Alec Hardison has the cutest fucking smile, okay? And yeah, he’s young, and things haven’t been easy, and he’s lost people he’s loved, but learned early that he had to find something to make him happy. Computers. Nana. But between Nana and the team, Hardison was a little lost. He smiled when he laughed, but it didn’t mean he was happy. So he found things.
Puppies? He didn’t have anywhere to bring them, but he would go play with them, because they made him happy, and it made them happy.
Music? Guy loves music, and the right music put a smile on that gorgeous face no matter what.
But when the team came together? It wasn’t so hard to find something to smile about.
Parker’s wild actions. Parker’s snuffling in her sleep. Parker’s determination for him to like some of the things she likes.
Eliot’s food. Eliot’s barely concealed glee when he and Hardison argue (look, it makes them both stupidly happy because the arguments are always so stupid but they are fun). Eliot insisting he does not snore even though Hardison got it on camera.
The puppies Hardison snuck in without telling either of them he was adopting.
The smiles just come easier and easier until he doesn’t have to try anymore. He just. Smiles.
This is a long time coming. It’s sat in my drafts for months, but for your birthday, my dear, I finished this little thing. This is a Leverage/FAHC crossover AU, so if you’ve never seen the TV show Leverage, it may make little to no sense.
This is what happens when Missy and I start throwing crossover ideas at each other. Happy birthday, lovely.
The rain soaked into the two men standing at opposite ends of the filthy Los Santos alley. It was a place that Ryan knew well, not that far from their penthouse. Even the most glamorous of areas in the City of Sin had their secrets and dirty areas, of course, and this was no different. The alleyways of this city were the Fakes’ domain, and now there was someone else in it.
He couldn’t help but notice that the man - adorned with ragged brown hair and a jacket not unlike Michael’s, a dark brown leather - didn’t seem at all surprised by the appearance of a man in a dark skull mask behind him. Not scared, not disoriented, nothing. He just stood there calmly, arms crossing, falling into an even stance. Not a fighting stance. Just one of comfort.
The lack of fear made Ryan’s hand still on his gun. The Fakes were chattering in his ear about something he didn’t care about - he just kept his earpiece on when he went on these nightly haunts in order to have the comfort of knowing they were safe. He gently removed the small piece and pocketed it. The alley fell silent, despite the pounding rain.
The other man made a move and Ryan twitched, but as he watched, the man replicated the action. Removing something from his ear and pocketing it. Interesting. Ryan didn’t think any of the other gangs in LS had access to that sort of tech yet. Although, something was niggling in the back of his mind. This man didn’t seem like he was from Los Santos.
And - by the way the other man moved and fell into a simple fighting stance (weight on the balls of his feet, a subtle precursor to a punch) that he could only have learned from one place….
Leverage gave us a middle-aged couple who impetuously fell into bed and had hot passionate sex, then cleaned up their acts emotionally before committing to each other in marriage.
Leverage gave us a young black man gently, wisely courting a non-neurotypical blonde white woman.
Leverage gave us a young black man whose two white male best friends both describe him as the smartest man they’ve ever known.
Leverage gave us a guitar-playing country boy, an ex-hitman and army vet, who puts his life in the hands of a geeky black man and his blonde girlfriend (till death do them part).
Leverage gave us Parker, Sophie, Maggie, and Tara; it also gave us female villains with as much cunning, ruthlessness, and agency as any man’s.
Leverage gave us villains who were rich, powerful, greedy white people who had to have just a little bit more, and a clever, cunning, usually compassionate, occasionally terrifying white guy who beat them at their own game and robbed the rich to help the poor.
Quinn from Levarage and You pick the prompt ENJOY!
Quinn – “I’ll kill
“If you get blood on my rug, I’ll kill you,” you threatened,
shoving him towards the bathroom despite his grunt of pain.
“If you shove me again, I’ll
kill you,” he grumbled. You rolled
your eyes, turning him to face you and pushing him down on the closed toilet,
shaking your head.
“If you think you scare me, Quinn, we gotta talk. You haven’t
scared me since we met. Where was the shot?” you asked him, digging in the
linen closet just outside the bathroom before returning with a big green box
that had a white plus on it.
fingers were quick and careful as you helped him out of his shirt, and then
kneeled beside him to clean up the wound on his arm. The humming was barely
audible, the sound barely a vibration in your throat, as you finished cleaning
his arm, and studied it.
“Not as bad as it’s been. You need a drink?” you offered,
laying out the tools to pull out the bullet.
“If I’m going to play nurse – in a medical way, not a sexy
way – I’m going to ask you these questions and I’m gonna mean it. Drink?”
“Then buckle up, cowboy,” you chuckled, twisting his arm a
little, and plucking the bullet out.
Like you said, not as bad as it’s
been, considering the bullet was barely under the skin. Sighing, and dumping it
into the trash, you wiped down his arm, cleaned the wound, and then began to
stitch it up, feeling his hand clench against your shoulder. Quinn liked to
play tough guy during the fix-up period, but it wasn’t hard for you to see that
this shit did hurt, even him, even if his face didn’t give it away.
When the wound was stitched shut,
cleaned again, wrapped, and everything was back in the box, you patted his
thigh, standing, and moving to put the box away. You had barely gotten it on
the shelf when you felt his arm around your waist, breath warm on your neck.
“You know I won’t kill you, right?” You laughed, rolling
your eyes as you turned to see him.
“I do know that. You know I will if you bleed on my rug?”
“Of course I do,” he chuckled, ducking in to press a kiss to
your cheek. It made you blush, but smile, patting your hand on his chest.
“Good. That said. You need to go lie down…I’m gonna clean
up, and I’ll join you?” He hummed, brushing your hair off your face, and
“So long as you do join me.”
“Do I ever miss that chance?” you murmured, gently taking
his chin against your palm as you kissed him lightly on the lips. “Go lie down,
Quinn. I’ll be in in a few.”
“…can clean up wait?” You lifted your eyes to his, seeing
the hopefulness there, and it made you forget about any mess in the apartment,
as you pressed into his chest, arms careful around his waist.
“For you? Always.” It made him chuckle, and kiss your
temple, as he pulled you to the bedroom.
“Thank you.” Quinn wasn’t open often, but you were not about
to miss out on the chance that you knew was coming. Cuddling? With Quinn?
Nothing beat it, ever.
I will never tire of remembering things I love about Leverage but my fave are these:
Parker and Sophie’s dynamic : It honestly floored me how there was never a stereotypical or negative dynamic between these two. They were always supportive of each other, tried to understand each other, and honestly were a healthy friendship. Finding that without it being made into something outlier or strange is rare sometimes in shows, at least with this consistency.
Alec Hardison and his importance to the team : Even though it was Nate who formed the team, it was Hardison who brought them together with a proper place to be, not just once. He is cool but also emotional when needs come, allowed to be nervous, allowed to have hobbies and be so much more than a ‘typical’ geek, especially a black man playing a tech whiz, could be stereotyped as. Alec is the one who buys a pub and brews his own beer, gets excited over lasers in cooking, complains about things people would do in certain situations like insane stakeouts. He isn’t a crusader, isn’t representative of any mission, and isn’t an ideal. A human character and a great one at it.
Sophie Devereaux and identity issues: Right from the start we are told that Sophie has identity twists. She is not who she shows in terms of her official name or identity. But this doesn’t mean that she doesn’t show her character to her group. She is open about her fears and love but is allowed her secrets. When Nate asks for her name she says he has to earn it, which is such a wonderful moment because it shows the balance in their dynamics. Her name matters to her and her group respects it. Even when he proposes, Nate doesn’t use her real name because that is a secret but he is proposing to her and that is all that matters to both of them. It showed people and secrets and the importance of respecting those.
Parker and romance + intimacy : Again, this is shown right from the first episode. While Eliot and Nate are baffled by her in the beginning, and even Sophie is, the show never once makes us think that Parker is 'abnormal’ for having intimacy or emotional issues. Instead it shows the others learning to communicate with her and building their own ways to connect with her while her growing to understand their communicative styles too. Especially when Hardison and Parker show prospects of dating, Hardison is shown to learn her thought process and he is happy to learn but it’s not seen as something absurd. Parker learns about Hardison’s likes too and they share their likes by being interested and genuinely liking in each other’s company. Parker is an orphan who has been through abusive foster homes and never once does the group call her out badly on it or make her feel uncomfortable for it.
Nate’s alcoholism : The very first shot of the show is Nate getting a drink while a guy comes to offer him a job and manipulates him emotionally using his son’s death. Talk about a brilliant opening setting, because this is his entire history set within the first 5 minutes. Nate is an alcoholic and has deep trauma from his son’s death along with a lot of impulsive guilt inspired reactions. He is the leader of this group of cons. He is called out every single time he screws up but not mockingly about his past but more in frustration about his lack of taking help. There is an entire episode where a con is planned in a rehab centre and it backfires because Nate is shown to have a breakdown when he is withheld from alcohol. His issues are highlighted and he doesn’t get into a serious romantic relationship without understanding that he should work on them. Alcohol is not glorified here and being an alcoholic is not shown as mysterious or hot. He goes to frickin jail because he fails to get things under control and the show doesn’t shy out from that.
Eliot and Cooking: How many times do you find this trope where a Manly Man™ guy loves cooking but still doesn’t get shown to be compromised from his role as a Hitter? Eliot is a guy who hits but he does not have anger issues. He does not seek violence. He does not like guns. He loves cooking and is serious about it. He is the guy who had issues with being a team in the first episode and he is also the guy who would do anything to protect his team. He’s the nurturer of this team who feeds them and is loyal to the core. His cooking has a past too and that rocks because he learnt it from someone he was supposed to target. It is his calming mechanism. This is a Hitter who would make a beautiful dish because he likes it and still beat someone if they hurt others. It’s not one or the other, it’s both.
Maggie, Tara, and every woman who played a supporting cast: Maggie is the ex-wife of Nate who is NEVER shown to be jealous or weird around Sophie. She doesn’t get back together with Nate or regret things but she also deeply cares for him. She is successful, has her own principles, and also helps this group con for revenge when she wanted to. Tara is a Grifter who is brought in when Sophie takes a break. She is thought to be a replacement and everybody hates her at first because they miss Sophie but they grow to respect and like her for WHO SHE IS and not for how she fills Sophie’s role. It’s not a replacement, as they realize. It’s a change and she brings her own dynamic with it. There are so many more like Ana who helped Parker when she had a broken leg, every single female client they had, Peggy who became Parker’s first friend outside the group and was starkly different. This show never made every woman the same because *gasp* they are not.
From hurt the bad to help the good: Usually this concept remains of hurting bad people and Leverage does do that. But the team grows and their motto shifts too. They grow from hurting bad people to helping the good and both go hand in hand for them. It’s not just about removing the problem but also about finding the solution for them.
It’s Personal: The group has one of the best team dynamics I have ever seen and it’s not just because they work well together. It’s also because they work with and for each other too. Each person has had personal cases on the show and even when the team thinks twice on certain things, they respect that personal aspect. The show portrayed the idea of 'I might not think the same way you do or make the same choices but I understand why you make them and I respect you’ with beautiful ideas. Be it Parker with Luka and the orphans in Russia or Eliot and the horse job; the team gives each other the benefit of doubt and trust when needed.
Platonic relationships: I cannot tell you how much I love the platonic relationships of this show. Be it the parents-wards bond of Nate+Sophie and the others or the Eliot-Hardison-Parker dynamic which I know many people see as Ot3 (highly possible); every platonic bond is valuable and no single character is graced higher.
Plot: Last but not the least, the plot. It came a full circle. The show finished its plots and had continuity of arcs. They started because Nate pushed them to find compensation for the past and the show ended with Nate pushing them to find their resource for the future. Every single character came a full circle by the end and we see growth in them.
I honestly wish we had more episodes of this show but I am really happy that we got what we did. To Leverage - the show that told that good is not who you are but what you do and choose.