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I'm Here, I Exist, You Can Count On Me!

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It’s not easy to be a nurse right now in London. Even worse to be one at the Pembroke, which is suffering so badly from the epidemic, the influx of patients coughing and wheezing and dying around you, some nights it’s too difficult to bear. Some of your fellow nurses had already resigned, but to you, it didn’t make sense to. You had no family left, and you lived in the run- down district of Whitechapel. What was there to resign to? Better to die helping people than to die holed up in your apartment. But still... every night seemed to bring a new tragedy. More deaths, more resignations. Dr. Swansea tried to keep the morale up but there was a tired look behind his eyes, as if he too was afraid of the losses this hospital kept suffering from. Operating in the heart of London’s slums, the Pembroke was a beacon of hope in the darkness of the time, but you worried night after night how long the lights could remain on. Dr. Swansea had left a few days ago to attend to a personal matter, you noted he had not returned for quite some time. You were the duty nurse tonight, overseeing nurse Crane and nurse Hawkins. You had ushered nurse Brannigan home a few hours ago and assured her you’d take her place as duty nurse as she looked as though she could pass out at any moment. She was an older nurse, and the exhaustion of the endless nights was definitely getting to her. You knew she was more capable than any nurse here, and often inquired about certain medical questions you had with her - for you felt more comfortable in the women’s presence than any of the male doctors here. You saw nurse Crane rush out the doors and peaked out to see what she had seen. You spotted a boat pulling up to the hospitals dock and realized that Dr. Swansea had returned from his trip away! And... you squinted your eyes, looking harder into the night, and there were others, a man, tall and well dressed, helping a smaller and weaker man out of the boat and into Dorothy’s arms. Pippa had come up beside you now and quirked her eyebrow.

“What’s the show about?” She said questioningly. You looked at her out of the corner of your eye.

“Dr. Swansea is back, and he’s brought people.” “Great, more dying patients to treat.” She said with a huff as she turned on her heel and returned to her rounds. You rolled your eyes at her bluntness and flicked your eyes back to see Dr. Swansea rushing up from the dock and coming over to you.

“We have been gifted with a wonderful practitioner today who will be joining us here at Pembroke. He will be using the spare room at the end of the hall upstairs. Please tell him he is free to go there whenever he chooses to do so. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must head to my office at once.” To you it sounded like he said all that in one breath, and as quick as he had come to you, he walked by you and up the stairs, disappearing into his office. You noted the task he’d given you and were about to meet up with Dorothy first to see if she needed help with their new patient but stopped when you saw the other passenger climb up the steps of the dock and look around. This must be the new doctor. Getting a better look at him now that he was closer, you noted, again, how tall he was, how his piercing blue eyes seemed to gleam and how his finely tailored coat billowed behind him as he walked to meet and speak with some of the people in the hospital’s courtyard. You almost couldn’t find your voice as he bid Dr. Tippets farewell and began to walk towards you. You caught each other’s eyes and he stopped, tilted his head way down to hold your gaze and he smiled, softly.

“Hello, I’m doctor Jonathan Reid, I will be joining you here at the Pembroke, I look forward to working with you.” You blinked in surprise that he would go out of his way to introduce himself to you, a nurse. He put out his hand to shake and you took it sheepishly. You were making a terrible first impression, you hadn’t answered him yet!! Speak!

“I-I am nurse (l/n), I’m the duty nurse tonight. It is a pleasure to meet you as well, I’m so glad to have a new staff member to assist us. Dr. Swansea told me to inform you that you have been given an office upstairs for your work, it is the last room at the end of the corridor after the stairs. You pointed at the wide set of stairs behind you. He nodded and smiled again. You really, really liked that smile.
“Thank you, I will be resting tonight but will be working the night shifts here. If you need me, just knock on my door.” He nodded his head once and then strode away, leaving you oddly speechless and a bit winded. What an interesting figure, you remarked. You were excited to see what he would bring to the hospital. For now, you turned and reentered the hospital, settling in for another long night.

Chapter Text

The next night was the first night he was on duty. Dr. Swansea had gathered most of the staff earlier that day to inform them all about Dr. Reid. He was a very well renowned doctor from London who had just returned from the war and who specialized in blood transfusions. Dr. Swansea gushed about his talent, just like him to do so, you thought, smirking a bit. Most of the staff didn’t seem too interested, but you hung on every word Dr. Swansea said, wanted to know everything you could about the doctor for when night came. Maybe he would converse with you again, if he was free. For some reason you really wanted that, for not many people here seemed too talkative. You understood why, but nonetheless, you still wanted more affable company as you grinded through your graveyard shift. Pippa was out of the question, very quiet and snarky for the most part. Dorothy was kind, but usually busy, and kept to herself usually, and Gwyn was helpful, and you loved asking her questions, but she was very professional and didn’t usually prefer to talk about idle subjects. You would never neglect your work, you thought, but conversation is still possible even as tasks are being completed. Just once you’d like to really form a bond here.

You had come from checking on Mr. Clay Cox, who had been found by Dr. Reid on his first night before coming up the stairs and who was quite the asshole if you weren’t mincing words. All he could talk about as you checked his vitals was your body, and you would have slapped him if you weren’t as levelheaded as you were. You gritted your teeth and walked away, back through the hospital doors, and noticed Dr. Reid checking in on Mr. Sean Hampton, who you recognized as the Sad Saint of the East End. He had been the patient brought in that night by Dorothy, and you and she had both fussed over him until he begged to lay down and rest. He really did need it, and he looked a bit better today, you noted as he sat upright speaking to Dr. Reid. You caught yourself staring and averted your gaze, busying yourself with paperwork that needed to be refiled. As you were separating the files at the front desk, you heard footsteps coming up beside you. Looking up, you found Dr. Reid hovering close. He straighter his back, embarrassed.

“Sorry for looking over your shoulder, nurse (l/n). Are those patient files?” He pointed to the ones in your hands.

“Yes, some of the anyways, I’m afraid I’m missing quite a few of them at the moment. Doctors here love to take them on a whim and not bring them back or refile them.” You huffed and set the files back on the table. Dr. Reid chuckled and set a large hand on your shoulder. The weight of it made you jump a bit. You apologized quickly. “Sorry, sorry, it’s just, I’m so out of sorts at the moment trying to organize things. You wouldn’t believe what terrible state this hospital is in.” You sighed and the hand tightened on your shoulder in a comforting gesture.

“I’m so sorry it’s been rough here. I can sense the hard work and determination coming from this institution, I can only imagine what you all have been going through before I returned from France. This epidemic has been quite a shock for me.” Yeah, definitely for you as well. You shrugged a bit as his hand dropped back to his side.

“I was told it hit us hard last summer and we thought we had beat it. But now it’s back and worse than ever, some days I wonder if it’ll ever end...” you turned your head away and looked out the doors into the night. Such a long, dark, endless night awaited you out there, it felt eternal, just like the suffering here. You looked back at Dr. Reid to find him staring deeply at your neck, before blinking once and averting his eyes quickly. Regaining his focus, you observed, he spoke again.

“I am not familiar with the customs of this hospital, and you seem the most appropriate to speak to considering you are the duty nurse of the night shift. Tell me, what usually happens here at night?” You opened your mouth to tell him that you are actually not usually the duty nurse at night, that was nurse Branagan, but bit your tongue and instead answered. You’d tell him later.

“Well, many patients require hourly check-ups due to the severity of their condition. The nurses tend to cycle in attending to these, to allow the others breaks. Vitals are taken and current statues are reported. The doctors are normally focusing on the more difficult cases. Currently there is a patient, Harvey Fiddick, who requires surgery for his arm... I’m afraid both Dr. Ackroyd and Dr. Strickland seem at an impasse on how to perform the procedure. Maybe you should go talk to them both about the situation. There is also a patient, Mortimer Gosswick, who arrived here with his mother a few nights ago. He was in very poor condition, on death’s doorstep, but he’s stable now. Tests were being run as of my knowledge. I’m not sure what had become of that, we don’t know yet if it’s the flu or not. Checking on him might be a good idea too.” You rattled off a few more patients as you watched the doctor listen intently and ask dozens of questions. It was so strange for you to be paid so much attention, for someone to actually want to listen to what you have to say. As you finished, you refocused yourself to the doctor and smiled. “I think that’s everything, before you go, may I ask how you’re doing tonight?” You wanted to be polite and quite frankly, you wanted to know. He thought for a moment.

“I’m... alright I suppose. I needed some good rest, I think. I’m just hoping I can be of assistance here.” You laughed.

“Oh god, any help we can get here is much appreciated. And Dr. Swansea had only glowing praise about your talents, so I have no doubt you’ll be very helpful.” You saw a faint blush creep up Dr. Reid’s pale cheeks.

“He spoke about me? I didn’t know... ah, I didn’t expect to have an introduction made or anything of the sort like that.” Ha, he was bashful. A modest doctor, you realized, how cute.

“We’re all grateful to have you here.” You said. In truth, you didn’t know how the others felt, but you were telling him the truth about your own feelings. You were excited and happy to have him here. You weren’t quite sure why, but you felt like he would bring change. Much needed change. And that made you feel hope. You both bid each other farewell with a smile and wave, and as you turned back to the paperwork, you found you couldn’t get that smile off your face. How peculiar.

Chapter Text

Night after night you worked, it was tough, but you managed. As reclusive as Dr. Reid seemed to be with most people, you noticed was particularly more open with you, always talking to you and asking how your day had gone. You would always inquire the same and not get much of a response. What did he do during the day? You only ever saw him around at night as he the poor and impoverished that existed here. Many were immigrants that just needed help, and too many people took advantage of them here. What nurse Crane was doing was a real blessing, and so you kept quiet. In times like these, illegal didn’t mean to much in terms of what should and shouldn’t be done. Many illegal things happened everyday around here, completed his shifts, and he would disappear into his room as the sunrise filled the horizon to greet another day. You would always ponder this thought as you walked back to your home in Whitechapel during the early morning, greeting the people there and sometimes walking back with Dorothy. At a certain crossroads she would bid you goodbye and rush away, off to work on her side project, you supposed. You knew about Dorothy’s dispensary, but said nothing to others about it. As a Whitechapel citizen, you respected her desire to help but sometimes they were necessary.

One particular night Dr. Reid was called into Dr. Swansea’s office. You knew you shouldn’t pry, but you wondered what they could be talking about up there. You had always wanted to be a doctor but fell short due to your gender. Some days all you could think about was the anger that filled you over not being able to become a practitioner. Stuck as a lowly nurse, unable to truly make an impact. You wanted to be up there, being important, being known. It made you a bit sour as you saw Dr. Reid quietly exit Dr. Swansea’s office, but when you noticed the concerned and frustrated look on his face, your heart melted at once. It must not have been good news. You two met eyes and he nodded once at you and gave you a small, tired smile before walking out and heading towards a far tent. You knew who was in that tent. You knew it was Lady Ashbury, the mysterious woman who funds the hospital. That was pretty much all you knew, aside from something else about her. But you’d rather not say. It really wasn’t your place to. You realized you felt like that about most things. Where was your place? Did you even have one? Was there anywhere you could go where you’d ever be able to speak and be heard? The anxiety and stress must have been written on your face as you checked on one of your patients, who actually seemed to be recovering from an acute case of the flu. It had been caught very fast and treated, and it seemed the person was doing better. They looked at you strangely and asked if you were alright. You felt terrible making them worry about you, and quickly waved off any concern they may have had. You commended their progress sincerely, happy that someone would actually be leaving this hospital cured. As you finished up, you turned to find Dr. Reid again, very close to you and intently staring at you. You jumped.

“Oh, goodness, Dr. Reid, you scared the hell out of me.” Perhaps he didn’t realize how imposing and intense his presence alone was with you, and he shrunk back on himself. You instantly felt bad and reached out to him without thinking, placing a hand on his bicep, unable to comfortably reach his shoulder. Your touch seemed to soothe him. He sighed out a tense breath and beckoned you over to a more private part of the hospital. What had Dr. Swansea and Lady Ashbury talked to him about that he wanted to discuss with you? Did it even have anything to do with that conversation? Your heart pounded as you stood together alone. It seemed he could sense your uneasiness.

“Are you alright? You’ve done nothing wrong, if you are worried.” You shook your head, not even thinking that could have been a thing. That would have been bad.

“Oh, no, its just, you seem very out of sorts tonight, very stressed. I noticed you talking with some important people from the hospital, is something wrong?” He raised his eyebrow at your acute observation of his state and sighed in relief at your kindness and sincerity. His shoulders sagged, he looked tired.

“I don’t know much yet, but I’ve been informed that there is a form of blackmail going on that is affecting someone important here. I have been tasked with finding this person and bringing the blackmail to an end. I spoke to Ms. Harriet Jones because most people pinned her as a good source for gossip, and she mentioned the nurses here acting strangely. I trust you, so I wanted to ask if you knew anything.”

You heart jumped when he told you he trusted you. Holy shit. No way. You felt blood heating your cheeks up and you knew that Dr. Reid must have noticed. There’s no way he didn’t, when you blush your face looks red as a tomato. You cleared your throat and thought for a moment. There are only two women you figured would be capable of blackmail, and only one that would be bold enough to do it to someone influential. You sighed, upset. You really, really didn’t want to sell Dorothy out, but you wanted to help Dr. Reid so much. You decided to give him a small hint, something to go on without instantly incriminating her.

“I…I can’t say much, but I will say, that if there’s anyone you should talk to, its nurse Crane. She may be down by the dock right now, I saw her head that way a little while ago.” Dorothy had a tendency to slip away during her shifts for a time, probably to attend to other responsibilities, it never bothered you really, you knew she only did it when nurse Branagan was not the duty nurse, for she would ream her out. You were the duty nurse tonight, and she knew she was safe to go about her tasks. You felt a pit of guilt in your stomach at the thought of betraying your fellow nurse. Dr. Reid sensed the pain that flickered across your eyes. He didn’t acknowledge it though, simply nodded.

“That is very helpful, I will follow that lead. Nurse (l/n), thank you for helping me. You have no idea how nervous I’ve been taking on such a daunting task. A lot is resting on me, you could say.” You understood. The hospital could definitely be in jeopardy is someone tied to it was in trouble. That would be terrible if so. He bid you farewell and began to exit the room when you stopped him for a moment by pulling on his coat weakly.

“I-if you could, please don’t tell anyone I told you. She’s my friend, and she is a good person. Also, if you’d like, you can call me (y/n). I wouldn’t mind.” You smiled softly, glancing up at him quickly to gauge his reaction. He was stunned for just a moment, before blushing softly and smiling back.

“I understand your reasons for secrecy, and shall respect them, I promise. If I am to call you (y/n), then you must call me Jonathan, okay?” he winked at you and opened the door, leaving you behind once again with a racing heart and tomato red face. Oh, that doctor, he was going to be the death of you. You wondered if he realized how much he charmed you, a stupid thought. Of course he knew, you wore your emotions on your sleeve around him, you couldn’t help it. You sighed and left the room as well, pulling the door shut quietly behind you and returning to your duties as you watched him descend the dock stairs outside and out of sight.

Chapter Text

Jonathan was gone for a while. It put you on immense edge. You knew he must be investigating the blackmail. You spoke with people in Whitechapel during the day and they admitted they had seen him around at night asking questions. You never saw him though, as you were always at the hospital when he conducted his research. Only working at night, how dangerous. He’d be better offer asking during the day when there were more people around, and Dorothy was fully dedicated to her dispensary. It made no sense to you, but you shrugged it off. Honestly, you just wanted him to come back to the hospital. You just wanted to see him again, see his face, hear his voice… his laugh. Ugh, you hated how he made you feel, you didn’t have time to feel this way with everything that was going on. Pippa took notice of your melancholy state during all the Jonathan-less nights. She of course, poked fun at you, and you rolled your eyes like you always did and brushed her off. As if she was any better, hooking up with Milton. But at least she had the guts to do it. You could never ever tell Jonathan how you felt. God, you still wondered if you’d have the courage to actually call him Jonathan in conversation. You hadn’t spoken to him since you agreed to be on a first name basis, and the exchange still made your heart flutter when you recalled it. His soft, low voice, that damned smirk. You shook your head to metaphorically wave away the thought. You needed to get work done. But just as you were about to return to it, you were tapped on the shoulder. You turned to stand face to face with your boss, Dr. Swansea. You thought it funny, how small he was, only a few inches taller than your small frame. Seeing him reminded you of how he had hired you after the first wave of the flu had died down, last fall. You were determined to turn over a new leaf then, and this place was just what you needed. How grateful you were for his kindness and willingness to let you redeem yourself. You put a smile on your face and greeted him.

“Dr. Swansea, hello. To what do I owe this personal exchange?” Dr. Swansea didn’t commonly speak with the nurses one on one. He seemed stressed, but then again, when didn’t he? He wrung his hands and flicked his eyes around, to see if anyone was around them, but no, most were outside for their smoke break or tending to patients. Finally, he spoke.

“Have you spoken to Dr. Reid recently? Or heard of his whereabouts?” He seemed nervous as he spoke. Your breath hitched.

“W-why would you think that I-I would-“ you stammered, embarrassed. You couldn’t believe that out of all the people in the hospital, Dr. Swansea would ask you if you knew where Jonathan was. God you wish you knew.

“W-well it’s just that I’ve noticed you two grow close over the course of his stay here. He seems… rather fond of you.” He smiled a bit as he looked at you. “You’re a very capable nurse, you’ve undoubtably proved yourself more than talented through your stay here, I can see why he might be taken with you.”

You were floored. You knew your face was beet red, and you couldn’t even find words to speak. Dr. Swansea had noticed that Jonathan was FOND of you? Oh man, your idiot brain hadn’t even really considered it, focusing instead on your own stupid feelings and also constantly denying that anyone ever felt anything for you. Dr. Swansea saw you stunned with silence and relented his verbal feelings assault.

“Oh goodness, I can see now though that you are just as unaware of his location as I. Well please, if you do hear from him, it’s very important that I speak to him, please tell him that.” He nodded once and patted your shoulder reassuringly, realizing you definitely needed the reassurance, god help you, and turned to retreat back to his office. What a bewildering conversation. You walked into a back room, dazed, and calmed yourself. Thoughts still swirled in your head, but you managed to get your composure back and make your way to leave. That was, before you heard a dull thump from above you. You cocked your head, it sounded like someone had fallen, but the room above you was just… it was… it was Jonathan’s room! Surprised, you wondered if he had come in while you were in the storage room. You quickly exited and headed up the stairs to investigate. You were uncharacteristically excited to see him, more excited than you’ve been about anything in a long time. That excitement caused you to forget to knock, throwing the door open to see-

Jonathan stood on the balcony in his office, a large, limp body clutched in his hands and his face buried deep into the man’s neck. The sound of the door opening caused his head to bolt up, looking straight ahead and into your wide eyes. You stood stock still, heart pounding, locked in Jonathan’s penetrating gaze, his normally light blue eyes contrasted against deep red sclera. His mouth was hanging open in shock, he was just as still as you. Your eyes flickered to the blood specked fangs that protruded from his mouth. You- you couldn’t believe- you-

“Oh dear god… oh (y/n)… no…” Jonathan almost cried as he dropped the body in his arms. The sudden motion caused you to flinch and look down at once to the limp corpse at his feet. You… recognized that uniform. The guard. You had known they were getting bolder, but they must also be getting stupider to end up in an ekon’s embrace. Looking back to Jonathan, you saw him quiver on the verge of tears. His legs shook and his arms flew to cover his mouth and wipe away the blood that was dripping off his chin and onto the wood floor. He turned and you realized he was about to flee into the night, probably never to return to you. You’d… never see him again. God, no, you had to let him know- you had to stop him before-

“Wait! Wait, please! Jonathan don’t-“ You threw your hands up and quickly turned and shut the door to keep prying eyes away. You kept your hands outstretched, like trying to calm a scared animal, and took a hesitant step forward. “Please… don’t go.” You didn’t know what else to say. Were you afraid? You can’t say your heart wasn’t pounding and your breath wasn’t quick and unsteady, but was that out of fear of what he was, or fear of losing him? You couldn’t tell. You didn’t turn your misty eyes from him for a second, watching him freeze again midturn, and look back at you with wide, fearful eyes. Deep, thin, red veins creeped out around his eyes popping against the shadowy dark circles encompassing them, giving his gaze a haunting look. His eyes flickered with confusion at your response to this whole situation, and though he didn’t move, he didn’t leave either. You took that as a good sign. With another small step forward, hands still outstretched, you spoke again in a gentler voice.

“Please, come. Let’s- let’s talk.”

Chapter Text

Jonathan was very confused. Why would you want him to stay when he was the monster that he was, when you had just seen him drain the life from a living being? How were you not screaming, turning on your heel and running for your life to tell everyone about the killer he was? Sheer curiosity about this made him turn away from the balcony and straighten his back to stand fully again. You were still making careful steps to him until you two were both standing together on the small overhang. You dropped your hands to your sides. Okay, you had gotten him to stay, now what? He wasn’t talking, only peering at you wearily, like he felt this shouldn’t be happening. In all truth, you were surprised this was happening too. You never imagined that the good doctor Reid, who was usually soft spoken and reserved and all too willing to kindly help anyone he met would actually be this type of creature. But you had learned long ago to not judge a book by its cover.

You broke the silence. You had to. It was getting to be too much.

“It’s… It’s been awhile Dr. R- I mean, Jonathan.” Your face heated up as soon as the words rolled off your tongue. “We were beginning to worry about you. I see now though that worry may not have been necessary. It seems you can handle yourself.” You smirked a bit. At first you had been worried about him walking around Whitechapel without a care because of some of the… types that lived there. Nowhere around here was particularly a “nice neighborhood”, and you could tell that he was definitely raised in a place much different than this one. But you supposed being a vampire gave him much more confidence strolling through these battered streets at night. Jonathan didn’t answer, just slightly frowned. This worried you. Was he upset with you? Maybe you should have just let him go… maybe he didn’t want to be here. You tried again. “Do you want to move inside? I’m sure it’ll be much more comfortable; you can get… cleaned up.” God, why were you so awful at talking? Nonetheless, Jonathan acknowledged your words and took a step towards you to move inside. You tried to move, you really did, but felt compelled to stay still. He stepped forward again, now in front of you. He looked down and you looked up and you met eyes. Why couldn’t you move, why couldn’t you breathe? Jonathan furrowed his brows, and finally spoke, at a voice only above a whisper.

“You put on an act well, (y/n), but I can tell you're afraid. Your mind holds no secrets that I can’t unlock. Even now I compel you to still, a trait I have only so that I may take from you what you and all humans hold so preciously. That is the sick power I wield, and it is why you should be afraid.” He said this through gritted teeth, obviously upset. You felt tears prick your eyes as you fought against his mental suggestion and brought an arm up to rest gently on his. His eyes widened at your motion.

“I’m not afraid of you, Jonathan, if I truly was, I wouldn’t be here. I’m here because you are someone I care about. And, if you really wanted to kill me, you would have done it by now.” You said matter-of-factly. He rolled his eyes dramatically and guided you inside with him. Releasing his mental hold on you, he walked over to the corner of his room and set some weapons down on the table before shrugging his coat off. You realized you’d never seen him without that long coat on. He must really like it. He also liked layers apparently, as he took off his dark blazer and tie. His white shirt was now stained heavily with blood. He looked up, maybe searching for an inkling of disgust, but you just held his gaze, which seemed to constantly be surprising him considering how his eyes looked, but you didn’t care.

“Is it okay if I change?” his sudden words spooked you slightly, and you nodded a little too quickly as you found a seat on a small armchair in the room. He grabbed some fresh clothes from the closet and walked behind a divider in the room to undress. “You know,” he started, “Most people don’t handle this sort of… revelation with as much ease as you do.” you guessed he must not be used to people not screaming at him or trying to kill him when he made himself known to them.

“Let’s just say I have a bit of… prior experience with matters like these. I already knew your kind existed. I’m just a bit shocked to learn you’re one of them.” Jonathan’s head poked out from behind the divider. He asked the question you knew he was going to ask, you braced for it.

“How did you know vampires existed?”

You shrugged, not looking up at him. “It’s really not important, what I’m more interested in is what you found out about the blackmail. Did you find anything in Whitechapel?” You almost prayed he would drop the question, realizing you didn’t want to talk about it. You also were genuinely curious, you crossed your fingers that it really hadn’t been Dorothy, but honestly, you didn’t have much hope it wasn’t.

Jonathan was quiet for a moment. Then he came out from behind the divider with a new set of clothes on, looking mostly like he did before. He walked over to you and leaned against a table close to you and crossed his arms.

“Actually, yes. Your suggestion was immensely helpful, it was in fact nurse Crane that was behind the blackmail of Ms. Lady Ashbury and-“ You gasped. Dorothy had been blackmailing Lady Ashbury?? Jonathan hadn’t told you who was on the other side of this situation, and to find out that it was the ethereal Lady, who you knew through certain means was also of Jonathan’s kind, made you grimace. Dorothy was in deep shit. No wonder Dr. Swansea had sent Jonathan to investigate this. It dawned on you that Dr. Swansea must know about Jonathan’s condition, and most likely Lady Ashbury’s as well. Hm, he must have some type of thing for them. All the while you were lost in thought, and Jonathan had paused at your small outburst. He realized you had not known that it was Lady Ashbury that was being blackmailed and tsked. “Ah, perhaps I shouldn’t have shared that information with you… but it really doesn’t make a difference to me. You seem trustworthy, or at least, I know I trust you. Tell me, do you know the identity of Lady Ashbury as well?” Those words “I trust you” brought you out of your thoughts. It never ceased to make your heart race to know that he thought of you as a closer companion than most of the people here. His question though again brought you back into territory you wished he wouldn't broach. You'd hate for him to despise you, after how close you two have grown.

            “Ah, you flatter me. Yes, I’m, uh, aware, of her existence as… y’know, it just, something I figured out one day.” You change the subject again quickly. I… I have to ask, what did you do- I mean, how did you resolve the situation with Dorothy?” You hadn’t meant to phrase your question in such an accusatory tone, you really didn’t. But all of this new information coming to light, Jonathan’s true nature and the identity of the person being blackmailed made the conclusion of his investigation all the more important and pressing. You didn’t want to believe that he had harmed her. She was a good person, albeit stubborn. Surely, he wouldn’t…? You looked to him curiously. He adverted his gaze from you in discomfort. He must have caught on to your thoughts. You felt bad instantly and wished you could take the words back.

“Nurse Crane is fine, we came to a sort of… agreement. She will not be returning to the hospital and will instead be dedicating herself full time to her work in Whitechapel. I admire her efforts to care for less fortunate people, just not the way she funds her work. But its all resolved now, I was going to go tell Lady Ashbury and Dr. Swansea after I was more… presentable, but it seems you got to me first.” He smirked, seeming to have loosened again and setting your words behind him. It made you sigh in relief, both that he had opened himself up to you and that the blackmail had resolved itself without the need for any violence. You were sad that Dorothy wouldn't be return to Pembroke (the hospital was already so low on staff as it was) but you would definitely be sure to check in on her and Mr. Petrescu sometime to see if they needed any help.

“That’s so good to hear, I know now that I probably shouldn’t be but… I was really worried about you.” You weren’t used to being so open and bare with your feelings, but there was just something about him that made you want to talk, it’s like you knew he would listen. Jonathan smiled softly and came over to take a seat next to you.

“Thank you for your sincerity, it seems like ever since I’ve been afflicted with this condition, I’ve had to set aside everything to fight this war against disease, right after returning from another war. It seems like there’s no end to the suffering… it’s a lot to handle. I guess, knowing there are people like you behind me who worry is reassuring. Thank you for trusting me, I’ll do my best not to disappoint.” You smiled big and nodded.

“That won’t be hard! Just know I’m here for you if you ever need me.” You meant that, you really did. Jonathan smiled at you once more and reached out and squeezed your hand. His fingers were cold but comforting to hold. He then stood and headed for the door. You followed after him, realizing you two have been in here for a long time. People were probably looking for you, you realized. You hurried out with him as he shut the door. You two bid each other farewell as he headed to Dr. Swansea’s office and you rushed downstairs, only to get yelled at by your coworkers. Yep, they definitely had noticed your absence. But it was worth it, if only to grow closer to this not less mysterious doctor. There was so much more you wanted to know, and you hoped he’d give you the time.

Chapter Text

You didn’t get a chance to speak with Jonathan again after that conversation though. What Dr. Swansea had told him in his office must have made him pretty upset, because you had barely seen a flutter of his coat as he exited the hospital before he was gone again. You clutched your clipboard tighter to your chest, always hoping that he’d be safe out there, no matter what he was. Lady Ashbury was here again tonight, supplementing the loss of nurse Crane by helping with the night rounds. She was so graceful as you watched her travel and speak to some of Pembroke’s worst-off patients. She was almost hypnotizing, you supposed that was a part of her being an ekon: that ethereal beauty, eternal and captivating, it could really steal your breath away. Jonathan did that to you too, all he had to do was look at you and you flushed. You realized with a groan that he must always be aware of the effect he has on you, for surely, he can hear your heart pounding harder whenever he talks to you or brushes a hand down your arm. You really are an open book to him as he says. Finding your thoughts on him again also made you realize that you were absolutely taken with him, he filled your thoughts most nights – and most days too. You wondered absentmindedly if he perhaps felt the same for you. Even Dr. Swansea noticed that he seemed to favor you in this hospital, so it couldn’t all just be in your own head could it? You hated how you must look to others right now, staring but not focusing, neglecting your rounds in favor of standing at the front desk and aimlessly shifting through papers and folders.

Something pulled you from your thoughts: a scream.

It was coming from the right side of the hospital, and you sprinted to see what was happening when a door slammed open and the sound of sick squelching and the scent of blood made your head spin. Instinctively you reached to protect your patients, spotting Ms. Thelma Howcroft standing stock still, eyes wide with horror next to the horrific scene. You pulled her out of the way just in time before the shattering of a window made you both flinch into each other. You looked up just fast enough to see Mr. Hampton sprinting towards the front of the hospital, but not before he turned to you, his once soft brown eyes now stunningly golden, and his face and clothes covered in blood. He whipped back around and took off into the pitch-black night, and your heart skipped beats as you and Ms. Howcroft clung to each other. This… really wasn’t going to be helping her with her disorder was it?

Nurse Branagan rushed into Ms. Harriet Jones room to see the absolute destruction that had transpired within the walls. All the commotion brought Dr. Swansea flying out of his office, running down the stairs – almost tripping- and coming up beside you. Ms. Howcroft had now sunk to her knees and was clinging to your leg, and you kept a hand in her hair as she sobbed.

“What in God’s name happened here?” Dr. Swansea yelled.

Lady Ashbury walked in cautiously from outside, coming beside Dr. Swansea and whispering softly into his ear. Blood drained from his face as he stood there, pale and shaking slightly. “This isn’t good. Oh, this is very bad.” He murmured. He turned to you, nurse Branagan, and nurse Hawkins, who were all gathered around the room.

“We need to get this cleaned up as soon as possible. I and the other doctors will take count and check in on all the patients, so just focus on cleaning up as much of the blood as possible. This is very bad, this is…” He trailed off as he turned and headed towards the other side of the hospital to calm the patients that were yelling and demanding answers. The other nurses turned and headed to the back room to grab some buckets and towels, and you were left unable to move still as Ms. Howcroft remained motionless latched onto your leg. Lady Ashbury walked up to you and for the first time, you stood in front of her, taking in all of her intoxicating aura. It was dizzying, maybe even more so than the heavy copper scent of blood in the air. You wondered briefly if it bothered her, before you were jolted out of your thoughts by Lady Ashbury bending down to speak softly to Ms. Howcroft. Her voice was like honey, silky and smooth.

“Shh, sh, sh, it’s alright Thelma, you’re safe. Why don’t you come with me and we’ll get you some water?”

Ms. Howcroft stopped crying and looked up at her.

“I-I don’t need water, I need blood, and its everywhere because someone wanted to infiltrate my hunting grounds!” She was still shaking like a leaf, her disorder pushing words from her mouth but her true instinctual fear evident. Lady Ashbury sighed and flickered a glance up at you. You watched the interaction intently.

“Are you alright, my dear? You’re not hurt, are you?” You registered that she was talking to you and shook your head like an idiot. Lady Ashbury accepted that and turned back to Ms. Howcroft. “Now, now, Thelma, I’ll get you whatever you need. Why don’t you let go of this nurse’s leg so we can do that, hm?” Your body gave a full shudder as you stood in close enough proximity to hear and feel the mind-bending, will-breaking, sultry voice of the ekon below you sink deep into Ms. Howcroft’s bones. She wordlessly took Lady Ashbury’s hand and stood with her. You barely whispered out a “thank you” before the Lady and her patient had turned and walked away towards the other side of the hospital.

Your heart was pounding in your chest. Everything had happened so fast, everything felt like it was crashing around you. Nurse Branagan came up beside you and rested a soft hand on your shoulder. She wasn’t one for comforting when there was work to be done, but she saw your distress and couldn’t help but try to offer some solace. Your gratitude showed on your face when you turned to look at her with a small smile, and you took the towel out of her hands to begin wiping up the floor.

Hours later, the hospital was still in disarray, but the mess was mostly cleaned, and you and the other two nurses stopped for a bit to that a breather. It was then that the guard arrived.

You heard shouting outside. You had almost no time to register the situation, but instinctively ducked behind a door, breathing fast. McCullum stomped into the hospital wordlessly, not daring a glance at anyone and not answering the frustrated calls of Dr. Tippets and nurse Branagan as he made his way up the stairs and pounded on Dr. Swansea’s door. You watched the doctor open it in surprise, only to begrudgingly open it wider to let the intimidating man in. This was bad. He couldn’t see you, he couldn’t find you here. You had to go somewhere. You had to hide away before he came out of that room again. Oh. Yes, you could go there. Though you felt guilty about leaving your fellow nurses to deal with the rest of the mess themselves, you took advantage of the collective confusion throughout the hospital at McCullum’s arrive to slip upstairs and quietly lock yourself away in Jonathan’s office. You hoped he’d come back soon. But you also felt bad for what he was about to walk back into. You waited anxiously, feeling sick and exhausted from it all. Sitting down on the small bed in the corner of the room, you didn’t even realize your eyes had shut, and you were snoring quietly in minutes.

Chapter Text

Jonathan landed softly onto the balcony. His eyes were still puffy from crying, but he scrubbed his face with the back of his hand, trying to will the tears away. Your scent caught his attention, making him stand a bit straighter and try to appear more put together. He cautiously peered into his room to find you sleeping peacefully on his bed. His cheeks flushed as he watched you, noting the slow, steady beat of your heart and the soft exhales as your chest rose and fell. You looked so… beautiful like this. He felt his immortal heart beat harder, and he took a deep breath before taking a seat slowly next to your sleeping form. He brushed the soft hair away from your eyes and smiled, rubbing away the last of his tears into his shoulder. So much has been taken from him, but – he realized – this was one thing that’s been given to him out of all of this. You, and your kindness and your beauty and your softness. He wished he could lean in closer to your warmth, slip into bed with you and just sleep. He lived in a constant state of hungry and tired and frustrated and depressed and by God, if it wasn’t starting to get to him. But oh, to sleep, to sleep next to someone comforting and warm and alive… how tempting…


Your eyes fluttered open as his hand caressed your face. You instinctively leaned into his touch, grateful for the contact, loving the tenderness of it. You adjusted your focus to look better at his face. You saw the red rings around his eyes. He was still sniffling slightly, you had never seen him so vulnerable in your life. There was once a time where you didn’t even believe his kind could have feelings like this. How wrong you were. You reached out and mimicked his actions, pressing your hand to his face and rubbing your thumb across his cheek. You two pressed your foreheads together, so close, such a tender moment that you wished could last forever, except…


Except oh God, how long had you been out? The hospital, Mr. Hampton, McCullum… it all crashed down on you. Your heart sped up uneasily as you realized the reality of the situation. Jonathan immediately noticed the change and sat up a bit, confused.


“Is something wrong?”


You almost wanted to cry just looking at him, wanting to get just as close as you were to him again, you wanted to hold him and never let him go. You wanted to hurt whatever had made him cry, you didn’t want to have to tell him but…


“It’s just that… well… oh God, it was awful, it’s not your fault, it’s just that- it was Mr. Hampton, and it all happened so fast and now-“


Jonathan’s eyes went wide, all sadness gone, replaced with shock. He stood quickly and headed for the door. Throwing it open, he was greeted with the overwhelming scent of lingering blood. It made his stomach turn with sickness and hunger. You stumbled out of bed, still shaking sleep from your body. You two heard a bang coming from Dr. Swansea’s room, and Jonathan walked over to the doctor’s door. You tried to call out to him before he could open it.


“No! Jonathan don’t go in there! McCullum is-!” You gripped onto his coat as he wretched the door open. McCullum locked eyes with Jonathan from across the room as you flew away from the doorway in fear. You flattened your back behind a medicine cabinet, willing your heart to slow down. Had he seen you? God if he had…


You heard him yelling some more about leeches in the hospital and heard him stomp his way over to the doorframe. Oh God, he wouldn’t hurt Jonathan, would he? Not here in the hospital, with so many people around? You shuddered at the thought, knowing how irrational McCullum can sometimes be, and prayed that he would just leave.


“You can’t hide from the guard.”


A shiver went up your spine hearing his voice so close. It had been so long…


You heard footsteps walk away and descend the stairs, and you let out a breath you didn’t know you were holding. You slumped against the cabinet, utterly spent from this whole night. A sob threatened to wrack your throat before a hand touched your shoulder calmly. You nevertheless jumped, turning your head quickly to face Jonathan.


“Sorry, sorry I didn’t mean to scare you… that man is gone now.” You felt bad for always making him apologize for scaring you. You were a bit faint-hearted, if you were being honest. Jonathan pulled you into a slow side embrace, as he walked with you back to Dr. Swansea’s room. You kept your head turned and nuzzled into his side, feeling safe. Dr. Swansea’s back was turned in his chair as you two walked back into the room.


“By the sacred Stole, this is very bad news. Bad news indeed.” He swiveled around, rubbing his temples and looked up. He looked at Jonathan first, then you, then back to Jonathan. Jonathan’s grip on you only tightened. He felt… protective of you, in a way. He wanted you there with him. He knew it might not be best to involve you in such things; it really wasn’t fair to you, but you seemed to already be slightly knowledgeable about this world, so it’s not really his fault is it? He could tell that Edgar was confused though, Jonathan didn’t really understand either. Perhaps this was some sort of vampiric instinct? He cleared his throat uneasily.


“y/n is- she is aware of my… condition. If you don’t mind, perhaps she could stay and listen? She could be helpful.”


Edgar smiled softly but knowingly and nodded. He leaned his head back against his chair in frustration. Jonathan’s brow furrowed as the tenseness in the room settled into his bones.


“What happened?” He finally asked, disengaging himself from you and walking over to Edgar’s desk.


“The hospital has been attacked. We have injured patients, at least one dead and several missing. It’s all spiraling out of control…” Edgar rested his elbows on his desk and bowed his head in his hands. “Even the most infirm patients are weary of remaining here.” He whispered. Jonathan frowned deeply.


“We cannot have people lose faith in this institution. This hospital is there only hope.” Edgar looked up with wide eyes at Jonathan’s sincerity. He blushed a bit and cleared his throat.


“You are certainly right, but we cannot afford to have a scandal like this happen here, it could ruin us! We must restore order here as quickly as possible.” Jonathan nodded and thought for a moment.


“You mentioned a dead patient. Who were they?”


“Miss Harriet Jones… her room was found destroyed and coated in blood, I’m sure nurse l/n can tell you more about the state it was in…”


Jonathan turned to you. You rubbed your arm and dropped your eyes. “It was awful. I heard screams and breaking glass. And then I saw Mr. Hampton run by me. I never even saw Ms. Jones, God only knows what happened to her. She wasn’t in the room when we checked in it. Me and the other nurses have been… doing our best to clean it up.” You sighed, the images in your head sticking to your consciousness, so much so that you saw them vividly when you closed your eyes. Jonathan hated to see you so tormented, he now knew the horrors that existed in this other world he had been thrust into against his will, and it upset him that your gentle soul had to be dragged into all this mess. He turned back to Edgar, resolved to do whatever was possible to make things right.


“I want to help you in any way I can Edgar. Please, tell me anything and I’ll do it.” Edgar felt so at ease knowing that he had Jonathan here to help him, he almost couldn’t believe how lucky he was to have found him.


“I know this place means something to you. I see your dedication to your practice and how you suppress your appetite around the staff and patients. I can imagine it’s not easy for you. But you do it out of the love of your work. You’ve had so much thrusted onto you, yet you persevere out of your love of helping others. It’s really quite admirable.”


Jonathan felt emotion well in his throat. He hated how easily he could be brought to tears, it was unbecoming. He blinked a few times to keep them at bay, deeply touched at Edgar’s kind words.


“I need to know… do you trust me?”


You had come up beside him now and were watching his expression as he spoke. You could see the nervousness written on his face as he asked Edgar that question. He must really value Edgar’s opinion of him to be so concerned.


“I do, my friend. I do.” Edgar smiled and straightened up a bit, feeling a bit lighter by talking with Jonathan.

 

“So then, tell me, what do you need from me?”


“It appears Sean Hampton must have been infected when he was attacked back at the docks… he must have just taken a long time to show the signs.”


You recalled the pale sickly skin and bright yellow eyes that bored into you when Sean had looked at you. You shuddered a bit.


“He’s definitely turned. I saw him briefly before he ran from the hospital.” You muttered out loud.


“Yes, and now the Guard of Priwen suspects the hospital of vampire activity. Do you realize what that could mean for us?”


Jonathan grimaced at the thought of Priwen coming here and raiding the hospital. Surely, they wouldn’t, not here, would they? He subconsciously reached for you, linking his arm with your own.


“If they were to come, I would protect you. I’d protect you all, and this hospital.”


Edgar stood and came around to lean against the front of his desk so that he could talk to the two of you closer. He reached out and patted Jonathan’s arm.


“I’m sure you would, but McCullum is a fanatic. The Guard will stop at nothing once they’re set, you don’t know what they’re really capable of. They’ve committed such atrocities in the past…” Hearing McCullum’s name made you think of him, and you were definitely inclined to agree with Dr. Swansea. McCullum was nothing if not dedicated, dangerously so. You feared what would happen if they chose to close in here. You prayed they wouldn’t.


“Very well then. I believe, since I was the one who brought Sean here in the first place, I should be the one to retrieve him. I’ll put an end to this whole mess, so that attention gets drawn away from here.” He looked down at you and you looked up at him, always admiring those crystal eyes of his. “y/n, you said you saw Sean before he ran off, did you see what direction he went towards?” You pursed your lips and thought. He had exited through the front doors and you hadn’t really been able to see much after that because it had been so dark.


“Well, I didn’t really see where he left, I just saw him go. Though, if I had to make an educated guess, I’m sure he would have wanted to go back to the docks to get back to his night asylum. He takes care of homeless people there, and he’s very protective of them. I’d try there first.” Jonathan nodded and put a hand on Edgar’s shoulder reassuringly.


“I’m going to do my best Edgar.”


“I know you will. I have faith in your abilities, just… be safe.”


Jonathan nodded and with that, he let go of the both of you and headed towards the door, looking back at you to see if you were following. You gave a small bow to Dr. Swansea and thanked him for his time. He stopped you for a moment though, looking into your eyes.


“Look after him if you can, okay?” he whispered to you. You both understood the importance of aiding Jonathan through this confusing time, and you realized that he had chosen you to be one of his companions. You couldn’t take that for granted, you hoped that you could really be there for him to help him if he needed you. You turned and jogged over to Jonathan’s side, and you walked out of the office together, with him shutting the door behind you two.

Chapter Text

When you looked up at him, he looked despondent. He sagged his back against the door and rubbed the balls of his hands into his eyes. You got closer to him and pressed your body against him, letting him know you were there. He stayed in that position for a bit, ruminating over all that had happened to him that night. The funeral, Fergal, his confession, that mysterious voice of his maker. And now this disaster at the hospital. It all bared down on him like an anvil. And he had to be strong, he had to be the one to fix it all. It was all tied to him, all the roads led to his front door, and he had no choice but to accept it. He had no choice…


He felt the cool tears run down his face, and a soft sob wracked him before he could bite it back. You immediately swooped your hands up to cover the hands over his face, caressing and smoothing out his hair. You felt tears in your own eyes at the sight of his pain, and you realized that you needed to be the one to be there for him, right here, right now. He could not help this hospital if he could not help himself first and foremost. With that in mind, you slowly began to tug him away from the door and back to his office. He didn’t struggle, simple walked and continued to hide his face behind his hands. When you both were inside you shut the door quietly and let him walk over and sit down on the edge of his bed. You took a seat next to him, and let the silence hang like a blanket over you. Peering at him, he seemed deader than ever, skin sickly pale and eyes bloodshot and tired. He seemed sunken in, you were afraid that you may not be able to pull him out of the hole that had been dug for him. Slowly, you rested your hand on his own that was resting on his knee, and that seemed to bring his attention to you for a moment. He sniffled, the tears never stopping but falling silently now. You didn’t realize how hard this must all be for him; his turning and struggle to find himself again, and all the horror and suffering that was suffocating London every day making it even more difficult. So much empathy ran through you, there was so much you wanted to say, you wanted to offer everything to him if it would make him feel better. Before you could speak to let all that emotion flow out, Jonathan surprised you by speaking first.


“I’m sorry for this… outburst. Its unlike me to be so vulnerable in front of people. I don’t know what’s come over me, even though I’m dead I feel like I’m dying. Every new responsibility that is placed upon me feels as though it could crush me under the combined weight of it all. I should be used to this stress, being in the war had me seeing this sort of stress daily, and yet- and yet… now… now it feels different…” He trailed off, looking away.


“I… I get it, Jonathan. I’m sure you trained for your position in the war. You knew those sorts of things would be coming when you left. But this, now, it’s a whole new world for you I can imagine. One that’s scary and full of secrets and shadows, you’re all of a sudden surrounded by the unfamiliar, and I don’t blame you for being overwhelmed by it all.”
Jonathan’s eyebrows furrowed in deep thought. “I just wanted to get back to London to see my mother. Oh god, I just wanted to see my sister. I missed my family so much, and now, I have torn them apart.”

 

“What do you mean? Surely you shouldn’t blame yourself for-”


“I killed my sister. I held her in my arms, and I murdered her. I hear her sobs in my head at night. It haunts me.”


You shuddered at the pain in his voice as he confessed his sin to you. The agony that wracked his throat, he could barely utter the words. He didn’t dare look at you, not wanting to see how the truth to his monstrous nature would reflect in disgust on your face. He continued speaking after a pause, feeling all the pain rush out of him like the opening of a dam.


“I didn’t know… she came looking for me where the dead lay in heaps. I awoke and I was confused and so hungry- I couldn’t think, God I couldn’t even see. Everything was red; all around me was that smell and it penetrated me, and I moved not on my own accord. When I heard her voice, it sounded like music, but I could barely hear it over the sound of her heart. She… she was so happy to find me, and I killed her. I couldn’t stop, she just wanted to be with her brother again and she was punished for that. How could I? How- could- I…”


He was back to sobbing again, words coming out in fragments. You had your arms around him in an instant. You cried too, at the tragedy of his life, at the loss of his loved one, at the unfairness of fate to hurt him in this way. How could you blame him, when he didn’t even know what was happening to him when it occurred? You couldn’t- you didn’t. you needed to tell him so.


“Oh Jonathan, that is not your fault. You didn’t even know what you had become. How could you have known what would happen?


“She didn’t deserve that though. She had already suffered so much loss, and I should have been there to make her feel better, to reassure her she had not lost everything.”


“You cannot be what everyone needs all the time. We all falter, we all stumble. Sometimes its worse than other times. But if we stop moving completely, we will never be able to continue our lives.”


“How can I move on with my life when my life is not even my own anymore? I am removed from such a thing, existing in this limbo forever.”


“’Living’ is a frame of mind, the way I see it. One can be medically ‘alive’ and not be living. To live is to see the world for what it can offer, to go out and find the things that bring your existence meaning. You can still live Jonathan, even if you’re not alive.”


You scooted closer to him and nuzzled your head under his chin, letting his tears fall into your hair. He buried his face into your soft locks and held you closer.


“It’s all just so much, everyone expects so much of me. I am an ekon with incredible strength and endurance, but I am new to this, and I feel some forget that I grapple with my humanity every minute of the day. I still feel these feelings of mortality, I still struggle with my own existence. Lady Ashbury and Edgar mean well, but I feel as though they see me as someone who’s already past that, but I’m not. I still don’t understand so much… my maker eludes me; this epidemic continues to take lives while I stand by helplessly observing… I feel like a child again; who has been placed in the role of a leader without care.”


You let him speak. You let him get it all off his chest. Slowly, slowly, you noticed his shuddering start to die down. The flow of tears slowed. You looked up when he finished and met his eyes, now soft and worn out.


“You may be an ekon, but I see you for you. To me, none of that matters. The weight of your burden is heavy- I can see why you struggle to bear it. It doesn’t make you weak, it doesn’t make you a child. We all carry burdens, and no one can carry one like yours forever without burning out.”


“But I cannot abandon my responsibilities here. These people are counting on me.”


“You don’t have to abandon anything. Setting your burden down is not the same as leaving it behind. What you are doing right now is setting it down. You are taking a break- a well-deserved one. You are existing without binds, speaking without a filter. I… I’m so glad that you can confide in me… the idea that I can help you in some way, after all you’ve been through…”


You felt yourself tear up again, and without thinking, pressed your lips quickly to Jonathan’s. You were still as a board, so afraid that he might reject you, might think that now isn’t a good time, but instead, he set a cool hand on the small of your back and kissed you in return. The contact felt so nice. He had gone so long without this emotional intimacy, he believed for so long that he was unworthy. But you made him feel like he was. That alone made him cry again too, and you two sat there for a bit, kissing and crying. It was emotional. It was vulnerable. You were there for him, and now he knew it.

Chapter Text

Moments cannot last forever. Reality must eventually fall back upon you and restore you to the present. Though you wished it didn’t have to end- you wished you could stay in his solid embrace forever. It felt so natural to be curled around him, listening to his unnaturally slow heartbeat pumping, reaffirming the foreignness of his being in the subconscious of your mind. But the way he gently touched you, caressed your shoulder blades and down your spine made you shiver with warmth and comfort. This was not unnatural. It wasn’t foreign, really. It felt like the opposite of that, like this was home. And even though you two eventually began to untangle and looked to each other in blissful silence; you both understood that though you may not always be able to come home, it would always be there waiting for you.


The moment had come to an end. Jonathan stood slowly, coming back into focus and checking his watch for the time. It had been hours since the incident had occurred, he rubbed his temples thinking about the distance Sean must have put between them by now. You moved to rub his forearm reassuringly.


“You will find him. I can almost guarantee he’s at the docks, so I would head that way.”


You two had sat in a calm silence for so long that the sound of your voice slightly jarred him. It felt melodic, flowing smoothly in harmony with the solid beat of your heart. Just as you thought of him as a pillar of strength and hope, he too felt grounded when around your solid, warm form. With you, he felt he could weather any storm. With your reassuring words tucked away in his mind for comfort later, he held out his hand for you to take and you two headed towards the balcony. He leaned down in order to kiss you chastely on the lips. As he parted, he whispered to you,


“I will return to you, I promise.”


And then he turned and jumped off the balcony, fading into nothing but a mist of black haze. You blinked in awe at seeing such a supernatural sight so close up, and watched his form reappear a distance away and walk off into the night. You’d only seen his kind a handful of times, and every time it left you speechless. His words lingered in your mind, a promise he had made to you. You leaned against the railing and sighed, knowing that the coming days would not be easy. But nothing rarely is easy, isn’t it?


Turning back to face inside the hospital, you pulled your hair back, left the room, and descended the main stairs. The blood was (mostly) cleaned up from inside Ms. Jones’s room. The stains that adorned the ceiling would have to remain for now. There was no longer a blood trail leaving the hospital, but the memory remained. You saw Lady Ashbury soothing a sleeping Thelma at her bed, and the doctors grouped together in another room discussing with each other. Most of the other patients had calmed down and were sleeping as it was nearly 4am. The attack had come near midnight, you wondered what had transpired outside between then and now. You hoped that no one out there had been hurt by Sean’s uncontrollable state. Most of the staff were taking a break for now- well earned after the tiresome night. You took a seat next to the other nurses, who looked at you accusingly. Pippa rolled her eyes after some silence and leaned back.


“Didn’t see you much while me and nurse Brannigan were stuck doing all the hard work. Funny that you’d show up now that it’s all done.”


You frowned. “Hey, I’m sorry Pippa, doctor Swansea had something he needed me to do. I wasn’t just trying to skip out on helping. Plus, I did help clean up right after it happened.”


Nurse Brannigan spoke up, making Pippa fall silent without response. “What did doctor Swansea need from you y/n? Is something wrong?”


You were now buried in this half lie, you scrambled for an answer. “I was right by Ms. Jones’s door when the attack happened… he wanted me to help him document everything when he made a report about what happened at the hospital.”


This seemed to satisfy the other nurses, at least, they didn’t seem so upset at you anymore. It made you feel bad when others were upset at you, you wished that you could go back upstairs and lay in Jonathan’s bed- taking in his scent and falling asleep surrounded in it. The other women looked exhausted too, you noticed, and as you looked out to the dark sky outside, you prayed for morning so that you could go home and dream away this nightmare if only for a little while. Maybe he’d be in your dreams. You hoped so.