What, was "Rudy" on cable last night?

. . . Yes.

over the shoulder-face
Eliot Spencer vdistinctive
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The loft above Luke's, Saturday morning
Eliot's clothes had all wound up in the general door to couch area, and it wasn't like he had any spares lying around (and trying to wear Hardison's would make him look like a kid playing dress-up), so after a quick shower (when did Hardison and Parker get all this hair stuff? And why was it all the stuff Eliot used?), he wandered out into the living room area in nothing but a towel to at least find his shirt before he got started on breakfast. (He'd learned early in his cooking career that you just didn't work with those kinds of temperatures without covering your chest. And aprons didn't count.)

And froze, grabbing onto the towel to hold it in place, when he spotted the twelve year old girl standing over by the door.

"The kitchen staff downstairs said you'd be up here," she said.

"Um," said Eliot.

"Why are you living with Uncle Hardison and Aunt Parker?" she asked.

"Um," said Eliot.

"You guys need to clean up in here better, Daddy." She nudged the crumpled pile of pants by the couch with the toe of her shoe. "Mummy would not approve."

Eliot rubbed his hand down his face. "Goddammit, Fandom."

[ooc: generally for the assortment of folks currently at or soon to be arriving at the loft, with bouts of slowplay on all sides, but also open!]

"Man, why are you even up?" Hardison asked, scrubbing his face with the heel of his hand. Force of habit had him in a pair of black track shorts thank goodness. "We didn't even get to the bed until--"

He stopped, looking at the child that he didn't recognize standing in his living room. "--until it was time to, uhh, make it and them hospital corners are kinda tricky. Yeah."


Joey sighed. "You're still a terrible liar, Uncle Hardison."

Eliot proceeded to stomp around and kick things, grumbling about finding his goddamn pants. Joey watched him out of the corner of her eye, smirking faintly.

"Okay, so does anyone wanna maybe fill me in on what's goin' on?" he asked.


Which was, of course, the perfect time for a little girl to stand in the middle of the doorway and shrill, "Papa!" and then wrap her arms around Hardison's waist. "Hi Daddy," she said, peeking around Hardison to smile at Eliot.

Parker came out of the bedroom with messy hair, wearing one of Hardison's t-shirts.

"...who's messing with us?"

Help him, Parker! He was being clung to by a small child who was calling him 'Papa'! "Sorry, babe, but the only words I can think of right now are not the kind that are supposed to be said in front of little ears."

"Which ones?" Ada asked. "I know lots of words like that!"

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Parker stared at the tiny girl in horror. "Where did she come from? We have to give her back!"

Also, hang on, she needed to get underwear on now.

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Later, once the confusion of everyone's arrival had calmed slightly, Ada sat on the couch plunking away at one of Papa's laptops. Sure, she'd brought her own, but trying to hack into one of his was far more fun!

Spike popped over the edge of the couch.

"Whatcha working on?" And could he get in on it?

"Tryna hack into Papa's computer," Ada said easily, showing him the program she had running in the background. It looked like an animated sprite of Ada herself, dressed like a knight, battling chunks of computer code that took the shapes of monsters. "I like seein' what he's up to."

"Cool." Spike liked to hack sometimes, but Hardison had only showed him the basics so far. "Is he working on anybody right now? Are they on a job?" He considered her and then asked, "How old are you?"

"That's what I'm lookin' up right now," Ada confided. "They never tell me anything, so I always have to find out for myself."

Which was why she'd written her own hacking program. Made sense to her!

"I'm eight. How old are you?"

"Ten." Spike wasn't sure if he was glad or worried that the other two were girls. And at least one was younger than him. "So Hardison's your real dad, and ... Eliot's your real dad?"

How did that even work?

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Joey plopped down next to Ada, having managed to find herself a bottle of nail polish somewhere. "So," she said, adopting Eliot's accent. "I'm guessin' we're sorta like sisters."

"Guess we are," Ada said, giving her a little side-eye. "We gonna fight over them?"

It was always good to get things like that straight.

"You kidding?" Joey snorted. "Daddy and Uncle Hardison are completely lost right now. This is a band together and take 'em for all they're worth situation."

"We are sisters!" Ada decided instantly, throwing her arms around Joey. Because that had pretty much been her idea, too. "Aunt Parker's a little more with it, but she's always been the easiest to get around, too, so that's probably not that big a deal."

She turned to look at Spike. "Him, too?" she suggested.

Joey hugged back. She'd always kind of wanted a sister, but Mummy was all "once through that hell is enough!" and then give Aunt Parker meaningful looks that Aunt Parker didn't understand.

"He's okay, I guess," she allowed, looking at Spike. "You know, for a boy."

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There had been asking around in town, and stops to get food, and then Spike had clomped up the stairs to the place where his family lived.

Also, picking up the jacket on the floor and modeling it, before opening the door.

He cocked his head and then looked at Parker. "When did you guys adopt sisters for me?"

"Ten minutes ago. I guess." Parker was staring at him like he was an alien life-form, which let's face it, he was. She was sitting on the counter eating cereal out of the box, and no Eliot she didn't care about setting an example. "We're freaking out. In case you can't tell."

"Oh, hey look," Hardison said, wandering into the room. "Another one. Yay?"

Were they trying to breed their own crew?

Spike gave him a tolerant smile, shaking his head. Then headed for the fridge and got him an orange soda. "Of course, yay. I'm amazing."

Which you told him a lot, and he was going to help you through this, Hardison. It's okay. Spike is on the case. Spike held out the bottle.

"It was a portal. I told you those things were evil when we watched that show."

Hardison was just going to take his bottle of orange soda, yes. And try not to boggle. Kids didn't respect boggling. "Right," he said. "Err...what show was that again?"

There needed to be so much alcohol in this soda and yet there wasn't. Woe.

"What's your name?" Parker wasn't sure that asking the kid was a good idea, because that would imply he could stay. But the other two were already even more entrenched, so. She held out some cereal to him, uncertain. "Aren't your parents missing you? Your... other... whatever... parents?"

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