"Tough day?" Helena said, sitting down beside Myka at the bar. It was late at night, and the bar was half empty. The live music had finished several hours before and now the karaoke was set up. Every few minutes a tipsy person would drag one of their friends up onto the small stage to sing some corny song. Soon it would change so that a completely plastered person would drag their equally plastered friends' onto the stage to sing a serious song off-key.
"Pete was an ass." Myka said before taking a shot and tapping the coaster on the bar for the cute bartender to fill it back up.
"Pete's always an ass." Helena responded with a nod to the bartender to pour her a shot. "Is that why you're here? He won't come in since he's afraid of falling off the chariot."
"What?" Myka began to laugh hysterically. "Falling off the chariot? When were you born, 500 BC?"
"Not far off," Helena raised an eyebrow. "1866."
"God, you're old!" Myka continued laughing. "For someone so pretty you'd think you'd be younger."
"Oh, I'm suddenly pretty?" Helena said, moving past the age insult to blush.
“Pffft,” Myka tapped her nose. "And old. Don't forget old."
"Well, Myka, you sure do know how to get a girl's catalytic converter going."
"Catalytic converter? God, where are you from, 2100?"
"Jeez," Helena chuckled. "I assume I got another idiom wrong, then."
"Wagons and motors," Myka downed another shot. Helena decided against hers and pushed it back towards the bartender but still pulled out some money and slide that across as well. "Wait, wait, wait."
Myka took the shot Helena just slide across the bar and threw her head back, consuming it entirely in one go. She exhaled to help with the burn before licking her lips.
"Impressive," Helena wrapped an arm around Myka's. "I'm driving you home."
"Can you even drive?" Myka tried to ask but slurred it to the point of not being auditable so she had to repeat herself, and again.
"Can you carry your liquor, or are you going to throw up in the car?" Helena responded.
"You meant to say, 'can you hold your liquor.' You need to get with the times, Grandma."
"If you call me Grandma again I'll have Pete come and pick you up." Helena half threatened. In reality she knew better than to invite Pete anywhere lately, especially to a bar due to his past concerning alcohol.
"No!" Myka moaned. "He's being an ass."
"What'd he do, Mykes?"
"Pffft," Myka shrugged. "I don't remember, but sober me was really cheesed off at him."
"Pissed off." Myka threw the empty shot back again, hoping to get another drop or two but nothing came out. She had already drunk everything. "He pissed me off."
"Aw, Mykes." Helena wrapped her arms around Myka for a brief hug but Myka threw her clumsy drunken hands around Helena and refused to release her.
"You're so comfy!" Myka laughed, giving an extra squeeze. "And you smell so nice. So familiar."
"I probably smell familiar because I see you every day, Mykes." Helena laughed.
"No, no-" Myka leaned somehow closer and took a loud sniff. "It's books! You smell like books!"
"Is that another one of your compliments?" Helena raised an eyebrow. "You need to work on them."
"Okay," Myka finally released Helena from her grasp. "You are so amazing."
"And you are so cut off." Helena caught the attention of the bartender and ran a finger across her neck, signalling that he was no longer allowed to give Myka another drink for the rest of the night. He nodded in response before turning away to serve other customers.
"No!" Myka groaned. "You said to work on my compliments, so I did!"
"I'm driving you home." Helena said as she felt the novelty fading. It had been cute at first.
"No! One song."
"Karaoke." Myka begged. "One song."
Helena sat back down as Myka half-ran-half-stumbled onto the stage and 'quietly' shouted a song Helena didn't recognise. The second the instrumental began Myka started to half-stammer-half-shout the lyrics to the point where most people had no idea what song, or even genre, she was singing. Although there were a few several drunks listening who began to sing as equally bad in the same sort of fashion for four minutes until the song ended.
"You're the best, Helena." Myka said whilst stroking Helena's arm while Helena tried to put her in Myka’s car. Helena had stealthily taken her car keys from her pocket.
"No, you're the best." Helena played along while she fiddled with Myka's seatbelt to make sure she was secure.
Since Helena had been unbronzed and all the drama had been cleared up, she had been working especially hard to take the modern world by the horn. Leena had dedicated her spare time to teaching Claudia and Helena how to drive in their spare time. It was nice of her and the two women appreciated it, especially as Claudia had once disclosed that Pete had been teaching her originally.
Helena put Myka to sleep when they got back to Leena's. Everyone else was asleep apart from Pete, Myka's ferret that was named after Pete, her partner. Helena fed Pete (the ferret) and left a glass of water on Myka's bedside table before leaving for her own room.
"It's like midnight, H.G." Pete said in a groggy voice.
"I woke you." Helena said dumbly. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to-"
"And why are you in Myka's room?" Pete asked cautiously. Pete (the human) didn't trust Helena. It seems like Myka was the only one who truly trusted Helena fully, with Pete and Artie trusting her the least.
"Just go back to bed, Pete." Helena warned him.
"What did she say about me?" Pete asked promptly, leaning against the wall. "She probably called me an ass. She did, didn't she?"
"I'm sorry we woke you, Pete." Helena said softly, not wanting to mention that that was exactly what Myka had been saying. Although Pete’s temper and personality had changed since Helena had joined them, he still knew Myka the best and understood her on a level that Artie, Leena and Claudia didn’t.
"Maybe I should just check on her. Make sure she's-"
"Still breathing?" Helena said, suddenly angered. "I'm not the bad guy, Pete. Screw you, you are an ass."
"Wait, no," Pete's rolled his eyes. "Come on, I'm kidding. I'm kidding. Gosh, calm down. What are you, on your p-"
"Why are you such an ass lately? You used to be sweet."
"I'm-" Pete shut his eyes for a moment, obviously exhausted. "I'm just getting tired. Give me a break, okay?"
"Go to bed, Pete." Helena repeated again.
"Just-" Pete rubbed his eyes. "-just keep an eye on her. Okay? Just make sure Myka's okay. I don't care if you have to sleep next to her, just make sure she doesn't choke on her own vomit."
"Wow, that almost sounded caring." Helena bit her lip. "Fine. Go back to bed. I'll make sure she's okay."
"Helena, my name is Helena."
"Helena, was she drinking because of me?"
"Get some rest, Pete. We'll talk tomorrow."
Pete, although slightly annoyed, returned to his room. Helena took a deep breath before returning into Myka's room. She was still in the exact position that Helena had left her in. There was no need for me to babysit Myka, Helena thought.
Obediently though, she slid off her shoes and Myka’s shoes, and pulled the cover open so that she could get into the bed. She pulled the covers over her so that she was comfortable before falling asleep quickly. There was something comforting about falling asleep next to Myka. Something that made her feel completely safe and allowed her to fall asleep in seconds rather than how she would normally fall asleep which consisted of staying up half the night reading to feed the insomnia.
"Hey," Helena opened her eyes when she heard it. "Hey, H.G, hey."
"What?" Helena groaned back, upset that she was awoken. This was the first time since she was bronzed that she had slept through the night so peacefully. She would give anything to lie back down and fall asleep beside Myka again. Instead, here was Claudia, at the foot of Myka's bed.
"Breakfast." Claudia whispered, careful not to wake Myka. However, it had made her stir. Myka moaned quietly before rolling over to face Helena, still unconscious, and wrapping an arm around her.
"Um." Claudia said uncomfortably when she saw Myka nuzzle her head into Helena. "Did you two-"
"No! Er, no." Helena said uncomfortably, knowing what Claudia was edging at. "Pete told me to stay in here with her so she didn't-"
"Choke on her own vomit, yeah. He said that was why but I assumed it was just his ploy for the two of you to sleep together."
"Why would he- oh."
"Are you wearing trousers?"
"Yes I am wearing trousers!" Helena said sharply before feeling unsure. She quickly raised the covers to make sure before nodding fiercely.
"Come down to breakfast, then." Claudia said. Helena didn't want to, but she felt like she had to. She lifted and moved Myka's arm away before climbing groggily out of bed, fully-clothed from the night before. Helena bent down and put her shoes back on. She looked back at Myka as she left the room. She was somehow the most-beautiful woman Helena had ever seen even with drool on her pillow and cheek.
Helena followed Claudia into the dining room in Leena's B&B and sat down at the dining table sheepishly, feeling embarrassed and as if she had just done the walk of shame without the sex- especially as she was wearing the same clothes as the night before.
"Coffee?" Leena asked.
"God yes." Helena said with slightly too much enthusiasm as Pete's head rose as well as one of his eyebrows.
"Did you say that last night as well?" Pete asked.
"Pete!" Leena took Artie's newspaper that he had been using to ignore everyone with and gave Pete a swift hit on the back of his head with it.
"What was that for?" Pete asked.
"Please tell me that was rhetorical or so help me-" Claudia joined in on ganging up on Pete. It was obvious that Helena and Myka weren't just the only people who felt that Pete had changed and become more annoying, arrogant and childish.
"Will you ladies stop hating on me, please?" Pete asked. Leena had growled slightly at Pete before giving Artie back his newspaper.
"Will you stop being an ass?" Everyone turned to see that Myka was now standing in the doorway, watching everyone help themselves to food without her.
"Are you okay, Myka?" Artie asked, not taking his eyes off of his paper for a moment. If he had looked at Myka, he would have seen that she looked like an absolute wreck. Her make-up was smudged as if she had cried at some point during the night. Her clothes were crinkled and her jacket was only on one shoulder and the other shoulder was visible. Her hair, that she had tied back the night before, had come undone and was now a wild birds' nest upon her head. Although she had managed to wipe away the drool.
"You look rough, Mykes." Pete said with an ounce of sympathy.
"Shut up." Myka, Helena, Leena and Claudia all said in unison. Pete threw his hands up in the air, muttered something about this being unfair, before slumping over his bowl of cereal.
"If I send any of you on an artefact run with Pete, would you just murder him?" Artie said with very little interest.
"Great…" Artie finally put down his newspaper and looked at Myka. "Oh, Myka-"
"Don't." Claudia whispered a warning to Artie. Artie thought for a moment before agreeing that he shouldn't say anything as he would probably just make matters worse.
"So this artefact run?" Myka changed the subject.
"Right," Artie looked away from Myka. "Las Vegas,"
"Vegas?" Pete re-entered the conversation.
"Pete, you're grounded." Artie said. He pulled out two folders and handed one to Claudia and one to Myka.
"Can't I go for an artefact run?" Pete asked.
"No, they'll probably murder you." Artie said with a small smile. Pete hadn't just been getting on the girls' nerves lately.
"No!" Pete groaned.
"Can I go for an artefact run?" Helena asked, not wanting to be left with Pete to help him with the inventory that Artie was probably going to make him do.
"You can go, yes. I just didn't print off enough files for three." Artie explained. "Get moving, the plane leaves in a few hours. I'll book another seat for you."
Artie finished the pack of cookies that Leena had left in front of him before waddling away to get back to the warehouse. Pete finished his cereal before grabbing a pancake for the ride with Artie.
"Don't have too much fun in Vegas, girls." Leena said with a smile.
"My first outing in weeks, how exciting!" Helena said with glee.
"You better go and pack." Leena advised. Helena stood up and left, only taking an apple with her.
"You might want to shower, Mykes." Leena said. "You look rough."
"Thanks." Myka nodded awkwardly, taking an orange from the fruit bowl, and left the room.
"Aren't you going to go get ready?" Leena asked Claudia.
"In a minute." Claudia took a sip of her apple juice. "What do you think of Myka and H.G?"
"Myka's a good agent and H.G-"
"No, I mean," Claudia thought for a moment. "Like, do you think they're into each other?"
"Myka and H.G? No way, no-" Leena thought for a moment and her voice faded. She turned her back on Claudia and poured away Helena's coffee that she had poured but not yet given to her.
"Go pack, Claud," Leena pushed.
"Two deaths at a strip club." Claudia said, reading out from the case-file that Artie had handed to her.
"A strip club in Vegas? Don't tell Pete because he'll spend the next week crying." Leena joked but then realised she was probably correct. "Oh God, he's going to spend the next week using my shoulder to cry on."
"Come with us, I'm sure Artie won't mind." Claudia said. Claudia would like Leena to join them, but it was mostly because she was sure that if Leena didn't come, Claudia would spend the entire time third wheeling Myka and Helena.
"I don't get holidays off, Claud."
"It's not a holiday, you'll be helping us."
"I'm not a field agent, either."
"Come on, Leena!" Claudia begged. "Pack a bag, I'll call Artie."
"No, Claud!-" Leena called and Claudia ran out of the room in pursuit of Artie.