Disclaimer – I do not own Being Human.
Also despite the title there are no intended connotations to the actual poem Paradise Lost.
This has been niggling at me since the last episode – how would Nina feel waiting for her baby and when Eve arrived how would Nina feel that Annie was Eve's mum?
Un-beta-fied I'm afraid so please excuse any mistakes.
The relief when Nina passes over nearly sends her to her knees. The door closes behind her sealing out the blood splattered world she had just left. Being able to feel her bones in her body, whole and un-shattered is blissful. She can remember seeing through one bloody eye the stark white bone fragments on the pavement and the bright red blood traveling through the cracks in the pavement like rivers.
She remembers the pain (unbelievable and made her vision go white, then black until the next painful blow made her eyes open and bulge, the sun above burning her blind) and looks down at her unharmed body – expecting bruises that would mottle her black, blue and purple.
Except the excess baby weight she is still carrying.
The pain…the fear…it made her forget them.
She goes to turn back, and her hand grasps at nothing, her fingers just graze stone cold wall. She splays her hand against it and looks at it for a long time until she turns to look at the corridor. It's long and dark. There are many doorways and Nina will not deny she is scared – there are memories she never wants to revisit but maybe afterwards she can try and contact her daughter through the TV like Annie had. Maybe one of these doors would lead back to her baby, to George.
She finds nothing apart from unpleasant memories and pain. She finds no light in any of the places she visits and she despairs. Time has no meaning any more – how fast does it pass here? Every clock she sees does not move – ever. She does however find that almost all corridors are linked, she wonders through a memory and out of a different door and into a different corridor altogether. It is through this discovery that she starts to meet people. She wonders into her old school teacher's corridor at one point (they shared a memory of a school girl having an epileptic fit in class). She finds him wondering down his corridor and he starts when he hears her enter. "Miss Pickering!" He exclaims in surprise.
"Mr Peters." She replies – coolly, she never really liked him – he is aloof and proud and she hates those traits. It turns out that Mr Peters has been dead for a while; he is just waiting to move on. He jokes about death being like the NHS – too many patients and too slow of a system. Nina doesn't find it funny. He explains how she got into his corridor and Nina realises he knows so much more about this place than she does.
She never liked Mr Peters – but he was one hell of a good teacher and once again he teaches her about this world and she learns – she was always very good at picking up stuff.
She also finds herself confessing things to him, things she never told George, worries…fears… because it is truly easier to confess to a stranger whose opinion matters little instead of someone who means the world to her. So she talks as they walk through darkness and doors …and then she finally brings up her nameless daughter…and how she longs to see her.
"You have to be powerful to do that Nina – really powerful." He smiles a little sardonically, apathetic to her suffering. "Can you imagine if everyone could contact their loved ones? It just wouldn't work." He cleaned his glasses on his jumper. "Also you're a werewolf – you can't be a ghost and for you it'll be hard to even make contact through appliances." He pulled on the labels of his jacket on and commented blandly. "You cannot be two types of supernatural." He pauses by a door and he runs his hand across the cheap wood pensively. "I'm afraid this is my stop, Miss Pickering." He nods sharply in farewell, dismissing as easily as he used to when she was his student.
He goes to turn the handle but Nina demands angrily "Is there nothing I can do?"
"You can listen in on them." He pivoted on his heel sharply and looked at her. "You won't be seen or heard but you can hear them – possibly see them. Do you know when they watch TV or listen to the radio?" He asked, as he looked at the door.
"No." Nina said sullenly. There was never any time for TV any more – not with Wyndam's threat hanging over them.
"All you have to do is find out when they watch TV or listen to the radio and you tune in at the same time on your TV or radio." He twisted the door knob, smiling slightly as he did so. He nodded to her briefly and left, the door closing behind him with a loud snap. Nina scowls at it and wanders away.
Nina travels through all the corridors she can, rooting out every connection she can find and she meets so many people. She finds that if you have a connection with a person you can travel further and further from your corridor and the doors will remain unlocked so she could find her way back. She meets people who lived hundreds of years ago – and she finds a startling amount of people have been killed by vampires. The majority she meets actually. Two names are most prevalent as well. One she knows. One she doesn't.
Lord Harry/Henry/Hal Yorke.
This Lord Harry occurs more than Mitchell but both names are well known to these people.
But…as much as Nina hates to admit it to herself, she knows that Mitchell wouldn't harm her or her baby – because of George. She sees that as perhaps a tiny bit of redemption for him. It consoles her a little when she has to confess to these victims that she shared a house with the murderer.
She occasionally sees a woman in a dress, with blonde hair in a plait and crosses for earrings and a necklace – she is always watching Nina from around corners – but every time Nina tries to catch up to her she is gone – behind a door Nina has no access to. She slams her hands on the door angrily and yells and yells and yells but it is never opened. The girl never acknowledges her.
She is in her corridor, pacing again when another door appears, it swings open loudly echoing in the silence. The light from the other side is dim and Nina only decides to go through just to beat the boredom and the emptiness in her arms that should be filled with her baby or George. It is another corridor, just as plain and boring as hers but she hears breathing. She looks over to see the sound and sees…George.
A startle sob broke from her, and she walked slowly towards him as though he would disappear if she ran towards him. He looked at her though he had seen an angel (happy, but slightly dumbstruck) and when they finally hugged they clutched at each other as though they never intended to be let go.
It is the sound of another door opening and closing that pulls them apart but their hands remain on each other. They both turn simultaneously and see Mitchell standing there a mere couple of feet away from them.
Nina realised he looked…healthy, there was most definitely a wholesome look about him, more colour in his cheeks and his simile was free from the troubles of his life.
There was a painful pause and before Nina knows it George is out of her arms.
George and Mitchell stride to each other and grab each other fiercely, a hug that's tight and pained. They hold each other tightly for an infinite moment before they lean back to inspect each other's faces.
They hold gazes and seem to have a private conversation for those minutes. Evidently they seem satisfied with what they see. Nina is jealous of the connection they have, although entirely platonic it surpasses the strength of her relationship with George. Mitchell finally sighs and says "We have to go – you gotta go through your memories – we-" He nods in Nina's direction. "-can't stay here while you go that."
Nina scowls and hates him with blinding fury for that moment but when that door opens back to her corridor she knows the truth behind his words. She hates Mitchell's ease with it all and his almost happiness with being here.
She hugs George again and he whispers in her ear how much he loves her and how Tom has moved in with Annie – they will protect the baby with everything they have.
"Her name is Eve." He tells her before she leaves.
Her name couldn't be more perfect. Nina smiles, though she doesn't want to let George go and promises that they will meet again soon.
She is so lonely.
It's only later that she found out who else was living with her baby, her Eve – Lord Harry. She heard all about him through the hundreds of people she meets. Women, beautiful women, children, soldiers – even other vampires who he has killed personally. Some of the ones she met had been killed by his orders.
Old one. Killer. Monster. Suddenly Mitchell doesn't seem as bad – almost angelic in comparison.
Two people say he has changed though – Leo and Pearl. Nina meets them on her explorations of endless corridors. An old man and a beautiful girl in a blue dress. They tell her he likes You and Yours on radio four. Leo preaches that he is a changed man and Pearl agrees. Leo has faith that Annie and Tom will help him through any troubles he may have.
She enters her Honolulu Heights which is empty but just the way she remembers it and heads to her room.
She tunes the radio at the next available opportunity, whether that is seconds, days or months here she doesn't know, the clocks never change here.
It takes a few moments of static before suddenly she hears someone talking – a man and she hears gurgling. Eve's gurgling.
He is well spoken, very well spoken – so this must be Lord Harry. She worries that there is no one else there with him protecting her baby but she can hear this Lord Harry talking to Eve – commenting on mundane things and telling her about his friend Leo.
Eve makes nonsensical noises in response but the vampire treats them as though they were articulate enquiries and expands further on what he was saying.
Nina hears Tom (she would recognise his voice anywhere) enter the room and ask about watching Antiques Roadshow later on. The rest of the conversation is lost on her because she now has the chance to see her baby and it makes her body buzz in excitement.
She finally sees her Eve, nestled in the lap of Tom who his happily pulling faces and cooing at her.
Nina realises her face is wet and though she doesn't need to any more she feels she cannot breathe. She shuffles closer to the image until she almost has her nose pressed against the TV screen in desperation to be closer to her child.
The vampire – they call him Hal - is sitting next to him – with a fare sized distance between them and he is strung as tight a bow, but there is something about him that suggests he is content. Even when Eve is put in his arms he seems content – though Nina in all her years working in hospitals has never seen anyone hold a baby like that… although he at least has a secure hold on her.
After a couple of minutes his grip relaxes and he rearranges Eve into a more natural position as they continue watching TV.
She hears someone enter the room she is in, and turns briefly to see Mitchell darkening the doorway but for once she is too happy to really care and she gestures to him. "Look," She whispers, her voice choked. "There she is. My Eve." Her lips roll inwards as she tries to stop the tears and sobs she wants to let out.
She hears him come over and kneel down next to her.
He makes a sound. Panic.
"What?" Nina demands sharply, turning to his shocked face.
"T-that's Lord Harry." He manages to say, he shakes his head a little, swallowing heavily. "He's an Old One. Nasty bloke…" He trails off, watching the man start to read poetry to the baby.
"I've heard." Nina says shortly. "But we have to trust Annie's judgement." She continues brazenly, though her heart is in her mouth at thought of Hal (monster) holding her child. "I thought you were famous in the vampire world?" She continues in an attempt to bat away the worry by baiting Mitchell.
"I was." He said refusing to expand.
"He" She nods to the screen. "Hasn't heard of you." She says caustically. "He didn't respond to the name Mitchell at all." She continued in her acerbic tone.
He manages a short huff of bitter laughter. "I was known as Big Bad John – I've met him once and that's what he addressed me as. John Mitchell is human and the Old Ones never glimpsed the human me. I was just Big Bad John to them." He pushed himself to his feet, fed up with the conversation.
"When you met him-" Nina asked, softly and as close to apologetic as she would ever be. "-what was he like?" She doesn't look at Mitchell and just focuses on the man on the screen.
"He was…" There was a pause and an audible struggle for words.
"Don't fucking sensor it." Nina snaps.
"He terrified me. Wyndham is scary-" He pointed at the screen "- He is something else. Wyndham is out of his league when compared to him." Mitchell sees Nina's stricken expression and continues with one condolence before he leaves "But, if he is on our side – Eve's side – she'll be fine. No one fucks with Hal."
"No one?" She asks but he has already left – and she wonders if it is coincidence or he has left to avoid that very question.
Nina's fingers rake gently over the screen where her baby is sitting in a murderer's lap and she hates it. He doesn't seem to wish her harm – at the moment at least and Nina has to settle for that. She has yet to see Annie with Eve but she knows that Annie will not let her down – will love Eve like her own.
It brings an unbearable sadness to Nina to think that Eve shall grow up with a different Mum – though they will share genes, flesh and blood Nina will never be a Mum to her.
Though if all goes well Eve will be an old woman when she dies – and Annie will tell her about her parents…maybe even this vampire will stick around and see her grow up with Tom and Annie.
If he doesn't hurt Eve then he might be good for the household – he would most definitely being able to nurture the incredible intelligence that Eve will have inherited from George.
She once again lets her eyes flicker over Hal, he is so very uptight – controlled – he didn't even express emotion very well. His mouth would quirk – usually on one side as though he was unsure how to react to situations. He didn't laugh and Nina wondered whether he was scared to – his judgment of humour might be on a darker scale compared to the others. He seemed rigid with fear of himself and that scared Nina more than she would care to admit.
She watched him cradle her baby and wondered what he could do…
It was torture to see her child without her, without George and so she turns the TV off angrily and scowls at the black screen and her own tear stained reflection.
She picks up the radio and turns up the volume – time has skipped again and she can hear Hal staggering about as he goes to feed Eve.
He's drunk! Nina thinks with disgust – she hopes it is alcohol – she knows better though.
There is silence then a suckling sound and for a moment Nina's none existent heartbeat fights her ribcage in fear. Then she hears a creak and Hal sigh blissfully, slurring about how tired his legs were – the suckling hasn't stopped and a baby like sound slithers through the radio speaker. Nina sighs with relief and crumples a little. She breathes deeply, hand pressed to mouth as she hears Eve make a fuss. Nina then hears Hal sigh, the sound of shuffling before he obviously tries again. It is obviously more acceptable to Eve because Nina can hear her drinking.
Drunken Hal has taken this as an invitation to continue his story as he talks about the detour he took to get home – Nina summarises that he got lost – and how he saw some dogs in the park – proper dogs he clarifies - as if it makes a difference to Eve. He laughs suddenly, a little hysterically and Eve gives an amused gurgle in response. In his state Nina wouldn't be surprised if he had chased the dogs in the park – he was acting like one of Nina's old friends who had a hash cake once. He continues slurring more nonsense until he falls asleep with Eve still in his lap.
Tom comes back a while later and coos to Eve who seems as delighted to see Tom as she was Hal. Hal is snide and a little cruel to Tom at first but when Tom confronts him he is rather horrific – Nina knows Tom only means well. From what Nina has heard the way Hal is now is nothing. She hears Hal walk away and Tom comes back in and makes sure Eve is tucked in and comfortable before leaving as well.
Nina turns off the radio.
When Hal has blood in him he is a bit livelier Nina thinks – but he didn't hurt her Eve. It is not a great comfort.
She wants her Eve now more than ever.
She staggers into the living room feeling angry and deprived. Is this really death? – because she wants to live if it is – this nothingness is worse than monthly transformations or bats bludgeoning her again and again.
She notices Mitchell and George sitting on the sofa and realises they are waiting. After a minute hesitation she goes and joins them.
None of them speak…they all wait in silence.
She is so angry at Annie for killing (saving) her daughter – well she wants to be but she understands why Annie did it – though she would rather she didn't understand it. It would make it easier to be angry.
She hadn't expected a bomb – and in a way it is almost kinder than any other form of death – over before it really begun. There wasn't even a chance to feel pain…
Nina has never felt so happy when she sees Annie and that bundle in her arms. She instantly holds out her arms for the little girl she has watched. Annie is almost reluctant to place Eve in her arms but she does so. The reluctance burns at Nina.
The reunion between Annie and the boys is tearful and joyous but Nina only has eyes for Eve, her Eve.
But …Eve only has eyes for Annie.
It hurts to see her baby focus so completely, so trustingly on another woman. It hurts that Eve thinks of another woman as Mum.
Annie is Eve's world – when she is passed to Mitchell, George or even her, those eyes turn to Annie, follow Annie, take verdict from Annie.
Eve is warmer to Mitchell than she is Nina.
Because Annie trusts Mitchell, loves him. Annie smiles at him and Eve takes judgment from her mother's reaction. Perhaps she is just looking too much into her reaction – Annie treats them all the same.
Mitchell might have killed Eve in a different life. But Eve still burbles happily to him.
Though Eve is like that with all of them…and the only reason for that is Annie. She trusts Annie above all else.
So she tolerates the other three holding her because Annie trusts them.
Eve will only calm down for Annie though – no matter how much Eve screams or cries the moment she is in Annie's arms she is soothed.
She was soothed in Tom's arms too. Hal had been getting the knack of it too – Eve mostly calmed down for him as well.
She won't calm down for Nina.
It really, really hurts, it's a wound and it burns in Nina's stomach – and it burns more than the one on her flesh ever did. She holds her child close and she smells fresh and sweet, though the smell of fire clings to her little blanket at times. She looks at Eve's little face, her tiny nose and rosy cheeks.
Not the eyes though.
Because Nina knows those wide, beautiful, eyes are reserved for Annie alone. They will be watching her now as she sits opposite between the boys – and those eyes – George's and Mitchell's - they're for her too – because it had always been those three against the world. And Nina – the interloper.
How can this be it? Death is supposed to end the suffering; it is supposed to be paradise. She doesn't want to be dead because it feels so much lonelier than life. Even her own child doesn't want her.
Suddenly Nina doesn't want to hold Eve anymore.
She smiles awkwardly and wants to cry, before passing the baby back to Annie.
Back to her mother.
A/N – Review? The thought of Nina seeing her baby acknowledge another as her mother has bothered me since Annie passed over in the last episode. Please excuse any mistakes.
Let me know what you think please?