DISCLAIMER: The characters of H.G. Wells, Myka Bering, Pete Lattimer, Artie Nielson and Mrs. Frederic are not mine. The ones you don't recognize probably are. I do not own, nor do I have any official association with Warehouse13, SyFy or pretty much any other profit making entity. No infringement is intended. I'm simply borrowing the characters for a bit.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This may well be the most fluffy, ridiculously sappy fic I have ever written, but this fandom has ruined me and by Xena, I will give these characters their happily ever after.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To Racethewind10[at]gmail.com
SPOILERS: Season Three finale.
And They Livedů
Pete was the first through the door of Leena's when Myka finally parked the SUV in front of the B & B after a four day mission in New Jersey. Still bickering with Steve good naturedly over topics Myka had long since stopped trying to follow, Pete nearly tripped on the porch stairs since he was walking backwards. Locking the door of the SUV, Myka rolled her eyes with Steve when the older agent recovered and pretended like it had been planned, bounding up the steps and throwing open the door to the B & B with a mock triumphant air.
Myka and Steve exchanged another look and then the younger man followed Pete, quickly falling into another argument over who got the shower first (and therefore the opportunity to use most of the hot water).
The sudden appearance of Leena with a plate of home-made cookies, however, solved the problem all around. Pete made a noise of glee and followed the serenely smiling innkeeper to the kitchen to stuff his face and Steve shot up the stairs to grab a shower.
Myka followed quietly, letting her eyes close and taking a slow breath as she walked over the threshold of Leena's.
If someone had told her over twelve years ago that a Bed & Breakfast in the middle of nowhere South Dakota would be more of a home to her than her bedroom in her parent's house had ever been, she would have probably taken them down with a quick choke-hold. And yet here she was, walking into the familiar entryway with its warm colors and feeling the last of the tension from the mission fade from her shoulders like fragile snowflakes before the sun. It was quiet, the air undisturbed now with Pete presumably in the kitchen and Steve upstairs. Which left
"They're out back in the orchard," Leena's voice was gentle and her dark eyes sparkled as she appeared around the corner and held out her hand to take Myka's bag. The Agent smiled widely in response, utterly unsurprised that Leena would have the answer to a question she hadn't even voiced yet.
"Thanks Leena," she replied, already moving through the living room and to the back of the house.
A few steps across the polished wood floor and out another door and Myka emerged onto the back veranda that looked out onto the 'orchard'. In truth, orchard was a very generous name. It was more like half an acre scattered with a haphazard collection of peach, apple, cherry and walnut trees. There were also a few flowering dogwood's thrown in, because Leena loved flowering trees and had planted them among their fruit-bearing brethren when she'd first taken charge of the B & B.
Now the area was primarily used to provide shade to those who wanted to read, or rest or simply be outside and watch the clouds go by. Granted it didn't happen often with their line of work, but some of Myka's favorite memories of lazy summer afternoons were connected to the orchard and watching the sunlight dapple the leaves above her.
And true to Leena's word, it was easy to spot her quarry lounging under one of the cherry trees. The blossoms had since faded and the small red fruits were growing with thick profusion above three, well technically four figures sprawled out on a bright red blanket at the base of the tree's weathered trunk. The idyllic sight filled Myka's heart so that she thought it might truly beat its way out of her chest. For a moment, the Agent simply leaned against the porch railing and let her eyes behold her family.
The corner of her lips quirked as Myka's thoughts retraced their earlier path. If someone had told her twelve years ago that she would find love; true, lasting, unending love at a Warehouse, that she would have a family and two beautiful daughters, and that she would give her heart to a woman the world thought was both a man, and long since buried, only to lose her to death and then gain her back again .
Myka probably would have slapped a pair of cuffs on that person and dragged them to the nearest psych ward.
And yet here she was.
Just over ten years after the Warehouse was destroyed by Sykes with H.G. Wells with it, Myka leaned against the sun warmed wood of the B & B's porch and watched as Helena, in a loose white button down shirt and jeans, tucked a strand of raven hair behind her ears and turned the page of her book. Beside her, their children Alexandria, six, and Hannah, four - slept on unaware. Alexandria had one hand clutched in Trailer's fur and the dog seemed utterly content to provide a backrest for the elder child. Hannah was resting with her head in Helena's lap, and the author ran her fingers gently through the child's dark curly locks. Myka's grin grew wider when those fingers apparently hit a snarl. For all Hannah was Helena's personality in miniature, she had inherited Myka's frustrating profusion of hair.
Wooden practice swords (Alexandria was already an avid fencer) and miniature grapplers (Helena's own invention with very short grappling lines) lay scattered around the trio, letting Myka know just what they had been up to prior to this quiet scene. Under the pure azure sky scattered with cotton clouds, amidst a lush canvas of rich green grass and the myriad shades of the trees, it could nearly have been a painting of someone else's family.
And yet it wasn't. Helena, her daughters, her home, it was all real, a fact that still had the power to take Myka's breath away. Like it was doing at that instant as she watched her wife absently lick her lips and tuck that wayward wisp of hair behind her ear again.
The Agent briefly wondered how long it would be before she was noticed, but at that precise moment, as if in answer to her thoughts, Helena smiled. Without looking up, the older woman called softly,
"Really darling, are you going to stand there all day or come greet us properly?"
Only then did she look up and Myka saw the laughter and love dancing in dark eyes even from a distance. The other woman's words had the effect of an alarm clock however, and suddenly the two small figures that had been so still snapped into waking, realized their mother was home and became balls of kinetic energy with rather dubious motor control.
Laughing, Myka stepped off the porch to squeals of "Mom!" and the excited barking of Trailer who Helena lunged after but missed gaining a hold of his collar. The resulting tangle of excited children and over-excited dog knocked Myka down. Laughing so hard she had a difficult time breathing, the Agent did her best to greet everyone properly and then, needing an adult moment, dangled the ultimate bait.
"I think Leena has fresh baked cookies!"
It was almost insulting how fast the girls' priorities changed. Myka didn't hold it against Trailer, "But really. You'd think I hadn't been gone for four days," she sighed melodramatically.
A low chuckle was her only answer and the agent looked up to see an elegant hand being proffered. She took it, but instead of using Helena as leverage to stand up, a tug of Myka's arm and perfectly timed sweep of her leg brought the older woman down with a yelp of aggravation.
As Helena ended up on top of Myka, caught firmly in the younger woman's arms, however, she didn't really have it in her to complain.
"Now that's not playing fair," the author mused, rich accent giving the words an elegance that couldn't quite hide the pout.
Myka didn't respond. Instead she reached up and slipped a hand into Helena's mane of dark hair, feeling the silken strands slide across her fingers. The cheek under her palm was warm and so very soft and the younger woman had been thinking about the full lips she now ran her thumb across for days.
"I missed you," was all Myka said, guiding Helena down and capturing her mouth tenderly.
They didn't speak then. They didn't need to. Helena let herself go, slender form melding to its counterpart as her hair formed a fluttering curtain around them. It was so easy, even after all this time, to lose themselves in each other's mouths. Myka had never forgotten the terrible lessons carved indelibly onto her soul with the fire that had taken everything from her. Every moment, every single second was precious.
With a deft twist of her hips, the younger woman flipped them over, bracing herself on her elbows as she tangled her tongue with Helena's. The author's hands roamed her back, teasing nails blunted by the fabric of Myka's shirt even as slender hips rolled beneath her own. For moments there was nothing beyond the reach of their arms and the connection of their mouths. The breeze rustled through the grass and tugged at their hair unheeded as they said 'hello' and 'I missed you' and 'don't ever leave me' and 'I love you' and the millions of other things that can only be expressed without words.
And then reality, in the form of Pete (with a plate of cookies) and their daughters (with big glasses of milk) intruded rudely.
"Oh get a room already!" Pete called even as Hannah giggled and Alexandria made gagging noises.
"Mothers, that is gross!" Alexandria admonished with a fair imitation of Myka's disgusted tone.
"I think it's romantic," shot back Hannah archly (although to be fair, romantic was her new favorite word and she applied it to nearly everything). Still, the tone and the unabashed glee behind it was so like Helena that both women couldn't stop the laughter that bubbled up, breaking free from their hearts to dance on the breeze.
Even Pete was hard pressed to balance the plate of cookies he was laughing so hard.
"You have to admit," he finally managed as he sat down with the girls on the porch, watching as his partner and Helena untangled themselves and stood, brushing grass from their hair and clothing. "At least there isn't any question whose kids they are." His clear blue eyes were twinkling merrily though, and Myka could tell he was thinking of another child as much as his two 'nieces' next to him.
Strolling up to the porch hand in hand, neither Helena nor Myka looked the least bit repentant. Waving off the offer of cookies (Pete already had another one in his mouth and was showing Hannah how to break the warm chocolate chip goodies in half to better dunk them) they sat on the swing, hands entwined and bodies pressed together.
"As if there was any doubt," Helena replied mildly. "I take it the mission was a success?"
Myka nodded and Pete made a noise that could have been assent.
"It was," Jinx spoke up as he came through the door, running a hand through his close cropped hair. He was dressed in an old t-shirt and jeans now and looked much more relaxed. As often as they did it, the younger man never really cared for flying. Helping himself to a cookie, he flopped down in one of the other carved wooden deck chairs.
"Please tell me we have the weekend off?" Steve asked no one in particular, making a noise of appreciation for the melted chocolate.
"Man I hope so, Tasha and I were kinda hoping to get some alone time if you know what I mean," Pete replied enthusiastically.
"Speaking of your significantly better half, where is she?" Myka asked, finally giving in to the tempting smell coming from the plate of cookies.
Any reply however was lost as the back door opened and Trailer came charging out, followed by a tow-headed, blue eyed boy who ran straight for Pete and jumped into his arms.
"There's my favorite man!"
Chaos reigned (Helena had to rescue the cookies) for a while and then Alexandria grabbed her 'brother' and together the two girls and Nathan (named after Pete's father) thundered out to the orchard, Trailer cavorting around them.
Their absence was met with a collective sigh of amused relief and a soft chuckle from the doorway. Now joining the group was a tall, statuesque blonde with brilliant green eyes and chiseled cheekbones. Her chin was a hair too strong to be anything but stubborn, but her full lips and generous smile made her beautiful.
"Hello gorgeous," Pete bounced up and wrapped his arms around his wife's waist. His boyish energy didn't dim, but it shifted, becoming almost mature when he was around Tasha. Myka smiled inwardly. She had come to care for the former Army medic and New York City police officer greatly in the last decade. Tasha had done two tours in Iraq before deciding that she did not want to continue in the Army. Instead she returned home and joined the New York City police force. Three years on the force and she was thinking about working her way up to detective when a drug sting gone bad left her on life-support.
The doctors said she would probably never walk again.
She told them to go fuck themselves.
When the blonde finally finished her physical therapy however, the former medic found she just couldn't bring herself to head back to the front lines again. Wanting to get her head together, she'd moved back to Univille to stay with her only remaining relative, an aunt she'd been close to as a child.
She and Pete met at an AA meeting.
Neither would admit it, but Myka secretly held it was love at first sight.
Now Tasha was a Sheriff's deputy and Pete was a father. Pete even managed to propose properly to her and Tasha only gave him a little bit of a hard time before saying yes.
"Speaking of children that take after their parents," Helena murmured, eyes glinting with amusement.
"I am ignoring you," Pete shot back. "And I am going to take my lady wife away from the presence of others and greet her properly. None of this rolling around in the grass stuff," the agent announced loudly.
"He just won't admit it's too hard on his back anymore," Tasha laughed over her shoulder as the two disappeared into the house.
"You four are nauseating," Steve said mildly from where he was slouched in his chair with his eyes closed.
Myka merely rested her head on Helena's shoulder. "Hmm hmm, yes, that's why you and David are all but married. You know you really should get on that Steve. Good guys are hard to find."
"I'm also ignoring you," the Agent replied. He was smiling though. "David and I are fine. We don't need to get married, and don't even start on the kids thing. It's hard enough raising yours. We don't need our own."
That got a knowing glance from Helena and Myka Jinks very pointedly did not see.
"Did you at least invite him for tonight?"
"Yeah, he said he'd be over around seven or so."
"And Vanessa is coming?"
"Yep," Myka replied. "The gang's all here.
"Hmm a full house as it were," Helena looked pointedly at Myka who flushed, the desire burning in her lover's eyes enough to make her heart speed up.
"Steve would you mind watching the herd?" She asked absently, gaze holding Helena's as they both stood.
"Yeah, sure, go ahead, I'll just stay here and be the responsible adult while you two go at each other like bunnies. No problem."
Neither woman heard him.
The afternoon sun slanting through the curtains in Myka's bedroom was warm and golden, dust motes sparkling like tiny diamonds as they drifted lazily downward. That same light fell gently on creamy skin as Helena and Myka undressed each other. It was an unhurried process, for all the desire simmering under the soft touches and tender kisses. Lips found each new patch of revealed skin, tongues worshipped along the line of a throat or the jut of a collar bone. Hands caressed curves and planes, finding the spots that made them gasp, or tremble. When they lay on the bed, bodies pressed along each other, it was as much about comfort as need.
It was need, however, that brought Helena's hands to Myka's ribs and hips, to her breasts and all the places that made the younger women's heart race. It was want that fisted Myka's hand in Helena's hair, dragging her up for a searing kiss and biting her lower lip. It was desire that tangled them together until there was no point where one ended and the other began. It was love, however, that brought Myka arching off the bed, Helena's fingers inside her and her mouth on her neck. It was love that left them curled around each other, Helena's head on Myka's shoulder as the younger woman stroked lazy fingers down the author's spine. It was peace that had Helena pull the covers around them as they drifted, not quite asleep, and watched the sun sink below the horizon outside. It was contentment that gave such full silence to the room, the only sound the measured beating of two hearts in time.
Helena woke before Myka. It was still light outside, but the colors that shaded the window glass were purples and reds, not golds. Still, it was plenty for Helena to see the face of the woman she loved. In sleep Myka looked even younger. Her hair was still years from turning grey but life had left signs of its passage on the agent's face and body. There were the faint lines around her eyes and mouth now that spoke of a wide and open smile. Her body was a little fuller too, their daughters having left their mark on Myka's still very fit form. And there were scars. Some small, mostly gained chasing artifacts, a tiny burn here, a small cut there. One was not small. Almost instinctively Helena's fingers traced the scar from the C-section that, though long faded, was still visible as a thin white line on her lover's abdomen.
The memories of that time still made her tremble with remembered fear.
The decision to have children had not been a sudden one. It took so long to find each other, only to lose each other and find each other again and again, that when the Warehouse was restored, it almost seemed as if it were merely temporary. For the longest time both women felt as if they might wake at any moment to find it all snatched away. And even when they came to believe that such terror was not to be, they hesitated. Warehouse agents, even in the best of times, were unlikely to live to old age.
Eventually, however, like so many before them, Helena and Myka decided that fear of the future was no reason to not embrace the present.
Alexandria had been an easy child. Vanessa teased Myka mercilessly for being the one person she could count on to have a textbook pregnancy. The moment Dr. Calder handed Helena the tiny, red faced bundle of indignation that was her and Myka's daughter was still one of the happiest of her entire life.
Hannah, unfortunately, was not so easy. Even from the start Myka had suffered extreme morning sickness and discomfort. So much so that Artie pulled her from the field and assigned her to inventory duty, partnering Helena, Steve and Pete.
Helena remembered vividly the nights they would get back to the B & B after a mission. She would rush up the stairs as quickly and quietly as possible, barely pausing to slip into sleeping clothes and dropping her bag before sliding into bed with Myka. The younger woman always slept better when Helena was there and the author only felt truly at ease when she could hold her lover and assure herself that she was there, and whole, and safe. She remembered the feel of Myka's body against hers, the rise and fall of her chest and the gentle (or not so gentle) kicking of their child beneath Helena's hand. She remembered holding Myka's hair back as the younger woman was violently sick and spending hours rubbing her aching back.
Three weeks from her due date, Vanessa confined Myka to bed,(an act which was met with extreme irritation by the woman in question) worried of complications during the delivery.
Her forethought likely saved the agent's life.
Hannah had come too early and Vanessa was forced to perform an emergency C-section. Hannah was delivered healthy, but Helena never forgot the terror of that night, nor the utter helplessness she had felt watching the doctor trying to keep Myka from bleeding out. In many ways it was worse than learning Christina was dead, since she'd been forced to watch as Myka struggled with the pain.
The line was faint now and the flesh beneath Helena's fingers covered solid muscle, but that slight discoloration of skin was a reminder of the fragility of life. If Myka's nightmares were haunted by flames and ticking digital clocks, Helena's were shadowed by blood and empty hazel eyes.
Yet those terrible (if thankfully few) reminders of what might have been were not shied from. Instead, the two women held to them, keeping the lessons that the memories screamed into the darkness of their hearts close. Even working in a place like the Warehouse, you couldn't always count on second chances. And so they did their best, every day, to hold each moment sacred.
Watching the gentle rise and fall of Myka's chest in the fading light, Helena sent a silent prayer of thanks for every one of those moments they had been granted, even if they would never truly be enough.
When she fell back asleep Helena had no idea, but it was nearly full dark when a pounding on their door startled the two agents awake.
"Ok you two, enough already, everyone's here, the kids are fed and it's smores time! So get out here!" Pete called from the other side of the door.
Myka rolled her eyes but both women were grinning when they hurried from the bed. A quick turn at the shower with a great deal of restraint and a change of clothing and they were both dashing down the stairs. Myka was dressed in worn jeans and a faded college sweatshirt and though Helena had made a face at the attire, she had reluctantly donned the same. Even after all these years she still found sweatshirts vaguely distasteful. (Even if she did secretly think they were ridiculously comfortable).
Stepping outside into the cooling evening air, they were greeted by Hannah, who begged to be picked up. Myka obliged and out of habit, scanned the area for Alex. Sure enough the older girl was already seated by the bonfire next to Nathan, the two of them thick as thieves and poking at something in the flames with a stick.
Pete seemed to have elected himself 'smore master' and was very intently laying out ingredients on a small collapsible table. The rest of the adults sat in chairs or lounged on the grass around the firepit as was their natures.
"Everyone" included Vanessa and Artie sitting side by side, backs against one of the heavier chairs. Vanessa's head rested on Artie's shoulder and their hands were clasped. Across from them sat Steve and David a handsome, quiet man of Sioux descent who was an artist and had a tendency to be at times brutally honest. Steve adored him. The couple was also sitting with their backs against two chairs, joined by Claudia who was sprawled against Steve's other side. The young woman had adjusted well to her role as the Warehouse Guardian since Mrs. Frederic relinquished the duty and then quietly passed away. It had been bittersweet to lose the woman that had become such a part of their lives, but it had been her choice and they all respected it.
Claudia still hadn't managed to get the hang of appearing out of thin air, however, and Steve gave her endless grief about it.
Beside Pete, Tasha sat in a camp chair, one eye on her husband and one on the children by the fire.
Leena was just walking up with beverages, including Myka sniffed the air hot apple cider which she set out before settling gracefully beside Claudia. The younger woman reached out unthinking and took the innkeeper's hand and the casual gesture made Myka smile.
In the dancing light of the flames, Myka saw her family, in all its rather unusual beauty. Even Artie was smiling and offering a barbed joke here and there. Vanessa had been good for him.
Shifting Hannah higher on her hip, Myka turned to exchange a look with Helena and knew the other woman saw it too. Somehow, in the middle of nowhere, across centuries and continents, they had found love and family.
They had come home.
"Alright Lattimer, there had better be chocolate left when you're done, that's all I'm saying!" Myka called and together she and Helena moved to join the others.
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