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vdistinctive


What, was "Rudy" on cable last night?

. . . Yes.


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Eliot Spencer vdistinctive
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Outside Oklahoma City, Saturday evening

Trudy

Trudy jumped a foot when her brother suddenly appeared at the passenger side door of her car. "Oh my god. Don't do that."





Eliot

"Sorry." Eliot didn't look very sorry at all. "Habit. You goin' to the hospice?"


Trudy

"I am. Ellie's freaking out." Trudy gave him a measured look. "Why, you planning to come yell at him and get yourself arrested again?"


Eliot

"Kinda . . . hopin' to skip that part this time," Eliot said, rubbing the back of his neck. "But yeah. Cassie kinda pointed out I was bein' an ass."


Trudy

"Oh, so you listened when Cassie said it." Trudy sighed and unlocked the car. "You're welcome to ride with me, but -- don't you want Hardison with you?"


Eliot

"I'd want him by my side for just about anything," Eliot said. "But . . . Hardison's a teddy bear. Right now I'd rather have a mamma grizzly." He smiled without humor. "'Sides, you grew up with the man too."


Trudy

"I ain't getting between you two again. You two start going at it, I'm just going to watch."


Eliot

"Fair 'nough," Eliot agreed.

The drive over to the hospice was uneventful. Eliot let her know what Cassie told him -- not the not liking guys part, that wasn't his to tell, but the rest of it. Trudy filled him in on Ellie and Johnny, who were still being shy around him. Eliot was giving her the broad strokes of Kathy when they pulled into the parking lot.


Trudy

"So what you're telling me is," Trudy said, elbowing Eliot in the ribs as they walked to the front door. "I'm finally an auntie."


Eliot

"Not anything like officially," Eliot said. "You look way to excited by that."


Trudy

"Damn right I am," Trudy said, and pushed the door open. "Jake's an only child, you're my only chance."


Nurse Debbie

"Mrs. Thomas." The nurse at the front desk set down the phone. "I was just about to call you."


Ellie

"Momma!" A small blonde teen, the spitting image of the one who'd talked Eliot into coming back here, stood in the hallway leading to Emerson's room. "Momma, he's --" She hiccuped a sob and pressed her hand to her mouth. "Grandpa's gone."


Trudy

Trudy's hand clenched around Eliot's arm hard enough to bruise, then she rushed over to pull Ellie into her arms.


Eliot

Eliot fell back and bumped into the nurse's station. He tore his eyes away from his sister and his niece and met the nurse's eyes. "When?"


Nurse Debbie

"Just a few minutes ago, sir."


Eliot

"I thought he had a week."


Nurse Debbie

The nurse shook her head sadly. "I'm so sorry, sir. Those numbers are just an estimate."


Trudy

"Can I go see him?" Trudy asked. "Can -- is it too late to --"


Ellie

"I'm sorry, Momma," Ellie said. "I should've stayed with him but he's just -- he was there and then he w -- then he wasn --"


Trudy

"Shh." Trudy rubbed her hair. "Shh, baby, no. It's not your fault. None of this is your fault."


Nurse Debbie

The nurse circled the front desk and rested her hand on Eliot's arm. "Sir?" she asked. "Sir, do you need to sit down?"


Eliot

"What?" Eliot didn't realize he was staring at the girls until he had to tear his eyes away again. "No, I. You need to call Jake. Um. Mr. Thomas. You'll let them see him, right?" He looked over and saw an orderly leading Trudy and Ellie down the hall. "Oh. Sorry. I haven't -- I don't usually see this end of it."


Nurse Debbie

"It's alright, sir." The nurse tugged on his arm again. "Come on over and sit down. Let me get you a coffee."


Eliot

Eliot tried to remember to breathe.


[ooc: NFI, OOC welcome. Content note: off-screen NPC death. What, did you think I was going to be NICE to Eliot?]

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