It takes exactly five seconds for Eliot to die.
It takes a little over three minutes for him to come back.
(Nate knows this, because after everything, after the shock and horror and, quite frankly, even more shock, he makes Hardison play back the audio right at the point where everything went completely insane, and there's exactly five seconds between the first sharp pop! of the gun going off and the point where the constant white noise of Eliot's pulse abruptly ceases from his feed. And then there's three minutes of screaming and Sophie managing to maintain her cover and then Eliot's feed starts thumping with his pulse again and that was the point when Hardison cut the play back mumbling something about how "a man's got the right to cry in private, you know?")
It's the ease with which he accepts this fact that worries Nate the most. Sure he's gotten used to the fact that his little team is not exactly…normal, even for crooks, but there's being-slightly-not-normal and there's being-able-to-return-from-the-dead, and quite frankly Nate was sure they'd never get to that latter state.
(Yes, he's imagined a scenario where one of his people turns out to be, well, even more not-normal than they already are. It's what he does. True, this is Plan Triple Z, but still. He's planned for this moment. Sort of.)
"So," he says after his second Scotch. "Not dead."
Eliot shrugs and frowns and hunches his shoulders a little tighter. "It's a thing," he says, then, "Parker, would you quit fucking poking at me!"
"You sure you were dead?" Parker pokes Eliot again and frowns at him. It's not her "I don't understand your strange human customs" frown, but more like…more like she's staring at an old safe outfitted with a brand new lock that she's never seen before.
"Yes Parker," Eliot says for perhaps the hundredth time tonight. "I know what dead feels like. Trust me."
"And now you're not," Parker says. She chews her lip a little, then glances over at Hardison, who's glaring at Eliot like Eliot has somehow personally offended him in someway; so status quo as far as Nate's concerned. "Is he a zombie? Should we shoot him in the head?" She looks back at Eliot. "Are you a zombie? Should I be worried about my brain?"
"Nobody's shooting me in the head," Eliot growls. "I'm an Immortal. There were more of us, but then there was this thing with these crazy Scots a couple of decades back and, you know, it's not something I like to advertise." His frown deepens and looks at Nate. "Look, shouldn't you be explaining this?"
"Me?" Nate raises an eyebrow in surprise.
"You're my watcher, right? Or, well, the latest one."
Sophie snorts at that and Nate turns and stares at her. He's still not entirely sure what Eliot's talking about, but he's starting to get the feeling that Sophie is.
"You?" Eliot says, and he sounds…ok, he actually sounds kind of pleased, which makes Nate frown.
"You did create quite the stir at headquarters, showing up in Chicago like that," Sophie says, smiling. "They made me come out of bleeding retirement."
Nate rubs his forehead and pours another Scotch. "Ok," he says after a minute. "So. You can't die."
"I can die," Eliot says. "I just fucking died."
"It just doesn't stick," Sophie says.
"Huh." Nate sips at his drink and contemplates Eliot. Eliot glares back at him, then says, "You're totally thinking about how knowing the fact that I come back to life after I fucking die would've made at least three of our last jobs easier."
"No," Nate says, lying out of habit, and then shrugs. "Ok, yes."
"Yeah. You just keep making plans like I've only got the one life, okay?"
"I think you should tell them about the sword," Sophie says, and Nate is suddenly on red alert because right now Sophie's being serious.
"Sword?" Nate asks.
"It's a thing." Eliot makes a face and waves his hand like what he's about to say is no big deal. "It's just sometimes there are other Immortals and we fight and sometimes I behead people. But like I said. There aren't as many of us as there used to be and, you know, it's probably not even going to be an issue."
"Ok," Nate says, and he thinks he's had enough alcohol now that he can finally begin to really process everything. "So. You're immortal—"
"An Immortal," Eliot corrects.
"You can't die," Nate compromises, then goes on, "And Sophie is your…Watcher was it? And at some point in time, there will be somebody with a sword looking to chop off your head."
"Yeah," Eliot says, nodding slowly. "That about sums it up."
"Ok," Nate says again and he purses his lips. "Fine. I think I can work with that."
"So you're not going to eat my brain," Parker says, and she sounds kind of disappointed.
"No, Parker, I'm not going to eat your brain." Eliot glances at Hardison, who's still glaring at him, still looking incredibly annoyed about something. "What, Hardison. What's your fucking problem?"
Hardison's glare increases in intensity and then he shakes his head. "I knew that internet rumor was true," he says.