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Alec Hardison
18 February 2015 @ 03:52 am
"Hey, y'all. This is Hardison, I'm not here right now, you know what to do. And man, Eliot, read your damn email. That answers whatever questions you're calling me with right now. If it's you, Nana, sorry for cussing."


DisclaimerCollapse )
Alec Hardison
The problem with being where everybody knows your name? Getting arrested. Hardison couldn't use any of his computer magic to convince the system they had the wrong guy, or run a quick con to get Eliot out. No, when everyone knew your name, they also tended to know what you were up to, like when you got arrested for brawling in a bar because you weren't still emotionally stunted sometimes when it came to family and--

Hardison handed over a cashier's check for the amount of bail and sighed. It just felt so dishonest, a pair of proper thieves actually paying bail.

"Just a moment," the clerk behind the desk said, slowly hunting-and-pecking her way into getting the information on her computer. With two fingers! Now there was the real crime. "You just sit tight now...Alec," she said, adjusting her glasses as she peered at the name on the ID he'd provided. Because, again, no using aliases when everyone knew who he was. "We'll get Eliot out just as soon as I'm done here."

...So sometime between now and when the sun burned out. A'ight.

"Sho thing," he said with a charming smile. "I'll just wait here then."
Who gets arrested under their REAL NAME?!Collapse )

[Preplayed with the amazing vdistinctive, and NFB/NFI applies]
Alec Hardison
Hardison had accompanied Eliot to the hospice, but had elected to wait in the waiting area before the receptionist desk. Eliot and his father had a lot of catching up to do and it was the kind of catching up that didn't need a stranger present. Hardison was easing the way with Eliot and Trudy's family and even a bit with Eliot and just being here, but facing his dad was the one thing that Eliot had to do alone.

At least the first time. Hopefully only the first time.

But he figured that Eliot would need some company after the visit ended--he probably wouldn't want company, but that was a different thing--and so he was just killing time, giving the wi-fi of the coffee shop next door a much-needed upgrade and idly skimming through the FBI files on their investigation into the Russian election hacking. Just to keep his hand in.Collapse )

[NFI, NFB, OOC is love. Preplayed with the wonderful vdistinctive. Immediately follows this.]
Alec Hardison
After Hardison got home from the diner, Eliot had summarized the conversation he'd had with Sparkle about his sister, mostly going over the points that were relevant to find her. He hadn't even gotten halfway through the it before Hardison had pulled out his laptop and started the searches, narrowing down options with every detail Eliot provided.

Still, of those details, there weren't many and most were years out of date, which meant the search had taken a long time--by which Hardison meant more than a few hours. But even with the extended timeframe, the end result was the same: he had a hit. (Technically, he had several, but this one wasn't just the most promising, it was straight-up promising.)

"Eliot!" he called. "You wanna grab Sparkle? I'm pretty sure I found his sister."

Family is complicatedCollapse )

[Preplayed with the wonderful vdistinctive, whoisalicewhite, and myownface. Broadcast fine, NFI, OOC is love]
Alec Hardison
Hardison lounged on the deck of Dottie's Pride, sipping at a beer and watching the sun set over the water. Next to him, Megabyte and Stance snoozed next to his chair, tuckered out after a long day of romping about in the sea air. He wasn't sure where Eliot was--doing something nautical, no doubt--and the last time he'd seen Parker, she was clinging to the side of the boat and giving him a heart attack, but he figured they'd be joining him soon enough to enjoy the last vestiges of the day and looking out towards the gorgeous expanse of ocean. Tellingly, his laptop was still in its bag in the cabin; he hadn't even pulled his phone out, except to take pictures every so often.

Don't tell anyone, but sometimes it was nice to be unplugged for a bit. Long enough to appreciate warm weather, the rocking of a gentle ocean, and the company of the two loves of his life.

...Though he was starting to get hungry. One and a half days of sailing to get to the Florida Keys would do that to a man. Maybe he should needle Eliot about letting him starve at the very beginning of their vacation to see if that would turn into dinner for all of them.

Oh yeah, vacations were great.

[NFB and for thems what are with him, please!]
Alec Hardison
Hardison wasn't worried.

At least, that's what he was telling himself as he waited hour after hour for any sign of the group he'd sent to Los Angeles. Afternoon turned to night turned to dawn and still there was no sign of them. Hardison didn't sleep. Hardison couldn't sleep. Sleep was a thing that would never happen again until everyone came back, safe and sound.

After this, however, he no longer doubted Nate had been right to tell him he couldn't hack it as a mastermind. Not when he could feel every moment that ticked by as a personal accusation that he'd controlled the portal and that he'd sent them into danger.

The birds were just starting to chirp and the first hints of blue were still staining the sky when he opened the portal for what felt like the hundreth time and saw them all; Parker and Eliot, Raven and Ringo, Anders and Dante, and even Kathy, her face bound by tape and her head lolling at an unnatural angle. "Yo, welcome home" he crowed, exited to see them all hale and hearty, or at the very least, unbitten.

In a few moments, he'd be able to see the physical and emotional toll the world had taken on them. For now, though, there were excited greetings and congratulations, and a huge breakfast order being sent to Luke's for special delivery.

[For them who know who they are. Up early for SP]
Alec Hardison
28 January 2017 @ 12:00 pm
Hardison was, not-so-coincidentally enough, parked in the same spot on the Causeway that he'd been when he opened the portal to bring Raven home. "So, I got the basic coordinates for this version of Los Angeles, but not ones that are specific to Griffith's Observatory," he said, fingers flying over the keys. "I can put you within somethin' like five square miles of the park, but that's the best I got for you. So, worse case scenario, you got five miles of zombies to fight your way through. An' then back again once you got her."

Which, if you asked him, sounded like the plot of a horror movie and he was not really thrilled about sending his partners, his TA, and a bunch of students right in the middle of it. At least Alluka was staying where he could keep an eye on her...

...Even if she was more than a little creepy right now, yeah.

"I'm just about finished here," he said, putting in the last of the calculations so that no one arrived with an arm sticking out of their head or made of green jello or something. "Y'all should probably make sure everyone is on the same page before y'all head out."

Last chance to get off the rideCollapse )

[NFI and everything in the second table is NFB as well. OOC is love, though! Preplayed with whoisalicewhite, tigerundercover/vdistinctive, rebelseekspizza, not_every_mage, and soniaroadsqueen, all of whom are rockstars. Bits of text adapted from Chapter Twenty-Two of Ex-Heroes, by Peter Clines. Buckle up, kids, it's gonna be a long ride. Apologies to your f-lists in advance.]
Alec Hardison
07 December 2016 @ 06:26 pm
So this day was all kinds of fired. First, Hardison had met some crazy, murder hobo version of his boyfriend in the park and had gotten to have not-so happy funtimes with the wrong end baseball bat. And then on his way home, he'd kept seeing things out of the corner of his eye, but when he'd turned to see what was out there, there was absolutely nothing.

Was that a sign of a concussion? He was pretty sure that was a sign of a concussion. Or maybe some kind of brain swelling thing. Or was brain swelling what a concussion was? He couldn't remember off the top of his head and that was probably a bad sign, too. And staring at a computer screen would just make his headache worse and he was already squinting out of his left eye, as bruised and blackened as that one was and rather than look up Web MD and discover that he had some form of cancer, he was going to rest right here on Eliot's couch and steal Eliot's last sandwich and use Eliot's good William's Sonoma handtowel to wrap around the ice he was holding against his bruised face.

Hardison...might have been a tad grumpy at Eliot, yes, even though it wasn't, technically speaking, his fault a crazy version of him had kicked Hardison's ass earlier. Not that being grumpy kept Hardison out of Eliot's house and waiting for either of his partners to come home so he could demand cuddles and sympathy.

Man, he wished he had some kind of neat superpower so he could see when the island was going to go crazy and ruin his whole goddamn day.

[For the crew, please!]
Alec Hardison
For the past eleven days (but who was counting?) Hardison had...not been himself. Instead, he'd been a teddy bear, lugged around in Eliot's messenger bag or cuddled--yes! cuddled!--by Eliot whenever he was at home. In point of fact, Hardison was still a teddy bear and Eliot had dragged him around outside today, into the preserve, surrounded by bugs and pollen and all sorts of nonsense. Hardison!bear hadn't had to deal with it, exactly, being a stuffed bear and all and yet--

Well, Hardison-bear was feeling quite discontented. Inasmuch as a teddy bear could be disgruntled about anything. His Wuv you's were getting snippy and his Beary muches were downright snarky. Funny, for how much Hardison was a living Care Bear when he was himself, he was certainly aggravated by being relegated to such now.

[For the crew, please!]
Alec Hardison
25 April 2016 @ 02:04 pm
He was not hiding. The Brood were proud and fierce warriors and Brood!Hardison was no exception. He was simply biding his time, waiting for the transformation to complete unimpeded. The host weakened him, made him doubt and hesitate, sometimes even dared to drown out the Hivemind with his puling and wailing. It was...inconvenient. And really, really annoying. Like, really. If he found his thoughts accidentally drifting to the human he'd fought yesterday one more time he would do something drastic.

Still, he could feel presence of another Brood through the Hivemind approaching. Better yet, it belonged to the host 'Parker' who might just shut his host up. Silence would be a blessed, blessed relief by this point. And this was coming from a creature who was part of a damn Hivemind.


[For one, please!]
Alec Hardison
28 February 2016 @ 10:49 pm
"This sucks," Hardison grumbled from his couch where the bank of TVs against the wall were turned to something that was very specifically not the Oscars. "You know I've been to every single one of these since I was fifteen, right? Fifteen! Had to steal a damn tuxedo my first year just to be allowed in. All that tradition down the damn drain because some folks can't remember that it ain't 1956 no more."

He had been ranting about this for over an hour now and showed no signs of stopping.

"Bad enough they ignored Selma last year," he continued. "I mean, any movie about Dr. King is, like, instant Oscar bait. But to ignore Straight Outta Compton? That movie was amazing! Yo, that dude who played MC Ren was on point in every damn scene he was in. This is a damn travesty!"

The couch could no longer contain his frustration. Hardison flung himself up and started to pace, furiously downing bottles of Squeeze Orange soda, which wasn't helping his energy levels any. "You know, I can fix this. I can hack the hell outta those Oscars. We'll see how good their damn ceremony is with Hardison in control of the lights an' music an' the damn teleprompter!"

This would...probably not end well.

[Establishy, but open to the crew if they want in! Thanks to whoisalicewhite for reminding me of Hardison's canonical Oscar attendance. Which, combined with Aldis Hodge's role in the unfairly-snubbed Straight Outta Compton made this post a must]
Alec Hardison
07 February 2016 @ 02:29 pm
Hardison was grinning as he lugged the second screen into Eliot's living room. "Eliot! Yo, Eliot, where you at? Guess what!" Dropping his voice, he added to Parker, who was carrying her own load of chips and foam fingers, "He ain't never gonna guess."

Probably because most people wouldn't assume that their partners would just decide to throw a Superbowl party at their house without prior agreement. But Hardison wasn't going to let something like that stop him. If he hadn't been stymied by Eliot's lack of TVs, he wasn't going to be bothered by something like this, either.

Eliot leaned against the door jam and stared at the televisions coming in through the door. "For the last time, Hardison, I ain't lettin' you set up your six screen office thing in here."

Parker waved a foam finger at him. It was bright blue and orange and bigger than she was. “We’re here for the party! I brought the snacks. So you can just relax and not have to worry about being the host.”

Eliot opened his mouth, pointed at the foam finger, then let his head drop into his hands. "Of course you are."

"C'mon, mama, we talked about this," Hardison reminded. "We ask first. Yo, Eliot, you mind if we borrow your house for a Superbowl party? Our place is too small to fit a lot of people." Look, Eliot! He wasn't even putting up the screens while he was asking! Sure, he was subtly running a stud-finder over the walls to make sure they could be hung properly, but that was all!

"It's also traditional not to just show up with the supplies like you know I'm already gonna say yes." Don't be dumb, Eliot. They completely already knew you were going to say yes.

“There’s going to be puppies.” Parker had gotten some very unclear ideas about how the Super Bowl worked. “And maybe kittens. Val will like that!” Look, she even used your preferred name for your dog!

Of course they did. But they still asked. Even if the discussion before they left the house had ended with a 'Let's go steal a living room.' That was just tradition at work, okay? "So, I figure we'll have the big, big screen with the game on it, an' then the other slightly-smaller big screen have the Puppybowl. Then everybody's happy an' got somethin' to watch. Also, for refreshments, look what I found!"

Beaming, Hardison pulled out a six pack of Thief Juice. "We can introduce the island to it!"

Poor Eliot. He was doomed. Had been for years. "I am not hosting," he said. "I am not cleaning. I am not responsible for any part of this, and if anything breaks, I'm holdin' you two personally responsible."

Parker bopped him on the head with the foam finger, grinning. “Super Bowl!”

[Open to the all the townies of the island. Invites send out handwavily over email. Co-written with the wonderful vdistinctive and whoisalicewhite! OCD up, come one come all!]
Alec Hardison
After the excitement of yesterday, no one had felt like broaching the topic of Leverage and how Nana felt about it. Instead, they'd gone home, helped clean up the remains of the attack, and then settled down to eat the best damn dinner Nana had cooked in her entire life. Saturday had melted away in a blur of warmth and love and family, with Nana relating embarrassing stories of Hardison's childhood, and Parker and Eliot relating embarrassing stories about his adulthood.

It was such a good time that Hardison was sometimes able to forget the secrets and discussions hanging between them.

But nothing good can stay and soon it was Sunday, just a little while before they had to return to the island. And, as much as he hated the idea, Hardison knew that he needed to speak up about things now--if he was going to speak of them at all.

And so it goes...Collapse )

[And over with! Thanks so much to my wonderful partners in crime, whoisalicewhite and vdistinctive. They were AMAZING, working with me on this since July. NFI, NFB, but OOC is lovely]
Alec Hardison
Nana had gone out to run a few more errands, most of which involved making sure that the house had enough groceries to feed a small army. That was a good time as ever for them to get together and have Hardison's debriefing while Parker came up with a plan. Or, rather, it would be, if they could have it anywhere else in the house. Instead, though, they were crowded together in Hardison's old bedroom, filled with the accumulated clutter of years. Hardison was trying to make sure his computer was able to project, but his works were impeded by keeping Parker and Eliot away from anything rare or embarrassing.

They're not dolls! They're action figures!Collapse )

[NFB, NFI, preplayed with vdistinctive and whoisalicewhite]
Alec Hardison
Hardison pressed the End Call button on his phone and then flung it onto the couch. It landed so hard it bounced back up and crashed to the floor. Whatever. He had like a million others and, honestly, the sound of something breaking was welcome. He followed that up with a sharp punch to the wall, trying to vent his fury out through violence.

Ouch. Nope. Okay, bad idea. The sound of something breaking was only okay if it wasn't his fingers.

On the bright side, the pain took sharp the edge off his anger, leaving him clear-headed enough to think. Okay, Nana and a bunch of her friends had gotten swindled out of their pensions. She was still financially secure, of course, not that she knew it. Hardison had long ago set up various accounts and trusts for her. But the same couldn't be said for her friends--and she didn't know she wasn't in any financial trouble yet, because he couldn't explain to her about all her money without answering some uncomfortable questions about where it all came from.

Step one: let the crew know they had a new job. Stat. Sorry, vacation, but Nana took priority. Step two: dig up all the information about Deon Walker and his shady operation and make up an info briefing. Step three: use that information in Chicago to nail Walker's ass to the ground. Step four--

Actually, wait. Step one was going to be 'get some ice for his hand.' Everything else came after that.

The Pensioner Pyramid SchemeCollapse )


The taxi from the airport dropped them off in front of an unassuming white house on Luella Avenue, not far from Trinity Hospital. Hardison had his own place in Chicago, of course, and his own car, both under a pseudonym stolen from Mister What, and neither of which would do him any good for awhile. His car was in longterm storage across the city and he had no reasonable explanation for the existence of an apartment that was still furnished and rented and yet had sat empty for years, without even a sublet. In the end, it had been easier to agree to stay with his Nana in her place than try to argue with her about where they were staying.

He could con a bunch of thieving Russians so well that they'd kidnapped him, but put him on the phone with the woman who'd raised him and he was barely able to fib about the weather.

"We'll be able to get the car in a few hours," he said, hoisting his duffel bag full of electronics over his shoulder. That was all his bag contained; his clothes had been split between Parker and Eliot's bags to make room for more gadgets. "Someone at the storage place is gonna drive it over. Had to tell Nana that I was borrowin' it from an old friend. Otherwise she'd've insisted we drive hers an' she needs that for her shift at Trinity's." He was babbling, he didn't need to tell his crew why using Nana's car for their work was a terrible idea. It was just nerves. Not about the job--please, they could take down scum like Walker in their sleep--but bringing two of people he loved most in this world to his childhood home to meet the third. Nothing much had changed in the few years since he'd been gone. He tried to see it with strangers' eyes.

The same blue station wagon Nana'd bought the year before he'd graduated high school sat in the driveway that could use a good resurfacing. The house had a two-car garage, but it had been converted into a playroom back in the 90s, a few years before Hardison had come to live here. The lawn was a little shaggy, more clover and weeds than grass, but still green. Hardison wondered whose job it was now to mow it. The outside of the house was in good condition; Nana had 'won a contest' for discounted siding a few years back and the contractor had 'known a guy' who did roofing was was willing to shingle the roof for a fraction of the usual cost. It had still run Nana a few thousand dollars to get all the work done, but there was no cover story in the world that could make her believe she could get it done for less. Hardison knew that for a fact--he'd asked Sophie to help him come up with one and even she'd been stumped.

Which made Nana getting conned all the more surprising.

"So, uhh, yeah," he said, swinging open the gate to lead them up to the front door. "This is the place. Home sweet home."

In the (Calumet) Heights!Collapse )

[Phone call and resulting discussion available for broadcast, everything in Chicago is obviously NFB. Preplayed with the wonderful vdistinctive and whoisalicewhite]
Alec Hardison
Hardison always loved his partners. But sometimes he loved them extra. Like right now, when they were indulging him in one of his favorite non-computer and non-bedroom pastimes: good, old-fashioned, pen-and-paper style D&D. 5th Edition had come out awhile ago, but Hardison had been so soured by 4th Ed that he'd refused to even acknowledge it. But some time on an old forum he'd started hanging out on during high school had convinced him to give it a try--and he'd managed to convince Parker and Eliot to try it along with him.

Okay, for Parker, he'd just used one of his 'Hardison Gets To Choose The Date' coupons. Eliot had required the real convincing.

But here they were, sitting around the dining room table, paper, pencils, and many-sided dice around them. Hardison was behind his DM screen as was right and proper, with the various NPCs he'd lovingly crafted over the last week in a neat pile to his side. Sure, he could have used his computer, but it just felt right to do this all by hand. He also had several bottles of Squeeze Orange soda and bags of gummy frogs handy to keep him going, but in deference to Eliot's delicate sensibilities (and as a subtle thank you for agreeing to play), most of the other snacks were things diced fruit and a veggie platter.

And a giant bowl of Doritos, because some things were just tradition, okay?

"A'ight," he said, beaming at them. "I took the liberty of pre-gennin' some characters for y'all to choose from so you ain't gotta worry about makin' characters tonight. Just tell me what you wanna be an' I'll hook you up."

[For the excited players!]
Alec Hardison
So after twenty fruitless minutes of trying to find what sim Eliot had jumped into next (while telling his stupid brain that of course Eliot jumped to a new one, death wasn't a thing here, they hadn't seen a single shred of evidence--though he had no idea what had happened to Pinkie, hadn't seen hide nor hair of her, either, not in any sim at all...), Hardison knew that he needed to search for something else to keep himself from going crazy.

And if he wasn't looking for Eliot, then he was looking for Parker. That was just the way of things. He was a lodestone and his crew was his magnetic north.

He settled in for what would likely be another useless search (no one found Parker when she didn't want to be found, dammit) only to have the virtual heavens open up and smile on his for the first time in days. Because his girl was there. Right there. In the Fandom matrix, blazing down the street in a souped up Hennessey Venom GT and practically hooting as she slammed it into the side of a building. The car and the building went up in a gout of fire and oily black smoke, but Parker had bailed at the last minute and was now cackling maniacally at the destruction.

God he loved her. His heart almost hurt with how much he loved her. He might have to put a little more effort into looking up weddings he could steal for her because damn.

He was shrugging into the remains of his tattered leather trenchcoat, bitching about the scorched holes in the leather from yesterday's explosion, when his alarm went off--Eliot had been spotted somewhere in the Matrix. He flung himself to the computer, pulling up coordinates to find his beloved idiot, ready to snatch him out of wherever he was stuck and drag him by his hair if necessary--only to see that he had ended up on the same street that Parker had just sauntered onto. He watched Parker's code fling herself at Eliot's with a smile and a wateriness to his eye that he would go to his grave swearing was allergies.

Okay. No more hiding behind his computer. His crew was back--time to go ruin Zinyak's whole day.

[For the reunion, pls!]
Alec Hardison
He was trapped. There was no where to move, nowhere to go, and he could feel the air getting thinner. Each breath was harder to draw than the last and his lungs burned with the effort of extracting what little air was left. The phone glowed blue in his hand, Parker's voice telling him he could do it, he could make it, that she needed him, and Hardison wanted to hold on for her, to prove he could do it, hell, just to see her again and make sure that there wasn't new pain in her eyes, but he knew that they weren't going to arrive in time. He strained his ears to hear the sound of the ambulance, the sound he knew he should make out by now, but they weren't close enough, he couldn't hear anything, not even Parker's voice anymore and the phone's glow died, leaving him trapped in darkness, the scent of the rose he'd been buried with and the varnish they used on the casker mixing in his nostrils and making him ill.

Or maybe that was just knowing he was going to die, all alone, in this tiny box he could never get out of by himself...

Deeply asleep and still trapped inside his nightmare, Hardison thrashed about, whimpering in fear, hot tears sliding down his cheeks.

Coffin nightmares were the worst.

[For the two there with him. Obviously]
Alec Hardison
Well, there was no more denying it. Their most recent ill-advised Plan E attempt had left Hardison with a nasty cold. Possibly pneumonia. Possibly consumption. He wasn't sure. It all got mixed together in a haze of coughing and sneezing and general misery. He alternated between sweating and shivering, along with that weird light-headed feeling that you got with a high fever.

Or maybe with extra-strength cold meds. One of those.

Look, the important thing was that he was dying here. Probably literally. Dying. In his prime.

He was huddled on the couch, wrapping under blankets, with mountains of Squeeze Orange Soda bottles next to him. That was practically orange juice, right? A smaller mountain (in height, if not in volume) of used tissues were next to that, because Hardison hadn't thought to bring over a garbage can before he'd sunk onto the couch and now the idea of getting up to fetch it made him whimper. His head weighed roughly fifty pounds and was throbbing in time to his heartbeat--sitting up was an impossibility, never mind actually standing. And walking? HA!

He's known the outdoors were a horrible idea. It always ended with his life in danger.

Dammit, Eliot!