FINALLY STARTED WRITING AGAIN! Aren't you proud of me? :) Anyway, I hope you enjoy the remake of this Leverage episode. Thank you whimseyrhodes for helping me with this story; I appreciate it.
"Tank's dead," the paramedic said, looking at Eliot. "He killed him."
All eyes were fixed on the hurt hitter, and Eliot looked up at Nate, unable to say anything. The team saw terror in his blue, hurt eyes, as well as remorse. He sat in a chair, holding onto his ribs, his sweat-soaked hair covering his face. He slowly reached up and pulled at the hairband holding his hair up, letting it run free.
The next few minutes were barely heard. As the team talked to Rucker and the paramedic, Eliot could only think of the fight. He had been drugged, he knew that, and he knew that he did what he normally did when he couldn't control himself: he killed.
He killed Tank, and even though the fighter wasn't such a good person, Eliot still couldn't get that empty feeling out of his heart. He hadn't killed anybody in so many years and Tank hadn't deserved that. More than half his life had been just that, and now all of a sudden, when he thought he had forgotten his past life… he couldn't even think about it any further.
He hung his head, picturing the fight in his mind. He felt someone sit beside him and place a gentle hand on his uninjured shoulder, a hand that he recognized as Parker's. Nobody in the team had such a gentle touch. Especially with him. He turned his head to her and Parker saw how wide his eyes were, how bloody he was. She reached for his hand and gave it a light squeeze.
Eliot didn't reply, just sat there, sweat dripping down his face.
In a few minutes, the team had gotten him into the truck, giving him the materials he needed to patch himself up. They all watched in awe as the hitter slowly bandaged his wounds, hiding the wince every time he touched a sensitive spot. When he finished, he dropped his head against the wall and closed his eyes, pretending not to pay attention to what the team was saying.
"Eliot's gonna be fine, Parker," Nate was saying. "He's Eliot."
"You're not seeing him, Nate," Parker replied, putting emphasis on his name. "He's practically in broken pieces. Confused. Alone. Afraid. He can't believe what he just did. He thought he had left that life behind, and now look. He knows that if the police find out, he'll be put behind bars."
Eliot didn't hear anymore; by the time Parker finished, he began mediating, his hand on his hurt shoulder.
In about two weeks, almost all of Eliot's wounds had healed, except for his broken ribs, and a rather painful cut on his face.
But whenever he walked around the office, or sat down for briefings, he seemed somehow distant. His normally bright blue eyes had lost their color and now seemed dull. He became quiet, and rarely ever said "Dammit Hardison!" anymore, barely even called Parker names. Everyone noticed his behavior, and had tried to talk to him about it but were pushed away instantly.
Finally, Parker had had enough.
She had come up to him while cooking and listening to music, and noticed that he was listening to what sounded like hard rock and a mix of heavy metal.
"I thought you only like country." she pointed out.
Eliot looked at her, giving her a faint smile. At least they were getting somewhere, Parker thought. A smile means something good right? "I'm starting to like it. Guns N' Roses is a pretty good band."
"Is that what you're listening to now?" Parker knew she had to ease Eliot into the conversation. At least that's what Sophie told her.
Eliot nodded. "November Rain," he answered. "One of my favorites."
"Eliot, what's happened to you?" Parker suddenly asked, forgetting everything Sophie had told her. "Where's the real Eliot? That one who yells at Hardison, the one who tells me I'm messed up, the happier Eliot? Because you're definitely not him. And I miss the real one."
Eliot's mouth opened, and then he sighed, turning back to his food.
"Let me serve dinner, Parker," he said sadly. "Then we'll talk."
Parker nodded. "Promise me?"
After dinner, Eliot walked up to the roof of the building, signaling Parker to follow. When they got up, Eliot immediately went for the edge of the office, sitting down on a ledge and leaning against a wall.
"What do you wanna know, Parker?" he began. "Why I'm not myself? Why I've been so quiet lately?"
Parker nodded, unable to say anything.
"Parker, you know I don't… I don't… I can't talk about my past. Or what's happening to me. You gotta understand that-"
"I do!" Parker cut in. "I do. But I can't just sit there seeing you like this. I miss you."
The hitter sat in silence for a few seconds before pulling Parker to him, helping her sit beside him on the ledge. He kissed the top of her head, wrapping his arms around her.
"I thought I had left that life behind," he began, staring off into the city in front of him. His voice was gentle, calm, but sad. "I would have never thought I would do that again. But it brought old memories. Memories that I can't tell you, that I have to keep in a box in the furthest corner of my mind." He paused, taking a deep breath, and then continuing, "I've killed so many people in my past, both bad and good. For the past year, I finally felt it all behind me. But now I've come back to what I was before. A monster. I honestly thought I was never gonna go back to all of this. I really did. But now I see it's always gonna be part of me. That… thing inside me just waiting to come out."
Parker let her head fall on Eliot's strong chest, her hand reaching out for his.
"It's okay to be afraid, you know?" she said, drawing random lines on his hard-working hand.
"Not for me." Eliot replied, loosening his grip on the young thief.
He helped Parker up, staring at her with sad eyes. "So did you get your answer?" he asked.
Parker leaned in and planted a light kiss on his cheek, smiling sadly.
Eliot sighed, leading Parker back down and then going into the living room to watch some TV and finally relax.
As Parker was leaving, she went by Eliot, who was sound asleep on the couch. He seemed quiet, but then all of a sudden, she heard whimpers and moans. She dropped her bags, and dashed to the hitter, falling onto his knees next to him.
"Eliot," she said, placing her hand on his forehead. "Eliot, wake up. Please!"
The hitter suddenly gasped awake, bolting upright. Parker gathered him into her arms, stroking the top of his head. "It's okay, Eliot, I'm here," she soothed, rubbing his shoulder. "It's alright, I'm here. You're safe."
"Parker?" Eliot asked, his voice shaking.
Parker looked down at him, nudging a strand of hair out of his eyes.
"I'm scared." Eliot whispered, closing his eyes.