A/N: It's basically my Christmas present to myself. I told those two i would take them back to Victorian England to get fluff from them if i had to.
Helen Magnus was sure she'd never had a better Christmas. The first part of the evening had been spent playing hostess for her father's traditional party. Once it was late enough, she was excused to meet her friends at Nikola's house for their own small get together. It had been more than wonderful. Afterwards John, who had just started courting her two months ago, took her on a carriage ride through the city. It was so pretty with snow every where being lit by the gas lights.
The best part of the evening had to be when she and John shared their first kiss. Well, to be specific, their first kiss on the mouth. John had kissed her in plenty of other places. Her hands, her temple, her forehead. But not once on the mouth. That changed this night. They were caught under the mistletoe that Nikola had strung up as a joke and John leaned over to press his lips to hers. It left Helen with a pleasant tingling all over.
"Helen," John murmured, "We've arrived."
Helen shook herself from her thoughts to realize he was right. John helped her out and paid for their ride. "Do come in," she offered. "We haven't a moment be alone all night."
He smiled and caressed her cheek. "It would have hardly been appropriate," he pointed out. Helen winded her eyes in a plea. "But I suppose a few moments couldn't hurt." She gave him her most brilliant smile as he led her inside.
They divested themselves of their outer layers and Helen led them to the parlor where the tree sat. "Did Nikola's behavior seem odd to you tonight?" she wondered as she turned up one of the lamps so they could see.
"Not particularly when one knows his true purpose," John told her.
"His true purpose?" she teased. "And what, pray tell, was that?"
"Did you not notice that he was most distressed to not catch you under the mistletoe?" John asked her.
Helen let out a laugh. "And why in the world would Nikola Tesla want to catch me under the mistletoe? Why would he want to catch anyone under it? Really, he put it up as a joke."
"Have you not realized that every member of the Five is in love with you?" John asked, honestly shocked. It seemed like anyone with eyes could see that the four men adored Helen. It was why he was so honored that she was allowing him to court her rather than one of the others.
"Every member of the---" Helen let out another laugh. "Now really John Druitt you can not expect me to believe such an outrageous tale."
"It's quite true," he assured her. "I can't believe you haven't noticed the way Nikola and James especially look at you. Nigel does it as well but he is harder to catch in the act."
"Nigel is the only one I will believe you about," she told him. "Nikola cares for nothing but his experiments and James adores me but only as a friend. There is nothing more on either of their minds."
John was about to protest when he realized that it would futile. Helen simply refused to see the obvious truth. Still, she loved him and that was all that mattered. "I have something for you," he said instead. He slipped out a rectangular box. "I thought a ring might be a bit presumptuous so I have this for you," he smiled.
"Presumptuous indeed," Helen teased. "In the first place, John Druitt, you are presuming that I will have you."
"Why, I would be quite hurt to know that the Great Helen Magnus found me unworthy," he chuckled. Helen rolled her eyes at his use of the nickname. "Take your present, dearest, and tell me if you like it."
Helen gave him a soft smile and carefully opened the package. Nestled inside a bed of soft cotton was the most beautiful crystal angel she had ever seen. She noted a loop of string at the top indicating it was to be used as an ornament. She lifted by the string to get a better look. "Oh John," she breathed, mesmerized by the way it threw rainbows across the room.
"An angel for my angel," he murmured before leaning in to caress her cheek. "Shall I take your awed silence as a sign that you like it?"
"It's the loveliest thing I've ever seen," she told him with a bright smile.
John kissed her hand. "I can see something far lovelier right in front of me," he stated. Helen blushed at the attention. Then she sprang to her feet.
"I almost forgot," she called as she hurried to the other side of the room. "I have something for you as well." She came back and placed a box on his lap. "I think this should drive those thoughts about me with other men straight out of your mind," she stated.
John raised an eyebrow but opened his gift. Inside was an ornament just as he had given Helen. His ornament however was not an angel. Instead it was a brass key. He pulled it out with a confused look at Helen. "A key?" he asked. "Does it open something specific?"
"It does," she agreed. She suddenly looked very bashful. She felt silly as well as nervous. What if John thought her idea childish? His probing look held nothing but curiosity and kindness however so she stumbled on. "It's the key to my heart John. Just as my mother gave my father when she realized he was her true love."
John's face glowed with quiet delight. "I am honored to be a part of such a tradition," he told her in a soft voice. "And I promise to care for this treasure for the rest of my life." Helen once again felt warmth spread through her. John was about to go on when the clock chimed midnight. "It is late," he sighed, "I'd best be returning to my own lodgings."
"I suppose you must," Helen agreed with her own sigh. She walked him to the door and helped him on with his own things.
John looked up as he felt something brush his head. He realized there was mistletoe strung in the doorway. "One should not break tradition," he pointed out to Helen. She agreed with a nod.
He leaned down to kiss her and Helen realized that what she had previously seen as their first kiss was nothing more than a prelude. It was a chaste thing meant only for public consumption. The slow movement of John's mouth against hers made her want to groan in delight. When his tongue found its way into her mouth she had to grab him to keep from losing her balance. He eventually had to pull away so they could breathe but still he held her close. "How I love you my Helen," he whispered in her ear.
"No more than I love you," she told him.