Giftee: Sho (whiskyinmind)
Characters/Pairing: Eliot/Clint; Parker/Hardison; Tony Stark; Quinn; Shelley; Natasha Romanoff; The Avengers, Nick Fury, Phil Coulson
Word Count: 8,333
Spoilers: The Future Job, The Last Dam Job - actual dialogue from the episodes quoted. The Bourne Legacy
Disclaimer: I do not own them. They belong only to themselves, and the people that created them. This is fiction. No money is made. I apologize for any typos I missed.
Summary: Giftee Prompt: Parker's brother isn't actually dead, and he's someone we've met on the show.
Added Pretties: They met in war, gave themselves to the 'Program' and were reunited by a billionaire, genius, not so much a playboy anymore. Written for the 2013 Leverage Secret Santa Exchange.
It was done.
Nate and Sophie were on their way. Parker and Hardison were looking at him like he had all the answers. Well…he did have a couple. Quinn was home healing from a job gone sideways, Clint recently returned from a mission, and he wanted to see with his own eyes that Tony and Pepper were back to as close to normal as they would ever get. Besides that-he was exhausted. If not for his accelerated healing he'd look like he went a few rounds with the Hulk.
"Do you want to stay in Portland?" He asked.
"I've already promoted Amy to General Manager of The Brew Pub." Hardison grinned.
"What do you think of New York?" Eliot asked.
Next thing he knew Parker was hanging off his back. As he set her gently on her feet, he slipped a note in her pocket.
Quinn told him he was finally ready.
"When you get your business settled, come to this address." He handed Parker a business card.
Hardison let out a whistle.
"This is in the historic district. How much do you make on a job?"
"Let's just say my clients tip well." Eliot smirked. "Now, I have a plane to catch and a hot date when I get to New York." Parker pulled them into a group hug before Eliot could get out the door.
Dozing on the plane did not make up for no sleep in the past 36 hours. Eliot stood on the sidewalk eyeing the steps to the front door. With a growl that was more groan then growl, he forced his body to obey. Up the steps…in the door…up the stairs…duffle set to the side…clothes shucked next to hamper. Trying to be quiet so as to not disturb the lump in the middle of his king sized bed he took a quick shower to rid himself of the days' grime.
Settling into bed, he pulled Clint against him, causing the archer to grumble at being disturbed.
"Either the honeymoon is over or it's true love." Eliot grumbled.
"Door Number Two." Clint muttered as he rolled toward Eliot. "I've only been here about an hour."
"Aliens, bad guys or Stark wannabes?"
"I think it was a combo plate. Some egghead took home Chitauri tech and thought it made him Dr. Doom."
"Bumps and bruises, and while the mind is willing the flesh is already sleeping." Clint finished with a whine.
"Good thing we've got nowhere to be."
It was near dinner time when still damp from their shower and a new set of bruises later, Clint and Eliot came downstairs, and headed for the kitchen.
"Did Natasha move to the Tower?" Eliot asked as he pulled a couple bags from the freezer.
"Partially…we all keep our safe houses."
"How bad's Quinn?"
"Dislocated shoulder, cracked ribs, but took his client to school on trying to re-negotiate after taking delivery."
Eliot paused…took a breath, and asked the question he'd been waiting until now to ask.
"Are you moving to the Tower?"
Clint turned to see Eliot busying himself at the stove trying to be nonchalant. He laid the salad fixings on the bar and rested his forehead between Eliot's shoulder blades.
"I…we…the team do things together…dinner and movies…when we're beat-up after a fight, or when I don't want to be alone. Nat lets me hog half her bed, but with all the photographers, appearances and stuff when The Avengers are on the street…you being on the down low…I want to keep…us, but…." He confessed to Eliot's back.
"We'll probably work out of the house until we find a good office front for Leverage International." Eliot kept his voice even.
They stood quiet for a few minutes.
"So when do the kids get here?" Clint let the situation lie between them as he turned back to making salad.
"Considering the note I left in Parker's pocket, Hardison will be lucky if she allows him to sleep. I give it a week."
Five days later a black van parked in front of the townhouse. Quinn was sprawled on the couch, his dislocated shoulder still requiring a sling along with cracked ribs slowed his movements. Shelley was traveling with Pepper so the house was quiet.
His homemade marinara sauce was simmering so Eliot poured a fresh glass of sweet tea and set it at Quinn's elbow. Looking out the window he saw a van that reminded him of Lucille. Quinn noticed the slight tensing of muscles in the older man.
"They're here." He headed for the outer door.
Standing on the stoop, arms crossed over his chest, Eliot watched Parker and Hardison squabble until she bodily pulled the hacker from behind the wheel. When Parker spied Eliot she nearly levitated up the steps.
"This our new house?" She beamed. "Does it have secret passages? Is your girlfriend here…my brother?" She whispered in his ear when she hugged him.
"I don't have a girlfriend, Parker." Eliot continued to hold her as she wrapped her legs around his waist.
"But you said you had a hot date." She insisted.
"Never said it was a girl." He smirked.
"It's not my brother…is it?" Her eyes went wide.
"Oh. I thought we might be real family..." She slipped from his hold.
"We are a real family, Girl." Hardison said as he pulled Eliot into a hug. "Got room for a couple more?"
He led them into the foyer.
"Fifth floor, biometrics already programmed."
He pointed to the door of his apartment.
"My place. You're programmed in there, too, so come on in when you get settled."
Hardison looked at the staircase.
Eliot almost told him 'no', just to listen to the hacker bitch, but he could see they were genuinely tired. He pointed to the door under the stairs.
"Thank you, Jesus."
Hardison turned to go back out to the van when he saw Parker disappearing up the stairs. His smile was indulgent.
"I'll give you a hand, Bro." Eliot's slap on the shoulder nearly tumbled him down the steps.
Eliot rolled his eyes at Quinn when he entered his apartment trailed by Parker and Hardison.
"You guys sure travel light." The young hitter quipped.
"That was just our favorite gear." Parker said absentmindedly as she poked in corners, looked up the chimney and knocked on the wainscot panels.
"We shipped the rest. It'll be here next week." Hardison threw over his shoulder as he headed to the kitchen.
Quinn listened carefully for a few minutes. When it looked like Hardison was going to stay in the kitchen, he turned his attention back to Parker, who was examining the window seat where Eliot had hidden an escape hatch that led to the garden level of the townhouse.
"Eliot told me you sent him to retrieve something a few years back."
The blonde turned so fast she nearly overbalanced. Her expression guaranteed retribution.
"He never tells."
Quinn wanted to squirm under her glare, but he was a top retrieval specialist for crying out loud. He forced himself to stay still.
"There was a reason he told me." He watched the storm clouds clear from her beautiful face. "When I was five, two wonderful people became a part of something not so wonderful. I was adopted by these wonderful people, who took me to their home in Alabama."
Midnight blue eyes went wide as the thief sank down on the coffee table.
"According to Eliot, before my name was Parker Quinn it was Parker Dixon, and I had an older sister…"
He watched those amazing eyes get misty, but no tears fell.
"He wouldn't tell me who you were. I should be very angry with him." Parker eyed the spot next to him on the couch.
Quinn patted the cushion.
"Easy, my ribs are still sore." Parker eased onto the couch and snuggled into his side. "I made him promise to let me tell you. I was leaving on a job when he told me. My mom died right after I got back, and I was dealing with a lot of stuff so I held him to his promise. You know how Eliot is about promises…"
"Yeah, he's real touchy about promises, so don't ask him to do that anymore."
She poked his bruised ribs to make her point. Ignoring his grunt of pain, but being careful of his shoulder she wrapped around him and squeezed, resting her head over his heart.
"They broke something when they told me you died." Parker whispered.
Quinn pulled her close with his good arm.
"I think you're fine just the way you are, and we found each other again."
"You live in New York?" She smiled like he'd handed her a wad of cash.
"Better. I share the fourth floor with Shelley."
"Eliot got you, too."
"He's very persuasive." Quinn quipped.
Parker's expression turned sly.
"We try not to take jobs at Christmas." She hinted.
"I always take Christmas off, too, but I think Eliot might have obligations."
"He didn't have any…."
Parker trailed off until she realized the crew had never been together on Christmas day. Nate had given them their gifts after they caught Chaos and the fake Santas then disappeared with Sophie. She'd hung out with Alec, but had no idea where Eliot had gone.
"Eliot has some very interesting friends."
"Not that Colonel Vance guy. I don't like him. He got Eliot hurt."
"Oh no. Much better than Vance." Quinn laughed.
Hearing dishes rattle, Quinn let the conversation hang.
"Come on…sounds like Chef has food."
"Oooo Eliot taught me all about food." Parker bolted for the dining area.
The rest of their things arrived and they got caught up in converting the garden level into work space for Leverage International. Hardison had been near orgasmic when Eliot had taken them to their public office in Stark Tower.
"You got us an office in Stark Tower! This is almost better than the bat cave Nate got me."
From there he descended into a river of geek babble while Parker explored and Eliot stood leaned against the wall. He'd had JARVIS help outfit the office with first market Stark Tech.
When he saw Parker pouting, he handed her a duffle. Her face lit up when she started pulling out the Tony Stark version of her favorite tools. Feeling Clint come up behind him, Eliot leaned back into the welcome warmth.
"So, the kids happy?"
Eliot could feel the archer's smirk.
"What do you think?"
"I can think of ways to make big brother happy."
Clint slid his hand in the front pocket of Eliot's jeans.
"Just don't let Hardison see you. He'll stalk your ass until he meets all the Avengers, especially Tony and Bruce."
"I'll invite him to the Avengers Christmas dinner cooked by our own infamous Chef Eliot."
He felt the archer slip away as Hardison bounced out of their small conference room.
"E, you did good…man. The only way it could get any better was if we got to meet the Avengers. Stark is truly a geek's god."
"So, we're open for business?"
"Not just yes, but hell yes." Hardison danced Parker across the room.
Their days were full as they sorted through the information on the Black Book hard drive. Parker and Quinn slowly got to know each other. If Quinn wondered why Clint and Natasha were hardly at the townhouse, the glare Eliot gave him any time he started to ask kept the question behind his teeth.
Eliot smiled indulgently as Parker, Quinn, Hardison and Shelley sorted through boxes and bags of holiday decorations. A cart loaded with hot chocolate, mulled cider and assorted finger foods sat by the fireplace. He'd barely settled in his chair when his phone rang.
Thirty minutes later he was walking into SHIELD medical.
"Barton?" He asked the nurse at the desk.
"Treatment room six. He's free to leave as soon as he's dressed."
"Anything I need to know about his injuries?"
She gave Eliot a smile.
"Mostly scrapes, cuts and bruises, but he took a knock to the head. Scan was clear of concussion for a change."
"I'll take over from here." He gave her a wink as he headed down the hall.
Walking in the room Eliot was met with the sight of a supposedly dead Agent Phil Coulson attempting to examine Clint's tonsils with his tongue. He tossed the bag with Clint's clothes on the bed, interrupting the kiss.
"Guess you found your own ride." He snarled before he carefully blanked his expression and left the room.
The rest of the Avengers gave him an odd look as they passed him in the hall. Whatever Natasha saw in his body language had the assassin hurrying toward Clint's room. They poured in the door to see Coulson holding Clint's shoulders trying to calm the archer.
"Shit." Tony spat. "Wonder what it's going to take to convince Chef to still cook Christmas dinner."
The Avengers' entrance had distracted Coulson enough that when the punch connected, Phil ended up sitting on the floor rubbing his jaw. Clint sat up and grabbed his clothes trying to get dressed to follow Eliot. He stopped when Bruce finally entered the room, a look of shock on his face.
"Eliot?" Clint asked.
"Probably halfway home at the rate he was moving." Bruce answered.
He finished changing while the others questioned the resurrected agent. Phil was still trying to explain when Fury barged into the room. Stark and Rogers turned on him before he uttered a word.
While they yelled and argued, the two assassins slipped from the room.
"Where do you want to go?" The Black Widow asked her partner.
"Tower." He answered wearily.
Clint and Eliot hit a rough patch when Clint told the retrieval specialist he wasn't ready for anyone other than
The Avengers to know about them. He and Natasha moved from the townhouse to the Tower to keep Eliot out of the public eye, and with the arrival of Parker and Hardison, their relationship slowed to spending a few evenings a week together at the Tower.
Clint had planned to make an announcement at Christmas dinner-that was why he suggested bringing the thief and hacker, but Coulson's return from the dead to lay claim his former lover shredded all Clint's plans.
A soft knock startled him out of his thoughts.
"JARVIS?" Clint asked.
The AI always announced visitors. He reached under the couch for the pistol he kept strapped to the frame.
"It's Eliot's friend, Miss Parker. She threatened to jump off the roof and hang in front of your windows unless I let her into the Tower." The AI sounded apologetic.
"It's okay, J."
Clint holstered the gun and opened the door.
The glare that met him reminded him a lot of Natasha when he'd done something stupid, and he knew better than to underestimate someone Eliot trained, especially Parker.
"Come on in. That way the whole Tower doesn't have to listen to you yell."
"Why would I yell? I just came to find out what you did to Eliot then I'll decide if I need to get my brother and boyfriend to do bad things to you."
After that statement, her innocent smile caused a shiver down his spine as he watched her bounce into his rooms.
"How do you know I did something?"
"Please. I keep in practice by following Eliot. I can never sneak up on him…unless he's nervous, but he only gets nervous when he sings in front of people." She did a pirouette to face him. "He always comes here plus he and my brother argued about something that they don't want me and Alec to hear."
"Your brother?" Clint asked.
She huffed out her irritation.
"Quinn…Quinn is my brother."
"Eliot saw something today that upset him, and I haven't been able to explain." Clint answered truthfully.
"I know that. He left, came home too soon, beat up stuff in the basement, beat up Quinn and Shelley, then acted like everything was fine-except for the part where he didn't eat supper 'cause he said he had to leave on a job."
Clint ran his hands through his hair. The day just kept getting better.
"Agent Barton, Agent Coulson is requesting access." JARVIS interrupted.
"No, and don't answer any calls from him. His new team has a hacker. She could piggyback something on the signal."
"As you wish."
"What are you going to do about Eliot?" Parker insisted.
"I'll give him a call-see if I can get him to meet me to explain."
"Can't call him." Parker wandered the room. "Phone's off. Hardison already tried to track him."
"Did he say when he'd be back?"
Parker shook her head.
"Okay. I think I know where he might be. I have to fix the mess here then I'll find him and try and fix that mess, too."
Parker gave him a narrow-eyed look that made the hair on his neck stand up, but she nodded and headed to the door.
"He better not miss Christmas 'cause you messed up."
"He won't. Come on…I'll ride down with you and get rid of the mess in the lobby." He growled.
**Damn Fury and his games.**
He was drawn out of his thoughts when the elevator stopped.
"Show time, JARVIS." Clint straightened his shoulders.
"I'll hold the elevator."
He walked Parker to the door before turning on Coulson.
"Haven't you caused enough trouble today?"
"We happened to be in the HUB when you and Tasha came into Medical. I had to see you…I didn't know when we'd both be in the same place again." Coulson dropped his eyes.
"And the kiss?"
"Now that you know I'm alive, I want you…us back. I've missed you, Clint."
"It's been almost three years, Phil. You must not have missed me too much." Clint scoffed.
"Maria said The Avengers didn't have the clearance to know I was alive…to know about the team."
Clint's laugh was bitter.
"They told me after the Battle you were dead. Three months later, Fury came to tell us you were alive, but the trauma had left you in a coma. Six months passed, Fury tells us you're in Tahiti at a SHIELD rehab facility. Nine months after Loki he says you're back, but not healthy enough to take the abuse of being The Avengers' liaison so he tasked you with building new team to investigate reports of the weird. He told us you wanted to concentrate on building a solid team and that The Avengers including Natasha and me were a distraction you didn't need."
Phil reached for him, but Clint stepped out of reach.
"So I pulled myself together became full-time Avenger, part-time SHIELD Level 7 asset. Tony introduced me to this guy that I recognized from a mission. He gave us a place until the Tower was rebuilt, does some jobs for Fury, Stark, and has his own crew, and loves me unconditionally-even though I've been an ass lately."
Clint's expression was hard when he looked Coulson in the eye.
"Go back to your team, Agent Coulson. I don't have anything left to give you. What the rest of the team does is their business." He crossed his arms over his chest.
Phil was pale and his expression was angry, but Clint found he didn't care. He almost felt sorry for Fury, but he made this bed.
"You can show yourself out, Agent Coulson. I have a wayward lover to find and hope he'll forgive me before his blonde thief does something to me that will even make Natasha smile."
Turning to the elevator, the weight on his heart lifted to see Eliot standing in the car out of Coulson's line of sight. Before he got two steps, Coulson called out.
"Clint, for what it's worth, I'm sorry."
Clint looked back.
"I've had a lot of time to think about it after I got past the guilt and grief. When I used my tactician brain-I realized it would have happened eventually. You're first loyalty was always to Fury. Good luck with that by the way."
The elevator door closed behind the archer. Coulson waited until security started to get antsy about his lingering before he left to slide behind the wheel of the classic red Corvette, parked at the curb. Phil took a moment to grieve for what he'd lost. He never considered that Clint would turn to someone else…trust someone else other Natasha. He thought the archer would be there waiting when Nick released him to 'read in' The Avengers. Squaring his shoulders, he pointed Lola toward the BUS. Nick still needed him to be his one good eye.
The silence in the elevator was heavy as JARVIS carried them to Clint's floor. Eliot leaned against the wall as though it was just another night while Clint tried to find the words to start a conversation he didn't want to have because he was afraid of how it would end.
"I didn't kiss him!" Clint finally blurted out.
An arched eyebrow was the only response.
"He came charging in the room and laid a lip lock on me, you came in before I had a chance to push him off." He ducked his head like an errant schoolboy. "I punched him in the jaw when the others pushed through the door. By the time I got dressed, and Nat and I slipped out-you were already gone."
"You know I only use violence as an appropriate response. Wasn't sure how appropriate it was to punch out your not quite dead ex-lover."Eliot's voice was quiet…too quiet. "Plus you've been putting distance between us. You don't want to stay at the house-you don't want me around the team. Tony was my client and friend long before you. He and Quinn are making me nuts with questions. If this is over, just put me out of my misery instead of stringing me along."
**Shitshitshit.** It was worse than he thought. Eliot thought he was trying to break up with him, Parker and Natasha were going to make him pay painfully…**how the fuck did he get himself in these situations? Oh yeah. He wanted to surprise Eliot by making a grand announcement and Coulson had decided he was the consolation prize for coming back from the dead. Suck it us Barton-you're an Avenger and Level 7 sniper/spy/assassin.**
Clint prayed JARVIS didn't open the elevator door until he finished. He took a breath and settled his body and mind.
"One. I love you. I do not want to end our relationship. Coulson, Hill and Fury are all asses and fucking liars who lie, or as they say, 'It's need to know.' Two. I know that in attempting to make a grand gesture I've acted like an ass and sent out a Helicarrier load of mixed signals. Finally, I was going to invite everyone from your house to the Tower for Christmas dinner so I could announce to everyone that I was going to be moving in with you."
Eliot straightened from against the elevator wall. Clint held his breath as Eliot reached for him. He closed his eyes and relaxed letting Eliot have his way with him.
His eyes flew open as lips closed over his…soft…gentle…loving…asking…
Clint parted his lips allowing Eliot access. The kiss deepened. Lust mingled with love as Eliot pulled Clint against him one hand buried in his hair the other pulling on his belt loop.
Just as they were getting to the point of no return, JARVIS opened the elevator door on the communal living room. Whistles and catcalls caused Eliot to slowly end the kiss with a limp, lust addled Clint burying his face against his neck.
"Thank God." Tony commented. "Now I don't have to find another chef for Christmas dinner."
"Shut up, Stark." Clint growled.
Setting the last bowl on the table, he took a step back. It looked like something out of Tasha's magazines.
"It's too pretty to let the horde at it." Clint commented when he felt strong arms wrap around his waist.
"Don't let Parker hear you. She even promised not to steal anything." Eliot's chuckle was low and rough.
"They might not notice over all the geek talk and war stories."
"When you ring the dinner bell you better step aside. You could get crushed in the stampede."
They lingered another few seconds enjoying each other and the results of their labor. Candles sparkled off crystal, silver and fine china. The scent of fresh pine, cinnamon and bayberry merged with the smells of dinner to truly make it a postcard moment.
Life after the confrontation between Coulson, Fury and The Avengers settled as much as the Avengers ever settled. After his initial flailing like a teenage fanboy, Hardison also settled around his geek heroes, and Eliot's two families merged with only a few speed bumps.
Leverage International swung into action by pointing out to Pepper and Tony that some of their alliances would soon be very unhealthy for the Stark Industries conglomerate. As SI worked to become self-sustaining, and some of the information that Hardison had put on the Dark Web began to gain traction, fear began to bring change across the corporate world.
Clint and Eliot lived at the townhouse, but went to the Tower for 'family activities', or when any of them were injured. Though Tony added a cutting edge clinic to the Tower, Clint and Natasha would only rest with Eliot as their caregiver.
Quinn and Parker's relationship settled. Quinn became an official member Leverage International stepping in when Eliot wasn't available.
As they gathered around the table, they exchanged smiles and banter, amazed at the family they had made.