DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are used without permission. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To corchen[at]gmail.com

(lady i will touch you with my mind)
By Corchen


"Myka, I'm sending you and Agent Wells to Massachusetts." Artie sounded distinctly aggrieved as he spoke, glaring at his computer screen.

Myka looked up from the file she was looking through and cocked her head to one side - Helena rather wisely kept her mouth shut. If Artie was referring to her as 'Agent Wells' and talking as if she wasn't there, it probably wasn't the best time to engage him in conversation. Still, at least he was acknowledging that she existed - actually sending her on an assignment? That was a first.

"Pete's still away on vacation and I need Claudia here."

Oh. So he would have sent Pete with Myka if he could - or Claudia. Nice to know that the apprentice was still seen as more useful than she was. Helena sighed silently and pinched the bridge of her nose. Myka shot her a sympathetic look as the movement registered out of the corner of her eye, and then turned her attention back to Artie.

"Why?" She asked. "What's happening?"

"There have been some reports from a bed and breakfast," Artie continued, "that seem to imply that there's an artefact at work. It all centers around one room in particular, so I'm booking the two of you in for a few days - I'm afraid you'll have to share as the budget won't stretch to two rooms, that place is utterly exorbitant."

He tilted his chin down and looked at them over the top of his glasses - including Helena for the the first time.

"I hope that won't be a problem."

Myka shook her head, and Helena lifted her shoulders in a slight shrug.

"Not at all," Helena said. "I often shared a bed with my fellow agents when we were travelling."

Myka's brows shot up towards her hairline. A bed? Surely Artie only meant that they would be sharing a room. She frowned questioningly at him.

"Yes, you'll be sharing a bed - the Hawthorne doesn't appear to have double rooms. You should feel quite at home, Agent Wells," he said, actually directing his gaze at Helena for more than a few seconds. There wasn't even more than a hint of rancor in his gaze, either. Perhaps, Helena thought with a tinge of disbelief, he was actually starting to think that she might not be entirely monstrous. "The whole place is decorated with antiques - I doubt there's anything in the building that dates from much later than 1900."

Helena smiled wryly at him. Well, he was being pleasant, after a fashion, but did he have to do it by drawing attention to her oddities?

"I'm sure I shall feel quite comfortable," she assured him politely, with a warm smile that he almost returned, before he turned back to his computer muttering about reservations and exorbitant room rates and why did the artefact effects have to be based around the most expensive room anyway?

Myka was staring rather resolutely at the wall, the faintest hint of a blush tinting her cheeks. Helena pursed her lips slightly as she looked at her, wondering what Myka could be thinking to cause that sort of expression. She was sure that it was most interesting.

Myka was, in fact, a little perturbed by the idea of sharing a bed with Helena. Something about the idea of having the other woman so close - near enough to touch, in fact - was a little discomfiting. It wasn't as if she was unused to touching Helena either - the other woman could be very tactile at times. But something about sleeping next to her... And why did that matter? It was just Helena. She shook her head with a little grimace, trying to clear her mind of the uncomfortably vague thoughts, and attempted to return to her work.

They arrived at the B&B early the next evening, after a pleasingly uneventful journey. Myka had taken the chance to catch up on her reading (she'd been stuck on book three of the Thursday Next series for over a year now, and really wanted to know just why 'Something Rotten' was supposed to be Fforde's best book). Helena had spent a large proportion of the plane ride listening to her iPod - a gift from Claudia who had been shocked that she didn't have one.

When the taxi pulled up outside the B&B, Myka had been unable to keep in the small sigh of pleasure that escaped her at the sight of it. Artefact or not, the building was lovely - pale stone and wood in gorgeously green grounds. Helena shot her a smile.

"Lovely, isn't it?" She said, and Myka nodded.

"Just gorgeous," she agreed. "This is one assignment I'm sure I'm going to enjoy." Even if Artie had been curiously reticent when it came to explaining exactly what they were looking for, saying only that he was 'sure that it would be perfectly obvious'.

They were met by one of the proprietors of the inn, who smiled at them as she cross-checked their reference. Everything was going smoothly until she looked across at them with a particularly big smile, and a slightly wicked twinkle in her eyes.

"By the way, congratulations - would you like me to bring up your complimentary tea or coffee, or would you rather be left alone? I know I didn't want to think about anything so mundane as coffee when I was on my honeymoon!"

Myka froze, still unbending from the register with the pen in her hand. Honeymoon? What the... Why would she think that? Was this part of their cover? Had Artie said that-- Her frantic train of thought was broken when Helena stepped neatly up beside her and slipped her arm around Myka's waist.

"Oh, I think we'll be fine left to our own devices," she drawled, voice just a few notes lower than usual. "I'm sure we can think of something to occupy ourselves." She gave Myka a gentle squeeze. "Don't you think, darling?"

It was all Myka could manage just to nod - she was too shocked to manage anything else. Not so much at the idea of posing as a couple - that was a fairly standard cover - but because it was Helena. They had never spoken about sexuality, after all it wasn't exactly an appropriate topic of conversation in the work-place, and out of the work-place, it had just never come up. But although they had never spoken about it, she hadn't expected Helena - a product, after all, of the Nineteenth Century - to have been comfortable with the idea of same-sex relationships. After all, hadn't she once read that the reason lesbian relationships had never been illegal in Britain was because no-one could bring themselves to explain it to Queen Victoria? And the Victorians had been notorious prudes. So to hear Helena not only being totally unfazed by the idea but in fact embracing it - well. It was a little odd, to say the very least.

Helena broke Myka's confused thoughts again, by chuckling in her ear - and sounding remarkably filthy. How had she not known that Helena had a dirty laugh? Her cheeks reddened - this conversation was giving her the most inappropriate thoughts.

"I think she's still just a little distracted," Helena chuckled. "If you'll excuse us, I think perhaps I should take her upstairs and distract her a little more."

And apparently, she had a dirty mind as well. The woman checking them in laughed and took the forms from Myka with a wink.

"You do just that. If we don't see you in time for breakfast, just pop by the kitchen and we'll come up with something."

"Thank you," Myka managed, past her blush.

They followed the woman along the hallway to their room, and stepped inside. She gave them a wink, and shut the door. Myka covered her hands with a groan, shaking her head.

"I'm going to call Artie," she mumbled past her hands, "and tell him that next time he pulls something like this I'm going to kill him."

"Oh dear," Helena said over her shoulder, crossing the room to inspect the book-case. "Am I really that bad a prospect? My heart is breaking." Her mock-sorrowful tone was absolutely ridiculous, and Myka rolled her eyes at her back.

"Very funny," she told her as she pulled out her Farnsworth.

Artie, when he answered, was wearing an expression of studied innocence. Myka glared at him.

"Explain," she demanded.

"Explain what?" Artie asked, as if he didn't know exactly what.


"Ok, ok, fine. So, everyone who's been affected so far has not only stayed in that room, but they were all married couples. That's why I wanted to send Pete, really - and why it wouldn't have been exactly convincing sending Claudia. So I'm very sorry that you and Agent Wells are having to pose as a couple, but if either of you has a problem with it - well. Don't, that's all."

Myka sighed and rolled her eyes at him. Why had he been so secretive? He could have just told them - at least then she would have been prepared. Besides, would the artefact even have any effect on them, given that they weren't married - weren't anything, in fact.

"Neither of us has a problem," she said. "But I don't see that just pretending to be a couple is going to make the artefact manifest."

"Oh, I'm fairly sure that it will," Artie said mysteriously. "Or rather, Mrs Frederick is sure that it will, and that amounts to much the same thing."

"You're still not going to tell me what we're looking for, are you?" Myka said with a long-suffering sigh.

"I'm afraid not," Artie told her. "It should be patently obvious. Have a good night."

With that, he disappeared, and Myka was left to scowl at the Farnsworth. Damn Artie. Why did he have to be so mysterious? It was as if he was enjoying teasing her - and that little smirk on his face as he signed off was rather worrying.

"Oh, this should be interesting." Helena had been muttering to herself on the other side of the room as she went through the bookshelf, and was now making her way to the overstuffed armchair next to the fire with an old book in her hand.

"What's that?" Myka asked, slightly distracted by worries about just what the artefact was that should be 'patently obvious'.

"German translation of a Greek philosophy work," Helena said, sitting down and curling up in the chair with her feet tucked under her. "I think I shall disappear into this book for a little while, and then get an early night. I'm sorry that we can't leave the room and maintain our little act of marriage - I'm afraid you'll have to stay cooped up with me."

"That's fine," Myka smiled. "Although if you're going to get lost in a book, I think I'll take a bath. I feel all grubby from the plane and there's a bubble-jet tub."

"Sounds divine," Helena said, looking up from her book. "Is there room for two?"

Myka's mouth dropped open, and she could feel her cheeks burning. She spluttered slightly, Helena chuckled, and there was that dirty laugh again.

"You should see your face," she said. "Go and take your bath, darling, Democritus and I will be waiting for you when you've finished."

Myka glared at Helena - the effect of which was muted by the fact that she somehow couldn't bring herself to be annoyed at the other woman's flirtations - and headed into the bathroom. What had come over Helena, anyway? She'd never made that sort of suggestive comment before. It must just be her way of reminding herself not to break cover. Yeah, that must be it. With her mind reassured, she span the taps on and puttered around the bathroom finding toiletries and towels and stripping off, folding her clothes neatly on the counter and realising with annoyance that she had left her pyjamas in her suitcase. Oh well, she could collect them in a towel. Helena wouldn't mind. Actually, given those comments, she would probably - no, Myka. Not going there.

With a pleasurable sigh, she lowered herself into the steaming hot water, and turned on the jets. God, that felt good. It hadn't been a long plane ride but the seats in coach were not comfortable, and her back was tight. The jets felt wonderful against her tired muscles - although she would have enjoyed warm hands more. She couldn't stop herself from wondering if Helena gave a good back-rub.

What the hell was going on in her head?

Time to be rational. Helena was a very attractive woman - there was no way she could deny that. She was beautiful, and slender, and her legs went on for miles and her mouth was a study in perfection. Wait, had she actually studied those lips, to know that? Looking back on it, yes, she had. She'd studied most aspects of Helena Wells - without quite realising that she had. Crap. Oh, crap, crap, crap. She had a fucking crush, a teenage, grade-school crush. And now she had to share a bed with the object of her recently-admitted desires. Well now. Wasn't that going to be fun.

Myka hadn't really enjoyed the bath. She had been too taken up with worrying about her feelings for Helena. So, it wasn't as if she had never found another woman attractive. Her primary interest was in men, sure, but she had always thought of herself as what Claudia would undoubtedly term 'heteroflexible'. It wasn't the fact that she found Helena physically attractive that was bothering her so much, it was that it was such an intense attraction - it was completely inappropriate. They had to work together! How was she supposed to maintain a professional relationship with someone when she was wondering what they looked like under their clothes. Oh God. What <did Helena look like?

Never mind that. What did she feel like. What would that perfectly honed body feel like under her hands, would she be all hard muscle or would she have some feminine softness still? Myka couldn't really imagine that Helena would be entirely hard. She let her eyes drift shut as she luxuriated in the bath, just thinking about Helena. For a moment she felt an almost irresistible temptation to call out of the bathroom that yes, there was in fact room for two, and Helena should join her. She smiled at the thought, before shaking her head and sitting up.

She had to stop thinking like that, right now. Had to, because otherwise... Well, it just wasn't professional. And this bubble-jet bath, nice as it felt, really wasn't helping her in maintaining a calm frame of mind. The bubbles were... stimulating. So she turned the jets off, hurriedly washed herself and her hair, and climbed out of the bath, wrapping up in a towel and padding out to find her pyjamas.

Helena was still sitting where she had left her, curled up in a chair with the book. It had turned almost completely dark outside since Myka had gone into the bathroom but rather than turn on a light, Helena had simply turned further into the fire and was reading by its flickering light. The flames cast a warm glow over her skin bringing out red highlights in her hair. She looked completely content and Myka could imagine her sitting like that a hundred years ago before all of this - the Warehouse, the artefacts, everything - had happened. Back when she'd just been Helena Wells, not Agent Wells of Warehouse 12. Myka wished she had known that person.

She crossed the room to her suitcase and bent down to dig out her pyjamas. She usually slept in a nightshirt but if she was going to be sharing a bed with Helena, she had thought that perhaps cotton pjs would be more appropriate. Helena looked up as Myka crossed the room, and laughed softly.

"You're all wet," she observed, voice just a little crackly from not speaking. The huskiness of it sent a shiver straight down Myka's spine. "Do you need a hand with that?"

Myka blushed bright red and pulled her pyjamas out of the case, turning to shoot a scowl at Helena. Responding to her flirtatious comments had been awkward enough before she'd realised that she was attracted to her. It was going to be pure hell now, hearing Helena saying something like that and knowing that she didn't really mean it.

"No, thank you," she said primly, resolving to simply ignore the blush. It was dark enough and the light from the fire was red enough anyway that she was fairly sure that Helena wouldn't be able to tell. "I can manage fine."

She returned to the bathroom with Helena's filthy chuckle in her ears, and stared at herself in the mirror.

"Keep your hands to yourself, Myka," she commanded herself quietly, trusting to the closed door to keep her voice from carrying. "It's just for one night. You can do this." She was wilfully ignoring the fact that they were booked into the B&B for two nights. They were going to find this damned artefact tomorrow. Anything else just wasn't an option.

"I think I'm going to climb into bed with my book," she said when she came out of the bathroom, only half-looking over at Helena. "I know it's still early but I'm really tired - stay up as long as you like, you won't keep me up."

"I'll probably join you then," Helena replied, climbing out of the chair and stretching, both arms above her head and arching her back, catlike. Myka couldn't help herself - she had to stare. She was pretty sure she'd looked away before Helena noticed, though, and even if Helena had noticed her looking surely she wouldn't have thought anything of it. "Wouldn't want to wake you up later."

"Um, fine," Myka mumbled, studiedly looking down at her book. "Whatever you like."

Helena took her own nightclothes out of her overnight bag and crossed to the bathroom, shutting the door behind her with a click. Myka flopped back against the headboard and stared up at the ceiling. Could this get any harder? Her question was answered a few minutes later, when Helena walked out of the bathroom in her nightdress. It was a strapless satin affair that barely brushed the tops of her knees, in that shade of sky-blue that she so often favoured. That wasn't Victorian nightwear. If she had thought about it - and she totally hadn't - she had expected Helena to sleep in some long-sleeved, ankle-length, voluminous cotton shift. Not.... That.

And - oh dear. She wasn't wearing a bra, and Myka could quite clearly see the shape of her nipples through the satin. Myka's eyes widened, and she looked quickly back down at her book. No staring. Staring was bad. But the idea of Helena sleeping next to her, wearing that. Myka only hoped she was wearing panties... and that line of thought needed to be squashed. Right. Book. Reading, not thinking about the fact that Helena was climbing into the bed next to her, flashing a length of smooth, toned thigh, ignoring the way the mattress dipped and she could almost feel the heat of the other woman's body next to her.

She managed to concentrate on her book for almost an hour, only half-distracted by Helena's movements next to her as she turned the pages of her own book, before she had to give up. She just couldn't stay interested in the adventures of Thursday Next when she had the most gorgeous woman she had ever seen sitting barely dressed next to her, under the same sheets. With a sigh, she slipped the bookmark in between the pages, and set the book down on the nightstand.

"Good night, Helena," she said, slipping down under the covers and turning on her side, away from the other woman. "Don't worry about keeping me up." She sighed almost soundlessly. I'll barely sleep anyway with you next to me.

"I won't stay up terribly long," Helena assured her, looking over at Myka's turned back. "Sweet dreams, Myka."

Myka could tell the instant she closed her eyes, that sleep would not come quickly. The second she was in that warm dark place behind her eyelids, her mind and body started playing with her. She'd been on edge all evening, but now, eyes closed, feeling Helena's weight and warmth next to her, she couldn't keep her thoughts under control. What would it be like to have Helena, just once, ignoring everything she knew, ignoring the fact that there was no way, even if Helena was that way inclined which of course she wasn't, that Helena would want her. What would those perfect lips feel like under her own, was her skin really as soft as it looked, what would those nipples she had caught a tantalising half glance of feel like hardening against her palms, her lips, her tongue?

Next to her, Helena cleared her throat and shifted slightly, turning a page of her book.

She shouldn't let her mind wander like this, not when Helena was right there, but she just couldn't stop. Besides, what harm could it do? Helena would never know what she was thinking, and perhaps giving in to her fantasies, just once, would get it out of her system. If she let all of those thoughts happen without trying to censor herself, maybe they wouldn't crop up at the worst possible moment. She sighed slightly and wriggled a little further down into the bed, giving in to the inevitable. She couldn't believe that she was fantasising about Helena when she was right there, but there was no point trying to control her subconscious.

Helena turned another page, and Myka wondered, thinking about those elegant fingers delicately lifting a single piece of paper, what they would feel like against her skin. Would she be gentle, tentative, or would she be more forceful? Would she use her nails or just the soft pads of her fingers? She fought the urge to shiver as a prickle ran up her spine at the thought, a wave of goosebumps that ran over her scalp delightfully. God. Helena's fingers in her hair - she could only imagine how wonderful that would feel.

Or her hands in Helena's hair. She'd always wondered if that heavy mass of glossy waves felt as soft and silky as it looked. Now, she longed to spend hours running her fingers through Helena's hair, caressing her scalp, combing out the curls into shiny waves. She could almost feel the warm mass of it against her hands that clenched slightly under the covers, could almost imagine that the smooth sheets she felt were in fact Helena's hair.

She had a sudden vivid image, just a flash, a still-life, of herself curled up in that wingback chair by the fire with Helena on the hearthrug, leaning back against her knees. They were both reading, sitting in companionable silence, and when she reached down to run her fingers idly through Helena's hair, Helena made a small noise of contentment and turned her head sideways to rub her cheek, catlike, against Myka's knee.

Helena sighed quietly and Myka could hear her shifting about slightly, rearranging the pillows behind her back before she settled back again with a satisfied noise that was remarkably similar to the noise Myka had imagined her making just a moment before.

Hm. There were many other noises that Myka would like to hear from her lips. Did she moan or whimper, was she quiet or loud - did she even make any noise at all? Did she gasp incoherently or was she one of those people who could remain irritatingly capable of speech no matter what you did to them? Myka was fairly certain she wouldn't be silent though. Helena was too vocal in her appreciation of things - she even made little moans of happiness at the first mouthful of coffee - to be silent in bed.

She was fairly certain that Helena would be able to make her scream.

And as this was a fantasy, she could imagine that she would be able to do the same. Just because she didn't have any experience out there in the real world didn't mean she couldn't pretend in her head. She longed to map out every inch of Helena's body with her lips. To taste her skin, feel it warm and silky against her lips and tongue, codify each and every one of its myriad textures. She had never understood the obsession with breasts that seemed to prevail in so many aspects of life, but she did now - she could spend hours just calculating the curve of Helena's breasts. She was assailed with a vivid sense-memory of a mouth on her nipple, of the warmth and wetness and the pulling sensation that seemed to be centered not on her breast but further down, as if there was a line of force from her nipple to her belly, and every sensation was transmitted straight down through her gut to pool low in her groin.

Helena cleared her throat and Myka could feel her moving next to her, leaning sideways to put the book down on the bedside cabinet before sliding down under the covers. Her knees brushed the backs of Myka's thighs as she slid down and Myka almost jumped out of her skin, so sensitised that the innocent touch felt like the most erotic thing she had ever experienced. She bit down on her lower lip not to make a noise.

"Are you asleep?" Helena whispered, and Myka could feel her breath stirring the hairs at the back of her neck and knew that Helena was lying facing her, near enough that her breath could travel the short distance. The thought was intoxicating.

"Not quite," she murmured, shocked at how low and sex-soaked her voice sounded. Hopefully Helena would think it was just sleep. "Good night, Helena."

"Good night, darling," Helena said quietly, before turning over - onto her back, Myka thought.

For a moment Myka was tempted to roll over, just so that she could look at Helena, but thought better of it. She was fairly certain her eyes were glazed over with desire, and she didn't want Helena to see her like that. Besides, she could imagine what Helena looked like, lying there, hair loose and tumbled on the pillows, eyes closed, lips maybe a little parted. She would want to see her from a different angle anyway, not merely from the next pillow over but from above, she would love to have Helena lying like that under her. Wanted to straddle her hips and lean down with her hands planted either side of Helena's shoulders, wanted to kiss her breathless.

She was feeling a little breathless herself.

God, she had to stop this.

She had never been more turned on in her life than she was now, lying there, immobile, every centimeter of her skin blazing with the awareness of Helena next to her. She was literally throbbing - it was almost painful, how aroused she was. She knew that if she was alone, if she was at liberty to slide a hand down into her pyjamas and between her thighs, that it would only take a few moments before she was tumbling over into orgasm. But she wasn't alone, and even if she had thought she could be subtle enough that Helena would never sense the movement, she still wouldn't be able to touch herself with Helena in the bed.

Even if the thought of her own hand bringing her to orgasm while Helena watched sent a stab of wanting through her that was so sharp it felt almost like an orgasm itself.

She clenched her fists and brought her hands up under her pillow, just in case. She hadn't been lying about being tired from the plane ride, and despite her intense state of arousal, she could feel sleep stealing up on her. She could only hope that her body didn't betray her in her sleep - she would never be able to look at Helena again if she ended up molesting the other woman in the middle of the night. She took a deep breath, and tried to calm down, but her mind kept drifting back to Helena - resigning herself, she let it wander. She couldn't have said, in the end, when she went from day-dreaming to actually dreaming.

Helena, however, could have said exactly when Myka slipped into sleep - if anyone had been there to ask her.

Helena had been glad of her 'iPod' on the plane journey. (Such an odd name for a music-player, but then, so many things were odd now that they all seemed to blur into one another and become almost commonplace. Almost.) Myka had been lost in her book, and under pretence of being fascinated with the little device, Helena had been able to indulge in her true fascination - Myka. With her head bent down over her book, Helena could study her profile to her heart's content. Myka was sitting in the window seat - she had offered it to Helena but Helena preferred Myka over any other view, and sitting this way around gave her the excuse that she was merely looking out of the little window, should the other woman wonder why Helena was always looking in her direction.

Myka's face was in silhouette against the light coming in from the window - Helena couldn't keep her eyes from tracing that perfect profile again, and again. She knew it was pointless. Myka had never given any indication that she would be amenable to Helena's advances, and Helena had been burned too many times in the past to be anything but cautious when it came to other women. And it seemed that the subtle ways of ascertaining a woman's interest in you, or otherwise, had fallen into disuse while she had been frozen in time. She valued Myka's friendship too much, in any case, to risk a dalliance that had the potential to go so horribly wrong. Despite the fact that she knew, for herself at least, that it would be far more than a 'dalliance'.

She had developed a true appreciation of the other woman during their time working together. Myka was not only beautiful, but she was intelligent, sensitive, self-assured - but she still had the edge of vulnerability that Helena found so irresistible. Really, Myka was just about perfect. Helena was all too aware that she could fall in love with her, deeply and painfully, if she allowed herself. She wouldn't allow that to happen - but she did allow herself the pleasure of just looking.

The bed and breakfast that they were to stay in was a pleasant surprise - when Myka had sighed happily at the sight of it, Helena had been just as appreciative. There was, to her, something very familiar about the building, and when they stepped inside, that familiarity only intensified. It wasn't quite the way she remembered houses or hotels being, but it was close, very close. It was intensely pleasurable to, for the first time since she woke up, be somewhere that felt so... right. Having Myka there with her only made it sweeter.

And then the woman who met them at the door had misunderstood their relationship - or rather, had been misinformed as to its nature. Helena didn't have time to wonder why that was - Myka had obviously been taken by surprise just as much as Helena had, and by the looks of her she was about to blow their cover. So Helena did what seemed like the most natural thing in the world, and slid her arm around Myka's waist, her heart singing at the chance to indulge herself in something she had never thought might be possible.

She hadn't missed the subtle tensing of Myka's body when she had touched her, but when she had squeezed her gently and made that slightly wicked comment, Myka had relaxed again. Helena drew a silent breath - for a moment, she thought that perhaps she had gone too far, but it seemed that she hadn't. She resolved right then to indulge herself, just for the time they were there, and let her truly flirtatious side come to the fore. She might never have this chance again.

How she wished that the things she was saying to the woman were true. If only she was really at liberty to take Myka to 'their' bedroom and... distract her. What a truly delightful evening that would be. Still, she could let her tongue run free, even if she had to behave when it came to other matters.

The little quip once they had reached their room had been irresistible. She knew that, really, she didn't have an excuse to keep up the charade, but the wicked part of herself that sometimes took over insisted that she should push this, just a little. After all, she would probably never have another chance. And Myka's response, even though it hadn't been encouraging, had at least not been offended. Helena would continue to indulge herself.

While Myka contacted Artie, Helena busied herself with an inspection of the book-case. Like the rest of the furnishings and artwork in the building, very little there was dated much past the end of the Nineteenth Century. It was a little strange to see books she had read when they had been first published, their bindings crisp and bright, now faded and worn - museum pieces, almost, a little like Helena herself. Shaking off the moment of melancholy, she ran the tip of one forefinger gently over the spines of the books, reading the titles to herself. (And eavesdropping, just a little. Myka's rather indignant statement to Artie that neither of them had a problem with pretending to be together was... interesting.)

One in particular caught her eye - a German translation of a Greek work. She'd always been interested in the works of Democritus, but she'd never had a chance to read him - hadn't, in fact, been aware that any of his works had survived.

"This should be interesting," she murmured as she pulled it out from the shelf, opening the covers to inspect the flyleaf. Huh. It had once, apparently, belonged to Sigmund Freud - she wondered how it had come to be in a bed and breakfast in Massachusetts. She would be willing to bet that there was a story there.

Taking the book with her, she made her way to the comfortable-looking chair that was angled towards the fireplace. There was a cheerful little fire burning invitingly in the grate, and Helena was looking forwards to curling up in front of it and exploring the book she had found. And then she just had to make that quip about Myka in the bubble-jet tub, whatever one of those was, and for a moment she was worried that she might have gone too far.

It was true that Myka did look adorable, spluttering for words and blushing a bright red, but Helena worried for a moment that she had overstepped the mark - still, she couldn't take the words back. So she just laughed, and made light of her remark. Despite the fact that, had Myka accepted her offer, she would have been in there within a second. Luckily, Myka seemed to take the flirtatious comment light-heartedly, and Helena managed to hold back her sigh of relief until after the bathroom door was shut. That had been a close call - she had almost gone too far with that comment.

Ten minutes or so after Myka had gone into the bathroom, Helena was startled almost out of the chair by a faint sensation, as if someone had laid their hands on the tops of her shoulders. She looked behind her, but there was no-one there. The sensation didn't disappear though - if anything, it intensified, until it almost felt as if there was a pair of hands resting on her shoulders, kneading lightly. There was no sense of threat or malice to the touch - it actually felt good. Helena frowned. Was this a manifestation of the artefact they were looking for?

Well, it had to be really, didn't it. She sat back down in the chair, carefully, trying to catalogue exactly what it was that she was feeling. She closed her eyes to better interpret the sensation. Yes, hands on her shoulders - not large hands, she thought, probably about the same size as her own - and the hands were actually... yes. Massaging her shoulders, before squeezing the back of her neck and working down her spine. Well, if this was all the artefact did, she would be quite content.

Then, suddenly, the sensation was gone as quickly as it had started. One moment the hands had been there, the next they were gone. It was very peculiar - and, actually, a little disappointing. The hands had been very skilled. Thoughtfully, she picked up the book, which had dropped to the floor when she had first half-jumped out of the chair, and opened it again.

Perhaps ten minutes later, there was another phantom sensation. This time, though, it wasn't gentle massaging - this time, the hands were far more personal, roaming over her body, sliding over every inch of her. And... were they wet? She frowned. This was getting uncomfortable - the massage she had been comfortable with, it had been strange but not intrusive, but this, these wet hands that were stroking her so intimately? It was making her feel... Well, actually, it was making her feel aroused, and her body's response to the phantom hands was almost as disturbing as the hands themselves.

One of the hands tweaked her nipple and her head fell back against the chair as she gave a sharp gasp. Yes, her body was definitely responding to the touches of those hands.

"Stop, please," she whispered, only half-hoping that the hands would obey her. After all, she had no idea what was causing the effect.

The hands continued to caress her for a moment longer, before fading away again. Helena shook her head, trying to clear the fog of arousal from her thoughts as she wondered what it was that had caused the phantom hands. This was obviously the work of the artefact they had been sent to find, but what were they looking for? What was the exact effect of the artefact - was it a horny poltergeist? Did they need to perform an exorcism? Or - was it picking up on her own desires? After all, the hands had been wet, and when she thought of Myka she was definitely aware that the other woman was wet - just a few feet away on the other side of a thin wall. So perhaps it was making her desires into reality.

Frowning harder, she picked up her book and stared at the pages, trying to think. If it was true that the artefact was acting on her own desires, then... How was she going to explain what she had just experienced to Myka? She bit her lip. She couldn't. She just... couldn't. She resolved to find the artefact herself, if she could, and neutralise it without ever telling Myka exactly what had happened. She just couldn't stand for her own desires to destroy their friendship.

By the time Myka came out of the bathroom, Helena had managed to compose herself. Deciding that she wasn't going to tell Myka what had transpired had taken a weight off her mind - she didn't have to think about it, she just had to keep tight control of her feelings, assuming that she was correct in her assumptions. If Myka started to experience any phantom sensations, then Helena would have to rethink her theory but until then, she would just carry on as if nothing had happened.

Myka was an absolute vision, dripping wet and wrapped only in a towel, hair clinging in black curlicues to her neck and shoulders. Once again, Helena couldn't reign in her impulsive tongue, and she hoped that Myka didn't pick up on the wanting that she herself could hear dripping from her voice. Myka blushed even more attractively at Helena's offer to help her with her wetness, and once again Helena wondered if that blush was simply because Myka was uncomfortable with the comment, or because it was Helena who had made the suggestion.

When Myka disappeared back into the bathroom with her pyjamas, Helena shook her head and pinched the bridge of her nose. She really ought to stop making those little remarks. But it was so much fun, making Myka blush that adorable shade of red. She wondered if Myka would blush again at her own night attire - she had thought it rather scandalous when she had bought it, but as far as she could tell it was quite normal. Besides, she adored the way that the satin felt against her skin, almost liquid, slightly cool.

When Myka came out of the bathroom in her rather adorable striped cotton pyjamas and Helena rose from the chair, stretching, she didn't miss the way that Myka stared at her, even though she tried to conceal it. Yes, this was getting more and more interesting. She was beginning to doubt her certainty that Myka wasn't interested in her. And then when she caught sight, out of the corner of her eye, of Myka's response to her night-dress... That was not the way a woman looked at someone she had completely platonic feelings for. Well. She was possibly going to have to rethink her plans.

She slipped into the bed next to Myka, very aware of the nearness of the other woman, and opened her book again. However things between Myka and herself might stand, the book was still fascinating. When Myka sighed quietly and put her own book down, Helena barely glanced over at her as she lay down. She had reached a particularly interesting point in the book and she was rather loath to put it down quite yet.

Of course, her absorption in the book was quickly broken when, perhaps five minutes after Myka had settled down, she felt the phantom touch again. Perhaps it only happened when someone was alone in the room, or at least was the only person awake? If, that was, Myka had fallen asleep that quickly.

It wasn't hands that she felt this time, though, it was lips - covering hers, kissing her with a sweet intensity that had her heart racing. Then she felt the hands again - on her breasts, palming them gently before the fingers skilfully flickered over her nipples. The lips left hers and she bit down on her own lower lip to keep from making a sound as she suddenly felt the fingers at her breast replaced by lips, supple and soft.

She had to keep quiet. Couldn't move. Mustn't wake Myka - even if it felt very wrong to be feeling this when the other woman was asleep less than a foot away from her. She cleared her throat and turned a page of the book, even though she hadn't finished reading it, just to have something to do with her hands. Control, Helena, stay in control.

Myka shifted next to her, moving a little further down under the covers, and Helena glanced over at her, wondering if she was moving in her sleep or if she was actually still awake. Or even if she was feeling what Helena was feeling and was equally unable to bring herself to discuss it. The sensations died away, and Helena took a deep, silent breath, trying to control her racing pulse. This was insane.

Then it was back again. This time she didn't feel as if someone was touching her - it was as if, without moving, her own hands were stroking through hair. Soft, long hair, full of curls. Yes, this really was her desire - it had to be Myka's hair that she was feeling on her hands, its curls slipping through her fingers, teasing her palms. And then she felt hands in her own hair, and had to bite back the pleasured groan that rose in her throat as she felt fingers scratching against her scalp, combing through her hair.

She closed her eyes and there was a sudden lurch and she felt a peculiar doubling sensation. She was fully conscious that she was sitting in the bed, pillows under her back, but at the same time she felt as if she was somewhere else entirely. There was a focused warmth striking her skin from one side - as if she was sitting near to a fire, perhaps, and another, firm warmth behind her back. She was sitting not on the soft mattress but on a hard surface, and then she felt those hands running through her hair again.

She couldn't help the contented sigh that escaped her, and she turned her head slightly to press into the phantom hands, feeling her cheek rubbing across whatever it was that supported her back. She knew this feeling. She was sitting at someone's feet while they stroked her hair - it had been a long time since she'd been that sort of intimate with anyone, but she remembered it. Trying to make the 'real' sensation fit a little better with the phantom reality, she pulled the pillows behind her back up a little.

The sensation faded after that, and Helena was actually disappointed. It was hard keeping from making any sort of reaction to the sensations she was feeling, that was true, but this would perhaps be the closest she would ever get to having her fantasies of Myka come true. There was no guarantee that the interest she had thought that she saw in Myka's eyes had really been there, or that the other woman would want to act on an attraction she might or might not feel.

Then it was back. A mouth, this time, soft lips that kissed her skin, first the side of her neck, then her belly, her thighs, her breasts - it was everywhere at once and Helena's fingers tightened on the book as she bit down on her lip, trying to keep silent. Then the mouth was at her breast - no, breasts, both at once, wet and open around her nipples, suckling firmly. She bit down harder on her lip, tasting blood in her struggle not to cry out. When the sensation was gone, as suddenly as it had come, she cleared her throat, needing to make some noise even if it wasn't the moan that had almost escaped her, and closed the book.

She couldn't keep up the pretence that she was reading. She was going to drop the book, or accidentally tear it, or hit her head against the headboard - she needed to lie down. Placing the book on the bedside cabinet, she slid down under the covers. Her bare knees brushed the backs of Myka's thighs as she slid down and she almost gasped at the electricity of the innocent contact. She needed to know if Myka was still awake.

"Are you asleep?" She whispered, eyes fixed on the back of Myka's neck, noticing the way that her breath stirred the fine hairs there, just a little.

"Not quite," Myka murmured, her voice low and a little husky with sleep. She sounded like sex. "Good night, Helena."

"Good night, darling," Helena said quietly, before turning over, onto her back.

Then it was back. This time, she could feel the whole of her phantom lover. Knees either side of her hips, weight low across her thighs, hands pressing down on either side of her shoulders. Knowing that there was no-one there, that the mattress wasn't really dipping under the weight of an invisible woman - and Helena was convinced it was a woman - didn't make the sensations any less vivid. She felt lips moving on hers, and allowed herself to kiss back.

If she had ever responded more to a kiss, she could not remember when.

Next to her, Myka shifted in the bed, and Helena's heart went from beating fast to lurching crazily inside her chest. This was insane, this was ridiculous, what was she doing? She should do something, say something, but... The lips left her own and started kissing down the side of her neck and she arched her neck with a soundless gasp, fighting to stay silent. Yes, she should do something - but she couldn't. However wrong this was, it felt so totally right at the same time, and she just couldn't bring herself to do or say anything that might make it stop.

The lips continued their path down her body, trailing over her collar bone, along the swell of one breast and then - they were gone. Everything was gone - Helena was suddenly and completely untouched. They were once more alone in the bed, no ghostly third person was taking liberties with her person. Helena lay there, staring up at the ceiling, eyes wide, chest heaving as she fought to keep her rapid breathing silent.

What was happening? What was causing it? She had to figure this out, and quickly, because if it were to happen again the next night... She didn't know that she would be able to remain silent.

Helena woke slowly the next morning, warm and comfortable and cocooned by the soft mattress below her and the soft comforter above her. When she went to stretch though, she realised that the comforter wasn't the only thing keeping her warm - there was a leg thrown over both of hers, an arm curled loosely about her ribs, and a head tucked into the crook of her neck. Apparently Myka was quite the cuddler - and Helena couldn't quite find the strength of will to extricate herself from the other woman's embrace. Instead, she turned her head to the side to brush her cheek across the top of Myka's head and inhale the warm, slightly floral scent of her hair. Her own arm was flung out to the side, under Myka's neck, and she bit her lip as she allowed herself to cautiously wrap it around her shoulders, pulling Myka ever-so-slightly into her.

Myka mumbled something incoherent, soft and sleepy and her arm tightened around Helena's ribs as she nuzzled into the side of her neck, her lips moving on Helena's skin as she muttered, before she relaxed back into full sleep. Helena shivered. She really should wake Myka. She didn't really have to, though, did she? Was it so very wrong to just enjoy this closeness, innocent as it was, for a little while? With a contented sigh, she let herself drift into a doze, luxuriating in the closeness of the woman she so very much wanted.

She woke again, how much later she couldn't have said, to the sound of Myka's slightly panicked apologies, and the feeling of the other woman withdrawing from her. Still half-asleep, she hardened her grip on Myka's shoulders to stop her from pulling away before realising that was crossing the boundary into inappropriate behaviour.

"It's quite alright, Myka," she said, stifling a yawn, and opened her eyes to see Myka's worried gaze only a few inches from her face. "You can hardly be held responsible for your actions whilst asleep."

"But I--"

"No buts," Helena told her, letting her arm drop back onto the bed and stretching with a luxurious groan. "It did not make me uncomfortable - in fact, you make quite the effective hot water bottle, my dear. Doubtless you will from now on find me creeping into your bed on cold nights to warm myself."

Myka made a small indignant sound and climbed out of the bed, heading into the bathroom to begin her morning ablutions. Helena stretched again, finding a deliciously cool patch of sheets with her toes, and contemplated the day ahead of them. They had to find out what was causing the strange happenings in the room, without arousing anyone's suspicions. Or more to the point, Helena had to find out without arousing Myka's. It was a thorny problem.

"Lazybones," Myka teased when she came out of the bathroom and found Helena still in bed. "You need to get up - I want breakfast and I don't think I should go down without my loving wife, do you?"

"Probably not," Helena conceded with a smile, which was as much for the idea of Myka actually being her wife as for Myka's words.

She didn't move, though, choosing instead to lie against the pillows and smirk up at Myka. Mycka, with an impish grin, grabbed the bottom of the comforter and yanked it off the bed, exposing Helena to the cooler air of the room. From the expression on her face, Helena could only assume that Myka regretted her action almost immediately. Myka's cheeks were rapidly colouring that adorable shade of pink, and it wasn't until Helena realised that she could feel the cool air as far up as her stomach that she worked out why Myka was blushing.

During the night, Helena's already-revealing night-dress had ridden up until it came down only as far as the bottom of her ribs. It was with a rather wicked smile that she thought to herself that it had been perhaps a good thing that she had chosen to wear underwear. Otherwise Myka's blush could quite possibly have competed with the still smouldering fire. As if suddenly realising that she was staring, Myka dropped the comforter that she was still clutching in her hands back down onto the end of the bed, and found something to busy herself with. With a low chuckle, Helena finally vacated her comfortable spot, and made her own way into the bathroom to get ready for the day ahead.

When she came back into the bedroom she found Myka sitting in the chair by the fire, paging through the book Helena had been reading the previous night with a look of concentration on her face, lips moving.

"I was not aware that you spoke any German," she said, surprised, and Myka looked up with a slight start.

"Oh, I don't, not really," she said, closing the book and putting it down. "I was just wondering what it was that had you so fascinated last night."

"Have you heard of Democritus?" Helena asked. Myka frowned slightly in thought.

"It's familiar, but I can't say that I remember exactly - you said that was a book on philosophy so I'm assuming he was a philosopher?"

"Yes, from around 400 BC. He was one of the earliest people to have postulated the existence of the atom, so he's often considered to be a scientist rather than a philosopher."

"Fascinating," Myka murmured. Yes, you are, Helena thought, and had to turn away before Myka noticed the look in her eyes.

"Shall we?" She said, motioning towards the door. Even with the charade they had to maintain, it was probably still safer to be in public. At least then she could pass off anything that crept over the boundary from teasing into something more dangerous as simply part of the act.

"After you," Myka said with a smirk, and Helena opened the bedroom door, following her nose towards the dining room. Something smelled absolutely delectable.

Asking around about any odd occurrences or items had proven to be entirely futile. Nobody knew anything - or was willing to say that they knew anything. Besides, it was hard to ask probing questions at the same time as keeping up the impression that they were a new couple. Why had Artie decided on that cover for them, anyway? Helena would have to ask Myka if she could find out next time she talked to him - there was no point in Helena asking, after all, the man was hardly likely to give her any answers.

They had spoken to all of the staff - and endured various knowing smirks - but no-one had been able to tell them anything. Or rather, they had learned a great deal about various objects in the room - their age and provenance, their historical import, if any, and so on. The owners of the B&B were very proud of their collection of art and antiques, but although they had been very forthcoming they hadn't actually been able to tell them anything interesting.

They had eventually come to a mutual agreement to return to the room and see if some hunting around could turn anything up. After all, they had been too tired to look for anything the previous evening - and Helena at least had been much too distracted. Now she had to work out what might have had that particular effect - she couldn't think of an artefact that made one's desires manifest physically. And unfortunately she couldn't ask without admitting how it was that she knew what they were looking for.

"I'll take the bookshelf," Myka said, once the door was safely closed, "d'you want to start with the pictures?"

"Of course," Helena agreed easily, walking across the room to begin with the pictures on the wall, lifting the first one carefully off its hook and turning the frame to look at the back of the canvas. Dismissing it as unimportant (although as an example of Japanese woodblock printing it was rather lovely in its own right) she set it down on the bed and moved to the next. Casting a glance over her shoulder, she found herself momentarily unable to move.

Myka was bending down to pull some items off the bottom of the bookcase, having obviously decided that the best way to proceed was to remove everything, and put it back as she dismissed it. This meant that she was in a rather... revealing pose. Myka had chosen to wear jeans rather than pants that day, and the denim was moulded tightly to her ass. Helena certainly couldn't fault current fashions. What she wouldn't give to be next to Myka, to have the liberty to run her hands over that perfect curve, to...

Myka suddenly squeaked and lost her balance, catching herself with both hands on the bookcase and causing a small book-alanche with her left knee.

"What--" She looked wildly over her shoulder, eyes wide, and Helena frowned at her.

"Are you all right?" She asked, concerned, abandoning the picture she was reaching for and crossing the room to Myka.

"Yes, I'm fine," Myka said slowly, frowning and climbing back to her feet. "I just thought--" She broke off, blushing, and Helena tilted her head to one side with a questioning raise of one eyebrow.

"You thought what, darling?" She asked.

"Well, it felt like.." She trailed off, and her blush deepened. Helena continued to wait expectantly, and eventually Myka cleared her throat and shrugged her shoulders. "It felt as if someone was touching me, but there was no-one there."

Oh no. This was not good. If the artefact was acting on Helena's desires, did that mean that...

"Where, exactly?" She asked, hoping that the trepidation which she felt was not evident in her voice.

"My, ah, my behind," Myka said, now scarlet.

Oh, damn. Now what was she going to do? She hadn't considered the possibility that Myka might be affected by the artefact.

"Oh," she said, rather stupidly. And then, because it was obviously the right thing to say , "oh", again.

"Oh?" Asked Myka, challengingly, narrowing her eyes at Helena. "And what, exactly, do you mean by 'oh'?"

"I might," Helena said, airily, aiming for an air of nonchalance and rather feeling as if she was missing terribly, "have been contemplating the elegant curve of your 'backside', as you put it. I think we have stumbled upon the artefact we are supposed to be looking for."

"Contemplating the--" Myka broke off and screwed up her face. "Never mind, I'm not sure that I want to know. Just - don't do it again?"

"I'll try," Helena said, knowing full well that not thinking about something was almost impossible. Why, not thinking about how much she would love to splay her hands over the firm muscle of Myka's ass and tug the other woman into her as she devoured her mouth would be like--

Her pleasant thoughts were broken into by Myka's outraged gasping of her name.


Helena covered her face with her hands, feeling that she herself was now actually blushing, which didn't happen often. Then again, it wasn't often that the object of one's fantasies was treated to such a graphic demonstration of them.

"Merde," she said, quietly but vehemently.

Myka, who had never heard Helena swear, even in French, was now slightly worried.

"Helena, are you okay?" She asked, when after a few moments Helena still had her hands over her face.

"Yes," Helena mumbled through her hands. "I am merely extremely embarrassed. If you would like to leave me here to continue the investigation without you, I quite understand."

Myka frowned.

"Helena, I..." She trailed off, and Helena looked up to see her biting her lip. "I don't - I mean, it isn't all that big a deal, really. It's not as if it's your fault."

"It can hardly be pleasant, though," Helena said, rather bitterly, moving to sit down on the end of the bed. "Being touched, even remotely, by someone you have no interest in."

Her head was bent and she was staring at her clasped hands which were resting in her lap. It was one thing to fantasise about Myka, it was quite another to have Myka know about those fantasies - and crush them, as she inevitably would. Helena took a deep breath, and looked up to find that Myka had silently crossed the room and was now standing next to her - was, in fact, sitting down on the end of the bed and reaching across to take one of Helena's hands in hers.

"I never said," Myka murmured quietly, "that I have no interest."

When Myka woke that morning it took her a moment to realise where she was. It had been so long since she'd woken up in someone's arms - she hadn't realised how much she had missed it. Her first instinct was to cuddle further into the embrace, push her face into the soft shoulder that was pillowing her head. It wasn't, in fact, until she'd done so and taken a deep breath, enjoying the scent of warm skin and yesterday's perfume that she realised where she was - and who she was with. Shit. Helena. And here Myka was sprawled all over her - what was Helena going to say? It escaped her notice, for the moment, that Helena was as much wrapped around Myka as Myka was draped over Helena.

She started to pull away with a mumbled apology - because she couldn't be entirely sure that Helena was asleep, although she certainly hoped that she was - but Helena's arm curled tighter around her shoulders, pulling her further into the embrace. That was when she noticed that Helena was turned into her, that her arm was wrapped around Myka, and that the look on her face, now that her eyes were open, was a sleepy smile.

"It's quite alright, Myka," she said in a voice that was adorably sleep-thickened. Myka fell silent, captivated by Helena's sleepy, affectionate gaze. "You can hardly be held responsible for your actions whilst asleep."

Myka frowned. Maybe she had been asleep, but she had still been all over Helena, and that was hardly proper behaviour between colleagues.

"But I--" She didn't get very far before Helena was interrupting her again.

"No buts," she told her firmly, removing her arm from about Myka's shoulders and letting it fall back onto the mattress as she stretched with a low groan. Myka could feel herself flushing hotly at the feeling of Helena's body moving against hers and she withdrew quickly, looking anywhere but at Helena's form undulating under the covers, and willing herself to think of other things - cold showers and politics and Artie on a bad morning.

"It did not make me uncomfortable," Helena continued. "In fact, you make quite the effective hot water bottle, my dear. Doubtless you will from now on find me creeping into your bed on cold nights to warm myself."

Myka hoped that the involuntary noise she made at the thought of Helena in her bed on a regular basis would be interpreted as indignant and not longing, and she gave Helena a stern look as she climbed out of the bed. She made her way quickly to the bathroom and, closing the door, leaned back against it with a long sigh. This was going to be hell, if Helena insisted on keeping up her flirtations. It would be hard enough keeping her mind on the investigation with Helena simply there, if the other woman kept up those little remarks Myka was going to an absolute wreck before lunch-time.

She was starting to wonder, now, if there wasn't something behind the flirtation. Could Helena actually be - no. That was a ridiculous idea. Why would she be interested in Myka, anyway, even if her interests did lie in that particular direction? It was just part of their cover, and Helena's naturally flirtatious nature. It was ridiculous to assume there could be anything more to it. And not only ridiculous, but that way lay heartache and disaster. She splashed cold water on her face, and gave herself a stern look in the mirror, before shaking her head and dressing hastily.

When she was dressed, she exited the bathroom to find Helena still in bed, and was hit by a sudden urge to throw back the covers and climb in with her. Helena looked so comfortable - lying in her back with her eyes closed, her brows slightly drawn together as if in thought. Myka wondered what was troubling her. The thought didn't last long though, as she was distracted by the creamy swell of Helena's shoulders above the covers, broken only by the slender straps of her night-dress. She really was stunning. Myka gave herself a mental shake, and headed across the room.

"Lazybones," she told her with a teasing grin. "You need to get up - I want breakfast and I don't think I should go down without my loving wife, do you?"

"Probably not," Helena conceded, opening one eye and smiling at Myka. She didn't move though, and Myka, with a grin of her own, moved to the bottom of the bed and took hold of the comforter. When, after a moment, Helena still hadn't moved, Myka shrugged and whipped the covers off the bed.

She regretted doing so almost immediately. Helena's night-dress, which hadn't covered a great deal of her to start with, had ridden up in the night so that it barely skimmed the bottom of her ribs. Myka found herself confronted with Helena's long, slender legs, and the ever-so-slightly concave plane of her stomach. She swallowed hard, aware that her cheeks were rapidly colouring again, and thought to herself that it was patently unfair that Helena's legs really were that long, it wasn't just the boots which she was so fond of wearing.

Oh, God. She was staring. She dropped the comforter back down on the end of the bed and scurried over to her over-night bag, making a show of looking for her hairbrush and hoping that Helena didn't decide to follow the incident with another of her comments because if she did, Myka would probably find herself saying something she would regret. Luckily for Myka, Helena chose instead to chuckle, a low sound that somehow seemed to stroke its way down over Myka's spine, and make her own way into the bathroom. With a sigh of relief, Myka sat back on her heels, hairbrush in hand.

This day was going to be... interesting.

As it turned out, it wasn't particularly interesting. Helena, to Myka's great surprise, restrained herself to the lightest of flirtations and kept her touching to the occasional hand-hold. Although even that was enough to set Myka's heart to racing, and she hoped that her palms weren't obviously clammy. It was ridiculous, how much simply admitting that she was attracted to Helena had changed the way she reacted to the other woman. Everything was in such clear focus, magnified almost. She hardly heard anything anyone was saying to them, and hoped Helena was paying more attention than she was.

After a futile morning's questioning they had both agreed to return to their room and go through it themselves - perhaps something would jump out at them, although given that they had no idea what it actually was that they were looking for, Myka didn't have much hope. They had been subjected to more knowing looks as they made their way back to the room and Myka couldn't help but wish that they were actually going to be doing what the staff obviously thought they would be. She wrenched her mind away from that thought quickly - she had already decided she wasn't going to indulge in any more idle flights of fancy, she'd hoped she had got that out of her system the previous night.

"I'll take the bookshelf," Myka said, once they were safely ensconced in the room. It made sense to her that she should look at the books - after all, she probably knew more in that area than Helena did, even with the advantage Helena had of being alive when a great number of the books on the shelves were published. Although in this case, that was perhaps a disadvantage. "D'you want to start with the pictures?"

Helena had agreed easily and Myka began to methodically remove everything from the bookcase, noting where things had come from and seperating them into piles depending on which shelf they belnged to. She was working on the bottom shelf when she felt it - a hand, running over her behind. She squeaked and straightened, losing her balance as she did so and falling forwards, arresting her fall by grabbing onto the book-case and knocking over a pile of books with her knee. She looked over her shoulder, expecting for some reason to find Helena next to her, but she was still on the other side of the room.

"What--" She said as she looked across the room, thoroughly confused. It hadn't been Helena, then? Well, of course it hadn't. Why on earth would Helena have been feeling her backside, anyway? It was a ridiculous notion - Helena would never be so rude.

"Are you alright?" Helena asked with a look of concern on her face, taking her hands away from the painting she had just been abouit to remove from the wall and crossing the room towards Myka.

"Yes," Myka said slowly, trying to work out what had just happened. "I'm fine. I just thought..." Maybe she had imagined it - her imagination was working overtime, after all.

"You thought what, darling?" Helena asked, quirking one eyebrow upwards in that adorable way she had.

"Well, it felt like..." Myka let her voice trail off and could feel her blush rising. Helena just stood there, very obviously waiting for her to continue, and after a moment Myka forced herself to go on. "It felt as if someone was touching me, but there was no-one there."

A momentary flash of - was that panic? - seemed to flash across Helena's face before she spoke again, and Myka wondered what she could be so worried about.

"Where, exactly?" She asked, and was that worry Myka heard in her voice? What did Helena have to be worried about?

"My, ah, my behind," Myka admitted, sure that her cheeks were now flaming.

"Oh," Helena said, and bit her lip, before adding another, quieter, "oh."

What was that about, Myka wondered?

"Oh?" She asked, narrowing her eyes. "And what, exactly, do you mean by 'oh'?"

"I might," Helena said, looking up at the ceiling and also looking extremely guilty "have been contemplating the elegant curve of your 'backside', as you put it. I think we have stumbled upon the artefact we are supposed to be looking for."

What... oh. Oh. The artefact made one person feel what another was thinking? The only thought that crossed her mind at Helena's words was sheer relief. Thank God it hadn't been active last night. Helena might never have forgiven her.

"Contemplating the--" Of course she wasn't really interested, it had to have been idle curiosity. Or... something. "Never mind, I'm not sure that I want to know. Just - don't do it again?"

"I'll try," Helena promised, but it wasn't a moment later that Myka felt hands again, two this time, cupping her backside firmly and tugging her forwards into another body before she felt her lips being covered by another mouth, one that kissed her hungrily.

"Helena!" She gasped. This couldn't be idle curiosity - Helena seemed to actually want her. She was about to close the little gap between them and make the imagined sensation a reality, unable to force herself to remain cautious or sensible, unable to hold back her desire for Helena any longer, when Helena suddenly brought her hands up to cover her face.


Wait, Helena was swearing now? Okay, something actually seemed to be wrong - why was Helena so shaken up by this? It wasn't as if she had actually done anything herself. And it wasn't as if Myka minded either, why if it had been her-- She pushed the thought aside, worried about Helena

"Helena, are you okay?"

"Yes," Helena replied, although her hands were still over her face. "I am merely extremely embarrassed. If you would like to leave me here to continue the investigation without you, I quite understand."

Why would she want that? Helena wasn't making any sense here. Myka was thoroughly confused.

"Helena, I..." She bit her lip, frowning, wondering how she could explain. "I don't - I mean, it isn't all that big a deal, really. It's not as if it's your fault."

"It can hardly be pleasant, though," Helena said, and Myka was struck by the bitterness in her voice. Why was she so upset? "Being touched, even remotely, by someone you have no interest in."

She had moved as she spoke, going to sit on the end of the bed. Her head was bent so that her hair fell down around her face, hiding her expression, but Myka could read the defeat in her slumped shoulders. Oh God, Helena really thought she'd done something wrong - what had happened to her in the past that she was expecting Myka to pull away from her in disgust? Myka's heart went out to her, and not just because she reciprocated Helena's feelings. She crossed the room to Helena, and when Helena took a breath and looked up at her, Myka's heart broke a little for her. Her eyes were full of... shame. And that was an expression that Helena Wells should never wear.

She sat down next to Helena, and reached out to take one of her hands. Helena let her but her hand was limp in Myka's grip. Myka laced their fingers gently together, and Helena's brows drew together in confusion.

"I never said," she said quietly, surprised at how easily the words came, "that I have no interest." She had been so worried about saying almost those very words, and here it was the easiest thing - but perhaps because she could feel how much Helena needed to hear them.

Helena was biting her lip and looking at Myka with the most heart-wrenching expression on her face. Myka tried to put herself in Helena's shoes - how would she feel if, when she had been fantasising about Helena last night, Helena had felt what she was thinking? God. She would just about have died of mortification. And here Helena was in that position - and she had obviously been entirely convinced that Myka couldn't possibly be interested in her.

She gave Helena's hand a gentle squeeze, running her thumb over the tender inside of her wrist, and was pleased when she felt Helena return the grip.

"Do you mean that you..." Helena's voice trailed off unsurely, and Myka smiled shyly at her.

Then she threw caution to the wind and allowed herself to do what she had been thinking of all day - she leaned forwards, slowly, giving Helena every chance to pull back, and kissed her. Helena did not pull back. In fact, she leaned forwards to meet Myka's lips, and her free hand rose to cup the side of Myka's face. The kiss was soft, almost chaste, just a dry press of lips, but it as much effect on Myka than the most passionate of clinches had. Her heart was threatening to beat its way out of her chest, and when they broke the kiss and separated, she could see from the darkness of Helena's eyes and the rapidity of her breathing that she felt the same way.

"Oh," Helena said, and it was less of a word than a quiet exhalation.

"I've been thinking about that all day," Myka said, blushing, and she looked down at their still-joined hands. "Since last night, actually," she confessed.

Helena's hand twitched slightly in hers, and Myka looked up to see Helena giving her a thoughtful look, one eyebrow raised.

"Since last night?" Helena questioned, and Myka frowned a little at her, wondering where she was going with the question.

"Yes," she confessed, drawing the word out slowly. Why was Helena asking?

"When we were in bed," Helena continued, "and a little before, when you were in the bath?"

"I..." Myka stopped suddenly, the words catching in her throat, as she put Helena's questions together with what had happened a few moments ago, and came to the correct conclusion. Her cheeks flushed a sudden scarlet, and she couldn't meet Helena's eyes any more. She knew how Helena had felt - and more. Oh God, if Helena had felt everything that she had been imagining last night, it was so much more than a simple grope and a kiss. It wasn't even in the same class, was it?

She felt a hand under her chin, making her look up - and when she did so, she saw Helena's eyes sparling back at her.

"Well, then," Helena said, drawing the words out, her voice low and husky, and Myka felt a sudden pleasant rush of almost-fear shoot through her. "I suppose that we are even - although your little fantasies were rather more... intimate than mine." She drew her free hand teasingly up Myka's bare arm, and Myka suddenly realised that the hand under her chin wasn't actually there at all.

"I think," Helena said, still in that slow, sensual drawl, "that I deserve a little 'payback', is that what you would say?"

Myka nodded, although she wasn't sure whether she was agreeing to the question about the word or the idea that Helena should be allowed to get her own back. Her mind was reeling - she was almost dizzy with the possibilities now open to them, now that they had admitted their attraction to one another.

"I'm so glad that you agree, darling," Helena said, and let go of Myka's hand, standing up abruptly. Myka looked up at her in confusion, as Helena crossed the room to the armchair that stood by the fire and turned it a little to face the bed.

"Why don't you lie down, darling," Helena suggested, although the tone of her voice gave Myka to understand that it wasn't a suggestion. "Get comfortable."

Myka swallowed hard and did as Helena asked, moving up the bed until she was half-lying on the pillows. She could feel her pulse racing in the side of her neck, in her fingertips, everywhere. She had never been more nervous - or more aroused - than she was right then. If she'd thought she had been in an agony of desire last night it had been nothing compared to this. And Helena hadn't even touched her. Myka thought she knew what Helena had in mind - and couldn't decide if she wanted it or not.

That question was driven out of her mind, though, when she felt Helena's body settle over hers, straddling her hips - although she could see that Helena was still sitting calmly in the armchair, one booted leg crossed over the other, her hand lying relaxed on her knee. How could she look so calm? The weight on her shifted, and she felt lips skimming across her neck before they latched onto her pulse-point, giving a sharp nip. Myka's eyes closed as her back arched, slightly, and she heard Helena chuckle.

"And now," she dimly heard Helena murmur, "it is your turn, darling."

With her eyes shut, Myka couldn't tell that it wasn't Helena above her, kissing her. Helena's hands ran down her arms, slender fingers encircling her wrists before pulling her hands up above her head. Myka's eyes opened at that, though, and it was a jolt to remember that Helena was in fact sitting on the other side of the room. She tugged lightly at the invisible grip on her wrists, but it was like trying to move a rock, and Helena chuckled quietly at her efforts.

"I very much suspect that my imagination is stronger than your muscles, darling," she said quietly, and Myka stopped struggling to stare at her, wide-eyed. "I would suggest that you simply accept the inevitable. Although," and her face sobered for a moment. "If you truly wish me to desist, simply say so. I would never force you." There was a brief flash across her face of an emotion that Myka couldn't quite identify - anger, perhaps - before she schooled it away and raised an eyebrow at Myka, patently waiting for her response.

Myka bit her lip, but said nothing. She couldn't bring herself, quite, to say out loud that yes, she wanted this, but she equally couldn't truthfully say that she didn't. Helena nodded, and Myka felt a phantom caress along her cheek, as if Helena's fingers had drifted across her skin.

"Good," Helena murmured. Myka swallowed at the velvety tone of her voice, still a little scared. But it was the good kind of scared, the kind of tangled feeling that you get in the pit of your stomach at the peak of a roller-coaster, or the adrenaline rush just before a complicated job.

"I trust you," she said, surprised to hear the words coming from her own mouth but realising as she said them that they were true.

Helena smiled at her then, her eyes dancing with an expression that Myka thought she recognised, and didn't dare to name. Myka felt the weight above her shift, ánd then she was being kissed and she had to close her eyes or lose her mind at the contradiction between what she felt and what she saw. She moaned into the kiss and arched her back, and then Helena's lips left hers and brushed lightly over her cheek before settling over her pulse point.

That earned a light whimper and a further arching of her back, head tipping back as she bared her throat in complete submission. Then she felt Helena's hands leave her wrists, trailing softly along her bare arms, fingernails teasing the skin lightly. Myka could feel the wash of goosebumps that accompanied the caress as a pleasant prickle that ran down her spine and over her scalp, a wash of electric tingles that made her shiver. There was little point moving her arms. She wouldn't be able to feel Helena, as she had already discovered that the illusion that she was being caressed only worked one way - she could be touched, she could not touch in return - so there was nothing to be gained in moving. At least, that was what she was telling herself. The fact that having her hands over her head added to the feeling of utter helplessness that she felt had nothing to do with the reason she left them there. It was purely practical.

The lips at her throat nipped gently and the hands slipped up under her shirt, smoothing over her belly and stroking up her ribcage before cupping her breasts, thumbs teasing gently at the nipples that were already straining against the thin satin of her bra. Myka gasped at the touch and then she felt the buttons of her shirt being undone, one by one, and noted dimly that it didn't seem fair that Helena appeared to be able to touch her and undress her at the same time. Then her nipples were being pinched through her bra, not too softly, not too hard, and she lost her train of thought entirely. Her shirt fell open and those lips left her neck to trail a hungry path downwards, stopping to plant a stinging kiss to the hollow at the base of her throat before continuing down over her chest.

Myka had never in her life been as grateful for front-opening bras as she was right then.

The kisses ran along the swell of her breasts now, everywhere at once, and if this was anything like the way Helena had felt last night Myka didn't know how she could have stood it in silence. She bit her lip as she felt a hot, wet mouth close on one of her nipples, and opened her eyes to see Helena watching her intently, leaning forward a little in the chair. One hand was still lying on her knee, and the other hand risen to the front of her neck. Helena's fingers were curled loosely along her collarbone, and her thumb was stroking restlessly up and down along the creamy triangle of skin revealed by the opening of her shirt.

Her eyes were black in the low light of the room, and she was biting down on her bottom lip in exactly the same way as Myka was - whether intentionally or in unconscious imitation Myka didn't know. The tip of Helena's tongue appeared briefly, smoothing over the place where her teeth had been a moment before and Myka felt a tongue flicker across her nipple. She gasped and Helena leaned forward a little more, noticing Myka watching her and giving her a dangerous smile. Myka flushed hotly, embarrassed but not embarrassed that Helena was watching her, and closed her eyes.

Helena chuckled.

Myka felt her shoes being slipped off her feet and her jeans being unbuttoned and swallowed hard at the idea that in a few short moments she would be entirely naked. Naked, and exposed to Helena's unrelenting stare, and at that thought she could feel a hot blush washing over her face and travelling down her neck. But there was no use in getting shy now - she wanted this, and if she was honest with herself the idea of Helena just watching was incredibly exciting. That Helena seemed so cool and collected was exciting too, that she seemed completely at ease with the situation.

Helena exhaled quietly, a barely-there sound that wasn't quite a sigh, and Myka's jeans slipped smoothly, slowly, down her legs. The rasping of the soft, well-worn denim against her skin was torturously unhurried, and she arched her back with a soft sound, hips lifting off the bed in frustration. Helena laughed again, soft and low. The sound of Helena's voice seemed to stroke Myka from the inside out. There was something about the timbre of her voice, her pitch, something undefinable, that seemed to set every nerve in her body to humming. She shivered, and it wasn't only because of the gentle fingertips that were now stroking their way up her now-bare legs, starting at her ankles and drawing lazy patterns up the smooth skin.

She was very conscious now of the fact that she was almost completely naked, on display for Helena who still seemed just as cool and collected as before. There was no sign of her earlier distress, just a dark need in her eyes and intensity to her expression that was almost frightening. It was exciting though, very exciting to realise that she was the one who had put that expression into Helena's eyes. She felt a solid weight settle over her hips again, pressing her down into the mattress, and stifled a quiet groan. She couldn't hide the shudder that went through her at the contact.

"How do you suppose," Helena asked, her tone low and conversational, "that I felt last night, feeling what you're feeling now, knowing that you were awake beside me, unable to make a single sound?"

Myka's only reply was a low moan as she felt lips travelling down the side of her neck, passing lightly over her collarbone, dropping butterfly kisses along her shoulder. She closed her eyes, the better to concentrate on the sound of Helena's voice and the feel of her touches. Helena's hands (ghostly or not, they were Helena's hands, just as if she had really been there and not on the other side of the room) stroked lightly up over Myka's ribcage, cupping her breasts gently and teasing her nipples, already so tight they were almost painful, into even harder peaks.

"I don't think I have ever been more painfully aroused in my life," she continued, and Myka was at a loss to know whether it was Helena's voice or her touches that affected her the most. "It was absolute torture," she continued, and in a moment of almost-clarity Myka thought that it was thoroughly unfair that Helena should be able to talk while her lips were trailing down over one of Myka's breasts, and that she should be able to continue talking while her mouth was wrapped around one of her nipples.

"And I thought it was merely my own fantasies that I was feeling," she continued. "But it was you all of the time," she said huskily. "Did you really want to do all of those things I felt?" She asked.

Myka nodded, not trusting her own voice. This was almost cruel, but she couldn't bear for Helena to stop, not now.

"Now you know how I felt," she said. Myka felt gentle teeth closing down around her nipple and less-gentle nails scratching slowly down her sides, and she arched up into the touch. "Unable to touch back. Unable to respond. Just a passive participant, having to feel everything you were thinking, not able to touch you back, however much I wanted to."

Myka screwed her eyes shut even harder, shivering all over. She couldn't seem to stop shuddering, her skin so incredibly sensitive that even the gentlest of touches seemed to be enough to set her on fire.

"Then you stopped," Helena said, and Myka felt herself tense all over. Was Helena really going to just leave her like this? Helena must have seen her reaction, because she laughed, low and throaty, and Myka actually heard herself whimper in response to the sound. "Oh, don't worry," Helena murmured, "I'm not going to leave you high and dry... Although I'm not sure that dry is exactly the right word, is it?"

When had Helena managed to divest Myka of her underwear? She hadn't noticed her panties being removed but they must have been, because she felt a smooth, toned thigh slipping between her own legs and pressing up, and if that thigh had been real Myka knew that Helena would have been extremely aware of just how wet she was. She gasped and her head tipped back even as her hips surged upwards, completely without any conscious intent on her part. A hand slid down, over her stomach, and slender fingers slipped over her drenched and swollen sex and curled deeply into her.

"So beautiful," Helena murmured, and something in her voice made Myka turn her head towards her and open her eyes. Helena was still staring at her with that hungry look in her eyes but now her cool and collected look was gone. Her hair was clinging to her forehead in damp tendrils, her cheeks were flushed, and she was biting down on her lower lip. That wasn't what made Myka's heart skip a beat, though, wasn't what made her already almost-unbearable arousal hit a new peak. Helena had at some point slipped out of her own pants and underwear and was now wearing only her shirt, which was unbuttoned and hanging off one shoulder, and she had one hand between her legs where it was moving in a lazy rhythm that could not possibly be misinterpreted. The other hand was lying on the arm of the chair and her fingers were twitching slightly, in time with the phantom fingers that were stroking into Myka.

Oh, God. Helena was just going to watch, wasn't she, and there was nothing Myka could do. She couldn't even close her eyes now, because she couldn't look away from Helena's dark, intent gaze. She was letting Myka watch her, though - she could have just sat there, stayed distant and uninvolved - as uninvolved as she could be when her phantom fingers were knuckle-deep inside Myka, that was - but she'd chosen to allow Myka to watch her touching herself. It was incredibly intimate. She didn't want it to end.

The fingers inside her sped up, and now there was a mouth as well, a skilful tongue that lapped gently at her clit, sending little lightening prickles through her. Her hands were knotted into the pillow covers now, her knuckles white, and she could feel her back starting to arch. She could feel her orgasm building up inside her, though, and her breath began to catch in her chest.

"Helena..." It was the first thing she'd managed to say almost since this began and it was barely a word, choked out between gasps. "Please..."

"What do you need?" Helena asked and her own voice was barely more stable that Myka's.

"You," she gasped, finally unclenching one hand and reaching towards Helena. She needed to feel Helena, needed to feel her real touch, otherwise she was afraid that she would truly break apart.

Helena stood from the chair and crossed the room in one smooth movement and then she was on the bed next to Myka and Myka was in her arms and shuddering against her as her orgasm crashed through her with an intensity that she had never felt before. She didn't even realise that she was crying, at first, until she felt Helena's hands smoothing gently across her back and dimly heard her worried voice in her ear.

"Myka? Is something wrong?"

"No," she said, shakily, finally relaxing bonelessly against the other woman, feeling completely limp. "No, I just... I've never felt anything like that. It was... almost too much." She sniffed slightly and pressed her face into the crook of Helena's neck. "Just... hold me?"

"Of course," Helena murmured, pressing a kiss to the top of her head. "For as long as you need me to."

"How about for ever?" Myka whispered, so quietly she could barely hear her own words.

She had intended to keep her distance, stay safely on the other side of the room - because she did truly, truly love to watch, she had always loved to watch and watching Myka was the single most arousing thing she had ever experienced, eclipsing even the events of the previous evening - but she couldn't. Myka had let out that choked, desperate plea and she'd been on her feet and crossing the room before she'd consciously decided to move.

Having Myka in her arms was better than she had imagined. Myka's face was turned into her neck and she could feel Myka's hot forehead pressing against her own cheek. The contact almost burned her. She had barely taken the other woman into her arms before Myka's back arched further than before, and her fingers dug painfully into Helena's skin as she came with a desperate shudder. Helena smiled to herself and ran her fingers gently along Myka's spine, before she realised that Myka was still shaking against her, and that her breath was uneven and catching in her throat. There were tears against her neck.

"Myka?" She forced her voice to stay even although she couldn't hide her worry. She had thought that this would be allright, had she misjudged, terribly? What had she done, she had probably just destroyed everything. Stupid, Helena. Why are you always so stupid? "Is something wrong?"

Myka relaxed against her, curling her arm about Helena's stomach and pressing her hot damp face further into the crook of her neck. Helena's heart skipped a beat out of sheer relief.

"No, I just... I've never felt anything like that. It was... almost too much." Helena sighed silently, her eyes fluttering closed as she sent a silent <i>thank you</i> out to whoever or whatever had given her this gift. "Just... hold me?"

How could she ever want to do anything else?

"Of course," she said quietly, pressing her lips to the top of Myka's head and wondering if just how she felt about the other woman was evident. If Myka could possibly feel the same way. "For as long as you need me to."

She almost missed Myka's next words, they were whispered so quietly, half muffled by Helena's throat.

"How about for ever?"

Helena could barely manage to answer, her own throat closed up with emotion at the meaning implicit in those few little words. But she managed, shaking though she was.

"Of course." Myka reached up and found one of Helena's hands, lacing their fingers together, squeezing gently. After a moment, Helena returned the pressure, and felt Myka smiling into the side of her neck.

"If I had any energy at all," Myka murmured after a moment, "I would pay you back for that little stunt." She shifted slightly, snuggling further into Helena's arms and tangling their legs together. "But I think you broke me. I can hardly move."

"Then don't," Helena suggested with a little laugh. "We have all the time we need." She liked that thought, liked the idea of not needing to hurry or worry because she had all the time with Myka that she might need.

"We do," Myka answered with a little laugh of her own, sounding contented and lazy. The hand that wasn't holding Helena's began to trace light patterns across her ribs, and Helena shivered slightly under the delicate touch. She sighed contentedly and Helena couldn't help the grin that spread across her face at the sound. She thought that if she could spend the rest of her life just close with Myka like this, that she would die a happy woman.

"Well," Myka said after a few moments where they just enjoyed the closeness. "At least we know what the artefact is."

"That is true," Helena agreed thoughtfully. "It seems to project the desires of one person onto the object of said desires. I wonder if there's a reason why it manifested the way that it did - first actin on me and then on you."

"Could it have been something that we both touched?" Myka asked. "I mean if I came into contact with it last night, and then you did today. Or the other way around, I suppose."

"That would make sense," Helena mused. "I'm just wondering what artefacts I can think of that have a telepathic..." She paused, and Myka pulled her head away from Helena's shoulder to look up at her.

"Thought of something?"

"Yes," Helena said slowly. "That book that I was reading last night - 'Diskurs über die Seele'. It was owned by Freud at some point, there's a bookplate in the front of the cover, and Freud had some interesting theories on telepathy. More particularly, so did Democritus - he theorised that telepathy was caused by the manifestation of dreams, particularly when the dreamer was in an excited state. Which ties in rather neatly with what happened, don't you think?"

"Very neatly," Myka agreed, nodding. Helena shivered as Myka's hair brushed over her shoulders, and she didn't miss the slight quirk of Myka's eyebrow of the way the tip of her tongue darted out to wet her lower lip. "You're brilliant," Myka said, and leaned up to brush her lips over Helena's.

Helena almost died. Every time she thought that she had reached the peak of possible sensation, she was proven wrong. Kissing Myka was like nothing she had ever felt, and judging from the little sigh that fluttered from Myka's lips as she pulled back, Myka felt the same way.

"I suppose that we should bag the book and call Artie," Myka said after a moment, her eyes still fixed on Helena's.

"We should," Helena agreed, not making any attempt to move.

"Or," Myka said impishly, trailing the backs of her fingers up Helena's ribcage until they brushed the swell of her breast, "I suppose we could just wait until tomorrow. One more evening isn't going to make all that much difference."

Her heart thudding away at the inside of her ribcage, Helena quirked an eyebrow at Myka who wrinkled her nose back at her with a thoroughly wicked twinkle in her eyes. Taking a firm hold of her impulse to roll Myka over onto her back and ravish her thoroughly, she forced herself to stay still and let Myka lead the way. Myka's fingers danced lightly up the valley between Helena's breasts until she flattened her hand over her heart. Helena could feel her own heartbeat pounding against Myka's palm.

"Wow," Myka muttered, taking in a breath, and Helena found herself blushing lightly. She never blushed. "Your heart sounds like it's trying to break out."

"It feels rather that way too," Helena admitted, taking a deep breath.

Myka made a satisfied purring noise in the back of her throat and pushed herself up a little, untangling their fingers and using the freed hand to brace herself above Helena, her hair hanging down around her face and brushing against Helena's cheeks. As she moved, her thigh slid in between Helena's legs and Helena couldn't stop her hips from canting forwards to increase the pressure, a little helpless noise escaping her throat. She never blushed, and she never whimpered, but she was doing both now.

"I thought," she said breathlessly, "that I had broken you?"

"I recover fast," Myka said, before leaning down to brush her lips over the delicate skin below Helena's ear. Her hand was still resting over Helena's heart, and Helena was very conscious that Myka could hear the way her heart sped up with just that simple contact.

Myka murmured something unintelligible into the side of Helena's neck and rocked her hips, her thigh sliding slowly up, down, up again. Helena's breath caught in her throat and as her fingers tightened she realised that at some point she had moved her hands to clutch onto Myka's shoulders. Myka kept up the torturously slow and gentle rhythm and Helena struggled to keep her eyes open.

"What did you say?" She asked, and heard her own voice as if someone else was speaking, low and needy.

"I said," Myka replied, moving up just a little so that she was speaking directly into Helena's ear, her voice a bare whisper, her breath hot against Helena's skin, making her shiver, "that I couldn't believe how wet you are." She emphasised 'wet' with a harder pulse of her leg and Helena groaned.

"How close are you?" She continued, the quiet sound of her voice seeming to resonate inside Helena's skull. "You must be pretty close. Watching me. Touching yourself." Myka moaned quietly and the sound made Helena's head swim. "That was the sexiest thing I've ever seen, you know, knowing that it was because of me, that you couldn't wait, that you just had to give in."

Helena moaned helplessly, every muscle in her body iron-tense, feeling her toes curl and the hot, liquid surge of orgasm building in her belly. She bit her lip, struggling to keep from screaming, and Myka sighed into her ear. "I think you're the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, Helena Wells."

She pulled her mouth away then and moved to stare straight into Helena's eyes, her own gaze frank and open. Helena was having trouble keeping her eyes open, but with Myka's eyes locked onto hers there was no way she could shut them. Myka dipped her head and whispered, just as their lips brushed, the words themselves a kiss.

"I'm falling in love with you."

It was the words, the kiss, the pulse of Myka's thigh, everything at once, and Helena crested and broke, moaning her release into Myka's lips, her fingers tightening so hard on her shoulders that they would find the bruises there the next morning and Helena would be distracted for days, catching sight of the faint discolouration on Myka's skin, peeping above the neckline of her shirts. When she could breathe again, when she could think, she sighed caught Myka's hand, still resting above her heart, with her own and brought it to her lips, brushing a light kiss to her palm and folding Myka's fingers around it as if it was a solid thing. Myka smiled.

"You have completely captured my heart, Myka. Just please, be gentle with it."

Myka flushed lightly, biting her bottom lip, and nodded.

"As long as you promise to do the same."

"Always," Helena said, thinking that she seemed to making that promise a lot. It was one she would be happy to keep.

Myka sighed happily and dropped back down onto the bed, curling into Helena's side. Helena wrapped her arm around Myka's shoulders, revelling in the feeling of their skin pressed together, in the feel of Myka's heartbeat against her.

"We should still call Artie," Myka said after a few minutes.

"We should," Helena agreed.

Myka looked at Helena, smirking, and Helena laughed. "Tomorrow?" She asked.

"Tomorrow," Myka agreed.

"Why did you send me with Helena? Why not Pete? I would have thought that considering our cover was as a newly-wed couple that would have been the obvious option."

Artie looked up from his desk, peering at Myka over the top of his glasses. He had wondered how long it would take for one of them to ask him that question.

"Firstly," he said, "I don't see what your gender has to do with anything. And secondly, I didn't decide anything - Mrs Frederic told me to send the two of you."

And now he knew why - neither of the women was exactly what he would have called subtle, and it was quite obvious that something had transpired between them while they had been away. He had his suspicions but he didn't need to know exactly what had happened - that was hardly professional. Ah well, there was something of a tradition when it came to Warehouse agents keeping their romantic affiliations within the family, as it were. Not that he entirely approved of Myka's choice of partner, but he was just going to have to live with it.

He had been informed in no uncertain words that he must put his animosity towards Agent Wells aside. Coming from anyone else he would have simply ignored the directive, but when it was Mrs Frederic speaking with the backing of the Regents, he really had no choice but to comply. Besides, well... Perhaps, and it was only a perhaps, he had been judging Helena unfairly. He still didn't trust her, but he didn't really trust anyone so that was hardly new.

His musings were interrupted by Myka's confused questioning.

"Mrs Frederic? But why on earth would she tell you to send us?"

Artie sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose.

"Yes, Myka, she explained all of her reasoning to me." Myka flushed - it had after all been a silly question. "She just said that I needed to send the two of you, and that the reason why would be self-explanatory. I just did as I was told."

"Oh," Myka said, flushing again and not meeting Arties eyes. Artie sighed and pushed his glasses back up his nose.

"Now," he said, "if you're quite finished, I'd rather not think about exactly why it was necessary to send the two of you, so if you don't mind I'll just get back to what I was doing." Myka scowled at him, and he sighed again. Of course she would take that statement the wrong way. "Look," he continued, before she had a chance to interrupt. "I can't say that I approve of the idea of you and Agent Wells together. I've made my distrust of her quite clear."

Myka opened her mouth but Artie cut her off before she could say anything.

"Let me finish, please? I might not approve of Agent... of Helena, but it's not my decision to make. It's your heart to give away, and Mrs Frederic has informed me in no uncertain words that she's here to stay. So I'm not going to try and stand in your way. I'm even going to make an attempt to be nicer to her from now on."

He pushed his glasses up his nose again, firmly, and loked down at his computer screen.

"What I will not do is dwell on what you might or might not have done whilst under the influence of that artefact. That is entirely inappropriate."

"Oh," said Myka softly, and Artie thought to himself that he rather seemed to have taken the wind out of her sails. That was satisfying.

"Indeed," he muttered, and applied himself to his work.

His quest to keep his mind away from exactly what Myka and Helena might have been up to for those two nights however was rather destroyed later that afternoon.

"I am going down to the library," Helena called, from the doorway to the office. "Myka? Would you care to accompany me?"

"Sure," Myka told her with a knowing grin, and Artie buried his face in his hands.

He really, really didn't want to know.


Lady,i will touch you with my mind.
Touch you and touch and touch
until you give
me suddenly a smile,shyly obscene

(lady i will
touch you with my mind.)Touch
you,that is all,

lightly and you utterly will become
with infinite care

the poem which i do not write.

(E.E. Cummings)

Some notes on the artefact:

A German translation of Democritus' 'On the Soul' being a book containing his essays 'On the Mind' and 'On the Senses', owned by Sigmund Freud. (This text, along with all of Democritus' other work, actually only survives in citation but for the purpose of this fic there was a limited run of twenty printed in the early Sixteenth Century, this is the only surviving copy. The original Greek text is stil out there... somewhere.) When the book in close proximity to someone in a particularly intense emotional state, causes that person to project their feelings and sometimes physical sensations onto the cause/s of the emotion.

The ancient Greek philosopher Democritus put forth the wave and corpuscle theories to explain telepathy. This began what may be called the naturalization of the supernatural dream. Democritus (460-370 B.C.) is credited with the first physical theory of dream telepathy. His view of telepathy is derived from the thesis that everything, including the soul, is made up of innumerable, indivisible, minute particles called atoms. These atoms constantly emit images of themselves, which in turn are composed of still other atoms.

He postulated that the images projected by living beings, when emotionally charged, could be transmitted to a dreamer (percipient). When the images reached their destination, they were believed to enter the body through the pores. Images emitted by people in an excited state were especially vivid and likely to reach the dreamer in an intact and undistorted form because of the frequency of emission and the speed of transmission.

Freud on telepathy: Freud theorised that telepathy may have been a form of ancient communication turned physical and conversely that it was a physical process that, over time, became mental.

The End

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