Disclaimer: Warehouse 13 and its characters are the property of the SyFy Channel. No infringement intended.
Author’s Notes: Written for the IDF 2012 Big Bang. Massive thanks go to the wonderful theagonyofblank for beta-ing this monster, and to grumpybear1031 for her amazing complementary graphics!
Just as Pete was rushing out of Artie’s office – with Claudia right behind him and the others trailing along as well – Myka made her own return back to the Warehouse. Claudia’s computer flashed a new message, but there was no one there to see it.
Myka immediately stumbled to the side upon arrival, reaching out to catch her balance on the shelves and almost knocking a few artifacts over in the process. She only barely managed to not set anything off.
By now, she’d gotten used to the sudden shifts through time, but this... This time felt different. There was no warning, for one thing: no light tingling in her skin to let her know what was about to happen. This time was also much more abrupt, much more violent, in a way.
Myka had just enough time to catch her breath, and then, again with no warning, she was yanked backwards into the past once more.
For the first time, Myka wasn’t brought back to her usual spot. Instead, she showed up exactly where she’d been when she disappeared just a few moments earlier. Wolcott literally jumped in surprise, dropping his cup of tea to the floor.
Flustered, he bent down to pick it back up. “Well, it certainly is quite disconcerting when you do that,” he muttered.
Myka could only stare at him in confusion. Why had she shown up here, instead of out on the street, like she always did? It made no sense for the artifact to suddenly change how it worked.
“How long was I gone?” she asked.
“Oh, only about twenty minutes,” Wolcott replied. “I couldn’t find Helena to let her know you’d gone, so I decided to simply come back here and finish our tea.”
Shaking off her uneasy feeling, Myka took a deep breath and smiled the best she could.
It was strange, but it almost felt as if the artifact had suddenly been unable to decide where she should be.
Claudia knew that panicking wouldn’t help anyone at the moment, but she couldn’t help it. “Oh shit,” she repeated. “Pete! What do we do?”
After startling the bejeezus out of her, H.G. had promptly passed out, leaving Claudia to scramble to her feet and hop around like a chicken with its head cut off.
Pete was simply staring at H.G., a totally bewildered look on his face. “Pete!” she called again, finally getting him to look at her. “Do something!”
Just like that, he snapped into Agent-mode. He reached for his Farnsworth, calling Artie and barking out, “Claudia and I are fine, but get Doctor Calder here, now,” before shoving it back in his pocket. Then he crouched down by H.G., looking her over without touching her.
“Get on her other side,” he told Claudia, “and help me get her onto her back.”
Claudia complied, and together they carefully turned her onto her side and then her back. H.G. groaned, but didn’t appear to regain consciousness. Although her clothes were fully intact, they had a somewhat charred look to them, and Claudia could see that much of H.G.’s skin was badly burned.
About as gentle as Claudia had ever seen him, Pete eased his arms under H.G.’s body and carefully stood up, cradling the woman close to his chest.
“I’ll run ahead and go get Edison’s stagecoach,” she offered, already turning and sprinting down the aisle. She’d made a few... adjustments, so that the vehicle moved a bit faster than it used to, and now it only required one person’s bioelectricity for power. It still wasn’t fast, but it would get them back to the office quicker than Pete’s legs.
As soon as they arrived at the foot of the office stairs, Pete jumped out and hurried to pick up H.G. once again – she was still breathing, but showed no signs of improvement. Claudia followed right behind them.
“What is going on? Who is that?” Claudia heard Artie ask from the balcony.
There was silence, and then Leena’s hushed voice floated down the stairs. “Oh my God, it’s...”
Leena didn’t finish her sentence, but she didn’t need to, since Claudia, Pete, and H.G. had by then arrived beside them. Artie’s jaw literally dropped, but none of them paid him any attention. Claudia darted in front of Pete to open the door to the office, then scrambled ahead once again to clear some space off the nearest table.
Just as Pete was laying H.G. down, Vanessa strode in from the umbilicus.
“Perfect timing, Doc,” Claudia greeted with a nod.
Pete was strangely silent, and his eyes hadn’t once left H.G. Claudia couldn’t quite read whatever he was feeling. He just looked intense.
Thankfully, Vanessa didn’t waste any time asking questions. No one would know the answers, anyway.
She only took a few moments to look over H.G., but apparently that was enough. “I wasn’t sure what to expect,” she said, “but I have an ambulance waiting outside, just in case. I can’t treat her here; we need a hospital. Pete?”
Pete nodded once, and then reached again for H.G.
And again, Claudia followed along behind.
“What is going on?” Artie bellowed, right before she reached the door.
She paused for a moment, turning back to look at him. “I have no idea,” she shrugged.
Claudia then had to run to catch up with the others, arriving outside just in time to see the ambulance doors closing.
“Hey!” she called out, sprinting towards the vehicle. There was no way she was getting left behind for this.
No one noticed her, though, and the ambulance started to pull away.
She waved her arms in the air, but it was no use. They were leaving without her.
The ambulance had only gone about 500 feet, when it skidded to a stop. The back door opened and Pete stuck his head out. “Come on, Claud!” he called out.
Claudia heard the Warehouse door open behind her, but she ran ahead, reaching for Pete’s outstretched hand and climbing into the ambulance.
Helena kept busy. She had to keep busy. Otherwise, her mind would be flooded with images of Christina. Sometimes smiling, sometimes crying out in fear and pain. It made no difference. Whether Christina was happy or dying, the images only served to pierce Helena directly through the heart.
Painful thoughts lurked just beneath the surface, waiting to pounce as soon as Helena let her guard down. Therefore the only options were to distract herself, or be constantly reminded that Christina was gone.
So Helena kept busy.
She mostly ignored Myka. Myka’s sad eyes and frowning looks were more than she could handle. Myka knew things, and if it all worked out – if Helena succeeded in saving Christina – then Myka would have no need to look so sad... Helena shoved the thought away.
It would work. It had to. There were simply no other options.
Helena was working on her time machine – it would work; it had to – when a polite cough broke through her concentration. She quickly looked up to find Wooly staring shyly at her, but then she went right back to work. Helena loved him like a brother, but his pity was no better than Myka’s gloom.
“There... there’s been a new curiosity,” he finally told her when it became clear that Helena wasn’t going to say anything.
She shrugged. “Take Myka, then,” she suggested, angling her head towards the curly-haired woman sitting in the corner of the room; she’d taken to following Helena around like a shadow. “I’m busy.”
Helena still didn’t look up, but she could hear the shock in his voice as he sputtered, “I... I cannot take Miss Bering! I am sure that you are very capable, Miss Bering, I mean no offence. However... that is not how this works, Helena. ”
“I’m busy,” she repeated.
There was a long silence.
Then Myka stood up, moving to stand at Helena’s side. Her hand came to rest against Helena’s lower back, and she spoke quietly, for Helena’s ears alone. Myka’s words were soft but with an understated force behind them. “You have barely left this room in a week,” Myka said. “You need to get outside. Do something else. I know you think you have to keep working on this nonstop, but it’s a time machine, Helena. The past isn’t going anywhere. Besides, if you let yourself take a break once in a while, then you can come back to this later with fresh eyes, which can only help you in the long run.”
Helena stood there and listened, only realizing quite how stiff her muscles were once she finally stopped moving. She said nothing, but didn’t continue working, either. Part of her knew that Myka was right; the other part stubbornly refused to be diverted from the task before her.
“Chasing an artifact will still keep you busy,” Myka added. “It will distract you just as well.”
Helena grumbled to herself, but finally sighed and gave in. Truthfully, she was too tired to put up much of a fight.
She put on a false smile. “Lead on, then,” she told Wolcott. He looked relieved, but Helena knew that Myka, at least, wasn’t fooled. Helena let her mask drop once Wooly turned his back to her. She took a last look over her shoulder as she reluctantly left her work behind. For once, Myka did not follow. She simply watched Helena, her eyes keen.
All Helena knew was pain.
There was a vague murmur of voices in the background, but Helena couldn’t focus well enough to make any sense of them.
She must have made some sound, however, because the voices paused, and then suddenly moved closer, crowding in around her.
“H.G.? H.G.! Are you awake? Are you alive?”
Helena managed to open her eyes, barely, and two blurry Claudia Donovans swam through her vision. She closed her eyes again, dizzy.
“I don’t know,” she croaked out. “You must tell me.”
“You’re alive!” Claudia cried out in excitement. “And the doc says that you’re getting better!”
Helena found both statements equally difficult to believe.
“Perhaps he should return to medical school,” she suggested hoarsely, “because I am quite certain that what I am cannot possibly be considered ‘better.’”
“She, actually,” said an unfamiliar voice. “And from what I understand, being alive is quite a considerable bit better than not being alive, so I think I win that argument by default.”
Helena cracked her eyes open once more, finding an elegant blonde woman standing beside Claudia. Mercifully, there was now only one Claudia, instead of two.
“Doctor Vanessa Calder,” the woman continued with a small smile. “I’m the Warehouse physician.”
She held a cup of water with a straw to Helena’s lips, which Helena gratefully drank down.
“Well I suppose it’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Doctor,” Helena responded when her throat felt just a bit less like it was about to crack apart from within. “Seeing how I never expected to be making anyone’s acquaintance ever again. That’s usually how it works when one dies, or so I’ve been led to believe.”
“I know, isn’t it great?” Claudia exclaimed. She literally could not contain her excitement, as she bounced on the balls of her feet.
Everyone’s eyes swiveled to the doorway, where Peter Lattimer now stood, cup of coffee in hand. She didn’t think he had never called her by her full name, before. Always H.G.; never Helena.
“Hello, Pete,” she greeted. The last time she’d seen him, she had been quite certain that she was about to die. This was all quite strange, to put it mildly.
She wondered where Myka was, but couldn’t bring herself to ask, afraid that she wouldn’t like the answer.
Pete stepped closer, staring at her intently. Their relationship had never been an easy one – there had been hostility at first, followed by wary trust, then bitter anger, and finally, a sense of forgiveness. She wasn’t quite sure what to expect from him this time.
“I...” he began hesitantly. “I never fully trusted you, you know. And then I hated you, really hated you. Even more than for trying to end the world, I hated you for hurting Myka and taking her away from me. And let’s not even get into the whole fiasco with Kelly and Lizzie Borden’s compact. But...” He took a deep breath, running his hand through his hair. The doctor placed her hand on Claudia’s shoulder and led her from the room, understanding that Pete’s words were personal, meant for Helena alone.
Helena felt a rush of shame overtake her at the mention of her attempt on Pete’s life, but she swallowed it down. She remained silent, waiting for him to continue.
She closed her eyes and had nearly fallen asleep when Pete finally went on, his voice softer than she’d ever heard from him before, “But you saved my life. You saved all three of us. I know you pretty much did it for Myka, but that doesn’t take away from what you did. You were willing to die for us. You did die for us. I guess not permanently, but still. I’ll never forget that. So thank you, Helena. I didn’t think I’d get the chance to ever say that to you, but... Thank you.”
He reached for her hand, and though his touch was painful, she did not complain. Pete’s forgiveness, his heartfelt gratitude, meant more to her than she’d thought it would.
“Anytime,” she joked, before continuing more seriously. “You’re welcome.”
She smiled at him, still extremely confused by her own existence, but too tired and in pain to question it.
So with her battered hand resting between his larger one, Helena closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.
Myka woke up with a jerk.
Helena had apparently just kicked something and was now swearing softly under her breath. The inventor largely remained optimistic, but progress only moved in fits and starts. Apparently tonight was turning into one of frustration, rather than advancement.
Myka took that as her cue that it was time for them to get away for a little while.
She stood up from her chair, stretching out the crick in her neck, and looked at her watch. It was almost midnight.
“Don’t tell me that it’s time to leave,” Helena growled even before Myka reached her side.
Myka simply stared at her, hands on her hips and with one eyebrow raised.
Helena sighed, shoulders sinking. The one benefit that came from Helena’s singular focus on her work was the fact that lately she was often too tired to bother arguing with Myka.
Myka stepped forward and wrapped her arm around Helena’s back. “Come on,” she murmured softly, pressing a gentle kiss to Helena’s temple, “let’s go home.”
Helena followed without a fuss, only hesitating for a moment before climbing into the carriage that Charles had sent to wait for them. Myka didn’t once release her hold on the other woman.
The ride back was completely silent, but by the time they stood outside Myka’s bedroom, Helena was noticeably shaking. Although they hadn’t talked about it, Myka knew that Helena had nightmares, now. She knew how much Helena dreaded going to sleep.
“Well, good night, Myka,” Helena whispered, lowering her gaze to the floor as she moved to walk away.
Without really thinking about it, Myka found her hand shooting out and catching Helena by the wrist. “I...” she began, uncertainly, only looking at Helena out of the corner of her eye. “I could stay with you tonight. If you want, that is.”
Myka had been trailing after Helena like a lost puppy, these past weeks, but while they had spent most of their time together, any sense of intimacy had been completely missing. Myka felt a wave of insecurity wash over her, unsure of where they stood with one another; of whether her offer would be accepted or laughed away.
Helena merely stared at her, an inscrutable expression on her face.
After what felt like a very long time, Helena finally smiled. “Yes,” she replied simply, twisting her hand around to interlace their fingers. She walked backwards, pulling Myka along with her and continuing to stare deeply into Myka’s eyes.
Myka really had only meant for them to sleep in the same bed, so she could offer comfort if Helena’s sleep was once again troubled. But as soon as the door to Helena’s room was closed, she found herself pressed up against it, with Helena’s lips quickly latching onto her jaw and then trailing down her neck.
“Helena...?” she managed, once she’d recovered from her surprise.
Helena’s only response was to silence her by covering Myka’s mouth with her own. Myka knew this was a bad idea; Helena was broken, right now, and a rushed, desperate moment of passion wouldn’t solve anything.
Knowing it and doing something about it were two entirely different things, however.
Because this woman was like an addictive drug, Myka realized. One taste, and all she wanted was more.
Myka returned the kiss eagerly, pushing back with equal force. Maybe this was what Helena needed, after all, another way to keep her mind busy.
“Please,” Helena whispered, an urgent exhalation of breath against Myka’s lips.
“Please what?” Myka asked.
Myka pulled away, then, stopping to really look at Helena. She couldn’t see much in the darkness of the room, but moonlight flowed in through the window, illuminating half of Helena’s face and leaving the rest in shadow. It was a striking image, one that took Myka’s breath away.
“I need you,” Helena pleaded, and the sound was so desperate and damaged that it broke Myka’s heart.
“Okay,” she nodded, not even sure exactly what she was agreeing to. “It’ll be okay.”
Helena breathed in deeply and then surged forward, capturing Myka’s lips once again. Myka allowed herself to be pulled further into the room, and the two of them tumbled onto Helena’s bed. Helena quickly shifted positions so that she loomed over Myka, who understood that tonight Helena needed to be in control.
Their movements became increasingly frantic as they worked to rid themselves of all clothing. Myka wanted to slow things down, take their time, but Helena was having none of it. So Myka gave in, surrendering herself to Helena’s wild and feverish pace. It wasn’t like it was all that much of a hardship, anyway. The throbbing arousal that pooled low in Myka’s belly was evidence enough of that.
Helena was beautiful, relentless in her passion; an ever-moving current of electric energy. Myka tried to ground her, stroking her palms gently up and down Helena’s back, but the writer grunted in dissatisfaction, reaching to pull Myka’s hands away and pin them over her head.
Myka cried out and arched her back upwards when Helena first entered her, a white-hot surge of lust and emotion running through her. A deep purr of approval rose from the back of Helena’s throat in response, and she craned her neck down to swipe her tongue across Myka’s breasts, one at a time.
It didn’t take long before Myka was ready to explode, her soft moans rising in pitch. Helena buried her face in the crook of Myka’s neck, panting shallowly against Myka’s skin and pressing into Myka even harder, faster.
Myka’s orgasm crested over her and she froze with a strangled cry. Helena quickly released Myka’s wrists and wrapped her free arm under Myka’s back, holding her firmly until she collapsed back onto the bed.
They simply breathed heavily against each other for several minutes, and Myka moved her arms down to wrap loosely around Helena’s shoulders. Slowly, as if she might scare Helena off, Myka began to stroke her fingertips across the smooth skin of Helena’s back.
Helena allowed the touch at first, but she stiffened when Myka’s fingers began to grow more purposeful. Myka was nervous, but wanted nothing more in that moment than to reciprocate, to make Helena feel safe and loved.
“No,” Helena growled deeply. “Just you.”
“Helena, I want to,” Myka insisted, raising her hand to tenderly cup Helena’s cheek.
Clenching her jaw, Helena stared at Myka intensely. “No,” she repeated, softening the word by turning her head to kiss Myka’s palm. Her lips continued down Myka’s arm, and though Myka tried to protest, Helena maintained control, refusing to let Myka touch her, soothe her.
Myka’s muscles turned to jelly at Helena’s touch anyway, so she didn’t have much strength to fight back.
Helena stopped to kiss Myka on the mouth, hard, before her lips continued their descent. Myka’s heart rate jumped, as she realized what Helena was going to do.
Being with Helena like this was a revelation, and Myka’s hands instinctively reached down to tangle in raven tresses, her body feeling things she’d forgotten it were possible to feel. She bit her lip to keep from crying out too loudly.
They moved together seamlessly, quickly settling into a rhythm.
Myka lost track of everything else as her mind went into a prolonged state of oblivion, incapable of any thought beyond the primitive. Helena simply kept giving and giving, refusing to take anything back. It was a long time later when they finally fell into an exhausted sleep, a mess of sweaty skin and tangled limbs.
She didn’t know how long she slept, but it couldn’t have been very long before something woke Myka up, because the room was still dark. She reached to the other side of the bed, panicking slightly when she felt only the cool sheets.
Lifting her head, Myka quickly realized why she’d awoken.
Still naked, Helena sat at the very edge of the bed with her back to Myka, her arms wrapped tightly around herself and her pale body rocking minutely back and forth. Small, broken sobs escaped her throat.
Shaking off her fatigue, Myka scrambled to kneel behind Helena, dropping kisses onto her shoulder as she wrapped her own arms around the other woman.
“Shh,” she murmured soothingly. “I’ve got you. You’re okay. Let it out, I’ve got you.”
Helena stiffened at first contact, but then quickly melted back into Myka’s embrace, letting the curly-haired agent support her. Myka carefully pulled her backwards until they were once again lying down on the bed. Helena’s body continued to shake with quiet sobs, and a few tears slid down Myka’s own cheeks as well, but at least Helena allowed Myka’s soothing touch, allowed Myka’s soft whispers of comfort.
It must have been at least half an hour before Helena’s cries stopped, her breathing slowed, and her body became heavy in a way that let Myka know she’d finally fallen back asleep. Even then, Myka didn’t let go. She only held on tighter.
“So... how exactly did this happen?” Pete asked Artie, his voice low to keep from waking H.G. “I mean, I know weird things happen in the Warehouse – endless wonder and all that – but... She got vaporized by a freaking nuclear bomb, man. That’s not exactly something that people tend to survive.”
“Yes, well,” Artie stuttered, taking off his glasses to clean them, “contrary to popular belief, I don’t actually have the answers to everything.”
“Could the pocket watch have done this?” Leena asked, her eyes on H.G.’s hospital bed. “It brought back everything that was in the Warehouse and destroyed by the bomb... Maybe everyone too? Vanessa says that her burns are healing faster than normal; almost as if the artifact is still working on her.”
“Like it brought her back ‘half-baked,’ shall we say?” Pete laughed at his own joke but everyone else simply stared at him, causing him to quickly quiet down and purse his lips together. He still couldn’t stop himself from adding, “Ooh, I have a new mission in life! Get H.G. freaking Wells high!”
Claudia snickered in the background, even as she remained apart from the rest of them, sitting at H.G.’s bedside.
“Focus, people!” Artie exclaimed loudly, earning a chorus of “shhhhs!” from the other three.
Artie grumbled quietly to himself before continuing, “Okay, so, it’s possible that the pocket watch brought her back. Howev-”
“But you said it didn’t work on people,” Pete interrupted. “That’s what you told Myka, and that’s why she went into depressed mourning for months, until she was so sad that an artifact was actually drawn to her!”
“Yes, well.” Artie said again, clearing his throat. “I didn’t actually know if it worked on people or not, but I didn’t think that it did, and I didn’t want Myka to get her hopes up.”
“Dude, if you’d gotten her hopes up, then she’d actually be here right now, instead of hanging out in London – over a hundred years ago!” Pete stepped away and turned his back to Artie, exhaling as he ran his hand through his hair.
“Hindsight is always 20-20, Pete, you know that,” Leena chimed in softly. “If Artie had told Myka that H.G. might come back, but then she never did... It would be torture.”
Pete sighed. He knew Leena was right, but it was hard not to be frustrated. Still, he turned back and offered Artie a half-smile of apology.
“Okay,” Claudia went on, “so now what? However she got here, can we now use H.G. to get Myka back for good?”
“It’s possible...” Artie said, trailing off.
Pete sighed. “Yeah, but how?” Now he was the one trying not to get his hopes up.
Myka and Helena settled into a routine.
They would wake up, go to Warehouse 12, and on the days when there was no “curiosity” to chase after, Helena would work. Sometimes they holed up in Helena’s work room; sometimes Helena would send Myka to go find a particular book for her; some days they would instead simply walk through the aisles, methodically combing the shelves. Myka was never sure if Helena even knew quite what she was looking for. Once a day, Myka would force Helena to come outside with her and go take a walk somewhere to get some fresh air and clear their heads.
They didn’t actually talk much. To most people, Helena eventually seemed to act more like herself. She was relatively cheerful, optimistic about the future, charming as ever. With Myka, though, Helena let the front drop. She didn’t seem particularly sad, per se; just focused and intense.
Then at night, they would return to the Wells home. They spent every night together, now. Usually they would only sleep; Myka holding Helena close to try to keep the nightmares at bay. Often, Myka would wake up alone, finding Helena sitting quietly by the window.
On rare occasions, there would be more. Helena was still reluctant to receive any pleasure herself, but after that first night, Myka refused to simply be a passive recipient of Helena’s ardor; an object, rather than a subject. At least Helena didn’t cry afterward anymore.
It was a simple life, really. But in spite of the fact that Myka spent close to 24 hours per day at Helena’s side, it was also a lonely life. Helena just wasn’t there, wasn’t present, like she had been before. Helena was alive, but she wasn’t really living.
One night, Myka woke suddenly, not knowing why for half a second, before she noticed the tingling in her skin. She shook Helena awake.
“Helena!” she cried.
The other woman blinked sleepily at her, confused.
“I’ll be back for you, I promise,” Myka continued urgently. “Please take care of yourself! I-”
And then she was gone, the feel of Helena’s shoulders beneath Myka’s palms disappearing in an instant.
The transition was smoother than it had been the previous time, and Myka simply sighed as she opened her eyes to see the H.G. Wells aisle around her.
It was always good to be home – she really did miss Pete and Claudia and the gang an incredible amount – but she couldn’t shake the tight anxiety that coiled deep in her core. No matter how put-together she appeared to everyone else, Helena was not okay, and Myka couldn’t help but worry about how Helena would cope without her.
When she arrived at the stairs to Artie’s office, though, there was no one there waiting for her like usual. She walked up to the balcony and peered in through the windows to the office, but everything was dark. She tried the door, but it was locked. No one was there, she realized.
The Warehouse, which had always been a comfort to her, now took on a slightly eerie feel to it. This huge, vast, space, and Myka was the only living thing inside it. Maybe she could wish for a ferret to keep her company.
There was no way of knowing what time it was, so Myka simply waited on the balcony for a little while. She soon grew bored, though, and decided to wander through the aisles. She smiled fondly when she came across a stack of post-it notes which had been abandoned on one of the shelves. Then it gave Myka an idea, and she returned to the balcony, writing a quick message on the post-it and pressing it against the small window in the door.
She decided to go wait in the library. It was probably her favorite part of the whole Warehouse, after all. Myka wasn’t sure what to read; she thought about trying to find a Wells novel, but she had a feeling it would only make her feel melancholy. She smiled when her eyes fell to A Wrinkle in Time. It had been one of her favorite books growing up.
Myka had only read about twenty pages, when she fell asleep. No one came to find her, and some untold amount of time later, she was woken yet again by the now-familiar tingling sensation. It felt unfair, to come back but not see anyone. There was nothing she could do about it, though.
He squinted at it, adjusting the glasses on his face.
Myka was here. (I’m either in the library, or I’ve already disappeared again.) Love you all.
Artie hurried to the library, but all he found was a stray book lying open on a chair.
Continued in Part 9