Title: Cinderella's Castle
Author: Devereauxx
Fandom: Leverage
Rating: M
Pairing: Parker/Hardison
Sequel: This is a sequel to Mother Knows Best. You don't have to read it to know what's going on, but it's recommended just for the background on Parker's past, and also how her and Hardison got together.
Summery: As Parker and Hardion's relationship progresses, Parker tries to find a way to be able to give all of herself to him without running scared.
A/N: Yes, there is sex. But this story is more of a focus on the emotional struggle Parker goes through to get to that place, and is probably a bit more realistic in regards to what can happen during something like that, so it's probably not the most erotic thing you'll ever read. But I chose to do this just because I thought writing something like this would be an interesting challenge, so I hope you enjoy. I threw in a bit of comedy too, for those who enjoy that type of thing... like me :)

"How do you have sex with a man?"

A glass drops to the ground, shattering against the tile of Nate's kitchen floor. Parker looks down at it and then back up to it's previous holder, expression unchanged. Sophie blinks and shakes her head, "I'm sorry, what?"

"Sex with a man, how do you do it?" Parker asks her. She's wondering why Sophie's staring at her like that, like she's got three heads or something. She turns, looking in the mirror across the way. Nope, one head, she's alright. She turns back to Sophie, who is continuing to look at her like she just spoke gibberish. But Parker doesn't speak gibberish, she never learned.

Why does it smell like cheese in here?

"Uh…" Sophie starts, just looking like she needs to say something, but can't exactly get anything out. Parker's starting to feel a bit stupid, what with Sophie staring at her like that and not being able to talk. Maybe she shouldn't have asked her. This was a bad idea.

"Nevermind," Parker tells her, feeling a bit dejected, and goes to walk away. She thought she could confide in Sophie, have her help her like she always does, but maybe there are some things she just can't help her with. She's been wanting to ask her for awhile now, but the two never had any time alone. But with Nate, Eliot, and Hardison out wrapping up a con, she thought she'd finally have a chance.

But this didn't go the way she expected it to.

"No, Parker, hold on a second," Sophie calls out after her, finally being able to speak again. Parker stops and turns around, and just waits. "I, uh… I'm sorry, Parker. Really. That just… took me by surprise. I thought you and Hardison would have already… well, you know."

Parker just blinks at her. Her and Hardison have only been dating for four months, should she have done it already? She didn't know the exact rules and regulations of dating a man, plus she couldn't just… just do it. I mean it's… it's something she's never done before. She can't rush these things. She just can't. The farthest they've ever gone is her being topless and kissing him, and that was only on accident cause he walked in on her changing. He didn't touch her or anything in her… naughty places. He knows she wants to wait, knows she has to wait. He just doesn't really know why.

It's really hard for her, trying to get to that place. That safe place. She feels safe with Hardison, but being all naked on a bed, or on the floor, or hell even on a roof maybe, all open and exposed and… for him to… for him to…

She can't even think it. It's just… a penis. She's never dealt with one of those before. Not willingly, anyway. And it's… it's a bit scary, if she's to be honest. Which she tries not to be very often, only because it sounds really stupid.

"No," Parker tells her, and looks down at her sneakers. They became a lot more fascinating suddenly. They were blue, and blue is always a nice color. Very sky-like. "No, I've never—" then she stops and backtracks. "I mean I haven't with him. Ever. Never… ever," she finishes awkwardly, and doesn't really want to look up at Sophie. She reads people. She already knows she's read her. She's not that difficult to read, even though she likes to pretend she is. Hopes she is.

"Parker, it's okay that you've… never," Sophie tells her gently, knowing more than she's saying. Parker scrunches up her face and peers at her shoelaces. White. Kinda dirty. She still doesn't look at Sophie. "Have you told Hardison that?"

"No," Parker tells her, practically a mumble. She really needs to clean her shoes. Dingy. Soap and water and…

"That's probably something he should know, don't you think? If he's taking your—"

"I'm not a virgin," Parker tells her, looking up suddenly, quick to defend because she's so not a virgin. She has had sex; she's had sex loads of times. Not recently, and okay maybe not in a couple years, but there was a time she had loads and loads of hot, sweaty, sexy… sex. She did.

"But I thought you said—" but Sophie is interrupted again.

"I'm a lesbian," Parker tells her suddenly. Then she crinkles her nose and shakes her head. "No, I was a lesbian. Now I'm straight. Bisexual. I don't know… I want to have sex with Hardison and I need your help, Sophie!" Parker cries out suddenly, getting herself confused too much to care anymore. Straight to the point. Sex with Hardison, check. Well, not check yet. Check soon. Hopefully.

"Oh," Sophie says again, and Parker's starting to get annoyed with the way she keeps looking at her. She knows she keeps most of her life a secret, and she's throwing out all this information all at once but she doesn't have time for Sophie to be all… 'Wait, let me think about how Parker used to have sex with girls.' Actually, she's probably not thinking it quite like that. Or is she? Damnit, she's getting off track again, who cares if Sophie's thinking about her naked, she just wants to be naked with Hardison.

"Are you going to help me?" Parker asks her, and puts her hands on her hips. Impatience.

"Uh, well… I'm not sure how I can actually help in that department, Parker," Sophie admits to her, finally getting herself out of her head. "I mean, what do you want to know? How to put on a condom?"

"No, he can do that himself," Parker tells her seriously. Why would she put on the condom? Is that supposed to be erotic? It's a condom.

"Well…" Sophie sighs, "Okay, come on, let's sit down. This… I have a feeling this will be a long conversation. Then you can tell me what you want to know."

Parker walks over to the couch and flops down on it heavily. She didn't know why they have to be sitting for this, she much prefers standing. Sophie sits down next to her, still leaving the broken glass in the kitchen, forgotten. Oh, Nate's going to be so mad. He hates when they break things. He yells about personal space and how they drink all his coffee.

"So what do you do during sex?" Parker asks her, and looks at her, ready to learn. She wishes she brought a pen and paper, she might need to write things down.

Sophie clears her throat, and looks at the television even though it's not on. Parker doesn't know why she won't look at her, but she won't. "Well, kissing. Kissing's always a good place to start."

"I know about kissing. We do kissing. A lot."

"Right," Sophie says, and sighs. "Uh… well, god… this is awkward. Okay," she takes a deep breath and looks over at her. "Foreplay is good. Stimulating him with your hand… or your mouth…" Parker thinks Sophie just blushed a little. She turns away from her again, back to looking at the television that still isn't on.

"I don't know how to do those things. Can you show me?"

Sophie chokes on her own breath. "What? I mean I can't… no, Parker, that's just… no. That's on a new level of closeness that we have yet to reach." Her voice got an octave or to higher when she said that, and her British accent got thicker. Parker thinks that's kind of interesting. But she couldn't be worried about that now.

"But how am I supposed to know?" Parker complains. Sophie obviously isn't any good at this. Maybe Sophie doesn't know how to have sex either. She sure as hell isn't getting any from Nate, or, you know, anyone else.

"Parker, sex isn't just about technicalities. It's about emotions, feeling. Being connected with someone in the most intimate way. You don't really have to know all that stuff, things just come naturally over time," Sophie tries to explain to her. She's looking at her again. Parker wonders how long that's going to last.

"But what if I do it wrong?" Parker asks her, and her vulnerability came out a little more than she wanted it to. Which was at all.

Sophie gives her a small smile and puts her hand on her leg, "Sweetie, I don't think you can really do it wrong."

"But… but what if he doesn't… you know, do that squirty thing? Which is really icky, by the way, is there anyway I can go without seeing that?" Parker asks her seriously, and yet Sophie still giggled. She doesn't see what was so funny about that. It was really gross. Everyone else always… they always… did it on her stomach. All over her. Damnit, she didn't want to think about that. Ever, ever, ever again.

"Parker?" Sophie asks, worry now in her voice. Parker looks up at her, and didn't even realize that she had automatically curled herself into a ball, trying to be safe from her own memories. "Are you alright?"

"Yeah," Parker gets out, and releases her legs to place them back down. There's a time and a place for freak outs, and it isn't in front of Sophie. "I uh… I still want to know." Deep breath, no memories.

Sophie looks at her for a few moments, as if trying to see if she's really okay. But regardless on if she thought it or not, she still answered her. "Well, you don't have to see it if he's inside you," she tells her slowly, as if she should have known that already.

"But don't they always pull it out before they do that?" Parker asks her, confused. Everyone else always… okay, no going back there. Bad place. Bad Parker. Bad Parker place.

"No, that's what the condoms for," Sophie tells her, still watching her curiously. "Where did you get that? I mean, what makes you think everyone does it? Did you…" then she got a look of shock on her face, and Parker's heart starts speeding up. "Oh," she finishes, as if it was the worst two letter word in the history of the universe. Parker's inclined to agree. "Oh god, Parker…"

"I have to go," Parker tells her, shooting up off the couch. She was not about to stay around for this. This was bad. This was bad times two thousand divided by twelve and then multiplied again by a million. Very, very bad. There isn't even a word for how bad this even comes close to, or a number.

"No, no! Parker wait, no!" Sophie exclaims, getting off the couch and running after her. She almost made it to the door, but Sophie grabs a hold of her arm. Parker pulls, but Sophie's grip tightens. "Parker, please don't go. I won't tell anyone, I promise. We won't even talk about it, okay? Just don't leave."

Parker's teeth are clenched. She's trying to be strong, even though she feels like she's about to shatter into a million itty bitty pieces and then be stepped on by giants. "No one's supposed to know. You're not supposed to know. It's didn't happen, it's not real. It's a lie. Don't lie, Sophie!" she tells her through her teeth. Trying to be okay. Really trying. But she knows she doesn't sound anywhere near okay.

"Okay, I won't lie. Didn't happen," Sophie tells her quickly. "Okay? Come sit back down. Come on Parker…" she takes Parker's hand and brings her back over to the couch and sits her back down. "There, see? Never happened."

Parker knows that it's probably bad, what she does. Denying it all. Pretending it never happened. But what else is she supposed to do? If she admits it's real then she'll just break all over again, and she's worked so hard to be okay. Be okay with everything. With life. With Hardison. She can't just tell someone she was raped continuously as a child because… because it just didn't happen.

Not in her world anyway. Not anymore. She's Parker now, not Annie. Annie was stupid. She got herself abused. Parker isn't like that.

"And as for you not getting him off," Sophie starts, trying to get things back to the previous conversation so Parker could stop looking like she was going to throw up. "The kid gets a boner whenever he's around you, I really don't think it will be much of an issue."

"What?" Parker asks, successfully taken out of her own thoughts. "He does? Really?" Why did she never notice that? Then again, she doesn't usually look at his crotch. Why was Sophie looking at his crotch?

"Come on Parker, you can't seriously tell me you haven't noticed." Parker looks at her blankly, and Sophie blinks and continues, "Okay… maybe you haven't. Well, pay closer attention the next time you're around him."

As if on cue, her cell began to ring. She holds up a finger to Parker to tell her one moment and flips it open, putting it to her ear. "Hello? … Oh, I was wondering why it smelled like that … yeah, okay I'll get it out … Okay, bye."

Parker just looks at her. The cheese smell? Sophie hangs up the phone and looks at her. "Eliot says we need to get the lasagna out of the oven, they're gonna be back in a bit."

"But I still don't know how to have sex," Parker tells her.

Sophie smiles at her patiently and tells her, "Parker, you know how to have sex. You've had sex with women before; sex with a man isn't really all that different. Something still gets put inside you, and you still have an orgasm. You'll do fine, I promise." Then she gets up and proceeds to go over to the kitchen to take out the lasagna. Parker sighs heavily and leans back against the couch, closing her eyes. Sophie really didn't help all that much. "But Parker?" Sophie calls from inside the kitchen area. Parker turns around to look at her and she says, "I think you should tell Hardison he'll be your first."

"I can't do that, that's weird," Parker tells her. Plus, how is she even supposed to have that conversation in the first place? Over coffee and muffins? She'd say tea and crumpets, but that's too British. That's what Sophie would do. Maybe.

"I think it'll be easier for both of you, once you do it, if he knows about it. That's all I'm saying." But Parker doesn't understand that at all. How would it be easier exactly?

Then the door opened, and Nate, Eliot, and Hardison come back into the apartment. Nate and Eliot were bickering about something, as usual. "You can't knock it till you try it. All I'm saying, man," Hardison tells Eliot before he goes over to Parker. He leans down and gives her a kiss on the lips. "Hey baby," he says to her with a smile.

"Hi," she responds, and kisses him again.

"I ain't a geek, and the last thing I'm going to be caught dead doing is playing that stupid game with you," Eliot grumbles as he strides into the kitchen, taking over food duty from Sophie. He doesn't like many people in his kitchen, doesn't trust them. Even though its really Nate's kitchen, so Parker doesn't see the logic in that.

"There's weapons!" Hardison tells him as he sits next to Parker on the couch, yet his head is turned back towards the kitchen. "You like weapons, right?"

"Real weapons, Hardison. Not pixels on a computer screen," Eliot tells him as he waves Sophie out of his kitchen as he starts putting herbs and whatever else on the food.

"Guys, how many times do I have to tell you to clean up after yourselves!" Nate bursts out then, and Parker slinks lower on the couch. Uh oh, he found the glass. "It's bad enough you guys come in here and take over my house and drink all my damn coffee, but when you break something is it too much to ask you to clean it up?!"

"Sophie did it," Parker blames from her slinked position on the couch, because she did do it. She looks up at Hardison, who's now looking down at her and smirking.

"Oh don't get your bloody knickers in a twist, I got it," Sophie tells him and turns back around to go into the kitchen again.

"Can everyone get out of here while I'm trying to cook?!" Eliot bursts out now. "I'm trying to feed ya'll, is it too much to ask for a little space?"

"Eliot you're in my kitchen," Nate tells him, while Sophie says, "Then you can clean up the glass." The bickering between the three of them goes on for awhile, long enough anyway, so Parker can test her theory. Or rather, Sophie's theory. She was curious, so sue her.

"Everything go smoothly?" Parker asks him in a low voice as she snuggles into him and runs her hand down his thigh. She looks up at him with these big eyes that she's hoping portrays at least a little bit of innocence.

"What?" Hardison asks, getting taken off guard by the question, and probably Parker's hand, even though the movement was natural enough. "Yeah, everything went fine. Our clients have their money."

Parker doesn't say anything though; she just comes up and kisses him once, softly, but just enough to know she's having an effect. "Good," she tells him in a low voice. She's looking at Hardison's face, which has now gotten a bit more… strained. Like he was trying to contain something… so she looks down.

But it was kind of difficult to tell in loose jeans when he's sitting. Everything is already bunched up. She makes a little face of annoyance, because now she doesn't know how she can tell. She could ask, but she has a feeling that's not entirely appropriate. So instead she just runs her hand further up his thigh and between his legs, just wanting to find out for herself.

Turns out that was probably more inappropriate than asking.

Hardison makes a really loud sound of surprised exclamation and jumps halfway off the couch, and Parker's eyes go wide. "That's huge," she says out of automatic reaction, half in awe and half in fear. She blinks as Hardison is trying to fend her off with his hands. But she doesn't want to stop touching it, it was… interesting.

"Parker, please… what are you doing? Can you… not? Please!" Hardison squeaks in a whisper, trying to move away from her, but her grip tightens, only barely but enough to render him unable to move due to the feeling. He lets out a breath and closes his eyes. "Bad, Parker, this is bad," he barely gets out. "Nate's living… room…"

"Shh," she tells him, only it wasn't even a sexy sound of trying to tell him to be quiet, she just wants him to be quiet so no one notices what she's doing because it's just… interesting to her. "I want to feel it, hold on." She says it so practical too, clearly not trying to do it for the eroticism. That's probably what made it worse for Hardison, the fact that Parker thinks it's almost innocent, just to explore new territory.

"What the hell is all that noise?" Nate yells, looking over at the two of them on the couch. Hardison leans over and grabs his foot, and Nate cocks and eyebrow.

"Stubbed… my… toe," Hardison tries to get out as Parker's hand is caressing him over his jeans, just trying to work out exactly how big it really is. "Hurts…" another squeak, "A-Alot."

"Maybe if you tried breathing…" Eliot says, but both Parker and Hardison can hear the amusement in his voice. Parker thinks he knows what she's doing, so she lets Hardison go. Hardison lets out a breath of relief and slumps against the couch.

"I don't think that's gonna help much," Sophie says, amusement in her own voice. Nate, however, just grumbles about people in his house again and stalks up to his bedroom, yelling at Eliot to tell him when he's finished making his 'damn five course meal.' Parker thinks he's a bit ungrateful about the food.

* * *

After dinner, Parker went back to Hardison's apartment with him. She likes it better there; it's a lot bigger, and a lot prettier. She doesn't decorate her place much, she's not really into all the fancy stuff and the pointless pretty things people hang up just because it takes up space. She likes when other people do it, but she would never spend her money on things like that.

They were lying on the couch with each other, just kissing. Parker really enjoyed kissing Hardison; it was a very fun pastime, way better than picking locks all the time. She's on top of him, tasting the sweet flavor of his lips as her hand runs down his cut abs to rest on the waistband of his jeans. She can feel him getting harder underneath him, and her natural curiosity peaks up again. Now that her and Sophie had that conversation about him getting turned on everytime she's around, everytime they do stuff, she's really interested in it. It might be stupid, but she never really thought about things like that before. Her and Hardison just kissed a lot; she never noticed what it did to… the other parts of his body.

So her hand goes lower, and she starts stroking him softly over his jeans. Hardison emits a moan of approval against her lips and she smiles. But then he's moving her hand away, just gently… but he's still moving it. Away. Why would he do that? Doesn't he like it? Parker pouts and stops kissing him. "Why won't you let me feel it?" she complains.

Hardison lets out a breath and opens his eyes, moving his head back a little so he can look at her. "Because… I know you're not ready to do… anything else. I don't want it to go too far and then I'm not able to… you know." He looks away; Parker thinks he must be embarrassed about talk about orgasms. But there's more than one way to have an orgasm.

"Can't you just masturbate after?" she asks him. She says it in the most factual way, and means it just as it sounds, so she doesn't understand why Hardison just looked at her the way he did. Like she just said she wants to move to Peru with a kangaroo and start a cult centered around napkins.

"Parker… I'm not…" Hardison starts to say, embarrassed more now, but she interrupts him.

"Everyone masturbates, Alec. It's okay. I won't listen if you don't want me to, I can go home after."

"Have you listened before?" Hardison asks, eyes wide. Parker really doesn't get why he's getting all weird about it. It's just something everyone does. And as for listening, if you hear stuff like that, doesn't everyone get curious?

"Sometimes you think I'm asleep when I'm not," Parker tells him, and he groans and puts his head in his hands. He tries to get up off the couch, but Parker pulls him back down. "No, please Alec, I want to see it."

"W-What? You want to see it now too? I thought you just wanted to… to… you know…" Hardison practically stutters. He's getting uncomfortable, and Parker doesn't want that to happen. She hates when she makes people uncomfortable, she does that all the time it seems.

"No, well, yes I do but not… I don't know," Parker says, getting herself confused now. She shakes her head. She needs to find a way to do this somehow. How is she ever going to get to the next step in her relationship with Hardison if he won't even let her see it? She needs to go slow, not see it right when they're about to have sex. "If you let me see it I'll tell you why I want to," she tries to bargain, even though she doesn't want to really tell him.

Hardison stops and looks at her for a moment curiously. She knows that he knows that she's been hiding something from him, he just didn't know what. "Alright…" he says slowly, like he doesn't know if it's really a good idea.

Parker takes a deep breath, trying to figure out a way to tell him. Finally she decides, "Okay, I'm Cinderella."

"Right…" Hardison says slowly again, trying to follow her train of thought.

Parker nods, glad he's following for that short part. "And… and you can't get into my castle without first realizing I've lost one of my shoes. But only one, not both."

"You lost me," Hardison tells her, and Parker sighs. She points to herself.

"Cinderella." Hardison nods and she drags her finger down to between her legs. "Castle." Hardison's eyes go wide.

"Ohh…" he says, realizing it. But then he looks confused again. "Still lost on the shoe metaphor though." Parker sighs. She doesn't know how to make hand motions to try and describe it. But she tries anyway.

She makes an 'O' with two of her fingers on both hands and kind of slapped them together. "I lost that shoe," she tells him, but Hardison's looking at her like she's gone mad. She sighs again and she uses her pointer finger on one hand to go through the 'O' on the other. "But not that one," she tries again, hoping he'll get it. She's sure she's being at least somewhat clear.

"Are you making obscene hand gestures at me?" Hardison asks, watching her. "Is that what that is?"

"Yes!" she cries. She's getting impatient. How hard is it to figure out?

"So wait…" Hardison says, trying to piece things together now. He starts making the hand movements she did, over and over, with his own… until his eyes widen. "Oh… oh. Wait, so you've… but not with a…?"

"Yes," Parker tells him, just glad that he finally got it that her embarrassment over it was rendered rather irrelevant.

"Oh," Hardison says again, and Parker wishes everyone would just stop saying that evil two letter word. "So you just kind of want to… look, I guess, right?"

"Yes," Parker says again. She fidgets a little in her seat. Impatience, excitement, curiosity.

"You've never seen a—?" Hardison starts to ask, but he's interrupted because Parker doesn't want to have to answer that question. Mainly because she has, sure she has. Just not in a situation where it was with someone who wasn't… okay stop thinking about that.

"Just show me please," she tells him, and waits. She looks down at his pants, but he's not moving. She looks back up. "We made a deal," she reminds him.

"I know, I know," he says, but he's looking uncomfortable again. She lets out an aggravated sigh.

"What's wrong?"

"Well I've never been examined before, Parker. It's a little weird," he tells her, but he starts to slowly unbutton his jeans.

"I'm not a doctor, I'm not examining you," Parker tells him with a slight scoff. "I'm just looking." She doesn't see how this is so weird. But then again, she hasn't had to take off her pants and have Hardison just look at her before.

"Right," Hardison says, but is still looking uncomfortable. He shifts as he pulls down his pants and his boxers, and doesn't look at her as he becomes exposed for her. But Parker's looking; she's probably even staring.

"Make it go up again," she tells him. It was just lying there all… dead. It didn't look like much fun if it's dead. But it looked just as big as some alive ones she's seen… only it was dead. So how big was it when it was alive? She wanted to see. And she really needed to stop referring to his penis as being dead, now it's starting to sound a little weird, even for her.

"There's not an on/off switch, Parker," Hardison tells her, exasperated and yet clearly embarrassed. "It needs… coaxing. And this isn't exactly the most erotic situation."

"Well what do you want me to do?" she asks him. She wants it to go up again. She wants to see it all… up and big. "Do you want me to touch it? Or I could get naked with you?" she's really trying to help, but those two sentences didn't seem to help out much.

"W-What? No, Parker. I know you're all… you're all about slow and I don't want you to—" he tries to say, but she's getting impatient. She runs her hand up his leg and cups him with her hand, and Hardison finishes that sentence almost in squeak and very quickly with "—OKAYDOWHATEVERYOUWANT!" Parker smirks, she kind of likes that she just made his voice get all squeaky again.

She doesn't know quite exactly what she's doing, but she's sure she knows the basic concept at least. And Hardison felt actually kind of nice in her hand. Warm, soft… kind of sexy. But now she wants him to be hot, hard, and sexy. Cause that seems like it might be better. She's going to find out, so she starts moving her hand slowly, trying to make it get taller. Stand at attention, like a soldier should.

Hardison's breathing is starting to pick up, and she can feel him start to get bigger in her hand. She leans forward and kisses him softly, just trying to help him along. But Hardison apparently can't do anything soft right now as he's starting to get harder, and he kisses her back passionately, making her emit a moan into his mouth. Her hand is starting to work on his shaft faster, making him grunt a bit between his labored breathes. "God, Parker…" he groans, his hands starting to wander down her body.

She smiles and breaks the kiss, feeling how rock hard he is in her hand, and she looks down. Her eyes go wide. It might be the biggest thing she's ever seen in her life. How the hell is something like that ever going to fit inside of her?! But she's mesmerized by it, watching her hand move up and down and hearing Hardison's erratic breathing from what she's doing to him. It really wasn't as ugly as she thought it would be… actually it looks kind of… nice. Maybe even a little pretty. But she knows that shouldn't be a surprise, everything on Hardison is pretty.

"Faster," he pleads to her between moans, and she bites on her lower lip softly. She doesn't know if she wants to get him off, because the ending is always really icky, but she can't just leave him like this either, that might be really mean. So she decides she'll have to deal with the end when she comes to it, and she starts to work a bit faster, a bit harder. It was hurting her arm a bit, but the way Hardison was acting, looking, the things he was gasping… it really didn't matter much.

After a few moments he comes with a loud grunt, and he releases… all over Parker's hand. Parker makes a face, trying not to say the word 'ew' that was threatening to fall from her lips, and she wipes it on his couch. Just trying to get rid of it.

"Not on my…" Hardison starts to say, breathless, but then changes it to, "Fuck it, I don't care." He takes another breath and closes his eyes. "Jesus, Parker…"

Parker blinks, looking down at him. "Did I do a good job?" she asks him. She knows he got off, but she doesn't know if she did it in a timely manner or if she took too long. She doesn't want Hardison to think she's bad at it or something, even though she might be.

Is she? Oh no.

"That… that was… fucking great, thanks…" Hardison manages to get out, and Parker smiles, pleased with herself. She finally did something new, and it wasn't really as scary as she thought it would be. But then again, this is just the tip of the iceberg. They haven't done… Titanic sinking yet.

What is it with her head lately?

"Okay," Parker tells him, and lays her head down on his chest. He wraps his arms around her and pulls her closer to him. She smiles. "You're welcome."

"Didn't think you'd… actually do that," Hardison tells her once his voice is almost back to normal. He runs his fingers through her hair.

"I wanted to it go up," she explains, because that's really all it was… it just happened to become a bit more. Hardison laughs softly.

"Trust me, that's one thing you're excellent at."

* * *

"So what do you think?" Hardison asks her as he holds up his masterpiece. "Do you think she'll like it?"

It had been almost two months since they first got slightly more intimate, and things haven't really progressed much further. She's gotten completely naked for him once, and let him listen as she masturbated in the other room, but besides all the other stuff they have already done with each other, which wasn't much… nothing new. And Parker was getting impatient. So impatient that she really wasn't paying much attention to the fact that Hardison just made a present for her mother.

"No?" he says, looking dejected because Parker didn't answer. He looks at his homemade crown and frowns. "I thought she'd like to be a real queen, with a crown and all."

"What?" Parker says, trying to pay attention now and stop thinking about sex, but that seemed to be all that was invading her mind for the past couple of months. She looks up, and then it clicks in her head what he just did, what he just made and why. She smiles big. "Lemme see!" she says, excited now.

Finally Hardison smiles and he hands it to her, and she places it on her head and runs into the bathroom to look at herself in the mirror. "Mom's gonna love it!" she tells him with a grin.

"Alright, worried there for a second," Hardison tells her, walking into the bathroom and seeing her twirl in the mirror, looking at it on her head from all sides. He smiles.

Parker turns and kisses him softly on the lips as she takes off the crown. "You're the best boyfriend ever," she tells him with a grin.

"I try," Hardison says right before Parker skips out of the bathroom and places it on the fireplace mantel. They would give it to her when they see in her in a week.

He leans against the doorway of the bathroom and says, "You should probably get ready."

"Ready?" she asks, turning around confused. "For what?"

"Dinner… remember? Six months… don't tell me you forgot. Aren't girls the ones who gets all huffy over anniversaries?" Hardison asks her, crossing his arms across his chest.

"I didn't forget!" Parker defends, because she so didn't forget. It's marked on her calendar and everything… as the day she's going to try to have sex with Hardison. "But I didn't know you wanted to do the special thing with the food and stuff."

"I thought you wanted to do the special thing with the food… and stuff," Hardison tells her, uncrossing his arms and moving towards her. Parker shrugs.

"Eliot cooks better than most restaurants," she tells him. Why she never cared much about the specialness that they were supposed to have.

"That's true," Hardison agrees. Then it's his turn to shrug. "Well then, what do you want to do? We should do something."

"I already know what we're going to do," Parker tells him with a smile and a nod. Hardison just stares at her blankly for a minute, waiting for her to go on. But she doesn't.

"Would you like to share with the rest of the class?" he prods.

"What class?" Parker asks, confused. "It's just you and me." She always hates when people say weird things like that, she never understands them.

"I meant me," Hardison clarifies.

"Oh," Parker says. Why didn't he just say that in the first place? "We're going to have sex tonight," she tells him. Another smile, another nod.

Hardison blinks. Once, twice, three times. "Say that again?" he asks, like he's not sure if he heard her right.

"Sex. Us. Me, you, and nakedness," Parker tells him. She points between them to further enhance her point. "Maybe with a bed. Depends."

"Depends?" Hardison asks, in this voice that doesn't seem like he quite comprehends anything she's really saying. Like he's just repeating words in a foreign language to try to understand them.

"Well yeah," Parker tells him, trying to not have her voice shake, but rather come out steady and nonchalant. When in reality she's really scared about the prospect of doing it, but she decided a month ago that tonight was going to be the night, and nothing is going to stop that. Hopefully. "It could end up being on a couch or on the floor. Sometimes sex isn't planned."

"Aren't you planning it now?" Hardison asks her slowly.

Okay, he has a point. Parker doesn't know if she likes that or not. "Do you not want to get naked with me?" she asks, since he's clearly not looking especially excited like she thought he would.

"What? No, no that's not… I mean yes, yes I totally want to get naked and do… naked things with you. Big flashing neon sign of yes on that but… are you sure you're ready?" Hardison asks her, peering at her like he's trying to see something beneath the surface. "I don't want to start and then have it be all… stopped."

"It's on my calendar," Parker tells him. "It has to be tonight. It says so on my calendar."

Hardison blinks. "You put the day we're going to have sex on your calendar?"

"Yes. Doesn't everyone do that?" Parker asks, confused on why he's looking at her like that. Isn't that what a calendar is for, planning special events such as sex? Especially a first time sex? What's wrong with that?

"Well… let me take you out to dinner first then, at least," Hardison tells her, trying to be a gentleman. Parker likes that about him. Well, she likes a lot of things about him, not just that. "If it sucks we can always big Eliot to make dessert."

And that's how they ended up at some fancy Italian restaurant. Parker was wearing a dress, which was more of a demand from Sophie rather than a recommendation. Parker thinks Sophie just enjoys using her as her own My Size Barbie. She fussed over her hair and her makeup and was all excited about "Parker's Big Day" since she apparently had seen Parker's calendar, which was hanging in her kitchen.

She didn't really do well in dresses, especially the ones Sophie put her in. They hugged too many intimate places and were kind of uncomfortable. She keeps tugging on the bottom of it, trying to make it be longer, as they sit at the table. She's fidgeting, and Hardison's looking at her funny.

"Maybe going out was a bad idea," he says as he watches her.

"This dress is too tight," Parker tells him, tugging on it more. Then she hears a bit of a tear, oh no. She stops tugging. Bad idea.

"Well, if it makes you feel any better, I think you look beautiful," Hardison tells her. She looks up at him.

"You always think I look beautiful," she responds, then changes that to, "I mean… thank you." Sophie's always getting on to her about accepting compliments.

Hardison just smirks, he knows the way she is. But Parker wasn't just tugging on the dress because it's too tight; she just needed to do something with her hands. She was nervous. The dress seemed as good as anything to take it out on. Except, you know, when it kind of ripped a little. She hopes Sophie won't be mad.

"You're hardly touching you food," Hardison notes. She looks up at him and shrugs. She doesn't have an appetite… too nervous.

"Eliot's is better," she tells him. It is, but that's not why she isn't eating.

"Do you want to just go?" he asks her. He can tell she's not really into this. She shrugs again. She doesn't want to ruin Hardison's date-dinner-then sex night. "It's okay, we can go if you want." Parker sighs a bit and fidgets more with her dress before nodding. "Alright, I'll get the check."

Parker's heart is pounding the entire way back to his apartment. She doesn't know if she can do this, but she knows she wants to. Has to. Scared, but needs it. Plus, how long can she hold out on him? She's surprised he hasn't left her already. Six months and not getting laid is apparently torture for a man, or at least, she's read that somewhere. She thinks… yeah, yeah she read that on the internet. Or maybe saw a video on YouTube. Or…

"Parker?" Parker snaps out of her thoughts and looks at Hardison. He has her hand held out to her. "You going to get out of the car?"

"Right," she says, "Yeah." She takes his hand and he helps her out, catching her when she almost stumbles in the stupid heels Sophie made her wear. She lets out an annoyed sigh and bends down, taking them off. She'd rather walk barefoot than be in those things anymore.

"No, I'm not going to let you walk on this nasty ground like that," Hardison tells her. She's about to protest that she hates the heels, that they're evil designed to make women not be able to run very fast or far, when she's swept off her feet and into Hardison's arms. She squeals, but then giggles, holding on around his neck as he carries her into the apartment building. She likes when he does this, it makes her feel like a princess.

He carries her all to the way into his apartment, but then stops in the doorway unsure of himself. "Which way?" he asks her, looking between the living room and… the bedroom. Parker swallows hard. This was it, this is what she's had marked on her calendar for a whole month now. She can't really speak, so she just points.

The bedroom.

He carries her through the threshold, and lets her down lightly onto her feet. Then they just look at each other. Cue awkwardness. Maybe planning wasn't such a great idea in the long run. "Uh," Parker starts, unsure of herself. "Should I… get naked now?"

"We should probably start with kissing," Hardison tells her, clearly just as nervous as she is, though Parker doesn't know why. He's at least been intimate with the opposite sex before. She's charting new waters here. But she nods, kissing… kissing she can do. She's done that a lot, that's easy.

She tentatively touches his cheek with one hand while she brings her lips to meet his softly. Her heart is racing a thousand miles an hour, and she's pretty sure she's starting to sweat even though they haven't actually done anything yet. Its just the… knowing. The knowing that something is going to be happening. Be happening really, really soon.

He wraps his arms around her waist as they kiss, slowly bringing his hands up to roam across her bare back that the dress exposed. She tries not to think, because she knows thinking is going to be her undoing in all of this, and just closes her eyes and focuses on the feeling. The feeling of Hardison, of her and Hardison together. It's a good feeling, bit scary but still… good. She sighs a bit contently against his lips as his warm hands slide across her cool skin. She nips at his bottom lip a little, just slightly, but then she feels him smile.

Then his lips fall to Parker's neck and he kisses her softly, sucking gently, whispering in her ear, "Just tell me if it gets too much…" Parker nods, her hands sliding down his chest to grip his shirt as he bites her softly. She gasps and pulls herself closer to him, keeping her eyes shut tight. It was feeling good, and she doesn't want to freak herself out by opening her eyes and being forced to think.

Then his lips are on her throat, and she decides she doesn't like standing anymore. She starts walking backwards, pulling him by his shirt, until the back of her knees hit the bed and she falls on to it, pulling Hardison on top of her. Her lips meet his again, a bit more passionately this time as she starts pulling his shirt up over his head. They break only for a moment so he can get it off, and she throws it to the ground before wrapping her arms around his neck and teasing his tongue with her own.

Their breathing becomes more pronounced as Hardison's hands start to slowly slide the straps of her dress off of her shoulder, exposing more skin. She's sure her hearts about to beat out of her chest and fly across the room at the anticipation, and decides she'll feel a lot better if she just did it faster. So she takes the straps of her dress, looped around her thumbs, and pulls it down to her hips, before finally opening her eyes to look at him.

He's seen her half naked before, sure. But not like this. He's never been on top of her before, half naked himself, and he's never… touched her like he's doing right now. Oh my god. Parker closes her eyes again and lays her head back against the pillow, just trying to feel… not think as Hardison's fingertips graze one of her nipples gently. She bites her lower lip softly as Hardison's mouth is on her neck again, kissing her softly. She gasps quietly as he nips at her again, as she runs her nails gently down his back as his lips start to descend lower down her chest.

When Hardison's lips wrap around one of her nipples, the first instinct she has is to push him off. But it's gone just as soon as it appears and she moans as he flicks his tongue against the tip, teasing it to just to the right attention. Okay, this isn't so bad. This is actually kind of nice. Kind of really nice, actually. It was… okay yeah, that felt good.

Parker's gasps again and arcs her back so she can get closer to his face, one of her hands finding its way to the bed sheets so she can grab hold of them. His lips are starting to descend lower, down her flat, smooth stomach and her breathing is picking up, knowing where he's going. Is she going to be able to let him? She has to let him, she knows she does. She's almost in love with this man.

Parker's eyes pop open at that little revelation and she tenses, and Hardison freezes. He looks up at her, "Too much?"

"No, no…" she says, trying to get that almost thought out of her head. She looks down at him. "No, I want to do this… I really want to do this." And she does now, mostly because of that one thought. That one single thought that scares her so much but makes her happy all at the same time.

To further prove her point, her hands find her dress all bunched up near her hips and she pulls it off of her body, discarding it to the floor. She's naked. Naked in front of Hardison. Okay, she's breathing. That's a good sign. She has half a mind to spread her legs, but she doesn't know if she wants to do that yet. "Now you," she tells him.

He licks his lips, maybe from anticipation or being nervous, and he starts to take off his pants and his boxers. And then they're both naked. Naked in front of each other. Parker's staring at his dick, she can't help it. It's… big. She still has no idea how that's supposed to fit.

"Please stop staring at me like I'm a freak of nature," Hardison tells her, and covers his crotch with his hands. Parker looks up at him.

"Why? Are you?" she asks, curious. "Are they not supposed to be that big?"

"I don't know, I've never compared," Hardison tells her, exasperated and embarrassed again. But she doesn't want embarrassed, because embarrassment makes him small again. So she does the only thing she can think of to distract him… she spreads her legs.

That apparently works, because now it's Hardison's turn to stare at her, and he forgets about covering himself up. Parker smiles a little, she likes that. She kind of likes looking at him, and him covering it wasn't much fun. She also forgot how sexy it makes her feel when people just stare at her like that, when she's all… open like that. She had forgotten. Gaining some confidence in the situation, she runs her hand down her stomach slowly, making it's final destination between her legs. Hardison's eyes go wide and Parker's smirk widens as she starts to softly rub herself.

"Shit," Hardison breathes out, just watching her, all prior embarrassment forgotten. She's slipping her fingers between her folds, gasping softly as she watches his face. She's actually beginning to quite love it. She's done this; she knows how to do this. She's masturbated in front of someone before. So this… this was easy. This was fun. This was sexy.

Then Hardison's lips are trailing up her thighs, kissing her while he's watching her at a closer proximity. She uses two of her fingers to spread herself for him, and then moans hard when finally his tongue finds her. "God!" she pants out, her hands gripping the sheets again as she lifts one leg up and behind her head to give him more room. That was one good thing about being limber. And she could also deal with this… she's had this done to her loads of times.

His tongue teases her clit lightly and she cries out softly, pushing her hips against his face. Her moans against her, vibrating her in all the right ways, and her hand doesn't seem to like the bed sheets anymore because suddenly they're gripping the headboard as she rocks her hips against his face. "God, Alec…" she pants out, all prior scared feelings being forgotten and replaced by the best ones in the world.

He's down there for awhile, just getting her completely ready. She's biting her lip so hard she's pretty sure it's about to split, and it's probably way past bruised. She starts to feel the familiar heat build up in the pit of her abdomen, and she gasps out, "Now! Do it now!" She's letting her feelings take over her brain, which is probably the best way to go, since if she starts thinking then she doesn't know if she could ever let him inside of her.

"I don't have a condom on yet," Hardison tells her after her comes up from between her legs, but he continues to use his hand to softly stimulate her. But she can't think too much when he's doing that. Her mind is pretty one track, which consisted of:

Condom? Fuck the damn condom.

"Just do it, I'm on birth control!" Parker gasps out and then starts panting hard as his thumb starts to make tight circles against her clit. She wants him to shut up and stop talking. She's too turned on for a discussion about proper safety precautions. They've already had the diseases talk, which was awkward enough, but they were both clean, and Parker's been on birth control for years now, so she sees no point in the stupid condom.

"But—"

"Alec, now!" Parker demands, finally opening her eyes to look at him. "Please!" She's flushed, desperate, sweaty, needy, wet. She needs him to do it now before she starts thinking. "Please!" she repeats again.

"Okay," Hardison tells her, climbing on top of her. He leans down and kisses her softly. "But this might hurt," he warns her in a whisper, since she's only had sex with women in her life and he wasn't exactly on the small side. But she already knows that, but right now she's far past the point of caring, and doesn't want to go back to caring. Caring makes sex not happen. And sex was good, sex was really good and sex needed to be happening now.

"Please," Parker whispers again against his lips as he positions himself at her opening. "I need to feel you inside me…" Hardison emits a low groan at that, and then his lips dip down to her neck. As he kisses her he starts to slowly slide into her.

Parker winces and gasps at the pain, but she thinks she can handle it. Then all of a suddenly she's saying "Stop, stop, stop!" and Hardison freezes. Parker's breathing heavily and she tells him, "It hurts, hold on. Slower." Hardison nods, stilling for a moment. He begins kissing her neck again as Parker takes a few deep breathes before she whispers, "Okay, now go."

He does it more slowly this time, and even though it hurts, she clenches her teeth and bares it. When she feels him completely up against her, she knows he's all the way inside, and she can breathe again. Then she can feel him, feel all of him inside her, and she moans softly just because of how it feels. It's… incredible. She never thought it would really feel like this, because she's had people inside her before. But this was different, this wasn't forced and it wasn't just someone's fingers. This was… this was him. And god, did it feel fucking amazing.

His breathing is ragged against her lips as he starts to moves his hips gently, sliding in and out of her. "Oh god," she whimpers softly, eyes closed, feeling his breath on her lips. "Oh god, that feels so good…" He kisses her then, and she starts pushing her hips against his to gain a rhythm. She's whimpering softly against his lips, her hands finding his back as she pulls him closer to her.

She wants to tell him she loves him, just this urge that comes about just because of the moment, but she stops it by biting on her lower lip. She starts slamming her hips into him, making her fill her even deeper, and she cries out and her nails start to dig into his skin. "Harder!" she gasps out, and he obliges.

She cries out again and slams her head back against the pillow as he sits up more to gain a better momentum. She uses that opportunity to lift one leg over his shoulder, and when he slides back into her again with such force she screams, "Alec!" and grabs the headboard, needing to hold on to something or else she thinks she might just die.

He's panting, grunting, sweaty and sexy on top of her and all she can do is cry out as he pushes into her more. She clenches her muscles around him and pulls his cock in deeper, making him gasp hard. God, why didn't she do this sooner?

"Oh god, oh god Alec, oh god, oh god," Parker starts panting, over and over again as she's starting to feel her orgasm build rapidly. "Oh god please don't stop, oh god… oh… oh—FUCK!" she screams suddenly, all of her muscles contracting around him and tightening in the most unbelievable way that she can actually feel him inside her begin to have his own orgasm, and when she releases he does too, and she can feel him fill her up entirely with his own ecstasy.

He collapses in the bed next to her, both of them breathing hard. Parker's trying to open her eyes, but she's pretty sure he just fucked her blind. She can't think, she can't move, thank god she can breathe or else then he would have fucked her dead and that would be bad because that means they could never do that again. And she wanted to do it again. Again, and again, and again.

"I think I'm almost in love with you," she tells him breathlessly, the aftershock of pleasure not being able to process what she should and shouldn't say. She doesn't even notice what she says until there's silence.

Oh, this might be bad. Now she definitely doesn't want to open her eyes.

But then he feels her on top of her, feels him kiss her lips softly. "Open your eyes," he tells her gently. She opens one cautiously, then the other. Hardison smiles as kisses her again. "I think I'm almost in love with you too, Cinderella."

Parker smiles, "You called me Cinderella." She likes that, it makes her feel special.

Hardison smirks, "I did." He kisses her again softly, before she feels him smirk against her lips. "And you have a really nice castle."

"Shut up!" she tells him, swatting at him lightly while she giggles. Then she wraps him up in her arms again, lips connecting, hands wandering.

Like she said, she wants to do this again and again… because practice makes perfect.

THE END