The Survival Job

By Goody

Author's Notes: I have kind of stuck Eliot and Sophie in an intense situation together but this is not a romance or ship fic in any way, they were just the team members that made logical sense to be in this situation in my head. For the sake of the fic, the office is a little larger than it tends to appear on the show. Also, Eliot is ridiculously hot. Just thought I'd mention that, and I love a good H/C fic, which this will be.

Disclaimer: I do not own or make a profit from my fantastical fanfiction imaginings. Which is sad.

Spoilers: Very mild ones for a couple episodes, lots for The Wedding Job.

Rating: PG-13 – swearing, lots of violence

Setting: Any time between the Wedding Job and the First David Job.

Summary: Nate had a point when he said that going after a mob boss in their own city could be dangerous.

Leverage Headquarters
Friday, 9pm

The Leverage Headquarters were relatively quiet for a Friday night with half the team away preparing for their next job and the other half in their respective offices preparing for the parts they had to play that evening. The silence of the night was briefly destroyed though by a growl from the far corner office.

"Ahhh! I hate these things."

Hearing Eliot's violent exclamation of anger Sophie poked her head very carefully into his office in time to see him throw the offending object on the table in front of him.

"Would you like some help with that?" Sophie offered carefully, knowing an agitated Eliot was a dangerous Eliot and she should tread softly.

Eliot's teeth gritted. He wouldn't admit aloud that he needed a hand but he did snatch the tie off the table and hold it out to Sophie, more than willing to let her try. She took the piece of fabric and looped it around Eliot's neck, turning him away from the mirror to face her.

"You know you're the one who said you wanted to wear a suit next time," she teased lightly over the fact that he wanted to wear the tuxedo but apparently couldn't put it on right. She remembered his disastrous bowtie in Belgrade as well, even Ingrid had called attention to it.

"Yeah, cause I don't like serving disgusting finger foods to rich snobs, it wasn't because I liked the outfit," Eliot explained, feeling uncomfortable and unable to move freely in the suit.

"You're just never happy, man," Hardison's voice pointed out in their ear buds. "Seriously, do you ever smile? I mean, apart from when you're punching something with extreme angst?"

The computer hacker was currently sitting in a van they had set up as a command center outside the party Sophie and Eliot were getting ready to attend to lure in their mark. Hardison had been working surveillance to learn the guard rotations and security system in the building but he was getting bored and had activated the com units for the whole team so they could chat.

"Oh, I saw him smile!" Parked piped in, who was setting up her repelling gear on the roof of the building. "It was when he got that really big steak the other night. It was so bloody it didn't even look like it was cooked."

"Oh yeah," Hardison agreed, obviously laughing on the other end of the com unit. "His face lit up like a Christmas tree, probably only would have been happier if he got to hunt it down and kill it himself first."

"Hey, I was smilin' at the waitress, not the steak," Eliot added calmly, oddly not defensive.

"Sure, how'd that work out for you?" Hardison asked smugly over the com link.

Now it was Eliot's turn to smirk as he one-upped the hacker, "Came in late the next day didn't I?"

Sophie stifled a laugh while Parker giggled. Hardison was coming up with a response when Nate's commanding tone took over the airwaves.

"The coms are for important communications everyone, not gossip. So if we can keep the conversations about Eliot's emotions, or lack thereof, to a minimum that would be great."

"None of y'all know how to have any fun," Hardison mumbled in response to the reprimand. A shocked and offended gasp made him reconsider the comment, "Not you Parker, you have more fun than should be humanly possible."

"Thanks," she answered and everyone could hear ropes on the other end being pulled into position.

Nate, who was with Hardison in the command center van calculating every angle of their plan, then asked, "Eliot, Sophie everything running smoothly?"

Sophie smiled as she finished Eliot's now pristine tie, "Perfectly. We'll be there soon."

For a woman who was compulsive about shoes, fashion and her appearance, Sophie was incredibly good at getting ready on time and had actually been waiting for Eliot so they could leave. With his outfit finished they could be out the door and on their way to the party. She was posing as a real estate developer and they were trying to trap an oil tycoon was had been forcing people out of their homes so he could build condominiums and shopping malls. Eliot had only a basic cover story for the party, he wasn't going as Sophie's date he was just there as back up in case she needed help or a quick exit.

"Guests are arriving now, no sign of our guy yet but it's just a matter of time," Nate reported.

"Nate, we'll be there," Sophie reassured him, knowing he was only nagging to make sure they stayed on schedule.

"He's a bit of a control freak, huh?" Eliot pointed out to Sophie.

"I can still hear you!" Nate reminded him.

"Yeah, I know," Eliot said, not the least bit apologetic. Sophie was about to respond when she noticed Eliot's eyes shifting focus to the hallway while his entire body tensed. "Shh."

"Eliot?" she questioned as her stomach tightened into knots from the look of concentration and danger on his face as he continued to listen quietly for a few more moments.

"Stay here," he all but whispered and vanished silently from the room to head towards the front of the office.

Sophie did as instructed but couldn't help peaking around the corner to watch Eliot's progress. The retrieval specialist hadn't explained what was wrong but his actions and composure told her that he felt something wasn't right and she was smart enough to trust Eliot's instincts when it came to anything involving security.

"Sophie, what's going on?" Nate asked over the comlink, apprehensive about the silence and the tone of Eliot's voice.

"I don't know," Sophie replied with a hush. "Eliot thinks something's wrong, he's checking it out."

"What could go wrong?" Hardison questioned, back in the van. "We haven't even started the job yet."

Meanwhile, Eliot had reached the front of the office and was still searching for the source of the sound he had heard. The sound he was almost sure had been voices and footsteps. Their office took up the entire floor of the office building so unless a client was coming in search of some help at 9 o'clock on a Friday night, someone was where they weren't supposed to be. Eliot put his eye to the peephole in the front office door just in time to see the armed men on the other side getting into position in front of it.

"Shit," he muttered, seeing at least three guns aimed at the door. With a running leap he vaulted over the desk behind him and covered his head just as the first bullet broke through the door and into the wall above him. More bullets quickly followed, denting the desk he was crouched behind as well as filling the back wall with holes and destroying the three locks they kept on the door.

"Oh god!" Sophie exclaimed as she heard the shots and ducked further into Eliot's office, fearing the worst. "Eliot, are you all right?"

She ridiculously thought to try to find a weapon, but the only thing to use against armed men would be guns and she knew Eliot had none of those. Voices suddenly exploded in her ear along with the sound of continued gunfire.

"Sophie, what's going on?" Nate demanded.

"Are those gunshots?" Hardison asked fearfully.

"Did you break something?" Parker enquired.

It was the last question that truly grabbed her attention though, "Sophie, I'm pinned down and these guys are coming in. I need you to get to the control room and kill the lights."

Whoever these men were they were going to break through the door at any minute. Eliot could hear the sound of at least six different guns, and if he didn't have some kind of advantage when they came through then he knew they were both dead.

Terrified out of her mind Sophie was tempted to shout "No!" and hide behind a desk and hope for the best rather than enter into the battlefield that seemed to be going on outside but she forced herself to remain calm. She was very close to the control room, it was literally about two steps across the hallway and Eliot was her best, probably only, chance to get out of the building alive so she took a deep breath and responded, "I'm going."

Steeling herself she kicked off her high heels and then sprinted across the hallway in her bare feet and turned sharply into the control room. The bullets had sounded louder in the hall but she hadn't felt any pass near her for which she was grateful. As she pulled the doors closed behind her she finally responded to the rest of her team mates.

"There are men here, with guns," she reported as she opened up the fuse box on the wall that she hoped had what she needed. "I don't know who they are, they could be anyone."

Back in the van across town Nate shot Hardison one of the dirtiest looks he had ever received, "I thought we had an alarm system!"

"We do. It tells you if anyone's trying to get in through the windows or the door, it's not a magic anti-assault system," Hardison defended himself as they collected their things together and got ready to drive back to the office, their mission forgotten.

"Oh, they're coming through the door all right!" Eliot yelled in anger, hating being stuck and under heavy fire.

"Sophie, pull the top four fuses from the box. It'll cut the lights on the whole floor," Hardison explained to her having heard Eliot's earlier request.

"Got them," Sophie sighed in relief as she spotted the well labeled fuses and began to switch them off.

"Parker, we're leaving," Nate yelled, more than willing to leave the thief if she couldn't get to them in seconds.

"On my waayyyyy." From the way her voice trailed off they all knew she had taken the most direct route down and jumped off the building.

In the front of the office the shooting stopped for just a moment and Eliot knew the door was about to get kicked in. It was his only chance to move. Rising silently three things happened at once, he reached a defendable position at the side of the door to maximize his advantage, the wood splintered revealing a hallway filled with angry, armed Italian men and as the first one stepped in everything went dark.

The sudden blackness caught the intruders off guard but Eliot had been counting on that and pounced, quickly taking the offence. For the first few moments it wasn't so much a fight as one-sided destruction. These guys were thugs, Eliot had seen that in his brief glimpse of them. Some of them were beefy and built but none had formal training, probably all accustomed to using bats and guns for their dirty work. They were no match for the hitter who took out each one with a practiced two or three blow combination of strikes. The whole situation worked to his advantage really, in the dark they wouldn't fire their weapons in case they hit one another and with the door as their only entrance Eliot had only to dispatch them as they entered. The dark unfortunately didn't allow him to keep track of how many there were but he would worry about that later. With quick jabs and kicks he made sure to keep moving because he could tell from their frenzied shouts that they had no idea where he was or how many men were attacking them and he wanted to keep it that way.

"Where are they?"

"What happened to the lights?"

"The left, they're over on the … uh!"

"Find the lights!"

In the confusion Eliot had easily taken down four of the assailants when one goon finally decided he would not be a lamb for the slaughter. Eliot heard the man mumble, "hell with this", followed by the click of a safety being flicked off so he grabbed the lapels of the man he had just knocked unconscious and held the body in front of him as a shield. Bullets impacted the thug's back, he was a heavy bastard and Eliot was having trouble holding up his dead weight for so long but he was grateful for the added thickness of the man as it kept the bullets from going straight through his body and into Eliot.

And through all this Eliot was forced to ignore the barrage of voices all clearly resounding in his ear demanding to know what was happening and who was coming after them.

Back in the van Parker had arrived as quickly as gravity could get her there and Nate was now driving them back to the office while Hardison used his laptop to log in to the systems at the office in hopes of being some help to their team mates. When the gunfire had stopped they all listened for a moment in stunned silence to Eliot grunting along with the sound of flesh meeting flesh in remarkably fast succession as their retrieval specialist took on the intruders. Not being able to see the fight they could only pray that Eliot was the one inflicting all the damage and not the one on the receiving end.

Finally breaking himself out of the stupor the battle sounds had created Nate pulled himself back to reality, anchored by concern for his teammates, "Sophie, you have to move now while Eliot keeps them busy. Go to my office, there's a panic room behind my book case. Once you get there I'll explain how to get in."

"How come we don't have panic rooms?" Parker asked incredulously.

"Not now Parker!" Nate shouted and the thief slapped her jaw closed hating that if she couldn't talk she would be forced to listen to the sounds of bullets ripping through their office and Eliot fighting for his and Sophie's lives.

Back in the office Sophie hesitated to take the first step out of the control room, "I can't just leave Eliot by himself."

Nate would have strangled her if he didn't want to keep her alive so badly, "Eliot can take care of himself, in fact he'll be able to take even better care of himself if he doesn't have to worry about protecting you. Hardison's logging into the office systems now, there's nothing you can do to help Eliot that he can't except get yourself out of there!"

The argument was compelling and Sophie was almost convinced that she wouldn't be totally abandoning Eliot if she were to run but she still couldn't make herself take that step out of the conference room until the next voice piped in.

"Sophie, go!"

It was Eliot, grunting that she should get out of there and she absolutely could not deny a request from the man fighting to save her life. It was the last push she needed and she felt along the wall in the dark until she found the door handle.

"I'm going," she whispered.

"Good girl," Nate said with relief.

When she opened the doors to the hallway she found it wasn't completely pitch black like she thought it would be as the lights from the city were still pouring in through the windows, casting just enough shadow and light to see by. She knew the way to Nate's office and took off at a light jog, wanting to get there quickly but not wanting to hit a wall or make any unnecessary noise. As much as she hated to admit it she desperately wished she could turn off the sound from Eliot's earpiece as the rest of the team was now immersed in silence and forced to listen to the sound of bones breaking and men screaming in pain or falling to the floor. If she listened closely she could just make out the sound of car horns and tires squealing over Nate's comlink and she tried to focus on that instead.

Turning the corner she found there weren't any windows in the hallway leading to Nate's office and his door was closed making the last stretch of her journey pitch black. She started forward more slowly, grateful she had taken off her shoes that would slow her down and create unnecessary noise. Down the hall and over her ear bud she heard an incredible cry of pain and stopped, praying it wasn't Eliot. The rest of the team drew in a hushed breath as well, hearing the scream and thinking the same thing.

"Eliot?" she enquired, clearly worried and wondering if she should turn around and go back. There had to be something she could do to help couldn't there?

"I said get out of here," Eliot whispered back, harshly and quickly, trying to concentrate on the fight and not giving away his position. As the sounds of the fight continued they all convinced themselves it couldn't have been their Retrieval Specialist who had cried out or the struggle would probably be over. Parker even sent a muted cheer through the earpieces of, "Kick their butts Eliot. Go for the groin."

With a sigh of relief Sophie took the last step to Nate's office. Just as she touched the door handle she finally sensed the presence behind her but it was too late. There was a hand over her mouth and a gun at her temple.

Terror flooding over her she wanted to scream but a mouth at her ear whispered, "Shhh." And the gun pressed in harder.

The strong arm around her turned her around and marched her back the way she came towards Eliot, towards the fight she had so desperately been trying to escape. She knew now she was right in the middle of it and she had no way to warn Eliot of that fact.

TBC

Hope you're enjoying my first Leverage fanfic. I'm so glad there's a season 2 but the wait shall be painful. Hopefully this can help some of you get through the withdrawal like myself. Want more? Let me know. Later, Goody.