The Chronicoms were defeated, the timeline restored.
FitzSimmons were off settling in in Perthshire, Piper introducing Flint to Mario Kart in the lounge, May and Coulson sharing a bottle of Haig up on the actual Lighthouse, and Daisy and Sousa sneaking out together in a way that made Elena really, really owe Mack that twenty bucks now.
They won, and now they were alone, for the first time in what seemed like ages. Decades, really. Finally.
“Mack,” she said, reaching out for him as if she were not already cushioned into his side, two beers on the table in front of them. His hands closed around hers, lighting up nerve endings she’d never thought she’d have again with sensation—nerve endings she’d made peace with never having again. But she could feel the warmth of him now, even if these hands are synthetic. She could feel the ridges of his palms, life and love lines and everything in between. She could feel the roughness of the callouses on his fingers scraping gently against her own, marks of a man who liked working with his hands and whose happiest place would always be under the hood of a car, not with a gun—or a shotgun axe—in his hands.
She knew these hands intimately, and they knew her, and to feel them again—
Elena’s gaze lifted to meet Mack’s, finding an impossible softness in the depths of his eyes as he watched her. He understood. Of course he did, his heart had been one of the first things that attracted her to him, his heart and his capacity for love.
“Can I…?” she asked, and his hands fell away as she reached for his face. Her first touch was hesitant, barely a brush of fingertips against the black hairs along his jaw. All it took was that tender spark of sensation before she was swinging her legs across the couch, planting a knee on either side of his with her calves tucked beneath her and settling onto his lap, her thumbs stroking over his cheeks. He let her, hands settling gently on her waist as he gazed at her with quiet adoration. Her fingers explored the shape of his nose, the ridge of his eyebrows, the smoothness of his forehead, how could she ever have forgotten how this felt—
“Mack,” she whispered, her voice hoarse. “I can feel. I can feel you.”
“Take your time,” he replied, the rich bass cracking slightly on the last syllable.
She did, running her hands along his jaw, his lips, the small hollows under his eyes. He glowed with warmth to her fingertips as she remapped his face with her touch, memorizing every line and curve. She’d never thought to commit them to memory, before, but she did now, etching this intimate knowledge of him into her brain, her heart. “Does it feel the same?” Elena asked. “Do I—”
“No,” Mack said, reaching up gently to cover her hands with his own, palms still pressed to his cheeks. “But it feels like you, Yo-Yo.”
His hands dwarfed hers as she slowly released his face. Like everything about him, they were large, steady, filling her soul with warmth and light. “Mack,” she said, because she loved this man. “I never want to let go.”
“You don’t have to,” he said quietly, squeezing her hands with his own. He bent his head, pressing his forehead against hers. “I’m right here. We’re both right here.”