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Of Sequins and Scalpels

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"Come on, Doctor Magnus," Nikola goaded, jogging backwards, "show me how fast you can go." Helen shook her head, wanting to keep a steady pace. Nikola, however, had other ideas. "Race you to the top. Winner picks the loser's practice outfit for tomorrow." He was still jogging backwards, but somehow staying in a straight line and not bashing into anyone.

Maybe if it wasn't a rainy autumn day he'd have more difficulty avoiding people. "Really, Nikola? Picking the loser's clothes? You'd agree to that?"

He raised his eyebrow. "I would if you would. A chance to get you to wear your Team Teslen tee with the bright pink leggings and black, knit leg warmers? Yeah."

"No," she replied, keeping her eyes forward, looking dead ahead. Primrose Hill was before them. So long as she had a decent head start she could make it to the top first.


She nodded. A few feet more, that's all she needed.

Nikola fell into step next to her, eyes narrowed in consternation. "Why not?"

The incline. They'd run this countless days now, but she knew her body. Now she could say, "Because I'll win," as she shot off, lengthening her stride as she lowered her upper body, becoming more aerodynamic. Grinning, she could hear his pounding feet behind her, getting inexorably closer, his laughter carrying on the air.

"That all you got?" he called, still behind. She knew the ploy - distract her to take the lead - but today was hers to win. Shaking her head, she sped up. Her knees were going to hate her if she ever reached her seventies.

"More than you have," she yelled, not turning. Almost at the top, she dodged a couple and their Dalmatians, lungs burning. She screamed as she felt Nikola's hand on her back. Shimmying, she shook him off, and propelled herself onto the plateau. She'd won!

Turning, she grinned at him, a delighted, "Oooff," escaping her lips as he barrelled into her. They both tumbled to the floor, the ground about as hard as Helen expected. She didn't care though. Looking up into Nikola's eyes, she said, "You're wearing the tutu tomorrow."

"Deal," he breathed, his hand cradling her head. For a moment they were the only people in existence, getting drizzled on on top of a hill. "We should get up."

"We should."

"… Just the tutu?"

Licking her lips, she brushed them against his. "Surprise me."