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Leverage - Eliot/Parker - Like We Used To, Chapter One [Sep. 25th, 2011|09:42 pm]
The Dream Has Died: An Fic/Art Journal


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Fandom: Leverage

Title: Like We Used To 

Chapter: One - Not Supposed To (Part One)
Author: death_of_dreams
Pairing: Eliot/Parker
Warnings: Rated M (R) for discussion of sex, sexual images and language.
Summary: The last person Eliot Spencer expected to run into when he agreed ot th Dubenich job was his ex-wife. 

Author's Notes: Huge thanks to shabbytiger for reading this and squashing my doubts about it. 

Disclaimer: I do not own Leverage, Eliot, Parker or any of the characters or plot lines you see her. Much of this is what came of my thinking of what kind of situation would have occurred if Eliot and Parker had dated before the Leverage team got together...and this spawned.
 The last person Eliot Spencer expected to run into when he agreed to the Dubenich job was his ex-wife.

            But there she was, sitting at the table next to Nate Ford like the guy hadn’t tried to put in her jail half a dozen times. Mind you, Eliot was sitting across from the guy doing the same thing.

            They’d met up at a busy restaurant where you could just barely hear the people at your table, let alone anyone else. They wouldn’t be overheard.

            He agreed to the job because it was a quick and easy grab with a six figure payout. So he’d showed up at the restaurant and plunked down across from Ford, a little wary that the former IYS agent was playing Eliot’s side of the game for once. Five minutes later, a young black guy dropped into the seat next to him and pulled out a laptop, typing away at speeds that made Eliot kind of dizzy.

            He’d barely registered the movement next to him when he turned and his jaw fell open. Sitting next to him was his ex-wife.


            God, she looked good. Her hair was a little longer and she’d lost a little weight since he hadn’t been feeding her regularly (and he knew that meant she was living on a diet of cereal, fortune cookies, ice cream and take out). But her smile when the hacker startled at her sudden appearance made him nearly bite his tongue to hold back from yelling at her and he settled for a small glare.

            The meeting flew by pretty quick. They both seemed to have reached the unspoken agreement not to tell Ford or Hardison that they knew each other, let alone how well they knew each other.

            A day later and he’s standing on top of the Pierson building with his ex wife and a guy he’d known for 24 hours. He watched her throw herself off the roof with a practiced ease and found himself muttering “That’s twenty pounds of crazy in a five pound bag” as though it was the first time. She still ran around acting like a crazy idiot, it would seem.

            Parker was anxious. She’d never worked with a team or anyone besides Archie before and seeing Eliot again made her kind of nervous. So she ignored Nate and jumped off the building early.

            It had been roughly a year and a half since they’d seen each other, three since they split. He’d been glad that he didn’t have to work right next to her because he’d still been a little shocked that she was there too, because what the hell were the odds of that happening? He’d probably get totally distracted and end up in a screaming match, which is pretty much what happened the last time they’d met. So he’d focused, ignored her and did his damn job.

            While they were riding in the elevator on the way down, Eliot was fixing his tie when she came running into the elevator, her shirt half off before she’d even passed him. He looked away because a) she wasn’t his wife any more so he didn’t get to see her naked anymore (though he was damn tempted – they may not be together anymore and he may still be really pissed at her but that didn’t mean he wasn’t curious to see if she was still as hot as she had been) and b) how would it look if a guy who had just met this girl was staring at her like that? Parker in a skirt was a very rare treat that he’d almost never got to indulge in when they were married. But he did really want to turn around, not only to see her, but to double check to see if he had to beat Hardison’s face in for looking at his wife. Err....ex-wife. Ex-wife. 

            She finished changing and he turned to put the leg brace on for her while Hardison applied the fake burned skin to her face. As he was fastening it, he took the time to rake his gaze over her legs. Yup, same legs, the ones that felt damn good squeezing around his waist, the ones that he really loved to throw over his shoulders and...He swallowed back the lustful memories, forced the angry and painful ones to the front and finished up with the brace so he could grab the crutch out of the bag. They limped out the door and into Nate’s car, nice and easy. 

            They split up at the end of the night and he’d been damned serious when he said “one show only”. Working with Parker was way too nerve wracking. It was something they’d never done before – they’d agreed that it was way too messy and distracting on a job so they kept working solo gigs during their marriage and they’d come home to each other (and whatever safe house they were living out of at the time). But when she shrugged and casually responded with “I’ve already forgotten your names”, he was tempted to call her on it. No way in hell she was forgetting him any time soon. He’d tried damn hard to forget about her and proven that it couldn’t be done.

            ‘Course, he just shrugs and walks away, letting it roll off his shoulders like he isn’t torn between choking her to death and ripping all of her clothes off. It’s not a sensation he’s completely unfamiliar with.

            Parker walked away from the job, forcing herself not to think about her ex-husband and the fact that she loved the long hair he’d grown out over the past few years and instead bit back retorts about how he clearly had been keeping busy. 

            Then the next morning it all went to hell and suddenly Eliot’s handcuffed to a chair in a hospital room with Nate and Parker and Hardison in the room next to him. He tried not to wonder if she took any damage during the explosion.

            When he suggested taking out the security, he was a little stung when she calls out “Don’t you dare! You kill anyone, you screw up my getaway.” Eliot bit back a groan when he realized she missed his point. He meant take out as in knock out, not kill. It’s just another reminder of the reasons they’re not together anymore, a reminder of the chasm between him and her.

            His offer to take out the guards really bristled her. Seemed like he was still doing the same crap that he’d been doing back when their marriage ended. It wasn’t the killing people she was mad about, it was the way he acted about it.

            But Nate’s plan worked and they got back to Hardison’s apartment quickly enough. Parker’s comment that she was more upset that Dubenich didn’t pay them made him shake his head and grumble “there’s something wrong with you”. She grinned like she used to at their little inside joke, and it pulled at the strings in his stomach but he pushed it down. 

            Nate talked them all into staying and then dragged them to get a Sophie – the worst actress in the world.  Eliot was honestly horrified by this woman’s acting and couldn’t believe it when Nate said she was a grifter. Parker was extremely confused – was Sophie supposed to distract the mark with the really scary poetry stuff?

            Back at Hardison’s, Eliot had made the stupid mistake of making popcorn to munch on and when he got back the only seat was squashed between worst-actress-ever and Parker. So he sat down and acted like it was no big deal (because it wasn’t. Really.)

            He put a little extra into it when he was flirting with the mark’s assistant, though he was pretty sure it wouldn’t make a difference to Parker. They were on the job and he was dressed up like a nerd, glasses and all and for god’s sake talking about being a Klingon. 

            The rest of the job went pretty smooth to his surprise. Sophie kind of evened things out. It wasn’t ‘til they were carrying the boxes out of the office that he realized that it meant splitting up again and that he wouldn’t see Parker for god knows how long. 

            So when he sees Parker and Hardison follow Nate, he cut across the lawn and made some stupid poke about how Nate would fall off the wagon without the chase. Sophie again, tilted the scale in their favour and apparently they would get a phone call in a couple weeks.

            He packed his stuff and took off for a little while. He did a job in New Zealand, then was just finishing the job in Berlin when he got the call to head back in.


            Parker walked down the street to the address Hardison had given her over the phone and found Eliot leaning next to the door, arms crossed and watching people go by. She stopped in front of him, not really sure what to say to her ex-husband.

            “I was hoping we could talk,” he grumbled, then gestured to a bench in front of the building. She hopped over the back and perched on the riser instead of the seat. He sighed and sat down. “How’s this going to work?”

             She tugged at her beret. “What do you mean?” She didn’t look right at him because looking at him made her feel funny.

            “I mean us Parker. Are we gonna do this? Work here, with the team and never tell them?”

            “I don’t want to tell them,” she argued. “they’ll treat us different. And it’s over,” she added, quieter than the rest of her statement.

            He growled a little, but in the way she’d recognized as the growl that meant he didn’t like the situation, not the one that meant he was frustrated with her. She was pleased that she could still tell them apart even after the last few years.

            “I want to do this, Eliot.” She told him, actually looking him in the eye this time. “I want to be around people for once.” 

            She saw the moment he softened, first in his eyes and then in his shoulders. He nodded and stood up, then moved back to the wall he’d been leaning on before. Eliot didn’t hate the idea. He was still mad at the way things ended, sure, but he knew that either way she was gonna act all crazy and go flyin’ off buildings and god knows what else, so at least this way he could make sure she was safe. The hitter didn’t want her dead after all.

            Parker assumed he was still mad, though not as much as he was the last time they ran into each other in Detroit. She knew he blamed her for their marriage ending, even if it was really his fault. And yeah, she was kinda still pissed at him too. It was the reason she’d set the ranch in Texas on fire. The thief wondered how long it had taken for him to find out about that. 

            He looked good, though. Eliot always looked good. She knew she wanted to try working with a team but wasn’t sure she wanted to be around Eliot. Their marriage ended for a reason and she’d had to stay with Archie for two months until she felt okay to be on her own again. She was mad that he’d taken that away from her the first time and was scared that he’d take her independence away again. But she was different and he was different and they were over, so it would be okay. Plus, they had other people to keep them apart now. 

            The truth was that she wasn’t sure which Eliot this was. She’d known lots of Eliots over the years. There was annoyed Eliot, who she met first. He was grumpy and lots of people met him. Then there was flirty Eliot, and loving Eliot who she married and would always be her favourite Eliot because he was smart and sexy and made her feel all warm and squishy inside and he showed her cool things and he just...she sighed and realized she was dwelling.

            Slowly though, loving Eliot became scary Eliot which was the Eliot she left because she didn’t like that Eliot and she was mad that loving Eliot had left her. And this...Parker decided to call this working Eliot, and she wasn’t sure what that meant yet. But she figured she’d be okay, because working Eliot wasn’t husband Eliot, and she wasn’t in love with working Eliot.

            Sophie showed up and started talking, but Parker didn’t take interest until Eliot asked what she did with her money that she started paying attention. She knew that he had asked in general to both her and Sophie, but she’s a little annoyed that he would think she bought something. 

            Parker asked the hitter what he did with his payout out of sheer curiosity. Did he fix the ranch she burned up? It was his. Did he buy a new one? Or did he buy a new bike, a new truck, a new wife, a new anything? Unlike her, her ex did balance spending and saving his money. Which was dumb. You couldn’t take stuff with you, but money goes everywhere. Though she didn’t think she’d like his new wife.

            The office was pretty neat. Parker had never had an office before. She didn’t love the air vents but it was nice to have a place to actually work. Hardison talked a lot, but she liked it because most people didn’t talk to her much and sometimes he was funny. He showed them the really big computer thingy with all the screens. She didn’t understand everything he said, but she figured out that it was pretty impressive and then there were sports and then Nate was showing them the army video.

            She was surprised when Eliot identified the guns just by the sound. She knew he was good at his job, knew he was an amazing fighter, but she’d never realized the little details – like that’d he’d be able to do something like that. 

            The rest of the job flew by pretty quick. She was very happily distracted by all the pretty money and then Nate was mean and he wanted to make her give away the pretty money but then the soldiers were really happy so she felt pretty good for helping. And hey, she got to blow some stuff up and explosions were her second favourite thing after money. 

            She and Eliot seemed to be in agreement that they would stay with Nate and keep trying to be good guys. They also seemed to agree not to talk much, and that was working pretty well for them.

            Until Willie called. Suddenly Hardison was debriefing them and Parker had decided this was officially the worst job ever. Horses were terrifying enough, but Eliot had told her a little about his relationship with Aimee Martin and there Parker was, staring at the paperwork in front of her instead of stupidly pretty normal-girl Aimee. 

            Then, they were all in Kentucky and Parker was trying not to freak out because there were potential murdering horses everywhere. She was really glad she didn’t have to spend a lot of time with Eliot during that job because she wasn’t sure if she wanted to scream at him or just be sick all over him when he was making eyes at Aimee. 

            Parker knew that Eliot and Aimee had sex. She’d heard Nate and Sophie talking about it and she had passed Eliot when he was pulling hay out of his hair and it wasn’t like she had forgotten what Eliot’s after sex-smile looked like. She just...wasn’t sure how it was supposed to make her feel. Mostly she was mad because he’d always said that Aimee was a part of his past and here she was right now which was so clearly not in the past. It was extremely confusing.

            And then they’d had to go steal a horse and they wanted Parker to go in through the air ducts which she wasn’t going to do until Eliot made it all personal and she wanted to answer him by saying “Oh sure, now you need me. Maybe you should’ve thought of that before you had sex with Aimee!” but remembered that they’re not married anymore and she wasn’t supposed to be upset. So she ranted a little when she crawled through the air duct until Eliot stopped her, which was good cause she probably would’ve said something about how stupid her ex husband was. 

            Sex didn’t really mean much to Parker cause it was sex and it was fun and there was that, but Eliot had always said that sometimes sex means something and that when they were together it meant stuff especially when they had slow sex and he said that was about loving the other person so what if he had slow sex with Aimee and it meant something? 

            Eliot didn’t try to say anything to her when they got back to LA and she was glad. She continued being not mad at him and he pretended like he didn’t know. So that was good. Sure, we’ll stick with that.

            They saved the Santa Claus Church and Parker had a lot of fun being an FBI agent and robbing a bank that was being robbed. She loved that about working with the team – she got the chance to steal things that she’d never to get steal on her own. 

            She and Eliot were a little grumpy with each other, talking as little as possible, and sometimes tossing each other things they needed to exchange a little harder than necessary but they were working so it was okay.

            Eliot was a little worried when Nate decided to take on Irena’s adoption scam as their next case. When Parker pointed out all of the details she noticed about the boy that proved Luka was an orphan, he had to swallow a lump in his throat thinking about Parker as a kid. She’d never told him a lot about it, and he never pressed her, but he knew she grew up in a lot of crappy foster homes and it really pissed him off to think about that. People hitting kids is wrong. You don’t hit kids and you don’t hit women unless they’re trying to kill you and those were two rules that Eliot lived by, no exceptions. 

            Parker snuck into the party as a member of the wait staff and found Eliot having a great time flirting with the locals. She tried not to glare at him as she passed him by. 

            Nate asked her about Irena. “Yes and she’s with someone,” she hissed back.

            “Never stopped me before,” Eliot smirked at her. As if she didn’t know exactly how much that had ‘not stopped him before’. She pursed her lips, Eliot made a face back at her and she walked away, glad to be rid of the tray. 

            She headed for the outside, needing fresh air and open sky to breathe because she was not in the mood to listen to Eliot flirt with that horrible woman who was mean to children. She was frustrated that she couldn’t find the guy Nate wanted her to pickpocket and this was quickly turning into one of those not-so-fun jobs.

            And then Irena’s scary partner, Nicolas approached her and started talking and Nate was in her ear telling her what to say and she could hear Eliot flirting with Irena on the comms and Sophie coaching him through it and Nicolas was really creepy and he didn’t care about the children and it was all too much and she needed to get out. She backed up and grabbed the nearest thing she could. Parker stabbed Nicolas with the fork and jumped out the window, needing to get away.

            Eliot nearly panicked when the screaming started and Parker was gone. He figured Nicolas had freaked her out or put a move on her and scared her and Eliot was pissed that he hadn’t been there to protect her. Stupid, he thought. I was trying to get a rise out of her and do my job at the same time and I leave her to get grabbed at by some goon. 

            Somehow he managed to still hook Irena before getting out of there, silently trying to figure out how he was going to find Parker and make sure she was safe. Eliot met up with the team and was discussing what to do now that they were missing a thief when Parker turned up next to them. He wasn’t sure how good a job he did of hiding his relief, but at least she was okay.

            He got a little swept up in the con and he had fun on the movie set, though if Hardison tested one more special effect while he was around he would’ve hit somebody. And they grabbed Luka and got him back to his parents, which made Eliot feel really good. He may not have been able to save Parker from the crappy foster homes she lived in, but he’d been able to help save Luka. 

            Of course, Parker disappeared again and tried to save the rest of the orphanage. Damn woman was going to get herself (and probably him too) killed one of these days. So Eliot drove like a madman to get to the orphanage and help her out.

            He and Nate switched the guns and then he went looking for the guards they had posted. It felt really good to beat up the arms dealers. Serves ‘em right for abusing kids like that. And when Hardison blew up their warehouse, that was pretty kick ass.

            They stop in Paris after they drop the kids off with the World Health Organization, because heaven forbid Sophie be mad at Nate for more than a day without him jumping through hoops to make it better. He’d never been a big fan of Paris. They’re a little too liberal for his taste, with the near nudity in their ads, the way they seem to encourage public displays of affection (he’s fine with handholding, it’s the groping each other in public and not even trying to be discreet that he thinks is rude) and the fact that half the city smelled like urine in the summer. And who in their right mind puts a taxidermy store next to a nice restaurant? Dead rats should never hang in a window.

            Nate said they’d only be there for one night, with a late afternoon flight the next day. So Eliot took a long steam shower and figured he’d sample some of the local colour. He threw on a button-up over his wife beater and opened the door to find Parker standing there, bouncing on her toes.

            “What?” he growled.

            “Are you mad at me?” She asked sheepishly. His growl got a little louder; he hated when Parker tip-toed around shit.

            “Shit, Parker, hell yes I’m mad at you. You can’t just stab people and run around without a plan and not tell anybody anything!” 

            She pushed past him and sat down on his bed. “I had to,” she said and shrugged. 

            He looked back at her and leaned against the doorframe. “You’re on a team now, Parker. You gotta stop and tell people what’s going on,” he told her. 

            “I’ve never been on a team before,” she whispers. He closes the door and sits down next to her. 

            “Look,” he felt his anger ebb and hated it; it’s hard to stay mad at Parker because of something she doesn’t understand. “Just, next time, just tell me, okay? And I’ll come with you. Or tell Nate and we can all help.” She bites her lip and nods and he stands and opens the door.

            “I’m gonna go steal stuff, wanna come?” She asked.  

             “Where you thinking about robbin’?” He replied, crossing his arms over his chest. Parker had been thievin’ way before he knew her and she’d keep going whenever they split, so there really was no stoppin’ her. 

            “The Orsay. I haven’t been there for a long time,” she said, hopping up off the bed and skips through the door.

            “I’ll pass. Have fun, don’t get caught.”

            “Bye Eliot.” 

            He changed in his mind and went out in search of cookware. Knives were always fun to shop for in Paris and you never know what else you’ll find. He found a really neat mango slicer that he liked as well some frying pans that looked like they’d do sufficient damage if they hit somebody.

            When he woke up in the morning, he found a small stack of French cookbooks on the bedside table. Eliot smirked; he knew a Parker-apology when he saw one. 


            Sophie’s friend Theresa became their next client and they were getting ready to ‘steal’ the Mosconi wedding. Hardison found him in the kitchen eating an apple and started talking about how marriage didn’t really make sense to him.

            When the hacker asked him if he’d ever been married, Eliot paused for a minute, thankful that chewing the apple gave him a second to think. He considered saying yes, but then Hardison would ask what happened and he couldn’t just say ‘oh, you’ve met my wife, she’s down the hall’ because that would go to hell fast.

            So he told him he’d never been married – easier that way, even if he did feel a little bad for pretending he and Parker had never happened. Hardison gave him that knowing look and said “What was her name?” so Eliot shrugged and went with a generalized version of the Aimee story. He was a little tempted to tell the younger guy that there was some really awesome parts of being married, but mostly he only remembered the coming home to find his wife left him part. 

            The day of the wedding left them all running around trying to find the money and pull the con off. Eliot was already grumpy because the bitchy wife had spat out his stuff mushrooms and called it ‘food court’ and Parker ran around in that ridiculous bridesmaid’s dress. She walked up the stairs and he had to stop and get a good look at her. She looked kind of silly. Not because it was a dress but because it was probably the last dress on earth Parker would pick out for herself. 

            The little glare she gave him when he refused to go search the screening room because he was too busy poaching peaches made him want to stick his tongue out at her. She always did bring out the childish in him. 

            “I’ll show you ‘BAM!’”, he muttered under his breath.

            “Uh-huh” she answered back over the comms. He smirked, and was about to make a comment about how she’d never had a problem with it before, but one of the caterers stopped to ask him something – which he was grateful for later. 

            Eliot was pretty tired after the Butcher of Kiev had nearly killed him, but thought that cooking for the team and for Theresa would be nice enough, so he got to the restaurant early enough to cook up some serious spaghetti.

            Parker was the next one to show up, surprisingly. She turns up behind him in the kitchen and he hums, not bothered by her presence that much.

            The thief sat in the kitchen and watched him cook. She’d always loved watching him cook and fight – he did both of them so naturally and there was an odd peacefulness to him when he was doing both, in a way. It was the rhythm of them, she figured. After he had finished with all the chopping and was just stirring and waiting, she moved up next to him.

            “So, are most weddings like that?” 

            “Yeah, I guess. I mean, not the getting robbed and the crazy mob stuff, but all the people and the food and the music, yeah.” 

            “Hmm.” She thought for a minute. “I like our wedding better,” she answered. 

            “Me too,” he said, smiling softly.

            Nate and Hardison showed up then and they started setting tables, so he shooed Parker out of the kitchen to go bug them instead.


            To be honest, Eliot was worried when Parker went inside the rehab center with Nate. He knew they’d probably throw around pills like candy in there and he wasn’t sure what effect it was going to have on her. He was worried cause not only is Parker crazy enough without someone tryin’ to rearrange her brain, but what if she was really out of it and told Nate or Sophie they were married?

            Just general badness. So he forced himself to clamp down and focus on the job in front of him. And hey, bonus, strippers. 

            And then there were bombs and Mexicans and Koreans and Chileans and he found sufficient things to keep worrying about Parker pushed to the back of his mind. As a hitter, he was good at multitasking like that. 

            Parker kind of liked therapy. Nobody had bothered to really ask her why she stole stuff before or why she did anything, really. She started picking pockets when she was younger because she needed money for food and clothes when she had run away from one of her foster homes. But the therapists asked all kinds of questions that made her think about things she never thought about before.

            But the drugs made her feel funny. A little like being fuzzy. Parker liked fuzzy things but she wasn’t sure she wanted to be a fuzzy thing. Sometimes it was hard to concentrate and sometimes she concentrated so hard that she forgot to pay attention to anything else.

            When Dr. Sophie gave Jack a notepad and suggested that he make a list of people he needed to apologize to, it seemed like a really good idea. So Parker asked for a pencil and a pad too.

            She sat down and stared at the paper and thought really hard. But the only thing she could really think about was Eliot. 

            Parker missed Eliot. She had gotten used to him being around again, and that safe feeling she got when he was nearby – like nothing could ever hurt her because Eliot wouldn’t let it. Being around him made her miss all the other things being around Eliot used to make her feel and that made her think about how their marriage ended.

            Those pills made her think a lot. 

             She didn’t really want to apologize to any of her foster parents; most of them sucked anyway. She did feel a little bad about you know, blowing up her second foster mother’s house, but her husband was a drunken abusive meanie who took Bunny away, so Parker blew up their house. It seemed like a fair trade in her opinion, even now. 

             That left the people that she’d stolen from, which was just funny, and she wasn’t sorry she did it. Other than that there was just Eliot. 

            Parker stopped for a minute to think if she was supposed to be writing Rose’s list instead of hers, but she was confused as to where Rose stopped and she started and she didn’t know who Rose would want to apologize to anyway, so she decided to go ahead with the apology to Eliot.

            So she tried really hard to write a letter, but it kept coming out all wrong and she wasn’t sure how much she wanted to apologize for anyway.

            I’m sorry for the way things ended. I just didn’t like you anymore. 

            That wasn’t right. She scribbled it out and tried again.
            I’m sorry that I didn’t leave a note when I left because I know that used to make you really really angry when you didn’t know where I was. 

            I’m sorry. I left because you were scaring me and you weren’t you anymore. I wasn’t mad about what you were doing, but you were so angry when you came home all the time and you didn’t want me around, so I left. 

            I’m sorry the end of our marriage sucked. It’s not that I didn’t love you anymore, I just was mad because you wouldn’t tell me what you were doing and why you were upset all the time and you didn’t want to have sex anymore and I just couldn’t take it so I left and I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.
She got frustrated trying to write the letter so she crumpled it up and put it away in her pocket, thinking she would try again later.

            When Nate asked her to break out of the rehab center, Parker refused. “I feel like I’m making real progress here!” She was getting a chance to actually talk about things with people who didn’t judge her and she was hoping to get a chance to talk to somebody about Eliot and how being around him again made her all kinds of confused because working Eliot was more like the Eliot she had known before they got married and it made her feel funny because she wasn’t as mad at working Eliot as she was at scary Eliot.

            So Nate left without her and a new doctor took over for group now that Sophie was gone. But Nate and Sophie were only gone for a day before she wasn’t sure she liked the clinic anymore. The new doctor didn’t make her feel as comfortable as Sophie did, and how did nobody know what the layout of the Cairo Museum Antiquities wing look like?!?

            So she got checked out and she was really excited to see the whole team waiting for her. She tossed her stuff at Nate and jump-hugged Eliot because she missed him the most. The thief had really missed the way he made her feel like she was safe and she had thought a lot about him when she was inside, so she couldn’t help but throw herself at him. He caught her easily enough – he always did – and she whispered “I missed you so much,” into his ear and nuzzled into his shoulder. She loved how good Eliot smelled.

            Eliot didn’t say anything back to her, just looked at the team and asked “When do the happy pills wear off?” She heard Nate say something about a few hours or whatever and Eliot nudged her a little so she hopped off and hugged Hardison because she missed all of them so everybody should get hugs.

            They loaded into the car and Parker was between Hardison and Eliot, and she firmly attached herself to Eliot’s arm, nuzzling up against him. Nate drove them back to the office and she got Eliot to hold her hand on the way up the stairs as she bounced along beside him. By the time they got upstairs he grumbled “enough, Parker, you’re gonna blow it,” and she remembered that their marriage was a secret. Which was silly. She didn’t think they’d be mad.

            Slowly the drugs wore off and as she thought about it more, she remembered that things were still weird between her and Eliot and they had sensible reasons for not telling the rest of the crew. 

            She was so confused in fact, that she went back to ignoring Eliot so she could try and sort things out in her head. Parker found the list scrunched up in her things and wasn’t sure what to do – she hadn’t finished it yet, so she couldn’t give it to Eliot yet, but she didn’t know how to finish it, either. So she shoved it in the closet with some of her older harnesses and ignored it.



Carry On to Part Two of Chapter One