Expecting the Unexpected
By BriAnna aka ActingBug92
Authors Note: I do not own any of the characters. Catherine, Vincent, Father, Joe, and all the other characters belong to Ron Koslow and CBS, respectfully. Also, thanks to L. Frank Baum for the Wizard of Oz. Please read and review, and let me know what you think! Any suggestions that could help me make Vincent, Catherine, or any other characters more real are greatly appreciated! Thanks – Love to you all!
Catherine gasped for breath as she leaned over the toilet, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand. It was the third night in a row where she had felt this way, so nauseous and sick. But after a few hours, she felt fine and ready to go – until the next night that was.
Maybe there's some kind of bug going around, Catherine thought as she got up off of her hands and knees, and flushed her lunch down. She rinsed her mouth out with water and went to go lie on the couch.
Soon after she lied down, she heard a tapping sound on the French doors that led out to her balcony. And as much as she loved the person out there, she couldn't help but be a little frustrated.
Out of all the nights to come see me, Vincent, you had to choose tonight, of all nights. Right after I vomited, right when I feel like vomiting again.
Nevertheless, she pasted on a smile as she opened the doors and slipped outside, into the cool New York City air.
"Catherine," Vincent said, nearing her and resting his hand on his arm. "Are you all right?"
"I'm fine." Catherine said, still smiling, even though she didn't feel like it.
Vincent looked at her doubtfully. "Are you sure? Catherine, you can't hide anything from me – our bond - are you really all right?"
Catherine nodded. "Just a little stomach flu." She told Vincent. "I think I'll just take off sick from work for awhile – and stay away from the Tunnels too. The last thing you need is for someone Below to get sick."
"Would you like me to bring you anything?" Vincent asked concernedly.
Catherine sighed, letting her fake smile go. "Thank you Vincent, but I'm fine. All I need is a bit of rest."
Vincent nodded hesitantly. Catherine sensed that he came up to her balcony more than to make sure that she was okay.
"Vincent," Catherine said softly. "What is it?"
Vincent took a deep breath. "I'm not sure. It's…" Vincent grasped for the words. "It's a sense… not like our bond, but a sense. I'm sensing someone else… sensing their presence…"
"Well, we're alone on this balcony." Catherine reassured him. "And nobody is renting the apartments next door, so-"
"No, no, not that." Vincent said. "Someone else. I feel it no matter where I am. Whether I'm in my chamber, Father's study, the Mirror Pool. I sense it – this person – no matter where I am. But when I turn around, no one's there."
"Maybe it's just your imagination," Catherine suggested. "Or you've been reading too much Sherlock Holmes." She added on a lighter note.
Catherine took note of the seriousness on Vincent's face, and tried to take what he was saying a little more seriously. Maybe it wasn't his imagination. Maybe Vincent really sensed something – or someone.
"Who do you think it could be?" Catherine asked. "When you met me, you just knew that you were sensing me, as I was sensing you."
Vincent shook his head, his mane of red-blonde hair blowing in the wind. "No, it's different than our bond. It's… just different. I can't even begin to describe how real it is…"
"Have you talked to Father about this?" Catherine asked him.
Vincent nodded. "Yes. Father said to mention it to you, and to not worry about it too much, that soon I'll find out why I'm sensing this person."
All of a sudden the nausea came back to Catherine. She took a deep breath. "Vincent, I think I'm going to be sick again – I've got to go."
"Catherine, do you need any help?" Vincent asked, concerned.
She shook her head, stepping inside her apartment, but not yet closing the French doors. "No. Just go home – and be safe."
And with that, she shut the doors and rushed towards the bathroom, making it to the toilet bowl just in time.
Vincent tossed and turned in bed. Most nights he was able to get comfortable and drift off to sleep relatively easy. But tonight was one of those occasions where no matter how hard he tried, he just could not get comfortable – or get tired enough to sleep. His mind was preoccupied with the sense he was feeling. It seemed that as every hour passed, it was getting stronger and stronger. And the more he thought about it, it had started out extremely small about a month ago, but slowly started to build to now, getting to the point where he was just now starting to notice it.
Who is this person? Vincent wondered. And why am I sensing him – or her?
Vincent got out of bed and struck a match, lighting the lantern on the table beside his bed, and there, he began writing.
I have no idea who I am sensing, or why. I should only be sensing Catherine, but I am not. There is someone else, but who? It can not anyone Below, or any of our Helpers – I would know it if it were. I'm still sensing Catherine, but I'm sensing someone else too. Who could it be? I must not know this person, so why am I sensing him – or her? It seems though, everyday the sense grows stronger. Maybe, as time goes on, and as the sense gets stronger, I'll find out. Maybe as each day goes by, the stronger the sense gets, the closer I get to meeting the person.
It seems that I've been sensing this person for quite some time now. Sensing the person a little more all the time, but the sense has grown much stronger in the past month. Maybe I'm sensing someone I met last year, during the sickness. It frightens me to think about the sickness still. I've had it twice – once when I was an adolescent and again last year. What is it and what makes me act that way? I can't remember anything that happened in the weeks I had the sickness. I feel though, that it is connected to the sense I'm feeling, somehow.
Vincent wrote straight on for the next forty-five minutes, not thinking about what to write before he wrote it. He was still writing when Father stuck his head in Vincent's chamber.
"Vincent?" Father said to him. "What are you doing up at the hour?"
"It's Catherine, and our bond, and… that other sense." Vincent explained.
"Vincent," Father said, letting himself fully into Vincent's chamber and taking a seat across from his son at the table. "If this person you're sensing is a true person, then you'll find out. You'll find out when you need to. And now, is obviously not the time."
Father stood up and started out the chamber, but not before he turned around and continued talking to Vincent.
"Get some sleep; goodnight, son." He gave Vincent an affectionate kiss on the forehead before leaving his adopted son's chamber to retire for the night.
Vincent signed off his journal entry reluctantly, and then made his way back over to his bed. He knew that Father was right, that he should get some sleep.
But how am I supposed to sleep with this on my heart? Vincent asked himself, sliding under the covers. This sense is so – so odd. With Catherine, I can feel when she's happy, I know when she's depressed or in danger. When she's afraid, I feel her fear. But this person I'm sensing, I don't feel what they are feeling. I don't know what they are thinking… ever. How could a human being not have emotions? Are they feeling what I'm feeling?
Maybe this is a different sort of bond than the one Catherine and I share. Or maybe what Father mentioned earlier this morning is true, that I'm just imagining this other person and that I'm not sensing anyone at all.
But Vincent knew in his heart that his mind wasn't playing tricks on him. He was truly sensing another person…. Not their emotions or occasional thoughts maybe, but their presence, that person's connection with him somehow. But how were the two of them connected? Vincent didn't know, but he vowed to find out before he fell into a very restless slumber.
"No, really; I'm fine." Catherine assured her boss and friend, Joe Maxwell. Catherine worked at the District Attorneys Office.
"It's just a little stomach flu." Catherine continued to Joe, switching the phone from her right hand to her left.
"Well, if you're sure." Joe said. "Take care, Radcliffe."
"I will." Catherine said with a smile. "Bye." And with that, she put the receiver back in its rightful place.
Turning from the wall that the phone hung on, she plopped down on her couch and began massaging her temples. The nausea had come back at about four in the morning and lasted for a couple hours, so Catherine was a little more tired than usual.
She picked up a copy of The Wizard of Oz off the coffee table. She had tried to read earlier that morning, but that had only made her nausea worse. However, now that she was feeling better, she wanted to flip through the book again, to reminiscence her childhood.
The Wizard of Oz had been a favorite movie of hers when she was a child, and more recently, she started re-reading Wizard of Oz books. She was borrowing some of Vincent's books to read, not owning very many Oz books herself.
Just as she was getting immersed in the fairy-tale story, the phone rang. Catherine got up off the couch and went to answer the phone.
"Hello, Cathy Chandler." She answered the phone in her typical way.
"Hello, Ms. Chandler." A nasal voice said. "This is Dr. Annette Lowery's office to remind you of your annual appointment this afternoon at three o'clock."
"Shoot." Catherine said. "I forgot! Are you sure that its today?"
"Yes ma'am." The person said. "At three o'clock."
"I'll be there – thanks." Catherine said, hanging up the phone.
I suppose its for the best, Catherine thought with a shrug. With the way I was feeling last night, a little check-up couldn't hurt.
Catherine plopped down on the couch to continue her reading.
Dorothy told the witch all her story. How she met her companions, and of the wonderful adventures they had along the way, Catherine read with a smile. Somehow, she reminded herself a lot of Dorothy. Like Dorothy, she had truly loved her home, but something seemed to be missing. Something she was lacking. It seemed that she was missing out, that she wasn't making a difference, and while she had every reason to be happy, she wasn't very happy at all. And then, like Dorothy, she experienced a traumatic experience – for Dorothy it was a tornado, and for Catherine, it was a mugging. But through both experiences, they discovered another world. True, Catherine's new world didn't involve a brainless scarecrow or heartless tin man. And as for cowardly lions, Vincent's outer features may resemble a lion, but as far as Catherine was concerned, he was a man, and was definitely not cowardly, more like chivalric, though when going through his mad state, quite unpredictable.
But anyways, once they left their new worlds, Dorothy and Catherine were both new people, and for the better, Catherine was sure. Dorothy learned that if she ever went looking for her heart's desire, she shouldn't go looking further than her own backyard, because if it wasn't there, she hadn't really lost it to begin with. And Catherine was introduced to what became her life, and ultimately, her family, especially after the passing of her father.
Catherine gave a little smile, thinking of the Tunnel people, and especially Vincent. Last year, Vincent had gone through a stage where he had gone kind of mad, and things that happened during that time, Vincent had no memory of, for which Catherine was very grateful. The events that had taken place then had left Catherine traumatized for a while, but then she found that it worked best if she was the only that knew they had taken place, and that she kept them in the back of her mind, trying to block or forget them all together. That's when she remembered what Vincent had told her last night;
"It's a sense… not like our bond, but a sense. I'm sensing someone else… sensing their presence…" that's what he said, right? Catherine thought. Who is Vincent sensing? If not me, than who?
Catherine couldn't help but feel a little peeved. Not at Vincent, or even at the person he was sensing, because neither of them could help it, she was sure. But the bond the Vincent and Catherine shared was real special to Catherine, and the thought of someone else… intruding, bothered her. But quickly, she cut off the bond. The last thing she wanted Vincent to think was that she was mad at him. She wasn't, was she? I mean after all, when Vincent had gone mad – no, she wasn't angry at him, especially for things he couldn't help.
Once the feeling passed though, she opened up the bond again though, and as soon as she did, a guilty feeling plagued her.
Guilty? Catherine wondered. Why should I feel guilty? That's when she realized that she wasn't feeling guilty – it was Vincent. But why was Vincent feeling guilty? She didn't know, but she had a feeling that it had to do with her.
Oh my gosh, he doesn't remember does he? Catherine thought worriedly. No, he can't. So whats he feeling guilty over? She was bound and determined to figure out why, and she was determined to do it right then.
Vincent continued his nervous habit of pacing back and forth. He was at the mirror pool, hoping for some nice peace and quiet where he was certain he wouldn't get disturbed. And he was right, well, partially. Nobody disturbed him and the mirror pool was quiet, but peace was the last thing that happened. His pondering the new bond had opened up a new thought for him.
"Why am I feeling this person?" Vincent growled quietly in his confusion. "I'm only supposed to be feeling Catherine. I didn't get a chance to really speak about this to Catherine last night – maybe that is a good thing. I don't want her to feel as if she's getting replaced. Maybe she shouldn't know about this." But Vincent suspected that it would be next to impossible for him to keep a secret from Catherine, and that suspicion would prove to be true a moment later, when he heard a voice behind him.
"What shouldn't I know about?" he heard Catherine's soft voice behind him.
Vincent quickly turned around to face the entry of the mirror pool. Catherine was standing there, waiting for his answer.
"What shouldn't I know about?" Catherine persisted, taking a couple steps closer to Vincent.
"Catherine," Vincent said. "You shouldn't be down here. I-I'm busy."
"Apparently." She said, but not leaving. "You seem very busy wracking your brain, and you're feeling guilty. Vincent, what's wrong?"
Immediately, Vincent regretted not trying to close off the bond as he ran through his thoughts, trying to rationalize them. He should have realized that she would know something was wrong.
"Catherine, please, let me be alone." Vincent pleaded.
Catherine hesitated. The last time he told me to go, I didn't listen, and I should have, so should I leave now? No, no. He wasn't in his right mind then – everything will flow smoothly now. She shook her head. "No, Vincent. Something is wrong, and I think I can help." She sat down on the ground and motioned for Vincent to sit beside her.
Vincent took a deep breath. "Catherine, last night, I mentioned sensing another person."
Catherine nodded. "I remember."
"This person I'm sensing… the bond is different than ours. Not clear at all." Vincent searched for the words. "I just don't want you to think that… you're not being replaced in my heart. You could never be replaced."
Catherine nodded. "I think I know that. And I have to confess," she sighed, looking at Vincent in the eyes. "I was feeling a little irritated thinking that I have to share you with someone else. I'm just glad we both got this out in the open."
Vincent just nodded, his eyes narrowing in concentration.
"What's wrong?" Catherine asked her friend.
Vincent shook his head. "This person is closer. The sense isn't any clearer, but the person, physically, is closer."
Catherine looked around. "Well, there's no one here besides you and me. Do you have any information on this person? Maybe I could try to help."
Vincent shook his head. "I don't know anything on this person. All I know is that I'm sensing them – I don't even know if this person is sensing me or not."
"And if it's not one of the Helpers or someone Below, than you more than likely don't know this person." Catherine concluded. "You'll probably find out who it is sooner or later."
Vincent nodded. "Father said the same thing."
"And he's usually always right." Catherine reminded him, standing up, wiping the loose dirt off of her pants. "Well, I have to get back to my apartment. I've got a couple errands to run."
"Let's go then." Vincent said leading the way towards the Tunnel entrance in the basement of her apartment, but making sure she was nearby.
On their way up top, they chatted about many things, such as Mouse's newest contraption, a new book, a new system of Pascal's, etc. And while Vincent was trying not to show it, he kept thinking about this person he was sensing.
If someone would mention this person, I'd know it's the person I'm sensing. I'd know immediately… I know it. But the trouble was, Vincent didn't know who that person was, much less where to find the person or why he was sensing the person.