RATING: R, for violence
SUMMARY: A sequal to my "Sacrifices of Duty", and this is my take on a more fitting coda to "The Victorian Candidate". Rebecca helps Phileas through a personal crisis.
SPOIILERS: "Victorian Candidate", obviously.
Phileas woke up screaming. His heart raced as he sat bolt upright in bed, hunched over trying to catch his breath. Gradually his heart rate slowed, and he caught his breath. He wiped the sweat from his face, and swung his legs to sit on the side of his bed on the Aurora, bent over his head in his hands, he thought, I can't take this. Then he got out of bed, grabbed a robe, and walked down to the salon.
Once there, he walked straight to the bar, took the top off a crystal decanter, and poured a full glass of brandy. He took the brandy and decanter to his desk and sat in the black leather chair. Sitting down, he picked up the glass and drank deeply, finishing half the glass in one swallow. He poured more brandy into the glass and drank. Nothing, the alcohol is doing nothing, damn. It still hurts, the pain is still there. Will not even all the decanter deaden the pain? What will? Phileas closed his eyes, he could still see Rebecca, sprawled before him, her body covered in blood. He opened his eyes and reached into the desk drawer in front of him. His hand felt the cold metal of his gun, he grabbed it, took it out of the drawer. This will end it. He opened the chamber, then he opened another drawer and he calmly picked-up six bullets. Phileas loaded the weapon. He took another swallow of liquor, he set the glass down, and calmly pointed the gun at his temple. How could I have done it? Why didn't I realise the League was manipulating me? I'm a monster, no one could ever care about me again. I can't live with this. He thought, as his finger felt the trigger.
The door to the salon opened. Rebecca entered and gasped at the tableau before her. Swallowing, she walked towards him, "Phileas! Phileas, I'm here, I'm all right, Phileas, please don't do this. Please!"
"Rebecca, get out of here, leave me alone!"
"No! No, I won't! I will not. That is one thing I will not do."
Holding the gun to his temple, he said, "Rebecca, how can you even care about me? I'm a monster. I killed you, Verne, Passepartout. I…"
"That wasn't you, Phileas, the League filled you with drugs, then made you think so…it didn't happen. We are all fine." She tried to not stare at the revolver in his hand. The revolver he so calmly and coldly pointed at his head.
"The violence, Rebecca, you know, it... Both of us, have had to… violence, Rebecca. For the service, we've killed, tortured…Is there no end to it? Is there no peace?" he rambled.
"And you have never taken any pleasure in violence. I have. I enjoy it. I'm not proud of that, Phileas, but I do enjoy besting an enemy in a fight. This…this will pass, Phileas, please, give it time, let us wash those drugs from your system, and it will pass."
He looked at her, cocked the gun, "No, Rebecca, I…"
"Phileas, please, do…not…do this. Please."
"Listen to me. You are a good man. An honourable man. I've admired you since we were children. I love you, Phileas, my dear cousin. Please, please do not do this. Don't leave me alone."
He looked at her, then closed his eyes.
Rebecca, thinking that to be a sign of the worst, screamed "No!"
But he uncocked the weapon, put it on the table in front of him, and then put his face into his hands, his elbows on the table.
Rebecca, crying, rushed to his side, and held him, his head, on her breast. With one hand she stroked his hair, with the other, she held his back.
"Oh, Rebecca, it was…it was my worst nightmare… I don't know how I can live with remembering what I did."
She stroked his back, held him tight, and with tears rolling down her cheeks, she said, "You must. The nightmares…they will pass, Phileas. Over time, they will fade. But I need you, Phileas. I need you alive and with me."
He moved back and looked up at her, tears in his eyes. "Rebecca, I…I'm sorry. About the ship…forcing you to kill me. Now I know…I'm sorry. I know how you must have felt."
Rebecca moved back a bit, but placed one hand on his face, the other on the small of his back. Looking into his liquid eyes, she answered--"Phileas…that was different, anyway. It was duty. You convinced me it was the only answer, and god help me, I was prepared to do it. I was in control of my thoughts, when we made that decision together. I…I wouldn't have survived you for long, Phileas, I've told you that."
He shook a bit, looking up at her. "I know, you've said that before. It shocked me, Rebecca."
"It shouldn't. My dear cousin… This is different. This is entirely different--you had no control, and that…vision…was not you, you did not kill anyone. What the league did… The way they manipulated you--my god. What they did to you. The drugs, the lies, making you see league of darkness minions, then our bodies covered in blood. It chills my blood, Phileas. But you must survive this. For my sake. I need you."
He nodded, "I…I had a bad dream tonight…"
She nodded, "I guessed as much. Do you want to talk about it?"
"I…I don't know… I suppose so, it was just that fight, I…you know how dreams are, I saw myself, fighting you, Jules, and Passepartout. Every time I defeated one of you, another one was there. But when it was all over, I was still standing, and all of you were on the floor, covered in blood. I'd murdered you all." He held out his arms, then.
She drew him close, her head on his shoulder, she said, "I thought it was something like that…but we aren't hurt at all, we are fine. You…when we fought…you didn't seem to know where you were, or even who you were, what was going on. I…I should have known something was wrong, I should have recognised your stammer earlier. The whole castle was filled with a nest of League of Darkness members, and I didn't even… Phileas, I betrayed you, in a sense. I was prepared to believe the worst of you. Even though I love you."
"Rebecca, I'm fine now," he said. Maybe I can get her to leave.
"Then come to bed. You need your sleep." Please Phileas, forget all this, forget your plan, come with me, please.
"I can't sleep, the dreams…" Well, that much, at least is true.
"I'll stay with you, comfort you, provide re-assurance." And if you think I'm going to let you alone, after finding you in here, with that. Thank god, I got here before you pulled the trigger, Phileas. I have never seen you so depressed, so ready to commit suicide, and I cannot allow that. Ever.
"Up to bed, Phil, come on."
"Nothing physical, Rebecca, not right now."
She understood what he meant, "Of course not, but you need a warm body next to you, you need to know how much you are loved. And I do love you, Phileas, I do. I'm just asking to hold you, stay with you, re-assure you in sleep. Please." She smiled.
He held out a hand, she grabbed it, pulled him up and led him by the arm to his room. She urged him over to the bed, then sat besides him. "Come on, lie down, relax. It's all right, I'm here."
He began to shake, and sat next to her, near the headboard. "Rebecca…"
"Shush, I know, Phil, I know…you don't have to say anything."
He looked at her, his eyes filled with tears, "Tonight, tonight if you had been a few seconds later, I… I swear to you, Rebecca, as much as it pains me to let you know this, to know the weakness and darkness in my soul. If you had been a few seconds later, I would have succeeded…"
Tears quietly rolling down her cheeks, she said, "I know."
He voice became calm, determined, "Make no mistake, Rebecca, I would have pulled the trigger and ended it."
Frightened, but trying not to show it, or let it slip into her voice, she sat quietly and held his arm. Then she pulled him to her and just hugged him, silently. After a moment of quiet comfort, she pushed him back so he could see her face. "Phileas, I know. I know what you were planning to do. I know that even after we talked, you were still thinking about it, despite everything I said." She steadied her breath as she began to cry, "But I can't…I can't let you do it, Phil. I can't let you make that decision. Please don't abandon me. Please."
"How can you care so much? I'm a monster."
"You're not! You're not. You're a man. A good man at that. You're my cousin. You and Erasmus practically raised me. You taught me how to be an agent. You taught me, everything, you and Erasmus. You've always been there for me. And you know my soul like no one else. Phileas…if I wasn't so scared of losing you, I wouldn't be having this conversation with you at all--that darkness in your soul has always frightened me."
He looked at her, "I really mean that much to you?"
She looked at him, Of course you do, you idiot! Believe me! "Yes, you do." She answered.
"I'm not an idiot!"
"I didn't say you were! What?"
"I…I heard you--'Of course you do, you idiot!'--"
"I thought that. What I said was, "Yes, yes you do."
"Downstairs, downstairs after we talked, I…I had a flash, a flash of…you wanted me to leave--you were urging me to leave so you could, finish, what you started. I had to resist very hard against that."
Now it was his turn to go pale.
"What is happening?"
"Maybe it's the drugs, Phileas--Jules, Passepartout and I, we were exposed to the same thing, but in lower dosages. Before I came down to the study, I had a nightmare. I…in my nightmare, I found you, after."
"Oh." He paused, "You know I've never believed in the psychic realm."
"Yes. And I know how inituitive you are, Phileas."
He snuggled closer to her, stroking her hair, holding her back. "Rebecca?"
She snuggled against him, held him, and frevently hoped she could help him make it through the crisis.