Characters: Murphy, Harry
Word count: 675
Summary: Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and jump.
Author's notes: Set early in Harry and Murphy's professional relationship. Pre-series. Done for the beginnings challenge at dresdenflashfic.
The wizard is oddly calm. He’s just standing there, contemplating. I, on the other hand, am frantically trying to get my cell phone working. It keeps telling me I have no signal. Meanwhile, the smoke is pouring out of the windows below and my eyes are stinging.
“What good are you?” I yell at my cell phone. Dresden jumps, thinking I’m yelling at him. “Aren’t you supposed to be for emergencies?!”
“Relax,” Dresden says.
“I am on the roof of a burning building, Mr. Dresden,” I hiss. “With no way to call the fire department or get down. How is that relaxing?”
Dresden gives me a goofy smile and a shrug. He goes over to the edge of the roof and looks down. The smoke is getting thicker. He looks up towards the sky. I have to admit, the man is calm in an emergency. The thing at the zoo proved that. And that kidnapping case. And the weird thing with the cats. He’s still nuts, of course. Completely crazy. And someone I find myself relying on more and more.
“We’re going to have to jump,” he announces.
“To where?” I say.
“There,” he says, pointing to the building across the alley.
“It’s too far,” I say.
“Dresden, we’re not living in a cartoon,” I tell him. “There are things called the laws of physics that say that people who jump off buildings go splat on the road below.”
He comes over and takes my arm, dragging me back to the middle of the roof. I’m starting to feel the heat through the bottom of my shoes. “We’ll get a running start.”
I squirm away from him and glare. “Splat.”
“And if we time it right - “
“We’ll just make it.”
“Do you trust me?”
He looks taken aback. “Really?”
“I haven’t known you that long,” I point out. “And every time I’m around you people die or get hurt or weird looking things crawl out from the sewers or things catch on fire.”
He considers this. “Alright, I’ll give you that. But, once you get to know me better, you’ll realize I’m a very trustworthy person. Just pretend we’re old friends and we’ll get on with the jumping.”
“Dresden, I’m not going to jump off a building because you give me puppy eyes,” I say.
“Lieutenant, we have two choices: we can stay here and wait to be burned to death or we can take our chances and jump to safety.”
“The fire department will come. Someone will have noticed and called,” I object.
He gives me a look. “In this neighbourhood? We’ll be lucky if the junkies aren’t too stoned to even notice the big ball of fire.”
“But - “
“Burn or splat?”
I look over to the other building and then down at my increasingly hot feet. “Splat, I guess.”
He grins. “Excellent. Ready?”
And we run. We run across the roof, plant our feet on the edge and leap. Right away, I know we aren’t going to make it. We’re close, but it’s not going to be enough. I close my eyes and wait for the splat. Then I hear something, like a whisper. ‘Ventus’. Suddenly, I’m on the other roof and I have no idea how I got there. I hit hard and skid a little. Dresden’s landed nearby. I must have misjudged the distance.
“You okay?” he calls.
“Think so,” I answer, panting heavily. I can hear my pulse pounding in my ears and my limbs feel like jelly.
There is a horrendous crackling sound and I know it’s the sound of the burning building falling in on itself. For some reason, this strikes me as being incredibly funny. I start to laugh.
Dresden appears above me, looking down. “You sure you’re alright?”
I can only nod, I’m still giggling in a fashion entirely unbecoming for a Chicago policewoman. Dresden grins his goofy grin at me again.
“Trust me now?” he asks.
“No,” I answer.
But you know what? I’m beginning to.