A/N: Part One of a Two-Part Drabble-ish plot bunny based on Caroline Cooney's "The Time Travelers." Not that well know, but perhaps one of the most heart-wrenchingly romantic stories ever written. The ending was just begging for a little more development, so this was born. Enjoy!

It was him...

Annie sat, her nose pressed against the window like a kid, watching as he faded into the distance as the train pulled away from the station. One hand in his pocket, the other waving casually, eyes locked on hers for as long as possible...

It wasn't possible. It couldn't be. But the watch she now wore on her wrist, the one that was so full of sand and utterly useless for telling time, couldn't have been a clearer message. Somehow, Hiram Stratton Jr. had found his way to 1999. It was Time's wonderful gift to her.

Strat...

Annie turned to face forward, feeling so full and content that she thought she might burst. She still couldn't believe it. Hadn't she been convinced, only moments ago, that they were destined to be separated by Time? That if she was ever reunited with her love again, it would only be to be torn apart by Time's fickle will shortly thereafter?

Even now she could hear him as he chased after her through the harsh sands of Egypt, hand stretched out towards her, shouting proposals of marriage into the winds as if his heart—and hers—would be strong enough to keep the two of them together this time. She could still feel the searing pain of being ripped away against her will, the unfairness of it all burning raw...

But Time had other ideas, it seemed.

Strat... In 1999...

Annie wasn't about to complain, but there was something odd about it all. Why would Strat be here and not have a single memory of their time together? And, more puzzling still, he seemed to be completely acclimated to the 20th century. When she'd first traveled back to 1895 she'd been disoriented and disbelieving—after all, there wasn't supposed to be any such thing as time travel. But if she'd been that shocked going backwards, how much more so should Strat have been, coming forward into the era of skyscrapers, flight, and computers!And yet he acted as if he'd lived in the 20th century all of his life.

What was Time up to?

Unbidden, Annie's thoughts turned to the dream Lockwood Stratton (as he was called here in 1999) had shared with her as the two of them had left the museum. A ship traveling down the Nile, enemy forces attacking on both sides, his camera lost in a swamp... Could it...could it be that somehow Strat was in two places at once?

The more she thought of it, the more likely it seemed, which was ironic considering no one was able to be in two places at once. No one but Strat. He was here, in 1999, because sometime in his future a hundred years ago, he would travel forward in time. But his memory was gone because it hadn't happened yet—Strat still had things to do in his own time. He'd join her as soon as he could, and when that happened, Annie was fully confident that Lockwood Stratton of 1999 would remember everything.

What a headache it all was to think about! Time could be such a nuisance, but in light of the miraculous gift she'd been given, Annie could not be irritated. It appeared that she was going to be allowed to live out her life with the man she loved after all.

Strat...

Annie smiled, her stomach twisting slightly in excitement. She was one-hundred percent willing to start over with him. There was no question that Lockwood Stratton was attracted to her. He'd spent the entire day searching for her at the museum after she'd disappeared through Time, proving that it didn't matter if he was Hiram Stratton Jr. or Lockwood Stratton. Both were irrevocably drawn to Annie Lockwood. She'd wait patiently, silently, for him to remember that their relationship went farther back than a chance encounter at a museum and a shared name. Farther back than even the 1900s.

She'd wait and she'd love.

Her heart full of overwhelming gratitude, Annie looked forward for the first time in years.