For some reason, my last version of this disappeared off the site. I'll be reuploading it, of course, but I'm going to elaborate on it a lot more than before, so be prepared for a longer, more thrilling story! Perhaps with an actual plot this time too.
Helen Magnus was many things. A close friend should you be trustworthy enough to earn her friendship, a highly intelligent scientist who had seen far too much in her long lifespan, or an enemy that could take you out before you could even apologize. The list went on, the numerous titles adding up as her life continued it's unnatural length. One of those particular titles had been crossed off the list quite some time ago, but now, it had suddenly added itself to the bottom as of ten seconds ago.
She pinched the bridge of her nose with one hand as she paced across the infirmary. She needed to think. How did this happen? Oh, she knew quite well how it had happened - she just couldn't believe she'd been stupid enough to allow it to occur. But it wasn't just her fault. Oh no, she wasn't taking the entire blame for it.
Sighing, shoulders slumping ever so slightly, she turned her attention back to the computer monitor as it displayed the results of her blood test. It was ninety-nine point nine percent accurate, and in Helen's scientific mind she knew that point one percent of an error made little difference. The computer wasn't lying; the data on screen marked her as positively pregnant.
With an irritated look, she erased all memory of the data and the screen went blank.
Fear and panic coiled in her belly like a twisted snake and settled there, unwilling to leave. She was too afraid, too worried that something would happen. Helen knew without a doubt she couldn't do it again. She loved children, yes, but raising another, living in fear that someone might happen to it like what had happened to Ashely . . . no, Helen wouldn't be able to handle the loss of another child.
Even before then, it was entirely possible she had enemies now that would use any child of hers against her (again) no matter how young. If she managed to carry full term, even, considering her first pregnancy had been high-risk. This one seemed even worse, considering the situation. Someone, like the Cabal, could see it reason to terminate her pregnancy during a fight or a mission (although it was unlikely she'd go on missions after a certain point). As a toddler, her child could be kidnapped and killed - the danger was there all around her and Helen couldn't handle it.
She curled her hands into fists to keep them from trembling the way they were. She needed to stop it. She'd done this last time, too - run through every possible bad situation and automatically think the worst about everything. All mothers did it, and Helen was no exception, save for this time, there was far more danger than she'd first realized. It made her just as sick as the morning sickness that had plagued her for the past week and a half had.
Really, she should have saw the symptoms earlier. After all, she'd done it before. The sudden exhaustion, the nausea, her swift changes in mood - she'd battled with them all, mostly since she'd got back from her latest mission. Whether her mind had tried to deny it or whether she just refused to be sick, Helen wasn't sure. But something had clicked in her mind that particular morning and she'd drawn her own blood during lunch, tested it, and the computer had spat the postive results back out at her.
Now, what to do?
There were several options, besides one: termination. Helen downright refused to do it. She'd been raised to believe all life was sacred, even if unplanned, and she absolutely put her foot down when it came to ridding herself of a life that couldn't even defend itself yet just because she hadn't planned it and she was scared as hell. She would carry to full term is possible, but what then?
Keep it? Being the global sanctuary network head, leader of the Old City sanctuary, and a mother all at once seemed overwhelming - she'd not had nearly as much work when Ashley had been that young, and by the time she had gained that heavy amount of work, Ashley had been old enough to take care of herself, or at least mostly could, with the occassional help of her old friend or Henry, who was practically her older brother. Helen had raised him, too.
Adoption seemed a more dangerous route, considering the genes of the baby. Abnormalcy was likely, and Helen didn't fancy hunting down her own child when it was old enough and was causing havok across the city.
For once, Helen had no plan, not even a clue on how to proceed.
Leaving the infirmary seemed to be a good step one, so she did. Out the door, Helen found her feet carried her toward the lift so she could head back up to the upper levels. Something to eat was starting to sound good the more she thought about it, if only she could find something that would stay down for more than ten minutes. It seemed like a better plan than locking herself in her office or in the library for the next six hours while she decided on a plan of action.
She found the kitchen was empty, much to her joy. As she searched through the pantry and fridge for sustence, she began to take inventory of who was where for the day, having momentarily been too distracted to even think about it before.
Will and Henry were in Henry's liar, as it had been dubbed, working on upgrades to the security system as well as filing the reports she had given them both yesterday evening. Kate was likely making her rounds with the Big Guy, checking on the residents. That left Nikola, who, to her knowledge, had locked himself away in his lab for the day much like she had planned to do with her office or library. So she practically had the sanctuary to herself - the boys wouldn't be out of their labs until dinnertime, at least.
Satisfied with a cup of ginger tea and the baby carrots she'd come across, Helen made her way leisurly up toward her office. Despite her near mental breakdown over being pregnant, she still had work to get done. Focusing on it, however, would be a task entirely on it's own.
Three reports in and she was already struggling to maintain a steady work pace. Sighing, Helen flung the next one away and sat her pen down. Her hands came up to rub her temples. If she was already this stressed out, how the hell was she going to handle the next several months, let alone years?
The door to her office swung open and her old friend came in, bearing a tray with another mug of tea and a plate of fruit, along with a plastic pill bottle she didn't quite recognize.
"Feeling better?" He asked and she nodded silently, reaching for a piece of fruit before her attention turned to the plastic pill bottle. A frown crossed her face - pre-natal vitamins. Her gaze flickered up to her friend.
"It sometimes astounds me on how much you're aware of." Helen said after a moment and he gave her a knowing grin.
"You should rest."
"If I wasn't so wired and didn't have so much work, believe me I would." She admitted quietly. It was possible for her to let Will do most of the work, but he already had the filing, plus whatever he was working on with Henry. She didn't want to overburden him with work.
"At least lay down on the couch to work?"
Helen gave a tired smile.
"Now that I can work with."
She gathered up her files and her laptop as Big Guy moved the tray over to the coffee table in front of the couch in her office. Helen kicked off her heels and sank into the cushions, setting aside her work momentarily to take one of the vitamins she'd been brought. Her friend gave her an approving smile that she returned before he left the room, leaving Helen to her work and her thoughts.
Her workoholic tendencies kicked in shortly after as she fought to get comfortable on the couch and soon all thoughts of children and fears were banished from her mind as the reports completely took over. Each individual report was filled out based on their recent missions and the creatures they had encountered or captured, as well as inventories, order forms, budgets, investor forms, and other various things related to the day to day life of the sanctuary. She had e-mails reminding her of a conference in London two weeks from then, an inquery from the Moscow Sanctuary Head, and a reply to one of the Tokyo scientists on how to care for one of the Abnormals they'd just captured.
It was well after dinner by the time she finished. As she finished her last few reports, she came up with an outline of a plan. First step?
Inform Nikola Tesla of his impending fatherhood.
It wasn't just her decision - he'd had just as much to do with it as she had. While she wasn't entirely sure on what his decision would be, he deserved to know.
Knowing he was likely to still be in his lab, Helen replaced everything on her desk and headed for the lift. Her nerves were starting up again, but Helen put a stop to them as best as she possibly could before the lift doors opened on the next floor. She walked in an almost daze to the third door on the right and found the door was open. She stepped in, knocking lightly on the doorframe.
There was several loud noises and a serbian swear uttered before Nikola appeared on the side of one lab table. His hair stuck in several directions and there was a smudge of something dark along his face, a metal piece of something caught in each hand.
"Am I interrupting something?" She inquired as he tossed the metal bits onto the table. Her nerves continued to sweep over her and she leaned against a lab table to try and steady herself again.
"No, not really. Another failed work in progress." He muttered and pulled out a handkerchief to rub his face clean. "What's wrong?"
"You look as if you're about to pass out, Helen." He said in a much gentler tone. Helen gave a weary, nearly forced laugh.
"I just might." She admitted quietly when she felt the dizziness wash over her. She took a deep breath in through her nose and let it out through her mouth. Get it together, Helen! She was trying, by God, but it wasn't working. She felt her knees buckle as her world began to tilt. Her vision tunneled and she lost all ability to remain standing in that fleeting moment. Thankfully, Nikola was suddenly there to catch her, arms hooking beneath her back and knees to lift her into his arms before she slammed into the ground.
"I'm taking you to the infirmary." He told her and she twisted in his arms, trying to bring herself back long enough to focus.
"No! - Just . . . take me to my room. I'll explain." She managed to get out. Nikola seemed to hesitate, but followed her orders nonetheless. Helen was aware of blacking out momentarily, for the next thing she knew she was being lain across her bed and a cool clothe was being pressed against her forehead. Her stomach was already protesting, but she was able to control that much more than she was able to control the dizziness.
She was silent for a moment as she pulled the clothe down over her eyes, trying to put it off for just a minute more. Nikola's prying fingers pulled it off and she flinched slightly, still waiting for it to pass.
"Want to tell me why you just nearly passed out in my lab? You're the only one I'll ever let get away with that, by the way." He said with his usual cheeky grin. Helen returned it with a tired smile.
"Don't I just feel special."
"When was the last time you ate?"
"It has nothing to do with my eating habits, thank you. I ate a few hours ago." She muttered. Nikola gestured for her to continue as he removed his jacket and sat on the edge of the bed beside her. Helen let out a lengthy sigh.
"I haven't been feeling well recently, so I ran a diagnostic on myself this morning to see why I was so sick. I found elevated levels of human chorionic gonadotropin, progesterone, and estrogen when I did a blood test and -."
"English, Helen, if you don't mind."
"Nikola, I'm pregnant."
She could see in his eyes that he was thinking back, from where they had returned from their mission involving the vampire queen some time ago, and the events that had eventually transpired because of it. The gears in his head were turning as he studied Helen's face, gaze flickering between it and her stomach as if he believed her to suddenly jump up and yell 'surprise!' right in his face.
"How did that happen?" He asked.
"You're a genius, Nikola, and you don't know where babies come from?" She tried meekly, watching as he got to his feet and began to pace, a serious expression on his face. Helen watched him for a moment until his antics started making her dizzy again. She rolled over onto her side instead and picked a spot to stare at on the wall.
"Whatever we decide to do, we both are to agree on it." She said in a much softer tone. Having known Nikola for quite some time, Helen was at a mild loss because she wasn't able to read his expression and reaction at that moment. His footsteps on the carpet stopped somewhere near her bedroom window behind her.
"I think it's quite obvious what we do." Nikola said.
She didn't recieve a response, but a few moments later she felt the mattress sink down as he climbed into bed with her. His arm came to wrap around her midsection and he pulled her closer, leaving Helen no room to protest. Her hand moved to cover his, trembling slightly. This was a situation she hadn't faced in years and it was still just as frightening, something else she would have to adapt and adjust to.
"I'm not sure I can do this again, Nikola. If anything were to happen -."
"You're thinking negatively. Stop."
"I can't." She replied, her head twisting to look at him. "With everything that's happened, with the sort of nonsense we're involved with daily - do you honestly think it's wise and safe?"
"It may not be, but I have faith you can keep whatever genius child we have safe and sound from any sort of harm." He shrugged, his breath tickling the back of her neck as he spoke.
"I couldn't last time."
"Then we'll just be more neurotic and protective this time. Although, it could be our child could protect itself. After all, it's likely to be highly intelligent with dashing looks and powerful abnormal abilities." Nikola replied almost brightly.
"Yes, well, if this thing turns out to be a vampire and decides to claw it's way out and breaks my spine when it's born, I'm blaming you entirely." She muttered.
Helen twisted her entire body, shifting so that she could curl into Nikola's surprisingly comforting embrace. He'd always been her closest friend, ever since they'd been the two outcasts at Oxford all those years ago. Despite his sarcastic, witty, and mildly annoying tendencies, Helen was quite comforted by the fact he was likely to be just as overprotective and neurotic as she sighed heavily, taking in his words and weighing them heavily in her mind.
"Now we just have to tell the others."
"I'll leave that to you. You are their boss, after all." Nikola replied, fingers trailing across her back in circular movements that instantly soothed all nausea she'd been feeling in that moment. She could have gone to sleep right then and there.
"Your demon spawn makes me exhausted."
"Mine? I believe it's just as much of yours as it is mine. Besides, our demon spawn will rule the world."
"Mhm, but you seduced me." Helen replied with a half smile. Nikola twisted them both so she was suddenly lying on top of him. He smirked.
"Would you like me to do it again?"
"Cheeky bastard." She muttered, hovering above him. He reached up and tucked hair behind her ear before his lips captured hers in a fleeting kiss. Warmth flooded Helen's body, dispelling all panic and fear for the time being. It was still there, though, in the recesses of her mind - but Nikola was right, and she needed to stop thinking so negatively. Holding the title of 'mother' again did elate and excite her as well. It would be an entirely new challenge, especially since a father figure would be around this time.
She was almost looking forward to it.
"I love you, you know." Nikola said casually when she pulled away and he released her, so she could curl back against his side to sleep. Helen smiled tiredly.
"And I you, father of our demon spawn."