Disclaimer: I do not own Leverage nor am I associated with Dean Devlin, Christian Kane or Beth Riesgraf. Margaret and Leroy Spencer are my creations.
A/N: This is it – fin. I'm glad so many of you have enjoyed this story!!
Wonderfully Ever After
Parker traced circles on Eliot's bare chest, listening to the rain pounding against the window. "Thank you," she murmured quietly.
"For what?" he asked, shifting so his arm tightened around her.
"You've been really wonderful. This is really wonderful." Parker sat up with a small smile. "You were wonderful," she winked.
Eliot laughed. "You were pretty wonderful yourself," he teased back. Brushing his fingers through her hair, his face turned serious. "You're a beautiful woman, Parker."
Blushing, Parker ducked her head back against his chest. "Thanks," she mumbled. They were quiet a long moment, the sound of the rain filling the room again. "I think I might even miss your parents after they leave tomorrow. They've grown on me," she finally said but he was already asleep.
Walking into the flat that afternoon, Parker sifted through the mail. "Elly, there's a bunch of subscription notices here. I think all those knife and gun magazines you like are coming due." She didn't pause for him to answer as she kicked off her shoes, but continued talking. "So I talked to Sophie at the office. She and Nate want to get us all together for a little celebration tonight. I think they're sort of proud of you, you know, making up with your parents and conning them at the same ti-" Parker walked around the corner into the kitchen, glancing up at Eliot, Leroy and Margaret sitting at the counter and froze.
Eliot stared at her in horror, hands firmly clasped on the granite counter.
"Wh-Why are they still here?" Parker asked, eyes wide.
"Rain, Parker. Storm. Airplane. Don't get along." A look crossed his face she hadn't seen since they all first started working together: dangerous, calm, generally irritated.
"What are you talking about? Parker?" Margaret asked, looking confused.
Parker stammered, struggling for words. Her eyes darted to Eliot's face, mouth open in shock. "Eliot. Oh my god… I'm so sorry…" she whispered.
"Conning us?" Leroy repeated, "What the- Eliot?"
"All that work… It was perfect…" Parker continued, still not sure what to say. Eliot heaved a sigh, looking away from her. "What can I do?" she asked as she found her voice.
"You can scram, Parker. Your bag is in my closet," Eliot growled, turning a fierce glare on her. Parker flinched and swallowed hard but nodded, turning and walking out of the room.
He stared into the sink for a long moment until Leroy stood, his chair sliding warningly across the tile floor. "Eliot…"
"Yeah, okay? I'm not a consultant, Parker isn't really my girlfriend, I won that car off Nate, he didn't give it to me, the monkey wasn't mine, I stole it from one lunatic dictator to give it back to another… I can probably go on and on and on about the lies we made up for you two," Eliot mumbled, still staring into the sink.
"You lied to us?" Margaret asked rhetorically, sounding close to tears.
"Yes, Mom. I lied to you because I didn't want to break your heart, all right?" Eliot half-shouted, finally looking up at his parents. "I'm a thief. I don't have a girlfriend and I'll probably never get married. But I didn't want you to know that because I knew it would crush you! Is that so bad?"
"Actually, it's terrible. Margaret, get your things," Leroy ordered, angry with himself for not seeing it sooner.
The door slammed as Parker slipped out and Margaret shook her head. "No." She walked around the corner and took Eliot's hands in her own. "Elly? Just tell me what wasn't a lie."
Eliot and Leroy both stared at her as if she had grown another head but Eliot shrugged lightly. "Um, okay. Let's see. I really do live here. I really did make that cabinet. I really do work with all of them. Nate really does drink that much. Sophie really is that bad of an actress." He laughed quietly, adding, "Parker really does love heights."
Margaret smiled to herself, straightening again. "Well. You lied about two things to save my nerves."
"They're sort of two… big things, though," Eliot protested, "What I do for a living and whether or not I have a girlfriend?"
"But you did them out of love. That's what really counts. Now, there is one thing you can do to make it up to me." Eliot raised an eyebrow and she continued firmly, "You can go after that girl."
He hesitated and she crooked her own eyebrow at him. "Go!"
Eliot swallowed hard, glancing in the direction of the door. He pulled away, squeezing her hands before grabbing his keys off the counter. Clapping Leroy on the shoulder as he passed and earning himself a rueful smile, Eliot ran out the door into the hall. "Parker!" he yelled, hoping she hadn't gone too far. He dashed down the hallway, punching for an elevator but, impatient as he was, took the stairs two at a time instead. He reached the lobby just as the front door was closing behind Parker. "Parker!" he yelled again, chasing her out onto the sidewalk and grabbing her arm.
She spun around, glaring at him. "What?"
"I'm sorry," he blurted out, much to her surprise.
"You did me a favor back there and I took it the wrong way. I know you didn't mean to tell them; you didn't even know they were there! And now, because of you, I won't have to keep lying to my parents. It's actually nice to not have to lie," Eliot admitted, his voice dropping as he spoke.
Parker stared at him, analyzing everything he had just said until she very abruptly dropped her bag and threw her arms around his neck. "Does this mean I can stay?" she asked in a whisper.
"Only if you want to," he whispered back, wrapping his arms around her.
"I do." Parker leaned back to kiss him, lifting her feet off the ground. She pulled away slightly to shrug. "Because, you know, I like your salt and pepper shakers better than mine."
Eliot didn't bother to ask, just pulled her back for a kiss. That was the thing about Parker: she never made much sense. But it looked like he would have plenty of time to figure her out.
Margaret and Leroy returned to Kentucky the next day when the rain let up but they came to visit every year. Eliot was right: he never got married. But he and Parker stayed together and one Halloween brought them a baby girl and two Easters later brought her a little brother. It wasn't exactly what Margaret might have thought of as the perfect life for her son, but she spoiled those two kids like crazy. Leroy and Eliot continued making up and Parker even grew to like him, though she still hated trying to find a parking space with him.
Maybe they didn't live a fairytale but they at least lived wonderfully ever after anyway.