Leverage/Angel: the series, Eliot and Lindsey (brothers), Aimee Martin was the first person outside the family who could tell them apart.

Summary: Written for comment-fic at LJ. Prompt: Aimee Martin was the first person outside the family who could tell them apart. Three drabbles in the "McDonald Boys" verse, pre-series for both shows.

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Allan McDonald holds his newborn twin sons in his arms, rocking them gently and humming a tune, an old country song. Country. It's what he'd grown up on, and that's what he's going to raise his sons on. Good old country, the working man's song. He's going to raise his boys to work hard and to be good, honest men.

His boys. Eliot and Lindsey.

"How can you even tell them apart?"

Rock Delaney's been a good neighbor and a damn good friend all their lives. They'd gone to school together, had gotten into all sorts of trouble together as kids, and when Allan had gotten married, it was Rock who'd been his best man.

And now, he's the boys' godfather. The baptism had been that morning, and Rock and his fiancée had come over to the tiny McDonald home afterward to celebrate.

Allan smiles. "This one on my right's Eliot. The one on the left is Lindsey."

"But how do you know?"

Allan shifts his hold on the babies. "Here, take Eliot," he says, handing the bundle of blankets over to his friend, "See that look right there? That's distinctive. You won't catch that look on Lindsey's face, no sir."

Eliot's face scrunches up, and an angry wail erupts from the tiny baby.

A moment later, the same cry is heard from the bundle in Allan's arms.

Rock looks from one upset baby to the other.

"I still don't see it," he says, bewildered.

"You don't?" Allan says, taking Eliot back and shushing him, "It's very distinctive."

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Name tags don't work.

Neither does dressing them in different clothes - they always manage to switch even though every effort is made to keep them apart.

Different haircuts? The one with the longer hair always turns up the next day with a new style, inexpertly cut and jagged, matching his twin's to the last uneven curl.

One teacher suggested writing their names on their hands each day before school. That backfires when the next scheduled name-and-identity check results in two blacked-out names on the backs of grubby little hands and two identical grins on the little troublemakers' faces.

Mr. and Mrs. McDonald aren't much help either. When called to meet with the principal, they simply don't understand why their sons' teachers can't tell them apart. "They're both so different from each other!"

Eventually, they give up. As long as Eliot and Lindsey don't disrupt the class, might as well give them both the same grades. That's what they earn, anyway. Both of them are highly intelligent, and they both get along with the other students fairly well.

They're really no trouble...unless you try to single one out, or, God forbid, separate them.

Once that happens, well, that's when all hell breaks loose.

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"Hey, Eliot," Aimee says, poking her head out the front door to talk to the lone McDonald boy sitting on the porch, "Why are you out here instead of inside, watchin' the game with everyone else?"

The thirteen-year-old boy turns from his book with a cool look. "I'm Lindsey. I'm studying for the test tomorrow."

Aimee puts a hand on her hip and steps outside. "Right. What are you even doin'?"

He huffs, annoyed. "I'm studying, Aimee," he repeats, "Test tomorrow?"

"Wildcats just scored a touchdown," she says, "Didn't you wanna see that, Eliot?"

He carefully and deliberately puts a piece of paper in the book to keep his place and closes it. "Aimee. Seriously. I'm Lindsey."

"Do you think I'm stupid?"

Very easy question. Smart answer: "No."

"Then stop messin' around and come inside." She turns on her heel and throws over her shoulder, "Leave the book outside for Lindsey. He started lookin' antsy right about halftime."

Eliot smirks. Man, that Aimee. So pretty, and smart, and...yeah, he's just gonna stop right there.

He hears footsteps and looks up to see Lindsey leaning against the doorway.

"How does she do that?" Lindsey grumbles.

Eliot shrugs. "Beats me." He gets up and hands the textbook to his brother as he passes him. "What's the score on the game?"

"14-10, Wildcats in the lead, just made a touchdown a coupla minutes ago," Lindsey reports, settling down with his book. "This is getting really old," he says, "Every time. Every time, she gets us. How does she do it?"

"I dunno," Eliot says, "But I'll tell you one thing. It is damn hot."

Lindsey grimaces. "Ew. Go." He kicks the back of his brother's legs. "Go watch your stupid game."

"It ain't stupid."

"Is too."