Helen and the Beast
Summary: Helen learns about a little more about Nikola and the beast then she ever thought she would.
Disclaimer: I do no town anything related to Sanctuary or Beauty and the Beast.
Chapter Three: Witnessing the Transformation
Helen and Nikola had finished their lunch and tea while talking about their respective work. Nikola had shown her a variety of inventions that would have numerous different applications in the world of abnormals. Her father had found a local inventor that he trusted, but none of the tools were as advanced as Nikola's. Once discussed about his inventions, they moved on to the books around them.
"There are several first editions and science journals within these bookcases," Nikola handed her a book on physics that he was particularly fond of.
"This is an amazing collection. I am surprised that the beast would have a room like this. I mean no offense, of course, but I don't envision him sitting in here curled up next to the fire with a good book."
Nikola had sadness in his eyes when he shook his head, "The beast does not come in here. As I said, this is my escape…and yours too if you would like to share it."
Helen nodded enthusiastically as she gazed longingly at the extensive collection surrounding them. She could get lost in her own little world with any number of these books.
"Thank you for sharing this with me, Nikola," she turned to him as he took a seat at his lab table.
The remainder of the day consisted of Helen reading through three large texts on complicated medical maladies and Nikola worked on something at his bench. Suddenly, Helen heard the unmistakable sound of glass shattering against the floor. She looked up from her book to see Nikola shaking. He rushed towards the door, but was stopped by Helen.
"Nikola," worry reflected in her eyes, "What's wrong? Sit down, let me look over you."
She was trying to guide him into a chair, but Nikola was fighting back. He had been so preoccupied with working on yet another failed cure for his…beastly friend, that he hadn't realized how much time had passed. He hadn't fed today, which meant he would have no control over his transformation of what he would do after. Helen may not be safe if he couldn't get out of there.
"Helen," he growled in pain, trying to suppress the change as long as possible.
That growl, she recognized it, "Nikola? Are you about to…change?"
Without answering, he pushed her to the ground and fled from the room. Her previously forgotten wrist injury kept her on the ground as she fought back tears of pain and confusion. Nikola was the beast and he hadn't told her. He just acted as if nothing was different each time he saw her after visiting her as the beast. Deciding she needed to go back to her room to further treat her injury, she tried to open the doors only to find them locked from the outside.
"Damn," she cursed, he must have locked the door on his way out.
She walked over to the lab bench and looked for anything she could use as a sling. What she found was a pile of notes on separating parasitic organisms from a host. There were trials with data on different handmade serums reacting to samples of blood. Test tubes were full of what she assumed was his blood.
Taking a clean slide and a pipette, Helen carefully prepared a sample to view under the microscope. She gasped as she viewed his blood under the lenses. The normal structure of blood cells was not present. The cells were elongated and darker than normal, and originally she thought that was the cause for his transformation, but something else caught her eye. There were micro-organisms swimming in the sample. The parasite seemed to be feeding off the plasma of the sample.
Flipping through his notes, Nikola had written about the parasite needing plasma to survive. He had apparently been using a double pronged syringe on animals to syphon off plasma. According to his research, he could inject himself with enough animal plasma to control the parasite enough to maintain his normal form.
So the puncture wounds had been from a syringe and not another abnormal, well not in the way she had originally assumed they were made. She tried to make sense of the research in front of her. Everything he had done to separate the parasite should have worked on anything. It had to have something to do with the irregularity of his blood cells. Figuring she would not be getting out of the library anytime soon, she sat down and took a sample of her own blood to help with her tests.
It was going to be a long night.
Nikola had barely locked the door behind him when he felt the parasite take over. It was too late for the stores of plasma he had in his room, he needed fresh sustenance. With Helen locked away, he knew she was safe. He needed to remember to keep plasma on hand if she was to stay that way. He hated what he did next. He was used to blood lust, but it had always been controlled before he had experimented with his own blood. All he wanted to do was try to turn another creature into a pseudo vampire, but in the process he had stumbled across this damn plague of sorts.
Hours later, after he had killed another person and retreated back to his room in a secluded part of the tower, Nikola was released from the hold of the parasite. When he was sure he was stable again, he unlocked the several dead bolt locks on his door and went straight to the kitchen. Armed with hot tea and food, Nikola quietly opened the door to his escape and found Helen absorbed in his work at the lab bench.
Not really sure how to start the conversation, he jokingly said, "Normally when I lock beautiful women in a room, they don't work on my projects."
Helen was not startled or scared like he had expected her to be. She was angry, though.
"When were you going to tell me you and the beast are one in the same?" she said through gritted teeth without looking up at him.
"Well, it's not the best conversation topic. I usually wait until the third date to bring out the beast," Nikola slowly approached her with the tray, "I brought food and tea. Maybe we could have that date now if you are so keen knowing about the beast."
Hele honestly could not tell if the joking manner that seemed to be automatic for him was helping or hurting the situation at the moment.
"Why didn't you tell me? Why go on with all the cryptic speeches and flirtatious cover ups? Were you going to try to keep this from me forever? Just hope that I would accept my fate here, stay with you and ignore the beast?" she was furious as she spoke.
"You forgot the part where you fall madly in love with me, but other than that it was spot on," Nikola set the tray down before looking at her, "Although the flirting wasn't a cover up. It just seems to be an automatic thing when I'm around you."
"I'm serious, Nikola," she finally snapped, "I feared for my life and that of my father only yesterday. Instead of killing us, you take me here and tell me as the beast that I am your prisoner. Then, you show up as yourself and act as if nothing has happened. You treat me as a guest and show me the gardens and this amazing library. You offered me this safe haven, and I- I just don't understand what is going on. What exactly did you hope to accomplish with all of this," she begged for a serious answer from him.
"Helen, I did what I did out of infatuation, love, adoration-"
"I'm serious, Nikola! I don't want to hear any more sweet-talking. I want a real reason as to why tour ought me here. Were you trying to trick me into helping you find a cure for you?"
Nikola would never admit to the fact that her disbelief in his genuine feelings for her hurt him. So he took the excuse she had all but fed to him and put on the show of a lifetime.
"What was I supposed to do, Helen? Would you have really helped me voluntarily? You saw what happened to the other people. You knew what I was capable of the second you laid eyes on me."
Nikola was hurt. He had been genuine with her. He had let himself experience hope for the first time in a long time. Hope of not being alone. Hope of finding love, but he blew it. One choice several years ago and he was nothing more than a monster, a beast, in her eyes. Seeing the self-loathing darkness settle over him, Helen took a deep breath.
"I did say we only wanted to help," she inched closer to him, "and I still do."
"Helen, you don't need to try to placate me," he retreated to one of the large windows, "you are free to go leave. There are stables to the West of the castle. You'll find a horse there that will get you back into town."
"Niko-" she tried to interrupt him, but he simply spoke over her.
"I have enough restraint to not come after you. You'll be able to make it back without an issue."
"If you would just let me get a word in, you selfish-"
Nikola was suddenly in front of her. His once blue eyes were pitch black, his teeth were jagged and his long nails were now cutting into her upper arms where he was gripping her.
"I am giving you the chance to leave," he said in a completely unfamiliar voice, "you would be wise to take it."
"You're a vampire," she managed to say, "that's why your blood cells look different than any I've ever studied."
Frustrated that she wasn't leaving, Nikola picked her up and used his abilities to show her to the door quickly. He was gone before she even processed what had happened. He had returned to the library window and watched as she went for the stables. When he was sure she was long gone. He went out the gardens. There were so many stars in the sky he lost count at 300, but for the sake of distracting himself he kept going.
Reaching into his pocket, he retrieved his dual pronged syringe. It was not the most refined of his inventions, and it often led to the death of the animal he used it on, but it was only option. He would need more vials before he could go hunting so he ran back up to the library. He kept all of his vials under the lab bench, and while he was digging them out he noticed hand written notes that were most certainly not his.
Helen's delicate calligraphic style of writing covered several pages. She had used samples of her own blood to see how the parasites reacted. She noted that they soon died off in her sample because of the lack of plasma. There was something underlined on a separate piece of paper. Nikola's sample regenerates plasma. Either drain him of enough of it to starve off parasite or suppress the replenishment.
Suddenly it all made sense. He had tried manufacturing a parasite specific toxin, protein breakdown, and even using electrocution, but nothing has worked. It was all because of his vampire abilities. His rapid regeneration meant the parasites had an endless supply of plasma. If he could figure out a way to do one of the things Helen suggested, it may just work. Seeing a vial of blood with Helen's hand writing on the label, Nikola put a good portion of it onto a slide. He needed to determine how long these little buggers would live without the presence of plasma.
Unbeknownst to him, Helen was about to run into a little trouble on her way back to town thanks to Nikola's most recent kill. The smell of a fresh kill had led several wolves to the area, and Helen had stumbled right into it. As she approached the body, the horse she was riding became more and more agitated. She tried steering him around the body, but instead of moving he reared up and sent Helen tumbling off of him. Hitting the ground hard, Helen tried to catch her breath after it was suddenly expelled from her.
Looking up at her horse, she could tell he was not calming down at all. Something in the surrounding woods must be spooking him, she thought. Sure enough, a pack of wolves slowly surrounded them. Helen instantly got to her feet and looked around to survey the situation. Grabbing a nearby branch that was hefty enough to be used as a bat of sorts, she prepared to defend herself. As the first wolf charged, she the branch as hard as she could, making contact with the wolf's head.