Exchange Fic- Leverage - Reality Check Part 2

Disclaimer: I do not now nor have I even Leverage, Angel, Buffy or any characters associated within those settings, universes. I am just a fanfic writer merrily playing with someone else's toy in someone else's toy box.

Notes: Takes place post Season 7/5 of Buffy/Angel respectively. I never read the comics after the series so my knowledge is limited up to those finales.



Faith groaned and pulled her aching head up, blinking blearily at her surroundings. She wasn't where she fell off was she? She cringed at the copper taste in her mouth, one side of her jaw aching in a way that suggested a busted tooth. “What the h'll,” she muttered, voice a little slurred.

An attempt to stand was made, but all that answered was a cold metal clink. She looked down, felt the corner of her mouth drag when she realized she was wrapped in several sets of heavy looking chains. That explained the feeling of sudden weight gain. Slowly, the memories came flooding back, and she managed a glower, looking around for her would be captor. He'd better hope he was still good at running.

Eliot stepped into view, but made sure not to get to close. He had a knife in his hand, an ornate bowl in the other. The pain from his wrist just had to be ignored. He knelt down to one knee, met her eyes square on as he spoke in an ancient language, and crossed himself in an almost Catholic way with the knife. This was risky work and really, he was years behind on practice, but he needed this slayer out of his hair once and for all. He needed to be sure that chapter in his life was burned.

“What the... what kinda sicko are you?” Faith demanded, watching his motions as she struggled to fight free of her chains.

Eliot narrowed his eyes but didn't stop the prayer, just slashed an arc into the air. When it was done he rose, blew out one of the lit candles. “Ain't this what you were raisin' cane about? You want Belselek, right? To find him?”

He reached into the bowl, got close enough to splash liquid on her face from his fingertips. Faith coughed and gagged recognizing the reek of urine. “You slayers never were a smart set, never had the sense to do thing rights. You don't find a demon like that, not in some book, certainly not runnin' around tryin' to find something to slice up in threat for information. You ain't playin' the kiddy leagues anymore.”

His face was grim as he took up the knife. “And neither am I. See, I ain't gonna let you make me into some pawn you're gonna hunt down, revisit now and again whenever you're too stupid to figure out your next move. I don't want nothin' to do with your doomed crusade. Evil, the real stuff, it doesn't die, can't be destroyed. All you're doin' is holdin' up the curtain call. That's fine too, real fine, makes things easier in my life.”

He stepped forward, straddled the bound slayer's lap and used the strength in his thighs for support. He was going to need both hands for this. The bowl was pressed flush to her bared shoulder, the skin dipping a little from the pressure. He used the tip of the blade in his other hand to pierce the flesh around the bullet wound. He dug it out, started chanting when blood flowed down into the bowl. When the twisted metal was pulled free, he dropped it in with the rest, slid off the girl. This time it was Latin he was speaking, looking around as the candles flickered inside the warehouse, summoning Belselek through a binding spell. It was basic at best, the summoning part, but that wasn't where his focus really was. Let the creature come or not, he didn't want to deal with it. It was the bind that interested him.

Faith yelled at the handling, cursed and swore, tried to get at the man on top of her. She was going to rip off his head and spit down his throat! “Get off of me, you fuc...Ah!” She could feel the blade inside her, digging, searching for something until it was pulled free, and left her shoulder aching like someone had driven a steak through her.

The chanting was done and wind that'd taken up in the room died down. Eliot broke the jade handle of the blade, a priceless artifact of all things, and dropped the stone into the mix, watched as it bubbled away to nothing and orange mist rose into the air.

Another figure stepped out, cloak over his bowed head. Shadows hide his face. Nate didn't know if to be nervous or fascinated. So far fascination was winning out. He’d never seen anything like this, certainly never taken it seriously. Yet here was Eliot of all people, playing magic and was supposed to be summoning some kind of ancient misfit. The pants he had on under the robes were suddenly tighter. Why was there something incredibly erotic about the fact that Eliot could do this? It was bloody, probably deadly, and kind of cruel. It was also an incredible turn on.

He did as he had been told before, took the broken blade on a cloth and wrapped it reverently, laid it down at the feet of the bound woman. She kicked and struggled, but there was nowhere to go. The tops of her knees were bound to make sure she couldn't even get her feet under her to run.

His own knee was throbbing mercilessly and he couldn't help but think it served her right.

Eliot watched Nate as he handed over the bowl next and instructed him to encircle the room with the mist that didn't seem to stop appearing.

“Great Belselek, you are called, summoned in this blood bond to the one who chose you. She sought you out, asked for guidance, and it was given. Take her, lord of the nether winds, into your care, do as you wilt and seek her in return.” He wanted to roll his eyes at the bland speech, but spells rarely came off as nicely as the media tried to make it seem. Most of them were translated from languages that didn't even have the same meaning in similar words.

The mist stopped, pitch black taking over the warehouse before an iridescent orange lit the candles again, casting the area in a glow. Eliot took the bowl from Nate, threw it down in disgust, and wrinkled his nose at his hands before he wiped them on his dark robs. “There, done, did what you wanted. Belselek will come to you soon and it can't be here.”

Faith managed to look menacing, even bound to her chair. “What do you mean come to me? I wanted to know where he was and you pull...”

Eliot snapped. “Hey! I did what you asked! Told you I don't know where he is. He knows your blood now though, knows you through it. He won't be able to resist the curiosity that comes from summoning the likes of a slayer. Like most lords, he's too damn arrogant for his own good. If he kills you, good riddance. If you kill him, no skin off my back. I just know this place ain't gonna stand too much longer now, and he won't come to a place of summons directly, it's beneath him.”

He threw Faith the key, watched as it landed within reach of her grasping hand. It would take time for her to get free, but she would, and that was the point. “You ever come back for me, or mine, that dagger, the rest of it, it's gonna be the end of you. I bound you to him in more than summons. You push me, I pull some strings.”

Faith narrowed her eyes, sneered. “And if you're bluffing?”

“I don't bluff. Ask someone in your little circle. Hell, ask that euro-trash vampire. Goodbye, Faith, let's never do this again.”

When they were free of the warehouse, Eliot let his head drop. He knew it wouldn't work, knew there was no way he wouldn't be seeing Faith again after that, but it was worth a shot. He was officially on her shit list and he just had to hope her demon hunt kept her too busy to worry about him. Of course, if nothing else, she was probably going to make sure the rumor he was dead was a finished one.

That meant nowhere else to go, to hide. Bargains with Wolfram & Hart were eternal. What was going to happen to him when they called him on his debt? He swallowed, tried not to shake. This Apocalypse thing wasn't finished. It was still in the beginning and he had a feeling the oblivious part of humanity was going to get a reality check real soon. Worse, Belselek was involved to the point of being hunted. The only good thing about demons like that, they rarely worked on human time, and to something eternal, twenty four hours didn't necessarily make a day. He might be old and gray by the time it finally happened, but unless the slayers pulled the impossible, this world was going to end, for good.

A hand grabbed his and Eliot looked at Nate in surprise. The other man looked like he was in awe, his eyes were bright with curiosity, brows up a little higher than normal, the wrinkles near the corner of his mouth pushed up in an almost smile. The mastermind was loving this.

Eliot tried to hide what was bothering him and offered a smile back, squeezing the hand in his before pulling his back. There was a lot to cover here and suddenly life seemed a lot shorter. Maybe it was time to stop surviving and have a life for once, just live.

He held the silence until they were driving. Instead of turning off towards McRory's though, Eliot took the car in a different direction. He drove to a small, sleepy little town some thirty minutes out, parked in the garage of a tiny little house. Nate looked a question at him and Eliot just shrugged, let the older man inside once the door was unlocked.

In the kitchen he grabbed two bottles of water and motioned Nate towards the couch. He flopped down beside the dark headed man and propped his feet on the small coffee table. He handed over an icepack for Nate's knee, put another on his throbbing wrist. There was nothing to be done for his broken nose at this point. He had no real desire to push it back in place yet, knew it was going to put him in all kinds of extra pain. “Alright, ask, I know you're full of questions.”

Nate nursed his hurting knee and looked over at Eliot, kind of in shocked when he realized where he was. This was the retrieval specialist's home, wasn't it? This place was sacred, guarded. Somehow he doubted anyone had ever stepped foot in the place since Eliot took over. When his name was said again, he eased back against the couch and thought, eyes tracking over the room they were in like it might tell him something. He remembered what they had been talking about before, about how a lot had been implied, but not said. If he had filled in the lines right, they were in some deep waters. “So the world's going to end?”

Eliot looked at Nate, snorted that it was that he'd picked up out of all of that. He shrugged one shoulder, took a long pull from his water. “Eventually, maybe soon. Hard to say. It just depends on how long it takes their show runners to get a leg up.”

Nate was puzzled and it showed. “Their?”

“They, them, the big dogs of Doom and Gloom,” Eliot provided, studying the naked wall.

Nate licked his lips, grabbed for his own drink. “So four horses, end of days, the whole shebang?”

“Yes, no, kind of.” He found himself shrugging again, wasn't sure how to explain all of this to the other man. “The Biblical Apocalypse already happened. Pompeii ring a bell?”

Nate swallowed, tried to keep his head clear to make sure he was getting all of this. If it wasn't so fascinating it might actually be scary as hell. The next sentence came out as a fact. “So the world gets destroyed.”

Eliot shook his head, set the bottle down between his thighs. “The world gets reset, wipe out everything that's not an ally and start anew. Sort of like conquering a new country, just on a much larger scale, one where entire species can be wiped out. “ The smile was hard, cynical. “Humanity's Inquisition.”

Pressing the melting icepack harder to his knee, Nate took in a deep breath. He could barely believe he was talking about this, let alone to Eliot Spencer of all people. “And evil's going to win?”

It was Eliot's turn to be a little uncomfortable. He cocked his head to the side, narrowed his eyes as he tried to think. “No, not necessarily. It's a little more complicated than that. Nothin's straight good or evil like humans are taught to believe. There's always gonna be worlds of gray, the unclear creeping and taking over. It's like us, I guess, we're technically the bad guys, but we're the good guys too. All of us except you were bad guys when this all started.”

A heavy silence fell between them for a while, the only sounds were of water being drunk from thin, crinkling bottles as fingers pushed, and of the clock counting time. During that span Nate slid closer and closer to the younger man, only stopped when their legs finally bumped. He looked up, imploring with big eyes that shined with unadulterated curiosity. “Eliot, are you human?”

The answer didn't come at first, the silent stillness settling over the room. A bitter laugh sliced through the air after the pregnant pause. “Yeah, through and through. It's all me.” He patted his chest then paused. “Well, 98%.” He wiggled the fingers on his right hand. “This didn't come with the original manufacturing. It's human though, nothin' special or extraordinary. My real one got cut off.”

Nate's eyes widened and he grabbed the hand, studied it with bright eyes, looking for tell-tale marks or anything that might make it a prosthetic. Just because he saw Eliot get his ass handed to him by a girl and some orange smoke didn't make him a full believer just yet. He fingered the thin red scar all the way around it, wondered why he had never noticed it before. “But you can do magic? Well, summon demons.”

Eliot let his hand be messed with, tolerated the touching and poking. “Anyone, hell anything, can summon a demon, just takes a combination of the right materials and knowledge.”

“And being multilingual. That was Latin before.” Nate asserted, skin prickling with the idea that this might all be somehow true. He wanted to believe it, wanted to see and understand, wanted to explore.

“Yep, that too. Same with magic. Some take to it better than others. Doesn't hurt to know the basic tricks of the trade.”

Eyes glowing like a kid on Christmas morning, Nate scooted even closer, was practically in the long haired man's lap. “And you can do magic, real magic?”

Eliot's smirk was slow, and somehow he wasn't too surprised at himself when he failed to mind sharing his personal-space with the mastermind. One thing he had decided with this whole doomed with the end of days thing, it was time to do more living. He wasn't too much of a fool to know where his interests lie. He'd just been denying it, made a point of playing it safe and never shitting where he ate. Looked like the rules were about to change. “Not uh, I mean I can, got a kinda knack for it, but nuh-uh, I ain't answerin' anymore of your questions. I got a few of my own.”

He settled back, put his arms over the back of the couch. Really he should be tending better to his injuries, needed to set his nose at the very least, but it could wait. This couldn't. “You and Sophie, man, I don't get it, ain't gonna lie.” Nate opened his mouth and Eliot shushed him with a look. “No, listen. She nags you senseless, berates you, tries to change you accordin' to whatever needs she has for the week, and manipulates you. She's sexy, smart, and selfish; a woman too lost in her own lies to give a damn about anyone else. You gotta know there's no way you and her are gonna be more than an eventual fuck.”

There was surprised guilt in blue eyes, color rising to Nate's face. Eliot's eyes widened and he shook his head. “See? And now where's it got you? First time you try and tell her no, I can pretty much guarantee there'll be a threat from those pretty lips. So why put up with it?”

Nate shrugged, tried to look more embarrassed than indignant. He was holding his own weight now as he sat up, looked anywhere but at Eliot. “I don't know. We always flirted back before...back then, it was a thing, and it worked because we knew it'd never happen. When Maggie and I separated, it was easy to fall back into routine. Sophie is the only thing I've got from those days, as close to normal as me and her can ever be. We had our lives together back then.”

Eliot nodded, listening to what he was told, even if he wanted to call his boss an idiot. “Nate, we don't do normal, none of us. We're never gonna be the same as the rest of the world, never gonna be happy that way.”

He turned a little, leaned against the arm of the couch and got comfortable. His voice was low when he started to speak again, hard to hear so Nate had to inch in closer by the end of the sentence as his voice lost more and more octave. “What you need is someone who can call you the dumbass you are for hidin' in a bottle, but know when not to push. Someone who will overlook the fact you're a drunk, got more baggage than a strapped down mule on an heiress’s long promised honeymoon, and who can see that just maybe they're as fucked up as you are.”

His arms came up, wrapped around the mastermind so he could pull Nate up his body. He saw the indignant anger spark in those eyes, smirked at it despite the pain he felt inside himself for it. He was only getting one more shot at this life thing, and he knew who he wanted it to be with. “What you need is a man strong enough to handle you when you fight, who'll burn with that flame and keep you on the ground when the times comes. More importantly, you need someone who's not gonna run away. I know what I am, who. I'm just fine with him.”

Nate was breathing through his mouth, very unsure and twice as much intrigued. Here he was draped over Eliot, eyes on swollen lips that spoke those odd little words just centimeters from his. Hot breath brushed over his mouth, and heat was pooling in his belly. How had he even caught this man’s attention? “Who are you, really?”

Eliot pressed his lips to Nate's hard, consuming, taking and demanding more in return. It took a minute, but the mastermind started to respond, thrust his tongue into his mouth in reply. “Who?” he demanded again.

Eyes fully open, he smiled, ran his hand up and down a taunt back. “My real name's Lindsey McDonald. Kinda take better to Eliot though. What about you, Nate? Who are you, really?”

Nate searched Eliot’s… Lindsey’s… no, definitely Eliot… Eliot’s eyes as he licked his lips, breath coming hard and fast. This… this was unexpected, unexpected, but not unwelcomed. This was a chance, to learn, maybe even to love again. It was undeniable that there was something there that was missing between him and Sophie. “I don’t know, Eliot. Honest man, thief, black king, white knight, it’s all…” He licked his lips again. “Maybe you can help me find out.”

Eliot smirked, more confidence starting to build when he saw the warm, excited fire blazing in his mastermind's eyes. “So, what was that you started to say about magic?”


Exchange Fic - Leverage - Reality Check Part 1


Disclaimer: I do not now nor have I even Leverage, Angel, Buffy or any characters associated within those settings, universes. I am just a fanfic writer merrily playing with someone else's toy in someone else's toy box. 

Notes: Takes place post Season 7/5 of Buffy/Angel respectively. I never read the comics after the series so my knowledge is limited up to those finales.

Eliot stopped just inside the entry way to Nate's apartment, felt his muscles start to tense. Someone was getting close, very close, and the mastermind was in clear view. The older man was the only reason he was even up here now. Quick, the hitter motioned the man still, sent a hard glare that made it clear he needed to let him handle what was coming. How the hell had he even missed being followed until just now? No time to care. A growl escaped his throat in brief warning and he spun around, reaching for his would be attacker the second they got too close.


A petite brunette caught the intended swing like it was nothing and spun the hitter until his face was bashed into the wall he had intended for her. A startling crack echoed in the still air, a grunt jerked from the now injured man.

Nate got to his feet, was ready to react but Eliot just growled, motioned him down with a silent gesture. He stepped back, reluctantly sat back down. Fine, he'd let him handle it for now. This was Eliot's point of expertise, after all. He just wasn't used to watching the powerful man take such a hard blow out of nowhere.

The woman pressed flush against his hard body she had trapped, rubbed her painted on leather pants against denim Wranglers. The arms she held were solidly pinned above his head. Her wet breath tickled his ear, red lipstick brushing the sensitive skin.

“Well looky what I caught. Looks like I'm all lawyered up. Funny thing though, pretty boy, I heard you died.” She forced long haired man to spin, slammed his back against the wall. The face looking toward her was already swelling, blood covering around his nose. “Poor thing, you look a little winded. That happy to see me?”

Instead of reacting to the pain, Eliot just bared his teeth. The taste of copper burst on his tongue and he reminded himself not to spit. Inside his head he was cursing a million times over, scrambling to figure out what had happened. What was she doing here! “Kinda hopin' you'd be. Sucks don't it, makes me less your type, you know, still breathin'. Thought we'd cleaned the trash outta Boston.” He paused a second to take in a breath, signed to Nate to let him know he had a handle on this. “Or at least left it back in LA.”

Faith smirked, pressed in closer and took the liberty of tightening her grip on the man, felt the way his muscles pulled for freedom. He wasn't making any headway. This time she was only holding his wrists in one hand too, keeping him pinned regardless. Poor sap was only human. “Somebody's gotta keep you on your toes. Speaking of taking to things without pulses, seen Angel lately, he's in real good shape. Thought you'd like to know. How's Darla by the way?” The vicious reminder was ended with a pout. “Right, sorry, heard about that too. Connor's a real good kid if you were wondering any. Gotta love always coming in second, third, forth. You know, you just never made it high on that scale, did you?”

She watched the twist of heavy muscles really straining now that showed a futile attempt for escape. Even the tight shirt was rippling, showing shifting muscles underneath on the other man's chest. Somebody'd been working out. She didn't remember the well tailored lawyer fitting in a suite quite like that. The facial hair was new too, same for the long locks. Apparently she'd missed a lot. Time'd been real nice to him. “When'd you get so feisty, hm?” She demanded in a flirtatious voice laced with venom. She used her free hand, let it explore the newly discovered body left to her less than tender mercy. Long fingers appreciatively traced hard muscle. “And so built. You didn't look like this when we were doing our thing.”

Her hand inched down further south, fingertips brushing the edge of his tight fitting jeans.

“Hands off, psycho Barbie!” Enough was enough. There had to be a way to get out of this grip because he was not sitting here being fondled by this brain mangled chick. Eliot went for a new technique, dropped all his weight without warning so the only thing holding him up were her hands. Before she adjusted he threw his legs up with all of his power behind the motion, kicked her square in the chest. The move left him falling back, barely managed to catch the landing on his hip and elbow to cushion the blow before rolling back to his feet.

Faith landed a couple feet away, knocking the back of her head against the wall. “Son of a bitch,” she grumbled, rubbing at the spot between her breasts. “Think you broke the clip on my bra. It was a favorite too.” Despite the annoyed words she was still smirking and even tossed her hair back as got her feet under her.

“Why are you even here?” Eliot demanded, but kept his distance all the same. He moved a little, put himself between her and the rest of the apartment, between her and Nate. No way he'd know what he was up against.

Faith shrugged, looked at the man she was fighting then to the one in the back. The other's blue eyes were glittering in anger, face red, a fist clenched on the table. Was he even human? Even if he wasn't, being with Lindsey was enough to make that irrelevant. She knew what kind of people he kept to.

“Funny story actually. We're off looking for this big bad raising Hell and hear about this bad ass gang who runs the town. Sure you noticed it, this place it nasty central and rumor has it this was the place to find information if it was to be had, told to find a Ford guy down at the bar. Well, I didn't see any Ford, but I did see you. Imagine my surprise! Here we are looking for a high class demon, and you come strutting by on the sidewalk into this place, not even a glance my way.”

Again Eliot was cursing his carelessness, face red as he tried to figure out what to do. He couldn't take her, not in a fair fight. There was just no way. She had slayer powers, and if what he heard was true, the bitches had gotten even more powerful thanks to some fancy voodooing from a witch.

“Now, Lindsey...”

“Eliot,” he interrupted, goosebumps rising on his flesh from his old name. No one needed to say that name much, needed to have it in the air. It was too risky. Lindsey McDonald was supposed to be dead and there was no way he wanted the Senior Partners putting him back in temporary storage Hell again. He wasn't going back there. There was undeniable fear when he swallowed, blood racing to his face and causing him to flush a second, even as he tried to hide the reaction. He couldn't go back.

“Lindsey, Eliot, whatever, you're gonna...” Faith stopped and laughed. “Eliot, really? That's what you changed your name to? Eliot? Careful there Lindsey-boy, er, Eliot, you might end up with a man's name one of these times. Or you gonna shoot for Ashley next?”

Eliot grit his teeth, curled a shaking fist tight. He couldn't lash out blind here. It might take a few minutes but she'd have his ass so long as he was fighting fair. He needed more than bare hands.

“Like I was saying,” there was still laughter in her voice, “Eliot,” a snort, “you're gonna tell me whatever I want to know. You don't, and, well,” she was the one to flash her teeth this time. “Please, deny me, I really want you to. It's been a while since I got to cut loose.”

“Yeah, heard that too. You're the real slayer's favorite pet these days, huh? Good little lap dog, all show and heels when her master yanks that studded collar,” Eliot taunted, keeping a careful eye out here. He needed her to slip, had to play her strength against her. That part was easy. It was the speed that was going to get him hurt.

Faith's smirk faltered as she sashayed forward, eyes glittering with dark promise. “I ain't nobody's pet bitch,” she snarled, the slithering walk turning much faster until Eliot found a fist slammed right into his stomach before he knew what had happened. He groaned as his knees tried to buckle but stayed up when she pulled back and delivered a second blow to the spot, making stars burst behind his vision. The fist actually sent him sailing across the lit up table they used for conferences and he landed right on it, by some miracle not shattering the glass. Eliot pushed himself up on his elbow, tasted blood as he gasped for breath. He wasn't sure if it was from his mouth or just his nose.

Maybe the ‘make her mad’ plan was a bad one. He still kept his eyes sharp though, knew not to let his guard down.

Nate was glaring a hole through the intruding woman, not sure what was going on but not liking this one bit. He walked away from the scene slowly, didn't want unnecessary attention. He might not be able to understand why Eliot was taking all of this, couldn't even pretend to understand, but he was going to put a stop to it. She was knocking the hitter around like a rag doll.

He was quick about his self assigned chore, heard her and Eliot sniping at one another when he got back. At least the man was sitting up now, though somehow Nate doubted it was much help for the hitter's part. “Look, lady, I don't know who you are or what you're after and I don't care. I just want you out of my apartment, now,” he told her calmly.

Faith just snorted, rolled her eyes as she leaned against the wall behind her. “You know, old man, nobody is including you here. This is between me and...” The sound of a gun being cocked echoed in the room. The home born Bostonian looked wide eyed at the piece pointed her way. “Look at that, grandpa's got some balls. Can you actually shoot that thing?”

Despite her casual words, her body was stiffer, more alert.

“Just leave and you won't have to find out.” Nate's voice was solid, unwavering.

Eliot looked at his boss and back at the slayer, did some mental calculations. If Nate fired, he might be alright, if the shot was clean and hit where it was supposed. If it wasn't, Faith would tear him apart. “Don't worry about it, Nate; I got a handle on her.”

Nate didn't look the least bit impressed and the way his gun was still aimed showed it.

Eliot pushed himself to his feet, wiped the back of his hand over his broken nose. He swallowed the pain sound. “Then just shoot her already and let's get it settled. You don't wanna mess with this chick, trust me. She ain't no kitten.”

The scary thing was, Nate looked like he was honestly considering it. He didn't know two things about the woman and was ready to shoot her between the eyes at a simple request. Eliot pressed his lips into a thin line, for some reason always startled when he got a flash of the man Nate really was hidden under there.

Faith took a step forward, eye on the man holding her at gun point. “Face it, he doesn't have the balls to shoot.”

“Nate, don't!” The bark was the only thing that kept the mastermind from pulling that trigger. This was a mess, and had to be resolved, quick. “Faith, what're you lookin' for?”

The slayer eased back a little, but didn't stop, just moved a little more casually in case she needed to get to a quick shield. “Like I said, big name demon. Answers to Musliack.”

Eliot rolled his eyes and flopped into a chair, feeling weary with having to revisit his old life. There were several very good reasons he'd left it behind. “You mean the real Musliack or Belselek?”

Faith's face was carefully blank except for the raised brow.

“Belselek is the real show runner if Musliack's involved. They're brothers, sorta, in a not really kinda way. It's complicated, just...Look, don't you got people for this?”

“Hey Lindsey, how much damage do you think I could do to your friend there before he managed to shoot me?” Faith taunted, briskly making a point to keep him talking. She was getting annoyed very quickly. More importantly, her bra was starting to really bother her. The broken clasp scratching. She pulled down the sleeves to her tank top, jerked off the offending material and threw it to the ground before righting her shirt. She rolled her shoulders, widened her stance. The relieved sigh sounded dirty, sex and heat promised in one dangerous package. “Much better.”

Nate cocked the gun again. It was an automatic and didn't really need cocking, but the sound was very effective in getting a point across. "How about you stop trying to purr like a sex kitten and tell me what's going on here."

Faith eyed the two men in the room, looked indignant for a second then just laughed. “Your Eliot here is getting his ass handed to him. Has to get his grandpa to pull a gun to save him.”

The so called grandpa didn't appreciate the name calling and was glowering. Nate was trying to assess the damage here, managed to keep his mouth closed this time despite the nickname. There was no way Eliot was just letting her have the upper hand. So what was the con here? This woman was tiny, petite. Eliot should have at least a hundred pounds on her. No way she should have the strength to be slinging the hitter around like that. Was it all technique?

Eliot growled and stood up again. This was going to turn into a massacre if it wasn't handled. He remembered dealing with Faith, remembered her file. There was some impressive violence there, even by his standard. Why the hell couldn't anything ever stay simple? It irked him to death, this forced submission, but the less time anyone from his past was here, the better for everyone involved. It was taking one for the team, literally. His pride was going to be in shambles for weeks. “Faith, me and you, another room, come on. We'll get this shit squared away, and then I want you gone. Dead would be better, but I'll settle.”

Faith tsked and flounced over to Lindsey, petting her hand down his shoulder. “ 'atta boy! Never knew you settled either. Guess you finally learned your place in life. So I'm thinkin' bedroom maybe?” She suggested, slapping his backside.

Oh she was pushing it, pushing real hard. From the way those do-me-hard eyes were glittering, he was guessing it was on purpose. Woman wanted a rise. Eliot sneered with open contempt, shrugged her hand off. “Don't touch me.”

Faith rolled her eyes at the disappointing reaction. She turned her attention to the one called Nate, was quickly gauging who was ran this show and it wasn't her favorite lawyer. It was the guy who had her at gun point. Well, huh, there was something potentially fun. Besides, even slayers could die from a bullet. She needed to get that thing away so he didn't shoot while her back was turned. “So who are you anyways, gramps, coming over all Lone Ranger with that gun.”

Nate chose not the answer, just gave the woman a calculating look. He got a slight shift in micro-expression from the dark eyed beauty and knew he'd played right. She changed positions, rested a hand on a nicely rounded hip. “Not that the feral old man thing's not hot, but what's the deal here? Come on, you can tell me.”

At no point did he even look like he had any intention of lowering his gun. Anyone who could tear into Eliot Spencer like that was a force to be reckoned with. It was obvious that fists weren't going to get anywhere with her.

Faith was frowning by this point, hands on both hips. She needed that gun away so she didn't have to deal with the stick in the mud here. All he was doing was getting on her nerves. She eased in closer still, kept an eagle eye for any sign he might be ready to fire.

Eliot caught on to what Nate was doing, felt a minor bit of relief, if not annoyance. That man was always there when he needed it, and always playing a double edged version of stupid. Faith made it clear she wasn't quite so ready to be calm yet, and he highly doubted he could convince the others to scatter until he could come find them. So he took advantage of the distraction, used well honed instincts and stealth to get the drop on the woman. One misstep and he was in for a world of pain, possibly crippling.

He could use the gun as a distraction, then get Faith in a pin that didn't require strength, that used her strength against her, and let him get a few licks in. He thrust his hands out, gripped the long limbed vixen by her elbows and jerked back without allowing for any slack. If he got lucky he'd dislocate a shoulder. He twisted just so, locked her arms in place and stepped back against her movements so she was in a sufficient pin.

Faith let out an indignant grunt at the handling, her face twisting in annoyance. “Son of a...didn't know you liked to be rough.” No way the pained girl, helpless victim act was going to fly here. She jerked, and ended up grumbling at the sharp pain that danced down her back. A delighted grin split her face. Good, it meant she could get a little bit of a mild work out in.

She almost kicked back, but changed her mind, figured the man holding her arms captive would be ready for it. So she kicked forward instead, nailed the man who'd been holding a gun at her in the knee.

Nate shouted in surprise, the gun almost falling from his fingertips as he cursed and hit the ground from the crippling bow. He wasn't one to just crumple with pain but he wasn't sure she hadn't actually damaged something here. He grabbed the abused area, cradled it without being able to see because of his panted breaths.

Eliot was pissed! His face was contorted with anger, nostrils flaring as red rushed to his cheeks. It was one thing for her to attack him but Nate! He ground his teeth and jerked hard, had every intention of causing pain.

Faith yelped in surprise and then laughed. That was unexpected. Then again, just because he hadn't been fighting the last time they met didn't mean he couldn't have a violent streak. She was smart enough to know better than that. She's heard all about his little one on one with Angel. Of course now there were no ancient runes marking him up, and he seemed regrettably human in strength.

She tugged experimentally at the hold, felt pain burn from her shoulders, down her back. Well then, looks like she was going to have to be a little unorthodox. She took a page from Lindsey-boy's book, let herself drop some weight. Her version was a little different though. The second she felt him adjust for it, and damn if he didn't intend to snap her arms off, she thrust her feet under her and used her muscles to spring up, jumping up and turning in a way that would twist the wrists of the man holding her captive.

The hands let go and she landed on her stiletto heels, cursed to hear the snap of the shoes under her. “First my bra, now my shoes. You're really going all out,” she taunted sarcastically and kicked off the footwear.

Eliot rubbed at his right wrist, the look on his face sour. He didn't waste more than that second, though, launched himself at the woman as she was working with the second heel. It meant her balance would be thrown. He threw everything he had into a punch to her cheekbone, watched as the slayer hit the ground. There was a breath and Eliot landed on the downed woman, added a second blow to the face and aimed the third for her throat.

Faith's head snapped to the side at the punch, a bone crunching pain filling the side of her face as she lost her balance. She grunted and caught his wrist on the third one, twisted it around, had every intention of making a full 360 with it. There was popping and the appendage was jerked back before she could finish.

Eliot got to his feet first, got some distance between them again. He looked around for something, anything that might help here. The thought of breaking off a chair leg came to him and he cursed. Why was everything in this place metal! She was a slayer, not some off kilter fey out for a cackle. Well, it was Faith. That would explain a lot if not for the psychotic thing. Some iron cuffs couldn't hurt.

What he really needed was something to get in his hands. She couldn't get too close. He spotted the broom, dove for it. With it in his hand, he spun the new weapon experimentally, adjusted to the length and light weight. It'd have to do. Stance firm, he reached out with his twisted wrist, motioned with his fingers. His voice was a grating growl. “Come on.”

Faith was cradling her cheek, could feel where there was going to be swelling. Oh he was just begging for it! She ground her teeth together, was standing. “That's what I get for going easy. “ She tossed her hair back, eyes flashing with the anger that had darkened her face even if her voice wasn't raised. “Alright, pretty boy, let's see if you can take it.” She ran towards him, didn't care if it was clearly a trap.

Eliot tracked her every move, stayed on the ready. He back stepped when she got too close, used the broom stick as a block to knock her back so he could kick out, land a boot to her stomach. He wasn't going to be the only one coming away from this bloody if he could help it.

It was a messy clash that ended with Eliot pinning her on the ground, the handle of the broom pressed against her throat. Faith arched up, bucked him off and rolled, sent the weapon flying. She was a little more ruffled than she liked, the side of her face swelling, and her lip red from more than lipstick now. Ending up on top, she prepared a punch to the head, intending on turning the lights off on this little show.

Nate had finally managed to at least get upright, was cradling his knee. His face was dark, gun back in his hand where he wanted. The lunatic was just a few seconds from actually getting Eliot out from the look of things. The mastermind sneered. “Hey lady, let me introduce myself.” He waited until she glanced his way, fist paused mid-air, a snide remark ready on her lips. It never got to be said. “I'm Nate Ford.”

An ear shattering bang echoed through the apartment. There was a ripping feeling in her shoulder and Faith gasped, eyes going wide at the feel of the bullet tearing her open. A hard weight knocked against the side of her head and the slayer went slack, eyes rolled into the back of her head.