skidmo_fic: (tesla/druitt)
[personal profile] skidmo_fic
Title: Five, Four, Three, Two…
Rating: PG
Pairing: none
Word Count: 1048
Warning: Spoilers for Sleepers
Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me...sadly.
Feedback: yes, please.
Summary: There are times, Nikola will admit, when the hows and whys of the Five completely escape him.
A/N: For [livejournal.com profile] oboetheris for the Sanctuary Santa exchange.




There are times, Nikola will admit, when the hows and whys of the Five completely escape him. They’re so different in so many ways that the idea of them forming a cohesive group should really be ludicrous.

He knows how he ended up here, of course. He was drawn to Helen from the very first lecture he saw her in. She looked so out of place, so fresh and beautiful amongst a sea of somber faces and dark suits. And she wasn’t like the few other women who audited courses. She wasn’t content just to sit primly in a corner taking notes and occasionally, timidly, asking a question of her nearest neighbor when something didn’t quite make sense.

The first day he met her, she was standing in the corridor outside one of his lecturers’ offices, demanding that he mark her paper. He watched, amused, as the man gruffly turned her down, made a few comments regarding his feelings on having women in the lecture hall at all, and slammed the door in her face.

She took her ire out on the nearest bystander, and Nikola gave back as good as he got. They’d been fast friends ever since.

Watson’s presence had confused Nikola at first until he figured the man must have been a colleague of her father’s. He adds a strange element to the group even now, more a parental figure, a mentor, than a friend, though he never treats them with any sort of condescension. If Helen were any other sort of woman, Nikola would imagine she was hesitant about asking him to join, shy even. Like asking a favorite mentor to look over your work.

Druitt…well, Druitt is a whole different story, of course. From their first meeting, Nikola resented him. He was so at ease in Helen’s home, with her father, with her things. Nikola envied that ease, though he would not have put that word to that emotion.

He envies other things about their relationship, of course, but he can’t bring himself to acknowledge that particular feeling.

And, of course, there’s Griffen.

If Watson’s presence is confusing, Griffen’s is incomprehensible. The first time they’d all been together, Nikola had found himself attempting to make small chat with Nigel only to discover they’d had several lectures together over the past year, and Nikola had never once noticed him. He sat, Nikola learned, observing him in his next lecture, in the very back corner of the hall, hunched over his notes, making himself as small and unobtrusive as possible. When he spoke, there seemed a hesitance about his words, as though he only spoke under duress, because there was no other option available. Nikola always had the feeling that if it were up to Nigel, he’d fade completely into the background and no one would ever notice him.

They’re an odd combination, Nikola must admit, but they work well together. They’re like family, and though Nikola loves his own family, respects them, looks up to them, he can’t help feeling he fits in this mismatched group so much better.

He wonders if the others feel the same.

***

Druitt is the first to go, and Nikola can’t say he’s at all surprised or even terribly disappointed. He’s always wondered if Druitt was really up to being part of such an illustrious group as The Five, and he’s not at all surprised that he cracked under the stress.

He is surprised that James didn’t manage to figure it out. He’s had his suspicions that Druitt was behind the killings for quite some time. He’d never say anything, though. James suspects Nikola is jealous of Druitt’s relationship with Helen, and making an accusation like that would only confirm those suspicions.

Still, it’s a bit of a melancholy event, not least because Helen is so devastated by the revelation.

And four is not such an auspicious number as five.

***

Technically, Nikola supposes, he’s the next to go.

Not really, though. He hasn’t abandoned the principles of the Five; he’s merely taking them in a new direction.

So really, it’s Nigel.

Poor Nigel.

He’s been distant for decades, and Nikola guesses it can’t be easy for him. He keeps getting older, shrinking into himself, while the rest of them stay young and vibrant.

Then again, perhaps that’s what he wanted all along.

***

James.

Oh, James.

Of all of them, James understood Nikola the best. They disagreed nearly constantly, but James never judged Nikola, never turned his back, never secretly thought Nikola might be losing it, going mad, snapping like Druitt had.

James was the only temptation Nikola ever had to come out of hiding before he was forced to by the Cabal.

In all the stories of immortality, all the tales of men trading their souls or their family or what have you for endless life, there always comes a point in which they realize that someday, everyone they love will die and they’ll be left alone.

Nikola has had the luxury of putting off this revelation far too long.

But James.

Watching James wither like that, grow old in an instant, shrivel up, it’s almost too much. The tears in Helen’s eyes almost bring some to Nikola’s as well.

And there wasn’t even time to say goodbye.

***

Even in his darkest of moments, Nikola never expected something like this.

To be ordinary.

To be mortal.

He’s always thought he and Helen would forever be the last of the Five. And perhaps their differing goals and temperaments would keep them apart most of the time, but they would always be there. The only people in the world who knew what it was like to live so long. He’d even planned a role for her in his new world order. There would always be a place for a mind like Helen’s.

He’ll never stop trying to reawaken his vampirism. He’ll never give up the hope that he may someday be immortal again.

In the meantime, he has to leave. He can’t bear dealing with Helen like this. He can’t bear looking at her and knowing she’s the last, the end of it all.

He’d always thought, if anyone, he’d be the last of the Five. And now he wonders if he should be grateful he’s not.


fin

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July 2012

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