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A Mosaic Story - Classic

Winterfest Online 2009

February 7th - 15th

Preferences: English | All Season

Welcome to the Online Mosaic Story

This story was created by participants of Winterfest, piece by piece to create the collective whole. Thanks to eveyone who contributed in the creation of such a wonderful story.


KaBOOM! The explosion echoed down the tunnels until it reached Vincent's Chamber. "Now what is he up to?" Vincent thought. He started down to Mouse's Chamber and on the way pondered what to do for Catherine on Valentine's Day.

Chocolate, roses, even sonnets--all seemed far too ordinary to pay tribute to the woman who gave up so much to be with him. Where would he be without Catherine? Vincent wondered. His heart hammered riotously at the thought. Just then. . .


As Vincent got closer he could hear Mouse banging on things. He smiled that gave him an i idea perhaps he could make Catherine a gift! 'But what" he thought. Vincent was back to square one what would Cathrine like. Then an idea came to him. Vincent smiled to himself. Yes, it would be the perfect gift for his love. He turned and dashed back to his chamber, where he quickly threw a few items into a knapsack. He scrawled a hasty note to Father - "Back by nightfall - V", and then he was off.

KaBOOM! Vincent instinctively ducked. He knew he should check on Mouse, but he also knew he couldn't return by nightfall if he did - Mouse "adventures" were all-encompassing. He kept moving, ducking under low archways and descending deeper. Suddenly, Mouse appeared before him, face smudged with a more-than-usual assortment of grime, hair and clothes in disarray. "Vincent! Come!" he barked, grabbing the startled man's sleeve, and he began to shuffle quickly down the passageway, Vincent in tow.

W "What is is, Mouse? What's wrong?" Vincent asked as Mouse led the way. "Explosion! Bad cave-in. Worse than bad. Need your help," Mouse told him. They rounded a turn and ahead of them Vincent saw clouds of dust, and what looked like tool's litterd the ground. As they got closer they could see that the room was filld with rubble and Vincent Had a flashback to when he and father were in the last cave in. then he heard muffeld voices, he turned to Mouse "Mouse is anyone hurt?" "Tried to stop them," he muttered, than said more forcefully, "Tried!" Shrugging out of his knapsack, Vincent knelt and focused on the voices. There were two. Straining, he picked out words, inflections...then looked at Mouse in horrified recognition. "Catherine!", Vincent cried out. Turning again to the muffled voices, "Catherine, I'm here" he both yelled and inflected from his innermost being." Why had he not felt her fear?, he asked himself. "Catherine!" From the rubble he heard "Vincent...?" Vincent felt releaf wash over him weather it his or Cathrines he could not tell but he was still worried he had to get her and whoever else was in there with her out "Cathrine hold on we are comming for you" he called out "Who else is traped with you?" After a heart-stopping few seconds, Catherine's voice, muffled, barely discernable, responded, "Geoffrey. We tried to run, but..." Her sentence ended in a coughing fit. Vincent reached for the nearest tool - a hammer - and began to pry at any loose rocks.

In a few minutes, that to him felt like an eternity, Vincent had his Catherine in his arms, wishing he could keep her there forever. As he helped her with one arm to smooth her hair and straighten her rumpled clothes, he noticed she was trying to get a proper breath but was haveing some problmes doing so. he was worried bout her "Cathrine are you alright" he quetioned. Catrine tried to speak but could not so she shook her head "no" but the world started to spin and then the world whent to black.

Geoffrey scrambled out of the rubble, then gasped, "She threw herself on top of me! I think some rocks hit her head!"

"Can you stand?" Vincent asked him, and at the boy's nod, he ordered, "Go! Call for Father on the pipes!"

Geoffrey ran out of the room and did as Vincent asked him too. all the wile Vincent lowered Cathrins still body to the ground and leaned over her all the brushing the hair out of her face "Cathrine you will be fine everything will be fine" he assured

Mouse, nervously hopping from foot to foot, piped up. "Making new chambers! Going to be a surprise!"

Tears pooled in Vincent's eyes and spattered down, making clean rivulets on Catherine's dust-covered cheeks. "Wake up, please," he pled.

However Cathrine did not awake she remaind calm and still the two things that Vincent did not feel. he felt saddness and impatince what was taking father so long. Nothing else mattered to him but his Cathrine he had even forgot that Mouse was there.

Long minutes passed before voices could be heard nearing the site of the cave-in. Soon, Father limped into view, helped by Cullen and Kanin.

"Move aside, Vincent," Father ordered, and he knelt stiffly and began assessing his patient's injuries. After a check he said, "We need to get her cleaned up so we can see the damages. Vincent can you carry .." but before Father had finished his words Vincent had scooped up her limp body and carried her off, remembering another time he had had to carry her

Vincent's long strides ate up the distance to the hospital chamber; by the time Father arrived, Mary had washed Catherine and dressed her cuts. As Father arrived, Mary advised him, "She appears to have a broken hand, but no other serious injuries." "Then why is she unconscious?" Vincent demanded, his fear making his voice tremble. Why couldn't he feel anything from her? Her injuries must be more severe than Mary realized and the sight of Catherine's closed eyes and pallor terrified him. He carefully sat on the bed taking her hand, and after a slight hessitation, lay beside her, taking her in his arms.
"I'm here, my Catherine. Come back to me", he whispered softly to her. Just then, he felt her stir in his arms. Her eyelids fluttered softly, then dazed green eyes met his relieved blue ones.

"Wha...what happened?" she murmured.

"You were in a cave-in here Below. Do you remember now?" Vincent responded.

His heart sank when she said "No i dont remember that. I came down here to talk to you then I saw Geoffrey playing stoped to talk to him for a little bit then nothing. I dont remember anythg after that expet wakeing up just now. Vincent whats going on why I cant I remember"

Desperate, Vincent's eyes sought Father, but the older man just shook his head. "It's not unusual for someone to experience a trauma and not remember it." He approached the bedside. "Not to worry, my dear. The good news is you are awake now." As he caught her wincing in pain, he was quick to reasure her. "Don't worry, my dear, that sprain hand will heal fast."

Catherine's expression suddenly sumbered. "Valentine's day...", she remembered. "My surprise... Why now?"">p Geoffrey, who until now had been hovering silently, watching the adults, sidled up to Catherine's bedside and whispered in her ear, "Don't worry, I've got it. It's safe."

Catherine, relieved, smiled at him and replied, "I owe you a hug!"

Geoffrey smiled at her "I will hold you to it" then he walked out fo the room. Vincent turned to Cathrine "What was that about?" Vincent asked "Oh nothing" Cahtrine replied with a small grin on her face.

"Do you feel well enough to get up, my dear?" Mary asked.

"I think so." Catherine didn't want to leave the comfort of Vincent's side, but she needed to prove she was feeling better, so she swung her legs over the side of the bed and gingerly rose. She teetered forward and back for a moment then fell back to the bed. "Catherine you should stay in bed, you're not well enough to walk yet." Mary said. With a whimper Catherine retorted, "Oh Mary, I'll be fine...Really..." "Maybe..." Vincent started. "What?" Catherine needed something good to hold onto - she feared their Valentine's Day celebration was near ruin.

"Maybe...you should stay Below tonight...until you're feeling up to walking again?" he finished.

Catherine's heart leapt. "I will." And with that, Mary left the chamber and Catherine reclaimed her spot in Vincent's arms.

Looking down lovingly at her sleepie face that night, he reflected on the miracle her love was to him. Unable to help himself, he touched unsure, trembling lips to hers, marveling at their soft suppleness. Then, nuzzling her cheek, he whispered what was in his heart. "I love you, Catherine, with everything I am."

Surprising him, she murmured in reply, "Mmmmmmm...yes," and she shifted and opened her eyes. >P> He froze, but only for an instant... and then her uninjered arm was around his neck, her eyes misting. "Vincent...", she whispered, "Oh, Vincent... I love you so". With a smile and hope in her heart, she asked, "Will you stay, until I... go to sleep?2

"Catherine...I..." At the look in her eyes, he stopped himself from protesting further. "Are you sure?" Catherine nodded weakly. "Yes." Vincent took her hand in his and caressed it lovingly. "Then I'll watch over you, take care of you. Sleep now."

Catherine awoke to the rumble of a far-above subway train. She felt a warm presence nestled against her back, and looking down, she found a bare, furred arm draped around her waist. This presented an interesting dilemma. Should she move or just enjoy?! Deciding to enjoy the simple pleasure while she could, she lay perfectly still so as not to awaken Vincent. This was the best Valentine's present she could ever have -- unless the simple embrace could be expanded into something more erotic. Oh, well.

Stirring, Vincent awoke to his lady love's emerald green eyes and perfect smile. "How are you feeling?"
"Wonderful," Catherine replied dreamily. She pressed her lips against his rugged chest and breathed in his scent wholeheartedly. Vincent sighed and murmured, "I've never woken up so happy."

Catherine's smile turned into a grin as she contemplated just how much "happier" she could make him, but she decided against pushng her luck...for now. Instead she said, "It doesn't get better than this!"

Cathrine smiled his special smile and snuggled back into his warmth and Vincent felt a smile tug at his lips as he watched the love of his life drift back off to sleep the whole time thinking about how lucky he was to have her in his life.

Their peace was interrupted too soon by a scuffling sound which woke them with a start. They found Father staring down at them, a dark scowl on his face. This was not what he'd anticipated when Vincent said he'd watch over Catherine as she slept!

Vincent scooted guiltily away from her while Catherine stretched. She looked like the proverbial cat that ate the canary as a small smile crept onto her face. "Good morning, Father." Father grumbled as he turned away. "I suspect you're feeling better?"

"Much," she replied, as she slowly got out of Vincent's bed; Vincent had abandoned it quickly during her exchange with Father.

Hoping to distract the older man, Vincent asked,"The cave-in...has it been stabilized?"

"Yes. Kanin oversaw a team."

Vincent nodded his head "Good we dont want what happend to Cathrine and Geoffrey to happen to any one else" Father nodded his head and agreement. He then turned to Cathrine "are you going to be staying below again today or are you goint to go back."

"Well," Catherine began, giving Vincent a sidelong look, "I'd like to stay...if that's all right."

Father control a sigh, but couldn't help the roll of his eyes. "Fine, fine," he muttered, well aware that Vincent and Catherine didn't even hear him. Suddenly Catherine remembered the plans she had for Valentine's Day. "I'm feeling a little better now. Have either of you seen Geoffrey?...Uhm, I want to...uhm ...make sure he's alright. Father said, "I believe he is with Kanin, he supervised the repair"

"I'll call for him, Catherine," Vincent said quickly, then hurried from his chamber. His trip to find a gift for Catherine had been interrupted by the cave-in; he had nothing for her now. In consternation, he rushed to Rebecca's chamber and called out. "Please, Rebecca! I need your help!" Rebecca was wrapping her own gift for someone she had recently taken an interest in & turned to face an anxious Vincent. "I'll try, Vincent. What can I do for you?" "Rebecca, do you have anything I may give as a gift?"

"Let me see..." She rummaged through an armoire filled with one-of-a-kind candles. "I have a candle I made as an experiment." She found the one she was looking for. "Here! It's rose-scented." She held up a lovely candle with petals imbedded in the wax.

In Vincent's chamber, Catherine waited for Geoffrey in an uncomfortable silence.
"Father?" she ventured at last. At his lack of response, she went on in hessitation. "Can't you be, just a little happy for him? Not for me, you never will... but, for him?"

Eyeing her sharply, he responded, "You don't make it easy."

"Me?!" Catherine squeaked, shocked nearly speechless at the accusation.

"You push him...beyond his boundaries. I cannot approve."

Anger made her forget herself. "And you treat him as if he is a child! He's a man and he deserves the same thing that every other male in the world desires." Father scowled. "And what's that?" Catherine looked at him with tears in her eyes. "The chance to love and to be loved!"

"Do I have a say in this argument?"

Father and Catherine turned to see Vincent standing in the entryway holding a small bundle. In the sudden silence he stalked into the chamber, advancing on Father. "I blame you for her tears. Please go."

"Son...I..." Vincent was watching Catherine as he addressed his Father. "Father! Now! I wish to be alone with Catherine." Father left while Vincent headed towards Catherine. She looked up as Vincent cocked his head. "Did you mean what you just said?"

Dumbfounded, she just nodded.

Never taking his eyes from hers, Vincent dropped the bundle he'd been carrying on a nearby table and swept her into an embrace. She held her breath, afraid to break whatever mood he was in. Blue eyes glittering, Vincent didn't need their bond to feel, in his heart, the truth of her words, her love. Softly, yet passionally, he pressed his lips to hers, in a promise of happiness in all their days to come... together, as one.