A/N: The chapter which you are about to read is pretty dark. It is the story of what, in my mind, Eliot might have done for Damien Moreau, when he says that the worst thing he ever did he did for Moreau. It is rated T for scenes of violence, but I will up the rating to M if people think it's needed. You've been warned.
I don't own Leverage or any of the characters therein, save those of my own creation. I write for fun and not for profit. I don't write slash. Thanks for reading.
The Secrets We Keep
By: Gilbert H. Karr
Dedicated to my friend, Soquilii
Dinner was over, and Parker was getting restless. As the two athletic members of the team, they both needed a workout, desperately. The thing was, Eliot wasn't entirely sure that Moreau hadn't left some men behind to 'clean up'. Based on the conversation Nate recounted to him, Moreau didn't really know who they were, but he knew Eliot, and that made Eliot think he could find them. He was antsy to get the team started back towards home.
He had loaded the suitcases earlier, and had insisted that they wait until they were out of town to eat. Right now, he was trying to herd everyone into Lucille, and not for the first time, he remembered how much like herding cats the exercise was. While the team certainly understood the need to get out of a place quick, when the time came, Eliot knew they had underestimated Moreau and his men from the beginning, and since none of them, not even Nate, knew exactly what had happened in that warehouse, he was worried that they might not be taking the threat as seriously as they should.
Nate walked out about that time, trusting Eliot's word that they needed to get going, even if he didn't know exactly why. Sophie came out right after Nate, no doubt wanting to be wherever he was, and Hardison followed, grumbling about getting on the road so they could get something to eat.
"Where's Parker?" Nate asked, looking at Hardison.
Hardison looked up at him, concerned. "I thought she was with Eliot," he said. "She said she was going outside."
"Oh, hell no." Eliot said, as it dawned on him what must have happened. "Think, Hardison. When did she leave?"
"About five minutes ago."
"You all stay here. If we're not back in ten minutes, meet us at Rock Creek Park with Lucille. If we're not there when you get there, wait for us."
Nate nodded, but Eliot didn't wait to see it. Instead, he sprinted off in the direction of the park. He caught up with Parker about halfway to the park. She saw him sprinting to catch up with her, but she didn't slow down. Still, Eliot caught up with her easily, and asked, "Parker, what's going on?"
She shook her head. He reached out and put a hand on her shoulder, stopping her forward motion and causing her to turn and look at him. She lowered her eyes. He tucked a wayward strand of hair behind her ear and said, "talk to me."
"I needed to get away for a few minutes. To think. To find a way to face this new reality."
"What do you mean? What new reality?"
"The new reality that there's this mad man out there, and we didn't get him, and now, he's going to be after us—trying to kill us. Maybe not right now. Maybe not even next week. But eventually."
"You know I won't let that happen, don't you, Parker?"
"I know you've always protected us, but you worked for him. Hardison told me about the pool, and how you didn't get him out. How do I know you'll be able to protect us from him? I don't doubt that you will try. But what if you can't?"
"Then I'll die trying. And the friends who make up my backup plans will either stop him, or they, too, will die in the attempt. Yes, I worked for Moreau. I'm not proud of that, nor of what I did when I worked for him, but it did give me a front row seat to his plans. It allowed me to know him in a way that will ultimately help us—help me to keep you all safe. That's the truth. Now, you tell me, do you believe that?"
"Good. Now, we need to get out of here soon, just in case Moreau is calling in reinforcements. I told Nate we'd meet the rest of the team at Rock Creek Park? Are you ready?"
Parker nodded and started running again, Eliot next to her. After a moment, she glanced over at him, and said, "What was the worst thing you ever did for Moreau?"
Eliot swallowed hard and remained quiet for so long that Parker was beginning to think he wouldn't answer. Just as she was getting ready to ask again, he spoke.
"There was a middle aged man, a Serbian scientist, who worked for the American government. He was on Moreau's radar for some reason. Undoubtedly, he had something Moreau wanted, and he refused to sell it to him. So, Moreau tried to steal it, and the man left, presumably to keep it safe, and went back to his hometown—a small, but growing city in Serbia. He went into hiding. Moreau sent me to find him and get it from him. The problem was that everyone in that town protected him. They refused to give up his location. Moreau ordered me to exterminate the whole town. Men, women, children, old people, disabled folks—didn't matter. I knew what the consequences would be for defying Moreau, so I did it. I killed them all and then set the town on fire to destroy any evidence I might have left behind that could be traced back to Moreau. The worst thing about it was that the scientist wasn't even there. He had somehow gotten word that Moreau was sending someone for him, and had left long before I ever got there. All of those people—over three thousand of them, died for no reason."
He broke off, and looked around the room, everywhere but at Parker.
"So what happened next?" she asked quietly. She had stopped running now, and was walking fast. They were about a half mile from the park, and the walk would be a good cool down.
"Next? Isn't what I just told you enough?"
Parker looked thoughtful and then nodded. "It is, but clearly Moreau didn't kill you, so I figured there was probably more to the story."
He nodded. "Moreau had flown into Belgrade, and was waiting for me to meet him, to report that I had closed out the scientist. I wasn't looking forward to meeting with him. I knew Moreau didn't accept failure of any kind. As it turned out, the scientist made the mistake of leaving a paper trail behind him, and we were able to trace him to his office in Belgrade. He stopped by his bank and withdrew all the money he had, and then he stopped by his office to collect a few personal items, and then he went to his house. Where his wife and three children (girls) were. That was where we set a trap for them.
"We caught all of them coming out of the house. Took them back inside. Careful not to leave any trace. The scientist and the children watched as I killed their wife and mother. Then, the children watched as I killed their father. I thought we would leave after that. Leave the kids there. Or even drop them somewhere. Moreau had other plans. He insisted that we leave no witnesses. He wanted me to kill the children, but I refused. So, Moreau called one of his other men, and told him to kill the two eldest girls—one was around 14 and one was 10. He forced me to watch as the man slit their throats. When the little one saw what was happening to her sisters, she started screaming and crying, and Moreau had her gagged. The youngest girl was five or six. He sold her to a buddy with a human trafficking ring.
"At that point, I wanted so badly to pound him into the pavement, but it wasn't the right time. I knew the girls were a test—a test for me. Every bit of what he did with them was for my benefit. So, I decided then that no matter what, that would be one of the last jobs I did for Moreau. I vowed revenge on the man who killed the girls, even if I died in the process. I got it, too. That's one body that'll never be found. And I vowed revenge on Moreau. Thanks to Nate, that might also soon be possible."
"So, you weren't kidding when you said you killed people?"
"Nope. Does knowing that change your perception of me?"
"You aren't that person anymore. That's what Sophie says."
"I'll always be that person, Parker. And, one thing this job taught me is that man will always be closer than I think he is, but I'll never do anything like that to innocent people again. Okay?" He watched the little thief carefully. Of all of them, she was the most childlike and so, it was a toss-up between the two girls who would take this news the worst. She seemed to be doing okay. He knew she would probably have questions later, once she had had time to think about what it was she had heard, but they'd deal with that as it happened.
She nodded, not trusting herself to speak. They had reached the entrance to the park.
"Let's go home, Parker," Eliot said softly.
She didn't answer, but a small hand found its way into a larger one as they walked together, side by side. As they entered the park, he turned his head to whisper in her ear.
"That story I told you, Parker, it doesn't get shared with the rest of the team. Understand?"
She nodded and led him by the hand over to meet the rest of the team and Lucille. They were finally headed toward home. And if, one day, weeks later, when things had returned almost to normal, he received a typewritten report, along with a picture of a young girl and a location, well, that didn't necessarily mean that Parker would ever admit to sending it.