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this one is because I can

I finally got around to seeing the new(ish) Wolverine flick recently, and an image popped fully-formed into my head, and I couldn't not write it. (You'll probably be able to figure out what it was.) Result? Total crack!fic of the kind of Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny potential (although I didn't notice until later), which I am not going to take any further, no matter how fun it sounds.

I will not be distracted by delicious crack addiction.
I will not be distracted by delicious crack addiction.
I will not be distracted by delicious crack addiction.
I will not be distracted by del– ooh, shiny!

Title: guys' night
Ficverse: LeveragePlus (crossovercrack!verse)
Series: one shot
Rating: Gen / PG-15
Length: 3000 ish
Characters: Hardison, Eliot, Nate
Teaser: "Come with me if you want to live," Hardison intoned happily in unison with the Governator.
Notes: Kind of just an excuse to geek-out with Hardison. He follows the white rabbit, somewhat against his will, and learns just how deep the rabbit hole goes. Anything pop culture is fair game. (Now has a sequel in the form of girl's night.)
Disclaimers: anything you recognize is probably not mine.
Warnings/Spoilers: some mild horror and rude bits. No promises about coherence, and mind the
mood whiplash. Set early/mid S1. References plot points from both the Terminator and Alien movie series.
Feedback: go for it. The good, the bad, the ugly....

“Come with me if you want to live,” Hardison intoned happily in unison with the Governator, as Sarah Conner reached up with wide eyes to take his hand. “Most badass line ever. Because it’s subtle, too, you know? Works on so many levels.”

“Versatile, too. C’n use it in so many situations,” agreed Eliot absently, riveted to the screen, not really slurring in spite of the ongoing drinking as the impromptu guys’ night went on later and later. They’d gone to see the new Wolverine movie, and then came back to the offices to watch the most testosterony movies Hardison could pull up. “That thing right there, where she let Arnie help her up, blew my mind.... Damn, Sarah Conner is the hottest milf in existence, no contest.”

Hardison frowned tipsily. “Didn’t think of that. I was, like, ten when it came out.”

“Not ten now, though,” Eliot said with a dirty chuckle, and clinked bottles with him. “To the sexiest asskicking babe to ever imprint herself on our emerging libidos.”

“Aarooooo!” Hardison wolf-howled at the ceiling, joined by the other two, raising their beers and then taking a swig.

Nate screwed up an eye thoughtfully. “What about Ripley?” he asked.

It was Eliot’s turn to frown. “She wan’t a mom, was she?”

“But still hot and kickass, though.”

“No, she was a mom,” said Hardison authoritatively, “but her kid died of old age or something, before the Nostromo ever got back in the first one. It was all tragic and everything, n’then she went back and found Newt, and it was like a whole mother and daughter thing. But I don’t think that should count. ’Cause then Newt died, like, a week after.”

“That was the one with the marines, right?” said Eliot. “Newt was that little girl? I liked that one. But when did she die?”

“You found out in the next one, the one on the prison planet.”

“Oh yeah, when she had the buzz cut.”

“Newt?” asked Nate, not really paying attention.

“No, Ripley.” Eliot scratched his nose. “I don’t know, I like hair on a chick.”

Hardison shrugged, and looked sadly at his empty bottle, then at their last depleted sixpack. “It was short-ish in the second one, though. Curly.” He and stretched his arm out on the table and put his head down on the arm, watching the screen sideways. “Wow, it’s been ages since I watched those.... This sound setup is freaking awesome. I’m a genius, yo,” he said, not noticing the look that passed above him between Nate and Eliot.

Nate took another swallow, and thunked the bottle down on the table decidedly. “Ripley’s badass. And she totally pulled off that shaved head look.”

“Well, anyway, none of the action barbies these days got anything on either of them.” Eliot didn’t get any arguments on that one. “Who was that Geena Davis one? Didn’t she have a kid?... With Samuel L. Jackson.”

Nate started to answer, but found himself yawning instead. He tried again. “No, she had the kid with someone else, some white guy, not Samuel L. Jackson.”

Eliot made an impatient noise. “No, I mean, he was in the movie.”

Hardison wandered into the kitchen to see what other booze they had stocked, while Nate was asking fuzzily, “But what are, why are we going on about moms, again?”

There was a pile of washing up in the sink, which Hardison found very simple to not even deal with right now. He started looking through cupboards, muttering to himself. Who was stocking them right now? And why was there only sherry? Who drank sherry? Who even bought sherry? Ooh, beef jerky. And more pretzels. Did they have any more hot pockets? Eliot didn’t like them, called them puke pockets, which was gross, and Parker had started copying him.

Back in the conference roon, Eliot was now sitting on his own, watching the action critically.

“What happened to Nate?” asked Hardison, feeling a little more alert now.

It took Eliot a second to reply. “Uh – went to bed. No, see, you wouldn’t do that.”

Hardison looked at the screen, but didn’t see what Eliot was referring to. That didn’t mean he couldn’t offer an opinion. “Yeah, but he’s a cyborg with a metal endoskeleton. He can prob’ly do whatever he wants to.”

Eliot turned to him, an odd glint in his eye. Hardison did a double take, and found himself laughing nervously. “I mean, you know. ’Cause they’re robots.”

“And they’re not real,” said Eliot flatly.

“Uh, right.” For some reason, Hardison wasn’t feeling any more reassured. “So, ah, for some reason we only have sherry left. Do you know why....” The question withered as Eliot’s gaze somehow became more concentrated.

“I sometimes wonder if you get this, Hardison,” Eliot said, an edge creeping into his tone. “There is no covert government R&D program to establish a global cybermatrix ghost command. There is no future group of scrappy human resistance fighters. There is no child of destiny to free humankind from the tyranny of machines. There are no time-traveling assassin cyborgs.” His eyes almost seemed to flare, and his voice deepened ominously. “There is only ... me.”

Hardison’s eyes widened, and he tried to jump up, but his thighs hit the edge of the table and knocked him back down. In the frozen second, as his chair jerked and swiveled from the impact of him landing on it, he couldn’t take his eyes off Eliot’s sinister face.

Who burst into guffaws, holding his side as tears ran down his cheeks.

Hardison’s lips pressed together. “Man, you’re such a jerk,” he said, not making a dent in Eliot’s glee. “Seriously –”

A sound, somewhere behind him, interrupted them. In a split second, but seeming like slow motion, Eliot’s face changed and he launched himself past Hardison, almost flying over the table. Hardison tried to spin to see what it was, but somehow fell, knocking the wind from his lungs, and the crash of the chair landing over him mixed with the sounds of fighting.

Someone fell to the floor across his line of vision, and he found himself staring at Nate’s glassy eyes in a blood-spattered face. If he’d had any breath, he would have screamed.

“Hardison.” Eliot’s hands closed around his arm, hauling him upward, scanning methodically and fast for any damage. Hardison couldn’t help but notice the blood on them.

“Nate –” Hardison couldn’t look at the body, holding himself up by the table and Eliot’s help. “What –”

“That wasn’t Nate,” said Eliot tonelessly. “Come on.”

Hardison had to look again. “That is definitely Nate!” he shouted, fighting Eliot’s hold now.

“No, it only looks like him. Hardison. Hardison. It hasn’t been him for weeks. Hardison!” Eliot shook him until Hardison looked at him. He gave him a second to really focus, then, with tomb-like finality, said, “Come with me if you want to live.”

Hardison’s mouth fell open. He stared at Eliot’s impassive face, and all he could think to say was, “Seriously?”

“Yes. Seriously.” Eliot’s expression didn’t change, and neither did his tone. He took hold of Hardison’s arm and started walking. “Come on.”

“But – but –” Hardison’s legs weren’t always heading in the same direction he was, but Eliot towed him steadily out the door regardless. Once out the door, Eliot turned to him with an abrupt halt, not moving an inch when Hardison almost ran into him.

“That infiltrator unit was only the beginning. The probability that They know we know is 98.7%. The only unknown is whether it IDed me.” The emotionless voice he said all this in was creeping Hardison out the most. “I have a bolt-hole for this contingency. We will be safe there, at least until we know what They know. You want to live or not?”

“Live,” Hardison said hastily, and was dragged away without further ceremony. In surprisingly short order he found himself in a dingy, non-descript little apartment, shoved into a chair like a schoolboy while Eliot washed the blood off his hands.

“Eliot, what is going on?” he asked the pressing question.

“They’re trying to kill you,” Eliot gave the obvious answer.

Hardison stared at him. “Damn, man, cushion the blow, would you?”

The touch of a smirk that crossed Eliot’s face was the first reaction he’d shown since Hardison’s life had turned into bizarro world. “You need a binky or something?” He finished drying his hands on a dishtowel and tossed it on the bench. “Because I don’t have any.”

“I – no I do not need – man, you are a total asshat, you know that?” For a moment, Hardison noticed he’d started yelling at the cold-eyed killer man who’d just dispatched their boss – or at least someone who looked exactly like their boss – but then the vile cocktail of panic and terror and confusion he’d imbibed in the last few minutes resumed its regurgitation as anger, and caution was overruled. “You may be used to – I don’t even know what you’re used to, but I don’t have people, friends, killed in front of me every day – by other friends – and that is not cool, and you could cut me a freaking break here, got it?”

“For the last time, that was not Nate,” said Eliot offhandedly as he pulled up a chair and straddled it, folding his arms across the back of it toward Hardison. “And I am not your mother. I’m here to keep you alive.”

Hardison jammed a thumb up under his eyebrow and rubbed it, searching for patience or sanity or any kind of grasp on the situation. “Thanks. That’s real comforting. You going to tell me why, any time soon?”

Eliot fixed him with a look, then lifted his right hand, making a fist, which in turn made Hardison draw back slightly. This gave him some small momentum toward recoiling completely as three long claws snikt-ed out from between Eliot’s knuckles, and he almost fell out of his chair again. Then, the two outside claws withdrew with a whisper, and before Hardison realized what he was doing, Eliot pressed the remaining razor-sharp edge across his own left wrist.

Hardison backwheeled frantically; the chair fell but he stayed up, and looked for an exit other than the door, because Eliot was between him and it. Who held up his left hand, now just a bare silvery skeleton, flexing it at Hardison without ceremony.

What the f–” Hardison shrieked, although obviously in a manly way.

Eliot interrupted him mid-freak out, getting him back in the righted chair without so much as raising his voice. “Sit down. Now. Listen very carefully.”

Hardison nodded nervously, deciding compliance with the cold-eyed killer Eliotbot was his best and only option at this point. “Sure. Yeah. I mean, you had me at snikt. I mean, you know. That’s an attention-getter. And that follow-up ... hand, er ... thing –”

The Eliotbot held it a little higher. “You want to know how deep the rabbit hole goes?”

Hardison tore his eyes from the apendage – where the geek part of him was trying to make out the mechanism for the retracted claws – to Eliot’s dead serious face. “Hell yes.”

“It’s all true.”

“I knew it!” Hardison crowed excitedly, then paused. “Er – what, exactly?”

Eliot raised an eyebrow. “All of it – just not the way you think. Cyborgs, robots, aliens, technology, mutants, genetic constructs, magic, monsters, witches, demons, spirits – all of it.”

“What....” Hardison was ashamed he couldn’t come up with a more intelligent response. “So, then ... like, vampires...?”


Hardison thought about this. “They don’t really sparkle, do they? Because that’s just embarrassing.”

“They don’t sparkle. The blood-drinking creeper/killer thing, they do that.”

“Then, werewolves...?” Hardison didn’t even wait for Eliot’s nod. “Ooh! Predator! Are they real?”


“The Matrix?”

“Not exactly.”

“The Delorian?”

Eliot grinned for the first time, suddenly seeming human again. “It’s a thing of beauty, man.”

Hardison felt a geekgasm coming on. “The Ark, from Raiders? Immortals? Elves and orcs? Transformers? X-Men? Stargates? Avatars?”

“Yes; yes; I once spent three weeks undercover in ‘Mordor’; kinda; yeah; in the design stage; they’re not blue....” Eliot trailed off at Hardison’s expression. “What?”

“Eliot ... the Enterprise.” Hardison was having trouble breathing, but hardly noticed or cared. “The USS Enterprise. Does it exist?”

“Um....” Eliot’s second thoughts were showing. “I don’t –”

“Eliot. Does the Starship Enterprise exist?

Eliot hesitated. “There’s a highly classified base on the dark side of the moon, but I can’t say any more than that.”

Hardison felt like he was sitting on his on personal warp drive. “So what are you?” he asked, perhaps a touch too eagerly, if Eliot’s micro-expression reaction was anything to go by.

“A grab bag,” Eliot said shortly. Then he fixed Hardison with a smirk. “The better question is, what are you?”

That slammed the breaks on Hardison’s glee. “What do you mean, what am I?”

“What, you think They’re trying to kill you because you’re Joe Average?”

Hardison stared at Eliot. In the excitement, he’d forgotten about that part. “I ... I don’t know!”

“No. You don’t. You weren’t supposed to.” Eliot got up, going back into the kitchen, doing things that looked purposeful, although Hardison was far too distracted to notice what.

So many questions were fizzing through his head, he didn’t know what to ask first. Eliot’s last statement drifted past like a lifeline in a stormy ocean. “What do you mean, I wasn’t supposed to?”

“You might be surprised by the amount of effort that’s gone into keeping you ignorant.”

“What, like – memory-wiping me or something? Are you in MIB?”

Eliot snorted. “Do I look MIB? Please. They almost never do that sort of thing. It’s incredibly inefficient.”

“Then how –”

Eliot turned to face him, holding up both fully-flesh hands in a repressing way. Hardison stared at the healed hand, then snapped back to Eliot’s impatient explanation. “The world is bigger and stranger than you can possibly imagine, Hardison. They can’t control the amount of exposure it gets; They control the way it’s perceived. Movies, shows, comics, books, nutzoid conspiracy theories, you name it, They’ve shaped their publicity.”

Hardison’s inner conspiracist was touchdown-dancing. “Wow.... So you’re saying Syfy’s basically a documentary channel?”

No. Pay attention. It’s all propaganda and misdirection. They seed details into these kinds of media so that it loses all credibility. They mix truth with lies, layer upon layer, until anyone crazy enough to try to figure it out gets lost in the fog and becomes a tinfoil-hat poster boy for why you shouldn’t try. RPing, for example? Genius invention. Hardcore LARPers are a freaking gift to Them. Concerned parents groups frothing at the mouth about demonic music and games? They started half of them, and fed the rest.”

“But doesn’t anyone –”

Eliot cut him off, making it plain that this part of the conversation was over. “The louder someone shouts about it, the less anyone listens. Believe me.”

“So what now? Go on the lam, buddy-movie style, have bonding adventures and people mistake us for a gay couple in awkward but funny moments?”

“Yeah, that’s going to happen.” Eliot didn’t even bother emphasizing the sarcasm as he turned back to whatever he was doing that was so important. Hardison realized there was some kind of hidden panel in the wall, with buttons and readouts the likes of which he’d never seen. He came closer for a better look when Eliot gave a satisified, “There!” and flicked the panel closed. “I got all the rogue nodes. Which means I can reset this sucker, and you – buddy – are taking the blue pill.”

Hardison backed up with coldness in his guts, and Eliot followed in a way that was not at all reassuring. “Whoa, wait, whoa – I thought you were here to protect me.”

“I am.”

“But you said you don’t do memory wipes!”

Eliot was way up in Hardison’s personal space now, as expressionless as Arnie, and he was running out of backing-away room. “I said They don’t. Usually. Relax. It’s not a wipe, it’s just a code term.” He took hold of the front of Hardison’s shirt with frightening strength and raised his other hand, finger extended. “You’ll be fine.”

“Code for what?” Hardison asked desperately, craning away futilely.

A tiny needle slid out of the fingertip, and Eliot said, “This.”

A shout and an instinctive erruption of motion by his body knocked everything everywhere, and the first thing that met his eyes when he opened them was the underside of the desk. The second was Eliot’s upside down face, peering at him with more amusement than concern.

“You okay, man?” he asked, audibly trying to supress the laughter.

“Arrgh!” Hardison scrambled away, noticing as he did so that he was in the office, with Miles Dyson making his explosive heroic sacrifice on the screen. “I – you –” He rubbed his eyes, finding gritty bits of sand. “Was I ... asleep?”

Grinning, Eliot nodded at a little smeared puddle on the table, and Hardison quickly wiped at his mouth and wet patch on his sleeve. Then he looked around, head clearing. “Where’s Nate?” he asked slowly.

“Booze hunt. We already finished off what was left of his whiskey stash. He might have more in his rooms.”

At that moment, Nate rounded the corner, holding a bottle triumphantly.

Hardison felt a little embarrassed by the amount of relief he felt at the sight of him. “Man, I just had the weirdest dream....”

“Clowns or midgets?” Nate asked grinningly. “Welcome back to the land of the living. You were dead to the world for a while there.”

Hardison laughed. “Yeah, you too.”

Nate gave him a baffled look, but then ignored it in favor of the bottle he’d just put on the table, next to the empty whiskey one.

Eliot sat back down in his chair, looking less than impressed. “Sherry?”

“Hey, it’s all I could find.” Nate squinted at the label. “Who’d buy this, anyway?”

“Sophie,” Eliot suggested disparagingly. “So what are we going to watch next? Matrix or Highlander?”

crack addiction (LeveragePlus) series:
guys' night"Come with me if you want to live," Hardison intoned happily in unison with the Governator.
girls' nightDeciding what to do for a girls’ night – because the boys had gone off to watch some stupid mutant movie completely lacking in emotional depth and resonance – turned out to be more difficult than anticipated.

get in for free (pt 1 of 3)Eliot pulled out his earbud before replying. “It’s James. He says he’s got a bead on Ke$ha and he’s going in.” – “Alone?” Parker’s expression contrived to indicate that even she thought that was crazy. – “That’s what I said!” He showed her the message. “Can you get us there?”
drink that koolaid (pt 2 of 3)A screech of car tyres outside the back entrance reached his ears, and for the first time since he received the text, a grin appeared on Eliot’s face.
now you're one of us (pt 3 of 3)"Ke$ha’s virtually untraceable if she wants to be, and I never thought to put a tracking device in my head. What are we going to do?"

wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggleI keep saying I won't do more of these but now I know I'm lying. Originally posted in comments at tahirire's because it's ALL HER FAULT.


( 17 speakses — have a speak )
Jun. 22nd, 2010 04:41 am (UTC)

This was awesome. I'm still giggling. :D
Jun. 22nd, 2010 07:45 pm (UTC)

Glad you liked. Was hella-fun to write :)
Jun. 22nd, 2010 09:12 am (UTC)
"you had me at snikt"

Dude. Win. Can I friend you to observe as your ultimate showdown takes over your brain ;)
Jun. 22nd, 2010 07:51 pm (UTC)
Absolutely, ringside seats, man. After watching The A-Team, my muse was running around like a seven year-old on orange soda and gummi frogs. I doubt it'll be the last time.... XD
Jun. 22nd, 2010 01:35 pm (UTC)
Dude. This is beautiful, shiny grade-A crack!
Jun. 22nd, 2010 07:55 pm (UTC)
Isn't it? My muse is a pusher. Who knew? :D
Jul. 4th, 2010 09:34 pm (UTC)
This was awesome! All the references, the discussion about MILFs, Hardison's "dream" (if that indeed was a dream...)... you managed to put all that in and still have the conversation sound just like each guy. Great job.
Jul. 5th, 2010 09:19 am (UTC)
Thanks! It was so much fun to write. I have been in many, many geek conversations like this, so really all I had to do was switch on my "Hardison", "Eliot" and "Nate" filters, and it just kept coming. I could do an entire series just on this kind of conversation, but that would probably get old pretty quickly for everyone not me.

And was it a dream? We may never know.... :)
Jul. 16th, 2010 10:42 am (UTC)
BWAHAHAHAHAAA!! *gasps for air* Oh my God! This is absolutely fantastic!

“What the f–” Hardison shrieked, although obviously in a manly way.
Totally, Hardison. Totally. *gigglefit*

Awesome. Thanks for giving me a great laugh at a boring day in the office!
Jul. 16th, 2010 08:28 pm (UTC)
Heh, you're welcome! It was fun to write Hardison geeking out and freaking out. That boy is full of win.

Only, my brain has continued to quietly work out how this crackverse could sustain more stories with some coherence. I didn't authorise that! I'm not going to write more! But it keeps suddenly going, "you know, if you did this, then it would make total sense...." DO NOT WANT.

Silly crack addiction. >:(
Jul. 18th, 2010 06:49 pm (UTC)
*giggles* Muses and plot bunnies. Sneaky lot they are!
Jul. 16th, 2010 10:29 pm (UTC)
*giggles madly* Pure awesomeness!
Jul. 17th, 2010 07:18 am (UTC)
*boogies* Thank you! :D
Jul. 19th, 2010 10:26 am (UTC)
I <3 this so hard!
You = WIN!!

"Clowns or midgets?" Bahahaha!
Jul. 20th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
Hee :D

Thanks! I got as many little references in as I could without actually, you know, trying. I wonder what that says about me? Nothing interesting, probably....
Jul. 20th, 2010 08:19 pm (UTC)
EEEEEEEEEEEEEE. I like. Hardison - 'Seriously?' - LMAO. And OMG I just watched the one with Newt like, a week ago! And we just saw Predators in the theater and OMG BEST PREDATOR EVER. I love that whole A/P/AVP franchise.


PS - Oh hai boys. I see you there. ;)
Jul. 20th, 2010 08:33 pm (UTC)
I don't know, Matrix has Trinity and lots of guns....

HAD to get the boys in there, but organically. Our little secret for the die-hards. :D
( 17 speakses — have a speak )

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