Author's Note: So I allllmost did something off of Nate telling Eliot to take the rest of the con off... but then we got this :))
Okay, not to toot my own horn, but I think this chapter is honestly one of the most in character I've ever done, though it's also the most divergent. So enjoyyyy :D
Eliot, the unmovable mountain that he was, barely jolted when his car smashed headlong into their mark's. He saw glass shatter and heard the crunch of metal, and he knew his job was done.
After switching the briefcases, Eliot strode off to hide in an alleyway and wait for Parker. After a few minutes, he saw the mark scurrying by with blood on his forehead and the wrong briefcase and smirked. Their plan had worked.
"Okay, Parker," Eliot said, tapping his com to activate it. "You're all set; he's out of sight."
There was no response, and Eliot rolled his eyes. "Parker!" he growled. "Get out of the car before someone sees the accident and calls it in!"
When there was still no reply, Eliot felt a twinge of... something in his gut. It seemed that Hardison felt that same twinge, because he spoke up over the coms. "Parker? You alright, mama?"
"Eliot," Nate said, voice as calm as ever. "Go check on Parker."
Cursing under his breath, Eliot grumbled his way back towards the crime scene. He found the cars where he had left them, the one he had been driving steaming slightly. Parker was slumped over the steering wheel, her forehead still mushed into the horns so that it made let out an incessant honk. "Parker!" Eliot yelled, wrenching the door open.
Then Parker fell sideways, tumbling towards the open space, and he saw the blood on her face. "Nate," Eliot managed, voice low in his throat. "Parker's hurt."
"What?!" Hardison cried. "What do you mean 'Parker's hurt'?! Eliot, did you hit her with the car? Did you hit her with the car?!"
"No, man, of course I didn't hit her with the car!" Eliot yellow, taking out all of his anger and worry on Hardison, as he usually did. "I mean, I hit her car with the car but I didn't hit her with the car!"
"Eliot," Nate said again, interrupting him. His voice was still Eliot hated the calm now, because there wasn't anything to be calm about. "Bring her back here. We can't have you two on the scene when the cops arrive. Hardison is wiping you from the footage as we speak."
"Oh, I am, am I?" Hardison snarked, and Eliot heard the sound of him pounding at his keys as he dragged Parker carefully out of the drivers seat of the car. "Yeah, I'll just expertly erase this video in two seconds while also doctoring the footage that we need to complete the con, easy peasy fresh and squeezy I do this every day-"
"Shut up, Hardison!" Eliot growled. "Did you not hear me when I said that Parker's hurt? We have bigger things to worry about than Nate overworking you."
"Man, of course I heard you!" Hardison cried, and his voice cracked. "And I am doing literally everything I can not to freak out or throw up or pass out or-"
"Just. Shut. Up."
"Fine, fine, I'm shutting up," Hardison muttered, as his fingers kept clacking loudly on the keys.
By now, Eliot had dragged Parker into his arms so she was laying in them, bridal style. He began to run down the street, veering so that he would be on the sidewalk and hopefully out of any oncoming headlights. He didn't even want to think about how bad this looked.
By the time Eliot reached the Leverage office, he was out of breath and his arms were aching. Hardison met him at the door of the pub, looking frazzled. "Oh God there's blood," he whimpered as he held the door open for Eliot and Parker. "That's a loooot of blood."
"Of course there's blood, Hardison," Eliot snapped. "That's what happens when someone bashes their face into a steering wheel."
Hardison let out another whimper and followed Eliot upstairs like a worried puppy.
Nate was the one to open the door this time, guiding Eliot into his living room. "Put her on the couch," he directed, and Eliot complied before collapsing into a chair to catch his breath.
Nate eyed him in surprise and Eliot glared at him. "What? You think you wouldn't be out of breath after just running half a mile with a full-grown woman in your arms? I'm not a spring chicken anymore, Nate!"
"If I wasn't so worried, I would be commenting on the spring chicken thing," Hardison spoke up from the kitchen, where he was wetting a towel for Parker's face.
"You just did comment on the spring chicken-"
"No, I commented about commenting on the spring chicken-"
"Enough," Nate ordered, glaring at both of them. "Hardison, get some ice along with that washcloth. Eliot, check out Parker's face."
"Yes, sir," Eliot agreed sarcastically, forcing himself out of his chair and towards the girl on the couch. He caught the washcloth that Hardison threw at him and gently starting cleaning blood off of Parker's face.
"Do you think she has brain damage?" Hardison's voice, surprisingly close behind him, made Eliot jump. He turned halfway to find Hardison right behind his shoulder, peering fearfully at Parker.
"I don't know, man, I'm not a doctor!" Eliot growled, turning back to Parker. "Now back up; I need room to work."
"Okay," Hardison agreed immediately, and there was that whimper in his voice again as he handed Eliot the ice pack and took a seat.
Eliot was just finishing cleaning up Parker's face when she let out a groan and shifted on the couch. "Owww..."
"Parker? Baby- baby girl, I'm here," Hardison muttered, rushing forward and taking Parker's hand. "You're okay."
"Did Eliot punch me?" Parker asked, wrinkling her nose and sitting up. She winced as she did so, and felt at her face. "Did I break my nose?!"
"No, you didn't break your nose," Eliot told her, rolling his eyes. "And no, I didn't punch you. I wouldn't- I don't just go around punching my team! I'd never hurt you guys."
"Hey man." Hardison looked up at him seriously. "Words can hurt as much as fists."
Eliot gritted his teeth and glared at him. "Dam-"
"Shhh..." Parker ordered, putting her hands on her head. "Tell me what happened and do it in an inside voice. My head hurts."
"Here," Eliot said gruffly, but his hands were gentle as he put the ice pack on the right spot on her face. "I didn't aim the car right. It hit your side too much and you got knocked out on the steering wheel. Bashed your nose, which was why there was so much blood."
"Okay, so you didn't punch me, but you hit me with a car," Parker concluded, nodding a little and positioning the ice pack more comfortably. "Got it."
"I didn't-" Eliot broke off and threw himself in a chair. "I didn't mean to hit you. The plan was so stupid- we shouldn't have even done something like that."
"Stupid, but it worked," Nate spoke up from the kitchen counter, where he was pouring himself a drink.
Eliot spun on him angrily. "Yeah? And at what cost? What if it hadn't been Parker's nose? What if she had a concussion? What if, I dunno, I had missed and-"
"Hey, man, calm down," Hardison said, patting Eliot on the shoulder. "She's fine, see? Parker's fine."
"Yeah? Well if you're so sure of that why are you still holding her hand that tightly?" Eliot shot back, glaring at him.
"I-" Hardison's retort died on his lips and he slumped a little, dropping Parker's hand.
"Rude," she told him, reaching for it again. When he looked up at her in surprise she smirked. "Your hands are warm, and mine aren't. Simple problem, simple solution."
A smile broke over Hardison's face and he wrapped both of his hands around hers, squeezing gently.
"See, Eliot?" Parker spoke up again, smiling at him. "It's okay."
"It's not okay!" Eliot shouted, but there wasn't much heat behind his glare. "I just had to pull your unconscious body from a dang car, Parker! For all I knew I could have seriously hurt you!"
"Hey." Parker reached out with her other hand, abandoning her ice pack in the process, and placed it over Eliot's. He grumbled about her cold fingers but didn't try to move her away. "You said it yourself. You'd never hurt me."
Author's Note: ajeklrj;alskje;klj I LOVE BIG BROTHER ELIOTTTT!