What, was "Rudy" on cable last night?

. . . Yes.

bespectacled grouch-face, angled grouch-face
Eliot Spencer vdistinctive
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75 Godiva Street, Sunday afternoon
Eliot didn't sleep much on a good day (his claim to "90 minutes a night" wasn't entirely true, but it wasn't that much of an exaggeration). The day he found out someone had broken into his team's headquarters and stolen a hard drive full of extremely valuable information was not a good day. He'd already been planning some new security measures on his house, plans which had made him miss out on the fun that had happened on the island yesterday. Hearing about the missing Black Book just meant he had to move up his time table, get his place secured up so he could start working on the headquarters.

He'd worked straight through the night. The tech he'd picked up at the pawn shops on the mainland wasn't the easiest to work with, all bulky and clunky, needing to be hardwired together to be networked, but the supplies from the military surplus store just brought back some fond memories. Laser grids and motion sensors were great and all, but there was no way Eliot would ever be able to set up a system with those that Hardison and Parker couldn't crack. No, his surveillance and traps were going to have to go old school to keep them out.

They were getting suspicious, and they were clever; they'd figure out the necklace eventually. He couldn't let that happen, and if they got too close, he couldn't guarantee anymore that he wouldn't hurt them. Some well-hidden snares and disguised cameras meant he hopefully wouldn't have to.

[ooc: Booby-trapping NFB, please. Open, if anyone wants to trip an old school hunting trap or two.]

Or, you know, someone could test it for him. Without knowing that's what she was doing.

Look, going through the attic *is* normal for Parker, okay?

As Eliot was well aware. The roof access had two new locks on it -- not that that would keep Parker out for long. The thin trip wire just by the door to the rest of the house, attached to a fishing net? That would probably at least be a distraction.

"What is he doing?" Parker muttered aloud, undoing the locks with annoyance, mostly by reflex. "What, we get robbed, and now he thinks someone wants his spatulas?"

Also, she felt the trip wire just in time to somersault away from the fishing net.


Eliot looked up from his book (a collection of short fiction by Jack London) when he heard movement in the attic. He looked over at his newly set up monitors (how about that, Hardison? 0 to six televisions in a single weekend!) and spotted Parker's familiar form in the camera mounted just under the roof access.

She'd cleared the net. He wondered if she'd try for the vents (converted commercial properties unfortunately tended to have pretty large ones) or the stairs next.

The vents, definitely. She hadn't even checked for cameras, because why would he even have those? And when had he gotten so security-crazy, anyway?

Gee, maybe when intel they had to fake their own deaths to acquire went missing. Or, you know, when he started being poisoned by a cursed necklace. One of those two.

Eliot didn't have cameras in the vents -- they were too bulky, impossible to hide in a small space like that. He did, however, have more netting. Stretched about teen feet in from every entrance to the ventilation system. Air could pass through just fine. A squirrel might be able to wriggle through, if it was determined. Parker would probably have to cut through them.

"In the ventilation system?!"

Eliot, you're beginning to make Parker feel unwanted. Also, you were out one net.

Eliot smiled a little when he heard her shout. What? It just showed how well he knew you, Parker.

He listened a little longer, checking the monitors to see if she'd come back out. She was actually cutting through the nets. Damn. Eliot set the book aside and stood, listening for where she might head next. There was an exit over the stairwell, or she could've headed off to the side towards his bedroom.

To the bedroom! Although she was being extra quiet about it now. Because if he was taking a nap, she was going to throw soft things at him to wake him up. From far enough away not to hurt anyone, of course.

Right. Because Eliot totally took naps (when it wasn't a theme of the day on the island). Dammit, he couldn't tell which way she was going. He headed for the stairs, taking them two at a time and skipping easily over the pressure plate rigged to a snare. He paused at the top, listening again.

Val trotted after him, too light to set off the pressure plate. It wasn't like he wanted to accidentally catch his puppy in his new security system.

That was the quiet(ish) sound of a vent cover being removed in the bedroom, Eliot. Parker poked her head out of the shaft and looked around, suspicious, before flipping down to land on the edge of the bed. Hmm. No Eliot.

Maybe she should play the Floor Is Lava all the way downstairs?

It wouldn't be a bad idea -- except that Eliot didn't have that much furniture along the way.

Eliot and Val's heads both snapped towards that vent cover shifting. Eliot narrowed his eyes, set to wait -- until Val let out a happy yip and dashed towards the bedroom to go say hi to one of her three favorite people.

"Wh -- dammit -- Val --" Eliot grabbed for her, but didn't catch her in time. Apparently his puppy training still needed some work.

Ha! Dogs as a security system! Classic! ... And now Parker was on the floor, forgetting about any lava, in order to greet Val.

"Hi! Did you miss me? Did you, hunh? Shhhhh. We're hunting Eliots."

"Yeah," Eliot said, coming into the doorway. "'Cause the way you were bangin' around up there is definitely a hunting strategy."

Parker grimaced at him, and didn't leave off petting Val when she demanded, "Nets? In the vents? Are you trying to catch gremlins, or squirrels?"

"Somethin' like that," Eliot said. He really thought it would take her longer to cut through the nets. He'd have to get some tougher cord for those. "What're you doin' here?"

Val didn't care. Val was bouncing about, licking at any bit of Parker she could get to. Parker Parker Parker! They just needed a Hardison and Val's favorite people would all be here! Why didn't they just live all together?!

That was an excellent question, Val! It was too bad you didn't speak enough English to mention it to Eliot, hunh?

"We still haven't found it." No need to mention 'it' by name. "But absolutely nothing else is missing." And he'd sounded really pissed, and like himself, so Parker felt bad and wanted to check on him.

It was a little sad that it took sounding pissed off for Eliot to sound like himself. "So you're sayin' it was taken." And yeah, here he was getting pissed all over again. "Someone broke into the home of the world's greatest thief and hacker and stole a freakin' hard drive."

"A freaking hard drive that only four other people knew we had, and two of them were totally okay with us having it."

Do that math, Eliot. And come to some of the conclusions Parker had drawn.

Edited at 2015-03-15 11:20 pm (UTC)

"Sterling didn't take it," Eliot said. "He's too damn smart. And he sure as hell wouldn't do it without gloatin' at us about it."

"Are you sure?" Parker was inclined to agree, but she was kind of hoping it had been Sterling. "Maybe he's waiting for us to show up and accuse him. Or try to get him back. And you did just do a number on him last week."

"What would he even do with it? He'd know we have copies. Interpol'll have their own. He already let us go with it. Takin' it back now gets him nothing." Eliot shook his head. "Besides, this ain't his style. Sterling doesn't get his hands dirty if he can help it."

Parker sighed glumly. "Then it was aliens. And so not Hardison's fault."

So you know, go a bit easier on him and Parker for getting stolen from, please?

But it was so embarrassing. "It wasn't -- why would aliens want the Black Book?"

"Why do aliens want anything?" Parker responded. "Why do they want to take over the world? Why do they want our water? Why did they take Elvis?"

Questions for the ages.

"That's not --" Eliot cut himself off with a growling sigh. He could think of one person on this island who'd shown an interest in Interpol intel, but bringing up Gaunt would bring up too many other things Eliot didn't want to go into. "Alright, fine, aliens. That don't change the fact that we need to up security."

"Well, fair." And yet. "Nets! In the vents!" Parker scowled and finally got up, still patting Val as she headed for the door. "You could have asked us for help, and Hardison would have been geeked out of his mind to help you put in a system."

"Yeah, well, maybe I wanted a system I actually knew how to use." Eliot considered whether or not to warn her about the pressure plate on the stairs.

. . . Nah.

Parker was stomping her way down the stairs, throwing over her shoulder, "Not that it wasn't a fun exercise in--- AHHHH!"

...okay, so, the Floor IS Lava. Or pressure points.


Val barked. Oh look! A fun new game!

Eliot walked over, smirking faintly, his arms crossed over his chest. "Nice to know my system's effective."

"Eliot. What is this even."

Ooo, headrush.

Eliot shrugged, pretty pleased with himself. "Basic snare," he said. "Rigged to a pressure plate in the stairs." He tilted his head. "You need a hand?"

"Nooo, I got it."

Parker bent double to start un-tying the snare. And then found out how good Eliot was at knots.

"Or possibly not."

"Uh huh," Eliot said, still amused. He reached down to the stairs to reset the pressure plate, releasing the anchoring end of the rope. "Maybe next time you'll try knocking on the front door."

Parker saw what he was doing from her upside-down vantage point, and managed to twist and roll enough that she didn't land on her head. Or break anything. Still unsettled and breathless, though.


Ugh, Eliot, this mood of yours, Parker was so over it.

Eliot felt a little twinge when she fell -- but she was quick enough to be okay. He totally thought of that before he released the trap.


He rubbed the claw around his neck and leaned down to help untie the rope around her ankle. "You're welcome."

Parker was still watching him. Eliot's level of trustworthiness had been in steady decline for a week now.

Maybe the aliens stole his brain?

Still, she let him untie the rope, and got to her feet with a, "Good system. See you in class on Tuesday."

Yeah, you weren't getting a 'sorry for freaking you out' when you weren't freaked out and you let her fall.

There was that weird twinge again. He felt like he should know what that was about, but he couldn't quite figure it out. He sighed. "What? You're in a mood."

He wasn't being in a creepy good mood, anymore. What was she pissed about, now?

Parker opened her mouth, then closed it. Opened it again. Feelings were hard. Words were harder.

"Just... You're changing. You're changing things." She scowled. "I don't know. I just don't like it."

Honestly, Eliot wasn't that much better at either of those things. He just had more experience faking it. "I'm still me, Parker."

Just, you know, the asshole parts.

Maybe it was something else? Like brain-damage from so many hits on the head.

"Yeah. You're you." Parker was feeling sad for no reason now. Worried and mad and sad altogether. "And I'm... gonna go do stuff. I'll talk to you later." She grimaced. "And knock next time."

Because who knew what was gonna be in store if she snuck in again.

Eliot threw his hands in the air. "Fine. Thank you." If Parker was going to keep doing her weird Parker thing, there wasn't much Eliot could do to stop her.

Because Parker was definitely the weird one, here.

Val whined, sensing the tension between her people. She looked back and forth between Eliot and Parker and went to stick her nose in Parker's hand. She still loved you, Parker!

"Awwww." They were upsetting the puppy! Okay, that was not allowed. Parker released a breath, and ruffled Val's ears. Found a smile somewhere. "Yeah. You're welcome." Social nice words helped, like Sophie said. "And yeah. Maybe see you Monday, for class planning."

There. Now they were mostly good.

"Yeah." This was going to be the most awkward class, ever. "Tell Hardison I'll start setting up security on the diner and the apartment tomorrow."

At least he was giving you warning, this time?

Edited at 2015-03-16 04:45 am (UTC)

"Like this?" That could make the kitchen a very unsafe working environment. "Maybe skip the pressure plates behind the counter. Those guys won't be able to compensate for the perspective change."

The rest of it, for the apartment, she was gonna talk over with Hardison first.

"I wasn't gonna do anything in the diner proper. Or any of the public entrances." That was just bad for business. "We just don't want whoever got the Black Book comin' back for seconds."

And nooow she was reminded of the aliens again. Sigh.

"Yeah. Okay." One last pat for Val. "Bye guys. See you later."

Val watched her go, then looked up at Eliot. Eliot looked back down at her. Val whined. Eliot groaned and turned to head back to his book. "Women."


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