Summary: Eliot takes Parker and Hardison to the beach in an attempt to have a quiet day out together.
For the 100-tales prompt #026 'Summer' and lar-laughs idea: the Leverage team takes a summer trip to the shore and E/H/P have some fun in the sun, sand, and surf
"I don't know what was wrong with that nice place we passed five minutes ago," Hardison said as he peered over the cliff edge. "It had proper places to park, and slopes down to the sand, and bathrooms, and a place to buy ice cream and coffee. And it had a wifi hotspot."
Eliot sighed. "It was crowded. This is better. No lifeguards laying down rules, no kids having a tantrum, no assholes throwing a Frisbee at your head. It's deserted."
"I can see why."
Eliot turned to Parker for her opinion, but, having eschewed the steep steps cut into the rock, she was already clambering down the cliff face without so much as a safety rope.
"I wanted a quiet day at the beach," Eliot said. "This will be a quiet day."
Eliot ended up carrying all of the supplies, a task not made easier with Hardison whining all the way down that he was going to die. When they finally made it safely down to the secluded cove, Parker had stripped down to her bikini and was paddling in the water up to her ankles.
Once Eliot had laid out towels to sit on and handed out cold drinks and sandwiches, even Hardison had to admit it was a nice way to spend a summer's day. Hardison went barefoot, digging his toes into the sand, and even, at Parker's urging, took her hand and let her drag him to the water's edge. Eliot watched them for a while, content. There was no way anyone could get the drop on them from here without him knowing well in advance, so he could relax.
Later, Eliot went for a long swim and, with the shore just in sight, floated on his back, staring up at the sky and being at peace. When he got back to the beach, Hardison and Parker were arguing about the best way to construct a sand castle and bemoaning the lack of a bucket and spade. Eliot handed them the cup from the top of the flask of coffee he'd prepared and let them get on with it. They made quite a decent job of the construction, until their next argument - what to name it.
When late afternoon became early evening, Eliot got a barbecue going – wonderful kebabs he'd put together himself – and handed out beers from the cooler. Parker was sat, cross-legged, on his left, watching the sun dipping down towards the water, while Hardison was leaning back on his elbows to Eliot's right. At the shoreline, Fort Parkison was being attacked by the incoming tide, its sandy walls crumbling.
"This is nice," Parker said.
"Yeah," Hardison agreed. He toasted Eliot with his beer bottle. "It is."
Eliot smiled, though he was already thinking ahead now that the day was almost over. After they'd eaten, the coffee would warm and reenergize them, and then they'd hike up the stairs – well, that wouldn't be fun, but it had to be done – and they'd go home.
It was a day he'd remember, a precious memory, and he hoped Parker and Hardison would remember it fondly too.