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dipping my toes in a small fic

I think I might just try some smaller, less demanding fics for a little while. I don't think I'm ready for anything too big again soon. This little dynamic has been playing in the back of my head for some time – ever since I saw the scene that this takes place in, in fact, during The Second David Job. And especially since Zanzibar. Just me going, "I wonder what that is...?"

Title: lit up by the skylight
Ficverse: Leverage
Series: Silver and Gold
Rating: Gen / PG-13
Length: 500 ish
Characters: Sterling, Maggie
Summary: Watching her, he remembered the first time she became Maggie.
Notes: Every now and then, I wonder exactly what kind of relationship Sterling and Maggie have. I don't think the show implies anything at all, really, but they've got a long acquaintance, and they've clearly worked together enough to be somewhat comfortable with one another. So this is me just playing with that a little.
Links to the other installments are at the end.
Disclaimers: Not mine.
Spoilers: set during The Second David Job, so up to there.
Concrit: go for it

Watching her, he remembered the first time she became Maggie. Not a brilliant, rigidly honest art expert, with that striking golden grace which he’d always known better than be distracted by. Not a consultant for IYS, not Nate Ford’s wife, but Maggie.

It had been a small moment, in cosmic terms, but he’d felt it. She hadn’t, he knew, and he felt the imbalance of that, too. Didn’t like it. But couldn’t help it. She’d been consulting on one of his cases, and it had been pleasant and professional, nothing out of place. Then she’d received a phone call – this was when their boy was just getting sick – and for just a second, while she listened to whoever was on the other end, she’d turned a helpless, stricken look on him.

That was all. She didn’t say anything; their meeting was concluded properly and even productively. As far as he could tell, she didn’t remember she’d looked at him at all. But for that instant, he’d seen Maggie. Just Maggie. Not the beautiful, poised, intelligent careerperson. Simply a woman. Alone, strong, and in pain.

And he couldn’t forget.

He tried not to think about it. There was no point in thinking about it. She wasn’t someone he should be thinking about; these days, she was Ms Collins, successful and highly sought after in her field. That was all he needed to see. All he should let himself see.

And yet, every now and then, he’d find himself watching her. Like this. Leaning on the railing of the mezzanine, absorbed by the woman, luminous below the gallery’s excellent skylights. He could still see her; see below her cool demeanor and crisply given directions; below her subversive intent as she played out her part in Nate’s plan to steal the two Davids. Just watching her, when his mind should be on other things; on the job, on tracking and thwarting Nate and his team – and her.

She caught sight of him watching her, and he waved ironically. The expression on her face as she turned away – he didn’t know what Nate had told her to get her in on this, but anything even resembling the truth would be more than enough. He didn’t blame her. If it were only Ian Blackpoole they were going after, he’d be inclined to stand aside and let them have at it, but it wasn’t; it was the company, and his own project, his promotion, his reputation, his job.

It was a shame she’d been pulled into this. He would have preferred she be spared more heartache, but she was a grown woman capable of making her own choices, and taking the consequences. He’d do what he could to protect her from the severity of them, unlike the rest of that misbegotten collection of criminals, of course. Keep her from jail time, at least. But if it came down to it, he wasn’t going to let any woman – even one as magnificent as Maggie – get in his way.

Silver and Gold series:
lit up by the skylightWatching her, he remembered the first time she became Maggie.
overture in the aftermathShe took a patient breath. “Jim, why did you send me flowers?”
a question of costIf he didn’t dial this time, he was a bloody coward.
onwards and upwardsHe raised an eyebrow at her in that way he had to know was so annoying, just in case she’d missed his point. “Now that that’s out of the way – what is it?”
this kind of liabilityShe’d started calling him James and so help him but he loved the way that sounded. He held onto that, the all-of one second of it, even as her expression changed when she noticed his.
concerns of contactHe’s free, currently not wanted. Make no contact.
measuring precautionSterling strode down the gallery’s familiar corridors, forcing himself not to break into a run.
hold and releaseSitting out on the balcony of James Sterling’s LA condo for the fourth day of being stashed away to keep her from being possibly abducted by some psychotic international crimelord Nate had openly declared war on, Maggie once again concluded that, all things considered, she was glad she hadn’t argued.
as neededIt was all wrong, everything was wrong, everything he was doing here, today, was wrong.
of twos and threesSterling opened the door of his condo and leaned against it. “Hi,” he said, in undisguised relief.
confessions“Hey,” Maggie said softly, with a welcoming smile so natural that he had to remind himself, again, that he was not coming home. He was just coming to collect his daughter. Blame it on jetlag.


( 2 speakses — have a speak )
May. 22nd, 2010 11:55 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow. There's so much meaning packed into a small space here - very powerful. It feels quite believable, that Sterling could feel this way about Maggie. Great work!
May. 23rd, 2010 05:14 am (UTC)
Sterling is even more of a blank slate, as a character, than the team is. Makes for a lot to play around with. :)
( 2 speakses — have a speak )

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