A/N: Where is this going? No one can say! Seriously, though. I don't even know where this going. But anyways. TV-14 for DLVS. I own nothing. Enjoy!
"Hey, Doug, come help me with this!" Claudia called out. The girl was balanced on the very tips of her toes, one arm circled tightly around a heap of electrical gadgets, the other stretched up above her head, trying to reach a knob on the ceiling of the office.
The man she had shouted to was lying face-down on the floor, immersed from the waist up in a hole on the floor with a frighteningly large number of wires protruding from it. "What am I helping you with?" Fargo asked, sitting up and pulling off his filthy goggles.
"I need to plug this in," she said crossly, waving the device around. "It detects and pinpoints radiation surges in the Warehouse."
"What do you need me to do?"
She grinned, dropping her equipment on the floor and pulling a brick out of her bag.
"Three guesses that's an artifact," he said nervously. "Didn't Artie tell you not to play with any more of them after the Lewis Carroll teacup situation?"
"Well," she said, setting it on the floor. "What he doesn't know won't hurt him." She leaned conspiratorially towards him, lips brushing his ear as she whispered. "It's from one of the great pyramids."
"Y… y… yeah," he stammered, distracted. "Okay, sure."
"Perfect," she announced, crouching down and tapping it three times. Immediately it shot upwards and started lengthening. As soon as it was tall enough, Claudia perched precariously on it. "Here's my ride!"
However, even as it rose and the sides expanded, it didn't grow any wider than a couple inches. The higher it got, the more danger the teenager was in of falling off. "Steady me," she told him, feet pushed flat against the side for balance. "And hand me that thing, would you?"
"Careful," he warned, standing on his own toes as he reached up, holding her waist in place and gingerly passing her the contraption. Tongue between her teeth, she stretched upwards and slowly screwed it in place.
"There now. Was that so bad?" she asked, tapping the brick again. It began shrinking, but instead of letting it go back to normal, she stopped it when it was just over three feet.
"Now what is it?" Fargo asked anxiously. He didn't like artifacts and artifacts certainly didn't like him. But Claudia held her knees on either side of his waist, keeping him immobilized.
"Now we spend a little time without Artie or Pete breathing down our necks," she said mischievously, leaning forwards and capturing his bottom lip between hers. And who was he to resist?
She kept one hand on the thin wall to steady her, the other splayed against the side of his face. Unsure of what to do with his own arms, he settled on placing them on her hips, further steadying her even as she leaned into the kiss. Leaned into him. He could feel her smile against his lips, a breath of air telling of her slight laughter.
Then the door slammed open and the pair leapt apart, Fargo tripping over a wrench and toppling into the hole he had been working with a shower of sparks as Claudia crashed backwards off the wall.
"Is that the brick from the great pyramid?" Artie asked, voice low and carefully controlled.
"Um… maybe?" Claudia asked, wincing, disheveled head poking up behind it. With deadly precision, Artie slowly tapped it and placed the once-again small brick on the desk.
"Sorry," Fargo mouthed at her from behind the senior agent as he heaved himself out of the pit, holes burned into his clothing, hair on end, and burn marks covering his arms.
"Fargo, get out of here. Now."
"At once. I mean, yes! Sir? I'm going. Now. Like you said. Mister." With the expression of a deer in the headlights, he turned and fled, careening into Pete in the Umbilical. He crashed to the side, right towards one of the bombs. Pete reached out and steadied him just in time.
"Woah, there, Sparky," Pete said, eyeing him up and down. "What happened, your microwave eat you?"
"No, it was… I had… I wouldn't advise going in there," he choked out.
"Oooh, why not? What did you do?" demanded the agent eagerly, rushing to the door. Fargo turned to watch, resigned, as Pete opened the door and stuck his head around. "Hey, Artie, could I… Yeah, okay, no need to get snappy," he muttered sourly, shutting the door again. "Never mind. You were right, man."
"So… I'll just go put this back then, shall I?" asked Claudia hopefully, reaching out for the brick.
"Don't even think about going anywhere!" he barked, color flooding his cheeks. "You are absolutely, positively grounded!"
"Oh, really?" she snapped. "And just how are you going to insure that?"
"Believe me, I have my ways," he growled back.
"Why are you so angry in the first place? Because I used an artifact to accomplish a task you gave me in the first place or because I actually care about someone for a change?"
"How dare you question my motives? Who set you up with Todd in the first place?"
"Yeah, but Fargo's not exactly Todd, is he? He's not normal or safe, right? He knows what we do and he's someone I could have a real future with without having to lie to them my whole life!"
"You're just a child," he shouted. "You have no idea what you're talking about!"
Just then Pete poked his head in. "Hey, Artie, could I-"
"NOW IS NOT THE TIME!" he roared, not breaking eye contact with the techno-wiz. Pete disappeared, briefly sticking his tongue out at Claudia. She took no notice of him.
"You know what?" she asked, voice ice cold. "I don't have to do anything you say, because you're not my father." And with that, she turned and stormed out of the room, grabbing onto the zipline harness without hooking herself in and zooming down into the depths of the Warehouse, tears blurring her vision.
A/N: You know, even buttons get lonely. That little purple button down there, the one that says 'review'? It's super lonely. How bout you just click on it...