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As suspected, I was ultimately unable to shake my Leverage crack addiction. Shoot – maybe this is my niche. Along with conversation!kink.

Title: girls' night
Ficverse: LeveragePlus (crossovercrack!verse)
Series: crack addiction
Rating: Gen / PG-13
Length: 2500 ish
Characters: Sophie and Parker, with a little of the boys
Teaser: Deciding what to do for a girls’ night – because the boys had gone off to watch some stupid mutant movie completely lacking in emotional depth and resonance – turned out to be more difficult than anticipated.
I really, really didn't intend to continue in the crack!verse of
guys' night – and no, this won't make much sense if you haven't read that one. I still haven't actually decided whether it was "all a dream" or actually happened. As far as I'm concerned, that still holds. But, if it had actually happened, the question of who they were and what was going on wouldn't leave me alone. This became a necessary exorcism of the bunnies who've been haunting me. e-cookies for the first person to guess one/some of Sophie's identities! :) Anything classic literature (and a little pop culture) is fair game.
Disclaimers: anything you recognize is probably not mine.
Warnings/Spoilers: still no promises about coherence
. Set early/mid S1, no spoilers.
Feedback: go for it. The good, the bad, the ugly....

Sophie watched dubiously as Parker’s face sharpened in concentration. The last leisurely drops trickled through, pulling the tip of Parker’s tongue to the corner of her lip.

“Are you ... I don’t ... is that a good idea?”

Parker wrinkled her nose at the question and delicately lifted the glass up, inspecting the cloudy green liquid critically. “Why wouldn’t it be?”

“Well, I thought absinthe made people criminal and craz– can ... ah, have a bad effect....”

Parker shrugged carelessly and took a sip. “That was made up. It’s really the only thing that ever has an effect at all. Something about my physiology.”

Somehow, that made sense. “Oh. Wonderful. I suppose.”

Sophie scanned the bar they’d finally settled on. Deciding what to do for a girls’ night – because the boys had gone off to watch some stupid mutant movie completely lacking in emotional depth and resonance – turned out to be more difficult than anticipated. Sophie’s girl-talk was rusty anyway, Parker’s non-existent, and all Parker could think of to do for fun was go steal some diamonds. Considering they were supposed to be having a night off, Sophie felt that would be unseemly.

Still, there were worse places to end up than this one, even with the bad karaoke at one end of the room. At least here, they could relax and just be themselves.

“Spot the mark?” suggested Parker, craning to scan the bar as Sophie had.

She raised her eyebrows and looked around again. “Mm – spot the mark pool?”

For an answer, Parker picked up her drink and slid lithely off her stool, arriving at the pool table only seconds before two other patrons. She claimed the table with an easy flourish of the cue, which she’d snaked out of their reach, waiting hip-cocked and smirking for them to move on. Sophie’s smile as she appeared behind Parker’s shoulder only sped them on their way.

They shared a satisfied look before Parker placed her drink on the rail and handed her cue to Sophie, racking the balls. “My break?”

“Yes, why not?” Sophie chalked both cues and handed Parker’s back; she could afford to be magnanimous.

Parker took a moment to search the room, then narrowed her eyes. Sophie followed the direction of her look, and found him even as Parker spoke. “Guy in the corner, blue jacket.”

The sharp crack of the break was followed immediately by the softer thunk of a ball in the corner pocket, that corresponded to the direction of the mark. Parker barely glanced at Sophie for agreement before claiming “Smalls,” and returning to her perusal of the room. She was quick with the next one, too. “Redhead, at the bar,” she said confidently. Sophie turned to look, and when Parker sank her next ball in the side pocket toward the bar, she wasn’t going to argue that one, either.

The next call was an inebriated couple in a booth, which Sophie took for herself when Parker missed the shot. The place was becoming more busy, which meant the game was easier than it should have been in this kind of bar. Between them, they sank five more before targets became harder to spy.

Parker’s next pick was questionable and, for the first time, she turned to Sophie for a ruling after sinking the shot. “Yeah?”

Sophie evaluated the proposed mark; it was a 50/50 call. She nodded; it wasn’t worth the time. The next one was less open to the benefit of the doubt, though, and she studied him for a minute before twitching her shoulder in grudging assent. “It can ride,” she said. “Next call better be good, though.”

Parker heeded the advice, taking her time examining the room. Seeing that the action was slowing down, Sophie tried for some conversation. “So, how did you pick your name?”

Parker frowned confusedly as her eyes continued rifling through the clientele. “I didn’t pick it. It’s my name.”

It was Sophie’s turn to frown. “Well, yes ... but it wasn’t always your name, was it?”

Parker’s comprehension and success in finding a mark arrived at the same time. “Oh. – Lady in pink, three from the end.”

Sophie winced. That was going to be her next call, and she’d been hoping Parker wouldn’t spot her, but then Parker missed the shot. Sophie grinned. “Same,” she said, and sank it. She straightened to survey her options, and Parker went back to the question.

“It’s what I could rescue from the demolition. I was lucky, a lot of us didn’t get out at all. There was no upkeep on the place for ages anyway, and then the whole thing was cleared for new projects. That real estate is in high demand again. Hogwarts ate a huge piece.”

It was a familiar story. Sophie spared a look for Parker’s expression; as much as she ever emoted, she looked desolate. Then, fast as a light switch, she brightened up. “This is fun too, though.”

Sophie made her call and her shot, and Parker allowed it. As she searched for another mark, Sophie compared the two names. “Okay ... I think I get it....”

Parker tilted her head. “I lost letters off both ends, and half the ‘n’. So I just flipped the ‘b’ and turned the ‘e’ and stitched it all back together where I could fit it. Parker. I like it.”

“Oh, I do too,” Sophie granted earnestly. “It certainly has more snap to it.”

Almost as an afterthought, Parker asked, “What about you?”

Sophie thought she might have glimpsed a good mark. “Me?” she asked absently.

“Yeah. How did you pick your name?”

This made Sophie laugh. “I’ve had many names, Parker. Many names, many roles, many stories.”

“What was your first one, then?”

Sophie paused, unwillingly feeling the cold dark of the tunnel, the echo of footsteps and the turning face of the one who taught her not to put her faith in a man. “Not important,” she said shortly, banishing the memory.

“Oh,” said Parker, accepting that as simply as she did anything that made no sense.

Suddenly, Sophie’s eyes widened. “Eliot.”

Parker made a scornful pffft sound. “He’s not a mark,” she said, before turning to look for him. The hitter’s hasty entrance into the bar made her frown. “Wait, something’s wrong, isn’t it?”

Sophie had already dropped her cue on the table. “Hardison,” she said anxiously, waving to get Eliot’s attention. He charged a straight line through the crowd to meet them. “What happened?”

For a brief second, which Sophie didn’t think he intended them to see, the hitter looked drained. Then he was all business. “The infiltrator unit was triggered and attacked him. I don’t know why. He’s okay. I think I’ve got things under control, but I need you guys on clean up.”

They didn’t need any more incentive to follow him outside, wordless until they found a blindspot where Parker could make a surveillance bubble around them.

“Did you call Nate?” Sophie asked sharply as Eliot led the way to the safe house where he’d stashed Hardison.

“Not yet. I’m not risking this on the air. I know he wanted to stay outside, but I messed up the infiltrator pretty bad. I don’t think it can keep doubling for him. He might need to come back in.” He entered the code on the building, and they scraped through the concealed entrance. “I’m pretty sure I got all the nodes, so They shouldn’t know what happened. I blue-pilled Hardison, but he saw a lot, more than I could handle on my own. You’ve got some work to do.”

Some more code locks later, they were in a dingy room, good for nothing but staying off Their radar. Hardison was slouched in a chair, looking at them in a way that would make anyone who’d never seen someone on the blue pill think he was stoned.

“Heey,” he said happily. “It’s a party!”

Sophie and Parker exchanged glances.

“How much did you give him?” asked Parker, peering closer.

“It was needed,” Eliot said defensively. “Let’s get him back to the offices, and you can get to work while I find Nate.”

“I need to revert. Give me a second,” said Parker, and Eliot and Sophie politely looked away until the faint chimes tinkled round the room and died away.

Parker was hovering a few inches from Hardison’s face, who tried to focus on her. Then, in some confusion, he tried to swat her away. An indignant jingle answered him, and she darted in closer to flick him on the forehead. Miniscule as her fingers were, they still seemed to carry a decent amount of force, if Hardison’s startled grimace was anything to go by.


“Hardison, don’t!” said Sophie quickly, catching his hand before he tried again. “It’s Parker.”

Hardison squinted at the ball of light, and then announced the obvious. “That’s too small to be Parker.”

“How do you think she gets into some of the places she does, man?” Eliot was sounding exasperated. Then again, after all that Hardison had probably seen this evening, accepting this was Parker shouldn’t have been so hard. Sophie put it down to the pill-high he seemed to be on.

“But she’s so shiny. Why’she sho – so shiny?”

Sophie tried to expedite matters. “She’s a fairy, Hardison. You know, Tinkerbell?”


“It was before the 80s,” Eliot said disparagingly, hauling Hardison to his feet, and looking at Parker. “You going to do this, or what?”

The tinkle of bells sounded suspiciously like a mocking repeat of his question, but two sparkly handfuls of dust were obediently flicked in Hardison’s face. He took on a dazed, happy expression while, next to him, Eliot caught some of the fairy shrapnel and sneezed violently.

“Dammit –”

Sophie stepped in, grasping Hardison’s chin and gently angling his face to look deeply into her eyes. “Okay, Hardison. We’re going for a walk. A nice, short walk, in the fresh air, and then you can lie down in the offices. Does that sound like fun?”

He nodded amiably, and draped his arm over Eliot easily as the hitter guided him out the door.

Parker resumed human-size with a tinkly whoosh and a petulant pixie frown. “Boys are so rude.”

Sophie’s smile was full of secrets Parker didn’t even notice. She suspected that Hardison, with his nascent crush on the thief, had just set himself back even further – it’s not like Parker had any idea what was going on there in the first place. “True. But after a while you find they can also be great fun, as long as you don’t take them seriously. Coming?”

It didn’t take long to get back to the offices, where Eliot dumped Hardison at his desk, out of the way. Sophie went straight to the media room, where some robot movie was still chattering on the screen; the infiltrator lying on the floor was definitely unsalvageable.

“You can be unfortunately thorough at times,” she said when Eliot joined her. “Nate’s not going to have a choice. Do you think he can fool Them?”

“Impersonate the infiltrator designed to impersonate him? I’m sure he’ll relish the challenge. You got this?”

On Sophie’s nod, Eliot double-checked their alarms and left to find their mastermind. The clean up was quick enough, with all the tricks Sophie and Parker had between them, and by the time Eliot returned with Nate they had Hardison slumped in front of the movie like he never left. There was no trace of the infiltrator, or the mess it had left behind.

“Welcome back,” Sophie said casually, resolutely ignoring the little thrill she always got when this man walked into the room. Behind her, Parker added the finishing touches to Hardison, and stepped back.

Nate took a moment, absorbing the scene, not dwelling on Sophie in a way that her instincts found conspicuous. Then he bent to inspect their work. “Is that drool? Nice job, ladies. Did you get the infiltrator’s backup drive?”

Parker handed it over. “We had Hardison clean it up for us.”

“Before putting him back to sleep. He won’t remember a thing,” added Sophie, before Nate could object.

He nodded, then opened his arm jack and plugged in the drive.

Sophie gave this a worried look. “Are we sure that won’t....”

“Reprogram me?” Nate asked, once he finished downloading and his grimace cleared. He unplugged the drive, then joined Eliot in giving Sophie an amused look. “No. It won’t be a problem.”

Sophie shuddered delicately. “Well, excuse me for being analogue in a digital age. Ugh.”

“I’m human, Sophie,” Nate explained, rather more condescendingly than he needed to, in her opinion. “It can’t access me. Check me any time you want.”

Sophie’s eyes narrowed, and she gave him an ancient smile from her repertoire. For a moment the men in the room smelled brine, and the demise of those whose inflamed desire overruled self-preservation. Satisfied by Nate’s growing nervousness that he was suitably reminded of the mysterious dangers that an age of analogue could pose, she relented. Somewhat. “Oh ... I will.”

Parker interrupted the staring contest matter-of-factly. “Guys? He’s going to wake up soon.”

Eliot quickly lifted Hardison’s eyelid, and waved the others out of the room. He gave the hacker a tiny red dose, then thumped the table loudly, making him fall out of his chair and under the table. The grin on Eliot’s face as he leaned over Hardison did not have to be feigned.

“You okay, man?”

“Arrgh!” Hardison found his feet, looking around wildly. “I – you.... Was I ... asleep?”

Sophie and Parker snuck quietly out, leaving the rest of the clean up to the boys. “That was a close one,” said Parker, easing the door closed behind them.

Sophie nodded. “I don’t know if we can keep this up. They’re going to find him.”

“Maybe, maybe not.” Parker shrugged lightly. “It always works out for the heroes in the end, so we’ll be fine.”

Sophie looked at her askance. She couldn’t tell if Parker’s limited capacity for objective reality was due to what she was, or to what got left behind in the rubble of Neverland. Either way, she didn’t seem to miss it. To Sophie’s certain knowledge, there were plenty of times where it didn’t work out for the “hero” in the end; she herself had inspired her fair share of them. Just not in kids’ stories. She sighed. This had to be one of her weirdest jobs ever, but times were changing and if there was one thing she was good at, it was finding the role to fit the hour and turning it to her advantage. And, when all was said and done, there were some things worth fighting for.

For now, though, they had the rest of a night off to catch up on. “Where next?”

Parker looked at her, eyes aglow. “LA diamond district?”

Sophie resisted for all of half a second, and then a smile spread across her face of its own accord. Before she knew it, she was sharing a very girly giggle with Parker. “Okay. But I’m driving.”

crack addiction (LeveragePlus) series:
guys' night"Come with me if you want to live," Hardison intoned happily in unison with the Governator.
girls' nightDeciding what to do for a girls’ night – because the boys had gone off to watch some stupid mutant movie completely lacking in emotional depth and resonance – turned out to be more difficult than anticipated.

get in for free (pt 1 of 3)Eliot pulled out his earbud before replying. “It’s James. He says he’s got a bead on Ke$ha and he’s going in.” – “Alone?” Parker’s expression contrived to indicate that even she thought that was crazy. – “That’s what I said!” He showed her the message. “Can you get us there?”
drink that koolaid (pt 2 of 3)A screech of car tyres outside the back entrance reached his ears, and for the first time since he received the text, a grin appeared on Eliot’s face.
now you're one of us (pt 3 of 3)"Ke$ha’s virtually untraceable if she wants to be, and I never thought to put a tracking device in my head. What are we going to do?"

wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggleI keep saying I won't do more of these but now I know I'm lying. Originally posted in comments at tahirire's because it's ALL HER FAULT.


( 17 speakses — have a speak )
Aug. 3rd, 2010 10:56 am (UTC)
Of course Parker is Tinkerbell!! *smacks head* Yup!!

And Sophie... hm, the tunnel and the footsteps made me think of The Third Man, but that's not it, I guess. But... there is Circe, right? Smell of brine...

Please post the answers too, yes? *g*

And I loved it. Great companion piece, and wonderful ideas! *giggles at Eliot sneezing from faerie dust*
Aug. 3rd, 2010 01:46 pm (UTC)
Circe or one of the Sirens, I think.

Hrm, clearly I need to read the other piece to have half a clue what's going on. My fault for missing the author's note! (The story was awesome anyway, though.)
Aug. 3rd, 2010 06:27 pm (UTC)
Yes, the other half does help, although not with Sophie's identity! Glad you liked anyway, and that it still kind of worked as a story. :)

Cookie for you! Siren was one of the first jobs she took, back when she was still really, really angry at men. For good reason (at least to her)....
Aug. 3rd, 2010 08:46 pm (UTC)
I read the other half after this, and that was also a blast. :)

Anyway, Sophie as a siren is awesome, and (seeing the other comments), did you base Sophie-as-Eurydice on Gina's turn as Eurydice in the Henson's Tales of the Storyteller show? (So very young! So much room to improve as an actor!)

You've certainly helped reinvigorate my need to work on my Leverage/The Mummy crossover, that's for sure.
Aug. 3rd, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked that one too. It was just a monster-mash run amok, really.

Gina's turn as Eurydice in the Henson's Tales of the Storyteller show

She did what now? No, I had no idea! I only vaguely know Gina from Coupling, which I really never watched. The universe is synchronising on me! (That's awesome!)

Also, Leverage/Mummy? I'm intrigued. Is any of it up?
Aug. 3rd, 2010 06:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It was irresistable – Parker as Tinkerbell is pretty much the reason I had to write this. That image just would not leave me alone! It just made far too much sense. Hee!

You're on the right track with Greek myths – that's where she started. As she says, she's had many names and many roles! Not Circe, though; Havoc got a hit with "siren". :) That was one of her first jobs, after being let down by the man she loved. For her original identity, hint: his "turning face" is important.

I'll post answers soon, if no one gets them. And there will very likely be more fic, exploring other roles, because this is just too much fun! :D
Aug. 3rd, 2010 06:43 pm (UTC)
Oh, OH! Eurydike?? Because Orpheus turned around before they were out!
Aug. 3rd, 2010 06:53 pm (UTC)
Cookies!!!! \o/

Yup, and then she cut a deal/took a job from Hades. :)
Aug. 3rd, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC)
YAY! :-) Yup, Sophie could even outtalk Hades. *g*
Aug. 3rd, 2010 11:32 pm (UTC)
Might even be worth a fic.

... OMG what have I gotten myself into? :O
Aug. 4th, 2010 06:55 am (UTC)
*giggles* And OMG your icon! *cracks up*
Aug. 3rd, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC)
I really hope to see more of this kind of crack from you. You write an absolutely lovely Sophie and Parker, and my favorite Leverage fics always include gobs of Sophie and Parker interaction.
Aug. 3rd, 2010 11:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm really pretty sure that's going to happen. The bunnies, they plague me!!!
Aug. 3rd, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC)
I don't ordinarily go in for crack!verses but this was so fun.

I *loved* this description of Sophie, so evocative and well-written....

Sophie’s eyes narrowed, and she gave him an ancient smile from her repertoire. For a moment the men in the room smelled brine, and the demise of those whose inflamed desire overruled self-preservation.
Aug. 3rd, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC)
I don't ordinarily go in for crack!verses but this was so fun.

I know, right? But it turned into a place where I could frolic irresponsibly in literary allusion. And that proved utterly irresistable. I'm glad you enjoyed! :)
Aug. 3rd, 2010 07:57 pm (UTC)
You rule to a ridiculous extent. I crown you Ruler of all Crack. :D Crack and blue pills. Those too.
Aug. 3rd, 2010 11:40 pm (UTC)
Ooh, crown! Shiny!

Thank you so much :D
( 17 speakses — have a speak )

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