Hardison winced as he listened to a fist connect with Eliot's ribs and Eliot wheezed out a pained breath. His fingers flew over his keyboard, searching for an exit because things had gone bad faster than he thought possible and Nate was now yelling in his ear, and he could really do without that.

"Chill, Nate," he finally snapped even as Eliot grunted and the sound of a hard hand against flesh resounded through the comms. "I'm working as fast as I can."

"Well work faster," Parker shot back.

She was currently making her way out of the building even though he knew every instinct in her body was telling her to turn around back to Eliot. Sophie's carefully controlled breathing was the background for the cacophony of Eliot's fight, seven men on one. And Eliot's shoulder had already been bothering him before this job.

He needed to find a clear path for Eliot to get out of there because Hardison knew he could take these guys. Maybe not an endless stream of them, but this normally wasn't a problem for Eliot.

Except that the worry was starting to clench around his throat like a hand around his windpipe and desperation was creeping into his fingers, trembling and freezing up when all he needed to do was find a way to get Eliot out of there.

His eyes scanned the security feeds, and he saw the free hallway, the one Eliot only needed to edge a little to the right to get to.

"Okay, man, I've got an exit for you. If you just go to your right, you'll be free and clear," he said in as calm a voice as he could muster.

"And what am I going to do if anyone follows me?" Eliot growled, and Hardison could swear he heard the man grinding his teeth.

"I'll take care of it. Confuse them with a false announcement or something," Hardison replied, already tapping into the building's P.A. system.

Hardison looked down at his notes at the codes for different types of lockdowns and procedures.

"Go with a lockdown of Section Four," Nate instructed. "Sophie and I are on our way out. We have the information we need to take this bastard down."

"Roger that," Hardison muttered. He tied his comm. into the system and said in a monotone, "All security personnel report to Section Four to contain the threat. Repeat, all security personnel report to Section Four to contain the threat."

"Stay down," Eliot grunted, and there was one last sickening crack that Hardison was pretty sure was a bone breaking. Then, Eliot's voice was demanding, "Am I clear?"

Hardison glanced at the screens and nodded his head before remembering that verbal communication was important when he was alone with his computer. "Yeah. Free and clear, man."

He watched Eliot run through the hallway and to the side door he had made sure would be unlocked; his heart hammered in his chest. Eliot was definitely bleeding pretty heavily, and he was staggering. Hardison looked a little closer and realized Eliot was actually limping, and his balance was off because it looked like his right shoulder was dislocated again.

When Eliot made it outside, Hardison lost sight of him, and then Nate and Sophie were busy talking in his ear, and he could almost hear Parker prowling restlessly around them, but he couldn't hear Eliot.

"Hey, hey, what's going on?" He tried to keep the panic out of his voice, he really did, but they weren't listening to him. "Seriously, talk to me. I can't see what's happening."

"We've got him." And that was all he got from Nate, which made Hardison really want to throw his computer across the room.

Then he looked back up at the screens on the wall and groaned. "Um, guys? You need to peel out of there. Those guards are headed right in your direction, and they've got guns with them. Really big guns."

"I thought you were distracting them," Parker replied, her voice tighter than normal which probably meant she was supporting some of Eliot's weight.

"Yeah, well, I guess that didn't work. Get a move on," he replied even as he made sure that exit door locked back; it should slow them down at least a little bit.

"Seriously? Damn it, Hardison!"

It was weaker than normal and punctuated by a wet cough that sounded pretty nasty, but it was Eliot's voice. Which meant he was conscious, and that normally meant he was going to be okay.

"Is that any way to thank someone who just saved your ass?" Hardison asked indignantly even as he grinned. "Just ungrateful."

He didn't get a reply, but he knew Eliot understood what was behind the pretend hurt. And then Nate was giving out orders again, like normal, and Sophie was busy arguing with Eliot about whether a hospital was necessary, and he could hear a small laugh from Parker.

Yeah, it was going to be okay.