I don’t own Leverage or Angel. That’s John Rogers and Chris Downey, and Joss Whedon.Author’s Notes:
This is in response to TouchoftheWind’s Challenge. TouchoftheWind, the Gibbs and Stargate stories were pushed to the backburner but I will eventually get to them. Banner by TouchoftheWind.
Hardison cut his eyes towards the kid that’d just wondered into their headquarters and plonked himself down. He was cute, if you liked the short, quiet, antisocial type. Hardison was wondering why that description was pinging his inner alarm when the rest of the crew finally made their way in.
His questions were answered when Eliot, compactly built, grumpy Eliot, scowled and said, “Dammit Connor, again?” The kid just shrugged and Hardison’s estimation of him went up. Not many could withstand Eliot in a pissy mood. “This is the third kidnapping attempt in a month. Did you at least get one of them to talk?”
The others shifted worriedly but Connor just looked sheepish.
“I got sort of caught up,” he said, shrugging.
Eliot irritably yanked his hand through his flowing man-locks and Hardison made a mental note to avoid the growly one for the foreseeable future. Or maybe to do something incredibly irritating while he was already irritated. Hmm, choices, choices.
“Well, why’d you come here?” Eliot asked and Hardison was shocked because Eliot didn’t seem the type to turn away someone in need, especially someone Hardison greatly suspected was family. “You normally head back to that fortress you call home, hole up for awhile.”
Connor frowned, lips pinching. “The boss-like guy took Dawn and left before I could get free. And since he’s a Norm, even if his minions aren’t, I need you to find them.”
Hardison was trying to control his face against the urge to raise eyebrows and signal to the rest of the team the equivalent of, ‘What the Hell?’ Mostly, he looked like he had tourrettes. He also got the feeling that when Connor said Norm, he didn’t mean non-thieving types.
Eliot sighed and slumped, defeat in his every gesture. “Guys, this is my baby brother, Connor. Connor, these are my colleagues, Nate, Sophie, Parker, and Hardison. Connor works for the Watcher’s Council and he’s just lost the boss’s daughter.”
“It wasn’t my fault,” Connor said grumpily, scowling. Hardison was having a hard time containing his glee because seriously. The resemblance was uncanny. They even had the same floppy hair and blue eyes. “They were really prepared. They had special chains and everything. And she’s not exactly the boss’s daughter.”
“Uh huh,” Nate said, rocking on his heels. “And the reason you’re not going to the Council with this? Because, from what I remember, they tend to take care of their own problems?”
The sheepish look returned and Eliot grumbled, “Aw, hell, Connor, tell me you weren’t banned from leaving the building.”
wasn’t,” Connor said, tapping his fingers on the table. “But, uh, Dawn was restricted.”
Nate sighed. “How old’s the girl?”
“Twenty-three,” Connor shrugged.
Parker snorted. “And they still ground her?”
“No,” Connor frowned. “Trouble just seems to find her, you know? So when they’re already knee deep, she’s supposed to stay on the grounds because they don’t have time to come fish her out of it. But, I mean, if we need a little back up, I know a couple of people.” He looked at Eliot. “My kind of back up. Not, er, yours.” He looked dubiously at the team and Hardison was a little insulted. Sure, they got into their share of trouble but they also managed to get themselves out of it.
“How not normal are the minions?” Eliot asked, frowning.
“Like Bangkok, not Seoul,” Connor said, which made no sense to Hardison but Eliot seemed to gleam something from it because he winced.
“Call them,” Eliot rasped, face sour. Hardison decided he’d definitely be avoiding him because he’d never seen that look of irritation before and it was best to leave something alone until he knew how it would react.
Connor once again glanced around at the team, then said as he stood, “I’ll just, uh, let you explain.” He stopped by Eliot as he walked past and wrapped a hand around his wrist. “We kind of need to hurry and they’re probably going to need to know.”
Hardison was intrigued because, seriously, he’d never seen Eliot’s face express much more than irritation, vicious glee, or a slight merriment, usually when Hardison himself had just done something admittedly stupid. But now, oh, now
, it was pained.
“Who believes in magic?” Eliot asked and Hardison’s word tipped on its side because Eliot had always been the sensible one but apparently he was in dire need of a trip to a resting facility with padded walls. If his little brother had brought this on, this was going to be a long visit.