Abby decided it was Henry’s fault. Will never listened to pop music, but Henry would bop around to anything, a fact Abby discovered pretty soon after taking Magnus up on a job offer (liaison to top side Abnormals on the North America continent - lots of travel but lots of time in the underground Sanctuary). One time she walked into the kitchen to see him air guitaring to the radio, and not half bad either, although he bounced a bit much, and another time (but the same kitchen - maybe that was the problem?) to him using a cucumber as a microphone. To say that she was perturbed by his most recent choice would be over egging the cake.
“I didn’t know you liked Backstreet Boys,” she said, picking half a tomato out of the salad Erika was preparing. Erika jokingly slapped her hand away, then chopped up another tomato as Abby grinned, bending to look for the cheese grater in a cupboard.
Henry blushed, “Eh, its not… I don’t…” He grinned worriedly, “I only like one song. This song.”
Abby nodded as Erika added, “I remember this in school. It was the only song the boys would dance to.”
“Yeah, same with us,” Abby said as the beat started slowing, all three of them dancing along as they did their respective tasks. She’d always enjoyed this bit, especially in the video when they all started dancing in pairs (it was the costumes, every time).
It was during the last chorus Magnus and the others joined them, Will trailing behind as Tesla babbled to little Alice in his arms, who wiggled out of his embrace almost the moment she saw her mommy. “It’s official, I’m her personal chariot,” he grumbled good naturedly, slotting in next to Magnus and the kettle. Will rested his head on Abby’s shoulder as she buttered some bread.
“What’s up?” she asked quietly, smiling as her hands did their repetitive motion..
“If I have to hear another round of flirting between those two…” he said, before squeezing her into a hug.
They were currently preparing drinks for the evening meal, Tesla talking, his usual shark grin in place as Magnus shook her head and laughed at whatever he was saying. “I think they’re cute,” Abby told Will.
“That’s because you don’t have to watch it with any sort of regularity,” he said, grabbing the plate of bread and moving to the table.
“Neither do you,” Abby reminded him, following him and sitting with the others.
“Maybe it’s a Magnus thing,” Henry said, loud enough to interrupt their conversation (Abby didn’t really want to analyse why Will was so critical of Magnus and Tesla’s relationship). “I mean…”
“Yes, Henry?” Magnus asked expectantly, wide eyed and innocent, head tilted to one side.
Everyone turned to Henry, leaning back on his chair, his cheeks pinker than usual. “Ashley liked Howie. He was Dracula…” His voice petered out as he took in everyone’s faces and Abby couldn’t help grinning and glancing back at Magnus and Tesla. They were doing that talking with their eyes thing that Will hated but everyone else just sort of dealt with because Tesla with his mouth closed was preferable to all involved.
Dinner quickly devolved after that. Tesla, as much as he liked the idea of the Magnus women having a predisposition to vampires, complained (bitched) about the, “Ludicrous, stereotypical, unbelievable representation of vampires in today’s media.” Erika and Henry (with Alice giggling along) started fooling around with the stereotypes of vampires and werewolves, “Though American Werewolf in London is still a masterpiece,” he added, tearing off a chunk of bread.
Erika chimed in, quoting, “Mummy, mummy, a naked American man stole my balloon.”
They all laughed at her high pitched words, still passing various bits of salad and dinner between them.
Next to her, Will muttered about the stereotype of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and how Adam didn't need snake scales and shimmery make-up to make anyone crap their pants. Abby shuddered - the stories they told about him were worse than any novelisation she'd read. Tesla must have overheard him, or seen her revulsion, because his next words had Erika gasping and covering Alice's ears. Magnus just shook her head, covering his hand with hers.
Everyone sang along when the song came on again, including Magnus and Tesla (and actually Tesla had a decent voice, not that she had an opinion, or that she’d listened in when he and Magnus used to put Alice to bed and he’d sing nursery rhymes). Even Will mumbled along to the chorus, quietly, a bit bashful and so adorable in Abby’s opinion.
Sure enough, Tesla was out the kitchen door the moment someone suggested he helped with the dishes, and Erika begged out to put Alice to bed. Will and Henry had feeds to sort out for some of the smaller abnormals, so Abby was left with the dishes. It wasn’t too bad, most had been washed as they waited for things to cook, but there were still plates and cutlery to do. “We’ll soon have these done,” Magnus told her, pushing up her sleeves.
Abby blinked. “What…? No, nonono, I’ve got this,” she told her, smiling as she stacked the plates.
“Nonsense. Many hands make light work.” Magnus collected all the glasses and crossed the kitchen. Almost in awe of her (Abby still couldn’t believe she got to work with (for) Helen Magnus), she nodded, hearing the sink fill with water. “If you don’t mind drying?” she asked, turning slightly to ask over her shoulder.
“No, I don’t mind,” Abby confirmed as she put the plates next to the glasses. They worked in companionable quiet, the only sound (except for the washing up) being Abby singing. It was only when she’d dried half the plates she realised that Magnus might not appreciate a song. “Sorry, I sing when I do chores.”
Magnus shook her head and smiled. “You have nothing to apologise about. Having an ear worm helps pass the time.” Abby smiled back, grateful Magnus understood her need for noise. Humming and singing again, she almost missed Magnus asking, “Any plans for the evening?”
Flushing, Abby nodded, smiling shyly. “Will and I are heading to the waterfall.”
“Ah!” Magnus pulled the plug, dishes done. “Say no more.”
“Come on Abby, we have to get out of here before--” Helen stopped suddenly, Abby running into her back, and both women looked at the sight before them.
Tesla walked along the dark corridor of the Sanctuary, the wood panelling dusty, the vases missing, his swagger as magnetic as usual. “I've gotta question for ya, better answer now,” he sung as he moved towards them. Abby chanced a glance at Helen, hoping she’d guide her, give her something to follow, but she just stared at him.
“Helen,” he breathed, low and dangerous. Abby’s cheeks flushed, a bit awkward watching Tesla ensnare Helen with a word and a look. Without sparing a glance at her, Helen floated (woah!) over to him, and Abby turned, not wanting to watch that make out scene. Walking back the way she came, she turned the corner, expecting the elevator, but finding Henry.
Bouncing on a four poster bed.
She started stepping backwards, confused (what the hell is that coat?), when he stopped, sniffed the air and levelled his gaze on her. His nose elongated and within a blink of an eye he was in her personal space, werewolf but still wearing the worst faux fur jacket she’d ever seen. The wall felt hard behind her, his breath hot against her skin.
“Am I the only one?”
“Why are you-- yeah -- singing?” she asked, only noticing after she finished her sentence that she’d sung too. Hands around her arms, pulling her backwards, shook her more than Henry’s HAP form. “Wha--? Will?”
“Am I everything you need?”
“What?” she gasped, watching as the bandages fell away, his lovely face looking down at her as the song played on. Smiling back, they twirled in the ballroom, her jeans and t-shirt now a black corset and white dress. Over there, in one corner, were Helen and Tesla, her eyes so smoky, little vampire fangs poking out as she smiled at him. Towards the back were Erika and Henry, dancing their little HAP butts off. She was pretty sure she'd seen Declan and Kate somewhere too, dancing with people.
“As long as there’ll be music, we’ll be coming back again! ”
Abby’s eyes went wide. “I don’t know this dance!” Helen took one hand, Will the other, and as they danced, Abby noticed she knew all the steps - swinging her arms, sitting on the floor, getting back up - dancing better than Will, almost as well as Helen herself. The smile on her face made her cheeks ache but dancing felt like floating. Looking down, she realised why. “Hey look, I’m Casper!”
As she brushed her teeth, Abby heard herself sing. Shrugging - it was nothing new - she carried on. In the hallway of the permanent staff quarters, she heard Erika singing to a giggling Alice. “Everybody now, rock your body now…”
As she exited the elevator, Henry stepped on, “Now throw your hands up in in the air,” he sung under his breath. She shook her head, it wasn’t odd to hear people singing around here.
“Gonna tell the world, make them understand,” came crooning out of the kitchen. Popping her head in, she watched as Magnus and Tesla danced arm in arm around the room. They looked so happy; if she unfocused her eyes just a little, she could imagine them as the age they looked, unburdened of the age they were. “I vant to suck your blood,” he murmured wickedly, capturing Magnus’ laugh with his lips, stopping their twirling. Abby simultaneously squeaked and rolled her eyes.
“Hey, why you-- oh God,” Will groaned, watching the two in the kitchen. “Ok kids, break it up, people want to eat in here,” he called, walking in. Magnus didn’t quite spring from Tesla’s embrace, but Abby would swear down on her mother’s Bible that she heard her sigh as she walked to the kettle.
Later, alone in the kitchen as she cleaned her utensils, Abby sung to herself. Cutlery away, she glanced around, then tried the dance steps that came so easily in her dream. Her arms worked fine but her feet? They would not comply. Giving it up, she turned to the door.
“You need to jump higher.”
“Ma-- I--” Abby shook her head. “Sorry, what?”
Magnus smiled, walking up next to her. “Jumping. You have to start that section jumping into it.” And without warning, in four inch heels, Helen Magnus did the first third of the routine, barely seeing Abby’s gobsmacked face.
“H-- how...?” Magnus flushed, and Abby suddenly remembered Henry’s confession last night. “Your daughter.”
Magnus nodded, “Henry taped the music video so she could learn the dance.” A grin. “He claims he “accidentally” recorded over it with an episode of The X-Files. Ashley stomped around for a week after that.”
“What changed?” Abby asked, pointing to the tea pot.
Nodding again, Magnus smiled. “She watched the tape.” Accepting the teacup and saucer from Abby, her eyes glittered. “A predisposition for vampires came to the fore.” She glanced to the door; Abby assumed it was to make sure Tesla didn’t come in, crowing like he had last night.
Abby grinned, and sipped her tea, then asked, “Plans for the day?”
Magnus quirked her eyebrow, smiled her Mona Lisa smile, then walked out the kitchen, tea cup still in hand. Abby decided there and then she’d avoid Magnus’ office and Tesla's lab for the next few days - that eyebrow meant danger for anyone who’d interrupt them.