this is a standalone post-2x10 ficlet for now, but I know better than to mark it as a complete, because I'm sure there will be more eventually! Basically consider this story as my dumping ground for whatever little scenarios could fit appropriately into the same theme/plot.

this was written in one very hot minute, so please be kind :)

She feels him blowing in behind her, a stirring shift in the air preceding him, a frisson of new energy. The heavy thud of his steps acts as her forewarning, a wind whipping over the glassy calm of a lake, the sign of the storm to come.

A storm she wants to avoid at all costs.

They haven't discussed their future selves. Hell, she's made sure to keep plenty of room - or even better, the buffer of every person in this bunker - between herself and Wyatt from the moment they saw their battle weary counterparts swinging through the hatch of their silver-glinting Lifeboat. One eyeful of that nearly unrecognizable pair, with all their weapons and grime and stoicism, and Lucy is terrified. The implications are too big, too loud, and she's barely holding herself together with what she's just gone through in this timeline. To see herself - to see them…like that? To know this is who they're going to become…

Talking to Wyatt - her Wyatt - about any of it seems laughable. He's the one she's trying to protect. He's the cause for that barrier of space that she's been steadily preserving between them for the last several hours. The last damn thing that man needs is some kind of crazy pressure to live up to whatever the hell it is they're supposedly destined to be someday. He...he might love her, but loving her and choosing to go down this road - a road that's now skidding rapidly beneath their feet, as hot and frantic as fresh pavement - are two very different things. Especially to a man who still may or may not believe that his Rittenhouse spy of a wife is carrying a little boy or girl with half of his genetic makeup.

But apparently Wyatt is deciding to chew that space up and spit it right out. His boots thump across the kitchen until he's close behind her, but she doesn't react. She drags a spoon through the swirl of white cream, the metal utensil clanking incessantly against the rim of her coffee cup. She isn't sure if it's just nerves or an attempt to warn him off, but either way, he's ignoring it.

"Little late for coffee, isn't it?"

His chest is solid against her back. His arms ensnare her waist like two irrepressible vines. His mouth is on her neck.

And the rasp of something much thicker than stubble is scratching over her neck, too.

The spoon tumbles from her fingers with a gasp. Realization hits him a second later.

He rears back with a strange noise, nearly knocking a chair over in his haste to retreat.

"I - dammit, I'm sorry, I - "

There's a pause, and then she feels him approaching again, far less of an entitled claim in the way he reaches for her now. It's gentle, tentative. He knows she's spooked and he treats her accordingly. He turns her by the elbow as if grasping the reins of a frenzied horse, moving nice and slow. Despite the brushed back hair and the eclipse of his beard, years of an ongoing war - a war she knows nearly nothing about - weighing against him, his eyes are still his eyes and she isn't great at untangling herself from a look like that one. A look of regret. A look of love.

"Your hair," he says with a smirk that's too obstructed. "You have it pushed all to one side over your shoulder, and with the collar of that robe up, it's...I didn't know it was you."

"So…" Lucy grips the counter behind her and tries to breathe. "So I guess that answers one question."

His face is skeptical. Like...like he thinks it's a lie that there was ever a question in the first place. But then he smooths that expression back down and offers a hesitant smile instead. "Could we just… keep this between us, maybe?"

"I - um…"

"That sounded weird," he interjects with a chuckle. "I didn't mean it like that. I think it's pretty impossible to cheat on you with you...right? But you, my you - she - is already freaking out about potential ripple effects - you know, the usual song and dance because it's frickin' time travel - and this would definitely qualify as the exact sort of thing I wasn't supposed to do."

Lucy falters, her head pounding at her temples as she tries to sort through the ten levels of insanity that's been coming at her from all sides today. "Won't she eventually know anyway? Since I'm her and she's - but I...I guess that's not how it works if this is your past, right? She can't have new memories if she's the one who left her present, so - "

"Who do you think you're talking to, Luce?" he breaks in with an even bigger laugh than before. "Past, present, or future - I'm not the brains of the operation. Never have been. Take the loop questions to Jiya or Mason, 'cause I'm out."


His face falls. "Shit. That's two now."

"Two?" She can't stop parroting him. She wants to, but it seems this is all she can manage.

"Two unnecessary disruptions. She's gonna kill me. I promised she had nothing to worry about, yet here we are, foot planted square in the mouth, because some things really never do change, do they?"

The picture he's painting isn't one that matches up with the woman who'd emerged with a shotgun strapped to her back and a haircut as blunt as the words that fell from her mouth. A woman who looks sure of everything. Not a chronic worrier. Not the type to give a damn about what her heart-stopping appearance does to the present circumstances of 2018 Lucy.

"What?" Wyatt asks softly, his hand returning to her elbow again. "Something serious is rattling around in that brain of yours…so spill it, Preston."

"She, um, doesn't look like the type to freak out over...over much of anything, really."

This is his fullest laugh yet. His head tilts back, his eyes crease at the corners, teeth flashing white in the overhead light. She hasn't heard a laugh like that in ages. Since maybe that last game of checkers, the one that followed fresh off of their one perfect Hollywood night. It hits her hard. Makes her remember how much her Wyatt deserves more laughter in his life.

"You - she - whatever we're calling my version of you - is still you, okay?" His eyes crinkle further, more lines there than what she's used to, but a genuine smile still looks so good on him. "God knows you never quit worrying. It may be hard to see it from where you're at now, but you've always been both sides of that coin, Lucy - thoughtful, clever, goodhearted to your core...and yet an unbelievable badass who knows no limits when it comes to saving the people you love. She might look like a totally different you, but she's not. You've always been as strong as her."

She breaks eye contact to keep herself from crumpling under the intensity of his praise. "I don't...I don't feel strong at all right now."

"Really?" She hears the smile in his voice, but he isn't laughing anymore. He lowers his head toward hers and catches her cheek in his hand. His thumb is feather-light as he outlines the dark bruise beneath her eye. "Try telling me that again, slugger. I know where these came from. I know how you went off on Emma in 1888. Alone, no less. Nearly gave me a goddamn coronary, in case you didn't know it. I even know how you tried to pop a few more shots off on her even after your face took a nasty beating...with a story like that, you're already so much closer to my Lucy than you realize."

She tries not to cry. She also tries not to feel totally weirded out that he knows far more about what happened to her in 1800s San Francisco than she's shared with him. The other him.

She doesn't succeed on either count.

His thumb moves faster over her face.

"Oh, Lucy," he says with a hauntingly weary sigh. "I'm sorry for being an unbelievable dickhead. Now and before. Or from your point of view, now and now. I shouldn't have said any of this."

"No," she whispers carefully, sucking in her spillway of emotions. "No, it was okay. Good even. It's just a little trippy, you know, but both of you - both Wyatts - always seem to see something in me that I can't - don't…"

His hands shift down to her neck, holding her in place. "Listen up, okay? I'd like to punch his ass from here to Pluto for what he's just put you through, but the one thing you can always count on from him - and I mean always - is that there is zero bullshit in the way he talks about you...the way we both see you. You really did save my life, and I wasn't screwing around when I said that being Lucy Preston is pretty damn good, as good as any Grace Humiston or Alice Paul. You being you - the one who takes the high road, the most stubborn woman in any room, the kindest, the most generous - that woman is always more than enough for him. For me. In every imaginable universe."

He pulls her in for a hug then, a hug that's somehow a comforting sliver of home in a very foreign place.

And with another hint of laughter in his voice, he confides quietly, close to her ear, "Your Wyatt is watching us, by the way, and he thinks I don't see him. Am I always that stupidly transparent when I feel jealous?"

"Yes," she laughs - freely, unexpectedly - in return. "Oh my God, yes."

"Sorry, ma'am. I really don't mean to be such an asshole. It just comes so damn naturally."

That ma'am sends her heart into her throat. She does her best to tame the wild uprising of feelings that never quite die away no matter how often they're trampled. It does her no good to fall back in love with a version of Wyatt Logan who will leave just as suddenly as he arrived. She can wait for her Wyatt so long as he's willing to wait on her too.

Lucy pulls back after another beat, forcing her busted lip up into a grin. "If you can't cheat on me with me, shouldn't that mean he can't be jealous of himself?"

His unimpressed shrug makes her grin wider. "He's a less evolved model. He'll see the light eventually. Give him time."

"Okay," she murmurs quietly, head spinning again at the thought of this man - this Wyatt - knowing exactly when their eventually catches up to them.

Now she understands why future Lucy is so worried. She knows herself well enough to know that she - current Lucy - will burn with lists and lists of questions, will obsess over whether or not she wants the answers, until the moment they're gone again.

"You should go get some sleep, Luce. I might have had the wrong you when I said it the first time, but I'm confident that neither one of you needs a cup of coffee at this hour." He squeezes her shoulder lightly, concern seeping into his blue gaze. "Especially after the day you've had."

One eager question skips immediately to the top of the list.

"When do you start calling me Luce?"

"Nice try, but I'm more afraid of her than I am of you." He takes a backward step away, casts a furtive glance at wherever present Wyatt must be hiding in the shadows, then tips his lips up into a smirk she'd know anywhere. "You might both be badass warrior women, but she's the one I have to go home with...and preferably in one piece."

That seals the deal. She has a damn crush on future Wyatt.

And he winks at her before he goes, because of course he knows exactly what he's doing, dammit.

She turns to dump out her coffee once he disappears from view, wondering how the hell her life had ever gotten this bizarre.

I'm a weirdo who couldn't stop thinking about Wyatt accidentally hitting on the wrong version of his boo. I regret nothing.

reviews are cool ;)