Disclaimer: Not mine. D'Hoffryn belongs to Joss Whedon; Parker, et al belong to John Rogers, Chris Downey, etc
="There's something wrong with you."
- Eliot Spencer, various times throughout series
Nate Ford stared across the street in confusion. Police, criminal investigators, and medical personnel were gathered around a badly damaged piano. Under the piano, not visible to the team through the throng of people, was their mark. He was a foster parent whose charges ("Victims," Parker had hissed) were regularly abused. Unfortunately, the man was too clever at covering up his deeds for the team to find anything. Even Hardison could find nothing.
"Explain this to me again?" Sophie requested quietly. "How does a man get crushed to death by a falling piano while standing in the middle of an empty parking lot?"
"Why do we care?" Parker asked. "He can't ever hurt a kid again."
"Parker, we're not saying it wasn't deserved. It's just..." Nate trailed off, uncertain how he wanted to finish the sentence.
"It ain't right," Eliot growled. "There's no place anything that big coulda fallen from."
"Maybe it fell outta some cargo plane?" Hardison guessed wildly. At the looks his suggestion garnered, he shrugged. "Don't see any o' y'all coming up with anything."
"The magic of a wish," Parker suggested, an unusual twinkle in her eyes.
"What, you mean when that little five-year-old wished a piano would fall on his head just like in the Bugs Bunny cartoons? You really think the universe just conspired to make it happen? 'Cause if so, I wish I had the TARDIS."
Parker shrugged and bounced away, grinning to herself. The rest of the team continued to try and come up with a rational explanation for the piano, but eventually had to admit defeat. They each headed home, with plans to meet at Nate's the next day. They had a stack of potential clients to look through, and it was unlikely those problems would be solved quite so easily.
That evening, as Parker sat cross-legged in the middle of her spartan living room, a being appeared in a blaze of fire. The blonde woman grinned up at him, holding out one hand.
"So, how'd I do?"
"I am pleased to see that you stayed away from explosives this time."
"As fun as bombs are, they get a bit over-done after awhile. Plus, if I had used a bomb, the others wouldn't have given up so easily."
"Not to mention that some of the others are saying you lack creativity. Using only bombs no matter what."
"You don't think I lack creativity, do you, D'Hoffryn?"
"My dear," the being all-but purred, "You have been astounding me with your creativity from the moment you came to my attention all those years ago." The blonde grinned again at his words. "No other six-year-old has ever been recruited by me, before or since."
"Does that mean I can fulfill a personal wish now?"
D'Hoffryn's eyes narrowed at the bubbly young woman. It was against the rules to grant a personal wish, as she well knew. "I suppose I can make an exception this once," he murmured. "What did you have in mind?"