Title: A Man Short (Leverage/Psych crossover) 7/7
Rating: PG-13, swearing and violence
Summary: The team is a man short for a job, luckily Eliot has someone he can call, even if he doesn't like it. His cousin, psychic detective Shawn Spencer
Spoilers: None really
Author's Note: Takes place after my previous fic "The One That Got Away" – not necessary to read that first though. The Very Last Chapter!!!
Disclaimer: I do not own Psych, or Leverage or have permission to use these characters. I make no profit from this fic and mean no harm. Just love.
"Tony, what the hell do you think you're doing?" Ramirez demanded after Tony shot Eliot without warning.
Eliot growled and somehow managed to stay standing despite the bullet lodged in his shoulder. He had no doubt that Tony had been aiming for his chest but thankfully the guy was shooting with his left hand since Eliot had broken two of the fingers on his right, so his aim was pretty off. Still though, he'd rather not give him a second chance.
"He's working with them," Tony told the others. "Bastard jumped me back at the house when I tried to stop his partners. Messed up my hand and knocked me out."
"Is that so?" Ramirez replied, turning to Eliot suspiciously and bringing up his gun to join Tony's. "What do you have to say for yourself, Carlson?"
"Not too much," Eliot admitted then pulled his gaze from Tony back to Ramirez. Tony and the other guard, Fyfe, were still back by the car but Ramirez had taken a step closer to the hitter. He was the kind of idiot that Eliot liked, the kind that got too close.
Snapping a hand around Ramirez's wrist Eliot pulled the man closer and twisted his arm, forcing him to drop his gun. Tony and Fyfe responded immediately and opened fire. Eliot spun Ramirez around and used him as a shield. As bullets collided with the guard's chest Eliot could see that the other two were backing even further away from him meaning Eliot wouldn't be able to disarm them without getting shot again. He had no choice but to take cover so he pulled Ramirez with him a few steps to the ditch behind him where the other car was still smoking.
"Shoot him!" Tony demanded angrily but still didn't move closer.
Dropping Ramirez's now-slack body Eliot ran the last few feet, dove into the ditch and tried not to register the burning he felt across his side as he landed and ducked behind the wrecked car.
"That son of a bitch!" Fyfe exclaimed in anger as Eliot ran and Ramirez dropped to the ground dead from their bullets. "Come on!"
"Hold up!" Tony ordered, stopping Fyfe from running after Eliot and then pulling him down close to whisper in his ear, "This guy's good but he's unarmed or he would have fired back. Look what he did to the boys, we get close to him he could take us out."
"So what do you want to do?" Fyfe asked.
Tony took a moment to inspect Eliot's cover – he had to have been hunched behind the front of the car, there was nowhere else to hide in the entire area of flat road and grassy hillsides. Then something else caught his eye and he smiled. "I got an idea."
Ducked low behind the hood of the car at the bottom of the ditch, Eliot growled as he pressed a hand against his bleeding shoulder. A second bullet had nicked his hip but hadn't penetrated the bone and wasn't bleeding too bad so he ignored it for now. He was losing blood fast though and his left arm wasn't responding nearly as well as he would like. It also hurt like hell but he pushed that to the back of his mind for now. At the moment he was more worried about the gunmen behind him and why they had stopped shooting. Glancing up he tried to see through the windshield of the car to see where they were. Looking up from his angle below he could just see the tops of their heads. They were still on the road, apparently just talking but they quickly seemed to reach a decision and opened fire again.
Eliot ducked down and was confused when none of the bullets came anywhere close to him. It seemed like they were just wasting their ammo.
"Maybe they're hoping I'll run and then they can get a clear shot," he thought briefly but then his eyes widened as the smell of gasoline fumes finally registered in his mind. The gas tank of the car must have ruptured when it crashed, meaning if one of the bullets breached the tank and sparked ….
"Shit!" Eliot mumbled and raced away from the potential bomb but it was too late. The car exploded behind him.
On the road Tony and Fyfe ducked down behind their own car as the Mercedes exploded, sending fire and shrapnel in all directions for several seconds. The blast had their ears ringing but they were otherwise fine as they emerged a few moments later to inspect the damage.
Fyfe waved a hand in front of his face to clear the smoke that the wind was billowing towards them. Turning to Tony he yelled to be heard over the buzzing sound in their ears, "You think that got him?"
"It at least slowed him down if it didn't kill him," Tony replied as they approached the ditch cautiously in case the car should explode again somehow. Most of the surrounding grass was singed or burning and the car was a smoldering mess that had collapsed sideways in the ditch, surrounded by smoking metal and broken glass.
"We gonna look for him in that?" Fyfe asked, coughing as he inhaled the metallic smoke.
"Won't have to look long," Tony answered with a malicious grin. He was shielding his eyes from the worst of the smoke but also pointed through the haze to the right of the wreckage. Fyfe followed his gaze to see Eliot's unconscious body laid out in the grass facedown, covered in ash and not moving.
"Great, let's go bring him back to Fenez, boss will want to talk to him," Fyfe pointed out.
Tony grimaced though, still angry about his injuries and raised his gun again, "I'd rather just shoot him here."
"Hey!" Fyfe warned. "You really want Fenez to … what is …"
They both stopped and turned as they realized that the high-pitched sound they had been hearing wasn't just from the ringing in their heads.
Shawn had done a lot of stupid, dangerous things in his life. So many in fact that he couldn't even remember them all, though he thought Gus and his dad probably had a list somewhere, but he had to admit that what he was doing right now probably topped them all; driving unarmed and injured towards dangerous gunmen on a stolen motorcycle to save his international thief cousin. Well, at least his life was never boring.
As he sped down the road away from Sophie he had started to panic when he saw the explosion from over a mile away. He knew it had to have been a car blowing up unless Fenez's men had brought some explosives with them for some reason. The logical part of his mind tried to tell him that Eliot easily could have been killed in that explosion, that he could be driving into a deathtrap with no backup but Shawn was a master at ignoring all kinds of logic. Instead he stared straight ahead and convinced himself that this was all part of some plan Eliot had that he would explain to Shawn as soon as he picked him up, which should be any moment now.
"Eliot, you better still be alive," he grumbled mentally as he came up a hill.
Unfortunately as Shawn got closer he could see two men standing in the smoky wreckage and they were both carrying guns and had short-cropped hair, meaning neither could be his lion-maned cousin. But it also looked like they were aiming their weapons at something in the ditch, most likely a person that could most definitely be his cousin and that just wasn't cool. Gritting his teeth Shawn revved the engine and drove straight for the two hitmen.
He may not have had a gun but it didn't mean he didn't have a weapon.
The explosion actually covered his approach until the last few moments when he was almost on his prey. The two gunmen turned around when he was a dozen yards away and their eyes widened as the motorcycle barreled down on them.
"Son of a …!" Fyfe yelled in surprise and brought his gun up to fire at the bike, quickly joined by Tony. Shawn didn't have a helmet or any kind of protection so made an executive decision when the bullets started flying to jump off the missile he had launched to make himself less of a target.
It wasn't graceful but he managed to throw himself clear of the bike and land in the grass of the ditch. The soil was only slightly less forgiving than the asphalt would have been but he still felt the wind knocked out of him as he tumbled down to the bottom of the ditch, rolling over smoking bits of glass and metal.
Up on the road Fyfe and Tony swore loudly as the rider-less bike tipped over and slid towards them at well over eighty miles per hour.
"Move!" Tony yelled as they both tried to run clear but the bike toppled them like dominoes as the wheels took them down at the legs and then the whole bike grinded over them once they were down.
At the bottom of the ditch Shawn came to a halt, coughing and gasping for air as he tried to keep his eyes glued to the road.
"I really hope that worked," he thought to himself. "Or else Eliot's going to kill me when we get up to heaven, and I don't know where we'd go then."
After almost a minute without detecting any movement or sounds Shawn risked pushing himself slowly up to his feet. It took longer than he would have liked as he was now cradling his right arm and limping from his fall but eventually he was standing up and could just see that both the guards were laid out on the road unconscious, covered in skid marks. He breathed a sigh of relief which turned into a cough as he inhaled smoke.
"Yes! Woo! Please, hold your applause I know that was amazingly awesome but … Eliot?"
Shawn felt his blood freeze when he finally saw the hitter. He was a half dozen yards away covered in soot, blood and glass and not moving.
"Eliot!" Shawn shouted again as he limped over to his cousin. An intense spasm of pain shot through his leg as he fell to his knees but he ignored it as he clutched Eliot's shoulder and rolled him over. He grimaced as his fingers slipped in the blood soaking the hitter's shirt. "No, no, no, hey Eliot, come on. Open your eyes buddy, you can't die on me it would totally put a hamper on my 'saving your life' bragging rights. "
Shawn rambled nervously as he took in the sight of all the blood Eliot was losing from what was obviously a bullet wound in his shoulder and another smaller one closer to his hip. The hitter's eyes were closed and there was a lump forming on his left temple where he must have hit his head in the explosion. The most important thing was that he was breathing, but it was shallow. Shawn pressed one hand hesitantly onto the bullet wound to slow the bleeding and used the other to tap Eliot's cheek.
"Come on Eliot, yell at me, insult me, I'll even accept a grunt, just give me some help here."
Shawn's efforts were rewarded when Eliot groaned, flinched away and breathed in deeply. The air was still riddled with smoke which caused the hitter to start coughing but this also woke him up faster as his battered body responded to the painful hacking motions.
"There we go, that's what I like to see, movement and consciousness. We're gonna be fine," Shawn assured him as he tore off his coat to make a bandage for Eliot's shoulder.
Eliot's eyes opened as he was coughing and he looked around in confusion that grew worse when he saw who was with him.
"Yeah, so, you remember me, huh," Shawn replied with fake disappointment to cover up his nervousness. "I was hoping that you'd get amnesia from that bump on your head and then I could convince you that you were my manservant, Ricardo."
"What?" Eliot asked, his mind not clear enough for Shawn's jokes. He looked around again slowly as recent events started coming back to him. "What are you doing here?"
"Right now, a very bad impersonation of George Clooney on ER. Stop moving, dammit, you've been shot!" he ordered in a surprisingly serious tone.
Eliot did as he was told and laid back down but wasn't as worried as his cousin, "It didn't hit anything vital, I'll be fine."
"Hey, who's doing the George Clooney impression here? I'll decide if you're fine," Shawn replied as he tied off the bandage tightly, trying to keep his hands busy to cover up the fact that he had no idea how to respond to this much blood.
Eliot grabbed his wrist weakly to make him look at him, "Shawn, seriously, I'll be fine. I've had worse. Now help me up, we gotta get out of here."
But Shawn pushed him down, "Yeah, moving is not something you are about to do just now. Besides, if you're worried about those guys with the guns I took care of them."
"You took care of them?" Eliot repeated incredulously.
Shawn shrugged, "Your bike helped. There may have been a mid-road collision, we'll exchange insurance information later, like when you're not bleeding."
"You okay?" Eliot asked quietly, squinting to try to get his concussed eyes to see Shawn a little clearer.
"I'm fine. Chicks dig scars, right? Well, I'm not going to have any of those so you don't have to worry," Shawn told him and then finally helped him sit up as he managed to get the bleeding as under control as it could be.
"Good," Eliot mumbled as he took in their surroundings including the smoldering car and unconscious guards. His mind was still a little hazy so he looked to Shawn, "You did all this?"
"No, the car was like that when I got here so I guess that was part of your genius plan. The unconscious guards though, all me," Shawn gloated, then grimaced as he tried to stand.
"What's wrong with your knee?"
"Nothing, I must have banged it on a rock when I fell or maybe a muffler, who knows," Shawn muttered as he watched Eliot stand up steadier than him. Despite the two bullet wounds both the hitter's legs were uninjured.
"You sure you should be moving around?" Shawn asked, brow furrowed in concern.
"Can't stay here and wait for an ambulance. And unconscious guards or not, we gotta get going," Eliot replied as he started to lead the way out of the ditch. Then he turned around so quickly Shawn nearly fell backwards as a finger suddenly pointed in his face, "And just so you know, coming back for me was a stupid, idiotic, amateur move Shawn that could have gotten us both killed and if you ever do anything like this again I'll kill you, and then I'll tell your dad."
Shawn just met Eliot's eye and waited for it. The hitter broke eye contact first, nodded once and grunted, "Thanks."
A grin broke Shawn's face, "No problem, you're welcome. It's nothing to be ashamed of you know, having to be saved all damsel-in-distress style. You've got the hair for it."
Eliot wanted to yell at his cousin but he was too busy panting from exertion and trying not to yell out in pain. The ditch was steep and climbing out with two bullet holes and a concussion was proving rather difficult especially when he fell forward and braced himself with his injured arm.
Seeing him fall and tense Shawn asked from behind, "Eliot are you o…ah!"
When he tried to rush to his cousin's side Shawn accidentally pulled at his injured knee and it locked up on him, which sent him toppling forward as well.
Essentially the two cousins wound up stuck in the ditch for several moments, panting in pain and unable to move any further.
Eliot huffed in disbelief, "Well, aren't we a sorry sight."
"Speak for yourself," Shawn hissed. "I regret nothing. This whole trip will take up at least two pages in my scrap book, maybe three."
"Can you make it up?" Eliot asked seriously to which Shawn nodded.
"Yeah, there's a trick to it. I hurt this same knee in my last motorcycle accident, just gotta keep it from bending," Shawn explained even as he started to move up the incline, the conversation distracting him from the pain. Eliot accepted this and focused on moving forward himself. It was another minute of silence before they reached the top with an exhausted huff each.
After a moment of looking around Eliot's brow furrowed and he turned to his cousin suspiciously, "Shawn, where's Sophie?"
"Hmm?" Shawn asked, pretending not to have heard him as he inspected his leg.
Eliot repeated very clearly, "Where's. Sophie?"
"Oh, Sophie! I uh, may have stolen the bike and left her abandoned, alone on the side of the road so I could come save you," Shawn spouted out. "But hey, look how alive you are!"
"Shawn!" Eliot fumed in anger.
"You know, that's exactly what she said when I drove away. Kind of like a cheerleader, rooting me on, yelling my name, 'Shawn, Shawn, Shawn'. It was similar to the end of the movie Rudy. Very emotional."
"Come on!" Eliot ordered, scowling in anger and pain as he headed towards the only functioning vehicle, the guards' car. "We gotta go get her. What the hell were you thinking?"
"Uh, that you were in trouble and that I could be totally awesome and come help you," Shawn replied as he followed slowly behind, struggling with his own injuries.
"By abandoning Sophie?"
"I feel she was secretly supportive of the plan," Shawn said but then they both stopped in their tracks when they heard the distinct sound of a vehicle approaching. Shawn moaned, "What is this Star Wars? Does this guy clone his goons so he has a neverending supply?"
But Eliot shook his head, "Nah, that ain't Fenez's men."
From around the corner a white panel van appeared soaring as fast as its mediocre engine would take it. Eliot knew Nate would be driving and waved his good arm to signal they were all right.
"I don't think you really have to wave, we're kind of hard to miss," Shawn muttered, pointing to the wreckage behind them.
Eliot turned to him and his eyes caught sight of his bike for the first time where it lay on its side further up the road.
He tried hard not to growl, "Shawn, did you wreck my bike?"
"Yes," Shawn said unapologetically. "But I also saved your life."
"And I know you're going to be real humble about that too," Eliot muttered, turning to walk further onto the road where the van was screeching to a halt. As the side door opened to reveal Parker and Hardison, Nate jumped out of the front with a hand to his ear.
"Yeah Sophie, we got them. They're … standing," he reported to her over the comms, hesitating on the description of the two ragged looking Spencer Boys.
"Whoa, you two are a mess. You guys all right?" Hardison asked as he immediately moved to take Eliot's good arm and help the hitter walk. It wasn't encouraging that Eliot didn't resist and leaned half his weight onto the hacker.
"I think my pain speaks for me when I say no, not really," Shawn answered, then his eyebrows rose and he smiled charmingly when Parker got close and put an arm around his waist to help him. "But suddenly I'm feeling much, much better."
Oblivious, Parker released him with a shrug and let him walk on his own, "Oh, okay then."
Shawn nearly fell over and Eliot chuckled. Nate shook his head and helped the fake psychic towards the van instead.
"Is Sophie okay?" Eliot asked before Nate could put forward the same question to him.
"She's fine, we'll go pick her up now, she was more worried about the two of you," Nate said, looking them over quickly. "And with good reason. Eliot … have you been shot twice?"
"Yeah, I'm pretty sure. At least twice," he muttered in response, feeling his energy wane with the information that he and the team were safe. "I'll be all right."
Meanwhile, Shawn tried to lean closer to Parker and whispered, "Hey, I saved Eliot's life you know."
Parker laughed and petted him on the head as she spoke to him like she was humoring a small child, "Oh, of course you did."
"No, seriously, I saved him!" Shawn repeated, mortified.
She nodded in her own version of sympathy as she still didn't believe him, "Uh huh, sure. You hit your head when those guys were beating you up earlier, right?"
Before Shawn could stutter out a response Eliot interrupted the extremely entertaining conversation, "Hey Parker, wanna do me a favor?"
"You're not getting my blood," she answered swiftly, pulling back her arms like he might try to stick a needle in her then and there.
"No, just … grab my bike. Drive it back to town for me. I don't want to leave it here, it might trace back to us somehow," Eliot explained to which Parker perked up immediately.
"Oh, then yes. I will definitely do you a favor," she smirked and ran back to pull the motorcycle upright.
"Hardison, how far to the hospital?" Nate asked as he helped Shawn make the step up into the van.
"Not very close," Hardison admitted, having looked it up during their excruciatingly long drive. "You guys gonna be able to hold out?"
"Yeah, I'm good. Take Shawn then you can drop me off at my place, I'll patch myself up," Eliot said tiredly as he took a seat on the floor of the van, clutching his injured shoulder.
"Well, if he's not gonna go I don't see why I have to," Shawn replied petulantly to which Eliot glared at him.
"You're going," Eliot ordered firmly, but added. "It's not a competition Shawn. Gunshot wounds get reported to the cops, that's attention we really don't need right now. When we get there tell the staff you got mugged."
"You are aware you have two bullets in you?" Shawn pointed out.
"Two bullet holes, only one bullet's actually in me, the other was a graze," Eliot explained.
"Oh well then, why were we ever concerned?" Hardison asked sarcastically.
Shawn still didn't seem pleased about Eliot not going to a hospital but before he could voice his concerns Parker pulled up to the open side door on Eliot's Ducati.
"I'm going to pick up Sophie!" she announced with a wave just before she sped off. "See you back at the office! Yee haw!"
"She is incredible," Shawn muttered absently.
"Tell me about it," Hardison agreed just as quietly.
Shawn coughed and there was a moment of awkward silence before Hardison backtracked over his own words and smiled a little, "No, seriously, tell me about it. I want to hear about you saving Eliot's life over there."
"Hardison," Eliot growled.
Shawn grinned, "Well, when I got there Eliot was crying, actually, bawling is the word I'm looking for, Eliot was bawling …"
Nate shook his head as he got back into the driver's seat and wondered if they would all survive the trip to the hospital.
Sophie ended up declining Parker's offer of a drive, needing to see Shawn and Eliot safe for herself. Once she got in the van the bickering ended quickly as Shawn felt slightly ashamed for leaving her alone and Eliot was barely maintaining consciousness. It took forty-five minutes to reach the hospital. Hardison agreed to go in with Shawn so Nate and Sophie could take care of Eliot back at his apartment. As the hacker helped the younger Spencer out of the van, Shawn whispered to him conspiratorially, "You know Eliot's practically unconscious, we could make him go inside pretty easily."
But Hardison shook his head, "They'd sedate him before they operated on him and then we'd never be able to sneak him out before the cops ran his fingerprints. It's safest this way, he knows what he's doing."
Hardison tried to sound reassuring but Shawn still looked hesitant and concerned as he shot one last look at Eliot before the van door closed.
"All right, let's do this," Shawn said as they limped towards the door. "Oh, but I was thinking do you mind saying you're Burton Guster? He's my emergency contact and I don't want the hospital to call him. He'd freak out a little. A lot. He'd explode, yeah, there'd be explosions."
"Sure, I guess. Can I pass for this guy?" Hardison asked.
"Oh yeah, he's black, your age, smart, knows a lot about a bunch of things … huh, that's weird," Shawn muttered.
Shawn shook his head, "I just never noticed before that Eliot and I had such similar sidekicks."
"Oh, I know you didn't just call me Eliot's sidekick," Hardison said indignantly. "Hell no. If anything, Eliot, you know, he's my sidekick because he does all the … the kicking. From the side."
"That's a strong argument you're making, really," Shawn hissed out as they limped to the admission desk. Shawn smiled to the fifty-something nurse behind the counter.
"Hi there. I'm going to need a wheelchair, some morphine and …" he pointed to a cute blonde coming down the hall. "Preferably that nurse, thanks."
It was six hours before they were finally allowed to leave. Shawn had gotten full bloodwork, a CT scan, x-rays and then was fitted with a brace for his knee. He had needed one before a few years ago and was just thankful he didn't need crutches. It turned out his concussion was minor and none of his ribs were broken, just bruised and sore. He ended up leaving with bandages, pain medication and the phone numbers of three nurses.
Hardison shook his head at how easily Shawn picked up women, "First time I ever noticed the family resemblance between you and Eliot."
"Pff," Shawn scoffed. "He wishes he had these cheek bones. Well, maybe not this one that's all swollen but the other one's still looking good, right?"
"I meant you're both pretty smooth with the ladies," Hardison explained as he walked cautiously next to Shawn, ready to catch him should he stumble.
"Ah yes, the Spencer gift. It can't be taught, I'm sorry," he said apologetically.
"Hey I'm good, you know, I … I got girls," Hardison defended himself.
Shawn smiled knowingly, "And you got Parker."
"I don't think anybody's got Parker, but, working on it I guess," Hardison admitted.
"Good luck," Shawn replied honestly. "Cause that is going to be one tough case to crack."
"Don't I know it. Now come on, we gotta get some Tylenol 3's into you and then I have a feeling you're going to sleep for a week," Hardison commented, noticing how exhausted Shawn was.
"Oh, do you think Eliot will cook for me and bring me meals?" Shawn joked but the mention of the hitter turned the mood serious and Hardison shook his head.
"I don't think he's gonna be up for much for awhile."
When they got to Eliot's apartment they found Nate and Sophie drinking coffee in the kitchen with no sign of the elder Spencer cousin.
"Shawn, how are you doing?" Nate asked in a whisper. "Anything too serious?"
"The general feeling of pain kind of sucks but the knee's the worst of it. I've hurt it before so it's just a flare up, I'll be all right," he assured them. "How's Eliot?"
"He's resting," Sophie replied, her voice just as low as Nate's. "He got the bullet out and he's stitched up."
"He got it out?" Shawn repeated.
"Eliot has a very well stocked apartment and medical training so he uses local anesthetic and then stitches up his own wounds. We help as much as we can," Nate explained simply, clearly exhausted like the rest of them. No one liked it when a job went wrong.
"Whoa, hardcore," Shawn muttered in awe. "I thought I was James Bond."
"Well, you're no Eliot but you did good today man, real good," Hardison assured him.
"You kept your cool and thought fast, that's what important," Nate agreed.
Shawn felt himself honestly blushing so played it off as he usually did, "Guys, thanks really but please … save it for when Eliot's around so I can see the look on his face."
"I think he already knows," Sophie told him.
"Where's Parker?" Hardison asked.
"Oh, planting the evidence against Fenez, making a few anonymous phone calls to the cops, the usual," Nate answered. "When you get a chance I need you to run through his account info too, find out where he's keeping the money he's been stealing from these people."
"Yeah, I can get on that," Hardison promised.
Meanwhile Sophie was watching Shawn who could barely keep his eyes open, "You should get some rest."
"Yeah, I was thinking the floor here looked comfy but I guess I can make it to my room. Night," Shawn nodded to them.
"Sleep tight," Sophie called out.
"If you wanted to tuck me in I wouldn't be opposed …"
"Good night Shawn," Sophie cut him off with a smirk and watched as he hobbled down the hallway dejectedly.
"All right, but you're going to get home and have serious regrets," he said jokingly before he disappeared into his room.
Sophie looked down into her coffee, "Well he's not wrong about that."
"It's not your fault," Nate told her seriously. "No one could have foreseen those extra guards, we worked with what we had. We all got home."
"Yeah," Hardison agreed. "I mean, they're both a little beat up but I feel like they were going to duke it out before this was all over anyway, so this just saved them the trouble."
"This might even keep them from fighting," Nate theorized but Sophie shook her head.
"I think you might be a bit overly optimistic. I wouldn't be surprised if those two fought in their sleep."
Despite the painkillers Shawn woke up eight hours later and his body wasn't too happy about it. The bruises and muscle pulls had set in deeper as he slept and every movement caused pain fresh enough to keep him from falling back to sleep. He slowly pulled himself out of bed, groaning when he realized his medication was out in the kitchen. Limping out into the hallway he noticed the apartment was quiet which he was thankful for, unsure he would be able to put on his high-energy attitude this morning and fairly certain he would just end up snapping at people.
He grabbed his pills and some water and started to head back for his room but his eyes lingered on Eliot's door and before he really thought about it he was walking inside.
Eliot was sleeping bare-chested and Shawn cringed at the bruises, cuts and bandages that were visible all over his body. One of the hitter's arms was in a sling and the other was laid out with an IV line hooked into it that ran up to clear bag hanging above his bed. Shawn took a seat in a chair by the window, unsure why he was even staying.
It was only a few minutes before Eliot started shifting into consciousness, but Shawn had been expecting that to happen. He figured having someone in the room while he slept would set off the hitter's spidey-sense. When Eliot's eyes opened all the way and he seemed awake Shawn held a glass of water out for him.
"Hey, morning," he greeted him. "I thought I'd be creepy and watch you sleep for awhile."
Eliot managed to chuckle and took the water, "No cartoons on?"
"Bucky O'Hare, but I can't watch that show, it creeps me out. Green rabbits? Cyborg ducks? No, just no, way too weird," Shawn answered but his usual over the top energy was missing from his voice.
"How you feeling?" Eliot asked.
"Fine," Shawn waved him off. "Bruises, I twisted my knee. You?"
"I don't think I'm even sure what day it is," Eliot told him honestly but didn't miss the somber, thoughtful look on his cousin's face. "What are you thinking about?"
Shawn was silent for a moment, debating whether or not to share, then finally answered, "You got shot cause of me. Twice."
"Not cause of you," Eliot replied immediately. "That's the job. That's my job and I choose to do it. Ain't your fault. It wasn't supposed to go down like that though, I'm sorry I got you involved."
Shawn nodded, "Yeah, I'm sorry too. I gloated a lot about saving your life last night but … I never thanked you for saving mine."
"You're welcome. But I was actually saving Sophie's life, you were just a bonus," Eliot joked, breaking the tension.
"I'd hit you if I didn't know that you would exact a terrible revenge against me, possibly using your entire team and this conversation got far too serious so I'm going to go," Shawn said abruptly and stood. "You getting up?"
Eliot shook his head resolutely, he hadn't even pushed himself up into a sitting position, "No, definitely not."
"All right then, I'm going to go eat all your food," Shawn told him unapologetically and headed for the door.
"Oh, but I almost forgot …" Shawn added as he turned around and limped back to Eliot's bedside. Smirking, he picked up the TV remote Eliot had taken the day before off the hitter's nightstand and held it up proudly. "Seems you're not the only Retrieval Specialist in the family."
Eliot rolled his eyes, "Just keep the volume down."
Shawn considered it, "That doesn't sound like me but I'll see what I can do."
He started to leave and turned around yet again, this time more hesitantly, "Um, do you need anything?"
"Just some sleep, thanks. Now go," Eliot answered and pointed at the door, eyes already closed.
"I'm gone," Shawn promised, then added as he closed the door, "But probably not forgotten."
"Not even if I wanted to," Eliot sighed and tried to get back to sleep fast before Animaniacs started blaring through his apartment.
The next day Shawn was mostly moving around on his own and managed to get his bags packed to head back to Santa Barbara. Hardison picked him up to drive him to the train station but they stopped in at the office first so Shawn could say good-bye to everyone.
As they came in the front door they heard a familiar angry growl.
"The next person who brings me something I didn't ask for is going to be fighting off hitmen alone next job we do."
They found the rest of the team in the conference room. Eliot was sitting at the table with a beer, a glass of water, a bottle of Tylenol, a bowl of chips and a sandwich sitting in front of him. He didn't look happy and neither did Nate, Sophie and Parker who were all standing behind him looking sheepish. Parker disappeared quickly to return the ice pack she had been holding to the kitchen.
"I see you're enjoying finally getting out of the apartment," Shawn laughed as he came in.
"Yeah, it's a dream come true," Eliot muttered. "You all set to go?"
"Pretty sure, there's only thing I'm missing," Shawn answered and held his arms out wide. Nobody moved. "It's a hug. I'm missing a hug. You hug me because I'm leaving and you'll miss me."
Eliot took a sip of his beer and didn't stand up, "Oh, I didn't get that."
Shawn looked exasperated so Nate quickly moved forward and shook his hand, "Thank you Shawn, it was a pleasure and we really appreciate all your help. We'll have your bike sent down to you as soon as your knee gets better and you can drive it. Sorry the job didn't work out as smoothly as we expected."
"Don't worry about it, I'll send you my medical bills," Shawn joked but Hardison shrugged behind him.
"I wouldn't worry too much about that," he told them.
After seeing what the hacker could do with a computer Shawn took his word that they were taken care of, "Cool. Thanks."
"No, thank you," Sophie said, stepping forward and giving him a light hug. "We couldn't have done this job without you. We really appreciate you helping us."
"Thanks guys, but really, knowing that scum bag is behind bars and those sick people got their money back, that's all the thanks I need," Shawn told them humbly.
Parker came back in the room and sat on the table, "Can I have his money then?"
"Money?" Shawn asked, ears perking up.
Eliot held up a check, smirking, "Told ya we were gonna pay you for helping us, but if you don't need it, then I guess Parker can …"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa," Shawn back-pedalled, reaching for the check. "Let's not be hasty."
Eliot shook his head and handed him the money.
"Cause there's gratitude, which is great, but then there's rent money …" his eyes widened when he saw how big the check was. "For my boat … which I will be buying as soon as I get home apparently."
"Just do me a favor," Eliot requested. "Don't spend it on something stupid."
"Only if you consider pineapple farms stupid, and really, who could disagree with that idea?"
Eliot smiled and stood up to hold out his good hand to his cousin. Shawn smiled and shook it tightly.
"It was good seeing ya, Shawn," he said sincerely.
"You too. Thanks for the adventure. It was not dissimilar to a theme park ride," Shawn replied. They broke apart and Shawn looked over the team with a nod. "Well, it was nice meeting you all. Nate, Sophie, Ms. Lockpicker, until we meet again."
"Take care of yourself," Nate replied for the team.
With his good-byes said Shawn finished with a bow and followed Hardison back out of the office and down to the car.
Sophie looked at Eliot, "Your cousin is a very memorable young man, I'll give him that."
Eliot huffed, "Yeah, memorable. I'm gonna name my new scar after him."
Parker's face scrunched up like she was confused about something, "I think I might miss him."
"I wouldn't worry too much about that," Eliot told her. "He'll be back."
"You invited him to work with us again?" Nate asked.
Eliot shook his head, "No, but trust me, whether he's invited or not, he'll be back."
"Probably sooner than you think," Parker piped in, sounding slightly apologetic. She held up a leather square, "I accidentally stole his wallet."
"Parker," Nate reprimanded automatically, fingers pinching his nose.
Eliot sighed, "I'll call Hardison, they might not have left yet."
"So much for a grand good-bye," Sophie commented.
"Tell Shawn not to wear such loose pants. This slipped out like butter," Parker told Eliot as she flipped the wallet open and then tilted her head. "And ask him why his wallet is filled with pictures of Val Kilmer."
Thank you all for your interest, love and support of this story. It's been a blast to write and discuss with you all. I'm sad that it's over but hopefully I did the end justice. Again, all your kind words and support have been greatly, greatly appreciated and I hope you enjoyed the finale. Until next time!