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ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
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SPOILERS: Season Two.

Day of Beauty
By Athena


Part 1

"Okay, I'm off," Myka said cheerfully as she poked her head into the living room.

"Off where?" Helena asked and smiled at her.

"To get a haircut. Didn't I tell you?"

Helena shook her head. "No, I don't believe you did." She smiled at Myka and bit her lip.

Myka pressed her lips together trying not to laugh. Over the last few weeks when Helena had been staying with them at the inn, Myka had learned many things about the mysterious woman. One of them was how difficult it was for Helena to ask for something, and that she always ended up with this odd expression due to her internal battle. Helena was currently sporting this very expression as she looked down at her hands, nervously playing with her ring.

"Would you like to come?" Myka asked and smiled at her.

Helena perked up and smiled at her. "You wouldn't mind?"

"Of course not. Come on, grab your coat. It's chilly this morning."

Helena turned in her seat. As always she found it easier to watch the driver than the road. She tenderly grabbed one of Myka's long locks and twirled it around her finger.

"Why do you need to cut your hair darling? I quite like it the way it is."

Myka grinned and gave her a quick glance before turning her eyes back on the wintery road.

"I just need to get rid of any split ends and of course it doesn't hurt getting pampered a little."

Helena fingered Myka's hair. It felt soft.

"It doesn't feel damaged. Your hair is very soft."

"It's my conditioner. Another reason I need to get to the hair salon. I'm running out of my favorite conditioner."

"Conditioner?" Helena said confused.

"Helena, don't tell me that you're not using conditioner on your hair? It's not possible for hair to look like yours unless you do," Myka objected with a barking laugh.

Helena let go of the curly lock of hair and leaned back in her seat. "I use the shampoo that was in the bathroom."

Myka made a face. "That's it; you're getting a hair treatment too. By the way, when did you last have a haircut?"

Helena chuckled. "I believe that was July 1900 darling."

"Christ," Myka mumbled. She shot her a look. "You're getting your hair done. No arguments. I'm paying. And we're getting mani pedis while we're there."

"Mani pedi?" Helena laughed. "That sounds a little dirty."

Myka chuckled. "Manicure and pedicure," she deciphered.

"Oh, I've had those," Helena said happily at finally recognizing something. "They were very popular in France."

Myka just shook her head. "Some days you just surprise me more than others, Helena Wells," she mumbled.

Helena giggled and touched her arm.

"You know," Myka said in a soft tone of voice. "You fit in so great here, I often find myself forgetting that you've lived most of your life in a different century."

"I know darling. I really try hard to be normal."

Myka shot her a pained look. "Please Helena, don't. You're perfect the way you are. I don't want you to change. I just want you to learn about the wonderful things this world has to offer, and for you to be happy again."

"Oh Myka," Helena whispered and squeezed her arm affectionately.

"Okay, here we are." Myka parked the car and smiled at Helena. "Come on, let's get our hair did."

"Myka dear, I am inclined to say that you have been listening too much to Claudia. Your language is deteriorating."

Myka laughed and shook her head. "It was just a joke." She fell into step next to Helena as she came around the car. Helena put her arm around her waist and pulled her against her in a sideways hug.

"I realize that darling. You do understand that you are affecting my language as well?"

Myka grinned at her. She was a little too preoccupied with Helena's arm around her to be able to follow Helena's reasoning. She stopped. Helena tightened her grip on her.

"Is something wrong darling?"

Myka shook her head. "No. It's just that out in public this kind of closeness could easily be mistaken for a romantic relationship. Univille is a small town. I don't know how well they would deal with it," she said softly and put her hand on top of Helena's that rested on her hip.

"And it would upset you to be seen with me like this? Insinuating a romantic relationship," Helena mumbled.

"No, that's not at all what I meant," Myka said quickly. She touched Helena's chin and made her look at her. "It would never bother me to be seen with you," she mumbled. "I just meant that two women together could create a bit of a stir in this community."

Helena let her hand fall. "I understand. I will try not to touch you in public." She looked seriously at Myka. "It is hard for me, so please forgive me if I am not always successful. I am a very tactile person. I have always been, even as a child. I do however feel that I need the physical connection now more than ever," she said with a sigh. She turned away and started to walk again. "Shall we?" she said in a chipper tone.

Her sudden mood change threw Myka off and she stared wild-eyed at Helena's back. She gently touched her arm.

"I'm sorry Helena. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings."

"That's quite all right darling. No harm done. Now let us get our… what did you call it? Hair did?"

Myka grinned and shook her head.

"Myka!" the blonde woman smiled and rushed over when she spotted them. She hugged Myka and kissed her on the cheek. "Where have you been girl? It's been ages. And look at those split ends."

Myka laughed. "Hi Karen. I know, it's been too long, but at least I'm here now right?"

Karen shot her a disapproving look and shook her head; the purple highlight in her hair dancing as she moved her head. Helena chuckled as it reminded her of Claudia. Karen's eyes fell on her and she grinned.

"And who do we have here? Okay Myka I forgive you this time, but only because you brought this gorgeous woman."

Helena grinned at her. "Why thank you darling," she said and bowed her head ever so slightly.

Karen made a little squealing strangled sound. "Oh my fucking God, you're British."

Myka burst out laughing. "Knowing how much you love a British accent I guess I should have warned you," she teased. "In my defense, I only convinced Helena to come with me right before I left. This is very spur of the moment like, but I'm afraid she needs a haircut more than I do. And she needs a bucket of your fantastic conditioner," she said and laughed.

Karen's eyebrows shot up as she gave Myka a curious look.

"Helena has been in the field for a while. Hotel shampoo," Myka whispered conspiratorially as she delivered the cover lie.

Karen winced and looked at Helena's hair with a pained expression on her face.

"Ladies, I'm still here," Helena pointed out and folded her arms. "I quite like my hair the way it is. I don't think it's nearly as disastrous as you claim it to be," she said in a somewhat snooty tone.

Myka chuckled as she recognized the tone. It was the voice Helena used when she felt insulted or underappreciated.

"Your hair is beautiful Helena, but it could be even more so. Just wait and see what Karen can do. Okay?"

Karen gently touched a lock of Helena's hair. She nodded as she rubbed it between her fingers.

"Split ends," she mumbled. "You have naturally very soft hair, but I know that some conditioner will get the luster back. Don't worry Helena; I'll have your hair looking like a million bucks before I'm done."

Helena smiled at her. "So you can fit me in then?"

Karen nodded. "Or I'll bump Myka. She's on my shitty list anyway."

"Hey, don't be mean," Myka objected.

"Oh come on now darling, be nice," Helena said and touched Myka's cheek.

Karen bit the inside of her cheek as she watched the two.

"So who first?"

"Helena," Myka volunteered. "I'm getting a mani pedi too."

"I thought I was too," Helena objected.

"Don't worry, I'll hook you up as long as you tell me all about Myka's latest embarrassing field moments," Karen said and winked at Helena as she led her over to the shampooing area. "She's so secretive. I don't believe for a minute that she's an IRS agent. I think she's a spy."

Helena laughed. "No that would be me," she joked.

Karen gaped at her and then laughed. "You had me there for a moment. I think I'll imagine that you work for the MI-6 or something. Like a female James Bond with a license to kill," she said as she made Helena recline in the shampooing chair.

"I do have a license for that," Helena agreed.

"You're so much more fun than Myka," Karen laughed. "At least you try to play along with my crazy thoughts."

"I'm carrying my gun right now darling," Helena said and smiled sweetly at her.

Karen's eyes grew large and she stared at Helena. "Really?"

Helena nodded. "But you can't tell anyone," she whispered.

Karen nodded quickly. "My lips are sealed. Where is it?"

Helena took her hand and put it on her left hip where the outline of a small gun was clearly evident, even through her jacket.

"Oh my god," Karen gasped.

"Now that we've settled that, I am so looking forward to this. I absolutely adore having my hair shampooed," Helena said with a sigh.

Karen chuckled and poured some shampoo into the palm of her hand. She quickly worked it into Helena's hair and then started to massage Helena's scalp. This was a special treatment that she offered her clients. She watched Helena's eyes close as she relaxed.

"Does that feel good?"

"Oh darling, it feels divine." Helena sighed softly as Karen's hands slid through her hair, pressing down in the exactly right places. "Oh my, I might have to come back here every week just for this," she mumbled.

Karen grinned. "It would be my pleasure." She rinsed out the shampoo and squeezed off most of the water before applying the conditioner. She decided to let it sit a bit longer than usual. She ran her fingers through Helena's dark tresses. "So Helena, I assume that you and Myka work close together, or am I mistaken?"

"No you're correct. We're coworkers, and partners."

"Partners huh? I don't remember Myka mentioning that," she mumbled. "So how long have you been together?"

"Only a few weeks since I was transferred."

"So it's new then?" Karen said with a grin. "Lovebirds."

"What?"Helena said confused and her dark eyes opened. She looked up at Karen.

"Partners right? Well if it's this new, you must still be in the rosy stage of your relationship when you can't keep your hands off of each other."

Helena just stared at her until it dawned on her what Karen was talking about. She chuckled. "I am afraid I have misled you to believe that Myka and I are romantically involved. We are not."

"Oh," Karen said. She started to rinse Helena's hair.

"What made you think that?"

"Well, Myka…" she closed her mouth. "It's really none of my business," she mumbled. She squeezed out the water and wrapped a towel around Helena's head. "All done."

Helena sat up and took her hand when Karen started to walk away. "I have had no indication that Myka would be interested in women," she said softly and glanced at Myka who sat in a chair across the room from them with her feet in a foot bath.

"You really should talk to her about that Helena," Karen said a little uncomfortable.

"I will. Tell me something else," Helena smiled at her and let her fingers slip up her arm in a soft caress. "Am I correct in the assessment that you appreciate a woman's soft touch?"

Karen swallowed and nodded silently. "God Helena, you're one seductive woman," she whispered. "You better not touch me like that, or I might jump you."

Helena chuckled and let go of her arm. She rose gracefully. "After you darling."

Karen chuckled. "This way."

Myka watched the two from her spot in the manicure and pedicure area of the salon. She could hear them laughing and noticed Karen blushing when Helena touched her arm. She gritted her teeth. Karen was beautiful and very open to new experiences. Helena would be an easy game for her. She swallowed when she saw Helena caress Karen's arm. Or perhaps, Karen would be an easy game for Helena? Helena is a Victorian woman for god's sake, she reminded herself. There's no way that she would be interested in women, she thought. Myka sighed as the two disappeared behind the wall.

"Have a seat Helena."

Helena sank down in the chair and grabbed on to the armrests as Karen pumped the chair. Luckily Karen missed the panicked look on Helena's face at the surprise of the moving chair. She quickly gathered herself and leaned back.

"So, just a little off the ends?"

"That sounds about right."

"Would you like a little texturizing too? Perhaps some layering?"

Helena looked confused at her. "I'm sorry, I'm afraid that I'm not very familiar with American hair treatments."

Karen chuckled. "I guess they use a different vocabulary in England, huh?"

"I believe so," Helena said going with Karen's explanation, relieved that she did not find her comment odd.

"What I suggested would make your hair less heavy and give it more volume. It would still be long and look similar to what you're used to."

"That sounds wonderful darling. I trust that you know best. Myka's hair is lovely so if that is any indication I am sure that I will be very pleased with the final result."

"Lovely, huh?" Karen teased. "Helena, is this how you Brits talk, or is it just you? Or perhaps you just find Myka lovely?"

"I would say yes to all your questions," she teased. "Why?"

"Have you told Myka that?"

"I am not sure that I follow you."

"Helena, are you gay? I might be mistaken, but the way you touched me before made me believe you are."

Helena quickly tried to figure out exactly what she had been asked. Gay to her meant happy, but she was pretty certain that was not what Karen had asked her.

"Are you interested in women?" Karen asked softly. "I realize that not all women appreciate the label gay. Perhaps you're one who prefers 'lesbian'?"

Helena smiled at her. "I actually prefer no labels at all. Love is love, is it not?"

Karen chuckled and nodded. "It sure is." She met Helena's eyes in the mirror. "So you are then?"

Helena smiled at her and nodded. "I've had my share of female lovers."

Karen chuckled. "So you swing both ways?"

Helena just laughed. "You must forgive me, but a woman is allowed to have some secrets, is she not?"

Karen nodded.

About forty minutes later Myka appeared with a towel around her head. She smiled and sat down in the chair next to Helena.

"I hope you received the same wonderful treatment I did," Helena said and smiled at her. "It was truly divine."

Myka chuckled and nodded. "Yeah, that's why I come here. It's surely not for the abusive management."

"You are one bad woman Myka Bering," Karen muttered. "Just remember that it's my scissors that will be touching your locks in just a few minutes."

Myka just laughed. She watched Karen blow-dry Helena's hair. She curled the dark tresses around the brush until Helena's hair fell in long heavy waves down her back. Helena's hair looked gorgeous.

"I'd like to call you next time I have a hair show," Karen mumbled. "Your hair is fantastic Helena."

Karen finally put the hairdryer away and reached for the mirror to show Helena the back.

"Thank you darling. It's been a long time since my hair looked like this." She smiled at Karen in the mirror, her eyes a little shiny.

"You're most welcome. I'm glad that you like it."

"I do. I really do."

Karen removed the smock and Helena got up.

"Ping is waiting for you," Myka said as she eased into the chair.

"Ping?" Helena said confused.

"She's the lady who does the manicure and pedicure," Myka explained as she showed her hands that sported a faint pink nail polish. Helena grabbed her hand and looked closer.

"I've never seen you with varnish before," she said surprised. "It's very pretty."

"Thank you," Myka said and blushed.

"Perhaps I should pick a color too."

"Just not blue or black," Myka warned her.

Helena laughed. "If I could turn Claudia's insistent pleading down, I'm sure that I will have no problem with… what was her name?"

"Ping," Myka smiled and nodded.

"Right. Well ladies, I shall return shortly with beautiful hands and feet," she teased and smiled at Myka.

Myka nodded and watched her leave.

"So," Karen said and grinned. "What's the story?"

"I don't know what you're talking about," Myka mumbled.

"You like her, don't ya?" Karen teased. "But you haven't told her yet, have you?"

Myka shook her head. "Helena's life has been kind of sheltered. She's very old-fashioned. I doubt that she would be open to exploring our lifestyle."

"Oh you might be surprised," Karen said and grinned at her in the mirror.

Myka rolled her eyes. "She's very touchy feely. It's just how she is. It doesn't mean anything."

"She's also very flirty," Karen added.

"Perhaps, or it's just how she is," Myka said and chuckled.

"She really cares a lot about you Myka."

"I know. I care for her too, but I can't allow myself to entertain these kinds of thoughts. It hurts too much in the end. Reality always has a way of coming back to bite me in the ass."

"Perhaps reality in this case is closer to what your dreams are like?"

Helena held up her hand to inspect the red nail polish. She had to admit, it looked really nice. She grinned as she wondered what Myka would think.

"You're all done ma'am," the young woman said and smiled at Helena.

"Thank you darling. You are very talented."

Ping giggled, embarrassed at the praise. "Thank you."

"It's been a pleasure. Trust me, I will be back."

Helena slowly sauntered over to Myka and Karen. She saw Karen push her hands into Myka's curly hair from below to add some volume. She held her breath as the curls tumbled down over Myka's shoulders.

"Oh my," she whispered and swallowed. Pushing her steamy, not so friend-like thoughts aside she approached them with a smile on her lips.

"You look stunning darling."

"Thanks," Myka smiled at her in the mirror. "Come here; let me see your hands."

Helena chuckled and stepped closer. She held out her hand for Myka's inspection.

"Do you like it?" she asked in a soft voice.

Myka licked her lips before answering. "Beautiful. That's a great color on you."

"It pleases me immensely that you like it."

Karen chuckled behind them.

"So are the two of you going on a date tonight?" she teased.

"Shut up Karen," Myka grumbled.

"I'd be delighted to," Helena said and beamed at Myka. "But unfortunately it sounds like Myka does not desire my company."

"Well, if she's that stupid, I'm available," Karen said and winked at Helena.

"Karen!" Myka barked. "Helena is not interested. Besides, you have someone waiting at home. Your girlfriend, remember?"

Helena folded her arms and watched Myka arguing with Karen.

"I'm starting to think that I'm only a colleague to Myka. I thought that we were on our way to become close friends, but alas it sounds like I was mistaken," she said with a deep sigh.

"Helena?" Myka said alarmed. "What are you talking about? Of course I'm your friend."

Myka got up and put her hands on Helena's crossed arms.

"Then why does it seem so terrible to go out to dinner with me?" Helena asked and looked Myka in the eyes.

Myka sighed and smiled. "It isn't. I'd love to go out to dinner with you, but what Karen was referring to was something a bit deeper than that."

"A romantic dinner, I know."

Myka looked into her dark eyes, searching for answers.

"Helena, I…" Myka didn't know what to say. Why was it so hard to come out to this sweet, wonderful woman? She had done it so many times before. What was different now? Because you really like her, she thought. Myka realized that losing the closeness with Helena would hurt her more than moving their relationship forward. She sighed.

"Myka darling, how about you and I go for coffee and have a little chat? What do you say?" Helena said in a gentle voice and smiled at her.

Myka's thoughts were in turmoil as she walked next to Helena in the direction of the small coffee shop Helena favored. She nodded her thanks when Helena held the door for her. They ordered and sat down at a table over in the corner by the window. The coffee shop wasn't very busy since it was almost lunchtime. Myka sighed and sipped the hot beverage.

"Myka, I know that you were about to tell me something important in there. I just want you to know that if you're not ready to tell me, you don't have to, but rest assured that any secret is safe with me." Helena smiled at her and gently patted her hand.


"Your friend Karen is very nice."

"She is," Myka agreed.

"I don't know why it surprised me that you had a friend here," Helena said. She looked a little embarrassed at admitting it.

"Ah, well… Karen and I share some things that I can't really share with Pete and Claudia," Myka mumbled. "It's not the same you know."

Helena nodded. "I know. Pete and Claudia are sometimes more like children, than equals."

Myka chuckled and nodded. "I love them, but sometimes I just need some time to myself. Karen and Lucy are wonderful."

Helena smiled at her. She watched Myka chew on her lip as she stirred her coffee. She leaned back in her seat resting her elbow on the back of the chair. Hesitating only for a moment she took a deep breath and looked at Myka.

"Did I ever tell you that I raised Christina together with another woman?"

Myka's head shot up. "You what?"

Helena smiled at her. "Christina's other parent was a woman."

Myka just stared at her. Helena chuckled.

"You look surprised darling."

"It's because I am. Wow, I had no idea," Myka whispered.

"Clearly," Helena teased. "So, returning to our conversation at the beauty parlor, I would have no problem with going on a romantic date with you. Not as long as you are interested in the same thing of course. Anything else would be very awkward." Helena chuckled and tilted her head.

Myka grinned and nodded. "I guess it would." She tentatively reached out and took Helena's hand in hers, turning it so she could see the nail polish. "It really would be a shame not to go out when you've gone through such an effort to look nice," she teased.

"Is that a yes darling?"

Myka chuckled. "Yes."

"You have just made me the luckiest woman in Univille, and perhaps the world."

Myka blushed. "Thank you. You're wrong though. It will be me people are envious of, having you as a date."

Helena chuckled and raised Myka's hand to her lips. She brushed her lips against Myka's hand in the softest of kisses.

"It's been a while since I've courted a lady. I must say that I am looking forward to it."

Myka looked into Helena's sparkling eyes and smiled.

"You make me feel really special Helena," she whispered.

"You are darling, you truly are." She pulled Myka's hand closer until their clasped hands rested on her thigh. "So tell me dear, what is to be expected of me in this time and age? And what am I allowed?"

Myka chuckled. "Perhaps I shouldn't tell you, but see what you come up with?" she teased. "I have never had a Victorian lady court me before and the thought is really delicious and more than a little thrilling."

"I can't tell you how much that pleases me. Well then, allow me to bring out my white horses and sweep you off your feet darling."

Myka laughed out loud. "White horses, huh?"

Helena grinned at her. "Just so you know darling, Victorian ladies are not exactly known for being timid and innocent. That is something that has been greatly exaggerated in literature."

"Oh god," Myka groaned.

"Come on then. We need to get home. I have planning to do darling."

Myka laughed. "Hold your white horses for a sec, I'm not done with my coffee."

"Just get it in one of those sippy cups," Helena said impatiently. She got up and walked over to the counter and a moment later returned with a paper cup and a lid. She poured Myka's coffee into it and snapped on the lid. "There you are darling. Now can we go?"

Myka shook her head laughing. "Impatient much?"

"Myka," Helena said sternly. "You are testing my patience."

"I know," Myka teased. "But it's okay. I'm your date so you have to let me get away with it."

Helena folded her arms making a face. "Myka darling, I am venturing a guess here, but I believe that I might have a little bit more experience with this than you do, and trust me, you do not want me to get upset with you," she purred in Myka's ear. "I have an extremely good memory and I will get you back, sooner or later."

Myka swallowed, suddenly unsure about exactly what she had gotten herself into.

"Okay, you win. Off we go."

Helena chuckled behind her as they made their way to the door.

"May I ask you a question?" Helena turned in her seat and looked at Myka.

"Oh course."

"Have you been on a romantic date with a woman before?"

Myka laughed and nodded. "Yeah, I have."

"Excellent. You have no idea how much that pleases me."

"Not interested in converting a lesbian virgin?" Myka teased.

"Oh I would have no problem with that. I've done that several times before. I'm just pleased that you have had the pleasure of a woman's touch."

"How many times?"

"Oh darling, a lady never brags about these things."

"Let's pretend for a moment that you're not a lady," Myka said and shot her a devilish look.

"You're a bad girl," Helena said and laughed. She ran her hand down Myka's thigh and chuckled when the car slowed down as Myka's foot slipped off the accelerator.

"Christ Helena!" Myka hissed.


Myka took the straying hand and held it against her thigh. "This is way too distracting," she muttered.

"Where would you like to go tonight? I'm afraid I have only been to one restaurant in Univille and I would not recommend it."

"You've been out in Univille?" Myka said surprised.

"I have indeed. Pete took me to this place called Denny's. He claimed that I needed to try some authentic pancakes. They weren't too bad, but I would not consider the place romantic."

Myka chuckled. "I agree. Good old Pete taking you out for some real Americana food."

"So what else is there?"

"Well, there's the diner, but I'd say that one is out too. The Happy Moose is not too bad. They have a French chef. Chop Chop is Asian fusion, if you like Thai and Chinese. I kind of like the Station. It used to be a real station house when there was still a train going through here. They have both American and French food on their menu."

"That sounds lovely. Let's try that one. Perhaps we can save the Moose for our second date?"

Myka chuckled. "You're pretty sure of yourself Helena Wells."

Helena grinned. "Oh I have no doubt that you will succumb to my charm once I have the opportunity to woo you."

"Is that so? Perhaps I should try and play hard to get?"

"You can always try darling, but the end result will be the same."

Myka swallowed and looked at her. "Suddenly I feel a bit like prey."

Helena just smiled and winked at her.

Part 2

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