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They Are A-Changin'

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Chris could fell the coolness of Meg's tears on the back of his neck as she buried her face into his body. He continued driving the motorcycle to the highway, but pulled off just before it. Meg's crying had subsided and now she was sobbing quietly, more heaving than tearing. She wiped her drying cheeks before clearing her throat and asking him shakily, "Why are we stopped?"

"I'm giving you an out, Meg. This is your chance. You don't have to do this, Meg. I can take you back right now and no one will have to know what you were going to do... you can go back to your life."

Meg appeared to consider this for a moment, then wrinkled her blond eyebrows and replied obstinately, "No. Chris, this is something I need to do. I want to be with you, and I want this war to be over. This makes sense. Maybe I can make a difference this way."

"You'll make a difference no matter what you do. This doesn't have to be how you do it."

"This is how I want to make a difference. And, I might never see you again if you went alone. I don't want that to happen."

"Yeah, me neither. But I also don't want to you throw your whole life away for a loser like me."

Meg hugged Chris, kissing him softly. "Maybe I want to. Maybe this is the thing I've been waiting for. My whole life up to this point has been so shallow. It's time for me to really do something important."

"Meg, you're allowed to be a political activist and still like Brenda Lee or Jay and the Americans. You are who you are. Not all of us can be delinquents. I just want you to think of the family that you're leaving behind, the friends..."

Thinking of Roxanne and Sam and Luke and her mother especially, Meg was saddened. But when she thought of how her father and JJ would probably react to her actually leaving, Meg's resolve strengthened. "I know what I'm giving up, and it's worth it. Maybe someday I can prove to my dad and to JJ that I can make my own decisions—good ones—and stick to them. They'll have to admire that, even if they don't like what I'm fighting for."

"And Roxanne? Does she deserve to have her best friend leave her right after graduation, with hardly any notice and the chance you might never see each other again?"

"Oh, I'm not worried about that."

"Why's that, Meg?" Christ asked, hoping that Meg didn't have something up her sleeve.

"Well, I have a feeling she and Luke won't be living in Philadelphia for much longer."

Seeing the look that Chris gave her which she interpreted as 'and what if that doesn't actually happen? What will you do then?', Meg answered, "I'll deal if I have to. This is really what I want, Chris. I'm not going to get halfway there only to realize I've made a mistake."

Rather than argue with her some more, Chris held his hand out to help her back on to the motorcycle and then seated himself once again. Her arms automatically curled around his waist, gently embracing him and pulling him close. She brought her mouth close to his ear, kissed it, and whispered to him softly, "I love you, Chris."

He turned his head to reply and before he could get the words out, her mouth met his. When the kiss had ended, his mouth still lingering on hers, he whispered right back the same sentiment. Then, as he revved the engine, Chris realized what this life would hold for the two of them. What be expected of him and Meg and if they could handle it.

Sure, Meg had grown from the naïve, superficial girl she had been into a self-aware, considerate young woman. But even more than she had changed, Chris knew that he had too. He was still running, to be sure, but this time he was running with someone. Someone he cared about and would take care of. He loved her, and not only was that a pleasant surprise for Chris, it was a welcome one.

Together they rode off, ready to start this new life together, unsure of what would happen but willing to go it with each other.

And the times, they are a-changin'.