Title: I Love a Man in Uniform
Rating: FRT - slash
Disclaimer: Not mine, no money made.
Summary: Kicking ass isn't the only thing Eliot is good at and Nate realizes he's a very lucky man.
A/N: For Trowa since she made the comment about Sophie's obsession and Nate's retreat behind Eliot at the beginning of the ep. ::grin:: Slight spoilers for 1.07 - The Wedding Job. My personal muse is starting to see a fivesome with this fandom, though right now Sub is stuck on Nate/Eliot…
I Love a Man in Uniform
Nate walked into the kitchen - Teresa's kitchen in the restaurant she and her husband now owned outright thanks to the Leverage Consulting Group despite his somewhat reluctant agreement to take this job - to find his lover in Heaven, various pots, pans and other things bubbling, steaming and otherwise rolling merrily along, Eliot hovering over the cutting board, a wicked looking Ginsu flashing silver in the light.
Crossing his arms and leaning against the wall, he took a moment to do nothing more altruistic than take in the sight of the man that had taken out two mob henchmen and probably killed the Butcher of Kiev with a lemon-juiced appetizer, now humming happily away over said steaming, boiling and bubbling pots while those deadly hands deftly sliced slivers of carrots to go in the fresh garden salads. The thick brown strands of his hair were held out of his eyes by the wide headband and tied neatly back with a rubber band, the white chef's jacket hung open over the black tank top, flapping a little as Eliot shifted from dish to dish, checking on the lasagna before turning to start adding the tomatoes in with the carrots. He didn't have to imagine the strong arms bared under that jacket, the muscles bunching and flexing with each deft chop of the knife…he knew very well what was hidden under that chef's uniform.
Nate smiled, glad to see the younger man so…settled.
"You just gonna stand there, or you actually got something you wanna say?"
Snapped out of his reverie by the sarcasm in the smug tone, Nate shook his head and walked on into the kitchen. "Eliot, about Sophie - "
"Not gonna beat up a girl for you, Nate," the other man denied, smiling down into the neatly sliced vegetables, adding the handful into a large bowl.
"Not even for your very hounded lover who seems to be running out of corners to hide in?" Nate countered pitifully. Not that he seriously thought Eliot would ever hurt a woman, but still - it would help him out tremendously if Eliot would set Sophie down and tell her he, Nate, was already off the market. Cut out the hours of doe eyes and tearful protestations that they were meant to be together and that she was just waiting for him to come to his senses. He would have thought deliberately going to stand behind Eliot at the briefing when she had brought the subject up would have been a clue…he certainly hadn't been all that subtle about it.
Hardison had all but rolled his eyes and even Parker had noticed.
His only other plan was to have her walk in on them and he really didn't want to give her, you know, *ideas*…
"Nope." Eliot denied, a certain amount of satisfaction in the smug tone. "Man up, Nate. Tell her you're taken and to go make cow eyes at someone else."
"I would have said doe eyes, but…well." Giving into temptation, Nate leaned over to nibble along the strip of neck no longer hidden by the thick fall of hair, breathing in the scent of soap, clean sweat and garlic. "She could start making them at you, you know."
He had to admit that the snort the threat received was probably deserved - and accurate.
Nate sighed. "Fine. I shall go throw myself to the lioness and hope to live to tell the tale."
"Just make she doesn't rip you a new one for leading her on and you bleed all over the floor to the restaurant," Eliot commented ruthlessly. "Or my table. Blood doesn't go with my homemade lasagna."
This time it was Nate's turn to snort. "That's…one hell of a motivational speech you got there."
Eliot smirked. "I thought so. Now shoo. Out of my kitchen."
Nate sighed, moving to go face his very probable death - ok, or maybe just a very public, very humiliating dressing down; an aspiring actress, Sophie Devereaux was nothing if not - inventive. And then there was the whole woman scorned thing. But it wasn't like he had been leading her on on purpose, really; he had just…wanted to avoid an unpleasant confrontation.
Hanging his head as he turned to leave the kitchen, he sighed. Eliot was right; that was so much better.
Nate was feeling very unloved and very much a heel when he felt hands on his arms; Eliot turning him around.
"Hey, don't worry," the low chuckle rolled over him, the rasp made all the sexier by the evil little smile hovering over Eliot's lips as he promised, "If you're a good boy, I'll save you some of my very special dessert."
Nate immediately perked up, knowing from the offer and the smile that he was at least partially forgiven. More than incentive enough to brave the wars, then.
His eyebrows rising at the promise of another dessert behind the dessert, Nate hooked his hands around the lean hips, smiling. "Oh really?"
"Mmm will I like this dessert?"
"Oh yeah." Eliot leaned in close enough for Nate to detect the spicey-herbsy tell-tale that Eliot had been taste testing his secret homemade sauce thruought the prep on his breath. "I guarantee it."
Nate had to swallow to find his voice. Who knew he would find a man in the kitchen to be such a turn on? "That's - uh, that's good to know."
Easily able to read his mind - or maybe it was the sudden bulge pressed in against his hip - Eliot chuckled and placed a quick peck on his nose. "Go set the table, will you? I don't trust Hardison to know a dinner fork from a salad fork and I want to keep Parker away from the candles - well anything flammable, really. That girl scares me."
Thinking back to the fact that Parker had once set an entire trash can on fire in the stakeout van just to watch it burn, and had been teaching Teresa's five year old daughter to pick a lock while she timed her, Nate had to agree.
With any luck, the whole Sophie discussion could wait until later. Much later. Say when he and Eliot were old and grey and living wherever the hell it was Eliot had stashed his payout money where the girls couldn't find it. Where Eliot could cook and Nate could watch the sun set over the water after a long, invigorating session where the only thing more complicated than the bed they lay sprawled over was the time it would take for Nate to recover so they could do it all over again.
Smiling as he exited the younger man's domain, picking up Hardison and Parker bickering over which table was the best to set up and present their dinner-slash-payout to Teresa and her daughter, Nate felt suddenly that maybe life wasn't really so bad.
In fact, surveying his little family as Sophie stepped in between them to take firm control over the red and white checkered tablecloth, it felt pretty much like Heaven to him.