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What, was "Rudy" on cable last night?

. . . Yes.

happy coffee-face, lounging coffee-face
Eliot Spencer vdistinctive
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Office hours, Wednesday
So the whole "teaching" thing was definitely shaping up not to be a one-off sort of venture, so Eliot figured he should probably start making an effort to do it properly.

Which apparently meant sitting around an office once a week and waiting to see if anyone needed to talk to him.

It went pretty well at first, with Val napping in one of the spare chairs while Eliot enjoyed his coffee and read a bit. By the time lunch rolled around, though, he had a picture of Sterling printed out and hung on the wall as a darts target.


"Well, well, well. Look what we got here." Hardison had a box of electronics in his arms, making his way to his own office next door. "If I'd'a known you were comin' here, I'd'a made you carry this for me."

Hardison was a delicate flower, Eliot. And there were a lot of stairs between the apartment and the school.

"Val, sic 'im."

Val jumped up and barked once, tail wagging.

"Isn't that what your TA would be for?"

"Aww, hey tiny girl! Hey little sweetheart!" Hardison didn't look all that bothered by having Val unleashed on him. In fact, he was balancing the box between his hip and the doorframe and digging through it to see if he'd packed a back of treats for her. "An' why should I bother my TA when I got such a big, strong man to carry it for me?" he asked, giving Eliot a grin. "I could try to convince you to carry it shirtless an' everything."

"Nah," Eliot said. "I burn too easy."

That wasn't even true. The man tanned like leather. He was just enjoying making excuses.

"The hell is that stuff, anyway?"

"Right," Hardison said, rolling his eyes. "Cause I ain't lived with you for almost seven years an' seen you runnin' around in the summertime almost as brown as me."

He'd been watching, Eliot. Watching.

"An' whaddaya mean, what's this stuff? Necessary supplies for my office!" So, you know, his weight in orange soda, gummy frogs, several laptops, his backup gaming laptop, his backup to his backup, a few cell phones, some surveillance equipment...the basics, really.

"You forget I'm teachin' a class that uses computers extensively?"

Eliot's office had a desktop computer. Provided by the school. That was currently being used as a plant stand. "Everything you do uses computers extensively. You got a dart board in there? I forgot to bring one."

That poor drywall under the picture of Sterling would never be the same.

Seriously, Eliot? Seriously?

"Sure, I do," Hardison said dryly. "It's right next to my hockey sticks an' my football trophy collection."

Eliot shrugged. "You should try it out sometime, man, might help your whole aim problem."

How did someone sped as much time as Hardison doing something that was all about hand-eye coordination and still have such terrible aim?

He had great aim! When he was playing video games! It was just, you know, the real world applications that were difficult.

"So that I, too, can one day ruin a wall with a picture of Sterling on it? Too kind, man. I'm all a-quiver with excitement about that possibility."

"Or shoot out a car's engine on purpose," Eliot said. "Not that I'm sayin' you should have a gun." Hardison should never, ever have a gun. (And honestly neither should anyone else.)

And Hardison wasn't going to mention that he had one. Locked up and kept safe under several coils of wires and cables where no one would think to look.

"Sorry we can't all punch our way through our problems, man," Hardison drawled. "But if you don't want me usin' a gun, why should I learn to shoot one?"

That was wise. Having one was bad enough. Having it and not knowing how to use it? Eliot'd tear him a new one. "'Cause sometimes you pick one up after a bad guy drops it. And I'd rather you not literally shoot yourself in the foot."

And avoiding that was exactly why it was in a fireproof lockbox behind several electronic locks, in a cardboard box labeled 'tech stuff' in sharpie. That was the closest Hardison could get to having an anti-Eliot spell around something.

Granted, Hardison would also be happier if he never, ever needed to see that gun again, because he knew just how dangerous it was. Still, he believed in insurance, which is what it was. An ugly, dangerous form of insurance that he was happy to pretend didn't exist.

"Man, like I'd get a chance to even try 'fore you snatched it outta my hands and popped the clip," Hardison said. "An' somehow I don't think throwin' darts is gonna help me much if I ever did have to use one."

"Throwing rocks would help with your aim," Eliot said. "Anything would be an improvement."

Hardison's aim was atrocious.

But his terrible aim had helped! It had been super-useful!

"So you're sayin' we should play the original Duck Hunt together, that's what I'm hearin'."

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