Contains: threesome, oral sex, light D/s (basically Eliot likes doing what he's told and that's a kink because I say so :D)
Word Count: 13,600
Summary: Parker and Hardison are kidnapped on a job, but things are more than what they seem. And it brings to light an important something they've been avoiding talking about with Eliot.
This was my entry for the leverage thingathon on tumblr. It got way longer than intended, and I'm so happy I got it done in time!
Hardison woke up on a hard concrete floor with the mother of all headaches dancing the mambo in his head, and his hands cuffed in front of him. He groaned and rolled onto his side, gingerly pushing himself up until he was sitting upright. It didn’t help his headache any, but it made him feel a little better about his situation to at least not be lying on the floor.
The last thing he remembered was placing the bug in their mark’s car before heading back to the rendezvous point to meet up with Parker and–
He whirled around, heart in his throat, and nearly heaved a sob of relief when he saw Parker next to him, unharmed. He squeezed his eyes shut, letting the wave of relief run its course until he no longer felt like he’d sprinted an entire damn marathon.
She was staring at him when he opened them again, closer than she was before, sitting crossed-legged in front of him with her lips pressed tightly together. Her cuffs, Hardison noted, were already discarded on the floor by her knee.
There was no sign of Eliot, which was either a very good sign or a very bad one. Knowing how hard the man was to sneak up on or take down, Hardison chose to believe it was a good thing until proven otherwise.
“Did they get Eliot?” he asked.
Parker shook her head, her eyes lighting up. “I heard them talking when they thought I was unconscious. They were only after the two of us.”
Hardison stifled the urge to laugh. These idiots had no clue the smackdown that they were in for.
He glanced around the room they were being held in. It was clean, with gray walls, a gray floor, and a tiny boarded up window near the ceiling. The single door in and out looked like it could withstand a nuclear blast and still stay standing. Damn.
He held out his wrists. “You wanna help me with these?”
Parker shook her head. “They took my lock picks.” Her frown turned petulant. “Even the backup backup ones! Who even looks for backup backup lock picks!”
“These guys, apparently.” A thought occurred to him and his blood turned cold. “Means they knew what to look for. Means they know who we are.”
A dark look settled over Parker’s face. “Yeah. That was my first thought too. I was kind of hoping you’d disagree.”
“Sorry to disappoint.” That was not a pretty thought, and Hardison distracted himself for a moment with a more pressing question. “So how’d you get out of your cuffs?”
Parker’s smile was a much needed ray of sunshine. “I don’t need lock picks to break out of cuffs, silly!”
Not that he ever doubted it, but yeah, Parker was the coolest person he knew. Not that Eliot wasn’t cool too, but Parker was just…Parker was Parker.
Unfortunately, it still left him wearing handcuffs and trapped in a locked room by who the hell knew. Hardison brought his hands to his head to stave off the worsening headache the thought brought on, but it was kind of hard to rub at his temples without crushing his nose in the process. He ended up pressing the palms of hands against his eyes instead. Not nearly as satisfying, but at least it blocked out the bright fluorescent lights searing into his brain.
“Man, I hate being tased. Like having a hangover but without the fun.”
“It’s much more fun being the taser rather than the tasee.” Parker wrinkled her nose, which shouldn’t have been as cute as it was under the circumstances. “Is that even a word?”
“If I had the internet, I’d look it up for you. Hell, if I had the internet I’d unlock that door remotely, hunt down this entire operation, steal all their money, and we’d be out of here by now.” He looked over at Parker. “You did try the door, right?”
That earned him a look that might’ve even made his Nana flinch. Well, probably not, his Nana was one tough lady, but maybe, and that’s what counted.
“And the window. That was the first thing I did.” She ran a hand through her loose hair. “Second, actually. After I checked on you.”
It shouldn’t have been romantic or sweet. Hell, this whole situation was as far from sexy as an unsexy situation could get. But that didn’t stop the rush of warmth from racing through him at the words. How the hell did he get so lucky to have Parker as his friend and his girl? He smiled at her, and it was part happiness and part reassurance that they were going to make it out of this. Just like they always did.
Still, he’d feel a lot better if Eliot was there with them. For morale. And to bust some heads in.
The thought barely crossed his mind before he felt stupid for thinking it. Of course he didn’t want Eliot captured with them. Worst case scenario, he didn’t want Eliot going down with them and best case Eliot and his punchy hands were their ace in the hole. The question of how their hitter would find them without Hardison on tech was a question he didn’t want to examine too closely. But then again, Eliot had been some sort of badass in the retrieval business long before he met Hardison, so maybe he should give the guy some credit. And in any case, Parker was pretty scary in her own right, and Hardison was a computer genius. Take away the computer and he was still a damn genius. Between the two of them, whoever had taken them didn’t stand a chance.
He slapped his hands against the floor, ready to get this party started. “Alright, so what’s the plan?”
Parker grinned back at him, springing to her feet in one motion. “Get out and take them down.” She reached out a hand and pulled Hardison to his feet. “Not necessarily in that order.”
And oh yeah, it was so on.
The third time Eliot skirted the perimeter of the warehouse, he knew exactly what he needed to do.
Unthinking, he raised his hand to check the comm in his ear, only to freeze halfway there. The gaping silence where his friends should be was the whole reason he was out here in the first place, hiding in the dark and planning how to best get past an entire facility of military-trained security.
So yeah, there was no point in checking comms. There wasn’t gonna be any answer.
His poor judgement hung over him like a black fog, haunting him with every second that passed since he’d lost contact early in the day. The con was still in the early phases, dammit, it wasn’t supposed to be dangerous yet.
He’d been chatting up the mark’s secretary, laying the groundwork for the next phase, when Hardison had shouted and Parker had yelped. Eliot had dropped everything and ran even before the line had cut off entirely. By the time he reached each of their last known locations, they’d been gone. He could still feel that moment of dizzying panic, seeing their earbuds and cell phones lying discarded on the ground.
No matter how hard he concentrated, he couldn’t shake the sick, twisting feeling in his gut for letting them split up. It was his job to protect them, not to let them go running off on their own to get nabbed.
With no way to track them electronically, he’d been forced to go about it the old fashioned way.
The warehouse he’d traced them to loomed like a dark smear against a black cloudy sky, a crack of light appearing here and there between the boarded up windows on the top floor. Three sets of guards patrolled the perimeter, all armed and moving in an erratic pattern that had cost him precious time deciphering.
He could practically hear Hardison’s voice squawking in his head. Traced! What the hell do mean, traced? You beat the ever-loving crap out of that guy with your meaty man fists. In no world does that mean traced, you hear?
Eliot gritted his teeth. Great, even with comms down, Hardison was still being annoying in his head. It was harder than it should’ve been to push him away, and wasn’t that just freaking typical.
Now wasn’t time for distractions. There was too much at stake to treat this like anything other than just another job.
He fingered the earbud one last time, but didn’t remove it. Taking it out felt wrong somehow.
Moving silently past the first rotation of guards, he cut around the corner of the building and ducked into the blind spot he’d identified in his initial reconnaissance of the area. Face first into the cold concrete wall, he started counting down. His next move had to be timed just right or this little rescue mission was over before it started.
Or you could just taze them, came a mocking voice in his head.
Eliot rolled his eyes at a Parker that wasn’t there to see him. Girl was a lot of things, but subtle wasn’t one of them. He ignored her and kept counting.
His mental countdown reached zero, and with a quick indrawn breath, he braced himself and jumped as high as he could while still maintaining noise discipline. His fingertips brushed the thin ledge set into the wall above him and he scrambled to keep hold of it, heart lurching in his chest when he almost slipped. But he managed to haul himself up to balance on top of it just as a pair of guards passed underneath.
He felt painfully exposed out in the open like that. It made his skin itch, but he’d run the patrol patterns backwards and forwards and it was the only way. If there was any forgiveness in the world, he’d go unseen for the next twenty seconds. He held his breath as the time ticked over. There was no forgiveness for men like him, no mercy, but this wasn’t about him. It was about Parker and Hardison, and maybe that would be enough.
It must’ve been, because there were no flashlights that swept over him, no shouts of alarm to indicate he’d been made. Once he’d judged the pair of guards below him were out of immediate range, he dropped down into a low crouch, stalking the two of them as they made their way around the side of the building. They were good—ex-Special Forces most likely– but he was better, and slipped behind them unseen. This was the most dangerous part of his plan. One wrong move, or one unlucky glance back and he’d be blown. The entire place would know he was here and his chances of getting to Parker and Hardison would be shot.
He could hear his heart beat steady in his ears as they made their way between the smaller storage sheds and towards the main loading dock. He moved on silent feet, ever sense on alert for the tiniest noise that might give him away.
When he recognized the turnoff he’d studied from the blueprints he’d nabbed earlier, he ducked into it, letting the pair of guards he’d been shadowing go on without him. Almost there.
The heavyset bruiser standing sentry by the side loading dock dropped with equal soundlessness, going limp in Eliot’s arms courtesy of his forearm and biceps cutting off the blood flow to the man’s brain.
…Seven, eight nine... The numbers ticked over in Eliot’s head. They’d be in brain damage territory soon enough; he needed to let go. A tiny voice in the back of his mind growled at that – this man had Parker and Hardison; he didn’t deserve Eliot’s mercy.
It was only the thought of the looks on his friends’ faces when they’d seen what he’d done in their service that finally stayed his hand. He let the guard go, alive and unharmed. But not before swiping the man’s access card.
Once he was inside, a quick glance down the bare hallway showed two cameras, one mounted at the center of the passageway, and one at the corner where the path forked in two. Eliot pressed himself against the doorway, considered the size of the building and the rotation and number of guards he’d already seen.
All of it added up to one conclusion. Eliot filed it away for later, something to think on once he reached his target.
He pressed onwards.
There was no way out of the room.
Hardison paced another circle around the edge, hoping for a spark. A spark of an idea, a spark of genius, hell a spark of anything would be welcome right about now. But there was nothing to work with. No new idea, no brilliant plan, just a big, fat old nothing. The cuffs on his wrists rattled with each step he took, grating further on his nerves.
As frustrating as it was, their move right now was to wait for their invisible opponent to put the ball in motion.
The door was completely smooth from the inside. Even if Parker had her tools, there was no lock to pick. And though Hardison enjoyed the view while Parker shimmied up the corner of the room to double-check on the small window, that too was a bust. The bars on the stupid thing were welded on too tight to budge, and spaced too close together for even her to get through. And even if they weren’t, the window was boarded up from the outside. Talk about over kill for your over kill.
Forcing himself to stop before he made himself dizzy, he ran through it again. He felt like a hamster on one of those damn wheels that Miss Lacy had in class back in the first grade. He’d always thought it was a bit sadistic, and now he sympathized for the rat-thing way more than he was personally comfortable with.
He looked up towards the ceiling and sighed. “I tell you, I’m about two seconds from pulling my hair out.”
Parker jumped down from the window. “You don’t have any hair.”
“Hey, I got hair.” Hardison ran both hands over his head. It was stylishly buzzed, thank you, but hair was hair. “Damn fine hair. And anyways, it was a metaphor. Met-a-phor, you hear?”
Parker laughed, skipping up to him. “You could pull on my hair.” She paused, looking up at him. “Do you think that’s why Eliot grew his hair long again? So he can pull at it?”
“We can ask him when we see him.”
Looking satisfied, Parker nodded and went back to her investigation of the room.
Hardison slumped against the door, letting the back of his head fall against the cold metal. He had at least four different ideas for how to get out of here, but three of them involved electronics that he didn’t have, and the other required a dog whistle and spool of bubble wrap. That wasn’t looking likely either.
Being kidnapped sucked.
“Being kidnapped sucks,” Parker said from where she was now balanced on her hands in the center of the room. “I’m bored.”
Hardison didn’t bother pointing out that being bored probably wasn’t the normal reaction to a kidnapping. Nothing about Parker was normal, anyway. It was part of what made her her, and why he loved her so damn much. Instead, he looked up the ceiling and said, “Me, too, mama.”
Parker flipped over back to her feet, and the smile lighting up her face was the only warning Hardison got that one of her crazy ideas was on the horizon. “Let’s make it a game,” she said.
He knew better than to ask but his Nana always said he had more curiosity than sense. “A game?” he asked.
“Yeah,” Parker said, bouncing on the balls of her feet. “We both know Eliot’s coming for us. If we get free before he rescues us, then he has to do anything we ask. But if he has to get us out, then we’ll do something for him.”
Hardison didn’t point out that they in fact did not know Eliot was coming for them. All they had was some overheard conversation to suggest Eliot hadn’t been abducted, too. For all they knew he could be in the room next to them growling at the wall. Or back at the brew pub, slinging back beers and enjoying the silence, which okay, probably wasn’t the case, but still. Or Eliot could be–
He squeezed his eyes shut and didn’t let himself finish the thought. Oh hell no, he was not going there. Eliot was fine. Dude was probably punching people and having a grand ole’ time.
Distraction it was, then.
Assuming Eliot was doing his thing in a tiny fury of rage, the smart thing to do would be to gently explain to Parker how both parties really needed to be present to agree to a wager. Especially one that included Eliot Spencer and do anything we want in the same breath. Hardison bit his lip as his damn fool brain supplied him with a rush of images that particular combination of phrases brought. Yeah, as distractions went, this was a good one.
“Parker baby, we talked about this remember.” Hardison pushed off against the wall to stand in front of her. “It’s not our choice to make.”
“He never asks for anything. Even Nate said so.” It was a familiar argument, and every time they had it Hardison got closer and closer to giving in. Because it made sense, and hell, he saw the way Eliot looked at them sometimes when he didn’t think they were looking. It was the same way they both looked at him when his back was turned.
“Somehow, I don’t think Nate was talking about that.” At least, he hoped not. He loved the man like a father, but some things were best kept between two people. Or three, as the case may be.
“He’s never going to ask, Hardison. We need to steal him.” Parker paused and smiled. “It’s what we do.”
“Now’s really not the time, babe,” Hardison said, looking around at the room they were imprisoned in. “Any anyway, we steal things, not people.”
“I bet Eliot used to steal people,” Parker said.
How Parker could make a joke about that was anyone’s guess, but her and Eliot had done the whole we’re-not-like-everyone-else-and-that’s-o
She leaned up on her toes and kissed him lightly on the lips. “Okay.” And damn, did he have the best girlfriend, or did he have the best girlfriend? “But if he does that thing where he growls and cooks a lot and doesn’t talk about it, then can we steal him?”
“Yeah girl, then we can steal him.”
She leaned into him and wrapped her arms around his waist. Before he could think any further on it, the door to their cell opened and half a dozen guards stepped in.
They looked at each other and nodded once before disentangling and stepping apart. Parker, he noticed, had already slipped the cuffs back on her wrists. Where the hell she’d been keeping them was anyone’s guess, but he was half convinced Parker was at least a little bit magic, so he wasn’t really that surprised.
Hardison smiled wide at the group of guards. “Take me to your leader,” he said.
Damn, he’d always wanted to say that.
There were five men between Eliot and the door to the main security room.
For a moment they all just froze as Eliot strode around the corner. Then Eliot lunged, barreling towards them at full speed. One of the men reached for the radio at his waist.
Eliot went for him first, grabbing the guy’s hand before he could reach and using the momentum to swing the surprised man into the two guards directly beside him. His other arm lashed out mid-swing, striking the throat of the fourth before he could get a warning off to his buddies. Catching his balance, Eliot ran after the last guard who’d been smart enough to put some space between them to call for reinforcements.
“This is Jones in sector 1C, I need—”
Eliot grabbed the guy’s wrist, thumb digging into the pressure point until he dropped the radio. Eliot caught it in mid-air and said, “—to take a piss. Um, yeah. This shift is lasting forever.”
Yeah man, real smooth. Eliot tossed the radio aside, shushing his inner Hardison. Thankfully, the real thing wasn’t there to see that gem of a grifting failure. He’d never hear the end of it otherwise.
With the hand still around the guard’s wrist, he lashed out, effectively making the man punch himself in the face. He chuckled as the guy went down. That move was never not funny.
Surveying the room, he made sure the rest of the guards were knocked out before lifting the ID card from the closest one’s jacket and swiping open the door to the security control room. As expected, there was a bank of monitors watching every corner of the warehouse.
Also as expected, there was a man sitting at the controls. Not your normal computer geek, he saw immediately. This guy was as combat ready as the rest of them, and the instant the door clicked closed he had a gun pointed right at Eliot’s chest. “Freeze. Hands on your head, now.”
Eliot raised his hands as instructed. Then he looked around the room and whistled. “So I guess this ain’t the men’s room, huh?” He took a few cautious steps forward. The guy didn’t twitch, but he also didn’t shoot, and that was all the information Eliot needed. He continued talking, “Because the guy down the hall said it was the third door on the right after it curved left.” Shrugging was a bit awkward with his hands still on his head, but he thought he pulled it off alright. “Think he was lyin’?”
A twitch in the guard’s eye was enough for Eliot to know the game was up. He dropped his hands and dived out of the way as the gun fired, deafeningly loud in the small space. The guard leveled the gun again, but Eliot was faster, springing to his feet and slapping his arm out of the way. A harsh twist tore the weapon from his grasp.
The guard—no more than a kid, really— watched him warily as Eliot popped the clip out and waved it around. “Your first mistake was not shooting me the moment I walked on in here. If you’re real lucky, it won’t be the last one you ever make.” Spotting the cuffs on the guy’s belt, he gave a sharp smile. “Now son, we can either do this easy way or the hard way.”
Why did they always have to choose the hard way, he asked himself less than a minute later as he busied himself flipping through each of the security cameras, scanning for any hint of where Hardison and Parker were being held. Assuming they were even still in the building. There was one last alternative he kept under tight lock and key. He couldn’t do what needed doing and worry about them at the same time.
In the corner of the room, one very pissed off and tied up guard watched him work. Eliot ignored him. He was under no illusions that his little ploy with the radio earlier had worked. These guys were pros and any breach in protocol would trigger a response. And that was before the gunshot likely alerted everyone in the building that something was up.
They knew he was here now.
A flash of dark skin and blonde hair caught his attention and Eliot zoomed in on that particular camera until it filled the entire monitor. It was a live feed, he noted. Parker and Hardison were being escorted down a wide passageway by a group of heavily armed men all pointing guns at them.
The rage settled into a calm ball in the pit of his stomach as he pinpointed their location.
He pushed back from the desk and smiled, barely noticing when the tied up guard shrank away from him.
Hardison knew he should be worried about being frogmached down a hallway with a mini arsenal of automatic weapons pointed at him by some very pissed off looking dudes. And he was; really he was. But the part of his brain that should have been doing some very unmanly soiling of his pants was too busy goggling over their captor.
The stupid blond hair. The creepy white dentist smile. The way the man practically flounced with smugness when he walked. Now, the second Harry Potter book wasn’t one of Hardison’s favorites, but he could appreciate art when he saw it. And damn if the man wasn’t the most perfect Gilderoy Lockhart he’d ever seen. It was taking every ounce of his self-control not to ask if he’d gotten lost on the way to Diagon Alley. Or to ask where his wand was. With any luck, the man would be as inept as his lookalike.
The Lockhart clone had introduced himself as “Johnston Keens, Esquire,” in a steady drawl that Hardison would’ve normally found kind of nice, but in this case made him feel like something slimy was clinging to his skin. Douchebag McDouchehart, as Hardison mentally dubbed him, was dressed in a suit that cost more than some of Hardison’s computers, and a watch to match.
So, pompous and rich. Their favorite combination to take down.
They hadn’t been harmed yet and so he took a calculated guess that whatever Douchehart wanted them for, he wanted them alive. “Hey man,” Hardison called out as they were led down another of the seemingly endless wide hallways to who the hell knew where. “Shouldn’t you be, you know, monologuing at us or something? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure we’re at that part now.”
“Also, we’re bored,” Parker chimed in beside him.
Rather than replying, he made a gesture, and one of the refrigerator-sized guards shoved the barrel of his gun into Hardison’s back.
“Okay, man, I can take a hint. Shutting up now.”
“The evil speech part’s my favorite,” Parker added, undaunted. She leaned over to fake whisper at Hardison, “I like poking holes in their plans. It’s so easy.” The cuffs around her wrists rattled as she nudged at his shoulder.
Hardison was beginning to understand why Eliot hated guns so much. Damn things were annoying as hell. And even worse than having them pointed at him or being poked with them, was seeing Parker struck across the back of the head with one. Oh, this wizard wannabe and his little gun-toting entourage were going down. Only a quick shake of Parker’s head, a clear indication of Not now, kept him from leaping at a guy who looked like he ate steroids for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Maybe dessert, too.
The gun shoved in his face wasn’t a half-bad deterrent, either. It wasn’t his first time looking down the barrel of a gun, but the remembrance of mind numbing, pants-wetting terror hadn’t faded with time. And anyone who said there wasn’t pants-wetting terror was either crazy or lying.
“Ow,” Parker muttered, making an aborted movement to rub at her head. She stumbled, losing her footing and falling into one of the other guards surrounding them.
“You okay,” Hardison asked, as they continued down the hallway.
Parker nodded, though the corners of her mouth were drawn tight in pain. “Yeah,” she said. Her eyes flashed with mischief as she continued, “Good thing they hit like little babies.”
Another guard, also kitchen appliance sized but with an acne problem, raised a hand and Hardison tensed, ready to throw himself at the man and consequences be damned, when Keens raised a hand. The guard immediately fell back into line.
“Impressive,” he said, and it took Hardison a moment to realize the douchebag was addressing them. Good. He was getting bored of being ignored. Douchehart continued, “But then, that’s to be expected from anyone who keeps company with Eliot Spencer.”
Hardison’s blood ran cold. Beside him, he felt Parker go still.
One of goon squad prodded them in the back and they resumed walking.
“You see, it’s not either of you two I’m interested in.”
Hardison’s heart did a backflip. No good ever came out of speeches like that.
“There is a set of very important documents I need retrieved from a lot of very well trained men with guns. Sadly, my own men have been unable to accommodate.”
Hardison could see where this was going clear as day and he didn’t like it one little bit.
A loud snort broke the silence. “Eliot would never work for you.” Parker’s eyes went dark and scary, and Hardison readied himself for whatever was coming.
“He wouldn’t even agree to meet with my representative,” Keens agreed. “And yet according to my head of security, he’s here in my building at this very moment of his own will. I’m sure he’ll be much more receptive to my requests with you two in my custody.” He turned to the tall guard to his right. “Lock down the building.”
The guard nodded and spoke a command into his radio.
Hardison looked over at Parker to see she was already looking back at him. She gave a tiny nod that he returned.
They continued their way down the hallway. Just when he thought the immediate danger had passed, he heard a muffled gunshot ring out. He dove to shield Parker, heart pounding in his throat as his worst nightmare played out in front of him. But Parker was already in motion herself and they both hit the ground together, clutching at each other as they rolled out of the way.
Which was when he realized the shot had come from somewhere else entirely.
Eliot was closing in.
They worry he hadn’t allowed himself to feel intensified until it might’ve knocked him over if he hadn’t already been on the floor. He glanced at Parker, seeing the same uneasiness mirrored in her eyes. Their elation that Eliot was alright, that Eliot was here was overshadowed by Keens' words.
This entire ploy was a trap for Eliot.
Parker sprang to her feet and kneed one of the guards in the crotch, her cuffs already discarded on the floor. “You guys are in so much trouble!”
She pulled Hardison to his feet and they ran.
Hardison didn’t need to look behind him to know the refrigerator crew was in hot pursuit. But they’d both been paying attention to the maze of hallways and knew there was a stairwell near the cell they’d been held in. Hardison didn’t need to be a mind reader to know that’s where they were headed now. They rounded the last corner, skidding to a halt by the heavy metal door with the sign for Stairs still clearly labeled. It was always so refreshing when the bad guys had their evil lair neatly labeled and up to code.
The door was locked, which wasn’t so convenient.
It might have been a damn tragedy, except Hardison was more than just a pretty face. With a grin, he produced the keycard he swiped from one of the guards during the scuffle, and tossed it over to Parker.
She beamed at him, eyes dancing, and reached into her own pocket, coming up with a tiny set of keys. Handcuff keys, he realized as she tossed them to him in return. So that’s what she was grabbing when she fake stumbled into that guy.
Did he mention he had the best girlfriend?
Parker swiped the card and the security panel beeped and turned green. Just as she opened the door, Hardison was grabbed from behind and jerked backward.
He threw an elbow at his attacker but the only good it did was that he was grabbed harder. And now his elbow hurt. A massive arm wrapped around his throat, and he choked, arms flailing behind him as he tried to dislodge the guy. From the corner of his eye he saw Parker dodging a guard of her own. She was holding him off, but once the rest of them showed up they were so screwed.
The lack of air was starting to make him dizzy. Through the haze of his vision, he saw Parker duck between her guard’s legs and kick right him in the crotch. If he wasn’t busy trying not to die he would’ve winced in sympathy. And cheered her on.
In one smooth motion, she launched herself off the floor and onto the back of the guard holding Hardison. Whatever the dude expected, it definitely wasn’t some tiny girl throwing herself onto his back. The arm around Hardison neck loosened enough for him to drag in a desperate breath.
He blinked away the dark spots in his vision just in time to see the rest of guards rush into their hallway, guns at the read.
And then blinked again as the first one ended up flat on his back on the floor, clotheslined by a strong arm shooting out from the door to the stairwell. The arm was followed by a short, built figure that radiated menace.
Hardison let out a mental whoop even as he struggled against the grip on his throat. Luckily, the dude was distracted enough by his coworker going down that Hardison got in a good kick to his shins, ducking under the arm around his throat and managing to struggle free. Parker took it from there, knocking the guard out with a brutal jab of her elbow against his head.
Eliot made short work of the rest, and damn wasn’t that a sight for sore eyes. In what felt like no time at all, they were the only ones left standing in the hallway.
With a shout of glee, Parker launched herself into Eliot’s arms. Eliot swooped her up, and Hardison caught a flash of pure distilled relief on their hitter’s face.
“Damn are you a sight for sore eyes,” Hardison said. He reached forward to clasp Eliot’s hand, and was almost jerked off his feet as Parker pulled him into their embrace. For a moment, Eliot’s massive arm tightened around him, but just as quickly it was over.
Eliot released them, looking them both over. “You two alright?”
Parker nodded. “It’s a trap, Eliot. That guy that grabbed us wants you.”
“Yeah, I figured as much. It was way too easy to get in here.” Eliot took one look and their worried faces and gave them a reassuring smile. “You think this is the worst someone’s ever tried to pull on me when I turned down a job?”
Hardison didn’t want to think too closely on what that had meant for Eliot back in the day.
They made their way through the still-open door and down the stairs to the ground floor. And then had another problem entirely when the keycard wouldn’t work anymore. They went up a level to try it there, but it was the same. Hardison swiped the card, but the security reader flashed an angry red.
They were trapped in the building.