"The Human Subject Research people are going to kill us," Nikola says, and sinks the needle into Helen's forearm anyway.
"They can't get mad at anyone but Helen," Nigel points out. "And possibly me." He sitting up on the lab counter, letting his feet swinging like a little boy. They are all excited about the experiment, and nervous too.
"And this is why I'm in Classics and not chemistry," John says, before turning to Helen. "Feeling okay?"
"No adverse symptoms yet," she says and he kisses her cheek. "It almost feels good."
"It won't be the HSR people, anyway," James says. "Dr. Jules will kill us all first. And he is much less likely to care that John is in Classics or that Nikola is an EE." The name Dr. H. G. Jules is emblazoned on the laboratory door, though this is truly Helen's domain. She's his Ph.D. candidate and so if they get caught, he'll be the one to come after them.
"Nobody is going to die," Helen says. "We may all get kicked out of grad school and Nigel and I may get blacklisted from ever working again, but no one is going to actually die."
"Well, at least not yet," Nikola says. "Who's up next?"
James proffers his arm, and Nikola readies a new syringe.
"I feel as if I should have some words planned for this moment," James says and the rest of the room groans.
"Not, 'Into the breech once more!'" John teases, and James smiles back.
"Or perhaps, 'Down the rabbit hole,' might be more appropriate," Nikola suggests before depressing the plunger.
If it weren't beneath his dignity, James would probably stick his tongue out at all of them, but he just shakes his head. "Philistines!"
Helen injects John, and James does Nigel, and Nikola slips the needle into his own arm.
"There we go," Nikola says, as he pulls the needle out of his arm. "The things I do for science."
Helen grins and punches him in the arm. "This isn't at all the most ridiculous thing you've done for science."
"Fine, the most ridiculous thing I've done for science while fully clothed."
They all laugh at Nikola's scowl.
"Helen said it was safe," James says. "She's the bio-engineer. And look, none of us are dead. It's not so ridiculous."
"Really, James, we just shot ourselves up with something Helen is flat out calling vampire blood. We may all be sparkling by morning," Nigel says.
"I don't want to sparkle," Nikola announces, and suddenly sprouts fangs. "Ow, dammit," he says around his now pointy teeth.
"I think it worked," Helen says with glee. "Turn back now."
Nikola gets a look of intense concentration on his face, one that usually means something is about to be blown up or set on fire. "I can't. And you all smell really, really good. Helen, I think it worked too well." He turns to John and tries to sink his fangs in his neck.
John disappears in a flash of orange light and Nikola falls forward on to the floor.
"Fuck," James says, and then jumps on top of Nikola as he tries to get back up. Helen grabs a bag of blood out of the lab fridge and waves it in front of Nikola's face just as he throws James off.
Nikola makes a bloody mess, tearing into the plastic bag with his fangs.
"That is truly disgusting," Nigel comments as they watch him drink.
James and Helen turn around to stare at the empty t-shirt and cargo shorts sitting on the lab counter.
"Nigel? You seem to be invisible," James comments dryly.
Which is of course when John walks back in the lab door.
"Apparently, I can teleport," John says with a shrug. "Push over, Nigel," he says, and joins him perching on the counter. "Don't want to get blood on my shoes."
"I'm starting to feel left out, here," Helen says.
"Me, too," sighs James. "I'm also hoping no one ever sprays Luminol in here."
"Wouldn't be the first time a blood sample was spilled in here," Helen says.
"We try and not drop thing in the archaeology department," James replies with a teasing smile. "Now what are we going to do about him?"
Nikola is still sitting with his back to a lab bench, splattered in blood. His fingernails and fangs have retracted, and his eyes have returned to their normal color.
"You know Nikola, there are babies who are cleaner after a meal than you are now," Nigel points out.
"You try it!" Nikola says with a pout. "It wasn't easy."
"But you no longer feel like making one of us into a midnight snack?" Helen asks.
"I'm fine, Helen. Though I could do with a drink."
"Alcohol does sound like the sanest course of action," John comments.
"We still have to get Nikola out of here without anyone seeing," Helen says.
"It's three am, even campus security is asleep by now. Besides, you've got blood on your jeans as well," Nigel notes.
Helen looks down to find that Nigel is right, her jeans aren't as badly off as Nikola's khakis, but there is still discernible blood spatter on them.
"Let me try," John says, dropping off the counter and grabbing Nikola's shoulder. They both disappear in the same flash of orange as before, and seconds later John appears alone.
"Seems to work perfectly," John says. "We should all go before Nikola drinks James out of house and home."
"My place, really John?" James sighs.
"It has the most room and the most alcohol. Plus, you're the only one of us who keeps anything besides take-out leftovers in the refrigerator."
"I see your point. Take Helen and Nigel first. I'll clean up the blood."
"What does it feel like?" Helen asks, as John turns a hug into a teleport and they vanish.
James wipes up the blood, and disposes of the paper towels in the bio-hazard waste bin, as John pops back out and takes Nigel with him.
"Nikola already on his second glass of wine," John says when he appears again.
James just sighs, and leans against him. "Take me home."