Title: Better Angels
Pairing: Myka/Helena implied
Disclaimer: I do not own, nor do I have any official association with Warehouse 13. Just borrowing.
Summary: Set post- Season 3 finale. Assumes an AU where Helena is not brought back. Myka is injured while trying to neutralize an artifact. In those last moments before her heart stops she is alone. Or is she?
Myka Bering had absolutely never believed that ridiculous cliché about your whole life flashing before your eyes when you were about to die.
Somehow, though, as the impact of the explosion ripped through her body and she became airborne, time seemed to slow to a crawl and Myka wasn't surprised that the images flickering behind her tightly shut eyes were all memories.
It wasn't like the stories though. It wasn't her whole life that played out in the space of those heartbeats. And somehow that too, did not surprise Myka.
The agent didn't see her parents, or her first awkward teenage kiss. She didn't relive graduations or the first time she stepped onto the shooting range. Not even the first time she set foot in the Warehouse came to mind.
No, in those last seconds, Myka saw Helena. Every smile, every quirk of a dark brow. She heard that delightfully wicked accent and the choked gasp of a sob, the soft sigh of regret, and Myka's name spoken with sadness and fond consternation.
No, wait, that wasn't part of a memory was it?
The impact with the wall didn't really hurt. It was more like those times she'd had something numbed by the doctor for minor surgery. Myka could feel the hit, was aware of sliding down the gritty cinder-block wall and crumpling to the filthy concrete floor. Her body no longer responded to her commands so she lay in an ungraceful heap, and yet there was no pain. Just an ever worsening numbness, like darkness shrouding the world ever more tightly as the sun set.
Instinct told Myka to fight.
Logic told her it wouldn't make any difference.
And a tiny little voice in her head asked "why bother?" Pete and Claudia had gotten out. She'd made sure of that. They were safe and she had contained the artifact's explosion to the abandoned factory. Mission accomplished. No one injured. Well, no one but her. And really, wasn't that her purpose as a Warehouse Agent. To save others.
"Oh Myka." That achingly familiar voice stopped the chaotic spiral of her thoughts. In her chest, her failing heart gave one last tiny leap. This was no memory, she was here!
Struggling to open her eyes, Myka felt her head cradled gently by slender fingers, her body carefully moved away from the wall. Like a broken doll she could offer no resistance. Lips cut and bleeding struggled to form a single name, even as she fought an epic battle to simply open her eyes.
"Shhh, love. Don't speak. I'm here. Oh my dear Myka, what have you done to yourself?"
There was such infinite sadness in Helena's voice, she had to know, had to see…And finally the agent managed to make her body obey her just enough to open her eyes.
She could have been in hell. The remnants of the blast had left the factory blackened and still burning in places. Smoke and flame twisted and danced, casting sickening shadows. Absently Mkya realized that she should have been burning too. The wall she had been thrown against was not nearly far enough away from the initial blast site to offer any kind of protection from the searing heat and oxygen-swallowing flames still raging. Plus she was between the wall and the explosion.
Her thoughts were as slow and labored as her breathing and Myka fought to make sense of her condition. With an effort greater than any she had ever made in her life, Myka turned her head. The sight that greeted her brought a surge of long forgotten joy to her chest.
"Helena?" The dark woman's name broke as it left Myka's lips, the weight of hope and disbelief too great for such simple syllables.
Helena just smiled gently, tears making her eyes shine like stars in the demonic light. The artificer was keeling, Myka's upper body cradled in her lap. One hand cupped Myka's cheek as the other supported her neck, holding her close.
Helena leaned down, brushing the softest of kisses across Myka's abraded lips. Her hair formed a silken curtain around them and a sense of peace spread through Myka. Like slow molten sunlight it suffused her limbs. She wanted to reach up and take hold of Helena, to pull the other woman down to her and tell her she loved her and missed her and needed her, still, so much. But her arms wouldn't move and a single finger pressed against her lips.
"Save your strength Myka, help will be here soon."
And that was when Myka realized she didn't want help to come. She wanted to stay here, in Helena's arms, for the rest of whatever time she had left.
"I know Myka, trust me. But you can't. That isn't how this works."
The injured agent looked up at her lost love and suddenly noticed she could see through Helena and that the edges of the other woman's form sort of…sparkled. Not brightly, just as if she was back-lit by a warm, soft light.
"Now you see," Helena said gently.
Then the glow faded and it was just Helena. As solid and real and beautiful as the day they met.
"Why?" Why can't I go with you? Why are you here? Why can't you stay? All these questions and so many more Myka needed answers to, she tried to convey with the single word her faltering breath would allow her.
A single tear slipped the barrier of Helena's lashes. "Always the curious one," she smiled, but the expression was shaky and filled with regret. "I can't answer all your questions Myka." The gentle finger at her lips stopped the injured woman's protest. "I can't. Please understand love. Someday, when it is your time, we will be reunited. I swear to you Myka. But not today. Today I just need you to hold on a little longer for me. Will you do that? Pete and Claudia will be here any second with help, and you need to go with them and live."
Now tears pricked the backs of Myka's eyes. How many times had she wanted just one more moment to see Helena, to speak with her, to touch her, and now all of that was going to be snatched away again.
Helena seemed to understand because she pulled Myka gently closer to her body, leaning down to press her lips to a soot-blackened forehead.
"Listen to me Myka, I am always here. I know it feels like you are alone, but you are not. You have your family, and your home, and your purpose, and you cannot give up on them yet."
"It hurts, Helena." It was the first and only time Myka had said those words out loud. She did not mean her damaged body.
"I know love. I know. But you have to promise me you will live." Now the artificer's expression turned fierce. "No more taking such terrible risks, no more hurting yourself Myka. You have to live. And if you can't do that for yourself, then do it for me. Because I have never left you, and never will. Do you understand me?"
"Please," Helena begged, her voice breaking on the word. "Promise me Myka."
Myka had always been helpless in the face of Helena's need. Now was no different.
A soft shuttering sigh, and then, "I promise."
Helena seemed to relax, but another tear slipped down her cheek, following the glistening trail set by the first.
"I love you Helena."
"And I will always love you Myka. Never forget that. Now rest love. Just rest."
"Don't leave me, please."
"I have never left you my darling."
The injured agent lost the battle to keep her eyes open, but the last thing she saw was Helena's gentle smile.
The tone more than the words penetrated the ringing in her head. The last time she'd felt this horrid had been in college. And there had been tequila involved. The thought alone nearly made her throw up and Myka instinctively rolled over, sitting to put her head between her knees and breathe slowly.
"I'm here Pete!" She managed, blinking slowly and moving to stand.
…moving to stand.
Myka stopped in the act of kneeling, looking around. Same blown-up old factory, same clothing, some minor scorch marks but…
"Myka!" At that moment Pete and Claudia came skidding around the corner. Upon seeing her up and apparently mobile, her partner grabbed her in a crushing bear hug. "Myka I swear to god if you ever do anything like that again I'll… I don't know but I'm sure Claudia can think of something evil."
Behind the mock anger was real fear and as Myka wrapped her arms around her best friend she could feel him shaking.
"It's ok Pete, I'm ok, I promise," she said softly, finding as she said the words that for the first time in a long time, she meant them.
Then it was Claudia's turn for hugs and threats. And just when that was done, Artie arrived and there was more muttering about absurd risk taking and a threat of desk duty if she didn't stop taking stupid chances.
"I know," Myka replied softly, her arm still around Claudia. "I'll be more careful from now on. I promise."
Whatever was in her voice seemed to satisfy Artie because he harrumphed and nodded, turning to talk to Pete about making sure there was no evidence of an Artifact in the wreckage.
Still somewhat in a daze, Myka couldn't shake the feeling that there was something important she had forgotten. Something she needed to remember. And yet, somehow, at the same time she also knew that it would come back to her. Eventually.
Myka was following Pete and Artie to the blast center when Claudia's voice stopped her.
The redhead was looking at the section of wall Myka vaguely remembered being thrown against by the blast. Her shoulder and chest twinged in remembered pain but the agent pushed it away. She felt fine now, so obviously she hadn't been hurt badly.
"What is it Claud?"
The younger woman's head tilted to the side and she pointed to something on the wall. "There's a lighter spot there, like something shielded the wall from the blast."
Artie shook his head. "Impossible. If the explosion had enough power to make that on the wall, Myka wouldn't be standing here talking to us. And we're wasting time. Let's go people," he said as he tromped away, Pete following him.
But now that Claudia had pointed it out, Myka couldn't un-see it. Sure enough, there was a definite outline not only on the wall, but on the floor against the wall. In fact, if Myka didn't know better…
"It looks like someone was lying here, and someone else was kneeling over them," Claudia mused. "Except…"
"Well look at these parts of the wall."
"What, the big areas?"
"Yeah, you don't think they look like…wings do you?"
The two agents stared for a long moment at the wall, then at each other, then back at the wall.
Wrapping her arm around Claudia's shoulders, Myka turned to leave the factory. "Come on Claud, let's go get ice cream or something. Suddenly I'm starving."
"Did I hear someone say ice-cream?" Pete materialized around the corner.
Claudia rolled her eyes and put her arm around Myka's waist, giving it a squeeze. Laughing, the agents went to help Artie, and then home.
For the first time in a long time, Myka was excited about that.