DISCLAIMER: All television shows, movies, books, and other copyrighted material referred to in this work, and the characters, settings, and events thereof, are the properties of their respective owners. As this work is an interpretation of the original material and not for-profit, it constitutes fair use. References to real persons, places, or events are made in a fictional context, and are not intended to be libelous, defamatory, or in any way factual.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: All the leaks about season 5 have been giving me way too many Bering and Wells feels. So, knowing that HG will come back for only one episode, this is how I want it to happen.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To mjduncan18[at]gmail.com
A New Beginning
She approached the brightly-lit house with slow, measured steps, each one landing with the weight of a million unfulfilled dreams poised on the precarious brink of realization. The night was cold, the sky a twinkling blanket of stars that she had missed during her time away in the suburbs. It was comforting to be able to look at the stars and be able to pick out individual constellations, because they were indelible proof that not everything had changed. So much, too much, had changed in her lifetimebut those glittering hosts had steadfastly remained the same, and she drew strength from their enduring existence.
She shoved her trembling hands further into her pockets as she stopped in front of the wide front porch steps and looked up at the door that separated her from the happiness she had been so terrified of finding. Time and self-introspection had forced her to admit that even though she was too cowardly to grasp that happiness, to cradle it to her bosom and let the warmth of love and family creep through her veins until she was once again truly alive, that it had been, for however brief a time, hers.
And she selfishly wanted it back.
She drew a deep breath and held it for a moment before expelling it in a great rush of air that billowed like smoke in front of her mouth, and somehow found the strength to lift her right foot and set it on the lowest tread. Heart hammering in her chest, she climbed the short flight of stairs, every step somehow harder to complete than the one before. The warm yellow glow of the porch light wrapped around her like the embrace of an old friend as she hovered on the doorstep, and she had to actively fight the urge to flee.
She knew how to be miserable. She understood sadness. But she was tired of the aching emptiness that filled her chest and sat heavily in her stomach. She was tired of approaching each day with the goal of surviving until the next. She was tired of simply existing.
She wanted to live.
And to do that, she needed the woman she could hear laughing on the other side of the door. She needed the one person who knew her; who knew that her mind was a frightening place, knew her thoughts, her fears, her every horror and pernicious act. Despite the time since they had last spoken, and the hurt she had undoubtedly inflicted, she foolishly hoped for forgiveness.
She drew a shaky breath and pulled her hand from her coat pocket. Knuckles bared, she rapped three times on the door, hard enough for the sound to carry through the main floor of the stately Victorian manor.
And then, her pulse pounding in her ears, she waited. Eternity stretched in the space of a few heartbeats as she waited for her absolution or condemnation. A bird called out in the night, the sound low and mournful, and she shifted nervously as she offered up a silent prayer to a God she did not necessarily believe in for mercy.
She was still not convinced that she deserved it, but she wished for it nonetheless.
Her breath caught in her throat when the door was finally thrown open, and she offered the obviously surprised woman a small, tremulous smile and a tip of her head. "Hello, darling," she murmured, her quiet voice lacking her usual bravado as she begged for forgiveness with her eyes.
"Helena " Myka breathed. Her grip on the edge of the door tightened as she felt her entire world shift beneath her. She swayed slightly on her feet, and shook her head in confusion. She had given up on her. On this. On the way her heart would flutter in response to the Englishwoman's mere presence. And yet, despite accepting the fact that she had to give it all up, here Helena was again, smiling that broken smile with her sad eyes, making her feel everything she had sworn she would never feel again. "Why ?" she asked, her voice cracking on that single syllable as her broken heart began to mend itself without her permission.
Helena's shoulders lifted in a barely perceptible shrug as she offered what she knew was both an entirely truthful and an equally insufficient excuse. "I'm sorry."
Myka glanced over her shoulder, her eyes sliding over the wall that separated them from the dining room and the rest of the Bed and Breakfast's occupants who were just sitting down to dinner, and sighed. Her eyes drifted back to Helena, who was visibly shivering despite her obvious attempt not to, and she shook her head as her heart beat solidly in her chest for the first time in what felt like forever.
The longer she suffered under Myka's inscrutable stare, the more Helena began to fear that the happiness she dared hoped for had slipped irrevocably from her grasp. "I know this is quite presumptuous of me," she began softly, her stomach twisting with nerves as she willed herself to say the words she knew she needed to say, "just showing up like this without calling ahead, but " Her voice trailed off as Myka's hand extended toward her and a soft finger landed lightly on her lips.
For as eloquent as Helena was with words, silence was how Myka knew they communicated best. Theirs was a language of soft touches and lingering stares, of tongues sweeping slowly over plump lips and shy smiles that spoke volumes. And so she did not say a word as she stepped over the threshold. She did not notice the way the rough fibers of the doormat poked through her socks to sting the bottom of her feet as she stood in front of Helena. She did not feel the cold that cut unforgivingly through the thin cotton of her t-shirt as her eyes danced over the face she had thought she would never see again. The face that had lurked on the periphery of her consciousness as she lay in that cold, sterile hospital room. The face that had strode boldly through her dreams when she secretly wished for it all to just end already, demanding she not give in to the seductive darkness that promised respite from the pain.
And so she fought the cancer like she knew she should have fought for Helena that night in Wisconsin when she left her standing in the driveway of a tract house that she knew could never be the Englishwoman's home. She had thought she was doing the right thing by leaving, by giving Helena the supposed happiness she had professed to finding, but looking at Helena now, the author's keen brown eyes flickering with hope and fear, she knew that she had been wrong.
That they had both been wrong.
That despite the bounds of time and fragile human mortality, this was their chance to do something right.
So she leaned forward, her lips following the path her finger had blazed moments before. Her eyes fluttered shut at that first contact, and a tremulous breath escaped her as she went back for more. She kissed Helena slowly, reverently, basking in each clasping of lips as the final pieces of her heart were soldered back into place, stronger than they were before. The feeling of Helena's fingers sliding almost hesitantly over her jaw made her stomach flutter, and Myka smiled as Helena's mouth opened beneath hers and their kisses grew deeper and achingly more tender.
Time seemed to stop as they lost themselves in each other, and Helena sighed when their kisses inevitably gentled into a series of lingering pecks that made her heart swoop into her throat. "My darling Myka," she breathed.
Myka's breath caught at the unfettered adoration in Helena's tone, and she swallowed thickly as she pulled back far enough to look into her eyes. There was so much she knew they needed to say, confessions that needed to be made, forgiveness that needed to be given, but none of that mattered to her in that moment. All that mattered was that Helena was back. "Come inside." Unease flickered in Helena's eyes when she pulled away, taking a step back toward the warmth of the foyer behind her, and Myka added, "It'll be okay. I promise."
"I believe you," Helena whispered. And she did. Because, even when she did not believe in herself, she always believed in Myka. She smiled as she took the younger woman's hand, their fingers lacing together with an easy familiarity, and allowed her to lead her inside. The door closed with an echoing finality behind them, their painful past left in the cold, dark South Dakota night as they walked hand-in-hand toward the warm, bright future they knew they could find together in the welcoming embrace of their friends and the Warehouse.
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