Myka flicks her eyes up from the poetry book, the one she'd grabbed as soon as she got back to the B&B so her thoughts wouldn't be filled with the scent of vanilla with a hint of spice, heartache with a hint of despair, and a smile she thought she'd never see again. The words had begun to captivate her, as words had a habit of doing, but with her partner's brisk entrance and interruption, the book metaphorically closed before she put it down, and she was back to a reality where her heart pressed against uncomfortably her ribs and seemed to tighten with every breath.
She faces Pete with an inquisitive raised eyebrow and a hopefully unsuspecting quirk of her lips.
He bounces on his heals and regards her with pursed lips and comically squinted eyes. He clasps his hands behind his back, and she fights a chuckle. Leave it to Pete to make her laugh even when she mostly wanted to cry herself to sleep.
"It would appear that I'm a terrible partner. And an even sucky-er friend."
She rolls her eyes. "That's not a word."
"Word it may not be, truth it is. I've been an idiot." He waggles a finger at her. "More so than usual, you don't need to add the bite. I mean I've been having the vibes for months."
She doesn't have the energy to even retort that she wasn't going to make a jab, and it really shows how much she wants to continue curling up with a book until her thoughts become rational and she's able to carry on without the empty side of the bed being so stark, those twinkling eyes and smile receding once more to the back of her mind.
"Why are you more of an idiot than usual, Pete?"
He laughs a little, but it's strained and he finds that bouncing in his heals isn't doing much for him anymore, so he sits down and fixes her with an uncharacteristically gentle smile. His eyes are tender, understanding, and incredibly alarming. His periodic switches from an eternal twelve year old to the mature adult he really was were always alarming. Myka feels a weight pressing down in her stomach, and she runs her hands along the lines in the book once more: (I have loved, let us see if that's all. Bit into you as teeth, in the stone of a musical fruit.)
"You're in love with HG Wells."
It's said so plainly and with so much truth that Myka could burst into tears right then and there, but that would serve no one, least of all herself, and she finds herself laughing instead, deep laughs from some hoarse place in her throat, and eyes widened.
"Pete, come on! That's completely ridiculous!"
He shrugs and continues giving her that kind, alarming smile.
"You know, I've figured out a number of things here at the Warehouse. Like how fudge is the most terrifying smell in the entire world, how teenaged red haired geniuses are also terrifying, that the taste of nachos varies from state to state, but most of all I've realized that things may be ridiculous, but it's sometimes those ridiculous things we have to hang on to."
She's staring at him, the book limp in her hands. Helena's smile. Helena's arms around her. A promise for coffee. A promise to save the world. All in a day's work, huh? The tears well up before she can stop them and she brushes them away with a quick swipe of her hand.
Pete's hand comes up to her shoulders.
"Because Mykes, if we don't hold onto them, they could leave us pretty easily. And hell, you and Helena have been through….hell. Hell and back." He lets go and drops his hand to the back of his neck. "This speech started out way more meaningful when I thought it out on the car ride back home. What I'm saying is that no matter how ridiculous you think it is, if you love her, you love her, and our lives are too scary for that not to matter."
She can't help it, a tear slips out, and she laughs again. Laughs bitterly, for the words she never said to Helena, the words sitting and sleeping on the tip of her tongue.
"Right now it can't matter, Pete. She….needs this. Needs this…whatever it is. This finding herself journey. I don't want to take her away from something she needs." She says, finding more strength with each word, feeling the tears receding with each word. She believes them. She doesn't want Helena in a place where she's forcing herself to do anything. She wants Helena to figure out who she is, even by herself, even when she wants nothing more than to help her. And maybe hold her, and have coffee dates, and save the world together. Wells and Bering. Bering and Wells.
"She doesn't need me right now." She looks Pete right in the eyes, and dammit, her voice cracks again.
"I think she may." She fixes him a look and he silently backs down.
His smile is less alarming and trying to be his charming Pete self. He leans against the end table and snags a cookie from the tin on the coffee table.
"Beeecaaaause she loves you to. And love is needing. And needing is-"
She pats him on the shoulder. "Maybe leave the metaphors to the writers, Lattimer?"
"Myka, you're sad. Like even sadder than you were all those months HG was in the Janus Coin sphere thing."
She rolls her eyes and attempts to back to her book, but the words dance on the page. She inhales. Exhales. She wishes Pete would leave. She loves him, but she really cannot deal with anyone right now.
"Would Helena want you to be sad" She fixes him a harsh glare, and slams the book down on the coffee table and stands up, hands on her hips.
"That doesn't matter, Pete!"
Myka continues to glare at him. Seconds pass. Minutes, maybe. It feels like hours, like all the hours she's spent fighting for this, and then slowly letting it go so she could breathe. And now? Now that Helena's back and almost present? It's sucking the breathe out of her, oxygen molecule by oxygen molecule. She lowers her eyes and her composure almost breaks again.
"I need to go to sleep."
He nods and relents, seemingly. She grabs her book, mentally apologizes for her moment of abuse towards it and pads back to her room, looking forward to snuggling up with her teddy bear and in her comfortable pajamas.
She whips around exasperatedly. "What?"
"I'm going to quote some people that are a little more brilliant than I am. The Beatles." And ridiculously enough, he starts to sing, swaying about the room ridiculously, and clapping his hands to the invisible rhythm.
"All you need is love. Badadaddada bum! All you need is love, love. Love is all you need."
She can't help the burble of laughter rising him her throat, or the quip that escapes it.
"You still can't sing. Or dance."
He stops swaying to look her meaningfully in the eyes. "But message received?"
She gives a small grin. "Maybe." She waves at him to say goodnight and he follows, his wave more tentative and awkward than she's ever known him.
Her heart pounds as she grows closer to her room. She could dwell on how Pete figured it out, but instead her thoughts drifted ridiculously back to Helena's smile. She was a rational person. She could rationalizehow Helena needed time away, like she needed time away. But then her thoughts drifted to her own words,You're running away from your truth, and how she took them back without really taking them back, because yes Helena was running. Running from the Warehouse, from Myka, from herself, and it hurt Myka to witness it and not provide more comfort, but she'd reconciled herself to to the fact that Helena needed it.
But then, Pete's thoughts. How the ridiculous things needed to be held onto. How ridiculous it was that she was still in love with Helena, maybe? Or how ridiculous it was that neither of them have even a touched a word on the subject? One ridiculousness needed to be let go, the other clung to.
She was sad. Very sad. Like the world was blurred and several shades darker. But Helena's smile was the light in that dark, another ridiculous and cliched thought.
And well. She did need to hang on to that. If Helena would have her, Myka would love her, her smile, her laugh, her entire confused and lost and found and everything between self, always. As ridiculous as it may be.