Hardison pushes open his front door, grocery bag slung over his wrist, to find Parker perched on his couch, practically vibrating. He sighs, but knows there was no point in commenting. Parker's idea of personal space has a very broad definition, to say the least. After kicking the door shut, he tosses his keys on the small table next to the door as he says,
"Hey, Parker, what's u-"
"You have a safe in here. There wasn't one in here before, but now there is!"
She is practically bouncing on the couch and he spares a moment to consider how cute she looks. Her shirt rides up and his gaze falls on the small strip of skin, gleaming in the light of the setting sun. He must have zoned out for a moment because the next thing he knows, she is slinking along the walls of the living room.
"I, I don't know what you're talking about. I don't have a safe, what would I need with a safe? It's the digital age, baby."
He forces a chuckle and she shoots him a patronizing look over her shoulder before replying,
"You totally have a safe. I can smell it."
She slips into the bathroom and he can hear various clinkings as she searches. He'd chuckle for real if he wasn't so panicked. He trails after the blonde menace, trying futilely to stop her.
"Wha-? Smell, Are you...There's no...Can't freaking smell...Parker, would you just-"
"Oooo, that means it's a secret safe. I love secret safes. They always have the best stuff inside."
She eyes the kitchen thoughtfully, her head angled to the right, before turning to his bedroom. Desperately, he throws himself in front of the doorway, spreading his body across the opening.
"No, Parker, a man's bedroom is a sanctuary, we've had this discussion about private-"
Parker tilts her head to the right for a moment before backing up three paces. She does a weird little hop and the next thing he knows, she is diving between his legs. He cranes his neck to see her pop up to her feet. She only surveys the room for a minute before fixating on the large object next to the window. It is covered haphazardly with a throw blanket and she quickly reaches to pull it off. He doesn't bother trying to stop her, just leans against the door in resignation. She makes a little squeaky sound when she sees it. Running her fingers over the picture on the front, she whispers,
"It's a Herring Hall Marvin Double Door Floor Safe. An old one, too. Probably early 1900s if not earlier, but it looks new. How could that be possible?"
He rubs a hand over his hair before folding his arms across his chest.
"I had them fix it up before they brought it here. For some reason, I thought I could keep it as a surprise before your birthday or something, but little did I know that safes had a smell. So, yeah, surprise."
She turns to face him, keeping one hand on the glossy black metal.
"You got me a safe? To keep?"
He can't be sure what she is feeling right now, but he'd promised himself a long time ago that he would always be honest with her.
"Parker, you've been hanging out here a lot, and I like it when you hang out, and I wanted to be, like, a good host, so I bought the safe and stocked it with stuff you'd need so you'd keep...hanging...out..."
He is sputtering like an idiot and he's glad her attention is on the safe again, her hands caressing the edges. He watches her for a moment before realizing that he is now jealous of an inanimate object. They touched all the time: casual shoulder brushes, arm around a waist during a con, fist bumps, but rarely skin on skin. Sometimes he wonders what it would be like to simply hold her hand.
"Can I open it now? Or do I have to wait until my birthday?"
He snorts. Even if he told her to wait, there was no way she would. Delayed gratification is not exactly Parker's thing. She has already dropped to her knees and he could hear little breathy sounds that are making him think of non-safe related activities. Abruptly, he straightens.
"You know what? You go ahead and, uh, enjoy yourself. I'm, ah, I'm just gonna be, gonna be out here."
Gesturing vaguely behind him, he spins and beats a hasty retreat. He crosses over to the kitchen and cracks open the window, sticking his head out. Think about alcoholic Nate, he tells himself, think about Eliot with the punching. Think about Nana, think about anything, but the petite blond currently on her knees in his bedroom. Oh Lord.
When he feels sufficiently in control, he snags the groceries he'd left in front of the door. After putting them away, he opens the fridge and grabs an orange soda. He drinks half of it as he walks through the living room. Tilting his head, he peeks into his bedroom. Parker has the safe open (of course) and she'd pulled out all the drawers, scattering them around the floor. The file folder with the back-up copies of her various identities laid on its side and she is currently emptying the fugitive kit he'd put together.
This is not exactly the way he pictured doing this. He thought he'd be smoother, have, like, a presentation planned. He moves over to the ottoman, sipping his soda again, as he sits. She is still quiet, still ignoring him. His gaze drifts to the computers set up in the living room corner. They are busy compiling data on the latest con and he should probably check on the progress. Sometimes things need a little fine tuning.
Her voice breaks the silence.
"Why is it next to the window?"
She is still sitting on the floor, cross legged, but facing him, her forehead all scrunchy. He shrugs.
"I just figured it'd be easier for you if you wanted to pop in and grab something."
She scoots closer to the doorway.
"You're saying it's okay for me to be here without you? That you'd be okay with me in your, what do you always call it, 'private areas' while you'd be somewhere else completely."
He screws the cap back on his soda and puts it on the floor next to the ottoman. Letting his arms hang loose, he shrugs again, meeting her gaze completely.
"Generally speaking, Parker, I'm pretty okay with whatever you do and I'm very okay with you."
He has a moment to notice, to see her muscles tightening, to blink, before she sorta launches herself at him. Perhaps Eliot could withstand the body slam, but he wasn't as coordinated and a slight jolt of pain sears through him as they land on the hardwood floor. He is distracted from the plight of his back when her tiny fists clench in his collar and she straddles him like she does it all the time. There is probably something he should say right now, something to capitalize on this moment, but as she leans down, all he can think is 'Click.'