myka bearing

Road 2

I’ve played a little fast and loose with the rally’s timeline in this part; this year, it took the driving teams and the rest of the retinue two days to get from the actual finish to Essaouira, where they had the closing celebratory ceremonies. I plead lack-of-structural-imagination-regarding-what-to-use-those-two-days-for license, particularly how I left things at the end of part 1. Mostly, though, I just wanted to get them to lovely Essaouira. Because everyone should have some loveliness.

Road 2

“Et maintenant?” Driss asks. And now?  It is late in the day, this last day, and he and Myka are driving their last drive together, towards the finish. The finish at Essaouira: lovely breezy city by the sea.

“Quoi?” she asks back, as blank a What? as she can manage. He gives her a little tch, a don’t play dumb noise, so she says, “Je pas.”   I don’t know.  Another tch. “Je sais pas ce qu’elle veut.”  I don’t know what she wants.

“Toutes les meufs, elles veulent la même.”  All the girls, they want the same. He’s very confident; his take it easy tone is clear.

“Moi, ouais?”  Me, yeah?

That sends him into hysterics, as intended. He deserves some reward, however small, for having put up with Myka, and for being who he’s been about the whole thing. She grins at him and says, “Tous les mecs, ils veulent la même aussi.”  All the guys, they want the same thing too.  “Les détails.”  The details.

He laughs again and settles in to cajole her into divulging any and all details regarding what she has got up to with women.

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6

i truly cannot gif to save my life, but…do you ever just….think about myka’s face in instinct….. [clutches chest]

anonymous asked:

B&W prompt - Reconsecrate.

Better late than never, yes?

=-=-=-=-=

     Ten months. Forty weeks. Two hundred and eighty days. Six thousand, seven hundred and twenty hours. Four hundred three thousand, two hundred minutes.
     Too long to know in seconds.
     Myka could not bear to think the time in seconds. It was already too many minutes she would never get back. Too many hours of loneliness. Too many days of frustration and too many weeks of asinine activity.
     Too many months without Helena; without the making of new memories of her. No gentle touch. No whispered words nor helpless laughter. The taste of her skin and sweat no longer lingered on Myka’s tongue.
     She had endured ten long months apart from the woman she loved and another second was intolerable.
     “She’ll be here,” Claudia said softly.
     Myka had to bite her tongue. She knew Claudia meant well but nothing so shallow was going to fill the chasm in her heart.
     “She will,” Myka said instead. “I’m just…” She hoped her grimace came across as a strained smile. “I’m losing my mind.”
     Claudia grinned. “You lost it already.” She squeezed Myka’s shoulder . “You lost it all the minute she whammied you to a ceiling in London.”
     Myka did laugh at that. It was true, though she had not known it, that Helena had irrevocably caught her the moment they locked eyes. She was still a little stunned by it years later. She was about to say as much when the door to the Bed & Breakfast opened and closed.
     A wave of silence swept through the house. Myka could feel it like a breeze against her skin. Her heart kicked in her chest – a demand or a warning she did not know – and she could neither move nor speak. Irrational fears clawed at her insides.
     What if absence did not make all hearts fonder? What if Helena now realised that Myka was just Myka and that had never meant much to anyone before?
     “Dude.” Claudia stepped away cautiously. “Don’t puke. You can’t get your face on with vomit in your mouth. That’s just nasty.” She reached over to poke Myka’s stiff body. “Seriously. You’ve been pacing the place like a caged animal for days and now the zoo keeper is here, you aren’t going to pounce?”
     Myka was too distracted by the rush of blood in her ears to really hear what Claudia was saying. Even Trailer, bounding in and practically back-flipping in excitement at her feet, was too far away.
     Until the moment Helena re-entered the same atmosphere, Myka had thought she was merely waiting. Counting the minutia of time until the clocks would start forward again in their accounting of her life. But she was wrong. So very wrong.
     Without Helena, she was barely breathing. Heart barely beating. She was alive but mostly dead and the colour had gone out of the walls. Now it was rushing back, like blood to a limb, and it was exactly like a case of pins and needles.
     Everything hurt and everything was too bright. The places inside her that were once teeming with love, were raw and empty. Absence had not made her fonder; it hurt and ruined her. Her heart had once been the seat of love, of her soul. Only now she realised it was fractured and torn.
     She only noticed Helena on her periphery.
     “I think she broke,” Claudia said to Helena. “In like, the last two seconds.”
     “Well,” Helena said. Her voice was thick, as if she was recovering from a cold, and her smile was more relieved than brash. “We can’t have that, can we?”
     Helena pulled her scarf from around her neck and let it fall. Trailer began playing with it happily. She shucked her coat next and that too was carelessly thrown over the arm of a chair.
     “I’m leaving,” Claudia said pointedly. She had seen the look in Helena’s eyes far more clearly than Myka. “Immediately. Before I get a replay of summer o’ twelve.” She shuddered and put a hand over her eyes. “I still can’t have ice cubes in my lemonade.”
     Myka missed it all. She could not look away from Helena. All she was cognisant of was pain. It should not hurt to look at Helena but it did; like looking directly into the sun. Anguish was a rock in her throat.
     “I know,” Helena said gently. She thumbed Myka’s cheek, wiping the tear that fell there. It was like looking in a mirror, seeing the same emotions in Helena that were inside her. “I know.”
     “Make it stop,” Myka said hoarsely.
     And Helena did, pulling Myka in for a kiss. One that was alien but heartbreakingly familiar. It started chaste and cautious but the more Helena breathed into her, the more life she gave. Myka’s body came out of rigor and melted into Helena’s arms.
     “I need you to stay,” Myka said quickly, just as Helena took her open mouth for an invitation and deepened the kiss. She groaned as a new ache, one far more bearable, shouldered away the old.
     The interminable hours were now as nothing.
     “I don’t think I can make it,” Myka said. She wanted to quantify her longing but the words would not come. She arched under Helena’s mouth as it wandered down her throat; as her teeth scraped away the ashes. Her blood was boiling. Her heart raced. There was nothing quite like Helena’s touch. She was ashamed to have almost forgotten it.
     “You can’t leave me again.” She had never been that girl. Had vociferously denied being that girl; the one that could not be alone. She had always thought such things were pathetic. But now her eyes were open to the truth. She had just never been that in love. Not before Helena.
     “Don’t ever leave again.”
     Helena smiled into her skin. Her fingers were easing under the cotton shroud of her shirt. The first press of her fingertips was lightning. “I thought you would never ask,” she whispered. She traced the long curve of Myka’s ribs. Higher and higher. Cupping the shape of her body and gathering Myka’s shirt.
     Her hand rested over Myka’s heart and that was the final thread. They were bound once more.
     And nothing else mattered.

The next words out of 13-year-old Pete’s mouth are, “She likes the ladies now!”

Just before the room falls silent.

The word mortified has been in 12-year-old Myka’s vocabulary since she was five-year-old Myka and her two-year-old sister practically sang a chorus of “oh shits” at the grocery store, much to her several-years-older mother’s dismay. 

Myka recalls hearing her mother use that word, mortified, when later explaining the days’ events to her father, and she immediately began implementing it into her own vocabulary. 

“I’m absolutely mortified by my cookie sales.”  She said once.  “I was so mortified when Kurt Smoller tried to kiss me on the playground.”  Was said another time.  “I am way too old for a babysitter, this whole thing is pretty mortifying.”

But now, she realizes, she has used it far too frivolously because now Myka knows the true definition of what it means to be mortified.  And she would take one thousand attempted kisses from Kurt Smoller any day of the week over this level of absolute mortification.


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Flight

Revving up for AU week a bit early. This long one-shot was sparked by a reference to the Montgolfier brothers and is mostly just an exercise; in it, Helena isn’t intended to be THE H.G. Wells (the timing is right-ish, but I tried to make it work, and things got really complicated, so I said forget it), and the Wells family isn’t that H.G. Wells’s family. They’ve got way too much money to be those Wellses (right, duckling?). Anyway, Richard Holmes, author of the delightful Falling Upwards, says of hot-air balloons that they “are mysterious, paradoxical objects. They are both beautiful and ephemeral. They are a mixture of power and fragility in constant flux. They offer a provoking combination of tranquillity and peril; of control and helplessness; of technology and terror. They make demands.” If there is a piece of writing that more accurately describes Helena George Wells, I myself have not seen it. (Also bearing in mind that the real, historical H.G. Wells wrote The War in the Air.) The thing is, sometimes an idea is like “hey guess what you will not sleep again until this thing is done.” And I am like “You are bugging me shut up also I would like to sleep.”

Flight

London, 1895

Myka Bering, investigative reporter for the New York World, had formulated some ideas about what she would encounter upon arriving at the estate of the Wells family. She had been sent to look into sensational stories of an inventor—a woman inventor, the daughter of said Wells family—who claimed to be on the verge of a major breakthrough in flight. Specifically, balloon flight…. but balloons had been decorating the air in Europe and America for at least a century; everyone knew that. What could be done with them that had not already been done? Myka’s editors also had expressed their doubts about whether a woman, this Helena Wells, could truly be the source of such extravagant claims. Surely, they had said, some man is behind it. The woman is involved merely to attract attention. “To London you go!” Mr. Pulitzer himself had directed Myka. “Woman reporter debunks claims of woman inventor! That’s a story that’ll sell papers!” And however much Myka might have wished that could be merely “reporter” debunking “inventor,” she too had to acknowledge that Mr. Pulitzer’s formulation would be more likely to catch readers’ attention.

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