One week later:
"As far as I can tell, that's going to be great, Henry." Will said, looking at the sketches of Will's latest invention.
"You seem to be carrying on well without me," Helen said as she walked into the study.
"Magnus!" Will cried, turning around.
"How are you feeling, Doc?"
"Very well, thank you." She said with a smile as she turned to look at Henry.
"A week after you had twins via cesarean section?" Will asked with a raised eyebrow.
"One of the blessings of my physiology is the rather rapid rate at which my body recovers from trauma." She said with a shrug.
"Glad to hear it," he said with a grin.
"Will, may I have a word?" She asked, clasping her hands in front of her.
"Of course." He said, nodding, as Henry motioned to the door. "I'm gonna go."
"It was good to see you, Henry." Helen said with a small smile as he left.
"What's up?" Will asked as Henry left the room.
"I wanted to talk to you." She said, seriously.
"I need you to take the lead in the Sanctuary affairs for a while longer than I had first anticipated."
"Something wrong?" He asked, concerned.
She shook her head. "The last year has been rather eventful, and I need some time to process everything, and to bond with the twins. So, I've decided to go on Sabbatical."
He nodded, understandingly. "Everything working out with Druitt?" He asked after a moment.
"That's the other project I need time to focus on. I need to research a cure for his madness."
He didn't say a word.
"With the children as young as they are, and with his desire to make up for the last one hundred and twenty years, we've decided that it's time to see if there's a way to maintain his powers and keep him from going mad."
"How long are you going to work on it?"
She swallowed. "As long as it takes, Will."
"And you're just going to make the Sanctuary your second priority?"
She inhaled slowly. "I have more than a few regrets from my life, Will," she began. "And while I am not leaving the Sanctuary, I am willing to make the time to assure that my children do not feel like the only way they can prove their worth to me is through their work with the Sanctuary. If they desire to work with the Sanctuary, they are welcome, but...if they wish to have a...normal life..."
"We'll miss you, Magnus."
"This is still my home," she said with a smile. "And if you require my assistance, I will be here to render it."
"And you promise you're coming back?"
"I will still be the legal head of the Sanctuary," she said, seriously. "For...a year or so, I'm asking you to be the acting head."
"Then, I'm here for you, Magnus."
"Thank you, Will." She said with a smile as she turned to leave.
It was only a few moments before she returned to her quarters to hear the soft cries of her newborn twins. Helen walked into the room to find John gently rocking the twins in their bassinets.
"You seem somewhat out of place, Mr. Druitt," she teased.
He turned with a small smile. "Helen, don't mock me."
"Let me help," she said, walking over. "It's time for their feeding."
"Did you speak with Will?" He asked as she took Audrey into her arms and walked over to her mother's antique rocking chair that she'd retrieved from her storage rooms so that she could nurse the newborn.
"Yes," she said, nodding. "He's agreed to a one-year sabbatical."
"Helen, you love your work. You do not need to take the sabbatical."
She looked over at him. "John, I love you more. And I love our children. Taking a year to lay the foundation of love and trust between us and our children is worth it. And finding a way to keep you out of the grip of the Ripper is also worth it."
"If you change your mind, Helen," he began softly.
"Stop." She interrupted, touching his lips. "I could never change my mind. This is the way it was supposed to be from the beginning." She swallowed. "With only one glaring omission," she managed.
John looked down at the floor as they remembered their eldest daughter, silently. A moment passed before Helen looked down at the infant suckling at her breast. "Your sister, Ashley, was a spirited young woman," she began with a teary smile. "And even though I would love more than anything to have her back, if we hadn't lost her, your father and I would not have reunited in time to have you darling children."
John picked up Gregory before he walked over to sit beside her. He kissed her forehead, gently. "I ask only one promise, Helen."
"That you tell us about Ashley. All of us."
Helen looked over at him as she nodded. "I promise, John. For the rest of my life, I will tell all of you about Ashley."
"Then I'll have to be here for the rest of your life." He promised, leaning in to kiss her lips gently as he intended to do for the rest of his natural life.