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the best thing we do

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When Sophie goes to get her bag out of the back room of the brewpub, what she finds is this:

Hardison is on the floor, leaning up against the counter, with a sleeping Eliot tucked into the vee of his legs, and Parker settled on Eliot's lap. The hacker and thief have video game controllers in their hands, Hardison shooting zombies while Parker shoots him. For once they're both silent, the game on mute, Hardison making sure that his movements don't jostle the hitter lying against him.

The last job was rough. Sophie, Hardison and Parker were all grifting, Nate narrowly avoided another run-in with Sterling, and Eliot was drugged to the gills by the mark's angry aunt, a frail old woman whom he hadn’t wanted to hurt. It looks like the sedatives haven’t quite worn off yet.

Clearly Sophie’s been standing there too long, because Hardison looks up and starts waving her away, scowling. Parker just grins, leaning forward as she starts shooting Hardison’s avatar relentlessly.

“Sorry,” Sophie mouths at Hardison, tiptoeing across the room to grab her purse.

Hardison’s still waving at her to leave, and the motions must be a bit too enthusiastic, because Eliot shifts and starts to open his eyes, squinting. Immediately Hardison brings his arms around to hold Eliot tighter against his chest, and whispers, “Just go back to sleep, baby, it’s just Parker whuppin’ my ass.”

“Course she is,” Eliot mutters, but his eyes are closing again and his head’s tucked in beneath Hardison’s chin and Sophie swears it’s the cutest thing she’s ever seen.

Hardison points at the door, mouthing leave at her, and she nods, pausing briefly to take a picture. “I will find that,” Hardison hisses, “I can delete that, you think I can’t hack your phone, I can hack anything,” but it’s an empty threat and they both know it.


Nate’s waiting for her in the dining area, shuffling his feet and checking his watch. “Don’t be so dramatic,” Sophie says, holding her phone out. “Look at this.”

She shows him the photo of the three of them. The lighting’s poor and it’s a bit blurry, but it’s obvious that Parker’s happy and Hardison’s content and Eliot – well, he wouldn’t be sleeping if he didn’t think they were safe, drugged or not.

“Yeah, it’s cute,” Nate says. “Yeah… yeah, they’re gonna be okay.”

They’re gonna be okay.