Author's Notes: Written for khirshale on tumblr for the prompt "Value me: Eli to Tommy." Prompt List: Leave a “Value Me” in my ask, and I’ll write a drabble about a character telling another how they feel about them. Originally published 01/13/13.
“As part of regular team blah blah blah,” Eli was saying. Tommy tuned him out and concentrated on chainsawing his opponent. It did require concentration, because sometimes the controller couldn’t keep up with the speed of his thumbs, so he had to stay at just the right speed - yes.
“Yeah, suck it,” he crowed at the tv, and Eli glared at him and dropped a piece of paper in his lap. It said “Speed” at the top, and was followed by a column of numbers. “What the hell?”
“As I was saying,” Eli was getting snippy, “I’ve prepared assessments for the team, with areas to work on. Here’s yours.”
“Wait a second.” Tommy dropped the controller. “This is a report card? If I wanted a report card I’d go to school.”
“Yeah, about that. You can’t just live in our headquarters, Speed, it’s not-” Tommy tuned him out again eyes zipping down the page.
Dangerously impulsive- Destructive tendencies- Doesn’t follow orders- And suddenly he was reminded of the clipboards that the “doctors” at the facility had used as they tested him, marking down everything he’d done. He clenched the paper in his fist, and briefly considered blowing up the whole damn place. It belonged to Kate, though, didn’t it? He’d probably lose his chance with her if he blew up her building.
“If you’re kicking me off the team, just say so,” he snapped.
“-and Mrs. Kaplan wants to- what? That’s not what I said.”
Tommy snorted. “You didn’t want me here in the first place. I bet you’re just looking for an excuse.”
Eli was scowling. It seemed to be his default expression, or maybe just when he was around Tommy. “I didn’t want you on the team. But you’re useful in a fight, and you’re fitting in well.” He paused, and added slowly, as if it physically pained him, “You’re not as bad as I thought.”
Tommy’s hands unclenched. They weren’t kicking him off the team, or selling him out to…the government, or SHIELD, or whoever.
“But we have a lot to work on.” Eli sounded more confident now that he was back in lecture mode. “Public opinion is turning against superheroes, so it’s more important than ever that we-“
“Yeah, whatever,” Tommy interrupted him. “I’m doing team mode against these PowerWebz guys. I usually do both controllers myself, but I guess you can help if you don’t suck too much.”
Eli looked outraged. “If I don’t suck? I have a high score of over 90,000-“
Tommy held out the other controller, and started revving his chainsaw.