DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are used without permission. No infringement intended.
SPOILERS: Season 2, reference to Ep2 Mild Mannered and all HG Wells episodes
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To ariadni.mou[at]gmail.com

Toaster 2.0
By Athena


"The bread goes into the slots on the top," Claudia said and smirked at Helena as she passed by her on the way to the coffee pot.

Helena rolled her eyes at Claudia's back and slipped two pieces of toast into the toaster.

"Thank you Claudia. I don't know what I would do without you, darling," Claudia said in her best British accent. "Oh HG, don't mention it. I'm here for you." Claudia grinned at Helena over her shoulder.

"Very amusing," Helena huffed. She folded her arms and leaned against the counter, facing Claudia.

"I know. I'm a hoot," Claudia said cheerfully.

"Why are you still here?" Helena muttered. "Artie left fifteen minutes ago."

"I'm driving you."

"Oh no, you are not," Helena said and held up her hands. "I know how to drive, and I've seen you drive."

Claudia made a face at her. When that did not work she changed to a sad face. Helena just shook her head.

"Don't even try. I'm the mother of a young girl," she said and laughed, but then sobered. "Well, I was. My point is, I know all about young ladies' antics to get their way."

"And you're not going to indulge me?" Claudia said shocked. "Not even with this puppy face?" she pointed at her face and tried to look even sadder.

"Not going to happen," Helena said and turned to pull her toast out of the toaster when she heard it pop up. "I might send you upstairs to clean your room. How does that sound?"

"Like it's not likely to happen," Claudia quipped.

"I might put you over my knee if you don't," Helena said nonchalantly as she gracefully slipped into her seat with her tea and toast.

"Try it," Claudia snorted.

"Try what?" Myka said and smiled as she entered the kitchen.

"HG threatened to spank me," Claudia huffed indignant.

Myka gaped and stared at Helena. "You did what?"

"I was merely pointing out that young ladies who do not clean up their rooms might have to live through the consequences. Sometimes that means smarting backsides," Helena explained and calmly sipped her tea.

"How can you even joke about that Helena?" Myka said shocked.

"What?" Helena said confused. "Were you never punished as a child?"

"I'm not a child!" Claudia all but yelled.

Helena just waved her objection away.

"Of course I was," Myka said softly. "But no one ever beat me."

Helena's eyebrows arched. "Never?"

Myka shook her head. "My parents did not believe in that, and neither do I."

"I see," Helena mumbled. "I beg your forgiveness if I have upset you." She looked Claudia in the eyes. "I was only teasing you. You are much too old to be put over my knee."

Claudia made a face at her. "Maybe. Just don't get any ideas."

Helena chuckled and nodded.

"Can you just see the look on Artie's face if he walked into the office and you had me bent over the desk smacking my butt?" Claudia said and laughed.

Myka blushed and suddenly got busy with her coffee. She had no idea why the thought actually seemed almost erotic to her. She had never had any tendencies to enjoy pain in her love life.

"So dominatrix Wells, what's the plan for today?" Claudia said and plopped down on the seat next to her, dangling her foot over the armrest.

"Artie has given me the go ahead to repair my time machine, so that's what I'll be doing," Helena said and smiled at her.

"Do you need any help?" Claudia asked eagerly. "As long as you don't smack me around if I mess up."

Helena laughed and caressed her cheek. "I promise. Let's not talk about it ever again."

Helena glared at the toaster and her stuck piece of toast. She jiggled the handle to get the mangled piece of bread loose, but nothing happened. She sighed in frustration and grabbed her butter knife. Hand posed above the toaster to stick the knife inside to get the bread out she froze at the sound of Claudia's voice.

"NO! HG, stop!"

Helena turned her head, hand frozen above the toaster. "What?"

"Are you crazy?" Claudia said and pulled out the cord. She placed herself between Helena and the toaster. "Repeat after me, I will NEVER stick a metal object inside the toaster while it is PLUGGED IN."

Helena flinched at the loud words uttered at her. She lowered her hand that for some reason had remained frozen in the air and put the knife on the counter. She ran her hand through her hair and sighed.

"Thank you," she mumbled.

"It's okay HG," Claudia said in a much softer tone now.

"All of this is just so foreign and there are so many things to remember," Helena said frustrated. "Don't put metal here, don't start without anything in it, don't use plastic, but at the same time don't use metal," she sank down on one of the kitchen chairs and looked defeated at Claudia. "I don't know if I can do it."

Claudia just stared at her. She had never before seen the look on Helena's face that she currently sported. It also unnerved her to hear Helena speak in any other tone than her normal assertive one.

"HG, you're still smarter than I am. If I can learn how to use these things, so can you."

"Well, the toaster has obviously set its mind on being obstinate," Helena said surly. "It keeps trapping my bread inside."

Claudia smiled and peeked inside the toaster. "One of the thingamajigs is bent," she assessed.

"I beg your pardon?"

"The popper-upper thingy is stuck," Claudia tried again.

"Claudia," Helena said impatiently. "In plain English please."

"The lever that pushes the toast up when it's done is stuck," Claudia said and made a face. "At your service, my Lady."

"So, why didn't you say so?" Helena said and rolled her eyes at Claudia.

"I did," Claudia muttered.


Claudia winced and jumped as Artie's voice echoed down the hall. She stuck her head out the door and hollered back.


Helena winced at the loud yelling. Claudia sighed and grabbed a commuter cup and filled it with coffee and, to Helena's chagrin, added a healthy amount of sugar and cream. She shot Helena a look, warning her not to comment on her coffee. Helena just smiled sweetly and sipped her tea.

Grabbing a Danish from the basket on the counter Claudia headed for the door.

"Later, HG."

"Bye," Helena said, but Claudia had already disappeared.

Helena glared at the toaster again. She brought it over to the sink and turned it upside down while carefully sticking the knife inside to get the toast out. The dark bread slices fell into the sink with a clonk. Helena looked irritated at them and then at the toaster.

"I am an inventor of much more complicated devices than you," she muttered to the toaster. "You are not to defeat me."

When Myka entered the kitchen an hour later it was to find Helena bent over a myriad of electronics parts. She stopped and just stared at her, her eyebrows dangerously close to her hairline.

"What happened?"

"Toaster," Helena muttered.

"Did you have to take it apart and dissect it?"

"Darling, this contraption was malfunctioning. It needed to be repaired."

"Or replaced," Myka tried, which earned her a glare. "They're $10 at Wal-Mart, you know."

"This machine is very simplistic. I am in fact enhancing it."

Helena grinned at Myka, clearly excited with her little project. Myka smiled and squeezed Helena's shoulder.

"As long as you're having fun. I'll even buy a replacement should it not work."

"Not work?!" Helena exclaimed shocked.

"Sorry," Myka mumbled.

Helena huffed and glared at Myka's back before returning her attention to the dismantled toaster.

Myka poured herself another cup of coffee, which had been her original reason for coming down to the kitchen. She watched Helena work and her eyes skimmed over the bits and pieces spread across the kitchen table. Her eyebrows shot up again when she recognized a piece.

"Is that the Iron Shadow's leg?" she said and stared in shock at the remains of the action figure.

"What?" Helena looked confused and then followed Myka's gaze to the piece discarded to the side. "Yes, I believe that is what Pete called him. I found it in a corner in the living room."

"Helena," Myka said gently. "That's a collectible. Pete paid a lot of money for it."

"Oh dear."

"Let's not tell him," Myka mumbled.

"It was discarded and quite dusty. I just assumed that it was not a very precious possession."

"Just get rid of the last pieces and he'll never find out."

Helena nodded. She reached for the cover and put it back in place. Tightening the last screws she looked at her masterpiece and grinned. Myka sat down across from her, watching Helena put all the remaining pieces into a bag before plugging the toaster in. Myka jumped when the toaster moved towards her.

"Helena!" she squeaked as the toaster pushed against her arm.

"I used some of the robotics parts," Helena said proudly.

The toaster took a dive off the table and Myka looked down at it. Against all odds it had landed right side up, still plugged in. She screamed when the toaster pushed against her calf and then almost tipped over on its high end, still pushing against her leg.

"Get it off of me!" Myka exclaimed and pulled her feet up. "Your damn toaster is humping my leg!"

"What the French, toast?"

Claudia stood by the door, gaping at the scene in front of her.

"Helena!" Myka cried out again.

Helena leaned against the counter laughing so hard tears streamed down her cheeks. She wiped her cheeks and finally pulled the cord, effectively stopping the little toaster from going after Myka.

"Sorry darling. It appears that it is quite fond of you. You do have beautiful legs so I can see the appeal."

"Not funny," Myka muttered and eyed the toaster.

"Did you just turn our toaster into an artifact?" Claudia said and stared impressed at Helena.

"No darling, I just enhanced it a little. I thought it might be able to tell me when my toast was done and perhaps even deliver it. Apparently I have a couple of minor kinks to work out."

"You think?" Myka huffed and made a face at her. She jumped when the toaster made another sound as Helena plugged it back in on the counter.

//There are only two types of criminals – parasites, and cowards.//

"Yikes! That's creepy."

"Helena, that thing has to go."

"What's-a-happening peeps?"

The three of them stared at Pete standing in the door. Helena pushed the toaster behind her back hiding it from view.

"Nothing worth worrying about," Helena said and made a little nonchalant wave.

"So you say," he said suspiciously. "What did I miss and can I eat it?

"Oh, for crying out loud, Pete," Myka huffed and rolled her eyes.

Helena pushed the toaster into the corner on the counter and then slowly returned to the table and grabbed the bag with the discarded items.

"Well then," she said and smiled. "I should really…"

"Yeah, we have this thing…" Claudia quickly interrupted and grabbed Helena's sleeve.

"Oh yeah," Myka said and her eyes got huge. She grinned at Pete. "We have a thing," she whispered and quickly ran after the other two.

"What thing?" Pete said and frowned.

Still suspicious that there might be something edible around, he entered the kitchen. A crunching sound under his foot made him stop. He moved his foot and looked down. A piece of unmistakable plastic lay crushed on the kitchen floor.

"What?" He picked up the last remains of his Iron Shadow action figure and stared wild-eyed at it. "Myka!!!"

The End

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