Things go a little differently when Parker assumes Nate hadn't switched the water bottles out during 2.2 The Tap Out Job and accidently switches them back leaving Eliot defenselessly drugged at the mercy of Tank and his bone crushing dirty wrestling style.

The Broken Hitter Job

The haze of drugs blanketing his senses and dulling his normally animalistic instincts make it impossible for Eliot to so much as roll out of the way let alone fight back when he sees the abnormally large man's body coming toward him from above at a speed that seems far to slow to be real.

'Huston we have a massively over sized problem' He hears the voice inside himself warn as his sluggish blue eyes widen trying to focus through the clouds closing in on his world creeping forward from around the edges like a thunderstorm. He's no stranger to the forced euphoria, heavy limbs or approaching darkness, thanks to the life of danger and violence he throws himself into willingly everyday.

He knows hes been drugged and if his senses had been in tact, he knows that this just might be cause for concern, maybe even panic, finding barely enough strength to turn his head toward the corner of the ring where his ever failing vision is met with four sets of eyes watching him with questioning, yet unaware gazes. From where he lay he can tell that they think he is simply selling the part, that he is acting, pretending.

They are clueless, and he is about to be pummeled by some over weight dime store wrestler. Yup this would definately be cause for alarm, and hes more sure than ever that tomorrow, if he even makes it that long, he is going to be in an ass load of pain.

"Nate. Help." His lips are dry reguardless of the gallons of sweat he can feel pouring from his flesh, his tongue paralyzed with intoxication, lips having to concentrate to form the two simple words as his eyelids grow heavy.

He can see the expression on his "bosses" face change he looks... Horrified, making it obvious his message was received...

But it was two seconds to late.

"...Drugged,... the water...Someone..." Sophie's voice is bordering hysterical as it fades in and out along with his conciousness.

'Nate, I think we're screwed.' His last rational thought passes quickly.

Then, he is floating like Alice down the rabbit hole in that Disney movie his mother would put on for him as a child when his father would be in one of his moods that meant he was to remain quiet or get his hide tanned for so much as breathing to loud.

He finds that the murmurs of commotion are growing farther and farther into the distance as he slips away engulfed by the welcoming shadows clogging his mind, just before the crushing weight finally barrels down on him mercilessly.


. . . . .

"Eliot?..." It's Sophie's voice that reaches his ears first, it is much clearer and calmer this time, her tone hushed and soft as the smell of sterile antiseptic and old people fill his nostrils. Accompanied by the slight chill biting at his flesh he is more than positive that he's in the hospital and has not been delivered to whatever is awaiting him in the afterlife.

He can feel her fingers on his forehead brushing hair away and tucking it behind his ear a touch that he would normally frown upon but involuntarily finds himself leaning into as his eyes flutter open only to shut again instantly in defense against the harsh florescent lights blaring down on him, his angular features scrunching in displeasure.

"Hardison hit the lights." Nate's voice is next as he feels someone slide down to sit beside him on the opposite side of the bed from where Sophie is standing. "They're agitating his concussion..." Nate's tone drops to a hushed whisper and is closer now as he feels a strong father like grip on his knee. "Eliot open your eyes."

Eliot feels his brows raise but his eyelids are just to damn heavy and defy the order 'I already did you ungrateful bastard, isn't once enough? you open my eyes I'm to tired.' He thinks about snapping back but finds that streaming so many words together would cost more than they're worth as he relaxes his features and settles for stringing a few letters together instead, words are over rated after all who needs them? Letters, Letters are much easier. "Mmm mm" He hears his own weak reply and makes note to reprimand himself for it later when he can muster up the strength to mentally kick his own ass for allowing such a moment of weakness.

"Parker..." Sophie is speaking again, 'Sophie so... Tender and quiet, if she weren't such a criminal she would make a hell of a mother some day' "I need you to commander a chair before our friends standing watch out there realize he is awake and go forth with their own agenda... Parker... Parker are you listening to me? Parker."

Eliot didn't need to see the nimble blonde to know that she was currently contorted into a pretzel in the farthest corner of the room her long legs tucked against her chest as tightly as an old woman holds her purse in a grocery store. Her head resting on her knees starring off into a place where none of them could ever venture. The same place she always went when stressful situations arose and the already socially awkward young woman found herself unable to cope. Parkerville USA, As Eliot called it.

. . . . .

The next time consciousness tugs at him the smell of fresh sheets and bourbon instantly sooth his instinctively alert nerves and against his own free will he hears a moan fall from his lips .

The soft fabric against his backside is more than familiar, he'd crashed at Nate's place more times than he could count when they would work late on the job and he'd pass out on this very same sofa.

"Wakey wakey sleeping beauty." He can hear Hardison's voice from somewhere close and figures his friend must be sitting watch in the recliner by his head. "It's about time, you've been out for damn near three days... I was gonna throw water on your ass but Parker threatened to 'take me down' if I so much as touched you." Hardison always mumbles when he's nervous so Eliot tries to block out the nonsense words even though they begin driving nails into his skull.

"He awake?" There's Nate, which Eliot knows means that Sophie will soon follow, the two of them still playing the whole scorned lover routine, I love you I hate you game and denying feelings even a blind man could see are there.

"He's comin around."

"Wouldn't be... If you'd shut up." He's more than shocked at how tired and strained he sounds to his own ears as he shifts toward the voices filling his personal space.

"What? I'm sorry is three days not enough rest for you my queen?"

"Don't make me get off this couch Hardison, or You'll be the one whose gonna be layin' here with that laptop you love so much tightly crammed in places where no electronic should ever go." As he finishes his retort however Eliot's expression shifts to confusion when he feels an itch beginning to tickle the inside of his nostrils and finds his arms to heavy to move, immobilized, locked, preventing him from scratching and satisfying the annoyance.

In fact they ached, burned and throbbed in a familiar way that caused the professional hit-man's stomach to twist and turn before he even opened his eyes. 'Damn it... not both of them... Aw hell, this is going to be a bag of fun.' He inwardly grumbles and winces as his eyes pry themselves open and the world comes disappointingly into focus, three of his four teammates hovering so close to him now that it has surpassed the line of uncomfortable and was now down right creepy.

"Try to stay calm man." Hardison's tone is almost pleading his eyes the same.

"Both of them?" The team's muscle muses out loud as sure enough both his left and right arms were plastered from shoulder to mid fingers, bent at the elbows jutting out in front of him in an eternal hugging position.

"'fraid so..."


"It could have been worse." Sophie and Nate lean forward to help him when the injured man attempts to rise to a sitting position, his jaw locking in aggravation when he realizes how difficult such a simple task is without the use of his arms.

"How the hell could this have been worse?" He doesn't mean for the words to come out so sharp and bitter but he has never been much good at controlling his temper, a problem that only escalates itself at times like these.

"You could be dead. That would be worse." Parker's voice is finally heard as with effort Eliot pivots himself to look at her, sure enough she is just as he'd pictured her there in the hospital when his foggy brain had registered the one sided conversation between the teams grifter and thief, folded and scrunched, placed neatly in one of the chairs at Nate's Kitchen table.

Her usuall permanent amused expression however seems different somehow as he studies her and it takes a minute before the hitter realizes there is worry embedded in her normally excited and slightly off gaze . she peeks at him from over the tops of her black legging clad knees.

She looks like a scared kitten awaiting punishment for an unwanted mess on the living room carpet her cheek trembling just enough that he knows the others would surely over look it, but he notices, he always notices, and the sight pulls at Eliot inside his chest causing an ache that pales in comparison to the physical pain he is currently experiencing. It is his job to hurt people, hell he'd killed small armies single handedly and never once thought twice about it, but hurting Parker never sat right with him, the young woman has seen so much pain in her life, so much rejection and uncertainty he would do anything to keep from adding to it, anything to make her feel wanted, safeā€¦ Needed

Which is why seeing her now like this, appearing almost fragile like a fine glass vase he would have stolen from some museum shelf, Eliot finds that words fail him, the look on her face, the fear, the worry, stabbing at him as he inwardly curses and wishes he could close his eyes and make this whole situation go away not just for him but for all of them.

He was not use to being the one coddled and he didn't like the dependency that came with such an injury one bit. Yet still he manages some how to press it all down to the souls of his feet when he sees the expression being cast his way from across the room. "Yeah. Maybe." He offers her a small half grin hoping it will remove the unwanted emotions from her features.

"You need something?" Nate asks interrupting his friends thoughts and pulling his attention back to the fact that there are others in the room.

"My arms?" As if on cue the long haired mans bangs fall into his eyes and he huffs audibly trying to shift his head back and forth to move them out of the way, Puffing his cheeks up and attempting to blow them aside a few times as well.

"We could always cut your hair and make things easier on you." Hardison pipes up a smirk playing on his lips.

"You know how long it took me to grow this out? You come near me with scissors and you'll find them jammed up your ass."

"Along side my laptop?"

"Well if they don't both fit I can always rip you a new one!"

"How are you gonna accomplish that without your arms super brute?"

"I still got my toes."

Hardison's eyes widen and he swallows hard, "You uh know how to... With your toes?"

"Ask the south ring of Pakistani arms dealers..."

"The who?"

"Exactly." The grin that appears in Eliot's bright blue orbs says just enough that no one questions him any further about his ability to murder or at least mangle a man with the use of his toes, as he finds exhaustion creeping over him and leans back heavily into the couch cushions shutting his eyes. He feels what he knows to be Nate's grip resituating his injured frame back to a laying position.