Title: Heaven Help My Heart
Disclaimers: I own no one from The Lost World. The first few paragraphs of dialogue are taken directly from the episode "London Calling." The song "Heaven Help My Heart" is from the musical Chess and is also being used without permission. My sister and I were listening to the Chess soundtrack yesterday and both thought this song fit R&M pretty well. This is my take on what happened after the end of "London Calling."
Heaven Help My Heart
Roxton saw that Marguerite remained quiet, even as the others toasted Gladys. She was reading the account of Ned's Zanga ritual dream from his journal and growing increasingly agitated by what she read. "Marguerite?"
"Rubbish," she proclaimed, throwing Ned's journal onto the table.
Ned was confused. "Excuse me?"
"As if I would- How could you even think that I would say that I love-?" the heiress sputtered as she rose to her feet. "It's preposterous, presumptuous - it's probably actionable!" she spat at the young reporter.
"Marguerite, you clearly implied that you loved Roxton," Ned said calmly. Marguerite scoffed in disbelief. "After all, he was obviously in love with you," he added.
Marguerite stormed off to her bedroom, hoping the others wouldn't notice her burning cheeks before she could reach the safety of her bedroom. Behind her she heard Roxton sputtering a denial to Ned's assertion that Roxton had himself obviously been in love with Marguerite in his dream of their return to London.
She walked into her bedroom and settled down on her bed, blocking out the sounds of everything else in the treehouse as she turned Malone's account of his dream over in her mind. "How on earth did Ned get so close to the truth from a Zanga dream ritual?" she muttered aloud to herself. It really was uncanny, especially when one thought about how little the others really did know about her and her past.
In Ned's dream Roxton had begged her to marry him, promising her that he wouldn't let anyone hurt her, that he would protect her from the men to whom she owed money. She had refused, naturally, as she would have in the real world if she had been in that situation. If she were honest with herself, the thought of marrying Roxton and living the rest of her life with him was a dream she secretly treasured. But she knew she would never marry him while she had other people after her for her debts, threatening her life and the lives of those around her. No, she would not drag Roxton down into that world with her. Nor would she marry him just because of some sort of misplaced sense of chivalry he might have, or because he might feel obligated as a gentleman to protect her. No, if Roxton were ever to ask her to marry him, she would only accept if she knew it was for her love and nothing else.
Love? She laughed at herself. When had she reverted to such childish fantasies? Thinking that there was a man out there who would ever want to marry her because he loved her for who she was, not what she had or what she could give him. *And you know better than to let yourself have feelings for a man,* she warned herself. Especially a man like Lord John Roxton, a man who could break through her layers of defense and self-preservation. A man who wouldn't let her live her life behind the façade of the cruel, heartless heiress. No, feeling anything for that man would only lead to having her heart broken once more. And yet, deep down Marguerite knew it was already too late. It was too late to push John Roxton away and pretend she didn't care.
"If it were love I should give that love
every second I have
And I do."
She certainly hadn't come on Challenger's expedition looking to fall in love with the handsome adventurer. She had come on the expedition only as a way to make as much money as she could in order to pay off past debts and protect herself from some of the more unsavory characters from her past. And yet it had happened anyway. From the first moment she had met Roxton she had felt a connection, an excitement just from being around him. She had tried to squelch these feelings from the start, but no matter what she did or said to herself or the rugged hunter, she could keep neither the feelings nor Roxton himself at bay for very long.
And now, a year and a half after the expedition had started, they were still stuck on the blasted plateau, and the worst thing imaginable had happened. She had fallen in love with John Roxton.
"Did I know where he'd lead me to?
Did I plan
Doing all of this for the love of a man?
Well I let it happen anyhow
And what I'm feeling now
Has no easy explanations
Reason plays no part
Heaven help my heart
I love him too much
What if he saw my whole existence
Turning around a word, a smile, a touch?"
Marguerite had been shaken when she'd read Ned's account of her own actions upon their return to London. He and the others had no idea, or at least she hoped not, of just how close he had been to the truth in his dream. Her pride and feelings of self-reliance would not let her just sit back and let Roxton take care of her and protect her, even though she knew he gladly would. No, she would not have let herself be taken care of, nor would she have let her sordid past be dragged out in front of Roxton. She would have done whatever she could have to clean up the remnants of her past and then she would have found some way to make herself worthy of Roxton, if only in the monetary sense. She had no delusions that she would ever be good enough for Roxton as a person, but at least if she had money she could bring something to the marriage so it wouldn't feel like she was such a charity case.
She shuddered as she remembered the outcome of her plan in Ned's dream. Her underhanded plan to steal the T-Rex egg had led to the deaths of Roxton, Challenger, herself, and countless others. She smiled sadly at the thought that at least Ned hadn't been condemning of her actions in his dream. Her words to him had explained that she had done it all for Roxton, because how could she "expect Lord John Roxton to love someone who had nothing?" She asked herself if she could actually go through with such a plan in real life, but found it was a question she honestly couldn't answer. She knew she didn't want to pay such a price, particularly the deaths of Roxton and Challenger, but she also knew that she couldn't imagine not doing everything in her power to be with Roxton. She sighed and flopped back on her bed - this line of thought was beginning to give her a headache.
As she closed her eyes she thought back towards the beginning of Ned's recount of his dream and she smiled in spite of herself. At least Ned hadn't seen her affection for Roxton as one sided. In the dream Roxton had told Marguerite that she was what he thought was the most valuable thing coming back from the plateau with him. In typical fashion she had tried to brush him off, first telling him that there was a lot he didn't know about her, and then changing the subject when he had tried to push the issue.
"Score another one for the perceptive journalist," she muttered to herself. That was exactly what she would have done in that situation, especially if she had known they were going home. There was Roxton, practically ready to declare his love for her, and she had cut him off, knowing that he really didn't know much about her or her past. *And if he knew, he'd surely change his tune,* she thought to herself sadly.
"One of these days, and it won't be long,
he'll know more about me
Than he should
All my dreams will be understood
Nothing more to learn from the look in my eyes."
Though I know that time is not my friend
I'll fight it to the end
Hoping to keep this best of moments
When the passions start
Heaven help my heart
The day that I find
Suddenly I've run out of secrets
Suddenly I'm not always on his mind."
Once Roxton knew everything about her, surely his interest would vanish. Part of it was probably the hunter in him anyway, she thought to herself, enjoying the difficult hunt. And the rest, well, once he knew everything, he would probably turn and run the other way. Or worse, he might just step forward as he had in Malone's dream and offer to marry her to protect her. Another loveless marriage was certainly not something she was planning on ever being a part of again. And being married to Roxton because he felt obligated to protect her would be even worse. He would be trapped by his good intentions, tied to her, and in time would surely come to resent her. No, that was something she could never let happen.
She sighed to herself and sat up. This was ridiculous. Her mind was far too active for sleep to be a real possibility right now, but sitting alone in her room with her thoughts was making her increasingly restless. *I just need some fresh air to clear my head, * she decided, standing up and heading back toward the main room. She wasn't really in the mood to talk to anyone else in the treehouse right now, but she didn't hear any voices or movement in the main room and figured everyone else had probably gone to bed by now.
She was almost right. She walked out onto the balcony and took a deep breath, letting the cool jungle air fill her lungs as she made her way to the railing. "Couldn't sleep either, eh?" came a voice from behind her.
Marguerite jumped, letting out her deep breath in a startled whoosh as she whirled around. "John," she breathed, holding her hand to her throat. "You startled me," she said lamely, hoping he couldn't see how flushed her cheeks were as a result of his presence. He was sitting in one of the chairs on the balcony and Marguerite had been so caught up in her own thoughts, she hadn't even seen him until he had spoken.
"Sorry," he apologized. "I came out here to get some air. It was getting a mite stuffy in there," he added, gesturing behind him at the treehouse.
Marguerite nodded. "Yes, that's how I felt, too. I hoped a little air would clear my head and help me sleep."
"Got something on your mind?" he asked, looking closely at her.
"Oh, you know, just the past 24 hours," she said, not looking at him. "We almost lost Ned and Veronica there for a little while. Really makes you think about how dangerous life on this plateau can be."
"Or life back in London," Roxton reminded her. "If you recall Malone's recount of his dream, you and Challenger were both shot, and even after we'd left the plateau a T-Rex still managed to kill me." He tried to keep his tone light, but he watched Marguerite carefully for her reaction.
"Ned has some imagination, doesn't he?" Marguerite said, laughing nervously. "I mean, imagine, Veronica shopping in Harrod's, a dinosaur lose in the streets of London…"
"You arranging to steal the T-Rex egg for money so that you could-" Roxton began.
"You asking me to marry you in order to protect me," Marguerite said, cutting him off. She closed her eyes, not believing she had said that. She hadn't wanted Roxton to finish his thought, unsure exactly what his feelings on the subject were, so she'd blurted out the first thing that had come to mind. Of course, it certainly wasn't what she had been planning to say at all.
"Yes." Roxton looked at her levelly. "What did you think of that?"
Marguerite squirmed momentarily. "Like I told Ned, preposterous," she said finally. "I certainly think you would know better than to offer to marry me so that you could protect me."
Roxton stared at her until Marguerite shifted nervously. "Yes," he said finally. "I certainly wouldn't be foolish enough to ever propose marriage just to protect you."
He seemed like he was about to say more and Marguerite spoke up quickly. "Well, it's been a long day and I'm exhausted. I think I'm going to get some sleep. Goodnight, John."
"Goodnight, Marguerite," he responded as she left the balcony and returned to her bedroom.
"No, I certainly wouldn't be foolish enough to ask you to marry me only so I could protect you," he mused quietly, though that was definitely a part of it. He wanted to be able to keep her from harm whenever he could. He didn't know very much about her past at all, but he was prepared to step in and defend her, no matter what lay in her past.
"Maybe it's best to love a stranger
Well that's what I've done -
Heaven help my heart."
Yes, he certainly wanted to protect Marguerite Krux from danger, but if he were to ask her to marry him, that would definitely not be his only motivation in proposing. "I wonder what you would say, Marguerite," he murmured, "if I asked you to marry me because I love you."