A/N: So officially this is for a challenge issued by the Fanfiction Critique Group, but I have to confess that I started it weeks ago. The challege ("write something that is absolute right") gave me the motivation to get it out again and polish it up, give it a proper ending, and this is what I ended up with. This is my first for Warehouse 13, but if you've been around some of the other fandoms you'll recognize my penchant for cuteness cropping up--in this case I blame Pete, who is totally cute and silly, and made me write him that way. :P


When I'm lost in the rain,
In your eyes I know I'll find the light
To light my way

And when I'm scared,
And losing ground,
When my world is going crazy,
You can turn it all around.

And when I'm down you're there
Pushing me to the top.
You're always there,
giving me all you've got.

--Christina Aguilera

Myka lay on her bed listening to the sound of water running through the pipes of the B&B, her frustration rising with each passing minute. She had very clearly reminded Pete the night before that it was her turn to use the bathroom first in the morning. But instead of finding a clean, dry bathroom when she woke up she was greeted by the reverberation of Pete's voice singing some obnoxious pop song over the din of the shower.

"Pete?" she'd yelled. "Pete!"

Oblivious, as usual, he hadn't answered and now she was killing time, waiting to get into what she knew would be a mess when he was done.

If he ever gets done, she thought. He takes longer to get ready in the morning than I do.

The water stopped—though not Pete's singing—with a thunk and Myka sat up expectantly. Several long moments later she heard the door open and bounced off her bed, snatching up her clothes. She stopped short of her destination, however, when she saw the cloud of steam billowing out of the bathroom and her partner standing in the middle of it, still in his underwear.

So help me God…

She watched him clear away the fog on the mirror, crossing her arms over her chest and fixing a stony expression on her face while she waited for him to see her in the reflection.

He didn't.

Sighing heavily and leaned against the wall, she bore holes in the back of his head with her eyes, willing him to notice her displeasure. She knew it wouldn't hurry him; in fact, he'd probably flash her a big grin and move more slowly if he saw her lingering.

But someone needs to teach him that the world does not revolve around Pete Lattimer.

So she stayed, making sure she was in his field of view should he ever look past his own image in the mirror, studying him as he painstakingly worked on his hair, trying so hard to get it to do that casual spiky thing. She noted the care he took—though not methodical or systematic in any way, he got the job done and was determined to do it the best of his ability.

Just like when we're on a case.

Unconsciously her face softened as memories from the past few months slipped through her mind. Pete was unlike any partner she'd ever had, which often drove her crazy.

But in a place like the Warehouse, he was exactly what she needed.

He was intuitive, unorganized, and unconcerned with details—her polar opposite in every way. Yet she trusted him with her life, and on more than one occasion he'd proven that her faith in him was justified. Past partners and colleagues had taken similar action in the line of duty, of course, but with Pete things were different. He wasn't just her partner, her colleague, her work companion.

He was her friend.

The person who always made her feel like there was a solution, even when everything was crumbling around them.

The man who always seemed to know what she was thinking.

The one she went to when nothing in the world made sense.

Shifting against the wall, Myka relaxed her stance as Pete continued his primping. It's odd that I don't talk to Artie when there's a problem, since he's our boss, or to Claudia, or even to Leena, who would be the logical choice. It's always Pete.

The one she was most connected to.

Her lips curved into a small smile as she recalled the incident with Brade's chair. Most people would have left her locked up in jail where she couldn't hurt anyone, but not Pete. He trusted her, knew that her impulse to punch him every few minutes was not the full extent of her feelings for him, understood that the two of them worked better together than separately. He bailed her out, learned to read the look on her face, took her as she was.

And ducked when she tried to deck him.

Her arms wrapped themselves around her waist, clothes clenched in one fist, and her heart swelled when she thought of their time at the prison in Florida. All that sadness and guilt stirred up, Sam there confronting her, blaming her for his death. They had brushed it off afterward, but Myka was acutely aware of her partner's strength when he stood there beside her, encouraging her, reaffirming everything she knew to be true about Denver, helping her find the courage to say it out loud. No other colleague would have done that for her.

But Pete did, without hesitation.

And he showed up at Bering & Sons, not because it was a case or an assignment, but because he genuinely cared for her and wanted to be there for her when her father was so ill. She had been annoyed with his impulsiveness, terrified of her parents' reaction to him and to her new job, but when she calmed down she came to realize that his intent was not to pester her, or to intrude on her family life. He was simply there in case she needed him. Knowing that had helped her let her guard down, to allow Pete to see how truly frightened she was, how helpless she felt.

She couldn't do that with anyone else.

Her eyes refocused on the bathroom, noting with some satisfaction that he had finally finished with his hair. Pulling herself off the wall she took a half-step forward, determined to give him the third degree, albeit less harshly than she had originally intended. "It's about time!"

He threw her a startled look, squirting shaving foam from the can he was holding over his forearm instead of into his palm. "How long have you been standing there?"

"Long enough to count all the freckles on your back," she smirked.

"Freckles? I don't have any freckles…" He twisted around, trying to get a view in the mirror, unaware of the giggle she was attempting to smother.

"Yes you do," she pointed out, walking over and poking his clean skin just below his shoulder blade. "Right here."

She saw the twinkle in his dark eyes, but didn't realize what it meant until it was too late. "I think I see a freckle…" Rubbing the foam from his arm he returned the favor, indicating a place on her cheek with a fluff-covered finger. "…right…here…"

"Pete!" she hollered, wiping at her face. "Don't you—"

"…and here," he told her with mock seriousness, smearing foam across her neck. "And here, too," he continued, forming a peak on the tip of her nose.

With an irritated growl, she staged a strategic retreat and marched back to her room, grabbing a dry towel and dropping onto her bed to wipe off the offending product. "He is so immature!" A strong tenor drifted in from down the hall and grated on her nerves, Pete's song punctuated by pauses this time as he attempted to shave while singing without cutting himself. "…don't stop…believin'…hold on to this…fee-ee-ee-lin'…"

Her eyes rolled involuntarily.

Several minutes later he strolled into her room clad in blue jeans and pulling a shirt carefully over his head. "All yours," he told her. She gave him a curt nod and began gathering her clothes once more, but a gentle hand on her arm stopped her. "Hey, how are you feeling? After yesterday, I mean. I know it's the hundredth time we've been knocked flat by some crazy artifact, but are you okay?"

"I'm fine." He quirked an eyebrow at her, and she repeated her statement for emphasis. "I'm fine, Pete. A little sore, but that's all."

"Okay." He squeezed her shoulder warmly before releasing her. "I just wanted to make sure."

Once she heard his footsteps recede safely down the stairs the smile returned to her lips. Yes, he was obnoxious. Yes, he was often annoying. And yes, she sometimes wondered if he was a twelve-year-old boy trapped in a grown man's body. But his acceptance of her, his concern and affection for her, were clearly evident. How ever reluctant she was to admit that she needed support in difficult situations, Myka knew exactly where she could always find it.

Even if it did come with a shaving cream topping.