Erica Strange was not dead. She was very much alive. It was almost funny, perhaps he had thought it was easier to just travel back 2009 and tell her to keep safe, tell her not to die, than to track her down now. She hadn't wanted him to find her, and perhaps she had done a little too good a job at hiding. He had been really worried when he went back to warn her. But she had made a promise to herself not to meet up with him and she hadn't. Though she still remembered the first time she had seen his face on a poster, the first time she had seen him on TV, her desire to seek him out when Travis had died. But she was not the person he had known back in 2009. She was different, she was a divorcee, she had had a 7-year-old son, she had her own business. For her it had been years since they saw each other, for Kai it was a matter of months, if even that. She didn't know exactly when his therapy had started. But she had been a doctor long enough now to know better than to look for him. Kai Booker was a rock star, he was a patient, and he was 10 years younger than her.
Erica didn't know how many times she had had this debate with herself, how many times she had told herself it was best to keep away. Only once had she allowed herself to see him, as one of thousands in a sea of people during one of his concerts, before he had met her, before he had started his therapy. So to suddenly look up and meet his eyes from across the street in Toronto had made her freeze, giving him a chance to break through his crowed of admirers and paparazzi to run up to her.
Erica didn't move, she just stood still unable to move a muscle as the camera flashes nearly blinded her, and Kai's arms enfolded her, pressing her against him so tightly it reminded her of a movie, as if she had been a soldier returning home from a war.
"Erica…" Kai whispered into her hair, he didn't even seem to notice her frozen state or lack of movement as he took a step back, allowing his hands to move to her face, his fingers to stroke her cheeks. "You haven't changed a bit." He sounded almost awed and a small smile formed on her lips. "I-" He began then suddenly seemed to notice the flashing cameras surrounding them, without a hint of hesitation he grabbed her hand and dragged her though the doors of the hotel which he had been leaving when he had seen her, ignoring his manager and band mates as they called out after them. He didn't stop until they were inside his room.
Suddenly he seemed a little self-conscious, using his hand to ruffle the hair on the back of his neck as he offered to get her drink. The gesture gave her some comfort, a sense of familiarity. "A soda?" She suggested as she saw him rumple through the minibar. He grinned and returned with two cans of coke.
"I can't believe you are here." He said. "I mean, here with me in 2020."
"I guess this is the first time I get to see the real you, I mean age wise." She added nervously but Kai only grinned, he suddenly seemed unable to do anything else, or even take his eyes of her.
"So how are you? I have looked everywhere I could think of."
"I guess you didn't look for Erica Fitzpatrick." She offered with a nervous smile, causing his own to drop, although he tried to hide it.
"You got married?"
"I did, I have a son too, his name is Leo."
"Like your brother." Kai remembered. "How old is he?"
"And your husband? Do I know him?"
"Ex-husband, and no, his name is Adam."
"Ex?" She couldn't help but smile at his hopeful glimmer in his eyes as he looked up at her. She wondered how his fans would react if they saw him now, so different from his rock star image, so different from the man she had met when Dr Fred had sent her to his future self. It seemed therapy was working.
"How long has it been since you last saw me?" She asked after a second of hesitation. He looked away before answering.
"About two months, I went back to tell you not to sleep with me." He smiled. "You didn't listen."
After that neither said anything for a few minutes, instead they just stared at each other.
"I can't forget about you Erica."
"It's only been two months. It takes longer than that even to-" She tried to joke only to have Kai interrupt her.
"No matter how much time passes I never will." He looked at her earnestly. "This is the present, for the both of us. Will you give me a chance?"
"You are a rock star, I'm a mother. You are on the cover of magazines; I publish books. You have millions of fans all over the world… no one knows my name. The obstacles for us may not be the same as the were in 2009, but there are still plenty."
"I don't care." He told her firmly. "This time I won't let you go."