DISCLAIMER: Warehouse 13 and it's characters belongs to Jack Kenny and Syfy.This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: A huge thank you to purrpickle for editing this for me, anything remaining are my own.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To atsammy[at]gmail.com
SPOILERS: Don't Hate the Player
High Kicks and Pillow Cases
Claudia sat up against her headboard with a huff, trying to force her annoyance to override the panic that was still making her skin itch. Every time she closed her eyes she could still feel the restraints the doctors used on her when she refused her medication. Twice, she'd ignored it enough to almost drift off, and instead of the blissful blackness of sleep, she felt the drugged slowness that came with the anesthesia they used when she was given electro-shock therapy. She pulled her knees to her chest and hugged them tightly, fighting the urge to pull a blanket over her head.
After several long minutes watching the numbers on her alarm clock change, she slipped out of bed and padded to the door. Leena had wine stashed away downstairs, even though no one talked about it around Pete. Claudia might not have been twenty-one yet, but she didn't think Leena would say anything. In the hallway, her attention was caught by the faint light shining under Myka's door. It was a sight she'd missed in the four months that Myka had been... away. Claudia didn't like thinking that Myka had been off hiding from the world, because Myka was... strong, she didn't hide from anything. Even when she did.
After a mental debate, she cancelled her alcoholic plans and detoured to Myka's door. She tapped out a knock and opened the door without waiting for a response. She stepped inside and closed the door as Myka's head shot up and her hand flew towards her nightstand.
"Whoa, it's just me," Claudia shrieked as Myka's hand closed around her Tesla. She pressed back against the door, her hands up even as Myka closed her eyes and let go of the weapons.
"Claudia..." Myka breathed out. "I'm sorry."
"No, no, it's my fault. I'll just... go. I'll just go. Sorry!" Claudia grabbed for the doorknob.
"Claud, it's ok." Myka closed the book she had in her lap and set it aside. "What's wrong?"
Claudia started to shove her hands into her pockets and remembered belatedly that her pajama pants didn't have pockets. "Can I... come in?"
Myka rolled her eyes, and Claudia relaxed incrementally. The senior agent picked up the other pillow and set it against the head board. "Get over here."
A moment later, Claudia was seated cross-legged on the bed, her fingers picking at the fabric of Myka's comforter. She could feel Myka's eyes on her, but now that she was there, she just wanted to pull that blanket over her head and hide. Again. Myka had been so concerned while they were stuck in the game, and even after, on their way home, she'd felt Myka keeping an eye on her on the way back home, though she'd never said anything.
"So what is keeping you awake?"
Claudia looked up and met her gaze, surprised. "How'd you know..."
Myka smiled and reached over and touched her fingers to Claudia's wrist. "It's after midnight, and I heard you go to bed over an hour ago."
"Oh. I don't know." She reached behind her and pulled the pillow to her. She rested her chin against it and closed her eyes.
Myka's hand moved, and Claudia felt it run through her hair.
"Did it have something to do with what happened in the game?"
"No," she mumbled, lying, then shook her head. "Yeah."
"Did that really happen to you?"
Myka's voice was so soft, so gentle, that Claudia felt tears well in her eyes, and she turned away.
"Sorta," she said, squeezing the pillow tight. She glanced at Myka, and when she didn't see pity on Myka's face, she leaned over until she could rest her head against Myka's shoulder. Myka wrapped her arm around Claudia's shoulders. "I was there for over a year, until I was sixteen. Dr. Mitchner was the therapist I saw the most there. It was... really hard, there. I was so alone, since Joshua disappeared, and by that point I honestly thought that I was going insane."
Myka's arm tightened around her fractionally, and she continued. "They tried me on surmontil and prozac, and then the heavy stuff. Nothing stopped the depression or the delusions they said I had, and so he recommended the electric stuff. The first time, I agreed. It was... horrible. I didn't want to do it again, but Dr. Mitchner petitioned the courts for guardianship, so that he could do what he thought was best. He won."
"They did it three more times before I turned sixteen and broke out of there. It took me a long time to figure out what was real, and what wasn't. For the drugs to stop affecting me. I used to dream about it, about the restraints and the drugs, but they stopped after we found Joshua."
"But tonight?" Myka prodded gently.
"Every time I laid down, all I felt were the restraints, like they were hooking me up to that machine again." She felt herself tugged backwards, and pulled away to see Myka settling back against the headboard. With Myka's hand still curled around her shoulder, she resumed her place against her. From one breath to another, she felt safe, for the first time since she found herself on the table in the game.
"Do you want to stay here tonight?"
Claudia shrugged, then nodded. They sat there like that for a while, and Claudia was suprised to find that her eyes were drifting shut. The third time they stayed closed, she shook herself awake. "Why are you still awake? No dreams about psychotic psychobabbling doctors?"
"No, no doctors. Just... reading."
From her position, Claudia could just make out part of the title of the book Myka had set aside. The Invisible Man. Oh, Myka, she thought. She turned until she was curled against Myka's side and wrapped her arm around her waist. "I'm sorry, Mykes," she said, her eyes locked on the book.
"What for?" Myka's hand slid up to play with Claudia's hair, and for a moment Claudia felt like she thought a cat must when their human petted them.
"That H.G. couldn't stay. For you."
Beneath her, she felt Myka freeze, just for a moment, before starting to breathe again. "Thank you."
"It was nice to see her again, though," Claudia offered.
Myka laughed lightly. "It was, yes. She looked... better."
"Do you think she will ever be able to come back?"
"I don't know. It would be nice if she changed... if she came back, but I don't know if that will ever happen."
They were quiet for awhile, and Claudia found herself once more drifting, eyes hooded. Myka shifted under her again, and the room went dark. Claudia moved away, and Myka slid down until she was lying down. Claudia curled up on the other side of the bed. She could feel herself starting to get tense, and she squeezed her eyes shut. She tried to breathe, and the next thing she knew, the mattress beside her pushed down and she was getting pulled onto her side and back into Myka's arms.
"Come here, Claud," Myka whispered, and Claudia clung to her.
She buried her face in Myka's shoulder and felt like the biggest child ever. "I'm not afraid of the dark, I swear," she muttered even as her hand curled around the back of Myka's neck.
She felt Myka kiss the top of her head and pull the blankets up around them. And there it was, she was safe again.
"Promise me you won't leave again?"
"Claudia," Myka sighed.
"It's just, you're like my big-sister-super-hero-special-agent-mentor-of-high-kicks, and it totally sucked while you were gone because you weren't here. I know you had your reasons and that you came back and all, but you can't leave me here."
Myka was quiet for a long moment, her hand coming up to play with Claudia's hair again. Claudia couldn't help the question that went through her mind, 'had Myka done this with H.G.?' It was a small bed and breakfast, and no one had ever been able to hide anything for long. As private as both Myka and H.G. had been, it was hard to miss the faint tones of early morning conversations through Claudia's wall, and the times that she occasionally found them in the aisles at the Warehouse, sharing small kisses in between inventory.
"I know where I belong," Myka finally replied. "I won't be leaving again."
"Good. Because I found you when you ended up in Colorado Springs. I can find you anywhere. You leave again? I'll drag you back."
Myka laughed, and Claudia relaxed.
"I wouldn't expect anything less."
Claudia closed her eyes, and this time, the panic set in, but it was not to the degree it had been when she was by herself. Myka moved her arm, settling it further down Claudia's back.
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