Alec Hardison age_of_the_geek
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The New Headquarters of Leverage, Inc, (The Apartment Above Lukes), Monday Morning
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]


2015-05-18 08:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

Eliot was already awake, just lying there and enjoying the fact that his leg didn't hurt, when the thrashing started.

For a moment he honestly didn't know what to do. It wasn't like he'd really spent the night with that many people before they'd started this arrangement. So if his "Hey," sounded like he was angry with Hardison for it instead of concerned, well. He'd apologize later.


2015-05-18 08:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

"Hardison." Parker was used to this. She didn't like it, she hated it, but she was used to it. "Hardison, I'm right here." She poked his shoulder. "Open your eyes. " She looked over at Eliot, and mouthed, Coffin.

Could she hurt someone else for this? Now?


2015-05-18 08:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hardison was holding his breath, had been for the last thirty or so seconds. Parker's poke, combined with his need to breathe had him opening his eyes and gasping for air. "Park--Parker!" He flung his hand out, searching for hers, then drew his knees up to press his face against.

Sorry guys. He'd talk to you in a moment. He just needed to take a minute.


2015-05-18 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

Eliot was intruding, right? He felt like he was intruding. Sure, he'd helped during the whole coffin thing, but it'd really been Parker who'd held Hardison together. He was just going to slide subtly out of bed here and leave these two to their couple time.

And pause at the edge of the bed because, dammit, he wanted to make sure Hardison didn't end up falling apart, this time.


2015-05-18 08:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

"Wait," Hardison said and he would have given, like, his third-best gaming laptop to keep his voice from sounding so raw. "Don't--please don't, man. Please don't leave."


2015-05-18 08:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

Parker shot him a look of surprise, followed by a scowl, then followed by blankness. She held on to Hardison with both arms and legs, spidered around him in a big hug. But her voice stayed level. "You're here. With me. It's Monday." She smoothed his hair down, and sighed. "You're not in the box. And nobody kidnapped." She frowned. "I think."


2015-05-18 08:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

Eliot froze at Parker's scowl, then blanched a bit at Hardison's pleading. "Right," he said, scooting back over. "Sorry, I --" didn't know how to do this. "Sorry." He reached over to rest his hand on Hardison's shoulder. "I ain't goin' anywhere."


2015-05-18 11:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

"Naww, I'm sorry," Hardison mumbled. He still couldn't make himself look at Eliot, not when he was still so open and wounded-feeling. "I shouldn't--it's been years. Shouldn't still be havin' these dreams. Shouldn't still be affectin' me like this. Usually they don't--usually they ain't so bad anymore. But I guess all that..." He gave an awkward shrug, not wanting to jostle Parker any. It wasn't often she was willing to stay in one position the way she was when he had a coffin nightmare. "That stuff from yesterday--sorry. I know it's dumb. Gimme a minute an' I'll be cool, man."

He was used to Eliot thinking of him as physically weak, or all but useless in a fight.This was different. He didn't want Eliot thinking he was weak this way, too. Didn't want him walking away.


2015-05-18 11:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

If Eliot ever walked away, it wasn't because Hardison was being weak.

He snorted softly, feeling slightly more on even footing, and didn't take his hand off Hardison's shoulder. "You kidding me? You should hear 'bout some of the dreams I still have."


2015-05-19 12:03 am (UTC) (Link)

"You mean the ones you get from bein' in mortal peril cause you just, like, coolly walked into some den of kidnappers or whatever an' beat them all within an inch of their lives afore walkin' out again?" Hardison asked, trying to sound light and missing the mark by a mile.

Whatever. Eliot had never been impressed with his grifting anyway.

"As opposed to the ones where you were, you know, kidnapped, taken out by a few hits. Or worse yet, just went along with it, cause you were too stupid to realize you were bein' conned?"


2015-05-19 12:08 am (UTC) (Link)

Eliot got that look on his face that usually accompanied a tiny flashback scene him remembering some of his weirder adventures over the years. Like getting tied to a chair while a mobster played Russian roulette on your head. Or working ground-force for NATO's bombing of Belgrade.

"Well, there was that time I trusted Sterling enough to keep drinkin' the coffee he bought me even after I noticed it tasted funny. . . ."

Hardison didn't need to hear the dark stuff, right now.


2015-05-19 12:24 am (UTC) (Link)

That coaxed a real chuckle out of Hardison; small, but real. "Yeah, a'ight. That was pretty stupid. I mean, it's Sterling. How long he chase you for before the Nigerian Job? I mean, he weren't no Nate, but still bad enough that no one thought he was trustworthy."


2015-05-19 12:34 am (UTC) (Link)

"Actually, he never got assigned to any of mine, that I know of," Eliot mused. "Caught Nate tailin' me a time or two, but Sterling I only knew of by reputation, b'fore we teamed up."


2015-05-19 02:25 am (UTC) (Link)

"Really? I got him...twice, I think. I know definitely once for usin' Mick Jagger's identity to rent hotel rooms an'...make friends," Hardison said, clearing his throat and shifting uncomfortably in Parker's embrace.

Look, contrary to Eliot's insinuations, he hadn't actually been a virgin when they met.


2015-05-19 02:32 am (UTC) (Link)

"Most of my jobs ran under IYS's radar," Eliot said. "It was only really the dagger and -- hell, that damn monkey." Which admittedly was a job that just kept going, until they went to Japan in their Portland days.

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