Hello to all my readers, I would like to let you know that this is the last chapter to this fic and that I have been considering writing another multi-chapter Beka fic and I would love your thoughts about that idea.
Just so you all know, there are some more Beka one shots written by Faded Feathers and I, so they will be posted on either of our accounts, or possibly The Psychiatric Ward, our joint account.
Also, a quick thankyou to Faded Feathers for this chapter.
Helen Magnus was not an inheritably emotional person. And after everything she had dealt with for the past century and a half, she had become accustomed to events that required her to keep an even firmer hold on her heart. It was necessary to be cool, calm and collected, in the face of danger- whether that danger was apparent or not. However, a few people seemed to be able to bypass all the carefully constructed walls that were designed to protect herself against the inevitable and heartbreaking pain that eventually came every time she lost a friend or family.
Carefully, she watched the pale thin woman as she slept. It was completely unknown if Beka would feel any after effects of the poison the bracelet had injected her with. Helen Magnus was not an overly emotional person, but even she felt as if her heart would break if another she cared about fell into the unknown abyss. Especially one who she had thought would live forever.
"How do you do it, Beka?" Her words came slowly, not even she knew why, or even how, Beka kept herself together.
To her left, Henry raised his head, looking weary, confused and afraid. Helen thought back to how he had grown up around the thin woman's spontaneous visits and postcards. Smiling slightly, she remembered Henry, odd, lanky and gaudy, an awkward teenager with long arms and legs and awkward elbows and knees.
Back when the Cabal had been festering underground. Before Ashley had-
"How do you do this, Beka?" She voiced again, puncturing her words with a sigh.
Ignoring Henry, who was lying across the couch he and Kate had dragged into
the observation room earlier, she stepped closer to the glass.
"How can you still smile, and laugh and be so carefree, zealous, curious, even after ninety years?" The words seemed to be spoken without thinking. Perhaps they spilled forth from her heart, "How can you continue to laugh and be truly joyful even after you've lost dozens of friends and family? How can you continue to try?"
There was a long pause, before Henry spoke. "Uh Magnus, I really don't think I, or anyone, actually knows what goes up inside Beka's head. But I'm sure she'd toss in a joke or two about 'the drugs helping' or quote star wars 'Do or do not, there is no try', and do it while working in some Godzilla, Tortilla and Twincest references," Henry babbled, "But, I think Beka is just Beka. Have you ever seen her alone? She wants to be around people she cares about as much as possible, before they – you know." Henry paused before hesitantly added, "Kick the bucket."
Helen stared at Beka's body, through the glass, nodding slowly, "Perhaps."
Henry scratched his arm awkwardly, "If it's any consolation, I was joking about the drugs."
"Obviously she has never informed you about her Woodstock days," Helen replied with a slight smile as memories resurfaced.
"The one where she smoked some pretty green smoke and spent the next few days parading around in leopard print tights pretending to be a dinosaur?" Henry voiced, "Why is it any different from non-high Beka?"
"I was referring to a particular story about – never mind," Magnus quickly shook her head, "I suspect she told you the tale of 1969; when she haunted a retirement home?"
At Henry's blank expression she paused, "Never mind."
"Sounds about right though," Henry commented around a yawn, "Speaking of drugs, what did you put her on? What did I miss?"
"While it wasn't my first choice, I ended up placing Beka on Nitrazepam," Magnus responded, her eyes fixated on the slumbering woman in the next room.
"I thought you mentioned that you were going with Bon-zon-a-dine, or something like that?" he asked, stumbling over the pronunciation.
"Benzodiazepine was my original choice," Helen dipped her head in what seemed to be a sign of irritation but continued, "Beka seems to have shown a slight allergic reaction to it."
Henry nodded, "So Nitrazepam; sedative, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, motor-impairing qualities – is that why she isn't even twitching?" Henry paused, "Not that I have a problem with meds, but isn't that overkill?"
"I didn't want to take any chances."
"Ah, okay, so no more Beka: Ripper edition?" Henry quickly backtracked at Helen's raised eyebrows, "Okay, so not funny..."
"As for what you missed," Magnus replied in an airy tone, "I could ask you the same thing."
With an indulging smile, she motioned to Henry, who finally seemed to notice Kate, who had snuggled right into the crook of his neck. With a 'deer in the headlights' expression, Henry jumped, landing on the floor with a thump. Kate twitched irritably and fell against the edge of the couch before shifting slightly and calming.
"Henry, I wouldn't be embarrassed, Kate is a rather striking woman," the way she voiced the sentence made Henry blush a deep red, "You'd be a very attractive couple – I would enjoy seeing the grandchildren."
Smirking slightly as she left the room, she reminded herself to save the security tapes before Henry destroyed them.
She wondered why she had never had so much fun before.
"Will," she greeted the sandy haired man as she entered the kitchen, making a sound of appreciation as soon as she stood still.
Will breached the subject that was literally hanging in the air. "It's the Big Guy," he filled her in eagerly, sliding a plate covered in different types of pastry, "Éclairs, doughnuts, toffee, caramel slices, bounty, lamington, pavlova," Will paused in his list, "I'm starting to think the Big Guy bakes when he's upset. Or maybe he's happy because Beka can't steal his cutlery anymore."
"He cleans when he's...contented," Helen corrected, "Baking is reserved for when he's upset or angry. You can usual tell by the types of delicacies he prepares."
Will nudged the plate with his finger, eying it carefully, Magnus declined, "No thank you Will, I'm afraid my waistline couldn't it."
"I wouldn't worry Magnus, your waistline is just fine," Will paused after a moment, as if the full gravity of his words just occurred to him. Magnus's eyebrow shot up as she fought down her amused grin. Shuffling around the awkward sentence he bravely continued, "We kinda need Beka, huh?" he paused again as if to check his words, "I mean, the girl can eat."
"Her daily energy requirements are much larger than the average human I admit." Magnus agreed, "I'm concerned that she wouldn't be able to catch up on her meals due to -"
"She'll pull through Magnus," Will assured, ignoring the expression Magnus sent him as he cut her off, "If there's anything I've learnt about Beka, it's that she always pulls through."
"She isn't invincible, Will," Magnus responded, a slight tone of anger colouring her voice.
"Y'know, if you stick around, you'll see The Big Guy's newest creation- kiev cake, and
he has something called payoh-dah-layo on baking," Will told her, deciding it would be best to change the topic.
"Pão-de-ló, It's a Portuguese dish, very similar to kasutera," Helen frowned, "We'll have to spread his creations throughout the sanctuary if he continues at this pace."
"I'll happily help," Will grinned, pulling chunks from a suspiciously green cupcake and quickly eating them, "He's also putting the finishing touches on a type of cake called kladdkaka, panforte, ostkaka, sopilla cheesecake, and he's making some small versions of spettekaka now," Will paused to check if his pronunciations were correct, "I just texted Henry and Kate, and the Two-faced Guy said he'll be back with some buddies."
"William, out of personal experience, I can tell you, once you venture on this path, you can never return." she warned.
Will blinked in confusion and concern, "That's what you said to me when we first met."
"This choice has far more dire consequences," Helen sighed, "Don't ingest too much sugar, think of your teeth."
"Of course - it's a sometimes food only."
"Cheeky," she smiled, "Don't fall into a sugar induced coma, and check with Henry before you give any form of cake to an abnormal."
"Sure thing Magnus," he assured her.
"And call me when he decides to start making either red velvet or moon cake. Promise me that Will."
"Okay, I promise I'll call."
"Has he started on the Chocolate Cake yet?"
"Yeah, it was one of the first things he decided to make, why?"
"No reason," She dismissed then reconsidered, "It's Beka's favourite." Will nodded like it explained everything, "Be careful, he may not remember that humans have a much lower sugar tolerance than he does. I don't want to see you every day for Insulin injections, Will."
Will shivered at the thought of daily needles before answering, "I'll be fine, it's just a few pieces of cake," Will looked suddenly confused, "Did you come down here for anything?"
"Do you know where Nikola is?"
"Have you tried the dungeon?" Will hurriedly stopped his joking at Magnus' warning look, "No, maybe the wine cellar? He came in here a while ago with a bottle of red wine
and asked the Big Guy to make him a chocolate and red wine cake, or something. When he left he had two slices of cake and the Big Guy seemed pretty mad."
"Thankyou Will, I'll be off then."
"One more thing," Will began curiously, "Where did the Big Guy learn to bake? I don't think he took cooking classes at the local community college."
"He was taught by a dear friend and abnormal, Marie Antoine Carême,"
"Who?" Will asked, looking thoroughly confused.
"Oh Will," Magnus mournfully muttered, "I think you need to get better acquainted with your history books."
Subsequent searches of the Main hall, the Library, the Labs and both the guestrooms and containment rooms yielded no traces of the elusive vampire. Out of suspicion, she made a quick but through inspection of each abnormal's cage, containment cell or room, all being accounted for. A quick scan of her own room revealed that Tesla hadn't wandered in.
Only the wine cellar; starting to become dismally empty was any hint that Nikola Tesla was still at large.
The crumbs of cake scattered around the Sanctuary however, was something she abhorred, even if it did mean that Will had stuck to his promise of 'cake for all'.
Beka was never going to forgive her, for not waking her for such an event. Sighing, as her mind once again sorrowfully remembered the pale woman lying in her observation room, her eyes furrowed.
She couldn't lose Beka. She had already lost one daughter, to lose another was unimaginable. She'd readily admit that she saw the odd woman as her daughter, in as much that Henry was her son. Somewhere along the lines she had created pupils, students instead of children. The guilt of what could have been ebbed at her.
Pausing, she knelt down to pick up a particularly large chunk of cake, with the intention of throwing it in the nearest trashcan. A sudden scent wafted in the air, making her pause.
"Chocolate and red wine," she thought automatically, recognizing the scent of
Dropping the chunk into the closest trashcan, Helen Magnus took a leaf out of James Watson's book. Observing the scene, she made the connections quickly.
The way the crumbs are scattered, assumes a north-bound direction, she mused then frowned. The only places that one could get to by going in such a direction was to a small bio-hazard lab she hardly used, which seemed to have taken on the dual job of a storage closet of sorts, two rooms filled with paperwork and old books kept away from prying eyes and – Helen's eyes narrowed as she realized what exactly she had been missing.
"Bloody, arrogant, childish, manipulative bastard!"
He was going after Beka.
Glancing through the slightly open door, the expertly spiked dark hair and tailored suit she was searching for was easily visible.
"Nikola!" she hissed, as she entered; the vampire in question moved slightly, his smug expression clearly said he had been expecting her.
"Helen! How wonderful it is for you to finally join us!" Holding up a large chunk of cake he smirked, "Cake, Helen?"
"It's chocolate and red wine cake," Helen stated, "You've left crumbs scattered across half the Sanctuary."
"Well, I had to leave a trail of breadcrumbs to find my way home," he seemed honestly shocked that she hadn't made the connection, before his usual snarky self returned, "You're wrong by the way, I had the Sasquatch remove the chocolate – it ruined the taste."
Helen exhaled slowly while Tesla looked hurt, "Helen, did you honestly believe I'd eat anything that fattening- I have my figure to think of, after all; one doesn't get to this level of perfection by eating cake."
"Nikola, what are you doing here?" She demanded, in her steely voice and Tesla grumbled.
"I'm truly appalled that you could think that I came here with bad intentions, Helen. I'm a gentleman."
Quickly she scanned Beka, lying still, in picture perfect serenity. It wasn't immediately obvious whether Tesla had done anything to her.
Other than the large chunk of cake sitting on her chest.
Tesla's innocent expression said it all.
"You're using her as a table! What the bloody hell are you thinking?" darting
forward to remove the cake, Tesla stopped her hand mere inches from the cake.
"Now now Helen, don't be hasty" he grinned in his usual cocky way, "This is all part of my brilliant plan!"
"You have two minutes to explain before I shoot you."
"Oh Helen, so beautiful, so tempting, and so sexy when you're mad." Tesla teased, before adopting a businesslike face, "You see Helen, while most human's are visual creatures, I'm come to the conclusion Beka is an osmic creature."
"You have evidence to support your claim?" the scientist in her sat up straighter, demanded she put aside any grievances and listen.
"Have you ever seen Beka go after a cupcake, it's fascinating," he commented, "Beka seems to be something of a bloodhound, she can smell out the very presence of any form of food from a mile radius."
"This couldn't possibly have anything to do with the fact she's a telepath."
"Have you ever smelt chocolate cake?" Tesla asked, ignoring her dig, "It has a very rich and powerful aroma. If my hypothesis is correct, then any second Beka will awaken by the scent of seemingly the only thing she eats."
Helen had the sudden but not isolated, urge to hit the man in front of her. "If this is how you conduct your daily affairs, then I understand why it was that you never received that Nobel peace prize." It was a low-blow, Tesla knew it too.
"No wonder Druitt left you," Tesla snapped, "If this is the way you treat those who are grieving."
"I think Beka would have words to say to that," She commented aloud.
"Oh, Helen, Beka and I made our peace long ago," Tesla responded, with his usual ego-driven smile, "Have you been getting senile in your old age?"
Helen glowered again, "Hardly, everyday I'm privy to one of your explosive arguments- and responsible for the damage that is incessantly left behind."
"You call it an 'explosive argument' I call it 'friendly banter'."
"Out – now!" Helen demanded, pointing at the door angrily, Tesla looked at her in disbelief.
"You're kicking me out, onto the streets at this hour? Surely even you aren't so cold hearted?"
"It's eleven in the morning!" She fired back, "hardly cold hearted. Out of this room, now!"
"When Beka awakens, you'll know where to find me." He blinked, "But in the mean time, do you think we could move my belongings down to the wine cellar?"
"What ever happened to your world renowned hospitality?"
"Once you were willing to attempt alternate methods of science," Tesla sulked.
Grumbling, the vampire gathered the remains of his cake and left the room, idly twirling a fork between his fingers. Rolling her eyes, she stared up at the ceiling. Vaguely she tried to remember a time when the Sanctuary had been a purely scientific organization developed to serve and protect abnormals.
Now, it seemed like the sanctuary was simply a day care centre for troubled youth. Sitting down in the chair formerly occupied by Tesla, she grabbed the plate of chocolate cake sitting atop Beka and carefully set it down on the metallic tray beside the bed with a measure of disgust.
"Honestly," she mumbled, as she caught sight on the fork near Beka's throat. Moving it, she paused as a sound caught her attention.
Slowly placing the fork on the tray, she listened. The sound was too quiet to truly pick up, but just loud enough to make the hairs on the back of her neck prickle.
The sound. Growling. Low, barely audible, but distinct.
The growling grew louder, looking around she finally realized the source of the noise.
A sudden groan pierced the air, "H-o-l-y shitake mushrooms. Did Tesla get me drunk again?" Beka complained, burring her head in the pillow, "I feel like I've gone three rounds with a Leviathan."
"Leviathan's are extinct, Beka." Helen chided with a relieved smile, 'How do you feel?"
"Trick question, right?" Beka pulled the blankets over her head, letting out another pitiful whine.
Slowly Beka's sleepy face peeped out, "Just five more minutes? Or another eight hours..."
Suddenly she flew up, nose in the air hungrily, "Oh! Do I smell chocolate?"
Within seconds, Beka had the cake in one hand, fork in the other, and was digging in with enthusiasm.
"Tesla brought it for you."
Beka paused, fork halfway to her mouth. Slowly she lowered the fork, prodding the cake slowly.
"Well, it doesn't seem to tick, and I'm not dead yet- so?" looking puzzled, she set the cake down suspiciously, "Did the cake just twitch?"
"It's wonderful to finally have you awake," Magnus paused as Beka stiffened.
"Uh, it wasn't just some screwed up dream brought on by drinking eight cans out Red Bull and stale goldfish crackers was it?"
"Unfortunately, no," she answered softly, moving to comfort the woman, she stopped as Beka scooted back.
"Then Hadden is..."
"I'm so sorry."
Beka swallowed, visibly shaking she plastered a small fake smile on her face, "If it's ok, I'd really like to be alone."
"Please?' Beka's tone was absolutely heartbroken. Somewhere inside, Helen's own heart broke just a little, to see her so utterly miserable.
"If you need anything at all-"
"I know," Beka's smile tightened, "Thanks."
As soon as Magnus left, her expression on of pity, sympathy and a rainbow of other dark emotions, Beka slumped. Leaning back against her pillow, drawing her knees up to her chin, she yelped slightly as a sharp edge dug into her back.
Reaching blindly under her pillow, tears in her eyes, she pulled out the offending object, pausing in her anger as she noticed the book with something akin to shock as it fell open to an obviously well-read page.
Today my wonderful little boy was born. Healthy, with pink little toes and soft hair and the most beautiful cornflower blue eyes. Absolutely gorgeous. We named him Hadden Cameron. His eyes are so beautiful, so innocent. I think everything is finally going to be alright.
Slamming the cover shut as tear spilt one by one, a sliver of paper fell out. She examined the spiky handwriting before scrunching it up into a ball.
"What the hell Tesla?" she sighed, reaching for the chocolate cake, "What the hell are you playing at?"