Author's Note: Okay so don't laugh, but episode 6 was actually the first episode I saw XD Originally Leverage was just going to be a show that I saw a few episodes of while I was staying with my sister in college and we had a TV night with her friend, but then I was hooked and so here we are.

Let me say... I knew I loved Parker and Hardison from that very first episode :)

Parker couldn't sleep. She had known that, in staying with the team, she would be running cons that could be challenging sometimes. She just had no idea that they were going to hit so close to home.

Hugging her pillow, Parker twisted onto her other side for the eight time that evening. The alarm clock, situated in her line of sight, blinked pale green numbers at her: 1:04.

Parker made a face and sat up, rubbing her eyes. Nothing could be done for her. It was time to pull yet another all-nighter.

She wandered out of her room and towards her front door, putting her feet into her comfiest pair of clogs and shrugging on a sweatshirt. She had way more money than she would ever know what to do with, but as she had told Hardison and Eliot, she didn't like stuff, she liked money. That was fine with her, but it meant that her apartment was pretty much bare.

Though when she did spend money, it was on fairly high-quality things, so her clogs were pretty darn great.

Parker yawned and picked up her water bottle, opening the door of her apartment and wandering into the hallway. All of the night-time protocols had been put in place in her building by this hour, so she was resigned to walk through dim corridors and a nearly pitch black four flights of stairs.

Before she had exactly decided where to go, Parker's feet turned her towards the Leverage office. She would walk. Public transportation was sketchy at this time of night and she hated Ubers.

The Leverage office was nice. It looked like Nate and it smelled like Sophie, which reinforced the already evident fact that the two of the were basically the parents and Hardison, Eliot and Parker were the kids. Parker didn't mind. She had always wanted brothers, and Eliot and Hardison would do just fine for that.

Thinking of Hardison made her eyebrows furrow a little. It was become pretty clear, even to her, that he cared about her. She just wasn't sure how, exactly.

That was alright; she didn't need to know. At least not yet.

Parker used her key to let herself into the office and walked into the kitchen. Eliot had stocked them with food when they had all decided that they'd be sticking around, and he almost always made them lunch and sometimes even dinner when things ran late. Parker wandered over to the cupboard and pulled out a mix. Pancakes seemed like a just about perfect idea right about now.

She had just started mixing the eggs into the powdery mixture when she heard the sound of a key in the lock. Parker froze. The clock on the wall read 1:54. It seemed much too much of a coincidence that someone else would be having trouble sleeping.

Eyes wide, Parker grabbed her bowl of pancake mixture and ducked behind the table as the door slid open. She heard a sigh, and then footsteps, before they stopped.

"Yo, is someone here?"

Parker's eyes went wide. Hardison.

"Did we seriously leave the light on?" Hardison muttered, walking further into the kitchen. "Even after Sophie yelled at us about being responsible with our electricity?"

"No..." Parker said, slowly standing up.

Hardison let out a tiny, high-pitched scream and stumbled back. "Jeezum Parker, you scared the heck outta me! Why were you hiding behind the table? With... a bowl of batter...?"

"Pancake mix," Parker corrected, setting the bowl calmly back on the table. "I was going to make pancakes."

"Oh." He put his hands into his pockets. "You couldn't sleep either?"

Parker screwed up her face and shrugged. "Today was kinda tough," she admitted. "I don't like talking about adoption stuff. And I don't like remembering those... early years. Also... we saved that orphanage but, like, there are more crummy ones out there and we really can't do anything about it, you know?"

Hardison looked thoughtful as he walked closer to the table and slid the bowl of pancake mix toward him. "Have you ever heard of the starfish story?"

"Huh?" Parker watched as he picked up the spatula and started to mix the contents of the bowl.

"The starfish story," Hardison repeated. "It's basically about this girl and boy who go walking down the beach after there's been a storm. There's a ton of starfish washed up and the girl starts throwing them back into the ocean. The boy's all like, 'you know you can't save all of them', but the girl just says, 'no. But I can save this one. And this one.' " He shrugged. "It just kinda makes me think of that. We can't stop all the crime and corrupt stuff in the world, but-"

"We can stop some of it," Parker completed, considering. "I guess you're right."

He snorted. "Of course I'm right. Now do you wanna turn on the griddle or not? These pancakes aren't gonna make themselves."