Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters.
Description: This is an AU fic. Sophie is surprised to find that things aren't always as they appear.
As Sophie entered Nate's apartment, she expected to find the mastermind nursing a glass of Scotch, despite the early hour. After all, tomorrow was Sam's birthday and Nate usually got at least a day's start when any anniversary related to Sam was approaching. What she didn't expect to find was Eliot sitting on Nate's couch, looking through a photo album that Sophie knew Nate usually kept hidden away in a cabinet…a photo album dedicated to Sam's brief childhood. She also didn't expect to be able to startle the team's hitter as she approached him.
Eliot snapped the album closed and cleared his throat. "Uh…hey Sophie…what are you doing here this early?"
"I could ask you the same thing, Eliot. Where's Nate?" Sophie inquired.
"He got a head start last night and hasn't gotten up yet." Eliot replied solemnly, looking back down at the book in his hands.
"Hmmm," Sophie sighed and sat down on the couch next to the hitter. Motioning to the photo album, she commented, "Sam was a beautiful child."
"Yeah…he was a good kid," Eliot muttered, placing the album on the coffee table and rubbing a hand over the cover reverently.
Sophie was again surprised as she studied Eliot. "Did you ever meet Sam, Eliot?" she inquired, feeling a little jealous of the thought that the retrievalist might have known Nate's beloved son while she had only seen pictures of him.
Sophie didn't miss the brief deer in the headlight look that crossed Eliot's face before he schooled his features.
"Yeah, I met him a couple of times," the hitter answered, nervously rubbing his hands on his jeans and looking away.
Sophie was not so surprised the next afternoon when she found Nate and Eliot standing side by side in front of Sam Ford's tombstone. The grifter was an expert at reading people and had decided that there was more to the revelation that Eliot had met Sam than Eliot had let on. As she approached the gravesite both men glanced up, before turning back toward the marble stone and their silent vigil. "Do the two of you trust me to know the rest of this story?" she asked quitely.
Both men looked at Sophie, then back at each other. When Nate nodded at the younger man, Eliot shoved his hands into his jeans pockets and took them all back in time.
Eliot started at the knock on his door. He had been laying low for a couple of months trying to recover from a not so brief stint in a small, dark basement cell in the Middle East. No one should know where to find him. Pulling his pistol from his waistband, he eased up to the door and looked through the peephole. He recognized the face and the voice that echoed in the hall.
"Open up, Spencer, I know you're in there," the woman bellowed in a thick Russian accent.
Shoving his gun back in his waistband before yanking the door open, the hitter growled, "Keep it quiet, Katia, or everyone else will know I'm here too."
"I doubt that," the tall brunette answered, shoving Eliot back from the door with a large basket she held in her hands. "You were almost impossible to find."
"That's because I wanted to be impossible to find," the hitter grumbled. "Why are you here?"
"I just needed to make a delivery, then I'll be on my way," the woman snarked. "Here," she added, pushing the basket into Eliot's hands and dropping a shoulder bag at his feet.
"What is this?" Eliot asked, setting the basket down on the nearby table and looking between it and his former...Eliot didn't know what to call Katia. They had worked a couple of jobs together, spent a couple of nights together, but Eliot wouldn't really have called them friends. Looking warily back at the basket, Eliot reached for shawl that covered it. He half expected to find a bomb in it. What he didn't expect was to find a baby….boy by the looks of him, maybe 3 months old, with big brown eyes and dark curly hair, staring back at him. Dumbstruck, Eliot looked between the baby and Katia.
Seeing the bewildered look on Eliot Spencer's face, Katia rolled her eyes. "It's your son, Spencer." Looking at the baby she added, "Samuel, meet your father. I know you probably won't understand this when you're older, but I trust he'll take better care of you than I ever could." She gave a bemused smile before turning back toward Eliot. "His birth certificate and a list of do's and don'ts are in the diaper bag. I've got to go. I've got a job waiting." And with that, she turned and walked toward the door.
Eliot looked from Katia to the baby and back before following after the woman, "Wait…wait! Kat, you can't just walk in, hand me a baby, and then leave….Katia, wait!"