kageygirl: (sanctuary helen cute-pretty)
[personal profile] kageygirl
Sanctuary, Helen & Tesla, PG, ~500 words. Sometime after "Sleepers." For the "weather" challenge at [livejournal.com profile] sfaflashfic.

Summary: "Hey, Doc? Your mad scientist is up on the roof."


Lightning Conductor


She finds Nikola on the parapet of the North Tower, staring across the river, watching lightning flash across the sky over New City. Thunder rolls over them, and he flings his arms wide. "The creatures of the night. What music they make!"

He's clearly heard her approaching, so she's not worried about startling him off the edge. "Aren't you mixing your metaphors, Nikola? In this weather, I would have expected Shelley."

Dropping his arms, he spins to face her. "Far too obvious." He kneels to place a hand on the parapet, and drops down to the roof. "Besides, Abraham had such an influence on the widespread dissemination of disinformation about vampires. Who ever could have guessed that a chance conversation in a Dublin pub would have such a lasting impact?"

"You've never told me exactly what happened that night."

"No, I never have."

He turns back to the wall and retrieves a wineglass and bottle, undoubtedly hers, that she'd missed seeing in the gloom. Holding the half-glass of red up in front of the approaching storm, he tips it slowly one way, then the other, as if watching the actinic light playing through the wine.

But after decades of audiencing, some of his performances have lost their originality for her. Arms folded, she calls out to his back, "If you attempt a joke about never drinking, significant pause, wine, I will leave you up here to be struck by that lightning."

He looks back at her with a showy smile. "Destroyed by a force I once mastered. You have to admit, the irony would be delicious."

"And the smell of your charbroiled corpse would be nauseating."

"You say the sweetest things."

"Get down off my roof."

He gives her a wounded look. "But I miss the smell of ozone so."

She rolls her eyes to the heavens, raising a hand to her mouth in mock contemplation. "If only you could invent some sort of a coil..."

"You're a harsh mistress."

She folds her hands together, presses her thumbs against her lower lip. "Name it after yourself..."

"Sarcasm is so unbecoming in a woman."

"Maybe use it as a nightlight..." She spreads her hands apart and looks at him with wide eyes. "And then you could stay out of electrical storms."

"But for you I'd overlook such a character flaw." He hold out an elbow to her, as if he were actually a proper gentleman.

She ignores it and points toward the tower door. "Inside."

"It's truly tragic that a man cannot commune with his past in peace," he declares, but he passes through the doorway, and she follows him in before the downpour arrives.
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March 2011

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