I dutifully waited to hit the 300 mark until I posted this (because I like round numbers) and I know that you will throw knives at me for parts of it but, well, with all the suggestions I got, this was the best way for me to smush them all together without writing the one thing I loathe writing :P Also, love to Emmy1512 for beta-ing this (and not killing me).
Thanks to those lovely little darlings who reviewed the last chapter and to those who've been soldiering on with me for all this time. Means more to me than you'll ever know *insert biggest cyber hug ever here*
"Magnus?" Will thundered, storming into her office. "I know we said we'd give him some leeway but this is just too much!"
Magnus looked up quickly with wide eyes, cheeks flushed and hair ruffled far more than she usually allowed. Will frowned at the quickness of her breath but ignored it, striding forward to dump what was left of his jeans on her desk.
Quickly she grabbed the edge of the table, pulling herself further into the desk with a bright smile.
"He cut up my jeans Magnus," Will prompted, grabbing the now short shorts that had been his favourite pair. "All of them! And replaced them with suits!"
There was a muffled thump from beneath the desk that Magnus covered with a cough and even bigger smile.
"Ni-Nikola?" she asked, annoyance flickering over her face.
"You have to do something about him Magnus, he's out of control," Will continued, ignoring the way she kept fidgeting in her chair. "I mean, we've said sorry a hundred times, what more does he want from us?"
"I'm, ah, not sure," Magnus said her voice slightly strained as she gave him yet another forced and polite smile.
"We didn't complain when he trashed our rooms or glued half my books together or even about the fact that we've caught you guys making out way too often in really public places but this? This is the last straw!" he cried. Up until now he'd been reasonable, allowing the vampire his fun because, well, Will had already had his and he knew if the tables had been turned that he'd have been just as pissed. But this was a step too far.
"All my pants," he said angrily when she gave him only a small nod in response. "And I'd bet anything that Henry's in the same boat as me! You can't let this go on!"
"Well," Magnus said, her voice still strained. "Perhaps you ought t-t-to taa-alk to him. Tell him ho-w truly sorry... you are," her face darkened and the unmistakable thunk of something hitting the wood of her desk sounded, "and that you'll do something to make it up to him."
Her voice was firm by the time she finished, a rather pleased looking smile on her face.
"Oh yeah, 'cause Tesla will take that well," Will replied with a roll of his eyes. Then he noticed a flicker of something across her face and frowned.
"You O.K there?" he asked and she nodded, biting her lip as she tried to smile at him. She was distracted and he knew it. Sure she cared for the damned vampire but this wasn't a game anymore, she needed to pull him into line.
"Look Magnus, I know you and the guy have some kind of freaky relationship where you both pretend that you aren't sleeping together but you're the only one he'll listen to," Will implored. "I mean, this can't go on fo-."
"Whether or not I am sleeping with Nikola is not only none of your business Will but something that you and the others are more than aware of," she all but barked at him, eyes flashing dangerously. "While I'll admit our relationship is somewhat less the conventional I'd also ask that you refrain from criticizing my decision to be involved with someone in this manner until it begins to compromise the running of the Sanctuary. Understand?"
Will nodded, dumbfounded. So much for distracted.
"And furthermore, while Nikola's actions have been childlike in the extreme, something of which I am not impressed by, you have to admit that yours have been equally as petty in recent months," she continued. "I shall talk to Nikola and work to make sure your cupboards are restocked with appropriate attire but next time you choose to aggravate one of the most aggravating men on the planet, try and clean up your own mess."
For a long moment, Will said nothing, feeling intensely childish. He knew he deserved some of Tesla's antics but-
Then Magnus squeaked and all Will's guilt fell away, replaced by curiosity at what had made her jump in her seat so.
"Are you sure you're alright?" Will asked, starting to get worried. Her eyes were wide again and he was fairly sure the flush on her cheeks had little to do with her earlier outburst. She nodded but his brow creased in concern as his eyes flicked over her desk, noticing for the first time a midnight blue box that sat on the corner, wrapped up with a black velvet ribbon.
"Who's that from?" he asked, trying to figure out if he'd forgotten some kind of birthday or anniversary.
"A... a friend," she answered with a low groan, biting her lip as her eyes fluttered closed momentarily.
"O.K, look, is something that matter?" Will tried again, getting more and more freaked out by her behaviour every minute.
"Of course not," she replied throatily before another clunk from beneath the desk sounded. "What makes you ask that?"
"You just seem a little..." Will searched for the right word.
"Busy," came the reply from under the desk.
The voice was way too familiar for Will's comfort though he should have guessed. Nowadays they were hardly ever apart.
Magnus paled, floundering for something to say but Will held up a hand, trying not to puke at the image he'd just been given.
"That was your cue to leave Huggybear," the voice said dryly. "Before she kicks me again."
Without a second thought (or dwelling on the fact that he was certain she'd been wearing pants earlier that morning) Will grabbed his defiled pants and turned, leaving the room as quickly as humanly possible, kicking the door shut as he went.
He'd barely made it 10 metres before he ran head first into Henry, pants flying everywhere.
"Dude, you okay? You look like you've seen a gh-..." he trailed off, eyeing the denim cut offs uncomfortably.
"Tesla updated my wardrobe," Will croaked before internally retching at the mention of the man's name.
"You so have to speak to the Doc about this," Henry said, shaking his head. "I mean, he gave up on torturing me ages ago. Let's go see her now, yeah? Maybe she can talk some sense into him."
"NO!" Will yelled before he could stop himself. "I mean, I already did and we... we can't go back there."
"Why?" Henry asked, concerned.
"He was under the desk," Will admitted miserably but Henry clearly didn't understand, his face distorted with confusion.
"I don't get it," Henry continued.
"Lucky you," Will moaned, tugging his friend down the corridor and away from further mental instabilities.
"Thank you for that Nikola," Helen said bitingly, pushing her chair back to allow him to step out of the space. "Really. As if you weren't causing enough troubles as it is."
"Hey!" he said, straightening up and leaning against the edge of her desk with a grin. "It's not my fault your uterus is so low!"
Helen sighed, crossing her arms and legs.
"You didn't exactly need to get on your knees to start kissing my stomach either," she reminded him with a frown. "But I was more talking about you tickling my feet."
"If you hadn't been wearing pants..." he trailed off with a grin. "Though why you decided to shove me in there just because Huggybear came waltzing on in I don't understand."
"You were on your knees between me and the desk, it was that or have him think you were about to disrobe me with your teeth," she retorted hotly.
"It is a shame I didn't actually get to disrobe you with my teeth," he said with a heavy sigh. "At least then Huggybear would have freaked out over something a little more compromising than your ticklish soles."
"Go apologise to him Nikola," she said, pushing him away so she could begin work on her files once more. "Now," she added when he moved no further than a foot.
"I wasn't done Helen," he muttered darkly before grabbing her by the shoulders and spinning her and the chair around to face him. Once more he sank to his knees with a budding smile and pulled her close.
"Niko!" she protested, grabbing a fistful of his hair and trying to drag his head away from her.
"You cannot seriously expect me to simply walk away after you announce that we're expecting a child," he said hotly, grabbing her wrist with a dark look.
"I never said I was pregnant," she muttered, releasing his hair with a sigh. "I simply asked how you felt about children."
"Which is woman speak for 'you knocked me up buster so you better not walk away'," Nikola replied with a grin. "I'm not that unintelligent."
Helen pulled a face and groaned.
"You mean to say you aren't pregnant?" Nikola asked, his face falling as he sat back on his haunches. Helen couldn't help but smile at him, reaching out to cup his cheek. He was her Nikola and she'd never doubt that again. While he was snarky and vitriolic to the others at times, he was the sweet man she'd fallen for when they were together, unafraid to show her how he felt.
"I don't know," she admitted. "My body chemistry isn't exactly what you'd call normal so it could very well be a false alarm. I just... I just wanted to ask, just in case."
The forlorn look in his eye disappeared slowly, replaced instead by a soft smile that warmed her heart.
"How soon can you take the test?" he asked quietly, taking her hand as he slid his free hand up her thigh to rest on her hip.
Helen chuckled, leaning down to press her lips gently to his cheek.
"Whenever you'd like," she replied with a smile. Her stomach was doing backflips at the thought of having a child again, fear and anxiety bubbling up but it was the sheer joy radiating from Nikola that kept her grounded enough to realise that they could do this.
"Can we go now?" he asked eagerly as she broke away. Reverently he placed his hand over her stomach. "Please?"
Helen laughed once more, leaning back.
"Don't I get to find out what's in the box first?" she teased, glancing to the gift he'd brought in earlier but, much to her surprise, Nikola blushed, bolting to his feet and grabbing up the box before she could so much as blink.
"No," he said uncomfortably. "It was just... I mean, just a silly... immature and all that..."
He cleared his throat, looking around the room as if searching for an escape.
"Nikola?" she asked warily. "What?"
"It's nothing," he replied with a benign smile.
"Look, I think I'll just... go alright?" he said, backing away from her slowly with a tight grip on the package but Helen was determined, lunging for him before he could make his escape. Snatching the package from his grip, she smiled, turning her back as she began to undo the ribbon. Nikola's arms came around her, once more taking the parcel but Helen turned in his embrace, kissing him soundly until he groaned against her lips.
"Please?" she whispered softly, nuzzling his cheek. "Then we can go take the test."
Nikola groaned again, eyes still closed but, as Helen gently took the parcel from him, he didn't complain, just stepping back with a pained expression.
"It was meant to be a joke," he said dejectedly. "But it's silly and immature and I'm sorry, alright?"
Shooting him what she hoped was a comforting look, Helen sat down once more with the package on her lap. Nikola hovered uncomfortably by her side as she took her time in removing the lid and pulling back the tissue paper only to burst out laughing when she realised what the box contained.
"I'm sorry," Nikola said again, sounding dejected. "It's just that it's exactly 6 months today since you found me and I figured we should celebrate and then I remembered what you'd said and I just... It's silly, I know, I should have been a little more mature about it but I just..."
Helen meanwhile, was still unable to control her laughter, tears almost leaking down her cheeks as she clutched the box to her chest.
"Oh Niko," she gasped with a grin. "You and I truly are..." And with that she burst out into laughter once more much to Nikola's displeasure. She could see the confusion in his eye but, even as she quieted herself to a giggle, she couldn't explain it to him. Standing up, she gave him the box and a quick kiss before taking his hand and leading him to the door.
"Where are we going?" he asked uncertainly but Helen didn't respond, just shaking her head through her chuckling.
Quickly they made their way to the residential corridor, Helen still unable to talk as she tugged Nikola along to their bedroom. She heard him chuckle at the destination but, as she shoved him through the door she ignored the waggle of his eye brows, leaving him and his box to perch on the bed as she headed to the wardrobe. It took a few moments of searching but eventually she found the costume she was searching for and grabbed it, spinning back to him with a grin.
"Great minds think alike," he said appreciatively, taking in the naughty nurse costume that bore a striking resemblance to the one in his box.
"You aren't the only one who remembered the date," she said huskily, tossing the costume to the bed.
Nikola grinned up at her, throwing aside the box on his lap in favour of taking her by the hips.
"Care to celebrate?" he all but purred, tugging her down until she straddled his lap.
"Read my mind," she replied in a whisper before their lips met hungrily. "Though?"
"Costume later," he growled, falling backwards and dragging her with him and Helen grinned.
"Great minds," she mumbled against his lips.
"Genius minds," he corrected his voice low and rough as he rolled them over. "Absolute geniuses."
And then, as his lips descended on hers once more, Helen couldn't find it in herself to disagree.