This one bit me last night watching The Cross My Heart Job. I don't own Leverage. Written for Leverage Bingo at Livejournal.

Two hours after The Cross My Heart Job:

Sophie glanced up at the knock on the door. She'd just barely gotten back here herself; she was so totally exhausted from the combinations of both of the last two jobs happening one after the other that she'd just plunked down on the couch. She sighed and walked over, checking to see who it was before she unlocked the door.

"I'm surprised you knocked," she said with a smile.

"Well, to be fair, I probably wouldn't have but I had my hands full." Nate held up two shopping bags.

"Nate..." she started, but then stopped, not sure what else to say.

He tilted his head, indicating her table. He set down the bags and then dug through one, coming up with two subs. "Dinner. You know, the food kind," he clarified, since they both tended to use that to signify sex at times.

"I'm too tired to eat. I was just going to crash."

"Yeah, well, not until I see you eat something. You haven't eaten since before the flight after that first job." She sighed and sat down. She knew that despite his jovial attitude he meant it. He wasn't going to let her sleep until she got some food into her. Privately, she admitted that she had been hungry. She just hadn't felt like moving to find something.

He finished his sub before her, and he started pulling objects out of the other shopping bag. "Planning on doing some baking, Nate?" she asked, indicating both the rolled oats and the vinegar.

He added a bottle of Advil to the pile, and then pulled out, of all things, the plant that she'd swear had been sitting in his window the other day.

He just smiled, got up, and went into her bathroom. She could hear him running water into the tub. She shrugged. When he was like this it was best to just let him go; eventually he'd explain his plan.

When he came back out, he noticed she'd finished her sub. He tossed the wrappers in the garbage and then came back to the table. Pulling out what appeared to be cheese cloth from the bag, he dumped some of the oatmeal into it and then secured it with an elastic, trapping the oatmeal inside. He disappeared into the bathroom and then came back out to the table. He opened the Advil and took two out, and then set them down in front of her along with a bottle of Gatorade.

"You don't actually think I'm going to drink that stuff do you? It's horrid." She looked at him.

"Yeah, but it's got electrolytes and liquid in it, which you need. So suck it up and drink the damn stuff." She raised an eyebrow at him, and he added "Please."

She huffed in annoyance but took and swallowed the Advil and managed to drink several gulps of the wretched stuff. He wanted to grin at the look on her face but he suppressed the urge. He went back to the bathroom and turned off the tap in the bathtub. Returning to where she was sitting, he took her hand and led her in to the bathroom. When he started taking off her shirt, she batted his hands away. "I can undress myself, you know." He just shrugged. Then he winced as he saw the extent of the sunburn on her torso. She hadn't been exaggerating one bit about it. It looked amazingly painful.

She put one of her feet into the tub. Well, almost into the tub. As soon as she felt the cold water she pulled her foot back like there were piranhas in it. She glared at him. "Not funny Nate. There is no way in hell I'm getting in that tub."

"Soph, you need to bathe in cool water. It's one of the best ways to take away the pain and inflammation in your burn."

"I don't care if it's the fountain of youth, I'm not climbing in there. I'll freeze to death." He sighed and started taking off his clothes. "What are you doing?" she asked.

"I'm going to prove to you that it's quite possible to sit in that tub and not die," he said. He stepped into the water and kicked aside the pouch of oatmeal. He suppressed a gasp when he sat down. He offered her a hand. "Come on Soph. Trust me. After a minute you'll get used to it and not even notice."

She grumbled a bit under her breath, something about men and their crazy schemes, but she took the offered hand and gingerly sat down against him. She actually did gasp when the water hit her skin. She had reason, though; the cold water would feel even colder to her because of the burns. She also most likely had a low grade fever, common enough when a person had a large sunburn.

Nate pulled her back against him and then slid down further so that their heads were the only things above the water. They stayed like that for fifteen minutes before he shifted and said "Time to get out. Before you fall asleep like this."

"Actually, I was until you said that," she said a bit foggily. He stood up, pulling her with him. He quickly dried himself and wrapped a towel around his waist, and then did the same for her. She tried to pull the towel around her shoulders and he stopped her.

"Go lie down on your bed Soph. I'll be there in a sec. Don't put anything on."

He let the water out of the tub and then went to the table, grabbing the plant he'd brought from his place. When he got to her room he just stood in the doorway for a second, taking in the sight of her. Then he walked over and set the plant down on her nightstand.

"Seriously, Nate, if you're thinking of using that plant in some sort of kinky sex, I so do not have the energy for it," she said. He just smiled. Breaking off one of the stems, he slit it open with a nail and dragged it down her arm. "Hey," she said, batting at his hands. "What the hell was the point in having a bath if you're just gonna smear plants all over me? Jeez."

"It's Aloe Vera, Sophie, and it'll help the burns. Plus it doesn't smell and it's 100% safe. So stay still." He continued where he'd left off, making sure not to miss any spots. He had to use quite a bit of the plant actually; she really was burned a lot.

Once he'd finished applying it to her front, Nate guided Sophie over and did the same to her back. By the time he was finished with her back she was almost asleep again. He pulled back the covers on the other side of the bed and helped her slide under them.

He got rid of the stuff he'd used and checked on her. She was out.

When Sophie woke up the next day, it took her a second to figure out just where the hell she was. It took her another few seconds to figure out why the hell her upper body hurt so bad. She climbed out of bed slowly and went into the bathroom. Stuck to her mirror was a note. It read:

Step 1: Go take two more Advil.

Step 2: Drink more Gatorade. She stuck her tongue out at the mirror when she read that.

Step 3: Repeat cool bath from last night. Two tablespoons oatmeal in a cloth. Stay there for at least 20 minutes.

Step 4: Reapply Aloe Vera. If you do these steps and they work, go to step 6. If not, continue to step 5.

Step 5: Fill sink halfway with cool water. Add approx 3 cups of vinegar and soak towel. Lie down and drape towel over burn on front. Leave for 20 minutes and then re-soak and reapply to back.

Step 6: Repeat three more times today.

Step 7: Sleep. Best if you do this naked (stop smirking; it keeps clothing from rubbing against the burns and causing irritation.)

Step 8: Have a good day.


When she walked into his place two days later, she brought the plant back and put it near the window. She hoped it would grow back; she'd had to use a lot of it. Nate was sitting at the table, reading the paper. Without a word, she walked over, took the paper away, and took his hand. He looked a little confused. "Where we going?" he asked, standing up.

"Dinner." She led him up the stairs.