I'm going to have to up the rating to M later- I have the rest written- but I figured I'd put the first bit out like this. It will have multiple chapters and I will update soon. Enjoy!

The blood runs off her red-stained hands and into the sink.

The red-haired girl looks into the clouded mirror, sighs and bites her lip. Brushing off her hands, she walks out of the yellow and blue bathroom and cautiously walks down the hallway.

It had been a long week at the Warehouse, Myka and Pete went to five countries in five days, she and Steve alternatively all over America and taking inventory. He was still being squishy about their connection to the metronome and hurting her, but she had bigger fish to kill. Consequently, Artie had given them a day off.

Steve had disappeared with the manual into his room, Leena was at the grocery store, and Myka was –predicatably- curled up with a book in her room.

Claudia had a problem. She was sick, as much as she hated to admit it. Not the –I have a cold- kind of sick. The kind of sick where –there's something seriously wrong- sick. Still, she had checked in on Jinksy to make sure it wasn't the artifact messing with them, but he was healthy as a horse.

Claudia was Ms. Independent herself. She raised herself, took care of herself when she was sick, captured federal agents and forced them to help her find her brother. But this- this was out of her depth. As much as she hated to admit it, she needed advice. Leena kept quiet to herself as much as possible, but seeing as she would be gone, it left only Myka.

As the painted white door shut and the yellow tiles creaked underneath her, Claudia sidled up to Myka's room. Act Natural, Claudia. After all, there's probably nothing wrong with you.

She strutted into Myka's room as normally as possible- albeit with a slight wince of pain- and the curly haired agent looked up from the book she was absorbed in.

"Hey Claude." Myka closed the book she was reading, smiled and sat up. "What's up?"

Claudia balanced on one foot and reached up to run her hand through her hair.

"Oh, you know. Pete's downstairs mumbling about cookies, and I am bored so.. " Claudia laughed nervously, "Not much."

Myka cocked her head with a slight smile and a puzzled expression.

Myka was a trained federal agent and she didn't think Claudia still didn't realize that everyone in this house was trained to detect minute behavioral changes. That being said, it didn't take a trained federal agent to come to the undeniable conclusion Claudia was stalling around a topic that made her nervous.

"Is…everything all right?" Myka drew her eyebrows in and a look of concern set in her eyes.

"Yeah." Claudia bit her lip and nodded overemphatically. "Yeah totally. But.. uh.. Can I ask you a question?"

Myka sat up straighter and gestured for Claudia to close the door.

"Of course. You can ask me anything, Claudia." Myka smiled in what she hoped was a placating gesture and Claudia stepped in a few feet.

"Its just uh.. " Claudia laughed and bent slightly forward, feeling more and more awkward. "It's slightly awkward. Have you ever-"

"WOO-HOO!" Pete opened the door with a bang, making both women jump "Myka! " Pete turned with a look of surprise as he saw Claudia and threw an arm around her. "–Woah, hi Claude- Artie hid the cookies! Where are they? I know you know where they are." Pete glared at her suspiciously.

"Pete, you eat WAY too much sugar as it is-" Myka began exasperatedly standing up to avoid Pete's tackle as he jumped on the bed.

"Cookies are good for the soul." Pete insisted as Myka shot Claudia an apologetic look.

"Besides," Myka continues "Claudia was just about to –"

Claudia cut her off with shaking her head and started out the door.

"You know what?" Claudia put her hands up. "It doesn't matter. I'd better go make sure Poopypants doesn't die from manual reading."

Claudia legged it out of Myka's room and back to hers, careful to close her door before lying on her bed and closing her eyes against the sharp pain emanating from her abdomen, threatening to consume her. Maybe a quick nap will help it go away. She popped two asprin and closed her eyes.

The next thing she knew she was being dragged out of her sleepy little hamlet and shoved in a car. The pain hadn't gone away with the nap, and now her throbbing head was accompanied by the never-ending pain in her abdomen and a bout of nausea. She laid down across Steve's lap pretending to go back to sleep as Pete drove them to the Warehouse, alternatively talking about Leena leaving for the grocery store and not leaving him cookies, and how he hated zoos.

Every bump they hit seemed to resonate searingly through Claudia. Eventually they got to the Warehouse and Steve gently woke her up by calling her name. They had all learned long ago not to shake Claudia awake, after the incident where Pete started poking the young agent to wake up and she ended up giving him a black eye.

Claudia stood shakily up and casually wrapped Steve's arm around her, prompting Pete to make childish cooing noises at them, and they entered the umbilicus.

Let me know what you thought! Will update soon. Please review!