I do not own Sanctuary.
Nikola ran down the hall, the screams echoing in his ears as he put all his vampiric strength and as much magnetic force as he could muster into battering down the door. Henry and Will were hot on his heels but it was all they could do to keep up as he had ripped his way through the building, literally, some of the guards might not walk again. They had taken Helen, a small group of abnormals were experimenting on her and the sound of her pain had sent Nikola berserk. As he crashed through the final door he finally caught sight of the whirling machine from which the cries came.
"Stop it. Now." He growled, the Serbian accent leaking into his voice. The two men behind him lowered their blasters to emphasise the demand.
"It is almost complete." The abnormal grinned, his large violet eyes sparkling.
"Now." Nikola stepped forward his claws raised as a sobbing gasp rent the air. The machine whirred to a stop, although it hadn't seemed like the small figure had done anything to the panel beside him. As their eyes slid to find Helen Magnus it grabbed a small sphere which had been resting in a socket of the machine and scampered off, the shots from Will and Henry's blasters just a little too late as he slammed a hidden door on them. Nikola however had rushed to Helen, lifting her gently and brushing blonde curls from her face. He frowned, she had been brunette for decades, but the face was just as he remembered it. Had they restyled her hair to it's former appearance? He checked her over, she seemed otherwise unaltered, still wearing the same shirt and leather trousers he'd been ogling her butt in earlier that day. He pulled the wires from her with little popping sounds and her eyes fluttered open.
"Nikola? What happened? Where are we?"
"You don't remember? You were kidnapped." Will said as he moved to help her up and away from Tesla. He let her go sadly, standing himself. She looked down before blushing deeply and skittering behind Nikola, a hand on his shoulder.
"Where are my clothes?" She hissed in his ear, earning a surprised look from all three of the men, the grip on Nikola's shoulder became firmer when he tried to turn keeping him facing forwards.
"Magnus, you're wearing them." Will said, wondering if she'd been hurt by the machine, after all they didn't know what it did. Nikola was surprised she remained this close to him for so long, that she hadn't rushed to the protégée and more than a little concerned by the unusual behaviour.
"Where is John? Or James and Nigel?" The question, whispered and worried, spiked his fear even higher despite the way he had felt her breath against his face.
"Heinrich, fetch one of the laboratory coats from the hallway." Henry frowned, equally concerned by the odd behaviour but glad to have some way to attempt to help on the matter. "Helen, what is the last thing you remember?"
"We were in the laboratory preparing for the experiment, with..."
"The source blood?" He tried to keep his voice calm and soothing, ignored the feeling that crept up the back of his neck as he knew she glared at him for saying it aloud.
"You can't remember anything in the past century?" Will exclaimed.
"Doc, we gotta go, I think some of the guards are waking up and I swear one of them called for some back up before we put him down." Henry said as he returned holding the coat, his eyes shining with worry as he moved to offer it to her, the woman who'd practically raised him was hiding from him behind a guy she'd always sort of affectionately hated. It felt wrong. She wrapped it around herself and, still blushing, reappeared from behind Nikola.
"You shaved? It suits you." Her wide blue eyes, so innocent and trusting, as they hadn't been since Druitt, how he cursed the man. "Are you sure we can trust them?"
"We can trust Heinrich, I'm not so sure about William." Nikola replied.
"Tesla." Will growled warningly, but it was the slight concerned frown on Helen's face that really cracked him.
"You trust them." He said softly. His eyes betraying the ache of the words he didn't say 'more than me'. She picked up on it but didn't ask, a little nod was her reply and a slight biting of the lip which seemed to signal she was going to try and figure out the cause of his melancholy.
"Lead the way Heinrich." She stepped away from Tesla, towards the other two, the set to her shoulders replacing the vulnerability she had shown before as she pulled the aura of confidence and strength about her like a shield.
"It's Henry, only Tesla calls me Heinrich." Henry commented awkwardly as he turned to leave the room.
"Thank you for coming to help collect me Henry. I had an Uncle called Heinrich, we called him Henry too." She smiled at him as she came to follow at his shoulder, grabbing her gun from where it rested on the table as she did so and thumbing off the safety.
"Yeah, you named me after him." Henry said softly as he led the way.
They made it back to the car with barely an incident, only one of the guards waking up enough to get hit by a stun blast from Henry's blaster. Will hopped in the passenger seat automatically focused on the calls he needed to make. Henry took a look at Helen, who was staring at the buildings and the trail of traffic going past with barely contained awe and after sharing a look with Tesla headed for the drivers seat. Nikola held the door open for Helen who, having realised she was in danger of being left behind, hurried to get in, sliding over so that Nikola could get in after her rather than go around the car. As the engine started it startled Helen, who slid her hand into Nikola's gripping tightly for support, he squeezed back and she leaned towards him whispering.
"There's no horses, I'd seen a few of the motorised carriages before, but never so many, it really is so very far in the future, I mean my memories are of so far in the past? It is 1986?"
"Helen, it's 2012." He murmured in reply, savouring the feeling of her hand in his, even though he knew it couldn't last, her memories would return, or he'd have to track down that abnormal and beat him into giving them back. "Heinrich, when we get back you will need to change the passwords on the security system, if they have taken Helen's memories it is possibly they could use them to attempt access."
"Uh, yeah, sure, if that's OK with you Doc?"
"Me?" Helens eyes widened as she realised Henry had been talking to her. "I thought he meant you by Doc, that it was some new name you had gathered?"
"It's short for Doctor, as in Doctor Helen Magnus." Henry commented.
"Well then, yes, you should tell the guards we have need of a new pass-phrase if the old is possibly compromised." Henry glanced back to share a look with Tesla, before concentrating on the road. Helen just swallowed, her eyes having returned to the traffic outside. "How is it that we are both still as we were over a century ago? Aside from your moustache." She asked, her voice so quiet that he barely caught it.
"The blood Helen. Neither of us has aged since we took it. At least not physically." She heard the sadness in his tone and turned, looking into his eyes. "And the others, James? Nigel? John?" Her voice caught slightly on the last name and she saw his eyes darken, the pair had seldom seen eye to eye though.
"James died a few years ago." He said softly. "Nigel a few decades before that. They've been gone a while." He saw the tears which threatened to escape, she seemed so very young now, with all that had happened in her long life stripped away.
"And John?" The tremble of her lip told him she thought he was dead as well, but she was determined to hear it from him. For a moment he considered telling her Druitt was dead as well, rather than explain the truth of what had happened.
"Last I heard he was still alive." He spat the words out. "But we don't talk to him any more, he's dangerous. If you see him leave." He knew it wasn't in her nature to run, she was the kind of stubborn woman who would stand and fight, but she wouldn't know what she was up against and he couldn't, wouldn't, tell her everything that had happened between the two of them. "Please, just get away from him, any way you can, hopefully without him seeing you. Come and find me." The pleading roughened his voice. She took a breath to answer, and he held his, would she trust him over Druitt?
"Hey, I just got off the phone to Biggie, he said he'd get the medical bay set up and we can run a few tests, see what that thing did to you, whether we can fix it." Will interrupted, twisting around in his seat. Nikola almost growled in frustration as the mask to cover their vulnerabilities slid back into place for both of them, although he noticed Helens was less thorough than he was used to these days.
"Thank you, William?" Her voice rose in question at the name, unsure she'd remembered it correctly from Nikola's almost non-existent introductions.
"Yeah, Will." He dropped his eyes to the seat. "Are you two holding hands?" Helen dropped Nikola's hand immediately, her hands folding on her lap, gripping each other. Nikola glared at Will, already missing the warmth of her fingers. "You had better not be taking advantage of this whole memory loss thing and telling her you're a couple or something." Will glared back. "You know Magnus will kick your ass when she gets her memory back. Maybe shoot you again."
"Nikola? I shot you?" Helen's horrified gasp shook the pair out of their heated staring contest.
"It's okay Helen. As you can see I'm fine." He tried to be reassuring. "You've only shot me a few times and they were all after I developed the ability to heal pretty much anything." She still seemed shaken by the news. "Honestly Helen, I probably deserved most of them." Will cleared his throat. "Fine, all of them." Helen searched his face for any sign of resentment before allowing the guilt to slip off her face, her shoulders relaxing a bit. He resisted the urge to offer to massage them for her.
"He probably deserved more. Think of it as being like clipping him around the ear, except a bit more forceful because he doesn't know how to take a hint." Will added, with another glare at Nikola, which he returned for raising the topic in the first place. "Like don't go hitting on the woman with amnesia." Will directed the last bit at Tesla.
"Hitting? He has barely touched me aside from to check that I was unhurt and hold my hand in a comforting manner, mildly improper certainly but most definitely not violence." Helen bristled, angry with the young man for the suggestion.
"He means courting, it is a modern colloquialism." Warmth washed through him, as it did any time Helen stood up for him. "You know you're very attractive when you're angry." She blushed and slapped his shoulder.
"I swear you do not know the meaning of the word propriety." She smiled at him, the anger forgotten, his heart ached that somewhere in the last hundred years she had lost that smile. "Do you ever stop you attempts at flattery?" The good humoured mockery was a world away from the responses his comments had gotten more recently.
"With you? Never."
"Considering you appear to have known me for over a hundred years and are still at it I think I might believe you on that one. But I assure you it won't get you anywhere, certainly not until I know exactly what it is you have done to cause me to shoot you on multiple occasions."
"And if I was to tell you every detail, if you knew, then it might?" Nikola asked, his voice teasing but his heart in his throat, this Helen, honest and brave Helen, before her heart was smashed to pieces and every piece tortured by the abominable man she had trusted it to. She blushed, scowling at him affectionately.
"Then I suppose I'd be exactly as I was before I was kidnapped and you'd have to take your answer from that. Honestly Nikola, if we've known each other as long as you say and you have yet to wear me down I must assume there was some reason. Something you did to deserve those bullets," she swallowed but continued, "or someone who I grew fond of in a more than friendly way, or simply that I might not wish to jeopardise my relationship with my oldest friend. Just because I cannot recall the reason at the moment does not make it any the less valid." The exasperation was familiar, the same tone she often used with him but long acquaintance allowed Nikola to pick out the faintest trace of warmth instead of the usual undertones of irritation. Will on the other hand seemed to miss it, so perhaps it was merely wishful thinking on his part.
"Good." Henry spoke up. "Because I hate to have to lock you and Tesla in different rooms til we get this whole mind altering machine thing sorted. Will, could you just sit down and quit with winding Tesla up, I know we might not always like the guy but right now the dude is the only person Magnus recognises and he had to vouch for us back there so the bickering and infighting stuff has gotta be spinning her head more than it already is. Aside from which we're almost there, what do you say you head to her office and try and get a handle on things there while Biggie's taking a look at her? It might take a while to sort this out and she can hardly run the Sanctuary while she's trying to figure out how to use a computer."
"Fine. Tell me what you find out." He muttered as Henry let the machine scan his iris and they entered the vehicle entrance to the New Sanctuary.