A/N: I'm slowly returning to a bit of fanfiction writing and Sanctuary in my newest focus. However, my creativity seems limited. Right now, I'm planning a series of tags to the upcoming new episodes of the season. These will be relatively short, simple and usually angsty pieces reflecting on the events of each episode from Helen's perspective. How I'd love to get inside her head! (I'm hoping the next few episodes do exactly that.)

By the way, this first chapter is titled III and follows the third episode, Eulogy. It chronicles Helen's thoughts the night of Ashley's memorial service.


III (Tag for Eulogy)

All is quiet now.

Darkness and silence surround me. My best and truest friends, they are always present.

Sitting on the highest parapet of the Sanctuary watching the lifeblood of Old City flow by, I realize anew the oddity of my life. Never changing, I continue as others move on to whatever it is comes next. As I told Will, death is a mystery I long to understand.

Each day I look in the mirror to see a face that is unchanged. Not a single wrinkle has been added in spite of the days that have passed. Though my spirit ages with each added day, my body is little different than it was that fateful day so very long ago.

I am tired. It is the fatigue of a century old woman in a young and vital body. Lithe, healthy, still fertile, I feel ancient and ready to die. By rights, I should have left this world long ago. God knows I'm ready.

But I never could leave well enough alone. Always searching for something new, something exciting, I pushed the boundaries of science and found the unthinkable. And it transformed my life. It stole my life. And I let it.

Truthfully, I had no idea what I stood to lose in the bargain.

The source blood took away as much as it promised, certainly more than it delivered. In exchange for limitless youth and vitality, I traded the possibility of long term relationships, the kind that bring comfort and meaning to life. I took years to realize the depth of that loss. I never actually stopped to think how I would outlive everyone I cared about. Lovers and friends came into my life those first few decades. Then they left, either frightened by my unnatural youth or dead of natural causes. I learned my lesson. Many years ago, I stopped cultivating the kinds of friendships that make life worth living. Losing lovers and friends, over and over again had been too hard.

Instead I had a child. Manipulating nature in a way never dreamed of in the nineteenth century, I made it possible to still have a child by the only man I'd truly ever loved. At the time my actions made perfect sense, at least to me. Ashley was a person I could love and care for from the beginning of her life. I assumed I would die before her; that was simply the natural order of things. Even twenty five years ago, I couldn't believe this life of mine would go on forever.

I was tragically wrong. My child is dead.

I admit that now. I tried every avenue I could think of to deny the inevitable. None of my theories to the contrary held their own. I have no choice but to believe the evidence of my own senses.

My beautiful Ashley caused her own death rather than let the evil placed inside her take my life. How I wish it had happened differently. I would gladly give my life for hers. With horror I realize too late the selfishness of bringing her into this world, making the choices that would ultimately lead to her violent death.

Forgive me, Ashley.

I miss you more than I thought possible.

Briefly, I wonder what it would be like to let myself fall to the ground below, to simply stand on the edge of the parapet and lean forward. It would be easy. It would no doubt be fatal, even for me.

But now in the ultimate irony, I recoil from the thought of suicide, remembering that Ashley gave her life for mine. I can not throw that gift back in her face. Continuing this life will be my penance. I can simply pray that the merciful power I've believed in for so long will release me in the not too distant future.

In the meanwhile, I will do all in my power to give some poor meaning to my daughter's sacrifice. It is the least I can do to honor her life and perhaps in some small way redeem my own.


A/N: Please let me know what you thought of this offering. And stay turned for IV (Tag For Hero) after Friday night's episode.