With the usual kudos to my beta's Jay and Mirth. All mistooks and speling misstakes are mine.

I obviously do not own or have anything to do with the making of Leverage, if I did Eliot and Hardison would do the entire season in their vests.

Warnings: Naughty words ahead, particularly the one starting with F.

Summary: All he had to do was take just one step, then another, then another. Easy, right?

Just one step.

All he had to do was release his grip from the desk and take one step, then another, then another and another.


But his right hand was clenched in a white knuckled grip on the corner of some office workers desk, and refusing to release its hold. His left was gingerly held against his side in a futile effort of trying to breathe pain free. He could hear his team yelling at him through the ear bud, sending further spikes of pain shooting through his head, but didn't dare open his mouth to tell them to shut the fuck up in case the nausea that was rolling around his stomach found its way out.

Fuck it! He snarled to himself, he was getting soft. He'd taken out eight Kenyan Mungiki members armed with fucking machetes and he'd walked away with nothing more than a sprained wrist. But six muscle bound, dumb as shit security guards had managed to beat the crap out of him, leaving him covered in his own blood, his head vibrating in pain to the thump of his heartbeat, he was seeing two of everything and knew that if he let go of the desk he was desperately holding on to, he would face plant the floor.

Okay, so he did take all the meat heads out and one of them was probably gonna be in traction for a few weeks, which Nate wasn't gonna be happy with, but seriously? Tasers fucking hurt! Spams of pain were still running through his muscles, which wasn't helping with the whole "let go of the desk and get out of the building" plan.

Granted most of his injuries were when the fucker tasered him and he went flying down two flights of stairs and not from the rent-a-cops themselves. But still, this was not one of his better days.

A hand dropped onto his shoulder and he whirled instinctively, his hand leaving the desk ready to strike a disabling blow when the voice echoing in his head suddenly registered and he aborted the deadly manoeuvre, which left him off balance and stumbling, his knees doing what they had been threatening to do for the last few minutes and gave out on him, his body heading for a painful meeting with the floor.

He never made it. Strong arms wrapped themselves round him, lowering him gently to the floor, leaning him against the desk, a hand planted in the middle of his chest to keep him in position. He looked up into the blurry faces of Nate and Hardison.

"Dammnit, Nate!" he growled out in frustration, probably would have said more, but the nausea that had been rolling around his stomach found its way out, muscles in his stomach and chest convulsing in pain as it burned up his throat and erupted from his mouth… into the trashcan being held by Hardison.

"All done?" Hardison's voice was filled with concern as he moved the trashcan away, placing it on the floor, far enough to avoid the smell, but close enough should it be needed again. Eliot scowled at him, his pale face flushing with embarrassment. He wrapped his arms around his battered ribs to try and ease the burning ache that had settled around them, making every breath painful.

He turned to look at Nate, "What the fuck you doin' here?" he growled out hoarsely, hiding his embarrassment behind a veil of false aggression. Nate gave him a look that seemed to imply he was insane, which to be fair he probably was. All the things he'd done and had done to him, he probably wasn't playing with a full deck anymore.

"Seriously, man?" it was Hardison that answered his question, no surprise there. "All we hear are punches and grunts, and you turning the air blue. 'Cos seriously man, potty mouth? You got Tourette's or something?" Hardison squatted down in front of him, his expression serious, and his tone hard." Then it all goes silent and you don't answer our calls. You don't expect us to come and find out what happened? Seriously, E?"

Eliot closed one eye in the hope that the two Hardison's bitching him out would merge into just one

"Eliot, you badly hurt?" Eliot opened his eye again so that Nate came back into his line of vision. Hardison stood up, huffing at having his rant interrupted.

"I'm fine," he growled out, which for some bizarre reason made both men and their doppelgangers roll their eyes.

"Sophie, we're on our way out," Nate suddenly spoke into thin air. "Bring the van round to the rear exit." Nate turned to look at Hardison. "Once we're back in the van we need a back story for the hospital."

"Ain't going to no hospital," Eliot injected, both men ignoring him as they reached forward and pulled him to his feet taking a step forward, making it look easy.

"Yeah you are, Eliot," Nate stated.

"No, I ain't," Eliot snarled back, trying to pull himself clear, but their grip was too strong and his ribs strongly protested the movement, legs and head sided with his ribs, legs refusing to support him, muscles quivering like jelly. His head cranking up the pain, causing his eye sight to blur even more.

"Tell you what," Nate reasoned, with what could only be called a smug smirk, "if you can walk out of this building without our help, no hospital."

Fucking bastards.