paulacas: (Aveng Lev)
[personal profile] paulacas
Title: Sometimes You Need A Scorecard
Author: YanzaDracan
Artist: Whiskeyinmind
Fandom: Avengers/Leverage/The Bourne Legacy/X-Men
Word Count: 5,984/20,243
Pairings: Eliot Spencer/Clint Barton; Nate/Sophie; Tony/Pepper; Natasha Romanoff/Phil Coulson;
Rating: R
Warnings: language; a little sex, a little violence
Disclaimer: I don't own them. They belong only to themselves, and the people that created them. This is a figment of my imagination--fiction. No money made. Any mistakes are mine.
Summary: Sophie told Eliot he was no longer the same man that worked for Damien Moreau. The Leverage Team finds out he is still that man plus a little more, and that's okay because a Hawk and a Spider have his back.
A/N: Spoilers: Season 5 Leverage to The Gimme A K Street Job.

CounterfeitLivesB fanmix

He'd drifted to sleep with strong arms wrapped around him, but something was scratching at the back of his mind. The last time that happened he'd been reaching out to Eliot as he helplessly watched Loki's scepter move toward his chest. Eyes snapping open, he reached out to find the bed empty. Getting dressed he followed the tug in his mind to the highest place in Stark Tower.

Usually when people thought of high places they thought of him, not Eliot, but Eliot always did the unexpected-it had saved their lives numerous times in the past so it stayed in his arsenal. He found his partner in an overstuffed chair he'd pulled over to the windows, talking to JARVIS-a beer sweating on the floor next to him.

He and Eliot were fairly matched in size though Eliot was broader, so Clint burrowed into the over sized chair and that broad chest seeking the extra warmth that was a result of their stint in Operation Outcome.

"The bed got cold."

Eliot pulled the archer close and rested his lips against his temple.

"What's wrong?"

"I'm turning everything back to Phil tomorrow. He and Steve will run the show."

Eliot's voice was rough with the emotions tumbling across their bond.

"What?...Oh no…Fury can't do this…not now. Phil's not field ready."

"You're going to be his eyes."

"Eliot…no. You have to take me with you."

"I can't. You and Nat are well known members of the Avengers. You can't go where I'm going."

h

When Clint woke the next morning he was bruised and sore and every part of his body had been well used. They had come back to the room where Eliot had made love to him both mentally and physically. He showered and was in the elevator before he realized that their bond was entirely too quiet.

"JARVIS, where's Eliot?"

"Not in the tower, Agent Barton."

"Where's Agent Coulson or Romanoff?"

"Everyone is in the dining room. I believe they're waiting for your arrival."

He rushed into the room to find not only the team and Coulson, but also Fury and someone Clint Barton had hoped to never see again. Dr. Marta Shearing. A baggie holding dark hair lay on the table. The Hawk's eyesight lit on the hair. He closed his eyes and locked everything down. The Avengers were rudely introduced to Agent Clint Barton, master assassin.

Marta came towards him, her expression happy.

"Aaron, they never told me what happened to you."

"There is no Aaron, Dr. Shearing. He was an alias used to infiltrate the CIA's human experimentation program of which you were an integral part. My name is Agent Clint Barton."

She turned confused eyes on Nick Fury.

"But, Nick Taylor-he's been coming to my lab…I just viraled him out."

The rest of the team had moved to stand behind Clint. It was Tony who spoke first.

"I think I and Dr. Banner would like to see the files on…Nick Taylor." His dark eyes never left Fury's face.

"Those files are 'Eyes Only'."

Nick Fury didn't know why he bothered reminding Stark. The man probably already had the files, but wanted to see if SHIELD was going to deny him.

"My chef and personal trainer disappears into thin air, you show up with some genetics hack you've stolen from the CIA while said science hack drools over Legolas like he's the Holy Grail. So why don't you roll over and show us your soft underbelly."

"What did you do, Marta."

Eyes wide Dr. Shearing froze like a rabbit under the raptor's gaze.

"I'd answer him before he puts an arrow in your eye." Natasha whispered from behind the scientist.

Dr. Shearing jerked at the Black Widow's venomous tone. She quickly backed up until she bumped into Fury.

"When Number 7 came into the program his senses were already sharper than normal including his intuition. One of the chromosomes we altered controls cognitive ability and the senses. The treatment not only enhanced his five normal senses, but also his 'sixth sense'…intuition…whatever."

Fury picked up the story.

"Apparently when Eliot's young hacker friend was having his jealous snit and was tiptoeing through CIA files looking for Eliot Spencer and his known aliases he pinged one of Byer's geeks. Eliot came to me while you were on a mission in Pakistan with this information, and asked to take another cognitive treatment in an attempt to boost his abilities even higher."

"Those two weeks…he looked horrible, but never broke his schedule."

Bruce looked at Shearing like he found her on the bottom of his shoe.

"So he's going to take on Eric Byer, Mark Turso and NRAG by himself." Clint asked.

"He's the perfect candidate. The treatment worked. His intuition has grown to where he's practically telepathic or precognitive or whichever one of those terms they use." Marta blurted.

"So the end justified the means, Doctor?" Steve asked. "Several of us are the end result of that thinking."

Shearing paled and stepped back.

Clint spun around to stalk out of the room taking the baggie with him.

"It's the only way we stop this." Fury called. "They can kill all the subjects, but as long as they have the files they'll never stop."

"There's always backups and redundancies." Tony pointed out.

"Not with this stuff. It will be off network."

h

Eliot sighed pinching the bridge of his nose. Before going through the experimentation process for Operation Outcome, he and Clint had their own particular brands of genius. Clint with his knowledge of angles, trajectories and such, and Eliot with his knowledge of people, their psychologies and behaviors, and planning contingencies based on those behaviors. The alterations had boosted those abilities, and now with the second boost and no time to acclimate to the increase in his psychic abilities, Eliot was fighting to narrow down the scenarios running through his brain. His only back-up and voice in his ear for this operation was JARVIS.

His cover into the CIA was a former weapons specialist moved to desk duty after an injury. His job in this capacity was the inspection, maintenance and inventory of all the weapons currently in the CIA armory. This gave JARVIS a way into the system and kept Eliot away from prying eyes.

He was a week into his inventory when his instincts started clamoring at him to hide. He put everything away so it looked like no one was in the armory before moving into the shadows just as JARVIS warned him Eric Byer and Mark Turso were coming into the armory.

Knowing there was little surveillance in the armory they found a blind spot and discussed the budget hearings in the Senate and how best to divert funds into a new program for LARX.

"The problem is even though it's been five years since Bourne and Landy we're still under the gun." Byer complained. "Auditors are still watching every file and piece of scrap paper in every building, office or lab ever used especially by the National Research Assay Group."

"What do you want to me to do?" I warned you about keeping that stuff. It should have been incinerated after you lost Cross and that doctor." Turso snarked.

"That's thousands of hours and millions of dollars of research!"

"It's not just our jobs, but probably our lives if those files ever see the light of day. It also ruins plans to restart any of the programs. We have buyers for what we can produce. Buyers you really don't want to screw over, Eric."

"It's not just my chestnuts that will roasting Mark, it's yours too."

The retired admiral looked like he'd sucked a lemon, but capitulated.

"Everything in the vault over at NRAG?"

"It's all on external drives that we use on standalone systems so they're never on the network servers."

"What's the protocol for getting the drives out of the vault?"

"I'll worry about that. You need to find me someone to carry them out of the building-someone you don't mind using for cannon fodder."

"They're all cannon fodder, Mark."

Eliot watched the two men leave noticing the empty security station outside the door. He finished out the day while beginning to plan his way back into the NRAG.

h

Clint was quietly fretting over Eliot's silence, while Tony and Bruce were much more vocal with both Coulson and Fury. JARVIS wished there was a way he could alleviate some of the worry, but Eliot had sworn him to silence unless Sir asked him directly for the AI told the agent he refused to lie to his creator.

JARVIS, have you heard any buzz on our Wolfman?"

"I'm afraid not, Sir. There has been no communication between Agent Spencer and SHIELD."

"Thanks, J."

"You're welcome, Sir."

"See Hawk. No news is good news. You know if you're feeling frustrated maybe I could talk Pepper into…"

The words stopped spilling from Tony's mouth by the dinner roll Clint had thrown-Hawkeye never missed.

h

The second alias JARVIS and Eliot set up was a low level agent generally used for playing messenger within the Agency. Pick up the package deliver the package. George Kenneth was such an agent. Quiet, invisible, no one remembers him because he was so non-invasive in his comings and goings.

Eliot made sure every time Byer or Turso needed someone he was there. His patience was rewarded when Turso handed him a box for delivery to a NRAG safe house. On the drive to the house in Alexandria, Virginia, JARVIS copied the drives onto one of his servers so only Eliot and Tony had access. The files would be erased when the last of the agents in Treadstone, Black Briar, Outcome, LARX and any descendents died. If Jason Bourne, Eliot, Clint or the remaining nine LARX subjects produced children, JARVIS would monitor them for any manifestation of abilities due to their parents altered chromosomes. Subjects in these programs didn't usually live lives conducive to having families, but the contingency had to be covered.

Eliot picked up what Turso told him was the last box to go to the safe house when Byer looked up from the papers on his desk.

"Kenneth?"

"Sir?"

"Have we worked together?"

"No, Sir."

Byer studied his badge then his face. Eliot was glad for the tinted glasses that gave him relief from the fluorescent lights.

"How long have you been here?"

"The NRAG or the Agency, Sir?"

"The Agency."

"Five years. I was just transferred back from northern Afghanistan, Sir."

Byer gave him one more look.

"Sorry, you reminded me of someone. Thank you, Agent Kenneth, that'll be all."

With a curt nod Eliot headed for the agency car. He didn't draw a normal breath until he was out the gate headed toward Arlington. The minute he turned onto the street where the safe house was located something felt wrong.

"JARVIS?"

"I believe Admiral Turso and Colonel Byer's endgame is about to begin. There are a dozen agents in and around the house."

"Great. All I need to do is convince them they killed me without pissing off Clint." Eliot grimaced.

"Indeed, though I believe Agent Barton would not be the only person distressed. We're not far from the river."

"The classics never go out of style."

Eliot shoved his Stark Tablet and phone into a waterproof case, put his comm in his ear, and slipped the strap over his head. He parked on the street instead of pulling into the driveway, got out of the car carrying a box like he had every day for the past three. Byer and Turso stepped around the corner of the house as one of the Byer's shock troops opened the front door. Eliot stopped.

"Is something wrong, Sir?"

"I'm afraid so Agent Kenneth. You see there's been a security breach, and I'm afraid you've become our number one suspect."

If Eliot didn't know better, he'd have sworn Byer was truly sorry for what was about to happen.

"But all I do is make deliveries."

"Which, will be the saddest part of the story, Agent Kenneth or may I call you George? A good agent with years of experience duped by a superior that is in the wind after stealing government documents."

"Don't you think that's too many inconsistencies even for you, Colonel Byer…Admiral Turso?"

Shocked that Kenneth knew their ranks, everyone froze giving Eliot the opening he needed. He dropped the box exposing the two silenced Glocks he held. He shot the shock trooper in the door and the two flanking Byer and Turso causing everyone to run for cover while he ran in the direction of the river.

He ran a chaotic pattern that seemed to have no definitive destination. So far the extra kick that the additional treatment had given his precognitive abilities was keeping him out of the shock troops' crosshairs. The house was in the Ashton Heights only a few miles from airport. If he could get to the river he could make his way to the airport. JARVIS had informed him that Pepper was in DC, which meant one of the Stark Industries jets was sitting at Reagan National-all he had to do was get there.

A rush of information caused his vision to white out making him stumble as a bullet ripped through the flesh of his right latissimus muscle. Eliot rolled and came to his feet the pain helping to clear the onslaught of information as keen hearing picked up the sounds of helicopters. Raising mental barriers around his precognition he turned to his other senses to keep track of his pursues. Seeing the fence surrounding Fort Meyer and Arlington National Cemetery, he turned south ducking under the edge of the underpass as chips of concrete and metal bit into his skin, making him wish for his Stark designed battle suit.

Leaning against the bridge support under I-395, he fought to calm his breathing. On the other side of the road were the Pentagon and the airport. The helicopters had to turn back, but he could hear the squeal of tortured rubber as Turso's goons tore through the city streets. There wasn't much time. He had to get to the airport before he started leaving a blood trail.

"Sir, if you can get to the plane, Ms. Potts will be leaving within the next two hours."

"Cake, JARVIS. What's the chatter?"

"They're coming into the front side of the mall now, Eliot."

He cursed the lack of cover, ducking in the Pentagon Mall, picking up a little something to cover his ruined suit jacket and heading out another door. Jogging across the delivery area of the mall, Eliot ran between high rise condos heading for the bird sanctuary hoping for enough cover to get him to the river without shock troops and airport security using him for target practice.

The river was right there. Eliot stopped under the railroad bridge to catch the position of his pursuers and his breath. They were close so he kept under the scant cover of the trestle as he ran for the water. He heard the words, 'take the shot' as he leaned forward to dive into the Potomac. Fire raced up his back, the dark head jerked right as a bullet plowed a furrow up his back, but missed his head as he jackknifed into the river.

Fate must have felt like she'd fucked him enough for one day as he pulled himself from the water, and hid under the tarp over the bed of a maintenance truck that stopped ten feet from Stark's plane. He climbed into the baggage compartment knowing Tony would have it heated and pressurized since he transported sensitive equipment. The pilot was prepping for takeoff so he rolled up in one of the padded blankets used to protect fragile cargo, and thought about how pissed Clint was going to be when they pulled him out of the plane. The plane jerked banging his bleeding back against a metal strut, and Eliot didn't think anymore.

h

Clint ran sensitive fingertips over a dozen custom arrowheads as Tony explained each one's capabilities. The archer stood to compare one of the actual tips to the life sized schematic.

"That won't work there because…"

The arrowhead dropped as Clint grabbed his head and went to his knees. Tony turned around when he heard DUM-E's distressed beeps.

"Clint!"

"Eliot."

"JARVIS! You tell me what's going on with Spencer right now!"

"Sir…"

"NOW, JARVIS!"

"Agent Spencer is at present unconscious in the baggage compartment of the plane carrying Ms. Potts from Washington, DC to LaGuardia."

"How soon before they land, and how bad is he hurt?"

Clint was on his feet, but still pale. Closing his eyes he breathed deeply for several minutes. When he opened his eyes he seemed to be himself.

"The bond's been real chaotic all day so I figured things had come to a head. Caught me off guard when it went quiet-took a minute before I could figure out if he was dead or unconscious."

"Can this bond thing tell you how bad he's hurt?"

Shaking his head, Clint scrubbed his hand through his hair.

"If I may finish?"

"You're in contact with him?" Clint asked.

"He is wearing his comm. Agent Spencer has a through and through bullet wound in his upper right back, cuts from flying debris, bruises and contusions from the river, and a bullet wound that runs the length of the left side of his back. I have notified Director Fury who is sending a Medical team to the airport as we speak."

"I gotta go. Eliot won't let them near him hurt. Fuckin' Fury knows that."

The archer ran out the workshop still cursing everyone from Fury down as he headed for the garage.

He was surprised when Tony shoved him toward the passenger side of his Acura NSX.

"I'll drive. We'll get through security faster. Besides I'm not going to be the one to tell Wolfman you wrecked on the way to rescue him."

The calloused fingers circling his wrist made Tony look at the younger man.

"Thanks. "

Brown eyes met grey-green in understanding. With a nod the powerful car roared to life and spared no horses through the streets of New York City.

h

Chaos reigned when Tony slid to a stop by the Stark Industries jet. Tony and Clint saw Eliot, covered in blood and dirt standing against the wall of the hangar using his body to shield Pepper from the men and women surrounding him. Bodies littered the ground between the plane and the hangar. The two Avengers recognized Happy and Rhodey and several SHIELD agents they'd worked with on other missions. Nick stood by the medical van on his cell phone. They'd walked into the middle of a Mexican Stand-off.

"Pepper?"

Tony started forward only to be pulled up short by Clint.

"Tony."

Brown eyes pleaded with Clint.

"He won't hurt her. He's protecting her."

"But…"

"It's the treatment he got before he left. He didn't have time to assimilate everything before they shipped his ass to DC. He's wounded, confused, and all six of his senses are overloaded. He's identified Pepper as a friend, but he doesn't know Happy or Colonel Rhodes that well. Ask JARVIS if his comm is still working."

"Can't you just do your Obi-Wan thing?"

"I'm getting a lot of static, I think I can get through, but he needs two points of reference. JARVIS would be one, and I'll be the other."

Tony pulled out his phone. Nick Fury yelled.

"AGENT BARTON!"

"Sir."

"Are you seeing better from a distance or are you going to do something?"

"Assessing the situation and beginning to resolve said situation now, Sir."

"You need to hurry the hell up. I've got bodies stacking up on the tarmac and airport security is getting twitchy."

The Hawk turned on his superior.

"You would NOT be in this situation if you hadn't jacked his senses. You would NOT be in this situation if you'd called me the minute you knew he was wounded. You know the protocol-you wrote the fucking protocol for this situation. You're lucky you only have unconscious bodies and not DEAD bodies-Sir."

Fury backed up from the deadly expression in the colorless eyes before he caught himself and straightened.

"Just talk him down, Barton."

The Hawk mantled then settled.

"Yes, Sir."

"Tony?"

"His comm is live. JARVIS has been talking steady. So far Eliot's trusting what he says, but there's too many people, and he's in too much pain to get a handle on his senses."

"Okay. I need you to act as an anchor. Shit. Eliot usually does this part. JARVIS keep talking. Tell Eliot I'm trying to reach him on our private channel. Tony, I know you don't like touching, but I need your hand on my arm, shoulder-somewhere so I have a connection to the outside world."

"I can do that."

His hand settled on archer's shoulder.

"How do you feel about taking on a wounded wolf without your armor?"

"Good-yeah-okay, let's do this-he's had his shots-right?"

Pepper proved what a smart woman she was by staying silent and letting Eliot protect her as she watched Clint and Tony move closer. She could hear JARVIS talking to Eliot, but Eliot's answers were too soft to carry. When Eliot began to rub his temples and pinch the bridge of his nose, hope flared that Clint and JARVIS were getting through. When he raised his head, Pepper could tell the confusion had cleared, but stayed where she was when Tony shook his head as he released Clint's shoulder.

"Clint?"

"Hey Babe. Ready to let Medical patch you up?"

"What?"

Blue-grey eyes darted around taking in bodies, Fury, and Pepper.

"Fuck. Happy…Colonel Rhodes?"

"Just knocked out…everyone's just knocked out."

Clint continued his crooning tone until he had his arms around Eliot.

"Sorry…"

His exhausted body gave out, but Clint and Tony were there to ease him to the ground. Tony had barely straightened when he got two armfuls of trembling red-head.

"It was terrifying and beautiful and confusing and I know he thought he was protecting me and is he going to be alright?"

Medical personnel approached quietly, working slowly and efficiently to get to his wounds. As they loaded the gurney in the back of the black van, Clint dropped Eliot's comm in Tony's hand.

"Tell JARVIS, thanks for watching over him."

"I will."

Clint climbed in behind as Tony and Pepper turned to their friends.

"Tony?'

"Yeah, Hawkniss."

"Thank you."

The door slammed on Stark's reply.

h

Three days later, Eliot and Clint were in the Challenger traveling north for a visit with Professor Xavier. They hoped a few days working with the telepath would help Eliot get a handle on his increased abilities. Happy and Colonel Rhodes were still nursing their bruises and embarrassment at being taken down by a wounded man. They both relaxed at being away from SHIELD, and Stark Tower. Clint still felt out of place at SHIELD, or on the helicarrier, and Eliot felt out of place with The Avengers now that Coulson was back at work.

The one bright spot in the whole mess was Natasha. Coulson's near death experience pushed the red-head out of the safety of her place between Eliot and Clint, and into admitting she had deeper feelings for Phil-just don't call it love.

Buzzed through the gate, Scott Summers and Logan were waiting when they stopped at the front entrance.

"Agent Barton, if you'll come with me, you can take your luggage to your room while Logan shows Agent Spencer where to park."

"It's Clint and Eliot."

Grabbing their bags out of the trunk, the archer grinned at Scott. The two X-Men visibly relaxed.

Fifteen minutes later the four stood outside the library door. A willowy red-head opened the door giving them a smile as she motioned them inside, leaving with Scott and Logan.

"Gentlemen, welcome and have a seat. Jean has brought us a variety of refreshments it you'd like."

"Thanks."

Eliot moved to the buffet and fixed Clint a cup of coffee and himself a cup of tea. An arched eyebrow at the Professor had the telepath moving from behind his desk as he parked his chair so he was an equal distance between the two men as Eliot handed him his tea.

"Director Fury was somewhat vague about the reason for your visit."

With a sigh the two men explained the history of their bond and the experimentation done during Operation Outcome, and Dr. Shearing's latest round of manipulation to further enhance Eliot's precognitive abilities.

"May I?" Xavier asked.

Nodding his consent, Eliot made the effort to relax the barriers he kept in place against everyone but Clint. He fought to stay relaxed as he felt the whisper of the Professor's mental touch. He rubbed his forehead when he felt the telepath withdraw.

"The reason you became overloaded, Agent…Eliot, was with Dr. Shearing's last treatment whatever chromosomes it was she manipulated, the mutation did not stop. I'm afraid it's going to continue to mutate probably at a faster rate than you can assimilate."

"So I'll what…go insane from information overload."

"That is a possible scenario. Another is having Phoenix stabilize or 'reset' what was done."

"Will she take out our bond?"

Eliot's eyes widened then his expression shuttered at Clint's question.

"If that's what you want."

"No, that's not what I want-I'm just making sure she won't mess with it."

He glared at Eliot who had the good sense to look sheepish.

"I'm sure you'll want to get back to the city without delay so why don't we meet back here after dinner, which is in two hours-if that's alright with you?"

They nodded their agreement.

"Make yourselves at home. Most everyone's out back."

"Thanks, Professor."

The X-Men and the students were welcoming and the beer was cold so they spent a relaxing afternoon and dinner. They soon found themselves back in the library with Xavier and Jean Grey. The Professor asked Clint to join him in his office while Jean worked with Eliot. The archer wanted to refuse, but the expression on the telepath's face said it wasn't an option. When the door closed Clint could no longer feel his bond with Eliot.

"What?...No!"

He turned to go back.

"Agent Barton."

Xavier kept his tone level. The trauma of being enthralled by Loki and the Tessaract lay very close to the surface of Clint's thoughts, and he did not want to add to it by having to resort to mind control, but he could not be connected to Eliot while he was connected to The Phoenix.

"It will only be for a short time. You and Eliot cannot be in contact mentally while Jean is working."

Smoky eyes studied the Professor, the dark blond head cocked just so. Satisfied with whatever he saw he gave a short nod and went to settle in one of the many window seats. He knew how to wait.

h

Nate looked at the information Hardison had found on PEP Athletics. Parker was getting ready to fly to Washington, but there was a lot of territory to cover. They really needed Eliot-he needed Eliot. The retrieval specialist disappearing into the bowels of SHIELD put a wrinkle in his plans.

"Hardison, have you found a way to get in touch with Eliot?"

"No. I didn't know I was supposed to find him." He turned away from the three scowls. "He left us, and he specifically said to call Quinn or Shelley."

"He would have come back if you hadn't been so mean."

"I was trying to…"

"To what, Hardison, Eliot has not just one lover, but two-besides Quinn doesn't have Eliot's finesse, and Shelley's a showboat."

The hacker ducked his head. What had started as an act of jealous pique had snowballed as each success yielded another piece of the Eliot puzzle that he just had to follow. In his excitement he couldn't help but share his discoveries, which constantly agitated Parker

Parker frowned. Her relationship with Hardison had been rocky since Eliot left. He would show her files and all she could see was the danger to Eliot. She didn't know how to stop the hacker, but maybe Eliot's friends could help her. Making sure she'd gotten rid of all of Hardison's gadgets, she headed to the suburbs.

Letting herself into one of her many safe houses-she sat cross-legged on the bed and pulled Bunny into her arms, then pressed one of his eyes until she heard a click. She reached inside and pulled out the phone Eliot had slipped in her jacket pocket the day he left with his new…old…whatever family. She pressed the only number on the phone.

"Yes, Miss Parker."

"Who's this?"

"I am called JARVIS. Agent Spencer said I should render assistance if you called."

"Cool. Can you stop Hardison before he gets Eliot killed?"

"I'm afraid it's too late for that."

"Eliot's dead?" Her eyes started to fill with tears.

"He was wounded in the course of an operation that was precipitated by your Hardison's stumbling about like a club footed cow."

"But Hardison's the best there is at hacking."

"Yes, well, others have said the same."

"But can you stop him from hurting Eliot?"

"Agent Spencer's records have all been placed out of the reach of anyone. All of Sir's family records have been placed out of reach."

"That's good then. Do you know when Eliot's coming home?"

"I expect Agents Spencer and Barton to return to the Tower by Friday."

The AI purposely misunderstood the question.

"The Tower? No. I meant to Portland."

"Agent Spencer has no plans to return to Oregon. He's been permanently assigned to The Avengers Initiative."

"Is it because of Hardison?"

"I can't say, Miss Parker. Agent Spencer's reasoning is his own. Perhaps you should call him and ask."

"How?"

"Use this phone and if there is no world ending event taking place I will connect you."

"Thanks JARVIS. Tell him I called? Oh, and tell him to call Nate."

"I will pass along the message."

Parker put the phone back in its hiding place, and headed back to the office. She didn't know who JARVIS was, but from the way he sounded there was no way she was going to be able to steal Eliot back-maybe she could get Eliot to steal Leverage.

h

A nimbus of red haloed the head of the beautiful woman standing in the guest room. The wolf had moved to cover the hawk as both men began to wake when she entered the room. Caught by surprise at how lightly they slept, it had taken her a moment for her power to give their minds a nudge that sent the men tangled in the middle of the bed into a deeper sleep.

Jean Grey had shied away from the private areas of their minds, but the Phoenix entity had been intrigued by the intelligent but feral nature of the men. Though they were blooded warriors they still held to a code that seemed as warped as they. Fascinated, the Phoenix watched their dreams then reached out to soothe the wolf, the flames of life that danced on her fingertips quieting the faces that tumbled through his dreams. Curiosity satisfied, she stepped back from the bed pleased with her work.

If Jean blushed at the wink both men gave her as they settled in the orange Challenger the next morning, the Professor was gentleman enough to not mention it.

h

They were unpacking when Eliot asked JARVIS for his messages.

"Director Fury and Agent Coulson request your presence upon your return, and there was a call from Miss Parker."

"Parker-isn't that your little blonde thief?" Clint asked.

Eliot arched an eyebrow at the question.

"What can I say? I'm a fan."

"You both hang out in the ductwork way too much." Eliot teased.

Grabbing a handful of the dark hair that the Phoenix had grown back to its original length while they slept, Clint pulled the retrieval expert into a kiss that deepened until duffels and covers were thrown to the floor along with clothes and weapons.

Clint collapsed onto Eliot's chest as his breathing and heart rate began to spiral toward normal. He gave a breathy whine as Eliot's softened cock slipped from his body. Rolling, he pinned the archer to the bed his tongue catching the rivulet of sweat running down his neck.

"If we didn't have go the office I'd tune up that whine-it's still a tad sharp."

Teeth worried the tendon giving a little shake with a growl. Clint, still wallowing in the physical and mental sensations arched up while wrapping a strong leg around Eliot's hip to encourage him to keep going.

"Insatiable much, Hawk."

"It's been fuckin' forever. The Brothers Royale aren't going to be happy when you get finished with them so we might as well let them be their usual lovable selves a little longer."

"The quicker we take care of business, the quicker we can get back to enjoying the fruits of Stark's labor."

"Oh yay. Let's go play with SHIELD's pet telepaths, listen to Fury bitch 'cause you hid the files, and Coulson bitch over the paperwork needed for stowing away in the belly of a plane then beating up an Air Force officer in a private hangar at La Guardia."

Clint complained as he rolled over to watch the beauty that was a naked Eliot Spencer heading for the bathroom. Remembering the Tower's showers were big enough to accommodate a Roman orgy had Clint launching himself from the bed to scrub Eliot's back.

h

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