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Perplexed

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When Parker and Hardison move in together the apartment across the hall from them is conveniently also available. It settles some of Eliot’s nerves to have half his family close while the other half is traveling on their supposed retirement. Parker insists he help them pick out their bed. She wants help finding the biggest bed available. They spend what turns into a relaxing day laying on mattresses and critiquing them.

Then Hardison is at a gaming convention and Parker shows up at his doorstep. “Alec always cuddles me when I have a nightmare.”

Eliot wraps his arms around her, hugs her close. They all have reasons to have nightmares. “My bed or yours?”

“We both think mines comfortable,” she reminds.

Eliot yawns and gets his pillow. He promises her breakfast the next morning as they curl around each other. He falls asleep with the smell of her hair in his nose and the warmth of her back seeping into his chest.

Over breakfast Parker informs him. “Alec’s jealous he didn’t get cuddles too, but he thought we looked cute.”

Eliot stills. “You took pictures of us sleeping together?”

“Only one and I only sent it to Alec,” she tells him as she digs into the omelet he’s made her. Eliot isn’t sure what to say. Part of him thinks Haridson should be upset, but all he did was hold Parker because Hardison wasn’t there. Parker sets her fork down and studies him. She pulls out her phone and hands it to him so he can see the text exchange between her and Haridson. Hardison really is saying he deserves Eliot cuddles too. Eliot shakes his heads smiling slightly. The picture is cute. Parker is smiling and he’s sleeping.

“Send it to me too?”

Parker nods, takes her phone back, and then sends him the picture.

“We should get a picture of all three of us,” he comments as he saves the picture then starts eating his omelet.

“All of us napping together,” Parker decides. “We should have matching pajamas.”

“That might be a bit much.”

“It might be fun,” Parker insists.

When Hardison gets home he immediately turns up at Eliot’s place, thankfully during a commercial, “When do I get the manly cuddles?”

Eliot shrugs. “Games about to come back on.”

Hardison makes a non-committal noise, takes off his shoes, and then cuddles in. He falls asleep before the commercial break is over. Parker takes several pictures and they both insist that he sleep with them that night.

“Don’t you want to have sex?” Eliot grumbles even as he goes to get his pillow.

“Do you want to have sex?” Hardison volleys back.

“Hardison,” Eliot complains because they’re a couple, sex with them isn’t on offer. Is it? No, Eliot shakes his head. Besides, they’re his family now, he couldn’t do just sex with them. Hardison is still groggy and half awake, maybe he doesn’t realize what he just implied?

He ends up with both of them cuddling him on their bed that comfortably fits all three of them. He wakes up to Parker between them taking another picture. Eliot kisses her cheek, then goes back to sleep.

He accidentally leaves his pillow and when he knocks on their door to retrieve it they invite him in for more cuddling. Eliot is relatively sure he should say no, but the lure of their comfortable bed and their bodies pressing against his is too much to resist. He’s going to end up wanting more than cuddling and he’s probably going to end up breaking his own heart. Eliot tries to tell himself as long as he doesn’t lose either of them he can handle loving and lusting after both of them.

Then one of their jobs takes an unexpected turn and he ends up making out with Hardison so they don’t get caught. Hardison makes a noise of surprise, but then shifts closer and their fake making out in a stairwell turns into Eliot realizing just how well Hardison can kiss. He ignores the smirk Hardison gives him when he’s the one to pull away and get them back to the job as Eliot keeps his eyes closed to give himself a moment to just breath afterwards.

“You could’ve warned me,” Eliot complains to Parker later.

“Makes my toes curl,” she agrees.

“I meant about the cooperate hack nearly coming up…”

Parker raises her eyes brows.

“Mine too,” Eliot concedes.

Parker smiles, then goes up on her toes and gives the corner of his mouth a kiss.

“Are you two trying to seduce me?” Eliot glowers, because they can't be trying to seduce him.

“Is it working?” Parker asks.

Eliot wets his suddenly dry lips as he stalls, “I have to think about it. I don’t want to have to suddenly move.”

“Even if it’s into the incredibly comfortable bed across the hall?” Parker asks.

“Are you trying to mastermind me into a relationship with you and Hardison or are you both trying to seduce me?”

Parker tilts her head, brow furrowing as she regards him. “You’d still have your own space when you’d want it, but there could be more cooking for us and cuddling with us and sex is fun.”

“Does Hardison…” Eliot shakes his head. “Of course Hardison…”

“I think I like you flustered,” Parker says.

Eliot stares.

“Your face it looks slightly stressed, but slightly amazed and watching you I kinda want to know if we could get you looking like that naked,” Parker elaborates.

“Is this you flirting?” Eliot manages.

“I’m getting better at it,” Parker complains.

Eliot nods. “There’s less stabbing.”

“I thought you’d appreciate that.”

“I do,” Eliot agrees. “I still need to think about this.”

He calls Sophie because if anyone will understand where Parker came up with this idea it’ll be Sophie.

“Why are you interrupting my sunbathing when you could be getting naked with the two people you love?” she chides.

“My relationships don’t last,” he reminds.

“Those two are not going to let you go,” she reassures, “Hold on, let me order a drink and we’ll talk.”

After Eliot feels calmer, though he’s pretty sure he won’t like his phone bill later. He heads to bed deciding to talk to Hardison and Parker after he gets some sleep. He stares at his empty bed and remembers how it feels to fall asleep with them surrounding him. He grabs his pillow, takes the few steps across the hall and knocks on their door.

“You need to talk about it?” Hardison asks.

“We probably should,” Eliot admits. “Good communication is probably something we’ll need.”

“Or we could just make out again, see if it was just the stress of the mission,” Hardison offers.

“Parker says you always kiss like that,” Eliot glares.

“Like what?” Hardison prods.

Eliot pokes him. “Have confidence. Don’t go digging for praise.”

Hardison makes a considering noise then narrows his eyes. “Are you going to try and call me Hardison in the bedroom? Cause I prefer Alec.”

“I’ve already called you Hardison in your bedroom Hardison,” Eliot reminds smirking slightly.

“Are you two flirting?” Parker demands. “Alec, let him in and come in here so I can watch. I need to get better at flirting.”

They find Parker perching on the back of the couch. She turns the TV off as she glances between them.

Hardison leans in and kisses her slowly until she sighs against his mouth, then he pulls back and tells her. “I like that you’re direct.”

Eliot steps closer and presses a kiss to the side of her forehead. “Hey Parker.”

She reaches up to touch his chin, then cups his cheeks and guides him to tilt his head so she can lean up and kiss him. It’s slow, exploratory, and almost matches the pace of the kiss Hardison just gave her.

Hardison groans, “That is really hot.”

“It was really good too,” Parker tells him her hands sliding down his sides. “I want to watch you two kiss now.”

“I…” Eliot hesitates.

“Babe I think this is the talking part,” Hardison says softly.

Parker nods her agreement. “The talking part is important.”

Hardison sits down in a chair across from the couch Parker is perching on and looks at him expectantly. Elliot frown at the pillow that’s still in his hands. “I’m going to go put this in the bedroom so I’m not left awkwardly holding it.”

Hardison smiles at him fondly and Elliot tilts his head considering. Hardison presses his lips together.

“What did you do?”

Hardison widens his eyes in faux innocence.

“Damn it, Hardison,” Elliot grumbles.

Hardison licks his lips. Parker giggles. Elliot tries not to roll his eyes. It shouldn’t be such a turn on. He heads to the bedroom and stops when he sees the bed, with his pillow already on it. He drops the pillow in his hands on the bed and grabs the new one, pulling it out of the pillowcase so he can look at the label. He smiles slowly as he puts it back into the pillowcase.

Then he stands in the doorway of the bedroom. Parker and Hardison look at him expectantly. In relief he tells them, “This isn’t a one-night stand.”

“You could never be a one-night stand,” Parker says. “Not to us.”

“Anyone treats you like a one-night stand…” Hardison starts.

Parker shakes her head. “I’d rather he not be dating anyone than us.”

“This is only if he decided he doesn’t want to stay after we’re done talking,” Hardison reassures.

Eliot sinks down onto the couch. Parker slides down to sit next to him and drapes her legs over his. She leans into him. She tilts her head so she can meet his eyes. “This is not just a sex thing. I’m still getting used to the whole relationship thing, but the three of use work well together and already love each other.”

Elliot rests his hands on her knees as he complains. “Hardison, you’re all the way over there.”

Hardison shakes his head fondly, but joins them on the couch, taking Elliot’s free side. He leans in and kisses Eliot’s neck. Elliot closes his eyes. Hardison kisses his jaw and then the corner of his mouth, before he tells Eliot in a low tone. “Alec.”

Eliot turns his head. Their eyes meet. Eliot wets his lips. “Alec.”

Hardison groans and kisses him. It’s a bit desperate and intense. He lets Hardison cup his face and kiss into his mouth. He sucks on Hardison tongue while he rubs circles against Parker’s legs.

“This is definitely not talking,” Parker comments. “I don’t think you should stop though.”

Elliot pulls away long enough to say, “Communication is very important and we’re all dating each other, but no one else.”

Eliot doesn’t bother to open his eyes. He smiles when Hardison kisses him again long and intense. Parker’s finger slide into his hair, she shifts so she can lean in and nip his ear as she prompts, “And?”

Eliot untangles from Hardison so he can look at her. “I should’ve figured out this was going to happen when you took me bed shopping.”

“You still have your own space when you need it,” Parker reminds softly. “Tell us when you need space and respect us when we need some space.”

Eliot agrees. Parker hums happily as she leans in to kiss him. His hand comes up to stroke her arm as she continues kissing him until he moans, then she pulls away kiss to Hardison.

“You’re a genius,” Hardison tells Parker.

“And?” Parker prompts him.

“And,” Hardison drags out, "we should probably take this to the bedroom since we made sure it had a bed we could all agree on.”

“And fit on,” Parker smirks as she gets up and walks towards the bedroom.

They both admire her for a moment before Hardison compliments, “And this is why we let you plan things!”

Parker laughs as the two of them get up to join her.

“This is definitely why she gets to plan things,” Eliot smiles.