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 5 A New Kind of Family
Myka sat up straight in the bed when she was awakened by a scream. Christina. She was out of bed in a heartbeat and grabbed her robe, putting it on as she rushed out of the room. She opened the door to the girl's room and ran over to her. Christina was sitting up in bed, crying.
"Honey, what's wrong?" Myka asked as she held the distraught girl.
"Mummy," she hiccupped. "I dreamt that she died."
A strangled gasp from the door made Myka look up. Helena was standing there, her eyes wild and she was catching her breath. She ran over and pulled Christina out of Myka's arms.
"I've got you, love. Mummy's here."
Christina clung to her mother and they both cried. Myka started to get up when Helena grabbed her arm and pulled her into the hug.
"Thank you," she whispered. "I was downstairs, making tea when I heard her."
Myka nodded and kissed Helena's cheek. "Always."
It was close to breakfast time so the three made their way downstairs. Christina curled up on the sofa by the fireplace with her mug of tea while Myka helped Leena set the table. Helena came in and sat down next to the girl. She caressed her hair, and Christina smiled at her.
"When are we going home?"
Helena opened her mouth and then closed it. She looked at Myka and then at her daughter.
"We are living here now."
"But what about our house? Our things?" Christina said alarmed. "My toys and your inventions?"
Helena laughed. "We will get you new toys, marvelous toys. As for my inventions, many of them are here."
"Why are we living in America? And where is Uncle Charles? And Sophie?"
Helena sighed and held Christina close. "Darling, Helen told you that you have been sleeping for a very long time."
"Like Sleeping Beauty."
"Just like Sleeping Beauty," Helena said and tapped her on the nose. "Only you're a bit too young for a handsome prince."
Christina giggled and covered her mouth. "I got a princess. I got your princess, mummy," she said and smiled at Myka. "First I thought she was an angel, because she was in my dreams."
"And because she's pretty," Helena teased and hugged Christina to her.
Christina giggled and nodded. She looked at Myka over the back of the sofa. Myka smiled at her.
After the initial suspicion of her breakfast, Christina had eagerly tried the pancakes on her plate, once Pete confirmed that the dark spots were indeed chocolate chips.
"This is delicious!" she said and grinned. "Thank you Leena."
Helena gently wiped the side of the girl's mouth where a little maple syrup lingered.
"You're welcome," Leena said and smiled at the girl.
"Everybody here?" Artie bellowed as he stormed into the room looking like something in-between a scarecrow and absentminded professor.
Mumbled yeses and yeahs confirmed that this was the case, and Artie proceeded to hand out folders and assignments. Since they did not have any new case, he was assigning them some from the archival backlog pile. Pete made a face as he flipped through his folder. Artie's stern look made him close his mouth and swallow the protest.
"Inventory, case completion and archiving. That's today's menu folks, so wrap up your breakfast and off you go."
Christina had been watching the commotion in fascination. She tilted her head and gave Artie a puzzled look.
"Do you work at the Warehouse?"
Artie stilled for a moment. They had sheltered this information from Christina while she was recovering. At a loss for what to do, he looked at Helena for assistance.
"Sweetheart, Artie is in charge of the Warehouse now. We all work for him."
Christina frowned. "What about Mr. Crowley?"
Helena sighed. She caressed Christina's hair for a moment before answering. "He's gone, love. I will explain it all to you later. So much has happened."
"I am beginning to realize," the girl said seriously.
Claudia winced. "Dude, I don't know how much longer I can handle this kid speaking like an old lady. Please let me help her catch up on the lingo. Pretty please?"
Helena chuckled and placed her hand on Claudia's arm. "It might indeed do both of you good to spend more time together. Perhaps your language will improve while you, as you say, help her catch up."
"Yeah, yeah," Claudia said and rolled her eyes.
Christina giggled behind her hand as her dark eyes darted from her mother to Claudia.
"Oh, I almost forgot," Artie said and got up. He looked at Christina. "I have an assignment for you too."
She gaped. "For me? But surely I am too young."
"May I be excused, mummy?" she asked and bit her lip in anticipation.
"Dude, just go," Claudia muttered.
Helena shot Claudia a murderous look. "It would not hurt you to learn some manners," she muttered.
"Whatevs. Come on cupcake, go with Artie."
Christina laughed and ran after Artie. She stopped by the door as he came back inside. She gasped when she spotted what he was carrying. She looked up at him, clearly excited.
"Here you go. Now be careful with it. It used to be my father's."
"Thank you. I will be ever so careful. I promise," she said and took the violin case from him.
Artie nodded and sat down to finish his coffee. The conversation picked up again as they finished breakfast. Pete and Myka were bickering over their cases. Helena was gushing over Artie giving Christina his father's violin, while watching her daughter unpack the instrument and start tuning it. Artie, somewhat embarrassed with the attention, just muttered some vague excuse and rolled his eyes. Claudia laughed and teased him further. The increasingly loud conversations came to an abrupt halt at the sound of music. They all turned their heads to the girl standing in the middle of the living room playing the violin.
Helena grabbed Myka's hand. Their eyes met and Myka leaned closer and gently wiped the tears from Helena's cheeks.
"I never thought I would hear her play again," she whispered.
The girl was clearly talented. When she finally stopped she had a slight frown on her face. She blushed when the clapping started, but then smiled and bowed. After carefully placing the violin back in the case, she walked over to Helena.
"I am dreadfully sorry mummy, but perchance I forgot how to play while I was sick. I did not do Vivaldi justice I'm afraid."
"Darling, it was beautiful. You're just a little out of practice. Perhaps Artie will help you?"
"Do you play?" the girl asked Artie with a surprised look on her face.
"I play the piano now, but I did play the violin when I was a boy. My father taught music."
Surprisingly they all settled back into normal almost immediately after having Helena back. At first Myka feared that the Regents would sweep in to claim both Helena and Christina, but it never happened. Mrs. Frederic seemed to show up more often, sometimes only to observe silently before disappearing as mysteriously as she had arrived.
Artie had started to give Christina music lessons on a regular basis. It was now quite common to hear the two argue over certain passages and how the composer had intended them to be interpreted. Myka delighted in how Christina would masterfully argue with Artie, always polite, but never backing down. Once Helena had caught her eavesdropping on the two and Myka grinned sheepishly as she followed Helena to the kitchen.
"It appears that my daughter can survive encounters that would have sent me to the bronzer," Helena muttered while expertly preparing a pot of tea.
"You know he would never do that," Myka said softly.
"Not now perhaps, but there was a time when he delighted at the thought."
Myka sighed and nodded. "It's all in the past. He knows that he was wrong, Helena."
Helena handed Myka her tea and grabbed the other two mugs. "I think we better rescue Artie from my daughter before she makes him cry. If it's something I can't handle, it's the thought of Artie Nielsen in tears, crying like an infant."
Myka snorted and followed her. Music met them as they entered the hallway. Christina was playing the piece she had been practicing. It was beautiful.
"No, no, no!" Artie exclaimed.
"But that's how he meant for it to be played," the girl argued. "Could you not hear how the music begs to go faster, not slower?"
"But it is supposed to be slow," Artie argued. "Only then can you increase the speed and dramatic effect later."
"Christina darling," Helena said quickly, anticipating an argument from her daughter. "Perhaps you should listen to Artie. He knows a lot about music, and you can learn a lot from him."
"Yes mummy," she mumbled and put the violin back in the case before sitting down next to Helena.
Helena handed the girl her tea and gently caressed her hair.
Helen Magnus left two days later. She and Helena said a tearful goodbye while Christina begged Helen to stay. The girl stood silently next to Helena, waving at the car as it disappeared down the driveway.
"Mummy, it saddens me so to see Helen leave," Christina said and looked up at Helena with tear-filled eyes.
Helena caressed her cheek. "I know, love. You will see her again soon. I promise."
The girl nodded and sighed heavily. "Do you think Leena made some cookies?" Christina said quietly, changing topic with speed only children can.
"I'm not sure. Why don't you run along and find out?"
Christina grinned and took off down the hall. Helena sighed and shook her head. She stopped and looked up when she heard someone on the stairs.
Myka took Helena's hand and allowed herself to be pulled close for a hug. She sighed when Helena brushed her lips against hers.
"Mmm, I missed you," she purred and wrapped her arms around Helena's neck.
"You did?" Helena teased. "How much?"
Myka kissed her with a bit more passion, pushing her tongue into Helena's mouth causing a soft whimper. The two women lost themselves in the intensity of the kiss until a giggle made them break apart. Christina peered at them from around the corner, hand over her mouth as she giggled at catching them.
"You were kissing Myka," she said and laughed.
"Come here you," Myka said and laughed.
Christina ran over and wrapped her arms around Myka's waist. Myka caressed her cheek as she pulled the girl close. Christina looked up at her.
"Are you mummy's special person?"
"I " Myka looked at Helena for an interpretation.
Helena smiled and cupped Christina's chin. "She is. Myka is very special."
Christina nodded. "When I had my scary dreams in the dark, she came and saved me."
Helena took a deep breath and nodded. "She did, and when I was lost, she saved me too."
"So you really are an angel," Christina said happily.
Myka laughed and shook her head. "I don't know about that, but you and your mom are part of my family now."
"Is that why we are living with you now?"
Helena chuckled. "Yes and no sweetheart. We live here because mummy works for the Warehouse, and the warehouse is here. That Myka is here is just an added bonus, a very lovely added bonus," she said and grinned.
Myka's eyes narrowed just a tad as she made a face at Helena who just laughed.
"I know Myka loves you, she said so. Do you love her too?" Christina asked impatiently. "I think it would be awfully good if you did."
"You do, do you?" Helena teased. Christina nodded. "Well, with the exception of you of course, there is no one I love more than Myka," Helena confirmed.
Myka laughed and her eyes misted a little.
"Christina!" Leena's voice echoed down the hall.
"Oh! I've got to run, mummy. The cookies are ready and I promised to help," Christina said quickly and smiled at her and Myka.
"Run along darling," Helena said and smiled at her.
When the girl had turned the corner, Helena faced Myka. She took her hands and smiled a little hesitantly.
"It seems like my daughter has become very fond of you, darling."
"She's so sweet," Myka said and smiled. "I felt like I knew her the moment she opened her eyes. All the stories you told me, it really did feel like I had been part of them."
Helena nodded. She led Myka into the living room and the two sat down on the couch.
"Christina has seen me with a woman before," she started to explain to Myka. "She became very fond of Helen when we were " Helena sighed and ran her hand through her hair.
"It's okay Helena. I can handle thinking of Helen as your ex."
Helena smiled and nodded. "Perhaps I'm the one who still carry guilt over how badly I treated her after my loss."
Myka squeezed Helena's hand. "It's all in the past. Helen has forgiven you. It's time that you forgive yourself."
"I know, but it's hard."
"Helena," Myka said and chewed on her lip. "Christina doesn't know any of this. That you were bronzed and why. You need to figure out what to tell her, and how."
Helena nodded. "I know." She caressed Myka's cheek and leaned in for a quick kiss. "But not today. Today I want to spend with you and her just doing silly little things," she said. She tilted her head and looked Myka in the eyes. "And tonight I would like to have dinner alone with you. We have really not had any time to ourselves since my return. Would you like that?"
Myka nodded. "I would."
"Then it's settled. Christina will stay with Leena and Claudia and you and I will enjoy our first real romantic date in a very long time."
Myka laughed and pulled Helena close. She leaned against the side of the couch with Helena in her arms. Gently running her fingers through Helena's hair she just enjoyed holding her.
Christina cheered and clapped her hands at the sight of her mother.
"You look beautiful mummy," she said and smiled at Helena.
Helena did a little twirl on the floor. She was in a dress and heels for once. Pete just stared at her and frowned.
"You look all girly and stuff," he mumbled.
"She is a girl," Christina said and rolled her eyes at Pete.
Pete grabbed her and threw her over his shoulder. Christina shrieked with laughter.
"Let me down!" she said and kicked her feet, all while laughing.
"I kind of like you up there," Pete said and held her up higher.
"Myka! Help me," she cried out and laughed again.
Myka was coming down the stairs, also wearing a dress. She was walking slower than usual due to her high heels. She laughed at Pete and Christina.
"Did you wind Pete up again, munchkin?" she teased.
"I did nothing," she shrieked as Pete tickled her.
Pete turned and stared at Myka. He put Christina down and she ran over to Myka.
"You are so pretty," Christina said and grinned up at her.
"She sure is," Helena confirmed and took Myka's hand.
"Wow, Mykes," Pete said, still staring at her. "I haven't seen you dressed up like that since New York."
Helena's eyes narrowed. "New York?"
Myka made a face. "I had to go undercover as a model," she mumbled embarrassed.
"A fashion model?" Helena said surprised. "I wish I could have seen that."
"I have pictures," Pete said and wriggled his eyebrows.
Helena's eyes narrowed again and she took a step closer to Pete. "And why exactly do you have modeling pictures of my girlfriend?" she said in a dangerous voice.
"Not that kind of pictures!" he said and held up his hands in defense.
Helena laughed and patted his arm. "Good boy."
He made a face at her behind her back. Christina caught him and hid her grin behind her hand.
"Darling, shall we depart?"
Myka nodded. She smiled at Christina. "You look after Uncle Pete now, okay? Don't let him eat too many cookies. And no watching scary movies or he'll have nightmares."
Christina laughed and nodded. She made a face at Pete and ran into the living room.
"Don't you touch the remote young lady," he yelled after her. "I warn you. If I see you with the remote "
The TV turned on as he chased after the girl. Helena looked at Myka and shook her head.
"I'm not sure who is in charge in there."
"Don't worry. Leena will make sure that they are both in bed by eight, teeth brushed and jammies on," Myka said and winked at her.
Helena laughed and took Myka's hand as the two left in a hurry before getting dragged into something.
Dinner had been wonderful. Myka did not realize how much she had missed just talking to Helena. They had been sitting close together in the round booth in the back of the restaurant, talking quietly as they enjoyed their dinners. Helena had ordered a nice bottle of wine and all in all Myka felt like her little world was perfect.
After dinner they had walked the short distance to one of the few decent bars in Univille. Helena had befriended the owner a while back as the two bonded over their love of old Scotch. When the two stepped through the door they were met by live piano music. Jo, the owner spotted them and came over.
"Helena, it's been ages," she said and kissed Helena's cheek.
"I've been away for a while," Helena said and smiled apologetically.
"Myka," Jo said and hugged her. "Beautiful as always. Helena is a lucky woman."
"I know," Myka said and winked at Helena who folded her arms making a face before laughing.
"Come, I have a table for you."
Helena sipped her drink while gazing at Myka. The music was lovely, a bit louder than really was necessary, but still quite pleasant. She took Myka's hand and caressed the back of it with her thumb. Myka smiled at her.
"Thank you darling," Helena said very softly. "I will never be able to thank you enough for bringing Christina back."
"You don't have to. Let's not talk about it again, okay? She's here, you're here and everything is as it should be."
"So what's new?" Jo asked as she sat down in the empty chair across from them.
"Helena's daughter is staying with us."
"Your daughter?" Jo said confused. "I didn't know you had kids. When did she arrive?"
"Very recently," Helena mumbled.
"That's why Helena was gone. Huge nasty custody battle back in England," Myka said and made a face.
Jo nodded, accepting the cover lie without even blinking.
"So what about your ex?"
"Christina's father is dead," Helena said and sipped her drink.
Jo frowned. "But you just said..?"
"Grandparents," Myka explained.
"Oh!" Jo said and made a face.
"As you can probably understand, we're relieved to have her here."
"How old is she?" Jo asked and smiled at Helena.
"Christina is eight years old."
"Then she'll be in Nat's class in the fall," Jo said and smiled.
Myka just stared at her. She had forgotten that Jo's sister was a teacher at Univille Elementary. She glanced at Helena.
"I'm not sure if Helena has decided what to do about that yet," she said a little evasive. "Christina had a private tutor back in England."
Jo's eyes widened. "La-de-freaking-da," she said and laughed. "I guess you could home school her, but you guys travel so much I can't see how that would work out."
"I'll figure something out," Helena said and took another sip. "Christina is very mature for her age. I'm afraid that she will get bored in a regular class."
Jo made a face. "Yeah, well this is Univille. Not exactly the place where you would find a gazillion whiz kids. Still, it might be good for her to get to know other kids. To make friends and stuff."
Helena nodded. "You are absolutely right. I'm afraid I know very little about the American school system. I am not sure if I can determine if it is the right choice for her, or not."
"Nat could fill you in if you have questions. She and George are back from their vacation."
"Thank you Jo," Helena said and smiled.
After saying good night to Jo, promising to be back soon, Myka and Helena slowly strolled back to the car. Knowing that the evening was not over yet, neither of them was in any rush. Myka smiled at Helena when she caught her looking at her for a bit longer than a casual look. Helena grinned at her and caressed Myka's cheek.
"What is it, darling?"
"Tonight has been wonderful, Helena."
"I agree, and it is not quite over."
"Come," Helena whispered and pulled Myka out onto the patio, instead of heading directly upstairs. "It's such a glorious night."
Myka chuckled and wrapped her arms around Helena from behind when Helena stopped in the middle of the patio, turning her face up to the night sky.
"Almost as beautiful as you."
"You charmer, you," Helena said and giggled.
Helena turned in Myka's arms and kissed her. They stood in the pale light from the moon, surrounded by the quiet night. When Helena whimpered softly as Myka kissed her below her ear, Myka took her hand and led her upstairs to their room. She raised an eyebrow when Helena stopped by the door.
"I just want to check on Christina," she whispered.
Myka nodded and followed Helena into the room next to theirs. Helena took off her shoes and walked silently over to the sleeping girl on the bed. She caressed her hair and kissed her forehead.
"Sweet dreams my angel."
Myka held out her hand to Helena who took it. With a last glance at her sleeping child she closed the door.
Part 6 Merging Past & Future
Myka caressed Helena's hair and pulled her closer as she listened to Helena's breathing quiet to normal. Their love making had been slow and tender as they reacquainted themselves with each other. It intrigued Myka how quiet Helena had been, since she vividly remembered how loudly Helena had voiced her passion in the past.
"Are you okay, honey?" she whispered against Helena's forehead.
"I am feeling absolutely fantastic," Helena said with a soft chuckle.
Helena looked up at Myka and gently touched her cheek. Myka turned her head and kissed her fingertips causing a tiny giggle to escape from between Helena's lips.
"You were so quiet," Myka mumbled. "It made me wonder, that's all."
"If your child was sleeping in the room next door, you too would probably be less prone to loud screams of passion," Helena teased. "Just imagine how you would feel, should you hear your mother next door," she mumbled and placed a lingering kiss on Myka's collar bone.
Myka just stared at Helena as she made a face. "Eew! And just for the record, my parents do not have sex."
"They don't? Well then, how do you explain the wonderful woman whose arms I'm currently in?" Helena said, turning her twinkling eyes up at Myka.
"That was the last time they did, and it was before I was born, so it doesn't count," Myka said smugly.
Helena laughed and snuggled closer. "I'm sure they had many nights of passionate love after you moved out."
"Helena!" Myka said in a pained voice. "Can we please not talk about my parents having sex?"
"Certainly my love. I just wanted to get my point across. As much as I enjoy making love to you, I don't want my daughter to hear it. I'm sure you can understand that."
Myka nodded. "Of course. Do you want to move her to another room?"
Helena sighed and sat up. Myka pulled herself up so she was leaning against the headboard. She opened her arms and Helena happily settled in again, pulling the covers closer to her chin.
"It has crossed my mind," Helena mumbled, obviously feeling somewhat guilty about the thought. "I just thought it would be good to have her close by for now."
"Honey, she's eight. If she needs you during the night, she can, and will, come find you."
"You're right," Helena agreed.
"She came into my room at one point and snuggled next to me," Myka said softly.
Helena looked up at her. "You never told me."
Myka shrugged. "I didn't want you to think that she didn't need you. It was after Helen left. Christina woke up and she was worried about you. When she came into my room and slipped into bed with me, we talked and then she fell asleep. I didn't have the heart to move her," Myka said and smiled.
"Thank you," Helena whispered.
Myka nodded, and then laughed. "She's a bed hog you know."
Helena chuckled and nodded. "That she is, but a sweet one."
"Unlike her cover-stealing mother," Myka muttered.
"Hey!" Helena scowled at Myka who laughed.
"I'm just teasing, Helena."
Helena purred and snuggled closer. Myka could feel her falling asleep and eased them both back down under the covers. She was almost asleep when Helena sat up in bed.
"I need to put on a night shirt," Helena said.
"What if Christina comes in here tomorrow morning? She is used to being able to come to my room at any time."
"'She won't. I made sure Pete would keep her occupied until after breakfast."
Helena sighed and settled in against Myka again. "Thank you."
Myka turned Helena's face up and kissed her. "Sweet dreams, baby."
Christina slowly turned the door knob opening the door without a sound. She peeked inside and grinned at the sight of a sprawled body on the messy bed. Tiptoeing over she jumped on the bed and laughed as she bounced up and down.
"What the hell?"
"You said a bad word," she said and laughed.
Pete groaned and opened an eye, glaring at the eight year-old bouncing excitedly on his bed.
"You should be in bed," he muttered. "I'm sure I told you not to move a finger until after eight."
"It's almost half past eight," Christina exclaimed and rolled her eyes. "Please do get up Pete. You promised that we would go and see the baby bunnies today."
Pete sat up and grabbed the girl's arm pulling her in for a bear hug. She giggled and looked up at him. Frowning she touched his face.
"You need to shave."
Pete laughed and stroked his chin. "I guess I do. You don't think this makes me look roguishly handsome?"
She tilted her head and made a face. "No."
Pete clutched his hand against his chest as if in pain. "Ouch, that hurt," he said and went limp on the bed.
Christina laughed and shook him. "Pete, you are the silliest man I know. Even sillier than Mr. Wolcott."
Pete opened an eye and eyed her suspiciously. "Is that a compliment or should I be offended again?" he muttered.
"Oh, it is most definitely a compliment. Mr. Wolcott is very nice."
Pete sat up and Christina leaned against his chest.
"Is this the Mr. Wolcott that Helena used to work with?" he asked.
"But of course," she said and giggled. "Woolly and Mr. Carter, his friend, would play with me sometimes. They came up with such fantastic games," she said and smiled at him.
"Did they now," Pete said and made a face. "Better than bunnies?"
The girl appeared to be thinking about it for a moment and finally she sighed. "Perhaps not better than bunnies, but definitely more adventurous. Mr. Carter once buried a real mummy in our back yard and then Woolly and I were archeologists trying to find it," she said excitedly.
"Why would he have a mummy?"
"He brought back so many from Egypt. This one was just a small one of a fish," she explained. "The museum did not want it."
Pete thought about it for a moment and then the puzzle pieces fell into place. He stared at the girl.
"This Mr. Carter, was his first name Howard?"
She nodded enthusiastically. "Do you know him?"
"Not personally, but he's really famous."
"Famous?" she said and made a face.
"I'll tell you all about him and King Tut at some point," he promised. "Right now I need coffee and something delicious, or I will die from hunger."
Christina laughed and jumped off the bed. She waited impatiently as Pete put on his robe over his pajamas. Together they hurried downstairs, following the smell of freshly baked scones.
"So," Pete said and popped the last piece of his scone into his mouth. "I learned this morning that Wolcott and Indiana Wells here used to play grave robbers under the supervision of Howard Carter."
"What?" Myka exclaimed.
Helena laughed and looked at Christina. "You did, didn't you, love?"
Christina nodded. "I don't recall being called Indiana Wells, but Woolly and I did have a wonderful time looking for mummies in our yard, even though you were quite cross with us for digging."
"The gardener did voice his displeasure with your antics quite loudly and in detail," Helena mumbled, remembering the incident quite vividly.
"You knew Howard Carter?" Myka whispered to Helena.
"I did. We were in Egypt together. I ended up getting him into trouble several times I'm afraid," she said and laughed.
"Come on Indiana Wells," Pete said and got up. "Bunnies are waiting for some petting over at the farm."
Christina laughed and got up. She kissed Helena's cheek and then did the same to Myka.
"I'm so excited," she said and ran after Pete.
Myka chuckled and shook her head. Helena sighed and took Myka's hand. They looked at each other and laughed. Pete stopped for a moment over by the door, smiling at them.
"Hey, Helena, I hope you don't mind that I'm borrowing Christina. A guy needs a kid sidekick in order to go and look at bunnies, you know," Pete said and grinned.
Christina was hanging on Pete's sleeve, clearly impatient.
"Absolutely not," Helena said and laughed. "Have fun, both of you." She smiled and gave her daughter a look. Christina stopped pulling at Pete's sleeve. "Thank you darling. Be a good girl and listen to Pete. And do not come home with a bunny."
Christina pouted. "But they have babies. Wouldn't it be an awfully good idea for us to have a bunny?"
"Not this time, sweetheart," Helena said gently.
"They might taste good," Pete mumbled absentmindedly as he tapped his lips.
Christina gasped and stared at him. He winked at her and she made a face at him before running upstairs.
"Enjoy your day ladies," he said and winked at them.
"Pete, please take some pictures," Myka said as he turned to leave.
As Pete left the room, Claudia shuffled in. Her hair was mussed and she yawned as she slipped into her seat.
"What did I miss?"
"Indiana Wells and bunnies," Myka said and smiled at her.
Claudia frowned and reached for the milk. "That sounds almost kinky."
Myka laughed and shook her head. "Apparently Helena knew Howard Carter way back when and he played Indiana Jones, sort of, with Christina."
Claudia gaped and looked at Helena for confirmation. "And where do the bunnies come in? Mummified bunnies?" she asked and made a face.
"Of course not," Helena huffed. "I would not allow them to scar my daughter like that. Pete is apparently taking Christina to see some baby bunnies over at a farm nearby."
"Baby bunnies?" Claudia whispered.
Helena nodded and chuckled at the look on Claudia's face. "Perhaps they would not mind you going with them."
Claudia shoveled down her cereal and grabbed her coffee. "Later chicas. You're a lot of fun, but baby bunnies are better."
A week later, Pete the ferret had a new roommate, Woolly the rabbit. That Sunday when Pete had taken the girl to see the rabbits, Christina and Pete had come back from home so excited that Helena could not help but laugh. Over the next couple of days Christina wore her mother down with her excited chatter about bunnies. Come Friday the two and Pete went to the farm, and now the warehouse family had grown once again.
Myka smiled at the girl who was on her stomach on the floor feeding the bunny little pieces of lettuce through the cage. Helena had assigned her the task of getting the cage and all the other accessories for modern day pet bunny care. To say that Christina had been excited when she saw it would have been an understatement. Helena had to stop her from taking the rabbit toys apart, explaining that they were meant for the bunny and not Christina.
The girl giggled as the little black rabbit sniffed her finger, his whiskers tickling her.
"Isn't he just precious?" Christina said and grinned at Myka.
"I think you're precious," Myka said and smiled at her. "Woolly is kind of cool though, for a bunny."
"Cool bunny," Christina mumbled, trying out the expression. "You are one cool bunny, Woolly," she said to the animal.
Helena sighed and folded her arms as she heard her daughter. "It appears as if the modern day language lessons have begun," she muttered and crossed the room to sit down next to Myka.
"Mummy!" Christina exclaimed and jumped up.
Helena held out her arms and accepted the hug and kiss from the girl. She pulled her down on the sofa next to her.
"Darling, do you remember that I promised you that I would explain what happened to us?"
Christina nodded. She touched Helena's cheek. "You look sad. Is something wrong?"
"I am sad, love, because so many years have passed since I last saw you that almost everyone we know is gone."
Christina frowned. "I don't understand."
"Christina, the year is 2011," she said and caressed her hair.
Christina gaped. "Surely you cannot be serious?"
"I am afraid that I am."
"How is that possible?" Christina whispered. Then she looked up at Helena and her lower lip trembled. "You said they were gone "
Helena pulled her close and held her as she explained what had happened. Christina cried and cried as she experienced the pain of losing everyone she had known back in England. Myka gently touched the girl's back, trying to convey her support and love. Christina looked up at her, her eyes filled with sadness.
"My scary dreams, they were real," she whispered. "And then you came and saved me."
Myka smiled and nodded. "Helen did actually. I just kept you company, sweet pea."
Christina smiled and nodded. "I remember your voice. It made me less afraid."
Helena hugged the girl closer and bit her lip trying not to cry. Myka pulled Helena into her arms until the three of them were one loving tangle of limbs. Watching Christina mourn the people she had lost, and accepting what had happened, made Myka fully realize what Helena must have been going through right after being debronzed. No wonder that she had been angry with the world.
"Claudia says that I speak funny," Christina said, drawing everyone's attention back to the situation.
"You speak like an English girl, living in 1890s London would," Helena said and smiled at her.
"But I'm not," Christina said heatedly. "People will think that I am odd, just like I thought that Claudia was odd when I first met her."
Helena sighed. "You will learn fast, love. Do you think you would enjoy going to school with other children?"
Christina just stared at her. "Are you sending me away?" she said in a small voice.
"Of course not," Helena said and kissed her cheek. "There are many more schools these days, and most of them are not boarding schools. There is an excellent school in Univille only about fifteen minutes from here."
Christina pondered it for a moment. She looked suspiciously at her mother. "I do not think that I would enjoy that actually."
Myka bit her lip trying not to laugh at the look on the girl's face. She had seen the exact same expression on Helena's face numerous times. She knew that it was a disguise of uncertainty mixed with a little fear.
"Munchkin," she said and smiled at the girl. "They will think that you're really cool coming from England. I bet that most of those kids have never even been to England. You have so much that you can tell them. It will be fun. I promise."
Christina did not look convinced. Myka cupped her chin.
"We'll make sure that you catch up on the language and on kid stuff before you start school, okay?"
"How about giving it a go?" Helena said and smiled. "If you still don't like it after a month, then we will consider something else."
"Why can't I have a tutor, like in London?"
"There aren't many tutors around who can cover everything," Helena explained. "These days those people become teachers."
"Because there are more schools now and they need teachers," Christina concluded.
The first time Helena heard her daughter utter the expression whatevs she actually made a pained little noise. Myka chuckled and the two shared a look. Helena did not appear to be amused.
Christina's summer education had consisted, per Claudia's recommendation, of computer games, movies, toys and TV shows. The girl had eagerly soaked up all of it. It only took her a couple of weeks to master the Wii and she now frequently beat Pete, but had yet to beat Claudia, something which had the competitive young girl quite miffed.
Helena had met with Jo's sister to discuss Christina's education. Even though she was far from happy with the subject selection and topics taught, Helena found them acceptable. She decided that she could fill in the gaps herself, or perhaps she could get Helen to assist. Helena was pleased to learn that boys and girls were in class together and that science was an important part of the education. Apparently penmanship was not, something she did not approve of. Deciding that Christina already had excellent penmanship she let the topic rest.
While Helena had been busy with Christina's schooling, Myka had enlisted Leena's help in decorating one of the empty rooms at the inn. Innocent little questions had given them insight into Christina's preferences and taste. Together the two had transformed the room into a little girl's room. It had all happened during a weekend when Helena had taken Christina to see Helen Magnus.
Myka smiled at Helena sitting next to her in the car. Christina was in the backseat reading. They were almost home she noted as she took the last turn, taking them back to Leena's. Myka had picked the two up at the airport as they returned from their visit with Helen Magnus in Old City.
"We have a surprise for you two," she said and grinned at Helena.
"Should I worry?" Helena asked and eyed Myka a little suspiciously.
"Not at all. It's actually a surprise for Christina, more so than you."
"For me?" the girl said, suddenly interested in the conversation between the two women.
"What is it?" she asked excitedly.
"Can't tell you."
Christina made a face. "Can we at least go faster then?" she muttered.
Helena gaped at the girl and then the two women burst out laughing. Myka pressed down the gas pedal a little firmer, bringing them closer to home.
Christina was out of the car in a second. Myka and Helena hurried to catch up with her.
"Indiana Wells! You're back," Pete exclaimed and swung Christina up in the air.
Christina laughed and hugged him. "Myka said that there is a surprise. Do you know what it is?"
"I do," he said and grinned.
"What is it?"
Pete put her down and made a zipping gesture over his mouth. Christina rolled her eyes.
"Christina?" Myka said and held out her hand to the girl.
Christina took Myka's hand and eagerly followed her upstairs. Helena and Pete trailed behind; Pete almost as excited as the girl, Helena sporting a look of amusement.
Leena met them in the hallway upstairs. Christina ran over to her and hugged her.
"Did you miss me?" she asked. "I missed you."
"I missed you a lot," Leena said and smiled at her. "The cookies don't come out as good when you're not here."
Myka walked up to them and exchanged a look with Leena.
"Close your eyes, munchkin," Myka said and smiled at Christina.
Christina took Myka's hand and let her and Leena lead her down the hall. Myka opened the door to the girl's new room and the three went inside.
"Can I open my eyes now?" Christina asked impatiently when they stopped.
"Yes you can," Leena confirmed.
Christina opened her eyes and gasped as she looked around the room.
"Is this for me?" she whispered.
"All yours," Pete confirmed from over by the door. "I sure don't want a pink bedspread with daisies."
Christina giggled and ran over to the bed, which really did have a pink bedspread with tiny little daisies on it. She picked up the doll that rested against the throw pillows. Turning around she beamed at them.
"This is fantastic!"
Myka had moved over to Helena and the two were holding each other as they watched the little girl out of time discover her new room.
"Thank you darling," Helena whispered and kissed Myka. "Thank you so very much."
To Be Continued
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