A\N: This will be my very first attempt at Leverage. I have fairly recently fell in love with the show and I adore each and every one of the characters so I hope that I do them some justice in my writing, however minute that justice might be. I hope someone out there finds this somewhat enjoyable and I look forward to any reviews I may receive. I find them very helpful. : )
Disclaimer: I don't own Leverage or it's characters. If I could, I'd love to own Hardison and Eliot though. Just sayin' ; )
He was really starting to think that no one understood what he meant by spending the holidays apart.
He pauses on the spiral staircase, hair disheveled from his umpteenth nap, feet bare on the cold steel step, baggy gray sweat pants and a half buttoned blue pajama shirt hanging loosely from his body. He suppresses the groan of disapproval as the garish sight of what was once his living area assaults his eyes. It looks as if a Party City exploded in the middle of the room as multicolored confetti speckles the floor and silver and black streamers hang from every nook and cranny imaginable.
He doesn't have to be the mastermind that he is to figure out what was going on and who was responsible. "Hardison!" he bellows as he continues down the stairs, swatting at any and every rogue streamer that dare impedes on his path.
" 'Sup?" the hacker replies wide eyed; he tears his eyes away from the giggling blonde long enough to face his leader.
Nate shuffles toward the young man, ignoring the confetti that affixes itself to his feet, and levers him with a glare. "What are you doing here Hardison?"
The young man flashes a crooked grin, and shifts back and forth on the balls of his feet. "Umm, uhh, see what had happen was...P-Parker," he raises a hand to point at the blonde thief who proceeds to bedazzle Nate with confetti, to which Nate studiously ignores. "Parker, never really celebrated New Year's Eve, see, and I-I thought...we thought... we'd throw her a little New Year's Eve Party, right..."
Parker continues to dance around the room in a sequined silver tank top and black skirt...striped New Year's knee socks peeking out from beneath it.. She feigns obliviousness at the exchange between the two men, choosing to toss a handful of confetti over Nate's head instead. She leans in close to his ear, bopping him in the face with her headband with the bobbly "2011" bulbs. "You look pretty now, Nate" she whispers. She nods her head in confirmation and takes off dancing around the room again.
Nate remains where he is standing, unperturbed. He grimaces to himself but knows that due to the little crush Hardison has on Parker, it was no question the kid would do anything for her, and going against that is a losing battle. The dim light from the room bounces off the specks of glitter covering his head. He takes in the sleeping bags and pillows covering his floor. Clearly it was going to be a long night. Blue eyes shift back to his youngest teammate, he narrows them making the hacker chuckle nervously before Nate grunts a short response along the lines of getting a drink.
He's on his third drink already. It's the only way to drown out the obnoxious music blaring from the speakers of Hardison's laptop, not to mention the squeals of joy coming from Parker. He doesn't flinch when the door slams shut and the wafts of perfume burn his nose.
"Tsk, tsk, oh Nate. Could you've at least waited until the strike of midnight before you started drowning yourself in alcohol? And scotch at that,"
His eyes flicker to his left as he hears the scrape of steel against linoleum, as Sophie pulls out the chair. She sits down beside him in a graceful swoop, a gold silk robe hugs her curves tightly. His eyes linger over the plunging neckline until she clears her throat, calling his attention back to her eyes, where she gives him a knowing smile and a wink.
"So you're here too?" he questions, despite already knowing the answer. He sighs heavily before hovering over his glass, staring off into space bleary eyed.
"Of course. I couldn't possibly leave you alone to ring in the New Year," she replies as if the notion in itself is absurd. His intense gaze meets hers for a brief moment before she turns her head away, a curtain of brown hair shields her face. "And of course, it's for Parker."
He has no time to respond as the hitter barrels through the door, shopping bags in hand. "Dammit Hardison! I can't believe I let y'all talk me into this. All the stores were closed. I had to drive around half the city to find dinner," he growls, simultaneously shutting the door with his foot and dropping the bags on the floor.
Nate shakes his head at the sight, fully knowing that despite Eliot's attempts at being annoyed, he was probably all for spending the holiday with his only friends.
"W-what man? I told you pizza! Pit-zah! Joey's Pizzeria is open 24/7, 365 days a year! It's not my fault if you didn't listen to me man!" The tall hacker pads into the living area wearing blue footie pajamas, smart-phone in hand.
"D-dude seriously?" Eliot runs a hand through his hair in slight disbelief and then waves at the hacker's attire. "Pajamas with the feet, man? What are you...you like twelve or something?And are those spaceships?"
"Hey, my feet get cold. And I hope you know, these are limited addition Star Wars pajamas. Only two people in the world got these," he mutters under his breath.
"You're going to die a virgin," Eliot mocks him, he shakes his head and toes off his combat boots, chuckling as the hacker fights to come back with a witty comment.
"I think they're kinda cute," Parker observes out loud. She stares between the two men and shrugs.
Eliot shakes his head in annoyance as he glares between the blank faced blonde and the blushing hacker. "Something's wrong with you. Both of you," he punctuates the last statement by jabbing a finger in both their direction before he picks up the bags and heads towards the kitchen.
Nate watches as Hardison and Parker trail behind Eliot, puffs of confetti and glitter flaring up at their feet.
Hardison eyes the grocery bags suspiciously before his wide eyes meet the steely blue eyes of the hitter. "Where's the pizza Eliot?"
The hitter chuckles to himself as he uses a hairband to tie his hair back and wraps a black bandanna around his head. Parker plops down on the stool next to Hardison and peers over the counter at Eliot, anticipating a response.
"I don't have it."
"Aww, c'mon where's the pizza man?"
Eliot flashes a mischievous grin as he pulls out his knives and extracts four live lobsters from one of the bags.
"Seriously man? Aww hell, you know I'm allergic to shellfish!" Hardison gripes. "Do you want me to balloon up? Huh? You want me to get all puffy man?" He puffs his cheeks out for effect before continuing on his tirade. "If my throat closes up or sumthin...d-do you wanna be the one to stick me with the epi pen... in my ass man? In my ass! Nuh uh, neither of us want that!"he shakes his head vigorously eyes getting wider.
"Ooohhh," Parker murmurs as she brings herself level to the counter in order to be eye level with the lobster. She sticks a finger out and pokes curiously at one of the lobsters.
Nate squeezes his eyes shut and throws back the remainder of his beverage. Sometimes he wondered what it would have felt like if he stayed in prison. He imagines he would have had more privacy than he had at that moment.
"Oh Parker, sweetie, don't poke the lobster!" Sophie admonishes from beside him.
He opens his eyes just enough to see Parker poking at the lobster with her finger. Somehow the little rubber bands that would normally be around the lobster's claws had been cut, and the lobster was snapping back at Parker ferociously. Nate squeezes his eyes shut again and prays that he'll pass out before midnight. .
So much for passing out.
He sits in the armchair and begrudgingly finishes off the rest of his lobster. He had to admit the meal was good. He gives a hesitant but complimentary nod in Eliot's direction. The hitter has already polished off his lobster and is too busy smirking at the disgruntled hacker to notice anything else. Hardison is sitting on the other end of the couch ramming gummi frogs and a pizza Hot Pocket in his mouth and muttering to himself about not being appreciated. Sophie dabs at her lips and pushes the half finished lobster aside with a content murmur and a pat to her stomach.
"Eeeeee,"Parker squeals, playing with her lobster claw as she mimics the sounds of the lobsters cries from earlier.
Nate shakes his head at the blonde thief and suppresses a smirk of his own at the glint of excitement and happiness in her eyes. It took Eliot twenty minutes to pull her away from the large silver pot on the stove. Most people would be understandably disturbed at the sound of the crying lobsters, but Parker was intrigued and spent the entire time imitating the noises and dancing around a still annoyed Hardison.
"That's not right, man. That just ain't right," Hardison mumbles under his breath at Parker's gleeful squeals.
"Why don't you just do your job and handle the coverage," Eliot grins at the the perturbed Hardison, raising his brow and shooting a expectant glance in the direction of the multiple TV screens.
A handful of gummi frogs pelt him in the face and Hardison lurches over the arm of the couch in an attempt to avoid Eliot's lunging at him.
"Boys," Sophie warns in a bored tone.
"B-but he..." Eliot's aggravated voice trails off, as his eyes narrow at Hardison. "You best hope you make it to the New Year man!" he growls. Everyone knows it's an empty threat.
"Holidays are for love Eliot," Parker says flatly as she sways back and forth between the two boys, knocking them each in the side.
Eliot rolls his eyes and Hardison brings up the TV screens, covering news footage of the ball dropping in London, Sydney, and Tokyo hours before. The other screens respectively tuned into Dick Clark.
"Why are we watching American Idol?" Parker whispers to Hardison.
"It's not American Idol..."
"But it's that guy from American Idol. The one with the spikey hair and crazy white teeth."
"Ryan Seacrest? Yeah, it's not American Idol, Parker."
"Too bad. I kinda like Paula," she replies matter of factly, not noticing the skeptical looks the others throw her way.
"Why does it say Dick Clark if he's not there?" she asks.
"He is there Parker," Eliot mutters in annoyance.
"You mean that statu-"
"Parker!" Hardison interrupts. "Just watch, girl."
"Okay, but this band sucks. Eliot sounds much better," she shrugs. Eliot's lips twitch in a cocky grin.
Nate eyes the champagne and wonders if it's too soon to crack it open and finish it off. Sophie shoots him a knowing glance as though she could literally read his mind. He slouches further in the chair and rests his head on his hand. God help him.
"I wonder what the ball is made of? It's so shiny! Ohh, I know!We should steal it!"
Nate shoots Parker a dubious look.
Sophie pours the Champagne in the glasses and passes them around. She fills Nate's up to the rim, and he raises his brow skeptically before his lips curl up in a lopsided smile. "Feeling generous?"
"Enjoy it while it lasts, it won't happen again."
"W-what? Who poured my orange soda down the drain?" Hardison yelps while begrudgingly accepting his champagne glass. "That ain't right, man. That ain't right."
Eliot chuckles to himself and Nate glares at him.
Parker pulls out noisemakers...to Nate's horror.
Nate shifts his glare to Hardison, who in turn bites his lip and mouths an apology before flashing a sheepish grin.
Parker bounces up and down on the couch, knocking over the champagne bottle and the remaining champagne.
"Oops!" she giggles.
Nate emits an impressive growl that would make Eliot proud.
"Nate, man...me and Eliot'll clean it up. I swear!"
"Eliot ain't cleaning up nothing," the hitter scoffs.
"Oh I see how it is man. Just leave me hangin'...'Eliot ain't cleaning up nothing," Hardison mimics Eliot as Parker looks on with a Cheshire cat grin.
"Aren't we supposed to kiss somebody or something?" Parker inquires in her innocent way. "I guess since you two are closest..." she shrugs looking back and forth between Eliot and Hardison.
"Heyyy," Hardison grins.
Eliot snorts, muttering something about something being wrong with the girl.
Sophie glides over to the chair Nate is slumped in and leans in close.
"HAPPY NEW YEAR!" the team cries out in unison, Nate and Eliot not nearly as enthusiastically as the others.
Sophie's warm lips gently press against his own and he has to admit the year was starting off better than he thought. She pulls away quickly and clears her throat before facing their youngest team members.
Nate chuckles at the sight, Parker slings an arm around each guy sitting beside her and presses her lips to their cheek. She plants one on Hardison first, and the hacker grins a mile wide before she turns to place a chaste kiss on the hitter's cheek. Eliot grumbles his protests but Nate knows it was just for show.
They each grab a glass and raise it up, giving a collective "Cheers" before downing their respective drinks.
Parker turns to face Hardison, her face slightly covered by the gaudy "2011" glasses she's wearing. "I want to steal the ball next year...so get to working on that." She pauses briefly to toss up the remaining confetti and blow into her obnoxiously loud noisemaker. "I'm serious, Hardison!" She narrows her eyes at him, patting his leg before she prances away leaving a speechless Hardison on the couch.
Eliot shakes his head and levers himself off the couch, disappearing into the kitchen. Sophie gathers the glasses from the table and follows him.
Nate sighs as he watches the others disperse into various rooms of the apartment, and the bickering and joking ensues.
It's a new year and yet nothing has changed.