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SPOILERS: Through 3x01.
How long Helena had been held in the windowless rooms in a Warehouse facility, being shuttered from her sleeping quarters to interview rooms and back again by armed guards, the artificer couldn't say; but she did know that certainly more than a few weeks had passed since she'd been, once again, spirited away by the Regents. This time, it had been in the dead of night, while the rest of the team were sleeping instead of being frog-marched out the front door of the Warehouse in broad daylight with everybody watching, but the effect was brutally the same.
She was here, wherever, exactly, here was, and Myka was back in South Dakota, no doubt wondering where in the hell she had disappeared to.
The days since her abduction had been spent sleeping, undergoing tests, MRIs, CAT scans, meeting with psychologists, and answering the same questions over and over again. Having been cut off from the sun, her circadean rhythm was off and she never knew if a full night had passed while she'd slept of if she'd even slept at night at all. For all she knew, she could be answering questions all night long and sleeping during the day. All of this, of course, meant that her days ran together until they were an unintelligible blur.
But, for as much as she had trouble differentiating one day from the next since she'd been brought to the Regents' facility, she could remember nearly everything about the night she had been abducted with a level of clarity that still caused her pulse to quicken and her body to tighten in expectation.
It had been a strange night, with her indefinable need to wish Myka goodnight and the younger woman's surprising bit of unexpected thievery, but it had ended up to be more than she had ever dared to wish for. When she closed her eyes, she could still picture that spark of warmth that had made Myka's expressive green eyes darken with affection, and even now she could swear that her lips still tingled with the phantom touch of the younger woman's lips against her own as they shared that first, sweet kiss.
They spent tangled together, kissing, touching, caressing, stroking, teasing, and tasting, falling into the comforting warmth of trembling ecstasy again and again and again until their bodies just couldn't take any more. Boneless, weak, and completely sated, they then cuddled together beneath the covers where soft, adoring touches were traced over sweat-slicked skin and smiling kisses were exchanged between whispered words of awed affection.
Myka had succumbed to sleep first, and Helena remembered pressing a tender, lingering kiss to the younger woman's brow before she slipped back into her clothes to sneak across the hall to her room where she'd left a scented candle burning on her dresser. The candle was in a glass jar and she doubted that it would harm the furniture even if it did manage to burn all the way down, but she was reluctant to leave the flame burning overnight when she had every intention of waking up in Myka's arms.
They had lunged out of the darkness at her as soon as she crossed the threshold to her room and she didn't even have time to yell for help before she was knocked unconscious by a well-placed blow to the temple that had her waking up with a crippling headache in a room she didn't recognize. To the Regents' credit, she awoke unbound and placed on an otherwise comfortable full-sized bed, but the fact remained that she wasn't in the Bed and Breakfast and she certainly wasn't in Myka's bedroom, and those were the only two places she wished to be.
But, of course, the Regents had questions. Lots of questions. Pages and pages of inane, repetitive, increasingly frustratingly boring questions about every finite detail of her very existence and it didn't take long for her to adopt an air of polite combativeness as she answered each one. She had finally, after over a century spent in bronze and more than her share of heartache found happiness again, and she would be damned if she let them just take it away from her again.
She understood that they wanted to be sure of her loyalties. In her grief, she had tried to end the world, after all, but the constant questions were, quite frankly, annoying. Yes, she had been a victim of her grief, her love for her daughter and her desire for vengeance against Christina's murders had sent her into her dark, downward spiral, but it was her love for Myka that helped her reclaim the humanity she had once feared she had lost forever. It was her love for Myka had that had ultimately made her surrender when she was confronted by the younger woman in Yosemite. It had been that love that had, quite literally, kept her sane when her consciousness had been trapped in the orb.
She was no longer a threat to the Warehouse, nor was she a threat to any of its agents. And she repeated this, over and over again, but the questions just kept coming. The tests and the scans kept being reordered and reevaluated.
Much to her surprise, however, she was not the only person professing her innocence and swearing that her loyalties were to the Warehouse, its Regents, and the current Warehouse Agents were genuine. She had listened in on several phone calls between her captors and Artie where the agent in charge had professed, time and again, his sincere belief that "H.G. was on our side" and that she "was, in no way, a continuing threat to the Warehouse or its security."
More striking than his unwavering support, however, was the way he would badger her inquisitors for information as to when, exactly, they would "give up [their] ridiculously excessive investigation into H.G.'s motives and accept the fact that she is still a vitally important asset to the Warehouse and its mission."
Tears had sprung to her eyes when she'd overheard that assessment of her character and though she didn't understand where his newfound belief in her came from but she was grateful for it nonetheless. It was reassuring to her to know that somebody besides Myka believed in her.
The Warehouse believed in her too, she knew, because, after many, many years without it, she had smelled apples when she was inside its preternatural walls. When she first recognized that crisp, pure, unmistakable scent it had frozen her mid-step, and she still couldn't contain the smile that lifted her lips as she remembered it. Somehow, though she wasn't sure exactly how, she had finally managed to once again prove her worth to the Warehouse.
But not to the Regents. Or, not yet, as she had been informed that she had one last interview to go before a final decision was made as to her situation.
The quiet tick tock of the institutional clock on the wall opposite the plain wooden chair that sat at an equally plain and institutional table marked the passing seconds with a hushed finality that made the fine hairs on the back of Helena's neck stand on end. Each tick felt like a noose was being tightened around her neck and she simultaneously wished for more time to try and convince them that she had changed and for them to just deliver her condemnation and just kill her.
She licked her lips nervously and fidgeted in her chair slightly as she watched the knob on the door to the interview room where she now sat turned and the door itself was pushed slowly open. Quiet whispers were exchanged between her unseen questioner and another person in the hall, and Helena swallowed thickly as she waited to see who the Regents were sending for her. Time froze as she waited and, moments later, when the door was pushed widely open, Helena was unable to contain the gasp that escaped her when she saw who it was that the Regents had sent in to interview her.
"Hello, Helena," Jane Lattimer said, smiling at the artificer as she strode slowly into the room. "I shall make this as brief and painless as possible, as we both have planes to catch. So-" she sat down in the chair opposite Helena's "-let's get down to it, shall we?"
Feeling suddenly extremely unwell and not trusting her voice, Helena only nodded.
"Relax, Agent Wells," Jane chuckled as she flipped open the report that the team of psychologists who'd interviewed Helena had compile. She smirked at the way the agent sat up straighter at the sound of her old title and she looked up to see the unspoken question floating in Helena's eyes. "Yes, you are being reinstated."
"To the Warehouse?" Helena clarified.
"Yes, to the Warehouse. In fact, Agent Nielsen is waiting for you upstairs as we speak. There are just a few details that need to be discussed and agreed upon before we can release you to his supervision."
"Of course," Helena replied demurely. She folded her hands on her lap as she waited patiently to learn what caveats the Regents were going to place on her reinstatement.
"It's nothing bad, Agent Wells," Jane assured her as she closed the file and leaned forward to address the writer.
"You say that now," Helena muttered under her breath.
Jane smiled. "Basically, our stipulations for your release read as such: 1) any inventions you create need to be vetted by the Regents before they are used; and 2) You will need to meet with a Regent-appointed psychologist once a month for a year to make sure that you are truly adjusted to this era and your role within the Warehouse. If our doctors are pleased with your progress after that year, you will be taken off of probation and we will gladly consider this matter closed though we will never forget about the past."
"Of course," Helena murmured. "That is a perfectly understandable demand."
"I'm glad you think so." Jane's smile softened as she folded her hands on top of the table and leaned forward, her eyes burning with a surprisingly compassionate intensity. "You've been given an improbable third chance to find happiness, Helena. Don't let it slip through your fingers. Live your life the way you've always wished you could," she said, her voice growing both softer and stronger with emotion as she stared at the Englishwoman. "Live. Love. Laugh. Be happy, Helena."
"I " Helena's voice trailed off and she swallowed thickly. She gave the Regent a small, genuine smile and nodded. "Thank you."
"Thank you for your past and continued service to the Warehouse," Jane replied. "Now, if you wouldn't mind, I do believe Arthur is pacing a hole through the foyer upstairs waiting for you and we really shouldn't keep him waiting for too much longer if it can be helped. Do you have any questions?"
Her head was swimming with questions, How? Why now? What was it that convinced you that I am past my grief and wish only for as normal of a life as possible?, but Helena just shook her head. She was curious, but not enough to press. She had learned a long time ago to never look a gift horse in the mouth and she certainly wasn't going to begin doing so now. "No, ma'am. None."
"Very well then." Jane got to her feet and extended her hand toward the newly reinstated agent. "Agent Wells, I wish you Godspeed in your journey and the best of luck with your re-assimilation into Warehouse life."
Helena took the extended hand and gave it a firm shake, tipping her head in thanks as she said, "Thank you for your time and this opportunity, Regent Lattimer."
"The pleasure is all mine, Agent Wells," Jane replied warmly.
Though it felt strange to walk out of the interview room and into the hall knowing that she was a free woman, Helena rejoiced in the lightness the knowledge wrought within her. She strode purposefully past the open door to the room she'd been assigned, not even bothering to glance inside as she passed. She had brought nothing with her, so she had nothing to pack. Whatever was left as evidence of her stay would surely be discarded, and she was more than happy to have this portion of her life behind her.
She bounced on the balls of her feet as the elevator ascended to the ground level of the Regents' facility and she couldn't contain the grin that tweaked her lips as she anticipated reuniting with Myka once again. She just prayed that, however long she had been gone, that Myka was still waiting for her. When the car stopped, the doors opened onto a wood-paneled foyer where Artie was, in fact, pacing across the tile marble floor, and she chuffed happily as she stepped out of the elevator. "And so we meet again, Arthur."
Artie stopped pacing and looked up at the woman who had selflessly sacrificed herself for himself, Myka, and Pete and smiled. "Agent Wells. Welcome back."
Helena beamed, her posture straightening even further as she puffed up with happiness. "It's good to be back."
An uncomfortable silence stretched between them then full of Helena's unspoken questions as to why Artie supported her so wholeheartedly while he bit back the urge to tell her how much he respected her for the sacrifice she had made to save Myka, Pete, and himself and it was only broken when Artie cleared his throat and muttered, "Right then. Well, we're wasting daylight just standing around here. Our plane is waiting for us at the private airport down the road to take us home."
Even though she thought it wasn't possible, Helena's smile grew even wider. "Home," she repeated happily as she fell into step behind Artie as he walked out the front door. She glanced over her shoulder that the outwardly unremarkable English farmhouse that was the surface façade for the Regents facility and nodded to herself, thinking that it was somehow fitting for her to leave her homeland and all her messy history there behind her as she gratefully embraced the opportunity that was given to her.
They climbed into a waiting Land Rover and she stared straight ahead as the car pulled away from the farmhouse. Down the road, as promised, she could see a gleaming white jet waiting on a narrow runway that was cut through the rolling countryside, and she focused the entirety of her considerable focus on that plane.
That plane would take her to her new life. To Myka. The Warehouse. Claudia. Pete. And Leena.
It would take her home.
And, for the first time in 114 calendar years, she couldn't wait to get there.
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