“After Bridget Bishop was hanged in June of 1692, eighteen others were convicted and killed,” Lucy explains as they walk through the town square. “Over 150 people were tried by the time they finished in 1693. And all because Elizabeth Parris and Abigail Williams pretended to have some fits. Y’know, ‘I saw Goody Proctor with the devil’, and all that.”
Lucy is stopped forcefully by a woman walking by and pulling on her arm. Lucy gasps at the sudden motion, then rips her arm from the strong grip of the woman.
“You cannot say such things against the two young girls who first identified witches in this town!” The woman whispers harshly. “Why – only a witch herself would say such a thing!”
The woman gasps, as if in realization, sees the two men standing beside her, and then starts to shout.
“Witch! Witch!” The lady points at Lucy, and other people turn, stare and whisper amongst themselves.
“No, no,” Lucy assures. “I’m not a witch –“
The panic only grows, and before any of them can even realize what is going on, Lucy is being dragged away from them and to the court.
“Lucy!” Wyatt shouts after her. “Lucy!”
He goes to run after her, but Rufus grabs his arm. “No, Wyatt,” Rufus says firmly. “We need to be strategic about this.”
“It’s Lucy! We can’t – we can’t lose Lucy!” Wyatt shouts, gripping his hair. “Rufus I – I can’t lose Lucy.”
Rufus pauses, then grips Wyatt’s shoulder comfortingly. “We’ll get her back. I promise.
“Don’t make – “ Wyatt breathes in slowly, then out, letting his shoulders relax and determination cross his face. “Okay. Let’s get her back.”
By the time they actually devise a plan and get into the court room, Lucy isn’t there anymore.
Wyatt gets the attention of a passerby, and says, less calmly than he’d been hoping for, “Hey! What happened to the woman who was just tried?”
The woman trembles under his intense stare, and bows her head. “I am not sure, sir. I am just going in to the square, sir, to watch the execution, sir, it is mandatory, sir.”
Wyatt turns his gaze to Rufus, and the woman scurries away.
The breath is blown from his lungs as he says, “Rufus?”
Rufus, thank god, is staying much calmer than Wyatt is, and leads the way back to the square.
When they arrive, Rufus is out of breath at the pace Wyatt had set, but Wyatt can think of nothing but Lucy atop the platform, the noose being set around her neck, pleading, pleading, saying, “No, no, you don’t have to do this, please –“
He can hardly think straight, but he knows enough that he has to get to the front of crowd.
He pushes through, why are there so many people, and he can’t push through them fast enough and they’re about to pull the box –
Fuck. He knows what he’s going to do, and he doesn’t even care that its about the worst way he can go about fixing this situation, but it’s Lucy.
He pulls the gun from his jacket – his 2017 semi-automatic that really, really shouldn’t be here – and shouts, “Everybody down,” and shoots off several bullets into the sky.
Screams echo through the square, and people start to run – away from him, though, so he has a clear path to Lucy. But in the commotion the box has been pulled from beneath her feet; he tries to be calm, reminds himself that it’s alright, they only used short drops in this time, she’s only dying from strangulation which usually takes at least ten minutes in these situations – but really he gets stuck on the word strangulation and so is pretty fucking panicked.
He finally arrives, and leaps up the metre onto the platform they’ve had her on, but he hadn’t really thought that far ahead because he only has a pocketknife -
Her lips are blue and her eyes are bugged, and he’s never seen such sheer panic on her face before. He grabs her legs and lifts her up higher, and she takes a large gulp of air.
“Wy –“ Her voice is hoarse and scratchy and she can’t even finish saying his name.
“Don’t talk,” he instructs. Now she’s safe he can think a little clearer. Rufus appears shortly thereafter, and Wyatt tells him to get the pocketknife from his pocket.
Rufus cuts Lucy free, but sometime in between when he’d lifted her up and when Rufus had cut her free, she’d closed her eyes and fallen unconscious.
He lowers himself down, and gathers Lucy in his arms. He smooth’s her hair back and he knows he’s crying but he can’t really focus on bringing himself to stop, not when he’s so focused on her.
He dress is big and poofy and most definitely in way, and he’s suddenly reminded that she’s wearing a corset, and so quickly instructs Rufus to give him back the knife.
He cuts it off her, and Rufus helps him remove it from her body, the chemise still covering her.
He needs to feel for her pulse, but knows the veins in her neck are probably compromised. He presses chaste kisses to her cheeks, her eyes, her forehead, her nose, and then to her lips. He can feel her breath on his face, shallow and slow, but there.
Wyatt wipes his eyes, then reaches for her hand, feels for the pulse in her wrist; thready and slow, but also there. He’s so relieved he presses his lips to hers again.
He stands up, careful not to jostle her too much, then tells Rufus, “We need to get her back, now.”
Rufus hesitates. “But Emma –“
When the Lifeboat lands, Lucy jolts awake, presumably from the nausea, because she leans forward to dry reach, but is snapped back but the straps.
Her hand comes up to rest at the base of her collarbone and she starts to cry noiselessly, her neck hurting from the injury, but also from the gagging and the jolt of the seatbelt.
Wyatt is quick to undo his straps, then he reaches for her. He doesn’t want to touch her head, incase the movement of it hurts her further (and honestly he’s a little worried about her spine), so he holds her hands and sooths her.
“Lucy, Lucy, it’s me, it’s Wyatt, you’re alright. You’re okay.”
She gags once more, inducing more tears, and his heart breaks. She opens her mouth to speak, but no words come out.
“No, no, don’t try to talk, alright?” He says, as calmly and quietly as possible. She’s probably in shock now, too, if the way her eyes can’t focus and her constricted pupils are anything to go by.
Wyatt turns his head to glare at Rufus, who is sitting numbly in the pilot seat but hasn’t moved. Wyatt is a little surprised that the roles have switched so dramatically from when Lucy was first taken.
“Open the fucking door, Rufus!” Wyatt’s voice is harsh, for which he’ll apologize later, but quiet, so it doesn’t shock Lucy.
The door creaks open, and Wyatt wants to be the one to undo her seatbelt, to help her out of the Lifeboat, but he doesn’t actually know the extent of her injuries, so he keeps her still and tells Rufus to get a doctor and a stretcher.
“Hey, hey, it’s alright, Luce,” he says to her when she starts to breathe heavier. “We’re gonna get you out of here, alright. You just need to sit tight a little longer.”
She’s still crying heavily, and Wyatt feels tears in his own eyes at her pain and distress.
He continues to sooth her, careful to make sure she doesn’t move too much. It doesn’t take long for a doctor to climb in and take over, and Wyatt’s glad Rufus already told him the story because now he doesn’t have to protect her, his own throat is closing up from the panic of almost losing her.
Wyatt pushes past everyone and goes into a room by himself. His head in his hand, he lets himself feel every moment of panic, every second of fear, every inch of love that drives such intense emotion in him.
He knows enough about himself to know that this such intense fear stems from losing Jessica, but he also knows it wouldn’t be there if he didn’t love Lucy in the same way.
He wipes his eyes and collects himself. It hasn’t been long, so he figures she’s probably still being checked out by the doctor, so he goes down to Costume and changes back into his normal clothes. Rufus is already there, and he looks completely shot.
Wyatt clears his throat awkwardly, and Rufus looks up.
“Uh, sorry about –“ Wyatt gestures around vaguely. “Before.”
Rufus shrugs. “Don’t worry about it. I get it. You need to protect her, ‘cuz you love her.”
Wyatt startles, and begins to deny. “No, that’s not –“ He realizes halfway through that he’s not really sure why he’s lying. “Yeah. Yeah, I do.”
Rufus turns to him, curiosity on his face and in his eyes. “Does she know?”
Wyatt laughs once, dryly. “Sounds like a few people know.”
Rufus rolls his eyes. “Not what I asked. She deserves to her it from you.”
Rufus stands then, and claps Wyatt on the back as he walks by. “Maybe give her a bit of good news, today, huh?”
Rufus laughs at his own joke, which Wyatt doesn’t really think is funny, but Rufus just keeps walking so Wyatt doesn’t reply.
When he gets to the medical room, Lucy is hooked up to an IV and a cardiac monitor and has a neck brace on. Her eyes are open but hooded, but they open a bit wider when she spots him.
She can’t even try to open her mouth with the brace on, so she just smiles at him.
He smiles back, his emotions in check – he’s glad he had a bit of a cry before – and comes to sit by her in the chair.
“Hey,” he greets. “You gave me a bit of a scare.”
Her eyes crinkle and her lips turn down, which he takes to mean as I’m sorry. He laces his fingers through hers, and smooths his thumb over her skin.
“I’m glad you’re okay,” he whispers.
She closes her eyes peacefully, and he stays until her heart rate slows and she’s asleep, and then stays even after that.
Maybe he hasn’t told her he loves her, and maybe she doesn’t know, but he knows now, and at the moment that’s enough.