Summary: A ficlet written for the prompt: ‘Eliot/Parker, sharing an ice-cream sundae.’
A/N: For ultra_fic at lj a while back, just getting around to posting it here now.
Eliot’s line of work means he’s had to do a lot of surveillance over the years. In order to do that he’s pretended to be mailmen, sat on top of roofs and, on more than one occasion, knelt in inches of mud in the pouring in rain in order to get an eyeball on a target. Compared to all that, sitting in a café sharing an ice-cream sundae with Parker doesn’t seem like a hardship at all.
They’re sitting outside by the river so that they can surreptitiously watch the deliveries being made to the store at the other side of the water. He’d been happy enough with a coffee but after finishing her cup in minutes Parker had disappeared inside and emerged with the ice-cream and two spoons, one of which she’d placed firmly in Eliot’s hand.
“It’s going to melt before you have any,” Parker says. Glancing away from the building they’re meant to be watching, Eliot sees that Parker is focusing more on him than their task so, to appease her, he takes a spoonful of the ice-cream.
“We’ve got plenty of time though so there’d be no harm in getting another one if we needed to.”
“I think I’ll do that anyway.” Parker smiles. “Do you think Nate’s right about the mark?”
“He usually is – I guess we’ll see today either way.”
“What do you think Hardison meant by giving Sophie that book?”
“I don’t know, Parker.” As surveillance went, this is one of the noisier ones that Eliot’s experienced but he doesn’t really mind; he’s used to Parker now, enjoys her company even if he’d never openly acknowledge that. In fact, he has a question of his own because now he understands why Parker looks so happy with her purchase.
“Have you ever tasted ice-cream like this?”
“I know, right?” she smiles, “it’s so good. Sophie and I came here last summer – more than once.”
“You have to try this little ice-cream parlour I know in Verona some time.”
“I didn’t think you’d have such a sweet tooth.”
“I don’t. But Italy – ice-cream. Seriously, next time we get a break, try it.”
Their hands brush together as they both take another spoonful. “Is that an invitation?”
Eliot smiles, because he doesn’t have to openly acknowledge that he likes Parker but he can show it, flirt just a little and see if Parker flirts back. “Maybe it is.”
“Good. Sophie says ice-cream is no good unless you’ve got someone to share it with.” She makes eye contact with him for a moment before glancing down at his body and then directing her attention back to the building. Eliot wonders just what else Sophie has been teaching her.
Three days have passed since Eliot shared the ice-cream sundae with Parker. He’s returned to the café on each of these days, twice with Hardison and once on his own, but hasn’t ordered a sundae because it felt wrong doing that without Parker. But when he decides to drop in at the café to keep Parker company during her surveillance shift and finds her tucking into some he ducks inside to pick up another spoon before joining her at the table.
“Anything interesting happened?”
Parker shakes her head and pushes the sundae into the middle of the table. “That guy with the hat came by again but I’m not even sure he knows what’s going on in there.”
“I agree with you – he doesn’t scream criminal to me.” Eliot’s spoon knocks against Parker’s and he smiles. “Then again, neither did Nate before all this.”
Conversation continues easily as they finish off the ice-cream and Eliot wonders if it’s going to become a tradition; he’s never been that big on traditions like this before. It’s only when they’re finished that Eliot leans back in his chair and watches Parker, not even pretending to keep an eye on the warehouse – it’s not his shift, after all. The moment she notices him watching she takes a deliberate drink from the bottle of lemonade in front of her and there’s no mistaking the action for anything other than flirting right out of the Sophie Devereaux handbook.