A/N: Okay, please, please don't kill me for this story, because I totally have too many stories that need to be updated, but this plot bunny just wouldn't leave me alone o.O

I really, really hope that you will like it and comments would be most appreciated *smiles shyly*

And the title will probably change... not sure yet...

And please keep in mind that English isn't my native language...

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This story is totally AU, because Sam is alive in the story and so the team coming together will be under a little different circumstances, which will be explained throughout the story *sheepish smile*

It is set somewhere in the middle of season two, just in case you're wondering *g*

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Summary: AU: And it hadn't even been the first time that Eliot had done such a thing. No, it really hadn't been the first time that Eliot Spencer had taken a bullet that had been intended for Sam Ford... but it might be the last...

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Disclaimer: None of the Leverage characters belong to me and I just borrowed them for this little story... this story doesn't mean to offend anybody… this is just for fun… and not for money either...

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One Shot too many

Prologue


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"Don't worry Parker, he'll make it through. I mean, he's like superman just without the costume."

Alec Hardison sat on a hard plastic chair in the small hospital room, his eyes darting between the bed where a man lay, pale, perfectly still and hooked up to too many machines to assure anyone and the young blonde woman on his left.

Sophie Devereaux, who sat in a chair beside Hardison, her hands folded in her lap ran a hand through her hair and then she looked at Parker too, who was sitting curled up on the window sill, her head resting on the knees she had drawn up to her chest.

She hadn't moved from her place ever since Eliot Spencer had been brought into the room after he had come out of surgery.

And she didn't even seem to acknowledge Hardison's words. She seemed to be lost in her own little world, probably somewhere in her happy place with the man in the bed absolutely healthy, growling at her when she stole something from his kitchen, before spitting out an annoyed, yet affectionate "there's something wrong with you".

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And Nathan Ford couldn't really blame her, because he wished for such a happy place too.

He looked at the man lying in the hospital bed, pale, not moving, only the rising and falling of his chest a sign that he was still alive.

It didn't look natural for Eliot Spencer, a man so full of life and so strong, beating the odds countless times so that they had all thought him to be invincible.

But they had found out that he wasn't.

Bullets could hurt him.. the one that had damaged his lung would maybe even kill him.

And Nate hated to admit it, but it was his fault, his fault because he had been distracted on the job and Eliot had gone in to correct the mistake he had made.

Eliot had taken the bullet that was meant for the person that meant the most in the world for Nathan Ford.

The person that sat curled up on his lap, sleeping after having cried himself into it, begging for his Uncle Spencer to wake up.

Ford's eyes traveled to the bed again, his eyes a little unfocused and furiously Nathan blinked away the tears. He wouldn't cry, not now, he couldn't. He needed to be strong.

He needed to be strong for the young boy currently sleeping in his lap.

And he had to be strong for Eliot in the hospital bed, because that was the least he owed to Eliot after what he had done, after he had taken that bullet...

And it hadn't even been the first time that Eliot had done such a thing.

No, it really hadn't been the first time that Eliot Spencer had taken a bullet that had been intended for Sam Ford, Nathan's son... but it might be the last time...

The memory was suddenly overwhelming and Nate found himself drawn back to a time where he had almost lost everything, but thanks to one Eliot Spencer he hadn't...

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Flashback 2006

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Nathan Ford absolutely hated that he had to do this, but he didn't have any other choice.

His son's life hung in the balance... and his marriage too...

That was why he had pulled some strings, asked some contacts and now he was here, in a rundown bar in a small town in Texas.

Across from him sat a man, a few years younger than Ford himself, long hair held back in a ponytail, a beer sitting in front of him.

Eliot Spencer, retrieval specialist par excellence, eyed him with distrust and Nate was relieved that he had even shown up for the meeting.

"What do you want, Ford?" he growled in a deep voice Nathan had only heard once before, when he had chased the man for his security firm IYS.

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Sure, he had taken all precautions back then and had studied the retrieval specialist and had been pretty sure that he would be able to take Spencer down.

But he had underestimated the younger man and the hitter had him in a tight choke hold, ready to snap his neck.

And Nathan had to admit that he still didn't know how he had made it out of this meeting alive.

Eliot Spencer had been prepared to kill him and he would have most likely succeeded, but then he had suddenly let go of him, told Ford to never come near him again and then he had turned around and left without another word.

Up to this day, three years later, Nathan still didn't know why Eliot Spencer had done that, why the a hitter, who hurt and even killed people for a living, had let him go without a second thought, had let a man go, who had been intent to throw him into prison.

Nate had quickly realized how lucky he had been and he had made a point in staying away from cases where Eliot Spencer seemed to be involved, not because he was afraid of the hitter, but he also wasn't suicidal and he knew that he probably wouldn't escape a second time.

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And now here he was, sitting across from the young man again, on his own free will.

Ford noticed that Spencer hadn't changed too much in the last three years, even though he spotted some new bruises and scars on Eliot's chest from where the shirt he wore was partially unbuttoned.

That Spencer wasn't trusting him didn't really surprise Ford, but again, he didn't have a choice and he was getting desperate.

The hitter seemed to realize that Ford was lost in thought, because he knocked lightly on the table with his knuckles to regain his attention.

And Nathan blinked three times and then he fully focused on the here and now.

"I need your help," Ford said, because there was no point in walking circles around the subject. Every minute counted and Nate was well aware that he had wasted a lot of time already by trying to track down the retrieval specialist.

He just hoped that Eliot wouldn't outright laugh at him.

But the younger man merely raised an eyebrow and titled his head slightly to the side.

"You do?" he questioned and Nate detected a hint of interest in the deep voice.

"Yeah I do," Nate repeated, nervously clenching and unclenching his fingers around the beer bottle he had in front of him.

"And why should I help you? The last time we met you wanted to shoot me or throw me in jail, depending on what you would manage to do first," Eliot questioned, pushing his own empty beer bottle to the side.

"And you wanted to kill me," Nate replied, trying to keep his voice even, because he didn't want to show the other man how desperate he was.

"I call that self-preservation," was all Eliot replied with a shrug and there was something in his eyes that intrigued Nate and he was pretty sure that when all of this was over, no matter how it would play out, he would be left with more questions about this man sitting in front of him, he probably would never get an answer to.

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"Fair enough," Nate allowed, because, yeah, Eliot had a point here.

It had been Nathan who had pulled the gun, while Eliot had merely stood there, looking at him with interest and then he had warned him that he should lower the gun or he would regret it.

"But you're not here to talk about our last encounter," Spencer reminded.

"No, I'm not. I need to hire you for a job," Nathan explained, this time the desperation seemed to show in his voice, because Spencer's other brow rose almost to his hairline and he leaned forward a little.

"What kind of job?" the younger man questioned and Nate gave a sigh of relief, now that there might be a chance that Eliot Spencer would help him, because the hitter was his best shot at this.

"I need you to retrieve something, or better someone, someone important to me," Nathan explained, pulling out a small photograph.

He looked at it and hesitated a little before he handed the photo to the other man.

Eliot took the picture and didn't even say a word after he had taken a look at it. Instead he searched Ford's eyes, obviously looking for something.

The hitter handed the photograph back.

"So this job is..." Eliot trailed off and Nate knew that Spencer had found whatever he had looked for.

And finally there was hope that his life wouldn't be completely ripped apart, because Nathan had been too good at his job.

Nathan Ford took a deep breath and then he finally told Eliot Spencer why he was here.

"I need you to retrieve my son."

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to be continued, if you're interested...