Myka and HG finally had that kid they’ve always wanted…
She would be a cop too. Its not that she doesn’t love the Warehouse, hell its her second home, but the Warehouse is what her parents do. Its what they ARE, and as fascinating and exciting and amusing as the stories her mother’s tell her about artifacts are, at the end of the day its the humans behind the artifacts that fascinate her. Solving crimes is a puzzle just as challenging and complex as chasing any artifact and while there are days she hates its - those times when they are too little, too late, and an innocent life is gone forever - there are days that more than make up for it.
When a family is reunited. When a victim gets justice. When a little girl’s faith in the rightness of the world is repaired, if only just a little.
She loves her moms, they will always be heroes to her.
But she’s a cop, and these streets are where she belongs.
One time they just can’t seem to figure it out. There’s always a piece missing, a loose end, something that doesn’t fit.
They were up all night and now that morning time has come, the bullpen starts to fill around them. Frustrated, her partner throws his pen on the desk, furiously rubbing the fatigue from his stubbly face. She looks up. “Nothing?” “Nothing.”
“Hmm.” She leans back in her chair. Her eyes thoughtfully narrowed, she palpates her teeth with her tongue in a way that people tell her is ‘totally her mom’.
“I have an idea.” She reaches for the phone and points the receiver at her partner while she’s dialing. “But just - just don’t ask, okay?”
“Alright, what are you-“
“Yes, this is Detective Bering-Wells. I have a question concerning the night of your husband’s… disappearance. Did you, by any chance, smell fudge at any point in time?”
He looked at his partner across the parking lot talking to some guy in his forties, broad shoulders, buzz cut. She’d called him some odd nickname. Jinx?
She’d assured him that everything was settled and called in the IOU of “I’m your partner, trust me” she’d earned on that case involving one his ex-girlfriends.
As she walked over to him, he saw the other Gman-looking guy fold up a metallic bag. This was just so weird.
“So, B’n’W, I’ll follow your lead on this being over with, but what’re we supposed to tell the Captain?”
“Well, the husband’s back, the wife’s happy, no one’s dead.” She smiled, showing the dimples that only appeared when she was very happy — or yelling at him her loudest. “We’ll just tell him it must have been some bad mushrooms.”
OMG THERE’S MORE!
He likes her, like really likes her in the way a partner should not like her. It’s been making him uncomfortable for weeks now, just thinking about how sometimes she gets this look on her face and then disappears down to the station basement for a few hours. They’ll think she’s gone off and died or something down there, only to find her passed out amongst the records, a stack of files to her left. They’re cold cases, marked with a weird almost Egyptian-looking symbol on the faded manila envelopes they’re encased within.
“Why do you do it?” he asks her as she takes the coffee he hands her wordlessly and gulps it down. ”You could sleep at home, you know?”
She gives him this weak sort of a smile and shakes her her head solemnly. ”My mother says I have a mania about me, sleep comes like it does for her - rarely.”
He finds himself smirking in response. ”Sleep… is somewhat overrated, I’ll give it that.”
She nods, and then looks away, almost sadly.
And he remembers her mother is dead - missing for some ten years now. She’s never mentioned a father.
He leaves her down there in the basement to her mania and her cold cases. He doesn’t know what else to do.
She can feel his eyes on her. Even if she wasn’t a cop, she’s still a woman and not an idiot. She knows he watches her. And he knows she knows. They both know. And they don’t talk about it. Because they are damn good partners. The best. And they’re not dumb enough to mess that up with whatever might happen if they let it head to the bedroom.
Or at least, that’s what she pretends.
She doesn’t know what he pretends, because…they don’t talk about it.
She doens’t even like to think about it. Because if she thinks about it, she’ll have to admit that the reason she won’t give in to the way her heart tugs every time he smiles and her breath gets quicker every time he’s near is that she knows the cost. The true cost of loving your partner.
How many times has she heard her mom talk about her mother? About the pull that seemed to connect their hearts like gravity - invisible and inevitable - from the very first instant they laid eyes on each other. How many times has she heard stories about a love that saved the world and a trust that lasted beyond death itself.
And how many times has she seen what the loss of that love has left in its wake: the bitter ashes of a fire that burned so bright and so hot it challenged the stars in the sky.
So she smiles and teases and sometimes, when she’s just too weak or the case has been too hard, or sometimes when the rush of success threatens to burst her heart in her chest if she doesn’t do something to let it out…sometimes she gives in, just a little. Sometimes she lets him hold her. Sometimes she lets herself believe his careful words.
But always only for a little while.
Because she loves him, but she’s seen the toll that love can take and she’s not her mom to cling to hope even after all this time. Though she would never abandon it, she keeps it hidden and locked carefully away where a tiny spark remains. Safe. She isn’t Myka Bering to go on solving puzzles and saving the day when half her heart is missing.
She is only herself and most days that’s more than enough.
After months and months she had found it. Or at the very least the starting of “it”. He watched her work from a distance, making sure she never caught him. Or so he thought.
“I know you are watching me.” She said one day, her hands placed flat on his desk while she stared him down. Something else they told her she did like her mother. It was another thing they had never talked about. Until now.
“I-I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He stuttered out.
But then the conversation ended quickly. Her eyes shifted from him to the doorway behind him. Myka Bering-Wells stood in the doorway, the binder that had everything that might be related to Helena’s disappearance clutched in her arms while she sought out her daughter.
Cases come and go. She puts her all into each one, because that’s the only way she knows to accomplish a task. ”Nothing in this world is worth having or doing unless it means effort.” Her uncle, more of a grandfather to her than the one she actually had left, was fond of telling her. It wasn’t until she was much older that she realized there had been more to the quote. Theodore Roosevelt had actually said that nothing was worth having or doing without effort, pain and difficulty. She supposed he left those last bits out to spare his young niece the harsh realities of life for as long as possible.
The Warehouse was a place of wonder, and endless treasure trove of stories and history that her mothers and uncles and aunts had gleefully recanted to her during childhood. It was still home, despite the fact that she lived half a continent away. Their paths crossed. It was nice sometimes, after all, to have help from the local authorities.
But life attached to Warehouse 13 had a special price. They had all suffered over the years, and the youngest member of the Warehouse team had been forced to learn firsthand why Teddy Roosevelt had included pain in his list of sacrifices.
The pain had taken a toll on the tall, middle-aged woman darkening their bullpen doorway. She stepped through, her silver-streaked curls bouncing as she strode to her daughter’s desk.
She gestured at the empty seat beside their desks, and Myka Bering-Wells took it gratefully. The files she clutched to her chest were brought down upon the smooth working surface, and she grimaced.
There were notes, and diagrams, and an array of familiar papers sticking out of the stack. She recognized the handwriting instantly — H.G. Wells’s careful script was a singularly beautiful thing to read, and as a woman so out of time, she had always preferred pen and paper to the more modern methods of electronic storage. She had adopted that habit from her mother, though her own handwriting was never as beautiful. It drove her partner crazy.
“Uh, Mrs. Bering-Wells?”
Myka turned to face her daughter’s partner, and her daughter watched her mom’s expression carefully as she regarded him. In a lot of ways, she was constantly reminded of her Uncle Pete, but her partner was a lot less childish, and didn’t get vibes. As the older woman stuck her hand out in introduction, as she gave her first name to the man across the desk, she watched her mother’s face lift into a familiar, wistful smile.
It was the same smile she wore when recalling the better memories of her missing wife.
But it was gone by the time she turned back to her daughter, replaced with a sadness that was difficult to place. Maybe it was the journey, her reason for being here. Maybe he reminded her of Pete, as well.
Or maybe, she thought, her mom had already figured it all out. Maybe she knew that her daughter’s heart belonged to her partner, just as hers had. Twice.
And maybe, that sadness was the knowledge that ultimately, children are doomed to repeat their parents mistakes.
Or perhaps repeating wasn’t right. Maybe children inherit their mistakes. What other explanation was there for the Hope is stamped indelibly into her DNA. It’s a gift (or a curse) from both her parents but she refuses to relinquish it. Hope and the sheer, unrelenting, stubborn will to fight for it.
No matter how often the department mandated shrink she saw told her it was unhealthy, she refused to believe him. That hope was what made her a good cop. A great cop.
Looking at warm hazel eyes with their emerald highlights, she sees that same familiar hope reflected back at her.
And this time there is something more. This time her mom’s eyes sparkle with excitement. Oh it’s contained. Not much can breach Myka Bering-Wells’ composure and her spirit has been tempered and honed by grief and failure for over a decade but…it is still there for her daughter to recognize and its very presence kindles an answering spark of excitement from embers long banked and carefully contained.
“You’ve found something.” It isn’t a question. Daughter merely prompts mother to tell her why she’s shown up unannounced.
“I’ll go get some coffee and check on those lab results, I might be awhile,” her partner says, exiting gratefully with a soft look. Her mother watches him leave and full lips quirk in a smile. Agent and detective share a glance and then daughter blushes.
But they aren’t here to talk about her love life. This is about mother. This is about Helena.
“Yes,” Myka says simply, turning back to the “case file” on H.G. Wells’ disappearance. Instead of opening it, however, Myka holds out her hand. “Can I have the locket sweetheart?” she asks softly and something goes through the detective. A flash of heat and a chill of excitement, as if she’s gripped by a fever. Her mind is working a million miles an hour and yet a part of her balks at accepting the solution could be so simple. That they might have had it all this time.
But she is a daughter and a detective and her hand is already moving to slip the golden chain over her head and hand the jewelry to her mom.
“You can’t mean…”
“No, it’s not an answer. But I think Helena may have known more than she let on before she….” always the pause before Myka plows forward. “Vanished. And I think she might have left a clue in the one place she knew would be safe.”
Myka’s hands tremble as their fingers brush and then the agent is gripping the locket that Helena gave to their daughter on her 9th birthday, and opening the file. She flips through the pages with an easy that speaks of an intimate knowledge of their contents. Long fingers deft and sure, she removes one last piece and reveals a most complicated, and convoluted diagram. It’s one she hasn’t seen before, and while she’s not her mother, she knows this file too. That means the schematic is new.
There are notes scrawled in Helena’s elegant hand all over it and the detective recognizes some of the words.
The spark catches in her chest and suddenly the room is too warm and too close.
Its the machine. The artifact that…
She can’t even finish the thought.
Myka takes the schematic carefully, almost gingerly as if afraid it might crumple to dust like all their other efforts. And perhaps it might but two hearts are racing together as the locket is opened. With a careful touch her mother removes the picture of a grinning 9 year old girl with Myka’s smile and Helena’s eyes.
Her gasp is loud in her ears. She had never thought to remove the picture of her younger self where it rested side by side with a small portrait of her mother’s together. But there on the back of the small square of photographic paper was…
“Its a key,” she breathes.
The spark insider her roars to life.
After 10 years, they are going to find her mother.
They’re going to find Helena.