Disclaimer: If I owned Close to Home or Leverage would I be writing fanfiction?
Summary: Sometimes, when Eliot thinks he's alone, he pulls out a well worn photo and stares at it longingly. Sophie lets him continue to think that none of the others know about it.
Pairings: Eliot/Sophie friendship, Eliot(Jack)/Annabeth, hints of Nate/Sophie
Sophie finds Eliot up on the roof. He doesn't react as she gently pads across the concrete surface to sit down beside him. She's unsurprised to find that he is gently stroking the photographic. What she is surprised at though, is the fact that this time, he lets her see it.
Gingerly he hands it to her. There's something almost reverent about his actions as he slides it across her fingers. She looks down, and the sight makes her smile.
It is a picture of a much younger Eliot, with his arms wrapped around a woman with long blonde hair who is holding a small baby girl..
"Oh Eliot," Sophie breathes. "They're beautiful."
"Annabeth," he says as he gently touches the woman's face. "And Haley, " here he gently rubs his finger over the baby's face. "Their names are Annabeth and Haley. And they mean everything to me."
"How," Sophie starts, "How did you meet her?" She means Annabeth of course. She knows, just knows that the baby is Eliot's… Eliot's daughter. She's actually not sure what to think of that. It isn't a concept she head ever really expected to have to come to terms with.
"Saw Annabeth on a job once. Knew the moment I saw, she'd be the one I'd go straight for. Didn't believe in love at first sight until that moment."
He sighed and looked down at the picture, "And well, you know. I'm sure you know my story. Disappeared for two and a half years. She's the reason. I went straight. Made the identity I was using at the time real. I became Jack Chase, construction worker. Then I courted Annabeth, the beautiful… Assistant Prosecutor."
He mumbled the last part, but Sophie could still make it out. "Assistant Prosecutor?"
"Yes! Assistant prosecutor! I didn't know what she did when we first met, and by the time I did know, I was too much in love to care." He colored slightly at that admission. "Anyway, I married her, and before I knew it, we had Haley."
He smiled wistfully, "Gosh, she was perfect Sophie. The first time they handed her to me… My Baby Girl… I didn't know what to think… How could something that perfect come from something like me? All I really knew was that she was mine, and that I would do anything to keep her safe."
He choked back a haggard breath. "Shoulda knew it was too good to last…"
Silently he stared unblinkingly out at the sky for a few minutes, then, never taking his eyes off the horizon, whispered. "I only had one year with her. One year Sophie! One year, then I got word that an old enemy of mine was after me, closing in fast. I couldn't… I couldn't let Annabeth and Haley be in the line of fire… But I couldn't just abandon them either… So I called in favors from every hitter who owed me… They'll always be protected… Then I faked my death… As far as Annabeth knows I was killed in a hit and run five years ago…"
Sophie could swear she saw faint tears glistening in his eyes. "Haley doesn't remember me… And she never will… Never will…"
Sophie slipped an arm around his shoulder. "They're very beautiful Eliot."
"I miss 'em Sophie," He whispers. "I miss 'em so damn much. There ain't a single day that goes by where I don't miss 'em. Every single day, I wake up and fall asleep wanting the same thing. I want to go home, Sophie. I want to go home…"
AN: So finals are finally over, and summer classes are starting to settle into a pattern. I guess it's time to finally start transcribing all of the stories I have recorded into actual documents. Expect a LOT of stories over the next few weeks.
Concerning this story, I was wondering if anyone would be interested in reading more set in this universe. I have some ideas, but I want to know if people are interested before I move forward with them. Let me know in your reviews.