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They're sparring the first time Parker brings it up. “Let's have sex,” she says, and pins Eliot to the mat.

He is startled enough that he just stares at her. She grins at him. It's deeply unfair how hot she looks in that moment. Sweaty and triumphant and on top of him.

“What?” is all he can say.

“Sex,” Parker says, “You want to?”

He does. He's wanted to for a long time but-

She wriggles a little against him.

“Parker, you don't-” he starts and her weight is gone.

He sits up and Parker is across the room, watching him warily. She isn't grinning anymore.

“Hey,” Eliot says, “It's okay.”

She looks about half a breath from jumping out the window so he goes on. “Can we talk about it?”

Parker makes a face. “It's sex. What's to talk about?”

God help him. Eliot takes a deep breath and lets it go slowly. “It's a bit... sudden,” he says.

“You have sex with people a lot,” Parker says.

Eliot nods because, yeah, she's right. But that's not- he doesn't want that with-

“I do,” he says, because she's waiting for him to say something and his brain is not working.

“But you don't want to have sex with me,” Parker says, like she's checking the facts.

“I... I don't like sleeping with... sex gets complicated with teammates,” he manages. He's only ever had sex with teammates after everything was over and they were going their separate ways. He never wants this team to be over.

Parker considers this. “Nate and Sophie have sex,” she points out.

Eliot winces. Nate and Sophie may or may not actually be having sex, he doesn't know or care. But they are something to each other. The team is definitely split into Nate-and-Sophie and... Eliot is in no way prepared for this conversation.

“What about Hardison?” he asks, before he can remember not to.

Parker stares at Eliot. “What about him?”

“Aren't you and him...?”

“We aren't having sex,” Parker says, impatient. “Why does that matter?”

Eliot almost asks her 'why not' but catches himself in time. “Because-” he starts and stops. He really has nowhere to go with this.

Parker's eyes light up. “Ohhh.” Her grin is back. “Wait here,” she says.

20 minutes later, he hears Parker and Hardison coming up the stairs. “Eliot doesn't want to have sex with me unless you're here too,” Parker announces.

***

Eliot is all frozen horror and Alec knows this whole thing could go so, so badly.

“Did Eliot say that?” he asks Parker.

“I asked if he wanted to have sex with me and he started talking about you,” Parker says. Her triumphant grin isn't gone all the way but it's less bright than a few seconds ago.

Eliot opens his mouth and closes it. His face is getting a bit red. Alec finds it cute, despite the circumstances.

“I don't think he meant I should show up,” Alec says. He's picking his words carefully, speaking more slowly, because he knows he has a tendency to babble under pressure. Saying the wrong thing now could ruin a lot more than a prospective threesome.

There's a pause where Parker stops smiling entirely and Eliot isn't looking at either of them and Alec is pretty sure the people outside can hear the way his heart is beating because it is so loud and fast.

It isn't like he hasn't thought about this. Not this exact scenario, with Eliot so completely silent and Parker looking at both of them like she doesn't know why it isn't working. But the three of them... They'd be good together. He wouldn't want it to start on a misunderstanding, though. It isn't clear if Eliot wants the three of them to start at all or if Parker has thought past today.

“Yeah, I should probably go,” Alec says. He's going to go, he'll walk out of the room. Just as soon as he can make himself do it.

Eliot clears his throat. “Don't,” he says.

“This isn't what I wanted to happen,” Parker says. “It's all... feelings-y now.”

“Sorry,” Alec says.

“Can we just have sex?” she asks, like she doesn't think it will work. “All of us? Or two of us or... or I'll just go have sex by myself.” She steps sideways nearer the window.

“Parker, it's a three storey drop,” Eliot says.

Parker glares at him. “I know that,” she says.

“So, don't jump out the window?” Alec suggests.

Parker turns her glare on Alec. “I'll be fine,” she says. Alec knows that Parker would rather jump out a window than do a lot of things but the lack of safety harnesses involved right now is worrying. How far can Parker freefall without getting hurt?

“How about we all leave,” Eliot says, “And go out the door and talk about this later.” His tone makes it clear that 'later' will be 'never'.

Alec gets a flash of the probable future: Eliot, awkward around both of them like he hasn't been since 'somebody kiss this man so I don't have to'. Parker, still not knowing why it got all feelings-y and even less likely than before to try to understand both of them. Him, wanting to talk about it and the words bursting out at some crisis, making everything worse and putting them all in danger.

“Uh, could we set a time on that 'later'?” Alec asks. “So we can... get ready?”

Parker looks thoughtful. “I could go steal some lube,” she offers.

Surprisingly, Eliot snorts a laugh. “Maybe wait on that, darlin',” he says. He runs a hand through his hair and makes eye contact with Alec. “Tomorrow good with you?”

Alec's caught off-guard by how easy that was so he nods like a bobbly-head doll. “Yeah, sure, great,” he says.

“We should go to the park. Outside, where the feelings won't get all-” Parker makes scrunching motions with her hands.

“Okay,” Alec says.

Eliot nods. Once, like a normal person.

They set a time and leave. Out on the street, Alec's heart is still hammering. He is not going to sleep tonight.

***

Parker texts Sophie almost before she's out of sight of the boys.

busy? have question

Her phone rings.

“Hi Parker, I'm just going out, can it wait?” Sophie is a little breathless.

“Hardison and Eliot want to talk about feelings,” Parker says.

“Finally,” Sophie mutters. “Right now?” she asks, a little louder.

“Tomorrow.”

“All right, can we talk in the morning then? I'll call you?”

“Okay.” Parker hangs up. She doesn't understand when Sophie talks about feelings sometimes but she knows Sophie will try to help.

She starts walking. It's good to be outside. There's a bit of breeze and not too many people around.

The park isn't too far away. Parker heads in that direction. She can find a spot for tomorrow. One with lots of trees, in case she needs to be higher up.

It's midafternoon and there are lots of kids in the park. Adults too, but the kids are louder. They mostly stay in the playgrounds. She remembers hiding out in park playgrounds as a kid. Small, safe spaces where no one could reach her while she slept.

Parker wanders around. She blends in pretty well here, with her fighting-with-Eliot clothes and her hair in a ponytail. It's a nice park, with benches and trees and paths.

She's bored. Tomorrow feels like a long way away.

Parker sighs. She hasn't had sex with anybody she had feelings about in a long time. Not since that girl in Rio when she was 17. And if she'd thought about feelings before asking Eliot about sex, then... she probably wouldn't have asked him. Hardison is more feelings-y than Eliot, and she hasn't wrestled with Hardison since that time in Nebraska, so she hadn't...

She had thought about it. But not enough to risk asking. And that plan's burned because they're going to talk tomorrow.

There's plenty of air out here. Parker knows that. Then, why does her chest feel so tight?

She makes a decision.

20 minutes later, Hardison and Eliot are with her in the park. Eliot is standing with his feet planted like he does before the bad guys run at him. Hardison keeps fidgeting his fingers. Parker is pacing, to prove she isn't trapped.

“I couldn't wait,” she says. She'd say more but she can feel her words drying up. They do that when she tries to explain feelings. It's annoying.

Hardison starts to say something but Eliot cuts him off. “I was just about to call when you did,” he says.

Hardison breathes out a laugh. “It's good to know I'm not the only one who can't handle suspense.”

Parker smiles. It is nice to know they all felt the same way. She wonders if she'll be smiling when they're done talking.

Hardison goes on, “Just for curiousity's sake, did either of you think I was straight? Because I'm not.”

Eliot says, drily, “Good to know.” Then he winks at Hardison.

“I'm not straight either,” Parker says.

Eliot grins at her. “Also good to know.”

Hardison says, “And, obviously, we are all beautiful people.” He gestures at Eliot and Parker and himself.

Eliot laughs and he's blushing a little bit.

Hardison says, “It sounds like we're in agreement that there are things worth discussing.”

“Like sex?” Parker asks.

Eliot says, “Sex is... a possibility.”

“Definitely a possibility,” Hardison says.

Parker takes a breath and stops pacing. This is going to be difficult. “So. Sex would be good but we could also do... other things.”

“Feelings-y things?” Eliot asks.

Parker nods.

Hardison says, “At the risk of using scary words, would we all be okay going on a date? Together?”

They all look at each other. Parker holds her breath.

Eliot breaks the silence. “I'm in if you both are.”

“I'm in,” Parker says.

Hardison grins. “Let's do it.”

Parker reaches for her phone to text Sophie that she won't need that morning phone call after all.