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Author's Note: Written for boosette for the Yuletide 2009 Challenge.
Four Times Hardison Told His Nana He Was Sorry, And One Time He Said He Was (But Totally Wasn't)
When Alec Hardison was seven years old, his local PBS affiliate stopped showing "Doctor Who".
His nana found him in the backyard with the Weber grill, trying to set fire to his "Sesame Street" pyjamas.
She sat him down and explained it wasn't Kermit or Grover's fault that the Doctor and Ace weren't on after school any more.
Sometimes, she explained, even when a lot of people like something, grown-ups have to make decisions that boys like Alec don't like. But he still had all his books, and his special VHS tape with his name written on the side with all the episodes she'd taped for him over the past month and he could watch it any time he wanted. And he could make up new stories about the Doctor and the TARDIS, and someday, maybe they'd make more episodes.
Alec thought his Nana was a little crazy. But he tried to listen to her, he really did. And he told her he was sorry, and wouldn't set fire to anything else ever again.
Then when Alec Hardison was sixteen years old, "Babylon 5" was cancelled.
Now, Hardison was mostly a "Deep Space Nine" man. After all, Avery Brooks was Hawk. And no matter how cool that guy from "Scarecrow & Mrs. King" might be, seriously... Hawk could so take him in a fight, you know?
But Hardison had followed showrunner Joe Straczinski's posts in alt.fan.babylon5 and he knew the dude had a plan. Or at least said he'd had a plan. There had been various points in the last three years when Hardison was pretty damn sure the man was in fact pulling shit outta his ass and claiming he'd planned it all along. But it pissed him off that there was a story and he wasn't gonna get to see how it was supposed to end.
He sent about 9835 postcards to Warner Bros—with names pulled from the Cook County voter's register 'cause he couldn't really take the Metra train to Indiana all for the sake of the postmark matching the return address—protesting the cancellation.
He used strong language. Respectful, like his nana had taught him. But in no uncertain terms, he made it clear that this here was unacceptable.
Plus, he figured at least some of those nine thousand people were probably fans, right? And if they couldn't be bothered to stick a stamp on a damn postcard to save their own damn show, well, he'd do it for them.
(Not that he'd paid for the stamps himself. That was courtesy of the Uptown Post Office, and their very, very unsecure phone lines.)
And after the 200 hours of community service, he promised his nana he'd never, ever do it again.
By the time Viacom halted production on "Jake 2.0" three episodes from the finale, all because some re-run of "America's Next Top Model" got a few measly million more viewers than the adventures of a superpowered geek, Hardison did what any self-respecting fan of genre TV would do.
He flew out to Los Angeles, and he toilet-papered Les Moonves' house.
When "Chuck" premiered, he boycotted it on principle, despite the fact that the man himself—Jayne from "Firefly"—was on it, just because he could not deal with the fact that UPN had axed Jake and now America was embracing Chuck which had the same goddamn premise, people! And they totally ripped off the Cater Waiter episode! And this meant war.
(Except for the fact that Hardison totally caved in second season, Netflixed the whole show, and ate nothing but Subway for three months no matter how many times Eliot complained he was sick of the goddam tuna salad subs already).
And the whole time, Nana kept bail money on hand. Just in case she needed it.
(And possibly he was now banned for life from Disney theme parks, after the whole thing with the M&Ms. And Parker was really confused when the entire team got copies of "The Middleman" for their birthdays, Christmas, and Arbor Day.)
But "Doctor Who" was Hardison's go-to show. Before he saw "Rose" (4.7 minutes after it had been leaked to Usenet) he'd been all set to jump on a goddam plane to wherever the hell Cardiff actually was, with his suitcase full of Charmin to show this Russell T Dude you just did not mess with the classics, man. You just didn't.
Except it was perfect. And he cried like a little baby (manfully, in his own apartment with all the blinds drawn and the doors triple locked) when the Ninth Doctor regenerated into the Tenth. And sure when he was a kid he'd been all about the Seventh Doctor 'cause Ace was fiiine, and so was the Rani, and even when he was seven he could totally tell that the Doctor had a little something-something going on there, he still wasn't all that sure about the Doctor and Rose.
(But then there was Miss Martha Jones, and Hardison decided on the spot that he maybe was okay with the Time Lord kissing girls. Cause dayum.)
And then he bought the entire show on DVD, and watched all the reconstructions, and he'd spent a fortune on the Target novelisations, Virgin New Doctor Adventures, and BBC books from the 1990s and on eBay and some guy named Grussell was making a fortune off Hardison's inner seven year old who now had more money than God squirreled away in off-shore accounts.
(And sure, he'd totally torrented the Big Finish catalogue at first, but then out of guilt he'd bought two copies of every CD they had, plus the so-not-Doctor-Who-Saturday-night-teatime-slot-worthy "Robin Hood" books on tape 'cause he knew Sophie had a thing for that guy from "Spooks" who played Gisburne.)
And when Hardison was twenty-six, the day after New Year's he told Nate he was going out for a pizza and maybe nine hours later was in Manchester with a giant Samosonite suitcase full of toilet paper.
Because that shit with Martha? Uncool, man. Seriously uncool.
And somewhere, his nana was waking up to an email from Alec that started with "I'm sorry, Nana, but..."
(J.J. Abrahms, however, got a very expensive case of champagne, no sender listed. And Zoë Saldana would worry about the flowers that arrived steadily to her very unlisted home address for a month, but stopped short of the restraining order when she found out Nichelle Nichols had got them too.)