Title: Auld Lang Syne
Series/Sequel: Where The Love Light Gleams (3 of 3)
Author: Meg Brown, aka GunBunnyCentral (previously Andromeda Valentine)
Feedback address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date in Calendar: 28 December 2012
Fandom: Warehouse 13
Pairing: Myka Bering/Helena Wells
Word Count: Word Count: ~3500
Summary: All in all, it wasn't a bad way to end one year, and start another...
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Author's 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.
We two have run about the braes,
and pu'd the gowans fine.
And we’ve wandered many a weary step,
since auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne.
We'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
Celtic Woman, Auld Lang Syne
Myka and Helena's romantic idyll lasted until the early hours of New Year's Eve, when reality intruded at the ungodly hour of four in the morning - specifically, they were both yanked from a sound slumber by the ringing of Myka's cell phone. It was happy news, though, as Myka's sister Tracy was calling to let Myka know that she was in the very early stages of labor.
This was the announcement that Myka had been waiting on for months now, and she quickly began packing a bag with several days' worth of clothes as she talked with her sister - having planned ahead, she knew exactly what she wanted to bring with her, even on such short notice. Then she caught sight of Helena just sitting on the bed, grinning at her obvious excitement, and stopped dead in her tracks. "Hey, Trace? Can I call you back? I may need to bring someone with me, but I have to check on a couple things first."
It was four in the morning, not exactly the ideal time for this sort of conversation, but waiting until a more reasonable hour wasn't much of an option. Sitting down on the edge of the bed, Myka reached out to take Helena's hand. "I want you to come with me to Colorado Springs, but I'll understand if you don't want to go."
Fortunately, they'd each given some private thought to the potentially tricky issue of telling Myka's family about Helena, even if they'd never actually shared those thoughts with each other. It made for a very short conversation: Helena was happy to go if her presence wouldn't cause any problems, Myka was confident that it wouldn't, and so they needed two plane tickets.
That decided, Myka called Tracy, who had clearly guessed that Myka had a new significant other she wanted to introduce to everyone - she was eager to meet whoever it was, from what Helena could gather, and didn't mind the somewhat awkward timing of the introduction. She sounded rather sweet and cheerful, actually, and Helena found herself agreeing with Myka's assessment that Tracy would be happy for them.
After that, they sort of fell into a whirlwind of preparation designed to get them to Colorado Springs as quickly and smoothly as possible. Being experienced last-minute travelers, they automatically divided up the necessary tasks without even needing to discuss it - Myka made the travel arrangements while Helena handled the other necessary phone calls to the rest of the Warehouse team, even as they both finished packing their bags. Fortunately, Artie would be home early, in just a few hours, and no special arrangements had to be made for Trailer - in truth, the dog just looked bored by all the hustle and bustle.
Helena and Myka actually made their flight with a few minutes to spare, largely due to the assistance of their Secret Service credentials - they'd never have made it through security in time without them. Neither woman was traveling on official business, strictly speaking, but no one was going to complain much if the subject ever came up - well, Artie might grumble for a minute or two if he found out, but that was about it.
Myka dozed through most of the four hour flight - Helena, who had somehow managed not to lose her love of travel, was too excited to follow her example, though she'd undoubtedly regret it later. They were halfway to Colorado Springs before Myka, in between naps, suddenly realized that they had completely forgotten to discuss something very, very important - the psychological effect the trip might have on Helena.
Or, rather, Myka had forgotten to bring it up - Helena had already weighed the issue before agreeing to go. Having lost her own child, being present during another child's birth was likely to be uncomfortable for Helena at best, if not actually painful at times - Helena, though, insisted that the good memories it brought up would outweigh anything else, as she considered Christina's birth to be one of the happiest days of her life.
She promised Myka that she would tell her if things became overwhelming, but she and Myka were both thinking the same thing - if she could get through this without the bad memories overwhelming the good ones, then she was further along in her recovery than she'd ever dared think was possible. It seemed like a bit much to ask, given how well everything else was going already, but Helena wasn't prepared to live her life hiding from anything that might cause her pain just because she was afraid of how she might react.
Besides, she was genuinely excited for Tracy - very little had ever been able to compare to the moment Helena had first held Christina in her arms, and there was no reason to believe that her own tragedy would be repeated. The one time Helena had ever been able to stand the company of other women - outside of the bedchamber, anyway - was when they had all gathered to lend their support to a fellow sister in childbed, which somehow allowed them all to transcend any petty female rivalries.
The sudden spate of preparations for their landing in Colorado Springs pulled Helena from her thoughts, which she was pleased to note had not turned dark on her. Myka, waking from another doze, studied Helena for a moment as if scrutinizing her mental state, then relaxed as she saw that Helena's happiness and enthusiasm were genuine. After that, Myka was less inclined to hide her own excitement, and that only made Helena smile all the more.
According to the message she left for Myka, Tracy had already moved into active labor and was now at the hospital, so Myka and Helena headed there after renting a car. Fortunately, Myka was already familiar with the hospital's location, and a bare minimum of traffic ensured that they arrived as swiftly as possible - though Helena secretly thought it would have been rather entertaining to see Myka's obsession with safe driving battle with her desire to be at her sister's side.
Helena was a little nervous about meeting Tracy - she herself would hardly have wanted to deal with new people under such circumstances - but needn't have worried, as the introductions went perfectly. Tracy was simultaneously very much like her sister, and not much like her at all - they shared the same general appearance and build, but Tracy, even in labor, appeared much more talkative and social than her older sibling.
Tracy was sweet, and gracious - far more so than Helena would ever have been in her place - gushing over Helena's accent and seeming genuinely interested in the small talk they were making. She also hadn't looked in the least bit surprised when Helena came trailing in behind Myka, and Helena was absolutely positive that she somehow *knew* even without being told - to her credit, Tracy didn't comment or pry, leaving it up to Myka and Helena to tell her in their own time.
Helena opted to let Myka be the one to tell her sister - it seemed the proper thing to do, somehow. To that end, she gave the sisters some privacy by allowing herself to be pulled away by Tracy's husband Kevin, who seemed to think that being an engineer meant that Helena would have some insight into the camera he'd brought to document the birth - Helena found him a little bland, but he doted on his wife and was clearly excited about the arrival of his first child, so she did her best to assist.
Tracy, now that they had relative privacy, just grinned happily at her sister. "She's gorgeous, Myka - and, my god, the way she looks at you! It's like you're the only thing in the world for her."
"How did you know?" Myka managed to say finally, caught off guard by how casually her sister was taking the whole thing.
That prompted another grin. "You aren't the only brain trust in the family, silly. It was kind of obvious - I called you at four in the morning, waking you up, and there was someone sleeping there with you. Once I heard a voice and realized that other person was female, the math was pretty easy to do."
Tracy reached out and squeezed Myka's hand. "I like her - I like the way she makes you smile. Mom and Dad will like her too, once they get over the surprise."
The only response Myka could muster was to grin like an idiot - for all their bickering, she and Tracy had always looked after each other - and it was probably just as well, as Kevin wandered back over, Helena in tow, wanting to show Tracy whatever new thing they'd figured out how to do with the camera. Helena and Myka shared a smile that confirmed what Helena had already surmised - Tracy knew they were together, and was actively supportive of them.
Tracy and Kevin invited them to stay and visit a while - Tracy's parents wouldn't be there until later - and they accepted. Helena found she actually enjoyed it, despite her expectations - everyone took turns reading to Tracy from a well-crafted novel that Helena hadn't yet read herself, or simply sat and chatted with each other about whatever came to mind. Tracy and Kevin's immediate acceptance of her far exceeded anything Helena could have predicted, and it made the entire thing much more comfortable for her than it would otherwise have been.
Even when they hit the first rough patch a little while later, it was nowhere near as bad as it could have been. Kevin stepped out of the room to go take care of something, and Tracy used the opportunity to vent a little of her anxiety, commenting on how she had been so certain she was ready for the baby to just be born - right up until the moment she actually went into labor and things turned a little scary again.
Helena, thinking only to reassure Tracy, got a little careless with her words. "I remember the feeling all too well, darling. I spent those final weeks complaining to anyone who would listen that I was more than ready for the entire birthing process to be over with - once I went into labor, of course, I was absolutely petrified. I daresay my Christina didn't much care for the ordeal, either - she spent her first few minutes squalling with indignation at everything she'd endured to join us."
Tracy, startled, didn't bother to disguise her curiosity - the resultant question was entirely predictable, and nowhere near as innocuous as it seemed. "You have a daughter?"
An extremely awkward silence fell then as Myka and Helena exchanged glances. Helena, hand moving to play with her locket, finally managed, after several moments, to find a diplomatic answer to Tracy's question. "I'm afraid my Christina is no longer with us."
Helena's eyes were suspiciously bright, but her voice was steady enough. Even so, Myka had to check on her. "Helena-?"
Helena just cleared her throat and blinked slowly - her composure seemed genuine when she responded to Myka's concern. "I'm alright, darling."
Tracy, looking supremely apologetic, gave Helena's hand a quick squeeze. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bring up bad memories."
It was the same sort of selfless compassion that Myka often displayed, and it brought a genuine smile to Helena's face. "Think no more of it, darling - it actually feels good to talk about her from time to time."
By the time Kevin returned, things had more or less returned to normal - he never noticed any difference from when he'd first left. The afternoon continued on much as it had been before - reading, small talk, and whatever stories about Myka that Helena could coax out of Tracy - until evening came around and the prospective grandparents finally arrived.
Warren and Jeannie Bering didn't get there until about six in the evening - with the holidays apparently boosting sales at their bookstore, they had kept the business open as late as they could. Childbirth was not a quick process, especially with a first baby, and there'd really been no reason to rush over to the hospital when Tracy could keep them updated just as well by phone.
Of course, the Berings' arrival also meant that it was now time for a potentially uncomfortable conversation, and that fact tempered the family reunion with a certain underlying tension that was hard to miss. Tracy squeezed Myka's hand and murmured something in her ear - something reassuring, no doubt - then Myka stood up and asked her parents to join her out in the hallway.
Given that Myka and Helena were standing there holding hands, there wasn't much about Myka's announcement that came as a surprise. Jeannie Bering seemed to share Tracy's simple acceptance of the situation, and displayed a similar graciousness. Warren Bering wasn't overtly hostile - he accepted the news without comment, and even shook Helena's hand as they were introduced - but something in his eyes said that Helena could expect another, much more pointed conversation with him as soon as the moment allowed.
Tracy, apparently having a rather severe round of contractions, sent Kevin to fetch Myka and her mother. Myka hesitated, knowing that would leave Helena alone with her dad after they'd only just met, but Helena insisted she go to her sister. "Perhaps Mr. Bering and I could grab a cup of coffee, or some tea, while we wait - I haven't had any all day."
Warren Bering raised his eyebrows slightly, apparently impressed at Helena's decision to meet him head-on. He accepted her offer, though, and they walked in silence to the little coffee shop tucked away on another part of the floor - it was a bit odd, perhaps, but Helena had a feeling that she was going to end up liking Myka's father despite his current somewhat adversarial stance.
He certainly didn't waste any time on firing his opening salvo, holding back only until they were seated with their drinks at one of the coffee shop's tables. He also didn't waste his energy on false politesse. "So exactly how long have you been sleeping with my daughter?"
Before Helena could respond, Warren moved to clarify his position. "Don't mistake my meaning - I don't give a damn whether you're a man or a woman."
Warren Bering was nothing if not direct, Helena had to give him that - it was a trait that he'd passed on to his daughters, and one Helena had always rather appreciated. She took a moment to sip at her tea before replying to his previous statement. "So I assume that your problem with me is somehow personal, then?"
"My problem," Warren began, pausing to take a swig of his coffee, "is you sending my daughter home heartbroken - so heartbroken that she ran rather than face the mess you left."
He smiled a little at Helena's blink of surprise. "Oh, I know that was you. I have no damned idea what happened, of course, but I don't really need to - I just need to know that you can promise me it won't happen again."
Helena took a moment to formulate her response, continuing to sip at her tea while she did so. "Your daughter and I have known each other for some time now, and I treasure her affection more than I could possibly express. Things did indeed get... complicated, which I will gladly own up to my part in, but the situation has changed greatly for the better since then."
She paused only long enough for one last sip of her tea before firing her parting shot. "Your daughter has decided to forgive me, and has allowed me to win back her trust. While I'd like to earn your approval if at all possible, hers is the only one I absolutely have to have."
Warren made a noise indicating amusement, approval, or perhaps both, before raising his coffee cup in mock salute. "You'll do, Wells - you'll do."
His demeanor shifted after that - he wasn't exactly friendly, but he at least seemed accept the idea of Helena seeing his daughter. He even joked a bit with her as they ordered a round of hot drinks for everyone else, which led to a surprisingly amiable discussion of Victorian literature that lasted for quite some time.
Myka was certainly relieved to see Helena getting along with her father - it always took a while for him to fully warm up to people, but Helena seemed to have made a good start. With that resolved, everyone settled in to wait, taking turns keeping Tracy company - those left waiting outside kept each other amused in much the same way, reading, talking, or playing the games Jeannie Bering had thought to bring in from the car.
Given the early start to the day - and the late end to the previous one - there was just no way Myka could stay awake through hours of endless waiting. By ten that night, she was out cold, using Helena's leg for a pillow as Helena played chess with Warren Bering - they all just let her sleep, though Helena did eventually end up finding her something else to use as a pillow so that she could check in on Tracy in Myka's stead.
When Helena realized it was approaching midnight, she decided to wake Myka, assuming that the other woman would still want to celebrate the arrival of the New Year. Before she could do that, though, the Farnsworth started blaring, startling Myka from her nap - fortunately, Jeannie and Warren Bering were passingly familiar with the device, which saved some awkward explanations.
It turned out to be Pete on the Farnsworth, wanting to be sure that Myka and Helena could still watch the ball drop somehow - his notion of using the Farnsworth to show them the television screen back at the bed and breakfast was actually both sweet and quite clever. It wasn't exactly the same as being back in South Dakota with everyone, but it was close enough.
Helena and Myka exchanged the traditional kiss as midnight hit and the ball dropped, Pete cheering and cat-calling even though he couldn't see anything with the Farnsworth pointed away from him. They were all laughing about it when Kevin came rushing out to tell them that the baby had just been born - a healthy little girl whose loud, aggrieved cries made them all chuckle harder.
Helena told Myka to go ahead without her - she'd be along momentarily after she finished checking on everything back home. It ended up taking longer than she expected - Claudia, in particular, just would not let her end the conversation - and she was the last one into the delivery room to see the new baby.
Myka was beaming as she held her niece, and Helena took a moment to enjoy the sight. They were far, far away from any discussion of starting a family, of course, but Helena couldn't help thinking that it wasn't as strange a thought as she'd have expected it to be - it might actually be a conversation worth having some day, if things continued going as well as they had been, and that was something Helena had never expected to find herself thinking.
Peering over Myka's shoulder at the baby - who was completely oblivious to all the attention she was receiving - Helena glanced over at Tracy, pleased to note that the new mother seemed tired but otherwise quite well. "Do you have a name picked out for her yet?"
Tracy glanced over at Myka, who nodded encouragement for her to continue speaking. "We'd like to name her Christina - if that's okay with you."
Helena couldn't hold back her smile as she took the baby from Myka, a little surprised at how happy and lighthearted she felt holding the newborn. "I think that sounds perfect - don't you, Christina?"
The baby shifted and fussed as if recognizing and accepting the choice of name, and they all chuckled despite knowing it meant no such thing. Helena handed Christina back to her mother, then took Myka's hand in her own as they watched Tracy and Kevin fuss over their new daughter.
All in all, it wasn't a bad way to end one year, and start another...