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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.]

"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.

Crap. Crapcrapcrapcrapcrap!

"Yes, Eliot," Hardison said, rolling his eyes. "E, the most common letter in the alphabet, could only stand for your name. Very good. You guessed."

It didn't count as lying, right? On a technicality?

Sorry, he'd just panicked.

Eliot narrowed his eyes. He didn't believe that for a second.

"Oh yeah? Then what is it, then?"

It was definitely a plot to steal his necklace.

"W-what does it even matter?" Hardison asked, trying to see if he could dance around the subject without outright lying about it. "I mean, you just--you know, you just said we was cool, right? That's all--I mean, there ain't--there ain't nothing else for you to worry about. So who cares? Why you gotta be stressin' about stuff, man? It leads to this kinda craziness!"

...Hardison was terrible at this.

And it was doing absolutely nothing to help Eliot's paranoia.

"You wanna try that again? Maybe try to sound a little less like you're plottin' against me?"

"Whoa, okay, hold up," Hardison said, raising a hand up. "What? How the hell did we get to plotting against you?"

"You come in here, apologizin' for -- I don't even know what, start in on some 'plan E', which you ain't even got a reasonable lie for, and you two've been ridin' my ass for the last two weeks. The hell am I s'posed to think, Hardison?"

"That maybe I was apologizing for whatever in hopes that we could get back to the way things used to be? You know, way in the dim and distant past of, like...three weeks ago?"

Back when things had been normal?

"It's, like, damn man. I move to the island to be wit' y'all and less than a month later, you're boarding up the windows and puttin' locks on the door. So I'm tryna figure out what happened!"

"I don't know what to tell you."

It was true. Eliot didn't have the words to explain what had been going on for the last few weeks, even to himself. His head was pounding, he was stressed out constantly worrying about the necklace, and his fuse had gone from short to non-existent.

"Just -- go home, Hardison. Go find Parker, and leave me the hell alone."

"But we're...we're more than a crew, Eliot!" Hardison was desperate now, trying to reach him, make him see. "We're family! The three of us! We been family for years now! You're really gonna throw that all away for...for what?"

This couldn't be what he wanted! It just couldn't!

"We love you, man! Me 'n Parker both. We love you." His voice cracked, broke. "We nearly died together. The three of us. You promised Sophie that you'd always be there for us... You can't just tell me to go away an' leave you alone! You just...you just can't man. You can't and expect me to listen. You can't and actually mean it."

Eliot leaned his elbows against the counter, his arms coming up to wrap around his head as it throbbed harder, his stomach roiling now in counterpoint. That promise to Sophie, and everything that had gone into him making it -- Parker and Hardison were the only reasons Eliot hadn't gone full-on hermit by now, hadn't fled to the freaking Gobi Desert. They were his family, and he'd do anything -- anything for them -- but he had to protect the necklace.

"Dammit, Hardison," he forced out. "Go. Home."

When had Hardison ever listened?

"Is someone trying to hunt you down?" he asked, finding another possible angle. "Is that what this is all about? Are you in trouble?"

This could absolutely be some kind of 'I must protect them by pushing them away' scenario, now that he thought about it.

"If someone's comin' for you, man, we stand a better chance of all of us comin out of this if we stick together. Anyone messin' with you is gonna have to deal with all of us, so it's better if you just tell us about it now--"

(no subject) - vdistinctive, 2015-03-21 01:39 am (UTC)(Expand)
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