Pairing: Parker/Hardison
Spoilers: The Second David Job
Disclaimer: I don't own Leverage.


Parker didn't cry.

She wasn't a crier, she didn't get emotional. She didn't betray a thought in her head, didn't hint at feeling.

But she did today.

It was the end of something historic, the end of a legacy—four criminals, and…Nate. The sane one, valiant truth, and something about white horses and heroics that Sophie had been droning on about. Nevertheless, this strange family Parker contributed to was new and different and it was about to be gone.

And so she ended up dripping in saltwater.

And she had played dumb before, every time Hardison had wanted to talk, to get a bit deeper, which made her feel worse. She didn't really have a reason other than because he was being vulnerable, with his heart on his sleeve, and she liked to watch. Besides, she had an impregnable poker face. She was like a two-way mirror—he could see nothing but himself, his own thoughts and perceptions, whereas she could see it all.

He had reason to be confused though; she had been manipulating him, using him for pure pleasure. Ever since that kiss—the one that turned too hot, too close, too real too fast—she had been trapping him in dark corners, whispering in his ear; creeping to his bed at night, begging for more in a sensuous accost; and ending up out of breath and late to something or other, slipping out of sight like a true criminal mastermind. She always left him behind. She always felt bad.

So it was when he looked over, wet and shaking just like her, that she lost it.

"Where're you going?" He inquired.

She smiled a watery smile, an appreciative one, and gave something to remember, a last, false hope. "Let's see how hard you look."

It was just too much; she nearly went to pieces right there.

The truth was, she needed exactly him and nothing extra. When they get the call to come back, Parker would come back quickly, happy to see him. But they still had a long way to go before that happened.

They turned around, and she let everything drop from her brain, focusing on how to walk away, on quivering lips and her sinking stomach.

And they walked slowly on.

She left the aircraft hanger and rounded a corner before she was caught between the wall and a warm pulsating body. Hardison pulled her lips up with his and held strong for an unexpected moment.

"I'm gonna look pretty damn hard." He pulled away.

She smiled softly. "I'll make it easy for you then," and placed a plane ticket into his palm.

She delved into the smile that bloomed on his face, teasing his lips once again, and led him away from their broken family to start a new one.