DISCLAIMER: Warehouse 13 and the characters within are not mine- if they were subtext may have been converted very swiftly to main text!
SPOILERS: Spoilers for the season three finalie- for the majority of season two and three.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To flyleafwildkat[at]hotmail.co.uk
Tales of lives past
Helena knew she was staring incredulously, but she simply could not contain anymore shock, "You left the Warehouse?"
Elizabeth nodded, "Yes, I cut ties with the Warehouse shortly after you were bronzed. I wanted nothing to do with the organisation; I would never see harm done to it or its agents- but I would never serve it no longer." The older woman sipped the amber liquid, "Katuranga, naturally, tried to persuade me otherwise. But not even he could sway me. Even Beatrice's pleas could not hold me to the system."
Hearing the name of Elizabeth's old lover, Helena gasped, "Oh, Beatrice. She..."
Elizabeth nodded, "Dead, yes. We never discovered who.... or what..."
"What do you mean?"
The fact Elizabeth looked so disturbed was unsettling for Helena. The older woman took a breath, "An artefact must have been involved; her body was just... Ash. She turned to ash. She was only twenty seven. A lovely girl." Standing, Elizabeth muttered bitterly, "But like so many she got too close to me and to the Warehouse; it was her undoing. She had been sent to bring me back the night she was killed. I would not see her. My selfishness caused her death." Her hand curled into a fist, "Human life is so fleeting, as it is, without a fool such as me causing it to be cut even shorter."
Somewhere in New York City...
"Hey, you okay?" Frank Carson considered himself a good guy. So when a frail looking old man came into his shop at an unholy hour of the morning; he felt inclined to help. The man seemed unsteady as he came to the checkout.
The man's back was bent with age, and his face covered by long lily white hair. "Good evening young man."
Frank glanced at the clock and gave a light hearted chuckle, "I'd say good morning is more in order!"
Looking about, the man said, "So quiet? Are you not busy?"
The young man shook his head, "Nah, not at two thirty in the morning. How can I help ya?"
Running a hand over his neatly trimmed beard, the man said, "A packet of cigars, thank you."
Nodding, he turned to reach the tobacco counter, "Any particular?"
"The best you have."
Frank smiled, pulling the pack from the shelf, "You celebrating or something?"
"Something like that."
Frank held out the cigars, "Well, congratulations for whatever it is."
The man looked up and for the first time Frank saw their piercing grey depths, "Why thank you." Ignoring the cigarettes, the man forcefully grabbed Frank's wrist.
With a cry of surprise, Frank tried to pull back, only to find the man's grip unbreakable, "Let go of me!"
The ringing of her Farnsworth rudely interrupted a most pleasant dream. With a grumble, Myka rolled over. Patting her hand blindly on the bedside table, she finally found the irritating device. Rubbing her eyes, she took a moment to collect herself, "Hey Artie."
Her boss seemed flustered, "Myka, Mrs Frederic wants Elizabeth brought in."
The agent frowned, "Why?"
"She didn't say. Just do it okay? We need you on the next flight back- we have a ping. I'll explain it when you get here."
Nodding, she stifled a yawn, "Okay Artie." Glancing at the clock she suppressed a groan; the screen read 5:45. "Right, what time is our flight?"
"Ten am, from Heathrow."
Nodding, Myka relished the thought of a few more hours of (hopefully) undisturbed sleep. "Okay Artie. See you later." Closing the Farnsworth, she collapsed back onto her pillow. With a sigh she closed her eyes- only for an over-enthusiastic blackbird to burst into song outside the window.
Groaning, she turned over, pulling the pillow over her head, "Please let me sleep!"
Helena chuckled softly at the doorway, "Shall I Tesla him?"
Peeking from under the pillow, Myka pouted, "Don't tempt me."
In that moment, as the light of the dawn filtered through the gap in the curtains, Helena could think of nothing in the world more beautiful than the Agent's messy curls and sleep heavy eyes looking at her with vague amusement. Leaning down, she kissed Myka's, fast faltering, pout. Grinning against her lover's lips Helena sighed happily.
Myka lifted the covers, allowing Helena to slide in; her back to Myka's chest. Wrapping her arms protectively around the smaller woman, Myka placed a soft kiss on Helena's neck. It was moments before the Brit drifted off into a sound sleep. Listening to Helena's soft breathing, Myka quickly followed her lover into the realm of Morpheus.
When Myka's alarm went off at seven, Helena seriously considered throwing it out of the window. Comfortable and warm in Myka's arms, she would have rather surrendered herself to an eternity of inventory and desk work than move. Feeling Myka stir, Helena turned over and said softly, "Good morning."
The agent's emerald eyes opened, meeting Helena's obsidian gaze, "Morning."
"Now darling, why on earth did you turn on that beastly device? Our flight is not till this evening."
Sleep wearing off, Myka remembered the conversation with Artie, "It's been changed. We fly at Quarter to eleven this morning. We've been told to bring Elizabeth with us."
The Victorian tensed, and sat up, "What? Under who's orders?"
Myka frowned, "Mrs Frederic's. Helena, what's wrong?"
Running a hand through her hair she said, "Elizabeth cut ties with the Warehouse some time ago. Though she helped with the setting up of Warehouse 13, out of a sense of duty, she considers herself separate from the Warehouse. She wants nothing to do with the institution."
"But what about Liz?"
"Liz is a regent, and earned that on her own, through her expertise in history and literature. Elizabeth had nothing to do with it." Fully awake now, Helena swung her legs over the side of the bed, "I'll ask her, but Elizabeth is a woman of decision- she rarely changes her mind once it is set."
Finding Elizabeth in the drawing room, Helena cast a mock frown and asked jokingly, "Do you not sleep?"
Her friend answered wistfully, "No."
Momentarily knocked off kilter, Helena decided to resume her point despite the curiosity the single word had ignited within her. "Myka received a call from the Warehouse this morning..."
"They want you to bring me in." Not facing Helena, Elizabeth spread her palms on the mahogany surface of her desk, "I had expected as much." Straightening, she sighed, "
"Will you come?"
Pausing, the older woman, "I suppose I have been deluding myself; thinking I could escape the Warehouse forever." Turning, a ghost of a smile played on her lips, "Once a Warehouse agent, always, a Warehouse agent. I'll come Helena."
Seeing confusion written on Helena's face, Myka placed a hand on her arm, "Are you alright? Did she say no?"
"No... I mean, she said she would come."
The Agent's lips lifted, "Then that's good! Isn't it?"
Falling quiet, the inventor muttered softly, "I'm not sure."
Sitting in the back of Elizabeth's car, Myka reached over and took Helena's hand, "Are you okay?"
"Mmm. Yes, darling, I'm fine. Just deep in thought."
The agent smirked, "Did it hurt?"
Helena's eyes widened, "Myka!" Her hand darted out and pinched the pressure point on Myka's knee.
With a yelp the secret service agent was rendered helpless, as Helena exploited every ticklish spot she knew on the other woman. Breathless from rib hurting laughter, Myka managed to yell, "Okay! Okay! I give!"
Grinning devilishly, Helena let her go.
Elizabeth glanced at the pair in her rear view mirror, "Behave you two!"
HG leant forward and pouted, "Yes mother."
"You aren't too big for a spank young lady... you might have been too small at some point, but your not to big!" Seeing Myka in fits of laughter, Elizabeth said dryly, "That threat stands for you too Myka." Before turning her attention back to the road, hints of a smirk hiding at the corner of her lips.
Sitting in the departure lounge awaiting their flight, Elizabeth's phone buzzed. Pulling it from the confines of her coat pocket she answered, "Hi Liz..." A deep frown set across her features, "Are you sure?... I'm at Heathrow, I've been called into the Warehouse... I know what I said Liz.... I'll sort it. The grab is mine. If they don't like it then they are just going to have to grin and bear it... Right, I'll see you soon. Love you, bye." Hanging up, she gave a frustrated sigh.
Myka returned to the bench they occupied with two coffees and a tea, while Helena was busy paying for their purchases, "Are you alright?"
Taking her coffee, Elizabeth shook her head, "No, I need to change my flight."
Sitting down, Myka's eyes widened, "But, you can't, Mrs Frederic has ordered that you be brought in."
She shrugged, "It is simply tough. There is an object in New York that it is of the upmost importance."
"What is it?"
The older woman replied vaguely, "A compass."
Helena wandered across, "Is everything alright?"
"I need to get to New York ASAP."
Myka chipped in, "Elizabeth needs to collect a compass."
"Is it an artefact?"
She nodded, "I believe so."
Running a hand through her curls Myka sighed, "I'll ask Artie, but he isn't going to like it."
"Yes, Myka, what is it?"
The Agent on the small screen of his Farnsworth looked at him sheepishly, "Artie, Elizabeth says we need to make a detour."
"Impossible! Mrs Frederic said..."
Elizabeth's voice came from the background, "Myka, allow me." The agent nodded, and the Farnsworth turned towards the older woman, "Am to understand you are Arthur Nielson?"
Pulling his chair closer to the desk he replied, "Yes, are you Elizabeth Loewe?"
"The one and only." Fixing him in a glare, which remained piercing even through the low quality picture of the communication device, she said authoritatively, "Now Arthur, I will come to the Warehouse, however I have the need to visit New York before hand."
He paused, "New York? That is where our ping is located."
Elizabeth's frown deepened, "Fill me in."
He paused, "I don't know..."
"Arthur! I am still technically a warehouse agent. Now, Fill. Me. In."
Shocked by the sternness of her tone, he stammered, "A store clerk disappeared on the night shift. The CCTV cameras went dead; all that was found was a pile of ash behind the counter."
The colour drained from Elizabeth's face and she barely managed to stutter, "A..ash?"
"Yes. There were no signs of a struggle, just a pile of ash."
A low, harsh curse escaped her lips, "Bastard."
Artie was taken aback, "Excuse me?"
"Not you Arthur, my apologies. But this artefact has been eluding me since the English civil war. We'll get it Artie, then we'll get back to the Warehouse."
The Museum of Natural History- New York City
Cold grey eyes watched from the shadows, as the night guard made his rounds. As the young man passed, his gaze shifted to the camera in the corner, knowing he was out of its line of sight, he waited until the small red light on the lens blinked out. The low lights went down, along with the rest of the building's power. Moving like a ghost, he could hear the night guard give an irritated growl. Like a panther he crossed the room to the glass display case which held his prize. The backup generator would not kick in- he had made sure of that. Without need for subtlety he smashed the glass, grabbing the compass inside.
Heavy footfalls came up the corridor, and the night guard's torch shone in his face. The man barked, "Put the compass down! I am armed."
A cruel smile twisted across his lips, "Oh how quaint."
"I'm warning you! Put it down now, I will shoot!"
The thief began to walk towards the guard, "Go ahead." He made to reach for his back pocket. The guard- thinking he was reaching for a weapon of his own- fired twice; hitting the man in the dead centre of his chest. Stumbling only slightly, the man looked down to the red blooming across his chest and laughed, before continuing his approach. The guard continued to fire until his weapon was empty. "What the hell are you?!"
"I'm complicated."Lunging forward he grabbed the guard by the throat, "Time to fix the mess you made."
The guard felt as if he was suddenly on fire. Throwing back his head he released a roar of pain.
"Let him go!" Three sets of footfalls interrupted him. Dropping the guard, he looked back to see the three agents come around the corner. The guard's torch shattered on the floor, plunging them into darkness. Pulling an uzi he aimed it to where he could hear the women. As he began to fire he heard one yell, "NO!"
There was the sickening repeated sound of metal meeting flesh, and one fell. Another called the name, "Elizabeth!" Before dropping to her knees. Grinning in the darkness, he turned tail and ran into the shadows.
As the lights came up, Myka looked around the corridor, the thief was gone, along with the compass. Looking down she gave a short cry. Elizabeth lay on the floor, five bullet holes in her torso and neck. Helena had pulled the woman onto her lap. "Elizabeth... You... why?"
The older woman coughed, "Better you than me. The guard, is he?"
Myka knelt beside the man, the man looked to be in his late nineties at least, " He's alive. But I don't think this is the night guard... he's... too old."
It was then Elizabeth started to move. Both agents, stared aghast, as the skin around her wounds began to ripple like water. The bullets were pushed out, and fell with soft plinks against the stone floor. On her hands and knees, she gave a shuddering breath, "It is the night guard. He has been affected by the same artefact which caused the death of the store clerk and Beatrice."
Groaning, she got to her feet, and noticed the agents had not reacted to her words, "Helena, Myka; are you alright?"
It was HG who managed to find her voice, "You just... Your wounds, they're gone."
Looking down, Elizabeth saw the only evidence of the bullet holes were slight tears in the material of her shirt, "Oh, that."
"Yes that." The inventor's eyes searched for any sign of injury, "Care to tell us, what exactly that was?"
Running a hand through her hair, she replied with only one word, "Fountian."
Helena nodded, "I see. Thank you. Again I find you saving me."
Elizabeth rolled her eyes, "You would think after a hundred years you would stop getting yourself into these positions Helena. Do you not remember Lord Gregory?"
The inventor chuckled, "Ah yes, as I recall you threw him through the dining room window at Richmond and he landed in the fountain."
Elizabeth's smile fell, "The compass. Is it still in the case."
While Myka tended to the guard, Helena rushed to the case, "It's gone."
"Höllenfeuer!" Elizabeth began to pace, "Verdammt!"
Helena immediately began to have a sinking feeling, the last time Elizabeth cursed in German was when she had failed to stop an artefact from killing a fellow agent. "Elizabeth? What is the compass' significance? Is that what is turning people to ash?"
She shook her head, "No. Look at the case."
Casting her eyes down, Helena read the plaque through the broken glass of the case, The Compass of Ponce De Leon, used on his first journey to find the fountain of youth in 1815...
The rest was a brief history of the expedition, but Helena was more concerned about the owner, "Why do you need the compass?"
Lowering her head, Elizabeth sighed, "As long as that compass is not locked within the Warehouse the fountain can never be safe. Ponce De Leon was given that compass by a man who had seen the fountain- it was this tale which inspired him to take the journey. What he did not know was that the compass had come into contact with the water of the fountain, and thereafter, its needle only ever pointed in the direction of the fountain of youth." She gave a humourless chuckle, "He never actually used that compass, he carried it as a good luck charm- but he thought it broken. Rather ironic considering that had he followed it he would have found what he sought."
"But I thought you said you destroyed the fountain."
Her friend shook her head, "It is complicated. We need to get this man to a hospital, and get back to the Warehouse."
"You what?!" Artie flew around the room like a tornado of irritation.
Elizabeth bore her teeth, "Don't try me, Artie!" Standing she charged over to the man, "Can you find him?"
"Elizabeth!" Mrs Frederic's voice came from the door.
Her head snapped up in surprise, "Irene!" Approaching the Sage, her voice became a lethal growl, "He has the compass Irene; whoever he is he can find the fountain."
The fear behind her friend's voice terrified Helena. She had seen many shades of this woman; she had seen love, hate, rapture and rage. But never fear. This was a woman who looked down the barrel of a gun with a defiant grin, and had tackled horrors beyond most understanding without so much as batting an eyelid.
Mrs Frederic placed a hand on her shoulder, "We will find him Elizabeth. I promise."
The computer began to ping, spinning in her computer seat, Claudia began to type furiously, "We gotta ping!"
The gang immediately converged on the computer, Elizabeth and Mrs Frederic lingering behind.
Helena leant over to better see the screen, "Where is it?"
"Edinburgh, Scotland. A guy... ewwww."
Myka raised an eyebrow, "What?"
"Dude tried to make out with his sister, then tried to eat the mail man."
Elizabeth's attention was caught, wandering over she asked, "Does it say who it is?"
"Searching..." Claudia chewed her lip, "Ah, got it! The guy who is in the psyc ward was a history professor at Edinburgh university..."
Pete frowned, "Who's that?"
Helena was staring incredulously, "Really Elizabeth? Sawney Bean? That's nothing more than a legend to scare children!"
Both Artie and Elizabeth's eyebrows rose. "Helena, darling, tell me those words did not just pass your lips."
The inventor took a breath, realising what she had said, "Ah, I see. So what about him?"
Pete nodded, "Yeah, any relation to Sean Bean, man that dude is awesome! Takes like ten arrows to the chest and keeps on going at those orks. Like, bang, slash, wha-chow!"
Elizabeth sighed, "No Mr Lattimer, I doubt they are of a relation being as the entire family were wiped out." She paused, "Oh, and Boromir only took three arrows to the chest in the film. Aragon stopped the fourth."
A wild grin spread over Claudia's features, "Dude! You like Lord of the Rings?!"
"I'm old, not dead. Anyway. Sawney Bean, Andrew Sawney Bean, actually; and his wife lived out in the middle of nowhere about ten miles out of Edinburgh. Long story short; they killed and ate travellers who were heading for Edinburgh, and they bred. The family was quite large at one point, children and grandchildren."
The young techy frowned, "But I thought you said they killed travellers, if they ate whoever they saw, who did they marry?"
"There is a reason the man kissed his sister."
Both Pete and Claudia released simultaneous cries of, "EWWWWWW!!!!"
Rolling her eyes, Elizabeth looked at the screen again, "Indeed." She sighed, "Back to Britain then. I feel as if I am on an elastic band across the Atlantic!"
Artie stood, "Wait, wait, wait! You're not going! Mrs. Frederic and the regents want to talk to you."
Seeing the sage nod to Artie, Elizabeth grumbled reluctantly, "Very well." Turning to Myka, she said, "The object you are looking for is likely to be a knife, or a strip of cloth. Something ragged; the family were like rabid animals by the end. Be careful; If the effects make a person like a member of that damned family... just be careful."
Artie handed Myka and Pete case folders, "You two go to Edinburgh."
Claudia called from the computer, "Flights are booked; plane leaves in two hours!"
Myka's eyes flashed to Helena, it would be the first time since the... incident, that they had been parted.
The Brit inclined her head, "I'll be fine darling. Just you be careful out there." The two paused a moment, lost in each other's eyes the world seemed to stop spinning and the entire universe ground to a shuddering halt.
All of a sudden, the office was filled with the sound of throat clearing and pathetic muttered excuses.
Even Mrs Frederic said quickly, "I will see you tomorrow Elizabeth." Before performing her usual vanishing act.
Claudia mumbled something about the gooery, and asked Elizabeth if she wanted to come. Catching on she nodded, "Sounds intruiging!"
Artie retreated to his room, leaving Pete. Awkwardly he began to back towards the door, "Imma go pack my things and yeah..."
Alone in the office, Helena chuckled, "Do you think they are trying to give us space darling?"
Smiling, Myka shrugged, "Probably." Seizing the opportunity presented, Myka pulled the smaller woman close and pressed their lips together.
Melting, Helena eagerly reciprocated. However as she felt herself being hoisted onto the desk, Helena managed to pull back a little, her voice husky; she tried desperately to reign herself in, "Myka, darling..."
The hunger in the other agent's emerald eyes was almost enough to make Helena forget what she was going to say entirely, "Yes?"
Myka's purr sent pleasant shivers up the Victorian's spine- how could this woman unhinge her so?- "Darling, you have a flight to catch, and I am afraid if this goes any further then I won't have enough strength to stop."
Sighing, Myka rested her forehead against Helena's, "I know. It's just..."
Seeing the concern in her lover's eyes, Helena stroked the back of her hand along Myka's jaw and pushed the agent's curls behind her ear, "I know, love. I don't want to be away from you either. But we are Warehouse agents. Duty calls." Brushing her lips over Myka's softly, she spoke softly, her voice breaking a little, "Please be careful love. Come home safe alright?"
Myka nodded, "I will."
Later that evening...
Entering the room Elizabeth was staying in, Helena frowned. Her friend was missing. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed the curtain flutter. Approaching the window, she smiled, "You know, someone once told me off for climbing out of my window at night."
Elizabeth lay with her arms behind her head on the slate roof beneath her window, "You were fourteen at the time, darling."
Sitting on the window ledge, and swinging her legs out, she carefully lowered herself to the slate. Lying down, she turned her head, "Something is troubling you."
Looking over, Elizabeth smiled, "Many things trouble me Helena; you should know that."
Sighing, the inventor admitted, "That makes two of us."
"What's wrong?" Turning onto her side, Elizabeth's brilliant eyes flashed with concern.
Looking up at the sky, Helena shrugged, "I don't know."
Helena could feel Elizabeth measuring her with her gaze, "Helena."
A humourless chuckle escaped her, "I should know better than to lie to you by now." Closing her eyes, she took a moment to formulate her words, "I tried to destroy the world Elizabeth."
"The Minoan trident?"
The Victorian nodded, shamefaced, "The world was not what it was supposed to be! A utopia of freedom and equality was supposed to have emerged; but it didn't. Mankind's greed and arrogance had only increased with the passing of the years. I found Warehouse 2, assembled the weapon. For the love of God Elizabeth, I jammed it into the ground twice- I was ready for the third..."
As Helena broke off, Elizabeth asked softly, "What stopped you?"
"Myka." The name was like a prayer to the wounded soul, "She confronted me, and I wouldn't listen. It wasn't until she forced me to hold a gun to her head that I realised; I could never harm a world she lived in."
"You love her." Helena looked over to see the beginnings of a true smile forming at the corner of Elizabeth's lips, "Helena, the thing is; you didn't destroy the world. You stopped. By being able to see the good, in a world you believe beyond saving, is the best thing imaginable. Helena, I have witnessed events which should have shattered all hope for humanity, seen men do horrific things to their fellow man. But within the hate and pain there is always hope. But not everyone can see it. You found yours in Myka, and that restored some semblance of faith in humanity." Opening her arms, Elizabeth said softly, "Come here."
Shuffling along, Helena curled into Elizabeth's chest. Closing her eyes she felt safe; she always had when with the older woman. Her own mother had never been particularly maternal, but from the moment Elizabeth had came into her life, Helena knew she could trust and rely on her. It was this trust which allowed her to utter her next words, "There is a darkness within me Elizabeth; I can feel it. It moves and breathes. When I close my eyes; it's there waiting. My dreams are warped twisted and drenched in blood." Her grip tightening a moment, she muttered, "My only saving grace is Myka. By just being there she chases the shadows away, holding them at bay in the deepest recesses of my mind. When I turned against the Warehouse, I hurt Myka- I betrayed her trust, made her question her ability as an agent- I drove her away from the Warehouse. Yet, she forgave me, and despite my past she loves me."
Elizabeth looked down, "Why, do I sense a 'but' coming?"
"Because one looms; I am terrified that I will hurt her again. That this darkness inside of me will feter and boil until it spills out unto the world again." She shook her head, "I could not live with myself if that happened again."
Pulling the younger woman closer, Elizabeth spoke with power, "It won't happen. You love her Helena, and you won't do anything to hurt her. You can fight this tide inside of you; for her. Never underestimate yourself, darling. If you put your mind to it, love can conquer all; it is just a case of surrendering to it."
Elizabeth had been right. As Pete wrestled with an, insane and cannibalistic, museum worker; Myka grabbed the bone handled knife from a nearby display and dropped it into a static bag. Flinching away from the bag, Myka could hear Pete give a sign of relief as the woman attacking him went limp in his arms. One eyebrow curved and a grin spread over his features. The museum worker was in her late twenties and stunning- aside from her previously homicidal impulses of course. "What the bleedin' hell jes happend ere?"
Pete helped her gain her own feet, "Sorry about the rough housing ma'am, but we believe you have been under the influence of a..."
"Drug." Myka filled in.
"A drug? A dinnee ken whoat yer on aboot hen, but I divint touch the stuff." Seeing the blank looks from the agents, she said more simply, "I'm no on drugs."
Myka nodded, "Oh, of course, we believe someone may have spiked a drink or food. It's a sad but true fact of modern life that people do this sort of thing for fun."
She nodded, "Aye, it's a bloody disgrace. Willa be alright?"
Checking she had her balance, Pete puffed up his chest and slipped into his 'charming secret service agent' tone, "Yes ma'am, we gave you the antidote, and you should be absolutely fine."
Turning her attention to him, the woman grinned, "Why thank'ee, stranger. You from across the pond then'?"
He nodded eagerly, "Yeah, flew in yesterday."
"Firs' time in Edinburgh then?"
"Yeah, love it though! Och aye!"
Myka could have face-palmed, the woman straightened. Helena had whispered something in her ear before she left, don't offend highlanders. From what she could see of the woman's body language and the broadness of her accent, Myka gathered that was exactly what Pete had just done. Stepping in before her oblivious partner was flattened, Myka said, "Pete! We should go, our flight leaves in a few hours."
The woman caught Myka's eye and seemed amused, "Well, thank'ee very much for helpin' me an' all. Was good o' you."
"All in a day's work ma'am." Pete tipped an invisible hat to her. Before heading to the exit with Myka.
"She was sooooo into me!"
Myka shook her head, "Pete, she was about to punch you!"
Looking to his partner, he shoved her playfully, "Get outta here! She was totally diggin' the Pete-ster!
"Well, she was until you did that stupid Scottish accent. Then I thought sure she was about to turn you into haggis."
The car journey with Mrs Frederic had been long and silent. Elizabeth had only met the woman a handful of times- most had ended with some form of weapon being drawn- so to say the women were cautious of each other would be an understatement.
Finally they pulled up outside of a school. The hour was late, and there was no chance of any students remaining in the building.
Mrs Frederic looked over to her, "It's time."
Elizabeth nodded, "Fine. Let's get this over with."
Though they hid behind masks of apathy, Elizabeth could see the eyes of the regents regarding her with fear. She had seen the same look upon hundreds of faces, each trying to think of a solution for the same problem. She knew she was a wild card; a loaded gun which they knew could either protect or destroy the Warehouse. After five minutes patiently waiting for the questioning to begin, Elizabeth sighed, "Well? I assume I was brought here for a reason." Her voice remained neutral but she was beginning to tire of the same routine every time the regents called her in.
There were three of them; Mr Kosan, Mrs Frederic, along with a woman; who Elizabeth was not acquainted with.
The woman spoke, "I understand you may find this an inconvenience, but it is essential that you check in with the Warehouse at least once a decade. You have had no contact with us for nearly sixty years."
Leaning forward, she said steadily, "With respect..."
Elizabeth nodded, "With respect, Mrs Lattimer, I have been doing this long enough to be able to handle my own issued; I do not need to be coddled by the Warehouse."
Jane shook her head, "It isn't about that Miss Loewe. The Warehouse will not abandon one of their own. Although you technically resigned over four hundred years ago, and officially cut ties in 1900; we feel it is our duty to ensure your safety."
As Jane was speaking, Elizabeth's grip on the arms of her chair tightened until her knuckles were white. Attempting to keep her tone level, she growled, "The Warehouse does not abandon its own? Did I hear you correctly, Mrs Lattimer?"
Jane's lips turned in a confused frown, "Yes."
A low humourless chuckle escaped Elizabeth, "This place never changes. I would suggest you alter your statement Mrs Lattimer; the Warehouse will not abandon one of its own; as long as that one remains to be an asset. Would you not say that is a more accurate estimate?"
Mrs Frederic began, "Elizabeth, I know the situation with Helena upset you but..."
"Don't Irene!" Elizabeth's tone had sharpened but had remained at the same volume, "Don't you dare turn this into a lecture about emotional detachment. From the moment this happened I made it all too clear that I would do my upmost to remain objective; but I also made it clear that there would be times when that simply was not possible." Elizabeth glanced at the clock on the wall; this was a new record. She always ended up on the defence when she was with the regents, but she had not lost her temper so soon before. An amusing thought fluttered through her mind, I must be getting crabby in my old age. Fixing Mr Kosan in an unshakable glare she growled, "Why did you bring me here? I assume you want something."
The man ran a hand over his chin, "Unsurprisingly you are right. We want you to return to the warehouse. We feel your experience and expertise will be invaluable if applied in the field..."
"You don't need to flatter me Adwin. I will return. But know this. The only reason I am sitting here with you is because Helena asked me to come; also, if I ever hear Helena's name and the word bronze in the same sentence from any of you- unless it is an apology, I won't just leave the Warehouse- I will depose you all."
Mr Kosan nodded, "Very well."
After another half hour of sharing information, Elizabeth left with Mrs Frederic. Concerned, Jane leant over to Mr Kosan, "Adwin, her threat, is it possible?"
He nodded, "I am afraid so, Jane, because of the amount of time she has spent within the Warehouse, she has a stronger connection to it than anyone; besides Irene of course." He sighed, "Warehouse eight watched her grow up, and the affection it felt for her has been passed to every Warehouse that followed it. Irene told me that the Warehouse shudders when she comes near- as if it is excited to see her. When she left after Agent Wells was bronzed the artefacts of Warehouse 12 went ballistic." His dark eyes became concerned, "There is something else. As the guardian you are authorised to know, but the other regents are not to be informed."
Jane nodded, "I understand."
"It is about Elizabeth's accident..."
Walking back into the B&B Elizabeth, sighed. Leena walked into the hallway and flinched at the turbulence of her aura. The woman herself seemed to be no more than a little tired, but her aura was a duel of fire and ice, fierce battles of will were going on behind her eyes. The innkeeper asked, "Are you alright?"
Running a hand through her hair, Elizabeth smiled and nodded, "Yes I'm fine."
Leena frowned, as Elizabeth's aura changed; almost as if she were suppressing it to match her external mask of calm. "Alright. Just let me know if I can get you anything."
"Thank you Leena." Spotting HG at the top of the stairs, Elizabeth called, "Helena."
Looking down, the inventor smiled, "You're back!"
She nodded, "Have you had any word from Myka?"
"She and Pete found the artefact; you were right, it was a knife belonging to one of Sawney Bean's sons. They are on their way home now. They should be landing in about an hour."
Seeing the barely restrained childish glee on Helena's face at the prospect of Myka's return, Elizabeth said casually, "You know, I really should get some practice driving on the wrong side of the road again. Maybe a trip to the airport and back would refresh my memory."
"Arthur, you are being unreasonable."
Artie's eyebrows shot up, "You want to use my car! How do I know you won't wreck it?"
Elizabeth rolled, "I have been driving since 1886, you can trust me with your car Artie. I promise not to let Helena drive."
The inventor frowned with a shout of, "Hey!" In protest, hiding her pout, Helena turned to Artie, "She is the best driver I know. You should see her garage."
"Arthur, I promise to look after your car, as if it were my ford GT40." His eyes went blank, "I will not break your car."
Grumbling, he relented, "Alright. But you fill her up on the way back. Be careful."
"You have my word."
Helena fidgeted with the hem of her coat as they waited in the terminal. Elizabeth placed a hand over Helena's stilling the movement. She chuckled quietly, "I've never seen you this excited. Not even as a child."
"We haven't been apart since... Well, since the incident with Sykes and the bomb... After my brush with death I have this insatiable urge to be close to her."
"It makes sense." Her eyes rose, and a smirk washed over her lips, "And your wait is over."
Walking out of the terminal, bickering with Pete, was Myka. The agent looked confused when she heard her name being called. Seeing Helena walking towards her, she wore a broad smile, "Hel!"
One would almost think it had been weeks rather than two days since they had been together. Helena swept her lover into a passionate kiss right in the middle of the terminal. Elizabeth wandered up behind the inventor; she and Pete exchanging awkward glances and attempting to make conversation, "Good trip?"
"Yeah, flight was a little bumpy but not too bad."
"Ah, I see. So it was a knife?"
He nodded, "Yeah."
Elizabeth chewed her lip, and Pete rocked back and forth on his heels. Eventually she decided it was time to intervene. "Come on ladies, save some for when you get home."
Myka blushed furiously, but Helena merely wore her vulpine grin, "I can't wait."
Pete's eyes went wide, clapping his hands over his ears he began to playfully run for the exit, "Uh uh! Stop it HG!"
Pulling Myka closer she purred, "Something wrong with me wanting to ravish the love of my life agent Lattimer."
Myka's cheeks were positively crimson, "Helena..." Her words were cut off as she gave a yelp, as Helena pinched her behind, "Helena!"
The Victorian smiled innocently, "Yes Darling?"
Elizabeth clapped her hand, "Alright! I say we move this elsewhere before these two get arrested for exhibitionism."
Laughing, they began to head for the exit. Elizabeth's attention was caught as she heard Myka mumble something. "What was that agent Bering?"
Myka bottom lip was trapped by her teeth in surprise at getting caught, HG however was trying to hold back laughter. The way Elizabeth's eyebrow curved reminded Myka of a school teacher, "Well?"
Embarrassed, Myka mumbled, "I was just saying they probably wouldn't arrest us, being as we are both women."
To her surprise the older woman laughed, "I dare say you are right!"
In the car Pete had called 'shotgun' because, and quote, there was 'nooo freakin way' he was sitting in the back with those two. Relaxed at the wheel, Elizabeth suddenly stiffened in her seat. Helena tore her eyes away from Myka for a moment and frowned, "Elizabeth?"
The older woman's eyes were darting around the surrounding area. "It's close. I can feel it... it's." Her eyes went to the wing mirror, "Helvete!"
Turning in her seat, Helena saw a car racing up behind them, "Who is that?"
The older woman's brilliant green eyes were sharp as razors as she watched the other car come closer, "It would seem it is our friend from New York." Tightening her grip on the wheel, she growled, "Hold on." The engine of Artie's jaguar roared as Elizabeth floored it. Seeing a turning she waited until the other car was right behind her before swerving off into the other lane. Pete, Myka and Helena clung on for dear life as Elizabeth executed perfect, but terrifying, driving manoeuvres in an attempt to lose their tail. However the man in the black Porsche behind, managed somehow to stay onto them.
The pair raced past a squad car. Blue and red lights began to flash as he too joined the chase. Elizabeth hissed, "For the love of... Verdammt!"
Up ahead she could see a road works, traffic building ahead, she checked her rear view mirror again. The Porsche showed no signs of slowing. Eyes ahead again, she released a sigh, "Artie is going to kill me."
Pete asked, "Why? Elizabeth? What are you going to do?"
She pointed ahead, "See that sign?"
His eyes met the new metal road sign which was waiting to be put up. Pete answered her uncertainly, "Yeaaaaah."
Myka's jaw dropped, "We're not."
The engine grew louder as Elizabeth pushed it harder, "I'm afraid we are! Hold on!"
The suspension banged as they hit metal, but the car launched into flight none the less. Revving the engine in the air, Elizabeth readied herself for landing, while keeping the car level. The tires screeched as she forced the car to skid 180° on the spot before tearing up the other side of the motorway. Unfortunately, the Porsche driver managed to pull off a similar feat. Elizabeth gritted her teeth, "Who the hell is this man?"
Weaving in and out of traffic, Elizabeth was only thankful that there had been a gap in the traffic when she had taken the jump. Horns blared as she dodged swiftly and skilfully in and out of the rush hour traffic. Her voice was practically a roar when she yelled, "Call Mrs Frederic!"
Pete grabbed the Farnsworth, "I don't know how!"
Snarling, she pulled her phone out, "Use this."
"Dude, you have Mrs F's number..."
"Not the time Pete!"
Jumping, he nodded, "Sure! Sorry!" As fast as he could, while still holding onto the car door for dear life, Pete found and rang Mrs Frederic's number.
"Mrs F! It's Pete!"
He could almost see her frown, "Agent Lattimer? How did you get Elizabeth's phone, and what on earth is that sound?"
Pete had to yell, "It's the wind, we're in Artie's car! But the thing is we've got a guy chasing us, he's like crazy! Elizabeth is pulling all the moves she has but he's still coming!"
"Who is it?"
"Elizabeth says it's the guy from New York."
The Sage sounded unnerved, "The one with the compass?"
"Yeah, that's the one!"
"Listen to me Agent Lattimer, under no circumstances is he to catch Elizabeth, do you hear me! Protect her at all costs."
He nodded, "Yes Ma'am, but what do we do?"
"I'll organise a road block, what is your position?"
Quickly telling her their co-ordinates, Pete added, "Please hurry Mrs F, he's gaining."
True to her word, within minutes the road was clear, and five miles ahead there was a road block. The cars moved back, just far enough to let them through. The Porsche's wheels smoked as he slammed on the breaks and skidded around to tear back up the wrong side of the motorway.
Resting her head back, Elizabeth released a sigh of relief, "I don't know who he is, but he is too determined. There is no doubt he knows exactly what that compass does."
Helena leant forward, having relinquished her hold on her seat belt as they reached a safer speed, "What does it do?"
The older woman's eyes lay dead ahead, their brilliant green depths filled with concern, "It leads the holder to the fountain of youth."
The inventor nodded, "We know that, but why is he coming after you?"
Elizabeth turned, "I am the fountain, Helena."
"How could you not tell me you were the fountain?"
"What does that even mean? How are the hay are you a fountain?"
"So that guy is after you? As in the fountain? How is that even possible?"
As they reached the office Elizabeth's nerves, frayed by the bombardment of questions, finally snapped, "WILL YOU ALL PLEASE SHUT UP!" The three agent's immediately shut their mouths. The older woman released a sigh, "Thank you." Elizabeth turned to see Mrs Frederic at the desk- frightening Claudia with her sudden appearance.
As the young techi prevented herself from falling from her chair, the sage asked sharply, "You told them? That information is intended for only You, Mr Kosan, the guardian and myself..."
Still emotionally ragged from the car ride, Elizabeth snarled, "It is my secret Irene! When will you learn that I am not property of the Warehouse! It is my burden, and I will share it with who I see fit."
The entire team, bar Elizabeth, shrunk back as Mrs Frederic lost the head completely, "You are recklessly endangering my agents! For once Elizabeth look past your own angst and see the bigger picture..."
"I see it Irene! I see it clearer than you and the regents do! In the dark, your agents are vunerable. Whoever this man is he knows what the compass does, and his actions have already shown that he is willing to kill in order to gain access to the fountain. Unless they know what is going on your agents cannot adequately protect themselves. It makes no sense whatsoever to keep them blinkered!"
Elizabeth roared, "Protocol be damned! I will not see another agent lose their life because you chose to hide crucial details from them!"
Mrs Frederic squared up to the other woman, "And here it comes to the crux of the matter! Elizabeth, you are immortal! You should know by now, that no one else is like you! Humans grow old, get sick, get injured; they die! It cannot be helped, it is part of life! You may not be a slave to the mortal coil, but there is nothing you can do to stop it." The Sage's voice lowered, as she saw the fury in Elizabeth's eyes reaching dangerous levels, "I am sorry about Emily, I know you blame the Warehouse but..."
The tall raven haired woman was a formidable sight, she stood around a head taller than Mrs Frederic, and had the Sage fixed in a lethal glare; her emerald eyes burning. "She is not the only example, I could name hundreds. Believe me; I have more than enough experience to have seen teams of agents destroyed because their superiors deemed it unnecessary to give them the information which would have saved their lives." Elizabeth's voice had dropped to a more civil tone, but there was a bitter edge, that clearly stated that the argument was not yet over.
Mrs Frederic seemed to want to argue the case further, but thinking better of it, she said, "While you may not be the property of the Warehouse, you are part of it; whether you like it or not. There is too much history between you for you to simply walk away."
"Why do you think I am even standing here?"
The Sage took a steadying breath before answering, "Because, despite your faults, I know you are a woman of your word." It almost stung Mrs Frederic, but she refused to say ought but the truth, "And I know that you would protect the Warehouse until your last breath."
The anger on Elizabeth's face dissipated like smoke on the breeze, and she sighed. Her voice lowered to a soft tone, "Then why can that not be enough?"
Another voice came from behind, "It is."
Seeing Mr Kosan walk in, Elizabeth nodded, "Thank you." Brushing a few errant curls from her eyes, Elizabeth asked, "Now can we please start tracking that saukerl."
Claudia spun to face the computer, "I've been trying to track the licence plates of the car chasing you guys." Typing furiously, she grinned, "Got it... Frack!"
Elizabeth came to the computer, "What is it?"
"The car was reported stolen a week ago. Square one, we meet again."
"Was there no footage from the museum?"
The young woman shook her head, "Nada, he must have taken out the cameras because the entire power, including the back-up generator went dead minutes before the robbery."
Elizabeth frowned, "I thought the CCTV would have a separate power source."
"They do. I think he may have used some sort of EMP, the generator was sabotaged, and the wiring in the entire building was completely fried." Leaning back in her chair, Claudia released a frustrated grumble, before asking, "Did you guys get a look at him? Either in the car or in the museum?"
Helena shook her head, "Unfortunately no on both counts. He was wearing a mask in the museum, and his face was hidden by sunglasses and shadow in the car. I would estimate he had black hair, but that is all I can give you."
Myka shook her head, "I didn't catch anything either."
"I was too busy clinging on for dear life, and trying to call Mrs F to notice much else."
Elizabeth puzzled a moment before asking, "What about the supermarket? I suspect it is the same person."
Claudia nodded, "I can check." The girl frowned, "There isn't anything to hack. I think they have an old fashioned tape system."
"Verdammt, maybe..." She was cut off as the screen of the computer flashed up a map and began to bleep, "Now? Really?"
Claudia smiled sympathetically, "Sorry, can't control the pings! It's in Athens, Greece."
Elizabeth nodded, "I will get this one. Myka and Pete need to rest." Myka began to protest, but Elizabeth cut her off, "Myka, you have just done two off the belt. I will be fine."
Helena cut in, "I'm coming with you."
The older woman shook her head, "No Helena, don't think I haven't noticed you cradling your wrist."
The inventor's eyes widened, as she attempted to hide her injury, she muttered, "I'm fine."
"No, you're not. Let me see." Helena pulled away, "Let me see." Reluctantly, she held out her wrist.
Seeing the bruising and swelling, Elizabeth shook her head, "This happened when I jumped the car didn't it."
Artie went white, "You did what?!"
The older woman winced, "Ah, Artie. I forgot to mention that." She chewed her lip, "In an attempt to escape our pursuer, I was forced to execute a, well rather brilliant, manoeuvre, which involved me jumping your car over the central reservation in order to drive up the other lane on the highway."
Pete interjected, "Hey Artie, you shoulda seen it! It was pretty damn awesome! She rocketed up this road sign, that was about to be put up, then when she landed she like did a half donut and tore up the other side of the road like it was a scene out of die hard or something."
Seeing Artie looked like he was about to either pass out or explode, Myka elbowed Pete in the ribs, before saying, "Artie, the car isn't too bad."
Pushing past the agents, he yelled, "Out of my way!" Before running to the umbilicus to check on his beloved car.
Elizabeth stood awkwardly in the centre of the room, "I know killing me will be a challenge, but something tells me he will give it a damned good shot."
Mr Kosan chuckled, "I have no doubt. I will see you soon Elizabeth."
She inclined her head, "Till then Adwin." Her eyes shifted to Mrs Frederic, "Irene."
Myka gingerly peeked out of the main door to the umbilicus. She had been right, for what it had been through, the damage to the car had been minimal. "Artie?"
The man was on his knees examining the tires and suspension, "What?"
"Is it bad."
Sitting back, he sighed, "No, I suppose I imagined worse. But the tires are shot, the suspension needs replacing, and the wings will need to either be repaired and repainted or replaced."
Elizabeth came to the door, "I will repair your car Artie. I am wholly sorry for what happened, I promised to take care of her, and I failed, for this you have my deepest apologies. As soon as I am back from Athens I will get to work on it."
"Thank you." As he made to stand, she held out her hand, "Thanks."
Pulling him to his feet, she cast a sorry glance at the car, "I hate to see such a beautiful car hurt."
He tilted his head, "You like cars?"
"Having had multiple mid-life crisis's, most about not knowing when I have reached middle age, I have a somewhat well stocked garage. I will have to take you to see it sometime."
From her spot at the door, Myka smiled as she watched Artie warm up to the newcomer, "I think I'd like that."
Elizabeth nodded, "In the mean time however, Myka, would you be so kind as to give me a lift to the B&B?"
As the words left ehr mouth, Claudia burst out of the door, with her laptop under her arm, "Ready to go?"
The older woman looked confused, "Ready to go?"
The young techi nodded eagerly, "Yeah! It's been too long since I was on the case."
Artie shook his head, "No Claudia."
Flicking open her laptop, she wore a triumphant grin, "Need I remind you Artie, that Warehouse regulation forbids a Warehouse agent from going solo on a mission, because of, I quote; the high risk of one agent being affected by the artefact they seek and or coming into irresolvable conflict with a victim of an artefact. Basically, health and safety say she's gotta have a partner."
Punching the air, Claudia nearly dropped her laptop, "Score! Athens Here we come!"
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