Summary: Jiya tries to figure out what's going on in her head.
Spoilers: All of season 1. Set at the beginning of a hypothetical season 2.
Warnings: Minor language.
Disclaimer: Everything is owned by someone else.
A/N: This week I learned a new word: Un-cancellation. Hooray for un-cancellation! Which gave me the impetus to finish this fic after I lost heart during the Dark Times of the Three Days of Cancellation.
Born out of the sudden realisation that we don't really see Jiya and Wyatt have any kind of conversation throughout season 1.
I have no idea where Jiya's new-found "gift" will be going in season 2 (season 2!). This fic maybe gives it more of a Jennifer Goines from 12 Monkeys spin than I think the actual show will give it.
Some liberties taken with Wyatt's age. Estimated from the relative ages of the actors and Lucy and Rufus both being born in 1983.
Writing time travel is hard.
WYATT AND JIYA'S FAIRLY EXCELLENT ADVENTURE
"Morning, ma'am," the soldier guy said as Lucy stalked past the desk he was sitting at.
Jiya didn't remember his name.
That was it.
Now who was Wyatt again?
Lucy literally looked down her nose at the guy,
"Please don't call me 'ma'am,'" she heard Lucy saying.
But in her head.
It was only in her head.
"Good morning, Master Sergeant," she said instead, her tone as frosty as the look she gave him. "Please take your feet off Mr. Carlin's desk."
Dave removed his offending feet a little sheepishly, and Lucy—Miss Preston, she liked to be called Miss Preston—continued her march up the stairs toward the conference room, where her father, Mr. Cahill and Agent Neville were sitting with Mr. Mason and Mr. Brahms, about to start the morning briefing.
"She is so out of your league, man," Rufus murmured with a grin, and Dave matched it with a smirk of his own.
"The Ice Princess wants me," he said. "She just doesn't know it yet."
Baumgardner. Dave Baumgardner.
Died in Paris in 1927.
That wasn't right.
He was sitting right in front of her.
How was he sitting in front of her?
She checked the date on her computer. 1st April 2017.
April Fools' Day.
Maybe someone was having a joke, right?
Dave was shot. By Flynn's guy? He took Wyatt's place after Wyatt got arrested for stealing the Lifeboat.
Yeah, that's who Wyatt was.
What the hell was his surname?
She tried to remember what he looked like but couldn't.
"Dude, you have absolutely zero chance with Miss Rittenhouse Royalty over there," Rufus was saying. "She doesn't even know you're alive."
"Ah, she just needs a little thawing out," Dave continued, his eyes following Lucy—Miss Preston—up the stairs. "I don't think that doctor fiancé of hers is getting the job done, if you know what I mean."
"You're so not her type," Rufus said. "She's into good-looking guys—"
…Jiya hadn't been able to speak to Wyatt for a week after he got here. He was really kinda hot and super-intimidating…
"—And that's just not you, my friend," Rufus was saying. "Plus, y'know. The whole Rittenhouse thing. No way she'd date anyone who wasn't Rittenhouse."
Noah was Rittenhouse? When did that happen?
She'd never even met Noah.
He was dark haired and good-looking, she remembered.
Kinda like Wyatt.
Miss Preston had a type.
How did she know what Noah looked like if she'd never met him?
How did she know what Wyatt looked like if she'd never met him?
Where was Wyatt, anyway? Shouldn't he be here if they were having a briefing? And for that matter, why wasn't Rufus upstairs with them?
She glanced once at Rufus, before pulling her keyboard towards her and typing the name, "Wyatt Logan" into Google.
Wyatt Logan, Google told her, was a US Army Private who died in Afghanistan in 2004. He was twenty years old, survived only by his elderly grandfather.
Well that wasn't right.
Wyatt wasn't dead. Dave was the one who died.
But...Dave was sitting at Rufus' desk, his feet back up where they'd been before Lucy chewed him out about it.
Miss Preston, dammit.
"What's going on?" she asked a little hesitantly, glancing up at the conference room.
Agent Christopher wasn't there.
Maybe she was with Wyatt somewhere.
No, Wyatt was dead.
But Jiya spoke to him this morning.
Rufus glanced in her direction, frowning. "Exactly how much did you drink last night, Miss I Can a Drink A Delta Force Sergeant Under The Table Any Time Just Watch Me Goddammit?"
Dave grinned at her.
"She did pretty good, man," he said. "She could kick your ass and still be back in time for breakfast."
Jiya had absolutely no idea what that meant.
She shrugged at Rufus.
"You know Emma should have had the Mothership back two days ago," Rufus reminded her. "Looks like she's gone off on another joyride."
"Honestly?" Dave said. "I can't believe they let her get away with it."
Rufus shrugged. "She's the only pilot they've got," he said. "Since, y'know, the thing with Peter, and then Anthony going off to work with the NSA."
Now Anthony was definitely dead, she knew that for a fact...right?
Her coffee mug was shaking.
The Lifeboat's coming back, she thought.
They'd not used the Lifeboat in six months.
Not since the accident. The three agents who got stuck in 1754 and never came back. Peter someone. Jasmine. Veejay. They took the Mothership out to look for them. Found their bodies. Murdered by French soldiers.
Rufus came back to her. With Lucy and Wyatt. Millennium Falcon. The Protocol. It was all good…
She could hear Rufus' voice, but it was as if he was suddenly a long way away, down a dark tunnel, and her head was hurting and…
He was shaking her.
"Here, drink this." Wyatt was handing her a glass of water.
Her hand shook as she took it from him, and he caught hold of her wrist to steady her.
"I knew you weren't dead," she mumbled, blinking at him.
Super-hot and super-intimidating.
Delta Force. Could kill a guy with a paperclip and a matchbook.
It was Wyatt's turn to blink.
"Uh," he mumbled. "Not the last time I checked," he said, frowning at her.
Rufus was in her line of vision again, and she was looking over his shoulder for Dave, but all she saw was the Lifeboat parked in its usual spot.
"Where did he go?" she asked a little blearily.
Rufus took the glass from her after she took a sip of the water Wyatt had given her.
He glanced over his shoulder before asking, "Where did you go?" His usual worried frown had ramped up about ninety levels until he looked like he was about to have a seizure.
"Huh?" Jiya said.
"You had one of your...episodes," Rufus said. "You were gone for a couple of minutes. Are you okay?"
Jiya ran a hand across her forehead. "Hurts," she said shortly. "Don't know what's real…"
Rufus took her hand and hung on to it. "I'm real," he told her, massaging her fingers. "And I'm right here, wherever you are."
"Hey," Lucy—Miss Preston—Lucy was suddenly standing behind Wyatt. "Agent Christopher wants us in the conference room…". She trailed off as she caught sight of Jiya. "Jiya? You okay? What happened? Did you…?"
"I'm fine, Miss Preston," she mumbled. "But I don't know where Dave went…"
Lucy, Wyatt and Rufus all blinked at her simultaneously.
"Dave?" Rufus and Wyatt chorused in unison.
"Miss Preston?" Lucy said. "Since when did you call me Miss Preston? That's even worse than being called 'ma'am.'"
Wyatt smirked without even turning to look at her.
"Jiya had another...thing," Rufus explained.
"Oh," Lucy said. "Jiya, maybe you should go home…?"
"Did you say there was a briefing?" Jiya asked suddenly. "Am I invited?"
Lucy frowned at her. "Of course you're invited…" she said slowly.
"Because only the Rittenhouse folks get invited usually."
Lucy looked at her blankly, and Wyatt glanced uncertainly at Rufus, who shrugged.
No, that wasn't right, either.
Rittenhouse weren't in charge anymore. Not since Lucy's grandfather had come up with the evidence to have them all arrested.
"Emma's taken the Mothership out again," Lucy said slowly.
"That same guy?" Wyatt asked, glancing up at her before getting up from where he'd been crouched down in front of Jiya.
Glass of water.
He gave her a glass of water.
That was Dave.
Poor dead Dave.
She wanted to hug Wyatt for not being dead, but he was super-hot and super-intimidating and could kill a guy with a paperclip and a matchbook.
Who was Emma again?
"I guess Rittenhouse really want him dead," Rufus murmured.
"Was he the guy in the car accident?" Jiya asked, massaging her temples absently.
From the looks Rufus, Lucy and Wyatt gave her, she guessed not.
"Car accident?" Rufus asked uncertainly.
And Jiya honestly had no idea where that came from.
"Gentlemen and ladies?" Agent Christopher's voice carried down from the gangway in front of the conference room. "I know we have a time machine, but we actually don't have all day."
Rufus helped Jiya to her feet, and she found herself leaning on him a lot more than she usually did when she'd had one of these "episodes."
How many had she had now?
Not counting that one in the hospital…maybe six?
She got halfway up the metal staircase and started to fall backwards.
Luckily, she had Rufus next to her and Wyatt behind her, and she knew there was no way either of them would let her fall.
Rufus was her guy.
He'd always be there for her, wherever she was.
She was sitting down in the conference room with no knowledge of how she got there.
Rufus was hovering to her left, his hand in hers, and she could see Lucy standing behind him looking worried and Agent Christopher had gotten to her feet on the other side of the table.
"The car didn't crash this time," Jiya murmured, and she wasn't sure what that meant.
"Jiya," Agent Christopher started to say, "maybe you should—"
"Can't go home," Jiya said. "You need me to do something."
If only she could remember what it was.
Agent Christopher took her seat slowly, Connor Mason bumbling into the room as she did so.
"Sorry I'm late," he said. "Devilish traffic on the freeway. Someone should invent a flying car."
Flying car. That was it.
Mason sat himself down next to Agent Christopher and frowned at the concerned expressions on everyone's faces. "What did I miss?" he asked.
"Jiya had another…thing," Rufus explained.
"Ohhh," Mason said, and he was the only one who didn't sound at all worried about it. "What did you see this time, my dear?" he asked.
Jiya shrugged. "Rittenhouse," she said carefully. "In charge again. And—and Lucy and her father and…and…Dave. Poor Dave…"
"Dave…?" Lucy asked.
"Bam Bam," Jiya supplied. "He was here and Wyatt wasn't."
Wyatt leaned his hip against the conference table. "I got arrested again?" he asked. "Dammit."
"No, you were dead," Jiya said shortly. "In 2004."
Wyatt swallowed. "Oh," he said. "Uh, how?"
"Don't know," Jiya replied. "Happened in Afghanistan."
Wyatt nodded. "2004," he said. "IED. The truck I was in hit one. I got thrown clear of the wreck somehow. Got a dislocated shoulder and the mother of all concussions, but that was it."
Jiya glanced up at him. "Not meant to die," she muttered. "Knew it."
"Glad to hear it," Wyatt said, and Jiya didn't miss the shrug he threw in Lucy's direction.
"Okay, this is…" Agent Christopher butted in, "…interesting, but we still have the problem of Miss Whitmore."
Lucy and Wyatt both took their seats, and Rufus finally turned his attention away from Jiya for a second.
But kept hold of her hand.
"She went after the same guy?" Wyatt asked. "The one we already saved from her twice?"
Mason nodded. "Abraham Menzies. His name pinged on my system. The new algorithm is working perfectly."
Jiya inclined her head slightly. "New…?"
Mason frowned at her. "Algorithm," he clarified. "The one you helped me write? Can track changes in history?"
"Oh," Jiya said. "Sure. That algorithm."
Rufus' fingers tightened around her own.
"So, do we need to go save him again?" Lucy asked.
Mason shook his head.
"No. The system noted that Abraham Menzies had survived a gas explosion in his home in 1959. Got out without a scratch."
"And that didn't happen before?" Agent Christopher asked.
Mason shook his head. "No. The gas explosion is new. We're guessing that was Emma's handiwork."
"But why would Rittenhouse want him dead?" Wyatt asked. "What the hell did he do?"
"And is Emma ever going to give up on trying to off the dude?" Rufus asked. "There are only so many times she can go back before she runs into somewhere she already existed."
"Fixed points," Jiya said softly. "Things that can't be changed."
Wyatt glanced sideways at her. Took a breath. "Like Jessica?" he asked.
Jiya smiled bleakly at him. "And maybe this Abraham Menzies. Maybe he's another. Maybe Emma will realize that and give up eventually."
"But what did he do?" Wyatt asked again.
Agent Christopher shuffled a pile of papers in front of her. "From what we've managed to work out," she began, "absolutely nothing. He worked as an accountant for a law firm. He had two children. He died in 1987, three years after his son went to jail on a DUI, almost killing a young engineer and his family when he jumped a stop sign at an intersection..."
"Wait, wait!" Rufus said suddenly. "Car crash." He turned to look at Jiya. "What did you say before? About a car crash?"
Jiya looked at him. "I mentioned a car crash?"
Agent Christopher frowned as she re-examined her notes. "The son's name was Tobias Menzies. He did three years. Got out. Never re-offended."
Mason frowned slightly. "The engineer who nearly died," he said slowly. "What was his name?"
Agent Christopher again flipped through her paperwork. "Brahms," she said. "Matthew Brahms."
Brahms? Jiya had heard that name before. Somewhere...
"Oh my God," Mason said slowly. "I think I know what this is."
Agent Christopher turned towards him. "Would you like to share with the rest of the class, Mr. Mason?"
"Matthew Brahms," Mason began, "was a promising young engineer who worked for a firm called Allbright Aerospace, back in the 1980s. He collaborated on several projects with another engineer by the name of Anthony Bruhl."
"Wait, what?" Lucy butted in. "Our Anthony Bruhl?"
"The very same," Mason agreed. "He was Anthony's first partner on a particular project he was working on."
"What project?" Rufus asked.
Mason grinned. "Time travel," he said. "Before I came along and made it all work." Agent Christopher rolled her eyes. "Brahms was in on the ground floor, so to speak."
"Then why isn't he here?" Wyatt asked.
"He was," Jiya said quietly.
Mason squinted at her.
"When I…my…thing? There was a guy in the conference room called Mr. Brahms. He worked here."
"Alternate timeline?" Rufus hazarded. "Is that what you saw?"
Jiya shrugged. "I don't know." And she really didn't.
"What happened in our actual timeline?" Lucy asked.
Mason shrugged. "He left the project."
"He…" Mason paused, raising an eyebrow. "He was in a car crash," he said. "In February of 1984. He and his wife and daughter were almost killed by a drunk driver. He decided his energy would be better spent on…" he trailed off, and it was Rufus' turn to raise an eyebrow.
"Flying cars," Mason finished. "He was, shall we say, a visionary. Way ahead of his time."
"So if he'd stayed on the time travel project with Anthony," Lucy said, "time travel might have become a reality a lot sooner?"
Mason almost looked offended. "I'll have you know it was myself that cracked the closed timelike curve problem," he said.
"But if Brahms had been working on the project since 1984 with Anthony…" Rufus hazarded, "…and then you had come along later, the three of you might well have cracked it faster?"
Mason swallowed and shrugged dismissively. "Perhaps," he said. "Brahms was a brilliant theoretician. He just…got distracted by the wrong project."
"Brahms…" Lucy pulled a tablet that had been laying discarded on the conference table towards herself and started tapping something into it. "I know that name…"
"He was Rittenhouse," Jiya said shortly. "When I saw—what I saw? They only let Rittenhouse people into the briefings, and he was there."
Mason frowned. "Who else was there?"
"Well," Jiya said, "you. But I guess they had to let you in. And Lucy. And her dad. And Agent Neville…"
"Bizarro World Mason Industries," Rufus commented.
"You and Dave weren't allowed in."
"And Lucy was, like, a total bitch—"
"I'm right here, you know," Lucy commented, looking up briefly from the tablet. "But Jiya's right. Brahms was Rittenhouse. He's mentioned in my grandfather's notes."
"So I don't get it," Wyatt commented. "Why would Rittenhouse want the father of the guy who crashed his car into a Rittenhouse engineer dead?"
"Because if Abraham Menzies dies," Rufus said, "his son Tobias Menzies doesn't get born, doesn't hit Matthew Brahms with his car, and doesn't cause him to switch his focus from time travel to flying cars," he finished, triumphantly.
Rufus' colleagues stared uncertainly at him.
"Thus giving Rittenhouse time travel. Sooner than they actually got their hands on it," he added.
"Because Brahms was already Rittenhouse?" Lucy hazarded.
Agent Christopher frowned. "So what do we do about this?"
Lucy shrugged. "Well if Emma can't kill Abraham Menzies, do we have to do anything?"
"She could try something else," Wyatt suggested. "Like going after Tobias directly. Or making sure his car doesn't ram into Brahms."
"She can't do that," Rufus said. "1984. Emma was born in 1978."
"So we just have to make sure the car crash actually happens?" Wyatt clarified.
Rufus shook his head. "Can't go to 1984," he said. "I already exist. So does Lucy."
Agent Christopher took a breath. "Wyatt doesn't."
Wyatt glanced over at her.
"You were born in November '84, right, Sergeant?"
Wyatt nodded slowly. "Yes, ma'am."
"But he can't pilot the Lifeboat," Rufus pointed out, his fingers tightening around Jiya's hand.
Agent Christopher quite obviously noticed. "No," she said, "but Jiya can."
"No," Rufus said flatly, shaking his head. "Absolutely not. She's—she's sick. And she's not up to full strength. And what if she has an episode and can't pilot them back? And—and—do you know how many times she's crashed the thing in simulation?"
"Rufus," Jiya said quietly, squeezing his hand. "I'm fine."
Rufus continued to shake his head. "No."
"It's a milk run," Wyatt put in. "All we gotta do is make sure the guy's car gets hit."
"Rufus, it's okay," Jiya insisted. "Really." She put a hand on his cheek to stop him shaking his head anymore. "An easy job for my first solo mission. And if I frak up, there's only me and Wyatt in the Lifeboat to get…frakked up."
Wyatt frowned at her. "That makes me feel so much better."
She smiled sunnily at him. "You were dead this morning," she said. "Not letting that happen again."
Wyatt returned her smile with one of his own, and right there she remembered why she hadn't been able to speak to him for a week. Really freakin' super-hot. "Well okay then, ma'am," he said.
Lucy frowned at him, and he shrugged.
"I really don't like this," Rufus said.
"Hey," Wyatt said, for a second drawing Rufus' attention away from Jiya. "I'll take care of her. I promise, man." And he was completely serious.
Rufus took a breath.
"See?" Jiya said. "Wyatt's gonna look after me." She glanced at Lucy, who was suspiciously quiet. "And I'm gonna look after him."
Lucy and Wyatt exchanged a loaded look, and not for the first time Jiya wondered whether either of them actually realized how they felt about each other. It was so freakin' obvious, they may as well have been wearing matching neon signs.
"Alright then," Agent Christopher said. "Sounds like we have a plan."
"Oh my God, these clothes are amazing!" Jiya virtually sang, pirouetting in front of the mirror like a schoolgirl.
"At least they didn't wear corsets in the 1980s," Lucy commented, taking hold of her, spinning her around and backcombing a little bit more of her hair. "Be thankful for small mercies."
Jiya shook her wrist and the multitude of brightly-colored plastic bangles rattled loudly. "Man, I love the'80s!"
"Listen, just—" Lucy put her hands firmly on Jiya's shoulders and sat her down, her face suddenly serious. "You—you can do this, right? You can pilot the Lifeboat? Without—"
"Getting Wyatt killed?" Jiya supplied.
Lucy's cheeks instantly turned an interesting shade of pink.
"Not just Wyatt," she protested. "I meant the both of you."
Jiya nodded. "Sure," she said, grinning. "I know you did."
Even the tips of Lucy's ears had colored. "It's not—I mean—we're not—"
Jiya nodded in encouragement. "Not...?"
"If you say 'complicated' I'm going to drag Wyatt to 1984, tie him up and make him my love slave, I swear to God."
Lucy's mouth opened and closed a total of three times without any words coming out.
"And what would Rufus have to say about that?" she finally managed.
Jiya's grin widened. "He wouldn't have to know about it because he's too old to follow us there."
"Careful with the 'old,' honey," Lucy said, smiling sheepishly. "He and I are the same age."
"Which makes Wyatt your boy toy and Rufus my sugar daddy."
Lucy frowned at her. "You're not taking this very seriously."
Jiya sobered a little. "Lucy, of course I'm taking this seriously," she said. "I am so freakin' scared out of my mind right now, you wouldn't believe it. But everything's going to be fine. I kinda know what I'm doing. Wyatt sure as hell knows what he's doing. And I'm even packing Dramamine, because Wyatt gets motion sickness, right? I'm lookin' out for your man, girl."
Lucy rolled her eyes. "He's not 'my man,'" she protested.
"You really think that?" Jiya countered. "Really?"
Lucy shrugged, suddenly extremely fascinated by the floor. "I don't know what you mean."
"Okay, sweetie," Jiya said, standing up, taking hold of Lucy's shoulders and switching their positions so the historian was the one sitting down. "Can I let you in on a little secret? Okay, I know. Alright? I've seen the way you look at him. And I've seen the way he looks at you."
Lucy blinked. "Wait, what? He doesn't look at me any way—"
"Oh come on! Seriously, you weren't here that time Flynn dragged you off to the World's Fair. He nearly went out of his mind!"
Lucy blinked again. "He...did?" she said quietly. "Really?"
Jiya nodded. "Oh yeah," she confirmed. "He's been mooning over you almost as long as you've been mooning over him. He's just too stupid to realize it. You both are."
Lucy opened and closed her mouth several times, but seemed to give up on trying to form any kind of coherent sentence.
"Look," Jiya continued. "This is all going to be fine. Wyatt and I will go make sure there's a pretty innocuous car crash in 1984, we'll come back, and then...you two really need talk to each other. 'Kay?"
Lucy nodded mutely.
"Okay." Jiya took a breath. "Now does anyone remember where I left the keys to the time machine?"
Jiya could feel Wyatt scrutinizing her without even having to glance over her shoulder at him.
He was clearly struggling with the change of personnel in the Lifeboat more than he'd expected, seemingly not knowing whether or not to offer to help her up into the machine the way he tended to help Lucy, or whether to leave her to it.
In the end, she'd put a hand on his shoulder as she'd levered herself over the threshold, grinned behind her at him, and then promptly turned and waved to Rufus, who was standing with Lucy looking like he was about to have a coronary.
Jiya wasn't sure what Lucy had said to Wyatt in the short conversation they had just before he'd headed off towards the Lifeboat, but Lucy seemed almost as misty-eyed and quietly frantic as Rufus did.
"The joystick can get a little antsy just before landing," Rufus had offered, still hanging onto her hand as she'd tried to follow Wyatt. "And you need to watch the x y axis ratio because it gets thrown off real easy and just a micron will have you in the Jurassic period being chased by velociraptors, and if you get Wyatt eaten by a dinosaur, Lucy will never forgive me, so just make sure you keep an eye on the readout and the horizon slightly off because you really don't want to mess up the landing and end up half-stuck in a block of concrete because that would be super-embarrassing and Mason would—"
Jiya had kissed him just to shut him up.
"I'll be fine," she'd reassured him. "And I promise not to get either of us eaten by dinosaurs."
Getting eaten by dinosaurs seemed the least of her worries.
For a good five seconds she just sat staring at the multitude of lights blinking at her from the control panel.
"I think it's the big green button," Wyatt offered helpfully.
She glanced over her shoulder at him and squinted nervously. "You wanna drive?"
Wyatt sniggered, smirking at her good-naturedly. "No, ma'am," he said emphatically. "I just shoot stuff. You're in charge of the sciency part."
Jiya nodded, turning back toward the control panel. "Good to know," she said quietly. "I'm in charge."
She took a deep breath.
She'd totally got this.
And, weirdly, it actually was the big green button.
She fished in her pocket and threw the bottle of Dramamine at Wyatt before initiating the start-up sequence.
"Here," she said. "Don't want you puking all over my time machine."
Wyatt sniggered at her again. "No, ma'am," he agreed, opening the bottle and swallowing one of the pills. "You're much more passenger-oriented than our other pilot."
Jiya grinned lopsidedly. Why had she ever been terrified of the thought of having an actual conversation with Wyatt?
"Okay, here we go," she said, taking another deep breath, and totally unprepared for the steadying hand Wyatt suddenly placed on her shoulder.
"You got this," he told her, and he actually sounded like he believed it.
So much so that Jiya was starting to believe it too.
"Here goes nothing," she murmured.
Now it wasn't like Jiya hadn't time travelled before, but that time she'd just been assisting a wounded Rufus.
Actually being in control, with two lives depending on her?
This was a little bit more intense.
As it happened, Rufus' parting advice actually helped, because the joystick really did get a little antsy and she had to do a couple of manual corrections to the coordinates on the x y axis, just like he'd told her she would.
Now the landing.
If she could just stick the landing without killing them both...
...Something was happening.
Bright lights swirling around her and noises she didn't recognize and Dave was behind her yelling her name and she couldn't do it, she couldn't do it, and Miss Preston was screaming at her and the horizon was all over the place and there were alarms blaring and more yelling and a bang and the lights went out and she prayed to anyone listening that there weren't going to be velociraptors when she opened her eyes because Lucy would kill her if Wyatt got eaten by a dinosaur and Miss Preston was screaming at her and Dave was yelling at Miss Preston to leave her alone and let her concentrate and maybe she shouldn't have her eyes closed while she was piloting the Mothership, but they weren't in the Mothership, they were in the Lifeboat, which they hadn't used for six months, and Wyatt was dead in 2004 and Dave was dead in 1927 and maybe if she opened her eyes the lights would come back on and there wouldn't be velociraptors and...and...
The hand on her shoulder was shaking her and she figured it wasn't a velociraptor.
When she opened her eyes, the lights were on and two vaguely alarmed-looking blue eyes were staring back at her and there were hands on her shoulders and didn't Wyatt just have the bluest eyes, super-hot and super-intimidating and actually pretty easy to have a conversation with even if he could kill a guy with a paperclip and a matchbook and look at that, he wasn't dead after all.
He had one hand hovering over the control panel and there was blood running down the side of his face from a cut above his very blue left eye.
His hand was on the power down control, and the Lifeboat was suddenly eerily quiet.
"I'm so glad you're not dead," Jiya murmured, for the second time that day.
Wyatt actually laughed, possibly in relief, his hand squeezing her shoulder gently. "Me too," he agreed. "Although I think maybe it was touch and go there for a while."
She blinked at him several times.
He was bleeding.
And crouched in front of her.
When a second ago he'd been sitting behind her and not bleeding at all.
And where was Dave...?
"Jiya?" Wyatt said slowly. "You with me?"
"Thought you didn't want to drive?" she murmured, inclining her head in the direction of his hand, which still ghosted over the control panel.
"Thought you looked like you could use some help," he returned.
"You're bleeding," she pointed out.
He shrugged. "Better than puking, I guess. Thanks to you and the Dramamine."
She took a breath.
"I think you—" Wyatt glanced away for a second, before resuming eye contact. "I think you had one of your—things—as we were coming in to land. Everything got kind of...bumpy."
Jiya suspected Wyatt was underplaying the situation. "Bumpy?"
"Is that how you hit your head?"
Wyatt glanced away again. "I didn't know if you—I didn't know if you were coming back in time. If you'll excuse the pun. You know, to stick the landing."
Jiya blinked at him. "You landed the Lifeboat?" How the hell had he done that with zero training?
Wyatt shook his head. "No, you landed the Lifeboat," he told her. "Somehow. I just powered it down. But I had to kind of get out of my seat to do it. Before we'd stopped."
"And you hit your head?"
It was only then she noticed he was favoring his left arm too. "Everything else okay?"
He shrugged again. "Had worse in kindergarten," he told her with a reassuring smile.
That's what Wyatt was.
Not intimidating at all.
Although he was still super-hot.
"How did you know how to power us down?" Jiya asked.
"I've seen Rufus do it enough times."
Jiya nodded. "I told Mr. Cahill Dave and Miss Preston should learn how to pilot the Mothership, just in case of an emergency..." she started to say, trailing off when a tiny frown appeared between Wyatt's ridiculously blue eyes. "You," she amended. "I mean you and Lucy. I told Agent Christopher you and Lucy should maybe learn..." She trailed off again, and Wyatt once again squeezed her shoulder reassuringly.
He was very reassuring.
And not even puking or being eaten by dinosaurs or dead.
"Hey," he said quietly. "It's okay."
Jiya shook her head as the full ramifications of what just happened slowly started to sink in. "I could have gotten us killed," she pointed out, plastic bangles rattling as she covered her face with her hands.
"Hey," Wyatt said again, gently peeling her fingers away from her face. "It's okay. We're fine. Everything's fine."
"But I don't know what's happening," Jiya murmured. "What I'm seeing when I—you know."
"Sounds to me like you're seeing the future," Wyatt hazarded. "Or possible futures. Or possible nows."
She blinked at him.
"Not that I know anything about anything other than what I've seen on Star Trek."
She blinked at him again. "You like Star Trek?" she murmured, possibly completely missing the point of what he just said.
Wyatt grinned at her. "Grew up watching Star Trek," he said. "And Star Wars." His grin widened. "Contrary to what you and Rufus might think, it's possible to like both, you know."
Dammit, she'd been pretty sure Wyatt was the perfect boyfriend for a second there.
"Anyway, you keep talking about 'Dave' and 'Miss Preston' so I figure you're still seeing—what did Rufus call it?"
"Bizarro World Mason Industries," Jiya supplied.
"Maybe that's what happens if we don't make sure Matthew Brahms gets in a car accident today."
That actually made sense.
"Rittenhouse in charge of Mason Industries?" Jiya said. "I guess. But Lucy…and…and you…"
Wyatt rose slowly to his feet. "Hey, I don't wanna be dead either," he said, "so maybe we should get out of here and make sure there's a car accident?"
Jiya smiled shakily at him. "Sounds like a plan," she agreed. "Although…" She glanced carefully at the readouts in front of her, chewing on her lower lip.
"Although…?" Wyatt echoed.
"I may have screwed up our arrival time just a little bit."
Jiya looked up at Wyatt and shrugged apologetically. "The accident's supposed to happen in 28 minutes."
"Ah," Wyatt said. "And how far out of San Francisco are we?"
Jiya glanced at the readouts again. "We might need to steal a car."
Turned out stealing a car was pretty easy when you found yourself hanging out with an army guy who, from what Rufus had told her, may have grown up a little south of the right side of the tracks.
They'd been walking maybe five minutes when Wyatt suddenly veered off into the parking lot of a strip mall where a guy wearing a Space Invaders t-shirt over pajama pants was just getting into an old Toyota Camry.
A brand new old Toyota Camry.
Jiya glanced over at the big digital clock in the window of the Radio Shack next to the liquor store the guy in the pajama pants appeared to have just come out of and wondered why a guy would be coming out of a liquor store wearing pajama pants at 4.15 in the afternoon.
"Sir?" Wyatt was saying, jogging up to the guy and flashing him his sunniest smile.
The guy in the pajama pants looked at him suspiciously through bleary eyes. "What? I'm busy," he said.
Wyatt nodded. "Yes sir," he said politely, "but could you just tell me how to get to—"
He never got to finish his sentence because the guy was collapsing unconscious in his arms before he even got out the first four words.
Wyatt slightly loosened the choke hold he had on the guy's neck before gently lowering him to the ground without him even dropping the brown paper bag he'd had clutched against his chest.
"Oh my God, Vulcan neck pinch!" Jiya burst out excitedly, pretty much vibrating like an over-excited fangirl at her first ComicCon.
Wyatt glanced over at her, throwing her a lopsided grin. "Live long and prosper, ma'am," he returned, forming a perfect Vulcan salute with one hand before guiding the guy in the pajama pants' crumpled body over to the nearest wall, where he proceeded to prop him up with one of the bottles he pulled out of his brown paper bag.
Yep, Wyatt was pretty damn close to the perfect boyfriend, Jiya decided right then and there. When they got back she needed to give Lucy some serious advice on living in the moment, throwing caution to the wind, and all that other stuff she'd read all about in self-help books as a teenager.
But first she needed to get in the car.
Wyatt was waiting patiently for her in the Camry, not even drumming his fingers as seconds ticked by while Jiya completely forgot what she was supposed to be doing.
"You okay?" he double checked with her, as she slid into the seat next to him.
"Perfect," she said. "Awesome. A-okay..."
Wyatt frowned a little. "Well...good," he said, gunning the engine and peeling out of the parking lot with a squeal of tires. "Okay, where are we going again?"
Out of habit, Jiya reached into her pocket for her cellphone. "Let me get up Google Maps..." She trailed off as she realized not only that her cellphone wasn't there, but that Wyatt was grinning at her. She rolled her eyes. "Stop laughing at me, I'm new at this, remember?"
"With you," Wyatt corrected her. "Laughing with you."
Jiya shook her head. "You're so full of bullcrap, Wyatt Logan," she said.
Wyatt took pity on her. "Gimme the intersection. Who needs GPS when you've got AM radio and a giant digital clock on the dash?"
"Carl and Cole," Jiya said. "Menzies runs the stop sign at the intersection. Hits Brahms sideways on and slams him into an oncoming streetcar. It's a miracle nobody was killed."
Wyatt glanced at the clock. "What time exactly?"
"4.37pm," Jiya replied.
Wyatt blew out a breath. "We might have to run a few stop signs ourselves to make it," he said.
Jiya grabbed for the dash as Wyatt yanked the Camry into a right turn on two wheels.
"What did you do with that bottle of Dramamine again?" she asked, causing Wyatt to grin.
"Hey, my driving's at least only equally as vomit-inducing as yours."
"Yeah, keep telling yourself that...Dave?"
Dave was in the driver's seat and Jiya wasn't entirely sure where she was.
Although she thought it might be a Chevy.
"We're never going to make it!" Miss Preston burst out from the back seat, and Jiya startled at the shrill voice.
"Carl and Cole, right?" Dave said, yanking the wheel so hard the tires squealed in protest.
A Rubik's Cube slid from one end of the dash to the other and Jiya caught it before it landed in her lap.
"Menzies gets there at 4.37pm," Miss Preston reminded him. "If he hits Matthew Brahms' car then this is all over. All of it. Rittenhouse's access to time travel will be delayed for at least ten years. We can't risk that."
And that was weird, because how the hell would Miss Preston know that?
"Jiya?" Miss Preston snapped. "That's what you said, right?"
Jiya nodded slowly. "Sure..."
"In this other timeline you're seeing?"
Jiya was seeing another timeline? Wait. Wyatt. The timeline with Wyatt. That wasn't real?
Jiya put her hand against her forehead and screwed her eyes closed.
It was all too confusing.
"Jiya?" Miss Preston snapped again.
Wyatt had stopped the car.
He had his hand on her shoulder again and was pushing her masses of back-combed hair out of her eyes.
"You with me?
Jiya glanced around the car between her fingers.
Back in the Camry.
No Dave or Miss Preston.
Wyatt with the blue eyes and the concerned expression and the gentle hand on her shoulder.
Wyatt who had stopped the car despite the time pressure they were under because he was worried about her.
"You're real, right?" she asked him carefully, clutching at his hand on her shoulder. "You're the one that's real? Not them?"
And, weirdly, Jiya was pretty sure Wyatt knew exactly what she was asking him.
"Last time I checked," he said, "I seemed pretty real to me."
Her hands were shaking.
Where had the Rubik's Cube gone?
"We need to go," she said, glancing at the clock. It was 4.34pm and she had no idea where they were. "We need to get there before they do."
Wyatt started the engine again and pulled back out into the street.
"Are they trying to stop Menzies?"
Jiya nodded. "I think so. To make sure Rittenhouse keeps its all-access pass to time travel."
"Okay, hold on," Wyatt said. "We're almost there."
Jiya flinched as Wyatt swerved around an old lady trying to parallel park a Chrysler the size of Jiya's apartment.
"What are you going to do when we get there?"
Wyatt glanced at her briefly before returning his gaze to the road.
And then he shrugged.
Which Jiya didn't find particularly reassuring.
"Make it up as we go?" he suggested.
Jiya blew out a breath. "Oh my God, someone might have mentioned preserving history was so stressful."
"It's gonna be fine," Wyatt told her calmly. "What car was Menzies driving?"
Jiya shrugged, rubbing at her forehead. "I don't remember," she sighed. "I miss the Internet..."
"I think it was something Japanese," she managed. "Like a Honda. Or a—a..."
She stopped suddenly.
"Jiya?" Wyatt repeated her name. "You still with me?"
"Oh God," Jiya murmured, as the ramifications of the thought that just hit her suddenly started to sink in. "Wyatt, I think—"
"Who the hell is Wyatt?" Dave asked, glancing sideways at her.
Jiya's fingers tightened convulsively around the Rubik's Cube.
"That's the intersection, right there!" Miss Preston bellowed at Dave from the back seat. "Mr. Brahms is in a white Ford Escort and Menzies is in a blue Toyota Camry—"
"I think we stole Menzies' car," Jiya murmured, screwing her eyes closed as Dave hurtled the Chevy toward the intersection.
"We what?" Wyatt burst out, and Jiya's eyes sprang open at the sound of his voice.
She instinctively reached out and grabbed for his shoulder, but instead she got Dave, who yelled, "What the hell are you doing?"
"Aim for Menzies!" Miss Preston ordered meanwhile. "Stop him hitting that Ford!"
Jiya looked out in the direction Miss Preston was pointing, at the blue Toyota Camry zooming into the intersection from the direction of Cole Street.
There were two people in the car.
A dark-haired guy was driving, and in the passenger seat—
—Oh my God, she could see herself in the passenger seat of the Chevy that was zooming up Carl Street aiming straight for them. And Dave had his eyes squeezed half closed, as if he couldn't bear to look.
"Wyatt!" she squealed. "They're gonna hit us!"
Wyatt's attention snapped to his left, to the direction Jiya was gesturing wildly, a crinkle forming between his brows.
"Jiya, I can't see anything—"
"Ram him!" Miss Preston yelled. "Ram him right off the road!"
Dave glanced into the rearview a little incredulously. "Are you trying to get us killed?!"
"Do as I say, Master Sergeant!"
Jiya reached out and grabbed Wyatt's shoulder.
And held the hell onto him.
"You're with me, right?" he said, not taking his eyes off the road.
"I hope Lucy forgives me for this," Jiya muttered, with her free hand grabbing hold of Wyatt's thigh so hard he yelped as she shoved his leg down.
Thankfully, Jiya was pretty sure he realized right away that she wasn't trying to feel him up, instead slamming his foot down on the gas, just as Dave skidded the Chevy sideways—the Chevy Wyatt apparently couldn't see—missing the Camry by inches as Wyatt, at Jiya's insistence, unexpectedly hit the gas and sped forward out of its path.
Jiya spun in her seat, her hand never leaving Wyatt's shoulder, as the Chevy slid across the intersection and looked as if it was going to slam into the stop sign on the corner.
But it didn't.
Because one second Jiya was looking at herself in the front seat with Dave Baumgardner.
The next, the car and its occupants had disappeared completely, and Wyatt was yelling at her, "Hold tight, this might pinch a little!"
She instantly spun her attention forward, to where a white Ford Escort was suddenly filling the entire front windshield, and Jiya could see Matthew Brahms and his wife in the front seat and, perhaps more importantly, his little girl in back.
Till her dying day, Jiya wasn't sure she'd ever be able to explain how the hell Wyatt managed not to plow straight into the rear door where Matthew Brahms' daughter was sitting, somehow managing instead to slam the Camry into the Escort's trunk, causing it to spin off and come to a dead stop up against a mailbox across the street, rather than stopping in the path of the streetcar that had for a couple of seconds looked like it was going to smash into Brahms' car head-on.
Wyatt pretty much stood on the brakes, sending their own car into a slightly more controlled spin, straightening the wheel and gunning the engine, shooting them back up Cole Street as fast as he was able with half the front bumper hanging off and screeching against the asphalt.
Glancing in the rearview as they sped away from the scene, Wyatt blew out a breath and declared, "They're okay. They're all okay."
Jiya wasn't sure how he was even breathing, her own chest seeming to have constricted until she felt like her lungs were going to explode.
"Take a breath, Jiya," Wyatt said slowly. "It's okay. We're okay."
He winced slightly, and Jiya burst out, "Are you hurt?" before she realized she still had one hand gripping his shoulder and the other gripping his thigh so hard she was probably going to leave bruises.
Wyatt smiled weakly. "You computer geeks are way stronger than you look."
Jiya withdrew her hands immediately, feeling her cheeks coloring. "I—" she stammered. "It was the only way I could—I had to hang on to you so I could—"
Wyatt grinned at her. "Don't worry, what happens in '84 stays in '84," he said. "Rufus never has to know a thing..."
She elbowed him in the ribs.
"And to think I wanted you to be real and Dave to be the hallucination..."
Wyatt snorted. "You could see us both at the same time?"
Jiya nodded. "One second I was here with you, the next I was in the Chevy with Dave and Miss Preston."
Wyatt glanced sideways at her. "Lucy was there?"
Jiya shrugged. "Not Lucy," she said quietly. "Not our Lucy."
Wyatt nodded, swallowing, and she was pretty sure he understood what she was trying to say.
"That must have been…" he started to observe, shaking his head, "…confusing."
"You don't know the half of it," Jiya confirmed.
"Okay, we gotta ditch this car," Wyatt said, bringing the Camry round into an alleyway behind a hardware store. "Cops are gonna be looking for it." He brought the car to a stop, switching off the engine and dragging a hand through his hair as he blew out a long breath.
"You okay?" Jiya asked, and he actually looked like he might laugh.
"I'm not the one experiencing two timelines simultaneously," he told her. "I'm fine."
Jiya shrugged. "Can't believe our luck," she said, shaking her head, and Wyatt glanced back in her direction. "Of all the cars we could have stolen, we had to steal Tobias Menzies' car."
It was Wyatt's turn to shrug. "Fate?" he offered. "If we hadn't been in Menzies' car, Menzies wouldn't have realized Bam Bam was trying to ram him off the road the way you did."
"Team Rittenhouse would have stopped Menzies hitting Brahms and—"
"—Rittenhouse would have gotten their hands on time travel years early. Maybe creating the timeline you were seeing?"
Jiya shrugged. "Who knows? Maybe? I don't even know what I'm seeing anymore. Or—or how they can have had any physical presence in our timeline. Or maybe we were in theirs? Or maybe the two intersected somehow…" She trailed off, realizing, no offence meant to Wyatt, but she really needed to talk to Rufus about this.
The wail of a nearby Police siren had Wyatt glancing over his shoulder nervously. "Well, whatever happened, we need to go," he said, trying to open the driver's side door and only managing it by giving it a good kick first.
The door promptly fell off one mount, hanging at a crazy angle as Wyatt squeezed himself around it and out of the car.
Jiya's side was easier to open, her side of the car not crumpled like an empty beer can.
Wyatt was waiting to help her out, keeping her upright when her knees threatened to go right out from under her.
"It's okay," he told her again. "You did good, ma'am. You did really good."
And Jiya totally didn't get why Lucy didn't like Wyatt calling her that as it really was all kinds of hot.
"Beginner's luck," she murmured, as Wyatt steadied her before turning to glance around them furtively. "What are you looking for?" she asked.
Wyatt shrugged. "Well unless you wanna walk back to the Lifeboat, we gotta steal another car. I don't think they have Uber in 1984."
In the end, they didn't end up stealing another car as Wyatt somehow managed to charm a middle-aged lady in a Ford pickup into giving them a ride.
By the sixth time Wyatt had politely removed her hand from off of his thigh, Jiya had labelled her a cougar, and decided if Wyatt's honor needed defending he'd have to do it himself, there was no way she was moving to sit between them on the lumpy bench seat.
They parted ways about a half mile from where Jiya had parked the Lifeboat, but not before Shirley the Cougar tried to entice Wyatt back to her place with the promise of home-baked cupcakes and home-made alcohol.
"Wow, now I know how Rufus must feel," Jiya had gently teased, and when Wyatt had turned a quizzical gaze on her, she'd added, "Being the third wheel."
Wyatt hadn't commented.
Then, "We're not... Lucy and I... It's not..." and Jiya had nodded, smiled, and launched into a similar conversation to the one she'd had with Lucy earlier and 34 years in the future where she'd ended up making Wyatt swear he was going to talk to Lucy when they got back.
Which gave Jiya even more impetus to ensure she got them both back in one piece.
As she began powering the Lifeboat up, Wyatt suddenly asked, "Any more visits from Team Rittenhouse since we got ourselves into that little fender bender?"
Jiya considered, before raising one eyebrow a little in surprised realization. "No, actually."
Wyatt nodded. "So you think maybe we put a stop to it?" he hazarded. "That timeline?"
Jiya shrugged, returning her attention to the multitude of readouts in front of her. "Maybe," she said. "Maybe I just need to figure out how this whole thing works."
Wyatt nodded. "One thing at a time," he said. "Concentrate on the whole not-getting-our-atoms-randomly-scattered-across-time thing for now."
"Yeah," Jiya agreed. "I think right now that sounds like a pretty good idea."
The trip back itself was uneventful, Jiya making a textbook landing that she was sure would have made Rufus proud had he been inside the Lifeboat to see it.
As it was, Wyatt complimented her on not once making him feel like he wanted to barf up a lung, and the two of them had disembarked without either of them feeling the slightest need to vomit.
Rufus and Lucy were, not surprisingly, waiting anxiously for them, and while Jiya returned Rufus' proffered hug with the words, "See, I told you I wouldn't get us eaten by dinosaurs," she'd had one eye on Wyatt and Lucy, who had kind of stood at arm's length for a second or so before Lucy had taken the initiative to put her arms around Wyatt's neck and given him the kind of awkward hug Jiya remembered giving boys on the playground in grade school.
Wyatt had returned Lucy's hug with an awkward hug of his own, but then bent his head down to mutter something in her ear that had her looking up at him with a mixture of surprise and relief on her face.
Failing anything, Jiya figured, Lucy could always ask him to be her toyboy.
She sniggered at the idea, and followed Rufus up to the briefing room, where Agent Christopher and Connor Mason were waiting.
"So I'm guessing by the fact that we're here and Rittenhouse aren't, it went well?" Agent Christopher asked.
Jiya cast a sidelong glance at Wyatt, who shrugged at her.
Okay, he was right. She really needed to field that question.
"I had a couple of...episodes...while we were there," she began slowly.
Agent Christopher raised an eyebrow. "And what did you see exactly?" she asked.
"I think..." Jiya began. "I think the—the other side were the ones trying to stop the accident from happening. I was—I was kind of with them at the same time as I was with Wyatt, and they were—they were trying to ram us off the road because we kind of accidentally stole Tobias Menzies' car and—"
"You did what?" Agent Christopher burst out.
"Totally my fault, ma'am," Wyatt put in. "Should have paid more attention at briefing."
Agent Christopher regarded him for a second. "How did you get that injury, Sergeant?" she asked, indicating the cut above his eye.
Wyatt shrugged, and Jiya opened her mouth to come clean about having had one of her "things" whilst piloting the Lifeboat, but Wyatt never gave her the opportunity to get a word in.
"Kind of got into it with Menzies, ma'am," he lied fluidly. "Although I didn't realize who he was at the time. I was just trying to steal his car, ma'am."
"Why did you need a car?"
Jiya opened her mouth again to admit screwing up their arrival time, but once again Wyatt jumped in before she could.
"Got my timing a little out of whack, ma'am."
"And you ended up having to be the ones to ram Matthew Brahms off the road?"
Agent Christopher turned her attention to Jiya. "And you say the people from Rittenhouse tried to ram you?"
Jiya nodded. "I guess from their perspective it was Tobias Menzies driving the car, but when I was in their car with them—"
"You were in their car with them?" Rufus echoed, obviously concerned.
Jiya nodded again. "And I could see Wyatt and—and myself in Menzies' car. And when I was with Wyatt I could see myself with Dave and—and Miss Preston," she studiously avoided looking at Lucy at this point, "and when Wyatt hit Brahms' car, Team Rittenhouse just...disappeared. As if their whole timeline just went poof. And I've not seen them since."
Agent Christopher frowned. "So what does that mean?" she asked. "Is time fixed?"
Jiya shrugged. "Honestly? I have no idea. I'm still not even sure what I'm seeing. Possible futures, the past. Alternate timelines. But like you said, we're here and they're not, so I'm thinking we did okay."
"If their timeline was erased," Rufus weighed in, "then I guess they don't exist to go back and try again?"
"But what about in our timeline?" Lucy asked. "Could Emma try again?"
Mason sighed. "It's pointless to try and second guess ourselves with such temporal 'what ifs,'" he said. "Flynn or Emma could have attempted a 'do over' of several of the missions we've successfully completed thus far. You said yourself, Lucy, that Flynn returned to David Rittenhouse's compound to take a second crack at assassinating his son."
Lucy nodded. "Without success," she agreed.
"Maybe there are only so many times Time will let you try to change things," Jiya mused. "And sometimes Time won't let you change things at all."
"In that case," Agent Christopher said, "we'll take the win and move on." She stood, indicating the debrief was over, but not before adding, "And Jiya? Congratulations on your first solo piloting mission."
Jiya glanced briefly at Wyatt, who smiled encouragingly at her.
"Well, I kind of had a little help..." she started to say.
Wyatt smirked. "Had to show her where the 'On' button was."
"And the 'Off' button," Jiya added pointedly, to which Wyatt merely shrugged.
"But at least you didn't get eaten by dinosaurs," Rufus put in, taking Jiya's hand and giving it a squeeze. "Definitely a win." Lucy and Wyatt both frowned at him. "Uh," he failed to explain. "Kind of an in-joke."
"So why didn't you throw me under the bus?" Jiya asked, totally not sneaking up on Wyatt as he pulled his jacket out of his locker.
He turned around sharply, not exactly startled, apparently, but also apparently not used to people sneaking up behind him in the locker room either.
"Jeez, that fourth wheel trip in the Lifeboat give you ninja powers too?" he asked.
Jiya put her hand on her hip. "I'm serious," she said. "Why didn't you throw me under the bus with Agent Christopher just now?"
Wyatt frowned. "Why would I do that?" he asked. "You didn't get me killed, or, y'know, eaten by dinosaurs or anything." He grinned at her, and she shook her head.
"If you'd told her," she continued, "about my having an episode while I was piloting—"
"She would have grounded you," Wyatt finished for her. "Yeah. And what's the point in that?"
"But I could have killed you!" Jiya pointed out. "I could have killed both of us!"
Wyatt took a step towards her and placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder. "But you didn't," he said. "And by my count, you saved my life at least twice."
Jiya raised an uncertain eyebrow and Wyatt sniggered.
"You know you look like Mr. Spock when you do that, right?"
Almost perfect boyfriend...
"Does Lucy know you're a closet geek?" Jiya asked him.
Wyatt shrugged. "I'm not a closet anything. She only has to ask. I'm an open book."
Jiya snorted. "An open book bound with chains in a locked, airtight container in a safety deposit box in a bank under a mountain in Switzerland," she said, folding her arms across her chest.
Wyatt squinted at her. "So you're saying I have hidden depths?" he asked.
"No," Jiya said. "I'm saying 'thank you.' For not throwing me under the bus."
"And thank you for not throwing me under a streetcar. Or getting me rammed by a car. Or scattering my atoms across time. Or letting Shirley drive me off to her cougar lair to have her wicked way with me. Or getting me eaten by dinosaurs."
Jiya smiled softly. "You're welcome. Did you talk to Lucy yet?"
Wyatt shrugged. "Soon," he said expression suddenly serious. "Can't rush these things." Then his face lit up as a thought occurred to him. "Can we actually go back to when there were dinosaurs?" he asked. "For real?"
Jiya shrugged. "Maybe later," she said. "I gotta wash 1984 outta my hair first." And then she grinned brightly. "But at least Rufus and Lucy wouldn't be too old for that mission..."