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By Any Other Name

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Lucy Preston buried her head in her hands and groaned. There were so many details she needed to take care of in the next few months. Flowers, bridesmaid dress colors, reception details, recovering her driver’s license, convincing the Social Security Office she wasn’t dead—which she was making good progress on, finally, due to the intervention of Agent Christopher—so she could renew her passport for their honeymoon in the Caribbean, deciding whether to stay at Stanford or accept one of the three job offers she’d gotten from other colleges, sell Mom’s house, go house-hunting with Wyatt, and so many other things that had come up. But the one issue in front of her was one she had been grappling with almost since they had left the bunker, and she still was no closer to resolving it.

American tradition was that the wife take her husband’s name to signify she had become part of his family, they had become one, and such. Lucy’s mother had not adhered to tradition. Not only had she stayed Carol Preston, she’d given both her children her last name as well. She had claimed it was due to being an independent woman that wasn’t dependent on a husband. Her reasons had always torn apart a young Lucy on the issue, who of course was independent and strong on her own but also wished she had something of her father to carry with her throughout life, that she wasn’t always dominated by her mother’s shadow. Maybe this decision would be different if she was Lucy Wallace instead of Lucy Preston.

Lucy strongly suspected now that all her mother’s talk of independent womanhood and not being owned by a man was a cover. Henry Wallace wasn’t Rittenhouse. His name wasn’t Rittenhouse. But Preston…Preston was a Rittenhouse name. Preston was a Rittenhouse legacy. One her mother had been determined to pass on to her children. That, more than anything, made her want to cast the name away from her like a bad penny. She wanted nothing more to do with Rittenhouse and her family’s legacy. Changing her name would signify to any Rittenhouse still watching that she didn’t care about her legacy, didn’t want it. That she wasn’t Rittenhouse and never would be.

It partially tore a hole in her because Amy had been Amy Preston, and Lucy changing her name felt like she was casting away the last memory of Amy. But she knew if she ever had a daughter, that daughter would be named Amy. So her memory would be kept alive that way. And Lucy would always have her locket and her memories. She wanted to be able to move on while still remembering Amy, honor her without constantly living in the past.

Jiya’s suggestion was to just hyphenate, which Lucy wouldn’t do. It caused too much trouble with paperwork and just wasn’t her thing. Rufus said if she really wanted to keep the Preston name alive, then just make it her middle name. That to Lucy just felt like she was trying to take both paths at once. She was fine with others doing it, but it…just wasn’t her. If she became a Logan, she wanted to fully become a Logan, put her past behind her. If she stayed a Preston, she wanted to fully embrace the decision to live with her mother’s name and the Rittenhouse legacy.

Ugh. She wanted to change her name to something, anything else just thinking that.

Connor Mason was no help at all. All he did was crack jokes about how they should both change their names and hyphenate to something like Epstein-Barr or Haley-Bopp. And Wyatt…oh, Wyatt. Sometimes, Lucy wished he wasn’t quite so supportive. All he would say on the subject was that he was okay with whatever she decided, that he understood both sides of her dilemma and it was her decision to make.

Lucy picked up the piece of paper that had upended her world and caused her to revisit her dilemma. It was an innocuous piece of paper, a check an old colleague had handed her as a wedding present earlier that day. The check was made out to “Dr. Lucy Logan.”

Just seeing it written out had forced her to sit down at her kitchen table and try not to cry. It was so beautiful written out like that. She’d never seen it written out before. Dr. Lucy Logan. A permanent sign that she was married to Master Sergeant Wyatt Logan, the most amazing man she couldn’t imagine living without. Okay, she could imagine it, but what she imagined was cold, sad, lonely, miserable, and horrible. She wanted to climb on top of Mount Whitney and declare her love for Wyatt Logan, tell the world of the many times he’d saved her life and how much they’d done for each other, make sure everyone knew how amazing he was and how lucky she was that he loved her.

But she couldn’t because she’d signed an NDA. She couldn’t even tell their love story because it was all considered classified material by the government. Really, she would be saying, “We met on a classified government mission and while in a classified location doing something classified with classified individuals, we shared our first kiss which we were forced into because of the circumstances of our classified mission. I slowly came to realize that I loved him over the course of those classified missions, but it was only after we accomplished our classified goal and were saying goodbye that he realized he loved me too. Then we began our relationship in a classified—but very romantic—location, which was then thrown off the rails because of the arrival of a classified individual, but Wyatt made up for his classified actions with more classified actions and a classified individual snuck away to do those classified actions, as Wyatt doing those classified actions would have killed him. Then he confessed his love for me, and I wasn’t sure whether to take the risk or not, but when in a classified location I had thought I had lost him, I realized how much he means to me and told him I loved him. And here we are!” At least changing her name to Logan would be a way to signal how much she loved Wyatt without having to say, “It’s classified,” constantly.

Lucy pictured what it would be like if she did change her name. Introducing herself in class as Doctor Lucy Logan. Being referred to by her colleagues as Dr. Logan. Meeting some of Wyatt’s former army buddies or his new coworkers and him proudly introducing her as his wife, Doctor Lucy Logan. Going to PTA meetings for Amy Logan as Lucy Logan.

Then she forced herself to picture it the other way. Staying Lucy Preston. Meeting Wyatt’s former army buddies or his new coworkers as Lucy Preston. Those who were in the know connecting the dots to her mother. Any Rittenhouse kids like her that weren’t sure whether to accept their legacy or not continuing to call her out as the “princess of Rittenhouse”. Her biological father claiming that her not letting go of her last name was a sign that she still clung to her “destiny” as the leader of Rittenhouse. Going to PTA meetings for Amy Logan as Lucy Preston.

She shook her head. Preston had too much baggage. She’d far rather carry a name that showed how much she loved her husband and children than a name that showed her family’s ties to the thing that had almost destroyed the country.

 

“I think I’m going to change my name,” Lucy confessed. She could barely look at Wyatt. She wasn’t sure why. She focused on the listings they were poring over together.

Wyatt straightened. A grin spread over his face. “You gonna change it to Haley-Bopp or something I’m more familiar with?”

Lucy forced herself to scowl at him, though she was fighting a smile of her own. “I’m changing it to Logan, of course…shweetheart.”

Wyatt’s grin softened into a smile. “Sounds like a good plan…baby doll.”