Disclaimer: Not mine.

A/N: This is a prequel of sorts to my WIP, Ripple Effect, though either can be read alone.

Meeting of the Minds: Helen stalked through the anomaly, furious with herself, her husband, and that irritating civil servant.

She could have just let Claudia get eaten, but had she done that, Nick would have undoubtedly reacted badly. No, as tempting as the idea was, there was a better way. A way that would get rid of Claudia Brown and leave Nick completely broken.

"I take it things went badly." Helen glared at the speaker, a woman who walked out of the trees and fell into step beside her.

"What makes you say that?" Helen asked, though she knew the answer.

"I'm you, remember?" the other helen replied easily. "I take it your Nick is still turning his attention to his pretty new coworker?"

Helen scowled. "Yes, unfortunately for them. So, are you going to help me or not?" The plan she'd come up with was perfect, but it required her counterpart's cooperation - cooperation the woman had thus far been somewhat reluctant to give.

helen shrugged. "I don't know. To be perfectly honest, at least as far as getting back at my Nick is concerned, it's a bit extreme."

"You said you wanted revenge."

"I did."

Helen fixed her counterpart with a sharp look and pressed the point. "Nick rejected you. Hell, he set you up to be captured by the SAS and dragged into interrogation. Don't you think he deserves to pay for that?"

helen looked pensive. "And I did give him another chance today. He turned it down." She looked Helen straight in the eye, the anger clear in her face. "Whatever you want to do, I'm in."

"Good. So, the first step is to lure the future predators into our realities. Then, we offer our 'help' to recapture them."

"And when they're taken back, we make sure Nick comes along. Then we switch them by leading them back through the wrong anomalies."

"Exactly."

"I hate to be a critic, but there's a flaw in your plan."

"And what's that?"

"What exactly will convince either of them that what happened was a timeline change rather than a reality switch?"

"Well, in your case, does it matter?"

"Not particularly, but what about you?"

"I'll make sure he thinks it. All I have to do is still 'remember' the former timeline and he'll think that things were changed. Even better, he'll think it's his fault."

"So that's why you've been talking to that annoying little man Leek."

"Actually, Oliver has been quite useful. I'm surprised you haven't tried to take advantage of him yourself."

"I just want Nick. Or Stephen. I don't want to raise hell for the rest of the anomaly team; I could care less about them either way," helen explained. "You, on the other hand, seem to enjoy playing with all of them."

"Well, it's fun. And I have to take my fun where I can, don't I?" Helen asked, with a cruel smile.

"I'd rather keep on exploring the past."

"And you will. In fact, it might be easier if that's all you did."

"So what? Set the two Nicks up and get out of your way?"

"Do you really care what happens next?"

"No. But except for the switch, my Nick is off limits to you. And so is Stephen."

"Nick, fine. Stephen... I may need him for part of my plan to work."

helen's eyes narrowed. She didn't like that, but she'd come this far, hadn't she? "Fine. But if you get him hurt, not only will I not help you anymore, I'll happily work against you."

Helen smirked. She wasn't worried. For all that she and her counterpart had lived basically the same life, the other helen wasn't nearly as dangerous as she was. "It's a deal then. And when this is all over, we'll both have what we want. And everyone who got in the way will live to regret it."