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Present and Future

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Jiya could hear Rufus snoring lightly where he sat next to her on the couch, the sound mostly masked by the episode of Star Trek still playing on the television. She wasn’t offended – he wasn’t sleeping because the show was boring him (although she was pretty sure it was, despite his valiant attempts to power through because he knew how much she loved it). They’d just come back from a pretty rough trip to 1945, and the whole team was exhausted.

Lucy, with that weary look which was beginning to be worryingly familiar, had professed that she was going to have a cup of tea and go straight to bed. After saying something to her in a low voice, Flynn had simply stalked off with a sarcastic aside to Wyatt about missing all the fun.

Jiya had made up the final member of the team this time around. The whole time travel thing was newer to her than everyone else, so she was still pretty keyed up. Unlike Lucy and Flynn and definitely Rufus, who was slowly collapsing further and further into the couch as the Enterprise struggled through the void it was trapped in. Jiya smiled a little and switched off the show. They could finish it tomorrow.

The vision she’d had of Rufus’s death forced its way back into her mind, an ugly reminder that they might not have tomorrow. Swallowing, Jiya pushed it down and shook her head like she could clear it out that way.

Every minute they had, he’d said, he wanted to spend with her. And Jiya wanted that too, despite her resolution to change things, a little voice in the back of her mind whispering just in case, just in case.

But bathroom breaks weren’t really figured into grand declarations of love, so she got up, determined to get back as fast as possible and sleep on this rickety uncomfortable couch with him if it was the last thing she did.

On her way back, she circled around through the living quarters to grab an extra blanket from her and Lucy’s room. To her surprise, Lucy was nowhere to be seen. Jiya furrowed her brow.

She knew Lucy had been having trouble sleeping lately. Maybe she’d gotten up to stretch her legs, or grab a tea refill. Or something stronger.

A pang of worry and guilt shot through her chest. Lucy had been going through such a rough time, and Jiya had been so caught up in her visions and in Rufus’s ticking clock, she hadn’t been able to be there for her as much as she wanted, as much as she should have. She really wanted to be with Rufus right now, but she also didn’t want Lucy to have to keep facing whatever she was dealing with alone.

She started moving automatically towards the kitchen to check for her there, but she barely got more than a few steps down the hall before she heard Lucy’s voice, coming from the most unexpected place: Flynn’s room. Jiya stopped short.

Maybe not so unexpected, she considered. After all, they’d clearly been getting closer since the JFK incident. And they seemed to pair up on missions a lot, or even when they didn’t, somehow find a way back into each other’s orbit.

Jiya still wasn’t sure whether or not she trusted Flynn, but Lucy seemed comfortable around him now and even Rufus said (begrudgingly) that he had his moments. Maybe this was one of them.

Lucy sounded more than comfortable now. She was laughing in that sort of muffled snorting way you do when you’re trying not to wake anyone up but you just can’t contain yourself, and although their voices were too low to understand what they were saying, they sounded easy and companionable.

A snippet drifted to Jiya’s ears from under the crack in the door. “...and another one told me they couldn’t turn in their final paper because they’d crashed their computer illegally downloading TV shows, and I mean, you have to give credit for honesty…” She dissolved into another fit of amusement and Flynn laughed too, so warm that Jiya wasn’t sure it was really him for a second.

Maybe Jiya had her issues with Flynn, but right now she was grateful to him. The knot of worry had eased a little and, resolving to have a proper talk with Lucy the next day regardless of whatever dastardly scheme Rittenhouse was going to try, Jiya headed past Flynn’s door until their voices had receded into the darkness.

 

But hearing that warmth in Flynn’s voice seemed to flip some kind of switch in Jiya’s head; she started noticing things she hadn’t paid any attention to before.

Things like Lucy’s hand lingering on his arm after he swung her down from the lifeboat, or that most mornings when Jiya passed him in the hallway, he was carrying two mugs of coffee back to his room. How in sync they seemed to be on missions. The vastly different but somehow identical grins they got when they were being history nerds together.

Flynn clambering into the back seat of the car they’d stolen in 1932 to sit next to her despite having to practically fold himself in half to do so; when they’d had to drive across the country chasing Rittenhouse agents, Lucy had settled against Flynn’s arm, cheek on his shoulder, and slept for six straight hours through bumpy Oklahoma roads.

And now…

One of Lucy’s hands was hovering near her mouth, the other gripping Jiya’s computer desk, white-knuckled, but there was no hiding the stricken look in her eyes as Wyatt and Rufus hauled an unmoving and very bloody Flynn out of the lifeboat.

“Garcia?” she whispered, her voice a nearly inaudible tremor.

Jiya wanted to reach out, to offer some sort of comfort, but her body stiffened, everything before her seeming to flash in and out. Not now, she thought, her heart sinking, and then the world dropped out from under her.

She fell through a chaotic blur of light and sound, before her eyes opened and she found herself in yet another hazy, disjointed vision of the future. She was in a hallway with ornate wallpaper and carving on the doors, doors with embossed gold numbers on them: some kind of fancy hotel?

She looked around for Rufus, who always seemed to have a starring role in her visions, and found him, pressed up against a nearby wall. He looked older – ten years, maybe? Her heart jumped into her throat. How was that possible? Hadn’t she seen him die at close to his current age already? Unless...

Just as hope sparked in her, Lucy and Flynn rounded the corner. They were older too, a dusting of grey in their hair, but Lucy’s smile when she saw Rufus was unchanged and bright as ever, and they exchanged a quick hug.

Then they held a brief discussion which was lost to the rushing in Jiya’s ears before Rufus nodded at Lucy and began moving off down the hall. Her vision followed him, but she could still see Lucy and Flynn in the background, talking.

To her complete shock, they ended the conversation with Lucy standing on tiptoes and kissing Flynn before following Rufus. Flynn turned to watch her walking away and the expression on his face –

Pure adoration was as close as Jiya could come to describing it. She could feel it radiating from him like a physical force, a love so deep it almost hurt to be its witness.

“Jiya!”

A clamoring of voices calling her name jerked her back to the present. When she opened her eyes, gasping for breath and feeling once again like she’d just been flung down the worst rollercoaster in the world, she was on the ground. Rufus knelt next to her with one arm around her shoulders, and the rest of the bunker was standing over her.

Jiya had to take a moment to steady herself, then looked up at Lucy, whose gaze was flickering between her and Flynn with tortured indecision. She knew how Lucy felt about knowing the future, that it was a burden and a heavy one at that, but in this instance, she thought she might make an exception.

“He’ll be ok,” she said in a rush.

Lucy’s eyes widened. For one brief moment, as she darted another look at him, Jiya saw in them an echo of what had been written on Flynn’s face in their future. She didn’t ask for any more information and Jiya didn’t give her any, but she nodded at Jiya with unmistakable relief.

(Later, after she had checked in on Lucy, sitting next to Flynn in the infirmary and reading, Jiya told Rufus about her vision: that somehow, they’d find a way to save him and he was still alive in the future. Both of them were crying by the time she was done, and hugging each other, and Jiya couldn’t really be blamed for letting the part about Lucy and Flynn slip. She only wished she could have filmed his reaction.)