lmx_v3point3 deserves better as well, but at least this is less cracktastic. ^_^;;;
Prompt: Nate/Sophie/Eliot, Step inside
Eliot knew a few things about thresholds. Mostly what he knew was a weird jumble of wedding tradition and the psychology of pain, but he also knew that, in the end, a threshold was a line, a border, a demarcation between one place and another.
And Eliot knew this about lines: sometimes when you crossed one, you couldn’t ever go back to where you were before. To who you were before.
So he stood in the hallway outside the door of Nate’s apartment, and he didn’t knock. He’d crossed a lot of lines in his life, and he’d never taken them lightly. That first step was always a doozy, and sometimes it was a long way down on the other side.
It was Sophie who’d extended the invitation to him tonight, but Eliot knew both of them well enough to understand she wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t something Nate wanted, too. The two of them had finally managed to get on something like the same wavelength lately. Eliot had been happy to see it, just like he’d been happy to see Hardison and Parker starting to figure each other out, too. They should be happy, his team, and when they all stopped being idiots for five minutes, they were good for each other.
Eliot, though, he wasn’t good for anybody, and he knew it. Not in the long run, anyway. Still, a guy had needs, and if Sophie and Nate just wanted to spice up one evening a little, that was fine. He could give them that. Giving his team, his friends, what they needed or wanted from him was not an issue. It wasn’t what was keeping him from knocking on that door.
Eliot knew this, too, about lines: sometimes, no matter how many you thought you’d crossed, no matter how far you thought you’d come, all it took was one more short step to realize you’d been going in a circle the whole time, and you were right back where you started.
Eliot didn’t want to trip over the same line again. Didn’t want to fall, if he was falling alone.
Nate had been subjected to a lot of bullshit over the course of an amicable divorce and a less amicable firing about doors opening and closing. Opportunity and new experiences and letting go of the past, the symbolism wasn’t lost on Nate, but he didn’t think much of it anyway. The truth about doors was that they were barriers.
Nate knew this about doors: the closed ones were usually locked, and the open ones got slammed in your face more often than not.
So he stood in front of the door of his apartment, waiting for Eliot to knock, and not having the slightest idea if Nate would be able to open the door to him when he did. Nate wasn’t that great at removing his personal barriers.
It had been Sophie’s idea to invite Eliot over tonight, to invite Eliot into this thing between them that was still so fragile and new despite all the years of buildup. Nate wasn’t sure he could stand the strain of adding Eliot into their little dance, wasn’t sure he even wanted to, but Sophie had just rolled her eyes and informed him that whatever he might delude himself into thinking, Eliot had always been part of it anyway.
Nate could come up with a hundred, a thousand reasons why this was a bad idea, doomed to disaster. But he was worried about Eliot, about the things they didn’t talk about. Nate knew, better than most, that if you kept too much bottled up inside for too long, it twisted you into knots. He knew Eliot was already damaged, but he didn’t want to see him get any worse. So he hadn’t brought up any of those million reasons not to try this.
As stupid and nervous as he felt standing in front of his door, Nate still wanted to see Eliot walk through it. He wanted Eliot to have that symbolic opportunity for something new, to leave the past behind. He wanted to give that to Eliot.
Nate knew this, too, about doors: the one that led to your home should always be open. And everybody, even Nate Ford and Sophie Devereaux and Eliot Spencer, deserved to have a home.
And Nate knew this about homes: they weren’t places, really. They were people.
Sophie knew a lot about Nate and Eliot. She knew they watched out for each other, relied on each other, trusted each other. She knew they were both comfortable and gentle and relaxed with her. She knew she couldn’t bear to imagine losing either of them.
She also knew they were both ridiculously prone to getting in their own way when it came to reaching out emotionally.
Sophie knew this about love: it was sometimes inconvenient, often unexpected, and pretty much always frightening. And men were idiots about it.
Sophie opened the door and reached out to tug Eliot over the threshold.
In other news: have new laptop (YAY!!) running Windows 7 - can anyone explain to this idiot why it screws up my line spacing when I paste from Word into lj? *is so dumb and frustrated*