I have always been very angry at the episode 'Though Lovers Be Lost', obviously. But, my biggest complaint about it wasn't the ending. It was what we didn't see. To me, it was always implied that Catherine was put in that room, and there she waited, like some princess in a tower, until Vincent came to rescue her. Well, I just can't swallow that. Catherine Chandler was always a fighter. Yes, she depended on him, but she didn't just give up until Vincent got there. Catherine was a lot stronger and tougher than many of the other characters ever gave her credit for, including Vincent.
So, here's my little therapy story. Just something I can look at and say, 'at least she fought! She didn't just stand there and take it.' I am following most of the details of the episode with minor changes here and there. I've given Catherine a bathroom in her room, because, really, they're going to deny a pregnant woman an easy-access bathroom? I don't think so. I've also taken away the desk and chair; why was it there in the first place? I took a few ideas that others have used in similar short stories, and incorporated and expounded on them; like Catherine's nickname for the baby, and bringing the crystal necklace into play; so, if you recognize something from your own story, thank you so much for the inspiration! I've also used Linda Hamilton's birth-date for Catherine; I think it's fitting, and it works suprisingly well!; and the original air-dates of The Rest Is Silence and Though Lovers Be Lost to create a timeline. I am sticking to the events that are laid out in the episode, hopefully I've given some explanation as to why Catherine seems like such a damsel-in-distress, and answered a few of the questionable happenings within the episode (how DID she make it to the roof so quickly when it seemed like she passed out in the chair?).
Many thanks, and I welcome reviews,
There will be an Alternate Ending chapter, so never fear SND-ers, the original ending won't be all you get.
"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night."
The first was her vision. It was blurry, heavy even, as if everything from her forehead and beyond was melting, sliding along her numb face and beyond her grasp. She fought it, shaking her head, wanting desperately to wipe it away, but she couldn't move her wrists. Her eyes lolled, her neck rolling, to try to find what was impeding her, but all that greeted her vision was that dripping run of colors.
Sounds were distant, as if an echo, or through some sort of sound barrier. No words, just halting sounds of different timbres. They seemed to float by her, tangible notes passing so close that she could reach out and touch them if only she could move her wrists. Again, she fought her confines with the small amount of strength that she could muster, but still she couldn't move.
And then, a sound unlike anything she'd heard before; deep, primal, and even further away than others. She wasn't even sure she had heard it except for some instinctive lurch, deep in the pit of her stomach. Some of the other sounds stopped, others grew more rapid, urgent, and closer. There was a click, and then her wrists were free. But still, those strange sounds persisted through all, so distant and yet so clear, as if she wasn't hearing it at all. As if she were only imagining it; only imagining the sudden pounding in her chest; only imagining the twisting in her stomach and the shivers that ran through her.
She was pulled upward and she tried to support her own weight, but her knees just refused to hold her, and she fell into the strong arms that supported her. She forced her gaze to drift upward, in search of a face, a name, anything that made sense. Nothing was solid, all of the colors ran together; swirling, dripping blacks, and creams, and whites, some silver, and harsh, blinding artificial light. She searched for gold; her heart ached for those soft tones of brown and gold. Nothing, nowhere.
She knew she was moving, though she couldn't feel her feet, or her legs even, but she knew that the lights were flashing and she could feel the jostling of her upper body. There was wailing, a siren maybe, but still those primal sounds grew stronger and truer as the eternal seconds passed.
Cold, night air blasted the sensitive skin of her face. Everything prickled and bit at her nerves, the twisting in her stomach making her want to vomit. She blinked hard against the pain and nausea, and her head pounded with that constant sound in her ears. In an instant, there was a flash of clarity, and her own name was suddenly whispered in her ear in that sweet rasp that she knew so well.
Completely on instinct, her head came up and she inhaled deeply, an odd peace passing through her. "Vincent?" she whispered back.
There was a hand on her head and she was being pushed, passed from hand-to-hand, one more forceful, the next soft but sure. She fell into the seat, her body going limp, every muscle refusing to budge, all of her weight collapsing involuntarily against the other occupant beside her.
It was as if that spark, that moment of clarity, had exhausted any strength she may have had. In some far away land; there was the crashing of glass and the primal sound one last time before her neck gave out and the world went black.
Haze again, she wanted to groan her frustration, but no sound came out. At least she had regained the feeling in her body; she was curled in half-fetal position, her arms around her waist. She was cushioned by the softest mattress she had felt in days. Had it been days? Weeks? It could have been years for all she knew. The voices were distant, but they were voices now, not just sounds, and they were coming closer and clearer with each passing word.
"She's coming to."
"Good. How long until I can speak to her, doctor?"
"Right now, if you'd like, though I don't know how comprehensive her responses will be. She'll be very disoriented for a few hours."
"Even better. Thank you."
There was an ache in her belly, a sickness trying to well-up. She squirmed, her arms snaking tighter around herself. "Vincent," she whined, uncomfortably. She groaned in protest, and suddenly felt sure that she would vomit. Instead, she only coughed; her throat so dry that the force of air was like knives.
"What is it?"
The tone of his voice seemed to glide on the air, soothing and terrifying all at once. He was close to her, she could feel his breath on her skin, and yet she still couldn't see his face. Everything was a blur and the features of his face would only blend together, then separate and melt away. "A hospital?" she asked, more like a plea.
"Tell me… does it follow you?" his voice glided.
Nothing made sense. She moaned and curled deeper, her arms unwrapping, her hands coming to her face and rubbing as vigorously as she could. When she pulled them away, her vision shifted, blurring and clearing, and back again. But, that moment of clarity was enough to take in the visage before her and faces of the familiar guards behind him. "No," she groaned, her head reeling and her body tucking deeper. "No, no, please…"
"I can give her a stimulant," a reluctant voice emerged. "Just enough to make her a little more lucid."
"No, doctor. No more drugs," the voice glided.
"She'll go through a difficult detox for about 48 hours if we just leave her now."
"How long until we know if it's done any damage to the child?"
She curled deeper, holding her abdomen, as if she had any control over the protection of that precious little life anymore.
"A miscarriage should be seen within the next 48 hours as well, if that's the case. Any further damage won't be found until much farther into the fetal development, or birth."
"What is it…?" his voice was close again and she knew he was talking to her again. "What is it to have such power inside you?"
The statement hit her harder than anything she might have expected. For a moment, her mind raced with curiosity and anxiety. Not only did he know about her condition, but somehow he knew exactly how it felt. How did he know that, for these few lucid days that she could remember, the knowledge of her condition had made her run the gambit of emotion, from pure terror of the microscopic life, to pure invincibility in the face of anyone who threatened it? There truly was such power within her womb that the simple thought of it made her breath quicken and every nerve shiver.
She raised her eyes to the cream and black haze of her interrogator, and prayed that all her contempt and loathing was being projected in her face. His breath stopped for a moment, and then she felt and heard him move away from her swiftly.
"No one touches her, handles her, or even breathes on her until she's regained her strength. She receives food, and that is all. Doctor, your services will be required elsewhere for the time being," his voice grew distant and the sounds of the room began to hush. "You can observe her progress between the work that I have for you."
She stretched one leg outward as she heard the click of the door and the hitch of a lock. Her ribs ached and the memory of the injury came back quickly. She fought the instinct to be thankful to her captor for prohibiting the men to touch her. She didn't remember all of what she'd endured, but the little she could recall; the beatings, the humiliations, the taste of cotton in her mouth as a needle pricked at her arm; it made her nauseous just to think about it.
The voices beyond the door were gone. She coughed again, something of a dry heave trying to force the nil contents of her stomach out of her body. No! She swallowed the next heave that quaked in her. Any nutrients left in her were for the babe. Nothing would leave her body until she was given the food that the gliding voice had promised.
Her eyes were growing heavier, no matter how she fought for consciousness. Her body shivered hard, and she curled back in tight, her knees protecting her abdomen, and her head turned into the dark shadows that her body created. She allowed her eyes to close, the stark white blur replaced by the clear, beautiful sight of flickering candlelight off of dark rock.