"That smile ain't getting you anywhere."
The smile only got wider. "Oh yeah?"
"Yeah." Eliot let his glare up its intensity right back. "Whatever you're up to, I don't want anything to do with it. This is too fucking weird."
No, that smile was clearly planning on staying a while. Bastard knew what he was working with. He was overestimating it pretty high, too, but that was Dean Winchester for you. "Eliot, there was a chick in a catsuit doing a handstand on your coffee table when I came in, and your coffeemaker asked me if I knew the password. Which, by the way, your girlfriend says to tell you the new password is 'death is my gift'."
Eliot wasn't going to make the crucial mistake of letting his irritation get spread too thin. He needed all his irritation right here with him, dealing with this. He did make a mental note of the fact that Hardison had much too little to do these days, and that Nate should probably be appraised of that, but then he left it behind.
If he hadn't left it behind, though, he might have wondered which was a worse offense: the clearly-implied threat in Hardison putting locks on his caffeine intake, in his own kitchen (the man never seemed to consider the fact that Eliot was a retrieval specialist, information retrieval included, no bonus payment for happiness and comfort to the target), or that he clearly knew Eliot would get the reference.
"She isn't my girlfriend," he said, and god damn it if that smile didn't go just a little bit wider, "and your shit is a whole different world of weird, Winchester. I'm putting down the line right here."
"C'mon now," Dean said, and as Eliot watched him suspiciously, he started advancing on him, grin firmly in place. "It'll do you good to get out of the city."
"I like cities," Eliot said, which was only halfway true. But the alternative was taking a step back, and it'd take a lot more than one lunatic to make him do that.
"Well, nature can be fun too," Dean said, still advancing very slowly. "We'll even stop on the way back so you can buy some of those leaves you like or something, how about that."
Eliot snorted. "You wouldn't know nature if it bit you in the ass." And he had a perfectly good farmer's market right nearby, thank you very much.
"Fair enough," Dean said. "You can show me around." He was very close now, not that this fact was impressing Eliot too much. "And hey, this is tradition, right? Tradition's important."
"I helped you twice," Eliot said. "That's not tradition." Just idiocy. Then he couldn't help but add, "Not to mention it was, what, three years ago? I met one of your wacko friends a while back, by the way. Said you were dead."
That part had made for an interesting heart attack when he'd opened his front door and found the guy in his living room, that was for sure. It really helped with the speedy recovery that the next two clear details were, one, that Dean's feet were kicked up on Eliot's coffee table, and two, that he was happily eating the quinoa salad Eliot had made just that morning, right out of the container.
Dean leaned back a little, gesturing showily at himself and out, still looking far too fucking amused. "I look dead to you?"
Actually, with his arm out like that and his other shoulder held back a little, Eliot could see about forty three different ways to get him that way in a hurry without taking more than two steps, half of them not even involving one of Dean's knives ending up somewhere unpleasant. Well, no, that was a lie; most of that half did involve Dean's knives ending up somewhere unpleasant, it was just somewhere unpleasant on Dean.
Eliot didn't say any of that, though. He said, "You really expect me to help you bust some kind of cult meetup so you can steal a sword?"
Dean made a show of thinking about it. He also took a step closer, cutting down his options for meeting an untimely and swift death by about six and a half. "It's a really cool sword."
Somewhere during that step, Eliot had apparently gone from being grumpily aware of that smile to full-out staring at it. He didn't know how that happened, and he didn't approve at all.
If he was going to be honest with himself, though, he was already angling in (and that was definitely his hand on Dean's hip, but who was counting, especially since Dean's own hand was steadily advancing towards his ass, smile clearly saying he thought he'd won something here), when there was a subtle change in the air somewhere behind Dean's back, and a man was suddenly standing where Eliot was pretty damned sure no man had been standing a fraction of a second ago.
The new arrival looked down in surprise at Dean's knife, half-buried right under his lowest left rib. Eliot cursed silently; that was just sloppy. He should have been aiming for the throat.
Dean had spun around and was staring, open mouthed, but when Eliot made a move to get a small bowl made of carved wood off the table, fully intending to aim right this time, he knocked his hand down and half-stepped in front of him. "Cas, Jesus fucking Christ!"
Eliot had been taking the man's lack of reaction to the whole knife-in-stomach business as shock, but the vaguely wounded look he was now giving Dean didn't seem to support that theory. Neither did the fact that the next thing he did was pull the knife out and drop it to the floor at his side, as if it didn't interest him much. There was no blood seeping into his clothes that Eliot could see.
Incidentally, now that all signs seemed to be pointing to non-hostility (or at least to Dean believing there wasn't hostility; the day Eliot trusted Dean Winchester's judgment would be a day when he'd be very, very dead), he was free to focus on the fact that this guy in the trench coat and suit - still completely free of blood, and actually, Eliot wasn't even sure he could see where the knife had gone through - had just appeared out of thin air and right into Eliot's living room.
"We must hurry," the guy said.
Dean swore. "I was kinda busy here, Cas. Can we hurry, you know, in a little while?" He was actually doing the help a buddy out here body language, Eliot could tell, even standing mostly behind Dean's back and too near to really see much of him, his attention still completely focused on the guy. The guy, for that matter, didn't really seem like he'd ever had a buddy in his life, or would notice one was needing help if he had.
He clearly wasn't noticing it now. Eliot should probably be glad. "We must hurry now, Dean. The gem is at risk, and getting further away."
Dean was shaking his head. "What? No, Cas, I've got the gem, you know that. We're here after the sword --" Then he spun around to face Eliot, his hand going into his jacket's inner pocket, and his eyes were widening. Ah. Eliot knew that expression. He had to say, he didn't often enjoy it as much as he was enjoying it right now. "Your little gymnast friend stole my fucking diamond!"
Eliot didn't believe in wasting words, as a rule, so he didn't point out that when most people saw a woman in a catsuit in the locked apartment of a known criminal, they might be able to put two and two together. He also didn't bother wondering aloud how exactly she'd managed to get close enough to pull it off. Hell, Eliot had seen enough that he'd be willing to buy it if Dean insisted she'd been half the room away the whole time.
Instead of all that, he grinned. "Yeah, that's Parker. She does that."
Dean was looking, ridiculously enough, almost betrayed. Eliot refused to feel obscurely guilty. Instead, he focused on the fact that he'd finally stopped smiling.