I apologise in advance.
"Hey, Mykes? You got a minute?" Curls sway as she turns in the direction of the voice, warm and familiar, if not a little uncertain, and she watches Pete’s approach with a distracted curiosity. Because when Myka Bering is organising, there is little room for anything else.
"Hey. What’s up?" He comes to a stop beside her, turning to lean his back against the shelf one over from where she’s working. She’s carefully - very carefully - rearranging Joan of Arc’s chain mail, gentle frown creasing her brow as she concentrates on getting it to fall just so. When Pete doesn’t answer right away she glances askance at the man and finds him running a hand through his shaggy hair. "When are you going to get a hair cut?" He looks at her then, affronted.
"What’s wrong with my hair?"
"It makes you look like an overgrown school boy." She say easily and he actually pouts at her, which doesn’t help his case at all, but it does distract her from her task long enough to smile and turn her body towards him so that she’s giving him her full attention. "I mean, it’s… kind of… cute?" He rolls his eyes.
"Oh don’t try to butter me up now you’ve thrown me down." She laughs at him.
"What did you want to talk about?" He lets out a sigh, heavy and a little nervous, and the sound of it pulls a thread of unease through her. She watches as he shoves his hands in his pockets and avoids her gaze for a moment.
"Okay, I don’t really know how to say this, so I’m just gonna go and hope you can make sense of it." She gives a slow nod, even though he doesn’t see it. "It’s just that lately I’ve been feeling certain… things." He pauses, awkward, and she feels her heart start to pound unevenly behind her ribcage. Out of sync, stuttering. "And I don’t know why because it’s totally not, normal? I mean, we’ve talked about this right? And I didn’t see you like that but now suddenly I do and it’s like I can’t do anything to stop it?" And he looks at her then, puppy dog eyes filled with confusion and inexplicable hope. Like he doesn’t understand why he’s saying this or why he’s hoping. She feels her heart sink, because she knows what he’s saying. She’s felt it too. "Like someone else has taken hold of the reins or something, you know?"
"Yeah." Myka nods and he rolls into the shelf so that his shoulder is pressed against it and he’s facing her properly.
"I feel like we should be together." He says, suddenly emphatic, only to have his certainty falter in the next heartbeat. "Like, romantically?" She winkles her nose at the suggestion, but finds herself nodding regardless. "So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think I’ve fallen-"
His sentence stops abruptly. He does not blink, he does not breathe; even the air about him is still. And Myka is the same. Still as death, frozen in a moment.
"I think not." Helena says with a sigh as she rounds the aisle and strides towards the motionless duo cradling the barometer of the USS Eldridge in her hand. She sniffs, haughtily, as she sets it down on the shelf between them and glances up at Pete. "Much as I have grown to enjoy your company Agent Lattimer, I’m afraid this may have come down to fisticuffs had your little speech gone much further." And she’s all too aware of the seconds ticking by, of those that could have trickled along and seal some sort of cosmic joke of a deal had Helena dawdled any longer.
And really, Wisconsin? What had she been thinking? Completely unacceptable, but she had berated herself for the entire duration of the plane right and needs to focus on the task at hand for another… 22 seconds.
With a gentle shove, she slids the body of Pete Lattimer back a few feet and positions herself in his place. She takes a breath to steady her resolve and looks up into the eyes of Myka Bering.
And she can’t for the life of her understand what she had been doing for the last six months. When this woman was one single plane ride away. Waiting for her to come to her senses.
Helena glances down at her attire and hums aloud.
"Oh, can’t forget you." She thumbs the open the top two buttons of her shirt, then pauses for a heartbeat before opening a third. "Can never be too careful." And then she feels time start to return to normal around them.
"-in love with… H.G.?" She feels Pete blinking owlishly at the back of her head but her attention won’t be swayed. Myka is staring at her as though she’s a new constellation that’s been brought to life in the aisles, bright and brilliant and stunning.
"Helena." And the way Myka says her name, like a breath and a whisper and a promise all in one, is the only thing that has made sense to any of them - Pete included - in months.
"I’m just gonna…" And Pete is grinning at Myka over his shoulder as he jerks his thumb behind him, indicating the direction he’d come and backing away.
"What are you doing here?" Myka finally asks, breathless. And Helena just smiles.
"I finally came to my senses." She says, tone humorously self-deprecating, and she offers Myka and apologetic shrug. "I’m sorry it took me so long."
"I’m just glad you made it." And she smiles, reaching up to rub at the back of her neck. "I have this horrible feeling I was about to do something really dumb." Helena’s eyes sparkle.
"Maybe it was the mushrooms."