The first thing they should have noticed was the tapping of her toe. She hated acting like a mother to the two of them, especially when they both spent too much time treating her like a child, not a spy fully capable of doing the same work they did.
Gaby threw a book at Solo as he entered the room, the smug look normally on his face replaced with one of shock and then pain as the book hit his groin. He bent over, causing Illya to stumble over him a little bit, but he regained his footing in time for Gaby to throw his precious camera at his chest. The force struck him but since he saw Solo get hit he was quicker on the uptake and caught the camera before it ricocheted off his chest, he fumbled with it but managed to save it from the floor, then he glared at her.
“Did you just hit me with the King James Bible?” Solo asked, his voice strained still from the pain.
“It’s the perfect weight for maximum impact,” she said. “You two went out and didn’t invite me! You know I am very proficient and could have helped in whatever little adventure you two likely made a mess of.” She folded her arms across her chest which seemed to relax Solo and Illya, their stances went slack and not so defensive. Gaby had very good aim and they knew it.
“You were asleep,” Illya argued.
“You should have woken me!”
“We didn’t make a mess of anything, we got out of there without any alarms sounding,” Solo noted.
“This is the fourth mission we’ve worked together and this is the fourth time you two have gone out without me.”
“The first one doesn’t count as we didn’t know you were a spy at all,” Illya growled taking two steps towards her. He may still have been a little mad about that first mission. Gaby held his gaze.
“Don’t even think about sneaking away, Solo,” she said without breaking eye contact with Illya. Solo did as he was told and halted his retreat. “We are going to talk about this, all of us. How much smoother would your little operation have gone tonight if you had a professional driver waiting in a car? Hm?”
Solo clicked his tongue and she saw out of the corner of her eye he held a finger up. “That’s a valid point.”
“I can drive just fine and then you are safely here, where no bullets come at you.” Illya narrowed his eyes and leaned in closer to her. So close that Gaby could feel the warmth of his breath.
“I’m a trained agent, same as you,” she said, straightening her back to get just a little more height. (It was pointless but she couldn’t help herself.)
“Not same as me,” Illya ground out.
“Fine, we can’t all be the KGB’s youngest and brightest, but at least same as Solo, better than Solo even! He’s a thief, I’ve been a spy for years, I’ve been collecting intelligence for Waverly in East Berlin, I’ve been slipping out the back of the mechanic’s shop to learn to box because it was the only thing that wouldn’t make anyone suspicious, I learned to throw knives by tricking an old man to teach me to play darts, I’ve been waiting for the chance to do this work and so help me god, you’re not going to stop me because you think I’m not good enough.”
The staring contest continued but that didn’t mean that she missed the way Illya’s hand started to shake because he put it on her waist. It might have scared others but Gaby understood the gesture.
“Stop trying to protect me and let me work.” His fingers flexed and calmed and he finally blinked. “Solo, you can go now,” she said, not sparing him a glance as she watched Illya swallow.
“I was just leaving,” he said before slipping out. Gaby saw clearly that he wasn’t the problem tonight.
“You’re good enough, you’re an exceptional spy.” His eyes were closed and his hand moved, but only to slip under her pajama top and right back to the same spot on her hip, just now touching her skin, his fingers ghosting softly.
“Let me be one then.” Gaby lifted her hand to his cheek. “I don’t suggest you stay here because you can’t control your temper, that’s more likely to get us in a pinch than me.” Illya bristled, pulling away from her.
“Illya,” she spoke his name gently trying to make up for the jab.
“Should we talk about the way you sleep better when you drink too much or how Solo probably pushed to be the mark this time so he could get into the casino?”
“We all have weaknesses, the point is we all do our jobs, and I’ll do mine just fine if you’ll stop trying to protect me.”
“You know my temper isn’t my only weakness,” he whispered, looking off to the side, suddenly very interested in the gaudy lamp.
“Do I?” He looked back at her quickly, irritated. “Well, you’ve never said it.”
“I was the one you betrayed, I suspect you and Waverly picked me over Solo from the first moment.” Gaby shook her head slightly and gave him a sad smile. She wished it hadn’t started that way.
“It wasn’t like that and you haven’t been a mark for a while,” she explained. “And even then, I wasn’t pretending. My seduction technique might need work, or maybe I need to learn to put more distance between my mark and myself.”
Illya scoffed now, a smile pulling at his lips. “Or maybe I’m just irresistible?” He leaned down, his hands cradling her face, they’d danced this dance too many times, she expected to be interrupted any second now, and he must have too.
“Since we cleared that up, maybe we could...” she didn’t get a chance to finish before her lips touched his. An interrupted thought was better than an interrupted kiss.
“We’ll be back in 20 minutes, no more, unless Cowboy slows me down,” Illya said, as he leaned into the car window.
“I’ll drive around the block and meet you at the extraction point in 20 then, do you have decoy part?”
“Of course,” he answered before giving her a quick peck. “I reloaded the pistol under the seat.”
“And I have three knives on me, go before I get angry at your hovering.” He pulled back and stood at his full height, hands in the air in surrender.
“See you in 20.”
Gaby saved their asses that night just as she expected to and no one ever let her sleep through another outing like that again.