Because my shippy plotbunnies reproduce at a ridiculously fast rate, and because Amanda Tapping just had to say that Helen apparently "absolutely adores and loves" Nikola, I think it is necessary for me to write this lest the fanfiction category for this fandom becomes overrun with too many random oneshots. Instead of posting every oneshot born out of the squee-ness that was "Sleepers" individually, I am compiling (most) of them into this fic, which will essentially be a series of oneshots exploring the gradual development of Helen and Nikola's relationship following the events of the episode. Each oneshot will not necessarily be directly related, but they will progress chronologically. This first one takes place just a few hours after the last scene of "Sleepers." I hope you enjoy :)
Best regards from a Bookworm (and hopelessly obsessed Tesla fangirl),
Miss Pookamonga ;-P
PS: Happy New Year! I have officially been a Sanctuary fan for a whole year now. Yay!
A Single Ray of Light
"A single ray of light from a distant star falling upon the eye of a tyrant in bygone times may have altered the course of his life, may have changed the destiny of nations, may have transformed the surface of the globe, so intricate, so inconceivably complex are the processes in Nature ... the energy of a single thought may determine the motion of a universe."
~Nikola Tesla, 1893
She watches him sleep, his head resting against the back of the couch, and his face half-nestled in her hair. She restrains herself from chuckling aloud at that—he has always had a terrible aversion to touching other people's hair, and yet here he is, his face buried in hers.
But then again, he has never really seen her as just another person.
The thought brings back the memory of their little escapade in Rome, of the moment when he admitted his love for her. She remembers the soft way he whispered that confession, the way his eyes tenderly regarded her, the way he tentatively reached out his hand to almost brush his fingers against her cheek. The reverie alone is enough to cause her breath to hitch in her throat and her heart to pound more heavily against her ribcage. She is especially captivated by the memory of his eyes—half-lidded as if in a trance, the white light in the tunnel reflecting off the brilliant blue of his irises as they slowly looked her over. There had been times, back at Oxford and back during her various visits to him over the years following, when he had looked at her that way and she had felt something stirring between them, something she had never quite understood or had paid enough attention to. Something in the back of her mind had always told her that Nikola Tesla did indeed love her—perhaps even more passionately than John had first appeared to—but for some reason she had always pushed the thought away. Perhaps she had been afraid of entertaining the notion that she might actually reciprocate his feelings, had been afraid of being hurt again.
But whatever her fears were in the past, they have dissipated. Now, her fears are the exact opposite: she is terrified of not loving him, of hurting him by turning him away.
Her eyes drift to his stomach, rising and falling steadily with each breath. She feels the stab of pain at the haunting realization that his breaths are so much more numbered now, that she will lose him so much more quickly than she ever anticipated. And suddenly, she wants to do nothing more than wrap her arms tightly around him and hold him close to her, as if that alone can keep time from stealing him away. She lifts a hand to his cheek and rubs her thumb gently against the corner of his mouth, biting back tears. She can't lose him. Not now. Not when they are suddenly so close again, like they had been at Oxford all those years ago, before The Five. Not when they are suddenly closer than they have ever been in all the time that they've known each other.
The stroking of her thumb and her quiet sniffling wake him abruptly and he blinks his eyes in surprise at finding himself leaning against Helen Magnus.
She smiles softly at him. "Yes, it's me," she whispers.
His face relaxes. "We fell asleep."
"Yes, we did."
He doesn't say anything for a moment. Then—
"What time is it?"
She snuggles in closer to his warm body. "Does it matter?"
She can tell by the way his eyes flicker at her movement that he's startled, but the expression softens when he realizes that she isn't going to move away. "No. No, I suppose not," he finally answers as she decides to shift even closer.
She lifts her legs up and curls them underneath her before trailing the hand on his cheek down his neck to rest on his chest. A tiny smile tugs at her lips as she feels him shudder beneath her fingers. Silently, she leans her head forward until it too is resting upon his chest, and she nuzzles her nose into the spot below his throat where his collar is now open.
She can hear the thumping of his heart accelerate as he raises his arms to hold her gently against him. He pulls her closer and then dips his chin down to bury his nose into her curls, moving his face downward until his lips just barely brush against her ear. A delightful shiver ripples through her body at the sensation, and she can feel him smile in response as he leans his lips closer to her skin.
She thinks for a moment that he is going to whisper something to her, but he doesn't and instead just places a soft kiss behind her ear before leaning his cheek against her hair.
She sighs softly against his skin, reveling in the sweet silence of their first real embrace. Her heart melts in satisfaction; she has wanted this for longer than she cares to admit. No one has ever held her like this before— striking the perfect balance between gentleness and protectiveness, neither holding her loosely nor gripping her possessively. She can't remember the last time she has felt this safe, this secure. In his arms she can feel the confirmation of his spoken confession of love for her, a love which is far too intense for it to be summed up in mere words. She can sense that intensity vibrating through every inch of his body, enveloping her and passing through her into her own heart. It's exhilarating, this feeling of knowing she is loved again—and loved more so than she has ever been loved before.
It is because of this that she doesn't want to move away, although she knows she probably should. She should leave, wash up, get some proper sleep in her own bed. But resting in Nikola's arms is the far more appealing option, and some part of her knows that if she is to leave now, she will be yearning for him for the rest of the night. So she stays where she is, nestled comfortably against his chest, and allows her eyes to drift closed once more as her mind settles into yet another peaceful dream.