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 Maggie/Nate, Parker/Hardison, and Sophie/Tara
Summary: When the zombie apocalypse strikes, the team has to figure out how to face it.
Sophie checked her array of weapons and started to strap them onto her body. She had two handguns, one in a holster on her hip and the other attached to the top of her left thigh over her jeans. She stuffed extra clips into her back pockets. She also had three knives; one was a wickedly long blade that slid under her holster. The other two she stuck into the strap on her thigh. She stood, waiting on Parker and Eliot who were arming themselves in the same manner.
Nate, Hardison, and Maggie had taken the van into the city thirty minutes later. They were in charge of bringing back more weaponry and supplies. She would be leaving any moment with Parker and Eliot in pursuit of clothing and entertainment; they had all discovered after one day in the house together that they needed more to do than simply sitting around with each other.
"Ready?" Eliot turned to look at her, his face serious and dark.
Parker grinned. "I'm ready."
Sophie sucked in a breath and tried not to think of all the ways this could go horribly wrong. "I'm ready."
Eliot nodded his head and started for the door, talking as they followed behind him. "We stay together. Parker, do not wander off. We get what we need and get out. We have to be back here before dark."
She could see the tension in his muscles, so she tugged gently on his arm and gave him a calming smile. "Eliot, take a breath. We're going to listen to you."
"And, we've got your back," Parker chimed in. She bounced out the door. "I'm driving!"
Sophie blanched at the idea and hurried after her. "No, Parker!"
The deserted city gave her chills; the day was hot and cloudless, and there was more than enough evidence that the zombie epidemic had raged through the area. Abandoned cars, broken windows, looted storefronts, and dark stains that looked like blood and made bile crawl up the back of her throat.
In the end, Eliot had ended up driving, and she focused on him, his fingers so tight on the steering wheel that his knuckles had turned white. Parker was in the back, fidgeting; Sophie knew the girl was impatient to get out and do something because Nate had been adamant that they couldn't risk letting her outside. Sophie hoped things would change soon, not only for Parker's sake, but for everyone's sanity as well.
As they pulled up into the fire lane outside a shopping mall, Parker let out a reverential whispered, "We're here."
Sophie waited for Eliot to stop the car and get out; once he had surveyed the area and determined there was no immediate danger, he motioned to them to join him. Parker practically bolted from the vehicle. Sophie took a little more time, scanning the building in front of them.
It might have just been her imagination, but the mall looked derelict and like it had been abandoned for a long time. Of course, the feeling that they were walking through a ghost town wasn't helping. Parker led the way to a side door with Eliot and Sophie flanking her. She tried the door and grinned when she realized it was locked.
Parker knelt and slipped out her lockpicking kit, getting straight to work. Eliot rolled his eyes.
"We should just break it down."
"No. Noise attracts the zombies," Parker explained as she fiddled with her tools and the lock. "Besides, this way, we can lock it back up after we leave to keep zombies out. In case we need to come back for anything."
"That's a very good plan, Parker," Sophie said in a knee-jerk reaction.
Parker turned a blinding smile on her and pushed the door open. Eliot stepped into the dark void first.
"All clear." He stuck his head back out and motioned to them. "Stay behind me. And don't forget to close that behind you."
Sophie moved gingerly, slipping her gun from the holster on her hip. Parker clicked on a flashlight, and even though there was a good bit of light coming through the windows, she was grateful for the little yellow beam. They had come in on the right side of the mall, so they were only a few feet away from a large department store. Looters had been there before them; they crunched glass from the windows into the carpet.
Sophie and Parker worked quickly to gather clothes for everyone while Eliot kept watch. After they filled the three duffel bags, Parker slung two over her shoulders and Sophie took the third. They didn't talk while on the move for a store that could provide entertainment.
"I think we should head to the other side," Eliot said after a few minutes of walking.
They all stopped, and they heard the distinct sound of something breaking inside a store. Sophie grabbed her gun and aimed it in the store's direction.
"I had forgotten how hot you are with a gun in your hands."
Tara stepped out of the store, and Sophie holstered her gun, taking off in a run to Tara. She swept the blonde woman into a crushing hug.
"Where have you been? I tried calling you, and I never heard from you." Sophie was vaguely aware of Eliot and Parker getting closer, but she stayed wrapped up in Tara's arms.
Tara chuckled. "I dropped my phone into a puddle that was more of a lake while I was being chased by zombies, but I had already gotten your message that you were heading in this direction. I've been squatting here for the past week."
"No wonder you look so awful," Sophie replied with a grin. "I'm just glad that you're safe."
"Same here, darling."
Tara smiled at her and tilted her head down, capturing Sophie's lips in a soft kiss. Sophie leaned into her before remembering the others standing right there, and she pulled away.
"We should probably go soon." Sophie wiped at her mouth and picked her bag back up.
"I need to get my things." Tara started to back up in the direction she had come from. "Can someone come with me?"
"I'll go with Tara. You and Parker find what we need and meet us back at the entrance," Eliot instructed. He turned a glare to Tara and stalked into the store. "Come on."
Parker watched him leave and shrugged, taking off at a brisk walk. Sophie followed about a foot behind.
"So, you never mentioned anything about Tara being your girlfriend," Parker piped up after a couple of minutes of silence.
Sophie sighed. "She's not my girlfriend."
"She kissed you, and you kissed her back. What is going on?"
"We've been friends for a long time."
"People who are just friends do not kiss each other." Parker grinned wickedly. "Because that means we should start kissing."
"Would you like that, Parker?"
Parker stopped and looked at her, narrowing her eyes. "That's not the point. I don't care if you're in love with Tara or Nate. I just asked a question."
"Friends-with-benefits. That's what our relationship has been for years."
Parker nodded her head and kept moving, bouncing when she spotted an electronics store and a bookstore beside each other. She chewed on her lip and considered their options; they didn't have enough time to go through both together.
"I'll take electronics, you do the books," Parker decided, already halfway into the electronics store.Sophie sighed and headed into the bookstore; it had already been a long day, and they hadn't seen a zombie yet. Hopefully their luck would hold out.