Table Points: 34 Drabbles @ 3 points each - 102 points
Running Total of Points: 702 points
Completed by theron09 (http://teamgrifter.livejournal.com/213689.html?thread=3990969#t3990969), meghan_84 (http://teamgrifter.livejournal.com/213689.html?thread=4011705#t4011705), irishjeeper and telaryn
Parker has one sure fire phobia. One blood chilling fear. It has arrived in the form of two little pink lines on an drug store test. She’s pregnant, her palms sweat and her heart races like it’s the Kentucky Derby.
She can’t breathe. There’s a knock. “You okay in there Parker?” Eliot asks.
“What’s it say?” Hardison asks sounding excited.
She wants to cry, really badly. She should of made them wear condoms. She should of only slept woth one of them or neither of them better yet. This is going to get so messy and scary and…things she can’t even think of yet.
She can’t let a person grow inside of her. She can’t be a mother. She clears her throat and answers. “I’m fine just pregnant.”
Some say she's an addict. Others say she's obsessed, most just call her crazy. The last person to call her crazy is currently nursing a broken nose and one hell of a shiner. Nate shouldn't have told her she has too many shoes, or that she really didn't need to buy those four pairs of pumps just because they came in four different colors. Sophie couldn't help it, and the only person who could get away with calling her an addict was herself. Sure she salivated every time she walked past an expensive pair of shoes, especially when they were on sale. Sophie knew a good pair of shoes when she saw them, so she usually bought them. She tried therapy, but she fired that therapist when they told her to sell her shoe collection. Sighing softly she turned away from the fridge and took the ice out to Nate.
Everything she does she does with grace. Hardison loved to watch Parker as she cautiously lowered herself into a room, unseen by even the best security teams. Her moves were deliberate, but smooth and flawless like that of a New York Ballet Company dancer. She is unhurried despite the tight time table, her movements quiet and peaceful, her face soft and alight with child like glee. Hardison loved watching his girlfriend break into a room, steal a priceless artifact and get out without being caught. Parker knew that Hardison loved watching her, so when she flipped over and snagged the artifact in the room, she made sure he could see the tiny dancers dancing around a T.A.R.D.I.S. on the bottom of her shoes.
Parker loved to watch Eliot cook. She asked him questions, why does that flavor go with this flavor, why do you do this instead of that, what do you do when you make a mistake and do this instead of that. All which Eliot answers with ease and calm. So one day when Parker starts to sing a country song, soft and low under her breath, she isn't surprised to find that Eliot starts to hum softly along with her words. Soon it becomes their Sunday morning thing, when they're not working a case. He cooks, answers her questions, until she runs out of questions, and ends up singing, quiet and sweet, while he hums the tune as he keeps cooking. No one questions why Parker has never sung before or why she doesn't sing in front of anyone but Eliot.
"No Parker, we can't own him. I'm sorry but we just can't." Eliot's tone left no room for arguing, but that didn't stop the blond thief from asking again.
"Eliot, she said I had to get to get the okay from you. Please? It's my money, it won't even be able to be connected to us, and Hardison said that he'd make sure of that. So please? Please can we buy him?"
"Hardison can make sure it never gets traced back to us?" The Blond nodded eagerly. "Fine. Go buy him, but do we have to keep his name?"
Parker laughed, "Eliot, the whole reason I want to buy him is because his name is 'Cruisin' for Leverage', what an awesome name for a sleek black racehorse, and Amy said his barn name could be "Leverage." She twirled away and went to make the call to Amy.
She loves this feeling, the spinny, blood rushing feeling of flying, of briefly careening through space with nothing but cable at her back and they ground below her. It lasts mere moments but those pure undiluted moments of speed make her free. It makes her a little crazy too but sane is for the middle aged and boring.
She longs to jump, race, careen, fly from building to building but sadly. She’s human and not radio active spider bitten. The cables glide and slide. She calculates speed distance and time all in her head. Her feet land safely on the ground. The head rush of careening down a building is over for now.
Parker has always believed he was psychic. He’s not really – it’s just that his brain works a lot faster than most people’s. The journey from Point A to Point B typically takes no time at all for him, and he can fully believe to somebody like Parker it looks like psychic powers at work.
The others don’t like that he won’t tell her the truth. Parker’s connection to the world they’re asking her to embrace is tenuous enough as it is without encouraging beliefs in things like super-powers. He understands their logic, but there’s a part of him buried deep inside that still mourns the loss of a child in his life, weeps for the capacity of the innocent to believe in the impossible.
There are a lot of times when Parker can’t sleep, wakes up at funny times or can’t even get to sleep at all. So she breaks into museums and doesn’t steal anything, just practices and gives herself something to do. She draws sketches of all of their clients, and then all of their marks, and sometimes when she’s really, really tired she draws sketches of her team too. Eliot with a guitar. Sophie grifting. Nate in his magician’s hat, sometimes with a rabbit. Hardison at his computer. Hardison with his orange squeeze. Sometimes, though, Hardison shows up and they talk, and she doesn’t have to stay away alone.
Sam’s in the bath when Nate gets home from work, shrieking in delight as he splashes in the water, and Nate watches Maggie watch their son and wonder how he could get so lucky. He misses these moments most days, too busy at work he’d rather get out of, so when he’s fortunate enough to witness these times he treasures it, locks the memory away in the safe place he reserves for his family. Sam used to hate bath time, when he was tiny. Now he loves it and Nate can’t understand how quickly the time has gone.
Eliot’s not entirely sure if the person-thing standing in front of him is human. It looks human, talks mostly like a human but there’s something in its eyes that makes Eliot think of that time in the Nebraska. Eliot’s usual opponents are human now but it hasn’t always been that way. He remembers weeks spent with Clint Barton, days spent with Jack Harkness, days of adventure and danger and times when he’d started to question his own sanity. And then he smirks and faces down this new opponent – it doesn’t matter whether it’s human or not, he can handle it.
Sam is deathly still, they say he isn’t comatose but you can’t prove that by Nathan Ford. Sam is sedated they say its different because he has brain activity. He watches him breathe unsteady and off time breaths. He’s only sedated he’s still there Nate tells himself as he prays to Saint Jude, to god, he says hail mary’s so fast they become a non sensical litinany of noise.
“It’s not a Coma! He is not dying and you will not take him do you hear me?” he yells and sam sleeps on unmoving,
The sedation is a last ditch comfort measure death is nipping at his child’s heels Nate knows that but it doesn’t mean he won’t fight it.
Quinn sits on the bench and watches as Coach Finstock makes the entire lacrosse team – including his brother – do suicide runs during practice. Isaac can handle these runs with ease now, Quinn notices – doesn’t even seem out of breath as he moves alongside his teammates in a way that can only be described as elegant. Quinn wonders what Isaac would be like in a fight, with him or with Eliot, and then he feels guilty – starting his brother on that way of life would be sending him towards his own suicide, towards dying in pain and violence and hate. Isaac deserves more.
He feels like a traitor not telling them about Moreau as they work towards taking the guy down. Keeping secrets, holding back the truth – Eliot thinks he understands better now where Sophie was coming from during the whole Blackpoole fiasco, although he still thinks his reasons are more legitimate. He’s betraying them to protect them – from Moreau, from himself, from the knowledge that he was once an even worse man than he is now. He’s not looking forward to them finding out – knows they have to – but he’ll handle being branded a traitor if it means he gets to keep them alive.
Quinn’s loyal to Eliot but he’s also loyal to SHIELD and it creates a dilemma for him when Clint Barton comes knocking. Does he go and help an old friend, or stay to hang out with a new one? Quinn’s never been good at making decisions, at placing his loyalties in one box or the other. It feels too final to pick one person, one route through life when he’d prefer to live forever with all of his options open. But Clint pressures and Eliot wonders and Quinn decides: the only person he’s going to be loyal to is himself
Nate wants Sam to get better with all of his heart, every bone in his body, every fibre of his being. He wants his son to see his eighteenth birthday, to go to college and fall in love. He doesn’t want to see Maggie fall apart any more, to feel himself tearing at the seams. He wants to walk into that hospital and see his son better, colour in his cheeks and a smile on his face. But Nate knows he won’t. Once maybe he would have been more optimistic but he doesn’t believe in miracles anymore.
It is delivered by a non descript man inside a non descript manila envelope. He opens it and even knowing what’s coming doesn’t prepare him for the pain lingering in his heart like an icy jagged ache.
“Petition for dissoliusion of marriage made Maragret Grace Collins from Nathan Samuel Ford.”
He scrawls his name carefully despite his shaking hands. He dates it. Two day’s shy of their tenth anniversary. He wonders briefly if he could of done anything differently or if he even want too. Nope.
He folds the papers carefully and hands them back to the currier. “Take them to her.”
He downs the rest of his drink and pours another.
017 FUNCTION: (Submitted before the deadline, but not transferred: http://teamgrifter.livejournal.com/213689.html?thread=4023993#t4023993)
This sort of social function confuses Eliot – there’s too many people pretending to be something they’re not, too many people putting on airs and graces they don’t need to be liked because they think they do. It confuses Parker more though, he sees, as she looks around and takes in the various sights around them. And so Eliot puts on a brave face, acts confident because he’s good at pretending too, and he can help Parker with this, he can. And maybe in the process he’ll end up helping himself as well. Maybe the next social function will be easier.
She’s not exactly sure what she was expecting because Parker has never had a baby, but it sure as hell wasn’t this.
“Holy, hell this hurts.” She groans. Eliot wipes her brow. “Just breathe Darlin’”
“How about you can it.” She snipes before another contraction takes over.
“What’s feel like Mama?” Hardison asks.
She glares at him. “imagine having your testicles removed through your nose then multiply that by ten.”
“Right I’ll be quiet.”
Several contractions later.
“Okay, I’m past the point of being angry at the both of you for possibly putting me in this state. I am just tired, please help me.”
Hardison goes to get the doctor.
“I tried it your way Eliot I can’t do it not anymore.”
“sixteen hours of labor without a thing you should be really proud Parker.” He kissed her forehead.
Quinn had intended to live dangerously until the day he died (probably young. His plans had included never settling down in one place and never spending more than a month sleeping with the same person – it was kinder, that way, he figured because when he died he wouldn’t leave anyone behind. He never thought he’d give up the hitter way of life for something different, for someone who had somehow managed to get to know him, break through his walls. For Eliot, though, he just might be ready to quit. It scares and thrills him all at the same time.
“What are you two watching?” Sophie asks, as she walks up behind Eliot and Quinn. The two hitters jump and Eliot reaches hastily for the remote, changing the channel.
“Nothing much,” Quinn answers, “just channel surfing.”
“Really? You both looked awfully involved for channel surfing.”
She knows what they were watching, of course, had recognised the show that was playing on the screen, but she’s not going to make it easy on them. “Come on, confess, what had you both so engrossed?”
Eliot mumbles something and Quinn looks like he’s caught between being embarrassed and amused. Sophie smirks.
Quinn can’t stay still. It’s something Eliot’s noticed about him since they started… hanging out. When Quinn sits down to eat he taps his foot against the floor. When Quinn gets ready in the morning he dances in front of the mirror, toothbrush hanging out of his mouth. When Quinn kisses, he runs his fingers through Eliot’s hair or moves his thumb up and down Eliot’s hip. When Eliot corners him in the kitchen one day, pushes him up against the counter, he doesn’t mean to ask Quinn to move in with him, but he asks all the same. Quinn doesn’t move.
Eliot’s struggling to talk today. Some days are easier than others, he can tell the truth and he can banter and he can make conversation about subjects that don’t even matter and about the ones that do, too. But today everything’s coming out all wrong, he’s snapping and insulting and staying silent when people ask the questions that cut deeper. He manages to hold out until two in the afternoon before he gives in and just leaves, excuses himself from hanging out with the team, and heads pack to the apartment he shares with Quinn. Quinn understands the need for silence.
042 LAST WISH
Sophie dreams about London sometimes – not about the London Eye or Big Ben or the shopping streets filled with people, but about the house she grew up in and about the restaurant her mother used to take her to, about her London. Sophie’s dream London is as it was before – before she left, before she changed – but it’s tinged with sadness too. The food at the restaurant tastes bland, her uncle doesn’t sit on his usual bench in the park. When Sophie wakes up from these dreams, she’s filled with regret and longing but she never goes back.
Craig and Tara are a perfect match for each other, Sophie thinks, although she refuses to take any of the blame if things go wrong because it’s not like she actually knows Craig. She knows Tara. Tara is smart and funny and a hard person to get to know at first. Craig is charming and the type of man who might just be willing to wait, but will also go along with hair-brained schemes and have a whole lot of fun doing it. They’re both talented, beautiful and wild and it’s one match Sophie doesn’t mind helping along a bit.
The first time Sophie meets Eames she judges him way too quickly, sees his awful fashion sense and the way he flirts with everything in sight and decides he’s so not good enough for her best friend. Arthur deserves better.
The first time Sophie sees Eames grift she’s grudgingly impressed but she doesn’t admit it.
The first time she tells Arthur to find someone better he storms out, furious, and doesn’t contact her for a month.
The first time she sees Eames patch Arthur up, gentle and murmuring tender words, Sophie feels ashamed at herself for not seeing the truth straight away.
She watches the alcoholic – Tom or something – during their group sessions, and wonders what happened to him to get to this point. He’s in denial or something and he argues with the chick with the expensive boots almost as if he knows her. He gets the shakes a couple of times and has to take a break, doesn’t join in during charades and she watches him, trying to decide whether he’s anti-social or in pain or maybe a bit of both. Whatever, though, he’s still a lot better off than her. At least he gets visitors.
084 THE MORNING AFTER
“So,” Quinn says, walking into the kitchen part of the apartment, “that happened.”
Eliot glances over at his bedroom, the rumpled sheets. “We knew it would eventually.”
“Oh, did we?” Quinn’s amusement is tinged with just a hint of uncertainty.
“Isn’t that what we’ve been building up to for a while?”
Quinn nods, “so now it’s happened, what do we do next?”
“We could chalk it up as a one-off.”
“Do you want to?”
“No,” Eliot answers immediately, not needing to think, “I’d like to have more morning afters than this.”
Quinn smiles, “let’s make our first one count, then.”
Neal Caffrey observes Eliot Spencer from a distance as the hitter interacts with Neal’s cousin. Quinn’s told him a lot about Eliot but he’s struggled to believe him up until now, couldn’t understand what Quinn meant when he’d said he and Eliot were a perfect match. Neal has to admit though, seeing them together, that Quinn was right. Eliot’s patient with Quinn, doesn’t seem to mind his badgering. Quinn makes Eliot smile, seems to know when he has to back off. Neal approves and he’s going to make sure Quinn knows. Pulling on his hat, he goes to introduce himself
Eliot knows Clint Barton from years ago, hasn’t seen him in years either when Barton turns up on his doorstep and says SHIELD needs help. Eliot can’t say no; he owes Clint Barton his life, and the thrill working with SHIELD gives him is till second to none. There’s a condition, though: he has to be allowed to tell his team where he’s going. Clint pulls a face, tries to negotiate, and eventually accepts defeat. It’s only when Eliot realises he has no idea how he’s going to explain the concept of SHIELD to his new family that he thinks maybe Clint didn’t lose after all.
Eliot thinks Quinn’s little brother is okay, not that annoying for a teenager who has been through an awful lot from what Eliot’s gathered. Isaac glares at Quinn a little, which is understandable in Eliot’s eyes – he likes to glare at Quinn a lot too. Quinn and Isaac catch up, and the three of them talk about their lives. It’s only when the three of them go hiking and Isaac trips, grazes his knees and starts bleeding and then just… stops, that Eliot thinks maybe there’s more to Quinn’s brother than meets the eye, because bleeding doesn’t usually go backwards.
096 WRITER'S CHOICE
097 WRITER'S CHOICE
098 WRITER'S CHOICE
Peggy worries about Alice a lot, more than she worries about any of her other friends. She had done even before she’d found out about Alice’s secret life and met her friend Marge - Alice always seems so unsure of what she’s doing – but the worry increases after. She sees news stories of crimes and wonders whether Alice is involved in dealing with them, she goes on a date with Hurley and wonders whether Alice’s way of life will ever let her settle down with someone. Peggy hopes it will, because Alice deserves to be happy.
099 WRITER'S CHOICE
Quinn’s met Eliot before, even though Eliot doesn’t remember him. Why would he? Eliot had been Moreau’s favourite, hadn’t needed to mix with the other people in his employ to get information or protection or companionship. Quinn had taken notice of Eliot though, even then. The quiet confidence he’d exuded, the pain in his eyes sometimes when he thought no-one was looking. Quinn never tells Eliot any of this, though, because how can he admit that he’d taken the job for Sterling with the sole purpose of checking how Eliot was doing? How can he be that honest?
0100 WRITER'S CHOICE
Shelley and Quinn meet up to discuss Eliot sometimes. Eliot has no idea they do it – if he did, they’d both be in serious trouble. Quinn enjoys these chats enormously, because he gets to hear stories about the hitter and because Shelley’s a pretty fun guy too. He tells some stories of his own, as well. Stories of himself as he used to be and as he is now. Shelley seems to enjoy the stories that involve Eliot the most, though, and Quinn sometimes wonders if there was ever anything there before realising it doesn’t matter. He has Eliot now.