Scars can be defining features on a body. "The man who robbed me had a scar like he'd been slashed with a knife across his cheek!" They could be badges of courage, or of pride. Things to be bandied about amongst the chosen few. They could be secrets, deep and shameful.
For Eliot Spencer, scars were, mostly, just a part of life. He got kicked, hit, shot at and stabbed more times than he'd care to recount (should he even be able to). He remembers one night after a Job, when the whole team was relaxing in the office. A few drinks for all and suddenly, it was strip poker time. Who knew that Hardison had it in him?
Well, Eliot did play a mean hand of poker, but in this group, bluffing was like breathing, and twice as easy. So, half an hour later, and two more shots of Jameson's, Eliot was shirtless, Parker was down to her bra (a strange enough occurrence—she normally didn't wear one, but it wasn't like Eliot would know this, but she did tend to change in front of them…) and Sophie was gleefully still dressed. Nate was without a jacket and button up, but still had a t-shirt on. Hardison was worse than Eliot, having come to the point of folding because he was only in his boxers (batman boxers, at that) and his socks.
What Eliot should have realized was that sooner or later, someone was going to ask about the things he would rather not speak about.
"Eliot, how'd you get that long scar there?" Parker, never known for her subtlety.
"Bullwhip. Madrid." No inflection, just a shuffling of cards.
"Really? What about the funny shaped one? Looks kinda like a map of the tube in London?" At that, Sophie leans in and nods. "Yep. Just like the tube."
"It is a map of the tube. Three guys, Croatia." This time, he takes a drink.
"Are we gonna play "ask Eliot" all night, or are we gonna finish this game?"
"Last one man, I swear. What about the one there, the line with dots down the sides. Tribal?"
A hesitation. This isn't a happy story. He collects himself.
They all look at him, and he feel it's time to leave.
"Heart surgery? Wait, HEART? No, man, what's up with that?"
"My heart was forcibly removed from my chest cavity. I watched it beat for a moment before the pain became too great and they put it back in. Croatia."
He gets up and leaves, pulling his shirt back on. He stops, turns around, grabs the bottle, and before anyone can say anything, he says "Lion. Circus."
Sometimes, scars are badges or secrets, and sometimes, just sometimes, they're a great way to make an exit.
I heard once that someone in the French Revolution was quoted that a truly good torturer could show you your own still-beating heart before you died of the trauma. I take it a step further, so that he lives ;)