Tale As Old As Time

Based on Sanctuary, created by Damian Kindler

Helen, Ashley, Big Guy family

. . . ~ ~ . . .

The original story hadn't been entirely unfamiliar to her when she decided to take Ashley. Even after watching the film in the theater, Helen didn't think anything of it. She walked out, holding Ashley's little hand in her own.

The small girl's eyes were just about coming out of her head and her mouth was wide open, staring up at her mother.

"Did you enjoy the movie, Ashley?"

Ashley nodded and continued to stare at her mother, being blindly led along to their vehicle. Helen couldn't help but be puzzled at the continuous look of absolute awe her daughter was giving her as she buckled her into her car seat.

With her daughter remaining in silent awe the entire ride home, Helen was slightly concerned. Helen put her to bed when they got home, it being late, and turned to her office to finish some paperwork before she turned in, herself.

Her thoughts continued to drift to Ashley's look of wonder and amazement upon exiting the theatre. Sure, that had been the first film Ashley had seen on the big screen, but she hadn't expected her react in that manner. Shaking her head, Helen turned back to her work. The child was four, she would return to her normal, perky self by morning.

. ~ .

Ashley was indeed her perky self the next morning, but Helen could tell there was still something amiss. She was unusually inquisitive during breakfast. She had many questions about when and why Helen moved into the current Sanctuary, about the abnormals who lived there, especially her large and hairy friend. After breakfast, Helen left Ashley playing in her room, puzzled by her daughter's abrupt change in behavior.

She returned just shy of an hour later, expecting to find her daughter still playing with her toys, but instead found them abandoned. She called her daughter's name softly, and checked the rest of the room and the washroom down the hall.

She wasn't concerned. It wasn't unusual for one of the abnormals to play with Ashley, or for her to walk the halls. The Steel Pixies were always with her, kept her out of trouble, and would inform Helen if something happened.

She whistled a few tones until she hit the tone that the pixies responded to. She waited several seconds. A silverish flying spite about six inches tall came around a corner and hovered in front of her. They didn't speak, but understood English well enough.

"Where's Ashley?" Helen asked.

It hovered up and down a few times informing her that he understood her question before turning and heading back the way it came, slow enough for Helen to follow. They ended up two floors up and on the other side of the building. Ashley was in one of the guest rooms, looking around.

"Ashley, what are you looking for?" she asked.

"Big Guy's rose," the little girl answered before walking past her mother to the next room.

"What rose?" Helen asked, following her daughter.

"The one that will turn him back into a person."

Helen's chin rose in understanding. She smiled. "Come here," she motioned to her daughter as she sat on the side of the bed. She pulled Ashley into her lap, taking one of her hands. "The movie we saw wasn't real. And our life isn't like that."

"It's not?"

"No," Helen kissed Ashley's forehead. "Your large friend isn't human who became a beast. He is what he is and he always be that way."

"Oh," Ashley sounded disappointed.

"Just because there is no magic here, doesn't mean we don't live in a wondrous place with wondrous things."

"Like the steel pixies?"

Helen smiled. "Like the steel pixies."

"And the mermaid?"

"And the mermaid."

"And Big Guy?" Ashley asked with her eyes almost too big for her face.

Helen kissed her forehead again. "And Big Guy."

Ashley kissed Helen's cheek before Helen put her back on the floor, taking her hand. "How would you care for a snack?"

The little girl lit up and bounced all the way to the kitchens.

. ~ .

"Something's bothering Ashley," he said as he entered Magnus' office, making her look up from her paperwork.

"Oh?" she replied, having learned to trust his hackles long ago.

"She's been investigating all the abnormals, and following me around but not speaking to me."

Magnus frowned. "Her memory is too good for that of a four year old. Memory and attention span."

He scoffed in agreement and waited for her to continue.

"I took her to a film last week, Beauty and the Beast."

"The Grimm story."

Magnus nodded. "But not quite, it was . . . childized, should we say. The beast was a large bear-wolf creature and a prince who had been bewitched. All the members of his staff were turned into the household items of the manor. Only the kiss from his true love would turn them back. I'm afraid she was quite disappointed to learn that you're not like that beast and the Sanctuary isn't like his castle."

He nodded. Understandable, for a four year old. "I see."

"She'll be over it soon, I'm sure."

He nodded again, turning from the room, having nothing more to say. He did have a movie to see.

. ~ .

Helen was strolling the corridors of her home, visiting the various residents. She had just left the room of a young gentleman who would be staying at the Sanctuary for a short time. He had the unfortunate tendency to attract all manner of birds at the most inopportune moments. Helen determined he was emitting a hypersonic signal that birds picked up on. He was getting better at controlling it. Still, the avian residents would occasionally get a little restless.

She was distracted on her way to the vault by music. She followed it, recognizing the tune when she got close enough. Helen leaned against the doorframe to the library where she saw Ashley with her arms around the neck of her favorite abnormal, suspended and being spun around with unexpected grace.

She hadn't known he could waltz.

Helen watched for a moment, a grin consuming her face. After a few moments, she walked away with the tune hanging in the air.

Tale as old as time . . .

. . . ~ FIN ~ . . .