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The House Rules

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This story is No. 6 in the series "The McDonald Boys". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Sequel to "The Sky's Gonna Open" in the "McDonald Boys" verse. This may also be called by its longer alternate name: "How the Leverage Team Taught Lindsey to Be a Team Player, or Rather, Simply Annoyed Him into Cooperating." Family banter, humor.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > LeveragepoestheblackcatFR1375,615092,8616 May 126 May 12Yes

Rule Number Seven

AN: Last one. But you knew that, right? Because there are seven rules mentioned in the song…?

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Rule Number Seven: Once they accept you into their family, you’re in for life. That means that they’ll do anything to keep you alive. So stop trying to die, you stupid, suicidal lawyer-slash-magician-slash-hitter!

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His own reaction surprises him as much as theirs does. But then again, he’s always been an unpredictable kind of guy. That’s what makes him so dangerous. And the team? They can hardly be called harmless.


When it comes down to it, he’s surprised.

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Lindsey weighs his advantages and disadvantages against the evil mark’s flunkies standing in his way and finds that the scale’s tipping heavily toward the disadvantages’ side. “Everybody get out.”

“Lindsey, what is it?”

He shifts the knife in his hand into a sword. “Nate, get everybody out now.”

“How many?” Eliot. He’s in the van with Nate and Hardison. Safe. At least now…At least now, he’ll be alright. He’ll be fine. “How many, Lindsey?”

“Four.” And they’re huge.

“Four?! You can take ‘em.”

“They’re not human.” Oh yeah, definitely not human.

Radio silence.

“Nate, I said, get ‘em out.”

“NO! Linny, no!” He can hear Eliot straining, probably against Nate, who’s most likely holding him back from coming after him. “Linny!”


“Eliot, no,” grunts Nate’s voice on the com over Eliot’s screams, “Stay here. We need to trust him. Sophie, Parker.”

“Yeah, I’m on my way back.”

“Van’s in sight.”

“Got visuals on the girls.”

Eliot says, but it’s in a soft, distressed whine with tears in it. Yeah. He’ll be fine. Nate’s got him.

Satisfied that the team’s safe and gone, Lindsey says, “Don’t wait for me,” and turns his earbud off. Even then, he can still hear Eliot screaming at him, for him. He blocks it off, blocks him out, and concentrates on the matter at hand.

“So there’s four of you, and one of me. Now, that hardly seems fair, does it, boys?” he laughs. “Why don’t you call for backup, even it out a little?”

The tentacled demon in front of him clacks at him through its hooked beak.

Lindsey winces. “Ooh, you kiss your mama with that mouth?” He tsks. “Someone needs to teach you some manners.” And then he clicks an insult back at the demon in its own language. Just for kicks.

Octobird Number One attacks with an enraged roar, flanked by Octobird (alright, alright, Asthjoiey demon) Numbers Two and Three, and backed by Number Four.

Needless to say, Lindsey loses. But he does manage to take a few arms with him. More than a few, actually. Seventeen and a half tentacles altogether. That’s pretty impressive. Top that, Eliot, he thinks, before he blacks out.

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He doesn’t remember much. There’s not really much to remember, anyway.

Pain, pain, pain, water (lots of it), pain, pain, water, cold, hot, water, cold, hot, water, cold, hot, pain, pain, pain, water.

That’s it, really.

That, and a voice saying fuzzily, “Ooh! Found him!” Deft hands unlocking the manacles holding him enough off of the ground for his toes to graze the cold, wet concrete, then Oh, hello ground. Ouch.

“Oops,” says the voice, not sounding the least bit apologetic.

“Dammit, Parker,” he manages to whine before he blacks out again.

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Tiny hands dab at a cut on his cheek. Crap.

“I know you’re awake, you suicidal sononabitch.”

He takes a breath and proceeds to choke on it. A straw’s poked into his gasping mouth.

“It’s water.” No, he hates water. Water is bad.

“Drink it.” How a hand so small can keep his head from turning away is beyond him. “Drink,” the voice insists. So he does. Just to save the trouble of arguing with the brick wall that is stubbornness personified.

Oh, that’s nice. Maybe he likes water after all. His eyes flutter back closed.

Then a seven-year-old index finger flicks his nose. “No goin’ ta sleep b’fore I say my piece.”

He grunts. It comes out as a pathetic moan.

It doesn’t affect the barrage of scolding words that pours out of Eliot’s mouth. “What the hell were you thinkin’, huh? Tryin’ ta get yourself killed? You shoulda run with us instead of turnin’ yourself into demon chow. Stop tryin’ ta die on me!” It’s punctuated with angry tugs at his sore left arm.

“Eliot,” Sophie murmurs from somewhere nearby.

“Wolfram. Still after me,” Lindsey mumbles, looking at his brother blearily. “Just me. Had to get the team away.”

Then he frowns. Since when had he cared about the team? Motor-mouth Hardison, Nate and his never-ending plans, sultry, dangerous Sophie, and Parker, with her poking fingers…

“Parker, don’t poke him. He’s actually in quite a lot of pain.”

The long thin fingers stop exploring the curious suction-shaped hickies looping around his torso, neck, and limbs.

Lindsey sighs in relief. “Thanks, Sophie.”

“You’re welcome, Lindsey,” she says, and a soft hand pushes the hair off of his forehead, “Eliot, let your brother rest, sweetheart. You can scold him later, hm?”

Lindsey can sense the pouting aura emanating from Eliot’s small, indignant figure without even opening his eyes. “I ain’t done. Nate drugged me, Linny. So I wouldn’t go in after your stupid ass. He drugged me. He stabbed me with a needle.”

Lindsey can’t help but snort, he really can’t.

“It ain’t funny.”

“It was the only way we could make you wait until we had a plan to get your brother out safely,” Nate points out.

It’s then that Lindsey realizes, hey, he’s out. They got him out, even though they didn’t have to. They’re good enough at adapting that they don’t actually need a hitter (or if they want one, they could simply hire a new guy), and they certainly didn’t have to risk their lives to get him away from the clutches of the Asthjoiey demons hired by the mark and given leeway to torture him in any way they pleased. (Incidentally, it had been quite a cultural experience, but one he wouldn’t care to repeat.)

Even Eliot’s whining really shouldn’t have been enough to make them want to go into uncharted supernatural territory for him. Tactically, it would be safer for all of them to not attract unwanted attention. Nate should have been thinking of the team’s safety.

But they’d come and rescued him because…because why?

He doesn’t realize he’d said it out loud until Sophie answers his question. “Because you’re one of us now, and we don’t leave family behind,” she says, and tugs Eliot’s Batman-themed blankets over him. (Batman? Oh, they’re back at Nate’s.)


“Bam!” Hardison cackles from the desk where he’s sitting with his laptop, “Let’s see you come after him now, Doc Ock. How’d’ya like that database wipe? Try finding him now, muthersucka!”

Next to him, Parker tasers a sandwich. “Grilled cheese!” she says, and happily munches on her snack. From the disturbing way with which she strokes her taser and tells it that it’s a “good feathery octopus-killing boy,” Lindsey surmises that Asthjoiey demons are susceptible to high-voltage electric currents. Good to know for future reference.

Eliot wrinkles his nose in distaste at the thief’s version of cooking. Then, looking around surreptitiously to check that no one’s watching, he leans over his brother, puts one arm across his chest and shoulder in a loose embrace, and whispers into his ear. “Don’t do that to me again, y’hear me?”

Lindsey pats the arm awkwardly, “’S not like I sicced the demons on m’self, El’ot,” he slurs.

Eliot pulls back and sighs. “I know. But try not to get yourself killed. I mean, you’re annoying, but it was hard enough breaking you in, and we don’t wanna hafta train a new guy.”

“Shut up,” Lindsey smiles, and cracks an eye open. “Admit it. You love me.”

Eliot sniffs. “Nuh-uh.”

“You do. You know you do.”

“Go to sleep, jerkwad.”

Lindsey glances at the clock over Eliot’s shoulder. “Past your bedtime, too, midget.”

Eliot huffs. “Fine. Scoot over, fatass,” he says, climbing up onto the bed with his brother.

“What’re you- There’s no room for you, ya blanket-hog.”

“You’re the blanket-hog, retard. It’s my bed.”

“Y’know what? Enough with the name-callin’, short stuff.”

“Hey!” calls Nate from the doorway, “Both of you. Bedtime. Lights out. Hardison, Parker, out here.”

The small bedroom is enveloped in comfortable darkness and sleep has almost claimed Lindsey, when he hears the soft “Guess I do.”

He smiles and pulls his brother closer, but stays silent because he knows he wasn’t supposed to hear the whispered confession.

“Same here,” he thinks at him instead. “Guess I love ya, too.”

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AN: Is it possible to cook using a taser? I don’t know, but it sure is an interesting concept, isn’t it? Or is Parker rubbing off on me too much? Scary thought.

Like I said, this is the last one in this story, but I have more coming. If you have any ideas/suggestions, by all means, please tell me. I’m all ears. I’m always open to new ideas for this verse (some of the silliest/sweetest scenes and character details have come from PM conversations or reviews), so if you have anything you want to read, let me know. I may be able to get a story out of it, if it fits in with the overall storyline I have in mind for this verse.

The End

You have reached the end of "The House Rules". This story is complete.

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