Eliot moved from pot to pot on the stove, smoothly checking all the components of dinner.
Hardison was leaning on the door frame with a goofy smile plastered across his face.
“Hey, come here.” Eliot murmured dipping a clean spoon into his sauce and holding it out to the hacker.
Hardison gave an over dramatic moan of approval.
Eliot grinned “Yeah?”
Hardison’s head bobbed emphatically.
“Yeah! See, I can do a lot more than just bust heads!” Eliot laughed, rapping his hands on the counter.
With the ease of a professional, Eliot shuffled pans, prepared plates and dropped his homemade spaghetti into boiling water.
Hardison leaned his head against the side of the door frame, laughing quietly.
“What?” Eliot grumbled, taking garlic bread out of the oven.
“Nothin' man, its just… I think this is the happiest I've ever seen you.”
Eliot’s movements slowed as he looked around the kitchen of the client’s recently reclaimed restaurant. The stoves were sub-par and the knives needed sharpening but Eliot felt safe here. Surrounded by food and fire, Eliot felt at peace, at home.
“Does this mean we get to eat in more?” Hardison asked, pulling Eliot out of his musings.
The hitter smirked and pushed the hacker out of his kitchen. “Don't piss me off and well see.”
Eliot let himself fall into autopilot as he plated the food, watching his teammate greet the client and break the good news. He smiled as Parker talked excitedly with the client’s daughter, the contented glow Sophie gave off as she hugged her friend. He shook his head as Hardison rubbed his hands together watching the new real of Moscone being arrested. His eye twitched as he watched Nate pour another drink but he took the win as it was only his third of the night.
“Hot plates hot place. Hey, come on now!” Eliot called, skillfully balancing the feast he had made for his family across his arms. Each happy smile and second helping filled the holes time had made in his heart, drop by drop.