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"When are we going to have sex?" says Parker.

Hardison freezes instead of sitting up and banging his head on the underside of the desk. [Parker is marginally disappointed. She enjoys slapstick humor.] He says, "Do you want to have sex with me?" He slides out on a skateboard and remains on his back, long fingers templed over his stomach. She can see where his bright blue t-shirt rides up and exposes his skin. She likes the look of it.

"Yes," she says.


"You're pretty and a good kisser and you steal things very well." Also, he likes her. In Parker's experience, this is a rare quality. People sometimes appreciate her talents, and they sometimes like her thin, blonde, white body. They never want to talk to her. Except Hardison will, about his computer stuff or her climbing gear.

She thinks, just maybe, that Hardison might be a friend.

"Is this," he says, then stops, looks at her for a second. "Am I allowed to feel stuff about you? Or is this more of a fuckbuddies thing?"

She frowns at him. "Don't you like me already? That's why I want you instead of Eliot."

"Yes!" he says, and now he sits up. He's cleared the desk, but he's still on a skateboard. It flies out from under his ass and plops him on the floor.

Because it is funny, Parker laughs.

He frowns, then chuckles, then frowns. "Yes," he says again, serious voice. "I like you." He looks at her. Then he Looks at her.

She kneels down on the floor in front of him. "I don't know what I'm supposed to say. It helps if you ask me questions."

He rolls his eyes, which Parker knows is a bad sign, but there's nothing she can do about it. "Do you feel things about me, Parker? Do you want to be my girlfriend or do you just want to sleep with me because I'm hot?"

"Oh!" she says. "Yes, I do like you. I," she shrugs, then she says, "I would spend a lot of money to make you happy."

"I got money." He startles the hell out of her by breaking briefly into song, "I just need your extra time and your," air guitar, "kiss!"

Parker has no idea what he means by extra time, but she is in favor of kissing. She leans over him, hands balanced lightly on the desk just behind his head, and takes his mouth.

This is what she wanted.