"…Secret Service," Myka immediately looks to the voice as soon as her ears catch the words. "Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?"
She wonders what the Secret Service is doing here, but she is asked a similar question before she could even take a step towards the woman.
"What is the DCIS doing here?"
The man has his hands on either side of his hips, pushing his jacket out of the way to reveal his badge. He's a Secret Service agent too.
"I could ask you the same question," she says, turning around fully to face him. "Last time I checked, a small town robbery doesn't endanger the President's life."
"You do know we don't just protect the President," he says.
"So there's counterfeit money involved in the robbery?"
"I didn't say that."
"What is it then?"
"Maybe we're investigating individuals impersonating law enforcements officers," his eyes shift towards Gary who is showing his badge to one of the witnesses. "Especially since it's an agency under the DOD. I'd say that's pretty huge threat to the country and the President, don't you think?"
"He's an analyst," Myka says and technically that is true. "I have a number you can call. Do you?"
The man chuckles. "I do. And I'm sure my number beats yours by fifty levels of clearance."
"It doesn't go that high."
His smile only grows wider and he looks even more smug if that's possible. "Exactly."
"For an agency that's called Secret Service, you're not very secretive."
"Tell that to your secret agent friend," he gestures towards Gary.
She shakes her head. She has told him many times that it would just make them appear suspicious. She prefers to lay low rather than scream out their presence. Alphas tend to get nervous around law enforcement officers and when they're on edge, they do stupid things.
"I have the same problem with my partner."
It's the other Secret Service agent. The one with the shiny hair and the porcelain skin and…Myka can't stop staring into her eyes. And she isn't shy to stare back.
"Myka's not my partner," Gary says. Myka hasn't noticed him walking up to them which is weird since she never misses anything. "Bill's my partner. He's resting because he had a heart attack."
"Agent Wells," the female agent holds out her hand.
When Myka doesn't take it, Wells moves her hand to Gary.
Of course Gary doesn't take it either. But he introduces himself, unlike Myka. "Agent Bell," he says and his lips quirk up. He is still very proud of calling himself an agent.
"Ah, our name rhymes," Wells says, undisturbed by the lukewarm reception from Gary and Myka.
Gary flicks his wrist and says, "According to , there are 483 words that rhyme with Bell. There's always someone looking for rhyming words."
The annoying agent takes out his phone and starts tapping the screen. A few seconds later, he looks at Gary with an amazed expressions and says, "Wow, how did you do that?"
"It's my Alpha ability," Gary says before Myka could stop him. She hopes that this isn't one of the rare times when someone believes what he says. "I'm a transducer."
Nope. No such luck today.
The man beams. "I know what that means! It's that thing that can convert energy," he turns to his partner. "Right, HG?"
"And since you detect internet signals, you must be able to see those waves…" her partner says, tapping at his temple as if it will help him to remember.
"You mean electromagnetic waves?" Wells asks.
"Yes!" he points to Wells. "So you can convert electromagnetic waves into like brain signals."
"That's not exactly how…" Myka says.
Her words are jumbled up with Wells' as they both decide to speak at the same time.
"…that is a highly simplified explanation of a subject…"
"It's more complicated than that."
But Lattimer is not listening. "That's awesome!" he cries out, effectively silencing them. It's clearly pointless to go on.
"I'm awesome," Gary echoes, smiling proudly.
However, the man doesn't stay amused for too long. He is still smiling but it's not as wide as before and his hand is slowly creeping to his right hip where she saw his strange gun. She has been doing this job long enough to know that a gun is a gun however weird it looks.
"Do you get any help with that?" he asks.
"What do you mean?" Gary asks. "It's my Alpha ability. It's all me."
Out the corner of her eye, Myka sees Wells doing the same thing.
"You didn't come into contact with any strange objects ever since you had this ability?"
She is not a hyperkinetic but she has trained herself to use her surroundings.
"The teddy bear that mom got me when I was born. I always thought it was strange because kids shouldn't think bears are cuddly. Bears can kill you."
For people like Hicks, it's like reflex. She doesn't have that but she has time on her side. She remembers every single detail of her surroundings so the only thing she has to figure out is a plan.
First, she needs to get Gary out of the way.
But before she could do anything, the annoying agent starts laughing.
"Good one," he says. His hand is no longer hovering near his gun and his stance is more relaxed. "I'm so relieved you're not using an artifact. I like you," he tells Gary.
"I don't know you," Gary says.
"Oh, yeah. I'm Pete Lattimer."
"It's good that the two of you are getting acquainted," Wells interrupts. "But Agent Bell," she looks to Gary. Then she turns to Myka, "Agent…"
"Bering," Myka says.
"I believe we are in the same business."
Lattimer and Wells are saying there are objects with supernatural properties scattered around this world. They call them artifacts, and they're saying that the robbery was committed by someone who was using an artifact.
But they're wrong.
"Do you see these glitches?" she points at the video. "I've seen it before. Right, Gary?"
"It's Griffin," Gary says. "She tried killed me."
"But can she walk through walls?" Lattimer asks. "Because that's a 20 inch steel door."
"Pete's right," Wells says. "The door is quite heavy. I imagine it takes time to be opened or closed. Even the glitches as you say could not hide that."
"Hence, artifact!" Lattimer exclaims as if it could make his argument more valid.
"Fine," Myka sighs. "What artifact can make a person invisible and walk through 20 inches of steel?"
She is still skeptical about these so called artifacts. There is no clear explanation from Lattimer or Wells about how they came to be.
Lattimer had offered the ever so helpful explanation, "People made them."
"But artifacts rarely have more than one property," Wells says.
"So the person could be using two," Lattimer says.
"It could be two Alphas," Myka argues.
"But Griffin works alone," Gary says.
"Okay, maybe it's not Griffin," she says exasperatedly.
"Is it Griffin? Or is it not Griffin?" Gary asks as he twists some invisible knob.
"It's an artifact," Lattimer answers before she could. "Or two."
Myka doesn't object this time. They have been circling around the same arguments for a while now, and as much as she wants to be right, they can't waste time talking about this anymore. If it's really Griffin, then there's a chance that she might harm someone.
"Does it even matter?" she finally asks. "I'm confident that it is an Alpha, and if you two wish to hunt for this nonexistent magical object, be my guest. Just don't stand in my way."
"And what if it is an artifact?" Wells ask. "Neither of you has the expertise or the equipment to handle it."
"HG," Lattimer says, "I think she's made herself—"
"According to the Warehouse database," Gary says abruptly, "there is a ring that creates a temporary hole on any solid object."
"How did you know that?"
Gary ignores Lattimer's enquiry. "And it's been reported missing during the move from Warehouse 12 to Warehouse 13."
"So it could be this Griffin woman and an artifact," Wells concludes.
They decide to split up. Gary is with Lattimer and she is with Wells. It was Wells' idea. She says that each pair must have knowledge on both artifacts and Alphas. Myka is hesitant at first but Gary doesn't seem to mind.
"We're going to compare notes on being a secret agent," he says.
But it isn't enough for her to leave him with a stranger. They could be from Red Flag for all she knows.
"Are you worried that we are going to harm him?" Wells asks.
"Yes," she replies firmly.
"Think about it this way," Wells says. "If Pete kidnaps Agent Bell, you can arrest me. Take me hostage."
She doesn't know if she imagined it but she saw a smile. It was too quick to tell.
"Yeah," Lattimer says. "And H.G. doesn't have a gun. So you have an advantage there."
"No, I'm pretty sure she has a gun." Myka saw her reaching into her coat when Lattimer was asking Gary all those questions.
"It's my turn with the Tesla," Lattimer explains as if that should mean something. "And she hates guns."
"You are welcome to search me," Wells says. This time Myka didn't imagine the smile. She lets it linger on her lips as she takes off her coat.
She even takes a step forward towards Myka, her eyebrow arching. It looks almost like a challenge.
And Myka, never one to back down, inches closer.
Lattimer chuckles as she reaches Wells' hips.
"What's the joke?" Gary asks.
She doesn't know how Lattimer responds. She is too busy staring down his partner, and Wells gazes back with her unfaltering smirk. It has been a long time since someone looks at her with such amusement.
She recognizes that look. It's almost similar to the one Dr Rosen gives her whenever he thinks there is something she isn't telling him, except with Dr Rosen, she always knows what the questions are, and he won't get answers unless she gives them to him. Wells, however, seems to be answering her questions all on her own.
"Satisfied?" Wells asks as Myka's hands reach her ankles.
Wells recaptures Myka's eyes as soon as she looks up. She quickly stands. For some reason, she thinks her height could give her an advantage in their staring contest.
Lattimer takes her silence as a yes.
She's not sure if she trusts them but when Gary and Lattimer leave, she doesn't stop them.
As Myka reaches into Wells' back pocket for the keycard to her hotel room, it dawns on Myka that she lost the staring contest. She was the one who broke the eye contact when she tugged Wells' collar and kissed her, and she was so caught up in the kiss that it took longer than it should for her to realize that Wells had kept her hands to herself.
"What's wrong?" Myka asked. It couldn't be that she wasn't interested because her lips and tongue told Myka otherwise.
"Just reveling in my victory," was her answer.
Even now, she only holds Myka to maintain her balance.
"You said it's in your back pocket."
Wells' back is against the door. She has given Myka the task of unlocking the door which Myka is failing miserably. She has searched all of Wells' pockets.
"I said it might be," she says. "Maybe if you aren't so busy kissing me, it will make the search so much easier."
"I don't see you complaining," Myka mutters.
She wants to go back to kissing those lips. It has been so long since she could kiss a person for longer than three seconds before some out of place object distracts her. She went out with a guy once and just as she was about to rip his clothes off, she noticed a loose thread hanging from one of his shirt's button. Then she did what every sane person would do; she pulled the thread and sewed the button back to the shirt, except she isn't that good at sewing. After she was at it for half an hour, he kicked her out.
But the worst is when she is reminded of Sam. Sometimes it could be the way they touch her, or the feel of their skin against hers, or the size of their hands, and as soon as they do something that isn't Sam, she would get angry and start telling them that they're doing it wrong. That usually ruins the mood.
So maybe it's a good thing that Wells has not begun touching her.
Myka leans in but Wells holds her shoulders to stop her.
"Focus," she says. "There will be a reward."
Myka remembers Wells reaching into her back pocket while they were making out in the elevator. She had thought Wells was just getting frisky, but she left something there. Myka was just too distracted by her to notice it.
"Back pocket, huh?" Myka unlocks the door while her left hand reaches into Wells' coat.
When she starts kissing Wells again, Wells still keeps the touching to a minimum.
"I know what my reward is," she says before she pushes Wells onto the bed. "You're not the only one who is good at stealing." She dangles the handcuffs she stole right above their owners head.
"Except I knew—"
Myka presses her lips against Wells', effectively covering that smug grin. "Shh," she whispers. "Clearly you want me to do all the work which I will happily oblige."
By then she has already cuffed both of Wells' wrists to the headboard.
"I have to inform you that these handcuffs are to be used for official capacity only."
"Isn't this an interagency collaboration?"
"Of course," Wells murmurs. "I think my superiors will, uh, unders—"
Myka has already begun working on their 'collaboration'.
Myka groans. That was a good dream she had.
She prays that she is still asleep so she can will the incessant knocks away and tune her brain back to the amazing dream she had of dark eyes, soft skin, and a very talented mouth.
But the knocks continue. "HG! HG, HG, HG!"
"It is probably a good idea to let him in."
Oh good, she is still dreaming.
Her dream then massages her shoulders.
"Mmhmm," Myka hums. "Why?"
"He could have new information on our mysterious robberies. Do you still remember them?"
All she remembers is getting consumed by a body; tracing each freckle, exploring each curve, tasting the saliva and sweat it spills, and hearing its heart skip a beat. She knows if she opens her eyes, that memory will be filed away in some corner of her brain to allow for other less pleasurable obsessions to take over, pesky ones; like the arbitrary knocks of a buffoon.
Three, three, two. Two, three, three. Three, five—
Her dream pulls her back, too easily, with an amused chuckle.
"I had a wonderful night too," she says, laying her talented mouth Myka's shoulder. "But the sun has to rise, and so do we."
Myka breathes in. The smell of daisies and roses of the night before still lingers.
"Do we?" she asks.
"Regrettably, but I suppose the evils of the world can wait for another five minutes."
"I doubt it," she says, but she counts the ticking of her watch.
She has another 238 ticks when Gary interrupts.
And she remembers everything else.
"Oh god, Gary!" she cries out. She jumps out of the bed without thinking, and rushes to the door, mumbling, "Mrs Bell is going to kill me."
She feels like she has forgotten something, but she is too caught up with imagining what kind of horrors Gary has encountered while he was in Lattimer's care to worry about it.
She finally remembers when she opens the door and Gary quickly covers his eyes. Lattimer just grins at her. Then he pushes past her into the room.
"I'm naked, aren't I?" she asks Gary.
"So you Ophelia'd her boobies?" she hears Lattimer say.
"…Gary," she says, frowning.
"Still very naked," Gary reminds her.
She turns around and finds Lattimer holding his palm up while Wells looks at him quizzically. "Don't look!" she huffs and collects the nearest shirt and pants.
"What am I supposed to do?" Wells asks.
"Don't," she warns before Lattimer could answer. She has her back on them while she puts on the clothes.
"She deserves it," Lattimers says. "The last time she got laid was a hundred years ago."
"I don't care!" Myka exclaims as she tries to find the top buttons of the shirt. "Where are the buttons on this thing?"
"I believe you tore them off," Wells helpfully informs her.
"Great," Myka sighs, pulling the shirt together in front of her and turning around.
"Nice," Lattimer says, holding his hand up again.
Wells look to Myka.
"Still no?" Lattimer asks, turning to Myka too.
She just shakes her head and calls Gary into the room.
"What did you two find out?" she asks.
"Oh, we did more than find out," Lattimer answers. "Tell 'em Gary. It was your snag."
But before Gary could even open his mouth, Wells interrupts him, "That is highly irresponsible!" She glares at her partner. Myka is a little surprised by it. She thought she would be the one to scold Lattimer. "Peter, you brought an inexperienced civilian to retrieve an artifact!"
"I am a DCIS agent," Gary corrects her. "Not a civilian."
"That may be," Wells says, still glaring at Lattimer, "but you have no experience in handling artifacts." Her gaze shifts to Gary, softening slightly. "My partner has put you in harm's way and I apologize for that."
"No apology necessary. I was great," Gary says. "Right, Pete?" Lattimer nods, giving him a thumbs up. "I noticed that the USGS was concerned about an unusual seismic disturbance in DC. It kept moving but it wasn't big enough for them to warn the public. So Pete and me decided to follow it, and it lead us to Griffin."
"Griffin!" this time it is Myka's turn to yell. "You went after Griffin by yourself?"
"Hey, I was with him!" Lattimer chimes in. "And we saw her for like five seconds before she disappeared on us."
"Still," Myka says. "You should have told us."
"Check your phones," is Lattimer's simple reply.
Wells doesn't move. Her ancient phone is lying on the floor next to her pants, so she can't get to it without repeating Myka's mistake.
Myka reaches into her pocket to retrieve her phone. There are 38 missed calls and 22 messages. She tosses the phone to Wells.
Neither of them comments on it.
Lattimer clears his throat. "Well, now that everyone has enough time to reflect on whose fault it is — not that anything went wrong — we should let Gary finish his story."
Upon seeing Lattimer and Gary, Griffin threw the hole creating ring at them while yelling, "This thing is giving me more trouble that it's worth." Then she disappeared as the ring punctured a hole on the floor underneath the two men.
"You said nothing went wrong—"
Lattimer shushes Myka.
"Pete already told me to wear the purple gloves," Gary continues his story, "so I dived down to get the ring, and Pete tossed me the static bag, and kerchow!" he turns to Myka. "That's the sound the ring made when it's being neutralized."
"And that's how my man, Gary, saved the day," Lattimer says, raising her fist up to Gary.
Gary bumps it with his own. "A handshake is too long, and a high five looks painful," he explains. "Pete is a good partner."
Myka can't help but smile at them. She is still angry with Lattimer for exposing Gary to danger, but it's rare for Gary to let someone touch him only a day after they met.
"How about Bill?" Myka asks.
"Bill likes Pete too. Pete gave me a ride to the office yesterday. But I think Bill doesn't like you anymore. He says he's going to kill you when you come back."
Myka sighs, imagining Bill's fury and Dr Rosen's hour long lecture that she will have to face. Well, she deserves it.
"It sounds like you did a good job, Gary," Wells says. "I might be able to talk to some people about giving you the position of honorary Warehouse agent."
"You know what that means?" Lattimer asks Gary. "You're a double agent."
"I don't think it means what you think it means," Gary replies bluntly.
"I know, but that's the cool thing," Lattimer says. "You're so awesome that you redefine a well known phrase."
Gary's lips curl up slightly.
No wonder Gary likes him, Myka thinks.
"I like that," Gary says.
"But in the meantime," Wells says, "I would like to get dressed, so if you boys could wait in the lobby?"
"I can go too if you want," Myka says after Gary and Lattimer have left.
Wells chuckles. "You are wearing my shirt, and I doubt you would want to go out in public like that."
"How about you?"
"I will manage. Besides, I find the clothing style of this time quite arbitrary. I am sure it will not matter much."
"Then you should take my shirt. It's the least I could do since I ruined yours."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah, I can put my coat on, and no one will know." Myka climbs onto the bed. "And you will have something to remember me by."
"Except I have every intention of meeting you again."
The feeling comes to Myka again; that strong desire to hold her, and each breath Myka takes starts getting heavier, like a panic, but less about anxiety and more about urgency.
How does she do that?
How does she so easily distract Myka from the world? No one has ever been able to do that. There is always something that is out of place, that pulls Myka away from a person's voice, their eyes, or their touch, but she holds Myka still, making Myka fall in a daze colored by her eyes, where Myka forgets about things she should remember; things she can never forget.
Wells' lips quirk up. "But you can return my shirt the next time we meet."
"All fixed up," Myka mutters.
"You can do that too."
"How do you know?" Myka finally asks. She has wanted to ask it since they met.
"I used to have a friend who noticed everything, which can be useful at times, but it also overwhelmed him."
Just like her.
That was why Wells avoided touching her in the beginning. She knew that if she didn't let Myka become familiar with her, then she might never be familiar with Myka.
"The problem was," Wells continues, "he can never forget anything he saw, and while evolution has placed him ten steps ahead of humanity, it did not prepare his soul for it. So to cope, he only lived in the present. He did not let the past anchor him, and that meant forgoing the sentiments attached to his memories."
"So you know that giving me this shirt won't do a thing."
Wells' lips quirk up into a teasing smile. "You were the one who wanted to keep it in the first place."
Still, it doesn't explain why Wells is able to draw Myka's focus to her and only her. It took Sam a whole year to be able to do that.
Finally, she decides that she doesn't want to know. That is a question for next time.
She leans forward and gives a quick peck on Wells' lips.
"Like you said, the sun has to rise," she mutters.
"But it has to go down too."
Myka laughs and gets off the bed before she can't.
But before she leaves, she asks, "What is the H stands for?"
"Till next time, Helena."