Disclaimer: These are not my toys, I only play with them from time to time. No profit is made, nor insult intended. Thank you.
Eliot ordered a pitcher and carried it over to the table. “So where’d you ditch Sam this time?” He asked, taking a seat. “Last year you bailed because he’d gotten married or something like that. Really? Married?”
Dean gave him a look that said he’d rather not talk about it. “Demon. Not the chick, but may as well have been.” He poured a glass of beer and shook his head “No my pain in the ass little brother is out in the desert on some happy hippie granola camping thing.”
“Desert camping is pretty hard core.” Eliot said pouring a glass then laughed at the look he got from Dean. “Seriously it is.”
“Demon weddings are worse.” Xander interjected. He had missed the marriage part but hadn’t gotten to cut out entirely on the wedding part. Then again, maybe the demon side of the room hadn’t been as bad as his family.
“No, the girl wasn’t the demon. The girl used a love potion she got from a demon.” Dean said.
“Moving on.” Xander said, figuring there was no where that conversation could go that wouldn’t end with Dean heading out the door to go find Sam and put him under lock and key somewhere supposedly safe.
“So what have you two been up to?” Dean asked, more than happy to do just that. He loved Sam but sometimes he just needed a couple days to clear his head.
“Tracking down slayers.” Xander said. “I was in Brazil for a while, god I love it there.”
“You want some place spectacular; you gotta go to Argentina, man, seriously, Argentina.” Eliot said. “The food is incredible, the woman are feisty.” He grinned at the last one.
“Believe me there is no shortage of Feisty Women in my life.” Xander rolled his eyes.
“Dude, if you’re complaining you’re doing it wrong.” Dean teased.
Eliot pointed to Dean to indicate he agreed, as he took a drink of his beer.
“First, most of them are teenagers. Second they could take on both of you and so long as guns were not involved could probably win. “Xander explained.
“The ones that aren’t teenagers, “Eliot began. “You’re doing it wrong.” He and Dean finished simultaneously, both grinning from ear to ear. Nothing was as much fun as a woman that could keep up.
Xander rolled his eyes.
“You’re a closet geek aren’t you?” Eliot said.
“I’ve never been anywhere near a closet.” Xander stated “I’m just not the sort of geek that makes a lot of money. I’m the sort that speaks Klingon and Elvish but failed Spanish three times. “
“Meaning you’re the sort that doesn’t do well with women and would live in your parents basement if you weren’t a hunter.” Dean said.
Xander looked ready to object. He truly wanted to object. “Okay, guilty as charged. “He said “And I even lived there with a girlfriend I might add, while being a hunter. Well a part time hunter. Meaning I had a real job and no sleep.” He didn’t consider himself a hunter but he knew that in Dean’s world, that’s what he was. Someone that went out and took down the supernatural bad guys was a hunter.
Eliot chuckled “Sleep is over rated.”
“Thank you.” Dean said and motioned a waitress over to get a set of shot glasses and a bottle of tequila to go with the beer they were drinking. “I avoid it whenever possible.”
“No, sleep is a gift from the gods. Oblivion that makes pain go away and people shut up.” Xander disagreed.
“You’re confusing sleep with whiskey.” Dean said.
Eliot chuckled. He slept 90 minutes a day. That’s what he had told Sophie anyway. 90 minutes. It was a good average. He even set his alarm to wake him. Sometimes though his body wouldn’t let him wake up. Sometimes it was just too hammered, or he had been pushing for far too long and he slept hard. Sometimes he didn’t sleep at all. Xander was lucky. He could still face his dreams.
“And you are confusing whiskey with water.” Xander commented. But not with condescension. It was an observation. Even with only one eye, Xander was still able to see what was what.
Dean shrugged “Moving on.” he said, and that subject was closed as well. He looked over to Eliot, “you’ve been even more secretive than usual, and that takes some work.”
“There’s not much to say. I mean I don’t go around hunting monsters. “Not the supernatural kind anyway.
“Don’t know… word on the grapevine is you’ve been going after some big bads out there.” Xander said.
Dean nodded “There is one you need to stay away from.” He said in a tone that would stand for no argument. “His name is Dick Roman” He emphasized the man’s first name. “Not human.” He hoped neither of them asked because he wasn’t ready to talk about it. He didn’t even really talk about it with Sam.
Eliot looked at his friend and frowned, but nodded. This guy had taken something from Dean. Winchester wasn’t sharing and Eliot wasn’t one to pry. So even if the man had been human, he’d have left him to it. Some things you have to take care of yourself. “Alright.” He said. The team didn’t know about the supernatural. Hardison thought he knew, but he didn’t KNOW. He just believed, or more to the point thought he did. There was a difference. He didn’t know how he would back them off if it came to it. But he’d find a way.
Xander however had spent most of his life around women. Strong willed, moody women, not asking was a capital crime. “What is he?” He asked, figuring that he could ease into what he did next.
Dean's eyes flashed with pain as he did what he always did when something hurt. He reached for his drink and finished it, nodding for another. "Not human. When I do the dissection, I'll tell you more. I'll even post it on a website, could go viral. You know, I hung out with this guy," when he was searching for Dick Roman, "did you guys know I'm kind of a hacker now?" He said, flashing a grin.
“Man if you start talking about all that computer shit, my eyes are gonna roll back in my head. Honestly, the paranormal stuff is easier to deal with.” Eliot said.
“How is it you know about all of this in the first place?” Dean asked, making sure the subject didn’t turn back to Dick and why Dean wanted his head on a silver platter.
Eliot pointed to Xander “His boss.” He said.
“You have a boss? What? You get paid?” Dean asked Xander.
“Not exactly.” Xander said.
“Not exactly what? Not exactly a boss or not exactly paid. “
Xander chuckled. “I don’t look at him as my boss although I guess he is, and not so much paid as have expenses handled. “
“Okay, so how exactly did your boss pull Eliot into the real world. “He said looked at Eliot “I’m surprised you didn’t kick his ass for that. If I had a choice, believe me I wouldn’t have taken the blue pill.”
“Nah, he didn’t think he would be getting me into any trouble. He needed something retrieved. I’m a retrieval specialist.” Eliot shrugged.
“Thief to those of us that don’t speak Resume.” Xander said.
“Not just a thief.” Eliot pointed out. “There is actually a lot more to my job than stealing stuff.”
“Yeah, he pounds on people.” Dean teased.
“Sometimes I rescue people instead of putting ‘em in the hospital.” Eliot said, not quite indignantly. He knew when he was being teased from all sides.
“Mostly he just beats the hell out of them, and leaves them to carry themselves to the hospital. But sometimes …” Xander added.
“Yeah, whatever, “Dean said grinning boyishly “Out with it.”
“Giles hired him to –“
“Wait… Giles? ...As in the school librarian, Mr. Giles? Sam’s favorite school authority figure ever, Giles?” Dean asked.
“You two knew each other in high school.” Eliot asked, looking between them. He was more than happy to get the attention off of himself for a minute. “How did I not know this?”
“Because we never really talk, we mostly drink.” Xander said honestly “And yes, that Giles. And hey, he was my favorite school type person too, so it can’t be as geeky as all of that… and wow did those words just come out of my mouth… I’ve had way too much to drink.”
“Seriously? More like not enough.” Dean said filling Xander’s shot glass again. “So anyway, the high school librarian hires Eliot here…”
“To retrieve an artifact. “ Xander finished. “Only he thought Eliot was in the know, and then found out after the payment had already been made and El was in over his head that he didn’t know. “
“I was not in –“Eliot started.
“Yeah you were.” Xander interrupted.
“I – I was – I was not in over my head.” Eliot insisted.
Dean looked between the two of them “You’ve got him stammering. Should I move to a more popcorn worthy position?” People underestimated Xander. Not Dean.
“You were dealing with the underworld. “ Xander said. “Not the happy smiling gangsters sporting their pin stripped suits and excessively large hand guns. But the actual underworld. You know… Hell… Hades… realm of the demons and the dead… well one of them anyway. “
“You obviously don’t deal with the gangsters I do. Except the excessively large gun part. That’s actually fairly accurate. But that doesn’t change the fact I was not in over my head until your team showed up.” Eliot said. “So I repeat I was not in over my head.”
“You have a team now?” Dean said grinning as he watched them go at it. He could say one thing for it; Xander had gotten Eliot to say more than a few words at a time. That was progress.
“Again with the not exactly. “ Eliot said “He had a team. They got themselves killed and Xander and I had to fight our way out.” He said “Something I wouldn’t have had to do if they hadn’t show up in the first place.”
“They were going to eat you.” Xander said. “I’m not joking. I would never joke about becoming Purina Demon chow.”
Eliot rolled his eyes and crossed his arms. He looked over at Dean who was looking highly amused. “High school?” He asked
“Two weeks.” Dean said. “One of the shorter stays my senior year. Dad had landed us in Sunnydale to take care of some cracked out cult that was trying to end the world. Sam starts spending all his time in the school library. “
“Which really made it hard for us to talk about things openly. It was kinda weird. No one else ever stayed long. They got what they had to have and ran away from all the scary things with the paper and the words in them.” Xander said with a grin. “The only reason I started hanging out there was the cute new girl.” He admitted.
“So anyway, it’s like the second day we’re there and Sam is in the damned library after dark, again. So I head toward the school just as he is leaving the school.”
Xander nodded “And we’ve all just realized that the new kid has left the library and it’s after dark. Sunnydale wasn’t a place you went out alone after dark if you didn’t have a wooden stake and your running shoes on.”
“Long story short, Sam is nearly eaten by a vampire, “Dean said.
“Hey, he did pretty well for a freshman.” Xander pointed out.
“Yeah but not for a Winchester.” Dean said with a laugh. “Anyway, I catch up and there’s Xander here literally wiping dust off of Sammy, and telling him good moves kid.”
“They were too. He didn’t freak or anything. Most kids freak when staring down a face that’s got more ridges than a bag of ruffles, and fangs.” Xander said.
“He doesn’t get it.” Eliot said, to both, meaning very different things to both. Fortunately he only had to say it once because apparently they got it.
“Okay, now what about you two?” Xander asked.
Eliot shrugged “Not much to tell.”
“That’s your answer to everything.” Xander countered only to be met with another shrug.
It was a touchy subject for Dean so Eliot wasn’t going to go into details. He didn’t know how Bobby Singer had died. He was pretty sure that he didn’t want to either considering how the man had lived. He had to have gone out fighting and that was good enough. But as much as Eliot liked the man, Dean loved him. So some things you just didn’t talk about. “Mutual friend.” More like a friend of Eliot’s father. The two had served together.
The conversation shifted to more superficial things and the mood at the table lightened. None of them were sorry for the change either. They lived hard lives. It was good to have friends they could be honest with, but it was also good to not have to be.
“So why do you always pick this bar.” Xander asked as the last call light went on and he finished his beer.
“The owner likes me.” Eliot said. “I drink for free. Why do you think I always settle up?”
“You going to go settle up with her as we head out?” Dean teased.
“Not a woman. And no don’t go there” Eliot said leaving a tip on the table for the waitress. “I say next year we rent out the back room and get a game going.”
The Host watched from the shadows as Eliot Spencer and his friends left the bar. It was always bittersweet when the man came in. He knew Eliot wasn’t who he resembled so closely. But it was close enough that the illusion could sooth his conscience just a little.
“Let’s close it up boys, and bring me another sea breeze.”