He had heard her approaching from two hallways away, a gentle padding of stockinged feet on hardwood floor whose weight and balance could only belong to her. His friends often forgot this, but Henry's hearing was far more precise than the average human. He recognised Will's lethargic lumber (though it was hard to miss as he frequently made loud and reverberating contact with the walls), and Kate's sleepy shuffle and she slid herself down the carpet to her destination. The Big Guy was surprisingly light on his feet and had no discernable difference between his daytime and night-time movements. And the doc, the owner of the steps quickly reaching his location, well he doubted she ever completely slept anyways, which would explain the way she could so easily manage the soft footfalls she employed at such a late hour.
The door creaked open just as Henry returned to his seat – prompting an approving smile from Magnus as she noted the kettle he had placed on the stovetop. Running a calming hand over his hair as she passed, she gathered her favourite tea pot from the cupboard and returned to sit at the bench opposite him.
Her hands set about the automatic task of brewing her tea. With movements long ago made automatic her hands measured out the leaves – forgoing her favoured Earl Grey for the lighter honeybush which she knew he preferred. Reaching for the kettle she carefully poured the boiling water into the pot, soaking the leaves and releasing their aroma to fill the small kitchen. Her task complete she peered at him intently, her chin resting on hands that were arranged far too elegantly for such a late hour.
"Erica?" she asked.
Henry sighed, toying with a spoon that had been left on the counter (he dare not tell her that it was the spoon he had been using to eat the peanut butter from the jar, she really hated that). "Yes. Erica. Apparently my feet are too cold to share a bed with."
Helen dipped her head, trying to hide smile. This had been just one in a long line of reasons Erica had given for kicking poor Henry out of bed. Helen couldn't help but think that she had missed out on some prime torturing opportunities by being a single mother.
Henry just smiled weakly at her, knowing his situation was all-too-funny for those who weren't him. "Mugs?"
Helen nodded, ignoring the cry in her head that tea should never be drunk from mere 'mugs'. She had come to enjoy her late night tea breaks with Henry, and wouldn't belabour them with her old habits.
Standing to collect them, Henry moved to the cupboard. The top shelf was lined carefully with Helen's china tea cups, the ones that still to this day looked so odd in the Big Guy's large hands. The bottom shelf was a higgled assortment of mugs, not a pair among them, that had accrued over the years of the Sanctuary's existence. Henry considered them momentarily, his hand hovering over a gag gift from Will that he quickly deemed far too inappropriate for tea with the doc. Reaching in he retrieved his favourite mug for himself and a companion for her.
Helen smiled indulgently as she poured the tea. She had learned to brew tea in china teapots, a small girl sitting at her mother's side. She had tasted tea from all corners of the globe. She had poured tea for diplomats, presidents, royalty. But, she had to admit, this - sitting here in the small kitchen of the Sanctuary, of their home, drinking tea from superhero mugs – was her favourite of all.