Author: Kat Lee
Character/Pairing: Nate/Sophie, implied Hardison/Parker, Eliot
Challenge/Prompt: fffc July Special: Summary Song Shuffle: Paolo Nutini's New Shoes
Word Count: 11 July 2017
Date Written: 879
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
Nate looks up from his morning coffee, wishing that he was practically any form of alcohol instead but knowing he doesn't need to touch the stuff, especially not this early, after what happened the other night. Sophie has been missing from their team since that eventful night, and she's coming back today. She's coming back, and he doesn't need to make an ass of himself again -- not ever again, he thinks, if he ever wants to make things right with her.
The door opens without warning, and the object of his blurred thoughts breezes into the room. "Good morning, all!" She glances at Parker and Hardison munching on cereal as they watch cartoons on the couch. Nate longs for that kind of freedom -- to watch and do whatever the Hell he pleases, but he knows he'll never have it again.
Hardison barely looks up as Sophie sashays through the room. Any other man would stare at her beauty today, but Alek only has eyes for the petite, blonde thief beside him -- who does a double take and looks up again as Sophie walks between them and the television.
Behind him, Eliot waves a spatula in the air. "I couldn't talk these three into having a decent breakfast -- "
"Coco Puffs is a decent breakfast, man!"
Parker giggles beside Hardison. "I'm cuckoo for Coco Puffs!"
Eliot growls; Sophie rolls her eyes with a smile. Nate returns his gaze to the dark depths of his black coffee. Eliot's gaze moves naturally to the most beautiful woman in the room. "Maybe I can convince you to join me?"
"Pancakes?" Sophie crinkles her nose at the stack of pancakes Eliot's already made. "No thank you, dear. I need to watch my figure if I'm going to be able to help us catch the criminal element."
"Figure's fine as yours," Eliot drawls, "don't need watching, least not by you." He waves the spatula at all.
She laughs, a beautiful, tinkling sound that lifts Nate's eyes back away from his coffee again. "Thank you, but I think I'll still stick with just coffee."
"She likes hers with cream," Nate mutters. He starts to rise to make it himself, but Eliot moves faster, retrieving her mug from the cupboard.
With a delicate but swift gesture, Sophie takes the mug from him. "Thank you, but I can make it myself." She replaces her mug and grabs her travel mug instead. She fills it with hot coffee, replaces the pot on its burner, adds her cream and sugar, and takes a dainty sip. "Mmm. Perfect." Capping her cup, she waves it at the room, still without making any apparent notice of Nate. "I'll see you lovely people downstairs," she says quite happily and, before any one can say anything more, nearly dances out of the room.
Eliot groans, watching her go. "Man, you're in trouble," he says, glancing at Nate before turning back to his stove.
"Me? What did I do?"
The look Eliot shoots him makes Nate look quickly back to the coffee he's almost drained. "Whatever you did, man, the other night, she's gonna make you pay for it. In spades."
Parker bounces on the couch. "Yup! She definitely is!"
"How do you know?" Nate demands, almost angry with the girl. She's not supposed to be so in tune to people's feelings, especially not Sophie's and his own!
Eliot, Parker, and even Hardison, barely glancing up from his and Parker's cartoon, say in unison, "New shoes."
"New shoes?" Nate repeats dubiously. "What does that have to do with anything?!"
"They're red. Color of anger." Eliot flips another pancake; he's determined Parker and Hardison will eat something more this morning besides cereal's empty calories after all.
Hardison whistles and finally glances up during a commercial. "Did you see the heels on those things, man?! She's ready to stomp all over somebody!"
"They're man-catching shoes," Parker adds knowingly. "She told me all about them once." Because of that conversation, she knows a lot more already about Sophie's plans than any of the three men in the room, but she doesn't share that information. After all, Sophie also taught her that happens with the girlfriends stays with the girlfriends, and Parker doesn't want to upset her by sharing what she knows. If she does, she might never get another night out on the town with her again!
"You're gonna pay. There's just no two ways about it," Eliot says, shaking his head. He plops a plate filled with steaming hot, golden pancakes drizzled with butter and syrup in front of Nate. "Still not hungry?"
Nate sighs and looks back at his coffee cup again, still wishing that it was liquor -- any kind of liquor -- instead. Then he glances at the golden, sweet food Eliot's offering him, and his stomach rumbles at last. He sighs heavily again. "Final meal of a dying man."
Eliot grins. "Something like that. More coffee?"
Nate glances again at his emptied mug before passing it to him. "Yeah," he says, "more coffee. Lots and lots of coffee." And no more beer or whisky for him again for a while -- at least, not until he can soothe Sophie's anger at him again and knock her right out of those new, red shoes.