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Wade walked along the sidewalk, taking a deep breath of the clean air. It felt so good to be back in San Francisco, as opposed to smog riddled Los Angeles. In her opinion, they didn't land often enough in San Francisco, ever since Logan St. Claire had messed with their timer. Wade hadn't ever spent much time in LA before she started sliding. It was ironic. They could've been home a million times already, as far as she knew. She didn't know anything about LA, so checking for familiar landmarks or anything like that was out of the question. She wondered if they'd ever really get home. Even though Quinn had the timer with their home coordinates on it, she wondered if something else would spring up and prevent them from returning home. They'd been so close so many times, only to have something go wrong.

She crossed the street at the next intersection and looked around the shady, tree lined streets. She'd always loved Quinn's neighborhood. It was so peaceful. She was glad to see it was that way on this world as well. She wasn't walking anywhere in particular; she just had to get out of the house.

Once they'd hailed a cab, they'd decided to take Maggie to the hospital. Maggie had resisted, of course, but hadn't put up too much of a fight. The doctor told them it was just a bad sprain and gave Maggie some pain pills and muscle relaxants. He told her to rest it as much as possible for the next couple of days, so Wade knew that they weren't going to be leaving this world immediately. They thanked the doctor, and Quinn used the last of their money to pay for the ER visit(after his experience on Sorcerer World, he never let them skip out on another doctor bill), and they returned to the Mallory home. Due to the medication the doctor had given her, Maggie had fallen asleep on the couch right away. Remmie went out to get some food. That left just Wade and Quinn in the house. Wade didn't really want to be in the house, alone(for the most part)with Quinn, so she'd made up some excuse about needing some fresh air to clear her head. Quinn had offered to come with her, but she slipped out while he was working on the timers.

Wade wasn't sure why she'd felt so uncomfortable being around Quinn. It was just she was afraid she'd blurt out the question that had been foremost on her mind, ever since they'd gotten Rickman's timer. She wanted to know if Quinn was going to come home with Remmie and her, or stay with Maggie. Quinn had told them about Maggie's inability to breathe on their world, so she knew Maggie would be unable to slide with them.

That question would have been unthinkable a few months ago. But, over time, as she'd watched Quinn's attraction to Maggie grow, as she'd watched him do stupid things that risked the group in order to save Maggie, she wondered if it was so unthinkable now. She'd never so much as seen Maggie and Quinn kiss, but she knew that there was an attraction between them that was mutual.

"Who wouldn't be attracted to her?" Wade said to herself. Maggie Beckett was, simply put, one of the most breathtaking women Wade had ever laid eyes on. She was the kind of woman most guys fantasized about. That was, until she opened her mouth. Wade had never been the type of person to dislike someone instantly, but Maggie just rubbed her the wrong way. Every time Maggie spoke in her "take charge" kind of way, Wade wanted to scream. She thought it would get better with time. It hadn't.

Wade wondered if her dislike was centered around jealousy. She had to admit, some of it probably was. She didn't like the way Quinn looked at Maggie. She remembered a time when he used to look at her that way. She wanted him to again but....

"But you blew it," she muttered under her breath. But she knew that wasn't really true. She and Quinn had never had a chance to really explore how they felt about one another. Who could, what with sliding and all? Quinn had wanted to give the two of them a chance, but she'd pushed him away. It wasn't really her intention to push--she just wanted to wait. She remembered it like it was yesterday....

It started on the world that was about to be destroyed by an asteroid. On that world, she and Quinn had really started to talk, and open up to one another. They'd even kissed, and who knows what else might have happened if Arturo hadn't come barging in on them.

Once they'd escaped that world, she thought about what had happened. She knew she loved Quinn--she'd loved him from the day she met him. But she wasn't so sure about his feelings. She didn't know if they were based on how he really felt, or if they were based on fear. After all--the entire planet was about to be destroyed by an asteroid.

They'd been alone at the Dominion Hotel. Arturo was out attempting to research what sort of world they had landed on(as he often had done)and Rembrandt was doing his part by offering to research whether or not he and his music were popular on this world(as he often did). Wade and Quinn had stayed back at the room. They were lying on the bed, watching some inane game show on TV. Quinn had started to rub her shoulders, and before she knew it they were kissing. Wade remembered wondering if this was the real thing, or if Quinn's feelings were being caused by some sort of misplaced guilt for what had happened between them on the last world, and his guilt about not being able to get them home.

As they had continued to kiss, Wade felt Quinn slide his hand up under her shirt. She tensed up. She couldn't let it go any farther if she was having doubts about the way Quinn was feeling.

"I...I can't do this," she said, jumping up off the bed quickly.

"Do what?" Quinn asked, his eyes puzzled. "We're finally alone. I thought this was what you wanted..."

"What I want?" Wade asked. "What about what you want?"

"Well, sure, " Quinn said, grinning. "I don't really have a problem with it."

"How do you feel about what's happened here?" Wade asked him, standing at the foot of the bed with her arms crossed. "I mean, how do you feel about what's happened with us? You know, the sliding."

"Huh? I guess, I, ummm..." Quinn looked at her quizzically, confused by this sudden change of subject.

"Do you feel guilty about it?" Wade asked, knowing full well that he did. "Do you feel like you owe something to each of us to make up for it?"

"Well, yeah. Sometimes, " Quinn admitted. "But I don't see what that has to do with us, and with this.." indicating the bed as he spoke.

Wade felt her heart drop. She'd suspected all along that perhaps this had been Quinn's way of making up for all the problems sliding had caused her. He knew she had feelings for him before they'd even started on this crazy adventure--she'd spent so much time and effort trying to get him to notice her that he'd have to be blind not to know she had a crush on him. But she didn't want him. Not like this, anyway. She wanted his feelings for her to be real, not some lame attempt to make peace with a situation that wasn't even his fault. Her mind reeled, desperately trying to come up with a plausible reason for her sudden change of heart. She grasped at the first semi- coherent reason that popped into her head.

"I think we should wait," Wade said, choosing her words carefully. "I think we shouldn't get involved in this type of situation while we're sliding. We really need to concentrate on getting home," she said, hoping that didn't sound as much like a total rejection as she thought it did.

Quinn's jaw had tightened as the look of confusion on his face changed first to disappointment, then anger.. "Yeah. Maybe you're right. I mean, we wouldn't want anything to distract me from trying to get us home."

Quinn stood up suddenly and headed for the door. "As a matter of fact, I'm going to go find the Professor and get to work on it right away."

"Quinn, wait, " Wade said, trying to grab his arm as he passed. "I didn't mean it like that! All I meant was...."

But it was too late. Quinn had brushed her aside brusquely, and headed out the door.

Wade came back to the present abruptly. She'd managed to work her way back around the streets and was approaching Quinn's block. She smiled ruefully. No wonder Quinn had moved on to greener pastures. She was sure Maggie wasn't as unreceptive to Quinn's advances as she had been.

Wade sighed. It had always been her hope that once they got back home, she and Quinn could work things out, and try to build a relationship based on their true feelings, which was all she'd ever wanted from him in the first place. If he didn't want a relationship because he didn't love her, that was one thing. She could handle that. If he didn't want a relationship with her because he wanted one with Maggie....well, that was the one thing she was sure she couldn't handle. Losing Quinn because he didn't love her was one thing. Losing him because she'd pushed him into the arms of another woman was quite another...

Go to part 3