Summary: There's a shooting in a coffee shop, and Eliot's brother's team of paramedics is called to the scene. Hurt!Eliot. Sequel to "Saved a Wretch Like Me" (Chapters 10 & 11) from my collection "Twenty-Three Chromosomes." I would recommend reading that first.

Written upon request for drjones (anon, so hope you see this!) as a present for her anniversary. Congrats! (Seriously, see how easy it is to manipulate me into writing for you? I started this on Saturday. I wasn't even fully recovered from my writing binge!) I haven't finished writing this story (just wanted to get this first part up in time for the anniversary, and since I've already broken my New Year's resolution with the 23 Chromosomes things, I thought why not. But please keep in mind that there will not be daily updates.)

By the way, drjones, look at how dedicated I am. I had the site make up a category all for little old you. Sparkly new Rescue 77 category!

Disclaimer: Not mine, but also, I would like to add that I know nothing about medical stuff. So if anything is off, just pretend that you didn't see that and move on...Okay? Everyone happy? Okay.


Coffee Break

Chapter 1

They're only three minutes away from the emergency site when they get the call.

Shooting in a coffee shop. Who the hell shoots someone in a coffee shop?

"Hey, I'd like a mocha cappuccino with a shot of es- ahh!"

A coffee shop is a sacred place. It is an integral part of the morning rituals of countless people across the globe. The coffee shop is indispensable. To shoot someone in one? Really, the nerve of some people. Right?

But in all seriousness, bullet wounds are urgent matters, and they speed through the streets of L.A. to the Little Ole Coffee Shoppe, where their victim is.

There's a hysterical crowd by the time they get there, and they have to shout and shove their way in.

"Paramedics! Let us through, please."

A smallish man, who identifies himself as the shop manager, rushes up to them and starts explaining that a man had come in and shouted a lot and tried to shoot his girlfriend or ex-girlfriend or something, and that another guy had taken the first guy down, but not before getting shot, and now he's bleeding all over the place, and ohmygod, this has never happened here before, never, ever, ever.

"Let us get to him. We need to help him."

The crowd parts to let the Rescue 77 team through.

There's a man crouched over the prone figure lying on the floor. He's got his hands on the wounds on the injured man's stomach, wadded-up napkins and rags all wet and dark red from the blood. Another look shows them that an unconscious man who is probably the shooter is sitting in a corner taped up tighter than a Christmas present. The gun is in two pieces.

"Eliot, man, don't do this!" the black man with the crimson hands says hysterically. "Come on, man, this is- You can't do this! It's against the rules! You ain't s'posed to stay down like this! You cain't die! This is not the plan!"

Bell, who is up in front, halts abruptly when he sees the victim. Ryan and Wick bump into him.

"Bell? What is it?" Ryan asks. The tall blonde looks over her partner's shoulder and gasps. "Wick."

Wick, being shorter than the two in front, can't see what the hell is going on, until Bell and Ryan move forward to help the injured man. Then he sees.

"Dammit, Eliot!"

He rushes to his brother's side and removes the black guy's shaking hands, dripping with blood, and replaces them with his own rubber-gloved hands and the gauze that Ryan hands him.

"Ohmygawd, ohmygawd," the black guy starts to babble as soon as he catches sight of Wick's face. "The hell? What the hell? I'mma faint."

Wick puts more pressure on the two wounds in his brother's gut prompting a pained grunt. He lets go for a moment to catch Eliot's right wrist in a tight grip when it slashes up to fend off the imaginary attackers.

"Eliot, dammit. It's me. It's Wick. Let me help."

He lets the wrist fall when the strength goes out of the arm, and puts his hand back on the bleeding injury.

"Wi- ?" Pale blue eyes flutter open and focus blearily on his face.

"Yeah, man, it's me." Eliot's eyes start to close again, so Wick pushes down. "Hey! Don't you dare die on me, Eliot. What am I supposed to tell Gracie if you die on my watch? Huh? She'll never forgive me for killing her favorite uncle."

"Gracie?" Blood bubbles up between pale lips.

"Yeah, Gracie. You're coming to her birthday party, aren't you?" Wick asks as they load Eliot onto the stretcher. "Got her gift already? I bet it's something outrageously expensive and loud, isn't it?"

Eliot's grin is cocky even through blood-stained teeth. "Wouldn't get her anything that wasn't," he gasps.

"Of course not," Wick says lightly in response, although his expression and urgent movements are anything but. "Hey," he says to the black guy, who has followed them out with a worried expression, "You his friend? Are you riding with us?"

The guy stares a moment longer, and nods. "Yeah. Yeah, I'm comin'. Ain't no one leavin' me behind, know what I'm sayin'? Ain't no one leavin' my ass here while my best friend is bleedin' to death, no way in hell," he rambles as he climbs up into the ambulance. "No way."

"Hardison," Eliot wheezes, "Shut up."

Wick claps an oxygen mask on him and gets a seething glare in response. "So you're Hardison, huh?" he says conversationally to his brother's friend, "Heard a lot about you over the years. Glad to finally meet you."

Hardison's hand twitches and he grins nervously. "You're Eliot's brother."

"That I am. His twin brother, actually. But you already knew that."

"Eliot Spencer doesn't have a twin brother," Hardison says, and the long, slim fingers rat-a-tat on his thigh in an anxious motion.

Wick doesn't blink at the alias. He knows that his brother's work takes him to dangerous places, and that there's a very real need for anonymity. "Eliot Lobo does," he replies.

"Lobo," Hardison says thoughtfully, and pulls out his phone. He pauses for a second as he thinks. "'Lobo' means 'wolf' in Spanish," he says.

"Yes, it does," Wick agrees, all the while monitoring Eliot's breathing and blood pressure.

"That explains his wolf fetish," the kid says in an 'I just figured out something really cool!' voice.

Wick barks out a sharp laugh. "That's just posturing. He pretends to live up to the romanticized 'lone wolf' stereotype, but he actually likes being around people."

Eliot says something that sounds vaguely like a threat, but his words are muffled by the mask.

Wick looks down at his furious brother. "What was that, bro? I couldn't hear you. The oxygen mask was in the way."

Eliot's next words are very obvious, as they are accompanied by an angry gesture.

"Right back atcha, man. By the way, make sure you don't teach Gracie that one."

Eliot makes yet another rude gesture from his never-ending cache of swear words.

"And you show her that one, she will literally be grounded until she's thirty. No visitors, including you."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


AN: Before you say anything, don't worry. I'm not gonna kill him, okay? I know I like killing characters off because I'm sadistic like that, but I'm not planning for anyone to die in this one...so far. Obviously, I don't know where I'm going with this, haha. I'm about *whistles* two postings ahead right now.