Hi y'all, this is my first voyage into the Leverage fandom and I'm more than a little nervous! The title wasn't originally supposed to be Country Song, but after all the slow and sappy country I listened to while I wrote this, it sorta felt fitting..

As the summary says, this is meant to be a happy ending for Eliot. Nate has Sophie, Hardison has Parker, but Eliot didn't have anyone besides himself, them and almost every woman he sees. Hm, maybe I should have felt so bad for him after all... Haha!

This set about a year after Nate and Sophie leave.

Thanks to my newly aquired Leverage beta and my friend from Oklahoma.

Eliot hit I-5 south, heading for Lake Oswego as he shifted into fourth. Checking the mirrors, he turned on the blinker, stepping on it, he pulled around the car's ahead of him as he grabbed fifth gear. The cars tires broke free from the pavement, for a split second as the car sped forward. The throaty growl of dual exhausts echoed off the cement divider separating the south and northbound lanes and into the wet night.

He left his hand resting on the shifter, feeling the vibration from the Hemi engine run up his arm, gaze on the road ahead of him. It was only seven thirty, but it was early enough in the year that the glow of his headlights, glinted off the wet pavement as he headed for home.

Knowing he was nearly there and that she was waiting for him, was a new feeling.

When the job they were on wrapped up early, he hadn't called to tell her he was on his way earlier than he'd planned. He just hopped the first flight back to the States he could catch, planning on surprising her. Parker and Hardison weren't traveling with him. They were all taking two weeks off and they were headed for Australia in the morning so he had had hours of nothing to do but think.

This wasn't the first time they had been apart. He had been gone several times in the last ten months, but this was the first time he had stepped off a plane knowing she was at his house waiting for him.

He had told her to treat it like her own home before he'd left, but he hadn't realized how much he would like the idea of her being there until he was an ocean away.

The knowledge made a slow smile slip onto his lips, quickly reminding him the bottom one was split.

Adjusting his rear view mirror, he inspected his shadowy reflection as best he could while keeping one eye on the road. He could just make out his busted lip and black eye. Straightening the mirror again, he leaned back in his seat and watched the road. He knew she would try and hide it, but every time he came home covered in scrapes and bruises, this certain light entered her green eyes. While he hated that look and knowing it was because of him, he more than liked pulling her close and chasing it all away.

Finding her again had been the best part of the move to Portland. He never thanked Sophie before she and Nate left for the shove she had given him toward Abby, but he knew he owed her some.

Once upon a time he had believed in grand design and that God put you where you needed to be. After all he had seen and done, he wasn't certain how he felt about God anymore, but he sometimes wondered if Sophie hadn't known something he didn't.

Abby gave him something different than he had found working with Nate and the others. Something more. With the team, he had recieved a chance to atone for some of destruction he had created it his life. With Abby, there was this sense of peace, he hadn't felt in a long time.

Despite her being so young when he saw her the last time, he knew part of it came from their history, shared memories and her understanding of who he used to be and acceptance of the man he had become. She'd known him before life had changed him and while he had, in the past, had a hard time letting people in, with her it was different. Honestly, the why didn't matter so much to him though, he just knew having her by his side felt right.

There were still things he hadn't told her about the years seperating them, most of which, he knew he never would. She didn't know how bad of a man he had been, he didn't know how he would handle it if she ever found out.

In the beginning he had taken their relationship slow, for a few different reasons. One of them being, she was the little sister of his best friend from childhood. Caleb might be dead now, but out of respect for him, the family he'd spent more time around than his own father, it felt right. In ways, he knew, he had even looked at her like his own little sister.

Secondly, he liked her in not just a physical way and wanted to know the woman she had become before they came to a place where other things came into it.

Then there was the fact, he knew it could be a big risk bringing her into his life period. Any woman was. He had made enemies, a lot of them, but he wanted her. And in a different way than the others.

He had realized early on, if he had her, he would want to see where this could go. That meant misdirection and lying to her about his life wasn't an option.

That first night, he'd seen her again, he had given her a thin version of the truths that made up his life and steered her away from the gray areas as they sat there talking.

He had kept that up over the next couple month, until she had taken the ball completely out of his court one night and put it right back in at the same time, when she asked where they were going with whatever was going on between them.

He had told her wherever she wanted it to, but there were somethings he needed to say first.

He had ended his words holding his breath and hoping she could accept them. Thankfully, she had.

He knew she wanted to know more. He had seen it in her eyes that night and since, but she didn't push him. He'd decided if she was willing to leave his past in the past, he would be as honest with her as he could be about the present.

Some days he could almost see that guy in the mirror again; the one he had searched for every morning for years.


For about the twentieth time since she'd gotten off work two hours ago, Abby checked her phone just to make sure she hadn't missed his call. "Come on Eliot. Why aren't you calling?" she mumbled, petulantly, wanting to hear his voice. She wasn't so much worried about his welfare this time. Eliot had told her it was a cake job. While she assumed he was quoting Hardison, she had been with him long enough now, she knew when he was withholding and that wasn't the case. She just missed him, that was all. Letting out a long dramatic breath, she flopped forward on her stool and rested her elbows on the bar. The fingers of her right hand slipped into her long chocolate colored hair, brushing it back from her face. A wry smile appeared about her lips, moments later. Her momma always said 'the watched pot never boils,' but Abby couldn't help it. Eliot Spencer was almost always on her mind these days. Sometimes it still didn't seem possible to her that with two-thousand miles and pushing twenty years, she had seen him again.

She first met him after her father died in Little Rock when she was six. Her grandfather had came and helped her, her older brother Caleb and their mom, make the trip to Oklahoma. The family ranch butted up against Eliot's father's place and their families were close. Eliot and Caleb had become friends quickly. Caleb was the left tackle to Eliot's quarterback on and off the field.

They were wild and crazy; chasing girls and raising kane.

A.B. had fallen into a childish infatuation with him when she was ten and him sixteen. He had come tearing down the road and into their yard on an old dirt bike. She'd been sitting in the tire swing in the front yard, watching. A few days before that, she had been following him and Caleb around, bored and pestering one of them to give her a ride. Caleb kept shooing her off but Eliot finally gave in and told her to go ask her mom. He mother had had none of it.

Rolling to a stop by her, he'd shut the bike off asked if her brother was home. Abby didn't remember all the particulars but her mom and brother were in town and her gram was taking a nap.

Eliot had started the bike again then sat their for a moment looking at her before he hollered, "come on."

She remembered desperately wanting to go, but fear of a hide tanning kept her uncertain right up until he hollered again, "come on, I won't tell."

He'd only taken her just down the road and then back to the house.

That was always the first memory that accompanied any thoughts him, when he crossed her mind through the years.

It was also him who gave her the nickname A.B.

The last time she had seen him, she had been days away from her fourteenth birthday and headed out on her first date. The boy's name was Sam Travers. Eliot had been at her grandparents' house waiting for her older brother Caleb and he'd answered the door when Sam arrived. Eliot was always around and he and Caleb had teased her for days about giving 'Sammy Boy' as they called him, a talking to.

She still wasn't certain what Eliot had said to Sam in the time it took her to get from her room to the front hall, but he was grinning and Sam wouldn't even hold her hand. One night, less than a week later, Caleb came home and told them Eliot had joined the Army.

Caleb had road a Roll Tide scholarship to Old Alabama that same fall. The years later on his way home for Christmas break, a semi truck hit his old pick, just outside of Tulsa. The driver had fallen asleep at the wheel and Caleb died instantly.

The last time she'd had heard Eliot's voice was after he heard the news.

She attended Humboldt State University in Northern California and fell in love with the awe inspiring beauty of the region. Growing up thinking California was all cities and smog, she had been surprised. It was nothing like the flatness of eastern Oklahoma. She had never seen the ocean before, let alone trees, so tall they seemed to touched the sky. After she finished school she decided to explore the western coast instead of going home and settled in Portland.

A little over a year ago, she had walked into the Brew Pub with friends and Eliot had been there. The same warm feeling that always wrapped around her when she remembered that night, slipped around her again.

She had been sitting at one of the small tables with a few friends, waiting for the next round of drinks, when she saw him again. Surprised, she hadn't said anything for a moment. He looked different in ways, his hair was longer and pulled back in a ponytail and fine lines marked his face. She had ended up spending the better part of that night at a different table talking with him.

She wouldn't admit this to him, but but the time she they parted that night, she was wholly and completely infatuated again.

Dropping her phone back onto the gray granite counter, she moved back to the grill to check the flank steak, then headed down the hall. She needed to do laundry and her clothes were scattered all over the bedroom and master bath. Really, they were scattered throughout the whole house and she needed to get it picked up before she went to bed tonight. Eliot was always neat and orderly, everything had its place and that's where he kept it. She, on the other hand, always left a trail wherever she went.

And another authors note. I know this is probably an odd place to end this and I did have a plan, but I decided I would leave what happened next to your imaginations.

Thanks for reading!