Past Hostilities, Future Happiness
It was a little after dusk and Eliot Spencer was running late to the evening meeting for their newest client. He had a little run-in with a local gang member. Most of the local gangs knew better than to try to recruit out of his neighborhood but on occasion he ran into one that was more stupid than the others. As he walked into Leverage Inc. he saw the others in their offices or doing what ever they do. He looked at Hardison with a raised eyebrow.
"Nathan and the client are waiting for you in the conference room." Eliot simple raised his eyebrow again and Hardison shrugged his shoulder. "I don't know the client ask for you and only you. I'm run background as we speak."
"Nate seem concerned?" Hardison shook his head no not even looking up from the computer.
Eliot had finally found a family in the group of misfits and he was starting to put down roots and it felt good. He pushed the door open as the client turned around. Eliot felt his world crashing down around him. His past was coming back to bite him the ass because there stood Angel. The one he had been avoiding for the last ten years.
Nate saw the look of horror before the blank slant appeared on his teammates face. He did not have a good feeling about this and he was feeling protective of the mercenary and the still fragile family dynamic. "Who's Lindsey and what does it have to do with us?"
Angel looked at his boy and Lindsey was his whether he knew it or not. His Lindsey looked older and rougher around the edges. His senses ran the gamete as Lindsey's did. He could smell the fear, the anger, all of it in a nanosecond. He could tell the minute the blank face came down he wasn't looking at the boy he had known.
"Been a long time Lindsey."
Nate decided to watch for a few minutes before interfering.
"Not long enough Angel. You've seen me. Now you can go." He had turned intending to leave but he wasn't use to the vampires reflexes anymore.
Angel moved up behind his boy before he had even turned the knob. "You're not planning on disappearing again are you, Lindsey?"
The trapped man turned around to face the man holding him captive. "That's not my name. Lindsey existed out of necessity. I needed a break and a place to hide. Lindsey McDonald provided that at least until you arrived. If came here for Lindsey then you better leave now before you get a taste of my real self."
Angel grinned. "You were never able to take me before. Not less of a challenge. What makes you think you can do anything differently now?"
Eliot smirked. Nathan didn't think it was wise of this Angel guy to be standing quite so close in his opinion. That was one of Eliot's nastier smirks.
"Well, Angel you were never that quick on the uptake when it came to knowing the real person. You saw what you want to see. Nothing else. What I let you get away with before was for a reason. I no longer need to protect my identity. So all bets are off." the soft southern drawl tapered off at the end.
"So you think you can take me in fight?" Angel's grin grew even bigger. He had really missed their confrontations. He had always seen them as flirting and foreplay.
Eliot sighed as pushed Angel away from him. Making sure he sat by Nathan and keeping the table between Angel and him. He might as well get this over with. "What are you doing here Angel?"
Angel did take notice of the united front the two men posed before him and his enhanced hearing picked up on the others coming their way. Lindsey said he didn't notice the real person, what existed beneath the surface. Well this little project he had going would be the perfect thing to get him close to Lindsey. They just wouldn't know the real reason, at least, not yet. He waited for the others to come in and take their seats before starting his explanation.
"I've known Lindsey for a few years now." Angel stopped at the confused looks.
"I used that name when I worked for a law firm and yes I graduated law school. Harvard actually." Looking at Angel. "My real name is Eliot Spencer and like I told the person you're looking for is long dead and buried. Hell, he only existed for school and that law firm."
Angel wanted to grab his boy and go somewhere until he could convince him that a part of Lindsey still existed but he tamped it down. "Well Lindsey disappeared and I've been looking for him for close to ten years now. I'm not leaving now that I've found him."
Eliot buried his head in his head.
Sophie who sat on his other side laid a hand on his shoulder wanting to comfort her friend. "Why look for him at all and why on earth should we allow you any where near him. If anything you sound more like a stalker than anything." Eliot smiled. God bless Sophie and her protective streak. He really did find a home here.
Nathan looked at the intruder with a critical eye. He seemed sincere but they would have to wait and see. He waited for the man to answer.
Angel looked at the varying degrees of protective glares and smiled. He could see the temptation in what his Lindsey had found here. Something he missed terribly since it was gone. "I had a major battle a few years back and it killed all but a few of my friends, my family." He noticed that Lindsey had looked up. "I don't have much left of my old life and the one person I wanted disappeared so I've spent all my time looking for him. I have him and I'm not leaving him again. " He looked into Lindsey's eyes. "Plain and simple. I love him."
Eliot stood up so abruptly that his chair fell over. "Nononononono, abso- fucking- lutely not." Eliot walked out of the room and all but flew down the stairs and out the side entrance. He knew what happened if Angel loved someone and he wasn't going to be responsible for letting that particular hell out of the bag.
Nathan looked at Hardison and Parker. "We'll find him and let you know." Was all Hardison said as he glared at Angel. If looks could kill Angel'd bet that Parker would be the one to do it.
Sophie looked at the man in black. "Why did it take you so long to find him? Can't be that hard to find a retrieval specialist of his caliber."
The vampire was shocked into silence. He looked at the one they called Nathan for an explanation. He seemed to be the one in charge. "I take it when you knew him he was…" Nathan was trying to find the right word.
Angel filled it in for him. "He took more of a passive/competitive role. He wasn't aggressive unless it was for something he wanted. Which wasn't that much considering what he could have had."
"So you had no knowledge of his extracurricular actives before or after?" Angel shook his head. "Did you do any research on us or the business?"
Again Angel shook his head. "All I knew I had finally found him. Saw him walk down a street. Followed him until he came here. Heard your Parker call him Eliot, so, I called and made an appointment. I was afraid if he knew I was looking he might disappear again. We were on opposite sides when I knew him but we had a connection." Angel sighed. Giving them a weak grin. "We had so much more than a connection. I was just to dense and stupid. Should have taken the chance when I had it."
Sophie and Nathan traded looks both coming to the same conclusion. The man did love their friend, they just didn't know if Eliot felt the same but if there was even a little chance they wanted to give it to him. They just need to give it more time to see were it would led. "We need to know that if Eliot doesn't want this that you will be willing to leave him alone."
Angel thought about it for a few minutes. "I'll leave him alone as long as it's what he truly wants and not that he's just too scared to take a chance. Agreed."
Once again the pair traded a look. "Agreed. You might want to get to know the man before you go any further. Like he said you don't know him." Nathan login into the network and downloaded a file to a memory card. "Read this. It's a start but it only gives only a fraction of what he's like, what he's truly capable of and been through." He handed the memory card to Angel. "Be sure of what you want and if you're still interested come back and we'll take it from there."
"I want my Lindsey back. That's what I want."
Sophie stood next to the black clad man. Laying her gently on his arm. "Make sure it's not just the ideal or the memory of him your wanting back because there may not be much of your Lindsey left in our Eliot. He is a retrieval specialist , one of the best actually. He's found a family, much like the rest of us, in this team and we'll protect it with everything at our disposal." The vampire nodded he understood. He left not knowing which way was up. His Lindsey may not be the Lindsey he remembered. He needed to get to know this Eliot and the team that was his family. Now that he a slight plan in action he went back to his hotel to do the research he should have done before.
Nathan and Sophie watched the man in all back straighten up as he walk across the darkened street with a spring in his step now. Like he had made a decision.
"What do you think? Think we can trust him?" Sophie wanted to know if they needed to protect the family from him or not.
"I think… I think he's trustworthy. I think we can trust him to keep his word but not without a fight. He wants who Eliot was we just have to see if he can handle the person he really is."
Sophie nodded but she was already making a exit plan for her new family. She had enough contacts and with Hardison's expertise they could disappear anywhere and anytime they needed too.
"We need to check with the others see how Eliot is taking it." Nathan left the exit strategies to the professional and concentrate on the here and now. Pulling his phone out and texted Hardison to call him when Eliot didn't know. Hardison texted back letting him know to come too Eliot's place. He was cooking for everyone.
When they arrived there was a wonderful aroma coming from the kitchen. While Parker keep Elliot busy Hardison explained that they had found him packing but talked him out of it. Not like he was trying that hard to run. So they channeled his energies towards something else. Since they were hungry and they knew he could cook it was simple enough. Eliot was a good host no matter what was going on.
Several hours later after the team had eaten. Eliot took a deep breath and slowly let out. "Y'all know my childhood. When I left I got a scholarship with Harvard along with a recommendation from a few senators, that owed me big. That helped me fast track. I was a fast learner, doubled up on all my classes, graduated a few years early. I worked for Wolfram and Hart. Met Angel who seemed to take an interest in me. There was chemistry between us. The night before I left we … we had a one night stand. I left for Russia the next morning for a border skirmish and went back to being Eliot Spencer."
"No matter how many wars or fights you get into it won't get him out of your heart or your head." Sophie held his hand.
When he looked at her, she saw a little boy full of insecurities. "But Soph he wants Lindsey. That's not even close to who I am. It was an act."
"There is always a little bit of truth in order to pull off a con so let him get to know who you really are. What do you have to lose?" Sophie asked.
Elliot stood up. "Everything." Was all he said before he grabbed his jacket and left. Once again the dread that he knew Angelus would be unleashed if Angel found perfect happiness and with him of people. God, his team, no, his family knew nothing of vampires or things that go bump in the night.
"Well that went well." Was all Parker said before she got up and started clearing the table.
The others looked to Nathan. He shrugged. "Give them time. We'll see what Angel decides and then we'll do damage control if necessary. Now let's help Parker get this place cleaned up."
Parker pulled Nathan aside when he came into the kitchen. "You realize if this Angel hurts him we'll have to kill him." All Nathan could do is gape at her. Parker went back to washing dishes. Elliot nailed it when he said she was 20 pounds of crazy in a 5 pound bag. His family sure did have some issues, some stranger than others but issues none the less. They'd deal with this and need be, they would set up shop some place else.
Sitting outside Lindsey's apartment, after following his scent from the office, Angel read through the entire files and reread a few parts that made him feel ashamed. Lindsey had tried to tell him how bad his childhood had been but he had blown him off. Laughed at him. In all his many years since getting a soul he never had felt quite this bad about a judgment call. Lindsey's… no Eliot's father had started selling the boy when he was 11 to businessmen or anyone that could afford the father's high price. When Eliot turned on his father and blackmailed his way into Harvard and created Lindsey McDonald, Eliot disappeared. According to Nathan Ford's file on Eliot, his boy started his criminal career about the same time his father started selling him to the highest bidder. Nothing too serious that he was actually caught doing. Angel had a feeling there was *a lot* that the boy hadn't been caught at. He also started training in every fighting style no too mankind. He was curious to see if how well Lindsey could hold his own against him.
He needed to get to know this Lindsey… um… this Eliot. God he was going to have get that right. He didn't think Eliot would appreciated being called Lindsey all the time. So, now that he had the basics down on *Eliot* he needed to get to know the real man.
Angel watched as his boy came out his apartment building, his shoulder's hunched and in deep thought. The vampire got out of his car deciding that he might need to watch out for his boy since Eliot didn't even see the five figurers that were melting out of the shadows slowly surrounding him.