"They could still be alive." Helena insisted, pushing away the bowl of soup Sandra had brought to her.
Paul and Sandra looked at one another and watched as Victor gently squeezed Helena's shoulder. Then, all three left her alone in the makeshift communications room.
She had been up for nearly thirty hours, hovering near their radio-receiver, hoping beyond all hope she would hear from him.
Regina had been monitoring the Eagle through their two-way radio and when she heard Alan call in a distress signal, stating a crash was immanent, she cried out and called for the others. Then all communication was lost. The absolute silence that followed was deafening and Regina had to be given a sedative. She was then taken to her home by Kano and Tanya.
However, Helena stayed and continued to call and listen. No amount of reasoning would make her go back to her lonely home. She had to be absolutely certain …
"Please, John. Answer me. Talk to me …." she said over and over again until, exhausted, Helena lay her head on her arm and dozed.
"Hello …" It was the slightest of sounds. Static and words. "Base camp, can you hear me?"
Helena's head bobbed upward, "John?" she spoke into the microphone, "John?"
"Helena …" His voice was strained and pained.
"You're alive!" she cried, looking to the door, wanting desperately to rush out and get the others.
"No …." he whispered.
Helena's joy turned to fear. Her breathing became ragged as he continued.
"Alan's dead … and I'm on my way … Eagle crashed …" More static.
"John, no." Her voice was shaking with emotion and her eyes closed as tears fell.
"Even if I could survive …"
There was no way for any of them to get to him. There were no other functioning Eagles, all having been dismantled, used by other camps for various useful reasons. Somehow, they all thought one Eagle would be enough in case of an emergency. After all, why would they ever return to the moon?
"Helena, I'm sorry - so sorry. I was so sure …"
More tears fell. "There has to be a way! John, don't leave …"
"I'll be waiting for you, Helena …" The transmission was fading,
She knew he meant in the afterlife and that acknowledgment distressed her even further, "John, don't go! I love you! You can't do this …"
"… love you … love you so much … Tell our …"
"John! John!" Symbolically, her hands reach for him and in her mind's eye she could see him, in the crashed Eagle, lifting a hand for her as well.
Then the hand dropped and inside his helmet, hidden by the visor, she could see his eyes. Those striking blue eyes she had always admired, those eyes that always sparkled when he smiled or warmed when they made love … They closed forever.
He was gone.
"No." Helena gasped and her hands moved to her face. She sobbed uncontrollably for a few moments, until exhaustion claimed her.
The following morning, Victor and Kano found her asleep. Her head was laying on her folded arms on the table. They woke her and escorted a groggy and heartsick Helena to her house. She told them what she had heard but they suspected she had fallen asleep and dreamt it. Helena tentatively agreed although she knew what she had experienced was very real.
Five days later, when the anguish had not quite left the settlement, after an early morning memorial ceremony for their two fallen, Helena asked Victor and Regina to come to her home. She needed to speak privately with both of them.
She was sitting on her bed when they arrived, a bundle wrapped in a small hand loomed blanket, lay in front of her. She was pale and shaking.
"Helena?" Victor asked, Regina beside him.
"I was pregnant." she said, unsmiling, with little emotion. "I miscarried last night."
Regina gasped and they stared at her then the bundle, stunned.
"I don't want anyone to know. There has been too much sadness in our settlement, too much grief. I need your help to bury our son, mine and John's." Helena's voice broke ever so slightly.
Yes, Bergman thought, enough stress and despair to make a perfectly healthy woman lose the child she was carrying. But why had she not told them in the first place? "Helena, are you …?" Victor started.
"I'm a doctor, Victor. Everything has been taken care of. I'll be fine." She then stood slowly and picked up the bundle tenderly, "I'm trusting you both. I'll keep to myself for awhile to recover but will need some help until fully well again. The others will be told I'm … adjusting."
They buried Aaron next to the memorial. No one saw them because Sandra, nearly due with her second child, was resting in she and Paul's home, and the others were out foraging for food, water and other supplies.
"Doctor," Regina stood beside Helena as they watched Victor dig the grave, "Why did you choose me as your confidant?"
"You are much stronger then you think you are, Regina." Helena said, "And we have more then one thing in common now."
The women watched Victor place the small package into the freshly dug opening.
Lost husbands. Lost babies. Lost lives.
Regina took Helena's hand, "In a way, that makes us sisters, doesn't it?'
Helena looked at Regina's hand holding her own. "Yes, I suppose it does." She flinched as the first shovel of earth was tossed into her child's grave.
Regina nodded and squeezed her hand. "We will just have to take care of each other from now on. The Commander and Alan would have wanted that."
And they did take care of each other for five long years, keeping secrets and becoming dear friends. That was, until Regina became ill and died only a few days ago.
Helena learned that not only her double but others had come down from the moon, from Moonbase Alpha, and she knew who would be commanding the mission. He would have to be with them. The John Koenig she knew could not stay away.
She thought of this as the curtain parted. Helena watched as her younger self, unsure and a little frightened, walked into her home. She accepted her and what was to happen next and welcomed it. She told the younger Helena not to be afraid … and then she walked from her dwelling, the house she had shared with John, where she had lost their child, and the prison she had spent her widow-hood in. It would also be the first place she would return to once dead, to be prepared for her funeral.
But, for now, she simply walked outside and the minute Helena saw him she was reminded of better days, when they had first come to Earth and he had made the decision they should stay. As she slowly ambled to him, remembering that time near the Unsullied when he proposed, Helena was awash with love and wished she could see the same in his eyes once again.
But nothing was there but confusion and sympathy. He looked to her, the other Helena, unsure what he should do or how, in the future, they might get past this problem. After all, although John did not yet know it (or perhaps he did) - he loved her other self, not the woman before him …
But it was all right. All she wanted was one last kiss, his lips touching hers, and it would not matter anymore …
She would be with her John Koenig. Her friend, lover, husband and partner for eternity.
And life, for the rest of the returned Earth people would continue. They would survive and flourish. They would often visit those who had gone before them - and leave flowers. Gifts of love … Even on the tiny unmarked grave that no one questioned.
Helena smiled inside as she felt life leave her body …
… and there he was. She saw him, holding their baby, smiling warmly … and waiting for her just as he promised. His hand reached for her, their fingers touched. She could see the future that was denied them. It was amazing. Perfect.
Helena was in Heaven.