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"You knew," Jon accuses, tired, and Helen just l a u g h s.

"Of course I knew, Archivist," they say, patronizingly, all smile. "Why do you think I didn't help you."

"How could you want this," Jon asks them, accusing, but mirrors are the Spiral's providence as much as twists and corridors and they just run impossible fingers along Jon's jawline and say,

"No, Archivist. How could you?"

"We're the same," Helen says, and they have him pinned down, each sharp bolt driven through him and into the ground connected back to them somehow, arms or legs or some other kind of limb, he doesn't know. They're sitting on his abdomen, tight pencil skirt rolled up their thighs so their legs can splay out, the tops of their pantyhose visible. It's the same outfit Helen Richardson wore when she gave him a statement.

Jon makes a helpless back of the throat noise, as they shift and impale him further, another new sharp press, cutaneous, subcutaneous, fascia.

"I tried to tell you, didn't I? That we're the same. There was a door in me, and there was a door in you." They hit an artery and he cries out suddenly at the burst of bright blood, the dizziness as it drains and replenishes.

"Is that why you wanted me to be a monster?" they ask sweetly. "So you'd have company?"

"I didn't—" strangles out Jon, but he can't lie anymore. All the lies are Helen now, rippling and awful to his sight.

He plucks at one and they shiver over him, coalescing and then unforming, scattering like a school of fish. He groans and drives himself further forward onto the intrusion, feeling a new one split the skin on the back of his hand and press deep into the dirt below. He hears the sound of his own bone ground along an edge like a whetstone as he pushes upwards, upwards.

A thousand needles demand their pattern on his skin even as they thrust themselves deep into his viscera (marked so deeply by the Spiral, oh yes.) Something else on his tongue, shifting and coiling and when he tries to speak, to compel, Helen gasps and it turns wet, presses harder, like they're enjoying the vibration of his Archivist mouth.

"Tell me what you are," Jon says, and it pierces through them, demanding something impossible.

"Tell me your objectives," he demands, the bright static overwhelming Helen as he takes more of them inside him, still groaning and bleeding and open. Taking them deeper, forcing his own penetrative questions into all the places they are not, they un-be.

Helen makes their own pain noise, and it echoes like their laugh, helpless as he fucks his truth into her.

"What are you," he says, "What are you, what are you." The answers come wordless, and he drinks deep of the Knowledge, pressing through the door inside her into the expansive, twisting horror he brought into the world.

He has a cigarette after, on his back, looking up at the Eye in quiet contemplation while Helen adjusts their skirt, reapplies their lipstick. He touches their ankle, skimming a thumb there, too sated for much more movement than that, and they smile.

How could he want this, Jon wonders? But he does, he does, he does.