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A Virtuous Man

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"Few things are as dull as a man without any vices." A good one, if he said so himself - before repeating it in public, of course, a certain amount of spit and polish would need to be applied, to give it that special Twain ring.

Tesla looked up, a hint of color in his cheeks. It might be anything, really; Twain didn't flatter himself by thinking Tesla cared one whit about what Twain might think of him. (Flattery, after all, called for a certain amount of bending the truth, if not outright lying.)

"Are you calling me and my work boring?"

"If the shoe fits." Twain grinned. A quick hug was generally permissible - barely, and surely called for, under the circumstances. "Your work, my dear Nikola, is quite beyond my understanding. You can explain it to me, and I will listen, smiling and nodding in all the right places, and at the end, I shan't have understood a word of it. And you - you practice that rarest of all vices, and I love you the better for it, even as you drive me mad."

There were some blueprints on the desk, Twain saw. Quite impressive looking, too. "What vice would that be?"

"Not having any. Now, shall you be coming to bed, or must I call for reinforcements? The hour grows late, and I need my sleep."