A.N. - This is my take on Season 4, Episode 14 - "The Boys Night Out". I've been on a huge Eliot/Parker kick for a while, so you'll most likely see several stories about these two over the next week or so. Please enjoy!
"Eliot," said Hardison, slapping down his phone in front of him.
Then Eliot heard Hardison explain as he looked at the picture in front of him.
"The guy that Parker just had me put the 411 on…"
Eliot stared at the photo. He knew that guy. He was a thief, and a good one, too. Not as good as Parker, of course, but he knew his way around pretty darn well. Eliot didn't even hear what his friend and Hardison said to each other…
…but then he realized that his friend had asked Hardison if Parker was his girl and Eliot inwardly bristled.
She sure as hell wasn't, but no one else knew that. He and Parker had managed to keep their trysts down to a minimum, but still have enough time for each other every now and again.
Nate suddenly stood up.
"Where you going?" Eliot asked accusingly, and Nate mentioned that he was getting a bottle of scotch from downstairs.
The rest of the conversation came and went, and now they were taking the elevator up to one of the floors of the Palaestra Hotel, and Hardison started going off again about the guy in the photo that Parker had sent him, while Eliot ground his teeth.
"This is about the guy that Parker took the picture with?"
"Yes, this is about the guy that Parker took the picture with," Hardison vehemently answered.
"You gotta be kidding me," Eliot muttered under his breath while Hardison continued to rant.
"Who, who goes to a cocktail lounge in a tuxedo? Who do you think it is?"
"I don't know man," Eliot flawlessly lied to him, and then continued to mutter under his breath as Hardison ranted, occasionally throwing an insult in his direction, as they broke into the hotel room.
"He's not even her type, did you see him?"
At that question, he felt his inner hackles rise again, and he had to restrain himself from throwing the man against the wall and yelling in his face, that yes, he had seen him and he wasn't worried because he knew that Parker was his girl and no one else's, but he didn't say a word in that direction.
The door was slightly open and he noticed that the lights weren't on.
"Why's it dark?"
"I don't know," said Hardison, and then the bullets whizzed past their heads, and Eliot soon found himself distracted from thoughts of Parker.
Hardison and Eliot walked down the street, going to their last stop.
"Alright," said Eliot, his tone agitated. "This bar's the last address. Maybe I should handle this one by myself."
Hardison immediately took offense, but then said,
"So, what, you don't need me either, now?"
"Listen to me, okay?" snapped Eliot, bringing his hand up to point at him. "So ,Parker's out with a handsome guy, and he's also a thief, and also does cool thief…stuff…and you're the computer geek, dude…"
Alec looked at him as if he were crazy. "Is, is that your pep talk? You, you kidding me? What the hell is going on…? Really?"
"It's a little rough, but the fact is…"
Hardison interrupted him.
"A little rough? As a friend, you're dead to me, so please, do go on. What, what are you trying to say? That, that I'm not exciting? What is it?"
"That's not what I'm saying! If I said that, then that means that I would be thinking about you and Parker, which I'd never do!" Oh crap, he thought to himself. I shouldn't have said that, I shouldn't have said that…he's gonna find out, he's gonna know.
"Then say what you need to say!"
Eliot looked at him and then looked away, gritting his teeth and tightening his jaw, carefully choosing his next words. Finally, he spoke, practically choking on his words as he did so.
"Maybe, maybe you're slow-playing it just a little bit." Parker was going to kill him, but he had to portray the role of the supportive friend. He could not let Hardison get any idea that he and Parker were already together, or that they had ever been together.
Hardison gave him a look.
"Slow-playin'? Like, I need to more assertive, or somethin'?"
Eliot shrugged and spat out the words, "Assertive is good," even though he knew Parker would flay him for it later.
"Yeah," he replied. "Yes."
"More focused, Dexter's dictionary definition of…cool," and Hardison grabbed Eliot's hand and they did some sort of weird shake on it, and then continued to the bar. Throughout the time at the bar, Eliot wanted nothing more than to clock Hardison out himself, but instead grumbled in the background, the entire time wondering how Parker's night was going and how he was going to fix what he had just done.
If Hardison did make a move, Eliot knew that she wouldn't say no, because that was simply the way that Parker was.
The rest of the evening went by and Eliot was vaguely aware of the fact that a bomb had been involved, and he wanted nothing more than to have her in his arms once more at the end of the night. Just one more time at the end of the night.
Was that too much to ask?
Feeling slightly vindictive, Eliot let the young woman sit on his lap as he sat at the bar, the entire time his thoughts lingering on Parker and the guy that she'd been hanging out with all evening. The famous thief. The famous thief in the nice tuxedo.
He tugged on the girl's waist, noticing Hardison's approving look, but he brushed it off, his mind still on Parker.
And then as they walked through the front, he saw her…
"Keep walking, don't talk to them or they'll make us stay," he whispered into the girl's ear, but then felt a stab of guilt as he saw Parker give him a look. To anyone else, it was a look of indifference, but to Eliot…well, he knew better, and saw the faint tinge of hurt in her eyes.
He knew what he had to do.
As soon as he and the girl were outside he turned to her and gave her a sad smile.
"Hey, sweetheart, you're great an' all, but-"
She cut him off.
"It's okay. You've got someone else, and I'm the girl to make her jealous, right?" He gave her another sad smile and nodded. "That's okay," she reassured him. "I've got someplace I need to be anyway."
And with that, she turned and walked away.
Eliot looked back towards the bar and sighed. He wanted to go back in, but he didn't want to risk being seen or overheard by Sophie. He decided to wait it out. He stood outside the bar in the shadows for a long time, waiting for Sophie to leave. After about twenty minutes of waiting, she was gone and out the back, luckily.
Seeing Parker alone, he stole back in through the front door and grabbed her wrist just as she was about to disappear through the back.
He gave her a soft smile.
"Hey…how was your night?"
She shrugged in her typical Parker way.
"Oh, you know, same old thing. Went to the Venezuelan Consulate Ball, stole over a million dollars, stopped a bomb from going off, saved a country. Nothing big." And she was completely serious…and he loved her for it. She was truly something exceptional.
Eliot then said, "I heard you met someone. Another thief."
A sly smile crossed her lips.
He nodded, knowing that he had to upfront with her.
"Yeah, I really was."
She let him pull her in and smiled as he wrapped his arms around her waist and drew her tightly against him. Her smile softened and she lifted her arms and slid her hands around the back of his neck, absently playing with his hair.
"Good," was all she said, and it made him grin. Typical Parker.
He rubbed his thumbs in circles on her hips and gave her a shaky, uncertain smile. She saw his look and gave him a small pout.
"You made me jealous, too, you know. With that girl."
He nodded. "Yeah, I know…sorry 'bout that. I was just feeling, you know, well…jealous."
She nodded and gave him one of her quirky, not quite smiles. "I get it, Eliot. Don't worry."
She then leaned in and placed a soft kiss on the corner of his mouth and started to pull back, but he pulled her back in and plundered her mouth, giving her no time to react, and he inwardly smiled when he heard her moan and then felt her press her hips more firmly against him.
Slowly, they both pulled away and he leveled his eyes at her, effortlessly holding her gaze. And then he said…
"I told Hardison to make a move."
She gave him a look, obviously confused by what he was talking about…but then another look, this one of comprehension, crossed her face. He waited for her to yell, to get mad at him, to shove him away…but she did none of that. Instead, she just shrugged her shoulders and gave him a close-lipped, lopsided grin.
"Let me guess…he boxed you into a corner and you were forced to be the supporting friend, right?"
He nodded, slightly amazed at the woman in front of him.
She acted clueless so much of the time, but the truth was that she could actually read people very well, she just chose to not pay attention to what they were really saying most of the time because she either didn't like what they were saying, or it was making her uncomfortable, or because they were simply wrong.
She smiled again, not so tight-lipped this time.
"It's okay, Eliot…I'll deal with him on my own. Promise."
He smiled and then motioned his head towards the front of the bar.
"Yeah, well…I better get going." Reluctantly, he let his hands drop from her sides and she gave him a sad smile. "Can't have them getting suspicious."
She nodded and pressed a quick kiss on his surprised lips.
"Yeah, me too."
And then, just as she was leaving towards the back and he was headed to the front door, she whispered, "Love you," and he turned around to respond…but she was gone.
Yeah, he loved her, too. Because she was his, and no one else's.
She's mine, he thought to himself as he left McRory's. She's mine.