Helena shared in Myka's wince as she carefully applied the bag of frozen peas to her face. Wrestler that he was, Pete had been quick to fetch Hulk Hogan's ever-frozen peas from the shelves, but Helena had plucked them from his hands as soon as he had entered the office and had immediately seen to Myka herself.
"I'm so sorry, Myka," Helena said. Again.
Myka lifted her hand to Helena's where it rested on her shoulder. "It's okay, Helena."
"Yes, but I am truly, absolutely sorry," she insisted.
"I know you are, it's okay. I'm okay." Myka suspected that this was the start of a long bout of hovering from Helena - for as much as she tried to deny it, Helena was a hoverer in times of stress.
"But Myka -"
Myka twisted in her seat, ignoring the impulse to wince once more, and stretched up to kiss Helena quickly but sincerely. "Truly Helena, it's okay. I just want to know what happened."
"Yeah," Pete agreed. "That was some pretty freaky artifact mojo going on there. I mean, really, you were you Myka - MYKA - but you just... you weren't, you know?"
Everyone looked at him blankly.
"Yes," said Artie. "Thank you for the insightful analysis of the situation."
"You're welcome," Pete said, bounding forward on his toes.
"EUREKA!" Claudia cried as she bounded up the stairs. "Not the bonzo genius town, mind, but the actual Greeky exclamation of a discovery which I am about to lay before you delightful people."
Claudia, with a flourish and a wave deposited Myka's glasses on the table before them. Myka, grateful for the opportunity to see everyone clearly once more, reached out for them only to have Claudia slap her hand away.
"Are you nuts?" Claudia asked. "I mean, I know you're not nuts, I know nuts, but really, what are you thinking?"
Myka peered out at her from behind the peas. Pete reached over Claudia with an exaggerated carefulness and picked up the glasses. "No touchy for you."
"You think it's the glasses?" Myka asked.
Holding the spectacles gingerly with pinched fingers, Pete peered through them from what he clearly considered a safe distance. "Looks normal to me."
"There was no noticeable abnormalities for me, either," Myka agreed. "Well, except for you guys all beating me up, that was relatively abnormal."
"Eh, I've beaten you up before," Pete mumbled, still peering away.
But Helena was less blasé about the situation, her immediate "I'm sorry, darling" being accompanied by a kiss to the top of Myka's curls.
"Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean something hinky isn't going on," Claudia said, approaching Pete for a closer look herself.
"Colourful vernacular aside, she is correct," Artie said. "Besides this is your newest and most obvious acquirement."
"BINGO!" Claudia cried, running her phone over and around the glasses a Geiger counter-like clicking emitting from the speakers. "Artifact activity."
"What IS that?" Artie asked.
"New App. Claudia Donovan original - soon to be standard issue for Agents who," she gave Artie a pointed look. "Were actually born in this era. And their time-travelling Victorian friends, of course."
"Yeah, well," Pete said. "All that techy stuff is well and good, but there's really only one way to tell."
And with that Pete popped the glasses on his face ... and was replaced by a strange man with dark hair and an unassuming expression.
"Who are you? How did you get in here?" Artie asked, nervous about this man who had broken through all their defences and appeared unnoticed.
"Very funny, Artie," Pete said. "It's me."
"Me who?" he demanded. "And how do you know my name?"
Pete wrenched the glasses from his face shocking them all with his sudden reappearance. "Well I guess that answers that."
"That was so odd," Myka said. "I truly did not believe that it was you. Even though, now, I know that I should have. I guess you really couldn't have known it was me, after all."
Helena stooped to hug her from behind one hand returning the peas to Myka's face while the other squeezed her tightly, obviously reluctant to let her go lest she disappear again. Myka hated that Helena felt so guilty about something she couldn't have controlled but, she thought as she snuggled back into the warmth of her chest, she wasn't above enjoying the pampering that came along with it.
Enjoying the feel of Helena's fingers pulling gently at her curls - something she had missed even in their short separation - Myka didn't notice Artie scanning the frames into the database and conducting a search. There was, however, no missing Claudia throwing the glasses into a static bag rather close to them, the pops and crackles throwing the pair apart just as Myka really started to enjoy her pampering.
"Thank you, Claudia," she deadpanned at the grinning girl.
"Just keeping you two on your toes."
"Like that will make a difference to these two," Pete scoffed good-naturedly.
Oblivious to his agents' teasing, Artie continued his well-honed filtering process, narrowing down his choices of possible artifacts. An obnoxious beeping, however, soon emitted from the machine causing him to pull back with a simple "Well that would do it."
"What'll do what?" Claudia asked, placing the now thoroughly zapped glasses, still sealed tight, on Artie's intake tray.
Artie swivelled in his chair to face them, "Ever hear of Joseph Shuster?"
Pete gasped, "NO WAY!"
Myka and Helena exchanged clueless looks, between the two of them they usually picked up on most historical references to float through the Warehouse, but this one eluded them. Of course, Pete had several specific areas of knowledge unto himself which surely was the reason why he was now bouncing excitedly from foot to foot.
"You're kidding me Artie, right? Cause that is way awesome," he continued.
"Any time you'd like to fill us in there, buddy," Claudia said, grabbing his arm to keep him still - which did not work as he just took her along with him.
"Yes, Pete, we heard Artie," Myka said.
Taking pity on them (or, more likely, saving himself from Pete) Artie filled them in. "Joe Shuster was a comic artist in the 1930s. Among his works, he is most noted for drawing the character of -"
"SUPERMAN, BABY!" Pete interrupted, gleefully. "You were totally Clark Kenting us!"
Artie stared at Pete, unsurprised at his, well, Pete-ness. Claudia started at the glasses. And Helena just stared at Myka. "Myka darling...?"
"...what on earth is he talking about?"
It had, in fact, taken Myka longer than she would have thought to explain the whole Superman/Clark Kent glasses connection to Helena. Thought it had gone remarkably faster once she managed to daw her away from Pete and his fistfuls of comics. Claudia had given a more analytical, but no less distracting overview of the character and his place in the DC multiverse. Ultimately, however, true understanding had come for Helena later that night after Myka, so happy to be home once more, had ushered her away upstairs.
"So," Helena recapped, resting her head on Myka's arm, her hand trailing slowly back and forth down the limb. "This 'super' man in an extraterrestrial crime fighter in an illustrated fiction city, whereas Clark Kent is his human alter-ego, who wears glasses as his singular, yet highly effective disguise."
Myka nuzzled into Helena's neck, soft hair whispering against her cheek. "That's right."
"And his partner never makes the connection, despite being saved by him in nearly every instalment?"
Myka moved to kiss Helena's ear -she rather enjoyed the challenge of distracting Helena from her own thoughts. "Correct."
"Hmm," Helena responded. "She strikes me as a very obtuse woman."
Myka chuckled as she tugged on Helena's arm, turning her to face her. "Oh I don't know, she was always considered a rather intelligent investigator, and a writer to boot. I suppose we can't see everything all the time."
Helena squinted at her knowingly. "I see what you did there."
Myka laughed outright at her tone, bringing a happy smile to Helena's face once more. "I am glad, it's good to know you can see me once more."
"Well," Helena said punctuating her sentence with kisses. "You are. Being rather. Extraordinary at present. One might even. Call you. Super."
Myka pulled back, giving Helena an arched eyebrow. "No."
"Oh, but darling -"
"No Helena, this will not be a thing."
Helena grinned slyly, "But we do things ever so well."
Myka sighed and just went back to kissing her blissfully. Helena would do would she would, as always. And, quite frankly, she had better things to be worrying about right now.