It wasn't the money, he had been cheated out of enough money that a little more wouldn't really matter.

It wasn't the way he felt sneered upon when Nate talked to him.

It wasn't even the drinking that had him bothered most, it was nothing new and he was sure it wouldn't be ending anytime soon.

No, none of those things angered Eliot as much as he angered himself. He prided himself in knowing when to make his exit, knowing when it was time to leave. Yet here he was still working with a man that was quickly losing control of himself and their jobs. Trusting this man to have his back when currently he wasn't even capable of watching his own.

It was three in the morning and his arms were crossed tightly as he stared out the window at the few cars that were still creeping past down below, wondering why the hell his truck wasn't one of them. Why he was standing there when he should be packing, leaving the unnecessary burden behind. Why in the very least he wasn't at his own place, why he had come back when he knew exactly what he'd find.

He was a damn fool that's why. His momma had always told him the tale of her first true love when he was little, his father, and how when you're least expectin' it that's when it'd come right up and bite you in the ass. What she forgot to mention and what he later found out was that love didn't always deliver you a Prince Charming, in her case it was a no good gambler that stole every penny she had saved leaving her with no job and two kids to raise. She didn't tell him that most of the time you didn't even get to choose, that love was a bastard that way.

The saying goes the heart wants what the heart wants and his damn, no good, backstabbing, treacherous heart had sought out no other than Nathan Ford. He had spent hours trying to figure out why and the reasons were non existant. Nate was rude, held a mightier than thou attitude, drank more than a fish, and as much as he tried not to let them the more days that went past the more of the few good qualities Nate had disappeared.

Nate was a broken man, much like himself, he didn't want love and Eliot didn't want to love him. He wanted to hate the man but only hated himself more for the thought, Nate deserved a lot but his own rage wasn't one of them things. If anything it was his fault for letting his emotions get in the way of work, for feeling sympathy, such emotions were only good for causing blood shed and that shouldn't have been any different with this team.

The shadows that played in the dark could hide many a thing but the only thing in them tonight was a man spread flat out on the sofa behind him, an arm dangling off the side as he buried his nose further into the cushion.

Eliot took one last glance at the neon red that passed by before he moved quietly to the other side of the room and sat across from him on the floor. He wanted to wake him up, to scream and growl and deliver the ass whoopin' he had promised. That's what he wanted to do but he wouldn't, it'd be like any other night and he'd just sit there standing guard until morning came and he'd once again slip away without his presence being known.

He had told Nate that he didn't care if he drank himself into a coma and honestly he didn't, if Nate didn't care why should he? But he knew if that happened he'd continue to stand guard, he'd sit there until he woke back up just so he'd have the satisfaction of seeing the disappointment on Nates face when he realized he hadn't died. He'd laugh at him and remind him that death was to good for bastards like them.

They more than deserved what was coming to them and Eliot could admit that, he would accept that but he wasn't going to accept a damn broken heart when he didn't ask for the dumb thing to fall in love to begin with. He'd continue to watch Nate drown himself, continue to come here at night to see the man so he could get through the days. It was the only time he could stand being around him and that would have to be enough because he wasn't going to pine away for something he didn't want. As far as he was concerned loving Nate was like a bad cold, it was horrid and disgusting and he'd just have to wait it out. It was the worst thing he could remember happening to him yet he couldn't remember a torture he had ever willingly partook in, yes it was torture and still he stayed.

He spread out on the floor next to the couch, close enough so that the fingers that were hanging nearly brushed his chest when he breathed out and grazed the skin over his heart slightly when he took a breath. He wouldn't seek any more contact, even the little he was receiving was to much in his opinion and he was ashamed of himself for the comfort he took in it.

He was sinking without a life jacket. Nate was continuing to drown and the worst part of it all, it didn't look like he knew how to swim.