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Sturdy and Serviceable

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Fic: House Rules
Title: House Rules
Fandom: Leverage
Warning: Contains suggestions of unsafe food-handling.
Pairing: You're new here, aren't you?
Notes: Third in the Odd Jobs series, by brown_betty and emeraldwoman.

Eliot: Not in the kitchen.

Eventually, Alec stops waiting for him to invite them over, and sends Parker to Eliot's place: "If he's there, just stay and don't explain, and text me. Don't tell him I sent you." Parker can get away with almost any kind of odd behaviour. Parker texts him, and he follows fifteen minutes later. Eliot looks pleased and guilty to see him, because, Alec's pretty sure, he's still got this idea that Parker is Alec's girl. Alec's really not sure why Parker has let him think she's anyone's girl.

Whatever, it's her business. He grins at Eliot. "Hey, man, bad time?"

"No, just, Parker's, uh--" he gestures over his shoulder and gives the helpless shrug that means Parker.

"Cool." Alec walks in. "Parker wanted to watch me blow you on your kitchen table, but the chance just didn't present itself."

It's a rush like hacking the federal reserve when Eliot rocks back on his feet. Alec grins, and Parker comes up behind Eliot.

"But we make our own opportunities, right?" says Parker.

"The kitchen?" says Eliot, which is really not the part Alec had been hoping he'd be fixating on at this point.

"Unless the idea of Parker getting off watching us bothers you," says Alec, dropping all pretense at playing fair.

"Mmmm" says Parker, like she's thinking of large denominations.

"--but," says Eliot, clearly a man at war with himself, "the kitchen."

Alec gives up on his script. "Yeah. Seriously, is that a problem?"

Eliot looks over his shoulder at Parker. "Would the coffee table work for you?"

Parker claps her hands together happily, and then hops up to lean over Eliot's shoulder and kiss him, nearly pulling him over before she pushes back and drops her weight off of him. "This is the first time anyone's ever done porn for me, you guys!"

"Darlin'," Eliot says, looking at Alec in a way that makes his spine shiver, "You are welcome."

Alec: Sleep somewhere else.

Alec mostly considers himself the luckiest nerd in the world, because he is sleeping with two crazy-ass kinetic geniuses, who always know where their bodies should go to best effect. Katrina Jolk from the cheerleading squad had been like that, but no one else in Alec's experience, and now he is sleeping with two of them, who are able to make him dissolve into mush on a regular basis without even thinking about it.

Unfortunately, it turns out they're terrible at the sleeping part.

Parker sleeps face up, knees pressed together and hands on her hips, or on her side, in a tight ball with her elbows jutting out. She gathers sheets around her until they're tucked under her body on both sides. She sleeps like someone who is used to protecting her space, always, and especially when she's vulnerable, and it makes his heart hurt to watch, but it also makes other parts of him hurt when he tries to spoon her in his sleep and collects an elbow in the face or a knee in the groin.

Eliot is what Nana would have called a restless sleeper, and what Alec calls - in his head, because he isn't a moron - one paranoid motherfucker. He's actually okay as a sleeper; it's the waking up that's trouble. With two other people in the bed, not to mention the occasional kitten attack, he wakes up all the goddamn time.

Parker has Jedi Master reflexes, but Alec doesn't, and while Eliot generally manages to wake up before he puts a fist through anyone's throat, the whole routine of suddenly waking to impending violence makes it hard for Alec to get his beauty sleep.

Alec figures the solution to this is pretty easy, so the next time they're all at his place, eating pizza (Parker and him), playing poker (Eliot and him) and talking about Torchwood's third "season" (just him), he says "Oh, yeah," and fishes two keys out of his pockets. "Eliot, your room is the second door on the right, and Parker, yours is across the hall from his."

"Oh, cool," Parker says, and goes to explore, taking the last slice of pepperoni with her.

Eliot looks at his keys like maybe Alec doctored it with a contact poison. "You... I have a room, now?"

Alec had kind of expected this, but it still hurts a little. "Specifically, man, you have a bed. A bed all to your own where you don't have to punch me in the gut."

"It was one time," Eliot protests, still looking at the keys. There is a thumping noise from down the hall, which is probably Parker exploring the exit from her room via the airshaft. "Uh, Hardison..."

It's never good when they Hardison him, so Alec gets there first.

"You're not moving in," he says, and rolls his eyes. "You've just got a room. I got five bedrooms, man. That's one for me, and one for my books, and one for the cats when Parker brings them over, and two for you guys. You're getting keys because Parker can get in here anyway, so I'm levelling the playing field. I'm a leveller. Affirmative action."

"Huh," Eliot says, and slips the keys into his pockets. "Well, thanks."

"You kidding? I'm being selfish here."

Which is entirely true, no matter that Eliot laughs at him. Alec likes sex, and he likes cuddling, but truth be told, he shared a bed from when he was four to when he was twelve, and that was enough. When the social workers showed up, they gave him a bed of his own, and then Nana did, and he likes it way too much to change.

In the last two months, he's given it the best chance he could, and he figures that's all anyone could ask.


- Put gloves on before you use her remote control. That is what the gloves are for.

- No sitting on the couch. It is not for sitting, it is for reaching the ceiling panel. You can sit on the floor.

- Don't make a fuss about her taking your wallet. She'll give it back when she notices she has it.

- Don't mention corn when she's drinking. (Alec has no idea why corn is so funny, but she choked water all over him, so he's only broken this one once).

- Every time you say "incarcerate", "prison", "fart", "lawyer", "police", or "Matlock", you have to put five dollars in the swear jar.

- Don't give the cats treats before breakfast.

- Under no circumstances is anyone to touch the radio settings.

When she first invited him to her place, Parker gave him a copy of these rules, written out in her awkward capitals, and made him burn them after memorising.

The morning after he and Eliot and Parker got together for the first time, Parker kicked Alec in the knee, and he slid out of bed, resigning himself to the good kind of exhaustion. Eliot was in Parker's kitchen, frowning at the list in his hand and moving his lips as he committed them to memory.

Alec crept away as quiet as he could, heel-to-toe, smiling.

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(Deleted comment)
I hope that little bits of this series come out every Friday.

Well, we discussed it. We have various Things To Do, but who knows? The ideas certainly aren't drying up any time soon.

I'm with rynia , these made me start recording Leverage. It was on my to-do list anyway (I fell in love with Hutton when Nero Wolfe was still airing), but the great fic sealed the deal.

I really did enjoy this.

Hee! I'm glad. I think people should watch it, as it is good wholesome funm.

They're so cute and broken and themselves. Terrifying criminal AWWWWW.

They're doing pretty okay for themselves, I think!

Oh this is hilarious! & I adore that you made an established relationship (established relationships?) have separate beds without it meaning the end of the world - makes perfect sense for the characters, and it's nice to see a little variety.

And the coffee table vs kitchen thing is just awesome.

Rejected bit of fic that never made it out of chat:

Maybe one day he's like “Okay. Enforced cuddling time. You're going to lie there and let me cuddle for five minutes. I'm setting the timer.”
Hardison: “…or not.”

Well, I don't know about corn, but this fic made me choke on drinking stuff.

Probably there was corn in your drinking stuff. That does it.

Oh, this is SO lovely; funny and sweet and oh, Parker's sleeping habits make me hurt inside.

(But pssst, when Hardison was eight he was already with his Nana because that was when she taught him to talk to people)

(But pssst, when Hardison was eight he was already with his Nana because that was when she taught him to talk to people)

Oh, darn it, that one's totally my fault. I vaguely thought about checking the ages and then didn't. Thanks for catching it!

Betty, let us edit, in the manner of our people!

REVISIONISM I CAN'T GET BEHIND THIS. (but apparently I can hit post precipitously)



When she first invited him to her place, Parker gave him a copy of these rules, written out in her awkward capitals, and made him burn them after memorising.


I love Hardison talking about Torchwood even though no one else cares, and that he has a seperate room for his books (and the cats) and Eliot's *look* at the thought of moving in, and PARKER. (I fear I am becoming predictable in my feedback on this point. But. *hearts*)

Yessss. The Torchwood bit is Em's line, but I <3 it. I think he just, you know, he knows it's probably futile, but feels it's his duty to try to give them a little bit of exposure to the important cultural works.

I'm afraid we're probably going to uselessly coo at them for a while. Supposedly fiction needs some kind of tension, I hear.

(Deleted comment)
We had a lot of fun generating Parker-rules.


thanks for making FRIDAY better! (I'm so over working now)

I'm imagining them now sleeping in three separate twin beds lined up next to each other in Hardison's room, with maybe end tables in between, like married couples on fifties sitcoms. Or Golden Age Bruce and Dick.

OMG, you got PERVERSION in our INNOCENT THREESOME FIC. Golden-age indeed! These are right-thinking thieves and murderers!

I kind of love this a lot.

You guys have to stop being awesome. I'm never getting any work done again!

Eliot was in Parker's kitchen, frowning at the list in his hand and moving his lips as he committed them to memory.

*dies of love*

This is so adorable! *is charmed* Aww, them. <3

Love the fic, but now have a toothache from all the sweetness.

Totally worth it.

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