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It wasn’t the first time he had done this, resting his head on Lucy’s chest. They had been sharing a room in the bunker for months – almost a year now – but this was the first time that he heard her heart flutter as he settled into her to fall asleep. For a moment, her movement stopped. No longer were her fingers carelessly running through his hair to soothe him into slumber, and she held her breath just long enough that he understood that something had changed. His feelings for her have lingered between them since he first stepped foot in the bunker last year, but his understanding of her feelings for him had always been in question until now.

“Garcia?” She whispered.

“Hm?” He murmured, wrapping his arm around her waist.

He closed his eyes as her fingers weaved through his hair again.

She sighed.

When she didn’t say anything, he opened his eyes and tilted his head to gaze up at her. She was staring at the ceiling, lost in her own thoughts.

With him, she was at peace.

Without a word, Lucy lowered herself into his bed, inching closer to him. Finally, she settled her head on his pillow and moved so that they were laying face-to-face. She gazed into his eyes as she brushed a strand of hair from his forehead. Their eyes were drawn to each other, like magnets. Neither of them capable of looking away. She parted her lips, took a deep breath, and drew the words from her mouth delicately, fully understanding their importance and how they would affect their relationship from this moment forward.

“I love you,” she said as she pressed her forehead against his, cupping her hand around his ear, holding onto the back of his neck.

His heart stopped and tears stung his eyes.

He never…

He shook his head in disbelief.

The journal had said something about the two of them falling in love, but after everything changed at the Hindenburg, he didn’t believe that it would actually happen. Too much had changed. Too many things had happened which Lucy hadn’t written about in the journal he received in São Paulo. Certainly, after everything that had changed, that they… that she wouldn’t fall in love with him, right?

“Garcia…”

Lucy’s hand lowered to cup his chin. Her thumb caressed his cheek.

His heart fluttered.

This felt right. This was real, but…

“Are you sure that’s how you feel for me?” He asked, uncertain now that they should even be sharing a room, or even a bed. He half expected her to change her mind. To take back those three words, I love you. My God, had she really said those words to him? He started to move to get out of bed and excuse himself to the sofa in the common area, but Lucy reached out and held onto him, stopping him from getting out of bed.

Her eyes narrowed and her heart broke as she realized that Garcia felt undeserving of her love.

“You’re my best friend, Garcia,” she said with a softness in her voice that he hadn’t heard before.

His heart sank.

“Oh,” was all he could say. She loved him, but only because they were friends.

Garcia looked away from her and sighed. He would take whatever he could get. After all, her friendship and trust were much more important to him than the two of them becoming lovers. He had survived the disappointment of nothing happening between them on the Titanic mission, and he could survive this.

Her hands pressed against his chest as she gently rolled him onto his back.

This wasn’t the first time she had done this, resting her head on Garcia’s chest. They had been sharing this small bed for the most part of the past year, after all. She could no longer fall asleep without him by her side. Her lips curled into a smile when she heard his heart flutter. His chest no longer rose or fell with each breath he took. Then… he began tracing his fingers slowly up and down her arm. She has known for a long time, ever since Chinatown – perhaps even before (Salem? Surely, it was Salem), if she was being honest with herself – that he loved her. And she had fallen in love with him long before tonight, but if asked she wouldn’t be able to say exactly when her feelings for him turned to love.

She lifted her head and looked up at him.

“May I kiss you?” She asked.

He inhaled long and deep. And she understood that he wasn’t sure how to answer her question, rendering himself unable to say anything.

He nodded, half expecting to wake up from a dream. To open his eyes and have the artificial morning light of the bunker shine onto his face. Then he would get up and go make them coffee as she slept in. He’d go about his day, trying his best to conceal his love for her.

But he didn’t wake up from a dream.

In fact, they were still laying in bed and she was still staring into his eyes.

Then she wet her lips and lowered her gaze to his own.

He nodded again and whispered, “yes.”

Lucy inched toward him as he tucked loose hair behind her ear. She gave him a soft smile as his hand nervously held onto the back of her neck. She has known of his feelings for her for a long time – whether it was in Chinatown or Salem, that doesn’t matter – but it has been weeks that she has deliberated with herself about her feelings for him.

Night after sleepless night, she laid next to him as he quietly slept. She had watched him in the darkness as the night erased years from his face. She thought long and hard about everything that he had done to her and the team before his arrest and incarceration.

She had forgiven him for everything.

At first, she had tried to talk herself out of falling in love with him, but that proved to be impossible.

She realized that he was what she looked forward to every day when she woke up. She looked forward to joining him for breakfast. Their first coffee of the day in their room. How he would let her wear his favorite burgundy turtleneck sweater when she was cold. How she would let him rest his head in her lap as they stayed up late to watch old movies. There was no denying that she looked forward to settling in after missions and discussing the books that they both decided to read together, or how she looked forward to discussing history with him.

They used to avoid talking about their lost loved ones, but after their mission in San Antonio in 1936, they started sharing stories about Amy, Lorena, Iris, and even her father, Henry Wallace.

It was then that she realized that all of the little things had been adding up, and it was because of them that she had fallen in love with Garcia Flynn.

“Lucy?” He said, interrupting her thoughts. Too much time had passed since he had given her permission to kiss him and nothing happened. He has resigned himself to accept that she had changed her mind.

“Hm?”

“You don’t have to kiss me if you don’t want-”

He fell silent when she rubbed her nose against his, resting her hand on his chest.

She kissed him.

Slow and tender.

Her lips lingered on his upper lip as his body trembled at her touch.

Tears were stinging his eyes, threatening to fall.

He wanted this, but…

But it had been so long since he’s felt loved… so long since he had been touched…

Not since Lorena.

“It’s ok…” Lucy whispered, kissing a stray tear from his cheek.

Garcia closed his eyes as a shiver ran through his body.

Lucy’s hand rested on his shoulder.

She kissed his forehead, then between his eyes… his cheek, and… and then her lips were on his again and he cried out her name. He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her as close to him as he could. Her body pressed against him as his body released all doubt that he had been carrying that she could actually love him. He opened his mouth to her and with each stroke of their tongues, they fell deeper and deeper into one another until the world around them was spinning, and they were forced to part in order to catch their breath.

He rolled Lucy onto her back and ran his hand down the side of her torso and kissed her. She moaned into his mouth as her fingers once again weaved into his hair. His heart pounded in his chest as he melted into her kisses again and again.

She tilted her head back and he trailed delicate little kisses down the side of her neck, opening his mouth to gently suck at her porcelain skin.

Lucy smiled at the sensation and giggled quietly.

The world might be falling apart around them, and the war with Rittenhouse may be far from over, but right now, in this moment, everything was perfect. And that is all she could ask for when they were here, at home, in the bunker. Together.

Garcia stopped kissing her and looked deep into her brown eyes.

“Volim te,” he whispered, rubbing his nose against hers. “I love you, Lucy.”

Her heart fluttered again at the words I love you, Lucy. She caressed his lips with her fingertips and kissed him one more time before she lay down beside him. She draped her arm across his chest and smiled as she closed her eyes. And unlike other nights, she fell fast asleep within the warmth of his arms wrapped around her and the feel of his lips on her forehead as he whispered to her “goodnight.”