Author's Note: Hello! Welcome to my first attempt at Warehouse 13 fanfiction. It's just a random story, inspired by an observation I made regarding Claudia. Hope you enjoy! *NOTE* Apologies for any OOC traits, and general weirdness. Also, spoilers for Season 1 Episodes: Elements and Breakdown, and Season 2 Episodes: Merge with Caution, 13.1, For the Team, and Buried. (They're relatively minor)
Disclaimer: I don't own any part of Warehouse 13. If I did, someone would've made a joke about Artie's name by now. (Artie…artifacts…get it? Heh, heh…)
Never Been Tesla'd
It was morning at the Warehouse. The office was filled with the bitter scent of Artie's coffee. It was brewing noisily in the small kitchenette, the ancient coffee pot so old that it could have easily been mistaken for an artifact. It was still somewhat early—the heating system hadn't yet come on, thus the air in the room was sharp with the morning chill. Claudia sat, hunched at the desk, rubbing her numb hands together in a weak attempt to generate warmth.
"God, it's freezing in here, Artie!" She called to the older agent. He was bumbling around upstairs, oblivious to the cold, as what little warmth there was in the building had settled comfortably in the loft.
"So put on a coat!" he yelled down, hardly in the mood for the teenager's complaints. He was, as Leena politely put it, not a morning person. At all. He was much more at ease with working long into the night than he was waking up before nine. Unfortunately, his occupation wasn't terribly forgiving in regards to sleeping in. The last time he overslept was in February of 1982, which inadvertently resulted in the combustion of the entire Hitchcock shelf and some of the Earhart shelf as well. Thus each day, he promptly fell out of bed, eyes blurry and curly hair going every which direction, at four o'clock sharp. More often than not, it was because of his less-than-ideal waking-hour that he was such a grump for the rest of the day.
"Artie, it's like Falcon-Scott down here!" She argued. "You sure we can't crank the heat?"
"No, we cannot crank the heat." He told her as he descended the stairs. In spite of himself, he shivered. It was cold down here. "The system is old and…finicky."
"'Finicky'?" she repeated with a dubious air. "As in…?"
"As in doesn't really respond to the control panel anymore." He clarified. To illustrate his point, he walked over to a large metal plate in the wall and squinted at it. "See…it's set on eighty five." He gestured grandly at the air around him. "Does this feel like eighty five to you?"
"Well it's been set at that temperature for as long as I can remember." He huffed. He walked across the room and sat down with a solid OOMF in a nearby desk chair and rolled the rest of the way to the desk. "It…has a mind of its own."
"Sheesh," Claudia rolled her eyes. "Everything here has a mind of its own. The vacuum, the heating system—"
"What about the vacuum?" Artie wanted to know.
"Nothing!" Claudia spun in her chair and quickly started typing. She mentally kicked herself. She still hadn't told Artie that the reason they almost blew up the warehouse was because of her….modifications? to the auto-vac.
Artie was not a stupid man. He knew an evasive maneuver when he saw one.
"Oh, no. What about the vacuum?" he demanded, leaning towards the apprentice, reasoning that the close proximity would somehow draw the information out. "Tell me."
At that moment, the door squeaked and hissed open, two weary agents dragging themselves through into the office and collapsing on whatever furniture could support them within immediate reach.
"Oh thank—" Claudia started to say, but saw the angry look on Artie's face, and jumped from her place at the desk to get away from him. She hastily rethought the sentence. "What I mean is…uh….thank God you two made it back in one…." It was then that both the apprentice and the older agent noticed the slightly smoky smell that accompanied the two secret service agents, as well as the faint scorch marks on their t-shirts and that their hair crackled with static.
"Ouch." Claudia winced. Pete opened an eye and glared with all his might—but gave up, too exhausted to put much venom into it.
"What happened?" Artie asked, hurrying over. Myka waved him off.
"Nothing?" Artie blinked. "You're smoldering." This made both Pete and Myka groan noisily. Pete slumped further in his chair while Myka forced herself to stand up and stretch.
"It was…a tough case." She finally said. Claudia's insatiable curiosity prompted her to ask:
"Yeah? Was there a problem with the artifact?"
"Not the artifact." Pete sniffed his shirt, wondering if it was him that he smelled burning. It was. "It's hardly ever just the artifact. I mean, is it too much to ask for a case where the demonic doo-dad is just sitting nicely on a desk, ready to be gooed?"
"'Demonic'?" Claudia said aloud. Artie was hung up on the other half of the statement.
"It was the guy with the artifact." Myka clarified. She sighed. "There was an…altercation and he somehow got a hold of the Tesla," She shouted over her shoulder in Pete's direction. The accusing tone was quite obvious. Pete, for his part, looked rather unperturbed by her allegation.
"Not my fault." Was all he said. Myka rolled her eyes and moved towards the desk, but cringed as pain radiated from her aching, stiff muscles. She hobbled the rest of the way and took a seat in the chair that Claudia had very recently vacated.
"Sure. Whatever. Either way, the guy gets the Tesla and…" she threw her hands into the air, but cringed once more as she did so. "This happened."
"Such a shame, sorry to hear that, hope you're feeling better," Artie rambled off a list of condolences. "But…the artifact?"
"In the car, outside, properly gooed." Pete told him. Artie didn't say anything. Instead he hurried to the door, punched in the code, and shot out of the office as soon as the locking mechanism released. They all assumed he had gone to get the artifact…but with Artie, one never knew.
"Oh…I need a long, hot bath." Pete mumbled. Claudia and Myka exchanged an amused glance.
"Such a girl." Claudia teased him. Pete struggled to get to his feet while simultaneously defending his male honor.
"Hey, it's not funny. We were Tesla'd so hard…I was picking up radio stations through my filings!" he insisted. Both Claudia and Myka wore identical puzzled expressions.
"If the Tesla works off of electricity—" Claudia started, but Pete shook his head vigorously.
"Never mind! It made sense in my head."
"Of course it did." Myka placated him in a slightly mocking tone. Then she sighed. "But he's right…it was so not pleasant." She picked at a burnt bit of hair. "Seriously."
The two agents, in spite of wanting to head back to the B&B for some much needed sleep (and, as Pete kept grumbling about, a nice hot bubble bath) they decided on filing out their field reports first. Pete, though, complained all the way from his seat by the door to his seat at the table.
"So…sore…" he whined. "Need…cookies."
"Is that your answer to everything? Cookies?" Myka question, sifting through files. "That's what you said when you were thrown out of that truck—"
"Is it really that bad?" Claudia asked as she retreated to her makeshift workbench. She was currently dissecting another one of Farnsworth's many inventions. The agents continued to shuffle papers and jot down notes on the case as she probed the innards of the machine with a screwdriver. "I mean, I get that it's painful and everything, but how bad is it, exactly?"
"What do you mean, how bad is it?" Pete didn't look up from his report. "You've been Tesla'd before, haven't you?"
The rustling of papers and the steady scratch of pen halted abruptly. It was several long seconds before Claudia realized this though, and before she curiously glanced up. "What?"
Pete and Myka sat, mouths agape, eyes wide with disbelief, downright dumbstruck by the information. Claudia allowed them five more seconds of flabbergasted staring before raising an eyebrow.
"You've never been Tesla'd?" Pete couldn't believe what he was hearing. He jumped to his feet and strode across the room without so much as a mention of his supposed soreness—he was too worked up at the moment to think about much else. "What? How could you never have been Tesla'd?"
"Maybe I'm a better agent," she joked. Pete didn't crack a smile. "I dunno Pete…you make it sound like it's a bad thing."
"No, no, that isn't it," Myka interjected quickly. She walked over and smacked Pete on the shoulder. "Of course we're glad you've never been shot with a dangerous amount of high voltage electricity. Right Pete?" She smacked him again.
"Ow. Yes. But still—" SMACK. "Ow. Yes." Claudia tossed the screwdriver to one side and leaned against the table with one hand, the other on her hip.
"I don't see what the big deal is."
"It's not a big deal," Myka tried, but it was too late, as Pete had already opened his big fat mouth again.
"I'm just saying, it's like, part of the experience is all." He was having difficulty finding just the right words. He scratched his head. His demeanor was so calm and nonchalant about the whole thing—sure, he'd been all shocked and appalled at the news at first—now he was discussing it as one might discuss the weather. Not at all like he was suggesting that they stun-gun the youngest member on the team.
"What about the thing with Artie…and the stockings?" he asked. Claudia shook her head.
"Held at actual gunpoint, nearly blinded by some chunk of glass….but no Tesla."
"When you were at Tamalpias?"
"Vat of bubbling poison. No Tesla."
"How about when you had to deal with Kelly—"
"Pete, you were there!"
"And how would any of those situations result in being Tesla'd?" She challenged his logic. He sighed.
"I don't know! It's just….it's like I said! Until you've been Tesla'd…you're just not…it's not as official—It isn't…a rite of passage, exactly. More like..um…uh…"
"I have to get shot at to be considered a real agent?" The apprentice's voice cracked slightly at the notion of being zapped. Myka again stepped in and offered a nervous laugh.
"Of course not! Pete's brain is just a little fried right now…I mean, it wasn't doing so hot before this morning anyhow," she ushered Claudia out of the office, handing her the inventory clipboard. "Quick, before more word vomit spews out."
"I'm just saying—"
"NO!" Myka and Claudia cried in unison, the teenager halfway out the door already. Pete looked around in confusion.
"What? I didn't even finish my sentence!" Myka gave him a friendly pat on the back.
"Oh, you didn't have to," she informed him as gently as she could manage. "Maybe we should skip the reports. I think you really do need that bath." Pete reluctantly agreed, turning to head towards the door. He paused for a moment though, his gaze lingering on a Tesla that Artie had left on the desk.
"Pete," Myka called. She saw what he was looking at. "PETE!"
"What?" he asked, innocent as could be. "Just a small one. Not even set on point five. Wouldn't even hurt."
"C'mon Mykes. You're not a full blown Warehouse agent until you've faced the Tesla! You gotta admit, that memory lapse thing is kinda nice—"
"You're insane!" Of course, by now Myka was laughing. So hard that she could barely make it to the door. Pete didn't really see what was so funny about the whole thing. At that point, Artie reentered the office. He saw the befuddled Pete and the giggling Myka, and instantly he went on alert.
"Did I miss something?"
Well? Good? Bad? So-so? If you feel strongly one way or another, then fell free to review! I would greatly appreciate it. OH! And also, before anyone mentions the regarding 'Falcon-Scott,' I actually looked it up online and there was a guy named Falcon-Scott who did stuff in the arctic (can't remember what exactly) but it seemed like too much of a coincidence…so that's why I've spelled it that way. You know, in case you were curious.