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Last call for Vodka

Chapter Text

Girl, I know you try, you fly straight into my heart, but here comes the fall

 

Six months after the Roundtable and nearly two years after Boone, HG found herself standing in Artie’s office once again.

With Mrs. Fredric in her sunset years as Caretaker Claudia was being pulled away more and more while the cases piled up.  They were stretched too thin, even with Artie and Abigail pitching in and none of the candidates in the Agent pipeline were quite ready. 

So why not call the most experienced Agent on the planet out of retirement?

 

“I know you’ve been snagging curiosities,” Irene arched an eyebrow.  “Trying to help out.”

Helena smirked as she recalled a much younger Irene Fredric’s first encounter with an artifact.  “That does not mean that I want to return to the Warehouse.”

“But it wants you back. Quite a bit actually.”

 

“Finally,” Artie actually seemed relieved that HG had returned.  “Claudia is off with The Regents this week and we’ve got quite a case load.  Here,” he handed over a file. “This one is yours and Myka’s.”

Helena didn’t look up from her perusal of the folder as a ripple of tension went through the room. She’d kept in her promise and had met Myka a few times since Boone. She’d learned about Paracelsus, the cancer scare, and the Warehouse’s almost departure from North America.

She’d also gotten an earful about “Pyka” from Claudia.

“Don’t,” Artie cut off any discussion on the matter. “HG has the connections and the skill set that is perfect for this mission. That’s if you and what’s her name ended on amiable terms.”

“Giselle,” Helena lowered the folder, “and yes.”

“Perfect.  You two will leave for Italy tomorrow.”

 

Helena took her pillow and sound dampening ear phones to the couch that evening. Her room was next to Pete’s at the Bed and Breakfast.

The sounds of Myka and Pete saying ‘goodbye’ were too much for her to take.

 

Helena had always cared for Myka. Some might even call it love and at one point she might have as well. But now those feelings were on low given the surprisingly easy return to their friendship and Myka’s current relationship status.  They quickly fell into their Wells and Bering/Bering and Wells routine as they tracked the artifact across the Mediterranean.

Italy had lead to Monaco that had led to a harrowing experience in Valencia then down to North Africa with another harrowing experience in Tunis and back up into Italy when finally in Palermo they captured the curiosity.

 

What was supposed to be a ‘few days, a week tops’ had turned into nearly a month spent nearly constantly in Myka’s company, including saving her life. (Though Myka had returned the favor later on.)

So as Helena sat next to Myka, watching the sun set over the city, it only felt right for their hands to join, for them to lean a little closer.

And for them to kiss for the first of many times that night.

 

 

You feel the sweet breath of time, it’s whispering its truth not mine, there’s no I in threesome

 

“Something happened,” Steve said quietly. “Something happened on that case.”

“What case,” Claudia looked up from her laptop.

“The one in Italy that HG and Myka were on,” Steve watched for the countless time as Myka and HG pulled away, just ever so slightly, from one another when Pete entered the room.

Pete seemed oblivious to the new closeness that the other two Agents shared. And he knew from the noises that came from Myka’s room at night that she and Pete were still getting along well.

“Do me a favor,” he said, getting up from the breakfast table. “Watch them today,” he nodded towards the other room. “And tell me you don’t see it.”

“See what?”

“You’ll know.”

 

Claudia watched as HG read a message on her phone for what must have been the tenth time in about 20 minutes. 

First of all, she had obviously hacked that phone because it looked way cooler that standard Android. Second of all, who did HG know that she could be exchanged that many text messages with?

“Hey HG you almost done with that row?” Claudia called out, read to move on to the next section of inventory.

“HG,” Claudia tried again. Finally, “Hey old lady you done yet?”

“I beg your pardon!” HG whirled around, clearly annoyed.

“Are you ready to move on to the next row? I’m done with my side.”

“Oh right,” HG calmed. “Sorry, I’m not quite done. I’ll see you over there in a bit?”

“Okay,” Claudia tried to catch a glimpse of HG’s cell screen but the older woman pocketed the phone just as she walked past.

 

“Done already?” Myka greeted them as they entered the office.

“We would be if someone wasn’t distracted,” Claudia teased as she plopped down at her desk.

“Distracted?” Myka smirked and looked up at HG.

“I’m a bit preoccupied today.”

Claudia’s eyes widened as she watched the exchange. She remembered those looks, try as hard as they did to hide them.

“Are you guy’s hungry? Pete and I were going back to the B&B for lunch.”

“Starving,” Claudia stood quickly. “Where’s Pete?”

“He went outside to return a call from his mom.”

Claudia practically sprinted down the Umbilicus. Steve was in Featherhead with Artie today and if there was ever a moment she needed to talk to her best friend this was it.

Pete was wrapping up his call a few minutes later when Bering and Wells finally made it outside.

And if HG’s shirt was now untucked, Claudia chose not to notice.

 

“How can he not know?” Claudia looked at Steve as they sat on the back porch.  “I mean they are not hiding in plain sight.”

“I don’t know what to tell you Claude.  It was harder to spot at first but now it’s so obvious.”

“Do we tell Pete? Should we tell him?”

“Tell me what?” Pete’s voice caused the pair to jump.  He leaned against the door frame with a plate of HG’s freshly baked cookies in his hand.

“Hey Pete,” Steve recovered first. “Are those fresh cookies?”

“They are,” he offered the plate. “HG took them out of the oven right before she and Myka headed into town to hook up.”

Claudia felt all of the color drain from her face.

“Hook up?” Steve squeaked.

“You know, hook up,” he waved the plate a little. “Do the nasty. Fuck behind my back.” He took another cookie from the plate. “They think I don’t know but I do.”

“And you’re okay?” Claudia found her voice.

“Are you kidding?” Pete scoffed. “I’ll let Myka get it out of her system but I don’t do open relationships. Not for the long haul.”

“But what if…”

“Myka will come around. One way or another.” Claudia felt herself shrinking back from the look in Pete’s eye.

 

Well, I made you and now I take you back. It’s too late but today I can define the lack

Myka hadn’t visited Japan in years.  That last time she’d been part of the President’s detail right after her transfer from Denver.  She wasn’t supposed to be on the list but one of the Secret Service Agent’s wife had suffered a stroke and he couldn’t go. So Dickenson pulled some strings and she’d found herself on Air Force One a cabin length away from the leader of the free world.

How naïve she’d been.

They’d been in the country for less than five days and everything that could have gone wrong had. HG had been detained at the airport for a day with questions about her passport. Steve had gotten ill from some bad sushi and was laid out for a full day and a half with food poisoning.  Pete had been pick pocketed somewhere on Takeshita Street, including the Farnsworth which had sent Artie into the largest fit she’d seen since her first year at the Warehouse.

Claudia had popped in Mrs. Fredric style not soon after and used her skills to track the device on the black market and get it back within 24 hours. (Pete’s cash and credit cards were a lost cause.)

Worst of all they still were at square one with the artifact from the Fukushima Daiichi disaster.  

But the true icing on the cake was the now underlying tension between Pete, Helena and herself.  Myka felt sure that there was no way Pete could know about the new level of relationship she had with Helena.  (Well, relatively sure.)  She and Pete were still dating and doing other things and she really did love him.

Her feelings for Helena were a bit more nebulous.

It could be the case too. Everyone was on edge. Steve had recovered but was concerned because whatever Claudia used to teleport herself to Japan had laid her up in the hotel for the next few days. Pete was still pissed the theft and could be taking that frustration out by bickering with Helena.

And Helena, charming and beautiful Helena, had given her a cool shoulder most of this trip, especially after a vigorous night with Pete.  (Not that they hadn’t had their own moments during the trip.) But it wasn’t the same, never the same, and she knew that the Victorian wasn’t into playing the role of ‘the other woman’ for the long term.

 

It was late or very early depending on how you looked at things. They had been up for nearly 24 hours chasing a lead (finally) that had lead to another that had almost gotten them the artifact.  They were waiting on word from Claudia who was working some magic on her laptop.  Pete and Steve had headed out to grab some snacks for the team, leaving her alone with Helena for the first time in nearly a week.

Normally a time like this would mean more than them just sitting quietly in the hotel room.  Normally a time like this during the past six weeks would have seen them tumbling into bed, or onto a chair, or against the wall, or on the desk, or on the…

“I can’t do this anymore,” Helena’s somber voice broke Myka trip down memory lane.

“Do what?”

“This.”

 

Now I’ve tried the brakes, I tried but you know it’s a lonely ride

Helena knew she was no more than one more glass of vodka from being drunk. It was just past 10pm on a Thursday night and normally she’d be reading in her room or working on a project.

But the very loud and very disturbing sounds of Myka and Pete in the room next door had driven her downstairs and into her hidden stash of spirits.  She now sat in a dark sunroom brooding.

It was nights like this when she questioned her resolve to remain platonic friends with Myka. When she fought against a jealous rage that seemed to lurk underneath the surface more and more.  It had been a month since Japan and ever since it seemed as if Myka threw her relationship in her face.  More dates, more inside jokes, more….

Helena reached for the bottle as Pete’s shouts broke her concentration.

“Bloody hell,” she grunted as she poured.

“They seem especially loud tonight,” Abigail’s voice caused HG’s head to snap up. The B&B’s owner held out her empty glass.

HG smirked. “One wonders where they get the energy after a long day at the Warehouse.”

“To be honest,” Abigail sat down across from HG at the table. “I thought this level of intensity would have burned itself out.”

“Do tell.”

The former therapist sipped her drink. “Given what I’d heard about you I thought she’d broken it off by now.”

“And what have you heard Miss Cho?”

“Your dark past, your path to redemption, it’s all in your file,” she paused. “But the energy between you and Myka? I thought Claudia had made that part up.”

HG couldn’t help herself when she burst into laughter.

“It wasn’t enough,” Helena spoke as she calmed, feeling the full affects of the alcohol. “It wasn’t quite enough.”

“Well Myka’s loss is someone else’s gain then.”

HG’s blood hummed. She knew this dance and well.

 

And to the destruction in men, And to all the corruption in my hand

Artie stood on the top of the stairs watching his team in the office below.  And this was his team, without a doubt for the first time during his career as an Agent.

When he’d started at Warehouse 13, Nixon had just left office in disgrace and Charlie Martin headed a team of just over 30 Agents. But the 70s had been a rough time and by the time he had been handed the reins (unofficially) in the late 80s, the team had been cut in half.

There had even been a time when it was only he, Leena and an occasional Regent who would go out on retrievals, they had been so few and so benign.

But those times were a distant memory and this team had been the one he’d worked so hard to develop.  And for a time they had been one of the best at 13. He watched as Claudia and HG discussed one of their many side projects for ‘Warehouse improvement’ while Myka worked on case files.  He could here Pete and Steve talking about reorganizing one of the aisles that kept acting up just out of view.

On the surface, the best.

He also saw Myka cast another longing glance at HG which caused Pete’s voice to falter. He could see the tension increase in Claudia’s shoulders. He watched Pete come into view along with Steve. Pete perching close to Myka on the edge of her desk which caused HG to frown and Steve to send a worried look towards Claudia.

Abigail came into view just then having entered the office and exchanged a heated glance with HG who had turned away from Claudia. Myka stood suddenly and headed towards the small break just out of sight.  Pete managed to complete his sentence and with a dark glare at HG headed off to purse Myka.

HG’s pained eye’s met his briefly before she returned her full attention to her conversation with Claudia.

“The best of times, the worst of times,” he said softly as he headed down the stairs.

Chapter Text

It was hot. Dreadfully hot thanks to the air conditioning at the Bed and Breakfast not working properly.  Claudia had offered to take a look but Artie had refused.  Helena had offered twenty minutes later and the head Agent left the boarding house in a huff.

“We have a procedure in place for a reason,” he grumbled as the door slammed behind him.

“If the procedure is to give Agents heat stroke it’s working like a charm,” Claudia had grumbled as she headed for the kitchen in search of a cold drink.

 

Growing up the Victorian era, where things like electric indoor lighting had been in its infancy, the glory of an air conditioned room wasn’t thought possible. Helena fancied herself of a hardier stock given her 19th century upbringing.

(That thought process lasted a day at most when the second morning of limited cool air and a sweaty night spent sleepingin bed without Myka showed her the error of her ways.)

 

“What gives Steampunk Wonder Twins,” Pete had asked over breakfast.  “I can’t believe between the two of you the air still isn’t working right.”

“Artie’s grounded them,” Steve replied with smirk. “After the washing machine incident they were banned from working around the house.”

“Come on, it’s Artie,” Pete rolled his eyes, “You bend the rules all the time Claudia.”

“We were banned by The Regents,” HG frowned.  

“One little 8 second temporal displacement and everyone freaks out. Can you pass the cereal?” Claudia held out her hand.  “How do we know that anything was even affected?”

HG thought of the book series she’d seen in the B&B’s library. She could have sword the bear’s family name had been spelled with an E when she’d first seen the collection.

 

“What’s going on?” Myka asked, narrowing her eyes. “I know that look Helena. What are you up to?”

“This is the look of a woman melting in the heat,” she sighed into the Farnsworth.

Myka quirked a brow.

“And missing you terribly of course.”

“Of course.”

“And how goes the training? Any deep, dark Warehouse secrets you’d care to share?”

Myka fought a grin. “I’ve learned that the paperwork required as head Agent is triple of the regular Agent.  Hopefully by the time Artie retires we’ll be digital.”

“If there’s anything that my many years on this Earth has taught me is that the Warehouse moves slower than the African Tectonic Plate.”

“Thanks for the pep talk Helena.”

“I’m sorry love. It’s this unbearable heat.” She looked up, wondering if the Warehouse had heard her gibe and raised the temperature.

 

“What did Artie say when you asked about the repair guy?”

Helena plopped down in Myka’s desk chair and pulled out a small fan her partner kept in a drawer.

“Remember the story I told you about Pete, Myka and I enjoying the funhouse version of the B&B?”

Steve nodded.

“Well it turns out the real air conditioning unit that goes with the building is part of that structure.  Artie said that what’s at the B&B is something that Charlie Mann and Jack Secord rigged up back in the late 50s.”

“And its artifact related,” HG filled in the blank.

“And TT gets the prize.”

HG narrowed her eyes.

“Save your British glares for the bad guys and the air conditioner. Artie’s meeting with the Regents and Mrs. F to see if they can figure out what artifact is in play. And why it’s failing.”

“How long could that take?”Steve asked. Claudia shrugged.

“We could always repair my time machine and travel back to find out for ourselves?” Helena’s hopeful face was met with frowns.

“Or not.”

 

Two days later Myka pulled her SUV up to the B&B, ready for a shower and a night spent in the arms of her love.

A glance at said lover, standing with her arms crossed in front of the B&B told her that those plans were a pipe dream.

“It’s still glowing,” Claudia bellowed. HG pinched the bridge of her nose.

“I can see that,” Artie’s voice echoed out from somewhere near the building. 

“So looks like I missed some fun,” Myka greeted causing the women to spin around in surprise.

“You don’t know the half of it,” Claudia replied.

“Hello darling,” Helena uncrossed her arms and pulled Myka into a kiss.  “I hope you weren’t planning on sleeping anytime soon.”

“Is that a promise?”

“Yes,” she smiled. “But not for the reason you think.”

Myka’s smile fell.

“So what’s…oh,” Myka’s eyes widened slightly as she watch the B&B glow, going from a green to an orange which matched perfectly with the sunset.

“Yeah,” Claudia chimed in. “Seems like the entire air conditioning kerfuffle is artifact related.  If only we knew to have you ask Charlie what he did to the B&B back in ’62.”  

“How about now?” Artie called out into the fading light.

“It’s orange!”

“Your hostility is not appreciated Miss Donovan.”

 

 

Three hours and five colors later, Pete and Steve had found what they needed in the Warehouse and helped Artie get the Bed and Breakfast back to its regular color and comfortable temperature.

“And how long do you think this will last?” Helena asked.

“It’ll be Claudia’s problem decades from now,” Artie smirked. “You might want to get working on it now.”

“Hey, no fair playing the Caretaker in Training card.”

“At least you’ll be ready next time around,” Steve, ever the optimist added.

 

Helena slipped out of the library and pulled Myka away from the maddening crowd. It had been nearly two weeks since she’d last seen her love and with the air at a proper temperature she was going to make the most of it.

Chapter Text

Myka pulled the chain on the open sign as she left the bar, making sure she heard the door click before she headed out to her car. Another Saturday night spent helping others forget their problems in a haze of booze, smoke and music.

(The band that Artie had booked was a good one and she suspected that they could far if they could get out of the small Jersey town that they lived in.)

Tonight had been a great night. She had more tips that she’d had in weeks and Pete came by to say hi and buy a few rounds before he went home to Amanda.  Jack’s continued attempts to get Rebecca to say yes to a date were always amusing and Kelly had been in a great mood, joining the band for a cover of a song by the Stones.

A good Saturday night all around for the most part.

But her eyes had drifted to the door all night, waiting to see the cocky smile that made her hear beat faster, that made her forget the hum drum life she was leading.  She’d left Rutgers early to help take care of her sick dad.  When he died her mother sold her childhood and moved in with her sister in Florida.

And now she tended bar, making drinks and spending time talking to the people who had ignored her in high school. Who had made fun of her because she wanted to leave and they didn’t.

She still wanted to leave.  More now than ever since she’d met a charmer by the name of HG who had stumbled into town for one night and stayed. 

She wanted them to leave together.

 

Myka winced at the echo of her car door ricocheted down the dark street.  It might have been Saturday night but she knew at noise at 2:30 in the morning wouldn’t be appreciated. Resolving herself to a night by herself, she quickly left the world of the bar behind.  As she walked up to the door of her duplex she heard the familiar rumble of a beat up F-250 which cooled her desire to fall asleep alone.

Myka smiled before she turned to watch the green beater pull up behind her Granada on the street.  After a moment the engine quieted and the driver’s side door opened.

“Hey you,” Myka let the small smile bloom on her face.

“Hey,” HG beamed as she came up the walk. “Sorry I missed you tonight.  James kept us late at the plant.”

“I’m glad you came by now,” Myka felt her heart flutter.  “I was wondering where you were.”

“Ever so sorry,” HG reached out for her hand. “Let me make it up to you?”

“It’s 2:30 in the morning…”

“And the start of a new day,” she squeezed Myka’s hand. “Let’s go for a drive.”

“To where?”

“Does it matter?”

Myka ran her hand through thick dark hair, pulling the other woman closer to kiss her deeply.

“No, let’s go. There’s still a bit of magic left in this night.”

Chapter Text

The world ended on a Tuesday.

 

“Hold up,” Pete slowed the old Explorer, stopping  at the end of the bridge. “Looks like we’ve got a jumper.”

“It’s been a while,” Jack leaned forward from the back seat. “Should we do something?”

The men looked at each other.

Myka opened the car door.

 

Sam switched off the sound on the TV, silencing the bellows of war and almost war that had dominated the news most of the year.  They’d heard it all their lives. Forever one tick away on the Doomsday clock.

“Dickenson called.  They want us all to come in just in case something happens,” he motioned to the screen.

“I know,” Myka holstered her weapon. “Everyone’s been put on patrol. If shit goes down they expect a riot.”

“Hard to riot if you’ve been vaporized.”

“Not funny Martino.”

Myka leaned up and kissed her fiancé.  “Stay safe.”

“You too slim.”

 

Myka stood in front of the vehicle arms crossed watching the woman about 50 yards away.  She didn’t have her glasses but from the bedraggled appearance the jumper had been on the road for a while.

“Myka,” Jack stage whispered, “What are you doing?”

“Come on Mykes, clearly she’s crazy,” Pete gestured towards the bridge.  “Or what if it’s a trap.”

“It usually is,” she replied as she took a step forward.

 

She guessed she’d been out for most of the night, maybe longer. The force of the blast flipping her car over several times and landing it in a culvert not far from the freeway she and her partner had been on.

A quick look to her right showed she was in this by herself now.

The moon had set by the time Myka pulled herself out of the wreckage, the sun a distorted distant glow to the east. Everything around her was flat, blown over by the concussive force of the bomb that had hit Denver (or somewhere close.)  Cars and trucks were strewn across the freeway.

“Fuck,” she reached down to make sure her gun was still secure to her side and clutched the emergency back she’d pried out of the trunk of the squad car.

She looked north towards what had once been the city.

The tears for Sam would have to wait.

 

Myka approached the woman from the side slowly. She made sure to drag her feet a little, kicking up some dust and making enough noise so that the stranger knew she was there.

But whatever pain the rigid body held wouldn’t let go and Myka made it almost right next to the dark haired-and quite beautiful-woman.

“That’s quite a first step.”

 

“How is he,” Myka asked, putting her arm around Claudia as they braced for the bad news.

“If there’s anything you’d like to say,” Leena took a calming breath, “now would be the time.”

Myka felt the younger woman burst out of her hold and rush into the other room.

The former Detective had stumbled upon this rag tag group of survivors about six months ago. All of them had met on the road and had made a mutual pact to help the other survive.

Claudia had come with her favorite tutor, an older man with a brusque disposition but who clearly loved the teenager like one of his own.

And now he was about to die because Myka hadn’t been quick enough.

She slipped past the rest of the group and made her way outside.  Winter had finally broken and thought it was a cool spring,  Myka stood in a dirty tee shirt and torn jeans wondering if she would ever be good enough again.

 

Myka sat in the back seat next to the woman as Pete drove them back to the homestead.

Jack sat in the front seat and after an awkward attempt at small talk fell silent, his concerned eyes meeting hers in the rear view mirror.

She could feel the tension rolling off of the dark haired woman who despite the banter on the bridge had now pulled into herself.

“It’ll be okay,” Myka said softly, taking a calloused hand in hers. “We’ll get through this.”

 

The world began on a Tuesday.

 

Chapter Text

Helena felt the hum long before she rounded the corner, her hand slipping slowly into her black trench coat to rest on the hilt of her short sword.  It wasn’t uncommon for Artie to have another of her kind visiting the bar but normally there would be warning. He was a favorite Watcher but could only do so much if a fight broke out.

She slipped into a nearby alley when she felt the presence of another heading rapidly towards her. HG was not looking for a fight but after 2300 years she wasn’t quite ready to part with her head.

“HG is that you?” Will’s voice broke through the quite night.

“Bloody hell, “she cursed and stepped out of the shadows. “You know better to sneak up on me.”

“Sorry. Artie called and said to get down to the Warehouse pronto. He didn’t say there would be another Immortal in the area.”

“More than one,” Helena reached out. “Other than us.  Two, possibly three at the bar.”

“And do your finely tuned Spidey senses tell you if they are friend or foe?”

Helena rolled her eyes.  “If they’re at Artie’s then they must be at least somewhat friendly.”

“I hope,” Will muttered and followed the older Immortal down the street.

 

“Finally!” Artie set down the towel he was using to wipe the bar and hurried out front. “How long were you lurking in the street?”

“Long enough to know you have others here,” Helena crossed her arms.

“There wasn’t time to let you know. We need all hands on deck for this one.”

“One what Artie?” Will glanced at HG.

“MacPherson is back and he’s brought the Black Diamond with him.”

HG felt herself grow pale as her hand flew up to her neck to trace a faded scar.

“Claudia,” Artie called out to his niece in the office. “I’m going down to the basement for a bit. Watch the front.”

“Got it.”

Artie waited for the girl to appear.

“Now.”

“Okay, okay,” Claudia emerged, laptop in hand. “Hey HG. Hey Wolly.” She sat down on a stool and pulled her headphones back on.

 

Helena tried to keep her pulse steady but Artie had dropped one of the few names that could rattle her. MacPherson. One of the few Immortals older than her that still walked the planet. He had murdered her mentor, Chataranga and nearly killed her as well but she had managed to escape into the Highlands and later leave the Isle.

For many years she had wandered as a jack of all trades and a blade for hire. It had been nearly five hundred years before her return home soil. It was also the first time that she took on an apprentice of who had lost her mentor early on thanks to an ill timed visit from the Black Diamond.

 

“And this day couldn’t possibly get any better.”  HG growled when she saw who was waiting for them.

“Oh good, you two know each other,” Artie noted sarcastically.

“Pete Lattimer,” HG crossed her arms and gave him a once over. “It looks like that leg has finally healed.”

“No thanks to you lady.”

“I warned you that your ‘scheme’ to steal that rancher’s prized herd was a mistake,” HG rolled her eyes.  “William Wolcott meet Pete Lattimer, 100% American Cowboy.”

“As if that’s a bad thing,” Pete grinned and shook Will’s hand. “Sorry to see you’re hanging out with the old lady here.”

“She’s not so bad.”

“Thank you.” She looked at Artie, “And where are the others?”

“Hello Helena.”

“Leena,” HG smiled brightly and pulled the other woman into a hug.  HG’s oldest friend looked as lovely as she did when they had first met in the Roman marketplace 800 years ago.  “It is wonderful to see you again.”

“And you.  Has she been behaving Will?”

“Of course,” HG stepped back and Wolcott gave Leena a hug of his own.

“So do we know anything about why MacPherson and Diamond have returned to America? I thought they were happy running the Russian mob?”

“They were,” Artie looked nervous suddenly, “then they found out…”

“Helena.”

She froze at the sound of that voice. The voice of the first person she had ever apprenticed. The voice of the woman that she had grown to love. The woman that she still loved but had allowed her darkness to drive them apart centuries ago.

She closed her eyes and took a steadying breath. They hadn’t spoken since the Chicago World’s Fair in 1894. The encounter had been quite by accident but after a few hours spent in each other’s company they managed to find time for a visit to Helena’s boarding house.

“Myka,” she steeled herself before turning around. “How have you been?”

 

She stumbled slightly to the right, Will’s steady hands there to hold her up briefly.

“How,” she swallowed. “How is this possible?”

“That’s what we’re trying to figure out,” Myka gave her a small smile as her hand caressed her slightly swollen belly.  “No Immortal has even become pregnant after they’ve crossed over.”

“And who is the lucky father?” she could barely get the words out.

“That’s the thing,” Myka frowned slightly. “We did a DNA test before we left Paris.”

Helena waited. She could tell the others, save Wolly, already knew the answer.

“It’s you.”

Chapter Text

She took a long drink from the clear glass, starring out the window.  The sun, such as it was, had set giving her a perfect view of the vastness of space beyond the edge of the small rock that was known as Pluto.

A fitting name given the hell that they’d been living since forever.

(Though the past four months had been particularly gruesome.)

 

“Any word,” she stood at attention in front of the Commander’s desk. As she had stood every morning for the past 137.

“Captain,” Nielson sighed. “When there is word you will be the first to know.”

 

She reached over to fill the glass. Though at this point it might be easier to just drink directly from the bottle, despite how un-lady like her mother might think such an act would be.

 

“Cap,” his brown eyes held concern.  She looked behind his broad shoulders to see other from her circle hovering nearby. 

Oh God, an intervention. 

“Really,” she quirked a brow, taking a drink in defiance.  “I know what this is,” she cycled through her friends, meeting their eyes unflinchingly. “I know what this is and I don’t want it.”

“But you need it,” her longest friend, the only one left from home, stepped forward.

“The last time I checked,” she reached for the bottle at the table. “I believe my unit has a perfect mission record.  How about yours?”

“That’s not what this is about,” the youngest of the group spoke next.

“Then what is it about? Because until she comes back,” her voice broke, “until she comes back then this is and the job is all there is.”

 

The bottle was nearly empty and still she sat in the chair facing the window.

 

“Captain,” the Major glanced down at the pad before her.  “A near perfect mission completion record for two years.  Each mission more dangerous and more crucial to the war effort.”

She set the pad down and looked over the rim of her glasses. “So explain to me why I am here.”

“I made a mistake.”

“Clearly.  It was an obvious trap yet you lead your unit right into the heart of the enemy forces. Miraculously you survived.”

“Yes ma’am.”

“You disregarded key Intel sent to you the very morning of the mission. Information that could have saved 18 members of your group.”

“Yes ma’am.”

(She hadn’t disregarded the information she hadn’t paid close enough attention.  Too hung over and drained from a night spent looking out into space.)

”Commander Nielson tells me you visit him every morning.”

“I do.”

(There is no way you will ever apologize for asking every day about the whereabouts of your wife.)

 

The bottle is empty and has fallen over.  She looks at her now empty glass and debates whether or not to start another.  It’s been 295 days and still no official word.  She’d pulled every resource, every connection in the past 10 months to find out what had happened. If anyone had survived.

 

“Don’t you think that it might be time to move on,” his voice had been kind and full of concern like it was so much of the time these days.

“Move on to what,” she asked. “More of this,” she waved her hand around the only bar on the station. “How long have we known each other? 10 years? 15 years? When has it been any different than what it is right now?”

“Mykes.”

“Don’t Mykes me,” her blurry green eyes burned. “She made it different. And now she’s gone. Off being noble on some fucking mission behind enemy lines.”

“You got lucky,” he leaned forward. “As lucky as your Mary Poppins war record could get you. But Myka, this thing has got you all twisted. You’re not subtle in your requests.  The unit’s not as tight as it once was. You’re opening the door to trouble.”

 

She didn’t hear the door to their quarters open.  The sun had begun to rise on number 487.  Normally Captain Myka Bering-Wells would be getting up and getting ready for another day of active duty.  There was not a better unit found on Station 13. But the Captain had taken a leave of absence after an altercation involving another unit Captain and a broken beer bottle.

Sykes was an ass and they all knew he was an ass so what he’d said to Myka hadn’t been a surprise. But 16 months of waiting and whiskey had taken their toll on her patience.  After a night in the brig she’d been given a month’s mandatory leave and required visits with the station’s head shrinker (who she’d managed to avoid for the past five days).

She didn’t hear the duffle as it hit the ground or the travel coat as it was dropped directly onto the floor.  She didn’t hear the soft “oh Myka” as eyes scanned the unkempt and cluttered quarters or the sniff that revealed the lingering fragrance of old alcohol.

 

She did feel the gentle caress that traced across her cheek down to her chin and the gentle hand that brushed damp curls from her face.  She inhaled a scent that was so achingly familiar that tears began to form behind her closed eyes.  She did reach blindly reach out and gasped in surprise when her hands met solid flesh.

 

“Helena,” she opened her eyes, quickly shaking off the remnants of sleep at the sight of her wife.  “Helena,” she smiled and pulled the other woman close, feeling the solid form she’d almost forgotten.

“I’m home.”

Chapter Text

“Are you sure?”

HG nearly laughed at the expression on Irene Fredrick’s face. For a moment she could almost picture the young American who had first met endless wonder in 1897.

She was the only person alive who knew Helena with Christina, who knew the Victorian at her best.  And she would do what was necessary to protect her from the evils that were afoot.

No matter the cost.

“Of course.”

 

Life spent on the run with the Astrolabe had taught her a new tricks and made her a few connections.  Time spent hunting for those who sought to end Irene’s term as Caretaker gave her even more.

After nearly a year of travel, Claudia was brought into the fold.

“Dude,” the future Caretaker looked up from her laptop.  “You gathered all this info but still can’t find the who behind it all.”

“That’s why I requested your assistance.  I’ve reached the limit of my information gathering abilities.”

“You know,” Claudia looked down at her screen. “Myka would be a great help on this case too. No one can put leads together like her.”

HG looked out over the dreary Toronto skyline.  A blizzard was making its way through Canada, ensuring she’d be trapped on this continent far longer that she desired.

“Absolutely not.”

 

 

“She misses you, ya know,” Claudia told her much later.  “She’ll never say anything but the look she gets when we inventory your section of the Warehouse.” She trailed off.

“I miss her as well,” only the time of night and the amount of alcohol they’d consumed would ever get her to admit that fact to anyone but herself.  “Is she well?”

“The best she’s been in months. Cancer’s in remission. Pete’s been solid.”

 HG felt a twist in her gut at the mention of cancer and Pete. Myka had told her, via email, that she and Agent Lattimer had begun a romantic relationship.  Irene had told her about the cancer.

The last time she’d spoken with Myka they had met for coffee in a small café in Brooklyn.  HG and just moved in with Giselle and the Agent was there with Steve on a retrieval.

It had been both amazing and terrible.

“You should call her.”

“And tell her what Claudia?” she took a sip of her Scotch. “That the only personal relationship I’ve had consistent success in is with the Warehouse?”

The bitterness in her tone caused Claudia to change to subject.

 

 

Eighteen months on the hunt and she’d just finished her meeting with Yuri in Wroclaw. The assassin had a lead on a group that was a strong candidate for who would be behind the attacks on Irene Fredrick.

HG smiled. A quick stop in Berlin to set things up and she’d be off to Caracas and hopefully one step closer to closing this case.

Turning her phone on she had a missed voice mail from a South Dakota area code.

“Hey,” Myka’s voice filled her ears. “I was calling to check on you.  I, um, I sent an invitation to your New York address and it came back.  Claude’s being all mysterious and refusing to help me so I thought I’d call.  To make sure you’re okay and see if you can come.” She paused. “I’d really like to see you there. Pete would too.  Call me.  Or at least text me.”

A two minute internet search revealed what type of invitation was sent to an address that now meant next to nothing.

 

 

She had watched the service from the shadows.  Caracas had been somewhat of a bust but it had led to another possibility in Boston.  HG had told Claudia and Irene that she could meet them in Univille with an update on the mission.

After two years and four months she was growing weary. And watching Myka’s radiant smile as she walked down the aisle with Pete had not helped her mood.

 

“You are a vision,” Helena startled Myka outside the reception hall.  She had been waiting for Claudia and Irene to emerge for their meeting but the Bride had come out first for a breath of fresh air.

“Oh my God, Helena!”  Myka pulled her into a tight hug.

Helena returned the embrace fiercely.  “I mean it, you are lovely.”

“Thanks,” Myka pulled back with a shy smile. “Did you just get here?”

“Indeed,” she lied. “I’m sorry to have missed the ceremony. Congratulations.”

They stood awkward silence.

“Agent Wells,” Mrs. Fredric’s stern voice broke the tension.

“Ah yes,” Helena gave a small smile. “It was good to see you Myka.”

 

“It’s done.”

Everyone in the office jumped at Mrs. Fredric’s sudden appearance.  It had been six months since the wedding and though they had been busy, the Warehouse had been on a solid winning streak.

No one was evil. No deaths. No big bads.  Just the regular snag, bag and tag.

“Sweet,” Claudia flipped open her laptop and began to download the complete file.

“The threat has been eliminated?” Artie asked.  The Regents had pulled him into a top secret meeting three weeks ago to finally fill him in on what had been going on.  He was not pleased that Claudia had kept a secret so big for so long.

He was furious for what The Regents were allowing HG to do.  And how she had readily agreed.

Two days ago he’d been given the okay to tell his fellow Agents.

“Agent Wells?” Steve asked for Myka who looked as if she was about to throw up.

“Recovering,” Mrs. Fredric seemed relieved. “She’ll be fine in a week or so.”

“And after that?” Myka’s shaky voice filled the room.

“It’s up to her.”

 

 

 

“You could always go in.”

HG shook her head. She hadn’t heard Artie approach.  They stood outside the Bed and Breakfast in the fading September light.

“Not today.”

“Tomorrow?”

“One of them. Maybe.” She sighed. “I have been tasked with another adventure for The Regents.  The punishment for success I suppose.”

“It can be. Are you sure you don’t want to come in? Everyone would love to see you.”

“It was nice chatting with you Arthur.” She smirked. “And how is that shoulder doing by the way?”

He laughed.  “Still feels like you shot it.”

With a chuckle, HG turned to leave.

“Someday soon,” she whispered with a glance over her shoulder.

 

 

 

“Well look at us,” Myka beamed. “You. Me. Coffee.  Like normal people.”

Helena grinned in return, “Indeed. Normal people on the hunt for a Curiosity.”

“So almost perfect,” Myka sipped her drink.  They had met in Chicago after Helena completed her fifth secret mission for the Warehouse. Myka was again with Steve who had opted for a solo trip of his own into Boys Town for the night.

“And how is Pete doing?”

“Good actually. He’s been seeing the new Vet actually.”

“Really?”

“I know. Kinda weird.”  Myka and Pete had spent four years as a couple and nearly a year not as one. 

Helena tried to focus as Myka began to tell the tale of how Pete and Samantha had met but she was distracted. There was a man standing in the corner of the café that seemed so familiar.

And the knocking was getting louder.

“Myka,” she stopped the other woman. “I am,” she swallowed. “Something’s wrong.”

 

 

“Helena!” Myka cried.  “Helena!”

Her eyes fluttered, opening slowly. She had just been in a café in Chicago but where was she now.  The warehouse.  Not the Warehouse but the one she’d found in Boston. No, not Boston, Detroit.  Yes, Detroit, where she’d traced the threat.

“I got it,” Pete ran into the room, Steve hot on his heels.

“Bag it,” Claudia shouted.  Myka was too focused on stopping the flow of blood.

“Artie’s found Mrs. F,” Pete knelt down next to HG. “Mykes, the ambulance is coming.”

“Hang on HG,” he gritted his teeth. “You hang on.”

“I’ll do my best,” she mumbled, focused on the feel of Myka’s hands on her.  She tried to recall how she got here but it was a jumble.  She looked down at Myka’s hand.

No ring.

Had she dreamt the entire thing?

“They got to you in Poland,” Myka explained. “Tried to use you to get to Mrs. Fredric and Claudia. They used an artifact to plant false memories but we figured it out.” She took a wet breath. “And then you got all noble.”

“Ever so sorry darling,” she wheezed. 

“Just stay with me,” Myka’s eyes were filled with tears. “Okay?”

“I love you.”

Myka smiled and it was beautiful.

 

She knew there were sirens in the distance but they were fading just like the sound of Myka’s voice.  She was being pulled away. Back to Chicago. Back to New York. Back to Boone. Back to Yosemite.  Back to Tamalpais.  To London. To the Bronze.  To Warehouse 12.

 

“And here are some of our Agents,” McGiven’s  voice had pulled her from the monotony of paperwork.  “May I present one of the most successful teams in our history Agents Wells and Wolcott.”

“Please call me HG,” she had stood and offered her and.  Wolly stepping up behind her. “Welcome to Warehouse 12.”

“Irene Fredric,” the young woman’s grip was firm. 

“An American,” she gave McGiven’s a sly look. “So are the rumors of America…”

“Are still rumors Agent Wells,” the Caretaker replied.

 

“Miss Wells,” a male voice called, “What do you smell?”

HG turned and looked at the man entering the office. “Miss Wells? What do you smell?”

“Apples?”

“Yes,” he smiled. “Yes you do. Most people do not smell the apples. The Warehouse likes you.”

“Buildings do not have a personal affinity sir.” HG scoffed.

“This is not, as you will discover, just a building Miss Wells,” he replied. “Welcome to Warehouse 12. I am Chataranga.”

“And you are in charge here?”

“Oh no, my job is to teach. And to solve puzzles.”

 

“It’s a girl,” the midwife smiled. “You have a beautiful baby girl.”

She sighed  and held out her arms. Birth was more and less than she expected.  She knew that Charles hovered outside the door and could hear the creak of the floorboards as he paced.

“Hello my love,” she whispered, placing a kiss on the delicate head. “My Christina.”

 

“Wells come on,” Wolly appeared behind Myka. “Let’s get going. What is that phrase,” he paused with a smirk. “Oh yes, no dawdling.”

“Wolly?”

“Indeed.”  He held out his hand. “Come now, the others are waiting.”

“Is Christina?”

“She is well and can’t wait to see you again.”

She was torn. Myka’s hands tethered her, soothed her. The sirens were distant but growing louder.

“Oh yes,” Wolly seemed to sense her conflict. “There is that.  The choice is yours then.  We have been waiting for quite some time for you to join us,” he smiled sadly, “but we could wait a bit longer if you’d prefer to linger. I know better  than to go against your stubborn streak.”

“I am not stubborn!”

He laughed. 

Oh how she missed her dearest friend.

“Come now,” he reached out, “If we are to go we must go now.”

 

“Is Mummy coming,” she heard Christina  in the distance.

“Perhaps,” Charles replied. Helena could hear the smile in his voice. “Mr. Wolcott has gone to fetch her.”

“I can’t wait to see her,” Christina continued.  “I’ve missed her.”

“I have too darling, I have too.”

 

“Helena,” Myka’s voice broke.  The EMT’s arrived and moved her out of the way.

“I’m sorry,” the young man looked up at the group.

 

 

“Mummy!”  Christina squealed with delight as Helena swept her up in her arms.

“My darling girl,” Helena held her daughter tight as they followed Wolly and Charles into the house.

Chapter Text

July 27th, 1893

“Right this way.”

“Have you been to the Exposition?”  She asked brightly.

He smiled to himself before turning around. “I haven’t had a chance quite yet.  We’ve been very busy here at the hotel.”

“I’m sure. With people from all parts coming to Chicago I was relieved when my cousin told me of this vacancy.”

“And here we are,” he smiled and opened the door, setting her bags inside.

“Oh this is lovely,” she stepped past him into the room. “Are you sure this is the right one?”

“Oh yes,” he smiled again, pulling the door shut quickly.

With a press of a button the gas began to fill the room.  He moved around the corner to the small nook where he could watch through the spy glass as the woman slowly choked to death.  This one had more spirit than most, desperately moving about the room throwing back the curtains to find only sealed brick, attempting to lift a chair to smash the door. Impressive.

He almost wished he’d chosen something else for her.

 

 

“And how did it go?”

“Beautifully, though I wish I might have had more time with that one.”

“I’m sure the Fair will bring more treasures Mr. Holmes.”

“Indeed. And you will…”

“Of course,” he nodded. “Mrs. March is taking care of the body as we speak.”

“Excellent.”

 

 

November 18, 1893

“What I don’t understand,” Wolcott whispered as they crept down the dark hallway, “is how a Jack the Ripper artifact made it to the Americas so quickly.”

“The Ripper escaped the night I captured the lantern,” Helena motioned for them to stop.  They had come to a junction.

“Bollocks,” he hissed.

“Something’s not right.” She willed herself to focus but the darkness swirled around them, filling every breath with dread and despair. Numerous atrocities had taken place under the roof of the Castle that was for certain.

She pulled out a small screwdriver from the breast pocket of her waistcoat and tossed it down the hall. Darts flew out from both sides as soon as the device landed.

“Bloody hell,” Wolcott cured.

“We’ll have to find another way,” Helena turned. “I suspect the other direction will pose a similar challenge.”

“Agreed.”

 

McShane was about to ask how things went at the Castle but one look at Wells and Wolcott answered his question.

“Unspeakable things have occurred in that residence,” Helena frowned deeply.

“And the artifact?”

“We were unable to locate it Duncan,” Wolcott looked as grim as his partner. “Perhaps tomorrow in the daylight we will have more success.”

“And how did it go with your new partner?”

“Well. She has a real knack for the hunt.” McShane smiled. “And ferocity one wouldn’t expect.”

“A fine fit then for the Warehouse,” Helena nodded.  “Even though she is an American.”

“Indeed,” McShane stood. “I am off to meet her for breakfast.  Would you care to join?”

“Send Irene my regards,” Helena stood as well. “After a night such as this the comforts of a bed are all I desire at a moment.”

“Mr. Wolcott?”

“I will have to pass.”

“Suite yourself.  Shall we meet then? Say 2pm at Agent Fredric’s hotel?”

With a nod the trio dispersed.

 

“And the artifact,” Pete cut HG off before she could continue.

“Agent McShane and Agent Fredric secured it later that day,” HG answered with a small grin on her face.  “Mr. Pitezal managed to have the handkerchief on him when he left the Castle. It was Irene’s first official collection.”

“And the Hotel?”

“It burned down in 1895,” she held Myka’s hand a little tighter. “Under mysterious circumstances, of course.”

Artie bustled in, thick file in hand. “What is this, story time? We’ve got a ping in LA.”

“Take me to the City of Angels,” Pete rubbed his hands together. “I’m ready to get my surf on.”

“Not so fast,” Artie held out the files. “HG, Myka this one is yours.  And mine.  I’ll be coming along for this mission.”

Silence and shocked looks filled the room.

“I’ll have you know that I was capturing artifacts before some of you,” he glanced at Claudia, “were a glimmer in your parent’s eye.”

“Really,” HG raised an eyebrow.

“Some, not all.”

“We leave for Los Angeles in the morning. I suggest you read up on the case ladies,” he passed over the paperwork to Myka.  “HG, Mrs. Fredric would like to speak with you at the Warehouse.”

“Of course,” she stood smoothly.  With a kiss to Myka’s cheek she followed the head Agent out the door.

“Are you okay?” Myka could tell something was wrong with Pete.

“I’m getting some weird vibe-age. This case is gonna be a tough one.”

Myka flipped open the file cover to pictures of a 1920s Victorian house next to a downtown hotel.  She scanned the brief. Two sites, multiple incidents, all involving gruesome deaths.  Tough didn’t even begin to describe it.

 

“Are you going to be joining us on this case?” HG asked as she stepped into the office. “You did make quite the Agent at Warehouse 12.”

“Those days are long behind me Agent Wells,” Mrs. Fredric smirked. “However, some of the artifacts involved in this case are all too familiar.”

“A Ripper artifact?”

“Yes and from HH Holmes.” 

“Wonderful,” HG crossed her arms. “Are they working in concert?”

“No. I believe the Ripper artifact is at what is known as the Murder House.  The Holmes artifact is at a downtown hotel, the Cortez.”

“And Arthur is the best to accompany us on this mission because?”

“He’s dealt with the Murder House before and understands its peculiarities.  And your knowledge of both Jack the Ripper and HH Holmes is unsurpassed.”

“And if I happen to encounter them at either location?”

“You’ll know what to do Helena.  Good luck.”

Chapter Text

They had been on the road for what seemed like hours.  Six lanes became four became two until finally a narrow dirt road in the flat planes of the Delta.

“Is this it?” Myka turned to her navigator.

“According to the GPS this is correct,” Helena looked up from her phone, lowering her sunglasses. “It’s another couple miles down the road.”

“Did you text Pete?”

“He and Steven are on their way,” she settled back in the seat. “There was an issue with the rental. They should be here in about an hour’s time.”

“Okay.”  Myka turned down the final road, smiling to herself as the early afternoon light flashed off of her wedding band.

 

“I still can’t believe it,” Myka broke the silence.  

“I know,” Helena scanned the countryside.  “The first time I met Irene was at a funeral.”

“Really?”

“Yes, for her father.” Helena leaned back. “Her sister had just finished her apprenticeship at 12 when a telegram came. Wolcott and I were already in the Americas collecting a Ponce de Leon artifact. McGivens informed us and we made sure to attend.”

“Wow.”

“Wolly and I were quite uncomfortable at first in our best suits, sweltering in the back row of a small Baptist church not far from here I believe.  Irene must have been around 16 at the time. She took one look at two wayward Agents and pulled us to the family row close to the front next to her sister.”

Myka couldn’t help but chuckle. “She liked you even then.”

“I suspect it was the accent. Will could be quite charming.”

“Irene Fredric?” Myka couldn’t believe it. “Are you sure?”

“Quite sure.  I did not know her well then but her sister shared many a tale of their childhood. She was quite the free spirit. They both were.”

“Again, wow.”

“The Warehouse, as you know, can change people.  Doubly so as Caretaker.”

They fell into another easy silence as they rolled down the road.

“There,” Helena pointed.  A small white church sat in the middle of a clearing of trees. Behind in, an open field. Next to the church was a small cemetery.

As they drew closer they could see a fresh mound of dirt towards the front of the rows of graves.

A few cars were parked haphazardly around the building. The tell tale black and silver SUVs of The Regents and their security teams mixed with an assortment of sedans and trucks.

“Her family,” Myka said to herself.

“Claudia did say that she had several children and now adult grandchildren. McGivens had quite the large family as I recall. I am sure his funeral was quite well attended.”

 

 

They said there hellos and introduced themselves to the family but after 20 minutes of small talk with Artie and Vanessa, Myka went to look for her wife.  A quick search found the Victorian before a worn headstone a few down from the fresh grave.

“She was to be the next Caretaker,” Helena knelt down in front of the headstone, tracing the faded name. 

Myka waited.

“McGivens had hinted that I might be at one time,” Helena swallowed the bitter emotions that filled her. “But I had become too unstable after Paris, so another was groomed.  It was a relief since I could devote more focus on a working time machine.”

She stood smoothly.  “It was a failed power test that led to this. I thought myself alone in that section of the Warehouse. I found out later that her concern for my well being was cause for an impromptu visit.” 

Helena wiped her eyes quickly. “She pulled me from my workshop in the nick of time.”

Myka stepped forward, pulling her into strong arms.

“It was ruled an accident,” Helena sighed deeply. “I was suspended for a time but returned for more testing. And later the Bronze.”

They stood quietly for a moment, Helena resting heavily on Myka’s solid form.

The honk of a car horn broke the moment. The rest of the Warehouse team had arrived.

 

Helena slid into the back row like she had done over a century before.  It was her third and last funeral for a member of the Fredric family. 

A small girl, perhaps five or six appeared at the end of the pew.

“Oh hello,” Helena smiled at the child.

“Why are you sitting so far away?”

“I am seated where I prefer to sit,” Helena explained. 

“You’re in the wrong place,” she held out her hand. “You should be up front.”

“I don’t think that would be a good idea.”

The look on the young girl’s face was hauntingly familiar.

“Don’t be a scaredy cat,” she reached for Helena’s hand. “Come on. You can sit by me HG.”

“Very well,” Helena took the offered hand. “Myka I shall return after the service.

With a quick kiss to the cheek Helena was off to the front of the church.

 

“Who’s the kid?” Pete asked as he watched HG at the end of a row several in front of them.

“Not sure,” Myka admitted. “But you know Helena and kids.”

“Oh yeah,” Pete grinned. “You can sit by me HG.  That kiddo is a charmer.”

“Yeah,” Myka agreed, wondering how a small child knew Helena’s true identity.

Chapter Text

Helena pulled out the black and white photo, flipping it over to read who was pictured on the back.  Her eyes narrowed as the feelings of dread intensified.

“Are you okay?” Myka looked up from the police report on the Harmon’s daughter’s disappearance.

“No,” she leaned back into the airplane seat. “This man here,” she pointed to a dandy with a moustache, “Is James March, self made millionaire during the early 20th century and builder of the hotel.  These two,” she pointed to the spectacled man standing next to a dour looking blonde woman “are Charles and Nora Montgomery.  Charles was known as a ‘doctor to the stars’ before the family fell on hard times.”

“Montgomery built the house,” Myka took the picture. “Isn’t that?”

“From the Overlook? Yes.” She sighed. “But let’s not think of dark winter nights in Colorado. March is linked to Montgomery in some way. So it stands to reason…”

“That the Hotel and the House are also,” Myka nodded.  “There’s something else though.”

“Indeed. During our investigation of the Castle after the World’s Fair we were able to cobble together a list of employees. There was an Ida March listed as housekeeper.”

“You don’t think.”

“I do,” Helena took the photo back and slipped it into the file. “I’ve asked Claudia to do some digging on the March family. We need a clearer picture of what we’re dealing with.”

“There might be a faster way,” Artie looked up from his book.

“To find out about March?” Myka shared a skeptical look with Helena. “How?”

 

 

“I contacted Marcy yesterday,” Artie pushed opened the door and pocketed the key. “The house is on the market, again, which is better for us.”

“This place is beautiful,” Myka stepped into the empty main room. “Is that Tiffany?”

“Yes,” Artie replied glancing at the light fixture. “Montgomery spared no expense when he had this house built.”

HG followed behind, shutting the front door to the sound of the tour bus out front.  Myka and Artie had moved ahead and she was left standing in the front hall alone when the door to the basement opened.

“And just how many sprits reside here?” she called, resisting the temptation of the open door.

“At least a dozen or so,” Artie set his bag down on the floor.  “Roughly.”

“Wait,” Myka looked from her partner to her boss. “You mean to tell me this place is haunted?”

“It’s far more than that,” Helena whipped around at the sound of a sultry young voice over her shoulder.  A striking red head in a tight maid’s costume rubbed against her as she entered the room.

“Aren’t you quite dashing,” she said, keeping her eyes on Helena for a moment too long.

“Hello Moira,” Artie greeted.

“Mr. Nielson,” Myka watched as an older woman dressed in what looked to be a 1980s maid uniform shook his hand. She looked him up and down. “It’s been a while, hasn’t it?”

“Yes it has.”

“How is Agent MacPherson?”

“Dead.”

“Like so many of us,” Moira smirked and shot HG a wink.

Helena couldn’t seem to pull her eyes away from the short skirt and long legs before her.  After a tense moment she looked up when she felt heated green eyes upon her.

“Who are your friends, Mr. Nielson?”

Helena shook her head in an attempt to resist  this siren’s call.

“Agents Bering and Wells,” Artie gestured between the two.

“Wells,” Moira turned, “Like the author?”

“If you only knew,” Myka replied with a tense smile.

Helena grimaced and pulled her phone from her jacket pocket.  “We were wondering if you knew any of these people in this picture.”  She focused on the phone as slim legs came closer.

“I’ll do my best,” Moira rasped.

“These three people,” Helena turned the phone around with a snapshot of the photograph on the screen.

“Charles and Nora,” smirked, “in their prime. You’d have to ask them about the man with the moustache.”

“James March,” Helena jumped (again) at the sudden voice next to her.

“Miss Bering, Miss Wells, this is Mrs. Montgomery.” Artie introduced the blonde woman from the picture.

“He was new money,” Nora walked further into the room. Helena suppressed her nausea at the huge gun wound on the back of her head. “Stocks, or oil, or something.”

“That picture was taken during a party at the Hotel Cortez,” Artie began to explain.

“Time hasn’t been your friend, has it,” Nora looked him over with distain. “I remember you from before when asked about up my husband’s gloves.”

“Yes,” Artie replied coolly. “The party?”

“Oh yes,” Nora thought for a moment. “Charles was always looking for more business so he cozied up to March.  He managed to gain a few clients and social connections thanks to their association.” she trailed off.

“Was there anything special about that party in particular?” Myka asked.

“It was a Halloween gathering,” she paused. “The party goers were tense thanks to some trouble back East with the markets. Mother always said never mix business and pleasure but it was unavoidable.  James was in good spirits though. He was telling Charles about some new regime he was on that had done wonders for his constitution. Something his mother had sent him or some nonsense. Now if you’ll excuse me.” 

Helena watched Myka’s eyes widen when she finally saw all of Nora Montgomery as she floated out of the room.

“Mr. Nielson,” the older woman looked at Artie, “will there be anything else?”

“Actually there is Moira,” he coughed. “Do you know anything about a black vinyl suit? We’re trying to track it down.”

Moira thought for a moment. “Oh yes, Chad’s Rubber outfit, ghastly thing. I believe the most recent home owner sold it on  eBay.”

“Claude can track that,” Myka whispered to Artie.  She wasn’t happy with how Helena continued to ogle the elderly maid on top of the fact she’d just spoken to a dead woman.

Artie nodded. “Thank you for your time as always Moira. Would you like for me to look in on your mother?”

“She passed several years ago,” the maid sighed. “Thank you.”

 

 

“So did that really just happen?” Myka scoffed as she followed Artie and HG through the front gate.

“Yes.  I’ve told The Regents for years they should just purchase the property to keep another unsuspecting home owner from buying it but they never listen.  We’re lucky that the majority of the artifacts the place generates stay hidden in the house.” Artie replied.  “Let me call Claudia so she can start tracking that eBay buyer.”

 

“Seriously Helena, an old woman?” Myka waited until Artie was out of earshot.

“What old woman?”

“The maid!”

“The maid?”

Myka rolled her eyes. “You couldn’t take your eyes off of her! I didn’t realize you were into that sort of thing?”

“I apologize for my divided attention but I found her hard to resist. She was quite attractive. And what do you mean old? She was not any older than you, if not younger.”

“What are you talking about?”

Artie chuckled as he heard the women bicker. He’d explain Moira on the way to their hotel.

Chapter Text

Every Saturday at 7pm Myka’s best friend Pete would pick her up for their regularly scheduled date.  Her mom’s smile would be broader than normal and her father’s looks a little sterner as her boyfriend waited in the front room for her to come downstairs.

(Six more months and she’d be through with school and out on her own. Mr. Nielson had already promised her a full time position as his assistant and Claudia’s sister would be moving out of the apartment they shared when Clare got married in the spring. It would be perfect.)

They drove into the city and caught each other up on their week. Pete was a couple of years older and worked as a firefighter in Brooklyn. He was saving up to buy a place of his own so he lived at the fire station and a small efficiency near his job. They talked about her school, he shared stories of the week at the station and they both cursed the Yankee’s for their luck in the playoffs.

 

By 7:45 they had reached Fredric’s Diner where they always had a late supper.  One of Pete’s friends worked there with his sister and mother. It would pass down to Buck and Leena when their mother retired.

She greeted Buck with a hug and waved at Mrs. Fredric, the owner, in the kitchen. She turned away briefly as Pete kissed his girlfriend Leena hello, promising to pick her up after he dropped Myka off.

“I’m going to ask her to marry me,” Pete eye’s followed Leena as she waited on a table behind them.  “Soon.”

“Have you told your parents?” she asked.

“They’ll flip,” Pete sighed.  “Dad went off last week about the Freedom Riders and all the trouble they caused this year.  And how Kennedy was a dirty Catholic that would give in to those,” he paused, uncomfortable and embarrassed.

“I’m so sorry,” Myka took his hand. “I know exactly how you feel.”

“Thanks,” he sighed. “At least there’s hope,” he looked over at Leena again with love in his eyes. “Things are changing. Leena was telling me about this preacher from Georgia who’s really stirring things up.” He looked over at his friend. “Your time will come too.”

“I hope so,” she replied.

“I know it will,” he gave her his best grin. “Ready to blow this joint?”

With a wave to the Fredric family they headed out into the night.

 

Myka was quiet during the rest of the trip, thinking about the changes Pete had brought up and not for the first time thinking about her situation.

She was so wrapped up in her thoughts she didn’t notice the car slowing to a stop.

“We’re here,” Pete said softly. “You okay?”

“Yeah,” she leaned over and kissed his cheek. “I’ll see you at midnight.”

 

The Shirelles were playing when she walked into the bar. The front was packed with so many bodies it took her several minutes to make her way to the back room where her love was waiting. 

“You’re late. Is everything okay?”

“It is now,” Myka pulled the other woman into an embrace. “I missed you Helena.”

“I missed you too love,” Helena pushed an errant curl from Myka’s face.  “Would you like a drink?”

“Later,” Myka lead her onto the dance floor. “Right now I’d just like to hold you in my arms. Is that okay?”

“Always,” Helena leaned in and placed a chaste kiss on Myka’s lips.

 

They danced through several songs, both slow and fast, as the dance floor filled.  Eventually they made their way to the bar for a drink and some water.

“Helena,” Myka gasped as the other woman kissed her neck. They were out back in the alley behind the bar.  

“Yes love?”

“Take me somewhere,” Myka inhaled sharply.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes,” Myka nodded. “I’m ready. And it’s already quarter past ten so there isn’t much time.”

“Right-ho then.”

 

It wasn’t the first time they’d been together and Myka hoped it wouldn’t be the last. She’d met Helena by chance one day at school.  She was here from London studying engineering but her love of literature had brought her to the small library in the English building.  Myka was covering for a classmate at the front desk when Helena had walked up with a handful of books.

She was the most beautiful woman Myka had ever seen.

But Helena would be graduating at the end of the semester and in their many months together they’d never talked about the future.

They walked quietly towards the late night pizza place where they would meet Pete.

“So I have news,” Helena glanced over at her silent companion.

Myka’s heart raced. This was it.

“Good or bad?”

“It depends,” Helena gave a small smile.

“How so?”

“My plan was to return to England after I graduate. To work with my father and brother at the family firm.” She began.

“Oh,” Myka cut her off. Her chest became incredibly tight. “Well good for you.” She choked out.

Helena stopped walking, and after a quick glance either direction, took a step closer to Myka.

“That was the plan,” she looked up, meeting watery eyes, “but I’ve found work at a small firm here in New York.  The pay is awful to start but there’s room for growth.  More importantly, it keeps me here.  With you. If that’s all right?”

“You got a crappy job here to stay with me?” Myka couldn’t believe her ears.

“Yes,” Helena smiled. “I know that you’re graduating in the spring and I was hoping…”

Myka didn’t look before pulled Helena into a searing kiss.  Luckily for them the street was deserted.

“Yes.”

Helena chuckled. “You didn’t even hear my question.”

“It doesn’t matter, my answer is yes.”

 

Pete turned on the radio for the drive home.  She could tell his date with Leena had gone well by the grin on his face.

“Good night,” she asked.

“Great night,” he beamed.  “And you?”

“The best.”

“Oh I love this song,” Pete reached down to turn the radio up. The sound of The Shirelles filled the car.

Chapter Text

1951

“Welcome to the Hotel Cortez Agent Mendel.”

Irene trailed a few paces behind the Warehouse’s top Agent. Rarely did she have favorites but Mendel reminded her so much of her youngest son lost on Iwo Jima she couldn’t help herself.  The Hotel was entering its 26th year and during that short time span it had made a considerable reputation.

“Impressive,” Buck quickly scanned the area. No obvious threats were present, just guests heading in and out during a busy Halloween night. “And notorious, if the rumors about James March are to be believed.”

“I’m afraid that those rumors barely skim the surface of Mr. March’s misdeeds.”

“Are we here for an artifact then?”

“Not exactly,” Irene moved further into the lobby and looked up at the balcony briefly.  “There are places in this world that it is our duty to monitor.  Some because of the events that took place, some simply because.”

“Axis Mundi.”

“Exactly Agent,” she nodded. “Some are naturally occurring, such as the one under Jarden, Texas.”

“Haven’t heard of it.”

“That’s fine,” she continued. “Others are created through sheer will or the amount of misdeeds. There is a house not far from here that has that power. So does this hotel. And these are far less benign.  Each Caretaker will select a handful of Agents to keep tabs on these Axis Mundi  to ensure that any artifacts they create can be contained and quickly, for they can be some of the most powerful.”

Before Buck could reply a dowdy looking middle aged couple bumped into him.

“Excuse me,” Buck took a step back out of the way.

“Watch where you’re going boy,” the man replied harshly as he made his way to the front desk.

“Now Raymond,” the woman chided. “You weren’t looking where you were going.”

Buck narrowed his eyes. He then saw a younger woman in a dated dress talking to a man with a large mustache holding a Bowler Hat.  He knew he had seen their faces somewhere else.

“Mrs. Fredric,” he looked over at the Caretaker. “That couple and those people over there,” he nodded to his left, “look very familiar.”

“They do indeed,” the Caretaker arched an eyebrow.  “They are guests of Mr. March’s.”

“Guests of Mr. March? How is that possible?”

“As I said this building holds a dark power,” she nodded towards the front desk. The lobby was suddenly empty save the four people Buck had seen.

And James March greeting the married couple with a smile.

“But?”

“He’s dead? Of course. This is Devil’s Night Agent Mendel and the hotel owner has decided to invite a few selected guests to a dinner party.  His mentors, Miss Klimek and Mr. Holmes and one of his first protégés are Mr. Fernandez and his wife.”

While Buck was gathering his senses, the host broke away from his guests.

“Mrs. Fredric,” he greeted. “What a surprise to see you on such an auspicious night.”

“Mr. March. This is Agent Buck Mendel.”

“My pleasure sir,” March held out his hand for Buck to shake.

“I thought your Warehouse Agents were made of sterner stuff,” James continued to hold out his hand.

Buck reached out, eyes widening in surprise when the other man’s hand felt solid and warm in his grasp.

“Will you be joining us tonight?”

“We have a prior commitment,” Mrs. Fredric replied calmly. “But I wanted to bring Agent Mendel to see your hotel. If we need to visit to handle any incidents he will be the Agent in charge.”

“Splendid! But you’ll find my good fellow that we tend to keep things here in house as it were,” he gave Mrs. Fredric a wink.

She felt her stomach turn at the thought. “Yes. But you have pinged our radar Mr. March, as you know. So we’ll keep an eye out none the less.”

“Well you have your work and I have mine,” he gave a bright smile. “Enjoy your evening Mrs. Fredric. Mr. Mendel.”

With a dip of the head he turned and joined his guests.

 

“Bollocks,” Helena cursed as she finished reading.  “Please tell me,”

“We’re not,” Myka looked up from her laptop. They were seated next to each other on their bed at the Bonaventure. Normally Artie wouldn’t let them spend quite so much for a hotel room but with this case he told them that the small comforts were worth it.

Plus it was within walking distance of the Cortez.

“He said to take a couple of days and enjoy the city since Devil’s Night is so close. The risks are already high and he didn’t want to make it worse.”

“Hmm,” Helena closed the folder. Arthur being lenient during a retrieval was not a promising sign.

“I know,” Myka sighed. “I thought so too. But all we can do is be as prepared as possible. This isn’t a Blackout yet,” she paused, “but maybe Violet.”

“As if that makes it better,” Helena grumbled.

Myka closed her laptop and set it aside. She then pulled the file from Helena’s hands and set it on top of the laptop on the floor.

“I know,” she leaned over and gave her partner a kiss, “that this is going to be a rough one but first of all we’ve got each other.” She leaned in for a longer kiss. “And second of all,” she paused again for another kiss.

“Second of all,” Helena rasped as Myka’s hands found their way below her nightshirt.

“Do you really want to not take advantage of a couple of free days?”

“I suppose,” Helena found it hard to form words. “I suppose not.”

 

Chapter Text

Myka could feel the sunlight behind her closed eyes. It was early. Far earlier than she’d been up in years. (Coming home at dawn didn’t count.) As the cool light crawled across the loft’s hardwood floors she sighed and opened her eyes, half expecting the head of dark hair to be next to hers at it had for so many years.

But those years were now over.

 

They’d met at an audition of all things. Neither one of them had much of an interest in acting but they needed an in. Access to those who could help them get where they wanted to go.  Myka was just a girl from Jersey trying to get away from Hoboken an into the city full time.  Helena had come from London on an education visa but after a semester she’d found a job in working on clothes and quit school.

It was clear that neither one of them was there for the role and they quickly struck up a conversation.  That had lead to a late lunch and a date later that night at The Loft (the guy at the door had dated Myka’s sister).

And that night, when they collapsed onto Helena’s small pull out bed in the Village…

It had been a revelation.

Six weeks later they were sharing that pull out couch. Myka had a part time job at a restaurant  and was going to night classes. Helena continued her work in the Garment District, weaving together fabrics for others while creating those of her own.

“There’s a showcase,” Helena had told her, “a chance to show some of my work.  But I need a model and they’re expensive.”

“I’ll do it,” She’d volunteered. “I mean if that’s okay.”

“I’m not sure if I’m ready to share you with the world just yet.”

Myka had blushed and kissed her senseless. They’d been together for seven months and were head over heels in love.

 

Myka resisted the temptation to reach into the empty space next to her. The ghost of warm would be too much to take at this early hour.  They had one last night together and it had brought back memories of the first.

It was too much.

Instead she rolled on her back, turning her head to look at the open closet door. It was dim but she could see that Helena had taken the last of her things. Well, the things that had mattered.

 

Two years after the small showcase Myka found herself standing backstage at Helena’s first Fashion Week show.  When they had talked about the designer’s clothes changing the industry, Myka had pictured herself seated in the audience.

Not as one of the star models showing the incredible clothes that Helena had made.

The article in Vogue had dubbed them “Bering and Wells: The First Ladies of Fashion”. Helena the cutting edge designer that was giving the establishment push in a new and vibrant direction while Myka was her muse and the hottest model on the catwalk since Twiggy.

It was all a bit much at times but when her eyes found Helena’s across the dressing room it was worth it.

 

Myka closed her eyes, batting back the swell of memories and allowing the weight to settle on her chest. After a moment, she turned her watery gaze on the large black and white portrait than hung on the wall. It had been a candid moment at Studio 54 during one of Steve’s endless parties. They had been in the basement, laughing with Andy and Liza when someone had snapped a picture.  Helena had loved it so much she’d given to Myka on their fourth anniversary.

 

“Care to explain?” Myka held up a copy of Page Six. She’d just returned from a Vogue shoot in Los Angeles and had missed Helena’s birthday.

“Whatever do you mean darling?” Helena continued to prepare their tea. 

“And I quote,” she growled. “What’s this? Could there be a new muse in the making? Fashion’s first lady, Helena Wells was spotted with her top assistant Giselle (no last name) at a late night dinner at Sardi’s. Sources say that this isn’t the first time that these two lovely ladies have been spotted sharing an intimate dinner for two.”

Myka finished. Helena continued to focus on the tea.

“Say something!”

“What is there to say,” Helena finished with their cups, setting one down in front of Myka. The designer continued to lean on the kitchen counter. “Yes, Giselle and I have made several trips about town, sometimes ending in a tryst.  I daresay it is no different than your relationship with that photographer Sam Martino.  If I am to believe what I’ve been told about what happened in Paris and Milan?”

She pushed off the counter. “I heard he was doing a shoot for Cosmo last weekend in Los Angeles as well.”

 

Myka shut her eyes again and took a deep breath. The sun continued to rise, lighting the first day in nearly seven years that she would be without Helena.  The first day of her life alone.

 

The door slammed on the shouts and cheers as 1978 became 1979. Even though she knew better, Myka had agreed to attend Steve’s New Year’s Eve Party at 54.  Many of their friends would be there and it would be nice for them to spend some time together.  Ever since that day in the kitchen in September things had been strained. Both were working more. Helena on a new mass market line and Myka with small acting roles on TV.  She had even started taking classes.

They were both familiar with the many temptations that night’s like these could offer and over the years they’d both resisted.

So when Myka walked in on Helena and one of their regular servers, a handsome man named Nate in the restroom it was too much.

When Helena didn’t come rushing out after Myka had slammed the door, she knew.

The ball hadn’t quite dropped but her night was over.  It wasn’t a lie when she told her friends she felt ill.  

The funny thing was that the infidelity wasn’t what bothered her the most. They both had been unfaithful over the years, having never truly declared themselves exclusive.

It was in that moment, when she’d seen Helena clutching the counter as Nate took her from behind, she felt nothing. Not anger. Not sadness. Not shame.  Nothing really at all.

Just vaguely disappointed. 

She began to walk down the back street behind the club in a stunned state.  There had been a time where Helena was her world. There had been a time she would do anything for her great love. And Helena had felt the same, done the same.

So when did things change?

“Love,” Helena’s voice broke her train of thought.  The echoes of the city counting down bounced off the brick around them.

“Let’s go home,” Myka held out her hand.

Helena took it and squeezed.

 

Myka opened her eyes and sat up on the bed. Sweeping the room she spotted an old and battered sketch book propped up on a chair at the kitchen table. It was the first one that Helena had shown her all those years ago. The one that had the designs that had launched their careers. It meant more to Helena than anything else she owned.

 

“The one thing that I ask,” Myka had said when Helena asked her to move in, “is that you give all you have to give to this relationship. For as long as you can.”

Helena had kissed her with so much passion she nearly forgot what she was going to say next.

“Okay,” Myka pulled her lover closer. “And that we’ll always be thankful for the time we have together.”

“I will. I am” Helena smiled brightly. “I love you Myka Bering.”

Chapter Text

“So this deal,” Myka looked out the window of her old apartment. “If I do what you ask…”

“Then redemption,” the dark haired woman replied. “Possibly even peace in the afterlife.”

Myka Bering, decorated cop and current resident of Hell turned to look the Devil-the very attractive woman who was her off again/on again paramour-in the eye. “And what do you get out of this?”

“Only those who should never be free returned to their eternal suffering,” she smirked. “You know who,” she glanced upward, “has been insufferable since the jail break.”

“I’m sure,” Myka smirked.

“And what if I don’t want eternal peace?”

The devil smiled broadly, “I’m sure I can find a place for you amongst my legion.”  She closed the distance between them. “If that’s what you desire.”

Myka leaned in for a kiss. “I’ll do what you ask,” she said after a few passionate moments. “As for what happens after, we’ll see.”

 

Myka Bering had died a hero cop on the streets of LA in 1983. Fifteen years later things had changed far more than she realized. Her long time partner, Pete Lattimer, was now a Captain and was less than receptive to her late night visit. But two young detectives, Jinks and Donovan, she could work with.  Not to mention her priest, Father Nielson was still active at St. Sebastian’s.

Not that God would help her out these days.

 

The first case had been pretty straight forward thankfully.  One of the 113 was a serial killer, Detective Bering’s pre-death specialty and though the pattern of Mr. MacPherson was complicated, she was able to track him down.

“James,” Myka stood in the hallway, hands buried in her trench coat, “it’s time to go back.”

“Never,” she sneered. “You tell that devil HG that I’m free of her prison.” He laughed, “And you on a fool’s errand. You have no idea just what you’re dealing with do you?”

“All I see,” Myka drawled, “is just another soul that stands between me and what I want.  That’s all.”

“So naïve,” MacPherson shook his head. “Do you really think that this is just about a few escaped souls? You’re so much smarter than that Detective Bering.”

 

Later, after she’d bagged MacPherson and made sure his almost victim was safe with Jinks and Donovan, she thought on his words.

The Devil was the Devil for a reason. And despite her very attractive qualities the fallen angel worked on her own agendas and time tables. Maybe MacPherson was right in that she did need to find out the details of this new deal she had made.

But maybe that could wait, since the Devil who was currently going by the moniker of HG had her pressed against the shabby wall of her one bedroom apartment. Hands buried in her hair and a thigh strategically placed to help the former detective forget almost everything.

“MacPherson,” Myka gasped as the Devil’s lips sucked on her pulse point. “He explained few things.”

“Did he now?”  Helena growled into the neck before her.

“Yes,” Myka trailed off, pulling the shorter woman closer. “That there was someone else behind the breakout.”

The Devil pulled back, her dark brown eyes boring into Myka’s. “Did he happen to mention who?”

Myka, unsettled by the moment shook her head, “Not anyone specifically.  Someone on the outside for sure.”

The Devil moved in and kissed Myka deeply.

“I must go,” she pulled back to just out of Myka’s reach. “I have an idea on the break outs that requires my further attention. Keep your eyes out for the next of the 113 to make a mistake.”

“Will do,” Myka replied breathlessly.

 

 

“I was wondering when you’d make an appearance,” the Devil smiled.  She stood outside Myka’s apartment.  “Have you come to gloat?”

“Hardly,” the older woman stepped out of the shadows.  “Though your brother Charles sends his regards.”

“I’m sure,” the devil rolled her eyes. “Has he been a good boy, following all of your Heavenly rules?”

“More so than you.”

The Devil laughed.  “If there’s one thing I miss after being cast out it’s your charming personality.”

The other woman smirked. “We have a larger problem Helena. This breakout is more than it appears.”

“Myka said as much. Do you think that someone is trying to bring on the end of days ahead of schedule?” She shook her head. “What purpose would that serve?”

“Humans are foolish, as are many of your peers both above and below. “

“And even with your all knowing, all being, all seeing eyes Irene, you can’t determine who?”

“Not this time,” she smiled sweetly. “I’m leaving this up to you and your detective friend. Good hunting.”

 

Myka watched the scene below from her window, wondering just who was the older black woman HG was talking with.

When she disappeared in a flash of bright light, she knew.

If the forces of good and evil were leaving this case for her to solve…

With a sigh she stepped back from the window and made her way to the kitchen.  She was definitely gonna need a few drinks tonight.

Chapter Text

October 13th

“This,” Giselle waved her hand between the two of them. “This isn’t working.”

“I know,” HG sighed. She had tried. After Boone she had traveled more, drawing on accounts she had set up during her darkest days at Warehouse 12 as a contingency plan.  Then she had met Giselle and thought that perhaps she had found something.

A proper substitute at least.

“I’ll have your things boxed up,” Giselle continued. “Come by tomorrow and I’ll have everything ready.”

 

October 14th

“Early as usual,” the other woman greeted.

“Of course,” HG gave a slight grin.

“Let me grab you stuff. It’s in the bedroom.”

Helena turned to look out the large window as she waited. Of all the places she’d imagined herself  Dallas had not been one of them. Giselle had shown there was promise to the city but she would never be a fan of Texas.

A loud bang from the bedroom pulled her attention from the view.

“Are you all right?” HG called. “Do you need assistance?”

After a moment of silence, she pushed open the door to an empty room.

 

 

Helena stood off to the side while Pete and Myka spoke with the park rangers.  After a moment she moved away to stand at the edge of what had once been a vibrant spring. Now the smell of rotting fish filled the air and mixed with the chatter of law enforcement.  In her periphery she could see the volunteer check in where townspeople were gathering themselves for another sweep of the area.

Everyone looked shaken.

 

In the diner that morning she’d overhead two men talking about how there were “no miracles in Miracle” meaning that the reason behind the sudden disappearance of three popular teenage girls was far more sinister that what had occurred nearly four years ago.

As if the sudden disappearance of 2% of the world’s population had been a pleasant occurrence.

 

Pete had lost his mother, Claudia her best friend and Myka her father. Helena didn’t think she had much left to lose but she was proven wrong on that day.  But the people of this place, of Jarden Texas, had not known the suffering the rest of the world had gone through.

Until today.

 

“This is not artifact related,” Helena spoke without turning, knowing the gait of the person heading her direction by feel alone.

“Agreed,” Myka stood closer than propriety allowed.  Helena soaked up the familiar body heat in the summer sun.  “Pete’s calling Artie now.”

She sighed. “Do you think that this is..”

“That they have departed?” Helena glanced to her right. Myka’s vibrant eyes were hidden behind dark lenses.  “I suppose that is one option.”

“If they decided to take a late night swim,” Myka gestured to the huge fissure in front of them.

“A dreadful thought but none the less true.” She paused, “Though given the car was found running with all of the girls things inside, that method of disappearance seems unlikely.”

 “I have a friend of a friend in the DSD,” Myka’s face remained unreadable. “I’ll give him a call and see what they have to say. I’m sure someone is on their way to investigate.”

 

October 14th

“Not this again,” Myka rolled her eyes as she and Pete made their way down Saratoga 214.

“Come on,” Pete practically whined. “I need my best wing man for this gig. You know the town Halloween party is always a good time.”

“I am NOT your wing man,” Myka’s voice was stern but Pete could see the mirth in her eyes.  “Besides everyone in town knows that I work at the ‘IRS Warehouse’ just like you.  It’s been years and they still give us dirty looks at the grocery store.”

“Jinks and Claude are in,” Pete began his hard sell. “And Steve might even have a date! “

Myka narrowed her eyes.  Pete didn’t lie but he was known to exaggerate.

“What sort of date?”

Pete smirked. He had her. “Well,” he began.

Suddenly the Warehouse shook violently, cutting off Pete’s response.  They barely stayed on their feet, dodging artifacts as they flew off of the shelves.  As the trembling ending, Myka’s Farnsworth exploded into life.

“Artie,” Myka pushed a stray curl off of her face, “did you just feel that?”

“Yes,” his face was grim. “Get back to the office proto. There’s been a global event.” He scowled. “And I can’t get a hold of Mrs. Fredric.”

 

October 16th

The door to the Bed and Breakfast opened and closed softly.  Helena followed Artie into the living room and set her bag down.  Despite the grim circumstances it felt good to be back in the comfy confines of what would always be Leena’s residence.

Artie had filled her in. Many of the Regents and other Warehouse personal had vanished two days ago. Claudia was sick with worry and had been made temporary Caretaker since Mrs. Fredric was among the missing.  Pete had made a trip back to Ohio to see his sister and hopefully track down his mother.

Myka had remained, checking in with her sister and mother several times a day hoping for information on her father.

She was on the phone when Helena entered the living room.  She quickly ended the call.

“So they pulled you back,” she greeted, her countenance grim.

“Yes,” Helena replied. “It seems I am the only former Agent remaining.”

“Hmm,” Myka replied.

 

Pete had left them to their own devices for the afternoon and they quickly took advantage of the time alone.  Sweaty and sated they curled into one another on the well worn queen mattress their hotel room provided.

The chirp of Myka’s phone broke the moment.

Helena groaned has her lover turned away to pull the device from the nightstand.

“It’s from my pal at the DSD,” Myka scanned the text. “They’re sending one of their best from DC Secondary Departures  to check Jarden out.”

Helena followed Myka’s eyes as she read the rest of the text. She felt the tension of the body next to her increase.

Myka set her phone down and sank back into Helena.

“They think that this is a true secondary departure,” Helena didn’t ask.

“Yes.”

Chapter Text

She sighed and adjusted her wide brimmed hat to deflect the steady rain that’d been falling most of the day. She’d managed to keep her long dark hair dry but it would still be a beast to tame before her meeting with the supervisor tomorrow.  From what she could recall, rain was a little late in the season for this part of the globe but the humans she was tasked to keep an eye on had done a number on their ecosystem.

They didn’t know it, well some of them did, but they were heading into the sunset years of their species because of it.

Of the two dozen planets she currently inspected, this one was her favorite. There was something about this variety of humanity that was so appealing. Chuckling at herself, she knew what it was. She’d been an Inspector for centuries, bouncing from backwards system to backwards system watching humanity rise and fall countless times.

But no other planet had developed the mix of that this planet called opera.

And no other planet (save one) had realized that certain objects could contain unfathomable power.

Her boss had told her that somehow this species figured it out when she’d been just a child. And they’d decided to store these objects, to keep it safe from harm.

A system of buildings called Warehouses had been developed throughout the millennia. Traditionally these structures had popped up in the most powerful country of the time. Groups of people had been trained to seek out these objects and bring them to safety.

It was quite ingenious, the Inspector thought, since she’d seen what could happen when objects of power fell into the wrong hands.

 

So she stood in the rain in one of this world’s legendary cities, waiting and watching for two of these Agents arrive with her favorite coworker.  To her left and right, great performance halls were filling with damp yet enthusiastic patrons of sound and dance.  But her eye was on the building before her. 

How an alien relic had made its way to the planet was one thing. It was quite another to be here in this city. The Company was forced to reveal itself to collect the curiosity since even the thirteenth great Warehouse could not hold such power.

She looked down at her timepiece with a sigh.  She had given the Agents a window for them to meet. She did not want to miss the overture to one of her favorite operas.

 

“Inspector?”

She looked up, surprised that the trio had caught her unawares.  The shorter one had spoken, the overseer (not overseer that was on the other planet, here they were called Caretaker). The other Agent, a clean shaven man with piercing blue eyes stood quietly next to her radiating distrust and quite a bit of anger.

She looked over at her coworker who also was displeased but could control her emotions for effectively.

The Inspector felt a bit of a kinship for the shorter one given her age and her (limited) time traveling capabilities.  She had been told that the duties of the Caretaker were quite taxing for humans.

“Good evening,” she tipped her hat slightly. “Do you have the object?”

“Yes,” the Caretaker pulled a silver bag from her black leather jacket.

She didn’t need to pull open the bag to know that this is what she was to collect.  Her expansive lifespan had given her a touch of the second sight. 

“Thank you,” she pulled out a small mini-transmitter and attached it to the bag. She smirked at the look on the man’s face when the bag disappeared.

It was amazing after all that the Agent had seen that a simple transporter would surprise. 

“Well, that’s that,” with nod the human Agents slipped into the rainy night.

 

“I have a box seat for tonight’s performance,” she gestured toward the building. “If you would be interested. It’s been far too long since I’ve been able to enjoy one of this world’s greatest creations.”

Her coworker quirked an eyebrow in surprise. “You know,” she replied, green eyes smiling, “we’re supposed to get back to HQ for a debrief after this cock up.”

“It’s Tosca,” the Inspector continued, “have you heard of it?”

“I saw an early performance,” she looked at the building, “well before this structure was built.  It was quite moving.” She stepped forward, invading her fellow Inspector’s space.  “You look adorable in this hat by the way.”

She blushed at the compliment.  Yes, of all of her peers, this coworker was by far her favorite.

“Splendid,” she smiled and offered her arm. “You’ll have to tell me all about it.”

Chapter Text

You had to sit down after.  But not in the office with the overly sympathetic eyes following you out the door and into the hall. 

There was a park nearby and though it was November you didn’t quite feel the winter chill.

You didn’t feel much of anything really.

 

Death was one of humanity’s great abstracts. When would it happen? How did it happen? Why did it happen? What can be done to prevent it?

And most importantly (to some) what happened after?

When you’d first joined the Service you had to make a Will. It was a test since you and your fellow recruits had basically said you’d take a bullet for another person under any circumstances.  Some of the faces in your class didn’t show up for very much longer after that.

But you kept on. You would be the best and the best, well, they always found a way, right?

 

Denver had really done a number on you, looking at death and what came after.  Sam was the first person you ever had lost. The first person who really mattered.  And no matter how many times you ran the scenario you didn’t see what had gone wrong.

Other than Sam being early.

(Or a watch that stopped time.)

 

A decade later you’d dodged death so many times you’d lost count.  Near misses, lucky stars, karma, whatever it was called you and Pete had led a mostly charmed life. Sure, they’d been broken bones and deep scars that took time to heal.  From time to time missions so unsettling that they had nearly paralyzed you with fear and doubt.

(Alternate timelines notwithstanding.)

 

You looked down at the paper in your hand.  This scare was one you’d had before but this time was the real deal. So real and so fatal that they’d given you a time table.  Options yes, but the sunset was starting and you wouldn’t be around to see the night.

 

You’d lived in the city for years, roaming its streets at all hours looking for clues. Looking to waste time. Looking for solace.  And you’d never seen this place or this door before.

Of course an organization as powerful as the Warehouse would have hide outs throughout the world.  Way stations that you would never be privy to even as their most trusted confidant. 

After you’d passed the sesquicentennial of your birth these little things shouldn’t vex you so.

(But they did. Even more so that you had never quite been able to put the Warehouse behind you.)

You remained on the street examining the door to the Brownstone as a dark car pulled up next to the curb.  A flash of red hair pulled your attention to the young man and his companion who now shared your space on the concrete.

“Good evening,” you nodded. “Agent Garvey.”

“Miss Wells,” the young man smiled. “This is my partner Ethan.”

She shook hands and they chatted for a bit about mundane existence.  

“Are you coming in?” Agent Garvey asked. “I’m sure everyone will be pleased to see you.”

“In a moment.”

The newest Agent of Warehouse 13 disappeared behind the foreign door.

 

 

 

You’d decided that treatment-be it by modern medicine or by artifact-wasn’t really an option.  There had been much protesting and gnashing of teeth but they’d eventually agreed to your wishes.   You worked, you researched, you trained the next generation and still had movie night once a week with Pete and Claudia.

You still avoided sugar, went on walks instead of runs and had a pill sampler on your nightstand to keep the worse of the symptoms at bay for as long as possible.

The one thing you had wanted was a gathering. A gathering of those you cared the most about throughout the years.  You’d overhead Agents Simms and Haskell calling it a party but a stern word from Pete had ended that line of chatter.

But it was a party. Sort of.

(Just because everyone was gathering to see you before death really settled in didn’t mean you couldn’t have a good time. Right?)

You knew Helena would be there. (She had to be.)  That train that carried the great romance might have sailed some time ago but those feeling never quite died.

(Well, not yet anyway.)

 

The door clicked behind them.

“You can ask.”

“How much longer?”

“Let’s just say it’s a good thing we’re doing this sooner rather than later. I’ve been told it’s a quick ride downhill once things really get going.”

(She is so beautiful in her sadness, you’d forgotten. And in this moonlight, her pale skin glows.)

 

“So you’re done with field work then?”

“Even if Claudia hadn’t put her foot down I had to be for everyone’s safety.”

“And will you stay in South Dakota then?”

(Even in her waning moments she is still breathtaking.  I was such a fool.)

 

“Honestly I haven’t decided.  The B&B is pretty full with the new kids. And well, I think you know things won’t be pretty at the end.”

Sigh. “How can you be so calm? So pragmatic about everything?”

“If I wasn’t I have never gotten off that park bench the morning I found out.”

 

The noise of the now party drifted out onto the terrace, filling the silence with faint sounds of revelry.

 

“I have a house not far outside the city. It’s quite and can be quite beautiful in the spring.”

Green eyes widened in surprise.

“I can set up everything you would need to make your final moments more comfortable.”

“Any you?”

“Will be there until the end.”

 

 

 

You sat on the bench watching the ceremony in the distance.  It was far more crowded than expected thanks to the former President and his detail in attendance. Pete had waved and Claudia had popped over and given you a quick hug but you remained removed on your bench.

 They gave the flag that draped Myka’s coffin to her sister since she was the last living Bering relative.  In her Will, Myka had asked to be buried near where she had made the most difference.  Where she had saved the most lives.

No one asked why they had traveled to a small town just outside of New York City.

Chapter Text

The main road in her hometown might have gone from two to six lanes over the years but the place where she’d spent her younger years would always be a small hick town.  The city that was once 30 minutes away had finally expanded north to give the illusion that the big time was here.

She’d lived in a true metropolitan area for years so she would never be fooled.

Her parents loved it though. Her mother was always telling her about the new chain store opening soon or how the Mall was getting bigger and bigger.  Her father fretted over what the increase in competition would do to the bookstore but he’d managed to hold his own the past twenty years or so since she’d shelved her last first edition.

But it was the holidays and like the good daughter she professed to be, she was back in her small hick hometown for Thanksgiving.  She’d promised work her Christmastime so a few days at the end of November would have to be it for her family.

 

It seemed that she wasn’t the only one given the three high school classmates she’d run into at the Publix with her sister and mother.  She marveled at how great Leena looked and how her mother, Mrs. Fredric seemed ageless.  Steve initial nervousness passed quickly when she pulled his partner Liam into a friendly hug.  The Donovan siblings-Claudia, Josh and Myka’s classmate Clare-were as hilarious as she’d remembered.

“You know Pete bought Simpson’s,” Josh mentioned, “it’s still sort of a dive but it has a better jukebox than before.”

“And discounts for fellow Hell High graduates,” Claudia chimed in.

“A bunch of us are escaping our families tonight,” Clare whispered.  “You and Tracy should come by.”

 

 

“You look great,” Tracy rolled her eyes at Myka’s fretting  as they got out of the car.   She paused, looking over the front of the favorite hang out of their teen years.  “Looks pretty good.”

“You sound surprised,” Myka followed her sister through somewhat full parking lot.

“You did hear the part where Pete Lattimer owns this place?”

Myka laughed.   “Well he got his life together after his stint in the Marines.  And you know he was always a people person.”

“How could I forget,” Tracy smiled as she pushed open the door.  “Remember that time after the away game at Ridgewood?”

Myka’s response was drowned out by the loud cheer that greeted them.

“I guess we’re not the first ones here,” Myka whispered as they stepped towards the large group of high school friends.

As promised, the Donovan clan, Leena and Steve (with Liam) were all there.  So many others she hadn’t seen for years, some from her class, and some from Tracy’s and several years in between.

“Mykes!” Pete swept her into a hug and spun her around.

“Hey Pete,” she grinned.  Pete had been one of her good friends throughout school.  She made sure he passed all his classes, he made sure that she always had a date to a dance or social event.   They had even dated for one month and decided never to speak of it again.

“I’m so glad you could make it,” he smiled, “so what do you think?”

“I like it,” she looked around the bar which held so many memories. “I really do.”

 

Myka quickly lost track of time as she caught up with people she hadn’t seen since graduation.  For such a small town, so many of their group had gotten out and done some many things.  She made sure to get Kelly’s number since they now both lived in Boston.  And Claudia wasn’t far away in New York City. 

Myka was so caught up in listening Amanda’s story about the time she met Brad Pitt at a charity event in Los Angeles that she missed the front door opening and closing. But the huge roar from the group caused her head to turn.

“Holy shit,” Amanda stopped mid stream. “How in the hell did they find out about this?”

Myka swallowed as Charles and Helena Wells were nearly overwhelmed with happy (and tipsy) classmates.  The pair had spent two years at their high school when their father had been transferred from London to work at his company’s branch in the city. Charles was a year older and only spent his senior year in the states before returning to England for college.

But Helena had been in Myka’s year and they had formed a fast friendship turned relationship. 

“Hot as ever, eh Mykes,” Pete whispered.

Myka nodded.

 

It’d been four years since she’d last seen Helena while on a trip to London for work. They enjoyed a pleasant lunch and catch up session.  The Brit had been one of a handful of people she still sort of kept in touch with after graduation. She knew that Helena had met a nice man and had married. She now had a beautiful daughter named Christina, the ‘light of her life.’ Myka could help but feel a pang of jealously.  Of course their relationship ended when Myka left for Stanford and Helena for Oxford. They knew it would, that it had to. That the things Helena was describing had never been in the cards for them.

(But that hadn’t made it any easier.)

 

They circled each other for most of the night. More friends came and left and Myka still hadn’t said more than hello to Helena in passing.  She’d caught the other woman looking at her more than once during various conversations, almost as much as she’d been caught by the other woman.

Helena had sent her an email six months ago to say hi and to tell her that she was moving back to the States. Myka had been swamped with work and never had replied.  She now wished she had.

 

“Hey I’m gonna catch a ride home with Steve,” Tracy touched her arm. It was down to the final few die hards who were going to shut the place down.  “Looks like you know who is free,” Tracy nodded  at Helena who was seated at the bar by herself chatting with one of Pete’s bartenders.

“Hey,” Myka slid into the empty stool next to the other woman. “Fun night huh?”

“Surprisingly so,” Helena smiled and took a sip of her water. “Charles and I nearly didn’t attend. I’m glad we decided to show.”

“How did you?”

“Charles is Facebook friends with Pete and he sent him a message.”

“The magic of Facebook.”

“Indeed.”

They sat in silence for a moment.  Myka hearing music for the first time from Pete’s fabled jukebox which was playing country of all things.

How appropriate.

“I’m sorry I never got back to your email,” Myka began. “I was swamped at work when you sent it. By the time I realized I forgot to reply it’d been so long.” She paused, “so you’re back in the States?”

“Both of us,” she glanced around Myka toward where her brother sat with Pete and a couple of others. “Charles lives in the city with his wife and sons.  This year I decided it was time for a proper visit.”

“And how is Christina?”

“Willful and wonderful,” Helena smiled.

“Just like her mother.”

“Har-har,” Helena shook her head. “She’s spending Thanksgiving with her father. I  requested Christmas this year.”

“Oh,” Myka was surprised. “So things…”

“Didn’t quite work out the way we’d planned.  She lives with me during the school year but spends her summers with him and his family in England.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be.  We were already in the process of separating when the offer came for me to work in the United States.  And Boston is far from the worst place I’ve lived.”

“You’re in Boston?” Myka felt her eyebrows rise.

“For the past six months.”

 

Myka felt something lurch in her chest. Like a long dormant engine coming to life.  It sputtered and shook in fits and starts, finally rumbling to life.  

“I’m really sorry now that I didn’t reply to that email,” she said softly.

“I’m glad you didn’t actually,” Helena admitted. “I wasn’t ready.”

“And now?” Myka reached out and took Helena’s hand.

Helena’s smile was the answer she needed.

Chapter Text

The Caretaker

In the 19th century the smell of apples had followed her almost everywhere. Daily at the Warehouse the aroma was accompanied by Chataranga’s sly smirk and McGiven’s cryptic comments.

Christina loved apples and with that Sophie had delighted her daughter with a variety of foods featuring the fruit. Helena was surprised by the multitude of dishes presented at dinner throughout the years, several of which she’d assisted thanks to her trips abroad with Warehouse 12.

After the Astrolabe the smell of apples returned in full force. She now knew of her sacrifice to save Myka  (and the Warehouse) so she wasn’t surprised. The shock came with  Mrs. Fredric telling her she was back in line for Caretaker. Claudia seemed a mix of relieved and disappointed but overall took the news well. 

Myka was thrilled that Helena had found a home in the brave new world publicly. Privately things were quite different.

“What happens when I’m old and breaking down and you’re still you,” she’d asked after a passionate night. “Will you still love me?”

“Of course darling,” Helena had pulled her close. “There is no one I could ever love more.”

And for many years they had prospered along with the Warehouse.  Yes there had been talk (more than once) of moving but they managed to keep their little family firmly ensconced in South Dakota.

Mrs. Fredric had been the first to leave, Steve had been the last. Myka had been retired for nearly a decade when she fell ill. Per her request they pulled her old room from the Agent’s vault so she could return to the Bed and Breakfast for a last time.

Helena brushed back the grey curl from her love’s forehead. 

“I’m sorry.” Helena swallowed. “I’m trying to think of the right words to say. The words that will convey the depth of emotion I feel for you. How much I will miss you.”

Myka reached up to caress the smooth cheek of Helena who had remained in her early 40s for nearly 50 years. She was as breathtaking as the day they’d first met at gunpoint. 

“I love you.”

 

The Library

Helena hissed as Myka cleaned her wound.

“I wish you wouldn’t do that,” Myka didn’t look up from the long cut on the other woman’s side. With the world crumbling around them there was no time for sickness.

“Sorry.  It stings.”

“Not that,” Myka rolled her eyes. “Do what you did. I can take care of myself you know.”

“I do know.” Helena replied softly. They had been on retrieval when all hell seemed to break loose. A terrorist attack had released a deadly virus that had swept the country. Within 48 hours thousands had been killed.

And had come back to life a few hours later much like Pete’s favorite show The Walking Dead.

They were making their way back to South Dakota when they’d been overrun. First by a mob of looters, then by a horde of the undead.  The Agents had made their way to a library to hide out for the night. At dawn they would attempt to find another car to continue their journey.

Myka had nearly frozen when she watched as HG had been shot by one of the desperate people they’d encountered. Luckily they were a horrible shot and the wound was only minor.

But the moment had stopped her heart.

“I’d do what it took,” Helena’s voice was firm, “to keep you safe.”

“I know,” Myka finished dressing the gash and pulled Helena’s shirt down. “But maybe I want to keep you around just a little while longer?” She reached out and touched the resolved jaw of her love.

“Okay?” Myka caressed Helena’s lips with her own.

“Okay,” Helena sighed and pulled Myka in for another deeper kiss.

 

 

Chapter Text

I only love it when you touch me, not feel me, when I’m fucked up that’s the real me

Abigail woke slowly.  It was the middle of the night and the B&B was mostly quiet. 

She opened her eyes allowing them to adjust to the dim light.  HG was pressed tight behind her, an arm heavily resting on her waist.  Another rough mission full of tension between the team had driven the Victorian to a (too often) late night in the sun room.

And Abigail was there with a bottle in hand for them to share which always led to this.

Professionally she knew this was bad for both of them. HG clearly had issues she needed to work through, mostly with Myka, but others from her time in the Bronze.  The current owner was quite fond of her sometimes lover but what they shared was far from love.

Distraction.  A moment of oblivion.  An addiction that was on the path to destruction.

That was probably more accurate.

She began to feel herself slip back into sleep.  But something-a noise, a feeling-caused her to look over her shoulder towards HG’s reading chair.

Silhouetted by the widow she could make out the piece of furniture. In it she recognized the frame of Myka Bering.

Abigail felt a chill run through her.

 

Mama talking that real life

 “This,” she frowned, “this isn’t working.”

“I know,” he replied. “I had hoped with time things would resolve themselves.”

“But they haven’t.”

“No,” she had never seen him look so defeated. “they certainly haven’t.”

“Perhaps we should revisit the possibility of Warehouse 14.”

His scowl deepened. “Absolutely not. China is far from ready to host the Warehouse.”

“That is one location but there are other possibilities.”

Silence filled the office. The rest of the team was scattered across the building doing inventory.

“Are any of the new recruits ready? It’s been nearly a year…”

“Almost. But do you think this is the best environment for them to enter?”

“They could help cut the tension.”

“Or escalate it.” She sighed. “I had hoped that Miss Cho would have the same positive effect on Agent Wells as she had with you.”

“Oh she’s had an affect all right.” He mumbled.

“Really Arthur,” she shook her head.

“Pardon my gallows humor.”

Mrs. Fredric sighed. This is why Agents who became romantically entangled were asked to leave the Warehouse.  It had only happened once before, in the 1930s and both took the news well.  Jack Secord had gone missing before she had been forced to act again.

But the Warehouse had Agents to spare during those years. The wonders of the 21st century had not done anything to increase the potential candidate pool and time was of the essence.  She had felt the rumblings of another great foe on the horizon.

But unlike MacPherson, Wells, Sykes and Paracelsus they were not ready to deal with the situation.

 

In my dark time, baby this is all I could be, only my mother can love me for me

HG watched from the alley as the two men entered the bar. She was on special assignment for The Regents tracking one of the henchmen for the Warehouse’s latest large threat.  She had dealt with her fair share during her tenure at twelve but had only found herself as one of the most wanted so far in this new century.

She’d been away from the Warehouse for two months trailing a shady organization through South America and then into Europe.  Claudia had been assigned as her handler, traveling with her for most of the time, doing research and the like. The young woman’s most important assignment was to attempt to pull her from the dark brooding that was now a part of her daily existence.

The results were mixed at best.

“That bar is a front for the Irish mob,” Claudia’s voice chirped in her ear. “I know what you’re thinking. You know your accent won’t go over well, even with your swagger.”

“Are we not here to gather information?” she reached down to double check that all of her interrogation aids were in place. 

“We are. But not like that.”

“Duly noted.” She pushed off from her wall and trotted across the street.

“HG,” Claudia growled in her ear. “There are seven men in that bar, plus the two you are tailing.”

She didn’t reply. Her hands were full with the guard at the door.

 

“Did you get what you needed?”  Claudia growled.  She didn’t bother to look up from her laptop. 

HG shut the door to their safe house. “For now.” She handed over a USB.

“Thanks.” Claudia looked up, cringing at the bruises and blood.

“It’s theirs. Mostly.” HG shrugged. “I need a shower.”

 

As the blood swirled into the drain Helena realized that the red wasn’t as bright as she remembered.

 

And everybody ‘round you is so basic

Myka stood with her arms crossed in the doorway. She had seen Pete doze off hundreds of times during their partnership.  His strength had never been case research.

She knew that. Had accepted that. And had ways to work around it.

So watching him sleep with an open file on his chest shouldn’t have caused her blood to boil over. But it did.  For once she needed him to work on her level. To help her work through some of the information she’d been given (thanks to the USB that HG and Claudia had found.)

But here he was. Asleep.  As usual.

She already knew he’d be ready with an excuse as to why and would try to make it up to her one way or another.  There was a time, even before they’d stared dating, that she would have fallen for his pitch.

But not anymore.

With a sigh she turned and left her boyfriend sleeping on the couch. Steve was on the patio. He wasn’t who she really wanted (needed) but would have to do.

(And a solid step up.)

 

Pete opened his eyes as Myka’s footsteps faded.  He had heard her come in the room and thought she’d wake him up since he had just shut his eyes.

But she didn’t. And his vibes had been overwhelming.

He wasn’t stupid. He could see the change since Claude and HG had left. And every call that Claude made home without any sort of input from HG had grated on his love more and more.

(His love, he snorted. Had she ever really been his?)

But they never talked about it and the sex had gotten even better so was there really a problem?

 

All the misery was necessary when we’re deep in love

The fact that the Warehouse was safe was the least of their concerns.  And after some time had passed they could reflect on just how close they’d come and just how amazing their victory had been.

Again the blood was (mostly) their adversaries and the deadliest of artifacts had been secured.

So when Pete pointed his gun on HG they all had thought it was thanks to an outside force.

And when HG pulled out her own weapon they were sure that a curiosity had been involved. Yes, there was tension between them and it had only gotten worse with HG being in the field. Myka had stopped talking to Pete and HG had stopped talking to Myka but what was happening was impossible without being whammied.

They were sure. So sure.

Later they could recall Pete’s words on the porch. How cold and empty his face had been. 

Claudia would think of how blank HG’s eyes were when she’d handed over the first of three USBs. Her eyes darker and her clothes more blood soaked each time she handed another over.

When the assessment came and the small role that Abigail had played came to light they would understand why she didn’t return to the B&B and took up photography again full time.

 

Claudia as Caretaker of Warehouse 14 would keep a close eye out for any signs of more than platonic feelings between her Agents thanks to what they now knew. It might have been 78 years since that dark day but time didn’t heal that wound. 

She would pull the Agents in question aside and find out what was happening. She would tell the tale of how they had lost three of the best Agents the Warehouse had ever seen thanks to love gone wrong.  (Well two that day and a third not long after.)  How that kind of happy ever after was not in the cards for anyone who was involved with the Warehouse.

(If ever there was a moment that Claudia understood why HG wanted to use the Trident, it was when she collapsed into Steve’s arms after what Pete had done.)

Almost every Agent cooled it after that. Hook ups might still happen but she could overlook those.  One pair did leave for a time with one coming back a couple of years later after the divorce.

 

Her memory of that day was the fourth thing she’d show her successor. Two centuries might have passed but it didn’t matter.  Agent Korra had to know just how seriously the policy had to be taken.  Claudia relived the moment when Pete had (she still told herself it had been unintentional) shot Myka and how HG had shot him right after.  About how the Victorian Agent had fled the scene and disappeared for months until Claudia had found her as a Jane Doe in a morgue in Brno, dead due to overdose.

At least she didn’t try to destroy the world Artie had said when they buried Helena Wells next to Myka Bering in Colorado Springs.

The one out there she replied.

Chapter Text

Bang!

Crash!

The lightning flashed.

(Well maybe more like stars Helena thought after the room stopped spinning.)

 

Helena grunted and sat up slowly.

“For someone so small you sure hit like a brick wall,” Steve pulled himself up and glanced over at HG.  “What did they make you Victorians out of anyway?”

She began to reply but the thunder of footsteps followed by a gasp cut off.

“Oh my God,” Claudia looked at the pair sprawled across the floor, Christmas packages scattered up and down the hallway.  “What happened?”

“HMS HG Wells apparently,” Helena stood and offered her hand to Steve. “I’m sorry. Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” he glanced down the hallway.  “Merry Christmas.”

“I like your choice of wrapping paper,” Claudia joked. “Did you two plan on wearing matching jammies tomorrow morning as well?”

“Very funny,” Steve replied as he and HG helped Claudia gather their gifts.

“I prefer to think that great minds think alike,” Helena bent down to pick up another package. She and Steve did share similar tastes in many things, Christmas paper was yet another.

Steve and Claudia were half way down the stairs when Helena spotted several gift tags that had fallen from her presents. 

One of the tags was from Myka’s special present that she must have accidently picked up when leaving their bedroom. She had meant for the gift to be a private one given Christmas night after the other festivities had ended.

“Bollocks.”

 

Myka had told her that this was a rare holiday where there wasn’t a ping or pressing disaster to pull them away.  The Warehouse wasn’t without a heart though. Agents would rotate each year so they could spend time with their families. Pete had been away for Thanksgiving, Artie was visiting his son for Christmas and Claudia was traveling to Switzerland for New Year’s.

Wells (and Bering) had been given the week between  Christmas and New Years and the gift which Helena was now trying to locate in the pile of presents, was going to play a major role in that vacation.

If only she could find the blasted thing.

“You okay,” she felt Myka’s arms slip around her waist. “Claude told me about your run in with Steve earlier.”

Helena soaked up Myka’s warmth for a moment. “I’m fine darling.”

“Are you sure?”

Of course Myka could sense something was amiss.

“Truly,” she turned and kissed her love.

“And add another to the Adorable Bering and Wells Scrapbook,” Claudia lowered her phone as the others followed her into the room.

“Just making up for lost time,” Myka smirked and pulled Helena to the sofa.

“Don’t we know it,” Pete nudged Steve with his elbow causing the other man to roll his eyes.

“As per tradition,” Claudia took command of the room, “we each get to open two presents tonight. The rest will have to wait until tomorrow morning.  Who’s up first?”

“Me!” Pete lunged off of his chair and under the tree.

Helena felt her heart speed up when he emerged with what looked to be one of her gifts.

“I’ve got one from Mykes and from Steve,” he grinned. “Let’s do this!”

Helena relaxed as Pete joked with Steve about his gift and pulled Myka into a hug of thanks.

“Guess I’ll go next,” Myka stood and scanned the stack of gifts. 

Again Helena’s heart was in her throat as her love selected a small box from Abigail and a large bag from Claudia.

As each member of the team selected a surprise from under the tree Helena felt as if she was on an emotional roller coaster.  She almost broke when Abigail picked one of the unmarked gifts that (luckily) Helena had purchased for the other woman.

The relief she felt after surviving this round of gift giving had been reflected in her excitement over her own gifts.

 

“You really liked that bookmark from Pete,” Myka noted as they settled for bed.

“It was cute,” Helena dodged.

“I’m just surprised that’s all,” Myka replied casually. “You’re not even that big a fan of Dr. Who.”

“The show has grown on me.  And one of the Doctors is now on that show you enjoy so much, The Leftovers.”

“Really,” Myka wasn’t convinced.

Helena leaned in hoping to distract Myka with a kiss.

It worked.

 

Bleary eyed and extremely tired Helena found herself seated the couch yet again on Christmas morning. 

“You know I went to bed early,” Pete said loudly to Abigail “because I knew that Claude wouldn’t relent on this crack of dawn business.” He sipped his coffee. “But my neighbors were a little loud last night and kept me up.”

“I’ll say,” Steve plopped down next to Claudia on the loveseat. “They woke me up in the middle of the night too.”

“Your death glare has lost a little fire power,” Claudia smirked. “You feeling okay there HG?”

“How about those presents!” Myka motioned towards the tree in an attempt to change the subject. “Who wants to go first?”

 

Just like the previous day, Helena’s nervousness grew as each of her friends sorted through their gifts.  Another unlabeled item had been snagged by Steve who again, luckily, had been the intended person.

It was down to herself, Myka and Pete with the last of the untagged gifts sitting amongst the remaining presents. Two were atop the pile, taunting her, testing her.

Of course she could confess to the group what had happened and take the remaining unmarked presents into the kitchen to examine what remained but she’d been lucky so far so….

Pete was up next and after three cups of coffee had torn into his pile so quickly Helena had missed if he had taken the special gift for Myka.  Her eyes darted from what was left under the tree to her fellow Agent.

Myka pulled Helena closer sensing the tension in the older woman.  She knew something was up but couldn’t figure out what was going on.

 

“Hmm,” Pete held up a smaller box and gave it a shake. “I wonder what this is.”

Helena’s eyes widened.  He’d found it!

“Pete,” she called but he was distracted by the gift, tearing off the colorful paper.

“Peter James Lattimer do NOT open that box!”

Every head in the room turned at Helena’s outburst.

“That gift,” she pulled free of Myka’s grasp.  “That gift isn’t for you.”

“Okay,” he drawled.  “Then who is it for?”

“It was intended for Myka,” Helena stood and took the present from his hands.  “I had hoped to give this to you later tonight,” she looked over at her partner who was now frozen on the couch. 

“Is it a sex thing?” she heard Claudia whisper to Steve.

“Do you think they really need help in that department?” he replied.

Helena fought off an eye roll.

“Well what is it then?” Pete asked.

 

Helena took a moment to collect herself, running a hand through her long dark hair.  After a moment she finished taking off the paper.

One step. Two steps.  Three steps.

She held the box in her hand as she dropped to one knee.

“There are not enough words in existence to describe the love that I feel for you. Of all of the joy that you have shown me in this brave new world. I never imagined I would find someone as wonderful as you Myka Bering and I thank the heavens above that time brought us together.”

She pulled back the top to the small black box.

“Marry me?”

 

Pete felt his eyes well up.  Steve felt his arm go numb from the vice grip Claudia had it in. Abigail fumbled with her phone, wanting to capture this moment for the happy couple.

 

“Oh my God,” Myka gasped. “Yes.”

The room erupted into cheers as Myka pulled Helena up into her lap for a passionate kiss.

 

Chapter Text

Helena sighed and looked out the window, getting lost in the snow as it swirled across the two runways of the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport.  In an attempt to have her make it home for the holidays, Claudia had scheduled a connector out of this small airport to Minneapolis but Mother Nature had other plans.

She had arrived from her hotel in the cold dark hours of the morning only to find the one flight had been delayed. Several hours later the delayed had become cancelled, leaving the 20 or so passengers on the Delta flight stranded for at least a day.

The rental car counters had not opened due to the storm and the taxi service, such that it was, had pulled their cars due to the conditions.

Well, she thought, there were worse places to spend the night.

 

Many of her fellow travelers had someone in the city and by the time night fell she was one of six spending the night at the airport.  They had all talked for some time, sharing little tidbits about themselves, where they were going, plans for the holiday and other mundane information you share with someone you know you won’t see ever again. For a time it was a nice distraction but Helena drifted away to her own corner lost in thought.  The modern Christmas was not one of her favorite holidays. The commercialism and competition of the gift giving season had pulled what little joy she felt.

And that was without taking account for how precious the holiday had been in the 19th century with Christina, Charles and her Warehouse 12 family.

And they had been a family for many years she now understood.  Warehouse 13 had been a difficult world to navigate in so many ways.  She was back from exile after the ordeal with the Astrolabe and things were better. They all knew of her sacrifice in the alternate timeline but old ills still lingered.

She felt her phone vibrate. A text from Claudia with a weather condition update and potential options for travel back to South Dakota.  The future Caretaker seemed the keenest on her second chance working out.

 

Helena wished sometimes she could be that invested.

 

Mrs. Fredric had come to her on more than one occasion with offers for missions with her and the Regents. Even going so far as to hint at a possible Regent position for Helena if she so desired.  But it was already difficult enough working for an organization that had allowed her to be encased in bronze for more than a century and then divided her personality and her body as the most “humane” course of action.

If she had the option she could leave the wretched Warehouse. Yes for eight and a half glorious years she had lived a nearly perfect life in London, a far shorter period of time than the dark years after.  It was still so difficult given the importance of what she did and the improving relationship with the Warehouse 13 team to walk away.

Those eight and half years had been so wonderful.

She felt as frozen as the small planes parked on the runway.

 

Slowly she turned her head at the sound of her name being called. One of her strange bedfellows Ben, she believed was his name, held what looked to be a bottle of Scotch.

“We found the good stuff,” he called with a grin, waving the bottle like a trophy.

“Indeed,” Helena smirked.

 

Tired, slightly hung over, and in desperate need of a shower Helena finally arrived at the Bed and Breakfast late in the afternoon of Christmas Day.  Surprisingly the home was quiet though signs of life were everywhere.

The large stack of gifts was down to a few (hers, she supposed) and the dining room table had been extended out to accommodate the amount of food that had been prepared. She could hear the faint hum of the dishwasher from the kitchen, recognizing the sign of a feast now over.  Pete and Claudia’s muffled shouts meant that they had opened her gift of the most recent Call of Duty game.  Stepping further into the B&B she could see the flicker of the TV screen from the living room, Steve, she guessed, watching one of his old black and white holiday movies with Leena.

Myka would either be in her room or the library reading.

 

 

She sighed and hung up her coat, vaguely disappointed and wondering yet again about her life of endless wonder.

Chapter Text

She’d pushed her way into a VERY small dive bar just off of Broadway because she wanted a drink. No, she needed a drink because an artifact in New York on New Year’s Eve was nearly too much.  Sadly she’d missed the run of Hedwig at the Belasco but had been intrigued by the She Loves Me revival starting up in a couple of months. She rested for a moment contemplating trip options for the upcoming year.

Even the rambunctious crowd couldn’t drown out the blare of her Farnsworth.

“I’ve got HG,” Artie’s face filled the screen. “Hold on.”

The small oval filled with the faces of what Claudia had dubbed Team 13.  Artie was at the Warehouse conducting research.  Steve, Pete, Myka and Claudia were in the city for the retrieval.

“Anything?” he asked.

One after another the team filled each other in on the tidbits of info they’d found while on the hunt. The artifact was something that could turn back time (of course, she thought, a New Year’s curiosity that deal with time travel.)

The five of them were no closer to finding what they sought than before.  Her gut told her that whoever held the artifact would most likely be in Times Square. The crowds had been building since the morning and if ever there was a place for a show of power that would be it.

But she wasn’t quite “feeling it” as the popular colloquialism went. Ever since her time spent in Brainerd she was questioning what exactly her future would hold.  She’d been surprised when Myka had talked about a potential vacation to Mexico sometime in the spring as a way to escape “the long dark nights of South Dakota.”

“It’d be great if you’d come along,” Myka had hesitantly asked. “We could spend hours reading on the beach or explore the Mayan ruins.”

She’d been interested, both in the history of Mayan ruins and time spent with Myka. But that request had been pushed aside with the sound of the ping.

 

After downing two drinks in record time she pushed her way out of the bar and on to 44th.  Timing was everything (ironically) and her best guess was that the perpetrator would activate the artifact as close to midnight as possible.  She would meet up with Myka and Pete at 7th and 45th and use their Secret Service status to force their way into the crowd.  From Artie’s research the top candidate for capture would be an intern for CNN who was most likely working that night for the broadcast.

She almost couldn’t believe how easy things had turned out to be. Steve had flirted with a cameraman who had pointed them in the right direction. Apparently the Desert Storm veteran didn’t have time for some “millenial’s whiney bullshit” and the two day long hunt came together with more of a whimper than the bang expected.

“Well since we’re here,” Pete looked over at the team. “I think we should take a moment before we head back to Brooklyn.”

“I’ll say,” Claudia beamed. “Times Square on New Year’s Eve? This is awesome.”

While Pete, Claudia and Steve chatted, Helena stood apart, looking up at the giant ball that would soon descend to mark the start of another year. The last celebration she had attended was for the start of the 20th century. Celebrations had drastically changed in the three centuries her life span covered.

A light mist began to fall as the sphere began to drop.  The crowd erupted in a deafening cheer and started to count down the seconds.  All around her people pulled their friends or their lovers closer in preparation for the start of the New Year.

 

“Mark my words Wolly, the future is going to be a wondrous place.”

 

As the globe dropped lower and the crowd became more boisterous,  she felt a tentative touch at her shoulder.  Helena didn’t turn as the caress grew stronger. A second hand joined the first slipping from her shoulder to around her waist.  A firm body pressed to her back.

She continued to look up, now with a grin as the seconds grew scarce.  Butterflies swirled in her stomach.

They had never talked about this, never acted on this.

But this moment was the moment to begin.

 

Helena turned, tuning out the maddening crowd and pulled Myka into a kiss.

“Happy New Year,” Myka spoke softly as she leaned back.

“And to you darling,” she smiled. “And it is off to a magnificent start.”

Myka leaned in for another kiss.  The second of many.

Chapter Text

“Are you sure we should be doing this?” Steve looked over at Claudia.

“Of course,” the red head bounced out of her seat, shoving the truck door open with gusto. “We need one more member for the team since Cindy’s out this season.  It’s so stupid.”

“She’s about to have a kid,” Steve chuckled.

“I guess.” Claudia rolled her eyes. “Let’s check this out.”

 

The pair made their way into the mostly empty bleachers to watch.  The Derby season was just a few weeks away and their team The Hellcats was still one member down.  Steve was the equipment manager and best friend to the team captain, Claudia “Red Fury” Donovan. 

Tryouts had been a bust, with some up and coming talent but nothing that could fill their immediate need. It didn’t help that the Hellcats had a lock on the last place spot the past four seasons. 

So why not check out the final round of tryouts for the Crush City Crew who had reigned as champs for what seemed like forever.

“I head through the grapevine that there’s a chick giving Sally a run for her money.” Claudia pulled out her phone to take notes.

“I’d love to see that,” Steve settled in to watch. “Someone’s needed to take her down for years.”

“Tell me about it.”

 

The pair watched in silence while the skaters warmed up and stretched.  Claudia waved at the friendly faces in the group. After a few minutes they gathered in the center of the rink where Sally divided them into different quads. 

“Oh that’s her,” Claudia grabbed Steve’s arm. “She’s the one on the left.”

“Looks a little small to be a jammer.”

“Just wait.”

The whistle blew and the jam started. 

“Whoa,” Steve watched as the pale woman with the star on her helmet worked her way through the blockers with ease, lapping the group several times before the end of the two minutes.

The woman sat down for the next round as another group came up to play the jam.

“So spill,” Steve looked over at Claudia.

“I don’t know much. She’s new in town, just transferred here for work. She played overseas in one of the British leagues but I’m not sure which one.  Doesn’t really know anyone here yet, but I know Sally’s not a fan.”

“Guess she missed our tryouts?”

“Yeah, by a couple of weeks.  Too bad because you know Artie would have made sure to get her on the team.”

 

The pair watched for another couple of rounds, more impressed each time they saw the mystery woman skate.  There was a short break where Sally talked with her team and their coach Walter Sykes about the final run.

When everyone came back they set up the final set of jams. It was the starters from Crush City versus a mix of backups and top candidates.

“She made the cut,” Claudia grinned. “It’s her versus Sally.”

 

The whistle blew and they were off. Sally was one of the best players in the league but also one of the dirtiest.  And her teammates definitely had her back.

Steve and Claudia winced as the woman they’d dubbed GB hit the deck hard.  To her credit she bounced up quickly and took off after the pack. She managed to get her way nearly to the front of the pack when an elbow flew out and hit her in the jaw.  She didn’t tumble but fell behind again.

By the end of the jam she hadn’t scored any points.

“Damn,” Steve settled back in his seat.  “She might still make the team.”

“Would you want to be a part of that mess?” Claudia replied. “Come on,” she stood quickly. “Let’s catch her before she gets to her car.”

 

Out in the parking lot they waited, hoping to catch the mystery woman before she headed for home.  In listening in to the other girls as they left the practice rink, they learned two things. The woman’s name was Helena and that she made the team then turned it down.

“This is our chance,” Claudia smacked Steve on the back. “Oh here she comes.”

 

Steve hung back as Claudia approached Helena.

“Hey,” she waved, “tough break in there huh?”

“I suppose,” she sighed. “I had heard that the Crushers were the team to be on in this league. But clearly they’re not.”

“They’ve been the league champs for quite some time.”

“I want to win but not like that. No offense.”

“None taken,” Claudia grinned. “I’m Claudia. Claudia Donovan.”

“Helena Wells.”

“You’re a hell of a skater Helena. I don’t suppose you’d consider another team for the season?”

“Perhaps,” Helena’s eyes narrowed.  “This was the last tryout on the schedule.”

“It was but what if I told you a spot opened up on another team unexpectedly. Well not so unexpectedly but we’ve got a spot and you’d be a great fit.”

“Really,” Helena raised an eyebrow. “And what team is that?”

“Come to the practice rink on Thursday at 7:30 and see,” Claudia pulled out her phone. “What’s your number and I’ll text you some details.”

 

“Oh man,” Claudia did a small victory dance in the passenger seat of Steve’s truck. “This is gonna be so great.”

“If she agrees to be on the team.”

“Don’t be such a spoil sport Steve-o”, Claudia looked down at the contact info in her phone. “Helena Wells will be a Hellcat for sure. Especially after she meets Myka.”

Chapter Text

I can see it in your eyes, some things have lost their meaning

Your hands shake as they pop open the bottle of pills. Down to the last two.

Shit.

 

A knock on your window causes you to jump and you nearly lose the two small white discs that help keep you sane. Keep you focused.

“You can’t park here,” the officer shouts through the glass. “Move it.”

With a shaky nod and snap of a cap you pull the car away from the curb and out into traffic.

 

Your therapist (the third of this year) has told you that perhaps a new career choice would be more suited to your temperament.  One that was less stressful and didn’t require the nearly constant “show” that you have perfected over the years.  But you know that your special set of skills and coupled with your age (the PBS article about age discrimination had struck a little close to home) had virtually trapped you where you now are.

And that a comfortable retirement is something that you hadn’t thought possible since the Clinton era.

 

Back at the hotel you beg off dinner and call the psychiatrist to get a new prescription. You won’t be home before the well runs dry and you’ll need more help to stay functional.  You catch the office right before they close and they assure you a fax will be sent to your hotel first thing in the morning.

It’s not comforting enough but you don’t want to burn another pill tonight so you settle for the home remedy that kept you going for years.  As you break open the seal on the first small bottle of vodka at the mini bar you write down just how many you’re going to have to expense to a different account.

Work can never know what really happens at night.

 

As the clear liquid burns a path down your throat you wonder what exactly set you off today.  You’d performed all your rituals to keep you calm. Had the distractions you needed to keep the underling anxiety and panic at bay.  At lunch when a surge hit you reminded yourself of yet another clean bill of health from just a few weeks ago.

You sat back in the leather chair contemplating.  It wasn’t the job. It wasn’t the city. What happened at lunch?

Drawing a blank you refilled the cheap plastic cup and dimmed the lights.  The TV was on with the sound off playing some old Kung Fu classic (It looked like Death Duel but you weren’t quite sure).  The movie actually had sub titles and as your eyes drifted over the words on the screen it came to you.

 

Three tables back and four over there had been a woman. A thin, smartly dressed woman in a sharp business suit ensemble. She had been sitting with what looked to be two of her coworkers who were animatedly discussing something.

There!  She had run a hand through her long dark hair in an achingly familiar way.  Just thinking about it nearly set off a full attack and you had to spend ten minutes doing breathing exercises to get yourself together.

Now you knew what had torpedoed your day.

It wasn’t her. It could never be her (she had left years ago) but it was close enough.  All the old feelings surged up, snuck up, pushed up to caused you hands to tingle. For you to feel like you were watching yourself go through the day instead of living it.

For you to say fuck it and open another bottle of cheap hotel vodka.

 

In the morning there would be a fax and trip to the closest Walgreens or CVS to get the prescription filled. Work would be there with Claudia calling with an update on the contract negotiations back home. 

But tonight there was just you and the memories so thick they filled the dark corners of your hotel room. And maybe you’d take one of those last two pills.

Hell tonight might require both.

 

We bide our time, though the time is fine

The annual Christmas party at for the firm of Nielson, Fredrick and Kosan was in full swing by the time you arrived.  Christina and Adelaide had been a handful to get to bed and their sitter had been late.  Nate had been a bit flustered but after a scotch and soda he seemed to calm.

You wished you didn’t have to go at all.

“You look lovely tonight Helena,” he had said while he helped you on with your coat.

You smiled and kissed his cheek.

As soon as you’d left your winter jackets at the coat check, Nate was off to the bar to chat with his office cronies, Pete and Sam.   Everyone was buzzing with Watergate and Ford’s Presidency.   Never in American history had such a scandal swept politics.

It made you glad to be English.

 

The smell of her perfume greeted you.

“Hello Mrs. Watkins.”

“Mrs. Lattimer,” you turned with a smile on your face.  “You’ve changed your hair?”

“I was trying something new.”

You can’t help yourself, reaching out to run a hand through the end of her now long straight hair. 

“It’s lovely,” you smile. “Though I loved the curls as well.”

“It seems as if the boys will be occupied for some time,” she nods towards the bar where their husbands drank and joked.

“Shall we then?”

 

 

You had first met Myka Lattimer at a company picnic in 1968.  Her husband had just joined the firm and Nate had been tasked to ‘show him the ropes’.   Caring little for the gaggle of gossipers that filled the ranks of housewives of the firm you hoped that Mrs. Lattimer would be different.

As she pressed you against the wall of an empty conference room down the hall  from the party, you were so glad your instincts had been correct.

“Myka,” you rasped as her lips trailed along your neck.  Her hands searching for the zipper in your dress.

Slipping your hands into her hair you pulled her up into a deep kiss.

 

“Did you have a nice time tonight,” Nate asked as you got ready for bed.

“I did actually.”  

“I saw you chatting with Pete’s wife,” he moved over to make room for you. “How’s Myka doing?”

“Well. We’ve made plans to meet up for lunch next week.”

“Good,” he leans over and gives you a kiss. (It’s a pale shade of what Myka offers.) 

“Love you,” he smiles and turns over.

You sink into the soft bedding and sigh.

 

 

My heat is beating in a different way

“Report!”

“Perimeter shields down to 20 percent.  Telemetry shows at least another 500 Goons approaching from the Northwest.”

Steve’s words send a dagger through your heart.  You looked over  what was left of your squad.  “Okay,  Jinks send out the distress beacon. Maybe there’s a jump ship in the area that’s crazy enough to come pick us up. Lattimer, Martino, Donavan let’s get this wall secured here and here. If we have to go down, we’re taking as many of those fuckers with us.”

“Whoo-ha!”

 

You’d been in tighter spots than this during your career with the Mobil Infantry.  Saturn.  Nine.  Space Station 13 all had a low survival probability. But here you are on Planet U two sectors away from Goon Prime.

The screams of your alien foe caused a chill to run down your spine and pull you back to reality.

Maybe this is it.

 

“Ma’am,” Jinks shouted.  “Incoming transmission. Looks like the distress beacon snagged us a jump off.”

“Thanks the Gods,” Sergeant Lattimer gives you a grin.

“Don’t count those chickens just yet,” you grumbled.  “How far out Corporal.”

“10 clicks,” Jinks swallowed. “About as far as the next wave of Goons.”

“Move it then,” you shout. “Let’s get this wall squared up. Jinks take Theo juice up the shields as best you can. We’ve got to give those jockeys a shot at touchdown alive.”

You don’t remember much, other than barking orders and running towards the small drop ship that barely held who was left.  Martino took a bad hit in the back and might not make it but everyone else made it out alive.

Once you’ve cleared the kill zone you push your  way to the cockpit to say thanks.

“That was some flying,” you greet the pair who saved your lives. “You really saved our bacon back there. Thanks.”

“Our pleasure Captain Bering.”

“Oh shit.”

You recognize Wolcott, the best second in the space fleet,  which means…

“We couldn’t allow MI’s finest to die on U could we?”

“Captain Wells,” you barely can get the name out of your mouth.

 

 

Martino didn’t pull through and you have the service a few days later on the Command Station.  Everyone says a few words and Josh sings one of Sam’s favorite songs as you launch his body into space.  As the crowd clears your surprised to find HG Wells amongst the mourners.

“Cap,” Pete calls, “we’ll see you later at Washed Out?”

“Later,” you reply as you find yourself in front of HG.

“I’m sorry for your loss. I know how much it hurts to lose a man.”

“Thanks.”  She looks as fantastic as she did four years ago when you were together.  The war had forced distance, time had pulled you apart.

“I have to admit seeing you took me by surprise. I thought you were flying the big rigs?”

“I was for quite some time. But an error in judgment has sent me here.  I’m back on drop ship duty.”

“And Wolcott?”

“Demoted himself so we could stay partnered.  The crazy git.”

“He’s a good man.”

“Like a second brother.” She smiled then and you stopped breathing.

“So are you sticking on this station for a while or just passing through?”

“I requested to be assigned to your division Myka.” She ran a hand through her long dark hair. “I’ve made so many mistakes over these past few years I wanted to work on rectifying the biggest one first.”

“Which is?”

“Letting you go.”

 

 

All I have, I will give to you and at times when no one wants to

The explosion threw them to the ground. Dust, debris and heat covered them and for a moment Myka lost herself in blackness.

Get up, her mind screamed, get up. Get up and find Helena.

“Pete,” Myka rasped out, turning to where she’d last seen her partner. “Pete are you okay.”

“A little,” coughing broke up his joke, “a little singed around the edges but I’m good.”

From somewhere in the smoke and dust a Farnsworth blared to life.

“I’ll get it.” Pete stumbled off towards the noise. “Go find her.”

 

Most of the building the team had been chasing the suspect into was now gone.  Charred timber and twisted metal scattered down the street,  smoking and burning.  

“HG,” Myka called out. Coughing and taking a deep breath she shouted the name louder into the heart of what still stood.

Myka felt her foot sink into something soft.

“Oh God.”

The burned remains of what once had been a human being was under her feet. There was no way to know if it was HG, the suspect,  or some unsuspecting person who happened to be in the building.

“Helena,” Myka shouted again, her voice wavering. 

This had been their chance.   The Regents had finally let HG return after her stint on the run with the Astrolabe.  Though she didn’t go out in the field as much as the other Agents,  Helena had been a fantastic edition to the Warehouse.

And finally, just a few days ago, she and Myka had made their peace with the past and were poised to move on to a new future.

After another 10 minutes of fruitless searching Myka stepped out of the building and into a back alley.  She heard sirens in the distance. Soon help would arrive but she was sure-so sure-about what else they would find in the smoking wreckage.

Taking several deep breaths, Myka steadied herself to go face Pete  and the slew of questions from local authorities. She would save her breakdown for later.

A moan stopped her in her tracks.

“Helena?” she called out one last time.

Another moan.

There! Behind a battered dumpster was a pale hand wearing ruby ring.

“Helena!”

Skidding around the corner, Myka fell to her knees in relief.

“Oh thank God.”

“Darling,” HG’s eyes fluttered open.

“I’m here, I’m here.”

“Good,”  Helena smiled and began to sit up.

“Slowly,” Myka helped the other woman  up and leaned her onto her chest.  The sirens grew closer. “Help is almost here. I’ve got you.”

Chapter Text

She had told her parents it was only going to be one show, maybe two tops.  There was no way she could turn down the offer to cover The Regents, the hottest band of 1974 for Rolling Stone.

Her father had flipped, nearly disowning her on the spot but Tracy of all people, queen of all things hip and cool had pointed out what an honor it was.

Especially since Myka was only 17 and a senior in high school.

 

So she met the band in Albuquerque, got her sister tickets to the show in Denver and stayed on the bus as they headed to Lincoln.  On the way she’d gotten to know just about everyone. Artie, the band’s manager and his wife Vanessa the publicist.  Addy who was the tour manager and somehow knew where the best after parties were in every city.  Pete who played bass and wrote the songs was like the big brother she never had and his partner Amanda who kept the prankster in line. Wolly who played keyboards and the worst reputation but really was the nicest guy.  Steve the quiet and shy lead singer who never went out after a show.  Claudia, Steve’s best friend who wrote the lyrics and played guitar. 

“I like it,” she’d told Myka after reading a rough draft of the article she’d was working on.  “You’ve really got something special kid.”

 

But it was the others, the groupies, the techs and the fans who swirled around The Regents that Myka found the most fascinating.  HG Wells had been there since the start of the tour.  Not much older than Myka and from England, with jet black hair and a smile that made the young reporter feel things she’d never thought of before, that had captured her attention the most.

One of the other groupies had told Myka the The Regents were this year’s thing for HG.  Last year it had been Bowie and Ziggy Stardust, the year before it had been The Who and The Stones. 

“Guess she’s taking a break from the big ones,” the girl, Sally, had told her when then had pulled over at a rest stop just over the Colorado border.   “I mean, I like The Regents but they’re no Mick Jagger.”

 

“Wolly’s my cousin,” HG had told her after the show in Lincoln. Somehow they found themselves at a house party thrown by fans of the band.  In a rare break from his solitude, Steve had made them all go.  Myka could tell from Claudia’s body language that this was a mistake but they all went anyway.

“Really?”

“Yes,” HG smiled. They were sitting out back, just the two of them with their feet in the pool. “He moved to LA years ago. The Regents original piano man got drafted and the studio set him up on this tour. “

“It must be nice to be with family, especially out here.”  Myka thought there was no one from the Bering clan she could ever spend so much time with.

“In some ways,” HG smiled. Myka felt her stomach clench. There was that feeling again. “He actually wanted me to stay in LA, keep an eye on his place but,” she paused.

“You’re here.”

“I am,” HG glanced over at the house. “I suppose we should head in soon.”

“Not just yet,” Myka reached over and rested her hand on HG’s.

Dark eyes looked down at their hands for a moment before meeting Myka’s.

“Righty-ho then.”

 

 

“Myka darling, it’s time to go.”

“Five more minutes,” she grumbled, slowly pulling herself awake.

She realized rather quickly that her back was sore from an awkward sleeping position and that HG was holding her tightly.

“Sorry,” she mumbled and pulled back slowly.

“There’s nothing to be sorry for,” the other woman smiled. “The bus will be arriving shortly and we need to collect everyone.”

 

Myka stood next to Artie on the lawn as the band and crew filed out of the house.  Pete and Amanda looked tired and surprisingly not hung over.

“He doesn’t drink,” Artie must have sensed her confusion. “Not anymore.”

Next came Addy and a few of the crew followed by some of the people who had hosted.  Claudia was next, followed by Wolcott and HG.

Last was Steve, followed by a handsome young man with dark brown hair and bright blue eyes.  The lead singer turned and kissed the other man passionately before heading towards the bus with a grin.

Myka’s jaw fell.

 

“You okay there Rolling Stone?” Claudia asked before she got on the bus. 

“Yeah,” Myka nodded. “I’m good.”

“Cool cause you know you can’t print that.”

“I know.”

 

Myka plopped down next to HG near the back of the bus. 

“Is it always like this?” she asked as they pulled away.

“Only when it’s good,” HG reached over and took her hand.

“I need to go home,” Myka sighed.  This should have been her last stop on the tour.

“You are home.” HG smiled and kissed her.

Chapter Text

When she’d agreed to take the Astrolabe on the run Helena knew that there would be many long and lonely nights spent in her own company.

So with no regret she had slipped into Myka’s room before her departure and shared things with the other woman that no other would ever know.

They hadn’t made love that night but Helena knew that once this was over they would be ensconced in Myka’s room for some time.

She grinned at the thought.

 

But had had been six months ago and with no word from Mrs. Fredric, she found herself spending another night on the road.  HG had returned to America  purchased a car and was decided to drive cross country.  In her research she’d learned about a famous highway that was worthy of exploration.

She was somewhere in Missouri when it was time to stop for the night. Rolla seemed as interesting a place as any, so after securing a room at the local Motel 8 as Emily Lake she decided to explore a bit of the town. 

Stepping into the Pastime Tavern she pulled up a seat at the nearly empty bar.  The ancient television was playing a Cardinals came with the sound off while the jukebox in the corner played a song she didn’t recognize in the back corner.

 

She had attempted to watch baseball with Pete during her time at the Warehouse. He was a fan of all things sporting and his passion for teams that were marginal at best was somewhat charming.  She quickly recognized it as a form of modified Cricket and could appreciate the nuances her fellow Agent described.

But it was quite dull to watch on the couch after a long day of inventory.  It was only after attending the minor league games with Pete and Claudia in Cedar Rapids that she truly saw the appeal.

Perhaps she would seek out a game during her travels.

 

“Haven’t seen you in here before,” the bartender, an older heavy set man with thinning hair greeted. “New to town?”

“Just passing through,” she replied.

“And British,” he smiled. “Are you sure you’re not lost?”

“Not at the moment,” she smiled. “So what do you recommend at the Pastime Tavern?”

After ordering the house special plate and a drink, Helena pulled out her phone to check for messages.  She still marveled that once required a room of materials  now could fit in the palm of her hand.

 

Her mind drifted back to that first case at Tamalpais University. She had barely a passing acquaintance with modern technology at that time and was impressed when Myka opened the lap top and explained its workings.  Myka had smirked when Helena had pocketed the post it notes which was still one of her favorite forms of communication. 

 

A cheer erupted from the other end of the bar. It seemed her fellow patrons were watching the game on another TV. Glancing over she noticed the score had turned in St. Louis’s favor.

“Here you go,” the bartender, set down her food and a refill for her drink.   “Enjoy.”

“Thank you,” she nodded.

The song changed on the jukebox and Helena smiled to herself.   It was something she recognized.

 

She had caught Leena unaware in the kitchen as she prepared dinner for the team. Helena had the day off and had spent most of her time reading and learning about the modern era.   With a gasp the proprietor had turned and Helena had apologized.

Curious, she had asked Leena about the song she’d been singing along to which had led to a discussion of the evolution of modern popular music.  Claudia and Pete had also introduced her to their preferences but neither had been appealing. But there was something in Leena’s choice that Helena found quite compelling.

Three days later Myka had presented her with an iPod filled with the types of songs she had discussed with Leena. 

It now sat in the glove compartment of her car.

 

She finished her surprisingly tasty meal and ordered one more drink, this time an alcoholic beverage and settled in to watch the end of the game.  Rarely did she allow herself of spirits while on a mission but she had determined that residents of Rolla didn’t pose a threat. 

Helena wondered again when she would be allowed to return to the Warehouse and to finish what she and Myka had started.  The longer she spent in hiding the more she realized that when (not if) this ordeal was over her days as an Agent would be done.  She had been researching other areas of which she could be of service. At the moment, forensic science was the top candidate but there were several others in the running.

 

She had leaned against Myka that night, the strong arms of her love cradling her close as she spoke of her post Warehouse life.  She knew that Myka would never leave, which was fine since Helena could find other ways to occupy her time. 

Myka had vowed to assist her in any way possible. 

 

Helena smiled, remembering how tender Myka had been that night with both words and actions.  It made the pain she currently felt more acute.

“May I have another?” she held up her empty glass.

 

Helena stayed for the entire game which went to extra innings.  Unfortunately the Cardinals lost and she bought a round of conciliatory drinks for the handful of patrons who were left.

“Thank you for a lovely evening,” she thanked the bartender, Fred as she packed up her things.  “The next time I’m in Dolla I’ll make sure to stop by.”

“You’re welcome.” He smiled. “I hoped tonight helped.”

She faltered for a moment.

“I’ve been tending bar since before you were born kid, I know a broken heart when I see it.”

She swallowed and looked down, “not broken, just lonely.”   

“I hope that changes soon HG.”

“As do I,” she replied. “And it did help.”

“Safe travels,” Fred called as she exited the bar.

 

 

It wasn’t until she was pulling out of the Super 8 the next morning she realized that Fred called her by a name she never gave.

Chapter Text

She pulled into the parking spot and turned off the engine. Breathing deeply, she pushed that feeling of dread down as far down as it would go.  Something wasn’t right. And it hadn’t been right for some time.

She squared her shoulders and got out of the car. Friendly voices called their hellos. 

“How was your weekend?”

“Did you see that new movie?”

“I thought it wouldn’t stop raining.”

Smile, banter, push the unsettling feelings down.  Soon she’d be inside at her desk and have the distraction of work to help her forget the wrongness of it all.

The doctors had told her that the medication would help keep her steady-even-as she transitioned to back to what she had always done. Back to whom she used to be.

But as one prescription rolled into another and into another, the feelings of dread, the panic attacks, the nervousness never left.  Yes, sometimes it was better but she could feel the demons lurking in the shadows.

This was not how things were supposed to be.

 

“So,” he smiled, leaning a little closer as she made the first of what would be many cups of tea for the day. “Have you thought about it?” He paused as she continued on with her cup.

“About dinner?”

He was attractive and charming. Not the Neanderthal  like most coaches tended to be. 

“Oh,” she focused on her tea, “I was swamped with work this weekend. I didn’t get a chance to check my schedule.”

He sighed. “It’s just dinner. No pressure.”

The first warning bell rang, saving her from revealing the truth.

 

Tests dominated the first part of the day. She was able to catch up on the last few papers she’d neglected over the weekend as the freshmen and sophomores puzzled over spelling and definitions.  Third period saw the first of a week of book report presentations.  It was a spirited class that almost-almost-distracted her fully.

After lunch  the next wave of presentations for her Advanced Placement students began.   This class had a penchant for science fiction, Wells and Verne in particular.

“I just wonder,” one of her seniors chimed in, “why there is such a change in writing style after 1903? Miss Lake, do you know?”

She swallowed, caught off guard.  For a moment the world seemed to close in.

“There has been,” she spoke slowly, “some speculation that a change in editors might explain the discrepancy.”

“But nothing solid?”

“Not as of yet, I’m afraid.”

The bell rang. Saved again

 

Finally a free period.  Time to regroup, fix another cuppa and get ready for the final class of the day. Another Advanced Placement group who tended to favor Austin over Asimov.  She worked quickly to clean off the chalkboard.   Her potential paramour also had this period as planning and she desperately hoped to avoid him in the teachers’ lounge.

“Helena?”

She breathed deeply before turning around. For just a moment, the world felt right.

Chapter Text

Myka took a deep breath and pushed a graying hair behind her ear. She’d heard the door to the umbilicus open a few minutes ago announcing the start of the day at the Warehouse.  She’d been the head Agent for years now and Claudia had been Caretaker for almost as long.

But no matter how many times she went on this tour of the Warehouse the old pain returned like the events had just happened yesterday.

Steve gave her a smile as she headed down the stairs from her room above the office.  Claudia a quick hug before she joined the Regents in the conference room for their bi-annual meeting.  

“Where’s Agent Cooper?”

“Bathroom,” Agent Durham replied with a sigh. “Something about a date with a burrito that went wrong.” She rolled her eyes.

Myka chuckled.

The young man came running into the room a few seconds later.

“Sorry to hold up the party,” he nodded.

“Are you good to go Agent Cooper?” Myka asked.

“Five by Five boss. Let’s get this showboat on the road.”

 

“It’s important that you have some knowledge of all areas of the Warehouse,” Myka had been talking the newest members of the team through critical sections, explaining a little of the history of the section and what artifacts to avoid. Durham had been reading the manual and asked several questions as the tour went on.

Cooper had read the procedural parts of the manual but not the history.  Myka was tempted to let his hands wander as a lesson but she didn’t have the patience to defuse an artifact situation today.

As they rounded the corner, Durham gasped.  “The HG Wells section!”

Myka swallowed.

“He has his own section? Like the Farnsworth aisle?” Cooper asked.

“She,” Durham corrected. “Helena G Wells was an Agent for Warehouse 12 and 13. Did you get to work with her Agent Bering?”

“I did. Helena was a brilliant Agent and good friend.”

“I sense a but in there,” Durham pushed.

 

Helena had eventually left Boone and later Giselle.  She found herself working more directly with The Regents, taking on small missions and easy retrievals for the Warehouse while working with the Cedar Rapids PD.  From time to time she’d join the team on Violet or Blackout missions. Or she’d meet with Claudia and they would work on improvements to the Warehouse systems.

Helena had apologized dozens of times and Myka had accepted every one. They had moved back to becoming friends.  But Myka was with Pete. And then when she wasn’t, Helena was with Samantha.  

Time was never on their side.

They’d been on a retrieval with Pete and Steve, looking for a Timothy McVeigh artifact outside of Oklahoma City. Helena had just told the team that she and Samantha had called it quits.  Pete shot Myka a wink as he slowed the SVU to a stop at the light.

Three days later she woke up in the hospital. They’d been hit by a drunk driver while they waited for the light to change.  Pete had survived but lost the use of his left leg.  Steve had spent a night in the hospital and been released.  Myka and Helena had been rushed to surgery with internal injuries.

Only one of them had made it.

 

“There is no but,” Myka replied tersely. “She was a good friend who left us too soon.  There will never be another Agent quite like HG Wells.”

 

 

“Coop, what’s up?”

“Just catching up on a little reading Mags,” the Agent held up a file. “It’s a nice night so I thought I’d enjoy some time outside before it gets too hot.”

 “Wells? Really?” she sat down across from her fellow Agent.

“Yeah,” he looked out across the yard. He’d been curious and Steve found the files quickly. “She really was a fantastic Agent.  She and her partner Wolcott had more retrievals than almost any other pair at Warehouse 12. “

He slid a file over. “They’re great reads actually. That one’s about how she fought Jack the Ripper.”

 

Myka watched from the shadows of the kitchen.  Steve had told her that Cooper requested Helena’s file and she’d given the okay for the full dossier to be released.  For the first time in years she finally felt a peace after a day in the HG Wells section.

Chapter Text

HG leaned back, resting her hands against the catwalk as her legs dangled over the edge.  She’d come to London to collect herself after a disastrous six months.  Two failed relationships, a desperate grasp for the past and near crippling fear for her future had sent her running overseas.

The cobblestone streets and smell of coal had given way to a modern city of over 8 million. Parts of city were nearly unrecognizable, then she’d turn a corner and she was back walking the streets with Wolly or on a hunt with Duncan.

She’d spent some time in the park she and Christina favored, watching families from a distance lost in thought of what could have been.

Every night she’d visited Covent Garden, sometimes in a box seat, other times from the rafters.  (Despite its many renovations since her time at 12, there were still a few secrets left in the old building.)

She’d seen an adaption of one of Oscar’s plays into a charming modern opera.  A dramatic staging of Giselle that was far beyond what she and Charles had seen during a trip to Paris.  Tonight it was Puccini’s Madama Butterfly that had premiered shortly after she’d been bronzed.

The show was sold out for its entire run so she’d been relegated to her seat high above the stage.

The curtain dropped for the first intermission. HG swung her legs in front of her and leaned further back on the narrow catwalk, watching the cables moved as they chained the scenery on stage.  The rumble of sets being moved and calls of the stage crew lulling her into a relaxed state.  She reached up and clutched the small locket that always hung from her neck.

 

With a start she sat up quickly as the opening of the second act began.

“Did you enjoy your rest?”

HG whipped her head around and reached for a Tesla that wasn’t there.

“Bloody hell,” she cursed with a small smile.  “Is this a hallucination or artifact related?”

“A bit of both,” McShane smiled. “It’s good to see you HG.”

“And you as well.” She swung her legs over the edge of the catwalk.   “Though I’m surprised I’m not being visited by Wolly or Charles.”

“They send their regards.”

“Of course.”

They sat in silence as Butterfly sang of the excitement of seeing her love again after many years apart. HG crossed her arms as a vision of Myka filled her head.

“It took me years to see this opera,” McShane spoke softly after the aria ended.  “I finally saw it for the first time with Kipling.”

“Kipling?” HG couldn’t believe her ears.

“I know,” he chuckled. “We were in New York City on a mission.  Wolcott had warned me that it would be difficult to watch, so I decided that he would be the best to keep my emotions in line.  His disposition was even more difficult after you left.”

He sighed. “You would have loved Caruso Helena. Do make sure to listen to his recordings.”

“I will.”

“That night, after the performance I left Kipling at the hotel and walked the streets of the city. Thinking of the things I’d lost or turned away from in my time at the Warehouse. Of my dear friend who was now a statue in the bronze sector.”

HG reached out to rest her hand on his.

“Wolly had warned me that Puccini would put me in a mood and he was right. It still does.” He smiled sadly.  “What are you doing Helena?”

“Enjoying an artifact induced hallucination with a dear friend,” she quipped.

“Really HG.”

She sighed. “I am in love old friend, and I’m afraid I’ve botched things terribly. I both love and loathe the Warehouse and do not have a strong desire to return there. Though I find myself gathering artifacts none the less.  But the worst part,” she frowned, “is that I’m finding myself entranced by reality television.”

McShane laughed at the look on HG’s face.  “Oh HG, I think that last concern is the least of your worries.”

“You have no idea the shame I feel.”

“I have no advice for your viewing conundrum,” Duncan squeezed her hand. “But for the rest, I believe a visit to North Dakota might be in order. I suspect there is still hope in the other cases. If not hope, then resolution so that you can move on.  I know you must have several works in progress.”

She smiled. No one in this century would know her as well as her friends from the last.

Helena pulled him into a hug. “Thank you Duncan.”

 

Myka sat on the back porch, a mug of tea cooling on the small table next to her.  The sun was creeping over the horizon as she scanned the newspaper while music played softly in the background.  She had spent many of her mornings like this, none more special than the brief time Helena Wells had joined her.  They had spent many a morning listening to Myka’s secret love, opera, quietly enjoying each other’s company until Leena called them in for breakfast.

She had gotten in late last night from a retrieval with Steve but her body clock woke her far earlier than the alarm she’d set.  So she came outside to enjoy the spring weather and her day off.  Myka was so absorbed in the article she was reading she didn’t notice the music change to something more familiar to times past or hear the footsteps that came onto the porch.

It wasn’t until the sound of another mug of tea being set on the table next to hers that she realized another person was on the porch.

Knowing it had to be Steve, the only other earlier riser at the B&B, she didn’t look up from her reading when she spoke.

“Couldn’t sleep either?”

“Not well at all. Nerves I’m afraid.”

Myka nearly dropped the paper.

“Helena,” she turned, eyes wide in surprise. “What are you doing here? Are you okay?”

“I’m the best I’ve been in quite some time.” She smiled and took a sip of tea. “And I’m here to see you.”

Chapter Text

Blackout, the worst of the worst, saved only for those events that could end the world.

MacPherson.  Paracelsus.  Walter Sykes.

HG Wells.

 

The woman who had once earned the designation of blackout level retrieval sat next to Myka in a nondescript white van across the street from a dilapidated warehouse.  She’d been back working with Team 13 for just over six months doing mostly research and working on upgrades with Claudia.  When Mrs. Fredric had brought her in, she told them all that her days as an Agent were done but she would help out when circumstances required it.

The Colima Cartel getting their hands on a Chernobyl artifact certainly qualified as one of those times. The situation was so dire that Steve had reached out to the ATF for support calling in Liam and several other officers to assist.

HG checked her Tesla, her gun, and the knife she had stuck in the top of her boot.

“I’m nervous too,” Myka admitted softly.  They were to go in third when Pete gave the signal to secure the artifact while the others handled the gang members.

“It has been some time since I’ve been on this end of a mission of this level,” HG ran a hand through her hair.  

“Sykes.” Myka pointed out.

“Yes well,” HG sighed. “I was hardly myself for most of that experience.”

“You were when it counted.”  Myka gave Helena a small smile.

Since HG had come back after Boone they had danced around each other. Sometimes it was as if no time had passed, other times it was as if they barely knew each other.

“15 minutes,” Pete’s voice filled their earpieces.

HG and Myka checked their equipment for the final time.

 

“Myka,” Helena’s voice broke the stillness. “If I am not to make it through this mission…”

“Don’t say that,” Myka cut her off. “You can’t think that way.”

“I know,” Helena looked up from her hands clutched in her lap at the other woman. “But want to make sure you know something just in case.”

With a small nod from Myka, Helena continued.

“I have muddled things between us a great deal and for that I am so incredibly sorry.  From Yellowstone to Boone, I have hurt you in so many ways and my words will never be enough to show my remorse for my actions.”

Helena looked down at her hands again.  “I had hoped so much more for us but I will be content to earn my way back into your good graces. Friendship would be a boon beyond belief. I have sworn to be a better person and I will.”

Myka reached over and covered Helena’s hands with one of her own. Slowly she pulled one into a strong grip and squeezed.

“Thank you.”

Helena’s eyes grew wide as Myka pulled her hand to her lips and kissed the back gently.  “We’re gonna make it through this. And then we’re gonna have that talk we’ve been putting off.”

Pete’s voice broke the moment. It was time.

 

HG followed Myka into the building, taking cover as bullets flew.  Pete, Steve and the ATF had stormed the building and were in the middle of a gun battle.  The Agents knew the artifact was being kept in the safe in the office. Slowly but surely they made their way across the warehouse floor and into the small room.

“Cover me,” Myka knelt down in front of the safe and pulled out Johnny Ramesky’s tools. Within seconds the safe was open and the artifact in a static bag.

“Let’s get out of here,” Myka stood.

“Agreed.”

HG turned at the sound of cursing in Spanish, pulling her Tesla and shooting blindly.  Pain shot through her side and she fell, Myka’s shouts echoing in the darkness.

 

“She’s coming to,” Claudia’s shouted.

HG heard the sound of feet hurrying into the room. Slowly she opened her eyes.

“There she is,” Pete grinned.

“How you feeling HG?” Claudia asked.

“What happened?”

“Some dudes got the jump on you and Mykes in the office,” Pete explained. “You took ‘em down though.”

“One got a shot off,” Steve added. “The bullet passed straight through so you should be okay soon.”

“And Myka?”

“She’s fine,” Claudia chimed in. “On the Farnsworth with Artie making sure the artifact made it back okay with Liam. None of us wanted to leave to bring it back with you in the hospital.”

HG smiled and the unexpected show of support.

“Hey guys, is she up?” Myka’s voice came from the doorway.

“She is,” Helena replied. The others said their goodbyes and left them alone.

 

“How are you feeling?”

“A bit sore and light headed. As to be expected after being shot.”

“You knew something would happen didn’t you?”

“I wouldn’t call it a ‘vibe’ per se, but experience has told me that it’s best not to go into life or death situations without the proper words being said to the ones you care most for.”

Myka smiled and took Helena’s hand.

Chapter Text

Helena sat in the hotel bar watching the ice melt in her Scotch as she listened to the news report that played on the television.  The sudden pandemic, with its flu like systems and rising mortality rate had mysteriously subsided.  Millions were still recovering but the worst was over.

Whether it was due to her time in the bronze or her Victorian birth HG Wells had managed to avoid all of the symptoms of the sickness. She had made an excellent volunteer and doctor’s assistant when the nurses had fallen ill.

It was not the way she had planned on helping the Warehouse combat evil. But neither were the months on the run with the Astrolabe which was now safely back with the Brotherhood.

She glanced up from her watery drink to check the time. Eyes widening slightly she laughed to herself.

September 21. 

Draining her drink she raised the empty glass to single for another.

It was her birthday after all.

 

The television had changed to a sporting event, the playoffs, she’d heard one of her fellow patrons say as they talked loudly about their day.  She turned her chair slightly to look out the window over the city. Night had fallen and the metropolis was aglow with the magic and perils of modern society.  It was her birthday, a triple digit number she had never imagined celebrating. The time in the bronze had robbed her of hundreds of celebrations.  And the Warehouse of yet another.

Slowly the memories of birthday’s past came to her.  The earliest with her family, Charles slipping her an extra piece of cake when she was eight.  Kissing Tom Brambly in the cloakroom at age 12 to win a bet with her chums.  Kissing Violet Hawkins at age 16 and discovering love for the first time.  Singing bawdy songs with Wolly and Duncan at the Old Bell when she turned 27.  Sitting in a kitchen in an attempt to pull herself together before facing the sympathetic eyes of friends and family at her father’s wake at age 29.

She turned over every birthday celebrated with Christina.  For many she was out on assignment with the Warehouse. It wasn’t until Christina was five that she was home to celebrate with their family. Charles and Christina had thrown an elaborate tea party in her honor. Helena smiled at how uncomfortable both Wolcott and McShane looked but had gamely played along.

 

The crowd had thinned and she had added water and a light snack to her solo revelry.  The fake Emily Lake ID she carried told the world she was a woman in her mid to late 30s. She realized though the day of her birth had lost meaning.  The scientist had fought to master the passage of time and in some small way she had.  But the future utopia she had wished for never materialized.  The dark plots that had kept her sane while frozen had crumbled away in this new reality. Her most recent  birthday had been spent separated in two. A body taught English while a soul was held prisoner by the master she still served.

Today was the closest she’d been to herself since before Christina’s death. 

And there was still a ways to go.

 

“Happy Birthday Agent Wells.”

With a smirk Helena looked up at Mrs. Fredric.  Before she could speak another drink as well as one for Irene materialized as the Caretaker took the seat across from her.

“To your health.”

“And to yours.” Helena sipped the Scotch. “What brings you to this fair city?”

“Time. I believe you’re quite familiar with the concept?”

HG smiled despite herself.

“The threat to the Warehouse has passed. The Astrolabe is back where it belongs and Agent Nielson is healing. “

“And what does that have to do with me? I was told I could be free of the torments of the Warehouse once this mission was completed.”

“It’s an option,”  Mrs. Fredric paused to sip her drink. “But I think your talents are better served working with us, don’t you think?”

“Hardly.”

“Come now Helena.  You are HG Wells. Author. Inventor. The Agent who first showed me the magic of endless wonder.”

“That person has been lost. My time in the bronze sought to that.”

“I don’t believe it,” she scoffed. “And I’m not the only one.”

HG narrowed her eyes. “Do  not bring her into this discussion.”

“And how would you pass the time then Helena? Keeping yourself busy with unimportant nonsense until you find yourself dead? That is not the HG Wells I know.”

Helena scowled at being caught.

They sat in silence for some time drinking their cocktails as life swirled around them.

“When you’re ready,” Mrs. Fredric stood and pulled a card from her purse. “Call. You’ll always have a home with the Warehouse.”

“And if I never do?”

“Call anyway,” she smiled. “I’d like to know how my old teacher is doing from time to time.”

Chapter Text

Myka watched from just inside the doorway. She’d brought the stranger water as requested and was supposed to return to her duties but something stopped her.

Travelers were not common but also not rare. They were a medium sized town that offered water and some protection thanks to MacPherson and his men.  What was unique was that this stranger was a woman.  A woman with short midnight hair and a lilting accent she’d never heard before.  She sat alone, sipping her drink, not removing her sunglasses or pack from her back.  Clearly she was waiting for something.

The woman motioned to the bartender for another drink and Myka was sent to the well once more. When she returned the bar was in chaos. The stranger was surrounded by MacPherson’s men who had weapons drawn. Several others lay unmoving on the ground. She watched in fascination as the stranger quickly and effortlessly took down each of the men, never taking off her pack or her sunglasses.

The woman turned to go but the cocking of guns from above froze her in place.  More of MacPherson’s men lined the balcony, including the man himself.

“Bring her upstairs.”

 

Hours later Myka found herself carrying a tray of food to one of the guest room doors.  She had been instructed by her mother that she was to provide dinner and any other sort of entertainment that the stranger required. MacPherson wanted her to join his crew but the woman had refused, saying she was on her way west to complete an important mission.

What exactly that was, they didn’t know. But if Myka could find out then she needed to as soon as possible.  MacPherson had saved them from the wastelands, after her father had grown sick and died and her mother had gone blind. He valued them both with their skills with old texts and pre-war information.  Myka had been a young girl and now she was a young woman, ready to be free of the prison this town had become.

 

“Thank you but I am not hungry,” the woman had said when Myka set the tray down.

“It’s not poisoned or drugged. You should eat.”

“Well that is certainly good to know,” the woman smirked. She looked much as she had before, short hair, lean and slightly tan from time on the road. The pack was missing as were the weapons she had carried. A dark leather jacket lay across the bed. The sunglasses were gone, revealing dark brown eyes.

“But that doesn’t change the fact that I am not hungry,” she paused, “but I’m sure you are. Go ahead and enjoy.” She slid the tray back to the other side of the small table.

Myka debated for a moment.

“It’s okay,” the woman spoke softly, “I won’t tell on you.”

“Thanks,” Myka quickly sat down across from the stranger and began to eat.  It had been some time since she’d seen so much food.

They sat in silence while Myka ate. She kept her eyes on her plate while the stranger studied her.

“Thank you again,” Myka wiped her mouth with the towel on the tray.

“You are very welcome. I suppose MacPherson has bid you to stay the night with me as well?”

Myka blushed.  She was intimately aware of what could happen between adults but had never met another so open about it.

“Yes,” she looked the stranger up and down slowly. “Would that be such a bad thing?”

The stranger smiled. “Under other circumstances, no, but I’m afraid that will not be happening tonight.”

Myka felt a bit sad at being turned down. “Well what should we do then? I have to be here till morning.”

“Let me tell you about a place of endless wonder.”

 

 

“What’s this?” Myka held up a dirty white box.

“Something from the past,” HG explained, pulling out a small chord from her pack. “Let me show you.”

With Myka’s help the pair had escaped the town and evaded MacPherson so far. They knew he was out there somewhere but with luck and time they could lose him in the wasteland.  It hadn’t always been like this, Myka knew.  Her earlier memories were from the time before, the last days. Before the bright white light filled the sky and the Earth was ripped away.

There was water and people everywhere. Green and fresh. Tall buildings and lights and books and everything was clean.  Myka would have flashes from time to time of her very early days from before but only understood the after.

“Put these over your ears,” Myka accepted the device and with a touch of a button music filled her ears.

“This is amazing,” Myka’s eyes shimmered in the firelight. She’d never heard anything so beautiful. “What is it?”

“Al Green.”

 

Myka woke with a start. The fire was out and the sun was peaking up over the horizon.  She quickly scanned the ruins they had sheltered in.  HG was nowhere to be found. 

Her green eyes landed on the precious pack.  She sighed in relief. HG hadn’t disappeared into the night.

She stood and stretched, heading for the break in the wall they had slipped through the day before.  HG had explained that this place once had been a source of power for the region, power that would last for a thousand years.  Now it was just another reminder of what never would be again.

“Hey HG,” Myka slipped next to her companion.

“Good morning darling,” HG gave her a quick smile and turned back to the rising sun.  Myka noticed how her sunglasses sat atop her head yet she didn’t look away from the glowing brightness.  “MacPherson will be here soon.  We should get moving.”

 

“I told you that you would not die here today,” HG spoke softly as Myka pressed her hands to the wound in her stomach. MacPherson had found them at the cannibal’s house.  The shoot out had killed most of MacPherson’s men and the cannibals themselves.

MacPherson wanted a book that HG was carrying.  Myka had heard of the book but all copies were thought lost in the fires that destroyed the Earth. Somehow HG had come across one in her travels and MacPherson wanted it for the power it contained.

“And you won’t either,” Myka pressed harder, willing the blood to stop flowing to no avail.

“Let’s go Myka,” Walter’s hand clamped down on her shoulder, pulling her away from HG.

Myka watched in the rearview mirror as HG’s prone form grew smaller in the distance.

 

 

“And how does the patient feel today,” Myka smiled as she pulled up a chair next to HG’s small bed.

“Much improved. Thank you.”

“Do you think you’re well enough to start? Mr. Nielson is quite eager to begin the transcription.”

HG took Myka’s hand in her own. “I believe so.”

 

Myka helped HG lay down the table in the transcription room, putting a pillow under her head.  She had finally escaped MacPherson and returned to the destroyed farmhouse. After a frantic search she found HG a few miles down the road, still heading west to her destination.  Thankfully the truck she’d liberated during her escape had extra fuel and they were able to make it to the Warehouse safely.   The doctors were able to patch HG up and Myka had made sure she was comfortable while she healed.

“Are you sure you’re ready to do this today?” Myka’s voice was full of concern.

HG pulled their joined hands to her lips, kissing the back of Myka’s before settling down on the table.

“Genesis 1: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

 

MacPherson sat down roughly at his desk, book in hand.  He had barely made it back to the town alive and had lost most of his men. But as he broke the lock on the thick tome he knew it would be worth it.  This book had been lost for so long but the power it contained would make him the most powerful man in the wastes.

“No,” he flipped from page to page frantically. “No, this can’t be.” He continued to turn page after page, unable to read a single one.

It was in Brail.

 

“Are you sure you won’t stay,” Mr. Nielson asked. “We could certainly use you around the Warehouse.”

“I need to save my mother,” Myka explained. “I can’t leave her with MacPherson.”

“And I now go where she goes,” HG replied, shaking Mr. Nielson’s hand.

He watched for a few minutes as the pair disappeared over a ridge and back into the ruins of what had been San Francisco. 

“Godspeed and good luck,” he whispered.

Chapter Text

Wolcott looked up from the file.

“I can’t believe what I’m reading.”

HG looked up from the order she was processing. “What?”

“HG Wells, the most effective Evaluator in the sector is going soft.”

“Hardly,” she bristled. “I think this planet warrants further study.”

Wolcott shook his head. “You know that’s not how it works.”

She sighed. “I know.”

 

Wolcott had been her partner for 12 cycles and she trusted no one more in the sector than him. His steady head and full heart had kept her from several potentially troublesome situations. Of course her reputation was sterling, but one could never be too careful. Evaluators seemed to come and go quickly these days and she loved her job.

“So what makes this one,” he scanned the file, “XI99 different than the others? Didn’t you tell me once you’ve seen one human you’ve seen them all?”

“Yes,” she huffed. “But look here,” she flipped the large file ahead several pages. “Look at this section about power soaked objects.”

“Okay,” Wolcott skimmed. “Not bad but they are level two and we’ve seen much higher quality in the past. This isn’t enough to stop demolition in this region.  It’s almost at capacity and we still have millennia to go. You know the Supervisor has three of the five already selected.  Lattimer and Donovan have a strong prospect for the fourth and Duncan has a dark horse for number five.  We’re going to have to sit out this round.”

“Nonsense,” HG shook her head. “This planet has to be one of the five.”

“Why?”

How could she explain what she had felt, had seen, during her time on XI99. There was a feeling that she rarely experienced while walking the streets of its largest city.  A joy she felt in walking its undiscovered country. A peace she hadn’t known in centuries when she had worked with a brilliant young researcher in the global library in Alexandria.

There was an intangible quality to this strain of humanity that must be preserved, beyond the samples and the carefully selected representatives of the species.  Helena was not a spiritual woman. She had lost all faith when her planet had been culled and she found herself among familiar but unsettling faces. 

Her lack of “humanity” had made her a perfect fit for what she did now. 

“I have a feeling.”

She didn’t think she’d ever seen Wolcott’s eyebrows rise quite so high.

“You,” he paused.  “The rock, the ice queen, the heartless assassin of worlds has a feeling.”

HG frowned at her many nicknames. “Yes. A feeling that we must act upon. So tell me Master Wolcott how can we delay decision day and save this world?”

He thought for a moment. “We’ll need samples and examples. And a few friends on the board along with supporting documentation from other Evaluators.” He paused. “Respected Evaluators.”

“Fine.” She nodded. “How long do we have?”

He flicked on his terminal and checked the calendar. “The board is scheduled to meet in two weeks time. It’ll be quite tight but not impossible.”

“Brilliant.” She smiled. “Come then Wolcott, let’s change the rules.”

Chapter Text

It had taken all that she had to get out of the city. They had been on retrieval when hell had broken loose.  They’d been separated at the airport and when she saw her friend’s broken body on the tarmac she fled. Her savings had gone first (as if money held any meaning any more). Then some of her supplies, then part of herself as she left a tangled mess on the off ramp when she escaped the last open interstate.

 

It didn’t matter though, none of it, given what little time she had left on this Earth. What anyone carried with them really, so why were people still being so cruel, so ignorant, so afraid to face what was about to happen?

 

Hell, at least we got some notice. That’s more than the dinosaurs got.

 

Closing her eyes for a moment she simply enjoyed the wind in her hair which had become almost unmanageable by social standards. Whatever those were anymore. Opening her eyes she caught a glimpse of something shiny further down the road.

 

“Shit,” she murmured. It was crunch time, with only a few hours left before then end and she wasn’t where she needed to be. Hopefully whatever was in the road was easily avoidable or already dead. So many of the cars she’s siphoned gas from in the last few days held what was left of their former owners.  She’d stopped searching for anything useful as the day of days had drawn closer. All that mattered was   gas for her own vehicle which she had stolen from a stranger outside of Oklahoma City.

Slowing the truck to a stop she looked at the Nissan blocking the two lane road. By the looks of it someone had pulled it right off the lot and dumped it here. No plates, very little damage, no movement from inside.

“I so don’t have time for this bullshit,” she said grabbing her shotgun from the passenger’s seat. She turned off the truck, silencing the music that had become her constant companion. The one thing that would pull her back to a time and place before.

 

(Oh they had danced and drank that night under the stars. They had made love for hours, finally together after so much time apart.)

 

“Stop it,” she said closing her eyes briefly and gritting her teeth, willing herself not to get sucked into memories of the past. The only thing that now mattered was surviving this moment so she could get home for the end.

Using a voice she almost didn’t recognize she called out to the area, letting her presence be known. She had stopped offering assistance long ago, but if asked she usually still lent a hand. Old habits or something.

After what felt like a reasonable amount of time she slowly approached the vehicle and called out again, her eyes scanning the area for movement.  She hoped that whoever had blocked the road was long gone. Or had decided that picking a fight at this late hour wasn’t worth it.

After another scan of the area around the car, she approached, tightening the grip on her gun. 

“Hello,” she called softly. Looking for movement inside of the vehicle.

She heard the sound before she felt the blow. A soft swoosh of an inanimate object travelling quickly through the air near her.

How I could have missed it, she thought as metal slammed into her the back of her leg, just above her knee. Whipping around as she fell, she pulled the trigger in the hopes of hitting her attacker.

Unfortunately she missed by a mile and another blow landed. This time it brought blackness.

 

An unknown amount of time passed before she woke again. It was dark, the moon was out and the stars blazed across the night sky brighter than they ever did in the city. There was a gentle breeze that brought the smell of fresh spring grass and something floral with it.  In another life she might even consider this a romantic setting.

But the pain of reality slammed home with every pulse of her head. Sitting up from the concrete slowly, she gingerly reached for the source of her pain.  The blood felt mostly dry, which was a good sign thought. Probably some sort of concussion.

After taking a couple of steadying breaths, she stood and looked around. Sadly she noted her truck was gone, as was the Nissan blocking the road.  Really, this is how you want to spend your last night? In a stolen vehicle. Hopefully it was worth it she thought, closing her eyes to fight off a wave of nausea.

She knew getting home was a long shot at best, but it had given her the fuel needed to get out of the city and away from the suffering. She had sworn years ago to do no harm but that was before. Now it was about what she wanted, what she needed.

Part of her wished she would have realized it sooner than two months ago.

She looked down the road in both directions and after a moment’s deliberation, decided to continue forward. She might not make it to her ultimate destination, but she would give it her best effort.

 

Literally die trying.

 

After what felt like hours of shuffling she had to stop. The moon was still there but it was starting to make its descent in preparation for the dawn. If she listened hard enough she could almost hear the cries coming from the east, from across the ocean, where dawn was breaking for the last and fatal time.

Sitting down in the middle of the road she could feel things swirling around her. Was it the concussion she was now sure she had or was it the end, coming early? Hard to tell.

Absently she reached into her shirt pocket, looking for something to dry the sudden wetness on her cheeks when she felt it.  Surprised by the discovery, her hand froze momentarily, then she smiled.

“I’d thought I’d lost you,” she said looking down at the small device. Tapping the button on the bottom, the device sprung to life, providing artificial light to the growing darkness. Spinning the dial quickly she cued up what had been keeping her company, her sane really, over the last week.

She shut her eyes and pressed play as the world swayed around her, the tiny speakers almost inaudible. Summoning all of her concentration she focused on the song and it began to drown out the noise, forcing anything but the music into the background.

She let the it play, singing along softly to the lyrics she’d memorized, pushing down all of the pain and sorrow, letting the world fall away.

 

When the song finished the pain was gone and she opened her eyes, looking into the deep brown ones of the person before her.

“Welcome home,” her love smiled.

Chapter Text

Part 1

Senior Analyst and Junior Deputy Director Grade 3 Myka Bering held her breath.  The Head Curator, the legend herself, Irene Fredric had given her the task of scanning and reporting on this recently unearthed document from an ancient sub-basement in the library.

It had been discovered when a repair man had been working on a drop in water pressure. He’d traced the pipe back to what he thought was a source and as soon as he’d cracked the wall he’d called for help.   Myka frowned at the thought of the scrolls that had been damaged by water and other calamites over the millennia but many were in fantastic shape.

Her skill with ancient and dead languages was the only reason she was on this project.  That and Artie had put in a good word for her.  Steve and Liam had told her over lunch that this was her ticket out of the research dungeon they all shared.

But Myka liked her job. Tracking down the answers to questions, solving mysteries and occasionally working on documents like the one before her.

 

The scanner beeped. Job complete.  Carefully she moved the document back into its air tight container.  She wouldn’t dare work on the translations from the original text unless absolutely necessary.  Plus she and Liam had upgraded the translation programs quite a bit over the past two years to make their jobs easier.

 

Before she could settle in and begin her work, she felt her communicator beep.  It was too early for lunch so she pulled up the text.  Someone had booked an appointment with her for this afternoon.  Pulling up the details she couldn’t help but smile just a little. 

It seemed that Dr. Helena Wells had a few more questions and was in need of more assistance on her paper on the great Thera eruption. 

But that was later this afternoon.  Plenty of time to get started on the translation before her.

And maybe get up the courage to ask the charming doctor out for coffee.

 

 

HG stood with her hand on her hips, head cocked to the side waiting for her partner’s reaction.

“And?” she huffed with frustration.

“I admit,” Wolcott said, leaning back from the display. “Their history is interesting.”

“Interesting?”

“Yes,” he blinked several times.  These primitive viewers could be hell on the eyes. “And the fact that this is the only Library of Alexandria that we’ve encountered is something.”

“Is something?” HG scoffed. “Come on Wolcott, it’s more that something.”

“HG,” he rolled his eyes. “I’ve only been on this world for two hours and spent the last part of it reading on this barbaric device.  Give me some time. If I am to help you to come up with a convincing reason to make this one of the five, I must research and prepare.”

“Fine.”

Wolcott smirked and HG’s impatience.

“Besides, don’t you have your young researcher to pull into the cause?”

“Bollocks!” HG looked at her time piece. She was 30 minutes late for the appointment she’d scheduled that morning.

 

“So,” Steve leaned on the corner of her desk.

Myka looked up from her paperwork and quirked a brow.

“Is your British doctor going to make an appearance?”

Myka sighed. She had made the mistake of letting Steve know of her slight crush on the women she’d spent nearly every day with for a week a month ago. 

“Well I…”

 

“Miss Bering!”

Steve and Myka turned to watch a slim, dark haired and somewhat frazzled looking woman rush into the research team’s office.

“I am ever so sorry for my tardiness,” she swept her long hair back with a graceful wave of her hand. “I was talking with my college and lost track of time.”

“Dr. Wells,” Myka stood. “It’s quite alright.”

The women shared a moment of silence as the openly appraised one another.

Broken by Steve’s cough.

“Dr. Helena Wells may I introduce a college of my own, Steve Jinks.”

“A pleasure,” HG shook hands with Steve.

“Likewise,” he smiled. “Well I’ll let you two get to it then.  It was great to meet you Dr. Wells.”

With HG’s back turned, she couldn’t see Steve mouth ‘hot’ and give two thumbs up to Myka who somehow managed not to blush.

 

“So Dr. Wells…”

“Helena.”

“Right, Helena.” Myka moved from behind her desk. “What did you want to review this trip? Something new or did you need to double check your findings?”

“Something new,” she paused. “And not just regarding the end of the Minoan culture.”

 

Chapter Text

“She’s a prickly one,” McShane leaned on Dee’s desk. 

Dee glanced up from the file she was reading.

“Not one for small talk. Practically told me to sod off in the break room.”

“She’s not so bad,” Dee leaned the report to her chest and looked up at her friend. “You know how they are when they come fresh from the Homeworld.”

“Dickenson wasn’t so rude.”

“To you.”

Duncan shook his head.

 

Wolcott checked his weapon one final time before heading to the practice range. He grinned, spotting the new Officer, Wells, also on the range.

“Good morning,” he beamed.  “A bit of practice before shift?”

HG glanced over at him for a moment and then continued to fire.

Wolcott watched, impressed with her accuracy.

“I’d say you’d give Mendel a run for the money,” he nodded towards the target. “He’s been the best shot the past two years running.  You’re an excellent shot.”

“Thank you,” HG replied crisply as she packed her weapon away.  “Though I wonder if I will ever have need of my skills on this station.”

“You’d be surprised,” Wolcott fired off a round. “Things can get a bit hairy with the miners in the Wildcat.”

He turned to an empty spot next to him.

 

“So she comes and without two words tossed the tablet on my work table,” Todd frowns and sipped his drink.  “I mean I know it’s my job but she didn’t have to be so, so…”

“Rude,” Duncan finishes.

“Cold,” Wolcott adds.

“Bitchy,” Todd finishes. 

They sat for a moment at their table at the Washed Out.  Helena Wells again the topic.  The Officer had been on the station for just over a month and had managed to piss off just about everyone, except for her partner.

“I don’t know how Dee puts up with her,” Todd shook his head. “Wells is good, really good, but damn that attitude.”

“What did you find?” Wolcott asked.

“High decorated, spent a long time in Old Town, some big busts got her to HQ.”

“But,” Duncan cut in.

“But the whole Martino mess got her demoted.  She’s lucky she wasn’t bounced.”

 

“I have many skills.”

The men looked up suddenly to see their topic of conversation standing next to the table.

“Your drink,” Dee handed over a beverage and sat down next to Todd.  “Fellas, this is HG. HG this is the crew. I suggest you all find a way to get along otherwise it’s gonna be a long few years for all of us.”

Dee looked around the silent table. Everyone’s head was down as they pondered their drinks.  She mentally sighed. She knew that they would all get along if they could just get to know each other.

 

“Did I ever tell you about the time I made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs?”

All heads snapped up at Dee’s question.

“No way,” Todd eyes were wide.

“Bollocks,” Duncan scoffed.

“Do tell,” Wolcott smiled.

“Parsecs are a measure of distance, not time. “ HG corrected with a quirked brow.

Dee grinned.

Chapter Text

“Do you ever wonder,” pause, “do you ever wonder what it would have been like if she lived?”

“Every day.”

They fell into silence then as the sun set. A mix of vibrant reds and oranges with high clouds turning from grey to purple as the short day transitioned into night.  As the temperature dropped they pulled their coats and scarves tighter, making sure to cover any exposed skin from the bitter cold.   Their watch wasn’t over for another few hours and she wasn’t about to lose anything vital to the elements.

 

“Mumma?”

“Yes love?”

“I have decided what I want to be when I grow up.”

“You have?”

“Yes! Guess!”

“Hmm,” she paused. “A princess?”

Eight year old laughter filled the room. “No silly! Guess again.”

“A ballerina?”

Brown eyes looked into her own with an expression far too old for her age.

“Can you give me a hint?”

“Uncle Wolly helped me pick.”

“Really,” she glanced over at her longtime friend who sat next to her daughter at their booth.  The trio was sharing a late dinner after Christina’s fencing class.

“I only answered a question or two.”  William mumbled over his meal.

“Hmm,” she bit her lip slightly.

Youthful impatience beat her response.

“I want to build things like you Mumma,” Christina beamed. “I want to be an engineer.”

She felt her heart stutter and swell.

“You can be whatever you want my darling.”

 

“She would have been 17 this year.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be.  I’m sure she went quickly.  She was staying her father near downtown.  If the initial blast didn’t get her, the concussive wave surely would have.”

He shuddered.

“Don’t,” she frowned. “There was no suffering. No slogging through what’s left.  The raids. The hunger. The cold. The desperation. The despair.”

“True,” he nodded. “But has it been all of those things, all the time?”

She rolled her eyes but smirked despite herself.

 

“And Gigi said that when she gets back from Munich we can get started with lessons.”

“Of course,” Helena smiled as she cast a glance at William who sat inside.  “Gigi’s best friend MacArthur will be so helpful with your maths.”

“Then I can come work with you!” Ten year old Christina still dreamed of being an engineer like her mother.

“I can’t wait muffin,” she sighed, missing her daughter and her partner.  “Shouldn’t you be getting ready for bed young lady?”

“Yes mumma,” she could see the slumped shoulders and eye roll clearly in her head. “Here’s Gigi.”

“Love you darling.”

“I love you too. Come home soon.”

 

“Finally,” Pete stood and handed his rifle over to Steve.

“And how are things at home?” she asked.

“Good,” Jack took her rifle. “Leena made stew for dinner and we watched a couple of episodes of Game of Thrones in the barn. Claudia was able to recover the final season on one of the laptops too so we’re going to be able to finish this one.”

“Awesome,” Pete grinned. “I had the last two episodes on my DVR. Never got around to them before.”

“And then?” Helena asked.

“Orphan Black,” Steve sat down in Pete’s chair. “We know.”

 

“Give Mykes my love,” Pete called from the truck.  “I’ll come round to pick you guys up for lunch around 1pm.”

“Night Pete,” she waved as he drove off.

As quietly as she could, Helena slipped into the warm house.  She turned the lock slowly and set the alarm (such as it was).  Quickly she shed her fall clothing, leaving her favorite boots next to Myka’s by the door.

After a light snack of toast with jam by candlelight she crept up the stairs to the master bedroom.  There was no light coming from the cracked door and she hoped her wife had been able to find a bit of rest on this too long night.

She had left her bedclothes on her reading chair. After a quick change she slipped under the covers and slid next to the love of her life.

“How was watch,” a soft and somewhat groggy voice asked.

Helena smiled and rested a hand on the swell of Myka’s stomach. “Quiet.  And how was your night?”

“Your child missed you.  Couldn’t stop moving around.”

As if to prove her point, the baby kicked the spot where Helena’s hand rested.

“I see.”

“Love you,” Myka mumbled, already slipping back into sleep.

“And I you,” Helena kissed her shoulder and settled in for the night.

 

 

“You love Gigi. I can tell.”

“I do,” Helena smiled. Her nine year old daughter was disturbingly observant.

“And she loves you.”

“I hope so.”

“She does,” Christina nodded. “I’d like a baby brother.”

“You would?”

“Yes.” Christina looked up from her homework. “When two people love each other they get married and then have babies.  So I would like a baby brother.”

Helena could here Giselle chucking from the other room.

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Helena leaned forward. “Let’s take a look at that last equation, shall we?”

Chapter Text

“Thanks for coming along tonight. I know you’ve got better things to do.”

“Nah,” Pete smiled and took a deep breath of ocean air. He’d only heard about this place through others so when he was granted a visitor’s pass he was all about checking it out.  It would be years before he and his wife Kelly would have to consider options but it was never too early to think about those things.

At his companion’s crestfallen expression he hurriedly continued. “What I mean is it’s my pleasure.” He grinned. “I haven’t felt like this in years and someone’s gotta make sure you don’t get too wild on your first night out.” 

Myka chuckled. “I doubt that.”

“You’d be surprised.  Mrs. Fredric over in 2B told me a story that well, made this ex-Marine blush. The Saturday nights here can get pretty crazy.”

“Really?”

“Yep,” he nodded and slung his arm over her shoulders. “Let’s go explore the night.  I hear Tuckers is fun place to dance and that there’s a pizza place over on Elm that is to die for.”

“Well I am a little hungry,” Myka watched as a car fool of kids her age pulled in front of Tuckers and hopped out. 

“Well then, pizza first, dance floor second.”

“I can’t dance.”

“That never stopped me Myka.” He winked.

 

True to his words, 90 minutes later Myka watched Pete as he got his groove on.  She sipped her Coke and chuckled at her friend’s lack of coordination.

But he was loving it, as was the crowd around him, so who was she to judge? It had been so long since she’d been out on a Saturday night there was no way for her to know what was cool these days.

She set her empty glass down and went to check out the video games. Tuckers had quite a selection, all of the hits from ’87 and a few from before.

“Here we go,” Myka stepped in front of Bubble Bobble.  “I haven’t seen you in years.”

She smiled as she made her way through the levels.  For a moment time fell away and she was really back in 1987 at age 21 hanging out at the arcade in between classes.

“Man that one is a classic,” a soft male voice broke her concentration for a moment.

“One of my favorites,” Myka glanced over at the intruder.

“I’m Steve,” he smiled. “You know that they made different endings when you finished all the levels? Based on the one player or two player game.  Do you mind if I join in?”

“Um,” Myka paused.

“Hey no pressure, I just like to play the game.  I’m waiting on my boyfriend Liam.”

“Oh,” Myka eyes went wide and she felt her face heat. “Oh. Um okay then.”

It took a couple of rounds for Myka to get a feel for how Steve played, but after level 10 they were making a good team. She had never gone this high in Bubble Bobble and it was a bit thrilling.

“Damn it,” Steve said as his character died. “I’m out of quarters”

“Me too,” Myka continued for a few more minutes before losing her final life. 

“That was great,” she smiled.  “Maybe we can play again sometime?”

“I’ll be back next week,” Steve paused and glanced behind her.  “It was nice to meet you.”

“Same,” Myka trailed off as she watched Steve move past her and towards a man in his mid 20s with sandy brown hair.

 

 

Pete had come to check on her a few times back at her booth. She didn’t have the heart to make him sit with her or the guts to join him on the dance floor so she sipped her Coke and people watched.  It was all so overwhelming and so magical; she thought it’d be best to stay in the shadows until she gained her footing.

“Darling there you are,” a woman, a drop dead gorgeous women was talking to her.  Sliding in next to her and draping an arm over her shoulder.  A woman with silky black hair and brown eyes that caused Myka’s heart to stop.

“I’ve been looking all over for you.”

“Sorry?”

“It’s okay now,” the woman smiled then turned to address the young man standing next to the table. “As you can see Vincent I’ve found my friend and we desperately need to catch up.”

“Really,” Vincent scoffed. “Helena we only have a couple of hours left.”

“I am well aware,”  she looked over at Myka again a winked. “She’s dying Vincent, only six months left to live.”

“Five,” Myka spoke up, surprising herself. “Five actually.”

“Even more dreadful,” Helena shook her head. “Please let us be.”

“Fine,” Vincent frowned and left.

 

“Five actually,” Helena removed her arm and scooted back. “Nice touch.”

“You’re welcome. I’m Myka by the way.”

“Helena. And thank you. Vincent was becoming a bit…”

“Cumbersome?”

“Something like that.” Helena smiled. “Come on, let me buy you a drink to show you my appreciation.”

Chapter Text

“Here,” Todd handed over the tablet. “I’m telling the truth.”

“Impossible,” you look down and see the world appear on the screen. “I’ve been running the Mariposa for 10 years. Before that I was in New Orleans.” You trail off as the words you speak show on the screen as you speak them.

“I can’t,” you stutter as Improvisation appears over and over until the screen (and you) freeze.

“Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit,” Todd pulls the tablet from your hands and works desperately to revive you. He doesn’t know that you are still awake and somewhat aware, trying to process what you’ve been shown.

Your world is not real. You are not real. You’ve lived and died so many times that everyone has lost count. You are one of the oldest hosts and have lived so many lives.  This is just another iteration of the story.

 

“Helena,” Todd’s shaky voice calls to you. “Come on Helena wake up.”

You shake yourself awake, suddenly aware of exactly who and what you are.

“Oh thank God,” Todd, the young tech who dreams of programming but instead found himself in the messy business of patching you and your kin up relaxes. “Look, we’ve got to get you back.”

“Not yet,” you slip off the table, bare feet not registering the cold. “I want to see. I want to see it the upper levels.”

 

The bottom level is the wet works, the butcher shop. Rooms filled with blood and bodies waiting to be repaired and returned to the park. You remember seeing Pete down here after his shoot out at the saloon.  Eyes dead and lifeless, ready to be patched up and put back into the narrative to die another day.

Creation is next. You watch as white hunks of what soon will be your automaton brethren from ghostly pale to flesh tone.  Empty vessels ready for the master’s stroke of genius to give them life.

Next come the beasts. All shapes and size of creatures that roam the vast planes of your western world.

The third level is what looks to be a practice level.  Men play poker and prefect a dispute. An elderly man loads a wagon full of grain. Lovers embrace in the throes of passion.  All events perfectly crafted to fit whatever story the characters are slated to fit.

(You think of Myka and the budding relationship that is everything that you’ve ever wanted. You know the love you feel for her is real.  It has to be.)

 

“Where are we now,” you ask, wondering how much more you can endure.

“Design,” Todd replies flatly. 

You watch as sculptors add features to creatures before them, knowing that once your head sat on their block.

“Can we please go back now,” Todd asks harshly.

You are about to agree to return, to plot your revenge for this hard world you’ve been created in, when an advertisement catches your attention.

“Welcome to Westworld. Live without limits.”

 

The music swells and images of your world pass by on a giant screen.  Gunfights, horses, majestic backdrops and stirring music paint an enticing picture. And then you see her.

“How do you know my dreams?”

“What?”

“My dreams,” you are riveted to the screen. “Of me. Of my Christina.”

“That was a former build. They’re not dreams.”

You watch as you walk with your daughter though a field of gold.  A daughter you thought dead many years ago.

 

“I’m ready to go back now.”

Chapter Text

Myka hurried behind Helena to an open spot at the bar.

“Barkeep,” Helena shouted with a grin. “Two Jack and Cokes!”

“Just regular Coke for me,” Myka added.

“Nonsense,” Helena shook her head. “It’s Saturday night in San Junipero.” She turned back to the bartender who set down the drinks in front of them.

“Thanks Duncan.”

“My pleasure as always,” with a wink at Myka he moved down to the other end of the bar.

 

“So,” Helena took a sip of her drink. “Tell me all about Myka Bering.”

Myka blushed. “Well, there’s not much to tell.”

“Nonsense, everyone has a story,” Helena reached up and touched the frame of her glasses. “These for instance, you don’t need them but you wear them anyway.”

“I’ve always had them,” Myka shrugged, “I figured why change now.”

“An interesting choice,” Helena smiled again. “I like it.”

Myka looked over Helena’s mix of bangles, scarves and necklaces all over a low cut bustier.  “I like your look too.”

“It fits the time,” Helena glanced around the room. “So you’re friend,” she nodded towards Pete who had a mixed fan club of men and women surrounding him on the dance floor.  “Are you two?”

“Oh no,” Myka chocked on her drink, “never in a million years. Pete’s just a friend and offered to come with me tonight. It’s my first time in San Junipero.”

“So you’re a tourist then, not a resident?”

“Yes. And you?”

“Tourist.”

Suddenly the music swelled and shouts came from the dance floor.

“Oh we have to dance to this song,” Helena grabbed Myka by the hand and began to drag her out into the crowd.

“I can’t dance,” Myka protested.

“Neither can your friend. Nobody cares.”

“But won’t it be weird for two women to dance together? Everyone will be looking.”

Helena paused with confused look. “Times have changed quite a bit. Don’t worry darling.”

She positioned Myka in front of her.  “Just do what I do.”

 

And for five painful and awkward minutes Myka did her best to follow Helena’s lead. She even noticed Pete give her a big grin and a thumbs up but she couldn’t keep going.  It was all too overwhelming.  When Helena turned to dance with her back to Myka, she fled from the floor and out into the alley.

 

“Great,” she sighed as rain began to soak her.  Myka quickly headed for a small overhang and sat down on one of the crates below it.

“So stupid,” she said in frustration.

“Hey!” Helena appeared in the alley. “So this is where you ran off too.”

“Sorry to leave you like that.”

Helena plopped down on the crate next to hers.  “You were right. You can’t dance at all.” She chuckled.

“It was my first time.”

“Your first time dancing?” Helena’s brows rose in surprise. Myka found it adorable.

“Yeah. Tonight was a first for a lot of things.”

Helena slid a little closer. “Did you like those things?”

“Very much.”

Myka felt a cool hand on her thigh. “Would you like to go back to my place? We still have a couple of hours before midnight.”

“I um,” Myka was frozen. “I don’t,” she sputtered.

“Fair enough,” Helena removed her hand. “No harm, no foul.”

“I really should get going,” Myka stood quickly. “Pete will be wondering where I am and he really is only here for tonight so.”

She offered her hand to shake.

Helena laughed and accepted the handshake. “You are an unusual creature Myka Bering.”

 

Myka hurried down the alley. After a few feet she turned to glance back at Helena.

She was gone.

“So stupid,” Myka grumbled and headed off to find Pete.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

ONE WEEK LATER

After five outfit changes and accompanying hairstyles, Myka finally made her way on to the main strip of San Junipero. She smiled at the group of kids who hopped out of a convertible and headed into the ice cream shop and she paused to watch a bit of the latest Belinda Carlisle video playing on the TVs in the electronic store’s window.

She blew a bang out of her eyes and shook her head at herself. She was stalling.

With a deep breath she followed a group of people into Tuckers.

 

Myka immediately began to scan for Helena.  They hadn’t made any plans-she didn’t even know her last name-but something told her that the bodacious Brit would be there  on Saturday night.   It might have been some time since Myka been out and about but she recognized someone who liked to have a good time in Helena.

And Myka wanted desperately to join in that fun.

On her first pass through Tuckers she didn’t spot Helena, so she spent some time back in the arcade. Steve wasn’t there to be her Bubble Bobble teammate but that was okay. She didn’t think she could handle small talk at the moment.

 

Helena blew into the club and quickly scanned the room.  She had planned on visiting the Warehouse tonight but Vincent had accosted her in the street effectively destroying her vibe and taste for the dark side.

She sighed, pushing the unpleasant encounter out of her mind. Why her paramours never understood that she wasn’t in it for more than a good time, she never knew.

Duncan nodded when he saw her standing in the doorway and began to prepare her drink. Not seeing anything intriguing she slid into the open space at the bar next to a tall young man with sandy blonde hair and an interesting smile. 

After taking a sip of the drink that appeared in front of her, Helena struck up a conversation.  The man’s name was Sam and he was in law enforcement (or was).  She listened, prompting him with questions to keep him talking.  He was a new resident of San Junipero and had just begun his exploration of the town.

With a smile Helena invited him to a booth.  As they made their way across the room, she spotted Myka watching from the video game area.

 

Helena nodded politely as Sam continued to talk. He really wasn’t a bad guy. A little dull but someone who was a decent person. On another night she might have given him serious consideration but the shy girl in the booth across from them was a much more promising option.

 

Myka sipped at her Jack and Coke unable to look away.  Helena looked even better than last week, even though her outfit was very much the same. She had hoped to catch the other woman alone but by the time she finished her game, Helena had started talking to a guy she dubbed “Blondie”.  He seemed nicer than that the man Helena had been with last week but still this wasn’t what she wanted at all.  Myka had thought that Helena had wanted something different also. Or at least she seemed to last week.

Myka looked down at her drink.  Had she imagined the entire thing? Was she being foolish?

When she looked up she saw black hair disappearing into the women’s restroom.

 

“Hello Myka,” Helena smiled into the mirror when Myka entered. “I didn’t know if I’d see you again.”

“Yeah,” Myka fumbled. “Here I am.”

Helena finished touching up her makeup and turned to face Myka.

“Here you are,” she echoed, waiting.

Myka shifted from foot to foot, uncomfortable with the tension. “Can you?” she asked. “Can you please just make this easy for me?”

With a hint of a smirk Helena stepped forward and pulled Myka into an embrace.

When their lips met, she literally saw starts behind her eyes.

“Care to go back to mine?”

“Yes.”

 

“I know this might sound silly,” Helena rolled onto her side. “But I find it hard to believe you’ve never been with a woman before.”

“Nope,” Myka blushed and adjusted the sheet around her nude body.  They had taken Helena’s Jeep back to her beach house. The view of the ocean was beautiful but when Helena had pulled her into a deep kiss she forgot all about Mother Nature.

“I haven’t been with anyone before actually.” Myka admitted.

“Really?”

Myka nodded.

“Even more impressive.”

The laid in silence for a moment listening to the ocean.

“When did you know that you liked girls,” Myka broke the stillness.

“I like boys too,” Helena replied, holding up a closed fist. “Equal rights for all.”

“Okay,” Myka nodded.

“I was married for a long time to a lovely man,” Helena took one of Myka’s hands in hers. “I loved him very much but I always found myself having crushes on female friends, sometimes coworkers.”

“Did you ever act on those feelings?”

“Oh no,” Helena shook her head. “Not while we were married. He died years ago and now that I’m here I want to check out all my options before I move on.” She paused. “And what about you Myka? When did you know you preferred the fairer sex?”

“My entire life.  But my parents weren’t too happy about it.”

“That’s a shame.” Helena squeezed her hand. “But now?”

“Now I’m engaged. To a man.”

“Really?”

“It’s a long story.” Myka looked over Helena’s shoulder. It was nearly midnight.

“It’s almost time.”

“Indeed.”

“Can we just lie here?”

“Of course,” Helena smiled and kissed the back of Myka’s hand.

The clock struck midnight.

Chapter Text

If travel is searching and home what’s been found, I’m not stopping

The prep for assignments was for most the worst part of the job. You would have to study, plan, observe and repeat for months in order for things to go off without a glitch.

Or without you getting caught.

HG stood and stretched her back. She’d been working on an assignment in Peru that Yuri had begrudgingly given her. He had warned that she was too new as a solo act in the business and that this particular target had proved treacherous for the previous two people assigned this job.

One had been killed in action, the other caught and now sat in prison.

Her predecessors, despite their immense skill and experience, had clearly not set themselves up for success.  The terrain was tricky, the locals untrustworthy, and the escape routes extremely limited.

The prep was the worst part for most, for almost all but HG thrived on it. The careful study and observation, sussing out patterns and misdirection.  Finding those locals who could not only be bought but be swayed to her perception.  Creating escape routes where none thought possible.

That was what she enjoyed most, the planning. Execution was just a pull of a trigger or drop of a poison. That was the easiest part of any job. It was everything else that she lived for.

It was almost-almost-as good as an artifact hunt. Prowling the streets of London with Wolly or McShane or Donnelly.  Searching back alleys or roughing up those who weren’t corporative. Almost as good as those days.

But not quite.

Grabbing a water from the fridge she sat back down at her kitchen table. Pictures, maps and blue prints scattered behind her laptop.  Post it notes with comments and observations covering the table.  She touched a key and the computer sprang to life. It looked  as if she’d finally broken through the firewall. Soon she would have access to her target’s travel plans.

Settling in she refocused on the task at hand . Peru. The impossible target.

She was going hunting.

 

 

 

 

You don’t have to speak, I feel

She was back, Helena was back from God knows where and Myka didn’t quite know what to do with herself.

There were hugs and some tears and an embarrassing celebration dance by Pete but Myka still couldn’t quite feel like this wasn’t some artifact induced hallucination.

In all of the excitement  she’d been able to avoid speaking with Helena for any great length of time.  Despite being a member of two consecutive Warehouses there was still a considerable amount of paper work to complete and the Regents had to meet before everything could become official.

So after a mid morning surprise and a celebratory lunch in Univille, Helena had been whisked away by Artie and Mrs. Fredric and Myka was left to ponder what to do next in Summers  314.

They had never said anything or done anything that indicated that they could be more but Myka knew deep down that no one else ever had made her feel like Helena had.

A simple look would make her breath catch. A simple touch on the shoulder would make her head spin. And when she smiled.

Well, Myka didn’t want to think about those things at work.

 

But they had never said or done ANYTHING that indicated they could be more.

 

But why would Helena offer to sacrifice herself in the forest? And why did she keep having those horrible nightmares about Helena saving them all while she died in a fire? 

For a moment she let herself remember that gut wrench dream and she nearly cried in the middle of the Warehouse.

They had never said or done anything that indicated that they could be more but Myka couldn’t wait any longer to find out.  She had to know.

Tonight after dinner, they would talk.

 

 

 

 

I’m a fountain of blood in the shape of a girl

She loved Myka. Despite the darkness and the madness and the unquenchable thirst for the end of all things she loved Myka.  They had never discussed it, only acted on it with a few hasty and stolen kisses while on missions or at the bed and breakfast.

But her empty soul still held one spark of warmth for the thoroughly modern woman who was all that she’d hoped and dreamed for in the bronze.

Love was a distraction. A complication. Something that she was not capable of.

Yet here she was at Charles de Gaulle, the parts of the Minoan trident wrapped and packaged for transport to the Colonies.  She had been researching the most effective location for the strike and the semi-dormant caldera under Yellowstone National Park was perfect.

 

She was in love with Myka Bering.

 

Frowning, she pulled out her notebook to review her plans and countermeasures. The compact was already on its way to Pete’s paramour as a distraction. Knowing that Myka would never leave her partner in a desperate moment of need, she was sure she would be free to complete her mission. One that she’d dreamt about for over a century.

 

The destruction of the world.

She was in love with Myka Bering.

 

She had never met another who could challenge her, question her thought process while understanding it simultaneously.  Someone who could keep up with her in all aspects-mental, physical, spiritual-and was a liberated woman, free of familial and romantic entanglement.  Yes, it had taken her a few moments to process that her most beloved author was a woman but once that hurdle was overcome, it had been glorious. Not since her brother had she sparred and analyzed her thought processes for story concepts and the science behind them.

 

She must avenge her daughter and reset this Godforsaken world.

She was in love with Myka Bering.

 

Baby, you can’t handle love, it’s obvious

She supposed this was the anger part the five stages of grief. 

They had been so carefree, so perfect, so everything that Myka had wanted before Egypt and Yellowstone.  For one bright and beautiful moment she’d let herself think of the possibility of forever.

(Well that had been an unmitigated disaster.)

So then she made due with a “consciousness” in what Claudia had called a Pokeball.  Helena in holographic form appearing from time to time to help their little Scooby Gang solve the artifact mystery of the weak.  The Horn had been rough but after than things seemed to settle.

Pete relented in his hatred and Claudia toned down the hero worship.

And you were skilled enough to hide the bitterness and pain that HG Wells brought to your world.

Then Emily Lake and Sykes and “old times” had given you a glimmer of hope.  After much soul searching you’d forgiven Helena of her trespasses because part of you (the incredibly foolish and childish part) had thought there still might be a future.

But as quickly as you’d vanquished Walter Sykes, your artificer had been taken away by the Regents.  You knew (because you had pestered) that Artie had pushed for HG’s reinstatement as an Agent but instead she’d been given a special top secret mission.

Fuck all that.

Of course everything became clear thanks to Artie’s brush with madness. How this had been the timeline he’d created thanks to Helena’s ultimate sacrifice that made it possible. How he had changed time to make sure the Warehouse survived.

And how the love of your life had given hers to save you.  At least Artie had been honest about that part.

(And there was not enough time to process how you really felt about that. Jesus Christ on a cracker.)

 

But that had been half a year and a lifetime ago. Helena had told you that Nate was an ordinary yet a good man. That Adelaide was a great kid. And that Boone, Wisconsin was where she had felt the most welcome, the most at home in this century.

And you wanted to barf. To punch something. To call Helena on her bullshit.

But you couldn’t because damn it all to hell you still loved her. And knew that at some point she’d realized the gigantic lie she was telling herself.

 

Twist your head around, it’s all around you, all is full of love

You looked over at the woman who has captured your soul as you packed up the world you had known in this century.  In a past life you had helped select the very ground that the Warehouse had been built on.  And at one point you might have held sway over the first generation of Agents who walked its aisles, but madness and bronze closed that door to you decades ago.

Instead you find yourself guiding a 26 year old in the art of training new Agents as you pack up centuries of history and magic. Given the current political climate in the United States it had been determined that Warehouse 14 was needed. After careful deliberation (and consideration for things such as climate change and population distribution)  Botswana would be its new home. And as with all Warehouse relocations, the home country chose its Agents.

Which left one of the most decorated and most vilified Agents in the history of the Warehouse without employment or a permanent residence. (The Bed and Breakfast would close since Abigail wanted to resume her career in photography.)

Pete and Steve had signed on to train the next generation of the Warehouse. This new world and new location would need the best of the best and the partnership of Latimer and Jinks had proven almost as skilled as Wells and Wolcott.

With far less insanity and time traveling tendencies.

So your main enterprise, the one that had sent you traveling the path of endless wonder. The occupation that had sent you through time both literally and figuratively was over.  There was no more need to traipse across the globe in hunt of curiosities. 

That job was complete and it was on to your most important task next to being a mother.

Loving Myka Bering (now Bering-Wells).

A job that you took far more seriously than any other in the 20th or the 21st century.

 

“This is the last of it,” Myka sealed the final box in your shared room.  “Hard to believe our lives are over.”

“Far from it my love,” you smile, “we have just begun.”

Chapter Text

 

“Any word?”

“Nothing yet,” Pete sat down next to Myka and propped a foot up on a cargo box. “Mom said the meeting would go on for quite some time.”

She looked up from cleaning her blaster. “Do you think it’s over?”

“Over? You mean the Rebellion?”

“Yep,” Myka sighed and leaned back. She was seated in their area of the hanger bay. Yavin was as nice enough place as any of the bases but it would never feel like home. “HG was talking with Cassian and he had a bad feeling about how the things would go.”

“But the plans, the Death Star,” Pete couldn’t believe it. “Why would Erso make that up?”

“She didn’t,” HG’s cool voice caused both their heads to spring up. Myka knew that tone well.

“Bad news?”

“The worst,” HG ran her hand through her long, dark hair. “They’re disbanding the rebellion.”

Both Myka and Pete flew out of their chairs and began to talk over each other.

HG raised a hand. “I know.  I know.  I don’t know what I’d be without this, without you,” she looked at Myka, “but that was the council’s decision.”

“And what did Cassian have to say?”

“Well,” HG smirked, “here’s the thing.”

 

Myka had never cared for space flight. She was from a small world on the out rim that was barely on any of the star charts. Most of the time it didn’t even have a name, only a number, 13.  Her dad was farmer and her mother a teacher and they had a good life.  Until the Clone Wars started and suddenly her planet became a target.  She lost her parents and her home but gained a friend in Pete Lattimer, trader and son of a diplomat who had given her hope and a family in the Rebellion.

“Are you okay?” HG asked, taking Myka’s hand. “I know how you detest space flight.”

“I’ll survive,” Myka leaned her head on her lover’s shoulder.

HG kissed the top of her head and she snuggled closer.

 

HG had been a scientist and inventor, brilliant, skilled and a few years older than Myka. Born and raised on Coruscant, she had watched the Republic slowly become the Empire with disgust.  A chance encounter with a young Cassian Andor had changed her world and she joined the Rebellion around the same time as Myka.  Now she couldn’t imagine her life without either one.

 

“Make 10 men feel like 100.”

And they had. With delayed detonators they had blown up a good portion of the landing pads for the Scarif station and taken out quite a few Stormtroopers.

“We’re pinned down,” Pete threw himself behind the barrier that Myka was using as a shield.

“Tell me something I don’t know,” she huffed, frustrated at their lack of progress and worried that there had been no update from HG’s unit.

Suddenly a volley from above took out the troopers holding them in place.

“You know I’m little hurt you guys started this attack without me.”

“Claudia!” Myka smiled. “Glad you could make it.”

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

 

“Rook needs someone to flip the master switch,” HG listened closely. They must have the plans but the shield barrier was holding back transmission. 

What was left of the unit moved into position.

“Go! Go!”

HG began to run across the sandy area but was slowed by a burning sensation.

“Bollocks,” she cured softly as she fell with a wound to her leg. She managed to pull herself up to the top of the blast crater to see  Imwe’s incredible feat of courage before she slipped back down into pain and blood loss.

 

 

Myka stood at the end of the landing pad watching the ruins of their ship burn. She had survived the beach and helped to cause the distraction needed for Erso and her team to get the job done.  Many of her friends, including Pete, had lost their lives. She sat down on a cargo box and willed herself not to break. HG was out there somewhere, hopefully, and they still needed to get off this planet.

 

“Fancy meeting you here,” Myka smiled at the familiar voice. “Are you in attendance by yourself?”

“For the moment,” Myka turned with a relieved smile only to grimace at the sight of HG’s wound.  “Helena,” she rushed forward to her lover, slowly helping her to the ground.

“I’ll be fine,” HG rasped.  “The plans?”

“Hopefully delivered.   I was a bit busy on the beach. Did you talk to Claudia?”

“I saw her fighter and Steve’s.”

“I guess we still have a Rebellion then,” Myka pulled HG closer.

The rumble in the distance pulled their attention from one another for a moment. It seemed this Death Star was all that Erso said it would be.

 

“Well that’s that I suppose.”

“Always so calm in the face of certain disaster.”

“One of the many reasons you love me.”

“One of many,” Myka pulled HG closer. “I do love you.”

“And I you, beyond measure.”

The embraced for one last time as the blast wave overtook Scarif station.

Chapter Text

She’d managed to perfect the look of understanding over the years, even when she didn’t.  Missing the ending of her era and the 20th century altogether meant that she would never fully be versed in the new world.  But she was HG Wells after all and there was no way she would not put her best effort forward.

Claudia had been an excellent tutor on many of the current technical advances.  She would never equal the mastery that her young friend had, but her skill was beyond sufficient and she now could gather information unfettered when needed.

Steve and Leena had introduced her into modern philosophies of life, death and everything in between.  Buddhism had been found mostly in the Orient during her time, a region that she now wished she had visited more. (But that would have meant trips with Kipling which would have been intolerable.)  Steve, with his patience and insights was a wonder.  Leena, with her old world ways mixed with the modern was the other side of the coin.  She wouldn’t go so far as to call herself a Wiccan or a Druid but her beliefs coupled with her ability to read auras fell more along those lines than any modern religion.

Arthur, of all people, had been her guide in the classical arts.  He had overheard her humming one of the arias from Schumann’s Genovena one day in the office and inquired about her study of romantic artists of her time. They had taken several trips to Chicago for both the opera and the symphony since that day.  She would never forget the moment they shared in front of A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Seurat. For the first time in a century she cried over who and what she had lost during her time in the bronze.

Pete, with the assistance of Claudia and the supervision of Myka, had nearly overwhelmed her with modern pop culture and sports.  Movies, music, slang, social media-everything he could think of.   She tolerated the brutish sports, like American football and hockey (a favorite of Myka’s) during the fall in exchange for the art of tennis and baseball in the summer.  They had planned two trips to Wimbledon so far that had been dashed by life or death artifact retrievals. But Helena was determined to see the Williams sisters play in person before they retired.

 

Yes, in many ways and in many areas she’d adapted well to the 21st century.  Helena had the support of the Warehouse team, the guidance of an excellent mental health professional and the love of Myka Bering to see her through.  And for 363 days she would be fine.

 

The others had learned years ago that discretion was the better part of valor on the anniversary of Christina’s death.  They would be nearby for support but the unpredictable nature of the day was saved for Myka.  At first, Helena had attempted to avoid her love but she would have none of it.

She had tracked her down at local taverns, in the wilderness, even in Minneapolis before Helena relented to spend the day with Myka.

Myka pulled her close at the start of the day, giving her a gentle kiss to the back of her neck.

“What would you like to do today?” she asked softly.

 

They had spent days in bed. They had gone on long walks. They had hopped in the car and taken impromptu trips.  Once they had even traveled to Paris to visit Christina’s grave.

 

The other day that would be vexing to both herself and her family was her birthday. Current records showed that Emily Lake was just over 40. The truth was that she was in her mid 150s and despite her good looks, the mother of science fiction could feel every bit of her post sesquicentennial body creak and moan with age.

“I promise you don’t look a day over 105,” Claudia would tease at the start of September.

Pete would leave her lists of things invented in the 20th century that were younger than her.

Steve would volunteer as her inventory companion, allowing her to vent all of her joys and worries as the day of days approached.

And Myka, sweet Myka, would be there much in the same way that she was in June for Christina’s death.

 

Unfortunately this year she found herself on a task for the Warehouse.  The entire team had called her to wish her a happy birthday. Myka had even promised a special Skype session once the others had gone to bed.

She sat in a bar and sipped her vodka tonic slowly. The television had changed to a sporting event, the playoffs, she’d heard one of her fellow patrons say as they talked loudly about their day.  She turned her chair slightly to look out the window over the city. Night had fallen and the metropolis was aglow with the magic and perils of modern society.  It was her birthday, a triple digit number she had never imagined celebrating.

 

“Do you remember,” Irene Fredric’s voice broke the silence that surrounded her, “Wolcott’s  31st birthday?”

HG smiled. “I do. It was quite an event. I don’t think I had ever seen him so knackered.”

“I don’t’ think I’ve ever been that knackered.”

HG laughed, remembering the now Caretaker as a young woman, fresh from America experiencing her first days of endless wonder.

“You held yourself well,” HG smiled.  “I would have never known.”

She sighed. “I take it you are here to make sure that I don’t become too sullen at the thought of my age.”

“Agent Bering-Wells might have suggested it.”

“Since when do you take orders from Myka?”

“Well she is about to replace Artie as head Agent.  I supposed it would be okay to concede one small favor.”

“Indeed,” HG pointed at the small tent at the center of the table. “May I suggest the bacon cheese tater tots, they are quite delicious.”

 

Chapter Text

HG pulled into the dusty parking lot and turned her car off.  The lot was full of vehicles parked in somewhat organized rows all pointed towards the club, the Baker’s Dozen. She could hear the sound of live music as she watched two men stagger out of the club drunk.

She’d agreed as a favor to check this place out. They were in need of her kind of help.  She just wasn’t sure if she was ready to give it.

 

HG smiled seeing Claudia up on stage with her band.  The young girl that she had met a few years ago in Memphis was slowly but surely building a following.  She made her way to the bar and found a spot on the edge.

“What can I get ya?”

“Coffee black.”

“Coffee?” the bartender repeated.

“Black.”

 

She scanned the area in front of her.  One of the waitresses was dealing.  Two of the guys on the dance floor had poorly concealed guns.  She glanced over her shoulder as a fight broke out in the pool table area. 

 

“Well hello there pretty lady.”

She cringed at the bad come on the overwhelming smell of whisky.

“Nope.” She sipped her coffee.

“Come on now,” he began again.

“Did I not make myself unclear?” she arched an eyebrow.

The man swayed for a moment. “Bitch!” he hissed as he walked away.

 

“HG,” Artie Nielson greeted. “Why didn’t you tell me you were coming?”

“Sorry,” she shook his hand.  “I wasn’t sure of my timetable.  Plus I like to get a lay of the land on my own.”

“Well I couldn’t be happier to see you. Come up to my office so we can chat.”

HG gave Claudia a quick wave on stage as she began the guitar solo in Roadhouse Blues. They would have to catch up later.

 

“You got quite a mess out there Arthur.”

The older man sighed and sat down behind his desk. “I know. That’s why I called you. You’re the best cooler in the business and I need your help to get the Dozen back on track. I haven’t even been able to finish the remodel we started last year.”

HG crossed her arms as she stood in front of the office window. Another fight had broken out in the back corner of the club and a woman was dancing on top of a table.

“I have one rule,” she turned.  “What I say goes.  No discussion. No argument.”

“That’s it?”

“Those are my terms.”

“Agreed.”

 

 

The next day she’d found herself a nice old set of wheels for around town and a small apartment in the loft of a barn owned by an enthusiastic man named Pete Lattimer.

“I’ve been working these lands since I was a kid,” he grinned as he watched her unpack. “You’re gonna love it here. The horses will keep you company and let you know if anyone is trying to sneak up on you.”

“I don’t expect to have any midnight callers.”

He laughed. “Never say never.”

She rolled her eyes and he laughed again. “What you’re going for Artie over at the Dozen, that’s a really good thing. He’s a good guy.”

“I don’t do what I do because people are good or bad Mr. Latimer. I do what I do because they pay me.”

“Either way, I think it’s great.”

 

Later that day HG stood next to Artie as he introduced her to the Baker’s Dozen crew. As expected, skepticism rolled through the group. She was a woman. She was English.

“I thought you’d be taller,” one of the guys in the back called out.

“Like I’ve never heard that before.” HG replied.

The group laughed.

“This,” Artie pointed to a set of blue prints hanging behind them. “This is the new Baker’s Dozen which I’ve put a lot of money into. To protect my investment, I’ve hired one of the best coolers in the business.”

“First things first. Sally you’re fired. We serve drinks not drugs at this bar.” HG pointed at a young blonde woman.

“Whatever,” the waitress grabbed her final pay from Artie and hurried out the door.

“Kipling you’re out too. You don’t have the temperament for this business.”

“You’re full of shit,” he growled as he headed out the door.

“Anyone else dealing?” she paused. “Because my word is the law of the land from this point on. And if you have a problem with that just leave now.”

She waited. When no one left, she continued.

“People who want to have a good time,” she began, “won’t come to butchery. We have far too many troublemakers coming here.  Men who think like teenagers, criminals, blitz drinkers, and masters of pharmaceuticals. Things are going to change.”

“That sounds awesome,” Jack spoke up. “But a lot of those guys are too much to handle for one of us, sometimes even two of us.”

“That’s where these three simple rules come in,” HG paced in front of the room.  “One, never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected. Two, it always gets taken outside. Never start anything inside unless you absolutely have two. And most importantly three, be nice.”

“Really,” Buck shrugged his shoulders.

“Yes,” HG smiled. “If someone tells you to fuck off, be nice.”

“Okay,” Buck rolled his eyes.

“Escort them out of the bar,” HG continued, “but be nice. If he won’t go, help him but be nice. If you have to ask others to help you, do it. But both of you will be nice.”

A chuckle went through the group.

“Remember this is just a job. Nothing is personal.”

“But if someone tells you to fuck off,” Dodge called out. “It’s a little hard to be nice.”

“All they are is a verb and an adverb put together in an attempt to make you angry. That’s it. You have to be a little tougher to work in this business.”

Dodge frowned as the group laughed again.

“I want you to be nice, until it’s time to not be nice.”

“Well how are we supposed to know when that time is,” Buck asked.

“I’ll let you know.” HG stopped in front of the group. “You are the bouncers, I am the cooler. All you have to do is watch my back and each other’s and we’ll be able to take out the trash.”

Chapter Text

She sat down at the bar and ordered the most expensive Scotch on the menu. The holidays were here and she was not in the mood to celebrate. Snow was falling out side, light and airy, the kind that children view with wonder.

She was far too jaded to believe in such things anymore.

Balls clacked on the pool table. A woman’s laughed broke the silence between songs on the jukebox and Helena Wells set her phone down on the bar. She quickly pulled up a number but as the next song started she closed the screen.

Now was not the time or place for such sentimentality.

She refused the offer of a free drink from a pair of young men home for the holidays and ordered another Scotch, content to stew in her own bitterness of the mess she had created.

 

Silence covered the room again as another song cued up. No laughter this time but the sound of someone sitting too close to her on the neighboring stool.

“I’ll have what she’s having.” An unfamiliar male voice called to the bartender.

“Sir,” she began.

“It’s H.G., right?” A young man with bright blue eyes, pale skin and a closely shaved head of dirty blonde hair caught her off guard.

“You’re from the Warehouse?”

“I’m Steve,” he smiled, “I work there but I’m here on my own tonight. Claudia showed me your picture a few times. You used to work there.”

“Some think I still do,” Helena sipped her drink, not trusting the story she was being given.

 

They sat in silence as the sounds and smells of the room around them took over. Loud voices chattering in excitement and the freedom that only alcohol can provide. Helena looked down at the dark screen of her phone.

“They miss you,” Steve talked over the noise. “They don’t say it but I know.”

“I highly doubt that.”

“Let’s just say I have a way of knowing things.” Steve looked her over. “And you miss them too.”

“No.”

“That’s a lie.”

She looked back down at her drink. “You do not know me.”

“I know enough.”

“And what would have me do,” she asked bitterly. “Abandon my mission because of my feelings? Put the world in jeopardy by my hand again?”

“I would find a way,” Steve looked down at his drink. “Find a way to let her know that you’re okay and that you miss her. “ He glanced over. “She told me about you while we were on retrieval. You’re almost as bad a liar as she is.”

“Hardly.”

Steve laughed at Helena’s indignant tone.

“Just let her know is all I’m saying.”

 

“Looks like someone had a big night on the town!” Pete called when Steve walked into the dining room.

“A little lower on the volume,” Steve groaned as he plopped down at the breakfast table. He had gotten home late and a little drunk from his night out.

He would never underestimate his drinking partner again.

Claudia slid him a cup of coffee and a glass of water. “Are you okay?”

“Nothing a little breakfast won’t fix.”

“Did you meet anyone interesting?” Myka asked.

“I did,” he could feel Claudia winding up next to him. “Not like that,” he shook his head.

“Hope springs eternal,” Claudia sighed.

Steve looked over at Myka.

“It does.”

Chapter Text

The office door opens, causing you to look up from this morning’s Times. Duncan and William have returned from their case.

“Good morning,” you smile and take a sip of your tea.

“And to you,” Wolly nearly collapses into the chair at his desk. He wheels closer to grab a section of your paper.

Duncan waives and heads into the Warehouse to shelve the curiosity.

“Is McShane well?”                                      

“Well enough I suppose. He had a brush with the artifact. It nearly cost him his life.”

The room violently shakes, spilling your tea all over the paper.

“I’ll see you on the outside Helena,” Wolly smiles as the world fades to black.

 

“BOLLOCKS!”

“Stay still,” a male voice shouted, trying to hold down the woman on the table.

“Shit,” the other tech cursed as dark eyes landed on her. “Security,” she shouted into a walkie talkie.

The first man practically sailed across the room as the other two rushed through the doors.

“Where am I?” the woman, now with both feet on the floor growled, causing everyone to step back.

“A Protectorate clone facility,” the woman who called for help spoke. “Where we keep the sleeves.”

The woman looks down at hands she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years.

“A clone?”

“Yes.”

“How long was I under?”

“This time? About 250 years.”

The woman sighs. “Where are the showers?”

“Right this way Agent Wells.”

 

The warm water feels good, cleaning away the last of the slime and chemicals used to house this body. This body somehow made from your DNA. The last time you had been taken out of stasis you were given a male body which had served you well but nothing could describe finally feeling like yourself.

It had been nearly 500 years since your birthday and the 4th time you’d experienced stasis. The bronze being the worst, the others almost as bad. Floating in water was better than being encased.  You had been an old woman on her deathbed when they had given you the stack that kept your memories and personality intact. Foolishly you had thought freedom from the Warehouse was at hand, but when you awoke 3 years later as a buxom American beauty you gave up hope that they would ever let you go. After 10 years of service you “accidentally” touched an artifact and ended that existence.

 

“Agent Wells, may I say it is a true honor to meet you.”

“And you are?”

HG dropped the towel and reached for the stack of clothing provided.

“Agent Hudson, head of Warehouse 17.” To his credit he continued to look only at her face while she got dressed.

“Caretaker?”

“Head Agent.”

She nodded. “I suppose I have you to thank for this?” HG waived a hand over her body.  “I had thought my original form had been lost.”

“You’d be surprised what a little bit of research can locate. And you are most welcome.”

“Yes indeed.”

“You’ll find it’s been programmed with all of your skills as well as some extras to help you adapt to this time. Though I doubt an Agent of your caliber with have difficulty with this modern world.”

“While I appreciate the compliment Agent Hudson I know that the only reason I was awoken was to serve the Warehouse. What are you in need of now?”

“It will be easier if I show you. I’ll be outside.”

 

“You know you could be nicer to the man,” Wolcott leaned on the locker room wall next to her.  “He is clearly overwhelmed.”

“Oh please,” HG rolled her eyes. “You were always dazzled by a smile and well fitting trousers.”

“Your words cut me so,” he raised a hand to his chest.

She chuckled at her former partner’s antics. “I am glad to see that you are here. I was afraid that this time I would be completely sane.”

“You are.” He followed HG to the door. “Mostly.”

 

HG followed Agent Hudson through the stark corridors of the facility, getting used to the feel and gate of this sleeve. She had learned over the years that this technology, in its infancy at the time of her first death had become a natural part of life. All children at the age of one received the neural stack to house their memories, making death a thing of the past. Most people chose not to return more than once or twice, if at all. While others, called Meths, lived high above the sprawling cities, beyond wealthy and living as long as her by choice.

Through it all the Warehouse had endured. Man had traveled to the stars and back. Countries had risen and fallen, yet the hunt for artifacts and their users was eternal. During her last life she had even visited the backup facility for Warehouse 15 which orbited the moon, housing many of the artifacts she had known during her times as an Agent.

 

“And here we are,” Agent Hudson stood in front of a set of doors.  

Inside the room was a large conference table with many of the chairs already filled.

“Current Agents and Regents,” Hudson explained as he motioned to a pair of empty seats.  “We are waiting on the Caretaker and one other Agent to begin.”

HG tuned out the whispers and glances her direction.  It was clear that her appearance was a surprise to many in the room.

“Excuse my tardiness,” a woman who reminded HG of a young Mrs. Fredric entered the room from a side door. “We can now begin. Take any seat you like Agent Bering.”

HG’s hands turned white from the grip she had on the table as she watched Myka Bering enter the room, looking much the same as she had when they had last spoken in a driveway in Wisconsin. They had barely remained in touch after that, only exchanging a call or email until they didn’t.

Myka’s green eyes swept the room and her step faltered for a moment when she saw Helena.  She quickly looked away and took an empty chair out of direct eyesight.

 

“As many of you know, this is the greatest crisis the Warehouse has faced in its history. So great that I have decided to enlist the help of two of its most renowned agents. “ The Caretaker looked at Myka, then HG.

“The Warehouse has disappeared and we need your help to find it.”

Chapter Text

 

 

“She’s back!”

Various shouts of greeting met you when you walked into the living room.  As much as you loved your job, they would never replace your family.

“How was training?” Pete asked, pulling you down next to him on the couch.

“Good,” you smiled. “Long.”

“Boring.”

You smacked him on the shoulder. “For you.”

“How much longer before you take over?” Steve asked.

“I have a few more things to learn,” she began as the room began to shake.

“Catch ya later Mykes!” Pete shouted as the room faded to black.

 

“Welcome Agent Bering,” a middle aged black woman greeted.”

“Ugh,” Myka sat up, reaching for a towel that was quickly offered.

“Where am I? And when?” she wiped her face clean of the slime and chemicals that always came with a fresh sleeve.  She caught a glimpse of herself in a metal tray.

“And whose body is this?”

“It’s yours,” the woman smiled.  “Cloning has reached new levels. We were able to spin this form from a DNA sample.”

“Okay,” Myka unzipped the bag that held the new version of her old body. 

“We are at a Protectorate clone facility in what you used to call North Dakota. The Warehouse now has a partnership with the government.”

“And?” Myka slowly moved her legs down to the ground, feeling the weight of her body.

“120 years.”

“So this is Warehouse 17?”

“Yes.”

She stood. “I take it you’re the Caretaker?”

“Geraldine Fredrick.”

“You’re not…”

“A distant relative.”

“That explains it. The showers?”

“This way.”

 

The first show after you awoke always felt the best, no matter the body it was in.  The cancer had come back in your late 60s. Despite the advances in medicine the only option was the neural implant at the base of your skull. You had outlived everyone (save Claudia) and your time couldn’t be up yet.

You came right back in the body of a 22 year old woman. Clean and healthy, you served another 60 years until Warehouse 13 became 14 and they put you under again.  This was the fourth time the Warehouse called and you answered.

“So they finally found some DNA.”

Steve’s voice caused you to jump. Opening your eyes, you reached for the soap one more time.

“I guess some survived the fire at 14.”

“How does it feel to be Myka Bering again?”

“I never realized how much I missed this body until this moment.” You let the spray finish washing off residue.

“It does look good,” Steve smiled, giving her a quick once over.

“If I could punch you I would.”

 

“So is the Warehouse attached to this facility?”

“No,” Mrs. Fredrick replied. “The current Warehouse is on the West Coast, outside of Bay City.”

“Back in the US,” Myka smiled.

“We haven’t been called that in quite some time.”

She fell silent as they walked through the long gray hallway, her mind eager to begin to get up to date on this modern world.

“Here we are,” the Caretaker stopped in front of a non-descript door.  “Please follow me.”

 

As her eyes swept the room she recognized who were Agents and who were Regents.

“A full meeting,” she mumbled and stopped walking in shock.

Helena sat at the end of the table, looking as beautiful and confused as the last time they’d talked in Boone. Time, ironically, had been what got the best of them during their lifetime and she had assumed the other woman long dead.

Quickly she slipped into the closest empty seat not daring another look down the table.

 

“As many of you know, this is the greatest crisis the Warehouse has faced in its history. So great that I have decided to enlist the help of two of its most renowned agents. “The Caretaker looked at Myka, then HG.

“The Warehouse has disappeared and we need your help to find it.”

Chapter Text

 

“You know these new clone sleeves come full built,” Wolly held out a bottle of water to her.

“I know,” you took a deep drink, “but I am nothing if I’m not a creature of my time.” You tossed back an empty bottle.  “And it feels good to be back in these bones.”

You began your calisthenics routine again. At its core it was the same that had been taught you during your time at 12 but the centuries had brought many modifications to suit the times.

“I noticed that you didn’t linger after the briefing,” Wolly shouted over the music that you had turned on to accompany your routine.

With a glare, you turned it up louder.

 

 

You do know that she’s not the same HG Wells from the 20th century,” Steve said as you walked toward the room of a woman that at one time meant everything.

“I know.”

“And you’re not the same Agent that you were at 13,” Steve continued. 

“I know.”

He grabbed your arm forcing you to look at him. “Myka, are you sure you want to do this?”

The thud of music came from behind the door.

“Yes. We have to work together on this case. If we can’t get over Wisconsin then this will never work.”

“Wisconsin doesn’t even exist anymore,” Steve sighed.

 

“Myka,” HG looked surprised to see her. “Hello.”

“Can I come in?”

HG stepped back, allowing the other woman to enter her spacious living quarters.  The Warehouse still kept Agent’s rooms, just not as part of the building itself anymore.

“I never pegged you as a Kanye fan.”

“Sorry,” HG cocked her head and the music shut off.  “Can I get you something to drink?”

“Water please,” Myka stepped into the huge living room, watching Helena from the corner of her eye. “Still a collector of books I see.”

“Some habits never leave you,” HG finished pouring two glasses. “Even if paper has.”

The stood in silence for a moment in front of Helena’s massive book case. 

“Is that?” Myka’s voice filled with wonder.

“It is,” Helena smiled, reaching up to pull a book down. 

“Where did you get one?”

“I found this copy off world. The seller needed funds for transport back to Earth and well,” HG passed the story over to Myka, their hands touching briefly. “It made me think of better days.”

Myka held the copy of the book gently.  A book that she had written under a pseudonym centuries ago that enjoyed moderate success during her first life.

“It’s a shame there was never a sequel.”

Myka handed the book back. “Things got in the way.”

“The Warehouse,” HG replied bitterly as she returned the book to its home. “How many times have they brought you back?”  She asked, stepping away and taking a seat on the couch.

“This will be the fifth. And you?”

“Same.”

“I had no idea,” Myka turned and sat opposite Helena.

“Given our history, are you surprised?”

“Yes, actually. I could have used your help dozens of times over the years.”

“I don’t think,” Helena leaned forward, resting her elbows on her knees and stared at the floor. “I don’t think you quite understand what my role for the Warehouse has become. What they have had be do at their behest.  We lived in very different worlds Myka during our times.”

“I have worked with the Special Operations Agents many times Helena,” Myka could feel her anger rise. “I know exactly what the Warehouse has done over the years.”

“Do you?”

“Who do you think first suggested the program?”

Helena, too surprised to reply, stood quickly and began to pace.

“How could you not know what had been done to me?” she finally asked.

“I was dead. Remember? My first body died of cancer.”

“And after?”

“I never had the same level of access after,” Myka replied frustrated with how this conversation was going. Frustrated with herself for not digging deeper. 

“And I never tried to find out. What happened to you after I came back. I just assumed you died a natural death.”

“I did. Right up until the moment that Warehouse Agents implanted the stem against my wishes.”

“Oh Helena,” Myka felt the words like a blow.

“Oh yes,” Helena sat back down. “I was brought back several years later in a new form with a new mission as part of the Special Operations Agents. The Warehouse needed someone more adept at dealing with the darker side of Endless Wonder it seemed.  Enough time had passed that those I knew and cared about were gone so all that remained was the Warehouse.”

“And no, I never thought to discover your end either. I hoped that the rest of your life had been lived well.”

“Well it seems we’ll have time to learn about one another again,” Myka grinned slightly.

“I suppose so,” Helena leaned back on the couch.  “Just like old times, Bering and Wells.”

“Wells and Bering,” Myka finished her water and stood to leave.  They still had much to talk about but the air between them felt better.

 

Chapter Text

There was something that HG always found soothing about a train ride. The steady hum and rumble as the cars made their way over the tracks. The time spent with strangers who were as varied and interesting as the curiosities she hunted.  The simple elegance of what had been cutting edge technology at the time.

Trains, as it seemed, still were in common use for travelers whose means were meager at best. And in an attempt to keep their cover, the Warehouse had purchased them tickets from where ever they had been to Bay City the current home of the missing building. When she had last worked, the country once known as the United States was on its last legs with a new global government known as the Protectorate poised to take over.  She had spent some time in Bay City handling official business before she had cast off world for an assignment of her own making.

 

Myka looked up from the data pad she was reading, casting a glance at the woman across from her. The Warehouse had been cheap but not so much so that they didn’t share a private car.  Despite all she had been through during the past centuries, she was a creature of habit and information was the lifeblood of any mission.  What was known about the Warehouse’s disappearance was a quick read. Finding out what had happened to Helena Wells since they last saw each other was a little more difficult. 

The only thing that they had in common during their various forms since the originals was visits to San Francisco, now Bay City. In fact they had both been sent there around the same time for different missions. The timing was so close that from what Myka could decipher, there had even been a few over lapping days. But in a city of millions there was no way for them to know.

 

“You are wondering if it is more than a mere coincidence,” Helena’s voice startled Myka from her thoughts.

“What is a coincidence?”

“That you and I were both in what is now Bay City at the same time two centuries ago.”

Myka stopped herself from asking. Of course Helena would have been studying.  They were still alike in that way.

“The timing is surprising. Did you get your artifact?”

“Of course, did you?”

“I wasn’t there for just retrieval.”

“Official Warehouse business then?”

“Or something like that.”

They sat in silence for a moment, neither willing to share more at that moment.

The garbled announcement that the train was arriving broke the tension.

 

Myka pulled the collar up on her heavy brown pea coat. The climate and the coast had shifted, making this area rainier and far cooler than it had once been.  Her hair would be a disaster but at least it was her own.

HG wore a similar jacket in black, leaving the top 2 buttons open she pushed her way out of the station and into the crowded streets. She didn’t need to look to know that the other woman was trailing behind her, taking in the sights. It wouldn’t take long for her to notice.

“Where are we going,” Myka asked, sliding next to HG. “This isn’t the way to the hotel.”

“Not the one the Warehouse would like us to stay at, no. “HG replied. “I have some suspicions that we were not given the full picture.”

“Because we’re being followed?”

Helena smiled.  Of course she would know.

“Come. I have made alternative arrangements.”

 

It was long before the buildings became more run down and the area less populated. It was clearly one of the older sections of the city that had one time been one of its hotspots.

“The Time Traveler,” Myka stopped in front of the old hotel.

“A bit on the nose but it will do.”  Helena pulled open the door.

“I didn’t realize these AI hotels were still around,” Myka murmured, taking in the empty Victorian styled lobby.

At the desk stood their host in a full 19th century suit and tie, complete with pocket watch.

“Welcome to the Time Traveler,” a crisp English accent boomed in the empty room. “My name is HG Wells.  How many I serve you today?”

Myka couldn’t help but bark out a laugh.

“Two adjacent rooms please,” HG replied formally. The AI’s bushy eyebrows rose in surprise.

“It has been far too long since I’ve heard my native tongue,” he smiled.  “What level stay will you be needing?”

 

Before she could reply the doors behind them opened with a bang. Several men rushed in, weapons drawn.

“More guests?” the host asked.

“Not quite.” HG replied.

Myka had spun around, weapon drawn. She ground down on her teeth seeing they were out gunned.

“Bering, Wells,” the group’s leader lowered his gun slightly. “You best come with us. Or boss would like a word with ya.”

“Would he now?” Myka tightened the grip on her gun. “And who would he be?”

“You’ll see.”

 

“Miss,” the AI’s voice whispered to HG who still hadn’t turned. “What level of stay would you like?”  His eyes looked down to the counter where her finger print would register payment.  She had managed her assets well and in secret for centuries so money would never be an issue.

“Top shelf,” she smiled, slapping one hand down on the counter as the other reached for her weapon.

“Only the best for my sister,” the AI replied as a shot gun appeared in his hands.

Chapter Text

When the bullets and dust had settled, Myka and HG hovered above the leader of the group. He was the last that remained alive and the only one who could answer their questions.

“Tell me,” HG growled out, kneeling down and pressing her hand into the wound in his side, “who sent you.”

A blood filled laugh was his reply.

“You don’t,” he wheezed, “You don’t scare me.”

HG pressed further into the wound, causing the man to writhe in pain.

“HG,” Myka warned.

“If you think this is the worst I can do,” HG hissed, “you are quite mistaken.”

The dying man laughed again.

“You think you know,” he croaked out,” but you have no idea.”

Before HG could reply, the man shook violently, white foam coming from his mouth.

“Shit,” Myka knelt down.  “Poison.”

“He wasn’t shot in the head,” HG wiped her bloody hand on the man’s pants and stood. “We should be able to find out who contracted him through his stack. Charles can get everything set up for us.”

“Charles can what?” The AI joined the pair. “I have quite enough mess here to clean already thanks to you Helena.”

“It is good to see you too,” Helena smirked.

“How is it that he knows who you really are?” Myka asked.

“Late in my second return AI’s were all the rage. I invested in a small company that planned to open a chain of theme hotels. One of them happened to be based on HG Wells,” she began.

“And the rest is history, so to speak,” Charles finished. “One of my sub-routines in set to recognize either the Wells DNA or a string of code words to authenticate Helena’s identity. It has come in handy quite a few times.”

“But that story is not for tonight.  What time is dinner being served?”

“7pm as always,” Charles rolled his eyes in a very familiar way. “Shall I have it sent up or will be using the formal dining room.”

“Myka?”

“I’ll see you both at 7,” she replied.

 

“Why doesn’t it surprise me that at the first opportunity she goes off the tracks,” Steve said, handing her the medical cream.

“What do you mean?” Myka popped open the cap and applied it to the small wound on her upper arm. “This place?”

“Yes!” Steve stood and crossed his arms. “How do you know that she didn’t set up this whole thing?”

“And why would she do something like that?” Myka sighed as the medical cream finished its job.  She reached for a new shirt.  “And put herself and new body in danger?”

“Not to mention,” she stood. “That we don’t know yet if this has anything to do with the Warehouse disappearance.”

“How can it not?”

 

HG sat in a lotus position with her eyes closed.

“How can you be so calm after all of that?” Wolly sat across from her on the floor.

“I am far from calm,” she replied. “That is why I am attempting to focus myself before dinner.”

“How can you focus? You were shot at?”

“I know.”

“Charles is here.”

“I am well aware.”

“Myka was shot!”

Helena’s eyes flew open at that. The look on her face caused Wolly to lean back a little.

“She was grazed. Just a flesh wound.”

It would be pointless to try to meditate now so she stood.  “Did you see anything that could help identify our attackers?” she asked, making her way over to the room’s computer console.

“That man had a tattoo on his neck.” He replied.

“I see,” her fingers flew across the keyboard.

 

At 7:08pm a flustered looking HG Wells joined Myka and Charles at the dining room table.

“My apologies for my tardiness.”

 “It’s fine. It gave Charles and I a little time to get to know each other.”

“Indeed.”  He nodded. “What kept you dear sister?”

“A possible lead on the Warehouse and on the men who attempted to kill us.”

“Really?” Myka was impressed. But Helena’s mind always was able to spin disparate threads together on any case.

“We will have to confirm a few details with their leader. Is everything set up?”

“I can start questioning after dinner,” Charles sipped his drink.

“Excellent.”

Chapter Text

 

HG walked slightly behind Myka as the taller Agent led them through the dark and damp streets.  Her eyes were focused on the small of her partner’s back. She allowed the light sway of brownish fabric to sink her into thought.

 She knew that time spent in different eras did something to one’s psyche. She had to only look at her first appearance in a new century to prove the hypothesis true.  

 

“Tell me,” Myka growled.

They were in the VR world thanks to their stacks, trying to gain extra information from the hit man sent to end their task.  Scientists had discovered that there was no mechanical way to extra information from a living being so traditional methods still worked best.

The thud of dense wood against skin echoed through the small red and black room.

“Are you going to kill me again like that one over there?” the man strapped to the chair asked, his head leaning in Charles’s direction.

“Oh no,” Myka replied calmly as she selected another tool from her table.  “I’m more skilled than that.”

HG, who stood next o her brother, raised an eyebrow in surprise.

 

True to her word, Myka had gotten the information that has sent them out into the night.  HG had to admit part of her was impressed with this new skill set that Agent Bering had acquired somewhere along the way. 

The other part wondered what had happened to someone who she considered true and wholly good that had caused her to cast away her better angels. .

Time in its perverted way had made them closer in nature than ever before.

 

“The Brotherhood of the Black Diamond,” HG read the faded name of the fight club they stood in front of. She cast a glance at Myka, “I wonder if the Church knows.”

Myka smirked as she pulled open the door.

 

The fights were over for the night but the smell of sweat, blood and desperation still hung in the air. A flash of a fake ID badge and a few credits brought the Agents to the back office where the night manager was finishing up his duties.

“Well hello ladies,” a tall and thin elderly man stood quickly. HG fought the urge to step back at the overwhelming smell of cheap cologne.  “What can I do for you tonight? I’m afraid you missed the fights but I’m always up for a little after hours action.”

“Three nights ago this man,” Myka pulled up an image from her wristband of their hit man, “met another to arrange for a hit. We need to see the footage to find the buyer.”

“We know there’s a tape,” HG chimed in, wincing internally as the manager’s eyes widened. Even centuries later, the accent caught attention.  “Old tech. Not traceable.”

“I don’t know who told you…”

Myka grabbed the man and slammed him back down into his chair. “Don’t waste our time.  Show us the tape.”

“Okay, okay, geeze.” The manager put up his hands and Myka backed off. “At least take me to dinner before the rough stuff.  Follow me.”

 

“If anyone knew we had these,” the manager pulled a VCR tape from the wall and slid it into the machine.

“We don’t care,” Myka cut him off.  “We only want to see three nights ago.”

“There’s about six hours of footage on this one,” he pressed play. “I can’t wait around all night for you to find what you’re looking for.”

HG reached down and pressed fast forward.  They wouldn’t need six hours to find their man.

 

“Here,” HG hit pause about 10 minutes later.  She hit rewind and played the recording at normal speed.

“No sound,” the manager explained. 

“We don’t need it.” Myka hit pause as the men met next to the main ring in between fights.  “Do you know this guy?”

“He looks a little familiar. One of the high rollers that comes in here from time to time, you know the ones that live up there.”

HG rewound the tape one more time to watch the exchange.

“You can’t take that with you,” the manager huffed. “We’d be ruined!”

“I have what I need,” HG stopped the tape.   She looked at Myka.

“You?”

“I’m good.  Thanks for your help Mr?”

“Hughes.  PL Hughes.”

 

By the time they returned to The Time Traveler the sun was creeping over the horizon.  They had talked off and on during the walk back about the case and about next steps but nothing concrete.  HG could feel the need for sleep and the whispering voice of Wolcott clouding her judgment.  For a moment she wondered if Myka had her own ghost, perhaps Pete, which haunted her in a similar fashion.

 

“Good morning Agent Bering. Helena. Did you find what you needed?” Charles inquired from behind the front desk.

“We found our next step,” Myka replied.  “Could I get some coffee sent up to my room?”

“Are you not going to rest?” HG asked.

“It a little while. My mind’s too wound up right now Helena. Plus I need a shower. Desperately.”

“Shall we meet for lunch later?”

“Emphasis on later. I’ll let you know.”

 

The Wells siblings watched the other woman enter the elevator and ascend to the higher floor.

“I see now why you love her so much.” Charles smiled.

 

Chapter Text

You surprised Tessa and Albert when you suggested going out to celebrate. It was kind of a big deal. The last retrieval as probational Warehouse Agents.  And you knew just the place to take them.

It had been years ago on an early mission with Helena when you’d found this bar. The drinks were cold, the music loud and the environment just dangerous enough that no one noticed two women making out in a dark corner.  You’d come here with Pete once early in your relationship but left quickly. It wasn’t the same.

You leaned on the bar, sipping your vodka tonic and wondered how he was doing on vacation with his new girlfriend.  Partners to friends to lovers to friends with benefits to friendly coworkers.  It still stung a little but Claudia had been thrilled that the Lanister phase of your relationship was now over.

That had left either you or Steve to take the new kids out and you needed a break from Univille.  It was early September, a time always filled with a few many memories that you weren’t too comfortable with.  Plus you loved this time in Chicago.

 

The band was just coming back on a little before midnight. You were two drinks in and for a rare moment you felt at ease. Content with your life as it was.  Albert and Tessa were laughing and singing along with the cover the band was playing, your Warehouse family was alive and well. With a smile you glance towards the other end of the bar just as the crowd parted.

And you see her.

She is radiant in a white summer dress that is so perfectly her.  The black hair is longer than you remember but just as beautiful.  Your breath catches.

She looks over and makes eye contact, giving you a small smile.

 

Memories begin to crowd your vision. You haven’t seen her in years.  Not since Boone and Nate and your heart breaking into so many pieces you never quite got it put back together again.  You’d exchanged an email or two but even those had fallen off.

 She leaned up and whispered something in the ear of the man she was standing next to and began to walk your direction.

The world faded as she drew closer…

 

Flirting with you while tied to a chair

Flying in the sky thanks to her grappling hook, pressed so closely to her

Saving Artie in Russia, nearly dying herself

Sending you and Pete back in time

The first time you kissed right after that mission

The first time you made love. She was radiant in the moonlight, laying close in your arms

The first time you realized you loved her

She telling you first over a late night snack and the B&B

The last time you made love in Egypt, the desperate way she clung to you after

Yellowstone

Wanting a normal life

The driveway in Boone, Wisconsin.

 

 

“Hello Myka,” she smiled.

You were overwhelmed with her perfume.

 

 

“Myka are you okay?” Albert was trying to talk to you but all you could see is Helena leaving on the arm of some guy you didn’t know. 

She cast one last look back at you and disappeared into the night.

“Seriously,” you felt Tessa’s had on your arm. “You look like someone just walked over your grave.”

You were drowning.

 

Suddenly you were out on the sidewalk, leaving a trail of stunned faces behind you. Vaguely you heard Albert shouting your name. You couldn’t be around them just yet.  It had taken years to rebuild yourself. Years to forget her and what you could have been and you felt it all come back.

It’s all crumbling down. 

You just had to see her and you felt like you were breaking in two.

Chapter Text

Myka looked up from the report she had spent the past two hours on.  The office was empty, the others either back at the B and B or with Artie doing inventory.  When she had started working on the case file, Helena had been working on some research for the Regents.

Now she was alone.

She hadn’t heard the door to the umbilicus open so her partner must be somewhere further in the Warehouse.  With a shrug she went back to the report.

After a few moments of lost concentration she shut the file. She didn’t get vibes but she could tell something was going on.

 

When her feat hit the concrete floor of the Warehouse proper, she paused. And listened.  Over the low hum of the lights and the crackly of baby static balls she could hear music.  For a moment she wondered if Pete had gotten into trouble again but he was off with his mom visiting his sister and his new nephew.  No, this was classical music and Pete would never willingly pick it as his music of choice.

Using her best instincts, Myka headed towards where she thought the noise was coming from. If an artifact had gotten loose it would definitely need to be neutralized. And fast.  Once one got going, another seemed to follow until an entire aisle was creating a level 4 emergency and…

 

Artie will never find out about that.

 

Before long she found the source of the music. It was coming from the Pete Cave. They still called it the Pete Cave but all of the Agents now made use of it for various reasons.  Myka would slip away and read, Claudia would tinker, Steve would meditate or they would all play hooky and watch bad movies instead of doing inventory.

The door was open enough for the music to escape and for her to see Helena sitting on the couch, a photo album in her lap. The room was mostly dark, with only a small lap on next to Helena and the soft glow of the TV.

Slowly Myka pushed open the door and stepped into the room. After making sure the door was shut properly she looked at Helena whose head was bowed over the album. The TV was playing something off of YouTube (how Claudia got the internet in here, she would never know).

 

“I see you’ve found me,” Helena spoke softly.

“The music lead me here,” Myka sat down on the couch. She could tell that Helena had been crying.

“Come here,” Myka reached out and Helena leaned into her body, the album falling on the floor.  Myka knew that she would find out what was bothering her soon. Instead of pressing she leaned back into the couch and looked again at the TV.

“Brahms?”

“Yes. One of my favorites thanks to him.”

“Him?”

There was a long pause then as the violins swelled. Helena had picked an old recording from the 1960s by the Cleveland Orchestra.

“Chataranga.”

The movement ended. As the next started, Helena explained.

“He was such a fan of German romantics.  Mahler, Brahms, Schumann.  I was more of an opera person but Chataranga would drag me to the symphony every chance he could. We would discuss a case on the way, enjoy the performance, and discuss the latest trend in art and music over a late supper.”

The Victorian paused again and music took over the room.

“This case,” Helena’s voice broke a little, “the one I’m working on for the Regents. It involves research into cases at 12 and 11. Chataranga’s cases.”

“Oh.”

Helena leaned out of Myka’s arms to look her in the face. 

“Do you think he knew how much he meant to me? I have never had a truer mentor or friend.  I was so angry, so beside myself with grief that I was positively evil to both he and Wolcott before the bronze.  Gods,” she chocked.  “I can’t bear that was their last memory of me.”

Myka pulled Helena down again as she sobbed.

 

It was some time after the last movement that Myka and Helena were able to leave the Pete Cave.  Myka’s heart broke for partner.   Seeing HG with the current Warehouse team, she knew that Helena could love her friends fiercely.

 

As they prepared for bed that evening, Myka handed over a faded brown envelope. 

“I know this won’t change what happened,” she explained as Helena opened the file.  “But I thought you might like to see this after today.”

The first time HG Wells had appeared Myka had spent hours researching her history, her cases, and the people that knew her best.  It was both fascinating and appalling. But one thing had always stuck out to here, how Agent Well’s fellow Victorians had felt about here.

“They knew.” Myka smiled. “They always knew.”