Man has no Body distinct from his Soul; for that called Body is a portion of Soul discerned by the five Senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age. –William Blake
Sophie is all scent, smells of expensive silk, of that too-bitter sweetened English Breakfast tea she drinks, of Chanel no. 5. She used to smell of museums and their old art inks, of airplanes and their first class champagne, of other men and their colognes.
Sometimes, she'll smell of Eliot's fresh pressed orange juice with his all important secret ingredient, of donuts Hardison buys from the corner store, of the flowers that Parker brings her. Then there are the off days when she smells the way her husband remembered her: of woman, of lavender bath salts, of coconut oil. On a rare day, she'll smell the way she did far too long ago: of vanilla scented sheets, of daisy chains everywhere, of baby powder body lotion.
Her gift is her curse: every memory any one has of her is dictated by how she smelled, how she pouted her mouth just so and how the lingering trace of her makes a man want to cry for joy or feel bitterly betrayed. The thing is, Sophie Devereaux has never been one to be forgotten. And in Nathan Ford's opinion, her greatest calling card is the way she smells as she walks away.
Nathan listens. He is their first line of defense, their back-up plan and, most importantly, he is their avenger. He hears stories of betrayal, of yearning, of desperation, of the lonely, of the hardened. He hears different tales: of greed, of envy, of desire.
That is his con. He listens to all these souls that come to him, to them, with cases and situations that no normal person can deal with. But he never lets the team listen to him, to his stories. He listens to others, to their tell-tale hearts, to the darkness inside marks.
He listens to Parker's nonsensical ramblings when she gets caught up in the exact security schematics of a building, listens to Sophie prepare for another role in her (beautiful) accent, listen to Hardison complain about the tasks that he has to complete as their techie to ensure everyone survives. But most tellingly, he listens to Eliot's frustratingly concise and accurate statements that point out how human he is.
Eliot tastes: worry, sweat, honey, wines that have turned to vinegar, some strange taste that's too unique to be bought. He used to taste blood, anger, hate, fear, more than a small measure of pain.
He tastes the finishing touches on the proper sit-down dinner the team has every night, tastes the bile that rises in his throat as he feels so damned helpless when acting like a hitter who's good at his job will just kill his team, tastes blessed relief when no one got seriously hurt, tastes the expensive liquors Nathan buys (and sometimes the junk that Hardison stocks), and tastes the air that mocks his future more relentlessly with every job.
His greatest curse is the curse of time: eventually, if he doesn't get killed first, he'll lose his sensitive taste buds as he gets older. He'll never be able to recreate the subtle taste of vanilla and lavender quite right, taste fresh honey. But the biggest curse of time? That someday, he'll forget all about how Amy once tasted to him. And he'll forget the taste of some sugar-sweet-tooth-ache-cavity creation some wide-eyed blonde who is now his little sister made.
Parker feels supple leathers, crisp hundred dollar bills, metal grasps. She touches slick glass, stainless steel, the give of plastic safe buttons.
She'll touch Sophie's perfume, act like a child playing an adult, steal Nate's liquors, try to understand the appeal of the burning feelings, touch Eliot's pots and pans, even when he threatens her with his growly-bear face.
Her fingers are quick, nimble, from years of practice. Habits are the worst, harder to give up. Without her ability to steal everything, she feels useless, unprotected. And that's when emotions rise, when she forgets she's no longer seven and helpless, but can only turn and run. That's when she'll touch her com, and breathe, because somehow, Hardison's on the other side and he can fix it.
Alec, Hardison, whatever they want to call him, is sight. He sees GPS trackers, security breaches, blimps of something he finds noteworthy in secure systems. He watches the marks and their lengthy paper trails, Sterling and his constant fishing trips, the rest of the world as they move on.
He studies Sophie and Nate, their interactions not quite the same and more conflicted, to when Nate was drinking, after San Lorenzo. There is tension, caution, trying to act as if nothing has changed, but the world has shifted on its axis. He watches Eliot, the man that he knows is strong but would do so much more if his family was threatened. Eliot's shoulders are ready to spring into action, but for now, it's just to finish setting the table.
He watches Parker, that beautiful blonde pixie, fairy, illusion. No person on the face of the world should have that ability to drive him to distraction just so, especially when "it" just started. Later, when it's safe, he'll look through footage of the team, and try to find who left Nate's little present.
Together, they'll work. They'll fix what they can, move on from what they can't, and help wherever it hurts. Senses guide, keep you alive. This team, family, will do that for each other.
AN: Right, so I just watched the season 4 opener again. Every person's perspective is from a different time: Sophie after the King George Job, Nate after Eliot tells him he screwed up in The Snow Job, Parker after the Inside Job, and Alec after the season 4 opener. Reviews, thoughts?