sorry my mind is still blown by sousuke helping nitori and smiling softly to himself watching rin win and then dragging himself into a shower stall where he could be in agonizing pain in private. this kid has worked so. fucking. hard. for most of his life, only to be told that nope, it’s not just about how much you want it and how hard you work for it. it can’t happen for everyone. and he took that and kept it to himself and now he’s trying to make it happen for others. that’s fucking ridiculous, okay. where is a sainthood nomination form. give me one. give me twelve.
the world is incredible. there are girls in this world, and there are also dogs. you can put melted cheese on any type of potato. sometimes flowers grow even when nobody is there to water them. right now on this same planet where we live there are people who are in love with each other kissing each other on the nose. emotions and colours are both things that exist. everything is so great
"Cancer/mental illness/disability affects rich and poor alike."
Uh, no, it doesn’t. Rich people can afford the treatments and accommodations for those things. Poor people cannot. Get the fuck outta here with that classist shit.
Not to mention a higher proportion of disabled people are in poverty and people in manual jobs are more likely to become disabled, there is a class element to disability that cannot be ignored.
You know, after this latest episode, I understand the dislike Cecil has for Steve a lot better. At first I thought it was because Cecil saw him as annoying and inept and maybe trying to force normalcy on the weird little burg. After Janice was introduced, I thought it was because Steve was inattentive, albeit benign, to Cecil’s beloved niece. But I think I understand now what it really is.
Steve and Cecil have fundamental ideological differences, and Cecil is afraid that Steve is going to get Janice killed.
We listeners know very well that Cecil’s game is, normally, subversion. He’s not in line with everything that he’s told or that happens in Night Vale. Rarely will he blatantly reject the official story, but he gives his listeners the true story and, even if it’s through his introductions and tone rather than his words, he encourages his audience to question the status quo. Of course, he doesn’t question everything, but we see him commend those who break unfair or unrealistic rules and condemn those who stand idly by as awfulness happens. And while Steve sees him as just another cog in the machine, not questioning what he’s told and comforted by bureaucracy, we listeners know him to be more of a free-thinker who is usually cognizant of what the real deal is. The thing is, most of Cecil’s rebellion is done on the sly. He keeps his head down and tries to give people the truth and encourage free thought.
Steve, on the other hand, is not at all subversive. He loudly and emphatically proclaims what he knows. He believes that truth is something that shouldn’t be hidden, even if it’s dangerous or uncomfortable. He wants everyone to understand what he understands because he thinks knowledge and truth are more important than anything. He would rather be mocked and disbelieved or even endangered than fall into a line he knows is wrong or deny what he knows to be true, and he has a hard time understanding that other people may not be like that. I think he also has a hard time understanding that knowing the truth might be dangerous, especially to a child.
THAT’S what gets Cecil. He sees Steve as dangerous for Janice, and Cecil would rather have her safe and ignorant. He doesn’t understand Steve’s idea that knowing things isn’t, or shouldn’t be, dangerous. He doesn’t understand why Steve can’t leave well enough alone and let Janice get on safely in Night Vale. Steve, on the other hand, wants all knowledge to be shared with everyone and sees Cecil as just another Night Vale sheep (which, to some extent, he is in some matters). He doesn’t understand the idea Cecil has that sometimes it may be better NOT to know, or at least not to share all one’s information. He and Cecil, at a fundamental level, do not understand one another.
Neither of them is completely right. Neither of them is completely wrong. I think that if they really want to bring down the more menacing parts of their weird little city, both of them will be necessary. I think that Steve being fundamental to helping bring down Strex is setting an important precedent, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out.
(My headcanon, based on CK’s hair, is that The Rundown Job was meant to air right before the series finale. So the timeline here reflects that.)
After they get back from D.C., they have two weeks of downtime. It makes Eliot suspicious. Not because they’ve never had downtime, even longer than this, but because it’s planned. Nate doesn’t do that, doesn’t turn away clients knocking at their door.
Also, Hardison’s been acting shifty as fuck, which makes Eliot even more suspicious. He doesn’t think anyone else notices the Hardison thing. Parker hasn’t tried to not-so-subtly corral Sophie for advice, and Sophie hasn’t sidled up to Eliot to get him to talk to Hardison, and Nate—well. Nate’s non-reaction to Hardison’s weirdness just confirms all of Eliot’s suspicions.
He trusts Nate to Hell and back and normally he doesn’t mind not knowing what’s going on, what Nate’s planning, but this time it makes his stomach clench up tight and twist into painful knots.
He watches a game with Nate and Hardison and then, when Hardison is about to go one way down the street while Eliot goes another, Eliot wraps his hand around the back of Hardison’s neck.
Hardison freezes. So does Eliot.
Eliot loses all his words, his plan for dragging Hardison somewhere and then dragging the truth out of him. Instead, he licks his lips, closes his eyes briefly, and loosens the tight grip he has on the nape of Hardison’s neck. His thumb strokes a slow line down a tendon.
"You look like shit," Eliot says. Because Hardison does. There are circles under his eyes, and his face is grey with exhaustion, and there’s nothing but seized muscle under Eliot’s hand.
Hardison reaches up and grabs Eliot’s forearm. “Eliot, man. I can’t—”
"I won’t ask. Come on."
Eliot takes Hardison to his place, tips him into his bed, and sits in a chair next to it while Hardison sleeps. Parker calls Eliot after the second hour.
"He’s with me," Eliot says in lieu of hello.
There’s a long pause. “You haven’t done anything without me, have you? Because I thought we were supposed to wait for it to be the three of us. Did I get it wrong?”
Sometimes Parker comes out with shit that makes Eliot wonder how she went from point A to point 129. This should be one of those times. It really, really should.
But it’s not.
"Nah, darling. You didn’t get it wrong, and we aren’t doing anything. Come over. I’ll make dinner."
Eliot makes dinner for him and Parker while Hardison continues to sleep. Parker leans on him to peer over his shoulder while he makes the food and Eliot can’t remember when it stopped being weird for her to touch folks without violence. He has a harder time remembering when she got so comfortable in his space, when he got so comfortable with her there.
Eliot plates the food and sets it in front of her. He finds himself holding his breath for that moment, that moment when her face softens and her eyes close as she experiences the tastes on her tongue. Eliot thinks he’d be willing to give Sophie anything she wanted for getting Parker to revel in food, to enjoy it and savor it.
"It tastes like Belgium in the spring," she says, her eyes crinkled at the corners.
Eliot doesn’t need to know what that means to know she loves it. He leans forward and wipes a bit of sauce from the corner of her mouth. She leans into the touch.
They climb into bed with Hardison after they do the dishes. They settle on either side of him and fall asleep after a while. When Eliot wakes up, Hardison is draped halfway across his chest. Parker is lying on Hardison’s back, her arms wrapped around him. They’re both still asleep.
Eliot wants. It’s not sudden or unexpected. It’s something that’s been there for a while and which has grown without conscious tending, until it’s this. This thing that makes him want to keep them forever, wants both of them with him, wants to be with the both of them til the end. It’s more and it’s a feeling that used to be terrifying. He used to run from it until he learned to pick partners and stage scenarios so that it wasn’t ever an option.
This snuck up on him in a way that he allowed, though, and he can’t ever be upset about that.
In the morning, he makes them breakfast, and as he’s cleaning up he says, “When this job is done.” He slants a look at Hardison. “Whatever it is. When it’s done…we’ll get us sorted.”
Hardison smiles and nods.
Parker frowns. “What’s there to figure out? I thought we all knew that we love each other and want to be together. Did I get it wrong?”
"You didn’t get it wrong, Parker," Hardison says, reeling her in against his side. He looks at Eliot, frank and easy. "Did she?"
Eliot shakes his head and steps up against the two of them. “No.”