may, december - Leverage
Crack. Utter. Crack. Beta:
Polgara probably saved me from jumping off a roof because of this one.Prompt:
jedibuttercup asked for Leverage, Eliot, Anything at all.
Eliot hates Sophie.
This is all her fault. She’s the one who left them without a grifter. She’s the one that is forcing them to try and fill her spot, to do her job. Except, he thinks, eyeing the mark subtly, maybe this wouldn’t be her kind of gig anyway.
Eliot can’t really see Sophie being the right person to reel in Ella Stein, a newly widowed woman on the wrong side of fifty. With grabby hands.
He twists away from her quick little fingers aiming for his butt again
and thinks that maybe, no, this really isn’t Sophie’s fault.
But he can still hate her and he definitely
Does Eliot look like a pretty boy to you? Does he? Does he look like someone an aging society bitch sinks her fangs into in her down time? Huh? No.
He does not. And do you know who looks like a pretty boy rich women want to pinch in the ass?
Hardison does. Only, the last time they let him out of cyber space and into the real world he almost got killed because he was laying it on too thick. And with a terrible, terrible accent.
He should be the one avoiding the grabby hands. Not Eliot. His butt hurts, for Christ’s sake!
“Andrew!” Ella drawls, practically hanging off him. He turns his head, smiles at her with too much teeth.
He really, really hates Hardison right now. Possibly with the fires of a thousand suns and some radioactive waste.
“Andrew, darling,” the bitch whines at his shoulder. Definitely radioactive waste.
In Eliot’s ear, Parker chortles.
Eliot hates her, too. And Nate, for taking this job in the first place. And God, for not striking Ella Stone down with a bolt of lightning at the age of five and sparing the world of her simpering, whining, stealing, cheating, objectifying ways.
“Man,” Hardison says, “You do know that you’re Andrew, don’t you?”
Eliot takes a deep breath. He tells himself that all he has to do is distract Ella for ten more minutes until Parker and Hardison have cracked her safe and cleared out all her accounts. They will give the money and art she convinced her late husband to leave to her back to his children, his rightful heirs and hopefully, they’ll find some sort of proof that she forced Edgar Rutherford to change his will only a week before his death.
Then everyone will go home happy and Eliot will take an hour long shower to rid himself of the obnoxious scent of an entire bottle of Chanel Number 5.
Ten more minutes, he tells himself.
It doesn’t help.
So he tries something else. “I will kill you,” he hisses at Hardison, very matter of fact. That does help. Marginally.
“I beg your pardon, sweet cheeks?”
Parker’s laughing again.
“All of you,” he adds. “With paper clips. Slowly
Then he smiles again, tries to pry the mark of his arm, which is slowly going numb and says, “I said this heat is killing me. Aren’t you hot? You look hot.”
She laughs, high-pitched, and he’d compare it to a hyena, only that wouldn’t be fair to hyenas everywhere. Then she releases his arm only to slap it. “Of course, Andrew, thank you. Would you like to go inside?”
No, he would not like to go inside with her. Inside is closer to her bedroom and the sofa than outside by the pool, which is already way too close to said bedroom and sofa. Ella Stein likes her men old, sick and rich, but she likes her lovers young, virile, pretty and dumb. The better to wrap them around her finger, use them for their bodies and then dump them mercilessly.
At this point, Eliot is convinced that she’s a vampire in disguise.
“Uh,” he stammers, trying to come off insecure instead of homicidal. “Sure?”
Her grin shows off her gums and crooked teeth. Jesus. The woman just inherited several million dollars. Couldn’t she get her teeth fixed? And possibly the rest of her, too? She’s all wrinkled, cancer-tan skin, shoved into too tight clothes. Fifty thinking she’s twenty. Her late husband must have been blessedly blind to marry… that.
He’s going to need more than an hour in the shower, he thinks as she grabs his arm again
and bodily hauls him into her nest, pardon, house
“Parker?” he hisses questioningly as they round the pool. He’s not talking to Hardison. Possibly, ever again.
He hears her breathing, slightly annoyed and then, “Five minutes. Don’t rush me.”
Right. “Work faster.”
“Eliot.” That’s Nate. Good to know he didn’t fall asleep while Eliot is busy getting violated. “Just talk to her about… knitting, or something.”
Eliot hears his own voice asking a totally inane question about the pool and uses the cover of Ella’s blathering to hiss, “My grandmother
“You have a grandmother?” Hardison. “Man, are you saying you were not
bred in a lab? Way to go and ruin all my theories.”
Paper clips. Many, many paper clips. He’s going to unbend them and use the pointy ends to -
“Hardison,” Parker snaps. From the sound of it, she’s abandoning the safe in favor of ranting at their hacker. Eliot wants to whine loudly. “Don’t be stupid. Or course Eliot wasn’t bred in a lab. He has a belly button.”
Silence on the comms.
“A belly button,” the thief repeats, like it’s the most obvious thing in the world. “You need to be born to have a belly button. Eliot has a belly button. I do, too. See?”
“Parker?” Hardison again, sounding a bit shrill. “Parker! Put your shirt back on! Parker
“… something to drink?”
They’ve reached the living room and he only catches the end of the question, but he smiles anyway and nods. “Sure. That would be awesome.”
He blinks in a way he hopes is cute, but probably comes off as twitchy. The bitch nods, smiles back and wham
, whacks him on the ass. He jumps and maybe, possibly, probably, certainly, he eeps like a little girl.
Hardison wisely swallows his chortle. Well, he tries to, anyway.
The bitch laughs her goddamn hyenas-would-cry laugh again and finally lets go of him. Sweet freedom! The door’s only ten feet away. If he’s fast enough…
“Eliot!” Nate again. How does the man pack so much disapproval in a single word? And how does he know what Eliot is thinking anyway? Eliot would ask, but he’s sure it’s a parent thing and yeah, better not to. “Stay.”
The hitter fights the urge to bark as he keeps a very close eye on the drink Ella is mixing for him. He’s not getting drugged by an aging vampire bitch in disguise.
“Erm, people? We have a problem.” Hardison. Of course it’s Hardison. It’s always goddamn Hardison.
“What?” Nate snaps, sounding ragged. What’s he sounding ragged for? He’s sitting in their hotel room, listening to the others work.
“I just hacked her laptop and, people, she has way more accounts than we were looking for. Now, I’m not sure about this, but I think she’s pulled this stunt before. And… uh-oh.”
When this job is over and Eliot finished his shower, he’s permanently banning the word ‘uh-oh’. It never, ever leads to anything but bloodshed and tears.
“There’s some medical stuff on her computer and I’m pretty sure… she looked up drugs, guys.”
A beat, then Nate summarizes in that evil overlord voice he has, “Ella Stein doesn’t just con old men out of their fortune before they die a natural death. She kills them. We’ve got ourselves a black widow.”
Just once, Eliot would like to get through a job without Nate breaking out that exact tone of voice and making gloomy predictions. They always end with their boss man changing the plan while they’re already in the middle of it. And that means…
“Okay, people, change of plans. Eliot, keep her busy a bit longer. Hardison, clean out her laptop, we need everything she has. We’re giving the relatives of any other of her victims back what belongs to them. Parker, that safe. I want every last scrap this woman owns taken away from her. Look for anything incriminating. She’s going down
Hacker and thief quickly make sounds of agreement, leaving Eliot to stand in the mark’s living room, watching her swaying towards him on wobbly, veiny legs, smiling like she wants to undress him and have him for dinner.
She hands him his glass and runs a spindly finger over the back of his hand and up his arm, bending forward a bit so he has a clear view down her… Jesus H. Christ! She licks her lips.
He takes half a step back with a weak smile, raises his hand to scratch at his nose and whispers, very seriously, behind his palm, “I hate you all.”