Characters: Helen Magnus, Will Zimmerman, Others.
Summary: Helen has recruited many people to the Sanctuary before Will, only to lose them to old age or death.
Word Count: 369
Written For: mirrored_illusions’s prompt ‘Sanctuary, Helen Magnus, the worst part of immortality is choosing new family and then watching them grow old and die, over and over again,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Sanctuary, or the characters. They belong to their creators.
This isn’t the first time Helen has brought new people into the Sanctuary, not the first time she’s found herself a new protégé, but Will shows promise. She thinks he’s just what she needs, someone who’ll question and challenge her, a new mind and a new pair of eyes to help her see things she might miss through having grown too complacent in her knowledge. He’s refreshing.
He fits in well with her little family too, following that awkward but unavoidable period of adjustment. Everything is new to him, so it’s not surprising that it takes him a while to settle in. The Sanctuary is full of the strange and imponderable; nobody seeing it for the first time can be expected to just take everything in stride. They never do.
Will reminds her of others from decades past, and the memories are bittersweet; friends and colleagues come and go, because their lives are short while hers is… rather longer. That’s the worst part of being near immortal. You meet people, get to know them, to trust them, to rely on them, and then just when you think your self-made family is complete, they’re gone.
She’s lost far more people she’s cared for than she likes to recall. Watching them grow old and die is hard enough, but seeing their lives cut short by the dangers they face is infinitely worse. So many people she’s hand picked to work with her have died because of her, when if she’d just let them be they might have lived to old age, raising families, and dying surrounded by their loves ones instead of bleeding out alone in an alley somewhere, or worse. Yes, there are worse ways to go even than that. She’s borne witness to far too many of those deaths, unable to save people despite all of her vast knowledge and resources. Death cannot always be so easily defeated.
But she can’t do this by herself, she needs the assistance, and God help her, she needs the company. Living as long as she already has can be a lonely business. Now she’s pulled Will into her world, and she can only pray that she won’t lose another friend too soon.