Disclaimer: Characters of Warehouse 13 do not belong to me, sadly. I'm just borrowing them for a while, but I'll put them back once I'm done. Title is taken from the song "The Antidote" by The Hints.
A/N: For alittlebit-aces. Because this is all her fault. Here there be angst. Though it's kind of fluffy? If you squint.
The bench beneath her swings softly on its chains as she uses the toe of her shoe to rhythmically push off the wooden planks of the back porch, keeping the momentum even and gentle. The night that surrounds the Bed and Breakfast is a quiet one and its silence is accompanied by a slight breeze that cuts through the remaining heat left over from the afternoon, leaving the air cool though not uncomfortably so.
This has been one of Myka's favourite spots ever since she first stepped into a world of endless wonder a little over a handful of years ago. She enjoys its peace and the picturesque beauty of the back yard and garden that Leena studiously attends to. She'd once told Myka that she found the tasks of weeding, pruning, and planting to be therapeutic, able to purge a good number of the day's misfortunes, take her mind off them.
But when Myka sits upon the porch swing, looking out over the flowers and small water features, she does so with the opposite intent. She comes here to think. To reminisce. Though only when she's certain that doing so won't be painful.
Because there are times when certain thoughts still cripple her, though they have been fewer and separated by longer stretches of time in recent years.
She can see the stars, peaking out from the blackness hanging above the Earth like brilliant fireflies, twinkling in an eternal dance that shall be dimmed by the sun come morning, but not extinguished. They remain, omnipresent, simply out of sight.
"Momma, which one's mine?" Myka smiles. It's the same question, every night that the stars find themselves in their company. She glances down towards the small body bundled against her beneath a thin blanket and her hand stills in its stroking of soft, black curls. Brilliant dark eyes blink up at her sleepily and Myka's used to the feeling of shock that seeing them elicits, though it refuses to lessen even after five years.
"I," she starts, reaching down with her hand to poke a tiny button nose with the pad of her index finger, "am going to draw you a map, young lady." The laughter that is inherent to children, jubilant and innocent, bubbles up from the little girl as she bats at her mother's finger with a tiny hand.
"You should." She retorts, smile wide and sleepy eyes glittering like the stars above them. Myka raises an eyebrow and, with a movement so quick that it would betray her skills to anyone looking for them, she gets her hand around her daughter's and pinches the tip of her nose. The little girl squeaks and covers it with her hand, but not before Myka sees it scrunch up in a way that is all too familiar. She feels like her heart swell impossibly.
Her hand returns to its previous task and she watches dark eyes droop before two pairs turn in unison towards the heavens, as they do every night that sees them sitting quietly on the porch. Myka lifts the hand not occupied from its place draped along the arm of the bench and points towards a particularly bright star amid a cluster of smaller, duller ones that make the night sky shimmer.
Sometimes, she stares at it for hours. Feeling its strange pull, like gravity is letting go of her only to urge her in another direction, with not an ounce of disconcertion.
"It's so pretty." The little girls says, and Myka can feel her small fingers fiddling with the edge of the old blanket that had come out of a storage container from Warehouse 12. She nods.
"Was she as pretty as the star, Momma?" There's a sudden and unexpected tingling at the back of Myka's throat at the question and then tears are pricking the backs of her eyes. It doesn't hurt like it used to, but there's a gaping hole in her soul that aches.
"No." Myka breathes, smiling even as her eyes shine when her daughter glances back towards her in surprise. "She was even more beautiful than all the stars put together." Myka drops her hand to the thigh not being occupied by her daughter head and a small hand closes around two of her fingers. "Just like you." The sound of another giggle fills the air, music in the night, and eyes that haven't yet seen the harshness that the world can offer return to the stars
"Is that why my name's Helena too?" Myka closes her eyes, sighing heavily as the face of H.G. Wells materializes behind her eyelids. Myka can still see her, through the ethereal haze of the protective bubble in which the inventor had entrapped them. For their own protection. Because it was the only way she could think to save them. Save Myka.
There are times when picturing Helena's face doesn't hurt. When seeing her, smiling happily through her escaping tears as the bright light of an impending inferno lights it, making it impossibly more brilliant, like an exploding star, warms her. Because she knows that, at that moment, as Helena detected the faint smell of apples, she'd found peace.
But there are those that see her struggle as she pictures elegant features and intelligent eyes, staring coyly up at her from the soft mattress of Myka's bed, an eyebrow raised in challenge, and find it still too difficult. The memory brings forth emotions that are still to raw, that will probably never heal. And Myka doesn't think she'd ever want them to.
"Yeah, honey." She finally says, lifting her hand from dark curls to wipe away a stray tear. There are other reasons she'd chosen to name her daughter Helena, of course there are, but a time that felt right enough to divulge some of them hasn't yet arrived. Part of Myka feels guilty for that, for hiding certain elements of Helena from her daughter, she feels like she's betraying the other woman's memory. But then a lilting voice inside of her reminds her that Helena would understand.
"Would she have read me her stories?" Myka's heart clenches. Because she dreams of those moments. Of the three of them curled together, Helena's dulcet tones washing over them as she reads her work aloud, luring them into Morpheus's arms. She sniffs, once, tyring to be quiet as twin tears trickle along her cheeks. Her daughter's eyes are on the star, her star, Helena's star. And just like the stars themselves, Helena is always there. She's simply not always seen.
"Every night." Myka says, words shakily, and she drapes her arm around her daughter's small frame.
She continues to rock them until she feels her daughter's chest starts to rise and fall with the deep evenness of sleep, and then carefully scoops her up, blanket and all, into her arms. She stands, leaving the bench still gently swaying, and casts a final glance towards the sky. To the star.
"Goodnight, Helena." She whispers to it, like she does every night, and then turns, entering the Bed and Breakfast through the twin doors and closing them with a click behind her.
Her daughter sighs in her sleep, her cheek pressed against her mother's shoulder, and Myka smiles as she ascends the stairs.
"Have you ever considered having children?"
"What? Where did that come from?"
"I'm merely making conversation, darling."
"Right. No, not really. I guess I've always been too much of a workaholic to think about settling down long enough to raise a child."
"But in the future? Might there a point at which you could conceivably want that? To settle down, have a family?"
The memory does not stir pain within her. It conjures up an image of them sitting across from one another in the small study of the Bed and Breakfast, each holding a book, not touching and yet feeling so incredibly close despite that.
"Maybe. Should the right person come along."
"Indeed? Well, perhaps I should walk back and forth in front of you a few times until you notice me."
"Oh, you've been noticed."
It pleasant. It's happy. And as Myka lies little Helena on the far side of her double bed, picking up her battered copy of 'The Time Machine' from the middle of it and placing it on the nightstand where she would retrieve it from the next night and continue to read it out loud, she feels the lack of pain and grief lift a weight from her heart.
Because instead there was only an unquestionable knowledge.
They'd all be together again