Summary: Helen POV on her machinations and manipulations of Nick - inherent Nick/Helen
Spoilers: Up to Episode 2x02.
A\N: Betaread by fififolle and doylefan22.
A trail of breadcrumbs through time, only for you Nick Cutter. I was a mystery once more, alluring I'd hoped but seems my time spent away from humankind meant I hadn't quite the right perspective on your behaviour.
I was playing prey each time I came out and gave you a glimpse of me - leaving footprints in time, a clue of what had happened - as if you were a predator. I should have known - I did know you - only I've spent too long dealing with beasts. My brain is full of creatures unlike man and even if it's what man was and could be, you won't ever be that type of man and it's hard to fit back into a mindset which could get you killed elsewhere.
You wanted to find me, for curiosity's sake and closure perhaps, though ultimately you were burned and you learned better - now you're darting close enough to the flame for illumination but no further, everything protectively snatched back at the last moment. I thought maybe it was just the side effects of eight years apart, a matter of retraining our responses, forgetting the past. It was a mistake for me to think I could slip back into the present with you when our differences had started before any of this. I blame the fact that I'd rediscovered the luxuries of this period and the elusive 'hope' that goes with being unwarrantably certain of your place; it was my downfall.
Instead I lead you to her, a strange coincidence and an ironic consequence of my actions. I gave you exactly what you wanted – not me, a reunion, but a way to move on from what we had entirely. There was no rekindling the flame, just burning away of the old. Destruction, tearing down of all we'd had finally. It seemed a crime you'd held on for so long and yet now you choose to let go, but as you say I'm not the woman you knew, I ceased to be some time ago, long before I'd even considered leaving you. Even when I did do it, there's still that bit of me that belongs to you, the grip held steadfast on the memories of what there was.
In your mind I bring death, forgoing the concept of evolution and order; my adventure is recklessness that you no longer understand now our youth is behind us and everything I say you brand as lies, representing deception rather than intrigue. I failed and there's no turning back, I won't try the same again. For one brief instant I let it all go and revealed how I had betrayed you, abused your trust in both me and Stephen. The scheme and following revelation was designed as a punishment, a reminder to you that you cared, yet it was never served when it mattered – now it's too late, a reactive lash against your rejection that simply cements your ill opinion of me.
What I had sought to share with you – the wonder of a unique opportunity – you share with them, with her, 'sweet' Claudia Brown. Of course there's just enough kick in her for your liking, bossy and unrelenting – things you found endearing in me which is why I see the pattern - but she's weak. I could have let her die before, shredded and picked to bits by the Anurognathii. The reason I saved her is because to not do so would be no way to win you over.
And this way is much better for me. Claudia Brown never became herself, she presents a passing resemblance to the woman you knew, but Nick, you are far too honourable to get involved with a promised woman. One ring that binds her, takes her out of the equation – so easy to give someone, it turns out, for the right price and a little encouragement. You'll get over her eventually, there's another pattern to repeat, and I'll be waiting to reclaim a piece of the past.
Meanwhile, there's nothing wrong with making, shaping, the future. I'm simply fighting for a position of my own in a world that has forgotten me, the same as you did. Thankfully time doesn't resist, it yields, events bending to the flow of the path; natural or otherwise. Most people would never know the difference, never remember, never care – but it's not my place, or in my best interest, to let you forget. This is one thing I gave you that you cannot share with anyone else; tell them all you like and they might believe you but they can't understand or know it truly. You can't escape this bond.