A/N: First off, I'm REALLY SORRY for this. I do not try to stab you in the feels but I went to write a angsty fic and it came out just plain old depressing. Second, if you want to yell at me in a review for depressing you, that's cool. Third, of course I don't own Warehouse 13! Otherwise this would of already been an episode...
Claudia lay on her bed curled up in a ball trying her absolute hardest to erase today from her memory.
What had started out as a simple snag and bag mission had gone south quickly when she had come into contact with the artifact, a small token that was owned by a young boy who suffered from horrible nightmares.
Claudia had faced her worst fears before, but never like this. She thought that living her nightmares in Doug's stupid game had been terrifying, now she just wondered how that boy even functioned.
It had felt so real.
The token had taken her back to her lowest times. She'd relived the night of her parent's death, Joshua's disappearance, the psych ward, Steve's death. Every single moment in her life when she'd been helpless, weak, vulnerable and alone. There were even new times that she didn't remember, but she didn't need to. The token brought it to life in a way that no nightmare should be able to.
She'd joked about being in the nut factory before this. Claudia had shoved the memories from there deep into a dark corner of her brain. An appropriate place for such a dark time in her life.
The token had dragged it back into the light and Claudia was surprised to find the memory still so raw. The shackles that had slowed her down still fit. Even worse she found they still felt like they belonged.
It was the effect the artifact had she knew. Or at least that's what she told herself anyways.
She heard a soft knock on the door but she remained curled up on the bed.
"Claudia? It's Myka, I'm coming in." Claudia made no attempt to respond as Myka slipped into the dimly lit room. She sat down in Claudia's desk chair quietly, thinking of what to say.
She could feel the older agent's eyes on her. She could even picture the face she was probably making as she tried to think of what to say.
"Claudia, are you okay?" Claudia's gaze moved to Myka and she said nothing. The curly-haired woman shook her head. "I guess that was a stupid question." They sat in silence for a while before Myka finally spoke again.
"Look, I don't think I could ever imagine what that artifact did to you today." Claudia flinched slightly. "While you were out I stayed with you, I saw your face and…" She swallowed the lump in her throat. "I heard you scream Claudia."
Claudia buried her head in her knees trying to focus on the moment she'd woken up and seen Myka's face again.
"I want to understand though." The younger agent froze at what Myka was asking. Slowly she uncurled from the fetal position and sat up.
"You want me to tell you?" Claudia's voice came out raw. Myka nodded.
"I need to know just a fraction of what you live with everyday." Claudia turned away from the other agent and stared at the wall. She was quiet for so long Myka thought she wasn't going to tell her anything. Just as she was about to leave Claudia spoke up.
"Can you imagine not being able to trust your own brain? Waking up every morning wondering if all this is real? Lying in bed at night and trying to figure out what did and didn't really happen to you today?" Claudia paused, waiting for an answer. When Myka didn't give one she continued.
"How would you feel if everyone around you was constantly reminding you that Sam was dead and he was never coming back?" The curly-haired woman was surprised at the mention of her former partner's name. And though it saddened her to remember him, she was glad Claudia had brought him into the picture as now she could see that was most likely what they told the young tech wiz about her brother.
"The token, it didn't just make you relive your worst memories. It wormed it's way into the darkest corner of your brain and fabricated the perfect nightmare." Finally Claudia turned to face Myka and she could see the tears streaming down her face.
"I watched you die, Myka. I watched Pete die. I watched Artie get stabbed and shot and blown up. I found Steve's body again. I even…" She stopped too choked up to continue. By now Myka had moved over to the bed and put her arms around the young agent. After awhile Claudia gathered herself enough to continue.
"You know how that boy died? After the token has shown you this horrible nightmare that feels too real to be anything but truth, it puts you up on a cliff and lets you decide if you want to jump." Claudia lost it there. She clung to Myka and sobbed into her shoulder.
The curly-haired agent had tears in her eyes as well. She had known that the token caused nightmares but after hearing this she almost felt as if nightmare didn't do it justice.
It was all she could do to stay with Claudia know and whisper that it was over.