DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are used without permission. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: thanks to my awesome beta erinmar13 for catching my mistakes
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To ariadni.mou[at]gmail.com

Two Steps Forward, One Step back
By Athena


Part 1

Myka sighed and played with her spoon. Her coffee was getting cold, but she did not really care.

"There you are! I've been waiting for ages," a woman's voice said with a chuckle behind her. Myka jumped. The voice was eerily familiar. She slowly turned around and tried to spot the owner of the voice. She noticed two women a couple of tables over. The blonde was facing her and the other one had her back to Myka. Myka swallowed when she saw the thick dark hair fall in waves down the woman's back as she laughed. She closed her eyes and turned back to her coffee. She sipped it, and made a face. It was cold.

"Myka, you're pathetic," she mumbled to herself. "Why does every dark haired woman with a British accent make you jump and think it's her?" She pushed her cup away and got up. She strolled past the two women, refusing to look at them. She just couldn't. It would just be yet another disappointment when the face did not match the voice.

"Myka?" her name was said so softly it was almost a whisper. She stopped.

"Myka?" the voice repeated a little louder. She closed her eyes. Could it be? She jumped when she felt a hand on her arm. When she opened her eyes, she looked straight into a pair of eyes so dark she felt she could fall into them and keep falling forever.

"Helena," she whispered.

"My God," Helena whispered and wrapped her arms around Myka in a fierce hug. "I thought you were gone." She pulled away when there was no response from Myka and she realized that she was still standing stiffly in front of her. She took Myka's hand. "Please come and sit down."

Myka silently followed her to the table and sat down on the empty chair. She nodded at the blonde woman.

"Jaime, I really have to get going. Let's catch up later," the blonde said and smiled at them.

Helena nodded and smiled at her. "I'll call you."

Myka watched her leave and then turned back at Helena. "Jaime?"

Helena chuckled. "I'm working a case. Undercover."

"As what?"

"An actress," Helena said a little embarrassed.

Myka laughed. "Well you should have no problem with that. I bet you excel at it. They might even give you some kind of award. You certainly played me all right."

Helena put her hand on top of Myka's resting on the table. "Myka, darling, so many things have happened during the last couple of years."

"Obviously," Myka huffed.

"Why didn't you come back?"

Myka shrugged. "I had no right to. I was a liability."

Helena caressed her hand. "You know that's not true."

"I couldn't trust myself. How could I ask them to?" Myka said angrily and glared at her. "You took that from me."

Helena nodded. "I guess I did. Would you believe me if I told you that I did it to save your life?"

Myka shot her a dark look. "No."

Helena sighed and leaned back in her seat. "We had a rogue regent on our hands back then. Somehow a threat had been leaked."

"A threat? So what? We deal with that every day."

"Against your and Pete's lives," Helena said softly.

Myka glanced at her, still not convinced that she was telling the truth. "So it's Pete now, huh? You used to refer to him as Agent Lattimer," she mumbled, instantly regretting her words since they sounded so childish.

Helena chuckled. "Pete has been my partner for almost two years now, darling. He threatened to sing the Cookie Monster song for 24 hours nonstop unless I stopped calling him Agent Lattimer. I agreed."

Myka smiled a little lopsided smile and nodded. Yeah, she probably would have conceded too.

"Please come back," Helena said softly and traced the back of Myka's hand.

"I can't," Myka mumbled. "I have responsibilities here."

Helena tilted her head. "What kind of responsibilities?"

"None of your business."

Helena sighed. "Boyfriend?" Myka shook her head. "Girlfriend?" Myka shot her a dark look. Helena smiled sadly. "Do you love her?"

"I don't know."

"An honest answer."

"Look, Helena, the Warehouse is in the past. I loved every minute of it right up until that moment at Warehouse 2 when you shot me. I cherish the memories, but I have moved on."

Helena gripped her hand a little tighter. She fought the tears that threatened to fall. "What about me? Us?" she whispered.

Myka closed her eyes and sighed. "I loved you Helena. I still do, but I can't…"

Helena hiccupped as the first tears fell. "I can't tell you how sorry I am for the pain I caused you," she said with a sniffle.

"Oh for crying out loud," Myka mumbled and pulled Helena to her, holding her as she cried, gently stroking her hair.

"Myka?" a surprised voice said behind her. Myka jumped and her eyes got large. Shit! Shit! Shit! She turned her head and looked straight at her girlfriend.

"Janet. What are you doing here?"

The woman's eyes hardened. "I could ask you the same thing. And why you are holding another woman in your arms," she said with obvious pain in her voice.

"Janet, it's not what you think. I had no idea that Helena was here."

Janet stared at Helena who was dabbing at her eyes. "This is Helena?" she blurted out. "THE Helena?" She leaned closer to Myka and glared at her. "I don't know what game you are playing Myka, but I don't want any part of it. I never thought that you would be this cruel." She straightened up and took a deep breath. "I'll be home at six. I want you out before then."

"Janet!" Myka got up and reached for her, but she moved away.

"Don't touch me. It's clear that you still care for her. I was stupid to believe that my love could change that," she spat.

"Please Janet; it's not what you think."

Janet stopped and took a step closer to Myka. Her blue eyes looked straight into Myka's. "Do you love me Myka?" she asked softly. Myka hesitated only for a moment, but before she could open her mouth again Janet spoke. "That's what I thought. Please, don't make this harder than it already is. At least show me some respect. I think I've earned that."

Myka nodded and reached up to cup her cheek, but her hand fell away again. "I'm sorry Janet," she whispered.

"Me too," she said with a sad smile.

Myka watched her leave and then sat down with a sigh. Helena watched her silently. She knew that there was nothing she could say at this point. Myka had to work through this on her own.

When Myka didn't speak to her she pulled out a notepad and jotted down her hotel's name and her cell phone number. "Myka, I'm in town for a couple of days more. Please come and see me. I really think we need to talk," she said and put the piece of paper on the table. She covered Myka's hand again and gave it a little squeeze. "I never stopped loving you," she whispered. Myka did not respond so she got up. With a last glance at the quiet woman she sighed and left.

Myka looked around the living room. A large suitcase and a box of books were sitting waiting for her by the door. The suitcase held all her meager belongings. She had only taken the few items she had brought with her, and her personal things. Everything else she had left. She noted the items in the room that she and Janet had got together and felt a lump in her throat. She had enjoyed her time with Janet. Shaking off the sadness she put her key on the table by the door and closed the door behind her.

She put the suitcase and the books in the trunk and got in. She sat for a moment with her hands on the steering wheel, remembering a day not too long ago, when she had been sitting just like this in a different car somewhere out in the middle of nowhere in South Dakota. She had felt just as lost then, as she did now. And the reason was the same. With a sigh she finally accepted that Helena was right. They needed to talk about what happened. She needed to get closure so she could move on. She had tried on her own, and Janet had been a huge help, but Myka knew in her heart that she had never really healed from the wound caused by Helena's betrayal. She pulled out Helena's note and held it in both her hands as she read Helena's beautiful handwriting. Not realizing it, she was smiling. She noted the hotel name and the room number. She knew the place. Putting the note back in her pocket she started the car.

Myka parked in the lot outside the hotel and turned off the ignition. She took a deep breath and got out. After riding the elevator to the seventh floor she exited and slowly walked down the hallway towards Helena's room. She stopped and just stood there for a moment before she raised her hand to knock. The door opened instantly. She realized that Helena must have been watching her from the other side. She smiled a little embarrassed. Helena took her hand and pulled her inside.

"Come in darling, no reason to stand in the hallway."

Myka took a seat on the couch and leaned forward with her arms on her knees. She sighed. "You're right Helena. We do need to talk."

Helena sat down across from her. "I looked for you everywhere," she said softly.

Myka nodded. "I didn't want to be found."

"Where were you? Not even Claudia could find you. No cell phone, no credit cards. Nothing."

Myka smiled and looked at her. "An old friend of mine has a cabin close to Lake Tahoe. She let me borrow it."

Helena nodded. "You withdrew from the world."

"I needed to make sense of things. I needed peace around me. It hurt so much Helena," Myka said angrily, her eyes again full of the pain she had tried to deal with all those months ago.

"I'm so sorry darling. I was frantic when I realized that I was too late to get you. It never occurred to me that you would leave. I counted on that Pete would be there for you. He had always been your strength in the past. I was shocked that I didn't know you better, that I didn't see it coming. After all, I had just held a gun to your head less than 24 hours prior. I should have paid better attention to your emotional state when we were in the car," she said trying not to cry.

"Yeah, well you didn't and what happened, happened," Myka said tired.

"Darling, the threat to your life was very real. The rogue agent had used Artie, had him under his spell. Apparently he wanted to bring down the Warehouse once and for all. He tried once before with Warehouse 12, but since Warehouse 13 was almost finished, it didn't matter so much. He had a long time to plan this. I know, because he spoke to me about it now and then."

Myka frowned. "What do you mean? I thought you didn't know who it was?"

"I didn't, but I heard his voice many times over the years when he came to visit me. Apparently he knew that I had something he needed. How he knew that, I don't know, but it was because of him I was debronzed. Once I was free and McPherson filled me in, I started to understand. I knew they wanted the map so I acquired it. I handed it over to the Regents right before I was reinstated as an agent. Somehow he got his hands on it, and it ended up with those young boys in Egypt."

"Why did you shoot me, us?" Myka asked softly.

"I had to, in order to keep you safe. He was in there. I needed to be sure that you wouldn't find him and try to stop him. He would've killed you. He can, and he would."

"Who is he?"

Helena took a deep breath. "Valda."

"Valda? But he died. I saw it," Myka exclaimed.

Helena shook her head. "He was wearing the eye of Horus. It's a very powerful talisman. This particular one was one of the few artifacts that we had from Warehouse 2. He knew it would protect him, and he needed to get away from us."

"Why didn't you just tell Pete and me? We are good agents. You could've tried trusting us."

Helena noted Myka's slip and a little smile played on her lips for a moment. "You forget that he had Artie under his spell. You reported to Artie and would have to do what he said in order not to blow my cover. Even Mrs. Frederic had to play her role, and she was aware of the risks. She told me not to involve the two of you. I'm sorry Myka, but my hands really were tied."

"I was your girlfriend for God's sake," Myka said angrily. "You should not have been allowed to keep something that big from me." She got up and paced in front of Helena.

"Myka, don't you think I tried to tell her that?" Helena exclaimed heatedly, but then she sighed and looked sadly at Myka. "I pleaded. I begged. I even threatened her." She chuckled at her last words. "Though that didn't get me very far. She spoke to me like I was a petulant child."

Myka smiled briefly. She knew what Helena was talking about. Mrs. F certainly had the gift of making you feel small. It seemed like she was always able to see through your bluffs, only to give you that look that made you feel like a real idiot.

"Do you remember Yellowstone darling?" Helena asked softly.

Myka laughed. "I don't think I'll ever be able to forget Yellowstone. You tried to destroy the world, and oh, now I remember. You held a gun to my head for God's sake!" Myka yelled.

Helena winced. "Why do you think Artie was there?"

"I don't know? To stop you perhaps?" Myka said sarcastically.

Helena shook her head. "He was there to take the Trident."


"I was relieved when he tried to shoot me. It saved me the job of having to hurt him. He was too weak to take it, so he hoped that his master would come to his assistance."

"I remember Artie trying to take it from me and you telling me no. I don't know why I still trusted you at that point, but I did. There was just something in your eyes that made me believe you," Myka said softly.

"I love you, Myka, and I only want the best for you, and part of that is keeping you safe. That's what you felt that day, and that's why you listened to your heart, darling," Helena said as she took Myka's hands.

"I want to believe you, Helena. I really do," Myka whispered.

Helena pulled her to her. "Then listen to your heart. If you still carry me in your heart, you know that I'm telling you the truth, and perhaps it means that you still love me," she said softly.

Myka finally gave in to the tears and they fell onto Helena's shoulder as she cried. She clung to Helena sobbing as her pain finally had an outlet. When Helena led her to the bed she followed willingly. She felt Helena spoon up behind her and she grabbed her hand pulling her arm tighter around her. Finally she fell asleep, exhausted by the emotional events. Helena lay awake long after Myka succumbed to sleep. She kissed Myka's soft curls and inhaled the scent of her. She had prayed every night for three years to have Myka back in her arms. Even if it was just for this one night, she cherished having her prayer answered. She slowly disentangled herself from Myka and undressed. She glanced at her former lover and colleague sleeping on her bed. She gently removed her shoes and socks, and then carefully removed her jacket and pants. She smiled for a moment as she remembered undressing Christina just the same way a couple of times so many years ago. Just like her sleeping child, Myka was dead to the world. Of course it made it easier to undress her. She rolled her over and finally managed to get both of them under the covers. She sighed and again spooned up behind Myka. She heard her sigh and smiled when she took her hand. At least in sleep Myka still craved her touch and drew comfort from it.


Part 2

Myka's eyelashes fluttered as she started to wake up. She knew instantly that she wasn't in her own bed. Then she remembered. Janet had kicked her out. She blinked a couple of times and when her eyes focused she found herself looking straight into Helena's warm dark eyes. She was smiling at her.

"Good morning, darling."

"Morning," Myka mumbled a bit embarrassed.

"How do you feel?"

Myka sighed. "Like I could use a toothbrush and coffee and a new place to live. Not necessarily in that order."

"What about all this?"

Myka sighed. "I'm sorry Helena. It's just a bit much to take in at once."

Helena sighed. "I guess it's too much to ask for a miracle over night."

Myka smiled. "At least you got to undress me."

Helena chuckled. "Yes that was fun," she said sarcastically. "You are not very cooperative when you're sleeping darling."

Myka made a face. "Sorry. You could've woken me up."

Helena gently caressed her cheek. "I didn't want you to leave. I know this is where you belong and I cherish every second I have with you."

"Thanks. I do have mixed feelings about this, but it felt really good falling asleep in your arms last night," she admitted softly. "You still make me feel safe in a way no one else ever could."

Helena inched closer. "Then let me be strong for you now. Try and trust me one more time."

Myka opened her mouth but closed it when she felt Helena's slender fingers touch her lips. She looked at her.

"Come back to the Warehouse with me. Stay at the inn for a month and then make your decision. They all miss you and no matter what, I know that they want to see you. You are family Myka."

Myka sniffled as she felt tears in her eyes. She smiled when Helena tenderly wiped them away. Helena leaned closer and pressed her lips against her forehead in a soft kiss. Myka made a strangled sound and pulled her to her.

"I missed you so much," she whispered.

"I know darling. I missed you too," Helena whispered and kissed her cheek.

Myka sighed softly and rested her head on Helena's shoulder. "Hold me," she whispered.

Helena bit her lip. She wrapped her arms around Myka and caressed her back. She felt her relax in her arms and smiled against her hair. She slipped her hand under Myka's shirt and just left it there, palm flat against the small of her back. When Myka didn't object she slowly rubbed her back in a comforting caress. There was nothing overtly sexual about it. She only wanted Myka to feel safe and loved, and she knew her well enough to know that this caress calmed her more than anything. Her efforts were rewarded by a soft content sigh. She smiled again.

"You always knew how to touch me," Myka mumbled.

"It brings me a lot of joy to see you happy, darling," she whispered and kissed her temple.

They stayed like that for a long moment. Helena slowly caressing Myka's back, and Myka cuddled close to her with her head resting on Helena's shoulder. Finally Myka's stomach made an unmistakable sound that made Helena laugh.

"It seems like I need to feed you, darling," she said with a chuckle.

"I didn't have dinner last night," Myka confessed in a quiet voice.

"Myka!" Helena said shocked. "Why didn't you say something? I would've ordered you something to eat."

"I wasn't hungry," Myka mumbled.

Helena sighed. "Well, that ends now. You have to eat." She rolled over to grab the phone. With Myka still in her arms she dialed room service.

"Hello. Yes, I'd like to order some breakfast please. One coffee and one tea. Do you have English Breakfast tea? Excellent. One order of toast, scrambled eggs and pancakes and two orange juice," she said, chipper to the person on the other end. She listened for a moment as the order was repeated back. "That's right. Oh and some fruit. Do you have a fruit cup or something like that?" Again there was silence and then she smiled. "Brilliant. Thank you. Yes, right away please." She hung up and put the phone down on the bed behind her. She smiled at Myka who was looking intently at her. "What?"

"That's what you ordered for us in Egypt," Myka whispered.

Helena nodded. "I'm glad you remembered."

Myka closed her eyes. "It's my last happy memory of us. Of course I remember."

Helena gently caressed her cheek. "I remember feeding you little pieces of fruit," she whispered. "I dropped one and it left a sticky trail on your chest before it fell on the sheets. Your skin tasted so sweet as I licked the juice off your warm breast."

Myka whimpered softly. "Please Helena, don't do this to me."

Helena cupped her chin. "Don't tell you how much I miss loving you? Not revel in my memories of you? Those are cherished moments for me too, even though they've kept me awake many nights until I finally succumbed to sleep from sheer exhaustion, only to wake up with tears on my cheeks."

Myka chewed on her lip as she looked at Helena with sad eyes. "This is so hard Helena."

"Why does it have to be? I still love you, and I believe that you still love me. What really stands in our way is your refusal to trust your heart."

Myka sat up. "I'm not ready to do that quite yet. If you're willing to give me time, I might, and I say might, consider trying." She hugged her legs and rested her chin on her knees. "You know, I wanted you to be good. I've worked through the events step-by-step so many times, trying to figure out when you had started to slip, and why I didn't see it. I never managed to figure it out. To me you were the same all the way up until the end, down in Warehouse 2."

Helena opened her mouth to say something but closed it when Myka jumped out of bed and disappeared into the bathroom. She lay down on her back staring up into the ceiling and sighed. This was going to be quite a ride. Then she smiled. Of course it would. It was Myka after all, and she never did anything easy. She turned her head when Myka came out of the bathroom. Helena watched her pull on her pants; she sighed again and got out of bed.

To Helena's delight Myka had finished her breakfast. She was glad that she had been able to keep her grave concern for Myka's eating habits to herself. She smiled at Myka over the rim of her tea cup. "Darling, I would be delighted to add your name to my reservation so you can stay here."

Myka put her cup down. She chewed on her lip contemplating the offer. "I don't know Helena. Perhaps it's not such a great idea for us to be this close right now."

"Myka, I think I have proven to you in the last twelve hours that I can be trusted not to ravage you," she teased. "You have my word that I will not touch you in any way intimate until you are ready. What I do know is that you craved my touch last night. You reached out for me to comfort you, and I did. You fell asleep in my arms and you woke up in my arms. And even when you were awake you reached out for me. Please don't deny the fact that I'm the one you turn to when you need comfort."

Myka looked at her for a long moment and then nodded. "I do trust you when it comes to that. I know you would never hurt me that way," she said softly. "Okay, I'll stay for now."

Helena felt her heart flutter with joy. She beamed at Myka. "Thank you, darling."

Myka glanced at the time. "I need to get to work."

Helena made a face. "Are you sure? Perhaps today would be a good day to call in sick?"

Myka shot her a murderous look. "You know I can't do that."

"And why not? You are emotionally unstable right now. I don't think that's a good thing to share at work. Do you?" Helena argued.

Myka winced and was just about to shout something just as hurtful back when she realized that Helena was actually right. "You're right. I'm sorry," she said with a tired sigh.

Helena felt the change in her and sat down next to her. She opened her arms. "Come here."

Myka leaned against her and sighed when Helena wrapped her arms around her. She could almost feel the strength radiate from Helena's body and seep into her own emotionally drained body. She smiled. "Are you using an artifact on me?"

Helena chuckled. "You know I would never dare doing that. You would hurt me if you found out."

Myka grinned. "I would kick your ass, but I guess you're still too classy to say that."

"And you obviously have not improved on your language even though you've been away from Pete and Claudia," she countered. "So why do you think that I'm in possession of an artifact?"

"Because I feel stronger when I'm in your arms," she mumbled a bit embarrassed. "It was just a joke. A lame one I admit."

Helena kissed the top of her head. "I'm trying to be strong for you. If you can feel it, I'm obviously succeeding. You can give and you can take energy when holding someone, and I am most definitely giving right now."

Myka smiled at her new age type explanation. "I think you've been around Leena too much. You're starting to sound like her."

At that Helena laughed out loud. "I have been driving her insane. She will be more pleased than anyone to have you back. I have tested her energy to the limits."

"Poor Leena. You really are very intense at times you know. And she can't even tire you out," she teased.

"You are going to pay for that someday Myka Bering," she growled. "And no, no one has been there to tire me out as you so elegantly put it. Perhaps it would've been easier on everyone if there had been someone."

Myka looked up at her. "Are you telling me that you've not had a lover in three years?" she asked stunned.

Helena nodded. "My heart still belongs with you, darling. How could I even consider taking another lover when you are the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I think of before falling asleep? That would not be fair to her, would it?"

Myka chewed on her lip again and nodded. "I guess not. I'm sorry that you didn't find someone Helena, but at the same time I'm not above feeling a little joy over not having shared you with anyone. I know, it's selfish, but it's the truth."

"I know we never exchanged vows or talked much about the future, but you should know that I think of you as my wife. I don't need fancy words or a ceremony to know that in my heart. And that's why I could never take a lover while you were still out there, lost God knows where. If you decide that you don't want me, and tell me to break this bond between us, then perhaps with time it could happen. I just don't see it happening anytime soon."

Myka just stared at her. "Helena," she whispered. "Is that how you think of me?"

Helena nodded. "In my heart I am tied to you in the strongest of bonds. I love you with my heart, body and soul Myka Bering."

Myka brushed her fingertips over Helena's cheek. "I don't know what to say."

"Then don't say anything. Think about it and when and if you're ready to share your life with me again, then the words will come to you."

Myka nodded. "I do love you Helena," she said softly. "I just don't know if I am ready to share my life with you again."

Helena swallowed trying to not show how Myka's words stung. Myka saw the sadness sweep over her face and winced.

"It seems like I'm just hurting you more with my words. Clearly I haven't kissed the Blarney stone."

Helena smiled. She took Myka's hand. "It's all right darling. I know what you mean. I will try to be patient. I know that you're worth waiting for."

Myka smiled. With a sigh she got up. "I better get my suitcase so I can change clothes or you will definitely not want me in your life or room for very long."

Helena chuckled and nodded. "True and we know how funny my clothes look on you."

Myka shot her a dirty look. "Not one word from you about a flood or I will hurt you."

Helena laughed; glad to hear the old Myka again. "But it's so much fun darling. And my pants really are a couple of inches too short for you. It's quite funny actually."

Myka huffed and stomped off to the door. "Will you be here or should I take the key?"

"Take the key. I'm going to take a shower. We'll get you a key later."

Myka nodded and grabbed the key card from the desk and left. Helena sighed and leaned back against the couch. She jumped when she heard her Farnsworth buzz. She scrambled to her feet and walked over to the night stand. She picked it up and sat down on the bed.

"Good morning Artie," she said and smiled at the extreme close up of Artie's face.

"Morning, yeah, whatever. Did you get it yet?"

"Not yet, but I have a solid lead. I'm going to an event this evening. There's a high likelihood that it will be there."

"Finally!" Then his face got closer to the screen. "Why didn't you report in earlier? Do you need backup? I can send Pete."

She shook her head. "It's too late. He won't get here in time. I only learned about it late last night," she lied. She chewed on her lip.

"What aren't you telling me?" he asked as his eyes narrowed. She smiled. He always picked up on the in between the lines stuff.

"Are you alone?" He nodded. "I found Myka," she said softly.

Artie gaped. "You found… How is she? Let me talk to her."

"She just stepped out to get her things from the car. I don't think it's a good idea for you to talk to her yet. And please don't tell the others."

He nodded. "How is she?"

"Upset and a bit angry with me. Mostly hurt and confused. Still I plan on bringing her tonight. She is a good agent and she can be my backup."

"Helena, no. She's not an agent anymore."

Helena smiled. "She doesn't need a badge to be an agent. She has it in her blood. And her senses are still sharp. I know I can count on her if I need to."

Artie sighed. "Okay, but keep a close eye on her."

"I promise. You know that I would give my life for her. I will not let anything happen to her."

"I know Helena," he said softly.

"If we find the artifact tonight we might be able to leave tomorrow."

"We? She's coming with you?"

"I hope so. I'm still working on it. I want to bring her home Artie. That's where she belongs. With me and you and the others. She just needs to remember that again."

"I know you'll do what's right. I trust you Helena."

Helena smiled. "You now that I cherish those words from you every time I hear them," she said softly.

"Ah, well, whatever. Don't go and get all mushy on me now," he huffed, but she could tell that he appreciated the words. They had come a long way since the early days of mistrust and painful stabs at each other. Artie had even comforted her at one point when she broke down crying in frustration over being unable to find Myka. He had just held her as she cried, gently stroking her hair.

"I know you love me," she teased. "See you soon papa bear."

"Oh you…" she missed the end of his tirade as she closed her Farnsworth when she heard the door open.

"Were you talking to someone?"

Helena sighed. "I was. Artie just called to check in."

"I see." The question was hanging in the air. Helena looked at her and nodded.

"I told him."

Myka sighed and hung her head. "I wish you hadn't, but I understand why."

"He promised that he wouldn't tell the others. For now."

Myka nodded. "Thanks."

"Look, I need to go to this event this evening. I'm hoping that I will be able to get my hands on the artifact there. I would very much like for you to come with me."

Myka stared at her. "Why? I'm not an agent anymore."

"You will always be an agent Myka. It's in your blood, in your soul. Your instincts haven't changed. I could use your help."

Myka took a deep breath. "Okay, just this once."

Helena beamed at her. "Thank you. Now all we have to do is get you a dress."

Myka made a face. "Not fair. You could've told me that before I accepted," she mumbled.

Helena grinned and patted her cheek as she walked past her. "But I didn't and now you have accepted, so I get to go shopping with you and watch you try on beautiful dresses. What a delightful day this is turning out to be."

Myka made a face at her back.

"I saw that."

"No you didn't," Myka made a face again. "How did you know that?" she said slightly annoyed. Helena just laughed.


Part 3

Helena had taken Myka to a local department store where she had made her try on five different dresses before they agreed on one. She had been completely indifferent to Myka's eye rolls and huffing and instead delivered compliment after compliment until Myka was blushing a healthy shade of pink.

"No we're not taking this dress because it makes my ass look good," Myka hissed and disappeared into the dressing room again after getting some help with the zipper. Helena had tried to come in with her but Myka had sternly refused. Helena understood her need for distance and did not push. Not yet.

Finally back in the car with the new dress in a garment bag in the back seat Helena turned to Myka and smiled. "How about some lunch?"

Myka nodded.

"How hungry are you? Could you wait about an hour or so?"

"That's fine."

"Then I know just the place."

Helena took Myka to Laguna Beach. They had enjoyed a wonderful lunch during which they chatted about all sorts of little things, both trying to keep the conversation light. Helena watched Myka intently as she spoke, delighting at the emotions showing on her face. She was more like the old Myka in this moment and it made Helena very happy. She reached out and tucked a stray lock behind Myka's ear, watching the sun reflect the different shades of red in Myka's hair. She smiled at her when Myka looked up at her.

"Let's go for a walk, darling."

They strolled along the walkway at the top of the cliffs with the beautiful sandy beach below. Myka smiled and grabbed Helena's arm when she spotted a hummingbird. "Look!"

Helena smiled and turned her hand so she could take Myka's. To her delight Myka squeezed her hand. They continued their walk along the rose garden and down to the beach. Taking off their shoes they strolled along the waterfront hand in hand. Once they reached the end Helena steered Myka to a spot where they could sit down. She sat down behind Myka and wrapped her arms around her, resting her chin on Myka's shoulder. They looked out over the Pacific Ocean in silence, each lost in her own thoughts.

"Thank you," Myka finally whispered.

"You're most welcome, darling."

"It still amazes me how well you know me even after all this time. That you know just how to touch me and hold me to make me feel safe," she whispered.

Helena turned her head and kissed her cheek.

"I'm scared Helena." The words were whispered so softly they almost disappeared into the soft breeze.

"Scared of what darling?"

"To come back. How can I face them? I left like a coward."

Helena gently grasped her chin and turned her head so she could look into Myka's eyes. "They love you. They know that you were hurting. They forgave you for whatever you're worried about a long time ago." When Myka didn't respond she pushed on. "If it had been Pete or Claudia who had left like that, would you not want them to come back? To help them heal?" she asked softly.

"I would," Myka said softly. "I'm just so ashamed and feel like an idiot."

"But you were right to trust me darling. I know it didn't seem like that at the time when you left, but if you had waited a day you would've realized that you were the only one who was right."

Myka frowned. She had not really thought about the situation that way. "I guess if you put it that way."

"They were really angry with me. I thought Claudia was going to claw my eyes out. Good thing I'm stronger than her," Helena said with a chuckle. Myka laughed and then got silent.

"Even Artie came around eventually. He's really been there for me," Helena said with a sigh. "One night when I was ready to kick the computer all the way to the other end of the warehouse he just grabbed me and pulled me into his arms," she smiled at the surprised look on Myka's face. "It's true, papa bear can actually hand out hugs in extreme situations," she said and winked at Myka. "Anyway we sat down on that awful little sofa he has in the office and he just held me as I cried. Through my tears and me hitting him on the chest he just stroked my hair and held me close. I think I finally fell asleep in his arms. I heard him say my name and looked up at him. You will find her was all he said and then he smiled at me. I cried and laughed until he finally pushed me up, and once again turned back into grumpy bear as Claudia calls him, muttering about me getting all emotional working late in the office," Helena said.

Myka laughed. "I can see him doing that." She smiled at Helena. "I'm glad that the two of you worked it out. He's a wonderful man."

Helena nodded. "His social skills are questionable, but I guess he does rise to the occasion from time to time." She glanced at her watch. "It's getting late darling. I think we need to get back."

Myka got up and held out her hand to Helena. She pulled her up and held her in a tight hug when Helena's body collided with hers. "Thank you."

Helena inhaled the scent of Myka's hair mixed with the ocean breeze. She closed her eyes trying to memorize the moment. "I can't begin to describe the feeling inside of me right now darling. To have you back, even if it's just like this. It's more than I ever hoped for."

Myka stiffened when she finally understood Helena's deepest fear. She pulled away and grabbed her face. "You thought I was dead, didn't you?" she whispered. Helena nodded and a tear rolled down her cheek. Myka pulled her back into a hug and caressed her hair. "I'm sorry. I was selfish. Though in my defense, I thought you had played me the entire time. I was so angry with you."

Helena nodded. "I know. Perhaps the anger is gone now and I can work on rebuilding your trust in me?"

Myka nodded. "I'm not angry with you, but I'm still hurting inside. I need time Helena."

Helena pulled away and nodded. She held out her hand to Myka who took it without hesitation. They walked back to the car in silence.

Helena zipped up Myka's dress and met her eyes in the mirror. "You are gorgeous darling," she said and arranged Myka's curls over her shoulders. Myka smiled at her.

"You're not so bad yourself, for a hundred and fifty year old woman."

Helena made a face at her in the mirror. "Glad to see that your sense of humor is intact."

Myka smiled and looked down and then met her eyes as she chewed on her lip.

"Give me a hand please," Helena said and turned her back at Myka. Myka held the dress together and slowly pulled the zipper up the back. She pulled a little on the fabric and then grabbed Helena's hair that she had pushed out of the way over her right shoulder. She sighed as Helena's hair fell in heavy waves down her back.

"Your hair is just as gorgeous as I remember it," she mumbled.

Helena smiled and caressed her cheek. She took a step closer and looked Myka in the eyes. She started to lean closer but stopped when she felt Myka stiffen. With a sigh she let go of her and moved away.

"I'm sorry," she mumbled. To have something to do she put on her shoes, feeling a little more in control with the increased height that brought her to Myka's eye level.

"It's okay Helena. I know that this is hard for you too," Myka generously acknowledged. "I wish that I could just let go and forget about everything that brought us here, but I can't. Not until I can make some sense out of it. I can't just turn my feelings on and off like that. I realize that you never turned yours off, which must be difficult now."

"Not as difficult as if I had never found you again," Helena said softly. Myka nodded. "So, anyway, we're going to an event at a local art gallery. The artifact we are looking for is a pallet knife. Do you know what that is?" she asked Myka. She shook her head. "It's a tool painters use instead of a brush, or to mix paint with. Normally it's quite harmless, but this particular one is sharp. It used to belong to Van Gogh."

"Is that what he used to cut his ear off with?" Myka asked with a gasp when the pieces fell into place. Helena nodded.

"It makes people want to hurt themselves. Especially those who are in severe emotional distress." She sighed. "I don't think I need to point out to you that both of us could be extremely attracted and susceptible to its power, but I'm saying it anyway. For once I really want us to stay together instead of searching separately. We need to be strong for each other. I just hope that we won't both succumb to its alluring song."

Myka gently touched her arm. "We can do this Helena. Ever since our first case together we've been able to figure things out together. We make a kick-ass team, you and I."

Helena chuckled at her description and nodded. "We do darling. All I'm saying is that I really need you tonight. I know it's been a while since you did this kind of work, but I am fully confident that you are still as sharp as ever. There's no one I would rather do this with, than you."

Myka smiled and nodded. "We do make a good team."

"And a gorgeous couple too," Helena said and laughed. "You are my date, just so you know. The gallery is in West Hollywood and the crowd will be heavily samesex based."

"That's fine, but let's try not to show any affection of the explicit kind while in public, okay? You know I'm not really comfortable with that even under the best of circumstances."

"My shy darling," Helena said and caressed her cheek. "I will try and not ravage you in public. It will be hard, but I think I can do it."

Myka rolled her eyes.

Myka smiled and shook hands with several people as Helena, or Jaime as she had to remember to call her circulated the room. It struck her that Helena had not explained why she tried to impersonate some British actress. She glanced at her when she heard her laugh. She was talking to a petite blonde while sipping champagne. Myka strolled over to a painting, reading the name and description. Her eyebrows shot up when she saw the price tag. The ugly thing was outrageously expensive. She glanced at Helena over her shoulder. She was still talking. She continued around the corner where more artwork was displayed.

"I see you have an eye for art," a male voice said behind her. She looked at him over her shoulder. "I'm Max, and this is the highlight of my exhibition," he said and gestured to the painting Myka had been admiring.

"Nice to meet you. I didn't expect to actually get to meet the artist," Myka said and smiled at him as she shook his hand. She glanced down just in time to see an angry red scar on his arm before he pulled his sleeve down. "Are you hurt?" she asked concerned.

"Just a stupid accident. Cut myself on the box cutter opening a new shipment of canvas," he said with a nervous laugh. Myka's senses were instantly alerted.

"Is your studio here?"

"Upstairs. I'm really lucky to be an artist in residence here. They have had an artist in residence ever since the gallery opened some seventy or eighty years ago. I think. Don't quote me on that. For all I know it might be fifty and this was just swamp land eighty years ago," he said and laughed. Myka chuckled. No matter what, she liked this guy.

"Myka, there you are. I've been looking everywhere for you, darling," Helena said and laughed as she linked her arm with Myka. She kissed her affectionately on the cheek. "You know how much I miss you when I can't feel you beside me," she said with a giggle and nuzzled her cheek.

Max laughed. "I assume that you are the charming Myka's partner," he said and shook Helena's hand.

"Her fiancée actually, darling. She's about to be my blushing bride. We're getting married back in England this summer," she said and gazed adoringly at Myka who did indeed blush. "Isn't she just beautiful?" she sighed.

Max chuckled. "Congratulations ladies. And yes, she is just as stunning as you. Perhaps I can talk you into buying each other a wedding present?" he teased.

Helena laughed and put her hand on his arm and squeezed gently. He winced as she accidentally touched his injury. "Oh I'm so sorry. I didn't realize that you were hurt," she said apologetically. He waived it away.

"Sweetie, Max got hurt by accident in his studio. He cut himself on a box cutter. Please be careful when you touch people. Not everyone is as touchy feely as you are," Myka said and smiled at her. "Max was just telling me about his studio upstairs. Apparently this gallery has had an artist in residence ever since they opened."

Helena squealed with joy. "Can we see it?" she asked and beamed at Max. "I have always wanted to see a real artist's studio. It's just so romantic, don't you think? Like those starving artists in Paris back in the day."

Max looked around for a moment hesitating answering her.

"Darling, it would only take a moment," Helena said and leaned closer to him. He nodded.

"Okay, but just a quick look around. I really need to be down here. My agent will have my ass if he notices that I'm gone." He grinned. "Which would be very bad for me, since we share the same bed. And a sulking queen is one of the most annoying things in the universe!"

Helena and Myka laughed. Helena gently touched his back encouraging him to climb the stairs for the second floor. She shot Myka a quick glance. Myka nodded.

"Max, why don't you tell me a little about what you're working on?" Helena said and linked her arm with his. He smiled.

Myka watched as the two of them slowly walked around the studio. She glanced around trying to look for brushes and paint. She noticed the small table close to the main canvas and strolled over there. A quick glance told her that there were only brushes there. She looked up when they turned in her direction.

"I was just looking at your paint. It's always fascinated me how artists can see colors that no one else can see. I see green and red, but you probably see a hundred different other colors that you can get from mixing the two."

Max chuckled and nodded. "That's true. And you know there's not just one green or one red, there are hundreds of different shades."

Myka nodded. "There you have it. The artist's eye versus the muggle."

Max laughed.

"A little Harry Potter reference. I see that you at least have an imaginative mind, even if you're not an artist."

"So tell me more about this series of paintings?" Helena coaxed him. He smiled at her upturned face that looked at him with such adoration. Myka chuckled. Helena really was a good actress. Perhaps she should consider changing career to something less dangerous? She took a deep breath and glanced around again. Her eyes fell on an old sink in the corner. Old jam jars were lined up above it and in one of them sat a pallet knife with a plain wooden handle. She moved towards it. Suddenly she felt a surge of something and a wave of pain crashed down over her. She whimpered softly as she reached for the knife.

"No!" Max cried out as Myka's hand closed around the knife. Helena ran across the room to Myka but it was too late. She was already holding the knife in her bare hand. Helena whipped out a pair of purple gloves and slipped them on, not bothering to explain to the confused Max.

"Darling, give me the knife," Helena said softly.

"No Helena, it's no use. You can't save me. It hurts too much," Myka whispered; her eyes on the knife as she brought it to her arm.

"Myka!" Helena snapped. Myka looked up at her and a tear fell from her sad eyes. "Fight it, darling. You know that this isn't you."

"It will be so much easier for everyone if I'm no longer here," she whispered. Helena took a step closer, her hands held up in surrender in front of her.

"Darling, I don't know what I would do if I lost you. I need you. You know what happened to me when I lost Christina. Without you I have no reason to live either."

"It hurts Helena," Myka sobbed. Helena moved with the speed of light and snatched the knife out of Myka's hand. She took a few steps away from her and Max and pulled out a bag. She turned her head away when it sizzled and crackled as the knife was neutralized. Myka flinched as she came out of the spell of the knife. To Helena's surprise Max showed similar symptoms.

"What the hell just happened?" Max asked confused.

"Radioactive residue," Helena explained.

Max frowned. "You're not really an actress, are you?"

Helena smiled. "I'm afraid not. I'm with the Secret Service. And that's all I can tell you. Oh, and I will be taking this with me."

Max nodded. "Please do. I never want to see that thing again." He pulled up his sleeve to show her the still healing scar. "I did this to myself with it the other day when I was freaking out over the show. Then when all the confirmations started to come in I felt my confidence return and the need to hurt myself disappeared. It was so strange," he said and shook his head in disbelief.

Helena nodded. "I'm glad that you didn't get hurt more than that." She looked at Myka who was leaning against the wall. "Myka, darling," she said softly as she slowly walked over to her. Myka was crying silently. Helena wrapped her arms around her and felt Myka cling to her. "Hush darling, I've got you. Everything will be fine."

"I assume that you will be leaving now," Max said. "If you prefer, you may use the back entrance."

Helena looked at him and smiled. "Thank you, that's very considerate of you. I appreciate that."

"This way ladies."

Myka was silent during the ride back to the hotel. Helena glanced at her now and then, but she was looking out the window, lost in thought. Helena gently took her hand and led her through the hotel and up to their room. She unzipped Myka's dress and it fell to the floor. She slipped a t-shirt over Myka's head and pushed her into the bathroom. She watched her carefully as she removed her makeup and brushed her teeth. She finally left her alone for a moment and waited impatiently for Myka to come out of the bathroom. She watched her walk across the room and slip into bed curling up in a fetal position. She sighed as she watched Myka withdraw again. She managed to get out of her dress without help and made quick work of her nightly routine before slipping into bed next to Myka. She gently touched her shoulder.

"Myka, are you sleeping darling?" she asked softly.

"No," came the whispered answer.

"Please look at me."

Myka slowly rolled over and faced her.

"Darling, I'm so sorry. In retrospect I realize that I should never have put you in that kind of situation."

Myka nodded. "I'm weak."

"No, no, no," Helena said quickly. She cupped her chin. "You are sensitive to certain powers right now because you're under a lot of emotional stress. You are not weak darling."

Myka sighed.

"If you had not been there, it might have been me. I think I might be even more drawn to it considering my age and the years of built up anger and fear that I carry within me." Her honest words seemed to jolt Myka out of her funk. She grabbed Helena by the side of her face.

"No Helena, you've moved past that. You're strong again. There's nothing you can't do."

Helena laughed and hugged her. "That's my girl. Thank you for coming back to me. I was so worried that I had lost you inside that head of yours."

"I guess I need to learn that I can't always be the strong one," Myka said softly.

"That's what partners do for each other darling. They are strong for each other."

"We did make a good team, didn't we?" Myka mumbled.

"Yes we did." Helena kissed Myka's cheek and smiled at her. "Will you be all right here for a moment? I need to call Artie."

"What will you tell him?" Myka whispered.

"Only the basics. Found it, and neutralized it."

"Snagged it and bagged it, you mean," Myka said with a little smile.

Helena chuckled. "In Claudia speak yes, that's it." She gently caressed Myka's hair. "Darling, should I ask him to book one or two tickets?" Myka was silent for a long moment. Helena continued to caress her hair as she waited for her to make up her mind.


"I can't tell you how happy that makes me," Helena said and kissed her cheek. With a last caress she got out of bed and grabbed her Farnsworth.


Part 4

Myka had been calm the entire trip, but now when they were in the outskirts of Univille she was nervously twirling a lock of her hair and chewing on her lip. She looked surprised at Helena when she pulled the car over by the side of the road.

"Darling, if you're not ready, we don't need to do this. We can go away for a little while to sort things out."

Myka shook her head. "No, I need to do this. I want to do this. I'm just really nervous."

"They love you sweetheart. They forgave you a long time ago."

"Did Artie tell them?" Helena shook her head. Myka chuckled. "I'm going to freak their freak by showing up like a Jack-in-the-box," she said.

"Perhaps. Mostly I think that they are just going to be absolutely delighted to see you." She leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. She unbuckled her seatbelt and gave Myka a hug. "Just in case they monopolize you for the rest of the day," she said and smiled. Myka smiled and nodded.

"Okay, let's do this."

"I'm back!" Helena shouted as she entered the inn. Scrambled noises from the library alerted them that someone was coming to greet them. Myka stepped back, hiding around the corner as Claudia's smiling face appeared a second later.

"Dude! Where have you been? It's been like ages! Are you getting so old that you take twice as long to retrieve a stinky little artifact?" she teased as she threw her arms around Helena and hugged her until the woman squealed.

"Claudia, I can't breathe."

"Sorry man," Claudia said and backed off a little, but still kept her arms around Helena. "I missed you."

"I missed you too sweetheart."

"Hi Claudia," Myka said softly behind them. Claudia jumped and her eyes got large. She stared at Helena and then peeked around her. Myka smiled at her.

"She found you," she whispered and let go of Helena. She took a tentative step towards Myka. "She really did it." Tears started to roll down Claudia's cheeks as she ran to Myka and threw her arms around her. "It's really you," she whispered and burrowed her face against Myka's shoulder.

Helena smiled at Myka over Claudia's head. I told you, she mouthed to her.

"Yes Claudia, it's really me."

Claudia pulled back and looked up at her. "I missed you so much," she whispered. "Please say that you're home to stay. Please? Or just lie to me and say it." Myka laughed at her words. It was so typical Claudia.

"I've missed you too little sister," she said and hugged her again. "And yes, I think I'm home to stay. If I'm still welcome."

"Still welcome?"Claudia blurted out like it was the most ridiculous thing she had ever heard. "Of course you're welcome. This is your home." Myka smiled and nodded.

Claudia suddenly realized something and took a step back, but refusing to let go of Myka's hand. She took a deep breath.

"Pete the ice cream truck is here with free cookies!" she yelled at the top of her lungs. Myka and Helena winced. Five seconds later they could hear the sound of someone running across the upstairs floor and then bounce down the stairs only to come to a complete stop on the landing.

"Hi Pete," Myka said softly and smiled at him. She tried to push all her insecurities away, and muster up as much happiness she could.

"Myka? Myka!" he said loudly and took the last couple of steps in three before he wrapped her in a bear hug and swung her around. He kissed the side of her face and her hair and finally put her down on the floor. He grinned at her like a lunatic. "You're back. If I didn't know that Lady Coco here would Tesla me in a second, I'd kiss you."

"I would," Helena confirmed calmly behind him while inspecting her nails. She smiled sweetly when he looked at her.

"As I said, I won't do that. But it doesn't mean that I'm not glad to see you." He patted her pockets. "Did you bring any cookies?"

"Pete!" she said and laughed. He winked at her.

"What's all the noise about out here?"

"Hi Leena," Myka said and smiled at her.

"Oh Myka," she rushed across the hall and touched her face before pulling her close for a hug. "Thank you for coming home. You are the missing piece."

"Thank you."

"This calls for cookies," Pete said and rubbed his hands together.

Helena chuckled. "I would've said champagne myself."

"You stick to that; I'll stick to my cookies and milk. Everyone is happy."

Artie noticed Helena's car in the driveway and quickly parked next to it. He hurried across to the front entrance and stormed inside.

"Where is she? Wells!" he yelled.

"In here," Helena called out from the library.

He walked through the door and stopped. Helena was sitting on the couch with Myka in her arms. Claudia was sitting on Myka's left, holding her hand in a tight grip. Pete and Leena were at the table where Pete was busy Hoovering up the last crumbs from the cookie plate. His eyes returned to his missing agent and he smiled at her. To his delight she smiled back.

"Welcome home Myka," he said and the smile turned into a grin. She disentangled herself from Helena and Claudia and crossed the room. When Artie opened his arms she threw her arms around his neck and hugged him. She laughed and cried at the same time. "All right, that's as much of this mushiness I can take," he said and gently pushed her away. She laughed and grabbed his face kissing him on the cheek. "Arhg, cut it out," he said and swatted at her, but the twinkle in his eyes gave away his happiness of having her back. Myka returned to Helena's side.



Claudia glanced out the window as she passed by. Once her brain managed to interpret what she had just seen, she stopped so quickly she almost fell over. She ran back to the window and looked out. Her jaw fell as she watched the two women by the swing. Myka was sitting on it with Helena standing between her legs. Myka had her arms around her while Helena's were invisible to Claudia's eyes buried as they were in Myka's hair. But it wasn't the women's hands Claudia was watching it was what they were doing. They were kissing. And kissing. And still kissing. She heard a noise behind her and saw Pete enter the room chewing on a cookie with another couple of cookies in his other hand.

"Pete," she hissed and waived for him to hurry over. "Come here. You have to see this."

"Muat?" he said, mouth full of cookie crumbs. He glanced out the window looking for whatever it was that had Claudia so entranced. His eyes almost popped out of his head when he spotted the two women. He inhaled deeply and started to cough as he got a cookie crumb down the wrong pipe. Claudia whacked his back as he wheezed and coughed. "Enough," he finally managed to say and her hand stopped midair.

"Things are going to be fine now," Claudia said and smiled at him. They looked at the two women watching as Myka got up and held Helena in her arms. She kissed her again, her hand gently cradling her head, dark hair spilling through her fingers.

"Better get some new headphones Claud. I believe some loud screaming lesbian sex is about to happen in this house," he said and leered at the two outside. "Ouch! Claudia!" he yelled as she whacked him in the stomach.

"You're disgusting," she muttered. "Myka's like my sister. I do not want to think about her having sex."

"Okay, but she's still hot, and so is Helena. Two hot women going at it naked does things to me," he said and grinned. He stepped away when he saw her raising her arm again.

"Pig," she muttered. "Okay, they're coming back inside. Away from the window," she hissed as she quickly sat down on the couch and turned on the TV.

Pete sat down on the other end still munching on his cookies. Realizing that he'd forgotten his drink in the kitchen he got up. He slowly strolled down the hall towards the kitchen, stopping at one point to assess that he had a hole in his sock, finally looking up as he was about to enter the kitchen. He stopped in the door opening and just gaped. Helena had Myka pressed up against the counter kissing her neck and her hand was… whoa! He coughed. They froze and Myka's eyes met his. Pete started to back away.

"I didn't see anything," he said quickly and fled.

Claudia looked at him funny when he came back without a drink. "I thought you were getting drinks? What happened?"

"Nothing," he mumbled.

"Well I still want a drink," she said and started to get up. He grabbed her arm and yanked her back down again. "What?" she said annoyed.

"Just wait a bit okay. Kitchen is sort of off limits right now."

She frowned and then grinned when she figured it out. "No way? You walked in on them? They were actually doing it in the kitchen?" she laughed so hard she had to grab her stomach.

"Not funny Claud. I think Myka might want my eyeballs in a cup. She looked really scary."

"She might scoop them out with a spoon while you're sleeping," Claudia said and laughed. "So, are you happy now that you got your live lesbian sex show?" she teased.

He shot her a dark look.

"Just shut up you."


He flinched at the steel in Myka's voice. He looked up at her a little apprehensive.


"Hall, now."

He sighed and shot Claudia a murderous look when she laughed again.

Myka grabbed his arm and pulled him over to the stairs. "Did you tell her?" she hissed.

"I might or might not have told her that you and Helena were doing the dirty in the kitchen," he mumbled.

"Pete! How could you?"

"She was about to walk out there to get a drink. I had to tell her not to!" he said in his own defense. She sighed.

"Can we please pretend that this never happened?" she mumbled as her cheeks turned pink again.

"Sure. Perhaps you can tell your girlfriend not to jump you in public places?" he suggested with a grin. "Ouch!" he said and grabbed his arm where she had punched him. "What is it with you girls and your need to hit me?"

She grinned at him. "If you weren't such a pig you'd be safer."

"Myka," Helena's soft voice sang from upstairs.

Pete grinned. "I think someone is in the mood for sexytimes." He jumped out of her reach when he saw the fist coming at him like a cobra.

"If I didn't have more fun things to do right now I would chase you until I could beat the crap out of you," she warned him.

"I'll tell Artie," he threatened. She stopped and just stared at him. He saw the insecurity in her eyes and got serious. "I'm sorry Myka. I was just joking. Of course I would never do that." He took a step closer to her and put his hand on her shoulder. To his surprise she hugged him.

"Thanks Pete."

"For what?"

"For just being the same old you, for not changing around me."

He kissed her head. "You're welcome. Now I need some milk and another cookie. I've just had something traumatic happen to my eyeballs. I need comfort food." He smiled at her as she took a step up the stairs. "Hey, you didn't do anything kinky to the cookies right?" He ducked as she reached for his hair. "Sorry, just kidding."

"Pervert," she muttered and quickly ran upstairs. He grinned after her.

"Keep it down," he said loudly to her back. He laughed at the non-flattering hand gesture she granted him.

The End

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