Author: rustyliver PM
Myka remembers. She just can't quite put it into words.Rated: Fiction K - English - Romance - Myka B. & Helena G. W. - Words: 2,325 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 1 - Published: 08-18-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8443130
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It was like falling in a dream. You hit the ground. Then you wake up and feel so relieved because it wasn't real. But the shock is still there. Your heart still races like you've been dropped from a twenty story building. You look at your body and it's still in one piece. Everything is fine. But you just can't quite believe it yet.
That was how it felt like. Except she can't remember what the horrible dream was.
What she knows is that when H.G. was around, her heart stopped pounding madly. The panic dissipated. And when Helena stood a little too closely, she was jolted from that daze between sleep and wake. And she knew she was no longer stuck in that nightmare.
It's funny how things turned out. It used to feel like a dream when she was with H.G. She never quite got around to the idea that H.G. Wells was still alive.
There he was, her hero, in flesh and blood except he was a she and she was beautiful.
There she was, her hero, eyes glazed looking down at a child she lost.
There she was, her hero, who unnecessarily yanked her into the sky to save her life (just because she can).
There she was, her hero at her door, way too early in the morning asking if she wanted to have some tea with a smile but a smile cannot hide her sweat soaked collar even though it's the coldest night of the year.
One should never meet her hero. A hero is put on a pedestal for a reason. To hide all the ways that is human about them. Because once you have seen how human they can be, she is no longer a hero. She is a woman you could fall in love with.
It felt too bizarre to be true.
Until her hero was standing in front of her with a weapon of mass destruction in one hand and a gun to her head in the other.
Then she absolutely knew that it was a dream because she was on top of that pedestal - which was no longer a pedestal, just its crumbling pieces - and reached out to her hero. Then she pulled her away from the thing that a hero should never do; turn into a villain.
She doesn't know when exactly H.G. stopped being a dream and started becoming her only tether to reality. It was sometime after they defeated Sykes when she first realized it. H.G. had left to live a normal life. She didn't want anything to do with the Warehouse.
And Myka was slowly forgetting to take care of herself. Her food intake was decreasing. She was getting paler by the day. And her hair was getting harder to take care of.
H.G. had come back to drop off some documents and collect the stuff she had left in the inn from before Yellowstone. She had picked a day when no one was supposed to be around except Leena but she didn't know how sick Myka had been feeling. So she didn't know that Myka decided to take the day off and Leena replaced her as Pete's temporary partner. Leena didn't tell her this. She just said that she left a key under the doormat. H.G. assumed that she was at the Warehouse doing inventory. Leena always liked doing inventory.
H.G. could have come and gone without Myka noticing but she had to take a peek into Myka's room for some reason. It was the creak when H.G. opened the door that woke Myka up. Immediately, she jumped off her bed and started swinging her arms around because she knew no one was supposed to be home. She had forgotten to put on her glasses and couldn't see that her surprise visitor was H.G.
Again, H.G. could have slipped away unnoticed but her laugh gave her away.
"H.G.?" Myka reached for her glasses on the nightstand.
H.G. still had her chance to disappear and if she did, Myka would be none the wiser. But she couldn't take her eyes off Myka or so she said.
"H.G.!" Myka yelled excitedly. "Thank god. I thought you were…not you. That would've been bad," her knees felt weak, "because I don't…feel so good," and suddenly H.G. was above her.
"You look hot," H.G. said.
"Thank you," Myka giggled. "You don't look so bad either.
"Darling, I meant—" but H.G. was more concerned with Myka's unusually flushed cheeks than correcting her. "You are hot," she said as she pressed her forehead on Myka's.
"And you smell so good," Myka said.
"Why did they leave you all alone?" H.G. asked.
"Because Pete needs a partner and," Myka said, tracing some pattern on H.G.'s cheeks, "Artie has to go see Dr Vanessa and I told them I'm okay. Just need a little nap is all."
"You need more than a little nap," H.G. said.
"A cuddle buddy is good too."
"I meant more along the lines of chicken soup and a cold press…Myka," H.G. called. Myka had fallen asleep. Well, not really. It just felt so comfortable in H.G.'s arms that she didn't want to move. "Alright then," H.G. half carried half dragged Myka back to her bed and carefully laid her on it.
When she attempted to let go, Myka pulled on her shirt. "I meant it about the cuddle buddy."
"Please," Myka said, her eyes now half open.
"You weren't asleep, were you?"
H.G. shook her head but climbed onto the bed anyway.
Myka hadn't noticed how cold she had been feeling until she was snuggling against H.G.
This is how warmth feels like, she thought.
"What?" H.G. asked. Did she say it out loud?
"Nothing," she smiled, "Just remembering a feeling."
"Why can't you tell me where you're going?" Myka asked. "Normal people tell their friends where they live!"
"You know why," H.G. said.
It killed her that she knew.
H.G. wanted a normal life and a friend who chases objects that could ruin lives for a living isn't normal.
H.G. leaned closer and pushed a stray hair off her face. "You will take care of yourself?" There was worry in her tone.
"I will," she lied. She knew when the numbness set in she won't be able to keep her word.
And she was right.
She doesn't know if she would have gotten over it eventually.
Pete started asking questions.
"Do you want a cookie?"
"Your aura is gloomy."
"I'm all for freedom of expression but do you want to borrow my hairbrush?"
And even Steve.
"I saw you sleeping on the couch last night."
Artie was the only one who was too preoccupied to ask anything. He had other things on his mind. Things he can't tell anyone about. He ended up bringing that secret into his grave.
She thinks she could have gotten better. Her family would get her through it. Whatever 'it' was.
But Helena didn't let her find out.
She appeared on a rainy night out of the blue while they were watching a horror movie. When she knocked, everyone froze. Leena was the first one to realize that it hadn't come from the TV.
"Umm, guys," Leena said. "It's our door."
Still nobody moved.
Leena sighed. "Don't worry. I'll get it."
A few minutes later, H.G. was in the living room dripping on the floor.
"What are you doing here?" someone asked.
"Leena went to get a towel," she said, "and told me to wait here."
Pete paused the movie. "Did you walk here?"
"Why are you wet?" Claudia asked.
"I was outside for half an hour because I thought no one was home. It's dark."
"Yeah," Steve said, "because Claudia said it sets…it doesn't matter. Do you want to sit?"
"Don't worry about the furniture," Claudia stood. "You can have my spot."
"It's pretty special," Steve said. "No one is allowed to sit there when she's around."
"It isn't…" H.G. shook her head. "Myka."
She hadn't been able to look at H.G. She can't. She laughed today. An actual laugh. One that didn't make Pete stare at her or Steve wince. If H.G. needed to be away, she shouldn't come back at all because when she leaves, Myka has to start the whole grieving process again. That's what Dr Calder called it. She said, "Grief can sometimes happen without death."
"Myka," H.G. called again. "Could you please look at me?"
She can't. How could she? She couldn't even touch Helena, hold her while she…
"I am not leaving."
While she what?
"I am staying."
Myka was so close to remembering.
But when Helena's words sunk in, it didn't matter anymore.
It has been twenty seven years since then. They had a good life. Two kids. A big house. White picket fences. The works. No one would ever think that the lesbian couple who own that ancient bookstore in town have saved the world so many times.
It was H.G.'s idea even though by then, most people thought a book was something you download off the internet.
"Even if it doesn't make any profit, we can still afford it. You said it yourself, there is nothing more rewarding than the smell of a newly bought book. Why let the experience die?"
She still couldn't go in there. Max has been taking care of the bookstore for her. He's a good kid. He wasn't always easy. He used to hate them for giving him a girl's name. But when he went to college, he insisted that people call him Chris and he never hid the fact that it was short for Christina, his middle name. That might have had something to do with his trip across Europe after his high school graduation. He said he found his sister in Paris. Myka doesn't know the details. It was something he only shared with his mom. Max was always closer to H.G. than her.
"You know mom used to look at me like that," Kate says.
Myka almost forgot that her eldest child is there.
"Because you look so much like her."
"Yes, her too. But she looked exactly like your mom."
She chuckles. H.G. tried to make their children call her 'mum' instead of 'mom' but she gave up after Kate turned five.
"Fine, be American then," H.G. had said.
Kate was different than Max. She never went through the rebellious teenager phase. She always listened to whatever they told her to do until the day she got married during her second year in college. And this was her reason;
"I saw some douche bag yelling at a gay couple who just got married in city hall so I went to him with Jenny and told him we were getting married and there's nothing he can do about it. Then we got married."
When Myka told her that she didn't have to actually get married and the man probably wasn't even waiting for her to get a blood test for her marriage license, she said she had to follow through or her word meant nothing. She was a stubborn girl. Still is.
That is why there is a bed in the middle of the living room.
Myka has been sleeping on the couch for the past three months. She can't sleep on their bed. It's too big for one person. And Helena's smell is still on it. She has changed the sheets multiple times. Sprayed fabric freshener all over the mattress. But it just wouldn't go away.
"That's why I don't need a new bed, honey," she tells Kate. "I'll always remember your mom no matter what."
"But that's because I can't change my face. The bed can be replaced."
She sighs. "So what? You want to sell the bookstore too?"
"I don't mean—"
"I know what you mean. And it's really nice of you but the last time this happened," yes, she knows now, "it was your mother who got me through it. So I don't think throwing away every reminder of her will help."
Dr Calder was right. It was grief. She had lost Helena. She just couldn't remember how until she received a letter from Artie about a month ago. Leave it to him to send a message from the grave.
Pete, Claudia and Steve each got one too. In the letter, he told them about the Astrolabe and how he changed the past to save the Warehouse, Mrs Frederic and H.G. He couldn't tell anyone about it until a certain time has passed and he felt they all deserve to know what happened.
But it wasn't the letter that made her realize it. It was Helena's death. When Helena passed away, she felt as if she was in that nightmare again. And she was acting the same way as she was before. Except this time she knew why.
"So mom has died before?" Kate asks.
Myka just nods. Both Kate and Max are used to the strangeness that seems to always surround their family.
"Figures," Kate says, smiling. "Mom always had to try everything twice."