Eliot could feel Parker's steady gaze as she sat there perched on the edge of the couch. Her arms wrapped around her knees which were tucked under her chin, then she broke the silence, declaring. "It's soup."
His eyes swung up to meet her gaze questioningly then warily looked down at the bowl. "You're sure?"
Parker's eyes narrowed, her lips trailed into a frown.
Abruptly Alec called out, "Yes, its soup. Now eat…" he waited a heartbeat then added, "or I'll let her force feed you."
Parker straightened, obviously pleased with the suggestion.
This time Eliot's eyes narrowed and he groaned. "Man that's just not right." He hesitantly picked up the spoon, ignoring Parker's disappointed sigh when he did. Ladling a small amount Eliot brought the spoon up to his nose, sniffing. The aroma was odd and he couldn't quite pinpoint exactly what kind of soup it was. Finally Eliot dropped the spoon back into the bowl, staring at it suspiciously, then shook his head. "Not on your life, not until I know exactly what's in there."
Suddenly Alec was in front of him. He sat on the coffee table taking the bowl from Eliot's tray.
"He made a funny face when he tried to sniff it."
Alec scoffed, "What so I'm going to have to spoon feed you?"
He and Parker spoke at the same time, "I want to know what the hells in there?" "You said I could do it!"
Alec barked, "Stop it both of you!" then addressed Parker, "I said only as a last resort if he doesn't start feeding himself."
Turning, Alec's brows lifted as he stared Eliot down. "It's only chicken soup. It's probably difficult to smell through a stuffy nose, then again yours probably doesn't even work right… as many times you broke that sniffer of yours. "
Offended Eliot snapped, "Don't tell me, you consider this to be your bedside manner?" Then he shifted to get up, "I'm outta here."
Alec's hand clamped on Eliot's shoulder and easily held him down. "You're not going anywhere, not with two cracked ribs, a fractured wrist –"
Parker interrupted, "And the flu, don't forget he has the flu."
"You heard her. Now you gonna eat peacefully or are we going to have to resort to plan B?"
Overly excited, Parker smirked, "Yes! Let's do plan B."
Eliot swallowed nervously. He resettled himself back on the couch gingerly and took the bowl from Hardison. Grimly Eliot started to take a sip, his eyes never leaving Parker's. Both Parker and Alec stayed quiet as they watched him eat.
After the first few sips, Eliot realized it tasted good. The odd smell had to have been either the turnips or the parsnips. It was nothing like how he fixed chicken soup, but Eliot couldn't deny that it was passable- maybe better than passable. Not that he'd ever tell them.
As Eliot finished, Alec took his bowl and handed him a few pills and glass of water. Alec gave him a look that said, Don't start, you're not going to win. Too tired to argue, Eliot didn't, especially when he recognized each pill that lay in Alec's palm. Without complaint Eliot took them and chased them down with water.
Alec grinned, obviously pleased, as he walked away with the bowl and tray, calling back over his shoulder, "Love it when a plan comes together."
Eliot glared at Parker, who smiled sweetly. Then Eliot felt it, his lids grew heavier pulling him toward sleep – he'd been had. He tried to forcibly keep his eyes open, and watched as Alec came up behind Parker slipping his arms around her waist as they stared down at him. "You need the rest man." Parker firmly added, "Don't worry we're watching over you."
Annoyed he couldn't fight whatever drug Hardison dosed the soup with; finally he stopped struggling, and closed his eyes.
A part of Eliot wanted to kick their collective asses, but he couldn't stop the avalanche of warm fuzzy feelings of being wanted and cared for from spreading throughout his body. Just before sleep over took him, Eliot thought he heard Parker ask, "Tomorrow, a sponge bath, you or me?"
Alec laughed, "In my book, two's always better than one."
Parker added, "I think I like your book."
Eliot could only agree with Parker as he allowed sleep to overtake him.