6 months later
It was one of those crisp and sunny winter days. John readjusted his collar and buried his hands in his pockets as he headed toward Washington Square. The park was mostly empty, which made it easy for John to spot them. They were sitting on a bench, sharing an ice-cream and looking perfectly content. John couldn't help but smile at this. They had to be the only couple in the whole city to be enjoying an ice-cream in the middle of winter.
They had arrived the day before – John had kept track of their itinerary and knew they had safely landed right on time – and they had arranged to meet here, the little park by Grace's old building.
Harold was the first one to see him. He looked up and his face lit up at the sight of his old friend. He signaled Grace and she followed his gaze. John smiled back at them and quickly closed the distance.
"Welcome home," he said. "It's good to see you again."
"It's good to see you as well, John," Harold said as he and Grace got up.
"I'd say it's nice to finally meet you," Grace said, "but I believe we've already met, a couple times actually."
A grin brushed John's lips. He didn't get a chance to reply before she was pulling him into a hug.
"Thank you, John, for everything you've done. Harold told me everything. Thank you for looking after him all this time."
John smiled softly. "You're welcome. So, I've heard you got a job at the Guggenheim museum?"
Grace looked surprised and turned to Harold who shot John a long look. John shrugged. "I like to keep track on the people I care about. It's what I do, remember?"
Harold smiled. Out of reflex, he looked up at the closest camera, as if looking up at the Machine. John followed his gaze before meeting his eyes. He didn't dare ask the question that was burning his lips.
"I don't know, John," Harold answering the question John hadn't asked. "I think I've done my share of saving the world." He gently squeezed Grace's hand and looked into her eyes. "Plus it's not my sole decision anymore."
"He was missing you too much, though," Grace said. "I know that, being so close, the temptation will be big, and I know Harold will not hesitate a second to put himself in danger again if any were to happen to any of you. But I couldn't keep him too far either."
John grinned. "Now I see why you love her so much, Harold. But don't worry, Grace. If anything, you might make it easier for us to convince Harold to stay safe."
It didn't matter, really, if Harold wanted to claim his place back on the team. He would always have one, should he decide to, but just having him here, in their city, was enough. After all, they had managed to keep in touch when Samaritan was watching. There was no reason they couldn't do so now.
Rubbing his hands, John nodded for them to follow him. "Come on, let me at least show you our new headquarters."
"Oh where is it?"
"But a library of course, Harold. The city closed half of its libraries, budget cuts. Remember?"
Harold met John's eyes and smiled.