That's such an interesting fic meme idea! I'd like the Leverage OT3 version of Let Us Speak of a Letter, please
Ohhh, that’s such an interesting premise!
Hardison is the one who wakes up in a strange city and a strange time. And, because Alec is Alec, there are no doubts about that - those phones, those cars, they’re not anything like he knows, and the newspapers confirm it, he is definitely a bit more than a decade into the future. Some sort of conspiracy? Future!Alec has made some sort of time travel tech? He doesn’t know, but that’s kind of lower on the priority list.
Look, he’s consumed a ton of scifi and fantasy and comics, being thrown forward into a possible timeline is something Alec’s wrapped his head around and imagined a hundred times.
He’s also not at all surprised to crack open his wallet and find a bunch of fake IDs - Alec already has a couple, even if they aren’t quite as good as these. Future!Alec has an FBI badge, which seems heart-poundingly risky but also rad as hell. The idea that he’s still a hacker, well, that’s not weird at all, even if Alec himself is still learning a lot of things.
The weird thing is. Well, the weird thing is mostly that he owns (co-owns?) a brewpub. That he has - friends?
Because Eliot and Parker are definitely dating one another, it’s obvious in the way their eyes dart like some of his foster siblings do but not at one another like threats, the way they’re casually physical with one another.
Seeing Alec seems to throw them for a loop. Eliot scowls as he figures out what’s going on, arms crossed defensively across his built chest, and Alec’s heart seizes with the instinct of meeting too many angry jocks, but Eliot just points viciously at the couch and then, a few minutes later, drops a sandwich in front of him. Parker edges around Alec, peering at him with discomfort and something unhappy, intense, but she also calls him Alec (Eliot says, immediate and familiar, “Hardison”). Whatever, it’s a damn comfortable couch and a damn tasty sandwich.
Which is to say, Alec isn’t wrestling with who he is, but. It takes him most of the week to realize that Future!Alec is dating them too. That he must love them, that they must love him. That he has a safe place of his own, that he has a place of his own, warm and comfortable and high tech and thoughtful in the way Alec is scared to show anyone he can be. There’s an easy generosity to what Alec knows is his own work, the way there is to Eliot’s cooking, to whatever it is that occupies Parker’s attention on her fancy phone.
Alec knows his Nana loves him, but. But he’s not used to anyone wanting him, choosing him, making space for him. That’s the fear that grips him deep in the night, that he drowns in the blue light of the computer screen, that he’ll always be alone (Nana’s medical bills are starting to mount, she’s old and Alec knows it).
The future, with its WoW expansions and pending Star Wars (with a black man! A black man as a hero! Alec’s future self had damn well better be appropriately excited) and its technological advances, is pretty great, and he delights in exploring it, in letting Parker and Eliot share Portland with him. Alec doesn’t tell them that he’s figured it out, because, well, he can acknowledge it’s weird, he’s read fanfic, okay, he knows that meeting your lover as a kid is squicky as hell, but knowing that future him is loved so deeply and known so well… it heals some cracks deep down, quiet little hurts that Alec hardly dares to acknowledge.
And meanwhile. Meanwhile. Parker calls Sophie and barely has to say anything, because she mostly only likes talking through things like this with Alec, who is not Alec right now. Sophie, though, is kind, and doesn’t once offer to come sweeping in, which Parker appreciates. Parker is so used to feeling like a cornered animal, so used to looking past Eliot’s terrified snarl, that she never really realized how much Alec hurt too, because he’s got the hunted look at the corners of his eyes, not easy with them and their home. Anything that isn’t Alec’s, he barely touches, like he’s still expecting to be uprooted in a moment. It makes a keening noise build up in Parker’s throat, one she can’t let out.
And meanwhile, meanwhile. Fae magic has a distinctive feel. Eliot isn’t amused. He does his best. Eliot gets on with teenagers, but this is Hardison. And seeing Hardison wary of him again is painful, and even when he relaxes, Eliot feels like there’s no way he can be delicate enough about this. Parker is edgy about this, too, he knows, and Eliot doesn’t know how to be the glue here, has always appreciated Hardison, but missing him and how he balances them both strikes Eliot deeply. He just… does his best, and tries to be as honest as he can. It’s Eliot who meets the faerie (he thinks Parker has an idea of what’s going on, but she all but bares her teeth about the Otherworldly, so he doesn’t ask), Eliot who pours a glass of milk and crosses his arm, and doesn’t buy any of the fucking bullshit about why.
There’s no challenge, no trial this time. Yet. Eliot isn’t holding is breath. (He is, though, feeling like his chest is tightening as he waits, waits, waits, each hour immeasurable.)
Alec wakes up himself again, still bubbly with the giddiness of knowing there’s magic (that this future felt like magic), and fuck faeries, man. He goes to them, and kisses them, and he’s home.
He has a home. They have a home.
(Those cracked and burned places, already scarred, start grow a little greener still.)
England, teaching America how to argument: Now, convince me that I want the orange, not the apple.
Little America: I put a razor blade in that apple.
You know what doesn’t have a razor blade in it? This orange!
Joly, Bossuet and Grantaire adore Leverage and know most episodes by heart now. They are definitely "the bigger the audience the better" kind of people, but they /have/ divided all their friends into "converted to the cause" (chetta, bahorel, feuilly, eponine, courf, jehan) and "still feels the need to question improbabilities, needs more converting" (enjolras, combeferre, marius, montparnasse, sometimes cosette). The converting parties are great fun.
I can think of nothing to add except that Montparnasse starts becoming a believer when he and his crew actually end up using a con from the show and it actually fucking works?
Enjolras finally starts watching it to humor Grantaire, but then he stumbles on The Gimme a K Job in which Sophie has to work through -and manipulate- basically the whole congress. He ends up finding the episode fascinating and informative. He ends up rewatching a lot of the episodes, focusing on Sophie who he finds he admires greatly. (And come on, Leverage is EXACTLY the type of group he’d support in real life. Stopping the rich from exploiting the poor? Protecting people who have nowhere else to turn? Come on, son!)
Combferre is the last person to get on board. He just finds it a bit too unbelievable, a bit too outlandish. In the end, though, he can’t help getting sucked in by the OT3. And in the end, who actually cares if the shows believable?
Marius never comes to like it and eventually bows out of the watching parties altogether after sitting through The White Rabbit Job. (They all hate that episode, but Marius was particularly upset by it.)
Cosette just comes to really really really like Parker
Holly: I spent three days hacking White House e-mail. No buzz. Camellia: See? Holly: But we are doing some hinky stuff in Pakistan. Hinky. Camellia: Look, I’m miserable, they’re miserable. [to Oak] Okay, what—what have you been doing the last six months? Oak: … I was in Pakistan.
You weren’t really a fan of baseball, if you were perfectly
honest. It just wasn’t that interesting to you. However, if you were talking
about the men playing baseball, it
was a completely different story. Your older brother was a huge minor league
baseball fan, for no reason you could discern. They weren’t famous and most
games were basically the same. He’d drag you to a game every once in a while,
if you weren’t working, and you’d eat your overpriced hotdog, pretending to