Summery: There's always a first time for everything, and Eliot seems to be having a lot of those lately.
A/N: I don't know where this came from. Probably from the fact that I've never written just a slash story, and I think it needed to be done.
The first time Eliot noticed Hardison outside of, you know, just fucking being there, was in Canada. It was one of those 'job well done, but now we have five hours to kill until our flight leaves' moments. They were still at the hotel, and while everyone was content on going their separate ways and doing whatever it is that they do to pass time (Eliot was thinking about a bar, and a girl. Not a specific girl, just any. Maybe a brunette, or a fiery red head), Parker decided they were all going to go swimming. Eliot says 'decided' because she never really gives anyone a choice; she just continues to bug everyone until they give in.
The damn sun is shining his eyes as he's laid out on one of those plastic chairs by the pool, eyebrow cocked, as he watches Parker try to play Marco Polo with Sophie, who doesn't realize that she was the one Parker was trying to play with. She's watching Nate, or at least trying to not look like she was watching Nate, until Parker runs smack into a stranger with her eyes closed and jumps on the unsuspecting girl, thinking it was Sophie, and yelled "HA! I got you!"
Sophie then apologizes to the stranger profusely, while Parker keeps insisting it's her turn now. The stranger, not Sophie. Eliot wishes Parker wouldn't try to make new friends.
"Are you going to come in or just sit there and sulk the whole time?"
Eliot's eyes shift to the voice, and his eyes lay on Hardison. He's coming out of the pool, and it must be the friggin heat because everything seems to go in slow motion. The drops falling from his body makes it seem like the water has the density of molasses with how long it's taking the water to roll down his chest. The sun isn't helping much either, because it's making the damn things glint too, which apparently is making him stare.
"What?" Hardison asks, and turns himself around three hundred and sixty degrees as he looks at himself. "Is there a bug on me or something??" and then he's swatting at the invisible bug erratically, looking like a damn fool, which thankfully jerks Eliot back into reality.
"I'm not sulking. I'm sitting," Eliot clarifies with a scowl, trying not to think about what just happened. He doesn't know where that came from, and he sure as fuck doesn't want it to come back. This is why he doesn't like the summer; it cooks your brain and fries your good sense.
"Parker wants you to come play with her," Hardison tells him, but that just makes Eliot cock his eyebrow even further at him, a smirk hinting at the corners of his mouth. He couldn't help it, it was just too easy. Hardison glares at him. "I'll kick your ass," he warns in a low voice, making sure Parker can't hear his idle threat, with a little determined point of his finger. Eliot smirks more, finding it to be kind of cute since he couldn't take him in this lifetime.
He did not just use the word cute. And he definitely doesn't want Parker.
The smirk fades from Eliot's mouth, and now it's back to a scowl. He hates the freaking summer. "And not just you, all of us." Hardison goes on. "But she wants you to come in the pool."
"I'm not playing that stupid game," Eliot tells him. He still doesn't understand why Hardison seems to think that just because Parker wants something, that everyone has to do it. Then again, they were all that the pool because of her little "suggestion" in the first place.
Which, in case you missed it, was not really a suggestion.
"You're an ass," Hardison tells him, like that's supposed to hurt or something.
"Sophie's already playing with her," Eliot tells him, defending himself for some reason. It really wasn't just because Hardison called him an ass. It wasn't.
But then he thought about what he just said, and he smirks again.
"And a pervert," Hardison adds. Eliot shrugs.
It is what it is.
* * *
The first time Eliot kissed Hardison was in Italy, in the middle of a con. Eliot had to bail Hardison's ass out of trouble again, and as he tried to get him out safety, he has the fleeting thought about how much he's going to kill him later. "You're an idiot," Eliot tells him under his breath with a growl as they try to sneak their way back to the street.
"How was I supposed to—" Hardison tries to defend, but Eliot clamps a hand over his mouth and shuts him up, because he hears footsteps. A lot of them. His eyes scan for possible exits, and seeing a door, he takes Hardison by the shirt and throws him through it, closing it behind him.
They were in a closet. Of course. They really should label the fucking doors.
"I thought you're all Mr. Macho Man," Hardison teases him in a whisper. "Now your hiding in a closet?"
"It's the fucking Mafia, Hardison. Shut up before you get us killed," Eliot growls, and they're both silent as the footsteps fade away in the distance. Sometimes you gotta know when to fight, and when to hide. It's stupid to take the Mafia head on when you can just hide in a closet for five minutes.
But when they're gone, Eliot tries to door. He jiggles the handle, once, twice. Oh, fucking great. Of course. "Parker," he says over his com, pressing his hand to his ear to activate it. "We're locked in a storage closet on the east side, close to the exit."
"How did you manage that?" Parker asks, and Eliot knows she's smirking. Bitch. It wasn't his fault.
"We're locked in?" Hardison asks, but that just makes Eliot angrier.
"Shut up, this is your fault," he tells him. He switches off the com and turns to him, or at least as much as he could in the tiny space. Hardison was way too close to him for comfort. If he can smell the man's aftershave (which did smell nice, and Eliot wonders for a moment where he got it) then he's just way too close.
"You've been an asshole more than usual lately," Hardison tells him, and his own annoyance has started to seep into his voice. "Did I do something that you just forgot to tell me about? Cause all your shits been aimed at me."
Then Hardison pushes him. Just once, with only one hand, but it makes Eliot take one step back to keep his balance. "Did you seriously just push me?"
"What if I did?" Hardison asks, trying to look macho, swelling his chest up a little. His eyes deceive him though, his eyes show uncertainty, which they should. "What are you going to do about it?"
"Are you fucking suicidal?" Eliot growls.
"You won't hurt me," Hardison claims, testing his boundaries, and gaining more confidence in his stupid knowledge. Which was right, Eliot wouldn't hurt him. Not really. But he doesn't need to know that.
"Bet your life on that?"
In answer to his question, Hardison tries to push him again, but Eliot just grabs his wrist, twists his arm around behind his back, and pushes him face first into the wall, pinning him there. Hardison's face is all squished against it, and even in the dim light Eliot can see how annoyed he is. "Let me go."
"Stop being stupid and I will."
"You're a dick."
"I'm apparently a lot of body parts to you," Eliot tells him, and lets go of his arm. Hardison turns around, and like an idiot, decides to go after him again. But Eliot pushes his back up against the wall, pinning his body there with his chest. He's holding his wrists back up against the wall, and they're both breathing heavily from what they thought was anger.
Apparently it was just sexual tension.
Eliot has no idea who moved first, though he's liable to blame Hardison, but all of a sudden the man's lips are on his, and he's kissing him with such force and such brutal fury that the intensity of it gets him hard almost instantly. But that freaked him out, so he gets off of him, pushing him away. "Fag," he says. Though he's sure he's just calling himself that. He doesn't even know why he used that word, he really doesn't like it.
"You fucking kissed me!" Hardison claims as he tries to get his own breathing under control. "And you're calling me a fag?"
"Bullshit. And you are."
He might be right though. But he wasn't stupid either; Hardison was as much as a participant in that then he was. He better not fucking tell anyone.
"I'm not gay," Hardison tells him forcefully.
"Good. Neither am I."
How they ended up tangled up in each other after that, neither of them can remember. But all of a sudden it's Eliot who's backs pushed against the wall, and he's grabbing onto the other man as he releases a low grown on the back of his throat. Hardison tastes like cinnamon, and he kisses better than most women.
Not that he'll ever tell him that. Or admit this ever happened. Ever.
Parker finds them not long after that, but she doesn't walk in on anything. Eliot and Hardison don't look at each other for the next two days, finding the situation all different flavors of fucked up. If Eliot was into all that irony crap, he might realize how fitting it was for both of them to have their first kiss in a closet. But he's not, so he doesn't dwell on it.
* * *
The first time either of them actually admit that something is going on with them, is in Bristol, in their hotel room bathroom, when Eliot is shirtless and Hardison's hand is down his pants. That wasn't their first encounter since the closet incident, but they all seem to have one thing in common: they're always arguing first. This time is no different, with Eliot just in a bad mood because he broke his pinky finger punching some guys head in that he swears was made out of freaking steel, and he just needs someone to bitch at.
"Hardison, we have women that live here too, you could fucking put down the toilet seat!" he yells, just because he can. Because his damn finger hurts, and totally not because he knows everytime they argue they get a little more intimate.
"Why the hell do you always blame me, man? Nate's staying here too!" Hardison yells from the other room, on his video game or computer or something equally as geeky and time wasting.
"I ain't putting it down for you!" Eliot yells, because he wants to get him in there. For the toilet, obviously. Just rude.
"What are you gonna do? Drag me in there?"
That was probably a bad thing to say, as Hardison soon finds out, as he's being dragged off the couch by his arm and thrown into the bathroom, as Eliot shuts the door behind them. He hears Parker in the kitchen saying something about how they should go to counseling for their issues, because it helped her, which almost makes him snort, but he chooses to ignore it.
"Put it down."
"Stubborn fucking…" and then he pins him against the door, and Hardison's lips collide with his, and he starts to feel the familiar throbbing in his lower extremities that seems to be happening everytime him and Hardison have these moments. It's always a whirlwind of anger and passion with them, which Eliot would admit makes it hotter, if he was to ever admit something like that, which doesn't seem likely.
His shirts being pulled off, and after it's discarded to the floor, Eliot latches onto Hardison's neck, tasting the bitter sweet taste of the younger man's flesh on his tongue, while Hardison's hand finds its way to an area in dire need to attention. He grunts softly as Hardison works fucking magic with his fingers, which Eliot realizes have another talent than just typing like an ADD kid on speed.
"Be quiet," Hardison tells him in his ear as he pulls Eliot's dick from his pants so he can have more room to do all the fantastic shit he's doing to him.
"I am fucking quiet."
"Not really." Hardison's body is sliding lower now, until he's on his knees.
"Shut the hell up and get me off." And then he has to bite his lip, probably bit through his damn lip, as Hardison's mouth wraps around him. He can feel the shudder go all the way down to the base of his spine, and he thinks for a moment it might be worth getting to know Hardison a little more intimately on a regular basis.
Not that that makes him gay, or anything.
It doesn't take him long to cum, and when he does he grips the sink so hard his knuckles turn completely white, as he tries to stop himself from making any kind of sound. As Hardison comes up from his knees, he asks, "What are we doing?"
"I don't know," Eliot tells him, because he doesn't. Not really. He's never done something like this before in his life, never thought he'd want to.
"But we are doing something?"
"Yeah. Fucking obviously."
* * *
Their first fight was back in Boston, over Parker. It had been four months since this whole ordeal started, and while Eliot wasn't still going to admit that anything was happening to anyone else but Hardison, he had gotten used to their little… arrangement. He was getting laid at least three times a week, so it could have been worse.
But then he has to go and fuck things up.
"I think I'm going to ask Parker out on a date," Hardison tells him one day while they're in Eliot's apartment, watching TV. Eliot get's a feeling he doesn't know how to quite describe, and when faced with any feeling he can't figure out, he does the only thing he knows how to do: convert it into annoyance or anger.
"What the hell for?"
"Because I like her, and I think she might be ready to finally admit that she likes me too," Hardison tells him, obviously not thinking of a damn thing but himself. Eliot hates selfish people, why he never gets on the best with Sophie. "Especially after last week. I swear man, we were this close to kissing." He uses his finger and thumb to indicate something minuscule. Eliot feels like breaking them.
"Fucking fantastic for both of you then," Eliot grumbles out, and just chooses to stare at the TV with his arms crossed over his chest.
"What's with the attitude?" Hardison asks, looking over at him. Eliot doesn't wanna look at him. "Oh, is this… no, it… is this jealousy?" Hardison asks, like it's as cute as a stuffed bunny and as surprising as finding out you just won the lottery.
"I'm not fucking jealous, dumbass," Eliot tells him. But maybe he is, just a little. I mean, what the fuck? "Have fun screwing the bimbo."
"Eliot, I didn't think you thought this was ser—"
"I don't think anything of this. I use you to get off, that's it."
"You're jealous!" Now there's pointing, and gasping, and other shit Eliot hates. Drama Queen.
"Do what the fuck you want, I really don't give a shit." But he does. He so does. And he fucking hates that he does.
"But you do. You're all… grr now." Hardison apparently thinks this is amusing. Eliot doesn't see the funny. But Hardison stops with the funny and get serious for a minute, "Hey man, I ain't gay so this—"
"Yeah, you're not gay but you like taking my cock up your ass."
"Yeah well, apparently you're so fucking 'straight' that you like putting your cock in my ass, so don't give me shit."
"You started it. You and that bimbo."
"Eliot, don't be—"
"Just get the fuck out of my house, Hardison."
* * *
The first time anyone ever found out about him and Hardison was in Peru, on a beach. Six months into their… whatever this was, and things were going a bit better ever since Hardison came back apologizing to Eliot for not considering his feelings. He never asked out Parker, which Eliot considers a win on his behalf, but never showed any happiness over the matter. It had only been recently anyway that he's started to actually show a little happiness over the fact that he's kind of got someone anyway.
Not that he's his boyfriend, or some bullshit. He's not. He's just… there. A lot. And maybe they both might be a little bit gay, on some level.
The team was taking a vacation, just to blow off some steam, and Eliot and Hardison found themselves on the beach at night, which at that time was pretty secluded, just over a way from where they were staying. They were lying next to each other, just looking up at the stars, and Hardison was playing with his hair. Eliot will never admit it, but he really likes it when he does that.
"When are you gonna teach me how to do that knife throwing thing you do?" Hardison asks him. Eliot shrugs.
He doesn't want to do it now, he's comfortable now.
"When are you going to let me show you the awesome that is World of Warcraft?"
"Yeah." He won't tell him this, but he wants to spend more time with him. Even if it's playing some stupid video game.
"When are you going to call me your boyfriend?"
Eliot looks up at him. "Why the hell do you want to be called that?"
"If I'm expected not to date anyone else, I damn sure better be someone's boyfriend," Hardison tells him, and runs his fingers through Eliot's hair again, massaging his scalp a little.
"Fine. You're my boyfriend," Eliot says, but only does so because he doesn't want him to stop doing that thing he's doing with his fingers in his hair, it felt good.
That, and maybe he is.
"When are we going to have sex on this beach?"
Eliot smirks. "Now." He turns and his lips find Hardison's, making the younger man moan softly into his mouth. He fucking loves the way he moans, loves the way he cries out his name and begs him to fuck him harder. It's the sexiest thing he's ever witnessed, Hardison all bent over and exposed for him, taking whatever he's dishing out and slamming his hand against the ground right before he cums.
His hands are pulling down Hardison's bathing suit, and he's not surprised that he's already rock fucking hard. His lips drag from his throat, down his chest, and then wraps around his cock, making Hardison moan, "Fuck, baby… god I love when you do that…"
Eliot may or may not like the way Hardison calls him baby. But he's leaning towards the former.
But then there's a sound behind him, a female voice who he knows all too well, asking, "Am I hallucinating?"
Eliot and Hardison freeze, but only momentarily, before they're both scrambling to hide what they were doing. Hardison's pulling back up his bathing suit, and Eliot's just staring at Parker, who's staring at the two of them.
"Yes," he tells her, trying something. "Yes, you are."
"Oh," she says, and scrunches up her face. "Alright." And then she walks away, just like that.
"Shit." Hardison says as he watches her go.
* * *
The first time Eliot realizes that he's happier with Hardison than he's ever been with anyone in his entire life, was in his house, now their house, a year into their… relationship. Parker never spoke of what she saw, but three months later, they told the teams of their relationship. Nate just mostly stared at them, Sophie stuttered for a minute but then got over it, and Parker said she knew she wasn't really hallucinating.
Eliot's pretty sure she did believe that though, at least for a little while.
He's cooking, because that's what he does. He cooks like a fucking champion, and sometimes he thinks Hardison's domesticated him, turned him into some kind of damn housewife, but he likes it too much to complain.
Hardison comes up behind him, wrapping his big strong arms around his waist, and starts kissing him on the neck.
"You're going to make me burn the food," Eliot tells him, but he's smiling. Maybe. Just… a little bit.
"We can go out to eat," Hardison tells him, nibbling on the sensitive skin at the base of his neck. Eliot closes his eyes from the feeling.
"I fucking hate wasting food," he tells him.
"And yet I still wanna make out with you."
Eliot laughs, he has to.
"Plus," Hardison says. "It's been a year."
"I know," Eliot tells him, because he's not stupid.
"No, I mean, it's been a year exactly."
"I know that, why the fuck do you think I was making all this food?" That makes Hardison stop, and he uses his hands to turn Eliot around so he could look at him.
"You're making this because…?"
"You're thick sometimes, ya know?" Eliot tells him. He's not too much into this mushy shit, but he likes that it's present sometimes. Makes him feel a bit more human.
"Oh. Well, I wanted to take you out so I could—"
"What? Buy me flowers and tell me you love me?" Eliot says and he smirks. But Hardison doesn't smirk back at him, doesn't get the joke, and Eliot's stomach drops down to the floor. He feels like such a fucking female. "Seriously?"
"There wasn't going to be flowers," Hardison tells him, and Eliot can tell he's hurt because he's trying to pull away from him now, but Eliot keeps his grip firm.
"Hey," he tells him, pulling him back. "I fucking… love you. Obviously. So… just whatever, okay?" That probably wasn't the most romantic thing in the world, but he was never real good at that.
But that didn't mean he didn't mean it. He just never thought he would say it.
Hardison smiles a bit, and he kisses him on the lips softly. "Love you too, asshole."
Eliot smirks and he pushes him away a bit. "Now get outta my kitchen."
Hardison salutes him, "Yes, sir." Eliot smiles. And damnit… he fucking loves smiling now.
And he ain't afraid to tell anyone that. Not anymore.