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Title: The Nick of Time Job
Author: moragmacpherson
Fandoms: Doctor Who/Leverage
Characters Parker; Eleven
Pairings: Gen
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: 2,845
Spoilers: Vague spoilers for Leverage through 'The Rashomon Job' and through the fifth New!Who season
Warnings: None
Disclaimer: Leverage belongs to Dean Devlin, TNT, and their associated corporate identities; Doctor Who belongs to Steven Moffat, the BBC, and their associated corporate identities.
A/N: This story wouldn't exist without the combined efforts of the following people, all of whom are inexpressibly awesome in their own ways: idhren24 , kalliel, gabby_silang, viridian_magpie, clwright2, and naatz. I owe you all, big time. The Boston Museum of Art & Antiquities is a blatant falsehood perpetuated by Leverage canon; for the purposes of this story, it's located where the Gardner Museum exists in real life.

Summary: Parker thinks she's lucky when there's a cab waiting for her outside the Boston Museum of Art & Antiquities; the Doctor knows better.

Parker was fleeing the Boston Museum of Art & Antiquities, sans the Dagger of 'Aqu'abi, when she hopped into the cab without checking to see if it was occupied. "UMass, and make it snappy," she barked at the cab driver who shook his head and jerked his thumb, pointing it at the shadowy figure with bad hair sitting directly behind him.

"Already got a fare, crazy-cakes," said the driver.

"Quite all right: that's the University of Massachusetts in proper language, yes? I'd love to see the local University hereabouts." The shadow waved his hand and leaned over Parker to shut the door, the security guards now at the top of the stairs and racing down. Parker pushed back into the seat to avoid contact with him. "Allons-y, eh?"

The cab pulled away, and that's how it all started. In hindsight, Parker perhaps should have been offended, but the driver was right: Parker's insane.

(Everybody knows this; everybody says this - Nate says it, Hardison says it, Eliot comes up with a new way of saying it practically every day. Sophie doesn't say it but Parker can see it in the way that Sophie sometimes looks away and shakes her head. It's a known and accepted fact: Parker's willing to admit it. She's a little messed up and part of that probably stems from growing up in the system. But she knows she's always been just a little bit off, from her earliest memories, before the foster parents and the explosions and the time she watched the horse kill the clown.)

"So you seemed to be headed out of that museum with some alacrity," said the stranger with a smile.

It looked like he had more to say, but the driver cut him off. "I don't want to know about it."

"That's a bit rude, don't you think?" replied the stranger. He was pretty skinny - Parker thought she could probably take him if she had to. The driver looked a little stockier so she felt inclined to side with him - then again, that was pretty rude.

Parker decided to hedge her bets. "He probably shouldn't know. Really, nobody should know. In fact, I'm going to stop talking now. Just get me to the University, okay?" Parker folded her arms and leaned back into the corner of the cab as far away as she could get from the stranger.

He only looked put out for a second before grinning back at her. "I'm the Doctor, by the way. Pleasure to meet you."

Parker blinked at him. "Right." She did not attempt to shake the extended hand. Now the Doctor did look put out.

"'Right' is all you have to say? No quips about 'Doctor of what' or anything like that?"

Parker pursed her lips. "Nope."

"Fine then." The Doctor crossed his arms and mirrored Parker's position. "What does it take to get you to talk, Parker? You've never had any problem before."

He knew her name. She hadn't said her name - wasn't wearing her name tag that didn't say Parker anyway: it said Madison or Taylor or some other stripper name that never got noticed on catering gigs. Parker lunged forward. "Stop the car!"

"But this is Northeastern's campus not-"

"I said stop the car!"

The driver slammed on the brakes but also flipped the switch to lock the doors. "I'm not letting you out until one of you pays me. That'll be $7.75."

It was probably a good thing at this point that Parker had dropped the Dagger of 'Aqu'abi down the ventilation shaft because that meant she could avoid the warrant for assault with a deadly weapon.

She jiggled the door handle one last time before sighing loudly and glaring at the Doctor. "Well, go ahead and pay the guy. I'm not paying for the cab ride of the private dick who just caught me."

The Doctor held up his palms. "I don't have any money."

The driver turned around and shouted "Whaddya mean you don't have any money?" at the Doctor at the same time Parker did.

"I was expecting for you to pay!"

"But how did you know I was going to jump into your cab?" asked Parker, who noticed that she was actually pulling out her wallet and handing a ten dollar bill over to the driver.

The Doctor held up his finger. "I have a perfectly reasonable explanation for that. One which I will share with you just as soon as we're out of here."

Parker frowned while the cabbie futzed with the change, muttering under his breath about bad tipping practices. "Tell me now, because as soon as he opens that door, I'm gone."

"Oh, don't do that. I'm not here to nick you and it's actually a pretty good little story, it just makes me sound a bit unhinged, that's all. I'm not really crazy," he added to the driver who was staring at them while holding a limp dollar bill towards her.

"But I am," snapped Parker, snatching the bill and turning towards her door. "Now let me out!"

The driver unlocked the doors without another word, though Parker caught the beginning of the Doctor wishing him a good night as she started to sprint across Huntington Avenue, ignoring the fanfare of horns and tire squeals that heralded her crossing. "Parker, seriously, you're not nicked at all! Just come back here, I've got some things I need to tell you!"

Parker sighed and pivoted. "Why?" she called back, watching the Doctor mince through the traffic in a mess of gawky limbs that had no grace or economy of motion whatsoever. Parker's pretty sure the only reason he hadn't been hit was because Boston drivers avoided jaywalkers professionally.

His response was postponed by a passing train and was something of a letdown after all of her anticipation - and to Parker's surprise, she had been anticipating it. "Why what?"

"Why do you have things to tell me? Why are you following me? Why were you waiting for me? Who the hell are you, if you're not planning on busting me?" Every question that Parker came up with invited three more but she cut herself off after that one.

The Doctor was huffing and puffing from slaloming through traffic by the time he stumbled onto the sidewalk. "I told you: I'm the Doctor." He bent over and rested his hands on his knees for a second before inclining his head towards a nearby bench. "Can we sit and discuss the rest? The guards won't be after you."

Parker squared her shoulders. "Uh, yes they are?"

"No, they aren't."

Parker stomped her foot. "You can't know that!"

He smiled at her. "I'll explain when we sit down. C'mon," he said, waving her over.

Parker shifted in place for a few seconds and gnawed at her lower lip before deciding that she didn't have anything to lose by joining the Doctor over on the bench. She didn't have any contraband and it wasn't technically illegal to have a bag full of someone else's ugly pink party dress in Boston, so far as Parker knew anyway. She still sat on the other side of the bench, because this Doctor-guy sort of freaked her out, despite the fact that he looked nothing like a horse. He knew things about her, probably read them out of a file, and Parker disliked people who knew her from files - which was how almost everyone knew her, except for Archie. "So, explanations? And they'd better be damned good."

The Doctor sighed. "I was waiting for you because you told me that's how we met."

Parker blinked. "When did I do that?"

"When I met you."

Parker suppressed a groan. This guy might be even more than 'a little unhinged'. "I told you we had met when you met me?"


Parker replayed the sentence in her head, edging away a little further on the bench. "And you didn't think I was crazy?"


Parker sat back a bit, thinking. "Are you crazy?"


"Huh." Parker tilted her head. "And all this happened when?"

"In, oh, I think it was May of 2009? I lose track sometimes."

"It's August 2005 and that doesn't make any sense."

"Sure it does."

Parker huffed out a laugh. "Ha - no it doesn't. Doesn't even make sense to me - and I'm crazy."

"No, you're not." The Doctor pointed his finger at her while he said this, as if to reassure not just her but also himself of this fact.

"You just say that because you're crazy."

"No, I'm not."

Parker was running out of known options. "Well then what are you?"

"I'm a Time Lord."

"What's that?"

"A kind of alien. We travel through time and can change our faces- well, I do," he said, pausing and looking a bit perturbed before continuing, "but as I'm the only Time Lord left, if it's true about me then it's true about Time Lords." At this obvious evidence of his insanity Parker stood, ready to bolt, but dammit: he looked so honest while he was saying it. She felt this bizarre need to give him the benefit of the doubt - not a lot, just a little.

"Okay, prove it. If you're actually a time-traveling alien and not insane, prove it."

The Doctor hopped to his feet and beamed. "I knew you were going to say that!" He offered her his elbow and Parker found herself gingerly laying one hand over it, willing to follow the whims of this guy who was probably a homeless wino but at least he was scrawny enough she could probably take him. He covered her hand with his, and she didn’t break it. His hand was large and warm and comforting in a way that most people's weren't; so then again, maybe he really was an alien. "Follow me, Parker."

The Doctor led her down a nearby alley before releasing her hand to take a small key out of his pocket while standing in front of what looked like a blue phone booth. Parker read the signs. "You swear you're not the police."

"Nice to see you trust me, Parker."

Parker pouted. "That's kind of rude."

"Well, I am. You've never minded that before."

Parker was about to ask about when 'before' was but the Doctor stopped her train of thought by opening the door. "Huh."

The Doctor looked at her like she was the alien as they entered the vast space. "I show you a door that opens into a space that's bigger than the outside and all you can say is 'huh'? I guess you really weren't ready yet."

Parker stopped her goggling to scowl at the Doctor as he leapt up to the console at the center of the room and started pressing buttons. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"I'm just following the script you gave me when we first met. I'm the Doctor, I helped you get away from the security team at the museum, told you I was an alien who traveled through time and, um, did I mention I could change my face yet?"

"I think it might have come up once, yeah," said Parker as she watched him dance around the controls with a grace that he'd utterly lacked while crossing traffic.

"Good! Keep that in mind, you've never seen this face before: I'll have a whole other one when you see me next."

Parker looked him over. "Will you still have the bow tie?"

"No." He stopped and pulled at the accessory in question. "Why does everyone always have to pick on the bow tie. It's a helluva lot better than celery." He pointed a finger at her. "Bow ties are cool."

"No, they're not," said Parker. The Doctor pulled one last switch with a dismissive harumph. The piston at the middle started to turn with a strange whirring pulsing sound. "Are we traveling in time now?"

The Doctor grinned at her. "Yes, we are!" Parker grinned right back: this was way better than being assaulted in an alley by a hobo. She didn't even miss her can of mace. After a minute or so the piston stopped with a screeching shudder. "And now we're arrived."

"Where? When?" Parker pivoted to follow the Doctor as he dashed towards the door.

"Chicago, a couple of years in the future. Hurry up or you'll miss it!" And Parker found herself bouncing along after him as he darted out into the darkness. "Look, up there!" and she followed the finger he was pointing upward towards a glass-fronted office tower. A single figure plummeted from the roof only to snap to a halt about twenty storeys down.

"Is that me?" asked Parker, squinting at the tiny black-clad shape dangling from the building. She brushed at her hair, missing the black leather cap she could just make out from here. It had been one of the casualties when Hardison blew up the old office.

The Doctor laid his arm over her shoulder. Parker didn't mind. He didn't even scold her when he pulled her hand away from his pocket before she could even slip a finger inside. "Yes! This is what you told me had to happen first. After this, you'll be ready."

Parker turned under his arm, knowing that several hundred feet in the air she was cutting out a circle of glass, could tell that in this moment she existed in two places at once and that she could believe everything this slightly unhinged alien was telling her without being insane. "What will I be ready for?"

"Ready to travel with me." The Doctor's eyes appeared a little glassy under the lights, looked like he knew her - knew Parker - not just some facts typed up in a file. "Some of the best adventures I've ever had, Parker - and it all starts a few months after this, when you walk up to me and yell at me that it took too long to get there. You're going to tell me all about this night and how I told you that you had to go along." He shook his head with a small smile. "You won't accept no for an answer, not any of the thirty times I say it." His eyes got intense as he stared her down. "And that's why I'm here: so that you know what to do. Because I need you then. Just like you need me now." The Doctor looked away. "And that's why I'm here." He removed his arm from her and stepped back. "But you're not ready yet - told me you wouldn't be - so I have to take you home now."

Parker felt suddenly cold though the weather was warm. "Yeah, okay."

The Doctor put his hands in his pockets and looked down. "But you'll come through for me, right?"

Parker shrugged. "Of course." And she really meant it.

They didn't say much on the way back - at her request, the Doctor dropped her off in a safehouse in Paris. She declined his invitation to go out for banana daiquiris before he left; she had a lot to process right now and alcohol wouldn't help. "It gets better," he offered her as she stepped away.

Parker clung to the door of her lonely warehouse home. "Promise?"

He had the worst puppy-dog eyes when he said, "I do," and Parker didn't even really like dogs, maybe even liked to mentally kick the little yippy ones and send them soaring, yipping into the air, but she still felt kind of bad.

"Will I see this face again?" she asked as he walked down the hall.

The Doctor stopped short and rubbed his head. "Y'know: I have no idea." He grinned. "Guess I'll have to find out."

"I hope I do," said Parker.

"Yeah," he said with a blush. "Me too. But I'll see you then, all right?"

"Right," said Parker, and she shut the door, not knowing what to call this hollow feeling in her chest that had a strange, accompanying lightness. But she'd never been one for introspection, so she pushed both feelings away and got ready for bed instead.

It wasn't until the next morning that Parker realized that the Doctor hadn't told her exactly when they're going to meet up (Later he'll claim that doing so would have wiped Belgium off of the map but he's very fuzzy about how the mechanics of that would work so she's pretty sure he's lying because he likes being mysterious). So Parker is pleasantly surprised, sitting in the bar at the Watergate Hotel after putting the Hope Diamond back in its case, to hear what Eliot would call 'a very distinctive' whirring noise. When it stops she finishes her banana daiquiri and stands up. She realizes that right now she is ready to go traveling with the Doctor, and that strange light feeling in her chest returns - hope, she thinks it might be called.

When the scrawny guy in the brown pin-striped suit walks through the door, Parker's certain she'll be able to take him.


-Two strangers share the backseat of a cab
-A chance meeting in a hotel bar


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 9th, 2010 10:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, this was brilliant!
A cab ride & Parker not being ready yet but the Doctor's just following what she said then & bow ties! banana daiquiris!
I can't pick any one thing over the other because it's all lovely! ♥
Dec. 9th, 2010 10:33 pm (UTC)
Hee - those are some of my favorite tropes as well! I was given the prompt well beyond the last minute, and so my go-to solution was to throw all my favorite Parker and Eleven tropes into a blender and hold down the frappe button until it stopped making that grinding noise. ;^) Sometimes it works; sometimes you kill the blender. Anyway, I'm very glad that you liked the resulting concoction, and thanks for taking the time to leave the kind and detailed review.
Dec. 10th, 2010 05:30 am (UTC)
Excellent job! Parker &Ten&Eleven. Great fun!
Dec. 11th, 2010 03:52 am (UTC)
It was a lot of fun to write too. Thanks for reviewing!
Dec. 10th, 2010 09:26 pm (UTC)
Parker traveling with the Doctor YES PLEASE. Great fic :)
Dec. 11th, 2010 03:52 am (UTC)
IKR: how much fun would that be? Glad to hear you enjoyed it.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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