Summary: Vincent managed to get to Catherine in time before she died. In a last resort he takes her to a scientist who may have the solution for saving her…. By giving her a part of Vincent that shames him greatly. A/U for S3
Disclaimer: I own nothing of Beauty and the Beast
Pairing: Vincent/ Catherine
A DIFFERENT PATH:
Catherine found herself down in the whispering gallery lying at the very edge looking down into the abyss with the words from the World Above swirling around her. It had been three days, three long days of waiting, of grasping at the thread; the tenuous link to her infant son. Everyone was telling her to be patient, to have faith. She was getting sick and tired of hearing that. So sick in fact that she would actually scream at the next person who said it to her. Catherine knew they were trying to help, to try and console her; it was hollow comfort. It was so empty to her that she found herself down here. She just needed a few hours away. She needed to let the anger fade to the back of her mind. The voices helped until it was just mindless noise dancing around her.
Vincent lingered two levels above where Catherine was in the whispering gallery. Her anger was so thick he could taste it on the air. It pulled at him to go and protect her, to shelter her from what was happening to her. But he couldn't. There was no way to take the anger from her heart. He felt the same anger inside of himself just knowing that there was nothing he could do to save their son at this time.
Father stood watching his son as he watched Catherine down below. They were two souls in pain; parents denied their child. It hurt his heart to know such pain plagued Vincent and Catherine. "Vincent."
Vincent looked back over his shoulder, "Father." He knew he had been watched.
"How is she?" That question had been asked so many times in the last three days.
"Angry, in pain, sad," Vincent slumped, his shoulders heavy with an insurmountable weight; his head heavy with sorrow. "We went to the address that her friend provided us but there was nothing there." He turned to Father, "I saw such rage inside of her that I have never seen before."
"What did she do?" Father stepped closer.
"Not as much as she would have liked." Vincent returned his gaze to her down below. "I got the sense she wished to tear down the building with her own hands." He shook his head. "She would have done it too if I had let her. As it was she smashed an office window, pushed over file cabinets, turned over a desk or two. The anger in her grows so strong. It's the anger of a mother. She managed to rein it back to keep from doing serious damage." Vincent felt pride at the control Catherine was able to exert over her anger.
"Does she have…" Father didn't know how to phrase his question. He knew his son and the empathic gifts, but the bond between mother and son would be far different.
"No, the link grows strong as the hours pass, but I still can not find him through Catherine. I've tried." Vincent dug his fingers into the railing. He felt powerless and that was the worst feeling in the world.
"When the time is right you will have what you need to find him." Father promised.
"But it is not enough!" Vincent shouted turning away pulling back his anger and frustration. His voice echoed all around them.
Catherine looked up from where she rested at the edge. Vincent was above her and he was just as angry as she was. It was this hurt dividing them. Rising from the sandy floor she walked away from the edge, up to where Father and Vincent were standing. "Father's right." She whispered gaining their attention.
"Catherine," Father had started to go to her but she shook her head.
"Please, don't tell me to be patient or I will scream." Catherine warned. "I'm tired of everyone telling me to be patient. I have been practically sitting on my hands lately." She ground her teeth together feeling a growl trying to break free from her throat.
Father raised his left hand in surrender. "I won't." He held out his hand to her waiting for her. Catherine took it where he drew her close and placed a fatherly kiss to her forehead. "It will work out." Father believed that with every fiber of his being.
"I know, just all this waiting…." Catherine stopped talking. There was too much to say and didn't have the right words to say everything she was thinking. Her thoughts were running together, swirling on a cacophony of noise. She was able to call it back, to quiet the anger enough to pose an idea. "I had a thought on how to find our baby."
Vincent turned hope blooming in his heart. "How?"
"I go to the DA, out where everyone, including those who would be looking for me, could see me." Catherine held up her hand to stop Vincent before he could voice his objections. "I know I told Joe I wouldn't come out of hiding until we found him, but there is no other way right now. Vincent we are getting no where on our own." Desperation clawed at her and demanded that she act.
"It's too dangerous." He stated, though she knew the risks. She had lived them. "They may kill you on sight."
"I know, but it has to be done." Catherine rationalized.
"I'll have a few helpers get into the DA's Office to watch over Catherine." Father said. Then he turned to her, pleaded with her with his eyes. "Catherine, give us a few days to get them in place."
"Fine, a few days." Catherine conceded. She was resolute in her determination. She was going to do this. It wasn't enough that she could feel him, she had to do something; anything. On Vincent's face she read concern, "I'm doing this." She stated knowing the risks that she would face.
"I believe you." He bowed his head. Catherine was the strongest person he knew from the World Above.
Father backed away from the two of them. He knew how lost in each other they could get, how the world faded away around them. It was special to them; a love like no other. Now they knew such pain together, pain that Father would have loved nothing more than to take from them if it meant they would smile again.
Catherine listened to Father hobble off. She felt bad that her anger, her sadness had chased him off. It nearly made her want to call him back, to apologize for being angry, but it was pointless; he knew. They all knew how she was feeling. Catherine was a mother forced away from her child. Looking up into Vincent's eyes, she saw her pain reflected, "I'm sorry Vincent." Lately she had been rebounding from anger to sadness and back to anger. She knew that it was because of the serum, because Ather had saved her life.
"You have nothing to be sorry for." Vincent caressed her cheek, "They have done this. Those men have taken a part of our family from us. You are not to blame for this." It was more important now that he remain positive for them both. Catherine needed it. She was still adjusting to the serum Ather had given her; bouncing from one emotion to the other. Vincent thought that she might need more time to grow accustomed to new sensations, new sights, and scents. But Catherine was managing better than he thought she would.
Catherine, as she lay at the edge listening to the voice, thought of her infant son, of a name to give him when she held him in his arms again. "I know this won't bring him to us faster, but I thought of a name for our son."
Vincent gently cupped her face, "Tell me."
"I want to name him Charles Jacob Chandler." Catherine tried to keep the tears away. She didn't want to cry again; she had cried too much in the past days. Instead she took a deep breath, a calming breath to soothe the wild lioness inside of her. The animal would not be calmed. Not until her son was returned to her.
"It's a fine name. Your father would be honored and proud." Vincent kissed her forehead carefully. Slowly, deeply, he drew in her scent. It had changed slightly; it was wild, almost unrestrained. Lurking closer and closer the lioness inside of Catherine grew stronger. Through her, he could almost smell a wild wind, and open sky; he could almost smell the bright sun as it rained down on her. He pulled back from her, "We could go up into the park under the cloak of darkness."
Catherine shook her head. "It's too loud up there." Days ago she wanted nothing more than to be up there, but now the lioness in her warned her not to go. There was danger and it wouldn't be on her terms to face that danger. If she was to be in harms way, Catherine wanted it to be on her turf. The DA's Office was familiar territory. If someone tried to get at her there, then she would be protected.
"Catherine, are you alright?" Vincent looked at her. He could sense apprehension in her.
"I can't filter out all the sounds up there. Lately I've had trouble filtering out things down here." Catherine shrugged. "I think the lioness is trying to keep me from making too many mistakes before I'm ready." That was the only explanation she had for it. The lioness was guiding her, trying to teach her about her new soul.
"The lioness?" Vincent couldn't help the small smirk dancing over his leonine lips. It suited her. She had a feline spirit, a fierce nature to protect those she loved. Catherine had been the perfect woman for him; the other half of his heart and his soul.
"Yes, she's prowling in my mind right now. She's restless and angry and I'm finding it hard to appease her." Catherine rested her forehead against Vincent's chest. She breathed him in; fresh water, midnight air, and the stone around them. There was also the trace hint of his lion, the wild nature lingering around him. Her lioness stopped, felt safe with him.
Vincent took that moment to really look at Catherine to see if there had been any changes in her appearance. To him she looked the same; same smooth skin, beautiful lips, long delicate fingers. The thing he had feared the most had been she might change, look more like him. Meticulously he took in the slightest hint of change. The color of her eyes jumped out at him. What first they had been a green grey, now they seemed a sharper green, a feline green. Even her hair seemed to lighten, go golden with highlights more defined. "Is there anything I can do?"
"Could we go back to you chamber, curl up together in your bed under the covers, and listen music?" Catherine wanted to be enveloped in his warmth surrounded by the classical melody from long dead composers. "I just need…"
"It to stop?" Vincent asked. "Music can push away the world." Often he would listen to music just to quiet his mind from the tumult of the world around him.
"Yes, that's what I need." Catherine gave a half hearted smile. He knew her, knew what she needed before she did. It was the best comfort she could ever hope to have. "You are the greatest gift in my life."
"And you are the greatest gift in mine." Lovingly he kissed the top of her head.
Joe sat at his office trying to figure out how to nail Jupiter Group to the wall. For months after Chandler was taken some times he hadn't even gone home. The couch in his office had ended up being a second, very awful, bed. Every time he had a solid lead, it dissolved and he was back at square one. Right now, Joe would have more luck nailing jell-o to the wall. He had to think of something, for Cathy's sake. She was in danger and so was the innocent life of her child. After all, he was a man who served the people. Cathy was one of the people. "Geez…" Joe was ten seconds away from bashing his head on his desk. So many threads were unraveling right before his eyes. Joe needed Cathy to tie everything together. Except, Cathy wouldn't come out of hiding until she had her son. John was between a rock and a hard place.
"Joe?" A woman poked her head in Joe's office.
"What?" Joe didn't even look up from his pile of papers.
"There's a man here to see you. Says he has some information about a mutual friend." She said.
"What?" Joe looked up and caught sight of the man who was waiting for him. It was the Doctor who knew Cathy. "Yeah, I'll see him." Joe waved the man to come on to his office.
Peter came through the door waiting for them to be alone. Catherine had spoken to him of Joe, and how she trusted him. Now, he was taking the chance, trusting this man that Catherine had worked with. "I know your time is valuable, but I came here to tell you about Catherine." Peter took a seat in one of the uncomfortable visitors al lawyers seemed to have.
"You've seen her too?" Joe looked out the window suddenly paranoid that someone would hear Chandler's name.
"Not yet," Peter was momentarily fazed fumbling his first two words, but recovered. "But, I have some news. She's coming up here later this afternoon."
"Is she insane!" Joe shouted.
"She's trying to force the people who took her into action." Peter repeated what Jacob had told him. "The people she's staying with are trying to convince her that this isn't a good idea, but you know Catherine, she's not listening. She's tired of waiting."
"They had better try harder." Joe got up from his desk and started to pace. "What does Vincent say? Is he trying to stop her from doing something crazy?"
"You know Vincent?" Peter asked. His head was spinning.
"Yeah, Chandler introduced him to me." Joe pushed that aside, "Is she really this insane?" Some small part of Joe hoped, for an instant, that Cathy would just come to the office. That same small part of him didn't give a thought to her safety. It made him fee sick that he could feel that way.
"She's a mother desperate for her son." Peter stood as well feeling his body creek.
Joe sighed, "She is stubborn I'll give her that."
"I'd like to be here when she gets to this office."
"Yeah, that would be good. I'll make sure there is a police presence here for her." Joe dropped his head back, sighing, looking at the ceiling. "This is…"
"Her choice," Peter mused.
Catherine woke, safe and sound, held within Vincent's strong arms. He still slumbered behind her; his breathing deep and even. The covers had cocooned them in warmth and in each other. Down here she was open to be with him, to hold his hand, to lie beside him in love. These were the moments she had missed the most when she had been away from him. She had missed his strong arms holding her. Everything was so still right now, even the messages on the pipes were few and far between. Time seemed to pass in a different way down here. It was so exquisitely slow, seductive, drawing her even further in. Before she had said she wasn't going to leave; now she knew she wasn't going to ever leave. This place, this secret place, was the safest in the world for her. Catherine breathed in deeply, slowly letting it out again.
"Reveling in the silence?" Vincent whispered. He had come awake almost at the same time Catherine had. While she listened to the stillness of his chamber he had been listening to her, to the beat of her heart, to the slow deep breaths she had taken.
"It's so peaceful." Catherine snuggled back pulling Vincent's arms tighter around her. "This is the time I enjoy the most; the quiet." Sluggishly she turned in his arms staring into his impossibly blue eyes. "I've noticed that time passes differently down here."
"How so?" Vincent loved hearing his about how Catherine saw his world. She saw the same things he did, but he found he enjoyed seeing them through her eyes.
"Time is so slow down here, exquisitely slow. I find myself being drawn in," Catherine smiled a lazy smile for the first time in days; "I'm being seduced into never leaving." She looked up at the stone above them, "This world is where I belong. I'm finally able to admit to that. I know I said before this is where I want to be, but now I truly believe that my time to live down here has come." Catherine shook her head. She didn't make any sense. "If that makes sense?"
"It does." Vincent confirmed. He had believed that one day she would come below, giving up her world, but he knew he would never ask her to sacrifice all that she was to be with him. He knew it would always be her choice, in her own time. That time had finally come. Sitting up Vincent smiled down at Catherine asking, "Stretch out for me?"
Catherine didn't ask why, she just stretched out like he had asked. Vincent inched down her body resting his ear over her heart. Catherine felt the instant connection of their skin. Like everything between them touch magnified their bond. Now, it wasn't just Vincent feeling what she felt, Catherine could sense the turmoil inside of him. "What are you listening for?" She asked stoking his golden mane of hair.
"I'm listening to your heart." Vincent turned his face into her skin to gently nuzzle her collar bone. "It is the sweetest sound in the world to me." Then he felt it, a tremor ran through her. The link to their child got stronger. Vincent lifted his head to turn amazed eyes on her.
Catherine felt it too, "It's him. I can feel him calling out to us." Tears of joy sprang to her eyes. "Is it strong enough for you to find him?"
"Yes, but I will have to wait until the cover of darkness." It pained to have to wait. The father in him wanted to run, to go to his son.
"I know." Catherine fought to be rational. Her urgency mirrored his. "If I'm out in the open, their attention shifts to me." She stated. "You'll be free to move through them to get our son."
"You'll be safe?" Vincent had to ask.
"Yes, I'll be with Joe at the DA's Office. Safest place I can be." Catherine reassured him. She knew he needed it. "When you are safely back in the tunnels, I'll know and I will come down."
Father's voice echoed off the stones drawing their attention away from each other and to the chamber entrance. Vincent moved around her, standing by the table when Father came through the entrance. "Good morning Father." Vincent greeted. For the first time in days his heart was light of all the sorrow and rage.
"Vincent, you seem in good spirits this morning." Father looked to Catherine. She sat there with the same amazed smile, joy in her eyes, gaze that Vincent wore. "What has happened to put the both of you in such wonderful moods?"
"We know where he is now." Catherine spoke barely containing the joy she felt. "A few moments ago the bond between my son and myself grew again. Now we can find him." She slid off the bed and went to him. Catherine conveyed with her eyes what she wanted Father to know.
"That is wonderful my dear." Jacob cupped her cheek. Her hand wrapped around his wrist lightly. She smiled a radiant, real, smile at him. "Then am I to assume that you will not…"
"Actually, I'm still going to the DA." Catherine stepped back, "If attention is focused on me, then Vincent won't have any trouble."
Father looked to Vincent; his son inclined his head. It was his silent agreement with Catherine. "It's the best way father."
Jacob sighed, "Then we will all be praying for you down here."
"Thank you." Catherine smiled.
Catherine stepped out on to the street where the throng of people heading home from work. She sucked in a deep breath trying to block out all the sounds of the passing cars, of the scattered conversations. It took her a moment to get her bearings, to adjust to being once again in the World Above. She wished Vincent was here with her, holding her hand, reassuring her that everything would work out. Cautiously she looked around trying to see if anyone was watching her. So far she saw nothing but she knew sooner or later that eyes would find her.
Turning up the street Catherine set off for the building where she had worked; the DA's office. She was three blocks from where she needed to be. Easily she blended in with people heading her direction. Then she felt a tingle, a sixth sense almost, creep up the back of her neck. She had just been spotted. Carefully so as not to arouse suspicion she kept walking along. The lioness in her urged her to keep slow, keep calm. Don't give the game away. Catherine looked a head of her; the building was insight. "Yes." She bit her bottom lip. Picking up the pace Catherine threaded her way through the people and up the steps of the building. The ones who were watching her were now following her.
Catherine pushed through the door nearly running over to the bank of elevators. She lengthened her stride trying to act natural as she headed over to get on an elevator with a group of people. Catherine just narrowly made it. The doors closed as she smiled a deadly smile to the group of men who had followed her; the ones who had taken her all those months ago. A few minutes later the bell dinged and she was just up the hall from her old office. Scents overwhelmed her drawing her attention up and down the hall.
Joe had a feeling; it drew him to the frosted glass doors of the office. Stepping out into the hall he saw her; Catherine. "Cathy!" He shouted to her. His surprise real, as real as it could be considering he knew she would be there. Moving past the few people in the hall he went to her and gathered her close. "You are crazy you know that." He hissed.
Catherine hugged Joe tightly replying, "I didn't have a choice." Looking up the hall she saw Peter standing, staring at them. Sluggishly she nodded her head acknowledging him. Peter just inclined his head smiling fondly at her.
Thirty minutes outside of New York Vincent crept along the darkness, using all the advantages of the night to conceal himself. There in the tree line Vincent found his feet resting just on the edge of private property where his son was being held. A deadly growl rumbled in his chest while he scanned the open yard. No one. There were no guards. His senses told him it was a trap, but what else could he do. His child was in there and Catherine was counting on him. Pulling the cloak around him Vincent slipped from his concealment in the shadows. Attuning his mind to his surrounding he was careful to take note of all the movements, all the scents being carried to him on the wind.
Up on the stone steps a small flicker of light caught his attention. So far, one person was inside the house but Vincent heard four heart beats. One heart belonged to his son. Moving to the back door his hand latched on to the knob where it opened easily. They were waiting for him. Letting his gaze rove over the dark room shades of grey moved. Scents were carried to him; the scent of two men. Vincent slipped inside, skirting the edge of the room. He was accustomed to the darkness those men who waited for him were not. Maneuvering behind the men Vincent was able to sneak up on them. He grabbed one of the men; cut off his air supply until the man passed out. Like a sack of potatoes the first guy fell to the floor unconscious. The other man turned, saw the dark figure that was Vincent and ran from the room and from the house. Vincent would not kill tonight.
Easing out of the room he glided up the stairs behind him to the second level. He was following the link to his son. Another person was in the room. Vincent opened the door keeping the hood of his cloak drawn around his face. As plain as day he saw the young woman look at him, terror written on her face. "I'm here for my son." He growled. That would be enough to scare the woman off. Just he thought, she backed off her hands held out in front of her. Fear filled the room. Vincent strode over to the crib in the center of the room. Down amongst the array of blue his child slept perfectly beautiful and unaware of all that went on around him. Easing him out Vincent held his son for the first time.