A/N:I love the writers of Warehouse 13. I do. I really,really do. Actually and very obviously, I love everything about that show. I started writing this before I had seen how things played out after the big news drop. And I just wanted to take things and run with them, explore a topic. Explore the characters. Keeping in mind how I love the show and its writers, I do have to say how wildly disappointed I am about the way they dealt with Pete's reaction.
Furthermore, since we're on the subject of lengthy author's notes I would like to put a disclaimer, that I have no clue what I am writing about. I have suffered loss, yes, but this isn't a story,at all, about experiences I've had, or underwent with my family (which I mostly did not). At all. In my mind, this story is dedicated to the people who have let me be a part of this very intimate part of their life. The end of it. Patients. That said, I do hope, that I get some of the stuff that's going on right, and I do hope, that I never upset anyone because I'm clueing out.
And no, this does not mean that Myka is necessarily going to die. :-) But let's get back to business, shall we?
There is a punching bag in the back yard of the B&B.
There is a shrink inside the Bed and Breakfast.
And now there is a punching bag outside of it.
Pete lays into it artfully and appreciates the way it folds briefly under the impact of his massive fist.
He hums in appreciation of the bag which is made of soft leather, and is heavy and not only a little bit expensive.
There are no sutures to split knuckles or nails open upon.
And the bolts that hold the heavy chain the bag dangles from are set very near the top and are smooth and sunk deeply into the leather.
It is a good bag.
Not too soft and not too firm either and he pushes his left into it forcefully with a grunt.
His hands are wrapped in dark green.
He doesn't know what the psychiatrist meant in the choice of color, but he found the bandages on his nightstand the evening he beat his knuckles raw on the cowhide.
The evening Myka told him.
His hands still smart upon each impact, but the burning has lessened, and he settles into an easy routine of powerful punches and light jabs.
He is so absorbed by the exercise that he does not notice the bag suddenly swinging straight towards him and ducks out of its way only at the very last moment.
„Your footwork needs serious work." Myka grins at him.
While her teeth try to tease him, her eyes are wide and full of worry.
He cocks an eyebrow at her and wipes the sweat from his brow with his right forearm.
„Really?" he asks.
And what he means is „Really, you want to talk about this now?" but Myka simply shrugs her shoulders and falls into an easy stance right next to him.
She is wearing sneakers and sweat pants and her grey shirt is dyed a darker shade at the back.
She has been running, or at least tried to and given up from exhaustion after half a mile.
But Pete doesn't need to know that particular detail.
She is stretched and warmed up and ready to teach him a trick or two.
„You are always," and she gives her her own dreadfully impressive right eyebrow raise, they have talked about this before,"always dropping your left, and you put too much weight on your front foot."
She bounces on her toes and gives the bag a playful kick that sends it swinging back and then straight forward at Pete, who ungracefully shifts to the side.
Myka slides easily to the right, out of harms way and playfully huffs.
She watches him, his movements corrected a thousand times, and a thousand times over, and there is still the familiar glitch in his technique, that Pete invariably tries to smooth over with force instead of grace.
And suddenly there is a brief, unexpected moment of panic and pain that suddenly unfolds in her chest and Myka realizes, that there is a possibility that she is not going to always be there to cover for his heavy left foot and dragging cover.
She feels the now familiar leaden tiredness in her bones surface after the kick and the run, but the agent gnashes her teeth, frustrated at herself and her weakness.
„In the short stance," she commences, serious now, and bends her kness and bounces on her toes, „seventy percent of your weight are supposed to be on your hind leg."
Pete glares at her and puts his fists into his sides without a word, but finally relents and bounces, albeit a little more stiffly right next to her.
„I feel like I'm in a Pilates class." he murmurs unhappily under his breath, but makes sure that Myka can hear him.
„Well, that's great," she hisses at him before kicking the bag forcefully with a semicircular kick on her side, „it's a really great workout for your abs and your ass."
Pete stops his bouncing to break out into full bellied laughter that echoes far into the yard and over to the house while Myka uses the rebounding of the bag to place a pretty jump kick against it, stilling it effectively in its pendular motion.
Her partner sobers quickly and drops back into stance before giving the bag a powerful roundhouse, sending it into Myka's direction who is quick to retribute.
They pass the bag back and forth for a few minutes with the smaller agent murmuring instructions to a pliable Pete.
When she feels about ready to faint, Myka moves behind the bag that smells of leather and sunshine and holds it for Pete all the while admonishing him for his poor cover, in between punches and kicks.
It takes a while and many repetitions and a profusely sweating Agent Lattimer until some of his ingrained kinks are finally beginning to smooth themselves out.
After a few combinations that earn him mild praise from Myka, Pete finally settles into the grass, refusing further exercise in the midday sun.
He unscrews his water bottle and offers it first to Myka,who takes a few sips before handing it back to him,and then empties it entirely.
Sometimes, on days like these, after Myka is done nagging him about his technique, Pete shows her some of the tricks he has learned in the military, like knife fighting, which they practice with small sticks, or a few holds and locks he has learned in the Wrestling team, or they go out shooting some, or just hang out, like now.
They are a good team.
That they are, and the knowledge and the words hang heavily between them, unspoken.
„Pete," Myka finally says after a long while, playing with a few unshorn blades of grass, „I never thought I would ever say this," she squints against the sunlight, trying to assess the look on her partner's face "but you need to eat more. I mean... eat."
There is a sadness quirking around her lips,but he can feel the nausea sneak up again just at her words.
He sighs deeply.
He is wearing his college football work out shorts right now, and these haven't really fit him since, well, college.
„It's not easy." he finally amends, and Myka nods, dipping her head onto her knees.
„I know."she says softly.
„But maybe I am not going to die, and maybe I am going to need a kickass partner that didn't disappear." she says joking, but her voice cracks around the words despite her best efforts.
„It's not..it's not that."
Pete inhales audibly.
He doesn't really know how to broach that subject, because it really is silly.
But he can't really talk about it with anyone else either.
And Myka is his best friend in the whole wide world.
And probably the only person who would understand, anyways.
„I don't know how to drive you."he finally says clearly, looking up at her and meeting her questioning look.
„You are my partner." he says, tears in his voice," and your body is like my body." and Myka would have made a joke or quirked an eyebrow at the strange statement under any other circumstance, but Pete is genuienly upset and so she just listens.
„When we are out in the field together, I always know where you are, and you know where I am, too." at which Myka just nods, „ and my main priority is, that your back is safe, that you don't get hurt, that we don't get hurt."
He takes a deep breath to continue," It's more important,than getting the mission done, or whatever, anything else. We are like, as one. "
Myka only looks at him quizzically, these things are standard procedure everywhere and innately understood by both of them.
Have been for a long time.
„But I am supposed to drive you to the hospital, and they are going to make you unconscious, and then cut you open, and take all of these things out of you, Myka, that are yours " he takes another painful inhale as his tearstained eyes find hers.
„They are going to hurt you really, really bad...and I am just supposed to be standing there and...let them. It's making me.. making me sick, and nauseous and I can't eat..." A tear finally steals itself out from the corner of his left eye.
„How am I supposed to do that? Drive you? There?" he whispers quietly.
Myka swallows the fear that has risen at his words back down as she reaches out to take his hand.
„As my friend." she says softly.
„Because I want to hang around you and this crazy lot for as long as I possibly can, and I need to take every chance I get, ok?"
He studies the grass at her feet, unconvinced.
„Pete." she says softly, wiping a strand of hair from his sweaty forehead that has gotten stuck there.
„We both know that the Warehouse doesn't come with a retirement plan."
His eyes meet hers in the common knowledge and yet, he starts to protest.
But Myka cuts him off,before he can even begin.
„This has not been what we expected, and it's different from the usual, but it's fightable and.." she offers him a chagrined smile, „it's gonna hurt like a bitch. Like so much before has and like so much after will."
„No it hasn't and no it won't. There's never been anything like..this." Pete murmurs quietly, interrupting her, because there hasn't been.
He is supposed to trust people he has never met before seeing in cryptic pictures and lab results he can't possibly ever understand, that his partner is sick and possibly fatally sick and he is supposed to trust all of that and let her be willfully injured to fight this invisible thing that is supposedly intent on taking her life.
It goes against his every instinct.
Almost every one of his instincts.
Because there is this vibe.
The vibe that threads itself through every moment of every day since it has first surfaced.
This dreadful, this horrible vibe that contributes endlessly to his interminable nausea.
The vibe that fits what the doctor had described in his office the other day.
The vibe that tastes like the red rustyness of blood.
That tastes of cold steel and crinkles like antiseptic plastic and feels like sickness.
He wonders if this is a snag and bag gone wrong in slow motion and he now gets to anticipate all the horrible things that are to happen before witnessing them frame by frame.
But then, right now, it is the summer and it smells like fresh grass and sunshine, and not a little like manly man sweat and he wraps his partner into his arms and is, for a minute just grateful, that she is here, and has entered his life at all.
And finally, he feels his stomach begin to settle.
Myka allows him to just hold her, and he suddenly notices how much weight she has lost, how much smaller she feels in his arms, and decides, that he is going to treat this like an artefact.
An artefact harboring an unseen evil that is eating his partner up from the inside out.
An evil that needs to be fought, and fought valiantly.
There is a rush of weakness and desperation through his own frame that makes fresh tears cloud his eyes.
He feels so helpless and there is so little he can do.
All the Teslas in the world, the static bags and gloves can't help them here.
He can't fight this thing eating her up for her, he can't even fight it with his partner this time.
But he is going to bring Myka tea, and hold her hair and make her bed, he is going to carry her, when she can't walk any more, and yes, he is, of course, going to drive her.
Wherever, whenever, no matter for how long.
„I can't believe I am going to say this, either," he whispers into his partner's hair,"but I'd rather have McPherson back."
This time it is Myka's laughter that echoes all the way across the yard.