|Semper et Omnino
Author: Lulu Parque PM
A sequel to Exspectata Domus. Another day, another loss. Death drives Henry from the Sanctuary once more, and God only knows what can soothe his soul. God, or Tesla.Rated: Fiction M - English - Hurt/Comfort - Henry F. & Nikola T. - Words: 12,503 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 11 - Follows: 2 - Published: 05-14-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8117716
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Slash, Tesla/Henry, adult.
A sequel to Exspectata Domus. Another day, another loss. Death drives Henry from the Sanctuary once more, and God only knows what can soothe his soul. God, or Tesla.
Semper et Omnino
Nikola Tesla, Henry noticed, always seemed to precede tragedy. Their initial introduction was underscored by Ashley's involuntary betrayal and subsequent honourable suicide, and countless times death, destruction and misfortune glided along in the vampire's wake. James Watson perished in an ancient vampire city, Will lost Clara in the skirmish for London's Sanctuary, Magnus yielded a battle of wits to Adam Worth and paid the price in radiation poisoning (though, being Magnus, pulled through beautifully). Trust fund brats became vampires, an underground world was reawakened and unleashed on the unwitting residents of topside Earth, Biggie lost a fight he was too proud to win. Each of these tragedies followed Nikola Tesla into Henry's life, but none had mattered nor hurt so much as eight months ago, when the enigmatic vampire returned to Magnus' new underground Sanctuary.
His visit, full of bizarre science and obscene amounts of wine, preceded the deaths of a young mother in childbirth and her infant, a little boy who would never know the world.
Never know his father.
Helen Magnus had warned Erika in her sixth trimester that the pregnancy was becoming unstable. But Erika, strong and stubborn angel that she was, had pushed ahead, determined that her baby would burst into the world with as much vigor for life as she herself had. Henry had supported her wholeheartedly, never believing for a second that their child could ever be defeated by biology, by nature.
Being wrong had never hurt quite so much before.
When Henry had left (run) after the shared memorial service, no one questioned him. No one could, for how do you tell someone to return to a home that is freshly emptied of family?
Instead of returning to his cabin in Colorado, Henry had decided that the further he was away from the Sanctuary, the less he would feel. He had ended up in an apartment above a patisserie in Avignon, France. No one had tried to contact him for eight whole months, though Henry was certain that Magnus had known where he was going even before he had arrived, but it was still a surprise when, on a drizzly day in March, a polite knock sounded at his door.
Henry knew who it was even before he turned the lock.
Nikola Tesla stood on the threshold, one hand on his hip, the other absently brushing at the lapel of his black waistcoat. There was an expensive looking luggage set by his feet. They nodded at each other politely before Henry stepped aside to allow him entry. Tesla wasn't even two feet in the door before Henry embraced him in a crushing hug.
Suddenly, things almost felt like they could be right again.
"France is a much better choice than Colorado," Tesla said lightly, pulling back from Henry. "Much more cultured. Better wine."
And hell, who knew Henry could still smile, after all?
It didn't take long for Henry to get Tesla settled in. The luggage was taken to Henry's office, the front room that housed several computers, six different radios (which Tesla smirked at fondly), and random bits of technology that Henry intended to hybridize. "I see you've chosen not to abandon the modern world this time around," Tesla quipped, investigating the exposed guts of a transistor radio.
"I've been doing workshops at the university," Henry replied, stuffing his hands into his jeans' pockets and smiling shyly. "My French is pretty bad, but most of the students who attend are more interested in the math than what I have to say."
"Aren't we all." They left two pieces of Tesla's luggage in the front room, while the biggest piece was rolled into Henry's bedroom. It never even crossed Henry's mind to consider either of them would sleep anywhere but.
"What's in all the suitcases?" Henry asked, perching on the edge of the bed, next to the luggage that Tesla was currently emptying.
"I was foolish last visit," Tesla said offhandedly, piling pristine, starched dress shirts on the bed, smoothing over each one with his hands. "I didn't come prepared enough. A few books, wine, and four suits - that's my idea of roughing it. No, this time around -"
"You decided to move in," Henry interrupted, his eyes growing wide at the stack of a seemingly endless selection of button down shirts.
"Ugh. Hardly. But who knows how long I'll be stuck here with you? I refuse to abandon luxury this time round. I need to live my life, Henri, and this is how I'll do it." Here he held up a fistful of silk ties, a toothy grin stretched across his face.
"That entire suitcase is clothes, isn't it?"
"Perceptive. Now quit gaping and help me unpack."
It took longer than Henry was comfortable with, hanging and stowing all of Tesla's things away in his closet and dresser. It bothered him even more that Tesla had more clothes than he did. Once they were finished, Henry decided to give his guest the tour of his small apartment.
Tesla grimaced at the kitchen, a small affair with yellow walls, orange cupboards and a green tiled floor ("Who lived here, Matisse?"). Tesla did, however, approve of the selection of food in the fridge.
"I may not be able to cook," Henry said with a grin, pride in his voice, "but with a bakery downstairs, and a cheese shop right around the corner, I don't have to. The owner downstairs will bring me meals, sometimes. Meat pies, soup that he and his wife can't finish. They're really nice."
"I'll say. You're being spoiled," Tesla replied, turning three wine bottles sitting in the fridge door label side out. He gave a murmur of approval, then shut the door. "And you have excellent white wine. France has been good to you."
"Those were gifts," Henry said sheepishly. "Georges, the owner of the bakery, keeps needling me to visit some of the local vinyards. The bottles were supposed to pique my interest."
"And yet, you haven't tried any of them." Tesla frowned deeply, crossing his arms over his chest. "Not a very neighbourly thing to do, my lupine friend."
"I was waiting for company, to share," Henry said softly, tilting his head. "I was waiting for you."
"Well. I knew I came for a reason." A toothy grin, a graceful hand on Henry's shoulder, a gentle squeeze: Henry hadn't seen this Nikola Tesla since the Alpine B & B. Not once upon returning to the Sanctuary had Henry caught a glimpse of the man standing before him, his best friend, the vampire who could soothe away the nightmares with a single touch. When Tesla had visited the Sanctuary after Henry's return, their interactions had been impersonal. Tesla had spent all his time with Magnus, Henry with Erika. Neither had taken time away from the other residents to enjoy each other's company, just the two of them. They hadn't talked about their time in Colorado, their new bond, that strange promise Tesla had made in a chaste kiss.
Perhaps now... But not yet. Henry didn't want to muddle around in memories, for to get to the thick of them, he would have to wade through fresher memories, the loss of the love of his life. With a deep breath, Henry swept away the heavy things from his thoughts and gave Tesla a crooked grin.
"We'll break them open soon enough," he said, his voice losing some of its enthusiasm when Tesla removed his hand from Henry's shoulder. "I've gotta give you the rest of the tour."
"If the bathroom's pink," Tesla said over his shoulder as Henry ushered him out of the kitchen, "I'm leaving."
Henry hadn't been having nightmares. In fact, he was having trouble remembering any dreams at all. He would wake up tired each morning, a lingering sadness making his limbs heavy, his movements slow. But - and he was thankful for this - he had no nightly visits from Erika, Ashley, or Biggie.
None at all. He couldn't even remember if he'd dreamt of a baby crying. He told Tesla as much as they were getting ready for bed.
"Thank god," Tesla said happily, turning back the covers on his side of the bed (which, he insisted, be the right side, as that had been what was established so long ago in a tiny cabin in Colorado's mountains). "I had a long flight and don't want to be bothered with whining, crying, or clinging. And if you go full moon on me, you're sleeping in the bathtub." A bathtub, Henry mused, that Tesla had fawned over ("Claw foot! Will wonders never cease!").
"I'll be good," Henry said, sliding into bed. "Just don't hog the covers, Vlad."
"Ah ha ha," Tesla quipped. "And speaking of covers..." He raised an elegant eyebrow at Henry, crossed his arms over his chest. "My purple blanket?"
"It's still at the Sanctuary," Henry said quietly, wringing his hands in his lap.
"Oh. Very well." Henry knew Tesla's looks very well by this point, and he couldn't mistake the trace amount of hurt that crossed those delicate features.
"It's so I have something to go back to," Henry said around the lump in his throat. "And besides, I figured you'd bring a new one when you eventually showed up." He tried to grin, failed, and merely watched the anxious movements of his own hands.
"I didn't," Tesla said slowly, ducking his head a little to catch Henry's eyes with his own. Once Henry did look at him, Tesla smirked. "Considering I've already gotten to first base with you, there's really no need for separate blankets." It took Henry a moment to react - the hell just came out of his mouth? - before he began laughing, Tesla's light chuckles joining in.
"God, I missed this," Henry snickered, shifting closer to his companion. "I don't know anyone here who can offend me quite the way you can." Here, his lips pulled back in a genuine grin, which softened around the edges when Tesla leaned into his shoulder.
"Mmm. You're welcome. Now stop laughing so I can get some sleep."
"Copy that," Henry said, turning off the light and lying down. Both men had migrated to the centre of the bed, their legs becoming tangled, their hands brushing, fingers twining. "No clinging, huh?" Henry whispered, his forehead pressed against Tesla's neck.
"Cuddling is infinitely different," Tesla whispered back. "Now sleep."
Henry awoke feeling warm. A long arm was draped over his chest from behind, shallow puffs of air were drifting over the back of his neck. Almost of its own volition, his body pressed back, feeling the long lines of Tesla curl and coil around him, the arm across his chest tighten.
"If it's earlier than six in the morning," a groggy voice floated from behind Henry's head, "you're a dead man. I know several places in Provence to hide a body."
"Didn't mean to wake you," Henry whispered back, his hand catching the one Tesla had on his stomach. "Go back to sleep." Tesla's only response was to squeeze Henry's hand gently, then his breaths fell into an even rhythm once more. Henry couldn't help but smile, but soon enough his mind drifted to darker thoughts.
How had he ended up here, wrapped up in a vampire, his heart full to bursting? It was impossible for him to articulate, even to himself, how he felt about Tesla, or even why. Logically, it made no sense. In fact, Henry was fairly certain he should hate the man, if only by proxy. Tragedy followed Tesla wherever he went, and though it wasn't always entirely related, the association was there all the same.
So. Was Tesla a salve, or the acid eroding away all the important things in Henry's life? Of course Ashley, Biggie and Erika would have all been lost had Tesla been there or not, but in Henry's mind they were all connected. Was Tesla a curse? Was he not Henry's saviour, swooping in to soothe the nightmares and hold him close, but rather hell sent to ensure Henry was forever in a state of mourning?
"Whatever you're thinking about," a sleepy voice grumbled, breaking Henry out of his reverie, "stop doing it so loudly. You're tense as hell and you keep sighing. I swear to god, Heinrich, if you go maudlin on me before the sun is fully risen, I'll make you wish you didn't know the meaning of destruction by nuclear fusion."
"Going atomic on me?" Henry forced out, his voice strained.
"I'm serious," Tesla hissed, pulling Henry against his chest, his lips brushing against the back of his neck. "Whatever emotional frenzy you're working yourself into, let it go."
"Easier said than done."
"Not so," Tesla said, his lips still moving against Henry's nape. "Think of something else. Puppies. Big breasted women. Tinkering. But whatever you choose, do it quietly." Henry frowned and rolled over, nearly nose to nose with Tesla. He wasn't quite sure when in the night they'd moved to his side of the bed, both of their heads nestled on one pillow. Vaguely, he thought it was nice.
"I was thinking about you," Henry ground out, only slightly surprised that Tesla had kept his arm draped over him, his hand resting on the small of his back.
"No need for pick up lines," Tesla said dryly, rolling his eyes. "You already have me in your bed."
"That promise you made me," Henry went on, ignoring Tesla's comment, "I never understood it."
"And, considering the time, you probably won't now. Henry, go back to sleep. I'll introduce a blunt object to the back of your head if you don't."
"You'll tell me later?" Henry pressed, annoyed that Tesla had closed his eyes.
"Yes, later. Now shut the hell up and think of a solution to the Goldbach Conjecture." Henry snorted, but closed his eyes. It didn't take long for him to drift into a dreamless sleep.
When Henry awoke again, he was alone in bed. He could hear the shower running, and he nearly bolted upright when his mind suddenly provided an image of his guest, naked, under a steaming spray. Thankful that his body was failing to react to his mental imagery, Henry did his damnedest to push the sight of Nikola Tesla's naked body from his mind's eye.
Where the hell did that come from? Freaked out was too tame a term to describe Henry's current state of distress, but mortified seemed too harsh. For now, confused would have to suffice. Shaking his head, as if to clear it, Henry got out of bed and padded to the kitchen to start a pot of coffee. He stopped abruptly in the doorway when he spotted a half empty urn, and two steaming mugs sitting on the counter. There was a note under one of them, scrawled in Tesla's neat handwriting: Yours, of course, is the ghastly one without cream. Savage. Henry smiled, grabbed both mugs, and headed toward the bathroom. The door was slightly ajar, and steam was twirling lazily beyond the threshold.
"Thanks for the coffee," Henry called out, wondering if Tesla would hear him over the water stream. The shower cut off, and Henry heard the curtain being pulled back.
"Just a minute," Tesla grumbled, sounding annoyed, before the door was opened to reveal the vampire in nothing but a towel, slung low on his hips. Henry had to lick his lips before speaking.
"The coffee," he said slowly, doing his best to ignore the water droplets on Tesla's shoulders, slowly slipping and sliding their way down his chest, "thanks. For it." Henry cleared his throat awkwardly, and handed Tesla the mug with cream.
"Uh huh," Tesla replied suspiciously, taking a sip of his coffee. He looked at Henry with narrowed eyes, appearing as though he were trying to figure out an incredibly complex equation, before his face brightened and he grinned. He stepped aside with a flourish, his teeth all but winking at Henry. "The bathroom's all yours, Heinrich."
"Y-yeah, thanks," Henry said dumbly, letting Tesla take his mug. Once inside the bathroom, Henry shut the door and leaned against it, his heart hammering against his ribs. He vaguely recalled a conversation he and Tesla had had in Colorado, Tesla accusing Henry of thinking he was hot.
Okay, now Henry was mortified.
Henry took an unnecessarily long shower, if only to avoid having to face Tesla. Once out of the shower (and having washed his hair three times), he decided his nails could use cutting, his short beard could do with some trimming and shaping, and his teeth should be brushed at least twice. Unable to dally any longer, Henry left the bathroom, towel cinched tightly high on his waist, his pajamas (bottoms only) held protectively against his naked chest. He all but sprinted to the bedroom, figuring Tesla would either be in the kitchen (investigating the wine, of course), or in the living room rifling through his bookcase. He certainly didn't expect Tesla to be in the bedroom, on the bed, clad only in boxers and shirtsleeves, seemingly absorbed in a document open on Henry's iPad.
"Your coffee is cold," Tesla said blandly, without looking up from the tablet. "And, correct me if I'm wrong, but your grooming routine has gone from lacklustre to positively neurotic. I was afraid I'd have to come in there and save you from yourself." He looked up and grinned, not bothered in the least that Henry stood in the doorway, half naked, flushed from his forehead to his navel.
"Just being thorough," Henry said, his voice strained.
"Mmm. Hot date later?" Tesla chuckled when Henry began to sputter, denials falling over one another out of Henry's mouth. "Relax, Henri, I'm only teasing. Besides," he said, his lips sliding into a knowing smirk, "why would you care for a hot date when you have me around?"
"You. You - you are flirting with me!" Henry snapped, pointing an accusatory finger at Tesla, who put the iPad down and crossed his legs elegantly (which annoyed Henry to no end, because for one thing, Tesla had very nice calves, and for another, no one had a right to look elegant in boxers).
"Now why on earth would you think that?" Tesla asked, the smirk still firmly in place. His hands were planted behind him on the bed, his shoulders thrown back. The HAP in Henry thought vaguely of lambs being led to the slaughter, and his mouth went dry.
"You're - you're being all, I dunno, coy, and you're being cute with me," Henry snapped, waving his pajama bottoms around for emphasis. "You don't have pants on!"
"I wasn't aware you had instituted a dress code," Tesla said, feigning innocence, a sardonic moue pulling at his lips.
"Yeah, definitely being cute with me." Henry frowned and stalked over to the dresser, making a violent show of opening and slamming drawers closed, desperately trying to find clothes so he could escape Tesla, vulnerability.
"Come now, Henry, you're being entirely too sensitive," Tesla quipped at Henry's back. "Besides," he said, his voice low, almost dangerous, "you started it."
"Oh, I did not!" Henry yelped, turning to face Tesla.
"You did, don't deny it. I saw the look you gave me in the bathroom. I remember how you fawned over my good looks in Colorado," Tesla said wistfully, raising his gaze to the ceiling, as if recalling fond memories.
"I was caught off guard!" Henry said, his voice cracking embarrassingly.
"Uh huh. The more you deny it, the truer it is."
"No. No way. And, hey, it's later, so you know what that means," Henry said in a rush, his knuckles going white as he gripped the towel around his waist and unconsciously tugged it higher.
"Ah, yes, that," Tesla chirped, clapping his hands delicately once and standing. He stalked over to Henry slowly, smirking the entire way. "You want to know about that."
"That," Henry repeated breathlessly, nervously.
"This," Tesla whispered, bending his head and pressing his lips to Henry's. Yes, this, Henry wanted to know about this, only this wasn't that, this kiss wasn't like the one before, fleeting, chaste. No, this kiss was a different kind of promise, lingering, shocking when Henry felt the wet tip of Tesla's tongue touch his bottom lip. Tesla pulled away after two swipes of his tongue, looking for all the world like the cat who got the cream.
"That," Henry said, his voice trembling, "was the worst explanation I've ever heard."
"Well then. Clearly," Tesla replied, grinning widely, "you weren't listening." With that, he sauntered out of the bedroom, scooping up their mugs on the way, and headed to the kitchen. It was only after Henry heard Tesla turn on the tap that he dared to breathe again.
They didn't discuss the kiss, as seemed to be their way. Instead, Henry joined Tesla in the kitchen a short while later, fully dressed, immensely calmer, and they immediately began to argue about the day's activities.
"You live in France and you haven't been to a wine tasting," Tesla snarled. "Were you raised in a barn?"
"I'm sorry if I don't love the stuff as much as you do," Henry snapped back, cutting two scones in half for breakfast. "It's just not something I wanna do."
"And what is it that you waste your days with, hmm? Strolling along the Rhone? Riding a bicycle through the town, waving at pretty girls? Butchering the most romantic language in the world whilst giving a lecture on how radio waves work? Please."
"You're saying I'm not cultured enough?"
"That's exactly what I'm saying."
"And yet, you're still not wearing pants," Henry groused, placing the scones on plates.
"And yet, I'm still more cultured than you. And what does that say, wunderkind?"
"That you're a cultured asshole wearing no pants," Henry quipped, putting their breakfast on the table. He sat heavily and dug in, picking miserably at his scone. Tesla joined him at the table a moment later, still smirking. He'd had that thing plastered on his face since the Bathroom Incident.
"I'll put some on once we've decided what we're going to do today," Tesla said lightly, applying a pat of butter to his breakfast.
"You're a goddamn freight train, you know that?" Henry said, exasperated. "You show up, you flirt, you walk around half naked, then you expect us to go out and do something. I don't do anything here, Nikola, besides teach occasionally and think way too much. I just - it might be nice to just, you know, stay in. Talk." Henry couldn't help the blush that spread high on his cheeks. Tesla looked thoughtful as he chewed slowly, tilting his head at Henry. Finally, he swallowed, and the smirk was back.
"Yes, okay, we can stay in. We can talk. God knows you have more demons floating around in that head of yours than the entire British Empire. Churchill was the devil," Tesla said pointedly, waving his scone around. "But that's a story for another time. Now, if you'll excuse me, I believe I'm going to put some pants on." Henry could only drop his head into his hands in exasperation as Tesla strode out of the kitchen.
Henry's favourite thing about his apartment was the big overstuffed couch in the living room. It was large enough to fall asleep on and not wake up with a kink in his neck, and the high arms provided a comfortable place to lean if he wasn't facing forward, as now, while he and Tesla sat facing each other, each leaned against an arm.
"How's Magnus?" Henry asked, a fresh mug of coffee in his hand, resting on his knee.
"That's a loaded question," Tesla replied, happily nursing a glass of wine. His resolve had crumbled immediately after breakfast, and he had convinced Henry that because he couldn't get drunk, nine in the morning was a perfectly acceptable time for wine.
"I don't know how else to ask it," Henry huffed. "Just tell me how she was, after. After I ... left."
"Upset," Tesla said, swirling the wine. "But she understood, of course. That woman knows you better than you know yourself, I'm sure. She knew you'd be fine, that you just needed space. Time. She does miss you, though. Like a hairy limb."
"Hey. I'm not hairy."
"No, I suppose chest hair would ruin the appeal of your piercings," Tesla said slyly. He winked as Henry took a drink of his coffee, a move, Henry was convinced, which was entirely deliberate. Instead of allowing himself to blush, he took the highest road he could.
"Damn right it would. Back to Magnus. Are you - did you two...?"
"Did we what?"
"I know you like her," Henry said, unable to hold back the flush this time. "And you told me she kissed you before the Sanctuary was destroyed, so I just figured... y'know."
"No," Tesla said, his voice tight. "No, my relationship with Helen fails to cross the boundaries of friendship."
"But you want it to."
"Ah. But not with her." The meaning behind those words hit Henry squarely between the eyes. Tesla suddenly found his wine vastly interesting, and the slump of his shoulders told Henry he'd meant to say anything but what had slipped past his lips.
"What," Tesla snapped miserably.
"You never said anything."
"Oh, I've said plenty. As per usual, you just don't listen. And besides," Tesla said, bitterness creeping into his voice, "you had her." Her. Erika. That hurt. It pushed all the air out of Henry's lungs, wrapped a tight fist around his stomach.
"Yeah," he said quietly, his flush replaced by a ghostly palour, "I did." With that, he stood, leaving his mug on the coffee table, and stalked to the bedroom. He'd slammed the door in the apartment before, to be sure, but it had never sounded quite so loud as it did now.
Henry lay on the bed, staring at the ceiling. His hands were curled into fists by his sides. Of all the times to lose his filter, of all the times to say what he really meant, Nikola Tesla had to grab on to the knife in Henry's chest and twist. No hidden agenda, no lies, just brutal honesty: Tesla had been jealous of the love of Henry's life.
Oh, yeah. Tesla definitely preceded tragedy. Henry felt like he had just lost his best friend to a bizarre revelation, one he couldn't quite wrap his head around.
It was like before, in Colorado, when Henry had felt compelled toward Tesla. Then, it hadn't been based on romance or attraction - it just was. Probably, Henry thought bitterly, because all his feelings of romance and attraction had been directed toward Erika. And Henry was nothing if not faithful.
But now... Well, now all he had to keep his head above water were memories that depressed him to the point of cutting off all those who still resided in the Sanctuary. He had been stewing in his own thoughts and regrets since coming to Avignon, no outlet to speak of, but, at least before Tesla had arrived, he hadn't had any reminders of what he'd left behind.
"Fucking vampire," Henry hissed, clenching his teeth. The man put him on edge, set his temper alight, said things that had no right being out in the open.
Henry was mourning. He should be in mourning, not laughing at affectionate insults, trading flirtatious barbs, sharing his bed with anything but his own misery. But of course Tesla would show up, hijack his existence, his emotions.
Try to make him happy.
Goddamn stupid, arrogant, pissy, insulting - the hell do you want from me?
A gentle knock sounded at the bedroom door. Henry looked toward the direction of the noise but didn't say anything. As expected, Tesla didn't wait for an invitation but opened the door wide, a deep frown on his face. He crossed his arms and leaned against the door frame.
"I had nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for Erika," he said quietly, staring at the carpet. "She was strong, brilliant, beautiful, kept you in your place - the perfect woman, really. Fate could have done nothing crueller than take her away from you." Tesla looked up, sought out Henry's gaze with his own. "I need you to know that." Henry couldn't say anything, his throat was too tight. He nodded shallowly, blinked rapidly to keep the tears at bay. Tesla nodded back, once, before he walked away. Henry shut his eyes, took a shuddering breath, relaxed his fists.
He really wished Erika were here.
A while later, Henry found Tesla in his office, reading over some of Henry's old lecture notes.
"What do you think?" Henry asked quietly from the doorway, his hands stuffed in his pockets.
"You have terrible handwriting," Tesla replied absently, flipping through some crinkled pages. Henry rolled his eyes and smiled, coming to stand behind his seated companion.
"Seriously? I think you're looking for my approval. Rightly so, of course."
"Not your best work," Tesla sighed, swiveling the chair to face Henry. "But still more advanced than the majority in academia today." He put the papers down and stood, smoothing out his tie. "Well done, Henry."
"Thanks," Henry said shyly, shrugging a little. "I'm doing another workshop at the university this weekend. Wanna come?"
"Ugh, no, thank you. You'll be discussing the principles on which all of my work was done - it would be too tempting to point out all the flaws in your lecture. No, I think I'll visit some wineries whilst you're off informing the idiot masses."
"Oh. All right."
"What?" Tesla ducked his head a little, scrutinizing Henry. "You're upset about something."
"No, it's nothing. Don't worry about it." Henry spun on his heel and left the room, chewing his bottom lip. He grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge then settled himself in the living room, on the overstuffed couch. Tesla was on his heels.
"You're mad that I won't come to your workshop?" Tesla asked, sitting entirely too close to Henry on the couch.
"No, I get it. It'd be boring for you, and you're dangerous when you get bored."
"We all need to have hobbies," Tesla said offhandedly, swiping the water bottle from Henry's hand. He set it down on the coffee table and frowned. "What's bothering you?"
"Seriously, Nikola, don't worry about it. You do your thing, I'll do mine. No big deal."
"Ah ha," Tesla murmured, nodding to himself. "So that's it. You're upset that I didn't invite you to come with me."
"No," Henry replied, his cheeks going red.
"Well aren't you the cutest," Tesla said, grinning widely. "You want to play house."
"I do not!"
"Oh, you do. You want to do things together. Very well. I'll wait until you're done your - whatever - at the university, then we'll take our very first foray into broadening your cultural horizons." Tesla winked and crossed his legs, his long arms splaying along the back of the couch.
"It's really not necessary," Henry said, defeated. He knew he'd already lost this argument, and yet couldn't put his finger on why it made him inexplicably happy.
"Of course it is. My god, whatever would you do without me, Henri?"
"Live my life in relative peace, probably," Henry retorted, a smile tugging at his lips.
"True, but you'd be bored as hell."
The rest of the day passed in much the same way. They argued, hurled insults, discussed Henry's part-time career at the university. Tesla complained about Oxford, Henry reminisced fondly about working with Erika on new gadgets. Both men smiled and frowned, snapped and laughed.
It really was their status quo.
By the time evening rolled around, Henry was in a much better mood than that morning. He and Tesla had prepared dinner, an assortment of fresh fruit, cheeses, and a baguette from the bakery. Tesla had convinced Henry to drink wine with their meal ("It's only right - you're in France.").
They sat at the kitchen table, Henry telling Tesla about the several interesting shops on the street below.
"There's this cool little chocolate place," Henry said, spearing a slice of apple on his fork. "It's pretty expensive stuff, but they have everything. They make these truffles that have an apricot cream. You'd probably really like them - I think I have a few left in the fridge somewhere."
"Dessert, then," Tesla replied, stealing a grape off Henry's plate. Henry had been surprised to discover Tesla's fondness for green grapes, until Tesla had rolled his eyes and stared obviously at his wine glass. Right.
"I also have some langues de chat. We should eat them before they go stale."
"I find it shocking you haven't seemed to gain a pound since you've moved here," Tesla said with a smirk. "With a patisserie downstairs, I can imagine all the sweets would be quite tempting."
"Yeah, I had to take up running," Henry laughed.
"Is that why you were awake at such an ungodly hour this morning?" Tesla asked, pouring himself and Henry another glass of wine each.
"Yeah, but don't worry about it. I can afford to miss a run or two. With all the stress you'll be giving me, I'll probably be able to stop altogether."
"Hardy har," Tesla replied haughtily. He waited until Henry was taking a sip of wine to say, "Or I could exercise you in entirely different ways." Henry unfortunately discovered that swallowing wine down his windpipe was an altogether unpleasant experience. Tesla merely stared on as Henry coughed and hacked, grinning the entire time. When he was done, tears gathered at the corners of his eyes, Henry gave Tesla an icy glare.
"Not cool, dude," he rasped, pushing his wine glass to the centre of the table.
"You gave me the slip with your coffee earlier," Tesla replied happily, pushing Henry's wine glass to its former position. "I had to redouble my efforts."
"You'll get over it. Now finish your dinner - those chocolates sound delectable."
They had decided to eat dessert in the living room. Henry had taken the chocolates out of the fridge earlier, and they now ate the langues de chat while they waited for the truffles to warm up.
"I don't normally indulge in sweets," Tesla said, dipping his cookie into the hot chocolate Henry had made for them. "But, I must say, these are quite good." Henry merely smiled fondly, his I told you so.
They sat closely together, their shoulders touching. Every time Tesla raised his mug to his lips, his elbow would gently brush against Henry's arm. It was strangely intimate, had Henry feeling warm and lax.
Though that could also have been attributed to the wine.
"I'm glad you're here," Henry said after a time, slouching slightly to rest his head on Tesla's shoulder. "It's easier when you're around." Tesla didn't say anything to that, uncharacteristically silent, though he did pass his mug to his other hand, raise his arm to drape it over Henry's shoulders. He had to reposition his head closer to Tesla's neck, his breath ghosting over the vampire's starched collar.
Tesla shifted slightly, leaned forward to put his mug down on the coffee table. He raised his shoulder, gently dislodging Henry, and turned to face him.
"Nikola?" Tesla looked serious, determined. With his left arm still around Henry's shoulders, he used his right hand to cup Henry's jaw.
"You talk too much," Tesla said conversationally, before bending his head slowly. Henry had been prepared for this kiss, determined to participate rather than be paralyzed like a scared rabbit. Their lips met gently, with minimal pressure. Henry raised his hands to rest on Tesla's hips, grounding him, grounding them both. A jolt shot through him when he felt Tesla's lips begin to move over his, the pressure increasing, wetness being added to the mix.
This time, when Tesla's tongue swiped along his bottom lip, Henry immediately opened his mouth. Instead of falling into a passionate frenzy, as was usually the case with kisses of the sort, the pace remained the same. When their tongues met, it was a slow wet slide that held anything but urgency.
It was the most erotic kiss Henry had ever had. Tesla's hand still cupped his jaw, his fingers ghosting close to their joined mouths. Henry opened his eyes only after realizing they had closed, and was met with a fiery steel blue gaze.
The kiss ended too quickly for Henry's liking. Tesla pulled back, letting the hand on Henry's face drop to his side, though his other arm was still around him. Henry could feel his pulse racing, his heart hammering against his ribs. His hands still rested on Tesla's hips. He only vaguely realized he was half hard.
"Henry?" Tesla said slowly, concern lacing his voice.
"You look like you're either going to vomit or faint. I vouch for the latter - much less messy." He removed his arm from about Henry's shoulders. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah. Yeah, I'm fine," Henry replied, his brain coming back online. "Won't puke or pass out." He laughed a little breathlessly, taking his hands off Tesla. "Just - that was weird. Nice, but really, really weird."
"Ah," Tesla said, his eyebrows drawing together in a frown. "So glad to have that clarified." He retrieved his mug from the table and stood. "I'm getting some more wine. Care for a glass to relax your frayed nerves?"
"Hey, c'mon, I didn't mean it like that."
"No, it's perfectly fine," Tesla snapped, throwing his arms out in frustration. "I know I need a drink after a weird trauma." With that, he stormed into the kitchen. Henry scrambled after him, cold tendrils coiling in his stomach.
"Nikola, seriously," Henry said, standing in the doorway as Tesla poured himself a large glass of wine, "I didn't mean anything bad by it. It's just ... new. And, yeah, weird, because it's you. Us." Henry groaned and scrubbed a hand over his face. "I'm just making this worse, aren't I?"
"Perfectly understandable," Tesla said icily, putting the wine bottle down on the counter with too much force. "Don't worry. It won't happen again."
"What? Hey, no, I want it to happen again," Henry said, taking a few steps to close the gap. He stood less than a foot from Tesla, his eyes pleading. "It's just - I haven't been, you know, close to anyone in a while, and..." He cut himself off with a frustrated huff. Tesla sighed and put his wine down, his hands on his hips.
"Henry, you're making this entirely too difficult," he said, as if speaking to a child. A slow child. Henry flinched. "It's not like this is, say, the Goldbach Conjecture. It's sex. It's intimacy. And unless there really is such a thing as immaculate conception, I'm pretty certain this isn't your first rodeo." Tesla frowned that deep frown of his and bent his head. "The only lines to cross here are the ones you yourself draw. Tell me where to stop and I will. But don't go playing coy with me."
"I'm not being coy!" Henry snapped, crossing his arms over his chest defensively. "I don't know how the hell I'm supposed to react. What I'm supposed to do."
"You do know where everything goes, Heinrich?"
"Don't patronize me, Tesla. I have every right to be freaked out about this! You're Nikola fucking Tesla, genius, vampire, the guy who doesn't touch anyone, doesn't like anyone. How the hell did I break those rules?"
"I'm afraid the jury's still out on that one," Tesla hissed, crossing his own arms. "But you did, and I like you, Henry, against my better judgment. And when you like someone, you should show them, hence the touching. As I said, I'll stop."
"And as I said, I don't want you to stop. I just want a little leeway here," Henry said grumpily. "I'm the kinda guy who plays for keeps, you know."
"Ah, so no trysts?" Tesla spat. "You're not going to give me some bullshit line that werewolves mate for life, are you?"
"I don't know about werewolves," Henry growled, uncrossing his arms and balling his fists, "but I'm in it for the long haul. I just need to know that you are too."
"Jesus. You're having commitment issues?"
"Fine, yes, playing for keeps. My god, Henry, you have an insanely roundabout way of getting to the point." Tesla sighed heavily and pinched the bridge of his nose. "What the hell have I gotten myself into?"
"Ha. Welcome to my life," Henry said wryly, relaxing his fists. "Just - tell me, Nikola: what do you want from me?"
"I'm asking what you want. I mean, you've lived a hell of a long time, you've known some of the best minds who ever lived. What makes me so special?"
"You're one of those minds," Tesla said, cautiously. "Some of the time, anyway. Your brilliance fascinates me, Henry, fleeting as it sometimes is."
"So it's not just physical?"
"It's not physical at all," Tesla snapped, looking offended, indignant. "I've gone decades without sex before, Heinrich. And while your sexual prowess may impress the idiot masses, it's a moot point for me. An aesthetic bonus, but moot all the same." Henry couldn't help the laughter that bubbled in his chest. Relief.
"Gotcha," he said happily. He reached out and snatched one of Tesla's hands in his own, gave it a gentle squeeze.
"My god, and you accuse me of being a freight train?" Tesla snapped, without heat.
"Hey, I learned from the best. Now, c'mon, those truffles should be room temperature by now." Henry tugged Tesla back into the living room by his hand. They settled on the couch, as before, Tesla's wine forgotten on the kitchen counter. Instead of tucking into the chocolates, they sat closely on the couch, one of Tesla's long arms draped over Henry's shoulders, one of Henry's hands playing idly with the buttons of Tesla's shirt. They didn't speak for some time, and Henry began to drift. His head gradually lowered to Tesla's shoulder, he nuzzled into Tesla's neck with his nose.
"How long do you figure we've ever gone without a fight?" Henry asked drowsily, his hip pressing into Tesla's.
"Does it matter?" Tesla replied softly, speaking into Henry's hair.
"Probably not. Would make an interesting statistical analysis, though."
"Mmm, not at all. But, whatever makes you happy."
Ironically, Tesla had to wake Henry to tell him to go to bed.
"You're not coming?" Henry asked, a large yawn following the question.
"I'm not tired," Tesla replied, looming over his companion, wine glass in hand. "You, however, look like you haven't slept in days. Come on, up you get." Tesla tapped Henry's hip impatiently, chidingly.
"I'm good here." With that, Henry curled up on his side, sinking into the couch cushions. His eyes drifted shut, but not before he saw Tesla roll his eyes dramatically.
"But if you stay here," Tesla ground out, obviously annoyed, "I can't join you when I eventually decide to sleep. Up!"
"Okay, okay," Henry grumbled, swatting at the hand that had curled its fingers into his belt loop and pulled. "I'm going. Yeesh."
Henry made his zombie like way to the bathroom to brush his teeth. He felt exhausted, with every thanks, he imagined, to be given to his myriad skirmishes with Tesla over the course of the day. He scrubbed water over his face, wondering how in the hell things would progress between them. Patting over his beard with a towel, Henry grimaced at his reflection. He did look tired. Bedtime, then.
He crawled under the covers and turned off the light, only really noticing he was keeping to one side of the bed when he turned on his side, saw the emptiness of the other side in stark relief. He wondered what Tesla would busy himself with - what kind of trouble he would get himself into - while Henry slept on. Dismissing the thought, Henry settled in, allowing sleep to quickly take him.
Henry awoke to movement. He cracked his eyes open to see Tesla slipping into bed, clad only in a pair of thin cotton pants. This was new. Tesla, Henry had noticed, was rather quite modest, in relative proportion to the size of his ego. Before now, the only time Henry had seen his naked chest was the previous morning, wet from his shower. Images of a low slung towel, jutting hipbones, damp skin assaulted Henry, and he groaned softly. Tesla noticed.
"I didn't mean to wake you," he whispered, lying on his side, facing Henry.
"S'okay," Henry mumbled blearily, a lazy smile spreading across his lips. "You look really good." Tesla looked slightly taken aback, before a lazy smile of his own broke across his face.
"So happy you've noticed," Tesla murmured, before reaching out and laying a hand on Henry's hip. "Go back to sleep, Henri." With that, Tesla closed his eyes, his features relaxing and smoothing out. He really did look good, Henry mused, taking in the high cheekbones, the flawless skin. His eyes drifted lower, to the line of Tesla's neck, long and graceful, further still to his pronounced collar bone and pale chest. The covers stopped his line of sight before it reached the cotton pants, and Henry, much to his chagrin, imagined Tesla naked under the blankets.
Henry's HAP senses were going into overdrive. He could smell Tesla, a combination of his own cotton seed body wash and something entirely unique to the vampire. His nostrils flared as he started to become hard.
Oh, he'd certainly noticed Tesla before. Long limbs, elegant gestures, graceful hands, wicked smile: none of these things were new to Henry. But, of a sudden, the context changed vastly. And so did its effect.
"Nikola," Henry whispered, inching closer to his companion.
"Mmm?" Henry didn't actually have anything in particular he wanted to say, so he kept silent, moving closer still, raising himself on his arms to loom over Tesla. The vampire opened his eyes, rolled slowly onto his back to stare quizzically at the man over him. "Henry?"
"You look really, really good," Henry rasped, his elbows locking, his hands planted firmly either side of Tesla's head. There was something in Tesla's eyes that Henry couldn't quite name, that earlier fire present as it was during their last kiss.
"So. Show me," Tesla said, his voice low, his hands wrapping gently around Henry's forearms. Henry didn't need to be asked twice. He lowered himself until he was chest to chest with Tesla, sparks of sensation dancing along his flesh where their bare skin met. He groaned aloud when his own hardness brushed against Tesla's, muffled it when he claimed Tesla's mouth in a savage kiss.
God, he'd missed this: passion, desperation for release, a certain kind of madness only the body could possess. Their lips and teeth and tongues clashed, warring to the end of the other's yield. One of Tesla's hands moved to cup the side of Henry's neck, his fingers splaying widely over the expanse of the column, his thumb pressing lightly under Henry's chin.
Exposing his throat.
Tesla broke the kiss suddenly, sealed his lips over the pulse point in Henry's neck, sucked and licked and bit. Henry whimpered as pleasure disguised as pain shot through him as Tesla nipped at his throat, then turned them over so Henry was on his back, Tesla's mouth still on his neck.
"God," Henry breathed out heavily, squirming under Tesla's touch. At a distance, he realized his neck would be a godawful mess of love bites in the morning. He didn't mind one bit.
Tesla moved lower, then: harsh nips to his collar bone, long swipes of his tongue over Henry's chest, firm lips wrapping around a nipple. Henry arched into the suction, his breathing ragged, his hands trembling. He made to wrap his arms around his companion, but Tesla would have none of it. Without raising his head, he grabbed Henry's wrists firmly, held them tightly to the bed.
Henry's cock surged.
Never had he been dominated in such a way. He'd never had lovers who actually had the strength to pin him to the bed, to call the shots in such an easy, natural way. It was driving him insane.
"N-Nikola," Henry gasped, twisting his wrists futilely in Tesla's grip, "let me touch you. Please." Tesla raised his head, then, a mischievous grin on his face.
"If you insist," he said, his voice impossibly low. Tesla ground his hips into Henry's, creating a maddening friction. All Henry could do was choke out a moan and arch upwards. He could feel his cock leaking, the front of his pajama bottoms soaking through with his arousal. And still, Tesla would not release his wrists.
"Just like you," Henry ground out between pants, sweat beading on his forehead and shoulders. "You never play fair." Tesla bent his head to lick at the sweat on Henry's shoulders, kissing some of the nastier welts he'd left in his wake.
"True," he said, his breath hot against Henry's skin, "but at least I play well." And that's when Henry felt it: a hum in his piercings, slight pressure, a slow build of a sweet, sharp pleasure.
After all this, he'd forgotten about Tesla's magnetism.
"How much do you want to bet I can make you scream, Henri, without ever laying a hand on you?" Henry writhed and squirmed, desperately seeking out more friction, his hips arcing up off the bed again and again, only to meet nothing as Tesla moved off him, to the side. He still had Henry's wrists pinned in place.
"Don't do this," Henry whimpered, his chest alight with intense sensation. "Don't tease me, Nikola." He screwed his eyes shut against the pleasure, too much and yet not nearly enough, not at all. God, how his palms itched to touch, to feel.
Tesla was a cruel bastard, and Henry had never hated him more.
Henry's eyes flew open when he felt Tesla tugging his arms over his head, pinning his wrists in one hand. He was met with that infuriating toothy grin.
"No more teasing, then," Tesla whispered, his pupils blown, his chest flushed. He moved his free hand down Henry's chest, down to the elastic waistband of his pajama pants. Henry's breath hitched, his stomach jumped when long fingers began to tug at the fabric, pulling down the front. Cool air met Henry's cock in a rush, causing it to twitch. Tesla chuckled.
"Definitely an aesthetic bonus," Tesla said, his grin predatory, before lowering his head. Henry couldn't stop the howl that tore from his throat as Tesla closed his lips over the crown of his cock. His hand wrapped firmly around the base, pumped once, twice, before he swirled around the head with his tongue and sucked.
Henry could feel it in his toes, that telltale build, that delicious tingle that shot through every nerve ending, glided over every surface of his body to create that one, perfect sensation. He felt like he was floating, would indeed drift away if he didn't have that slender hand on his wrists, that beautiful mouth on his cock.
"God, Nikola," Henry panted, writhing, squirming - not moves of an escape this time, but surrender. "Please, please, please..." It didn't take long for Henry to reach that fever pitch, to rise to a crescendo too long in the making. His hips lifted off the bed as the first wave of his orgasm hit. He could feel Tesla swallowing around him, encouraging the pleasure to remain, cascade from Henry into himself. His body trembled, his eyes ran with tears of overwhelming sensation, his wrists burned from twisting against their fleshy bonds.
He had never felt better. It took several moments for Henry to come back to himself, for his breathing to calm, the trembling to subside. Tesla had released his wrists, and now lay next to him, head propped on his hand, elbow bent, smug smile plastered firmly on his face.
"Thought I lost you there for a minute," Tesla said with pride, catching a trickle of moisture on Henry's cheek. He didn't know whether it was sweat or tears.
"You did," Henry chuckled breathlessly, his limbs heavy, his body rapidly cooling.
"Oh? Where did you go?" Henry turned his head (an awfully large feat in his present condition, thank you very much) and grinned.
"Felt like home," he said quietly, catching Tesla's hand in his.
"Well then. A place I'd like to return you to as often as possible," Tesla replied, equally as quietly. Henry moved to sit up, but Tesla stopped him. "Henry?"
"Well, you're, y'know, you didn't..." Henry trailed off helplessly. Tesla chuckled.
"Go to sleep, Wolfboy. You can make it up to me in the morning."
"Yeah? Okay, good. Because I think you killed me."
"Mmm. Vampire, remember? Bon nuit, Henri. Sweet dreams."
Henry woke the next morning to an empty bed, smiled when he picked up the sound of the shower being turned on. He stretched languidly, his body loose, relaxed, and he spread his arms wide. His hand came in contact with a note on Tesla's pillow. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he read Tesla's neat handwriting: Join me.
If there was a slight bounce in Henry's step as he made his way to the bathroom, he paid it no mind.
The bathroom door was ajar, and Henry slipped in quietly. The shower curtain was drawn the full way around the claw foot tub. Henry undressed quickly and pulled the curtain back a few inches, peered inside. His breath caught. Tesla stood under the stream, his back to Henry, his chin tilted up toward the spray, his eyes closed. The line of his back was long, impossibly so, and while slender, Henry could see the telltale cords of muscle playing beautifully under the pale skin with every move.
"You're letting cold air in," Tesla said blandly, his eyes still closed, one hand on his throat, the other pushing his hair off his forehead.
"Sorry," Henry replied, his throat dry. He stepped into the tub, closing the curtain behind him.
"Better," Tesla said, turning to face his companion. The smile on his face was sly, the glint in his eye was mischievous. And god, he was gorgeous. Henry dragged his gaze slowly down Tesla's body, cataloguing every dip, every shadow, every hair. His own cock twitched as he watched Tesla's start to fill. "Like what you see, Henri?"
"You know I do," Henry replied absently, reaching out a hand to rest on Tesla's hip. His thumb drew light circles over the bone. "Just not really sure where to start. Maybe here," he breathed, leaning in to nip at Tesla's jaw. "Or here." The hand on Tesla's hip dragged lower, Henry's fingers lightly catching on the thatch of hair around Tesla's cock. "You see my problem."
"A real dilemma indeed," Tesla said, his voice low. Henry pressed a wet kiss just behind Tesla's ear, felt a slight tremble.
"Are you saying you suddenly value my opinion, wunderkind?"
"Nope," Henry chuckled darkly, ghosting one finger down the length of Tesla's cock. "Just curious about what you like."
"Ah, but when I tell you, no doubt you'll deny me what I desire."
"Yeah, but turnabout's fair play, and all that," Henry said, daring to wrap his fingers around Tesla's erection. It was full, heavy, so hot that Henry's breath caught and his cock thrummed. Henry realized, to his utter dismay, that he would neither have the patience nor the skill to tease Nikola Tesla. He had finally found his water in the desert, and god, he was thirsty.
"Nikola, tell me what you want." Henry pulled back enough that he could look at Tesla's face, and what he saw made his cock surge. Henry had seen all kinds of smirks on Tesla's face before: the condescending one, the amused one, the I know something and I'm not gonna tell you (in a singsong voice) one. But this smirk - this smirk was pure sex. This smirk held filthy promises, pulled just over a canine tooth, the lips curled and wet.
Tesla didn't reply. Instead, he reached behind himself and turned off the shower, the sound of streaming water suddenly replaced by moist, anticipating breaths. Without taking his eyes off Henry, Tesla stepped from the tub, grabbed a towel, lightly patted himself down before extending a hand. Henry took it immediately, following Tesla's lead. He dried himself with a proffered towel quickly, haphazardly, before dropping it to the floor.
"Nikola?" Still, Tesla said nothing. He walked from the bathroom slowly, his eyes cast over his shoulder to ensure Henry would follow.
Like I wouldn't.
They reached the bedroom, and Tesla stood beside the bed, still smirking, always smirking.
"Lie down, Henry," he said plainly, his head tilted slightly to the side.
"You asked what I wanted, and I'm telling you: lie down." With that, Tesla actually pointed at the bed, as if to get his meaning across. Henry nodded slowly, made his way to the bed, lay on his back, his eyes on Tesla.
"Good boy," Tesla murmured, sitting on the edge of the bed, next to Henry's hip. "There's more."
"More that I want," Tesla huffed. "Obviously, you just lying there is only one part of the plan."
"There's a plan now?" Henry asked, suddenly feeling nervous. Of course there would be a plan. This was Nikola Tesla, after all.
"Oh, relax. What little is left of your virtue is in no danger," Tesla quipped haughtily. Henry couldn't help the blush that spread over his cheeks and down his chest, which only made Tesla's smirk slide into a fond smile. "Do you trust me?"
"Unfortunately," Henry squeaked. Tesla rolled his eyes dramatically, but that sweet smile was still there. "So. What do you want me to do?"
"Roll over," Tesla said, his hands neatly folded in his lap, an odd sight nestled next to his hard, red cock.
"These sound suspiciously like dog commands."
"Fine, okay, rolling over," Henry huffed, turning onto his stomach. His erection rubbed into the bed sheets, and he groaned.
"Mmm, a very nice view," Tesla said lightly, and Henry nearly jumped when a long-fingered hand rested gently on his tail bone. "One more thing."
"Which is?" Henry asked, his cheek resting on the pillow, his cock throbbing in time to his heartbeat. The bed dipped slightly as Tesla leaned down to speak directly into Henry's upturned ear.
"Spread your thighs," he said, his voice silk, the hand on Henry's back moving downward, slowly. Henry shivered at that voice, at the implication. Again, here he was, in a position of submission, his fate completely in the hands of another. He spread his thighs.
"Well done, Henry," Tesla whispered as he stood from the bed, walked to the foot of it. From there, he kneeled between Henry's knees, his hands resting on Henry's trembling thighs. Tesla ran his hands up and down Henry's legs a few times, before he began to feel Henry finally start to relax. Tesla then leaned forward, snatched a pillow from the head of the bed. "Lift your hips."
"Thought you were done giving commands?"
"I'll never be done," Tesla said with a grin Henry couldn't see.
"Figures," Henry replied, lifting his hips off the bed. Tesla put the pillow in the space between Henry's erection and the bed.
"There we go. Now don't you go getting ideas about that pillow," Tesla chided. "It's there for function, not fun." Henry laughed, shifted, then groaned as his cock rubbed the pillow.
"Yeah, no promises."
"Should I leave you two alone?"
"Nikola." Tesla chuckled, resettling himself so he was resting on his stomach between Henry's thighs, his own long legs dangling off the end of the bed. Henry felt Tesla's hands on his ass cheeks, gently kneading them, his thumbs occasionally dipping in to the cleft. Henry sighed.
Henry did trust Tesla, completely, and it bothered him that he couldn't remember when exactly it had happened. Henry knew Tesla often had a secret agenda, a purpose that he failed to divulge until everything went south and he begrudgingly asked for (or outright demanded) help. Except, in Colorado, there hadn't been a hidden agenda. Tesla had merely been there, for Henry, to soothe, to heal, to support in that finicky way of his. That, Henry mused, must have been when he'd given himself over to this strange man, genius, vampire, best friend.
Henry's reverie was broken when he felt something firm, wet dragging along his cleft, settling just over his opening.
"Oh, god," Henry hissed out between his teeth, his hands scrabbling at the sheets. He was no stranger to experimentation in the bedroom. In fact, he and Erika had explored each other's bodies more thoroughly than Henry had ever thought possible. So, while the sensation of Tesla's tongue swirling around his opening wasn't exactly foreign, it was entirely new, unexpected, left Henry's mouth open in awe.
Tesla's tongue moved around the sensitive flesh of Henry's opening, dipping inside every now and again. Each time it did, Henry shuddered, whimpered, fisted the sheets that much tighter. He couldn't help the small rocking motions of his hips, and distantly thought of Tesla chiding him again for paying mind to the pillow.
That, however, didn't happen. Instead, Tesla finally plunged his tongue inside, causing Henry to cry out, his thighs quivering, his skin slick with a fine sheen of sweat.
"Nikola, you have no idea how good that feels," Henry gasped, screwing his eyes shut. Tesla's only reply was to use his thumbs to spread Henry wider, seal his lips over them and Henry's opening, alternately thrust his tongue inside and suck at the tender pucker.
It didn't surprise Henry when Tesla pulled his mouth off him, instead replaced his tongue with a long, slender finger. Tesla trailed kisses up Henry's back, while his finger worked lazily just inside Henry, moving gently in and out, swirling, repeating. When Tesla reached Henry's neck, that finger plunged further inside, and damned if it wasn't coincidence that the moment Tesla brushed Henry's prostate, Tesla clamped his mouth over the side of Henry's neck and bit.
Henry's hips bucked, he shouted, as a sharp bolt of pleasure shot up his spine, then back down to his cock.
"Henry," Tesla rasped harshly in his ear, his finger pressing into Henry's prostate again and again, "it's you. You're what I want. Completely." Henry couldn't stop the whimper that left his throat when Tesla removed his finger, grabbed his shoulder to gently roll him over onto his back. Henry nearly gasped when he saw Tesla's face. Of all the damnedest things, Nikola Tesla looked undone.
"Yeah, well," Henry replied, his voice shaking, his arms trembling as he brought them up to wrap around Tesla's shoulders, "too late. You already got me."
"Well then," Tesla whispered, bending his head to kiss Henry softly, fleetingly, "I guess I'd best be on with it."
"I'd say so, yeah." They smiled at each other, astonishingly unguarded, and Henry lifted his head off the pillow to meet Tesla's mouth in a wet, bruising kiss. Tesla rolled onto him, ground his cock into Henry's, both of them panting and groaning into the other's mouth. Henry arched his back and hooked a leg around the backs of Tesla's thighs, thrusting his hips up as their cocks slid against one another. They were both wet, slick from arousal, and god, it wasn't enough.
Tesla must have thought so, too. He broke the kiss, panting, his lips swollen, his eyes black.
"Please tell me you have - anything."
"Night stand, top drawer," Henry said, reaching one hand down to tug at Tesla's cock, his own twitching when his fingers were coated from both of them. Tesla gasped, thrust once into Henry's hand, before reluctantly pulling away. He reached toward the night stand, wrenched open the top drawer, found the small tube of hand cream. Tesla raised a brow.
"Lavender?" His face fell to a neutral position when he turned his head and saw Henry glaring murder at him.
"You have to comment on everything," Henry groused, snatching the hand cream away from Tesla. "Mood killer."
"You'll get over it," Tesla murmured, scooting down the bed so his shoulders were beside Henry's hips. He held out an impatient hand. "Give."
"Okay, that was a dog command!" Henry said, laughter in his voice in spite of himself. He pressed the tube into Tesla's hand firmly, his eyes narrowing. "Are we really doing this?"
"Unless you want me to stop?" Tesla replied innocently, twisting off the cap of the hand cream, squeezing some onto his fingers. Henry saw his nostrils flare.
"For keeps?" Henry said softly, his eyes locked on Tesla's. There was a moment when neither of them moved, Henry leaning up on his elbows, Tesla lying with an upraised hand. The scent of lavender filled the room.
Finally, finally, "Yes, Henry. Always, for keeps." Henry blew out a breath he hadn't known he was holding, and collapsed back, his head sinking into the pillows.
"Okay, then," Henry said, his voice strained, his heart hammering, "do your worst."
"Oh, so happy to oblige." And then Henry felt it, a slick fingertip at his entrance, circling, teasing. He gasped softly when he was breached, forcing himself to relax again, to give in to always and completely. It worked, and the finger slid home with ease.
"I won't break," Henry murmured, floating, caught adrift on a breath of sensation as Tesla pressed lightly against his sweet spot. In answer, the finger was removed, more lavender joined the fold, and three fingers slid soundly into Henry. "Nnngh, pleasepleaseplease..."
"My god, Henry," Tesla said, his breath ghosting over Henry's hip, his cock, "look at you."
"You better as hell do more than look," Henry choked out on a laugh, Tesla's answering chuckle lost to Henry's following moans.
"Don't worry, wunderkind. I never was the type to merely appreciate by looking." Several more slow, achingly good thrusts of his fingers, then Tesla withdrew. Henry glanced down, saw Tesla take himself in hand, stroke once, twice, his eyes falling closed, his moist lips parted in bliss.
"Nikola - "
"Henry. What you do to me." Tesla opened his eyes, crawled between Henry's legs after nudging them apart. He grabbed one of Henry's thighs and pushed it up, settled Henry's ankle on his shoulder. Hand still on his cock, Tesla positioned himself at Henry's entrance. "Let me show you." And, just like that, two became one.
Henry groaned, long and low, as Tesla entered him in one slow, slow slide. Tesla's arms were braced either side of Henry's shoulders, his elbows were quivering. Their eyes met, and both grinned.
"This was a really good idea," Henry said casually, as if he didn't have Nikola Tesla buried in his body, the vampire's cock sheathed fully inside him.
"Well, I am a genius," Tesla replied equally as lightly, raising one hand to stroke at Henry's jaw. "A talented one, at that."
"Yeah, I bet," Henry said, leaning his face into Tesla's hand. "So why don't you move past the theoretical and get straight to the practical?" Tesla chuckled, and in answer pulled back, slowly, then pistoned his hips forward in a brutal thrust. Henry groaned, the air leaving his lungs on a sharp bark of pleasure, his cock leaking in earnest. He tipped his head back, panting, as Tesla continued the action, a slow pull, a sharp jab. After a time, Tesla grabbed the hands Henry had fisted in the sheets, pinned them beside Henry's head, laced their fingers together.
"Don't stop," Henry ground out between clenched teeth, pleasure coiling around every muscle, his body tense and tight with sensation, "don't you ever stop."
By now, Tesla was letting out small groans of his own, any pretense of slow and leisurely replaced with baser need, the aim of release. He released one of Henry's hands, brought his own down to wrap tightly around Henry's cock.
Henry's backed arched. Between the precision thrusts on his prostate, and Tesla's long fingers sliding up and down his cock, his palm twisting on the upstroke, catching the sensitive underside, Henry knew he was doomed for release.
"Nikolaaaaa," he groaned, his free hand shooting out, wrapping around the back of Tesla's neck and pulling him down for a savage kiss. He all but screamed into Tesla's mouth as his orgasm hit, his cock shooting seed between their bodies, splattering their stomachs. Tesla tore his lips from Henry's, his breathing harsh, his cheeks flushed. Two more thrusts and he stilled, his body impossibly tense over Henry's.
"Dear god," Tesla whispered, as Henry felt the vampire's cock pulsing inside him. After his orgasm, Tesla lowered himself gently, his head pillowed on Henry's shoulder.
Strange, Henry realized, that he found it so fascinating that he had never seen Tesla out of breath before.
They floated together for a time, their breathing slowing, their sweat slicked bodies cooling. It was Tesla who was first to speak.
"Still weird, Heinrich?" He didn't lift his head from Henry's shoulder, made no move to pull out.
"Yeah," Henry replied sleepily, his fingers drawing lazy patterns across Tesla's back, "but I'll get over it."
"I certainly hope so. Considering we're bound to do that again, and again, at an inhumanly frequent rate, I'd hate for you to develop some sort of complex."
"Really," Tesla said, raising his head and grinning at Henry, "it's your well-being I'm concerned with."
"You don't believe me?"
"Oh," Henry said, a grin of his own forming, "I believe you about that."
"But there's something else for which you doubt my sincerity."
"Out with it, Wolfboy."
"When you said it wasn't about sex," Henry said, carefully.
"A man's entitled to change his mind," Tesla replied haughtily, pressing a lazy kiss to Henry's neck. "What we just did would change anyone's mind. Were I a religious man, I think I'd claim I saw God."
"But you're not religious."
"No. So I'll just say I haven't had such a pleasurable time since the nineteen-twenties."
"Not gonna ask," Henry laughed, settling his arms across Tesla's long back, pressing down. A lazy embrace.
"Best you don't," Tesla replied, his voice low and happy. "Wouldn't want to ruin the weird mood."
"You should really just get over that," Henry said, chuckling.
"Mmm, all in good time. Would I be a terribly awful guest, Henry, in suggesting that we stay in bed for the remainder of the day?"
"You're not a guest, Nikola," Henry said softly, wriggling under Tesla, their eyes meeting.
"No? Then what?"
"You're home," Henry said, a gentle smile curving his lips, a soft pressure settling just behind his ribs. Tesla looked taken aback for a moment, before returning that smile, his eyes alight with a kind of happiness Henry couldn't ever remember seeing.
"Yeah. Yeah, I can live with that." Their lips met in a sweet kiss, full of unspoken promises and words neither knew how to say.
"So," Henry said slowly, cautiously, "you'll stay?"
"What's a home without family?" Tesla replied, equally as gingerly. "I'll stay, Henry."
"Then - "
Always and completely.
" - welcome home, Nikola."
Author's note: Thank you to everyone who made it to the end. I had an awfully good time writing this piece, possibly too good a time, and I hope its merits move beyond the sensual and ridiculous awesomeness of our beloved titans Nikola and Henry.