Do you know what it feels like to be utterly and totally in love with someone who has absolutely no desire to be in a relationship with you?
Chances are, if you've managed to make it past high-school age, or even middle-school age, you have. The fancy term for such a devastating occurrence is unrequited love. It's one of those phrases that gets thrown around a lot to describe things as simple as a young girl with a crush on a kid in her class, or the teacher. It's one of the things that everyone will agree sucks, but that years later people will laugh at. It's meant to be the sort of thing that people just outgrow. After a certain age, people are expected to be able to detach themselves easier, and sooner, to wisely avoid it.
It should never be the unrequited love that is so easy to identify within the confines of literature. Love should be the all-consuming love of Romeo and Juliet, or Helen of Troy and Paris. It's meant to be the stuff of fairy tales and legends. It's not meant to be the story of Esmerelda and Quasimodo, nor the story of Orsino and Olivia.
Myka had never thought, for one instant, that she wasn't in the midst of some great fairy tale. It was hard to believe otherwise when one was almost constantly surrounded by items of magic and wonder, and when the world had been forevermore transformed into something that would never be mundane. Not when ordinary objects could have incredible powers, and certainly not when a time machine was at her disposal. Well, had been at her disposal. The fact that it was broken, and likely beyond all repair, did nothing to dispel the unarguable fact that she had used it to travel back in time for 22 hours and 19 minutes. It certainly hadn't been very BacktotheFuture, nor had it been H.G. Wells' TimeMachine, but that didn't matter. Especially since, in a strictly non-literary sense, it hadbeen H.G. Well's time machine. True, Victorian literary genius had come to life in the present day, and as if that wasn't wonderful enough, the instant H.G. had stepped from that Bronzer the wonders hadn't ceased.
H.G. Wells was an amazing author, and Myka was bookish enough to have read all of his works and idolize him. It was beyond imagination to think that she would ever have met him, or even that such a thing was possible. Joining the Warehouse should have taught her that nothing was impossible, not even meeting the famous H.G. Wells. Who, of course, was nothing like Myka had expected. For one thing, H.G. was female, and when they'd first met, she'd been a female who was kissing Pete. And then, unbelievably, Helena had, after many encounters on opposing ends of each other's guns, become a friend. And then a lover. And not once had Helena ever given Myka a reason not to believe that the British woman was not completely devoted to her.
Until Warehouse 2, anyway. Though they had been in various standoffs at the beginning of their relationship, neither had shot the other. Helena had used a magnet to stick Myka to the ceiling, but no shots had been fired. Perhaps that was why it was so utterly wounding to have Helena turn around, Tesla in hand and aiming at her and Pete, and then, as a final slap in the face, for it to actually be fired. If there hadn't been a crisis to solve when she'd awoke, Myka wasn't sure she'd have been able to sort out what she felt.
Part of it, of course, was annoyance. At herself, at Helena, and at Artie, who'd told her H.G. was the bad guy and who would never let her hear the end of it. Come to think of it, Pete would likely jump right in on that bandwagon too. The other part of it was sheer pain at being betrayed. And though Myka had managed to get over it enough to be of use in hunting down the artifact and her former lover, that hadn't made it any easier to watch H.G. do the things that Artie had seen coming.
The fact that Helena hadn't been able to shoot her with a real gun and that she hadn't destroyed the world because Myka's desperation had seemed to get through to the other woman somehow didn't make things better. Knowing that the entire thing hadn't been a lie, that Helena still had feelings for her that couldn't be denied when she was faced with them actually made things just a little bit worse. At least if it had all been wrong then it was Myka being silly and there was an easy enough fix. As things were, though, it just didn't quite add up well enough for an easy fix.
Standing there while a handcuffed Helena was shoved into a government issued, black SUV was amazingly easy. Feeling the dark eyes, which were usually so expressive as far as Myka was concerned, watching her through the tinted glass, however, was not. It was the paradox of needing her gone, and needing her there, and needing to be gone, and not wanting to leave which had made Myka leave the Warehouse. Oddly enough, it had been Helena who brought her back. The bookstore had hardly been the place for her anyway, and she'd known it. There was little solace to be found in dusty book spines and ancient words when her author, her refuge, had been so irrevocably tainted. The illusion had shattered.
"You never wanted a relationship with me," she's said absently to Helena, still a hologram, at some point of that miserable Joshua's Trumpet case. She had faced plenty of horrible things in her time as both a Secret Service agent and a Warehouse agent, but having to watch Pete and Artie snipe at Helena, and feeling the unshakeable urge to stand up and defend the other woman, was purely torturous. She hated herself for defending the woman, but she hated herself even more for wanting to let Pete say whatever he wanted.
Helena, of course, protested. "Darling, of course I did," she said instantly, dark eyes instantly adopting a slightly haunted expression while her lips curved downward. "Myka, your presence in my life is one of the things I treasure most, and your absence fro my life, such as it is at the moment, is something I never wanted."
Myka couldn't help but give a small snort of disbelief at that, but spoke before Helena could attempt to convince her more thoroughly. "You misunderstood me," she informed the writer, words smooth but the emotion behind them getting the best of her as she started to fiddle with the black orb in her lap. "I never said you didn't want me, or love me, merely that you did not want a relationship with me."
"I don't quite know what to say to that," Helena said lightly, with a small, slightly chastised, smile that Myka had seen on her face thousands of times. Inexplicably, Myka was slightly irritated by the fact that Helena was so composed and, well, Victorian that she couldn't even have the decency to gape at her like a normal person. Instead, the silver-tongued author managed to never lose her calm.
"Then you agree."
"Not at all, darling," Helena responded. "In fact, I seem to recall rather actively pursuing you, and wooing you. Hardly the actions of someone not in want of an intimate relationship, I should think."
"But what did you do once you had me, Helena?" Myka demanded fiercely, unable to keep her tone even any longer. "Relationships are about give and take, about sharing, support, and about not having to be alone anymore. You were so mad with grief and God knows what else that you tried to destroy the world, Helena!"
"Oh dear," Helena said, so quietly that Myka almost didn't hear her. Then, a touch louder, "I had hoped that your defense of me in front of Pete and Artie meant we were over that particular rough patch. I see now that I was in error." With Helena it was always about the understatement.
"You didn't confide in me, Helena," Myka said through clenched teeth, trying very hard not to explode. "You didn't trust me enough to let me in. Not only that, but if I hadn't been there, trying and failing to convince you to shoot me, you'd have killed me right along with most of the world. I don't know whether to be glad that you couldn't shoot me or worried because we appear to have the sort of relationship in which attempting to convince the other to shoot you is necessary."
"But I didn't," Helena protested weakly. "The world, as you can see, is still safe and sound, as are you."
"Because you didn't have the heart to destroy me, Helena, and for no other reason," Myka informed her sadly. "Unfortunately you had no such qualms about our relationship, if we ever even had one." And then, because she didn't want to hear the response, because she had other things she should have been doing, and because she didn't need Helena's help with those things right at that moment, she twisted the black ball in her hands in one smooth movement and watched as Helena Wells disappeared before her very eyes.