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Lighter Than A Fistful of Dollars

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"I've been here too long," says Parker into the empty air.

The bed and the cereal she's always meant to leave behind, and she keeps her clothes elsewhere — some with each member of the team, some in a locker at the bus station, some in an equipment locker at her gym (unknown to the staff) — but where did all of this equipment come from? How did she get so much cash? Why hasn't she converted to bearer bonds or stocks or at least gold?

She can carry everything that's necessary. She's not so far gone that her pack of necessities is too heavy to carry on her back. It's not even unwieldy: she's taken both heavier and more awkward bundles across multiple rooftops. But it will show: a young blonde walking through Boston with far too much stuff for a tourist, and not enough dirty for a homelessness person. People will not just look, they'll see her.

She dithers most of the morning, but decides that the only hope for it is to move in the middle of the night. It's not that she'll be truly in the dark — even in the industrialized, underutilized warehouse district she is leaving, and the burntout neighborhood where she is going, there are too many lights in an urban landscape for her to be hidden by anything like real darkness. But there will be fewer people out to look, and those that are out will be more likely to be inebriated and distrustful of their own perceptions. It's a better plan than staying here, where people (her team, but still people) have been, a better plan than leaving behind the wonderful ropes and hooks and claws she has nested down with, in the year she's let herself stay in one place.

She spends the afternoon munching idly at puffed rice and sweetened corn, lounging on the bed. It's a good bed, better than she's had in a while. She will miss it, miss the places where it conforms perfectly to her own shape. Then a knock comes, a loud clang-clang. She rolls off the bed and flies across the floor, to the wall, up through the roof.

She walks toward the front of the building and looks down. Hardison and Eliot are at her door. She doesn't see anyone behind them, just a gleaming Lamborghini and a dirty F-150. "Why are you here?" she says.

Hardison jumps a little. Eliot doesn't. Hardison says, "Thought we'd help you move."

Eliot tosses her something. She catches the keys reflexively. She frowns. She knows that helping someone move is nice, but she doesn't want them to know where she lives. That was the point.

Eliot frowns the way that completely doesn't mean he's angry. "We pack the truck. You drive to your new lair and unpack, and bring the car back to Hardison's tomorrow."

"You've known me too long," says Parker, but she's smiling as she leaps off the roof, aiming straight for Eliot.