- Cal and Niko's first encounter with Robin. Robin quickly loses interest in the knife at his throat and gives instructions to his secretary when she pops in, banters with the brothers and generally acts so....Robin-like that Niko eventually puts away the knife in exasperation.
- While lying in wait for a potential threat to show:
There'd been no rain, and I didn't even want to hazard a guess at what was soaking through the material of my coat. That is, until I remembered it was Niko's jacket, and then I gleefully thought of a hundred noxious, disgusting fluids it could be.
- After finding out the client they're bodyguarding (Promise) is a vampire, a fed-up Cal asks, exasperated, if Niko is the only human in New York. Sometimes it does seem that way.
- Cal being his usual charming self:
Cal to Niko: What're you still doing up? You know all good little ninjas should be in bed, visions of homicidal sugarplums dancing in their heads.
Cal: (thinking about Niko's calm attitude) You can't be of choleric nature if you can kill people with a dirty sock.
- And even more of Cal's charming self.
- Niko calmly telling Robin to stop pestering Cal and Cal's musings on it.
When your overprotective big brother carries a sword, people tend to pay attention.
- Robin's attempt to burgle the tip jar at the bar, and Niko's thwarting of thereof. As in, throwing a knife between the puck's fingers.
- Cal threatening Wahanket with dismemberment, and Niko reproving him for his lack of diplomatic skills. Then Niko turns to Wahanket and threatens him with dismemberment, only in a polite tone of voice. It works.
- Salome following Robin home. At first she just seems violently clingy, until the trio hears 'the purr from beyond the grave'. Robin's minor Freak Out is just icing on the cake.
Robin: No. Absolutely not. Absolutely not....I don't like cats. Even live ones. They're demanding and annoying, they imagine themselves to be so very superior, and they shed.
Cal: That one won't shed. As for the rest...sound familiar, doesn't it?
Cal: Holy crap. What do you think it says? The tag?
- The poor Great Dane.
- When Robin starts warming up to Salome, he buys her a collar. And an identification tag. One can only imagine how he got her to actually wear it...
Niko: Just the basics, I'm sure. 'Dead cat. If found, please call.'
- The brotherly snark is out in full force in this book.
Cal: If I hear voices, it's because of whatever freaky-ass vitamins you put in my morning coffee when I'm not looking.
Niko: If you hear voices, it's because you only eat irradiated nitrates and have grown a microwave-spawned tumor in your frontal lobe. Assuming you have a frontal lobe of any kind. My latest theory is your skull hosts a hamster running in a wheel that keeps you upright and less coherent.
Cal: Don't you mean 'more or less coherent'?
- Cal's phone cal to Promise explaining an incident.
Cal: Sharks with arms. Big-ass eel. Goddamn Auphe. Watch your ass. *click*
- While walking on the street, Call randomly grabs Niko, pushes him against a wall, and starts sniffing his neck. There was a reason, but the fact that it happened completely out of the blue, as well as Niko's utter lack of surprise or concern, catapults it straight into hilarity.
- Cal's pep talks to Niko after the latter finds out Promise never told him about Cherish swing between this and Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
Niko: In all honesty, I'm not sure who to blame. Sophia made sure you and I both have our issues.
Cal: Issues? Jesus, Nik. People on Dr. Phil have issues. We have atomic-powered, demonic-flavored, fresh-from-the-pits-of-hell, full-blown fucking neuroses. Freud would have been in a corner sucking his thumb after one session with us.
- Robin warns Cal to not drive another car through his office, and Cal's monologue complains that he's never going to live that down.
- Robin orders one of his salesmen to come in to work, and leave his mother in her coma. When the others point it out, he comments that's the fifteenth time in two months his mother has fallen into a coma. He then offers Cal a job.
Talk about Get thee behind me, Satan. I used a little of my Rom half to fork the evil eye at him. "How many souls a week do I have to rack up? Is there a quota? Do I have to sign anything in blood?"
He gave a slick smile and got in the car. "That Faust, he never could keep a secret."
- Niko and Cal go to visit Delilah to ask her about Oshossi. While they're there, Delilah wants to do something a bit more...intimate. She tells Niko to watch the door for ten minutes. He grabs her ponytail, says sharply that's his brother she's talking so glibly about...and it better be twenty, because he's had a difficult morning. Equal parts hilarious and heartwarming.
- "Yogurt isn't tartar sauce, Nik."
- Robin's increasing desperation as he is locked up in the safehouse, with no sexual activity of any kind for several days. He even develops an Eye Twitch.
I was so locking my door tonight.
- Robin Goodfellow. Playing strip poker with Cherish. And losing. A lot. Purposefully losing, as Niko points out.
"Did you know art institutes deliver within the hour if you pay enough."
- Promise's reaction to the scene: shooting countless crossbolts at a painting of Pan, into his face and...elsewhere.
- Becomes a Brick Joke later when she tells Goodfellow she has a painting he needs to see.
- Cal's somewhat justified panic attack when Samuel tosses a friggin' nuke.
"Don't worry, Cal. It's not volatile. It has to be triggered, not dropped."
Right. That guy should watch more TV.
- The first time Cal makes Niko laugh after Cherish's Mind Rape.
Cal: I was just talking to this guy on the corner. See him over there? I know I'm a moody, whiny, sometimes possessed, killer genetic monster freak with mommy issues, but do you think Scientology could honestly be the answer to all that?
- Robin giving Cal Too Much Information about his hookup with Ishiah.
"Let's start off with a hypothetical question: If someone with flammable feathers cooks in the nude, is that a lifestyle choice or a death wish?"
- The best sign Niko's back to himself after the end of Deathwish..
Niko: Pick up your clothes. I am not your maid. How do I know this? A maid cannot kill you with a tube sock. I can.
I woke up, who knew how many hours later, to that same lost sock stuffed halfway in my mouth.
- And to make this a Brick Joke, the follow-up:
- Niko and Robin sharing a room at a motel.
Cal: You survived the night.Niko: Barely. Robin and Ishiah had phone sex last night... until I cut the line. Then Goodfellow used his cell phone. I broke it, quite, quite thoroughly. When he finally went to bed, in less than five minutes he was asleep and having what I guessed from the moaning to be a dream of the nocturnal emissions kind. I slept in the bathtub with a knife wedging the bathroom door closed.
- Robin buying Catcher a swimsuit AND a Wolves in the Wild calendar as thanks for saving his life, but then getting so sex-starved he fights Catcher for the former.
- Cal's 'presents' for Robin.
- Cal getting drunk with Robin and the subsequent bar fight, because nobody can take their singing anymore; all while Niko freezes his ass off on the sidewalk.
- The puck family reunion. From Cal being tricked into revealing Robin's monogamy, to the brothers' reactions to the announcement of the 'entertainment', to the pucks continual groping of Niko, to Cal's squicked-out description of the orgy-to-end-all-orgies, it might be the funniest scene in the entire series.
- Bringing up Robin's past is usually about a twenty-eighty ratio of either pissing him off or setting up great CMOFs. While you really, really want to avoid pissing him off, the gems that come out of the other eighty percent of the time are worth it.
"You engage in one bonding incident of cannibalism to save your life from a pissed-off pack of natives and you never live it down," Robin muttered.
- Robin's vengeance on Cal for bringing up a touchy subject. He makes Cal wear a bright green cashmere cardigan, a pink polo shirt, pleated khaki pants, white socks and loafers for several hours. Cal has to (thoroughly) beat a couple handy muggers to get rid of those pesky homicidal urges it brings up, using the sweater as a garrote.
- Finding out Kalakos hasn't given Niko any other siblings.
Cal: Did you cry? In relief, I mean. At least one tear?
Niko: I thanked every major religious figure I could think of. I thanked Goodfellow as well, as he once pretended to be a god. I wanted to cover all the bases.
- Finding out that Robin dumped three of the mummified cats Cal sicced on him with Promise, and they will not leave her house.
Cal: She sounded pissed.
Niko: She is - a good deal lately.
Cal: Maybe it's because the cats line up on her headboard and watch the two of you while you have sex? Jesus, finally. There's Kalakos.
Niko: How did you...I meant, that does not happen.
- Cal spray painting a bunch of symbols over the meeting place to infuriate Grimm over his inability to speak Auphe.
Kalakos: Evil magic. Those are the words of demons. They will drive us to madness.
Cal: Unless I spray it in your eyes, it won't do shit to you or anyone. The Auphe spoke, but they didn't write. No written language. I copied this from that spooky little girl two blocks down who's always writing on the sidewalk. It's gibberish.
Niko: Actually, I think it's Hungarian.
- Cal managing to make Kalakos' betrayal funny.
Cal: I told you not to trust a man who looked like that. Big nose. Blond hair and dark skin, that's just weird. Way too good with a sword. Obviously exercised too much. Probably liked bonsai trees and dating vampires too. Sign of a nut job right there.
- Much of what the brothers put Kalakos through is darkly hilarious. First, Cal gates him to a quarter-mile from the boggle pit so he has to outrun them or be eaten. Next, Niko knocks him out when he shows up again, and spits on him (with Robin kicking him at the request of an injured Cal). Then they dump his unconscious body in the dumpster outside so he wakes up there. Then Cal gates all of them away and his body, not being used to it, doesn't react well (alas, we have to imagine the result of his first gating experience). Then he has to sit in the backseat with a naked Robin who half-seriously threatens to strangle him with his pride and joy. Then Niko refuses the gift of his Vayash ring signifying manhood, which Robin promptly steals. On a reread, all this punishment becomes incredibly satisfying.
- Cal and Niko's actual first encounter with Robin.
Eleven-Year-Old Cal: I'm eleven and you want to give me money? Are you a pervert?....Nik, the pervert wants to talk to you.
- Eleven-year-old Cal's continual concern for Niko's sex life. Or rather, his lack of one—he keeps reminding Niko not to get laid, because then he will certainly get killed by the serial killer.
- In stark contrast, there's Cal's insistence when Promise is staying over that the two of them are trimming bonsais in Niko's room and nothing is going to convince him otherwise.