Disclaimer: No they are not mine. They belong to Pet Fly, UPN & Paramount. No copyright infringement is intended and no money has changed hands.

Notes: Since we don't celebrate Halloween on this side of the pond, I thought I'd join in the fun with a bit of 'spooky' nonsense.

Thank you: Thanks to Arianna and StarWatcher for giving this a quick once over for me. All mistake are mine.


WHO AM I NOW?



Jess Riley






*...I would find myself plunged at once in some foul and ominous nightmare, from which I would awake strangling...

It's a nightmare from which I'm not sure we'll ever escape. Not completely, not eternally.

"I'm sorry," he whispers. "I'm so sorry to put you through this."

"It's okay," I reassure, trailing the cool, damp cloth across the plains of his fevered body. "You just need some time. Time, that's all."

"Did I hurt you?"

I wince at his words. How can I answer truthfully? How do I tell him that my body is battered and bruised, bearing the hideous scars of his rage, while my soul lays open, bearing witness to the poison of his venomous tongue.

He's getting stronger now. Each time, with each episode, his fury mounts. Drawing his strength from the insidious mix of chemicals coursing through his veins, he lashes out with an anger that has no control, and exists without restraint. There's nothing to stand in the way of its lethal path -- except me. And stand I will. I have to. I'm the only one strong enough left to fight. If it were left in his hands alone, the battle would already be lost. I won't let that happen. Not to him, not like this.

I dab his arms with balm. They're infected, there's no denying that. The tracks marring his tender, pale flesh will leave behind a legacy to be remembered for a lifetime. However long that lifetime may be I can no longer be sure.

"Bad?"

"You'll heal," I answer, trying in vain to believe my own words.

He lifts his arm. "I don't remember doing this. I swear, I don't remember."

"Shhh, just relax," I comfort. "Just close your eyes and try and get some sleep."

"You'll stay?"

I nod a silent confirmation, my hand tenderly brushing across his furrowed brow. "I'll be here. I promise."

My soft words lull his troubled soul while my hands work diligently to tend to his wounded flesh. My own heart breaks.

He's asleep now, but I know it's only a matter of time before the cycle sets itself once more into motion. I stare down at his face, searching for answers. "Why?" I whisper. "Please help me understand. Was it for the excitement, the thrill of venturing into the unknown, or was it just simple curiosity? That damned insatiable curiosity of yours that cripples your judgment, luring, enticing you to seek the answer to things that should be left alone."

I settle back in the chair beside his bed. God, I'm tired. So very tired, but I can't rest. I won't rest.

I pick up the manuscript that only days before had his eyes shining like a child on Christmas morning. I wonder how many men before him have discovered the secrets hidden in the brittle, yellow parchment? How many lives before have been taken by the pen of a man long since dead?

Turning the pages, I search for the answers. They're here. They have to be, because if they're not they'll be nothing left of the man I once knew. The gentle soul of Blair Sandburg will forever be consumed by the anguish of the beast.

As my eyes trail over the neatly penned words, I begin to read. Begin to pray that, just as he had found his Mr. Hyde, I will find my Dr. Jekyll. For the other half of the potion is the only thing that will set him free.

*"O God!" I screamed, and "O God!" again and again; for there before my eyes -- pale and shaken, and half fainting, and groping before him with his hands, like a man restored from death -- there stood Henry Jekyll!"

Happy Halloween!

*Quotes from Robert Louis Stevenson -- The Master of Ballantrae; A Winter's Tale and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.


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