A/N: Hello, hello! Welcome to my first ever Leverage story! I'm very excited about this one. Especially since it's also a crossover! Lately, my family and I have been binging BBC's Father Brown, and this little story idea popped into my head and wouldn't let go. However, I've decided to post it here as a Leverage story because we only see canon Leverage characters.
I purposely wrote Parker and Eliot's interactions here a bit ambiguously. If you choose to read this as a friendship/sibling story, please do. If you see it as more than friendship, please feel free to read it as such. It is entirely up to you. I hope y'all enjoy!
Disclaimer: I build a fairy forest in an aquarium. It has no fish.
There was a reason Parker only answered to one name.
Actually, there were a few reasons, not the least of them the security of anonymity. It was much easier to hide her true identity if all that was ever known about her was a single name. However, there was one other reason that she would never tell anybody.
Or that she thought she'd never tell anybody.
After Leverage and Associates had decided to take a vacation following the events in San Lorenzo, Parker decided to pop over to England for a bit before returning to Boston. It wasn't a completely impulsive decision, as she'd been wanting to make this trip for a long time. However, this was the first time since she'd become an honest thief that she had found the opportunity for such a visit.
Clutching the bouquet of gold roses to her chest, Parker meandered through the cemetery flanking St. Mary's Parish of Kembleford, a small, quaint town located smack in the middle of the Cotswolds. Her feet stopped not far from the sanctuary wall, blue eyes locked on the grave before her. The much newer tombstone, now bearing the correct birth and death dates of the one entombed, stood tall in the afternoon sunlight.
"Um," Parker addressed the grave, "I know people usually bring flowers to graves, but I don't get plants. Once you cut them, they're dead. Plus, I didn't think you'd like real plants. So I found these at a small museum outside of London. No security to speak of, only one level, they were practically asking to be robbed." Kneeling down, Parker carefully laid the bouquet at the base of the gravestone. "It was way too easy, especially with my friend Hardison walking next to me. He has these big bags that he carries all his computers in. I don't know why he came with me to the museum. It's not like he could stop me from stealing anything. Only Eliot could actually keep me from stealing, but he wasn't there. Not sure what he was doing, he doesn't tell us stuff."
Parker trailed off, settling herself more comfortably on the ground. Her eyes closed as the English summer breeze ruffled her hair. "Sorry I'm not saying much. Not exactly sure how to talk to a stone slab. Not good at talking to anybody, really. Except Eliot and Archie, and sometimes Hardison. Occasionally Sophie or Nate. But I've never talked to a dead person before. At least, not that I know of. I might have talked to a dead person before and not realized it. Has that ever happened to you?" A minute of silence passed, as if Parker was waiting for an answer from the grave itself. "How about you, Eliot? Have you ever unknowingly talked to a dead person?"
"I've talked to a lot of dead people," the retrieval specialist softly answered without pause. Parker didn't look up as her friend knelt next to her.
"How did you find me? Nobody was following me; I would've known."
"I was already here. Got a contact here in Kimbleford, needed to meet with him since it's been a while. Saw you out here and wondered what you were doin'. Who is this, Parker?" He nodded toward the grave.
The thief didn't answer at first. It went against every instinct she had, telling another person something so precious about herself. But this was Eliot, a member of her team - her family. If she couldn't trust him with this secret, then who could she trust?
"Hercule Flambeau. A famous thief in the 40s and 50s, only ever known to the public by the name Flambeau. He's also my grandfather," she finished with a grin.
"So you come by your thieving honestly," Eliot laughed. Parker tilted her head. "It's an expression, means you got it from your family."
"Oh. Maybe. Can't say for sure since nobody in my family ever met him. But Flambeau was the best thief of the era. He only got caught a few times, and each one of those times was on purpose. Only one person ever knew the real Flambeau, and that was the former priest of this church."
"My predecessor, Father Brown," said a deep voice. Two pairs of blue eyes whipped toward the church to see a tall, dark-haired man wearing a cassock. He appeared to be about ten or so years older than Eliot. "I'm so sorry to intrude, but I couldn't help overhearing your conversation. Father Sullivan." The priest extended a hand toward the pair.
"Eliot Spencer," Eliot accepted the offered hand. "This is my friend, Parker." The father's hand turned to Parker, which she shook awkwardly. Sullivan just gave her a warm smile.
"A pleasure to make your acquaintance. How is it you know of Hercule Flambeau, if I may ask?"
"He's my grandfather," answered Parker. She turned back to the grave and could feel Eliot's eyes on her. "I never met him, of course. He was in Europe most of the time. But he traveled all over the world, and one time while he was in America, he met and knocked up my grandma."
"Parker," Eliot growled, reaching up to pinch the bridge of his nose. "Tact."
"It's quite alright," Father Sullivan chuckled. "I hear much worse things in the confessional, I assure you."
"My grandma never saw him again, at least not according to my dad's old journal. But somehow Grandma learned his real name before he left. I did research a few years ago and found out where he was buried. Never got a chance to come see him until now. Is he really buried here?"
"Yes, he is," the father answered. "His was the last funeral Father Brown officiated before he passed away. Which is understandable, since Father Brown officiated his first funeral. He never did quite explain why the man had two, but I assumed he had his reasons."
Both thieves nodded. "They were good reasons," Parker confirmed.
"If you're not busy, would you like to join me for a cup of tea? I was just on my way to make some."
"Sure, if it's not an inconvenience," Eliot accepted. "Parker?"
"Sure," the young woman agreed as the trio began their trek toward the parsonage. "What kind of tea do you make? Eliot makes all kinds of teas that I don't know how to pronounce. He says they're different, but they all taste the same to me. Probably because I add so much sugar."
The priest let out a hearty laugh as Eliot jabbed Parker none too gently in the ribs and received one in return. "My preference is Earl Grey, but I also have an assortment of ordinary black teas."
"Why is it called Earl Grey? Is it actually gray in color, or is it named after a man named Earl? I knew a man named Earl a long time ago, but he didn't like tea. At least I don't think he did. I only ever saw him drink coffee."
"Your running commentary is quite entertaining, Miss Parker," Sullivan chuckled. As they walked, Father Sullivan patiently explained to Parker the history of Earl Grey tea, interspersed with comments from Eliot.
A pleasant tea was had by the thieves and the priest. They were all amused to learn of the history of Kembleford and how the past connected to the present. Parker nearly fell out of her chair when Sullivan told them that Eliot's contact, Graham Carter, was the son of Sidney Carter, notorious thief and close friend to none other than Sullivan's predecessor, Father Brown.
"My father told me so many stories about Sid Carter," Sullivan reminisced. "About what a menace he was the entire time he was the head police inspector here, but how he could also be very helpful when called upon. Although the last part was always admitted very grudgingly."
"It's amazing what a small world we live in," said Eliot, his eyes drifting toward the young woman beside him.
"It really is. Oh, blast I've completely lost track of the time." Sullivan looked down at his watch in dismay. "I forgot all about the WI meeting scheduled for this evening. If I don't get to hurrying, Abigail will give me an earful, the end of which I'll never hear."
"We'll get outa your hair then, Father." Eliot stood from the table, Parker doing the same while snagging one last cookie, and offered a hand to the father. "It's been a pleasure getting to know you."
"And the both of you as well. I do hope you can make more trips to Kembleford in the future. Perhaps attend a service or two."
"I'm sure we'll find a way to do just that," Eliot assured the older man, giving him a genuine smile. "Come on, Parker, let's get outa here." Taking her by the elbow, Eliot led Parker back outside, where they offered a final parting to Father Sullivan. "I wasn't expecting to learn so much about Kembleford," Eliot confessed as they strolled through the cemetery again.
"Neither was I. I just wanted to visit my grandfather. But I got to do that and have tea and cookies with a priest. I've never had tea with a priest before."
"I have, but it wasn't nearly this friendly." The pair stopped walking when they reached Flambeau's grave once more. Eliot's arm wrapped around Parker's shoulders, lightly pulling her to him. "You know, Parker, I'm real proud'a ya for being open about your grandfather."
"You were open to us about Moreau," Parker shrugged. Her eyes flicked toward the man next to her and back to the grave.
"He the reason you only go by Parker?"
"Sort of. I initially started going by Parker because I don't like my full name. That was before I knew Flambeau was my grandfather. But when I found out, I thought it was cool that I had something in common with him, so I kept using it."
Eliot's only response was an understanding hum.
"But don't tell anybody else about this," she requested after a few moments. "I only told you because you found me here. Not that I don't trust you or anything, but I just don't tell people stuff like this. About me. So don't say anything."
"Don't worry, Parker. Your secret's safe with me." They fell into a companionable silence again, letting themselves be surrounded by the sounds of the English countryside. "I meant what I said to Father Sullivan about coming back. Anytime you want to come visit, I can come with you if you want me to."
"I think I'd like that." The pair shared a smile before finally bidding goodbye to Hercule Flambeau's grave and together, they left the church.
A/N: Thank you so much for reading! I know it's a bit short and a little on the drabbly side, but I hope you enjoyed it nevertheless. Please review and let me know what you think! Have a blessed day!