DISCLAIMER: Characters of Warehouse 13 do not belong to me, I'm just playing with them. I'll put them back once I'm done.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: You can blame Adele for this one. ;) Title and inspiration came from 'Someone Like You'. And you can blame both alittlebitaces and Quatorz for their encouragement as well. Also, if you're shy when it comes to leaving comments, know that I do not bite unless asked. And should you feel the inclination, I would especially appreciate your thoughts/feelings on this story in particular. Because the damn thing kicked my ASS. And I want to know if my pain paid off. ;)
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To raye_raye2001[at]yahoo.co.uk
SPOILERS: For the end of season 2.
Ten years locked inside her own mind hadn't been so very long when compared with what she'd once been forced to grow accustomed to. It was also a relatively short span of time when one considered the crime for which that had been her punishment. Her attempt to destroy the world, clichéd and flawed almost from the very moment she'd been de-bronzed, had threatened billions of lives and yet she hadn't even been punished with serving a single life sentence. The ways in which the world worked never failed to splinter the remaining vestiges of her soul.
Mrs Frederic, looking not a day older, had been there to usher her back among the living, wasting no time in announcing that the Warehouse needed H.G. Wells' help once more. The way her entire being trembled, she was certain, was not outwardly visible but Mrs Frederic rarely paid attention to those things which others could clearly see, and a look of reluctant understanding passed between them that only served to raise more questions in Helena. Questions that would never be voiced, not when far more pressing ones continued to force themselves to the forefront of her mind.
"Agent Bering, is she-"
"Miss Bering has not been an agent of the Warehouse for some time now." Helena had not thought it possible for anything to feel more bitingly frigid than the bronzing process, but something within her grew impossibly heavy and cold at the words. "Though Agents Neilson, Lattimer and Donovan are all still employed at Warehouse 13 and there is also an Agent whom you haven't yet met, Miss Bering's replacement, Agent Steven Jinks." There was more information and Helena took it all in with a kind of detached interest. Myka was gone. Where had she gone? Under what circumstances had she left? Was she alive? Was she well? Possible answers to her silent questions brought forth a wave of heat and sent it soaring through her to melt the icy weight that had settled against her chest. Reading her silent withdrawal like no other could, Mrs Frederic seemed to sense some inner turmoil. Somehow found it fit to ease Helena's worry, though the Englishwoman could not imagine why. "Miss Bering retired as an agent after the events at Yellowstone." Though perhaps 'ease' was a word ill-suited to describe exactly what the ancient woman's words did to her. "When last I checked, she was running her father's bookstore after taking up the helm as owner after his passing." It was more information than she was worthy of and she knew it, but it was not entirely welcomed and she surmised that Mrs Frederic was well aware of that. A double edged sword indeed.
She had not been presented to any of the Warehouse agents and she was only minutely ashamed to admit that for that she was grateful. It had been so very long since Helena had been able to look judgement in the eye and simply allow the feelings it evoked to roll swiftly off her back.
For a while, things passed in a blur of mission debriefings, psychological evaluations and an innumerable amount of things which she did not care to pay too close attention to. She offered information on the artifact from Warehouse 12 that they were searching for, Joshua's trumpet, when prompted and spent the time when she was not needed in a room of the monitored apartment above a store in Univille that she was informed operated under the guise of being a cobblers. Alone with her thoughts, feeling only slightly more free than she had whilst encased in bronze. Though it was not a freedom she felt she deserved.
She was granted further undeserved privileges on a day that found her faced with Agent Claudia Donovan. She'd been but a girl barely free of her teens when Helena had last laid eyes on her, but she stood before the time traveller a woman that day, bright red hair streaked with green and a tesla holstered neatly at her hip beneath her purple jacket. At first, very few words were spoken, and Helena found herself fumbling in ways the woman Claudia remembered never would have. There was a difference, the younger agent could see it, but she remained wary nonetheless.
"She left because of you." It cut through Helena like a knife, precise even as its serrated edges left her jagged. Her hand gripped the handle of the kettle tighter as she willed her insides still and silently begged the tremors to quiet, just for a moment.
"You took part of my family away from me." She felt that the time they had spent together, though brief, had held threads of meaning and it allowed her to imagine Claudia shaking her head as she spoke the words, tone despondent and pitted with anger. "And the worst part of it is that I'm not just talking about Myka." Eyes that were deep and dark with an endless sorrow and remorse fluttered closed at the mention of the name, and grief swelled inside her. "You became part of it too and then you just ." It was not a sentence that needed to be finished and, taking quivering breaths, Helena was glad for that.
"Claudia I " There was nothing that could erase what she'd done, nothing that could bring back the years of family togetherness she'd stolen from the younger woman. "It's such a poor excuse for penance, but I am so dreadfully sorry." It wasn't enough. Nothing would ever be enough. Because at that moment, it hit her with renewed vigour; she was no better than the monsters that had stolen her own family from her, her Christina. She'd murdered billions, in thought if not in deed, and she'd forced away someone Claudia had adored. Robbed her of the only mother-figure she'd had since her parents had died. "If it means anything at all, every breath I take reminds me of the lives I almost took. Of the ones I broke apart. My existence is an empty one, void of any comfort of the soul. I am as broken and hollow as the lives I damaged."
Claudia had never been one to hate easily, she had a tendency to see the good in people and that was something that had survived the events that had transpired a decade ago. She understood the grief of losing a loved one, how it brought out an obsessive darkness inside you and allowed it to fester.
"It does." But there were some things that she found difficult to forgive.
When she first met Agent Steven Jinks, she was surprised to find no obvious glimmer of distaste shining in his bright blue eyes, only a curiosity born of tales told over the last ten years and wariness that every good agent should possess.
Mrs Frederic accompanied him, as did Adwin Kosan and a woman who was introduced to her as Jane Lattimer, but Helena could not find the strength to voice the questions the woman's surname rose. She'd been so very tired for so very long. They spoke to her, tones clipped and professional, though Agent Jinks' was softer around the edges. His eyes scrutinized her for the duration of their formal speech and had it been a different time she might have turned her attention to him, regarded him with a coyly raised eyebrow and asked if he found something pleasing about her appearance. She suspected he might even have blushed.
They talked of freedom and how it was something to be earned, that even those who had committed crimes that could be considered greater than hers had earned their own. She wondered who those people were, what they had done, and if they felt as dead as she herself did or if they saw themselves as deserving to walk among the living.
They talked of Agent Jinks then, his abilities and how they planned to use them in this instance. She supposed it was rather clever; the Warehouse had been known to utilize the artifacts they procured when needed, why not do the same with their agents? And a truth seeker was surely invaluable, especially in cases such as hers.
"Miss Wells, please state your future intentions for the record." She blinked at Adwin Kosan, as if awakening from a dreamless slumber.
"My intentions?" It seemed such an odd request, similar to asking what a ficus intended to do with the remainder of its life. It would live, of course, until it gave in to the call of death and wilted. No further thoughts had entered her mind. "I believe I am without any." The Regents before her turned their attention toward Agent Jinks, whose own had not yet left her, and he gave a curt nod of his head that seemed to please them.
The questions should have seemed endless, but they did not. Their answers were simple and hollow at the core, allowing one to swiftly pass and make way for another. It was perhaps the easiest thing she had been challenged to do since her return to the waking world thus far and, soon enough, it was over. Documents were handed to her and, glancing at them, she found that they were familiar; this marked the second time Adwin Kosan had presented them to her. They felt much lighter in her hands this time around, as if any and all meaning had been stripped from them. Mrs Frederic awarded her the only thing that held true meaning, her locket, and as Helena took it she felt the familiar flames of shame lick at her insides and it lay heavy in her palm.
They left her with instructions that she stored away for a time when she'd be better able to comprehend them, should one ever arise.
She supposed there would be no denying it, that there had been no hope of doing so from the very moment Mrs Frederic had woken her. Still, that she had ended up Colorado Springs sans willpower and reeking of regret had surprised her in a way. That she'd had the strength to travel there or was so lacking in it that she'd allowed herself to, it proved that some part of her was still actually living and capable of feeling something other than grief.
Staring up at the sign bearing the name of the store, Helena's mind brought forth memories of the moments they'd spent conversing about their childhoods, so very different and yet similar in certain ways. It was not a memory that evoked happiness. Truthfully, Helena could not recall what that particular emotion felt like.
The door swung to a gentle close behind her, bell above heralding her arrival as she crossed the threshold of the bookshop and was instantly hit by the overwhelming scent of ancient paper. And still it was not happiness that took her then, but some odd sense of nostalgia; for old books and forgotten stories, stories that hadn't had a chance to be told.
"I'll be right out!" There was a tremendous urge to cry at the sound of the voice. So much like she remembered, so much like the disembodied one she'd heard inside her mind, inside the bronze. In a trance, her feet led her towards the area where the sales took place. A long length of counter marked by a cash register at one end and currently scattered with books. An organized chaos. And then there was movement behind it, a tall blurred streak striding from a back room and around the counter with full arms. "Welcome to 'Bering and Sons'. How can I-" The box slid from the carrier's grasp, landing with a dull thud at her feet in the space that separated them. Her face showed few signs of the years that had passed, her eyes were still as sparkling and captivating as they had ever been, her curls pulled back into a haphazard ponytail; Myka Bering was as achingly beautiful as H.G. Wells remembered. And oh, how she remembered.
There was silence for a long moment, accompanied by a half-downcast gaze and a wide-eyed stare. Because Helena didn't know why she'd come there, only that she couldn't stay away. Had been unable to fight the need that had grown inside her any more than she'd been able to fight the darkness that had spread within her like a cancer so many years before.
"Helena." She almost broke. Almost crumpled to the floor and wept herself into the very Earth beneath them at the sound of her name leaving Myka's lips. That there was no fear in it, no discernible hatred, only served to push her further towards the ground. She could not speak, could barely blink as she became torn between feeling her gaze unworthy to land upon the vision before her and the undeniable need to see the other woman that gripped her. And then, in an instant caught between a dream and a nightmare, Myka swayed before her very eyes and stumbled backwards, even as Helena instinctively reached out to catch her by the arm. The contact was unexpected and something neither was ready for, but even though Myka stiffened at the touch she did not throw the gesture off, instead allowing Helena's hold to steady her as she leaned against the counter and let the shock settle over her. Weakness had Helena's hand lingering, but reality saw it eventually pulled it away.
They spoke of improbabilities and uncertainties then, and Helena had indeed wondered what they had all been told once she'd been escorted back into the Bronze Sector.
"Your sentencing, the-the time frame, we weren't told. It was need to know and-"
"None of you needed to know." She'd finished for her, not wanting to hear it from Myka. Of course she hadn't needed to know, hadn't wanted to know. Helena had betrayed her, driven her away from her happiest place. Sullied everything they'd had together.
There was nothing that she could possibly say and that Myka did not immediately demand explanations of her only seemed to make it worse. Grief was such a heavy stone, one that took more than a single pair of hands to shift, but there were no hands reaching for Helena. And she deserved no less.
"Why did you come here?" And Myka's voice cracked under the strain of the words, as she glanced at Helena from the corners of shining eyes turned hazel in the dimness of the store, searching for answers. Helena's breath left her in a quiet explosion of air, forcing a smile, desperate for some vestige of warmth. She had been cold for so very long.
"Mrs Frederic spoke of you and all you'd achieved since your departure from Warehouse 13. How you'd moved on and taken over your father's establishment, settled down," her eyes strayed unbidden to Myka's hands then and she found herself having to swallow to keep her voice from catching, "even married." Silence. Heavy and as fractured as the women witnessing it. Helena watched as Myka lifted the hand adorned with an intricately etched wedding band, the pad of her thumb absently brushing the length of it. That particular annotation of Myka Bering's life had been, perhaps, the hardest to hear. For it truly cemented the damage that had been done, yet awakened a need that had never truly fallen asleep. "You are happy, I trust?" Because despite everything that had transpired, despite the things she'd done, she wanted only happiness for Myka and had long ago resigned herself to the fact that she could not be the one to give that to her. Not in the way that was necessary.
For a moment, it appeared as though Myka would decline to answer, but large eyes fell hesitantly upon Helena's face.
"He's a good man." And of course he would be, Myka would allow for nothing less. Deserved nothing less.
"A teacher, so I was told." A slight frown creased Myka's forehead and she rolled her lips in on themselves, and then took a breath.
"He's a literature professor at the college." He was dark-haired and handsome, that much had been evident from the photograph Helena had seen of him in the newspaper prefacing an article that had been written about him, but she couldn't help but wonder about his personality. If he had as much in common with Myka as she did. Had, once upon a time.
"How wonderful." They had never been much for small talk; conversations had almost always run deep between them, and this particular topic was as painful as it was uncomfortable to continue. Helena's hand strayed to the locket about her neck and the motion might have seemed absent to someone who didn't know her mannerisms so well. "I I never intended to burden you with my uninvited arrival, Myka." Myka flinched at the sound of Helena saying her name and the movement sent daggers through her heart, but still there was that familiar forced burst of airy laughter that seemed so misplaced. "But it would seem as though my feet brought me here regardless. Lead by my heart, despite what my head might say." The world was not made up of second chances, it had been formed on the backs of hard decisions and self-sacrifices; things Helena longed for and yet did not fully understand. She would die for the woman before her, and yet no second chance would fall from Myka's lips because Helena had betrayed her in a way in which you should not be able to betray someone you claim to love.
Because she did love Myka and that was a fact that had never been false. That Myka had loved her in return; that was from where the hurt stemmed.
"You can't " Myka stared at her hard, gaze unwavering even as Helena saw her composure begin to crumble. "You don't get to say things like that anymore." And give way to the anger she knew had been festering. "You don't get to tell me that you love me and then betray me! You don't get to disappear into the Bronze Sector for ten goddamn years without so much as an "I'm sorry" and then just show up unannounced!" All that passion, all of the fire she remembered about the other woman began pouring from her. Pent up and locked away for years; the floodgates were finally open. "I loved you, Helena! I would have died for you." And Myka's voice did finally catch then, struggling with the words and the truth of them. "And you spat on that, and pressed a gun to my head." Shame was not something with which Helena was unfamiliar, but Myka's burning gaze, flames raw and hot with hurt and confusion; she was not used to having Myka direct such expressions at her. The Myka she remembered was all lingering glances that were edged with love and warm smiles as the lips that wore them pressed feather light kisses against pale skin. The Myka she remembered had indeed spoken with a similar vehemence, though it had been in Helena's defence once upon a time.
"It was never my intent to hurt you-" The words were wrong, in so very many ways, but they left her regardless and Myka's anger boiled over at their prompting.
"No. Your intent was to kill me. Along with every other living soul on this planet." Her tone was biting, stung, hurt; the culmination of too many years spent holding everything in. Her eyes, so vivid and brilliant in Helena's memory, turned hard and cold as they stared at her. "Like sweeping bugs from a windshield, and I was just another one in your way. At the end of the day, I meant no more to you than anyone else." The accusation hit her like a physical blow, churning her insides until bile rose in her throat and she almost gagged on the acrid taste of it.
"You meant so much more to me than I'd ever wished. Ever hoped. More than the part of me that sought revenge wanted, but just as much as that weak part of me desired." Her lips quivered as she spoke, curving upwards in some semblance of a smile that more closely resembled a grimace.
"And in the end none of that mattered, because you betrayed me anyway. You put a gun to my head and tightened your finger on the trigger."
Images that would not fade no matter how much time passed floated through the labyrinth that made up H.G. Wells' mind.
"You are lying to yourself! You never wanted this!"
But she had. That deeply damaged part of her had lusted after destruction for so long, the idea to simply not go through with her meticulously crafted plan had never seriously occurred to her. It had flickered to life briefly, but died a swift death; the flame of a candle caught by a breeze.
"You're so filled with grief and anger, but there is a part of you, I know it, there is some small part of your soul that knows this is wrong andand that part is still alive, and it's just pushing to get through. That's the part that refuses to kill the very people who can stop you."
Myka had been right, of course she'd been right, but Helena had pondered over what would have happened next had it been anyone other than Myka attempting to talk her down. Had it been anyone else reaching for her, forcing her to twist out of the grip lest it sway emotions she had no longer wished to acknowledge in the moment. She could still feel the cold imprint of metal against her palm as the gun was forced into it. And she had always so detested the weapons.
"If I am wrong, then kill me. Do it! Kill me now! I mean we're all going to die anyway, right, so what's the difference?"
And Myka's burning passion had flooded the moment, desperate to pull Helena back from the edge. She remembered the pressure of the barrel pushing against Myka's forehead, remembered the way green eyes had fixed her with emerald fire.
"Do it. Just shoot me now. Kill me. But not like that. Not like a coward. I want you to look me in the eyes and take. My. Life. C'mon. Do it. Do it!"
But as much destruction as Helena was destined for, she couldn't destroy the woman before her. Not like that. The decimation of Myka Bering had been fated to be dealt on a far deeper level and there had been nothing either of them could do to stop it. Helena had been too driven by a need she didn't know how to let go of, and Myka had been too in love to see her for what she truly was. A monster.
"I didn't come here to fight, Myka." She sounded broken, lost, but expected no pity and received just that.
"Why did you come here?" And the question was repeated with no small sense of pained wonder. Because Myka had never expected to lay eyes on Helena ever again, and she'd made peace with that. It left Helena breathless; she who had moulded minds and shaped imaginations had been struck speechless. She could not say what she wanted, would never again speak those three words that had once been stated with such reverence and oftentimes had been whispered into the darkness of night as they lay curled in one another's embrace.
"There are times that call for apologies, and there are those that repel them. That cast them out as though offended by the mere notion of speaking them, the idea as sullied and repugnant as the deed that birthed the apology into an almost-existence." The gnarled and bony fingers of sorrow and regret clawed at her soul, her heart, every inch of her worn and weathered being as she spoke, eyes downcast and undeserving to look into the ones she could feel studying her. "And I am certain that should one be spoken now it would be destined for the farthest reaches of the universe, and so I offer you silence." There was a darkness at the edge of her vision, one that only she could perceive, closing in. "Firm and quite final. I suppose I came here to fulfil a selfish desire born from years spent thinking of the things I'd done and intended to do, of the people I'd hurt," and she paused, gathering the strength needed to force the words that needed to be cast out lest they fester, "those I'd loved and lost in an endless moment of madness and mindless grief." She was not condoning her actions and part of her suspected Myka knew that, for the other woman made no attempt to voice any objections to what Helena was saying. "I know that there is no possible way for me to convince you, that you've no reason to believe me, but I fear I may be driven back into insanity should I hold onto the thought a moment longer." She did lift her gaze then, hesitantly meeting Myka's eyes for fear of what she might find there. It was a fear that was not ill nurtured, for there was a multitude of negative emotions shining in once smiling eyes. "I did love you, Myka." She watched the pain flash across the woman's face, chased by something else that would go unnamed. Perhaps for the best. "That was never a lie."
There was nothing for Myka to say; nothing Helena expected her to say.
"There are two things that I regret in my life above all else. The first is the death of my daughter. That I took her to Paris that summer, that I left the house that morning, and that I could not prevent any of it despite my efforts." Her breaths were not deep enough, not steadying enough, but she took them anyway. "The second is that I let my grief consume me, eat me alive, and force away the one person who knew me better than anyone else." Myka's face became expressionless at that, all emotion sliding away to reveal a carefully positioned blank slate that Helena was not accustomed to seeing. It shook her, pulled at her, and crushed her. "I will never forgive myself for what I've done, what I've forced you into doing. That my actions took you away from the Warehouse ." She tapered off, voice breaking beneath the insurmountable bulk of her remorse, and though the need to cry rose like a wave within her, she would not shed any tears. Not today, not in that place. Not in such undeserving company. "I betrayed you in a way no person ever deserves to be betrayed, least of all someone who is loved so desperately." And she didn't want to, but Helena found herself scrutinizing Myka's face regardless of that, searching for something, daring to hope as selfish as the desire to do so might be. "I would never come here looking for forgiveness, Myka." It was the truth and she felt the heavy weight of it against her soul, as she felt her lips widen into a smile. Because sometimes it was either force yourself to smile or finally succumb to the tears that had been threatening for a decade. "I simply came because I found myself unable to stay away." Myka looked so fragile then, pressed against the counter with her arms folded across her chest, almost disappearing into the oversized burgundy sweater she was swaddled in and wearing the slight crease in her forehead as a frown. No matter what, Helena would carry this image of the other woman with her forever. Because there was no hate in her expression, no flicker of loathing, only confusion and the ghost of emotions that had long since been laid to rest.
"I had to move on from you, Helena." Despite her understanding of them, the words were like icicles piercing her heart, their irrefutable chill spreading rapidly to all ends of her body. Myka's eyebrows knitted together and her curls swayed slightly as she shook her head. "Loving you, after what you did? It wasn't right. I couldn't go on, couldn't live like that. It took time and a lot of healing, but after a while the pain and loss just became kind of numb, and I needed that. It let me live again." A sigh left Helena, breathy and unstable, but her nod was resolute. "I came to terms with what you did a long time ago, I understand why you did it, the level of pain you must have been in
but that doesn't mean I was able to forgive any of it. Every time I tried, a voice in the back of my head would start screaming at me, reminding me that you could have come to me with it. You could have told me." And she could have, Helena knew that. Myka would have been the only person, was still the only person. "Because I loved you more than I've ever loved anyone, and there was nothing I wouldn't do for you." But it was too late. "There was nothing you could have said that
." The sentence faded to nothing and died, but Myka's tears had always been the silent kind. She remained stoic and vigilant, even in her sadness, and when a tear did finally slip over to stroke the plane of her cheek, Myka didn't lift a hand to brush it away. Instead, she let it fall, her glassy green gaze never leaving Helena's. "I never thought I'd see you again." The evidence to support an opinion not yet voiced was laid out before Helena for even the blind to see and though the remnants of her heart shattered impossibly further at the reality of it, she had always been one to speak her mind.
"I should not have come here." Something familiar flickered across Myka's face, but it was banished far too quickly for Helena to put a name to, chased away by the foreign shadows that had moved in over the years that had seen her absent. Glancing down towards her feet, Helena wrung her hands, twisting her fingers, and when she finally looked up again she found Myka's attention on them. "It was wrong of me to burden you this way. You have a life, a love," she took a breath, working her lips into a heart-wrenching sham of a smile, "things that I am connected with in only the most negative of ways." Helena's feet began moving without her permission, taking her backwards away from Myka and towards the door of Bering and Son's. Myka pushed herself from her place leaning against the counter, arms dropping to hang lifelessly at her sides, and she stood looking somewhat shell-shocked as Helena began to leave. "I am
so very sorry." And that wretched word, that poor excuse for penance she had been so desperately trying to avoid found a way to slip free despite her efforts. "Don't forget me, darling." Because Helena had long ago resigned herself to the notion that the world might not remember her, for the woman she truly was, but the idea that Myka would be among those that didn't crippled her. And it was only as she turned that Helena's vision began to blur, the feeling of moisture gathering in her eyes unfamiliar after so long spent being unable to shed any tears.
The same bell that had heralded her arrival signalled her exit, and then she was gone.
She had a vague awareness of the memories that were filtering in as she gazed up at the charming façade of the bed and breakfast, absently wondering how she'd gotten there. There had been cars involved, perhaps even a train at one point, but she couldn't recall any further details. The last twenty-four hours of her life had been little more than an impression upon sand, washed away with the tide to leave only distorted images until they faded completely.
Leena showed only minute signs of alarm as she opened the door to her establishment to reveal the infamous Helena G. Wells, now a wretched spectre of the woman they all remembered, and she had to wonder if it was something about her aura that had the landlord almost instantly placated, enough to step aside and allow Helena to amble numbly into the hallway.
"I must apologise for disturbing you at this late hour." Her eyes, void of their characteristic mischievous glimmer, flickered upwards only once during her apology and then remained downcast. "There was nowhere else for me to go." Leena didn't know what to say and, intent on the melancholy colours of Helena's aura, she remained silent. Part of her forced silence, she realised, was due to her surprise at the sudden appearance of the inventor; emotional breaks and bruises that we manifesting themselves upon her physical form, her shoulders were slumped in a way Leena had never seen them, her face seemed shadowed, almost gaunt, and her eyes were so starkly empty that they were barely recognisable when compared to the memory of them. Leena remembered them as being brilliant, despite their darkness, rich and full of wisdom, with a lingering spark of madness that was only truly visible in hindsight. "Am I correct in my assumption that you possess means of reaching Mrs Frederic?" A slight frown pulled at Leena's features as she nodded. "Might I ask you to contact her? I seek an audience with her." Still frowning, Leena nodded again and, with one final look back towards the woman stood hunched in the hallway looking for all the world like a frightened creature who had just realised that this world was not the one in which they belonged, disappeared into the kitchen beyond.
"Who the hell let you in?" His voice, she must admit, had always sounded much colder in her head. While bronzed, conversations that had never actually taken place would try and convince her that they were some sort of factual memory. Sometimes, she'd believed them. But as she turned to face the man descending the staircase, she found the gaze of Pete Lattimer entirely unwelcoming, though not quite as venomous as she'd imagined. It was not a tesla he held clasped between his hands, but his handgun, and the flashback came unbidden once more.
"I want you to look me in the eyes and take. My. Life."
Tempting as it often was, Helena would not beg for death. She had not begged for death when her Christina was taken, she had not begged for it when she could no longer fight off her own demons, and she had not begged for it after she'd forced away perhaps the only person she'd ever truly loved and then found her once more only to finally realise she would be lost to her forever.
"Leena, of course." She sighed. "Go back to bed, Agent Lattimer. I shan't be of Leena's, or anyone else's concern for too much longer." Her voice was weak, void of the bite those words might once have carried. Pete stared at her, eyebrows knitted together and a look of incredulity clouding his face.
"If you think I'm going to just leave you alone down here with her, then you're even crazier that I thought." The words stung, or they would have had she not lost all feeling some time ago, but a distant remnant of her former self surfaced at the man's malice and a biting retort formed to perch itself upon the tip of her tongue, about to dive off before the insurmountable pointlessness of the situation stole every last ounce of bravado from her. And confusion flickered across Pete's face as Helena lowered her gaze to the floor and remained silent.
There was a quiet commotion from the landing beyond their line of sight and a bleary eyed Claudia looking not a day over twenty as she sleepily shuffled her way into view appeared on the top step behind Pete. She stared down at the woman at the bottom of the stairs.
"H.G.?" Helena looked up, lips shifting into something that stalled a far way off from becoming a smile.
"Agent Donovan." She was surprised to realise how proud saying those words made her feel. "I apologise for waking you." Claudia blinked at her, eyebrows pulled into a sleepy frown.
"What are you doing here?" It had never been her intent to have this conversation with anyone other than Mrs Frederic, and even then her intent was to not have any kind of conversation at all. Her plan of action, so coolly formed, had consisted of stating her wishes to the caretaker and nothing more. No explanations or reasons why, only as few words as would be needed and she knew that there would be no questions in return. There would only be the mysterious woman's curt reply and perhaps a telling mannerism or two that would betray any inner thoughts on the matter at hand.
"Miss Wells is here to speak with me." And just like that, Mrs Frederic was there to save her, as she had saved her from the bronze some countless weeks earlier, and Leena was at her side. "You may all return to your quarters." It was not a request, but Pete had not changed so much in the last ten years.
"Mrs Frederic, I don't think-"
"You are not employed here to consider matters that do not concern you, Agent Lattimer." Her stare was as cold as her tone, and Pete involuntarily slid back an inch or so on his stair. "Your duties consist of finding and retrieving artifacts-"
"And protecting the Warehouse." And ten years had done nothing to further warm Mrs Frederic to being interrupted. "And any time she," he waved his gun towards Helena, not bothering to even spare her a glance, "is anywhere near it, my alarm bells start a-ringing." He then gestured towards his head. "It's like Notre-freaking-Dame up here."
"Need I remind you that Miss Wells has undergone extensive examinations, examinations which concluded in her freedom?" Pete bristled at that, barking a laugh that was entirely lacking in any trace of humour as he looked around at the occupants of the hallway, dark amazement shadowing his features.
"And it wouldn't be the first time she's managed to pull the wool over people's eyes."
The revealing of lies can destroy what were thought to be sturdily built bonds in an instant, but knowledge of the truth was something that festered, and it had done so within Helena for longer than the decade she'd spent as a living statue. She did not require anyone to voice the things which she already knew out loud, but she also carried a painful awareness with her; she deserved no less. She'd betrayed those who had allowed her into their home, their hearts, and had torn their family asunder.
"Pete." Helena could hear the way Claudia was looking at the man resonating in her tone; warningly, perhaps with a slight shake of her head as she set bright brown eyes upon the lost-looking inventor. There was a moment of silent communication that she did not need to see in order to know was transpiring, but despite the stern gaze she was sure Pete was simmering under, the man began to boil over.
"Claude, she's the reason Myka-"
"I know." But over the years it appeared as though the redhead had refined the skills that were needed to detain the older man. It brought forth memories that made her heart ache, memories that saw a younger version of the woman who'd stood before her in 'Bering and Sons' handle him with similar efficiency. "And so does she. She's had ten years to think about what she did, dude. Do you really think that anyone else could possibly be any harder on her than herself?" Helena had never been one to squirm under any kind of attention, and perhaps it was down to her endless fatigue, but she found herself shifting under the negative attention.
"I'm pretty sure I could if I were given half a chance." Mumbled but no less sharp, Pete's words were biting and Helena no longer possessed the strength needed to form a retort, or the care to even think one up.
"That is something you shall not be afforded, Agent Lattimer." Mrs Frederic intoned, the tenor of her voice cool and crisp, and the pointed stare that she set upon the man was the final nail in his coffin of silence. "You may return to your quarters now, Miss Wells and I will speak privately." Pete did not so much as glance over his shoulder as he turned and began ascending the stairs, brushing by a pensive Claudia who's anxiety-riddled gaze would not leave the inventor. And Helena knew. Knew that the girl who had flourished and blossomed into the woman standing before her now was aware of some impending doom, though knew nothing of the details that Helena had begun piecing together, truthfully, sometime before her venture into a small second-hand bookstore.
"You need not worry yourself, Agent Donovan." And even though the frigid chill of bronze could steal a person's breath, it could not steal such innate skills as Helena's talent for deception, but her too-reassuring smile did little to sate Claudia's unease. "I shan't darken your doorway for too much longer." The younger woman, though Helena assumed Claudia's age was likely close to her own biological age now, furrowed her brow and descended the last few steps. The inventor's body stiffened as she neared, but Claudia paid the warning no mind.
"You went to see her." It wasn't a question, for there had always been so few of them with Myka. Dark eyes brimming with the echoes of once insuperable shadows found Claudia's.
"How could I not?" And the redhead felt her already splintered soul fracture further at the heartbreak in Helena's voice. At the pain and the indignity that saturated it. Her gaze flickered towards Mrs Frederic, looming beside them in the gloom like a spectre, ever present, ever watchful.
"Are you " Claudia's frown deepened as she appeared to struggle to find the words, or perhaps to voice them, and Helena felt an inexplicable fear suddenly rise within her. She had never been someone who was comfortable with goodbyes and such things remained unchanged even a century later, especially when she was as uncertain about which emotions would lace the farewell. Claudia had so many reasons to hate her. "Don't." But she did not. And that was precisely why Helena belonged nowhere near her. Regret pulled lines across the inventor's face and sorrow shone in her eyes as dull sparks.
"I've lived far too long." And it was unspoken; there was nothing left. It may have been nothing more than a trick of the light, of the pale moonbeams cascading through the cloudy panes set into the front door of the Bed and Breakfast. "Let me die, Claudia." But Helena couldn't help but wonder if the single tear she caught a glimpse of as it trickled to its death along the redhead's cheek had been real. "The only way I know how."
And when the bronzing process began, like an old familiar friend coming to greet her, it could not feel as cold as she did, and instead she found the vapour warm. Comforting in a way, because while her body remained held in stasis, she could do no further damage to those she held dearest to her heart. Those who would never believe her possible of such a sentiment and she could not blame them.
Her last words to Mrs Frederic formed a request that she never be woken, unless circumstances dire enough to require any of her specific expertise arose, and an almost fond goodbye. The woman had become a semi-permanent fixture in Helena's life for a while, and though that particular period of time had been short, the events that had transpired within it had left indelible marks upon her soul.
The thoughts that would be her last coherent ones shaped themselves as she felt the chill finally begin to sink in.
"It seems we're forever destined to meet at gunpoint."
"And you could keep an eye on me."
"Yes. That thought crossed my mind too."
"And, for the record, I knew you slipped this in my pocket at the cemetery."
"I thought you'd know."
"I knew that you'd think that I would know."
"You are quite remarkable, Agent Bering."
"You're pretty special yourself, Agent Wells."
"Oh god, Helena, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to- I mean, I did, but I shouldn't have and I should really just leave, right? I mean, I should go and-and-"
"If you'd take pause long enough, you'd note that I made no effort to throw off your advance.".
"I thought maybe you were just too paralysed by shock."
"I dare say there is little left in this world that could shock me into such a state."
"There are things I've done, Myka, terrible things that I'm not proud of but they're things that I can never take back. Never undo. I can't allow my feelings for you to sway my decision."
"What about my feelings? What about what I want?"
"And what is it that you want?"
"Isn't it obvious by now?"
"Myka, are you quite certain-"
"I love you, Helena."
And they were given life as she whispered Myka's name and allowed the bronze and the darkness to take her.
"You could have saved yourself, you know."
"Not then, and some things remain far too broken to ever be fixed."
"I would have helped you."
"You'd have tried quite valiantly, of that I have no doubts."
"But the results, you'd doubt those? Why?"
"You weren't enough to save me from myself. My grief and madness saw you driven from me."
"You've become something I simply cannot escape, even here, and I have found that I do not wish to."
Existence rushed back in, the suddenness of it pouring acid into her veins, warming her blood until it flowed more easily and she gasped, breathing in the pain of renewed life. The substance that had become her second skin melted from her and in that barely conscious state, she felt it pool about her feet and then evaporate into nothingness. Her mind was screaming, too many thoughts struggling for coherency all at once, and Helena shuddered and winced as her eyes adjusted to the returned sense of sight. Everything was bathed in the hazy fog that emanated from the Bronzer and it evoked in her a memory of darkened London streets, as it had the first time she'd been awakened from her slumber, though the insidious thoughts that had once accompanied that recollection held no sway over her any longer. They'd died a destructive death such a very long time ago. Now there was only confusion and the ever growing familiar sensation of having her consciousness poured back into her body. Like cement into a mould.
She stumbled blindly, stiff limbs working as if she were wading through quicksand, legs sluggish and stilted as they moved her forward, or in the direction which she believed to be forward. With no sense of her bearings, she might have been walking on the very ceiling that had loomed over her head when she succumbed to her induced sleep and no difference would have been readily present. Those waking moments were the only ones that would ever find H.G. Wells' wits and reflexes dulled.
And so there was no way for her to expect the body her hands connected with as she staggered, feet clumsy and tripping over themselves as they struggled for purchase on the unfamiliar solidity beneath them. Helena blinked, trying to clear both the literal and metaphorical fog that clouded her vision and mind. And like a phoenix rises from the ashes, an angel appeared from the smoke.
Her hands were resting against Myka's chest, left hand at her shoulder, right just above the taller woman's heart, and while she knew that her automatic reflex should have been to pull away, Helena felt her fingers curl into the fabric at their tips. Felt her breath catch painfully in her throat before it struggled its way free as a strangled cry of something close to pain; anguish perhaps. Born of an inability to understand what was right before her; surely every thinking man or woman's nightmare. How was it that even with no sense of direction Helena still managed to find her? The woman she'd loved, dreamed of, betrayed and spent a decade thinking of. Myka's eyes were the same colour as the ivy that crept along the rear walls of Leena's and Helena was reminded of how they always seemed to be at their most vibrant shade of green whenever tears brightened them.
The feel of Myka's heart beating beneath her palm was enough to force her eyes closed once more, because even after all of her time spent surrounded by darkness, Helena could still find some sense of solace in the shadows.
"Is this ." Helena's voice was raspy, almost as broken as she felt, but time at least would ease the roughness of her vocal cords. "Are you quite real?" However, despite what many of the great writers might say, it does not heal all wounds. She felt the chest beneath her palm rise and fall as Myka took a few ragged breaths and then let out a sound that was neither a laugh nor a sob, but hung somewhere in between the two.
"I don't know." And she too sounded lost, a little broken, though Helena knew that their breaks were different. "I haven't been sure about anything in a really long time." Helena's body flinched and then tensed as she felt a hand fist itself in the material of the shirt she wore, heat radiating from flesh that always had held a higher temperature than her own, even once the after effects of being Bronzed had long since worn off. "You feel real." Helena nodded, frowning even as her eyes remained closed.
"My own existence is the only thing I am certain of, though it never fails to be to the detriment of others." A harsh bark of laughter left her then, trailing a quiet sob at the end. "My eyes refuse to open for fear that you'll simply vanish and I'll be blanketed in ice once more." And being bronzed had never been something that Helena had been afraid of.
"Open them, Helena." And where dulcet tones had once failed to soothe the savage beast, now Myka's voice washed over her like a calming wave, easing her dread as the new warmth beneath Helena's fingertips had eased the numbness from her. "I'm here."
And she was. Brown orbs filled with an apprehensive hope fluttered open, and drank in the sight of Myka Bering as though it were the only thing sustaining her. She stood in front of Helena against the backdrop of the Warehouse, solid beneath her palms, radiant before her eyes, and the inexplicable urge to weep gripped her, though again, it would not be indulged. However it remained, omnipresent in its enormity, for even as the proof stood less than a foot from her and seemed as real as Helena herself was, she could scarcely believe it. The human brain could be such a very wicked thing.
"I don't know how or why, but I'm here." Though in truth, Helena's visions of honesty had been rather more unpleasant than the simple straightforward offering Myka presented her with, and she found herself smiling. A small but, for once, very real fragment of something she remembered doing so very long ago.
"I must confess that your words sound like ones stolen from the somewhat dazed and confused forefront of my own mind." Abruptly conscious of her grip on the other woman, Helena pulled her hands back and let one fall to hang at her side as her right hand closed around her locket. Against her wishes, she felt her gaze skitter, shame and fear pulling it away from the face that followed her through the coldest and darkest of sleeps. "You you are here?" Still a question, still distress raising the pitch of her hushed voice at the slight possibility that it was a trick of the mind, but Myka nodded her head and, catching the motion, Helena felt her worries ease once more.
"Sorry to just show up out of the blue like this." A trace of humour and a slight quirk of full lips, Myka released a shuddering breath and let her concern take her. "Are you okay? Do you need to-" Her sentence fell short as she moved and Helena's entire body flinched, hands coming up as if to reach out and grab her. Hold her, as if afraid that not doing so would result in Myka's leaving. And Myka, just as commanded by the other woman as ever she was, stilled.
"Please." And Helena had never been one to beg before. "Please, Myka why have you come here?" She had never sounded more broken or more anxious to be mended than she did in that moment, staring into glassy green eyes desperate for answers, her voice a shaking whisper. "Why have you woken me?" She watched as Myka took a breath, trepidation stealing the colour from her cheeks, and blew it out with a quivering kind of force.
"You've slept long enough." It would not have appeared to be anything even closely resembling absolution to absent bystanders, but there were so very many levels to forgiveness and a verbal pardon was the weakest of them all, especially with Myka. Myka's true feelings always lay in her underlying expression, in her eyes, in the things that only those who paid close attention would find. And Helena found such sincerity there, it almost brought her to her knees. Because surely there had never been anyone less deserving of Myka Bering's forgiveness. Of her hesitant gaze and the heat that seeped into Helena's skin as Myka placed a hand against her cheek. "The biggest mistake I ever made was letting you walk away from me, back into this prison," her eyes flickered around the Warehouse dungeon with distaste, "and turning my back on everything I'd come to know and love, the people who'd become my family." Helena's head shook against Myka's palm, but even though her gaze was fierce, the inventor could not find the strength needed to fully pull away.
"You will not blame yourself for my wrong doings. I'll see myself bronzed a thousand times over should such actions see that avoided." Raising a hand, she covered the one against her cheek and curled her fingers around it so that they were pressed firmly against Myka's palm. How long had she wished for such a moment? To be touching her love again? To finally be given a chance to reassure her of so many uncertainties that she herself had planted the seeds of? "I am at fault. Everything I did, every step I took along my path of destruction I took in spite of you and everything you made that fragile, still-living part of my blacked soul feel." The thumb at her cheek brushed gently at a tear Helena hadn't realised had fallen. "You did not walk away from this place, Myka. You were pushed away. Forced by my hand, because I left you no other option. That you are here now," Helena shook her head, frantic with her inability to understand, "standing before me, I don't-" Myka's free hand came up and suddenly Helena's face was tenderly, though firmly, cradled, and the shock of her unexpected capture stole her words.
"I'm tired of pretending, Helena." And stilled her heart within her chest. "Seeing you at the bookstore made me realise that that's all I've been doing." Myka sounded frustrated, with herself and the circumstances that Fate had seen fit to settle her with. "I've been pretending that being away from the Warehouse meant I'd separated myself from everything that happened. From the memory of you and us and everything I thought we'd had." And Helena's heart beat once more with the power of its aching.
"Myka, I can't ever explain how sorry-"
"You don't need to!" Passion flared behind emerald eyes. "Don't you see? You've been bridled by guilt for as long as you can remember." Reaching out, Myka's fingers slipped through silky tresses as she brushed the strands from Helena's face. "And as much as I thought I didn't, as much as I tried to convince myself that I didn't, I know you." Her hand drifted down to rest at the base of Helena's neck, the contact almost searing the skin beneath her clothes. "And I know that you'll never forgive yourself, but that isn't your responsibility." Myka rested her other hand against Helena's shoulder and levelled her gaze. "It's the responsibility of the people you hurt." And the inventor was certain she felt her soul flinch. A strangled sound left her then, so very close to a sob but not quite there, and in trying to pull away she realised that Myka had anticipated her actions, and so she found herself caught. Held steady. "You hurt me." Even as her world crumbled again and her gaze followed its fall, turning away from the woman intent upon her as she became filled with disgust. As if it had ever left.
"I know that." The admission was uttered with bitterness, sour with the anger she felt towards herself and herself alone. But Myka's persistence had never known any bounds and her urging brought Helena's eyes back to her. Myka had always been stunning when gripped by a ferociously strong belief.
"And I forgive you." But usually, her belief was not so misplaced.
"How?" Helena wanted to rage, wanted to scream the words at her, but her lack of strength left her floundering. "How can you possibly forgive all that I've done? To you, your teammates your family and those that came before you? The lives I've taken, tried to take, how can you wish to exonerate me from such reprehensible acts?" And despite Helena's intent, her questions rang as desperate pleas to Myka, who saw only one way to ease them.
"Because I love you." With the truth. "I never stopped loving you. It didn't seem to matter how hard I tried or how many times I'd beg whatever God or Gods may or may not be listening, it wouldn't go away." She drew back her hands to fidget with her hair and laughed somewhat reproachfully at herself as she did so. "I'd have good days where I managed not to think about anything at all, and then I'd stumble across 'The Time Machine' or someone would bring in a copy of 'The Invisible Man' and I just " She paused, shaking her head as her gaze became distant and she dropped her arms to her sides. The Shelby bulbs that lit the Warehouse reflected off the unshed tears glistening in her green eyes and their light danced across them. After a moment's silence, her eyes met Helena's once more. Determined, and pitifully resolute. "I never stopped."
For all the bravado and ego that Helena Wells let the world see, beneath that she was vulnerable. She had always been vulnerable, and Myka knew that better than anyone else. She'd seen the tell-tale signs of sleepless nights painted upon her face as a mask that no one else appeared to be privy to and had held the fiercely unbreakable inventor as she cried over the loss of her daughter. Myka knew, and she watched the emotions cascade over Helena's features as dark eyes stared at her as though Myka had just handed her the stars themselves.
But even as she was struck speechless by the offering, Helena's hand drifted along the length of Myka's arm until slender fingers grazed the taller woman's knuckles. Gaze drawn downward by the motion and the decent of Helena's own, Myka watched as the pad of the inventor's thumb lightly brushed over the wedding band she wore. The question went unspoken; Helena could not coerce it past her lips and Myka felt no need to voice it. All that mattered was the answer.
"He's a good man." She repeated the words she'd spoken, Helena did not know how long ago, and there was no less truth to them. Myka meant them, as she'd meant every word that had left her since Helena had been awakened from the bronze for a third time, and the expression that shadowed her face as the Englishwoman's gaze lifted was a regretful one. "And we were happy, for a while." Myka offered her a sad smile. "He loved me and part of me loved him too, but there was another part, a bigger one, that hadn't let go." A small frown creased a line between the taller woman's brows. "Couldn't let go." She lifted her hand to fiddle with the ring and glanced down at it. "I didn't take it off because I thought doing that would mean admitting to the failure. To the reason it failed." Her frown deepened as some wayward memory drifted by behind her eyes. "And I didn't think any good could come of that, or that I could handle having that realisation never knowing if I'd see you again." Helena listened, as silent as death, and felt her emotions run rampant. In weak moments, she'd dreamed of this. Of words of forgiveness and reconciliation, of being near Myka again and feeling the familiar burning agony of repentance as a subdued sting; never gone, but eased. A dream was all it had been, all she'd thought it could be, until now. And she didn't speak, because, simply, there were no words in her extensive vocabulary to convey her feelings. There was only heartache and longing, scribed upon her features like letters in a book, and a single trail marking a tear's journey along her cheek. And still, she could not believe.
The ramifications of being Bronzed were few, but unsettling, and none more so than the way you could no longer trust events you perceived to take place before your eyes. Helena had seen many things during her time as a statue, each one more heart-breaking than the last, but this was something she feared she might never recover from should it prove to be simply another figment of her imagination.
"And then there you were, so far from the raging woman who'd been driven by tragedy and agony. You were the Helena I hadn't wanted to remember, because it hurt too much. The one who'd lain in arms at night and still somehow managed to make me feel safe. The one who'd kissed me like I was the only thing keeping her grounded, stopping her from floating off into the atmosphere. The Helena who'd told me that she loved me and had beamed when I said it back." And then something changed in Myka's brilliant green eyes and as she lifted her right hand to join the left, never shifting her gaze from the woman before her, Helena felt her heart shudder to a stop inside her chest. "There's never been anyone else." Myka whispered, voice unsteady but inarguably resolute as she gently tugged and slid the wedding band from her finger. Blindly depositing it into the pocket of her jeans, she stepped forward, crossing the space that seemed cavernous between them, and lifted trembling hands to rest them on Helena's shoulders. At the touch, Helena felt her heart thump with renewed life once more. "How could there be?"
And for all their breaks and fractures, perhaps they could mend one another.
"I should have said this all before," Myka paused, worrying her lower lip as her fingers brushed the skin of Helena's neck and pulled a shudder from the woman, "when you came to see me, but I couldn't." She shook her head a little and released her lip to curve them up into a wry smile. "I needed a bit longer than a half hour to process the fact that you were back, standing in front of me. That you were just you. Standing in the middle of my bookshop, looking like you'd stepped out of a Tuesday ten years ago." And like the first drop of rain after a decade long drought, Helena felt a chuckle bubble up inside her and for a second she forgot entirely how one was supposed to deal with such reactions. Then, finally remembering, she parted her lips and released the soft sound.
"Albeit slightly more haggard around the edges." She was rewarded with another, wider smile, and just like that, everything was worth it. To see Myka's face, radiant before her, indeed in part because of her; the months of prolonged solitude after being released from the Bronze Sector, the harsh enquiries and rigorous examinations, all forgotten in that instance. And there was only Myka.
"It's always been you." And she was not worthy, had never been worthy, but Myka made her feel as though she was. So she took the words and an impression of the moment and stored them away inside her mind for safekeeping, before taking a breath that could never be steadying enough and reached out her hand.
Myka's face was free of wrinkles, save for a few endearing ones that lingered about the corners of her eyes, and Helena's breath caught in her throat as she remembered how the ghost of them had appeared whenever the taller woman had laughed. Before, in that past life. The skin of her cheek was as soft as Helena remembered beneath her palm and she felt her heart swell impossibly as Myka's eyes fluttered closed at the contact.
"We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and mystery." Helena's voice, sombre and wistful, drew green eyes open once more and Myka spent a few heartbeats simply gazing at her. Then, the corners of her lips curled upwards.
"Only you would quote yourself at a time like this." And Helena could not remember a time at which she had felt such elation.
"It may be an egotistical sentiment at the core, but it is one that rings true." She took another breath, gently tracing small nonsensical patterns over Myka's cheek with the tips of her fingers. "So very true, during moments as miraculous as this."
"Stop." Myka whispered, her tone tender but insistent. Helena's tortured soul seemed wont to darken her perception of herself, as it always had, and Myka liked it no more now than she had then. Licking her lips, she scoured her mind for the correct wording and almost chuckled when it found her with little prompting. "'The past is but the beginning of a beginning'," she quoted, bringing another smile to Helena's face. "That's the thing about life and making mistakes, you get to make amends. You get to begin again." And Helena had never wanted anything to begin so badly in her life. In any of her lives. "This is our new beginning."
And in saying that, Myka had made it all seem so very simple. As it had been so long ago, perhaps in a dream, and just like before Myka grew tiresome of waiting for Helena to lean in. And so it was Myka that finally brought their lips together, after an eternity apart, and it was the kind of kiss that new beginnings were made of. Soft and warm, and full of unbelievable promise.
Later, once they finally found the strength to part, Helena would look towards the Bronzer's control console and find that it had been three days since Mrs Frederic had escorted her back to her cell. Three days had been all Myka needed to make her decision and come to her rescue. To save her. But then, Myka had already saved her in so very many ways.
They had lost so much time, but even the most twisted threads of the Fates' loom had ways of working themselves free, and their tapestry was not yet finished. Once aimless strands now shaped two formerly lost souls that had finally found each other.
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