Fandom and/or Prompt: Warehouse 13;Pete, Claudia;artichoke rustydog
Warnings/Spoilers No spoilers. Takes place during the first season, prior to the events of the season finale. No beta.
Wordcount for this chapter-800
Pete stared speculatively at the neat row of bottles along the back of the bar. Whiskey, gin, vodka liqueurs. He half remembered a particularly destructive bender where he’d attempted to have one drink from every single bottle at what had then been his favorite watering hole in DC. He thought it was the Southern Comfort that put him in the hospital, but it had definitely been the Jack Daniels that got him permanently 86’d.
He wasn’t planning anything like that right now. Artie had given him the serious look before asking if he could handle meeting the contact in a bar this and Pete had insisted that he could, joking that he’d be in more danger meeting in a bakery.
Artie had chuckled and then insisted that Claudia go along with him. Pete had tried to protest that Claudia was too young to even go into a bar, but apparently she had ID that said otherwise. Pete wanted to argue even further as a federal agent, he couldn’t sanction falsified documents, but Artie didn’t seem to mind, and Claudia had already dolled herself up in what she apparently considered her super –duper, undercover duds. Pete refrained from a comment that could earn him a swift kick or a wiped out bank account, since Claudia was fully capable of either one.
He had insisted she stay in the car, promising her she could drive if a quick get-a-way was required.
Now he kind of wished she were here. Waiting had never been his strong suit and at least they could argue about something ridiculous to pass the time. Like that thing about the pizza. Artichokes? Pete considered himself an open-minded kind of guy. Had to be to work for Warehouse 13, right? And he could accept many things on a pizza beyond the old pepperoni and mushroom he’d grown up with. Jalapenos, walnuts, persimmons. But every time they sent out for pizza, Claudia insisted on artichokes and something about it bugged him. Artichokes did not belong on a pizza.
So they went on and on and on, and somehow instead of settling on a rational solution like separate pizzas, it always turned into a Death Match, whereby either Claudia ended up pouting or Pete ended up ostentatiously picking artichokes off his pizza.
“I’ve got the artichoke,” said a sultry voice in the vicinity of his left ear. It didn’t feel like an artichoke that was being jabbed into his back.
The Tesla Gun was in one pocket, but a firm hand was on his wrist.
“Artichoke?” he asked, wondering if his musings had led him to mishear the words.
“Don’t play stupid.”
“Oh, I’m not playing,” he said jovially, hoping the big, dumb lunk routine would buy a bit of time.
“Neither are we.”
He didn’t think the voice and the hand were the same person, but wasn’t sure which one had the gun. Pete had nothing against causing a public scene to save his ass, but he didn’t want to risk any civilians. He could only hope his new friends didn’t either.
“Should we take it outside?” he suggested.
“Let’s,” said the voice. “And don’t…”
“Yeah, yeah, don’t try anything stupid. Don’t you people ever get some new dialogue?”
How they thought they were planning to do this without anyone noticing he wasn’t sure, until he remembered his drinking days. A full-blown artillery raid could have gone down two seats away and as long as it didn’t hit his drink, he really wouldn’t have cared. He couldn’t count on any of these barflies, or the bartender to help him.
He had one resource and she was sitting in the car, probably still pissed that she hadn’t gotten to show off her outfit, especially the stiletto heels she’d been so proud of. Not a resource, a responsibility. If anything happened to Claudia, Artie would never forgive him and he’d probably never forgive himself, and if that happened, going back to places like these wasn’t far away either.
The door led to the parking lot, and a vastness of empty highway and blowing dust just behind it.
He was spun around sharply, the grip on his hands not giving way at all, but it was a hot day, and Pete could feel the moisture growing between the two sets of skin. A little more friction and he’d be able to break loose.
Unless he didn’t want to.
The voice was nothing compared to the face and the legs, and the rest could be guessed at. Did they have to send a woman who had been constructed out of his adolescent fantasies, which apparently hadn’t changed much, except now they showed up in real life, accompanied by thugs with iron hands, and holding something that looked suspiciously like…a giant golden artichoke.