So I set a review goal for my story "Hang Out" and promised if you brilliant reviewers passed it, I would devote my immediate future to another Helen/Charlotte fic. Well, you passed it! I am a woman of a word. I'm so glad you guys whooped that review goal, because I had WAY too much fun writing this mad little adventure. The whole Sanctuary team decided to come out and play! So if you aren't the biggest Helen/Charlotte fan, don't fear, there's hopefully some fun stuff for you as well :D Hope you enjoy!
Warnings: One chapter will be a steamy "T" rating, and yes, there will be one devoted to "M" content ;) I will label accordingly so you may skip if that's not your thing! Also: My brilliant Beta NoCleverSig decided to flounce off on a CRUISE for a few days, thus this first chapter is basically unbeta'd. All the crap is my own fault; apologies. The rest of the fic will be perfected by her delicate touch.
As usual, I am a shallow, selfish, horrible person who is easily bribed by reviews. If you give 'em, I'll post 'em! More chapters, quicker, that is. The ENTIRE fic IS written ;) I do so enjoy minimum of 10 reviews per chap ;) On with the show!
Love Potion #9
Copyright 2011, MajorSam
Helen Magnus rubbed her forehead tiredly. The sun shone brilliantly outside the window in her office but the natural light and the chirping of the birds outside only served to aggravate her headache. The past week had been hell. The abnormal insurgents were being more troublesome than usual, the CIA had tried to plant an operative in one of her foreign Sanctuaries, a civilian had run into a wild stranphlus, and Sally had a cold; a very awkward predicament for a mermaid. The water filtration and cleaning system in Sally's tank was top notch, but to be safe Magnus had had to set it drain and refill with fresh water every 6 hours. Kate had arrived for her first of her monthly, in-person reports on the situation in Hollow Earth. To top it all off Declan had felt the need to come to Old City to discuss something about the London Sanctuary with her in person. He'd arrived that afternoon, but she still didn't know what was so pressing that he could only say it in person. The only thing Magnus could be thankful for in the last week was the fact that the Sanctuary's heating, electricity, and the like, kept running smoothly. Richard Feliz had indeed kept her well-funded.
Suddenly the lights in her office flickered.
"What now?" she groaned, throwing her pen onto her desk. She should know better than to think things like that. As soon as she acknowledged her thankfulness…. A moment later, Henry Foss burst into her office.
"Doc!" he exclaimed, "Something's gone haywire with the electrical wiring!"
"Yes, I've noticed," she replied drily, as the lights flickered again.
"My scanners say the original spike came from the east corner of the second floor."
Magnus sighed. No residents were housed on the second floor. The spike was either a problem with the actual wiring itself or a resident had gotten loose. Either way there would be repairs needed.
"Let's go," she ordered opening the right hand drawer of her desk and extracting a handgun, just in case.
She crept along the corridor, Henry behind her with a stunner in hand. Her heels made no noise as her keen eyes searched the area. Henry suddenly sneezed, and she glared at him quickly. He shrugged in apology. The hallway was brightly lit, forcing her to squint as she scanned every inch of the scene in front of her. The hall table was undisturbed, the vase of fresh flowers resting on it still vibrant. The Big Guy always managed to keep the flowers fresh in the summer. The paintings on the walls were untouched, and the carpet was in place. She turned to glance at Henry. He frowned down at the screen of his scanner.
"It came from this area, I swear."
She nodded, trusting him, and took a few steps forward, her gaze landing on the doorway to her right. It led to a simple storage closet, but there were some electrical sockets as well. Vacuum cords and the like only extended so far, so such closets were spaced strategically throughout the Sanctuary. She rarely went into them. Her butler took pride in his maintenance and upkeep of the building. Her mind suddenly leapt to a memory. 1973. Jason, her redheaded Scottish lover, had opened one of these doors and thrown her inside one night after coming home from a movie. He'd pushed her up against the wall and ravished her mouth with his as her protégé at the time had ambled down the corridor, completely unaware. He'd held her firm, hands wandering down her legs before sliding up her skirt…
Magnus shook her head, clearing her thoughts and looking at her young friend with wide eyes. "Sorry," she mumbled offering no explanation. She took a deep breath, ignoring the fact she felt suddenly warm. She needed to get some sleep, her mind was starting to drift. Very slowly, she inched towards the door, reaching out and grasping the handle in her long fingers. She turned it just a fraction and when no crazed abnormal leaped out from within, finished twisting it, opening the door. Her eyes opened wide, trying to stare into the sudden darkness of the dim closet. Nothing moved, but near the bottom of the right wall, a socket was flickering. Mini sparks of light danced forward into the air. Magnus switched on the light, keeping her weapon aloft in case something jumped out from behind the broom. As light flooded the small space, she felt her heart drop.
"Oh no," Henry moaned behind her.
Laying on the ground just a foot from the socket was a small, furry mound. Its fur was charred and black, leaving no doubt that it was dead. Magnus dropped her gun to her side, closing her eyes in consternation. The creature was dead, but if there was one, there would be more. It certainly explained her little trip down memory lane a few minutes ago.
The nubbins were loose.
As if on cue, Henry sneezed again. "Well this could be a problem," he stated.
"Indeed," Magnus agreed, glaring at the nubbin as if by doing so she could eliminate the problem. "Have you a radio?"
"Nope, sorry," he shook his head. "Just brought the stunner."
Magnus realized in her haste she'd also only brought a weapon. Funny how in her own home weapons were the priorities above communications. "Start working on the socket. I'll go inform everyone and get some clean-up equipment for you."
Henry nodded and knelt down, already assessing the damage. Helen strode swiftly down the corridors wondering if she could actually hear the scuttling of nubbins in the walls, or if she was just imagining it. She absently unbuttoned the cuffs of her dark blue blouse and rolled her sleeves up almost to her elbows. Her legs were itching under her black skirt.
To her team's credit, they were in her office within five minutes of her summons. Will immediately took note of her slightly flushed features. He'd been feeling a little warm himself. He'd have to ask her about the temperature controls. Magnus cut straight to the chase.
"The nubbins have escaped."
A series of groans met her proclamation. Will decided he didn't need to ask about temperate controls after all.
"Henry's assessing the initial damage to our electrical system. I need all of you on search-and-capture. Kate, if you could take Declan to the armoury and stock up on some tranquilizers. Will, you'll come with me to get the sonic projectors." She turned to her big, hairy friend. "Please attend to the temperature controls. Something must have malfunctioned in the nubbin's enclosure. If you need call Henry and make that his priority. Once you're done with that, rendezvous with Henry to help clean up the initial casualty."
She surveyed her team. "Any questions?" They all shook their heads, understanding and ready to go. She felt a moment of pride. She reached into a drawer in her dresser, pulling out enough radios so that each team had one. "Alright, let's move out!"
The group moved fluidly out of her office, pairing off and spreading out towards their respective destinations. Magnus herself led Will to the storage room by Henry's lab. Unless broken, half-finished, or undergoing upgrades, all of Henry's inventions were stored in the large locker room. Magnus sent a silent thank you upwards that Henry kept the room cleaner and more organized than his haphazard lab. Will quickly found the sonic projector devices Henry had fashioned during their initial Nubbin encounter. He checked to ensure the frequency was correct before handing one, then another, over to Magnus, then fetching one for himself.
"Food stores first," Magnus directed. He nodded and moved forward as Magnus took a step further in, deciding at the last minute to grab an extra stunner just in case. Right then the lights went out, flooding the room with sudden darkness. Will stumbled in surprise, straight into the oncoming Magnus as she tried to side-step. She spread her arms wide so that Will didn't crush the delicate projectors. Will hadn't had the foresight, but at the last second skirted his under the doctor's open arms, wrapping himself around her as they collided. He found his head hovering right next to hers, chests flush tight. He could feel hers moving up and down as she breathed shallow breaths that hit his neck in warm puffs. He could feel heat radiating off of her. The subtle scent of her perfume suddenly made his mouth water.
"Um, Will?" She shifted her body slightly. He bit back a groan.
"It's the stunner, I swear," he breathed. She let out a short laugh.
"Your stunner is behind my back," she reminded him.
She shifted again and this time he knew it was deliberate. His shuddering breath hit her neck and goosebumps broke out. Her head fell to the side to allow his breath to wash over her as he leaned forward. His eyes fell closed as he breathed in her scent, deeply. He heard her let out a shaky breath in reply. Her arms slowly closed around him, keeping the stunners safe, but resting her upper arms against his. To keep herself balanced, she told herself. Will's free hand drifted away from her back, up to her front. He looked down in fascination as his hand, of its own volition, found Magnus' blouse, toying with the top button until it came undone. Her pale skin was the only thing Will could see glowing in the darkness. He let his hand fall to her side, gently grasping her waist, pressing himself further into her soft warmth. Her body fit his in a way he wasn't used to. Abby was so much shorter than Helen…
Will's eyes flew open and he suddenly wrenched himself out of her arms, stumbling backwards. Helen's body leaned forward, unconsciously trying to keep Will's heat against her even as her mind snapped to attention and her eyes opened. They both adjusted to the dim light quickly now that their minds were no longer distracted.
"Magnus!" Will yelled, not knowing what to say. She opened her mouth to speak, then clapped it shut. She needed to think before she spoke. Will watched, amazed, as her whole visage transformed in a second. He blinked and she was once again his cool, collected boss.
"You alright?" she asked.
"Look, Magnus, I'm sorry, I…"
"There's no reason to apologize. It's obvious that the nubbins are having their usual affect. We'll all just have to be careful to keep our… wits, about us."
Will snorted, nodding. Keep it in your pants. Message heard and understood.
"The pantry?" she reminded him gently. They needed to get there before the nubbins devoured it. Magnus was thankful they didn't have a taste for wine. She could deal with the loss of her fine cheeses, and imported exotic produce, but the wine would be an expensive and heart-breaking thing to replace. Her protégé nodded smartly and hefted his projector. She turned around and opened the door. The hall was lit only by the sunlight streaming in through the window on the far side. Was power down all over the building? Her mind was fully back in mission mode as she moved out. Will followed her, trying to ignore the way her skirt hugged her backside, or the fact that she hadn't re-buttoned her blouse.
20 minutes earlier
Kate and Declan walked with purpose on the way to the armoury. Kate could walk the route blindfolded and asleep. It was her favourite place in the Sanctuary. Helen and Will liked the library, Henry had his lab, Biggie had his man-cave, and Kate had the armoury. She found the act of disassembling, cleaning, and reassembling weapons to be very…zen. She could tune everything out and focus solely on making sure the bolt of the rifle was clean, the barrel of the handgun clear. It was such second nature to her that she could even let her mind wander, if needed. When she went to sleep, she immediately fell asleep. The armoury was the only place she let herself daydream. Despite her familiarity with the route to the armoury, however, she found Declan's long stride surpassing her, equally as confident. Not for the first time she wondered about Declan's past. How, when, and why had he been recruited to the Sanctuary network? He'd obviously only ever been stationed at the London branch, so how did he know so much about the Old City site? How much time had he spent here, over the years, before she even knew about the Sanctuary? She found herself wanting to find out. She liked Declan. As a friend only, of course. She was happier than ever with Garris down in Hollow Earth, but still. Kate knew she could be hard to work with, stubborn, and with a very distinct operating style. Declan was one of the few people she could work with efficiently. They made a good team.
Her musings came to a halt as they arrived at the armoury door. The pair wordlessly entered the room and gathered the appropriate supplies, one grabbing the guns while the other got the tranquilizers. Kate smiled; as she'd been thinking: a good team. Declan's hand was on the door to leave when the lights went out. Kate stopped in her tracks.
"Why aren't we still leaving?"
"We should get flashlights while we're here."
Kate carefully turned around, trying to visualize the armoury in her mind, orient herself. The fact that the emergency backup lighting hadn't come on was rather worrying. She reached her arms out in front of her to make sure she didn't upset a shelf full of grenades or anything, but found herself touching something warm, and soft.
"Umm… Declan?" she asked again.
"Yes?" His voice was suddenly much closer.
"How'd you get over here so fast?"
"I'm ex-military, remember?"
She often did forget that fact.
"Do you even know where the flashlights are?" she asked.
There were a few seconds of silence, punctuated by their light breathing. She realized the light blue sweater he was wearing was very, very soft. Her fingers curled into it. So she could keep track of where he was she told herself. Make sure he didn't fall into those grenade shelves either.
"No, I don't know where the flashlights are," he finally admitted.
"Hmm," she mumbled in reply, nodding, though she knew he wouldn't see it. More silence. Kate thought she could hear Declan's heart beating in his sweater-clad chest. He also smelled really nice. Garris' people smelled different. Not bad by any stretch, but not exactly what she was used to.
"Do you?" he asked quietly. What a cute accent.
"Do I what?" Kate replied, slightly breathless.
"Know where the flashlights are…" he trailed off. His hands rose up to Kate's waist, holding her steady when she swayed slightly.
"You don't seem to have any on you," he said, trailing his hands over her sides and stating the glaringly obvious but keeping his voice steady. He was just conducting reconnaissance for the mission. Honestly.
"No… I don't." Her voice was barely there now, whispering. Declan could feel it on his cheeks as he bent his neck down, leaning into her…
The emergency lighting suddenly came on. Kate gasped when she saw Declan's face, so close to hers, his lips hovering mere inches from her own. Her hands flexed on his chest, and his grip on her waist tightened. In the next second they flew away from each other, stepping back as if they'd been burned.
"Woah," she said.
"Kate, I'm…" he said at the same time.
They both broke off, chuckling nervously.
"So, um, how about those nubbins, eh?" she said, looking anywhere but him.
"Yeah…" It was the first encounter with the troublesome creatures for both of them. The reports didn't do justice to the way they made you more… amenable… to suggestion. Kate's skin was warm and tingly and she felt on edge, energy coursing through her, making her want to… well, do things she shouldn't do. With Declan. Who was standing right in front of her, peering down with concerned, blue eyes.
"Let's go shoot some of them!" she exclaimed, and whirled away, barreling out the door as if she were being chased. Declan watched her retreating, jean-clad backside, and sighed.
"Right," he mumbled, and took off to catch up with her.
The nubbins didn't affect Biggie as badly as the others. His physiology was different enough that he was susceptible, or immune, to different things than the others. That being said, when he traversed the main hub of the basement lab, he paused in front of Sally the mermaid's tank. He looked over and saw her graceful, lithe body moving through the pristine water. She looked to be getting her strength back after her illness. That was good. The lights suddenly went off. He could now only see a light glow around her smooth form. She was beautiful, majestic…
Biggie growled at himself and looked away. He shook his head roughly. He was feeling a bit light-headed. He growled again and stalked away.
When the lights went off, Henry sneezed. Again.
To Be Continued…
Yes! I've done it! I've fulfilled my sacred duty as a Sanctuary Writer by posting the requisite "Nubbin" fic! And I already want to do another! So. Much. Fun. But before I do… we need to get through this one, first ;) Will the team survive! Will some frolicking mistakes be made! Will there be some surprise guests! Please share all your thoughts, likes, hates, concerns, and random tidbits about what you ate today because I'm a foodie nerd. :D