Eliot Spencer is a monster. He knows this. Other people know this too. Some of them found him when he was eighteen years old, knew that if they could train him they could make him their personal, captive, pet monster, a killing machine that did their bidding. That didn't work out as well for them as they had hoped. Monsters can't be tamed. They can't be pets.
Once people understood that his life worked. He was a monster. He was a monster for hire. He did the job and then he got paid.
He'd tried to maintain relationships outside his work, but people like Aimee couldn't know what he was. So he had to lie. He had to disappear for weeks and sometimes months at a time, and he had no explanations for her. When he came home and found her married, he realized. It was easier, better not to have relationships, not to have friends.
Then he took a job with two other thieves and a good guy. It should have been a disaster, and truthfully, it kind of was. They got screwed over on the first job, and their remedy had very little of substance for him to do. Nobody to kill or even maim. There should have been no room for a monster, but against the odds Nathan Ford turned them into some kind of team. Sophie helped, but mostly it was Nate. So he agreed to work with them, to let Nate pick the cases, then he left. He went back to his real life as a monster, but then his cell phone rang and called him back to the team.
It's been almost a year, and they've all long-since quit trying to pretend that they aren't coming back.
He's sitting deep in the corner of the couch, half-listening to Hardison ramble on about his new game, while Parker picks at a mayonaise sandwich with her feet resting in his lap and her back pressed against Hardison's arm. Nate is reading something, and Sophie is watching them all, warm and protective all at once. They know what he is, every one of them. He has always known what they are too. A thief, a grifter, a hacker, and the mastermind, an honest man in a dishonest world.
Eliot used to know that he is a monster. Now he isn't sure anymore. He isn't sure what any of them are anymore.