Note: Tag to The Office Job
It was late by the time the team finished dinner and they all decided to just head home. What was left to do could wait until morning.
They had only brought two cars but that's all they really needed. Sophie would go home with Nate. Eliot took public transportation or walked frequently to further throw off anyone trying to track his patterns of movement. And Parker…
Well Hardison had hoped she'd want to ride with him back home to hang out some more but wasn't surprised to see her bow out. After three years working with her he knew it took a few days for the adrenalin rush of a job to really wear off and until it did she spent her nights out in the city somewhere, practicing (she didn't take anything any more but Hardison guessed his girl had broken into damn near every building in Boston by now).
Hardison let his mind drift a little as he headed for Lucille, the need for hyper focus past he liked to let the processors in his head cool for awhile after a job.
It was probably why he didn't realize Eliot was trailing a few steps behind him until they'd reached the van. Hardison turned, wary, memories of high school and "conversations" in the parking lot coming to mind in ways he didn't like to admit had started happening again when Eliot was involved after The Pool. "You still on that Sandwich man?" Hardison asked.
Eliot gave a little smile and leaned against Lucile, letting out a long breath that fogged in the chilled night air.
"Okay, whatever, I am Spartacus. I ate your damn sandwich and it was damn tasty to." He braced himself. He didn't expect Eliot to close his eyes and a weird look of peace to cross his face. "…huh?"
"I just realized." He said. "'Bout five minutes ago I realized the worst part about this job was my sandwich and..." Hardison didn't understand, not until Eliot straightened and let out another sigh and something…
He seemed a bit better than he'd been for a while.
And that's when Hardison understood. The last job had put him through the ringer, before that the thing with Sterling had messed with him, and the whole buried alive thing had hit him hard. There'd been a whole string of little cuts and blows and there was the whole Thing that had happened between them at the Pool and the Park and…
They'd bitched at and harassed at each other today about a sandwich. It was as close to normal as they ever got.
"It was kinda nice." Hardison admitted. "Though I'm getting this weird urge to say for moral and bro-hug ya. I think it's time for me to go."
"Yeah." Eliot said, eyebrows raising just slightly.
Hardison turned to unlock Lucile when a fist lightly tapped his shoulder. "That's for eating my damn sandwich."
"Seriously?" Hardison added, climbing into the car.
Eliot grinned and turned away, not looking back as he ambled down the road and into the night.
It wasn't the first time Hardison found himself thinking 'we'll be okay'.
But it might have been the first time since The Pool that he believed it completely.