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What, was "Rudy" on cable last night?

. . . Yes.

Eliot Spencer vdistinctive
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75 Godiva Street, Thursday afternoon
It'd taken a few days of gathering supplies and drawing up more plans, but Eliot finally managed to get his house properly secured. He finished screwing in the last bolt on the heavy steel bar that now extended across the center of his front door and stepped back to admire his handy-work. You couldn't hack -- or pick -- a ten pound steel bar.

And yeah, okay, he knew it was kind of overkill. He got that. But the pounding headache that kicked up every time he thought about that, about the fact that he was literally locking out two of the people he cared about most, kept him from thinking about it too hard. He had to lock them out, had to lock the whole world out, to keep them from taking the necklace from him. If he had to he'd put in a goddamn portcullis and moat to keep the thing safe.

Val trotted up next to him and pawed at the door, letting out a little whine. She looked up at Eliot and pressed her body against his leg, then pawed at the door again. Time to go out!

Eliot looked down at her, then back up at the door. The door he'd just finished heavily locking and bolting in such a way that it would take several minutes to get open again.

". . . Dammit."

This was exactly why people didn't have portcullises and moats anymore, wasn't it.

[ooc: pretty sure by now he's alienated anyone who would want to come talk to him, but can be open if I happen to be wrong.]

Eliot looked over at said bear trap. "Don't touch that."

Because Hardison needed to be told not to touch the bear trap.

"Val," Eliot called, starting towards the living room and the back door. Val looked from Hardison to Eliot, tail wagging a little hesitantly, then bounced up to lick Hardison's hand before hurrying after.

"All right, I'mma bite," Hardison said, carefully following after Eliot, because he was starting to get legitimately concerned that he'd fall into a pit trap and die if he stepped wrong. "What is going on with you, man? I'd been comin' over to apologize, but this is makin' me think there's something else goin' on here."

Eliot looked back over his shoulder at him as he started unlocking the back door. "I don't know what you're talking about." Metal shutters, locking bar, deadbolt, open the sliding glass.

Val danced around his feet impatiently, shooting looks at Hardison all the while, as though pleading with him to fix her person already, dammit.

He was trying, little Megabyte! He was trying! But being in here was making him start to wonder if maybe Parker's evil-alien-cyborg-clone theory might not have been as out there as he'd originally thought.

"Sure. Yeah a'ight, this is all very normal." If Eliot wanted to play that way, fine. "Look, I just wanted to say that whatever happened--whatever me'n Parker did, we're sorry, man. I mean--nah, not even 'whatever.' We both know what this is really about."

Eliot frowned as he finally got the back door open, gesturing with his head for Val to go out. She looked between the two men again and then bolted out into the fenced in yard. Eliot slid the door slowly closed behind her, leaving it cracked open so Val didn't think she was being locked out completely.

She was the only thing left in his life he didn't see as a threat. He was damn well going to take care of her.

He turned back towards Hardison slowly, resisting the urge to grab onto the claw.

"There's nothin' to apologize for." They hadn't stolen the necklace yet, after all. He'd actually kind of forgotten about the Black Book. There wasn't enough room left in his head for it.

Edited at 2015-03-19 11:21 pm (UTC)

"Really?" Hardison deadpanned. "Then why you lockin' us out, Eliot?" He gestured at all the security equipment. "This is all stuff that I can't hack and Parker can't pick. We ain't seen you in days and when we do, we just fight all the time. That ain't...that ain't how it's supposed to be between us."

There was that headache building again. "I didn't ask you guys to move out here," Eliot said. It was better to just push them away. He didn't need people.

He kinda needed an aspirin, though.

"What? You sayin' it was better before we came here?" Hardison asked. Huh. He always thought that when Eliot punched him in the gut the first time, it'd be physical. "Your life was better before we showed up?"

He was trying to say that he'd be way less paranoid if he didn't know two of the world's greatest thieves were living in town. Just, you know, without saying it.

Also, it wouldn't be true, anyway. He'd be just as paranoid if they were still in Baltimore.

"I'm sayin' I didn't ask you two to move here," Eliot said, starting towards the kitchen. He was pretty sure the first aid kit in there had some painkillers. "But, yeah, I mighta at least been able to run a simple job without you hasslin' me if you hadn't shown up."

"You mean that job you had to call me in the middle of because you needed my help?" Hardison demanded.

Dammit. That wasn't what he'd meant to say. But...damn.

Okay, so he had a point there. Eliot found the first aid kit and yanked out the bottle of ibuprofen, swallowing three of them dry.

"I'd've figured something out."

And probably would have had Interpol actively chasing his ass again.

"Sure," Hardison cracked. "You'da just grabbed the whole laptop and run with it. I'm sure that would've gone over very well with Quinn."

He sighed, rubbing at his chin. "Look, man, I didn't come here to fight. I just want to know what it's gonna take to bring you back to us. Like we used to be."

And, lord, he didn't want to ask but he needed to know.

"Is this about Plan E?"

"Plan -- what?" Eliot frowned. How was it he kept getting lost in conversations these days? "You and Parker planning a job without me?"

Hardison raised an eyebrow. "You seriously gonna catch an attitude about that?" he asked. "Seriously?"

Pot? This was kettle, looking to have a quick conversation about your hue.

"But no, we ain't." Not exactly. Plan E was more like...a lifestyle choice.

Did this mean he was wrong about it? That Eliot didn't know about Plan E?

"Then what the hell is this 'Plan E' thing?" Eliot shook his head, baffled. "Crap, is that -- is the E supposed to stand for 'Eliot?!'"

This was doing absolutely nothing to help his paranoia, Hardison.

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