“You know, Tyrell,” Elliot said, after one too many Appletinis, “Sometimes I think you don’t have a fucking clue who I really am.”
Tyrell had been dating Elliot for a few weeks now, so this struck him as a rather unfair thing to say. “Of course I know who you are,” Tyrell said. “You’re Elliot Alderson. Hacker, vigilante, revolutionary … all that shit. You’re the guy who’s going to save the world with me, right?”
“See, that?” Elliot pointed at Tyrell. “That’s just what I’m talking about. All this … put me on a pedestal, virgin-Mary-Madonna bullshit.”
Tyrell laughed. “I would never mistake you for a virgin, Elliot,” he said.
“No, no,” Elliot agreed, mocking him. “No, you’d mistake me for a God, isn’t that right?”
Tyrell’s eyes shifted away, suddenly cowed. “I thought you understood,” he said, quietly.
Elliot’s cold, bright eyes seemed to soften a little, but he said, “I understand that you think I’m something I’m not.”
“After everything you’ve done - ” Tyrell said, his eyes pained. “Fate is shining on you, Elliot. Can’t you see that? Not everyone could do what you did.”
“No,” Elliot snapped. “Not everyone could do what I did. And you know what? That wasn’t because of fate, or god, or some other fairy-tale bullshit. It was because I didn’t give up. Because I didn’t let my shitty-ass dad, or my nutjob of a mother or you fucking money-grubbing assholes at EvilCorp, stop me from getting what I wanted. And I didn’t do it to become a god, or revenge or whatever it is your angle is here. I did it because I’m a fucking pinko commie leftist, okay? Get it straight.”
Tyrell shifted back in his seat, and looked away. “I know,” he said, very quietly.
“Then why do you keep going on with this ‘Elliot is perfect, Elliot is a god’ bullshit?” Elliot asked him, annoyed.
Tyrell looked away. If it had been anyone else, he would have lied, laughed it off as a joke, anything to cover up his shame. But it was Elliot. And despite everything, Tyrell really did love Elliot, the foul-mouthed, capricious hacker who had thrown his world into chaos. “Sometimes I believe it,” he admitted it. “I feel like - like I took coke, or something.” He fixed his eyes on the other side of the room. “And I really do feel like a god then. It’s, it’s not - I - I know how it sounds. I’m not crazy.” He curled his hands into a fist, digging his fingernails into his palms. He was suddenly absolutely certain that Elliot was going to mock him, was going to hate him.
Instead, a hand shoved a half-full Appletini glass in front of Tyrell. “Drink up, kiddo, I think you need it more than I do.” Tyrell took it and drank without thinking.
“I’m crazy too,” Elliot said. “I get it. I do.” He nudged Tyrell affectionately with his elbow. “But if we’re going to make this - whatever this is work - I need you to see me. All right?” He fixed Tyrell with a piercing grey gaze. Tyrell felt like he was staring through into Tyrell’s soul.
“All right,” Tyrell said. He reached out, and caught Elliot’s hand in his. “All right. I see you. I see you.”
“Good,” Elliot said, freeing his hand and gesturing with Tyrell’s empty glass. “Just you remember it.”