This came to me during a crazy night at work. Thank God for Youtube and dvds since I have to work on the nights the show airs so I don't get to see it anymore otherwise.
The morning started out insane and went downhill from there. Eliot had every intention of spending the day on the lake with his girl. No better time to start them on fresh air than the present. Baby strapped to his chest in her cotton shoulder sling, and fishing pole in hand, he was nearing fifty feet from the front doors of the brewpub when some random person came running over to him.
"Chef! Thank God you're still here!" Eliot narrowed his eyes, barely visible under the edge of his black fleece skullcap. Who were these people again? His gaze flicked to her nametag: "Ashley" and then up to her obviously fake Dr Pepper colored hair. Not to mention, she didn't even look old enough to be serving alcohol anywhere. That's one bad thing about getting older: the kids get younger. Forcing a tight-lipped smile with unnaturally wide eyes, he dared her to continue. "Um…" Good, she was caught off guard. "Uh yeah, we're down to one chef today if you can't stay and there's usually three. He's already swamped."
Squeezing his eyes shut as he pinched the bridge of his nose, he could feel a headache coming on. The one free day lately when they didn't have a con in the works, this was not how Eliot planned to spend his vacation. He could walk away but he had already taken it upon himself to keep Hardison's pet project afloat by whatever means necessary.
Taking note of his reaction, Ashley cringed and stepped backward. "Sorry?"
He just snarled, making her retreat even further as he stormed toward the kitchen, still gripping the pole with white knuckles.
"…Daddy's gonna lift you a diamond ring…" singing softly but not loud enough to attract attention from customers.
Sliding the last plate of fish and chips onto the counter that he stared longingly at, knowing he wouldn't be having any fresh catch for supper, Eliot was accosted yet again. This time by a different girl who actually appeared to be of legal age, barely.
"Those aren't the words."
He flashed a glare in her direction, muttering "Something wrong with you."
She was fascinated by the fact that Big Scary Guy's lips never moved from the pursed thin line they were set in while threatening her.
"Aww, she's cute! What's her name?"
"Winter," was the growled response. Shaking his head and tensing his shoulders in frustration, "What now?"
"Interview, table six." This one was quicker on her feet and didn't intimidate as easily.
"Five minutes. Coke on the house while they wait." Washing his hands quickly, Eliot found a bottle, in the fridge that was reserved separately for the team's purposes, that he heated up in the microwave before tracking down the other waitress. He knew the kitchen intimately but the front of the house was still a mystery so he had no idea how the tables were identified.
The interview was a success and he hired the young man on the spot. The formalities of paperwork would have to wait for another day with someone more experienced, and who knew where anything was in the brewpub's office. He'd have to see about advertising for backup chefs as soon as possible to avoid another similar situation.
Getting up from the table to head back to work in the kitchen, Eliot was once again cornered by Dr Pepper girl, Ashley. "Someone from the health department is here to do a random inspection." Where the hell was the manager? That was his job, not Eliot's. Seeing as he had no choice, he greeted the brusque middle-aged woman as coolly and professionally as though she were any mark. Before they started their tour, she eyed the sleeping baby with disdain, her cool gaze flickering up to him, which he chose to ignore. He definitely needed a drink soon.
The dinner rush came and went, which Eliot decided to stick around for, as he was enjoying himself despite the insanity. The day was mostly over and the lake outing would have to be postponed, but he could live with that. It wasn't anything new really. He grabbed the fishing pole from the corner of the kitchen, returning it to the apartment upstairs.
Eliot almost couldn't believe he was sitting here yet again. The only reason he caved was Hardison agreed to hire a lot more people downstairs. That's what he told himself anyway but they all knew otherwise. The coffee table was moved across the living room to make way for camping chairs and a cooler. At some point, a pizza had wandered in, more than likely Parker's doing since a quarter was already missing. It wasn't fish but it would do. The one giant screen was plenty, no need for the six in Nate's old apartment when they did this the first time. Looking over at Hardison who was having too much fun, he rolled his eyes and took another swig of beer, as a smile threatened to cross his lips.