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What, was "Rudy" on cable last night?

. . . Yes.

Eliot Spencer vdistinctive
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Office hours, Wednesday
Not to be outdone by Hardison and his violin practicing, Eliot had brought his guitar with him to the office today. He didn't play the thing often enough to be really comfortable with it anymore, so the first few songs he picked out for warm up were pretty rough. He started to get back into the rhythm of it pretty quickly, though, and soon enough he had a few sites of tabs up on his computer and he was picking his way through trying to learn some Nine Inch Nails.

What? If it was good enough for the Man in Black, who was Eliot to argue?

What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
Goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

It was fucking depressing, though.

[open office!]

"Well, I suppose at least it's quieter than Atton's noise," was Bob's opinion of the music. "Don't you know anything happier? Like...oh, I don't know, a dirge?"

Eliot snorted. "Right? And people say country music is depressed." He shrugged. "Only really knew a few songs so far. Don't get much chance to play."

"Well, you're already further along than I am," Bob pointed out. "Never learned an instrument myself. I confess I never saw the appeal."

"Didn't see the appeal. Of playin' music." Yeah, Bob was getting a Look for that. "Weren't you around, like, well before records and such?"

Playing your own had been one of the few ways of getting music, once upon a time, hadn't it?

"Just a little, yes," Bob answered with a snort. "I don't mind listening to it; some of it's quite nice. Never wanted to play it myself, though."

And here we had one of the many ways in which Eliot and Bob would never really understand each other. "What sort of stuff do you 'not mind' listening to, then?"

Yeah, Bob wasn't much of a music person. He shrugged. "Harry seems to like jazz, mostly. The stuff with a melody's not bad."

"Well hell. Most of it has a melody. Even rap usually has back-up vocals or something, these days." Eliot poked around on the computer for a moment, then frowned. "All the Johnny Cash is pretty much as depressin' as that one I was singing, though."

Perhaps he really should branch out a little.

"Not that fiddly stuff, everybody playing all at once like they've lost the music?" Bob made a face. "Johnny Cash...he's country and western, isn't he? Never spent much time around anyone who liked that."

"That's where most folks put him," Eliot said. "He's got a lot of crossover, though. Folk, rock, gospel, blues. . . . He was active as a musician for almost fifty years, so he covered a lot of ground."

Bob snorted. "The Morningways were, by and large, an incredibly pretentious lot. Harry's mother snuck in a bit of folk music and some rock - Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin - but otherwise the only thing in the house was Classical."

"Those the folks you . . . haunted?"

There was a sentence Eliot never expected to say.

"The family that owns me, yes," Bob answered. He didn't believe in beating around the bush. "Until Harry, they rarely brought me outside of the house."

"The family that owns you?" Eliot was reasonably certain that was as terrible a concept for ghosts as it was for the living. "You can walk though walls man, how'd they even keep you inside?"

It certainly wasn't a pleasant concept, anyway. Bob sighed. "The island allows me a certain amount of liberty. At home, I'm unable to leave the dwelling that houses my skull."

"Jesus." Eliot shook his head. "No wonder you were so excited to go to that convention or whatever last fall."

"Yes, well...not all of that week involved the most prudent decisions on my part," Bob answered, a little embarrassed. "Still, it got me here." He sighed; it was a little wistful, but mostly happy.

"Yeah," Eliot said. "I remember a bit of that." He hadn't been Bob's biggest fan when they first met, despite Bob getting the asshole serial killer out of him. "What's the family that 'owns' you think about you wandering off to come teach?"

At that, Bob's smile turned a bit happier. "Fortunately, I was inherited by someone much more pleasant. Harry is...a good friend." Bob hadn't had many of those. "He still summons me back for help occasionally, but otherwise he doesn't mind."

"Well, here's to finding -- or being inherited by -- good friends, then," Eliot said, still not entirely wrapping his head around the whole concept of not just being owned, but handed down like an heirloom. "You should make him swing by and visit, sometime."

Bob was a very important and valuable heirloom, thank you!

"I should," he agreed. Then he rolled his eyes. "Although I'm warning you now, that man has no sense of self-preservation. Always getting into trouble, trying to help people..." Bob's lot was so hard.

Eliot snorted. "Trust me, I know the type." Mostly because Eliot himself had developed that tendency, especially when the people in question were on his crew. Or were close to people on his crew. Or were his students. Or owned a small business being threatened. Or -- well, you got the point.

Hey, Eliot at least knew how to get himself back out of trouble, for the most part.