The first time it happens, you dismiss it as simply being one of those things that always happens to Warehouse agents and try not to make a big deal about it. It's just an artifact, after all, there's no reason to get all worked up and freaked out. It's nothing, really.
Well, maybe not nothing. You and H.G. did sort of have sex. But no clothes were even removed, so it's not like it counts.
Okay, fine. You're an independent, not entirely heterosexual modern woman, you know what constitutes 'sex' is entirely up to those involved. And if you're not going to be a complete hypocrite and go by how you've always defined it in your head, then...
Mutual orgasms occurred.
Sex was had.
It's a weird story, really. So, just like any other story you have to tell from your time at the Warehouse, you suppose, but this is weird even by your standards. Artie was still pissed about H.G. being reinstated so had assigned you as her handler - a not unpleasant job, you admit, and certainly more fun than inventory - and put you both on cold case duty. You were never clear on why, exactly; the impression you'd gotten between his yelling about not wanting H.G. in his Warehouse and your indignation on her behalf was that he didn't trust her to be out in the field where she could 'take advantage.'
Take advantage of what, you didn't know. But whatever his logic, it left you in the ridiculously charming company of H.G. Wells, investigating the whereabouts of known artifacts that had gotten lost and looking into old reports of possible artifact-related incidents that had for whatever reason never been investigated. You'd taken the opportunity to teach her how to use the Warehouse computer system - and if you ever had any doubts as to her ability to adjust to the leaps technology had taken in the past century, the look of delight that crossed her features when you explained what the internet was and she basically reinvented Wikipedia in her musings on the possibilities for its use was enough to reassure you that she would thrive.
You should have known to never underestimate the imagination of an author. Certainly not hers.
H.G. had selected a file at random from the cold case database, which is how you presently find yourselves at a high school an hour outside of Boise whose 1987 prom had ended in, according to the official report, an 'unexplained outbreak of abnormal behavior' that had destroyed the gym. Students who had participated in the riot had nothing concrete to offer police at the time, other than the suggestion that something 'freaky' had happened, and they had felt out of control of their bodies. Though there had been no injuries, school officials had felt sufficiently wary of the entire incident to seal off the gym and leave it undisturbed for 23 years.
'Undisturbed,' in this case, meaning they used it for storage of what looked like every broken piece of furniture and out of date textbook they had ever needed to dispose of. Convenient for them, you suppose, but when combined with the fact that they never bothered to replace any of the long-since burned out light bulbs, makes for a rather treacherous search for whatever artifact had made its way into a high school gymnasium in the middle of nowhere Idaho. The light filtering through the partly painted-over windows near the ceiling is barely adequate enough to determine whether it's physics or algebra that you're stumbling over at any given moment, and if the muffled curses are any indication, H.G. isn't faring any better.
A faint crash followed by a surprised gasp interrupts your idle contemplation of a battered copy of A Separate Peace. You glance across the gym to find H.G. leaning on a decorated lectern near what appears to once have been the backdrop for the students' official prom photos, pressing a hand to her chest.
"H.G.?" Moving closer, you can just discern the muscles of her jaw working rapidly as she seems to struggle to breathe. "Hey, are you okay?"
She fails to respond and you close the distance between you with three long strides, shoving a rolling office chair out of your way and into a large pile of abandoned Norton anthologies. You come around the side of the lectern and lean toward her, one hand on its surface, reaching out for her with the other. "H.G., what-"
As your hand comes to rest on her back, several things happen in rapid succession:
You realize H.G. has discovered the artifact you've been looking for;
H.G.'s head turns sharply toward you, her eyes far more dark than the dimness of the gym would warrant;
You become acutely, painfully aware of every inch of contact between H.G.'s body and your own and the sudden charge that fills the air between you;
Finally, a brief moment of wonder for what would have caused a lectern of all things to become an artifact that makes you feel this flits through your mind, only to be discarded as wholly irrelevant almost as soon as it occurs to you.
You don't know who says it - speech becomes as irrelevant as thought as eager hands reach out to desperate bodies, tugging ineffectually at clothing and H.G. pushes you against the backdrop on the wall. Or maybe you pull her toward you but who cares, as long as she's there. She moans your name into your lips, your hands mirroring hers as they tangle in her hair, needing her to be closer. And hands... hands...
You need more hands. Two are simply not enough because when your legs fall into place just so you abandon her hair and seize hold of her ass - and holy fuck, you're grabbing H.G. Wells' ass, and you're pretty sure it's the nicest one you've ever encountered and when did you become an ass girl anyway? - and grind yourself against her thigh in what any remaining rational part of your mind would surely find a completely undignified manner.
Rationality has long since gone completely out the window though, and your only thought is that the friction of her jeans against the seam of your own (and all praise and glory be to whoever decided to put the thickest ridge of material in a pair of jeans there, because really, this is just glorious) needs to never, ever stop. You're dimly aware of H.G. mimicking your actions against your own thigh, and you imagine you'd probably hear the low sounds of pleasure that you can feel vibrating through her throat if she didn't have her hands clamped around your ears to keep your mouth in place as she tries to taste every inch of it.
It's not like you'd pull away if she weren't holding you there. But maybe you should. Maybe this is the sort of thing that would irreparably screw up your working relationship (because really, if this were Pete you'd - no, you are so not going there) and then who would she have to help her navigate this ridiculous screwed-up world of airplanes and computers and artifacts that make you dryhump each other into sweet oblivion -
And oh hey, you're dryhumping H.G. Wells to orgasm. And H.G. Wells is doing the exact same fucking thing to you. Maybe you should focus on that.
Or maybe you shouldn't have focused on that, because as soon as you do, as soon as you take note of her writhing muscles and desperate motions and the smell of her sweat and arousal, you're gone. You shudder against her, tearing away from her mouth and utterly failing to take the breath your lungs scream at you that they really rather need as your body spasms and your hands tighten their grip on her, having enough presence of mind to note that she needs just a little more, and you're nothing if not a conscientious lover.
You're rewarded with a gasping expulsion of air that whispers over your neck as she comes against you, and you feel the effects of the artifact fading away with the last of the waves fluttering through your abdomen. Her hands come to rest on your shoulders and it isn't until you've both spent an inordinately long amount of time trying to regain equilibrium that you realize yours are still resting where they really shouldn't be. You swallow thickly and clear your throat, unsure whether you should fling your hands away from her or leave them where they are so as to not draw attention to them.
You settle for trailing them lightly up her spine to come to rest in the middle of her back, which really has the opposite of success at lowering the unexpected intimacy of the moment. "H.G...."
She gives a rueful sort of laugh - a huff of air, really - and steps back, letting her hands trace down the length of your arms as they fall away, her fingertips momentarily brushing against yours. "I'm sorry, Myka."
The extremely disheveled state of your clothing catches your attention and you absently retuck your shirt, taking in H.G.'s demeanor with a keen eye. "It's not your fault."
"Perhaps not, but you deserve better than to be treated to the lascivious whims of an artifact." She sighs, turning away from you to glare daggers at the lectern in question if the resentment in her voice is any indication.
"Hey." You step up behind her, a hand rubbing her shoulder soothingly and you duck your head slightly to come to her eye level. "It's okay. We're Warehouse agents, these things happen." She glances sidelong at you and you give her a reassuring smile. "We're okay."
And, surprising as it is, you are okay. You imagine you should feel way more awkward and uncertain than you do, but for whatever reason, looking at her now, it simply fails to manifest. You watch her for a moment longer, indulging in the almost burning sensation of her skin under your hand, before a thought occurs to you and you frown.
"H.G., was that the first time you'd..." You make a vague hand gesture toward the wall. "Since you were debronzed?"
She crosses her arms over her chest. "Since... quite a while before being bronzed, actually."
Oh, crap. And there's the awkwardness you'd been missing, along with quite a heaping side of feeling like a particularly terrible human being. "Oh god, I'm so sorry, I didn't - "
She turns toward you, stilling your inarticulate gestures with a hand on your forearm. "Myka." Light dances across her eyes, and your breath most certainly does not catch at the sight of her smile. "It's all right. These things happen, remember?"
"Right." You stare at her, trying to gauge how much of her nonchalance is false bravado before concluding there's really just no way to tell with this woman and sighing, taking up her previous posture with your arms folded as you glare at the lectern.
H.G. follows suit, though her glare has taken on more of an air of amused consideration. "Well, it would seem that the mission has been a success, at least."
"I don't see how that would have caused the riot, though." With another sigh, you let your arms drop and hunt through your pockets for gloves.
"Perhaps the effect is magnified with the presence of more people."
"I guess if anyone can turn an artifact into a sex riot, it's teenagers at prom."
"Hormones were already running high, I imagine."
You blink, H.G.'s sage nod absurdly punctuating the moment as you become struck with the full reality of exactly what had just happened, and a strangled burst of laughter erupts from your throat before you bury your face in your hands. "Oh good god, there is no way I'm including this in my field report."
"The fact that an artifact caused us to rut against each other like adolescents?" She still sounds entirely far too amused.
Unable to reply, you merely nod your head, looking askance at her with your mouth and nose still covered in abject disbelief at what your life has become.
"I most wholeheartedly agree. It will, however, leave the question of how we knew the lectern was what we were looking for."
"I suppose breaking it and just pretending we couldn't find anything is out."
H.G. nods in acknowledgment when she sees you snap on your gloves, and starts clearing books and furniture off the floor for you to move the lectern. "It is in rather poor taste for a Warehouse agent to destroy an artifact."
You eye the lectern warily as you step up to it. It is covered in various decorations to fit the prom's theme, whatever it may have been, and though any one of them may be the actual artifact, you can't recall having touched them. "Then I vote we say we just started pouring neutralizer on things until we got sparks." A ghastly squeaking noise echoes through the gym when you push on the lectern, but at least its wheels still move.
"After narrowing down the list of test subjects to the likeliest candidates, of course."
"Right." A decent path has been cleared toward the nearest outside door, and you follow behind H.G. as she continues tossing debris out of your way. "We conducted a very thorough investigation into where the students were when they first experienced symptoms and worked from there."
"Hardly any tripping over school supplies in the dark involved at all, really." H.G. opens the door with a flourish, bowing slightly as you shove the lectern outside and flash her a grin.
The second time it happens, you don't realize it is the second time until hindsight strikes several weeks later. H.G. had selected another cold case at random, a report of the crowd having a little too much fun during a carnival in Crawford, Nebraska. Admittedly highly circumstantial evidence had led you to the home of a woman whose uncle had been involved with the planning of the carnival, and perhaps it's the lack of compelling evidence that leads H.G. to take to blithely picking up random objects in the basement barehanded, inspecting them idly as you follow close behind.
Of course, your inclination to be close to her has nothing at all to do with the all-too intoxicating presence of the woman. You have a good eye for detail, that's all. So when H.G picks up a smooth marble-sized stone and eyes it from all angles, you sidle up to her and think nothing of it. At least, until you become struck by an overwhelming desire to seize her by the shoulders and kiss her.
Then subsequently give in to that desire.
No thought runs through your mind as you press your lips against hers and they're exactly as hot and smooth and perfect as you remember, and after a brief moment of startled inaction from H.G. she responds eagerly and you pull her body closer against yours. Tongues meet, and fuck, if this isn't the most erotic kiss you've ever experienced you'll do inventory for a month. Someone moans, you feel H.G. move her hands between you, then -
A flash of sparks, and you pull away to find H.G. holding a neutralizer bag and looking flushed. "The missing piece of the Blarney stone, I imagine," she says breathlessly. "Contrary to popular legend, all it does is make people want to kiss whomever is holding it."
You resist the urge to lick your lips, willing your body to calm down. That explains the carnival, at least. "But the Blarney stone is embedded in a castle wall."
H.G. seals the bag and motions for you to turn around. Her breath dances across your neck as she unzips the messenger bag stuffed full of newspapers and town records slung over your shoulder and unceremoniously shoves the artifact inside. "This fragment became altered slightly when it was broken off. The attractive properties of the original stone are directed toward the stone itself. What other reason would people have for wanting to kiss a stone that thousands of other people have kissed before them, if it were not an artifact compelling them to do so?"
"Maybe they just believe the legend of magical flirting powers? Not everyone can be as charmingly British as you, you know."
"English, darling." H.G. circles around you, brushing her chest quite deliberately against your arm. She leans into your ear, and although a good two inches of space separate them, you swear you can feel the burn of her lips against your skin. "I am, in fact, devastatingly English."
Her boots thunk soundly against the concrete floor when she walks away. As you stare blankly after her, you utterly fail to consider that this might mark the start of a trend.