Never in her life would Helena G. Wells have expected to be able to enjoy Christmas again. Not after everything, especially not after Christina. She also wouldn’t have expected to feel so much love for one person again, to feel… truly happy. And maybe that’s the reason why she doesn’t say anything.
It all starts when Myka asks her to come celebrate Christmas with her and her family.
“I know you don’t have anywhere else to go,” she says. “Nobody should have to spend Christmas alone.”
So Helena says yes, because it is true what Myka tells her. She has no one here. She is alone and she knows it, feels it within her very soul. And even though she has friends now, here at the Warehouse, Myka, Claudia, even Pete… she longs for something more, a deeper connection only a lover can give; someone to listen to all of her stories and take her to the stars. Curly brown hair and soft green eyes come to her mind and that is another reason why she says yes, but she can’t possibly imagine sitting next to Myka for a whole week and not be allowed to disappear into that marvelous hair and body and smile and turn it into poetry. However, she comes with her.
And well, it is… awkward, meeting Myka’s parents and being introduced hesitatingly as a ‘friend from work’, which is met with a knowing glance from Jeannie Bering.
Everything goes perfectly, from the warm welcome to the food (it’s truly delicious) to Myka sitting right next to Helena, almost close enough that Helena can smell her perfume.
Until Myka’s father asks the inevitable question.
“So, have you got yourself a boyfriend yet, Myka?”
Myka moves noticeably uncomfortably in her chair, casting one quick somewhat apologizing glance in Helena’s direction. But before Helena can think about what that might mean, Jeannie Bering shushes her husband.
“Warren, can’t you see they’re here together?”
Warren Bering’s eyebrows knit together in confusion until suddenly realization dawns on him.
“Oh. Alright,” he says.
Helena feels as though her heart might have stopped and she forgot entirely how breathing works. She doesn’t dare look at Myka, or to open her mouth, afraid of what Myka might have to say about this. But Myka remains silent. For whatever reason, for whatever silent understanding that passes between them in this moment, none of them denies their being together. And as their eyes meet it’s like a bond comes into existence that ties them together by their hearts and souls and Helena sees it in the way that Myka looks at her that she feels it, too.
They don’t talk much after this. The Bering family isn’t much for presents anymore, so they just eat in awkward silence spiked with trivial questions about work which cannot be answered honestly in any way. Helena smirks when she thinks about how she can’t say that Myka and her met with her holding a gun to Pete’s head, or that she spent over a hundred years encased in bronze and that her love for Myka literally saved the world she was about to destroy. Myka has saved Helena in so many different ways and as Helena looks at her now (and when does she ever not because tearing her eyes from the other woman’s radiant beauty seems impossible at best), she feels as though the sun must have exploded in her heart, sending warmth into each corner of her being and heat into her body’s every nerve.
It’s late and finally Myka stands up, excusing them from this still uncomfortable situation.
“Good night mom, dad” she says, hugging both of her parents. “We’ll be going to sleep.”
“I don’t suppose you need an extra room, Helena,” Myka’s mother winks at her lightly and doesn’t look like she’s even considered preparing a guest room. But after a look in Myka’s hopeful face, if Helena is judging correctly, she decides that it doesn’t matter. At all.
“Alright darling, are you coming?” she says in the most affectionate voice she can muster and beams at Myka, who, to her satisfaction, is blushing profoundly.
And as they lie beside each other in Myka’s not-so-big bed, after disappearing into the bathroom separately to get dressed for the night and eyeing the other one shyly afterwards, they are quiet. But not for long, because Helena has waited way too long for this moment and as a writer she’s never been good at keeping things in her soul. She turns to look at Myka and finds her eyes are already resting on her.
“You could’ve said something, you know,” Myka says. “To my parents, I mean. That we’re not really… whatever. You know.”
The darkness covers her face well but Helena knows, she just knows that Myka’s cheeks must be bright red by now. Again.
“Neither did you,” she whispers. “And wouldn’t it be fun to pretend? Only for the time that we’re here?”
Her own words hurt Helena’s entire being because that’s not what she wants at all, she wants so much more than this and she wants it to be true, to be real, for Myka to feel it, too. She wants to spend the emptiness between the years with her and fill it with love and laughter and light. She wants Myka to be the light that leads her out of her darkness again and again and again until she’s safe in her arms forever. Her heart almost seems to stop for a moment as the other woman raises her voice.
“No. That wouldn’t be fun at all.” And suddenly, her face moves closer to Helena’s, closer and closer still. “I want to spend this time with you as my…” She hesitates. “Partner. Girlfriend. Lover? But I don’t want to pretend. It’s either all in or nothing at all.”
And with that, a questioning look on her face as if she didn’t know what Helena has wanted for such a long time already but always denied herself, Myka presses their lips together in a gentle kiss that blooms into so much more as Helena opens her mouth to welcome all of her and as their hands begin to roam over each other’s bodies.
It is in that night that a light much brighter than all Christmas lights is ignited, a light brighter than the stars in the sky. It’s the light within their hearts that melts them together and shines on.