Thanks to Olna Jenn for cheerleading and to Chichiri no Da for a beta read.
Hel loved Masafumi. Now, deep in her heart, she admits to the past tense. Not that she can't bring him back. She's sure of success there. She's not sure, however, that she can bring him back right. She's not even sure what right means.
He had been so perfect when she met him. He had enough money and enough undirected madness to be readily led to serve her obsessions, to share her obsessions even. He proved brilliant enough to take her questions and her careful experiments and leap over the barriers of the known and the possible. She made him. How could she not love him?
She has told herself that it was only the madness of the transformation, the madness they never succeeded in bypassing, that led him to attack her. She doesn't believe it. She's not sure if he simply didn't value her or if he realized that her love for him wasn't pure, not as Schoen's or Neu's or Tot's. She loved him, but she loved their research and their family too.
She could bring him back tomorrow. She could bring him back next week. His mind won't be there, however. In some ways, she'd rather not have his mind. She's sure he could learn brilliance again, brilliance without selfishness.
Her hesitation is that she doesn't know what her sisters will do if Masafumi has changed. Neu was made to serve him, an experiment of sorts. Schoen defines herself by the man in her life. She can't function without one. Tot... A child needs caring parents, and Masafumi did that well enough. Hel has to decide what she values most.
Hel touches the fluid filled column that keeps Masafumi suspended between life and death, heaven and earth. Then she touches her own abdomen. For a child of the Takatori line, old man Saijou would support her research, at least for a time. He might even pay a stipend for her sisters. He would take the child, though, and she's not sure she can do that.
And she can't guarantee a normal child, not when she's using her own uterus as an experimental environment. Cells gathered after Masafumi's...change may well produce something Saijou would not recognize as human let alone as Takatori.