Title: A Night on the Town
Rating: Teen? What rating system are we even using these days?
Genre: H/C. Sorta.
Notes: This didn't go where I was trying to get it to go at all...
Summary: Why spiking drinks is a bad plan.
Hardison and Eliot had been in the kitchen when they had heard the door slam and Parker giggle. Hardison had straightened up from the fridge and exchanged a worried look with Eliot – after all, the last time the girl had giggled like that, she had been coming down from the drugs she had been given at the rehab clinic.
There was the sound of footsteps in the hall – and that really wasn't like Parker at all, with her scarily soundless walk – then a crash.
"Coat rack," Eliot murmured.
There was more giggling and curiosity overcame the men's worry as they poked their heads out into the hallway and took in the scene before them.
Lying on her back, partially wrapped around the coat rack, giggling.
Her black top was torn in a couple of places it hadn't been earlier, and a brief glance at Eliot confirmed Hardison's suspicions. Those rips hadn't just happened in the mess with the coat rack.
Together they approached the pile of Parker-and-coats and as Hardison righted the rack, she latched onto Eliot with a delighted squeak. Eliot exchanged another glance with Hardison as his arms came up and around her waist. "Hey, Parker," he greeted. "You been at Nate's *coffee*?"
She barked out a laugh. "Silly," she said, dropping her feet to the floor. "W's at a bar and a nice man bought me a soda..." She let go of him and pushed off, reeling over to Hardison. "Heeeeyyy..."
Alec risked a glance at Eliot. The man's face had gone from cautiously amused to an expression blacker than Alec had ever seen it. "Parker," he asked, voice low and quiet, earning him a nod from Eliot, "Can you tell me about the guy who bought you a drink?"
From her position snuggling into his chest, Parker looked up at him, grinning sappily. "Yup."
They stared at each other for a moment, then Parker blinked and giggled again, pushing away from Alec too and staggering away towards the kitchen. Following her, Alec and Eliot watched as she lifted one of Alec's cans of orange soda from the fridge, opened it, sniffed it a bit and then put it back. Alec was about to protest when Eliot very deliberately stepped on his foot.
"Parker," Eliot started carefully, "Where were you when this guy bought you a drink?"
He was only just in time to catch her as her eyes rolled up in her head as she passed out, leaving Alec swearing across the room where he had launched off the foot he had been covering Alec's with to keep him quiet.
Nate had protested the early hour when Eliot had called him, but had gone very quiet when the situation had been laid out. He had at first tried to suggest that they call in Sophie too, but Eliot had growled something about not playing nice on this one, and Nate found himself agreeing with the tone of Eliot's voice.
By the time Nate arrived at the office, Hardison had already backtracked Parker's route, had even managed a fairly good image of the man they thought had been the one to spike her drink. And really, what she had been doing in a bar when she didn't drink was anyone's guess, but that didn't change the fact that the man had assaulted one of their own.
Eliot had taken a good long look at the man on the screen before snorting and shaking his head, stalking for the door and leaving Nate and Hardison to scramble to catch up. Eliot may be the one who was going to solve the problem, but Nate would be damned if he didn't have the man's back while he did so.
He halted Hardison at the door. "Keep an eye on Parker," he directed, raising a quelling hand when Hardison protested. "Ah. She's probably not been drunk like that before. Keep an eye on her. And get that asshole IDed."
He had to run then to catch up to Eliot, earning himself an annoyed look as Eliot had to delay for seconds as Nate hauled himself onto the back of Eliot's bike, barely getting himself settled as Eliot gunned the engine and peeled off down the street to the sound of screaming tyres and the scent of burning rubber.
Morris checked the scrape on his arm again.
At least it had stopped bleeding for now. And damn if someone hadn't taught the blonde to fight. He would never have targeted her if he had thought she would be anything other than an easy mark. He snorted to himself. At least it had only been his arm and not his face. That would have put a severe damper on him getting any action tonight.
He emerged from the restroom and returned to the bar, an odd sensation of being watched making the hair on the back of his neck stand on end.
Surreptitiously, he ordered a drink and cautiously eyed the bar.
Long hair, blue eyes. Kinda short compared to the guy with him, but stocky with it.
And they were both looking right at him.
He turned to collect his drink, glancing back across, but the pair had gone.
He mentally shrugged to himself before turning to examine the girls up at the bar before he ranged off to the booths in search of easier prey than the blonde had been.
"I see him," Eliot had muttered to Nate, clocking their target as he appeared in the doorway to the washrooms.
Nate followed his gaze, taking in the guy's slight build, his young-looking face. He hadn't realised *how* young looking the guy was from the grainy picture Hardison had managed to retrieve from the security camera feed from the building across the street. Not that it mattered.
Eliot wasn't having any issue at all with the age of the guy from the look of things, but Nate somehow managed to restrain him from crossing the room and beating the guy into mush in public. "Wait," he advised. "And watch."
It took distressingly little time before the guy had picked a new target – another blonde, one who looked too young to be drinking anyway in Nate's eyes – apparently forgetting about the two men who had been watching him.
He was bringing two drinks across to the girl's table when Eliot struck.
Nate hurried to the table as the girl was standing and clamped a hand on her shoulder. "Police, miss," he told her quietly, or as quietly as the bar allowed for. "We had a report of this man doping a young woman's drink earlier this evening. Do you need a lift home?"
The girl looked at him, horror growing on her face as what might have almost happened hit her. After a moment, she shook her head and gestured to a group of equally young looking women sitting nearby who were watching with growing curiosity.
Seeing that Eliot had succeeded in removing the man from the building, Nate followed just as his phone rang.
"You're not going to like this," Hardison told him without preamble.
There was a brief hesitation and the sound of typing, then, "The police have a warrant out for his arrest. He's done this before. And worse. Oh. Oh man."
"Hardison," Nate began in a low voice, "She got away. And we got him away from the girl he moved onto, and Eliot has him in hand." There was a crash outside the door. "Well in hand," he amended.
Nate had left Eliot to return to the office after they had delivered the perp to the closest precinct, along with both drinks he had been carrying when they found him and a series of new bruises they were confident he wouldn't want to press charges for.
He hadn't expected to return to the office the following morning to find three fifths of the team snuggled together under blankets leaning against the back wall of the conference room watching cartoons and eating popcorn. He was, however, gratified to see that while Eliot and Hardison were looking exhausted, Parker was looking like her usual self, even if she was frowning in confusion at The Smurfs.
He raised a questioning brow at Eliot as he caught the younger man's eye, earning himself a wry smirk and a shrug as reply before the sound of heels on the wood floor had the trio scrambling for their feet.
Ah. So that was how they were going to play it.
Sophie poked her head in as she saw Nate in the doorway. "You were here *all night*?" she asked sternly of Hardison and Eliot as she took in the exhausted expressions and the snackfood that littered part of the floor.
Hardison shrugged. "Movie night," he told her. "Citizens on Patrol..."