It was a dark and stormy summer night when Shawn decided to stop at a little bar somewhere in Kansas to take a break and get something to eat. Down the street was a quiet motel he had spotted where he could stay at to dry off, warm up, and get some actual sleep.
Despite its rural location, the bar had a decent sized crowd of vehicles gathered in the parking lot. Shawn parked his bike next to the sea of other motorcycles and tiredly made his way inside, shivering when his wet clothes made contact with the bars air conditioning. Shaking his head like a dog, he sent drops of water spraying through the air as he attempted to bring some life back to the hair that had been glued to his scalp the last couple of hours.
Several faces turned to look at his, some temporarily stopping their conversations or pool games before resuming their normal activities. Shawn had learned that even with his leather outfit and choice of vehicle, a lot of bikers didn’t immediately accept him. Whether that had to do with his age or general appearance he never really knew, but usually after spending a short time with them he was quickly liked and could make friends by the end of the night.
Tonight however, he was cold, wet and tired and just wanted to eat and maybe have a drink so he could go to sleep. For once he wasn’t in the mood for socializing so Shawn made a beeline for an open stool at the bar. After a short and only mildly flirty conversation with the hostess, an order had been placed and some sort of alcohol Shawn didn’t care to remember was sliding down his throat. He sighed as he left himself unwind from the hours of driving he had just endured. He still had a few more states to go to get to where he wanted to visit next.
His peace only lasted a few minutes when someone sat down in the stool next to him. Shawn only gave a half glance to the man with long brown hair wearing a black jacket with white stripes running down the arms. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the man signal the hostess. Sighing, Shawn lowered his head again and tried to ignore the rumblings that were growing in his stomach. Where was his food?
“Hi darlin’, I’ll take a beer.”
Shawn froze as his neighbor spoke to the hostess. He knew that voice, but from where? A smile grew across his face as the pieces came together finally. Turning in his seat, he addressed the former stranger, “Long day Eliot?”
Eliot jumped out of his chair in shock of hearing his real name so casually dropped. He put his fists up, expecting some kind of attack but quickly lowered them in exasperation as he scanned the face of the younger man. “Shawn?!”
“Hey cousin,” Shawn lifted his drink and gulped the last bit down, “long time no see!”
“What… What are you doing here?”
“I could ask you the same thing.”
Eliot grunted and sat back down on the stool and studied the relative in front of him. The kid had definitely grown up since the last time he had seen him. He never would of pegged Shawn for the biker type. Last he had heard he was joining the police academy right out of high school so that he could become a cop like his uncle.
“So… how long has it been?” Eliot watched as Shawn squinted for a moment and tilted his head slightly.
“Thanksgiving 1991, it was your senior year of high school. You and your dad came to our house for the week,” he gave a small smile as he recalled the memories, “That was a lot of fun.”
“Oh, right. Wow, I can’t believe it’s been almost ten years.” Eliot frowned as he remembered something else, “Hey, sorry about your parents Shawn.”
“Yeah.” he mumbled.
“We were all kind of surprised to be honest, I-”
Shawn’s eyes shot up in surprise and confusion, “Wait, really?”
“Yeah, I mean I didn’t see them all that much growing up but from my view they seemed so happy… I’m guessing that wasn’t really the case?”
Shawn bit his lip and shook his head. “Ah… not really.”
Eliot looked around as he tried to change the subject. “So, how did you end up in Kansas? I thought you were going to join the police academy so you could become a cop?”
“Well, you know, things change. I kind of abandoned that idea when Dad arrested me.”
Eliot’s jaw dropped as he stared at his cousin like he had just sprouted three heads. “Uncle Henry… arrested you? What did you do?”
Shawn’s expression darkened at the question. “I didn’t do anything. Well… not really. It was just a stupid thing with a girl and a car… he went too far.”
“Is that why you ran away?”
“I didn’t run away! I’m just living life on my own terms. The whole world to explore, open roads for endless miles, picking up jobs and skills where I can. You wouldn’t believe the things I’ve seen and done!”
Eliot smirked internally, if only Shawn knew the things he had seen and done. “It’s pretty obvious you’re trying to do and be the exact opposite of your father.”
Shawn narrowed his eyes at his cousin, “Okay, what’s with all of the heat on me? What about you? Did you really decide to join the army instead of running your dad’s shop?”
“Uh, yeah, actually. Right after graduation.”
“How did that go?”
“Not well,” Eliot sighed. “I guess neither of us are very popular with our fathers right now.”
Shawn scoffed, “Yeah, you could say that. So, Eliot: the great army man! Are you still in the service? What are you up to right now?”
“It’s a bit complicated but you could say I still am. I take on higher level contract jobs now.”
Shawn’s eyes danced at the mysterious tone that overtook the other man’s speech. “Oooh, that sounds interesting, tell me more!”
“Sorry, I can’t, but it’s mostly for your own good. In fact,” Eliot glanced around before lowering his tone, “I’m on a job right now.”
“Dude! That’s awesome! Hey, do you think you could maybe get me in on that? I lost my job in Virginia and I’m kind of low on cash-”
“Shawn! No! It’s not what you think, trust me. You’re in no way to get involved in this, alright? Do you hear me?”
Confusion and surprise flashed across Shawn face at the sudden serious and almost scary expression that overcame his cousin. “Uh, yeah, man. Sorry for asking?”
Eliot grunted before turning back to face the bar and take a few long sips from his beer.
Shawn’s eyes were torn from the man when the hostess finally delivered the food he had been waiting on. Deciding to drop the questions he had, Shawn focused on the greasy burger and fries that his stomach had been craving for. Together they sat in mildly awkward silence as they ate and drank and watched the television mounted in front of them.
As soon as Shawn had finished his food however, the awkwardness seemed to increase to a new level. He noticed that Eliot had finished his beer awhile ago and while his eyes were on the television, he didn’t seem to be watching it.
Shawn cleared his throat and tossed his napkin onto his plate. “It’s been great catching up with you Eliot but I’m beat so I’m going to head out.”
“Are you staying at that motel down the street?”
“Yeah,” he shivered as if remembering for the first time that he was still very much wet. “I need to dry off and get some sleep before heading back out on the road.”
Eliot nodded and seemed to drift off again for a moment before addressing him again, “You be safe out there Shawn. Okay?”
Shawn smiled and nodded, “Yeah man, you too.”
They shook hands and gave each other a final look before Shawn thew some cash on the bar and headed back out to the parking lot. The warm and humid air felt briefly nice to him now that the rain had stopped.
Mounting his bike, Shawn couldn’t help but pause as he thought about his somewhat strange encounter with his cousin. While he had been grateful to see Eliot, he couldn’t help but feel that there was definitely something off about him. He was definitely hiding something… But Shawn thought that as fun as it sounded, maybe he really shouldn’t interfere this time. Eliot had seemed almost protective the moment he had mentioned joining him. Sometimes things were best left undiscussed. Besides, Shawn smirked to himself, he knew he would see Eliot again one day, and next time he would get all the answers he wanted, whether Eliot gave them or not.
Author's Chapter Notes:
A/N: Believe it or not I have written several Leverage fics before but none of them were published because they were either lost or accidentally deleted. So, even though this is a crossfic, I'm excited for it be my first official published Leverage fic. Enjoy!
Chapter End Notes:
A/N: Please review if you can. I love the idea of Eliot and Shawn being cousins, it's one of my favorite headcannons of all time even though technically they mentioned the shows on another so they can't be in the same universe. But we pretend that never happened XD