- Violence - Canon-Level
- Challenge Response
- Crime Drama
“Dammit Hardison” Elliot cursed as he dove into the nearest vehicle that was unlocked, followed closely by Parker. They were dodging bullets from a bunch of very angry Europeans.
“How was I to know that they were being funded by the Russian mob?” Hardison’s voice came over the coms as his hands flew over the keyboard trying to divert the Russians and figure out what he had missed even as he tried to find them safe passage home.
“You do your damn job, that’s how.” Eliot snarled swerving to lose the car chasing them.
“My damn job? I did my damn job. You want to do it for a change?” Hardison grumbled even as he hacked traffic cams and lights to help Eliot and Parker evade capture.
“Never mind that. Just get here, and we can figure something out.” Nate cut in quickly.
“It took us ages to come up with this plan, and now we have to find a neÓw one when we are up against a deadline? “ Sophie put in shaking her dark head unhappily.
“I know, Sophie. But we can’t disappoint our clients. We have a Christmas deadline for a reason. Anyway, Eliot, Parker, get here and we can start sorting it out.” Nate said tiredly.
It had been a hard couple of months with back to back jobs, and as much as they enjoyed their jobs, they were all running a little low. Mistakes happened when they were this tired, and they really couldn’t afford mistakes in their line of work.
As they swerved and ducked through traffic Parker climbed into the back of the white van that they had managed to break into to see if there was anything that might help them evade their enemies and found a couple of red sacks in the back. Her heart sank as she opened one hoping against hope that it wasn’t what she thought it was.
A pained gasp from the blonde brought everyone’s attention to the thief.
“Parker? What, what is it?” Eliot asked, daring a quick glance in the rearview mirror.
“You alright, Parker? You ok, girl?” Hardison asked concern clear in his voice over the earbuds.
“Guys, we goofed big time,” Parker said sadly pulling the sack closed as she moved back to the front to join Eliot.
“What is it, Parker?” Nate asked hoping that it was a problem that could be fixed although it didn’t sound like it from Parker’s tone.
“There are toys in the back. Red sacks of toys with the Toys for Tykes logo on them..” Parker stated a panicked expression on her usually calm face. “We stole Christmas.”
It made a certain kind of sense that the first open vehicle they would find in that neighbourhood would be for a charity. After all, in the kids in that neighbourhood were the ones who needed toys the most.
Miles away, Nate rubbed his forehead tiredly. This was the last thing they needed. They already had a completely screwed up plan for their job, and now Parker was going to insist that they return the van, he just knew it. Not that he was against returning it in principle, Nate wanted the kids to have their toys for Christmas as much as anyone else, but there was no possible way that they could do it without getting killed as things stood.
As he exchanged resigned glances with Sophie, Nate sighed.”Just get back here. Pull into the alley behind the brewpub, and we can figure out a plan.”.
“But, Nate. We have to return the toys. We can’t steal the toys from these kids. I don’t want coal in my stocking from Santa.” Parker insisted making Nate pinch the bridge of his nose.
“I know, Parker. We’ll return the toys. Somehow we need to come up with a plan to return the plan and get those Russians out of the neighbourhood so our clients can return to their homes safely.” Nate answered, and Parker nodded, relieved that the plan would include the stolen toys. She smiled widely at Eliot who just glared at her and continued to drive towards their brewpub.
* * *
A few phone calls, one high-speed chase and one expert hack – according to Hardison – later they had managed to convince the Russians to back off and return to their hideout. On the plus-side, Eliot and Parker were free to return home in the stolen van without being followed, but on the other, they still had the toys, and their clients were still unable to return to their homes for Christmas safely.
They had forty-eight hours in which to figure out a plan to fix things. None of them had been keen on taking another job so close to Christmas, but they hadn’t been able to refuse for the same reason, and they were paying for it now with mistakes and near-misses.
“How are we going to fix things? We need to fix this.” Parker insisted as she got out of the van and walked into the office.
“Yes, Parker, we heard you the first time,” Nate said, raising his hands placatingly.
Hardison came up to her to take her hand in his and give it a supportive squeeze before retreating back behind his keyboard.
“Don’t worry, Parker. We’ll get those toys back to the kids.” Sophie soothed, running her hand gently down Parker’s arm as she passed to sit next to Nate.
“Good, ‘cause I ain’t gonna be known as the thief who stole Christmas. I can steal diamonds, and I can steal paintings, but I’m not going to steal toys from little kids who need them.” Parker said definitively sinking onto the couch unhappily.
“Yes, Parker, we get it. Gimme a minute here.” Nate said, holding up a hand to stop her from ranting further.
All of them knew how Parker felt about Christmas, and they admired her childlike wonder at the season.
“Ok, Eliot, can you get me an identical van? Parker, get the plates off this one and Hardison, could you hack the FBI and put out an APB on the van for gun-running?” Nate said after a few minutes of thought, “Sophie, you’re coming with me.” He added getting up and walking briskly towards the front of the brewpub where the restaurant was situated.
“What are you thinking, Nate?” Sophie asked as she followed him out to a table.
“I’m thinking maybe we can get two birds with one stone,” Nate said smirking at her as she smiled back the beginnings of understanding glimmering in her eyes.
* * *
It took a lot of finagling, but somehow the team managed to convince Agents Taggert and McSweeten who were conveniently in town for a case that the gunrunners had stolen the toys for tykes truck and used it to move their shipments. The feds had their major arrest, and the kids got their toys back. Best of all, their clients were able to safely return to their home and all well before Christmas eve.
It left the team with a nice feeling of accomplishment. This was why they did their job.
Profilers for Christmas is an anonymous crime drama Advent Calendar featuring both art and stories. Additional information about the challenge can be found here.