Title: Mistletoes - Nice To Have You Here
Author: The Artful Dodger / dodger_sister
Category: Fluff, Friendship, Humor, Holiday
Characters/Pairing: Eliot/Parker(ish) & Hardison
Summary: Parker is Eliot’s Secret Santa and Eliot is disgruntled about the whole thing.
Word Count: 1,077 words.
Date Written: 12/27/14
Disclaimer: Leverage is not mine. I wrote this fic, just for fun. It’s the holidays, don’t sue!
Feedback: Bring it. dodger_sister / TheArtofDodger@comcast.net
Author's Notes: Part of my Mistletoes ‘verse, all written as holiday gifts for my Flisties. I had several people give me back-up prompts for Leverage, so I decided to combine a few of them and run with it. Because I love a good Eliot/Parker friendship fic. Who doesn’t?!
Dedication: For all my Leverage-loving peeps! Happy Holidays!
Everyone had a job to do for Christmas Eve dinner. Hardison’s was to secure the tree. Instead, he made one with some virtual reality thing-a-ma-do, which was going to make Parker’s job even harder, as hers was to secure the ornaments.
“Dammit, Hardison! You can’t hang tinsel from an imaginary tree!”
“It’s not imaginary, it’s virtual. And I can make virtual tinsel.”
“So my job is done?” Parker asked. “Yippee. I’m going to go get Eliot’s present.” Then her eyes went as wide as saucers and her hands flew over her mouth.
“Secret Santa is suppose to be secret, Parker,” Eliot grumbled.
“Oops,” Parker said.
“Don’t even worry about it, girl,” Hardison told her.
Eliot sighed. At least he could count on Sophie to get her job done right - securing the place settings and centerpiece for the table. And Nate, whose job was literally just to not secure them any more actual jobs until after Christmas. Eliot figured that would be chore enough for the man.
Eliot went back to his job then, which was all the cooking.
It was quiet for awhile - only the soft sound of Hardison’s video game playing in the other room - and then Parker came back, traipsing though the front door wearing a ridiculous stocking cap with a mistletoe hanging off the top and swaying back and forth in her eyes.
She sidled up behind Eliot in that sneaky thief-like way she had and when Eliot turned around, she was grinning at him with a look that almost seemed evil.
“Like my hat?” she asked.
“No,” Eliot told her and shoved her gently away. “Don’t even think about it.”
Parker sprouted a full-on pout and went off, hanging her head in dismay.
When Eliot went to get the spices from the up-high cupboard, he almost punched Parker square in the face. She was hiding there, curled in on herself in a way that only Parker could do, and when he opened the cupboard door, she yelled, “Surprise!” and leaned down to try and kiss him.
“Dammit, Parker! I could have killed you.”
“Kisses won’t kill you,” she said miserably.
“But they might kill you,” he told her and shut her back up in the cupboard.
When the apartment got too hot, Eliot went to open the balcony doors and let some of the oven’s heat drift out onto the snow.
Parker was there, waiting on the rooftop it seemed, as she sprang down on her wire, upside down no less, and tried to grab Eliot around the head.
Eliot grabbed her first, spun her around until she was dizzy and then let go. Her stupid mistletoe hat never came off, not the whole time she was spinning and yelling in delight.
Eliot went inside muttering under his breath about crazy little thieves.
When Eliot went to take the ham out of the oven, he half expected Parker to be in there alongside it, roasting away and waiting to pounce.
Instead, when he turned around to set the ham on the table, she sprang out from under it and latched onto his right ankle with her teeth. Eliot kicked out with his other foot and collided with something hard.
Parker came out from under the table then, mistletoe hat crooked on her head, and holding one of her hands in pain. She gave him such a look that made him think he had just kicked a kitten.
Which, he supposed, he kind of had.
He sat at the far end of the table from her during Christmas Eve dinner. She gave him a glaring look when she sat down and removed her hat - “No hats at the dinner table,” she told them - and Eliot wondered if she might try to sneak into his place at night and kiss him then. Or kill him. She looked like she might possibly try to kill him as well.
After dinner they went into the living room to exchange gifts and Eliot let out a sigh, because Parker seemed to have forgotten all about her stupid hat.
He took the Christmas card from her with a polite smile and when she grinned at him with such delight, he couldn’t help but let his own smile bloom into something more. She was a hard one to stay disgruntled with, he’d give her that.
The front of the Christmas card had a snowman and an angel ice-skating together and read, ‘For my friend on Christmas.’
On the inside there was an oddly colored note-card, that looked almost like a hologram, though he could discern no image on it. Eliot held it up and tilted it this way and that way and then froze as soon as the image came into focus.
It was a mistletoe.
He moved as fast as he could, but it wasn’t fast enough for the likes of Parker, and she was on him while the mistletoe hologram was still held high over his head.
Her lips were softer than he would have expected from someone as sharp-edged as Parker. She seemed so small to him, balancing there on his lap, that he instinctively reached up one hand to hold her in place, let his fingers span out across her back. He felt rough and worn against her, but tipped his head up and met her halfway, let himself sigh into the kiss with defeat and what holiday cheer Eliot ever had in him - which was maybe more than most would expect.
She was glowing from the holographic tree lights behind her and her eyes twinkled with something that looked less like a death threat and more like love when she pulled back.
“Merry Christmas, Eliot,” she whispered.
“Merry Christmas, Parker,” he whispered back and thought it wasn’t the worst present he had ever received.
Parker giggled and jumped off his lap, proclaiming, “And merry Christmas to all!”
Eliot rolled his eyes, but let his smile stay in place for a good long while.
It wasn’t until he went to bed that night that he realized she had also slipped two tickets to the next MMA fight into his pocket as well.
He thought about it, what taking Parker to a fight would be like, and that slow, soft smile crept right back in place.
“Okay, then,” he said to himself. “Merry Christmas, Parker.”
“Merry Christmas,” came the reply from somewhere on his bedroom ceiling.