Helena had adapted to life in the 21st century with surprising ease. Equal parts curiosity and tenacity, Helena took the world by storm, learning all she could pulling apart that which she could not. Myka did wish that this destructive side to Helena's education was less so, but even as Helena ravaged the third alarm clock (all Myka's, naturally), she could not bring herself to be cranky with such a delighted face of discovery.
Helena now knew how to operate every appliance in the B&B - often with far more proficiency than Pete, and Claudia had been giving her lessons on pop culture and the wonders of the internet. The latter had particularly enthralled the woman - who had taken to IM and online shopping like the proverbial duck to water.
Despite this, however, there were still a few Victorian eccentricities that clung fast and showed no intentions of abating. She still wrote her reports by hand, with pen and ink - a move appreciated by none but Arties. She still employed despite her often cheeky tone or intent, a more formalised mode of speak. And, to Myka's eternal surprise and frustration, she had continued her tendency to squirrel things away out of sight.
She had revealed the wall safe to Myka with a flourish and a grin, pulling on the lampshade on their bureau to activate the mechanism. The 'enhancement' to the room had been made with Leena's consent, she had said, and it didn't hurt for them to have some privacy should the need occur. In theory, Myka didn't entirely disagree, and when they used the small wall safe to secure Claudia's birthday cake she even applauded Helena's ingenuity. But Myka knew her little artificer well, and she knew it would not be long before her love of secrets and cleverly hidden things began to itch to the surface once more. And Myka wasn't entirely sure she would enjoy the outcome.
That mischievous glean to the eyes arose sooner than Myka would have thought and, what's more, was prompted by the most unexpected of events. Helena, they had learned had quite the sweet tooth, one which rivalled even Pete's - in degree if not volume. She had, of late, taken quite the liking to Myka's twizzlers - which suited Myka quite well as Helena had taken to buying them in bulk over a "delightful virtual auction house" to which Claudia had introduced her. The twizzler honeymoon period soon ended, however, when Helena reached for the jar only to find them empty. Again.
Leaving their bedroom, Helena found Myka curled up on the lounge, book in hand a red rope of candy dangling from her sugar-reddened lips. "Myka."
Myka's head rose very slowly, her eyes soaking up a few more words before she was forced to truly leave whatever world she was clearly immersed in. Her voice, when it came, was likewise distracted, and Helena fought to hold onto her frustration and not laugh at the adorable bookwormy face that Myka delivered so very well. "...yes?"
Helena just held up the empty jar that had once held her supply of twizzlers. Myka had the good grace to look guilty. Wincing slightly, she took the remaining twizzler from her mouth and held it, gummied edge and all, out to her. "Um… oops?"
Helena gave her an arched look and grabbed the twizzler from Myka's outstretched hand and spoke in a motherly tone that Myka had learned it wise not to point out. "That was NOT a good example of sharing, Myka."
And with that she was gone, leaving Myka twizzlerless and with the niggling feeling that she had not heard the end of this.
Helena was distracted over the next few days, the kind of distraction only perfected by the truly mischievous. She would slip away unnoticed, only the muffled sounds of hammering (and was that wielding?) wafting down the stairs to give her away. Finally unable to stand it any longer, Myka went in search of Helena and her mystery project.
Helena was kneeling beside her bedside table, her head and torso half buried in the cupboard. Her tools sat in a messy semi-circle on the floor around her and it made Myka smile - it always amused her that her tools were the only things Helena wasn't meticulous about.
Crossing the room, Myka sat on the edge of the bed, her knees brushing against Helena's shoulder, drawing her from her little cave. Myka looked down at her adoringly - how could she not? Helena had scraped her hair back from her face, haphazardly securing the silky locks with a pen. There was a large smear over one cheek, the grease so dark against the pale white of her skin. She clutched her wrench tightly as though afraid Myka would confiscate it - which, given her habit of tinkering, was a fair concern.
"What on earth are you doing now?" Myka asked.
Myka gave her an incredulous look. "Helena, you are capable of doing pretty much anything you put that incredible mind of yours to - but doing nothing is completely out of your skill base."
Helena looked mildly offended. "I -" She stopped. There was no point lying when Myka knew her as well as she did. "I had a project."
"Uh uh," Myka confirmed. "You usually do. I guess I should just be grateful this one didn't include explosives."
Helena didn't respond. Myka tried not to consider the fact that her silence meant explosives had indeed played some small part.
"So…" she continued. "What's it for?"
"Pardon, darling?" Helena asked guilelessly.
Myka gestured towards the cabinet-turned-safe. "What's it for? What is going in there?"
Helena's expression turned even more innocent - which was never (NEVER) a good thing. "Oh, nothing in particular, just things that need to be kept secure."
And with a pointed look in Myka's direction, Helena stood, brushing off her knees and leaving Myka alone with the safe.
In her defence, Myka did last a whole minute before descending on the safe. It was a long minute in which she spoke firmly to herself about privacy and boundaries and respect for property. But, just like Helena who was downstairs gloating, Myka knew full well that she couldn't resist a puzzle beneath her very nose.
Pete had learnt the hard way never to touch anything Helena had 'adjusted' before seeing her demonstrate it first. He had been burnt, pinched, and electrocuted more times than he could count. Myka had witnessed (and laughed at) most of these and so she was extraordinarily careful as she went about her exploration. There was no apparent locking mechanism on the cabinet door, but obvious latches weren't exactly Helena's style. Myka ran her fingers over the wooden moulding, twisting sightly as she went, looking for a hidden catch or turn. She was not disheartened when none of the moulding moved, Helena had, after all, constructed the safe to elude her and the pair delighted in stumping each other with puzzles of all kinds. There was a solution, and Myka would find it.
It was several hours later than Helena ascended the stairs to their room. She had pulled out all the stops on this one, building puzzle into puzzle, but even so, Myka was quite adept at challenges such as these and she had predicted that Myka would have arrived some time ago, adorably gloating expression firmly in place as she catapulted onto the lounge next to her to show off her hard-earned prize.
Pushing their door open, Helena fully expected to see Myka pawing away at the cabinet, her love of puzzles overriding even her frustration at being locked out. She did not, even for a second, expect to see an empty room. Myka wasn't one to give up, and as she hadn't appeared downstairs Helena was at a loss.
She peered around the door, searching for Myka in unlikely corners. Just as she was starting to think Myka must have slipped past her after all, she noticed the door of the cabinet safe gaping open. Moving to investigate closer, she heard Myka's sigh and spun around to find her.
Her voice, when it came, was from above, and Helena was, ironically, floored to see Myka sprawled on the roof above her.
"I don't even care," Myka declared around her mouthfuls of pilfered candy. "I got the twizzlers."
Helena shook her head and gave a gentle laugh. She hadn't thought Myka would be tripped up by the cavarite, but had included it as a failsafe to be tripped up by prying hands. It had done the job a little too well, it seems.
"You know, Helena," she said, tossing a twizzler down at her head. "Twizzlers really do taste better when they're yours."
Helena pulled the candy, sticky from the heat of Myka's hand, out of her hair and deactivated the cavarite. Falling swiftly from the ceiling, Myka landed squarely on the mattress with a loud 'ouff'. Helena climbed onto the bed and prised the remaining twizzlers from Myka's hands, dropping them on the floor next to the bed.
"Oh they do, do they?" Helena asked as she pulled Myka close.
Myka's expression turned decidedly wicked, so much so that Helena herself was a little in awe of it. "They really, really do? Care to see for yourself?"
And, with that, Myka swooped upon her with sweet, cherry flavoured kisses.
Helena decided that sharing her twizzlers was a very small price to pay after all.