"See," Nate began, waving a hand over the chessboard. The game had started fifteen minutes ago and Eliot sat there with his head in his hand waiting for Nate to make his move, "A chess game has three stages, the opening, the middle and the end game." He moved his rook into the middle of the board and Eliot immediately countered. "You want to control the board, need to control the board."

"I know," Eliot growled with a roll of his eyes. He'd heard all this from Nate before, more than once.

Nate paused to scrutinise the board, looking at every possible next move, "you've got to plan ahead, strategise," he pressed a finger to his pawn and huffed before changing his mind and going for his knight. "You gotta line up your attack and protect the king, it's all about attack and defence" He explained, waving his hands about. Eliot sighed. He knew a little about attack and defence and he started to wonder if Nate thought he was just a meathead that knew how to throw a punch, "You can be aggressive, attack hard and leave your opponent wondering what happened..."

Eliot made his move, pushing the bishop diagonally across the board and taking Nate's rook.

"Or," Nate continued with a frown as he watched Eliot pick his rook up and remove it. "You can play it safe, play it clever. Win the game before your opponent has any idea what your plan is." His hand hesitated over the pieces for a moment and they sat in silence as Nate decided on his next move. Eliot's eyes flicked up to the clock above Nate's head and back down to the board. "Chess is important, learning to anticipate the other person's moves, staying one step... ten steps ahead of them at all times," he finally moved his second rook to the left out of the line of fire. "This game, is an allegory for life."

Eliot sighed and moved his knight without a second thought.

"You've got to stay focused, keep your brain on the game the whole time," Nate said with a grin as he took Eliot's knight. "You've got to-

Eliot lifted his queen and moved it down the board in one quick motion. "Check mate," he grunted before lifting himself out of the chair and striding out the office.

Nate's eyes widened and he looked down as his white king, unable to move and Eliot's black queen in its way. "What the-?" He hadn't even been going easy on the retrieval specialist. He looked up out the doorway and stared at Eliot in disbelief, now sitting with Hardison in front of the big screen watching the football.