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SPOILERS: Season Two.
A New Tomorrow
Myka hit the button on her car remote and heard it lock and strolled over to the entrance to the warehouse all while sipping her delicious large Americano. She startled as her cell phone rang. She snatched it out of her pocket and looked at the display. Claudia.
"Claud, what's up?"
"They're going to kill each other!" came the frantic answer from her young friend.
"Who? What?" Myka asked confused as she quickly punched in her code and entered the warehouse.
"Artie and HG. They're at each other like two rabid dogs. Well, one rabid dog and a banshee actually, to be more exact," Claudia rambled.
"Artie and HG?!" Myka blurted. Then she remembered. "Oh god."
"Seriously Myka, you need to get down here on the double," Claudia said frantically.
"I'm on my way," she yelled into the phone. She tossed her coffee in the nearest trash bin and ran down the deserted hallway.
"How the hell could I have known that you were working on something?" HG yelled.
"Did you bother asking before making your clumsy attempt at cataloging?" he snapped. "No you didn't."
"You asked me to do this," she hissed between clenched teeth.
"I asked you to do it RIGHT," he yelled in her face.
"Well, how the bloody hell can I do that if you keep changing things?" she yelled back.
"Stop it! Both of you!"
They startled and stared at her as Myka came rushing into the room, only slightly out of breath. Then they went back at glaring at each other.
"Just get out of my way so I can fix this," Artie said and shoved her. She grabbed his arm with the speed of a cobra.
"Don't ever touch me again," she sneered at him.
"Oh, trust me "
"Artie, stop it!" Myka said sternly. She quickly pressed herself between them. "Deal with this tomorrow, or any other day, but not today," she said seriously and stared him in the eyes.
"She " he started, but Myka cut him off again.
She grabbed HG's wrist and pulled her towards the exit. "You are coming with me. No excuses. Just walk," she said in a don't-mess-with-me voice. She looked at Artie over her shoulder. "Helena is taking a personal day, and so am I."
HG was too stunned at Myka's anger to say anything. She just nodded and followed, absentmindedly rubbing her throat, half expecting Myka to grab her any second now and slam her against the wall.
Myka took a deep breath and closed her eyes for a moment once the door locked behind them. Thank god HG had not fought her. She looked at her. "Come on, let's go."
"Anywhere, but here," Myka mumbled.
Inside the warehouse Artie was still fuming. Claudia slammed down a cup of coffee on the desk next to him. "Here. Drink it grumpy bear," she said. "You're serious unpleasant without coffee, bossman."
"Claudia, leave me alone."
"Sure, whatever, I'm not digging the vibes in here anyway," she said with a shrug.
Artie sipped his coffee pondering the whole scene with Myka and HG. He knew that Myka had a soft spot for HG, but this was ridiculous. What had she said? Not today. What was so darn special about today? It was just a regular old weekday in May for god's sake. Then he got this really uneasy feeling as the realization started to sink in. He quickly pulled up the personnel records and scrolled down to HG's file and accessed her personal information. He leaned back in his seat. "Oh god," he whispered. "I should've known."
HG silently followed Myka as they walked down the white tunnel. She was not in the mood for talking anyway. She wished that she was alone. HG pulled the coat tighter around her slender body as she disappeared deeper and deeper into her own muddled memories of the past.
"Get in," Myka said and held the door for her. HG raised an eyebrow, but surprisingly, she didn't argue. She gracefully slid onto the seat and Myka closed the door.
She put the car in gear. The gravel crunched and sprayed as she sped out of the parking lot. They drove in silence for about half an hour or so. She could feel HG brooding next to her. She tentatively reached out and took her hand. To her surprise HG squeezed her hand and held on to her. She could feel the sadness and despair in her desperate touch, and it almost made her cry. She fought the emotions, knowing that she had to be strong, for Helena's sake. Today, she had to be strong for the woman who had always been strong for her.
Myka parked and gently pulled her hand free of HG's grip. "Come, let's walk," she said softly.
HG walked silently next to her. Had she been looking around she would have noticed the beauty of the early spring landscape. She would have heard the birds singing about the sun, and a nest full of speckled, light blue eggs. She would have seen the lark doing loops in the sky, dancing on the warm breeze as she was singing her little heart out over nothing more than her happiness of yet another beautiful day. But HG was too lost inside of her own memories to notice any of it. She reached out tentatively and brushed her hand against Myka's, too afraid to ask for her touch. She swallowed her tears as Myka's warm hand wrapped around hers.
Myka pulled HG over to a grassy area by the creek. She smiled at her and let go of her hand. She quickly put the blanket down and sat down. She looked up at HG and smiled. "Please sit with me Helena," she said softly.
HG silently lowered herself and sat next to Myka. She gracefully stretched out her legs, leaning on her right arm. She startled when Myka's gentle fingers smoothed her hair away from her face and tucked it behind her ear. She closed her eyes, afraid that if she looked at her, she would start to cry.
"I know Helena," she whispered.
HG couldn't hold back the tears any longer. She turned away from Myka as tears streamed down her pale cheeks. When Myka pulled her into her arms she didn't protest, she just clung to her.
Myka pulled Helena down until her head rested in her lap. She gently caressed her hair and rubbed comforting circles on her back. Finally Helena started to calm down. She made an effort to sit up, but Myka held her in place. She had no energy to fight her, so she just resigned and enjoyed the feel of Myka's gentle hands.
"Tell me about her," Myka said softly.
"What?" HG croaked.
"Tell me about Christina," she whispered and looked down at HG.
HG remained silent.
"What made her laugh? What games did she like playing? What did she do that made you laugh out loud?" Myka asked with a smile.
HG turned and looked up at her. Her wet eyelashes framing her dark eyes. "Why do you want to know?" she asked curious.
"Helena, I care about you. This is eating you up. I know how hard today is for you. I want to share it with you. If you'll let me," she said gently. She ran a finger across HG's perfect brow, and trailed her fingertips down her cheek. "In your time, not counting your years in the bronze sector, she would've been 10 years old today," Myka said with a sad smile.
HG made a strangled sound and closed her eyes. If only I had kept her with me," she whispered. Her eyes popped open again when she felt Myka's hand caressing her cheek.
"Helena, you know as well as I do that we cannot change the past. I don't know why her life was so short. I don't think we are meant to ever know why. What I do know is that her death triggered things. It set events in motion that would never have happened had she lived," she argued. "And you wouldn't be here today," she added softly and ran her hand over HG's hair.
HG thought about her words for a long moment, and for the first time a door opened in her mind, a door that let in a sliver of light, and offered hope. She looked up at Myka. "She was my angel, my sunshine," she whispered. "Every morning she woke up with a smile. She was such a happy little girl."
Myka smiled. "I'm sure that you had a lot to do with that."
HG didn't answer. She was again lost in thought. Myka thought that she had lost her to her memories again when HG spoke. "She loved sweets. I would bring some whenever I came back from London, and we would have them with our tea. I would tell her only one, and she would take two," she said and smiled. "I would scold her, and she would just laugh and take another one. She knew they were for her, but she still loved to play that silly little game. I would grab her and tickle her until she screamed of laughter. Then she would kiss my cheek, her lips sticky from the sugar, but I didn't care. I love you mummy, she would say and I would forgive her. She had me wrapped around her little finger."
Myka laughed. She twirled a strand of HG's hair around her finger. "It sounds like she was a lot like you. That she had your sense of humor."
"She did," HG said and got a soft look on her face. "She also loved horses, just like me."
Myka's brows shot up. She hadn't expected that. HG noticed the look on her face. "It was the 1890s Myka. People had horses," she said and laughed, suddenly sounding more like the HG she knew.
"Okay. I just didn't expect that. You've adapted so well to this world. Horses somehow felt a bit out of place."
HG smiled and sat up. She gently cupped Myka's cheek. "Thank you," she said softly.
Myka just smiled.
"I bought her a horse for her sixth birthday," HG continued. When Myka tugged on her arm to lie down again she didn't protest. She lowered her head onto Myka's waiting lap. She sighed softly as Myka's hand returned to caress her hair.
"Tell me about it," Myka urged her on.
"He was a little large for her, but I knew she would be able to handle it. She had been riding our old Shetland pony for two years by then. I knew she was ready for something more challenging."
"I would be fine with a Shetland pony," Myka mumbled, more to herself than HG.
HG looked up at her and chuckled. "I think your legs would touch the ground darling."
Myka grinned. "Fine with me."
"She was so excited about that horse," she continued in a soft voice. "He was a gray, almost silver Welsh pony, with dark mane and tail. I had been looking for a long time for just the right horse for her. When I saw him, I just knew."
"HG Wells, the horse whisperer," Myka teased.
HG laughed. "I don't know about that, but I do know horses pretty well," she looked up at Myka. "Horses are wonderful animals Myka, but they can be dangerous. I had to be sure that I made the right choice."
"We would go riding together on the grounds behind my house. Cook would sometimes make us a picnic basket; sometimes she would just send one of the stable lads to meet us with tea, or some other snack. How I cherished those moments. The dark and dangerous warehouse missions would fade away as I for a moment was able to look at the world through the innocent eyes of my daughter," HG said with a faraway look.
Myka stared at her. This was a world that was entirely foreign to her. She realized that she had never thought of HG's personal life. Her thoughts about her had always been focused on her work, her books, and her brilliant scientific discoveries. She had never really thought of HG's life, of her as a Victorian woman and mother. She startled when HG touched her cheek.
"What's wrong darling?"
"Oh nothing. I just realized how little I know about you," she smiled down at HG. "I know more about your work, than your life," she said with a lopsided grin. "And I just realized that even though I know some about the world you lived in, I have never really associated it with you."
HG smiled sadly. "I know."
Her frank statement shocked Myka a bit, but she fought the urge to go on a defensive rant about it. "This whole experience must have been so confusing for you," she said with a pained look on her face, imagining what it would be like, waking up a hundred years in the future where everything was strange and new.
HG nodded silently.
"Please tell me more," Myka said and gave her a little squeeze.
HG laughed and pressed her face against Myka's body. "Thank you darling."
Myka just held her. She felt a little stab of guilt for enjoying holding HG so much. She pushed the tingling feeling away and focused on giving HG comfort. She yelped when HG sat up and pushed her down. The next she knew, she was in HG's arms looking into dark, twinkling eyes.
"It's okay darling. I know that you want to comfort me, and I love you for doing it, but you should know, it's okay for you to take comfort in my touch too."
Myka smiled at her. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't "
HG silenced her with gentle fingers on her lips. "You and I are moving towards something out of both our control. I feel it too Myka."
"You do?" Myka whispered, afraid that this was not real.
"I do darling," she said with a gentle smile. She leaned forward and gave Myka a soft kiss.
Myka basked in the feeling of Helena's lips against hers. When Helena ended the kiss a soft sigh escaped from her full lips. She looked at Myka through hooded eyes.
"I am really looking forward to getting to know you Myka. You are such a lovely young woman. I only hope that I can live up to your expectations," HG said softly.
"You already have," Myka whispered.
"Hold me," HG whispered and buried her face against Myka's neck.
Myka pulled her close and did just that. She caressed her hair. She had no idea how long they had been staying like that, bodies pressed together, for comfort, more so than passion.
"I wish that she could've met you Myka," HG suddenly said. "She would've adored you."
Myka laughed. "How can you be so sure?"
HG sat up. She gently picked up a lock of Myka's hair. "She loved curly hair," she said. "And she was drawn to strong and smart women." HG grinned at her. "She was full of questions. I had hired the best tutors for her, and what they couldn't teach her, I taught her myself. She had a brilliant mind, and I'm not just saying that because she's my daughter, it's true."
"She was your daughter," Myka said and smiled.
"That she was, for better, or worse."
HG looked around for the first time. "This landscape is so different from England."
"I know," Myka agreed. "It was the closest I could come," she added softly.
HG put her hand on top of hers. "Thank you." She leaned closer and she was just about to kiss Myka when her eyes got large and she stared at something behind Myka's back. "Pete?" she said surprised.
Myka startled and turned her head expecting to see her partner. "Where?"
"Over there, by the rock" HG whispered.
Myka started to worry about HG's mind, but then she finally saw what HG had spotted. "A ferret!" she said and laughed.
HG raised an eyebrow. "What did you think I was talking about? Lattimer?" she said sarcastically. "Really Myka."
Myka bit her lip looking embarrassed. "Sorry."
HG tugged at her hand and Myka basically fell into her arms. She kissed her hard. "I haven't completely lost my mind darling," she whispered against Myka's lips.
Myka chuckled. "Well if this is part of the madness, I'll take it," she teased and kissed her again.
HG held Myka close. It felt so good to finally be allowed to touch her. She ran a finger down Myka's cheek and neck, feeling her shiver as the sensation caused little goose bumps. She pressed her lips against Myka's neck and heard her sigh softly. Finally she pulled back and just looked at her for a long moment. "Myka," she started, unsure how to formulate her emotions into words without hurting her. "I love what you're doing for me, and trust me when I say that I really needed this today."
"But?" Myka asked sensing there was more.
"I need a moment alone," she whispered, unable to look Myka in the eyes. She startled when Myka gently grasped her chin and made her look at her. She was smiling.
"I understand Helena. You don't have to explain."
"Thank you," she whispered.
Myka watched HG as she slowly walked towards the stream. At one point she leaned down. Myka was curious as to what she was doing. She smiled when she saw the flower in HG's hand. When she reached the water she stopped and leaned her head back, looking up into the sky, the wind gently playing with her long hair. Myka almost walked over to her when she noticed her shoulders starting to shake. A moment later HG fell to her knees. Myka started to get up, but willed herself to stay put. She bit her lip as she watched the grieving woman, so silent in her sorrow. HG brought the flower to her lips and then threw it in the fast moving rapids. Myka could tell that she was watching it disappear down the stream.
When HG finally returned to her, she was somber, but it seemed like she was more relaxed. She sat down next to her and pulled Myka into her arms, and just held her. "I am so very grateful for you," she finally whispered.
Myka smiled. "I'm here for you Helena."
"I know," she said softly.
"Are you ready to go back?"
HG nodded. "It's a little chilly in the air, isn't it? I think I'd like a fire tonight," she said looking a little sheepishly.
Myka grinned. "Like in the old days."
"Yes," she beamed, glad that Myka had understood.
They drove back to Leena's in comfortable silence, both a little drained. Myka gently squeezed the soft hand that rested on her thigh. She was so glad that HG had renewed their contact once in the car. It seemed like they both needed the comfort of the other's touch.
"I am really looking forward to some tea," HG said with a slight shiver as she held the door for Myka.
"I could do tea," Myka said with a little smirk.
"What?" HG said curious.
"There you are," Leena said and smiled at them. "I started to wonder."
"I lost track of time Leena. Sorry about that," Myka said apologetically.
"Why don't you go in the living room and warm yourselves by the fire. I just made some tea. I'll be right back."
HG looked at Myka and her eyes narrowed. "You're up to something."
Myka made a face. "Nonsense," she said and gently pushed HG in the direction of the living room. When they walked through the door they could hear Claudia and Pete arguing.
"Don't touch it," Claudia warned. "I'll hurt you."
"Oh I'm so scared," Pete said imitating a girly voice. "Ow," he exclaimed. "Claudia, that hurt."
"Hi you guys," Myka said cheerfully.
Claudia and Pete grinned at them. "You're back! Finally," Pete said. "Ow! Claud, cut it out," he yelled as she punched his arm again.
HG stared at the table. She covered her mouth with her hand and her eyes filled up with tears. Myka gently put an arm around her shoulders and pulled her close. "You did this for me?" she whispered.
"Mm, hm," Myka said and smiled at her. "I hope you're hungry."
HG laughed and looked up at her and then back at the table. The dining room table was covered with a white lace table cloth. In the middle of it was a complete three-tier High Tea set up with everything from freshly baked scones with homemade strawberry preserves and clotted cream, to teacakes and tiny little sandwiches with impossibly thin cucumber slices inside. She could see why Pete had such a hard time not touching it. She couldn't wait to taste the treats.
"Well, what are you waiting for?" Leena asked behind them. "Have a seat." She walked by them with the tea pot.
HG pulled out a chair for Myka and then sat down next to her. She beamed at Leena when she offered her a cup of tea in her finest china. "Thank you," she whispered. She looked around the table. "Thank you, all of you."
Claudia smiled, but her eyes were shiny. Pete grinned and squirmed in his seat. "Now can we eat?" he blurted out. They all laughed. Myka smiled at him and mouthed a thank you. She felt HG take her hand on the table and turned and looked at her. "Thank you darling," HG said softly.
Their three companions realized that something had changed between Myka and HG today, but for once no one felt a need to tease the women about it. It felt right; like how it was supposed to be.
The front door opening announced Artie's arrival. HG stiffened and her smile vanished. Myka gave her hand a gentle squeeze and refused to let go when HG tried to move her hand. She could hear Artie behind them.
"May I join you?" he asked with a nervous laugh. His eyes met Myka's and he almost took a step back at the anger he saw there. He looked at HG sitting next to her and noticed their clasped hands. Interesting. He sighed and took a couple of steps closer. He reached out to touch HG's shoulder, but remembered her words from earlier and closed his hand and let it fall to his side. "Helena," he said softly. "I am so very sorry. I owe you an apology. Will you accept and ignorant old buffoon's apology?" he said sadly.
"I am not sure I'm ready to," HG said icily.
He flinched at the coldness in her voice. Remembering what he was holding in his other hand, he pulled it out from behind his back. "Maybe you will accept this little token as a peace offering?" he said and put the object down next to her on the table. Not getting an answer, he turned around to leave.
HG finally glanced to her right and she started to shake. She stared at the small leather bound journal. The gold initials had faded with age, but it was still possible to make out the letters, CW. Her hand shook as she reached out and touched it. She turned and looked at Artie with tears in her eyes. "Where did you get this?"
He hung his head for a moment. "It was in your old room," he said gently.
"I know it was in my room," she said heatedly. "I was asking how it is possible for you to have it."
"Myka," Artie said. "Would you and Helena please come upstairs with me for a moment?"
Myka nodded. She got up and pulled at HG's hand. "It's all right Helena," she said. "Please?" she pleaded when HG didn't move.
HG sighed in frustration but followed them upstairs. Artie stopped outside her room. "After you. Go on," he said and tilted his head in the direction of the door.
HG irritated turned the door knob. "What " she stopped and just gaped. The room had changed, but every single item was oh so familiar. She turned around and stared at the two smiling people at the door. "You saved it," she whispered. "And you gave it back to me."
Artie nodded with a lopsided grin. "It's been in the vault since the day you were " he waived his hand not wanting to bring up bad memories. "I don't think I realized until today just how much you needed it. I'm so sorry for being such an ass Helena," he said looking very embarrassed.
She laughed and gave him a hug. "You foolish old man," she pulled back and smiled at him. "Thank you," she said and kissed his cheek.
Embarrassed he pushed her away. "What is it with you people and all this hugging? And now kissing? Arghh!"
HG just smiled and put her hand on his cheek. "Thank you Artie," she said softly.
Myka grinned at them. "Come on you guys, the tea's getting cold."
HG took her hand and together they walked back downstairs. She touched the locket around her neck and smiled, May 16th 2010 had turned out to be a pretty good day after all.
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