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What, was "Rudy" on cable last night?

. . . Yes.

over the shoulder-face
Eliot Spencer vdistinctive
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The attic of 75 Godiva Street, Thursday afternoon
Eliot was very good at putting on a good face, but he wasn't handling the events of last week very well. He hadn't been sleeping well, even for him, and it wasn't just about nightmares. He was on edge, not so much about his environment -- he'd always been on edge about that, at least since he turned 18 and joined the army -- but about himself. His own reaction to it.

Fighting evil robots in the shop had actually helped that, a little. He'd handled that just as well as he'd ever have done. Had even enjoyed it a little. But he couldn't shake the fact that he had failed last Saturday. Failed his double and failed his partners. Because of an issue he'd thought he had a handle on for years.

Finding time alone hadn't been easy. Parker and Hardison were understandably clingy, right now, and clever enough to notice, despite Eliot's good face, that he really wasn't handling things that well. That he wasn't sleeping. But he couldn't talk to them about this, couldn't look them in the eye and tell them that he wasn't a good enough hitter to keep them safe. And he couldn't think of anyone else he could talk to, either, anyone he could trust, who knew him, who wouldn't change how they treated him once they knew.

So he found his way up to his attic during a quiet moment. Locked the door just to make sure Hardison and Parker knew better than to walk in unannounced.

And made a phone call.

[ooc: for one, and likely slowplay. Mmmm, aftermath.]

The phone rang twice, then was answered by a delighted British-accented voice. "Eliot! It's been ages. How are you? Do you need us for work?"

"Sophie." Didn't matter what the situation was, that voice could always make him smile. "Nah, we don't have a job lined up. Just -- wanted to talk."

"Mmm?" Unusual, but not overly so. Eliot sometimes called her for ideas, brainstorming, and to pick her brain about relationships (on rare occasions). "I'm at the Art Institute, in Chicago. Admiring some of my best work. Nate is... networking." By which she meant, figuring out an extremely long-term plan, and catching up with old friends. "How is life on your little island?"

"Quiet, just now." It wasn't even a lie. "At least when the island ain't pipin' surf rock carols at us out of nowhere." It seemed to know better not to try that in his attic. For now, anyway. "So -- bizarre as usual." Eliot settled himself more comfortably on one of the boxes. He should really put a couch or something, up here. "It, uh. Got a little nasty last week, though."

To put it mildly.

"Oh dear." Sophie's voice softened, and warmed up a little, concern edging her words. "Are all of you okay? No one in the hospital, or resisting mandatory recovery time?"

She'd let him just tell her what happened in a minute; first things first. She knew that if it had been truly serious, they would have called her and Nate. But minor injuries (or trauma that did not include physical) were the kind of thing they didn't call them for, any more.

Edited at 2016-12-15 10:10 pm (UTC)

"No hospitalized. No injuries at all. But it was -- rough."

It must have been, for Eliot to call her about it, and get to the point so quickly.

Sophie stopped in front of a Seurat, and let her eyes unfocus, concentrating on the sound of Eliot's voice. "Tell me."

"I dunno how much sense it'll make to someone who doesn't live here." Now was not the time to hedge.

"You know you don't need to tell me the details, Eliot." Sophie's voice was firm. "How do you feel? What are you thinking?"

"No, I --" Eliot sighed. "Some of the details matter." He ran his hand down his face and reminded himself why this was a good idea. "I ever mention that there was another Sophie here? On the island? B'fore I got here."

Sophie blinked herself back into her surroundings, and said, "No, I think I would remember that. Goodness." There were so many intriguing possibilities to that information. "How on Earth did you find that out?"

"Met one of her former students." Eliot smiled faintly, picturing her reaction to that. "Apparently it happens pretty frequently around here. There was another Parker, too. Was a student."

Sophie would have loved to meet a younger Parker, one she could help and mentor and possibly interest in shoes.

"I assume that this is relevant to what happened last week," she said gently.

"Yeah." There was no distracting Sophie. One of the reasons why he'd chosen her to talk to. "The thing last week. Lots of people ended up with -- doubles. From some kind of hell-world." He swallowed, then barreled on. Now that he was started, he didn't want to have to stop until he got it out. "They -- weren't well. The other Hardison and Parker had gone -- I dunno, feral or something. Whatever had happened messed with folks' memories, and theirs were totally gone. Locals called it 'hollow'. The other me was on his way that way. We came across 'em -- us, the ones of us you know -- we came across 'em just in time to watch all three of 'em kill each other."

Edited at 2016-12-15 11:26 pm (UTC)

"Oh, Eliot. How awful." Tragic and disturbing, and no wonder if it had left Eliot badly shaken. Sophie half-expected one of the others to call her eventually too, now. "I am so sorry. Sorry that you had to witness that." It was a nightmare with multiple levels, when applied to Eliot. Utterly unfair.

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