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The Road Less Traveled

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There’s a low roll of thunder as Jiya and Karl walk arm-in-arm ahead of Garcia towards the warehouse where Jiya landed the Lifeboat. Rain pours down on them, and Karl does his best to keep Jiya dry by holding his coat above her head, tucking her close to his body.

Garcia trails behind them, his hands in his coat pocket, and his head low.

The rain is pouring down on him.

He should be with Lucy.

What the fuck was wrong with him when he told her that he has a responsibility to the team now that the Titanic mission is over? She had every right to be upset with him. He could’ve asked Karl to get his things at the bunker, charge the damn Lifeboat, and make a quick trip to NOVUS Innovations in a few hours to bring his things to him.

Instead, he decided to leave Lucy behind.

Again.

She reluctantly agreed with him, but he feels she did it to avoid having another fight.

Lucy told him that he broke her trust when he left her that note saying he wasn’t going to return to her until after he defeated Rittenhouse. He knows that when he left her at the pier, she was forcing herself to trust him even though her gut feeling was that maybe she shouldn’t. And if there’s one thing Garcia Flynn doesn’t want, it’s to prove her gut instinct right.

He has no intention to ever lie to her again.

And concealing the truth about her sister isn’t a lie unless Lucy directly asks him if Amy is a member of Rittenhouse who is involved in the war to defeat them. However, if Lucy asked him about Amy, Garcia knows that he wouldn’t be able to lie to her. He’d sit her down, hold her hand, and gently tell her the truth.

He stops and looks back towards Pier 54.

What if Rittenhouse was lying in wait? What if they had one of their members from 1912 waiting at the pier for Lucy? What if him leaving Lucy has put her in danger?

He wasn’t thinking straight.

At the very least, he should have escorted them safely to his mother’s time machine before even thinking of heading back in the Lifeboat.

He told Lucy he’d call her thirty minutes after he returns, but he’s going to lie about that and call her the moment the Lifeboat’s hatch opens in the bunker. If they’re not back at NOVUS when he calls, or a minute after he calls, he’s going to assume that Rittenhouse has captured them, and he will tear down the world, and burn his way through time to save her.

Fuck.

He needs a break.

To get his head back on straight.

To not make stupid mistakes like this again.

It’s been… two years, and three months to the day since Lucy came into that bar and handed him her journal. Two years, and three months since he learned that time travel is real, since he’s been fighting Rittenhouse. Two years, and three months that he’s gone hard – never stopping to rest.

When he gets back to Lucy – and he’s sure she won’t argue this – they are going to take a break from this war. Get some much-needed R&R before getting back into it. Maybe a break is exactly what they need to come back fresh, to find their desire to keep fighting. Because as it is now, even he struggles to continue.

He takes one last look down 14th Street towards the pier, closes his eyes and says a prayer that Lucy and his mother make it back to 2017 without a problem. Then, he runs through the pouring rain, following Jiya and Karl inside the musty warehouse where Jiya landed the Lifeboat.


Jiya sits down in the pilot seat of the Lifeboat and buckles her seatbelt. She looks back at the guys, and smiles. “It was a little weird to see you all mushy-mushy with Lucy,” she says.

Garcia looks at the control panel near the hatch of the Lifeboat. He’s never been inside this time machine, and isn’t familiar with how it works. It looks like a piece of garbage, nothing like the sophisticated design of the Mothership that he’s used to.

“I was saying goodbye to the woman I love,” he says. “It wasn’t mushy-mushy.” He pauses. “How do you close this thing?”

“It was so mushy-mushy,” Jiya says with a song in her voice, totally enjoying the fact that this Garcia Flynn isn’t the grumpy man he replaced from her timeline. As much as she loved her Garcia, his perpetual grumpiness was exhausting. But this new Garcia Flynn… he’s a breath of fresh air.

Garcia looks to Karl for a little backup.

Karl rolls his eyes.

“It was,” Karl shakes his head, he can’t believe he’s about to repeat Jiya’s words, “mushy-mushy. But no one saying that’s wrong.” He unbuckles his seatbelt to help Garcia close the hatch.

“She’s important to me, and I wasn’t going to just look at her and wave goodbye,” Garcia defends his public display of affection for Lucy. “I love her, and I’m going to show it.”

Jiya enters in the time coordinates to get them back to the bunker in Montana, and then spins around in her seat to look at Garcia as he sits down in his. “Then… why aren’t you going back with her?”

Garcia huffs, shaking his head at himself.

He sighs.

“I should be with her. I realize that now, but I told her I’d be back in Houston in two days,” he says. “I need to get my things, and touch base with the team before I go, so that Lucy and I know how to proceed.”

Garcia buckles his seatbelt and adjusts its straps.

“And she was ok with that?” Jiya asks. “Because – and I don’t mean to say this to upset you – she didn’t look ok to me.”

“He probably talked her into doing it,” Karl comments. “You know how he is when he is set on doing something.”

Karl’s words hit Garcia hard in the chest. He furrows his brow as the thinks back to the way Lucy asked him to come back with her. And yes, he talked her into letting him go back with Karl and Jiya, but he promised her he’d be back in Houston – with her – in two days. That wasn’t a lie. And it wasn’t a lie when he told her that they will stay in Houston until she is ready to join the team in Montana.

To take that break they so desperately need.

He shakes his head.

He leans forward in his seat and runs his hands through his hair.

It’s too late to run back and find her and his mother, and return to 2017 with them.

But my God, when he gets back to her, the first thing he’s going to do is apologize.

Lucy is the strongest woman he has ever met. She’s surviving this war while struggling with self-doubt, the loss of her family and her friends. And because of his stupid decision to tell her he was going to fight this war without her, she’s even struggling with her trust in him. She should not have to return from the fucking Titanic, and have to deal with surviving it without him.

He should be there for her.

He sits back in his seat, closes his eyes, and prays that Lucy and his mother made it back to their time machine without incident. He prays that they are safely back in Houston right now, and getting ready to drive back to his mother’s home.

Garcia squeezes his eyes shut.

December 10th, 2014 – the day Lorena and Iris were murdered.

He’s done everything he could to try to save them, to stop Rittenhouse. To right wrongs, and ensure that Lucy wouldn’t lose their unborn child in her grief over losing him in 1725.

Is his death in 1725 still inevitable?

Will Lucy become pregnant and lose their child in this timeline too?

He doesn’t know.

He’s gone non-stop since December 2014, and there have been only two times where he’s been forced to slow down: while he was in prison, and the three days he spent with Lucy onboard the Titanic.

There’s no denying what happened to that ship and its passengers is one of the worst events he’s ever experienced – it’s right up there with being near the Twin Towers in New York on 9/11, and staying there for days to help in the rescue efforts after the terrorist attack.

Still, those three days with Lucy on the Titanic have been the happiest days of his life since the night Rittenhouse ordered Wyatt Logan to murder his family.

He wants to break the habit of feeling obligated to focus on this war.

He needs to prioritize the life he wants with Lucy.

But how can he separate his personal life from the war they are fighting?

Before their trip to 2003, he told Lucy that they couldn’t be together because he needed to be able to have the distinction of separating his feelings for her with his need to focus entirely on destroying Rittenhouse. He told her that if they were together, she would be his priority, insinuating that that would be a bad thing.

It wasn’t, and it never could be.

And he doesn’t feel that way anymore.

Lucy is his priority.

But in war, there are no guarantees.

They could destroy Rittenhouse, or Rittenhouse could win. It’s a fifty-fifty chance whatever the result, and he wants to spend his life with Lucy. To have a family with her, and if he continues putting the war over her – over their relationship – he could walk away with nothing at the end.

It’s true that when he and Lucy are apart, he can focus.

But when they’re together, he’s distracted.

His actions – their actions – on the Titanic prove that when they’re together, neither one of them gives a damn about Rittenhouse.

And the only way for them to live the life they want together is to keep fighting.

He knows this, and he’s certain Lucy knows this as well.

They need to figure out how to be together and fight this war, because he will not abandon her. He will bring her to the bunker in Montana once she is – once they are ready to face this war head-on again.

And if it happens that Lucy tells him she doesn’t want to fight anymore – that will bring his role in this war to an end. He would walk away from it, and never look back.

“Hey…” Jiya’s voice is soft, and she startles him even with a soft touch on his shoulder. “You ok?”

Garcia realizes that tears are streaming down his face. He wipes them away and nods his head. He answers, “I’m fine.” He lets out a heavy sigh, and looks away.

Jiya and Karl share a look.

Karl clears his throat. “Hey, uh… when we get back, you can get your things. We’ll charge the Lifeboat and once it’s ready, Rufus or Jiya can take you to your mom’s lab at NOVUS. That way you don’t have to worry about hopping a plane to Houston in a couple days, and risk Rittenhouse using facial recognition to find you.”

Garcia nods, and looks at Karl. “I fucked up again, Karl.” He shakes his head. “She asked me to go back with her and…” he gestures to himself, “here I am, sitting in the Lifeboat with you two, and… and I… I wanted to stay with her, but I put the team – this war – ahead of her feelings… ahead of my own, and…” He trails off, disgusted with himself. He looks at Jiya, and asks, “Are we ready?”

Jiya nods her head and gives him a soft smile. She watches Garcia close his eyes and lower his head.

Karl intentionally clears his throat to catch Jiya’s attention.

She looks at him, and she understands.

She nods her head.

“Lucy doesn’t exist in your 2017,” Garcia says quietly to them both. “She’s already spent an entire week there without me when I went to Baku. I… I need to be with her.” He pauses. “I want this damn war to be over.”

“I think we all want that,” Karl says, reaching out to place a comforting hand on Garcia’s knee. “We all want to just get on with our fucking lives, leave the war behind, but that’s not how war works.”

“And I’ve been keeping the truth about her sister from her, and I know it’s not exactly a lie, but it feels like I’m lying to her, and that’s the last thing I want to do.”

Karl raises his brow and says, “For what it’s worth, the longer you withhold that information from her, the worse it’ll be for her to hear. She’ll be upset that you’ve known for this long and didn’t tell her.”

Garcia nods his head. He hates that he’s kept information about Amy from Lucy. For fuck’s sake, Lucy was manipulated by her own mother in their timeline, made to believe that all this time her sister was erased from existence. And here he is, concealing the fact that Amy is their Rittenhouse mole, and she’s a key player in this war.

Lucy’s trust in him is already shaken.

He should be doing everything he can to show Lucy that she can trust him completely.

He wants to marry Lucy.

He wants to live a normal, mundane life with her.

To start a family with her.

In Montana.

The engines of the Lifeboat rev up, and Garcia closes his eyes. This machine feels more unstable than either the Mothership, or his mother’s time machine. The shaking is concerning, and he opens one eye to look at Jiya to see if there’s any reason to panic.

She seems fine, so this must be normal.

His body is thrust forward violently as the machine pushes forward through time, carrying the three of them back to 2017.

The large magnets circling the machine’s pod slow, and Garcia exhales.

He feels sick, like he’s going to vomit.

Jiya spins around in her seat and looks at Garcia and Karl. She smiles and says, “We’re here.”

Garcia unbuckles his seatbelt as Karl hits the button to open the hatch.

“Garcia?!”

His heart jumps out of his chest when he hears Lucy say his name.

He looks out the hatch.

Jiya brought them back to NOVUS in Houston.

Lucy is running towards the Lifeboat, holding up the front of her dress so she doesn’t trip and fall.

Behind him, Jiya and Karl share a smile as they watch Garcia jump down from the Lifeboat, not waiting for anyone to haul a ladder to the machine.

Garcia picks Lucy up in his arms, lifting her off the ground, spinning her around.

“Lucy!” he cries. “Thank God you’re ok.”

He sets her back down, and holds her face in his hands, then runs his hands through her hair. She rises on her toes as he leans down to her, and her arms clasp around him as their mouths meet.

“What happened to…” Lucy cries, gasping for air as his mouth devours hers again. “Garcia…” she whimpers his name as his hands hold onto her back, clutching the fabric of her dress. Breathless, she pulls away again, tears streaming down her face. “What happened to two days from now?” She smiles, relieved that he came back to her.

Garcia glances back at Jiya, and nods his head in thanks, then he looks into Lucy’s eyes and says, “Jiya wouldn’t let me make another stupid mistake.”

Lucy steps to his side and looks at Jiya as she makes her way down the ladder, holding onto Karl’s hand for assistance. Lucy goes to her, and wraps her arms around her in a tight hug.

“Thank you, Jiya,” Lucy whispers.

“It was pretty obvious that he needed to be here with you,” Jiya says. “He was tearing himself apart in there,” she gestures to the Lifeboat. She smiles. “You’re welcome.”

Maria makes her way towards the four of them, the original journal in her hand. “Lucy and I were about to get washed up and changed into something more comfortable before heading home.” Maria looks at Karl and Jiya. “Are you staying in Houston overnight, or waiting here until the Lifeboat is charged?”

Karl looks at Garcia and Lucy, he doesn’t think they heard a single word his mother just said, so he tells her, “Maybe me, you, and Jiya could hang out here at NOVUS until it’s charged. I’ve been in Baku and can catch you and Jiya up to speed with what’s going on overseas.” He lowers his voice. “Maybe let them head back to your place so they can be alone for the night?”

Maria nods her head.

And Jiya whispers, “Do you think they need condoms? I don’t think his mom has condoms, and I had no reason to pack any for a short trip to New York in 1912.” She looks at Karl. “What about you, do you have condoms? If you do, you should give a couple to them – at least.”

“Why would I travel to the effing Titanic with condoms?” Karl looks at her in disbelief.

“I don’t know,” Jiya says. “Because you’re Karl?”

Maria looks at Garcia and Lucy, still unused to seeing her son with another woman. She looks down at the journal in her hands and goes to them.

“Garcia?” she says. “I’m going to stay here with Jiya and Karl, um…” She holds out the journal to him, and he takes it – glancing at Lucy to read her reaction, she lowers her eyes. Maria continues, “The keys to my car are in my office upstairs. You and Lucy can go home without me. I can get Mike to drive me home in the morning. I’m behind on work I was doing before you and…” she glances at Lucy, “before you and Lucy arrived from 2003.”

“And it’ll give you two some alone time,” Jiya loudly adds, wiggling her eyebrows.

Lucy and Garcia share a look, and it’s Lucy who blushes.

Garcia wraps his arm around her shoulders, and he strokes her shoulder with his thumb. He turns to look at Jiya. “Thank you,” he tells her. It feels different for him to have someone else other than Lucy looking out for him – it certainly was not the case in his original timeline. It’s nice.

“You’re welcome,” Jiya says. “Now, you two get outta here.” Jiya goes to them and starts pushing them towards the stairs to take them up one level to get Maria’s car keys so they can leave. She lowers her voice, “Might think about stopping somewhere to pick up some condoms too.” She winks. “Unless, of course, you’re looking to make me Aunt Jiya sometime soon.” Jiya smiles and winks at them. Then she wraps her arms around them both, pulling Garcia down to hers and Lucy’s level. “And um… you two stink.”

Garcia tells her, “We’ll make sure to shower-”

“Together,” Jiya finishes his sentence with a smile before he can say anything different. “Saves water, that is… if you don’t get too carried away, if you know what I mean.”

“Never in my life would I have expected you to make such insinuations about Garcia and me,” Lucy says, smiling at Jiya. “And uh Jiya… I know you’re not from my timeline, but… you look and act just like my Jiya, and that…” Lucy smiles, “that makes me feel like somehow even my Jiya would…” she glances up at Garcia, “approve of us being together. It means a lot.”

“I’ve kinda been a Garcia and Journal Lucy ‘shipper since my Garcia told me that he had feelings for her,” Jiya says. “I’ve got your backs one-hundred and ten percent. Rufus too.”

“Rufus?” Lucy asks. “In my timeline, uh…” she shakes her head at Garcia. “He had Al Capone shoot Rufus, and there’s almost nothing I can think of that I think would make my Rufus befriend him after that.”

“Oh, Rufus and Garcia are tight,” Jiya smiles at Garcia who has an odd expression on his face at hearing this tidbit. “But we’ll have more time to catch up whenever you two get back to the bunker. I don’t want to keep holding you up.”

Jiya hugs them both again, and goes back to Maria and Karl.

Garcia looks down at Lucy, and she looks up at him.

He offers her his arm and together they leave NOVUS to go back to Maria’s home, alone.


Hot water streams down Garcia and Lucy as they stand in each other’s arms in the shower. The warm scent of vanilla body wash fills the air, and warm steam swirls around them. The bathroom is dimly lit by the soft glow of a nightlight.

Lucy’s face is pressed against his chest, and her arms are wrapped tightly around his waist. His hand rests on the back of her head, and he leans down and places a soft kiss on her cheek.

“Warm enough?” he murmurs.

She slowly shakes her head. “No,” she answers. “It’s been five days since the sinking, and I’m not sure I’ll ever thaw out…” she sniffles.

Garcia pulls back and looks down at her, caressing her cheek with his thumb – wiping away tears that have already been washed away by water. Lucy moves her hands to his chest. She looks down at him, and slowly trails her fingertips across his abdomen.

“Draga…” he tilts her face back with his fingers so she looks up at him. “Why don’t we…”

Lucy nods her head.

He doesn’t have to finish his sentence.

She turns around and turns off the water.

He steps out ahead of her and holds open a towel. She steps into it, and he wraps it around her, and gently begins rubbing her dry. Lucy studies his face as he tends to her body. His eyes are soft, and he looks scared, or maybe even hesitant of what they want from each other tonight.

Lucy touches his arm.

“Garcia…” her voice is quiet. “I know Jiya made it sound like we’d come back here and… do it, but… we don’t have to. It’s ok if you’re not ready.”

Garcia’s exhale is unsteady as he runs the towel over her hair.

“I don’t know, Lucy…” he says quietly.

Lucy takes the towel from him, and starts gently rubbing him dry.

Garcia watches her and tells her softly, “It’s not that I don’t want to make love to you, draga. I’m tired… exhausted, but I don’t want to sleep because any time we can spend together before we’re back in the war is time I don’t want to waste.”

Lucy runs the towel through his hair, and rises on her toes and kisses his cheek. “I feel the same way.” She lowers the towel and wraps it around her back, then she steps into him, and wraps it around them both. “I’m tired, but… we can just go to bed, and talk… and be with each other…” she whispers.

“I’d like that,” he mumbles.

“Me too.”

Garcia takes the towel, and drapes it over its bar on the wall.

He takes Lucy’s hand and leads her back into their bedroom.

He lets go of her hand and steps towards the dresser, and asks, “Did you want to put on pajamas?”

“No,” she answers.

Garcia turns to look at her.

She goes to him and takes hold of his hands, shaking her head, and with the softness of a breath, she tells him, “I want to feel your skin against mine…”

Garcia’s heart swells at the tenderness in her voice, and he curls his fingers around hers as she leads him to their bed.

Garcia watches as Lucy crawls underneath their blankets.

He lies next to her, holding onto her waist.

She turns to face him.

He runs his hand slowly up and down Lucy’s back, staring deep into her eyes. Lucy does her best to hold his gaze, but she isn’t used to how vulnerable it makes her feel, so she lowers her eyes.

“Hey…” he whispers. “It’s me… you don’t have to look away…”

He rubs his nose against hers and offers her a comforting smile.

“I’m…” she shakes her head at herself, “I’m not used to this kind of vulnerability, dušo… the um… the intimacy of being naked with you… and looking into your eyes.” She inches closer to him. “I don’t know, maybe I feel afraid.”

“What makes you feel afraid?” he asks, nudging his nose gently against hers. He cups her jaw and strokes his thumb against her cheek.

“Trusting you… even after you broke my trust when you left that note when you went to Baku… and I do trust you, Garcia… it’s that I’m afraid that you’ll break it again,” she answers quietly. “All I can do is risk trusting you again… and again… until, I don’t know… your trustworthiness has been reestablished.”

Garcia runs his hand through her hair.

Lucy takes a breath, and lowers her eyes, and says, “And trusting you is a risk that I’m willing to take because…” She looks up into his eyes again. “Because your other lie… its intent wasn’t to hurt me. You lied because you thought it was the best way to protect me.”

“Anything I ever say or do, Lucy… it’s because I want you safe,” he whispers.

Lucy inches closer to him. “Or, um… I don’t know… I feel afraid because I feel that I don’t deserve to be loved by you, or that letting you know me more than anyone else somehow makes me weak in your eyes.” She closes her eyes and takes an unsteady breath. “That I don’t deserve to be so deeply connected to you, and that you might see something in me that will make you walk away. That you’ll reject me like everyone else.”

He kisses her forehead, and holds onto the back of her head. “Nothing you could say or do could ever make me love you less, Lucy.” She opens her mouth to say something, but he speaks to stop her. “And don’t even try to come up with something that you think will make me love you less, because it’s impossible, draga.”

She lowers her eyes, and sighs. “I used to be afraid of you, you know? And… I used to believe you wanted to kill me, and that you were a terrorist and a murderer.” Hesitantly, she looks into his eyes. “I hated you until the Benedict Arnold mission… when I started to see a different side to you.”

She looks into his eyes again, and he doesn’t look away.

He wipes a tear from her face.

Lucy touches his chest, and continues, “I hated you because I blamed you for getting me involved in time travel. I hated you because I blamed you for my sister disappearing. I blamed you for my life falling apart, and…” She closes her eyes, and then opens them again – her eyes locking with his. “And I hated you because you went back and saved your brother, and no one around me was even trying to help me save Amy.”

He blinks and kisses the top of her head. “After you told me that something I did at the Hindenburg erased your sister, I… I tried to figure out what I could do to save her.” He shakes his head and closes his eyes. “I even… after I stranded you in 1754, before I went back to save my brother, I took the Mothership to Mexico City. Anthony, he… he overheard someone from Rittenhouse saying something about Amy and Mexico City, and I couldn’t forgive myself if I went back and saved my brother without first looking into that lead.” He pauses and looks at her reaction. Her eyes are lowered, and she’s holding onto his arm. “Then we found out that she wasn’t erased from existence, and that your mom had her locked up…” He trails off, sensing that he’s only making her sad.

Lucy touches his chest and drapes her leg over his. “I revered my mother, you know? Thought she was Superwoman. Then I found out she’s this terrible person who made me believe Amy had been erased from existence, and...” She trails off.

Quiet.

Thoughtful.

“Do you ever hope for reconciliation with your mom?” Garcia whispers.

Tears sting Lucy’s eyes, and she shakes her head. “Of course, I do… but um… then I think about how she wants to bring me back to Rittenhouse so she can take me to 1725 to be raped, and… I honestly don’t know how to process that.” Lucy wipes away a tear. “I think that there will always be a part of me that loves my mom – the woman that raised me, who took care of me when I’d scrape my knee, or buy me ice cream when some boy broke my heart, but um… I… I don’t think that’s who she really is, Garcia.” She takes a breath. “She groomed me since I was a child, and I blindly obeyed her – desperate for her approval, and um… you were right. I should’ve seen her for who she was sooner. My whole life, I was blind.”

He kisses away her tears, but says nothing.

“I look back now, at how she raised me, and… it’s as clear as day that she raised me to be this tool for Rittenhouse – this thing they could use to ensure their existence. I don’t even know any more if my interest in history was because I actually love history, or if it’s because she engrained history in me when I was so young that it only seemed natural for me to follow in her footsteps.” Lucy wipes away more tears. “I can’t tell you how many times I wake up at night and wonder if I’m really the person I’m supposed to be. Or I wonder how my life would have turned out if she hadn’t been such a heavy, dominating influence on my decisions.”

Lucy pauses and looks into Garcia’s eyes, and in them she can see that his heart aches for her. He presses his hand against the middle of her back, and gently pulls her closer to him.

He kisses her lips then rubs his nose against hers.

“You don’t think you would’ve loved history?” he asks.

“I remember the fights my mom and I had when I didn’t want to study because I wanted to work on memorizing choreography for a dance recital. Or the fight we had when I wanted to go to the movies with my friends – it was the first time I would’ve hung out with boys without supervision – and she insisted that I stay home and study for my fifth grade history test.” She shakes her head. “In 2003, when I was with Jake… I was determined to hit the road with his band, and leave history behind me forever. And because she’s Rittenhouse, I can’t help but wonder if she somehow had a way to get my car to skid off the road into the river, and that was just another way she controlled my life, because after the accident, I uh… Jake and I broke up, and I refocused on history – for her.”

Garcia caresses his hand up and down her arm, and kisses her shoulder.

“I loved dance…” Lucy whispers. “Would I have joined the San Francisco Ballet? Would I have even dated Jake? Would I have been in that car accident? Stanley said in Timeline Zero that you saved me from the river and we loved each other, but that’s still a timeline where I was influenced by my mother and Rittenhouse.”

“You’re wondering how things would be in a timeline where Rittenhouse never existed in the first place?”

Lucy nods her head. “Which is stupid because if they never existed, then I’d never be born. I wouldn’t exist. But I can’t stop myself from wondering about it. Would we still have met, and would you have become my best friend?”

Garcia places a strand of her damp hair behind her ear.

He sighs.

“Why not just believe that in Timeline Zero, we are best friends?” He smiles. “It’s impossible for us to live it, so why don’t we just believe that no matter what – no matter the timeline – that we always find our way to each other?” He kisses her forehead. “Have faith in us, draga.”

“I do believe that,” Lucy whispers. She nestles her head against his shoulder. “I also believe that one day this war will be behind us, and that we’ll be happy.”

“You’re not happy now?” he asks.

Lucy tilts her head back and looks at him. “I’m happy when we’re together, but the weight of fighting Rittenhouse can be… overbearing.”

“I know,” he says, swallowing hard. “I don’t think words exist that describe how good you make me feel, Lucy – how happy I am when we’re together, but you’re right. Ever since you told me that they want to take you back to be raped, to conceive David Rittenhouse, I… I’m worried that my being with you might not be enough to protect you from them. That’s what keeps me awake at night, draga… worrying about you. Worrying that I’m not enough.”

Lucy rises on her elbow to look at him.

He’s wiping a tear from his face.

Lucy runs her hand across his chest and tells him, “And I know if they get me that you’ll burn down the world – that you’ll tear through time, destroying everything in your way – to save me before anything can happen.” She strokes her thumb on his collarbone, and kisses his cheek. “I’m afraid of them, but I know you won’t let them hurt me,” she says, looking into his eyes.

Garcia wraps his hand around her wrist, and draws her hand to his lips.

He kisses her knuckles.

His voice breaks when he tells her, “And I trust that you’ll fight as hard as you can to save yourself as I find my way to you.” He clears his throat and lowers his eyes.

“Garcia…” Lucy cups his jaw, and he looks into her eyes again.

“Sometimes I think I don’t deserve your love,” his voice is weak as he opens up to her. “That you deserve someone else. Someone who isn’t as broken as I am.” He inhales. “I don’t know, maybe that’s why sometimes I fumble and fuck things up with us. Why I said I’d come back to you after Baku, and then changed my mind while you were sleeping… making what I said a lie.” He wets his lips. “Maybe subconsciously I’m trying to save you from me. To push you away so that I can’t hurt you too.”

Lucy takes a deep breath, and tells him, “Garcia… I don’t expect you to be perfect. I know that we’ll both make mistakes. We can’t expect, or try, to make our relationship happy all the time. We’ll both do and say things we don’t mean, we’ll fight, but all I expect from you – from us – is that we love each other, and that we’ll fight for each other. The way things are right now means it won’t be easy, but in the end… it’ll be worth it.”

He nods his head and looks up into her eyes.

“And Garcia… I don’t want you thinking that you don’t deserve to be loved,” Lucy whispers. “We’re both broken, and I like to think that together we’re healing.” She presses her lips tenderly against his forehead. “I’m with you, Garcia… for better, for worse… In good times, and bad…” She kisses his temple, and smiles, feeling silly for reciting parts of a traditional wedding vow. “In sickness and in health…”

“And I’ll love and cherish you, until death do us part,” Garcia whispers, meaning every word.

“Mhm…” Lucy places a lingering kiss on his lips.

He cracks a smile and playfully asks, “Does this mean we’re married now?”

Lucy smiles and rolls her eyes. “You want a common-law marriage?” She winces. “Um… how to tell you that I uh… I want something a little more formal?”

Garcia rolls Lucy onto her back, and lays between her legs. He kisses her collarbone. “I’ve been calling you my wife for over a week now,” he murmurs, nuzzling his nose into the crook of her neck. “And common-law marriage is legal in Texas, and…” he kisses her neck, “we’re in Texas now, so…”

Lucy tilts her head back and laughs softly. “Just the other day we talked about who was going to propose to whom first,” she reminds him. “What happened to that?”

“I want to be married to you now,” he whispers, kissing her jaw as his thumb strokes her shoulder.

“You make me so happy, dušo.” She smiles and wraps her legs around his lower back, running her hand through his hair.

Garcia lowers himself so his head lies between her breasts. He closes his eyes and listens to her heartbeat, and steadies his breath to match hers as she inhales and exhales. All she has to do is say the word; tell him that she wants to walk away from this war forever and he’d go with her, and never look back.

He sighs.

He could stay here with her like this forever.

In her arms, he feels safe, accepted, and loved.

His skin tingles as Lucy slowly fingers the small hairs of his neck.

She kisses the top of his head.

“Roll onto your back, Garcia…” she breathes.

Their legs untangle as he rolls over.

Lucy straddles him, pressing her center against his flaccid penis. She moves her hands slowly up and down his chest and abdomen. Her fingertips trail along the scar that runs from his rib cage to his navel. She leans down and kisses it with parted lips. With one hand, she holds onto his waist, and the other cups his breast – giving gentle attention to his nipple.

Garcia closes his eyes, and smiles. “That feels good, draga…” he moans, relaxing into her touch.

Lucy lifts her head and looks down at the peaceful expression on his face.

He opens his eyes and looks into hers, taking her hand and pressing her palm over his heart. Then he places his other hand over her heart. “Breathe with me, Lucy…” he says, his voice raw with emotion.

They gaze into each other’s eyes as they breathe in tandem, in… and out…

Lucy grins and chuckles softly, but remains quiet despite how awkward this feels at first. But the longer she holds his gaze, and the more in synch their breathing becomes, the stronger the emotions that she feels come to the fore. She feels like laughing from pure joy and happiness, then trembling with ecstasy, or crying from how loved she feels. She blinks and a tear rolls down her cheek.

Garcia gently wipes away her tear with his thumb.

He inhales with her and quivers as he exhales.

He continues to hold her gaze, noticing for the first time small dark flecks in the iris of her left eye – beauty marks on her soul. He feels his lips curl into a soft grin. He can feel her heartbeat in the palm of his hand and it matches his own. He’s comfortable with her. He chuckles quietly as butterflies flutter in his stomach.

He blinks, but keeps his eyes locked with hers.

Lucy places her free hand over his hand on her chest. She looks away from him as she breathlessly whispers, “Dušo… I want to make you feel good…” She wets her lips and looks into his eyes again, taking a deep breath.

His eyes are soft.

He blinks as he slowly fingers the small hairs at the base of her neck, causing her nipples to harden.

A smile forms on his face as Lucy runs her hands over his chest, pressing her palms firmly against his muscles. She lowers her hands to his hips, then runs them along the outside of his torso to his shoulders.

Garcia rests his hands on her hips, encouraging her to move against him. He closes his eyes and swallows hard when he feels her wetness rub against his dick. He looks up at her, fixating first on her relaxed smile, then on her breasts. He sighs, allowing himself to feel the sweet electric tingles that radiate over his body as she slowly moves her core against his cock.

“That feels good,” he murmurs.

He closes his eyes, strokes his thumbs against her hips, then runs his hands behind her to hold onto her ass.

“Garcia…” she moans, lowering her hands back to his chest.

“Draga…”

“I want…” she swallows hard. “I want to be intimate with you…” she whispers, circling her fingertips around his hardened nipples. “But I don’t want to do anything you aren’t ready for…”

Garcia runs his hands along the side of her torso, grazing the sides of her breasts. He grins as she closes her eyes, and he watches as she arches her back, jutting her breasts towards him. Her nipples are hard and he wants nothing more than to touch them, and take them into his mouth.

He sits up and carefully lowers her onto her back, and kisses her lips as his hand gently massages her breast.

Lucy groans as he pinches her nipple. He smiles as he lowers his mouth and flicks it with the tip of his tongue before taking it between his lips, gently sucking it.

“I… I want…” She wets her lips again. “I want to give you pleasure, Garcia.”

His heart flutters in his chest, and he lowers his hand to rest on her abdomen – wondering if she wants to make love to him tonight. He spreads his fingers so the tip of his pinky and ring fingers graze the edge of her pubic hair. He lowers his face between her breasts and kisses her, nuzzling the scruff of his cheek against the delicate skin of her breast.

“I want that too…” His voice is hoarse. “But I’m worried about finishing too quickly, and I want our first time to be everything we’ve both fantasized about, Lucy.” He kisses her nipple and strokes the side of her breast. “We just got back and…” He turns his attention to her other breast. “And… I haven’t had a chance to um… retrain my body to-”

Lucy presses her finger on his lips, and shakes her head. “I didn’t say I wanted to have sex… I said I want to give you pleasure. I want to touch you, Garcia. Help you figure out how to delay the um… the inevitable…” Lucy caresses his jaw and smiles at him. “Or if you wanted to let me watch you touch yourself…” she lowers her eyes to look down at his penis. She bites her lower lip, thinking of what it would be like to watch him masturbate.

“Oh?” he says.

His heart races.

Lucy touches his jaw and looks into his eyes. She tells him, “Then maybe I could help you so you can teach me how you like to be touched… you can tell me when to slow down, or to stop when you’re close and want to delay your… orgasm.”

“And if I ejaculate too soon?” he asks, swallowing hard, feeling the skin of his dick tightening at the prospect of including Lucy in his masturbation.

“It’s ok… it’s natural, and nothing to be ashamed of, dušo...” She caresses his jaw.

He nods his head and wets his lips, giving her a sheepish grin.

Lucy smiles as she sits up, and presses her hands against his shoulders to roll him onto his back. She kisses his shoulder as she lowers herself next to him, pressing her naked body against his. Her hand starts moving across his abdomen. “I could start by massaging your chest as you…” she lowers her hand and grazes her fingers along the base of his penis, “touch yourself.”

“There’s…” he swallows nervously, “coconut oil in the bathroom that you can use.”

Lucy smiles at him adoringly. Then sits up again, straddling him. Leaning over him to allow her breasts to caress his chest. She kisses his lips then gets out of bed.

“Do you want any music?” she asks as she walks into the bathroom to look for the oil in the dim light.

Garcia takes a deep breath and closes his eyes. “No music,” he answers. “I prefer to listen to you breathe… to hear how you react to me…”

He swallows hard.

His heart is pounding in his chest.

He’s nervous.

On the Titanic he focused on her pleasure instead of his own. He helped bring her to orgasm without so much as touching her between her legs. There was the one time in the pool when he had been so close to the point of no return that he had to ask her to stop touching him – that’s when he told her that he should start masturbating again to figure out how to slow his response to sexual stimulation, so when they do make love, he isn’t shooting off in minutes like some inexperienced teenager.

He watches Lucy as she searches for the coconut oil in the bathroom.

She’s beautiful.

Her breasts are firm, her nipples hard, and her thigh-gap ignites his fantasy of giving her oral in the shower with her leaning back against the shower wall.

He wets his lips, and thinks about the way her core felt rubbing against his dick.

He places both hands on his abdomen and slowly begins massaging the front of his chest, his eyes never leaving Lucy. He pinches his own nipples as he watches her flip her hair over her shoulder as she squats to look in the cabinet below the sink. He imagines what it’ll feel like to have her positioned over him similarly later – either over his cock, or over his face as he gives her oral.

He breathes deeply through his nose as he slides his thumb and index finger along the side of his shaft – slowly moving up and down as he inhales and exhales. He lifts his knees into the air and lowers his other hand to massage his balls with his fingers. He groans quietly, closing his eyes to feel every sensation he’s giving himself.

The bed sinks when Lucy crawls back in beside him.

His heart pounds as he forces himself not to stop just because she’s next to him.

He turns his head and opens his eyes to look at her.

Their eyes meet, and she kisses his shoulder.

She lays next to him – pressing her breasts against his torso, lowering her eyes to watch him stroke himself. She fingers his abdomen with a soft touch – grazing over scars that she first laid eyes upon when he stood before her naked at the prison visitation unit. She trails her finger along the vertical scar that cuts down the centre of his torso, as she watches the way he moves his hand up and down his hardening shaft.

Garcia turns his head to look into her eyes and it sends a shot of blood straight to his cock. He begins lightly tapping his balls with the pads of his fingers. He grunts loudly as he feels his dick becoming more swollen. He looks away from Lucy, and removes both hands from himself – afraid that if he keeps giving into pleasuring himself that he’ll ejaculate now rather than later.

He takes hold of Lucy’s hand, and places it over his heart.

She leans across him and kisses his lips.

“Let me know when you want me to help,” she murmurs.

“Now’s ok…” he says, his voice quivering. “But uh… don’t start with my dick because uh… that small amount of stroking I did, I… I’m feeling like I could get off now, and I want to work with you to make it last.”

“Ok.” She nods her head, seeing how unsure he still feels about ejaculating too soon. She leans towards him and kisses his lips again. She gives him a reassuring smile. “Relax, Garcia…” She rubs her hand across his abdomen. “Before I do anything, I need to know how far you want this to go.”

“I don’t know, um…” He wets his lips.

“Do you want me to give you an orgasm, or… do you want to do it yourself?” She kisses the top of his chest. “Or do you not want an orgasm at all?”

Garcia gives her a look. “What kind of question is that?” He chuckles.

“I don’t know if part of retraining your body means not having an orgasm or not,” she says. “We haven’t exactly talked about this in detail, you know?”

He gives her a soft smile, and holds onto her wrist, drawing the palm of her hand to his lips. He kisses it. “I want you to get me there, Lucy…”

She smiles and looks into his eyes.

He takes a deep, unsteady breath.

“Are you nervous?” she asks quietly.

“I am.”

Lucy runs her hand through his hair and offers a comforting smile. “Me too,” she whispers, taking a deep breath. She kisses his cheek. “You’re safe with me, Garcia… it’s just you and me.”

Garcia runs his hand on her arm, and holds onto her shoulder. He doesn’t say anything, but he nods his head and gives her a timid smile as he wets his lips.

She smiles, nodding her head. Then rises to her knees to kneel beside him.

She takes his hand in hers, and draws it to her heart.

Garcia closes his eyes and feels the rhythm of her breath, and slows his to match it. Her breath deepens, and he opens his eyes and looks into hers. She gives him a tender smile as she releases his hand.

She opens the bottle of coconut oil, and pours it into the palm of her hand.

“I want this to be about what you need,” she says, rubbing her hands to warm the oil. “When you’re ready for me to touch you, let me know.”

Garcia nods his head and swallows as butterflies flutter in his stomach. Lucy has touched him before, but tonight everything feels more intimate, more loving. He closes his eyes, wanting to allow his heart to fully open to her as they experience this together.

“You can touch me, draga…” he whispers.

Lucy takes a deep breath and presses the palm of her hand gently against his pubic hair. She closes her eyes and feels his body tense under her touch. She opens her eyes, and moves her hand to cover his heart. Again, she closes her eyes and takes a deep breath.

“Let me know what you want,” she says. “Or if what I’m doing is too much, or if you need me to slow down, or um… or to stop.” She looks into his eyes. “This is all about you, and I don’t want you to pleasure me tonight, ok?”

“Ok,” he says, nodding his head. His voice is hoarse. “I trust you, Lucy.”

“If you want me to position myself differently, or if you want me to touch you somewhere else, let me know.” She gives him an affectionate smile as she inches closer to him on her knees. She sits back on her heels to face him.

Garcia takes a deep breath and closes his eyes as she rubs her hands across his abdomen. He moves his hand to rest on top of her leg. He wants to maintain physical contact with her, to involve her in what he’s feeling. He massages her skin with his thumb as the palms of her hands massage his chest.

“Let me know when I can touch you,” she says quietly as she rolls her thumb over his nipple, and her other hand lowers to rest against his pubic hair.

“I’ll uh…” he swallows hard, “I’ll give your leg a little squeeze,” he says, looking up into her eyes.

“Can I use my mouth on you?” she asks, feeling herself blush as she trails her fingers through his pubic hair, then back up along the length of his abdominal scar.

He moans and nods his head, and vocalizes a breathless, “Yes.”

“Roll onto your stomach,” she murmurs.

Garcia does as she asks, and wraps his arms around his pillow as he lowers his head onto it.

He takes a deep breath and tries to relax so he can thoroughly enjoy her touch.

Lucy starts caressing his back with her hands, gently stroking her hand up his spine from bottom to top. She rubs her hand up the back of his neck, causing his body to shudder. Lucy inhales deeply, leans over his back, and slowly exhales her warm breath onto his skin. She lowers her hand slowly down the outside of his back, along the side of his ass to his hamstrings, then shifts her position as her hands stroke his calf muscles.

Garcia turns his head to rest on the pillow.

His breathing is unsteady, and there’s an ache in his heart as he feels Lucy’s love for him in the tenderness of her touch. He tightens the muscles in his ass as her hands slide back up his body, and he feels her knee rest between his legs, gently pressing against his inner thigh – dangerously close to his balls.

Tears well in his eyes as Lucy kisses his shoulder as she runs her hands slowly up and down his arms.

“Softer touch,” he mumbles. “The injuries from Salem… they’re still sore.”

Lucy lightens her touch on his left arm where he’s still healing from being shot, and she leans down and kisses the area just above the graze on the side of his torso.

It’s easy to forget that he’s been hurt with how he comports himself. She runs her fingertips lightly over the scabbed wound on the side of his body. Her heart aches for him, knowing that since Salem he’s fought to save her younger counterpart’s life in 2003, and survived the Titanic – concealing any pain he’s been in from his injuries.

She sits up, and repositions herself to straddle his lower back, and she gently kneads her thumbs along his spine. She leans down and kisses his neck, and whispers, “I wish life wasn’t so hard on you, dušo…”

A tear falls down Garcia’s face onto his pillow, and he doesn’t know what to say, so he nods his head.

Lucy caresses his back, gently applying pressure to his muscles. Her hands move slowly from the top of his shoulders, down his spine, and to the dimples above his tailbone. She leans down again, and kisses the back of his neck, then presses gently against his back as she brings her hands to rest on his shoulders to massage them.

His body tenses, and she softens her pressure.

She kisses him on the back.

“You’re tense, dušo…” she whispers. “Take a deep breath and relax.”

He clears his throat and his body rises as he inhales, and lowers slowly as he exhales.

“It’s been years since anyone has touched me, Lucy…” he tells her quietly. He sniffles, and moves his hand to wipe another tear from his face.

“I know…” Lucy whispers, her heart breaking that he’s been deprived of love for so long.

She lowers her body to rest on top of his, laying her head on its side against his upper back. She rests her hands at the sides of his body, sprawling her legs out against his, and lightly stroking his ankle with her toes.

They inhale deeply together, and exhale.

She bends her knees as she rises, her hair brushing against his back.

Her centre presses against his ass as she gently digs her thumbs into the muscles of his upper back. She leans down again, and he turns his head to look at her – his eyes unguarded, and unafraid to reveal his emotions to her. He blinks his eyes and his body quivers as he inhales.

She kisses his temple and whispers, “Jako te volim, Garcia…”

He wipes another tear away. “I love you, too, Lucy…” he whispers.

She applies a firm touch as she inches down his body. She kneels between his legs, and uses her knees to slightly spread him. She rests one hand on his ass. He inhales sharply, and his body tenses, so she asks, “Is it all right that I touch you here?”

“Mm… yeah,” he clears his throat. “I’m just not used to being touched, draga… it’s ok.”

Lucy looks at him as he turns his head onto his side, and nestles it into his pillow. He gives her a soft smile, takes a deep breath, and does his best to relax.

Lucy picks up the bottle of coconut oil again and applies more to her hands, then returns her attention back to his ass. She begins slowly to help loosen his tight muscles, cupping her hands on his cheeks and rubbing him with slow, circular motions. Once she feels he’s more relaxed, she begins kneading him with slow, deep strokes.

She trails her hands onto his lower back, and kisses his shoulder blade. She rests her hands on the mattress on both sides of his body and quietly moans as she gently lies down on his back again. She holds onto his shoulders and breathes with him slowly. She nuzzles her face against his skin as she moves her hands down his arms until her hands rest in his.

They breath together slowly, and Garcia curls his fingers around hers.

“Turn over,” she whispers.

Lucy moves to his side as he rests his back against the mattress. He places his hand on her thigh, and caresses her skin with his thumb.

Lucy applies more oil to her hands and runs them across his lower abdomen. She places one hand over his heart, closes her eyes, and rests the other above the base of his penis.

Garcia places his hand over hers on his heart to let her know how much he loves her, and how much he appreciates how gentle she is with him.

She opens her eyes and looks into his.

He moves her hand to his breast, and she draws her other hand up his abdomen then to his other breast. She is gentle with him as her hands squeeze and massage his chest, rubbing him in slow circular motions.

She rises to her knees, and throws her leg across his hips, straddling him. 

Garcia holds onto her hips, and kneads her skin with his thumbs as Lucy presses her palms against his pectoral muscles, moving slowly up to his shoulders. She leans down so her breasts make contact with him. She kisses his shoulder, sliding her hands back down his abdomen.

She looks into his eyes, and they both take a deep breath together, then exhale.

He swallows, closes his eyes, and focuses on how her hands feel on his body. The way she presses against his sore muscles. He takes another deep breath and relaxes his jaw… his neck… his arms… He allows his hands to fall from her hips to rest at his side.

Lucy moves off his body, and kneels beside him again. She places one hand underneath his lower back, and with her other hand she massages his stomach.

Garcia closes his eyes, and takes a deep breath.

He smiles.

Her hands move slowly down until they rest against his inner thigh. She turns, making it easier to stroke both his legs. Her fingertips caressing so close to his scrotum that he holds his breath, anticipating contact, but it doesn’t happen. She lowers her hands down to his knees, and slowly spreads his legs.

He opens to her, then applies subtle resistance.

Lucy stops, and trails her fingertips from his thigh back up and gently tugs at his pubic hair as her other hand massages his groin. She tilts her head and looks at him, waiting for his permission to touch his penis.

He gives her a relaxed smile.

He closes his eyes, and inhales as he places his hand on her thigh – giving her a gentle squeeze to let her know that she can.

Lucy wets her lips, and smiles.

She takes a breath and moves her hands back up his chest, covering his heart. She leans over him, and kisses his sternum. She sits up, and then slowly trails her hands back down his body.

He tenses – holding his breath. Anticipating her touching his dick as her fingers move through his pubic hair, and… he gasps as both her hands wrap tenderly around his penis.

He groans, and grips onto her thigh with his hand.

He lost most of his erection from when he masturbated himself, so he’s no longer fully erect, and God… she’s so gentle with him. He inhales deeply, and massages her thigh as her hands move slowly against him. Her hands are warm, and like silk with the added lubrication from the oil.

“Don’t use a masturbation stroke, draga,” he murmurs, moving his hand to caress her ass. “I like how slow you are… it feels good, and uh… the longer it takes to get me off…”

Lucy nods her head, and repositions herself.

She rises on her knees and straddles him, pressing her center on his groin.

She holds one hand at the base of his penis, and wraps her other hand around his shaft, and slowly draws her hand towards its tip. Then she does the same with her other hand, then the other, over and over with a firm hold on him – massaging his dick. She holds his shaft against her abdomen as her hand lowers to its base again. Then slowly, and with a firm grip, she runs her hands up his length – tightening her thumb and index finger around his tip, then returning her hands back to the base.

Garcia places his hand on the back of her leg, his fingertips near the crease of her ass. He watches her breasts as they jut forward then back as she moves her body so his dick makes contact with her abdomen as she massages him. 

He moans as she begins to slowly grind her wetness gently against his balls.

Lucy looks at him and sees that he’s focused on watching her body move against his scrotum. She smiles, reaching down to carefully stroke his balls with her fingertips as she saw him do to himself earlier.

A groan emits from deep in his throat.

“’t’s good, Lucy…” he murmurs, as he moves his hand to massage her ass.

She nods her head and removes her leg from across his hips.

She kneels beside him and lowers her mouth to kiss the tip of his dick – a soft, gentle, lingering kiss. She feels his cock firm between the part in her lips, and she slowly circles the underside of her tongue around the soft skin of his head. Her hands wrap around his hardened shaft, moving up and down, and twisting gently around his girth.

His grip on her ass pulsates at the same rhythm of her strokes.

Garcia tilts his head back with his mouth open as sparks tingle through his arms, chest, and legs. He spreads his hand, and his fingers grope just inside the crack of her ass.

“Stop,” he growls.

Lucy removes her mouth and hands from his dick.

She looks down at him, panting in the same rhythm as him.

Pre-cum glistens on the tip of his penis, and Lucy sensually bites her lower lip.

She looks into his eyes, and lays next to him with her head tucked beneath his shoulder – allowing him a couple minutes to back off. She runs her fingers through his chest hair, and kisses his shoulder. “Talk to me, Garcia…” she whispers.

“Mhm,” he swallows, then smiles at her. “I like how…” he swallows again, “how you touch me, and the way you incorporate your body to stroke me, and for me to watch, but um… oral might be too much, and uh… I need a few minutes to uh…”

“I know,” she tells him, kissing and caressing his cheek. “You don’t have to explain.” She runs her hand through his hair. “Is there anything I could do better, or that you would like me to do to you?”

“I liked when you pressed yourself against my balls, that was unexpected and incredibly hot.” He kisses the top of her head. “Right now, though, the pressure you were using, it’s too much, so… lighter strokes, and um…” He runs his hand through his hair, and his voice cracks when he tells her, “With Lorena… I was… I was multi-orgasmic, and maybe if we’re lucky, I might… maybe you could help me… get off more than once?”

“Oh?” Lucy is surprised. “I didn’t… guys can do that?”

“Took a lot of practice, but yeah… we did some reading, and research, but we uh… figured it out.” He swallows hard. “If I can orgasm without ejaculation at least once tonight, then later when we make love, I’ll be able to orgasm with you a few times, last longer, and uh...” He runs his hand over his face.

“Are you blushing, Garcia Flynn?” Lucy asks flirtatiously. “And… are you asking me to help you have more than one orgasm tonight?”

“Maybe,” he says, pulling her to him. He kisses her. “But if it doesn’t happen, I don’t want either of us to be disappointed because, like I said… it takes practice. And I’m very much out of practice.”

“You’ll have to let me know exactly what you need because everyone I’ve been with has been one shot, and done.” She smiles, and kisses him.

“It’s on me,” he says. “I’ll have to not give in to the need to ejaculate immediately with my first orgasm… um… squeeze my muscles to prevent ejaculation as I… as I orgasm, and…” He looks into her eyes. “As I said… I’m out of practice so if it doesn’t happen then…”

“Then it’s something that we’ll keep working on together, hm?”

He smiles as he looks into her eyes, and asks, “Are you sure you don’t want me to touch you, draga?” He runs his hand through her hair. “Mutual masturbation is hot, you know? And…” He lowers his hand and runs it down her neck, between her breasts, and cups her between the legs. “You’re already so wet.”

“I want tonight to be about your pleasure, Garcia,” she says. “Not mine. And if you’re thinking about touching me, I want you to stop, and to focus on how I make you feel.”

“Is it ok? The way I’ve been touching you already?” he asks.

“I like it,” she says. “It makes me feel connected to you, to feel the way your hold on me changes with your level of arousal.” She kisses his shoulder. “I like feeling your strength, dušo… I like being reminded of how physically powerful, and dangerous you can be,” she purrs into his ear, nipping at his earlobe with her lips. “And knowing that as strong as you are, that you’ll never hurt me unless I ask you to...”

Garcia groans hearing her suggest she might want it a little rough one day. He likes being a slow, gentle lover, but there’s another side of him that enjoys letting his inhibitions go.

“And um…” Lucy’s panting, “I was kinda hoping you’d give me a little spanking when you wanted me to stop…”

He raises his brow. “You want me to spank you when I need you to stop?” His voice is raspy, aroused at the thought that Lucy enjoys a little pain with pleasure too.

“That, or if I’m not in a position to spank me, then you could just gently slap whatever part of my body is easiest for you to reach…”

Lucy raises her leg and drapes it over his as she presses her breasts against his chest. She kisses him, inching her thigh up his until it nudges his balls. “And um…” she licks the long muscle of his neck, “when we do make love… you can pinch my nipples as hard as you want… even if I sound like I’m in pain…” She moves her fingertips across his nipple, and pulls at it.

Garcia groans. “I like a little pleasure and pain too, draga…”

He looks her in the eyes as he takes her hand in his, leading it back down to his penis.

They both sigh contentedly as Lucy begins slowly stroking his shaft again.

More comfortable now, Garcia parts his legs wider than she had spread him before – inviting her to touch his balls more frequently.

He closes his eyes and relaxes as she rests her head on his shoulder.

She looks down at her hand as she slowly fondles his partial-erection. “I like touching you,” she whispers. “The way I can feel the warmth of your cock… how your texture becomes more pronounced as you get aroused… and how you swell in the palm of my hand…”

He clears his throat and whispers, “Još…”

Lucy nods her head, understanding that he wants more, so she tightens her grip on him as she strokes him tip to base. She kisses him again, opening her mouth, and he hungrily thrusts his tongue into her mouth as he holds onto her lower back, pressing her body against his.

Their lips part, and Lucy looks into his eyes as his hand strokes her back, matching the speed of her strokes on his cock. She moans with him as her thumb circles around the tip of his penis. She kisses his jaw, and tells him, “I like the uh… thickness of you…”

He grunts and his hips involuntarily thrust against her.

He feels on edge again, so he slaps her lower back to let her know to back off.

She removes her hand from him, and instead rests it on his pubic hair.

He’s panting as he looks into her eyes, there’s concern on his face, and he breathlessly asks, “I’m not too thick for you, am I?” He closes his eyes, swallowing hard as he tries to focus on the way her breasts feel pressed against his torso, anything to detract from the throbbing, warming sensations in his cock.

“No…” she answers, “but um… you will be the most well-endowed man I’ve been with.” She smiles and runs her fingertips through his pubic hair.

He smiles wide, feeling silly for feeling proud of her comment about his size. He pulls her to him and kisses her. “It’s stupid, but…” he chuckles, “thank you for the compliment.”

Lucy smiles, lowering her eyes as she blushes. “It’s not stupid, Garcia…” she murmurs, then takes a deep breath. “You’re beautiful… every inch of you…” she kisses his shoulder, “and… imagining you entering me for the first time, it’s…” she takes a deep breath, “exhilarating, and uh… you’re so… thick and… I know I’m going to cry when I feel you inside me, and…” she swallows hard, “we’re going to have to buy lube because um…”

Garcia runs his hand through her hair. He whispers to her. “Wrap your hand around me, Lucy… don’t stroke me, but hold me tight.”

Lucy swallows, and wraps her hand tightly around his girth.

He groans, and the muscles all over his body tense.

“Like that?” she asks.

He nods his head, and groans, “Mmhm...” He swallows and tries to focus on her. “If I’m the uh… biggest you’ve been with then…” he wets his lips, “I promise I’ll spend more than an adequate amount of time on foreplay, draga…” He takes a slow, deep breath to relax. “Aside from the physical act of fucking, I uh… I enjoy taking my time with foreplay.”

Lucy’s heart pounds and she feels her arousal seep between her legs. She blushes, imagining how good Garcia Flynn is at foreplay. She swallows hard, and asks, “How… how do you want me to touch your balls?” Her voice is timid, unused to asking her lover what he likes. “I tried to mimic what I saw you doing, but how do you want me to touch you? The same way, or… different?”

“Move your hand there…” he instructs, “and uh… a light rub with the palm of your hand… and a gentle squeeze is…”

Lucy lowers her hand and rubs his scrotum with the palm of her hand, then gently cups his balls in her hand and very gently squeezes him – releasing the pressure, and squeezing him again.

Her touch is soft.

Garcia mumbles quietly in Croatian, and gropes hard onto the side of her torso. “Mmm… jače… harder…” he moans, turning his head to look into her eyes.

Lucy shakes her head, and whispers, “I don’t want to hurt you.”

He nods, and places his hand on hers – guiding her, showing her what he likes. He moves her hand carefully, and more firmly against his balls. He raises his knees, and guides her hand lower. He grunts as he uses his finger to press hers against his perineum.

He involuntarily bucks his hips, and growls her name, “Lucy…” He throws his head back against his pillow and takes a deep breath. He removes his hand from hers, and gives her full control of his body. He raises both his arms above his head, and watches her.

Lucy trembles as she inhales and exhales with him. And it feels like she’s gushing between her legs, she’s so turned on. She looks into his eyes as she works her palm against his balls, and continues sliding and pressing her middle finger on his perineum.

He’s taking deep, shallow breaths.

Pre-cum seeps from his tip, so she sits up, rising onto her knees to lean over him to lick it away with the tip of her tongue.

He groans loudly, and bucks his hips.

Not wanting him to ejaculate, Lucy backs off.

She can tell he’s close to coming, so she stops stimulating him. Instead, she moves her hand to stroke his calf muscle. She turns so her back is to him, and lowers her head between his spread legs. She gingerly sucks at the skin of his inner thigh as her breasts sway against his cock.

“Stop,” he tells her.

Lucy sits up, and turns back to him.

She lies beside him.

His erection is full and pre-cum drips onto his stomach.

His body rises and falls as he takes deep breaths to calm himself.

He kisses the side of her head.

Then he touches her arm, stroking it firmly with the palm of his hand as Lucy caresses his chest. Her fingertips trail along the vertical scar on his abdomen.

She moves down his body, and props herself up on her arm so she can trail little kisses from the top of his scar to the bottom, gently nudging his cock with her chin as she kisses the scar near his navel. She moans quietly and looks up at him through lowered eyes as she moves her hand up the side of his torso to cup his breast. She gently pinches his nipple, and lowers her mouth to his scar again. She takes her time licking it from bottom to top – taking care to clean the pre-cum from his stomach with her tongue. She smiles up at him, trailing little lingering kisses back down to the edge of his pubic hair as she caresses his hip with her thumb.

She lowers her hand to press firmly against his hip as she tilts her head to the side against his abdomen. She sighs, closes her eyes, and smiles – finding so much pleasure in touching him.

Garcia looks down at her with adoration. There’s no way he’s going to slap her face or her head to let her know he wants her to touch his dick again, so he runs his hand through her hair, and gives it a little tug.

Lucy lifts her head and looks up into his eyes.

The underside of his erection is exposed as it rests on his stomach. Lucy keeps her eyes locked with his as she runs her fingertips slowly up and down the underside of his penis, avoiding his sensitive sweet spot just beneath its head. Her eyes leave his and she looks at the pre-cum glistening on his tip. She cups it, and uses his fluid as lubrication as she moves the palm of her hand forward and back against his head.

Garcia arches his lower back, pressing his shoulder blades hard into the mattress. He squeezes his eyes so tightly that he sees sparks flashing behind his eyes. He groans loudly and sustains it for several seconds. The sensation of Lucy’s palm fucking the tip of his dick is phenomenal, an intense sensation that he’s never felt before.

She rocks her palm around his tip, smearing his pre-cum. Then she slowly runs her hand down to his base, pushing his dick forward onto his abdomen as she leans down and drips saliva onto its underside. She licks the pre-cum from his tip, and swallows it. Then her finger massages her saliva against his frenulum.

His dick twitches under her touch, and he groans loudly again. He reaches down and weaves his fingers into her hair as he grabs onto her head, massaging her scalp.

Lucy moans and rubs her cheek against his shaft, turning her head to kiss it with soft, parted lips as she continues to stroke his full length. She inhales and exhales noisily through her mouth, looking up at him from lowered eyes.

His eyes are closed and every muscle in his face is tense.

She releases him from her grip, and his dick springs up and hits his abdomen.

Garcia grunts, wanting nothing more than for her to continue stroking him.

“Mmm…” she purrs, giving him an adoring grin as she crawls up his body.

She hovers over his chest, and lowers her mouth to twirl her tongue around his erect nipple. He groans, opening his eyes to smile at her. Reaching up to run his hand through her hair.

She lays next to him, continuing to play with his nipples.

“You’re close, aren’t you?” she whispers as she cups his jaw in her hand. “Do you want me to bring you to orgasm now, or do you want to calm down so I can build you back up again?”

Garcia looks down at her.

He rolls onto his side and holds onto the back of her head, and kisses her.

“C’mere,” he growls.

Lucy smiles.

She’s already next to him, so she moves so the front of her body makes contact with his. She drapes her leg across his, pressing her wet core against him, and massages his bicep.

Garcia closes his eyes and smiles, “You’re so wet, Lucy…” He runs his hand down to touch her inner thigh which is soaked by her arousal. He lowers his voice to a rasp, and tells her, “I can’t wait to taste you.”

Lucy’s body shivers as he traces his fingers up her inner thigh, and along the crevasse of her outer lips – using her arousal for him as a lubricant to massage her skin. His hand moves up her body, caressing her abdomen, and cupping her breast in his hand.

He kisses her, and pinches her nipple hard between his fingers.

Lucy winces, and moans, squirming against him as she opens her mouth wide to his. He pinches her nipple even harder, sending shockwaves throughout her body. Then he gently slaps her nipple with his fingertips – then he pulls and tugs on it – not giving a damn that she told him not to pleasure her.

Lucy squeals and a pleasurable groan emits from deep in her throat.

She juts her breasts towards him, wanting more.

He slaps her nipple again – harder. Then fills his hand with her breast, gently squeezing and massaging it to soothe away any pain he’s given her. He lowers his face, and gropes her breast as his tongue circles around her nipple. Then he sucks it gently between his lips, flicking the tip of his tongue over it.

She writhes next to him, and he removes his mouth from her.

He looks into her eyes.

She’s smiling.

He grabs her again and presses his mouth to hers. He’s rough as he strokes and massages his tongue with hers. He withdraws, and Lucy cries out at the loss of contact. He growls her name, and bites her bottom lip, slowly building how rough he’s handling her. He twists her nipple hard between his fingers, let’s go, and slaps her breast with a cupped hand. Then he rubs his scruff against her skin to soothe where he hit her.

“Garcia…” Lucy moans, arching her back as his hand moves down the side of her body.

He cups his hand and spanks her ass hard. She whines loudly, and smiles as she holds onto the back of his neck. He rubs his hand tenderly over her skin where he spanked her, gently groping her to soothe the sting.

He gives her a wicked smile, rubbing his nose against hers. “You do like it a little rough, don’t you, Lucy…” his voice is raw.

“Mmm…” She takes his hand and leads it between her legs. “And don’t think my ass and breasts are the only place I like to be spanked, Garcia…” She sprawls her hand over his so that he covers her vulva. She slaps the back of his hand, hoping he gets the point. “But um… this isn’t about me, so…” She removes her hand from his.

He winks at her, and gently slaps her between the legs – making sure his fingers make contact with her engorged clit. She cries out and smiles at him, letting him get away with giving her just a little bit more pleasure.

He slides his wet palm across the front of her body, back up to rest on her breast.

“I want you to get me off, draga…” He murmurs, taking hold of the back of her head. He kisses her tenderly. “Handle me harder,” he says. “I love how gentle you’ve been with me, but… to get me there…” His voice is raw. “Harder… faster… and when my muscles start to contract… lightly tap my balls with the pads of your fingers, because… that makes me come so fucking hard,” he groans into her ear.

“Can you… can you show me how you like it?” She winces at her question. “I… I don’t want to hurt you.”

Garcia smiles at her, and says, “Give me your arm.” She does, and he holds her wrist, and very softly taps the pads of his fingers against the underside of her forearm. “Like that…” He wets his lips, and bites his bottom lip in anticipation.

Lucy nods, her voice breaking as she asks, “If I don’t do it, is… is that ok?” Her heart pounds in her chest, she’s never told anyone that she might not be comfortable doing something sexual that’s been asked of her.

He cups her jaw in his hand, looks her in the eyes, and says, “You don’t have to do anything you’re not comfortable with, Lucy.”

She nods her head, and whispers, “Thank you.”

She closes her eyes and takes several deep breaths in… and out…

“Are you ok?” he asks, his tone threatening to break the mood.

She nods. “Just learning it’s ok to assert myself intimately, that’s all.”

He sees the struggle in the lines of her brow, and he pulls her against him and wraps his arms around her, holding her tight. “I’m sorry, Lucy. I shouldn’t have asked that of you.”

“Don’t,” she says. “I want you to tell me what you like. I don’t want you to feel that you can’t express your desires to me.” She kisses his chest. “We’re new, and we’re still learning each other, and I’m ok. I’m just not used to the way you treat me, but… I’ll get there.”

She pulls out of his embrace and kisses his forehead, then lays next to him and lowers her hand between his legs. His penis has lost some of its hardness, and she’s certain it’s because of his concern for her.

He kisses the top of her head, and wraps his arm around her as she strokes him again.

She moves her hand slowly at first, and with a light touch to arouse him.

“Do you want to come in my hand, or my mouth?” she asks.

“Your hand,” he answers. “I want to look into your eyes when I finish.”

She nods, and increases the strength of her grip around his cock as she strokes him up and down. It grows steadily in her hand, and she rubs her palm against its underside, then all the way down to touch his balls. “Raise your knees, Garcia,” she murmurs.

He does as she asks, and groans as the palm of her hand caresses his balls, and her fingertip presses firmly against his perineum – applying a fast, pulsating pressure to it. Just the way he likes it. He lifts his hips off the mattress, bucking against her as she fondles him – wanting to feel her hand wrap around him again. Needing her to stroke him hard. 

Lucy rises on her arm, and trails her tongue along the front of his torso – she slows as her tongue traces his scar. She tugs his cock again, then presses it against his abdomen. She wets her lips, and licks the underside of his dick.

He writhes at her touch, gripping onto the bedsheets with his hands – groaning from the frustration of not yet having a release.

She circles her tongue around the tip of his penis, and sucks at the pre-cum that seeps out of him.

He sighs contentedly as she stops licking him.

His hand runs over the back of her head, gently pulling her hair to express how much he’s enjoying what she’s doing to him. To include her in his pleasure.

Lucy’s eyes scan his body, watching how he reacts to her touch – the way his chest rises and falls with the shortness of his breath, how the muscles in his arms twitch as his excitement builds. His eyes are closed, and there’s tension in his face.

She hovers over him, and kisses his shoulder. Then slowly strokes his shaft again – feeling it throbbing against the palm of her hand as she increases her speed, stroking him fast, and hard – over and over. She lowers herself and licks his tip, and takes his pre-cum into her mouth, and moans loudly as his hips buck against her – sending soft vibrations throughout his body.

“Mm… I love how you taste, dušo…” she whispers, tilting her head, and pursing her lips to kiss the side of his shaft as she rubs the palm of her hand on his tip.

He whines and his body squirms at her touch.

She inhales deeply, and speaks quietly, with a sultry voice, “I want you to fuck me slowly, Garcia… I want to feel every inch of you inside me…” She inhales loudly through her nose, and slowly exhales onto his tip. She kisses his dick again, squeezing his shaft with her hand, twisting her grip as she strokes him up and down. “I want to fuck your balls with my pussy…” She sinks between his legs, and opens her mouth over his balls. She presses her lips against his sack, and hums.

Garcia cries out and lifts his hips high off the mattress, his hands pulling the sheets off the corners of the bed. He whimpers as Lucy gently licks his scrotum with the fullness of her tongue, and circles her finger on his perineum. Her other hand continues to stroke his shaft, tugging and pulling at the skin of his erection.

“You make me so wet, Garcia…” she purrs, removing her hand from his dick. “Look at me,” she tells him.

He grunts, and takes a deep breath as he looks down at Lucy.

She looks into his eyes, and says breathlessly, “Look at my hand, Garcia…” as she lowers it between her legs, lubricating her palm with her own arousal before using it to stroke him.

“Fuck,” Garcia grunts, thrusting hard against her hand which is now covered with her own arousal for him – which only makes what she’s doing that much hotter. He arches his back and moans, “Lucy… poljubi me… molim poljubi me…”

Lucy raises an eyebrow.

She moves up his body, taking the time to flick her tongue over his nipple – his body twitches – as her thumb gently circles the tip of his penis. She rests on her elbow and looks down into his eyes. Then, she does as he asks, and kisses him.

He moans into her mouth as her tongue searches for his.

And her hand keeps stroking, and squeezing his dick as he feels the warmth and pressure of his semen pulsing through his shaft. He grunts, thrusting his cock into the palm of her hand. The center of his tip warms as more pre-cum begins spilling out of him.

He turns his head to break their kiss.

He gasps as Lucy increases the intensity, and speed of her strokes – faster and faster – and her thumb swirls around his tip. He looks into her eyes, and cups her face in his hand and tells her with jagged breath, “So close… draga…” He groans loudly, straining the muscles in his neck as he holds his breath.

“Breathe…” Lucy purrs into his ear, nibbling gently on his earlobe.

Which is almost enough to push him over the goddamn edge.

He looks into her eyes, and swallows hard – groaning, and grunting with the rhythm of her hand.

Lucy shifts position, and drapes her leg over his, and he can feel her wetness pressing against his thigh. She buries her face into his neck, and kisses and sucks on the long muscle of his neck.

He whimpers, and weakly cries her name, “Lucy…” Then mutters incoherently in another language as her fingertips thrust against the sensitive spot beneath the head of his penis. He cries out again, and props himself up onto his elbows to watch Lucy’s hand as she strokes him.

The head of his dick pumps in and out between her fingers, pre-cum spilling all over her hand.

He grunts loudly.

Over and over again.

Lucy looks into his eyes.

Her breathing is as heavy and rapid as his.

She wets her lips and tells him, “Keep… keep your eyes open, and… look into my eyes, Garcia…” her voice is hoarse, aroused.

Garcia cries out again, feeling his testicles pulling upward.

Every muscle in his body tenses, and he knows there’s no turning back – no stopping the inevitable.

He’s at the point of no return.

He locks eyes with Lucy as he continues pumping his cock into her hand. His ass raises off the mattress with each powerful thrust, and he rolls onto his side to face her. And now his tip thrusts against her abdomen, and her hand… her hand… twists and turns, and strokes, and tugs, and pulls, and…

His face flushes and contorts as he fights the urge to close his eyes and fall back against his pillow. The intensity of his coming orgasm is almost too much to handle. The muscles in his abdomen twitch, and his legs spasm, and his desire to throw Lucy onto her back and thrust his goddamn cock into her is beyond overwhelming.

He breaks eye contact with her and watches her hand move on his cock – the tip of her pinky finger is making intermittent contact with his balls.

Bliss.

Pure. Fucking. Bliss.

He feels his face tingle – a sensation that washes over every inch of his body from his head to his toes. Sparks jolt through him, pleasuring him, and he… he can’t hold off much longer.

He growls, and his eyes are carnal – he’s losing control of his body, submitting himself completely to her. He’s panting, moaning, and grunting, and… Lucy presses her breasts against him to push him onto his back, but he’s too strong, and he pushes himself back onto his side to face her.

Their eyes meet again, and he holds onto her waist as he continues fucking her hand.

“I love…” he grunts again, and his face contorts. Beads of sweat begin sliding down his forehead. He groans deep. “Lucy… I’m…”

“Come for me,” Lucy whispers, gripping his cock harder as she strokes him – wanting to feel him pulsate and ejaculate on her.

She kisses him, drowning her tongue deep into his mouth.

He snaps his head away from her, which throws him onto his back.

“Fuck,” he hisses – his back arching. “Nabij mi ga jače!” His eyes are wild as he turns his head to look into Lucy’s eyes. “Tucaj me…” He rolls onto his side again, and thrusts hard into her hand.

Deep inside his cock there’s a pumping sensation as the muscles around his penis contract – followed by the rush of his semen shooting through his urethra.

He whimpers, and then cries out, “Jebote… svrši mi!” as he grabs onto Lucy by the back of her neck, intending to kiss her as he orgasms, but instead he falls on top of her as semen explodes out of him and into her hand. He buries his face into her neck, groaning her name, “Lucy…”

He thrusts his hips hard, and fast against her.

He groans.

And she moans with him, and kisses his temple as she continues to stroke him as he lifts his head and looks into her eyes.

“Garcia…” she murmurs, caressing the back of his neck with her free hand.

He adjusts his position so he’s on his knees, crouching over her upper thighs. He slides his arms beneath her shoulders – holding onto her back as he continues to thrust in her hand – unloading years of pent-up stress and frustration.

She raises her knees, and wraps her legs around his lower back so that her body rocks more easily with his thrusts. She lifts her head and kisses his lips as he slows his movement against her. Easing up on her grip on him as she relaxes her hand around him, resting it between her legs.

The underside of his dick lightly rubs against her clit which is soaked with his cum, and it feels fucking perfect – it’s not a hard enough stroke to get her off, but it’s just enough to stimulate her arousal. She looks into his eyes, and smiles. Enjoying the sensation of feeling his warm cum spreading between her legs, and sliding slowly down her ass onto the mattress.

His cock pulsates in her hand, and she softens her grip on him as his movement slows.

Sweat drips from his forehead onto her cheek.

He leans down, and kisses her – mumbling incoherent words as tears stream down his face. With his orgasm behind him, he continues to slowly thrust his cock in the palm of her hand as his body quivers above her.

He whimpers, “Lucy… draga moja…”

He stops thrusting, and spreads his legs out on top of hers, lowering the weight of his body on top of her. He buries his face into the crook of her neck, and sobs.

Lucy kisses the side of his head as she removes her hand from his softening cock, and moves her legs so her ankles rest beneath his knees. She gently runs one foot along the length of his calf down to his ankle. She takes a breath, removes her hand from between their bodies, and wipes it on the sheets to clean it of his semen.

She sighs contentedly, and wraps her arms around his neck, kissing the top of his head as she spreads her legs so the center of his body presses firmly against hers. She runs her fingers through his hair, and kisses his temple. His heart is pounding so hard she can feel it against her chest. Every muscle in his body twitches as his body struggles to return to a state of self-consciousness.

He sobs quietly into her neck.

His breathing is hard, and he’s still writhing from the aftershocks of his climax.

She runs her toes along the back of his leg, then hooks her heel behind his knee - stroking the back of his head as he cries.

“I love you, Garcia…” she whispers, as she runs her hand through his hair.

He takes a deep breath, and trembles as he exhales.

His muscles relax, and he lifts himself to look into her eyes.

He caresses the side of her face, kissing her as he moves his hand between her legs. He ejaculated so close to her vagina, and he’s not sure if it’s her arousal for him, or his semen that he feels between her legs. He closes his eyes and sighs; he knows it’s both.

“I’m sorry, Lucy…”

Lucy touches his face, and he looks at her.

“It’s ok,” she tells him.

“You could still get pregnant...” He’s worried, so he sits up and grabs three tissues from the box on the nightstand. He begins wiping her clean, the muscles in his hand still quivering from his orgasm.

“Garcia…” She touches his back. “I promise you, it’s ok.”

He stops and looks at her. “Are you sure?”

“Of course…” She smiles affectionately at him. “It’s you and me.”

He nods and drops the tissues to the floor, and sits near the edge of the bed, facing her.

Lucy sits up, and straddles him, wrapping her legs around his waist as he gathers her in his arms.

“Do you want me to touch you too?” he whispers in her ear. “You’re so wet and… it’d probably take a few strokes to get you off…”

“You don’t have to,” she says, kissing his temple, and running her hands through his hair. “Tonight… it was just for you.” She kisses away a tear on his cheek. “I enjoyed pleasuring you, dušo.”

He looks away, blushing as a soft smile spreads across his face.

“I’ve uh… it’s different for me not to take care of your orgasm,” he says. “No one has ever made it only about me.” He kisses her forehead. “I hope you felt good doing it,” he whispers.

Lucy takes his hand and holds his palm over her heart. “My heart is racing just thinking about how I touched you, and how I made you feel, Garcia.” She gives him a reassuring smile. “And…” She lowers his hand from her chest to rest between her legs. “That wetness… it’s not just you, dušo... Touching you, and hearing you respond to me, and… watching your arousal…” She takes a deep breath and closes her eyes, pressing his fingers between her folds.

Garcia groans and lowers his face into the crook of her neck and kisses her. “Lucy…” He gently curls his fingertips deep within her lips, moving his middle finger upward to graze her clit. “Are you sure…” he whispers.

She moans, spreading her legs slightly, so he circles his middle finger around her opening – then slowly slides it deep inside her, curling his finger to touch her G spot. He presses his palm against her clit and applies soft, pulsating pressure.

Lucy trembles at his touch, but tells him, “I’m sure… and…” she moans, “that feels good, but… I’ll be… I’ll be ok…”

Garcia removes his finger from inside her, and licks it clean.

He kisses her neck.

She moans, closing her eyes, and tells him quietly, “I meant it when I said I wanted tonight to be about your pleasure.” She smiles at him and kisses his forehead. “But I’m tired, and I’m sure you are too, and… this bed is warm, and more comfortable than anything else we’ve slept on in the last week, and…”

He nods his head, and runs his hand through her hair. “I won’t lie, draga… I want to touch every inch of your body… I want to learn how you like to be touched… and make you feel overwhelmed with love, just as you made me feel.” He kisses her. “But um… after what you just did for me…” He blushes. “I’m… I feel so good – relaxed, but I’m tired too, so… why don’t we rinse off in the shower, put on warm pajamas, and fall asleep in each other’s arms, hm?”

Lucy nods her head, and holds his face in her hands. She looks into his eyes and tells him, “Thank you for trusting me to be with you for this… I um… I don’t know everything you were thinking, but I know that you’ve said you were concerned that your feelings for Lorena might…”

Garcia shakes his head, and presses his lips against hers to erase her uncertainty about who he was thinking of as she pleasured him.

He pulls back, and rests his forehead against hers.

All my thoughts were of you, Lucy.” He smiles tenderly, and adds, “I love the way you touched me, and how good you made me feel. It’s… it’s been a long time since I’ve felt that way.” He rubs his nose against hers. “I’m happy it was with you, and that I shared this with you.” He kisses her cheek. “You are everything I want, draga… Lorena, she’s… she’s my past…” He cups her face in his hand and looks deep into her eyes. “You’re my present… and you are my future, Lucy.”

Lucy presses her lips together to keep herself from crying as she nods her head.

She runs her hand over the top of his head, and unwraps her legs from around him. She rises to her knees, and kneels between his legs, looking down into his eyes. He wraps his arms around her, and rests his head between her breasts. Lucy strokes the back of his neck and kisses the top of his head.

“I love you, Garcia.”

“And I love you, Lucy,” he murmurs.

She smiles then crawls out of bed, offering him her hand as he stands.

She lowers her eyes and looks at his penis, it’s soft now.

She wets her lips.

Garcia huffs and smiles at her, flirtatiously asking, “Are you checking me out?”

“I am,” she says, then she looks up into his eyes. “And I’m thinking about what I want to do to you next time.” She steps close to him, and presses her index finger into his chest, and whispers, “And next time, Garcia… svrši mi unutra…” she rises on her toes and kisses his jaw, “svrši mi duboko unutra…”

A groan escapes his mouth when he hears her talk dirty to him in Croatian. He wets his lips, and lowers his voice to tell her, “Next time, Lucy… I’ll bury myself so deep inside you that you’ll feel things you’ve never felt before… I promise.” He lowers his face to hers, and kisses her as he holds her jaw between his fingertips.

Lucy trembles at the very thought of Garcia Flynn pushing deep inside her, stretching her in ways no other man has done before, filling every inch of her with his cock as he comes.

He pulls back and looks her in the eyes, then lowers them to look at her body, thinking of the many ways he wants to make love to her – he sighs.

Lucy takes his hand in hers, and leads him towards the bathroom with her.

He stops.

“I should um… I’m going to change the sheets,” he says, gesturing to their bed. “It’s messy, and… I don’t want us to have to dodge around the wet spot in order to fall asleep.” He raises her hand to his lips and kisses her knuckles. “I’ll join you after I get the sheets in the washer, and remake the bed.”

Lucy looks up at him from lowered eyes. She steps to him, and kisses his chest. She nods her head, and without a word, she lets go of his hand, and enters the bathroom.

Garcia watches her as she walks away from him – his eyes on her ass. He closes his eyes and imagines her laying on her stomach beneath him, as he holds her hands above her head, and spanks her ass as his lips devour her back. Then as he flips her onto her back, and pushes his cock deep inside her and fucks her slowly.

He opens his eyes and watches her. She looks back at him with a soft smile as she turns on the water, and steps into the shower.

He runs his hand through his hair, and exhales sharply.

What she did for him tonight, it was… it was the best orgasm he’s ever had. And they’ve just begun learning how to touch each other, and how to stimulate each other. He imagines that over time – especially once he gets back in the practice of withholding ejaculation so he can have multiple orgasms – that the sex with Lucy is going to be fucking magnificent.

He huffs, chuckling quietly to himself as he rubs the back of his neck.

He goes to their bed, glancing over his shoulder to look at Lucy’s blurred body through the frosted shower doors. She’s running her hand through her hair, and down the front of her body.

He watches as her hand moves slowly between her legs, and hears her soft moan rise up from the gentle splashing of water on the shower tiles. She reaches in front of her and places her hand on the wall as her other hand continues moving against her sex.

She grunts, and moans his name.

If this was any other night, he’d join her in that shower right now. Replace her hand with his, or lower himself to his knees in front of her to taste her – inserting his fingers inside her to massage her to orgasm.

But he won’t join her now.

Not until she’s done.

Not until his being there is only to wash up before sleep.

She groans loudly again, and he sits down at the foot of their bed.

But… it won’t hurt to take a moment to watch and listen to her…

He strokes his flaccid dick, knowing his efforts won’t bring him to orgasm so soon after ejaculating, but that doesn’t mean that touching himself doesn’t feel good.

She cries out as she quickly brings herself over the edge.

Garcia takes a deep breath, and squeezes his dick – imagining that her walls are crashing down around him.

He smiles, happy that his woman has given herself a sweet release.

He swallows hard, and lets go of his dick.

He stands up, unable to wipe the satisfied grin from his face.

And he strips the bed.


Everything feels different now.

Lucy lies on her back and watches Garcia as he sleeps.

She runs her hand through his hair, and smiles.

She’s happy.

The uncertainties that she’s carried about Garcia’s love for her have been erased. The trust he had in her last night to help him work through his own sexual insecurities, the way they communicated with each other throughout the experience… Lucy sighs, and carefully touches the side of his face as he sleeps. The way she feels in her mind, heart, and body… she thought this emotion only existed in books or movies. She never thought it was possible to love someone so much, and for him to love her in return.

She smiles, thinking of the way he rested his forehead against hers, looked her in the eyes and assured her that all his thoughts were of her, and how she made him feel. Her heart flutters, hearing his voice echo in her ear:

You’re my present… and you are my future, Lucy.

It’s euphoria.

There’s no turning back.

They belong to each other.

Lucy sighs then leans over and kisses his shoulder.

Lucy Elizabeth Flynn, she thinks as she rests her head next to him.

She inhales deeply, and exhales.

Her eyes close, and she holds her hand over her abdomen.

You wouldn’t be able to go on missions if you’re pregnant.

There’s a part of her that hopes she gets pregnant soon. That maybe if she did, Rittenhouse would magically cease to exist, and all the damage they had done would be erased. And her and Garcia would be able to live their lives peacefully, and build their family.

She wonders now, if she got pregnant in 2017, would Garcia continue to go on these dangerous missions? Would he continue fighting Rittenhouse while she stayed behind? Or would he walk away to be with her and their child?

On the Carpathia, they talked about leaving the present to go into the past to have their baby. How they would stay there for at least five years until it was safe for their child to travel in a time machine.

And what if the day came where Jiya or his mother came to bring them back, and they didn’t want to leave? What if they find happiness living in the past? Would they even want to return?

It’s not like she truly belongs in this new timeline anyway.

I don’t belong… it’s ok… let me go…

Of course, they’d consider his mom, and her sister – who she very much wants involved in their lives. She wants to have family to visit on holidays, a sister to call when they need a babysitter, and a grandmother to spoil their little girl rotten.

Lucy smiles and rubs her abdomen.

Their little girl.

You said that you couldn’t be a father after what you’ve done. But you can, ok?

Maybe it was Fate that she was the one to tell him he could be a father again. At that time, Garcia had read the journal. He knew that the possibility existed that they could fall in love and conceive a child. Was it one of those moments where he felt without doubt that what was written in the journal was destined? What must it have felt like for him to hear her say those words?

No wonder he looked at her the way he did in Chicago hours later.

She’ll never forget the shyness in his eyes, and the smile on his face when their eyes made contact when she stood on that stage next to Harry Houdini. The way her heart fluttered as she averted her gaze, feeling for the first time the sparks that exist between them.

After she returned from 1893, she would lie awake at night replaying every soft look and smile he had given her when they were in Chicago. And she’d be lying if she said she hadn’t fantasized about him, and touched herself thinking of him and the way he looked at her… his scruff… and the way the straps of his shoulder holster rested against his torso…

She looks at him lovingly now, wondering what she ever did to deserve him.

Garcia snorts, and then rolls onto his back with his arm hanging over the side of the bed.

Lucy smiles.

She loves him so damn much.

She sits up and places a soft, lingering kiss on his cheek.

A smile crosses his face, and he continues to snore peacefully in his sleep.

She quietly gets out of bed, turning to him to pull the blanket back up to cover his body.

The time on the clock reads seven-thirty.

She huffs with a smile, so much for sleeping in.

Her arms raise over her head as she arches her back, yawning – the front of her long-sleeve pajama top lifts, exposing her navel. She runs her hands through her hair as she walks to their dresser, pulling out Garcia’s burgundy turtleneck sweater. She decides against wearing jeans, opting to keep on the comfortable black pajama bottoms she wears now.

She changes into the sweater – forgoing a bra – then goes into the bathroom. She finds an elastic band in a drawer and uses her hands to pull her hair up into a high ponytail.

She looks at her reflection in the mirror.

She smiles.

It’s hard to believe that one month ago, she was a prisoner at Rittenhouse. Doing everything she could to convince her mother that she was loyal to the group. All the while her mind racing, trying to figure out how to destroy them on her own – even if that meant giving her life. She had known then that Garcia was the only one still alive that wanted to destroy them too, and she’d hoped her feigned loyalty to Rittenhouse would give her access to him.

It had.

And as chaotic, violent, and traumatizing as it has been… it has brought them together in ways she never thought possible. With her and Garcia, everything is natural, almost inevitable. They were partners, then they became friends, close friends. Now they are lovers, and one day they will be husband and wife. Then finally, they will become parents.

The six weeks she spent as a prisoner of Rittenhouse seems like an entire lifetime ago.

Like a nightmare rather than a memory.

Lucy closes her eyes and calculates how long it had been since she arrived at the prison. Taking into account the days spent in 1912… they have been together for… twenty-four days.

If she didn’t know her own heart, she would never believe how quickly they went from a volatile mistrust of each other, to loving and trusting each other unconditionally.

It’s almost as if God himself led them to each other. 

She smiles.

She turns off the bathroom light, and leans against the doorframe.

Garcia is still asleep.

He’s never been so relaxed and at peace.

Her heart aches to hold him in her arms, to kiss his lips, and love him for the rest of her life.

Her locket is on top of the dresser, she picks it up and opens it – shaking her head at the water damaged picture of Amy. She wonders if Garcia knows how to – or knows someone who can – restore the photograph. She misses her sister so much, and wishes she could pick up the phone right now to call her, and tell her that she’s in love with Garcia, that they want to be married, and they’ve already been discussing having children together.

But she can’t.

She has to protect Amy from any exposure to this war, and keep her safe from Rittenhouse.

Amy cannot be brought into this mess.

She sighs and clasps the necklace around her neck.

She wraps her hand around Garcia’s ring and closes her eyes – thinking of Lorena and Iris.

How can they save them?

Their journal is in the drawer of the nightstand, and she retrieves it.

She takes it with her as she leaves the room, and makes her way downstairs. She sets the journal down on the couch, then goes to the kitchen. First, she’ll have breakfast, and then she’ll sit with the journal and brainstorm how they can save Lorena and Iris.

She places her hands on her hips and looks around Maria’s kitchen.

Pancakes would be wonderful, but the last time she attempted to make them was when she visited Garcia in prison. They broke apart into small pieces, and she presented them to Garcia as ‘pancake bites.’ Not as bad as the time she set off the smoke detector in her apartment, but still… She opens the pantry and takes out a box of Cocoa Puffs, and pours it into a bowl.

She goes to the refrigerator.

She pauses and traces her fingertips across a drawing that Iris made for her grandmother on the refrigerator door. It was made with Crayons, and depicts stick figures of her mom, dad, grandma, and herself outside in the sun, standing among flowers. Lucy laughs to herself at how much taller Iris made Garcia in the drawing. She opens the door and takes out a carton of milk, turns and pours it over the cereal.

She sits down on the barstool and eats.

The framed photo of Garcia with Lorena and Iris is in front of her.

He’s standing behind his girls with a bright smile on his face, his hands on his wife’s shoulders, as she holds Iris on her lap. Lucy can almost hear the laughter coming from the smile on his little girl’s face. And can see in Lorena’s eyes that this photo isn’t the first photo taken of them that day, that Iris was a bundle of giggling energy, almost impossible to get to stay still for a photo. Garcia though, his eyes reflect pure happiness, enjoying every bit of the chaos that came with his little Iris.

Lucy smiles as tears sting her eyes.

They have to save them.

If they come out on the other side of this war without bringing them back, she’d never be able to forgive herself.

She takes a deep breath and exhales, then finishes her breakfast.

She leaves the bowl on the counter, and wanders back into the living room.

She sits in the corner of the couch, curling her legs up beside herself. The blanket she brought back with her from the Titanic is draped over the back of the couch. She takes it and covers herself.

She turns on the TV, and stops on Saturday morning cartoons.

She smiles, and laughs to herself as she watches Wile E. Coyote attempt to catch the Road Runner with various asinine devices from the Acme Corporation which always fail him in the most ridiculous ways.

Meep meep.

She shakes her head, smiling as she starts comparing herself and Garcia to these characters.

She, the Road Runner; Garcia, Wile E. Coyote.

Despite having no idea what she was getting herself into when she first stepped into the Lifeboat back in October, she became a natural at out-witting Garcia when they were working against each other.

She prevented him from assassinating General Grant, escaped Castle Varlar when Garcia had thought he’d caught them with Nazis, set him up for a gunfight with Rittenhouse agents in 1972, stood in front of him so he wouldn’t kill a child in 1780, plotted right in front of him with Houdini to escape him in Chicago, and confronted him in 1954 and stopped him from blowing up the Rittenhouse summit.

The ways he approached trying to destroy Rittenhouse back then weren’t as ludicrous as the Coyote’s attempts to capture the Road Runner, but their dynamics are kind of similar. He wasn’t trying to capture her. Well, actually, he kind of was.

For a while, it seemed he was Hell bent on convincing her to join him – even going as far to say that one day they would be ‘quite the team’ – and he wasn’t wrong.

But like this cartoon bird, she continuously frustrated him, and foiled his efforts.

Or maybe…

Maybe their dynamic is more like Tom & Jerry – a cat-and-mouse game. The constant pursuit, the near captures, and many escapes.

Lucy rolls her eyes.

The changes in herself over the last few weeks are striking.

She smiles.

But that’s ok.

Life isn’t perfect, but at least it’s starting to feel normal again.


Garcia’s eyes flutter as he wakes up with the sun shining on his face from the bedroom window. He takes a breath and smiles. For the first time in so long, he feels good. He rolls over to wrap his arms around Lucy, but she’s not in bed beside him.

He sighs, wondering how long she’s been awake.

Last night, he had been so exhausted.

After watching Lucy pleasure herself in the shower, he took their dirty bedsheets downstairs to the laundry room. But he couldn’t stop thinking about Lucy – the way she touched herself, and the way she moaned his name while doing it. He had touched himself watching her, but downstairs in the damn laundry room, he found himself aroused again.

Lucy masturbating was all he could think about, and he was surprised to discover that unlike a few years back, his refractory period didn’t last as long as he remembered. Fuck. It couldn’t have been more than forty minutes after his orgasm with Lucy that he found himself hard again.

He’d put the dirty sheets in the washing machine, then locked himself in the downstairs bathroom and quickly jerked himself off over the toilet. He felt like a fucking teenager doing it this way. But he didn’t want to go upstairs and get into the shower with Lucy while hard. He didn’t want her to think that he expected her to get him off again.

He didn’t care to try to prolong his pleasure, so he stroked himself as quickly as he could.

He came hard, and he came fast.

Lucy expected him to join her in the shower to wash off before going to sleep. And he didn’t want her wondering what was taking him so long getting their messy sheets in the wash.

He cleaned up his mess in the bathroom, washed his hands, and went upstairs.

After he remade their bed, he joined Lucy in the shower.

He doesn’t think she knew he had jerked himself off downstairs.

She didn’t need to know.

She’d turned to him, wrapping her arms around his neck and kissing him. Then they had both lathered each other’s bodies with vanilla scented body wash. Her muscles were just as tense as his, the last few months having been just as hard on her as they had been to him, so he’d massaged her neck, shoulders, and back as he placed gentle kisses on her skin.

She’d cried, and he’d wrapped his arms around her, holding her close. When he’d asked what was wrong, she had simply said “I love you,” and smiled up at him through her tears.

They hadn’t talked the rest of the night, relying solely on gentle touches and shared glances to communicate with each other. He’d stayed awake until Lucy was peacefully asleep in his arms.

He’d gently stroked her arm with his fingertips as he held her, and remained quiet as tears streamed down his face, realizing he had never loved anyone as strongly as he loves Lucy. Every day, every moment, and every second of intimacy they’d shared since they’d returned from Salem has brought them closer together.

Their connection, their bond, has only strengthened as they’ve become more intimate with each other. More trusting of one another as they reveal their desires and their fears. He’s opened himself up to Lucy in ways that he never could with Lorena, and he’s learned that it’s ok if he loves Lucy differently from how he loves Lorena.

There are so many things about himself that he keeps secret, that he wants to share with Lucy because he knows she won’t judge him, nor will she push him away. Things he never could tell Lorena because he had feared exposing her to the parts of him about which he is ashamed.

Things that he hasn’t dealt with about his past because he didn’t want what happened to him to burden anyone he loves. And now, these things – he lifts his shirt, and runs his hand down the length of his abdominal scar – he feels he might one day find the courage to tell Lucy about them because he knows that she loves every part of the man he is.

His light, and his darkness.

She’s seen him at his worst – when he made the decision to kill John Rittenhouse, a child begging for his life – and she stopped him. He’s been angry with her to the point of threatening physical violence, and she trusted that he wouldn’t hurt her. He’s held her in his arms and sung to her in front of a crowd, danced with her on the deck of the Titanic, laughed with her, cried with her, protected her, and has pleasured her.

He sighs and rolls onto his back, raising his knees – a position that immediately brings back memories of last night. He closes his eyes and thinks back on how it felt to have Lucy touch him, kiss him, and bring him to the most intense orgasm he has ever experienced – and how she’d asked nothing of him in return.

With Lorena, he always maintained control of his body during climax, but with Lucy…

With her… he was finally able to let go, to allow his body to fully enjoy the pleasure she was giving him. Trusting her to take care of him so that he could orgasm with abandon.

His dick throbs as he thinks about everything Lucy did to him last night. The way her hand wrapped around his girth… her tongue licking pre-cum from his tip… her nipples erect, and her breasts swaying against him…

Garcia sits up and strips off his t-shirt and throws it onto the floor, then he falls back and lifts his hips to remove his sweatpants, kicking them to the end of the bed.

He settles on his back with his knees in the air, and takes his dick in his hand.

He holds still, straining his ears to hear if Lucy is with his mother – or even Karl and Jiya, or all three of them – downstairs. He hears the meep meep of the Looney Tunes Road Runner on TV, and then hears Lucy laugh quietly to herself.

Well, that’s endearing, he thinks as he begins slowly stroking his shaft.


An hour and three orgasms later, Garcia has showered, stripped the bed again, and is dressed in comfortable black sweatpants and a light grey t-shirt. He carries the dirty bedsheets in his arms as he steps out into the upstairs hallway.

He goes to his mother’s room at the far end of the hall just to double check that she hadn’t come home last night, and to determine if he’ll have to explain certain noises once he gets downstairs. Thankfully, her bed is still made which means she stayed at NOVUS overnight with Karl and Jiya. He's thankful she gave him and Lucy the night – as well as this morning – alone.

He makes his way downstairs.

The TV is on in the living room, but he doesn’t see Lucy.

“Lucy?” he calls out for her as he goes to the laundry room.

She doesn’t answer.

He throws the sheets into the washer with last night’s bedding, and starts the cycle.

He walks back to the living room.

An old episode of Tom & Jerry is playing with the sound low, and the RMS Titanic blanket is hanging on the corner of the couch.

He opts for his favourite English term of endearment for a change. “Sweetheart?”

He picks up the remote control and turns off the TV, and heads into the kitchen. The tile floor is cold against his bare feet. The box of Cocoa Puffs is open on the counter, and an empty bowl beside it.

Then he sees her outside the kitchen window.

She’s sitting at the edge of the swimming pool in the back yard with her back to the house. She’s wearing his burgundy turtleneck sweater, and black pajama pants – her hair is pulled up into a high ponytail.

He smiles.

He picks up the box of cereal, and puts it back into the pantry. Then he goes to the kitchen sink, rinses out the bowl, wets a dishrag, and wipes down the counter.

He’s overwhelmed by the sense of normalcy in his actions. Things he hasn’t done since the last morning he spent with Lorena and Iris. He takes a deep breath, and shakes his head at his emotional reaction to something so mundane – hearing his daughter’s laugher echo in his memory.

His heart swells, and he smiles.

He never knew wiping down the kitchen counter could feel so good.

The mundane.

Running a load of laundry, tidying up the kitchen, and looking out the window at the woman he loves as he pours himself a glass of orange juice – it all feels so normal, so wonderful.

In the overall scheme of things, these things are useless, but perfect nonetheless.

He leans against the counter and watches Lucy as he sips on his juice – allowing himself to forget about Rittenhouse, and his obligation to the team in Montana, so he can simply exist in the here and now.

He swallows, and places the empty glass in the sink.

He opens the refrigerator door, grabs a handful of raspberries, and heads outside.

The sun is out, there’s a hint of warmth in the morning air, and he can smell the sweet, floral scent of his mother’s purple Wisteria blooming in the backyard. Birds are singing, and the distant sound of children playing outside on this beautiful Saturday morning floats through the air. He feels confident and joyful as he walks towards Lucy – this domestic bliss, it’s everything he wants.

Her arms are wrapped around her chest, and she’s staring into the pool water.

“Good morning,” he says with a song in his voice.

He smiles.

Then, his heart breaks when Lucy looks up at him with red, puffy eyes. She wipes the back of her hand across her cheek and tries to smile at him. The smile vanishes from his face. He wanted more than anything for her to be as happy as he is.

He sits down beside her – cross-legged – and holds out his hand to offer her a raspberry.

She takes one and eats it.

“I uh…” Lucy’s voice is weak. “I wanted to sit out here and enjoy the weather, and then I… I put my feet in the water, and it was cold… and then…” She presses her lips together, trying not to cry. “All I could think about was the sound of all those people drowning, and…” She shakes her head and swallows back tears. “I don’t know how I’ll ever forget that, Garcia.”

He stares blankly into the pool, and even on this beautiful morning, he can almost hear the screams of those freezing and drowning in the water, and his heart races. He closes his eyes, and takes a deep breath. In his lifeboat, all he could think about was how worried he was that Lucy had died in the water. He’d occupied his mind by doing everything he could to help others on his lifeboat that night.

“I don’t know, Lucy… I uh… it’s not easy healing from trauma… you’ll want to avoid it, not talk about it, and push it as far back into your mind as you can… but uh… that only buries it. It doesn’t help you heal.” He sets the raspberries on the ground in front of him, and lowers his head. “Do you want to talk about what happened that night?”

He rubs his hand on her back.

“No.” Lucy shakes her head. “I want to know how to forget it.”

He nods his head.

He knows the feeling well.

Too well.

“Then can I… can I tell you something about me – something I went through that I’ve never told anyone before?” he asks softly. “It’s not easy for me to say, and I don’t think it’ll be easy for you to hear, but-”

“You can talk to me about anything, Garcia…” She turns her head to look at him.

“I think it’ll help you understand that healing from what you experienced won’t happen overnight.” He pauses. “It’s about my time in war,” he says. “Is that ok?”

“Yes.” She sniffles.

He runs his hand through his hair, and clears his throat. “I told you once that I was held captive for two weeks by the Yugoslavs during the war in Kosovo?”

Lucy nods her head.

“They didn’t just keep me cuffed in a dark room for days. That was just one…” he takes a deep breath, “one thing they did.” He wets his lips nervously, and speaks hesitantly. “I’ve… never talked about those two weeks to anyone. Not even Lorena.”

He inhales sharply.

Lucy reaches out and touches his arm, letting him know she’s here for him. And he’s reminded of what she told him about what happened to her when she was held captive by Rittenhouse – her own solitary confinement, being given a slice of bread with water once a day, how they threatened her life if she didn’t obey them, how they kept her locked in complete darkness for an entire week.

This won’t be easy for her to hear.

He closes his eyes, takes a deep breath and begins.

“I was uh… I was caught sneaking into Serbia to help families escape the war – one which was a prominent family that Yugoslavs were looking to capture. They uh… they got me, and I refused to talk to them, and uh…” he lowers his voice, “I noticed the attention you gave it last night, and…” He lifts the front of his shirt and touches the scar that runs from his rib cage to his navel. “It’s from their interrogation of me… their uh… torture,” he explains.

Her eyes wide, Lucy inches up next to him. She rests her hand on his abdomen against his scar – the same scar she’d focused on so much last night. She looks into his eyes and her voice breaks as she asks, “And you never got help, or talked to anyone about it?”

He shakes his head. “I… I never wanted to burden anyone else with what I had gone through, so I buried it. You said you’ve seen my classified file?”

Lucy nods her head.

“Then you know that I kept injecting myself into wars. That was my way of dealing with what happened to me. I thought the more wars I got involved with, the more people I might be able to save from torture.”

He looks at Lucy in a way as if he’s asking himself if he truly wants her to know every part of who he is – everything he’s been through. Because once he tells her, there’s no turning back. No changing his mind. No taking it back.

He won’t be able to erase these things from her mind.

He has to trust her not to judge him.

To not look at him differently than she is right now.

That what he says won’t make her love him less.

Lucy touches his face, and looks into his eyes – and it’s as if she’s reading his mind when she whispers to him, “You’re safe with me, Garcia…”

Yes.

He trusts her.

He closes his eyes, and allows himself to go back into his memories. “They uh… stripped me naked, and bound my hands to my feet behind my back… blindfolded me, and tortured me to try to get information…”

Lucy places her hand on her lap with her palm facing up to let him know he can hold her hand if he needs to. He reaches out and takes it, giving her a gentle squeeze.

They take a deep breath, together.

“They cut me while I was tied up like that, and I was laying in my own shit and piss on the floor.” He lets go of Lucy’s hand to quickly wipe a tear from his face. “They kicked me so hard they cracked a rib…”

He rubs his hand over his wrist.

“I still have scars from when they handcuffed me, and suspended me off the ground.” He holds his wrists out to her, and she touches him gently, running her fingertips across scars that have gone unnoticed until now. “They uh… beat me pretty hard with some metal bar.”

He lifts up the back of his t-shirt.

Lucy leans back and looks where he’s pointing, and sees another small scar that she hadn’t noticed before.

“It uh… punctured my skin after repeated hits to the same area.”

She gently places her hand over the scar, and kisses his shoulder.

“I was deprived of food and drink, no medical care was given for my wounds, and… I was one of the lucky ones because the first week they deprived me of sleep to weaken me, then into the second week I was given very little water, and no food. Stiv busted me out before they could do worse, but Lucy…” he holds her hand again, “there are so many other scars.”

“Do you want to share them with me?” Lucy asks meekly, unsure if she has the right to ask him to share more about his experience than he already has. She closes her eyes, and pushes her own memories of being mistreated at Rittenhouse from her mind – knowing she was lucky to escape them without physical scars.

“I have a lot, Lucy.” He shakes his head. “And I want to tell you, but I also don’t want to burden you with everything horrible that I’ve been through.”

“I promise you, you are not a burden to me, Garcia,” Lucy takes hold of his hand. “If talking about these things helps you heal, I want you to tell me about them.”

“Thank you for saying that,” he says quietly. He curls his fingers through hers, and closes his eyes. “I don’t know how much you know about the wars, but in Kosovo, war crimes were happening from both sides. I joined the KLA, the Kosovo Liberation Army, but I wasn’t there helping them. I wasn’t there to help the opposition either. I wanted to help people - civilians.”

Lucy nods her head and runs her thumb over his knuckles to let him know that she’s here for him.

“I saw things, Lucy… things no one should ever see, and instead of hardening me, or breaking me, I decided that the traumas I experienced, and the horrible things that I saw, what I went through… I was going to use those experiences to make me a better person.”

He lowers his head, fighting back tears.

Lucy gently cups his jaw in her hand, and kisses the side of his head.

He swallows hard then continues. “I witnessed massacres of civilians, children being used as soldiers, bloody shoes, and burnt teddy bears in the streets next to mangled cars and bicycles.” He closes his eyes tight. “The smell of human flesh rotting or burning stayed with me for days.”

She swallows hard, and gives his hand a gentle squeeze to help keep him grounded to her, in the same way he has helped her when she’s triggered by her own claustrophobia.

“I saw women being raped by soldiers I had… that I had sat next to at breakfast. Women so badly bruised as these monsters forced themselves on them.” He scowls at the memory. Anger and sadness reflect in his eyes. “I was only one man, Lucy… I tried to get these beasts to stop, but they laughed at me, and asked me to join in on the fun.”

His jaw tightens, and his hands have balled into fists.

“You can read about rape in books, or see it depicted in movies, but… that’s nothing compared to seeing it with your own two eyes.”

He swallows hard, holding back tears.

He looks into Lucy’s eyes, and holds both her hands.

“One reason why I wrote that letter, and why I wanted to fight Rittenhouse without you is because I’ve seen rape, Lucy. And I never want that to happen to you.”

He unintentionally squeezes her hands hard, but Lucy doesn’t pull away.

She looks at him with tears in her eyes.

“Your mother wants you to be raped, and I…” He looks away and shakes his head. “I was willing to leave you, to abandon you… to hurt you like that, so Rittenhouse would never find out that you came back from 2003, and exist again in this timeline.”

The look on Lucy’s face softens as she understands for the first time, his intentions when he made the decision to leave her, his want to fight Rittenhouse without her by his side. She knew he wanted to protect her, but she never considered what exactly he was trying to protect her from – the violent, sexual violation of her body by Byron Rittenhouse that another version of herself wrote about in a journal from 1725.

“Garcia, I…”

She shakes her head.

Hating herself for not trusting him enough to make that decision for her. For disregarding his assessment of her situation, and his way to keep her safe, when she screwed it all up and followed him to the Titanic, where both Emma and Wyatt saw her. No doubt they reported back that she was there, and if Rittenhouse discovers that she survived the sinking, then they will try to capture her again.

She touches his jaw, and kisses his cheek as she wipes a tear from his face.

Her voice breaks when she tells him, “I’m sorry I was angry with you about that.” She wipes a tear from her face. “I promise I’ll help you do whatever it takes to prevent them from taking me again. If you want to fight them without me, then I won’t argue with you. I’ll stay here, or wherever you say is safe. I don’t…” She blinks back tears. “I don’t want to be taken… I don’t want to be raped, and…” She kisses his cheek again. “I can take care of myself, but I don’t know if I’d be able to stop him from raping me.”

Garcia looks into her eyes, and holds onto the back of her neck.

Lucy leans towards him, and rests her forehead on his. “I trust you, Garcia. I trust you to know how to keep me safe.”

He closes his eyes, and remains quiet.

“You’re safe here at my mom’s, draga,” he murmurs. “I don’t remember if I told you, but this house has a basement that has been converted to a safe room.” He pulls back and touches her cheek. “My alternate counterpart fortified the walls, and all windows are bulletproof, and with a push of a button all possible entries can be sealed so no one can get inside.” He looks into her eyes. “You’d be safer here than at the bunker.”

“Ok,” Lucy says, nodding her head.

“I still prefer that you’re with me, just so I can protect you, but I know that it’s unreasonable for us to always be together. I have to trust that you’ll do what you need to be safe, and that you can fend for yourself if we are apart.”

“You taught me how to punch better than they taught me at Rittenhouse,” Lucy offers a weak smile. “Plus, they uh… they don’t know for sure that I survived the sinking of the Titanic, so if I lay low then they might assume that I died.” She runs her hand down his arm. “And if you act as if I died when you’re near them, then maybe they’d believe it.”

“Wouldn’t be hard to act like I lost everything I love,” he says. “It’s not like they haven’t… taken away the most precious girls in my life before.”

He lowers his head, and is quiet for several minutes.

Lucy holds onto his hand, and gives him this silence to collect his thoughts.

He breathes slow, and hard.

The muscles in his face twitch as his thoughts fester silently in his mind.

When he speaks again, he’s angry.

“The uh… the trauma that I buried… that darkness… when Rittenhouse…” He squeezes his eyes shut, and huffs. “When Wyatt murdered Lorena and Iris… that darkness that I buried so deep, I… I let it out. I used the anger I had towards those who had tortured me, and towards those I watched murder and rape innocent people – I used that anger to try to stop Rittenhouse, and it destroyed me, Lucy. I let it rot inside me for so long, and I dealt with it by tearing through time, and killing, and it… I let it poison who I was – who I am…” He shakes his head, sneering at himself with disgust. “I’m not a good person anymore, Lucy. Not after everything I’ve done.”

“No… don’t say that.” Lucy shakes her head. “Garcia, don’t you dare believe that.”

“Lucy… you saw the things I did. The things I did to you-”

“You were broken, but you weren’t so far gone that you couldn’t go back.” She cups his face in her hand. “You once told me that you would walk away from your girls forever once you saved them – that you couldn’t bring your darkness into your home. That you wanted to save them from that.”

He lowers his head, unable to look at her.

“But Garcia… recently you’ve said that you want to be a part of their lives after we save them.” She wipes away his tears with the back of her hand. “You know you’re a good man, Garcia. You’ve survived so much, and helped so many people since I met you.”

He closes his eyes and shakes his head, struggling to believe her words.

She kisses his forehead. “You were one man trying to save the world, Garcia. What you had to do wasn’t easy, but it was necessary. You have always been on the right side of history.” She wipes away more tears from his face, and lifts his chin with her fingers to look into his eyes. “You’re a hero, I promise.”

Garcia wraps his hand around her wrist and leans into her, resting his head against hers.

“And you’re not alone anymore. You have me, and Garcia… I will fight with you. I will stand at your side and we will destroy them, ok? The weight of this war doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to us. It belongs to everyone on our team at that bunker.”

“Lucy…” he croaks. “I still have to live with what I’ve done.”

She runs her hand through his hair.

Her heart is aching, wanting to take away his pain.

“We both do, dušo…” She kisses his temple. “This is war, and neither of us is going to walk away without emotional and physical scars.” She runs her hand over the top of his head. “We’ve both done terrible things fighting Rittenhouse, but that doesn’t make us bad people.”

He pulls back and looks into her eyes.

“You haven’t done anything horrible, draga.”

“I killed Jesse James… I set you up to be ambushed by Rittenhouse in ‘72… I was the reason Agent Christopher was able to find you and arrest you… I pretended to join Rittenhouse, and I went as far as fighting you with a knife when I was supposed to kill you, and… I didn’t get into that first lifeboat on the Titanic when you asked me to, and…” She wipes away her own tears. “I know those things may not be horrible to you, but they are awful for me.”

“I’m sorry,” he whispers. “I didn’t mean to diminish the way you feel about what you’ve had to do.” He kisses her forehead. “I meant to tell you about my time as a prisoner of war to help you understand that trauma isn’t easily healed. That I want us to be able to talk to each other about what has happened so we can help each other heal.”

“I know.”

“It might be days, or years before you’re ready to talk about what you experienced the night of the sinking, and I want you to know whenever you’re ready that I’m here for you.”

“Is it wrong that my feelings about the Titanic are conflicting?” she asks. “On one hand, the time we spent together on that ship was so special, and it brought us closer together, and we were happy.” She takes a deep breath. “But on the other hand…” She closes her eyes. “The gunshots in the Reception Room, seeing Thomas Andrews dead, and then the hours before the collision, the evacuation… Garcia… after I lost track of you, I saw… men throwing their families overboard, children dead from being trampled on, men shot dead right in front of me, and… I don’t think I can ever forget any of those things.”

Garcia looks into her eyes and feels her pain.

Lucy averts her eyes, and tells him, “And if I’m thinking about that night, and I close my eyes… I can see the dim red lights on the ship as she stood vertical to the water, and I can hear the screaming and thrashing of people in the water, and… and there was nothing I could do to save anyone. Nothing I could do to save you, and I thought I lost you…” She squeezes his hand. “I just… I want… how can we silence the echoes of those who died from our minds? How can I forget how much worse it was once the screaming turned to silence?”

“I don’t know if we’ll ever forget what happened, Lucy,” he answers. “I think it’ll take time to get to a point where we don’t think about it every day. We’ll need to learn what triggers us, and...” He squeezes her hand supportively. “We should probably check on Karl too, he was on that ship just as long as you were.”

Lucy nods her head, and lowers her eyes. She’s not exactly comforted by the idea that she’ll never forget what she experienced that night, but at least she has Garcia. And Karl.

“I think it’s important that we take time to do normal things,” he adds.

“How?” Lucy huffs. “We’re time travelers involved in a war with an evil cult that wants to bend history in their favor so they can take over the world. I died in 2003, and I’ve been thrown into a reality where I don’t exist.” She gives him a look, and shakes her head. “How can we possibly live normally right now?”

“Close your eyes, draga…”

Lucy gives him a look, then closes her eyes.

“Listen to the world around you.” He holds her hand. “The birds singing… children playing… the gentle breeze carrying the scent of Wisteria through the air…” he kisses her knuckles, “watching cartoons while eating Cocoa Puffs… wearing your husband’s favourite turtleneck sweater…”

Lucy opens one eye and looks at him, a grin slowly forming on her face. “You’re not my husband yet, Garcia…”

“Saying so is just my promise to you that one day I will be.” He winks and rubs his hand on hers. “I want you to know that even though we’re in this war right now that if we try, we can find ways to enjoy what’s normal around us.”

“Why couldn’t we have landed in a timeline where Rittenhouse was defeated years ago?” Lucy asks, shaking her head. “All I want is for this to be over so we can start building our life together. I want to plan our wedding – small, outdoors, only close friends and family. Amy will be my Maid of Honor, and Karl can be your Best Man. I want to go with you to Croatia so you can show me where you grew up. I want to argue with you over what we’ll name our daughter because I’m pretty much set on Lily-”

“Jana,” he interrupts, smiling. “After my grandmother.”

“Lily,” she says sternly, smiling. “Lilies represent rebirth, and commitment, and I think after-”

“How about… Lilijana?” he asks, placing his hand on her lower back above where her pink Lily tattoo is located. He smiles and says, “Lilijana Maria Flynn.”

Tears sting Lucy’s eyes and she nods her head, smiling. “That’s beautiful, Garcia.” She caresses his neck and kisses his jaw. “And for short we’ll call her Lily?”

“Or Jana,” Garcia says with a chuckle.

“God, we’re not even pregnant yet and what? In mere seconds we picked out a name?” Lucy laughs. “What if we have a boy?”

“Henry Asher?” Garcia asks. “After your dad, and mine?”

“I like the name John, or Jonathan… John for short.” She smiles. “Jonathan Asher Flynn?”

“Or…” He laughs and smiles devilishly. “What do you think of the name Domagoj?”

Lucy squints her eyes and tilts her head. “Um…”

“It was my great grandfather’s name,” Garcia says trying not to laugh at the expression on Lucy’s face. “Domagoj Tomić.”

“Um…” Lucy runs her hand through her hair. “We can… we can consider it…”

Garcia laughs.

“Draga, I’m kidding with you.” He leans forward and kisses her lips. “My great grandfather’s name was Josip Tomić.”

“Why did you say-”

“I was messing with you.” He laughs. “You should’ve seen the look on your face.”

“Shut up,” she says, teasingly. “I knew you were joking.”

“No, you didn’t.”

“Yes, I did.”

“No. The look on your face said so.”

“I… I could tell by the tone in your voice,” she lies.

“No, you couldn’t.”

“Yes, I could.”

“No.”

“Yes.”

Garcia leans towards Lucy, and holds onto the back of her head.

He kisses her, and they melt into each other.

Their lips part, and they smile.

He rests his hand on her abdomen and sighs. “You know, Lucy… after last night, maybe we will be blessed with a miracle.”

Lucy looks into his eyes and smiles. “I guess it’s possible, but with all the time travel, and throwing my body into worm holes, I honestly have no idea how easy it’ll be to conceive. Never mind the fact that it’s not easy keeping track of my cycle when complicated time travel mathematics is involved like spending a week in 1912.” She shakes her head and laughs quietly. “And not that I was keeping track of it before, because up until recently the prospect of making love to you hasn’t exactly been clear.”

“We’ve been close to doing it before.” He takes her hand and kisses it. “And um… before things go any further with us, do you want my mom to get you an appointment with her doctor? So, you can get back on the pill? Or… we could go to the pharmacy to pick up condoms?”

Lucy takes a breath and looks into his eyes. “I’m thirty-four years old,” she says. “I’m not getting any younger, and…” She looks at him curiously, then switches the subject by asking, “I know I should know this, but… how old are you?”

“What? You didn’t take notice of my birthdate when you saw my file?”

“Back then I had zero interest in you other than stopping you so I could get back to my life.”

“Fair enough.” He smiles. “I’m forty-one.”

Lucy returns his smile. “I… I want to have your children, Garcia. My only concern is what traveling through time might do to our bodies… um… or what it could do to a developing fetus in my womb.”

“We could always go back somewhere in time, get pregnant there, and five years later my mom or Jiya could come pick us up,” he says. “Like we talked about on the Carpathia.”

“You’re serious about that, aren’t you?”

“I am.”

“Um…” Lucy looks into his eyes. “Ok, say we find out I’m pregnant tomorrow… when in the past would we go? Would it be safe for me to go back in time even a day after conception?”

“The chances that you’re pregnant aren’t high, draga,” he says.

“Your semen was all over me… down there, Garcia. And you touched me, and your finger was inside me…” She closes her eyes, remembering how good he felt pressing into her. She looks into his eyes and smiles. “There’s like a one-hundred percent chance your sperm got inside me last night. I assure you, it’s possible.”

“If that happens, then we’ll figure it out,” he tells her. “I don’t have all the answers, but I’ll do everything I can to protect you and our child.” He holds her head and kisses her cheek. “And to answer your question… I was thinking we could go to 1906 to have our baby.” He rests his hand on her abdomen, touching her as if she is already pregnant. “Before you’re too far along, we can arrive in Russia, in December of 1905-”

“I don’t speak Russian,” Lucy says as she places her hand on top of his.

“Won’t matter… because we’d only be in Russia for a couple days so I can take you to see Anna Pavlova’s first performance of The Dying Swan.” He moves his hand from her abdomen to her waist, then leans forward to kiss her temple. “You mentioned once that you wanted to see it.”

Lucy smiles wide. “So, then… after seeing Pavlova, where would we live?”

“Well, her performance takes place a few days before Christmas, so maybe we spend the New Year in Paris… and if we want to board another ocean liner to come back to the States, we could do that, or we could find some small village in France to live for the next five years as we raise our little girl, or our little boy.”

“And if I get pregnant again before those five years are up?” Lucy smiles. “Because I know us, Garcia… after baby number one is born, we won’t be able to remain celibate, and…” She laughs at herself and shakes her head. “Back then the use of condoms was frowned upon. It was assumed if you used condoms that you were sexually promiscuous – which if we bought them, that would mean that we’d be scandalous.”

“After the Titanic, draga… I’m sure we don’t really care about scandalizing people in the past.”

He winks.

Lucy tightens her ponytail, and says, “And it was in 1906, or maybe just before or after, that the first spermicidal jelly was made and sold in Europe.”

“So, are you saying we should stay in Europe so we can have sex without worrying about you getting knocked up again?” he asks with a chuckle.

“Yes, and I don’t want to get on another ship after being on the Titanic.” She pauses, and nudges him playfully with her elbow, she asks, “And what if we want another baby before we come back to 2017?”

“We’ll wait to have our second child until our first is around two or three years old. We’ll tell Jiya to pick us up after nine or ten years, so both our kids are over five years old when we return,” he answers.

“And then what? We come back with two little kids and figure out how to keep them safe while fighting Rittenhouse?” The smile fades from her face. “I don’t know, Garcia… maybe it’s a bad idea to try to start a family while all this is going on.”

Garcia lowers his eyes and sighs. “I wish I knew how to end this war right now, so we could move on with our lives, draga.”

“We’d have to go back further than 1780. Using Benedict Arnold was a smart way to get in the door, but by that time Rittenhouse had already been established.” Lucy pauses, thinking. “We’d have to go back further… do something horrible to David Rittenhouse’s parents…”

“You’re his mother, Lucy…” Garcia says quietly. “Or… they want you to be his mother, so maybe all we have to do is keep them from taking you there?”

Lucy furrows her brow and looks at him.

“It doesn’t worry you that they haven’t taken me there yet, and that they still exist?” she asks. “Because that scares the shit out of me, Garcia. It suggests that Rittenhouse will capture me, and that they will take me back, and that I will be raped by Byron and conceive David Rittenhouse, and…” She shakes her head. “It just seems inevitable.”

He sighs and caresses her face with the back of his hand. “You could come back with me to the bunker. I know I said my mom’s home is safe, but… I’d feel better if you were with me until we destroy them.” He looks at her, disheartened that the smile is gone from her face. “I was going to go back to get my things-”

“I don’t want to live in a bunker, Garcia.”

“Later today, I’m going to go back there to-”

“No.” She snaps at him, shaking her head. “I know you want to get your belongings, but… I need you here with me, Garcia. We just got back, and I don’t want you to leave so soon.”

“Then tonight…” he says calmly, “I’ll have Jiya bring me back here, and then you and I are going to take a break.”

She looks at him, her eyes wide.

She’s not entirely certain she heard him right.

“And Lucy…” he swallows hard, “if you want to walk away from this war forever, I’ll walk away with you. We can disappear someplace Rittenhouse can never find us, and we can start anew. All you have to do is say the word.”

Lucy searches his face, and she shakes her head in disbelief. “What about Lorena and Iris? You’re willing to-”

“I’m willing to walk away from my quest to save them for you, draga. If you want out – if we want out, then yes, I can leave…” he swallows hard, “the past in the past.”

Lucy sees in his eyes that it is difficult for him to say this, but she believes him.

She shakes her head.

“No… there’s no way that I’m going to be the one to stand in the way of you saving your girls, Garcia. I’m not going to let you give up on them. I don’t want to give up on them.”

“We’d be saving the Lorena and Iris from this alternate timeline, Lucy. A Lorena who joined the fight against Rittenhouse-”

“She’s still your wife, and you love her,” Lucy argues, shaking her head. “I don’t know, um… maybe we go back to 2014, and kidnap them from your younger self, and bring them back here with us?”

“They’d still be from this alternate timeline,” he argues.

“Why does that make any difference?” Lucy asks.

“Because she’s a Lorena that accepted the man I became when I started this war with Rittenhouse. She’s not the woman I wanted to leave untouched by the darkness that consumed me because of it.” He pauses. “She loves me, Lucy, and I couldn’t-”

“You couldn’t what?”

“I don’t want to break her heart,” he answers.

“And you would erase your daughter to avoid that?”

Lucy furrows her brow.

She can’t believe that he’s suggesting this.

She shakes her head.

“No… I won’t let you erase your little girl.” Lucy looks into his eyes, and cups his face in her hand. “You told me you can’t imagine a change to this timeline that could change her so much that she would no longer be your little girl, Garcia…” She kisses his forehead. “You’ll hold her in your arms again, I promise.”

He looks into her eyes, and he believes her.

She runs her hand through his hair. “Maybe we go back to 2014 and bring them back with us. You can tell Lorena that you’re from another timeline, and that you fell in love with me.” She holds his hand. “Garcia, sweetheart… she’s a Lorena that understands the complications of time travel. I’m sure she’ll be heartbroken, but I think she’ll understand that you’re not her Garcia Flynn, and that you did what you could to save her life and Iris’s.”

He looks at Lucy, and knows that her idea could work.

They could go back to the day his girls were murdered, and they could bring them back with them to 2017. They died in 2014, and they don’t exist now, so it would be safe for them to travel forward in time.

But how could he do that and break Lorena’s heart?

He still loves her, and the last thing he wants to do is hurt her.

Garcia looks into Lucy’s eyes and asks, “How would you feel if tomorrow you woke up and another Garcia had replaced me, and told you that he can’t be with you because he’s in love, and married to Lorena?” Garcia asks.

Lucy looks at him, and considers how she would feel if that happened.

She lowers her head, and wipes a tear from her eye.

“I’d be devastated,” she says. “Heartbroken… but there would be nothing I could say or do to make a different version of you change his mind.”

Garcia looks at her with sadness in his eyes.

It wasn’t his intention to hurt her with his question.

He looks away and considers how he would feel if he went on a mission without her, and returned and she wasn’t the same Lucy he had left behind. That she was another Lucy who was involved with, or perhaps married to, someone else.

It’s an impossible situation, and one that he knows he’ll have to face if they save Lorena.

“I’m sorry. I… I didn’t mean to make you cry,” he says quietly.

He kisses the top of her head.

“It’s ok.” She sniffles. “It’s a question that we have to consider. Not only for Lorena, but for us.” She wipes another tear from her face. “But I don’t think breaking someone’s heart is a valid reason not to save their life, Garcia.”

“I know… I just… I don’t know what I’d say to her to make it easier for her to accept that I’m with you.”

“When it happens… I won’t get in the way, and I won’t try to talk to her myself. I’ll lay low.” She looks into his eyes. “I’ll give you and Lorena time alone to talk.”

He wraps his arm around her shoulder, and pulls her into him.

He doesn’t know what to say.

When he stole the Mothership, and set out to save his family, he never thought he would have to explain to Lorena that he had fallen in love with someone else. Sure, it was written in the journal that he and Lucy would fall in love, but so many things in the journal had changed as he’d changed history, that it seemed their falling in love might never happen.

He’ll figure it out.

He has to because he needs Lorena and Iris to be a part of his life.

A part of their lives.

“What about Iris? Am I still her dad, or because I’m from another timeline would I be a stranger to her?”

Lucy’s heart breaks hearing the doubt, and the fear in his voice that his little girl may reject him.

“She’s a child…” Lucy’s voice is soft and reassuring. “And if this timeline’s Garcia is anything like you, he did everything he could to protect his little girl from the war her parents were fighting. I have no doubt that when we save her, she’ll hug you, and kiss you, and tell you she loves you, and call you daddy.”

Garcia’s eyes shimmer with tears.

He nods his head.

He has to believe her.

He has to believe that Iris will still see him as her father. Just as he has to believe Lorena will understand that he loves, and is committed to, Lucy.

“Do you think Lorena will remember us from the hospital?” he whispers, referring to their brief encounter with her in 2003 when they tried to save Lucy from drowning in the river.

“I don’t know,” she says. “We only talked with her for a few minutes, and if she did, then… wouldn’t she have recognized you when she met you in 2004?”

He shakes his head. “I spoke with Emma on the Titanic and she uh… she said that Lorena and my alternate counterpart didn’t wear wedding rings. Instead, Emma said that we had rings tattooed on our fingers. I found that odd… you know? A change as big as that.”

“And you’re wondering if that change has anything to do with her meeting us in 2003?” Lucy asks.

“Maybe.” He shakes his head. “If she remembered meeting us at the hospital then… what if she wanted tattooed rings because she remembered seeing me with you, and knows that I love you? And what if that made her jealous? I don’t know, maybe to mark me?”

“Is she a jealous type?”

“No.”

“Then I don’t think that’s it,” Lucy says,

Garcia takes a deep breath and thinks. “I don’t know, Lucy… when Emma told me that I… I tried not to think about it, but we both know that even small changes to history can deal a significant blow to the present.”

“What if the reason is as simple as Lorena knowing you’re not her Garcia because you don’t have your wedding ring tattooed on your finger?” Lucy asks. “If she remembered meeting us in 2003, then maybe the tattoo rings were her way of knowing when, and if, her Garcia was replaced.”

He nods his head, slowly grasping onto what Lucy said. “So, she would know I’m not the same man she married? To make it easier to let me go?”

“Maybe,” Lucy says, shrugging her shoulders.

Garcia lowers his eyes. His voice cracks when he tells her, “This is so fucked up, Lucy.”

Lucy looks at him with tears in her eyes. “I know.”

She rises to her feet, holding her hands out to him to help him stand.

She hugs him, and whispers, “I wish I knew how to make everything fall back into place… but I promise that I’ll be here for you. And if things get difficult when we save Lorena, I will do everything I can to make it better.” She rises on her toes and kisses his cheek. “I love you, and I love her, and I love Iris… and…” She takes a deep breath to keep from crying. “And you’re all my family, and I believe that somehow, everything is going to be ok.”

He gives her a weak smile, knowing that she means every word she said. “I don’t know what I’d do without you, Lucy,” he whispers, leaning down to kiss her forehead.

“You’d probably still be blowing things up left and right as you ravaged your way through time.” She wipes her eyes, and nudges him playfully to try to lighten the mood.

He smiles, appreciating her effort. “War’s still not over, and I’m sure other opportunities will present themselves where exploding things might be our best option.”

He winks at her, then wraps his arm around her waist as they head back inside his mother’s home.

They enter the kitchen and make their way to the living room.

Lucy looks up at him. “So… do you want to get ready for the day, and go back to NOVUS and the bunker, or do we want to take a few more hours to do absolutely nothing?” she asks.

“You know…” He grins and walks across the room to the cabinet beneath the TV. “In our timeline, my mom owned a copy of James Cameron’s Titanic, and…” He bends over, rummaging through Maria’s DVDs and old VHS tapes. He holds up a DVD of Titanic. “It’s a three hour movie, right?”

“It is, but… I don’t know,” Lucy says apprehensively. “I’m scared it might trigger bad memories, and I really don’t want to deal with those right now.”

Garcia holds up the DVD case. “Wasn’t Leonardo DiCaprio in this?”

“Yeah. Why?”

“Who’s Goran Višnjić?”

“The hot Croatian doctor from ER,” Lucy answers. “How do you not know that? I mean, the guy is hounded by the paparazzi whenever he’s back in Croatia.”

“I haven’t been back to Croatia for years. And I have no interest in celebrity news.”

Lucy gives him a look, then goes to him to look at the DVD cover.

She smiles and laughs quietly.

“What?” Garcia asks.

She points at the image of Goran Višnjić on the cover. “It’s uncanny, isn’t it?”

“What’s uncanny?”

“He kinda looks like a younger you, don’t you think?”

Garcia examines the photo of Goran Višnjić on the DVD cover. He shakes his head and gives Lucy a look that says he sees no resemblance whatsoever.

Lucy takes the DVD from his hand, and now curious to watch the movie, she puts it in the DVD player, and turns on the TV. She goes to the couch, and pats her hand on the cushion next to her.

“Oh, ok… I get it.” He winks at her. “So, now that some hot ER actor is in the movie, you want to watch it?”

“I have a thing for doctors,” Lucy says, shrugging her shoulders. “Remember after the Hindenburg, I was engaged to Noah… a doctor?”

“You didn’t even know him after the Hindenburg. He was some other Lucy’s fiancé. Besides… I’m not a doctor and you like me.”

“But you also know how to patch up a wound without blinking, so uh… there’s a doctor in you somewhere, dušo.” Lucy leans over and kisses his cheek while he gives her a grumpy look. She takes a deep breath and turns her attention to the TV. She closes her eyes as the opening notes of the James Horner score plays over the movie’s title.

Garcia watches her, then turns the DVD case over and reads the back to himself.

Nothing on earth can rival the epic spectacle and breathtaking grandeur of Titanic, the sweeping love story that sailed into the hearts of moviegoers around the world, ultimately emerging as the most popular motion picture of all time.

Goran Višnjić and Kate Beckinsale light up the screen as Garcia and Lucy Flynn, the mysterious married couple who took the Titanic by storm on the maiden voyage of the “unsinkable” R.M.S. Titanic. But when the doomed luxury liner collides with an iceberg in the frigid North Atlantic, their passionate – and oftentimes, scandalous – relationship becomes a thrilling race for survival.

From acclaimed filmmaker James Cameron comes a tale of never-ending love and courage in the face of disaster that triumphs as a true cinematic masterpiece.

“Oh shit.” He snorts. “Um… Lucy?”

“Why is the movie’s first scene in Cherbourg with third class passengers boarding?” Lucy asks, not taking her eyes off the TV.

“Draga… I think we erased Jack and Rose from existence.” He chuckles.

Lucy looks at him. “Why do you say that?”

“Because the back cover says the movie’s love story is between,” he reads the back cover to her, “Garcia and Lucy Flynn, the mysterious married couple who took the Titanic by storm…”

“What?” She sounds disappointed. “Oh God… does that mean when I was fourteen I was crushing on Goran Višnjić as Garcia Flynn instead of Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson?” Lucy runs her hands over her face. “I mean, Goran is hot, but um… we ruined the movie, Garcia!”

“Do you still want to watch it?” He glances at the movie’s MPAA rating. “It’s rated R.” He laughs. “That probably means that we get more than a couple boob shots, and a sloppy wet hand streaking down the window of the Renault in the cargo hold.”

Lucy gives him a look. “So… does this mean you just want to see…” she grabs the DVD case from him, and reads the actress’s name, “Kate Beckinsale’s boobs?”

“Why see her boobs when I can see the real Lucy Flynn’s boobs right now…?” Garcia leans towards her, and places his hand on her shoulder, stroking the ribbed fabric of his turtleneck sweater. He smiles.

Lucy gives him a look, then her expression turns serious. “Wait a minute… um… if we wanted Rittenhouse to think we died in the sinking, shouldn’t we find out what this movie, and history, says happened to us? If we’re in pop culture, then for sure Rittenhouse knows our story on the Titanic, right?”

“Guess we’ll be watching the movie then, huh? I was kinda hoping to make out with you here on the couch,” he says, disappointed. He runs his hand through her ponytail and winks at her. “Want me to go get a laptop so we can Wikipedia ourselves and see what the internet says?”

Lucy looks at him.

Making out with Garcia for just the sake of making out is very enticing.

She smiles and gazes at his lips.

He leans forward on the couch, meaning to stand, but Lucy turns to him. Pressing her hands against his chest, she throws her legs over his thighs to straddle him.

She holds his face in her hands as she looks down on him, giving her a feeling of domination. She strokes his face with her thumbs as she looks into his eyes. She shivers as his hands run up the back of her legs and settle on her ass.

He looks up at her with desire burning in his eyes.

He parts his lips and wets them – inviting her to kiss him.

The muscles in her legs relax, and she sinks into his lap, tilting her head as she presses her lips against his. She traces his chapped lips with her tongue, and he opens to her. The tip of her tongue meets his and teases him by pulling back. She nibbles on his bottom lip with her own.

She pulls back and looks into his eyes. They’re half-open, drunk with desire for her.

She sighs, and places a soft kiss on his forehead… then his temple… his cheek… jaw… and then she nuzzles her face into the crook of his neck. Her hand cups his ear, and she slowly strokes his earlobe which causes him to stir.

“Lucy…” he moans.

He places his hand on the back of her head, and tugs at the elastic band that holds her hair up. He gently tugs at it until her hair falls down against her back. She sits back and runs her hand through her hair, looking him in the eye.

His cheeks are flushed, and his breathing is heavy.

He weaves his fingers through her hair, and pulls her to him.

Their mouths meet, and Garcia lowers himself to the couch, holding Lucy above him as he kisses her. His mouth is warm, and his tongue slides gently against hers.

The kiss is slow, smooth, and romantic.

Lucy turns her head to take a breath, and runs her fingertips down the front of his neck to his chest. She kisses him again as she settles against him, weaving her legs between his.

His fingers move slowly up and down her back as he slides his tongue further into her mouth. Then he pulls back to murmur sweet nothings in her ear. His fingers slide up the back of her neck into her hair.

Lucy’s leg moves against his when he gently tugs her hair.

She turns her head, and says breathlessly, “I’m more comfortable on my side.”

She kisses him again as he wraps his arms around her waist and shifts their position so they are on their sides, pressed against each other.

Her body quivers as he moves his hand underneath the back of her turtleneck sweater, spreading his hand against her warm skin, stroking her shoulder blade with his thumb.

“Mm… no bra…” he breathes.

He kisses her again as he caresses her back with his thumb.

She moans into his mouth as she arches her back, pressing her breasts against him.

“That feels good, Garcia…” she whispers.

“I’d kiss your neck if you weren’t wearing my damn turtleneck,” he whispers back, smiling at her.

She lowers her eyes, and is hesitant as she says, “I… I don’t want to undress… I just… I mean… if you want to then I guess I can, but…”

He removes his hand from her back, and presses his finger against her lips. He kisses her forehead. “I wasn’t asking you to undress, draga… I just…” He moves his hand to the neck of the sweater and tugs it down. He leans into her and kisses the skin he’s exposed. “I just like kissing your neck, that’s all.”

“Oh,” she says. “I’m sorry. I…” She closes her eyes. “I’m sorry I keep assuming that you’re like all the others.”

He lightly brushes her hair behind her ear, and kisses her cheek. “I promise that you’ll get used to me one day.” He smiles at her and winks.

Lucy smiles and runs her hand along his arm. “Lying here like this, it isn’t hurting your wound, is it?”

“Mild discomfort, but worth it because I’m with you.”

He rubs his nose against hers.

Lucy rests her head and holds her hand on his chest. “I hope my insecurities go away. I enjoy being with you, but it bothers me when I get like this.”

“It doesn’t bother me,” he says, taking hold of her hand. “I never want you to be afraid to tell me if I’m doing or saying something that makes you uncomfortable.”

Lucy sighs, and brings his hands to her lips, kissing his knuckles.

“I feel safe when I’m with you,” she whispers. “I can’t tell you how much that means to me.”

He kisses the top of her head, and pulls her closer to him.

On the TV behind them, they hear Kate Beckinsale – as the character Lucy Flynn – entering her third class cabin, meeting three Romanian sisters. She explains that she lost her first class ticket in Paris, and needs to find her husband, Garcia Flynn, who is in first class.

Lucy laughs quietly, and Garcia looks down at her as he strokes his thumb against her forehead.

“What?” he asks.

“I’m just thinking about how weird it’s going to be watching this movie,” she says.

“Well… we’re not exactly paying attention to it now...” He kisses her cheek. “Do you want to sit up and watch it, draga?”

She nods her head, and gives him a soft smile.

They untangle themselves from each other’s arms and legs, and Lucy moves to the corner of the couch. Garcia stands up, and covers Lucy with the blanket from the Titanic.

“I’m gonna go get a laptop,” he says, leaning down to kiss the top of her head.

Lucy nods and watches him walk out of the room.

She takes a deep breath and slowly exhales.

She loves him so much.

She leans forward and grabs the remote control from the coffee table, and turns up the volume on the TV. Her attention isn’t really on the conversation happening on screen. She’s looking at the set decoration and noticing what the designers got right, and what they got wrong. And all she can think is how unfortunate it is that the audience can’t smell the fresh paint and flowers.

Garcia sits next to her and opens the lid to a laptop computer.

“Did I miss anything?” he asks.

“Lucy is… I am… uh… she’s trying to communicate with the Romanian sisters, which means that Irina must have talked about us to someone who was listening… which makes me wonder if Karl is in this, and dances with her in the third class general room.” Lucy laughs. “You know… I thought this movie would be triggering, but right now, I’m a little bit humored. What if Cameron has Karl streak through the first class dining room?” She laughs. “Not that I think James Cameron would include a scene like that, but still… and I wonder who they got to play Karl.”

“Yeah, not triggering for us now at the beginning, but we might want to mute the TV during the sinking,” he says, not really watching the movie, but searching the internet for information. “Ok, first… I just googled the movie, and actor Nicholas Lea plays Karl. I think that’s the guy who was a bad guy on The X-Files.”

“He was,” Lucy confirms. “His character was Alex Krycek.” Lucy smiles, then adds, “I had a serious crush on him when that show was on the air.”

Garcia gives her a smile, then says, “So, you like the bad boys too, huh?” He winks, then redirects his attention back to the laptop. “And now…” He pauses to wait for a website to load. He scans the first paragraph, and then says, “I found some info on the Titanic…” He looks at Lucy. “Want me to read it?”

Lucy nods her head.

“Seven lifeboats were successfully launched, two of which were collapsible lifeboats A and B. Collapsible B is most famous because the Titanic’s infamous Lorena ‘Lucy’ Flynn took command of the boat and is credited to have saved the lives of the men standing on its hull.”

“Remind me to apologize to Lorena for inadvertently including her in our Titanic fiasco,” Lucy says.

“That’s actually on me,” he says. “Remember, I was the one who showed my ring to the master-at-arms, and he read the name Lorena? That’s what jump started everyone thinking your name was Lorena.”

Lucy nods, remembering.

“Anyway, the ship hit the iceberg at 11:34 P.M., and disappeared beneath the ocean at 1:35 the next morning. Three-hundred and eleven people survived. And it says here that the infamous Garcia and Lucy Flynn were seen on board the Carpathia up until they disembarked in New York in the early morning of Friday, April 19th, 1912.” He looks at Lucy. “Not that I expect this to say we hopped in time machines, but… if it’s been reported we were in New York, if Rittenhouse knows this then, they know we survived.”

“Maybe they’ll think we didn’t make it back?” Lucy winces. “Let me see that.”

Lucy takes the laptop from Garcia and scans the page he’s on.

She clicks on a link with their names.

“Ok, so… we have our own Wikipedia page, and… um…” Lucy pauses, and turns the laptop towards Garcia, showing him an old photograph that someone took of the two of them walking on the First Class Promenade.

“Looks like we got a picture of us on the ship after all, huh?” He kisses her cheek.

Lucy smiles, downloads the image to the laptop, and then reads aloud, “Garcia and Lorena ‘Lucy’ Flynn were first class passengers aboard the Titanic who blurred the lines of social class. Lorena – or Lucy, as she preferred – was known to wear clothing more fitting of the ship’s third class passengers. Lady Duff-Gordon spoke of the rumors that she wore very naughty, and very risqué lingerie – claiming that Lucy’s husband told her on the night of the sinking that…” Lucy looks at Garcia. He’s rubbing the back of his neck, and his face is flushed red – he has a pretty good idea what’s coming. She rubs her hand on his shoulder as she reads, “...that what lingerie reveals and what it doesn’t reveal plays a very significant role in male arousal.”

She looks at him, and there’s a look of absolute horror on his face.

She bursts out laughing, and slaps her hand on Garcia’s knee.

“I bet you had no idea that would make it onto a Wikipedia page!” She snort giggles.

“We can delete it from the page though, right? Isn’t that a thing with Wikipedia?” Garcia is not amused.

He reaches for the laptop, but Lucy moves it from his grasp.

She continues reading.

“They were seen a few times mingling with steerage passengers, spoke with a member of the Titanic’s deck crew daily, rumored to be a man by the name of John Francis Bongiovi – no relation to the American singer-songwriter of the same name.” Lucy looks at Garcia. She smiles, shaking her head at Karl and his antics aboard the Carpathia. She clears her throat and continues reading, “Lucy wasn’t afraid to stand up against sexism in the era, taking command of the overturned collapsible B lifeboat…”

Suddenly, Lucy is thrust back into the darkness that surrounded her on top of the overturned lifeboat’s hull. The sound of almost two thousand men and women screaming for help in the freezing water. The way the men on top of the boat’s hull ridiculed her, yelling at her to shut up, threatening to throw her back into the water.

The chill of the night air, her hair freezing atop her head.

How she couldn’t feel her toes as she stood on the hull with Karl’s arms wrapped around her, trying to make her warm. How she commanded that the men lean left or right so they could stay afloat – to stay alive.

She shudders, her heart racing.

And though Maria’s home is warm, and safe…

She blinks, trying to bring herself back to the present.

She’s wearing Garcia’s turtleneck sweater. It’s soft and warm, and she’s covered by the blanket she carried with her on the Titanic. She should be warm, but a chill runs through her body.

She swallows hard, and closes her eyes.

She takes a deep breath.

“Are you ok?” Garcia asks, gently placing his hand on her knee.

“Trying to be,” she answers quietly.

“It’s normal, draga… suddenly something hits you that takes you back.”

He looks at her with concern.

“Yeah, I’m uh… I’m ok,” she says, then takes a deep breath, and focuses again on the laptop. “Um… that uh… that used to happen to me a lot after my car accident. I’d hear Christina Aguilera’s song ‘Beautiful,’ and I’d feel like I was right back in my car moments before it skid into the river.”

She looks into his eyes, and places her hand over his to help ground her to the present. He curls his fingers around hers, and offers her silent support as she turns her attention back to reading Wikipedia.

Lucy takes a deep breath. “Garcia and Lucy are most well-known for their public displays of affection, and for their sexual vulgarity outside the first class Reception Room after unknown assailants – who were suspected of having murdered First Officer William Murdoch, and the ship’s designer Thomas Andrews – attacked and shot at the infamous first class couple during the ship’s first night at sea.”

“We certainly left our mark in history, huh?” Garcia observes.

Lucy nods her head and then her eyes go wide. “Oh my God.” She looks at Garcia. “Listen to this… Rumors floated around the ship’s first class passengers that Lucy was in fact Garcia’s mistress, and that when they traveled together she would use his wife’s name to avoid the scandal. In a statement made by Lady Duff-Gordon, she expressed her opinion that Lucy was…” Lucy looks at Garcia with wide eyes, “and I quote… ‘in a delicate condition’ which could explain the couple’s lack of inhibition when it came to expressing their desire for one another in public. It seems that Lucy Flynn might have been incapable of keeping her pregnancy hormones in check.”

Now Garcia laughs. “Looks like history predicts that you’ll be horny whenever I knock you up.”

“That’s not funny, Garcia,” she says. “History thinks I’m your dirty, naughty lingerie-wearing whore.”

Garcia keeps laughing.

“Oh, keep laughing, but realize that means history has also deemed that you sullied your marriage to Lorena by having me as your mistress.” Lucy shakes her head. “This is a nightmare.”

“Oh, come on, Lucy. You’re the history geek.” He laughs, and playfully nudges her shoulder. “You should be enjoying this. Seeing how our being on the ship became, I don’t know, a sensation in pop culture.”

He points at the movie playing on TV.

Lucy rolls her eyes and playfully slaps his arm.

Her lips curl into a smile.

It is fascinating to witness how little it takes to change how history plays out.

As a lifelong student of history, and later as a professor, Lucy often found herself wondering what would happen if certain things had been done differently, or not done at all, during impactful historical events.

Garcia points at her.

“See, you are enjoying it.”

He leans over and kisses her cheek.

“If anything, it’s… it’s bringing back the good memories from our time on the ship,” she says. “As awful as the sinking was, um… everything before it, between you and me was… it was wonderful.”

Garcia smiles then takes the laptop from her, he scans the page to see where she left off. “Ok, uh… rumors that they snuck into the ship’s swimming pool and skinny dipped – a scene which made it into Cameron’s 1997 film – a controversial directorial decision since the rumor cannot be confirmed. Blah, blah, blah… they stayed in J.P. Morgan’s parlour suite, yet disembarked the Carpathia with the Titanic’s third class survivors. The last reported sighting of the couple is of Garcia helping a young woman find immigration assistance in New York.”

“Maybe Rittenhouse will think we gave up fighting them to stay in New York,” Lucy says, doubtfully. “If first class passengers were talking about how they thought I was pregnant, maybe Rittenhouse will think we stayed in 1912 to have a baby?”

Garcia keeps reading. “They disappeared, and were never heard from again. Survivors familiar with the couple wondered over the years if maybe Garcia and Lucy Flynn were sent by God to the Titanic as the ship’s guardian angels. Many of the ship’s third class survivors recalled stories of the couple encouraging them to be on deck on the night the ship hit the iceberg because the stars were going to be extraordinary that night. Most third class survivors attribute their survival to Mr. and Mrs. Garcia Flynn.”

Garcia’s caught off-guard, and chokes back tears as he reads this.

He reaches over to pat Lucy on her knee, letting her know that it was worth trying to convince people to be on deck that night.

“Um…” he continues, “Some theories surrounding them claim that they never really existed and were ghosts, a bad omen that the ship’s maiden voyage was doomed.”

Lucy is wide-eyed.

It is surreal reading a Wikipedia page about your time spent on the Titanic.

Garcia looks at her and says, “I think I’d rather watch the movie.” He closes the laptop and sets it on the coffee table.

“I think it’s going to be cringy,” Lucy says, curling up next to him. “It’s rated R, which means that our apparent sexual vulgarity is going to be exploited. And for what it’s worth, I don’t think anything we did on that ship was vulgar.”

“Draga…” He chuckles, shaking his head. “I felt you up a few times in public, and I recall you saying you wore that see-through robe outside of our room.” He kisses her cheek, and she says nothing since she can’t argue against those facts. He places his arm around her shoulder, and leans against her. “Should I take the DVD with me to the bunker and have them keep it in the Lifeboat so it can be preserved in case history changes? And we can find someplace to watch it later in its entirety after I get back?”

“You want to keep it as a souvenir of our time as time travelers?”

“Yeah.” He smiles at her. “Don’t you? It’s about us, after all.”

Lucy laughs and raises her brow. “We’d have a movie starring Goran Višnjić that no one except for us will ever see.” She stops and thinks. She rests her hand on her abdomen as she considers their future. “Would we ever show it to our kids?” she asks. “Will we ever tell our children that this is what we used to do?”

“I don’t know, um… with the journal, after I accepted that maybe it was Fate that we were supposed to end up together, I thought about how we might keep it, and uh…” he chuckles, “any kid with my DNA is going to get into things, and would probably find it, and ask about it eventually.”

“So, you’re going to keep the journal? Not get rid of it like you did with the photocopy?” Lucy asks quietly.

He sighs, and pulls her closer to him. “I know how you feel about that journal, Lucy. But it saved my life. It gave me hope that I had something to look forward to. It brought me to you.” He kisses the top of her head. “But if it hurts you that much, I’ll destroy it, and I’ll never speak of it again.”

Lucy’s head rests against his shoulder, and she takes a deep breath.

“Don’t get rid of it,” she says quietly.

He looks down at her, and wrinkles his brow. “Lucy…?”

“It hurt me when I thought you were comparing me to the Lucy who wrote it, that maybe you loved her and not me, but… I know you love me, and…” She wipes a tear from her cheek. “And I’ll never forget the way you made me feel that night at prison, when you recited entries from memory about what she wrote about her relationship with her Garcia.” She takes a breath. “I felt loved… and hearing what she wrote, knowing that there could be something between us in the future…” Lucy sits up straight, and looks at him. “When I was with Rittenhouse I wanted to die, but when you recited those entries to me, I felt like I could be loved… and that gave me hope.”

Garcia’s heart yearns for the future they want together. He brushes a strand of loose hair behind her ear. “So, what you’re saying is that the journal saved us both?”

Lucy nods. “If it weren’t for that Lucy, and that journal… we might never have met in our timeline. How can I ask you, or expect you, to get rid of something that is so meaningful to both of us? That journal has nothing to do with our lives now, it in no way reflects our journey together, but it led us to each other.”

“C’mere…” Garcia pulls her into his arms.

He places a gentle kiss on her lips, pulls back, and caresses her cheek.

They smile at each other, and remain silent as they continue watching this new version of James Cameron’s Titanic.

Nearly two hours later, the infamous pool scene plays out on the TV, and seems to be the reason why this movie carries an R rating. In the movie version, Garcia wore nothing – not even boxer briefs – in the pool, and the movie’s Lucy wasn’t shy at all as she walked confidently with her breasts exposed as she entered the water.

Lucy looks up at Garcia.

He’s wincing.

“You have a nicer ass than him,” Lucy says, looking back at the TV.

“I like your boobs better.”

“Oh!” Lucy exclaims slightly horrified. “That is so not… that’s not what we did!” She sits up, pointing at the screen. “They’re copulating in the pool!”

On screen, the actors are simulating a very heavy, very gropey, make out scene in the water – with Garcia hovering over Lucy on the stairs leading into the water, thrusting against her. Moaning, and groaning, and naughty Croatian words come from the mouth of the film’s Garcia.

“So, now history knows me as the guy who ejaculated in the Titanic’s swimming pool.” Garcia crosses his arms over his chest, and shakes his head.

He picks up the remote control and turns off the movie.

He looks at Lucy, and says, “We’ll finish watching this some other time.”

“Yeah,” she says, nodding her head. “And we can skip the pool scene.”


Later that afternoon, Garcia and Lucy are standing alone inside the elevator at NOVUS Innovations, heading down to the lab where the time machines are held.

“Yes,” Lucy says, answering a question. “You said that you’ll be back tonight, so I don’t need to go with you to the bunker. I’m good.”

“Not even to meet the team?” Garcia asks, offering her a smile.

“I’m… I’m really not ready to jump back into things right away,” she says.

“It might be easier once you get to know everyone,” he suggests.

“I know, but… I don’t want to be a curiosity to them. They know I died in 2003, and that their Garcia found another Lucy’s journal, and Jiya said that their Garcia was so unhappy… I don’t know. I just feel like if I go there then all eyes will be on me, and I’d rather wait.” She sighs. “Plus, I’m afraid if I go with you that somehow Rittenhouse will take out the Mothership, and I’ll feel obligated to chase after them with the team, and I really do not want to do that right now.”

Garcia nods his head. “I know.” He takes hold of her hands. “And I promise I won’t go on any trips if Rittenhouse does take out the Mothership. I’m just going back to get my things, and while the Lifeboat is charging to bring me back here tonight, I’ll talk with the team and figure out how we can help them from Houston.”

“I know we can’t really go out in public without the risk of exposing ourselves to Rittenhouse, but um… once you’re back, what do you want to do while we’re taking this break?” Lucy asks.

“Try to become masters of disguise so I can take you out on dates.” He smiles. “Don’t forget that I worked covertly for the NSA in Eastern Europe. There were a few times I had to disguise myself to get around.”

Lucy laughs. “That must have been like Clark Kent-Superman, but instead of reading glasses, it was your height. What did you do? Bend over like a hunchback? Bend your knees as you walked to make yourself look shorter?” She giggles. “Never mind that your profile is quite distinguishable.”

Lucy playfully boops him on the nose.

“Ha, ha.” He smiles. “It isn’t easy, but I’ve pulled it off. Maybe I’ll let the hair dye grow out, wear my natural color-”

“Which is?”

“I went grey by the time I was in my early twenties,” he says.

“I kinda figured,” Lucy says. “About the grey, not that it happened when you were young.”

“How?”

Lucy touches his face, and strokes her thumb across his scruff. “When I’m close to you, I can see the silver in your stubble, and… on your chest.” She lowers her eyes, and says, “It’s sexy.”

He clears his throat and redirects the conversation before he is tempted to hit the emergency stop button on the elevator, and press her up against the wall, and, “Um… I’d like to take you out to my favourite burger joint here in Houston, maybe go see a ballet, or symphony.” He smiles. “A walk in the park… see a movie at the Rooftop Cinema Club… visit a museum, or have a picnic, maybe take a weekend road trip to San Antonio.” He looks thoughtful. “It might be interesting to visit the Alamo again after having been there when the history happened.” He perks up and his eyes smile as he suggests, “Or maybe we can take a weekend in Corpus Christi to check out the World War Two aircraft carrier, the USS Lexington. It’s rumored to be haunted, and maybe we’ll-”

Lucy laughs, and rubs his arm.

“What?” He smiles.

“I love you.”

Garcia wraps his arms around her waist and looks down into her eyes. “Or… we could kick my mom out of the house, and spend entire days in bed together.” He leans down and kisses her, then murmurs, “Maybe start working on making our family… figure out when in time we want our kids to be born…”

“So…” Lucy rests her hands on his chest. “I shouldn’t go pick up condoms on the way back to your mom’s home today? Because I was going to do that.”

“What about neither of us is getting any younger?” he asks.

“I’m still afraid of what effects time travel could have on me, and on our baby,” she says quietly.

“I know…” he kisses her again. “I’m afraid of that too, but… we need something good to look forward to, hm? Plus… last night you told me that next time you want me to finish inside you, so there’s that.” He places his hand on her breast and kisses her. Then he murmurs, “And you’ll have to tell me how you’re learning to talk dirty in Croatian because I know you’re not learning it from me…” He leans down and kisses her neck. “And it was nice thinking about that this morning when I touched myself…”

Lucy bites her lower lip, and smiles at him. “You touched… I… I didn’t know.”

Garcia traces his fingers along the side of her neck. He whispers to her, “Had three orgasms, draga…” He groans, “Thinking of you… fantasizing about what I want to do to you, and… thinking of you speaking naughty Croatian to me…”

Lucy closes her eyes, and moans as she runs her hands through his hair.

The elevator door opens.

Garcia stands up tall and looks down at her.

He winks and wets his lips before holding his hand out to her.

She takes it, and they exit the elevator together, making their way to the staircase which goes down to where the Lifeboat, and both of his mother’s time machines are located.

Karl and Jiya are sitting together at the bottom of the stairs, and Jiya is rubbing her hand on Karl’s back. They stop talking and look behind them. They rise to their feet as Garcia and Lucy make their way towards them.

Jiya waves and smiles at Lucy.

Lucy smiles and waves back.

“Hi, Lucy,” Jiya says.

Then she goes to her, and gives her a hug – wanting to do everything that she can to make Lucy feel at home and welcome despite the unfair changes made to the timeline.

Karl is slow to stand, taking his time to turn around to look at his friends.

His shoulders lift as he deeply inhales.

He turns and smiles, subtly wiggling his brow as he looks between Garcia and Lucy, and back again – silently asking if they fucked.

Garcia furrows his brow, and shakes his head.

Karl huffs, and shakes his head, thinking: they’re unbelievably celibate.

Karl turns to Lucy, and asks, “You comin’ back to the bunker with us?”

He hugs her.

Lucy returns his hug – it feels good to be hugged by two people she thinks now consider her a friend. She smiles and looks at Garcia. “I’m staying here,” she answers. “Garcia said he’s going to get his things, touch base with the team, and then he’ll be back tonight.”

“Tonight?” Karl looks at Garcia.

“I promised Lucy that we’ll take a break when I get back. We need time to recuperate so when we come back, we’re ready to be in it one-hundred percent,” Garcia explains. “Just a few weeks, that’s all. And we’ll be available for consultation whenever you need us, just not in the bunker, and we won’t be going on any missions.”

Jiya smiles, and looks from Lucy to Garcia. “You two better not be tying the knot without us. There’s an entire crew at the bunker who would want to be there for that, you know?”

“We’ve discussed marriage,” Lucy says, “but no one has proposed... yet. But Garcia keeps trying to convince me that we’re already in a common-law marriage-”

“I’m not trying to convince you, Lucy… I’ve been saying it’s an option.”

“Wait. Why the rush to get married?” Jiya looks at them bug-eyed. “Are you pregnant?”

Garcia smiles and wraps his arm around Lucy. “No, but um…” He caresses Lucy’s jawline. “It’s something we’ve talked about.”

“Oh my God…” Jiya covers her mouth to keep from letting out a girly squeal. Instead, she whacks Karl on the arm, and tells him, “We’re gonna be Auntie Jiya, and Uncle Karl!”

Lucy laughs, and says, “Calm down, Jiya. It’s just… it’s an option that we’re not dismissing, and it needs a few more details ironed out before we dedicate ourselves to becoming parents.”

“Is my son considering having a child out of wedlock?” Maria interrupts them, making her way down the stairs.

Lucy’s eyes go wide, and she looks to Garcia.

He’s shaking his head and chuckling to himself.

“No, um…” Lucy starts. “We were um… No, we wouldn’t have a child before marriage, and um-”

Garcia leans down and whispers to her, “It’s ok, Lucy...” He kisses her cheek. “Wait for it.”

Maria stops and crosses her arms over her chest. She clicks her tongue while shaking her head. Then she breaks out a huge smile, and says, “Because I really cannot wait until I have another grandchild, and if my sleeping here at NOVUS so you two can be alone helps hurry that up, I will do it.”

Lucy places a strand of hair behind her ear, and feels her face flush.

“I told you,” Garcia whispers to her, nudging her playfully with his elbow.

Maria goes to Lucy, and hugs her. “No need to be embarrassed, Lucy.” She kisses her cheek. “Sex is natural, sex is good-”

“Not everybody does it,” Jiya adds, trying not to laugh.

“But everybody should,” Karl adds with a straight face, then gives Garcia and Lucy a look.

Garcia shakes his head and can’t stop himself. He looks at Lucy and lowers his voice as he says, “Sex is best when it’s one on one.” He looks Lucy in the eye, wets his lips, and winks at her.

Lucy rolls her eyes, slightly surprised that Garcia took part in quoting the lyrics from George Michael’s I Want Your Sex. But maybe this is him coming out of the shell he’s surrounded himself with since he lost his girls.

She smiles as she looks up at him, happy that he’s more comfortable being himself with her, and with others, since the two of them began opening up to each other intimately. She isn’t sure, but she believes he’s behaving more like the man he was before his girls were taken from him – more carefree, playful, and flirtatious.

A man who is learning to live, love, and enjoy life again.

Maria looks at the three of them, having no idea why they interrupted her with sentences that make no sense to her.

Lucy looks at Maria and explains, “They were quoting a song from the 1980s.”

“Oh,” Maria says. “That vulgar era of hair bands, punk rock, and synthesizers.” She shakes her head. “I stopped listening when that Madonna woman sprawled around on the floor at some music award show.”

“That shocks me,” Lucy says.

“Excuse me?” Maria asks.

“You’re so open about sex, and…” Lucy trails off deciding it’s wiser to just not point out how inappropriate Maria has been about talking about her sex life with Garcia – before it had the chance to even get started. “Um… anyway…”

Karl snorts. “Anyway, what, Lucy? You can’t end a sentence with just the word anyway. What were you going to say?”

Jiya hits him on the shoulder hard enough that he shrugs, dropping the subject.

“Anyway,” Karl says intentionally, winking at Lucy. “Lifeboat’s charged up and ready for us to get back to Montana.” Karl looks at Lucy and says, “See, that’s how you use anyway in a sentence.”

“Oh, shut up, Karl,” Lucy lightly slaps him on the arm.

She smiles. It feels good to have someone other than Garcia to banter with.

“And you’re sure you don’t want to come back with us?” Karl asks. “Jiya and Rufus upgraded the Lifeboat to fit four people.”

“It’s ok,” Lucy says. “I was kinda hoping that Maria might show me how to make her famous spaghetti sauce. In our timeline, Garcia made it for me when I visited him in prison, and it was really good, and um…” She nervously runs her hand through her hair. “My mother never bothered to teach me how to cook, and um…”

“What Lucy’s trying to say, mom, is that one day you’ll be her mother-in-law, and she already views you as a mom, and she would like to have some mother-daughter time with you,” Garcia says, letting his mother in on a conversation he’d had with Lucy as they drove here this afternoon. He places his arm around Lucy’s shoulders and gives her a supportive squeeze.

“Oh, sweetheart,” Maria says, holding her hand over her heart. “Come over here and give me a hug.”

Maria walks towards Lucy with her arms open, and Lucy steps into her embrace.

Karl looks at Garcia. “We should get going.”

Garcia nods, and then reaches out and brushes his hand against Lucy’s shoulder. She steps away from Maria and looks at him. Then all five of them head towards the Lifeboat.

Karl is the first inside, but Jiya lingers and goes to Lucy.

“Whenever you decide you’re ready to move into the bunker with us, let me know, and I will make Garcia’s room more homey, ok? And if you need me to ask Dave to build a crib, I will. He’s really good at building things.” Jiya smiles. “He’s actually up in Wisconsin right now, having pretty much built our new safe house with his own two hands.”

“Bam Bam?” Lucy asks.

“Yeah, you know him?”

“I… I knew him. In my timeline, Wyatt got arrested for stealing the Lifeboat to try to save Jessica, and while he was out, Dave was brought in to replace him, but…” Lucy looks into the Lifeboat at Karl. “But my timeline’s Karl shot and killed him in Paris in 1927, so I only knew him for a few hours. Seemed like a nice guy.”

“He is,” Jiya says. “Um… our Garcia was actually working with him at the safe house to install custom-built security features. It wasn’t finished before your trip to 1912, so uh, your Garcia might have to help him out once you guys are back. That is… if your Garcia knows how to install the equipment.”

Lucy smiles. “I’m sure he’ll figure it out.”

Jiya gives Lucy a hug, and then heads up into the Lifeboat.

Lucy turns around and looks at Garcia.

She smiles.

“Make sure to keep it in the Lifeboat,” she says.

Garcia pulls the DVD of Titanic out of the inside pocket of his jacket.

“I’ll put it in a safe place before we even leave Houston,” he says. He turns to face his mother. “Mom? Do you have the journal?”

Maria nods her head, and goes to her bag on the table in front of the time machines. She opens it and retrieves the journal. She hands it to him, and gives him a hug.

“What time do you expect to be back?” Maria asks. “Lucy and I can be here to pick you up when you arrive.”

“No later than eight or nine.” Garcia looks at Lucy as he hugs his mom, then he whispers, “She’s putting on a good show that she’s ok, so try to keep her from thinking too much about what happened when the Titanic sank, ok?”

Maria pulls back and kisses Garcia on the cheek. “I’ll teach her how to cook your favourite meal, and then maybe I’ll go through family photo albums with her. Is she ok seeing photos of you with Lorena?”

“I am,” Lucy says, having overheard her. “I’d love to know more about her and Iris. If you have stories, I want to hear them.” Lucy smiles.

Maria smiles at Garcia and pinches his cheek. “You found yourself a good girl, Garcia.”

“I know, mama.”

He runs his hand through his hair, goes to Lucy, and hugs her.

“We’ll have dinner ready for you when you get back,” Lucy says. She rises on her toes and kisses his lips. “Call me before you leave so we can be here to get you, ok?”

“I will… I promise.”

Garcia kisses her forehead, and runs his hand through her hair. “I love you, draga.”

“And I love you more, dušo.” Lucy smiles at him and looks back at the Lifeboat. “Karl looks impatient,” she says. “I think his girl might be back at the bunker and he’s itching to get back to her.”

Garcia smiles, and glances back at Karl. “I guess I should go.”

“I feel like a teenager,” Lucy says, chuckling. “Knowing I’ll see you in a few hours, and then not wanting to say goodbye.” She shakes her head. “Go.” She gently shoves his chest, smiling up at him. “And keep that movie and the journal inside the Lifeboat.”

“I’ll call thirty minutes before I leave so you have time to get here,” he says as he makes his way to the Lifeboat. “And uh-”

“For the love of God,” Karl interrupts him. “You’ll be gone for four bloody hours, Garcia. Get your ass in here, and let’s go.”

Garcia and Lucy share a smile.

He waves as he steps inside the Lifeboat, and closes its hatch.

He sits down in his seat and straps himself in.

“What’s the movie?” Jiya asks, looking at the DVD case in Garcia’s hand.

“Titanic.”

“Oh, I love that movie!” she exclaims. “I wasn’t allowed to have a dog when I was a kid, and when that movie came out my best friend got two golden retriever puppies, and named them Jack and Rose, and we made a home movie of Titanic with her dogs. It was so cute.”

“Movie’s changed a lot since you last saw it,” Garcia says. “Apparently, Lucy and I made quite an impression on Titanic’s passengers, and uh… well… the movie is about us now.” He pauses to grin as Jiya’s jaw drops to the floor. “We erased Jack and Rose.”

“What the Hell did you two do on the Titanic to change an entire movie so it’s about you?!” Jiya laughs.

“We probably don’t want to know,” Karl says. “I know how to read a room, so I left them alone most of the time on that ship. And Garcia claims that they’re celibate, but I’m not entirely convinced.” Karl snatches the DVD case from Garcia. He looks at it. “It’s rated R.” Karl laughs. “You two so got it on.”

“We didn’t, and we still haven’t,” Garcia says.

“You know,” Jiya says, trying not to giggle. “That’s not the best way to go about making a baby.”

“I’m aware of that.” Garcia looks at them. “What happens between me and Lucy is none of your business.” He snatches the DVD case back from Karl, giving him a look.

“Anyway,” Karl says. “After you leave the bunker, I’ll take lead while you’re M.I.A. I’ll get in touch with Amy, and see what’s the latest from Rittenhouse. I’ll keep you and Lucy in the loop. Daily phone calls. I gave you guys space on the Titanic, and um… Lucy’s a strong woman, but she went through Hell during the sinking, Garcia. Take all the time you need – both of you.”

“When we come back, should we come to the bunker or the safe house?” Garcia asks. “And where exactly is the safe house located?”

“Dave’s setting it up near Eagle River, Wisconsin. In the middle of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest,” Karl answers.

“Is it easy to get to?” Garcia asks, only knowing that Eagle River is in far-north Wisconsin, where sometimes winter snow doesn’t completely melt until June.

“Harder to get to than learning how to pronounce Chequamegon,” Karl answers.

Jiya chuckles. “Dave’s an outdoorsy kind of guy, and other than hiring contractors to dig the basement where we’ll park the Lifeboat, he’s been building it almost completely on his own. He’s sent me pictures.” Jiya leans over and opens a drawer in the wall of the Lifeboat – a cubby hole – and takes out her phone. “See. He’s like a freaking lumberjack, right?”

“You sound smitten,” Garcia says, looking at Jiya. “I think in my timeline you and Rufus had a thing going on, is that not the case here?”

“Um, yeah, Rufus and I, we’re a thing, but…” She shakes her head. “It’s complicated.”

Jiya scrolls to another picture of Dave working on the safe house.

Garcia looks at the pictures. The safe house looks like a cozy little two-story log cabin home. It has a front porch, and looks big enough for perhaps four or five small bedrooms.

“How many people does it house?” Garcia asks.

“As many as we are in the bunker,” Karl answers. “Nine people, but five bedrooms. Couples pair off.” Karl says with a shrug, then asks, “So, when Lucy gets to the bunker… are you going to tell her about Amy before then, or no? Because while Amy works inside Rittenhouse, she does make frequent enough visits to the bunker, and if Lucy’s there,” Karl shakes his head, “she’s going to find out about her sister pretty quick.”

“I should,” Garcia says. “But I don’t know how to break it to her that her sister is Rittenhouse, because Lucy never wanted this war to touch her sister. Then I’d have to tell her that Amy is our guy inside Rittenhouse, and she’ll know how dangerous that is, and… I think it’ll upset her, and that’s the last-”

“Talk to Amy about it. See what she thinks,” Karl says. “I know Amy wants to see Lucy. I mean, she’s been trying to figure out how she can save her since time travel became possible.” Karl looks at Garcia. He leans towards him. “If Amy says it’s safe for Lucy to find out about her, then the first damn thing you do is pick up that phone and tell her. Fuck, we’ll take you back to Houston before your talk with Amy comes to an end, land it in your mom’s backyard, so you can tell her.” Karl smiles, trying to assure his friend that everything will be all right.

Garcia nods, and forces a smile.

Jiya turns around and starts entering in the coordinates to take the Lifeboat back to the bunker.

Garcia braces himself, remembering how hard the forward thrust was when they returned from 1912. He hopes that this time he doesn’t feel sick on arrival.

The engine of the machine revs up as the circular magnets begin spinning around it, then the machine shakes and he’s thrust forward in his seat.

The machine settles indicating that they’ve made it.

Garcia turns around and opens a small drawer behind him, a cubby hole, and he places the DVD and the journal inside it.

Then there’s a loud POP, and another POP, and another.

“What the Hell is that?” Garcia asks, looking at Karl.

Jiya stands up and starts checking the control panels.

“I don’t know,” Karl says, quickly unbuckling his seatbelt. “Jiya?”

She turns to them. “Everything looks good on the dash and control panels.”

Karl hits the button to open the hatch, and immediately his arm is grazed by a stray bullet.

BAM! BAM! BAM!

Garcia grabs Jiya by the arm, and pulls her next to him as he takes cover behind the metal paneling of the Lifeboat’s pod. He retrieves his gun from his waistband holster, and quickly glances out the hatch.

It’s chaos in the bunker.

Constant gunfire, and shouting.

A fire is raging in the common area, and it smells like gasoline.

He thinks he sees Rufus cowering beneath a desk, hesitating off and on to try to grab something from on top of it. Garcia’s eyes scan the room, trying to determine who’s attacking. He’s certain it’s Rittenhouse, but how the fuck did they find the bunker?

“GET IN THE LIFEBOAT!” Noah shouts at the others, as he grabs his medical bag and runs towards the hatch.

Karl leans out, scans the room, and lays down cover fire so that Noah can make it into the Lifeboat as safely as possible. He throws his bag into the machine, and struggles to crawl up inside it. He’s in, and sits with his back up against the wall next to Jiya, out of breath.

Garcia peers out again, and sees Emma Whitmore.

She’s in the corner of the bunker, with two other Rittenhouse soldiers on either side of her. It looks like… Garcia squints his eyes… it looks like she’s setting a bomb for detonation. He looks down at Jiya, and asks, “Are you armed?”

“Always,” Jiya answers, then bends down and retrieves a small handgun from her ankle holster.

“Cover me.”

Jiya nods her head, and leans out of the hatch and lays down cover fire as Garcia jumps out of the Lifeboat. He rushes to push a ladder up to the hatch to make it easier for the other members of the team to get into it.

First, Garcia goes to Rufus.

He grabs the back of his blue hoodie to pull him up onto his feet.

“Get in the Lifeboat!” Garcia shouts. “I’ve got you covered!”

Rufus nods, grabs a pile of paperwork, and a flashdrive from the desk. Then he pats Garcia on the back, and runs for his life to the time machine. Garcia takes aim at three Rittenhouse soldiers who take aim at Rufus, and he shoots off three rounds.

BAM!

BAM!

BAM!

It would’ve been wise for those three Rittenhouse soldiers to have stayed home today, because all three of them now lie dead in the middle of the bunker.

Garcia refocuses his attention on Emma, she’s working quickly.

He has to stop her.

“EMMA!” he shouts.

She glances back and shakes her head in frustration, great he’s here, she thinks.

If only he had listened to her on the fucking Titanic and kept Lucy away from her. Their eyes make contact, and she quickly looks away, returning her attention to the bomb she’s preparing for detonation.

Garcia takes a shot, and intentionally misses.

The bullet hits the wall next to her, but she doesn’t stop.

She spins around, grabbing her weapon from her holster.

She shoots at Garcia.

BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM!

Garcia grabs onto his shoulder, and falls hard to the ground.

He lands on his back, and his gun falls out of his hand.

He groans as he lifts his hand from his bicep.

It’s bleeding.

He snarls, groaning in pain as he forces himself to grab his gun.

He rises onto his knee, and takes aim at Emma.

He shoots.

BAM! BAM!

“GARCIA!”

A woman calls out for him, and it’s not a voice he recognizes.

His eyes frantically search for whomever called out to him.

It’s Amy Preston.

He recognizes her immediately from the photos Lucy keeps in her locket.

She’s being dragged away by three Rittenhouse soldiers. She’s kicking and throwing her arms and legs in every direction to try to stop them. Her eyes go wide when she sees Karl peer out from the Lifeboat’s hatch, and she screams his name, “KARL!”

Her mouth is covered, and the Rittenhouse soldier wraps his arm around her waist and picks her up off her feet.

There’s no fucking way Garcia is going to let Rittenhouse take Lucy’s sister.

He takes aim at that motherfucker, and pulls the trigger.

BAM!

The bullet hits the man between the eyes. His blood splattering all over Amy. He falls to the ground with Amy in his arms.

“AMY!” Garcia grunts, and holds his hand over his shoulder as he rises to his feet. He stumbles forward, trying to run after her as another Rittenhouse asshole grabs her.

Fuck.

She’s Lucy’s sister, and it’s his goddamn responsibility to make sure she isn’t hurt.

That she isn’t taken.

He can’t fail.

Emma bumps into him, and he stumbles, but doesn’t fall.

The fire that the Rittenhouse soldiers have set in the bunker reflect in Emma’s eyes. And with a tinge of regret, she tells him, “I told you that I’d have to do things I didn’t want to do.” She looks at him with sad eyes. “You should’ve found a way to keep Lucy out of this because now… well… I think you can see it’s not good.”

“Let Amy go,” he growls.

“Sorry, I can’t,” she shrugs her shoulders. “I’ve been given orders that I cannot disobey.” She hits the button of the detonator in her hand. “Bomb’s on a timer. You’ve got one minute until this place is decimated.” She leans toward him, and speaks quietly, “I’m sorry.”

Emma takes off running, and Garcia eyes the bomb in the corner of the room.

One minute.

Sixty seconds.

He could try to defuse the bomb, but… he looks behind him. Jiya is climbing out of the Lifeboat now that Rittenhouse has retreated, and Karl is following her.

“GET BACK IN THE LIFEBOAT!” Garcia shouts at them.

He looks back in the direction he last saw Amy.

He can’t go after her.

He has to get everyone out of this bunker before it explodes.

“KARL!”

Karl runs to him, his eyes wide. “We can’t let them take her!”

“We have to.” Garcia gestures towards the bomb. “We’ve got less than a minute. Is there anything we need to grab?”

“The computers,” Karl answers, then turns around and runs to the computers. “RUFUS! Give me a hand!”

Garcia looks at Jiya, “Get back in the Lifeboat. Let’s get everyone to the safe house.”

Jiya nods her head and runs back up into the Lifeboat.

“Roll call!” Jiya shouts, as she buckles herself back into the pilot seat. “Amy?”

There’s no response.

“Tammy?”

“Here!”

“Noah?”

“Here.”

“Iman?”

“Present.”

Jiya looks at a yellow post-it note with coordinates of the safe house scribbled on it. She carefully punches the coordinates into the Lifeboat’s control panel. She looks behind her and sees Karl and Rufus shoving the CPUs of their bunker’s three computers into the Lifeboat.

“Where’s Garcia?!” Jiya shouts at them.

“I don’t know.”

Rufus steps into the Lifeboat and double checks that Jiya entered in the correct coordinates for their safe house.

“I sure hope Dave isn’t standing where he shouldn’t be when we arrive,” Rufus says. “Don’t want him meeting the same fate as the Wicked Witch of the East.”

Karl stands in the hatch, and looks frantically for Garcia.

He can’t see him in the thickening smoke from the fires the Rittenhouse soldiers set during their attack. And then, Garcia emerges from the smoke. He’s running towards the Lifeboat with his duffle bag slung over his uninjured arm.

Karl turns to Jiya, “Get ready to jump the moment the hatch seals!”

Jiya nods, and there are no free seats left to sit in, so Rufus kneels next to Jiya, and wraps his arms around her waist. It’s the best he can do to secure himself in this bucket of bolts.

Rufus sees that Garcia’s injured, and he holds his hand out to him, to help him into the Lifeboat.

Garcia drops his duffle bag onto the floor, and holds his hand over his arm.

He winces in pain.

Karl slams his hand on the button to close the hatch.

It hisses as it seals shut.

Jiya punches a button and the Lifeboat revs up.

Garcia looks around for something to hang onto, but there’s nothing. He lowers himself to the floor next to Karl, and the both of them hang onto the bottom of the other three seats to brace themselves.

There’s an extra violent jolt as the Lifeboat jumps, and for a split-second, they hear the explosion inside the bunker.