Title: Second Choice
Pairing/characters: Stephen, Stephen/Helen, Nick/Stephen (implied)
Warnings: slash (implied)
Spoilers: episode 6 (takes place during the final scene)
Disclaimer: Not mine, ITV and Impossible Pictures own them
Word count: 250
Summary: Why did Stephen say no to Helen when she offered him everything?
Stephen is standing there in front of them all, caught like a rabbit in headlights. No, more like a rat, caught in Helen’s expertly manipulated trap. He’s aware of everybody staring at him and Helen. Everybody trying not to stare at Nick. Stephen takes a moment to consider his answer.
“You know what I’d forgotten Helen? Sometimes you can be a real bitch.”
It’s a good answer, accurate, and yet in no way reflecting the real reason why he refuses. It’s not because she’s done this to him, revealed their secret in front of everybody, so calculatingly putting him in this position. It’s a part of why, but it’s only a small part.
It’s not because of the intense guilt he feels when he sees the terrible look of betrayal on Nick’s face. Although that, too, is part of it.
It’s not even some effort to save face in front of the others and their accusing stares. That’s not really a consideration at all right now.
Stephen says no because deep down he knows that he is the second choice. He knows that she asked Nick first, and it was only after Nick refused that she asked him. And Stephen doesn’t like the thought of being the runner up, the second choice.
But there’s something else that Helen failed to take into account. Something that is the largest, most important part of his decision. Because when it comes to Stephen’s relationships with the Cutters, Helen was, and always will be, his second choice.