Rated: K+ to mild T for a bit of sensuality
Based upon Sanctuary, created by Damian Kindler
. . . ~ ~ . . .
She was never one for dreams. Sure, they were a delightful respite from the harsh reality of her everyday life.
But she never bought into them. She didn't believe in Freud's psychoanalysis. The man not only had but created the theory of the Oedipus Complex! She didn't like the way he had looked at her, the one time they had met. She was glad James was with her at the time.
When she had them - dreams - she enjoyed the frivolity and moved on. However, there was one that kept her up at night. For years, decades, it had been the same. In the last year or so, it had changed, not really becoming any worse, it had just changed.
She brought it upon herself, really. She couldn't help herself. Sometimes she would catch herself thinking about him sometime during the day, and then she wouldn't be able to stop. Her thoughts would drift to him all day and into the evening, the man he used to be.
He used to be . . . wonderful.
Then she would perform her nightly routine, and climb into that empty bed that seemed, at times, simply too giant for one person. And she would think of Ashley as a small girl, climbing into bed next to her. Sometimes there was so much wonder on her face.
"Mummy," she had asked once, "why are we different?"
"From everyone else?" Helen replied, thinking of a good answer. "Because we're not afraid of what we don't understand."
"What are we afraid of?" she asked with big eyes.
Helen kissed her forehead, thinking of a tall dark man who was not the man she had once thought he was. "What we know is dangerous."
She would drift into sleep thinking of the family she should have had, but never did. Then the dream would come.
Often, she was sitting her office, doing something at her desk. She could never remember what, but that didn't really matter. She would look up when she heard that familiar sound, just in time to see the light whisping around and his form solidifying.
He wore a dark knee-length wool jacket, one that always reminded her of the Royal Navy, over a pair of dark slacks and a dark buttoned shirt. His dark hair was still long, but he had worked over the years to attempt to keep it in style. She would smile at him.
He would smile back, taking a few steps towards her desk. "Any epic adventures in my absence?" he would ask with a measured amount of grandiose sarcasm.
She would shake her head gently. "No, we managed."
"And where is my dearest daughter at this hour?" he would look around, as if expecting to see her suddenly appear in the room.
It was here, Helen always glanced out her window, noticing the city lights on the dark water. It was always later than she thought it should have been. "She's out. She and Kate decided Will needed to learn what 'fun' was, and Henry decided to tag along."
He would smile that delicious, mischievous smile of his. "Well, Madam, it appears we have the residence to ourselves. Our own private sanctuary."
She would always chuckle at his words. "If only, but not quite."
"Ahh, yes," he would partially sit on the front of her desk. "the housekeeper, and all of your friends." He, of course, referred to the gentle giant and other abnormals.
She would smile and turn back to her work.
"Helen," he would almost whisper her name. She would look up through her lashes, meeting his blue eyes and dark gaze. "I've been away from you for several days." Across her desk, her John would offer her his hand.
Without another word from either of them, Helen would take it gently, loosely grasping only her John's fingers with her own, the way she had first ever held his hand. Then, familiar light would wisp around them and they would rematerialize in their bedroom. He would swing his arm around her swiftly enough to pull her tightly against him. Their polite hand grasp now blatantly mocked by his hand on her hip and hers on his chest.
Then, as dreams do, the situation lost its linear quality, and she would find herself on their bed with nothing on her but his skin. Her eyes would drift closed as her John did wonderful things to her. She would run her hand up his neck to where she found not locks of his thick hair, but bald skin. She would start at the surprise.
She would then freeze as cold flat metal found the skin at her neck. She never wanted to open her eyes, but she always did, seeing John's blood thirsty gaze.
He would smile, "Now," John would say with a small deal of amusement, "just like one of the whores."
She would wake. She would sit up slowly and turn on the light next to her bed, a few tears in her eyes.
Her John was no longer hers, but a madman. And her Ashley was dead.
Helen would always then get out of her large and empty bed, trade her nightclothes for something more decent and wander the halls of her sanctuary. She sometimes found herself in her library, perusing her books. She usually avoided Shakespeare. She always avoided "The Twelfth Night." She mostly found herself on the roof, standing on the parapet, overlooking the city, active lights filling a dark sky. Sometimes she was still amazed by the amount of light a city could create, and how it could cloud the stars.
Either way, her dear friend would find her before long. He seemed to have an extra sense regarding her insomnia. "You've read that," he would say if he found her in the library, or "What if you fell?" he would ask if she was on the roof. His words always seemed a little gruffer after she had had that particular dream, as if he knew.
"So I have," or "Then I would fall," she would reply depending on his question.
He would then offer her his abnormally large and hair covered hand. "Let me make you some tea."
Helen would take his hand, gently grasping his fingers with her own, and he would lead her to her office where a steaming pot of tea would already be waiting. She suspected he always had one on hand, in case of emergency. She would release his hand and sit in the chair she favored.
He would pour her a cup, hand it to her, and sit on the arm of the settee opposite her chair. He would watch her as she sipped her tea, staring into the empty hearth. He never asked her, but she had a feeling he knew. He probably didn't know exactly what it was that haunted her, but she knew he had the general idea.
She would set down her tea when she was finished.
"Sleep Helen," the words would slowly roll out of his mouth, sounding exactly like the gentle giant he was. She would stand slowly and they would slowly walk to her room in comfortable silence. They would pause at the door.
"Thank you, dear friend," she would say.
He would gently put his hand to the side of her head, not daring to hit her like he did the others. She would give him a smile at his gesture, and place a kiss on his palm. "Good night." She would turn and enter her room.
"Good night," he would rumble in return, closing the door behind her.
She would dress again in her nightclothes and climb into the empty colossus that was her bed. She knew he put something in her tea to help her sleep. And she knew he knew she knew. She would fall into a dreamless sleep. But that was okay, she wasn't one for dreams anyway.
. . . ~ ~ . . .