Ok, I am truly sorry that it took so long to finish this last part and you had to wait that long. But life has been a bit stressful lately and I just didn't feel like writing much.
So, this is the last chapter of this story, the grand finale so to speak. Hence the length of it, I just thought that splitting it in two would not be good.
As usual, Reviews would be lovely...
A week later
Nick had called the others, telling them that Jenny would be fine and that she had remembered the small thing of how she liked her tea, which had resulted in happy shouts of Abby and Connor groaning in the background. Apperantely the boy had been badly hungover, and Abby had told him that Connor knocked a few pints. Which explained him feeling sick, because Connor Temple should never be allowed near any form of alcohol, he just couldn't take it.
The day after that, Nick had brought some clothing for Jenny, reckoning she wouldn't want to wear that hospital-paperdress all the time. With hindsight it had been a good idea that everyone kept a spare key to the flats and houses of the others, because on occasions like that it was very helpful. And the clothes served another purpose, namely Jenny picked out a blue shirt and said that she liked it best and was able to remember where she had bought it.
Being glad of small steps...
Now it was Friday again and after a week of rather harmless anomaly sites and Jenny getting better from day to day, she was finally being discharged. So Nick had volunteered to pick her up and drive her home, making sure she had everything, while the others would buy supplies and all that sorts of stuff. And no one had argued, in fact they had nearly pushed him for the 'pick Jenny up' part, because at first he had suggested that he should buy supplies, simply for his car was the biggest. But they had insisted, and so Nick had given in and was now on his way towards the UCH. And while he drove he let the last week pass again and the things that had happened.
Strangely; despite the pain of seeing Jenny injured they had gotten very close, Nick often stayed with her every minute he could spare. And what was even weirder, Lester had not said one word about that. Sure, there wasn't really much to do at the ARC right now, except when an anomaly turned up and he had successfully dodged every question about the ARC in general or where he would rush off to when Jenny was around. For some absurd reason Nick still feared of what could happen if he told Jenny the full thing. It was complicated enough without having suffered from memory loss, but that being the case Jenny would think he was nuts.
And given that she already had remembered some things, places or names, Nick wasn't really keen on confusing her much more. He was content with seeing her every day, watching those beautiful eyes light up whenever he entered her room, hearing her laugh while he shoved her around in a wheelchair or sitting in the small park behind the hospital. And strangely she seemed to feel fine too, sometimes asking stuff about her life, but usually she would be trying to figure out herself. When they talked their topics would be light and somewhat unimportant, sometimes teasing each other, sometimes not. And Nick had the feeling that they both enjoyed that.
Of course the others had been visiting very often and talked to Jenny quite some time. Although the first time Abby had visited with Connor dangling behind her, Jenny had gotten a rather nasty headache because Connor was talking her almost to death at a very fast pace, while he wrote well-wishes and greetings upon the cast. And she had laughed as the boy had received a playful slap on the head by Abby; it still fascinated Nick at how she changed whenever she laughed or smiled.
And as he walked down the now familiar looking hallways of the UCH, Nick allowed himself to smile too.
Life is weird sometimes... Jenny is in the hospital and yet she's now closer to you then ever before...
Knocking on the door and opening it slowly, he caught sight of her, sitting on the bed, a set of crutches next to her, smiling hugely towards him.
"Hey, Nick. Came to pick me up?" Jenny asked while her smile deepened and settled forever within Nick's heart. She wore dark trousers, the cast hidden underneath them, a dark green shirt, while her brown hair curled around her shoulders. She still seemed a bit pale, but her smile alone told that she was well enough to leave the care of doctors. Right on cue Dr. Mitchell stepped in and once more looked Jenny over, gave some instructions to her, filled out a prescription for painkillers which she handed to Nick and finally discharged her.
As if that was the signal Jenny had been waiting for, she grabbed the crutches with some determination and levered herself up from the bed. Seemingly she already had practised with them, for she was getting along nicely, while Nick grabbed her already packed bag and walked with her through the corridors towards the exit.
Together, side by side, they walked out of the hospital. She had refused to get a wheelchair to the car, suddenly in a very bossy Jenny-like manner at which Nick had to grin. She could still be very bossy when she wanted to, and it was a good sign that she found back to her old self. She had already remembered some smaller stuff, like the fact that Abby owned a lizard called Rex, but they were all waiting for what Connor had called the "Big Bang". Something which triggered her memory enough to let her remember everything.
Nick for himself was just glad she was going to be ok and on her way home, even if she was on crutches and looked only a little bit like the Jenny they all knew. But she was going to be fine; he repeated that over and over, the sentence slowly was becoming a Mantra to him.
At length they reached the Hilux and Jenny tried to get into the passengers seat, but somehow her crutches were in the way.
If she's going on like that, she'll hurt herself...
Quickly, and without further thought, Nick grabbed the crutches and lifted Jenny carefully up so she couldn't possibly smack her leg somewhere. Though he regretted that decicion almost immidiately, for now he knew the smell of her hair and the dainty grace of her body underneath his hands. And seeing Jenny blush slighty and smile at him in a 'thanks' fashion made it even worse.
But nonetheless Nick couldn't hide the happiness he felt at the sight of that smile, so he was only able to resist for a moment, before he smiled back at her and saw her eyes gleam up. She was silent, until Nick had steered the Hilux out of the premises of the UCH.
"Thanks for helping me. I guess I'm doing alright with those on even ground, but getting into a car was a little more difficutlt than expected. I know I should be happy that I don't know how to use those, but right now its just annoying." She said queitly, while her eyes followed the street.
"I think its better that way. Gives me the opportunity to carry you around." Nick teased her, which resulted in a faint blush across Jenny's cheeks. She gave him a lopsided grin, but her eyes gleamed suddenly; as if she was about to strike back. She was already used to this slight banter, a light battle of who would have the last word.
"What if I don't want to be carried?" she asked, this time looking at Nick properly to see his reaction.
"Would you rather have it I let you fall down?"
"No, you mistook my meaning. What makes you think, I want to be carried by you?" Jenny giggled slightly at the grin Nick shot at her. She had won this round and both knew it.
"Touché Jenny." He grinned, forcing to hold back the laughter in his throat. Didn't work long, because as soon as he heard Jenny giggle beside him he joined in. Fascinated he looked at Jenny for an instant; she was always getting so beautiful when she laughed, she seemed to gleam with a strange light emerging from her eyes.
But it subsided along with her laughter and she looked long at Nick, who had his attention on the street, but was aware of her gaze.
"Is there something you want to ask?" he said after a few minutes, while he halted in front of a traffic light. Nick saw her bite her lower lip, a sure indication that there was something which troubled her, but she was unsure how to but it.
"Is there a reason why you take care of me?" she asked quietly, almost shyly and Nick was startled for a moment, before he regained control over himself. And what was even worse; he had no idea of how to answer her. Of course there was a reason; he felt the urge to protect her from harm. But if he said that, she would only ask further and he would answer; fully aware of the trap he would walk into, but he'd answer nonetheless. But he wasn't ready yet to tell Jenny the fear he had felt when Connor had told him about the accident, or when he'd heard about her injuries. In those moments it had hurt terribly, but it was noting compared to the feeling he had expierienced when he had realised Jenny couldn't remember any of them. Or rather the total missing of all feelings. He had felt as if he had died. Silently Nick had always wondered what would happen to him when he would lose Jenny. No he knew it; with her every single bit of him that was still human and clung to what hope he had left would leave him also and he would linger on, bereft of the only thing that made him feel alive. But he couldn't tell her yet, he even doubted if he ever could.
"Nick?" her voice drifted hrought the clouds of his troubled mind, pulling him out of it and he returned his gaze towards Jenny.
"I'm sorry, I was thinking. What was the question again?" There was no real need to ask, Nick already feared the question had burned itself under his skin, inside his heart and he would never be able to forget it again.
"I asked, if there is a reason you take care of me." She replied patiently, sensing it was a difficult topic.
"Well, I guess, its just my nature." Which was not really a lie, though it wasn't even close to the truth. Yes it was within his nature to lok out for his team-mates and friends and to take care of them when they were hurt or injured, but it wasn't the reason why he took care of Jenny. The true reason for that had nothing to do with responsibility or duty, that rason was locked deep within his heart, and Nick wasn't ready yet to open that cage, set that emotion free and tell Jenny.
Because the real reason was much simpler than everything before in his life. He did it because he loved her. He knew that now, but he couldn't face it yet, let alone tell Jenny, but he knew one day he would pluck up the courage to tell her, but right now was definately not the right time. Perhaps later, when she had remembered all the things she had forgotten and was able to turn her mind on other matters, but deep within him Nick thought that he might never get that opportunity.
Jenny accepted the answer, thought she didn't look covinced by it. It was hard to lie to her, Nick knew that, but he hoped he would get some time before she started to ask again. And it seemed that she had understood that he needed more time, because she turned the conversation around and the further drive was filled with a few questions, a bit of light teasing and a good deal of laughing, so Nick was able to turn his own mind to more pleasant areas of conversation. At length they reached the street Jenny lived in and suddenly the woman next to him was hushed. Interested, but frowning she stared out of the window.
"I know this place." She whispered low, almost in awe of her surroundings. Nick resisted the urge to tell her straight away, Dr. Mitchell had asked him to give Jenny the chance to remember in her own pace. So he just drove a bit slower in order to give her time to look at everything properly. He caught her gaze as she looked at him expectantly, as if she wanted him to solve the riddle for her.
Another thing.. Jenny never was good at riddles...
"Come on, you tell me. Why does this place look familiar to you?" he said, giving Jenny an encouraging smile. She smiled back for a second, before she looked out of the window again, her brown eyes on every house.
"I've been here before, haven't I?"
As a response Nick just nodded, but kept silent, reminding himself constantly to not tell her.
"I live here, right? That's why everything seems familiar to me." Triumphantly she grinned at Nick, as she always did when she had solved one of the riddles.
Nick stopped the Hilux in the space usually occupied with Jenny's Volvo and got out to help her. It was no use; she had already opened her door, swung the cast out, one hand on the doorhandle, the other was holding one of the crutches. Grinning widely she glanced up for a moment, before she took a graceful leap onto her good leg.
"Ha, was to fast for you there, hm? This time you can't carry me." She teased, picking up the conversation from earlier, while she fiddled with the second crutch. Despite his slight concern Nick couldn't stop himself from laughing. That was so typical for Jenny, even if she had no idea. That woman would rather have it to hurt herself than to need someone's help.
While Jenny stood in front of her garden gate, looking towards the house, Nick grabbed the small bag of hers again and joined her. The expression on her face was strange; she looked like she was miles away.
"Jenny? What is it?"
A while she was silent, standing there like a figure carven in stone, only one strand of her brown hair flowing in the light breeze. At length she spoke.
"It feels so weird. I should know this house, but I can't remember it. It's like there are pictures in my head, like watchig a movie I don't know. I don't know how to describe it."
Now her smile was quenched and she stood still in front of her house, plain fear written on her face, just the simple, unquestionable fear of someone who can't recall his surroundings. Nick knew that feeling well, he had felt it after his trip to the Permian, when he came back to find his world changed.
Suddenly everything had seemed alien, hostile even, like a monster that lurks in the dark ready to strike at any moment. And he felt horrible now, because Jenny had to go through that now.
Slowly he reached out for her, lay his hand gently on her shulder, careful not to hurt her, for she had bruises pretty much everywhere. At last; after some moments in silence with nothing than the low murmur of cars on the street to break it; Jenny returned her gaze towards him.
"You must be thinking I'm going crazy. You take care of me and I can't even remember you. I mean, I have a feeling that I know you, but I can't remember you. It's just confusing." She said quietly, but her smile blossomed again as she saw the understanding in Nick's blue eyes.
"It's ok Jenny. Believe me, I know how that feels."
Jenny smiled a bit broader now and suddely Nick thought he had just been raised within her mind to 'trustworthy' people. Slowly they made their way to the front door, where Nick unlocked it and let Jenny enter her home, looking around herself with the enthusiasm of a child, eager to find everything out.
In the kitchen they found Abby, Connor and Sarah, who had also visited her over the past week. They were already busy with cooking and all sorts of stuff, yet they found enough breath to banish Jenny into an old armchair standing in the living room, where she could overlook everything. The achitecture of her house was simple. Two storeys, all set with furniture which looked extremely expensive. Downstairs, on ground level so to speak, had been lots of rooms, but most of the walls had been brought down to create open living spaces. There was a stair in the hallway leading upstairs to Jenny's bedroom, the bathroom, two guestrooms and another room, to which no one had the key, because Jenny had locked it. No one knew what was within these rooms, probably they were cluttered with all sorts of stuff Jenny found no immidiate use for.
As Jenny had lowered herself into the chair and placed her cast on a small stool propped up by several pillows, she watched the two girls in the kitchen banter at Connor, who seemed to be constantly getting in the way of them.
It seemed so natural, so normal that she got lost watching them smiling, while her thoughts drifted away again. Yet she was grateful for Nick sitting next to her, careful not to get anywhere near the kitchen, probably he didn't want to encourage the women to do something to him, should he enter it.
Looking at him, she seemed to see a hint of sadness hidden behind the bright blue veils of his eyes and wondered what it might be. It was possible that it had something to do with the ARC, because he still hadn't told her what they really did. Instead he kept telling her, that she wasn't ready yet for that kind of news.
Somehow Jenny had to agree with that, she felt gloomy at times, especially when her leg started to hurt with dull pain. Yet she wanted to know what it was, maybe she could ask him later today. And ask him why he really took care of her. Jenny was very determined to find that one out, because even if she had lost her memory, she was far from being stupid (at leats she hoped so) and she had very well seen the look in his eyes when he had said it was his nature. It hadn't been the full truth. So she was injured and had forgotten most of what she once knew, but nonetheless it seemed that not all of her skills had left her. She knew that she could be very bossy when it came to it and Jenny had a slight feeling that Nick would be easy work on that part.
Later they were all gathered in the living room, Jenny slumped on the couch, Abby and Sarah next to her, writing greetings and well-wishes on Jenny's cast. At first Connor had wanted to join in too, but had failed utterly, because Abby had told him that he already had his chance. Now was their turn after all. The boy had to leave early because he had to take care of Abby's pets, which shouldn't be left alone for too lng, otherwise they's turn the flat upside down.
It had been a very nice day and evening, the lot of them sitting around talking about all sorts of stuff. Abby and Sarah did most of the talking, Jenny listened at first, but joined in soon, and after a while the men were totally forgotten. Not that Nick wanted to comlain, he just liked it to see Jenny smile, while the others talked to her.
And soon Jenny felt like a part of the whole group and even if she couldn't recall much, she felt like they had shared a lot together, which was probably why they felt so close to one another. They talked about light topics, even managed to nugde Sarah in the direction of calling Becker out on a date (though Jenny had no idea why she did it, it just felt right), yet that only lasted until Abby glanced to Jenny's right and giggled slightly.
Interested Jenny turned around and spotted Nick, fast asleep in one of her armchairs. Legs streched out in front of him, his head resting on his left hand he looked like he was listening what the women talked about, but the truth was he was sleeping deeply. Seeing him like this; his brow not frowned in thought, relaxed and calm, his whole face seemingly so peaceful; all the girls had to smile. It was rare that Nick slept, they all could tell that by the dark shadows underneath his eyes and therefore it was great that he finally had found some rest.
"Well, never thought we could actually talk someone to sleep." Sarah whispered low, careful not to be too loud, but had to stifle a yawn of her own.
"Good. He keeps looking out for everyone else, and forgets to rest himself." Jenny murmured back and surprisingly hit the point exactly. She had grasped what was most essential about Nick's personality (though there was probably a whole book full of traits) and had spoken it out.
"Should we wake him?" asked Abby, smiling at him a bit.
"No, let him sleep here. He needs rest and if this is the place he has chosen for that, then so be it. But just grab that blanket Abby and cover him, I don't want him to get cold." Jenny ordered and funnily the young woman obeyed almost at once. She just shot a strange glance over to Sarah, something between a grin and a frown, before she covered the man with a red blanket.
Hearing Sarah yawn again, all of them had to stifle a giggle, surely it was time for Sarah to get to bed at the least. She was sleeping over at Abby's place because she had drunken a bit of whine and felt like she shouldn't drive anymore.
After getting some more pillows for Jenny along with another blanket, a book and a bottle of water (simply because Jenny had suggested she'd best stay on ground level tonight), they hugged the older woman quietly and proceeded silently to the door. Jenny waited until she heard the door click shut, before she set her eyes on Nick. Somehow he had managed to slump even deeper in the chair, breathing deeply and steadily, covered by that red blanket.
He was actually kind of cute, his concern about everything both heartwarming and annoying and Jenny spent a few minutes to watch him before she turned her attention to the book Sarah had bought her as a house-warming present. Yet soon Jenny was within the dream worlds too.
A few hours later Nick awoke and looked around himself. For a moment he didn't know his surroundings, but then he remembered that the last thing he had seen before he fell asleep were the women talking about something. He looked over to the couch and was surprised to find Jenny there. Her left hand rested upon a book from Sarah, her head on several pillows and she was covered with a huge white blanket. Of course it wasn't that good if Jenny slept on the couch, but carrying her could hurt, so Nick left her where she was. Frowning he looked at the blanket which covered his legs, surely Jenny didn't give him that, so it must have been Abby or Sarah.
His thoughts came to a standstill as he took in the beauty of Jenny, lying on that couch, several strands of brown hair sprawled across her face. Recalling her smile again, he walked over to her, careful not to make any sound that could wake her. Smiling Nick crouched down next to her, just watching her shut eyes and her smiling lips. He reached out, took the hair out of her brow and caressed her cheek, before he even knew he was doing that.
It surprised him how his ability to think of many things at once just disappeared whenever Jenny was near. His thoughts seemed to slow down at first, then stopped entirely. She brought order to the chaos within his mind, while all of his senses were bound to her, the sight of her, the scent of her hair, everything entranced him. Strangely no woman had ever managed that, certainly not Helen and not even Claudia.
But somehow Jenny was capable of that, she made him smile when he started to get gloomy (which was often these days), made him see reason when he was reckless and dragged him away from work when he got too focussed on it. She had now occupied the place where Stephen had once been and even more to that, Jenny had conquered a place within his heart no one had ever reached before.
Walking back towards the armchair Nick sat down to think about it closer. And while he watched her beauty against the warm shine of a small lamp standing behind her, he realized there was not one moment more in his life he wanted to spend without Jenny in it. He had almost lost her, not only because of the crash, for it was possible that she could have died in it, but because of her memory loss also. He shuddered as he thought of it again, that blank stare in Jenny's eyes, it was pretty much the same stare the others had shown when he had told them about Claudia Brown, they were looking at him as if he was going nuts. They had no idea what he was talking about.
Forcing his brain to think of something else than that, he recalled the first genuine smile Jenny had given him after her accident. How happy she had seemed. And still seeing the picture of her smile within his mind Nick fell asleep once more.
The next morning was bright and beautiful as Jenny woke up by the smell of eggs and bacon wandering through her house. Glancing sleepily over to the armchair she saw that it was no longer occupied. Instead she heard someone in the kitchen. Sitting up and wincing silently due to the pitch of pain through her leg she looked towards the kitchen area and saw Nick standing at her stove, making breakfast.
Seeing that he was busy, Jenny reached for her bag with the painkillers in it. Thankfully the hospital had its own pharmacy, so they had been able to get the pills right away. Grimacing Jenny swallowed one of them and shuddered at the taste of it, just as Nick turned around.
"You know, you shouldn't take those without something to eat first." He said, but his stern voice was wiped away by the smile he showed. He was leaning at a wooden pillar that reached from floor to ceiling, and had his hands casually crossed on his chast, smiling at her while his eyes seemed to clench right at her heart.
"How about breakfast?" he asked grinning widely, for he had already noticed the sideway glances Jenny had given the pan behind him.
"Sounds great, I'm starving." She smiled back at him and reached out for her crutches, but stopped as she heard Nick's voice again.
"No no no, you stay there. All part of the service." He winked at her once and turned his attention back to the food and started putting it on plates. Clearly he had been awake for quite a while, because he had already found everything he thought suitable for breakfast. Not that Jenny would have been a great help in telling him where the kitchen goods were. But he had found a small tablet, already stuffed with various things. Two glasses one with water, the other one filled with orange juice, a mug of coffee besides one filled with tea, along with some bread. Now two plates with scrambled eggs and bacon joined the other items and Nick walked over to her.
"Is that all for the two of us? Who should eat all this?" she asked interested, yet smiling nonetheless. It was incredibly nice of Nick to make breakfast for her but then again, it really seemed to be within his nature to look out for the people around him. Although it seemed to Jenny he was giving her special treatment in a way. But as to why he did that, she had no clear answer and once more she wished for the veils which clouded her memory to lift and allow her to get some sense into this.
"Well, I had no idea what you liked best so I brought you a little variety of things to choose from. Except the coffee, the doc said you shouldn't mix caffeine with your painkillers." He said while he passed a plate to her, and strangely the smile never left his face. It seemed to deepen and grow with every moment that passed by.
"Wow, thank you, that is really nice of you. Oh my God, this tastes great!" she exclaimed as she started eating the eggs, which resulted in Nick giggling happily.
"Thank you. But I wouldn't want to subject you to my cooking fully. Stephen once said; scrambled eggs and bacon is the only thing I can cook which can be eaten afterwards."
"Really, it's great."Jenny continued while she looked at Nick. For a while they sat in silcence, Nick sipping his coffee, while Jenny was fully aware of the fact that Nick kept staring at her. Though not in a weird way, but his eyes never missed a movement she made. And all the time that smile was plastered across his lips.
After they had finished their breakfast and Jenny was sitting back contended and feeling worlds better, she looked at the man in front of her. Really looked at him, took everything in that was him. It was strange, something seemed to have changed since yesterday. And thinking about it she thought that now was the best time to ask the questions about the ARC.
The question itself had a dire effect on Nick, for his smile vanished and made room for a frown upon his brow. Sternly he looked at Jenny, as if he wanted to find out if she could take information about that.
"Nick, please tell me. I'll find out anyway, but I want to know it now, so don't make me call Connor to torture you."
For a moment there was a surprised silence filling the room, Jenny had caught him off guard on that one. Yet it only lasted for a moment, before both burst out in laughter.
"Mercy! I'll tell you, but please, not Connor!" nick cried jokingly. It was true, the boy had a brilliant mind and that brain of his was a weapon to be scared of and it would only grow stronger as time passed on. Nick liked the boy a lot, but usually Connor talked to much at a very fast pace and had the uncanny ability to give everyone around him headaches. Except Abby, she seemed to have become used to that. Either that, or she was wearing invisible earmuffs.
At length their laughter subsided and Jenny fell silent, the gleam within her eyes demanding news on the ARC.
"Ok, well, the ARC is a government funded research centre as I've told you before. We keep looking for something called Anomalies; they are rifts in time and ... space. And well, sometimes something comes through them and we deal with that. Animals from different periods of time, sometimes the past, sometimes the future. I know this sounds nuts, but its true. That is what we do, we chase creatures from the past and the future or try not to be chased by them."
He had been prepared for disbelief, he even was prepared for Jenny throwing him out of the house, because if he was true to himself, it sounded totally insane. But to his complete and utter surprise Jenny just laughed and shrugged dismissively.
"Well, I guess there are worse jobs. And I reckon its pretty adventurous."
"Yes, there are definitely worse jobs. Usually it's very interesting, because who gets to see a dinosaur at work?" Nick grinned back at her, relieved that she seemed to accept it.
"Could we go there? To the ARC, I mean. I want to see it."
The idea was good, and due to the fact it was a Saturday after all, there would be less trouble at the ARC. Maybe even Lester wold be at home. And Nick couldn't deny that it was a good opportunity after all, maybe a short visit there could trigger Jenny's memory a bit. And knowing his team mates, at least one of them would be there to hold the fort in case something happened. Thinking about it, it would probably be Sarah, because she worked a lot with the Artifact; not to mention that she tried to be close to Becker, often working longer when he had the night shift. So there would be at least one person more Jenny already knew.
The woman waited patiently; she could tell Nick was thinking. At length he met her gaze again.
"I think you're right. But nonetheless; the doc said you should take it easy, do you think you can do that?" he asked concerned. Jenny had been discharged only yesterday and she probably wasn't able to stand or walk for long periods of time. But her determined nod and the smile which blossomed on her face mad Nick's thoughts drift off into the big nowhere again.
Soon they were on their way towards the huge ship-like building, Jenny glancing sometimes at him, smiling and laughing a lot. And even if Nick silently doubted that regaining her memory would be that simple, he purely enjoyed her company. Right now, he strangely didn't care if the world came to an end, as long as Jenny was there, it was ok.
At the ARC
Jenny glanced around interested; her brown eyes spliting images of saucers while she (maybe subconciously) made her way towards the main room of the ARC. Nick's suggestions had been right, Sarah was here, working again. At least she pretended to be at work. Apperentely she had picked up her car from Jenny's place early this morning. And as usual Becker stood guard at the door to her office. Nick greeted him with a curteous nod; while Jenny hopped on her crutches right past him. Fascinated she stopped in front of the ADD, watching the slow detection target wander across the map of Britain.
As soon as they had entered the premises of the ARC, Jenny had fallen silent. No question, no laughter, not the slightest hint of smile. Instead she just frowned as a woman would who is not familiar with his surroundings.
Sarah came out of her office as soon as Becker had gossiped that Jenny was back. Smiling hugely she stepped up to the woman and hugged her a bit. Yet the smile faltered and she turned her slightly angry eyes towards Nick.
"And what is it with you? She should be home, resting her leg." She pointed towards him, who looked momentarily startled, but quickly recovered and shot back.
"What do you want me to do about it? Tie her to the couch?" due to that quite funny image in his head Nick had to laugh and Sarah grinned too. Probably Hell would freeze over first, ere Jenny would let anyone do that to her. She would rather kill the person trying it than let it happen.
And while the two still grinned and giggled slightly, Jenny stood there right in the middle of the room, the large logo underneath her feet, surrounded by unknown machines in a place she couldn't remember. She felt panic rise in her chest, along with doubts. What if Nick had lied to her, and they were some kind of terrorist group, believing in the apocalypse? For a moment she even believed it, but then Jenny recalled the look in his eyes whenever Nick set his gaze upon her. There had never been any lie within them, but as to how she knew that, she wasn't able to say. She just knew it.
Refusing to appear as the damsel in distress, Jenny shook her head slightly and looked around the huge room again. Her theory was working, she slowly could recall some things. She remembered banter with Nick in front of the ADD, but there were also not so pleasant memories. She was once shouting at him for holding a gun to her head.
Why had he done that? She wondered.
At the far side of the room Jenny spotted a huge black board hanging on the wall. It looked like there would usually hang schedules for meetings and that kind of thing, but now the space was occupied by a large poster. Curiously Jenny stepped closer, heedless of the two people behind her.
On the board there hung a poster with a photograph on it, showing a woman, beautiful yet terrible at the same time. Her hair was brown and short, her eyes spoke of a woman who doesn't care about anything as long as it served her purpose. That woman was someone who had no care whatsoever for anything.
I've seen her before...
The poster itself was oversized, colored, in the making resembling a 'wanted' poster. And while Jenny stared in the womans lifeless eyes, her mind began to race, scenes and places and names reappearing within her head, so many that it almost made her dizzy. And then, with a sudden burst of realization Jenny knew why the woman was familiar to her. , she was the one who had brought all the sorrow back as if a dam had been broken down. Her joining the team, Nick who kept confusing her with this Claudia Brown, creature hunts, Stephen, Abby and Connor, Lester, Sarah, and above all of them, towering like some ancient goddess of revenge; Helen Cutter. The most wanted person by the ARC personnel, Nick included. The woman which Jenny would happily see eaten by some predator.
Finally her thoughts ceased fire again and trembling Jenny turned away from the picture. Holding her body weight on one of her crutches, she pressed her left palm against her temple; she was getting a headache again. She remembered most of it, though not everything; but enough to know where she was and why she was there. And what was even more important, she could finally connect the faces of the people around her with certain events.
Looking up she saw only Sarah, stnding not a pace away, a concerned expression on her face, as if she feared the woman could break down.
"Where's Nick?" Jenny whispered weakly. She definately didn't feel well, and since she had the accident, Nick had always been there. Where was he now?
"He had to make a call to the lab on some study we've been doing. He's in his office. But maybe you ought to sit down first, you look like you're going to pas out." Sarah gently reached out for her arm and led her slowly to a nearby chair. Jenny had to admit, sitting was way better than standing. At least now she could focus on things without having to watch out for her balance.
She looked at the younger woman in front of her, saw the concern in her dark eyes and had to smile. Now she also knew that her and Sarah had been sharing some secrets. Though the last time they had talked was a while ago, before the fire within the ARC to be exact. The day Nick had been shot. Recalling that was the most painful image in her mind, his lifeless body in front of her, the emptiness she had felt at the thought of his death.
"I remember now, Sarah." Jenny whispered low, only for the other woman to hear. Surprise mixed with great joy danced for a moment on Sarah's features, before she hugged Jenny happily.
"Really? Oh, this is great! How are you feeling about that?" she asked, patiently waiting for an answer, while she sat down herself.
"Well, my head is throbbing, but otherwise I'm fine. I guess that was this 'Big Bang' Connor was going on about. And wow, that was what I call a bang. All that because of that picture of Helen over there. Weird."
"so you can remember everything? And you're feling fine?" Sarah was instantaneously concerned again, despite the happiness within her.
"I'm ok. I can't remember everything yet, but much. I'll just get some Aspirin later or one of my painkillers. But I have to go to Nick now, I want to thank him for taking care of me.
Without further thought or word, Jenny stood up again and made her ay towards Nick's office. Suddenly nothing seemed hostile anymore, all was comforting and familiar to her and that feeling increased the closer she got to Nick's office. It was almost like she was steering towards some light house which promised safety. And as she thought so, Jenny's heart nearly welled over because Nick had taken on so much hurt to make her feel safe and comforted. No doubt it must have been aterrible reminder of his own things. Abby had once told her about that whole Claudia Brown thing and Jenny's accident must have ripped old wounds open again. Yet nonetheless he had taken care of her and besides, there had been a gleam in his eyes Jenny hadn't seen before. Neither on Nick nor on any other man who had ever set eyes on her. Sure, there was something between them, everybody knew it, but both of them were probably worried to make the first move. Nick was probably concerned he'd lose her again and Jenny was worried he'd only see the image of Claudia Brown in her.
Stepping into the office her thought subsided as Nick looked up from his desk to look at her. His eyes quickly glanced behind her and he frowned as he could spot no one.
She found her way alone...
"Jenny? Is everything alright?" he asked concerned, almost worried at her expression which was both sad and happy.
Nodding Jenny came closer, leaning at the desk in order to get rid of the crutches.
"I've remembered." Just a simple sentence, three words to be precise, yet they broke through Nick's defensive walls like a rogue tank. Cautiously he drew closer to her, his blue eyes bound to hers, that strange gleam within them again.
"Honestly?" he whispered as if she was a dream vision and would fade if he spoke louder. Jenny had to supress a shudder at that and kept a straight face so to speak. Insteak of speaking, she reached out and laid her hand on Nick's chest, exactly on that spot where Helen's bullet had struck. That day they had all almost lost him. She had almost lost him. Realizing she couldn't bear that, Jenny looked up into his eyes once more and finally recognized the gleam within them and why it only appeared whenever she was around.
Jenny Lewis, how on earth could you be that blind...
"I am sorry for what happened. And I am happy that you took care of me noneteless. Doubtless it was a terrible reminder on things that happened before we met. Yet there is one thing I'd like to know." She said, her hand still on his chest and Nick made no attempt to change that.
"And what is that?" he asked, drawing ever closer to her, as if her were a puppet pulled by an invisible string.
"Did you take care of me, because I look like her?"
Hurt flashed briefly across Nick's face, he looked like he had just been hit by Jenny. For a moment she was sorry to spoil his good mood, but she just had to know it.
"Jenny, I took care of you because I wanted to. It wasn't because I saw someone else in you. I'm not going to lie to you and tell you, that you don't remind me of her, but that wasn't the reason. When you had the accident I thought about what would happen if you wouldn't make it and I found out that it would have been a blow I couldn't take. It is true, my version of reality has changed, but in the end I'm glad about it and I'd go through it again and again if I had to."
"Why?" Jenny whispered, deeply touched by the honesty within his words.
Nicks smile was sweet and the promise in his eyes made Jenny drift away in a world ruled by his care and his love.
"It brought me to you." He answered simple and pulled Jenny in a long and caring embrace and kissed her tenderly, heedless of the fact they were at work (technically). And Jenny let it happen, losing hersef in the soft touch of his lips and the feeling that spread between them. She clung to him as if he was her anchor in stormy seas. And in truth he was, he had kept her safe in the past and would ever keep her safe. At last she had found her safe haven and deep within her soul she knew he felt the same way, even if he didn'T speak it out yet.
But her thoughts ceased again as she leaned onto him, her ear on his chest, the steady beat of his heart lulling her into a state of total and utter safety. Wherever they would end in the future, as long as Nick was with her, she would feel secure.
They were together and that was all that mattered to her.
Ok, so this is the end of this story. A bit sappy, I know, but I couldn't help it.
But I have to say that the next story will probably be more the adventurous type, simply because I think I'm just not made for fluff^^ Others are way better than me in that part.
Thanks to all who have reviewed, it really feels great if someone tells you you're doing a good job, so thank you all for that. And the people that didn't review... It's great that you read my story, I always wanted people to at least read what I write.