Title: Fear Itself
Fandom: Warehouse 13
Pairing: Myka/HG, Pete, Claudia
Disclaimer: I don't own them.
Summary: What demons might Myka have been made to face in Fargo's medieval video game?
"Ugh! Frickin' castles!" Myka grumbled as she rounded a corner in the maze-like castle only to discover that Pete, Claudia and Fargo were nowhere to be found. "And why would they program a Warrior Queen in three-inch heels!" she grumbled, stomping her foot in frustration before she was forced to start flailing her arms in order to regain her balance when she started to tip over.
Myka sighed loudly and leaned against the stone wall, allowing herself a moments rest before she had to backtrack and hope that she could find some sign of the direction Pete and the others had gone in. She'd gotten a tracking badge in Girl Scouts, but that had been a while ago and she could only hope that her skills hadn't completely rusted out.
Pushing away from the wall, Myka brushed some of the luxurious hair the game had gifted her with out of her face and turned the corner to head back in the direction she had come.
"Oh good god!" Myka exclaimed immediately jabbing her right hand out in a punch as a figure materialized in front of her, scaring her so badly she nearly peed her leather fighting pants. "H.G.!" she asked jerking back, automatically extending her hand again palm outwards to keep H.G. at bay.
"Myka," H.G. replied softly. "Darling," she sighed, smiling briefly at Myka before she bit down on her bottom lip to stop the charmed expression.
"What are you doing here?" Myka asked suspiciously, before quickly turning her head to the left and the right looking for any other surprises. "How did you get here?"
"Claudia left a message for Artie at the Warehouse," H.G. replied smiling, her eyes crinkling in amusement as they regarded each other. "Artie contacted the Regents after reading the message and requested my presence. After all, who better to enter a virtual world than a virtual woman?"
"Artie requested your presence?" Myka questioned, lowering her arm, though she did not try to close the distance between herself and H.G.
"Yes, Myka," H.G. said smiling, though this time there was a touch of weariness in her voice. "As you so correctly pointed out the last time I was allowed to come out and play, I am nothing and therefore can gain nothing. So why wouldn't he request my help?"
"I didn't say you were nothing," Myka said before H.G. could continue. "You're not nothing, H.G. I just meant that ... with your circumstances, it would serve no purpose for you to act against the Warehouse."
"My circumstances," H.G. repeated softly. "What a quaint way to put it," she sighed, closing her eyes briefly before she lowered her head, seemingly taking a moment to gather herself together. "My circumstances," H.G. continued a minute later, "are inhuman. They are super-naturally cruel, and I do not exaggerate when I say that it would have been kinder of you to have put a bullet in my head instead of handing me off to the Regents. My circumstances, Myka, are a vast, yawning, all-encompassing nothing that has stripped me of even my thoughts for company ... but you've managed to get yourself stuck in a videogame, so enough about me. How can I help you, Myka? How can I save you all again before you turn me off and put me back on a shelf to gather dust like a broken, unwanted toy?"
Myka's eyes were wide and shimmering with tears when Helena stopped talking, and instinctively Myka took a step closer to Helena, wanting to soothe the deep pain that Helena had not tried to keep out of her voice.
"Helena," Myka whispered, reaching out to take Helena's hand, breathing in sharply when she was actually able to make contact with it in the virtual world they inhabited.
"Oh, it's Helena now, is it?" Helena asked coldly, her fingers squeezing Myka's until Myka grimaced slightly at the force being applied. "Not, H.G., this time? I can have a name now? I can be treated like a person? I can be Helena until you decide I'm no longer worthy of being addressed by name again, is that it?"
"No! Helena! That's not ..." Myka began, her voicing rising with anxiety as she tried to get a grip on the turn things were taking. "You lied to me, Helena. You deceived me. You ... hurt me. So, yes. Yes, I'm trying to keep you at a distance. Not because I'm trying to hurt you, but because I need to in order to survive seeing you like this!"
"Survi ... oh, poor Myka," Helena spat, tearing her hand out of Myka's hand. "Poor Myka, getting to walk out of this place and into the sun. Poor Myka, getting to laugh, and talk, and share her life with people who love her. Poor Myka, getting to climb into a nice, warm bed at night. Poor Myka, with her consciousness still inside of her body," Helena hissed, glaring balefully at Myka as she circled around her. "Boo hoo, darling, boo bloody hoo," she snarled. "They've ripped my consciousness out of my body and stuck it inside of ball with a twisty top! I am supposed to cry for you? Because even if I was inclined to do so Myka, I no longer have a body with which to shed tears!"
"Helena!" Myka exclaimed, desperately reaching out for the other woman, the pain in Helena's voice cutting to the very center of her. "You ..."
"Yes, I lied, I stole, I tried to destroy the world," Helena interjected. "That was very naughty of me," Helena continued, lips twisting, "and though you probably won't believe it, I actually do regret that. But no matter how awful what I did was, do I really deserve these circumstances?" Helena asked looking Myka in the eyes, her shoulders slumping as a look of utter misery came over her features. "You have no idea ..." Helena sobbed, before managing to choke the sound off. "You know ... you've known what they've done to me for months and you've left me to languish," Helena accused as tears streamed down her cheek. "You've left me to fade anyway to nothingness, Myka. I'm nothing. You've made me nothing. You've left me to a fate worse than death."
Helena looked up at Myka, her chocolate brown eyes shimmering with tears and desolation.
"I know I did wrong, but in the end I loved you more than I hated what the world had become. I couldn't do it. I couldn't hurt you. I couldn't kill my Myka, my darling, the sweetness in my life. I was mad and rabid, but even so I couldn't hurt you," Helena said, reaching up to cup Myka's face in her hands, stroking her thumbs across Myka's cheeks. "I couldn't be so cruel to you. I thought you loved me too, but how could you? How could you have cared at all to leave me like this? My darling, my love ... my torturer, do you have no heart at all? Oh, Myka how I wish you had taken that trident from me and put it through my heart. At least then I could have died believing that you had loved me!"
"I did love you!" Myka yelled. "I do love you! I loved you with every ounce of me!"
"You didn't! You don't! You can't!" Helena yelled back. "If you did, you wouldn't be able to sleep or eat! You would be tortured by thoughts about what they've done to me. At the violation of my ... what did you call them? Yes, my civil rights; my natural rights as a human being, my very right to exist. But you sleep quite well at night, don't you Myka? Because you don't care! You don't care! You don't care! You don't care!"
"I care," Myka sobbed. "I care goddammit! I love you!" she said reaching out in attempt to hold Helena's hands only to have Helena yank them away. "I didn't know, Helena. I had no idea what kind of conditions you were being held in. I thought that they only transferred your consciousness into the projector for missions. I thought ..."
"But didn't bother to verify," Helena choked out. "Why bother asking, right? Why bother upsetting the mighty and powerful Regents? I was only your lover. It only my life, at stake. Only my soul and the very essence of who I am were at risk. Nothing terribly important, it seems. Nothing worth losing sleep over."
"God, Helena. Please don't say that," Myka breathed out, tears streaming down her cheeks. "I've let you down. I never wanted to let you down, but I have," Myka said reaching for Helena's hands and squeezing them tightly when she was allowed to grasp them. "You had been through so much, I wanted to help you. I wanted to be there for you. I wanted to be the person you could count on, the person who would never hurt you or betray you, but I didn't see what was ... I loved you so much but I couldn't see what was going on inside of you."
"You didn't see because you didn't care. You wanted my body, you didn't care about me," Helena responded, leaving her hands in Myka's though she turned her head away from her.
"That's not true," Myka said desperately.
"I was a trophy to you," Helena whispered despairingly. "You wanted to bed H.G. Wells. How much better my books must read now that you know what it feels like to have the fingers that wrote The Time Machine inside of you."
"Was I good at least? Did I warm your bed well, Myka? I would hate to dissipate into nothingness thinking that I was bad in bed."
"This isn't fair!" Myka exclaimed in exasperation, not understanding how things were spiralling so badly out of control and so quickly.
"Since when has anything ever been fair?" Helena asked mockingly. "Do you still have my shirts?"
"Yes," Myka whispered in a voice that was barely audible. She slept in them sometimes, to feel close to Helena.
"Do you know what I have?" Helena asked.
"No," Myka breathed out, shivering.
"Nothing," Helena said softly. "Nothing!" she repeated louder. "Nothing! Nothing! I have nothing thanks to you! Nothing!"
Myka stumbled backwards, away from Helena before her back collided with a wall and she sank to the floor. She was further away from Helena than before, but she could still hear her voice so Myka lifted her hands and pressed them tightly against her head in an attempt to block out the sound of Helena's voice.
"I'm sorry," Myka murmured over and over as she began to rock while Helena continued to talk at her, sometimes softly and almost kindly, at other times sadly and accusingly, and then loudly and angrily, before she shifted back to one of the other tones.
"Please, no more," Myka whispered, squeezing her eyes even more tightly shut as hands grasped her arms and began to shake her.
"I'm sorry," Myka screamed. "I'm sorry. Please stop!"
"Mykes! Come on! Hey, hey, it's alright. There's nothing to apologize for. I already knew ladies were bad with directions," Pete said, forcing a note of lightness into his voice in hopes that Myka would respond to him. "Aren't you gonna make a face and hit me in the shoulder? Aren't you gonna say, 'Peeete!'?" Pete continued, doing his very best Myka impersonation. "Come on, Mykes! You're really scaring me now. Snap out of it!"
"She won't leave me alone!" Myka yelled staring despondently at something over his shoulder.
"Who won't, Mykes?"
"Helena," Myka choked out. "Can't you see her!"
"H.G.?" Pete questioned in surprise, before turning his head to look where Myka was.
Pete jerked back violently, the suddenness of his movement causing him to slip out of the crouch he was in and fall onto the dirt floor.
"Holy Balls, Batman! Where the hell did she come from?" Pete exclaimed as he suddenly found himself staring at H.G. Wells.
"H.G.!" Claudia exclaimed in surprise, though the surprise on her face quickly turned to alarm as H.G. seemed to grow taller and meaner looking by the second. "Uh..." Claudia began before turning to look at Pete. "¿Qué"
"Don't look at me! You're supposed to be the expert on girly girl stuff!" Pete yelled over to Claudia, scrambling across the dirt a little as a trident appeared in a darkly imposing H.G.'s hands.
"...I'll give you the kindness you didn't give me," the H.G. thing hissed at Myka. "I'll make it quick."
"She's Myka's fear!" Pete and Claudia exclaimed at the same time, grinning at each triumphantly for a moment, before they shook their heads and turned their attention back to the H.G. monster.
"I'm sorry," Myka whispered, curling in on herself as tears streamed down her cheeks.
Claudia looked over at Pete in confusion.
"H.G.'s like my techno soul-mate and everything, but what's Myka apologizing for? She's not the one who went all wrath of God on the world," Claudia called out to Pete.
"I don't know, man," Pete said, "but we gotta help Myka work through it whatever it is, cause if she doesn't H.G.'s gonna go all Killinator on us, and we won't be able to stop her by talking about our feeling this time."
"Yeah! Only maybe no!"
"What?" Pete asked scrunching his face up in confusion.
"Maybe that's exactly what we need to do ... get Myka to talk about her feelings! She feels guilty about something, that's why she's apologizing. Maybe beating her inner-demons will destroy the scary outer one," Claudia said tilting her head in the H.G. monsters direction.
"Good deducing, Claudielf!" Pete exclaimed. "But, uh, what do we actually do?"
"Talk to her. Don't you like, have any vibes or something?" Claudia asked hopefully.
"No, I don't have any vib..." Pete started to say mockingly, but he stopped mid-sentence and his eyes widened. "Vibing ... vibing! There is definite vibage!"
Pete turned suddenly to face Myka.
"Hey, Mykes," he said, crouching down in front of her again and taking her hands into his. "It's me. It's Pete. You're safe, okay. I've got you. You can tell me, Mykes. You can tell me what you're sorry for."
Myka resisted him at first, her eyes continuing to slip past him and around him to the H.G. thing looming menacing off to their side, but he tried again and again until she finally turned and looked at him, blinking rapidly as if she was really registering his presence for the first time.
"She was in so much pain," Myka said, tilting her head to the side to gaze at the H.G. thing again. "And I saw it. It saw it sometimes ... in the night, in the dark, when everything was quiet and still. She woke up covered in sweat. She cried in her sleep. She would glare at the TV screen when she watched the news ... but afterwards, she would ... she would smile, Pete. She would smile and she would wrap her arms around me and tell me it was nothing, and I wanted to believe her, so I did. But I should have known. I should have loved her enough to push."
"That's not your ..."
"Pete!" Claudia said sharply. "Let her finish. She needs to finish."
"Right," Pete muttered. "Sorry." He looked over at Myka again. "You should ..." he trailed off, stalling for time as he tried to figure out how someone with boobs would handle this situation. "You should ... you should ... tell her that! Yeah ... yeah, you should tell her that, Mykes."
"I've tried," Myka whispered despondently.
"Try again," Pete urged. "She's listening now."
And it was true. Though she still loomed large and held a wicked looking trident in her hands, the H.G. monster hadn't tried to attack them. Claudia was right. The H.G. thing was an inner-demon. Myka's fear wasn't physical and so the H.G. thing wasn't focused on physically harming Myka, or any of them. The H.G. thing was trying to hurt Myka were it would do the most damage. She was trying to hurt her on the inside.
Myka looked at the H.G. monster, but hesitated.
"Go on, Mykes. It's okay. Tell her," Pete urged gently. "I've got you," he said, squeezing her hands comfortingly.
Myka took a deep, shuddering breath and then after a moment she nodded.
"I'm sorry, Helena," Myka said, blinking back tears as she looked over at the H.G. thing. "I should have seen what was happening. I did love you, but I let it blind me, and if I hadn't turned away from the things I saw because I didn't want anything to ruin what we had, then maybe I could have saved us, and many others, a lot of pain," Myka said, lowering her head as tears started to stream from her eyes.
Pete watched as the H.G. monster shrank down to regular size and then as the dark shadows creeping around her began to draw back until she looked like regular old H.G. McCrazy Pants, Chancellor of Crazyville.
"It's working!" Claudia whispered loudly, though she remembered to cover her mouth with her hand.
"Very subtle," Pete whispered back just as loudly, just catching Claudia's frown before he turned his attention back to Myka. "Keep going Mykes," Pete urged. "There's more. I know there is. I'm vibin'. Go on and tell her."
"I'll ask," Myka told Helena, her eyes never leaving her as Helena approached her silently. "I'll find out where you are and what's really happening to you. I'll check and double-check. And if my fears about what's been happening to you are true ... I'll come for you," Myka promised. "I won't leave you to fade away. I swear."
H.G. crouched down beside Myka, and though he was reluctant to, Pete shifted away from Myka to give them some space.
"Thank you," Helena whispered, her eyes shimmering with tears of gratitude as she reached out for Myka and cupped her face in her hands. "And for the record ... I should've let you in," Helena said, stroking Myka's cheek. "I shouldn't have made you have to piece me together like a puzzle," she continued, leaning forward to gently kiss Myka's lips. "And Myka, should you need to ... there's no doubt in my mind that you'll rescue me in the most dashing way."
"I do still have your grappler," Myka whispered, smiling wetly.
"I can't believe you tried to deny you were coveting it," Helena whispered, returning Myka's smile before she leaned forward and kissed Myka again, lingering at her lips this time.
Eventually however, Helena pulled away from Myka's lips and Myka sighed at the loss of her, opening her eyes just in time to see Helena rise to her full height.
Myka squeezed her eyes tightly shut to try and fight back the tears building up behind her eyes.
She knew what was coming now.
"Myka?" Helena whispered.
Reluctantly, Myka opened her eyes.
"Goodbye, my love," Helena breathed out.
"Goodbye, Helena," Myka rasped, struggling to see Helena through the tears in her eyes.
Helena smiled at her gently and Myka smiled back, and then, in the blink of an eye Helena was gone.
/You have gained the Key of Sorrows and may proceed to the next level! Congratulations, brave warrior!/
Myka breathed in deeply and then reached behind her, bracing her hands on the wall so that she could push herself up onto her feet.
"I really don't like this game," Myka muttered, sniffling slightly as she dusted off her leather pants.
"Worst game ever," Pete agreed before turning to Fargo while Myka was looking away from him and shaking his head. 'Not really' he mouthed before focusing on Myka again. "Hey, uh, do you want to like talk about ..." Pete started.
"No," Myka said shaking her head before he could finish the question. "No. Let's just ... get this done, okay?"
"Sure thing," Pete said holding up his hands. "Whatever you want," he added though he still bit down on his bottom lip because he knew that as Myka's BFF he was going to have to try to hold a civil conversation with her at some point about her on-going love fest with McCrazy Pants ... no, 'H.G.', he corrected himself in preparation for his future chat with Myka, 'H.G.'.
"Am I going to get yelled at if I ask what that was abou..." Fargo began.
"YES!" Myka, Pete and Claudia exclaimed at the same time, turning to glare at him.
"And even when I ask I still get yelled at," Fargo sighed sadly.
"So," Myka said clapping her hands together, straightening to her full height. "Where to now?"
"We need to go to The Dungeon of Despair so that you can use the Key of Sorrows," Fargo responded.
"Sounds cheery," Claudia drawled. "The perfect place for wholesome, family fun. I'm betting it's full of ice-cream and puppies."
Myka smiled at that and Claudia tried not to look too pleased with herself for having brought a smile to Myka's face after she had just been through the emotional ringer.
"Why do these awful places always have such awesome sounding names?" Pete asked as they started to walk. "I mean, I shouldn't wanna go anywhere near a placed called the Dungeon of Despair ... but it sounds so super mysterious and cool that I'm getting kind of excited."
"That's been happening to you all day, dude," Claudia said making a face, "Especially when Leena of the Eagle people has been around."
"Leena of the Eagle people?" Myka asked curiously.
"It's a long story that involves Pete's love of bountiful cleave," Claudia replied, drawing her hands up to her chest to make the universal motion for 'boobs'.
"Hey now," Pete objected. "I have, like a really sophisticated appreciation for fine bosoms. It's really cultivated and respectful, okay? Besides, Myka's the one that likes to go out in public and stand around in large rooms full of nudie pictures."
"Pete, that was a museum," Myka complained looking over at him.
"I'm just saying!" Pete said holding up his hands.
Myka rolled her eyes and quickened her stride, pulling ahead of him.
"It's not a race, Myka!"
"Actually, it kind of is," Claudia piped up, picking up her pace as well. "Jerry's gonna bite it pretty soon if we don't find him and save him from his crazy ex-girlfriend before she destroys us all ... and it occurs to me that may have sounded a bit comparison and contrast-y, but ..." Claudia rambled, wincing slightly as she turned to face Myka.
"It's okay, Claude. I know what you meant," Myka sighed. "Don't sweat it," she continued, forcing a bit more upbeat note into her voice for Claudia's sake.
Her confrontation with Helena had only been a figment of her imagination. Fargo's video game had simply been playing with her mind, exaggerating and exploiting her fears. The H.G. thing that she talked to hadn't been real, but her fears had been. She had tried to push it down and ignore it, because she felt like she was in no position to be fighting for Helena after she had advocated for her before to such disastrous results. But she was concerned about the way Helena was possibly being treated, and she would not let her guilt stand in the way of her doing what was right any longer. What had happened in the past was in the past and there was nothing she could do about that. But when they got out of this game, she was going to do right by Helena and by her conscience and find out where Helena was and what was happening to her. She would finally investigate, and if her worst fears were confirmed, then nothing would stop her from keeping her promise and freeing Helena from whatever prison held her.