Title: Watch over you

Author Note: Took a break from A Dangerous Man to bring to you this little work. I like making Eliot suffer, even if it's a little bit. Please review!

Gauze pads, tape and a suture kit are spread out on the mahogany desk already when the sounds of argument reach his hearing. Eliot is just returning from the kitchen nook, carrying with him a bowl of hot water and several towels.

"Listen, if you put me down, I'll be fine!" Parker snarls at Hardison and Nate who are carrying the lithe blond while Sophie keeps pressure on the bleeding wound on Parker's lower leg.

"Eliot, where do you want her?" Nate calls and the specialist quickly indicates his office. Hardison and Nate seem to be grateful to put the struggling woman down on the couch. Sophie keeps a hand clutched to the wound, her face pale as she looks at the blood coating her long fingers, now crusting in some places. Eliot quickly moves in and all but shoves the Grifter away, taking over the scene and pulling back the field dressing he had applied. Parker hisses and makes to hit him when his blue eyes shoot up and glare at her, plainly speaking 'you hit me, I'm knocking your ass out'. Parker settles back, still arguing with the others while Eliot studies the area. A long gash on Parker's lower leg still oozes blood, the edges jagged and bruised.

"Nice job." Eliot indicates the wound with a nod of his head and Parker gives him a tight, sardonic smile

"Of course, when I get attacked by my own wire I do it right." She quips back and jumps when Eliot places the wash clothe over the top of the injury, patting it gently to withdraw any debris that might be in the injury. Finally satisfied the long haired specialist stands and gets the suture kit from the desk and puts on his glasses. The others are all staked out in his office, sitting or lounging on various pieces of furniture as they watch Eliot work. Nate knows the true extent of Eliot's knowledge when it comes to patching people up, having been taken care of after the job in Juan.

"Parker hold still." He growls as Parker squirms, her blue eyes narrowing

"You going to stab me with that." She argues and tries to lash out with her other leg but Eliot catching it and snarls at her.

"Listen, if I don't stitch it you're going to end up with an infection. Once that happens their going to chop off your leg, I'd like to see you jump off buildings and steal painting as a peg leg." Parker seems to consider this and reaches out to Sophie in a moment of childish need and grips the Grifter's hand.

"Do it." She says, closing her eyes tightly as Eliot begins to stitch the injury closed, his hands steady as the puts row after row of neat, even stitches into the thief's leg. Nate and Hardison both marvel at the usually high strung and always active man's patience and diligence. Finally, a half hour after Parker was brought in, a whole hour and a half since the accident Parker's leg is enclosed in a tight wrap of gauze and tape and the young woman is sleeping off the mild pain killer on the couch in Sophie's office. Eliot is cleaning up his office with Hardison's help. All bloody items were placed in a trash bag and sealed tightly while Eliot replaces the vast medical supplies back into his first aid bag.

"Hey man, how'd you know what to do when she first got hurt? I mean that field dressing was sweet man." Haridosn remarks and Eliot turns to look at the man before shrugging

"I've had a lot of practice. This too, sewing people up and stuff." He just shrugs again before heading out into the office and for the kitchen area.

The job had gone sour and now, the group of thieves were running from the scene of the accident that might have just killed their mark. Eliot, Parker and Hardison were all pulling ahead of Nate and Sophie, their feet enclosed in practical footwear while the other two were struggling. Sophie's rapid clicks of her heels echo off the stone walls of the back ally and the group is almost in the clear when a cry and a thud forces them to stop. Sophie is sprawled on the ground, her nice clothes covered with grime. Eliot turns back quickly and trots over to where the Grifter is sitting up, raking his eyes over her. Finding skinned knees he hauls the woman to her feet but as Sophie tries to step foreword she gives a sharp cry and puts all her weight into Eliot's shoulder. Nate comes over quickly, suddenly scared for the European woman.

"Take her." Eliot directs, giving the woman to Nate as he crouches down and runs a hand over the woman's ankles, finding her left joint hot to the touch and rapidly swelling.

"You either twisted it or sprained it." He says, standing once more, aware of Hardison's shout about needing to get out of here. Sophie's eyes close briefly and the woman tries to stand on her own but nearly falls to her face again. Eliot rolls his eyes and with ease scoops the woman up and holds her close. Nate only gapes as Eliot glares at him

"Get on ahead of us, get the car and meet us at the intersection of Jones and Hera." He orders and takes off, his gait a bit slower but determination lining his face. Nate nods and heads out with the others and soon arrive at the designated meeting spot. Eliot gently sets Sophie down in the seat and jumps into the back, his chest heaving and muscles shaking from carrying the woman.

At the office Hardison and Nate work together to get Sophie into the office, her ankle now swollen and turning a sickly black and purple. Sophie curses like a sailor, the words seemingly making Nate's ears burn and Hardison looks distinctly worried. Setting the woman down in one of the chairs in the conference room Parker pulls up close and offers her hand

"Just in case he needs to stitch something." She smiles childishly and Nate gives a snort, shaking his head. Eliot arrives, carrying the first aid bag and unzips it, producing several items before taking out a cold compress and slamming it against the table.

"Put this on, wrap it around the anklebone." He instructs as he digs around in the bag, hands searching for something. With a triumphant noise Eliot pulls out a salve and two rolls of gauze.

"Hardison I'm going to need a wet cloth to wipe my hands off on." He says and the hacker ambles away as Eliot uncaps the salve and dips his fingers into it, spreading the near opaque ointment onto the gauze, hissing slightly. Once the salve is liberally spread he kneels down and peels back the ice pack.

"Can you move it side to side?" he asks and Sophie bites her lip, attempting at moving the swollen ankle. It doesn't go very far and Eliot nods.

"Up and down." He instructs and Sophie moves it slowly, a wince coming to her face. Eliot pats her knee and wraps the salve coated gauze around the ankle before looking around, frowning. Nate steps foreword quickly and produces the tape the man was looking for. With a nod Eliot accepts the tape and makes quick work of securing the gauze before standing again, fingers splayed wide at the ointment on his fingers. Hardison returns then and hands him the soaked cloth, Eliot accepts it greatly and wipes off his fingers.

"Okay, that salve will numb the pain a bit and draw out the swelling. I'm going to wrap it in an ACE but you have to stay off of it until I can get my hands on some crutches." He says and Parker suddenly perks up

"She can roll around in one of these chairs till then." Everyone seems to pause at the idea and Hardison come up with an idea

"I think the little pharmacy in ninth sells crutches." Eliot gives him a smile and hits his shoulder.

"Think you can get them and also get some Advil and Aleve, that will help with the swelling." He says and Hardison quickly heads to his office to get his keys. Turning around Eliot smiles at Sophie

"That's the best I can do darlin'." He states, drawl becoming more pronounced and the Grifter smiles

"That's all I can ask for. Thank you Eliot." He nods and repacks the bag before heading back to his office.

"Hardison?" His name was being called and slowly the hacker manages to open his eyes. The world is hazy and unfocused but it was there, he flinches back suddenly when I pair of shockingly blue eyes come into view, swimming like some kind of crazy Picasso painting.

"Easy, easy." The voice says calmly and suddenly the day's previous activities came back to the hacker.

"Oh damn…" he mutters, trying to put a hand to his head but his hand is captured by a calloused one.

"What's wrong with him?" Nate asks, coming into view. Hardison tries to respond but the words are getting jumbled in his head, making his tongue twist in knots. Thankfully Eliot responds for him and he leans back slowly.

"Pretty nasty concussion. Going to have to watch him, if you guys want to head out of here I can keep an eye on him." Eliot offers and Nate seems to hesitate for a moment before clapping a hand on the hacker's shoulder and then nodding to Eliot. Somewhere beyond what his eyes are willing to take in a door closes and Hardison slowly brings his eyes to focus on the long haired man.

"What happened?" he asks, the words slurring slightly and Hardison frowns, wondering why that is. Eliot gives a sigh and eases him back and Hardison lets him be eased till his head is on a soft pillow.

"Poplar's security got their hands on you, worked you over pretty good. Found you unconscious." Eliot explains and Hardison nods his head, wincing at the action.

"You were there…." He trails off, his eyes closing but Hardison can make out the soft words of apology from the other man. Reaching out a hand, Hardison blindly gropes for the man, latching into the other man's hard muscles forearm.

"No, no. You did good man… being all nice to keep me here and watch over me…. 'ou de's g-oo'd" he pats and allows himself to drop back into sleep.

This went on for most of the night, Hardison was abruptly woken by Eliot calling his name or prodding his shoulder. A serious of questions were demanded before he was allowed to drop off again. Hardison woke sometime in the afternoon on his own and looked about the office to find Eliot curled up on his side on the floor beside the couch, his long hair covering most of his face and arms clutched tight to his chest. Sighing the hacker relaxes back into the pillow behind his head and dozes.

~~~ Change of POV ~~~

"Eliot, let us help you." Nate orders as I walk stiffly back to my office. My shoulder is dislocated and my wrist sprained. The job went as planned, but the hired muscle that protected our mark was a bit more trouble than we first thought. Four beefy men, all probably weight lifters or something had come at me, using their sheer size and strength against me. I fought well in my opinion, brought down two of the muscle before getting trapped by the last two. One had seized my arm and threw me, effectively taking out my shoulder while the other used his pontoon boat sized feet to take out my ribs.

"No.. no. I'll be fine." I wave off, not realty wanting the others to witness me putting my shoulder back into place. My stomach rolls at the thought but I manage to keep it together and get to my office, slamming the door closed on the older man's face. Scanning my office I look for something to use, my fingers tingle ominously and I know that I'll need help. Sighing I open the door, finding Nate and Sophie arguing softly I wait till they notice me. Sophie turns quickly, her eyes filled with concern but I look at Nate.

"I am going to need some help." I tell him and the man nods. I head back into my office and wait, cradling my arm and cursing myself. Hardison and Nate enter the room and I nod at the door

"Close and lock it. The ladies don't need to be seeing this." I clarify at Sophie's outraged look. Parker peers into the room, her blue eyes shining

"Want me to hold you hand?" she asks and I give a slight chuckle, wincing at the splitting pain in my ribs.

"No, I'll be fine Parker." I state and Hardison gently sets the blond thief from the room and closes the door, locking it at the knob but also with the security chain before coming to stand beside Nate.

"Either of you done this before?" I ask, readjusting in the chair as Hardison rapidly shakes his head no. Nate is subdued and nods his head once, mouth pursed into a thin line.

"Okay. Hardison, you're going to need to pull my arm while Nate pushes it back into the socket." I explain and latch onto the desk with my good arm, the sprained wrist screaming at me. Hardison hesitates and I cock and eyebrow at him.

"What?" Hardison looks uncertain but finally asks

"Shouldn't you be standing?"

"Are you going to catch me when I pass out?" he makes no reply, his face suddenly going pale.

"Okay then." Nodding to Nate I brace myself and give a sharp cry as Hardison take hold of my arm. The hacker gives a strange noise before dropping my arm and backing away, apologizing rapidly.

"Hardison." I growl and the hacker comes back in, gripping my arm.

"On three?" Nate asks and I nod, licking my lips and bracing my body. Nate's soft countdown begins and I give a cry as Hardison pulls savagely on my arm and Nate pushes down on it. A loud crack and pop echo from my body, the scraping of the joint sends every nerve on end. My body is on fire and I can feel the world starting to whirl and blur, my thoughts becoming jumbled.

"Hardison catch him!" I hear Nate shout and I know no more.


A while later I come back to myself, my head pounding as I ease my eyes open. My office lights are dimmed and I'm covered with a blanket. I stay still, taking stock of my injuries and any bodily complaints. My shoulder is stiff but in place, my fingers no longer numb while my other wrist throbs savagely. Bringing the complaining appendage into view I note the blue and black brace and the sharp scent of the cooling ointment. My ribs are bandaged, the thick material making my skin itch.

"Awake finally?" I jerk, wincing as the sharp pains and look at the doorway, finding Nate and the others framing it. I lick my lips and nod as they move into the room, slowly coming to take up various places close to my couch.

"Who patched me up?" I ask, croaking the words out. Nate and Sophie share a look as Parker comes to kneel beside the couch, a smile playing at her lips

" We all did. You patched us up so many times we figured we owed you." She explains and readjusts the blanket over my chest before smiling once more and moving away. Hardison comes up and laughs

"Man you made me scream like a girl when you passed out." He says and I try not to laugh but end up giving into a chuckle. Nate reaches out with his hand and takes my own, squeezing it silently before letting it go, a silent understanding passing between us. Sophie leans in and runs a hand through my hair once, speaking softly

"Rest Eliot, we're all here to keep and eye on you." And I believe her. Closing my eyes I allow myself to be drawn back into the arms of sleep, knowing that they would be there.


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