What, was "Rudy" on cable last night?

. . . Yes.

team-face, action trio-face
Eliot Spencer vdistinctive
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75 Godiva Street, Sunday evening
Eliot wasn't sure who had first started using the term for the occasions when the whole team got together for a friendly meal, instead of eating during a meeting for a job, but somewhere along the lines, "family dinner" had become official. With Nate and Sophie on the island, that was just what the team was doing now, with Eliot putting the finishing touches on his spaghetti sauce (one of the few dishes they all could agree on), Hardison and Parker grabbing dishes and napkins to set the table, and Val skipping about excitedly underfoot, all of them moving easily in and around each other with the ease of long practice.

Nate stood in the doorway with a beer and watched the process with a small smile.

"I take it Hardison bought your home out from under you, too?" he asked when he managed a moment with Eliot alone. The look on Eliot's face wasn't entirely quantifiable. It contained rather a lot of fond amusement, though.

"Sure," he said. "Somethin' like that.

[ooc: for the teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeam!]

"That smells delicious. As usual." Sophie ignored the Eliot vs. Nate byplay, and smiled over her glass of iced tea. "We should visit more often, I've missed your food something awful, Eliot."

"Did you get a chance to talk to Kathy's sister?" Parker wondered aloud, directing the remark to both Eliot and Hardison. "I think she should get to come here after Kathy graduates. 'Cause those parents-- yeesh."

"I could make sure she gets some kind of scholarship or whatever," Hardison volunteered. "If cost is gonna be a problem. The parents got decent jobs--" because of course he'd looked them up, of course he had "--but LA is expensive to live in, even in a crummy neighborhood like they're in. Lower middle class, but stable. Might do better if either parent got a promotion, but..."

He wasn't inclined to manipulate the system to get either of them one.

"We should keep the option open, just in case," Eliot decided. "Though Sarah seems like she's the sort who may be makin' her own plans." He brought the pasta out to set in the middle of the table and smiled at Sophie. "And you're welcome to come by any time, you know. Though I'll ask you not to have to cater your wedding."

The one time he'd tried his hand at that had been plenty, thanks.

"Hmm. Yes," Nate said distractedly. "How exactly did you three end up so tied up in those girls' lives?"

"Weren't you paying attention?" Sophie wasn't going to let Nate question the others without some buffering, at least. "She was their teaching assistant. Good teachers care." She smiled at all three of them, then toasted Eliot with her wineglass. "You can't cater the wedding, you'll be part of the wedding party."

Not to mention probably providing impromptu security at any moment.

"I might ask for a cake, though...."

"Caaaaake," Parker muttered, then added, "Kathy's a good TA and a good student, and you got to meet her after she started to relax. Believe us, she was wound way way way more tight when we met her early in the year."

"I don't know her as well as they do, but she's a smart girl," Hardison volunteered. "I wasn't sure that that really counted as relaxed until they started tellin' stories about how she was before, yo."

"She signed up for our first class in January. Noticed she had some moves when we had the class bluff their way past some, uh. Interestin' doormen one day in the Danger Shop, and we got to talkin'." Eliot smiled at the memory of watching her take down the lecherous 'sourthern Eliot' with her gymnastics ribbons. "Then she called me up when a friend of hers got shot to talk her through patchin' him up, and we've been pretty tight since."

". . . You talked a teenager through patching up a bullet wound? And I thought the stories about that talking pony were farfetched."

Sophie's eyebrows were up as well. "You weren't lying about this not being a typical school, were you?" She served herself some salad, shaking her head. "Why wouldn't her friend go to emergency care, or dare we ask?"

"Probably because he's a vigilante or something," Parker said nonchalantly. "I'm not really sure, I didn't meet the guy. I think Eliot did, though... And anyway, it's good stuff for her to know around here, in case of the next alien invasion or Elder-God-making-people-crazy situation."

...wait, had they ever explained about that?

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While they were on a photo sharing kick, Eliot made sure to pull Sophie aside and bring up a few well-worn pictures of a certain little brunette girl with her daddy's eyes and her mama's refusal to give her real name.

Well, they'd be well-worn if they were in physical form, anyway. Hardison assured him that digital code couldn't actually wear out.

"We told ya about the kids that showed up one weekend, right?"

Edited at 2015-10-05 06:07 am (UTC)

"Of course! My hypothetical nieces and nephews called us. They sounded adorable." Not grandchildren yet, not exactly, please. A grand-puppy was one thing, but children? "Show me!"

Eliot wasn't about to say anything that implied Nate and Sophie were his 'parents', so she'd get none of that from him. "Ahhhh, yeah," he said, calling up a shot of Joey with a heaping cup of ice cream, beaming at the camera. He handed Sophie the phone so she could take a nice look. "One of 'em wasn't a niece."

"She has your eyes!" Oh, what a little heart-breaker she'd be. Sophie tilted her head. "What did you name her?" And a bit of curiosity on that 'not a niece' comment. "And how so?"

"She gave us at least four different first names before I finally worked out that her father calls her Joey. By the end of the weekend I finally dragged her full name out of her." Eliot kept an eye on Sophie's expression out of the corner of his eye. "Miriam Josephina. Devereaux-Spencer."

"Miranda-- ack." My, what big eyes you have, Sophie. "What?" And another look at that photo, in time to realize: "She really is an extraordinarily attractive child..."

"Miriam Josephina Devereaux-Spencer," Eliot said again, grinning. "And of course she is. That's what happens when you've got such pretty parents."

"But how on Earth did that happen!?" Sophie burst out with, then lowered her voice so as not to draw Nate's attention. "And don't say the usual way, I'd rather not have that particular train of thought in my head."

Eliot shrugged. "Gather there's a world out there where you got tired of waitin' for Nate to get his act together."

"I'm... overwhelmed." Sophie traced the edges of Josie's face in the photo with the tip of one fingernail. "What was she like?" And after a pause, "Was she happy?" Safe? Smart?

"She was amazing," Eliot said, clearly very fond. "Swapped accents like breathin'. Confident and strong, and I gather has her daddy wrapped pretty firmly around her finger."

Sophie laughed softly. "Like that's any surprise." She shot him an amused glance, some of her confusion settling down. "A child. I can't imagine it. I've never planned that, expected it." She was quiet. "What did she say about us?"

"Not a lot. She spent most of the weekend thick as thieves with the other two who showed up -- none of 'em from the same world, mind you. But she knew about a couple of the jobs we've pulled, and she absolutely couldn't fathom you endin' up with 'Uncle Nate'." Eliot flipped to a shot of the three kids in their triumph at Chilly Boulder. "Near as I could tell her versions of us were still together. Can't say as I ever put much thought into it myself, what with you and Nate doin' your dance and all, but I could see it, I suppose."

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