When They All Found Out
"Eliot. We need to tell them."
She tried to keep her tone serious, but it was hard to do when he was very carefully nibbling on her neck, distracting her from all reason.
"Mnmhph," was all she heard, as his lips were very much otherwise occupied. Even though she was thoroughly enjoying what they were doing, for once in her life she was trying to do something right…and he was distracting her.
He finally lifted his head, an exasperated expression covering his face. "What, Parker?"
Pleased at finally having his attention, she smiled and gently pushed him back, staring him in the eyes, trying to keep his attention.
"Are we going to tell them tonight?"
He sighed in exasperation and pulled himself completely away and leaned back against his couch, wrapping an arm around her shoulders, not quite believing that she was the one that was being the voice of reason…but at the same time, it made sense.
He didn't mind lying when it was necessary…and the fact that the two of them were dating was something that had to be kept secret, so yeah, it was necessary.
But Parker didn't like lying; at least, not to the team.
This was the third time in the past week that she'd tried to convince him that they needed to tell the rest of the team...and she was right.
"Well, you know what they say darlin…" he drawled, giving her a look of defeat. "Third time's the charm."
At that, she squealed and wrapped her arms around him in a bone-crushing hug. For a petite girl she had plenty of strength in those limber limbs of hers, and now he was on the receiving end of it, trying to get air back into his lungs.
"Parker…" he gasped out. "Parker, you're crushing my lungs, sweetheart…"
At that, she quickly lessened her grip, but she did not let go.
She pressed her ear against his chest, listening to his heartbeat, not wanting to let go any more than she had to.
They had been together for two months and had carefully hidden it from the rest of the team, but she wanted them to know. She knew that Sophie had noticed that she was happier recently, and not in a manic 'I want to go steal something' kind of way, and she wanted the older woman to know why she was so happy.
She had been with Hardison for a while, but it had been too hard.
He had constantly tried to make her be more 'normal', as he put it, but the more he'd pushed, and the more she'd tried to please him, the more she felt she lost herself.
The part of her that was Parker seemed to disappear underneath her mask of being a normal, happy person.
She didn't want to lose that part of her, though other people found it scary and strange and weird. Eliot understood that, and let her be who she was and simply accepted the fact that she liked to jump off tall buildings, and that she preferred to speak her mind and not keep things bottled in just because it made everyone else uncomfortable.
Parker had always been under the belief that you could choose how to react to any situation, so, if that were true, then people could choose to not be uncomfortable.
And she was lucky that Eliot understood that.
She smiled as she felt his fingers running through her hair.
Eliot was surprisingly affectionate towards her, something that slightly surprised both of them. Neither of them had ever been comfortable with showing physical affection with anyone, but they found it very easy to show with each other.
Incredibly easy, actually.
And she enjoyed every moment of it; having been deprived of such displays of love in her life, she savored every second he was against her.
In fact, she had finally figured out why she'd clung to Hardison when she had…he'd shown her his affection in the way he touched her. But Eliot, he did so much more.
She smiled and ran her hand over his knee, still listening to the steady beat of his heart, and took in the moment. She drank it in, soaking in each moment like a sponge, holding the memories tightly, afraid of letting go of them for fear of losing them completely.
After a few long moments, she broke the silence.
"Eliot…when did you know?"
His hand pause in its ministrations and she could practically feel him staring at her. He then started up again, and finally spoke.
"I don't know, Parker…" he said, and then he sighed. "I guess…I guess it was in one of our first jobs." He paused. "Actually, I think it was our first job…the three of us, you, me, and Hardison, were on the roof, remember?"
She nodded against his chest and he continued.
"I was still strapping on my gear and watched as you swan-dived your crazy ass off the top of that building," he said, grinning. "I remember, I turned to Hardison and said that you were twenty pounds of crazy in a five pound bag."
She lifted her head from his chest, her nose delicately wrinkled into a look of confusion.
"Huh? But how can you fit twenty pounds into five pounds? I don't get-"
He cut her off with a gentle kiss to her lips.
"It's an expression, sweetheart…it just means that I thought you were crazy insane."
At a comment that would have offended anyone else, she simply gave him a slight smile and said, "Oh." She then leaned back into his shoulder and let him wrap his arm around her waist and pull her into his lap.
Picking up where he left off, he finished by saying, "But underneath that, I'm pretty sure I liked you then."
She just nodded and then her fingers became preoccupied with playing with the hem of her shirt, absently tugging on some of the fraying strings, while his started to play with hair, absently running them through the long blonde locks.
He wondered for a moment at her sudden silence, but then decided to simply take it in stride.
After several long moments, she spoke up. "I…I think it was when we had the job with, you know, your ex." She paused a moment and then continued. "You asked me to get you guys into the barn, and I wasn't going to do it because of how afraid I was of horses…but then you said that you needed me to do it, for you…and that's when I knew."
He looked down at her in surprise, his fingers pausing in the stroking of her hair, but then picking back up again as she explained.
"I knew that I would do it for you, but not for anyone else. I didn't know why, but that's just the way it was."
She turned her head slightly and looked up at him, their lips mere breaths apart.
Eliot smiled…and then leaned in. Their lips met in a soft kiss, and they could both feel the affirmation of their affection for the other in the kiss. It was pleasant, comfortable, and suddenly made Eliot realize that he wanted to tell the team. He wanted everyone in the world to know that the reason why he was happy was because of the girl in his arms.
Pulling back from the kiss, Parker saw the faint smile on his lips and wondered what it meant, but he saw her unspoken question and answered her.
"I want everyone to know that you are the reason why I'm happy." He gave her a grin. "When do you want to tell them?"