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What, was "Rudy" on cable last night?

. . . Yes.

Eliot Spencer vdistinctive
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Outside the Baltimore Jewish Museum of Maryland, Monday
If Eliot had to get glared at by one more tiny little Jewish woman, he was going to hit something.

. . . Else. Something else. His hand was letting him know in no uncertain terms that it was too early to have taken the cast off of it, but that damn Jewish mafia boss hadn't been willing to take neyn for an answer.

The fact that he'd been dressed up as a rabbi hadn't helped matters in the least. What the hell did those little old Jewish ladies have in their handbags, bricks?

"There," he said, checking with his finger to make sure that last lady's handbag hadn't dislodged his comm. "We've saved Hannukah. Are you happy now?"

At least he wasn't wearing a Santa suit, this time.

"Ecstatic!" Parker sounded it. "Mrs. Schlein says she wants to make us some potato latkes as a thank you. With real sour cream!"

"Better get back here before she starts in on the Dreidel Song again, bro," offered Hardison.

"Not sure which is worse," Eliot teased, tossing the souvenir he'd picked up from one hand to the other. "Her singing, or the way she cheats at the game." He broke into a jog as he reached the end of the block, making his way to where Lucille 8.3.1 or whatever model was parked.

Ah, Baltimore. Where you could never find a space closer than three blocks away.

Parker had shotgun, and she turned around to fake-scowl at him. "It's not cheating, I just have natural talent."

Hardison scoffed. "Parker, you move the dreidel face to whatever you need every time--"

"And it's still not a real game if we've only got a plastic dreidel," Parker continued.

"This is America, darlin'," Eliot said, climbing in. "Plastic is a way of life." He tossed the souvenir to her over the front seat. "Museum went a little more high class, though."

It was wood, not clay, but it was hand-painted in gold and blue, and came in its own little velvet bag, like a jewel.

A very distinctive driedel, if he did say so himself.

Parker made a high-pitched noise of acquisitive glee more appropriate to an 8-year-old, and immediately showed it to Hardison. "Look look look! It has a patina!"

"I see that," Hardison said, putting the van in drive, and shooting Eliot a look of amusement.

"Now I'm really glad I got you the cool thing I got you that you can unwrap when we get to the office," Parker announced. "And that we're going to be partners on the teaching thing!"

Eliot was just leaning back in his seat, congratulating himself on a present well picked, when that last bit of what Parker babbled out registered.

". . . Wait, what teaching thing?"

"Dreidel dreidel dreidel--"

Parker stopped when Hardison tapped her knee, and then looked back at Eliot. "You know. At the school on your island. That one."

"It's not my island, Parker," Eliot said. "And I don't teach there!"

Yeah, he was basically deliberately not registering the whole 'we're going to be partners' thing. There was a chance -- a very, very slim chance, mind you, but a chance -- that if he ignored that part, it might actually go away.

"Didn't you get the e-mail?" Parker frowned over the seat at him, then grinned. "I signed you up to teach with me! Creative Problem-Solving!"

No one could quite get Eliot sputtering the way Parker could. "What -- I didn't get any email. You don't just -- Parker, you can't just sign someone up to teach things!" Reasoning with Parker tended to be a fool's errand, so Eliot turned on Hardison. "Did you know about this?!"

"I did not know about this, and I am questioning it, questioning it strongly, Parker, why-- what is 'creative' problem solving?" Hardison removed his hands from the wheel to make actual air quotes for that part. "What about-- our jobs, and--"

Parker pfftt'd that. "We're still doing jobs. This is only one day a week. Also we're not having sex. We're not those kinds of partners."

"You -- that's not -- nobody mentioned sex!" This conversation wasn't so much going down hill as already in a heap at the bottom of it, ready to go up in flames. "How long have you been planning this? This is exactly why I didn't want you coming to visit."

Or it would have been, if he'd even begun to consider it a possibility.

Parker gave him a hurt look for that, and folded her arms. "I just found out we were approved to teach yesterday. I told you as soon as it wouldn't distract you from the job." She huffed, turning her new dreidel between her fingers. "I thought you'd like being partners on something. Hardison and I have sex--"

"Thank you for mentioning that again." Hardison sounded grateful.

"But you and I just don't hang out any more! You're always on the island! You don't just show up with food as much! And we can't tease you about your girlfriends if we don't get to meet them! And it sounded like fun."

Nuclear winter pout.

How the hell did he keep letting her do this to him? As she was so happy to point out, it wasn't like they were having sex. "Parker -- dammit -- you gotta warn a guy -- I don't know anything about teaching a class full of kids." He frowned, remembering the private school in Boston. "When it's not for a con."

"But you're great with kids." Silly said Parker's tone. "They always trust you. Even when we're conning people. Also, the 'creative'--" she air-quoted back at Hardison. "Is just a way of saying smart without books. Hands-on. Except not with punching, I'm not sure they'd go for that, but I think we should still reward them. Archie always rewarded me."

Archie gave her hot fudge sundaes after she navigated laser-beam defense systems. Then made her go back for the spoon.

"So this is just once a week?" Hardison checked. "For a couple hours?"

"They run the place more like a college than a high school," Eliot explained. "And I wouldn't be so sure about the punching. There's been at least a couple self-defense and weapons classes." He gave Parker a tired look. "You know, because they get invaded by killer ghosts sometimes."

"I've seen all the zombie movies Hardison owns and all those Twilight Zone episodes," Parker said stubbornly. "I know what to do in case of evil magic. And you're living there."

HA! Got you there, Eliot!

Hardison glanced at Eliot in the rear-view mirror. "I think you better get a teacher shirt ready for class."

"I'll just borrow one of yours," Eliot shot back. He sighed, knowing there was no winning when Parker got in one of these moods. He only ever won against her when there were actual lives imminently at stake. "Well, at least we can't be any weirder than the drugged up spy-women or the dog-and-pony show."

The van came to a stop outside their restaurant as Parker gave Eliot a slightly hopeful look. "We can hang out with the pony girl person, right? If she's teaching?"

Hardison stopped, hand on the door. "What. No, seriously. What."

"I dunno, man, she's all pink and snub-nosed and chatty." Eliot shook his head. "You'll have to ask her, Parker. I ain't making play-dates."

He and Derek could look surly together while Parker and Pinkie squealed excitedly. It'd be fun.

For someone, definitely!

"Cool. Maybe the moose can introduce us."

"Now there's a moose?" Hardison asked, heading for the front door. "I am blaming you so hard for this, man. So hard."

"Of course there's a goddamn moose. Did you miss the part about the drugged up spy-women?" Eliot trailed behind him. "I been trying to talk her out of it, man, what have you been doing? I swear to god, Parker, this island turns you into a vampire, I am not going to be the one to tell Nate and Sophie about it."

Now was the time at Leverage Inc. where Eliot ranted.

"Well one, Parker is my girlfriend --" Hardison said with a hug for said girlfriend. "And two, she is my boss, technically, sort of, in our enterprise, and three, you are the one that moved to the freaky island of doom. So yes, I blame you."

Parker hugged him back for a second -- she was getting better at that! -- and then moved away to make a face at Eliot. "Please. If either of us is going to be a vampire or a ghost or a werewolf, it's you. You're the one that's always getting hurt and refusing to go to the hospital."

"I'm not going to turn into a werewolf!" Eliot protested. "Staying in for the next full moon is just a precaution!"

. . . Right, he'd been planning on not telling them that, hadn't he.

"Excuse me? Excuse you?" Hardison demanded, looking blatantly horrified.

"Then why did you mention it?" Parker gave him a confused look. "Do we need to chain you up?"

That was getting some weird looks from the servers.

"Because it ain't happening!" Eliot said. Whatever, the servers here had heard weirder. Or would soon enough, anyway. "I asked about that. Derek said it shouldn't be necessary."

"Who is this Derek person?" Hardison demanded.

Parker overrode him with, "Anyway, we have to come up with a class plan for Creative Problem-Solving. I think we should ask them to make a getaway car."

"He teaches with the pony." Because that was an explanation. "Parker, you understand that you don't just make a car, right? We could have them steal a getaway car."

Would the moose object to that? It was hard to tell with Fandom.

"This class is seriously going to be teaching the kids how to pull a job, isn't it."

"Yeah, that's what I'm using to look him up and wreck his credit," Hardison said, hands in the air in surrender.

"It's a very useful skill," Parker pointed out. "And if you really don't want to do it, I can do it by myself."

Somewhere, Sophie was applauding.

Eliot tried to picture Parker teaching at Fandom solo.

His mental image involved teenagers running screaming while the school burned down.

"Fine," he grumbled. "I'm in." He turned to Hardison. "Derek's not even from this dimension, man. Hence him bein' a werewolf in the first place."

"Oh, of course, I should have realized." Hardison huffed in exasperation. "I'm just sayin'. If I have to rescue both of you from the freaky-deaky island, I deserve another van. 'Cause I will need it, if there are werewolves."

"Yes!" Parker bounced, beaming. "And maybe we can save the getaway car for the midterm. And start them out with something small. Like explosives."

"No cars on the island." Eliot was beginning to enjoy this idea. "You'll have to hire yourself a rickshaw." He tilted his head thoughtfully. "We could have 'em build one of those. . . ."

[ooc: preplayed with the lovely and soon to be arriving whoisalicewhite. Non-IC and NFB due to distance, yadda.]