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The Love of Money

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Parker frowned at the empty money clip on the kitchen table. She waved her hand over it and more money appeared. Removing the cash, her frown only etched deeper into her face. Trying to figure out why the never-ending supply of possibly magically generated money wasn’t doing anything for her, she tidied up the pile.

“Babe, why is there a stack of roughly $100k sitting on the table we eat our meals?” Hardison asked, walking into the kitchen to grab a bottle of soda from the fridge and stopping behind her to lean his head over her shoulder.

“Because I pocketed a magic money clip from that jerk at the gala last night during our reconnaissance,” Parker said.

“Magic? Or is it just tech we don’t understand?” Eliot asked, joining them.

“Pretty sure this,” Parker waved her hand over the clip on the table causing more cash to appear, “is magic.”

“What?” Eliot started to ask and then just nodded like of course Parker had found a magical object that made money out of thin air. “Damnit Parker. Why do you have to go and steal magic shit?”

“Or how? Is this cash missing from anywhere?” Hardison moved to his laptop sitting on the counter and started typing away.

“I was bored. You heard how he just droned on and on about his boat.” Parker said. “Besides, it’s lame. It’s not even fun.”

“Not fun?” Hardison said, incredulous. “Money pops outta thin air. How is that not fun?”

“Well, there’s no effort. It just happens. No lasers. No safe to crack. Not even a lock to pick.” She shrugged.

“So are we gonna give it back? Pass it on? Like the soup kitchen down the block alone could do a lotta good.” Hardison reasoned.

“No. Well the cash, yeah sure,” Eliot said. “But it’s an artifact. It’s dangerous. All because Parker ain’t acting weird, doesn’t mean it wouldn’t hurt whoever has it in the long run.”
“Why does artifact sound familiar?” Hardison asked, frowning. “And there’s no money trail. Everything about this is hinky.”

“Because it’s that not-so-secret warehouse full of cool stuff in South Dakota. That government one that we thought of doing a job on but decided it was safer to not,” Parker said.

“By ‘we’ you mean Eliot,” Hardison said, smiling a little, remembering the sex after that argument probably.

“Damnit Hardison. We don’t need the Holy Grail as a display in the brew pub.” Eliot scowled.

“Funny you should mention the Warehouse,” a lady said, standing in their doorway, British accent crisp and impeccably dressed.

“Oh hell no. Shady secret government agent can’t even knock. That’s just rude woman,” Hardison crossed his arms and rolled his eyes. Beside Parker, Eliot uncrossed his arms and loosened his stance.

“HG Wells, why ain’t I surprised to see you?” Eliot asked.

“Oh I bet it’s something to do with being very distinctive,” HG said, eyes twinkling.

Eliot made a move to step forward and Parker stilled him with a hand on his side.

“You really shouldn’t come into someone’s home uninvited and be rude,” Parker said. “I’m pretty sure that’s a rule.”

“Forgive my bad manners,” HG said, looking not sorry at all.

“Are we gonna let her walk out of here with the neat magical thing?” Hardison asked no one in particular. “Wait. The author? From like a century ago?”

“Did you want to take it all the way to the middle of nowhere? We’ve got an actual case to work,” Parker dismissed. “We’ll be stealing more money anyway.”

“Excellent choice, love,” HG said as Parker tossed her the clip which she dropped into a small silver bag that gave off a prompt display of purple sparks.

Parker was almost surprised as she hadn’t been entirely sure that HG was actually working for the Warehouse currently. That HG was still very much a thief like them if the warnings Sophie gave her were true. What would Parker care anyway? Even if HG was kind of cute and would probably make a good grifter.

She tabled the idea for later. Their trio was pretty damn unstoppable after all.

“Well, I thank you for your cooperation,” HG tipped an imaginary hat. “I’ll see myself back out.” She sauntered out, heels clicking down the hall.

Parker waited until Hardison broke the silence, indicating that HG was entirely off the premises.
“Would you care to explain to me why we gave a known Time Traveling Thief an object that just makes cash?” He asked.

“Because you want to steal something else,” Eliot said, giving her a smile.

“Actually borrow, but the object I need is in The Library,” Parker beamed. “I think Excalibur would be happy to be bait for this sleazebag we’re trying to take down.”

“Of course The Library is real too.” Hardison threw his hands up.

Parker stood, whispering in Eliot’s ear, “He’s never gonna be ready for your space adventures,” and grinned when Eliot laughed.