Spoilers: Through the end of season 3
Characters: Nathan Ford, Sophie Devereaux, Alec Hardison, Parker, Eliot Spencer, Maggie Collins, and Tara Cole
Pairings: Nate/Sophie, mentions of past Nate/Maggie, Parker/Hardison, and Sophie/Tara
Summary: When the zombie apocalypse strikes, the team has to figure out how to face it.
As Nate and Sophie pulled up to Parker's apartment, Parker galloped outside, her blonde hair bouncing against her shoulders. She didn't even wait for Nate to stop the car before opening the passenger door and flinging herself at Sophie.
"You're not a zombie!" Parker beamed.
Sophie unbuckled her seat belt and gently pushed Parker back. "Of course not. Where's Eliot?"
"He said something about making breakfast," Parker replied. "Apparently cereal isn't good enough for him."
"Do you have that kind I like?" Sophie asked as Nate climbed out of his side of the car.
"I have all kinds. Come on. Eliot said it's not safe to be outside for too long. Something about noise might attract the zombies."
"Did Eliot finally admit that they could be zombies?" Nate said, taking Sophie's arm as they followed after Parker.
"Not exactly." Parker glanced over her shoulder and grinned. "He and Hardison are still fighting about it."
Nate rolled his eyes. "Great."
Eliot poked his head out of the door to Parker's apartment/warehouse. "I'm not coming out to rescue your asses if you get into trouble."
Sophie rolled her eyes as she walked past him inside. "Happy? Parker mentioned something about breakfast."
"If cereal is what you're looking for," he sighed. "Nate, have you gotten up with Hardison?"
"Why haven't you talked to him?"
"If I have to hear about zombies being real one more time…"
"Yeah, yeah. I'll call him." Nate pulled out his phone and glanced over to where Sophie had pulled out a box of Cocoa Puffs. "You like that cereal?"
"What? You thought I ate something practical like Wheaties?" She smiled and started to hunt down a bowl. "Not a chance. Do you want some?"
"No thanks. Got a phone call to make."
Parker joined Sophie at the table and swiped a few pieces of cereal from her bowl. "What's the plan?"
Sophie shrugged. "I think we'll be getting Hardison soon. After that, we're going to have to get Maggie as well."
"Maggie? What for?"
"She's on her own," Sophie said as she spooned some cereal into her mouth. Parker took some more and crunched down on it. "Parker, if you want some cereal, just get your own bowl."
"I like it like this."
"You're stealing my food."
"Exactly. It's better this way."
Eliot shook his head and set a cup of coffee in front of Sophie. "Here. Parker, get off the table. Chairs were made for a reason."
"This is my place." Parker pouted, but she slid off the table and into a chair. "I want coffee."
"No." He delivered a cup to Nate. "You don't need any more caffeine."
"But, I want some," Parker whined. "It's my coffee."
Sophie nudged her cup in Parker's direction. "Here, drink some of mine."
Parker smiled in delight and sipped at the steaming liquid while Sophie kept eating her cereal. Nate walked back over to the table, shoving his phone back into his pocket.
"And, are we going to rescue Hardison?" Parker asked as she gulped down some coffee.
Eliot turned around from where he was putting away the cereal and groaned. "I thought I said no coffee, Parker."
Sophie ignored Eliot's glare and looked up at Nate. "Well, what's the plan?"
"Hardison said that the bar looks clear. I think we can go in to get him." Nate placed a hand on her shoulder. "We'll have to pick up supplies before we leave to get Maggie."
"Can I go by my apartment to get my stuff?" Sophie asked.
"No," Nate said hesitantly. "It's too dangerous." She started to frown, so he hurried to say, "However, we can go to a store to get you new clothes."
"How is that not as dangerous as simply getting her stuff from her apartment?" Eliot asked as he sipped at his own cup of coffee.
"We need weapons regardless. We might as well try to stay in as confined an area as possible. We don't want to flush out any zombies who might be wandering around."
"What makes you think they won't be at any stores?"
"They're after people, right? Therefore, they should be traveling to the largest supply of humans. In other words, hopefully, not anywhere around here."
Parker grinned. "It sounds like a great plan."
"Because something is wrong with you," Eliot said in a tired voice.
Sophie glanced up at Eliot. "Nate does have a point. There are more likely to be people still in my apartment building than in a shopping mall. It's our best bet."
"Are clothes really that important?"
"I don't have anything else to wear. It might not be important now, but it will be eventually."
Eliot sighed. "Fine. How long until we leave, Nate?"
"About thirty minutes. Do you have any guns here?" Nate looked around at the sparse furnishings and then back at Parker.
Parker jumped out of her chair and hurried over to her bed where she pulled a chest out from under it. She picked the lock and whipped out a few guns of varying sizes.
"Will these do?"
"You picked your own lock?" Sophie asked as she walked over to examine the weapons.
"You're all okay with Parker having guns in her possession?" Eliot said, preferring to stay where he was.
"Right now, this is a good thing," Nate replied. "You're going to need one of these, Eliot."
"No way. I don't use guns."
"Eliot, you can't punch a zombie and expect it to go down," Sophie said as she rolled her eyes. "We don't know if there is a virus that can be transmitted, or how it can be transmitted. It's a risk we can't take."
"Fine," Eliot grumbled. "Still don't like guns, though."
Nate eyed the one sticking out of Sophie's purse and frowned. "I'm not much of a fan, either."
Sophie stared Nate down until he turned away and gulped down the rest of his coffee. Parker sat on the floor, petting her gun of choice and whispering to it, her stuffed bunny tucked under her right arm. Nate dropped his mug onto Parker's bedside table and straightened his shirt.
"All right, time to go."
"Hardison, is there any sign of movement downstairs?" Nate asked as he waited outside the bar with Eliot beside him. Sophie and Parker were flanking them, just a few steps behind.
Hardison glanced over at his laptop. "Nope. There might be a few zombies lurking in the corners, but I can't see anything. You should be fine."
"For the last time, they're not zombies," Eliot growled.
"Official word is that they are," Hardison replied, a smug smile on his face. "Military released an announcement this morning via the Internet and any major news networks still operating. They are calling this an outbreak of a zombie virus. Put that in your pipe and smoke it."
"Eliot doesn't smoke pipes, Hardison," Parker piped up.
Nate ignored that remark and turned to Eliot. "Lead the charge. This is your area, after all."
Eliot shrugged and turned off the safety on his gun as he edged his way into the bar. The floor was littered with broken glass, and he kicked one broken bottle away from his feet. When there was no response to the sound of the shattering glass, he relaxed a little.
"I think it's clear," he said, looking back at Nate.
At that moment, a zombie lunged at him from under a table. Eliot whipped his head back around and shot it in the head, reaching out to nudge the body with his foot to make sure it was dead. He let out a breath when he was satisfied the thing wouldn't get back up, and he took the time to evaluate the rest of the group. Nate had a grimace on his face, Sophie was white as a sheet, and Parker was looking at him with a disturbing fascination.
"That was awesome," Parker breathed out.
"Hey, what's going on down there?" Hardison asked over the comms, a little frantic. "Is everyone okay?"
"Yeah, we're fine," Nate responded automatically. "We're on our way up."
"Well, are we ready to go?" Eliot asked, itching to get out of the vulnerable bar.
"There's still the matter of transportation to be settled," Nate said as he sipped at a glass of water. He had tried for scotch earlier, but Sophie had confiscated it.
"We should take Lucille 3.0," Hardison said, looking up from where he was going through his computers and equipment. "It's big enough for all of us."
Sophie wrinkled her nose. "It smells funny in there. Can't we take Nate's car?"
"It's not big enough for all of us," Parker pointed out.
"Lucille does not smell," Hardison said, offended.
Parker turned to look at him, a condescending smile on her face. "It does."
"I just got her."
"Maybe it's just a thing with vans named Lucille."
"That makes no sense."
"The van doesn't have enough seats for all of us, anyway," Nate cut in. "We can take it, and my car. Eliot, do you mind driving the van?"
"And be stuck with Hardison for hours?" Eliot asked. He shook his head. "No thanks, man."
"I can drive it," Parker offered.
Hardison blanched. "No way, mama. I am not letting your crazy ass anywhere near that driver's seat."
Nate cleared his throat. "Eliot, you'll drive the van. Sophie, are you going with me?"
"Yes," she responded automatically. "What about communication? Do we have to leave our earpieces in the entire time?"
Nate thought about that; it would be safer to keep tabs on everyone at all times. However, the amount of arguing that went on when there was nothing for the team to do would end up driving him insane.
"How about this: we can take out the earpieces and check in every two hours," Sophie said. "Does that sound okay?"
Nate nodded. "Sure. Okay. Let's get out of here. We're driving straight to L.A., so Hardison, you and Eliot might have to take the driving in shifts."
"Roger that, boss," Hardison said, gathering up his bags. "Come on, Parker, let's get settled in the van. I've got it set up so we can play some games."
"Like that shooting game?" Parker asked as she followed him out the door.
Eliot groaned and looked at Nate. "You owe me."
Nate chuckled as Eliot left the apartment and turned to Sophie. "Ready to go?"
She held up the bag of her clothes that she normally left at Nate's place in case of emergencies and smiled. "Ready as I'll ever be."He held out his hand. "Then, come on."