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Take Your Time Miss Lucy

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The sun sets on an unsettled horizon. The gentle wind gusts from a distant storm threaten to pull back the white bonnet Lucy Preston wears atop her head. She stares out at the plains ahead of the wagon train that she and Garcia Flynn had joined over a month ago. It’s 1845 and they made the decision to chase after Emma on the Oregon Trail. At least they think that Emma had joined another group ahead of theirs. Rufus and Wyatt had been with them, but over a month ago they took two horses and set out ahead of this wagon train to find Emma.

They haven’t seen or heard from them since.

Before leaving Independence, Missouri, with Captain John Henry Brown on this dangerous cross-country journey. They decided, as a team, that they wouldn’t wander off anywhere alone. That they would always travel in pairs, and that if they ever got separated that Rufus would return immediately to the Lifeboat, go back to 2019 to recharge the battery and return to pick them up where they had left them. Wyatt made the decision that with two soldiers on the team that he would team up with Lucy, and Rufus with Garcia.

Of course, things don’t always go as planned. Or perhaps, Rufus sensed that after three weeks on the trail, that Lucy was annoyed with Wyatt and made his own decision that he and Wyatt would go ahead of them, to chase after Emma. Lucy didn’t mind. She actually preferred working with Garcia and hated that Wyatt tried to impose himself on her by sorting out their teams without discussing it with them all first.

Wyatt hadn’t spent a single day not lamenting the fact that Jessica has given birth to a child he doesn’t know. He talks about all the things he’s missing out on by not being involved in his newborn child’s life. How he wanted to be there with Jessica to feel the baby kick, to sing to her stomach so the child would recognize his voice. And yet, when he was alone with Lucy in the bunker – and even out here on the Oregon Trail – Wyatt would touch her in ways that made her uncomfortable. He talked about how he’s thought about her at night and wanted her to come to him in his room. He complained about how much time she had been spending with Garcia ever since they returned from Chinatown. It angered Lucy that he was two-faced. Wanting Jessica and to be with her and his child, and then so easily trying to show Lucy that he wanted to reignite a physical relationship with her.

A gust of wind tips back Lucy’s bonnet and she unties it and removes it from her head. Her hair blows behind her in the wind. With limited clothing to choose from, she had had to make due with wearing the same dress that she stole when the team went back to 1863 and met Harriet Tubman. It’s a little worse for wear now as she only has this and another dress she stole back in Independence. Her mother never taught her how to sew when she was young, so here on the trail she’s had to learn from the other women, making up the excuse that her mother died in childbirth and her father always turned to seamstresses for her clothing. Though her talent as a seamstress is poor, she’s proud that she’s been able to patch up her own dresses – and even helped patch up holes that accumulated in Garcia’s shirts and pants during this trip.

She watches the horizon as lightning strikes ground beneath a wall of ominous storm clouds.

Thunder rolls.

Lucy turns around and looks at the wagon circle which has formed behind her. All the livestock have been herded within the circle to keep them from straying overnight. And with the incoming storm, the men made the decision that everyone ought to sleep inside the covered wagons tonight. Single men in their own wagons. Single women and orphaned children in their own.

Her eyes drift toward Garcia Flynn inside the wagon circle as he runs his hand up and down the nose of one of the horses, soothing it from the rolling thunder. His eyes catch hers when he glances her way, out toward the western horizon. The raised voices of angry men break their contact as Garcia hovers his hand over his gun holster on his hip. The last couple of days have been rough on this traveling company. They lost three young children, two women and seven men while crossing the South Platte River into Wyoming just yesterday.

Before stopping yesterday evening, they came across a warning from a wagon train that came before them, of a hostile American Indian tribe in this area. Everyone is on high alert, and exhaustion and sleep deprivation have everyone on their last nerve.

He and Lucy haven’t talked about what happened, but Garcia not only didn’t get out of the river crossing unscathed, he also did so by taking Fate into his own hands.

Ignoring Lucy’s pleas for him to not interfere – which likewise broke her heart – he couldn’t stand by and watch as the tiny body of a four-year old orphan, Elizabeth – who had taken a liking of them since her parents’ passing – floated down the river. It was pouring rain, and one of the wheels of a wagon had broken beneath the rough river waters. Garcia cut his arm on the wooden rim of the wheel as he tried to fix it, and was bleeding substantially when Elizabeth was swept away by the rushing water.

He had taken a step toward the girl and heard Lucy call out his name to stop him. They both know that saving any life that was meant to be taken could change their present in ways they couldn’t predict. He knew that he should let the girl go, but he couldn’t. He couldn’t stand by and watch a child – close in age to his Iris when her life was lost – struggle for her life. He couldn’t let her drown.

Lucy was nearly swept under the raging water and was helped to shore by Captain Brown. He abandoned her side and returned to the water to help other families across the river. Lucy watched in fear as Garcia’s head disappeared below the water. He must have been submerged for only a few seconds, but to her it felt like minutes. In that time, she panicked. Was he going to die? Could she go back out in the water and try to save him? If she did, what if they both died? It was a risk she was willing to take, and as she took a step back into the cold river water, he emerged. He was holding little Elizabeth by her chin, keeping her head above water. The child was unconscious and not breathing on her own. Lucy waded out into the water and helped him support the girl as he set her on the rocky shore. She kneeled at his side as he performed mouth-to-mouth on the child until she spat up water and started breathing on her own.

Lucy took the child into her arms and comforted her as she cried, and Garcia turned his attention to Lucy to make sure that she hadn’t been hurt in the crossing. His hands were all over her body. Her shoulders, her neck, her torso, her face, and his hands wove through her hair as he kissed the top of her head and muttered soft words to her in Croatian. Lucy held Elizabeth against her chest, her hand on the back of the child’s head. She looked to Garcia and though she desperately wanted to touch him, to check to see that he was all right, she couldn’t let go of the child. She asked if he was all right and told him his arm was bleeding. He assured her that the cut wasn’t going to kill him, caressed the side of her face, and returned to the dangerous river waters to help other emigrants to shore.

Lucy watched as he risked his life again and again to help others. Crying women clung to his body as he brought them ashore. He helped men settle their horses or oxen to safely get their covered wagons to the other side of the river. Lucy watched on and all she could think about was how there was nothing in the group’s medical kits that could properly take care of his wound. She had to trust that Garcia wasn’t going to let it get infected and wouldn’t need amputation or face worse results, like death from sepsis.

After their group crossed the river, they didn’t have time to talk. She was busy comforting Elizabeth who refused to let go of her. She and the other women had to decide which articles of clothing could be ripped apart to create bandages for those who suffered injuries during the crossing. The men began fixing broken wagons, and Garcia led a group of men on horseback to round up livestock that had strayed.

It wasn’t until that night after Elizabeth had fallen asleep, that Lucy was able to find him.

For the duration of this journey, Garcia had been sleeping alone in a covered wagon that he stole for the team back in Independence. He refused to sleep in the tents outside the wagon circle with the other men because he had stored his modern weapons – and he brought plenty of them since this is the treacherous Oregon Trail – in wooden storage boxes inside the wagon. He didn’t want to risk anyone from 1845 rummaging through their things and finding the guns and ammunition.

After their group settled down after crossing the river and had had supper, Lucy joined him in his wagon where he was tending to his wound. Her mind had exaggerated it all. The cut wasn’t deep and had already been treated by one of the other men with citric acid and carbolic acid to prevent sepsis. Garcia was using one of her stitching needles and thread to close the wound.

They said nothing to each other as she took a hunting knife from the floor and used it to cut out a piece of fabric from her dress so that he could use it as a bandage. It wasn’t the most sanitary thing, but it was all they had. She held the fabric in her hand as she sat next to him and watched him finish his stitches. She rested her hand on his lap since he seemed to be in pain, grimacing as he stabbed the needle into his own flesh and tightened the thread.

She couldn’t find the words to tell him then that she had been terrified that she was going to lose him in the river. That she was terrified that he was going to get an infection and die. She was afraid to tell him that she doesn’t want to be stuck here in 1845 without him. All she could do was rest her hand against his thigh and caress him with her thumb, sitting with him in silence. After he finished stitching his wound, he looked at her with sad eyes as she did her best to secure the fabric of her dress to his arm, covering his wound.

In their silence, there was no misunderstanding. There never had been. Without his saying, she understood that the look in his eyes was him apologizing to her, making a promise to her that he won’t ever risk his life again. That he understood that he could have made a fatal mistake that could have left her here alone. That he is here as her partner, to protect her, and he won’t abandon her again. She nodded her head, stood up, and placed a kiss on the top of his head as she cupped his face in her hand. She turned to leave and he reached out and held her hand. A ‘thank you’ for her help and a wish good night. She had been with him for over an hour and not one word was spoken between them. With them words weren’t important. They understood each other even in silence.

The wind blows again and Lucy wipes a strand of hair from her forehead. She glances once more at the incoming storm clouds then slips between two wagons and enters the circle. She makes her way to Garcia. He’s still petting the nose of the horse and speaking to it softly.

Lucy looks around them. Women are preparing tonight’s evening meal. Children are running around playing with a dog. And the other men are preparing the wagons and other animals for the storm.

Lucy is gentle as she places her hand on Garcia’s forearm. He’s wearing a coat now that the sun is setting and temperatures are dropping. She caresses her thumb against its fabric, takes a breath and is careful as she rolls up the sleeve of his coat and shirt to check on the fabric bandage. She trusts him when he tells her that he’ll live, and that the wound isn’t bad, but she wants to see for herself that it hasn’t become infected, and to let him know that he really ought to change the bandage – which she had to do earlier this afternoon – cutting off another piece of her own dress – as they walked side-by-side next to their stolen wagon.

“Storm’s getting closer.” He says, lowering his gaze from the horizon to Lucy.

“I wish we had been able to make it to Fort Laramie.” Lucy covers his arm, satisfied that the bandage doesn’t look worse than the last time she checked on him. “I hope that Rufus figures out that the fort is a major stopping point for emigrants on their way out west.” She sighs. “I just want to get back home.” She pauses and steps closer to him as another cool gust of wind surrounds them. “I’ve studied the Oregon Trail, I’ve read about how settlers lived and the dangers they faced, but living it…” She shakes her head. “If Rufus is at Laramie, I’m going to kiss him over and over again, and ask for Jiya’s forgiveness later.”

“What?” Garcia chuckles, wanting to lighten her mood after hearing the homesickness in her voice. “You don’t think that Wyatt can figure it out?”

Lucy gives Garcia a look and shakes her head with a smile. They’ve been friends for over a year, ever since they returned from their trip to San Antonio, maybe even before that. They’ve spent countless hours in their room, talking about anything that is on their minds. Wyatt comes up now most often when they are in need of a good laugh. It’s not that they think he’s totally incompetent as a member of the team, it’s just that he doesn’t exactly bring much to the table on these missions other than muscle, brawn, and a need for a history lesson.

“Lucy?” Garcia can’t erase the grin from his face as he watches her try to suppress her own laugh. “It was purchased by the U.S. Army, Wyatt might know that much.” Garcia defends Wyatt as Lucy shoots him side-eye. “He likes to brag about all the U.S. military history he knows, after all.”

“Yeah… and yet he claimed he knew about the Alamo, but didn’t know that the women and children got out before Santa Anna attacked.” Lucy gives Garcia a look. “I don’t trust Wyatt’s knowledge of history. But Rufus, well… he and Jiya have been reading my books, and I know a couple of them have chapters dedicated to the life of settlers on the Oregon Trail, even about Fort Laramie, so there’s hope we won’t be stuck here forever.”

The horse reacts to another loud roll of thunder. Both Lucy and Garcia raise their hands to pet the horse to try to keep it calm. Lucy caresses her hand over Garcia’s and hopes that he doesn’t know that it was intentional.

It hasn’t exactly been a secret among everyone at the bunker that she and Garcia have grown close. She’s even confided in Jiya that she’s attracted to him and would want to explore her feelings more. But Lucy has been afraid to take things too far with him. He does, in fact, still wear his wedding ring. And after everything she went through with Wyatt – the first man she loved who was a widower – she has been too afraid that if she allows herself to give her heart completely to Garcia, that Rittenhouse will take him away from her too. What if Rittenhouse went back and saved Lorena and Iris? What if he chose to return to them instead of… no. She shouldn’t think that way. She wants for him to save his family just as much as she wants to save Amy. But right now, he’s a widower and she’s fallen in love with him, and she never wants to experience the return of a dead wife again.

She has to keep her feelings locked up.

She can’t let him know that she has fallen in love with him.

She removes her hand from his and looks down at her feet. She can’t allow herself to do anything that might bring them together in the ways that she’s fantasized. The ways that she’s imagined, alone in the shower back at home, or lying next to him in their bed listening to him snore softly as she laid awake, unable to sleep from the ache in her chest from not being able to express her feelings to him.

“Would it be so bad if we were?” Garcia’s voice is soft as he reaches out and takes her hand in his, rubbing his warm hands over her cold knuckles. “You know… stuck here, forever?”

Lucy looks into his eyes and wrinkles her brow, giving his hand a gentle squeeze. She smiles and thinks to herself that no, being stuck here in the past with Garcia Flynn wouldn’t be a bad thing.

“I just wish that we had told Captain Brown that we were married.” Lucy sighs. “Sleeping with you has to be better than sleeping in a crowded tent or wagon with other single women and orphaned children.”

“Would you like to marry me, Lucy?” He can’t stop himself from smiling. It’s not a serious proposal, not how he’s imagined he might one day ask for her hand.

Another bolt of lightning strikes in the distance.

“You’re not serious, are you?” She remains externally calm while inside she’s anything but. “Asking me to marry you?” She rests her hand on his arm, gazing up into his eyes.

“You know that I’ve made it so that I don’t share the wagon with anyone else. I don’t sleep in the tents with the other single men… if you’d be my wife, at least here in 1845, then you could sleep with me.” He speaks seriously. “I’d sleep better knowing you were at my side rather than out of my sight.” He takes a breath and winks at her as she stiffens up at his proposition. “I promise… I won’t bite.”

Lucy blushes. She’s imagined how it might feel for him to nibble at her earlobe, or trace kisses all over her naked skin. If they were ever in a position where he could bite her, she most definitely would want him to. But she shakes her head instead. She’s not ready to admit her attraction to him. She’s not even sure that he is attracted to her, so it’s best not to push things any further than they have to.

Keep your feelings to yourself, Lucy.

“That’s ok. But thank you for the offer. Tomorrow we should arrive at Fort Laramie and hopefully Rufus and Wyatt will be there… I think I can survive one more night in the company of women and children.”

She watches Garcia for his reaction, and even though daylight is fading she thinks that she sees sadness in his eyes. Maybe he’s lonely and wants someone to talk to at night. She certainly understands this as she’s missed their late-night talks too. It’s been almost two months that they’ve been on this journey out west. To assure him that her response isn’t a rejection, she goes up on her toes and kisses him on the cheek.

“When we get back home, things will return to normal.” She tells him. “I miss staying up late, talking to you and sleeping next to you too.”

“Just know that… if you need me, you can come to me, Lucy.”

She smiles as she slides her hand down the front of his chest. She turns and walks away, wrapping her arms around herself to keep warm. She glances behind her to see if he’s watching her walk away.

Of course, he is.

He watches her walk toward Elizabeth, the orphaned child. Lucy picks the girl up in her arms and carries her over to where other women are frantically preparing rice, beans and rabbit for supper. Lucy sits down next to the fire with Elizabeth in her lap. He watches as Lucy wraps her arms around the girl and kisses the top of her head.

All Garcia can think about is how much he wants to share a life with Lucy.

To love her, to marry her, to have children with her.

They’ve been with this wagon train without anyone else from their team for over a month. Since they aren’t a married couple, their relationship has practically been brought to a halt since one of the rules of this company is that men and women, not married to each other, could not share a bed.

Hearing her tell him that she misses him makes him feel good. This trip hasn’t been easy. In fact, it’s been rough and not being able to spend late nights talking with Lucy has made it even worse.

He misses her.

Yes, they see each other every day, but it isn’t the same. He misses the intimacy they share back home at the bunker. The way they curl up in each other’s arms, facing one another as they talk in bed. The way that she speaks softly to him as her fingers trace his skin. He misses feeling the rise and fall of her body against his in the morning when he wakes. How he doesn’t get out of bed first thing in the morning anymore so he can stay in bed with her for a few minutes longer. He misses making her coffee in the morning. He misses the times when she wakes before him and brings him coffee. He misses watching her sit in the chair, wearing only his burgundy turtleneck, as she reads at night. He misses how sometimes she asks him to brush her hair as she sits on the floor in front of him at night, talking about small details of history that changed after their return from a mission.

He misses the way she makes him feel.

With her, he has learned how to accept himself, even his faults.

He is happy.

In São Paulo, Lucy had come to him from a future that he no longer believes exists. He had been broken, contemplating suicide. He thought that was the darkest he would ever fall until the night he made the decision to kill John Rittenhouse. Lucy was there, and she stood in his way. She begged him not to kill a child. That was the night he hit rock bottom. His decision to kill a child was exactly what Rittenhouse had done to his Iris only two years before. But Lucy saw in him what he thought he had lost. His humanity. His ability to still care about others. That he could still be a father one day.

After everything that he had done, she still believed in him. She still saw the good in him. She hadn’t given up on him even when he had given up on himself. She stopped him from doing a thing he would never be able to forgive himself from doing. Killing John Rittenhouse might have saved Lorena and Iris, but it would have completely destroyed him.

That night was the first time he started to believe that what he read about Lucy and him in the journal could be true. That she could love him, and that he could love her.

Before that night, he had scoffed at the idea that he would ever love someone as much as or more than he had loved Lorena. That night in 1780, he had felt something for Lucy for the very first time and he’s never been able to shake it.

Even in São Paulo, he felt connected to her.

She was in tears for most of their brief conversation after telling him that she was his friend. She told him that he was going to sacrifice everything for a cause no one else would believe in. She warned him that even she would think the worst of him. A traitor and a terrorist. That he wasn’t any of those things. She told him that he would think he had lost his humanity, but he wouldn’t, and never would. He heard the heartache in her voice when she told him that he wouldn’t be able to save his family. His heart ached as she promised him that he is a hero, with tears in her eyes. When she bent over in pain, he reached out to touch her. It was the first human contact he had had since Lorena was murdered two weeks earlier.

He didn’t know Lucy then, but he felt as if somehow, he had always known her. As if his soul recognized hers at a level he couldn’t possibly understand. Soulmates.

And then… she handed him her journal and told him, “you are going to save history.”

She had moved to kiss him and he leaned toward her, expecting a soft kiss on the lips. She had kissed his cheek instead. She said enough to convince him to consider her journal. The very fact that she confirmed time travel was real actually gave him hope that he could save his girls. He understood that whatever she remembered in her timeline, didn’t have to play out exactly the same way now that he was in possession of her journal and had the fight back in him to destroy Rittenhouse, to save his family.

He read the journal in its entirety that night. He went through every emotion. His heart broke, he had cried, he had been angry. He threw the journal in the garbage and later retrieved it because he refused to believe that there wasn’t a way to save Lorena and Iris. And he got to the end of the journal, to the last entry where she wrote to him:

Please, don’t listen to Wyatt. There has to be another way to save Rufus where you don’t go back to 2012 to kill Jessica. Don’t tell Wyatt you rode ahead to scout the mill. Wake me up and tell me that we need to talk about ways to save Rufus without taking any more lives. I refuse to believe that Jessica dying is the only way we could have saved him. I’ve lost too many people that I love in this war, and I don’t want to lose you again.

After Rufus was shot and killed by Emma Whitmore in 1888, and after future Lucy and Wyatt came to give them the journal, and once they arrived in 1848, he did just that. Sitting around the campfire he listened as Wyatt discussed taking Jessica out of their timeline, meaning that she had to die. He watched Lucy for her reaction and she sat there without emotion. Wyatt’s idea wasn’t well thought out. And Garcia couldn’t believe that another version of himself actually traveled back to 2012 to kill Jessica for Wyatt. Eventually everyone fell asleep except for him and he got up and went to Lucy.

He woke her up and told her about the final entry that she had written in her journal. Wyatt had given the journal to her before he fell asleep, and she opened it to the end and the entry he remembered wasn’t there. He told her it wouldn’t be because it was added later, in another version of this timeline where he left without saying goodbye to travel back to kill Jessica. But he wasn’t going to do that now. That the final entry in the journal he received in São Paulo was one where she told him to wake her up so they could discuss better options where no one had to die.

And that is exactly what he did.

Rufus was saved and it turns out that Jessica hadn’t been lying about her pregnancy as future Wyatt had claimed. Jessica managed to contact the team soon after the birth of hers and Wyatt’s child and they were actively trying to find a way to save her from Rittenhouse.

He used to suspect that Lucy wrote the final entry in her journal because she had fallen in love with him. She even wrote in the journal how they finally expressed and admitted their feelings for each other after surviving the sinking of the Titanic – a mission which still hadn’t happened, and he’s not sure that it will. She wrote about how he made her feel protected and loved. How they both had shed tears when they first made love, how the experience of it changed everything. It made them stronger, brought them closer together. How it made them “quite the team.”

The Lucy that wrote the journal he received in São Paulo loved him, but she wasn’t the same Lucy who wrote its final entry. That was another version of Lucy who had lost him before they ever became a couple. That might have been the Lucy he’s looking at now. The Lucy who holds little orphan Elizabeth on her lap, handing her a large wooden spoon, showing the child how to stir a pot of beans. The girl laughs and it is music to his ears. Elizabeth has been through so much since losing both her parents in a tornado in Kansas a couple weeks ago. To see the child smiling and laughing while in Lucy’s arms… it warms his heart. Their laughter is music to his ears.

Lucy glances in his direction, and the moment their eyes meet, she looks away.

He sighs and shakes his head at himself.

Who is he fooling?

He and Lucy have become each other’s best friend.

He is in love with her, but she’s given no indication that she’s fallen in love with him.

They can tell each other anything, confide in each other, and trust each other. They laugh more often than they cry now. They helped each other heal from wounds they imagined would never heal.

Sure, she’ll touch him and caress his skin with her fingertips, but that doesn’t mean anything. They sleep together in the same bed back at the bunker, and he’ll fall asleep and wake up with her arms wrapped around him, her head snug against him, but that doesn’t mean that she’s fallen in love. She’ll kiss him gently on the cheek and caress his jaw before saying ‘goodnight’ and snuggling against him. But that doesn’t mean she loves him in the same way he has come to love her.

One night, while they were on a mission in 1973, they laid awake in a crappy motel bed quietly stroking each other’s exposed skin, gazing at each other, lips so close without touching, feeling the other’s warm breath on their skin. She rubbed her nose against his and he rested his forehead against hers. Their arms were wrapped around each other, and legs intertwined. They laid in a silence which had become as comfortable to them as breathing. A silence which she broke by whispering “I love you, Garcia.”

She quickly sat up and corrected herself, and apologized, explaining that she meant that as she loved him as her best friend. She held his face in her hand and looked him in the eye as she thanked him for always being here for her. For being her friend.

If being her best friend is all he’ll ever have with her, then he’ll take it and expect nothing more. He’d rather be her friend than risk losing her to a failed romance anyway.

There’s another roll of thunder.

He looks out at the dark clouds in the distance. He can smell the rain in the air.

The sun dips below the horizon.

Darkness has fallen.

He prays that this storm is nothing more than that, a storm. They don’t need to endure another severe storm – and tornado – as they did back in Kansas. But if tonight’s storm turns out to be a threat, he will do everything to protect Lucy. He’ll do everything he can to protect little Elizabeth – who has been calling him ‘daddy,’ and Lucy ‘mommy’ ever since he saved her life. Lucy and Elizabeth have become his girls and he doesn’t want anything bad to happen to either one of them. He’d lay down his life to protect them.

He knows that he shouldn’t have interfered in saving Elizabeth’s life at the river. Since she wasn’t supposed to live, he’s even considered telling Lucy that he has the responsibility to bring Elizabeth back to 2019 with them, to take her out of history so that lives aren’t changed, so that someone else doesn’t lose a sister just as Lucy has. That he could raise Elizabeth as his daughter. He knows that would be difficult to do since they still live in that bunker and are still fighting Rittenhouse, but he would do his best, and he doesn’t doubt that Lucy would help him as she seems to have taken to the child quickly.

He looks at the horse next to him and gives it one last assuring rub on the nose and then makes his way to Lucy. He sits down next to her and she hands him a wooden bowl which is filled with rice, beans and cooked rabbit meat. They lost all their eating utensils in the river yesterday, so he has to use his fingers to eat. He picks up rice and puts it in his mouth. Elizabeth sits on Lucy’s lap and waves at him.

“Hi, daddy.” She says, shoving a handful of beans into her mouth.

“Hi, Elizabeth.” He winks at her which makes her giggle.

He knows that if he does bring the child home to 2019 that it will take a lot of responsibility on his part. The child lost her parents only a couple weeks ago, and though she is too young to really understand life and death, she’ll eventually start asking questions about where her parents are, and when that happens, he’ll have to be attentive to her needs.

He catches Lucy smiling at him from the corner of his eye. If he didn’t know any better, he’d think she knows exactly what he is thinking. She rubs her fingers clean on the skirt of her dress and reaches out and touches his leg. She leans her head against Elizabeth’s as the child accidentally drops a handful of beans to the ground. She nods her head as if she’s agreeing to his thoughts.

“She’s a sweet girl, Garcia.” She tells him.

That’s all he needs to hear to know that they are on the same page regarding little Elizabeth. They’ll just have to argue it with Wyatt and Rufus later when they need to decide who stays behind since the Lifeboat still only holds four passengers. Garcia knows that there’s no way in hell that he, Lucy or Elizabeth will stay behind, it’ll have to be Wyatt.

“I’ll talk to Wyatt if he has a problem staying behind.” Lucy says, as if reading his mind again. “He will listen to me more than he’ll listen to you. Plus… he left you behind in 1934 once, he owes you one.”

Lucy smiles at Garcia and her hair blows in the wind. She has to tilt her head back and shakes it to get the hair off her face since she’s holding a child and a bowl of food in her hands. Garcia reaches out and tucks her hair behind her ear. He traces the tips of his fingers down the side of her neck, catches himself and quickly looks away from her, picking up rabbit meat and chewing it. He waits a few seconds and glances at her again. She’s helping Elizabeth mix up the food in her bowl with her fingers, her cheek resting against the girl’s.

Despite the peril, despite their nightly separation, and despite not knowing for sure if they’ll catch up with Rufus and Wyatt, she looks happy. Though life on the Oregon Trail isn’t ideal, being out of the bunker and out in the fresh air has been good for her. It’s been good for both of them. Everyone in the bunker seems to be dealing with various levels of cabin fever lately, especially Lucy. He wishes that he could give her a life where Rittenhouse never existed, where she never lost her sister, and her mother was never Rittenhouse and lived to see the birth of her grandchildren. But to do that… to do that takes so much planning. Too much has to be changed to their timeline, their history, to undo everything that has gone wrong in her life. He hopes that in these little moments, that what he can give her, what he has given her, is enough.

He knows that she’s hoping that tonight is the last night they’ll spend with this wagon train. He knows that she hopes to find Rufus and Wyatt at Fort Laramie tomorrow. But if for some reason Rufus and Wyatt don’t find them, he is willing to marry her. To be her husband from now until the day he dies.

If they are stuck here for the rest of their lives, it’s not like they’ll go their separate ways once they get to Oregon. He can certainly set his feelings for her aside. She’s his best friend and he would never want to make her uncomfortable, but he would ask for her hand in marriage. A marriage of convenience, with no expectation of anything more. They could be married and live as friends. They’d still be able to talk, and share a bed. They’d be able to mourn the loss of their lives in 2019, and build a new life together here in 1845. Perhaps even adopt little Elizabeth.

Even if they never became intimate, he would be her husband. He would provide for her and protect her. He would do anything for her. And looking at her now, watching her eat her own meal with her fingers, dressed in clothes that have seen better days. Seeing her at peace, finding happiness in their current situation, and tending to Elizabeth as the child’s mother-figure… Garcia smiles and chuckles to himself. She’s absolutely beautiful, inside and out. He loves her and he will never regret falling in love with this beautiful, intelligent, independent woman.

A group of men eating behind them break out into song.

When young my heart was bent, sir,
Upon a nice young beau,
So to my ma I went, sir,
And she reprov’d me so.

Indeed my dear, you’re joking,
You’re still too young to know;
So take your time Miss Lucy,

Garcia leans toward Lucy and sings the next line of the song to her in a whisper, “So take your time Miss Lucy, Miss Lucy, Lucy, oh!”

Lucy smiles as she lifts another fingerful of food into her mouth, she nudges him playfully with her shoulder and sways to the upbeat rhythm of the song Take Your Time Miss Lucy, a popular song written and published in 1842, only three years ago.

But not content with that, sir,
To father I did go;
But he my head did pat, sir,
And plumply answer’d, No!

There’s time enough for lovers,
So, don’t impatient grow.
Just take your time Miss Lucy,
Miss Lucy, Lucy, oh!

Rain begins to fall. First small droplets, a drizzle. Then with a low roll of thunder… it’s pouring.

There’s chaos around them as women pick up children and run for the cover of the wagons. Garcia looks at Lucy, ready to stand up and offer her his hand. But she remains seated, so he stays at her side. Little Elizabeth squeals and hops off Lucy’s lap and runs for cover, and is picked up by another woman and is lifted up inside one of the smaller wagons.

“You’re gonna freeze if you get too wet, Lucy.” Garcia stands up, removing his coat and wrapping it around her shoulders. “C’mon… I’ll walk, or run, you to your wagon.”

Lucy stands up and immediately, his arms are wrapped around her. He bends over her to protect her from the pouring rain and takes her to the wagon that Elizabeth was taken into. He places his hands at her waist and lifts her up. She looks down at him and starts to remove his coat from her shoulders. She stops when he shakes his head and shouts up at her that she can keep it to help stay warm overnight. She pulls the coat back up over her shoulders, thankful that Garcia didn’t ask for it back. She looks up at the sky when there’s a bright flash of lightning. Thunder shakes the ground. Lucy opens her mouth to thank Garcia, but he’s already running toward his wagon.

That was a few hours ago.

Lucy sighs as she stares up at the wagon’s tough white canvas and its hickory beams. Water drips next to her head from a small tear in the fabric. She turns onto her side. She’s not the only one awake. The storm outside is violent, and the wind shakes the wagon that she and the other women and children are in. Flashes of lightning frighten the children to tears, and loud rolls of thunder keep everyone awake. No one here feels the safety or protection of a man. No one here has a man they can go to, to give her a false sense of security and protection.

Considering how loud this storm is, Lucy is certain that Garcia isn’t asleep and she wonders if he would question her if she went to him now. After the tornado in Kansas, severe thunderstorms make her nervous. Her heart is racing and she just wants to lay beside him. Knowing that he’s there would make all the difference in the world.

She sits up and covers Elizabeth with Garcia’s coat, brushing hair from the child’s forehead. She’s almost asleep and Lucy bends down and places a kiss on her forehead. Carefully, Lucy crawls to the back of the wagon and starts to lift the cover so she can leave.

“Miss?” A voice calls out to her. “Where you be goin’, miss?”

Lucy looks back at the young woman and smiles, “You know the man I’ve been with?” Lucy’s eyes sparkle and the woman nods her head. “I think I’m going to go be scandalous and sleep by his side… unwed. Shhh… don’t tell anyone.”

Lucy says nothing more as she pulls back the canvas drape and hops out of the wagon. She lands in a puddle of mud that is shin-deep. The rain pours down on her and she’s soaking wet in seconds. The air is cold against her damp skin and she shivers as she runs toward Garcia’s private wagon. She struggles to climb up into it and it takes her a few tries before she’s safely inside.

Lightning flashes as she crawls on her hands and knees toward him. She looks around to see if he has any dry clothes she can change into. But like her, he came here wearing only his suit from their Harriet Tubman mission and only stole one other outfit back in Missouri. She sees his wet clothes hanging from a nail and figures he’s wearing his other clothing to keep warm.

“I decided to take you up on your offer to-” She stops when she realizes that somehow, in the middle of this severe storm, Garcia Flynn is asleep.

She rubs her arms with her hands and looks around his wagon for an extra blanket. There is none. The only blanket is the one covering his body. Knowing that the other men fear him, and trusting that no Native American tribe is going to brave the weather to attack them, Lucy unties the laces of her dress. She stands up and removes the bodice and steps out of the skirt. Underneath the dirty dress she wears nothing, not even panties. She’s naked as she walks to the front of the wagon and hangs her dress up on a stray nail next to Garcia’s wet clothes.

She carefully lifts the blankets he’s covered himself with and curls up next to him, tucking the blanket behind her. She shivers and nuzzles against his body for warmth, surprised that he’s not wearing a shirt.

“Hmmmm…” He moans in his sleep.

Lucy’s eyes are wide as his arm drapes over her bare waist. Her skin tingles at the thought that even in his sleep, he falls into old habits the moment she’s at his side. His body is so warm, so she inches closer to him, resting her ice-cold hands against his bare chest. She’s surprised that he isn’t wearing more clothing, but she doesn’t mind.

She sighs and weaves her fingertips through his greying chest hair. Still cold, she presses her breasts against him, closes her eyes and enjoys his warmth. That warmth spreads between her legs as she starts to imagine what it might be like to seduce him to wake him up. To gently tease his nipples and kiss his jaw, as she allows her hands to slide between his legs to stroke him as he wakes.

Lucy swallows and carefully drapes her leg over his. His legs are bare too. Curious, she lifts the blanket and looks underneath to see if he’s wearing underwear. She can’t see so she waits until a flash of lightning, which reveals that like herself, he is naked. She bites her lower lip and closes her eyes.

Thunder vibrates the wagon. She looks up at his face expecting him to wake up.

His eyes remain closed.

In his sleep he looks younger, at peace.

He’s beautiful.

She’s always found him attractive.

When she first saw the Mason Industries security video of him stealing the Mothership, she knew she liked what she saw, even if he terrified her. And the more she got to know him over the past couple years, he’s grown even more attractive to her. While his physical beauty is obvious, she’s drawn to him more intellectually. He stimulates not only her body, but also her mind.

With Garcia, she can talk to him about history and he knows enough to hold his own in the conversation. They’ve had fun contemplating how history could have changed the present if certain events had happened differently. She was fascinated by his recollection of the events surrounding the Kennedy assassination in 1963. He remembered that President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in the afternoon of November 22nd. Lucy grew up learning that Kennedy was assassinated later that evening in Austin, on his way to a fundraising banquet at Austin’s Municipal Auditorium.

They read the same books and spend hours at night discussing plot and character development. Even though Garcia’s French isn’t as advanced as hers, they’ve spent entire nights conversing in the language. She’s caught him reading books in German and Spanish, and for the simple reason that she just likes to hear him speak those languages, she asked him to read the books aloud to her. He’s even been teaching her some basics in Croatian – dobar dan, doviđenja, molim, kako ste?, dobro sam, draga, volim te...

She caresses her hand down his shoulder. She’s memorized every scar on his arm and touching him soothes her. She traces her fingertips down his forearm, caressing over the fabric bandage.

She inhales and closes her eyes.

Garcia Flynn has been the object of her sexual desires and fantasies for so long. She’s pleasured herself many times to thoughts of him, and what she would want to do to him if only he felt for her the same way she feels for him. It’s been nearly two months since she’s touched herself. Laying here next to him, knowing that for the first time they are naked together… her center is throbbing, begging her for a much needed release.

She wets her lips and looks up at his eyes.

They’re still closed.

He’s still asleep.

She exhales slowly and relaxes as she moves her hand to her breast and massages and plays with her already erect nipple, twisting it gently between her fingers. She slides her hand down her torso, all the while keeping her eyes focused on Garcia’s face. She lays on her side and lifts her leg to spread herself. She dips a finger between her legs. She’s wet. She closes her eyes and bites her lower lip and slowly strokes and fingers herself. She imagines that her fingers are his as she teases her opening, dipping the tip of her finger inside herself for more lubrication.

She thinks of all her memories of Garcia that turn her on.

She thinks back to when she first met him as the Hindenburg burned to the ground. She had been afraid of him, but when he presented her with her journal, she wanted to hear him out. Then he grabbed her and held her in his arms, using her as a human shield. His grip on her wasn’t painful, he held her gently, and the feel of his body against hers… Lucy moans as she runs two fingers along both sides of her clit.

She thinks back to the party at Castle Varlar, when he took her by the arm and guided her across the hallway with the grace of a ballroom dancer. The way he looked down at her with what can only be described as ‘bedroom eyes’… Lucy arches her back as she presses her finger against her clit and moves it in a circular motion. She slides her hand down between her silk folds and inserts her middle finger inside herself. She lifts her knees and sturdies herself with her feet on the ground. She groans as she presses her finger firmly against a spot inside her that no man has ever found.

She gasps as lightning illuminates the wagon and thunder vibrates its wooden base, the sensation of it all tingles her from her head to her toes. She rolls slightly onto her side to face Garcia, wanting to look at him as she continues to touch herself. She removes her finger from herself and curls it against her clit. She bucks against her hand and accidentally nudges Garcia with her knee. She rolls back onto her back and spreads her legs as wide as she can, resting her knee against Garcia’s bare hip.

Her body rocks as she increases her pace. Her breasts bounce as she moves. With her other hand, she grasps onto her breast, squeezing it hard and pinching her nipple. She arches her back and opens her eyes. Another flash of lightning cuts through the night sky. She removes her hand from her breast and raises it above her head. She desperately wants to inch closer to Garcia and wrap her arm around his neck, to wake him up. Only in her wildest fantasy would he then help masturbate her to orgasm.

But he’s still asleep, and that’s part of what makes what she’s doing so exciting. She’s never touched herself when he’s been in their room. She’s only ever done this in the privacy of the bunker shower.

She thinks back to 1972, when he whispered in her ear as he untied her from the chair at the rundown National hotel. Even then the feel of his breath on her skin made her hot. Angry that he was right about Rittenhouse, but still… fucking hot. Wearing that vest and suit. The way that it fit his body so well… the way that he seemed to put on a show as he removed his suit jacket… Lucy gasps loudly as she rubs her clit directly.

She thinks of the terrified expression that was on his face when David Rittenhouse forced him to his knees and held him at gunpoint as she was forced out of the room and to Rittenhouse’s bedchamber. She saw that he hated himself for what that bastard wanted to do to her, and blamed himself for it.

Lucy slides two fingers inside herself and thrusts, using her other hand now to stroke her clit.

She wets her lips as she thinks of how strong he was as he held her wrist as they argued about him wanting to kill John Rittenhouse. His hold on her wrist was tight and firm, yet gentle as he didn’t want to hurt her. And now… just the thought of his hands curled around her wrists… she just wants to feel his body press against hers, and to have him take hold of her hands, lifting them above her head as he devours her with his mouth, fucking her to oblivion.

How he helped her into the dress he stole for her in Chicago in 1893… how gentle he had been tightening her corset, yet strong enough for her to gasp as he laced her up. How even then, she considered the idea of him using the laces of that corset to tie her up on the bed and how it would feel if he had his way with her.      

Lucy groans as she bucks her hips against her hand.

She’s close to losing control.

The slight nod of his head when she told him that maybe God led him to her… the fear, and the hope, and the trust he had in her in that moment… or the way that all she had to do was nod at him in Salem… the power and control she has over him is stimulating in and of itself. And as much as she would love to dominate him in bed, she also imagines what it might be like if she submitted to him, and let him have his way with her.

The way he sat next to her one night, careful not to invade her personal space as he handed her a bottle of beer… she had kept her eyes on the TV screen as best as she could that night as they sat in silence together, watching an old Clark Gable movie. That was the first night she had stepped inside the shower and fingered herself to thoughts of Garcia Flynn and how he looked in that grey hoodie and those snug cargo pants… She winces as she feels her body tense, getting closer to orgasm.

She thinks of the way that Garcia hummed I Wished on the Moon and told her that he wanted to get to know her, but only if that’s what she wanted. That is the single most sexy thing any man has ever said to her. Just the memory of him saying this threatens to push her over the edge. Wanting to hold off on orgasm, to enjoy this for as long as she can, Lucy backs off. She slows the circular motion of her fingers around her clit.

She thinks of the way that he opened his bunk door when she first went to him at night. The way that he chuckled and smiled at her as he moved aside to allow her to enter. How they… how they… Lucy picks up her pace again and moans his name, “Garcia…” How they talked all night and how she woke up the next morning in his bed… how he had covered her with a blanket… how he… how… she exhales loudly and slowly grinds hard against her hand. She groans deep in her throat.

How she overheard Wyatt telling Garcia to leave her alone and how Garcia remained calm in contrast to Wyatt’s obvious anger and hatred of the fact that they were spending time together… how Garcia… how he… how he told Wyatt to talk to her if he has a problem because she was capable of making her own choices… to hear Garcia not only stand up to Wyatt, but to also not take it upon himself to speak for her… She starts tracing the letters of Garcia’s name around her clit, repeating the C over and over again.

Lucy cries out and thrusts two fingers inside her. She uses the palm of her hand to rub her clit.

She thinks of their horseback ride to Port Royal and how even though there was urgency in getting to Colonel Montgomery, he made sure to stop to water their horses. They walked for a few minutes, hand-in-hand along the creek shore, she gazed up at him and couldn’t believe how lucky she was that she had him in her life. That he had become her best friend. The only person in that bunker that she enjoyed spending time with. That was the moment she knew that she was falling in love with him.

She gently taps her clit and then with more pressure presses against it as she massages herself closer to climax. Her body quivers in response to the stimulation and she sees in her mind’s eye, the look in his eyes when she asked him “why are you here?” in Chinatown. She wasn’t sure of his answer until he lowered himself to his knees in front of her and opened his mouth to speak… he didn’t need to say the words for her to know. He is here for her, and he proved it a couple hours later when he held her in his arms, resting his forehead against hers, letting Emma get away… she had sobbed uncontrollably as he comforted her and she knew. She knew without any doubt that she was Garcia’s priority. That she was his first choice even when they were at war with Rittenhouse.

She moves one hand to massage her breast as she applies more pressure to her clit. She’s close, she’s so close and she’s not sure how she’s going to keep herself from crying out upon climax. She bites down on her lower lip, opens her eyes and turns her head to look at him as she comes.

His eyes are open and he’s watching her.

Lucy immediately stops touching herself and sits up just as a bolt of lightning strikes loudly nearby, startling them both. He sits up and tries to make eye contact with her, but there’s no way in hell that she’s going to look him in the eye after what he just caught her doing.

“Oh my God!” She exclaims, running her hand through her hair. “Oh my God…”

She’s mortified.

He touches her shoulder in a way meant to calm her nerves.

“Lucy…” His voice is rough but quiet.

He doesn’t seem offended or disgusted with what she was doing, so she dares herself to look into his eyes. Everything about the expression on his face tells her that he doesn’t mean to make this uncomfortable for either one of them. He actually looks at her with what can only be described as adoration. She closes her eyes for a moment and swallows.

“It’s ok,” he murmurs as he gently places his hand on her shoulder and guides her to lay back down beside him. He doesn’t take his hand off her shoulder and massages her skin with his thumb.

“I’m sorry… I’m so sorry.” She apologizes.

“Don’t be…” He takes hold of her hand and brings it to his lips to kiss her knuckles. “Lucy, I…” He lowers his mouth so he whispers into her ear, “you’re so beautiful… and-”

“I look terrible.” She argues, resting her arm across her forehead. “I haven’t bathed in days, and crossing the river doesn’t count. Even I’m getting sick of the peppermint oil I wear to cover the smell… my skin is gross. I haven’t shaved in who knows how long. My hair is a mess…”

He closes his eyes and sighs, “Lucy, draga… you’re beautiful to me… and… waking up and seeing you… thinking of me...” He hesitates, “… hearing you say my name as you…” He runs his hand slowly down her arm and places it on her abdomen. “How long have you felt this way about me?” His voice is low and his accent more pronounced. He inches closer to her, his eyes regarding her from head to toe.

Self-conscious, Lucy squirms next to him and lifts her head to look for the blanket so she can cover them. Her heart skips a beat when he places his hand on top of hers and guides it back between her legs. He presses down on her fingers as they hover over her clit, moving both their hands slowly up and down as he kisses her forehead. He nuzzles his face into her neck and kisses her.

She opens her mouth, wanting to try to answer his question, but instead she whimpers as he murmurs into her ear, “Tako sam uzbuđena zbog tebe, Lucy…” He kisses her shoulder as he uses his fingers to press her finger directly on her clit. “I’m so turned on by you, Lucy…” He growls, giving her a translation.

His words cut deep into her core and she swells for him as he trails kisses down her neck to her collarbone. His hand continues controlling her own between her legs. She places her other hand on top of his and urges him to go faster. He lifts his head and looks down into her eyes. He smiles.

“Hey…” He wets his lips. “We have all night…”

“Mmmm…” is all she can utter in response.

He kisses her forehead and quietly says to her, “take your time, miss Lucy…”

That almost ruins this for them both as she wrinkles her brow and shoots him a smile as he chuckles under his breath at the fact that he just mentioned that fun, upbeat song that had been sung during supper. Lucy reaches out and touches his jaw, turning onto her side and raising her knee so that her legs remain spread.

“Ask me again…” She tells him.

“How long have you felt this way about me, Lucy?” His voice cracks and he shuts his eyes. He tries not to think about the throbbing between his legs as he continues to guide her hand to stroke her clit.

She can barely hear his question over the rain pelting harder against the cover of the wagon. She doesn’t think that he expects her to answer because right now, what he’s doing with her, the answer doesn’t matter. He rests his forehead against hers and lowers her hand so that her fingers tease her opening. She inhales sharply as he releases her hand and traces a circle over her opening with his own fingers. She returns her fingers to her clit and gently taps herself, spreading her legs for him, wanting him to insert his fingers inside. He rubs his nose against hers and exhales. It’s obvious that he’s very aroused and struggling to focus solely on her pleasure.

“I… I saw it in your eyes, Lucy…” He kisses her forehead. “When you asked me why am I here… you… you do know why I’m here, right?”

Lucy spreads her legs even more for him, to let him know that his intimate touch is wanted. He gently presses his fingertip on her opening and looks into her eyes for consent to enter her. She nods her head and moans as he slides his finger inside her, just deep enough to hit her sweet spot. She arches her back as he presses his finger against her again and again and again… She reaches out to him, placing her hand on his jaw, caressing the stubble on his face. She looks into his eyes as he continues to thrust and curl his finger inside her

“I love you, Lucy.” He whispers, and the vulnerability in his voice only intensifies what he’s doing to her. He rests his forehead against hers as he brings his fingers to press against her clit. “I could have left the team long ago, but I couldn’t leave you. You’re the only reason why I’m still in this fight… and-”

Lucy presses her lips against his. She removes her hand from between her legs and holds onto the back of his neck, weaving her fingers up into his hair. She opens her mouth to him. He moans her name as he removes his finger from inside her and grasps onto her waist, pulling her toward him. Her nipples brush against the greying hair on his chest. She runs her foot slowly up and down his leg before hooking her heel behind his ass. His tongue curls around hers and she opens her mouth to deepen their kiss. She presses her center onto his naked thigh and thrusts against him. His erection presses against her stomach leaving traces of pre-cum on her skin.

“Garcia…” She whimpers.

His hands explore her body, moving from her hips to the side of her torso, and grasping onto her breasts. He grabs onto both her hands and raises her arms above her head, pressing her back to the floor. He kisses her hard, transfers both of her wrists to one hand, reaching down with the other to stroke her clit again. Harder and with more urgency.

“God, you’re so wet, Lucy… I can’t even begin to tell you how much that turns me on.” He growls.

She whimpers as he lowers his head to her chest and gently takes her nipple between his teeth, flicking his tongue over its tip. She arches her back and squeals as he increases his pace on her clit. Then his fingers are inside her again, curling back to rub her g-spot, applying firm and rhythmic pressure against it.

Every inch of her skin is on edge as he nibbles on her earlobe and whispers to her, “I need you, Lucy… I want to feel you tight around me…” He kisses her jaw as his palm thrusts against her clit and he continues to rub her inside. Her body trembles when he returns to directly stimulate her clit. “I love touching you, Lucy… turning you on… bringing you to the edge and…”

He removes his hand from between her legs and Lucy cries out in frustration.

“Garcia, please…” Her breathing is fast and her body is tense. “Don’t stop… I’m almost… there.”

He places his hands on her hips and runs them down to hold the inside of her knees. He spreads her, kneeling between her thighs. He’s fully erect. He looks at her and their eyes lock. He leans over her body, and carefully lays down on top of her. One hand resting on her hip, the other supporting his weight on his elbow. He kisses her forehead, very much aware that she hadn’t quite finished taking in the sight and size of his cock.

“I want to watch you come, Lucy.” He whispers. “I want to watch you touch yourself…” He gently rolls his fingers around her engorged clit. “I want you to look me in the eye as you come for me… as you say my name…”

Lucy feels lightheaded as he kisses her again.

She has had other lovers before, but none ever made her feel so loved and so adored as Garcia does. The way he looks at her. His words, his touch, and his kisses make her dizzy.

“I want to feel you around me, Lucy, but…” He kisses her on the cheek. “… we don’t have protection and-” He grunts as Lucy pushes him down onto his back.

She kneels next to him and takes his hard cock in her hand and strokes him. She leans down and kisses his lips then murmurs into his ear, “I need you, Garcia…”

“Lucy…” He growls, reaching out to touch her between her legs as she strokes him. Lightning flashes and he arches his back, thrusting his cock in her hand. She strokes him slowly and gradually picks up her pace. The rain pelts hard against the wagon, and the strong wind rocks it causing Lucy to let go of his dick. Garcia whines out in frustration as she steadies herself to keep her balance.

He moves his hand away from her core and holds her breast in his hand. She leans down and kisses him, her tongue darting into his mouth. He kisses her back with the same intensity. She takes his cock in her hand again, running her fingers beneath his shaft and gently rubs her fingertips against his balls. He moans her name into her mouth. She pulls back and mischievously looks him in the eye.

He gasps as she lowers her mouth onto his dick and sucks him. His hips twitch inadvertently as her tongue rolls circles around his head as she takes his shaft in her hand and strokes him harder and harder. She presses her tongue on the sensitive spot just beneath his head. She licks away pre-cum and stops, removing her hand and mouth from him completely.

She straddles him, massaging her hands up and down his chest and abdomen. She locks eyes with him as she grinds her wet core against him.

“I trust you, Garcia.” She tells him as she massages her breasts in her hands, pinching her nipples. “I want to feel you inside me…”

“But… we don’t have…” He groans as Lucy moves so that his erection is pressed against her ass.

She continues to slowly grind against his body. He closes his eyes and contemplates what is the responsible thing to do. He feels her weight shift and then a gentle kiss on his eyelid. Her hand runs through his hair as she continues to move her body against him. His dick continues to slide against her ass as she moves, continuing to stimulate him.

“Are you sure you don’t want… inside me?” She asks almost shyly.

“No.” He answers her honestly. “I want to make love to you, Lucy… as hot as it is to see you touch yourself… I want… I want you, but… I don’t want to risk pregnancy, not without knowing that this…” He trails off.

“This what?” She leans down to kiss his forehead.

“You… me… us…” He answers. He holds Lucy by the hips and reaches back to caress her ass with spread hands. Lucy tilts her head back and moves her center against his abdomen again. “I… if we are going to risk pregnancy then… I need to know if… if this means as much to you as it does for me.”

“Sit up, Garcia.” She says.

He does as he’s told and sits up so that they are face-to-face with one another. Lucy wraps her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck and presses her forehead to his. He trembles as he inhales. He knows he loves her, and he knows now that Lucy is attracted to him, but… he’s almost afraid to find out whether or not she loves him the way that he loves her.

“You asked me earlier if I would marry you…” She kisses his lips. “I would marry you, Garcia.” She kisses him again. “And not just out of convenience, or because we got stuck in the past, but because you’re my best friend, and I love you, and I can’t imagine spending my life with anyone else.”

Her words send a shiver through his body and his skin prickles as goosebumps spread from his head to his toe. He lets out a soft cry as he wraps his arms around her, and buries his face in her neck. She runs her hand through his hair and holds his head against her as he cries. His body trembles as he lets go of all doubt that he ever had that kept him from trying to take things further.

She loves him.

Lucy Preston loves him.

He pulls back and holds the back of her neck and sees that tears are in her eyes. He bends his knees to bring Lucy closer to him. Her breasts press against his chest and he kisses her. He kisses her as hard as he can, wanting her to feel every ounce of his love for her. He gently nibbles on her lower lip then opens his mouth to her. She kisses him back with tears streaming down her face.

Garcia places his hands on her back and gently rolls her back to the ground, positioning himself over her, wiping tears from her face. He leans down and kisses her again. He reaches between them and strokes her clit with a soft touch. Her eyes close and she smiles through her tears.

“Jako te volim, moja draga…” He kisses her again. “I love you so much…” He curls his finger against her clit and watches her breasts rise as she arches her back. “Otvori oči… open your eyes, Lucy…”

She opens her eyes just as he plunges two fingers inside her, she cries out his name, “Garcia!” and spreads her legs for him. She reaches down and tries to take hold of his cock, but his body is too long and she can’t reach him. She whines in frustration as his fingers slide out of her and back to her clit. His fingers circle her three times quickly then plunge back inside her to rub against her g-spot. She reaches back wanting to grasp onto a headboard or a pillow, but she’s on the wooden floor of a damn covered wagon.

“Gar… Garcia…” She uses her arms to prop herself up as he again removes his fingers from inside her and redirects them to her clit.

He leans down and sucks on her nipple, thrusting his fingers in and out of her.

Then he stops and looks at her.

“Can I taste you, draga?” His voice is hoarse from his arousal.

She shakes her head ‘no.’ Any other time and circumstance she would say ‘yes,’ but she’s self-conscious about how she might taste to him. She hasn’t been able to properly bathe in days and she’d rather let him do that when she’s clean.

He nods his head and holds onto the back of her head and kisses her slowly. He holds onto her breast and massages her, teasing her nipple with his fingers. He gasps into her mouth as he feels her hand on his dick. She moves the tip over her clit then guides him toward her opening. He kisses her again then lifts his head to look into her eyes.

“Are you sure you want-”

Lucy grabs onto the back of his head and pulls his mouth to hers, answering his unfinished question. Her tongue curls around his as she guides him inside her. She winces as his girth stretches her in ways she hasn’t felt since she first had sex. She imagined he was well-endowed, but she hadn’t expected this. She tilts her head back and bites down on her lower lip as he slowly presses into her. She feels his thumb against her cheek and his lips on her forehead.

“Talk to me, Lucy…” He tells her.

“Me…” She opens her eyes and looks at him. “… on top…”

He nods his head and carefully slides out of her as he lays down on his back. His erection lies against his lower abdomen and he reaches down and strokes himself as Lucy stands up and places her legs on either side of his body. She lowers herself down to him, her knees resting on both sides of him. He tugs at his cock as she watches him, wets her lips and takes him in her hand. She rises onto her knees and guides his dick into her.

Garcia places his hands on her outer thighs, moving them up to hold her ass. She starts to grind against him. Slowly at first, her hips move in circles, pulling and tugging on his cock. He moves his hands to massage her ankles and she moans her approval as she starts to lower herself onto him even more. He groans in the depths of his throat as he feels her warmth surround him. She’s so fucking tight. He watches as she uses her middle finger to rub her clit, as she holds onto the back of her own head, weaving her fingers through her hair.

Lucy closes her eyes as Garcia spreads his hands and grasps onto her breasts. She lifts her hips so that his cock almost slides out of her, then she lowers herself back onto him as he sinks into her. His hands are on her hips now and he helps her thrust against him, up and down… up… down… and with each downward thrust his cock sinks deeper and deeper inside her. She leans forward, and rests the side of her face against his chest as she raises her ass and slams back down against him. Up and down, thrusting against him faster and faster. She places her hands back on his chest and pushes herself up. He raises his hips, lifting her up and then lowering her down. She holds her hands on his chest and starts bouncing against his cock, her breasts slapping against her body.

His fingers work frantically at her clit, massaging her, tapping her quickly with just one finger, slow circles, fast rubbing, gentle tugging and curling his fingertip directly on her.

Lightning flashes and thunder shakes the ground beneath the wagon.

Garcia holds onto her and rubs his thumbs along the side of her breasts. He sits up and licks sweat from between her breasts and she wraps her arms around his neck. Now in a sitting position, he lifts his knees to support her, she grinds and thrusts against his cock, wrapping her legs around his back. He thrusts hard into her over and over…

Lucy throws her head back and cries out for him. She looks him in the eye as he holds onto her back to support her. He opens his mouth over her neck and kisses her, then nibbles on her earlobe. He growls and she feels his cock twitch inside her.

“I’m almost… Lucy…” He pants. “Do you… want…”

He groans as Lucy’s fingers have made their way to his balls. She squeezes his shaft with her inner walls as she moves up and down against him again. Her breathing is quick and her moans are getting louder. He feels a deep throbbing in his groin area that spreads up his spine. He’s close, fuck he’s close and he doesn’t know if she wants him to pull out before ejaculating.

“Close, I’m… close, Lucy… want me to… pull out?” He tries to link words together to form a comprehensible question.

Lucy grabs hold of the back of his head and kisses him and shakes her head, “no… stay…” is all she can manage to say before she buries her face into his neck and cries out as her muscle contractions throb hard around him. She wraps her arms around him as she continues to grind and thrust through her orgasm.

Garcia holds onto Lucy’s lower back as he rolls her onto her back, being careful that he doesn’t slip out of her. Tears stream down her face as he assumes the dominant position and she reaches out and touches his nipple with her hand. Her legs are sprawled out and he leans down and kisses her as he increases the pace of his thrusts inside her. He watches as she reaches down with her other hand and touches her clit again.

“Faster.” Her voice is hoarse as she tells him what she needs to climax again.

He hovers over her, resting his arms on both sides of her body and fucks her hard and fucks her fast. He feels the almost painful build up of tension in his muscles as he gets closer to the edge. He grunts loudly with each thrust. Sweat drips from his face onto her cheek. She reaches up and runs her hand through his sweaty hair. Her muscles contract again, harder this time. He looks into Lucy’s eyes, they’re wide and her mouth is open. She arches her back and cries out his name.

“Garcia!”

He feels his cum rushing through his dick as electricity surges through his body. His muscles tense and he slams his cock deep into her as he comes. He pushes himself up with both hands, tilting his head back as he cries out her name, “Lucy!”

Lucy reaches out and touches his chest. He’s still as she feels him ejaculate inside her. She rolls her hips against him to gently tug at his cock to give him as much pleasure as she can. Then his muscles relax and he collapses onto her, resting his head between her breasts. He curls his arms underneath her shoulders to hold her, and she can feel his heart pounding in his chest. She runs her fingers through his hair and caresses the back of his neck.

The storm outside continues to rage. Lightning, thunder, pouring rain.

Lucy shivers and Garcia carefully slides out of her body. He gathers the blanket and lies down next to her, draping his leg over hers as he covers them. He wraps his arm around her waist and pulls her into his body, nuzzling his face into the crook of her neck. He looks up at her and wipes tears from her face.

“Garcia…” She cries.

She shouldn’t be feeling this way. She’s upset and feels her heart breaking. She can’t stop herself from crying and she knows that he’ll ask her what’s wrong. He kisses a tear from her face and caresses her jaw with his fingertips. She squeezes her eyes shut and sobs.

“It’s ok, Lucy…” He kisses her eyelid.

She shakes her head.

“No…” She cries.

He runs his hand down her face and holds her chin. He turns her face so they look at each other.

“No…” She repeats herself.

She doesn’t make a move to push him away from her. Instead she wraps her arms around his neck and pulls him to her, kissing him. He hesitates since she has been saying “no,” then he pulls away from her, wiping more tears away from her face.

“Lucy…?” He whispers. “Talk to me… what’s wrong?”

She says nothing, only shakes her head again. Only now… she pulls away from him, rolling on her side so her back is to him.

He hears her cry and… whatever is wrong, he wants to understand. He wants to understand what she’s going through so he can help her. He looks around the small wagon as lightning flashes. He’s lost and only she can guide him.

He places his hand on her shoulder. She doesn’t reject him and she leans into his touch. He takes a risk and gently kisses the top of her head before lying down behind her, and draping his arm around her waist as he always used to do back at the bunker. He feels her sink into him. He takes her hand into his and rests it against her chest. She holds onto his hand tight. He’s confused, but he isn’t going to push her to talk to him. If something is bothering her, he wants her to tell him when she’s ready.

He closes his eyes as thunder rumbles outside and the rain continues to fall hard on the cover of his wagon. He caresses his thumb against Lucy’s hand as he holds her in his arms. He hears her crying as she turns around to him, pressing her forehead against his chest, her hand at his waist. He kisses the top of her head again, wanting her to know that he’s here when and if she needs to talk.

He doesn’t know how long she lays in his arms, but the flashes of lightning and rolls of thunder fade until only gentle rain can be heard falling outside. Her fingers move slowly against his chest as her cries fade into quiet sniffles.

“I love you, Garcia.” Her voice is soft.

He senses that there’s more she wants to say so he acknowledges her by pulling her closer to him and kissing her forehead.

“But I…” She shakes her head.

“I love you too, draga…” He whispers into her ear.

“I just… I can’t… I can’t lose you too.”

“You’re not going to lose me, Lucy.”

“Like Wyatt… what if I lose you like I lost Wyatt? What if we return from a mission one day and your wife is alive and you leave me too?”

It stings to hear her bring up Wyatt’s name. To know that right now she’s been laying here in his arms,      comparing him to Wyatt Logan.

“Lucy-”

“No.” She stops him before he can say anything. “I know what you said, that you would walk away, but you don’t know what you would do until you’re standing in front of her and she expects you to come home and help your daughter with homework before dinner.”

Lucy is upset, but she isn’t pulling away from him, so he wraps his arms around her tighter. He wants her to know that he’s no Wyatt Logan, and that he would never treat her the way that Wyatt treated her after Jessica came back into his life.

“Lucy…” He chokes up as tears sting his eyes. He always knew that Lorena would be an issue they’d have to work through if they ever got together. He just didn’t expect it so soon. “Sweetheart… Lorena is dead.” He says this with an air of finality which causes Lucy to look up into his eyes. “I can’t, and I won’t, live my life as if she could be there when we come back from these missions. I have to move on.” He pauses and corrects himself, “I have moved on. I understand that they’re gone, Lucy.”

She’s quiet as she thinks about what he’s said. She heard in his voice that he means it. This is the first time he’s admitted to her that he’s let go of Lorena. Before when they talked about her and Iris, he held onto hope that somehow, he might be able to save them. She knew that the battle against Rittenhouse has been eating away at his resolve, but she didn’t know that he has come to accept that their deaths are permanent, and that he’ll never get them back.

Lucy closes her eyes and presses her forehead against his chest. She cries again. His hand holds onto the back of her head and she hears him whispering to her that it’s ok, that everything is going to be all right.

“No…” She cries.

“It’s ok.” He assures her, pressing his face against her head.

“It hurts so much, Garcia.” She cries, grasping onto his shoulder. “Accepting that I’ll never see her again.” She’s heartsick that after everything that they’ve done to try to save the people they love, that they’re both now on the same page.

His heart stops and he can’t breathe.

Just as he has accepted that he cannot save his family, Lucy, too, has accepted that she can never save her sister. This breaks his heart, but he understands. He holds her close as she cries into his chest. He hates that this happened to her. It wasn’t supposed to happen either. It wasn’t in her journal.

He kisses the top of her head and whispers to her, “I’m sorry, Lucy.”

“I’ve been thinking this for a long time, but I’ve been too afraid to say it out loud.” She sobs. “I know that fighting Rittenhouse is the right thing to do, but lately… all I keep coming back to is how tired I am of the life we’re living.” She pauses and reconsiders. “No… we’re not living life. We’re prisoners to that bunker, slaves to the fight against Rittenhouse and I’m sick of it. I’m so goddamn sick of it, Garcia.”

Angry, she sits up, and hugs her knees as she sobs.

She shakes her head and looks back at him, but he is sitting at her side. He rubs her back to try to soothe her. She swallows in an attempt to control her emotions.

“I want my life back.” She says. “I want a normal life. I want to wake up and see the sun every morning. I want to do my own grocery shopping. I want to know that wherever I am that Rittenhouse isn’t going to show up and try to kill me.” She looks at him then lowers her eyes. “I used to love history. I used to love teaching it, but… so much history has changed because of our missions that I feel useless. I don’t know what has changed and what hasn’t. It bothers me that you and I have two different memories of the Kennedy assassination. I don’t… Garcia, I don’t trust myself anymore. I don’t trust that I know what happened. I’ve lost my passion, and I know that whenever this is over that I can’t go back to teaching. Even if I knew the history of our current timeline… I’m not even sure I’d want to.”

His heart breaks into a million pieces and he can’t help but feel to blame for all of this. If he hadn’t asked about Rittenhouse. If he hadn’t reported it to his NSA contact. If his family hadn’t been murdered, if he hadn’t been at that bar in São Paulo on Christmas Eve… she never would have endured any of this. She never would have lost her sister. Rittenhouse would have free reign over history, of course, but they wouldn’t know. History and their memories would change and they would never know any differently. He wipes a tear away from his face with the back of his hand.

Lucy’s lip quivers and she looks apologetically at him and says, “And I don’t want to write a journal. I don’t want to have to go back to 2014 and give it to you. Whatever happened that made me do those things, I don’t want to go through it.” She looks at him as tears stream down her face. “I’m sorry. I know that the journal means a lot to you, but I can’t… I can’t do this anymore.”

Garcia’s eyes fill with tears as Lucy pours her heart out to him and he agrees with so much of what she’s saying. It’s been five years that he’s known of Rittenhouse and worked to destroy them and nothing they do works. He too has grown tired of the fight. He doesn’t want to give up, or abandon the rest of the team, but they and Rittenhouse are not why he’s here. He’s here for Lucy. And he is willing to throw it all away for her. He wraps his arm around her and places his forehead on her temple.

“Do you want to walk away from it all?” He asks with hesitation.

Lucy sniffles and wipes away tears with the back of her arm. She turns her head to look at him. And for the first time in a long time, he sees hope in her eyes.

“Is that what you want?” She asks, her voice breaking.

“I would say that it doesn’t matter what I want, but I know you would argue that my feelings are just as valid as yours so… as much as I want to destroy Rittenhouse… I love you, Lucy.” He touches the side of her face and smiles. “You are my life now and if we don’t go back to 2019, if we stay here…” He trails off, not sure that Lucy would want to start a new life in the 1840s.

“If we stay here, then…” She takes hold of his hand and runs her fingers over his wedding ring. “If we stay here then I want us to… we could build a cabin somewhere, buy horses. I could continue to learn how to make our own clothing… and we could…” She trails off, glancing down at his ring.

“Get married… have children of our own…” He finishes her thought. “I don’t know what adoption procedures are in the 1840s, but Elizabeth seems attached to both of us…”

Lucy nods her head and smiles at him. She would like that since she’s grown fond of the little girl as well.

He holds up a finger to tell her to wait here. He stands up, unbothered that he’s naked, and goes to one of the storage boxes toward the front of the wagon. He opens it and rummages around, looking for something.

Curious about what he’s looking for, Lucy wraps the blanket around her and goes to him, kneeling at his side. She watches as he shoves one of his Glock 17 handguns aside, and picks up a small wooden jewelry box. He opens it and takes out Lucy’s locket. She had removed the locket before they joined this wagon train so that no one would accidentally see the color photograph of her and her sister.

She watches as he unclasps the chain and hands it to her. She lifts the necklace to put it around her neck, but he stops her, placing his hand on her arm. She wrinkles her brow, not understanding. Then he takes a deep breath and slowly exhales.

He removes his wedding ring from his finger.

Her heart is in her throat and she chokes back tears. He takes her necklace and slides the ring onto it so it rests next to the locket containing her only photographs of Amy. He turns to face her. He looks at her and then to the necklace.

“Garcia, I…” She shakes her head. “You don’t have to do that. I know how much that ring means to you and I would never want to take it away from you.”

“You wouldn’t be. You’d be wearing it near your heart.” He tells her, his voice cracking. He looks away from her and swallows hard. “Lucy… I… if you really want to stay here and not go home then… and I’m not asking this because…” He doesn’t know how to find his way to asking her to marry him. He rubs the back of his neck nervously.

“Garcia?” She touches his shoulder.

“Would you like to marry me, Lucy?”

Lucy smiles and wipes a tear from her face as she nods her head.

“You’re my best friend, Garcia. You’re my whole world. She cups her hand on his face. “Of course, I will marry you.”

He lets out a relieved laugh as he stifles back a cry. He holds onto the back of her neck and kisses her as he clutches onto her necklace. He rests his head against hers, “I love you, Lucy.” He pulls back and holds up the necklace. He reaches around her neck and clasps it as the locket and his ring rest on her chest. He smiles as he watches her pet it and then close it inside the palm of her hand. She looks up into his eyes.

“We have no money, and I hope you can accept that ring for our engagement.”

“I’ll never take it off, Garcia. They mean as much to me as they do to you, and… I understand that in giving me this ring, you mean for me to know… to understand, that you love me and that I’m your family now.”

“We don’t have to get married until we get to Oregon-”

“Maybe in the morning we could ask Captain Brown to marry us-” She stops as she replays what he just said in her mind.

“Did you want to-” He starts.

“I mean, we can wait until-” She stops so that he can finish what he was saying.

They both laugh as they keep talking over each other.

“Look, Lucy… I would like for us to have rings to exchange when we’re married. And we have no money right now and I was thinking that maybe I could learn how to make us silver wedding bands. You could design your own wedding dress and make it and-”

Lucy takes hold of the back of his neck and presses her lips against his. Her fingers play with the little tufts of hair that have grown long on the back of his neck. She tosses the blanket aside so they are both naked as they lay together on the wooden floor of the wagon.

He runs his hand along her thigh and holds her underneath her knee. He settles in between her legs and kisses her. She opens her mouth to him and giggles as he caresses the side of her breast. She hums into his mouth as his tongue circles hers. Now that the storm outside has passed, they struggle to keep quiet as they make love again as each other’s intended.

-----

The next day they emerged from their wagon before sunrise and joined friends they had made on their journey. Garcia held little Elizabeth on his lap as they sat around a fire before dawn, and Lucy announced their engagement. With much, almost embarrassing, pomp and circumstance about their engagement throughout the day, they arrived at Fort Laramie just in time for lunch. One of the women took Lucy and Elizabeth aside as Garcia helped the men pick out the best supplies to make repairs on damaged wagons. He even bartered with a local American Indian to trade goods for a pair of beaded ladies’ moccasins as an engagement gift for Lucy.

He felt small hands tugging at his coat as he loaded supplies into his and Lucy’s wagon. He looked down and saw little Elizabeth. She had been washed, her hair done up and she was wearing a new white dress with a burgundy floral pattern. He kneeled down to her when she motioned to him that she wanted to tell him a secret.

“Close your eyes, daddy.” She whispered to him.

He did and felt small fingers opening his hand, placing something cold and metallic into his palm. He opened his eyes and saw two rings. He looked up and Elizabeth was running away from him, running toward Lucy. He stood up when he saw her approaching. She was wearing a white dress and carrying a bouquet of wild flowers, her hair pulled back, braided loosely with tendrils of hair framing her face. She smiled at him as she stood in front of him.

“I made an executive decision.” She told him.

“I see that.”

“The rings are just temporary… Susan said they belonged to her parents before they passed and we can return them when we get to Oregon, so you can make our rings.”

He stepped toward Lucy with every intention to kiss her, but was interrupted by Captain Brown, who told them that there could be no kissing until he pronounced them man and wife. With little Elizabeth standing between them, a handful of witnesses, Captain Brown married them at Fort Laramie.

They asked Captain Brown what they would have to do to adopt Elizabeth as their daughter and he told them that he made the rules for the group and since Elizabeth had lost her parents, she was in need of a family and that Garcia and Lucy had his blessing to raise her as their own. And little did they know that in a few weeks’ time Lucy would discover that she was pregnant with the first of their three children: Lilijana, Amy Lynn, and Asher.

Once they arrived in Oregon, they set out for California where Garcia built them a cabin within a redwood forest close to present day San Francisco. Garcia went on to work as an equine veterinarian and riding instructor. With four children, Lucy stayed home to raise their kids. Once they were old enough, she told Garcia that she wanted to return to teaching. She went on to become one of the first female history professors at the California Wesleyan College in Stockton.

Twenty years later, in 1865, just after the end of the American Civil War out East, she was in her office at Wesleyan when there was a quiet knock on her door. She looked up and placed a strand of her grey hair behind her ear as she told her visitor to enter.

The door opened and Jiya Marri, as young as she last remembered seeing her twenty years before, walked into the office. Jiya carried a sad smile on her face as she looked at her friend who had aged so much in the few days that it had taken she and Rufus to search through history for any record of where Lucy and Garcia might be so they could travel back and bring them home to 2019.

Lucy hopped up out of her chair and nearly tripped over her own feet as she rushed to Jiya and wrapped her arms around her. Jiya apologized for not being able to find Lucy sooner, and just as Lucy was about to open her mouth to explain everything to her old friend, she heard the nervous laugh of Rufus Carlin from out in the hallway. She looked to Jiya with wide eyes and asked, “Rufus is here too?”

Lucy couldn’t contain her excitement and ran out into the hall, running right smack into Wyatt Logan.

“I’m sorry, ma’am.” He said to her. “I’m looking for a Professor Lucy Preston.”

“Wyatt, you chump! It’s me!” She exclaimed as Jiya stepped out of the office and nodded her head at Wyatt.

He blinked and looked back at Rufus who was walking toward them, but not alone. He had run into Garcia who had come to pick his wife up to take her out to lunch. Rufus feigned being angry that Garcia had his arm over his shoulders and was leaning down telling him all about how he had built a cabin with his own bare hands, helped deliver his three children since Lucy didn’t want to trust the “modern” medicine of the late 1840s and early 1850s.

“Does it bother anyone else that Flynn has gone completely grey?” Rufus asked as the two of them came to a stop near the others.

Wyatt looked from Lucy to Garcia, and then Garcia to Lucy, and Lucy to Garcia and it eventually dawned on him that Lucy and Garcia had been together for the past twenty years, even though he last saw them only a month ago when they got separated on the Oregon Trail.

Jiya walked toward Garcia and looked up at him. She smiled as she wrapped her arms around him and whispered into his ear, “I told you… I told you that she loves you and that you had nothing to worry about.” She wiped a tear from her face. “I only wish I could have been there to see you two get married.”

“Wait… they’re married too?” Wyatt asked.

“We have four kids too.” Lucy informed him, running back into her office to retrieve her purse where she kept pictures of all the kids. “This here is Elizabeth, we adopted her after her parents died on the way to Oregon. She’s twenty-four now and a mother to our sweet little grandbabies. And this is a picture of our Lili, she got married last summer and is living in New York now, she’s expecting. And this is Amy Lynn, she’s training as a seamstress over in San Francisco, and our youngest and our only boy, Asher. He helps his daddy at the stables. He’s only fourteen, but he’s one of the best horsemen in town.” Lucy stated proudly, smiling over at Garcia.

“So, am I right to assume that since you two have lives here in the 1800s that means that you won’t be coming back with us to 2019?” Rufus asked. “I mean, good for you and all, but there’s still a war we’re fighting against Rittenhouse. Kinda hoped you two would come back and help.”

Lucy and Garcia shared a look. In the last twenty years they had been so busy living their lives that Rittenhouse and time travel almost completely escaped their minds. The smile faded from Garcia’s face and he stepped toward Rufus.

“Rittenhouse didn’t follow you here, did they?” He asked this and looked at Lucy.

“No. We came back to get you two.” Rufus answered.

Wyatt grabbed onto Lucy’s arm and started to lead her down the hallway. “C’mon, guys. Let’s go.”

“Wyatt, stop.” Lucy planted her heels hard into the ground so Wyatt couldn’t drag her away. “We can’t… we’re not coming back.”

“Then we’ll go back and find you two when you’re younger and not so… invested in this life you’ve built together.” Wyatt snapped back at her with obvious disapproval.

“No.” Lucy shook her head. “Garcia and I, we… we decided to walk away from everything. We made that decision and we’re not abandoning our lives here. I’m fifty-six years old now. I can’t and I won’t go back to your war with Rittenhouse.”

Jiya stepped toward Lucy.

“It was your war too, Lucy.”

“Jiya…” Garcia spoke up. “We’re staying here. We can’t just leave our lives and our children to-”

“But you left us.” Jiya snapped back, spinning around on her heel to look up at Garcia, the disappointment and anger flaring in her eyes.

“Fuck them.” Wyatt chimed in. “It’s obvious they’ve grown selfish in their old age. We can just go back and track them down again. Figure out where we could pick them up again on the Oregon Trail. We need them, but not this version of them, ok?”

Wyatt stormed off down the hall. Rufus looked from Wyatt to Lucy and Garcia, shrugged his shoulders as if to apologize, but also agreeing that Jiya and Wyatt have a point, and followed Wyatt. Jiya stood there looking at Lucy and Garcia the longest, tears welling up in her eyes. It seemed that they’d built a happy life here, but she knew that the team couldn’t fight Rittenhouse without them.

“We’ll be able to find you at Fort Laramie, right? Sometime not too long after Wyatt and Rufus got lost and had to come back to 2019?” Jiya asked them.

“Jiya…” Lucy reached out to her friend and held her hand. “If you go back and find us then…” Lucy looked at Garcia before continuing. “If you do that… you need to know that we made the decision to walk away, and if I… if you had found me… I don’t think I could have… I would have gone back home and… everything that Garcia and I have built these past twenty years never would happen. We may not have Elizabeth… Lili would be born, but if we came back to 2019, there’s no guarantee that we’d ever have Amy or Asher.” Lucy pleaded with her friend. “If you go back to 1845 and bring us home, you need to understand that you would be erasing people we love, our family, our children, even our grandchildren.”

“That’d make you no better than Rittenhouse.” Garcia quietly added as he stood next to Lucy and wrapped his arm around her waist.

Jiya swallowed hard as she took in this information. She understood very well what would happen if she, Rufus and Wyatt went back to 1845 to get them. She looked to Garcia and saw tears welling in his eyes as Lucy looked up at him. They were both terrified and heartbroken… they felt betrayed, but…

“Look, I love you both, but we can’t… we can’t defeat Rittenhouse without you.” She wiped a tear from her face. “I’m sorry.”

And without another word, Jiya turned around and ran down the hall to catch up with Rufus and Wyatt.

-----

The sound of thunder still reminds Lucy of that night on the Oregon Trail. The night when she and Garcia decided that they were going to walk away from the war with Rittenhouse forever. She shivers and turns to face Garcia in the small bed in his bunk. The storm outside must be severe if she can faintly hear the thunder booming outside. She inches closer to him and rests her hands on his chest. It’s been a month since Jiya and Rufus found them at Fort Laramie and convinced them that they couldn’t abandon the team to fight Rittenhouse without them.

They came back to 2019 and decided not to let anyone know that they had become engaged, and had been married by Captain Brown. It wasn’t like their marriage was legal in 2019 anyway.

Lucy squeezes her eyes shut as tears stream down her face.

She hates this life.

She only finds solace at night, with Garcia.

Her heart aches.

They had to abandon little Elizabeth after Rufus explained that it wasn’t safe for children to travel in the Lifeboat. That the child very well could die in transit to the future.

Lucy places her hand over her abdomen. She hasn’t yet told Garcia that she’s pregnant. And if it isn’t safe for children to travel in the Lifeboat, she wonders if she’s caused any damage to their unborn child by continuing to chase after Rittenhouse. It’s been a month since she last made love to Garcia. Ever since they’ve come back, he’s stepped back, as if he’s afraid of everything that he said to her – that they said to each other – that stormy night in Wyoming.

On one of their missions a couple weeks ago, they had a fight. They split off from the rest of the team and ended up in a shouting match with each other. He accused her of pretending to want to be married to him out of fear that one day they might grow apart after making the decision to live in 1845. He had been so angry with her that he grabbed her arm as she tried to storm away, spun her around and ripped her necklace off her neck. He removed his ring and placed it back on his finger, telling her that Lorena would have never lied to him like that. That Lorena truly loved him while Lucy’s love was just superficial. She held the broken necklace in her hand and sobbed as she watched him walk away from her.

She thought that was the end of whatever it was that they had had with each other.

But that night, after they returned to 2019, she sat alone on the couch watching Gone With The Wind, and he came and sat next to her, wrapped his arms over her shoulder and pulled her into him. He kissed her on the top of her head and cried as he apologized for earlier, for breaking her necklace and shouting at her the way that he did. She sobbed in his arms and clutched onto him and apologized, and begged him to forgive her for falling back on her word, for not staying with him in 1845. The two of them eventually fell asleep in each other’s arms on that uncomfortable Kem Weber couch. Things had been better since then, but not perfect, not how she imagined their life could have been if Rufus and Jiya hadn’t found them.

The frosted window panes of the bunk shudder with another strong roll of thunder.

Lucy reaches out and touches Garcia’s face as he sleeps.

His eyes open and he looks at her.

“What is it, Lucy?” He asks. “I’ve been awake. What’s on your mind?” He sounds physically and emotionally exhausted.

Lucy averts her eyes, unable to look at him.

“Fine. Don’t tell me.” He says, and starts to roll over so his back is to her.

“Garcia, don’t…” Lucy grabs onto his arm.

He stops and looks at her.

Tears sting her eyes as she takes his hand and holds it against her abdomen. His brow wrinkles and it takes him only a few seconds to figure it out.

“You’re pregnant?” He asks, trying to conceal the excitement he feels.

She nods her head and bursts out into tears.

“Hey…” He says, and his arms are around her in a heartbeat. “Hey… Lucy… no, this is a good thing.”

“Is it?” She cries out, looking into his eyes. “If I’m pregnant, I shouldn’t be going on these missions. If children can’t travel safely, I doubt an unborn child is any different. I’ve been putting the life of our baby at risk every time that we-”

“How long have you known?”

“Since today.”

“Then tomorrow, we’ll go to Rufus and Denise and tell them. And I’ll make sure that they understand that you’re not going on these trips until…” He trails off.

“Exactly.” She says, reading his mind. “Once the baby is born, it’s not like I’ll be able to continue on as before. I’ll be a mother and you’ll be a father and… this… I hate to say this, but… and as much as I want to have children with you… but maybe now isn’t the best time to start a family.”

His heart sinks hearing her say this, knowing damn well what she’s suggesting.

“No. Lucy, we’re not doing that.”

“Then what? We try to run away again? Abandon the team? We can’t do that.”

“Then help me steal the Lifeboat.” He says seriously.

“What?” Lucy sits up and runs her hand through her hair. “Why do you need to steal the Lifeboat?”

“To go back and take out David Rittenhouse. Take him out years before you and I met him. If I kill him before he can start Rittenhouse then… then… wouldn’t that be what it takes to destroy them? You and I both know that it’s bullshit that we sit around here waiting for Rittenhouse to take out the Mothership. We’re never going to defeat them that way.”

“If you go back and do that… then… in my condition I can’t go with you.”

“I understand that, Lucy.” He says as he stands up and starts getting dressed, tucking his gun into the back of his jeans.

“No, you don’t understand.” She gets out of bed and goes to him. “I’m a direct descendent of David Rittenhouse. I’m pregnant and can’t travel back in time with you.” She looks up at him to see if he’s caught on yet. “You kill David Rittenhouse, you erase me from this timeline. You come back and I will have never existed.”

“Then you’ll come with me, take the risk.” He says. “Look, I don’t want you to lose our child, but… if killing David Rittenhouse can end all of this so that you and I can finally just… get out of this dump and start living our lives, then… I’ll risk it.” He holds onto her shoulders and lowers himself to her, placing his hand on her abdomen. “I love you, Lucy… and if we lose this child, we’ll have other opportunities.”

Her heart is racing as she comes to her decision.

She nods her head and starts getting dressed.

The two of them emerge from their bunk and head toward the Lifeboat.

Garcia sits down in the pilot seat as Lucy closes the hatch and buckles herself in behind him.

“Figure out how it works?” She asks.

“I’m observant. It’s not too different from the Mothership and I had Anthony show me a few things so…”

Garcia starts pressing buttons.

“I researched David Rittenhouse and figured out where the bastard was born. Same mansion in New York, in 1725, so I figure if we go back a few years before then and take out his father then...”

Garcia hits one last button and the Lifeboat begins to shake and whir until it vanishes from 2019.

The bunker falls dark and only the low roll of thunder can be heard as lightning flashes into the old missile silo. The tables and chairs of the kitchen are gone. There’s no TV, no couch, and no refrigerator. Water leaks into the hallway from a large crack in the wall.

The bunker shakes violently and metal tubing falls from the ceiling as the Lifeboat returns.

The hatch opens and Garcia hops out, raising his arms to Lucy to help her out. They look beaten, and there’s blood stain on the sleeve of her shirt where she got shot by a musket. They turn around and see that the bunker is empty, and it smells of dead rats and mold.

“Oh my God…” Lucy steps further into the bunker and turns around to look at him. “I think we did it.”

“How do you feel?” He asks, stepping toward her and placing his hand on her abdomen.

“I’m ok. Nothing feels bad… I think… and we’ll have to get looked over by a doctor, but… I think everything is going to be ok.” She smiles up at him.

“So… what do we do now?” He asks.

“I’m going to need a new identity, if we did succeed in destroying Rittenhouse then I’ve never existed.”

“I’ve got a friend who can help with that.”

He wraps his arms around her waist, and kisses the top of her head.

“We can move in together, get an apartment…” He says.

“Fight over baby names and what color to paint the nursery…”

She goes up on her toes and kisses him.

They’re interrupted when his phone rings from his back pocket. He pulls back and smiles at her as he takes his phone and answers.

“This is Garcia.”

He keeps his free arm wrapped around Lucy’s waist as he listens to the voice on the other end of the phone. The smile fades from his face and he looks down at Lucy with tears in his eyes. He lets go of her waist and takes a few steps away from her. Lucy’s heart sinks. This can’t be good.

“I’m… I’m in San Francisco… I…” He looks back at Lucy. She’s looking at him, questioning who is on the other end of the call. He speaks to the person on the other end, not breaking eye contact with Lucy. “I got called in last-minute by the NSA, I’m about to board a plane and-”

Lucy sees the anguish on his face as he lies to the person on the other end of the phone. She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. She knows who he’s speaking to. She goes to him, places her hand on his arm and tells him, “Go to her.”

That’s all Lucy says as she gives Garcia a gentle squeeze on the arm and walks toward the bunker exit. She feels his eyes on her as she opens the metal door and disappears up the ladder to the surface.

It’s pouring rain outside, just as it had been when she and Garcia stole the Lifeboat and traveled back to 1723 and killed David Rittenhouse’s father. Lighting flashes across the sky and she falls to her knees as her heart breaks. The pain sears through her soul. She’s lost everything and everyone she loves. She doesn’t exist in this timeline and the only person who remembers her is going to go home to his wife and daughter.

Lucy places her hand on her abdomen.

At least she has their baby.

At least she’ll have someone to love and to take care of.

She covers her mouth to muffle her sobs.

Her body shakes from the shock of losing everything.

The shock of losing Garcia Flynn.

If only they had been able to escape all of this in 1845, abandon the team and start a new life for themselves in the past. If only… if only…

Garcia’s arms wrap around her in the pouring rain. His body bends over her to protect her from the storm. He kneels behind her now and rocks her in his arms, holding her as hard as he can.

Lucy squeezes her eyes shut and prays that she wakes up from this nightmare.

“I told her the truth, Lucy…” He cries, his voice breaking. “Not everything, but I told her about you, about us…”

Lucy breaks at the waist and cries harder. She turns around and pushes him away, shaking her head. She can’t accept that he would keep his word. That he meant what he said when he told her that she is his now and he would still walk away from his girls forever if they were saved.

“I said you need to go to her.” She cries, pushing him hard on the chest.

He grabs hold of her hands and pulls her to him, and he kisses her. She pushes at him as hard as she can and cries as his mouth covers hers. She can’t… she’s never been anyone’s first choice and she refuses to believe that she is his.

“I love you, Lucy.” He tells her. “I made a promise to you, and I… I want you, Lucy.” He kisses her forehead. “I choose you.” She shakes her head again and looks away from him. “Dammit, Lucy, hear me.” He pleads with her. “My girls being alive now, that doesn’t change a damn thing. It doesn’t change how much I love you. It doesn’t change that you and I are going to have a baby. It doesn’t change the fact that I want to marry you again, spend my life with you.”

Lucy pushes at him hard enough that she falls backward. She scrambles to her feet and runs away from him. It terrifies her, what he’s saying. It’s everything she wants to hear, but it scares her.

“Lucy!”

He grabs onto her arm and they skid to a stop on the wet grass. He holds his hand up in front of her face and takes the ring off his finger. He throws it onto the ground, holds her face with his hands and kisses her hard. She hangs onto his forearms and cries as they kiss in the pouring rain. She wants to push him away, to scream at him to go back to his wife, but he made his decision. He chose her. So instead of arguing with him, she embraces her fear. She kisses him back. The kiss is as angry and rough as the storm raging around them. He’s desperate for her to understand that he chooses her, and she had been trying to push him away.

But not anymore.

Lucy wraps her arms around his neck and softens her response to him. She pulls away from his kiss and pets the side of his face, running her fingers down the side of his neck.

“I’m sorry,” she whispers.

He kisses the top of her head and takes her hand in his, holding it over his heart.

“And I’m sorry for how I’ve been since we returned from 1845. I know that we wanted to just walk away and start a new life there, and I know that I’ve thought so much about what could have been if Jiya and Rufus hadn’t found us, but it’s over now, Lucy. We destroyed Rittenhouse… the bunker is empty, that means that the team was never assembled, I never stole a time machine and-”

“We never met.”

Lucy lowers her eyes disheartened that they are the only ones that remember what happened.

“That doesn’t mean that what we’ve been through didn’t happen to us. You still gave me your journal, I still stole the Mothership, we still became friends and fell in love… destroying Rittenhouse hasn’t erased that.” With rain dripping from his hair and running down his face, he steps closer to Lucy and places his hand on her abdomen. “We’re still going to be parents…”

“I still don’t want you to just throw your ring away.” She tells him. “But…” She bends down and runs her hand through the wet grass. She picks up his ring and hands it to him. “I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to wear it around my neck.”

He takes the ring and puts it in his pocket. He places his hand on Lucy’s lower back and they walk back toward the bunker.

“I’ll have to go through a divorce.” He says with an air of sadness in his voice. “It’s not going to be easy and… I’ll have to lie because I don’t want Lorena to know about time travel or Rittenhouse.” He chuckles and shakes his head. “If she’s at all angry with me she could use that against me since I want shared custody of Iris.”

Lucy nods her head, she understands. “I’ll back up whatever you want to tell her about us. But, Garcia… Lorena needs to know that you still love her. I don’t want you two to go through a bad divorce. If it’s possible, I want you to remain friends.”

He opens the metal door of the bunker and follows Lucy back down the ladder into the bunker.

“She was angry over the phone and maybe I shouldn’t have told her about us yet, maybe I should have told her in person, but… you were walking away, thinking I was going to leave you, and… it was more important for me to talk to you.” Garcia takes Lucy’s hand and kisses her knuckles.

They walk hand-in-hand down the hallway toward their bunk.

They stop as they look into the room that had been theirs.

It’s empty.

Everything that had become their own in this bunker is gone.

“C’mon,” Lucy says, leading him back toward the Lifeboat.  “We should probably destroy this thing before we leave.”

Garcia nods his head as they stop at the base of the Lifeboat. He looks down at Lucy, knowing that destroying the machine will also destroy any last bit of hope that Lucy might have to try to save Amy. She looks into his eyes and nods her head.

“I know.” She says, her voice breaking. “I know…”

He holds onto the back of her neck and kisses the top of her head. He knows that he’s all she has, that he is her only family. He and their unborn child.

He places his hands at her waist and lifts her up onto the Lifeboat. “It might not be comfortable, but at least it’s clean. We can try to sleep inside the Lifeboat tonight and then in the morning figure out how to disable it or… destroy it.” He tells her as he lifts himself up onto it.

Lucy lays down on the floor between the two passenger seats and rests her head against her arm. Garcia lies behind her, his arm over her waist. He rubs his thumb against her abdomen and kisses the back of her neck.

“I’m still scared, Garcia.” She confesses in a hushed voice. “This is a world we don’t know… if we truly did destroy Rittenhouse, what we wake up to tomorrow is what the world has been like without their influence. And you know just as much as I do how much influence they had on history. This world could be unrecognizable.”

“And we’ll figure it out together, Lucy.” He kisses the top of her head and pulls her close. “Somehow, we’ll figure out how to navigate this world and we’ll learn how to live in it… quite the team, right?”

Lucy chuckles softly and turns around to face him. She touches his face and gazes into his eyes. She kisses him and whispers, “quite the team.”