Word Count: 7,204 (total)
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Seriously, this really needs to be said?
Summary: Mid-Season 2 and onward AU. The holiday season is the perfect time to start over and add a little something new…
AN: More music! :)
Part Two: One More Sleep ‘Til Christmas Day
The two women made sure Claudia and the others found them right where she had left them: standing casually on the sidewalk as they allowed themselves to be dusted in snow. Claudia wasn’t paying attention, however; she was giddily singing “The Restroom Door Said Gentlemen” with Pete.
“That’s not how the song goes!” Artie was groaning. The culprits just giggled.
“Technically, it is,” Leena pointed out with a grudging sigh. “It’s just a different version of it.”
“It’s appalling!” Artie complained.
“It’s funny!” Pete shot back.
Helena, who had been listening to the lyrics as they sang, wrinkled her nose. “I’m afraid I must agree with Artie on this particular point.”
Myka said nothing, instead surprising them all with a verse of “Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire” during the drive home.
The brunette was about to open her bedroom door when she heard the tentative voice behind her. She turned and blinked, startled by Helena’s demeanor; the normally confident woman was biting her lip and wringing her hands, glancing between Myka and the floor as she searched for the right words. “I was wondering if…Claudia was telling me about…if you wanted to sleep with – no, not sleep with, but…like a…oh, bollocks.” Helena swore, burying her face in her hands.
Myka, who found the whole thing rather adorable, put a comforting hand on Helena’s shoulder. “Yes, Helena, I would love to have a Christmas sleepover.” She chuckled when the dark-haired woman gave a sigh of relief. “Besides, we’re all having a pajama party downstairs anyway; we’re watching The Muppet Christmas Carol.”
Helena frowned. “What’s a Muppet?”
Myka chuckled again. “You’ll see. I’ll explain during the previews.”
After Pete and Leena made a bowl of popcorn for each of them (most of which would be eaten by Pete instead) and Claudia insisted on watching the VHS copy of the film since “The Love is Gone” was taken out of the DVD, everyone but Artie, who had grumbled into bed early, settled down in front of the TV.
“So…a Muppet is a…singing puppet?” Helena was confirming.
“Yup,” said Myka, settling on the couch. “Designed by a man named Jim Henson.”
“So…why are they called Muppets?” the Victorian asked as she sat on the floor in front of Myka, leaning back and looking up at her.
It was the brunette’s turn to frown. “You know, I really have no idea.”
“Everybody quiet down so we can sing along!” Claudia said, fast-forwarding through the ten minutes of previews during which Myka had intended to describe the gloriousness of Kermit the Frog to Helena. Deprived of her speech, Myka glared at her.
“Contradiction of statements, Claud,” Pete said.
“Is not. It’s like when you’re singing open mic at a club and nobody’ll shut up and listen.”
“And when have you been to a club?” Myka asked, fixing the girl with a piercing stare. The hacker shifted uncomfortably.
“Just…heard stories…you know…from other musicians….”
“Uh huuuhhhhhh…” the agent dragged out, unconvinced.
“Oh look! The movie is starting!” Claudia exclaimed, turning back to the TV. “Saved by the Muppet,” she added under her breath. Pete snickered.
Helena’s eyebrows touched her hairline when she got her first look at a London populated almost entirely by Muppets, but she otherwise said nothing as the movie progressed. “This is certainly not the Christmas Carol I remember,” she murmured when the song “Scrooge” had finished. Claudia and Pete had remained silent for all of two lines before giving in and singing along.
“It wouldn’t be,” Myka murmured to her. “But it’s still fun.”
Helena’s fascination of the film abruptly faltered at the beginning of Kermit/Bob Cratchit’s first song. The reason for her sudden lack of attention came in the form of Myka’s fingers slowly running through her hair, fingertips teasing her scalp. Helena glanced up at the brunette; she, Leena, and Claudia were singing along, still focused on the movie. Myka’s gentle actions were unconscious, automatic, and the fact that she was comfortable with it and hadn’t stopped made Helena’s heart ache in the best way. Smiling to herself, she went back to watching Kermit skate with the penguins.
Leena poked Claudia on the shoulder from her spot above her on the couch. When the girl looked up, the innkeeper nodded to their right. Casting a surreptitious glance sideways, Claudia’s eyes widened when she saw what was happening between her sister figure and the object of her mild hero-worship. When she turned back to Leena, still wearing a stunned expression, Leena mouthed “you owe me,” holding up five fingers. Claudia scowled and turned back to the film, but not before mouthing “aura-reading cheat” in return.
Despite the fact that their newfound and almost overpowering love made Myka and Helena want to curl around each other for the duration of the movie, the two managed to refrain from showing any overt affection beyond friendship besides Myka’s earlier, tender touch. Still, Helena wanted to crawl into the woman’s lap when she left everyone in stunned silence with her beautiful addition to “Bless Us All,” and Myka wanted to drag her there when she felt the Victorian tremble during the mourning of Tiny Tim. Neither of them could keep from sharing a knowing glance during “When Love Is Found,” though, which prompted a similar, surreptitious glance between Leena and Claudia. Pete, thank God, was oblivious.
“So what did you think?” Myka asked Helena as the two of them headed up the stairs; Pete, Leena, and Claudia had had to drag themselves up each step before all but collapsing into bed.
Helena thought for a moment. “I thought it was lovely, actually. I can see why it’s something children enjoy, and why you and the others still enjoy it.”
Myka chuckled. “Be sure not to tell that to Claudia, or she’ll make you watch it until you know all the songs as well as we do.”
“If Claudia’s seen the film even half as many times as she’s claimed to, I’ll never know all the songs as well as she does.”
The comment had them both laughing as they reached Myka’s room, but Helena’s faded as she faced the actuality of staying the night with Myka, even innocently. Something inside her screamed that it was all too fast, that there was no way friendship could turn so suddenly to love, that she was making a horrible mistake and diving into everything too quickly. But then she turned to look at Myka, and the love in her eyes reflected back at her caused every doubt to dissolve. It wasn’t too fast because she had loved Myka from the start; she wasn’t diving so much as blissfully falling, embracing what made this new world most worth living in. When Myka smiled at her, Helena smiled back and followed her willingly to the bed.
Though Myka appreciated a good night’s sleep as much as the next person, she always felt vulnerable in bed and in dreams. She figured it was because of Sam: a cruel subconscious imprint of fear that associated falling into bed with someone to a resulting gruesome death that brought nightmares to life. But when Helena crawled in beside her, drawing the covers up to both of their chins, Myka suddenly felt strong – safe. Instinctively craving more, craving her, Myka scooted closer, and Helena draped her arm over her waist, tucking her head under her chin. Grin threatening to conquer her face, Myka reached over and turned off the nightstand lamp before wrapping her arms around the Victorian woman.
“G’night, Helena,” she murmured, lips brushing against dark hair.
“Goodnight, darling,” Helena murmured back.
“O, Holy night, the stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear savior’s birth…”
Helena opened the door of the B&B and looked outside. It was snowing in the dark, the ground already blanketed in white. Despite the apparently late hour, neither the moon nor a single star shone above; the only light was that cast by the porch lamp, leaving the world a few feet beyond the steps to fade into the black. On the porch in front of her, bundled up against the cold, two carolers smiled as they sang for her, not even bothering to look to the red music folders in their hands. Standing before her were Myka and, by the tall woman’s side, Christina.
Helena smiled, feeling her eyes water as she looked at the two people she loved most in the world. Stepping back, she opened the door wider to allow them to come inside. Myka’s smile widened with thanks as she stepped through, but Christina didn’t move. Both were still singing, but Myka’s voice had grown fainter while Christina’s pierced the snowy stillness. Feeling a growing sense of dread, Helena went to the door, but found she could walk no further than the threshold. Panicking, eyes filling with tears, she reached for her daughter, silently begging her to come inside. Behind her, Helena could feel Myka’s arms wrap around her waist, not to pull her back, but to comfort her – to let her know she was there for her. Christina smiled a little wider and winked at her mother before slowly turning and walking away. Helena began sobbing as she continued trying to get to her little girl, but she could only watch helplessly as she faded into the darkness, only her sweet, clear voice remaining.
“O night divine,
O night divine!”
When the last echoes had faded, Helena collapsed in Myka’s arms, the grief wrenching her heart warring with the love she felt for the curly-haired agent. She could feel Myka rubbing her back and caressing her hair as she murmured soothing words. A moment later, she began to sing again, her voice just above a whisper.
“Bless us all who gather here,
The loving family I hold dear…”
It was from the movie she and the others had watched that night – she and Myka and friends who were coming to mean so much to her. The Warehouse seemed to have a knack for creating families within its walls, and fate saw fit to put her in it.
“Bless us all that as we live
We always comfort and forgive…”
And Myka, beautiful, sweet Myka, the one who meant everything to her. Besides her daughter, there was no one she loved or had loved nearly as much, and certainly not in the romantic sense. But even though Christina had walked off into the night on some unknown journey, Helena was realizing, there in Myka’s arms, that loving Myka and accepting her place in this new family didn’t have to mean letting Christina go. It was in remembering how to love that she remembered her, keeping her memory alive as she continued to live.
“…and in our prayers and dreams we ask you, bless us all.”
Her tears abated, Helena lifted her head to meet Myka’s knowing, understanding, loving gaze. A smile finally gracing her own lips, Helena closed her eyes as the brunette pulled her into a kiss that meant and promised everything for eternities to come.
Helena woke to the sun shining through the window and a smile on the face of the woman in bed beside her. “Merry Christmas,” Myka murmured, kissing her forehead. When Helena didn’t respond, the brunette pulled back, and the look on the Victorian’s face made her frown. “Helena? What’s wrong?”
“Just…just a dream I had, darling,” Helena tried to brush off, glancing away.
Myka didn’t buy it. She pulled Helena into a tender hug, lips pressed against her forehead once more. “Wanna talk about it?”
Unable to deny Myka anything and needing to get the weight of the dream off her chest, Helena recounted what she had seen in her sleep, from the opening of the B&B door to the powerful kiss they had shared. When she was done, Myka stayed quiet for a long moment.
“I’m sorry you had to choose,” she finally said, voice quivering as she held back tears.
Helena immediately pulled back from the embrace and crushed her lips to Myka’s. “Don’t be, love,” she replied when she broke the kiss to breathe. “It wasn’t choosing so much as it was…allowing myself to let go, and to be happy again.” She snuggled into Myka, wrapping her arms tightly around her and smiling when she felt the embrace returned. “Don’t you let me go, though,” Helena added quickly, failing to keep the hint of sudden fear and desperation out of her voice.
She felt Myka smile against her hair. “Not a chance.”
Extended AN: I watch this movie every single year. Multiple times. I'd have linked "When Love Is Found," but there was no link for just that song and not the rest of the finale. But that would give it away anyway. Seriously, watch this movie.