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SPOILERS: Season Two.
Dusty Footprints in Time
Myka squeezed Helena's hand when she felt her trembling. "It will be okay," she said softly and rang the doorbell. They could hear footsteps inside and a moment later the door opened to reveal the man from Helena's picture.
"Mr. Wells, I'm "
"Good Lord," he said and stared at Helena. "It's uncanny." He held out his hand to her and she tentatively put hers in his and allowed him to pull her inside.
Myka followed them with a frown on her forehead. She kept her eyes on HP who seemed to be looking over his shoulder every five seconds to see if Helena was still there. He brought them to the living room and stopped in front of the fireplace.
"Look," he said and gestured to the portrait hanging above the mantle.
"Oh my goodness," Helena whispered and covered her mouth.
Myka gaped. She had practically been through this house with a fine tooth comb and she was certain she would have remembered this painting. She looked at the beautiful rendition of Helena in a Greek or Roman outfit. Her long dark hair cascading down her back as she looked at the painter over her shoulder.
"I've been here before. I don't remember seeing this portrait there," Myka said still in shock.
HP chuckled. "You are correct. It was just recently returned to us. I found it in the attic at my grandfather's estate. It was in bad shape I'm afraid, but so beautiful I couldn't bear leaving it there. And look now. As good as new."
Helena nodded, and then caught herself and looked at him.
"Who are you?"
"My name is Helena."
"How? Where did you come from? Clearly we must be related," he said and gestured to the portrait. "This is my great great aunt Helena Wells."
Helena nodded. "I know."
Myka cleared her voice. "Perhaps we should have a seat?"
"I am so sorry, where are my manners?" he said and smiled at her. "I'm HP Wells."
"You're the one who made the appointment. Please have a seat."
HP listened to Helena explaining about HG Wells' love affair with George Burrows and the child she had with him. "Knowing that she couldn't bring a child back to England with her, she left the girl with her father. Unfortunately some misunderstanding several years later must have led her to believe that the girl, Grace, had died. We assume that's why she never returned to claim her after Christina's untimely death."
HP nodded. "How do you know all this?"
"I have letters they sent to each other. And I guess you have some proof too," she said and gestured to the portrait.
He chuckled. "The resemblance really is remarkable."
"Grace grew up only knowing that her mother came from England and that she died when Grace was little. Always having a desire to see the country where her mother came from, she travelled to England when she was in her early twenties. There she met a young man and fell in love. They settled here in London where my grandfather was born. I unfortunately barely knew my grandparents. They sadly passed away when I was quite young."
"Why did they never contact our family? Why now?"
Helena had expected the question. "Perhaps they didn't want to stir up things best left undisturbed? I frankly don't know. I asked my father once, but he refused to discuss the topic. Perhaps he tried, and failed? I guess we will never know. In my case, I feel the pain of lost kinship. I am the last in my family. I have no one."
He looked at her for a long time as if trying to determine her sincerity. Finally he got up and walked over to the fireplace. He glanced up at the portrait and then shook his head. "It doesn't feel right," he said gently. "Please forgive me, but your story is just too perfect."
Helena smiled and nodded. She glanced at Myka. "He's a Wells alright," she said with a chuckle. "Many things can be said about us, but stupid is not one of them."
Helena walked over to him and took his hands. "HP. May I call you HP?" He nodded. "The reason why I told you this story is because it's the only official story of my existence. What I am about to tell you, no one else can know. I think you better have a seat."
They sat down next to each other on the small settee. Helena faced him and smiled. "My name really is Helena. Helena Grace Wells. And that," she gestured to the portrait. "is me. It was painted in this house over several weeks in the late spring of 1895. I was 28 years old when it was painted, but I remember it as if it was yesterday."
He laughed out loud and shook his head. "I don't know what you're after, but please don't expect me to believe this."
Helena sighed. "Myka and I work for a secret agency within the United States Government that hunts down dangerous objects that have gained powers over people. These artifacts are housed in a specially designed warehouse. Currently the warehouse is located in the United States, but a hundred years ago it was housed here in London. I worked for the warehouse back then, and recently I have been reinstated as an agent at the current warehouse, Warehouse 13."
HP looked at Myka. His eyes were a bit more guarded now.
"I'm with the Secret Service," she said gently. "but that's not why I'm here today. I'm here because of Helena."
"Myka is my partner, and soon to be wife," Helena said proudly.
HP burst out laughing. "Well, crazy talk aside, you do have more in common with great aunt Helena than you think. Few people know that she was more open to the idea of a beautiful woman by her side than a handsome young man."
Helena grinned. "Is that so? Well I certainly did not make it a secret even back then," she purred.
He looked a little unsettled and she gently took his hand. "HP, there is something in this house that can prove who I am."
"I left a legacy behind before I disappeared."
He shook his head. "This house has been searched from top to bottom. There are no secrets here."
Myka chuckled. "I wouldn't say that. Last time I was here we found a secret room over there."
He just stared at her.
"May I?" she asked. He nodded silently. She got up and went over to the desk. She pulled out the correct drawer and got the key from underneath. HP just stared at her. "Helena?"
Helena silently walked over to the left window. She did the countdown before they both pulled down at the same time, triggering the secret lock. Myka turned the key and the door opened.
HP jumped to his feet and walked over to look inside the now empty room. "How did you know?"
Helena chuckled. "This is my house. I lived here. I left something behind in there that I needed to reclaim. Myka and her colleague unfortunately ended up in the middle of it."
Myka made a face at her and glanced up at the ceiling. Helena gently squeezed Myka's hand and smiled at her trying to again convey her sincere apology for hurting her.
"So you see HP, there are secrets in this house that you are yet to discover. Will you allow me to show you the one I mentioned earlier?"
"Well, then, there's no time like the present. This way please."
Helena brought them upstairs to her old bedroom. She stopped for a moment and just looked around. It looked pretty much like it always had. It really surprised her since other people had lived in this house for almost fifty years after she left. Perhaps Charles had restored it back to its original appearance before he died? She would never know. She turned and smiled at them.
"All right then." Helena walked over to the closet doorframe and ran her hand over the smooth wood until she found the right spot. She pressed hard against it and it made a creaking sound before popping out. She twisted it and pushed it back in. Another creaking sound behind them made them turn around. A wood panel above the bed slowly opened. Helena knelt on the bed and reached inside. She pulled out a small wooden box. She held it gently in her hands as she showed it to them.
Myka looked in awe at the beautifully decorated small chest. It had inlays of darker wood and mother-of-pearl. The lock was dark, so she suspected it might be silver that had oxidized over time. A wire was attached to the lock and it was sealed with wax. She carefully turned it and saw the imprint, HGW.
"I left this behind just in case," she said and handed it to HP. "Inside you'll find a vial of my blood. There's also a lock of my hair, and one from Christina. Several photographs and letters, including one explaining why and how I left."
HP stared at the box like it was a snake. "How can I be sure that it's real? Perhaps you put it here when you were here with Ms. Bering last?"
Helena folded her arms. "HP darling, this box is over a hundred years old, as is the seal. Bring it to Christie's or Sotheby's and I am sure someone can verify that it's original."
Myka chewed on her lip. There was something important missing here. Then it struck her. "The letters!" she exclaimed.
"Yes?" Helena said not following her.
"You touched them right?"
Helena folded her arms and gave her a look followed by a raised eyebrow. "Of course I did. It would be hard to write them otherwise."
"You might have been using gloves like a proper Victorian lady," Myka muttered. "Anyway," she said, ignoring Helena's laughter. "They would have your fingerprints all over them. Fingerprints can't be forged or imitated."
HP nodded. "That's true." He looked at Helena. "Please Helena; I really do want to believe your story. It's just that it's more than a little overwhelming."
"Perhaps you should invite him to see the Warehouse?" a familiar voice said behind them.
"Mrs. Frederic!" Myka exclaimed.
Helena smiled and nodded at her. "Welcome to my home."
Mrs. Frederic shot her a warning look not to be a smartass.
"How did you get in here?" HP asked eying Mrs. Frederic suspiciously.
"Through a door." Not waiting for an answer, she continued. "Mr. Wells, my name is Irene Frederic and these two agents work for me. I can assure you that every word that agent Wells has told you is true. A little over a hundred years ago she was put in stasis in the Warehouse. It's a process we call bronzing. She remained there until about a year ago."
HP shook his head. "Good Lord," he whispered. He looked at Helena. "So you've been in some kind of cryogenic sleep for a hundred years?"
Not feeling the need to let him know the gruesome truth about the bronzing process she just nodded. "Something like that. Not really a pleasant experience I can assure you. I would not recommend it."
He sat down on the bed, still cradling the box. Finally he looked up at Helena and smiled. "You know, something in me tells me that what you're telling me is true. I really do want it to be. Even if I have to go on faith alone, I really do believe you." He put down the box and walked over to her. "Welcome home great great aunt Helena," he said and opened his arms.
Helena's eyes misted up as she hugged him. "Thank you. You have no idea what this means to me."
Myka felt her eyes well up too and quickly wiped her eyes. She glanced at Mrs. Frederic, but she was no longer there.
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