+ Authors: grumpybear1031 and shaych_03
+ Fandom: Warehouse 13
+ Pairing: H.G./Myka
+ Notes: Ladies lovin’ ladies ahead… and angst, and action, and well, just read it – we promise you a happy ending. Takes place where 2X12 Reset leaves off, possible spoilers for both seasons. Some liberties taken with certain events, as we don't have actual dates for H.G.'s bronzing etc... We are finally finished and doing a second round of edits...whooo hooo.
+ Rating: We'll play it safe and say R throughout NC-17 Chapters will be clearly marked.
+ Disclaimer: Warehouse 13 and it's characters belongs to Syfy. We're just borrowing them for a while and promise to give them back.
Thanks to taterc for help with a quick beta.
Author's Note: Shay, I hope you can forgive me for dragging you into this mess. My obsession with H.G. Wells blinded me, and a need to correct the total mess that was “Reset” kind of made me crazy. I'm not much of a writer so your help in getting this from inside my head to down on paper is very much appreciated. I'd also like to say a big thanks todarandkerry for being an amazing beta. Your suggestions and punctuation help are invaluable.
Author's Note: Jen, you may have dragged me into watching Warehouse 13 kicking and screaming, but I've had more fun working on this story with you than I have in a long time. Your ideas are great; you have a natural ability to kick start my muse and keep her chugging along happily. Should I even bother to mention how good you are at calling me on BS characterizations or reinterpreting the sometimes cornball melodrama that my muse creates? Anyway, I'm glad you got me into this. I would also like to add my thanks todarandkerry , for her spot on beta skills. I hope we didn't kill you with all the missing commas.
CHAPTER 1 CHAPTER 2 CHAPTER 3 & 4 CHAPTER 5 CHAPTER 6 CHAPTER 7 CHAPTER 8 CHAPTER 9 CHAPTER 10 CHAPTER 11 CHAPTER 12 CHAPTER 13 CHAPTER 14 CHAPTER 15 CHAPTER 16 CHAPTER 17 CHAPTER 18 CHAPTER 19 CHAPTER 20 CHAPTER 21 CHAPTER 22
As soon as Claudia had cleared the car door and landed safely on the garage's pavement, Helena released her grasp on Valda. He slammed on the brakes, turned and aimed the taser at her. "You have no idea how much I want to hurt you right now," he growled softly.
She smiled, her lips curving into a sensuous, mocking grin. "Go ahead. Hurt me - I don't care. You don't control me anymore, Mr. Valda. I'm not your patsy and I won't be your victim, so go on, do it. I promise you, it will be the very last thing you do to harm anyone."
Baring his teeth in a snarl, Valda pulled the trigger, blasting Helena with a massive jolt of electricity. It wasn't enough to kill, but was more than sufficient to cause Helena a great deal of pain.
Gritting her teeth, Helena doubled over and hissed, "Bastard." She would not give him the satisfaction of screaming. He pulled the trigger again, and again, and she was enveloped in blistering heat that crackled like thousands of maddened bees over her skin. Helena endured for as long as she could but by the third shot, her already battered body gave up, and she collapsed, unconscious.
"You will suffer for your crimes, H.G. Wells. Justice will be mine." Laying the taser on the passenger seat, Valda stomped on the gas pedal and drove away, racing past several cop cars as they headed for the garage exit.
Helena jerked awake. An obnoxious smelling object was removed from under her nose and replaced by Valda's equally disgusting breath. He bent over, getting right up in her face.
"Glad to have you join us, Miss Wells. It seems that it is time to have a good, old fashioned question and answer session. I ask; you answer. You refuse; I'll make you wish you hadn't." He smiled. It wasn't pleasant. "Please, refuse to answer all you like - it will only make the proceedings far more interesting."
Blinking from the glare of the harsh, single light bulb that was suspended above her, Helena attempted to discern her location, but all she could see was the brightness of light and the darkness of shadow. Valda was constantly moving around her, never staying in one place for more than a heartbeat. The chair under her was hard and cold - metal, most likely. Her wrists were bound behind her back and the strain of the position was already causing jagged streaks of pain to shoot across her left shoulder.
Looking down, she saw that her feet were bound in chains that were attached to the floor. She was completely immobilized. Fear etched a path of terror up her spine. Still, she put on a brave face.
"I have nothing to say to you."
Valda's smile was almost cheerful as he balled up his fist and sucker punched her in the gut. "Oh good. I was hoping I'd get to have some fun." He hit her again, and then, as she coughed and wheezed and spat, he stepped back and said, "Now, first question – what have you told them?"
Myka's face was a stony mask as she opened the hotel room door to admit Pete, Artie, and Mrs. Fredric. Artie pushed past her and went immediately to Claudia, who was lying on the couch with an ice-filled cloth pressed against her jaw. Pete paused and shot Myka a concerned look, but she ignored him. Instead, she turned to Mrs. Fredric and in a small, thin voice said, "I should have called you last night. Helena's been having these awful headaches, but she convinced me that she was fine. Now, I don't know what to think."
She was wringing her hands and scuffing her foot on the floor, looking very much like a child expecting to be heavily reprimanded. Mrs. Fredric caught her hands in her own and said, "Yes, I expected as much.” When Myka's head shot up and her expression showed her surprise, Mrs. Fredric nodded slowly and then smiled gently. “It will be all right, Agent Bering. What she's experiencing is the aftereffects of the Pearl's presence. It can be repaired, I assure you.”
Biting her lip, Myka sighed. “That's what she said.” Frowning slightly, she added, “I really should have called you, I guess.”
Mrs. Fredric shook her head. “I wouldn't have been able to do much good at that point. Now, I think we should put this discussion aside and figure out how we're going to bring Agent Wells home, don't you agree?”
Nodding resolutely, Myka stepped away from Mrs. Fredric and allowed the older woman to enter the room. Turning to face Pete, she offered him a nervous smile and said, "Hi Pete."
There were so many things on the tip of his tongue, but he threw them all aside and said, "Are you okay? You look like someone drop kicked your favorite puppy to the moon."
Still allowing very little emotion to show, Myka shook her head slightly and said, "No." But then, she looked up, and her eyes were filled with a frightful gleam. "But I will be."
He shivered, but smiled anyway. "You know, when this is over, I totally owe you for that mess in Cottonwood, right?"
That brought her up short. Closing her eyes briefly, Myka bit her lip and this time, more of her usual self shone through as she said, "Listen, about that? I'm really sorry. Like, really, really sorry. And I promise, I'll make it up to you, I will." Her eyes were glassy by the time she'd finished her apology.
"Hey, whoa, whoa, it's okay, Myka. It wasn't that bad, well, not for me anyway. Um, don't cry?" Without knowing what to do, he kind of stood there, and then, gave himself a mental shove. That's Myka you dolt! She's upset and you need to step up and be her partner!
Myka fought the grief that threatened to overwhelm her. She could see the concern in Pete's face, but she needed to hold on, needed to be strong so that she could be ready when it was time to rescue Helena. Sniffling, she said, "I'm good. I'm fine." An errant tear betrayed her though, and suddenly, she was enveloped in Pete's arms.
He held her gently, awkwardly patting her back and mumbling that it would be okay while she sobbed into his chest.
Across the room, Artie knelt beside Claudia and gently took the ice pack from her. Brushing her hair out of her face, he examined the damage and then softly said, "Hey kiddo."
Claudia tried to smile, but ended up wincing instead. "Hey."
"Who did this to you, Claudia?" It was the most patient and gentle Artie had ever been, and that alone scared Claudia.
"It wasn't H.G.!" she said insistently as she grabbed for the ice pack. "Ow," she murmured.
Artie's face darkened at the mention of the missing woman. Even with all that he'd learned, he just couldn't let go of his suspicions. They were too ingrained, too easy to fall prey to, and it made him leery of anything that went contrary to them, even when it was the truth. "Are you sure? Claudia, she's a very dangerous woman." The look of disbelief on his face was the last straw for the young hacker
"Artie, shut up and listen to me, because I'm only going to say this once," said Claudia. She pulled the ice pack away from her face and made sure that the older agent was looking right at her. "Now, I know that you've got a major issue with H.G. and while I have no idea what your deal is, I'm okay with it, as long as you don't act like an idiot. Right now, you're acting like the biggest idiot to walk the planet, so do me a favor and read my lips - H.G. is innocent. She didn't hurt me, Artie, it was Valda. Okay? Did you get that, or do I have to spell it out for you? V-A-L-D-A. Valda, the regent, the creepy British guy who always smelled like bad cologne, capiche?" As soon as she finished speaking, Claudia dropped the ice pack back on her face and went back to moaning softly in pain.
Artie's face was a mask of irritation, but he held his tongue. Standing, he turned and faced Myka, who was just pulling away from Pete and wiping her face. Not able to quite hide the pain in his tone, he said, "Myka. You should have called. We would have helped you, that first night." He tried to go to her, but she backed away from him. "You should have called in, Myka. You had no idea how dangerous H.G. was – you, you could have been killed!" His strident tone displayed nothing of the very real and deep sense of worry he felt.
Fury blazed across Myka's face. "Called you, Artie? Why in the hell would I have called you about H.G. Wells? You were so convinced – hell, we were all convinced that she was evil. You'd have come out there, guns blazing, and had her packed off to the Bronze sector before we had a chance to learn anything. Before I had a chance - " Covering her mouth, she held up her other hand as if to ward him off. Several long seconds ticked by as she fought a fresh wave of grief. "No, no, Artie. I would never call you for anything to do with Helena. I did the right thing."
Feeling as though he'd been kicked in the gut, Artie blustered, "But why, Myka? Why do you always come to her defense? You were on her side from the start! You never listened to me about her! You never understood just what kind of danger she is! She's H.G. Wells! Don't you get it?" Grabbing her arms, he shook her, trying to force her to understand his words. "She's not supposed to be out there, Myka. The world cannot have H.G. Wells running around, doing God knows what! She belongs in the Bronze sector!" He had to try to make her understand, had to try to make them all see that artifacts were artifacts, and no matter how people-shaped they were, they were dangerous.
"No!" Myka jerked free of Artie's grip and slapped him, hard. "If you ever talk that way about the woman I love again, so help me, I will make you regret those words. Helena is a human being, not an artifact that you can hide away in the warehouse because you're afraid that maybe something might happen. You know what? Something did happen - but it isn't what you're afraid of. She didn't unleash chaos, she calmed it. She didn't spread fear and dissent, she gave me love - more than I have ever felt. So if you want to have anything to do with me at all, you need to take that attitude and lock it in the Dark Vault forever."
From over on the couch, Claudia gave a soft cheer and chanted, "Go Myka, go Myka!"
Pete, on the other hand, let out a crow of laughter. "Ho-ho, I knew it! Myka, you and Helena were gettin' down with your bad selves in the back of that funky shag van. Score!" He did a little dance and then stopped and said, "Dude, you are so going to share, too. This is going to be like the best stakeout gossip, ever!"
The exact content of Pete's words took approximately eight-point-five seconds to pierce the haze of anger surrounding Myka's thoughts, but when they did, she turned a brilliant scarlet and rounded on her partner. "Pete!" she shrieked in mortification, which only caused him to waggle his eyebrows at her.
"Hey, hey, what can I say, I'm a red-blooded American male. I gotta get my kicks somehow."
Glancing between Pete and Artie, Myka's expression shifted back and forth between anger and shock. Inarticulate noises gurgled in her throat as she held up a hand and shook a finger at both men. Finally, a single voice cut through the room.
"Enough. We have an agent to rescue and a traitor to capture. It is time to put aside these petty problems and deal with the situation." Mrs. Fredric's low, icy-smooth voice hit everyone like a bucket of cold water. As they all shook themselves and turned to look at her, she smiled grimly. "Thank you. Now, Arthur, your continued inability to recognize simple facts frankly has me very concerned. If you need to sit this one out, I can arrange transportation to a secure facility for you."
"Go Mrs. F," Claudia whispered, which earned her a quick glare. "Sorry," she said sheepishly. "Shutting up now."
Artie sighed. What was wrong with him? Had he become so focused on the work that he'd forgotten that these people were his friends? Taking off his hat, he rubbed his head and then slumped into himself. "I - that won't be necessary, Irene. I can do my job." He turned to Myka and said, "I'm sorry. I know she means a lot to you. I guess I get too close to my job sometimes, and I forget that there's a human side."
Not entirely satisfied, but knowing that it would have to do for now, Myka nodded. "Sometimes, I don't know if I can ever forget, even when it isn't about someone I love." She turned to Mrs. Fredric. "I don't know if this is a place to start or not, but last night, Helena and I checked out that address Claudia gave us. It's a warehouse on the dock, and there were far more guards than necessary patrolling the place."
"Hey! We were there, too!" Pete interjected.
Myka just grinned. "I know. We saw you."
"And you totally hid from us? No fair!"
"We weren't exactly working together at that point," Myka said sourly.
"Oh yeah," replied Pete with a goofy grin.
Myka rolled her eyes and then, to Mrs. Fredric said, "So I was wondering, if that was where Valda was when he hacked the warehouse computers, that maybe that's where he's headquartered now? I mean, do you think maybe, he took Helena there?"
"I don't know. I'm sure it's certainly something you and Agent Lattimer should check out. Meanwhile, I believe that we will remain behind and attempt alternate means of locating Valda."
Claudia sat up and tossed the ice pack onto the coffee table. "I think that's my cue." She glanced up at Myka, smiled sweetly and said, "You wouldn't happen to have a computer around here, would you?"
Valda rained questions down on her for several hours, but throughout, Helena remained silent. She neither provoked nor shied away from Valda's blows, so by the time he was called away, she was sore all over. He'd hit her, kicked her, he'd even gone so far as to grab her hair, yank her head back and threaten to cut her throat, and all she'd done was smile. Each time, he'd ended his threats with a single, powerful blow to her head or gut.
She breathed in slowly, the pain from cracked ribs letting her know that she wouldn't be able to take much more abuse before the damage became permanent. Soon, she would have to relent; to begin the careful, creative lies that she'd been silently constructing. He would not believe her - she already knew he was hurting her just to see her squirm - but the lies would buy that much more time for Myka to find her. And Myka would find her - Helena's belief in that was so strong, she refused to even consider any other outcome.
Licking cracked, blood flecked lips, she tried to take in a deep breath and paused as the tang of something other than copper skated across her tongue. Closing her eyes, Helena tried to concentrate, tried to push aside the agony just long enough to get some sense of her surroundings.
The dockside warehouse showed signs of a hasty evacuation. Where before there had been guards and locked doors, now there was nothing but a lot of disturbed dust and the scattered remnants of several empty shipping crates.
There'd been no need to try and finagle their way inside - the building was abandoned. Cautiously, Pete and Myka made their way through the warehouse, checking for signs of life.
There was nothing to be found - even the trash cans were empty. In one room, they did uncover a few computer cables, but the machine to which they'd been attached was gone.
They struck pay-dirt when Pete opened a file cabinet and discovered a piece of paper caught in one of the metal seams of the drawer.
"Hey-oh, what's this?" he said as he tugged it free. The paper tore a little, but he was able to bring it out and lay it on the desk.
Myka leaned over and aimed her flashlight directly onto the page. "Driscoll's Freight and Hauling. Ten small crates, equaling a quarter ton, twenty medium crates, equaling a full ton - Pete, this is part of a shipping manifest."
"Okay, so how does it help us?" He continued to dig around in the filing cabinet, even going so far as to try and move it away from the wall.
Scratching her head, Myka said, "I don't know. Um, well, we know that the warehouse belongs to Valda, right?" On the way to the docks, Claudia had passed along what little she'd been able to dig up so far, including that little tidbit.
"What do you think he might be shipping? Didn't you say you found out that Valda was a smuggler?"
"Yup. That's what Mrs. F said," he replied distractedly as he poked around behind the cabinet. There was something back there, lying just out of his reach.
Chewing on her lip, Myka paced around the room as she worked things out in her head. "He must have had some way to move the artifacts he stole. Could he be hiding them in plain sight? Put them with something like antiques or souvenirs?"
Struggling to reach the small object that glinted just beyond the tips of his fingers, Pete said, "Maybe. Does it matter? We know he's the bad guy now."
Frustrated, Myka stamped her foot and said, "Of course it matters! If Helena isn't here, she's got to be somewhere else, and we have to find her!"
Pausing in his activity, Pete glanced up at Myka and said, "I hate to say this, but are you sure she's alive? I mean, why wouldn't he have just killed her and run?"
Myka went absolutely white at the thought. "No," she whispered. "No, I refuse to believe she's dead. Why go to all the trouble of kidnapping Claudia, then using her phone to contact Helena if all he was going to do was kill her the moment he had her. No, she's alive, Pete. I'm sure of it."
"All right, all right. Calm down, sheesh. Hey, come here and give me a hand with this, it's stuck. There's something back here."
Going to Pete's side, she positioned herself so that she could help him shove the heavy file cabinet further away from the wall. Slowly, letting off several loud creaks and groans as it moved, Pete was finally able to lean over and retrieve the fallen object.
"Ah ha!" He held up a slightly battered plastic pen. Frowning, he said, "Okay, what is it? Oh, wait, I know, maybe it's the pen that signed the Declaration of Independence!"
Myka rolled her eyes. "Oh please, Pete. Those were probably made out of goose quills, not plastic." She grabbed the pen and twisted it, adding, "And they certainly didn't have, 'Anubis Shipping' stenciled on the side."
Pete shook his head, laughing softly while Myka just stared at him. Suddenly, they both said, "Anubis Shipping!" Pete drew the Farnsworth out, opened it, punched a button and as soon as Artie's face appeared, Pete blurted, "Anubis Shipping - what can you find out about it?"
In the background, they could hear the rapid clattering of keys as Claudia typed. Artie moved so that he was stationed just behind her and turned the Farnsworth so that Pete and Myka could see the computer screen.
At first, the search showed very little other than the information that was publicly available about the small shipping company, but then Claudia worked some her brand of mojo and suddenly, they were looking at a list of ships, routes, and dates of entry and exit from several ports of call. Claudia scrolled down and highlighted one of the ships, the Eye of Horus, and clicked on it.
"Well, that's interesting," said Pete as Myka turned to run for the door.
The ship was berthed at a dock only about five miles from the dockside warehouse and was scheduled to depart for Canada in two hours.
Artie's face reappeared suddenly. "Wait for us, Pete. Don't try anything without back up. Claudia and I will be there as soon as we can."
For a moment, Pete looked as if he were going to protest the order, but then, as he began to consider the logistics of storming a cargo ship with just his partner as back up, he said, "Right. We'll meet you there."
As soon as he'd pocketed the Farnsworth, he ran after Myka yelling, "Hey, wait up!"
He caught up to her at the car. She was pacing back and forth, one hand on her gun, the other fisted up against her mouth. As soon as he came into sight, she said, "Okay, you are going to create a diversion while I sneak on board and -"
He shook his head. "We are going to wait for Artie and Claudia to arrive with some back up. Then we are going to get on that ship and rescue your girlfriend."
For a minute, Myka looked like she was going to whip out her gun and shoot him, but then, she closed her eyes and said, "Do you have any idea how ridiculous I would have found what you just said two days ago?"
He grinned, opened the car door, got in, then leaned his head out the window and said, ""Not nearly as crazy as I would have found it if you'd told me a week ago that your girlfriend was H.G. Wells. I mean, come on, Myka - she was into me first; I swear I even got tongue."
Yanking open the passenger door, Myka got in and retorted, "Pete! She wasn't into you; she was using her feminine wiles to get the drop on you. As I recall, it worked."
Holding up his hands in surrender, Pete shrugged and said, "Well, what can I say - she's got an awesome set of wiles."
Jaw dropping, Myka reached over and slapped him on the leg. "Hey! That's my girlfriend you're talking about, Buster! Now shut up and get us to that ship! Helena doesn't have much time."
Valda had returned and continued the beating. Question after question was met with impassive silence as Helena defied his every attempt at getting her to talk. Finally, rage drove him to slam his fist into her head so hard that it knocked her clean out.
Now, he was just outside the door to the room where he'd had Helena taken, talking on a cell phone. "No, she refuses to answer my questions. I don't know. I've done everything short of pulling out her fingernails and she refuses to even scream. The bitch is more resilient than I was led to believe."
He listened as the person on the other end spoke. "Yes, of course I know that, but what do you want me to do? If she dies, I won't get any of the answers you seek."
There was another pause, and then, his whole face lit up as he smiled. "Oh, yes, of course, of course. I'm sure she'll enjoy that. I know I will." He closed the phone, pocketed it, and then turned to two of his henchmen and said, "Bring me Cerletti's Box.”