Author's Note & Disclaimer – Written for a fic gift exchange on LiveJournal. If you recognize it from the show, it is not mine! (Regular italics are thoughts.)
How did he get himself into these things?
Eliot Spencer stood in the kitchen looking over the countertop at his teammates as they argued about breakfast. Well, three of them were arguing, debating the merits of pancakes, waffles and crepes. Sophie and Hardison bickered back and forth over their coffee while Parker inserted a comment now and again as she kept trying to steal Nate's cup. Nate just sat back and read the paper, his smirk neatly hidden by the pages of the Wall Street Journal.
"I simply don't understand why you think we would take the opinion of someone who believes that orange soda and junk food are appropriate snack fare," Sophie sniped as she reached for the sugar.
"There ain't nothing wrong with my food! Pancakes are good, isn't that right?" asked Hardison, looking towards Eliot for support.
The hitter-chef raised an eyebrow and folded his arms across his chest.
"Don't drag me into this. You know my opinion on most of that stuff you eat. Somebody make up their mind."
"Cereal," said Parker absently as she reached for the penguin cup in front of Nate.
Without looking up from his paper, Nate moved the cup out of her reach again. Folding one corner towards him, he peered around at the blond thief.
"Parker," he said in a tone of patient suffering. "You know you are not allowed to have coffee. The caffeine does strange things to your system."
"I just want to see the penguins," she pouted, pulling her knees up to her chest as she perched on the dining room chair. Resting her chin on her knees, she peered at Nate through the strands of blond hair hanging down in front of her face.
Holding back a snort, Eliot reached into the microwave. Pulling out a cup, he leaned over the counter.
"Here, Parker," he said.
She looked up and spotted the cup he held out to her. It was an odd shaped cup, taking on the contours of a roly-poly little penguin with a multicolored scarf around its neck. Jumping up from the chair, she moved to hop up and perch on the countertop. Taking the cup from him, she gave him one of her shy smiles.
Great, been with this group too long when I can classify their smiles – especially on Crazy Girl here.
As she started to sip, Nate gave him a pointed look. He returned it with one of his own. Its not like he'd actually give her coffee.
"Oooo," she cooed, "hot chocolate! And there are marshmallows!"
He cocked an eyebrow at their mastermind who shrugged and gave a half smile in apology. With a nod, he turned back to look at the other two. Despite losing the attention of their teammates – not to mention the chef's, Sophie and Hardison had not even taken a breather to watch. The grifter and hacker simply refused to back down.
"We have fresh fruit today," exclaimed Sophie. "Crepes would be a much better idea to take advantage of that."
"Eliot stocks the kitchen," snorted Hardison. "We always have fresh fruit. Pancakes are a staple, man."
Nate shook his head, turning back to his paper and snacking on a bowl of grapes. Parker stayed quiet on the countertop, gleefully enjoying her hot chocolate as her eyes darted between the two combatants.
Rolling his eyes, Eliot turned back into the kitchen and started pulling out ingredients.
"Right," he said. "We're having waffles."
"Excuse me," said Sophie, raising one haughty eyebrow.
"Hey, man," exclaimed Hardison. "We weren't even mentioning those!"
He gave them a glare over his right shoulder.
"Nate hasn't expressed a preference; you two can't seem to agree on anything; and Parker's not annoying me right now. However, you two are. So, we're going with her first request. Now, you can eat waffles or you can go buy your own. I don't particularly care, but you are not messing in my kitchen right now."
The two of them backed down, grumbling but not leaving. No one in their right mind turned down a homemade meal from Eliot. Nate continued reading, but the newspaper rustled softly as he suppressed his laughter. Parker just gave the entire room a big grin, looking like the cat that caught the canary. Slipping off the countertop, she slid over to Eliot. Standing behind him and leaning her chin on his left arm, she blinked wide, guiless eyes up into his. The side of his mouth quirked up in a half-grin as he stared down at her, and he raised one eyebrow in question.
"I stole breakfast," she whispered.
Stealing a glance at the oblivious pair still grumbling into their coffee, he met Nate's amused look. Looking back down at the little blonde, he ducked his head in agreement.
"Yeah, I think you did."