Another Nikola as a mortal fic. When you drive a taxi car full time, you get inspiration from the weirdest places. Enjoy!
(This is set in the same universe as 'The End of The World' and 'Driving in Cars With Nikola', but you don't need to have read them to read this.)
Every part of Nikola Tesla ached. The vampire turned mortal deal was really, really grating on his nerves. His usual energy had abandoned him in his hour of need, and now he was a marionette held aloft by a single string.
He didn't even have the oomph to snap at Henry, his jaunty singing ringing through the iron wool clouding his mind. The ire was rising though the will to wittily snap a retort was not.
"Hey Tesla, you ok?"
He groaned. "Why are you annoying me, Wolfie McWolferson? Can't you see I'm busy?"
Henry's eyebrows raised. "Staring at that tripod?" He shrugged. "Whatever man, you just look tired."
"Well, I'm not," he replied petulantly, rubbing his eyes. A yawn tore from his lungs as he collapsed into a chair next to the workbench.
"Sure." Henry's tone was mocking for a moment, then changed to slightly concerned. "When was the last time you slept?"
"What day is it?"
Nikola glared at the tripod. "… Monday?"
"Uh, think maybe you should?"
Nikola's lip curled into a tired sneer. "Sleep's for the weak…" he mumbled, eyes closing as his head rested heavily on his hand.
"Henry?" Magnus was by his elbow as he faced his monitor. The snores were unmistakable.
"Sleep is for the weak?" he offered as an explanation, shrugging. Looking at the figure across from them, Henry looked concerned. Arms for pillows, the bench a pro-tem bed, Nikola had apparently given in.
Helen shook her head. "You carry on, Henry," she told him, walking around the desk.
He watched as she moved, worried, because he'd seen that look before. She was taking no prisoners today. "You sure we shouldn't…?"
"If he really was asleep, his snores wouldn't be anywhere near as loud… Would they, Nikola?" Her last question was almost breathed into his ear, and if the flushing of their tips was anything to go by, she had certainly caused a reaction.
Turning his head so he could see her with one eye, he mumbled, "I don't snore."
"Of course you don't," she replied, soothing but sarcastic. "Come on, Henry doesn't need you in here, cluttering up his space." She tried pulling him up by his arm, but he wouldn't budge. "Nikola…"
"I can't feel my knees," he told her, dizzily, head up from his arms.
Helen quirked an eyebrow. Henry winced. Nikola yelped. Dragged up by his ear was an experience he had long forgotten. "Ow ow ow! Ok, I'm up! Wow! When did you get so mean, Helen?"
"When did you last sleep?" she asked, ignoring him.
"He thinks Monday?" Henry replied. "And I really hate it when you call me that," he muttered quietly to him.
"Stop answering to it and I'll stop calling you that," Nikola replied, smirking and swaying.
Rolling her eyes, Helen pushed Nikola away from the bench towards the door. "Go to bed."
He pouted, "Read me a story."
Shaking her head, she turned back to Henry and the monitor. Hearing him mutter darkly about being dismissed, ignored and various hurt feelings, and his footsteps recede, she sighed. "I thought I was done with sending children to bed."
"You're still gonna check on him though?" Henry asked, not looking away from his monitor.
Helen nodded, smiling slightly. "Of course."