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Nigerian Job

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The offer doesn’t come through one of the normal channels, and that alone is almost enough to make him toss it. It’s too clean, the client more interested in name and reputation than getting the job done.

The money’s good, enough to buy the rest of his way out of Moreau's debt if not into his good graces (not that he wants to go back). He’s very good at what he does, but this sort of payout… this is a six month’s worth of jobs for pretty low risk.

Not having Moreau after him now, instead of a year from now? He’d be an idiot to pass that sort of opportunity up.

Eliot taps out a message to accept the job. He can research Dubenich later, figure out how he’s going get in, get out, get paid without any complications.

Complication number one: there’s a team.

This job doesn’t need a team, let alone one comprised of these people. Hardison is annoying, Nate’s drunk and Parker… Parker’s insane, twenty pounds crazy in a five pound bag.

He almost walks when he gets to Nate’s pre-game briefing, toting the bag of shit that Nate wanted. Hardison’s got a similar bag at his feet while he taps on his keyboard. He doesn’t see a third bag, but Parker’s hanging bat like from the ceiling, long blonde hair frizzing out around her head.

It looks like a halo.

Shaking his head to clear it, he leans back in the couch and watches them all, trying to figure out how they’ll betray him first.

They’re almost completely exposed to the wind up on the roof while they wait for Nate to get his act together. Forty-four stories in the air-- more once he takes into account the dead space between the top floor and the roof itself-- and they’re lucky the wind isn’t blowing them into the lake.

Eliot rolls his eyes while Hardison complains, again, about the cold, like he’s been doing for the past two hours. Irritated, he cracks one of his chemical hand warmers and drops it down the back of Hardison’s coat and shirt.

Hardison yelps, spazzing for a moment before moaning and relaxing into the heat. “Thanks, bro.”

“Whatever.” He glances towards where Parker’s got her equipment set up by the edge. She’s not said a word since she disappeared up with her rig forty-five minutes ago.

“Clear comms,” Nate orders and Eliot tunes out the arguing over the tech in favor of settling back into the right headspace.

They’re not his friends. They’ll never be his friends.

Complication number two: the job is fun.

Hardison is criminally easy to impress in the hallway, and Parker is in and out like a ghost. Sure there’s a hiccup in the middle, but Nate’s voice-- calm, controlled, and watching their backs-- gets them through it.

He can’t trust any of them, but damn it’s nice to have backup.

Through the explosion and Sophie’s terrible acting (and her amazing grifting) and jerking Dubenich around… it’s the most fun he’s had on a job since that last thing with SGC. Might as well stick around, see what other bullshit Nate can get them into.

Eliot and Hardison go out for a beer after, and somehow, Hardison isn’t annoying and Parker’s random appearance doesn’t set off his paranoia and… somehow… he starts to see what this could become.

Then Hardison spirals into some nerd bullshit that he doesn’t even want to follow and Parker picks every pocket in the place in less than five minutes.

Tossing back his beer, Eliot drops far too large of a tip down on the bar and heads back towards his safe house.