This is my first fanfiction and I am glad to finally have the chance to contribute. This story is a one shot illustrating my realization of why the story of Catherine and Vincent probably would have ended the way it did regardless of the fact that actors wanted off the show. Don't get me wrong, I love happy endings and would have loved one for Catherine and Vincent. However, so many fictions I have read about them where they do live happily ever after just don't ring true to me and seem very out of character. It would have to be something astonishing or drastic which would allow or force them together. I do have story ideas that way as well but I wanted to start off with being as canon as possible. I hope you enjoy!
It was story time, his favorite time of night, when he felt closest to his beloved son. Tonight they had special visitors, Luke and little Cathy. Three year old Jacob was nestled securely into the crook of his father's arm with the two four year olds lying across him lengthwise. He loved it; there was so much excitement in their eyes when he told them a new story about two sparrows seeking a magical flower. The story went longer than he'd expected and before he knew it all three children were fast asleep on top of him. He chuckled slightly and felt joy pierce through him as he realized how much he loved and was loved. It was the kind of feeling he hadn't experienced in some time. Before he could follow that thread of thought He dozed off.
He wandered through the sunny glade, so beautiful, he thought, and peaceful. The feeling of contentment filled his soul. "Hello my love" he heard a familiar voice say.
He turned "Catherine?" And then he saw her. She who he'd never thought he'd see again. She was like an angel, dressed in…light? "Are you real? Is this a dream?"
The vision before him smiled lovingly at him. "I am as real as the love you have for me in your heart, my love."
His heart beat faster than he thought possible. "Catherine, my love, oh my love, how can this be?" He paused, trying to calm his self "You have been gone for three years, three long sad and grief filled years. Never have you come to me no matter how much I wished it. You died in my arms, my love. I look back now and wonder how I survived. I think Jacob was my saving grace. Without him I would have surely joined you. Yet, only now you come, and you will leave as you must, for this can only be a dream."
"I couldn't come to you until now, it wasn't possible. I am in a place of joy and I cannot penetrate the dark clouds of grief, it is only when you finally experienced some of what I know that I could finally come to you." She replied softly.
He looked down at the ground and smiled "The children, they brought me that joy."
She brought her hand to his face and lifted it to look into her own "yes, the children."
Then another thought came to him, "Catherine, you have missed so much, our beautiful son…all of the moments in his life. Every time he met a milestone, his first word, the first time he walked, this now breaks my heart above all else."
"Oh, Vincent" she smiled again, "I have missed nothing, I am always with him, I was there when he had not yet come to you and I will be with him long after he has left you. I am always with him as I am always with you." She stopped and took his hand "I love you both so."
"Catherine, I love you, I love you so deeply and I was never able to tell you how deeply" he sighed.
"I knew, Vincent, I know" she replied.
He looked back to the ground again. "This is a dream; it can be nothing else, a wish fulfillment only. Oh, but how I wish it was true."
"Vincent, this dream is truer than you know." She took his hand again and began to lead him down a sunlit path "So many times I dreamed of walking with you this way in the sunlight."
Vincent frowned again "Catherine, are you happy? I visit your grave and I feel I am leaving you in a dark cold lonely place."
She stopped them for a moment, and looked at him "I think you already know the answer to that. When the watcher took me and tried to kill me, when I drowned, you pulled me back. You said to me 'I felt you go'. You should have felt then the joy I was experiencing through our bond during my near death experience. To die is to awaken to joy. One day you will join me in this joy."
"Oh, my love I have always hoped there was an afterlife and that I would meet you again when my time came. I wish it were now." He sighed.
"No, Vincent, you know that isn't true, part of your heart is still in the world, you can't leave him yet. You must remain and live your life. You are a passionate, loving man, who needs to love and be loved. New love will come to you when you least expect it."
"Catherine, no!" he cried "there will never be another to take your place in my heart." And he pulled her to him in an embrace that demonstrated his resolve. She felt alive, and warm in his arms. His arms had ached to hold her again. She felt so right, so familiar to him that he could almost believe this was all true. Then he kissed her as he had never done when she lived. The kiss did not invoke the physical desire he'd expected, but rather it was a sweet connection to what he could only describe as pure love, a blessing, a benediction for the soul.
As they parted again she placed her small hand over his heart. "Vincent, I know no one will take my place in your heart, but there are other places within your heart waiting for love. Be open to her, she will bring you happiness and peace. I know you are wondering if I am referring to Diana. We both know she is and always will be a good friend, but she will never be your lover. Even she knows this and has for some time. The one I speak of you have not yet met, but will when the time is right." She stopped with an amused look on her face "Ah, Diana. I have a message for her. Tell her to trust her instincts and to tell you everything she believes about me. She is right about it all and you need to hear it from her. I think you are ready to hear it now. It will not all seem complimentary but know that I was human with my own frailties, do not keep me on a pedestal. I was not a paragon of virtue, simply a woman in love with a man I believed I could never be with."
"Catherine, you will always be the perfect woman to me, nothing can be said to make me believe otherwise."
At this she laughed out loud "OK, Vincent, believe as you like" Even her melodious laughter made him feel at peace. "Oh, I have one other message for Diana, the answer to her question is 'Suzanna' she'll know what I mean." Then she stopped speaking and her face softened. "Vincent, please believe that this is real, that I am with you."
She stopped and smiled fully "I think our little man is about to break up our little tete a tete" softening again she looked at him with her face full of joy "Beloved, know that I love you and I am always…always with you" Suddenly everything grew so bright that Vincent had to close his eyes to it.
"Papa, wake up, I'm thirsty" said Jacob. Vincent woke with a start. So it had been a dream, he thought sadly. He disengaged himself from the sleeping children to get Jacob his drink of water. Later, he told his aging father of his dream.
"Vincent, have you ever thought that this is your own mind making peace with her loss? Perhaps you are finally getting the closure you've needed." Father counseled.
"Perhaps" Vincent responded. "I need to think of it further. But Father, it felt so right, almost…well, I didn't realize it then but I recognize it now, the bond, I sensed something of it. Not only did I feel it then, but I still sense…something, a soft wisp of something. That's all I can describe it as. Perhaps it's my imagination."
Father frowned at the book in his hand and looked up at Vincent "Maybe what you feel comes from wanting it so much. I know, I have lost the great love of my life as well, we can imagine a great many things when it comes to lost love."
Many months passed and Vincent never had another reoccurrence of the dream. However, the feeling he had through their bond never left him. One day in late summer, just weeks before Jacob's fourth birthday he got a surprise visit from Diana. She had not seen him since before he'd dreamt of Catherine.
"Vincent, I've missed you and Jacob so much and I knew it was well past time for a visit." Diana said as she and Vincent embraced one another.
"Diana, you've been sorely missed here, what has been going on in your life? What has kept you from us for so long?"
Diana looked at Vincent and wondered how to tell him. They had never been completely clear about their relationship and she feared he would not take her news well. "Vincent I have news, but I'm not sure how you'll feel about It."
"Tell me." He said quietly.
Diana drew in a great breath and said "Ok, here it is then. I'm getting married."
While this was not what Vincent had expected her to say all he could feel was happiness for her. "Diana, that's the best news we've had in these tunnels in a long time. But I did not know you were seeing anyone."
She began her story explaining to him how she had been temporarily assigned to a case in Minneapolis that had confounded their police department. Five small children under the age of seven had disappeared from different parts of the city and on different days. She had been assigned to work with a detective Fitzwilliam who used techniques very similar to her own. Within a few months they were able to stop the kidnappings and find all of the children alive and none the worse for wear. It turned out a mentally ill woman thought she was protecting the children from some unseen, evil force. She was remanded to an institution after a quick trial. But during the investigation, Diana realized she was in love. "I don't know if our love is what you and Catherine had but I know I've never felt this way for anyone before." She stopped and looked directly at him. "When I first met you I thought I loved you that way. I quickly realized I was in love with your love story, with what was between you and Catherine. I think of you now as a dear friend and I'm glad you think of me that way too."
He smiled at her but the smile soon became a frown "Diana, will you now move to Minneapolis with him? Will we ever see you again?"
"No, I mean Yes, you will see me again and no I will not be moving to Minneapolis. Instead John is moving here. He got a job with the NYPD, with a raise and a promotion." She replied happily.
For a while Diana told Vincent of her future husband and their plans and Vincent in turn told her what was happening with the Jacob and the rest of the citizenry of the Tunnels. They had dinner in the communal dining hall where Diana shared her news with the rest of the community. Young Jacob gave her one of his biggest hugs to show her how strong he was getting. "Auntie Dinah, I want to marry you instead and then you can live here with Papa and me." Jacob explained.
"But Jacob, If I married you then you wouldn't get a new Uncle John and I have it on good authority that he is very good at playing with little boys." she said to him.
"Oh, well, Ok then" He said "S'long as he is good at playing with me as you are" Jacob conceded as he happily skipped away.
Diana smiled at this and Vincent chuckled. "He never ceases to amaze me, there is so much of his mother in him" Then Vincent stopped and turned to Diana. "Diana, have you told me everything you know or believed of Catherine?"
Diana looked at him confused. "What do you mean, Vincent? I told you everything, everything I could or needed to in order to find her killer."
"But there's more. Your form of investigation requires you to deeply understand the victim, sometimes more than the victim knows themselves. You have that sort of empathy."
"Yes, Vincent its true, and I do have more insight into Catherine than I have ever told you, but there is no reason to bring it up now and you might not like what I am thinking."
"No, Diana, I think Catherine wants you to tell me"
"But, how…Vincent, you're not making sense."
So Vincent related his dream of Catherine.
"Wow, Vincent that is a lot to think about, but it's still just a dream isn't it? I wouldn't want to hurt our friendship because of a dream."
"There is one more thing I haven't told you yet. She had a message for you. I have no idea of the meaning behind it but I will relay it to you. She said to tell you the answer to your question is Suzanne."
"Suzanne? Suzanne. Hmm. No, it means absolutely nothing to…" Suddenly Diana's face went pale. "Oh, oh, no, no, no" Diana whispered.
"Diana, what is it? Tell me?"
"Vincent, when I was a young girl there was a movie series where the title character was named Suzanne. It was a very popular series and there were dolls and toys that were produced from it. I hadn't thought about it in years. A few years ago I held a Suzanne doll in my hands. I didn't recognize it for what it was; I thought it was just a doll. I asked the doll what its name was. The doll had belonged to the victim of a murder which I was investigating and I wanted to understand the victim as best I could."
"Catherine" Vincent said softly
"Yes. Vincent, I don't know what to think. This dream of yours, its beyond, oh I don't know" she said as she sat on the ground. Her legs no longer seemed to work.
They sat in in quiet companionship contemplating the dream. After a little while Diana looked up at Vincent "All my life I have been a skeptic and yet open to believing in all the possibilities, this is one of those times when my intuition overtakes my logic. Yes, Vincent, I will tell you about a side of Catherine that you and probably Catherine herself has never considered. You may find some of this difficult to hear but it's not really as much a criticism as it is an understanding of the subconscious mind."
Diana stopped to consider how she would describe her thoughts. At this point Vincent broke his silence. "It's alright Diana, Catherine wants me to understand. I think…I believe that it will somehow make things better. To understand what happened to her, to us."
"Vincent" Diana began, "when you first found Catherine she was recovering from trauma. A kind of trauma few people just get over. For all of her courage and strength, she was still a frightened and vulnerable woman. Part of her had a great rage against those who hurt her. This rage could be compared to the kind you experience when you fight to protect people. She could not express it as you did so she internalized it. She took a job with the DA's office and found the trouble she had subconsciously been seeking. How many times did you have to rescue her, protect her from the evil she raged against? Father once shared with me a comment Catherine had made to him moments before she went into the deep caverns to you when you were so lost. He said that she was aware of the possibility that she had unconsciously attracted the danger to her life in order to draw out your passion. I believe to a degree this is true, but I also believe that her rage would not let go of the danger. I also think she also had a secret death wish."
"What?" Cried Vincent "No. That cannot possibly be true. Catherine was not suicidal; she would never have considered such a thing."
"Vincent." Diana said quietly "I didn't mean she was suicidal, I meant that on a subconscious level she had accepted death as a very real alternative to the half-life she believed herself to be living"
"Half-life? What do you mean half-life?"
"I mean…oh how shall I put this? Vincent, Catherine loved you so much, with everything she was. You were literally everything to her. Had you died she would have quickly joined you. Yet part of her couldn't bring herself to give up her life Above. You lived your love in moments, but it was the idea of the rest of the time that created a great reticence in her. Our lives are not defined by moments but our everyday actions. Lovers, often lose that amazing connection that they share after living together for some time. Part of Catherine was afraid of the everyday living in the tunnels. The tunnels, where there is a general lack of privacy, and while you are comfortable and usually have enough to eat there is still an overwhelming sense of physical poverty here. Not to mention the constant lack of sunlight. The tunnels below are a fine place to come and heal and many seek safety here, but those who can break out into the world again usually do, they are even encouraged to do so. It would have been a difficult choice for Catherine to give up her career, her wealth, and all those things which defined her. You consciously knew this and early on encouraged her to go out into the world and find someone else. But she was already in love with you and failed to recognize her deepest fears."
"Diana, I knew of her reticence and so did she, it permeated our bond."
"Vincent, she knew of it but never really confronted it. Part of her knew the answer already and she couldn't face this truth, or rather her truth. That you could never be together the way you both wanted. I won't go into your intimacy as it is far too personal, but I suspect that you did not become intimate until near the end, just prior to her disappearance. I also suspect that you lost your bond with her at that time. You see, I don't think you really lost the bond but rather her formidable subconscious mind shut you out. Physical intimacy invites a deeper closeness on all levels. A part of Catherine feared that she would be forced to make a decision regarding that closeness."
"Yes, I believe it's possible she shut down the bond. She'd done it before, consciously, when Paracelsus had kidnapped her to lure me. But why wouldn't she have opened it again when she was in such danger? She was carrying Jacob and he was in danger too. No, I don't think she'd have done that. Not even subconsciously."
"Oh, but Vincent, other things were at play in her subconscious at that point. She was pregnant, with your child. Her subconscious knew that she was utterly committed to you by that very fact. She couldn't resolve that commitment in her mind. I think, somehow she knew that even if she died, you would find Jacob, and that he would be rescued. The mind is a powerful thing and can bring to pass what it believes, especially from the subconscious. If she believed that you could never be together, her subconscious would have found a way to make it so. If she believed that you would find Jacob, and I know this is the part that most people have a difficult time grasping, on some level she also made it so. Just by the very fact that she survived long enough to find you and tell you about him. She shouldn't have ever gotten up from the birthing bed, let alone up a flight of stairs to reach you. She should have succumbed much sooner. How did she know you were there? I don't believe it was an act of futility that she went to that roof top to save her baby, I think she knew somehow, she knew you were there and everything would be alright. And you know what Vincent? It was, in the end it turned out alright"
"Diana! To lose her was not alright!" Vincent turned from her, "It will never be alright!"
"Wasn't it Vincent?" Diana smiled sadly at him "Don't you see what I've been trying to tell you? You've said it yourself to me, to her, to everyone. You could never be together; it was never going to happen. It was a dream, and you both knew it would remain a dream. Had you been other people perhaps you would have seen it differently, done it differently. But you were who you were, so separate yet so connected."
"Yes, Diana we could never be together" Vincent responded bitterly "But why did it have to be her? Why couldn't it have been me? Look at me Diana, I am not a man, I am a…beast, a thing, not fit to live. I have killed with these hands, I am a murderer. She would have been the superior parent in all ways."
"Not a man Vincent? How can you say that about yourself? Catherine would have never loved a beast or a thing, so therefore you are not what you say. I don't even believe that you really believe it yourself. You are simply a man living under extraordinary circumstances. And as for being a murderer, would you call me a murderer? I have killed. I even killed an unarmed man once. No, Vincent, you are not a murderer, you are a hero, protecting the innocent and those you love from harm as I do." Diana stopped for a moment and looked directly into his eyes as if to make sure she had his full attention. "Vincent, I think, I believe it had to be Catherine because, not only was she not strong enough to live with you, she wouldn't have been strong enough to live without you, even with your child. You, on the other hand have an amazing will to live"
"No, that isn't true, I often find I wish to be with her" Vincent said defensively.
"But not always Vincent, and if you really felt that way we would have lost you long ago. You would have died in my bed when I brought you to my home the night the 'Compass Rose' exploded. You were so badly injured I was sure I would lose you before the first night. At that time you had little hope of ever finding Jacob and Catherine was gone forever, yet you survived. Why?"
Vincent found he could not reply. He was quiet for a while and then turned to Diana again. "I suppose you are right" he said sadly.
"Oh, Vincent, my dearest Vincent, this doesn't mean you loved her less, it just means you are strong, not just in body but in mind as well. She loved that about you, so does everyone else, it makes them feel safe. Vincent, I know you don't like me saying that everything turned out alright but you have Jacob, a part of her that lives on and is with you. In this light everything IS alright. I think Catherine wants you to understand this. It's time to let go of your guilt over not being able to save her. You need to live your life as she would have wanted you to live. You will always hold her safe in your heart."
"Diana, I will consider everything you have said. I may not agree or believe everything but I will consider it."
"Thank you Vincent, for not hating me for telling you this. I hope it does make things better in the long run. Now I've been here for quite a while and I have someone at home waiting for me." Diana said smiling. Vincent smiled back at her to reassure that everything was still fine between them. He guided her back to the tunnel entrance closest to her home.
"Do you think the time will ever come when I might be able to bring John around for you to meet him?" Diana asked.
"Perhaps Diana, after all Jacob is awaiting a new playmate. John on the other hand may not know what you have gotten him into" Vincent quipped, and then he said, "There is one other thing I had forgotten to mention from my dream. Catherine said that new love was coming to me. I didn't even tell Father about this. But Diana, I really don't want a new love."
Diana smiled at him "Don't you? Perhaps you should keep an open mind. I am certain Catherine would love it for you, and nobody would think less of you if it happened, on the contrary I think everyone would be thrilled for you." With that she turned and went toward her home, leaving him in the dark to contemplate her words.
That evening as Vincent settled with Jacob for the bedtime story, he couldn't help but feel somehow lighter, freer than he had in a very long time. He knew for certain that his bond with Catherine, the wispy feeling he had was real. "Papa, tell me a Mama story" asked Jacob in a sleepy voice. Ah, so perhaps Jacob felt it too? Thought Vincent, why else would he be thinking of his mother as I have been tonight? Catherine did say she was with us both, always.
"A Mama story, hmm, let's see, Oh, I know. Once upon a time in the city of New York…"
So there you have it. I will leave it to the reader how Vincent would have finished his story for Jacob. I leave a few hints of future love. I don't usually like new characters in these fanfictions, especially main characters but sometimes they do work. The character I have developed in my mind is really wonderful and will lend her own richness. I may take a chance and write her story if anyone is interested!