The only thing I hate about reading is I get so attached to the characters. And after I finish the book, that’s it. I will never learn anymore about them or their life or what they ate for breakfast. No matter how many times I reread the book, I will always only know the same amount. And it saddens me. Finishing a book means losing people close to you.
Would you at least comfort Wheatley if he was having a panic attack?
She could hear the obligation in ‘at least.’ The undertone of an accusation.
“No.” A single, resounding note of pride. She owed him nothing, least of all comfort.
And she meant it. In the vacuum of the moment, there were nothing but the objective facts. The singular logic of hypotheticals. He left her to fend for herself at her lowest, it was only fair–– it only made sense–– for her to do the same. As it went on the testing track, one portal vanished so she could fire another. Things were left behind, and steps weren’t retraced, lest she let the solution get buried beneath the details.
But should the moment come, should he actually fall apart, she would.
In her own hapless way, she knew she would.
At his utmost powerless, he still exercised some form control over her. And it frightened her. More than she cared to admit.
The rest of the team hadn’t gotten to the Brew Pub yet, so
it was just you and Hardison in the back room getting ready for the con. You
had been there since 6 AM because you couldn’t sleep, and Nate had called
saying that you had a job. It was now 9 AM and you had already drunk 4 cups of
coffee. The Brew Pub had the best coffee in all of Portland, as far as you were
concerned. You were working on your fifth cup when you looked up and saw
Hardison staring at you.
“What?” You asked, the word rushing out of your mouth faster
than you were used to.
“You’re practically vibrating.” Hardison looked vaguely
concerned. “How many cups of coffee is that?” He nodded to the mug you had in
“I’m not sure, I stopped counting after 3. 5 maybe?”
Hardison sighed and shook his head. He got up and tried to take the mug out of
“That’s too many, you’re going to be bouncing off the walls and you know how
Nate gets when you do that.” You rolled your eyes and let him take the
half-empty mug from you. He turned to go back to his computers, which were
currently running down information on the latest mark. Once his back was to
you, he took a quick sip of your coffee, just to pick him up. Not two minutes
later, you walked over to his workstation and pulled up a chair next to him. You
were watching the computer screens intently. You draped your arm across his
shoulder and leaned on him, trying to figure out what the computers were doing.
Just for a second, Alec relished the closeness of the two of you before he
remembered that Nate would be there any second and he was only halfway done
compiling information. He carefully lifted your arm and gave it back to you.
“Babe, you know I love you, but it’s impossible for me to
concentrate while you’re bouncing off the walls.” You sighed, dejectedly and
leaned back in your chair, not stopping your leg from bouncing. Every minute or
so, Alec would glance over and you’d be doing something crazy, like trying to
do a handstand on your desk. He’d quickly rush over and stop you before going
back to his work.
After a while, he realized that there was no stopping you
from interrupting his work, so he decided that the information he had would be
enough and he turned his full attention onto you. You smiled back at him,
feigning innocence. He rolled his eyes and walked into the kitchen.
“Hey, can I get some eggs and bacon and a glass of water?”
He asked one of the cooks, who nodded and got to work. Alec walked back into
the back room and tried to get you to calm down just a little bit.
“But I want to run for like, days,” you whined. He only rolled his eyes and
tried once again to get you to sit down. Then the cook walked in with the plate
of food and glass of water.
“Thanks, man.” He said, before turning to you. “You gotta eat, get something in
you so you’re not like this when Nate gets back.” It was your turn to roll your
eyes, but you began to eat. The food at the Brew Pub was only seconded by
Eliot’s cooking, but it was still delicious. You downed the glass of water, and
shoveled the food into your mouth. Once you were done, you felt lethargic. You
threw yourself back down on the couch next to Alec, who had been watching you
this whole time. You leaned against him and he put his arms around you.
“Better?” He asked, knowing full well that you were no
longer hyped up on caffeine.
“Yeah, I guess. I don’t want to run laps around the Brew Pub
anymore.” You said, making Alec laugh. It was then that Nate and Sophie entered
with Eliot and Parker in tow.
“Just in time, too,” Hardison whispered into your ear. Nate hated it when
Parker ate so much chocolate that she bounced off the walls, and when you drank
so much coffee you couldn’t contain your energy.
“Ready, Hardison?” Nate asked, gesturing to the TVs. Alec
gave you one last knowing smile before mirroring his laptop onto the TVs and debriefing.