A/N I'm not very good at writing epics. I lose steam too fast. I'm usually better at fluffy smut. But, I'll try. I could use your help and advice though, so please, if you have an idea for where this should go, if this is too confusing or I have some blatant error, please comments!
Edited for typos, 6/2014. Also, remember this is written when Nikola has been made human, and Helen hasn't gone back in time.
Helen Magnus was thoroughly tired of miscreants taking potshots at her team while her team was trying to unload a shipment of abnormals. This was the third time this year, and it was getting more than bothersome. She crouched behind a stack of crates, popping up at random intervals in order to fire back at their abusers.
"Why did I agree to come to this particularly soiree? It certainly wasn't for the quality of the entertainment." Nikola muttered at her from where he knelt at her side, his focus on their opponents and keeping his bulletproof magnetic shield in place. He was, of course, pressed against her too closely for comfort or mere convenience. With exquisite timing, he lowers and raises the shield to allow herself and Kate to fire into the next of black garbed lackeys who had yet to give up their attack.
Helen tried to ignore the flush of unwelcome arousal that accompanied having Nikola pressed against her hip, and took a moment to take stock of the crates around them and what could have possible motivated this assault. There were very few truly dangerous abnormals in this shipment from Alberta, although there was one or two curiosities that had not yet been fully documented. One of those was a multimet, curled in a ball of grey fur just a few feet away, obviously understanding that they were in danger and more apt to hide than to run. As a particularly aggressive volley of bullets swept over Nikola's shield, one of the crates burst into splinters and Nikola swore in pain as a bullet ricochet them clipped him in the shoulder.
Terror flooded Helen over the thought that Nikola was no longer bulletproof, but the injury wasn't life threatening, given the volume and artistry of his Serbian oaths. He stretched a hand behind him and they were completely engulfed in his shield. Sweat broke out on his brow and Helen had no idea how much longer he could keep this up.
"Henry! How much longer until you can get this thing moving?" Helen yelled out, knowing that they needed to get out of here as quickly as possible.
The vehicle moved a few inches, the high pitched scraping of metal on concrete a testament to the fact their tires were useless. But that seemed to be the final straw for the little abnormal next to her. It uncurled and stared at her with huge amber eyes set in a rather mismatched, unremarkable rodent face. Then, it jumped straight at her, and for all her hundred and fifty seven years on the planet, she let out a rather ridiculous scream. She didn't even feel the creature land on her stomach before a rich amber light flooded her consciousness and she blacked out completely.
She felt a hand shake her shoulder and her eyes popped open. She was slumped over a polished wood table, her head cradled in her folded arms. "Mama? Are you all right?"
She blinked and raised her head, wondering what kind of dream she'd found herself in. Some sweet memory of Ashley? But it had to be a dream, for she'd been in a hail of bullets a moment previously and had been pounced on by…
The multimet chewed on a large leaf of spinach, his wide amber eyes taking in her presence with none of the panic she'd witnessed just a few moments ago. The tiny furred creature was its serene self, making no effort to escape the small Plexiglas cage in which it sat before her.
"Mama, you never faint unless…don't tell me you are expecting again? Sophie isn't even twenty, and she'll be terribly disappointed if you and Papa aren't able to come to her graduation. Especially as Papa is finally deigning to give the commencement address at an American school. MIT would throw a fit if you two aren't there to open the new facility."
She turned her head, quite impressed with the speed at which the woman next to her could speak. A woman who was most certainly not her daughter Ashley. Appearing to be in her thirties, the stunning woman with a long oval face and a short reddish blonde pageboy was dressed in a crisply tailored white lab coat and a green pencil skirt. She looked strangely familiar, for all that she was obviously insane.
"Papa still hates airplanes, and won't let you on one when you are pregnant. Then he won't go anywhere if you won't, and…"
"There's always the train, dear." Best to humor someone with questionable sanity, it has always helped before.
"Mama, unless you plan on a private railcar, you and Papa would be mobbed. Security would never allow it." She crossed her arms and displayed fine, long boned hands with immaculate bare nails. Another spark of familiarity traveled through her, but Helen had to keep her wits about her. The last time something like this had happened to her, she'd been sent into a horrifying future of a zombie apocalypse. But this was clearly a Sanctuary facility, in fact, if it wasn't for the rich wood paneling and the odd looking but high powered light fixtures illuminating the large room, should would have sworn it was the main lab in her own Sanctuary in Old City.
Helen had to keep her wits about her, and simply learn what she could before panicking. "I assure you…dear, that I am not pregnant, and have no intention to be in the near future." The flash of pain filled her heart, with Ashley's death once again freezing her heart to ice.
The woman claiming to be her daughter laughed. "You and Papa say that, but I often wonder. Each interval seems to be getting shorter. Fifty years between Dmitri and I, then forty five between Dmitri and Sophia. I presume the next interval would be approximately the same, but at the rate you two go on, I'm surprised I only have two siblings and not twenty!"
Three children! Helen's heart pounded briefly with the thought of a real family, with a husband and multiple children, something she'd thought her long life and her many mistakes would have inevitably denied her. She was obviously dreaming.
She kept looking at the woman, her daughter, and wondered why she looked so different from Ashley. Build on a more elegant scale, shorter, with light blue eyes and a wide, teasing smile. It was hard to believe that she and John could have….
Oh. Her eyes opened wide at the realization. She looked at the light fixtures, the unfamiliar technology surrounding her, and what appeared to be an original Da Vinci sketch on one of the walls. Not John.
Nikola. This woman was her daughter with Nikola Tesla.
"Mama?" The woman crouched at her side, bending toward her and taking her chin in her hand, looking into her eyes with the confident examining glance of a professional. "You looked a bit flushed, but your pupils are equal. And your pulse is elevated but nothing out of normal."
How could she tell? She'd not felt for her pulse, which was rather doing a quickstep at the thought of being married to Nikola Tesla, apparently for more than a century. She did the math in her head, and realized that the woman looking at her with love and concern was at least a hundred and fifteen, and as ageless as she and Nikola had been.
"I'm fine, dear. Where is your father? I need to speak with him about some things."
"That's it. Something is most definitely wrong. How long did you lose consciousness, Mother? You know Papa is in Tokyo installing the new EM shield over the city. He's due back in a few hours, true, but you always meet him at the airport unless there's an emergency."
Definitely Nikola then. But John was still someone to be wary of, if EM shields were still the order of the day.
"Maybe I have been working too hard and need a bit of a lie in. Let me rest, and greet your father, and then I promise, you can run any tests you think you need to. Let me just get this little one back into the SHU and…"
"Marko? You know Marko won't stay in the SHU, Mother. Not if you want him to stay here and not dart away to some other universe until we make it clear he's welcome to return. I know he fascinates you, Mother, but you really shouldn't take him out of the garden to study him. You might end up in some strange alternate reality with no way back! I know being the famous Dr. Helen Magnus-Tesla is a bit of a strain from time to time, but I don't think you'd want to take your chances with another world."
Her mother pursed in shock as she realized what exactly must have happened to her. "Marko" had hopped on to her after his crate was crush when some black suited goons had ambushed a delivery of abnormals that morning. She'd been stuck with Nikola, Kate and Henry, trying to get the van restarted and fending off a rather determined assault. Was the Cabal back, or…she had to get back, no matter how curious this world made her.
"All right, I'll let you return Marko to his garden home, and I shall simply rest. I didn't sleep well last night. I usually don't without your father."
Her daughter rolled her eyes and smiled, "I hope that in a hundred years I still am as close to Henry as you are to Papa. Especially as it took me so much longer to find a man who would put up with my eccentricities!"
"Anya, I will gladly put up with your eccentricities for at least another five centuries, as long as you let me at my PlayStation now and again." Henry strode into the lab, still wearing a T-shirt and jeans as he did in her own world, but with a subtle confidence and happiness writ upon his features. He calmly pulled his wife, Anya, into a quick kiss and smiled at Helen, "What's up, Doc?"
So familiar, and yet, so unsettlingly different. "I'm sorry, Henry, I believe I am a bit weary. I didn't sleep well, and Anya," her heart thudded to finally learn the name of this stranger who was her own child," has ordered me to rest."
"I wish Anya would listen to me and take a load off." He reached down and patted Anya's belly softly. "She's out like a light by 8 o'clock these days, making your grandchildren is tough work."
Helen blinked and her eyes fluttered down to where a slight bump was concealed by Anya's lab coat.
"Really Henry, Dmitri and Ling-mai have five children. It will take us a while to catch up, even with twins now. And Sharon is due before me! These two will have a grand-nephew older than they are."
"In this family, age is a very relative matter, sweetie."
Helen sucked in a deep breath, her heart aching with all the information slapping her in the face. "I'm afraid I really am exhausted. Can you call a car for the airport for me when Nikola's flight is expected."
"Already done, boss. Big Guy will take you in the van. Less publicity that way, since it's not a diplomatic jaunt this time."
Bigfoot could drive a van, and there would be no publicity. Diplomatic jaunt? And Nikola giving the commencement address at MIT…what was going on?