Nate is doing his mastermind thing at 7pm on a Friday night, and Alec's butt is falling asleep. The guy can talk.
"Mathew Bickham is the key to this little adventure," Nate says, gesturing at the picture of a middle-aged white guy that he'd had Alec bring up on the plasma display. "We get access to his computer, and from there we can find out how the shipments are being diverted."
"Shouldn't be a problem." Sophie straightens up in her chair. "I can distract him and Parker can plant whatever virus software Hardison needs to tap into the system."
"Actually, we're going to need someone else to be the distraction. I'm going to need you to work with me—"
"Not me! I hate that undercover stuff," Parker yells from behind the couch, where she's wrestling with Eliot. The two of them are always at it anymore, whether in bed or out of it, and Alec kinda enjoys it himself. There's something about seeing Parker going out of her mind as he and Eliot work on her that never gets old.
"You're also really bad at it," Eliot growls out.
Nate ignores what they're doing. "Nope, we need both you and Alec to plant the virus in his system."
Eliot's head pops over the back of the couch. "You're shittin' me."
"I'm afraid not." Nate ducks his head and grins evilly. "You're up. You'll need to be at the coffee shop at 6 am on Sunday."
Eliot dips back down behind the sofa with a dramatic groan, while Alec bolts upright and glares at Nate. "Hey, that means Parker and I gotta be there at 6, too!"
"Yes, yes it does. The three of you will be responsible for planting the virus, while Sophie and I work on the Jennings angle. You can handle it, right?"
"Uh, yeah, sure." Alec slumps back in his chair, ignoring the sounds from behind the couch. Maybe he and Parker could have some fun tonight, before having to knuckle under for work. And maybe Eliot could join them. "Should be a piece of cake."
The surveillance van is Alec's domain, his personal shuttlecraft. He sets each one up with the right equipment, makes sure that each one blends in with its surroundings. He spends hours in the back, watching and listening, providing solutions to any problems that arise. He's the captain of the fleet, and he's proud of his domain.
He deserves the comfy chair.
"Why do you get the nice chair?" Parker says as she rocks back and forth in her squeaking office chair, before abruptly standing and starting to pace again.
"Because I'm the captain of this operation."
Parker flaps a hand at him. "In your dreams you're the captain." She crosses her arms over her chest, and rolls her head back; Alec can almost hear the bones pop. "Is Eliot ready yet?
He glances at the monitor. "Nope."
Parker is restless and bored—so, so bored—which Alec knows can only lead to trouble. Not for the first time, or the tenth time, or even the hundredth time, he wishes that Nate were here to run this part of the op. Parker like this is a wild card, and while some of her ideas are fantastic, others turn out to be a little bit insane. The two of them falling into bed with Eliot had been one of the fantastic ones; the two of them diving off the top of a bank building, that one had been insane.
"What's this do?" She pokes at one of the buttons on the monitor.
"Sets the brightness." He resets the monitor back to where it was.
"And this one?"
"Contrast. And can you please stop touching the monitor! Geez, I can't see a thing anymore."
Watching her fingers sorting and pulling at the cables and wires he's got strung out is like watching a monkey on steroids, and he wonders how much he's going to need to repair when she's done. He knows, he just knows—one eye on her, and one on the video feed—that he's going to regret whatever she does next.
Her fingers still, her hands flatten against the wooden desktop. Her head angles to the left, her bangs long enough so that he can't see her eyes clearly, but the sparkle he can see in them makes his gut clench with a mixture of dread and anticipation. She's moved beyond restless and into risky, and he prays that she won't do anything that would endanger Eliot. The two of them are supposed to be providing backup.
Parker squints at the monitor. "Oh, hey. Eliot looks good, don't you think?"
Alec takes a good look at Eliot on the screen: hair long and free, a day's worth of beard growth, sweat pants that were old enough and tight enough to show off some thigh muscle, and a tight green T-shirt. Pretty typical for Eliot and yeah, Parker's right. He doesn't look half-bad. "Yeah, he does look pretty good."
"Good enough to attract another guy?"
Parker shoves his shoulder. "You're a guy, and you're sleeping with him. You should know if he looks attractive or not."
"At an intellectual level, he is a very attractive man."
"Intellectual, huh." Her gaze keeps him pinned down like a bug on a display mat. Her hand slides over his and oh, Oh, god. That's where her mind went. She smiles at him and nods at the screen. "Doesn't feel that intellectual to me."
"Bickham's running late." He tries to change the subject, focus on the op, but Parker isn't having any of it.
"Maybe he got tied up in traffic." She leans forward and whispers in his earbud-free ear. "Let's have sex."
"Not in the van." The response is automatic and half-hearted, and Parker knows it.
"We've done it in a van before." She's taking off her shirt and stripping down to her camisole before he can say anything.
He grabs her shirt from the floor and shoves it back at her, trying not to get distracted by the sight of her nipples through the thin cotton cloth. "Yeah, but we weren't on stakeout."
Parker tilts her head. "Are you sure?"
"Making out as a cover story doesn't count as sex."
"But the blowjob counted, right?"
Alec hems and haws, but she's got him there. "Alright, yeah. The blowjob counted."
"Great!" Parker scoots over to him, and starts shoving the cables out of way.
"What are you doing?" Alec squeaks as her fingers fumble with the buttons of his pants.
"Duh." She smiles at him, and his resolve melts.
"Okay, just a quick one." Eliot would forgive him that.
"Not a problem," Parker says happily. "You mind if I move these?" She shoves at the cables on the floor next to his chair. "They hurt if I kneel on them."
"If you break the connection, we won't be able to see anything. Eliot would be up a creek without us."
"Now there's a comforting thought." Eliot's voice growls out over the comm. "I'm busting my ass here, and you're talking about getting some."
"You're not busting your ass, you're having a latte while waiting for the mark to show up." Damn, he needed a better comeback than that.
"He's just entering the building."
Alec and Parker both turn to look at the monitor, and Alec fumbles his pants back together. Sure enough, Mel Bickham is in line to order, with Eliot a few feet away, sitting at the counter. Eliot looks cool about it, too, way cooler than Alec would be, anyway. Bickham's one of those guys that makes Alec sweat just looking at him, even with the monitor between them, and not in a good way.
Parker's staring at the screen, too. "Is that a pumpkin spice latte?"
"French roast," Eliot growls out. "Okay, my turn. You guys pay attention." He stands up, stuffing his cell phone in his pocket with one hand and carrying his coffee in the other, when he accidentally bumps into Bickham.
Tuning out the rest of the conversation, Alec looks over at Parker. "You've got fifteen minutes to plant the bug."
"No sweat," she says, then nods at the monitor. "Keep watch on lover boy there, and let me know if anything happens."
"Lover boy? Bickham?" He wouldn't call the guy muscle-bound. Alec can see the seams and buttons on his dress shirt straining and it isn't exactly muscle. Bickham's not biggest loser level, but he can stand to lose a few pounds.
More than that, though, the guy is an sleazebag. Alec has been though his gmail and his work account; he treats everyone like crap. "He's not my type."
"I meant Eliot." She smiles as she pulls on her black turtleneck and balaclava. "And I already know he's your type."
Damn, but Alec can't deny that. There is just something about Eliot that draws him in. "From what I've seen, he's your type, too."
"Quiet!" She put a finger to her lips. "Eliot can hear us, you know. Look at him."
"He always looks like that, like he's just waiting for the apocalypse to break out."
"I was thinking he looks more Kama Sutra ninja office boy, myself," Parker tosses over her shoulder as she dashes out the back of the van and heads for the apartment complex.
"Kama Sutra ninja office boy? What does that even mean?" Alec shakes his head as he turns back to the monitors. "I have got to teach that girl better."
He quickly checks the feed on Bickham's apartment, and watches as Parker slips inside. Then he checks in on Eliot again, and his fingers still momentarily on the keyboard. The scene on the monitor is way, way different than what he'd expected.
"So you're a personal trainer?" Bickham's leaning in, brushing his hand along Eliot's arm in a proprietary way. Alec feels a surge of adrenaline run through him, and he wants to grab Bickham's arm and pull it away.
"Yeah, Personal Fitness Training, just up the street here." Eliot doesn't seem to mind Bickham's touch at all; in fact he's leaning into it. He's smiling, and personable, his attention focused on the mark. He rubs his hand along his neck, and Bickham stares hard at the spot Eliot's thumb just touched.
Alec can remember what it tasted like when he licked Eliot there, and how Eliot pulled back.
Eliot laughs at one of Bickham's stupid jokes, and a needle of jealousy pricks Alec's skin. He frowns as he focuses in on the scene. Eliot looks comfortable, relaxed, and there's something inside Alec that is yelling at him that this is wrong, so, so wrong. That Eliot isn't even that relaxed around him.
The thought pushes Alec back in his chair. He knows that this is a set-up, that Eliot is leading the guy on, setting the hook for the next part of the game, but still. It sets his teeth on edge. He can't help a flare of irritation as Bickham casually strokes Eliot's arm. Eliot doesn't act like that around him, not unless Parker's involved.
Oh, he and Eliot have joked around and watched tv together. They've hung out and gone to a couple of games, but Eliot has never been as flirty around him as he's being with Bickham, and there has got to be something behind that. They've slept together—shit, they've fucked Parker together—and Eliot should —
His mind stumbles. Eliot should what? Act like he's Alec's boyfriend?
Huh. That's…huh. The thought makes him dizzy, and a little queasy. He's never thought of Eliot as his boyfriend before this; he's never tried to put any parameters or labels on the relationship that he and Eliot and Parker share. He keeps it casual, something that can be picked up or put down as the situation requires. He doesn't want anyone to think he's too attached.
So why does the fact that Eliot is flirting with this guy bug the shit out of him?
Parker calls him, lets him know that everything is in place, and Alec pushes aside the image of Eliot smiling at Bickham. He'd figure it out later, once the job is complete.
The mark's in jail and the money's in their bank account, so Alec decides to spend some quality time with Island of the Living Dead 3. He can't keep his thoughts on the game, though, they keep drifting back to the image of how Eliot smiled at Bickham. Dealing with the situation isn't as easy as Alec thought it would be. He's a little at loose ends, not sure where he stands with Eliot. Parker, sure, it's easy to see where she stands; she's only capable of flirting with people she actually likes. Despite all the one-on-one training she's been given, she still sucks at interpersonal deception.
Eliot, though, man, that's a revelation. Here Alec had been thinking that guys weren't normally Eliot's thing, so the whole occasional sex thing was pretty special. Finding out that Eliot is Mr. Situational Gay completely undercut that thought. It meant that for Eliot, sleeping with another guy wasn't special in any way.
Alec blew away another zombie in the game and frowned. What does he want? Vocal confirmation that Eliot is attracted to him? Beyond the 'oh, god, that's so hot baby' sort of crap that people occasionally accidentally say in bed. And why is that important? They're both pretty physical around Parker, and it doesn't affect the job in any way, so why is it so goddamned irritating to him for Eliot not to say a thing about it?
One of the zombies gets him, and Alec throws the controller onto the chair next to him and scrubs his hand over his face. He's letting this distract him, get under his skin. He should just invite Eliot over, so it's just the two of them, and see what happens. A blowjob or hand job without Parker around would prove some level of attraction.
He nods to himself, and picks up the controller again. He'll see about that next weekend, and make his move then.
It's a lot harder to bring up the subject than he thought it would be. When Eliot's over to watch the game, Alec doesn't even try to take his beer, or anything else. Instead, he sits at the far end of the couch, when usually they shared the middle slot.
When it's time for popcorn, he brings it out in separate bowls, rather than the big bucket that he usually preferred. Eliot gives him a weird look, but hell, Eliot is full of weird, grumpy looks, and after a while, the conversation drifts into an awkward silence. They don't even talk about the gameplay anymore.
Eliot leaves early, and Alec stays up all night playing Modern Warfare. But fragging teenagers doesn't seem as exciting as it usually is without Eliot there to tell him how wrong the whole system is and ask why he even plays that stupid shit anyway. He finally goes to bed just as dawn is breaking, wondering what the hell happened to his awesome weekend.
The next day, Parker shows up with a cinnamon roll as big as her head, and two cups of coffee. She doesn't mince words as she hands him one of the cups and throws herself on the couch with the cinnamon roll. "Eliot thinks you're freaking out."
"Oh, he did not say that."
"Not in so many words," Parker says, pulling the edge of the cinnamon roll off and holding it over her head like a giant cinnamon worm. "But Sophie says—"
"Sophie says! Don't tell me you dragged her into this."
"She was already on the phone with him when I called." She drops the bite of cinnamon roll into her mouth, and pulls off another strip.
"You conferenced my freak out?" He shook his head, trying to clear his brain. He pulls himself together and speaks calmly. "I am not freaking out."
Parker looks at him and takes another bite of roll.
"I'm not." He sits down next to her and waves his hands in front of himself, erasing what he'd just said. "Okay, maybe I am, just a little…"
"Ha! Knew it."
"Oh, and I suppose you're dealing just fine with finding out that Eliot is into guys."
Parker tilts her head to the side. "But you're into guys."
"I am not. I'm into Eliot. There's a difference."
"Didn't you tell me about that Heinlein guy that you used to read all the time, and how it made you realize that you might be attracted to other guys?" Parker's eyes narrowed to her 'dangerous and crazy' state. "Did you lie about that?"
"No, I never lied to you about that. I just…never acted on it."
"Never. Okay, maybe once or twice, but nothing regular, know what I'm saying?"
Parker looks at him like he's speaking Egyptian, so he tries to explain again. "It was all pretty theoretical until…until Eliot brought over that bottle of wine and the two of you were so smokin' hot that I had a hard time deciding who to kiss."
"Huh." She looks thoughtful. "So Eliot was almost your first. That's really sweet." She pushes his shoulder affectionately. "But you'd still do George Clooney and Brad Pitt if you had the chance?"
"I swear." He makes a huge show of crossing his chest in a large "X".
"Great." She pats his leg. "Don't worry about it, I'll take care of Eliot." She hands him the half-eaten cinnamon roll and takes a sip of the cup of coffee. "I'm going to take a shower."
Alec wonders what the hell he'd just agreed to as he bites into the tiny bit of roll that Parker's left.
Two days later, Parker hands him three tix for Nutcrackers vs. Cosmonaughties, a Boston Massacre event. He looks at her to ask 'what the hell?', but since she's dressed in a hot pink tutu, black tank-top, shorts, and black high-tops, he really can't parse what's going on.
"Oh, great, you got them." Eliot snatches the tickets out of Alec's hands and takes a look at them. "These are good seats."
"They should be, for what I had to do to get them." She slaps Alec on the thigh, and points at the front door. "Come on. Move your ass, or we're gonna be late."
"I'll meet you out front," Eliot says, and slaps Alec on the thigh as well. He heads out while Alec's mind is still processing "Eliot slapped me on the ass."
Parker tugs on his arm to get him moving. "Come on, come on. Jeez, try to put a little spontaneity into a guy's life."
"Hey, I'm spontaneous. Really."
Parker drags him outside while he's still explaining just how spontaneous he is.
Eliot pulls up, grumpy and annoyed, in the driver's seat of a large Ford truck. "You didn't let him think, did you?"
Parker snorts. "Not on your life."
Alec casts a desperate look at her, as she calls out "Shotgun!", leaving Alec to squeeze himself into the jump seat in the back. He's right behind Eliot, who's dressed in a black T-shirt and doo-rag. Even from behind, he looks tough.
Eliot rolls down the window and turns on what he calls 'road music', only this time, instead of some country ballad, it's something that Alec can actually listen to without his ears bleeding. Okay, it's pop, but at least he's not going to die from it. He's all set to tap Eliot on the shoulder, to let him know he appreciates the music, when he notices that the cuff of Eliot's T-shirt has little pink studs on it.
He finds himself itching to run his fingers under the studs, and see what Eliot's bicep feels like.
Eliot takes the first open parking slot, and then the three of them dash down some stairs and into the arena, making their way through a sea of silver and pink and black. Oh, sure, there are the standard souvenir stands, and the chili cheese fries, the hot dog, and the popcorn stand, but out of the corner of his eye, Alec notices that Parker's not the only one dressed in something like a pink-and-black tutu. The crowd gives off the same sort of vibes as the crowd at a scifi con, rather than those at a pro basketball game or other big time sporting event, and Alec can feel his muscles start to unwind. He snags a couple of beers and a caramel apple, then clomps down the down the aisle to his seat; Parker already has the one on the aisle, and he hands her the apple as he slides past. Eliot exchanges a stadium cushion for one of the beers that Alec is holding, and flops comfortably down onto his own seat, leaving Alec the middle section. Alec gingerly settles down next to Eliot, while Parker scoots over until she's plastered against his side.
Alec finally looks down at the floor, and realizes that the place is laid out for women's flat track roller derby; the three of them do have really good seats. He has no idea how Parker thought of it, but sitting in the enthusiastic audience, wedged between her and Eliot, he's able to relax for the first time in weeks.
Eliot flags down a vendor and gets a program for the three of them to share; Alec can't help snickering at the names that are listed: Nautia Slaminichi, Majorie Payne, Shivastistah… He shakes his head, and Eliot looks at him.
"These girls got serious attitude."
"Great, isn't it?" He grins at Alec. "There's something about the combination of tattoos and tutus that just does it, you know?"
"So true!" Parker nods her head excitedly.
A flash of silver at the opposite corner of the arena catches Alec's eye. "Hey, wait." Alec points to where the Cosmonaughties are warming up. "They've got a robot."
"Team mascot." Parker's already bouncing around and the game hasn't started yet. "I'm gonna see if I can get closer." With that she's off toward something that looks like a mosh pit, and Eliot snorts.
"Good luck to her. She'll be lucky to even see the game."
"Hey, what do you think her roller derby name would be?"
"How about Mercy Less?"
Bad jokes carry Alec through the start of the game, which is intense but not as bloody as he'd thought it would be. Alec gets into the swing of things, joining Eliot in rooting for the Nutcrackers team. Parker dances her way back into her seat at some point, bringing with her a couple of hot dogs and some fries for them to share. Alec snags a bite of Eliot's hot dog, and notices the glance that Eliot casts at Parker.
There's fondness in that gaze, indulgence, affection. Eliot likes her, and he lets it show. Suddenly the hot dog seems dry, and Alec goes for his beer, but it's empty.
"Here, take mine." Eliot shoves the plastic cup into his hand, and Alec swallows around the lump in his throat; he goes to hand it back, and realizes that Eliot is looking at him the same way he was looking at Parker only moments ago: with fondness, indulgence, and affection. And more than a little heat.
It's a complete win, and Alec basks in the moment. Popping the last bite of hot dog into his mouth, he spreads his arms wide, so he's got both Eliot and Parker by the shoulders; he can feel them slide a little closer to his sides. He tips his head back and smiles. It's good to be back.
Alec leaves the arena with a small spring in his step. His stiffness around Eliot is gone, and the two of them are back pitching shit at each other. Parker beams at them like some kind of demented emo fairy godmother, and she doesn't even pout when Alec yells out "Shotgun!" for the ride back.
Once at Alec's place, Parker immediately gets herself comfortable, yanking off the tutu and throwing it over a chair, before wandering into the kitchen. "You got anything to eat here?"
"You've been eating all day," Eliot yells back, kicking off his boots and sliding into Alec's favorite chair. He lifts his head and meets Alec's gaze. "The important question is: what kind of beer do you have?"
"Same stuff as you left last time."
"Great. I'll have one of those." He sighs heavily as he sprawls back in the chair. "The stadium seats need more padding."
"I was fine." Parker plops a bowl of lucky charms in front of her and sits tailor-style on the couch. "I don't know what you're complaining about."
"That's because you stood for most of the game."
Alec leaves the two of them arguing, and goes to the kitchen to get the beer. While he's at it, he tosses a bag of popcorn into the microwave, just in case. He grabs the half-bag of Cheetos, then changes his mind. He did NOT want Parker loose in his place with Cheetos-dust covered hands. He grabs some goat cheese and dumps some black pepper crackers on a plate instead.
Parker is sitting next to Eliot, and she's got one hand resting on the back of his neck. It looks warm and intimate, and Alec gets a little thrill watching her hand trace over the muscles along Eliot's neck.
She leans in and says something in his ear, and Eliot laughs, his voice low and dirty. It tugs at Alec as much as the image of Parker's hand on his neck, her lips brushing his ear. A visceral ribbon of want snaps through him; he'd been fooling himself too long about having only an intellectual interest in other men. The thought of Eliot naked with Parker is enough to make him half-hard, his palms sweaty.
It's only natural that that's the time for Parker to catch his eye, and smile.
Oh, god. She has plans. Parker clearly has plans.
He shakes himself mentally, and brings the beer and the cheese plate over to the couch.
"Thanks, man." Eliot grabs the beer out of his hand and takes a swallow.
Parker finishes her milk, sets her bowl down, stares at Alec. "Well?"
"Well, what?" Alec stares blankly at her.
"Are you going to make the first move or should I?"
"Look, we talked about this. No statement like that without warnings first." He makes a flashing signal with his hands.
"Okay, fine." She does the flashing lights thing and turns to Eliot. "Hardison and I were gonna have sex. You wanna join us?"
Eliot looks up, hair falling in his face. "Sure, but inviting me to join you guys without talking to Hardison first is a little rude."
Parker looks perplexed. "Why do you think we didn't talk about it?"
"Because Hardison looks like he's about to die of apoplexy."
She shoves Eliot's shoulder. "Oh, he usually looks like that whenever I talk about sex."
"Seriously?" He looks back at Alec. "Don't you know a good thing when you see it?"
"Oh, yeah, I know it." Alec lets his gaze linger on Parker a moment, but she was mouthing "kiss him", which was kinda disturbing.
"Is this why you were so weird about the game last weekend? I thought your laptop had exploded or something."
"He was freaking out." Parker stands up, and pulls at her T-shirt, but Eliot snags her hand.
"Not everyone goes at your pace." Eliot lets her go.
Parker shrugs. "Suit yourself," she says, and sits back down, looking annoyed. "Though it seems to me you guys have been going pretty slow for awhile now."
"Oh? Maybe we should change it up a little." Eliot looks over at Alec, arching his eyebrows. His expression clearly said "Well? Are you in or out?"
Alec's in. Of course he's in, why wouldn't he be in? He has no clue what he's in for, but he's definitely in. He nods his agreement.
"Change it up how?" Parker looks wary.
Eliot steps up and slides his hands up Alec's arms to around the back of his neck. Eliot's hands feel good there and Alec lets himself be moved to where Eliot wants him. He knows they're going to kiss, and he can feel the tension building in his stomach, moving up and through his body. He can feel Parker's gaze on them, watching them, her tension adding, multiplying his own.
Eliot teases him, brushing his lips against Alec's neck and the line of his jaw, letting his breath spill warm over Alec's skin. It's torture, pure and simple, and he catches a glimpse of Eliot's intent expression: the fucker is messin' with him, pure and simple, and Alec has had enough of that shit.
He turns into Eliot, sweeping his hands along Eliot's sides, and presses his lips against Eliot's. He can feel the smile melt as Eliot kisses him back, the smooth slide of tender skin against skin as their lips touch and heat builds between them.
He's vaguely aware of Parker cackling gleefully. "Much better."
Face flushed, and a little out of breath, Eliot turns his head to look at her. "I was thinking we could put him in the middle this time."
"Ohhhh, Hardison in the middle." Parker smirks as she stands and stretches out to her full height. "I like the way you think."
"I do, too." Alec runs his hands confidently over Eliot's back and down to his ass, and lets them rest there, noticing how Eliot pushes himself into them. "And I've got some plans of my own."
"Can we get naked now?" Parker pulls off her shirt and wraps herself around Alec's back; a shiver runs down his spine as she grabs the hem of his T-shirt.
"Sure." Eliot flips open the top button on Alec's jeans, and slides his hand down to the next button while Parker tugs his shirt off. The material slides smoothly over his chest, the soft cotton brushing against his nipples as it passes, distracting him from the way Eliot cups him as he finishes unbuttoning Alec's pants.
His blood is zooming through his system and he's not even naked yet. No wonder Parker was so wild when both he and Eliot went to work on her.
And from the look on Eliot's face, Alec thinks he's gonna be just as wild before the two of them are done.
Nate's droning on about something, but Eliot has his arms pinned, and Alec isn't sure how to break the hold without doing himself a serious injury.
"Parker, switch the slide."
Alec can hear her fumbling with the remote, but that's completely incidental to the way Eliot is sitting on his thighs.
Eliot leans over him, his eyes narrow, and he deliberately licks Alec's ear; Alec jerks, kicking the coffee table over, squeaking his disgust. "That was uncalled for."
"See? I told you," Eliot says, his voice a sing song as he lets go of Alec's arms. "Good kick, though. You got some good leverage there."
He and Alec right the table, ignoring Nate's voice yelling at them from the other side of the couch: "It's like raising bear cubs."
"Parker must be teaching them her bad habits," Sophie says.
"That's not all I'm teaching them," Parker agrees. "They're a little slow, but they're getting there."
Alec catches Eliot looking at him, and can't hide the grin that slides over his face. The two of them stand and grab at Parker, pulling her over the back of the couch to join them.