merryghoul: River sonic screwdriver comics (parker david)
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Title: Parker the Friendly Ghost | AO3
Fandom: Leverage
Rating: G
Length: 500 words
Content notes: no standard notes apply
Author notes: for [ profile] dollsome's autumn comment ficathon, since I really liked the prompt "Hardison/Parker, friendly ghost AU" a lot and didn't act upon it until now
Summary: Hardison's never been a fan of tight, enclosed spaces. It's even worse when those spaces are dark.

Hardison's never been a fan of tight, enclosed spaces. It's even worse when those spaces are dark.

It's no surprise when, while trying to fix a mainframe in a closet-sized room, he freezes up when he realizes he's locked himself in.

He doesn't move again until he sees the ghost of a woman materialize in front of him.

"Don't be scared, silly," the ghost says as Hardison backs himself towards the wall he's against. "I'm not one of those..." She roars. "You know, those ghosts."

"I don't believe you." Hardison can barely speak.

"No, I'm friendly. My name's Parker."

Hardison stares at her.

"Who are you?"

"I'm hallucinating."

"No, you're not. Who are you?"

"Alec Hardison."

"You've trapped yourself in here, right, Hardison?"

Hardison nods. He can't even tell Parker he doesn't want to be known as Hardison.

"I've seen a lot of guys get trapped in here. It happens a lot. No big deal."

"How long have you been in here?"

"I don't know. Five years? I was trying to steal some worthless piece of artwork from the top floor when I fell to my death. I've haunted this place ever since. It's not a bad place to be trapped in. I can jump out of any window I want over and over again and not feel a thing."

Hardison stares at her.

Parker sighs. "All right. Let's get you out of here. Follow me."

Parker floats up to the vent cover in the room.

"You want me to break the vent open and follow you?"

"Come on. I'm not going to hurt you. I'm a friendly ghost, not a mean one. And these vents are huge. You'll fit."

Hardison breaks open the vent cover and climbs into the vent shaft. He starts to freeze up again, even though Parker's specter is in front of him.

"This is even worse than the mainframe room, Parker."

"It's the only way out, Hardison. You have to follow me or you might die like I did. And I don't want you to die."

Parker slowly crawls down the vent shaft. Hardison follows her, turning where she turns, slowing down when she slows down.

At another vent cover, Parker floats out. Hardison takes a breath and breaks the vent cover. He falls out on his face, but otherwise he's okay.

"See," Parker says, "I told you I'd get you out."

Hardison gets up and dusts himself off. "Thank you, Parker, for saving my life."

"You're welcome."

Before Hardison can say another word, Parker jumps through the floor.

Hardison stands there and wonders what could've happened had he met Parker five years ago. Maybe they would've been great friends. Maybe they would've dated. He would've even followed her gladly into a life a crime.

He shrugs off his feelings about Parker and goes back to the mainframe room. This time, he thinks, I'll unlock the mainframe room's door. And just in case, I'll get a doorstop and keep the door open.

Or maybe not.


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October 2017

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