Victoria and Jonah had a lifetime to catch up on. They spent almost all their time together. It helped that Vickie’s income came from selling her diving discoveries and had no particular schedule.
Indeed, diving was one thing they could do together. They shared a passion for the sea, and that did a lot to bridge the chasm of their life experience. Vickie was conscious that this was much more time than Jonah had ever spent out of the water. She tried not to keep him away so long that it became painful for him.
After plenty of landwalker woohoo, Jonah was eager to show Vickie the pleasures of aquatic life.
Vickie found the idea exciting.
Woohoo and the sea, two of her favorite things together? What could be better?
Jonah was certainly thrilled.
It was certainly fun, but Vickie had to admit that her dive equipment made everything a bit awkward.
In the end, they found a compromise.
It worked pretty well for them.
He and Joy had found a perfect cottage. They were just starting to unpack, but he hoped to invite the family for a housewarming gathering as soon as possible.
Edmund had just had a birthday, so this would be a chance to celebrate two parts of his new life at the same time.
At around the same time, Gamora got a very different call from her father.
It was about her stepmother.
Gamora hung and immediately went go find her father. He wasn’t exactly a people person, and he wouldn’t expect to talk to anyone about Emily’s loss. Gamora knew Sawyer well enough to know he’d be wrong.
When his shift ended at the hospital, Gamora was waiting for him. “Hey Dad,” she said. “I thought tonight would be a good time to take you to dinner.”
Sawyer scowled at her. “You don’t eat,” he said. “We’ve been over that before.”
“I’ll watch you eat,” Gamora said. “That’s entertaining enough.”
The fact that he didn’t argue further was a sign of how bleak he was feeling.
Sawyer focused on his food and said very little. Gamora told him about her progress at the astronomy center. Their current focus was clearing space debris which, combined with environmentalist initiatives she was also funding, promised to keep the planet healthy for hundreds of years to come.
“You’re making good use of all that money you cheated from the future,” Sawyer said. “I hope there isn’t some causality loop that unravels all your planning.”
“I specialize in time causality, Dad,” Gamora said. “Give me a little credit here.”
Sawyer finished his meal, sat back, and looked at her. He was lost in thought, and a half smile tugged at his mouth.
Gamora smiled back and waited for him to say something.
“We did everything!” he cried. “Cardiac enhancement drugs. Reinforcement surgery. Experimental treatments. She had the best that medical science could offer, and her heart still failed. I couldn’t do anything because I’m a neuroscientist, not a cardiologist. The cardiologist was an idiot!”
“Dad, I think–” Gamora began.
“I could have saved her life,” Sawyer said. “I’m a world-famous neurosurgeon. I’ve saved hundreds of lives, but I didn’t get to save my own wife!”
“Dad, you did all you could,” Gamora said. “You haven’t saved everyone who came to you either. It doesn’t have to be anyone’s fault.”
“She died in the operating room,” Sawyer said. “I couldn’t do anything. I hate being helpless. I shouldn’t ever be helpless.”
“Emily was my lead nurse and research associate,” he said. “She worked with me on all my recent research. How can I got back without her?”
Gamora didn’t say anything. She just hugged him. He broke down and cried on her shoulder, and she held him tight. Then she took him home and stayed there so he wouldn’t be alone.
After some long talks with his daughter, Sawyer decided to retire. He purchased a new, nicer house. The two of them set to upgrading the interior with bits of technology Gamora had gleaned from the future. Sawyer didn’t seem nearly as bothered by tangling the timeline when the result cooked and cleaned for him.
Gamora wondered where all this compassion came from. Since when was she the kind of person to hold someone, even her dad, while he cried?
Maybe she was now.