Once, when she had truly been a child, she wanted to be a queen. Not a princess, no, for princesses were often portrayed damsels in distress with crowns but no wits. They were passive and pretty and pleasant, and those were not things she had ever wanted to be.
But a queen? Queens, whether good or evil, they acted. They were rulers of nations. They made decisions and sometimes they failed but sometimes they succeeded, and regardless of the results queens could change the world.
Once, she had wanted to be a queen.
Now she is an empress over all of time.
She does not want that anymore.
There are people, a rare few, that she sees as more than simply fleeting sparks. Those who are cursed to live forever, those who she always returns to, but there is only one who is a constant companion.
And he’s an asshole.
Officer Sheridan begins reading her rights which is all he ever says to her, “You’re under arrest for the crimes of illegal time travel and…”
His equipment is newer–machines backed by actual computers calibrated to make every jump perfect–made centuries after she was born.
All she has is her pocket watch, scuffed and slightly dented, made with clockwork gears decades before she was born.
She will win anyway because, somehow, she always wins.
Once, just once, she intersected with her own timeline.
It was not entirely an accident.
She remembers this fight, vaguely, her team against a coven of witches and their reluctant demon counterparts. Thunderbolt had experience with both and was best suited to take point and, maybe, if that had been all it was they would have succeeded.
Except Bastian crashed the party and, for reasons unknown to her then, Bastian had the worst kind of grudge against her.
She knows now, why that is–the conflict of past and present and future with him twisting and clashing within her chest–she had once promised to stay with him always before she had ever met him. In a way, it was the truth.
In a way, it was a lie.
But now, from this side of the event, she realizes what must have happened. What she must do.
She had been aiming for this time only because it has been her goal for so long even if, now, she would no longer fit. And perhaps she is a few months off, but that is closer than she has gotten in a while.
And now she must abandon it.
“Bastian!” She shouts, and for one startling moment attention is on her. She sees herself turning her head to look but she doesn’t remember seeing herself and knows that she will be gone before she can.
This Bastian is mad, an abandoned wild dog, but there is still something in him that responds to her because when he lunges at her he does not go for her throat.
She takes his hand and takes him back. Back to when neither of them could hurt anyone but each other.
She will not see this century for seven years.
She’s never been far enough into the future to know what being arrested by Officer Sheridan entails. Truthfully, she never even knew there were other time travelers–actual travelers, not just people left to weather through the years–until said officer tried to arrest her.
She may have been the weakest of her team, but that did not mean she could not fight.
Of course, that only added to her list charges, but what does she care?
If she cannot be tethered to the present by her own will, how could any prison do the same?
A/N: some time traveling ficlets of the Leanne Peridot ‘verse.