Title: Something Missing

Author: The Bookworm's Magician

Beta: Esther-Channah

Rating: T

Character/s: The Team

Pairing/s: Slight mention of one.

Spoilers: None, really.

Summary: Four people that Eliot killed, and one person that killed him. /And even now, at his death, there's still something missing./ Leverage AU

Disclaimer: I don't own this, I never have and I never will.

Word Length: 2,243

AN: Enjoy! And remember, haha, I'm a mean person!

Something Missing

Eliot met the man on a job. He'd been hired to steal some statue thing, and the security on it was almost nonexistent, so grabbing it had been easy. The only problem was that the group who'd hired him wasn't the only group that wanted the statue. The company that he was up against was ruthless, and avoiding them was taking a great deal of effort. Then, of course, there was also that pesky insurance company that had been after him lately. He'd heard that they'd sent one of their best after him this time.

Staying away from both the company and the agent was turning out to be harder than he'd thought. Finally, though, the day came when he was ready to leave the country. He had almost finished packing when he heard a noise behind him—the sound of a door opening, followed by the safety on a gun clicking off.

He tensed slightly and finished zipping up his bag, slinging it over one shoulder as he turned around. The insurance agent was behind him, holding a gun in one steady hand and watching him with wary eyes. Seeing the agent for the first time, Eliot was glad that he'd worn his glasses today. People in his line of work definitely didn't wear glasses, and anything that could help the agent underestimate him would be a good thing.

The man didn't say anything, just held out one hand for the bag, and Eliot found himself slightly annoyed. This guy just assumed he had the statue with him, and yeah, okay, it really was in the bag, but what if it hadn't been? What would the agent have done then?

Eliot sighed and walked over, taking the bag off of his shoulder and started to hand it over easily… then he swung the bag hard, knocked away the gun, and knocked the guy out with one punch. He bent down to make sure that the agent was really out before taking the dude's gun and wallet.

He quickly left the room, and made his way down the hallway to the stairs, pausing as he heard the elevator ding. He looked down the hall, then quickly ducked into the stairwell as he saw the company's main thugs coming out of the elevators. The thugs quickly walked to his room, slid the card through the lock and went inside. Eliot was just debating what to do when he heard three surprisingly loud gunshots and tore off down the stairs.

He didn't relax again until he'd delivered the statue and was on the plane home. He took that opportunity to go through the man's wallet. Inside, he found a couple of credit cards, some loose cash in various currencies, a driver's license, other miscellaneous items, and… a picture of a woman holding a baby. Great. He'd just gotten that kid's father killed.

He sighed, stuck the picture in his own wallet, and resolved to keep an eye on the kid. It would be the least he could do, after getting his dad killed.

The blonde thief was getting very annoying. She'd taken the painting he'd been hired to retrieve, and though he'd tracked her down, she'd managed to escape from him each time. Finally, he'd traced her to a warehouse, and resolved not to let her escape again.

She'd apparently set up the warehouse as a base, as there were piles of equipment everywhere. He took the opportunity to subtly fray some ropes on his quest for the painting, as he walked deeper inside. He found it after almost ten minutes of searching.

It was just lying against the wall, gathering dust. What kind of thief stole a painting and then set it aside and forgot about it? He picked it up and left the warehouse, glad to get away from the creepy feeling of being watched, even though no one was there.

A few days later, after delivering the painting, Eliot was watching the news. He sat up straight and listened harder as the news crew started talking about an unidentified blonde who had died after apparently bungee jumping off a building with faulty equipment. The police still hadn't ruled out sabotage.

Eliot felt a small flash of remorse. He hadn't meant to kill the kid; he'd only wanted to scare her. He hadn't known that she'd use the rope to jump off of a 20-story building! Oh, well. She'd been annoying and creepy anyway.

Eliot'd been forced to work with the hacker on a job. The guy was good at what he did, but he was extremely irritating, and wouldn't stop talking. It was supposed to be an easy job, and would've had the hacker doing most of the work. It turned out to be harder than expected, though, and instead of only taking one week, it took three. Also, Eliot'd been forced to do most of the work, because most of it turned out to be legwork rather than computer work.

By the end of those three weeks, Eliot was more than ready to shoot the man. The only reason he refrained was because if he shot the hacker before the job was over he wouldn't get paid. However, the instant the job was over, and they'd sent the information to their employer, Eliot knocked him out.

They'd been on the run for a while to avoid the police, so Eliot tied him to a chair, hung a sign around his neck, and shot him in the head, getting a very satisfied feeling from finally being able to kill him. Then he'd packed up everything, erased all signs of his presence, and left.

When the police finally got there, all they found was an empty room and a dead body with a sign around its neck that read, 'He wouldn't stop talking.'

He met the girl at a bar. He'd just finished one of the most profitable jobs he'd ever done and she was there trying to distract herself from her most current failure at getting an acting job. He'd recognized her at once. She'd been too drunk by the time she saw him to recognize anyone.

She'd tried to con him out of some money, but he'd only had one beer and wasn't near drunk enough for that to work on him, so he'd gotten money from her instead. She'd been angry at her failure and drunk enough not to care about what she did, so she invited him back to the hotel room where she was staying. He wasn't an idiot and she was a very beautiful woman; he accepted.

When she'd woken up the next morning, found an unknown man in her house who not only knew who she was, but also turned out to be the best Retrieval Specialist on the planet, she'd only freaked out slightly; far less than he might have expected. She'd ordered him to get out of her house and warned him that she would be keeping an eye on him. Eliot, still not an idiot, hadn't had a problem with a beautiful woman following him, and had said as much. Her glare had stayed in his thoughts for days.

He'd stayed in the city for a while, as he didn't have anywhere in particular to go. He caught her following him more than once over the next few months and he eventually gave in and asked her out for coffee. She accepted. Things went on from there, until one day he woke up next to her, and, with a sudden flash of surprise, realized that he might be in love with her.

Following along the heels of that revelation was the realization that, if he knew that he loved her, his enemies would know, too. He had to leave; he had to protect her.

Unfortunately, it was too little, too late.

One year later, after he'd tracked down every single person who'd had even a small part in her death and killed them, Eliot stood at her grave. He laid a single rose, then calmly walked away from the second (and last) woman he'd ever loved.

Years later, when Eliot is old and gray (and still the very best Retrieval Specialist in the world, if only by virtue of the fact that he's lived long enough to be old and gray) the kid finally finds him.

He's kept an eye on the kid throughout the years, even paying for the experimental cure the mom couldn't afford and her late husband's company wouldn't pay for. It was probably a good thing they'd turned her down, though. The entire company crashed almost a week after she'd asked, and if they'd said yes, she probably would've been dragged down with them.

So Eliot'd paid. He really hasn't minded, even. With the amount of money he ended up with, spending it on something worthwhile felt pretty good. Besides; it was the least he could do, and he had plans that revolved around the kid being alive.

The plans that are finally coming to fruition now.

The kid, who'd gone into law enforcement, followed the clues like the good little cop he was. It took him almost five years to track Eliot down, but he finally managed to make it to the horse ranch in Montana that Eliot'd retired to.

Eliot was just finishing up grooming the horses when he heard a noise behind him. He turned around, and lo-and-behold, the kid was standing there, training a gun on him. The kid was trembling slightly, but his hands—and the gun—were rock steady. Eliot turned back to the horse and spoke before the kid could.

"It took you long enough. I thought that I'd be dead by the time you finally got here."

The kid was obviously thrown be what Eliot'd said, and he hesitated before he spoke.

"Why'd you kill my father? What'd he do to you?"

Eliot chuckled softly and patted the horse one more time, then stepped out of the stall. He stood in front of the kid and his gun, showing no fear.

"He was in the wrong place at the wrong time, kid. Plus, he tried to steal my payday."

The kid's trembling increased.

"That—That's it? You killed him because he tried to get something back to its rightful owners? You killed him over that? Couldn't you have knocked him out or something?"

Eliot sighed, shook his head in dismay, and looked the kid in the eyes.

"He had to be an example, kid. I was still pretty new at the time, and I had to prove that I was willing to do anything. If I'd knocked him out, people would've thought that I was soft, and I couldn't let that happen."

The kid had tears in his eyes, now.

"You killed him… To prove that you weren't soft? To set an example? That's your excuse?"

"Yup. He didn't mean anything and neither do you, kid. Now would you mind holding still so I can kill you?"

Eliot started toward the kid, knowing what was coming… He still flinched when he heard the gunshot. A second later, he found himself on the floor, a stabbing pain in his stomach. He'd been shot before, of course, and recovered, but his body was too old, and this shot was fatal.

It was funny. He was dying right now, on the floor of his barn, just like he'd planned… But still, even at his death, there was something missing. Something that had been missing all of his life. He'd never known what it was, but he'd always known that there was something lacking; something that, if he could find it, would finally heal the gaping hole in his heart.

But he hadn't found it, and now it was too late, as he was dying on the floor of his barn, killed by the son of the man he hadn't meant to get killed.

The kid stood over him, and Eliot smiled; a grin made macabre by the blood staining his teeth.

"Thanks, kid… note for… for you, in my… pocket…"

Eliot's voice trailed off and his eyes slid closed, as close to peace as could ever remember feeling, even if there was something missing.

Eliot Spencer, the world's best Retrieval Specialist, one of the most dangerous men in the world, died with a smile on his face.

The End…