Myka wakes to sunlight. Thick, warm and golden it pours through lacy curtains like molten amber, dust motes falling lazily in its embrace. Blinking away the last vestiges of sleep, Myka doesn’t need to look at the digital clock by the bed to confirm its well past the hour where she usually starts her day. Myka isn’t usually one to laze about in bed, a lifetime habit of waking alone coupled with her need to work, to have a purpose, led to Myka never really appreciating what could be appealing about sleeping in. At the moment, however, there’s not one single part of her that has any inclination to move.
That might be due at least in part to the other occupant of her bed.
Next to her, Helena sleeps on, unaware of Myka’s gentle scrutiny. Their bodies press close together, hips to knees to ankles, hair spilling together on the pillows. Helena sleeps on her back and Myka’s woken more than once wrapped around the other woman, head pillowed on Helena’s breast. She apparently didn’t do her limpet routine last night, but her hand rests below Helena’s breast where she can feel the slow, steady rise and fall of Helena’s breathing and the faint echo of her heartbeat.
Proof of life.
Proof Myka still desperately needs sometimes.
Propping her cheek on her fist, Myka struggles to blink away the sting at the back of her eyes as memory, unwanted and unbidden, rushes at her: The barrier rising, Helena’s breathless explanation, the raw emotion in dark eyes as she whispered, ‘Thank you,’ and then
Nothing but unbearable brightness behind Myka’s eyelids because she’d turned away, unable to watch Helena, her home, the destruction of everything she’d loved by fire. The images of destruction that flicker like shadows cast by those flames will be with her forever, Myka knows, no less visceral and painful for being only a memory.
But they are only a memory, one she can banish just by opening her eyes and thinking of another time, of other memories. Of the truth that the Warehouse stands whole again, of Helena standing in front of her, expression of confusion fading into awe and then joy, of Helena in her arms, the two of them clinging so tightly, as if they were drowning and their hold was the only thing keeping them from going under.
Even now, with the gentle proof under her hand and in her bed, Myka still feels like it’s not real sometimes, as if the memories of their success are just a lie, just a dream and she’s going to wake up from once more with the taste of ash burning in her throat and a scream clamoring in her chest.
Blissfully ignorant of the turmoil in Myka’s head, Helena makes a soft noise and settles deeper into sleep, leaving Myka alone to remember that day.
While the others celebrated with hugs and – in Pete’s case – a really awkward and unfortunate touchdown dance, and while from the moment the world steadied, Myka was unable to let Helena out of her sight, they were both quiet. Where the others were exuberant (Claudia actually cried) Myka held herself back, too close to the memories of wreckage and loss, still too afraid this would be taken from her again.
The way Helena kept glancing at Myka, the set of her shoulders and the hesitance in her smile suggested she felt the same. And yet they both refused to move more than a few feet from each other. At one point Artie sent the whole team through the Warehouse just to check that certain critical items and the Dark Vault where intact, that the insane gambit they’d tried had actually worked, and Myka reached out unthinkingly to take Helena’s hand. Only later when they were halfway through the stacks did she realize she still held it, slim warm fingers entwined with her own without either of the every saying a word.
Helena hadn’t shown any signs of wanting to let go. So Myka hadn’t.
The silence that filled Myka that whole day seemed so immense it was as if she just had no room for words anymore. They’d managed the impossible and saved the world and brought back their home and now she and Helena had a second chance. It was all too big, somehow, mere words utterly inadequate in the face of miracles.
Wonder was not a word Myka Bering used lightly, even after coming to the Warehouse. Wonder was grand, and bright and loud, embodied so perfectly by the cavernous, mysterious expanse of the Warehouse.
The day they brought Helena back, Myka looked into dark eyes, wrapped her fingers around Helena’s and pulled her close, flesh and blood, warm and alive and looking up at Myka with something that might be hope.
That was the image that came to mind whenever Myka thought of ‘wonder’ anymore.
Shaking her head at her own wandering thoughts, Myka looks down at Helena’s sleeping face. People always say someone looks younger in sleep but Helena doesn’t. The cut her of her cheekbones is just as sharp, dark brows just as slashing across pale skin, but she does look peaceful – still in a way it’s almost impossible to imagine her when she’s awake and the full force of that remarkable personality shines through.
Giving in to a bit of selfish desire, Myka reaches out to sweep a strand of sable hair off Helena’s cheek. She needs to see those beautiful dark eyes open and so bends down and brushes her lips across Helena’s. It can’t really be called a kiss it’s so light. Not yet anyway. Myka smiles and does it again. And again.
She’s rewarded with a soft noise from Helena, a quick intake of breath. Myka waits, smile tugging at her cheeks as Helena blinks, squinting at the sunlight, dark eyes unfocused and searching. A slender hand, careless with sleep, finds Myka’s and grips it gently while the other cups Myka’s cheek.
“Good morning.” Helena’s voice after sleep is raspy and low and it sends a twist of desire curling in Myka’s belly. She puts it aside though, banked for later. They have time now. Today, tomorrow, the next day. Myka looks at Helena looking back at her and sees a future in the way the morning light makes mahogany irises lambent.
“Good morning,” she whispers, kissing Helena once more.
The hand on her cheek shifts to cup the back of her neck and Helena kisses her back and oh. Oh yes. There are kisses and then there are kisses and this was very, very much the latter. Years of history and possibility and promise finally made real in the meeting of soft, soft lips, in the way Helena’s tongue traces Myka’s mouth and the teasing nip of teeth. One of them groans and the other grins and it becomes difficult to tell where Myka ends and Helena begins.
She’s not sure if she ever cares to find the distinction again.
Using a move Myka is pretty sure comes from her kenpo training (which, not fair?) Helena rolls them over, pressing Myka down into the bed and pinning her wrists.
“A very, very good morning,” she purrs, voice thick with desire now and eyes gleaming in challenge. It’s a challenge Myka answers with lips and hands and the numbers on the clock tick by unheeded as Myka and Helena slowly accept that this second chance is real.