Actions

Work Header

To Love Again

Work Text:

Garcia Flynn has always known when someone isn’t meant to be his. It had happened only a few times in his life when he thought he had been in love, and admitted his feelings only to be shot down.

The first time it happened he was in the first grade when he declared his love to a cute kindergartner during recess – he wore a suit to school that day, and presented her with a flower he had picked from his mother’s garden. The girl accepted the flower, then squashed it beneath her foot declaring that she already had a boyfriend. Little Garcia had quietly nodded his head, said nothing, and went to sit alone with his back against the cool brick wall of the school building.

That is his first memory of having been rejected.

It happened again in middle school. He had asked out the prettiest girl in school to go to a dance with him. She accepted, but insisted that they meet at the dance, and that he not stop by her home to pick her up. He wore his best suit and tie, and bought a bouquet of flowers to give to her. But when he arrived at the dance, she was slow-dancing with the star of the school’s basketball team.

He waited to approach her until after the song had ended, and with a laugh she told him that Brian was taller, and she only went out with tall boys. Back then, Garcia hadn’t exactly hit his growth spurt yet, and was a mere five-foot seven in comparison to Brian’s six-foot one. She and her friends laughed loudly in his face so everyone nearby could hear them. They pointed at him as his face blushed red. He ran from the gymnasium and quit the basketball team that following Monday. He swore to himself after that humiliation that he’d never put himself in that position again. That he would refuse to ever fall in love.

So, in high school, he kept to himself.

He developed crushes, of course, what teenage boy doesn’t? But he never acted on them. He admired girls from afar, and only spoke to them if they spoke to him first – and that was usually to ask for help with math, science, or foreign languages. He let them use him, and never expected anything in return. If a girl showed the slightest interest in him, he pushed her away. Distanced himself until she figured out on her own that he wanted to be alone.

He was only in high school for one year before dropping out to join the Croatian Army when he was fifteen years old. He joined to fight for his and his father’s homeland. At only fifteen years old, Garcia Flynn had given up on the idea that he could ever love and be loved.

And then he met Lorena.

He made no effort to get to know her. To this day, he still thinks it was Lorena’s inability to give up on him that got them down the aisle. He didn’t propose. She did. And by the end of 2008, they were man and wife. He left his position in the military and started his own privately sanctioned military firm with the help of Karl Borsok. Less than a year later, their daughter was born. He was busy, but at least he had more time to spend at home with his girls.

But even they were not meant to be his forever.

Rittenhouse stole them from him.

Murdered them.

A part of his soul died with them the night they were taken from this earth.

He promised himself that he would stop the beasts that had taken them from him. He had nothing left in life except to avenge their deaths, and decided that once he did, he wouldn’t live long enough to ever love again.

He didn’t want to live.

He didn’t want to love again.

Then that Christmas Eve, Lucy Preston walked into a bar and handed him her journal.

He didn’t want to fall in love with her.

He resisted it every step of the way.

But now that he’s finally accepted that he has fallen in love with her, it seems everything in the world is fighting to keep them from being together.

Emma murdered her mother.

Wyatt interrupted them when he was about to answer her question, why are you here?

And Rufus is dead.

They returned from Chinatown and everyone went their separate ways.

He did his best to wash up before allowing Agent Christopher to patch up the bullet wound on his chest. And after he figured out how to get changed out of his 1880s clothing, he went to look for Lucy since she hadn’t yet come to his room as she had been doing for the past couple weeks. As he made his way towards the common room to look for her, he overheard Wyatt tell her that he loves her.

It hurt.

Lucy didn’t say anything. Instead, she let Wyatt’s words hang in the air.

Garcia turned around and retreated back to his room.

He has always known when someone isn’t meant to be his.

Lucy Preston is not meant to be his.

Despite how poorly Wyatt treats her, Fate has already determined that she ends up with him.

He has known this since the night Lucy handed him her journal.

Garcia stands in the middle of his room. His eyes fall on a pile of Lucy’s clothing that she left on the armchair this morning before they left for South Carolina, 1863.

He considers trying to remove his burgundy turtleneck on his own, wincing as he attempts to move his arm in the sling, but the bullet wound to his chest is too painful, so he settles on sleeping in it rather than in his comfortable grey t-shirt.

He sighs and switches off the lamp on his desk.

He crawls into bed and tries to think of anything else other than what he thinks is happening between Lucy and Wyatt right now. He squeezes his eyes shut as he rolls onto his side.

Are her lips caressing Wyatt’s?

Is Wyatt holding Lucy against him as he showers her with kisses?

Is he whispering sweet nothings into her ear as she moans his name?

The thought of them together makes Garcia’s stomach churn.

How could Wyatt want to do these things with Lucy so soon after losing his wife and unborn child to Rittenhouse?

It has only been a couple hours since he chased Jessica in Chinatown. Only a couple hours since Wyatt told the team that he had tried to convince Jessica to come back with him to the bunker. That despite her allegiance to Rittenhouse, she was still his family. It makes Garcia sick to his stomach to think that Lucy would choose someone so conflicted with his feelings.

She deserves better.

Even if she doesn’t want him, Garcia Flynn, Lucy Preston deserves someone who will always put her first. Someone who can’t even conceive of placing her second to anything else.

Garcia closes his eyes.

All he remembers from the alley in Chinatown is seeing Lucy on the ground, Emma hovering above her. Before, he would have chased down Emma and killed her. But not anymore. He still wants to stop Rittenhouse, but that is no longer his priority.

Lucy has become his priority.

He only wants what’s best for her.

He wants to help her save her sister.

To save Rufus.

All he wants is for her to be happy.

“Flynn?” Lucy whispers, close enough to be standing next to his bed.

He’s startled, but it doesn’t show as he rolls onto his back and looks up at Lucy. She’s a silhouette against the dim light that shines into his room through the frosted windows. She raises her arm and wipes her cheek.

She’s been crying.

“I didn’t want to disturb Jiya tonight, and…” Lucy looks behind her towards the closed door. “And I… I don’t want to be alone tonight. Do you mind if I-”

She doesn’t have to finish her question before Garcia sits up and removes his bedsheets from him. He stands and motions to the bed.

Lucy touches his arm as she steps closer to him. With her hand resting at his elbow, she looks up at him. “Could you lay with me?” She asks softly. “I… I need someone to hold onto,” she explains.

Garcia swallows hard then wets his lips, and like a fool he asks, “What about Wyatt?”

Lucy lets out a heavy sigh as she lets go of his arm, and sits on the edge of his bed. She shakes her head before lying down. “I don’t want to deal with Wyatt right now,” she says as she inches towards the wall to give Garcia room to lay beside her.

Garcia quietly nods his head as he lays down next to her, being careful not to touch her as he pulls the bedsheets over their bodies. He holds his breath as Lucy turns to face him, her eyes searching his face as if she’s waiting for him to answer a question she hasn’t yet asked.

“I thought you suffered a chest wound,” she says quietly. Her fingers trail along the strap of his arm sling, gliding down the ribbed fabric of his turtleneck sweater.

“Sling’s to help reduce motion to help with the healing,” he explains, his voice an unintended whisper.

His eyes search her face – as bruised and broken as it is from her fight with Emma, she’s still beautiful. He reaches over and places a strand of loose hair behind her ear. He exhales as he touches her, his thumb caressing her skin just below the butterfly bandage on her cheek.

Lucy squeezes her eyes, but she can’t stop the tears from falling.

She drapes her arm across his torso, drawing him towards her. He winces as her hand rests along the side of his chest next to his bullet wound. But no pain he feels is worth the pain Lucy suffers now. He rests his chin on top of her head as she nestles into the crook of his neck.

His natural instinct is to place a kiss on her forehead, but he can’t – and he won’t – because she is not his to love.

“I’m sorry, Lucy,” he whispers instead. He knows that she’s lost a friend tonight, and her mother. “I promise you; we’ll figure out how to save him.”

Lucy sniffles and gently tries to wipe away her tear drops from his sweater. She shakes her head and asks, “How? We can’t go back to a time where we exist.”

“I’d risk it for you,” Garcia says, his lips skimming against her temple. “For Jiya… for Connor...” He closes his eyes as he feels Lucy rest her hand on his chest, her fingers slowly moving in circles against the fabric of his sweater. “And after everything that I put you and the team through before my arrest, how I let my quest to stop Rittenhouse destroy me… if anyone’s expendable on this team, it’s me.”

Lucy raises her head and looks into his eyes. She shakes her head and tells him, “Don’t talk like that, Flynn. I couldn’t bear it if I lost you too.”

“Yeah, well… if it wasn’t for my actions in 1937-”

“Don’t.”

He swallows and remains silent.

They’ve already talked about 1937, his saving the Hindenburg, and how that erased her sister from existence. He knows that she has forgiven him, and she has explained that her own mother instructed Emma Whitmore to make trips into the past to ensure that Amy could never be saved.

“Why do you always change the subject when I express how much you mean to me?” Lucy asks, laying her head back onto his shoulder.

“Lucy…I… it’s no secret that everyone here keeps me at arm’s length.”

“You’re doing it again,” she says. “You don’t have to pretend with me, Flynn. You don’t have to lie, or crack jokes when you’re uncomfortable. I want you to trust me as much as I trust you. And if you can’t do that, then… then why are we even bothering spending so much time together?” Lucy shakes her head. “You’re the only one I can talk to about… life. About things that have nothing to do with why we’re here. You make this place bearable. You offer a sense of normalcy in a life that is so far from normal that I couldn’t keep doing this without you.” She lifts herself up and rests on her elbow, looking down at him. “You’re the most important person in my life, Flynn.”

“What about Wyatt?” Garcia asks – bad habits die hard. He knows he shouldn’t be trying to push her away, but he can’t help it. And he hates himself for the words slipping from his mouth. “With Jessica out of the way, there’s nothing stopping you from-”

“Fine,” she crawls over him and gets out of bed. She’s hurt. “It’s obvious that you don’t feel the same way as I do about you, so I’ll just go sleep on the couch and leave you alone.” She doesn’t really believe what she’s said, but she’s tired of Garcia making light of her attempts to discuss her feelings for him. Lucy looks down at the floor, puts on her slippers, and heads toward the door. “Goodnight.”

“Lucy,” Garcia is on his feet and following her. “Wait.”

Lucy’s hand rests on the doorknob, but she doesn’t open it.

Her heart aches, and she’s dangerously close to crying again.

She keeps her back to Garcia as he places his hand on her shoulder. She trembles. And she turns around, and has wrapped her arms around him before he can take another breath. She’s sobbing now, and all Garcia can do is wrap his arm around her and wish he could take away all her pain.

… and then Flynn kissed me. And finally, the pain I’ve felt for so long dissipated. So I kissed him back… again. And again.

Garcia closes his eyes.

He can’t kiss her.

Not now.

This isn’t the right time.

He runs his free hand over the top of her head as her arms wrap around his back, clutching onto him, holding him against her as hard as she can.

“Draga…” he whispers to her, “… come back to bed.”

She nods her head and refuses to look up at him. She whispers, “I don’t want Wyatt… I need you.”

His heart is in his throat, and he doesn’t know what to say, so he proceeds as if he didn’t hear her.

Her arm is around his waist as they walk together back to his bed.

He rests his hand on her lower back as he crawls into bed behind her, pulling the blanket around them.

She turns to him, takes hold of his hand, and presses her cheek against it.

“I said…” she swallows, “I need you.”

He nods his head and says nothing, but at least he has acknowledged her words.

Lucy curls up against him, her hand resting on his chest again.

They’ve never slept next to each other before. He always thought that it might feel uncomfortable, or unnatural since he has always insisted on trying to sleep in the chair across the room. But somehow, lying beside her now, with her hand resting delicately next to his wound, it’s the most comfortable he’s ever felt with her.

There’s a roll of thunder that echoes through the bunker, and though they are more than two-hundred feet below ground, the sound of pouring rain can be heard coming from the silo lid high above the Lifeboat.

“I miss seeing lightning,” she mumbles.

He nods his head. “Me too.”

“All I want is to save Rufus, get my sister back, and go home,” she tells him. “I’m tired of this life.”

He nods his head and wants to tell her he feels the same way, but the words are stuck in his throat, and all he can do is hum a response.

They’re quiet for a long time.

He listens to her breathe – inhaling and exhaling against the skin of his neck.

The thunder grows louder, and the rain falls harder.

And then everything falls silent.

Garcia traces his fingers against her shoulder – down the fabric of her shirt, lifting the sleeve as he draws his fingers back up. He leans toward her, resting his cheek against the top of her head. He closes his eyes and smiles as he inhales the minute scent of the strawberry shampoo that he asked Agent Christopher to get her after they returned from their mission in San Antonio over a week ago.

“Flynn?”

“Hmm?”

“Are you awake?” Lucy whispers, repositioning herself to look up at him.

“I am,” he answers, reaching toward her to run his hand through her hair.

“Before… when we were interrupted… I uh…” She shakes her head. “… And with everyone else asleep now, so no one can interrupt us again, I… I want to know what you were going to say…”

“We’re both tired, and we don’t know what’ll happen next, and we both need…” he trails off, realizing that he’s trying to change the subject again. “I’m sorry,” he tells her. Then he does it again when he says, “You asked what I would have done if Rittenhouse had brought back Lorena and Iris.” He wets his lips, feeling awful for avoiding the question she wants answered. “I’d be grateful they were alive, and that I could hold them in my arms again, but… and I know it’s easy to say this after what we learned about Jessica, but… I wouldn’t have brought them to the bunker, and I would have done everything I could to figure out what the catch was. Why Rittenhouse would bring them back from the dead.”

Lucy shakes her head. “I’m… I never should have asked that of you. That wasn’t fair. Especially after you’ve already told me more than once that you would hug them and…” She averts her eyes.

“And walk away from them forever,” Garcia finishes her sentence.

She nods her head, and adds, “I know you’re not like Wyatt. You’re not reckless in the same way that he is. You think things through. You consider consequences, and if there are any, you accept them as your responsibility. You do what needs to be done, even if everyone else is too afraid to do it themselves. And… and I hate that we – that I – expect that you will do things that no one else on this team is willing, or capable, of doing themselves-” She stops abruptly, realizing that now she’s the one inadvertently changing the subject.

Garcia looks into her eyes.

He’s never told her how much it hurts him to know that everyone – including Lucy herself – expects him to kill for the team. He shot John Hathorne to save Lucy’s life in Salem. He killed three Rittenhouse sleeper agents when Wyatt and Rufus stranded him in 1934, and he shot and killed one of the sleepers who was sent to kill Robert Johnson in 1936. Wyatt was supposed to be the team’s other capable soldier, but even he failed to do his job when Agent Christopher had sent him to raid Rittenhouse headquarters.

“Flynn?”

Lucy’s voice snaps him from his thoughts.

“I’m sorry, Lucy. I was just thinking about what you said.” He shifts his position so he’s facing her. “About being the only one on the team that is expected to kill.”

“I’m glad that you can do that because no one else on this team can…” she motions with her hands, “get the job done.” She smiles appreciatively at him. “I mean, you saw first-hand how amazing Wyatt was fulfilling his orders to kill you.”

Garcia chuckles. “I was more worried about Rufus,” he admits. “Not that Rufus could kill me, but he could pilot the Lifeboat and help you get in the way of my plans.”

“I wish I had realized you were on the right side of history sooner,” Lucy says apologetically.

“What matters is that we’re a team now.” He looks down at her as she runs her fingertips over his chest, picking at lint that sticks to his sweater. He continues, “It may not have happened exactly as you wrote it in the journal, but here we are. Together.”

Lucy raises her brow and asks, “I wrote in the journal that we would end up sleeping together in the same bed?”

Garcia bites his lower lip as he narrows his eyes. “You wrote some things.”

“What things?”

“Doesn’t matter,” he says, shaking his head. “Too much has changed in the timeline that the trajectory outlined in the journal has been rendered useless.”

Lucy mutters a quiet, “oh,” before resting her head against him again. She takes a deep breath and slowly exhales. “We’re both experts at avoiding the question though, aren’t we?”

“What question is that?” Garcia asks as he pulls her closer to him.

“Why are you here?”

“I think you already know, Lucy,” he says quietly as his thumb caresses her shoulder.

“I need to hear you say it.”

“That I’m… that I’m here for you? Or… that I…” He stops himself, hesitating. Unsure if he should say how he feels so soon after Wyatt expressed the same to her in the hallway. He takes a breath and exhales, plays it safe, and says it as a question, “Or that I love you?”

Lucy doesn’t know what to say. Somehow, hearing him say that he’s here for her, and that he loves her doesn’t come as a surprise. It should, but it doesn’t. Maybe she’s suspected that he – that they – would fall in love ever since he told her that she would write a journal, and then she would bring it to him from the future. If he didn’t love her, and if she didn’t love him – and if they weren’t together sometime in the future – then what other reason would she have to write it for him? From what Garcia has told her, the contents of the journal weren’t history specific. She included very personal and private information that she can’t imagine sharing with anyone else except for – Lucy looks into Garcia’s eyes – except for him.

If they weren’t together in the future, if she didn’t trust him more than anyone else, she thinks that she would have taken the journal back to someone else like Jiya or Rufus, but she didn’t. She brought it back, and gave it to Garcia Flynn. Who, at the time, was only two weeks removed from losing his wife and daughter to Rittenhouse.

“Did I write that we fell in love, or was our falling in love something that wasn’t supposed to happen?”

Garcia raises his brow, noticing that her words suggest that she is falling in love with him too, but he decides not to mention it. There’s no need to put unnecessary emphasis on something that has become blatantly obvious. He wets his lips and answers, “You wrote that we got together after a mission to the Titanic, but I didn’t really believe it.” He hesitates, then adds, “I’m not exactly your type.” Immediately, he regrets his words, recognizing that the boy inside him, so afraid of rejection, has reared his ugly head again.

“You don’t know anything about my type,” Lucy murmurs, heartbroken that he seems to be trying to push her away again.

“I almost killed you a few times, so there’s that,” he adds with an air of regret, hating the words escaping from his mouth unchecked.

Lucy sighs. She looks up at him and he’s staring up at the ceiling, refusing to make eye contact with her. She reaches up and cups her hand against his jaw, gently turning his head so he looks at her. “And we’ve talked about that, and you know that I forgave you for everything you did when we were fighting against each other.” Lucy playfully nudges him, trying to lighten his mood. She understands what he’s doing – even if she doesn’t understand why – and that he doesn’t mean to be pushing her away. “Plus, you admitted that you gave your men explicit instructions not to hurt me, and you never actually tried to kill me-”

“The Nazis took you; Santa Ana wouldn’t let the women and children go…” He gives her a look, adding, “1754… H.H. Holmes-”

“All of which were out of your control, and couldn’t be predicted,” she pauses. “Well, except 1754, but even then, you did say that you had every intention of coming back to get us after you destroyed Rittenhouse, so that doesn’t count.”

Garcia shrugs his shoulders; he can’t argue with her. He may have said that he almost killed her a few times, and it’s true that the consequences of his actions made that possible, but he never intended them to happen. Aside from destroying Rittenhouse, all he wanted was to keep her safe.

Lucy drapes her arm across his waist and settles against him again. “What do you think the others will say?” She asks.

“About…?”

“Us.”

“There’s an us now?” His heart flutters.

“There could be… if that’s what you want,” she says as she kisses his shoulder.

“Is that what you want?” He asks, raising his brow.

“It is, that is… if you’re ready. And if you’re not, I totally understand, and-”

Garcia endures the pain of moving his slinged arm to cup her face in his hand. He leans down and kisses her, pulling away to gently rub his nose against hers as he caresses the back of her neck.

“I was so afraid that you could never…” he shakes his head, still uncertain that this is happening. “And if you want to tell the others, we can, but I understand if you don’t want to since, well, you know… they hate me.”

“They don’t hate you, Flynn-” She pauses, and gently rolls him onto his back, not wanting him to make his wound worse. “Should I still call you Flynn if we’re together, or?”

“You can call me Garcia,” he tells her.

Lucy inches towards him. She looks up at him through lowered eyes, and whispers, “Garcia…”

He inhales his name as it escapes her mouth, letting it soothe over his soul. No one has called him Garcia since the night he lost Lorena. To hear it again, from the lips of a woman who loves him for who he is, who he has been, and who he will become, is healing.

He opens his mouth to tell her how he feels, but then her lips are on his again. Her mouth opening to him. And he takes her. He takes her in his arm, wincing as he pulls her on top of him. She readjusts herself so her weight doesn’t disturb his chest wound, and she kisses his forehead.

Her fingers weave through his hair, and she’s whispering his name, “Garcia,” each and every time their lips part for air.

His heart pounds in his chest and he feels like he’s been released from the chains that bound him to this war with Rittenhouse, and somehow in Lucy’s arms, he can take her as his own. He can feel her. He can kiss her. Touch her. Love her. And in those acts, he is learning that it is possible to live again, to love again. And that in loving her, he has set himself free.