This one is for the Diehard Challenge: Unexpected Encounter. I took everything I could glean from the Victorian flash backs on the show and this is what I came up with. I hope I will have another entry or two for the contest, but this is what I've got so far. Enjoy.
Sunlight and Rain
Oxford had lovely grounds usually, but that day they hung heavy with clouds. Thick and foreboding, they were almost as black as the ones over John Druitt's head. He had come to the campus in hopes of finding some amusement to lighten the somber day. Unfortunately nothing had presented itself and as he was about to venture home, he spied a young woman moving across the deserted promenade.
He watched, for a moment, from his shadowed hiding place. She carried a large stack of books in her arms and had a determined look on her face. This woman was lovely. Fire lit her blue eyes and it made him jealous. It had been so long since he had felt anything with any kind of passion.
She was light itself, in his estimation, and he was all darkness. It was that affirmation that made him decide to leave her be. His melancholy could never be allowed to dim her world. As he turned to go the sound of rain hitting the ground stopped him.
He had been secluded for so long that the noise was almost unrecognizable. Looking back, he noticed the young woman had moved as close to the nearest building as possible. One hand shielded her face from the deluge and her books were clutched close to protect them. She had obviously forgotten her umbrella and he clutched his in excitement and trepidation. He was both glad and horrified to have a reason to approach her. 'Damn the rain.' he thought. The gentleman in him could not leave her to fend for herself, but he would not say a word. Everything about him caused unhappiness. Why would his words be any different.
With a resigned sigh, he went to save the little angel trapped by the rain. Umbrella unfurled, he wrapped a strong arm around her and forcefully guided her to a covered walkway. For her part, she did not resist, but let her chivalrous companion whisk her out of the downpour.
"Thank you." He heard her say, but he was already yards away and retreating quickly. His head was down to hide his face from the dropping water and her scrutiny.
Helen watched her mysterious savior go. She had tried to thank him, but he apparently did not wish to be thanked.
Splashing footfalls met her ears and she looked up to be greeted by James Watson. "Helen, glad I caught you. I was going to see if you would like an escort home, as the lecture was cancelled."
"Jimmy, who was that man?" She asked ignoring him. He quickly forgave her rudeness and looked in the direction she was gazing.
He smiled. That tall, thin man would be recognizable anywhere. "That, my dear, is Montague John Druitt. Good man with a terribly sad past."
"What do you mean?" Helen inquired.
Watson shook his head. "Poor fellow comes from a very long line of unstable people. Both of his parents are dead, and in his father's case I would say good riddance. You see, when he was a child, his mother killed herself as did her mother before her. Unfortunately, John's father blamed him even at his young age. It was quite the talk of the town. I'm surprised that you didn't hear of it before."
"How dreadful. That poor man." Helen sighed.
James shook his head and teased. "I know that look, Helen. You fancy that man is your new project."
Helen blushed. "He just seemed so lonely. The least we can do is offer him our friendship."
James chuckled and gave her his arm, knowing that she would do what she pleased.
John sat alone in his darkened study. The house around him was a shambles of a once happy home. Even the staff were quiet and timid, knowing that this was not a loving household. So, there was no relief from the suffocating silence that existed in the void his family had left. He was the last Druitt.
He longed for an a wife and children to fill his home with contentment, but he did not dare to have them. The stain of madness on his family deterred most women from approaching him anyway. He would always be alone, he decided, wishing to end the line of suffering.
A knock on his door, brought him out of the introspection that he was facing. Muffled words were exchanged between his maid and unexpected visitor. His curiosity got the better of him and he went to see who had braved scandal to see him.
Nothing in his life would ever prepare him for the shock of the blonde angel from the school, standing in his foyer. She looked up at him and smiled so brightly it was like a ray of sunlight had penetrated the gloom of his life. John did not feel deserving of that smile, but he treasured it all the more.
"Hello," She said. "I am Helen Magnus and I think I can help you."
John was more than a little gob smacked at her forwardness and caring, but even so he found himself thinking 'Thank God for the rain.'
The end. Please review. Oh yeah and as for Helen's smile at the end, I couldn't get the picture of Ashley smiling at Will in the first episode out of my head. Not that the two incidents are related in any way, but there you go.