A/N: Hi all, got this idea stuck in my head and once I started writing it I couldn't stop till it was complete! Hope you all like it. Flashbacks are in italics. Never really used them much before so hope I've done okay with them. Distinctly Helen/Niko (I know, no surprises there right?) Set directly after Sleepers. Dedicated to all the lovely Teslenites on GW :)

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Nikola couldn't sleep that night. It irked him that he needed to now. There were so many things about being mortal he had hated, and been able to ignore. But not any longer. He supposed what annoyed him even further was the fact that he now needed sleep and couldn't for the life of him nod off.

He found his thoughts wandering to Helen. He had joked with her earlier about 'soul crushing depression', but he had no doubt she could see through his façade. He always pretended he was okay, but she knew when he was suffering. Just like he knew when she was.

There were times in her life when she'd been in trouble, when she'd been mourning, or distressed for a whole host of other reasons. But he had only seen her as distraught as he was feeling now, twice in their lifetime. The first time was when she'd been coming to terms with the knowledge Druitt was the ripper. He remembered that time vividly, because it had been the first night he'd taken Helen Magnus to bed.

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A pounding on his hotel door distracted Nikola from the book he'd been reading. He made his way over cautiously, hearing the knocking a second time and opening the door on a crack.

"Helen?"

"May I come in Nikola?"

Nikola was a little taken aback that she should visit him at such an hour. She was more than welcome but he was concerned for her reputation.

"Of course," he stepped aside to let her in, and then closed the door behind her. "What's happened? Why are you so distressed?"

"It's John." tears were welling in her eyes. "I didn't want to believe it but I saw him. I saw him kill again. I wanted to help him but he just- why won't he let me help him? I could have helped him Nikola-"

"Helen, calm yourself," he encouraged her to sit down and went to pour her a brandy. "Here, drink this."

She downed it in one, and he took a seat next to her.

"I don't know what to do," she sobbed. "This is all my fault Nikola."

He'd never seen her so distraught in her life, even when she'd first been told about John. Even when she'd called off their engagement, she'd seemed to take it all in her stride. She was so confident she could fix him. But now she finally seemed to have realised nothing could be done.

"Oh, Helen," he soothed, reaching out to hold onto one of her hands. She was shaking, and cold, and it was only now he realised she was still grasping her gun. "It will be alright," he gently prised the gun from her fingers and set it down on the table.

She wiped the tears from her face and took a breath to steady her nerves.

"I'm sorry Nikola. It was inappropriate of me to turn up here at such a time. What must you think of me."

She stood and turned away from him.

"Nothing you do will ever sully my opinion of you." He gently reached to her, turning her back to face him and lifting her chin. "You're the strongest person I've ever had to pleasure to meet Helen. You care. You really care. You might not be able to help him, but you helped me when the rest of the five washed their hands of me. I don't know what I'd have done without you," he gently stroked her cheek.

"They'll let you in again. They just need time. Your transformation was so much more intense-"

"You don't have to make excuses for them."

"I want to."

He offered her a small smile, and was grateful when she returned the expression. What he didn't expect was her to take her hat off, carefully remove her hair pins so her hair hung loose around her shoulders, then close the gap between them and press a kiss to his mouth.

"Helen?" he stuttered.

She moved back from him and lowered her gaze.

"I'm sorry, I thought you- I misjudged,"

"No." he quickly reassured her, pulling her back close. "You haven't misjudged at all. But you're not thinking straight. I don't want you to regret anything."

"I wouldn't." she shook her head and looked him in the eyes. "Comfort me?"

He only thought it through for a few moments before his mind was made up. When she kissed him again he kissed her back, urging her over towards the bed where he comforted her for the rest of the evening.

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The morning after he'd woken up alone.

The second time he'd seen her so distraught had been after the memorial for Ashley. She'd phoned him that evening, telling him about her vision, but how in her heart she still felt so certain her daughter was alive. He'd asked if he could help in any way, and she'd asked for his company.

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Will knocked on the door to Helen's office. She'd not left that room since they finished the memorial service. Despite everyone being concerned for her he felt they needed to give her some space. However Tesla had turned up insisting she requested his company, so he'd had to agree to escort him to her.

"Um, Helen, Tesla's here. Said you wanted to see him?"

The door opened a few moments later, and despite her best efforts he could see she'd been crying.

"Thank you William."

She stood to the side to let Nikola inside, then looked back to Will who was still waiting.

"Helen, if you need to talk,"

"Thank you Will, but that won't be necessary." She gave his hand a squeeze of appreciation and offered him a small smile. But there was no fooling him. He'd seen people breaking before.

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When she closed the door she locked it, then turned to face Nikola, who was looking at her with deep concern.

"Helen?"

"Thank you for coming Nikola."

"How can I be of assistance?" he asked, taking a few steps closer to her. She lowered her gaze to the floor. She was obviously feeling awkward about her request.

"Do you remember when I visited you in London… after seeing John after… realising I couldn't help him?"

"I've never forgotten it," his voice softened, and she looked back up at him.

Gone were the tears of that fragile young woman who visited his hotel room, instead replaced by the heartbreaking silence of a woman who had lived through more death and upset then anyone should ever have to. But her eyes carried the same haunted look of someone desperate for solace.

"Comfort me?" she whispered, waiting for him to do as he had done all those years ago.

He reached for her and she sank into his embrace. The kisses and tenderness that followed were something she'd been longing for, allowing her a short release from the despair she had been feeling since the loss of her daughter.

It hadn't been long before she was leading him to her bedroom.

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The morning after, she'd kissed him sweetly, and said if he ever needed a shoulder to cry on she would be there for him.

Nikola sat up in bed and sighed. "If ever I needed that shoulder," he muttered to himself. And then his decision was made.

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Helen heard a knock on her door, and glanced at her clock. 3:36am. She slid out of bed, wrapped her gown around her, and slowly opened the door.

"Nikola?"

She could see his distress, despite his attempts to hide it. He just stood there for a few moments, his gaze dropping to her mouth and then back up to her eyes, before he muttered the only two words she needed to hear to understand his visit.

"Comfort me?"

She gave him a sad smile, and nodded, standing back to let him into the room.

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A/N: Hope you liked it :) If you have time I would love to read your reviews :D