Disclaimer: I own nothing Leverage related except a Christian Kane CD. And you can't have it!

Author's note: This is my first attempt at writing for this fandom. I hope this isn't as silly as I think it might be. This was born out of a bad reaction to some medicine I had at work, and in response to my whining, my partner asked what I thought Nate would do. And really, I just couldn't resist an opportunity to be mean to Eliot.

Eliot's eyes were wild, bloodshot, and slightly crazed. Anyone who didn't know him as well as his team might think he was about to do something violent. His team, on the other hand, knew he wanted desperately to do something violent, but knew it would do no good. It didn't stop him from pacing, strong arms quivering with the exertion of restraining himself. Blood flecks under his nails gave more credence to the idea that he might hurt someone, but he wasn't going to take his suffering out of his crew.

Finally pausing near the window, he caught his hands just in time and shoved them into the pockets of his old Wranglers with so much force Hardison thought they might rip. In a voice only slightly shaky (which was a frightening loss of control for Eliot Spencer to show), he said "I have been beaten, interrogated by the Russian mob, the Triad, the Croations, I've been freakin' waterboarded for God's sake! I like to think I'm pretty damn tough, but how the hell is any human supposed to be able to take this? Seriously? This is worse torture than anything I've been through so far!"

Sophie didn't look up from the magazine she was flipping through. "Eliot, dear, don't be so overdramatic. It's only poison ivy. We've all had it. You'll survive."

A low growl erupted from the hitter, and it seemed his restraint might be nearing it's end when Hardison spoke up. "Actually, no. I never had poison ivy."

"Really?" Sophie asked. "Never?"

"Why is that surprising?" Eliot snarked. "You can't catch it off a video game!"

"Now Eliot, there's no need to be nasty. Just because you're miserable doesn't give you the right to make everyone else miserable too."

"I don't get poison ivy," Parker said randomly.

That even got Nate's attention. He secured the two of clubs between the pages of the book he was reading to mark his place and closed it. "You don't get poison ivy?"

"Nuh-uh," she said, shaking her head. "I was in this patch of it scouting for a job in just these jogging shorts and a tank top and then this nice man came by and told me that I was going to be scratching in some pretty naughty places. After he told me I was in poison ivy, he ever offered to help me scratch when I broke out." Finished, she turned back to cleaning her lockpick set.

That even kept Eliot's attention for a moment… it was so difficult to believe that a person could be as naïve as Parker and have survived to her age. But all too soon the distraction passed and the fire again burned up both arms and down his torso. Unable to take it anymore, he dug his fingers into his abdomen, pain flaring as his nails dug through the top layer of skin followed by momentary relief strong enough to almost bring tears to his eyes.

Too soon, he felt something smack his hands. Sophie's magazine. "Stop that before we have to go get the oven mitts! Clawing off your own hide like some kind of malformed snake with just get you an infection. Stop scratching!"

Eliot came up behind Sophie, pulling his left sleeve up revealing bloody blisters. He moved toward Sophie's neck, as if to touch her and spread the poison ivy. Nate cleared his throat, and Eliot jerked his sleeve back down. "Stop scratching? Do you know what this feels like? I can take pain, Sophie. But this is agony. I stood strong against the best torturers in the business, but right now, I'd give up our client, all my safehouses, you guys, even Hardison's mama just to get this stopped!"

"Hey, now!" Hardison stated, looking offended. "You leave my mama out of this!"

"Give me another Benedryl," he said, again shoving his hands into his pockets.

"Sorry," said Nate. "You've already had three. You should be out colder than a mackerel right now. I can't give you more, you'll overdose!"

"Lanacaine?" he pleaded. The lidocaine cream was amazing, it could soothe his irritated skin or at least numb they overactive nerves.

"You used the last of it an hour ago," Parker said. "We could try cooking oil."

That stopped him in his tracks. "Huh?"

She shrugged. "Well, your fingernails will slip off without hurting you skin. Of course, it won't help the itch, just make you not able to effectively scratch."

"And that would help how?" He demanded.

"Well, you wouldn't have to fight with you arms like that. They want to scratch."

"For your own good, man," Hardison added, eyes never leaving his computer screen.

His voice lowered dangerously. "They want to scratch because scratching relieves the itching, which at this point is unbearable. I can't take it. I need- Argh!" he cut off, slowing opening and closing his fists in an effort either not to scratch or not to hit someone. Desperate, he turned away from Parker and dropped to his knees beside Hardison's chair. "Hardison… Alec… You gotta help me. You don't know what this feels like, and I hope you never do, but it is horrific. The worst form of torture I can possibly imagine. You gotta help me… brother."

Eliot was laying it on thick. "What do you want me to do?" Hardison asked skeptically.

"Put me out! Drug me, hit me, something, just knock me out!"

Eyes widened in surprise. "Hit you? HIT YOU? ME? You sure you ain't got that stuff in your brain? Or did you forget who you were talking to? I can't hit you, huh-uh! You the hitter, I'm just a hacker and I'd break my hand on that thick skull of yours and like I said, I'm a hacker and I need my hands and-" He saw the murderous look in Eliot's eyes. "Shutting up now."

Eliot went back to pacing, and Nate stood up to get a drink from the bar. He had poured the shot of whiskey and reached to put the bottle away when Eliot swiped it and downed it with barely more than a grimace. "Thanks," he said with a smirk that told Nate he knew exactly what he was doing. Nate sighed and sat back down empty-handed. Eliot, meanwhile, realized he might have found a viable solution and poured another shot.

Hardison drank the last of his orange soda. "El, you care to bring me some more soda, since you're in there and all…" The glare he received in return gave him his answer. If he pushed, he might get soda. He would probably at least get ex-lax as well. "Never mind, I can get my own, thank you very much. Perfectly capable of getting up, going all the way in there and getting my own, don't you worry about me…" He crossed behind Eliot, still grumbling. "Never mind that if it was you, I'd bring you your… whatever… in a second, just-"

Eliot turned sharply, raising his fists. "Hardison! I-" His hands dropped, he staggered a little. "Har-" His eyes rolled back in his head and the hitter promptly passed out.

Hardison jumped forward to catch him with a yelp, hands bracing themselves under Eliot's stomach just before he hit the ground. "I didn't do it!" Hardison cried. "I didn't do anything to him!"

"I know," Nate said, walking over to them. "I knew Eliot would take my drink. There was enough Valium in that first shot to take out Andre' the Giant. Parker, help Hardison get him on the couch."


"Nah, man, this just ain't cool! Not cool at all!" Hardison whined as Eliot tightly wrapped the pink oven mitt over Hardison's hand with Duct tape, preventing him from removing it. "C'mon, Eliot, you gotta help me… You know what this feels like, what I'm going through…You're tougher than I am, I can't take this and now I can't even scratch! Don't do this to me, man!"

Eliot's grin looked innocent, but it was obvious that he was enjoying his friend's discomfort. "Aw, gee, Hardison, this is for your own good. Don't want you getting infected wounds or anything." Yup, Eliot was enjoying this just a little too much. "Here. This should help." He dropped a tube of Lanacaine on his lap and walked away, grin widening.

Hardison fumbled with the oven mitts, but was unable to even pick it up, let alone open it. "Eliot! Eliot, I… Come on… Nate, warn a guy next time! Oh, man, this is so not freakin' cool! Nate…!"