When the body is pulled from the Thames, John's brother arranges a quiet burial in the family cemetery. Helen doesn't attend, unable to bear being consoled by John's brothers and sisters or having to tell them comforting lies. James goes without her, and puts it about as tactfully as he can that John broke the engagement before he died. Helen stays home, and feels an utter coward.
When she finally makes her way to the cemetery, she carries a bouquet of white roses as an excuse for her visit, the blossoms pale and proper and unstained. She stands at the foot of the stone cross that marks the grave where a dead man rests. He's certainly not John Druitt, but it's safer for his family to believe that he is, and she's told the lies that would help them believe it without a moment's regret. It's better if they can mourn him, and forget.
Helen doesn't expect she'll ever be able to forget. She gazes down dry-eyed at the grave, wishing she could let herself think of the man she loved as dead. Wishing she could tell herself the man she loved wasn't the same one who looked her in the eye and drew a knife across an innocent woman's throat.
But she can't. She's still clutching the roses so tightly that the thorns dig into her palms, but eventually she opens her hand deliberately and lets them fall.
Helen organizes a service for Adam, once things have settled down; it's the least she can do. Officially it's explained as an accidental death by drowning, and unofficially she lets it slip to a few carefully-chosen people that he was increasingly despondent in the years after his daughter's death, and of course she can't know what was in his mind when he went swimming in a quarry alone, but ... It's the best she can do for Adam, and she tries not to think about what kind of person it makes her to cover up a murder she committed.
The funeral is a quiet affair, mainly men who knew Adam at Oxford. "I have to ask," one of them says afterwards, a balding chemist who sidles up to her nervously and clears his throat before he speaks. "There were rumors that the poor man was mixed up in something he oughtn't be, and of course I would hate to speak ill of the dead, but ..." He clears his throat again, ashamed of wanting reassurance that he won't be tarnished by association, but clearly wanting it anyway.
"It's nothing you need worry about," Helen says. Adam can't have been acting entirely alone, but whoever his real confederates are, they've stayed far away from the funeral. James has pled an unbreakable previous engagement; Helen doesn't doubt that he has one, but suspects he arranged it precisely to get him out of attending the funeral. Nikola has gone back to America, and Nigel has dropped out of sight again on his own business.
There's no one here who was ever in league with Adam Worth, anarchist and madman. There are only a handful of aging men nostalgic about their school days. It ought to occur to them that she looks too young to have been at Oxford with them, but it won't. None of them wants to think about the distance between this rainy churchyard and those remembered sunlit fields.
"That's a relief," the man says, shaking his head at the grave. "Poor old blighter. I suppose we'll all be following him soon enough."
"In good time," Helen says, and pats him comfortingly on the arm.
Nikola's funeral is extremely impressive, with two thousand people crowding the cathedral and great masses of flowers. There's a telegram from Eleanor Roosevelt and one from Vice President Wallace, although if Nikola were here, he would probably be disappointed that there's not one from President Roosevelt himself.
"We are sure he's not coming, right?" Nigel says, leaning in close to murmur in her ear.
"Positive," Helen says firmly under her breath. "If he ruins all our hard work that way, I'll kill him myself."
She's grateful for the warmth of Nigel's shoulder against hers. James declined to attend on the grounds that it was too difficult to travel with a war on, when Tesla isn't even really dead. And, no, he isn't, but Helen can't help being touched all the same. There's so much respect for her old friend here, and so much genuine sorrow for the passing of an eccentric old inventor and quicksilver genius.
Nigel squeezes her hand. "It's a bloody shame, though," he says. "He'd love this."
"He really would," Helen says, and she can feel tears pricking her eyes absurdly. She wipes them away briskly with her handkerchief. It's better than letting herself giggle, which is the other urge she's been fighting since the funeral began.
"At least they're getting it all on camera," Nigel says, nodding toward the photographers. There's even a movie camera. Maybe Nikola will get to see the film.
One of the scientists in attendance is speaking, now, remembering Nikola the way he would have liked best, for his contributions to physics, even if he's putting half the audience to sleep. "We will never see his like again," he says seriously, and Helen glances over at Nigel as he squeezes her hand again; she's not sure whether she wants to cry or smile.
Nigel's funeral is the first time they've actually buried one of their own, as opposed to just held a funeral. Helen can't shake the feeling that they're secretly pretending once again, and that any minute Nigel will appear out of thin air with a wry smile to share in the joke.
She and James stay at each other's side in wordless agreement that neither of them can stand this alone. Nikola sends an ostentatious horseshoe of flowers that would have made Nigel grin and a case of very expensive wine. She thinks he and Nigel said their farewells before Nigel died, but she wishes he'd shown up, if only because it's been over a decade since she's seen him, and she's starting to worry.
They drive out to the cemetery with the family after the service. Helen isn't sure how Susannah has explained that, but she's grateful to her for including them. Young Anna watches dry-eyed as the coffin is lowered into the grave, her eyes red enough that it's clear she's cried until she has no more tears.
James is sweating in his black suit by the time it's done, and Helen is grateful for the wide brim of her hat to shield her from the sun. They're left standing off to the side as people begin making their way back to their cars and the gravediggers take their places to begin filling in the grave. Helen takes James's arm and leans against his shoulder, and for a while neither of them needs to speak.
"The eulogy was very nice, I thought," James says after a while. The grave is heaped with earth, now, and the gravediggers have gone. "I was almost persuaded to believe that he was an entirely respectable old gentleman. Not a master thief and unrepentant bootlegger."
"He was that, too," Helen says. "And a great scientist. And a good friend." Her voice breaks on the last words, and James tactfully looks away as she fishes for her handkerchief.
She can feel him stiffen against her shoulder, and follows his gaze to the grave. She's certain it was bare a moment ago, but now there's a wreath of white roses lying there, crisp enough that they haven't been lying long in the heat of the sun.
James is looking at the grave, and on instinct Helen turns to look behind her. She only sees him for a moment, a tall figure in a long black coat who she can almost make herself believe is a stranger. He meets her eyes for a single moment and then dissolves into curling smoke.
James turns a second too late. "Did you see--"
"There's no one there," Helen says, and draws him firmly away toward the waiting car.
The memorial service for James ends up waiting until after the one for Ashley. The needs of the living come first in the weeks when Ashley was missing and the Cabal's virus is still a threat, and there's no body to make the arrangements urgent. And then she loses Ashley, and nothing else seems to matter for a while.
When Declan finally asks her about it, though, she comes to London, and the two of them arrange a memorial service, at the London Sanctuary so that James's friends and longtime acquaintances who can't easily appear in public can attend. Helen leaves Will behind to watch her Sanctuary, for all that he'd like to pay his respects, because the Big Guy has known James for fifty years, and she could use his comforting presence.
Declan talks for a while about how much the poorer they will all be without James Watson, interspersed with just enough touches of humor to make people smile. He has a deft touch with people, despite the fact that he doesn't look as if he's slept at all the night before. He doesn't put Helen on the spot to speak, which she appreciates, because she wouldn't trust her voice.
Declan has ordered a marker for the Sanctuary's garden, a restrained little plaque that she suspects James of having given the instructions for in advance. James isn't the only one of the Sanctuary staff to be memorialized there, and she thinks he would have liked resting there among people who shared his work.
She's not entirely surprised when she sees a shadow fall across the marker from behind her, without any sound of footsteps. "You weren't at the funeral," she said.
"No," John says. He swallows hard, as if that's the only word he has to speak.
"We thought we'd drop by, though," Nikola says, and she turns to see him standing behind John, wearing a neatly tailored black suit. John is in less formal black, his trenchcoat stretching out behind him like a shadow. A pair of predators, with more blood on their hands than she could have imagined in their Oxford days.
Helen reaches for their hands despite all that, and stands between them for a while, each of their hands warm in hers. "I expect it'll be my turn next," she says, indulging for a moment in melancholy as if she were any other old woman tired of outliving her friends, and John and Nikola exchange glances over her head.
"We'll give you a nice funeral any time you want if you promise not to actually die," Nikola says, and at that she can't help smiling.