Title: Safe

Rating: K+

Friendship/Family, hints of E/P.

A/N: Spoilers for The Big Bang Job. Takes place a week or so after The San Lorenzo job ends.

"I don't know what's wrong," Parker told Sophie between bites of her favorite cereal.

Across the table, Sophie was eating a peach-coconut muffin. "He's scared, Parker."

"It's Eliot. Eliot doesn't get scared," Parker argued.

"Everyone gets scared, Parker. Just not of the same things. You're scared of horses. He's scared you'll ask him again, and he'll have to tell you what he did. He's scared of how you'll react, and what you'll think of him, after he tells you. He promised you he would tell you."

"And Eliot always keeps his promises," Parker said.

"Yes. And keep in mind, you're the only one he made that promise to," Sophie said. She'd certainly seen the Hacker's interest in Parker, and that Parker seemed to return it in her own way, but thought that Eliot was really a much better match for Parker. Hardison and Parker were both brilliant, but a bit immature. Parker needed someone a bit more world wise, since in many ways, Parker was still a very innocent person. She needed protection, and no was better at protecting someone that Eliot. And she suspected Eliot might have feelings for Parker, but was hiding them out of respect for Hardison.

Parker thought about what Sophie had said. She knew 'safe' wasn't a word most people would associate with Eliot. After all, he was an extremely dangerous man. But that was exactly why she did feel safe around him. His job was to protect them, and he was very, very good at his job. No one would hurt her, as long as Eliot was around; so she felt safe with him. She decided that just like she felt safe with Eliot, she wanted him to feel safe with her. She didn't want him scared she'd ask that question.

"I'll go talk to him," Parker said, as she finished eating her cereal.

A short time later Parker knocked on Eliot's door. As Sophie had taught her, she watched his eyes. They were guarded – even more so than usual. He was worried she'd ask again…

"You don't need to be scared, Eliot."

"Come in, Parker. And I'm not scared," he said, moving aside so she could enter.

"Yes, you are. You're scared I'll ask you again, and that the answer will change how I think about you. How the Team thinks about you. I'm not going ask. Ever. If you ever want to tell me, I'll listen, but I promise I'll never ask. I promise on Bunny."

Eliot couldn't help the small smile that curved his lips. Only Parker would promise on a stuffed toy. But he liked it. It was totally Parker, and he knew how much Bunny meant to her. "Thanks, Parker."

"It wouldn't matter if you did tell me. I wouldn't think bad about you. It wouldn't change anything," she said.

"Yes, it would. Let it go, please." She again saw the emotion on his face and in his eyes that had been there that day in the park.

"Okay. What smells so good?" she asked, as a way to change the subject.

"I have some meat marinating for lunch."

"Can I stay? Your cooking always tastes good."

"Yeah, Parker, you can stay."