Title: Old Friends, New Enemies
Rating: PG-13 for violence and swearing
Author's Notes: My next multi-chapter Leverage fic, hope you enjoy. The only thing I am concerned about is my complete lack of knowledge about Nepal, so if you could just go with me on this I would appreciate it. Thanks.
Disclaimer: I do not profit from this fic in any way, unless pure enjoyment is a measurable expense now. I do not own Leverage or the team, though they are nifty!
Spoilers: Not in this chapter and I don't think any later.
Setting: Season 1, any time before the First David Job.
Summary: A simple job becomes complicated when an old mark recognizes one of the team at a party and decides to settle an old score.
The party was fancy which meant Eliot was forced to choke down champagne instead of beer as he mingled, but the food was good and the women were beautiful so he wasn't about to complain. Across the room he saw Sophie chatting up their target, Wellington Richmond of Nepal. He was an inherently wealthy man who didn't do much with his time and money other than have parties, shop around for rare antiques for his collection, run some shady business deals and oh, assault and rob anyone who wouldn't agree to do business with him.
The team was excited about this job, not just because they were going to get justice for their client, but because there was no con involved, it was a straight up robbery, plain and simple. Their clients, the MacGregors, who were not wealthy by any means had owned, through inheritance, a rare and pretty damn valuable Faberge Egg that they had originally had no intention of selling until their child got sick with cancer, then got better and then got sick again.
The team had known they were taking this case as soon as they had heard the words "child with cancer" and it didn't hurt that the rest of their story was pretty heartbreaking as well. When the kid had gotten sick the second time they had decided to sell the Egg to pay for the medical bills. Their current target happened to be a collector of Faberge's work and made them an offer, one of the lower ones they had received so they refused much to the anger of Wellington Richmond. The next night two men hired by Richmond broke into their home, stole the egg and beat up Mr. MacGregor when he tried to stop them, putting him in the hospital with his son. The police had investigated but nothing could be tied to Richmond in any way since the thieves were never caught and speculation alone meant nothing. Even just looking at the greasy lowlife now Eliot wanted to cross the room and beat some morality into the man, but that would blow their cover so he just smiled at the blond woman he was chatting up and prayed it wasn't another of Nate's ex-wives.
"Eliot, it sounds like Richmond is getting a little too cozy with Sophie, why don't you go introduce yourself," Nate suggested over the comms after hearing the whispered compliments their mark had been feeding to Sophie for the past ten minutes.
Bringing his cup to his lips to cover up his response, Eliot replied, "On it."
He too had noted the man's hand on the small of Sophie's back and had been just about to go over. They were only here for reconnaissance after all so Sophie wasn't required to form any kind of relationship with this guy. They were going to steal the Egg back, and whatever else they found in the vault, the next night so if he ended up on Richmond's bad side it didn't really matter.
Grabbing a second champagne flute he approached the two, grinning affectionately as he tapped Sophie on the shoulder. She smiled in relieved recognition as he offered her the drink, "Here Sue, you look a little dry."
"Thank you Johnny, I was just thinking the same thing. Mr. Richmond, this is my brother Johnny that I was telling you about. We're partners in the family oil company," Sophie explained with a flawless Texas accent. When they had decided to go in as siblings she had graciously offered to play a Southern Belle so Eliot wouldn't have to change his dialect – also, his British accent had been absolutely terrible, which left them little choice.
"Mr. Richmond, very nice to meet you, fantastic party," Eliot greeted enthusiastically, carefully positioning himself between Sophie and their mark.
Richmond's eyes didn't match his smile as he shook Eliot's hand, not appreciating the man's intrusion but unable to say anything.
"You as well, your sister was just telling me all about you and your business," Richmond said with an easy smile.
"You'd best stop her quick then, she can talk oil all night," Eliot suggested. "She can't seem to leave it in the boardroom and enjoy herself."
Richmond smiled but there was an awkward silence for a moment and it only took Eliot a few minutes to find an excuse to steer himself and Sophie away from their host.
When they finally got away Nate asked them, "Are we set?"
Sophie looked at Eliot while she responded to make it look like they were talking, "Bugs are all planted and I've got photos of every security measure I've seen."
"I got the guard rotations down," Eliot reported as well.
"Good. Parker's already done her prep work and she went out through the kitchen. Get yourselves out of there and head home," Nate instructed.
Eliot smiled upon hearing this, eager to leave the annoyingly formal event.
"Shall we?" he asked as he stuck out his elbow in a half joke for Sophie to take his arm as they left.
She grinned and accepted however as they headed for the coat check, "Yes please, I need to walk with an actual gentleman after spending time with that disgusting man."
"Did you just call Eliot a gentleman? Seriously?" Hardison asked in disbelief.
"Hey!" Eliot warned.
"Look, no offence, you're a great guy just … where does the 'gentle' part come in exactly?" Hardison expanded quickly.
Eliot shrugged, he had a point, which caused Sophie to laugh as well as they walked arm in arm out of the party.
Neither of them noticed the man watching them from the balcony over the party floor, fists clenched and eyes narrowed in angry recognition. As the couple started to disappear from sight the man snapped his fingers for his bodyguard to come over.
"The couple that is leaving, the long-haired man and the woman in white, have them followed, discreetly. I want to know where they're staying and who they are, or at least who they are saying they are," the man ordered.
The guard nodded his understanding having performed many similar tasks in the past for his boss and walked away without question.
The dark-haired man turned back again just in time to see his targets vanish out the door. His teeth grinded as he caught a last look at that familiar hair and shape before he pushed himself angrily off the railing.
"Dear Isabella, it's been far too long."
Well that can't be good, can it? Tune in next time for more! Thanks for reading!