Summary: Getting back from a job nobody expected to see a teenage girl in the bar, nor did anyone expect Eliot to know her.
A/N: Eliot deserves some love in his life. Nuff' said.
The Father job
They entered McRory's with a smile. Their latest job had included bringing down a corrupted pharmaceutical company saving potentially hundreds of lives. It was late and they should've had the entire bar to themselves. Should've.
Their chatter immediately stopped at the sight of a brown haired teenage girl sat at the bar with a glass of water. Her eyes locked with theirs and it was the bartender that offered the team a bright smile, "She's been waiting all day for you."
"I got it," Eliot said, moving past the group with a slight nod to the bartender. He stopped at the bar and turned to his team to say, "I'll be up in a sec."
The team merely stared at the Hitter with confusion before Nate nodded and turned towards the stairs that lead upstairs to Nate's apartment. "Come on team, let's go celebrate."
There were stares and even a few whispers between Parker and Hardison, but Eliot waited until they'd left, until the bartender bid the two of them goodnight and left herself before turning to the young girl. "What are you doing here Caitlin?"
"What happened to your face?"
During the job Eliot had needed to take care of a few bodyguards and unfortunately for him, one of them had a good swing. A nice bruise was forming over his left cheek. "Answer the question."
"Mum wants to move to California with her new hubby."
It took Eliot a moment to take in what the girl was saying, his face pulled in one of confusion before he hissed a "What? Cali- California?" After a moment he looked down at her feet to see a large rucksack and he sighed, running a hand over his face. "Oh you didn't."
"Expect a phone call," was the only confirmation he needed to sigh loudly.
"Caitlin, she's your mother."
"I'm not going to California! Not with him! I hate him. I've told her and I've told him, I hate him!"
He opened his mouth to tell her that he couldn't be that bad a guy when his phone went. A quick glance and he sighed again. "That's your mother, give me a minute." He answered the call with a "She's here…. Uh huh….. When were you going to tell me you were moving to California?... Without asking me? Without telling me? Thanks a lot Hannah…. I don't care okay. She's my daughter too! How am I supposed to see her in Cali?... Don't you bring that up…. Hannah…. Did you even ask her?" He offered a glance towards Caitlin and turned his back on her, "How about before you move she spends a week with me? Ya'know, so I can properly say goodbye if I need to."
He hung up and turned back to Caitlin. "Come on, let's get you to bed shall we?"
She quirked a brow at him with a look of disbelief. "But I just got here."
"Yeah, and now you're just going to bed."
She made a groan and jumped off the barstool and grabbed her bag. "What about your friends?"
With another sigh he pointed to her seat, "Wait here." With that said he turned towards the back of the pub, took the stairs two at a time and pushed the door open. As he expected, silence met him and on the screen sat a video feed of Caitlin putting herself back onto her seat. He quirked a silent eyebrow at Hardison and turned to the rest of the team, "I take it you all heard."
It was Nate that nodded but Parker who said, "Why didn't you tell us?"
He sighed. The only people in the world who knew he had a daughter were her mother and her. That was it. If word got out that Eliot Spencer had a child there was no telling to what extremes some people would go to put him down. "Safety Parker. If everybody knew I had a daughter they'd use her to get to me and I don't want that."
"Don't keep her waiting," Nate said, nodding to the screen that still had the image of Caitlin on it.
Eliot nodded and left the team to join his daughter in the bar. "Come on."
Caitlin grabbed her bag back up and threw it over one shoulder. As they reached the door she turned her head towards him with pleading eyes and said, "Can I drive?"
He lifted both brows and opened the door for her. "You don't have a license."
He stared at her before saying, "Get in the car. Don't push it."
She pulled a face before she opened the passenger side door and climbed in. She threw her bag by her feet and buckled herself in. "Are you sleeping on the couch? Again?"
Eliot shrugged as he pulled the car out of the small parking lot. "Where else am I going to sleep?"
"I'll take the couch."
That made him pull a face this time and paused as the lights changed to look at her with the same look. "Look, darling, it's fine." He pushed the gas pedal and they were going again. "Tell me, how's school going for you?"
"You know, same old same old. Nothing special. What do you do now for a job?"
He spared her a glance out of the corner of his eye and with a shrug said, "You know, same old same old." A comfortable silence settled between the two of them, both wearing the same smirk. They settled into the same routine with ease as Eliot parked his truck and turned the engine off.
When they got inside Eliot's apartment Caitlin threw herself onto his couch, dumping her bag by the side of it. "I almost forgot what this place looked like."
Eliot swiped her legs off the couch, forcing her to sit up, "Yeah well as long as you remember no shoes on the couch."
"Sorry," she muttered standing back up and grabbing her bag. "I still have some clothes here right?"
He nodded as he moved towards the kitchen, "You always have clothes here. Pretty sure you need to throw some of them out."
"I'll get round to it!" she called as she closed the door to the only bedroom. Eliot shook his head with a smile. It always amazed him how easily Caitlin settled back into his life after a while. He moved around the kitchen, gathering pieces together to make a quick stir fry suspecting that Caitlin hadn't eaten that much since she'd ran away from her mother's.
Back at McRory's in Nate's apartment Parker frowned as she sat on the chair, legs folded underneath her and a bowl of cereal in her hands. "I thought Eliot trusted us," she muttered, angrily scooping a bowl of milk and cereal into her mouth.
"Oh he does honey," Sophie said, "There are just some things that people keep to themselves I mean, surely there are things you won't tell us because you feel safer with us not knowing." The thief gave a half shrug and shovelled another spoon of cereal into her mouth. Sophie smiled and stood back up, "And as Eliot said, the more people that know about Caitlin the more he has to worry that somebody would hurt her."
"I get it," she said before returning back to her cereal.
Sophie moved over to Nate's figure sat on the couch in front of the TV sets, an image of Caitlin still on the screen. The woman looked from Nate to the screen. "What are you thinking?"
It was a moment before Nate responded and when he did he merely shrugged his shoulders. "Just, you know, thinking."