A Dark And Stormy Night (Atlantis - Audrey/Vinny)
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Atlantis belong to Disney.
Prompt: AU. He's a vampire, who's hidin' in his mansion, she - usual mechanic, who got lost and found this house. But then, after a short conversation, mercenaries came in mansion wishin' to kill vampire.
It was a dark and stormy night.
Wasn't that how these sort of stories always start?
Audrey snorted at her train of thought and pulled her cap down further on her head in what was proving to be a futile attempt not to get thoroughly soaked. The light from that mansion was just ahead and hopefully the owner would answer the door this late at night and let her use the phone. Otherwise it was a long trek back to spend the night on the side of the road in a car that had given up on her.
Poor thing - the car had been old to begin with. Beautiful, but old. A fixer upper in every every sense of the word. And Da had warned from the very beginning that even though she had spent hours on it (much longer than it was worth really - whole weekends lost to having her arms deep within the guts of the ole girl, oil and dirt like mechanical life blood smeared all over her), given it a total overhaul, there would still be a day that one little bit would say, "I'm too fucking old for this." – and give up. Leaving the rest of the automobile, and her
, in the lurch.
Sometimes she hated it when Da was right.
Finally reaching the door she knocked, trying not to be nervous. Really though, she was more relieved for the overhang she was now under in front of the house and the chance to be at least momentarily dry. She used the time waiting for a response to her knocks to try and dry off - at least a little.
So, when the owner of the home opened the door, it was to find her on his door step with her cap between her teeth impatiently twisting water out of her hair and onto his stoop.
Never one to be intimidated by awkward situations (she was a female mechanic in a family auto shop everyone assumed was run by a man and his sons, that picked up night shifts part time over at the Ford plant when they needed more hands, especially for specialized work. She was never what people expected, she swam against the stream of awkward constantly), Audrey gave a smile around the cloth in her mouth before straightning up, shoving the heavy mat of her hair behind her and stuffing the hat in the back pocket of her coveralls.
As presentable as she was going to get, she stuck out her calused hand and shook the proprieters gloved one.
She raised her eyes and looked him over for the first time as she did. All black. That was her initial impression. Black thick cable sweater, black pants, black boots, black hair - her attention stayed there momentarily distracted by the way his hair was closely shaven on the sides with a floppy fringe around the top - and black bushy mustache.
Even his eyes were seemed dark, especially the way her sight was playing tricks on her with how he was backlit from behind after being in total darkness for so long.
They dropped each other's hands at the same time and she rocked back on the heels of her sturdy (and thankfully waterproof) boots, listening to the patter of the rain.
Then they both just stared at each other for a moment that seemed to stretch and Audrey decided to just go ahead and say the spiel she had gone over in her head on the way there, "Sorry for intruding so late but my car broke down. May I use your phone?"
There. Polite and to the point.
He looked rather hesitant to let her in though. Thankfully for her, another lightning strike seemed to make up his mind.
Upon entering she saw why he probably didn't want visitors. Once her eyes adjust to the sudden light she is able to see that his large front parlor is filled with explosives.
Not ticking time bombs or anything ready to go off of course, but still there are explosives and supplies she recognized as going with them – dynamite, cherry bombs, road flares, wicks, lighter fluid, nitroglycerin, wire.
It caused her to pause for a moment and take it all in. She could feel the man silently watching her - waiting for her reaction. And Audrey knows this should make her scared, that to walk into a strange man's home and find enough equipment to take out a good chunk of the state if used properly should make anybody scared, but she feels more intrigued
. The way he has it spread out reminds her more of the organized chaos of her own garage than of a crazy person hoarding materials.
And that slight distinction comforts her. It's what allows her to silently make up her mind to go with her instincts. So, instead of freaking out or running away screaming or some such rot he was probably expecting from a woman, she turns to the darkly clad man and said with as solemn as face as possible, "It's been a long walk sir so I might be a bit tired but I believe I asked to use your phone not peruse your extensive explosives collection." Audrey couldn't help her wicked smirk at his look of surprise so she added; "I'd be happy to talk accelerants after I call a tow truck though."
He gave a loud surprised laugh that echoed in the large room and his face lost it's seriousness. He extended his hand again, this time with a slight smile. "My name is Vinny."
She happily went along with the custom, only feeling mildly silly to be shaking his hand again, and saying, "I'm Audrey."
"Audrey," he repeated smiling again before turning to show her to a phone.
And no, she wasn't thinking about how she liked how her name sounded with his heavy accent. She wasn't. She was just going to follow him into the kitchen and make her phone calls. Then she would be on her way.
With a growl of frustration she slammed the phone down.
She notices Vinny in the doorway and feels instantly embarrassed for her outburst.
"Sorry," she says gesturing towards the phone. "It's just - I got ahold of my Da's shop and he knows a tower out here that will pick up my car. But I can't get any cabbie that will drive out in this storm and pick me up."
There is a clap of thunder and lightning strikes close by as if to accent her statement.
"Show off," Audrey mumbles glaring out the window at the hyperactive weather.
She hears Vinny give a snort of laughter to her left and almost jumps, she hadn't realized he had moved to lean against the counter beside her.
"You can always stay the night here," he offers.
It almost sounds offhand but there is something desperate and lonely a few layers under the surface that makes her pause, that makes her consider it. And Audrey wouldn't have picked up on if she wasn't used to listening (listening ever
so carefully for the slight differences in the sounds of engines that can often tell her so much more than owners).
It's often not about the words she's found. Actually it usually isn't.
She bumps her shoulder against his and when he turns his head to look at her she asks teasingly "Got a nice enough room for a proper lady like myself." That smile she gets in response (and the way it makes her feel warm – and oh she is thoroughly fucked) lets her know she made the right choice.
And the room was lovely.
Well she thinks it is. What she saw of it anyway.
It was hard for her to care really because she was so tired that once Vinny showed her the door of her room she zeroed in on the bed and – well, she can say with certainty that the bed was lovely anyway.
When she wakes up suddenly, feeling tense and expectant, and it is still dark she is confused. But then she hears the sounds of lots of heavy footsteps far away and scuffling. And then there is the hard, hollow sound of something being thrown against a wall.
Wide awake now, Audrey keeps her breath steady and gets out of bed and tries to make her way silently over to the closet across the room where she ditched her still wet coveralls before sleeping earlier. Her decision to go for one of the tools in her coveralls was aborted though when she heard a sound that made her entire body freeze - her door was being opened. Audrey didn't turn around immediately but tried to tilt her head slightly to see if she could spot whoever entered her room without making any noise before their eyesight adjust to the darkness and they spotted her.
A creak in the floorboards was her only warning before she was grabbed from behind and her attacker tried to drag her towards the door. Audrey growled in the back of her throat as she threw her head back, slamming her skull into his nose hard enough that she heard a sickening cracking noise that made the person automatically loosen his hold on her as blood started to pour from the now thoroughly broken cavity.
Even before she was completely away, she twisted, and mercilessly swung her fist putting her weight behind it the way her sister had taught her. The man was taken by surprise and fell back a few steps with the blow, a dark mark blooming on his jaw line almost instantly to match the blood - and Audrey can't help the way she feels an instinctual sense of satisfaction at the sight that makes her want to keep punching, but she makes herself hold back to see what her attackers next move is. He continues to just stare at her with confused and startled eyes and obviously hadn't expected her to put up much of a fight - let alone throw a punch that could qualify as professional if she was in the ring (Audrey doesn't kid herself that she would get very far in any Championships – definitely not like her sis, even with training, but her family wouldn't feel comfortable letting her move around as independently as she does if she wasn't able to defend herself. And perhaps boxing isn't most peoples definition of that, but her family isn't most people) and leave him so bloody and bruised so quickly.
"Looks like you gotta a little something there," she taunted gesturing at his face, which was still pouring blood. "You sure you don't want me to take a look at it. I can snap," she smiled at the way he flinched at the word, "it back into place for ya."
"Don't you understand. I'm here to help you," he said entreatingly, his voice sounding a bit odd because of the broken nose. "Don't you know what he is?"
"You heard the lady," Vinny says and they both turned to see him leaning in the doorway with a smirk on his face, twirling a piece of dynamite around in his hand.
"Better leave before she decides to rearrange your face some more."
"Where's my team?" he asked suddenly sounding very small as he realised he was outnumered.
The smirk left Vinny's face and he stared at the man in an utterly expressionless way that made Audrey shiver and wonder exactly what the mercenaries' words had meant. What was
"They left. Better run or you might not catch up with them – don't want to be left behind you know?"
The mans eye widened and he ran off making as wide a berth around Vin as possible. Vinny still watched him closely the entire time and his nose flared when the man passed closest.
"You really did a number on him," he said smiling genuinely as he turned back to face her but his face fell again when he saw her.
"You good?" he asked looking concerned.
"Yah. Why?" she asked as he continued to stare fixedly, almost dazedly.
"You've got," he gestured towards her hair awkwardly. And when Audrey reached up to touch it her face scrunched up when she realized she felt matted blood.
"That's not mine," she assured. "The bloody nose our friend was wearing was thanks to the back of my head. Not really thinking of the clean up so much when I was slammin' my head back into his face."
"What's with the dynamite," she asked wanting to get off the topic of the blood in her hair.
He glanced at it as if noticing if for the first time then back at her before he said, "You know I'm usually not big on the small talk but since were both going to need to make a run for it in about fifteen minutes I should probably mention a few things..."
Grinning crazily they both laid out on the grass, panting and watching the place burn.
"Boom," he said in a deadpan (but with a slight smile on his face) flaring his gloved hands. Which Audrey couldn't help but laugh at long and hard at.
When she had calmed down a bit she leaned her head against his shoulder and felt a sense of pleasure fill her when she felt him lean his head on top of hers.
"Now that you're officially dead again, Vin," she spoke into the sudden quite (except the ever present crackling and shifting of burning wood); "what would you like to do with your life this time around?"
There was a significant pause and when Audrey tilted her head a bit so she could look up at him she saw that he had pursed his lips - and she watched with a slow burning fascination as the match he had used to light the fuse that had set the explosives off in his house only minutes earlier shifted to the right as he pondered the question.
"I'd like to open a flower shop," he finally announced, startling her a bit back to her question."But maybe I will go out of town during Prom."
He turned and looked directly at her, utterly serious, "Don't want to deal with that nightmare."
She snorted before what he said completely processed in her mind along with what she now knew about what he was but when it did she blurted it out, "You're going to have a flower shop that only opens at night?"
"It could be a gimmick. People like a gimmick," he defended.
"Hmm," she made a neutral sound and he harrumphed. Audrey turned her face into his shoulder so he didn't see the way she smiling at his pouting – but really, it was adorable.
After a deep breath (in which she determined he smelled like a mishmash of lighter fluid, smoke, and skin…and that she liked
the combination. It was a combination that she felt surrounding her right now, emanating from the fabric of the shirt she had grabbed from his room to wear after the quick shower that took only seven of their fifteen minutes. The thought of re-donning the blood stained shirt once clean again had not been appealing. The smell made her want to get closer, to place her face against his neck and inhale – run her tongue along the surface and see if the flavors matched up. If she could claim the sharp tang and grab the bright sudden light that brought that look of awe his face) she kept all of her thoughts inside, sat up slightly on her elbow and asked as casually as possible, "Do you have any plans for location?"
He simply smirked and raised one of his bushy eyebrows at her attempted nonchalantness.
So, she stopped even her half-hearted stab at being coy, flopping back down on her stomach beside him, her hair – still damp from the shower but drying quickly in the hot air – falling over his chest, and straight up said, "I'm pretty settled in Detroit, Vin." And then tried to keep her face neutral, not to pressure him (not to be too hopeful). Because Audrey never was the type of girl to drop everything for a guy and she wasn't going to ask a guy to do the same for her.
Even if that guy happened to be a vampire. A vampire she really really wanted to get to know better. Because she might not know exactly what the meant yet for him, for them (if they ever became a them
But she did know that she wanted to find out. There is a newness to this that makes her want to automatically push against the normal wisdom of going slow and being careful, Audrey might have only just found him (found this feeling of connection that doesn't weigh her down, that makes her thrum), but now that she did she wants this – she wants this now
It took him a minute, a tense minute where her stomach tightened and she began to settle in her mind for possible rejection, and how to handle that at least a bit gracefully – she was a Ramirez after all. They were a strong bunch she could take it. But still, fuck.
Finally though he touched the side of her face tentatively and said, "Do you know who sells chemicals and untraceable dynamite in your area?"
Happiness bloomed within her – that had to be the sweetest thing a guy had ever asked her. Audrey smiled and crawled half on top of him, his arms immediately looped around her – his large gloved hand a firm pressure on her back. Right before her lips met his she whispered (his mustache tickling her as she spoke), "Don't worry, I know a guy."