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Title: A Higher Calling
Author: [livejournal.com profile] telaryn
Word Count: 1076
Fandom: Leverage/BTVS
Characters: Nate Ford, Faith Lehane/Eliot Spencer, background Parker & Hardison
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: None
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit obtained.
Summary: This is a world where Faith the Vampire Slayer is Nate's daughter. In this world, Faith and Eliot go after a serial killer without involving the team. Luckily Nate is gaining new perspective on his designated role of picking up the pieces after the hitter and the slayer get ideas like this.
Author's Note: Written for [livejournal.com profile] hc_bingo's Round 6, for the prompt "serial killers".


Times like this, Nate missed Boston the most. He’d known the lay of the land – there were people he could have called, who might not have been friends, but who would at least have given him the benefit of the doubt while he figured out how to handle whatever disaster his people had found themselves in the middle of this time.

They’d been in Portland long enough to consider it home, but the ins and outs of local law enforcement were still relatively uncharted waters. Especially when two of your number decide to take on a local serial killer without telling anybody. Faith had already been transported to the local hospital. Sophie had ridden with her. Nate could still feel Hardison and Parker watching him, trying to figure out why he’d chosen to stay.

The reason was currently making life miserable for the paramedic unlucky enough to be charged with his care. “I said no!” Eliot’s sharp exclamation carried over the ambient noise of the men and women securing the crime scene. Nate turned just in time to see his hitter pulling free of a slender young woman in navy blue.

Their eyes met as Nate started across the parking lot, and he saw Eliot visibly slump. When the paramedic reached for him again, saying something Nate couldn’t make out, Eliot obediently resumed his seat on the tail of the ambulance.

“Don’t start, Nate,” he said, once the mastermind was in earshot. “Please.”

He was very studiously avoiding Nate’s gaze – a fact that was not lost on the older man. “Asking instead of telling me – that’s a good start,” he said, leaning against the open door of the emergency vehicle. “How is he?” he asked, catching the young woman’s eye.

Her expression spoke volumes. “He needs to be checked out by a real doctor,” she said, finishing a splint on Eliot’s left wrist. “I’ve taped his ribs and bandaged up the worst of the bleeding injuries, but the wrist is behaving like a compound fracture, and I don’t even want to consider what’s going on in his head.”

Eliot did meet Nate’s eyes at that one, and the mastermind didn’t even try to keep the grin off his face. “Too easy,” he said, after letting the younger man sweat for a moment. “The FBI agent in charge still needs to talk to him,” he said, turning his attention back to the paramedic. “As long as you can guarantee he won’t die in the next few hours, we need to keep him here.”

The woman reached for a clipboard and passed it to Nate. “Sign for him and he’s all yours.”

Nate gave the form a cursory look before scrawling his signature at the bottom. “Can you walk?” he asked Eliot. His hitter nodded, but reached for him. Nate took his arm to steady him as Eliot pushed to his feet – every injury he had making itself known as he did. Nate saw Parker and Hardison start to move towards them as they began to walk across the parking lot, but he warned Parker off with a glance. This was his responsibility.

Eliot was his responsibility. Especially in this state.

“Gotta say,” Eliot, said as they headed for a bench a little apart from the worst of the activity, “I feel like you’re setting me up for something.”

Nate took his time formulating his answer, helping Eliot settle onto the poured concrete surface first. “Faith has a healing factor,” he said finally. “You don’t – not anymore, at least. Somebody has to keep you from doing anything stupid until you have a chance to rest and recover.” He didn’t actually bother putting the word ‘more’ in front of stupid, but the implication hung heavily in the air between the two of them.

The hitter managed a weak grin. “So, no Catholic guilt in the offing?”

“Oh, now I didn’t promise that,” Nate countered with a soft snort. He looked around them, taking in the scene. “By my calculations, we’ve got somewhere around five minutes before the agent in charge corners you and wants your statement. You’re going to tell me everything that went down from the second you and Faith decided to take this on yourselves.”

Eliot studied him for a long moment, his expression still suspicious, and then he began to speak. Most of the tale he spun Nate had already figured out for himself. Four women in six months in the Portland area, brutally raped and tortured before having their hearts cut out and carried off for God only knew what purpose…it didn’t take someone as smart as Nate to figure out that Eliot and Faith would have seen it as their duty to run somebody like that to ground.

“Nate, I swear, if I’d known there was a chance he could get the jump on Faith…” Eliot’s voice trailed off, clearly still waiting for the mastermind’s temper to get the best of him.

Reaching out, Nate gripped Eliot’s shoulder reassuringly. “You kept Hardison and Parker out of it, Eliot. I don’t like the fact that you and Faith were this badly hurt, but I’ve had to accept over the years that the rules are sometimes different for people like you. Hardison would be quoting Spider-Man right about now, but the principle holds.” He tightened his grip on Eliot’s shoulder and looked directly into his eyes. “I don’t even want to consider how many women the two of you saved today, how many future victims.”

He held Eliot’s gaze a moment longer, trying to reassure the hitter without words that he didn’t blame either Eliot or Faith for the choices they’d made. The longer they walked the path he’d started them on, the more he was having to accept that the family he’d brought together had it in them to do great things for the world – greater than he would ever be able to be a part of.

But that was another discussion for another time. Now he needed to get Eliot through the next few hours, so they could both go to the hospital and wait for word on Faith’s condition. A burly man in an ill-fitting suit was approaching them, projecting a distracted air that Nate could tell immediately masked a sharp mind and a suspicious nature.

You’re going to be fun, Nate thought, stepping between Eliot and the approaching federal agent and fixing his most winning smile on his face.

“Here we go.”

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Telaryn

September 2015

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