Marguérite and Abi escort John up the flight of stairs. The door opens and Aimée looks to see who is coming, then whispers, "Shhh... she has fallen asleep." The three of them quietly enter the room and close the door.
Marlena is lying on the bed, more beautiful than ever, John thinks. These people have taken excellent care of her, and he is grateful. She stirs and her eyelids flutter open. "John?" she asks.
He rushes to her side and takes her in his arms. "Doc, I'm here," he says, holding her tight. "I'll never leave you again."
"Oh, John, you came back for me," she exclaims.
The others smile, seeing the tender reunion. It's been a very long time since any joy has penetrated this world gone mad.
Mimi is ushered into the room where the twelve members of the Committee of Public Safety are just ending their late session. At the other end of the round green table, a neatly-dressed little man with green-tinted spectacles and powdered wig is regarding Mimi suspiciously.
"Who are you, and what news do you bring to this committee?" Robespierre asks.
"I am Citizeness Mimi Lescaut, and I have information about the man who spoke out against the Revolution this afternoon at the Place de la Révolution."
"The traitor!" shouts the darkly handsome young man to his right, Antoine Saint-Just, slamming his fist on the table in a sudden burst of violence that disappears as suddenly. "What do you know about him?" he asks in chilling tones.
"I know that he is on his way to 18 rue de la Victoire," Mimi declares.
"How do you know this?" Saint-Just asks, swiftly crossing the room to where Mimi stands.
"He told me," she responds, simply and truthfully. "He thought I was on his side."
"You did well to report to us what you knew," Saint-Just replies in the same menacing tone. "Because of him two prisoners escaped, an aristocrat and a counter-revolutionary. It will be my pleasure to arrest him and see him executed."
Mimi turns to leave, but suddenly she feels a hand grab her arm from behind. "Why in such a hurry?" Saint-Just whispers ominously. "If he's on his way there now, we've got plenty of time. You're coming with us, Citizeness Lescaut, to share in the pleasure of capturing the traitor...."
André is standing in the glowing portal, his arm outstretched, his hand extended to her. "Kristen," he calls softly to her, a compelling invitation which she cannot resist as she takes his hand and follows him into the chamber...
"Kristen." Slowly she awakens and sees André standing beside her. "We did it, we reconstructed the chamber. Everything's ready."
"We're going back?" she asks, momentarily confused, images of the dream still floating in her mind.
"To rue de la Victoire, for John and Marlena, Mimi, Stefano... if they've made it back," he adds.
Of course they will have made it back, she thinks. John will do anything for Marlena, he always has, she realizes. And the realization doesn't make her as angry as she would have expected.
"Let's go," she says.
Stefano is standing in the shadows on rue de la Victoire, watching Mimi and the young revolutionary. He is so close to having everything he ever wanted. Marlena, his Queen of the Night, will finally be his. He will be rid of John once and for all. Kristen will go back to the twentieth century and make a new life for herself. She'll be better off without John. Who knows? Maybe she and André will fall in love.
And Mimi. He'll miss her when she goes back. She has been devoted to him, totally and completely. Having her denounce John was the final test, and she had done so unhesitatingly. She probably would have gone to the scaffold in Marlena's place, had it been possible. She'll be better off too, in the end, he decides, dismissing the strange reluctance he feels at the thought of letting her go....
Josué, Mme Méchante, Aimée, Marguérite and Abi are escorting "Jean" and "Marie-Hélène" to the rue de la Victoire. They are delighted to be able to help such good and kind people. Additionally, they have been warned that a certain Monsieur Stéphane de Mère may try to abduct Marie-Hélène, and they have vowed to protect her from this man at all costs. No matter how strong and powerful he may be, Marguérite and Abi assured them, he is no match for all of them combined.
They are approaching their destination when Josué stops suddenly.
"What is it?" his sister asks him.
"Something's wrong," he says, peering into the black night. "Who is that man?"
"Stefano!" Marlena gasps.
"No, I know him..." Josué takes a few cautious steps forward to look closer. "Saint-Just, of the Committee of Public Safety! It's a trap!" he exclaims.
Quietly they turn around before anyone can notice them. "Lavoisier," John says. "We've got to find Lavoisier, that's where Kristen and André were going to find a way to get us back."
"I know Lavoisier, he is a friend of mine. We can take you there," Josué tells them, and they all head off in another direction to avoid the trap at 18 rue de la Victoire....
Stefano watches, waiting for Marlena. She and John should be here any minute now. He hears voices, a group of people passing by... Marlena and John are with them! he suddenly realizes, but who are these other people? And how can he get her away from them now? They're not even going in the right direction, they're heading away from rue de la Victoire. They know it's a trap, he thinks furiously, and he will follow them....
Something's wrong, Mimi thinks, they should have been here by now. I've got to get out of here before they think I'm the counter-revolutionary. All it takes is one second for Saint-Just to turn away and Mimi flees, running for her life until a hand reaches out and pulls her into the darkness....
They are approaching rue de la Victoire when André and Kristen see John, Marlena and their five escorts heading in what seems to be the wrong direction.
"You're alive!" Kristen exclaims.
"Yeah, but we've got to get away from here," John begins.
"Everything's set up at Lavoisier's, we can go back," André says. "But what about Mimi and Stefano?"
"They betrayed us. There are guards waiting for us back there right now, it was all part of DiMera's plan. Forget about them, we've got to go back...."
"Mimi, it's me!" Stefano whispers, and she stops struggling.
"They never came... they must have known..."
"They knew it was a trap. But it doesn't matter. André and Kristen are with them, and a lot of others too. They must have a way back to the twentieth century, and we'll follow them. Come, before we lose them...."
Outside Lavoisier's door, Jean and Marie-Hélène bid adieu to their friends. They are going to leave the country, they explain. They have friends waiting for them at their new destination and they will be safe.
"Hurry, John, before Stefano finds us!" Marlena urges him, and the two of them enter the glowing portal, together this time, as it should be.
Kristen watches as they disappear. They love each other so much, she thinks, and she will never be able to compete with the love they share. On their way to Lavoisier's, all she heard was how the brave Monsieur Jean risked death at the hands of the mob to save Mme d'Évannes. He followed her through time, and now he is taking her back.
She turns to André, who has been with her from the beginning, from the moment he stepped back two centuries in time... to protect her, she realizes.
He reaches out to her now as he enters the chamber. "Will you come with me, Kristen?" he asks, smiling.
"Yes," she answers, and she smiles too as she takes his hand and together they step into the future....
Seconds later, Stefano and Mimi burst into the laboratory, but there is no one there. "Dammit!" he shouts. "They're gone!" The portal, however, is still glowing.... "Quickly, Mimi, into the chamber!" he yells, and she takes his hand and follows him into the light.
In the hospital in Paris, John and Marlena step out of the chamber into the twentieth century, followed closely by André and Kristen. "John, what if Stefano comes after us?" Marlena asks worriedly.
"DiMera's not coming anywhere near you, ever again," John declares, grabbing a chair and throwing it into the control panel as sparks fly and the blinding white light of the portal is suddenly extinguished, trapping Mimi and Stefano somewhere in time...
"We're safe now, Doc," John says, holding her close to him. "No one's ever coming between us again."
Portal of Time: The Future, Part I, by Joshua Lau
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