Walking into the room, she wasn't exactly sure how she wanted to start the conversation. It had been two weeks and Helen had all but avoided her. The methadone had been reduced to minimalist amounts but the nausea hadn't gone away. She'd been mostly confined to either her room or the library with the Big Guy bringing her tea, juices and soup. Liquid was apparently the only thing that she could keep down. He had let her be, without speaking to her and holding her when she cried. And she had cried; she had cried a lot. Taking a deep breath to push the tears that were once again threatening away she stared at the woman before her.
With the look that Helen was giving, it was as if she had been expected for days. Helen sat on the yellow plush couch and waited for Emma to be seated next to her. Her hands were folded neatly in her lap. Emma tentatively sat down and crossed her arms over her chest. Deciding quickly that the move was far too defensive she straightened her arms and tucked one hand in between her legs and grabbed that wrist with the other. The silence dragged on for longer than Helen would have liked. "Feeling better?"
"A bit." She ducked her chin and drew in deep breaths. She wanted to start, wanted to be firm in her decision but she was so worried that Magnus would attempt to convince her otherwise and not listen to what she was saying. "Helen—"
"Look, about what happened before… before I sent you to Croatia…" She waited for confirmation in the woman's eyes before she continued. "I am truly sorry; I never meant to take it as far as I did."
"You almost didn't stop."
"I did stop, I would never go further… I would always stop."
That caused Emma to pause. Helen had stopped, and she'd only had to say it once as well. "Look, what you did was not right."
"It wasn't, but I had to get you to listen."
"Whoa, whoa…" Emma took a deep breath. "You had to get me to listen? Do you ever listen? Did you not hear what I was saying? Helen… you take advantage of us. We're here and would give anything for you, yet you take advantage of that and give very little back."
A long slow breath and a glance down to her hands in her lap, and Magnus spoke. "What is this about, Emma? Two months ago, it was as if there was a switch and someone flicked it. What happened?"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Emma, two months ago when Henry found Tesla's experiment in the lab, something happened. What changed?"
"Nothing changed, I just realized something." She was on the defensive, her back was straight her shoulders tensed and her jaw was clenched tightly.
At the pause, Helen prompted. "Realized what?"
Helen nodded and pulled her lip between her teeth. "Emma, I'm sorry if you don't feel comfortable speaking with me, but I hope we can resolve this tension." Emma mumbled something in response and it caused Helen to smile. "Even if it doesn't seem as though we can." She took Emma's hand in hers and grasped it lightly. Helen blinked her eyes rapidly trying to clear the sudden blurriness that took over. It was the second time that it had happened that day. She needed more sleep. "Now, I believe you wanted to discuss your pregnancy with me."
"Yeah…" Emma moved her hand from Helen's and leaned against the back of the couch. "I want you to terminate it."
"I thought you might still feel that way. Would you explain to me why?"
"I'd rather not."
"I'd rather you would." Helen held her ground and waited for Emma to begin.
"Well for starters, you should know this is not the first time I have been in this situation." Helen raised an eyebrow and motioned for Emma to continue while the blurriness took over her eyesight again. "I was pregnant in 1967. I was twenty-four and…" She paused and glanced at the woman, judging how she was taking in the information. She watched as Helen nodded in understanding, but her eyes seemed distant. "And…remember how I told you that my mother died when I was born?" A nod from Helen prompted her to continue. "Well she died because of me and I don't want to die." Emma turned her head and let her eyes carefully look over Helen's form. She wanted to see how she was reacting, how much information she could keep at bay while still telling the truth. That was always her game. Helen was not acting normal though; she was sweating and drawing in deep and slow breaths. "Helen, are you okay?" She slipped a hand up to cup Helen's cheek and felt the skin burn her fingertips. "Helen—"
"I'm fine, I just need…" She let the sentence trail off as a wave of nausea took over her body and she began to shake. She felt like she was floating on air and then plummeting thousands of feet in seconds before being jerked back up to float again. It had happened several times in the last few minutes and she couldn't control it any longer. Helen rested her head back on the arm of the couch and closed her eyes trying to even out her breathing.
"Helen… Helen look at me." Emma was cowering above the woman and tapping the side of her face as sweat was trailing over her forehead and down onto the fabric below. It took what seemed like minutes for her eyes to lock on Emma's face and once they did they rolled into the back of Helen's head and her body started rocking and jerking violently. Emma tried to keep Helen on the couch, but the movements were too much. "Help!" She shouted it out, hoping that someone was close enough to hear her, but knowing in reality most likely that wasn't the case.
The flailing body plummeted to the floor below and Emma winced when she watched Helen's head bounce off the hardwood. She turned the woman onto her back and took two pillows off the couch. She shoved one under Helen's head and the other against the side of the couch. It took more than ten minutes for Helen's body to rest and it happened so suddenly that it caused Emma to start. She reached a hand up and cupped the brunette's cheek. "Helen… Helen…" She called out the name and received only soft moaning in response.
Emma stood, her jeans rustling at the movement and ran to Helen's desk. She slammed her hand onto the intercom and let out a breath. "Will, Biggie I need help. I'm in Magnus' office." She ran back to the woman and pressed to fingers to her wrist taking her pulse carefully. It was beating rapidly under her fingers. She stopped counting and pressed her hand to Helen's face once again, kneeling and waiting for her colleagues to join her.
Will arrived first. He shoved the table aside so that there was room enough for him to kneel next to the prone woman. "What happened?"
"I don't know."
"Honestly, I don't know. We were just talking and she started sweating and breathing hard and then she was seizing and… I don't know, Will." Emma was shaking her head and stood up quickly. Her heart was finally beating faster than it should have been and there was a sharp pain in the front of her forehead that seared through her skull to the back of her neck. "I don't know." She shook her head hard and stepped over Helen's still body and ran out of the office.
Helen was set up in one of the isolation rooms. Biggie had drawn blood and was running the tests while Will sat at the bedside and waited for her to wake up. It had been thirteen hours since she had collapsed and seized in her office and she still hadn't come around. Her antibody count was through the roof as was her white blood cell count. They'd discovered the blood test she'd run before where it was the same results, to an extent. The count was incredibly higher this time.
The Big Guy kept on injecting her with a muscle relaxer to keep her body calm. She had a habit of slipping back into a seizure every few hours or so when her temperature would spike to levels beyond natural in Will's book. He really didn't want to leave her side, but there was actual work to be done and Sanctuary and network to be run. He sighed, nodded at the Big Guy and left the room heading up to her office so that he could start wherever she had left off.
Once Will arrived in the office he was inundated with angry emails about missed meetings and appointments, phone calls that had been missed and messages left. He started with the phone calls. Declan had a bit of an emergency and Will had to send Henry to help him with the situation. He would have sent Kate but she had gone back down to what was left of Hollow Earth and he was limited in his choices. He was having a hard time wrapping his head around everything that was happening. Magnus had informed him of Emma's "condition" but she had left so quickly and been so closed in on herself that he hadn't managed to discuss it with her.
Sighing, once again, he started in on the million emails that they had gotten and was responding to what he could when he heard the alarm go off. Raising his head he started to look at the cause and noted the environmental hazard. Starting the lock down procedures he raced down to get a start on evacuating the residents from that specific area.
Emma was wandering slowly through the streets. Her arms were chilled and the goose bumps took over her skin. She'd only stayed in the Sanctuary proper for a few hours; she needed to get out. She'd gone for a walk outside of the building walls and ended up on the street. She'd forgotten her jacket, she'd forgotten her purse and she was miles from the gates with no cell and no money for a cab. Rubbing her hands harder she tried to get warm. She was close to where the man with the baseball cap used to meet with her and she avoided that alleyway like it was the plague.
She took a firm step beyond the ally entrance and down a few more blocks. She saw the flash of lightning before she heard the crack of thunder and she huddled down when the floodgates opened and the rain started to beat down on her head. It was cold and soaked through her clothes and hair. Looking around, her hair wet and in her face, she saw the neon lights and decided to head in that direction.
The room was smoky and dark when she entered it. There was a musty smell that permeated her nostrils when she drew in a deep breath. Running a hand through her hair she shook out some of the water and stepped onto the sticky linoleum floor. She made her way over to the counter and stools and took a seat on the wooden carved barstool and waited for the bar tender to assist her. "What would you like?" He was a cute man, trimmed beard and moustache, short hair and wickedly brilliant smile. She couldn't help but flash her double dimples back at him.
"You don't have any liquor do you?" He shook his head and pressed non-existent buttons on the front of the computer screen before leaning over the other end of the counter to look at her. "Got any good dark beers?"
"Yeah, you like wheat beer?"
"Sure do." He smiled and held out his hand to shake hers before moving over to pull her draft. The foam at the top of the pint glass was thick and it started to over flow as he tilted the glass to dump out the foam and to keep the brown liquid in the glass. It took less than sixty seconds for the glass to be filled and he set it down in front of her. She took a quick sip and grinned when the bitterness slid down her throat and the oaky after taste filled her mouth.
"Like it?" The bar tender was waiting for her answer. He really was cute. Handsome actually, his arms were well built, he had a few tattoos and his grin was infectious. Just like she liked them.
Smiling and letting her dimples grace her cheeks. "It's excellent thank you." She took another sip, a longer one before speaking again. "I'm Ryan, by the way."
"Mike." He held out his hand again and his grasp was firm on hers. His hand was warm against her freezing cold fingers and she reveled in it. "Want a jacket?"
"Oh that would be delightful." He chuckled and moved to the back room coming out with his own jacket to hand it to her over the bar. He caught sight of a patron and slipped away to go help, but returned to her quickly. She ordered some food and waited for it while sipping on her second beer of the night.
A man and his two friends sat next to her at the bar, but the one closest to her chatted her up like they were old friends. She was far less interested in him and luckily Mike was picking up on it even if the bugger sitting next to her wasn't. Mike was bringing her drinks and enticing her into conversation as much as he could on a busy night. Before she knew it the smoking man next to her had left and the bar was closing. She'd left for the bathroom many times and managed to slip enough bills from wayward purses, wallets and pockets so that she could cover her bill but she really wasn't looking forward to going out into the cold storm again. The bar had gotten warm with the bodies in it and she was loathe to leave, not to mention she really didn't know where to go once she left. She was sure she didn't want to go back to the Sanctuary.
Will was starting to get worried. He had looked up the footage of when she had left the premises, but she hadn't returned. It had taken him far longer to look up the video feed than he would have liked, but with Henry flying across the country there was little that he could do. He was looking toward the cameras at the gate once again waiting for her to suddenly appear and to be punching in her code. She wasn't there. Glancing to his watch he noted that it was past two in the morning. This was definitely not normal, even for her.
Giving up on the waiting game he stood and made his way down to the infirmary to check on his boss. It was so rare that she was such an invalid that it had the entire network on edge, but especially the staff and residents of the Old City Sanctuary. He slipped into the room and rested on the edge of the mattress. It wasn't long ago that their positions were reversed. His hand found hers under the covers and he pulled it out to entwine their fingers. He was brushing his thumb over the top of her hand.
He heard the heart monitor change slightly and he glanced at it. It wasn't a huge change so he didn't take a great interest. His eyes roved back over her face and he saw her lids flutter. "Helen?" His brow creased and he moved his other hand to her cheek. "Helen…" He heard her groan and slowly she started to open her eyes. The light was harsh, he could tell because as soon as her lids lifted fully she shut them tight again.
Waiting patiently she finally licked her lips and was looking at him. "Hey there." His voice was soft and quiet and he made both thumbs brush across her skin, one against her cheekbone and the other against the back of her hand.
Swallowing twice, she finally started to speak. "What happened?"
"We're not quite sure of that yet." He smiled down to her. "You had a seizure in your office when you were talking with Emma. You've been unconscious since."
Again she took her time forming the words, the medications given to her were still having an effect, but she wanted to get the words out. "How long?"
"About eighteen hours. You've had a few seizures since the initial one. And an extremely high fever."
"How high?" She looked around the room and rustled the blankets as she tried to move. She didn't move far, the effort it took her to readjust her body was far more than she thought.
"You were averaging around 106 with each spike."
Her eyes flashed back to his face and her pupils went wide. She nodded slowly. "I think it's going up again." He moved suddenly and grabbed the thermometer that they had and slipped the machine over her forehead to rest of her temple for a second. Sure enough she was right. "What is it?"
Her eyes were slowly drooping down and she was having great difficulty keeping them open. She squeezed his hand gingerly. "Emma?"
Will drew in a sharp breath and held it in his chest while he debated whether or not to answer. "She disappeared a few hours after you seized. No one has seen her since."
"Yeah, I know." Will leaned down and pressed his lips to her cheek, his hand not leaving the tight grasp that hers had on it. "I'll find her." She nodded and let her eyes close.
She drew in a deep breath, "Don't let her do anything stupid."
"I won't." He kissed her cheek once more as she slipped back into a deep and restful sleep.
Mike had told her that she could stay inside until he was done with the closing stuff. She had remained on the barstool sipping at another beer that he'd told her she didn't have to worry about paying for. The buzz in her head hit her full force when he came around to her side of the counter and pulled her up with a hand. He smiled and steadied her carefully with a hand against her back. Emma started giggling and sent her forehead into his shoulder. He was probably the same height as Magnus with heels on. She quiet enjoyed a taller companion.
He was swinging her in a slow dance, his hand locked in her hair at the base of her neck. Luckily her hair was mostly dried as she had been sitting in the warm and heated bar for the better part of six hours. She lifted her chin up eventually and planted her lips on his. Mike stopped swaying and wrapped both of his hands in her tangled locks and guided her back to the stool. She sat and he held her cheeks, his lips not leaving hers and his tongue entwining with hers. His hands slid down her sides and over her still slightly damp clothes. He pulled up her shirt lightly and felt the hot skin searing his finger tips and she moaned into his mouth, her fingers clutching his biceps.
He roughly dragged her up until she was standing. He unbuttoned her shirt and pulled it off letting the material flutter to the floor. His mouth was on hers again, hot and spicy and her head was reeling from the alcohol and the sensations coursing through her. She was having issues thinking, but that was perfectly fine. She didn't want to think.
Fingers were at her belt buckle and she heard the pull of the material as her jeans and thong were shoved down to her knees. His hands were all over her bare skin as soon as he could manage. She started to shake. Two fingers probed her and she let her knees slip apart as much as they could, but they caught on the denim. He could only slide one finger in, but her juices spilled at the feeling and she pulled his lip between hers. Her nails dug into his arms and she slid her lips away from him quickly. "More."
Picking her up he put her onto the counter and shoved her to lie against it. Awkward angle, but it would do. He pulled off her shoes and her pants in three swift and obviously practiced moves. His hands pushed her thighs apart until the stretch was painful to her muscles. Emma sat up and stared at him curiously. "I'm going to fuck you with my tongue, Ryan."
"Then get on with it and stop talking." She closed her eyes and tried to stop the spinning that was rushing around in her head. Dipping her body back down she brought her feet up to his shoulders, her toes hitting his ear by accident in her drunken state, and she waited for the warm tongue to start probing her. He didn't stretch her further, he didn't press kisses to her skin, he just went in for the kill and suckled on her clit hard until she was sure she would bruise from the pressure. The thought hit her fleetingly until she started to only focus on the pleasure that was beginning to course through her body.
He was very good with his tongue. Her hips were moving and her legs were shaking within at least twenty minutes and when he added his finger back into the mix she was so far over the edge and gone that she was damn sure she wouldn't be brought back. Her chest was heaving and the sweat was starting to cool on her skin. Her cheeks were burning hot and her ears were ringing in the aftermath of the orgasm that had ripped through her body. It took her moments to catch up and his breathing was already calmed by the time she lifted her head up. "More."
"In a second." She heard the zipper of his fly and was pulled by the backs of her knees until she was standing. He took her hand and wrapped it around himself and pumped slowly up and down. She knew what he wanted. Had she been sober, she would have refused, but with alcohol coursing through her system she was a lot more amenable to his desires. Drawing in a deep breath, Emma moved to her knees and flicked out her tongue to taste the small pool of liquid that was seeping from the head of his cock.
The Big Guy had called Will down into the labs. It was early morning and Emma still hadn't returned. He'd been awake the rest of the night keeping up with the goings on of the network and fixing everything that had been left undone. It would take him another twenty-four hours at least before he was fully caught up. He made it to the labs with a large cup of coffee in his hands and waited for the report that the hairy man had to give him.
The Sasquatch grunted a few times and pointed to the computer monitor. "Look." Will moved and looked over whatever it was he was seeing. He had no idea what it meant. He kept silent and took another sip. "Nanites." Finally, a hint to what they were. The word had fallen from the Big Guy's lips with disgust and curiosity all in one.
"What are they doing?"
"Don't know yet." He pushed the man aside and started another test to run.
Will stood straight and stepped back to let the abnormal have the room that he obviously desired. "That's the entire reason you brought me down here?"
"No. Gotta make sure you're not infected." Biggie's voice rose complacently as he turned around with a sterile needle in hand ready to draw Will's blood.
"Are you testing everyone?"
Will set his mug down and rolled up his sleeve and waited for the quick pinch that he knew was coming. When the cotton ball was pressed into the crook of his arm he opened his eyes. "The environmental hazard?"
"Could be from it."
"Got anything to scan and see if the buggers are out of Magnus' body and in our systems?" Biggie gave him a quick look that had Will almost blushing. "Right, I sent Henry to London."
"Don't think they're related."
"Yeah? Why not?"
"Timing." He had his back to the young man and was slow to continue as he slipped a sample of Will's blood under the microscope. He bent down and glanced at it. "You're clean."
"Well that's good."
"She's been infected with these for a while."
He pulled off the cotton ball determining that he wasn't bleeding anymore. "How can you tell?"
"Previous lab results…" The words were said with an air about them, it was as if Biggie expected Will to already know the answer. He scrunched his brow and reached for his mug so that he could take another long pull of the hot liquid. "Out."
"Out." Biggie shooed him with his two hands. "I have work that needs to be done." Will gave up and left the room to go check on Magnus. He made it down to her room and was glad to see that she was awake and reading a book.
She greeted him with a slight smile. "Hey you." She replied as he sat on the edge of the bed and she closed the book that she was reading. She could smell the coffee but chose to ignore it.
"Glad to see you're up."
"Yeah, my old friend decreased the muscle relaxant so I should be far more alert now." She gripped his free hand quickly and squeezed. "Did you find Emma?"
Will shook his head and took another sip of the coffee. He seriously needed the caffeine. "She didn't come back last night."
"Have Henry check her tracking device."
"Henry's in London." Magnus paused at that and nodded her head. "Nothing big, Declan just needed a bit of extra help. He should be back tomorrow night and if she's not back by then I'm going to send out a search party."
"She's scared, Will."
"Yeah, so you said. Not much I can do about it if she isn't around."
"You're right." She squeezed his fingers again and he bent down pressing a quick kiss to her cheek and started to leave the room.
"Rest up, Magnus."
Emma was set onto the pool table, her naked butt hitting the coarse green material. She'd gotten him hard and lavished at him until Mike had pulled her harshly back by the hair and dragged her over to the table. His body was weighing heavily on hers and he was biting into her chest until she could feel the pain. She knew, in her drunken state, that if he was biting that hard there might be imprints of his teeth in the morning. Her nipples were afforded the same treatment and when he thrust his body into hers it was most unexpected.
She wrapped her legs around his waist and held on as his movements increased until she was sliding back and forth on the table. Reaching out to grab the edge she hit the cue chalk and got blue all over her hands. Only the tips of her fingers reached the edges of the table and she gave up, grabbing onto his neck to hold her body to his as much as possible.
The sound of flesh pounding against flesh came to her ears as the drunken ringing started to recede into the background. She was breathing heavily and it seemed to be taking him forever. Giving up on holding her body half up she leaned back once again, fully on the table and let him continue in his rhythm. He wasn't slowing. Briefly she wondered how much he had drank, but as soon as the thought came into her mind she felt him jerk and the heat spread inside of her. They'd forgotten a condom. Not that she was worried about pregnancy, obviously, but diseases were a different matter entirely and previously she had refused to have a one-night stand without a condom. And here she was: naked and drunk on a pool table in a closed down bar at 3:30 in the morning with a stranger's dick inside of her. Sometimes she made herself want to vomit with her own stupidity.
He finished up and zipped his pants helping her to stand. They made their way back to the bar and she started to dress without looking at him. Maybe she was sobering a little. Pulling her pants on first she zipped and buckled them and slid her shirt over her shoulders holding the edges closed. He started to button her shirt and a great silence washed over them. Neither knew what to say. She decided to break it first. "I don't expect anything."
She finished clothing herself and stepped out onto the sidewalk that was still being pelted with rain. They parted ways with a quick kiss to cheeks and she went left while he went right. Her buzz was wearing off far more quickly and she decided to slip into a minimart down the road. If it was hard to get drunk as a vampire it was certainly hard to stay drunk as one. She was grinning when she found a bottle of Jack Daniels in the store she pulled out the wallet that she had stolen from Mike and paid for it with his tips from the night. Sliding the wallet back into her pocket she stepped back out into the rain and twisted the cap off the bottle and took a long drag from the fifth of whiskey.
He sat back in Magnus' chair and ran his hands over his scruffy cheeks. He had indeed been awake for the last two days. He'd checked on Magnus whenever he could and remained in her office doing paperwork when he wasn't in his own seeing patients. He was slightly dozing when he heard his phone vibrate on the desk. Drawing in a slow breath he picked it up and saw a private and blocked number. Furrowing his brow he slid the electronic lock and held it to his ear.
"Will?" The voice was quiet and quick. Nerves running through it.
"Yeah… um…" He could practically see her bouncing on her toes trying to rid the anxious energy from her body.
"Where the hell have you been? It's been two days, Emma. You can't just disappear for two days without telling anyone that you're leaving and call up like nothing is—"
"Will!" She cut him off and he took a breath.
"Sorry, go on."
He heard her breath deeply through the earpiece and for the first time noticed the background noise. "I need you to come get me."
"Oook? Where are you?"
Will held his breath tightly to keep from saying something he really would regret saying. "And why are you there?" He finally let the words out, the tone clipped, short and very restrained.
"I uh…I was arrested. Look Will, I need you to come bail me out alright?"
"Yeah I know… we can talk about it when I get back. Helen?"
He brushed his hand through his hair that was beginning to stand on end from not showering. "Still out for the count for the most part."
After a brief pause, she started again. "Will?"
"Yeah, I know." He hung and took in a long breath before locking down the computer system and cleaning up the desk. He decided he needed to change into fresh clothes before he sauntered on down to the precinct and that he should check in on Magnus one last time. After changing he headed down to the infirmary and slipped into the private room that his boss was still holed up in. Her eyes were open and she was staring at him calmly. "Hey there." He slid up to her side and pressed a hand to her shoulder.
"Yeah I was just going to go get her, but I wanted to talk with you first."
"Alright." She moved to sit up. She couldn't wait until she could leave. "What is it?"
"We figured out what's been going on with you." She raised a brow and waited for him to continue. "You have nanites in your system. We are assuming they were injected during your time in Croatia."
"What are they doing?"
"They are trying to bond certain proteins in your system with a new synthetic protein that is intended to counteract or overrule the source blood."
"Yeah I thought it sounded weird when Biggie told me that too, but I watched it on the monitor. It's certainly what they are doing."
Magnus shook her head. "What would Mihovil want with that?"
"Perhaps it's not him."
"Or it is."
Will reached over and squeezed her fingers. "We're working on a way to make them stop working, but it seems that their original intent is not functioning properly. Meaning that they were supposed to work and it's not working. Your source blood proteins are strong than nanotechnology to have the desired effect."
"Well that's a relief."
"Yeah should only be a matter of time before they all stop working entirely. The Big Guy also said that they helped actually protect you from brain damage with your high fevers. Which is another relief." He squeezed her fingers one more time. "I'd love to stay and chat, but I have to go get Emma."
"Where is she?"
Will took a deep breath and answered, "Downtown."
Huffing out the air in his lungs, he gave in and answered her. "Jail, I have to go bail her out." When she opened her mouth to speak he raised a hand to quiet her. "I know; I will speak to her. I don't know the charges. I'll figure it out. I will deal with this, you will rest."
She shut her mouth sharply and smiled, her eyes crinkling at the corners. "I have full trust in you, William."
"Good." Kissing her forehead he left to get the lost girl.
She was sitting in the passenger side of the car after listening to Myrna fawn over him for twenty minutes and glare at her the entire time. She was not one for being made to feel guilty, even though she was completely guilty in this case. Will had discovered the charges, paid the bail, spoken quickly with Cavanaugh, who just happened to be the arresting officer and ushered her out into the waiting car. Now they were seated in complete silence at a red light and she was just waiting for the onslaught.
"What were you thinking?" He let the anger boom from his voice, the momentum and tension in the car tangible between them.
"I wasn't." Simply and adequately put, she wanted no further trouble.
He waited another two blocks and yet another red light before he spoke again. "Emma… you're pregnant, you can't do these things."
"A pregnancy of which I want to terminate."
He sighed. "If you want to terminate that's fine, but you can't do this to yourself. The drugs, the alcohol, the stealing: these are unacceptable Emma and you know it. So why do you keep doing them?" She didn't answer and it took him a while to look over to see the tears streaming down her face. "Emma…" He grasped her hand close in his and held on tightly. He wasn't going to let go if she tried to pull away. But she didn't, and it took him a bit by surprise. She also didn't move for more physical comfort. Will drove one handed all the way into the Sanctuary grounds and cupped her cheek lightly. "You worry us when you do things like this."
"I worry you?" She haphazardly brushed a hand over her tear stained cheek.
"Yeah, you're a part of the family. When you do stuff like this, crazy stuff, it worries us all. You can't go disappearing for two days straight and not call. Hell you can't do that for two hours without us worrying and you especially."
"Why me especially?" She sniffled and drew in a deep breath.
Will clucked his tongue. "You are very special to all of us."
"Because I'm a vampire."
"No, not because you are a vampire." He wiped one of the tears that streaked down her cheek. "Because you are you. You are stubborn, you don't put up with Magnus' shit, you're strong willed, amazing with kids, you know what's what and you're not afraid to say it. You do crazy things that you should never do. You're in the folds now, Emma, and it's rather difficult if impossible to get out of them." He felt her nod. "Come on, I'm sure the boss wants to talk to you." Will turned to leave the vehicle but was stopped when he heard her voice.
"You didn't tell her did you?"
Turning back quickly he answered, "Do you think I had a choice? Or that I would keep it from her?"
Emma sneered and pulled open the door only to slam it shut and stomp down towards the infirmary where she knew Magnus would be. She entered the room a bit sheepishly, her anger having run its course and seeing the woman still on the bed knocked the rest right out of the room, at least until they got started in their argument as was typical of them.
"Emma! You can't keep making these irrational decisions; they affect not only you but all of us."
"Me? Making irrational decisions? Have you looked at any of yours lately?" She stepped away from the bed and back towards it. "Why wouldn't you terminate the pregnancy when I wanted you to?"
Magnus took a deep breath and went on with what she had to say. She needed to say it and she was absolutely certain that Emma needed to hear it. "I didn't think you were in any state of mind to make that decision. The nature—"
"What the hell makes you think you know anything about my state of mind? You have no idea what I've been through."
"Then tell me."
It was as if the air in the room was evacuated and something was constricting in Emma's throat. The angry tension was released and it had become a permeable fear.
"Tell me Emma, why are you so scared of this baby?"
"First off, it's not a baby yet, it's a fetus. Secondly…" She started to pace through the room. "Secondly, having a baby is what killed my mother. I told you that. I killed her."
"I highly doubt that any complications during the birthing procedure were your fault."
"You don't understand. You know what I am. When a vampire gives birth the infant eats through her stomach to get out. It's very nasty, very bloody." All of Emma's muscles in her shoulders were tense. Helen could see it. She beckoned the young woman over to sit next to her on the bed and Emma listened.
"Your mother died because you were born."
Emma nodded and the tears began to fall down her cheeks again. "I don't want to die." She shook her head and Helen grabbed her by the back of her neck and pulled her head down to her shoulder. She rubbed small circles into her back.
"We can find a way for you to have this baby without you dying. I will find a way. Perhaps giving birth without going into labor."
Emma shook her head. "It's not just that. I'm not ready… I'm not even sure if I want to be a mother. Certainly not now. Not like this. I don't think I can be that for someone. I'm not good enough."
"What do you mean not good enough?"
"I—my aunt…she's the one that raised me…" Emma sat back up and once again wiped the wayward tears from her face and sniffled her nose. "She… she wasn't the greatest person. She…" Emma took a deep breath. "She used to tell me how awful I was, that I was good for nothing, that I didn't deserve to be alive. I believed she was right for a long time in everything and it took me a bit to figure out that she wasn't. But sometimes, I'm absolutely sure that she is right."
"Is that all she did to you?"
"What do you mean?"
"Did she hit you Emma?" Magnus was slow to speak and was looking for a nonverbal reaction. Her fears were confirmed when Emma's nose reddened, her eyes welled up and her jaw clenched. "Was that all it was? Hitting?" Emma shook her head as minutely as possible and remained where she was when Magnus reached up a hand to cup her cheek. "You're in a safe place now. She's long gone and can't hurt you anymore."
"Good." Helen leaned up and pressed her lips gently into Emma's. "If you ever want to talk—"
Magnus nodded and leaned back into the pillows behind her. "I still want you to think about it a little longer. Only a week. I'll come up with a plan so if you want to keep the baby you can, but please think about it. I will terminate in one week if that's still what you want."
"Three." Helen countered and watched as Emma nodded in agreement.
There was a moment's pause before Emma asked what she had been holding back since she had called Will. "What happened with you?"
"Nanites apparently." Helen turned her head to take on an air of grandness to the statement. "I guess Mihovil was trying to rid me of my source blood heritage with nanotechnology and he failed."
"Why would he do that?"
"No idea, but I intend to find out." Emma nodded quietly and Helen grasped her hand. She was sure it was in reaction to Mihovil's name. "You should be resting; a night in jail isn't exactly good for rest."
"You're very right on that." Emma smirked slightly. "I'll talk to you later." She leaned over and kissed Helen slowly before sauntering out of the room. Will watched her leave from the monitor in Henry's lab. He wanted to speak with Magnus alone after she and Emma had their discussion. He wanted to be sure of the mental health of both of them. His conversation with his boss was quick and she claimed she was tired. He lowered the back of the bed so that she could sleep and she was firm in the fact that she would be leaving the infirmary in the morning.
He turned off the lights as he left the room and moved to find Emma. He had seen her heading toward the tower and knew that it was a good place for thinking that she most likely wanted to be alone. He would just check in with her quick and then would be on his own way to bed, because staying up for another twenty-four hours was unlikely, not on his to do list, and would be seriously detrimental to him.
Sliding through the door to the North Tower he looked across the parapet to where he thought she would be standing. Instead, she was lying on the ground, her body collapsed. He raced over and pressed a warm hand to her neck checking for a pulse. She was breathing regularly. He backed off a little so that he could check out the rest of her body and saw the puddle of blood surrounding her. He tapped her cheek lightly. He'd only left her alone for minutes on end; it couldn't have been that long. "Emma! Emma!" His face was moving over her body trying to find the open wound, wherever it was. "What did you do?" He pulled out his radio and called for help. Turning back to her he looked once again for the source of blood, finding it he also found the bent metal coat hanger that he had not been expecting to discover.