"What I know that I'm tired of arbitrary rules...the metronome is for Steve; I'm bringing him back!"

Well, that did chill me to the bone to see Claudia challenge Mrs. Fredricks like that...and made me wonder...and then of course the Plot bunnies were let loose...


The Final Awakening

The staccato of her heart beat echoed in her ears. Claudia turned away from the decaying corpse that had once been Mrs. Fredericks, her hands seeking support from the nearby table as she felt her legs threatening to buckle under her.

"No…" she wheezed watching her knuckles turn white.

Mrs. Fredrick's death could only mean one thing: the warehouse was destroyed. They had failed to stop Sykes who had taken the ultimate revenge. Artie, Myka, Pete and HG had perished in the explosion and she, Claudia, was now the last of the Warehouse 13 agents.

Grief over Steve's death had pushed her close to the edge. Her hot tears had given way to a cold despair that had wrapped around her soul. For the first time in her life she had tasted the seductive sweetness of revenge when Marcus lay dead on the floor. She was glad Myka and Pete had not witnessed her parting words to Sykes' agent. They would have understood but been shocked none the less.

Pete's brown eyes had shone with worry every time he had looked at her during the journey back to the Warehouse and Myka had reached over, her finger tips gently connecting as to remind Claudia that she was there for her. Only the youngest of the warehouse agents knew that her innocence had been lost, never to be regained.

Now the dark abyss beckoned and there was no one to hold her back.

White spots started to dance in front of her eyes due to the lack of oxygen. Claudia opened and shut her mouth like a fish on dry land but her chest muscles refused her command. Finally she willed her lungs to expand and drew in a large breath.

Claudia lifted her head and starred in front of her. There on the table, still standing upright, was Metzel's metronome. It seemed to Claudia it was mocking her, daring her to do what she had promised Mrs. Fredrick. There was no one left to rein her in. She pushed herself upright though her eyes never left the artifact.

Claudia reached forward, wrapping her cold fingers around the metronome and pulling it close to her chest.

Only now did she become aware of Leena's quiet sobbing.

The audible despair tore at Claudia but she couldn't find any words that may have brought comfort to the young innkeeper. The emptiness inside had swallowed her whole.

Slowly she stepped back from the table and turned towards the door.

Leena stopped sobbing and drew in a ragged breath.

"Claudia?"

Startled Claudia stopped and looked up into the red rimmed eyes of Leena.

"Claudia, where are you going?"

Clutching the metronome, Claudia held Leena's gaze for a few seconds before shaking her head softly while pressing her lips together.

Leena watched silently as Claudia strode through the door, listening to her soft steps on the wooden floor and the jingle of the car keys as Claudia scoped them up from the hallway table. Finally the soft clunk of the front door let her know that she was alone.

WH13WH13WH13WH13

It does make you wonder...if you had the power to bring someone back from the dead..would you? What would be the cost to yourself and the other person?

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