There is something off about this case.
Hell, there is something off about this town. Since the moment they got here, Hardison has been on edge. He can’t put his finger on it as to why; maybe it’s the sheer dreariness of the empty shop windows and derelict houses surrounding the town’s square, maybe it’s the fact that this once bustling town now stands mostly empty, or maybe it’s just the weather. Cloudy and grey, with a wind that doesn’t know how to behave and that comes gusting out of unexpected directions at the most inopportune moments.
And his electronics aren’t working. They keep fritzing on him, keep popping up weird error messages when he has already checked and double checked and triple checked everything.
A flash, a spark and then the battery he uses to power his laptop in the back of Lucille dies, with an ominous rattle that gives Hardison the heebies and also the jeebies, because he has never heard one of his batteries make a noise like that. And that is just the last straw.
‘Parker, please. Let’s just get out. Michaels isn’t gonna show up here, let’s just head back to the Brewpub and figure out a new plan.’
‘No! Hardison, I told you. We’re at Plan C already, we got to wait him out here or we lose him. Forever.’
Hardison heaves a sigh and goes to revive his battery. Again.
Until a muffled curse sounds through his earbud, at about the same time he hears a car pull up into the street where Lucille is parked. He turns back to his monitors to see a sleek black oldtimer go by, the roaring of the engine shaking the equipment in his van. He can’t make out the driver’s face, but he doesn’t need to, because now there are running footsteps, more swearing and the backdoor of Lucille being ripped open to let in Eliot Spencer, tumbling into the cramped space at full speed while barking at Parker to get her ass in here now because they are leaving. Now, Parker.
This time, Parker doesn’t argue. She appears not a minute later, looking pouty but also frowning in concern because the last time Eliot pulled them out of a job like this, it was because one of Moreau’s old cronies had gotten wind of them and had decided to cook up a nice little revenge scheme for the fact that he was now very much indefinitely unemployed.
That had been a close call. But as they are tearing out of Nowheresfuck, VA, with Parker behind the wheel, Eliot not taking his eyes off the rearview mirror and Hardison clinging to his seatbelt for dear life, nothing seems to follow them. There are no bullets flying, no unmarked vans chasing them, just a lonely stretch of road behind them as they leave the ghost town in the dust.
‘You wanna tell me what that was about?’ Hardison finally asks, when Parker has brought Lucille down to a slightly more legal speed.
‘Winchesters,’ is all Eliot growls back. Which is a huge help. Not.
‘What’s a Winchester?’ Parker asks, taking her eyes off the road to look at Eliot. She looks curious rather than worried by now.
Eliot seems to have relaxed as well. At least he breathes out and quirks his mouth into something that is not quite a smile. ‘Winchesters are… they’re bad news.’
‘I thought we were bad news,’ Hardison mutters and Eliot almost laughs. ‘Yeah, well. I ain’t touchin’ them with a ten foot pole, so take that as you will. If Michaels ever shows up there, he’s gonna have a far bigger problem than Parker’s Plan C. And trust me. We do not want to be there when that happens.’
Trusting Eliot is what has kept them alive for all these years, so Hardison isn’t going to argue now. He just has one more question, and then he’ll be happy to get their asses back to the Brewpub.
‘How’d you know it was them?’ Because his monitors hadn’t picked up any faces, and he knows for a fact that Eliot had been deep inside one of the empty buildings when that Mystery Machine had rolled into town.
Eliot glares at him and huffs. ‘They’ve got a very distinctive car.’