Disclaimer: I do not own Leverage or White Collar.
Characters/Pairings: Gen with canon pairings
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Warnings/spoilers: Violence towards children, OC character death. Spoilers through all seasons of Leverage and vague spoilers for seasons 1-4 of White Collar.
Word Count: 17, 163
Summary: After the fiasco with Michael and his followers, life settled down a bit. Eliot still did jobs for the Order of Thanatos, and now that Nate and Sophie had left the game, he, Hardison, and Parker were all set to take their crusade against corporate greed international. Then one day an old acquaintance of Eliot's shows up, calling in a favor owed. He has a job for Eliot, one which could not only get him kill, but start a war if the wrong people found out about it.
Sequel to: Sinner's Prayer
Sunlight beat down on his body, dirt stuck to his skin. Eliot could barely move, and breathing was becoming difficult. He could feel the warm sticky blood pouring down his side. Each beat of his heart sent more blood spilling from his body. His wings twitched with each spike of pain, and he knew it wouldn’t be long before the hounds of hell came to collect their due.
He wondered where his team was, if they’d gotten out in time. The job had been a set up, the vampire waiting for them behind an army of enthralled kids. Children no older than ten had come running into the room, guns raised. Bullets had ripped through his body before he’d had time to process anything.
The bombs had gone off a few seconds later, spraying fire, brick, and mortar in every direction. His ears still rang from the explosions. Orders had been shouted, and he’d been dragged from the ruined building and out into the sweltering heat.
Tiny pinpricks alighted along his arm, pulling him into the present. It scuttled up his bicep and up onto his chest. Another went up his neck and onto his forehead. Eliot was too weak to bat the insects away. He wondered briefly if they’d come to clean his flesh from his bones.
One blink and the sun was blocked out, and in another blink a hand settled on his forehead, the insect now lifted from his head. A softly accented voice drifted to his ears and Eliot felt his body sagging in relief as the pain left him.
“Not today, my friend,” the voice said, as fingers ran through his matted hair. “Your God is not through with you just yet.”
Eliot jerked awake, moonlight still seeping through the curtains. The card sitting on the nightstand drew his eyes, simple in design, but pressing the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Sitting up, he swung his feet to the floor and stood.
He walked into the living room knowing what he’d find when he got there. Khepri sat in one of the arm chairs, a large dark beetle scuttling over his hand. His eyes were focused on the bug’s movements, a slight smile gracing his face.
“Hello, Eliot,” he said finally looking away from the bug. “I take it everything is going well?”
Eliot sat down on the couch and leaned back, a scowl darkening his face. “You know exactly how things are going.”
Khepri laughed, and with a wave of his hand, the beetle vanished.
“I see you got your God’s message.”
“That prophecy is a load of horse shit,” Eliot said. “I ain’t Thanatos’ Heir.”
“Aren’t you though?” Khepri asked one eyebrow raised. “If not, then why did his Oracle not tell his agents of your deeds?” He leaned forward, arms on his knees. “Why has the knowledge of your work been allowed to spread outside the Order?”
“I work with a bunch of nosy thieves,” Eliot said. “They don’t know the meaning of the word privacy.”
“They’ve seen the dangers of this job,” Khepri said. “And yet they stand by you. More have come to your side since.”
Eliot rolled his eyes, willing to concede the point just to get the conversation over with. “Fine, I’m some chosen one. What do you want?”
“To give you this,” Khepri said. He laid a dagger on the table. It was old, the iron blade worn with time. The petrified wooden handle was polished to a shiny black.
Eliot kept away from the simple blade. He could feel the power coming from it. It made his skin crawl, and his breath hitch.
“In order to kill a God,” Khepri said. “You need a weapon forged by a God.”
Eliot shook his head and refused to pick up the dagger.
“I ain’t touching that.”
“You won’t be able to do the job without it.”
Eliot’s head jerked up, but the seat was now empty. There was no trace that Khepri had even been there except for the dagger.
Standing, Eliot pulled out one of his dagger cases. Opening it, he took out the knife and used it to slide the old dagger into the case. Closing the lid he put his dagger in the bottom of his bag, along with the case. Then he put his bag back in its place and climbed back into bed. Morning was several hours off and it was too late to deal with any of this.
He woke to the smell of coffee and sunlight streaming into his eyes. Sitting up, he noted the cup on the nightstand and the bag from a familiar takeout place.
Standing, he pulled on a shirt, and walked into the living room. Neal sat on the couch, a newspaper in his lap and a coffee cup in hand.
“About time you woke up,” Neal said. He sat the newspaper down on the coffee table. “Peter and Nate want us to get a move on. They’re anxious to get started.”
Eliot tensed, his wings spreading a few inches from his back. “They can wait until I’ve at least had a shower.”
Grabbing some clean clothes, Eliot locked himself into the bathroom. Not that it would stop Neal from getting in, but it gave him the illusion of privacy.
Stripping out of his sleep clothes, and tossing the old bandage into the trash, Eliot climbed into the shower. The water came out at a lovely pressure and hot enough to already start fogging up the room.
Washing his hair, he then checked over his injuries. The wound to his shoulder was an angry pink scar, the muscles still sore, but the bruises looked like they were weeks old.
Giving thanks to the added perk of his condition, Eliot washed away the dirt and sweat from the previous days and climbed out of the shower. Despite his words, he knew he couldn’t soak like he’d wanted too. The others were waiting, and Eliot knew how miserable Nate could be if he thought they weren’t moving fast enough.
Getting dressed, Eliot quickly combed his hair, and brushed his teeth. When he exited, he found his coffee and breakfast on the coffee table and his shoes and socks next to the arm chair.
Sitting, he didn’t bother to comment on Neal’s not so subtle hint, and took a long drink of his coffee before putting on his socks and shoes.
“Were you going to tell me about your visitor last night?” Neal asked, voice innocent, eyes wide.
Eliot jerked back and narrowed his. “You went through my bag.”
“I got your socks out.”
“They’re sittin’ on top of everything else.”
“I found this,” Neal said. He held up a scarab. It looked to be made of green limestone and was the size of Neal’s palm. “It was sitting on your bag.”
Eliot cursed, and tied the laces of his boots with quick sharp movements.
“I thought we had a meeting to get to?”
Neal sat the scarab on the coffee table and stood. The look he gave Eliot let him know the subject had not been dropped, it was just being postponed.
“Fine,” Neal said. “But if I think the others need to know, I’ll tell them.”
“You already proved you’d do that,” Eliot snapped out as he headed to the door, coffee and food forgotten for now. He wasn’t in the mood to eat anyway.
A hand on his shoulder stopped him and he turned a dark look towards Neal.
“I don’t lie to Peter.” Neal slipped passed him and headed down the hallway.
Much to Eliot’s annoyance they ended up at Neal’s apartment, Mozzie hovering around the group. He kept a wide breadth around Eliot and Nate, but was gushing to the point of saccharine around Parker and Sophie. Eliot was pretty sure if Mozzie didn’t stop, Hardison was going to end up breaking his laptop.
Maps and stacks of paper littered Neal’s tiny kitchen table, the edges held down by a few bottles of wine.
“Already?” Neal asked, gesturing towards the wine glasses Sophie and Mozzie held. “It’s not even ten o’clock.”
“A good con requires a good vintage,” Mozzie replied with a wave of his hand.
“See, Nate,” Sophie said, smacking his shoulder. “He knows what he’s talking about.”
Nate gave her an incredulous look. “I thought you wanted me to stop drinking.”
“I wanted you to stop being an ass,” Sophie said. “There is a difference.”
“Guys,” Eliot said, cutting in before a fight could break out. “What’s going on?”
“We’re conducting a manhunt,” Mozzie said, smile in place. “See, this is you.” He held up a plastic green toy soldier. He then pointed to small pieces of candy scattered about. “These other pieces are various places you’ve been, and places we think your target might be hiding.”
“And ya’ll think you’re gonna find a God using Oreos?” Eliot held up the cookie with a disgusted look. Hardison snatched it out of his hand a second later.
“That was mine,” he said, taking a bite out of the cookie while still typing away on his laptop.
“We’re doomed,” Eliot said, sinking down into a vacant chair.
“Not so fast,” Neal said leaning over to look at the map. He adjusted a few pieces and stood back, tapping Eliot on his shoulder. “What do you see?”
Eliot looked closely and then swore in every language he knew. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”
“What is it?” Parker asked, leaning across Eliot’s back to look over his shoulder.
He shrugged trying to dislodge her, but she held on.
“Get off, Parker,” Eliot growled out. “Go hang off Hardison.”
“You have a better vantage point.”
Sophie, Nate, and Peter both leaned over the map, and Eliot could see when they all noticed the pattern.
“The Metropolitan Museum of Art.” Peter ran a hand over his face. “Of course a God would take up residence in a museum. It makes perfect sense.”
“It does actually,” Neal said.
“I was being sarcastic.”
Sighing, Neal pointed to the map. “It holds a large amount of ancient artifacts from all over the world. It’s the perfect place for a God of Old to go for people to remember them.”
“Their power comes from their believers,” Sophie said. “He’s right, it does make sense.”
“But people don’t actually believe in them,” Parker said.
“They talk about them,” Nate said. “They remember their names and debate how they were worshiped. People discuss how those beliefs shaped society.”
“But people are just showing up to see a bunch of old stuff.”
“Old stuff?” Neal asked, an insulted look on his face.
“It’s priceless old stuff,” Parker said. “But it’s still old stuff.”
“It’s priceless artifacts that tell the story of our history,” Neal said. “It’s how we learn how our ancestors lived, what they loved, the type of art they created…”
“And she doesn’t care as long as it gets her money,” Hardison broke in.
Parker smiled and shrugged. “I like money.”
“Okay,” Peter said before Neal could get going again. “So we have a God in the museum. How do we get him out?”
Eliot moved from under Parker and came to stand by Nate. His eyes narrowed as he looked at the map.
“Do ya’ll have blue prints for the museum?”
Silence greeted his words and Eliot looked up to see Neal, Mozzie, Sophie, and Parker all looking at him with similar expressions.
“Right,” Eliot said. “Dumb question.”
“You don’t know the museum’s layout?” Nate asked a hint of surprise in his voice.
Eliot shrugged. “I like to have a visual to work from.”
“I’ve got it right here,” Hardison said, pointing to his laptop screen.
“Not that type of visual,” Eliot said. “I like something I can hold in my hands, maybe even write on.”
“The classics never go out of style,” Mozzie said with a nod.
“It helps to know if they’ve updated any of the areas. The last time I had to retrieve something from there was about eight years ago,” Eliot said.
Peter sighed. “I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.” He turned towards Neal. “Draw up the blue prints.” He held up a hand to stop Neal’s words. “Don’t. I know you can do it.”
Neal grinned and grabbed his sketch book, sitting down on the couch. He began drawing the layout of the museum with quick sure movements. Parker and Mozzie drifted over, Parker holding a pencil, and started adding their own details to the layout. Hardison followed a second later, laptop in hand.
“So now what?” Peter said, tearing his eyes away from the group at the couch.
Nate smiled. “Now we steal a museum.”