The Greatest Tragedies

Rated: K

Based upon Sanctuary, created by Damian Kindler

Set at the conclusion of the "Hollow Earth" story arc. I can't decide whether the writers are going to free John from his demon or not. I'm hoping they will but, realistically, I'm thinking that they won't. This story would work either way. No spoilers.

. . . ~ ~ . . .

Helen sat in her study, in the chair she favored. A book sat open in her lap, however the pages had not been turned in an hour, or so. She looked up when she heard someone enter the room. It was John, he wore his traveling coat, as she knew he would.

"Will you stay?" she asked. It was not a request, but a simple inquiry to his plans.

For a second he did not answer, simply holding her gaze. "Would you have me?" he answered at length. Again, it was not a request, but an inquiry to her mindset.

She took her turn to pause, simply holding his gaze. "Much has happened in the past century," she said. It was an appropriate answer to both of their questions.

He spoke just above a whisper, as he so often did. "Ours, my dearest Helen, is a tale akin to the greatest tragedies." There was a sad truthfulness in his voice. Poorly disguised behind his typical confidence - bordering on arrogance - was an undeniable sadness, perhaps even remorse or regret.

"We could've been a wondrous thing," she said quietly, the sadness apparent in her voice as well, she was sure. It broke her heart to think of all the things they could have had, had things been different.

"Perhaps we still could be," he said, a hint of a smile sneaking onto his face for the briefest moment. He was referring to some possible future, one in which enough time had passed to heal the deep wounds and rebuild the bridges between them that had long ago burned and fallen. He sounded hopeful, but slightly arrogant and definitely untruthfully so.

"Perhaps," she whispered.

He closed the distance between them and dropped to a knee. He took her hand, feeling comfortable doing so, as they were alone in her study. "I have always, do now, and will always love you," he said quietly yet firmly, as if he had never said anything as important or undeniably true. His words were punctuated by his powerful gaze.

She let her eyes drift closed for a moment, remembering a time when things were simpler, when she was younger, and the wounds that covered her soul had not yet been carved. "As do I," she whispered opening her eyes, "For all eternity."

Eternity. It had once been an overly romantic and poetic promise. Now, the reality of it mocked her.

He kissed her hand before standing and walking to her door. She couldn't help but stand as well, she wasn't quite sure why. He paused at the threshold. She thought he would speak, but he didn't. He watched her, seemingly drinking in every feature. She had to admit, she was doing the same.

A smile twitched at his lips for a second, before disappearing entirely to the cold, somber reality of the moment. Without another word, he walked away.

Helen sank down into the chair she favored and reopened her book. Tears dripped onto unread pages.

. . . ~ ~ . . .