Notes: Fluff. I can't help it. I just love these two so much. In my happy world here, Parker & Hardison have been together for a little while, and the team knows. But Hardison and his big geeky brain still need to be reassured once in a while. :D


The last few weeks with Parker had been some of the best Hardison could remember. It started with sex, which he couldn't say he minded, but somewhere along the way their dynamic had shifted. True, he never tired of her body, and all the wicked things she could do with it. But it was more than that now; he wasn't ready to call it love, not that she'd allow it yet anyway, but it was definitely something more than sex. He loved to see her smile and loved the life in her eyes when she looked at him. Hell, he was probably in love with her, but he couldn't tell her that, not yet.

His skin actually itched to touch hers as they sat side by side at the next meeting. Nate was filling them in on the newest case, something about underage girls in strip clubs. Hardison was vaguely aware of Eliot nudging him at the mention of strippers, and he nodded back briefly, but his mind was occupied. Parker's hand rested on the seat of her chair, fingers tapping lightly. The urge to hold it in his own was becoming overwhelming, but he couldn't do it. Didn't think she would like it, and didn't want to start an embarrassing situation. Hardison snorted to himself at the thought, as he realized how crazy it was. How could he be feeling shy about holding her hand after the things they had done to each other at night. And in the morning. And the afternoon. And once at midnight. He still wasn't sure if that was considered morning or night, but it didn't matter. All that mattered at this moment was the urge to hold her hand.

Hardison felt like he was thirteen years old again, walking down the street with his very first girlfriend, skin over his hand itching in much the same way. Becky was a pretty thing with braces and brightly colored headbands for each day of the week. In the end, she had slipped her hand into his, and Alec was so nervous that he made an excuse and ran all the way home. She had forgiven him, but the embarrassing memory still lurked in his head once in a while. But damn it, he was an adult now, and so was Parker. And if he wanted to hold his girlfriend's hand, he was going to try. The meeting faded to the distant background as he reached out.

Parker glanced at Hardison in surprise as his hand covered hers. Giving him a small grin, and rolling her eyes for good measure, she twined their fingers together and rested their hands back on the seat of her chair. Hardison's eyes went wide in shock, but he quickly composed himself and smiled shyly back at her. Parker gave his hand a squeeze and turned her attention back to the meeting. Hardison did the same, even as he swore his heart actually felt lighter. Parker's simple acceptance of the intimate gesture meant more to him than the nights he'd spent in her bed. As he realized how corny is own thoughts sounded, he was damn glad nobody on the team could read minds.

Parker went to discuss repelling option with Nate after the meeting, leaving Hardison to a very amused looking Eliot and smiling Sophie. Sophie gave him a look that clearly said, "Awwww" and all Hardison could do was duck his head and grin. She chuckled softly and headed off to do whatever it is Sophie did when they weren't around. Hardison wondered what exactly that was, but decided it was a topic for another day. That left him with Eliot, who leaned against the table, arms crossed, and smirk in place.

"What?" Hardison demanded. "Me and Parker, we're, well you know." He struggled with the words, which amused Eliot greatly, if the increased smirk was any indication. Hardison sighed, "Dammit man, she's my girlfriend, and I can hold her hand if I want to! Don't make me less of a man." And then he took a step back, just in case. To his surprise, Eliot just nodded and actually smiled a little bit.

"No, it doesn't." And Hardison was stunned into silence. "Just makes you a good man," Eliot said quietly as he walked out of the room, punching Hardison lightly on the shoulder on the way out.

"Well, what in the hell." Hardison said in an awed voice at the place where Eliot had been. Maybe the tough guy had some feelings left in there after all. Shaking his head, Hardison decided to go rescue Nate from Parker's sure to be incessant insistence on various ropes and pulleys.

He'd practically needed to drag Parker away from Nate, who predictably decided against the ropes in favor of a simpler means of entry, but once they reached the hallway, she fell into easy step beside him. If their pattern held true, they would be heading to Parker's apartment that night, and eating Chinese food with an extra side of fortune cookies. It was a nice pattern.

But she surprised him, as she often did, and grabbed his hand, pulling them to his car. "Let's go to your place tonight. I want you to show me how to play that computer game of yours." Hardison was stunned into silence for the second time that night, but he couldn't help being excited over the prospect of creating a Parker character, at least one that she knew about. Pulling her to him, he kissed her soundly, groaning as her hands tugged at his shirt. He pulled away with difficulty, "Hold on girl, we got a fifteen minute ride ahead of us. Let's just wait till we get home." Parker actually pouted at him, and he found the expression far more endearing than he supposed he should have.

"My place is only five minutes from here," Parker pointed out, stepping closer to him once again. Hardison nodded as he debated, five minutes until he had Parker, or fifteen minutes until he had Parker and a virtual Parker. The geek in him battle with the lust, but he made up his mind.

"Hell, I can teach you how to play tomorrow. C'mon, lead the way baby." Parker laughed and led him to her car, hands still entwined. Hardison was caught with another wave of what he could only call love as she kissed him again, fast but sweet, and he realized that she loved him too, even if she didn't know it yet. And for now, that was enough.