"There's just nobody!" Caitlin Snow slammed her hands down on the console in anger and frustration. They were only days from losing their mentor, Professor Martin Stein, to the Firestorm matrix after his nuclear bonding partner, Caitlin's husband Ronnie, had died saving the city with Martin and Barry, aka The Flash.
The only two matches Caitlin had been able to find had been another doctor who had let the power of the matrix lead him to go on a killing spree after the professor had tried to bond with him, and the other had actually died from the explosion of alpha particles when their particle collider had exploded, given Ronnie and Martin their own powers almost two years ago. Caitlin bowed her head in anguish. She couldn't lose the professor. He was all she had left of Ronnie.
"Nobody... on this Earth," Dr. Wells said quietly. Caitlin looked up at him. "What do you mean?"
"Well, we now know there are multiple Earths, because of the breaches the professor and Cisco found all over the city after..." he paused. Caitlin was special to him. She reminded him of his Tess. He didn't want to cause her more pain.
"Go on," Caitlin acknowledged his thoughtfulness. She always tried to not stare into this man's eyes. They were mesmerizing.
"There are 52 breaches. I think that's because there are 52 universes in our "multiverse cluster." He looked over to Cisco.
"The math checks out - the multiverse could work like galactic clusters do, where universes are packed together, not much different from one another," Cisco added.
"Do you think we could access one of them? One where there's a match for Professor Stein?" Catlin followed his train of thought to the only logical conclusion.
Cisco nodded, and pulled out a devise from a drawer. "After Firestorm and Barry sealed the singularity, and the professor helped me with the software to identify the new breaches, I've been working on a way to go through them. Maybe even make own of our own, but stable."
"We need to tell Professor Stein, but how would we know which Earth to pick?" Caitlin asked.
Just then, the professor walked in with his nuclear-powered cane. Cisco had cannibalized it from Dr. Well's materials with his permission. Dr. Harrison Wells had so many ideas, it was sometimes humbling to work with him. With Dr. Stien's help, Dr. Wells had come up with a clean energy reactor that fit into a cane with some scraps on his desk, was the nuclear fusion that Dr. Stein was making in his own body, but it wouldn't last for long. A week at most.
"We have to try."
It had taken Dr. Wells and Cisco another 48 hours to complete the device. It was untested, but the professor had to admit, he was hardly the one to talk about using untried technology. He had been headed to Dr. Well's lab the night of the explosion to request using the particle accelerator on his Firestorm thermacore. Had he done the same on another Earth?
But these last two years, even with being tortured by the military for information about Firestorm, had been some of the best years of his life. His wife had passed away four years ago, and he had become driven to the point of obsession with his research. He had had nothing left except Firestorm.
Cisco opened the first stable wormhole on their world with the breach manipulator. They had made the first one under duress from a meta-human who wanted the Flash to create a wormhole so he could go back in time to stop the particle accelerator accident in the first place. This time, Cisco knew they were doing it right.
Dr. Wells looked envious in his wheelchair as Caitlin held on to the professor. She and Cisco looked back at him, feeling his pain. Barry stood beside him, with a worried look on his face.
"Go. I will be fine. Hopefully you can find a match there for Dr. Stein." Barry gripped his shoulder.
As Caitlin helped Martin through the breach, he realized he did have a family again. This group of amazing young people actually cared about him. And Harrison Wells had become a true friend.
They came through on an empty street, at a driveway to a comfortable looking suburban home. "This is my house," Martin said in wonder. Caitlin and Cisco looked at each other. "The breach manipulator might have connected us, that there's a connection to this world and the Professor," Cisco made up. In truth, he had absolutely no idea what was going to happen next.
They rang the doorbell, and a young woman answered holding an infant. She had the professor's eyes.
"DAD?!" she screamed and nearly dropped the baby as she launched herself into his arms.
Another woman cried, "Martin?!" from inside, staring at him. Caitlin and Cisco tried to steady the professor as the young woman clung to him. "Come inside, quickly, before anyone sees," she recovered quickly, looking at his cane.
Martin's mouth hung open as he stumbled into the house, touching the mezuzah on the doorframe with a kiss from his hand on his way in. He was speechless. The house was different on the inside, homier, somehow. But Clarissa was perfect. Glowing almost. She had been so tired, in the end, as the cancer took her life. But here she was standing him front of him, alive and well.
"I need to sit down," he announced to the air, as the young woman with the baby let go of him. "Of course, Dad. Let me put Ronnie down and I'll make some tea," she almost sprinted from the room.
Clarissa took his hand gently and ghuided him to the couch, motioning for his companions to sit. She sat right next to him, as if she didn't want him to leave her side. She touched his cheek. "I only know a little bit about your work, but I remember that cane, when Ronnie died. Are you from the past?"
"You died several years ago... on my world," Martin started, holding her hand to his face, and the stopped, with a puzzled look. He had no idea how to explain. He turned to Catlin.
"Do you know who I am?" Caitlin asked Clarissa.
"Yes, of course. You're poor Ronnie's wife. Martin officiated your wedding. But that was years ago." She looked at Martin. "And you look younger... before you..." she choked up, tears in her eyes.
"Am I dead here, Clarissa?" Martin asked softly, seeing the haunted look in her eyes. She nodded, and the tears fell down her cheeks. "This is all so... fantastical, but I don't care. It's a blessing to be able to see you again," she said as he wiped the tear from her cheek tenderly. They were both so broken.
"So this is a different Earth, but we've time-traveled, too," Cisco said, holding his hand to his head, concentrating. "I'm wondering if the breach sent us to a time that wouldn't cause too much interference, one where this world's Martin had already died."
The young woman walked back in with a tea tray and sandwiches. "Oh, thank you, my dear," Martin said gratefully as he took a cup from her. He took a sip. "Earl Grey, my favorite," he smiled at her. He had told his Clarissa before they married that he did not want children, because of how bad a father he himself had had. She had understood. But looking at this self-possessed young woman look at him with such love, he wondered if he had made a mistake.
"Of course I know it's your favorite, Dad, she said, and then looked at him and her mother. "But...it isn't really Dad, is it?"
"I'm sorry to have to delay explanations, but as you can see, Professor Stein isn't well. We weren't able to find a match for him in our world. Were you here?" Caitlin cut in. She knew she was being a tad rude, but they were working on a short deadline, and she was feeling... possessive maybe, or even jealous, of the looks Martin and Clarissa were giving each other. She had had that with Ronnie for such a short time...
"Jefferson isn't in your world?" Clarissa asked, surprised.
"Jefferson Jackson? He was the match who died during the particle accelerator accident. S.T.A.R. Labs had to pay his family a huge settlement," Caitlin explained. The young woman took a device out of her pocket.
"Let me call him, he's on the Waverider, it might take him a few days to get here," she said as she went to the other room.
Martin followed her with his eyes. Clarissa could almost read his mind. "You don't know her, do you?" she asked. Martin turned to her, and shook his head.
"No. We never had any children... I was too afraid..." he trailed off, not really wanting to talk about something so private.
"It's complicated, but I know me and my Martin made the right decision," she said. "Lily was the light of his life, and he was able to be here for Ronnie's birth. I would have liked more time with him, though," she said sadly. Martin nodded. At least now he knew her name.
Lily came back. "He's going to take the Waverider's jump ship. He might arrive tomorrow, it's sometimes hard to tell what time of day they"ll come out of the space-time continuum." Martin nodded, closing his eyes. He was so very tired.
He heard Clarissa and Catlin talking, but was already half-asleep when Clarissa nudged him a bit. "You can lie down until Jefferson comes," she said gently. Martin blinked several times, trying to roust himself.
"Oh, no, of course I couldn't impose on you -" he started. This wasn't really his house, and not really his life, no matter how much he wanted it to be.
"Don't be silly. Cisco says he's brought everything you need to merge with Jefferson when he gets here. And he's right to be worried that you might not come back to this time if you go back to your Earth."
"And we honestly don't want you too," Lily interjected. Caitlin startled a little. Would the professor really stay on this world?
Martin, though, could only nod. He was getting weaker.
"There's time, as long as this Jefferson comes tomorrow." Cisco answered the unspoken question. Clarissa guided Martin to the bedroom she had recently shared with her Martin. It didn't matter. She loved whatever Martin she could have.
A/N: Just to be clear, I am Counting the Earth Jay Garrick came from as "Earth-1" and the Earth shown in the Legends of Tomorrow as "Earth-2".