5 Times the Leverage Crew Crossed the Centre

By PaBurke

Spoilers: All of Pretender and Season 3 of Leverage

Summary: The Centre has tentacles everywhere and somewhere the Leverage crew tripped over them.

Disclaimer: Not mine.

Rating: PG just in case

1.) Before

200 Words

Hardison and Eliot watched Parker twirl a solid silver bracelet on the bar counter. Over and over, she kept on spinning and spinning. It did not take much imagination to figure out that Parker's mind was traveling in the same circles. She wasn't paying any attention to her surroundings (Eliot didn't like that) nor to her companions (Hardison hated that).

Finally, Eliot had enough. The hum and clatter was driving him nuts. He reached over and plucked the bracelet from the countertop. Parker let him. The bracelet was engraved on the outside, not the inside.

"SL23?" Eliot asked. This was not decoration. It was distinctive, but not familiar.

Parker didn't answer.

"Parker, what's wrong?" Hardison asked.

She shrugged. "It's stupid."

"We don't care," Hardison pressed. "It's bothering you, so we want to know."

"He wants you to tell him," Eliot immediately corrected. "I just want you to stop spinning the damn thing."

"Archie reminded me of Before."

Hardison asked the obvious question. "This from was before?"

"Before Archie. From the woman who gave me life and a name."

"Your biological mother?" Eliot asked, curious in spite of himself.

"I didn't say that." Parker snatched back the bracelet and walked away.

2.) A Nanosecond Ago

200 Words

"Come on, come on," Hardison was talking to the computer screen. Sophie watched, rather amused. Nate had sent her to retrieve their wayward hacker. For some reason, he had decided to do his hacking in this ugly, dark computer café rather than at headquarters.

"Alec?" she asked.

"Just a minute. I got 'm, I got 'm, I got 'm."

Sophie sat gracefully on the couch next to him. "Why are you here?"

"Every year, the best computer hackers on the planet meet on a certain server and try to hack each other. And this year, I am going to… INo!/I. Nonononono."

Sophie couldn't begin to understand the code flying across the screen. She could tell from Alec's body language that things were not going well. "Could you forfeit? Nate is wondering where you are."

Alec drooped. "I lost again. Debs-da did me in first. I was sure I was going to win this year. I managed to block out BAU-grl, but then GothAbS joined Gmcty and," he sighed. "Let's go. They all found me first."

Sophie pulled Alec out of the comfy couch and towards the door. "I'll buy you a coffee," she promised. "That will make the defeat easier."

3.) Now

100 Words

Eliot leaned forward and watched the security team closely through the video feed. "Those are Sweepers," he announced.

"Sweepers?" Hardison laughed. "Are they really good with a mop and broom?"

"They are really good at making people disappear. They pull in people –the best fighters- from everywhere and then train them in their very distinctive fighting styles. They get loaned out for certain jobs, but only things that profit the company. Look again. The company has got to have their fingers in this pie somewhere and we shouldn't start a job without knowing where."

"Agreed," Nate said much too quickly.


4.) When You Weren't Looking

50 Words

"Oh, I'm so sorry," Sophie told the strange man she had purposefully bumped into.

He held out his thumb-less hand. "Give back my wallet and walk away and I won't kill you."

He meant every word. Sophie gave back the wallet. She really needed to practice pick-pocketing more with Parker.

5.) Sometime in the Future

300 words

Jarod put his hand on the client folder, claiming it. Nate raised an eyebrow. "That's our job." Yes, the job was more dangerous, but his crew was up for the challenge. Nate was not sharing jobs because it was too physically hard for Eliot or Parker or too difficult for Sophie or Hardison. Nate was sharing the jobs because there were too many people who needed help and not enough hours in the day. Jarod was someone he could trust to take care of the other clients skillfully.

"It's our turn," Jarod argued.

Jarod's crazy person, Angelo, slid the folder from Jarod and handed it to Nate. "It's Tammy's," he said.

Jarod and Nate looked at each other to confirm that both were equally lost.

"Who's Tammy?" Jarod asked.

"Timmy's daughter. The nut didn't fall off the crazy tree."

Jarod's shock was evident for only a second before he hid it. Nate figured that Angelo was talking about Parker, but "Who's Timmy?"

Jarod answered. "A ghost." Normally, the genius made more sense than his crazy.

Nate tried again. "Angelo, who is Timmy?"

"Timmy's dead."

Jarod grabbed the two other client folders. "We'll take care of these. Meet you again in a month, Nate?"

Nate nodded but watched Angelo carefully. Both of the men had known of this 'Timmy' long ago. Timmy was a child's name. Perhaps he had died as a young teen, but he had been old enough to father a child. Jarod and Angelo had spent their youth in the Centre. Presumably, so had Timmy. Parker had come from the Centre. "Same place, same time." Nate watched the two men leave. He would do some research and then start asking some pointed questions.

Nate had to answer one first: 'Would finding out about her biological father help Parker?'