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Title: Something Wonderful in You 2
Fandom: DC TV
Rating: PG
Word Count: 6580
Characters: Mick, Shawna, Mark, Hartley, Len
Summary: Bedknobs and Broomsticks inspired AU. Mick Rory was planning on going on a manhunt for a missing spell. Then he got saddled with three children evacuated from London.



Shawna could, in fact, teleport a car though it took all afternoon experimenting and practicing getting to that point and it took a lot out of her mentally to do so. Not to mention made her ravenous shortly afterward so Mick had made an extra batch of sandwiches specifically for Shawna to bring along. Thankfully, with the car, he didn't have to worry about carrying her or leaving her behind to recover. And all the experimenting built up Mick's resistance to teleporting side effects, eventually getting him to a point where it left his stomach roiling but the rest of him unafflicted.

As Mick suspected, the address to the college didn't actually exist, the only possible place the number referring to being an empty lot that had never been anything other than a place to park. Not too far away, though, was Portobello Road's famous street market. Mick just hoped the sellers were as shady as he thought.

He'd tried to keep the kids in the car but they refused to stay, even Shawna who was still wincing from an after-teleport hangover as Mick had come to call it. After a bit of back-and-forth, Mick caved, not having the patience to talk them around. "Fine. But both of you keep one hand on Hartley at all times and always make sure you can see me. Anyone tries to grab you, call for me. Don't try to be brave and fight them, just call for me. And no magic unless I tell you otherwise."

They looked at him with wide eyes. "Do you really think it's that bad? Our parents never seemed to worry."

Probably because they didn't know the kind of shit shady people got into like Mick did. "Dunno, but I don't want you chancing it."

In the end they agreed to Mick's terms, looking at the stalls while keeping within ten meters of Mick as he asked the sellers fairly innocuous questions. It took a while for someone to give up that 'Emelius Browne' was a pseudonym though after knowing that, Mick was able to use it as an in for more information. Emelius Browne was an actual person, one of the most revered conmen in Portobello Road before too many complaints had too many authorities keeping a close eye on him, forcing him to leave for less suspicious pastures. His name, however, was used as a moniker for others, passed like a title to the most clever and daring conman of the time. This particular Emelius Browne had been using the name for an unprecedented three years now when most had only been able to hang on to it for a few months before they came under investigation and had to give it up.

"You here to bust him?" Mick's current target asked. He'd been trying to pass off some shoddily gold-flaked mirrors as having come from the czar's palace when Mick stopped by.

Mick raised an eyebrow. "You look pretty eager for me to say yes."

"Man's smug, vain and thinks he knows everything. Plus he stiffed me almost half my cut on our last job for some minor mistake I made." He scowled. "He's been sitting comfy ever since he took the title and if taking the legs out from under him is the only payback I can get, so be it."

Mick hummed. "Man got a name?"

"Leonard Snart."

And, because Mick wasn't stupid, especially when his information came from a place of vengeance, he verified this information from a few other people including a likely place to spot him. Mick pulled up to the building and stopped the kids before they went for the car doors. "You're staying here," he told them sternly. When they tried to protest, he silenced it with a hard look. "This man has a reputation for being cold and vicious and there's no telling how he'll react to being confronted. I want you three here, where it's safe. I don't come back in an hour, get back to the cottage. If I can, I'll ring you up to let you know that I'm okay but if you haven't heard from me in two days, tell Mrs. Hobday- the lady that brought you to me -that I left one day and never came back. Most of 'em think I'm an irresponsible hermit, they won't question it."

"But Mick-"

"I'm not saying this 'cause I wanna get rid of you," he snapped, making the children shrink back a bit. "I'm doing it 'cause I don’t trust the guy not to shoot me so like hell I'm gonna let him near you three!" Reluctantly they nodded and Mick's expression softened. "Good. Mark."

"Yeah?"

"I know you brought your wand." The boy looked defiant but somewhat guilty. "Use it only if Shawna can't get you away fast enough, alright?"

"Okay."

He got out of the car, pausing long enough to say, "I plan on coming back." Then, with a final pat to the side door, headed inside.

~*~*~*~

The bookseller's cellar wasn't exactly Len's place of work, it wasn't even his most preferred, it was simply the place where any mail he'd get for his various scams ended up in so he tended to go there at random points once or multiple times a week, trying to be as unpredictable about it as he could. Though, on occasion- because some of his scams were more successful than he had intended -he also slept there, taking entire nights to respond depending on how long it had been since his last visit.

He'd just gotten into a grove in his work when a knock interrupted him. The bookseller- who also dabble in art forgery trafficking -called down from the top of the stairs, "You have a visitor."

"Regarding what business?"

"Something about magic."

Len paused, pen stopped mid-word. The Correspondence College of Witchcraft was started mostly as a lark, as a nod back to the original Browne's most joked about con. It was Len's least profitable con- not that he was expecting otherwise -that garnered the attention of young people wanting the thrill of dabbling in the occult. All the 'students' quickly gave up on the course except for one and some quiet part of Len he repeatedly tried to silence wondered if this person was actually successful. "Alright," he put his letters and notebook away, "send them down."

Heavy boots clomped down the stairs which looked more rickety than it actually was. His visitor was deliberately making their presence known, not trying disguise that it was a large man coming down. Quietly Len pulled open a drawer, making sure the small but powerful pistol within was in easy reach. He settled in his seat, hands visibly on top of his desk and waited as the man moved in front of him.

Len took a moment to drink the visitor in: rough hands, set shoulder, sharp eyes. The man had certainly been through some hard times, the kind that came with doing vicious criminal work and coming out the other side beaten but not broken. He was dressed like a country bumpkin with no tie on his collared shirt, or a jacket or a hat and his shirt one button passed decency undone showing off a nice swath of powerful muscles. In the back of his mind, Len entertained the idea of going up to the man and dragging his tongue up the valley between his pecs while drawling out, "Can I help you?"

"I'm here about your course on witchcraft."

Len's lips twitched slightly. "No refunds."

"Not here for that," he said gruffly, "I want that last spell."

"Why?"

He glowered. "'Cause I paid for the full course."

"What does it matter?" Len asked calmly though that quiet part of him was getting a little louder. "You can't care so much about getting your money's worth that you actually took the time to track me down, especially given you live so far away." The man's eyes widened slightly. "Yes, I know who you are. The only person that actually made it all the way to the end of the course. Or nearly." Len tilted his head slightly, studying him. "It wouldn't matter to you unless you actually managed to get any of them to work."

The man- Mick Rory, his memory supplied -growled. "You saying those spells are supposed to be frauds?" He was remarkably unsurprised despite the accusation.

"They're some gibberish out of an old book," he said flippantly before turning a cool gaze on Mick. "Are you saying they're not?"

"What's it going to take to get that last spell?"

"Proof that it actually matters."

"You mean proof I can do magic."

"Sure," Len said nonchalantly, pretending his heart wasn't pounding in his chest, "if you say so."

Mick lifted a fist and for a moment Len thought it was brazenly stupid show of aggression. After brief moment something in Mick's fist flickered, the skin between his fingers glowing. Then a tongue of flame licked out, and another, until fire began crawling over his knuckles like they were feeding off twigs. Mick abruptly unclenched his hand, the fire disappearing in a final wisp of light and brief curl of smoke. Mick's hand was untouched. Belatedly, Len remembered to close his jaw. "That good enough for you?"

Salvaging his dignity as best he could, Len said, "I think you and I should go somewhere a little more private for a talk."

~*~*~*~

Ironically, it was Len's sudden eagerness for discussion that made Mick wary, arguing out the terms of what was expected and going to happen during this 'private talk' before it actually happened: agreeing to go wasn't an agreement to whatever Len had planned, it would be non-aggressive on both their parts- no matter the outcome of the conversation, both parties would leave unharmed, etc, etc. As the negotiations went- Mick being very particular about wording -Len seemed to grow more pleased. Which was a first for Mick. Every time he tried pressing for specifications on deals with other criminals, they always got frustrated when they realized he wasn't as dumb as he looked. It made Mick more paranoid, certain he was missing something here.

"Did you want this all in writing?" Len asked.

He thought for a moment. "No. A piece of paper isn't going to make you more likely to keep your word, especially if you can just pull it off my body and destroy it afterward. And vice versa." Plenty of people along Portobello Road were certainly aware that Mick was looking for Len but those people were also various shades of criminals themselves and unlikely to bat an eye if Mick's body turned up dead somewhere without explanation.

The place Len preferred to conduct personal business wasn't far but he agreed to take Mick's car. Not that Mick would've given him much of a choice since abandoning it and its contents was not on the table. Upon their approach, three little faces popped up from the backseat. "Finally! You were gone forever!"

"It was, like, half an hour," Mick grumbled back. In the reflection of the window, he could see that Len had gone still, eyes widening. "I left the windows cracked."

"I'm hungry!" Shawna was on the verge on whining. "I had to take both Hartley and Mark to the bathroom and now I have a headache again!"

"You took 'em to the cottage?"

She glared, obviously unhappy with her current state of being. "Yeah. You made such a big deal about someone stealing us, you probably wouldn't like us wandering around, asking to use someone's toilet."

"Smart. I'm placing you in charge from now on."

Shawna beamed as Mark let out an indignant, "Hey!"

"Mick, Mick," once he had the man's attention, Hartley, hands just barely moving like it was the equivalent of a whisper, signed, "Who's that?"

"Right, yeah. Kids, Leonard Snart, guy I was looking for. Snart," Mick waved his hand blandly, "Wizard, Boo, Piper."

"Hello," Len said slowly, obvious still uncertain what to make of this sudden turn. "This certainly explains your insistent use of 'party' during negotiations," he said sideways to Mick.

"What about food?' Mark asked, ignoring Len. "We ate the last of the snacks ages ago."

"Snart- place we're going, it have food?"

"It has a working kitchen. Supposedly. Never actually used it."

Mick gave him a dry look. "Bet that means you don't have any food, either."

He shrugged, getting into the passenger's seat. "There's places to pick some up on the way." When Mick took his place in the driver's side, Len drawled, "I hadn't realized you were in the family way."

Mick snorted. "Refugees. I'm taking care of them for now."

"If I remember your address correctly, aren't you down by the coast? Good job bringing them back to blitzkrieg territory, I suppose."

"Would it have been better if he left the three of us on our own?" Shawna asked pointedly.

"I coulda took care of us!" Mark insisted.

Len's eyes flickered up to look at the three children in the rearview mirror. "I didn't say I don't approve of the decision. Those are absolutely the faces of trouble."

The kids spluttered and Mick snorted, putting the car into gear.

Len's house was big. Not as big as Hartley's parents' house, but easily twice the size of Mick's cottage. "This is your house?" Mark asked suspiciously.

"I'm the only one laying claim to it," Len said smoothly.

"What does that mean? Do you rent?"

"Means I live here."

At the continued confusion beginning to turn into frustration on Mark's face, Mick told him, "Guy like this usually don't mean exactly what he says."

With that nugget of wisdom, both Mark and Shawna mulled back over Len's words. "Then," Mark said slowly, "this is someone else's house and you're staying here without them knowing?"

Len smirked, almost proud. "Sharp kid."

"Why don't the people that own it live here?" Asked Shawna.

Len's smirk grew. "Good question. Answer's over there, behind the cordoned area."

The answer was an unexploded bomb partially buried in the yard. The kids automatically ducked behind Mick. "What the hell, Snart?" His own arms instinctively went back, like they'd protect his little huddle of minors if the bomb went off.

"No one comes around because they're afraid it might decide to explode, leaving me free reign of a rather nice house and all the riches within." He said mildly, continuing up the path and inside. “And if it does decide to explode, either I'm not here and whatever of mine I keep inside I don't mind losing, or it explodes while I'm here and likely won't be in much shape to care." Mick shook his head at that logic but shuffled the kids inside.

By dint of ignoring Len's attempts to bring up whatever conversation he brought Mick for, Mick made dinner first. The kitchen was large, still mostly stocked with cooking utensils and a fairly good amount of non-perishable foods- the perishable ones Mick forced Len to throw out. Mick suspected he just tossed them down next to the bomb. But Len's scowl at being rebuffed disappeared after his first bite of Mick's cooking- a simple liver and onion dish with some added spices that had been left behind and sauteed squash and zucchini on the side.

"You're a man of surprising talents," Len said between mouthfuls. Mick just shrugged, pretending not to be secretly pleased.

Then Mick made Len wash the dishes as 'a good example for the kids'. Len surprisingly didn't argue. While he was busy with the dishes, Mick signed to the kids to keep their magic secret. Then he told them out loud, "Go explore, play, whatever kids do. We got some adult stuff to talk about."

"Do you really think this stuffy old place has anything fun in it?" Mark asked, wrinkling his nose.

"The hell would I know? Maybe they got something worth snagging. Doubt anyone's coming back to miss it."

"I'm sure this place has an attic and basement, who knows what you'll find there," Len announced, shutting off the faucet and drying his hands. "Not to mention secret cupboards."

Three little faces brightened at that. "Secret cupboards?"

"Big place like this? I wouldn't doubt it."

The kids ran off, yelling at each other about who'd be the first to find a secret place and what cool things they'd find- maybe more magic like they found in Mick's cottage. Mick lifted a dubious eyebrow at Len. "There really secret cupboards?"

"Absolutely."

"Nothing worthwhile in any of 'em, I'll bet. At least not anymore."

Len smirked, leading Mick out of the dining area and into the library where he'd apparently been living out of, a mattress dragged out by the desk and piled with pillows and blankets. The room had no windows so he wouldn't have to worry about anyone noticing the lights being on. "Didn't have anything worthwhile to begin with. Except for a couple exceptional bottles of wine but I'm afraid those have long been consumed." Len waved for Mick to sit in the ornate and not-that-comfortable looking sette while Len perched on a nearby desk. Mick slung himself lengthwise over the settee and- just as he thought -it was just as uncomfortable as it looked, even with the pillow propped against his back. "I'm going to lay everything out on the table: I was already aware magic existed."

Mick's eyebrows jumped up, his arms crossed over his chest tensing on reflex. "Oh?"

"I was hoping to find someone who could use magic but wasn't sure how to find them. Hence the correspondence course."

"Where did you get these spells?"

Len twisted around to dig into the bag resting on the desk next to him. "As a show of good faith." He pulled out a case, wood with a simple metal latch on the side, that Len tossed to Mick.

Opening the case, Mick sucked in a breath. The Spells of Astoroth. Mick's feet hit the floor, sitting upright as he stared at the cover. "Where did you get this?"

"You're familiar with it?" Len asked, intrigued.

"Guy that wrote it- Astoroth -basically created the transmutation school of magic. Or was the first one to put the spells all in one book. My mentor had been looking for a copy for decades." Mick flipped through the book even though he'd gotten all the spells through the mail. All except... he flipped to the front, pleasantly surprised to find there was, indeed, a table of contents, found what he wanted and flipped all the way to the back-

-where the last chapter of the book was missing. He glared up at Len as if the man had personally done it to piss Mick off.

"That would be why I closed the course," Len said with a wry tilt to his lips. "Fortunately, the location of the rest of the book ties into what I'd like your help with."

"Oh?" Mick asked suspiciously.

"You see, the reason why I know about magic is because my little sister can use it. She's young, not too much older than your own. Her mother was a witch- wizard, whatever you call yourselves -and she'd left all her magical items for my sister- Lisa -to learn from when she was old enough." Len's expression went stormy, voice getting harder. "Our father, however, kept it locked away. Every few days he'd pester Lisa, see if she started showing any magical abilities and threatened her whenever none appeared." He gripped at his upper arm, a subconscious move, thumb tracing a deliberate path and Mick's eyes narrowed. "But when she did," he laughed, a barked sound that was part bitter and part proud, "she could turn things to gold."

Mick's jaw dropped. "She could transmute gold without any kind of training? Holy shit!"

"Certainly made our father happy. For all of a month." Len's mouth was back to a hard, thin line. "I tried helping her learn from some of her mother's other books, but that," he nodded to The Spells of Astoroth, "was the only one she could make work."

"Other books must've been from a different school," Mick said, remembering Miss Price's lessons. "Everyone's got a kind of affinity to certain schools. They're the ones that come easiest to a person."

"That would make hers transumation? What's yours?"

"Enchantment, mostly. Or at least that's what I've studied." Mick raised his hand, letting fire play along his knuckles again. "Evocation seems to come naturally to me. Or at least this does. Never got a chance to really learn more."

Len's brow furrowed. "But you managed to make the spells from the book work, right?"

"Sort of. I figured out how to turn them into enchantments."

"Which means what?"

"Which means I can store magic into an object to be used later. Kinda like, I dunno, a landmine."

That made Len's eyes dance, a vicious smirk playing on his lips. "You have no idea how much I'd like that analogy to be true."

Mick frowned, affronted. "I could do that!" Most likely. He never tried but the possibility was there. "Anyway, your story."

"Well, Lewis- our father -decided he didn't want Lisa wasting her time learning other things, just to keep making him gold. A few more months go by, I kept trying to teach her more in secret, and Lewis started getting mad because she can't seem to turn anything larger than a pebble into gold. So he locked her up, basically charging her bits of gold to be let out, to have her toys, to see me. I tried to sneak her out. Had plans to get us out of London, all the way up to Wales before he'd realize we were gone. He caught me." Len's voice got tight and he stroked that path on his arm harder. "Beat me half to death, threatened to shoot me if Lisa didn't make him more gold. That part of the book was all I managed to leave with."

"How long ago was this?" Mick asked, his horror automatically transforming into rage.

"Three years." Seeming to realize what he was doing, Len pulled his hand away, curling it over the edge of the desk instead. "I bribed some of the guards Lewis hired to smuggle letters to and from her and my previous attempts to break her out failed. Seems he managed to get his own wizard to put some protections up."

Mick frowned. "I never done anything more than a basic dispel." He thought hard. "I mean I could always try, I'm pretty good at enchantments," not that he really had any comparison, "but it depends on how complicated it is..." Mick trailed off, realizing Len was staring at him. "What?"

"You're talking like you're planning on helping me," Len said lightly, trying to hide the note of hope in his voice.

"We're going to be making a written contract about what we're both doing and getting out of this," Mick said firmly, "but there's no way in hell I'm letting that asshole make some kid's life more of a living hell than he already has." Worst comes to worst, he could try burning his way around the protections.

Len’s fingers were twitching. “Contract before we discuss the plan.”

Mick’s eyes narrowed. “After.”

“Before.”

They spent minutes arguing before deciding that Mick would agree to listen to Len’s ideas without committing to do any of them while also agreeing he wouldn't either warn anyone of the plan or go behind Len’s back to do it himself. As Len began to pull out a set of blueprints from his bag, he asked Mick, “Usually when I’m planning a job firmly in someone else’s profession, they’re already brimming with suggestions and questions.”

“You had three years to plan this.” Mick said. “No point wasting my time butting in when you have a better idea of what we’re getting into or when I don’t know what any of the weak points to your plan is.”

The other man snorted. “If only that logic were more common.”

Turned out Len didn’t have a plan. He had damn near a dozen of them. And almost all of them were pretty solid. Not only did he have plans, he’d taken note of any markings he saw around magical areas, a list of guards- who was allowed where and when, anything that might have been wards. Looking at the amount of detail, it was obvious that Len was anal, paranoid or just got very bored working on this plan for three years. Or perhaps a combination of the three, Mick would not disregard that possibility.

Mick leaned in, mentally picking out which plans were the strongest and how he could tailor them to his own abilities when Len unceremoniously pulled the papers away. “Hey!”

“Are you in?” Len asked, a playful smirk ghosting on his lips that was so unfairly attractive Mick nearly kissed him. “Or not?”

“You certainly enjoy being difficult, don’t you?” Mick asked, scowling.

“Considering the amount of information I normally share with people that haven’t agreed to join my crew is ‘zero’, I think I’m due an answer on commitment before indulging you further.”

He scowled harder. “Fine, we’ll do this stupid contract.”

They argued some more, being even more detailed and nitpicky over it. Mick could have sworn Len was enjoying every time Mick forced him to concede a point. The fact he seemed to be enjoying the process at all threw Mick a bit. If it weren’t for how badly he’d been burned (metaphorically) before and Miss Price drilling the importance of exact words in deals into his head, Mick wouldn’t have bothered. Though he had to admit- making deals, the more cutthroat the better, was more fun than he would have guessed when he'd been younger. He couldn’t help but enjoy it as much as Len was.

When Mick was finally allowed to study the plans, he quickly found himself realizing that he was most likely going to have to enlist the kids’ help. Shawna’s definitely but the other two wouldn’t let her do this without them, Mick would bet. He asked Len a flurry of questions: what was the building made of, did he see the magic in action, how did the protective gear react, how long did he estimate the glyphs were there, and a dozen or so more besides. Len answered to the best of his ability and the ones he couldn’t, he wrote down so he could find out.

“Anything else?” Len asked.

“Can you get photos of the interior?”

“Some parts. Which areas are you looking for?”

Mick traced his finger along the blueprint. Sending Len in to take photos could be risky but Mick only needed them for the outer halls, places that would make for a good distraction. Len studied the indicated areas thoughtfully, committing them to memory. When he looked up at Mick, his eyes were sharp and intense. “You have an idea?”

“Yeah.”

"Just like I thought, you have all the makings of being exactly my type."

Mick froze, uncertain if he'd heard or understood that correctly. Len straightened and walked over and something about him changing all at once. From the moment he first laid eyes on him, Mick had thought Len was the most gorgeous man- quite possibly person -Mick had ever seen but now... now there was something undeniable about him. Something sensual that make Mick want to fall to his knees and worship Len in any way possible. He licked his lips, swallowed hard and held tight to the edge of the desk in case he tried something stupid like reaching out. Especially when Len stopped mere inches away.

Mick's breathing stuttered when Len reached out, fingertips skimming over the skin left bare by Mick's unbuttoned shirt, tracing over it lightly before flattening out over Mick's chest, hand half beneath the shirt. Len's eyes were dark, like he'd been thinking about doing that for a while. He purred in approval and Mick realized he was about to have a very visible problem shortly.

It took two tries to unstick his words long enough to say, "You're taking a helluva gamble." His voice was low and rough and he was rewarded by Len biting his lower lip briefly.

"You're not doing anything to stop me," Len replied, looking Mick in the eyes while his hand boldly trailed down to the first properly done button. "Looks to me like my gamble is paying off."

Mick groaned, leaning back a bit more, spreading out his legs so Len could slot himself between them until the two were pressed together. He felt Len's sigh of pleasure across his collarbones and Mick pried his hands off the desk, instead using them to pull Len insistently closer. "Seems like a win-win to me."

~*~*~*~

To their excitement the kids had found a couple of hidden cupboards. To their disappointment they were essentially just that- cupboard space, just big enough to hold built-in shelves and mundane things like linen or replacement lightbulbs. The attic, however, was a huge storage area filled with paintings and furniture and old clothes and the three of them spent at least an hour dressing up and playing games amongst it all.

After a while, though, when the fun was starting to wind down and they’d gotten tired enough to realize they were all covered in dust and cobwebs and were in dire needs of baths, they tromped their way downstairs. They stopped at the dinning room where Mick and the children brought their bags in from the car, pulling out sleep clothes and some new ones to change into tomorrow.

“What do you think they’re talking about?” Hartley asked. “Do you think they’re still talking?”

“Whenever your dad talks to someone about business, that always takes forever,” Mark reminded. “But the guy knows Mick can do magic, right? So it probably has to do with that.”

“Yeah, but what?”

“Stealing stuff, I guess. Mick is a thief.”

Shawna looked uncomfortable at the thought. It was one thing to live with someone that stole in the past but something else when they’re actively about to steal something. “He could be doing something else,” she protested weakly.

“He could be beating someone up.”

“Mark!”

“What?” He turned to walk backwards so he could match Shawna’s glare. “Mick is huge! I bet he could beat up anyone at Hartley’s house- even the guy that brings the ice!”

“Just because Mick is big doesn’t mean all he can do is fight!”

“Why else would that guy want him for?”

Shawna began to tick off her fingers, “He takes good care of his garden, he can cook, he can do lots with magic that doesn’t have to do with stealing- he made it so Hartley could hear!”

“Mick is great,” Hartley said, scolding the older boy with a glare, “he doesn’t need to hurt people!”

Mark rolled his eyes, he could see the door to the library was open a crack. “I’m not saying he isn’t, I’m just saying most people would look at him and think-”

Shawna and Hartley barely got to the door before they ran into Mark's back as he quickly backpedaled, pulling the door closed on all of them. "Ow!" Hartley cried, rubbing his face. "What was that for?"

Mark looked like he was grossed out, face gone bright red. "Let's go find a bath and bed ourselves. Mick can find us in the morning."

"Why? Were they still talking about boring adult stuff?"

Mark turned and herded the other two away- practically shoving. "Yeah, really boring adult stuff."

~*~*~*~

Len figured he'd show remarkable restraint, waiting a good ten or so minutes before saying, "Your little ones are glaring at me."

Mick paused long enough in his breakfast making to glance over his shoulder. "So they are."

Len remained calmly sitting under the disapproving scrutiny of the three kids. "Why are they glaring at me?"

"Should probably try asking them."

As Len opened his mouth to ask, Hartley beat him to it by saying, "You're not allowed to hurt Mick!"

That got everyone, including Mark and Shawna, to look at the youngest in surprise. "What do you mean? How did I hurt Mick?"

"He's got bruises! And he's walking weird!"

Mick roared with laughter while Len sat, resolutely pretending he wasn't turning bright red. The other two children went from surprised to confused until Shawna blurted out, "Oh! You two had sex!" Len's composure cracked enough he had to close his eyes and wished he was somewhere else. He took some measure of satisfaction at the fact Mick had choked on a guffaw and was now doubled over coughing.

He took further satisfaction when, realizing what had just been said, Mark and Shawna's faces scrunched up as they said, "Ewwwww!"

"Well, now that that's out in the open," Len rolled his eyes, trying to maintain his dignity. "Why were you two glaring? You obviously figured out I hadn't hurt Mick." They continued to glare, jaws resolutely shut. He studied them for a moment before smirking, long and slow. "Are you jealous? Is that it?" To his delighted schadenfreude, they began to turn slightly pink. "You are! That's just adorable."

"What would they be jealous about?" Mick asked, folding over a giant omelet before sliding it onto an equally giant plate. He placed it in the center of the table, along with a bowl of halved plum tomatoes and another of home fries. At Mick's obliviousness, the two turned distinctly red and Len's smirk grew into a full-on grin.

"And you're naive about it- that's even more adorable!" Len said, happily torturing Shawna and Mark while serving himself breakfast. Mick and Hartley shared mutually confused looks. If he were within range, Len was certain one of the two kids would be attempting to kick him into silence. "They're jealous because they think I'm going to take up all your attention now," he said, popping a tomato into his mouth.

"What, just because we had sex?" Mick asked, ignoring the reflexive faces the two pulled again. "You were good but not that good."

"A palpable strike," Len chided. "Fortunately, I prefer not having people fixated on me so it works out for the best."

"Wait," Shawna looked between the two, "but I thought you're only supposed to have sex with people you love."

Len scoffed. "Typical excuse given to children to keep them from experimenting too young. You can have sex with whoever you want so long as you want it and aren't pressured or forced into it but that's a completely different talk."

"You think the two of us fell in love within a day of meeting each other?" Mick asked incredulously.

"Well... it happens in stories."

"Stories that end in 'happily ever after', maybe. But that's not how life works."

"Then why did you have sex?" Mark asked.

"Because he's gorgeous and I hadn't gotten any in a damn long time."

Len nearly snorted up his coffee in laughter. "You don't have much in the way of shame, do you?"

"You want I should feed 'em some lies about birds and bees and how I think you're my Prince Charming come to sweep me off my feet?" Mick snorted, cutting out a serving of omelet for Hartley and then himself. "They gotta learn at some point, might as well be when they ask."

"Was that why you had..." Hartley's face scrunched up as he sounded out the new word carefully, "sex with Mick?"

"He's attractive, has certain qualities I like and I find him rather interesting." Len said.

"Because he can do magic?"

"It helps, but it's not the only reason."

"Had people interested in me only for the magic," Mick said gruffly, obviously a somewhat tender point, "and I'm not too eager to be used like that again."

"I was straightforward with what I have planned for your abilities," Len countered, idly spearing a potato, "but I don't sleep with people just because they're useful." At the intrigued lift of Mick's eyebrows, Len's expression softened to a sultry smile. "Like I said, you've got all the makings of being my type."

Mick swallowed, eyes darkening slightly. "Good to know," he said gruffly.

Hartley, oblivious to the flirting going on directly in front of him, asked, “What are you wanting Mick to do for you?”

“A heist,” Len said easily. Mark shot Shawna a smug look while Shawna looked vaguely disappointed.

“What are you stealing?” Mark asked.

Before Len could answer, Mick said, “His sister.” Everyone stopped to stare at Mick- bar Len who shot him a disapproving look. “What? We’re going to need their help, they might as well know what’s going on.”

The children brightened, “We’re going to help?” while Len’s disapproval intensified to a scowl, “Why would we bring children into this?”

“Because they can also use magic.”

“You said not to let him know!” Shawna protested.

“Now that I know what he wants,” Mick said, “and we have a contract written out protecting you three after the heist, it’s okay.”

“I knew you were looking out for the kids when we were writing it up,” Len said over his mug, “but not because they can do magic.” He gave Mick an impressed look. “You certainly know how to drive a bargain.”

Mick shrugged like it was no big deal but secretly he was proud to have pulled that off on someone as sharp as Len was proving to be. “They’re just going to set up the distraction while we do the actual work. Boo, I need you to go back to my workshop and bring me my notes. They’re in a folder in the desk drawer.”

“Sure thing, Mick!” Then, because everyone in Mick’s life seemed to love being dramatic, Shawna disappeared. Len’s fork clattered to the table and he jumped out of his chair, “Whu,” he looked around, seemingly more confused at the others’ lack of response than to a little girl vanishing. Shawna reappeared not a minute later. “Here you go!”

Mick took the folder offered to him. “Coulda waited until after breakfast,” he rebuked mildly.

“I’m pretty much done anyway.”

“Me, too.” Mark pushed his plate away, mimicked by Hartley. “When is the heist going to happen?”

“Not for a couple days,” Mick said.

Days?” Mark flopped in his seat. “This place is so boring!”

“I need to do some research,” Mick tapped the folder by his elbow, “see what kind of distraction we can make.” He got a sly look on his face, “Snart can entertain you while I read up.”

The four eyed each other distrustfully. “If that’s what it takes to get this thing rolling,” Len said as magnanimously as someone about to step before a firing squad, “so be it.”

Mick refilled his coffee and hid his grin behind the mug. “Thanks, partner.”
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