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Title: high
Ficverse: Leverage
Series: five times Eliot caught Parker and one time he didn't
Rating: Gen, PG13
Length: 850 ish / 6100 ish
Characters: Eliot, Parker
Teaser: The third time Eliot caught Parker, she was high.
Notes: I'm cheating. Most of these times occurred in canon. (Anyone interesting in beta-ing to make sure I got them all?) But my muse needs a kick in the pants and hopefully this can still be fun.
Warnings/Spoiler: these are events in 1.10, "The 12-Step Job".
Disclaimer: Stuff that's not mine is not mine.
Feedback: let's hear it. The good, the bad, the ugly....



before:
Moscow. Ten years ago.
Miami. Four years ago.

Los Angelos. Four years ago.

The third time Eliot caught Parker, she was high. She'd spent a week in a rehab center, popping a steady stream of antidepressant cocktails, so it wasn't exactly surprising. His reaction to it, on the other hand, seriously made him wonder if he'd somehow been doped as well. It was the only explanation that made sense.

It was a breezy, gorgeous, low-smog afternoon which did nothing to alleviate the fact that it had been a long, long week on a job that was a thinly veiled excuse for Nate's pathological need to hunt down his own demons in proof that he was a good man. On top of Nate's inevitable self-implosion – which then divided Sophie's attention between running the con and hounding him, further demonstrating why attachments within teams was a dangerous and terrible idea – Eliot had had standoffs with Mexican and Korean gangs, an uncomfortably intimate and long-term relationship with a Chilean car bomb (which had made Hardison blather and bitch even more than usual), and a very uncomfortably intimate experience of Hardison's "gay" voice. He was never going to be able to un-feel Hardison possessively dragging him away from that pretty receptionist.

Not only that, but they'd managed to get inside exactly zero strip clubs. This had been an all-round crappy job, only to end with them helping the mark, the guy who started all this in the first place, where Eliot was just as happy to see him arrested and not their problem anymore. They were supposed to take down the bad guys, not furnish them with new identities and gym memberships. And he couldn't get the smell of burning tire off his hands.

As far as he was concerned, his job was over. He still wasn't sure why he had to come for this in the first place. Nor why, when Nate had called them all out to the car, he hadn't just waved them off and gone to find any one of several charming ladies he knew who wouldn't mind helping scrub him clean of the smell of burnt rubber. Or maybe just gone and got some sleep.

So he stood and waited for Parker outside the rehab center with the others, with his arms crossed so that it was understood how he felt about things.

Her bright, loud, "Hey!" when she caught sight of them all startled him out of his brooding, and it had to be the weirdness of her demeanor – weird for Parker, that is – that caused the unfamiliar little tug in his chest. He narrowed his eyes, automatically cataloguing the characteristics of Parker-on-drugs for future reference.

She was running, laughing to see them. When she shuffled her feet playfully on the path, apparently for the sheer fun of it, whatever it was about it tugged on him again. He felt like he should be annoyed by this kind of behavior, just on principle if nothing else, and that made him realize that he wasn't. More worryingly, he could feel his spirits lifting in response to hers. Which was when he shot a frown at the others, partly to judge how they were reacting to her in this state, but mostly to see if any of them were smirking at having managed to drug him too.

"I missed you guys!" she trilled, still laughing, and he saw her coming with plenty of time to avoid it if he wanted to. She tossed the bag of her belongings to Nate and Eliot was moving at the same time, and he'd never noticed before how much the last year had taught them to work in tandem. But for some reason he wasn't moving to ward her away from him; his legs were bracing as hers were leaping, his arm going wide, giving her as much landing space on his chest as she wanted.

In the moment before she hit, he wondered if catching her twice before was enough to have made it more habit than choice.

The moment she did, it wasn't the physical impact that made him stagger. As she wrapped herself tightly, trustingly around him, with a girlishly happy giggle in his ear, something frighteningly like gladness flooded through him. It made his arm – which had, like the rest of him, instinctively mirrored her actions to wrap around her back – clutch her more firmly. It made it impossible to resent the grin on Sophie's face. It made him realize he liked that, out of the whole team, she headed for him first. It made it momentarily hard to speak.

"Whoahh, yeah..." he gasped out, reaching for a scowl that wasn't coming as she clung to him. "When do the happy pills wear off?" he asked with slight desperation, not quite sure if he was asking for her or for himself.

"Ah, usually about 24 hours," Nate answered absently, as Parker slid off Eliot and headed for Hardison. Eliot couldn't tell which of those things contributed more to his sense of relief, but he knew one thing: this job had better be well and truly done.


later:
Boston. Two years ago.
Boston. One month ago.
Cairo. Now

Comments

( 2 speakses — have a speak )
mystizan
Sep. 16th, 2011 02:41 am (UTC)
ur insight & re-telling are...so spot on. <3
themonkeytwin
Sep. 18th, 2011 03:13 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It's so much fun to explore them this way. :)
( 2 speakses — have a speak )

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