The Teddy Bears' Picnic

Chapter 3

Elliot jerked awake sometime after 4am. His mouth was dry, the light hurt his eyes, and there was a solid weight around his middle. Startled he turned around, to be faced with a sleeping Tyrell, who had apparently at some point in the night moved onto his side and slung an arm round him.

Can you believe this? I’m not imagining this am I? Elliot had to stop himself from laughing as the sheer ridiculousness of the situation hit him. If someone had told him a month ago that Tyrell Wellick, former VP of tech at Evil Corp would be in his bed, for all intents and purposes cuddling him, he would have laughed in their face. Or, in reality, been terrified.

He gently extracted himself from the larger man’s grip, and shuffled over to the kitchen for water, noting with relief that the oven timer still worked and his pizza hadn’t been cremated.

‘Elliot?’ came Tyrell’s voice, thick with sleep.

Elliot made his way back over to the bed, and was pleased to see that Tyrell was looking much better. His eyes were clearer, and his complexion had returned to normal.

‘I’m sorry, I made us pizza, but I think it’s gone a little cold. I could reheat it?’

Tyrell shook his head, and Elliot was fairly sure he was saying no to pizza in general, when the older man surprised him by reaching out and taking a slice.

He ate it carefully, seemingly deep in thought, before muttering, ‘Elliot this is disgusting.’

Elliot laughed, despite himself, and was surprised to see that Tyrell was smiling softly.

After their questionable midnight snack Tyrell seemed to be feeling relatively normal again, and asked if he could take a shower. Elliot got him set up with some clean towels and found a spare toothbrush (which he was fairly impressed he owned). While Tyrell showered he tried to find him some clean clothes, mentally cursing their notable size difference. Satisfied the oversized black tee and sweats he found wouldn’t look too ridiculous on Tyrell, he booted up his computer and continued looking through the news for information.

More and more reports continued to flood in from across the globe, but they offered nothing that Elliot didn’t already know. He pinched the bridge of his nose and let out yet another frustrated sigh as he gave up and sat back down on the bed.

Once Tyrell was washed and dressed the pair sat on the sofa together. Seeing Tyrell in a baggy t-shirt and too-short sweats was yet another hilarious image for Elliot to process. It seemed like his brain was using so much of its power struggling to comprehend that the world as he knew it was now completely unrecognisable, that it simply couldn’t process this new version of Tyrell as well. Frozen pizza-eating, baggy sweats-wearing Tyrell. Tyrell 2.0. He tried not to giggle. Fuck, everything feels wrong. Nothing feels real anymore.

‘…Elliot?’ Shit, apparently Tyrell had been saying something.

‘Sorry, what?’

‘I was saying thank you. For everything. And especially for your…’ he chose his words slowly, ‘care and support.’

‘Okay,’ Elliot replied awkwardly, but they shared a small smile. Tyrell hesitantly placed his hand on Elliot’s shoulder. Elliot found himself fighting the urge to hug Tyrell, but settled with an awkward clap on the hand resting on his shoulder.

‘Elliot, do you know anything of my wife? I am concerned that if your plan went accordingly she might not be safe.’

Elliot had debated whether or not to tell Tyrell about his encounter with Joanna, but seeing the worry in his eyes, he didn’t feel like he could lie to him. Plus he would see right through it anyway, and where would that get us?

‘I…um… saw her. When I was looking for you. She looked well. So did the baby…’ he trailed off uncomfortably, reluctant to disclose any more information about their meeting.

Tyrell smiled a watery smile. ‘The baby. She’s probably named him, and I don’t even-‘ he stopped himself as his tears threatened to spill over. Wiping his eyes, he continued, ‘I’m glad they’re alright.’

Elliot squeezed his knee gently and gave him a small smile. Tyrell looked dazed for a moment, before visibly shaking himself and clearing his throat. ‘Right, we need to keep talking about what we know. Compare our versions of events, what we’ve learned, anything useful.’

Elliot blinked, fazed momentarily by the sudden shift in mood, before getting back to the matter at hand. ‘Okay, well you’ve probably realised that you weren’t robbed by whoever brought you here. Wallet, phone, your watch- all still there. So clearly whoever had you just wanted information. Do you have any idea where you were? If you answered any questions? I think they brought you here to send me a message, but what? I think we should take a look at your phone, maybe there’s something on there?’

Tyrell looked incredulous. ‘You haven’t done that already?’

Elliot looked down sheepishly, ‘Well, no, it seemed weird. And by the time I actually thought about doing it you were waking up, so-‘

Tyrell barked out a surprised laugh. ‘Elliot, you wasted no time in hacking me before, what stopped you this time?’ Shit, so he did know about that.

‘I don’t know, I wasn’t exactly thinking clearly,’ Elliot retorted irritably.

‘And besides, I thought you would have realised by now that we are allies. What’s mine is yours Elliot, no secrets. We are a part of each other now, and in turn, a part of something so much bigger.’

The intensity of his gaze, and the weight of his words unnerved Elliot. ‘Okay,’ he murmured, hesitantly.

This response seemed to satisfy Tyrell, who quickly went about the task of retrieving his wallet and phone from his suit pockets. His phone battery had died, so Elliot found a charger, and they waited in silence while it booted up. Breathlessly they searched through it, emails, photos, audio files, video, everything, but there was nothing.

Elliot angrily punched the sofa cushion, while Tyrell grabbed his wallet and threw it angrily at the wall with a growl of frustration. Mid-air, it fell open, and they stared in shock as a small folded piece of paper fluttered out.

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