“Ryan, think about this for a minute. You’d be giving up everything you know, your apartment, your job, your friends, and everything you hold dear,” Colin informed him.
“I know, but being with Ethan is worth all of that and more.”
“What about us, your family?”
“You have the temporal and geographic coordinates. You all can visit anytime you want to.”
“I don’t think you’ve thought this all the way through,” Duncan added, “where would you live and what would you do for work?”
“I’ll live with Ethan and Chris. We can set up an office in the house where I can do the accounting, ordering, inventory, stuff like that.”
“I’m sorry, Ryan. You’re the best agent I have and I can’t, in good conscious, let you go. God knows what that will do to the timeline,” Duncan told him.
“Well, I guess we’ll just have to find out, won’t we?” Ryan challenged before striding out of the control room to an unknown destination.
“He means it, Duncan. There’s no doubt he’ll do what he says,” Colin spoke up after a brief moment of silence.
“I agree,” Liam said. Adrienne was shocked into silence. She was very close to Ethan and the thought of never seeing him again was like a knife through her heart.
“Well,” Duncan began, “being his cousin, you know him better than any of us. Liam, lock out his access codes, and his emergency codes. Adrienne, can you do a complete inventory of the temporal capacitors? He might try to make good on this threat.”
“Right away,” she responded, rushing out of the control room. 5 minutes later she called Duncan. “Duncan, there’s one missing. We totally forgot about changing the code on the vault. I also checked the beacons. They’re all accounted for. Ryan did what he said he would. He stole a temporal capacitor and went back to Ethan’s time without a beacon. There’s no way to get him back.” The last sentence was delivered in a broken voice.
Ryan materialized in the living room, rushed up the stairs and into Ethan’s bedroom. He watched him sleep for a few minutes. He looks so peaceful when he’s asleep. I love him so much. He stripped down to his boxer briefs and carefully crawled into bed. “I’m here baby. I love you so much. Nothing is ever going to separate us,” he whispered into Ethan’s ear. Sleep quickly overcame him.
Just as the sun was peeking through the windows, Ethan awoke then bolted upright as soon as he felt someone in the bed with him. Please let it be who I think it is. Cautiously he turned his head and his heart lept with joy when he saw Ryan sleeping next to him on his back. Tears flowing gently down his face, he lay back down, resting his head on Ryan’s chest and his arm across the hills and valleys that made up Ryan’s abdomen.
Ryan stirred slightly, smiled and sleepily put his arm around Ethan. “Good morning, baby,” placing a gentle kiss on the top of Ethan’s head.
“I thought I was dreaming. You’re really here.”
“I promised I would come back.”
“I know, but I wasn’t sure if you’d be able to return.”
Ryan smiled at this, “I did exactly what I said I would do. I stole a temporal capacitator and used it to come back to this time and, I might add, without a beacon, so they can’t yank me back. I used the travellator around the corner to my apartment to go to a different travellator and used that one to come back here. I set the first travellator to erase its transport logs using my security access codes. They’ll be hard pressed to find me here.
“Only you could pull it off. So, are you here for good?”
“Ethan. Baby. There’s no place or time I’d rather be than here in your arms, if you’ll have me.”
“Like there’s any doubt. But what about the timeline?”
“Fuck the timeline. All I care about is being here with you.”
“What about your clothes and stuff?” Ethan asked.
“I brought a bag with me. It’s downstairs. Once I have a job and get some money saved up, I’ll get more. By the way, you’ll have to teach me your currency system.”
“Don’t worry about that right away. We’re the same size so you can wear my clothes.”
“Ah, Ethan, I’ve seen you naked. You’re definitely bigger than me,” he joked.
Ethan slapped him on the arm. “Bitch; that’s not what I meant and you know it.”
They wrestled a little before Ryan managed to get on top of Ethan. Bending his head, he brought Ethan into a passionate kiss and rubbed their crotches together. “We seem to have a mutual problem that needs to be taken care of,” Ethan said, which garnered an enthusiastic affirmative from Ethan.
“ALERT! ALERT! TEMPORAL PARADOX IMMINENT. TEMPORAL PARADOX IMMINENT. ALERT! ALERT! ALL PERSONNEL TO EMERGENCY STATIONS!” the klaxon blared, making everyone drop what they were doing and rush around getting to their emergency stations.
“Shit! I knew this was going to happen. Find Edwards and get him back here now!” Duncan ordered. Fingers flew over keyboards.
“We can’t find him. He doesn’t have a beacon and there’s no way he could use our travellators. We locked out all of his access codes including the emergency ones like you told us to. He must have used one of the other travellators.”
“Thank you, Captain Obvious,” Duncan snarled not realizing he was using one of Ethan’s favorite expressions. “There’s got to be a way to find him before all hell breaks loose!”