5 (Owen Harper, Torchwood) has to buy a birthday present for 11
(Henry Deacon, Eureka). What does 2 (Alec Hardison, Leverage), 8 (Jim
Sterling, Leverage) and 10 (Donna Noble, Doctor Who) suggest and why is
12 (Harry Dresden, The Dresden Files) laughing like a mad thing?
“Could someone explain to me why I am shopping for this man again?”
“Couldn’t have had anything to do with the fact that you blew the man up, could it? And on his birthday. And might I add that you blew me up too? And I had my eye on some T3 cable.”
Jim Sterling grinned at Owen. “You blew him up? I like you already.”
Owen Harper rolled his eyes. “I did not blow that Deacon bugger up! He blew himself
up, if you must know. You’d think a man who works with that sort of
thing would know not to ignore the ‘do not press this button’ sign.”
Donna raised an eyebrow at Owen. “What language was it written in?”
“I dunno; some alien thing.”
you expect someone who hasn’t got the TARDIS translation thingummy
wodged in their head to be able to read that? You’re sort of stupid,
Owen glared at her. “Well, that Sarf of the Rivah
shrill of yours doesn’t do your image as a great intellect any favours,
“Oi! Shut it, Dead-Man!”
Sterling stepped between them and raised his hands. “Miss Noble, we’re supposed to be helping this walking case of 'tude. The quicker we do that, the quicker we get shot of him.”
I have to wander a shopping centre with him. Well, isn’t that wizard?”
Donna sighed. “All right, what do we know about this Deacon person?”
Hardison frowned at his open laptop. “Wish I could tell y'all, but this man just doesn’t exist.
No credit card logs to show his preferences, no Facebook page, no…”
He looked at his screen and his frown deepened. “C'mon now; what do you
mean, no social security number?” He looked up from his laptop at his
unwilling companions. “Who is this guy?”
“That’s classified,” said Sterling, slapping Hardison’s laptop shut.
“FBI? I can so crack that.”
“DARPA. Not to mention DoD.”
Hardison blinked at Sterling. “Man, I thought I was gettin’ used to you. Now? Now you go scarin’ me all over again.”
meanwhile, rummaged through her handbag. “Here,” she said, handing over
an elaborately carved wooden flute. “Give him this, and don’t say I
never gave you nothing.”
Owen took the flute and looked it over. “What makes you think Mr Fix-It over in Middle-of-Nowhere, Oregon will want this?”
“'Cos it’s extraterrestrial,
you ning-nong! I got it on R… Raxa… Some planet beginning with R
and sounds like some kind of disease. Maybe we give him this to poke at,
he won’t go blowing things up for awhile.”
gratified, and Sterling just looked relieved that the whole thing was
over, but Hardison happened to note the tall man in the big leather
duster, watching the exchange and trying to stifle laughter. He eased
over to stranger and asked, “Y'all mind either minding your own damn
business or telling me what’s so funny?”
The tall man looked
Hardison over and then said, “You don’t want me near you for long, so
I’ll only say this. The thing’s not exactly alien, even if aliens were
selling it. And incidentally…”
Most of the tall man’s comment
was lost in a feedback whine from Hardison’s earbud. By the time the
hacker had removed the malfunctioning bit of equipment, the stranger in
the duster was halfway out the shopping centre’s front doors, still
laughing. After a moment in which he carefully studied his now useless
earbud (the circuits were fried, if he was any judge), part of the lanky
man’s comment registered.
“Wait a minute; what do you mean, 'have I heard of the Pied Piper of Hamlin’?!?”
The Leverage crew in descending order of how much I would trust them to take care of my home while I was away.
1. Eliot Spencer. Would probably seduce my cat away from me but I am willing to accept that risk because I would also come home to find my gardens all weeded, my home scrubbed, my houseplants mysteriously flourishing, and a nice meal in a casserole dish waiting for me. If some of the scrubbing was due to an epic fight that left bloodstains … I would still take that risk, honestly.
2. Alec Hardison. I would return to a messy house but probably also one with mysteriously faster wi-fi and a television hookup that gets more than one channel. Plus all the orange soda bottles would make the local junior firefighters’ bottle drive really happy. He would let my cat hang out where she is not supposed to be, but hey, that would just be a vacation for her also. I would definitely let Alec Hardison housesit.
3. Sophie Devereaux. Kind of a risk, because there’s even odds she would do something to invite comment from the neighbors, and also I do not think she would particularly enjoy the surroundings here. However, if she threw a party it would be a classy wine party and she might even leave some of the wine behind, and I don’t have any nice art she might accidentally walk away with.
4. Nathan Ford. Honestly probably a responsible housesitter, but at the price of knowing Nathan Ford was at one point sitting on my couch getting his angst all over the cushions. My houseplants would be well-watered but vaguely listless-looking. My cat would be well-fed but complaining about being ignored. My house and fridge would be exactly as clean and as full as I left them, not a mote of dust or bottle of salad dressing more or less. Somehow after he left I would spend weeks getting more junk mail than usual.
5. Parker. Unless Parker was accompanied by Eliot and Alec, I probably would not trust her to housesit. The cat and the plants would live, after a fashion, but I am not sure the house would survive. She would get bored. Nothing good happens when Parker is bored.