Title: The Impossible
A/N: Set a day or so after Ashley's death.
Seeing an unfamiliar paper on her desk, Magnus picked it up, and instantly recognized John's bold handwriting.
Well, so that is what happens and what has happened and you might as well admit it and now you will never have two whole nights with her. Not a lifetime, not to live together, not to have what people were always supposed to have, not at all… Not time, not happiness, not fun, not children, not a house, not a bathroom, not a clean pair of pajamas, not the morning paper, not to wake up together, not to wake and know she's there and that you're not alone. No. None of that… You ask for the impossible.
Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls, she placed the quote. She understood the message. It would have been more appropriate for their first parting after her discovery of him as Jack the Ripper, but still fit well enough.
Helen knew John well enough to not only see the obvious message, but the more subtle one as well. John was asking for 'what people were always supposed to have… time, happiness, fun, children, a morning paper, and waking up together'. He did want that. He asked for it, wanted it, even knowing it was impossible. He was letting her know that her John, the man who had loved her, courted her, and asked her to marry him, was still there. He was also letting her know that didn't change things. As long as John had to host the Energy Elemental, they couldn't have the life they'd once dreamed of. The life they both still, on some level, wanted.
A tear slid down her cheek, and she wiped it away. What was it about John that always caused her careful logic and rationality to fade away, leaving raw emotion; leaving her wanting the impossible.
Still holding the paper she walked to her bedroom, opened the wall safe, and pulled out a small metal box she hadn't opened for decades. A box that contained the love letters John had written her more than a century ago. The paper was brittle, and the writing no doubt faded. But she'd never been able to bring herself to throw them away. She placed the quote on top, closed the box, and locked it back in the safe.