DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are used without permission. No infringement intended.
SPOILERS: Seasons two and three. Set after Season three Finale.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To ariadni.mou[at]gmail.com
Ghosts of a Future Never Meant to Be
Part 3 A price too high to pay
Artie stared at the watch in his hands and sighed. Trailer put his head on Artie's thigh and looked at him, whining softly.
"Sometimes I wish I were you," Artie said to the dog, and ruffled his fur. "So much easier not having to think about consequences."
Pete came rushing through the door. "I figured it out."
"It's kind of like those comic book spy puzzles I did as a kid."
Pete put the journal on Artie's desk and started to flip pages, pointing out passages and words.
"See how there's a pattern? This lead-in passage here? How he uses the same wording?"
Artie covered his mouth. Pete was right. Artie grabbed the journal and jotted down the words and instructions.
"We got it," he whispered. With a sigh he put down the pen. "But how can we do it without terrible consequences?"
"Christina." Pete sat down and ran his hand over his face. "Oh man, that's rough. Getting the Warehouse back, but the kid would be gone."
"And we would know what we'd done. I don't know if I could live with that," Artie said and sighed.
"Isn't there some way of having both?"
"I don't think so."
"What about HG and Mrs. F?"
"Mrs. Frederic will be alive as long as the Warehouse is alive."
Pete nodded. "And HG?"
"Theoretically she should come back too, but I honestly don't know."
"That's a hard sell to Myka."
"I know. I don't even want to tell her."
"Good thing you don't have to then, since she just heard you," Myka snapped from over by the door.
Artie gasped and smiled apologetically. "I'm so sorry, Myka."
"So we might get Helena back, but it would put Christina back in the Bronze Sector," she said and looked sadly at Artie.
"I don't know yet."
"Is there any possibility that we could have both?"
"I hope so, but I honestly don't know."
"What happens to us when you use the watch? Is it like Helena's time Machine? It can't be, because the watch is supposed to change the future. Right?"
"It will reset the present back to the time on the watch."
"Will we remember what happened? I mean, how else can we prevent it from happening again?"
"We'll remember. "
"Then we can get Christina out again!" Myka said excitedly.
"Myka," Artie said and sighed. "She almost died during surgery. Nothing says that she won't next time."
Myka sank down in her chair and covered her face with her hands. "It's not fair," she whimpered.
Pete gently rubbed her back. "No it isn't."
She looked up at Artie. "Can we create a bubble around her somehow? Put her outside of time? Like with the artifact Leo used?"
Artie rubbed his chin as he thought about it. "There might be a way."
Artie jumped to his feet and left the room. A moment later they heard file drawers open and close. Myka looked at Pete. He shrugged. They slowly got up and followed Artie. Just as they reached the door, Artie came flying back through it. They stepped aside grabbing the door opening not to fall down. Myka's eyebrows shot up and Pete rolled his eyes.
"Don't the two of you have anything else to do?" Artie muttered.
"No, don't think " Pete started.
Myka grabbed his arm and pulled him towards the door. "Sure Artie. We're gonna you know. Later!"
Artie just waved at them to get out of there.
"Sanctuary For All, this is Kate," a chipper voice said on the other end.
"Yeah, that's great. Can I have Helen Magnus?"
"Who's asking?" Kate said a bit more serious now.
"Agent Nielsen. Secret Service," he snapped. "Now please."
"Chill man," she muttered and rolled her eyes.
"Artie," Helen's voice said on the other end. "Is everything all right? Is it Christina?"
"No, she's fine. At least for now," he said quickly.
"So to what do I owe the pleasure?"
"I figured out how to use the watch," he said with a sigh.
"Helena," Helen whispered.
"What about Christina?"
"That's why I'm calling. I have an idea, but it's pretty risky and I would need your help."
"Anything you need."
"Can you come here?"
"I'm already on my way."
He laughed and nodded. "Thank you."
Christina looked strangely at Claudia and then at the clothes on the bed.
"Surely you are not suggesting that I will be wearing that?" she said and made a face. "Those are boys' clothes! Where are my clothes? My dresses and hats?"
"No, they're not. See, pink," Claudia said and held up the little pink shirt. She grabbed the pants. "Not boy pants at all."
Christina huffed and picked up a sneaker. She turned it over and bent it. "I have never seen shoes like these before. Where are my boots?"
"I don't know, cupcake."
Christina giggled. "Why do you keep calling me that?"
"I like cupcakes. They're sweet and pretty with frosting on top," Claudia said and winked at her. "Here," she said and tossed Christina a pair of socks. "Socks. Go on your feet."
Christina rolled her eyes. "I know what socks are."
"Okay," Claudia said and made a face.
All in all, the dressing project had turned out pretty good. Christina looked down at her sneaker-clad feet and wiggled her toes inside. She looked up at Claudia and grinned.
"They are awfully comfortable."
Claudia steered the girl over to the mirror. "Check it out."
Christina stared at herself in the mirror for the longest time before a big grin formed on her lips.
"The colors are very nice."
"Great. Come on. Let's go downstairs."
Christina took Claudia's hand and together they left the room. Downstairs Christina poked her head into all the rooms, investigating. She had really only been in the living room, and only when someone had carried her down. This was the first time she had a chance to discover the house on her own.
"Hello there," Leena said and smiled at her.
"Good afternoon, Leena," Christina said politely. She followed Leena out into the kitchen. "Are you making tea?"
"I can. Would you like some?"
"Yes please," Christina said and bobbed her head. "May I have a cookie with my tea?"
Leena laughed and nodded. "Yes you may."
Myka smiled at the cute scene that met her as she entered the kitchen. Christina was sitting by the kitchen table eating a chocolate chip cookie with a mug of tea in front of her. Her little feet dangled as she could not quite reach the floor. She grinned at Myka.
"Myka, you are back. How wonderful. Leena made tea for us. Would you care for a cup?"
Myka kissed her head and sat down. "I'd love some, in a moment."
Christina nodded. Noticing Myka chewing on her lip she touched her hand. "What's wrong Myka?"
"Sweetie, Dr. Magnus is coming tomorrow. You're going to be staying with her for a couple of days."
"Why?" Christina asked and stared at Myka. "Don't you want me here anymore?"
"Oh I do," Myka said and hugged her. She pulled Christina onto her lap. "I have to go on a mission and Helen wants to see you."
Christina sighed and leaned her head against Myka's shoulder. "Are you going to help mummy?"
"I am, sweetheart. I definitely am."
Myka met Leena's worried eyes over Christina's head. This was going to be their highest stake mission.
"Rani, where are you?" Helen called out, using her old nickname for Christina.
Christina laughed and poked her head out of the library. "Helen!" She ran over to Helen and hugged her.
Helen took her hand and Christina pulled her into the library.
"Helen," Myka said and smiled.
Helen kissed Myka's cheek and sat down on the sofa with Christina between them.
"Helen, look. I have sneakers," she looked at Myka for confirmation that she remembered the word correctly. Myka grinned and nodded.
"You do. You look very pretty."
Helen nodded. "I will explain a great many things to you, love," Helen promised. "You were unwell for a long time and things in the world changed."
"How long?" Christina asked.
"Many, many years."
Christina's lip started to tremble. "If I have been unwell that long, what about mummy? Is she all right?"
"We hope so, sweetie," Myka butted in. "But we honestly don't know."
Christina nodded. She knew that her mother's work was dangerous. "She spoke of the dangers many times," she whispered.
Myka's heart went out to the girl. Christina was only nine, but she handled the reality more maturely than many adults would have, Myka concluded. The girl looked up at Myka.
"Do you think Mr. Bear would fancy a visit with Helen? I think it would be an awfully good idea."
Myka laughed and nodded. "I think he would love that. Though he kind of gets scared at night so you'd have to promise to keep him close, okay?"
"I promise," the girl said seriously.
Myka folded the pink sweater and put it in Christina's bag. She added a couple of books and DVDs to the girl's luggage. Christina did not have a whole lot of things, which made packing an easy task. Myka promised herself that she would try to get Christina set up with all the little things a girl should have, once this whole thing was over. Of course if everything went according to plan, Christina would no longer be Myka's responsibility. She smiled at the girl who was bouncing on the bed.
"Christina sweetie be careful. You're still healing."
Christina flopped down on her back. "It's not much fun sitting still," she mumbled.
Myka leaned down and grinned at her. "Is that right?" she said and tickled the girl.
Christina shrieked and tried to get away. As they played, Myka's shirt shifted and the locket around her neck fell out. Christina gasped and pushed Myka away from her.
"That's mummy's!" she said upset. "Why do you have it?"
Myka sighed and sat down on the bed. "She gave it to me."
"I don't believe you," Christina said angrily. "She never lets anyone have it. You must have stolen it from her. Give it back!"
Myka wiped away a tear and took off the necklace. She handed it to the girl who grabbed it and pulled it out of Myka's reach. Myka could hear her move off the bed. A moment later there was a faint gasp behind her.
"Myka," Christina whispered. "Your picture is in here too."
"I know sweetie."
"Why? Did you put it there?"
Myka shook her head. "No. I would have chosen a picture of your mother."
Christina gently touched Myka's face. "Do you love her?"
Myka could not hold back the tears any longer. She started to cry. "Yes, honey. I love her more than anything."
"Please don't cry. You can have it back. Just please don't cry."
Christina wrapped her little arms around Myka's neck and hugged her. Myka pulled the girl close.
"Perhaps you should hold onto it for now?" Myka said and smiled at the girl.
"Mummy is in danger, isn't she?" Christina said seriously. "You're worried."
"I am. I will never lie to you about your mother, sweetie."
"Is she dead?"Christina whispered and her lip trembled.
"I still have hope," Myka whispered and closed her eyes.
"Then I do too."
Myka laughed. She cupped Christina's face. "Sweetheart, you need to be very brave and listen to Helen. You're going on an adventure and it will perhaps be a little scary at times."
"I promise. I will be Helen's Rani, her princess. I will be really, really brave."
"And I will do the same as I try to save your mom."
Christina nodded and hugged Myka really hard. She pulled away and grinned at Myka.
"Righty-ho then," she said and laughed.
Myka laughed and cried at the same time as the girl used one of Helena's favorite expressions.
Helen was taking Christina to Rhanna in Praxis, deep below the surface, in Hollow Earth. The technology they had access to would be able to create a force field around Christina that should protect her from the time change. It was risky, but they all felt that it was necessary to try. The stakes were high, but the thought of doing nothing was eating away at all of them.
Myka hugged Christina one last time before helping her get in the car. After the initial shock of seeing a car, Christina had showed her mother's legacy by asking a gazillion questions about how it worked and what it could do. As Myka waved to them, watching the car disappear down the road, she prayed that she would see Christina again.
Artie was standing in the same spot they had been standing inside Helena's protective bubble. Behind him Pete and Myka stood silently, watching him press the buttons. Myka grabbed Pete's hand and he squeezed her hand.
"It will be okay Mykes."
"What if "
"Don't," he said and smiled. "Try to muster up your most beautiful smile and let that be the first thing she sees."
Myka laughed and nodded. She wiped her face and took a deep breath.
"Ready?" Artie said and looked at them. They nodded. "Let's reset the past and stop what was never meant to happen."
Part 4 A Place Where Miracles Happen
She felt dizzy and she swayed for a moment. Confused at what was going on, she looked around, and then she remembered. She was in the warehouse. Aisle 789b to be more exact. She chuckled. Hearing a sound behind her, she whipped around.
"My God," Myka croaked out as she charged Helena. "It's really you."
Helena laughed and held her affectionate ex-lover against her. "I didn't realize that you missed me that much. I was only gone for a brief moment."
"It felt like an eternity," Myka whispered. She cupped Helena's face and kissed her, pushing her against the nearest shelf as she put all her love into the kiss.
"You certainly did miss me," Helena purred. "Well, this is ever so lovely, but I seem to remember that we have a villain to catch, and for once it's not me," she said with a cheeky grin.
Myka nodded and took her hand. "Come."
Myka aimed the vicious rope at Walter Sykes. It entangled him before he knew what hit him. The riding crop fell on the floor freeing Pete from its grip. He turned the gun on Sykes.
"If you move your hands even a millimeter I'll blow your brains out," he yelled at Sykes.
Myka could tell by the look on Sykes' face that he knew he had lost. She whacked him hard against the back of the head, knocking him out. Not until they knew that he was unconscious did they neutralize the rope. Pete shoved Sykes out of the wheelchair. Not a very PC move, he thought briefly as the paralyzed man fell to the floor, but then remembering what Sykes had done, he almost kicked the man. Focusing on the mission, Pete carefully turned over the seat cushion.
"He didn't start it," Pete said and laughed.
Myka ran over and stared at the dangerous artifact in Pete's hands. The timer said twenty minutes, and it was not moving.
"Search him," Artie snapped. "Just in case he has a remote detonator."
"That's from the House of Commons," Helena said surprised. "I've seen it before. Though I must admit last time I saw it, it was attached to a wall in London," she said and made a face. She glared at Sykes. "Barbarian. Vandalizing British property."
Myka chuckled. "Artie will tell you about the artifact later. Right now we need to get the hell out of here."
Artie looked at the red lights as they flickered and went out. He let out a sigh of relief. He jumped when his Farnsworth buzzed. Snatching it out of his pocket her opened it and grinned at Mrs. Frederic's face.
"Mrs. Frederic. Are you all right?"
"Everything is absolutely fine."
"Except for Steve," Claudia mumbled.
Myka sighed. She glanced at Helena. Helena smiled sadly and held out her hand. Myka took it.
"Helena, I don't even know where to begin," Pete said and pulled the surprised woman into a bear hug. "Thank you."
"All right," Helena said a little nervously. "Is this a new way of trying to kill me? If so I must say that I like it more than the other ones. Though if you are trying to proposition me I should warn you that my heart is already taken."
Pete laughed and let go of her. "I know," he said and smiled at her. "I know."
Helena's eyes widened and she looked, surprised at Myka.
"I told him. Oh Helena, there's so much I need to tell you. We changed the future."
"You did what?" Helena exclaimed.
"The future was just too difficult to bear. The price to pay was too high. Something went wrong and things that weren't meant to happen, did in fact happen."
"This sounds like a conversation best had over a fine Scotch or perhaps a soul warming cognac," Helena said and took a deep breath.
Back at Leena's they had all gathered in the living room, feeling the unspoken need to be together. Myka sat next to Helena holding her hand. Helena's other hand was wrapped around a mug of tea as she listened to Artie tell the story about the last couple of weeks, leaving Christina and Helen Magnus out of it for the time being.
As Helena sat listening to Artie's detailed description of the chain of events, her mind drifted and she noticed something on the floor. A pink sock. She put her mug down on the coffee table and leaned down to pick it up.
"What's this? I didn't realize that we had a child staying here?"
All eyes fell on Myka. She turned and faced Helena. As she opened her mouth to speak her cell phone rang. She jumped and laughed nervously as she pulled it out of her pocket. She glanced at the display. Private. She pressed the button.
"Myka? It's Helen. Did it work? Is Helena..?"
"She's here," Myka whispered and smiled at Helena.
"Is " Myka had no idea how to ask, and she dreaded the answer.
"She's fine. She's sleeping, but she's fine."
Myka started to cry as she laughed. "Thank you. Thank you so much."
A loud cheering erupted in the room as Myka hung up. Myka clung to Helena as she cried tears of relief.
"Darling, you're scaring me. Please tell me what's going on. Who was that?"
Myka got up and held out her hand to Helena. "I think this conversation would be best in private."
Helena shook her head. "Unless it is about intimate matters I cannot see what I would have to hide from all of you. I don't want any more secrets, Myka. I want to trust, and to be trusted again."
"Fine," Myka said and sat down. "I just know that this is going to be very difficult for you and I thought that you might want the privacy of our room."
Helena's eyebrow shot up at Myka's choice of words. She smiled and bowed her head a little. "Darling, I trust all of you with my life. I think I can handle being embarrassed in front of you, even if it is yet another tale about my evil deeds."
"That's not it at all, sweetie."
Pete made a teasing face at the endearment term.
Myka took Helena's hands. "I want you to listen to me very carefully before you ask any questions. Also before I tell you anything, know this. Everything is fine. Everyone is safe. Okay?"
Helena frowned but she nodded.
"The person on the phone was Dr. Helen Magnus."
"What?" Helena said and laughed. "That's impossible."
"You should know by now Helena, that hardly anything is impossible when an artifact or the Warehouse is involved," Mrs. Frederic said and smiled at her.
"All right, so Helen is still alive. And she's all right?"
"She is. She was here yesterday, but she had to leave. We entrusted her with a very important task. One we couldn't carry out."
"I don't understand."
Myka reached for the pink sock. "This."
"A child? What's so special with her? I assume that it's a girl. I doubt a boy would wear pink socks, though I admit, I base my assumption on the boys I used to know."
"This child is as special as you, Helena," Myka said and smiled at Helena.
Helena touched Myka's neck feeling the need to hold her locket. It always gave her strength in times of intense stress and danger. She stared at Myka when she realized that she wasn't wearing it.
"My locket," she whispered. "You're not wearing it."
Myka smiled and sighed. "No I'm not."
"You promised," Helena said in a small voice.
"Someone else needed it more."
"You gave it away?" Helena barked. "How could you?"
"Helena, honey," Myka said gently. "She was scared. She needed it more than I did."
"Christina," Myka whispered.
"Have you lost your mind? Myka, please stop it. This is not funny. How dare you joke about my daughter?"
Myka grabbed Helena's shoulders and forced her to look at her. "I found her. She was in the Bronze Sector."
"What?" Helena cried out. She started to cry. "Those bloody people bronzed my daughter?"
"You promised that you would listen," Myka said calmly. "Will you please allow me to explain?"
"I want to see her," Helena demanded.
"You will. She's sleeping right now. Please let me explain and then we can call Helen."
Helena nodded curtly. She watched Myka intently as Myka told her about the folder and how she had found Christina. She smiled when Myka mentioned reading Winnie the Pooh and how Claudia had showed Christina the movie on DVD. Slowly reality started to sink in and Helena's tears fell silently down her alabaster cheeks. When Myka finally ended her story by telling how fascinated Christina had been by Helen's rental car, Helena actually laughed.
"Thank you," she whispered and caressed Myka's cheek. "I'm sorry for yelling at you. You did not deserve that."
"It's fine Helena. I kind of expected very strong emotions from you. That's why I wanted to have this conversation in private."
Helena glanced around the room and looked at all the now familiar faces. "I cannot think of a nicer family to be surrounded by in a time like this. You cared for my daughter when I was unable to. I don't remember being dead, but it appears that I was for a while."
Myka nodded, unable to speak. She closed her eyes and allowed Helena to hold her.
"Please don't ever be that heroic and noble again, okay?" Myka finally mumbled.
"I will try, though I can assure you that your safety is my highest priority, that and that of my daughter's," Helena said and kissed Myka's brow. "Do you think we could call Helen? I so wish to see my baby."
Myka nodded and pulled out her phone. She called Helen's cell phone and handed the phone to Helena.
"Hello?" Helena said chipper. Her face went ashen when she recognized Helen's voice. "Dearest, it really is you. Myka says that Christina is in your care."
Helena grabbed Myka's hand as she listened to Helen talking. She nodded and then looked at Claudia.
"Claudia, do you have something called Skype on your computer?"
Claudia rolled her eyes. "I have Skype and several other ones."
A few minutes later Helena gazed at her sleeping child. She whimpered softly when Christina moved in her sleep.
"It's true. Thank you so much. All of you."
"The Warehouse eventually gave you your miracle, Helena," Mrs. Frederic said with a mysterious smile.
Eighteen hours later Myka stood by Helena's side as a car came down the driveway to Leena's. Helena covered her mouth as she watched motion in the back seat before the car door opened and little sneaker-clad feet dangled in the air before Christina hopped out. She looked over at the group of people standing outside the house. Recognizing Helena she screamed in excitement and ran over.
Helena rushed towards her and fell to her knees hugging her daughter.
"Yes darling, it's really me," Helena said and covered the girl's face with kisses.
Christina pulled away and removed the locket from around her neck. "Myka gave me this, but it's really yours."
Helena smiled and caressed Christina's cheek. "Thank you, love."
"Myka and I missed you so very much. Please try not to be gone so long next time."
Helena laughed and nodded. She got up and took Christina's hand. "Come, darling. Let's have tea."
Christina smiled at her and nodded. A car door closing made them turn their heads. Helena's eyes misted as she watched Helen Magnus walk towards her. She let go of Christina's hand and held out her hands to Helen. Christina moved closer to Myka who wrapped her arms around the girl.
"My God, Helen," she whispered.
"Dearest Helena," Helen said, her eyes full of joy at the sight of her long lost friend and former lover. "What a miracle it truly is to hold you in my arms again. I thought you were lost with all the others of the past."
Helena nodded and gently cupped Helen's cheek. They looked at each other for a long moment until an impatient Christina tugged at Helena's sleeve.
"Mummy, can we please have our tea now? I have so much to tell you. Helen brought me to this magical place. It was as if your novels had come to life, right in front of my eyes," the girl said excitedly.
Helena laughed and cupped her face. "Let's go inside, and you can tell me all about it."
"Did you know that they have automobiles that are faster than horses?"
"I do, I do," Helena said and grinned at Myka who was again by her side.
Helena wrapped her arm around Myka's waist and pulled her close. They followed Christina and Helen inside. Christina was again chatting away with Helen, discussing the amazements she had seen during their stay with Rhanna.
Sitting on Christina's bed, holding her little hand, Helena watched her child sleep. Myka leaned against the doorframe, her arms folded. She smiled at the happiness on Helena's face.
"She will be there tomorrow. Will you come to bed?" she asked as she walked over.
Helena looked up and smiled at her. "I just cannot get over the joy of having her back. I keep thinking that this is a dream and that I will wake up any moment now and she will be gone."
"It's not a dream sweetie," Myka said and caressed Helena's hair.
"Rani did make quite a stir with the people of Hollow Earth," Helen said with a soft chuckle from her spot by the door.
Helena laughed and got up. She and Myka quietly left the room and joined Helen in the hallway.
"Care for a drink?" Helena said and ran her hand through her hair.
Helen, recognizing the nervous gesture, gently touched Helena's shoulder. "It is all in the past Helena. I love you dearly, and I will not bring up our former disagreements."
Helena nodded and took a deep breath. "Still, I want you to know Helen that I am deeply sorry for the dreadful things I said to you back then. My mind was clouded by sorrow and I lashed out at the people I loved the most, you included."
Helen caressed Helena's cheek. She gently pulled Helena to her and just held her, stroking her hair.
"Dearest, they are almost all gone, we have but each other, and now your little angel. You have love in your life again, and perhaps together we can bridge the past and the present?"
"It is a true miracle to have both of you back," Helena whispered. She stepped away from Helen and took Myka's hand. "You are correct, Helen. I have found love again. Perhaps the world has finally forgiven me for the injustice I've done to it?"
"Come, let's go downstairs and enjoy a drink by the fire like in the old days," Helen said cheerfully. "We will talk, and we will share our stories with Myka."
Helena grinned and nodded eagerly. "What a marvelous idea."
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