A/N: So here it is, the end. Thanks to all you wonderful people who have read and REVIEWed this the entire time. I love you guys the most. Except maybe for my beta, fluerlb, who's insights have been invaluable. Thanks so much to those of you that read and ENJOYed but perhaps didn't feel compelled to review, I still love you, just not as much. Sorry. But I don't know who you are! I can't possibly love you as much. And, I don't love any of you as much as Christian Kane, but you really can't fault me for that. He's "Eliot fuckin' Spencer". And as himself he's a hottie with a body who FAVORITED ONE OF MY TWEETS TO HIM! That's right. Be jealous. Haha, sorry for my obnoxiousness...I'll try to make up for it with the update. Enjoy! –pj
Disclaimer: I won nothing Leverage related but Christan Kane owns me. He doesn't even know it. But he does. Seriously. He says "jump" and I say "Uh-humprettyhair" and *thud*. So that's almost the same.
Eliot jerked awake and was immediately tense, trying to figure out what it was that had woken him in the first place.
He wasn't in his own bed in Boston. There was noise coming from somewhere else in the house and a presence beside him, a soft snoring, that he didn't completely recognize.
Any of these things on their own could have been enough to wake him.
Except he recognized the scent of his safehouse and knew the noise from the living room to be one of those annoying alerts from Hardison's laptop. And as for the presence beside him, he recognized it now, and he decided Parker was kind of cute when she snored.
Still, that left the question of what woke him. And then it hit him.
And Eliot smiled.
The pain was gone.
Eliot rolled over onto his back and sighed, relishing in a luxurious stretch and the feeling of his head not throbbing in a countdown to explode.
He rolled out of bed and got his blood pumping a little bit with a bout of jumping jacks and stretching unable to contain himself. Coming out of the pain fog was like coming alive for the first time.
He slipped into the ajoining bathroom for a few minutes and when he came out again, feeling refreshed and still no sign of a headache on the horizon, he was still smiling.
Usually healing from injury was a slow process. The quick bounce back from one of his migraines was a welcome change. He glanced over and saw Parker still laying in the bed, now curled around his pillow, one bare foot dangling off the edge.
The memory of the day before was still fresh in his mind and he found he was unable to resist a brief, warm brush of his lips across hers. She smiled a bit in her sleep and snuggled deeper into his mess of blankets, but didn't wake.
Eliot draped a woven blanket over her and silently left the room, heading for the living room, wondering where the rest of the team had holed up for the night.
He found them all huddled around Hardison's laptop. The hacker lay in a crumpled heap on the floor in front of the computer that was the source of the beeping he'd heard before. There was a stack of dvds beside it and Eliot was glad they seemed to have taken his 'don't touch' rule seriously.
Behind Hardison, Sophie and Nate in a tangled pile on the couch, the grifter's head lay on Nate's chest, their leader's arm locked securely around her waist.
Eliot snorted quietly to himself, wondering how they were gonna talk their way out of that one and sure it was going to be amusing.
He went to the kitchen and quietly started collecting things to make breakfast.
Hardison awoke to the sound of coffee brewing, the smell of bacon sizzling and brightness on his face that hadn't been there before.
He blinked a few times and reached up to rub his eyes, his sleep muddled brain slowly processing his surroundings and bringing him fully into consciousness.
All the windows in the living and kitchen areas had been opened and, while there was still bulletproof glass between them and the outside, at least it didn't feel like a tomb anymore.
Hardison sat up slowly, his shoulders and back popping loudly as they recovered from the odd position he'd slept in. He frowned at the low battery beeping coming from his computer and shut the top, silencing it immediately.
Sophie yawned and stretched, smiling at the feeling of a full nights' sleep. She couldn't remember her bed being this comfortable before. She opened her eyes and rolled over, and was met with a days' worth of stubble and a black leather jacket.
"Nate!" she squeaked, and jerked in surprise, tumbling off the couch and onto the body below them.
"Hey! Damn Sophie!" Hardison cried out, pushing the flailing limbs off him. "He ain't gonna do nothin' to you. Looked like you were enjoyin' sleepin' like that anyway, woman. Shoot." He grumbled irritably.
"I know I did."
They both looked up to see Nate, still sporting red-eyes and bed-head, peeking over the edge of the plush leather couch at them both.
Sophie huffed, pulling herself up into a standing position, her knees and legs popping painfully.
"Cheeky bastard," she muttered, but didn't make any effort to hide the smile on her lips as she stumbled toward the kitchen. A few seconds later, the boys followed.
Spread out on the island counter, which they could now see was black granite and part of a rather impressive kitchen setup, were eggs, bacon, coffee, pancakes, orange juice and toast all made fresh.
"I take it you're feeling better," Sophie said, sliding onto a chair at the island. An affirmative grunt sounded from the hitter, who kept his back to them, still busy doing something at the stove.
Hardison let out a low whistle as he approached and picked up a plate to begin helping himself to a little bit of everything, "Eliot, where'd you get all this stuff? I woulda' heard you leavin' for the store."
Eliot turned around and brought a fresh pan of hash browns to the counter and set them on a hot pad.
"I get groceries delivered whenever I have time to call ahead," Eliot answered, nodding a 'good morning' to Sophie, who was nibbling delicately on a warm biscuit, and Nate who made a beeline for the coffee. "Mike always makes sure I got what I need."
After a few sips of coffee Nate felt more like a human and approached the breakfast feast Eliot had prepared.
"Eliot, you uh, you really outdid yourself here." He commented, eyes roaming over each platter slowly, taking it all in.
Eliot shrugged and Sophie tilted her head, it wasn't like him to avoid eye contact.
"Eliot?" She said carefully, not wishing to provoke an outburst like the day before.
He glanced up and found all three of them staring. He sighed, tossing the dishtowel over his shoulder to the sink and bracing his hands against the counter.
"Look, I uh," he looked at Sophie, "sorry 'bout snappin' at you."
Sophie looked taken aback by his admission. Stunned, she nodded shortly, "and I'm, or," she glanced at Nate and hardsison, "we, are sorry too. For not respecting your privacy."
Eliot nodded and stood up, crossing his arms over his chest, more than a little uncomfortable with the 'touchy feely' direction this conversation was going.
"Yeah well," he shrugged again ignoring Nate's slightly amused stare on his skin and taking solace in the fact that Hardison had completely tuned them out, wolfing down the breakfast like a man possessed.
"I guess next time I have a headache like that I can just let you guys know or something."
Sophie smiled slightly as if she'd won something. "That would be nice."
"Dude, as far as I'm concerned," Hardison interjected between bites, "if you keep making breakfast like this you can do whatever the hell you want."
Eliot rolled his eyes, but was smiling when he went to the refrigerator for some fruit.
Nate sidled up to Sophie, looking about ready to start poking at the food when Parker appeared at the end of the hallway.
Her blue eyes quickly surveyed the scene, from her sleep wrinkled teammates, to the piles of delicious smelling food, to Eliot, who was concentrated on cubing melons near the window, humming softly with the radio.
She padded across the kitchen and met Eliot's smile with a smirk of her own. Eliot turned back to his cutting board, keeping up appearances for the team, and missed the knowing look that passed between Nate and Sophie entirely.
Parker went to pour herself a cup of coffee and, clutching the mug in her hands, she hopped up onto the counter, grinning like mad.
Hardison looked up after finishing off his orange juice and caught her grin.
"What is it Parker?"
The blonde reached out to snag a piece of bacon, her heels banging the cupboard doors.
Parker smiled harder when they all turned to look at her, waiting for her to answer. She answered with a contented sigh.
"Eliot always makes breakfast."