mystizan: (Leverage: Family)
[personal profile] mystizan
 This was done for[ profile] leverageland  's Stay Challenge (write a fic between 100 & 750 words based on the prompt "stay"). You don't watch Leverage & are beginning to feel this is my shameless attempt to suck u into the fandom? Whatever r u talking abt? *halo*
Rating: G
Word Count: 735
Fandom: Leverage
Spoilers: If you know about Sam, ur good.
The Anniversary Job

Stay – n. something used to support or steady a thing; prop; brace.

Nate sighed as he poured himself some scotch. The anniversary of Sam’s death was always hard. He looked up: it sounded suspiciously like there were people at his door, whispering heatedly. He finished his drink, grabbed a rolling pin and moved to where he could see the door but not be seen.

The door swung open soundlessly-if he hadn’t been watching it he wouldn’t have been aware of the intrusion-and he tensed before hearing familiar voices.

“Man I can’t believe you don’t have a spare key. What kind of landlord doesn’t have a key?” Eliot glared over his shoulder.

“Hey,” Hardison protested. “Man deserves some privacy.”

“I don’t see what the big deal is. 2.5 seconds. New record.” Parker smiled, clearly pleased.

“Why are you guys here?”

“What are you doing with the rolling pin, Nate?”

“My question first,” Nate countered, embarrassed. Truth be told Eliot was the only person he knew who could do actual lethal damage with a kitchen utensil.

“Parker wanted barbecue ribs and lasagna and I left all the stuff to make that in your kitchen…”

Eliot trailed off as Nate raised a skeptical eyebrow. His kitchen had cereal, Orange Squeeze and alcohol.

“Yea, Nate. I’m craving. Deal with it.” Parker plopped down on the sofa and Eliot headed to the kitchen where, miraculously, the makings of an actual meal were present.

“And I wanted to watch the St. Lucian netball team’s practice match and only you have the complete sports package and this awesome multi-screen set up.”

“You watch netball?”

Hardison managed to look affronted.

“I introduced it to him, Nate.” Sophie said.

“I am more than a techie ok? I have other interests.”

“In netball?” The skepticism in Nate’s voice was rolling off him in rivers. Pretty soon they’d need to mop it up. Nate was willing to bet that Hardison had found out about netball and St. Lucia on Google while on the way up from the bar. And he didn’t have a better screen set up at home? Somehow he doubted that.

“Yea. Look man,” Hardison offered him a cold beer. “Have a seat and we’ll explain it to you.”

Sophie pulled him to her side and surreptitiously rubbed soothing circles on his hand.

“Hey Nate, while I’m indulging Parker, you want me to make paella?”

Before Nate could answer, Hardison jumped in. “Ooh yea, man! Yours is the best paella I’ve ever-”

“Is ‘Nate’ your name, huh? We come here to show support for-”

At the sharp glance from Sophie, Eliot paused and amended what he was going to say.“-the St. Lucians and you’re telling me what you want.”

“Hey man, who got us the cable hook up?” Hardison cupped his hand by his ear. “Who? ME, that’s right. I want paella. Besides, you know it’s Nate’s favourite. I don’t know why you got to be so cranky all the time.”

“So lemme get this straight: Hardison has a newfound love for netball, Parker has a craving for lasagna and ribs and Eliot just happens to have the ingredients for my favourite dish in a kitchen whose most substantial offering only a few hours ago was Cheerios?”

“Yes, Nate,” Sophie said in a slightly annoyed tone. “Eliot that’s a yes on the paella. Now Nate, if you’d be quiet, I’d like to hear the stats on these St. Lucians.”

“Me too. I’m alllllllll about sports.” Parker said in the tone of voice that meant it was what she had been told to say.

Nate would bet that she was sitting there hypothetically planning how to rob the Natural History Museum of its new gem display but he decided not to fight it. He settled into a sport he never thought he’d watch, joined in the friendly banter and ate surrounded by former criminals. For the first time, the anniversary of Sam’s death didn’t depress him and it was solely due to the presence of a hacker, a grifter, a retrieval specialist and a thief, who literally would not take his locked door for an answer. He had been right: sometimes bad guys are the only good guys you get. And the only ones you really need.

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