Title: Black Eye

Author: Trowa B

Rating: FRT

Notes: For Tony's prompt over on comment_fic


Everyone had been shooting Nate glances throughout the meeting, but Nate had blithely ignored the wordless inquisition in favour of listening intently to Hardison's presentation on their latest mark.

Everyone had been shooting him glances, that was to say, except Eliot, who had stared at Hardison and nowhere else for the whole meeting.

"Can we have a word, Eliot?" Nate called as the other man tried to bolt once the meeting was over. For a moment he thought Eliot would refuse, but then he stopped and stepped to one side to allow the others to file out past him before closing the door firmly behind them.

And it really was worse than Nate had thought. Eliot wouldn't even look at him.

Nate cleared his throat. "It wasn't your fault, you know," he said, and finally, for the first time since the previous evening, Eliot raised his head to look Nate in the eye. He flinched as he caught sight of the bruising and dropped his head again.

With a sigh, Nate rose and moved round to stand next to Eliot, cupping the back of his head with one hand and raising Eliot's chin with the other. "It wasn't your fault," he said again. "The cuff broke and I was just in the wrong place. And it's just a black eye. I'll heal."

Eliot met his gaze then, brightening slightly as if a weight had just been lifted off his shoulders.