“Do we dare?”

The Princess Anrianna looked at Rex with shock at his suggestion.

Rex had an impertinent smile on his lips and his eyes sparkled.

“Of course we dare! I know how it ends.”

The pair had escaped the Sultan’s planet in the fastest ship they could steal from his extensive collection. They rocket back to base with all the power they could draw from the engines. Rex had been uneasy. They were fast approaching the time of his most recent memory and they didn’t know what might happen to Rex when his time came full circle.

On approaching the base, Rex had sent his security code ahead to initiate landing protocols and was baffled when they were rejected. He wondered for a second if this was what it felt like to not exist.

Before he could worry further, his comm-board lit up and he heard his own voice through the ship.

“Unidentified ship, this is a private communications channel. Please identify yourself.”

Rex was gob-smacked, and a glance at the Princess told him she was gob-smacked too.

“I thought you were dead,” she said, shock overcoming tact.

“I mustn’t be,” he replied, shock overcoming eloquence.

They conferred, ignoring the insistent summons of the comm. It was decided that The Professor must have discovered the secret behind the anomaly and reversed the paradox. It helped that as the comm chimed and bleeped and past Rex left increasingly desperate pleas for a response, Rex remembered being on the other end.

“I thought it might be you,” he said to Anrianna, “When I returned from… wherever I was… The Professor and I couldn’t piece together where you were. Our hail to me today became the seed of my worry for you.”

“But it turns out I’m safe with you after all.”

The memories of the next three months started to make sense and he realised they had some time to kill between now and the next anomaly. He remembered he had missed the Princess terribly, but also remembered how much more he’d loved her when he’d found her safe in the past.

He loved her.

“Let’s blow this joint and see the universe. Just you and me. Neither of us are due back for three months.”

Anrianna looked at Rex. Her look said she thought he was mad.

It also said she loved him back.