I do not own Leverage. ”Who knows, maybe poking at a bruise is Parker's way of making sure if I was okay. If I growled and snapped as usual we were fine. It wasn't her fault. They blindsided all of us and it was kinda nice knowing I wasn't the only one. So I poked her bruise, we're good. And if that's Hardison knocking at my door I may punch him. Seriously.”
Before I can bark out a what a small voice below me carefully says trick or treat. Heather. The little whisp of a kid across the hall. It's Halloween but four in the afternoon. Worn dress and torn strip of yellow paper taped in a circle on her head.
“I'm sorry Sweet pea. I don't have any candy.”
“Okay. Thank you Mr. Elliot.” Heather says turning around to her apartment door propped open by one of her mom's rain boots.
“Heather, what's going on?” Oh that hurts, door frame to a bruise on the way down to a crouch. Gotta get eye level with Heather.
“Mom said that you were a good guy and I could go to you if I needed something and it's Halloween and you're supposed to go trick or treating and get candy. So I put on my princess dress and made a crown. Now I'm going back inside. Thank you Mr. Elliot.”
I'm a good guy? Where did that come from? Oh, stupid thug muggers. “I thought your mom worked in the afternoon.”
Tape having given up on holding her crown together, the yellow paper started to slide off her head, “Her boss said work more or don't work at all.”
“When did he say this?”
“Monday on the phone. Momma was making dinner so I held the phone for her. Then we brought dinner to you cause Momma said you must have had an accident at work then she went to work again. Remember you had crutches and I said he needs grilled cheese and soup. So momma made you dinner. I'm sorry we couldn't make cookies.” Heather rambled, obviously upset about not getting to make cookies to share.
“Dinner hit the spot, it was really tasty. Thank's for sharing. Is your mom at work now?” It was good and I didn't feel up to cooking after those nine brainless feel no pain thugs all at once.
“Mmm Hmm.” Heather hummed picking her crown off the floor. “I'm supposed to play in my room and not open the door to any trick or treaters. But it's Halloween and that's why I knocked on your door.”
“How about you and I go Trick or Treating Sweat Pea?” That look of joy on Heather's face, completely worth the hot soak I was going to take tonight.
“Really? Let's go!”
She's almost to the apartment door down the hall. “Hold on a minute, we need to leave a note for your mom and do you think you need a proper crown?”
Holding open the door she walks under my arm, kicking the boot out of the way I go into their apartment. “You go find a bag to hold your candy and I'll work on a note for your mom to let her know where we are.”
Keeping one ear on Heather, I pull the phone out of my pocket. “Where are you?”
“Who's this? People usually start with a hello or how are you? I'm at Nate's and I'm about to start a Doctor Who marathon.”
“Record it or do what ever it is so its in your computer. I need your help with something,”
“What ever man. Need me to call Nate and everyone?”
“Not Nate. Get candy and make sure that everyone in the building has some for Trick or Treaters.”
“Trick or Treaters? It's easier to just buy your own candy Elliot.”
“Hardison. Just do it and call Parker.”
He will not stop talking sometimes. If Parker has been Trick or Treating before I'll be surprised.
“I pulled the cover off my pillow case. Do you think that will work?” Heather asked, pillowcase streaming behind her.
“That's perfect. Now you need the perfect crown. You wait right here and I'll go get it.” Leaving Heather to pull on her coat. Where did I stick that thing? Sapphires and Rubies, it will match her dress. I'd rather get paid in cash, but this thing is coming in handy tonight.
“Ohhh that's pretty Mr. Elliot.” Her eyes almost roll back into her head as they swivel watching me put the crown on her head.
“I don't know what you got planned Elliot man, but everyone has a bowl of candy. I called Parker.”
“I'm right here. What's going on? ” Appearing out of no where, that's Parker.
I can feel Heather holding tight to my pants, making it tough to bend my knee. Hardison and Parker. Two of the few people I can trust. Come on up here Heather so I can introduce you. “We are going Trick or Treating.”
“I haven't gone Trick or Treating. How do we do it?”
Sometimes I hate being right. “Heather will you show Parker how to Trick or Treat? I brought her a bag so you each can have one.”
Parker looks at the bag then me, like she's questioning mine and the bag's sanity. Heather's glowing with excitement as she grabs Parkers' hand heading into the building explaining how this candy thing works on the way.
“Ahh that's sweet of you man.”
“Tell Nate or Sophie about this and I will soak your computers in your orange soda.” Sweet or not I got a reputation to maintain.
“Heather I'm home. Oh, hello Mr. Elliot.”
Before I can explain why I'm in her kitchen Heather runs to her mom. “Mom we went Trick or Treating.”
“And I'm returning the soup and sandwich you brought me, thank's for it by the way. The company I work for is looking to hire someone. They're picky and need someone to do general cleaning, mail checking, and plant watering. I hear it pays really great and the hours are when you want to work, and they wont mind if Heather tags along.” She's a good mom in a crap job, and if I have to rent some fake apartments and make a mess in each for her to clean them, I'm going to make sure she has a better job.
“Thank you Mr. Elliot. I don't know who you work for. I figured it was a construction company.”
“Leverage and Consultants. We do a little of this and a little of that.”