Drugs Make It Harder to Keep A Secret

Eliot stood with the team, waiting for their Thief to make her entrance.

They'd solved the crime, but still had to let out Parker from the facility's care.

He was quiet, as he usually was, but this time it was a different kind of quiet. Instead of being calm and collected-type quiet, he was agitated-quiet; his mind was running rampant with several different questions, that circled around and around in his mind in an endless loop, causing him to want to shift his feet…

How much did she tell them? Does Sophie already know? Does Nate know?

He was broken from his thoughts when he heard her voice carry across the grounds.

"Heyyy!" yelled Parker as she ran out the front door of the rehab facility and ran across the lawn to the rest of her team.

He smiled at hearing the upbeat tone of her voice. It wasn't exactly the Parker everyone was used to, that was for sure…but he'd seen parts of it before, when she wasn't on happy pills, and it made his grin stretch a little wider.

Her arms were outstretched as she ran, her right hand holding her change of normal clothes.

"Hey…!" she said again, her eyes bright her smile wide. "I missed you guys…!"

Suddenly, as she approached them, she tossed the bag to Nate and tackled the Hitter, but he'd braced himself for impact and took her weight easily.

Even though he loved the feeling of having the petite blonde in his arms again, he was worried about her sudden display of affection towards him…had Sophie noticed the way the fingers on the Thief's left hand rubbed his neck so comfortably? As though she'd done it a thousand times before? Did she notice how Parker's legs fit comfortably around his hips, as though she was intimately familiar with the Hitter's body?

He prayed that she didn't and quickly covered up the fact that he was thrilled to have her there, by saying,

"Oh, when do the happy pills wear off?"

She slid off just as he finished asking the question and gave him an incredibly bright smile. "I missed you," she said, her smile still wide.

"Uh, usually about twenty-four hours."

She then walked over to Hardison and gave him a hug as well, but Eliot was fine with it, knowing that she had missed him the most. She didn't have to say it; he could see it in her eyes, even as she walked away.

As he was being hugged, Hardison said, "Uh, that's too bad, because I kinda like this Parker."

She pulled away from the Hacker and reached her left hand up to Eliot's hair sliding her fingers through it, and Eliot saw Sophie's eyes catch on the gesture.

Parker's other arm reached up to Hardison's shoulder, while Eliot's right arm went to her waist. At seeing this, a faint smile appeared at the corner of the Grifter's mouth.

"Uh, Eliot," said Nate, catching his attention, and Eliot caught the bag that Nate threw to him. Sophie also noticed this as well; though Eliot didn't see the way her eyes lingered briefly on the three of them as they walked away to the car, Parker's left hand still playing lightly with Eliot's hair.

She walked over to Nate, her eyes serious.

"Ready to finish what you started?" she asked, motioning her head towards the rehab facility.

He laughed.

"I'm ready for a drink…"

He walked away, and after a long moment, Sophie caught up to him, deciding to mention what she had seen happen between their Thief and their Hitter.

"So, Nate…Parker seemed fairly pleased to see Eliot, don't you think?"

He absently nodded, seemingly not paying much attention to what she was saying, and she bit her lip, trying not to make any comments that she'd regret. Finally, after a long second, she pushed the issue, trying to get his opinion.

"She was really pleased to see him…leapt into his arms, played with his hair…."

Nate simply sighed and gave her a look as they continued to walk side by side to the car.

"Sophie…" he said, his tone exasperated, and then motioned his head to the other three that were getting into the car. "I know they're together. I pay attention to everything that goes on with my team, and neither of them are Grifters like you…"

She stopped in her tracks and then grabbed his sleeve, pulling him back towards her.

"Wait, what? They're…they're…they're together?"

He looked at her, slightly confused by the bewilderment in her voice…and then he laughed.

"You're serious, aren't you? You mean, you didn't see this?"

She shook her head, not quite believing what she was hearing. He let out another laugh, causing her gaze to harden slightly. She didn't like it when other people had the upper hand; in the profession that she was in, she always had to have the upper hand, and knowing that Nate had it was just unnerving her.

He stopped laughing and gave her a soft look.

"Sophie," he said softly, causing her anger to lessen. "Don't worry…it took me a while to figure it out, too. But, if it makes you feel any better, I think it's been going on a long time."

She looked at him in shock, not feeling the least bit comforted by that small amount of information.

"How long?" Nate didn't look at her, so she repeated her question with more force. "How long, Nate?"

He shrugged.

"Oh, maybe...since our first job."

At that, Sophie was frozen in place. Since their first…their first…job? How had she not seen it? She felt ashamed of her skills as a Grifter in that moment; her job was to notice human behavior and use it to her advantage…how had she not noticed this?

She felt her knees go slightly shaky, and Nate was there in an instant, a hand on her elbow, steadying her.

"How…how did I not see this?"

He shook his head and gave her a small smile.

"Well, they went to great lengths to hide it." He then decided to share his theory with her. "I think they hooked up thinking that they would only see each other that one time…but then we became a team, and…well…they decided to continue."

Sophie slowly regained her strength and carefully pulled out of his grip, finally coming to terms.

"That makes sense…but why would they slip up now?"

They walked the rest of the way to the van, and before they opened up the doors to join the rest of them, Nate threw her a grin.

"Drugs make it harder to keep a secret."

Sophie smiled.


A.N. - The ending of Season 1 Episode 11 - "The 12 Step Job" inspired this little story! I mean, we all have to admit that that scene where Parker leaps into Eliot's arms makes all of us *squee!* inside...and so I wondered, what if the fact that she'd leapt into his arms meant something deeper? Something that, maybe, they were trying to hide? By the way, go back and watch that scene...everythin I describe Parker, Eliot, and Sophie doing, they all actually did!