A/N: Another new story?? Are you freakin' kidding me?? Good lord. I spoil you guys, you know that? But it's because I love you. So spoil me too and review! So the premise of this one is something I read that said a side effect of repeated blows to the head is frequent migrains. And who do you know that gets hit in the head more than dear, sweet Eliot?? That's right. And many many thanks to my beta on this one fluerlb and her unnaturally quick turn around. lol. Enjoy! -pj
It started as a slight bending of the world in the corner of his eyes and he closed them quickly before the dizziness could get worse and make him stumble. He locked his knees and held back a wince when the normal sound of a chair scraping across the wood floor nearly made him gasp in pain.
Eliot recognized all the signs and groaned inwardly.
His stomach dropped when he realized this was only the beginning.
The glancing blow to his jaw that had jarred his head back into a metal panel two hours ago had probably been what caused the flare up. It hadn't been enough to cause any serious damage, but it had rung his bell.
Apparently more than he thought.
Eliot scowled, knowing what was coming and that there was nothing he could do about it. Well, there was, and if he was able to do it right then and there it would have worked.
But walking out in the middle of a meeting, leaving the Duchess and her blonde assistant without protection, so he could get to his medication would certainly blow the con. That would be no consolation to him in a few hours when he was ready to tear off his own head and bash it against the wall, but for right now, it kept him rooted to his spot, trying to make his pain and apprehension come across as menacing.
Stupid arms dealers and their stupid long-ass negotiations that turned into flirtatious luncheons.
He was gonna kill Nate for this.
If he didn't kill himself first.
"Hardison how's our break down coming?" Nate asked as they pulled into the parking lot of his building.
Eliot clenched his fists to keep from wincing when Nate's loud voice was amplified in his ear and reached up to pull out his com before Hardison could respond, protocol be damned.
He opened his eyes, which had been closed on the ride back to the office an attempt to push off the inevitable. It hadn't worked. Parker was in the back with him and he guessed Sophie and Nate had assumed he was asleep like the thief next to him and tried not to disturb them by whispering the entire time.
He'd appreciated the whispering, but they really should've known better. Eliot rarely slept when other people were around and never in a moving vehicle.
He hissed as he climbed out of the car and shielded his eyes from the evening sun, his stomach lurching forebodingly.
Hell no, he warned it.
Eliot trudged after the others and entered the rear elevator with Parker, Sophie and Nate, eager to change his clothes and get to sleep. He ignored their attempts to draw him into conversation on the ride up, focusing solely on keeping his steps steady and his stomach in check.
Once inside Nate's apartment, Eliot made a beeline for the closet where he kept a black bag on the top shelf, small enough to keep in a glove box or backpack. He usually kept it on him at all times, but hadn't been able to bring it because of his role in the con. If he'd been smart, he would have left it in the car, but he'd berate himself for that later.
Bag in hand, Eliot started to turn back toward the door, only to find Parker standing right in his path.
"We should go to that sushi restaurant for dinner," she grinned, "I hear they sell fish heads."
Nate looked at her from the living room.
"Fish heads? Really?" Hardison shook his head and then drew Nate's attention back to the screens where the 'hinky financials' he'd found were displayed.
"No Parker, I don't want to go for sushi," Eliot growled. Between his head, his stomach and Parker, his patience was nonexistent. He was about to try to move past her when a sudden wave of dizziness hit him and keeping himself upright became a very loose concept.
He flailed out for the wall but misjudged the distance and felt himself starting to fall. On something soft.
Parker's eyes widened when Eliot's weight suddenly started shifting toward her and, surprised, she quietly crumpled beneath him with a soft, "oomph," and a frown.
Eliot made an effort to roll off her quickly and screwed his eyes shut again, barely restraining himself from pressing against them with the heels of his hands.
"Eliot?" Parker asked quietly, crouching beside the hitter with a look that would have been a scowl on anyone else, but was 'concern' on her.
Sophie entered the room from the bathroom and gasped, seeing Parker on her knees bent over the hitter, who was lying prone beside her.
"Nate!" Sophie shrieked, running across the room toward the pair.
Parker was the only one close enough to hear Eliot grumble, "for the love of God, quit yellin' under his breath. She tilted her head at the look of pain that flashed across his face.
Nate was at her side even before Sophie, and Parker looked more than happy to jump away and make room for him.
Hardison, attracted by the commotion, appeared a moment later and Parker slapped a hand over his mouth when he took a deep breath to say something that would have undoubtedly been dubbed 'too loud'.
"Eliot, are you alright?" Nate asked quietly, laying one hand against the hitter's side as he bent over to see his face.
Eliot's frown deepened, uncomfortable with the extra attention, "Hardison gimme your sunglasses."
Hardison immediately reached up protectively to the sunglasses perched atop his head, but Parker was faster, swiping them and handing them to Nate before he could get out a word of protest.
Nate didn't understand the correlation between the hitter lying on the ground and needing the hacker's sunglasses, but if it was what Eliot wanted, he would do it. Eliot made no move to grab the glasses so Nate gently slid them onto his face. They were dark and mirrored and Eliot took a few deep breaths before he sat up and started to stand, shrugging off helpful hands as he did so.
"Thanks," he mumbled, bending over to pick up his bag and heading for the door.
Sophie's delicate features were crumpled in an anxious frown.
"Eliot, are you alright?" she called out.
Eliot nodded, not turning around.
"Are you sure? Because-"
"Sophie so help me-" he snapped, turning around to glare at the grifter. He closed his eyes and forced a deep breath on himself.
"I'm just tired, alright? I'll see you in a few days."
Sophie started after him again as he got to his door but Nate reached out to grab her elbow.
He shook his head briefly, whispering "Not now."
Eliot would never willingly hurt any of them, Nate knew. But…better not to push their luck with the hitter was in this mood.
Sophie reluctantly nodded, understanding, and Parker hugged her arms around herself, confused.
Hardison raised his hands in a 'what is this world coming to' gesture and shook his head, "Dude just took off with my sunglasses. They were special order, man."
TBC- So...what do you thiiiiink...