PART V

By all standards, afterwards should have been weird. The next day, or even the day after that. But it wasn't. Not really. There was at first the standard awkwardness, at least between Sophie and Parker. Eliot on the other hand, apparently can just "out of sight, out of mind" things, because he didn't even bat an eyelash. He was as normal as ever, shushing the two women as he watched his football game… with Hardison. In his living room.

To be fair, the nervousness might have been both in part of what happened and what was about to happen. It was clear though, however, that Parker was having second thoughts. Sophie had taken her into Eliot's bedroom after he shushed their whispers (which was making them get odd looks from Hardison). After slapping the back of Eliot's head in annoyance to being dismissed and going into the other room, they could still hear Eliot and Hardison's game commentary from the other side of the door, which consisted mostly of screaming in either anger or praise.

"The sky isn't grey today," Parker says quickly, nervously, fidgeting where she stood. Her eyes keep stealing glances at the door, afraid of what's on the other side of it.

"Parker, relax," Sophie says soothingly, putting her hands on her arms and rubbing her a little. "It'll be fine. I promise."

"What if I throw up on him?"

Oh god. "Do you need to puke?" Sophie asks, and in her mind figures out the quickest route to the bathroom. Eliot will kill her if Parker hurls all over her floor. Parker looks like she doesn't know what to do, and yes, she did look slightly green.

"I don't know, maybe," she says, and Sophie wastes no time grabbing her hand and pulling her into Eliot's bathroom. Parker kneels down by the toilet automatically, and Sophie grabs her hair… but nothing comes out. Parker just groans and lays her head against the toilet bowl.

"Parker?" Sophie asks softly, and slowly kneels beside her. Parker looked miserable, distressed. Sophie brushes a piece of hair away from her forehead. "Sweetie, it'll be fine, okay? It'll be more than fine, it'll be amazing."

Parker just groans in response and closes her eyes, her cheek still resting heavily against the porcelain. She sighs, and Sophie can feel the corners of her lips turn down into a frown. "Parker, talk to me."

"He's gonna be so mad…" she tells her softly. Sophie wrinkles her eyebrows together in confusion.

"Mad?"

"About me having sex with you guys," she says, and opens her eyes look at Sophie, to see her reaction. Sophie's eyes go wide; she wasn't expecting that.

"What?" she asks, the only thing she can get out at the moment. Parker doesn't say anything, and Sophie continues, "You weren't… cheating on him or anything. You do know that, right? You aren't together. Not yet."

Parker makes a face and gets off the toilet, slumping against the wall, her knees to her chest. She blows a piece of stray hair away from her face heavily. "I know. But he's gonna find out, and he's gonna get…" she fidgets, not liking the word. Not liking that she was the one to make that word true.

"Hurt," Sophie finishes for her. Shit, why didn't she think of that? Hardison's very… not fragile, but very not the type to not care about something like that. Parker nods.

"He knew I was a virgin, told him by mistake once," she tells her, and that makes Sophie's eyes go so wide she's sure they're gonna pop out of her skull. Parker realizes that she definitely was no supposed to say that, that she just told another person by mistake, and her own eyes go wide at her own admission.

"You were a what?!" she practically shrieks. All of sudden Sophie's hit with a rush of guilt, horror, and regret as she realizes what exactly they did. But also hit with so much anger, because Parker never told her! Parker always acted like she had sex… and why the hell didn't Eliot stop when he felt that?!

"Nothing," Parker says automatically, trying to cover up her mistake futilely. But Sophie is about to explode again, so Parker continues, "I wasn't, technically, no," she tells her quickly. "I was broken before that." She's watching Sophie' cautiously, like she doesn't know how she's gonna react to that and if she's gonna have to run or fight.

Sophie doesn't seem to understand the real meaning behind her words though, and just starts ranting, "Parker, how could you not tell us something like that?! We had a right to— GOD! We took that away from Hardison, are you kidding me?! How could you just let us—? And I thought you said you've had sex before!"

Parker seems a bit overwhelmed by Sophie's reaction. "Um, I… um…" Sophie just stares at her, the guilt tight in her throat. She needs to know what the hell is going on. "I just… I've done foreplay. A lot. And I only told you what I like when I get eaten out…" she says finally. "But that's like sex, right? I mean sort of."

"This is different!" Sophie shrieks, and then puts her head in her hands. "God, I am so sorry…" she mumbles. How did this happen? Shouldn't she have known? But Parker didn't act like a virgin, she wasn't confused or hesitant and she didn't fumble around. She knew what she was doing. How, Sophie has no idea. But that isn't the point. God, they took Parker's virginity away from Hardison…

Wait.

She looks up at her, something finally setting in. "What did you mean you'd already been brok— oh." The 'oh' we very heavy, and full of horror as the reality of what Parker said set in. Parker shifted her eyes away from her, setting her jaw. "Oh..." Sophie repeats, the word sounding like the most horribly word in existence. She knew Parker had a bad childhood but that? Oh god… no wonder she's never been able to…

Why the hell did she trust them enough to?

Fuck. The first time Parker has real sex and it's in the middle of some kinky threesome. That's not how it's supposed to happen. The guilt was piling on, the pity was piling on more, and Parker clearly didn't like being pitied. "It just happened," Parker says flatly, and looks at her dangerously. "Don't ever say anything."

"I… I won't, I promise," Sophie says softly. She wants to reach out to her, comfort her, but all she can do is just sit there because she knows that's the last thing that Parker wants. She changes the subject back, knowing that's what Parker needed. She clears her throat before saying, "Just… don't tell him."

"You want me to lie?"

"No, just… avoid," Sophie says cautiously. She doesn't really like that plan either, but Parker did have a point. Plus, she didn't want to take that moment away from him.

"It doesn't matter, I can't tell him," Parker says, making a face and folding her arms into herself. "Don't wanna tell him. I can't, it'll be too hard."

"To tell him you love him?"

Shit, that wasn't supposed to come out. Parker rounds on her.

"I never said I— I don't! I just like him!" she defends, much too quickly for it to be true. Sophie just leaves it and revises:

"To tell him you like him, then."

Parker doesn't answer; she just curls into herself more. Okay, this was bordering on ridiculous. She knows how much the two of them love each other, and since Parker wasn't going to do anything… then she has a plan B. She smiles at her, trying to show her that she is being truthful, which… she isn't, "Okay, let me go get the coms, and we'll figure this out, okay?" Parker goes to say something but Sophie holds up her hand. "No, we're just gonna talk. But I'll get them just in case. I'll be right back."

Parker relents, and Sophie gets herself up off of the floor. She leaves, closing the bathroom door behind her and stalks right back into the livingroom, on a mission now. "Hardison, I need to talk to you for a second."

"Sophie, the game's still on," Eliot tells her, not taking his eyes off of the TV. Sophie pinches him and he scowls at her, but silently. She gives him a look. Hardison turns, watching the two of them.

"What's going on?" he asks, suspiciously. "And where'd Parker go?"

"Hardison, a word. Please," Sophie presses, and Hardison doesn't know if he should trust her on this, but he gets up slowly anyway. He looks at Eliot.

"Pause the game."

"Pause live TV?" Eliot scoffs, like he's being stupid. Sophie rolls her eyes and presses the pause button on his remote. Eliot looks at the TV in amazement. Jeez.

"Wow, I didn't know my TV could do that," he says, almost mystified. For being so content on watching the TV when there are sports on, Eliot apparently didn't keep up with technology enough to know that pausing live television was now completely possible. Sophie kind of likes him for that, though.

"I swear you live in the Stone Age, man," Hardison tells him, an eyebrow cocked.

"Shut up, Hardison."

Sophie takes Hardison's hand though and quite literally pulls him into the kitchen. Hardison follows, almost stumbling. "Damnit, Sophie. Where's the fire? I'm coming, jeez."

"I need you to do me a huge favor," Sophie tells them when they stopped. She wasn't even going to beat around the bush, here. There was no time. If she took too long then Parker would come out and everything would most likely blow up into bitty pieces… all aimed at her.

"Sure, what?" Hardison asks, obviously sensing the urgency in her voice. He looks at her, partly worried. He thinks something bad happened with how much of a rush she seems to be in.

"Tell Parker you have feelings for her, right now," she says. Hardison's eyes go wide. Okay, she didn't have time for this. Hardison's about to start stuttering and avoiding, but she doesn't give him time. "Look, she likes you, okay? You're all she ever talks about, and she's been trying unsuccessfully for months now to tell you she likes you, but it's hard for her. So just do her and yourself a favor and go tell her, that way you two can just be happily ever after. Please, seriously."

"W-What…? I mean, I, uh…"

"Hardison, really. Please. She's sitting in the bathroom right now, distressed because she can't bring herself to do it. She's terrified that you might not like her too." Okay, so that was a stretch, but whatever. "Just go in there and sweep her off her feet. I know you'd be lying if you said you hadn't thought about doing that every day for the last two and a half years."

Hardison just blinks at her for a moment, then this stupid smile lights up his face that even Sophie can admit is really cute. "She… talks about me?"

"Every single day."

"Are you sure?" he asks, like he's not sure if he can believe what he's hearing, like it's too good to be true. Damn, what is it with these two? Honestly.

"I'm her best friend, yes. I am very sure. She likes you, so go get her."

But Hardison's still hesitant. "What if she wants me but doesn't want want me?"

"What the hell does that even mean?" She doesn't have time for riddles, Parker's gonna come looking for her any—

She hears the bathroom door open. Oh no.

"Sophie?" Parker asks, coming into the living room. Sophie hears Eliot say, "In the kitchen", and she has about five seconds to think, but she can't come up with anything brilliant. So when Parker comes into the room, looking at her and Hardison like she just caught them doing something wrong, and looks back at Sophie on the verge of exploding, Sophie does what comes instinctively.

She pushes Hardison at Parker, "Kiss her!"

It was really ridiculous, the situation. She knew Parker was pissed, was furious for going behind her back and talking to Hardison, and maybe pushing him into her and ordering them around was even more ridiculous, but thankfully, but some odd twist of fate, it actually worked. Hardison, not knowing what else to do, just kisses Parker right as he falls against her. Parker almost loses her footing, her eyes go wide, but she plants her feet, making sure neither of them topple over.

And then suddenly the shock is gone, for both of them. Parker closes her eyes and wraps her arms around his neck and quite literally jumps on him, wrapping her legs around his waist. Hardison holds her up, kissing her back with so many years of passion behind it. It makes Sophie smile, and her heart swell. She almost says, "Aww," out loud, but knows that would make both of them stop. Instead, she quietly slips out of the room, back into the living room.

Her and Eliot hear a crash that sounds distinctly like pots and pans. They found the counter, obviously.

"Don't have sex in my house!" Eliot yells, but Sophie just slaps his arm.

"Leave them alone for a second, will you? I doubt they're going to have sex." Seriously, Hardison did not seem like the type to have sex while two other people were listening. Though she's sure Parker wouldn't care in the slightest.

Eliot just grumble something about her being abusive lately, then about the football game and Sophie rolls her eyes, coming over to sit next to him on the couch. She lays down, her head in his lap and she looks up at him, smiling wide. "Sorry if I hurt you," she says, though he can tell it's teasing since they both know she didn't.

"That's not the point," Eliot says in a gruff voice, trying to be angry, but he can't hold it. He smiles at her, her own becoming contagious.

The next night, Sophie knew she had to tell Eliot what the situation was with Parker. Not ijust/i because he had a right to know, but also, and she knows this is selfish but… she didn't want to be the only one feeling guilty about it. "Babe?" she asks softly, trying to get his attention.

"Yeah?" Eliot asks as he's taking off his clothes, getting ready for bed. She chews on her bottom lip a little, then takes a deep breath. She knows he's gonna explode.

"Parker told me something yesterday…" she says, and he just mumbles an acknowledgement as he takes off his jeans. "She um… don't start yelling okay? I have a headache," she tells him, and that makes Eliot finally turn and get his full attention. She doesn't actually have a headache, but she'd rather bypass the screaming.

"What is it?" he asks, knowing it's something bad.

Sophie take's another deep breath. "Parker was—seriously, Eliot, please don't yell—kind of… a virgin… when we had sex with her." She braces herself for that backlash of that, but none comes. He's just staring at her, like she's being ridiculous.

"Sophie, I would have felt that. I'm not an idiot."

"…That's why I said… 'kind of'," Sophie continues, softly. Eliot just stares at her, and thankfully… he doesn't yell. Though that probably would have been better than what did happen. She expected a backlash over the virginity; she didn't even think to consider Eliot would understand that—

"Tell me… you're… shitting… me…" he says slowly, dangerously, his eyes flashing. Sophie knows he understood what she just said a lot quicker than when she understood what Parker was saying. She didn't mean to tell him, she was just going to say she did it herself, maybe with a sex toy or something, it really didn't matter… but he knew already. Somehow. He just knew. His muscles are poised, ripped, ready for a fight.

Oh no.

"Baby, baby calm down…" Sophie says, coming over to him and putting her hands on him, trying to calm him. But he's shaking, she can feel it; skin rippling underneath her touch. How did he figure it out so fast? Maybe she doesn't want to know…

"Who did that to her?" he asks in that calm, dangerous low anger. He doesn't look at her, just stares at the wall. He's trying to control himself, that's why he was shaking. Fighting the urge to just rip everything to pieces.

"I don't know, she never told me," Sophie says quickly. She didn't like when he got like this, it scared her, in a way. So much rage built up and she doesn't know how much control he really has over it. Her voice shakes a little as she says, "Eliot, please calm down, you're scaring me a little, here."

He doesn't seem to hear her though.

"FUCK!" he yells suddenly, something that makes her jump away from him as he turns and buries his fist in the wall, the plaster crumbling around his hand. Sophie's eyes go wide and she backs up more. But he's breathing heavily, willing control back into him. He takes away his fist slowly, and turns to look at her. There's silence for a little while, both of them staring at each other. "Sorry," he apologizes softly. "I'll... fix your wall." She just stares at him and he adds, self loathing in his voice, "I didn't… mean to scare you. I just can't—"

"Nevermind about the wall," Sophie says, coming over to him as she sees him calm down, at least a little. Eliot looks halfway between still angry at Parker's past and angry at himself for not being able to control his anger. "Baby, hey… it's okay," she tells him. She knows he's not gonna hurt her, even if he does get out of control again. "And everything with Parker… it's gonna be alright…"

She knew as those words came out of her mouth that they were stupid. But she just didn't know what else to say.

"Some bastard raped her, Sophie! For all we fucking know she was just a kid, could have been more than one… GOD DAMNIT!" He hits the wall again, not being able to control it. The plaster shatters again, but Sophie doesn't jump, she was expecting it this time. Her breath catches in her throat though, and she noticeably flinches.

"Fuck," he swears again, taking his hand out and shaking it off. "I'm sorry Sophie…" He runs his fingers through his hair and sits on the bed… he's still shaking, his knuckles bleeding only slightly. He doesn't seem to know what to do; he's never been this angry in front of Sophie before. She knows its something he never wanted her to see; how much he struggles with the control.

"Eliot?" she asks softly. He doesn't answer; he just purses his lips and puts his hands over his mouth, elbows on his knees, hands in almost prayer as he just stares at the wall. Thinking, maybe. Sophie isn't sure, and she sits down next to him. "Baby… I know it… it's horrible, okay? It tears me to… shreds inside to know that—" but she couldn't finish. Her voice catches and she chokes a little, and he looks at her. But she pushes it away and starts over. "But we can't do anything about it, and she can't know that you know. Please, Eliot. Please…"

"I won't say anything," Eliot promises, but Sophie knows there's more from the tone in his voice. His eyes narrow, and he's determined. "But I can do everything about it," he says in almost a growl. Sophie doesn't like that tone. She just stares at him, as if he just said bluntly that he was going to go rip out someone's throat.

For all she knew, he could be thinking just that.

"We don't even know who he is…" she says softly. Parker's past was even more of a mystery than her own. Sophie spent every resource she had to bury her own, and somehow Parker seemed to do it better. It always made Sophie wonder why, but she didn't pry. After all, Parker didn't pry into her past either.

"I can find out," he says evenly.

"And then what?" she asks, either anger or fear coloring her voice. "And then we kill him? Her? Them? Whoever?" She's not stupid; she knows Eliot has killed before. But revenge killing, was that who he was? She understands his past, she doesn't pry into his either… but she can't… she can't just sit back and watch while he hunts someone down like an animal – even if they are nothing more than a rabid dog – and murder them.

Even though she'd be lying to say she didn't hope whoever did that was dead already.

"I didn't say kill," Eliot says, getting up. Sophie stands too, but Eliot doesn't go anywhere, he's just pacing. Sophie takes a breath, watching him.

"Eliot please… I know this is hard, I know it's horrible, but we can't just—"

"Why do you keep saying we?" he asks her, turning to look at her. That makes her snap out of her thoughts for a minute. She didn't realize she had been doing it.

"I just… I don't know," she admits. "I go where you go, I guess… Even if it's to…" she sighs. "I don't want to do this. I mean I do, I bloody wanna rip the bastard to shreds but what if Parker finds out? Then what? And what's the point even if she doesn't? To give her peace of mind, right? Isn't that what this is about? And if she doesn't know then what's the point?"

"I don't know," Eliot says softly, He lets out a sound of frustration and sits back down on the bed. "Fuck I just… I gotta make it better, Sophie. No one should do that and just be allowed to—"

"Live?"

"Have a life," he corrects, and Sophie understands what he's saying. Being alive and not having a life are two separate things. Eliot can hurt whoever it is… just bad enough that they'll survive. But that's all they'll ever do. Survive. It sends a chill down her spine, but part of her thinks that maybe they should. It's not logical, it's definitely nowhere near rational, and it's horrible and something she probably never wants to be involved in but…

They hurt Parker.

And in the end… that might be the only thing that ever matters. They hurt part of their family, and they aren't the kind of family that just sweeps that shit under the rug.

Sophie stares at him for a minute, and then she nods. It's quick, brief, but he saw it. She bites her tongue lightly, knowing that she's gonna follow Eliot through anything. And if this was what he wanted, no, needed to do… then they were going to do it.

Together.

THE END

A/N: Don't freak out, there will be a sequel. Lol.