This fic began under massive inspiration from JenniferJF's story 'Hope' and AstraPerAspera's story 'Malorum Est'. Check out their work, you won't be disappointed. Also big thanks to the creators of Sanctuary and the characters with which they let us play.
It took a lot to make Helen Magnus lose control, to break down and give in to the emotions which raged tumultuously inside her. In 158 years only two people had ever managed it. Two people she had willingly and gladly given her heart and soul to. She adored her father just as much but his departure from her life had been passive and non violent. John and Ashley had left her suddenly, violently and painfully and the remaining scars ran deep.
After John's betrayal she had only managed to let Ashley in behind the walls she had built up and even then not always willingly, it had become second nature to her to hold everyone at arms length. Luckily for both of them Ashley instinctively knew the way in and could waltz in behind those walls whenever she chose. Sometimes Henry unknowingly came close to scaling those barriers too.
Those same two people both breaking her heart within 6 months of each other had knocked her off balance, disturbing the precarious equilibrium she had long established. Ashley sacrificing herself and John returning and then reclaiming the beast, both leaving her.
It was getting harder to care, harder to get up in the morning. Helen found herself staring out of the window more often than she used to, not even day dreaming just blankly gazing at nothing. Tasks took longer to complete and it took much more effort to gain an interest in her work.
She had lost her lover, her daughter, her father, her friends and now her work was under threat. 158 years. How many more to go? How long could she survive, not physically but mentally, another 158 years or even another 158 minutes?
Three times Magnus had considered ending her own life. Two of those times she had taken steps toward achieving that goal.
The first time Ashley had saved her completely. Helen chose life instead of death and brought Ashley into the world.
The second time she had gone down the more passive route and searched for scientific methods of ending her immortality, only forgoing the search when it was revealed the solution would also end everyone else's lives not just her own.
The third time...
Her mind was almost made up, only one man stood in her way. Magnus leaned over and pressed a button on the intercom.
"Henry, would you come to my study please."
"Sure thing, Doc."
A message flicked up on the computer screen on her desk. Another message from one of the other Sanctuaries. There were a lot more than there used to be, the Sanctuary heads were a lot more vocal since Bertha. Their trust in her had been shaken, they were under Wexford's influence no doubt, becoming more vociferous, doubting her, questioning her, as undeniably they should. It wasn't easy, knowing your friends didn't trust you. No matter how noble your intentions had been.
"Henry," she hesitated, watching the young man she had raised walk into the room and stand before her.
Henry watched her with expectant curiosity. This was new. Magnus never hesitated.
"I'm going away for a little while." Damn it, she thought. She should have figured out what she was going to say before seeing him.
"Cool. What is it, a special artefact, abnormal sighting? Need any gear for the trip?" Henry was a little unnerved by how intently she was staring at him. "Is it something to do with werewolves?"
She sighed. This wasn't working, she would have to say it.
"I just want to be sure you're going to be ok."
"What do you mean?" he asked quietly. This had taken a tone he was not comfortable with.
"I'm going to destroy the remaining Cabal network."
Henry was more than a little shocked. Helen Magnus didn't destroy anything. It was her life's work to protect, defend and study the unknown. She did not destroy. He told her as much.
"Understandable but... you don't do stuff like that. That's what the bad guys do, remember?"
"I am doing this to protect the Sanctuary network. I will leave Will in charge of this facility, I am going to the heart of the Cabal and destroying it once and for all or it will return again and again."
"Why are you telling me this? What did Will have to say about this?"
"You are the first person I have told."
She nodded. He took a deep breath.
"Why me?" The look she gave him was heartbreaking. He already knew the answer. "You're not coming back, are you?"
She couldn't answer him. He yelled at her, the only time he ever had and ever would. He was absolutely outraged and to be truthful scared.
"I lost her too you know! And now you're going to leave me as well."
"Henry, I understand how you feel."
"Don't you dare tell me how I feel. You don't get to do that."
He stalked furiously around the room trying to calm the panic he could feel rising within him. He could not lose her as well. She gave him a minute to calm himself then said quietly.
"It is time for me to finish this. This is my life's work I will do whatever it takes to protect it. I already have done the unthinkable to defend it."
"This is wrong, this is so wrong," he shook his head as he paced. "The network heads, they'll come round everyone knows how much of an ass Wexford is."
He pleaded with her to see sense and wait out the storm. Her gaze was unwavering, her mind was made up. Henry didn't flinch as he met her gaze, a frown covering his features. There was only one thing left to do.
"I'm coming with you. You need all sorts of tech and a plan would be a great start. You do have a plan don't you?"
Helen sighed, she half expected this reaction from him, there was no reason she should have thought he would roll over and allow her this final mission.
"John took out most of the Cabal heads, literally I expect. Those remaining have no doubt regrouped and whilst they are reforming I will take advantage of their pooled resources and take them out."
"That's not a plan, it's a suicide mission."
"I appear to be immortal Henry."
"There's no such thing."
"I would appreciate it if you didn't mention this to the others."
"Ha!" he couldn't help it the word just burst out of him. "They'll come with you. Every one here will follow you to hell and back."
His vehement defence of the team made her smile.
"I know. That is why I will do this alone. This facility needs protecting and they are the line of defence I trust."
"They. You said they," he smirked. "I'm coming with you."
"I don't want you to. I want you to stay here, safe."
"Like hell I'm staying here, I'm coming with you."
"I will not allow you to risk your life, Henry."
"It's my life to do whatever I choose with," he glared at her. A very forceful, stubborn glare. He must have picked that up from Ashley. "We'll start at the worst and work our way back from there. EMP's, a virus to annihilate their systems completely, crowbars - programs to force theirs open."
He looked up at Magnus watching him with a torn expression on her face.
"Ashley would kill me if I let you go off and do this on your own," he said by way of explanation, not ready to tell her how important she was to him. "Besides you know almost nothing about computer programming. We'd still be running on 3.11 if I hadn't insisted we upgrade."
Henry went a bit fuzzy for a second in Magnus' vision, she blinked and he came back into focus.
"Ashley would kill me if I let you get hurt," said Magnus.
"Then we'll both have to look out for each other and hope the worst doesn't happen."
Henry turned to leave the room. "I'll start getting stuff together."
"Henry, thank you."
"If you sneak off without me there will be trouble," he sniffed. "I know all the secret ways out, Ashley showed me. If you're set on doing this, I'm going to be standing right next to you when you do it."
I hope not, thought Magnus watching him walk away.
Third time lucky.