Title: Video Killed the Radio Star
Characters: Alec Hardison/Claudia Donovan, Myka Berring, Eliot Spencer, Parker, Sophie Devereaux, Nathan Ford
tamingthemuse Prompt: #276 ~ A journey of a thousand miles starts with a quick stumble.
Content Warning: N/A
Summary: There are not many people who can trip up Alec Hardison.
Author’s Note: Written for the Anon Meme, with the prompt: “Myka (W13) & Hardison (Leverage), don't make me frisk you while you're holding an artifact.” I went hacker as oppose to technology when I was making the artifact, so I hope you like it anyway.
Disclaimer: I don’t own. They belong to TNT and ScyFy. I’m just borrowing and will put everything back where I found it.
There are not many people who can trip up Alec Hardison.
It’s not that Hardison isn’t awesome—well, no, that’s a lie, he is awesome, which is why tripping him up only happens every so often, and when he does get tripped up, he usually knows where it’s coming from. The answer is almost always in the code, and he knows most of the codes good enough to write him out.
The only reason he notices is because this job isn’t supposed to be that hard. The guy who they’re trying to steal from doesn’t have any kind of hacker credential at all, and while his systems are top notch, he’s Alec-freakin’-Hardison, and even the most top notch systems have their weaknesses, which he had been exploiting for the past hour. This code that is coming in now is new. It’s new and very different than anything Hardison has seen on the server so far, and it’s enough to make him put down his orange soda and start to pay attention.
It takes a little bit of poking and a quick game of cat and mouse, but in the end, he couldn’t stop the grin that crosses his face when he realizes the source of the code. All it takes is a few more key strokes before his phone is vibrating on the table next to him.
“Alec Hardison, what the hell are you doing poking around my suspect’s bank accounts?”
“I don’t know, Claudia Donovan,” he teases. “What the hell are you doing poking around my mark’s financial information?”
“That’s a much longer story,” she sighed. “Got a minute?”
“For you? I got all day.”
Claudia and Hardison met shortly after her parents died. She wasn’t in foster care exactly, but they had the same social worker, and occasionally wound wind up in the same place. They became friends before either of them ever dreamed of touching a computer, but at the end of the day, they’re both to blame for the other’s respective affinity to them. Hardison just went one way, while Claudia went the other.
Hardison never says that his way was better, but in the end, it gets both of them what they want—a family who would do anything for them, and loves them in their own special way.
Convincing the team to let Claudia and her partner in on this was a lot harder than it was for Claudia to convince her partner that he was worth getting assistance from. He knows it won’t be easy, but he at least had to try, and having Claudia there to do her hacker thing helps smooth the way a little, but it’s still not perfect.
Sophie’s the first to comment on Hardison’s attraction to her. That’s all it takes for him to get a glare from Eliot and this gem of a comment:
“You don’t let Vicki Vale in the bat cave, man.”
Claudia happens to be in earshot—not Eliot’s most subtle move—and she raises an eyebrow. “Does he even know enough about Batman to make that kind of comment?”
“He tries,” Hardison sighs as he settles in at the keyboard next to her. “Bless his heart, he tries.”
The only thing that really unsettles him about the whole thing is that Claudia and her partner Myka seem to know way more about this job than he does. There’s something that she’s keeping from him, and it nags at the back of his mind, but she told him not to ask too many questions, and he’s honoring that.
But as soon as the job is over, Hardison’s getting nosy in his own special way. That, however, is an issue for another time.
When it comes time for the con and getting what they need for their client, they use Myka’s secret service credentials to get them inside. Sophie is thrilled—it isn’t often she gets to play a secret service agent, while Hardison and Claudia sneak in with their janitorial garb, and go right for the server room. He heads in deep, trying to get the most direct connection to the server, but when he hits the center of the room, all he finds is …
“ … Is that a radio?”
Claudia isn’t far behind him, pushing up on her toes to peer over his shoulder for a moment, before reaching for her bag. “Kevin Poulsen’s radio—Mykes? We’ve hit paydirt.”
“Kevin Poulsen—Dark Dante Kevin Poulsen?”
“That’s the one.” Claudia is doing something behind his back, but Hardison isn’t entirely sure what, but he’s more focused on the radio at the moment. It’s the way that it’s connected into the server that’s entrancing him, and before Claudia can say anything, Hardison is reaching forward to pull it from the server.
“Hardy, no, don’t!”
When he actually turns around to face his partner, Myka is standing behind him with what looks like a gun in her hand, but he can’t entirely be sure. It looks like a phaser out of Star Trek more than anything else, and his hands go up into the air on instinct, one hand still clutched reflexively around the radio.
“Hardison, I like you, and I really don’t like shooting Claudia’s friends, but please don’t make me frisk you while your holding an artifact.”
“Arti-what?” he says, eyes bugging slightly. “What am I holding exactly?”
“An artifact,” Claudia explains, starting to make her way closer, hands in the air as well. She had purple rubber gloves on her hands and a silvery looking bag in her hand. “And I will explain what that means more later, but right now, I need you to hand me the radio, and not make any sudden movements.”
Hardison nods slowly, before moving to hand her the radio with a very wary look on his face. He watches, closely, as Myka moves forward to help Claudia get the bag open, before Claudia drops the radio inside. The bag sparks, and Hardison jumps back with a surprised noise.
“Ho, ho—hold on now. What was that? What just happened? What the hell kind of secret service agents are you?”
Myka smirks a bit, before looking at Claudia. “You wanna take this one?”
“Yeah,” Claudia says with a grin. “I’ll take this one.”
“So you’re working for a secret branch of the secret service that deals with items that just … come to life and go all Chucky on people’s asses.”
Claudia gives him a look like he’s had too much to drink, but in the end she shrugs. “Yeah, I guess that’s close enough.”
Hardison chuckles before shaking his head. “Man, I do not envy you right now. And I thought my job was crazy.”
She grins. “Yeah, it’s crazy, but I really love it a lot. It works for me, you know? Just like I think this works for you.” She tips her head to the side as she looks back at him. “It’s like the Supro Orzak to my Hendrix.”
“I feel you, I feel you,” he says with a nod. “And I don’t blame you. It looks good on you.”
“Yeah,” she says with a grin as she turns to face him and holds out her arms. “You too.”
He leans into the hug, and holds her close for a moment, before pulling back and looking at her. “But you be safe, alright? I don’t want to hear about some freaky ass thing blowing you up and getting Claudia bits all over the room.”
“Don’t worry,” she says with a grin. “I’ll be careful.”
“Good,” he nods, before starting to head back to his team. After a few steps, he pauses and turns back to her again. “And let’s not wait until we get in each other’s hair to call each other again, a’ight?”
“Please, Hardy,” she says with a grin as she continues to walk back towards her partner. “You always want me in your hair.”
He just grins as he walks away, because he honestly couldn’t say that he didn’t.