YES IT IS by MikeJenny

VIEWS: 32 PAGES: 348

									   YES IT IS

By Jenny Wren, Lovely Rita,
     and Penny Lane
Author’s Note:

We started "Yes It Is" for fun - knowing that a "Mary Sue"
Beatles fanfic, let alone a time travel one, was kind of silly.
But we did everything in our power to make it as believable
as possible and to keep everyone in character. Since then,
I'm not sure you could call our main character a Mary Sue
anymore, and we've been very flattered and happy that
we've developed the following that we have.

This compilation book consists of our novel, “Yes, It Is”,
and the 8 short stories that occur after the events of “Yes, It
Is”. Please look for our sequels, “Tomorrow Never
Knows” and “Real Love.”




Rating: R for language, sex, & implied drug use.

Disclaimer: We don’t own any of the Beatles, or the
Beatles’ music. This obviously never happened, and is a
complete work of fiction.




(*) A Mary Sue is essentially a character or story that
primarily functions as a wish-fulfillment fantasy for their
authors or readers.



                              2
''I’d always had a fantasy about a woman who would be a
beautiful, intelligent, dark-haired...

My soul mate.

Someone that I had already known, but somehow had lost.''


                         - John Lennon




                            3
Prologue




September 29th, 2006



E    very bend and every turn offered a jolt of excitement to
     those who had the privilege to visit this city. It
thrilled, it created, it exuded history; some visitors would
simply not notice, while others stood and soaked it all in.
Tourists flooded the streets day in and day out in search of
the famous sights that everyone had to visit while on
holiday. While Maggie knew that the celebrated locations
on her holiday plan weren’t exactly normal compared to
others’, thousands of dedicated fans like herself still
flocked to England for the exact same thing every year. It
was the birthplace of the greatest rock band in history - and
London was the adopted home town of four boys who lived
and breathed on this very ground that she walked on –
where they created a sound that over forty years later still
rang strong.

At twenty-six, Maggie had just finished grad school and
had been given a postdoctoral position at NASA as an
astronomer. Needless to say, she had due cause to
celebrate before beginning a career that she had worked so
hard to attain for so many years, and that was destined
become the central point in her life. Of course, celebration
to her consisted of a small vacation to England to relax, to
submerge herself in the only other thing she loved as much
as science.
                             4
Music. Specifically, The Beatles’ music.

Though the Beatles had gotten their start in Liverpool, and
developed their skills in Hamburg, the studio was where
they had perfected their craft. She was fascinated with
how science, technology, and engineering had been used to
translate their ideas into the artistry she adored. Logically,
her pragmatic mind had determined that a tour of EMI
studios, just for the simple pleasure of walking the same
path the Beatles did all those years ago, would be the first
stop on her solitary vacation.

The tour guide told the same anecdotes that Maggie had
been reading in books since she was a teen, and showed off
framed photos on the walls, mostly ones Maggie had seen
before on the internet. But to see them here in this
environment made them somehow different. A sense of
their presence was sunk into every corner and briefly
Maggie wondered if she shut her eyes, if she’d be able to
hear the sound of their laughter.

Maggie smiled as she strained her ears, trying to hear the
sound of the voices that haunted these halls. The same
voices that she blared in her car radio. The same voices
that she had fallen asleep to night after night, as she sat on
her bed studying for her exams, before finally succumbing
to blissful, Beatle-filled dreams. She couldn’t count
anymore how many times she had dreamed of meeting
them, of watching them create music. This hall seemed to
know her secret dreams though. There was just something
about it that…

Maggie stopped, frowning slightly as she realized what she
was doing. Once more, she was letting the abstract side of
her mind run away with her. Being whimsical and

                              5
fantasizing about your favorite rock star was may have
been all fine and dandy when you were a kid and a
teenager, but she was an adult now, and about to start a life-
changing career in a field dominated by men. Logic and
fact and her ability to use both flawlessly in the sciences
had gotten her the job at NASA, not fantasy and whimsy.
She was letting her foolish and romantic heart run away
with her once more. Besides, who was she kidding? If she
was going to daydream about The Beatles, perhaps she
should imagine them more accurately. Instead of laughter
she would probably hear something more like the sound of
their yelling. How many fights had taken place inside these
walls?

Probably a lot towards the end.

But as Maggie looked at one of the pictures, which showed
the boys having a pillow fight, she felt her fading smile
come back slightly, because in the beginning, there had
been love. No one could deny that. All anyone had to do
was look at the shining pictures before them and they could
clearly see that there had been something special about
those four boys. Something that other musicians had yet to
recreate.

Just as the tour group turned the corner, Maggie felt her
sandal give a little, and nearly tripped. Looking down, she
noticed a strap had come loose and with a sigh she bent to
fix it, letting her fellow Beatle fans pass her by and
continue eagerly on with the tour. Soon the hall was
empty, the sound of a shutting door echoing in the distance.
Maggie stood, turned her head, and tried to see which way
her group had gone. With a slight groan, she realized that
she had lost them, and found herself wondering how that
was even possible, since she had only bent down for a few
seconds. Shaking her head and sighing at herself for

                              6
getting caught up in her childish daydreams again, she set
out, determined to keep herself focused on the task at hand,
and at the moment that task was to find her tour group.

When she turned toward the direction where the shutting
door had sounded, something caught her eye and caused
her steps to falter. Among the pictures, nestled almost in
the corner, was a lone picture of John Lennon, and not one
she had seen before. It was small in size compared to the
others. The ends were worn and faded, the photograph
yellowed with age, and yet it captivated her in a way that
none of the others had. It drew her in, almost as if it had
picked her out from a crowd. Maggie gravitated towards it,
tilting her head to the side and examining the picture,
taking in every detail, every line and every curve of a face
that she had looked upon countless times in her life.
Everyone had a favorite Beatle, and John was definitely
hers. Her life’s biggest regret was having never had the
opportunity to meet him. What she wouldn’t give to have
only spent a few moments with him.

As she stared at the picture she caught herself laughing
quietly as she recalled one of her favorite movies,
“Somewhere in Time.” In the movie, Christopher Reeves
was able to time-travel by focusing on a photograph of a
woman that had captured his heart, and simultaneously
willing himself into the past. The entire plot was
completely ridiculous and scientifically impossible, yet still
she loved it. Loved the idea of it all, of love knowing no
bounds, whether it be time or distance. Slowly she felt
reality fading as she let herself sink into the feeling of
being that deep in love. With wanting to be with someone
so much that it didn’t matter how much time lay between
them, that they could still come together in the end. It was
a waste of her time to dream of such things when she had
such a bright professional future lying ahead of her. But

                              7
then again, she was on vacation, right? And hey, if it
worked in the movies…

Maggie smiled and shook her head. It was hokey, it was
completely impossible, and if anyone at NASA ever found
out what she was about to try, even if it was just for fun,
she’d never live it down. But she couldn’t help the urge to
be whimsical right now, nor did she want to. Somewhere
in the back of her very logical mind, she knew this would
be the last time she would believe in fairy tales, and that
she would say goodbye for good to the child inside of her
after this holiday.

So, not quite believing she was doing it, Maggie stepped
forward a few inches, concentrated on John’s eyes, and
tried to keep her laughter inside.

But nothing happened. Nothing at all.

She was a fool for even thinking such a thing was possible,
for even daring to indulge in this adolescent game of time
travel and fantasy. This was the kind of game you expected
out of a child, not a grown woman. But even as she
thought this, even as she berated herself for wasting the
time she had on nonsense such as this, she found that she
couldn’t turn away.

Those same brown orbs that she had looked upon time and
time again held something different now. It was as though
they were almost real. A magnetic energy seemed to
radiate towards her at the sight of his eyes as they beckoned
her forth even further.

The edges of her vision began to blur as her sole
concentration narrowed in on those eyes and Maggie felt
herself begin to sway. Feeling the world swirl around her,

                             8
Maggie snapped her eyes shut, bringing one hand up to her
forehead and throwing her other arm out to try and keep her
balance, dropping her purse in the process. Finally feeling
the world begin to steady around her, Maggie took a deep
breath, swallowed slightly and felt the cold sweat that had
gathered at her temples begin to dissipate. Shaking her
head, she smiled to herself, and felt slightly embarrassed
about how entranced she had become with the silly notion
that just maybe she could travel back in time, when she, of
all people, knew how impossible it was. For a moment
there, she had actually believed it could have worked. She
was just lucky no one had walked by at the time to see her
gawking at the picture like some moonstruck fangirl.

Taking in a deep breath, Maggie opened her eyes, and had
to fight a wave of nausea as the room was still a bit blurry.
She needed to push on and go find her tour before some
lone security guard rounded the corner to find her separated
from her group, and thinking she was probably up to no
good, threw her out of the building. But as her vision
cleared, her eyes expecting to fall back on the picture of
John, she suddenly felt her breath catch in her throat and
her eyes widen.

She stumbled back a few steps as she took in the sight of a
very real, and a very bewildered John Lennon standing
before her.




                             9
Chapter One




September 29th 1964



S   tumbling back, Maggie felt herself begin to fall as her
    knees gave out from under her. Blindly she reached out
with her arms, searching for something to hold onto before
she went crashing to the floor. As she grappled for some
sort of purchase, strong fingers wrapped around her wrist
and forearm. They held her upright, steadying her on her
feet, and calming the moment of blind panic that had
coursed through her as her world had spun. Taking a
moment to calm herself, she stood and let her vision clear,
acutely aware of the grip on her arm. With a deep breath,
Maggie opened her eyes, only to have them come in
contact with the pointy-toed boots placed firmly on the
ground next to her sandals. The very sight of them made
her stomach clench involuntarily. Slowly she trailed her
eyes upwards taking in each detail from the hem of his
slacks to the white collar of his shirt peaking out from the
top of his sweater. It’s actually called a jumper in England,
Maggie thought to herself, her analytical mind processing
and sorting data and information, no matter what the
situation. Processing and sorting information despite the
fact that with each passing second she felt the racing of her
heart hammer on faster, creating a dull thud inside her
head. As her eyes left his collar, the thud in her ears grew
to a loud roar as she took in his neck, then his chin,
followed by his jaw line, lips, long nose, and slowly,
                             10
hesitantly, his eyes. The moment their eyes connected, the
roaring in her ears stopped, blinked out of existence and
was replaced simply with a deafening silence.

Confusion colored his eyes - those brown eyes. Hadn't
those eyes been in a photograph just a minute ago? Maggie
stared up at him, only just remembering to breathe as she
tried to snap herself out of it. It couldn’t have possibly
worked, could it? People didn’t just fall into the past
through pictures. It went beyond improbable, it was
impossible!

“Uh- hullo,” John said, cocking his head to the side and
staring at her warily. Briefly he looked around the hallway,
trying to see where she had come from, but found that the
only things surrounding them were walls and a few pictures
here and there.

Maggie’s mouth fell open slightly as she heard the voice.
“I’m dreaming,” she breathed. “That’s the only possible
explanation.” She shook her head while speaking out loud,
which aided in giving her an aura of insanity that seemed to
actually amuse John. But he was still wary. The fans were
finding new and clever ways to break into the studio every
day. He cocked his head to the side, and with his hands
still placed firmly upon her, he listened to her try and talk
herself out of something that he wasn’t quite sure of
himself. “I mean, you can’t just get sucked into the past
through a picture, can you? No, I didn’t think so; it’s
simply not even theoretically possible.” She laughed to
herself, growing a little hysterical over the matter as the air
of insanity surrounding her seemed to increase in size. “In
fact this is completely impossible.” She said, looking down
at her feet for a moment before looking back up at John.
He stood before her, his brow furrowed as he took her all
in. “You’re not real,” she stated shortly.

                              11
At that simple pronouncement, a small smile slipped across
his face and his hands fell from her arms. “I can assure
you, luv, I am very real.” He then paused to stare at her,
mimicking her pondering pose before continuing. “Did
you ever stop and think that perhaps you might not be
real?” he asked teasingly.

Maggie furrowed her brow, his words throwing her for a
loop immediately. Opening her mouth, she quickly shut it,
trying to decide what to say. The only thing that came to
her mind though was a question that seemed fairly obvious,
but was nevertheless something that needed to be verified.
“Who are you?” she managed. Surely, this was just a very
good John Lennon look-a-like, she had not traveled back in
time, and she was just dehydrated or tired or both, which is
why her head was spinning earlier. Maggie smiled to
herself, yes, yes, it was always the simplest answer that was
the correct one. Logic prevailed once again!

Unfortunately for logic, the John Lennon look-a-like
bowed. “John Lennon, at your service.” He grinned.
“And you are?” Maggie’s only response to that was to
mumble her name, then continue to stare and mentally go
over her day in her head. Maybe when she had bent down
to fix her sandal, she had simply slipped and fell. Maybe
she had hit her head and she was currently lying in the
middle of the EMI hall bleeding to death and this was all
some sort of coma-like dream. That would make more
sense than what she was dealing with now.

John openly scrutinized the girl before him now; simply
put, he was curious. She was dressed differently then he
was used to seeing, wearing jeans that were indecently low-
waisted and hugged her hips tightly. Not that he minded.
Her shirt confused him as well, since it formed to her

                             12
curves and exclaimed "Barenaked Ladies" across the chest.
While he couldn’t argue with the sentiment of her shirt, he
was shocked that she’d dared to go out in public dressed as
she was. Her hair itself was enough to scream “foreigner”
as it hung long and loose down her back, a slight wave set
amongst it. Her accent told him that she was obviously
American, so while that alone was enough to explain the
oddities about her, and the clothes and the hair, it didn’t
explain the fact that she popped out of the air right in front
of his nose, like Alice stepping through the looking glass.

Maggie shook her head and finally answered him. “Look,
you can’t really be John Lennon because this sort of thing
doesn’t happen in real life.” It only happens in my
daydreams, she thought to herself. “I’m a scientist. I know
all about these kinds of things and time travel is impossible.
At least for the time being. I mean, I guess there’s always
the possibility despite everything it entails, but that won’t
be until way off in the future. We don’t even have the
means for that sort of technology yet. I’m not even sure if
any is being developed and…” Maggie trailed off,
realizing she was rambling. “You’re not real,” she
repeated. Remembering the photo suddenly, she turned and
studied the walls, wondering if it would still be there or if it
had simply been replaced by the real John. No, it was still
there. She started inspecting it with both her eyes and
hands, as if hoping that it may hold the key to the answer of
her current dilemma. She couldn't help but notice that the
photo was rather newer looking than it had been when she'd
started staring at it. It was no longer yellowed with age.

John smiled at that, still not sure what she was going on
about, but amused by her refusal to believe that he was, in
fact, real. “I could pinch you,” he offered.

Maggie stopped and looked at him over her shoulder.

                              13
“What?”

“I could pinch you,” he repeated. “It would tell us whether
or not you are, in fact, dreaming - that you’re not really
here in 1964, that you are tucked blissfully away in your
own little bed somewhere, preferably slumbering naked.
And most importantly, it would give me a thrill.”

Maggie stared at him for a moment before bursting into
laughter, not really sure if the laughter came from the
absurdity of the situation, or his words itself. Shaking her
head, she began to try and take in her surroundings. It
looked like EMI, only it was a bit more dated than she
remembered it. Turning her back to John she peered down
the hall, trying to see if the tour group was still around.
1964? He was obviously crazy, hallucinating, or both. Or
maybe she was the one hallucinating.

John smiled at her, as she turned her back towards him in
obvious frustration. Shrugging, he reached forward,
pinching her bum and laughing as she squeaked in surprise.
He took a step back as she turned around, staring at him in
shock. He responded by looking at the ceiling and
whistling innocently at their little exchange.

Maggie felt her world spin once again as she stared at him
and suddenly realized that this was either a very real dream,
or that this was, in fact, really happening.

“Oh, God,” she breathed, a shudder running through her
body as the blood drained from her face.

John frowned at that; all he had done was pinch her bum.
So far this bird had been acting very differently. She was
dressed wrong, she wasn’t trying to pull out his hair, she
wasn’t in the usual fan hysterics, clinging to his arm and

                             14
screaming his name, and most importantly, she didn’t seem
to want anything from him. This wasn’t just some fan girl
that had snuck into the studio. This girl was something else
and she was currently confused as hell. Watching the first
signs of panic streak her face, John reached out to her once
more.

“Come along, now,” he said gently, taking her by the arm
again, hoping that the soft pressure he exerted on her
shoulder would bring her back to reality, at least for the
time being. “I think you could probably use a little air.
You know, to help clear your head a bit.” She looked up at
him with wild eyes as he steadily began to lead her towards
the roof, keeping his steps slow and steady so as not to rush
her.

Opening the door, the cool air rushed over them and
Maggie couldn’t help but close her eyes and breathe in a
sigh of relief. It soothed her heated cheeks, washing away
the suffocation that had been surrounding her in that little
studio hall. She had broken free of the compression and the
weight she had been feeling. John let her stand there for a
moment before leading her over to the railing and leaning
her gently against it.

Taking residence by her side, John made sure to keep some
distance between them, not wanting to crowd her and also
still feeling a little apprehensive about the girl next to him.
Turning his eyes to the brick that lay against the opposite
wall, John stared at it, trying to make sense of the situation
at hand. From what he could get from her earlier
mumblings, the girl believed she was from the future. And
at the moment, John was inclined to believe her. Her
method of arrival was enough to ensure that.

“So,” John began a little hesitantly, shifting his weight back

                              15
and forth from foot to foot. “When you’re not popping out
of thin air, what do you usually do?”

Looking at him out of the corner of her eye, Maggie saw
the feigned nonchalance and had to laugh at the absurdity
of it all. “I’m a scientist at NASA,” she said with a smile,
shaking her head a little bit. If she really was dying in a
coma, she might as well enjoy this dream while she could

John blinked, having expected anything but that from the
girl beside him. “A what for whom? Birds can be scientists
in the future?” He said jokingly, “A woman’s place is at
home in the kitchen.” He grinned at her, knowing that this
was bound to get a rise out of a woman such as herself.

Maggie glared, knowing he was having her on and fighting
the urge to roll off the names of several women scientist
right here in the present… the past… wherever it was she
was at the moment. “Yes, women are scientists in the
future,” she said with a self-satisfied grin. “And pilots,
and firefighters, and policemen, and lawyers, and doctors,
and in the UK’s case, Prime Ministers!” She smiled
triumphantly as John pretended to stumble back with the
force of her words. “We also have the right to vote and
we’re even allowed to drive cars.” If the career choices
hadn’t impressed him, this at least had. His eyes widened
almost comically, giving off the air of a child as he
discovered something new for the first time.

“Amazing!” John exclaimed in joking astonished glee.
“Driving cars even…” Shaking his head, he sighed. “God
help us, the roads will never be safe again.”

Maggie snorted at that, looking at him sarcastically, “Says
the man who is renowned for his excellent driving skills!”


                            16
And with the brief exchange out of her mouth, it hit her.

This was John Lennon.

This wasn’t a picture or a dream or a fantasy of hers. This
was John Winston Lennon and the year was 1964 and the
Beatles were still together. Feeling the air around her grow
hot, Maggie sucked in a deep breath, finding it harder and
harder to breathe as the seconds ticked by and her stomach
jolted with sickening twists.

John felt helpless as she began to sway from side to side
before abruptly falling to her knees. The color drained
from her cheeks seconds before it happened and John had
just enough time to swoop in and hold her hair from her
face as she lost her breakfast all over the roof.

With her hands digging into the grimy concrete, and tears
pricking her tightly closed eyes, Maggie felt the bile swell
from her throat with a distinct burning sensation, offering a
contrast to the cool hands brushing the nape of her neck.
Coughing, she took in several deep breaths, sucking in
mouthfuls of air and trying her hardest to keep what was
left in her stomach, down.

As she began to breathe a little more regularly, John took
out a hankie from his pocket, offering it to her as he stayed
in his crouched position still holding back her hair. Maggie
looked at him sideways, trying to gauge whether or not she
could open her mouth yet without anything coming out.
When she thought it was safe, she turned to him a little,
taking the proffered hankie and wiping at her mouth.

“Sorry,” she mumbled a bit sheepishly. “That probably
wasn’t very lady-like of me.”


                             17
With a wave of his hand, John shook his head. “Nonsense!
It was very graceful the way you lost your breakfast all
over the roof, wasn't it? I’ve never seen anyone vomit
more elegantly.” He smiled encouragingly at her while
reaching out and gently tucking her hair behind her ears,
causing his fingers to brush against her cheek.

Maggie smiled rather weakly at his attempts to diminish
her embarrassment. With a deep breath and the scent of her
own vomit stinging her senses, Maggie tried handing him
back the hankie. “Thanks,” she said.

Putting out his hand, John grasped hers tightly in his,
moving to help her to her feet. He looked down at the
handkerchief with a wrinkled nose, and shook his head.
“Keep it,” he said in mock disgust, laughing a little as she
ducked her head in embarrassment again.

“Look, Maggie, was it?” At her affirmative nod he
continued, “Look, you’ve said it yourself that you’re a
scientist and that this is impossible. Well, I say rather then
get all wound up about how it happened, let’s stay calm,
and let’s see if we can figure out how to get you back to
your time.” He squeezed her arm gently, feeling slightly
crazy himself as he spoke. Then again, who was he to
dismiss this? Anything was possible, right? “Of course,”
he said with a grin, “This is only after you tell me
everything I should invest my money in, in order to ensure
I never have to work a real job in my life.” Maggie looked
up at him, giving him a halfhearted smile at that. To John,
it was enough. “Come on,” he encouraged softly, keeping a
firm hold of her hand, “Let’s take you down to the studio to
meet the other three. Mal's gone out for sandwiches.
Maybe I can make you lose your lunch this time around.”

That coaxed a real smile out of her and as the two of them

                             18
headed towards the door, Maggie felt her clammy cheeks
begin to return to normal, and the sweat on her forehead
fade. Feeling much calmer, Maggie realized John was
right; it was best to try to figure out how to get back home
rather then dwell on how she got here. And now that she’d
accepted she was actually in the past she found that she was
much calmer and actually curious to get a look around.
“Now,” John started, “tell me all about this NASA business
that you work for as a brilliant driving AND voting
Scientist.”

“I don’t know if I can tell you anything,” she said.

Stopping in his tracks, John frowned. “Why not?”

Turning to him, Maggie pulled away, pushing open the
door to the studio with her back and looking at him in mock
seriousness. “Because, then I’d have to kill you.”

Disappearing into the hallway, she left a bewildered John
Lennon on the rooftop. He stared after her, watching as the
door shut with a screech, before smiling. With a snort of
laughter, he went after her.




                             19
Chapter Two




A     fter the initial storm of fear and queasy nerves,
      Maggie had calmed down and gotten her bearings.
She walked beside John down the hall, both chatting with
ease as they traded barbs back and forth and Maggie tried
to explain her position as a scientist. Of course John, only
wanting to know if the future held flying cars, life on Mars,
and an industrial size box of corn flakes, constantly
interrupted her.

“Uh, I think you can get some sort of off-brand version of it
in a bag that’s really big,” she offered. John frowned.
“What is the world coming to?” He muttered. “First
women can drive and vote, and now they offer corn flakes
in a bag instead of a box.” He shook his head. “The next
thing you’ll be telling me is that Elvis works at a Las Vegas
gas station and the Queen of England doesn’t drink tea.”

Maggie smiled. “Well, I can’t really vouch for the Queen
but there are plenty of people that claim to have seen Elvis
pumping gas in Vegas. I hear he also does weddings.”

John stopped in his tracks, looking at her as she continued
to wind her way down the hall in laughter. She had to be
joking. Coming up to her side, John’s hand brushed against
hers, and Maggie smiled. Turning to him she watched as
he batted his eyelashes at her and said teasingly, “Stop
trying to hold my hand, luv. I’m sorry, but I’m a married
man and it just wouldn’t be decent.” Maggie felt herself
                             20
laugh and roll her eyes, but inside she felt herself jump in
excitement. She had nearly held hands with John Lennon!
And to top it off, now she had “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
running through her head!

As they reached the end of the hall, John pushed open the
door without pretense, and yelled loudly at whoever would
listen. “Where’s my food?”

A dark-haired young man looked up from his position at
the piano, and gave John a slight smile. “We’ve sent the
slaves to go and get it for you, your Majesty. It should only
be a few more moments.” The boy stood and bowed
deeply, waving his hand in a flourish.

“And the rest of my peons?” John laughed, looking down
his nose at his friend.

“Dead, sir. They were making awful yawning noises
during our last performance so I had to poison their tea.”

John shook his head, clucking his tongue in mock anger.
“It’ll be the stockades for you then, Macca, my boy. And
maybe if you’re good, old Johnny here will give you the
paddle.”

Paul snorted in laughter. “You wish, you queer bastard.”

John smiled, blowing a kiss to Paul, who caught it in his
hand while grinning back at John, and held it to his heart
like a fawning schoolgirl. “Where’s Ritchie, then?” John
asked.

Paul shrugged, dropping the act and frowning a little in
confusion as he set his eyes on someone standing slightly
behind John. “Uh- I don’t know.” Cocking his head to the

                             21
side, Paul peered over his friend’s shoulder. “I think he
had to take a piss or something. Who’s your friend?” he
asked with a slight nod.

John turned, a smile reaching across his face. One that
meant John was happy, though it only set off warning bells
in Paul’s head. He knew that look, and it never ended in
anything good for Paul.

“Oh, this is….” But as John turned around to introduce
Maggie to everyone, he found that she was already gone.
In a flash she had raced across the studio, bolting towards
George, exclaiming as she went, “Oh wow! It’s George…”
The lead guitarist’s eyes widened a little as he took a step
back, mentally cursing John for bringing a crazy fan into
the studio like this without Mal or Neil present to take care
of her. But then she stormed right past him, rushing by in a
blur of color as she fell to her knees.

“…Harrison's 12 string Rickenbacker 360!" she squealed
excitedly, motioning wildly to the guitar before her and
barely restraining herself from clapping in glee. She didn’t
even give a second glance to its owner who stood
bewildered by her side.

Paul raised an eyebrow, looking back and forth between
George, the guitar and the girl several times. "That's the
first time I've seen a bird recognize the guitar before the
Beatle," he commented, turning to John in search of an
explanation. But John’s eyes were focused on the kneeling
figure of the girl before him and he looked on at her with
awe and wonderment. She was definitely different.

The sound of Paul’s voice seemed to snap Maggie out of
her trance, pulling her away before she managed to drool
on herself and the exquisite guitar in front of her. "Oh,”

                             22
she said sheepishly, pulling the hand that had been running
up and down the neck of the guitar back to her side,
shocked that she had been so bold as to touch it without
asking. “I'm so sorry.” Looking up at George she felt her
cheeks heat and turn pink. “That was really rude, wasn't
it?" Falling back on the balls of her feet, she smiled up at a
bewildered George, sticking her hand out for him to shake.
"I'm Maggie," she offered.

George smirked, giving a quick glance to the rest of the
gang before sticking his own hand out and grasping hers.
Shaking it, George looked at her with wry amusement.
"George Harrison,” he said slowly, “But you probably
already know that."

With a small laugh, Maggie grinned sheepishly, still a bit
embarrassed by her forward behavior. “Well, yeah…
though I do have to admit that I’m a bit more excited about
meeting your guitar. No offense, I hope?” she asked with a
hopeful smile playing across her face.

Cocking his head to the side, George looked slightly
surprised, but let another smirk slip across his lips. “No,
none taken,” he said with a bit of a laugh. Motioning to his
guitar, he looked at Maggie curiously. “She’s quite a
beauty, isn’t she?”

Maggie’s eyes turned back towards the object in question,
her pupils dilating and her breath quickening by the mere
sight of it. George cocked his head to the other side, silent
laughter playing across his lips. “How’s the action?” she
asked, throwing him a glance. “What kind of pickups are
these?” Maggie stared longingly at the guitar, running her
eyes up and down the body.

Turning to John, George let out a grin, flashing his teeth

                             23
and almost jumping in excitement. "I like her!" With his
piece being said, George slipped to his knees, scooting
close to a girl he didn’t even know, and for the first time,
liking that a bird loved his guitar more than him. Just like
they were old friends, they put their heads together,
engaging in conversation over the guitar before them.

Paul surveyed the scene with a strong emotion beginning to
well up inside him, thrashing about at the scene before him.
This wasn’t right. Normally Paul could care less what his
friends did with birds on their own time, but this was the
studio. This was different.

As George and the girl became immersed in talk of whether
or not the neck of the guitar was too narrow for its twelve
strings, Paul made his way over to John. John stared idly at
the two, an amused expression across his face and a
captivated smile slowly beginning to take control.

Leaning against the wall next to him, Paul crossed his arms.
“So, where’d you get her?” Paul asked lightly, trying not
to sound too defensive just yet. There was probably a
perfectly acceptable explanation for what was going on.
This was probably just another one of John’s whims after
all. After all, who the hell did this girl think she was,
waltzing into their studio like that, dressed the way she
was, and shoving her way into their circle? And what was
John thinking bringing her here? This was the recording
studio for God’s sake! No wives, no girlfriends, and
definitely no crazy fans! Those had always been the rules.

John turned towards Paul, seeing the undeniable clench of
his friend’s jaw and the way his eyes had taken on a
slightly darker color. He laughed a little, swinging an arm
over Paul’s shoulder and squeezing it. “Would you believe
me if I told you she just fell out of the sky?”

                            24
Paul looked at him skeptically, shrugging John’s arm from
his shoulder. “I’m serious, John,” he said, taking a step
back from him. “Where the hell did she come from? You
can’t just pick crazy fans up off the street and bring them
into the studio whenever the hell you feel like it. We’ve
got work to do, and no time for this nonsense,” he hissed,
trying to keep his voice down so as not to alarm the girl on
the floor with George. If she really was a nutter, he didn’t
want to set her off.

John bristled at that, and snapped his eyes to Paul, warning
him silently. “Good thing I didn’t do that then.” Irritation
flashed in Paul’s eyes and John knew that in order for Paul
to understand, he’d have to go into a little more of an
explanation. Sighing, John closed his eyes briefly before
looking at his friend. “Look,” he started. “I’m telling you,
she just appeared out of nowhere. I was just walking down
the hall and then suddenly there she was, right in front of
me.” Paul gave a disbelieving laugh as he shot John a
glare, thinking his friend was obviously having him on.
“I’m serious!” John exclaimed. Paul rolled his eyes and
leaned back hotly against the wall again.

Realizing how it all must sound, John looked towards
Maggie for some sort of help. She and George had begun
to wrap up their conversation and he watched as she stood,
George’s guitar strap slung across her shoulder.

The next thing John was aware of was Paul pushing away
from the wall and stalking over to their side in a flash.
With a raised brow he gave Maggie a brief sweep of the
eyes, running them up and down her body and sizing up his
competition so to speak.

“You play the guitar?”      Paul demanded suspiciously,

                            25
obviously not believing that the likes of her could even
pluck out a note let alone actually play the thing in her
hands.

"Well, yeah, of course…” Maggie said trailing off, slightly
taken aback by the tone of his voice. Frowning, she turned
her attention back to the beauty in her hands, getting a feel
for it, and drawing strength from its weight. “Why, is that
weird to you?" She strummed out a few notes, smiling as
they wove their way around the room clearly and precise,
painting the air with an intensity and flavor that only music
could.

Paul opened his mouth, about to shoot off some sort of
response, but George beat him to it. "What kind of guitar
do you have?" he asked excitedly, obviously enamored
with the girl before him. Paul crossed his arms. It seemed
to be an epidemic of some sort.

"I’ve got a few, but my favorite is my Fender Strat," she
replied with a slight shrug, closing her eyes, and strumming
the guitar once more, clearly lost in the sound and the feel
of the guitar, and not really aware of her surroundings any
longer.

"Oh, I've always wanted one of those!" George said
wistfully, wondering how she had even got one.

"Oh, they're great,” Maggie gushed, turning excited eyes
towards him. “I like the way the top is curved so that it's
really comfortable for your arm..."

“How did you get in here?” Paul abruptly asked,
interrupting the two of them before they could slip back
into another long-winded conversation about guitars. He
was going to get to the bottom of this so they could deal

                             26
with it and go back to their normal lives. Narrowing his
eyes, he turned to John. "And just what were you smoking
when she supposedly “popped” out of the air, eh?" John
didn’t say anything, only crossed his arms, readying
himself for a Macca rant. But Paul took this as a sign of his
impending win. With a smirk on his face, he turned back to
Maggie, a disbelieving look raising his brow. "And a
Fender Strat? You have an electric guitar? You’ve got a
Fender Stratocaster? You!?"

George frowned at that, the wistful adoration that filled his
features just moments before morphing into skepticism. He
was after all, talking to a GIRL about guitars. "Yeah,” he
said, crossing his arms and feeling like he had just been
fooled. “Why do you have an electric guitar? How’d you
get a Fender Stratocaster?"

Maggie bit her lip, not sure how to answer them. They
would never believe the full truth. John did, but then he
saw the method of her arrival. Tugging on her lip, Maggie
felt the nausea ring back through her. Somehow, this was
not turning out to be as fun as she always imagined, and
slowly that familiar fear and panic began to sweep through
her again. Shouldn’t the Beatles be falling all over
themselves to love her and be her friend because she was
obviously so cool? They always did in her daydreams…
While Maggie knew she categorized her life into two
different sides, her dreams and the scientific reality, she
also knew that this situation didn’t fit into either and that
only served to scare her even more. In her daydreams Paul
was not suspicious, jealous and mistrustful. No, he was
kind, and adorable like a cute little brother who looked up
to her. And George, well, what was he doing doubting
her?! As for Ringo…well in her fantasies Ringo was most
definitely here, and not in the bathroom. And John, well,
no, actually John so far had been exactly as she expected.

                             27
Only, in her daydreams he wasn’t married. Frowning a bit
at that last thought she realized the room had grown tense
and quiet, with all three of them, even John, staring at her
expectantly.

Exasperated, she sighed and thought, They don’t think
women can play guitar, or are on equal footing with them,
that’s fine. I’ll show ‘em. They have no idea what’s about
to hit ‘em. She smiled tightly at the three of them. "Why
shouldn’t I have one?” She said with a bit of a raised brow,
mostly directed towards Paul. “Last I checked in addition
to driving and voting, women can play guitars too, even
electric guitars.” She looked pointedly at John when she
said this, and then realized when he tossed her a wink, that
he was just curious about how she got the guitar, and didn’t
doubt her playing ability. Laughing to herself she gave him
an overly exaggerated wink back. The exchange only
served as yet another irritation in Paul’s eyes. His mouth
quickly quirked down as he crossed his arms protectively in
front of him, positioning himself slightly between the girl
and John.

“Besides,” Maggie went on, only slightly aware of Paul’s
reaction. She was more concerned at the moment of
making her point, than she was over Paul’s jealousy. “I'm
in a rock band. I’m rhythm guitar and lead vocals. You
know, I actually learned to play guitar because of you
guys." She admitted a little sheepishly. She couldn’t help
but wonder how she was still standing. Her body was a
mass of nerves and her emotions were playing all
throughout the place. First she was flirty, then in awe, then
scared and then defiant all in a matter of a few moments.

Paul’s eyes narrowed. Now he knew she was putting them
all on. They had only just become big in America giving
her not nearly enough time to actually learn how to play the

                             28
guitar. He was about to tell her that much when George
interrupted, a confused expression on his face.

“Sorry, luv. I don’t mean to offend you or anything like
that, but girls just aren’t in rock bands.” He tried to put it
as delicately as possible, but a touch of laughter at the idea
that a girl was in a rock band laced his words.

Maggie bit her bottom lip again, trying to decide how much
she should tell them. They already thought she was crazy;
so to say that she was from the future probably wouldn’t be
that far of a stretch for them to handle. But she shied away
from it for a moment, trying to beat her way around the
bush. “Where I come from, girls are in rock bands all the
time."

Paul snorted. "Where is that? America?"

"Well, yes. And…” Taking a deep breath, she looked to
John for support, wondering if she should go through with
it. John nodded his head and gave her a quick smile of
encouragement. From his position, Paul watched the
interaction, clearly not amused by it all. If she already had
John on her side, the others would be quick to follow.
“And…I'm kinda, well, that is to say…,” she hesitated,
knowing just how crazy she was about to sound. “I’m not
quite sure how to put this… I’m from … the future," she
finished lamely.

Silence, and then abrupt laughter quickly filled the room as
both George and Paul burst out into fits of giggles, Paul
nearly doubling over with the ridiculousness of it all.

“Good one, Lennon,” George called out. “You really had
us all going there for a minute.”


                             29
Paul leaned back against the wall, smiling to himself,
wiping away a fresh batch of tears from his eyes. “Geez,
John. She’s good. Just where did you get her?”

While the others laughed, John frowned at them. His brow
darkening, he felt the irritation knot at the back of his neck.
“She’s telling the truth, Paul.”

“Oh, that’s right.” Paul laughed. “She just popped out of
thin air. I forgot.”

“Look,” John said, stepping forward and directing more of
his irritation towards Paul. George quieted down, listening
to John, his amusement slowly slipping from his face. “I
told you, I was walking down the hall and then she just
appeared, if she’s not from where she says she is, then how
did that happen?”

Paul gave John a patronizing look, talking down to him as
if he were a child and patted him on the shoulder. “The
pills you popped today probably had something to do with
it.”

 “Fuck off, Paul,” John said, shoving the hand away from
his shoulder as he heard Paul burst back into laughter.

“Oh come on, John,” Paul called out in disbelief. “You
can’t actually expect us to believe that she’s from the
future. That’s impossible.”

George looked at Maggie, taking in her appearance. They
had been right when they told her that girls didn’t play in
rock bands. At least not now, in 1964. So how did she
know so much about guitars, and how did she get her hands
on a Fender Strat?


                              30
“I don’t know, Paul. It may actually explain a few things,”
George mumbled, reluctantly, not quite believing that he
had said it.

“You can’t be serious?” Paul said, turning to George.
“You’re not actually believing this, are you?” He gestured
towards Maggie, dismissing her almost with a wave of his
hand. “This is just one of John’s pranks that he’s carried
way too far.”

George shrugged. “I’m just not ruling it out, that’s all.”

“Oh for fuck’s sake, George,” Paul groaned. From the
corner, John smirked, crossing his arms in satisfaction.
Paul bristled at the situation, irritated by the amused gaze
from John and the hesitant one from George. “Fine,” he
stated, turning to Maggie, determined to show them what a
fraud she actually was. She may have been able to pull the
wool over their eyes for a little while but she wasn’t about
to win this little game of hers. “Prove it,” he demanded.

Maggie frowned. “What?”

“You say you’re from the future, then prove it.”

“Christ, Paul,” John groaned from the corner. “She said
she was from the future. That doesn’t mean she can levitate
or anything.”

“No,” Maggie said, taking a step forward. She was actually
surprised that the demand hadn’t come a lot earlier. “No,
he’s right. He needs proof. ” Hell, I need proof, she
thought to herself. Standing there, she thought for a
moment, trying to think of something to do or say that
might make this all more believable. With the way Paul
was looking at her, she knew it had to be good. “Okay,”

                             31
she said slowly. “Do you have any song ideas that the
others haven’t heard about yet?” she asked.

Ticking his gaze to the ground, Paul thought for a moment
before coming up with one. “Yeah, I’ve been working on
one for my Auntie Gin. She seems to like the tune well
enough.”

Maggie nodded. “Okay. Give me a hint to what it is and I
bet I can play it for you.” Please be one I know! she
thought to herself. She knew she was taking a gamble that
he would select one she didn’t really know, but since she’d
dropped her purse before “appearing” here, she couldn’t
think of any other way to prove it.

The corner of Paul’s mouth quirked up into a grin, the
warm feeling of winning washing over him. “Fallin’ yes I
am fallin’ and she keeps callin’ me back again,” he sang,
crossing his arms with a self-satisfied smirk, knowing that
he had just proven her a fraud.

Maggie smiled, and inwardly breathed a sigh of relief. It
was one she knew how to play. “Oh! ‘I've Just Seen a
Face’! I love that one.” Strumming her fingers quickly
across the strings once more, Maggie launched into the
song without hesitation, singing it as loud as she could
while bouncing her head along to the fast paced rhythm.
Paul’s smile slipped from his face.

John’s bark of laughter echoed through the room as he saw
Paul pale. “Unless she’s been hiding in the cupboard of
your music room, Paul, I’d say she’s got you on that one.”

Paul swallowed dryly, feeling slightly unnerved by the
whole exchange as he watched John go up to her, and give
her a warm pat on the back as the blood rushed through his

                            32
ears. It had to have been some sort of coincidence.

“It’s a good one though.” John said off-handedly. “Why
haven’t you shared it with me yet?”

“I, uh-” Paul blinked and swallowed, shaking his head to
try and clear it a little. “I’ve been saving up ideas for the
album to go with ‘Eight Arms To Hold You’.”

Maggie snorted before she could stop herself, and then
quickly covered her mouth with both hands when three
pairs of eyes turned to stare at her outburst, John’s right
eyebrow cocked up curiously. “Um, you may just want to
think of a new title for your movie is all,” she said by way
of explanation, a note of apology coloring her voice.

“There’s no way you could have known that though,” Paul
protested thinking only of his song. “We don’t start
shooting 'til March. That’s half a year away.”

“I’m just impressed that she’s heard a Paul song before
me.” John laughed clearly amused by seeing Paul so
clearly rocked by it all. And by a bird no less. Turning to
Maggie, he wrapped an arm around her shoulder, leaning
into her with a shifty look. “You’re going to need to clue
me into all of Paul’s best songs. Then the two of us can
team up and record them instead. We’ll split the profits
80/20!” He shot Paul a teasing look, but Paul only turned
away, scowling. “Oh come on, Paulie,” John laughed. “I
was only joking.”

Walking over to his bass, a scowl set firmly against his lips,
Paul replied, “We have work to do.” John rolled his eyes,
watching as his friend fell into yet another one of his
strategic silent treatments.


                             33
“I thought we were going to wait until Mal gets back from
the canteen with our lunch,” George commented.

Throwing the strap over his shoulder, Paul looked at
George out of the corner of his eye. “I just want to run
through some stuff. That way we’re not wasting anyone’s
time when it comes time to record.”

“Come off it, Paul,” John muttered. “Take a breather.
Ringo’s not even back yet to play. We can’t do a proper
run through without drums and we all know how you are
when it comes to being proper. The way I remember it, is
that we have to do it right, or we don’t do it at all. Isn’t that
what you keep telling me?” Paul glared as he ignored John,
picking at his bass sullenly, plucking out a note or two.

Maggie looked back and forth between all of them,
wondering if maybe music would let the tension ease a
little. Slightly hesitant and afraid of sticking her nose
where it didn’t belong, Maggie took a deep breath. She
wanted to help them seeing as she was the cause of the
tension in the room. “I know how to play the drums a bit.
I’m not great with the cuts but I can keep a beat.” Both
John and George looked at her in amusement and
astonishment. “If you want, I could run through some stuff
with you guys until Ringo gets back. But only if it would
help. I don’t want to intrude more then I already have,” she
offered, looking at them hesitantly, almost afraid to see
how they would react. Truth be told, she was almost
hoping they would say no. At least that way the pressure
would be off of her.

Paul had raised his head for a quick excuse as to why she
couldn’t play but before he could say anything, John moved
and snatched up Ringo’s sticks, tossing them to her with a
grin. “You never told me they let birds play drums in the

                               34
future too,” he teased.

Sitting down and feeling her heart beat rapidly against her
chest, Maggie gave the snare a few taps. She did it under
the pretense of trying to get a feel for it, but knew it was
only a stall tactic as she tried to calm herself down. While
playing with the Beatles was a dream to any musician,
Maggie couldn’t shrug the feeling that it just didn’t feel
right. But John was standing in front of her, smiling at her
gently.

“What else are you keeping from me, eh?”

Pushing down her nerves, she tossed John a wicked look. “I
forgot to tell you that you have twelve more children and
that all of them are girls.”

A look of fear crossed John’s face and for a moment he
believed her. Maggie smiled at him though, sending both
George and John into peals of laughter.

Moving over to his guitar, John picked it up, and went
straight into ‘No Reply’. Maggie grinned to herself,
drumming along to the beat and singing quietly under her
breath. John caught her eye though, nodding encouragingly
and soon her voice rose. She laughed at the incredulity of
the situation. When she woke up this morning, she never
expected to be singing with The Beatles, playing with The
Beatles, and on Ringo’s very own Ludwig drum kit no less!
It took every bit of self-control that she had not to squeal
with delight at the entire situation. Her fan-girl heart
danced about excitedly, especially when John grinned right
back at her, catching her expression and reading her
thoughts. Paul, watching the entire interplay between the
two, stood back, his mood darkening as the song played on.


                            35
Chapter Three




T    hey rolled right on through into “Baby’s In Black” and
     Maggie grinned as she watched John try his hardest to
take Paul out of his mood. Paul only stared straight ahead,
though, while singing, ignoring the faces John was making
towards him and concentrating on his music. John just
shrugged after a while, recognizing that this wasn’t going
to be an easy fix. It was just another one of Paul’s little
sullen pouts that he went on every once in a while. John
considered it a type of PMS. Once a month Paul would get
himself worked up and the rest of them would just have to
deal with his bitchy attitude. Eventually it would pass.

The door opened to their side as they ended the song,
revealing a very confused drummer leaning against the
doorjamb, staring, more than a little surprised at the rest of
the group. “First you go on tour without me when I had my
tonsils pulled, and then I leave to use the loo and you grab
the first mad fan in the hall to keep a beat.” He looked at
each one of them in turn. “Very funny, mates.” Maggie bit
her already worried lower lip, clearly seeing that the
drummer was not amused.

"Ringo's funny about his drums, you know," George
commented from the side, placing his guitar back on the
stand.

"I know," Maggie said. Rising from her seat, she smiled
warmly at Ringo and handed him back his sticks promptly.
                             36
Ringo looked down at them for a moment before turning
back to the girl, softening a little. “They loom large in his
legend." Maggie smiled as Ringo laughed a bit at the bad
joke. He quickly gave her a once over eventually deciding
she was okay; anyone who could play drums couldn’t be all
bad right?

Looking around the room, Ringo noticed the smiles on each
of his friends’ faces as they went about putting their
instruments up. Smiles on all except Paul. He just sat in
the corner, fiddling with his bass as a scowl grew across his
face. Ringo frowned and turned to John.

“What’s his problem? He’s acting like we broke his
favorite toy.”

John just shook his head, waving Ringo off before going
over to Maggie’s side and wrapping an arm around her
shoulder. “Ringo, my friend, I would like you to meet
Maggie.”

Ringo smiled. “Nice to meet you, Maggie.”

“She’s from the future,” John said is if he were mentioning
it looked like rain outside.

Ringo paused at that, his hand outstretched in greeting but
freezing as he looked up at John. John smiled at him,
offering nothing more. Quickly Ringo turned to George,
trying to figure out if John was having him on or not.
When George met his eyes, he shrugged in agreement
though, leaving Ringo in an even deeper state of confusion.

“Okay,” Ringo said slowly.        “I’ve obviously missed
something.”


                             37
“She popped right out of the bloody air, mate!” John
exclaimed excitedly, obviously not finding the entire
situation odd anymore. “She even stumped dear little
Macca over there by playing one of his songs that’s been
swimming around in that pretty head of his. It set him into
a bloody pout again but it wiped that self-satisfied smirk off
his face, so it was worth it.” John grinned, noticing how
Paul didn’t even acknowledge his words. “And, to make
things even better, she’s in a rock band.”

Ringo looked at them skeptically, obviously not as quick to
jump on the bandwagon as John and George had been.
Although, he also wasn’t as quick to deny it as Paul seemed
to be trying to do.

“Can you prove it to me?” Ringo asked, looking at Maggie
curiously.

Maggie bit the corner of her mouth, smiling at him
apologetically. “I can’t really prove it by singing any of
your songs but if it’s any consolation, one of the songs you
wrote was my favorite when I was a little girl.” Ringo
looked a little taken aback by that and Maggie could only
nod encouragingly. “It’s true. So if you ever go to Greece
and get inspired by octopuses, just go with it.”

John laughed at that, clapping Ringo on the shoulders.
“Now we know you’re having us on, luv. Ringo write a
song?” He gave his friend a teasing shove, but Ringo only
looked at Maggie intently, pondering what she had just
said. Tilting his head to the side, puzzled by the cryptic
comment, he shook his head, accepting the words of advice
good-naturedly.

A sound rang from the corner of the room as Paul stood up,
pushing his bass roughly onto his stand and mumbling

                             38
something about going to go find what was keeping George
M. and Geoff. They needed to get recording again. Before
anyone had the chance to respond, he was out the door.

Not fazed, John picked up Paul’s bass and slung it over his
shoulder as he handed Maggie his black Rickenbacker.
“Let’s play something. Knowing Paul he’s probably going
to be gone for a while. He needs to get a full sulk in.” The
rest nodded, picking up their separate instruments and
readying themselves to play. “Maggie, you pick.” John
encouraged.

Maggie held his guitar gingerly, not quite believing that
John Lennon’s black and white Rickenbacker was in her
arms. Then it sunk it that John was wearing Paul’s famous
Hofner violin bass. “But you’re not left handed!” she
blurted.

“I’m sorry, what?” John asked, and then realizing she was
staring at Paul’s bass slung over his shoulders he explained.
“Oh, this. Well, I can pluck out a few basic bass lines with
my left hand. It’s not great, but fine for a bit of jamming.
Come on now, pick something.”

Maggie paused for a moment. This can’t be happening!
It’s too good to be true! she thought. Shaking her head at
the wonder of it all, the perfect song popped into her head
and she launched into the opening riff of “One after 909”.
The other three followed her lead with ease, laughing as
they rolled their way through it, with Maggie taking over
Paul’s harmony line. As the song ended, George picked up
the slack, shooting into “Roll over Beethoven” and the rest
followed naturally. Music wove in and out of the room as
they continued to play and sing, laughing as they
improvised here and there, harmonizing with one another
and giggling when one of them would hit a wrong note. It

                             39
was all in good fun.

They didn’t notice that Mal had long since returned with
their sandwiches and was now staring in their direction
with bewilderment. They didn't even notice when the door
opened again ushering Paul, George Martin and company
back into the room. George M. stopped for a moment,
staring at the scene with shock at what he saw. Paul just
looked increasingly annoyed.

Tapping his foot, Paul crossed his arms, waiting for them to
wrap up the last of their songs before shooting a pointed
look at John. “Right lads, are we going to make a record
today or not?” He smiled thinly, holding his hands out to
John, clearly showing that he wanted his bass back.

As they were jolted out of the warm haze of music they had
been playing in, they all shot reluctant looks at Paul, but
finally nodding their heads in agreement. Maggie knew she
couldn’t stand in the way of their recording, nor did she
want to, so without a fight, she surrendered the guitar back
to John. The moment it was out of her hand though, she
didn’t know what to do. She knew she couldn’t really
leave the studio, not having anywhere to go once she got
outside those doors, but she also knew that they needed to
get back to work. Swallowing a little, she began to look
towards the door, wondering just what she should do.

“Would you like to come up to the booth and have a
listen?” Maggie’s attention snapped towards the door as
she looked at George Martin, surprised at his offer.

“That would be great,” she said with a relieved smile,
glancing at John to make sure it was okay. He smiled at
her, giving her all the approval she needed. "Thank you.”
Before she left the studio, John grabbed a few sandwiches,

                            40
handing one to her before hurriedly stuffing his mouth with
his own. He winked as he let George M. lead her away, up
into the sound booth so she could watch as they got ready
to record.

The sounds of chords being strummed and lyrics being
discussed floated into the control booth as The Beatles got
down to business. John kept tossing small glances up
towards Maggie, George and Ringo even catching her eye
at times and grinning, while Paul pointedly ignored her.

The hours ticked by before they finally broke for dinner.
Maggie came down from the booth, going straight for John,
noticing out of the corner of her eye the look Paul shot at
her before going back to his bass as if everything was
business as usual in EMI.

“So, Future Girl,” John smiled broadly, propping his guitar
up against the stand. “Tell us more.” Maggie smiled back,
watching as they all turned to her expectantly. Well, all
except Paul. As she stood and looked at the four men
before her, Maggie swallowed, her grin slowly fading. If
this was really happening, and she wasn’t altogether
convinced yet that it was, then she needed to do something.
She had been wasting time joking about their future songs
when she had a real chance to change things, to prevent the
tragedies to come from happening.

Out of the corner of her eye she watched as George took
something out of his pocket. Turning to him, she felt her
stomach flip flop and her head swim as he slowly lit up a
cigarette, touching the nicotine filled paper to his lips.

“I think she’s going to throw up,” George commented,
watching the girl turn pale as he took a drag on his
cigarette.

                            41
“Maggie, luv,” John stepped forward a little hesitantly,
wondering if they were about to have a repeat performance
of the roof. “What is it?”

Maggie’s eyes narrowed in on that burning ember,
watching the ash tick down to the ground, falling through
the thin air and ceasing to exist about half way down. She
could feel her heart thump quickly in her chest and she
suddenly had the insane urge to go over to George and rip
the cigarette from his hand.

“Maggie,” John said again, gaining her attention this time.
She looked at him for a moment before turning back to
George and shaking her head.

“Take my advice.” She looked at George. “You may want
to stop smoking.”

With the ciggy half way to his mouth, George froze. He
looked at her suspiciously, feeling a sort of chill run up and
down his spine at her words. “Why?”

“Just trust me. It’ll save your life.”

George blinked, feeling her words had been deliberately
picked. Without another thought, he stubbed out the
cigarette, staring at the ash in the tray with a hint of fear.

The tension in the room was palpable, as all four Beatles
suddenly turned somber. Each looked at George in
growing trepidation; their eyes slowly caught on the burnt
nub of the cigarette and suddenly the fun that had
surrounded them these past few hours dissipated right along
with the fallen embers. Swallowing nervously at the
silence, George fumbled around for another cigarette and lit

                              42
it up before he realized what he had done. If possible, the
tension heightened and as he looked up, he noticed each of
his friends looking at him hesitantly. Quickly glancing
back down to the burning paper between his fingers in
horror, he quickly stubbed it out.

“Here,” he said, handing the pack over to Maggie and
smiling sheepishly. “I think you’d better keep these.” It
was enough to crack through tension gripping the room and
everyone was able to laugh a bit, but still remained wary of
what Maggie had just implied.

Now that it was out there, Maggie felt a sense of bravery
overcome her. Turning to Ringo, she took a deep breath.
“And you, you need to lay off the drinking.” Ringo
frowned, glancing at his band mates a little nervously. He
didn’t drink any more than the rest of them. “It’ll save you
years of pain and it’ll save your family a lot of grief,”
Maggie said pointedly.

Out of the corner of her eye, Maggie spotted Paul. He had
been sitting there, pretending not to listen ever since
George had put out his second cigarette and was now
fiddling with his bass like it was his sole purpose in life.
Maggie felt herself sigh a little at this, hoping that he would
simply heed the words of this stranger who he obviously
didn’t trust one bit. “And Paul?” she started. Paul perked
up a little, stopping his relentless tuning at the very least,
and choosing to cock his head in her general direction and
grunt his acknowledgment that he heard her. “Make sure
your future wife gets frequent breast cancer screenings.
Convince her to get one as soon as you know she’s the one
and keep having her get them.”

Paul frowned, ice rushing through his blood. That’s how
his mother had died. “Is she going to be okay?” he asked

                              43
fearfully.

Maggie just stared at him, not knowing how much she
should tell him. The brief moment of fear passed though
for Paul as he snorted a little to himself at the fact that he
had just believed the crazy ramblings of a girl who thought
she had the right to simply walk into this studio and take
over. Turning back to his bass, Paul went back to his active
non-listening.

Maggie sighed a little as she saw him try to tune her out
once more. There wasn’t really much more she could do.
She had to just trust that when the time came, he’d recall
her words.

When Maggie turned away from him, she caught sight of
John, and she couldn’t help but feel a slight jolt of panic.
This was going to be the hard part.

Looking to John, Maggie gave him what she hoped was an
encouraging smile. The look on his face was anything but
helpful though as he stared at her; written on his face was
fear at what he sensed was about to roll off her lips. There
was a reason why she looked more afraid for him then she
had the others, and their tragedies had been pretty bad.
Cancer, death, and alcoholism? What was in store for him?

“On December 8, 1980, you and your wife are going to go
into the studio to record,” she said, the difficult words
starting to come to her.

“What? Me and Cyn record? Music?” John’s confusion
was evident.

Maggie didn’t bother to answer, and just pressed on,
knowing that if she stopped now, she’d never garner the

                             44
courage to tell him. “There’s going to be a man outside of
the building you live in and he’s going to ask you to sign
his copy of your latest album. Sign it for him, and get a
good look at him, so you can identify him later. After you
do, go straight to the police and tell them that someone with
a gun threatened you outside of your home. Get the police
to pick him up.”

John looked at her with wide eyes, staring at her and
searching her form for any sign that this may be a lie.
George and Ringo looked on in shock, and Paul stood up,
no longer feigning ignoring her words, and went
protectively to John’s side.

“What happens?” Paul asked her. “Why are you telling
him this?”

“Because if I don’t, he’s going to die." She turned back to
John, barely able to get the next sentence out, but feeling
she had no choice. "If you don't get the police to arrest
him, when you come home and get out of your car and
walk to your apartment door, he's going to shoot you in the
back. You'll bleed to death on the way to the hospital."
Maggie hung her head, tears stinging her eyes. She'd
always mourned John's death even though she'd been too
young to remember it. But now it was worse. However
improbably, she'd actually met him and found that they had
a sort of connection, and now she’d have to mourn him for
real. Unless she could save him.

The silence reigned over the room in a deafening
pandemonium, seeping into their hearts and gripping all of
them with fear. Audible swallows sounded, shifting of
eyes, and no matter how crazy they thought the situation
was, no matter how unbelievable it seemed for a girl from
the future to suddenly appear and tell them all of sorrows to

                             45
come, they still couldn’t shake the cold chills that ran up
and down their spines. They felt the truth of her words.

“Please,” Maggie begged to John alone, allowing her
vulnerability to show, hoping that he would remember her
words years from now. “If anything, wear a bullet proof
vest. If you don’t believe me, just take that one precaution
that day. What can it hurt?”

John swallowed, cold sweat breaking out on his brow as
sounds of an unheard gunshot rang through his ears.
Clearing his throat, John tried to smile, fully aware of the
looks of horror that played across his friends’ lips. “Well,
at least now when they ask us how we think we’re going to
die I can always say that I’ll be popped off by a madman.”
He tried to joke, tried to make light of a situation that was
years off but weighing heavily on all of their shoulders by
now. At his words Paul moved away and both Ringo and
George looked down, all of them failing to see any humor.
Maggie was the only one who kept eye contact, trying to
reveal with her eyes that he needed to listen.

“Hey,” he said softly, looking around the room. “It’s not
like it’s going to happen tomorrow. She said 1980, not
1964. I still have a good fifteen years left.”

“John…” Paul started. John quickly cut him off though,
ending the conversation.

“All this serious talk has made me hungry. You boys fancy
getting a bite?” They wanted to press forward, to learn
more, but there was something in the tone of John’s voice
that told them that this was the end of the conversation and
they knew from experience that they were better off just
letting the situation drop.


                             46
Dinner from the canteen was delivered to them by Mal, and
the conversation stayed safely on the topics of sex and
music; topics that Maggie found herself laughing about
along with the boys. As the talk turned to what was going
on later that night, Maggie listened in curiously as they
chatted about a party, one that they had to attend for
business reasons, although Maggie could tell by the looks
on their faces, there would be more than just business on
their agenda tonight.

“You should come,” John said to Maggie, taking a quick
swig of his coke. Paul frowned at the invitation, sitting
back a little in his seat and crossing his arms over his chest.

“Don’t bother the girl, John. I’m sure she has other things
she needs to be doing at the moment.”

“And if she does I’m sure she’ll be the one to tell us so,”
John said through a sickening smile at Paul. Turning back
to Maggie, his grin became more inviting as he leaned
forward a bit. “What do you say, Maggie? Want come with
us tonight?”

With a quick glance at Paul, Maggie knew that the Beatle
was less than thrilled with the idea. “I uh-” she started,
turning her gaze away from Paul’s challenging look. “I
wouldn’t want to intrude.”

“Nonsense!” Ringo encouraged, waving his hand in a
dismissive manner. “Believe me, you’d not be intruding.”

“Yeah,” George agreed, “It’s just a party.”

Maggie turned her gaze back towards Paul, looking at him
a bit fearfully, knowing that he was rapidly starting to think
of her as a “Yoko.” Quickly she did away with that line of

                              47
thinking though, knowing that that path only lead to a
wildly beating heart and images she couldn’t afford to
indulge in at the moment. Closing her eyes, Maggie shook
her head, trying to rid the images from her mind. While
she would give almost anything to be in the position that
Yoko Ono had occupied in another lifetime, she knew at
the same time that she was quite possibly ruining a
friendship that still had a good few years left in it.

As she turned to look at Paul she locked eyes with the man
who was calm on the outside but showed everything he
wanted her to see on the inside. He sat back in his seat,
arms still crossed in front of his chest in a defensive
manner, looking at her as if to say, “I dare you.” He was,
after all, here first and when it came down to a girl versus
his band, he would fight for his band. There was no way in
hell he was going to let some American bird come along
and mess things up between them all. This was his band,
not hers and as far as he was concerned, John was his too.

“I don’t think that’s such a good idea,” she said, ducking
her head and breaking eye contact with the man in front of
her. She would not be remembered for breaking up The
Beatles. Besides, she only wanted to go to see more of
John, and there was still that small detail that he was
married.

John watched the exchange, watched as Paul put on his
typical McCartney intimidation act, the one he learned back
home in Liverpool and the one he perfected in Hamburg.
With a roll of his eyes, John shook his head, smiling
sweetly at Maggie. “Like the boys said, that’s nonsense,
luv. We all want you to come. Even Paulie here wants
your company for the night.” Paul turned sharply to John
at that, a protest clearly shooting from his eyes, but John
ignored it, choosing to instead turn to Paul sweetly, and

                            48
jabbing him under the table with his foot. “Don’t you,
Macca?”

They locked eyes, trading words silently, fighting it out
mentally without even twitching a finger. A thin smile
appeared on Paul’s lips sooner then she expected, as he
turned back to Maggie. And Paul, always the politician,
always the PR man, had perfected that smile to a T.
Maggie knew that back in the 60’s, he could get away with
murder if only he flashed that smile. The one that
screamed he was innocent while he was nearly boiling
inside. She had the advantage though. The hours spent in
the chat rooms back home dissecting this bands’ every
move was not for nothing and she knew that the smile she
received now was false and forced and hid that cool acid
barbed tongue like no other.

“Sure,” Paul said with a smile, pushing away from the
table. “Bring her along. After all, what’s another bird,
anyway?” Nodding his head politely to her, he left the
studio.

The rest of the group was helpless as they heard the door
slam shut, footsteps distancing themselves down the empty
hall. John narrowed his eyes at the doorway, wondering
not for the first time today, what exactly had gotten into his
friend.

“Er,” he started, turning back to Maggie with an apologetic
smile. “I’m sorry about that. He doesn’t normally act this
way. I don’t know what’s got into him.”

Maggie’s eyes remained focused on that shut door as she
sighed softly. “I think I do,” she whispered.

John frowned. “Come again?”

                             49
Snapping out of it, Maggie turned her attention back to the
group, smiling a little as she shook her head. “Never mind,
it doesn’t matter.” John searched her eyes once more,
trying to find the hidden truth behind that face, but Maggie
quickly hid it, not wanting to start anything between these
two. It wasn’t her place. “Look, I’d love to go!” she said
enthusiastically. “But I really don’t have anything to wear.
I mean, all I’ve got is what I’m wearing now, and I don’t
think that’s going to pass muster.”

Dressed like this at a party in the very heart of London was
bound to make her stick out like a sore thumb and Maggie
wasn’t too fond of the idea of being asked who she was all
night long. She didn’t think it would bode well to start
spreading that she was from the future. She’d probably end
the night in a straight jacket in the loony bin if she did that!

John looked unconcerned as he motioned Mal forward,
smiling slightly at the roadie. “Hey, Mal,” he said, turning
on one of his charming smiles, already knowing the man
would do whatever he asked. “Can you run Maggie out to
get a dress and maybe a change of clothes for tomorrow?
Just charge it.” Maggie opened her mouth to object but
John quickly shut her off with a raise of his hand and a coy
look. “And no protests luv. You can pay me back when
you teach me all of Paul’s big hits before he writes them.”
With a single wink he had managed to get her up and out of
her chair and following Mal out into the middle of town in
search of the perfect dress.




                              50
Chapter Four




T    hey split in their different directions almost the
     moment they arrived at the party, as the music took on
a life of its own all around them. Bodies moved and
danced, people talked in shadowed corners, pictures were
snapped and alcohol consumed. Maggie knew that it was a
cleaner party than the ones that they would thrust
themselves into in their near future. They had been right.
This was business. They just planned to make it pleasure
as well.

Drifting nearly to opposite corners of the room, each Beatle
was clearly after their own comfort for the night. John was
the only one who didn’t seem interested in pulling a bird
though. For once, what he had in front of him was
satisfying enough.

Just prior to leaving for the party, Maggie had entered back
into the studio as the Beatles were all finishing up for the
day; the smile on John’s face was hard to miss, and hard
not to return. Even Paul gave her an appreciative glance
when he saw her, kicking himself moments later for eyeing
what he was subconsciously considering the enemy. She
had found the perfect dress for the night, colored a deep red
and for all its appeal, it had a hefty price tag that went
along with it….as near as she could tell, anyway – it
seemed that in 1964, a dress cost less than a fast food meal
would at home. But when she compared the price of her
dress to the others… Mal had grabbed it from her hands
                             51
just as she was about to put it back on the rack and had
taken it straight to the cashier before Maggie could even
protest. He'd also made sure she had picked up whatever
she might need to do her makeup and hair.

Looking at her now, John was impressed with how easily
she'd been able to transform herself, and how effortlessly.
She wasn't overly made-up, but he thought she was
beautiful as she was. Hell, he'd liked her in her jeans and t-
shirt. Perhaps he was past his Bridgette Bardot phase as he
could think of nothing more appealing right now than long,
dark hair.

“Hey,” John said, resting his hand lightly on her elbow and
pulling her out of her thoughts. “Do you want to go
someplace quieter?” Maggie quirked an eyebrow at him,
giving him a small smile. John only laughed. “Maybe later
then, luv,” he whispered in her ear, sending warm shivers
up and down her spine where they then pooled in the pit of
her stomach. Wordlessly she let John lead her to a darker
corner of the room, both of them slipping away from the
masses, the sounds of the party slightly muting as they
receded into the shadows.

Watching her sit down, John lit up a cigarette and took a
long and deep drag on it. He poured both of them a drink
from the bottle he’d grabbed on their way over here.
Maggie watched him quietly, seeing the raw emotion
flicker through his soft eyes now that they were away from
most people. His expression seemed to soften as he handed
her a drink and watched as she sipped at it. Both were
content in each others company, but neither really knew
what to say.

John studied her again. She was beautiful, but not in a
conventional way. With her curves, she didn't fit the 60s

                             52
Twiggy-like mold, nor did she resemble his usual blonde
starlet-like preferences. There was also the matter of
Maggie's personality. She was obviously not content to
just sit back and let a man provide for her while she popped
out babies and made dinner. No, she was driven, secure,
independent, and did not seem to need anyone or any man
to feel complete in her life.

She was the opposite of any woman he had ever been
attracted to both in appearance and personality.

There was no doubt in John’s mind that he was attracted to
her, and the intrigue that came along with her just seemed
to be an added bonus. John frowned, his cynical side
coming out. It was all too perfect; like everything in his
life, he knew that it couldn’t last. She wouldn’t last.
Whether she would change, or just his perception of her, it
didn’t matter; in the end this version of her would be gone.
If he was to have her, she would be gone within a matter
days. Besides, he realized that she was strong and
independent, and when it came down to it, no girl like that
wanted to be with a man like him. By the looks of her, she
led one of those perfect lives, and because of it, she would
never be able to understand the pain that still lashed deeply
inside him.

 “Tell me, luv?” he asked, turning to her with a small
smile. “Just how proud are your Mum and Dad over their
perfect daughter?” Taking a sip of his drink, he laughed
bitterly on the inside and briefly couldn’t help but wonder
how it would feel to have a parent still around that actually
even cared for what you did, let alone be proud of you. “I
bet you are a constant bit of bragging for them, what with
being a successful scientist for NASA, and in a rock band
at that. That’s why people have kids you know, so they can
brag about them, because one day they realize that they’re

                             53
old and their lives haven’t been worth shite and all they’ve
got to show for themselves is you.” Laughing, John
downed the rest of his drink and shook his head a little.
Peering into the depths of his glass, John felt himself
becoming lost in the roaring world that was spinning
around him. “Too bad my parents didn’t stick around.
Apparently they thought I’d never be worth bragging
about.” Truth be told, neither did John.

He looked at her out of the corner of his eye, trying to hide
his resentment and jealousy over the childhood he imagined
she’d had. Maggie swallowed as she stared at him, feeling
a weight bare down on her heart. She didn’t get angry and
she didn’t get upset at his assumptions. She knew why he
was behaving the way he was; she understood more then he
knew. Leaning back into the sofa, she looked out onto the
dance floor. The bodies continued to writhe and mold
against each other as each and every one of the partygoers
tried to forget the trial and troubles that had hounded them
that day.

“My parents are dead,” she stated, not looking at him.
“They were on a skiing trip together and on the way back
they hit some black ice that caused their car to spin out of
control and go off the road. The car rolled a few times
crushing and killing my mother instantly. My dad died in
the ambulance on the way to the hospital,” she recited all
this as if she had said it hundreds of times before. She felt
her heart ache over the loss of two people that she could
hardly even remember. “I was only about four so it’s not
like I ever really knew them, but I still… I still dream about
them at times.” She laughed derisively at her own
stupidity, shaking her head a little.

John was taken aback, the glass that had been half way to
his lips freezing in midair as he looked at her, watching

                             54
concealed pain rise to the surface. Letting his hand fall, he
looked down at his lap. “Must have been hard.” Maggie
only shrugged, not offering anything else up. Like she had
said, she was so young she hardly remembered them. What
was hard had been how she had always felt different from
other people growing up. They all had parents while she
had to learned to do things for herself. John swallowed,
swirling the alcohol round in circles as he listened to the
beat twist around the room. “My mum got hit by a car
when I was seventeen,” he said slowly. “She abandoned
me when I was three, didn’t really make contact with me
again for a while later, and when she finally started acting
like my mother an off-work cop decided to come and steal
her from me.”

Maggie tilted her head towards his, regarding him
carefully. He hadn’t once raised his eyes to meet hers
though. She knew his past, she knew of his mother and of
his father and knew that her own life’s tragedies had been
similar to his own in many ways. But she couldn’t tell him
that. How were you supposed to tell someone that you
learned all about the most private parts of their lif through a
book? She also knew from her reading that his relationship
with his parents was more complex than he was letting on,
or even admitting to himself.

Feeling slightly awkward, she turned back to her own
drink, sipping at it again. John lifted his head and looked at
her carefully, taken aback by the fact that she hadn’t
offered any of the usual platitudes that birds tended to give
when told of his life. Maybe it was because she knew first-
hand that it hurt more when people did that. Plus you know
they were just saying it half the time because they felt like
they ought to.

Swallowing, John ventured forward a little further. He

                              55
wanted to hear her keep talking, wanted to know that there
were others out there like him. “Was it hard for you,
growing up without any parents?”

Clearing her throat, Maggie shrugged. “Like I said, I didn’t
really know them too well. My grandmother was the one
who actually raised me. It was just her and me when I was
a kid.” Wrapping her arms around herself, Maggie blinked
rapidly to ward away any tears that the mention of her
beloved grandmother might have summoned. “She
dropped everything for me. She took me in without even
batting an eye.”

John stared at her, the expression that had clouded his
features slowly fading. “She sounds like a great woman,”
he said after the moments stretched on and silence reigned.

Maggie nodded. “She was,” she agreed. Turning to John
with a sad smile, she licked her lips. “She died last year.
Time finally caught up to her I guess.”

John blinked, turning his head, not able to handle the gaze
she was giving him. He didn’t want to see the pain in her
eyes. Taking a drag on his cigarette, John cocked his head
to the side. “I was raised by an Auntie,” he offered to her.
“She was…” John laughed fondly, “She was horrible at
times. All proper like, thinking she knew what was best for
me.”

“And despite that you still love her.” Maggie said with a
knowing grin.

John laughed, refusing to admit to anything. “Any brothers
or sisters?”

“Nope,” she said, breathing in deeply and letting it all out

                            56
with a single gush of air. “I’m an only child.”

John nodded. “Looks like you and I have a lot in common,
luv.”

Maggie watched as he stubbed out the butt of his cigarette,
grinding it harshly into the arm of his chair. “You have
sisters, though.” Almost the minute the words left her
mouth, she cringed.

John looked taken aback for a minute, but then laughed.
“How’d you know that?”

Looking down intently at her lap, Maggie bit her lip. “I uh-
I read it.” She said softly as she felt the crimson blush
color her cheeks. “There are quite a few books written
about you, you know.”

John grinned, leaning forward and sounded more intrigued
by the moment. “Are there now?” Maggie nodded. “Tell
me, luv. What nasty little details of my life do these books
catalogue?”

Maggie sighed, leaning into the cushions with a little shrug.
“Oh, you know. It just talks about how you became a
musician, how you got your start and everything, and then
how when you were in your mid-twenties you decided to
throw out your guitar in trade for the Bible and how you
decided to dedicate your life to Jesus Christ, our Lord and
Savior instead.”

John snorted in laughter. “Not bloody likely.”

“What?” Maggie asked, turning to him with a look full of
innocence. “You don’t believe me?”


                             57
“Not in this lifetime.”

With a little grin, Maggie shrugged. “Well, you’re in luck
then because I don’t belong to this lifetime.”

John shook his head. “No, come on. What do these books
say?” Maggie opened her mouth, prepared to tell yet
another fabricated story to try and best him, but quickly
stopped. Something in John’s expression stopped him as
he picked up his glass, the ice clinking against the sides of
the crystal. “Am I still married to Cyn?” he asked almost
casually, almost as if he was asking if the sky was still blue
in the future.

Maggie looked taken aback as she watched him touch the
glass to his lips, wincing slightly at the alcohol went down
cold and bitter. Leaning his head back against the back of
the sofa, John swallowed thickly, straining to keep control
of his emotions.

“Oh, come on, if these books know anything then you must
know how my marriage is in trouble,” he said bitterly.
“You must know how it’s all going to end for me and her.
If it’s going to end. Is it going to end?”

Maggie stayed silent, not sure if he even wanted an answer
to all of this. Taking another swig of his drink, John sunk
further down into the seat, shaking his head. Maggie
watched him, not even daring to move. His hair fell gently
in front of his eyes and he didn’t even bother to push it
away as he stared down into his drink, lost in his own silent
misery.

“I just don’t know what to do,” he quietly admitted. “I did
love her. I do love her. I’m just not passionate about her.
I’m more passionate about my music then I am about her.

                             58
Doesn’t that seem wrong? Shouldn’t I be more
passionately in love with the woman I am married to than I
am with my music? Shouldn’t I look forward to going
home to my family at night more then I look forward to
another day of writing music and playing with Paul?” John
frowned, having grappled with the same questions silently
for a long time now. “There was a time when she was my
everything. When I’d lie awake at night just thinking of
her. But now…” With a bitter laugh, he looked out at the
dancing crowd, almost begging them for answers. “I’m
not- I’m not sure if I love her anymore because I want to, or
because I have to.” Grabbing the bottle, John refilled his
glass, glaring at it’s dark contents before slamming the
green bottle back down onto the ground below so hard that
Maggie thought for sure it was going to shatter. “I just feel
like I’m suffocating,” he bit out. “No matter what I do it’s
never enough, it’s never right. My own marriage is slowly
strangling me and I’m not man enough to either try and
salvage it or just end it all together. Instead I go out and
fuck whatever girl comes my way before going home and
not even stopping to kiss my wife on the cheek when I walk
in the door.” Raising his glass in a bitter salute, John
smiled at Maggie. “Cheers by the way.”

She watched as he drained his glass, reached for the bottle
and poured yet another. Taking a sip of hers, Maggie
stayed silent, knowing that he wasn’t looking for words of
comfort right now. He was simply looking for someone he
could trust.

“My own son isn’t even enough to change things either.”
His voice was nearly inaudible as his eyes got misty.
“God, but he’s beautiful,” John breathed. “You should see
him when he smiles. It’s like the whole fucking room
lights up. I’ve never seen anything like it.” John shook his
head. “But you know what I realized the other day? When

                             59
Cyn walks into the room, he smiles, when the cats come
strolling in from the back yard, he grins, and when my best
mate walks through the fucking door, Julian holds out his
arms and laughs. But when I enter the room,” John bit his
lip, gritting his teeth as his voice grew gruff with unshed
tears. “When I walk in the room he just looks at me. It’s
like he doesn’t even know what to do. My own son is
fucking afraid of me and I don’t even know how to change
it. God, I don’t even know how to hold him without
fucking it all up.” He laughed bitterly. “I’m no better than
me own Dad. Just a worthless piece of shite who was
drunk one night and came home only to stick it to his
girlfriend.”

Setting her own glass aside, Maggie leaned forward, taking
John’s hand in hers. He looked down, marveling at their
entwined fingers, and stared in confusion as her tiny hand
wrapped securely around his. With his drink in the other
hand, he downed the rest of it, biting the inside of his cheek
before continuing.

“There’s a lot of things I regret,” he said hesitantly. “But
when twenty years of my life goes by, I have a feeling that
the simple fact that I couldn’t even play with my son
properly is going to top the charts." He paused, then, "No,
wait, fifteen. I've only fifteen years left, haven't I? Christ.”

Maggie felt her stomach knot at his words, watching the
belief shade his cheeks and the tears swim fitfully through
his eyes. The heartless bastard that some made him out to
be when it came to his first marriage was a quickly
diminishing thought. Squeezing his hand, Maggie looked
at him hopefully. “Then change it,” she encouraged
quietly. “John, I’ve seen the future and all it contains is
your little boy growing up thinking that his father didn’t
love him.” John turned away, his eyes locked towards the

                              60
outside world. “You can change that though,” she said
desperately. “Spend time with him. Even if you feel like a
complete idiot when you’re with him, I can assure you that
the simple fact that you’re at least trying is a memory that
is going to stay with the boy for as long as he lives.”

John swallowed. “How is that enough?”

“John, you’re his father. Believe me, it’s enough.”

Sniffing, John looked down at his drink. “And Cyn? Is
there a future for us?”

Maggie felt her throat go dry. If she told him the truth,
then his marriage with her would break off earlier than it
had, if she lied and he heeded her words about Julian, there
may have been some hope to their future, but more likely
than not, their marriage was going to end the same way it
had before.

“I don’t want to say anything to break up your marriage, to
cause more fighting or pain,” she said simply. “But you’re
going to find a girl. And you’re going to fall for her and
because of it your marriage is only going to end in pain.
You’re going to run off with another woman and your
marriage is going to end in the public spotlight, setting up
both Julian and Cynthia for a lifetime of resentment.”
Bringing his hand up to his eyes, John rubbed at them
fitfully, feeling his head start to swim. “It’s your own
decision on how you want to end your marriage. But, you
said you loved her once, and if that’s true, then you know
as well as I do that Cynthia deserves better than what
you’re going to do to her.” At John’s pained look, Maggie
reached over and took his other hand, “Hey,” she said
squeezing his hands gently. He peered up at her through
his fringe, clearly troubled by it all. “Nothing is written in

                             61
stone, John, not even your death. This isn’t a script you
have to act out. You can still change things. The future
has endless possibilities. We may not have any control
over what lot we are given in life, but we do have control
over our choices and decisions and how we treat others.”
John opened his mouth about to respond when loud
laughter rained through out the room, the voices and music
seeping through the walls. John looked around him,
watching as Ringo bounced around on the dance floor, as
George poured a girl another drink, and as Paul pulled a
bird onto his lap without pretence. Shaking his head, John
turned towards Maggie and all at once she knew that the
conversation had ended.

“Come ‘ead,” John muttered with a bit of a lazy smile.
“Let’s dance.”

Pulling her up, the two of them headed towards the dance
floor, weaving their bodies in and out of the crowd. John
pulled her to him, his hands low on her waist as her scent
filled him. Sweat beaded sweetly on his brow, her
intoxicating aroma reaching out and wrapping him in its
warm and sensual embrace. Maggie looked up at him,
feeling her breath quicken and her heart hammer against
her chest. His cheeks were flushed with the heat and
alcohol, his eyes dark as he pulled her closer, a slow song
stringing out through the room as the music changed.

Resting her head against his shoulder, Maggie closed her
eyes and swallowed. John’s hand splayed against the small
of her back, his head bowing down as the scent of her hair
swirled around him, nearly causing him to groan. He let
his other hand travel up her spine, feeling the shivers race
through her body despite the growing heat. His fingers
slowly curled into her hair, letting the soft strands slip
between his fingertips. Maggie felt herself unconsciously

                            62
scooting closer, her lips parting slightly as she tried to
regain control, a warm flutter taking place in the pit of her
stomach.

As the song finished, John pulled away, looking at her for a
beat before taking her by the hand. He led her outside
towards a small balcony, shutting the glass door firmly
behind him and blocking out the sounds of the party.
Maggie walked towards the railing, leaned against it and
clutched at the cool metal hoping to freeze the heat she was
feeling inside.

“I used to do this,” he whispered, fingering another
cigarette slowly. “I used to climb out my window in the
middle of the night and sneak off to the graveyard with
Paul. We’d sometimes sit for hours just staring up at the
stars, talking about our future.” John let out a sigh. “It’s
all shite now though, isn’t it? The future?”

Maggie swallowed, not knowing what to say to that. John
started up again before she could even form a thought,
turning around and leaning his back against the guard rail.
With a sigh, he let in the cool air, feeling it wash into his
blood and cool him from the inside out.

“So,” he said with a tiny smile. “Tell me more about the
future, like who wins the World Cup, so I can place my
bets appropriately?” He looked at her out of the corner of
his eye with a smirk, watching as a slow and steady smile
reached across those beautiful features.

“I can’t, John,” she said, laughing lightly. “I’ve already
told you enough as it is.”

“Oh, come on,” he wheedled softly, a teasing lilt lacing his
words. “You know you want to.”

                             63
Maggie laughed, trying to fix him with a stern look but
failing miserably. “No.” She grinned. Pushing away from
the railing, she tried to make her way back to the party, but
the feel of John’s hand over hers stopped her in mid step.

“You’re being quite cruel, you know.” He smiled,
swinging their clasped hand back and forth between them.
“We have names for birds like you.”

Maggie laughed, trying to extricate herself from him and
push him away. His hand only clasped hers tighter though,
laughing with her as each struggled to gain dominance.
With an evil grin, he looped his arm around her waist,
pinning her back against the black railing in triumph as he
effectively gained the much-desired control.

As they leaned against each other, panting, their hearts
beating wildly after the brief struggle, both smiles quickly
faded.

John felt a shiver run through him as he stared into her
eyes, feeling the erratic beating of her heart against his own
chest. He swallowed thickly, aware that his heart was
doing the same, but unable to find the strength to pull
away.

Hesitantly, John leaned forward, his eyes remaining on
hers, ready to pull away at the first sign of protest. But, as
his lips gently touched hers, her eyes fell closed, and her
head tilted back as she returned the kiss, sighing at the feel
of his lips.

He kissed her gently, scarcely able to breathe as hope and
anxiety built in his chest. Trailing his fingers up her arm,
he brushed them against her cheek, feeling her body melt

                             64
against him at his touch. Swallowing, John pressed
forward, more urgent, needing to feel, to touch, and to
simply connect with this woman. His hand slid down to
her hip, the other tangling itself in her hair as he pulled her
even tighter to him. Maggie moaned gently against his lips,
pressing herself against him and wrapping her arms around
his neck in silent invitation. Their breathing was fast and
erratic, echoing through the silent night like thunder, their
hearts beating wildly in their own ears as the world tumbled
down around them, leaving only them wrapped in each
other’s arms.

John tried to pull her closer, his hand sliding down to her
thigh and pulling it up to loop around his waist. But
nothing was close enough. The clothes served as a barrier
and as hard as he tried, as much as he pulled and pushed
and begged silently to just feel her, he could get no closer.

Breaking away with a gasp, John rested his head against
her shoulder, his breath wet against her heated skin.
Swallowing thickly, John trailed his tongue over the salty
flesh, nibbling gently on her ear. “There’s an empty
bedroom upstairs,” he whispered huskily, his fingers
trailing suggestively up and down her side.

And all at once, the fire within her was doused with the
weight of his words hitting her like an ocean wave.
Closing her eyes, she felt her stomach drop at the
knowledge of what she was doing, of what he was
suggesting. She was such a fool.

Slowly she untangled herself from John, holding him at
arms length, not trusting herself to be so near to him any
longer. “You’re married,” she gently reminded. “And
while I know that that won’t stop you from doing this, it’s
going to stop me.” Looking into his eyes, she shook her

                              65
head. “I can’t have an affair with a married man, no matter
how much I like him, or who he is. It’s wrong,” she said
firmly. She was surprised at how strong her words had
sounded, because she knew that in reality her resistance
was barely hanging on by a thread. All he needed was to
push the issue and any restraint she had would disappear.
She knew it, and he knew it.

John looked at her, trying to gain control of his breathing.
While he knew that he could push, knew that if he really
wanted to, he could have her upstairs in a few minutes flat,
he was slowly finding to his very great surprise that he
didn’t want that. He didn’t want to treat her like every
other girl he had had in the past. He knew it would be great
at the time. Hell, it would have been fucking fantastic! But
he also knew she would regret it afterwards, and it would
ruin anything they could have ever had.

Swallowing his lust, John nodded. Without saying a word,
he took her by the hand, and led her back to the party
within.

Paul had watched it all.

He had seen the first of the hesitant kiss and he watched as
it turned into groping hands and silent moans. He watched
John kiss Maggie out of the corner of his eye as the bird on
his own lap squirmed, sucking on his neck and running her
hands up his side. His frown only deepened when Maggie
pushed John away, and John didn’t try anything more.

They locked eyes as both John and Maggie entered the
room again, hand in hand. It was only for a moment
though. Before John could say anything, Paul had pushed
the girl from his lap, and headed towards the bar, leaving
the blond reeling in his absence.

                            66
Sighing, John leaned down and gave Maggie’s hand a little
squeeze. “I’m going to go get something to drink,” he
whispered in her ear. “Why don’t you go over and join the
boys.” Maggie smiled at him, knowing that he needed
some space to cool down a bit. Hell, she needed some
space for that matter. Being in close proximity with John
was dangerous. He was better then she had ever imagined.
There was so much more to him, to all of them, than she
had ever read in a book or seen in an interview. She had
always thought she’d known everything there was to know
about all the Beatles, especially John, and now she realized
that words could never capture the essence of a living
person. They were so alive. There was no other word that
she could think of to describe the feeling. Smiling to
herself at her discovery, she walked over towards George
and Ringo.

Making his way over to the bar, John watched as Paul
tossed back a shot, grimacing at the taste.

“Slow down there, son,” John laughed. “There’s plenty
more where that came from.” Paul turned towards John,
looking out him slightly before snorting in disgust.
“Something you want to say, Macca?” John mused.

Paul shrugged, knocking back more drink. “I just never
expected you to stoop so low, that’s all. I mean, fucking
the fans is one thing, but putting it to someone who’s
obviously not all there… I thought better of you, Lennon.”

John watched as Paul smiled to himself, swallowing down
the bitter liquid that kept being placed before him.
Tightening his jaw, he wrapped his arm around Paul’s
shoulder and smiled thinly. “I’m going to let that one go,
mate. Mainly because you’re pissed and also because

                            67
Brian would shit all over himself if he watched me bruise
up that pretty little face of yours.” Leaning in a little
closer, John grinned. “You ever say anything like that
again about her though, there’s going to be problems,
alright? Maggie’s not a nutter, got it?”

Paul frowned, shrugging John off and glaring at the drink
in his hand. John shook his head, letting the false smile slip
away as he turned back to the party, leaving Paul to stare
down into the bottom of his glass for the rest of the party.

The night passed with a roar from the stereo, the latest hits
blasting across the room and causing Maggie to smile. If
only they knew that these were the kind of songs that were
only played on the oldies station where she came from.

She and John talked a little more, keeping their
conversation light and when he went off for another drink
Ringo was there to pull her out to the dance floor. Maggie
couldn’t help but laugh as she danced along side the eldest
Beatle, jumping up and down with him and nearly falling to
the floor in a fit of giggles every time he showed her the
newest dance move that was sure to win over the ladies.
She would pretend to swoon, falling into him, and he would
laugh and try to extract himself from her, telling her that he
just couldn’t take advantage of a pissed girl like that. It
wasn’t right. That and the fact that John would probably
clobber him were the only things that were stopping him
though, mind you.

In all of her daydreams, in all of her fantasies, Maggie
could never recall ever having this much fun. It was the
little things that were making it all the more real for her.
The way Ringo looked as he danced, the way George
would sheepishly stub out his cigarette every time Maggie
glared, and the way John had felt as he was pressed up

                             68
against her. Maggie swallowed. It was one thing to
fantasize, but it felt quite different to actually live it.

As the night ended, and the people slowly started to filter
out, Maggie grew nervous. She gratefully slipped the coat
that Ringo offered to her over her shoulders as her eyes
searched the room for John. She didn’t know why she
looked for him. It wasn’t like she could go back to his
place. Not with his wife there and especially not after
everything that had happened. She saw him standing near
Paul, the two of them deep in some sort of conversation.

“You’re not driving home,” John stated as they came
nearer.

“Mal’s takin’ me,” Paul muttered slightly, swaying on his
feet. Rubbing at his eyes fitfully, he glared at John as his
friend caught him by the elbow before he fell. John didn’t
acknowledge it though, but instead gestured towards
Maggie. Slowly, Paul’s glazed eyes rolled over to her
standing in the middle of the foyer and the frown that he
usually could conceal while sober slipped into place.
“’ere,” he murmured, digging through his pockets before
finding a lone key and tossing it to her. Maggie caught it in
confusion, looking back up at both Paul and John with
curious eyes. “I have a flat nearby. You can stay there
tonight,” he said slurring his words together.

Maggie looked at him with a bit of surprise. “Thank you,”
she said with a small and grateful smile. Paul only grunted
in response before turning to John.

“You have to be back at the studio in five hours, John. You
need to go straight home.”

John smiled. “Yes, Mum.”

                             69
“I mean it,” Paul warned, stumbling out of the house with
Mal by his side. “If you’re not there tomorrow on time,
I’m going to call your Aunt Mimi and tell her everything.”

John narrowed his eyes playing along. “You wouldn’t
dare.”

Paul snorted as he stumbled out the door, feeling a sense of
comfort that despite the new threat in their lives, they could
still joke. “Just try me, Lennon. Just try me.” Paul pitched
forward. Mal just shook his head and caught him on the
way down.

John waved goodbye to Paul and Mal. His smile softened
as he turned his attention back to Maggie. She still had a
look of shock on her face.

“What’s wrong?”

Maggie shook her head. “Nothing. I’m just surprised that
you were able to convince him to let me stay at his place in
town.”

John laughed. “I didn’t convince him, luv. He all but
demanded that you stayed there. He was quite adamant
about it.”

Maggie held in her flinch. Obviously Paul was trying to
keep the two of them apart. She had assumed that John had
convinced Paul to let her crash at his place, not thinking
that Paul would be so kind to the girl that was, in Paul’s
mind, stealing away his friend. But Maggie was quickly
learning that there was almost always a motive behind
everything with Paul McCartney.


                             70
“Come on, luv,” Ringo called, nudging at George to stub
out his cigarette. “I’ll drive you home. I live the closest to
the flat.” Maggie smiled at him in thanks, giving George a
pointed look, and then turning back to John.

“Well, then,” she said. “I guess this is goodnight.”

John nodded. “I guess it is.” Shifting from foot to foot, he
shoved his hands in his pocket. “Did you want to maybe
come to the studio tomorrow and try and figure out this
whole future business in-between takes?”

Maggie grinned broadly. “I’d like that.” And before things
could go any further, before she could follow through with
the urge to stand up on tip-toe and kiss him goodnight, she
quickly hooked arms with Ringo and walked out the front
door.




                             71
Chapter Five




“S     o, how was Macca’s bachelor pad?” John asked as
       Maggie got in the car the next morning. Maggie
smiled knowingly at him, leaning back into her seat.

“It wasn’t really furnished,” she commented. “But the bed
was nice.” John chuckled at that, and looked at her smugly
out the corner of his eye. Maggie rolled her eyes, clipping
her seatbelt firmly in place. She couldn’t help but notice
how John didn’t even bother with his and knew that he was
for a rude awakening sometime in the future if he was ever
caught without one. “Guess that’s all the place really needs
to be nice though, huh?”

“More or less,” John grinned. With a shake of her head,
Maggie turned towards the window, feeling her body sink
into the soft interior of the car. Bringing her hand up to her
mouth, she tried her hardest to stifle a yawn, but found that
she couldn’t muster enough energy to hold it in. Eyes
watering, Maggie inhaled sharply, widening her eyes
hoping to wake herself up a little more.

“Tired, luv?” John asked casually, finding her slightly
haggard appearance amusing. “Did I wear you out last
night?”

Maggie let out a very unladylike snort. “You wish.”

“Maggie, darling, if I'd really wanted to, I could have,” he
                             72
tossed at her rather matter-of-factly.

Turning to him fully, Maggie raised an eyebrow, crossing
her arms in front of her in a slightly protective manner.
“Oh, really?” John nodded. “So, I suppose you were just
being a gentleman last night then?”

“Yes, Ma’am,” he said solemnly.

“And if I was to throw myself at you this very moment and
beg you to take me right here and right now, would you
still keep up that gentleman-like quality?”

She watched as the corners of his lips quirked up slightly
and he pressed on the gas pedal a little harder. “It depends,”
he mused.

“On?”

“Well,” John said. “Would you still respect me
afterwards?”

Maggie burst out into laughter, feeling her smile widen.
“No, probably not. But you’re also assuming I respect you
now,” she said with a wink.

With a little sigh bleeding from his lips, John shook his
head sadly. “Then it would never have worked out between
us.”

“That’s a shame,” Maggie sighed teasingly. “It would have
made for a good wake up call.”

John returned her sigh. “Well, if it’s to wake you up, I may
be able to compromise. I mean, sometimes we all have to
sacrifice for the greater good and if my virginity is what it

                              73
takes…”

“Virginity.” Maggie snorted again. “Oh, please.”

John looked at her, a mock expression of hurt on his face.
“What kind of man do you take me for, Miss Margaret? Do
you honestly believe I am the kind of person who would go
out there and offer myself to just anyone? Honestly,” he
huffed. His words were quickly betrayed though as he
looked her up and down, a slight leer entering his eyes.
“Besides, I’m not the one that was wearing red last night,
luv.”

Maggie snapped her head towards him with a slight frown
becoming serious, banter forgotten. “What is that supposed
to mean?”

“Nothing,” he grinned. “Just that I think I have a new
favorite color and it’s all your fault.”

Maggie felt a blush color her cheeks almost immediately
and turned away, hoping that he wouldn’t see it.
Swallowing thickly, Maggie played with the hem of her
shirt, feeling the air grow hot and heavy around her. “You
can’t say things like that, John,” she whispered, gazing
down at her lap with forced intent. “It’s fine when we’re
joking, but… we can only be friends. You know…”

“So, do we live in little bubbles in the future?” John cut her
off, asking the question like it was the most natural thing in
the world.

Maggie looked up at him, staring at him in curiosity,
knowing he was changing the subject but not understanding
why this was what he was changing it too. “Uh…” she said
a little hesitantly. “No.” John nodded thoughtfully. “Why

                             74
do you ask?”

“Because I don’t think my cats would like that much. I just
wanted to be prepared.”

“Just keep your eyes on the road,” Maggie said with a
smile, shaking her head at the absurdity of his words and
the fact that coming from him, it seemed so natural. “I
don’t really feel like dying today.”

Cocking his head to the left, John stared at her
contemplatively, purposely swerving the car a bit. “Are you
suggesting I’m a bad driver?”

“You don’t get a reputation for your driving ability because
you’re good unless you’re a professional racecar driver.
Which you definitely aren’t.” She joked, “I know girls that
are better drivers than you.”

John glared. “That’s harsh.”

Maggie shrugged. “I only speak the truth.”

Pulling into the recording studio, John turned off the car
and pulled out his keys. Maggie reached for the door, ready
to head inside, mentally preparing herself for some barbed
comments from Paul. John caught her by the arm though,
stopping her for a moment.

Turning back to him, Maggie looked at him curiously. With
his head ducked down slightly, looking up through the
fringe of his hair, John swallowed. “I just wanted to say
thank you.”

“For what?”


                               75
Taking a deep breath, John shrugged. “For last night. For
the advice that you gave me about Julian. When I went
home I looked in on him and…” He stopped, feeling his
throat constrict a little. “Just… thank you. I know I can’t
change overnight, but I… I don’t want to be like my father.
I need to be better than him. For both me and Jules.”
Letting go of her arm, he leaned back in his seat again,
staring out straight ahead of him. Maggie looked at him
softly, studying his profile and watching as he tried to keep
control of the emotions flickering through his eyes. He
wanted to try; Maggie knew he was telling the truth about
that. She knew that he loved the boy and knew he wanted
to be a father to him, but for some reason or other, it had
just never worked.

“It’s just…” he said, clearing his throat gruffly. “I don’t
know how.” He looked down helplessly at his lap, his eyes
searching everywhere they could, trying to rest on a safe
spot and finally just settling for the dash. “I don’t even
know what’s stopping me. Jules is happy when I just sit and
look at the pictures he’s drawn during the day. I look at his
scribbling and then hang it somewhere in the house and the
boy is happy for hours. But it doesn’t seem to matter
because it’s not good enough in my mind so why the hell
should I even try?” Shaking his head, he swallowed. “I
don’t know what he likes to do for fun, I don’t know what
his favorite food is… God, Maggie. I don’t think I even
know what his first words were.” A bitter smile crossed his
lips at that as he hit the dashboard. “You know who would
know though?”

Maggie had a feeling she already knew the answer to that
question.

“It’s not even his kid and yet Paul knows more about him
than I do,” John said bitterly.

                             76
Scooting closer to him, Maggie took his hand in hers.
“John, you need to stop this,” she said firmly. John looked
at her with a slight frown. “You need to stop comparing
your relationship with Julian to Paul’s relationship with
him because if you keep doing that, then Julian is going to
grow up feeling as if Paul was more of his father than you
were.”

“So, what am I supposed to do?” He said, hitting his hand
harshly against the dashboard. “I’d say I wouldn’t let Paul
even see him anymore but Jules loves him so much and
I…. I can’t help but think that’d only make things worse.”

Maggie sighed. “Don’t forbid Paul from seeing your son.
Don’t even worry about their relationship. John, you need
to stop worrying about what everyone else does with him
and start your own relationship with your son. You said he
likes to draw, well then, encourage that. Draw with him.
Tell him how good he is at it. Read to him, teach him how
to play guitar…”

John turned to her. “Does he… does he play guitar when he
grows up?”

Maggie smiled. “He even manages to put out a few
records.”

The sense of pride that washed over John at that moment
was palpable. A smile broke through his grim exterior,
lighting up his face in an instant. Maggie squeezed his hand
a little, giving him a soft look. “You see? He follows in
your footsteps no matter what.”

Leaning back against the chair, John closed his eyes and
sighed. “I love him,” he whispered.

                            77
“I know,” Maggie said. “You just need to make sure he
knows that too.”

Looking out the window, John watched the cars drive by
slowly, people peering back at them. There was a group of
girls congregating at the corner of the street. In a matter of
moments, they would be outside of the car, banging on the
windows, and screaming in mass hysteria.

Turning back to Maggie, he nodded to her, conveying to
her that he was going to try. “Come on,” he said quickly as
he saw the girls begin to move towards them. “We need to
get inside.” Looking towards where John’s eyes were being
held, Maggie saw the girls. Without a second thought, she
pushed open the car door and headed for the studio’s door,
John only a few steps behind.

Walking down the studio halls, John and Maggie remained
silent while John sorted through a few sheets of mail,
rolling his eyes a little at one of the fan letters that the
receptionist obviously thought was one of the better ones.
The rest of the band was already there when they arrived;
George explained to Maggie that John was always the last
to show up.

Maggie smiled at him enthusiastically, “I’m just happy to
be alive! I’m just surprised he’s able to make it here in one
piece with his driving skills.”

George smiled. “We’re trying to get him to hire a driver.”

“Yeah,” Ringo agreed, going over and giving Maggie a
little pat on the shoulder. “Hey, Paul. Do you think you two
could write a driver next?” Paul only waved Ringo away,
staring down at the current song he was working on

                             78
instead. When Maggie looked at Ringo confused, he only
smiled. “That’s what those two do,” he stated. “When they
want something, they write a song to pay for it.”

“They wrote another car a few weeks back,” George said.

John came up to the three of them, his eyes remaining on
Paul’s stiff form instead. “I might have to write a new bass
player if this one doesn’t stop pouting,” he said. Paul turned
his head towards them at that, staring at John blankly
before getting up and coming over to the four of them.

“Hullo, John,” he muttered, ignoring the last comment
before turning to Maggie. “I trust you slept well last
night?”

Maggie nodded and tried to give him a friendly smile.
“Very well. Thanks for letting me stay there. It was really
very generous of you.”

Paul flashed her a grin that Maggie knew had to be false. It
was too bright to be anything but. “Well, we couldn’t have
you inconveniencing John’s family like that. John needs his
beauty rest or he’s worthless in the morning.” The others
laughed, but Maggie knew that the word “inconveniencing”
was meant as something much more. Paul held eye contact
with her for a moment longer before turning to the rest of
the band. “Come on lads, let’s write John that driver.”

Placing his hand on her shoulder, John leaned down to
whisper in Maggie’s ear. “Why don’t you go up into the
recording booth, luv. Later we’ll get a bite to eat.”

Maggie smiled at him brightly, perfectly content to sit and
watch the four of them for hours.


                             79
“So,” Ringo said as he poured some tea for all of them.
“Are you friends with us in the future? Or is this just kind
of a fluke for you?”

Maggie laughed. “I can safely say that before yesterday, I
had never met you guys in my life. Not that many have.
You all become hermits and live in caves in Greece.”

Ringo looked at her half-seriously, but before he could say
anything, John teased, “Ah! This must be where Ritchie
becomes intimately familiar with the octopus Miss
Margaret mentioned, eh?” Then he proceeded to mime
getting caught by an octopus and dragged into the sea.

Maggie just shook her head and chuckled at John’s antics.

George ignored John though, and turned to Maggie, quite
serious, and said. “You seem to fit in easily with us,
though, and that really isn’t that common, especially not
these days. I would imagine that we would cling to an old
friend like you. We can’t have changed that much since
now.”

Ringo chimed in, “In the future, we’ll be sure to call you up
so we can get together and reminisce. Or we’ll invite you to
our concerts! Of course, we’ll all be old men, hobblin’
about on stage with our canes and our instruments. Can you
imagine it? Sixty-year-old rock stars! How awful would
that be? On second thought, Maggie luv, never mind.”

Maggie looked down into her tea. If only they knew. John
and George would never make it to 60, but Paul and Ringo
would still be able fill stadiums with adoring fans.


                             80
The four boys that sat before her now would soon be the
same ones that ended up fighting each other out in court.
They would be the ones turning against each other, the ones
that would slag each other off in public, and the ones that
caused more pain than necessary. In a few short years, this
happy sanctuary that they had created would all come
tumbling down around them and all of it would be captured
through a series of pictures and television interviews. And
yet somehow through it all, their friends, the Rolling Stones
would still be selling out arenas as sixty-year-old rock stars.

“So, how are you going to get back?” Ringo said lightly as
he set her teacup down in front of him. Paul perked up from
his position in the corner of the room, turning to the
conversation at hand. John also turned, his expression much
different than Paul’s. “That is, assuming you’re going
back.”

Maggie saw John’s expression out of the corner of her eye,
watching as he turned his attention to the depths of his tea,
obviously trying to keep his silence. They hadn’t really
discussed yet what they were going to do about her. She
couldn’t stay here, that much she knew. Her life was back
in the year 2006; she didn’t belong in 1964, that was
obvious. Just the general attitude towards women would be
enough to ensure that. And NASA definitely wouldn’t have
a job for her here. A woman scientist? Just barely possible,
but not likely.

“I’m going back.” Maggie said, trying to lay it out gently
enough. “I’m just not really sure how. All I know is that
I… I don’t belong here.” Taking a sip of her tea, Maggie
felt tension crash across the room in waves, most of it
coming from John. A warm arm soon descended around her
shoulder though, and as she looked up into Ringo’s blue
eyes, she was met with a soft smile.

                              81
“You could belong here if you really wanted to, you
know.”

She knew that the offer was heartfelt but she also knew that
it wouldn’t last. There was no doubt in her mind that they
liked her, particularly John, but she had read up enough
about them to know that that was simply because she was
new and exciting. She had popped out of thin air and
managed to captivate their attention for the time being but
sooner or later the novelty, this mysterious allure would
wear off and they would become bored with her just like
they did everyone and everything else. Even if she was
guaranteed to remain part of the Beatles’ inner circle, to be
one of the few that would have the privilege to be in their
lives, there was still a problem.

Paul didn’t like her. That much was obvious, and as far as
being accepted by the entire group, she knew that this
single issue was a rather large nail in the coffin. If she
stayed, things would only become complicated much
sooner than need be. An indefinite stay was out of the
question.

Turning to Ringo, but directing her words towards John,
Maggie shook her head. “I don’t belong here,” she
repeated. Sighing, John leaned against the back of her
chair, clutching the warm mug between his fingers. Maggie
continued, "The only problem is that I don't know how to
get back home. I mean I'm not even sure how I even got
here in the first place.”

“What were you doing when it happened?” George asked
curiously.

Maggie shrugged. “I was fooling around while taking a tour

                             82
of this studio. I just looked at a picture of John… and I kind
of wished or willed myself here, or something like that.
Then suddenly I wasn’t looking at a picture any longer. I
was being stupid and juvenile but it somehow worked,” she
finished lamely, knowing how foolish she sounded.

Coming from across the room, Paul sat down across from
her, taking up his own cup of tea and looking at her intently
over the rim. John remained where he was though set apart
from the rest of the group, his eyes downcast to the floor.

“Why don’t you do that again,” Paul suggested. “I mean, if
that’s the way you came, it only makes sense that that’s
also the way you would go back.”

Maggie nearly dropped her tea as she stared at Paul with a
mixture of shock and disbelief. Mentally she was kicking
herself for not thinking of this herself. “I…” she started. “I
don’t know why I didn’t think of that,” she mumbled to
herself.

Paul smiled tightly. “You were probably just a little
disoriented.” Getting up from the table, he started pacing
the floor. He hummed to himself a little while both George
and Ringo sat quietly at the table with Maggie and John
stood still in the corner. The fact that she was going home
soon weighed heavy on everybody’s minds. “When do you
think you’ll be going then?” Paul asked casually, managing
to keep his tone conversational.

Maggie swallowed, looking to John and seeing the
resignation written in his eyes. The sooner she left, the
easier it was going to be.

“Now,” she said quietly and sadly. “I should probably leave
now.”

                             83
Soft good-byes were said in the studio. She and George
embraced, each feeling the loss of a friend who understood
the other’s obsession with guitars. On impulse, Maggie
whispered some parting advice into his ear. “Remember, no
smoking…and stay away from Ringo’s wife.” George
started at that last bit, but recovered quickly, gave her one
last squeeze and then backed away slightly puzzled. Ringo
gave her a light kiss on the cheek, as he also felt the loss of
a potential friend, and Maggie felt the loss of a future
confidant. And Paul… well, Paul had cheerfully clapped
her on the shoulder and gently nudged her towards the
door, telling her that he was glad to have met her. They
both knew it was a lie.

She and John slipped out of the room silently, going back
to the spot they had met only twenty-four hours earlier.
Both walked in silence, neither able to find the words to say
to make any of this less difficult. As they stopped in front
of the picture that had brought them together, both stared
blankly down at the ground. With their hands thrust in their
pockets, they faced each other, not able to bring their eyes
up any further. They were too afraid of what they might see
written in each other's eyes. Maggie knew that if she looked
at him, she was very likely to lose the tiny amount of will
power she had to go back home. I think I'll miss you most of
all, she thought to herself, recalling Dorothy's goodbyes at
the end of the Wizard of Oz. She knew how that must have
felt now to leave the old friends she'd just met at the end of
an improbable, but no less affecting, adventure.

Shaking her head, Maggie winced, knowing that she was
going to regret her next actions. Throwing her arms around
John’s neck, Maggie pulled her body to his, burying her

                              84
face in his neck and stifling an unbidden sob before it could
escape. His arms came up and around her, holding her
tightly and tangling one hand firmly in her hair.

“I’ll never forget you,” Maggie whispered.

John laughed slightly, at a loss of what to say. Clutching
her tighter, John squeezed his eyes shut. “I think I could
have been happy with you,” he murmured. “We could have
made this work.” Pulling away from her, John smiled,
wiping the few tears that escaped her eyes with the pad of
his thumb. “And as hard as I may try, I don’t think I’ll be
able to forget you either. You or that lovely vision of you in
that red dress last night at the party. Dressed like a little
harlot, you were!” He grinned, trying to make light of the
situation. Maggie bit her lip, trying to keep the rest of her
tears at bay, but failing miserably.

Cupping her cheek with the palm of his hands, John leaned
in, kissing her forehead sweetly, feeling his own throat
cinch tightly shut. Without another word he turned on his
heel and walked away, knowing he wouldn’t be able to stay
and watch this girl just walk out of his life.

Closing her eyes, Maggie swallowed, taking in a few deep
breaths as she tried to compose herself. Slowly, as she
gained her bearings, she peeled open her lids, coming face
to face with the picture that had brought her here in the first
place. Focusing her eyes, she stared at it, thinking of home,
of the studio she had left, of the way the city now looked
and sounded. Slowly the world began to spin, colors
swirling and mixing to create a world of its own. Maggie
swayed on her feet gently, feeling as if she were about to
fall but not able to tear her eyes away from the photograph
before her. As she felt the floor shift beneath her, felt
herself begin to tumble into the dark abyss, strong hands

                              85
grabbed her from behind. Reality then snapped forth, the
colors settling into their rightful place and Maggie felt a
gasp tear through her stomach as she both hoped and
dreaded that when she looked up, she would see John’s
face.

But it wasn’t John. It wasn’t even someone that she knew.

“You okay, Miss?”

Maggie stared at the kindly old gentleman who had caught
her as she began to tumble forward. He looked at her a little
worriedly, obviously noting the dazed expression on her
face. Maggie tried not to let her disappointment show as
she saw him, giving him a weak but friendly smile as she
nodded her head gently. Her cell phone lay on top of her
purse on the floor, the walls around her seemed brighter, a
fresh coat of paint gleaming across the surface, and the man
that was now slowly pulling away was not John.

She was back in her own time.

“I’m fine,” she replied to him. “Just got a little dizzy.
Thank you for steadying me,” she muttered. Without
another word she turned from him, scooped up her purse,
and walked down the hall straight towards the door.

Stepping outside, Maggie looked up towards the sky,
watching as a bird flew overhead. She couldn’t help but
wonder what would have happened if things had been
different. Maybe if John hadn’t been married… Maggie
shook her head at that, taking a deep breath and heading
down the street. Thinking like that wasn’t going to help
anything. Maggie knew what John’s future held and it
wasn’t the sort of lifestyle she wanted to get in to. Her
leaving was for the best for them all.

                             86
Stepping out on the curb, Maggie nodded once, trying her
hardest to convince herself of her words but failing
miserably.




                          87
Chapter Six




T   he city was lit with the kind of magic that you once felt
    every day as a child. It was that innocent kind of
wonder, the kind that put a smile on your face and made
you look at your surroundings with new eyes.

Maggie knew she should have felt happy, should have been
beyond content with her great modern life, and yet, she
remained aloof, a stranger in every sense of the word to her
surroundings.

She felt lost in her own time.

She had no family, no real friends she could connect with.
It was just her, alone in this bleak little universe. She had
thought that maybe with her job she would find a sense of
purpose. And while she was excited about it, barely able to
even sit still when she thought about what she would be
doing with NASA, she couldn’t help but feel like there was
something still missing. That feeling hadn’t haunted her
before this so-called little “trip” she had just taken. No,
before her little tryst in EMI, she had felt complete, had felt
whole. Her career was the center of her world and that was
enough for her. Who needed love when you were on your
way to becoming one of the most successful women
scientists of your time? Love was fleeting. It simply gave
you that warm tingle in the pit of your stomach for a few
months before the magic wore off and left you with this
bitter loneliness. Someone would hurt someone else, harsh
                              88
words would be traded, and suddenly, that feeling that you
thought would last forever would deflate in a sea of tears
and nothing more. Maggie was taking the smart route in
life. She was forgetting love and going with her career.
Careers were stable. They were indefinite, and in the end,
they provided you with so much more satisfaction than a
love life ever could.

But she couldn’t help but remember the way she had felt
like a part of something important only a few brief hours
ago. As she walked down the city streets and back to her
hotel, Maggie remembered how she had actually played
alongside of some of the world’s most famous and talented
musicians. It wasn’t even the fact that it was the Beatles
that was making her smile in delight (okay, maybe it was a
little bit) but the fact that she actually felt like she belonged
there. Not necessarily playing with them, but there, in that
lifetime, in that warm embrace of John’s eyes.

It was crazy though.

The whole idea was absolutely insane and Maggie couldn’t
dwell on something like that. She needed to take this as a
blessing and then move on. She had been given the chance
that millions of girls only dreamed of and she had made the
best of it. She had warned the Beatles of what was to come
and hopefully they had heeded her words, making their
lives better for it in the end.

At the thought of what she might have been able to do,
Maggie broke out into a run. People looked at her as she
raced past them, anxious to get inside her little room and
pull out her laptop. The bellhop just glanced at her a little
bewildered as she ran into the lobby, opting to take the
stairs to her room instead.


                               89
The keycard shook in her hand as she attempted to open the
door and after several muddled attempts, Maggie managed
to break through. Not even bothering to lock the door
behind her, and pulling out her laptop, she brought up
wikipedia, typing in George’s name as fast as her fingers
would allow.

As her eyes scanned the small print, she felt a little sigh of
relief hit her. George had given up smoking, going through
a long struggle in the mid sixties with it, but had prevailed
in the end. He was currently still alive today, living out the
remainder of his years with Olivia and Dhani. Maggie
smiled, feeling relief flooding her system.

Typing in Paul’s name she found the same there. Linda had
caught her breast cancer early on in life and had managed
to fight it off before it became too late. The two of them
had four beautiful children together and it looked like they
had just recently adopted a fifth. Maggie felt herself laugh
in astonishment as she read about their new little girl, Bea,
and how the McCartneys had taken her in after finding out
she had been abandoned by her crack whore mother.

Ringo had changed just as much as the others had, it
seemed, heeding her words of advice as well. He had cut
back on his drinking and drug use and from what she could
tell, had never needed to enter rehab. He had even been
with Maureen though her illness, helping her beat it and
had managed to be a lot kinder during their divorce
resulting in the fact that Maureen had never attempted
suicide.

Maggie felt her rapidly beating heart slow as she read good
news after good news about the boys that she had come to
know only a few hours prior. Her anxiety and trepidation
over John was almost all gone as she typed in his name a

                             90
little slower than the rest. As his picture popped up on the
screen, she had to grin. She missed him already.

Her smile soon faded though as she ran her eyes over the
print that read before her. Despite everything she said,
despite all the warnings and all the looks of fear that had
crossed his features, nothing had changed. Feeling the tears
prick her eyes, Maggie felt a wave of panic crash over her
like freezing water on her skin. Pushing away from the bed
she had settled on, she ran out of her room, bursting outside
into the darkening night.

Rain fell down from the storm clouds as her feet pounded
heavily against the sidewalk. She had to go back to him,
she had to tell him again what had happened. She couldn’t
let it all end like this.

Heart racing, hair plastered to her face, Maggie reached the
studio, her breath coming in short and ragged rasps. She
yanked on the front door, feeling her shoulder give a slight
pop of protest as the door stayed firmly shut, locked up for
the night. Maggie felt herself panic as she continued to pull
uselessly on the heavy entryway, hoping that it would
suddenly open, hoping that someone inside would hear her
screams. The rain swallowed them whole though, causing
them to simply disappear into the blackened night.

Pounding her fists on the door one last time, Maggie felt
herself sink to her knees, the sobs wracking her form as she
fell into the dirty concrete beneath her. The rain fell down
around her, soaking her to the bone and drawing her further
into herself. There was nothing Maggie could do though as
she sat curled on the ground, feeling the bile rise in her
stomach. Why couldn’t she have saved him?



                             91
She dropped her purse down on the entryway table as she
made her way inside her little hotel room. Walking numbly
to the bathroom, she grabbed a towel, not even bothering to
change out of her wet clothes. What was the point?

The computer screen still remained upwards, shining
brightly at her with John’s face staring back. She locked
eyes with him for a moment, feeling the tears swim just
beneath the surface, but knowing she was too weak to let
them out.

Sitting down heavily on her bed, Maggie took a deep
breath, forcing herself to read just exactly what had
happened. It seems that John had done as she said, had
gone and told the police what he suspected. But, like usual,
they hadn’t listened. They didn’t believe that Mark David
Chapman was anything more than a fan and had refused to
arrest him. No, they simply went with the theory that John
was just another paranoid rocker, strung out on drugs.

John, not knowing what to do, had gone home anyway,
attempting to fight his attacker off as the first gunshots rang
out. But it was to no avail. The bulletproof vest Maggie had
told him to wear seemed to be nowhere in sight. Maggie
read an interview with their personal assistant, one dated
years later, where he described how John and Yoko had
fought that morning over that very subject, John shouting
something to the effect of Maggie told him he needed to
wear one. It had taken Yoko a few hours, but she had
convinced him that a bulletproof vest wasn’t necessary and
that he needed to let go of this illusion of a girl named
Maggie he had been holding onto all these years. It seemed
as if this wasn’t the first time Maggie had been mentioned.
Everyone had written her off though as a bad LSD
flashback and because of it, everything remained the same.

                              92
John had still died just like he had before, shot down in
front of his own home as his little boy remained upstairs,
fast asleep.

Closing her laptop for the night, Maggie laid down on her
bed, feeling her wet shirt stick to her skin. She just stared
out her window, watching the rain fall down the glass
silently, her body aching in memory.



More determined then ever, Maggie arrived back at the
studio the next morning only slightly put off by the fact that
there were no tours today. She didn’t care; she needed to
get inside. Slowly she snuck in the front door, vowing to
herself that she would just play dumb if she were caught.

Entering that familiar corridor, Maggie went straight to the
picture that had caused this whole ordeal in the first place,
and stood firmly in front of it, praying that this would
work. When she had awoken this morning, she wasn’t all
together convinced that the last couple of days were
nothing more than a bad dream. But if there was a way to
fix this, she had to at least try. Packing an overnight bag,
she had made her way here, feeling more and more like a
fool every step of the way, and having to fight the urge to
simply turn around and leave as she came face to face with
the picture. She had to at least try. If she failed, she could
go home and pretend none of this had ever happened.

Staring steadily into the photograph’s eyes, she had to force
herself to remain focused as the world started to spin again.
Part of her wasn’t sure this was even happening and
desperately wanted to look around the room to see if
something was changing. But she remained still, not
wanting to take her chances. It had to work; it had to.

                             93
When it became too much she closed her eyes, pulling a
hand upwards to clutch at her head in order to stop the
dizziness that was threatening to overwhelm her. What was
she doing? What intelligent, rational, human being, who
was in the position she was in life, actually did this? By
believing in this childish fantasy she was not only
jeopardizing the credibility she had worked so hard to gain
in this male-dominated world, but she was also feeding into
the lack of sanity she currently possessed. While her
analytical mind might have accepted what had happened,
that she had somehow managed to time travel back to 1964
only two days ago, it still didn’t make up for the fact that
she was trying to do it all over again. If someone caught
her, the excuse that she didn’t believe in any of this
wouldn’t save her. So she refused to open her eyes. She
was afraid that when she did, she would still either be here
in 2006, or she would be back in 1964. Either possibility
led to two things. She was crazy and had imagined it all, or
there was no way to get back to John and he was gone
forever. Neither option was one she thought she could
face…but she knew she couldn’t stand here forever.

Slowly, she opened her eyes, not knowing what to expect.
She couldn’t help but feel the elation at what she saw.

John stood before her, staring at her in disbelief. He looked
different. His hair was slightly longer and his eyes were
older, battle weary almost, but Maggie knew it was him all
the same.

“Maggie?” he whispered, his voice catching as he pulled
her tightly in his embrace. She wrapped her arms around
him instinctively, tightly, as she buried her face in his neck
and breathed in his scent, the feel of him sending warm
shivers down her spine. “I can’t believe it’s you,” he

                             94
mumbled into her hair. “I used to come down this hallway
every time I had a chance, hoping to find you, but
lately…it’s been so long….” Squeezing her tighter for a
moment, as if to confirm that she was, in fact, there with
him, he laughed before pulling her away and shaking his
head. “You look just as I remember. You haven’t changed
one bit!” he exclaimed, pushing her away from him so he
could look at her.

Maggie frowned a little at that, watching as he drank her in.
“Well, I would hope so. I’ve only been gone for twenty
four hours.”

Cocking up one eyebrow, John looked at her in surprise.
“Twenty four hours? It’s April 20th, 1966. It’s been a little
more than twenty four hours since you’ve left, Miss
Margaret.” Maggie gaped at him in shock at the realization
that two years had past since she had last seen him, but he
could only smile. Slipping his hand down into hers, he
dragged her forward. “Come on,” he said excitedly. “We’re
recording a new album. You have to come and see the
boys.” With a wicked look, John’s lips twitched up into a
smirk. “Try not to throw up this time.”

Before Maggie could even think about protesting, John was
pulling her down the endless hall, his hand tight against
hers, almost as if he was afraid to let her go again. Pushing
open the door, John cried out triumphantly, pulling Maggie
in front of him and showing her off. There was a moment
of silence around the room as they all seemed to stare at her
in wide-eyed disbelief, almost all of them having nearly
convinced themselves that she was nothing more than a
dream that had entered their lives not so long ago. But all at
once, the laughter burst forth, the cries of joy ringing
through the room as George and Ringo came forward,
grinning broadly at her much like John had.

                             95
“You’re back!” George said, barely able to contain the
excitement he felt at having a fellow guitar geek in his
presence once more. Hesitantly, he stuck out his hand in
greeting. As Maggie took it though, she pulled him into a
hug, not being able to contain her relief at seeing him
again. There was something about George that she just
found endearing. “You have to see the new guitar I
bought,” he said with a grin as he pulled away. “The
thing’s a beauty and…”

“Let the girl breathe, George,” Ringo laughed. Pushing him
aside, Ringo pulled Maggie into a great big bear hug, lifting
her off the floor slightly and smiling as she gave off a
happy little laugh. “Give her a few minutes before you two
go off on your boring guitar talk,” he said as he set her
down, giving her shoulder a little squeeze. “Did you just
get back?”

Maggie looked around the room, a little overwhelmed
before breaking out into a wide grin and shrugging a little.
“Yeah!” she laughed. “I guess I did!”

“You haven’t changed a bit, luv.” Turning her head a little,
Maggie saw Paul leaning against the side wall. He looked
at her a bit warily, but he didn’t seem as aggressive as he
had been the last time around. Given the time period,
Maggie suspected that drugs had something to do with that.

“I’ve only been gone for twenty four hours,” Maggie
explained hesitantly.

Paul frowned. “Twenty four hours? But it’s been…?”

“I know,” Maggie said, trying to wrap her mind around it
as well. “Time must work differently or something. I’m not

                             96
sure. It’s not logical, but then again, none of this is. I just
wish I could study this somehow…”

John swung an arm around her shoulder, smiling broadly.
“Luv, we have some work to do, but if it’s alright with the
others, you could stick around and then we could get
something to eat afterwards.”

A chorus of approval sounded from both Ringo and
George, but like always, Paul remained hesitant. John
caught his eye, watching the decision being weighed
behind those orbs. Letting go of Maggie, John pushed
forward, wrapping his arms around Paul and giving him a
pleading look.

“Please, Macca, please can I keep her?” Paul tried his
hardest not to smile, to simply put a firm expression on
instead, but John persisted. Squeezing him tighter, John
began to whine in protest, “Please,” he crooned. “I’ll be
good. Please please please please pleas…”

“All right!” Paul laughed, rolling his eyes at John’s shout
of joy. “Just get off of me.” Leaning forward, John
smacked Paul’s cheek with a sloppy kiss before running to
hide behind Ringo, knowing that Paul would hit him if he
got the chance.

Maggie smiled at the exchange, noticing how the studio
around them seemed to hold a different atmosphere this
time. They were all bubbling over with excitement,
jumping up and down and hardly able to sit still. Though a
lot of that probably had something to do with the drugs
they were taking, she reminded herself. Still, as John
hugged her again, Maggie couldn’t help but let herself
beam.


                              97
After squirreling Maggie away upstairs in the sound booth,
John went and picked up his guitar. Paul was by his side,
unconsciously, Maggie noticed, standing close to him. She
had a feeling that it wasn’t just her presence that seemed to
make Paul act this way, it was just a general protectiveness
that he seemed to have over his friend. Maggie being there
just heightened it. Sighing, she leaned back in her seat a
little bit and looked at the two of them. They were just
another perfect example of why she shouldn’t be here. She
couldn’t ruin this friendship and she did not want to go
down in history as another Yoko Ono.

Or rather, THE Yoko Ono.

Maggie stopped herself at that. What was she thinking? She
was getting bit presumptuous here wasn’t she? It had been
two years for John, and what was to say that he was even
still interested; he wasn’t exactly known for is long
attention span. And even if he was, it didn’t change the fact
that he was still a married man. Crossing her arms, Maggie
set her jaw, resigning herself. She was going to deliver her
message, and then leave. Staring at John and Paul again
when she heard them giggle, she realized she couldn’t ruin
that…she wouldn’t ruin that.

They giggled again down below as they tried to make their
way through “And Your Bird Can Sing,” but both John and
Paul were in a mood and ended up laughing if they looked
in each other’s general direction, and soon they just
couldn’t stop. George and Ringo rolled their eyes a little
bit, knowing that this wasn’t going to be something that
would calm down anytime soon as Paul snorted into the
microphone, sending John’s fingers crashing down on the
wrong chords.

From up in the recording booth, George Martin sighed by

                             98
Maggie’s side, rubbing a hand briefly across his eyes. A
small smile played across his lips, but you could tell that
this was going to get old fast if the two of them didn’t
shape up. “They’re doing this more and more as of late,” he
commented. Maggie wondered if he knew they were
smoking pot by now. That among other things. “All right,
lads,” he called down. “Take five.”

They broke apart, both John and Paul still giggling and
continuing to sing under their breath as Maggie came down
the stairs. She headed to George first, figuring she’d let the
boys calm down on their own, and went to talk with George
about his new guitar. She was anxious to see what he had
gotten.

Lifting his eyes, George smiled at her in greeting, but there
was something different about him this time. He was more
hesitant then he had ever been with her before. Maggie
frowned slightly, slowing her steps as she approached him,
but George waved her forward.

Sitting down, Maggie looked at him, watching as he shot a
furtive glance towards his band mates. Finding them all
busy, he turned his attention back to his guitar, looking at
Maggie out of the corner of his eye.

“Can I ask you a question?” he asked, his voice coming out
soft and unsure.

Maggie shrugged. “Sure.”

“You know all of our songs, right?” She nodded. “Well,
we’re recording one of my new ones and… what do you
think of it, honestly?”

Maggie thought for a moment, trying to remember what
                             99
album they were on. “Are you talking about Taxman?”

“Yeah,” George said, looking at her with amusement. The
whole situation was too weird.

“Honestly, I think its one of the best you’ve ever written. I
couldn’t get enough of it when I first heard it.” Maggie
refrained from telling him that she hadn’t believed that it
was really him when she first heard it because in her mind,
his repertoire of songs had been less than desirable before
this.

George smiled. “Then… Would you mind listening to one
of my other songs? Just to see if it's any good?” He looked
at her quickly, not even giving her a chance to respond
before trying to correct what he had said. “I’m not trying to
take advantage of your knowledge of the future or anything
like that. I just… you’re a musician too and it’d be kind of
nice to get an opinion from someone other then the two
headed monster that goes by Lennon/McCartney.”

Maggie laughed a little at that last bit. At the same time
though, she couldn’t help but feel sorry for George. It
seemed as if he was always living in John and Paul’s
shadow and it wouldn’t be until after the Beatles broke up
that he would be able to get more of an identity of his own.
Even then though, he was forever doomed to have his work
compared to the rest of them.

“I would love to listen to one of your songs,” she said
softly, watching as a sort of relief flooded his features.

Strumming his guitar, he paused for a moment, considering
what he wanted to play for her. In the background, John
and Paul were still deep in conversation, entering into the
little world they had created and had restricted access to,

                            100
while Ringo had wandered out of the room, most likely in
search of a cup of tea.

Taking a deep breath, George nodded to himself, almost as
if to give himself some courage, before strumming out a
few chords, humming the tune under his breath.

Maggie felt her breath catch in the midst of her chest,
recognizing the chords to “While My Guitar Gently
Weeps.” It was by no means the finished product, nowhere
near close to it, but the bones were there, the framework.
She swallowed thickly, feeling the surrealism of the
moment wash over her as the entrancing melody swam
before her, wrapping around her in a note of hope and
desperation all at once.

It was over too soon for Maggie’s liking and soon George
was sitting back slightly, looking at her nervously. Maggie
just stared at him though, at a loss for words. George
looked down. “Is it that bad?”

Clearing her throat, Maggie shook her head quickly. “No,”
she stated, her voice coming out in a small squeak. “I
just…” she smiled, laughing a little to herself. “I know
what song it is, or rather will be, and I can safely say that
you’re on the right track.”

“Really?” he smiled a little.

Maggie nodded. “You should show it to them, George.”

His features darkened at that though. As his fingers came
down, fingering the chords to his future hit absentmindedly,
he shook his head. “What would the point be? They’d only
shoot it down in the end.”


                                101
Maggie frowned, feeling the resentment begin to well
inside of him. She just wished there was a way to set his
fears at ease. If only he knew what his future held. “Keep
polishing it up, flesh it out a bit more, and when you’re
ready, play it for them,” she encouraged. “The song is
going to be amazing.”

From across the room, the sounds of Ringo entering back
into the studio, and John and Paul readying to begin
playing again were heard. George quickly stopped all
strumming, straightening up and hiding away the notes that
had already faded into the thin air. Any argument he had
been about to make dissipated as well. Despite all this
though, Maggie noticed how the look, the one of failure,
the one of inadequacy, still hung on his face.

Leaning forward, Maggie caught his eye. “Don’t give up,”
she whispered to him as the others slowly approached.
“Your later songs are some of my favorite.”

George shot her a surprised look, but didn’t say anything
more as John and Paul came closer, calling attention to
themselves.




                           102
Chapter Seven




E    veryone headed over to Paul’s house after the Beatles
     had muddled through the recording session, none of
them really getting much done that day. When they had
finished up their last attempt at Taxman, Paul offered that
they all just stop at his house for dinner, as it was the
closest to the studio. They all suspected that it was an offer
given simply because he wanted to keep an eye on Maggie
and John. It seemed that with her presence thrown back
into the mix, the old jealousy came flaring up all over
again.

“I have something for you guys.” Maggie said as they
entered the front foyer of Paul’s house. She dug through
her bag as they settled into the living room. Her hands
wrapped around her iPod and she smiled broadly, bringing
it out to show the four of them. There was silence as they
looked at it in confusion, each and every one of them
glancing at one another, almost as if they were afraid to
touch it.

“Alright, I’ll take the plunge,” Ringo said. “What is it?”

“It’s an iPod.”

“Is that some form of alien life?” John asked craning his
neck over her shoulder to look at it closely. Maggie pressed
a few buttons, her fingers running over its surface and John
laughed in astonishment. “Look, it’s a miniature picture of
                             103
us!” he exclaimed, squinting at the picture. He rummaged
through a pocket and pulled out his glasses to have a better
look.

The other three scrambled over, looking down on the
screen to see the cover of Hard Days Night looking back up
at them. Paul frowned, bringing his nose closer to try and
get a better look at it, while George only raised a brow.
Ringo, on the other hand, backed away quickly.

Maggie laughed at Ringo’s trepidation. “It’s not going to
take your soul and it’s not an alien life form. It plays music.
Listen.” Clicking the play button, the opening chord to ‘A
Hard Day’s Night’ came through the little mini
headphones, causing all of them to jump back. “See?”

“It has horrible sound quality,” Paul frowned, sitting back
on his haunches.

“That’s because you don’t have those things in,” John said,
and on cue, took up one of the earpieces and placed it in his
ear, grinning slightly.

“It sounds different. It’s really clear. Amazing!”

Maggie smiled, forgetting how all of their music had been
re-mastered over the years. “It’s meant to be portable,” she
explained as they all marveled over the thing. “You can
take it with you wherever you go and listen to any of the
songs you want. It’s not like the record player where you
have to be at home to listen to it. And, you don’t have to
get up and move the needle every time you want to skip a
song. You just press this button and…” She pressed down
on the tiny button, changing the song in the blink of an eye.
“Viola!”


                             104
Paul grinned greedily, “I want one!” Maggie, hoping that it
would maybe be a bit of an icebreaker, handed it over to
Paul, watching as he tried to figure it out. He smiled in glee
as the songs changed.

“If you want to get to another album, just go to the menu.”

“Wait,” John said, looking at her hopefully. “Do you have
all of our albums on here?”

Maggie smiled innocently, “That would be cheating, so
no.”

“That’s a shame, because I say we get ahead of the game
and start listening to what our future selves created,” Ringo
said, getting up from his position on the floor and going
straight for the liquor cabinet. Maggie flashed him a stern
look almost the second his fingers touched the bottle. Ringo
laughed a little, giving her a slightly guilty look. “I’ve cut
back. I swear it. Ask any of them.”

“He really has,” George said. “You’ve put the fear in all of
us. I’ve stopped smoking, er, well, mostly, anyway.
Ringo’s drinking less, and Paul’s already made Jane go and
get checked out for breast cancer. We’re all taking
precautions.”

Maggie smiled, settling down on one of the sofas. “And it’s
paid off.”

George looked at her. “You’re serious?” Maggie nodded a
bright smile on her face. Even Paul looked happy that
disaster had been averted. Maggie was tempted to tell him
that Jane wasn’t the one he had saved, but didn’t know if
she should let on to the future any more than she already
had. Besides, he would figure it out in time.

                             105
“I’m serious,” Maggie smiled. As John fidgeted by her side
though, it caused her smile to slip. She looked him
uncomfortably.

“You haven’t said anything about me,” he said quietly.
“Come on, Miss Margaret. Tell us the good news there.”
He tried to keep his voice light, but everyone could hear the
fear hidden just beneath the surface.

The room grew silent and cold as the weight of death sat
heavy on everyone’s shoulders. George and Ringo both
settled down in chairs across from John and Maggie, while
Paul set down the iPod and sat on the piano bench in the
corner of the room. All stared at Maggie expectantly as she
focused uncomfortably on her hands.

Swallowing thickly, Maggie took a deep breath. “It’s why I
had to come back. When I got back to my time, I looked
you all up, and I was so happy that you were all fine, but
then…John…as soon as I learned…” she shook her head
and tried again. “You tried, John. You did what I told you,
you went to the police but they didn’t believe you.” Biting
her lip slightly, Maggie cleared her throat, trying her
hardest not to let the tears pricking her eyes fall. “You went
home and tried to fight him yourself but he still…” She
swiped her hand across her cheek, feeling the wetness
beneath her fingers.

“What about the bullet proof vest?” George asked her
anxiously, knowing that John wasn’t going to say it any
time soon.

“His wife talked him out of it,” Maggie said bitterly.

Gritting her teeth, Maggie felt the lump rise even further in

                             106
her throat, pushing its way upwards and threatening to burst
forth violently. Warm arms wrapped around her, pulling
her into a tightly held hug as John rested his chin on her
shoulder. Her body shook with chills as she let herself go,
resting her head against his chest. How strange that he
should be comforting her, when he was the one that was
going to die. Violently. Horribly. Tragically. Maggie closed
her eyes against the thought.

“They can’t do that,” George muttered. “Why wouldn’t
they believe him?”

“When do they ever listen to us?” Ringo countered. “We’re
too counter-culture for them.”

“When someone comes and says that they expect that
they’re in danger, you bloody well would think that they
would at least take that seriously,” George said, on the
verge of yelling.

Maggie felt her stomach roll as she listened to both George
and Ringo make plans on how they would stop all this in
the future. Despite their adamant declarations now, Maggie
couldn’t help but feel like it was too no avail. Yoko would
just talk John out of it again. Cinching her eyes shut, she
leaned harder into John, trying to block out the rest of the
world and only take comfort in his warmth.

As George and Ringo devised a plan to hire plainclothes
bodyguards to take John’s killer down on that fateful day,
vowing that they themselves would force John to wear his
bulletproof vest, Paul sat in the corner with a bland look on
his face. It was as if they were talking about what they
would be doing tomorrow instead of the impending death
of his best friend. With his arms crossed, he only stared
coldly at the entwined figures of Maggie and John.

                            107
Calming down slightly, taking comfort in John’s arms
locked firmly around her, Maggie pulled away, little bits
and pieces of information nagging at the back of her head.
Suddenly recalling the failed attempt at George’s life, she
turned to him. “George, I just remembered. Someone is
going to try to stab you…” But before she could get into
the details Paul snorted in disgust.

Quirking an eyebrow towards his friend, John looked at
Paul. “Got something to say, Macca?”

Paul stayed silent for a moment, weighting his options here
and wondering if it was better to keep his mouth shut or
not. But this had gone on long enough. While he had no
doubt in his mind that Maggie was from the future, as crazy
as that was, he couldn’t help but sit here and wonder why
she was doing all this. The well-known fact that fans would
do just about anything to get on their good side kept
playing throughout his mind. How did they know that she
wasn’t just telling them this stuff to keep them close?
Nothing surprised him anymore when it came to fans. Even
time-travel.

“Yeah, I do,” Paul finally said, looking at John with an
amused expression on his face. “This all seems a little too
convenient for my taste. That’s all.” Looking at Maggie out
of the corner of his eye, trying to gauge any reaction of
guilt or being caught red handed that she might have, Paul
continued. “I mean, seriously, John. Don’t you find this all
just a little ridiculous? Honestly, how much bad luck can
happen to one group of people? Stabbings? Assassinations?
Cancer? What’s next, aliens abducting us?” Paul laughed
derisively, shaking his head and knowing he had the room’s
full attention. Getting up from his seat he looked at them
all. “You lads can go ahead and believe the shite that she’s

                            108
spoon feeding you. I’ll be in the kitchen.” And with that he
brushed by both George and Ringo, stalking haughtily out
of the room.

The room remained silent as they all looked after Paul, who
banged around in his kitchen, probably both for the sake of
something to do and to assert that even though he was out
of sight, that he was still there.

No one was willing to speak at the moment; George and
Ringo were starting to feel more than a little foolish from
Paul's chiding them. After all, Paul was right; it was a lot of
bad luck. But they still couldn’t shake off the “what if’s.”
Turning away with hurt-filled eyes, they looked towards
Maggie, willing her to confirm that this was all real once
more, to tell them that Paul was wrong.

Dully Maggie remembered that not only was George
attacked in his home by a knife-wielding crazy person, but
that Mal, their roadie, had come to a bad end as well. Not to
mention Brian Epstein, the Beatles' manager. His death was
a few short years away. Then there was Maureen. It was all
too much. Maybe Paul was right and this band did have a
huge cloud of bad luck following it around.

While she had come here with good intentions, it was only
now that she realized just how big of a mistake she had
made. She had been foolish. She couldn’t change the past
and she had no right to meddle in it either. Who was she to
decide who lived and who died? She hadn’t even paused to
consider what the ripple effects of changing the past might
be. And yet, it was hard to resist trying to save Mal while
she was here, since she seemed to have saved George and
Linda. And John? What of John? She hadn’t saved John at
all. Sadly she realized that maybe she wasn’t meant to.
Maybe he was supposed to die, and no amount of mucking

                             109
with the time stream would change that end result.

Swallowing thickly, Maggie extricated herself from John’s
arms and moved to retrieve her iPod, shoving it into her
bag quickly as she ran her fingers through her long hair.
George and Ringo were still looking at her expectantly.
“Never mind,” she told them, “It was a mistake to come
here,” she said softly as she made her way out of the living
room, heading towards the door. John was by her side
before she could protest though, grabbing a hold of her
wrist and stopping her retreat.

“Don’t be daft,” he said, trying to keep his voice light while
keeping the desperation he felt at the thought of her leaving
at bay. He had just gotten her back. He couldn’t bear the
thought of her leaving him yet again and so soon. “Look,
Paul just has his knickers in a twist. Don’t listen to him. I
don’t…” He paused, amending himself quickly. “We don’t
want you to leave. Stay for just a little while longer.”

From the corner of the room, both Ringo and George
agreed, voicing a chorus of approval at the thought of her
staying. “Besides,” George called out, “you still haven’t
told me the details about me getting stabbed. You can’t just
leave a bloke wondering if some nutter’s going to try to
knife him!”

That brought a slow smile to Maggie’s face, and looking
back and forth between all of them, she swallowed. It was
late. Even if she went back to the studio tonight, she
doubted she’d be able to get in. Nodding a little, Maggie
looked up at John.

“Only for tonight,” she said quietly. John grinned, happy
that she would be here for just a little while longer. If he
could make her stay tonight, then he had more time to work

                             110
her into staying longer. Letting her bag slip form her
shoulder, Maggie suddenly felt the weariness creep over
her. “Does Paul still have that flat? Do you think…”
Maggie asked quietly, not sure if she should be asking such
favors of the man who obviously loathed and mistrusted
her.

“Of course,” John said, giving her a little squeeze. “Let me
get my keys, and we can go.” As he left the room, Maggie
slumped down onto the sofa and closed her eyes. She didn't
care about food anymore; all she wanted right now was
sleep and a warm bed.

From across the room, George and Ringo exchanged
knowing looks.




                            111
Chapter Eight




M       aggie couldn’t get over how everything seemed to
        glow at night as they drove down the street, towards
Paul’s flat. Driving down the street was an every day
occurrence in any city, but as she turned to her right, seeing
the profile of a man that should be dead, the thought of
normalcy was quickly fleeting. Nothing about her situation
was normal, or even plausible for that matter, and yet it was
still happening. Maggie had unconsciously resigned herself
to just let it happen, knowing that this wasn’t something
that she would be able to crack open, this wasn’t a problem
that needed solving, or a puzzle that needed to be put
together. At least, not yet.

“I was miserable you know.” Blinking a little, Maggie
turned her head, raising a brow at him in a sleepy sort of
manner. John smiled at her. “When you left,” he amended.

Averting her eyes, Maggie opened her mouth to say
something, but found that she couldn’t think of anything
she could say. Meddling with John’s death was one thing,
but meddling with his life and his marriage, that was
another, somehow. Closing her mouth again, Maggie stared
out her window, watching the serenity of night settle over
the land.

“Well, aren’t you going to ask why I was miserable?”

Maggie’s throat tightened in both fear and hope over the
                             112
reason. Shaking her head, her eyes remaining focused
outside the car. “Why were you so miserable, John?” she
managed.

“Because,” he said simply, as if it were the most obvious
reason in the world, “I never thought I’d see you again, at
least not until the late nineties at the earliest. Then if I did, I
would be an old man in my sixties and there’s no way
you’d want me then.”

“John…” Maggie said warningly, while her heart raced
excitedly over hearing his words. She knew where this
conversation was heading and though his words thrilled
her, reality followed them swiftly. Turning towards him a
little, she reached out with her hand, tentatively placing it
over the one that rested against his thigh. “You know we
can’t go down that road again,” she said with more
determination then she felt. “I’ve already told you that I’m
not going to get involved with a married man. I don’t care
how you try to justify it, it’s still wrong.”

A small smile laced his features. “Well, I suppose we’re
okay then, since in a rare moment of backbone, Cyn
decided to leave my sorry arse.” Maggie’s eyes widened in
surprise, as her hand slowly slid away from his, removing
temptation.

“I-I’m sorry?” It was really the only thing she could think
of to say.

John shrugged though, seeming much less disappointed by
this than Maggie did. His matter-of-factness was one thing
that didn’t surprise Maggie. After all, she knew it was only
going to be a matter of time before John decided to leave
Cyn for Yoko instead. “She was tired of me moping around
constantly, of never showing her any kind of attention at

                               113
all, of being more of a renter in our relationship than a
husband.” A little laugh escaped him then. “The thing is
though, if I had asked her, she probably would have put up
with that forever and not even have batted an eye. But, a
certain little bird out there convinced me to turn over a new
leaf in life.” Leaning his head back against the seat a little,
John sighed, his smile disappearing. “I told her everything,
confessed all of the little extramarital affairs that I’ve been
having over the years. She really didn’t seem too surprised.
It wasn’t until I told her that I developed feelings for
someone else that she started to cry.”

Maggie’s eyes widened. “You told her that?” Images of
Yoko appeared in her head as she quickly tried to calculate
if John had even had a chance to meet her yet.

John turned to her though, locking eyes with her and giving
her a meaningful look. “Yes.”

Feeling the heat rise to her cheeks, Maggie’s eyes quickly
fell to her hands, not being able to look at him any longer.

“She hung on for a while,” John continued. “She thought
that maybe she could still make our marriage work. But, in
a poetic twist of irony, she met someone else and promptly
left me.” Maggie’s eyes snapped to his and he could only
laugh. “Here I was thinking I’d be the one to leave her but
it was 'poor little meek Cynthia' that ending up leaving me
behind.”

With her mouth slightly open and her throat going dry,
Maggie frowned. “Did she move back to Liverpool with
Julian?”

“No, we didn’t want upset him anymore than he already
was. Besides, her new husband is in London. I told

                             114
Cynthia to keep the house if she wanted it, it’s more her
house then it is mine. She decorated it; she’s the one that
has been living in it. I would feel like a stranger if I stayed
there all my lonesome. They're most likely selling
anyway.”

“Where are you staying then?” She was almost afraid to
ask.

“Paul’s flat,” John said with a grin. Maggie made a small
sound but kept her mouth shut after that. “I make sure to
see Jules though,” he continued. “I hate the thought that he
might grow up and hate me so I talked to Cyn and told her I
still wanted to be a part of his life. She seemed so startled
by it all that she couldn’t really say anything but yes.”

Maggie stayed silent as her heart beat against her ribs. The
roads were becoming familiar, meaning they were closer to
Paul’s flat then she originally thought, and she couldn’t
help but let her imagination run wild over what could
happen once the two of them got behind closed doors.
Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes. She could do
this. She’d just have to be mature about this. Yes, John
wasn’t married anymore but that didn’t make it okay. They
belonged in different worlds and come morning, she still
had to go back to hers and he had to stay in his.

When they pulled up to the flat, John turned the ignition off
with a slight click, and the two of them simply sat there.
Mutual silence reigned in between them, flowing back and
forth slightly tinged by anxiety. Maggie swallowed while
John played with the steering wheel slightly. She knew he
wasn’t going to push her, but at the moment that wasn’t
what she was worried about.

“We should probably go up,” she said, finally breaking the

                             115
silence. “We don’t want anyone spotting us.”

John nodded, a little shocked that she was the one to
suggest this, thinking that he would promptly be sent back
to Macca’s house the moment they got here.

As she pushed open the car door, he reached in back,
grabbing her bag before stepping outside. The night air was
cool on their heated cheeks and as John unlocked the front
door, he couldn’t help but feel a little nervous, not knowing
what to expect, or what was even to be expected of him.
Taking a deep breath, John nodded to himself. He could do
this. It was just one night and maybe breakfast in the
morning. There was nothing sexual about that.

Right, nothing at all.

As Maggie came in behind him, he could feel the heat from
her body reaching out for him, begging him to come closer,
to wrap his arms around her. He had to take a few steps
away almost at once. Setting her bag down in the front
foyer, John looked at her. She stood hesitantly in the
doorway, looking everywhere but at him.

“Um, why don’t we go into the living room,” he suggested
softly, clearing his throat to get her attention. She nearly
jumped out of her skin at the sound of his voice and at his
words. Living rooms held sofas and other objects that could
be laid upon. Maggie shuddered both thrilled and scared at
the prospect. She needed to stop thinking that way.

“Okay,” she said, her voice coming out as a squeak.

She followed him the few feet into the room to their left,
walking into the room and then pausing awkwardly in the
middle of it. The carpet had never looked more amazing

                            116
then it did at that moment in time.

Shoving his hands in his pockets, John looked up at her
through the fringe of his hair. A faint blush colored her
cheeks, her chest rising and falling rapidly beneath the thin
material of her shirt. He swallowed thickly, his clothes
suddenly making him hot and itchy. Closing his eyes, he
turned away from her. If he didn’t leave now, he wasn’t
sure what he would do next.

“You know what, I think I’ll go and stay at Paul’s tonight.
You look tired so I, uh… well, I think I’ll just go…” He
turned to leave, not even looking in her general direction as
he made his way past her. But as he reached the living
room door, a small hand wrapped around his wrist, her
fingers digging into his skin lightly. John looked up,
turning to Maggie as she continued to stare down at the
carpet, as though she were afraid to look at him.

She didn’t know why she did it; she couldn’t even
remember reaching out her hand. All she knew was that
one minute he was leaving and then the next her fingers
were wrapped tightly around his wrist in an action that
seemed to speak louder then words. In that moment she
knew she had made her decision. Right or wrong, she
didn’t care. She was leaving in the morning, and by God
she wasn’t going to waste one more minute with this man.
So what if she was just another one of his many one night
stands? For one night, she’d be the one.

Finally, looking up at him shyly, worried about what he
was going to say, but knowing that she had to at least take a
chance, Maggie bit her bottom lip. “Stay with me?”

The smile that was brought to his face was almost
instantaneous. His lips quirked on both sides of his mouth,

                            117
lighting up his face in a huge smile. Scooting closer to her,
their bodies almost touching, John let out a soft laugh.
“Why, you wanton little hussy.” Maggie felt herself blush
as she bent her eyes away. John wasn’t about to let her off
that easy though. Wrapping an arm around her waist, John
pulled her in tightly, his hip coming to rest against hers.
“You just want me for my body, don’t you?” he whispered
in her ear, his arms loosely remaining wrapped around her.

Maggie snorted. “Oh, please. Your body isn’t that great.
George is the Greek God out of the four of you.”

“Oh yeah?” he said, his brow raised as he trailed his fingers
up and down her back. Maggie suppressed a shiver, instead
trying to muster a challenging look instead. “We’ll see
about that.” Leaning down, John gave her a playful kiss,
not meaning for it to go any further then that just yet. But at
the first touch of their lips something ignited and before
either of them could even think, Maggie’s arms were
wrapped tightly around his neck and John was pulling her
closer, tilting her head back only to deepen the kiss further.

Feeling her body press flush against his, John let out a deep
moan, before trying to pry himself away. Maggie clung to
him though, pressing herself against him tightly so that
every curve of their bodies were fit perfectly together.
Tangling his fingers in her hair, John finally managed to
break partially away, both of them breathing heavily as
they leaned their foreheads against one another.

“There’s an empty bedroom…” he trailed off, remembering
her reaction the last time he had made the suggestion.
Opening his eyes, he looked at her cautiously, trying his
hardest to gauge her reaction to him.

Maggie was the first to pull away fully, unwrapping herself

                             118
from John’s body and putting a few inches between them.
Looking at him for a moment, she turned slightly, walking
deeper into the room. John felt his heart sink as he mentally
kicked himself for moving too fast. This wasn’t just a gate
bird or a random fan he had screwed at the drop of a hat in
the past, and while it may have been two years for him, it
had only been two days for her.

Sighing gently, he opened his eyes, about to tell her that he
was going to just head out to Paul’s and that he would see
her tomorrow. But when he looked at her, he saw her
glance over her shoulder at him, a soft smile on her lips.

“Well, are you coming or not?” she asked coyly.

John’s eyes widened as he watched her fingers trail down
her side, lifting the hem of her shirt up and over her head
slowing, peeling it from her skin and tossing it quickly
back to hit him squarely in the face. John didn’t even move.
He just let the shirt slide to the floor as he stared at her
bewilderedly. A smile broke across his face when she gave
him a flirtatious look, raising her eyebrows suggestively
before heading down the hall.

With boyish anticipation, John ran after her.




                            119
Chapter Nine




T    he sun streaked in through the window, sliding across
     her face in a gentle line as the morning sun slowly
coaxed her out of her deep slumber. Opening her eyes,
Maggie looked around the room, stretching her arms up and
over her head and feeling the blanket slide against her
body. Yawning, she turned her head to the side, only to find
an empty pillow and the covers tugged up gently, almost as
if a sleep warmed body had never even been there.
Frowning, Maggie thought back on the night before. She
could remember it, remember gentle moans and simple
caresses, but nothing looked out of place. The room seemed
just as it had when they entered it last night and for a brief
moment, Maggie feared that it had all been a dream. It was
too perfect to be real. Surely she was in her own little room
back home and the trip to England and the insane thought
of somehow reliving the Beatle days were only a dream
conjured for her pleasure late at night.

But as she looked around, she noticed the small touches
that she knew she would never have imagined: the deep
blue blanket, the oil painting on the wall, and the drawer on
the bedside table that was cracked open slightly, containing
more then one box of condoms. Maggie had to smile. There
was no doubt about it. She was indeed in Paul’s flat.

Wrapping herself in the sheet, Maggie slipped out of bed,
running her fingers through her hair and tiptoeing out the
door and into the hall.
                             120
Music wrapped around her almost immediately, slightly
muffled. John’s voice whispered through the flat, reaching
Maggie’s ears gently and calling her forth.

Leaning against the wall, Maggie stood still, watching the
image before her. John sat on the sofa, his guitar in hand as
he sang softly.

“…the color that my baby wore
And what is more, it's true
Yes it is

Scarlet were the clothes she wore
Everybody knows I'm sure
I could remember all the things we planned
Understand, it's true
Yes it is, it's true
Yes it is

I could be happy with you by my side
If I could forget her, but it's my pride
Yes it is, yes it is
Oh, yes it is, yeah

Please don't wear red tonight
This is what I said tonight
For red is the color that will make me blue
In spite of you, it's true
Yes it is, it's true
Yes it is”

As the song ended, John frowned a little, strumming a few
random notes out on the guitar as he looked up, sensing
someone watching him. The image of Maggie greeted him
just like it had so many nights in his dreams and John felt a

                              121
warm tingling sensation run up and down his spine again.
Maggie leaned heavily against the wall, where she
obviously struggling not to be overcome with emotion and
cry.

With a small frown, John set down his guitar, and walked
to her, and without a word, led her to the couch. Her body
shook beneath his fingers as he brushed a few strands of
hair from her face. The fact that she wasn’t meeting his
eyes only worried him all the more. Maybe last night had
been a mistake, maybe he’d pushed her too fast.

“What’s wrong?” he asked gently, almost fearing the
answer.

Swallowing and trying to collect her wits, Maggie breathed
in deeply. “That has always been my favorite song of
yours… and seeing you, hearing you play and sing it…”
She shook her head, licking her lips slightly as she turned
her eyes up to him. “It just hit me that you really are John
Lennon, and if that’s true then this is a dream and I’m
going to wake up any minute. And… and I don’t think I
want to wake up.” Her voice was strangled as she looked at
him, almost as if she were pleading for him to keep her
from waking up from this beautiful dream.

John pulled her into his arms immediately, placing a kiss
on the top of her head as he rested his chin there. She shook
beneath him. “You’re not going to wake up,” he whispered.
"I pinched you once before, remember? You didn't wake up
then, did you?" Maggie took a few deep breaths, pressing
closer to him as she wrapped her arms around his chest,
trying her hardest to believe him.

Bringing a hand up to curl in her hair, John pulled her away
from him slightly. “I wrote that for you, you know,” he

                            122
admitted shyly.

All forms of tears suddenly dissipated as she heard his
words. Shocked, Maggie’s body suddenly went stiff in his
arms as she looked up at him. “What?”

John grinned a little sheepishly. “I wrote it after you left. I
couldn’t get you out of my head and whenever I thought of
you, you were always wearing that red dress.” He laughed
slightly, almost cursing the night that she had bought that
damned thing. It haunted him even while he was awake. “It
got so bad I couldn’t be with a bird if she was wearing
red…” He admitted it so softly that Maggie couldn’t help
but feel the tears begin to rise again. As childish as it was,
she had always identified with that song and had wished
that someone out there could have written something so
beautiful about her one day. “I guess I was just trying to
work out my feelings of frustration about my relationship
with Cynthia, and the fact that you were no longer here
with me, and that, when you left, I felt like a piece of me
left with you.”

Reaching out with her hand, she cupped his cheek gently,
looking him in the eyes. “That’s the most beautiful thing
anyone has ever said or done for me.” Leaning forward, she
kissed him deeply, trying to pour all her feelings into that
kiss.

John pressed his lips hard against hers, tangling his fingers
deeper into her mass of curls as he nudged her mouth open
with his tongue, simply breathing her in. The feel of her
heartbeat quickening against his bare chest caused him to
try to pull her in even tighter, an almost desperate need for
her overtaking him. He needed her. He needed to touch her,
to feel her touch, to be surrounded by her scent and her
warmth. He needed to have her by his side, to be near him.

                             123
But most of all, he needed her to need him just as much.

Tilting her head back to deepen the kiss, he slid a hand
down to her bum and pulled her tighter to him, locking
their bodies together perfectly. Maggie moaned at the
contact, wrapping her arms around him tightly and shifting
her body closer to his. She melted into his heat, feeling her
own pool in the pit of her stomach as they both gasped for
air. But neither could bring themselves to stop, to pull away
and enter a world without touch once more.

His fingers kneaded into her smooth skin, sending shivers
up and down her spine as he trailed fingers across her body,
causing her to sigh and moan all at once. She deepened the
kiss again, tilting her head back further to allow him even
more access, feeling his need press against hers. Maggie
gasped slightly as he gripped her tighter and the
overwhelming need to feel him fully struck her hard.

Finally, when he knew he was nearly beyond coherent
thought with his brain, John broke off the kiss. Breathing
heavily and swallowing as he gulped in air, he looked at
her, and raised an eyebrow. “Had I known all it would take
is a bit of a song to get into your knickers, I’d have played
you one that first night,” he laughed shakily, dipping her
back onto the sofa and moving to hover on top of her.

Giggling, finding that her breath was still not coming to her
as quickly as she wanted it to; Maggie wound her fingers in
his hair, bringing his lips down for a brief kiss. “Just
imagine what I’d do if you wrote me more songs,” she said
suggestively.

Propping himself up on his elbows, John looked at her with
a wicked little smile. “Well, if that’s the case, I’ve written
you a whole string of songs!”

                             124
Maggie laughed, looking at him with slight disbelief. “Oh,
really?” He nodded in earnest, becoming a cheeky little boy
that wanted praise within the blink of an eye. “And what
may these songs be if I may ask?”

"’Help!’,” he said with a shrug, leaning down with a grin to
plant a firm kiss on her forehead. “’You’ve Got to Hide
Your Love Away’.” Kissing her on the eye, he grinned as
he felt her laugh beneath him. “‘It's Only Love’, "Tell Me
What You See’.” Moving his lips to her other eye, he
planted a gentle kiss on her eyelid, his hands roaming up
and down her sides all the while. “‘Girl’.” With his lips
traveling down the side of her cheek, teasing her gently, he
felt Maggie squirm beneath him, trying to pull him closer,
to hold him tighter. “‘In My Life’,” he whispered.

“Sure,” Maggie said, not knowing if she could really
believe anything he was saying. Laughing slightly as he
nibbled at her neck, she sighed happily. “All those great
songs were inspired by me and our ‘Great and Tragic Love,
Which Could Never Be’.” She giggled slightly at the very
ridiculous thought of it.

But the gentle kisses and caresses stopped almost the
moment the words were out of her mouth. Propping himself
up slightly, John looked at her in all seriousness. “They
were.” Maggie’s breath caught in her throat, the slight hitch
making John smile pointedly at her. “So you see, my
wanton little hussy, now you’ve got to show me what you’d
do if I wrote you more than one song!”

Jumping off the sofa, John picked her up and swung her up
and over his shoulder. Maggie shrieked in surprise,
laughing loudly as he marched her off to the bedroom,
kicking the door shut behind them.

                            125
Later that morning as they lay in each other’s arms,
Maggie’s head resting gently on top of John’s shoulder,
John sighed contentedly as the morning sunlight streamed
through the window and warmed their sweat soaked skin.
He ran his callused fingers gently up and down her arms,
feeling her body melt into his as she began to drift off to
sleep. He breathed in her sweet scent. He wanted this. He
wanted this every day and he never wanted to let her go.

Closing his eyes and resting his head on top of hers, John
snuggled down into the sheets. “Stay with me,” he asked.
And without even thinking, answering instinctively,
Maggie said yes.




                           126
Chapter Ten




N     ight had fallen, casting the world around her into dark.
      Maggie sat by the window in the living room, a cup of
tea cradled in her hand. It was her only company for the
moment as she stared off into space, deep in thought. The
last few days had been filled with that wonderful feeling
that everyone has at the beginning of relationships - the
feeling of your heart fluttering, of your face muscles aching
because you’ve been smiling so much, and that rare feeling
that everything in the world is right, that nothing can ever
sadden you again. But as Maggie sat by the window, she
feared that feeling may have been wearing off for her. She
loved John, there wasn’t any question about that, but
problems were beginning to form in her mind.

It was on impulse and instinct that she had decided to stay
with John. There was no rational thought about it. One
minute she had been telling herself that all of this was just a
dream, and the next she had decided to take the plunge
down the rabbit hole and stay in a world that she knew she
should have never been a part of. She had said yes without
another thought and now she was paying for it. Her
analytical, scientific mind was now at the forefront and all
the little nagging worries inherent to staying were
beginning to bother her.

For example, the space time continuum. Had she created a
paradox by staying? Or was she always supposed to stay
and if she left, would that create a paradox? There was also
                             127
the problem of a new identity. She needed to create one
because now she had no birth certificate, no parents, no
references or even proof that she was ever born. What
about Yoko? Would John leave her for Yoko? Would John
even remain faithful for that matter? She wanted to believe
he would, but his history proved that wouldn’t be the case;
he had even cheated on Yoko. Was she prepared for that?

Then there was the issue of drugs. The marijuana she didn’t
mind so much even if it wasn't her thing, other then the fact
it was illegal, but she knew she wouldn’t be okay with the
harder stuff. On top of that, she never wanted to be famous,
but now she would be everywhere, synonymous with John
and the Beatles if she stayed, just as all Beatle Girlfriends
and Wives were. Goodbye privacy! Which, of course, was
an issue related to her lack of identity. Would some
enterprising journalist try to dig into her non-existent past?

Her career was another issue as well. If she stayed she
could pretty much kiss that goodbye. She was giving up
everything, absolutely everything, by staying.

Leaning back in her chair, Maggie sighed before closing
her eyes. Were these things she could give up and was the
outcome going to be worth the trouble in the end?
Sometimes she wondered why life didn’t come with a little
cheat book where it told you what you should do in
situations like this. Not that many people had ever been in
situation such as she had. Actually, she felt it was pretty
safe to assume that NO ONE had ever been in her situation
before.

As she became lost in thought, her mind wandering from
issue to issue, John entered the room. She hadn’t even
heard him in the midst of all her troubles until he cleared
his throat at the doorway, raising an inquiring brow towards

                             128
her. Turning, Maggie felt the worries that she held melt
away as he flashed her a grin. Smiling back, she gathered
herself together and quickly placed herself inside his
waiting arms. No words were exchanged as he tipped her
back for a kiss, his fingers coming to rest in her dark brown
curls.

“What were you thinking about?” he asked, holding her
slightly away from his body in order to look into her eyes.

Doubt would quickly cloud those beautiful features if
Maggie let on to her worries and thoughts, the same ones
that had been plaguing her for the past hour. She knew that
she couldn’t tell him. Not yet at least. “You know,” she
said, giving him her sweetest smile. “The last time I was
here, I was older than you. But now, you’ve aged a few
years and I’ve only aged a few days, making you the old
one in this relationship.”

John laughed a little, leaning down to kiss her softly on the
lips. “Don’t worry, you’ll always be my old lady,” he
grinned, smacking her on the bum and causing her to
giggle. “Now come on, grab your handbag. We’re going to
Macca’s for a little get together.”

Maggie ducked her head, watching out of the corner of her
eye as John moved away, going to grab both of their coats.
“Uh- perhaps Paul would rather I stayed home for the
evening,” she mentioned hesitantly.

“Nonsense,” John smiled, helping her into her coat, and
guiding her out the door. Maggie didn’t have the heart to
protest any further.




                            129
Maggie tried her hardest to steer clear of Paul for most of
the evening but seeing as how this was his house, the task
was a bit difficult to achieve at times. That, added to the
fact that John wanted to be by his best friend for most of
the evening, made this feat an almost impossible task. So
instead, Maggie tried to stay silent, blend into the walls and
keep herself from irritating Paul too much. But it seemed
like any time that John laid his arm over Maggie’s
shoulder, or Maggie placed her hand on John’s, Paul’s eyes
would hone in and see it right away. As the evening went
on, his mood got darker and darker. So it was with
confusion that Maggie watched Paul steer Jane over while
John was off getting drink refills, and then address Maggie
directly.

“Maggie, I’d like you to meet my girlfriend, Jane.” They
had been at this party for a while now and Paul was just
now begrudgingly getting around to this little introduction
between girls. Maggie had a feeling he only did so because
Jane wanted to know who the girl with John actually was.

“Hi,” Maggie smiled, keenly aware of the fact that Paul’s
eyes were watching her every move. “It’s nice to meet
you.”

Jane smiled brightly, obviously not sharing her boyfriend’s
feeling for the woman in front of her. “It’s nice to finally
meet you, Maggie. You must be some girl to deal with John
here,” she said teasingly. “I’m glad you decided to stay
here instead of returning to America. You’re all John has
been talking about lately.”

“Yes,” Paul chimed in with a forced smile. “We’re all so
happy you decided to stay, Maggie.”

Maggie caught Paul’s look but let it pass. She knew that if

                             130
John were around, Paul would have never even dared to say
something like that. He had waited purposefully for John to
go get the two of them drinks before coming over here.

Jane shot Paul a look, watching as he sipped on his drink as
if nothing had happened and let the awkward silence fall
into place. Turning back to Maggie, Jane placed another
smile on her lips, noting her boyfriend’s behavior but
saving that conversation for later this evening. “I must
admit,” she said with a smile, stepping a little closer to
Maggie. “I’m a little jealous of the fact that you got to go in
there and jam with the boys. They’ve never invited me to.”

Maggie looked at Jane, a little taken aback. “Do you play
an instrument?”

Jane nodded. “Guitar,” she stated shyly. “And I sing a little
too.”

Growing a little more excited over the prospect of having
another girl to talk to, Maggie ignored the look that Paul
shot towards Jane, probably for getting too chummy with
“the enemy.” “You have to play for us,” Maggie said,
looking around the room for an available instrument.
Considering where they were, she knew there had to be one
close by.

“Oh, no. I couldn’t,” Jane said, her eyes going a little wide.

“Couldn’t what?” Returning with the drinks, John looked at
Jane curiously.

“Jane was just telling me about how she plays guitar and I
was telling her that she should play a little for us.”

John smiled; the excitement that was coming from Maggie

                             131
was contagious. Turning to Jane, he chuckled at her
panicked look. “Go ahead, luv. Play us a tune. No one will
mind.”

Jane bit her lip. “I…” but John was already off in search of
a guitar. Before Jane could protest any further, one was
shoved in her hands and she was guided gently to a chair so
she could sit and play. Eyes stared expectantly at her, and
Jane knew she had no other choice really than to play.
Taking a deep breath, she strummed the guitar for a few
seconds, testing it out, before launching into Dylan’s
“Blowin’ in the Wind.”

A furious blush covered her cheeks as applause broke out
across the room when the finishing chords finally died
down.

“She needs to play more often,” John commented to
Maggie while she nodded in agreement. “But it’s always
acting with that one.” He shook his head in mock
disapproval. Maggie was still a bit stunned. She had never
thought that Jane could be that good and she wondered why
Paul hadn’t tried to get her to play more. Hell, she didn’t
even know Jane knew how to play!

Before these thoughts could go any further, Patti
approached her. “Maggie,” she started, a small glint in her
eye. “How are you adjusting to being a Beatle Girlfriend?”

“So far it’s wonderful,” Maggie grinned. “But I’m pretty
sure that’s only because none of the gatebirds have caught
on yet.”

There were groans throughout the group at the mention of
the gatebirds. At times, Paul seemed to be the only one that
had any love for these girls. No one was quite sure how he

                            132
did it.

“Well, luv,” Ringo said, tipping his coca-cola to her and
giving her a wink. “Perhaps if you and John would ever
leave Paul’s flat, you could get to know them.” Maggie felt
a faint blush color her cheeks but John just slung an arm
around her shoulder, squeezing her tightly.

Smiling at the little display of affection, Patti leaned in a
little closer to the couple. “You have to tell us,” Patti
started, glancing at John before turning back to Maggie.
“Are the rumors true?”

“What rumors?”

“Is John’s ability in bed really all it’s cracked up to be?”

John snorted into his drink while both Jane and Maureen
jumped at the chance to “compare” notes on their men.
“Yeah,” Maureen said. “I’ve heard that his may be more
superior then the rest of this lot here…”

“Excuse me?” Ringo interjected. Maureen waved him off
though with a teasing smile.

“Tell us, Maggie,” Maureen continued, “Do you have the
best of this four headed monster?”

Jane shook her head. “I’m not sure if she should share that.
I think John’s ego is already inflated enough. I mean, if the
rumors are true and all…” she sighed dramatically.

“Wait,” George frowned. “What rumors? Are there
seriously rumors going on out there about how we are in
bed?”


                             133
Patti smiled, patting him on the hand before turning back to
Maggie expectantly. Grinning, Maggie shrugged, taking a
sip of her drink. “I may have heard a few things in passing,
though I cannot reveal my sources.”

Intrigued by the situation, John raised a brow. "What do
you hear?"

"Let's see,” tapping her finger lightly against her chin,
Maggie pretended to think critically of the subject at hand.
“Paul's the best lover..." John snorted loudly, stumbling
backwards as Paul reached out and hit him.

"You,” Maggie said, pointing her finger at John. “You take
the longest," as John opened his mouth, about to say
something, Maggie held up her hand to stop him. "George
tries the hardest." Another snicker sounded from John.
"And Ringo makes the ladies laugh."

The women all looked at each other in turn, trading
knowing looks, before bursting out into laughter, leaving
the men confused and shifting nervously from foot to foot.

"That's all rubbish, that is," John protested. "Disgusting that
they would compare notes like that. "

"Well then, maybe you shouldn’t have all been fucking the
same groupies should you?" Maggie retorted unabashedly
before moving to Jane’s side. “Could you show me how to
play that last song?” She went off with the rest of the girls,
their laughter sounding through the room, leaving the men
in a state of shock.

Moving over to the bar to get another drink, John stared at
Maggie, watching as she played the guitar with Jane.
Adoration colored his eyes as he watched her fingers move

                             134
to form chords, strumming beautiful music from the
instrument. She laughed softly and leaned in further to the
guitar, smiling at something that Jane said. John couldn’t
help but smile with her, even though she was far away. He
was feeling something that he hadn’t felt in years and never
had he been more thankful that Maggie had come back than
he was in this moment.

Seeing John’s expression, Paul frowned and moved over to
his side. He too watched the girls sitting in the corner of the
room, laughing and smiling, unaware of the watchful eyes
that were trained upon them. Paul couldn’t help but feel a
pang of jealousy as Maggie once more became friends with
someone that was in his life first. He gritted his teeth as he
watched his girlfriend and this woman hardly known by
any of them get along so well. Why was he the only one
who was wary of this outsider?

Pouring himself another drink, Paul swallowed, turning his
eyes back to John. “You’re different around her,” he stated,
going straight to the point instead of dancing around the
subject. He knew from experience that if he wasn’t
straightforward with John, his friend wouldn’t give him the
time of day.

“What is that supposed to mean?” John sighed, preparing
himself for what would most likely be another one of
Paul’s sulky rants.

“You’re changing, John,” Paul hissed. “Ever since she’s
come into your life you’ve become this person that I don’t
even recognize anymore. You’re changing on account of a
bird that popped into your life, who is a fucking fan. She’s
no better then a gatebird! The fact that she doesn’t even
belong here doesn’t seem to matter to you either. No,
instead you’re feeding into her delusions that the two of

                             135
you can become this happy couple and that she has a place
in your life.”

“Why does any of this matter to you?” John asked, still
staring at Maggie, with a smile on his face.

“I want my friend back. It’s the old John Lennon that I
want to record with, that I want to go and listen to records
with. Not the new version that you’re starting to become.”

Noting the seriousness in his voice, John turned to him and
frowned. Paul bit his lip nervously, glaring into the depths
of his drink. That softened John up a bit, “Hey, Paul.” Paul
looked up at him, his eyes guarded. “It’s only me, alright?”
John said the familiar words with a smile. The words that
always made everything better between them no matter
what.

They stared into each other’s eyes for what seemed like an
eternity; finally Paul blinked and looked down. “No, John.
It’s not.”




                            136
Chapter Eleven




T    he weeks were spent inside the studio, listening to
     history being made while the nights were spent in the
arms of a man that she shouldn’t even know, but now could
not imagine living without. John and Maggie had become
inseparable, rarely seen without one another, a notion that
Paul had become increasingly aware of. Mornings started
mostly with Paul seeing the two of them in the corner,
whispering and giggling, hands touching and fingers
gliding across palms. Maggie would sometimes leave to go
shopping with one of the girls, but all too often would hide
away up in the recording booth instead, and when Paul
would look over to John in order to trade a familiar smile,
John would be looking upwards, making faces at the girl
above. The only reprieve Paul seemed to get from the two
of them was when he went home at night. The next
morning though he would be regaled of tales of how
Maggie and John spent their evenings playing guitar
together, sometimes going into all hours of the night when
George and Ringo would drop by to join them. Paul tried to
drop by occasionally, just so he didn’t seem like he was
playing the role of the jealous lover (like Jane was starting
to teasingly accuse him of doing), but he never stayed very
long. He found that his temper was shortened by miles
almost the moment he entered the house.

The fact that John and Maggie clicked, understanding each
other on some sort of subconscious level that up until now,
only Paul had been privileged to experience, and for so
                            137
many years, was starting to wear thin. It got under Paul’s
skin more than he would ever admit, and the more that this
little fact presented itself, the more bitter jealousy began to
come out and play. Snarky comments were made daily and
they were almost always directed towards Maggie. It all
boiled down to one thing too. Paul simply did not like John
spending time with this woman, and he was becoming
increasingly annoyed with the ease that both George and
Ringo accepted her, and now even Jane!

John knew Paul was sulky, but figured it would pass soon
enough. He loved Maggie, so therefore Paul must certainly
love her too in time. George and Ringo figured it was
between John and Paul, so stayed out it, and Maggie knew
Paul wasn’t going to do anything about it other then make
things worse. She also knew he wouldn’t just “get over it.”

Perhaps this was the reason that Maggie was here now,
standing outside of a home where she knew she wasn’t
welcome, biting her nails nervously. The decision to stay
here was one that she wasn’t budging on, but she knew at
the same time that if this was going to work, then the air
needed to be cleared with Paul. The relationship that John
and he had with each other was too important and Maggie
did not want to be the reason why it ended so early on in
their lives.

“Is there a reason why you’re standing outside of my
home?”

Whirling around, Maggie came face to face with Paul. She
had yet to even ring the buzzer to summon him and he was
already there, catching her off guard. She had had this
whole thing planned. Awaking early this morning, she had
left a note for John and headed over to Paul’s house, hoping
that he was home and that he was not home all at the same

                             138
time. She’d wanted a few more minutes to prepare herself
before knocking on his front door to discover which was
true, but here he was right in front of her now, Martha’s
leash in his hands, and Maggie knew that she couldn’t
avoid this any longer.

The gatebirds were out in full force this morning since it
was a Saturday, ignoring Maggie and tossing questions and
smiles at Paul. He looked at them graciously and Maggie
couldn’t help but wonder why he was so willing to accept
and smile at girls he didn’t even know while he held
nothing but disdain towards her.

Maybe because they’re not trying to take his best friend
away. She thought to herself bitterly. It was the truth. There
was no way around it. Paul had decided almost from the
moment John took interest in her that Maggie obviously
wanted to steal his best friend and keep him for herself.
And to be honest, a small part of her did want to keep John
all to herself, and not share him with anyone.

Shaking her head clear of her thoughts, she screwed up her
courage and faced Paul. “We need to talk.” She said over
the noise of the chattering girls. Paul tossed her a glance
that clearly said go away. Maggie kept her eyes focused
though and he had no choice but to nod. As he said his
good-byes to the girls before him, he motioned Maggie
forward, not chastising any one of them while they threw
their less than flattering comments towards Maggie.

“What do you want?” he bit out. As the gate closed behind
him, Paul released Martha, watching as she frolicked off to
find some sort of trouble to get into. That was the ideal life.
No one to answer to, no one to hate you, just a simplistic
reality where chasing birds was your daily form of activity.


                             139
“I told you,” Maggie said, sighing as he refused to look at
her. “We need to talk.”

Raising an eyebrow, Paul laughed to himself slightly. “Do
we now?”

“Yes.” Maggie crossed her arms in front of her, holding
firm. This needed to end before things between her and
John went any further.

Turning to her, Paul smiled at her condescendingly, as if
she were child he was simply amusing for the time being.
“And what is it that we need to talk about?

“Your jealousy.”

“My what?” He laughed, amused and a bit surprised by her
declaration. “If you think I’m jealous of John, you’re daft!”

“No, Paul,” Maggie said with a sigh, her shoulders
slumping a bit in frustration. “I think you are jealous of me.
Of me and John specifically. Jealous of the fact that John is
spending all his time with me, and not you, and bringing
me to the studio all the time, and that your special little
“Beatle Boys” club is being crashed by a girl.”

Taking a step back, Paul shook his head. “You’re a nutter.”
His eyes widened slightly as he fidgeted nervously,
beginning to walk towards his house, anxious to get inside.
“John can fuck whomever he wants whenever he wants for
all I care.”

Not backing down, Maggie followed him, watching as he
unlocked his front door and stepped into the foyer. Before
he had a chance to shut her out, Maggie stepped inside,
inches away from him. “Yeah, just so long as you are the

                             140
one person he wants to make music with, and just so long
as you are the most important person in his life,” she
accused, refusing to blink or break eye contact with him.
She would not back down.

They stood like that for a moment, faces inches apart, each
refusing to give into the other. Paul’s eyes clouded over.
Maggie saw him slowly recede into himself. Not wanting to
appear like he was giving this woman any more ground, he
held eye contact with her though, trying to prove to her the
inaccuracy of her claims, before he turned and walked
towards his kitchen. “You can see yourself out,” he called
casually over his shoulder.

With a roll of her eyes, Maggie watched as he disappeared
around the corner. Somewhere in the distance she heard a
door open and then shut very quietly, as if the impending
rage wasn’t about to burst. “Men!” she muttered to herself,
frustrated. Gathering her wits about her, Maggie took a
deep and calming breath and went in search of Paul once
more. She was not going to let him drive her away so
easily. She loved John, John loved Paul, therefore she loved
Paul, or was at least going to try to. It was that simple.
Anything that was important to John was important to her.

Maggie opened the back door and entered the back garden,
the picture before her one of serenity. The air was cool and
wisps of clouds glided across the sky, and the atmosphere
was one of peace and acceptance. It was the kind of day
that most thrived on. It made you stand up and take notice
of it, made you look at it in all its beauty. It was only
suitable that this was also going to be the backdrop to their
upcoming conversation.

Paul sat on the steps, watching absentmindedly as Martha
ran around. A bird sat up in a tree, taunting the dog

                            141
incessantly, engaging it in a game that Martha would never
win. Swallowing, Maggie looked at Paul, feeling a pang in
her chest as she looked at his dejected form. His shoulders
were hunched, elbows resting on his knees, and his head in
his hands. Sitting down next to him, Maggie mimicked his
position. This was going to be even harder then she had
imagined.

Silence passed between them, the sounds coming from the
wind, the trees, the taunting bird and Martha, but not a
single word was uttered from their lips. Maggie wasn’t
going to be the first to talk either. Everything she said
seemed to irritate him so maybe, just maybe if she stayed
silent, he wouldn’t be able to come up with a reason to
argue with her.

Cloth moved against skin as Paul sat up a little straighter,
staring straight ahead into the distance, not even really
seeing anything. He cleared his throat, gathering his words.
”When I said you could see yourself out, this isn’t what I
meant.”

“I know.” Maggie said simply. “But we’re not done
talking.”

Paul’s eyes flicked towards her, shining with disbelief over
her cheekiness. That was all though. No words were traded
back, just a slight acknowledgment and then the staring at
the sky resumed.

“The thing is Paul,” Maggie finally began after another
moment of silence, “You don’t need to be jealous. I’m not
going to take John away from you. I’m not out to break up
the Beatles. In fact, those two things would be the worst
things that could possibly happen, in my opinion.” She
looked at him out of the corner of her eye but his

                            142
expression had yet to change. Somehow though, she knew
he was listening, and the words were coming to her easier
now that she had started. “The other thing is, you need to
be patient with John.” He shifted uncomfortably and
Maggie almost regretted her words. Telling him how to
deal with John probably wasn’t something he appreciated
much. According to Paul, he was the master of knowing
John’s thoughts and emotions and having Maggie tell him
how to handle John wasn’t something that was going to go
over well. The thing was, Maggie needed to tell him what
he couldn’t see and hope against hope that it might sink in a
little. “Right now we are just starting out, and as with
anything new and wonderful, you want it all the time, so
it’s hard for us to be apart. One day, I think you’ll
understand that for yourself,” she said, remembering how
Paul and Linda had been criticized for being so inseparable.
Opening his mouth, Paul began to interrupt but something
stopped him. Licking his lips, Paul firmly closed his mouth
and pressed his elbows further into his knees.

“You are still John’s best friend, and writing partner, not
me.” Maggie ducked her head, trying to look into his eyes.
“It would be tragic for the two of you to stop writing
together… trust me on that one,” she said with a slight
smile.

Paul swallowed thickly, his fingers tangling into his hair.
Martha had given up on the bird in the tree and was now
rooting around in the dirt, sniffing things unbeknownst to
the rest of them. Maggie and Paul sat in silence for a
moment, watching Martha introspectively. The air was
becoming cooler and Maggie could feel shivers threatening
to run up and down her arms.

Turning her body towards Paul, Maggie felt herself sigh for
what seemed like the hundredth time today. “Just because

                            143
John and I play and sing together, does not mean he’s going
to stop playing and singing with you,” she said quietly.
“I’m not going to join the Beatles. I’m not going to force
my way into your band. And above everything else, I am
not going to let John try to get me to play with you guys on
any of your albums.” For the first time, Paul turned to her,
really looked at her, a wave of panic sweeping across he
face. Maggie laughed. “He hasn’t asked me to, Paul. That’s
purely conjecture on my part.”

A slight smile came to his face for a moment, the corners of
his mouth wanting to twitch upwards. It set Maggie at ease
as she looked at it, giving her the courage to move on.

“My point is this,” Maggie said. “The Beatles are four
guys. FOUR. Not five. There is no fifth Beatle. Yes, I will
be coming by the studio to watch, and to say hello, but I
want a career of my own. Something to do with science, or
maybe even a band of my own, and that won’t leave time
for me to be following John around everywhere. I don’t
even want to do that. That’s a bit too co-dependent for me.
And now I’m rambling…” Biting her lip, she trailed off,
feeling a blush rise to her cheeks.

Paul looked at her again, his eyes traveling across her face
as he studied her, trying his hardest to find the truth. “So,
you’re not trying to keep John all to yourself,” he finally
said. It was clear he didn’t want to validate the idea that he
might be harboring feelings of jealousy over John, even if
they both knew it was true.

“No.”

His eyes narrowed. “And you’re not trying to join the
band?”


                             144
“No,” Maggie laughed. “Jamming with you guys
occasionally is fun, and amazing, but I’m no Beatle.”

Her words served as no comfort though. They were there
and Paul had a feeling they were true, but he was still
uncertain. Maggie sighed, softening completely to him at
the brief moment of vulnerability flashing across his eyes.

Resting her hand on his shoulder, Maggie looked at him
carefully. “Paul, we both love him. That much is obvious.
And I’m willing to share him if you are.”

With his eyebrows shooting upwards, disappearing into his
hairline, Paul looked at her aghast. “I do not love him! I’m
not a poof!”

Maggie burst out into giggles. Oh, if only he knew what
would be said about John and Paul’s relationship in the
future. “I never said you were…though there is at least one
group of people on the internet devoted to proving that you
and John were involved…physically and romantically.”
Paul paled at that, wanting to protest but not finding the
words to do so. Maggie filed that away for future blackmail
and teasing. “But, no, I don’t think for a minute that you’re
gay, not that there would be anything wrong with it if you
were. I just know that you have deep feelings for John, and
I don’t want you thinking I’m out to take him away from
you.”

Her hand slipped from his shoulder but Maggie kept eye
contact with him, trying to show him that she was telling
the truth. Sucking his bottom lip between his teeth, Paul
chewed on it nervously, a decision being weighed back and
forth in his mind. “You mean that?”

“Yes.”

                            145
Turning towards Martha, Paul seemed to consider this.
Finally, seeming to come to some sort of conclusion, he
cleared his throat and looked at her out of the corner of his
eye. “So, what’s this you were saying about some group of
people who thinks John and I are shagging? And what’s the
internet?”

Maggie’s smile brightened her face as relieved laughter
burst from her lips. Paul ducked his head, smiling as well,
running his hand through his hair as he looked at her shyly.
The two of them were okay. An understanding had been
reached and while a sense of awkwardness still remained
around the edges, it was better than it had been before.

Maggie laughed and proceeded to tell him all about the
web, and most importantly, about all the theories his fans,
present and future, would spend hours discussing.




                            146
Chapter Twelve




S    ticking the spare key into the lock, Maggie opened the
     front door of the flat to find the smell of pancakes
greeting her. Entering the kitchen, Maggie looked at John a
little curiously; he was making pancakes for the two of
them… for lunch.

“Went to go see Paul, did you?”

Setting her purse down, Maggie looked at him with a slight
smile. “Yes.” Hoisting herself up on the counter next to
him, she watched as he mixed the batter. “Why are you
wearing a pink apron?”

John shrugged. “The boys gave it to me for a joke and I’ve
decided to embrace it so that the joke is on them. Pink is
my color, don't you think?” He batted his eyes at her.
Maggie shook her head and laughed at him. The things that
were left out of the biographies were always so much more
interesting. “So, how did it go?” Peering at her
questioningly, John narrowed his eyes protectively. “Did
Paul behave himself, or do I need to go defend your
honor?”

Swinging her legs a little, Maggie shrugged. “Not at first.”
Seeing the look that crossed John’s face, Maggie spoke
quickly to stave off the impending anger. “But once I
explained a few things to him, he was fine. We’re okay
now… I think.”
                            147
“You think?” John asked and Maggie shrugged. You could
never be completely sure in Paul’s case she figured. Firing
up the stovetop and pouring some batter into a pan, John
shifted his weight from foot to foot. “How did you manage
that?” he asked, feeling a lot more curious than he actually
sounded, and oddly enough, he feeling a twinge of jealousy
over the fact that Paul and Maggie had come to an
understanding… without him. "What did you say? I
thought Macca was going to sulk for at least another month
or two. He’s the sulky sort, you know.”

“That’s between Paul and I.” Maggie smiled.

That made John pause a bit, as his jealousy flared again.
“Oh, I see,” he said while flipping the pancake. “You and
Paulie are keeping secrets from me now. I suppose I’d
better check to make sure all your babies aren’t born with
Macca’s eyelashes then.” He tried to sound like he was
teasing, but even to his own ears it sounded forced.

Reaching out, Maggie took John’s hand and pulled him
towards her. John gave a quick glance towards the stovetop
before moving between her legs, watching as she looked at
him seriously. Any hope he had of her not catching the hint
of jealousy in his voice was dashed. But then Maggie
smiled beautifully at him, laying all his fears to rest.

“You don’t have to worry about any of my babies having
Paul’s eyelashes, or his exquisite lips, or his gorgeous hazel
eyes, or his dark silky soft hair…” John rolled his eyes,
readying himself to make a sarcastic comment about “the
cute one”. Maggie wouldn’t let him though. “I’m in love
with someone else...”

John perked up at the word ‘love.’ “Oh yeah? And who

                             148
might that be?”

Maggie looked at him conspiratorially before leaning down
to whisper into his ear. “It’s a secret… can I trust you to
keep it?”

John smiled. “No.”

With a little sigh, Maggie shrugged. “Well then, in that
case it’s Ringo!” She laughed.

Pulling back, John watched the slow and steady grin
spreading across her face. With a glint in his eye, John
pressed himself into her. “That’s quite enough of that, you
wanton hussy!”

Grabbing her by the waist, John pulled her towards him,
kissing her deeply. Maggie moaned into his lips, threading
her fingers through his hair. All thoughts of pancakes were
quickly forgotten.



Lying in bed, the sheets draped across his waist, John
watched Maggie with a bit of confusion. Maggie was
standing in front of the wardrobe, wearing one of his shirts,
sorting through her own meager pile of clothing with
growing irritation. Muttering to herself, she jerked a few
blouses out of the drawers, contemplated them for a
moment, before tossing them aside. It was during one
violent fit, when she threw a blue shirt to the floor, glaring
at it as it landed next to her feet, that John had to hide his
face, fearing he was about to burst out laughing at her little
display at any moment.

“That’s it, it’s official!” she finally shouted. “I have

                             149
nothing decent to wear tonight!”

John perked up at this thought and sat up a little further in
bed. “Fantastic!”

“Fantastic?” Maggie turned her body towards him slightly,
a pair of jeans that she was getting ready to toss at the wall
hanging limply from her hands.

“Yes,” John nodded eagerly. “I prefer when you are
dressed indecently. And if you have nothing indecent to
wear, then you can go in just your knickers.” That thought
alone caused his eyes to dilate. “On second thought,” he
grinned. “That’s an even better idea!”

With a shake of her head, Maggie threw her jeans at him.
“You’re not helping, John.”

“I am helping,” he pouted.

“Oh yeah? How’s that?”

“I’m supervising and providing moral support for you in
your time of trouble.” He nodded to assert his opinion
before looking at her lecherously, his eyes roaming to her
bum. “Also, I’m enjoying the view.”

Maggie rolled her eyes, and then glared at his advances.
Turning back to the wardrobe, another growl of frustration
left her lips. “I still can’t believe you’ve just now told me
that we are going to a party at Donovan’s house AND that
the Rolling Stones will be there!”

Flopping back on the bed, John sighed. “I don’t understand
what you are so worried about. It’s just Donovan, Mick and
Keith.”

                             150
“John, to you it’s just Donovan, Mick, and Keith, but to me
it's famous musicians I’ve been listening to my entire life,”
she cried exasperatedly. John was still looking at her,
confused. Shaking her head, Maggie forced herself to relax,
hoping that maybe joking around with him would calm her
nerves. “Besides, everyone knows the Rolling Stones are
better then The Beatles.”

Quirking an eyebrow her way, John folded his hands
behind his head. “Are they now?”

“Yes,” she nodded with a sly grin. “And Mick, wow, he’s
sooooooo sexy. Do you know if he’s single? Not that that
would matter to him, I’m sure…”

Tossing the sheets to the side, John rose from the bed,
looking at her pointedly. “Well, I do know that YOU’RE
not single, so I think that pretty much takes care of that.”
Tossing her a stern look, John walked to the closet and
pulled it open.

“Not that that would matter to him, I’m sure!” she called to
him teasingly. Her words soon died on her tongue though
as she saw the box in his hands and curiosity got the better
of her. “What have you got there?”

“I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before,” he
muttered to himself. Setting the box on the bed, he pulled
the lid off, pushed aside paper and listened as it crackled
through the room. His fingers soon touched fine silk and
before Maggie could get any closer, he was grasping the
scarlet material in his hands and pulling it out of the box.

“You kept it!” she cried, surprise and joy taking hold of
her. The same red dress she had worn all those years…

                            151
weeks… whatever… ago hung in his hand.

“Of course I kept it,” he said, a little offended at the
thought of getting rid of it. “It’s all I had of you. Besides,
you never did pay me back for it. Thief.”

Shaking her head slowly, Maggie walked up to him, feeling
herself growing breathless. With her arms wrapped around
his waist, her head resting against his chest, she found
herself content to just breathe him in. “I never knew that
you were so sweet and sentimental.”

John fidgeted nervously but wrapped his arms around her
anyway. “Yeah well, don’t tell Macca… I’ve got a
reputation to maintain, you know.”

“Mind if I borrow it for tonight?” she asked, looking down
at the dress that still remained in his hands.

“I don’t know, what do I get in return?” he asked, waggling
his eyebrows at her.

Maggie laughed, slapping at his arm as a lecherous grin
spread across his face. This man was insatiable. “We just
had pancakes!”

“But I want pudding now!” Leaning down he began to
nibble at her ear. Running his fingers up her back, he pulled
her closer. Maggie sighed contentedly; standing on tippy
toes and pressing her body firmly to his, she felt the shivers
start to run up and down her spine and the heat pool in the
pit of her stomach.

“I’m not a pudding, John,” she protested half-heartedly in
between kisses.


                             152
“Are you sure?” He frowned. “Because I seem to remember
you being quite tasty.”

“Mmmmmmmm,” Maggie said, licking the juncture
between his neck and shoulder. “You’re the tasty one….”

No more words were exchanged as John picked her up by
the waist and carried her back to the bed.




                         153
Chapter Thirteen




B     y the time they arrived, the party was in full swing.
      Girls draped themselves over boys as music blared in
the background and the sweet scent of smoke swirled
around them in a white haze. Maggie’s fingers tightened on
John’s arm a little as they entered the house and he turned
to her and gave her an encouraging smile. She was excited
about getting to meet Donovan and the Stones, but she was
nervous, especially now that she was inside the house. She
knew that she was working herself up over nothing - after
all, she was so cool and calm with the Beatles. Why was
she going all fangirl thinking about meeting Donovan? She
couldn’t wait to talk to him about his Sunshine Superman
album… it was so perfect from start to finish, especially the
songs “Guinevere” and “Legend of a Girl Child Linda.”
But then reality began to set in as Maggie realized she
didn’t know if Donovan had even released that album yet.
And she had no idea what the Stones had released yet
either. She was fairly certain that Satisfaction was out, but
still, the simple fact was, when it came to bands like the
Stones, Donovan, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd, (were
they even a band yet?) she simply didn’t know anything of
substance about them other then their music!

She couldn’t even claim to be a fan for fear of saying
something wrong like, “Oh Mick, I absolutely love Wild
Horses!” and have him think she was bonkers because
she’d just been fawning over a song that he hadn’t even
conceived of yet, much less written. This was going to be
                            154
more difficult then she thought. Knowing everything about
the Beatles was not the same as knowing everything about
the sixties music scene.

“Did you want a drink?” John asked, interrupting her
reverie and leaning down to kiss her. Maggie smiled up at
him and nodded, trying to force her concerns from her
mind. This was a party, and it was Swinging London, and
by golly, she was going to have fun! Before she knew it,
there was a drink in her hand, one in John’s and they were
being steered over to the very same people she’d been in
anticipation of meeting.

Standing before her was Mick Jagger. He oozed sex appeal,
his scary modern day appearance forty years off.

“Mick, this is my old lady, Miss Margaret. Maggie, luv,
this is Mick of The Rolling Stones, a shite band that will
never amount to anything,” John said by way of
introducing the two of them.

”Oh, Mick! I absolutely love Wild Horses, though I think
The Sundays cover version is a bit better…” Maggie said,
blurting out the very thing she had decided she would
definitely not say, and immediately felt like an idiot.

“What’s that, luv?” Mick asked as he leaned in. “It’s hard
to hear you over the music.”

“Uh, nothing,” Maggie replied, relieved that her blunder
had gone unheard. “Are you guys working on an album
now?”

“Yes, nearly done, though we’re still arguing over a title,
and what’s to be our first single,” Mick answered politely,
though she noticed that he was looking somewhat below

                           155
her eye-line. Was she that bad-looking that he couldn’t
even look her in the face?

Maggie tilted her head a bit, and bent her neck down, trying
to catch Mick’s eye. “Which song do you want for the first
single?” Maggie inquired, still hoping for a clue about
which Stones album they were just finishing.

“'Paint it Black' – I think it’s one of our best. Your friend
George talked us into adding sitar to it and I’m really
digging it,” Mick’s gaze lazily moved up, until he was
finally looking her in the eyes, which somehow seemed
more bold and intimate than when he had apparently been
starting at her chest. He licked his lips, those famous lips.

“I’d love to hear it,” Maggie said, happy to hear a reference
to her favorite Stones song.

“Sure, luv, maybe I’ll play it for you later if you can ditch
the Beatle. They’re a shite band really, just a flash in the
pan,” Mick leaned in and whispered, giving her a little
wink and a friendly leer.

Maggie was equally amused and put-off. Could any of
them have guessed that the Stones would still be making
music in the 21st century? Or that the Beatles would only
last a few more years before breaking up, with resentment
on all sides?

Maggie hardly knew what to think about Mick himself –
she knew that back in the day, Mick was supposed to be
quite sexy, and now she could see why. In person, he
exuded a raw sexuality that was almost overpowering, even
when he was answering mundane questions about their next
album. For a second she missed George, and how instantly
comfortable she was with him, and how they got each

                            156
other’s interest in music and guitars. Yes, the Beatles were
more her style. They may not have been the innocents they
had been painted to be, but compared to the Mick they were
comfortable and fun. Maggie wondered what her reaction
to a group like Zeppelin would be – the stories about them
made Mick (and the Beatles) look like schoolboys.

Mick sauntered off after a heavily made-up blonde caught
his eye and beckoned to him. Maggie blushed and buried
her head in John’s shoulder. “Oh that was awful! Could
have been more awkward and idiotic?” she moaned. John
just laughed and patted her back, “There, there Miss
Margaret; I thought you were charming. Besides, Mick
wasn’t even listening to you; he was staring at your tits the
whole time.” This caused Maggie to only blush deeper to
realize that John (and probably everyone else) had been
aware of her discomfort. John laughed at her again. “Come
on, luv, let’s go mingle a bit more and see who else we can
get to make you blush, or better yet, vomit like you did
with me when we first met, but mind my shoes please,
they’re my favorite,” John teased as he led her over to
another group chatting people.

Even after her rough start with Mick, things seemed to be
okay…for a while. But eventually the reality of the perfect
little world that she had been living in these past few weeks
was changing before her eyes as she watched joints being
lit and lines being snorted off of the available finger. Mick
and the blonde were over the corner, practically having sex
right in front of everyone. Maggie looked away. John’s arm
was swung sloppily around her shoulder as they sat on a
sofa. A joint and various other substances were passed
around, all of which Maggie denied with a little wave of
her hand. A few raised eyebrows were shot her way, but the
comments didn’t go further. Maggie fidgeted nervously
beneath the weight of John’s arm, glancing away as once

                            157
more she turned down what was being offered. Her
movement brought John’s attention out of the conversion
he was having. He looked down at her, frowning a little as
he noticed her discomfort. The white blunt was between his
fingers, headed towards his mouth for a second puff, but at
the look Maggie had on her face, he passed it off, deciding
that maybe tonight he should keep things at a minimum.

As the conversation turned from music to things that only
seemed profound if your blood was coursing with
chemicals, Maggie stood, deciding that maybe she should
get herself another drink. She’d been nursing her first one
all evening. She rarely got drunk, and the few times it had
happened, she’d made sure she was with close friends she
trusted. She’d seen too many “After School Specials” about
drinks spiked with roofies, and girls taken advantage of at
parties. She doubted roofies were actually an issue in the
60s. Still, she wasn’t comfortable here. In fact, she felt
totally out of her element.

Wandering through the crowded room, she waved the
smoke from her eyes and tried to ignore the music, music
that she had once loved but now found to be a soundtrack
for a night that seemed to be headed to places she didn’t
want to go. In 2006, she was considered normal and
average for not doing drugs. After all, she didn't run around
with any rock stars. But here, she was a stick in the mud.
Uncool. Not worthy of the legendary John Lennon. As she
wove in between dancers, she bumped into a couple that
had their hands snaked all over each other and their lips
locked so tightly they would soon need to come up for air,
or suffocate. “Oh, I’m so sorry…” Maggie started to say
but broke off as she saw the face of the man she’d bumped
break away from the brunette he had been kissing. Flashing
a sloppy grin at her, George put a finger to his lips, winked
at Maggie as if she were in cahoots with him, and pulled

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the dark haired girl up the stairs behind him.

Reality.

Once again reality kept encroaching on her fantasies.
Everyone knew the Beatles cheated on their wives.
Everyone knew it. Hell, they were all joking just the other
night at Paul’s about how the groupies compared notes! But
to see it so casually done, almost as if it were only a
joke….

Reality.

Again, she reminded herself that she knew the Beatles were
no innocents. But that still didn’t keep her from feeling a
stab of betrayal at seeing George, her friend George, with a
woman other than his wife.

No longer wanting alcohol, she poured herself a glass of
water with shaky hands. Drinking it calmed her nerves
some, and after taking a few deep breaths she felt ready to
go back to the party and have a good time. Besides, she was
there with John, and that was enough for her. As she turned
back to look towards John, about to call out to him and see
if maybe he wanted something as well, she felt her stomach
clench.

Sitting on his lap was a blond, her lashes rising and falling
flirtatiously, as she batted her eyes at him, smiling softly; a
red head was sitting in Maggie’s seat with her hand resting
on his thigh and a simpering smile on her face. John smiled
back at both of them politely as the blond pushed herself
against him, her breasts nearly popping out of her
obscenely tight sweater. The redhead started tracing circles
up his thigh with the tip of her index finger. As the blond
wound her arm around his neck, he at least had the decency

                             159
to take both of them by the wrist and gently push them
away from him. They went away with a little pout,
rebuffed. They hadn’t been the first tonight, and they
probably wouldn’t be the last.

Closing her eyes, Maggie swallowed. What was she doing?
She knew the history of these boys' lives, she knew their
tendencies. This very subject had been a topic of
conversation between her and her online friends countless
times. And yet, here she was, thinking that everything was
going fine and that maybe, with her presence here, things
would change. How naive she had been. If John was
willing to cheat on Yoko, the supposed love of his life, then
he would be willing to cheat on Maggie too. It would only
be a matter of time.

She didn’t think she could do this.

Going back to the sofa, Maggie sunk down beside John
again, but kept her distance, stiffening as his arm
automatically came to wrap around her shoulder once
more. Maggie remained sitting up straight though for the
rest of the night, her gaze and her stance distant until they
left.

On the car ride home, not a word was exchanged. John
tried to bring about conversation once they entered the flat,
asking her if she had fun, teasingly asking if Mick was
everything she ever dreamed of, but Maggie only shrugged
before heading to bed.

That night they lay on opposite sides of the bed, neither
touching, without even the exchange of a goodnight kiss.




                            160
John felt the headache long before he even woke. He felt
something swarm within his mind, felt his bones ache, and
he felt the dryness of his throat and the stickiness of his
mouth. His stomach turned slightly and he knew that this
wasn’t the aftermath of the party, but because sleep last
night hadn’t come to him.

He knew on the way home that Maggie had been upset. A
blind man could see that she had retreated in to her own
thoughts, but he had thought that with a few jokes, she
might loosen up. The hope had fallen away though as soon
as they arrived home, and she went straight to bed without
so much as a glance in his direction. Then she had
pretended to be asleep when he wandered in, an hour later.

He had no idea what he’d done wrong. Obviously he’d
done something wrong; otherwise she’d be talking to him.
But for the life of him he had no idea! He hadn’t done any
drugs (other than one puff of a joint), he hadn’t shagged
anyone who wasn’t named Maggie, he’d been attentive to
her all night, and even left the party early when it was
obvious she was not enjoying herself. Hell, by his normal
standards he’d been a saint! Yet there it was, she was mad
at him.

Women! He’d never understand them. But they sure
understood men. It really wasn’t fair.

Sighing, John reached up, scrubbing a hand across his face.
They needed to talk. She’d tell him what he’d done wrong,
he’d apologize and have done with it, and they’d be back to
how things were before. Smiling to himself, he heard a
slight shuffling sound breaking the stillness of the room
that roused him from his thoughts. He opened his eyes and
felt any planned words he might have had die in his throat.
Maggie stood before him, her bag set out before her, as she

                           161
shoved her few possessions inside. John sat and watched
her silently for a moment, watching the way her hair fell in
her eyes and the way she focused on her task so as she
wouldn’t have to think of anything else.

“What are you doing?” he asked quietly after a few beats.
Her actions were clear, but he couldn’t find anything else to
say. This was not a situation he ever thought possible. They
had been so happy, things had been so perfect. How had he
driven her away?

“What’s it look like I’m doing, John?” she said calmly,
folding a blouse and stuffing it inside the open bag. “I’m
packing.”

John blinked. “Why? You planning on going somewhere?”
he swallowed thickly. John knew why she was packing,
although he held a vain hope that he was mistaken. He had
to stall her. He had to figure out what he had done wrong
and had to find a way to fix it before she walked out of his
life once more. He wouldn’t be able to handle it a second
time, not after knowing how wonderful and full-color life
was when she was truly his. The first time she had visited
he’d had but a taste of happiness. Now that he knew what it
was to be happy, there was no way he’d give it up.

“No, John, I frequently pack up my things just for shits and
giggles, just to see how long it will take me.” Closing her
bag, Maggie squeezed her eyes shut after seeing John’s
face. He looked as though he’d been slapped. She’d not
meant it to come out like that. She just knew that if she let
her guard down for even a moment with this man she’d
lose her resolve.

Sighing she focused on her bag and zipped it closed.
Packing had taken much less time than she had thought it

                            162
would; she had less than she thought she did. Shaking her
head, trying to clear from it the small voice that was trying
to get her to just crawl back in bed and never leave again,
Maggie grabbed the shoulder strap of her bag and headed
towards the door. John was by her side in seconds though,
blocking her exit.

“Wait just one minute, Miss Margaret, there’s no need to
get shirty with me. It’s a fair question,” he said, trying to
look into her eyes. She turned away from him though,
refusing to meet his questioning gaze. “One minute we’re
having the time of our lives, shagging like rabbits, and the
next you are mad at me for no reason that I can see and
leaving in a huff. I think I deserve some sort of an
explanation at the very least.”

Sighing again, Maggie set her bag down. “What is there to
explain? I came back to warn you again, and now I’ve
warned you. And I’m not mad at you, I’m mad at myself
for staying, for allowing myself to get attached to you, for
believing that this fantasy in my head might actually be
true. Last night was a huge wakeup call. You really are
John Lennon, and you are always going to be John Lennon,
and you are always going to be involved with sex, drugs,
and rock n’ roll. Always. It’s part of who you are, and I
can’t change that, nor do I want to because I love you for
who you are. But I don’t fit with that lifestyle, John. I don’t
fit with your lifestyle… I don’t fit. You can’t push a square
peg into a round hole, John, and so I’m leaving before it
gets too difficult for both of us to detach and end it.” Her
voice was devoid of emotion. It was cool and calculated,
almost as though she were explaining a complex
mathematical problem, and far more reasonable than John
had heard from her since her first trip. She was shrugging
their relationship off as a mathematical equation where X
could never equal Y, so why bother trying to find a solution

                             163
when she had already deduced that there wasn’t one.

Frowning, John shook his head, hoping to shake something
loose in order to better understand what exactly was
happening. “Wait a minute, you’re leaving because I took a
hit off a blunt and some birds flirted with me…and I didn’t
even encourage them in any way. In fact, I pushed them
away!”

“But that’s precisely the point, John. You don’t need to
encourage them. They are always going to be there.
Always! All you ever need do is whistle, and you’ll never
have to go without. As for drugs, yeah, tonight you just
took one hit, but it won’t stop there. I know it won’t. It will
get worse and worse, and I just don’t know if I can deal
with that. Any of that. In fact, I know I can’t.”

“What?” John felt his stomach twist at the thought. “No! I
would never cheat on you…”

“Right,” she laughed cynically. “Just like you never
cheated on Cynthia. Or Y…,” she stopped herself from
saying the other woman’s name.

With his gaze darkening, John shook his head. “That’s not
fair. This is different. We’re different.” Reaching out, he
tried to touch her; Maggie lurched from him before his
fingers could come into contact with her skin.

“Fine,” she said, calm once again. “We’re different. But
let’s look at this logically. You cheated on Cynthia all the
time. All. The. Time. You would have cheated on Cynthia
with me the first night we met had I not stopped you. Does
the fact that our relationship is different make what you did
to Cynthia okay? Does it make the fact that last night
George was going up into a bedroom with a girl who was

                             164
NOT Pattie okay? How about the fact that Paul keeps this
flat so he can cheat on Jane? I assume you so obligingly
stay away when he needs it…” John’s eyes widened
slightly at the last fact. He sometimes wondered what all
was known about them in the future. Clearly none of them
had any secrets left. “The logical conclusion that I can
deduce from all this is when the next girl catches your eye,
and you cheat on me with her, it will be OKAY, because it
was just sex and it didn’t mean anything. Does that all
sound that OKAY to you?” Breathing harshly, Maggie
finally looked at him, feeling her throat beginning to cinch
shut. She had to get out of here before she no longer had
the willpower to leave.

John stared at her, open mouthed, her words stinging like a
slap to the face and a blow to the gut. With his shoulders
hunching forward, he could barely find it in himself to look
at her, not even trying to hide how much her words hurt
him, yet he didn’t answer. He couldn’t bring himself to
answer because he had nothing to say to refute her logic.
Everything she said had been true, and he knew nothing he
could say to change that. It was easy for him to push birds
away when Maggie was there. But what if she wasn’t
around when temptation came calling?

Maggie both felt and saw his hesitation, and so, ripping her
eyes away from his turned away. “I thought so,” she said
sadly, simply, and without any hint of accusation. Just calm
resignation and acceptance. She picked up her bag, turned,
and walked out the door.

John didn’t even try to stop her.




                             165
Chapter Fourteen




A     s she approached EMI, she furiously wiped the tears
      from her face, which made her bag slip down her
shoulder a little. She had to do this, she kept telling herself,
there was no other way. Better to pull out before both she
and John got irreparably damaged. She knew the future that
was ahead of her if she stayed and she couldn’t just handle
that. She knew what kind of man John was, and while she
absolutely loved and adored him for all the things that
made him, well, John… they were also the things that were
going to hurt in the end. What kind of an idiot falls in love
with a man they know they are not right for? Pressing
forward, Maggie tried her hardest to push the hurt look that
John had given her out of her mind, knowing that if she
dwelt on it too long, she would lose her nerve, turn around,
and run back into John’s arms. She knew if she did that,
then there was no chance of her ever leaving again.

Shaking her head, Maggie felt the disdain for herself
deepen as she thought back on how stupid she had been.
She had known better and yet she had still stayed. She had
literally played God with all their lives and futures and she
had gotten lucky, but after that it should have ended.
Instead she had indulged in a fantasy and hurt someone that
she cared about. Someone she cared more for then any
other person she’d ever met. How could she hurt John like
that? God, she was an idiot, she needed to go back to him!
She couldn’t leave him like this. Stopping to turn around,
she saw a flash of long dark hair out of the corner of her
                             166
eye, and reality hit again. If she stayed, what would she do
when Yoko came into the picture? She wasn’t about to fool
herself into believing that he would forget the woman he
would spend the next decade just to stay with her. Would
she have to do everything in her power to keep him from
meeting Yoko? And what if they still met? He’d leave her.
He’d leave her, and then she’d be all alone and living in the
sixties. With that thought she turned right back around and
continued to EMI, more determined then ever to leave.

Living in the sixties? Honestly? Was she crazy? Women
were treated like second class citizens at best, and there
was no way NASA would hire her now, during the space
race, during this day and age. And even if they did, she’d
make only half of what a less qualified man would make
AND be relegated to secretarial duties. And she didn’t even
know if England had the equivalent of a space program!
Plus no cell phones, no personal computers, and NO
INTERNET!

Then there were also the fans. The gatebirds were already a
bit nasty towards her, and if she stayed with John she’d
have to deal with that forever, as well as deal with constant
fame and scrutiny in the public eye. That was the last thing
she wanted. She valued her privacy.

On top of that, they would have to create an entirely new
identity for her, and hope that no one would discover that
she really had popped out from nowhere. Not to mention
she didn’t know what would happen when her twenty-year-
old future self saw a sixty-year-old Mrs. Maggie Sue
Lennon who looked just like her when she was younger.
And that was even assuming John wanted to marry her! For
that matter she had no guarantees that he wanted to spend
his life with her. He hadn’t even told her that he loved her.
She thought he did; he’d implied it in so many ways with

                            167
looks and actions, the songs he claimed he’d written for
her, and little comments here and there, but he’d never
actually said the words.

She had.

It was all too confusing, and ridiculous, and she never
should have even tried to make it work. No, if Maggie
stayed, she would only be miserable and as much as she
wished she could simply live in the moment and be content
with what was offered to her, Maggie knew that she would
only live to regret it, and even worse hurt both she and John
in the end, and that was something she just wouldn’t do.

Despite all this, despite the fact that she knew she was
making the right choice, the logical choice, when she
arrived at the front door of EMI, all she could do was stare
at the doorknob. The sad truth still remained - she would
have dealt with all of that. The drugs, the fans, the sexism
against women, the lack of modern conveniences… all that,
if only she could be certain that John loved her. If she could
have been certain that she wasn’t just his current
fascination, that the Beatle with the shortest attention span
of them all wouldn’t get tired of her in a year. That he
wouldn’t cheat on her, or would, at the very least, try to be
faithful. She would have stayed in a heartbeat if she knew
that. She would have endured it all if she were secure in the
fact that John loved her, because despite his history,
Maggie found that she still loved him. Loved him more
than she ever thought possible.

She loved him. And so she had to leave. She had to let him
be free to be John Lennon, not constrained by her modern
day ideologies and moral compass. If she reined him in,
she’d have him, yet she’d still lose him.


                             168
Feeling a sob escape from her throat, Maggie reached for
the doorknob, twisted it slightly, and felt her vision blur.

“Wait!”

Maggie froze as she heard the familiar voice call out from
behind her and as much as her brain told her to push open
the door in front of her and leave before it was too late, she
couldn’t find it in herself to move.

“Maggie, Wait!”

Running up behind her, John clutched at his knees and bent
over slightly at the waist as he tried to catch his breath.
“Wait, please…” he gasped out. “Please, don’t go…”

Steeling herself, Maggie stared at the doorknob. “John, I
have to… I can’t… We can’t make this work,” she said,
trying to force back her tears.

Straightening, John reached for the doorknob, holding it
closed and shaking his head, pleading with her in every
way that he knew how. “Please. Please Maggie, luv, stay
here, stay with me, be with me. I’ve just spent the two most
miserable years of my life without you, and I can’t do that
again. I need you, girl. I… I love you.”

Maggie’s head came up on those final words. The three
words she had been longing to hear. But how could she be
sure? He’d say anything to get her to stay right now. Maybe
he meant it. Maybe he did love her. But that still didn’t
change his nature. He’d love her right up until he started
loving someone else. Turning away, Maggie swallowed
thickly. Why was it that hard situations always seemed to
be made harder? “John, please don’t; you’re making this
harder then it needs to be…”

                             169
Her words were cut off as he grabbed her by the arm,
turning her towards him roughly. “Look me in the eyes and
tell me you don’t love me,” he demanded, his voice raw
with the emotion that was welling beneath the surface.

Maggie could only stare down at her shoes.

“You can’t do it, can you?” he said, his grip on her arm
loosening as he felt that small glimmer of hope begin to
shine once more. “You can’t do it because you’re just as
mad about me as I am about you, and this nonsense about
you leaving is just that. Nonsense.” Ducking his head, John
tried to look her in the eyes, trying to be truthful with a
woman for once in his life. “I love you, and you love me…
why can’t that be enough?”

Gently, Maggie extracted herself from his arms, and moved
away from him. “Sometimes love isn’t enough.” she
swallowed. “Love isn’t all you need to make a relationship
work. Do you even have any idea of what you’ve asked of
me? Do you have any idea of what you’ve asked me to give
up and go through to stay here with you? You don’t, and
that’s okay because I gave it all up gladly, with no regrets,
because you are right, I do love you John, more then you
probably realize. But I won’t stay to be your current
obsession. Someday you’ll find someone else, a new
obsession, and when you do, it will destroy me. Yes, I
know I’m being a selfish coward, but self-preservation is a
hard instinct to overcome. I’d rather watch you from a safe
distance for the rest of my life then to lose you forever.”

John didn’t answer, finding that small glimmer of hope
only to have it dissipate once more.

Closing her eyes, Maggie only hesitated for a second before

                            170
opening the door and slipping inside. John stood outside,
staring at the now shut door, hit with the knowledge that
the woman he loved was leaving him. How many women
that he had loved had left him over the years? Now it would
be one more.

He hadn’t lied to her when he told her how miserable he
had been these past few years. Something had been missing
in his life and no matter what he did he couldn’t seem to
find something to replace it, to fill this gaping hole that was
deeply embedded in his heart. He'd tried drugs, other
women, even wondering for a time if maybe he could make
things work with Cynthia. But it was all hollow. Then she
had come back and for a while there, everything was good,
everything was perfect and he got a taste once more for
what he had been missing. His heart had been whole once
more. Now she was going to leave again, for good, and
John knew that this time it would hurt more than it ever had
before, and the wound would never heal.

Without thinking, John pushed open the door and raced
after her. He knew “their” hallway instinctively and let his
feet carry him where he knew she’d be standing. As he
rounded the corner, there she was, standing in front of the
photo that brought her to him, tears streaking her face.

Finding no time to waste, John charged towards her,
hurling himself at her just as she winked out of reality.




                             171
Chapter Fifteen




J  ohn opened his eyes to blurred spots of color. He was
   disoriented until he realized that his impaired vision was
just the result of having had his eyes squeezed tightly shut.
As his vision cleared, he saw the most beautiful sight
standing before him.

Maggie, tears frozen on her face, stared at him in complete
confusion.

“Oh no! What have you done?” Her eyes were wide and
her voice was full of fear as she stared at him, feeling her
heart beat rapidly behind her rib cage.

“What have I done? What have you done?” John asked
grabbing her arm, afraid to let her go again.

Shaking her head as she tried to reject this reality, Maggie
began to panic. “No, no, no, this wasn’t supposed to
happen! You… you shouldn’t have done that.” she accused,
pointing a finger at him, her hand shaking as it hung in mid
air.

“I shouldn’t have done that? How am I in the wrong here?
How could you just leave me like that?” John counter-
accused, not seeming to have yet realized the predicament
they had put themselves in.

Letting her arm drop, Maggie looked at him. A headache
                            172
was beginning to form behind her eyes and suddenly all she
felt like doing was giving up and crawling back in his arms.
She knew that would be giving into her fantasy once again
- and that was what had gotten her into this dilemma in the
first place. “I had to. I’m so sorry, but I had to. At least I
thought I did,” she whispered. Yet, her words began to
falter even as she spoke. Overwhelmed by emotion, she
automatically switched on her analytical side. “John, there
was no logical way for us to stay together in your time.”

“Fuck logic!”

“John, it’s not that easy. You’re a Beatle, you’re an icon – I
can’t be the person who makes you give that up, but I can’t
live with an icon, and everything that it entails. I’m not that
strong.”

Licking his lips, he looked at her dejected form. “Well,
now I’m just John,” he stated quietly.

Feeling her tears threaten to brim over once more, Maggie
swallowed thickly. “I’m so sorry. I’m so very sorry.”

As her eyes trailed to the floor, John reached out for her.
With gentle fingers, he tipped her chin upwards, forcing her
to look at him. “What for? I’m the one who choose to come
here to be with you.”

Maggie frowned. “Wait, you did that on purpose?”

“Well, if you wouldn’t stay, and I can’t live without you,
then there was only one solution, wasn’t there? It’s not the
first one I would have chosen, but then I don’t feel like I
really had a choice in the matter, did I? I don’t think I’d
ever be a whole man again if you left me for good. It’s like
you said, self-preservation is a hard instinct to overcome.

                             173
I’d rather give all that other stuff up for the rest of me life
then to lose you forever.” Smiling, John hesitated only a
moment before taking a step forward. “So, it looks like I’ll
have to stay with you in the future. Or rather, the present.”
He winced, now finally understanding how Maggie had felt
these past couple of weeks. “Bloody hell, I’m confused.” he
smiled wryly. “Look, I don’t care, just so long as I get to
stay with you.”

She felt herself want to give in again, to let out shouts of
approval as she threw her arms around him. But she
restrained herself so she could ponder his words. While the
idea seemed sound for the first few seconds after it was
said, Maggie couldn’t help but wonder how John would do
in the future. A future where he was no longer famous and
was forty years out of the loop on everything. Absolutely
everything was different now. She had been thrust into his
world, but she had had the benefit of a youth misspent on
absorbing everything she could about the Beatles. He
wouldn’t have that luxury. He would have to start from
scratch and there was no telling if he would be able to
break into music again, or even adjust to it all.

At the very thought of that, Maggie felt herself inwardly
groan.

By staying with her, the Beatles were no more. There
would be no more albums, no more interviews or concerts
and the world would be cheated out of some of their best
work.

Oh no, Paul!

If she allowed him to stay, she would be breaking the
promise she had made him and the trust she had worked so
hard to build with him. This could conceivably destroy

                             174
him. She would be stealing away his best friend, and his
lifeline until Linda came around. Maggie froze as another
thought berated her. What if Paul never met the love of his
life because of this?

And then there was Julian. There was no way she was
going to deprive that little boy of his father. If for nothing
else, he was going to go back for Julian.

She smiled inwardly as realization hit her. John was still
willing to give all that up. All of that was nothing compared
to her in his mind. He did love her. He was willing to walk
away from it all just so he could be with her.

Turning her gaze to him, Maggie felt her heart race and her
voice quiver. “No.”

John stared at her, struggling for a moment with what she
had just said. “What?”

“No,” she repeated. “You can’t stay with me. We have to
get you back right away.” She was beginning to turn frantic
at all the possible events that could have happened while he
was here. Time moved differently. She had to remember
that, and the longer they waited… “Oh, no – what if we
send you back and two more years have passed? Why did
you have to grab me?”

Running her fingers through her hair, Maggie took in a
deep breath, struggling to fight back the onslaught of tears.
How could she take away Julian’s father? Paul’s best
friend? Oh, she was the most selfish of all creatures! If only
he hadn’t grabbed onto her! If only she’d never left!

“Luv,” John breathed, taking another step towards her,
seeing the guilt swimming through her eyes. “I’ve been a

                             175
Beatle for what seems like a hundred years. I could use a
break from it.” She looked at him, about to open her mouth
and tell him all the reasons why he had to return, but John
stopped her. “I know,” he said seriously. “I know just what
I’m giving up… I know who I’m giving up. But isn’t the
reality that they all have to do without me in a few years
anyway? And if I stay here, won’t I avoid 1980 all
together? Am I a coward for not wanting to die? Besides, I
want to see this future of yours where women can drive and
vote!” he smiled at that, his excitement only growing at the
possibilities that lay before him now. ”Do you know, I
could walk anywhere I wanted here – total freedom?! No
fans chasing me, grabbing at me.”

Maggie’s stared at him, watching the wonder spread across
his face, watching the burden of Beatlehood lifted off his
shoulders. He was nearly giddy with everything he could
now do. She pictured him looking around him with wide
eyes, trying to soak up each and every little detail that
would now be new to him. She knew this feeling all too
well. She knew the excitement that came with this brand
new adventure, but she also knew the buzz would wear off.
After all, he was now in a world where he couldn’t smoke
indoors, or get drugs as readily and freely as he once did.
And that was just for starters.

“No,” she stated firmly. “We have to get you back. You
can’t just leave Julian, or Paul for that matter. They need
you. The world needs you. As much as I want you to be
‘just John’ my John, I know that can’t ever happen. I’m a
selfish creature, but even I can’t rob the world, or your
loved ones, of this.”

Turning his attention back towards her, John felt his heart
fall. She was serious about this. He was serious too; he
didn’t want to return and have to deal with a broken heart

                            176
again.

“I’m not leaving without you,” he stated. “We need to be
together; if not for your sake, for mine. I love you, Maggie.
I know you’re an independent lass, but I think that if we
stick together, I can be the man you want me to be; I won’t
cheat on you. And I won’t use drugs. We can make this
work, we just have to try.”

Maggie looked at him doubtfully, cocking up one eyebrow.

“What? You don’t believe me?”

At the slight sound of hurt in his voice, Maggie sighed. She
couldn’t do this to him. She knew what his future held, he
didn’t. “I believe that you believe that you won’t cheat on
me, and I believe that you will try to be faithful and that
you will try to stay away from the drugs… And I do believe
that you love me, and I know that I love you… and… I
don’t want to leave you…” Maggie paused for a moment,
fighting an eternal battle with herself and trying her hardest
to find the best course of action. There was really only one
decision that would work, and it really was the only one
Maggie could see herself ever possibly being happy with.
“I’ll…I’ll go back with you – it’s more important for you to
be where you belong. I’m no one important here. We’ll just
deal with the rest as it comes.” Swallowing, she reached for
his hands, threading her fingers with his.

“That’s not true, you’re important to me everywhere.
Promise me no more running away from me back to the
future?” he asked, squeezing her hand gently.

Maggie nodded. “No more running, I promise.”

John looked at her doubtfully.

                             177
“You don’t believe me?” Laughter colored her voice as she
looked at him.

With an exaggerated sigh, John rolled his eyes up to the
ceiling, obviously mocking her. “I believe that you believe
you won’t run away, though you’ve left me twice now. It
was quite a long, lost weekend without you last time!“

Reaching out, Maggie smacked him on the shoulder,
laughing at him. John easily caught her wrist though,
pulling her into a kiss. As John dipped her back, kissing her
deeply, he tried to pour everything he felt into that kiss,
solidifying their commitment and trying his hardest to
reassure her that he wouldn’t hurt her. To show her that
they were both making the right decision.

Begrudgingly, they broke away from each other, looking
into one another's eyes for a few seconds, and trading
familiar emotions. Nodding her head, Maggie straightened
and as she took him by the hand, they turned to stare at the
picture.

Only, the photo was gone. In fact, in her confused
emotional state, it was only now that Maggie realized they
were not standing inside of EMI. Maggie recognized the
room they were in as the new office she'd been shown
during the orientation for her new job. The job she was
supposed to officially start after her vacation. It was just a
week ago that she'd stood in here for the first time - but it
felt like a lifetime ago.

“Where’d it…? How did we…?” Maggie licked her lips,
feeling a sense of panic swell within her as she looked
around the room. When he saw her alarm, John looked
around him and felt immediately panicked – where was

                             178
EMI?

“Where are we?” John whispered, confused.

“Somehow we ended up in my office in Washington D.C.
Maybe it’s because I was focused on going home? How are
we ever going to get you back now? There’s no EMI, no
picture of you to focus on.” She waved at the blank wall in
front of them. She said all this more to herself than John, as
her mind quickly ran through every possible scenario. The
thought of home was the only logical explanation that
belonged in this impossible equation.

Looking at the wall and the spot Maggie indicated, John
frowned. “Well, what if we just concentrate on the wall
instead? Maybe it’ll still work.”

Maggie frowned. There wasn’t much else they could do.
But as they looked at it together, focusing and trying to get
back to the sixties, nothing happened. No matter what they
did, whether it be taking turns or focusing in a combined
effort, they stayed where they were, solidly in 2006.

“I’m thinking that we’re stuck here in the future,” John
stated, turning to Maggie. He didn’t look too upset over the
prospect. “It was your plan all along wasn’t it? To lure me
here with promises of sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll?”

Maggie shrugged. “Well, it worked didn’t it?” She grinned
at him suddenly, “You wanton hussy you!”

Grinning, John wrapped his arm around her shoulder.
“That’s my line, luv.”

Maggie felt herself smile as well, but only for a minute.
The reality of what was happening was starting to sink in.

                             179
She was starting to really hate reality. "What do we do?”
she asked, her voice growing slightly worried. She was
finding that she was too tired to care as much as she should
have. After all, with the possibility of going back being
taken away from them that meant that they didn’t have to
deal with the consequences of their actions like she thought
they might. It was no longer her fault that Julian had no
father and Paul had lost his best friend and writing partner,
right? She’d tried to get him back… shouldn’t that be
enough to satisfy karma? But more importantly, would it
satisfy her guilt for being secretly glad that she got her
wish? She was going to get John, just John, all for herself.
No Beatles, no fans, and yet there would still be music, and
it would all be hers. No one could blame her for this, right?

Steering her away from the wall, John dropped a kiss on
top of her head. “I think it’s time to make good on those
promises of sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll!” he announced
loudly. “Let’s go back to your flat.”

Maggie shook her head. “Apartment.”

“What?”

“Apartment.” she repeated. “I live in America, it’s an
apartment. And I think I can make good on at least one of
your three requests.”

“Well, as long as at least one of them involves you getting
naked, I won’t complain.”

Maggie laughed, vowing to put aside her worry and guilt
for at least a couple of hours. “I think that can be arranged.”

Without hesitating, John dragged her forward. “Great!
Let’s go!”

                             180
Chapter Sixteen




M       aggie had no idea what else she was supposed to do.
        The fear was bubbling in her stomach, threatening to
spill out and she found herself having to pull out of her
analytical thoughts and the repercussions her brain was
throwing at her. It was like a war between her mind and her
heart. She was secretly glad John couldn’t go back, yet she
was waiting for the world to come crashing down at any
moment because of her destruction of the timeline. In the
back of her mind, she was still hoping that the fact that the
world hadn’t halted yet was due to the fact that somewhere
in the not-too-distant future, she had figured out how to get
John home. For now she was trying to force herself to live
in the moment, and wait until things had calmed down so
that she could think about it properly and try to puzzle the
solution out. A solution was out there, she was sure of it;
she just had to sit and think. Maggie knew she wasn’t in the
proper mindset to be capable of that right now. That, and
she didn’t think she really even wanted to find the solution
at all. At least, not yet.

So, true to her word, Maggie took John back to her
apartment and made good on her promises several times.
She was tired, emotionally exhausted, and frankly, glad to
be home, amongst her own things. She began to pick up the
pieces of her life. She called the London hotel where she
had been staying, and had them ship her things to her,
stating that she’d had a family emergency and had needed
to leave quite suddenly. She called her office to tell them
                            181
she was back, and would come into work in a few days.
Things were returning to normal. Except for the fact that
John Lennon was sleeping in her bed. A 26-year-old John
Lennon who had time-traveled with her from 1966. It was
too unreal to be believed, so she pushed that little fact
aside. She was home.

But, in the middle of the night, as John slumbered soundly
beside her, she still questioned if she was doing the right
thing. As much as she tried to push those thoughts aside,
more often than not, she failed miserably. What else could
she do? Have John look at pictures at himself on the
internet, hoping that one of them might send him back
where he belonged? Fly back to London, go to EMI and
have John stare at his own picture? That was impossible
without money, and more importantly, without an identity
(and passport) for John.

The days went quickly, as John eagerly embraced Maggie’s
life and her world. Both of them found it amusing when he
discovered new things, or when she had to explain
something that she generally took for granted. The internet
and computers seemed to be the biggest topic of interest for
him. For days he was filled with questions about the
contraption sitting on her desk and Maggie had to break it
to him that most of the world was now ran by them.

“That’s fucking disturbing.” John said with a grin, running
his fingers over the top of her Macbook and taking delight
in pressing the little button to get it to whir to life. Despite
his words, Maggie knew that this little machine excited
him. Most everything he saw now did. She remembered
hearing him frantically calling her name one morning.
Jumping out of bed, thinking something was wrong; she
had run into the living room, searching for him. She found
him on the sofa staring at the TV in amazement.

                             182
“They just said 'fuck' on the telly!” he stated in
astonishment, pointing at the TV. Maggie looked confused
for a moment before figuring out that HBO would be a
novelty to him as well.

“Yeah, they can do that now. Well, at least on pay-TV.
They even say it on music albums too.”

“The little things you call CD’s can say 'fuck'?” he asked,
amused by the prospect. He insisted they spend the rest of
the day on the sofa watching a Sex and the City marathon,
so they could cheer any time the TV said a naughty word.

To both show off modern movie technology, and to fill
John in on the last 40 years of the space program, Maggie
took him to see an IMAX show at the Air & Space
Museum. The wonder and glee which were clearly apparent
on John’s face was only furthered as Maggie explained to
him the basic principles behind everything. He seemed to
have a voracious appetite for knowledge and his curiosity
was never sated.

Unfortunately, Maggie also had the job of explaining the
less fun rules of modern society to John, in particular, the
“no smoking” rules and the fact that she had no idea how
she could go about scoring drugs. He seemed utterly
confused by both statements, almost not believing her until
Maggie had shown him information on the smoking bans
on the internet. That led to a whole other series of questions
as John wanted to know just how she got that information
so quickly and Maggie had to look up the history of the
internet for him. They didn’t call it the information super-
highway for nothing. He was amazed that you could look
up any piece of information at the touch of a button – and
had to be persuaded that it was better not to look up his

                             183
former bandmates. Maggie had been tempted many times,
but had yet to bring herself to find out just how badly
John’s disappearance had screwed up Paul and the others.
They would have to face it eventually, but she kept
promising that they would do it tomorrow.

When they weren’t talking or exploring, their time was
filled with music. Maggie had bought more music then she
even knew what to do with during the course of her life,
and most nights she would wake to John listening to some
new sound; modern music was something that fascinated
him to no end. Maggie had to laugh every time he heard
something he particularly liked. His eyes would light up,
and he would back it up, listening to the same chord
progression over and over again. He hardly slept, in fact,
wanting to spend his nights instead soaking up what the
modern world had to offer. Maggie knew that later Beatle
music was much more avant garde than their early Please
Please Me days, and couldn’t help wondering if it was his
time in the future that had given the Beatles this different
sound. This once again allowed her the small hope that she
had succeeded in getting John back to the past. If she
hadn’t, would any memory of later Beatle music even exist
for her? Would her memory of her present be affected by
all the changes to the timeline, or were she and John
outside of it? Too many questions.

In her less philosophical moments, Maggie had to giggle to
herself as she pictured John explaining to their poor sound
engineer that he wanted his song to sound like an orange.

“No one is going to know what you mean by that,” she
laughed at him, when he brought up this very thing.

“Why not?”


                            184
“Because an orange doesn’t have sound.”

“It does if you’re on acid, luv.”

Maggie rolled her eyes. They were listening to Maggie’s
XM radio (John still couldn’t believe that there were over
100 different stations to pick from), laying with their heads
together on the bed after another bout of “promises” were
fulfilled.

As the song changed, Maggie found herself drifting off to
sleep a little, beginning to slip away. John sat up quickly
though, jolting her out of her hazy feeling.

“Is that Mick?” he asked. Maggie frowned, listening for a
moment before nodding. “I’ve never heard that one
before,” John said.

“That’s because that album came out last year,” Maggie
replied.

“The fucking Stones are still together?” he laughed, not
quite believing it.

Maggie nodded once more while yawning. “And they’re
touring and making albums. Type them into Google or
Wikipedia and you’ll see them.”

Hoping from the bed, John did just that, but pushed himself
away from the computer at the sight of one of their
pictures. “Keith looks like a fucking corpse!”

“Hence the reason why I don’t like you doing drugs.”
Maggie yawned again.

John frowned. “I can type any name I want into this thing

                             185
and information will come up about them?” John had been
in the future for long enough to know that the information
on his former bandmates was out there. John’s query made
it seem like he was ready to know. They had put it off long
enough. Maggie steeled herself.

“Basically,” Maggie looked down. “We should really look
up the others so we can see how badly we screwed up their
lives by keeping you in the future. I just haven’t been able
to bring myself to do it.”

John barely even heard her as he started to type in names,
the internet dispassionately informing him of the drug-
related deaths of so many of the people he knew or had
partied with. He felt his stomach roll in protest. The
thought of people he had seen only a few weeks earlier
dead and gone, because of something that they all indulged
in often, horrified him.

“Oh God, no… Brian…” John stared horrified at the
computer screen, reading about Brian Epstein’s accidental
overdose in 1967. “Maggie, I need you to look, I need you
to tell me that the other three are okay, that they’re still
alive. I… I can’t do it. I can’t look. But I need to know.”

Maggie leaned over John’s shoulder while he squeezed his
eyes shut, and quickly scanned over the bios of Paul,
George, and Ringo. “They’re fine, John, they’re still alive.”
At her words John seemed to crumble – both in relief that
they were okay, but also grief that so many of his friends
were not.

Maggie silently led John over to the bed and held him
while he shook, silently crying, mourning the deaths of so
many. She had not told him what else she had seen
displayed on the screen about the other three. At last she

                            186
was confronted by the truth of what they had done. They
had been so happy in their little bubble, just the two of
them, but she had known it couldn’t last forever. And so
now she knew. And seeing John’s profound sadness, she
couldn't help but keep it all to herself for now. She knew he
would feel compelled to look again later, perhaps while she
was asleep or at work. He'd learn how the remaining
Beatles’ lives had deteriorated after John had suddenly
disappeared. How Ringo had gone back to drinking heavily
and was now currently serving a life sentence for vehicular
manslaughter after killing three people in a drinking and
driving incident. How George had moved to India and
become a complete recluse after his first solo work had
bombed. Without a few more years as a Beatle, George had
not had the time to develop as a songwriter and hadn’t yet
been prepared to go at it alone. And worst of all, how Paul,
having never met Linda, had gone through more
relationships than seemed humanly possible. He was now
on his 6th divorce, completely broke because of all his
alimony and child support payments, and was something of
a joke in the music industry. She hadn’t even dared look up
Julian and what fate held for him, and didn’t even allow
herself to think about the unborn Sean.

After John had finally fallen asleep, Maggie made herself
examine her shelf of Beatle CDs, finally seeking the answer
to her late night ponderings. Every Beatle album she owned
from Sgt Pepper on was gone. Maggie liked her CDs to be
organized so they were all alphabetized on her shelves.
Feeling like listening to some Crowded House, she flipped
through the C section. There weren’t any Crowded House
CDs on the shelf. They were all missing. She ran through
all her albums, letter by letter – more than just Crowded
House was missing. ELO was nowhere to be seen. Oasis,
gone. Well, she’d never been a big fan of Oasis – but still –
so much music gone.

                            187
I guess John never goes back, she thought to herself. Was it
because they never found a way to send him back, or
because her selfishness had kept him here, with her, in her
modern world? The idea that she was solely responsible for
the misery of George, Paul, and Ringo, and that she had
also single-handedly changed the face of modern music by
depriving them of what had once inspired them was
overwhelming.

All she knew was that she couldn’t burden him with any of
this knowledge, not now, not ever. She was afraid he would
hate her for being the cause of it all. And she made an
important decision. She just had to find a way to get him
back to the past.




                            188
Chapter Seventeen




W     hen Maggie had called her job to say she was back,
      she’d asked if she could push her start date off
another week, again giving the excuse of some sort of
family emergency. Since she was genuinely distraught by
everything, her words had been believed without question.
She felt a bit guilty, but surely disrupting the space-time
continuum constituted an emergency.

She had been in email contact with her band (mostly
friends from grad school) since she’d been home though.
Most of them were also doing postdocs at NASA. She
knew that she couldn’t put them off forever. Plus, she
didn’t want to. She thought she had learned a lot,
musically, from her time in the 60s, and she was eager to
show off! Also, she wanted to take John to her band
practice and to share with him what he had once shared
with her. She thought it might help get John out of the funk
he had been in, since discovering the not-so-good news
about the people from his now-past.

Of course, they’d already concocted a story about John
being a Beatle impersonator. Her band would never believe
he was the real thing.

When she had brought him in, her bandmates’ eyes went
wide before they instantly began to tease her about coming
back from England with a fake John Lennon as a souvenir.
John did nothing to discourage it either, finding it hilarious.
                             189
“I actually get told all the time that I look like him. I don’t
see it, but then again, who am I to complain? He was a
handsome devil and a musical genius as well.”

Maggie rolled her eyes.

“Don’t let him fool you. He’s in a Beatles impersonator
band because of his looks. He’s really got no talent.”

Sighing heavily, John responded to that with an
exaggerated imitation of himself, mimicking playing the
guitar as be bobbed his knees and shook his hair, going
“ooooh.” They all got a laugh out of that, though Maggie
got two laughs. If only they knew.

“I suppose it’s time for a formal introduction. Everyone,
this is my new boyfriend, um… Winston.” Maggie began
while John glared at her. Elbowing him she continued,
“Winston, this is my band. That’s Rick on lead guitar, Bob
on drums, and Karl on bass. And as you know, I’m rhythm
guitar and vocals.”

“Just like me!” he grinned and leaned in to kiss her cheek
while he whispered in her ear, “You are going to pay for
that. You know I hate that name!” Maggie smiled sweetly
up at him and batted her lashes prettily. She elbowed him
once more before leaning down to pick up her guitar. “So
Winston, what shall we play?” she laughed, handing John
her spare acoustic.

Smiling down at her, he threw the guitar over his head as
he turned to address the band. “Does everyone know 'One
after 909'?”



                             190
Music and playing with her band had definitely been the
right thing to do. Though Maggie was no closer to figuring
out how to get John back to 1966, she found that they were
both in much better moods.

Gradually they settled into a routine. Maggie had finally
started her new job, and was spending her days at work,
while John spent his days in the apartment writing songs,
watching TV, and enjoying the freedom of not having girls
scream and yell at him or reporters hounding him
everywhere he went. Maggie’s apartment was small, but in
a nice neighborhood in Washington, and John enjoyed his
long, anonymous strolls.

As Maggie had expected, eventually the newness began to
wear off for John. Though he loved his freedom, he found
himself missing being a Beatle. This shocked him, because
at home he had hated how it had defined him so absolutely,
even if it got the birds to spread their legs for him without
any effort on his part.

At home, he was used to getting whatever he wanted,
whenever he wanted it. Mal wasn’t here to go fetch
whatever John had gotten a whim for. He didn’t have an
unlimited income. In fact he had no income since he had no
job. He missed Julian. He missed Ringo and George, and
he really missed Paul. He missed writing with Paul, and felt
like some of his creativity had been drained out of him
without Paul there.

Tapping his pen on his thigh, John stared down at a piece
of paper, the words he had written beginning to blur
together. He could hear Maggie somewhere in the
background as she readied herself for the day and he found
that he took more meaning out of that, then the strand of

                            191
letters he had been staring at for the past hour.

Coming up behind him, Maggie draped her arms over his
shoulders, resting her cheek against his. “What are you
working on?”

“Nothing,” he mumbled, taking the piece of paper and
crumpling it between his palms. Maggie watched as he
threw it into the wastebasket; the one that was already filled
to the brim with similar pieces of paper. Without Paul, he
had no one to bounce ideas off of and ultimately, it was
starting to affect John and Maggie’s relationship.

Almost imperceptibly at first, John started to withdraw into
himself. Maggie didn’t know what to do, any more than
John knew how to reassure Maggie after that disastrous
party at Donovan’s. Maggie wanted to be enough for John,
but she knew that she never would be. She didn’t doubt his
love, but he had given up everyone else he loved for her.
She would have to put more thought into how to get him
home. For now though, she was going to try her hardest to
get him out of the rut he was slowly sinking in to.

“Why don’t you come with me today?” she asked,
straightening back up.

John frowned. “Where?”

Maggie knew she had already told him where she was
going today but didn’t feel like arguing the point with him.
He had enough on his mind as it was. “I’m giving a talk
over at the University of Maryland on “Signatures of
Planets in Circumstellar Debris Disks.” Maggie looked at
him nervously. She was hoping this would be a way to
introduce John to her professional world and maybe show
off a bit in the process.

                             192
John looked at her. “What?”

Maggie smiled. “Science,” she explained. “Like I said, not
only can women drive cars and vote, but we are also kind
of smart.”

Taking in a deep breath, John gave her a little smile as he
pushed out all thoughts of the song he was trying to write.
It was no use anyway. No, he had to learn how to adapt to
this modern world without his friends, The Beatles, and
Paul. He’d made a conscious decision to come here, and he
would make it work. Getting up from the chair, John
nodded his head and plastered a smile on his face. “Alright
then, let’s go and watch you show off,” he teased.



John didn’t have an ID of any useful sort, so she couldn’t
get him into NASA, but no one would ask for one at the
Maryland University where she was giving her
presentation. Plus, there would be a small social after the
talk, so John could meet more of her friends. She wasn’t
sure he’d understand much of what she planned to say, but
she wanted to show him what women could accomplish in
her time. She wasn’t a Beatle, but she did have a PhD.

Her talk went very well, though she got nervous every time
she looked over at John. She worried that he would be
bored, or nod off. On the contrary, John had been
impressed by Maggie’s knowledge of science. He couldn’t
say he found her talk boring, because he enjoyed studying
her as she spoke. He liked seeing what excited her
mentally. But beyond that, he found the whole thing
incomprehensible. He knew she was talking about planets
with stars. Or stars with planets. Something with planets.

                           193
He’d barely absorbed her introductory slide when she’d
flipped her computer-thing to the second slide, and the
equations started flying. Equations with lots of
indecipherable characters, which Maggie was obviously
very familiar with. John felt dumber by the minute.

Things didn’t improve at the social.

John was used to walking into a party and having all eyes
(and blondes and brunettes) on him. He was clearly out of
his depth here.

Maggie had been tentative after her talk until John had
beamed at her proudly. He was proud of her, and tried to
swallow his growing insecurity, hoping she couldn’t see it.
Afraid she would see how stupid he felt showing on his
face, John excused himself and went off in search of a wash
room. After making sure he was alone, he gave himself a
pep talk in the mirror. The pep talk had partly involved him
fussing with his hair, his famous hair, which the birds went
batty over. He was Beatle John. Women screamed and
cried and fainted in his presence. Maggie was lucky to have
him – didn’t she know how many would kill to be in her
place? John didn’t have his PhD, but he was a Beatle.

Feeling much better, he emerged from his hideout, and
scanned the room to see Maggie talking to a curly-haired
man. They were standing close together and laughing.
What really caught John’s eye though was the fact that the
man kept touching Maggie’s arm, and she didn’t seem to be
discouraging him. He was instantly jealous.

John strolled over and draped a possessive arm around
Maggie’s shoulders.

“Hi, Winston,” Maggie said. He cringed at the name and as

                            194
he felt Maggie begin to pull loose from his grip, he felt his
insides clench. He dropped his arm before she wiggled
away from him.

“This is Nick,” Maggie said, gesturing to the curly haired
man before them. “We used to date back at Harvard. He’s
an assistant professor here at Maryland now.”

“Nice to meet you," Nick had said, smiling at John and
revealing a mouth full of big pearly white straight teeth.
Bloody yanks and their teeth, John thought to himself.

“Nice to meet you too. What did you think of Miss
Margaret’s talk?”

“Fantastic!” Nick exclaimed. He turned to Maggie. “I see
you included the recent result from Eric’s Ap J paper.”

“Yes – well, I liked the solution they proposed for the
underluminosity of 2M1207B - you know, the hot
afterglow from a protoplanet collision,” she added for
John’s benefit. The conversation became even less
intelligible after that, and John found himself wishing he
were at Donovan’s party, holding a rum & coke and a joint.
That was something he could understand. Despite his
innate cleverness, John had never done well at school, and
had even managed, over the years, to convince himself that
he was too clever by half for formal education. Hell, he’d
been almost proud of his unimpressive academic record.
Right now though, for the first time in his life, John felt
stupid and completely out of his league.

John tuned back into the conversation as Nick was inviting
Maggie to some scientific conference in New York to
which Maggie was excitedly agreeing to go.


                            195
John stared out the window most of the Metro ride home,
offering only slight nods of his head or minor grunts when
Maggie tried to engage him in conversation. She could tell
something was wrong, but any time she tried to get it out of
him, he pretended as if he simply didn’t hear.

When they got back to her apartment, he didn’t even turn to
her. Instead, she flipped on the lights, getting ready for
some form of conversation, only to watch him walk straight
to the bedroom. She stood there, stunned for a few
moments before deciding that maybe he just needed a few
minutes alone. She felt that way herself at times.

When she walked into the room an hour later, he laid still
under the sheets, pretending to be asleep. Not knowing
what else to do, Maggie laid down beside him, staring at
the wall for the rest of the night.




                            196
Chapter Eighteen




M      aggie felt the headache long before she even woke.
       She felt something swarm within her mind, felt her
bones ache, and she felt the dryness of her throat and the
stickiness of her mouth. Her stomach turned slightly and
she knew that this wasn’t the aftermath of the party, it was
because sleep last night hadn’t come to her.

She knew on the way home that John had been upset. A
blind man could see that he had retreated into his own
thoughts, but she had thought that with a few jokes, he
might loosen up. That hope had fallen away as soon as they
arrived home and he went straight to bed without so much
as a glance in her direction. Then he had pretended to be
asleep when she wandered in an hour later.

She had no idea what she’d done wrong. Obviously she’d
done something, otherwise he’d be talking to her. But for
the life of her she had no idea! She’d been attentive to him
all night, explaining things so that he would understand
what was being discussed, and she had even left the party
early when it was obvious he was not enjoying herself. Yet
there it was; he was mad at her.

Men! They were so stupid. He couldn’t possibly be upset
with her for talking to her ex-boyfriend… could he? Well,
he was a self-professed “jealous guy”. Cringing a bit, she
recalled “Run for Your Life” as being one of her least
favorite Beatles songs. Still, that was just stupid of him.
                            197
She was obviously in love with him, not Nick.

Sighing, Maggie reached up, and scrubbed a hand across
her face. They needed to talk. He’d tell her what she’d done
wrong, then she’d explain to him how he was being silly,
then he’d apologize for being silly and have done with it,
and they’d be back to how things were before.

Smiling to herself, she heard a slight shuffling sound that
roused her from her thoughts. She opened her eyes and she
felt any planned words she might have had, die in her
throat. John sat at the edge of the bed, his head in his hands,
his face turned to the wall. Next to his feet lay her
backpack, with some of his things spilling out.

“What are you doing?” she asked quietly after a few beats.
His actions were clear, but she couldn’t find anything else
to say. This was not a situation she ever thought possible.
They had been so happy, things had been so great. How
had she driven him away?

“I was packing,” he mumbled.

Maggie blinked. “Why? You planning on going
somewhere?” She swallowed thickly. Maggie knew why he
was packing, although she held a vain hope that she was
mistaken. She had to stall him. She had to figure out what
she had done wrong and had to find a way to fix it before
he walked out of her life. She wouldn’t be able to handle it,
not after knowing how wonderful and full of color life was
when he was truly hers. Now that she knew what it was to
be happy, and to live, to really live, there was no way she’d
give it up.

“No. I realized after packing I had nowhere to go. I’m stuck
here, completely at your mercy,” John said miserably.

                             198
Kicking the bag, he squeezed his eyes shut after seeing
Maggie’s face. She looked as though she’d been slapped.
He’d not meant it to come out like that. He just knew that if
he let his guard down for even a moment with this woman
he’d lose his resolve.

“Wh… why would you say that?” Maggie asked
hesitatingly. “I don’t understand,” she said, trying to look
into his eyes. He turned away from her though, refusing to
meet her questioning gaze. “Are you… mad at me?”

Sighing again, John turned to her. “Yes, well, no. I mean,
no.” Growing frustrated, John stared at the floor. Once
again, he felt nothing more than completely lost. But at
least when he was lost before, he had his friends, the same
friends that were going through the same thing, to lean on.
Now it felt as if he had nothing. “I’m not mad at you, I’m
mad at myself for following you,” he sighed. “For falling in
love with you, for acting just like Paul and believing that a
fantasy in my head might actually be true. Last night was a
huge wake-up call. You are a brilliant, beautiful, talented,
amazing scientist. Hell, I don’t think I understand a quarter
of what was said last night. You play in a band, you are
successful… me, well, I’m no one now. You have an
amazing career, a perfect life, you have everything you
need, and all I am is a leech with no job, no money, and
nothing to bring to this relationship. I don’t fit with your
lifestyle… I simply don’t fit. You were right; you can’t
push a square peg into a round hole.” His voice was dead,
completely devoid of emotion.

Frowning, Maggie shook her head, hoping to shake
something loose in order to better understand what exactly
was happening. “Wait a minute; you want to leave because
you didn’t understand the lecture last night, and because I
had conversation with a colleague that you thought was a

                            199
little hard to follow? Don’t you think that’s a bit extreme?”

“Not at all, Maggie. Because you see, it’s not just that. I
don’t fit here. I don’t fit with you. You’re brilliant, you
send things into space and in your spare time, just for fun,
you do what I do as a career. I’m useless, and sooner or
later you’re going to see that. And then you’ll get bored
with me. Before I was John Lennon, I was a Beatle, I could
give you anything you wanted. Now, I’m “Winston,” a guy
who looks kind of like a Beatle, but that’s it. Soon it won’t
be enough, and then you’ll find another man who’s just as
brilliant as you, and you’ll leave me and the two of you will
have brilliant babies,” John finished, staring resignedly at
his feet.

“What?” Maggie felt her stomach twist at the thought. “No!
I would never get tired of you…”

“You will!” he laughed cynically. “Just look at me,
Maggie, I’m nothing anymore. I-I’m just John.”

Realization of just what John was saying hit Maggie like a
ton of bricks. He didn’t understand, he didn’t know that she
loved him for simply being him, that none of that other
stuff mattered to her. Scooting across the bed, and laying a
hesitant hand on his shoulder, she tried to catch his eye.
“That’s right. You’re just John, and you’re my John. It’s
you I love. Not a Beatle, not a rock star, not someone who
can buy me anything I want, but you. Don’t you see how
much easier everything’s been for me since we left? I
haven’t had to worry about fans hating me, about whether
you were going to OD on some new drug, about whether
some crazed lunatic was going to try to kill you… I’ve had
the most amazing few weeks getting to be selfish and keep
you all to myself…no other Beatles to share you with, no
fans, no one else but me.” His eyes met hers at that, and

                            200
taking it as encouragement she scooted closer and rested
her head on his shoulder while wrapping her arms around
his chest. “I know I have to give you back, and I’m trying
to find a way to get you back home, but please, please don’t
ever think, even for a minute, that I love you because of
your fame and your name. I even love you when you’re
Winston.” They both giggled a bit at that, and Maggie
knew that they were going to be all right. “And if you ever
think again that I’d ever get bored with you, then perhaps
you are as stupid as you seem to think you are.”

“Is that right, Miss Margaret?”

“That’s right, Monsieur Winston.”

At that, John pounced on her and tickled her until she gave
in and together they fulfilled some more promises. It was
going to be a great day.



At 3am the following evening, Maggie was woken up by
John, who had his guitar with him.

“Shouldn’t you be in bed?”

“Inspiration struck, and I wrote you a song. You inspired so
many when you were gone, and now that I have you, I’m
not as tortured as an artist. But I dug deep and came up
with this. I hope you like it."

Maggie looked at him expectantly, wondering if she would
recognize the song, or if it would be something entirely
new, born out of the altered history they had created
together.


                             201
John started strumming. And she recognized it instantly.

All my little plans and schemes,
lost like some forgotten dreams.
Seems that all I really was doing
was waitin' for you.

Maggie started to tear up as John sang to her, his plaintive
voice so familiar, and now so dear to her.

Just like little girls and boys,
Playing with their little toys.
Seems like all we really were doing
was waitin' for love.

The last time she had heard this song was on a quivery
demo, just John and a piano, calling out to her from beyond
the grave.

Don’t need to be alone,
No need to be alone.
It's real love, it's real
Yes it's real love, it's real

But here he was, against all odds. Alive and very real, if out
of place and out of time.

From this moment on I know,
Exactly where my life will go.
Seems that all I really was doing
was waitin' for love.

Thought I'd been in love before,
But in my heart I wanted more.
Seems like all I really was doing
was waitin' for you.

                                202
He smiled at her as he sang the chorus for the last time.

Don't need to be afraid
No need to be alone
It's real love, yeah it's real,
It's real love, it's real,
Yes, it's real love, it's real…


He loved her. Despite everything, he loved her. She knew
that now.

So she listened, full of hope and happiness and sadness. In
the back of her mind, her analytical side had already
switched on, full of ideas. If they were going to get him
home, and if she was going to go with him, she had plans to
make.




                                  203
Chapter Nineteen




“W        here to next?” Maggie asked John as they stood
          on the famous Mall that made up the tourist
section of Washington D.C. Other than one trip to the Air
& Space Museum, Maggie hadn’t had a lot of time to show
John around, since she’d been busy with work, but she
wanted to show John all of her favorite museums while the
two of them were still in 2006. Maggie didn’t know when
they would be here again. Besides, John hadn't had the
chance to really explore the Museums on the Mall since
1964 – and things had changed a great deal since then.
They visited all of Maggie’s favorite places: the Museum
of Natural Science to admire the Hope Diamond and gaze
at the dinosaurs; the American History Museum to peer at
Kermit the Frog, Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers and Jerry
Seinfeld’s “puffy shirt”. (Maggie had made sure John had
watched the Seinfeld episode to prepare him. John had very
much enjoyed the program and they’d had a marathon of
that on DVD.)

John looked closely at Maggie, whose eyes were twinkling
like she had a secret she just couldn’t keep any longer.
“What are you hiding, luv?” John asked bending his head
down to her eye level and examining her in mock
suspicion. “You know something you’re not telling me.”

“I have no idea what you mean,” she said archly. “Let’s go
to the National Portrait Gallery – don’t you think it will be
fun to hear me tell you about all 43 of our American
                            204
presidents?” John groaned, but let her drag him along, as
she marched forward with purpose.

There were several special exhibits at the museum, but she
made sure to take him through the gallery of US Presidents
first, which was as much fun as she thought it would be
with John. She mock-lectured and he mock-misbehaved,
and they finished just before they got in trouble. They were
making their way up to the 2nd floor of the gallery, chatting
about the giant Woolly Mammoth they’d seen in the
Natural History Museum, when he suddenly froze. Maggie
knew he’d seen the sign for the special exhibit. The one
she’d really brought him here for.

The sign showed four young men in bathrobes having a
pillow fight, big grins plastered across their faces. John
walked up to the photo and reached up as if to touch it.
Then he turned and looked at her. “This is why you brought
me here?”

“Surprise!” she said nervously. “I hope it’s okay. I saw an
ad for the exhibit. I… didn’t know if it would be hard for
you to look at the photos, or if it would make you happy to
see them. Or if…” she couldn’t finish the sentence.

John kissed her on the forehead. “Don’t be daft. Of course
it’s okay,” he said lightly. “You may know the US
Presidents, but I know a thing or two about the Beatles.
Very talented they were. Don’t know about the haircuts
though.”

Maggie nodded wordlessly, but couldn’t help smiling up at
him. They walked into the exhibit room together, gathering
strength by twining their fingers together tightly.

Harry Benson was a photojournalist who had captured

                            205
much of the 1960s – and he’d also had unprecedented
access to the Beatles during many of their most private
moments. The photos of the Beatles shone brightly, telling
the viewers of the lives of the four lads from Liverpool.
There was a photo of John and Paul composing She Loves
You, another view of the four of them pillow fighting in
France after they found out that that I Want to Hold Your
Hand was number one in the US, one of them pretending to
be punched by Muhammad Ali. This one made John and
Maggie both giggle, because of a funny but naughty icon
they’d seen online that had used this photo.

John remembered each and every one of these moments
that were captured on film and nostalgic smiles colored his
lips at certain ones as he recalled the stories behind them.
His grip on Maggie’s hand only tightened as he shared with
her what was happening right before a certain picture was
snapped, what they were doing that day, that month. What
they were feeling. Maggie smiled, finding this to be better
than the best Beatle biography. John’s voice and words
gave away more than any book ever could.

The last wall of the exhibit held only one lone photo. It was
one neither had seen before.

Paul stood before them, captured in black and white, nearly
larger than life. He stared at the camera sadly, the mischief
that always seemed to light his eyes dying before the lens.

John swallowed thickly, taking a step back, but not being
able to pull himself away from the picture. A strange
emotion was beginning to build in both of them, coursing
through their veins like poison. John felt his hand clenching
and unclenching over Maggie’s, felt his stomach knot, and
felt his heart begin to race. The feeling was mutual, but
Maggie was the first to recognize it.

                            206
Guilt.

“I have to find a way to get you back.” Maggie whispered.
“I told Paul that I wouldn’t ever take you from him, and
that’s just what I’ve done. You and Paul need to be together
as much as you and I need to be together…” Suddenly
realization hit her. She knew why they hadn’t been able to
get back before. John hadn’t wanted to go back before and
she couldn’t get them back because she had nothing to go
back for. The person she loved and longed for was right
here, standing next to her. But John needed Paul…and John
loved Paul too…

“You have to do it,” she said.

“What?” John asked, clearly confused.

“I can’t get us back, I have the person I want right here
with me. But you, you can do it. You could go back. You
care about Paul. You love him. You could go back.”

“I do not love him! I’m not a poof, I don’t care what they
say on the internet!”

Maggie smiled at that. “I never said you were…though the
internet does make some pretty good arguments for it…
fueled in part by you, I might add.”

John stared at Paul’s portrait, rarely having ever seen that
haunted look in his eyes. The few times he had, John had
been able to make it disappear with a joke or a smile. This
time though, he hadn’t been there to chase the demons
away.

“Well, I’d hate to let down the good people on those Beatle

                            207
forums,” he said with a small smile. “If we go back, do I
have to shag Paul, or is writing ambiguous lyrics with him
enough, do you think?”

Maggie laughed, knowing how much John had actually
enjoyed reading all the threads dissecting Beatles song
lyrics and quotes and photos of the two of them touching.
John had even signed up for his own account, and had had
a great time making up his own theories about Paul and
himself. He had even tried to convince them of reasons
why he had disappeared, alien abduction being the one he
favored the most. Shaking her head, Maggie moved closer
to him, knowing that he was still feeling a sense of guilt
rushing through him. They would both feel it until they
could make it right with Paul.

“I think ambiguous lyrics would be great – maybe you
could steal Paul’s original idea and your first solo album
could have a photo of two beetles screwing hidden in the
artwork somewhere…”

“I will miss Photoshop.” John said wistfully, having to turn
away from the photo before him. ”And I won’t ever get to
see the comments that my latest crackpot theory
generated…”

“I know,” Maggie said. “But I think your vacation from
Beatlemania is about done. Besides, it will all be here in
forty years, waiting for us. Technically we could actually
create that forum and you could be a moderator and ban
anyone who doesn’t think Yesterday was the best song you
ever wrote. And you heard Paul’s most recent single on the
radio, he needs your help, and badly…” Yet even as she
teased him, she recalled the horrible fates that awaited the
other three Beatles and knew that there was no way she
would let him stay another day in 2006.

                            208
“Paul did write some really mediocre music without me…”

Maggie shook her head, knowing just how much he was
down playing his feelings at the moment.

“This is it; I think this is our chance to get you back home.
I was able to change the future when I went back with you
– now it’s time for you to change the past, to go back where
you belong. To put things right.” Looking him in the eye,
she smiled brightly. “You owe the world more Beatle
albums, and I don’t want to be the one who cheated them
out of a few more years of Beatle music.” Or maybe more
if I can get you guys to communicate with each other. The
future isn’t written in stone, right? Maggie thought to
herself.

Looking back at the picture of Paul for a minute, John felt
the excitement grow inside him. “I can teach them
everything I learned in the future about 'team building' and
'group hugs' and 'sensitivity training'!” he mocked.

“Group hugs, eh? Let’s make sure someone takes pics for
the internet to dissect in the future!”

John wanted to smile at that, but felt his face grow serious
instead. “You are coming back with me, right?” She
nodded solemnly in response, not breaking eye contact.
“Are you sure about this?” John asked quietly. “Giving
everything up? Dealing with everything being a Beatle’s
girl entails?”

“I’ll go back with you, and stay for good,” she said, without
hesitation. “Besides, you said it yourself. If you can’t stay
here, and we can’t live without each other, there is only one
solution; I’ve got to go back with you. My apartment, and

                            209
everything in it will still be waiting for me the next time
we’re in 2006. I can take care of everything then.” She
thought for a minute about time travel paradoxes. “We’ll
have to make sure we don’t run into ourselves today
though.” She looked around hastily, as if to see if 60-year-
old versions of themselves were lurking behind the potted
plants, watching them.

“You don’t have to do anything you don’t want…” Pulling
him into a kiss, Maggie silenced him. She knew she didn’t
have to do this. But she wanted to. She was more certain
about this then she’d ever been about anything in her life.
She was a 21st century woman and she would find a way to
carve out a place for herself in the 60s. This would be a
chance for her to be a pioneer. She was up for the
challenge, she knew she was.

“I want to go back with you,” she said, her lips brushing
against his once more. “Before, when I left, well, I just had
to be sure is all.”

Pulling her to him, John swallowed. As he rested his head
against her shoulder, the scent of her hair swirling around
him, he tried to keep his voice steady. “Sure of what?”

“Sure of you. Of us.”

“And you are now?” He wasn’t sure if he wanted to hear
the answer to that. He knew she would be leaving her
career for him. While that might have been standard in his
time, he knew it wasn't for her and she would never be
happy being a traditional wife.

Maggie could feel his insecurity and knew that it was a
demon she would have to wrestle with for the rest of their
lives together. But she was willing to do it if he was.

                            210
Smiling in answer, she pulled his head down for another
kiss, feeling him give into her, threading his fingers
through her hair. When they finally broke apart, John gave
her a blinding smile, one that went straight to her heart.

“I’ll take that as a yes, then.”

Giving him a quick peck on the cheek, Maggie turned them
towards the picture. Clasping their hands tightly, Maggie
stared at John, and John stared at Paul’s sad face,
concentrating on his eyes and the pain held within. They
thought of Paul, wanting to be where Paul was more than
anything. Maggie just hoped that it would be enough.

Their vision grew black as the world around them swirled
out of place. Colors bled into each other, mixing together to
become one giant mass. Maggie held onto John’s hand
tighter, concentrating on his face, wishing to go back to the
very day they disappeared. As the world began to tilt, they
were forced to close their eyes for a second, trying to regain
their balance. And while John fully expected to be greeted
with Paul’s sorrowful eyes once more as he opened his
eyes, he was instead greeted with Paul, standing in front of
him, dog leash in his hand and Martha tugging him in the
other direction.

Before either Maggie or John could think, both of them
launched themselves at Paul, whoops of joy sounding
through the air.

Paul’s eyes grew wide as they hugged him tightly jumping
up and down. “What’s all this then? Have you missed me
since last night?” he laughed, looking at the two of them
and silently wondering what they were on. The stuff they
smoked last night wasn’t that strong. In fact, as he recalled,

                              211
Maggie hadn’t smoked any of it. Of course he’d been pretty
far gone himself…

Looking at Paul, John began to leer, unable to stop himself.
Paul frowned, cocking his head to the side and looked at
John quietly. His eyes soon widened though as John
jumped forward, planting both hands firmly on either of his
cheeks and laying a kiss right on him.

Paul pushed John away quickly, stumbling backwards and
wiping at his mouth. Martha’s leash was forgotten as it
dropped to the ground and the dog went romping off
somewhere to get into trouble. Paul couldn’t worry about it
right now though as he wiped at his lips comically, spitting
on the ground.

“What the bloody hell was that?!” he shouted. John only
reached for him again.

Moving quickly, Paul ran to hide behind Maggie, his hands
on her shoulders, using her as a barrier between him and his
friend. Maggie didn’t even seem to notice it though; she
was more concerned with figuring out how long they had
been gone.

“Last night?” she asked, craning her head to look at a
frightened Paul. “We saw you last night?

Narrowing his eyes, Paul looked at Maggie, trying to figure
out what was going on with the two of them. “At
Donovan’s, remember? What is wrong with you two?” He
lurched to the side as John ran towards him once more with
outstretched arms. “That must have been some strong stuff
you two had…”

Watching as Paul backed away from the two of them, John

                            212
stopped his advances and instead placed his arms fondly
around Maggie. “Must have been,” John said with a slight
grin. “Because I’ve just come back from one strange trip!”
Maggie rolled her eyes at him, but couldn’t help smiling.
Reaching down, John kissed her firmly on the cheek before
turning back to Paul, who was still cowering slightly as he
stared at the two of them in confusion. “Which reminds me,
I have this idea for a song about something I read in the
news, though the news was rather sad…”

Straightening up, Paul looked at John, taking a few steps
towards him. “Really?” John laughed. He loved how at the
mention of a song, Paul would perk up immediately. “I’ve
got loads of ideas for our next album too!” said Paul. “How
do you feel about satin band uniforms?”

Looping his arm with Maggie’s, John nodded at Paul,
getting him to continue. Within minutes, Paul was spouting
off idea after idea, his hands waving vigorously in the air to
try and make his point. Maggie squeezed John’s arm, and
then let the two of them go off together, while she went and
retrieved Martha.

She knew she had made the right decision.




                             213
Epilogue




E    ntwined in each other’s arms the next morning,
     snuggling in bed as they half dozed, John and Maggie
watched as the sunlight streamed in through the windows,
casting rays of light on their bare skin. Maggie smiled
lazily at this, curling closer to John as she thought about
everything that was about to happen.

She knew she was going to be busy. She had to create a
new, watertight identity, and get a job, not to mention deal
with the upcoming events that she already knew were about
to happen, thanks to the numerous biographies she’d read.
There were so many dangers in the band’s future – heroin,
assassins, cancer, gold diggers, and Magic Alex, only to
name a few. Either way, she knew she would have her
hands full keeping all the Beatles from harm and protecting
them from themselves. She was even considering taking an
accounting class. She was good with numbers and the
Beatles could use someone to keep track of their money,
other then Alan Klein, who would ultimately just walk
away with it all. She might even force the Beatles to sit in
on a few private lessons on wise investment. Those boys
could use a dose of common sense and applied
mathematics.

Maggie sighed at that. She needed to remember to make a
visit to Brian Epstein. Maybe she could save him, warn him
of what would happen and convince him that he really was
needed.
                            214
While she knew in her heart that she wouldn’t be able to
stop every bad thing from happening, especially since with
every change she caused, she would change the future she
knew, and new problems would crop up. It wouldn’t stop
her from trying though. It never would. She would protect
these boys until the very end. She would also create a real
place for herself. She was up to the challenge.

Most importantly though, she would get to be with John,
the love of her life. She knew they had a rocky road ahead,
but she also knew that no relationship was easy or perfect,
and that John was worth it. He was beyond worth it.

Turning, she looked at him as he slumbered peacefully.
Reaching out, she ran her fingers across his brow, feeling
him stir a little under her gentle touch.

“Marry me,” he murmured, hugging her close to him.

And so Maggie, having thought about everything that
question entailed, responded without hesitation.

“Yes.”

                        The End




                           215
         Yes It Is: Stories

              Table of Contents


! Lennon/McCartney

! A Comedy of Errors

! BFF

! Mrs. Lennon

! Girl Talk

! A Surprising Development

! Eppy

! A Day in the Life




                      216
                  Yes It Is: Stories
                  Lennon/McCartney




August 1966



T    he streets were noisy and the people obnoxious. It
     appeared that no matter what decade it was, New York
was still loud and full of a certain caliber of life that you
were hard-pressed to find anywhere else. With a ticket
clutched between her fingers, Maggie stood at the edge of a
sidewalk, smiling broadly, and trying to remain calm. The
few bounces that escaped her here and there couldn’t be
helped though. She couldn’t stay still. The excitement was
coursing through her once more, just as it had done so often
during the past few months.

Sticking out her hand, Maggie rocked back and forth on the
balls of her feet as she hailed a cab. “Taxi!” It was one of
the main things she missed about New York. While she
always had access to a car service if she needed one now
that she was with John, there was just something about
being in a New York cab that brought back memories.

Slipping inside, she smiled at the driver. “Shea Stadium
please.”

A snort could be heard coming from the driver’s general
direction as he shook his head. “Let me guess. You’re
going to see the Beatles.”
                           217
Maggie smiled. “Of course.” The ticket proudly
proclaiming her entrance to the concert sat in her hand, the
corner of it resting against the ruby ring she wore. While
she loved diamonds, John had told her they were too
American and for that, Maggie had laughed and agreed to
the red stone instead. It was gorgeous and while she would
always love her diamonds, she couldn’t see herself wearing
anything different. The ruby was meaningful for John and
her, as red was the color she had worn to that party years
ago when they had kissed for the first time.

Both she and John considered it her engagement ring, even
though she wore it on her right hand instead of her left. She
didn’t dare wear it on her left just yet. The engagement
wasn’t official, and while the people closest to them knew,
or at least had guessed by now, it wasn’t something that
Maggie or John were ready to announce to the world.
Maggie simply dating John was problem enough. She
wasn’t exactly looking forward to what the fans would do
once they got word of the American Girlfriend becoming
the American Fiancé.

Looking out the window, she watched as familiar buildings
rushed by. They were a little newer, a little cleaner and
painted with less graffiti then she remembered, but they
were still buildings from her youth. The youth that, in all
reality, was only fifteen years or so away. She was passing
places where she used to play, areas that she had shared
summer ice cream cones with family and friends, and
Maggie even shuddered as she passed a particular area
where she had ended up tripping and skinning her knee
when she was seven. It had left a scar that she still had.

Shaking her head, Maggie leaned back into her seat. The
fact that she was from the future and that while she was

                            218
getting older, her original self would be born in a little
more than a decade, never ceased to confuse her. It
sometimes even threw her when an event happened that she
remembered reading about, but had never actually
experienced. As someone who had given up a job at NASA
to stay in the past, she had to admit she was very excited to
have a chance to watch the first moon landing, which
would happen three years from now. To be thrust into a
past that she had studied meticulously was more than a
little mind-altering at moments. When things became too
frazzled though, she would look at John and remember why
she was here. She could deal with the confusion as long as
he was willing to deal with her occasional headaches over
it. Although at the moment, she wasn’t the one that was
having the headaches.

The tour had been miserable this year and while there was
always some level of negativity involved in every tour they
took, this one had been exceptionally worse. The “Beatles
being bigger than Jesus” story had hit the newspapers
before the tour had started and while Maggie had known it
was coming, she hadn’t been able to do anything to stop it
in the first place. John’s remark had been made during an
interview that had taken place between her visits to the
past, so she’d been unable to warn him to watch his words.

Frankly, she wasn’t sure he would have listened to her
anyway. John hated having to be careful about what he
said. He’d never liked being coached by Brian – and in fact
had purposely scared him a few times. The most
memorable time was during that concert where the Queen
was in attendance. Maggie wished she’d been there for that
one. She’d heard Brian had almost had a heart attack when
John had started into his infamous line about the rich
people rattling their jewelry along to “Twist and Shout”. It
had gotten a good laugh, so it was all right that time. John

                            219
and the others were naturally clever and funny, and were
used to being able to get away saying what they wanted.
Because of this, he’d never expected that offhand “bigger
than Jesus” remark to blow up in his face months after the
interview like a time bomb. It had blindsided him, and he’d
been deeply upset by it. That was the thing about John, he
had a hard exterior, but his insides were soft and sensitive,
and it sometimes surprised Maggie how easily he was
wounded. Maggie wished she could have better prepared
John for the onslaught of negativity – or prevented it
altogether.

Then John had left to go on tour. He called her frequently,
which had at first delighted her. She trusted him to be
faithful, but she also knew how tours were, and how much
temptation there would be. She was aware of how much
she had given up to stay here with John, and she loved that
she was on his mind while he was away. But the calls
started to worry her by their amount and frequency. She
could tell how upset he was by how often he called. If John
wasn’t calling her as frequently, it meant things were going
well. When his phone calls came almost every hour though,
she knew that it was a particularly bad day, not just for him,
but for everyone involved with the tour. One particular
phone call had nearly sent her to tears a few weeks ago.

It had been late at night when John called her and she was
just settling into bed. The phone rang and she knew who it
was instinctively. As she answered the phone, she tried to
keep her voice light, knowing that it would have a calming
affect on John. Nothing was going to soothe him tonight
though and Maggie just sat and listened as he vented the
frustrations he had to her. It was at the end of that phone
call, when he had paused for more than a minute, letting a
comfortable silence flow between them, that he finally said
something that Maggie knew he had been working up to

                             220
asking her for the past week.

“Come out here.”

“What?”

“Come join us on the tour, luv.”

Maggie had the undeniable urge to get out of bed, pack a
bag and immediately go to his side. She’d been so torn
about the tour from the very beginning.

Wives and girlfriends did not go on tour.

Being a 21st century kind of girl, she’d really wanted to go,
if only to snap her fingers at the sexist 1960's conventions,
but she’d also been afraid that she would be in the way. She
was always conscious of how closely she might be
compared with Yoko. If none of the other Beatles had
girlfriends or wives along, she didn’t want to be the only
one, intruding where she was unwanted. Still, she felt she
was missing out on seeing the Beatles perform.

“I can’t, John. You know I can’t.”

She trusted John. But at the same time, she couldn’t help
but think about how smart Linda had been, or was going to
be, with Paul. By not letting him out of her sight, going on
tour with him, AND being in his band, she had ensured that
he would never slip up, or ever be lonely. While it may
have seemed slightly possessive, it had only strengthened
their relationship. The truth was Paul and Linda has simply
adored being together all the time. Or rather, they would.

Why couldn’t she have the same thing with John?


                            221
Maggie couldn’t help but think that by letting him go off on
his own on these tours, she was being foolish. She knew his
history and knew that he was doomed to repeat it over and
over in his life. She wanted to show him that she trusted
him though and part of her also wanted, and hoped, that she
was enough for him. She didn’t know if she was right for
not jumping at the opportunity to go out there, but she had
to stick to her resolve.

Another small part of her wasn’t sure she would like life on
tour, and wasn’t sure how well she would deal with it. Her
excuses mostly seemed selfless, but she wondered if she
weren’t also being a bit selfish.

She had ended the phone conversation that night with her
resolve firmly intact, at least in John’s eyes. It wasn’t until
last night that the offer came once more.

Brian had called yesterday evening and avoided the small
talk that she thought would come, instead jumping straight
to the point. He told her flat out that the tour was going
badly, a point that she was well aware of, and that John was
simply not himself. He was not participating in the after-
show parties and while she knew this worried Brian, it was
mostly a relief to her. Whatever relief she had been feeling
was short lived though, as Brian continued to explain
himself.

John was depressed and instead of socializing like he had
usually done, he was locking himself in his room, binging
on both uppers and alcohol every night. There were efforts
on all of their parts to go and talk him down, but they had
all failed. John had simply turned them all away with a few
choice words and then the silent treatment. Not even Paul
could get him to come out of his room unless it was time to
perform. Normally, Brian wouldn’t worry except that

                             222
John’s depression had made him spiteful, hateful, and mean
towards everyone else, which in turn made an already
stressful tour even worse. Brian was afraid the Boys
wouldn’t ever want to tour again if this kept up.

Without further discussion, Brian had booked Maggie a
flight direct to New York for the next morning, and with
the time change, etc, she would arrive just in time to catch
the Shea Stadium concert and would remain on the tour
through the last show at Candlestick Park. The best part
was that John didn’t know about it so she would get to
surprise him.

Maggie was, of course, delighted by this turn of events. She
could go join him after all, since she had been asked by
Brian, and it was for the sake of the tour. She wouldn’t be
intruding, since they all apparently wanted her there, and
she would get the chance to see her fiancé actually being a
Beatle.

The realist in Maggie was both worried about John and
feeling guilty. The worries came for the obvious reasons of
his alcohol abuse, and his anti-social, depressed behavior.
The guilt on the other hand was a little more complex. It
came about for two reasons.

The first was because she knew he was acting this way
because he was actually trying to keep his promise to her to
not do the harder drugs, and to not fool around. The only
way he knew how to do that was to get drunk out of his
mind and pass out in his bed, alone. The second reason was
because she was secretly pleased that he was trying so hard
to keep his promises to her. She was touched, and had
decided that if he could do that for her, the least she could
do was deal with the hell, trials, and drama that entailed
going on tour with The Beatles. Even if it got her branded

                            223
as a Yoko.

Lost in her thoughts, Maggie didn’t even notice when the
cab finally pulled up to the Stadium until the cabbie turned
around and announced their arrival. Stepping out of the
cab, Maggie was greeted with the deafening chorus of, “We
want The Beatles! We want The Beatles.” She couldn’t
help but feel bad for the support acts.

Making her way through the crowd, Maggie went in search
for her seat. She had been adamant with Brian that she
wanted to watch the show from the crowd with the rest of
the fans. Brian, of course hadn’t thought it was a good idea,
but Maggie had held firm. She only thanked God that the
1960s lacked the aggressive paparazzi and internet of her
own time. No one expected her to be here and therefore, no
pictures would be snapped and beamed all over the world
with a click of a button. It was because of this that she also
knew she wouldn’t be recognized. People in England might
know her somewhat, but in America, she was just another
face in the crowd. Still, just in case, she wore sunglasses,
and fixed her hair in a ponytail so she’d look young and
different from the pictures of her that had shown up in the
fan magazines so far.

Finding her aisle, Maggie began to weave her way through
jittery girls as she slid down the row, trying not to bump
anyone as she struggled to get past them to her seat. Aside
from a few nasty looks, she made it there unscathed, sat
down, and looked around, taking in her surroundings.

Girls, and some boys, surrounded her, all on their feet and
calling for The Beatles. Looking around, Maggie noticed
that minus one exception, no one else was sitting down.
This exception came in the form of her neighbor, a young
woman that had her head tilted away from Maggie’s. Long,

                             224
elegant fingers were wrapped around a camera and a
curtain of blond hair obscured the side of her face as she
snapped some photos of the crowd. Seeming satisfied with
her shots, she lowered the camera and bent over to adjust
the lens. Maggie eyed the expensive camera appreciatively;
she had an interest in photography, but since the advent of
digital, had guiltily abandoned her film camera.

Noticing Maggie’s interest, the woman brushed her hair
behind her ears and yelled over the crowd, “I usually
photograph horses, but I’ve been taking more pictures of
musicians lately, and now their crowds.” Finally looking at
Maggie, the woman smiled wryly.

Feeling her eyes widen, Maggie sat thunderstruck. She
barely even noticed the din around them anymore, as her
eyes traveled over the features of the woman before her.
She was completely focused on the fact that Linda
McCartney was in front of her. Or rather, Linda Eastman.
Maggie recalled reading that Linda had once gone to Shea
Stadium to see The Beatles, and had originally had the hots
for John before she met Paul. What were the odds that
she’d be at THIS Shea stadium concert, and that Maggie
would get a seat next to her? But then what were the odds
that Maggie could travel back in time just by staring at a
photo of John Lennon?

Instead of questioning it, Maggie accepted it with a smile
and held out her hand. “Hello,” she said, projecting her
voice over the sound of screaming thirteen year olds. “I’m
Maggie, nice to meet you.”

Placing her hand in Maggie’s, Linda turned more towards
her. “Linda See… I mean Eastman,” she corrected. “My
divorce was final a year ago and I still say See!” Linda
immediately clamped her mouth shut and turned red from

                           225
embarrassment, as if she’d said too much. Maggie had
forgotten that divorce was still very taboo in the 60's.

Wanting to put her at ease, Maggie made sure she looked
unfazed. “I’m sorry to hear that. I’m sure that he’s lost a
wonderful woman.”

Linda relaxed visibly, smiling at Maggie slightly. “He was
an interesting man,” she laughed, feeling oddly comfortable
telling Maggie her secrets. “In short, we got married, had
our daughter Heather in ‘62 and then he just went off to
Africa without even discussing it with me, expecting
Heather and I to follow. There had been a million of other
little things before this, but that was the last straw. So I
asked for a divorce,” she said with a shrug. “And he gave
me one.” Maggie held her tongue, just letting Linda talk, all
the while trying not to pinch herself over the fact that she
was sitting there and talking to Paul’s future wife. “It ended
quite amicably, all things considered. I have full custody of
Heather and my ex and I are still on good terms. It’s kind of
hard not to be, in all honesty. He’s a really nice man, a
geologist, an Ernest Hemingway type.”

Maggie laughed. “That always helps.”

Settling back in her chair and scooting closer to Maggie so
they didn’t have to strain to hear each other, both Linda and
Maggie settled into an easy conversation.

“So, where are you from?”

“DC, but I’m originally from New York.”

“Me too!” Linda said, obviously excited at seeing another
true New Yorker.


                             226
Maggie had to bite her lip in order to keep from saying that
she already knew. It was a strange feeling being around a
woman who Maggie knew was destined to enter the Beatles
Wives Club and one that was going to change Paul’s life
forever. Maggie had always admired and respected Linda
and to be sitting next to her at a Beatles concert no less,
was surreal.

“I love New York,” Linda said. “I’ve lived a few places in
my life but nothing beats the New York.”

“I know what you mean. It’s just one of those places. You
can’t really describe it to anyone that hasn’t lived here
before.” From behind them, two girls started shrieking as
they saw what they thought were the Beatles. It turned out
to be just another sound technician, but the two girls were
nearly fainting at the prospect of seeing the four men that
sang in their dreams nightly.

Turning to look at them a little, Linda shook her head.
“Alright, so I have to ask. Why are you here?”

Maggie gave a nervous laugh as her mind began to race.
There was only so much she could reveal right now and
while she knew that Linda would be in their future, she still
couldn’t take the chance that saying something wrong now
might prevent her from being with Paul. Her hesitancy
didn’t go unnoticed by Linda who added, cheerfully, “I’m
under here under the guise of photography,” Linda said,
raising the camera just slightly to make her point. “But
truth be told,” she grinned wickedly at Maggie. “I think
John is hot.”

Maggie burst into laughter. She of course knew that Linda
was originally attracted to John but she couldn’t help but
tease her a little. “A John fan, huh? I would have taken you

                            227
for a Paul girl.”

Linda shrugged. “He’s all right. I mean, he’s cute and all,
and I’m sure he’s a really nice guy, but John? John’s the
kind of guy that you could have those deep, intellectual
conversations with.” A small smirk spread across Linda’s
lips as she said this. “That among other things.”

Maggie blushed and Linda teased, “I hear that the ‘other
things’ are quite good with him.”

Maggie blushed again and Linda laughed and said, “It’s a
shame that I’ll never know if the rumors are true,” Linda
sighed semi-dramatically. “It’s just as well I suppose. I
mean, after all, I’ve learned from experience that men are
always much better in theory than they actually are.”

Maggie smiled as she anticipated the day when Linda
learned the truth of who Maggie actually was and how this
story was most likely going to be one she used to tease Paul
with in the future. Maggie had a feeling that it would be the
source of many jokes from both Linda and her. Sitting here
right now, Maggie could already tell that the two of them
were going to be good friends. They were both American
(New Yorkers at that), both interested in photography and
both had, at least for now, a fancy for John.

Maggie was also impressed by Linda’s forward thinking.
For a woman in today’s society… or the society of
1960’s… time was still a little jumbled in Maggie’s head.
But, for whatever society they were in at the current
moment, the things Linda said and did were not only
frowned upon, but often times, unheard of. The fact that
she asked for a divorce instead of staying in loveless
relationship was proof of that. Most of all though, Linda
was going to marry the other half of her Lennon and

                            228
therefore, she would be the only one that knew what it was
like to be in Maggie’s shoes. That alone formed an instant
bond that Linda was not aware of yet, but was still there.

“How about you?” Linda asked. “I’ve told you the sordid
details of my love life and my lusty thoughts about a
certain Beatle. Do you have anyone in your life?”

Maggie felt her throat tighten. Of course this was the
question that had to come up. She swore that someone out
there was taking great amusement in watching her fidget
today. “Well,” she started. She didn’t want to lie to this
woman but she didn’t know what she could tell her. It
wasn’t that she thought Linda would react badly to the
truth… well, maybe that was a little bit of it. She was afraid
that Linda wouldn’t believe her but she was also afraid of
the commotion it could cause if someone overheard her.
Maggie opted for telling as much as the truth as she
possibly could.

“I do actually.” She smiled, holding up her ring. “I just got
engaged.”

Linda’s mouth turned up into a genuine smile.
“Congratulations. He’s a lucky guy.”

“Thank you.”

“What’s his name?”

Maggie swallowed. “Winston.” She marveled at how clear
and unwavering her voice was when she said it. Then, she
silently thanked whoever was listening for the fact that
Linda obviously didn’t pay attention to the teeny bopper
fan magazines our there.


                             229
“And what does your Winston do for a living?”

“Oh, he’s an writer.” It was true. John had written a book
or two and writing lyrics to music could also be considered
a sort of thing an author would do.

“A writer, huh? Another one of those Ernest Hemingway
types?” Linda grinned. “What does he look like? That way,
if I see him or take his picture one of these days, I can tell
him that I got seated next to the only other normal girl
here.”

Maggie laughed once more, finding Linda’s good nature to
be infectious. “Well,” she started, really not knowing what
else to say, but figuring she might as well go for it. “He
looks like a Beatle, really. Then again, what mod guy
doesn’t these days?”

Linda nodded in agreement. During this time period, it was
true.

“Where’s he from then? Is he a New Yorker as well?”

Maggie opened her mouth to respond but the sound of
screaming cut her off again. This time though, it wasn’t a
false alarm and instead of technicians running out to check
the stage equipment, four mop tops came out, waving and
flashing their smiles at an audience filled with frantic girls.
Girls that Maggie normally would have mocked, except
this time, things seemed different.

Before it even registered to her what she was doing,
Maggie was on her feet, screaming her head off in full
fangirl fashion. When she looked to her right though, she
noticed Linda was acting the same way, and while she still
felt like an idiot, she at least knew that she was in good

                             230
company.

Maggie honestly couldn’t say when exactly the concert
began. She assumed it was when the boys started
strumming their guitars and bopping their heads, but she
couldn’t actually hear the first chords. Sometimes, if she
listened close enough, she could hear the faint beat of
Ringo’s drum, and she knew that if it weren’t for him, none
of them would be holding it together up there.

Despite the fact that she was at a musical concert, and that
Maggie wasn’t actually hearing any of the music, it was
still the best concert she had ever been to. Watching Paul
giggle and twirl with his bass and watching John and
George horse around, laughing through most of their
backing vocals, was surreal and it made an odd sense of
excitement ignite in her stomach once more.

As John started playing the keyboard with his elbows,
throwing his head back and laughing with a sort of manic
delight, Maggie leaned over towards Linda. “Remember
that move,” she shouted over the screams and the cries of
the girls surrounding them. “You may need it one day!”
Linda frowned slightly, raising a confused brow towards
Maggie. Maggie just shook her head and laughed, “Trust
me!”

Turning back to the concert, Maggie could barely believe
what she was witnessing. Every day (that wasn't during a
tour) she woke up next to John and she had started to get
used to it. She still had her moments where she was afraid
that she was merely dreaming, but things were starting to
become a little more normal to her. Seeing them up on
stage though, at Shea Stadium, the future Mrs. McCartney
sitting next to her, was unreal and Maggie almost didn’t
believe that it was happening. She watched as George and

                            231
John laughed together, so unbelievably happy (even though
it was temporary and that after the show John would be
thinking about anesthetizing himself again) and she knew
that it couldn’t be anything but real. This was a golden
moment. They were hovering near the point where they
would decide they were tired of being Beatles – but there
was still enjoyment in it for them. Their love of music and
performing hadn’t quite left yet.

Thirty minutes later the show came to an end and while it
was nothing compared to the length of the concerts that she
attended in her own time, it was by far the best concert she
had seen and the one that was the most unforgettable.

The Beatles were whisked away before Maggie could even
blink and it almost gave her a start. She needed to catch
John before he began his nightly diet of pills and booze.
Hopefully, if she found him quick enough, the smile she
had seen on his face moments before would stay there.

Digging in her purse, Maggie found a pen and a small piece
of paper. As legibly as possible, she scribbled her mailing
address and phone number on it before turning to Linda,
knowing that the UK contact info would give her away.
She had to smile as she saw Linda scrawling down her
contact info, obviously having the same thought she did.

Smiling, the message clear to both women, they exchanged
papers and Maggie knew she had a new penpal. She did
have to fight the sigh that threatened to escape from her lips
at the thought of having to do this all long hand. She really
did long for her lap top. Or a cell phone.

Leaning forward at the same time, both girls hugged each
other goodbye. Their short minutes spent talking about
practically nothing before the concert had bonded them for

                             232
life and Maggie couldn’t wait until Linda became a
permanent fixture in their lifestyle.

“I want to hear all about how Heather is growing up and
how your photos are coming along,” Maggie said as they
pulled away.

Linda nodded. “And I want to hear all about how the
wedding plans are coming and how the fans react to your
engagement to Winston. He is my favorite, you know!”

Maggie’s eyes widened in shock as her shoulders stiffened.

“I wouldn’t be a very good fan if I didn’t recognize the
American girlfriend, now would I?” Linda smirked and
said conspiratorially. Leaning forward, she looked at
Maggie seriously. “You’d better go; now that The Boys are
gone, and the fans recover themselves, you’re sure to be
recognized and mobbed. ”

Maggie hadn’t even thought of that but as soon as Linda
said it, she recognized the wisdom of her words – she’d
been lucky. She was only anonymous by 21st century
standards. And Beatle fans could be vicious to Beatle
girlfriends. Pattie had told her stories of being accosted in
ladies rooms.

Nodding quickly, she gave Linda another quick hug.
“Thank you,” she whispered. “I promise I’ll write.” Pulling
away, she grinned a little bit, a thought coming to her head.
“You know, John might be taken, but maybe if things don’t
work out for Paul and Jane…” It was Linda’s turn to look
shocked. Oh, if only the woman knew what her future had
in store for her.

Smiling at her, Maggie gave her a small wave and began to

                            233
push her way through the crowd. She had already paid the
taxi handsomely to wait for her outside and to take her to
the hotel. Before she even knew it, she was off. Off to see
John.

Her John. Maggie smiled. HER John.




                           234
                  Yes It Is: Stories
                 A Comedy of Errors




August 1966, directly following the events of
“Lennon/McCartney”



M      aggie watched NYC pass by the window of her taxi.
       It was so exciting to be back. The city meant so
much to her and she felt like she was seeing it as she’d
never really seen it before. Her NYC was in 2006 – but
this…this was NYC in 1966. She felt like a person out of
time, detached almost – passively observing as the scientist
she was. Except that now this was her world. She’d made
her choice to stay in 1966 after she’d managed to travel
backwards in time and somehow end up engaged to a
Beatle. The whole thing sounded like bad fanfiction and
yet, oddly, it worked. And while she knew she was
wrecking all sorts of havoc with the timeline, she also knew
that John was the love of her life. They wouldn’t have been
happy apart.

So here she was, back in the US for the first time since
she’d moved both to 1966 and to England to be with John.
She’d attended the Beatle’s Shea Stadium concert and by
sheer, unbelievable coincidence, had ended up seated next
to the future Linda McCartney. Or maybe it was fate,
Maggie thought to herself. Maybe it’s a sign that she
wasn’t making a horrible mistake by being here. Maybe
Linda and she were meant to meet, and meant to become
                           235
friends. Maybe she could save Linda from cancer and
maybe their friendship could help hold John and Paul
together. Too many maybes.

Now Maggie was on the way to John’s hotel. John hadn’t
yet been told that she was coming – she’d wanted to
surprise him. Brian had already arranged for her things to
be taken to the hotel so she wouldn’t have to haul them all
the way to the show, and then back to the hotel. She’d also
insisted on taking a cab by herself, turning down a hired
car. She didn’t want to attract attention, and besides, this
was her city - she knew her way around! Maggie was just
grateful it was pre-internet – it was much easier to blend in
without some internet site reporting her every move, or
paparazzi on every corner. She was sure no one would
recognize her.

“Hey, Miss, where do you want me to drop you?” The cab
driver interrupted her thoughts, bringing her back to the
present. Smiling at him, Maggie gave him the address of
the hotel, telling him the front door was fine.

“We’ve been dropping passengers off there all night,” he
said, shaking his head. “The Beatles are staying there, and
they all think they’re going to get in somehow. Is that what
you’re up to?”

Maggie gave him a coy smile, but stayed silent. If only he
knew. She laughed along with the cabbie, at how ridiculous
that was, before sneaking a glance at the ruby engagement
ring on her right hand.

The cab pulled up to front of the hotel, the outside of which
was swarming with throngs of screaming teenage girls.
Maggie watched with wide eyes as girls fainted and
shrieked; she would have to make her way through them to

                            236
get to the front door.

As she got out of the cab, Maggie couldn’t help but feel
slightly stunned. She knew what Beatlemania was and how
crazy their fans were, but books and movies had not
prepared her for this. Maggie turned back towards the
direction of the cab, intent on asking him to take her to a
pay phone where she could try to get a hold of Brian, but
the cab was already gone. Not that she could blame the cab
driver. The screams were enough to drive anyone away.

Maggie suddenly felt very alone and suddenly realized she
might have some trouble getting to John. With no luggage,
no escort, and no British accent, she really didn’t look that
much different from any of the other female fans in
attendance. She might have been a few years older, but
with her hair back, she looked young for her age and could
have easily been mistaken for one of them.

With a deep breath, Maggie pushed her way through the
crowd of girls and into the lobby. Boldly, she walked up
the counter where she was greeted by a harried-looking
desk clerk.

“Can I help you?” the clerk asked, obviously annoyed by
the entire situation.

“Yes, I need to check into my room.” Maggie responded,
nicely, with a smile on her face. This guy could be a jerk,
she didn’t care, she was going to be seeing her John very
shortly.

Hopefully.

The clerk’s eyebrows raised and he took her in fully; no
luggage, and a girl checking into a hotel alone, in 1966? “I

                            237
bet you do,” he responded sneeringly, “And I supposed
you’d like a room on the same floor as the Beatles, too.”

“Well, no,” Maggie said slowly, having a bad feeling that
there was no way the clerk would believe what she was
about to say, “I’m in the same suite as the Beatles – they’re
expecting me.” She forced herself to be polite to the
sneering clerk, even if it felt forced. If this was what she
had to do though to see John, she would do it.

“I’m sure they are, Miss.” As the clerk began to turn away,
Maggie grabbed at his arm.

“Can you at least look in your reservations to see if my
name is there? It’s Margaret Susan….” . She was pleading
– she wanted to see John so badly that she wasn’t above
begging at this point.

“I’m sure it won’t be, Miss,” he said, cutting her off mid-
sentence. All night he had been dealing with the same type
of girl, and all night he'd had to fend them off, explaining
to each and every one of them that they were getting no
further. He didn’t understand what the attraction was. The
objects of their affection were simply four boys with long
hair. “Look, you’re clearly a fan trying to get a peep at the
band, just like the rest of them out there. You don’t even
have any luggage.”

“But it was sent ahead for me from the airport!” Maggie
said, getting exasperated now.

“Right, why would you do that?” He was growing tired of
this game and he was going to call security on her soon.

“Because I went to The Beatles’ concert.” Maggie knew
what her story sounded like. The truth even sounded crazy

                            238
to her own ears. There was nothing else she could say that
would make this any better though.

“Aha. Okay, so let me get this straight, you just flew in
from…”

“England.” As the words came out of her mouth, Maggie
winced. The man was now giving her a condescending look
as he leaned back against the counter, smirking at her.

“England, right. You, with your American accent, flew in
from England, had your luggage sent to the hotel, went to
The Beatles’ concert, and now are here to check into your
room, which you are sharing with the Beatles.”

“Look,” Maggie said with a sigh. “If you could just call up
Brian Epstein – I’m his guest and he’s expecting me.” The
anger was boiling under her skin. She was irritated that this
man was keeping her from John, and she was even more
irritated with that fact that he thought her to be nothing
more than a foolish child.

“I’ve seen the guests Mr. Epstein gets and I don’t think
you’re his type, girlie.” This man was losing all remnants
of politeness and fast. “Now, please leave, or I will call
security on you and have you escorted off the premises.”

At that moment, Maggie lost it. Before she could stop
herself, she grabbed at the clerk’s tie with her left hand and
pulled his startled form half way over the counter. Then she
waved her right hand under his nose and said, “Look you
small-minded, male-chauvinist idiot, I’m John Lennon’s
fiancé, Brian Epstein flew me out from England to surprise
him, and you’d better get me up to my room before I make
a real scene.”


                             239
The clerk blinked at her, the red glint from the ruby shiny
before his eyes. The woman before him breathed harshly,
the hand holding his tie shaking. Gently, he removed her
left hand from his tie, staring pointedly at her right hand.
“A ruby ring on the wrong hand?” he commented. “What,
Mr. Lennon couldn’t afford a diamond?” He pushed her
away slightly, looking at her with disgust as he straightened
his tie. He did have to admit that this was one of the crazier
fans that he had met tonight, what with her clear delusions
of grandeur. “Besides, John Lennon isn’t engaged, it’d be
all over the papers wouldn’t it?”

Reaching for the phone, he began to call security. Before he
touched the receiver, and before Maggie could retort that
John and she hadn’t officially announced their engagement
yet, a loud commotion erupted behind them. The screaming
increased by several decibels as the Beatles themselves
were swept into the hotel.

As soon as Maggie laid eyes on John, all thoughts of
punching the clerk in his smug nose (which might have
been her next step) disappeared and Maggie started yelling
and waving at John, desperate to get his attention. Of
course, with the noise and crowd levels, John didn’t see or
hear her and as quick as they arrived, the Beatles were
gone.

Maggie, realizing that any shred of credibility that she
wasn’t just a random fan had just evaporated, slowly turned
to the desk clerk who, with a knowing sneer, beckoned a
bellhop over. “Please escort Mrs. Lennon outside with the
rest of the fans, where she belongs. If she tries to get in
again, have her arrested for trespassing.” Maggie, not
wanting to end up in jail (what if her fake documents didn’t
hold up to that kind of scrutiny?) resignedly walked off
with the bellhop, determined to formulate another plan.

                             240
The bellhop had taken her out a side door, probably afraid
that as he let one crazy out, he’d accidentally let 10 more
in. He was about to turn away when Maggie had an idea.
She grabbed his arm and said, “I’ll give $100 right now if
you give me your uniform and go home for the rest of the
day.”



Paul stared at John’s closed door in frustration. He’d been
knocking steadily for five minutes now, and he knew that
John wasn’t far enough gone to not hear him. In short, John
was just being, well, John.

“Look John,” Paul yelled with a final bang. “I know you’re
in there, so you can just stop pretending that you’re not
sitting in your room all alone, getting pissed and mooning
over a girl! I’m coming in.” When there was no response,
Paul took that as his cue. Cracking open the door he peered
carefully inside. Seconds later, a glass shattered above him,
the shards crashing over his head, along with the brandy
that had been in it. Quickly, Paul pulled the door shut,
trying to avoid any further damage.

“Now look, you’ve got to stop this, John! I’ve something
important to tell you!” Paul snarled through the crack in the
door. He hated when John decided to wallow in one of his
difficult moods.

After a few moments of silence, Paul took that as an
invitation to enter the dark room. “There, that’s bet-“ Paul
suddenly dove for the floor, as another glass sailed by,
grazing the top of his shoulder.

“Look, you stupid wanker, you’d better stop breaking all

                            241
your glasses or there will be none left for Maggie to use
when she gets here!” Paul yelled.

The lights came bursting on, and Paul, momentarily blinded
by them, peered from around the bed he’d taken cover
behind. He saw John standing by the light switch with a
third glass in his hand.

“What did you say?” John breathed, barely daring to hope.
He lowered the glass slightly, and squinted his eyes at Paul,
as if to help him decipher real meaning of the words Paul
had just said.

Paul took the time to stand gracefully up, dust himself off,
check his hair in the mirror, and look at John out of the
corner of his eyes. “Oh, so now you want to listen to me
instead of taking my head off with a bloody glass.”

In a flash, John covered the ground between them and was
inches from Paul’s face, “Don’t play with me, Macca, I’m
not in the mood. I’ve been trying to ring Maggie up and
I’m getting no answer.”

“That’s because she’s probably out with Mick,” Paul
teased. John’s arm raised once more as he threatened to
hurl another glass at Paul. Quickly, Paul stuck his hands in
the air, taking a step back and trying not to laugh. “I’m only
joking! It’s what I’ve been trying to tell you, mate…. she’s
here!”

John lowered his glass again, and a confused look came on
his face. “What do you mean she’s here?”

“Just what I said! Brian flew her out here to finish the tour
with us and she’s just watched the show, and she should be
arriving at the hotel any minute now!”

                             242
It sank in slowly for him. Paul watched as the realization
fell over his friend’s features, his eyes lighting up, which
was something he hadn’t seen since this miserable tour had
begun. Suddenly John grabbed Paul by the cheeks and
kissed him full on the lips. “Why didn’t you say so in the
first place?” John whooped. He released a very shocked
Paul and ran out of the room.

Blinking, Paul stared at the now wide open door. “John,
wait!” He knew he should have probably approached this
differently, already knowing John’s tendencies towards the
extreme, but it was too late now. “You can’t go chasing
after her; you’d get torn to pieces by the fans. Mal’s just
gone down to meet her in the lobby and bring her up.”

John stopped short. Giving a quick glance to his watch, he
debated whether to ignore Paul or not. The lad had a point,
but this was also Maggie they were talking about. He was
going to give it thirty minutes and then he would be down
there himself.

Without a word, John headed back to his room where he
proceeded to pace excitedly. Paul only rolled his eyes, and
settled in on the couch.

John was so predictable. While he was happy for John, and
he and Maggie had an understanding now, he just couldn’t
understand John’s need to always be with her. Paul would
be mortified if he had his old lady on tour with him!
Thankfully, Maggie seemed to understand what the
boundary lines in The Beatles were, and never crossed
them. Though she often pushed them. At least pushed more
than Paul was comfortable with.

She’d been downright docile about staying home from the

                            243
tour though. Brian had pretty much had to force her to
come out for the rest of this tour, and frankly, Paul was
actually glad she was coming. John was barely tolerable to
be around and he was making an already miserable tour
worse. Why couldn’t he just relax and enjoy the birds like
they used to? George was married and he wasn’t all
puritanical on tour, and John hadn’t been when he was with
Cyn either. No one was married on tour! No one! He’d
never expected this sort of behavior from John of all
people.

Paul looked over at John who was currently rubbing his
hands together with almost a manic glee of anticipation.
Paul shook his head and thought to himself, “Be that
dependant on a bird? No thank you!”



Mal walked up to the counter of the desk in the hotel lobby.
The clerk had been leaning on the counter, seemingly bored
now that the excitement of the Beatles arrival was done. He
straightened up, however, recognizing Mal as part of The
Beatles’ entourage. Mal was, after all, hard to forget.

“Can I help you, Sir?” he asked, beaming an ingratiating
smile up at the much taller man.

“Yes, I’m here to pick up one of Mr. Lennon’s personal
guests, and her luggage.” Mal informed him genially.

“Her luggage sir?” The clerk asked, his smile faltering.
This was not going to end well.

“Yes, she just flew in from England and wanted to take in
the show before coming to the hotel, so she sent her
luggage on ahead.”

                            244
The clerk swallowed. “Her name, Sir?” His smile was gone
at this point, and panic was starting to grow in its place.
Darting his eyes back and forth in the lobby he began
desperately searching for said woman, hoping that she
wasn’t who he feared she would be.

“Margaret Susan...” Stopping in the middle of his sentence,
Mal looked over his shoulder, trying to catch a glimpse of
whatever the clerk was searching for. “Are you all right?”

The clerk’s mouth was opening and closing wordlessly as
he realized what he had done. Mal bent lower to peer closer
at him and waved a hand in front of his eyes “Hullo?” he
asked, “Has Maggie Sue been here?”

A cold sweat broke over the man’s face and while he knew
there was a desk between him and the roadie, he also knew
that it wouldn’t be enough distance to protect him once he
admitted to Mal that he had had Mr. Lennon’s fiancé
forcibly ejected from the hotel. Taking a deep breath, he
tried to gain the courage to face his end and with a rush,
spilled out the story of what had happened. Mal grew taller
and loomed larger over him with every word.

“YOU DID WHAT????!!!!” Mal thundered at him,
drawing every eye in the lobby as he momentarily drowned
out the shrieking girls outside.

Cowering behind the desk, the clerk swallowed. “I’ll find
her. I’ll bring her back.”

“YOU’D BETTER!” Mal bellowed at him, “OR I’LL NOT
ONLY HAVE YOUR JOB, BUT YOUR ARSE TOO!”

Twitching, the clerk started to move but then stopped, as if

                            245
he was going to ask Mal a question.

“GO!” Mal boomed, and the clerk ran off grabbing a
bellhop on the way to help him.



Maggie strode boldly down the hallway of the 12th floor of
the hotel trying to act like she belonged there. Well, the
truth was she did belong there, if only that arrogant clerk
could have gotten over himself and looked up her name!
But still, she knew that her lame disguise wouldn’t hold up
under much scrutiny. To begin with, the Bell Hop she’d
bribed for his uniform was about four inches taller than her
and much bigger, so she was swimming in the uniform, and
constantly tripping on the baggy trouser legs. And the
Beatle Wig (barely covering the wisps of her long hair that
kept slipping out of it) and fake mustache she’d purchased
outside at the corner drugstore weren’t that convincing
either. Still, she had managed to make it this far… which
was actually a lot further then she thought she would.

If only she could figure out what floor the Boys were on!
She was getting very tired, since she’d huffed and puffed
her way up 12 flights of stairs in order to avoid the
elevators during her search. Knowing her luck they’d be
near the top floor of the hotel!

Leaning against the wall, Maggie sighed. Clearly they were
not on this floor. There was no media room for them to
answer asinine questions over and over again to reporters,
no loud music, no permeating smell of pot, and no parties
filled with groupies spilling over into the hallway.
Definitely the wrong floor.

Shaking her head, she thought to herself how crazy and

                            246
pointless this whole thing was. Having finally caught her
breath, Maggie turned, intent on leaving. Before she got
more than a few steps, a voice stopped her in her tracks.

“Hey, you there!” Maggie froze, trying to decide if she
should run for it… “Hey, could you give me a hand with
this?” Turning slowly, Maggie swallowed. She didn’t know
if it was done in relief or fear. Another bellhop stood before
her, overloaded with so much luggage he couldn’t really
see. He motioned towards a massive vase of flowers on the
floor that had apparently just fallen off his luggage cart.
Maggie, staying as silent as possible, obligingly picked up
the vase and followed him towards the elevators. Silently
she prayed that they were going up, not down, and that she
could get away with not talking to the other bellhop.

As they walked into the elevator, Maggie peered through
the fronds of the enormous flower arrangement and saw
him press the button for floor number 24. A wide smile
spread across her lips. Up it was! Relaxing slightly, Maggie
pulled her head back, peering at the arrangement before
her. She smiled, smelling its sweet fragrance. As she was
basked in the aroma, content with the knowledge that she
might actually get away with her facade, she idly noticed
the card. It wasn’t anything special, nothing more than a
standard little complimentary card that was stuck with most
arrangements. The name on the card however, was what
caught her eye.

Miss Margaret Susan

Maggie blinked. Could it be??? Were things finally going
her way? Was she actually delivering flowers addressed to
HERSELF to HER own room? This was fantastic! This
was wonderful, this was-


                             247
“Hey! Are you new?” asked the other bellhop, peering at
her around the luggage on his cart. Maggie had to force
herself not to laugh as she continued to stare at the bellhop
who was bogged down with what she realized was her
luggage. There was a lot of it. She really needed to pack
less. Looking closer at her as she tried to hide behind her
flowers he frowned, “I don’t think I’ve seen you before.”

Maggie smiled nervously at him and was about to attempt a
masculine sounding reply when the elevator doors opened
again and in strode her nemesis.

The desk clerk.



John’s pacing was growing more agitated when Mal finally
opened the door to the room. Rushing forward and
expecting Maggie’s smile to greet him, John was
disappointed only to find Mal.

Paul walked by, listening to Mal try to explain what had
happened. Knowing John though, it wasn’t going to cut it.
In desperation, Paul started looking for cover in case John
started throwing glasses again.

“Bollocks to this, I’m going to go find her.” John declared,
once he’d heard Mal’s story.

“John – the fans are all over the lobby. They’ll tear you
apart. They look like they want blood,” Mal protested. “It
sounds like the gates of hell down there.”

For a second Paul thought John was going to give in to the
reality of the situation. John’s shoulders had sagged as he
began to walk back and forth again and Paul was certain

                            248
that the storm had passed. Or at least they were in the eye
of it. Standing from his crouched position behind the sofa,
Paul looked around. He wanted a drink, but there weren’t
any glasses left. His eyes settled on the bottle of rum
however, and he had just decided that he would settle for a
swig out of it, when John suddenly stopped in his tracks.

“I’m going to go find her.”

“John…” Paul started, but it was too late – John was out
the door already.

With a groan, Paul rushed passed Mal, chasing after his
friend. “Where are you going, you wanker? And wait for
me; someone’s got to keep you out of trouble.” Paul
jumped into the elevator that John had raced into, barely
clearing the closing doors. Turning, Paul narrowed his
eyes. “You realize they’re going to eat us alive down
there.”

“Don’t worry, son,” John grinned at him, and jabbed a few
buttons. “I’ve got a plan.”

“That’s what I’m afraid of.”

As the elevator closed and started to move, they heard a
faint ding signaling that another elevator had just stopped at
their floor.



Maggie breathed a sigh of relief as the desk clerk got off
their elevator one floor after he’d gotten onto it. He’d
barely looked at her – he’d seemed completely pre-
occupied and was still obviously looking for someone.
Maggie wondered, from the frantic look on his face, if it

                              249
was for herself. She wasn’t inclined to make his search any
easier, however. Not after the way he treated her.
Fortunately, the other bellhop hadn’t taken up his
interrogation of her again, and seemed content to keep quiet
for the remainder of their ride. The elevator signaled its
arrival at the 24th floor with a faint ding.

She followed the bellhop a short way down the hall to a
door on the left. The bellhop, still laden with her luggage,
gestured for her to knock on a door, which was
immediately opened by Mal. She was so happy to see him
that she nearly kissed him. Until she remembered she was
still dressed like a man.

Mal motioned the bellhop with the luggage towards John’s
room. Maggie entered and set the vase down on the table.

“Flowers, eh?” he looked at the card attached to the vase.
“And from the hotel, no less. I dunno if that will make it up
to poor Maggie. You tell your boss it’s going to take a lot
more then that to make things right!”

Maggie pulled off her mustache and wig, shook her hair
out, and said, “I don’t know, Mal. I think they are kind of
pretty.”

Mal looked shocked for a moment while he processed this
new information. Then, laughing, he swooped down,
picked her up, and twirled her around. “Don’t ever do that
to us again! I thought John was going to kill me!”

Maggie was giggling with glee, she was so happy to be
there and so close to John! “It wasn’t my fault – that
miserable clerk had me escorted out of the hotel!” As Mal
set her down, Maggie began searching the room for her
fiancé. “Where is John?” She peered into the bedroom,

                            250
where the other bellhop, who had overheard everything,
was still standing with the luggage and a shocked look on
his face. She waggled her fingers at him, feeling impish and
pleased with herself. She’d managed to get into The
Beatles’ room in 1966… quite a feat!

Still beaming from her moment of gloating, she turned to
look at Mal. His smile however, had fallen. “Well, you kind
of, er, that is to say, he just left… to look for you…”

“WHAT!?” Maggie cried. Without a second though, she
tore the door of the suite open and looked frantically up and
down the hallway. “Where did he go?” she demanded.

“Downstairs I think. To the lobby? Look, maybe you
should just wait here until he gets back….” But his advice
fell on deaf ears. Maggie was already jogging down the
hall, tripping on her too long uniform trousers, with her
long hair hanging down her back.



“No.” Paul said flatly. “I’m not going.”

“Come on. Quit acting like a girl!” John goaded.

Paul looked at John pointedly, and then down at his own
attire.

“Oh, right,” John said, clearly enjoying this. “I’d
forgotten.”

“Look, I just don’t see why I have to wear a maid’s
uniform is all. It’s not going to fool anyone,” Paul whined,
plucking at his apron. The thing wasn’t even flattering.


                            251
John chuckled at his friend’s distress. Reaching out, he
patted Paul on the cheek, “That long hair, those pouty lips,
and most importantly, those mile-long eyelashes… I’m
surprised anyone thinks you are a man, Macca.”

“I haven’t gotten any complaints from the birds on this
tour,” Paul grumbled.

“Besides,” John continued, holding up a hand to forestall
any further argument, “There was only one bellhop uniform
in this cupboard, and no one forced you to come along.”

“Fine.” Paul sighed and looked resigned. If anyone found
out he could just say that he was drunk. God, he wished he
were drunk. Why did John have to break all the glasses?

John cracked the door of the 14th floor broom cupboard
they had changed in, and, seeing the coast was clear, he and
Paul walked out into the hallway. “Hey!” a voice called
from behind them. It was the desk clerk from downstairs.

He eyed John and Paul suspiciously, not recognizing either
of them. John had run out of his room in such a hurry, he
still had his glasses on – which he hardly ever wore in
public. Banking on John’s disguise, and not really wanting
to show himself off in this get-up, Paul stepped behind
John.

“What were you two doing in that closet?”

“Oh, nothing, Sir,” John said, in his best American accent,
which was, quite frankly, terrible. “Me and …Paulina were
just polishing my, er, the broomstick handle .” He couldn’t
resist winking. Paul jabbed him in the back, feeling on a
minor sense of satisfaction at the small grunt of pain that
came out of John’s mouth. “You don’t want to lose your

                            252
grip on the handle when you’re sweeping the floor with it,
you know.”

‘Paulina’ choked a bit, as John’s face twitched again.

The clerk eyed them both suspiciously, clearly convinced
that they had been fooling around.

“Well, the hotel simply won’t stand for this kind of
behavior, and if I catch you again, I will report you.” The
clerk looked like he wanted to report them now, but clearly
he was impatient to be on his way. He seemed like he was
looking for something – or someone. It had bloody well
better be Maggie, John thought.

“Oh, we would never,” John swore. “We polished that
broomstick down to a nub,” he added solemnly. Paul
choked again. Slightly mollified, but too panicked to find
Maggie Sue to really care, the clerk sent Paul to go clean a
room down the hall, and John downstairs to get some
luggage.

The clerk forced himself to stay and watch that the maid
and the bellhop went where he directed them, before
rushing off. After all, standards were important. If you let
them go, all hell could break lose.

Forced to separate under the clerk’s watchful eye, John
headed down the stairs.

He walked boldly through the crowd of girls that had
managed to force their way into the lobby, grinning with
glee at not being recognized. He felt a bit invincible. He
had never believed that Clark Kent could fool anyone by
wearing glasses – but now he wondered if Superman had
been on to something. However, this was short-lived. When

                            253
John reached the other side of the pack of girls safely, he
managed to trip over a bag on the floor, causing his glasses
to slip. A young girl bent down to pick them up and handed
them to him.

“Thanks, luv.” The words were out before he could stop
himself.

Bad idea. Apparently, he’d forgotten that it wasn’t only his
face that was recognizable.

The girl took one look at his face without the glasses, and
realizing this bellhop had a Liverpool accent, she shrieked
and lunged for him, causing all the girls behind him to do
the same.

John felt like he was back in A Hard Day’s Night – he took
off running, with the pack of them chasing him. Rounding a
corner, John managed to dart into a broom cupboard, and
close it before any of the girls had seen where he had gone.
He heard the shrieks and screams go past his hiding place.

He shuddered. The sound of the gates of hell, indeed.



Maggie made it onto the first floor via the stairs without
being stopped, though she was utterly exhausted. She
slumped back against a door, trying to catch her breath,
only to have it fall open. What could only have been yet
another disaster turned into something more as the
surprised desk clerk caught her, breaking her fall.

Maggie’s eyes widened as she and the clerk locked eyes.
They stared at each other in bewilderment for a minute,
until Maggie came to her senses. She was not going to be

                            254
kicked out of this hotel again – not until she had found her
fiancé.

Scrambling out of his arms, Maggie bolted, racing down
the hall towards the lobby with the clerk hot on her tail.

“Stop her!” The clerk yelled at anyone that would listen,
giving Maggie the much-needed incentive to just run faster.

Sweat broke out on her forehead as she frantically searched
her mind for something to get her out of this situation.
There had to be some logical way to do this. She knew she
could outsmart everyone here, if only she was allowed a
moment to think. Unfortunately, in the solution she was
creating in her head, the one she was sure would keep her
out of the custody of the clerk, she had forgotten one minor
detail.

As she rounded the corner, a pack of screaming teenage
girls came running towards her.

The fear of getting trampled overwhelmed her and on
instinct alone, Maggie flattened herself against the wall and
hoped for the best. The girls, focused on their prey, took no
notice of her, however, and just ran right by. They would
slow up the clerk for a moment, but Maggie knew she
didn’t have much time. Looking around for the nearest
escape, Maggie spied a nearby broom closet. Without
thinking, she dove inside.

The screaming faded away as Maggie was engulfed in the
darkness of the closet. She had to smile a little, despite the
situation. After all, the clerk now had over a dozen,
screaming, teenage girls to deal with.

A noise from behind her interrupted her thoughts.

                             255
“Who’s there?” she demanded as she whirled around
bringing her hands up in a karate stance. Not that she knew
any karate, but it seemed like the right thing to do at the
time.

Silence greeted her but after a minute…

“Maggie?”

A shiver of recognition (oh, that accent) and joy ran from
the top of Maggie’s head to her fingertips and toes, and she
literally flung herself into the direction of that voice and
started peppering John with kisses, giggling madly.

After a stunned second John wrapped his arms around her
tightly, and proceeded to let her know just how pleased he
was to see her too.



“You know, in all the times I imagined having you show up
suddenly on the tour, this is NOT what I pictured.” John
mused while running his fingers through Maggie’s long,
dark hair as they sat snuggling on the floor of the broom
cupboard. Neither of them had any idea how long they’d
been in there, nor did they care; it was just so nice to be
together again. It had been far too long.

“Oh really? What was different in your imagination?”
Maggie asked, nuzzling his neck.

John kissed the top of her head and whispered, twitching
his nose at her, “Midgets, there were more midgets
involved.”


                            256
Maggie burst into a fit of giggles yet again, which led to
some playful wrestling and tickling, which led to kissing,
which very nearly led to other things again, when Maggie,
level-headed, broke away and said, “John, we really should
go back. They’ve got to be worried about you.”

John sighed. “You’re right. I just… I dunno, I’m just tired
of it all. I’m ready for a break, a change, anything. Mostly,
I’m just tired of being away from you,” he mumbled into
her hair, breathing her scent in deeply. “I just…I don’t want
to tour anymore. I’m done. Beatle John wants to retire.”

Maggie was very quiet for a moment, considering her next
words carefully. “Well, let’s just get through this tour, and
we can talk some more about it. Maybe after it’s over you
could explore other things, take a break from music for a
bit.”

“Dick Lester did want me to help him out with his new
movie. It might be a laugh.”

Maggie’s brain suddenly flashed to the future,
remembering that it was that movie that started him
wearing his famous round glasses. Iconic, one might call
them. And here she was, snuggling in a broom closet with a
living icon. It was all too much sometimes. It set her off
giggling again. Yup, her life was like bad fanfiction, and
she loved it.

John shook his head at her sudden giggling. Someday he’d
figure her out, but not today. Thankfully he had years,
decades even, to do that. “All right, luv, let’s see if we can
sneak upstairs without running into that pack of birds.”

Reluctantly, they both got up, ready to brave their way back
to the hotel room.

                             257
John opened the door first, peeking outside, hoping this
was going to be a relatively painless task. Deciding that the
coast was clear, he pulled Maggie Sue after him. “Come
on, luv – we’d better stop on the 14th floor and make sure
Paul isn’t trapped there, with some burly American man
trying to get into his knickers.”

Maggie stopped. “What?”

“Didn’t I tell you Paul had a thing for dressing up like a
lady?” John grinned. “It’s shameful, it is.”

As John tugged her after him, Maggie laughed and gave up
trying to make any sense of the conversation. She’d get the
story out of Paul later. After all, they had all the time in the
world.




                             258
                  Yes It Is: Stories
                            BFF




Right before the Candlestick Park concert in San
Francisco, 1966



A    s Maggie lay on the hard concrete of the hotel room’s
     balcony, her long dark hair splayed out around her
head like a fan, she stared up into the dark San Francisco
night sky and marveled at it all.

The cosmos, science, God, time travel, logic, family,
friendship, marriage, music, The Beatles, and now, the man
who was lying on the balcony next to her. Their feet
pointed in opposite directions, but their heads were close
together, which allowed his longish dark brown hair to mix
with hers.

It was quiet, and Maggie liked that. She knew he liked it
too. They’d been together like this, quietly staring up at the
stars, for three quarters of an hour, and it was nice. It was
comfortable. It wasn’t forced. It was the type of thing that
only people who were very close could do, and Maggie
smiled to herself when she realized, that despite the
craziness of it all, the astronomical chances against it all,
this mop-topped young man was very dear to her. Just as
dear to her as she was to him.

He was her best friend, and possibly her closest confidant,
                           259
and she was pretty sure that she was the same for him.

Maggie lifted her right hand to look at her engagement
ring, marveling at the beauty and clarity of the red ruby up
against the velvet black night sky. It put her in mind of
Antares, the eye of Scorpio, or the red giant star,
Betelgeuse, which burned steadily as Orion’s shoulder.

A distinct Liverpudlian accent interrupted her musings and
asked, “What would you say if I told you I loved you?”

Maggie laughed at him. “I’d say you were stoned. Speaking
of, I’m not crazy about the second-hand smoke I’m getting
over here. I think the wind just shifted.” She made a move
to get up.

Chuckling, he grabbed her wrist and pulled her down so
that her hand was resting on his chest. He made a valiant
effort to fan the smoke away from her, spreading its wispy
white essence into the night. Seeing his impish grin,
Maggie relaxed, and knew that he was just teasing her. “I
do love you, you know. But like a sister,” he said.

Maggie smiled at him. “I know, and I love you too. Like a
brother. A brother I never had. An annoying, yet loveable
brother.”

This amused him to no end. He laughed so hard that he had
to sit up to catch his breath. She rolled her eyes and
wondered how Help! had gotten made at all, having now
seen first-hand the effect the drug had on the boys. He
draped a friendly arm over her shoulder, and she gave in
and snuggled next to him to watch the stars again.

“But you are very pretty you know,” he said grinning as he
pressed a kiss into the top of her head.

                            260
“Stop trying to seduce me,” Maggie teased back, “It feels
like incest.”

“What? Can't a man say a woman is attractive without it
being a come-on?” Maggie gave him a pointed look,
causing him to laugh again. “All right, all right. Let's just
say, just for the sake of argument, that it was a come-on.
What do you want me to do about it? I take it back, okay? I
take it back.” He grinned down at her.

“You can't take it back.” Maggie retorted, pulling away and
mock glaring at him, hands on her hips.

“Why not?”

“Because it's already out there,” Maggie explained,
feigning exasperation and waving her hands in the air to
illustrate her point.

He let a worried look crossed his face and he started
wringing his hands together in mock apology. “Oh, jeez.
What are we supposed to do? Call the cops? It's already out
there!” he teased, yelling the last bit out into the night sky.

At this point Maggie was giggling too. Perhaps it was a
side effect of the pot smoke. She had given up trying to
avoid being around it – that was nearly impossible. The
Beatles loved the stuff and none of them saw the harm in
having a joint now and then. And at parties – well, at
parties, she was lucky if that’s all they indulged in. She still
didn’t approve, but she’d had to unbend a bit. She
sometimes felt bad being such a stick in the mud where
drugs were concerned. But they just made her
uncomfortable. It was just how she was raised. But the
Beatles were grown men (though you wouldn’t know it by

                             261
their antics), and as long as they stayed away from the
harder stuff, she would deal with it, much as she hated it.
Her thoughts made her frown unintentionally.

Sensing a shift in her mood, he placed a loving arm around
her and drew her closer to him, trying to offer comfort.
“Don’t worry, Maggie, I was only joking, we are just
friends. You know that, right?”

Maggie instantly felt bad for bringing the mood down.

She never got to see him anymore, what with all the touring
the Beatles were doing, and she hardly ever got any time
alone with him. Now, here she was, ruining what few
moments they had together.

She had to lighten the mood.

Putting another mockingly serious look on her face, she
held his hand very tenderly, and gravely said, “You realize,
of course, that we could never be friends.”

He raised an eyebrow at that, “Why not?”

Maggie struggled to keep a straight face. “What I'm saying
is — and this is not a come-on in any way, shape, or form
— is that men and women can't be friends because the sex
part always gets in the way.”

He looked at her, blinking slowly as if trying to find the
truth in this, before shaking his head once. “That's not true.
I have a number of women friends and there is no sex
involved,” he retorted.

Maggie snorted and raised an eyebrow back at him, “No,
you don't.”

                             262
“Yes, I do.”

“No, you don't.”

“Yes, I do.”

“You only think you do.”

Exasperated, he said, “You’re saying I'm having sex with
these women without my knowledge?”

“No,” Maggie clarified, “what I'm saying is they all want to
have sex with you. You’re a Beatle, remember? And
usually you oblige them, which is very naughty since you
are a married man!”

He rolled his eyes and groaned, “Not this again.”

“Yes, this again, George. I don’t think it’s very nice of you
to do this to Pattie.” Maggie said, any tone of playfulness
now gone from her voice. She dropped his hand, scooting
away from him slightly. This was a conversation they had
had over and over again and it never seemed to change.

“No one is married on tour, Maggie,” George said,
exasperated, and he proceeded to get up and lean against
the railing. “You used to be fun,” he muttered, staring at the
Golden Gate Bridge all lit up in the distance. Clearly he
was losing his buzz.

Maggie frowned at that. Like the drug use, the flagrant
cheating on the wives by George and Ringo bothered her
too. But it was like talking to a brick wall sometimes.
George was stubborn. George was, well, George. He had
his neuroses just like the rest of them, and they were part of

                             263
what made Maggie adore him so much.

And he was so fragile at times, always wondering if he was
good enough. He was a Beatle for goodness sake, and he
wasn’t sure if he was good enough! Of course it didn’t help
that he was always comparing himself to John and Paul.

She hated to see him mopey like this, even if she knew he
deserved it.

Sighing to herself she walked over to the railing and leaned
against it too, casually bumping his arm with hers.

He ignored her.

Rolling her eyes, she bumped him again.

He pointedly stared straight ahead, but she could see the
corners of his mouth twitching.

Steeling herself, Maggie shoved herself into him as hard as
she could, knocking them both on the floor, giggling again.

“So, still friends?” she managed to get out in-between
giggles.

“No.”

“Wha-“

“Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds
attractive. He always wants to have sex with her,” he said
solemnly, trying to stifle his own giggles.

“So, you're saying that a man can be friends with a woman
he finds unattractive?”

                            264
“No, you pretty much want to nail 'em too.”

“What if they don't want to have sex with you?”

George looked at Maggie and raised an eyebrow as if to
question her last statement. “Oh, right, Beatle. How could I
forget?” Maggie muttered, rolling her eyes.

“Besides,” George said, “you’re the one who said men and
women can’t be friends in the first place, because the sex
thing is already out there, so the friendship is ultimately
doomed, and that is the end of the story.”

“I NEVER SAID THAT!” Maggie said feigning
indignance.

“Wha- wait, you just said it!”

“When?”

“Before…”

It was Maggie’s turn to raise an eyebrow at him. “See, I
told you smoking that stuff was bad for you. Look what it’s
done to your memory.”

George looked at his joint horrified, and quickly flicked it
over the railing into the night sky, only to turn and find
Maggie grinning at him.

“Look, Mags, I’ve already given up cigarettes for you –
you, with your scary knowledge of the future. You’ve got
to leave me some vices!”

“Fine, fine,” she said, ducking as he made a grab for her.

                            265
“Now where were we? Oh, yes, that's right, men and
women can't be friends. Unless both of them are involved
with other people, then they can... This is an amendment to
the earlier rule. If the two people are in relationships, the
pressure of possible involvement is lifted... That doesn't
work either, because what happens then is, the person
you're involved with can't understand why you need to be
friends with the person you're just friends with. Like it
means something is missing from the relationship and why
do you have to go outside to get it? And when you say,
‘No, no, no, no, it's not true, nothing is missing from the
relationship,’ the person you're involved with then accuses
you of being secretly attracted to the person you're just
friends with, which you probably are. I mean, come on,
who the hell are we kidding, let's face it.”

George just gaped at her.

She continued, “Added to the fact that, clearly, being in a
relationship isn’t enough to stop you sleeping around.
Added to the fact that you are a Beatle. Which brings us
back to the earlier rule before the amendment, which is
men and women can't be friends. Or is it that Beatles and
women can’t be friends?”

George couldn’t help laughing at that. “Well, I guess we're
not going to be friends then,” he said teasingly.

“Guess not. It’s a shame, because you were my favorite
Beatle,” she said, shaking her head sorrowfully. Maggie
then looked at him curiously, watching as a lopsided grin
appeared across his face. He snaked his arms around her
and pulled her into a tight embrace. “That’s a lie and you
and I both know it. But thank you for the attempted ego
boost anyway,” he whispered in her ear.


                            266
Maggie smiled at this, and just hugged him back tighter.
This was nice. A best friend in this timeline, who was, no
less, a Beatle! Who would have thought it possible?
Despite all the teasing and jokes, Maggie knew they were
dear friends. It was very freeing. She could say anything to
him. It was different. It was a whole new perspective. She
got the man’s point of view. And the great thing was she
didn’t have to worry because she knew he wasn’t always
thinking about how to get her into bed.

She could just be herself.

No pressure, no rabid Beatle fans trying to assassinate her
for stealing away their John, no awkward ex-wife/soon to
be step-son relationship, no love/hate relationship with
Paul, just a friend who appreciated her opinion and loved
and accepted her, even when she nagged him about his bad
habits. Not Beatle George, just George. Her George, in a
way.

Maggie sighed pleasurably at this thought. Life was good.

Their idyllic embrace was interrupted suddenly by the
sound of a throat clearing. “Excuse me, Mr. Harrison, but
have seen seen my fiancé?”

John stood in the doorway of the balcony, taking in the
scene before him. With a raised eyebrow he looked at
George and Maggie, still caught in an embrace.

“Ah, there she is.” John remarked dryly, “Maggie, are you
trying to get into Georgie’s pants again? Isn’t one Beatle
enough for you? Or are you trying to collect the whole
set?” he teased. “Ring’s still around somewhere, shall I get
him? You won’t want Paulie, though. I’ve had him and he’s
no good.” John finished the last with a wink and opened his

                             267
arms to Maggie in a hug.

Quickly disengaging herself from George’s lanky limbs,
she hurled herself at John, and quickly silenced him with a
long kiss hello.

“Ick. Get a room you two!” George made gagging sounds
and pantomimed throwing up.

“We have one,” John said around Maggie’s attacking lips.
“You’re in it! Now, bugger off, son!” And with that, John
picked Maggie up, carried her back into the room, and
dropped her on the bed. She watched, amused, as John
swiftly escorted George out the door and then closed it
behind him before turning back to face her a wicked grin
spreading across his face.

George stood outside their room for a minute, staring at the
closed door. “Disgusting display is what that was.” George
shook his head before he strolled back towards the room he
was sharing with Ringo. Maybe Ringo would still be awake
and up for pulling a few birds from the hotel bar.

But still, George smiled and chuckled to himself, a woman
friend. Who would have thought it possible? Despite all the
teasing and jokes, George knew they were dear friends. It
was very freeing. He could say anything to her. It was
different. It was a whole new perspective. He got the
woman's point of view. And the great thing was he didn’t
have to lie because he wasn’t always thinking about how to
get her into bed.

He could just be himself.

No pressure, no Lennon/McCartney to compete with for
album space, no Paul telling him how to play his guitar,

                            268
just a friend who appreciated his music and loved and
accepted him. Not Beatle George, just George. And God
help John if he ever hurt her.

George entered his room to find a party already in full
swing. He nodded at Ringo, who was telling jokes to a
redhead and scanned the room, checking out his own
prospects. A pretty blonde bird in the corner caught his eye,
and he grinned back and went over to join her, pushing the
thought of Maggie’s disapproval towards the back of his
mind. No one is married on tour, he reminded himself
firmly. No one.

Authors Note: This whole story was very much an homage
to one of our favorite movies, “When Harry Met Sally”,
“borrowed” dialogue included.




                            269
                   Yes It Is: Stories
                       Mrs. Lennon




Directly following the 1966 Beatles tour



M       aggie Sue waited, butterflies fluttering in her
        stomach. She knocked lightly, but then, fearing no
one would hear her, she knocked again with more force.
This time the knock sounded way too loud. Shifting
nervously, she was about ready to flee for the safety of the
little car that John had bought for her. She glanced back at
it and its relative safety longingly. The sight of the car soon
made her smile. Of course George had insisted that her car
be a Mini Cooper like his. Fraternal twins even in cars it
seemed.

Looking back at the door, Maggie narrowed her eyes. It
remained still, staring back at her in a way that Maggie was
sure could be considered mocking. Shaking her head,
Maggie had just stepped backwards off the porch, all too
ready to believe no one was home, when the door opened.

The former Mrs. Lennon was standing in front of her with a
surprised look on her face. Cynthia recovered her smile
quickly, though. She was nothing if not polite to the
extreme. She’d had to be, to be married to John for as long
as she had been, and dealing with all the rigors of being a
Beatle wife. It came with the territory.

                             270
“Oh, hullo, Maggie. Come on in,” she said cordially, if a bit
formally.

Maggie took a surreptitious deep breath, and stepped
inside. Cynthia’s new home, the one she had purchased
with her new husband, was much smaller than the mansion
she’d lived in with John, and much cozier too. It suited her,
and it was a good place for Julian to grow up.

“Here to visit Julian, are you?” Cynthia looked at Maggie, a
bit wary, as if she were less than thrilled with the prospect.
Not that Maggie could blame her. If she were Julian’s
mother she wouldn’t want an endless parade of ‘Daddy’s
Girlfriends’ being introduced to him either. Hopefully
today she could set Cyn’s mind at ease at least in that
regard.

“Yes, but I hoped to have a word with you first, if that’s
okay,” Maggie said nervously.

She didn’t know why she was nervous – okay, she felt a
tiny bit of guilt for having kissed this woman’s husband in
1964, but that was silly since John had done far worse with
far more women than her. Besides, as difficult as it had
been, and as strong a draw as John was, she’d put the
brakes on early, envisioning Cynthia alone at home,
resigned to her role as dutiful Beatle wife. There would be
no affairs with married men as far as Maggie was
concerned. Call her uptight, but she did have her standards.
When she and John had gotten together, he’d already been
divorced, so she couldn’t be implicated in the breakup –
though as it turned out, she’d been the direct cause of it.
Not that she could explain any of this to Cyn. Maggie
swallowed thickly. She started to feel guilty again.

Though Cyn had always been perfectly polite to her, she

                             271
sensed that there was some underlying tension. Maggie
suspected it was not only because she was John’s new
girlfriend, but because she and Julian had taken to each
other right away. Of course Cynthia felt threatened. It was
only natural. To make things worse, John, Maggie and
Julian together made an attractive family unit. Because of
this, Maggie wanted to be sure that Cynthia knew that
Maggie had no intention of replacing her as Julian’s
mother.

It was important for Cynthia to know how much Maggie
loved Julian, as well. Maggie made it a point to treat the kid
with all the love she could muster. Yes, he was a part of
John and that made her love him all on it’s own, but he was
also a truly unique little boy. One that was so full of life
once you got to know him. Maggie needed Cynthia to
know that Maggie loved Julian for who he was, and
wouldn’t turn her back on him when John wasn’t looking.

Then, there was the matter of her engagement to John,
which had still not been announced officially yet. More and
more people in the inner circle had learned about it though,
and Maggie was afraid it would leak to Cynthia before she
and John had gotten a chance to talk to her in person. Also,
she was nervous about Cynthia learning of the engagement
since it had happened rather quickly. It had been April
when she had first arrived in 1966, and John had asked her
to marry him what seemed like a few weeks later. Of
course, they’d really been together much longer than that –
they’d first met in 1964 – and they’d had some time
together in 2006. But to an outsider like Cynthia, it would
seem sudden. Maggie also knew that the suddenness of it
all would seem like a slap in the face to Cynthia, and in
some ways it was. Maggie had to suppress a groan as
another wave of guilt washed over her. There was no way
to do this without someone being hurt, was there?

                             272
They’d intended to talk to Cynthia together, but things had
been busy. For starters, John and Maggie had been house-
hunting since they couldn’t stay in Paul’s spare flat forever.
Though she missed their little love nest, the new house
(soon to be mansion, if John had his way) was beautiful and
she loved sharing it with John. All too soon tour rehearsals
and planning had intervened and John had been swept off
to Germany at the end of June.

After Germany followed Japan – and then the disaster in
the Philippines. There’d been a short break and then the
band had flown off to America for most of August. John
had been back for a total of five days before he’d flown off
to Spain to shoot Dick Lester’s new film “How I Won the
War”. He hadn’t wanted to go, because he’d only just
gotten back from tour, and he was exhausted and had
wanted nothing more than some quiet time with Maggie.
But she knew that he was meant to do this film and had
talked him into going. It would give him a break from
being a Beatle and right now, a break was probably for the
best. Maggie promised that once he’d gotten settled, she’d
come out to stay with him, if he wanted her to. Which he
did, of course. Neither of them wanted a repeat of the
infamous “glass hurling” incident. The current separation
wasn’t so bad because she’d spent the remainder of the
American tour with John, and had thoroughly enjoyed
watching him be a Beatle. Seeing Beatle concert after
Beatle concert (after all you couldn’t actually hear them)
was a dream come true for her. She smiled a bit at that.

Cynthia’s voice brought her jarringly back to the present.
“Would you like some tea?”

“What? Oh, yes, that would be great, thanks,” Maggie said
a moment too late, while fidgeting with her hands. She

                             273
didn’t know what to do with them, and now it felt like there
was a rather large elephant in the room.

Cynthia led her into the kitchen where Julian was sprawled
on the floor, coloring. He looked up and when he saw
Maggie, jumped up, raced over, and threw his arms around
her. Instinctively, she hugged him back, but when she
looked up from him, she saw Cynthia’s face tighten.
Turning away, Cynthia adjusted the tea kettle on the stove,
but Maggie had already seen her expression.

Julian tucked his soft, warm little hand into her own and led
her to the table to sit. Despite Julian’s constant chatter, the
silence in the room screamed as Maggie sunk down into a
kitchen chair. Cynthia stared at the tea kettle, trying to busy
herself, prolonging the silence between her and Maggie for
lack of something to say. Maggie looked at her sadly, only
turning away at the sound of running feet as Julian went to
get his coloring book. Returning, he climbed up on the
chair next to her to show her his drawings.

Julian was such a solemn child, but he was laughing more
and more now. Since meeting him, Maggie had watched
the relationship between him and John bloom as Julian
began to warm up to his father. Since she had warned John
about his future strained relationship with Julian, John tried
so hard, and it was only rarely now that he lost his patience
with the child, and then only when Julian was being
naughty.

Secretly, Maggie was happy to see Julian feeling
comfortable enough around John to actually BE naughty.
He had been unnaturally quiet and careful around John at
first, afraid of John’s unpredictable moods, but once he saw
that John seemed to have learned patience and had
developed an interest in him, Julian had started behaving

                             274
like a normal little boy. Julian didn’t seem to question
John’s sudden interest or change of heart, and after a few
months, he’d lost his wariness entirely.

Seeing them together warmed Maggie’s heart and it made
her decide that if she’d accomplished nothing else in the
past, saving John and Julian’s relationship made her
decision to stay completely worthwhile.

Her own relationship with Julian was progressing as well.
She’d been cautious at first, not wanting Julian to think she
was trying to replace Cynthia, but Julian had taken to her
quickly and they were soon fast friends. Julian hadn’t really
questioned her relationship with John, and seemed happy
enough to have her as a new playmate.

So Maggie built block towers and colored with him – and
sometimes they’d bring Julian over to Paul’s so that Julian
could play with Martha, who was gentle for such a big dog.
They’d had a lovely early summer until John had had to
leave for his tour. Even with all the tour preparations, he’d
made sure to make time for Julian. They’d had him over to
stay every other weekend, and had also had him over
occasionally during the week.

At first Cynthia had been suspicious, then wary, and then
thrilled that John was finally taking a real interest in his
son. How could she help it when Julian was finally so
happy to be around his father?

Cynthia set two cups of tea on the table. “Julian, why don’t
you run and play upstairs and leave Maggie and I to chat?”
she asked the boy. It was clear on the child’s face that
Julian wasn’t happy to go. But slowly, he shuffled his way
to the stairs, where he gave a last hopeful look at the two of
them. Cynthia shook her head and pointed upwards and

                             275
with a small pout on his face, Julian went upstairs.

“He really likes you, you know,” Cynthia said. “I’m really
glad, but at the same time…”

“You’re wondering how long I’ll be around and whether
Julian will be crushed when John and I break up?” Maggie
finished for her.

“Was I that obvious?” Cynthia laughed, still a little tense.

“It’s a valid concern,” Maggie said. Taking a deep breath,
Maggie leaned forward, ready to take the plunge. “Which is
part of the reason I wanted to talk to you. John and I had
hoped to do it together, but with the tour and the film and
well, everything, he’s hardly been home…”

“Yes, the tour, don’t I know how those go.” Cynthia said
ruefully.

“Yes, of course, you must.” Maggie said feeling a bit
chagrined. How could she forget that Cynthia knew better
then she did just how busy John typically was? She
continued a bit more carefully this time. “I really hoped to
have John here too, but he agreed with me that it was better
for me to talk to you alone than for you to find out from
someone else…” Maggie stole herself, and took another
deep breath before the words flew out, “I know it seems
fast, but we’re engaged.”

Cynthia looked at her for a moment, her face becoming an
unreadable mask. At her unblinking gaze, Maggie found
that she had to look away, only able to raise her eyes again
at Cynthia’s notice. Slowly, Cynthia sipped her tea before
setting it down, and absentmindedly scratching at a fleck of
dust on her skirt said simply, “I see.”

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The silence in the room was as loud as a thunderbolt, and
finally Maggie, unable to stand it, spoke yet again, “I hope
to have some sort of place in Julian’s life, perhaps as one of
his Aunties?” She looked at Cynthia hopefully and seeing
her staring determinedly into her teacup continued, “I
would never dream of trying to replace you, but I did want
you to know how much I love Julian, and well, I guess I
just sort of wanted your blessing.”

A small, incredulous laugh escaped from her throat. “For
you and John? You hardly need it. He’s seen plenty of
women without my blessing.” Cynthia was bitter. Again,
Maggie really couldn’t blame her.

Clutching her tea cup, Maggie tried to think how best to
phrase her answer. “I meant for me and Julian, actually. I
want John to stay a part of his life, and I want to be a part
of his life. But I just wanted to reassure you that I know
he’s still your son, and that I would never, COULD never
come between that relationship.”

Silenced reigned yet again. Every sound became more
apparent - the tick of the clock, the shallow breaths
escaping from Maggie’s throat, the distant noise of Julian
playing.... and just when Maggie thought she’d go mad,
Cynthia slowly responded. “It’s hard seeing him with you, I
can’t lie. But I also can’t deny that John’s relationship with
him has completely changed over the last few months, and
I can only assume that’s due to you.”

Relief coursed through Maggie. Perhaps Cyn didn’t hate
her? “I don’t want credit; I just knew that he had a hard
time relating with Julian. Let’s just say I could envision a
future where he and John were estranged and that I knew
John would regret that for the rest of his life if that was to

                             277
come to pass.”

“Psychic now, are we?” Cynthia said wryly, taking another
sip of tea, and relaxing a bit into the conversation.

“No, just a Beatle fan who’s read one too many bios,”
Maggie said lightly. At least it was the truth.

Cynthia smiled at that. “How much have you read about
John’s many infidelities? Or did he tell you about them
himself?” Maggie leaned back. She certainly wasn’t pulling
any punches. “It’s not all sunshine and roses when you’re
with a Beatle, you know.”

“I know,” Maggie whispered. Looking at her honestly, she
felt some of the anxiety leave. “Honestly, I think John was
terrible to you, and I’m really sorry for what he put you
through. I think he has changed though – or is trying to.
Just look at the progress he’s made with Julian,” Maggie
said hopefully.

“It’s not easy for a man to change though, especially not a
man like John,” Cynthia said sadly, staring at her tea again.

“I know that too. And I don’t expect life as a Beatle wife to
be easy. I really don’t,” Maggie responded. “In fact, I’d
almost rather he weren’t a Beatle. Or weren’t so much a
part of Swinging London. I don’t really feel like I fit in that
scene at all.”

Cynthia relaxed again, the tension in her shoulders starting
to fade. “Neither did I, though heaven knows I tried. I wore
the trendy clothes and tried to make John proud to have me
by his side – but look at me. I can’t compete with the
models and bohemian artists in their crowd. Let alone the
other rockers – Mick wouldn’t leave me alone! I think he

                             278
liked the idea of scoring with John’s shy, little wife!”

Maggie looked temporarily shocked. “Did you….?”

“Oh, no, no – I knew it was about John and not about me.”
She said quickly. A small smirk touched her lips though.
“Not that I didn’t consider it. But John would have been
furious. There’s a double standard you know – John can
sleep with whomever he pleases, but if I’d slept with Mick
and he’d found out? I can only imagine.” Cynthia realized
that they’d already been over John’s infidelities and tried to
lighten things. “I assume Mick has already come on you?”

“The first time I met him, he tried to get me to ditch John
and go off with him! And John was standing right there!
Which means, of course, that you’re right – it was about
John and not me,” Maggie giggled. Cynthia giggled too, the
terrible thickness of the room lifting almost at once.
“Maybe Mick is just jealous,” Maggie joked.

“Of John or of us?” Cynthia laughed. It was a good sound,
and one Maggie knew she could hear often if they
continued to talk. Despite the awkward situation they were
in, she and Cynthia might manage a friendship after all.

It would be hard though.

She really did like Cynthia, and as a geeky science nerd in
her own time, she knew a thing or two about not fitting in
with the cool kids. But she also knew an uncomfortable
amount about how John had treated Cynthia. How was she
supposed to reassure Cynthia that John would be different
with her? Wasn’t it a huge slap in the face to tell someone
that their cheating husband had turned over a new leaf, now
that he’d found the real love of his life? Obviously, she
couldn’t ever say this to Cynthia, but perhaps the

                             279
implication was there anyway. And of course there had to
be a small part of Cynthia that hoped Maggie and John
wouldn’t make it. Hoped that John would cheat on her too.
Because if he didn’t, if he remained faithful, then that
would mean that there had been something wrong with
Cynthia.

Once again, Maggie felt guilty. There really was no right
answer to any of this.

At least in this timeline, John hadn’t unceremoniously
dumped Cynthia for Yoko, leaving her humiliated and
alone with Julian. In this timeline, Cynthia had dumped
John for his cheating and his moping around for a woman
that Time had taken away from him. Cynthia was happily
married – and perhaps of all things, this fact would help to
make things between herself and Cynthia a bit easier.

There was still the issue of Julian.

Maggie broached the subject carefully, “I know I’ve never
had Julian with me without John being there, but I’ve really
missed him. I was wondering if you’d mind if I took him to
the zoo for the afternoon? We’d take Mal with us in case of
any problems with fans, but without John we’re unlikely to
be recognized…” Maggie trailed off.

Cynthia looked like she wanted to say no, but then relented
with a small sigh. “I guess I have to be okay with it, if
you’re going to be Julian’s step-mum. It’s hard to let my
little boy go, but I think it’s good for him.” Cynthia thought
for a minute, “Look, why don’t you keep Julian tonight and
the two of you can have a sleepover? My husband and I
have theatre tickets tonight anyway and we were going to
need a babysitter.”


                             280
A grin broke out across Maggie’s face. Of all the things she
had been expecting out of this conversation, this was not
one of them. “That would be wonderful, thank you.”

“I’m sure Julian will be thrilled. He’s been moping around
since John left again.”

“Well, maybe he can talk to John tonight when he calls.”

“I’m sure he would love that. Please give John my regards
as well.”

“I’ll do that.”

Looking down at her hands hesitantly, Cynthia fidgeted.
She was glad that Maggie had come to talk to her, but it
didn’t mean that they would become best friends right
away. Maybe in time, but for now, things would remain
somewhat superficial and polite. There was one thing she
did have to get off her chest though. “I … I know I have a
lot of issues where John is concerned,” she said slowly. “I
thought I was past most of them, but, well, he was such a
large part of my life. And there are a lot of hurts there still.
I supposed there always will be,” Cynthia said sadly.

“I know that. I’m sorry.”

“I just wanted you to know that I’ll stop bringing up John’s
infidelities. It’s not really my place to be concerned with
that anymore. Just be careful, I don’t want you to be
surprised when it happens to you, is all. I know I’m terribly
out of line in saying that, but I hope you’ll take it as advice
from an ex-Beatle wife to a future Beatle wife.” Cynthia
paused like she wanted to say more, but instead lapsed into
an awkward silence. Their relationship was going to be a
work in progress. After a minute, she broke the silence and

                             281
said, “Well, I’ll go and get Julian for you.”

“Thanks.” Maggie said biting her lip. Would there always
be awkwardness? Most likely.

Cynthia left and Maggie sat down and sipped
absentmindedly at her now-cold tea.

Had she been crazy to leave her whole life behind for a
man who’d thought nothing of cheating on his wife, who
had used hard drugs so casually, who could even have been
labeled as abusive to his family?

Then she thought of her John, who was funny and
vulnerable and tender. He was human and very flawed. But
he was hers and she loved him. He would be home from the
Spain soon, and they would start their new life together.
Whatever that life would become, it would be theirs.




                             282
                  Yes It Is: Stories
                        Girl Talk

                          For Jean




September 1966, right before Pattie and George leave for
India.



“I   ’m exhausted!” Pattie exclaimed, as she dumped her
     bags on the floor next to a small table.

“I am too,” Maggie Sue groaned before dropping into the
chair next to Pattie. “Exactly how much stuff do you need
for this trip?”

“We are going to be gone for over a month.” Pattie smiled
in explanation. “I just can’t wait! And George is really
looking forward to having a holiday, poor boy.”

“It’s been a long summer, hasn’t it?” Maggie said in
agreement. She’d only been on the latter part of the
summer tour with The Beatles and it had worn her out. She
didn’t know how the boys had managed to get through the
whole thing, especially since the tour had been one disaster
after another, starting with the drama in the Philippines.
Maggie had remembered enough about what had happened
there to fill the band in before they’d left – but it hadn’t
done any good. The band had tried to assert itself, their tour
management hadn’t listened, Marcos had been snubbed,
and things in the Philippines went sour anyway. It was a
                            283
lesson. You couldn’t always change the future, even with
foreknowledge of it. It was not a happy thought for Maggie,
who still very much sensed John’s death waiting for him in
1980.

Then there was the traveling, the performing, the hotel
rooms that were more like prisons – and the endless press
conferences. The press conferences were particularly brutal
for John, who was taken to task for some offhand remarks
about the band’s popularity he had made in an interview
many months ago.

John’s comparison of the Beatles and Jesus had happened
before Maggie had come back to 1966. With no way to
undo what had already been done, she could only watch the
fallout in horror. When the story had broken in late July,
the start of the American tour was only a few short weeks
away – and the Beatles were in a bad position. They
couldn’t cancel the tour, but there was a growing fear that
there would be attempts made on the Beatles’ lives - or
worse. Worse, at least for the investors, being poor concert
attendance.

When this time bomb had initially exploded, the boys had
all looked accusingly at Maggie for not warning them that
it was coming. Maggie had sighed and wondered if it was
going to be this way every time something bad happened.
She wasn’t omniscient or a magical fairy who could wave a
wand and make the bad things disappear in a puff of
smoke. All she had was a working knowledge of the future
and a rough timeline. And no access to the internet to
double-check the dates of when they might expect things to
happen. There was also no telling how her presence here
had changed the timeline. Nor was she sure she wanted to
empty their lives of any surprise about their futures. Even if
she were given the power to protect them from bad things,

                             284
she wasn’t sure it was right to do so all the time.

Still it was hard to see the reporters hounding John,
wanting their pound of flesh. The assault continued, despite
Brian’s public press conference, until John left for the
second leg of the tour. There was no respite in America,
and if anything it was worse. None of this had done
anything for John’s temper, or his drinking. Several times
Maggie, helpless and an ocean away, had listened on the
phone as John had been reduced to tears over the constant
barrage of questions and accusations. Every day ended with
him being frustrated and beaten down. Maggie knew that
John was intensely vulnerable inside, but he kept up the
sharp, funny exterior so well, it was almost a surprise to see
those soft insides revealed.

Brian had finally thrown his hands up and sent for Maggie
to fly out to join the tour. With her arrival, John’s mood
had improved. She’d been able to reassure him, and the
band, that it would all blow ever eventually, and that
someday it would be nothing more than joke on a Simpsons
episode. John smiled when he remembered having seen that
particular Beatles parody episode during his brief visit to
the future. With Maggie’s arrival, John got some of his old
spirit back and even started being cheeky in the press
conferences again. She was glad – she’d hated seeing him
so subdued and unlike himself.

In the end, they’d all gotten through the tour in one piece.
The last part of it, with John back to being himself, had
even been fun. John and Paul had knicked their disguises
from the NY hotel and the band had had fun sneaking
around with them in some of the other hotels they stayed in.
Finally, with the last stop on the tour completed, they all
headed home, ready for a well-deserved break.


                             285
John had gone off to film “How I Won the War” (at
Maggie’s urging), Ringo was hanging out at home, Paul
was considering doing a film score and taking a trip to
Africa, and George and Pattie were planning on a long
holiday in India.

Since John had had to leave so soon after getting home
from tour, it was left to Maggie to fill their close friends in
on their engagement before they announced it to the press
and the world at large. Maggie wasn’t looking forward to
that announcement one bit. The Gatebirds gave her hell
already, and she knew this would only make it worse. Still,
the most awkward meeting, Cynthia, was over with, so
telling the other “Beatle Women” should be relatively easy
in comparison.

Of course, it had been hard to find a good time to meet for
tea between Jane’s filming schedule, Pattie’s holiday, and
her own trip to see John in Spain, but they’d managed to
find an afternoon when all of them were free. It was
essentially the last possible day to have the tea before
everyone went their separate ways. In fact, Ringo was
going to swing by the cafe to pick her up at 6, so they could
go to the airport together. Ringo wanted to pay John a visit
as well, so it had made sense for them to travel together.

Pattie had dragged Maggie out shopping before heading for
the cafe, because she’d wanted new clothes for India and
she thought Maggie could use a few things for Spain. The
day had been spent in search of perfect outfits while the
conversation had been filled with gossip. Or rather, Pattie
would gossip and Maggie would nod at the appropriate
intervals. Either way, Maggie still marveled over the fact
that even though she wasn’t in her rightful time period,
some things were universal. Gossip and girl talk being one
of them. Of course, the difference was here, the gossip was

                             286
about music legends.

Pattie’s head was buried in a menu, and Maggie was trying
to nudge the bags out of the way, when Jane and Maureen
arrived together.

“Look who I found waiting outside!” Jane said brightly.

“Oh, sorry, Mo,” Pattie said, “I didn’t think you might be
standing around outside waiting for us!”

“Not a problem,” Maureen said smoothly, sitting down at
the table.

“It looks like Mary Quant exploded in here,” Jane
exclaimed as she wrestled with her chair and the shopping
bags impeding it.

“Just a few things for my trip,” Pattie said airily as she
carelessly pushed some of the bags out of Jane’s way with
her foot.

“Did you buy anything, Maggie?” Mo asked.

“I’m not sure my figure is made for Mary Quant, to be
honest,” Maggie admitted. Nineteen sixties styles were not
her favorites, but she didn’t have much of a choice these
days, so she did her best to find a few dresses that worked
with her personal sense of style. Being a Beatle girlfriend
had had its perks – and one of them was that designers
wanted to dress you. As far as they were concerned you
were a great advertising billboard for them. Mary Quant
herself had made a few things for Maggie in the past, and
always had something in her size tucked away. It made it
more fun to shop, since Maggie knew she wasn’t built like
Pattie, who could pull anything off the rack and make it

                           287
look good.

Tea and assorted pastries were finally ordered and the
conversation turned away from fashion and towards India.

“When do you leave, Pattie?” Jane asked conversationally.

“In two days! I’m so excited!”

“I bet George is too,” Jane replied. “Is his sitar all packed?”

Pattie shrugged her shoulders and look apologetically at
Maggie, “I don’t really know actually! I was out last night.
Maggie, do you know?”

“Not yet, he’s still practicing – he wants to impress Ravi
Shankar when he gets to India. Last night he was polishing
it, so it would look nice!” Maggie smiled back at Pattie.
Then she wondered if she should have claimed ignorance.
Was it awkward that she knew so much about George?
Pattie didn’t seem to mind Maggie’s friendship with her
husband, but to an outside observer, in the sixties, she knew
it had to look a bit odd. Maggie could never get past the
dynamics between men and women in the 60s. In her own
time, most of her friends were guys, some married, some
not. It simply didn’t matter in 2006.

“You saw George last night, did you?” Maureen asked
seemingly casually.

Pattie had been out with friends, and John was in Spain, so
George had had Maggie over for dinner. It was innocent;
Maggie knew that, Pattie knew that, and John and George
knew that, but clearly Maureen didn’t. Or had Pattie said
something to her?


                             288
Jane saved her from having to answer Maureen by
interjecting, “George showed me a few things on the sitar
once, but I think I might just stick to the guitar. Or better
yet, acting.” She looked at Maggie with a questioning
smile. “Maggie, has George given you any lessons?” The
conversation was quickly turning a bit uncomfortable.

“It turns out, I’m pretty hopeless at sitar, and he gave up
trying to teach me pretty quickly!” Maggie answered a bit
chagrinned. “Like you, I’ll stick to the guitar.”

“Better not try the drums either,” Maureen said quickly,
trying to make a joke, but coming off sounding paranoid
instead. “Ringo’s off the market. For lessons, I mean.”

An uncomfortable silence ensued where Maggie debated
the merits of informing Maureen that she already knew
how to play the drums, but thankfully, the eternally sweet
Pattie filled in the empty space.

“I’m hopeless at music in general,” Pattie smiled at them
warmly. “I’ll stick to modeling.” She made a few dramatic
poses, pretending to be modeling for a camera, which made
them all laugh.

“Jane, you should come over and play guitar with us more
often,” Maggie said, trying to ignore Maureen’s
increasingly icy demeanor.

Before Maggie’s trip to the past, she’d been unaware that
any of the Beatle wives or girlfriends had been musical. It
was as if only the Beatles themselves were allowed to claim
that particular talent in the history books and biographies. It
was fascinating to her to find out that Jane actually played
guitar.


                             289
“I wish I could,” Jane said ruefully, “But my filming
schedule has just been crazy. Paul’s always complaining
that I’m not home enough as it is. But I love acting too
much to stop. I wish Paul got that. It’s not like he’s never
away with the band. And I’d never ask him to stop doing
what he loved for me. Sometimes I worry we just want
different things.” Jane frowned.

Maggie knew that Jane’s career was going to get in the way
of her relationship with Paul – but she didn’t want to
discourage it. Jane had a right to a career – and Paul and
Linda were destined to be together anyway.

Maggie and Linda had met over the summer and had hit it
off. They’d kept in touch through letters and Maggie was
really looking forward to the day when Linda and Paul
would be a couple. Though she wasn’t sure where that
would put her and Jane, Maggie still tried to have a
sympathetic ear because even though she and Linda were
close, she genuinely liked Jane too.

“George made me cut back on modeling jobs when we got
married,” Pattie sympathized. “I don’t mind so much – I
needed a break from it anyway – but with him away so
much, I get bored.”

Maggie was starting to get indignant for both of them.
“You should mind, Pattie! You were…I mean, are at the
top of your game! You’re a great model – why should you
have to cut back just because you’re married? And married
to a man who is away half the time! It just doesn’t make
sense. And Jane – you should do what makes you happy,
and if acting is it, don’t give it up for a man. It’s just not
fair, none of it!”

Done with her outburst, the girls sat there in shocked

                             290
silence.

“Sorry, I just feel strongly about it.” Maggie mumbled, a
bit embarrassed by her strident tone of voice. After all,
wasn’t she an accomplished and modern 21st century
woman? Hadn’t she given up her career for a Beatle?
Really, she was no better than Pattie. Maggie had known
she had limited choices with John. She could stay in the
past with him, or stay in the future without him. He’d
impulsively tried to stay with her in the future, but that was
robbing posterity of his music, so that was no option either.
Either way she sacrificed something. Was it smart that
she’d chosen herself?

To make up for that choice, she’d promised herself that she
would never be a quiet 60’s wife. And she’d told John this
in no uncertain terms, which had somewhat surprisingly
amused him. She knew he had fairly chauvinist
underpinnings, so she was a bit taken aback when he’d
been so lamb-like about the whole thing. He’d promised
her that he wouldn’t stand in the way of any career she
chose to pursue. Maggie had known that John had
supported Yoko’s head for business – but she hadn’t
expected him to do the same for her so easily, or so soon.
Maggie swore to herself that somehow she would have a
career, that she’d find a way to use her brain and her hard-
won degree.

The problem was she just hadn’t figured out how yet.

There’d been no time to really look into her options – it had
been a constant whirlwind of activity around the tour and
their engagement. When John had left and the quiet had set
in, she’d used the time to think. What did she want? Did
she want to stay in astrophysics? How happy had she been
there? Was her PhD a goal to be accomplished, or was it

                             291
something she’d be unhappy without using? Could she get
involved in research in the 60’s? Other women had done it
– would she have to start all over on a degree? She had no
credentials in this time. She wasn’t sure she could face
writing another dissertation. And she was quite confident
the topic she’d chosen for her first one wouldn’t even exist
in this time. A lot had changed in astrophysics in 50 years.
Maybe, she thought, she could theorize a bunch of stuff that
wouldn’t be proven for decades, and make herself famous
that way! It was a thought. Of course that would also bring
about unnecessary and unneeded attention her way, and
goodness knew she didn’t need scrutiny of her background.
So, in her logical way, she decided to mull the problem
over in the back of her mind. She was better when she let
her brain work things out in its own time.

In the meantime, she changed her focus to the Beatles.
She’d made a list of every problem she foresaw for them,
including their lack of money sense, their lack of education,
how easily they were impressed by charlatans. Then, as
scared to death as she was to do it, she’d marched into
Brian Epstein’s office unannounced and given him the list,
as well as an earful of carefully phrased fears regarding the
band. He’d been surprised, but also taken her seriously. She
still couldn’t figure out where she got the nerve to pull a
stunt like that. Normally just the idea of talking to Brian
made her nervous. For some reason that man always had
her worried, as if he was constantly watching her and
evaluating her, determining her worth. Plus he was so very
prim and proper, and she was anything but!

While she felt she’d made strides, she was, in the 60’s, not
what she was in her own time. She had no job, and was
living off John, who was more than happy to support her.
Her dependence on him bothered her, but what could she
do? Her money and life savings, as well as her paycheck

                            292
were 40 years off in the future.

Pattie looked at her thoughtfully. “Well, maybe I will talk
to George about it while we’re in India. Honestly, I’d
hoped to be pregnant by now, and then modeling would
have been out anyway. But with no baby on the horizon…
it’s silly to stop when I’m not even pregnant yet, isn’t it?”

Maggie was sure George wouldn’t be thrilled that she was
pumping his wife full of 21st century feminism, but frankly
she didn’t care what he thought. If Pattie loved modeling,
she shouldn’t have to give it up. Plus, Maggie knew the sad
truth, that Pattie would never have those children she
wanted.

“I, for one was happy to give up hairdressing,” Maureen
said tartly. “Zak keep me pretty busy – I’m not sure I’d
have time for anything else!”

“Oh, Mo – your little boy is adorable too,” Pattie sighed.

“I’m not sure I want kids,” Jane admitted. “But Paul wants
10 of them. He keeps talking about getting engaged, and
there we go with us wanting different things again.”

“I’m not sure what I want either, as far as kids go,” Maggie
said, trying to change the subject off of Paul and Jane’s
doomed relationship. She knew they would be engaged
soon, and that it wouldn’t end well.

“Well, you’re not even married to John yet, are you? So, no
need to worry,” Maureen said. “Not that that has stopped
John in the past, of course…”

Once more, an awkward silence followed.


                             293
“Actually…“That’s kind of why I wanted to get together
with you all.” Maggie breathed in, thinking, here goes
nothing. “John and I are engaged. We’re telling our closest
friends first, before it gets announced to the press.”

“Oh, congratulations!” Pattie gave Maggie a hug, as did
Jane. Maureen was on the opposite side of the table and
stayed seated. It wasn’t noticeable to anyone but Maggie
that Mo had been the only one to not give her a hug or
congratulate her.

Maggie and Maureen had never clicked. They had nothing
in common whatsoever. Moreover, Maggie had read about
Maureen and George’s affair in a Beatles bio - and though,
it was completely unfair and smacked of a double-standard,
she’d always hated Maureen for sleeping with Pattie’s
husband. It had hurt both Ringo and Pattie - and had helped
drive Pattie into Eric Clapton’s arms.

Never mind that both Ringo and George had slept with
countless women and had hardly been faithful to their
wives. For that matter, she also doubted that Pattie had
been completely faithful either. Maggie knew she was
being completely unfair to Maureen. Maybe if they had
clicked personally things would be different, but they
hadn’t. So now there was a slight underlying antipathy
there – and plenty of passive-aggressiveness on Maureen’s
part.

Of all the wives and girlfriends, Maureen came off as the
least secure. After all, Jane was an actress and Pattie was a
model. Mo was just a hairdresser from Liverpool lucky
enough to snag a Beatle. And here was Maggie, who
seemed to have come out of nowhere and been immediately
accepted by the Boys as no one else had ever been before.


                            294
Yes, Maureen was definitely suspicious, resentful, and to a
degree, jealous of her.

“How did you and John meet again?” Pattie asked after
hugs and congratulations were offered. “I don’t think Mo
ever heard the full story. And I only got it through George,
and you know how the Boys are!”

Maggie shifted uncomfortably in her chair. Yes, she did
know how the Boys were. In fact, she was the only Beatle
Girl that could truly be considered to be on the inside of
that tight little circle, despite the fact that Jane could play
the guitar too. And she was never quite sure if she was
resented for it.

In her own time, Maggie had had numerous male friends,
and had been schooled and socialized side by side with
them. They were her equals, her playmates, and her friends.
But in the 60’s, men and women weren’t friends. They
weren’t even really equals. They didn’t kid and tease and
hang out, at least not without there at least being a hint that
something “else” was going on.

Maggie loved the Beatles, but they were her friends, and
only her friends. She had no particular interest in dating or
sleeping with any of them. Except for John, of course, she
mused to herself fondly. She had a great interest in doing
both of those things with John quite a bit. But only with
John.

But having the Beatles consider her their equal, or as equal
as any outsider could be (she still wasn’t a Beatle), put her
on unequal footing with the other wives and girlfriends.
The Beatles certainly didn’t treat the rest of the wives and
girlfriends the same way they treated her.


                             295
The other thing that made Maggie uncomfortable with
Pattie’s line of questioning was that she could never
divulge to them the real way she and John had met. Maggie
was tired of lying and of having to be careful what she said
around the girls, or anyone for that matter. The Boys all
knew (it was part of what bound them all together…
Maggie Sue’s BIG SECRET) so she could just be herself
around them. This was harder. She’d never been good at
girl talk and having to tell made-up stories didn’t make it
any easier. She wished she could just be truthful, but her
story was so crazy, she’d been lucky to convince the
Beatles of it, let alone anyone else. No, as far as the girls
knew, she had been born in the 1940s just like them.

Forcing a smile on her face, Maggie began her story with
fake enthusiasm. “Well, I’d always wanted to see London,
so I just decided to take a vacation and see the sights!”

“Oh, how brave,” Pattie sighed. “I wish I had the nerve to
do that. I took a girlfriend with me when I went on that trip
to…”

“We’ll never get through it at this rate,” Mo interrupted.
“Go on, then.” She turned and looked hard at Maggie.

“Right. Well, I was vacationing alone, which I know is
weird, but I like traveling that way. I was near EMI when I
suddenly felt sick. Something I ate maybe? British food
doesn’t always agree with me,” she said apologetically and
half-jokingly. “I went inside and I must have looked
horrible, because they let me use the washroom right away
and made me sit down for a while. I thought they’d throw
me right out, figuring I was after the Beatles.” Maggie
started to relax into the story, embellishing a little for
effect. And trying desperately to remember if she’d told the
story differently before. She decided she’d better finish it

                            296
off quickly.

“I got lost on the way out, and bumped into John. And, so
here we are!”

“Just like that,” Maureen said, rather flatly.

Maggie tried not to panic. Did Maureen not buy the story?
Certainly she couldn’t suspect Maggie was a time-traveler
– no one could possibly come up with the truth. More likely
they thought she was an opportunist, out to snare a Beatle.

“Oh, come on, Mo – you know what John is like. He takes
fancy to things rather suddenly,” Pattie said, jumping to
Maggie’s defense.

“I couldn’t believe it myself,” said Maggie rather truthfully.
“I still wasn’t feeling well, so he took me up on the roof for
some air, which only partly helped.” Maggie grimaced. It
still embarrassed her that she had vomited in front of John
Lennon. “After I’d recovered a bit, he took me into the
studio and introduced me to the rest of the band. Never in a
million years did I see that happening!” This was the
easiest part of the story, because it had really happened that
way. And it was also believable in its own way. It was
actually completely in character for John to suddenly
decide to introduce a bird he’d just met to the rest of the
Beatles. And as John had been single and unmarried at the
time the story was supposedly taking place, it hadn’t even
been scandalous – just spontaneous.

Pattie sighed and leaned her face on her hand. “That’s so
romantic!”

“All except for the vomiting,” Maggie corrected her.


                             297
Pattie giggled. “Well, it didn’t seem to have scared him
off!”

“I know – he even held my hair back while I threw up! I
mean, a Beatle! John! It was very surreal.”

“I suppose you were a fan before you met him?” Jane
smiled. Mo raised an eyebrow at this. Maggie knew
Maureen thought she was onto her.

“Of course! But who isn’t?”

“Was John your favorite, then?” Maureen asked.

“He was! Which is fortunate for me, I suppose!” Maggie
said smiling sweetly at Mo.

“Yes, it would be kind of awkward otherwise, wouldn’t it?”
Maureen offered. The girls all looked at her. “I mean, if it’d
had been one of our husbands.” Maggie wasn’t sure if she
was making a joke or not.

She was once again aware that she did have a unique
relationship with all of their significant others, especially
Pattie’s husband. Pattie was too sweet to feel threatened by
it – she was a social butterfly and somewhat of a free spirit.
Maggie very much liked her and how unconventional she
was. But she never knew how comfortable Pattie was with
Maggie’s relationship with George. She and George were
very close – but being each other’s confidants was as far as
it went. She admitted that it might look bad – at least to
someone like Maureen who might be paying attention to
such things. She doubted Pattie minded (or at least hoped
that was true).

Jane was terribly self-possessed and was busy with her

                             298
acting career. And Paul had hardly fawned all over Maggie
when she’d first arrived, in fact he’d been quite nasty to her
at first, so Jane never seemed concerned about Maggie’s
relationship with Paul.

“Oh, Mo, stop it!” Pattie giggled. Maureen’s passive
aggressive jabs seemed largely lost on Pattie, and for that
Maggie was grateful. “I think Maggie’s got her hands full
with John! He’s demanding, from what I hear!” Maggie
remembered reading somewhere that Pattie and John had
had a fling. Sometimes a memory of Beatle biographies
was a curse. None of this had happened yet. Pattie and John
hadn’t hooked up. Maureen and George hadn’t hooked up.
It wouldn’t happen in this timeline. No Maureen and
George, and NO John and Yoko. None of it.

“I hope you have a good time watching John film his
picture,” Jane said smoothly changing the subject. “It’ll be
fun for you to see a movie set!”

“Are you leaving for the airport this evening?” Pattie
wanted to know.

“In just a few minutes, actually” Maggie said and then
casting a surreptitious glance at Maureen, continued,
“Ringo is going to stop by here to pick me up on his way to
the airport.”

“Hello, ladies!” Just like that Ringo materialized next to the
table. He leaned over and kissed his wife and then looked
up and smiled across at Maggie. “Ready to go, Mags?”

Maureen glared at her, not even concealing her malice
towards Maggie.



                             299
“Yep!” Maggie hopped up from the table, glad to be
leaving. Mo was poisoning her good mood. She hugged
Pattie and told her to have a good time in India, and hugged
Jane, wishing her success on her new film. Then, knowing
she’d chastise herself later for being so childish, she waved
mischievously and winked at Maureen as she took Ringo’s
arm. Let Mo think what she wanted. She was tired and
didn’t give a damn any more.

Author’s Note: Our apologies to the real Maureen (and
any Maureen fans) for the liberties we took with her
character, which are necessary to our story - we're sure
she was a lovely person in real life.




                            300
                  Yes It Is: Stories
             A Surprising Development




September 1966, In Spain with John



“I    f you ever leave me, I’ll be sad and blue…Don’t you
      ever leave me, I’m so in love with yooooouuuuu….”
John drew the last syllable out to comic proportions,
making Maggie giggle. He leaned over his guitar and
kissed her.

She loved when he sang “Bad to Me” – it was one of the
many songs the Beatles had written and given away for
free. This one had gone to Billy J Kramer. Maggie couldn’t
imagine just being handed a Lennon/McCartney original so
thoughtlessly. And freely.

Loyally, Maggie had always preferred the Beatles versions
of these songs. She knew a few of them from before, like “I
Call Your Name” and “I Wanna Be Your Man”, but John
had once dug up some acetates of song demos he and Paul
had recorded before handing them off. They were gems,
completely new to her – rough, but that was what made
them so charming. She had fallen in love with this
particular song, and since the intro spoke to their personal
situation, he sang it for her whenever she asked for it.

Currently, they were sitting on the bed in their hotel room,
the windows open to the tropical night, a gentle breeze
                            301
blowing through the curtains. They were in Spain where
John was filming “How I Won the War” and he was not
altogether enjoying it.

Maggie had just arrived earlier that day. They’d only been
apart a couple of weeks, but still, John had swept her off
her feet into a hug the second she’d stepped off the airplane
Clearly he’d missed her, and she him.

“Thank God, luv,” he said, “I’ve been bored out of me
skull!” He continued to hug her tightly, pulling her body
flush against his.

Ringo, feeling left out, interrupted their reunion with,
“When do I get my hug?”

John immediately released Maggie and leapt at Ringo,
giving him a playful bear hug and a smack on the cheek.
Maggie laughed, used to the boys’ antics by now, and fully
expecting it to be there at every turn in their life.

“Oh, save it for Paul!” Ringo said with a grin, pushing John
away. Holding John at arms length, Ringo finally got a
good look at his friend. “What happened to you, did you
lose a fight with the barber?”

John grinned and ran his hands through his short hair. “This
is what they do to you when you enlist, son.”

“And you’re wearing glasses – is this the sad end of Paulie
leading you around the clubs, blind as a bat, and then
propping you up in front of the first available bird?”

Maggie cleared her throat. “I’m still here, you know.” She
glared at Ringo half-seriously, knowing he was just teasing.


                            302
“I think I’ll go see about our luggage!” Ringo said brightly,
quickly extricating himself from a potentially awkward
situation.

Maggie laughed at him. She knew John wasn’t picking up
birds in bars anymore – at least not to her knowledge. She
trusted John – but at the same time, she knew the history of
the Beatles very well and knew that none of them had let
marriages or relationships get in the way of a good time.
But she tried not to think about that, focusing on better
things, like John. Who was standing right in front of her
grinning like a lunatic.

“Do you like the new glasses, then?” John asked her
eagerly, wanting to know what she thought, and also happy
to get away from the subject of his infamous past. He had
made every effort to stay faithful to Maggie, right down to
drinking himself into a stupor at night so he’d avoid the
temptations of the local nightlife. She was special and he’d
screwed up too many things in his life to want to give this
one a reason to leave him. He was afraid of slipping up and
just hoped he’d be able to overcome a lifetime of bad habits
and doing whatever he wanted with no thought as to who it
affected. He was belatedly feeling some guilt over his
treatment of Cynthia these days. Wanting to stay good was
one reason he’d wanted Maggie here in Spain – besides the
mind-numbing boredom of movie sets.

Maggie looked at him – he certainly did look different from
the last time she’d seen him, but at the same time, he
looked so familiar. Maggie hadn’t wanted to say anything
to him beforehand, but she had known that once he went
off to Spain, he’d never really look the same again. He was
at the cusp of the Sgt Pepper period that would mean
matching mustaches and bright clothes. And for John, an
LSD addiction. She knew he had already tried it and liked

                            303
it. How long he would stick to his promise not to use it, she
didn’t know. Nor did she know how it would affect the Sgt
Pepper album. After all, John had a fanciful imagination
and she half suspected that none of the band needed drugs
to come up with the imagery contained in the songs they
would write in the next few months. Of course, she
couldn’t truly delude herself into thinking drugs weren’t
going to be a huge part of the culture of the 60’s and of
rock. Sgt Pepper was only the tip of the iceberg.

She put up her finger and touched the rim of John’s famous
granny glasses gingerly. They were iconic and she almost
couldn’t believe she was touching them. It felt a bit
forbidden, like touching a museum piece – except they
were worn by a living, breathing person – someone so dear
to her. Most of the time when she was with him, she was
able to forget that she was with an icon - not just of rock
music, but of the 60’s, of the counter culture, of the peace
movement. So many things, whether deservedly or not,
were associated with John Lennon and his music. It was
moments like this that brought it all back to her. She was
engaged to THE John Lennon. Oh God.

“What’s wrong, luv? You look like you’ve seen a ghost!”
He peered at her through the round lenses. Her once
flushed cheeks had suddenly taken on an almost sickly
pallor. “It’s only me.”

She blinked and looked at his familiar face. Was it familiar
because it belonged to her fiancé, or familiar because that
face had once upon a time peered at her from the calendar
hung on her office wall?

“Luv?”

Maggie blinked again and his face came back into focus,

                            304
the two images blending back into the one person she loved
more than anyone.

“Sorry, just a weird flashback. Or, rather, forward.” She
shook her head.

“You knew, didn’t you?” John looked at her accusingly.
“You didn’t seem surprised by the new hair and glasses
because you already knew!”

“Of course, I did, John. How could I not?”

“And you didn’t say anything?”

“What, and ruin it for you? I couldn’t do that! I do like the
hair, by the way.” She ran her fingers through it tentatively,
at first, and then gave it a good ruffle. Grabbing her, John
pulled her in for another hug.

Letting her go, he looked at her over the rim of his glasses.
“I wanted to surprise you with it. But it’s hard to surprise
someone who’s already witnessed your whole life, isn’t it
then?”

“Well, I expect my being here will change a lot of things in
your life.” She said, silently thinking at John, You will
never meet Yoko, if I can help it. And you will never be
shot, if I can help it. “Hopefully it won’t be for the worse
because of me.” It was something she worried about a lot.
From being able to prevent John’s murder to how curtailing
John’s drug use might affect his music, to the fact that she
might have caused Sean not to be born. She still didn’t
know if she had been selfish to stay, or if her leaving would
have been more selfish.

“How could it?” he asked, kissing her. There was so much

                             305
he didn’t know, she thought sadly. It was a burden
sometimes.

Trying to reassure herself as well as him, she smiled up at
John, “There will be lots of surprises for us, I’m sure of it.
Good ones.”

“That’s the best kind, luv,” he said. He meant it, but she
could tell that his mind had already left the conversation,
and was on to the next. That was John. “Have you been on
a movie set, then?” John said, “Will a tour of it tomorrow
hold any surprises for you?” he teased.

“I’m sure it will, though I have seen pictures of you in your
costume. Does that count?”

“Did I look good in those pictures?”

“Very. In fact, you were doing obscene things to a lollipop.
You should have seen all the comments when those got
posted online.” She raised her eyebrows at him, trying to
imitate his leer.

John choked with laughter. “Oh, Miss Margaret of the
Future, how I’ve missed you.”

He grabbed her hand and they started walking to the
terminal to find Ringo and their luggage. “I have a new
song to play you. I started being all nostalgic for home, and
I felt like writing about it. Something new, you see.”

Maggie had to hide her excitement, so as not to ruin yet
another surprise.

“I can’t wait to hear it!” she smiled fondly at him.


                             306
He looked down at her, “Naughty girl, you already know
which song it is, don’t you?” He shook his head.

“I've got a feeling - but I won’t know for sure until I hear it,
will I?” She stuck her tongue out at him.



After dinner with Ringo, they had retired to their room
early. Ringo, sensing that they wanted to be alone together,
had excused himself, pleading tiredness from the flight. She
was sure Ringo was heading to bed – but that on his way
he’d stop by the hotel bar to pull some birds. One more
thing Maureen would find a way to blame her for, she was
sure. Maureen needn’t feel threatened by me, she thought.
She’s got bigger problems.

John pulled her into their room, kissing her as he shut the
door behind them, instantly blocking out any further
thoughts of Maureen and Ringo.

Stumbling backwards, their lips still locked, Maggie
allowed herself to melt into John. It had only been a few
weeks, and yet she felt as if it had been years. There were
always hundreds of worries and they were worse when he
was away. She tried to fight them logically, one by one, but
it wasn’t always easy.

Her newest worry had hit her in the middle of the night just
recently. What if she accidentally sent herself back to her
own time, just like Christopher Reeve had at the end of
Somewhere in Time? She’d used the same means of time
travel he had, only it hadn’t lasted in the movie. It was
ridiculous, really – she hadn’t suddenly disappeared when
she’d brought out her 21st century iPod, had she? Maybe
these silly thoughts were just trying to disguise her biggest

                             307
worry – John getting distracted and moving on to someone
else. Leaving her. He had made promises and she was sure
he meant them when he said them. But where would she be
if he got tired of her? What if he moved on to Yoko?

These nagging thoughts always seemed unimportant when
she was in John’s arms and so it was a relief to have him
hold her so tightly to him.

Then again, her need for him could really just stem for the
fact that this was John Lennon she had in her arms. And he
was really cute! Maggie bit back her laughter but couldn’t
help it as a small giggle escaped her throat.

“You know, you really need to stop laughing at us right
before we do this. It’s giving me a complex,” he said
between kisses.

Running her fingers up and under his shirt, Maggie
shrugged and smiled at him. “I have a feeling you’ll get
over it.”

“I don’t know,” he said, pushing her back towards the bed.
“What if I can never perform again? What if I’m
permanently inept at satisfying you for the rest of my life?”

“Then I’ll tell Paul and he and the boys will call you
‘limpy’.”

John pulled back from her. “You’d laugh at my
insecurities?” He threw his arm over his face to muffle his
very loud and very fake sobs.

“Of course,” she said, trying to keep a straight face.

“Well, in that case, I’d better not give you a reason to bring

                             308
the others into this!” Then he leered at her, “Unless, you’re
into that?” He waggled his eyebrows to emphasize the
point, and Maggie was unable to stop her laughter. “No, no,
you’re more than enough for me.” John looked smug for a
minute, so she couldn’t help adding, “Besides, I hear
you’ve had Paul already and he’s no good.”

“That’s my line!” John protested.

With a grin on her face, she pulled him back down,
muffling his protests with kisses and enjoying the feeling of
his body settling on top of hers.



Later that evening, the guitars had come out, and John was
in such a good mood from their reunion, that he played all
her requests. Maggie loved singing harmony with him – she
knew she wasn’t a real Beatle, but she loved to pretend she
was. When Paul wasn’t around, of course. But here, she
had John to herself and they played their way through all
the old favorites.

“How about the new one, then?” John asked.

“Yes, please!”

He riffled through some papers, where he had jotted down
his lyrics.

“Now, it’s not finished, so it might be a bit rough. I think I
might want to have Geoff do something with it, like slow it
down, so it doesn’t sound as much like me.”

“Hmm.” She’d always hated the final version of this song –
simply because it DIDN'T sound like John. But she sat

                             309
patiently and waited for him to begin, expecting to hear
those lyrics she had long ago committed to memory. Living
is easy with eyes closed…

“I got no worries
Can't stop the future coming
One way or another it's going to get you
So just relax and enjoy the ride

Got no control
So why worry
Something’s going to happen
Whether you want it to or not..”


Her own eyes snapped open before he had even made it
through the first verse. “That’s not ‘Strawberry Fields
Forever!” she exclaimed, interrupting him. She panicked
for a moment – would he never write it because she had
interfered in the timeline? But then, wait – she had never
heard the song he had just started to play for her!

New Beatles music?

“Strawberry Fields, eh? You were expecting it, weren’t
you, luv?” He bounced up and down, excited, “Well, old
Johnny has a few surprises in him yet!”

“What?!” She was confused and nearly speechless, her
mind trying to logically catalog all the possibilities inherent
in this new development.

“Well, I have had a lot of time to think, and I did get
nostalgic for Liverpool and the old days – so I did write a
song about it. It’s good, I think. I couldn’t wait to play it for
you – but then, I figured you probably already knew it, and

                              310
that it was probably little Maggie Sue’s favorite song from
when she was babe in the cradle. Am I close?”

She scowled, because he was half-right. “Actually,
‘Octopus’s Garden in the Shade’ was my favorite when I
was little. I developed a rather late appreciation for
‘Strawberry Fields’. Because it doesn’t sound like you!”
she said pointedly.

“Oh really, well…wait, Octopus’s ….what?” His curiosity
made him lose track of his comeback.

“Never mind,” she grinned.

“No, wait – did I really write a song about Octopuses? Was
I, you know…?” he mimed smoking a joint.

She punched his arm. “No, it’s Ringo’s song – don’t you
remember, I think I even mentioned it to you all once! If he
ever comes in to the studio with that song, you’d better
record it! I have to preserve my childhood love of the
Beatles, or we’ll hit into some terrible time travel paradox
that ends up with me becoming a passionate Rolling Stones
fan, traveling back in time, and falling in love with Mick,
and then where would we be?”

He pondered that for a minute, and then made a menacing
fist and comically punched at the air, nearly dropping his
guitar in the process. “I might have to cripple Mick, is what
I’d have to do!”

“And then you’d club me over the head and drag me back
to your Beatle cave?”

“Exactly!” he set the guitar aside and tried to grab her and
kiss her, but she stopped him.

                             311
“Wait, a minute, we’re off track now. We were talking
about your new song. Or songs? You did write something
to do with Strawberry Fields?”

“I did that very thing. Lots of strawberries. And fields.” He
nodded vigorously, making her laugh. “And then I got to
thinking how irritating it can be not being able to surprise
you. Now, I’m no NASA scientist, but I thought I might be
able to trick the time traveler by writing about something
that only just happened. So I wrote a song about that
conversation we had on the flight back from San Francisco.
Do you remember it?” he looked at her eagerly.

She gaped at him for a minute. “That song was about…”

“And you’d never heard it before, had you? Well, what you
let me play of it before you made me stop!”

“No! It was completely new to me!” She didn’t know what
to think or what to say. To hear something completely new,
by a band that had broken up before she was born – that
was a rare treat. But it also meant that they were now in
completely new territory. All she had to protect these
people that she now loved was her knowledge of the future
– her memory of what would happen and when. But that
was all breaking down, by the virtue of her being here.

If she could save George and Linda from disease by forcing
preventative medicine on them – that was one thing. If she
could stop John from going to that art gallery and meeting
Yoko, that was another. Those were all established things.
But what if her being here somehow made it so that Mark
David Chapman wasn’t lying in wait for John outside the
Dakota in New York City on December 8, 1980? If that
didn’t come true, then she’d have no idea how to protect

                            312
John. And she had no way of knowing if it would, now that
she was here. And what if her actions brought John into the
path of another dangerous psycho? She tried to quench her
fear and push it deep inside her.

She spent so much time worrying, that she hadn’t
considered an unexpected positive outcome like this. Like
new Beatles music. She had hoped she might be able to
keep the band together long enough for them to keep
creating music past 1970, but she had never really
considered that her life with John might inspire new music.
She’d learned that John had written songs for her in the two
years they’d been apart – but they had ended up all being
ones she already knew. That was mind-blowing in and of
itself – and it gave them new meaning. But they weren’t
new.

New songs.

And now, smiling, she handed the guitar back to him. She
wanted to hear the new song all the way through. Her
surprise. One of the many she knew was in store for her. It
was terrifying. And wonderful.




                            313
                  Yes It Is: Stories
                           Eppy




January 1967



U     nease filled Maggie Sue as she sat outside the sparsely
      decorated office at Apple, fidgeting in her chair. The
fact that the office was nearly empty bothered her, because
the last time she’d been there it had been a warm, inviting,
and tastefully decorated office. Now it was cold and
lifeless, and unrecognizable to the people that had known it
before.

Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ manager, had asked Maggie to
meet him here at 3 o’clock sharp, and of course, she was 15
minutes early. She’d wanted to be sure she was on time.
She guessed Brian was big on punctuality, though she also
guessed he didn’t often get it from the band. Brian wasn’t
here yet though, and she didn’t know where he was. She
suspected he was probably down at EMI glancing in on the
boys while they recorded what would become Sgt Pepper.
This made her smile fondly to herself, but then her unease
returned.

She had no idea what Brian wanted to meet with her about,
but it couldn’t be good. Brian didn’t normally bother with
Beatle wives or girlfriends, or in her case, fiancés. Of
course, she was no ordinary Beatle girl.

                            314
When she’d chosen to stay in the past, they’d needed to
construct her an entirely new identity – they’d been forced
to confide in Brian for this, because John hadn’t the faintest
clue how to go about getting forged documents. Besides,
whenever the Beatles had a problem Brian or Mal or Terry
solved it.

She and the boys had all piled into Brian’s office and had
had a closed-door conference, which had taken several
hours. Brian, obviously, had been disbelieving at first,
knowing what kind of pranks the boys liked to pull on him,
and also knowing that the boys had been known to take
mind-altering substances from time to time.

In the end, it had been John to convince him that they were
all telling the truth. John was the one who’d most liked to
tease Brian, knowing Brian’s feelings and knowing Brian’s
soft spots. But John had been so heartfelt and so unlike
himself, that Brian had no other option but to believe him.
After he’d combed carefully through Maggie’s wallet,
listened to her iPod, and heard everything the boys had to
say he could no longer doubt her story.

Brian had no real reason to help her, of course, and Maggie
still didn’t quite understand why he did. But the Beatles
were his Boys – and whatever they wanted (and in
particular, John), he’d help them get. Added to that, she
knew Brian was insecure about losing his hold on the band.
Perhaps being asked to share in this secret made him feel
included on a very exclusive level. Being the one to come
up with the needed solution for this problem also helped
increase his standing with the band, and served to keep
them dependent on him.

Once Brian had made up his mind, he’d made some phone
calls and within a few weeks, he’d called Maggie back over

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to his office. Behind closed doors, he’d presented her with
a new identity, including a fake US birth certificate, US
social security card, passport, and whatever other
documents he’d thought she would need. Maggie didn’t
know how he gotten them and she knew it was best if she
just didn’t ask.

Brian seemed confident that the press wouldn’t dig too
deeply, but Maggie knew that would be unlikely…she’d
read too many biographies on each of the Beatle wives and
girlfriends to hope for that. Her being an American would
slow any British reporters up, since they’d have to go
through US records to learn about her, but The Beatles
were already a world sensation. Once news that she and
John were engaged went public, they’d look at everything.

Brian, knowing this would happen, that reporters would
want to know what schools she’d been too, had had to
make up an elaborate story about Maggie having been
home schooled by her parents – who had conveniently died.
And Brian had had to set up death certificates for them as
well. Maggie figured by the time the internet rolled around,
making records easier to access, it would be years too late
for her real identity to matter. It was horridly complex and
Maggie just hoped that her new identity would hold up to
the scrutiny. Perhaps if she tried to stay under the radar, or
behind the scenes?

Of course now, sitting and waiting for Brian to call her in,
she had to wonder if perhaps she’d been too hopeful. Had
the falseness of her identity been discovered already?

Or, she cringed, perhaps it was worse. Feeling bored with
John and tour and wanting to make herself useful, she’d
made up a list of everything she felt could go wrong for the
Beatles. She’d been a bit careful as she knew Brian had

                             316
made some huge mistakes in managing the band. There’d
been the bad merchandising deal, the Philippines fiasco
which the band blamed him for, and perhaps the most
serious, the music publishing deal. She didn’t want to make
Brian angry – she’d read about his temper. Nor did she
want to rub his nose in it. If she wanted to be a part of
running the Beatles (and she did), she needed to make sure
Brian accepted her. He needed to accept her as someone
who could be a useful tool to him, rather than a usurper and
a threat. Brian had to be handled carefully. She was a
scientist, though – and her thoughts were nearly always
logical - so she’d made up a very logical list of problems
and possible solutions, with no blame attached to any of it.

On a day when she was feeling bold, she’d marched into
his office and given it to him along with a speech she’d
rehearsed. When she was done, she hadn’t waited for a
response, but fled, just hoping she’d done the right thing.
Maggie had done what she had to do, though, to try to
protect John and the others. Plus, she wanted to be
involved. She wanted a place here in the 60’s. Something
of her own.

There’d been a note on the list she’d given Brian to contact
her to discuss it, if he wanted. She’d been sure to add that
she only had their best interests at heart, and that she
wanted her knowledge of the future to be of use to Brian, as
he saw fit. (That last was to appeal to his sense of vanity.
Which was the logical thing to do.)

Maggie sighed. There was the issue of Brian’s own fate.
She had kept silent about what she knew of Brian’s future.
She was determined to save him too, but felt she needed to
play this one very carefully. She wasn’t sure if his death
had been accidental or purposeful or some combination of
the two, so she felt like she needed to get a better and more

                            317
personal measure of the man before she could determine a
course of action. All she’d had to go on was a third-hand
perspective from books. Unfortunately, getting to know
Brian had proven difficult. Maggie couldn’t seem to get a
read on him easily. He seemed happy enough, but was
prone to mood swings, from what she could tell. Of course,
she wasn’t often around him, as a Beatle girlfriend. Fiancé,
she reminded herself.

Scrubbing her hands across her face Maggie glanced down
at her watch and saw that Brian was very nearly late. As far
as she could tell he was never late for anything. A sinking
feeling started to form in the pit of her stomach… it was
too early for that… he wasn’t supposed to die until the
Maharishi came to visit. Still, she couldn’t shake her sense
of foreboding, and was determined to track down a phone
and give John a ring (oh, how she missed cell phones!)
when a quiet voice nearly made her jump out of her skin.

“Margaret Susan, I hope you haven’t been waiting for me
for too long?” Brian’s gentle voice asked as he looked
down at her.

Startled, Maggie jumped up and smoothed down her skirt,
and hair. Something about Brian’s careful manner and
perfectly groomed appearance always made her feel like a
slob. “No, Mr. Epstein. Just a few minutes. I got here
early,” she said to him hurriedly, feeling like an idiot. Why
did this man make her so nervous?

Brian frowned at that, the corners of his mouth turning
down slightly, “Margaret, I’ve already asked you to please
call me Brian. There is no need to be so formal,” he said,
formally, of course.

Maggie didn’t even know how to respond. She’d known

                            318
him as Brian from the Beatle books, but in person, he was
so much more formal that what she was used to that she felt
compelled to call him Mr. Epstein. Instead of responding,
she smiled up at him wanly and waited to see what he
wanted.

Realizing he wasn’t going to get a response from her, he
gestured into the very bare office, and said “After you,”
before following her into the room. He settled himself,
surprisingly, on a sofa and not behind the desk, and told her
to sit wherever she’d like.

After some hesitation Maggie perched herself on the edge
of a chair, and waited for the bad news. She tried not to
fidget as Brian stared at her, as if he were evaluating her
worthiness to be there. It wasn’t done in a cruel way, but
just in a business-like manner. She was business to him
after all.

After several moments of awkward silence, Brian finally
spoke. “I suppose you’re wondering why I asked you to
come here today?” At Maggie’s quick glance up at him and
silent nod of assent he continued, “Let me put your mind at
ease about one thing, Margaret, your identity is just fine.
No one knows, and I don’t think anyone ever will. Trust me
on that.”

Maggie could feel the tension leave the room as she
breathed a sigh of relief… one of her worst fears was for
naught. Her secret was safe. She could stay with John in
1967. But the tension in the room was, if possible, worse
then it was before, and yet Brian still said nothing.

Finally Maggie couldn’t take it any longer. “Thank you Mr.
Epstein… Brian… you have no idea how much both John
and I appreciate that.”

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He just gave her the hint of a smile at that, but then
continued to stare, evaluating again.

Confused and uncertain whether she should even bring up
the list she’d given him herself, Maggie started to get to her
feet and said, “If that’s all-“ but was cut off by Brian who
stood up and turned to a small mini bar, “I’m so sorry,
where are my manners? Would you like something to
drink, Margaret?”

“Um, sure. A Coke please.” Maggie replied, even more
confused now, by all this. What did he want with her?

Brian returned with her Coke poured into a whisky tumbler,
handed it to her and sat back down with a drink himself.
“Now where was I? Ah yes, I was getting to the purpose of
our meeting.” He settled himself back onto the sofa and
took a sip of his drink, so Maggie followed suit. Just as
she’d begun to swallow, Brian continued the conversation,
“I asked you here today because I’m putting you in charge
of Apple Corps, effective immediately. That is, if you want
the job.”

Maggie accidentally spat out her coke onto the rug and
started coughing as she choked out a hoarse “WHAT?!”
She’d expected a lecture on her temerity, or even for Brian
to rage at her for implying that he was fit to make decisions
for the Beatles without her interference. Or even stone cold
silence from his quarter. At best she’d hoped to be able to
sit down and have a real discussion about how she could
help him. But this – this was completely unexpected.

And there was something else. Apple Corps wasn’t
supposed to be created until 1968. She thought quickly to
herself – they’d come up with the idea nearly a year early.

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Was it her interference? She’d tried to word things
carefully in her letter to avoid giving away too much, but
surely the idea of a tax shelter had been a good one. In the
old timeline, the Beatles had done it without Brian, and it
had scared him. Maybe her list had given him reason to
grab the bull by the horns and run with the idea before the
band could do it without him? John hadn’t mentioned any
of this to her. It must be one of his little surprises. He was
constantly springing things on her these days, testing her –
trying to figure out what he could find that would be new to
her. It was often unnerving.

Maggie sat there, looking at Brian in disbelief. “Oh dear,
that was a Persian rug, Margaret. This is no way to treat
your new office.” Brian lectured her with a hint of a smile
on his face as he got a tea towel and laid it down on top of
the dark liquid, trying to absorb what he could.

Maggie was instantly down on the floor, grabbing the towel
from his hands. “Let me do that,” she ordered, momentarily
wondering where her assertiveness came from. Actually,
she was usually always assertive, but around Brian, that
was a different matter. He intimidated her and she had no
idea why, but for right now, she was too shocked, and a bit
angry to be timid towards him. “And have you lost your
mind?” She demanded angrily, “How is making me in
charge of Apple helping me stay under the radar? It’s like
BEGGING the media to dig up dirt on me! I gave you that
list of ideas to help you – I didn’t expect you to create
Apple Corp a year early and then hand it over to me!”

Brian examined his perfectly manicured fingernails as he
lounged on the sofa. He responded, “Be realistic, Margaret.
You yourself said that even the best forgeries these days
won’t stand up to scrutiny in the future, so I’ve decided to
hide you in the open. Have the media do all their digging

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on you now, when your documents will withstand their
snooping, and in the future, no one will check because your
credentials have already been established. This is laying
low, in my opinion. But you’re the scientist, you tell me,”
he finished with a smile at her. “And that list showed me
that you are the perfect one to run this business. You will
know what to look out for. You know the dangers out
there.” He added, “I also wanted to reward you for bring
the list to me and no one else. I appreciate loyalty.”

Maggie stopped dabbing at the floor at that and sat back on
her heels and pondered what he’d said. After a few
moments, she turned to him and regarded him curiously
before beginning slowly, “Yes… logically what you’re
saying does make sense… but…”

“But?” he questioned, his eyebrow raised at her.

Maggie took a deep breath and drew herself up, squared her
shoulders, and faced him fully before continuing. Her nerve
was starting to fail her again, and she would not let it! “But,
this is the 1967, Mr. Epstein. I mean…. Brian. Not 2006.
Women just DON’T run record labels, or corporations or
whatever Apple is these days. It’s just, not done. Not yet. I
won’t be accepted.” Her cheeks flushed and she couldn’t
believe she’d said all that. She was the one complaining
about giving up her career to stay in the past. And here was
Brian giving her a chance to start a new one.

Brian started chuckling quietly at her.

“Margaret, I never thought you’d be one to back down
from a challenge. Besides, women do run clothing
boutiques, and Apple will be that as well, I suspect,” Brian
told her, and before she could say anything else, he
continued, “Whether that’s done or not, you seem quite

                             322
capable of managing the company. Just look at how well
you manage John. That’s a full time job in and of itself, you
know. Besides, are you telling me that a rocket scientist
can’t handle one tiny little company?”

Maggie didn’t know what to say. She knew what Apple
could become, WOULD become, and how awfully
managed it had been, and all the money it had lost the
Beatles in the end…. And then her eyes lit up as she
realized that SHE’D be in charge! She’d be able to keep the
likes of Magic Alex out of Apple, and have the authority,
the backing to stop the thieving and blatant stealing from
the boys. She could turn it into a REAL record label. A real
company.

And it would be hers.

She’d have an identity… she wouldn’t just BE a Beatle
wife… she’d be someone all on her own.

She loved John, clearly, but leaving her career, leaving
NASA behind to come to this foreign world and be with
him had been the hardest thing she’d ever done. She’d
given up everything. Everything but John.

Though it was still tied up in the Beatles, she would be
earning her place, and not living off of John. She’d have
her own identity, her own path. Separate but still
intertwined with his.

She looked Brian in the eye, all timidity gone. “Effectively
immediately you say?”

“Yes.”

Maggie strode over to the door, opened it up, and turning to

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what she now knew was her secretary, said “There’s been a
spill in here. Please call a janitor to come get it cleaned up.
Thank you.”

As the secretary said, “Yes ma’am, right away,” Maggie
heard Brian murmur, “That’s my girl.”

And she smiled. This was going to be FUN!




                             324
                  Yes It Is: Stories
                   A Day in the Life




January 19, 1967, 11:55pm



A     guitar strummed, an organ sounded long tones, a
     piano tinkled a few experimental notes.

“Sugarplum fairy, sugarplum fairy…” John counted in and
then started singing as he strummed softly. George gently
shook maracas in the background, giving extra rhythm to
what John was playing on his guitar.

“I read the news today, oh boy. About a lucky man who
made the grade…” John sang, remembering not long ago
when he had found the news article that had inspired the
song. He’d read it aloud at breakfast, only to watch his
fiancé turn pale and sit down heavily. He’d thought it was a
slight overreaction on Maggie’s part as she hadn’t known
Tara Brown. Did she feel guilty for not saving the lives of
all the Beatles’ acquaintances too?

It wasn’t until a few days later, when she’d had the same
dramatic reaction to a much less tragic newspaper blurb
he’d read her from the Daily Mail about 4000 pot holes
being discovered in Blackburn, Lancashire, that John
realized what was going on.

“And though the news was rather sad…”
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It had become a kind of game now, figuring out exactly
what she was reacting to, how serious it was, and how
whatever it was would be woven into the tapestry of the
Beatles legend. He’d sometimes badger her to tell him what
was coming, but often she’d just shake her head, refusing to
give it away.

John was a bit torn – he wanted to know about the future,
but the more he knew, the more the legacy of the Beatles
pressed, suffocating him. To him, the Beatles were just a
band, but having seen a bit of the future, John now knew
for a fact that the Beatles were going to be more than that.
And that meant pressure to create something that would
stand up to the iconic status the band incredibly still had 40
years on. Frankly, John didn’t always want to be bothered
with this responsibility.

While the Beatles’ success was something he had worked
long and hard to achieve, at the end of the day, John had to
admit he was lazy. Writing songs was something that was
easy to him, a kind of lark. Something he and Paul had
done together so many years, simply because they could.
They were just a band, he kept telling himself. Sometimes,
if he repeated it enough, he could almost believe it. Then
Maggie would have one of her odd spells and he would be
reminded that they had met for the first time only because
of this future legacy. Sometimes, when it was too much, he
simply figured that whatever he had come up with
musically must have been good enough or Maggie never
would have come back to him in the first place. The
thought that the second time she came back had been
purely for him, and had nothing whatsoever to do with
music thrilled him deep down. She may be a bit mad for the
music of the Beatles like so many other fans, but there was
no doubt she was different. And she was all his. He felt

                             326
warmth run through his body. He wanted her. Right now!

He tried to focus.

“… well I just had to laugh…I saw the photograph…”

It’d been a photograph of him that brought Maggie back in
time – it still hung in one of the labyrinthine hallways of
EMI. He looked at it every now and again, just to reassure
himself that it was still there. An odd sense of
responsibility came with that picture. It needed to still be
there, waiting for Maggie to walk past it in 2006. If it
wasn’t, would he somehow lose her? The rules of time
travel and possible futures still confused him.

“I saw a film today, oh boy…The English army had just
won the war…”

He liked this reference to the film project he’d just recently
finished. It was while on location that he picked up his
latest pair of glasses, surprising himself that he’d finally
found a pair he didn’t feel ridiculous in. He felt a bit foolish
that they were much like the glasses he'd refused to wear as
a child. Maggie had taken a funny turn the second she’d
seen them too. Very strange it was, seeing these flashes of
the future in her eyes.

“1….2...3...4…”

John’s mind wandered as Mal counted. Where was she?
Maggie was supposed to have been here an hour ago.

“...13…14…15…”

She’d been putting in long hours, he knew – and he was
proud of the work she was doing. Apple needed her. The

                             327
Beatles need her. Hell, HE needed her. And that was just it.
HE needed her – and where was she? Off shuffling papers.
Not for the first time, John felt himself scowl.

“…21…22…23…24…”

At the sound of an alarm, John looked up, catching sight of
Mal clutching a ringing clock. Mal smiled sheepishly at
him as he shut it off. John shook his head. They’d never be
able to get that off the tape. What was once a good mood
was quickly becoming soured.

The placeholder bars to Paul’s middle eight were counted
off, and then John sang the last verse - the bit about the
holes he’d read about in the paper filling the Albert Hall.
John loved this verse, but even its nonsensicality wasn’t
enough to cheer him. Where was she?!

Once George Martin had given the signal that he had
stopped recording, John put his guitar down, a little harder
than he had intended to, and stalked over towards Paul who
was sitting on the piano bench. Mal had seen that John was
in a mood and had already scooted out the door figuring
he’d hide out at the pub until the current Lennon temper
tantrum had blown over. He knew from experience that by
the time he returned, John would have forgotten about
whatever had driven Mal away in the first place.

John slammed his fist down on top of the piano. “Well, that
was complete shite, Macca. And what in the hell got into
Mal with setting off that clock?”

“What? I thought the song was coming together nicely.”
Paul’s mental alarms were going off – he could see John
was in one of his moods. Glancing at John out of the corner
of his eye, Paul quickly picked up the glass he’d been

                            328
drinking from and moved it out of John’s range.

Now that that threat wasn’t present, Paul turned back to the
piano, neatly ran his fingers over the keys of the piano, and
started singing, “Woke up, got out of bed…dragged a comb
across my head…” in his best Vaudeville voice. He knew
John hated when he did that, but he thought that maybe his
best bet was provoke John to just explode and get it out of
his system, otherwise he’d be stuck listening to him simmer
and snipe for the rest of the night. They had planned to
work until 2:30 am, and he didn’t want to waste the studio
time. And, truth be told, deep down, Paul really just
enjoyed provoking John.

“The alarm clock works quite nicely with what I’d written,
doesn’t it?” Paul said mildly, keeping his eyes focused on
the piano keys in order to avoid John’s gaze. “I think I
quite like it there.”

John watched as that typical, smug expression cross Paul’s
face and he knew Paul was pleased with himself. It
infuriated him – that and Paul’s insistence on hamming up
half his songs. He knew Paul was angling to have “When
I’m 64” included on the album. He hated that song too.
John opened his mouth to let Paul have it.

George watched in dismay from across the room as he saw
the stormy expression move across John’s face, and knew
what John was about to unleash on a seemingly
unsuspecting Paul. John had been in a perfectly good mood
all night – this sulk had come on rather suddenly. Actually,
George could pinpoint it to somewhere around the end of
verse two, when John had looked up to check the time.

Maggie was late again.


                            329
He’d better go call her to see what was keeping her and to
warn her about John. George ducked out of the studio to go
find a phone. After years of experiencing Lennon and
McCartney brawls, George knew that he had plenty of time
to kill.

“Where are you going, mate?” Ringo was right behind him.
“You’re not leaving me in here with that, are you?" Ringo
followed George out the door and into the hallway.
"What’s got John this time?”

“Maggie’s late.” George said briefly. “I’m sure she just lost
track of time again – but if she doesn’t get her arse here
soon…”

“Maybe John will be done in by the time she gets here.”

George nodded. “I think that might have been Paul’s plan.
Sometimes it’s best if John gets it all out and then we can
get on with things. Paul hates wasting his precious studio
time.”

“I dunno, I’ve wasted plenty of it playing chess.” Ringo
shrugged, knowing that as he wasn’t one the band’s song
writers, he was often waiting around for other people to tell
him what to do. He didn’t know why John was so insistent
that Maggie race over here, just to have to sit and watch,
when she had a company to run. Ringo always felt a little
bit in awe of Maggie’s mental quickness – it was all he
could do to keep up with her in conversation – between her
interest in science and her knowledge of life in the future,
he hardly knew what she was saying half the time. She had
brought in a chessboard once though, and they’d starting
playing regularly during breaks from recording, while John
and Paul were busy arranging and composing. Chess he
understood – he’d been a sickly child and had played lots

                            330
of sedentary games. He’d always liked chess – and the fact
that he was better than her at it helped level the playing
field a bit.

George and Ringo wandered around trying office doors,
until they found an open one with an available phone.
Quickly, George rang Maggie’s office.

“Maggie Sue.” The voice on the other end sounded
impatient, as if it didn’t welcome the interruption.

George held the receiver between himself and Ringo.
Grinning, George made his voice higher to disguise it,
comically unable to keep the Liverpool scouse out of it.

“Please, can we talk to Miss Margaret Susan of Apple
Corps, L.T.D?” George spelled out the full name of their
fledgling company.

“We’re ever such big Beatle fans,” Ringo squeaked into the
phone. “Can we meet the Beatles, please?”

“We’d do ANYTHING,” George giggled. “And I mean
ANYTHING!”

“Ringo’s me favorite!” Ringo managed to exclaim before
he broke up laughing.

There was silence on the other end of the phone.

“Who is this??” Maggie Sue said in a mock serious tone,
trying to keep the laughter out of her own voice.

But she couldn’t keep the laughter in any more than they
could.


                           331
George finally caught his breath. “Miss Maggie Sue, it is
midnight – and you were due here an hour ago,” he
scolded.

“Oh no! It isn’t really midnight already, is it?”

“It most certainly is!” George’s voice lowered. “Seriously,
Mags, you’d better get over here. John’s in a mood.”

George could hear Maggie digging around the papers
stacked on her desk trying to unbury her clock. “Shit!” he
heard her groan under her breath.

It was midnight and she’d told John she would make an
effort to get to the studio at 11pm that night. She’d really
wanted to be there too – John had told her they were
recording his new one, “In the Life of…” tonight. Quickly,
she’d figured out he’d meant “A Day in the Life”, but
hadn’t corrected him at the time, wanting to see how he’d
come up with the familiar title on his own. John amused her
by being very particular about his titles. She badly wanted
to be there to see the song recorded, but there was always
so much work to be done at Apple Corps. She was in
charge now and she owed it to the Beatles legacy to give
them her best.

Tonight she’d spent the last few hours tapping numbers
into an adding machine and wishing for the millionth time
for a copy of Excel. Or a computer. Everything took so
much TIME to do in the 1960’s. The lack of the right
technology for this job, added to the late hour had made her
frustrated and tired. And now the ringing phone had
interrupted her train of thought and she had lost the string
of numbers she’d been adding. Her bad mood had
dissipated though, when George and Ringo had called her.
She’d been living amongst the Beatles for nearly a year

                             332
now and she still found them entertaining. She didn’t know
how they were able to turn the charm on like that. And off,
as she’d sometimes found.

Like now, with John.

“Oh no!” She’d finally found her clock and verified the
time.

“Oh, yes. He’s yelling at Paul as we speak. He’ll have
gotten it out of his system by the time you get here, but I
think you’ll owe Paul one for that.”

“I’ll be there as soon as I can! Hopefully Paul will keep
John distracted.”

It wasn’t just Mal that knew that anything John was upset
about would blow over as soon as something else caught
his attention. The last time John had started to make noise
about Maggie being late, George had pointed out that it was
looking like Paul was going to have more songs on the new
album than he would. John had started mumbling
something about circus posters and wandered off, Maggie’s
lateness forgotten. He had been so involved in his new song
idea that he hadn’t even noticed when Maggie had slipped
in.

“Paul did his Vaudeville voice.” George said flatly. “He
knows John hates that.”

Maggie laughed. “Well, John will be yelling for a while
then. Just make sure you keep the glassware out of reach.”

“Good thought. I’d better go check on that.”

“Thanks for calling, George. I owe you one too!”

                           333
“You owe me more than one, luv! Looks like you’ll be
joining us on our next trip to India, then?” George laughed
and hung up.

India had been a bit of a bone of contention between them.
Pattie and George had fallen in love with the country on
their visit – all Maggie could envision was the poor and the
indigent, the beggars and the starving children. She’d had
friends visit India and come home shaken by the
experience. Still, she knew the band’s future was tied up in
it and there probably was no good way to get out of going.

Maggie grabbed her coat, locked up her office, and headed
downstairs towards the main door of the Apple office
building.

“Good evening, Miss,” Henry, the night guard said as she
walked up to his counter. “Working late again?”

“Hello, Henry. Yep – busy as always. Would you mind
calling a car for me?”

John had insisted that Maggie use a driver to transport her
back and forth from the Apple office to EMI. They’d
fought over it, as Maggie had deemed it an unnecessary
expense. She could just take a cab, couldn’t she? No need
to keep drivers sitting around waiting for a call. But since
Maggie worked off hours and was often driving to the
studio late at night, John had refused to back down on this
issue.

“We have lots of money, luv,” he’d laughed. “Don’t worry
about it!”

But that was just the problem. The Beatles had lots of

                            334
money. But they also spent lots of it – and often
generously. And she even admitted that some of it had to be
done for tax purposes. She accepted that. But she wanted
them to invest it wisely, not just throw it away.

The few fights Maggie and John had had so far were over
money.

Maggie didn’t think a casual attitude towards money was a
good way to live life. Not having had much of it as a grad
student, she’d always kept track of her own spending,
dutifully recording her expenditures in a computer
program. She knew to the penny what she had. The Beatles
didn’t seem to have any clue, other than that they had a lot.

She’d read about the Apple years and had been horrified
how mismanaged this company had been. The Beatles were
like children in so many ways, not having any idea how
money worked or what value it had. They needed her,
whether they knew it or not. She had a feeling they
wouldn’t like some of the changes she planned on imposing
at Apple, but it was too bad. It was for their own good.
Like…being made to eat your vegetables.

As head of Apple Corps, she was swiftly finding that this
was a job that could be all-consuming. John had understood
her need to take this job at first. He knew Apple Corps
needed someone they could trust to guard their interests
and their money, but he also knew that she needed a
purpose, something she could sink her teeth (and her brain)
into. Maggie liked drawing a salary by working for it – she
hadn’t the idea of being a kept woman. At home in her own
time, she’d been a scientist and she’d supported herself
fully. She wasn’t used to asking a man for spending money,
something she’d had to do here, having no money of her
own. John was only too glad to throw fistfuls at her, or to

                            335
tell her to bill anything she wanted to Apple and the
Beatles’ accountants. Beatles just didn’t deal with money.
But that was going to change. And soon.

Maggie knew that she could catch the company before it
started bleeding money, which she knew it would. It would
positively hemorrhage. Her first week on the job, she’d dug
into the expense reports to see exactly what was being
charged to Apple. There was actually a fairly good record
of these, because a good many people had been essentially
living off the company since the day it had started. Which
wasn’t even that long ago.

As a giant tax shelter, too many people looked at Apple as
if it were an ATM. (Not that any of them knew what that
was yet!) They’d simply submit an invoice, and whatever it
was would be paid with no questions asked. There was
simply no oversight and no one to care. Everybody wins
with the Beatles footing the bill. While the band was just as
bad, they worked damn hard for that money and she wasn’t
going to let other people waste it. So, no more. All invoices
were to go through her. If it wasn’t truly related to Apple
and Beatle business, she wasn’t going to approve it.
Approved ones would go to the accountants, the rest would
be returned unpaid.

The first day of her second week, she’d drafted a memo and
circulated it before she’d thrown down the hammer – she’d
wanted to give fair warning, though she knew that her
memo would make her unpopular regardless.

Derek Taylor, the Beatles’ press agent, had actually
marched into her office and slammed it down on her desk,
wanting to know what in hell she meant by it and who in
the hell she thought she was. She’d explained it as simply
as she could - from now on, business was business. She had

                            336
the authority to act, and she intended to use it. Derek could
like it or leave. However, it would be a shame for him to
leave when he was due for a pay increase. That had caught
his attention and he’d left her office slightly mollified.

In addition to looking at the invoices, she’d taken an
inventory of the Beatles’ employees and their salaries. The
Beatles may have lived it up, but Mal and Neil still only
made 38 pounds a week. They were employees, but they
were also underpaid for the value they had to the Beatles -
and for what the Beatles often put them through. They were
practically on duty twenty-four hours a day. She didn’t
want them to feel owed later and try to take advantage of
Apple, so she’d put through substantial pay raises for them.
She’d also adjusted the salaries of many of the other
employees, like Derek and others. The Beatles never
thought of these things because they simply never had to
think about money anymore. There were many trusted
people here and they should be rewarded as long as they
kept that trust. And maybe if people made more, they
wouldn’t try to charge every little thing to the Beatles.
Well, they might still try, but at least they could afford
some of it on their own.

She’d also made note of which employees she considered
deadweight and put them mentally on notice. She’d cut
them if she had to. Maybe interview some new people.

Tonight she’d been making all sorts of notes. She wanted to
audit the accounting department and explain her new
policies on paying the invoices. She wanted to make sure
all the numbers added up in the books. She also wanted to
recruit one or two people to give the Beatles an overview of
the company’s numbers, the Beatles’ worth, where their
assets were, and what each Beatle’s expenditures were.
They needed to be hip though. If they were boring, the

                            337
Beatles attention would wander. She wondered if circus
clowns might help. Or midgets. John liked midgets. Little
people, she mentally corrected herself.

There was also the matter of Dick James publishing to be
dealt with, and the fact the NEMS was taking 25% of what
they made. And that terrible merchandising deal. And what
EMI took. She should meet with Apple and the Beatles’
lawyers to get the figures from them and to explore their
options. She remembered that Linda’s brother Lee had had
some very sound advice on the Beatles’ investments, and
that they hadn’t wanted to listen to it. She’d give him a call,
and sound him out. She knew they could use his advice.
She’d warn him to wear jeans and leave the preppy clothes
at home. John hadn’t liked the look of him the first time
out, which led to Bad Things. Like Allen Klein.

There was so much to do – so much that it was
overwhelming. She knew she couldn’t do it alone, but she
really wanted to get a feel for every aspect of the Beatles
business and then try to assemble a team of people she
could trust, and try to get things to the point where she just
needed to have the team report to her. It was a big
investment of time up front, but it would be worth it. She
knew it wouldn’t be long before the Beatles would come to
her wanting a clothing boutique or a record studio of their
own. She’d give it to them if it was what they wanted, but
they would do it the smart way. And she’d be damned
before they handed out money to every freak who walked
up and asked for it. They’d scout talent the right way. After
all, one of the early Apple Corps talents had been James
Taylor. Not all the ideas the Beatles had had been totally
crazy – they just needed some guidance with the execution.

Juggling all this plus John, who could be very needy, had
been difficult. But she’d actually tried to involve him as

                             338
much as she could for the very reason that she didn’t want
business to drive a wedge between them. She knew it could
if she let it. But she also knew John respected her brain, and
was even turned on by it. John was smart himself, even if
he was easily manipulated, so she filled his head with her
worries about the company and tried to make them his
worries too. She wanted him (and the others) to care. It was
their money, their company, their legacy; they should care
what happened to it.

John was patient, but she knew his patience had a limit.
The neediness again. Everything was fine until John needed
her or wanted her and then he had to come first. Sometimes
that was easy, other times, not so much. She knew most of
the other Beatles wives and girlfriends put their men before
themselves. While Ringo was in the studio, she knew
Maureen would be at home preparing her man a feast that
would be ready and waiting for his 3 AM return from the
studio. And when Beatle women weren’t there for their
men, like Jane, with her demanding schedule, it caused
Problems. With a capital P.

Now it was her turn to cause problems. She’d promised to
be at the studio early tonight, and she was an hour late. She
cursed again, because she really had wanted to be there
early. Missing out on A Day in the Life would be tragic.
Fortunately, they’d still be working on it tomorrow. And
they wouldn’t be recording the orchestra until early
February. The final touch would come a bit later, when
they added the final pianos. She wouldn’t miss that for the
world. She wanted to be playing one of them. What good
was being engaged to a Beatle if you couldn’t play a small
part in the making of Sgt Pepper?

Though she frequently worked evenings, usually John
didn’t mind terribly. He was busy with Paul in the studio

                             339
most nights. Maggie and John had worked out a schedule
where she’d be at Apple until around 10 PM, at which
point, she’d head to the studio to play chess with Ringo,
watch John and Paul be brilliant (she really didn’t want to
miss that!), grab some sleep at home with John, and arrive
back at Apple in time for a quick lunch, which she ate
while her secretary, Jenny, updated her. Truthfully, she’d
never been a morning person anyway – and as a grad
student she’d kept an odd schedule, coming in late and
working all night. The Beatles’ unusual hours were actually
a natural fit.

Maggie had sworn she wouldn’t compromise her 21st
century work ethic to be a 60’s wife. She wouldn’t be at
John’s beck and call. But she knew it was important to be
there for him and not to put the company before her
relationship. There was no point if she transformed Apple
but lost John in the process.

Besides, in the end he was far more important to her then
any business. She hoped he knew that.



Maggie raced down the hall to Studio 2, and peeked in.
George, who had been keeping an eye out for her, saw her
and motioned at the corner, where John was twanging away
on his guitar. Paul was in the middle of the room pounding
on the piano. Ringo was in another corner, which had been
set up with a table for meals and tea, hands on his ears,
stubbornly reading the book in front of him.

Maggie walked across the room and past Paul, who ignored
her. She was really going to owe him one for this, she
thought. She approached John, who was sitting facing away
from her. Lightly placing her hands on his shoulder,

                           340
Maggie leaned down and kissed his cheek. She didn’t
linger long, deciding it was probably best to pull back, not
yet knowing what she was to expect from John.

John turned and peered up at her through his granny
glasses. He looked back down, nearly expressionlessly, put
the guitar neatly on its stand and stood up. She looked up at
him curiously, as he bent over her so they were eyeball to
eyeball. John grabbed the briefcase from her hand, tossed it
aside, and then picked her up and swung her around.

Kissing her full on the lips he growled at her, “You’re
late!”

“Sorry,” she replied twining her fingers in his hair and
pulling him down for more kisses. So it was to be passion
of a good kind. That she could handle. She loved John
when he was like this. Maggie very quickly derailed her
train of thought when John set her roughly down and
pressed her up against a wall and continued to kiss her hard
and fast. She was gasping, he was panting, and his hands
were everywhere at once. She was about to pull him down
on the floor and finish it right there when suddenly a
drumstick rebounded off the wall by their entwined bodies,
very quickly reminding Maggie that they were NOT alone
and had quite the audience.

“Get a room!” Paul bellowed. “The rest of us are here to
work.”

“I’m not, mate,” Ringo quipped, “and I was quite enjoying
the show.” He finished by waggling his eyebrows
meaningfully at Maggie and John. Maggie blushed beet
red, mortified.

“Disgusting!” George added. “You two are worse than

                            341
animals.” But Maggie could see from his lopsided grin that
he was just teasing.

John, who was laughing at this point, pulled Maggie up
from the floor, and kissed her soundly one last time before
heading back towards Paul. He kept Maggie’s hand firmly
in his, though. “I need to work, luv, before Paul’s knickers
stay permanently in a twist,” John whispered to Maggie
conspiratorially.

“They are not in a twist!” Paul began before he realized
what he’d just said. “Wait, that isn’t to say that I have
knickers. What I meant was –“

“Not wearing any knickers?!!!” John yelled with glee,
dropping Maggie’s hand and pouncing on Paul while
making a grab for his trousers. “Let us see, you wanton
hussy you!”

“John, get off,” Paul bellowed from underneath him
frantically trying to keep his trousers safely UP.

Well, Maggie thought with a smirk, John seems to have
gotten over his bad mood if he’s trying to get into Paul’s
pants.

While John and Paul were wrestling, Ringo sidled up to
Maggie and asked quietly, “So did you get a chance to look
at the idea for the clothing boutique yet?

Ah yes, The Boutique. The sinkhole, the money pit, the bad
move for Apple. Maggie had hoped they would forget
about it, but from the cessation of noise on the floor, either
John had succeeded in checking to see if Paul really had
knickers on or not, or they were waiting for an answer.


                             342
Looking around the room, Maggie’s fears were confirmed,
and she suddenly felt exhausted. John, Paul, George, &
Ringo, The Beatles, she thought with a shiver, were staring
at her with a mixture of expectation and anticipation.

They didn’t expect her to say no. After all, who said no to a
Beatle?

The truth was, she didn’t want to say no to them, she just
wanted to put some checks and balances into the store so
that they wouldn’t be outright robbed!

Knowing she had their full attention, which was a rare
thing these days, she began slowly, picking her words
carefully. “It’s an interesting idea, Ringo. Though I’m not
sure how profitable it would be –“

“Who cares about profits?” John asked bitingly, all trace of
playfulness gone from his countenance.

Exhausted from the long days and longs hours spent at
Apple, with apparently no comprehension from anyone
about just how much work it truly was, Maggie snapped.
“Well, for starters you should, John Lennon. Money
doesn’t grow on trees. We can’t drop everything to pursue
a hair-brained project, every time one of you has a whim.
Just because you’re The Beatles, it doesn’t mean everything
you touch is gold.” Okay, perhaps she’d gone a bit too far.
Feeling instantly guilty she opened her mouth to soften her
words, but John beat her to it.

“We do this because we like it, not for the money,” John
began angrily. “That’s all you care about these days,
Maggie. Money, money, money. Where’s it going? Who’s
spending it? How’s it being spent? How can we earn more?
Christ, you’d think you cared more for five quid than the

                            343
music, Maggie. Than you care for me. You’re always going
on about money, girl and it’s becoming a bit of a drag.”

Maggie could feel the tears pricking the corners of her
eyes. Tears of anger and shame. She couldn’t believe that
John actually felt this way, after all her efforts to make him
care about his own company, and more, that he would talk
to her and embarrass her like this in front of the others, her
friends. And she was just trying to help them. In fact, they
always seemed to forget that she’d in fact given up
EVERYTHING for them. For John.

The other Beatles were pointedly looking anywhere but at
Maggie and John. Ringo was pretending to read an upside
down book, Paul was plunking away at a discordant tune
on the piano, and George had simply melted into a corner
and was pretending to be asleep.

Wiping at the corners of her eyes, Maggie angrily
responded back at John. “Well, if I’m such a drag, then I
suppose I’m off!” and promptly turned on her heel and
marched out the door.

As soon as she was clear of the room she let the tears fall
freely.



John found her sitting in their hallway staring at his picture.
The picture. The one that had brought her back and then
nearly taken her away from him. Panicking, he raced to her
side and wrapped steely fingers around her wrist in a vise
grip.

“Just what do you think you are doing?!” he demanded as
he stared into her red-rimmed eyes. She’d been crying.

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John felt like an even bigger jerk then before. He prided
himself on his razor wit, and the skill with which he
wielded it, but it was easy to forget that the end result was
usually hurting someone he loved, and he never wanted to
hurt Maggie.

Maggie weakly tried to pull her wrist from his grip, and
when he didn’t relent, her shoulders slumped. “Nothing.”

“What?” he asked, more gently this time.

“Nothing. I wasn’t doing anything. I couldn’t leave you
even if I tried at this point, John. This is where I want to be.
Need to be. It doesn’t work on a whim,” she said resting
her chin in her free hand, and looked at him out of the
corner of her eyes. “Besides, I wasn’t trying to leave. I told
you I wouldn’t do that again.”

Relaxing his grip on her wrist and breathing a sigh of relief,
John settled down next to her. “Then why are you here?” he
asked, truly confused.

In response Maggie just smiled sheepishly at him.
“Honestly? I don’t know. I just like looking at that picture
of John Lennon. I always did have a crush on him.”

Chuckling a little at that, John reached out and pulled her
into his arms. “I also hear he’s your favorite Beatle.”

“Yes!” she quickly responded, snuggling deeper into his
arms. “Even more then George, and that’s saying
something!”

“I’d better be your favorite,” he growled playfully, and then
buried his face into her hair inhaling deeply. “I’m sorry,”
he whispered.

                             345
“I’m sor-“

“No, let me finish,” John interrupted. “I know that you are
just trying to help us, and that you need something be “just
yours” and that’s Apple. I guess, I don’t know, I just hoped
that maybe me being “just yours” would be enough. And I
miss you girl. You’re gone so much and work such long
hours. It’s only money, luv. They print it every day. You
shouldn’t worry so much about it, about everything. I
know, I know…. I’m a selfish, moody beast, but I can’t
help it. I just want to be with you.”

Any thoughts or counter-arguments that Maggie had faded
away to the back of her mind. She knew that they still
hadn’t resolved this issue, and probably never would
completely resolve it, but right now she and John just
needed to be together.

Smiling up at him, Maggie leaned in for a kiss. It was soft
and gentle, and she fluttered light kisses to the corner of his
mouth, up his jawline, and then pausing at his ear, she
whispered, “Nothing is more important to me then you.
Nothing.” And she meant it.

Pulling back slightly to look her full in the eyes, John
stared for a moment, and seeing the truth of her words,
simply said “Good!” before kissing her fully on the lips,
suddenly reigniting their passion from earlier in the
evening.

Before she even realized what was going on they were
kissing frantically, tugging at clothes, and Maggie was
pulling John down on the floor while he was pushing her
down at the same time. They may have had a hard time
agreeing on ideas today, but clearly their bodies were

                             346
working in harmony.

John was tugging her skirt up roughly and Maggie was
fumbling with the zipper on his trousers when suddenly
cold water splashed on them.

Paul was looming over them, a wicked grin on his face.
“Oy, get on home for that you two. This is a proper place
here! George was right. You ARE animals!”

John scooped Maggie up and threw her over his shoulder
without a word, and started to trot off towards the exit
while Maggie called out to Paul, “We’re even now,
buddy!” Paul came to attention and tossed off a smart
salute at Maggie as she and John rounded the corner and
were out of Paul’s sight.

John found an unlocked office, set her down inside, locked
the door firmly behind him, and then, leering at her like a
lecherous old man asked, “Now where were we, dearie?”

“Right where we’re supposed to be.” She laughed and held
out her arms out to him.




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Please be sure to look for our sequel:
      Tomorrow Never Knows!




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