shoving, and punching anyone in their way. Lucy screams when a man aims a gun right in Garcia’s face, and without flinching, Garcia punches the man – knocking him out cold.

He picks Lucy up by her waist and throws her into the lifeboat. She screams as she lands hard on her knee. As Garcia is about to get in, someone pulls him away, out of Lucy’s sight.

“GARCIA!” she screams his name.

She stands and fights her way to the edge of the lifeboat.

But she doesn’t see him.

She spins around and quickly scans the faces of those already in the boat.

He’s not in it.

She presses her hand onto another passenger’s shoulder and hoists herself up, and out of the lifeboat. She hangs onto its side as she looks for Garcia. Then a man wraps his arms around her waist and pulls her away from it, and throws her down onto the wooden deck. She breaks the fall with her hands, scraping them against the harsh wooden planks.

She tries to stand, but the amount of people rushing towards the lifeboat is incredible, and she has to crawl away so she doesn’t get trampled.

“LOWER AWAY!” the officer shouts.

Lucy looks at the lifeboat as it sinks below deck.

She and Garcia should be on it.

Time is running out.

Her head starts spinning and spinning, and she feels disoriented.

It takes everything she has to lift herself onto her feet.

“GARCIA?!” she screams into the crowd, as she pushes her way through. “GARCIA!” Tears are streaming down her face. “GODDAMMIT!” she cries as she shoves other passengers out of her way.

Her heart is racing and she feels like her throat is closing.

She can’t breathe.

Her eyes fall on the gym.

If they got separated, the plan was to go to the gym and wait for the other.

She places her hand over her heart – it feels like it is going to explode – and pushes people aside with her other hand as she struggles to get to the gym. The list to port is more severe than she read in any of her history books, and instead of walking towards the gym, she’s stumbling.

Nothing about the sinking of this Titanic is what was supposed to happen.

She opens the door to the gym and enters.

There are men in lifebelts, casually riding stationary bikes, or using the rowing machine.

She presses her back against the wall and lowers herself to the floor.

“Fear isn’t real…” she says quietly to herself. “He’ll be here… he won’t leave this ship without me,” she says these things aloud to assure herself that they will get off this ship together.

She takes deep breaths, and thinks about the way Garcia’s hands held her in his arms and danced with her on deck last night, the way he sang Moonlight Serenade to her to try to help her fall asleep. The way his voice vibrates when he whispers in her ear.

Montana.

Horses running through a large field.

Snow-capped mountains behind their home.

Their little girl running down the front porch stairs to meet her father when he comes home from work.

How they’ll sit together, holding hands, watching their daughter dance in her first Nutcracker ballet.

The smile that will light up Garcia’s face when she tells him she’s pregnant with their second child.

Home.

Family.

Montana.

Lucy opens her eyes.

He’s not here.

What if he got into another lifeboat believing she would do the same?

She stands up and runs her hands over the front of Garcia’s coat.

She takes it off, not wanting to risk someone pulling on it when she goes back out on deck.

Her hands clasp around her necklace, and she tucks it into the front of her shirt.

She takes Karl’s hat off her head and drops it on the floor.

Karl.

Tonight, after she hits… Garcia isn’t the only person who will fight to get you off this thing. If something happens, you can come to me, and I’ll punch faces, and take lives, to get you to safety.

She has to find Karl.

She looks at the clock on the gym’s wall.

It’s 1:20 in the morning.

If this were the Titanic timeline she knew, the ship would still have one hour before disappearing beneath the Atlantic, but this is a timeline where history is playing out in real time. She has no idea how long the ship has before she’s gone forever.

The bow is already underwater.

It could be minutes.

She goes to the gym’s door and opens it.

The crowd roars around her as she runs as fast as she can towards the front of the ship. She would have thought with the ship lowering at the front that running down towards it would be easy, but that’s not the case. Lucy has to grasp onto people so she doesn’t fall as she runs. The ship is listing so hard to the left that she actually fears it might capsize.

People around her are starting to jump off the ship.

She runs through the navigation bridge to reach the other side.

Men are rushing towards one of the lifeboats, overcrowding it, and she watches in horror as the weight of the men breaks the davit, and the boat goes crashing into the water below.

“KARL?!” she shouts his name as she runs.

But she doesn’t see him.

BAM! BAM! BAM!

Three more gunshots are fired and she runs past a man who falls to the ground, dead – a bullet plugged right between his eyes.

“KARL!” she shrieks into the crowd.

Tears are streaming down her face.

Somewhere on deck, she hears the band playing Nearer My God to Thee.

She stops and looks around, taking in some of the last moments of life aboard this ship.

A man throws his wife and children over the railing of the ship, into the freezing water below before flinging himself with them. Lucy starts walking, almost as if in a daze. She steps over the body of a child who has died after being trampled on. Her breath catches in her throat and tears freely fall down her face. Another man picks a woman up and forces her out of a lifeboat, throwing her to the ground. She screams as he crawls in to take her place.

Her shoulder is bumped and she has to place her hand on the wall so she doesn’t fall.

The ship is twisting dramatically, and it becomes obvious that the lifeboat the men are trying to launch is a lost cause. There’s no time left to save anyone else.

There’s no time, and she’s still on the ship.

“Karl…” her voice is weak as she comes to the realization that she has two choices to make. One, jump in the water and try her hardest to swim to one of the lifeboats. Two, make her way to the back of the ship and ride this ship down as she founders.

Or…

Lucy’s eyes are wide when she sees several men on the roof of the Officers’ Quarters.

They’re trying to ready the last two lifeboats, the collapsibles.

In this ship’s original timeline neither one of those boats is ideal.

One fills with water, and its passengers have to stand for hours inside it, many suffering from frostbite. The other floats off the ship upside down. She’s not sure how it’ll play out in this altered timeline, but those last two lifeboats are her last shot at getting off this ship as safely as possible.

So, she runs.

She runs as fast as she can, and just as she gets to the Officers’ Promenade deck, one of the collapsible lifeboats falls near her, upside down.

Water is fast approaching.

And she’s not wearing a lifebelt, so she goes to the overturned lifeboat and hangs onto its hull. She’s surrounded by men who are fighting to hang onto the boat. The screams and broken voices of men desperate to live will be forever etched in her memory. She watches as men fight each other, and she decides not to make eye contact with anyone for fear they might target her too.

She screams as the water rises above her waist.

The ship shifts again, and causes a wave that violently grabs the overturned boat and drags it out into the water.

Lucy screams as the water rises to her shoulders, threatening to overtake her mouth and nose. She clings onto the boat’s hull. It’s slippery and she’s not sure for how long she can hang on.

The men around her are yelling and screaming. Some have oars and wooden planks, and they’re beating down on other men who are trying to climb on top of the boat’s hull.

Lucy’s hand slips.

She realizes she’s screaming and underwater.

She opens her eyes and sees nothing, and gasps when her head breaches the surface.

Her eyes search the surface of the water for the overturned lifeboat, but she doesn’t see it. The water is so cold, and she can barely breathe from the shock of it. She reaches forward and tries to swim with limbs that have become stiff.

Then she hears the awful sound of one of the funnels’ support wires snapping, and not five feet away from her it cuts a man in half as it releases from the huge funnel above.

Lucy tries to swim as fast as she can. Her mouth is open and she’s swallowing some of the water. But she knows, my God, she knows she has to move because-

The funnel groans as it begins folding, and it falls into the water, crushing everyone in its way. Lucy is picked up and carried further away from the sinking ship by the wave caused from its collapse.

She cries and screams, and her body is begging her to just give up.

To die.

It’s so cold.

And it feels like a thousand knives are being driven into her body.

Her head falls beneath the water’s surface, and she forces herself back up.

It was always easier for her to swim with her back facing down, so she turns around and when she does, she sees the stern of the ship has risen out of the water, and its propeller blades are in the air. And the people still on it… they look like a swarm of bees as they race towards the very back of the ship. Their screams a loud terrifying hum in the air.

A man grabs her, wrapping both his arms around her neck somehow thinking that holding onto her will keep him afloat. But she has no lifebelt and they sink below the surface, and he keeps pushing her down as he scrambles to keep his head above water. She manages to get to the surface and screams as she gasps for air. She balls her hand into a fist, and though she has no traction in the water, she throws her fist as hard as she can against the man’s temple.

He stops moving, his body lifeless, and…

She can’t think about that now.

The overturned lifeboat is in sight, and she makes her way to it.

She grabs onto the hull, and a man uses a wooden plank to push her off, screaming at her, “YOU’LL SINK US ALL!”

She can barely feel her arms as she swims to the other side and grabs on, trying to pull herself on top of the boat. But the surface is too slippery, and she slides off again.

“Help!” she calls out, surprised at the strength still left in her voice.

“SHE’S A WOMAN!” A man shouts. “HELP HER ON!”

One of the men on the boat’s hull lies down on his stomach and reaches his hand out to her. She grasps onto it, and he grunts, “I’ve got you, Lucy.”

She doesn’t know him, and she screams as the man pulls her on top of the hull.

She remains seated near the front of the overturned boat, and she looks at the Titanic.

The stern is higher now, and an unimaginable roar comes from inside the ship as the shell plates buckle, and all moveable objects fall freely, crashing through each compartment.

Lucy’s eyes are wide, and she’s incapable of blinking.

She holds her breath.

The lights blink once, and then go out.

Only the dim glow of the red emergency lights remain on in the stern of the ship.

There’s a loud explosion as the ship breaks in half behind the second funnel. The stern rises almost perpendicular to the water, and violently twists to port when the front of the ship pulls at it before breaking free and falling to her grave.

Lucy watches, tears are streaming down her face.

The man who pulled her onto the overturned boat is behind her, his hand on her shoulder.

She has no idea if it’s seconds or minutes later when the stern of the ship violently begins her final descent. Water bursts out of portholes and windows due to the extreme pressure of water rushing through the ship as she sinks.

Then, she’s gone.

“Don’t the rest of you think we ought to pray?” a man asks solemnly behind her.

But Lucy doesn’t take part in the reciting of the Lord’s Prayer. She can only sit on the front of the boat’s hull and stare out at the water. She can’t see anything, and the roar of those in the water is louder than anything she’s ever heard. They thrash and scream for help that will never come. And Lucy knows that she’s been forever changed by what she’s seen and experienced tonight.

Karl.

Garcia…

The chance that both of them got off that ship, not knowing if she was safe, is not good.

She knows Garcia, and there’s no way he’d leave that ship without her.

Is he one of the people in the water?

Will he soon freeze to death?

Will he drown?

She lets out a cry that goes unheard by others on top of the boat because those dying around them is so much louder than she is. And her cries turn to uncontrollable sobs as minutes later, the roar of those in the water grows silent.