I do NOT own Warehouse 13!
Author's Note: I started this a few months ago and just got around to finishing it so that's why it is set when it is set.
"One thing I miss about living in a city apartment," Pete paused as he lifted his shovel, "not having to shovel snow." He then heaved the packed white mass off to the side of the driveway.
"Aw is the big burly field agent man getting tired?" Claudia teased as she copied Pete and shifted more snow.
"No, no," Pete defended, "I'm not tired, just, you know, wondering why we are doing this anyway. I mean, there's gotta be an artifact in the warehouse that can, I dunno, evaporate snow?"
"Oh! Like a fire extinguisher that creates fire instead of putting it out!" Claudia suggested a little too energetically.
"Well even if there was, you actually think Artie would let us use it?" Myka asked sarcastically.
Pete heaved another snow filled shovel over his shoulder before stating the obvious, "No."
"Haha, what are you guys even complaining about?" Claudia stopped mid-shovel and looked at the two older people. "You two are the agents. You are supposed to be outside, working, fixing things. I'm just the tech support. I'm supposed to be inside, fixing things, no actual hard manual labor required."
Myka smiled at Claudia. "You think maybe this is Artie's way of getting you out of the warehouse?"
"Dude, if he wants me out of the warehouse, he should just send me on missions with you two. But this," Claudia pushed more snow, "this is like, a punishment. And I haven't done anything recently so…" Claudia raised her hands in a confused look.
Pete and Myka looked at each other and shared a small smile, both remembering Claudia's previous mishaps with artifacts and Artie's tedious punishments for her.
"Aw is a certain puny red headed girl getting tired?" Pete teased as Myka rolled her eyes.
"I may be tired of shoveling snow but…" before Pete could turn to see why Claudia stopped talking, his face got intimate with a snowball.
"O no you didn't." Pete dropped his shovel and bent down to start packing snow for his own weapon. Claudia's smile only got wider as she copied Pete. Within seconds the two had forgotten about their chore and were engaged in a full on war, which left Myka standing between the two, eyes rolling like there was no tomorrow. It wasn't until a stray snowball (that Myka was positive wasn't stray) hit her that she reached for Pete's arm, holding it in a vice, and ended the battle. The two reluctantly but with smiles still on their faces picked up their disposed shovels and finished what they started.
After another fifteen minutes, the driveway to the Bed & Breakfast was clear and the three were making their way inside to warm up. After ridding themselves of their wet coats and shoes, the three walked toward the sitting room.
"Man, I'm going to be sore tomorrow," Claudia mumbled as she moved her way to slouch down on the middle of the couch. Pete followed and sat on her right.
"I'm going to make us some hot chocolate," Myka called from behind the two, moving toward the kitchen.
It had been a few months since the whole debacle with MacPherson and Leena but the B&B still felt off. They spent two months trying to find MacPherson or to at least figure out his plan but with not so much as a whisper of a clue. Mrs. Frederick had decided it was time to return to their somewhat normal routines. Or as normal as possible.
Artie survived his stint with the exploding umbilicus thanks to the phoenix, and Claudia was eventually found three weeks later, that girl really knew how to stay off the grid when she wanted to. Leena was discovered to be the mole a week after the search for MacPherson began, when the security tapes revealed 'Claudia' was wearing Harriet Tubman's thimble. But somehow she found out she was compromised and left before anyone could get back to the B&B to question her.
Since Leena left, the Bed and Breakfast has been quieter, with the feeling of betrayal and hurt hanging high in the air, especially now. It was Christmas Eve and the homey B&B was decorated with lights, wreaths, and other red and green ornaments by the new innkeeper, Jacob. All three of them sized him up as soon as Mrs. Frederick dropped him on the doorstep. He was tall, dark and handsome. Standing about six feet, he was tan, with brown hair and blue eyes. He looked early to mid-twenties but as Pete commented under his breath, "he could be older, I mean look at Mrs. Frederick, she's been the same age for at least 40 years." He was also fairly quiet, only giving his opinion when asked too, much unlike Leena.
Pete welcomed him like he was an old fraternity brother; Myka figured it was probably because he was glad to have more testosterone in the house. And she, herself, was slightly wary of the new guy, suspicious, in which Pete assured Jacob she would warm up to him in some time... probably. When Claudia had returned, Jacob had been the new inn keeper for roughly two weeks. At first glance, she was attracted to him, but she kept her distance. It already takes her a while to trust people and the situation with Leena only made things worse. And Artie, well Artie treated him like any other new agent, without emotion.
When Myka entered the kitchen, she was met with the sight of Jacob pouring five cups of hot chocolate. "Hi, Myka." He greeted, not looking up.
"O, hi Jacob." Myka paused in the doorway, his sixth sense sometimes creeped her out. "Um, there are only four of us," pointing to the five cups full of warmth.
Jacob looked up at Myka and smirked. Much like Leena could read auras, Jacob knew exactly when someone was going to enter the B&B.
"Artie called while you all were outside. He's on his way over," he explained, but Myka wasn't sure if she believed him or not. He picked up the tray of mugs and walked out to the sitting room, with Myka on his heels.
Pete and Claudia grabbed for their mugs before Jacob was able to set down the tray on the coffee table. "Thanks dude," Pete and Claudia said almost in unison.
"No problem," Jacob answered before grabbing his own mug and sitting on the big comfy chair opposite the two. Myka then followed suit and then sat to Claudia's left.
Pointing to the last full mug, still on the table, Pete asked to no one in particular, "I guess Artie is coming?"
"Duh, that mug isn't yours big boy," said Claudia, nudging his side with her elbow.
Before Pete could reply, the sound of the front door opening was heard, and seconds later Artie appeared carrying his usual large, black bag. Jacob set down his mug and stood up while the other three merely moved their heads to greet Artie.
"I hope you have presents in that bag of yours or you are going to have a sorely upset genius on your hands and you know what happens when I'm not happy," Claudia smirked at the last part of her sentence, silently remembering hacking into the warehouse and kidnapping Artie.
Artie looked dumbfounded at Claudia's comment, "what?"
"Artie, Christmas," Myka reminded.
"Yea, you know, the time for cheer, snow, ham and presents," Pete added.
"Yes, I know what Christmas is, thank you very much," Artie glared at Pete before continuing, "we've got bigger problems." He moved to the second big comfy chair and sat down.
"An artifact?" Myka asked, propping herself higher on the couch, intrigued. Artie nodded his head.
"Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. It's Christmas." Pete was sitting up straighter now too, but for different reasons. "Can't this wait?"
"Yes," Artie answered Myka, then turned to Pete, "and no." He took a sip of the hot chocolate and then continued, "But you will be delighted to know, I know exactly what it is."
"Sweet!" Claudia cheered.
"What is it?" asked Myka.
Artie took another sip out of the mug. "Um, well, a Santa's hat."
After a pause, possibly to make sure they heard him right; Claudia was the first to come to words. "Wait, like, a Santa's hat?" Artie nodded but Claudia continued anyway, "like a red hat with a white ball of fluff on top that you can buy anywhere? Seriously?"
Pete let out an exasperated sigh and repeated, "It's Christmas."
Claudia turned to him and opened her mouth to retort that everyone else got that point the first time he said it, but a sudden realization hit her and she whispered, "It's Christmas." Everyone was going to have a Santa's hat on.
After another pause, Myka asked Artie, "So how are we supposed to find the right hat?"
"Well, find the person trying to ruin Christmas," Artie said as if it was obvious.
"Wait, wait," Claudia was almost laughing. Myka thought she was loving this idea a little too much, "so this is like the Grinch's hat?" Artie nodded again and Claudia couldn't help herself and let out a little chuckle, "no freaking way."
"Yes. It only activates on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so I wasn't able to find out where it was until a few minutes ago. You two," he looked from Myka to Pete, "have a plane to catch. It leaves in two hours; you are going to Akron, Ohio." He stood again and handed them envelopes from his bag with the proper information they will need. He then looked at Claudia and told her to come with him to the warehouse.
Claudia immediately set her now empty mug on the table, thanked Jacob for making it, said bye to the others and followed Artie out the door.
Jacob collected the rest of the mugs and went into the kitchen. Myka stood up and said to her still slouching partner, "You better get up and get packed soon. You know traffic is going to be bad." Then she turned to walk up the stairs to her room and quickly packed.
Alone in the sitting room, Pete let out another deep sigh and whined, "but it's Christmas," one more time before slowly making his way to his room.