Summary: It’s all fun and games until your partner gets Benjamin Buttoned.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Myka is Pete’s favorite person.
Now, he would never, ever, tell her to her face because she’d probably punch him in the neck or something equally unnecessarily violent. But she totally is.
Admittedly, it took a while because in the beginning Myka was rigid and uptight and always so angry though Pete knows he didn’t help by being deliberately childish and infuriating but after a while everything kind of changed and it turns out that Myka is basically warm and gooey on the inside.
She’s smart and capable and between her fighting skills and her expertise with a sword, basically a ninja. She’s also a humongous nerd and kinda goofy and somehow a little unaware of how great she actually is.
Pete knows that he’s not the only one that appreciates Myka that way. Artie would never say it out loud but he’s caught him in total awe of Myka once or twice and Claudia sometimes follows her around like a puppy and as of late HG has become pretty charmed by Myka too.
And by charmed Pete means he’s pretty sure they’re getting it on.
Pete isn’t half as dumb as he lets people think he is and he’s well aware the goings on in the B&B and, more specifically, how its gone all If These Walls Could Talk 2 costarring agent Wells and his very own partner.
And he’s totally cool with it. Though it’s a bit weird because, on one hand, he’s all for ladies loving other ladies but on the other hand knowing where Myka gets her bread buttered is a little…disturbing. Especially considering it’s a 150 -year- old genius doing the buttering but also because its Myka.
Myka who punches him a lot but also laughs with him a lot too even when she‘s ‘mad‘ at him.. Myka who has the steadiest aim and a secret stash of Twizzlers somewhere in the Warehouse.
Myka who hasn’t told him about how she’s all gaga over HG Wells but doesn‘t have to because he‘s felt the electricity when they look at each other. Talk about uncomfortable.
Her secrecy isn’t surprising because Myka is private and does that thing where she keeps stuff deep inside of her and lets it fester until they explode free like a jack-in-the-box at the worst possible time. So, its only a matter of time before she tells him because the B&B isn’t that big and the walls aren’t that thick and he can only play stupid for so long especially considering all the homoerotic gazing that’s going on around him.
“Good morning, ladies.” Pete bellows as he walks into the kitchen, noting how Myka drifts away from HG where they were huddled near the coffee pot. Everyone is still in their pajamas, signaling that it is, in fact, a day off and Pete doesn’t miss the way HG glances down at Myka’s legs as she turns towards him in cotton shorts and a baggy hoodie.
“What’s goin’ on, Legs?” Pete laughs, scratching at his chest through his tee shirt.
“Legs?” HG laughs, stirring her own hot drink idly and Pete frowns at her, taking in her clothes and pointing.
“Yo, are those my pants?” He asks glancing down from his own checkered pajama pants and to the nearly identical, though blue instead of red, pair sitting loosely at HG hips and HG just shrugs, turning back towards her drink.
“Hey! What’re you so happy about?” Myka wonders, coming across the kitchen just to bump her shoulder against his while she cradles a steaming cup of coffee.
“It’s our day off! Freedom!” Pete bellows, pounding his chest dramatically and Myka grins at him. “The possibilities are endless! And not like the Warehouse’s endless possibilities that turn us into glass figurines or hosts for parasitic artifacts. I’m talking real endless possibilities. I’m talking Unlimited Taco Tuesdays over at Burrito Circus!”
“Burrito Circus?” HG asks with British curiosity and Myka just groans, letting Pete take her coffee from her hands and frowning at him when he takes a scalding sip and immediately burns his tongue.
“Don’t ask, Helena.” She says taking her coffee back and lifting the cup to her lips before heading towards the dining room and Pete and HG follow.
“Dude, Burrito Circus! Best Mexican food in all of Univille! All the tacos you can eat and they’ve got bottomless margaritas. Me and Claude usually go virgin because, ya know, drinking problem and underage but you senoritas are more than welcome to go loco.”
“Too much sugar.” Myka says and Pete rolls his eyes while touching his tongue burn.
The dining table is already set with breakfast and Pete dives into his chair, stacking chocolate chip waffles onto his plate while Myka and HG sit on either side of him.
“That sounds quite indulgent.” HG laughs through a grimace as she watches Pete douses his waffles with syrup until Myka reaches over and tugs the bottle out of his hands.
“Indulgent? It’s downright gluttonous. Right, Mykes?” Pete laughs, glancing at Myka who is looking at him like he’s ridiculous which is fine because that’s become her default facial expression around him and Pete’s grown to appreciate it. “So, are you guys in?”
“In what?” Claudia yawns, padding into the dining room in baggy pajamas and dropping down next to Myka who begins putting toast and eggs on the other girls plate. Claudia smiles her thanks before leaning her head on Myka’s shoulder.
“Pete would like to take in the Burrito Circus for their unlimited tacos.” HG offers helpfully and Claudia’s face lights up, completely awake now, before she sits up and grabs onto Myka’s arms, pleading expression already sliding into place.
“Mykes, please, please, pleeaassee say you’re in.” Claudia whines and Myka laughs a little, eyes glancing across the table to HG who is watching the whole scene with a smirk.
“It does sound like quite the adventure.” HG says with a shrug. “I’d be interested in finding out what all the excitement is all about.”
And just like that Myka caves with a roll of her eyes. “Ugh, fine! But Pete’s buying.”
“I’m sorry, what was that?” Pete sputters around a mouthful of syrup and buttery waffle.
“Yes! This is gonna be so much fun.” Claudia squeals.
“What’s gonna be so much fun?” Leena asks, walking into the room with a smile.
“Unlimited Taco night.” Myka says and Leena smile turns into a wide grins. “And I don’t care what you say, you’re coming too. I won’t be left alone with the three of them.”
“I beg your pardon.” HG declares but is promptly ignored as Artie hustles into the room suddenly, clothes disheveled and a stack of folders in his arms that cause everyone to groan loudly.
“Yes, well, its nice to see you all too.” He grunts, dropping the files on the table and Pete scrambles to keep his glass of orange juice upright. “And whatever plans you have today, cancel them. We’ve got a ping.”
“But its our day off.” Claudia grumbles and Myka elbows her when Artie looks up at her over his glasses.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Should I ask the lunatic running around and using Ponce de Leon’s bota bag to wait till tomorrow to make another person regress in age until they eventually disappear into oblivion because my agents are supposed to be off today?”
“No.” Pete says glancing around the table, “I think I speak for everyone when I say that wont be necessary.”
“Find anything?” Myka calls, walking back into cluttered living room of one Jerry Renteria, a garbage man that somehow happened upon Juan Ponce de Leon’s bota bag that was rumored (but maybe, possibly, probably) to have held water from the Fountain of Youth. According to Artie there was some magic juju that imbued the bag and now liquid from the water bag makes people become younger and younger until they just cease to exist.
“Besides 20 years worth of Playboys?” Pete says, lifting a stack of yellowing magazine and Myka scrunches up her face. “And an eviction letter saying that Mr. Renteria has not been paying his rent-eria? Nope. You?”
“Nothing.” She says, pulling off her neutralizing gloves and stuffing them into her jean pockets before pulling out the Farnsworth. “And you know, the irony of a man who is supposed to clean up garbage, living in a complete dump of an apartment, is not lost on me. I’m gonna check in.”
Pete sifts through the junk on the coffee table some more, picking up a metal slinky and when he turns excitedly to show Myka, she’s wandered into the kitchen, talking in soft tones to who Pete assumes must be HG.
She finishes her conversation and walks back towards him, stumbling over what appears to be a Thighmaster. “HG says she and Claudia came up empty too. We should head back to the hotel and regroup.”
“Hey, Mykes, wait up…” Pete starts, rubbing a hand over the back of his head while Myka blinks at him expectantly. He really doesn’t want to have this conversation in a some guy’s hoarder apartment but he also can’t help feeling weird about Myka having this thing going on with HG and not telling him. He doesn’t want to force the topic but it can’t hurt to awkwardly offer her the opportunity to tell him. “Listen, you and I are friends, right? Because-”
Whatever Pete is about to clumsily say is stopped by the creak and screech of the living room window being jerked open and their suspect throwing one leg inside from the fire escape. There’s a beat where everyone freezes then the guy is darting back out onto the fire escape and Pete and Myka are giving chase.
“Uh oh.” Pete exhales as he skids around the corner of the building and into the dead-end alley, soles of his shoes sliding on gravel and he nearly hits the sidewalk face first but his hands against the pavement keep him more or less standing.
The suspect is in a crumpled heap on the ground, electricity still crackling along his limbs and Myka still has the tesla clutched in her hand but the other hand is wiping at the wetness on her face and neck in disbelief. The front of her light blue blouse is darkened with moisture and Pete feels his gut tighten.
“Uh. Oh.” Pete breathes again, coming up beside Myka who turns to look at him with wide, panicked eyes. “Is that?”
“Yeah, it is.” Myka says, voice going strident and Pete sets his jaw. “Damn it.”
Pete stalks over to the unconscious man, pulling on a pair of neutralizer gloves and opening a static bag before stooping down and scooping up the bota bag.
“We’re gonna figure this out.” Pete says tightly after neutralizing the artifact and Myka is watching him with wide, terrified eyes as she holsters her gun. “We’re gonna figure this out.”
Pete’s head makes a hollow sound as he knocks it back against the wall, his legs outstretched in the hallway as he gazes at his own bedroom door.
Pete is very angry.
He’s angry because Artie has no idea how to stop the stupid artifact even though Artie is supposed to have the answers to stuff like this. He’s angry because Claudia is searching and searching through files in the system and even though she’s a computer whiz, she can’t find anything either. He’s angry because Dr. Vanessa can only observe Myka and not actually do anything. He’s angry because HG looks as lost as he feels.
The bedroom door opens at Pete’s right and he tips his head enough to take in Myka’s fluffy green socks, the one’s Claudia knitted her for her birthday last year.
“Aren’t you worried about cracking it?“ The door closes beside and he doesn’t bother looking up until Myka’s long legs stretch out beside his and he can feel her looking at him. “The wall I mean. Though, it wouldn’t be the first thing that your hard head has broken.”
Pete smiles a little, glancing at Myka who looks feverish with color high in her cheeks and her hair messy. She’s dressed down in sweats and Pete notices the shivers rattling her limbs. “Hardy har har.”
“Hey, I’m not the funny one.” Myka shrugs, resting against the wall with a sigh like she‘s just so tired. She’s supposed to be in bed per Vanessa but Myka has always done what she wanted when it really came down to it. “So, why the self inflicted brain damage?”
“Mykes, you’re my best friend.” Pete says and Myka smiles, lips colorless and green eyes glassy with fever and Pete is struck, not for the first time since Myka turned around with wet skin and wide eyes, how much he does not want her to disappear.
“And you’re mine.” She says easily, leaning over and resting her head on his shoulder. “And I know you’re worried.”
“And scared.” Pete interrupts timidly, glancing at her quickly. “I’m a little scared.”
“It is scary.” Myka admits quietly. “But we have time. At least a little bit and we’ll figure this out. We can do this. But I‘m gonna need your ‘A‘ game, Lattimer because you do not want to know me as a teenager. ”
Pete nods solemnly, turning his face to press his lips to her forehead and her skin is on fire. “You got it.”
Myka releases a long exhale and Pete mimics it. “I’ve got a secret. I figure my imminent death is a good enough reason as any to tell you right now.”
“I would agree.” Pete laughs and Myka chuckles lightly for a moment. “Tell me your secret.”
“Helena and I are...doing things.” Myka starts quietly and Pete only hums in acknowledgment.
“Things that...break every single fraternization rule in the handbook.” Myka continues. “And a few on Warehouse etiquette.”
“There’s a handbook?!” Pete exclaims and Myka looks up at him with a tired grin. “And yeah, I know. I’ve got eyeballs, Mykes. You guys’ have so much sexy tension that i’m genuinely concerned that I’ll get pregnant just by being in the same room as you two and when you’re not whammied we’re definitely gonna talk about this some more. Specifically, the fact that you just admitted to getting naughty in the Warehouse.”
Then there are footsteps on the stairs and HG appears on the landing, looking concerned and drained as her eyes lock onto Myka. “I hope I’m not interrupting.”
“Uh oh. Mom’s here.” Pete mutters near Myka’s ear and she chuckles lightly, lifting her head to gaze up HG as she comes closer.
“Myka, darling, you’re supposed to be in bed.” HG says, crouching down in front of Myka. A hand comes up to cradle her face, thumb sweeping over a flushed cheek. Pete’s not stupid and when the air does that thing where it gets heavy and electric around the two of them he knows it’s his cue to exit stage right.
“Alright, I’m off to the Warehouse to find something to unwhammy Myka before she tries to Benjamin Button her way out of unlimited taco night.” Pete says, standing and stretching.
“I wouldn’t dream of it.” Myka says, looking up at him and he nods. “Thanks Pete.”
“Thank me when the threat of you turning back into a child is no more.” He declares and Myka grins at him tiredly before he turns and heads for the stairs.
When he glances over his shoulder, HG is leaning over Myka, forehead resting against hers while they talk quietly and he takes the sight in with a deep breath before jogging down the stairs.
Pete expects to find a solution before Myka changes because things have a certain way of working out when it comes to the Warehouse…well sometimes… Because the Warehouse is supposed to be filled with just as many answers as it is questions.
But there’s nothing and a vibe that hits him like a sledgehammer has him speeding away from the Warehouse, back to Leena’s and he’s sprinting up the stairs in the B&B empty handed as he follows the sound of broken screams.
“What’s going on?!” He cries, reaching the 2nd floor and nearly tripping over Claudia, who’s on the floor, hands to her ears and rocking back and forth while Leena hovers beside her, arms folded and face creased deep with fear.
Leena lurches forward and says, “Pete, its Myka” just as Myka’s bedroom door kicks open and the screams get so loud that Pete flinches before charging towards the noise even as Artie bodily forces HG out of the room.
“You have to do something!” HG screams and she looks wild and feral and like she’s about a nanosecond away from punching Artie’s glasses clean off of his face.
“What’s going on?!” Pete yells again, voice cracking and HG looks at him so helplessly that his stomach turns in on itself. “Myka?”
“Pete, wait!” Artie bellows as he shoves passed him, grasping at his arm but Pete brushes him off easily, pushing into Myka’s bedroom.
The sight of her, soaked in sweat and writhing helplessly on the bed as awful, broken sounds rattle past her lips makes his blood go cold with fear. He hesitates for a second before stumbling over to the side of the bed, opposite of where Vanessa is hurriedly readying something in a syringe.
“Help her.” Pete blurts dumbly, falling to his knees beside the bed and Myka gasps blearily up at the ceiling, green eyes bright and unfocused.
“I am. I am.” Vanessa says more to herself than to him as she pulls another vial from her doctors bag.
“Mykes. Mykes. I’m here.” Pete says loudly, taking Myka’s hand and her fingers tighten like a vice around his before she curls towards him on her side, a sickening sound rising from her chest. “Hang in there.”
“It hurts.” She manages, hair plastered to her sweaty, pale face and pupils blown wide open. She makes another pained noise that drowns out the sound of HG and Artie arguing.
“Can…can you put her out or something? She-she‘s like….” Pete says louder than he intends but fear is making his heart pound and everything in his chest really tight.
“Just give me a moment.” Vanessa says tapping the body of the syringe over and over. The needle looks very long and very sharp and Pete winces.
Myka groans then cries out and the arguing in the hall stops abruptly while her nails dig into his hand and break the skin. There’s a scuffle behind him and then HG is dropping down beside Pete so they’re shoulder to shoulder and she can smooth her hand over Myka’s fevered forehead.
Myka’s hazy gaze wanders from Pete to HG, brow creased in a grimace that HG attempts to smooth out with her fingertips. “I’m here, Love.”
“Can one of you hold her still?” Dr. Vanessa asks and Pete nods, gently coaxing Myka onto her back and holding her shaking arms down while HG whispers words he can’t hear right into her ear. He locks eyes with Myka, leaning over her the way he is and he gives her a reassuring nod as Vanessa plunges the needle into the soft crook of her arm.
Pete sits at the side of her bed, watching quietly as she moves around her room, movements sharp and efficient, while rubbing at the pink crescent cuts in the back of his hand.
“How’re you feeling?” Pete asks for what may very well be the millionth time if Myka’s face is any indication, all pinched and irritated.
“Fine, Pete.” She says tightly, running a brush through her hair carefully in an attempt to tame it. Pete will admit that he’s not the most observant guy on the planet but he can’t help but notice that Myka’s hair is a little lighter, a little longer.
It’s not the only thing, though. Myka doesn’t look all that different but she isn’t the Myka that Pete has come to known who’s hips tend to cock one way or another depending if she’s annoyed with him or just amused. This is kinda like the Myka he first met in that museum all those years ago, she’s rigid and uptight and Pete watches as she pulls a black suit jacket over a white button down shirt.
“I’m not trying to bug you Mykes, but I’m worried and who can blame me? Just a few hours ago you were curled up in a sweaty, feverish ball and now you’re all..” He trails waving a hand at Myka and she frowns at him.
“All what?” She hisses and Pete clears his throat, picking up the teddy bear resting on the pillows and tossing it towards the foot of the bed before lying back on the mattress but he thinks better of it when he can feel Myka’s eyes burning into his flesh
“Uh, nevermind. So, how old do you think you are?” Pete asks, swinging back into a sitting position as Myka pulls her hair back into a low ponytail. He’s momentarily distracted by Myka’s hand quickly banding her hair because sometimes chicks are wizards. “Like, you don’t look that much different…maybe a few less wrinkles.”
“So, I‘m usually wrinkly?” Myka asks, frowning deeply and Pete shrugs.
“I’m sure Pete was only joking.” HG says, walking into the room through the open doorway and Pete notes the way Myka’s attention shifts, her body turning to open towards HG who lingers by the door.
“I wasn’t.” Pete pipes up, trying to situate himself within the now peculiar atmosphere.
“I think I’m around 26 or 27 years-old.” Myka says turning to glare at Pete again.
“How can you be so sure?” HG asks, crossing the room to sit beside Pete on Myka’s bed. She picks up the teddy bear that sits crumpled at the footboard and settles it into her lap absently.
“After Sam died. After I was reassigned to D.C., I got a tattoo on my ankle.” She says, pulling up her pant leg to reveal smooth, unblemished skin. “It’s not there anymore.”
“Okay, first things first.” Pete declares clapping his hands together before pointing at Myka. “Put that thing away before you scandalize HG and her Victorian propriety You know how they were about ankles in the olden days..”
HG whips around to glare at him and Pete holds up his hand innocently even as Myka rolls her eyes and drops her pant leg. “I’ll have you know…”
“And second…” Pete continues loudly, standing and turning to look down at an amusingly flustered HG. “Have you guys found anything yet?
“Nothing substantial.” HG murmurs, running a frustrated hand through her hair before glancing apologetically.
“You mean nothing that wont kill me.” Myka says, folding her arms over her chest.
“Unfortunately.” HG confirms and Pete nods.There’s a beat of silence where Myka and HG just stare at each other and Pete has the distinct urge to fling himself out of the nearest window but instead he clears his throat loudly.
“Alright and since Myka dying or becoming extinct is off the table. I’m gonna head over to the Warehouse.” Pete says, clapping his hands together loudly again.
“Wait, so you’re leaving?” Myka sort of yelps, finally looking away from HG’s admittedly dreamy eyes and Pete’s eyebrows shoot to his forehead. He looks at HG who looks a bit confused and Myka who keeps glancing nervously from Pete to HG and back again. Realization dawns on Pete quicker than anyone would ever give him credit for. “I mean, I can go with you.”
This is Myka post-Sam but pre-D.C.. This Myka is full of guilt and remorse and surrounded by an impenetrable force to protect her soft, broken parts. But this is also Myka who has always had a lot of feelings for HG, who is the only person Pete’s ever seen break Myka’s defenses down so easily.
“Maybe, I-I uh…should go too because, ya know, I could help…and-and.” Myka mumbles.
“Oh,” Pete grunts, glancing at HG who is watching Myka very carefully. “Oh, yeah, sure. Hey, how about we all go? Gather up all of our man power so we can solve this puzzle and get Wrinkles over here back to the age she’s supposed to be.”
Myka looks grateful for a moment before nodding and walking out of the room. HG pushes both hands through her hair before standing, teddy bear tumbling to the floor. “She’s a joy, isn’t she.”
“You have no idea.”
Myka is roughly twenty-seven for three days.
On the third day she falls ill just like before.
“Would you stop that?” HG snaps but she sounds exhausted and anxious and Pete stops pacing the hall outside of Myka’s bedroom long enough to hear the pained sounds through the wood.
HG winces, runs her hands through her hair before heading for Myka’s door.
Pete watches her go before turning and heading down the stairs, set out for the Warehouse again with Myka’s screams in his ears.
Myka is a sight to behold at twenty-one years-old.
Not that she’s not appealing or whatever when she’s ten years older because even though Myka is like his sister, Pete still has fully functioning eyeballs and he’s well aware of what Myka Ophelia Bering is working with.
But Myka at twenty-one is something else completely. This is Myka before tragedy and soaked in freedom with her father’s expectations a distant thing. She’s fresh faced and long limbed and constantly smiles that bright, crooked smile that she usually reserves for surviving life and death situations or when someone makes her tea just the way she likes.
“Dude…” Claudia whispers, leaning close to Pete while he looks over a file on Daimyo’s Ox wheel.
Pete lifts his head to see HG blushing while Myka speaks quietly with her. Which is…yeah, Myka is totally flirting with HG.
It’s not half as subtle as it is when Myka is her normal self, with those soft smiles and lingering looks. Right now, she’s sitting too close to HG and Pete knows what that look in her eyes is. Hell, he’d thought he’d perfected that whole smoldering thing but Myka is currently putting him to shame and if the way HG keeps subtly adjusting her collar is any indication, she’s not as cool, calm and British as she’d like to think.
And the best part of this whole thing is that its happening in front of Artie who is hunched in front of his computer and looks like he’s about to blow a gasket.
“The Ox wheel is a bust.” Pete declares loudly, drawing everyone’s attention and Claudia snickers. “Unless Myka doesn’t mind torture.”
“She does.” Myka offers, turning away from HG who looks almost grateful. “I was thinking that maybe instead of looking for something that will hopefully age me up to the appropriate age, we should be looking for something that, kind of, sets me back where I’m supposed to be. You know, universe wise.”
Pete is pretty impressed that Myka has been able to come up with that theory since he thought her mind had been entirely focused on HG.
“That’s actually…” Claudia trails off, hoping to her feet and heading toward the computer where Artie is tapping away at the keys.
“No. no. no. We-we have to…” Whatever Artie is about to argue is lost when Claudia nudges him and his rolling chair out of her way so she can get to the computer.
“I think you may be correct.” HG says and Myka beams at her.
“Yeah?” Myka asks lowly, a single eyebrow arching slightly and Pete rolls his eyes, standing to rifle through some files. He’d read something about Chinese magnets or something the other day…
“It would make sense to use an artifact that, instead of attempting counteract the way you’re slipping backwards in time, actually places you where you’re supposed to be.” HG murmurs and Myka smirks before turning expectantly towards Artie.
“We’ll explore all the possible options.” Is all Artie mumbles and Myka throws a reckless grin towards Pete that he returns. He glances down at his watch, just as his stomach rumbles loudly before sighing.
“Alright, I’m going to head back to Leena’s and pick up lunch.” Pete says, standing and stretching.
“We’ll help.” Myka says, glancing at HG who kinda looks like she’s being made an offer she can’t refuse.
Pete isn’t trying to eavesdrop. It just happens.
One second Pete is splashing water on his face in the bathroom and mentally running through a list of possible artifacts and the next, there are voices in the hall outside of the bathroom.
He wipes his hands on his jeans and turns towards the door, peaking out to see Myka and HG huddled in the hallway. Pete is about to announce his presence when Myka moves and literally pins HG to the wall with her body.
HG’s eyes are shut, brow furrowed like the conflict happening inside of her is physically painful while Myka, with her long hair and freckles, buries her hands in HG’s dark hair and presses close.
“Myka. Don’t.” HG says through clenched teeth, even as her hands fumble gracelessly at Myka’s waist and Myka says something that Pete can’t hear, mouth moving against HG’s ear and the flush that rises into HG’s face is an unfamiliar sight.
Pete isn’t a pervert, really, no matter what anyone else says and when Myka smirks against HG’s cheek, HG turning blindly to press her mouth to Myka’s , Pete ducks back into the bathroom and flails helplessly even as he mentally high fives twenty-one year old Mykes.
He waits for more voices or a door shutting or something so he can scurry down stairs but instead there’s a thud and a moan that Pete is positive is HG. Pete peaks out the door again just in time to see Myka yanking HG’s shirt out of her slacks before tugging at her belt and he manages to suppress a yelp and dive back into the safety of the bathroom.
He paces the bathroom for a moment, thinks about flushing the toilet and pretending he’d just been dropping the kids off at the pool but he decides against it because maybe Myka and HG deserve this moment.
So instead Pete stuffs a couple of cotton balls into his ears so he can only hear his own breathing before pulling one of his comics from the stash he keeps under the bathroom sink and hopping into the empty bathtub.
He’s not sure how long he hides in the bath but suddenly the door opens and HG walks in shakily, turning on the faucet and scrubbing her hands before she even realizes he’s stretched out in the empty tub.
“Hey.” Pete offers dumbly when HG’s finally realizes he’s there, digging the cotton from one ear.
“Hello.” She says quietly and her hair is a mess and there’s a freaking hickey painted right on her throat and he gives his partner another mental high five. “I didn’t…she‘s very…”
“I heard nothing hot. I saw nothing awesome.” Pete declares, holding up his comic and HG nods, turning off the faucet.
Myka is 21-years old for three weeks and in that time there’s not a lot of progress made.
“Pete…” Myka sighs and Pete pushes her sweaty hair out of her face. “I feel like somebody microwaved me.”
“I know.” Pete whispers and continuous to feel so helpless as he presses a cool, damp, towel to her forehead.
“This is the worst part.” She shudders then winces and Pete glances up at Vanessa who is moving quietly on the other side of the room.
“I know, Mykes.” Pete says again. “We’re gonna find something to stop this. We’re getting closer, I can feel it.”
Myka grimaces again, curling in on herself and Pete takes her hand in his.
“I went through a phase when I was a teenager.” She whispers, mouth flickering into a smile and Pete laughs a little.
“A phase?” She nods slightly, shivering suddenly.
“Yeah. I was…not a very happy person.” She admits and Pete nods a little. “I thought we’d find something before I regressed to that age but…”
“It’s okay, Mykes.” Pete says and Myka licks her lips, shuts her eyes.
“I wasn’t an especially happy kid.” Myka says and Pete nods.
“It’s okay.” Pete says again, watching her wince in pain. Vanessa appears above both of them and Pete slides out of the way just a little, giving Myka his most reassuring smile before Vanessa eases the need into her flesh. “Hey,”
“Yeah?” Myka croaks, eyes going glassy as the contents of the syringe hit her blood stream and Pete smoothes his hand over her forehead.
“What’s it like to bang the father of science fiction?” He murmurs and Myka loses consciousness with a breathless laugh.
Pete watches Myka from across Artie’s office. She's all long, awkward limbs and curious eyes and Pete can't help but think that in another time or place, where she wasn't being crushed by her father's expectations and he wasn’t so busy being left behind, the two of them would've been friends even way back then.
Pete rubs at the back of his neck, trying to relieve the stress pooling at the top of his spine but its useless because there’s no way he can relax with Myka’s life slipping through his hands.
This time was different than before. She remembered Pete, Claudia, Artie and HG but lost track of who Leena was.
Vanessa had warned them that the more Myka regressed, the more things, people, concepts, knowledge, she would lose. Somehow that hadn’t prepared any of them for when Myka had emerged from her bedroom, dressed in oversized pajamas and so fresh faced that Pete is sure she’s somewhere around sixteen and timidly asked who Leena was.
Pete made the introductions and Myka had flushed so bright red that it looked like she might’ve just keeled over then and there.
"I'm sorry." She said apologetically before thrusting her hand out towards a stricken looking Lena. "I'm Myka, it's nice to meet you."
Overall, she's still Myka. Still smart and still kinda uptight but she's also goofy and clumsy.
"She was a quite uncoordinated teenager wasn't she?" HG murmurs beside Pete as they watch Myka attempt to carry an armload of books across Artie's office. Pete winces a little when her feet catch against the shabby rug and everything goes flying before she makes it to the table where Artie is hunched over his desk.
"Uncoordinated is putting it nicely." Pete says, watching her drop to her knees and pick up the books. "She's like nerdy bull in a china shop"
“She’s still quite lovely nonetheless.” HG frowns before looking down at her file again and Pete bristles a little. Look, he knows things were different back in olden times, specifically when it came to, like, age of consent and what not. And sure, HG has made it a point to be up to date with modern societal sensibilities but just in case…
“Look, HG, I know that Myka has been kind of, uhm, rocking your world as of late…” Pete starts awkwardly, glancing at HG out of the corner of his eyes and the incredulous expression on her face makes him stare down harder at the open file on Amelia Earhart’s compass. “I mean, I know you guys haven’t made any grand announcement or anything but-but Mykes kinda told me and besides, I’ve got great eyes and pretty decent ears and after what happened the other day…”
“Pete, whatever you’re going on about…please do stop.” HG bites out quietly and Pete winces but continues, glancing over at Myka .
“Look, all I’m saying is that nowadays we’ve got rules about age and stuff so you and Mykes, ya know, doing your thing now wouldn’t…uh, wouldn’t be very...very kosher.”
HG chuffs out a laugh that lets Pete know he’s being anything but actually funny before standing. “Don‘t be crass. I‘m well aware that she is a child and will have no trouble controlling myself, thank you very much.”
“Roger that.” He grunts as HG moves away from him and towards Claudia at the computer. Pete watches Myka watch HG move across the room and he knows puppy love when he sees it. Myka watches HG lean over Claudia’s shoulder, eyes flashing for just a moment before standing and carrying the books over to Artie.
Pete thinks its funny that teenaged Myka looks at HG the same way regular Myka does, all repressed longing soft in her eyes.
“I, uh, maybe some of this stuff will-will...” Myka starts, setting the books down and Artie only glances at them for a moment before waving her away.
“What? No. No. I-I know what i’m looking for and that...that is not...” Artie trails off, turning back to the files spread out in front of him and Myka shifts uncomfortably.
“No. I know, but, the-the lodestone in-in...”
“Myka! Please!” Artie barks in that way that he does and Myka stiffens while Artie deflates, pulling his glasses off and rubbing at his eyes. “I’m sorry. Just...I’m busy..”
“Hey Mykes, get over and help an old man out. And bring those books with you.” He calls and Myka stares at Artie for a beat before she rolls her eyes and scoops up her books.
Myka is the most melancholy teen Pete‘s ever seen which is sad in a way that hurts Pete to the bone. Pete watches as she dumps the books and slumps into the chair across from him, crossing her arms on the table and burying half her face in the crook of her elbow.
He’s getting close to something,there’s a vibe thrumming through his bones almost constantly and he picks up the book on lodestone while Myka’s sits across from him, thin arms folded on the table and chin resting on the intersection of her wrists.
“She’s his favorite, isn’t she.” Myka says softly and Pete follows her gaze to where Claudia and now Artie are hunched over the computer across the office.
HG disappears down into the warehouse and when Pete turns back to Myka, her gaze has shifted to watch her go.
“Naw,” Pete sighs, rubbing at his neck and smiling tiredly as Myka looks up at him expectantly. “Artie hates everyone.”
“Not Claudia.” Myka murmurs so forlornly that Pete can barely stand it. “Not you.”
“Not you either.” Pete points out and Myka shrugs, reaching out to play with the edges of a manila folder.
“But he doesn’t like Helena.” Myka whispers, cutting her eyes at Artie and Pete’s a little taken aback by the anger in her voice. “He’s kind of a jerk.”
“He and HG just have a complicated relationship.” Pete sighs, watching Myka bend the corner of the folder and he knows that regular Myka would not appreciate that kind of fiddling.
“He’s still a jackass.” Myka murmurs and Pete chokes out a surprised laugh even as Myka’s mouth turns upwards for the first time since she emerged smack dab in the most awkward phase of her life.
“Mykes, c’mon.” Pete laughs quietly and Myka rolls her eyes but smiles anyway.
“He won't even let me help and I’m the one days away from being wiped off the face of the planet.” Myka bites out and Pete winces, rubs at his jaw.
“He loves you Mykes. He’s just weird about showing it.” Pete sighs and Myka scrunches up her face, glancing at Artie who gives them both a quizzical look.
“I’m gonna go find Helena.” Pete nods, watching her shuffle towards the door that leads into the Warehouse.
“Don’t touch anything!” He calls and Myka gives him an incredulous glance over her shoulder that is very familiar.
Hours later Pete finds them in the Warehouse library, HG settled onto a crate and Myka sitting cross-legged at her feet. HG is reading from an old, weathered book and Myka is watching her with hearts in her eyes.
“Mykes, dinner is ready.” Pete calls, breaking the quiet atmosphere and Myka glances glumly at Pete.
“I have to?” She asks and Pete holds up apologetic hands even as Myka unfolds herself and stands. “Are you coming too?”
“I’ll be along shortly.” HG says and Pete knows that she really means she will spend the rest of the night continuing their frantic search. Myka nods reluctantly before turning to Pete who slings an arm over her narrow shoulders and steers her towards Artie’s office.
“I hear Leena’s making pie for desert.” Pete whispers and Myka twists around to get one last glimpse of HG before sighing.
“I don’t eat sugar.”
Later, Myka politely excuses herself from the dinner table and is gone far too long.
Pete finds her curled up on the bathroom floor, feverish and crying and somewhere around 10-years old.
There’s a ping in New Mexico that just has to be taken care of.
Myka is circling around his legs as he pulls on his jacket in the foyer.
“Can I come with you guys?” Myka pleads quietly and Pete kneels to look her in the eye. He’s pretty reluctant to go because precious time is being lost but this latest ping has resulted in deaths and Pete knows he has no choice but to go though he does have a stack of files for possible artifacts to change Myka back stuffed into his suitcase.
“Sorry, dude. You gotta stay here.” Pete says and Myka looks irritated, playing with the sleeves of the new shirt she’s wearing. Leena has been quietly buying Myka clothing since she became too small for her regular clothes.
“But I’m your partner.” Myka points out and Pete has to laugh at the thought of traveling with a ten year old Warehouse agent. Then rethinks it because it would be kind of awesome. They could dress alike and everything.
“I know but you’re sick right now, Mykes.” Pete murmurs, brushing a thumb against the freckles on her cheeks, “We gotta keep you close to the Warehouse for when we finally figure out how to get you back to normal.”
“Pete.” Myka whines the same way she always has, drawing out the long ‘e’ in his name.
“Don’t you wanna stay here with HG?” Pete asks and Myka blushes bright red and shakes her head. “Aw, c’mon. You love hanging with HG.”
“I don’t want to.” Myka says just as Claudia comes barreling down the stairs and looks at Pete and Myka expectantly.
“Why the long faces?” Claudia wonders, pulling on her jacket and Myka looks up at Claudia pleadingly.
“Can I come to New Mexico with you?” Myka asks and Claudia kneels too, unpinning one of the many pins from her jacket and attaching it to the soft cotton of Myka’s shirt. Myka is beaming now and the first few days Claudia was completely terrified of Myka’s hero worship but it seems like she’s gotten use to having the tables turned and Myka following her around like a shadow.
“Sorry, Charlie.” Claudia sighs, “We need you to stay here and work on finding an artifact to cure you with HG.”
Myka blushes again, shaking her head. “I just want to go with you guys.”
“But its HG!” Claudia sing-songs and Myka pulls the collar of her shirt up over her nose and mouth.
“Claudia.” Myka’s muffled voice is pleading and embarrassed before she pulls the shirt away and looks at Pete.
“Myka.” Pete tries again but Myka steps close, one hand lifting to cup around his ear while she leans forward to speak quietly to him.
“I’m scared.” She whispers quietly. “What if I disappear and you aren’t here?”
And suddenly Pete wants nothing more to take her with him too.
They return in the middle of the night with the bagged artifact to find HG in bed curled around Myka who appears about 7 years old, stroking sweaty curls slowly while Vanessa takes Myka’s blood pressure.
Pete wakes up to an even younger Myka assaulting his face.
There are tiny fingers pressing his lips into a duckbill while a freckled face with bright green eyes peers down at him and Pete jolts fully awake.
“Whoa!” He yelps and a small voice echoes his sentiment as he jerks into a sitting position and tiny Myka jumps too, flailing back to the edge of the bed, wind milling her little arms. Pete reaches for her a second too late as she tumbles over the side of the bed with a soft thud. Pete squeezes his eyes shut, expecting blood curdling screams and tiny broken bones but when he leans over the edge of the bed and pries open one eye, Myka is laughing a familiar belly laugh while all spread out on the hardwood floor which is thankfully covered by a pile of freshly washed clothes he hasn‘t gotten around to putting away.
“Dude.” Pete huffs, flopping backwards in relief while Myka giggles manically from the floor. “You scared the bejesus outta me.”
Pete blinks up at the ceiling, while his heart pounds and his gut twists because the little girl currently laughing is proof positive that they’re running out of time.
“Damn it.” He exhales thoughtlessly, rubbing a hand over his eyes and Myka pops up from where she’s lurking at the side of his bed.
“That’s a curse word.” She points out, staring at him over the folds in the blankets and Pete pushes himself up onto his elbows to get a better look at her. She’s just so…short and freckly and her cheeks are kinda chubby but she’s still got those eyes like exploding stars and that head full of curls. She looks about 4 years old, maybe even 5.
“I’m sorry, Mykes.” He sighs and forces a smile to mask the anxiety settling cold and heavy inside of him. The time she spends at any given age is sporadic at best and realistically she could disappear completely in just a few days, maybe even a few hours. “Good morning.”
“Good morning.” Myka says distractedly as her hands twist up in Pete’s comforter.
“Do you know who I am?” Pete asks carefully, sitting up fully now and Myka smiles, lips curling happily and Pete relaxes just a little.
“You’re Pete.” She chirps, resting her chin on the mattress and focusing on Pete with bright eyes and freckles dusted across the bridge of her nose. She’s soft spoken but kinda squeaky and her hard ‘R’ sounds are rubbery like ‘Ws’. She tugs at the blanket once more before scaling up the side of Pete’s bed and crawling towards him.
Pete is exhausted and a quick glance at his alarm clock tells him that he’s only been asleep for two hours after spending all of yesterday pouring over artifact files and trying frantically to find something to stop Myka from disappearing completely.He knows he’s getting close, the niggling feeling has taken up residence in the base of his spine but he hasn’t figured it out yet. She shifts up beside him, sitting on her heels and peering down at him innocently.
“O-hi-o…Ohio.” Myka murmurs quietly, hand reaching out to touch the white letters stamped across the front of Pete’s tee shirt. He closes his eyes and swallows hard in an attempt to stop the panic threatening to drown him. “Are you tired?”
Tiny, gentle fingers trace over Pete’s nose then his eyebrows and he listens to the small breaths her lungs take in. “Yeah.”
“Me and you are friends, right?” She whispers loudly after a moment, little hands moving to smoosh his cheeks and Pete cracks one eye open to find her focus on pressing his face between her palms.
“Yep.” he says through forcibly pursed lips and her mouth opens in a grin. “You and I are best friends. Now close your eyes and lets go to sleep and when we wake up I’ll get you some waffles.”
“I like waffles!” She screeches while squeezing his cheeks one more time before releasing Pete’s face and flopping down beside him on the bed.
“I know you do. Chocolate chip.” He sighs, glancing at little Myka with her soft curls and tiny limbs. She’s scoots around beside him for a while before settling all crooked, head near the edge of the bed and a foot pressed into his ribs. “Hey, you’re potty trained at this age, right? Because, I’m not trying to have a water world situation.”
“Yes!” Myka says in that loud whisper again, toes digging into his side and Pete laughs a little. “Pete…am I gonna disappear soon?”
He clenches his jaw as she looks at him expectantly. “No. No, you’re gonna be fine. We’re gonna figure this out.”
“I feel far away.” Myka yawns widely and Pete can see there‘s a little tooth missing in her bottom row. He remains wide awake while she sleeps.
“Hey. He. Hey.” Pete greets loudly as he steps into the dining room, clapping his hands together to get everyone’s attention and the anxious chatter coming from the file covered table, stops abruptly.
Pete feels Myka squeeze the three fingers that she’s holding tightly onto and he taps his thumb against her hand reassuringly while she hides behind his leg.
“So, I know we’re crazy hectic right now but I just wanted to let you guys know that Myka is here but she’s feeling a little shy because she’s looks a little different this morning…a little more fresh faced…a bit more youthful…dare I say, infantile…”
Pete doesn’t miss how the faces around the table fall just a little when Myka peeks out from behind his leg, her face flushed pink.
"Hey kiddo." Claudia is the first to speak, setting down the thick file in her hands and standing. "Do you remember me?"
"Not really." Myka answers and Claudia's head dips, a hand coming to press hard to her brow while Artie takes off his glasses and digs his fingers into his eyes with a loud, frustrated groan. The sound startles Myka. "I'm sorry."
"Aw, no. It's okay." Claudia coos, throwing a glare at Artie over her shoulder before moving to kneel so she and Myka are level. "Do you remember anyone here?"
"Pete. We're friends." Myka says quietly, tugging on his fingers absently and Claudia smiles gently. " Artie, he's..he's in charge."
Pete looks down as Myka peeks out from behind him, hand still gripping his as she looks at HG who has been watching this entire scene unfold from her seat quietly. "Helena is my girlfriend. We hold hands."
HG's brow furrows, a pained laugh rattling free when Myka gives her a tentative wave. "Hello, Love."
“Hi.” Myka says quietly, blushing furiously.
"Okay, well, that's Leena. She's super nice." Claudia says, pointing over her shoulder at Leena who's is standing slowly, a sad smile taking over her face and Myka reluctantly tears her eyes away from HG to look at Leena. "And I'm Claudia. You and I are gonna be hanging out for a while. Is that okay?"
"Are you nice too?" Myka asks and Claudia nods. Myka steps from behind Pete slowly until she's standing in front of Claudia in baggy pajamas. She glances at him for reassurance and Pete nods at her before she releases his hand. "Your hair is purple."
Claudia laughs as Myka reaches out to touch the colored streak. "It sure is. Hey, are you hungry?"
"Pete said we can have waffles." She says and Claudia stands, offering her hand and Myka takes it.
"Then lets go to the kitchen and get some waffles." Myka nods in agreement and let's Claudia guide her towards the doorway.
"Bye Pete!" She says before turning towards HG. "Bye Helena!"
Pete watches the two of them go before turning back to Artie, HG and Leena expectantly." Please tell me we've got something."
Unfortunately, they don't.
But Pete still has that feeling that they’re overlooking something so he pulls more files on artifacts that originated during the Han Dynasty.
They’re still circled around the cluttered table, sifting through the towering piles of information, the search impossibly more frantic than before. Suddenly, there's a blood curdling scream and a crash that makes everyone freeze.
Pete doesn’t know a lot about kids, other than the fact that they’re generally very sticky, but he knows enough to know that screeching like that is just as likely to be caused by fun as it is by an attempted murder.
There's a collective breath of relief when Claudia hustles into the room holding a giggling Myka under her arm like luggage.
"Dude, who knew Myka was such a handful as a kid?!" Claudia huffs, setting Myka down and her socked feet slide a little on the hardwood floor. "There are some ...things...that got broken. So, I'm gonna..."
Claudia gestures over her shoulder before turning towards the living room and Leena stands warily, shaking her head and following her out. "I'll help you."
"How's it goin, Mykes?" Pete yawns, stretching in his chair and his back pops loudly. "You being good?"
Myka totally ignores him, which isn't entirely unusual and he watches her watch HG who is staring at her quietly.
"What're you reading?" Myka finally asks curiously, skating towards HG on wobbly legs and when her hands find HG's knees, HG smiles weakly.
"Just boring work things." HG murmurs softly, lifting a tentative hand that attempts to smooth Myka's unruly curls. Myka tips her head into the touch, wrapping her small hands around HG’s wrist and Pete thinks it's amazing how in love Myka is with HG at nearly every age.
"Are you gonna make sure I don't disappear? Like the dinosaurs?" Myka asks sweetly and HG nods, swallowing determinedly.
"I am." HG says and Myka smiles up at her before reaching up with a little hand to touch HG‘s dark hair.
“You have to hurry,” Myka says matter-of-factly, combing tiny fingers through HG’s hair. “I feel like i’m going away.”
“That won’t happen.” HG says softly, dark eyes staring down intently at Myka.
“Can you come with me? If it does?” Myka continues, now touching the freckles on HG’s throat and its so affectionate that Pete has to look away.
“Yes.” HG breathes roughly as Myka cups her neck in her little hands before looking over at Pete.
“You too?” She asks and Pete bites down on the emotion clawing at the back of his throat.
“We’re partners. Where you go. I go.” He manages and Myka beams at him before turning back to HG.
“Good. I don’t want to go by myself. I want to be with you guys.” She mutters, scrunching up her face at HG while she holds on to HG’s neck.. “ He’s my favorite and you’re my favorite. I can feel that you're alive. Your heart’s beating in my hands.”
“Darling, you’re not going anywhere.” HG says softly, glancing at Pete who runs a hand over his head.
“We’re so close to finding something. We’re going to find something.” Pete says.
"Can I help? I can read." Myka says proudly and HG's face contorts suddenly, Pete suspects it's from the sudden pressure of tears glistening her eyes. “I can read books and maps and compasses.”
He looks away, focusing on the file open in front of him and not the emotion beating against HG's faltering expression..
"Tell me," HG says thickly and Pete peaks at them from behind the open folder in his hands. "What is your favorite book?"
"Peter Pan." Myka says quickly, rising up on her toes in her excitement. "I want to be like Peter Pan."
"Oh, Darling." HG chokes out, a tear slipping free and before she can wipe it away, tiny hands are there.
"You're sad." Myka breathes in confusion. "Don't cry. I love you."
"And I, you." HG whispers, leaning forward and pressing her lips to Myka's forehead.
Pete clears his throat loudly, standing up from his chair. “I need some fresh air. You got this HG?”
“Yes. We’re fine.” HG breathes, meeting his gaze thankfully while Myka burrows into her chest.
Pete doesn’t look up from the papers in front of him when he notices Myka crawling under the table, the gentle squeak of the chairs giving away her presence. He feels her wrap herself around his legs, hugging his shin and resting her forehead against his knee.
It’s late and she should be in bed but Pete’s eyes are burning and he’s so desperate to find the thing he knows he’s overlooking that he doesn’t bother shooing her away. Can’t bear it actually because he likes to keep her close just in case. HG has the same idea and between the two of them they keep a fairly watchful eye on Myka’s condition.
It takes him a moment to hear the quiet panting coming from beneath table or the sweltering body heat radiating from Myka and through his jeans but when he does he leans back a little to peer down at Myka.
“Hey, you okay, Kiddo?” She looks up at him with glassy eyes and pale skin and he almost jerks back when he brushes his hand against her scorching skin. “Holy crap, you’re burning up!”
She’s weak and loose limbed when Pete draws her from under the table and she instantly curls into his chest. “I don’t feel good. It hurts to breathe.”
And Pete knows how this last act plays out, he’s knows what happened to the other victims. Respiratory failure followed by decrease in brain activity while their bodies slowly but surely disappeared.
“Look.” Myka murmurs, holding up her hand and the tips of her fingers are translucent. Pete’s eyes search her tiny body frantically, noting that its not just her fingers but her toes and the tips of her ears too.
“Okay. Okay.” Pete says, way calmer than he actually feels as he stands with Myka in his arms, shifting her so her arms and legs are wrapped around his trunk as he makes his way upstairs.
“I want my mommy.” Myka whimpers in his ear while Pete takes the stairs two at a time, fear quickening his movements.
“It’s gonna be fine, Mykes.” Pete says as he reaches the second floor and it he jumps when Leena’’s bedroom flies open and she looks frantic and bleary eyed.
“What’s wrong?” She asks even though he can see in her face that she knows that this is it. They’ve run out of time and they’ve failed. Myka whimpers against his shoulder and he reaches to cup the back of her head.
Myka has a seizure.
Then another and another and another.
They’re losing her and HG looks like she’s dying right along with her. Pete feels like he is too.
He watches HG brush her hand over Myka’s forehead gently, leaning forward in the armchair that someone moved over to Myka’s bedside.
“Any change?” Pete asks, slowly walking into the room and HG doesn’t spare him a glance, only traces Myka’s brow and shakes her head.
“She’s gotten worse.” She finally murmurs and Pete knew that already. According to Vanessa, her brain activity is slowing and beneath the thin sheet covering her tiny body, he knows that her hands and feet are no longer visible. “She’s fading away so quickly.”
And Pete wants to scream, to shout and hit. He wants to go to that day and make sure that this doesn’t happen. He wants Myka to be okay and not leave him.
Leena appears beside him, a steaming cup of tea in her hand and Pete notices the deep frown that takes over her face as she gazes at Myka.
“What is it?” He asks quietly and Leena suddenly looks very, very sad. “Leena?”
“I can hardly see her aura at all anymore.”
“Whoa.” Claudia gasps and Pete looks up curiously.
“You find something, Claud?” He asks and silently adds a ‘please please please’ while Leena and Artie both stop pulling files to stare at Claudia too.
“I-I think I did!” She yelps, standing and Pete jumps to his feet too, rushing to the computer while Artie and Leena follow.
“You think or you know?” Artie demands, adjusting his glasses to better see the screen over Claudia’s shoulder.
“I know.” She blurts, grinning at Pete over her shoulder. “I mean, i’m pretty sure I know.”
And when Artie releases a triumphant laugh, Pete doesn’t think he’s ever been more relieved.
He overlooks it god knows how many times but then suddenly, there it is.
It’s a sinan, a lodestone spoon balanced on a metallic plate thing that used to belong to Emperor Guazo of Han during the Han Dynasty and is a compass known to take a person to the place and time in which they belong.
It doesn’t surprise him that Myka has been hinting at how to save her own life the entire time, even if she didn’t know it. He makes a mental note to yell at Artie because when Myka’s the one making suggestions, its probably best to listen.
The side effects are minimal, nausea and vomiting barring any fine print or if the universe decides that Myka was always meant to be in 1800s australia or something. Pete pulls it off the shelf carefully, heart pounding as he heads back towards Artie’s office.
“How does it work?” Pete wonders aloud, watching Artie lean over Myka’s tiny prone form on her bed. “Do you, like, have to feed her with the spoon or something? Ladle liquid over her? Or...?”
“Pete, shut up.” Artie bites out and HG glances at Pete from the other side of the bed, nervous and quiet.
“And we’re certain this will work?” She asks and Pete meets her eyes determinedly.
In the end, Artie just kind of waves it over Myka’s body and the entire room erupts in sparkling, golden light.
“You know I saved your life,” Pete sighs, leaning back in his chair and adjusting his sombrero while Myka rolls her eyes at him over the salted rim of her margarita. “Right?”
“How could I forget? You won’t stop talking about it.” She laughs over the bright noise of the mariachi band music flooding out from the speakers. “But, I do appreciate you doing that. I owe you one.”
“Actually, you owe me, like, three.” Pete points out, shoving a taco into his mouth and moaning obscenely. “I’ve been on a Myka saving role lately.”
“Can I point out that I was actually the one who found the magic spoon?” Claudia offers, dropping down beside Pete in the small, plastic booth followed by Leena who squeezes in tight. “So, I saved your life.”
“Well, technically, wasn't it Artie who actually used the artifact?” Leena asks and Myka chuckles brightly. Man, Pete likes that sounds. He also like Myka being Myka again.
“Yeah, but I carried it.” Pete says around a mouthful of corn shell and beef. Claudia just laughs and pokes at Pete’s ridiculous hat.
“What exactly is a chimichanga?” HG asks, returning to their table with another pitcher of strawberry margaritas that makes Myka groan even as she makes room for the other woman on her side of the booth.
“A heavenly member of Mexican cuisine.” Pete insists and Claudia arches an eyebrow.
“Kinda.” She grunts.
“Sorta.” Myka adds before turning towards HG a little bit and Pete can totally tell that HG has her hand on Myka’s thigh.
He grins at her stupidly and Myka rolls her eyes at him before focusing on HG again. “C’mon. I’ll buy you a chimichanga.”
“So chivalrous.” HG quips and Myka blushes.
“Hurry back! We had a deal.” Pete calls as they stand up, hands bumping together sweetly before Myka simply grabs HG’s fingers. “I saved your life so I get to hear about how you guys did it in the Warehouse!”