Just a small family scene written for Astrid over at LiveJournal. She bid on a 500+ word fic for the Help Japan community. This is my first ever Leverage fic. Disclaimer: While I would love to borrow

"What type of animal do you think we'd be?"

Four pairs of eyes turned to the blonde waif perched on the kitchen countertop overlooking the dining area. A long moment passed as each of them tried to decide whether this was a question they could ignore or that she truly expected an answer to. Nate slid a quick look to Sophie who raised an elegant brow.

"Where did that question come from?" she asked.

"I was watching a nature show earlier and they were discussing the eating habits of a…something-or-other," shrugged Parker, running her finger around the inside of her bowl to catch the last few drops of soup.

Eliot rose from his seat, shaking his head, and took the bowl out of her hands. As he ladled a second helping out for her, he gave her a sideways glance. She watched him, head tilted like a cat's. With a soft snort, he handed her the food and returned to his seat. Instead of facing the table, however, he pulled the chair around to face her, a slight smirk touching his lips. Stretching his legs out in front of him, he leaned the chair back. With a lift of one shoulder, he decided to indulge the thief and continue the conversation.

"It'd have to be dangerous and sneaky to cover all of us."

"Smart," Hardison piped up, not bothering to turn away from his handheld as he entered information at a furious rate.

Parker tilted her head as she lifted a spoonful to her mouth. Her eyes focused on Nate, obviously waiting to hear his contribution. Lifting his gaze from the paperwork before him, he peered up at her for a long moment before his lips quirked in a slight smile. Leaning back in his seat, he gave the matter a bit of thought. As he pondered the question, the little blond leaned forward until her perch became precarious. Sophie sighed and rose to move her back to a safer position. Nate nodded as she returned to her seat at his side.

"Stubborn, but adaptable," he finally answered.

She grinned at him before her stare shifted to the brunette next to him. Folding her arms across her chest, Sophie leaned lightly on the arm of the chair closest to Nate and stretched her legs before tucking them under her chair. Giving the matter some serious consideration, her eyes softened as they met the curious gaze of the younger woman.

"I believe it would have to be a creature that excels. All of us are at the top of our fields, so obviously we would not be at the bottom of the food chain. Oh, and it would have to be a survivor as well."

While Parker scrunched up her nose in thought, the others (minus Hardison) watched her. They could see her emotions and thoughts chasing one another as her expression changed. Eliot did not quite smile, but amusement settled into his eyes at how much effort she put into the process. Nate did smile just a bit, contentment on his face at the little one's child-like manner. Sophie's lips curled in resignation as she settled back and allowed her shoulder to ever so lightly lean on Nate's arm.

Parker's lips twisted a little to the side in confusion before shrugging and giving a small huff of disappointment.

"I can't think of one that fits everything."

At her pout, a silence fell over the room as the three of them worked to think of an animal for her, to try and make her smile. A sudden snort broke the quiet and all four of them turned to Hardison in surprise. Glancing around at the group, he gestured with his handheld. He had been multitasking.

"If you put all of those descriptions into a search engine, you get either a raccoon or a cockroach."

Mingled expressions of disgust and exasperation rested on three of the faces looking back at him. Parker only looked thoughtful. Finally, she hopped up from her perch and put her bowl into the sink. Skipping lightly to the door, she looked back at the people who had cared enough to treat her question with such seriousness. She kind of thought this was how a family was supposed to act – accepting and helping even when a member was a little bit broken. She gave them a bright smile.

"Well, at least it wasn't a horse."