Title: Might As Well Jump
Author: The Artful Dodger / dodger_sister
Category: Angst, Hurt/Comfort
Warnings: Gun-fire & Mild Language.
Summary: Hardison doesn’t like getting shot at anymore than the next guy, but Eliot’s reaction to Hardison being in danger takes them both by surprise.
Word Count: 898 words.
Date Written: August, 2012.
Disclaimer: Leverage is not mine, not even a little bit. I wrote this story, for fun, not profit, not even a little bit.
Feedback: Bring it. dodger_sister / TheArtofDodger@comcast.net
Beta’d: By the ever astounding, vikingprincess.
Author's Notes: This was meant to have hand-jobs in it! The whole point was ‘handjobs in a stairwell’. It didn’t go there and I think it says something about my maturity that I like it better how it did end up going, instead. Eliot and Hardison can be very sweet, when they want to be - but I still enjoy a good hand-job once in awhile.
The bullet, or more aptly bullets, whizzed by Hardison’s head, missing him by mere inches.
“Run, goddammit! Run!” Eliot shouted from the rooftop across the street.
Hardison never broke his stride, just kept running across the concrete of the roof at full speed, guns firing behind him. He wanted to rethink this, format a new plan, take a moment at least to utter a prayer to some God somewhere who might take pity on him. Instead he focused his eyes on Eliot and kept running. He couldn’t hear the words Eliot was shouting but he knew what they were.
Hardison’s feet left the ground and for a moment, a second, he flew, defying gravity.
Then he started to fall, everything tumbling away beneath him.
Hardison reached out blindly for the fire escape and felt his arm collide with the metal bars. Four fingers wrapped around steel and then he was hanging there, legs dangling in the air. Behind him he heard the shouts of the men chasing him and knew more bullets would be coming and he had nowhere left to run.
Suddenly a strong hand gripped his own and pulled him up, legs banging against the side of the fire escape as he went over, collapsing to the ground and digging his fingers hard into fabric, into Eliot’s shirt, the other man’s heart thudding under his touch. Eliot pushed him to the ground and covered him with his body, protection from what came next.
Hardison was still rocketed with adrenaline and the sound didn’t register, but the heat did, the searing heat blazing out behind him as the building went up with a resonating boom, the corporation’s last defense against detection.
It was true some people would rather die than go to jail.
“Get up,” Eliot growled at him and pulled Hardison to his feet, literally dragging him in through the window behind them and shoving him roughly towards the staircase.
Hardison tried to remember what building they were in, if it was empty, if there were people inside, but his ears were ringing and his head was ringing and all Hardison could think was, “Don’t let me go,” a leftover remainder of Eliot hauling him upwards.
“Dammit, Hardison,” Eliot whispered under his breath and Hardison tried to find the words to reply, but nothing would come.
He couldn’t make his voice work and he suddenly realized he still had one hand fisted in Eliot’s shirt.
“You could have gotten yourself killed,” and they were in a stairwell and Eliot was shoving him hard against a wall. “You just…you just stay behind your damn computer from now on. You had no business being in there, veering off from the plan. No goddamn business, Hardison!”
Eliot just kept shoving him against the wall and every time Hardison’s back hit the bricks, he would instinctively push away from it, but Eliot didn’t let up, eyes blazing hard, and he just kept slamming against Hardison, forcing him into the wall behind him.
“Saved your ass, didn’t I?” Hardison spat out, finally finding his voice.
The expression on Eliot’s face said he knew it was true, too, because if Hardison hadn’t been in the building, he never would have seen that the corporation had a fail-safe, that the building was going to blow. Eliot would have been in the basement when it went up in flames, and they wouldn’t even have had a body to bury for it. Eliot was breathing heavily and the look on his face said Hardison had survived that jump only to be killed by his own team member.
“I can save my own ass. It’s yours I’m getting tired of watching almost die. Fucking tired of it, son.”
“You think you’re tired of it. I’m the one keeps gettin’ almost killed.”
It was clearly the wrong thing to say because Eliot stopped the almost-rocking motion he had a minute ago and was now standing stock still. “I am not kidding, Hardison,” Eliot said and it was low, almost soft and Hardison found himself swallowing hard. “One of these days I’m not gonna be there and then what the hell are you gonna do? What the hell am I gonna do?” and Eliot brought one hand up, twisted it in the fabric of Hardison’s tee, like his hand did to Eliot’s still. “Not gonna watch you die, man. Don’t ask me too.”
Hardison nodded his head slowly. “I’m sorry. I know, I’m sorry.”
Eliot let out a long breath, dropped his hand. “Fucking scared the shit out of me.”
“Awww,” Hardison cooed, “you love me.” It was a joke and a tease, except the look Eliot gave him was anything but.
“Shit,” Hardison said then, realization hitting him like a semi-truck.
“Shut up,” Eliot whispered, head ducked down, eyes hidden behind a mess of hair. “Just shut up about it.”
“No,” Hardison told him and leaned forward, bumping his nose against Eliot’s cheek softly. “No, Eliot, I won’t.” His breath was coming faster now, his heart rate which had finally slowed was ratcheting back up again. Hardison brushed the corner of his lips against Eliot’s own.
“Don’t scare me like that again,” Eliot said against his mouth.
“Still saved your ass,” Hardison murmured and then his lips were on Eliot’s and he was being pressed back against the wall again and this time he stayed there.