Spoilers: up to ep2x02
Summary: Written for the Top 40 Titles challenge at ARC using Kayne West's “Stronger” as inspiration. Helen sees the path ahead of Nick – this may be another time but there are certain cycles that repeat, patterns of history that don't change.
A/N: Thanks to fififolle for betareading.
None of them get it, they don't understand the basis of evolution put into singular practice. Nick thinks she is less human, he doesn't see all the other ways she is stronger for the sacrifice of some of her compassion. Experience has taught her this is better, anything less will get you killed.
She sees Nick staring morosely out of their study window each night he's home, looking through what's actually there across the street like he wishes the world were different, and she recognises the pain in his gaze, though he would never guess that – he wouldn't believe the truth if she told it to him.
Helen knows what he is going through, not to be able to stop and grieve, of not having a body to see for yourself that the person is lost to you. When she had gone into the past she'd been exhilarated at first to be walking on Permian soil, technically breathing air millions of years in her past, but eventually the reality had come crashing down around her and she had felt stranded – hope had flared in her heart when she found the second anomaly but the feeling had been presumptuous. She was lost in time, everything she had relied on was gone.
Somehow she had been able to cope with the lack of the material, she'd adapted to survivalist living easily enough, she'd had wilderness training in Scotland previously, which sufficed even if it hadn't been designed with prehistoric times in mind. What she'd found hard to deal with was the idea she'd never see Nick again – they fought all the time, he sometimes disappointed her, but for all the faults in the relationship, she did love her husband and to be without him, to not have him to share this with, seemed wrong.
But of course, a life permeated with dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures wasn't one that mixed well with contemplative moping. Helen had carried on, she'd detached from her negative feelings and she'd survived. It had been necessary, it had kept her alive and Nick would have to do the same sooner or later. Then maybe he'd realised why she was different, why she looked down on them and laughed at them making judgements about her actions – maybe he'd understand that life has always been about the need to be stronger, it's the way it ought to be no matter what era you need to survive in.