Title: Let It Snow
Series/Sequel: Where The Love Light Gleams (2 of 3)
Author: Meg Brown, aka GunBunnyCentral (previously Andromeda Valentine)
Feedback address: andromeda.valentine@gmail.com
Date in Calendar: 27 December 2012
Fandom: Warehouse 13
Pairing: Myka Bering/Helena Wells
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: ~6000
Summary: It didn't take the others long to work out the other reason Helena was being so accommodating - with everyone else gone, she'd be alone with Myka for several days.
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DW12

Disclaimer: “Warehouse 13,” the characters and situations depicted are the property of Universal Cable Productions, Universal Media Studios, and SciFi. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment not monetary purposes. Previously unrecognized characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. This site is in no way affiliated with "Warehouse 13", SciFi, or any representative of the actors.

Author's Notes: Set during Season 4 - no specific spoilers, though it works off the assumption that all the craziness up through 4x10 gets set back to normal.

Carmilla - which I have Myka read from - is a vampire novel by Sheridan LeFanu, predating Dracula by 25 years and known for its blatant lesbian overtones. Also, I snuck in another not-so-subtle Sanctuary reference. ;)

Beta: none

Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
but the fire is so delightful.
And since we've no place to go -
Let It Snow!
Let It Snow!
Let It Snow!

Ella Fitzgerald, Let It Snow!


It took everyone most of the following day to fully accept and believe that Helena had finally returned for good - December 26th, in many ways, felt just as peculiar and surreal as Christmas Day had. It was a good kind of surreal, though - the kind familiar to anyone who has ever watched their family come together again unexpectedly after a long separation.

And, despite the lingering awkwardness, that was exactly what it was like, for all of them - with Helena's return, the Warehouse family was finally complete again. Of course, with typical screwy Warehouse timing, nearly everyone was scheduled to leave that evening to spend a few days with their individual non-Warehouse families.

Helena categorically refused any offers to reschedule on her account, insisting that it wasn't necessary - after the warm reception she'd gotten, she had no doubts at all that she was truly welcome. It was only for a few days, anyway - they would all be home in time for New Year's Eve - and Myka was staying behind to keep an eye on things, in exchange for a little extra time off when her new niece or nephew arrived sometime in the next few weeks.

It didn't take the others long to work out the other reason Helena was being so accommodating - with everyone else gone, she'd be alone with Myka for several days. Pete, displaying a maturity that she wouldn't have expected from him, pulled Helena aside as soon as he realized that fact, and made certain she understood not to push Myka too hard or too fast - the wonderfully frank conversation was one of the better ones they'd had, actually.

Pete needn't have been so worried, though - Myka was actually looking forward to spending several days alone with her new girlfriend. All teasing and innuendo aside, privacy was an extremely rare and highly valued commodity around the bed and breakfast. It also happened to be exactly what Myka and Helena needed at this point - there was just no good way to build a new relationship while constantly tripping over a houseful of people.

This had become readily apparent to both Myka and Helena within mere moments of waking up. Despite going to sleep so early on Christmas night, they'd both slept until mid-morning - probably due to neither of them having slept properly in months - and woken up to the happy realization that Helena's return was indeed real, rather than the dream they'd both feared it was.

Myka, in particular, had opened her eyes to find herself in the sort of happy, playful mood she'd given up hope of ever experiencing again. Helena had caught a little of those high spirits herself, and their simple 'good morning' kiss had rapidly escalated into a rather heated make-out session - they were on the verge of having to decide whether to stop or keep going when Claudia started knocking on Myka's door to see if they were up yet, thereby rendering the decision moot.

Myka and Helena had been more amused than annoyed - Claudia had been so mortified once she figured out what she'd interrupted that it was impossible to hold her bad timing against her. In truth, they also ended up just enjoying the lingering tension. It took them back to the seemingly brighter, less complicated days of Tamalpais and Moscow, before things between them had gotten so muddled and confused.

The hustle and bustle of everyone getting ready to leave had provided multiple opportunities for Myka and Helena to sneak away and pick back up where they'd left off - and to get caught out at it every time, which was half the fun. Pete teased the two of them mercilessly, of course, but that was just his way of showing that he was happy for them both - as was his sudden insistence on taking PJ along with him on his trip so that Myka could enjoy the next few days without any distractions.

By that evening, it was down to Myka, Helena, and Leena, and they spent the time playing cards and watching old black-and-white movies. Myka and Helena's inability to keep their hands off each other had faded over the course of the day to something easily satisfied by cuddling together on the couch, which was fine with them - and probably greatly appreciated by Leena, who wasn't leaving until the morning.

Surprisingly, nothing else really happened between Myka and Helena that night, or the next morning. They were content to fall asleep holding each other, and the kisses they exchanged after waking up didn't invoke the same haze of hormones that had snuck up on them the previous day - walking downstairs hand-in-hand to help Leena with breakfast seemed about the perfect level of physical contact just then.

The seeming lull didn't last much beyond that, though. They put Leena into her cab at 9 a.m., waving goodbye as it sped her off to the airport. By noon, Myka was riding out the aftershocks of her first Helena-induced orgasm.

It probably wouldn't have even taken that long if it weren't for the various tasks that needed doing at the Warehouse. No one was worrying about inventory, of course, but there were still various security and system checks to be run or monitored - Trailer took off immediately to do his usual canine perimeter sweeps, returning just in time to accompany Myka and Helena to the Warehouse's massive library.

Everyone, from Artie on down to Trailer, had their own little hideaway inside the Warehouse, a space all their own that they could retreat to - the Warehouse library was Myka's, and would probably become Helena's as well. The place was massive, filled with more books than both women combined would ever be able to read in their collective lifetimes - it was also supremely comfortable, with a fireplace and a scattering of worn, well-loved furniture to sprawl out on. Even Pete and Claudia had been known to sneak in there at times for some peace and quiet when things got particularly crazy.

Naturally, it was the perfect place for Myka and Helena - fellow bibliophiles - to settle into together on a cold day. Helena poured them both a little of the seasonal tea they'd brought with them while Myka started a fire, or whatever Artifact-induced equivalent passed for one - all Myka had ever cared to know about it was that it meant she could have warmth and ambiance without risking the precious books shelved nearby.

The book Myka had been reading on her last visit still sat on the low coffee table, and Helena picked it up to take a look. Seeing the title, she grinned. "Carmilla, darling?"

Myka felt her cheeks flush, though she wasn't quite sure why - except that her choice of reading material perhaps said a little more than she liked about what exactly had been on her mind lately. Pete would have had a field day if he'd learned that she was sitting off by herself reading a Victorian vampire story known for its blatant lesbian overtones.

Helena allowed the silence to linger for several moments before showing Myka a little mercy. "No need to be embarrassed, darling - I've always considered it much more interesting than Dracula. A... close female friend of mine had a particular fondness for it, and we took turns reading it aloud to each other."

In bed, Myka added silently as she took a closer look at Helena's expression. She wanted to be jealous of that other woman - whoever she'd been - but found herself completely sidetracked by the sudden mental image of lying in bed with Helena as they read erotic stories and poems to each other. It wasn't exactly a new type of fantasy for Myka, but Helena was probably the first person she'd ever known who would truly appreciate it.

"Darling?" Helena, who'd clearly been trying to get Myka's attention back for several moments now, was peering at her with an equal mix of amusement and concern. "Are you quite alright?"

Myka couldn't help grinning a little sheepishly as she cleared her throat. "Sorry - I, uh, got a little distracted. So I take it you did this 'reading aloud' with a lot of your 'close friends'?"

Helena smirked a little at that. "In the sense that you mean? Just the one - and you've no need to be jealous, darling. Helen was more what you'd call a very dear friend with certain benefits - I do believe that the two of you would have gotten along famously. Very famously, indeed."

There was no mistaking Helena's implication, but Myka found herself laughing about it rather than feeling embarrassed. Helena just rolled her eyes in mock exasperation. "I'm quite serious, darling. She'd have taken one look at you and immediately begin scheming to steal you away from me - unless, of course, some arrangement could have been reached between the three of us."

Myka narrowed her eyes and wrinkled her nose, jabbing playfully at Helena's arm. "You are very, very lucky I don't get jealous that easy."

"Is that so, darling?" Helena drawled teasingly. "Then perhaps I should introduce the two of you sometime - dear Helen is very much alive and well, though I've no idea how. I believe she's living somewhere in the Pacific Northwest these days..."

There was just no possible response to that statement, but Helena let Myka flounder for several heartbeats as she struggled to form one anyway. By the time Myka had recovered her wits, Helena had settled into the armchair nearest the fireplace, somehow even managing to bring the book and tea with her.

Holding up the copy of Carmilla, Helena gave Myka one of her trademark smirks. "Care to join me, darling?"

The armchair was certainly big enough for two, and it did happen to be in the warmest part of the room - at least, that was Myka's excuse to herself as she hurried over to join Helena. In truth, Myka didn't mind having lost this round of whatever unspoken competition always seemed to fuel her banter with Helena, especially now that she was finally beginning to see that banter as the flirtation it had actually always been.

It left a pleasant sort of buzz in its wake that only increased as Myka settled into the chair with Helena. Helena, for her part, seemed to be similarly affected - there was something distinctly knowing in her eyes as she offered Myka the book. "Read to me, darling?"

After the conversation they'd just had, Myka couldn't possibly mistake Helena's meaning - Helena, however, had left her the option of pretending to ignore it if she chose to. Myka pondered that for a moment, and was pleasantly surprised to find that most of her hesitation had faded over the last forty-eight hours - she was still vaguely nervous, but the feeling had shifted to a sort of pleasant anticipation.

Myka, grinning, took the book from Helena. "So let me guess - I read to you while you do your best to distract me."

"Something like that," Helena replied with a smirk, shifting them both around so that Myka was sitting up straight in Helena's lap, and Helena could peer over her shoulder. "Now remember, darling, you promised to tell me if you need me to stop."

Myka nodded her acknowledgment of the reminder, though she was pretty sure she wouldn't be stopping much of anything. Helena slid a hand under the hem of Myka's sweater, resting it along the small of Myka's back as Myka found her place in the book - neither could see it, of course, but they were both smirking a little, each assuming they'd be the one to emerge victorious.

"I now write, after an interval of more than ten years, with a trembling hand, with a confused and horrible recollection of certain occurrences and situations, in the ordeal through which I was unconsciously passing; though with a vivid and very sharp remembrance of the main current of my story."

As soon as Myka started reading, Helena's hand moved up to unhook her bra. She didn't do anything else except that, but it was still enough to add an extra beat or two to Myka's pulse - Myka didn't let it worry her, simply enjoying the anticipation while continuing to read.

"But, I suspect, in all lives there are certain emotional scenes, those in which our passions have been most wildly and terribly roused, that are of all others the most vaguely and dimly remembered.

Sometimes after an hour of apathy, my strange and beautiful companion would take my hand and hold it with a fond pressure, renewed again and again..."

Then Helena's hands slid along Myka's torso to cup her breasts, tracing out their every contour. Those hands were warm and gentle, the skin on the palm and fingertips ever so slightly roughened from a lifetime spent assembling unfathomable inventions in some workshop or other - Myka faltered for the first time as those agile fingers found her nipples, teasing them into hard peaks, but she forced herself to continue anyway, picking up right where she'd left off.

"Blushing softly, gazing in my face with languid and burning eyes, and breathing so fast that her dress rose and fell with the tumultuous respiration."

Helena upped the ante then, nuzzling at Myka's neck and nipping gently at her ear before trailing kisses down her cheek and jaw. Myka was actively squirming now despite herself, hips shifting involuntarily as they sought out stimulation that just wasn't there. Helena, chuckling, unbuttoned Myka's jeans and slid one hand inside them, splaying her fingers flat against Myka's stomach - once settled, however, those fingers stayed right where they'd been placed and didn't move at all.

"It was like the ardour of a lover; it embarrassed me; it was hateful and yet over-powering; and with gloating eyes she drew me to her, and her hot lips travelled along my cheek in kisses; and she would whisper, almost in sobs, 'You are mine, you shall be mine, you and I are one for ever'."

As Myka quoted Carmilla's possessive words, Helena did too, murmuring them into Myka's ear with an intensity that sent a shiver down Myka's spine. Then Helena shifted slightly, using her knees to nudge Myka's legs a little further apart - Myka quit speaking entirely then as Helena's fingers finally slid along her abdomen to slip between her legs, gliding gently along the slick, damp folds they found there.

In truth, Myka had been wet almost from moment one - the battle of wills with Helena having proven so much more erotic than she'd expected - and she was beyond caring if she won or lost, so long as Helena never stopped what she was doing. Helena seemed to understand this somehow, fingers moving almost lazily between Myka's legs, teasing with a promise of penetration that she never actually delivered on.

Myka could have helped things along there, shifting her weight at just the right moment or even just telling Helena what she wanted, but this was Helena's game and Myka wanted to see exactly how Helena played it. That in no way meant that Myka didn't still help herself, of course - she unabashedly rolled her hips and pressed herself against Helena's hand, reveling in the pleasure she was being given.

Her orgasm snuck up on her - one moment she was moving slowly but steadily towards the edge, the next the ground simply dropped out from under her feet. She probably would have been embarrassingly loud about it too, if the suddenness of it all hadn't stolen her voice away - as it was, her harsh, rapid breathing and rigid body told the story for her just fine.

Finally, the aftershocks faded, her muscles unlocked, and she just collapsed against Helena, who was still holding her to make sure she didn't pitch forward instead as she relaxed. Myka could almost hear Helena's smirk in her voice as she provided the final line of the section Myka had been reading. "Then she had thrown herself back in her chair, with her small hands over her eyes, leaving me trembling."

Myka conceded Helena's victory with a laugh, moving off Helena's lap to snuggle in beside her - from Myka's perspective, the game had pretty much been win/win all around. After a moment, though, she recovered her wits enough to realize that Helena was not anywhere near as unaffected as she was pretending to be - Helena was hiding it well, but she'd apparently found her part in the game almost as arousing as Myka had found hers.

Emboldened by a sudden fit of playfulness, Myka unbuttoned Helena's jeans. Helena started a little in surprise - she apparently hadn't given any thought to the idea of Myka reciprocating - but didn't protest, so Myka slid her hand inside them and down between Helena's legs. Unlike Helena, she found herself unable to resist the urge to slip her fingers inside the damp heat they were exploring.

The chair and Helena's restrictive jeans didn't exactly lend themselves to the task, but Myka still managed to make it work. As she helped Helena ride out the aftershocks of her orgasm, she couldn't keep from wondering what the hell she'd been so damned nervous about in the first place - this, and everything before it, felt like the most natural thing ever.

Any further rumination on the subject - not to mention any chance at pillow talk - was shattered by the over-loud blaring of the Farnsworth. Myka moved to go retrieve it, but Helena, feeling playful, hooked her fingers on Myka's belt loops and wouldn't let her get up from the chair - it didn't work quite as smoothly as Helena had probably intended, given that Myka hadn't rebuttoned her jeans yet, but it did lead to a brief scuffle that left them both laughing.

Trailer finally brought the Farnsworth over to them, whining at them as if in chastisement. The dog took great pains not to scratch or dent the device with his teeth, and the strangely human-like behavior sobered both Myka and Helena up pretty quickly as they shared a moment of concern over Trailer's apparent intelligence level and just what his supposed mental bond to Artie might actually encompass.

After that moment, though, Myka just took the Farnsworth from Trailer. Worrying that they were going to be ratted out by a dog? Really? Sighing at her own goofiness, she activated the communication device, revealing Claudia on the other end. "Hey, Claude, what's up?"

Helena moved in behind Myka. "Hullo, darling. Is everything alright?"

Claudia looked between the two of them, then went silent - probably weighing the amount of time it had taken them to answer her and combining it with the fact that they were alone - before grimacing and turning supremely apologetic. "Crap. I did it again, didn't I?"

Helena, never one to be shy or play coy, just smirked. "No worries, darling - we were quite finished, at least for the moment."

Claudia choked a little at that, and Myka could hear Steve start laughing from somewhere offscreen. Resisting the urge to facepalm - and praying it would be a good long while before Helena decided to over-share like that with Pete - Myka tried to steer the conversation back on course. "You needed something, Claude?"

"Right," Claudia said, clearing her throat a little. "Weather report says you've got a mondo snowstorm headed your way - we're talking huge charge and could last for days. You guys need to batten down the hatches and make sure you're okay to get snowed in til we get back."

If it seemed odd for Claudia to track the weather back home while traveling, it really wasn't - Artifacts, (and sometimes the Warehouse that sheltered them) responded to any shift in the energy around them, including weather systems. The Warehouse's built-in suppression system managed to keep things on a pretty even keel, but they'd all learned from painful experience that it wasn't foolproof, and that it was best to add in a few other safeguards.

Once Myka and Helena said goodbye to Claudia and Steve, it didn't take very long to get those safeguards active again - Myka and Claudia had done an inspired job of creating and implementing them. It did take a little longer than it normally would have, but only because Myka wanted to be sure Helena knew how it all worked, from checking the weather report to actually switching everything on.

After they were certain the Warehouse was secured and ready, Myka and Helena headed back to the bed and breakfast with Trailer in tow to make sure the house was equally prepared for the impending snowstorm. A quick check confirmed that everything was properly sealed up against bad weather - not surprising, as they usually just left everything that way during the winter to save time - but also confirmed that they needed a few last items just in case they did get snowed in for several days.

Myka and Helena even had time to stop for lunch in Univille while they did their shopping - they didn't exactly dally, as weather was never entirely predictable, but the few minutes they took to simply sit and enjoy a meal together were the closest thing they'd ever had to an actual date. They discussed that oversight as they ate, and even came up with a few ideas for when they both had some spare time.

The only obvious change in the weather by the time they returned home an hour or two later was that the wind had picked up a bit and the temperature had dropped a little more than was usual for early afternoon. The skies were still cloudless, though, and the afternoon sun glinted invitingly off the snow blanketing both the bed and breakfast and its grounds - with Leena's expert upkeep, the entire image was perfect enough for any winter storybook.

Myka, unable to resist, surreptitiously gathered up a handful of snow as she stepped out of the car - she let Helena trail in front of her as they walked around to the trunk to retrieve their purchases, using the time to form a nearly perfect snowball. Helena, it seemed, had had much the same idea, because they both turned and tossed snowballs at each other at exactly the same moment.

This, of course, led to a running snowball fight across the front yard, both of them laughing and shrieking with an abandon they probably wouldn't have displayed around any of the others. At one point, Helena feinted left instead of the more predictable right, using the distraction to slip in under Myka's guard and tackle her, knocking Myka flat on her back in the snow. They wrestled around for a moment, exchanging a few kisses, but the snow was too cold and wet to be comfortable rolling around in for long.

They were laughing and breathless as they dashed back into the house with their bags, pausing only to get as much snow as possible off their coats and boots first. Once they got inside, Helena sent Myka to start the fire in the living room, while she herself started putting things away - Helena had insisted on picking up a few things by herself while in town, refusing to divulge anything about what she'd purchased or what she planned to do with it.

Myka lit the fire as requested, then decided to cozy up the living room even further, lighting a few candles and turning on the tree lights before starting up some soft Christmas music. She and Helena were snowed in at home - or would be shortly, anyway - but 'snowed in at home' took on a whole new meaning when 'home' was a wonderfully romantic bed and breakfast that they had all to themselves.

Helena seemed pleased with the end result of Myka's efforts when she walked into the room a few minutes later. Myka, stretched out on the blankets she'd tossed in front of the fireplace, was equally pleased with the fruits of Helena's secretive labors - large cups of mulled wine that filled the air with the scent of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

It was the perfect antidote to the chill they'd both acquired while playing in the snow, and the perfect complement to the cozy scene Myka had created. They curled up together as they sipped at the spiced port, lounging comfortably amongst the pillows Myka had also thought to grab. There wasn't much conversation, but that seemed to suit them both just fine - they'd never gotten much of a chance before now to simply enjoy being alone together, and they'd never really needed words to communicate the important things.

It was Helena who finally broke the silence as she toyed idly with one of Myka's curls. "Myka... about this morning, in the library..."

Helena wanted to make sure that Myka hadn't felt pressured or overwhelmed by their little game earlier, but the grin that spread across Myka's face at the memory was all the reassurance she needed - clearly, neither of them had any regrets on that score. Normally, Helena would have been a little anxious that things seemed to be going so unaccountably well between herself and Myka, but she'd learned the hard way to simply accept good fortune when it found her.

Myka, mistaking Helena's silence for anxiousness, reached out to take her hand. "I'm good, Helena, I promise - great, actually. I haven't been this happy since... well, in a very long time."

She squeezed Helena's hand then, meaning only to reassure her, but even that simple gesture quickly turned into something else as the passion they'd managed to bank earlier flared to life again at the contact. They closed the gap between them as they kissed again - had they ever even truly stopped? - only this time, everything was different.

The raw hunger in that kiss set off a storm of lust, pure and uncomplicated, that rolled over them both, removing any lingering doubt or hesitation. Helena wrested control back first, surfacing from her haze to find Myka sprawled beneath her, naked from the waist up as she writhed under Helena's touch.

She was every bit as beautiful as Helena had imagined, and then some - knowing Myka, though, she was probably completely unaware of her appeal, or of the effect the mere sight of her could have on others. Helena, grinning a little, knew that only a very thorough display of her own appreciation would change that - leaning down, she started that display by taking an already-pebbled nipple into her mouth as her fingers worked its mate.

Helena lingered as long as she could there, switching back and forth so that neither breast was neglected - she'd always been a breast girl, really, and she suspected that everyone was too, whether they realized it or not - before she widened her exploration, savoring the taste and texture of Myka's skin and the shifting of her muscles as she mapped out every visible inch of Myka's torso. Inevitably, though, she reached that point where she'd either have to continue on or stop altogether.

Myka reached out for Helena as the other woman pulled back a little. "I'm okay. Please don't stop."

A quick glance at Myka's face showed that, while flushed and understandably breathless, she was fully in control of her faculties. Backing things up a little, Helena planted a trail of kisses down Myka's stomach, smiling to herself as she felt the muscles there tense and shift in response - she continued the trail of kisses along the skin revealed as she slowly peeled off Myka's jeans and boyshorts.

Myka gave a slight murmur of protest as Helena pulled away long enough to fully remove both items, but was quickly distracted again as Helena began working her way back up Myka's leg. Helena started skipping back and forth between both legs as she got higher up, teasing the sensitive skin of Myka's inner thighs - by the time she started exploring the damp folds at the juncture of those thighs, Myka was squirming in earnest. Myka wasn't particularly loud or vocal, even with no one else nearby, but her quiet gasps and moans made it clear enough that she was enjoying herself.

She went still and silent, though, as Helena's tongue found her center, hips canting upward as her hands clenched at the blankets. Myka didn't stay that way for long - apparently not one to simply lie back, quiescent, she shifted and moved to match Helena stroke for stroke. Helena, caught up in Myka's responsiveness, was tempted to push harder and faster, but she forced herself to keep to her steady, rhythmic pace - this was her first true taste of the woman she'd wanted for years now, and it was not to be rushed.

One of Myka's hands tangled itself in Helena's hair as Myka got increasingly closer to the edge, urging subtle adjustments here and there - Helena couldn't help smirking about that a little, even as she hoped she wasn't going to regret it in a moment or two. Fortunately, it all worked out just fine - Myka managed to relax her grip on Helena's hair at the last possible second, even as her orgasm slammed through her without warning.

Helena, having been denied the sight earlier, shifted to using her fingers just long enough to get a glimpse of Myka's face as she came - it was only a brief glimpse, but that was still plenty of time to sear the image into Helena's memory. No matter what Fate threw at them next, that image was hers and hers alone now.

Myka paused only long enough to catch her breath before turning the tables on her lover. She didn't have Helena's experience, but she was an exceedingly fast learner with an eidetic memory, and she made quite an impressive showing for herself. Helena, for her part, simply found herself flying to pieces before she even really knew what hit her, undone by Myka's surprisingly wicked tongue and fingers.

They both lay there in companionable silence afterward, trying to formulate the words to discuss what had just happened, or perhaps just deciding if those words were even necessary to begin with. Sleep entered the room stealthily during that silence, weighing their eyelids down between one heartbeat and the next.

"Agent Wells. Agent Bering."

Myka and Helena came instantly awake at the unmistakable sound of Mrs. Frederick's voice - fortunately, they'd either fallen asleep already under the blankets, or crawled under them while sleeping. Myka, face bright red, struggled to say something - anything - at all, but to no avail, so she moved on to securing a blanket around herself. Helena did the same, though she seemed not the least bit embarrassed - much like Mrs. Frederick, who hardly appeared to have noticed the situation at all.

"Hullo, Irene," Helena said with a smile, making one last adjustment to her blanket as Myka just gaped at her. No one - except maybe Artie or Leena - dared to be so familiar with the Warehouse's Caretaker.

Mrs. Frederick didn't seem to mind in the slightest - the corners of her mouth might even have twitched a little in something resembling a smile as she nodded her acknowledgment of the greeting. "Helena. I see you're making yourself comfortable..."

Myka's face turned even redder - if that was possible - but Helena just grinned cheekily. "I'm settling in quite well, thank you. Is everything alright?"

Helena's sudden shift into 'agent mode' carried Myka with it, and any lingering embarrassment faded - truth be told, they'd all ended up in far odder, more discomfiting situations than this one in the course of completing a mission. Sudden, surprise visits from Mrs. Frederick seldom ever brought good news, and remembering that made Myka's stomach tighten with a flare of anxiety.

Mrs. Frederick actually smiled then, which was a tad discomfiting all on its own. It was a genuine, unfettered smile, though, and both agents were able to relax a little. "I'm only here to deliver a message to Agent Wells - good news, for a change. After much deliberation, the Regents have chosen to follow Agent Nielsen's recommendation - as well as my own - and reinstate her, effective immediately."

Apparently, Helena hadn't been kidding when she'd told Myka that she and Mrs. Frederick had developed a good professional rapport during her time away - that was the only reason why Mrs. Frederick would be there in person with an announcement that could easily have waited until after the holidays. Myka suddenly found herself kind of glad she was stuck hiding behind that blanket - had she been clothed, she might have done something horribly awkward, like hug Mrs. Frederick for her thoughtfulness.

Helena confirmed that her own make-shift garment was secure, then rose to approach Mrs. Frederick, one hand extended in front of her. "Thank you, Irene."

Mrs. Frederick smiled slightly again - probably setting some sort of record - and her eyes were unusually warm as she shook Helena's hand. "Don't thank me, Helena - you've earned it."

Releasing Helena's hand, Mrs. Frederick took a tiny step back and re-assumed her mantle of Warehouse Caretaker. "One last thing, Agent Wells - you are being officially assigned to work with Agents Bering and Lattimer."

Before Myka or Helena could voice their protest - that assignment meant they'd be breaking the Warehouse's fraternization policies - Mrs. Frederick held up a hand to stop them. "In light of the obviously positive influence you appear to have on each other, the Regents and I are more than willing to... overlook whatever the two of you choose to do together in private - provided, of course, that the only reports we receive about your behavior in the field are glowing accounts of your professionalism. Am I understood?"

Myka and Helena both immediately acknowledged their acceptance of those terms, which Mrs. Frederick observed with a twinkle in her eye that she couldn't quite hide. She chose to maintain a certain professional distance from the agents in her charge, but she still cared about them all very deeply. "If that's all, I think I'll leave the two of you to celebrate now."

By the time Myka and Helena confirmed that they had nothing to add, Mrs. Frederick was already gone. Helena flopped down onto the pillows near Myka, finally letting her excitement overtake her - it was infectious, and she and Myka were both babbling and hugging and crying as they tried to process the fact that there was literally nothing standing between them and the future they'd begun to envision.

The babbling and hugging and crying, of course, led to kissing and groping. Things hadn't gotten too far, though, before Helena let out a startled yelp. "Myka! Your hands are like ice!"

With the storm moving in, the temperature in the living room had dropped while they slept - the fire, barely even still embers by that point, hadn't done much to help. Now that attention had been called to the chill, there was no ignoring it, especially once their teeth began to chatter.

It was quickly decided that they should adjourn upstairs to a nice warm bed - but only after adjusting the thermostat so that the house would be warm again if they came back downstairs. The candles had all guttered out as they slept, leaving the room lit only by the glowing Christmas tree, so the only other thing they had to worry about was taking their clothes with them as they bolted for Myka's room.

The two women could have just put those clothes back on - even changing into pajamas instead would have done the trick - but that particular solution was nowhere near as interesting as the alternative they'd already decided on. Once upstairs, Myka and Helena crawled under the covers and stayed there as much as was humanly possible for the next three days - long after the inn had warmed up again...