Me again. Updated this because I suddenly had muse for it. I've been working on a few other things here or there - including a series of Doctor Who/Sanctuary one-shots I most post here sometime. But hope you enjoy this update (rating has changed, mind you, for a good reason), and this is dedicated to chartreuseian for putting up with me on twitter and being an otherwise fantastic as hell person.
Sighing, Helen tried to focus on the worn pages of the book before her, words illuminated by candle-light. The power was out for the second time that week because of the fluctuations, leaving most of the complex without power – the back-up generators were reserved for essential areas only. Even so, Helen's thoughts were still trying to process over from work to the old book she was reading, curled up on the plush chair in her bedroom with a glass of wine perched in her left hand. Another glass sat untouched on the table.
It'd been nearly a week since she'd blown up the old Sanctuary – tomorrow, if all went well, would be the day Will returned to them if he chose to. Helen had already had her reunion with Henry and Kate; Henry had never been happier to see her and she was quite certain he'd hugged her a good five minutes. Kate had looked absolutely livid and had nearly landed a few hits to Helen, but thankfully the older woman had been able to calm her down – as had the Big Guy's intervention. Things were – sort of – beginning to settle.
Nearly two hours after Helen had stopped working and retreated to her room, Nikola came sweeping in with little hesitation. His hair stuck up at all angles and he was muttering something to himself as he moved to the table, grabbed the wine, then stepped toward the large row of windows that offered a lovely view of one of the two large lakes in the complex, which was lit up at night by lights around the water's edge.
Helen watched with a raised eyebrow, silently of course, not wanting to interrupt just yet. She had set him and Henry on the task of coming up with a proper power solution to the complex so the blackouts would stop happening, and she could finally put the last security measures into place. She hadn't been exaggerating with the amount of work that needed to be done – she herself had been swamped all day, travelling between abnormal enclosures and her office, meeting whatever demands she needed. However, with things finally working themselves out, she was eager to start offering what resources she could to the rebuilding of Hollow Earth.
Marking her page in her book and setting it aside, she stood. Forgoing putting her heels back on, she padded over to stand beside Nikola at the window. She could hear him muttering at this distance, something about capacitors and coils and – well, other things that she was only really paying half attention to as she watched a light rain begin to mist the windows. Environmental controls were on an entirely separate power source – one that would need to be seen to eventually as well – and designed to mirror the weather outside their little 'ecosystem' on the surface, with the option of changing it daily with a bit of programming on her part. Still, it served its purpose for realistic conditions underground.
Stepping up next to him, shoulder brushing against his arm, she continued to watch it rain, listening to him still vaguely rattle on about parts to himself, before he even seemed to note she was there. Helen knew when he noticed; he stopped talking, an arm shifting to slide around her waist and pull her against his side. Helen settled there, rubbing soft circles on the back of his palm. He often tried to leave work out of her private quarters – he had been in them a few times in the past week, mostly to discuss business with Helen after hours.
"The power will be back on tomorrow morning." He spoke, slight guilt to his tone, likely for not having it back on that evening. "Hopefully. Whoever wired the original system did a horrible job, Helen. You really ought to watch who you hire. Wolf-boy's been rewiring everything and I've been creating new power generators – if we can finish the wiring in the morning and get it all connected, we should be back in business."
"That would be quite helpful." She mused. A bit hard to get what she needed done without power, but she was trying not to pressure them; they were stressed enough for the moment and she was confident they and their lab teams were more than capable of making it through the power outages to get something up and running. She leaned up and pressed a kiss against his cheek, but he twisted his head to surprise her with a proper kiss – apparently it was simply going to be a game for them now. She chuckled softly, deepening the kiss teasingly for a fleeting moment before pulling away and crossing to the laptop resting on her desk.
Nikola frowned, catching her before she could get very far. As she knew he would.
"Tease." He accused, forcing her to face him. Helen gave another cheeky little smirk, hands resting against his chest.
He gave a soft growl, pulling her close and kissing her again. It was quickly becoming a nightly routine for them: heated and feverish kisses, the pair making out like a couple of teenagers. Nikola had been the gentleman about it, however, unwilling to go much further in fear of hurting her ribs or any other sensitive parts that were still healing. It frustrated her more than anything, but she'd understood his reservations.
Helen found herself pressed against the wall, at the mercy of Nikola's lips against her neck and his hands gentle tracing down her sides through the fabric of her blouse, even more gentle when he reached the bandages wrapped around her torso. His attention to her the past week had been nothing but TLC, as promised, with a side of snark and sarcasm – same Nikola, it seemed.
"Don't start something you don't intend to finish." Helen managed, breathless after he'd stolen another lingering, heated kiss. He tasted of wine, the best kind, and she could feel it lingering against her lips.
"You know very well you're still healing. Really, Helen. One would think you'd manage the way you've been putting me off for centuries." Nikola spoke. They had their trysts through the years, of course, sordid affairs that had been frenzied and rushed and simple things to satisfy the need. Helen had quickly learned that was not Nikola's only specialty over the past week, with his hands trailing across her skin and gentle kisses against various spots along her person. It was more gentle than she'd thought him capable of.
"I have massive amounts of pain killers in my system for a reason, Nikola."
"Oh, you want me to take advantage of you then?"
"It's not as if I'm helpless and unconscious. It's a few bumps and bruises, and right now they're not hurting." Helen said. "Besides, the release of endorphins in my system that you're fueling now is a natural painkiller. It helps."
He silenced her with another kiss, feathering her lips with a few scattered brief ones, his hands stilling at her hips. He was apparently biding his time, considering; Helen knew the moment he decided, as their tongues were suddenly dueling for dominance and he had her pinned to the wall with his body pressed against every inch of hers. She was gasping for breath when he pulled away, fingers tugging at her blazer until she shifted enough to let him pull it away. His jacket and vest followed hers to the floor, creating a small pile not far away.
"On my terms, Helen." He warned as she reached for the buttons on his shirt. "Let me take care of you."
"You've been doing such all week."
"You're injured. Trust me. Once you're better you'll be wishing I was back to this. But for now? Take it slow. I want to relish every bit of this, and I want to make sure I don't hurt you." There was a certain kindness in his eyes that she hadn't seen since Oxford, since when he'd been that odd foreign boy with a bit of vulnerability and a thicker accent. Helen gave a small nod and he brushed a hand against her cheek momentarily before ducking his lips to her throat again, sneaking just beneath her ear.
Leave it to Nikola to instantly find the spot that had always been her undoing.
His hands pushed aside the fabric of her blouse, gently, brushing against the soft skin of her abdomen and tracing the line of her bandages horizontally across. Up the small of her back and to her neck, pulling it away as his fingers danced across every yellowing bruise in the most gentlest of manner he could manage. His kisses trailed lower to the cut on her collarbone and the bruise that had blossomed there.
Helen continued her earlier task of removing his shirt and he let her, her hands seeking the warm skin he always so carefully hide from view. Once his fabric had joined the pile on the ground, she traced soft patterns across his wiry muscles. Nikola trailed a hand along her hip, the zipper of her skirt following without even a touch; apparently he wasn't beyond using his abilities. The item pooled around her feet and she kicked it away as she'd done with her shoes, pulling Nikola closer. There was a soft chill in the room that seemed more prominent now that she was only in her underwear and bandages.
His lips claimed her again, hands going back to her thighs, teasing close and yet drawing nowhere near she was craving. Her temperature was steadily climbing, skin flushing a soft pink the more his lips and hands continued their caresses. Helen made a soft noise in the back of her throat when he nibbled at her pulse point with human teeth, only to flick his tongue out and lick it seconds after. Another spot that utterly undid her.
Her arms went around his neck and the hands at her thighs lifted, pulling her up into his arms. Legs wrapped around his waist with her back still against the wall, he resumed his assault against her lips, nipping and teasing playfully while supporting her as if it were nothing. Her fingers tangled into the hair at the back of his neck, pulling.
"Tease." She managed to get out when he allowed her to breathe again. He grinned wickedly, chuckling.
"You've no idea."
Pulling away from the wall, he crossed to the bed and deposited her carefully, mindful not to jostle her. Somewhere between her shifting into a better position and him joining her, his suit pants joined the clothes on the floor. His lips and hands resumed their assault of Helen's body, drifting lower. Kisses across the swell of a breast, fingers toying with the hem of her black lace underwear. He gave an appreciative hum, flicking his fingers. She felt the clasp of her bra unhinge and he pulled it away, eager for more. He gingerly kissed the bruise that the side of her bra had been hiding, before his tongue returned to swirl around first one nipple, then the other.
Frustrated and despite the slight tinge of pain her ribs gave, Helen shifted and wrapped a leg around his, flipping them so she was pinning him to the bed. He seemed startled for a moment, then fixated her with a glare and shifted them again.
"My rules, remember?"
"Your rules are annoying."
"You're one to talk."
Nikola pulled away the rest of her underwear before she could protest any further, but his fingers went right back to teasing her. Up her thigh and down another, but never close to where she needed the friction, the touch of his hand, the most. He kissed lower, across her abdomen, across more injuries. He seemed intent on giving her every bit of attention he possibly could, except in the way her body was ultimately begging for.
"You're marvelous, Helen."
"So you say every time we play this game." She said quietly, fingers tangled in his hair.
"It's an entirely different game now."
And it was, indeed.
Pulling him back up to her lips, she jerked away his underwear and took him in her hands, causing him to groan against her. Her fingers danced along his length, teasing, a bit of payback for earlier. He seemed eager to return the favor, his own fingers suddenly diving deep into her own folds. Her back arched, body pressing against his a close as she could manage. His kisses swallowed any noise that escaped; Helen had always been aware he was good with his hands, and in more ways than one.
Nipping at her neck, Helen pressed against him enough to push them into a sitting position so she could adjust, and the pressure was taken away from her ribs. His touch had become teasing at her entrance, little more than stimulation that was driving her absolutely mad – then again, her touch on his own member wasn't much different. But Helen was already growing tired of playing such games, intent on saving them for a date in the future in which she could easily tease him to no end in return (that would certainly be a fun night indeed).
"Nikola," She breathed, pulling away. "You. Now." She was more than ready, body alight with a new fire that wouldn't be satisfied until she'd had him. Her side gave a pull as he gathered her into his arms.
"Are you certain, Helen?" He asked with a sense of uncertainness she hadn't heard before. Breathing heavily, her gaze slipped to his eyes and spotted a new vulnerability. Normally in their trysts they'd been somewhat cold as he tried to emotionally shut her out. Now he seemed nearly afraid.
"I wouldn't be here if I wasn't."
"I love you." A test, then, it seemed. Helen gave a breathy chuckle, momentarily distracted as he shifted enough that his member was pressed against her, begging for entrance.
"I love you, too, Nikola."
The words had barely escaped her before he was buried in her in one long thrust. She gasped, the sensation more than she had expected at once to assault her senses. Falling back against the pillows with Nikola propped over her, his kissed her again, letting her adjust before he began to move. Eye lids fluttering closed, she shifted her hips against his as he began to build a slow and steady rhythm. His hands skimmed across her sides, up to her breasts and down again, a constant motion.
Pleasure coiled around the base of her spine and shot in every direction across her body the more they moved together, her hips moving to meet his. Utter bliss, it felt like – she couldn't remember their previous encounters feeling so wonderful. Whether or not it had to do with the pills in her system, she didn't give a damn, far too distracted at the moment to process any coherent or rational thought.
He murmured her name against her flushed skin, drawing her closer to the edge. His touch and movements continued to be gentle, as if he feared she might somehow shatter beneath him – and she would, but in the best of ways possible if he kept going the way he was. Her fingers dug into his back, head tilted back as she pulled him closer. His teeth began another go at her neck.
The world around her melted away as everything peaked and she fell to pieces, pleasure sweeping across her in waves at precisely the same time Nikola shuddered above her, signaling his own release. His name escaped her lips a plethora of times, body writhing of its own accord to draw out her orgasm for as long as possible.
"I hope," He began a moment later when they were both still attempting to catch their breath, falling into the pillows beside her. "that this means I get to do this far more often."
"The jury's still out," She replied, twisting her head to look at him. "But I can see them ruling in your favor sometime very soon."
"Perhaps they need more convincing." He mused, a hand already beginning another track up her thigh, dancing upward with a light touch until it reached her waist, settling there. He pulled her close, pressing a kiss to her temple. She blinked hazily, still trying to get her bearings back entirely.
"This changes things, doesn't it?" She inquired after another pause, studying him. "Everything."
Something flashed in his eyes and she rested a hand against his chest.
"I don't regret this, Nikola." She added. "But something tells me that we can't go back to just 'friends' this time, if something happens."
"You're not going to shut me out, are you?"
She shifted, rolling so that she was leaning against his chest and looking down at him. Hair framing her face, she gave a soft smile.
"No, I don't think so. Perhaps only if you upset me."
"I want to help you, Helen." He spoke, reaching up to brush the back of his hand against her cheek, tenderly. "But you can't keep hiding things from me. Like this place."
"Are you going to berate me again for it all?" She inquired, arching a brow. "Not exactly the after-sex conversation I expected."
He chuckled. "Tomorrow? Probably. But you have me at your mercy, I'm afraid, Miss. Magnus. There's no getting rid of me now."
"Who says I wanted to?"
"Give it time. You generally change your mind."
Helen's brows furrowed, and clearly he say her mild irritation at the statement. While not entirely untrue, she had already effectively 'sealed the deal' and there was no going back on it. Not now. And quite frankly, she didn't intend to.
"Things are going to get better. You've created this marvelous paradise, Helen, and while I'm only slightly irritated you wouldn't let me help, I understand why. Reluctantly." Nikola said. "But I would prefer it not to happen again."
"You of all people know I can't be open about everything, Nikola. It's going to take me time to accept the fact that I'm capable of doing such, even with you."
"And I understand that. And I intend to be here when you decide that you can do that. I meant what I said – I'm not leaving. Who needs world domination when you can tell the government to suck it from the privacy of Helen Magnus' bed?"
She laughed, lips curling into a soft smile.
"You're one to talk."
"Pipe down before I decide to kick you out of my bed."
"You wouldn't dare."