Disclaimer: If they were mine, I would have treated them far kinder than the fools at Syfy. Alas, I own nothing.
Author’s Note: This is the next story in a series that began with By the Pricking of My Thumbs, which sought to right the wrongs put forth in canon by “Reset”. A Kind of Blindness (links take you to last part of stories---all other parts linked on that page at top) was the next in the series. It would be wise to read both of these before venturing forth in this tale, if only because my universe veered off sharply after “Where and When” and the events of “Buried” and “Reset” only occurred in Myka’s mind. Title from a fanmix by boomwizard .
This is for corchen . For being everything I ever dreamed of and everything I never thought I’d have.
The blade spoke a language of its own. The hand that held the blade was foreign, immaterial. It had no control over the blade, had no say in the beauty of each cut, in the frightful symmetry of each individual slice. The hand did not understand the language of the blade, wielding it clumsily, clutching it too tightly, missing the nuances of each syllable. The blade had long since ceased to care what the hand did or did not understand, as long as it served its purpose and its purpose was this, and this alone: this body, stretched out on the cold, hard ground, bound, broken, writhing in agony. Screams echoed into an indifferent sky, blood running over its skin like rivulets of rain down a windowpane. Above this place, the stars glimmered and far off in the distance, the effulgent lights of the city lit up the horizon like spotlights for a circus. And a circus it was, loud and blaring and overrun with animals, animals like this one, trembling in pain and terror beneath the blade. This was the language the blade spoke, and just for this instant, this crumpled form lingering on the verge of death understood it. The blade was pleased.
The Fleming, London
London smelled far better than she remembered. When she’d last been here, not long after MacPherson had released her from the bronzer, she’d been far too preoccupied with acclimating herself with the seething chaos of this new world and attempting to ascertain what MacPherson’s plans might be to take much notice of such pedestrian things as the air. Once choked with soot from thousands of chimneys, redolent with the miasma of manure and sewage and rotting garbage, of the fumes from renderers and factories and six million souls, it now seemed almost pleasant.
Helena stood at the open window of their hotel room, the cool, damp air of a London evening filling her lungs. Behind her, on the overstuffed sofa that graced the living room of their suite, Myka reclined, riotous curls tumbling over the cushioned arm of the couch as she lay with the right side of her face pressed into the expensive fabric. The lights of the television set flickered against the paneled walls, sending shadows fleeing across them, monsters all; all claws and sharp teeth and eyes that saw into her very soul. To Myka’s innocent eyes, the moving cavalcade of light and dark against the patterned wallpaper would no doubt hold cute little bunny rabbits and gentle, lumbering elephants, but to Helena, the shadows had always hidden horrors, some imaginary and some unbearably, terrifyingly real. Turning from the window and moving silently across the room, she lowered herself noiselessly onto the chair adjacent to the couch, her eyes never leaving Myka’s sleeping form.
They’d been in London now for three days, three days in which they’d hardly left the hotel. Situated on a quiet street not far from Piccadilly Circus, the hotel was small and elegant and comfortable, but Helena knew that Myka was waiting ever so patiently for her to reveal why they had come all the way to London only to sit in a hotel suite and watch television. To be honest, Helena was hard pressed to explain it to herself. The cracks in her psyche that had been widened by her encounter with Nero’s lyre had not been repaired, despite all the love and concern that Myka had poured over her. There were times that Helena simply wanted to shout that love was not pitch and tar; it could not mend all the broken pieces of her like paving over cracks in a street, cracks that remained beneath the new surface, waiting for the next hard rain, or the blistering heat of summer to break apart once more. But she didn’t, because she couldn’t bear the look of hurt and confusion on Myka’s face; she simply didn’t say anything at all, withdrawing into a silence that she knew was, in its way, as hurtful and confusing to Myka as her tears or her shouts of anger.
She just didn’t know what else to do. She didn’t know how to be anything more than she was at the moment; barely functional, morose, brooding. She had thought that coming home would help, but the thing was, this wasn’t home anymore. Not the way she had thought it would be. Some familiar landmarks remained, but there was so much that had changed, so many new buildings, so many new sounds and sights and smells, that she might as well have traveled to Bangkok, or Capetown for all the comfort she found here on the streets of what had been her home. Watching the lights of the television flicker over Myka’s face, Helena drew in a deep breath, tempted for the millionth time to slip out into the cool London night and disappear from Myka’s life forever. Helena had tried to leave before, tried to make Myka understand that she was damaged beyond repair, that she was better off without Helena, but the younger woman had stood her ground and refused to give up on her. Refused to give up on them. And the small part of Helena Wells that she’d buried beneath layers of tempered steel and cynicism, the part that wanted desperately to believe that maybe, just maybe, she might deserve the love of this amazing woman, would not let her leave.
So here they were, lingering in a purgatory of Helena’s own design. She feared that it would take far more than forty days to find enough redemption to free them.
Myka stirred sleepily, green eyes fluttering open, blinking against the glare of the television screen. She turned her head, cheek still pressed against the textured fabric of the sofa’s arm. She smiled sweetly at Helena for a moment, her body swiveling on the couch, long legs stretching, back arching like a cat.
“What time is it?” Myka asked around a yawn, vowels and consonants swallowed whole.
“Not late. Only half past nine,” Helena replied, a fond smile just touching the corners of her mouth.
Myka stretched again, raising her arms over her head and making a sound, part groan, part mewl of contentment. She stood slowly, bending her neck to the side, a distinct crack of vertebrae making Helena wince. Myka merely grinned at her, crossing the few feet between them to lower herself onto Helena’s lap, her knees trapped between Helena’s hips and the sides of the chair. Myka bent her head and nuzzled gently along the elegant line of Helena’s throat, tracing the sea-shell curve of Helena’s ear with her lips.
“I don’t suppose I could interest you in a nice hot bath and an early night in bed, could I?” Myka whispered, her breath ghosting along Helena’s skin.
Helena shifted uncomfortably, the hands that had been resting in the hollow of Myka’s back tensing. She knew that she should say no. Helena knew that sex had become a crutch for them the past few weeks, a means for Myka to reach her, on some level at least, since it was clear that Helena was incapable, or unwilling, to share the chaotic jumble of thoughts that had taken them four thousand miles--- and if only Myka knew it--- at least a century away from the welcome familiarity of the warehouse. But Myka’s lips were trailing along the soft skin above her collarbone and Myka’s nimble fingers were methodically unbuttoning her shirt, and Helena thought, as she had every night for weeks now, that feeling this, feeling the pounding of her heart and the rush of breath from her lungs and the flush of passion along her skin had to be better than nothing at all. And nothing at all was what she had been reduced to, it seemed.
So, allowing Myka to rise and take her hand, leading her unresisting into the bedroom, into the steam of the bath, into the slick warmth of Myka’s body, Helena didn’t say no.