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Pack Me Up, I'm Sold

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The sign over the shop read Bering & Wells: Purveyors of Rare Books and Unusual Antiques.

Helena had argued for Wells & Bering, but Myka said, "Give it up, HG, I've got the alphabet on my side."

*

Leaving the Warehouse was the hardest decision Myka has ever had to make, and to her surprise it was Artie who took it best.

"Do you know how many Warehouse agents end up going evil or insane, or both? At least this way I won't have to worry about you. But you," Artie growled at Helena, "you I will always worry about."

Helena beamed at that like it was the biggest compliment she'd ever received.

Pete had a few abandonment issues to work through, but in the end he wrapped Myka in an enormous bear hug and made her promise to call every day, twice a day.

Claudia took it the hardest, going so far as to refuse to share her secret recording of Pete giving an awkward, mortifying, what-are-your-intentions-towards-Myka speech to HG.

But Claudia was still young enough that she didn't understand why anyone would ever leave the Warehouse, short of being dragged out by the Budweiser Clydesdales. Myka extracted solemn promises from Pete and Steve that they'd look after her, and hoped that she'd get over it given time.

*

It actually surprised Myka how readily Helena agreed. After all, she knew exactly how Helena felt about the Warehouse.

Myka thought that in most normal relationships being unsure if your girlfriend loved a giant pseudo-IRS warehouse more than you would be considered a deal-breaker.

But being involved with Helena Wells meant any number of strange, irritating, endlessly wonderful things... very few of them normal.

"I did my best work as a freelancer," was all Helena said.

And later, standing in front of the shop looking at their new sign, Helena tucked her arm through Myka's and said, "You know, I think this is going to be rather fun, being in trade."

*

In retrospect Myka was prepared to admit that attempting to conduct a secret lesbian affair under the noses of trained investigators (also Pete) hadn't been her greatest ever plan.

But it did mean that Helena had never been there in the mornings for Myka to discover that she's an unrepentant blanket-stealer.

Helena was also not a morning person; claiming with a completely straight face that conversation before the first cup of tea had been drunk was nothing short of barbaric. And she quickly became addicted to something called Doctor Who on BBC America.

Okay, it was Myka who had introduced her to the show; but it was still entirely Pete's fault, if it hadn't been for him Myka wouldn't even know what Doctor Who was.

"I still think the Doctor should travel back in time and meet HG Wells," said Helena, as Myka slid her hand under her shirt, attempting to distract her.

"Helena?"

"Mmm... Oh. Oh." Helena shifted until she was straddling Myka's lap. "Agent Bering, I've been shamefully neglecting you. Please allow me to apologise?"

"Well, if you insist," Myka said, and Helena kissed her soundly.

*

It would be possible to track Helena's progression through the shop and apartment by the scraps of paper she left littered behind her; containing circuit diagrams, schematics, and dialogue from the middle pages of unwritten novels.

Myka was leafing through a few of those as she was making her daily call to Pete.

"Mykes, you okay?"

"Pete, I think HG's trying to build a TARDIS."

There was a long pause and then Pete said, "Okay, if she succeeds I'm moving in with you."

*

Just when life was going quietly - which was different, a good different, if kind of boring - Myka had to go and pick up Helena from a police station where she had been questioned in connection with a dead body.

"Myka, you have to know that--"

"It was Agatha Christie's typewriter," Myka interrupted. "Come on, the body in the library. We've got her typewriter in the shop."

"How did that happen?"

Myka gave Helena her best why are you licking that, Pete? look, and said, "And this, HG, is why we don't bid on random things on eBay at three a.m."

Helena gave her an innocent butter-wouldn't-melt look which somehow managed to be completely sinful. "Of course not, darling."

*

Myka spent twenty minutes on Helena's homemade Farnsworth with Claudia berating her for telling Helena about eBay. Claudia started laughing after five minutes and didn't stop, so Myka guessed that all was forgiven once again.

"So, who's coming to bag this thing?" Myka asked.

"I will!" said Claudia, as Pete tried to wrestle her Farnsworth out of her hands, shouting, "Me! Me!" and Steve said, "Hey, I want to come too."

In the background Myka heard Artie say, in tones of deepest sarcasm, "Why don't you all go, don't worry about me, I'll hold down the fort here."

*

They must have taken him at his word, because five hours later Claudia, Pete and Steve turned up in the shop all grinning like idiots.

*

Myka was re-shelving books - customers don't seem to understand that she has a system; it's something she and her dad can talk about on their calls now - when a first edition of The Hound of the Baskervilles started howling at her.

"Well," said Helena, raising her voice to be heard over the book, "I'll call Claudia and ask her to send us some goo."

*

The ringing of the front door bell woke them up. Well, it woke Myka up. Helena - still not a morning person, still a shameless cover-hogger - attempted to stick her head under the pillows and said, "There's someone at the door."

Myka pulled on a dressing gown and headed downstairs through the shop. It wouldn't be a customer, the shop was dark and the closed sign was up. Well, it had been a gift from Claudia, so it was really a Gone to Save the World sign.

Outside was a delivery guy with a package that Myka signed for.

Back in the apartment Helena was steeping tea, had put the coffee machine on for Myka, and was capable of the rudiments of human interaction.

"Who was it?"

Myka put the package on the table and handed Helena the card with a quick good morning kiss.

The package was from Claudia, the third this week, and all the cards said the same thing: We're running low on shelf space. Keep this somewhere safe.

"I think we'll need to get that sign-maker back," Helena said.

"Yes, Warehouse 13a," agreed Myka.