Title: "Monster" A Sanctuary story.
Spoilers: "Pilot" "Kush" "Revelations"
Archive: Yes, please!
Summary: Will's spending time in the SHU and Helen's worried about him.
Author's note: I thought the ramifications of the monster that attacked Ashley being the same as the one who killed Will's mother were something that should be addressed. Also, a small whisper of my last story "Reflections" has been added to this as well.
Disclaimer: Sanctuary and its characters do not belong to me. No profit will ever be made on this. It was a labor of love.
Helen exited the lift that had taken her to the bowels of the Sanctuary. As she walked toward the SHU, she found herself walking slowly, delaying the inevitable. She did not want to have this particular conversation, but it seemed she had no choice.
It was the middle of the night. A time she could usually find peace to do her work without interruption. She'd been at her desk when Henry had appeared.
She smiled at him. "Henry. You're up late."
He'd given her a short smile, and ambled toward her. "Yeah, catching up on a few things downstairs." He rubbed his nose self-consciously. " Listen, Doc, there's something you need to know."
Helen had put her pen down and folded her arms. "Oh? What is it?"
"I don't want to narc on him or anything, but the new guy, Will, he's bee n hanging around the SHU lately. He's been sort of fixated on the guy who attacked Ashley."
A feeling of dread washed over Helen. She merely looked at Henry for a few moments, trying to gather her thoughts. "Well…it would be natural for him to be interested in the Abnormals. The whole thing is still quite new to him, you know."
"Oh, I didn't say he was interested in all the Abnormals, just the big lizard that attacked Ashley." Henry gave her a knowing look.
"Damn." Helen's voice was a whisper.
"Yeah. I thought you might want to talk to him or something."
Grudgingly, Helen nodded. "Thank you, Henry. I suppose I'll have to."
Now, she turned the corner and beheld Will leaning against the wall opposite the enclosure. He was watching the creature closely as it paced back and forth. It occasionally butted the glass wall, trying to get at him. Will didn't react much, just a narrowing of his gaze.
"Will?" Helen's voice was soft. "What are you doing down here?"
Will shrugged. A small shake of his head.
"Henry says you've been spending a lot of time down here lately."
Will remained silent, refusing to meet her eyes.
Helen took a deep breath. "I don't think I've thanked you for saving Ashley the other night. It was very brave of you to go into the enclosure with the creature, and you were very clever in figuring out how to drive it away."
Will huffed out a bitter breath of amusement. "Yeah. If only I could have done that back then."
Helen almost flinched at the bitterness that was practically oozing from him.
Will looked her way briefly before giving his attention back to the creature. "This is it, isn't it? This is the creature that killed my mother that night."
Helen moved slowly closer. "Not the exact one, no. We killed that one. It is the same species, though."
Will nodded, folding his arms almost protectively around himself. An unconscious gesture. "I was watching it feed earlier. It ripped the meat to shreds." He sounded both impressed and horrified at the same time.
"God, Will," Helen put her hand on his arm. "Don't torture yourself like this. Please, come back upstairs and we can talk if you want to."
Will pulled away and walked a short distance away, then turned back to her urgently. "No. Don't you see? I can't remember! I can't remember that part of it. What does that say about me that I just blanked out on it?" His eyes were very bright.
"Will, do you want to remember that part of it? Your mind is protecting you. That's a good thing. You don't want to carry around those images, do you?"
"Why should I get a pass when she…" He stopped, swallowing rapidly.
Helen approached him and wrapped an arm around him. "Will, I really wish you had not figured out that this was the same creature as the one who… Please come back upstairs with me. " It said something about Will's state that he let her lead him out of the SHU and toward the lift.
Helen breathed a sigh of relief as the doors slid shut. As she pushed the button for the first floor, Will said, "Why? Why do you keep something like that here?"
"Well, I know it may sound callous, but it's another creature we are trying to study and understand. All the Abnormals give us another piece of the puzzle in terms of evolution."
"Even the killers?" Will's tone was accusatory.
"Yes." Helen's voice was soft. "The more we know the more we can protect ourselves and others, and understand how the creatures behave better."
Will snorted. "Understand them? Yeah, that's great." Will had jammed his hands in his pockets, hiding part of himself away, Helen thought.
The doors slid open and she led him to her office. Helen settled him on one end of the sofa while she took the other. She remained silent, letting him process and gather his thoughts.
"That night, you were there. Why were you able to save me but not her?" Will's voice shook with the intensity of his emotions, but he didn't meet her eye.
Helen sighed and put a hand on his arm. "Will, the creature. At the time we didn't know what it was. Something had been killing first animals, then humans in an area of Old City. We tracked down what we thought was the only one and killed it, but there was another, its mate." Helen hesitated, then forged ahead. There's something else you need to know. Your mother, she worked with me at the time."
Will turned to her, eyes wide. "My mother? Worked with you? No." He shook his head. "She was a doctor."
"Yes, a very gifted one. She provided invaluable insight into some of the creatures we studied."
Will shook his head in rejection of the idea. "I can't believe this."
"Will, she was with us when we killed the first creature. Its mate got your mother's scent and tracked her. That's how it found you and your mother that night you went camping."
Will shot to his feet and took a few steps away, running a hand over the top of his head, then he turned toward her again.
"So, knowing this, why couldn't you save her?"
"Oh, Will, I wish we could have. You don't know how much. If we'd only been a few minutes faster we could have intercepted the creature, but we didn't know what was going on until the last minute. We got there as fast as we could, but it was too late for your mother."
Tears in his eyes, Will took a deep breath. "I…I gotta get out of here. I'm...I'm going to bed." He started out of the room, then stopped and turned to look at her. "I don't care what you say, there are monsters in the world." He hurried from the room, trying to escape his demons.
Helen sighed. She got up and pressed the button for her manservant. He appeared almost immediately.
"I want the creature that attacked Ashley transferred to another Sanctuary immediately."
The big guy grunted softly. "Which Sanctuary? Shall I call Dr. Watson and send it to the UK?"
"No. There are…difficulties in sending it there. Send it to the Ukraine." If it were possible, Helen's heart became even heavier. Her manservant merely nodded and disappeared to do her bidding.
Helen returned to the sofa and sat down heavily. She thought that like Marley in the Scrooge story, her chain of sins had grown long and heavy over the years and links continued to be added. She'd just revealed one of the largest and strongest links to Will this evening. One she would carry with her for the rest of her long, long life. Will had said there were monsters in the world, and he was right. Helen made a sound of bitter amusement, her vision blurring. Had he been referring to the creature that had killed his mother or to her, Helen?