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Story Data

Posted July 30, 2010

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Series: Eureka Moments

Title: Within The Bending Sickle's Compass

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Disclaimer: The words are mine; the world is not. I claim nothing but the plot.

Rating: PG.

Summary: It was the things he didn't say, too. 700 words.

Spoilers: Eureka 4.3 "All The Rage"

Notes: Because Grace deserves more love. Titled from Shakespeare's Sonnet 116, to match Henry's tag from two weeks ago.

Grace sighed, staring down at the array of worn tools spread across Henry's workbench. Her practical joke had served its purpose; more than served it, given how worried her husband had obviously been by its effects. He'd been shaken up enough that he hadn't even questioned her on how exactly she had pulled it off; and that, more than anything else about his strange behavior over the last several days, had lodged in her thoughts like a rock in a stream and had been piling up more debris ever since.

It wasn't just that he'd started keeping her out of his projects, asking her questions he should already know the answers to, and responding hesitantly, when he did at all, to her touch. Or the fact that he'd apparently forgotten their little habit of pranking each other-- which had been one of their substitutes for flirtation from the very beginning. Or even the fact that he seemed continually surprised at her brilliance in the first place, ever since the Founders' Day celebration. It was the things he didn't say, too; like that night, when he should have asked her how Tess was doing after Jack's decision.

In ordinary circumstances, she and Dr. Fontana might not have become friends; they didn't work on the same projects, or move in the same social circles. After weeks of working together off and on while their men chased after the latest disaster, however, they'd discovered they actually had a lot in common beyond the compulsively heroic nature of their significant others. Tess was an optimist, and a brilliant scientist with a creative mind; she and Grace had had some very productive conversations about their pet theories, nevermind Eureka's crises du jour. And they'd both been glad to have someone to talk to not so involved in the politics of Global Dynamics.

It was Grace that Tess had gone to when she was first offered the job in Australia several months back; she'd wanted the perspective of a woman who knew Jack but wasn't completely biased, and Grace had been happy to help her list the pros and cons. And it was Tess that Grace vented to about Henry's persistent bachelor's habits; they'd laughed about the very tools Grace had pranked more than once. They'd hosted Allison's baby shower together, and Henry knew exactly how often Tess was invited to dinner, with or without her boyfriend.

Or-- he should. Grace wasn't so sure he did, anymore. His friendship with Jack seemed as intact as ever, and she'd spotted him talking with several of Global's other notables since the celebration. But all of those he still seemed close to had broken long-established patterns of behavior in recent days. And then there was Dr. Grant-- whose arrival in town coincided with the changes.

She wasn't sure what had happened, yet. She wasn't even sure she wanted to know; not if it meant she might lose Henry in the process. But she couldn't help noticing the evidence, any more than she could help loving her husband.

The worst part was, despite whatever secret it was that kept him up at nights and drew him into side projects he didn't want her help on-- that had apparently scrambled his memories and convinced him not to trust her-- he was still the same Henry as ever. The same trustworthy, brilliant idealist she'd won over with grease and schematics and coffee at Café Diem. So how could she miss someone so fiercely who was still right in front of her?

The same way Tess had found herself packing her things for Australia, Grace suspected.

She swallowed and pressed her palm against the tools, one by one, activating the heat-sensitive trigger to send them back to their box. She'd leave them that way just a little longer, she thought; it would keep her at the forefront of his mind even when she wasn't around. Tess may have made the best choice she could for her, but for her part, Grace was not going to give up so easily.

Henry was her husband. And if he'd forgotten what that meant? She'd just have to remind him why he'd chosen her, all over again.


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