The Off Label Job

Chapter 1

"Eliot! Get Parker out of there!" Nate exclaimed over the com.

"On it," Eliot growled as he charged down the hall. "Parker...I'm on my way."

Her breathless voice came across his earpiece. "Oh...just take your time. I'm only being chased by four big, really scary guards. No big deal."

"Listen! I told you-"

"Guys!" Nate cut Eliot off. "Let's save the infighting for some other time when you two aren't being hunted down by armed security, shall we?"

Freakin' crazy people...always in my head. Eliot grunted as he punched an unfortunate security guard who accidentally stepped out of a doorway in front of him. Can't even finish one damn thought without somebody babblin' in your ear. He stepped across the unconscious personnel and continued on his way. "Oh yeah...think my job's so easy, dontcha? Get just four guards on your tail and listen to ya whine!"

"Just four guards? Man, you have done lost your mind! Baby girl is not meant to be chased down by thugs!" Hardison said.

Eliot pinched the bridge of his nose and breathed deeply trying to control his temper. "Hardison...I swear...when this is over-"

"You seem upset," Parker said. "Why don't you try some of that meditation stuff you're always talking about?"

"Parker..." Sophie said in her soft English accent.

Eliot rounded a corner and saw that Parker had been cornered by the four guards. A triumphant smile replaced the concerned look on her face and Eliot knew she saw him approaching silently.

He tapped the two in the back on their shoulders and slammed their heads together as they turned around. Number one and two down. He stepped quickly toward Parker and the last two security guards and grabbed number three and shoved him into number four. The fourth hit the wall hard and slumped to the floor. Three to go.

"Get out of here!" he yelled as number two was making his way back to his feet.

Parker shrugged into her backpack and began a sprint down the hall. "Nate...she is on her way out. Taking care of the final four guys now," he saw shadows on the wall of the hall he had just come down. "Well, shit!"

"What is it? What's going on?"

"Hardison, I thought you said there were only four guards! There are footsteps in the hall. Sounds like at least four more."

He heard frantic typing over his earbud. Then mumbled curses. "Eliot...I...I must have missed them somehow. Man, I don't know how..."

He dropped his voice to a whisper. "Dammit, Hardison! Shut up. I need to concentrate. Parker, where are you?"

"Almost to Lucille. Get out of there, Sparky."

He grimaced as there were indeed four more men headed toward him. "Workin' on it," he grumbled.

With the original four having regained their footing, he was completely surrounded. Gotta hold them off long enough for Parker to get to the van. "When Parker gets to the van...go."

"You can't mean-Eliot, no!" Sophie said.

"This is what I do. It's my job," he whispered. "Keeping y'all safe."

The sound of the van door opening and then being slammed cut off any further arguments. Giving the men his full attention, Eliot began to systematically work through the thugs. He had to take a few hits to be able to gain the opportunity to land some of his own.

A heavy punch spun Eliot around with his back momentarily to his attackers. "Nate...get them out of here," he murmured in a throaty voice tinged with urgency.

"But-" Parker began.

"Do it now!" There was no room for discussion. "You know it's the right call, Nate."

He heard it a split second before he felt it. Stun guns have a very distinctive sound. In the next second, he is headed for the floor. Every muscle in his body was locked rigid and his head slammed to the ground as he fell.

The team was in his ear, all talking at once. Babblin'.

"Eliot! What's happening? Can you hear me?" Nate's voice.

After what seemed like a full minute, the thug turned off the current. There was no time for him to mount an attack because as soon as his muscles relaxed, someone was kicking him in the ribs. He grunted and tried to curl in on himself to shield his midsection. That got him rewarded with another jolt of electricity. What can only be described as a guttural growl burst from his throat as everything locked up again.

He vaguely heard Nate trying to talk to him in the background. "Come on. Talk to us. What's happening?"

The current was cut again and he managed to croak out, "Run," before he was knocked unconscious.