"You've reached Eliot. If this is Parker: no, cereal doesn't count as dinner. If it's Hardison: no, I haven't read your email, yet. Nate and Sophie: if you schedule the damned wedding already, I'll attend.

Anyone else, leave a message, and I'll get back to you."


Outside Oklahoma City, Wednesday evening

Trudy had said Eliot and his family were going to be her guests, so he wasn't allowed to cook dinner. He'd said she shouldn't have to cook it either, and they'd both refused to make everyone eat leftover funeral casserole.

So Eliot pulled the rental car — rental van, because four adults was a lot to fit into a sedan and renting a van was almost tradition — into the lot of a little mom&pop Italian restaurant.

"There's Tru's car," he said as he set the parking break and turned the car off. He looked back towards Kathy and Parker. "Y'all ready for this?"

[ooc: FAMILY DINNER TIME! For those who know, and epic slow play.]
over the shoulder-face

The roof of 75 Godiva, Saturday morning

Eliot had come up to start working on his garden for the season, but got sidetracked. First by what sure as hell felt like an impact tremor (it was a very distinctive variety of earthquake). And then by the fact that his usually largely unobstructed view of land along the horizon line in the direction of Baltimore was now a largely unobstructed view of absolutely nothing along the horizon line.

"That don't bode well," he grumbled. "That don't bode well at all."

[can be open, sure!]

75 Godiva, Sunday afternoon

The house was dark when they got back, and eerily silent. Val was still off being dog-sat by Kanan, and the place hadn't been empty this long since before Hardison and Parker moved in.

Which was fine, and normally not even something Eliot would notice. But all his nerves felt scraped raw just now, and the house didn't feel right dark and quiet anymore.

Funny. There was a time when dark and quiet was all he'd ever wanted out of the world.

"Parker and Sparkle are supposed to be gettin' in soon too, right?" Eliot asked Hardison. "Maybe I should make something for everyone for lunch."

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[ooc: NFI, OOC welcome. Preplayed with the inimitable age_of_the_geek, whoisalicewhite, and myownface. Our baby little family plot is done.]
cooking-face, chef-face

Outside Oklahoma City, Sunday morning

The house had been quiet all night. The family spent about another hour at the hospice with Emerson's body before Trudy finally let them take him away, then everyone had gone back home. It was too late to call most people with the news, so there wasn't much to do that night but try -- and fail -- to sleep.

Morning broke to a large breakfast, what Eliot had managed to accomplish with his sleepless hours. Ellie and Cassie both picked at their food, Ellie barely managing to eat anything, but Johnny happily cleaned their plates for them. Trudy's eating was more dutiful than enthusiastic, though she managed to look up and nod at Eliot and give him a small smile of thanks.

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[ooc: NFI, OOC welcome. Preplayed with the marvelous age_of_the_geek. Almost done!]

Outside Oklahoma City, Saturday afternoon

Eliot wasn't sulking. He was laying low. He didn't feel right leaving Trudy to clean up after their father's mess, but until Emerson Spencer had the grace to actually die and stop cluttering up the damn world, there wasn't a whole lot he knew of that he could do, other than stay out of the way.

So he was laying low.

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[NFI, OOC welcome. Preplayed with . . . myself.]

Outside Oklahoma City, Friday late afternoon

Eliot had dallied as long as he possibly could at Trudy's house, getting her family set up for lunch (most of them had already eaten breakfast) and chatting with his nieces and nephew, telling them increasingly outlandish, invented stories about his 20 years away. He even made it so far as offering to help Jake clean out the garage before Trudy managed to glare him down and remind him why he'd come all this way in the first place.

So it was mid-afternoon by the time he made it to the hospice. He half-expected -- or maybe it was half-hoped -- that when he asked for Emerson Spencer, the man behind the desk would just stare at him blankly. Instead he smiled and pointed out the way without having to look anything up. He hurried down the hall before she could start telling him what a lovely, amazing person his father was. Emerson Spencer had always been a pillar of the local community; the whole town probably still saw Eliot as the ungrateful kid who'd ditched his family first chance he got.

He knocked a couple times on the door and tried not to think too hard about how this was where he'd stalled out the last time he'd tried to reconnect. He wondered what was happening with his father's house, if Trudy was going to have to sell it. For the first time in a long time he thought about just how much work went into picking up after someone when they died; his job usually ended when the brain activity did.

Bad timing. Don't think about being an assassin. Or a disappointment. Just open the door, go in, and say --

"Hi, Dad."

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hair in the-face

Outside Oklahoma City, Friday morning

"Right, so." Eliot stood by the rental car at the end of Trudy's driveway, suddenly realizing that this was it, this was Hardison's 'meet the family' moment. "Trudy said Ellie stayed at the hospice with Pop last night, but Cassie and Johnny and Jake'll be here -- and Trudy of course. . . ."

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[ooc: NFI, OOC welcome. Preplayed with the wonderful age_of_the_geek.]

A quiet corner of the park, Wednesday afternoon

Eliot had Val out for their daily run, cutting through the park, when Val suddenly broke into a fit of barking and bolted towards some trees.

"Val!" Eliot caught a flash of green scales in the underbrush and sighed. "Stop fussin' at that thing and get back here!"

Too late. Val was having a glorious time doing battle with a small mob of gremlins. Like owner, like puppy. Eliot rested his hands on his hips and settled in to catch his breath and wait for her to be done.

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[ooc: NFI. Preplayed with the incomparable myownface.]