So this is my first Warehouse 13 fic (having only discovered this gem of a show about three weeks ago). I've just finished watching season two, and this one-shot is set...ah...maybe a couple of months after the season two finale.
I hope you enjoy, please let me know what you thought of it :)
For what could possibly be the billionth time, Claudia Donovan shot a deadly glare at the wall to her left, and flicked the volume of her i-pod up a notch. Anything to block out the highly disturbing sounds reverberating within the walls of her room, and originating from the one situated next to hers.
She was seriously considering swapping rooms. And it wasn't the first time she'd considered it either. Because, as she'd found out relatively quickly, anyone in-habiting the room next to Pete Lattimer's was in for a nasty- mind scarring surprise.
Another laugh reached her ears – managing to pierce through the music belting out of the earphones (which were now at one hundred percent volume, by the way), and, for what could possibly be for the trillionth time, she started planning – with intricate detail – how she was going to murder Pete the next morning.
Don't get her wrong – she loved Pete. The guy was awesome, her partner in crime when teasing Artie, someone naïve enough to let her borrow a few dollars off him. He was silly and funny and he had a big heart.
Having to listen to the guy making out and…uh….doing other stuff with whoever the hell his most recent girlfriend was, however, decidedly not cool.
Arrghhh! Not good!
Claudia clamped her hands over her ears, wondering why, of all the rooms at Leena's, she had chosen this one. The Goo Goo Dolls were being pretty useless at blocking out the noisy bedsprings and muffled sounds – eww eww ewwwww!- so Claudia removed the ineffective item, huffing. It just had to be her luck that the Star Wars convention she had been planning to attend had had to unexpectedly be cancelled due to the venue having flooding problems. The weekend she'd been looking forward to for the last year of her life was now completely ruined, along with crap-loads of money wasted. She just hoped she could get a re-fund for the tickets. They'd cost a lot.
Now, she was stuck at Leena's, with nothing to do. Artie had decided that he'd spend his weekend cleaning the Warehouse extensively, and had forbidden her to tag along, due to the various past consequences he'd had to deal with the after the other occasions Claudia had helped to 'clean' – telling her to look on the bright side, she'd have a chore-free weekend. He had taken Leena with him (because, according to him, there were less chances of her unintentionally destroying the Warehouse, though he seemed to have conveniently overlooked the whole 'McPherson-mind-controlling-epic-evil incident – not that she still held a grudge against Leena for it), along with a couple of days supply of food, and neither was expected to return anytime soon.
So that left Pete, Myka and her. The three of them, unsupervised, for the weekend, in the Bed and Breakfast.
She'd spent most of the day hanging out with them – awkwardly aware of the shift that had taken place between her two friends ever since Myka had re-taken her post as Warehouse agent. Claudia had somehow deduced that, as if by unspoken agreement, they'd pretended that the incident had never happened and had decided to continue with their duties and friendship picking up from where they had left off.
Maybe she really was reading into it too much, but working out that something was different between the two partners wasn't rocket science. It was the little things – how Pete always made sure to be positioned closer to Myka, as if to prevent her from slipping through his fingers again. How, uncharacteristically, Myka did not complain about this, rather, she seemed comforted by it. How they touched more often – small, caring gestures – a hand placed on a shoulder, fingers entwining for all of two seconds, exchanging energy, just long enough to let each other know they are around.
And although she loved playing matchmaker – hell, after all, fixing things bought her great joy – Claudia hesitated when it came to them. They'd fix each other, when they needed to, when they were ready. But they knew they could fix each other, and that was a start.
Though it was sort of awkward. (Strange Pete plus Strange Myka plus Claudia plus Huge Gigantic Elephant In The Room equals Uncomfortable Claudia which equals Boredom.)
Groaning, she flopped back onto the pillows. It kind'a pissed her off a bit too. Not just the whole 'Pete-is-having-sex-with-some-skanky-thing-with-long-legs-in-the-room-above' but also the fact that Myka was probably hearing it all too.
God, it was so messed up! It sort of felt like Pete was cheating on Myka (well, from her point of view, anyway). When had the dude gotten another girlfriend anyway? Either he was just clueless to the point of stupidity, or he really didn't think the feelings he harboured for Myka were reciprocated (whatever, Men are totally oblivious when it comes to this.)
Deciding enough was enough, she sprang out of bed and into action, slipping on her hoodie and padding quietly out of the door, procuring not to make any noise. She winced as the giggling and gasping got louder and louder, but pushed the sounds to the side. First thing was first, she was going to talk to Myka, and if the elder woman was awake – which she probably would be, have a little complaining session, plotting their revenge in the process. Also, even though the idea of she herself interrupting Pete's activities would be freakin' awesome, she had to admit watching Myka do the honors would be fucking fantastic! The pure talent that woman had for scaring the shit outta Pete when she went into kick-ass mode would never get old.
So that's why, she was surprised to find – after knocking several times and eventually opening the door a crack, to find the elder woman's room empty, and – more importantly, the bed not slept in, the few teddies that adorned her bed still sitting in the middle of the pillow.
It was probable, now that she thought about it, that the woman had been sensible enough to go downstairs to sleep on the sofa in the living room. The only other explanation for the untouched bed was that Myka had gone out for the night – but Claudia knew her friend well enough to know that a) she wasn't the kind of person who enjoyed being out in clubs at oh-my-god o'clock in the morning, and b) that she wasn't with a guy, because if she was pursuing a romantic relationship, it would have become apparent by now, and unlike her partner, Myka wasn't one to encourage one-night-stands.
Slightly miffed, she crossed the landing once more, an internal battle between whether or not to holler on Pete's door and give him a piece of her mind raging inside her brain. Maybe it wasn't worth it. Heck, he would give her hell for the next – like – decade, and she really didn't want to have to deal with his annoying side any longer than she already had to. Usually he was like a five-year old, but sometimes he was like a five-year old on a permanent sugar high. There was an obvious reason as to why Myka had named her ferret Pete.
Backing away from his door, she was just turning the handle on her own door when a loud squeak rang out, followed by a man's laugh.
And that just about did it – 'cause if Myka wasn't going to do anything about it, she sure as heck was.
Eyes narrowing, she rapped on the door leading to the offending room three times.
'Yo, Pete, it's Claud here. You know, that girl, who you have to see every day at that annoying pastime called 'work'? Just thought I'd let you know, being the nice person that I am, that Myka's out here with me, with her guns, waiting for you and your lady-friend to make out just that little bit louder so she can bust your door down and shoot you both. And I don't mean with a Tesla. Love your guts, night-night now, don't let the bedbugs bite-'
Suddenly the door opened, to reveal a shirtless, disheveled, and extremely confused-looking Pete, who quickly stepped outside (she tried so hard not to look down, because – holy cow – he was only wearing a bedsheet – that was so many different types of wrong she didn't even know where to start). Totally unprepared, with the upper hand she had so gotten hold of dissolving in front of her very eyes, she tried to salvage what was left of her amazingly improvised threat. 'W-well, when I say Myka's out here, I mean…she's in her room getting her ass-kicking gear ready-'
'…Myka?' he squinted at her as if she were crazy. And she noticed – OH GOD – that he had a lovebite on his collarbone! (Why, oh Holy Mother of God, did she have to be the one dealing with this?)
'The one and only...' It was obvious he was starting to get really concerned - his eyes were doing that little squinty thing that told her he was starting to think she was possessed (something which she guesses is completely understandable, given his job). '…okay, so maybe I told a white lie. Myka, much like me, has gotten sick of listening to….I don't have to spell it out to you, do I? I mean, in my room it sorta sounds like someone is playing a really, really bad porno movie, and no, before you ask, I'm not exaggerating, you really are that loud….and….eww – but fine, I lied. She's downstairs. Trying to sleep, I guess. Probably about as scarred for life as I am,' she finished, taking a gasp of air.
He blinked in confusion (what the hell was there to be confused about?) and then suddenly there it was! That complete change of expression from oblivious to understanding. He flashed her an apologetic smile, fingers coming up to run through his hair. 'Ah…yeah. Sorry about that. Um, uh, don't worry about Myka- well, what I mean, is – you won't hear another sound from us.'
Since when did Pete let her have her way so easily? Without a trace of a teasing remark, or dirty comment? Either the dude was more caught up in this fling that she'd imagined, or he was genuinely sorry. Or both.
Apologetic Pete…sorta scared her.
She cleared her throat, brushing her hair out of her eyes, before twisting the doorknob to her own room and starting to enter, giving him what she hoped wasn't too much of a nervous smile. 'Well. Myka and I are both extremely grateful. Goodnight.'
He reached over to ruffle up her hair again (dammit, he was always too quick for her!) and winked. 'Goodnight, sleep tight!'
Now he was being sweet?
Ugh. She was too tired for this. In the morning, she'd kidnap him, run a few tests on him, carry out an interrogation to find out where this alien had put the real Pete. In the meantime -she threw herself back onto her bed –now that she was content that the offensive noises had completely ceased, she would allow herself to close her eyes and sleep.
It was around five when she heard another bang. She groaned and sat up, considering throwing one of her converse's at the wall – before realizing that the sound had actually originated from downstairs.
Maybe Myka had gotten up for a glass of water or had tripped. Or something.
Yeah, that was so not Myka's style.
Her own stomach started to growl (dammit, she knew she should have had that extra cookie before going to bed) so adding that to the fact that she was genuinely curious as to what in the world her friend was doing downstairs, she slipped out of the room and descended the stairs, treading carefully around the floorboards that creaked. God help her if Pete and his new accessory woke up and decided it was time for a….fourth? round of making out...
Now on the ground floor of Leena's, she paused for a second, perched just around the corner from the lounge. In the distance, coming from what seemed to be the kitchen, she could hear the tell-tale tinkling of a spoon stirring a warm beverage, and her stomach gurgled again. (Sweet Lord, she could really do with some hot cocoa and a warm batch of cookies...)
Entering the kitchen silently, she could just about make out that the other figure in the room was indeed Myka. The woman had her back to her, her normally neat, perfectly-cork-screwed curls messy and wild. Claudia bit the inside of her cheek to stop herself from laughing – her friend's blue fluffy dressing gown hid the majority of her pajamas from view, but looking down at her ankles, where the dressing gown did not reach, the bottom of her trouser legs betrayed the fact that Myka was wearing the latest Hello Kitty nightwear.
'Well hello, fellow victim.'
She watched with amusement as the older woman practically jumped out of her skin, wincing slightly as the tea-bag her friend had been holding flew out of her hands and landed on the floor.
'My God, Claud! You scared the crap out of me!' she let out a nervous breath, blue eyes wide, and bent down to collect the tea-bag.
Claudia raised an eyebrow, patting her face with her hand in a comic gesture. 'Gee, do I really look that awful after a bad night's sleep?' judging by the look on Myka's face, she must really look a sight. She wondered if her hair was all sticking up at the back or something, or if she had lines on her face from leaning against the bunched up material of her pillow, making her look prematurely old.
'No!' the elder woman let out a gush of breath, grinning nervously and bringing her hand up to fiddle around with her hair. 'No, I think we all know that the person who really scares you with his 'freshly woken up' look is Artie. I just wasn't expecting anyone to be up now…'
Claudia frowned Myka averted her eyes. It was strange. She almost looked….guilty? Or perhaps embarrassed? Her mind cleared. That was it. She couldn't imagine the woman talking about sex with anyone, much less gossiping about who she'd heard having sex last night.
'Rough night, huh?'
She chuckled, coming up next to her friend to nudge her amicably in the side. In the light that the window let through, she observed the woman's profile. Contrary to someone who had spent the better part of the night trying to avoid possible mental trauma, Myka looked unnervingly fresh-faced, albeit tired. Her skin seemed to have an extra shine to it too – Claudia cursed herself for not having moved down to the lounge to sleep. 'Damn you, sensible woman, coming down here when the whole scha-bang started. I mean did you hear them?'
'What- oh, yeah,' Myka laughed lightly, turning around to continue making her early morning snack, which appeared to be a plate of cookies and a mug of Earl Grey tea.
'I mean – not cool, man. Right next to my room. And right opposite yours.'
'I know, right?' the elder woman said around a mouthful of cookie, leaning on the kitchen counter, and glancing quickly up at the ceiling, as if in understanding.
' Seriously, does the dude never stop? Because they were at it for a good three hours before I even considered breaking down the door-'
She stopped mid sentence as she observed the blush creeping up her friend's cheeks. At some point when she'd been talking, Myka's eyes had snapped downward again, and she was looking intently into her mug as if its contents were the most important thing in the world.
She'd known Myka was a bit of a prude, but really? This was slightly ridiculous. Slightly ridiculous, ever so cute, and such a perfect characteristic to make fun of.
'It's just sex, you know – it's not that embarrassing.'
Her friend snapped her head up, giving her an icy glare. 'I'm not embarrassed.'
'Oh, I'm sorry, you must've turned as red as a beetroot for some other unknown reason then,' she rolled her eyes. 'Come on, Myka, you can't fool me. You are such a prude.'
'Ha! – no, trust me, I'm not.'
'I bet last night you were really suffering – squirming about on the sofa trying not to imagine Pete – naked Pete – and-'
'You know, I think this conversation ended sometime ago. So I'm just going to go now, and leave you talking to yourself about the strange ideas your brain seems to come up with,' Myka punched her lightly on the shoulder, and took off down the hallway, curls bouncing in step.
Dammit – she couldn't let her get away that easily!
'Oh, come on, Myka!' she exclaimed, following her friend into the lounge. The sofa and throw were in the exact same position as she'd seen them before going upstairs last night – jeez, maybe Myka was more OCD about organization than she thought. 'Don't be mad! At least I know I don't have to worry about overhearing you making out with some guy in your room-'
The elder woman paused at the foot of the stairs, a thoughtful expression crossing her face. 'Claudia, trust me. You have no idea what I'm capable of,' she winked, and started up the stairs, humming to herself.
Did she just wink at me?
And suddenly, it hit Claudia that she hadn't seen her friend so…happy…before. Not that Myka was a sad person, but usually, she gave off an air of responsibility, not relinquishing too much control and not allowing herself too much impulsiveness. Today, that air had somewhat faded. She smiled, and decided not to continue with her teasing, because it wasn't often she hadn't seen the older woman looking troubled. Silently thanking whatever had affected Myka in such a way (and hoping to God it wasn't some freaky and dangerous artifact) she stepped back, and started back towards the kitchen, intent on finding another source of nutrition.
With her freshly microwaved, steaming cup of cocoa in one hand and one of Myka's oat cookies in the other, Claudia once again started up the stairs. She had every intention of eating her snack and burrowing down underneath her duvet once more (I mean, it was Sunday, who was going to care if she woke up at, say, one in the afternoon?) As she reached the first landing, she heard a door open – from here she could see it wasn't Myka's, meaning it had to be Pete's. Sure enough, she heard the guy himself mumbling something a millisecond later.
Crapitty crap, he was leaving the room.
And last night, he'd been all horny and unfocused and for whatever reason hadn't killed her – but by now, she was sure he was planning his revenge for the little stunt she'd pulled. She guessed he would either kill her (death-by-tickling was his preferred weapon) or grin lecherously and spout comments that would make her feel uncomfortable. Poking her head round the side of the banisters, her eyes fell on Pete, who was standing in his doorway clad in a t-shirt and boxers, looking fondly at something his room (the mystery woman?) and laughing.
It was starting to look like sitting here and waiting for his next move was the only option. Her only hope was that he was headed for the bathroom instead of the ground floor - at least then she had a chance of escaping to her room unnoticed.'
She could hear a woman's voice coming from inside his room, too far away for her to make out exactly what she was saying, but she froze when Pete replied to whatever comment had been made.
'I think we scarred her for life.'
Of course, they just had to be having a conversation about her.
More mumbling, and then a laugh from his companion. Her curiosity growing, she watched from her hiding place as he leaned back into the room, and raised her eyebrows in surprise as a hand stroked his cheek tenderly. A hand that looked incredibly familiar…was he back with Kelly again? She guessed she was going to be sitting there hiding for a while, so she started to nibble on the cookie, observing and waiting.
'Well,' he whispered in reply to 'Kelly'. 'It was kind'a funny. She seemed to think you were actually sleeping downstairs.'
The bit of cookie got caught in her throat, and her eyes almost bulged out of her head as she tried to prevent herself from choking to death as quietly as possible. Which didn't work, but thankfully, Pete seemed to be distracted enough not to notice the noise.
…distracted by none other than Myka Bering, who was giving him small kisses on the lips as she laughed along with him.
She had to be dreaming. There was no other explanation for it – (please God, there was no way in hell she'd interrupted Pete and Myka having sexual relations – there was NO WAY-). Grabbing the cocoa, she took a couple of gulps to help the cookie go down.
This totally explained everything - all the weirdness and strange happiness.
Myka's smile was huge, and she squeaked as he nuzzled her neck. 'Yeah –yes – Pete, that tickles! Well, we're going to have to work on the noise levels or something – maybe we were a bit too loud, I didn't even realize-'
'-that you were a screamer in bed?'
Claudia almost burst out laughing, unable to help spraying beverage all over the stairs. Patting the stains on the wood absently with the end of her dressing-gown, she observed the older woman whacking Pete gently in the stomach.
DUDE. She was so going to fangirl about this later.
'I am not a screamer, jeez!'
He surrounded Myka's shoulders with his arm, pulling her into him and whispering in her ear. 'So, when you were crying out 'Oh, God, Pete – don't stop!' are you telling me that wasn't you?'
As Claudia watched her friends face turn what would probably be best described as a shade of lobster red, she was vaguely aware – and surprised - to find herself tearing up. Maybe she was turning all romantic and her sappy in her old age (well….old age was more of an expression than fact), but the scene reminded her of one of those tacky Christmas films she and her brother had watched when they were younger – where a young girl hid one the landing of the stairs as she watched her estranged parents kiss and proclaim their love for each other. Except this really wasn't tacky.
The look on her friends faces spoke volumes.
Maybe love really did exist. She felt her chin quiver.
Huh, maybe there really was a viable reason as to why she'd been put in the loony bin, she thought, as she failed to prevent two fat tears from sliding down her face.
Or maybe it was A- OK that she sort of saw Pete and Myka as a surrogate family – and maybe she just cared about them so much that it gave her great joy to see them so happy. They'd been the best thing that had ever happened to her – them and Artie and Leena.
Sliding down the stairs one by one, she rounded the corner just in time – she heard them descending the stairs continuing to talk (something about why the hell the stairs were all damp and sticky – yeah, she'd have to make up an excuse for that). When they finally entered in the lounge, she'd curled herself up on the wicker-chair, and was eating the remainders of her cookie, reading one of Pete's discarded comics.
'Morning, early birds,' she smiled.
Pete yawned, his arm still around Myka's shoulders, and grabbed the nearest cushion, throwing it at Claudia. She swiftly popped the rest of the cookie in her mouth and caught the offending missile deftly.
The man smirked at her, and Myka gave him an unimpressed, sideways look.
'Are you still mad at me?' he squinted at her, somewhat warily.
Claudia took in everything that came with that statement – because, really, it wasn't just a statement. They might have had no idea that she knew about them, but Pete and Myka were waiting impatiently for her answer, as if to subconsciously earn her approval on something she supposedly had no idea was occurring.
Her approval, of course, was unquestionable. So, for now, she'd pretend she hadn't seen anything. They'd tell her what they needed to tell her when they were ready. She's sure she could spend ages humorously teasing and tormenting them, but she didn't want to.
They really did deserve better than that, after all.
Beaming at him, she shook her head and mustered up her best British accent. 'Pete, my dear boy, I've come to the conclusion that life is for living it,' she got up off the chair, briefly stretching down to touch her toes and springing back up again. 'So no, I'm not mad at you,' she looked at Myka, and grinned. 'And I don't think Myka is either.'
Myka pursed her lips, nudging Pete gently with her hip. 'Myka was fast asleep long before Pete got up to whatever Pete got up to and thankfully didn't have the same traumatic experience that you did.'
'Yeah. Well,' Claudia started to walk towards the stairs. 'I don't know about you two, but this early bird is really regretting getting up this early. So I'mma see you two' she patted them both on the cheek as she passed them. 'At about lunchtime, if I'm up. Enjoy your morning, don't bicker too loudly!'
She paused half-way up the stairs, waiting until she was positive that her friends had completely forgotten about her before retracing her steps to peek around the corner. Sure enough, they hadn't moved from their place in the middle of the lounge, but their foreheads were now pressed together, noses touching, kissing and smiling and whispering sweet things that she was glad she couldn't hear, because really, it was for their ears only.
Watching them, Claudia realized, made her feel safe. I guess that's what love looks like.
As they kissed again, she finally retreated to her room, slipping under the covers and sighing.
Everything was gonna be okay.
She was damn sure of it.
How did you find it?