Eliot could feel the heat of Hardison's stare when the hacker asked, "What's going on?" but Eliot couldn't take his eyes off the large painting that was draped and stood propped up against the couch.
There was no way, it couldn't be.
Parker stood next to the painting, her arms crossed, foot tapping as her lips pulled at the corners like she was about to lose the battle to keep from laughing. "He got a special delivery," she replied, emphasizing the word special as her face scrunched up, eyebrows wiggling obscenely.
"You opened it?" Eliot's heart thundered wildly in his chest as he asked. It was a stupid question since it wasn't in a box. In fact there was no box or packing material in sight.
Parker answered only by smiling widely until her cheeks puffed out, and her eyes narrowed to small slits crinkling at the corners.
Eliot knew Hardison had watched the entire exchange with eager eyes. It had only piqued his interest even more. Hardison moved closer to the couch, his hand was ready to pull the blanket off.
Without thought, Eliot's hand shot out and grabbed the back of Hardison's shirt. He yanked back roughly, causing Hardison to stumble back into him, as he barked out, "No!"
The word reverberated in his head; if that painting was what he thought it was there was no way in hell he was going to let Hardison see it. It was bad enough that Parker had probably already seen it, and going by the gleam in her eyes, there was no doubt that she had.
Undeterred, Hardison kept his eye on the prize and tried to twist out of Eliot's grasp. "Wait, wait, this has got to be good, right?"
Eliot tightened his grip as he continued to hold onto Hardison. However, Parker egged her partner on, as she sweetly answered, "Oh yeah, it's good, really good." With an open leer at Eliot, she dropped her gaze to his feet, slowly trailing her eyes up his body, a snicker escaping her lips.
Startled at the look of open appreciation, Eliot almost lost his grip. He grimaced in response, narrowing his eyes at the blonde.
Hardison squirmed, trying to get out of Eliot's hold, "Oh come man let me see."
Parker snorted with laughter, her body and ponytail swaying, as she excitedly clapped her hands at their antics.
Eliot's lips curled into a growl as he pulled Hardison back harder, only to stop in shock when he heard, "Eliot, you're home."
Stunned, Eliot turned toward the bedroom and saw Evan, the man he hadn't seen or heard from in such long time.
Hardison used the interruption and Eliot's surprise to his advantage and applied leverage, using his weight to wiggle out from Eliot grasp.
Eliot let go, too distracted at seeing Evan actually standing there; behind the couch with the painting propped between them a clear reminder on how they spend their last weekend.
Eliot had to admit Evan looked good, really good. In fact, almost identical from the last time Eliot saw him: hair slightly rumbled, just short enough to get a good grip. In similar if not the same jeans and a black tee-shirt that didn't cover his tattoo only the shadow of his stubble was off – it wasn't dark enough. Liked like he just stopped shaving and hadn't quite reached the scratchy growth Eliot fondly remembered.
"How'd you find me?"
"No hello?" Unfazed Evan only shrugged, his smile stretched until dimples appeared. "I have friends... made a few calls."
Out of the corner of his eye, Eliot watched as Hardison moved and reached out to grab the drape covering the painting. Before he could it away from the painting Parker smacked his hand away, "Not now."
Surprised, Hardison muttered as he rubbed his hand, "Ow, that hurt."
Eliot nodded at the painting, "That it?"
Evan's head bobbed, "Yeah. It kept me sane."
Eliot met Evan's heated gaze and heard the silent, You kept me sane. He didn't turn away, letting Evan know he got the message. Evan's chin tilted in a small nod, obviously pleased. The acknowledgment and pleasure from Evan sent endorphins straight to Eliot's groin. There was a gasp that made Eliot curse under his breath, belatedly remembering that he and Evan weren't alone and that he was probably blushing.
Slowly Eliot inhaled and exhaled, trying to regain his composure. He couldn't take his eyes off of Evan though, his eyes devouring the man, remembering their last day together. How Evan had slowly massaged out every kink and knot Eliot had gotten after holding the same position for long hours as Evan had painted him. Evan wasn't even finished with the painting when Eliot started to cramp up. It had not been a strenuous position, but he had held it for hours. When Eliot's discomfort began to show, Evan put his brush down and he ambled over to the bed, gently lifted Eliot's foot, and started to massage. Within seconds they both were in agreement to put their remaining time to better use.
By the time Evan had massaged every muscle in his body, Eliot was putty in Evan's hands.
Evan broke Eliot from his memories, "Your hair's longer, it looks good."
Eliot only smiled in response.
The quiet whisperings behind him made him turn slightly, he then watched as Parker manhandled Hardison by grabbing his hand and jerkily pulling him toward the door. Hardison loudly protested, "Wait a sec, I wanna see it!"
Parker didn't waver, but paused briefly as they passed him. She leaned over and kissed Eliot's cheek while whispering, "He's cute." A smirk crossed her face, "Love the tat," she added as she continued pulling Hardison to the door.
Hardison twisted around, "Wait, what tat? He has a tat?"
Parker ignored him and pulled Hardison through the door, stating, "I'll tell you later."
Hardison's "How do you..." was cut off as the door shut behind them.
Eliot sighed, knowing Parker would do just that. As annoying as that would be, they were family and he trusted that it wouldn't go any further than them, not until he was ready – not his tattoo, the painting or even Evan's presence.
"Parker, she seems..." Evan paused before he added, "nice. Very protective if not a bit eccentric."
Eliot laughed at the understatement and nodded. Glancing up he spotted the frame; and frowned, unable to find hide his disappointment. "You showed her?"
Evan shook his head in denial, "No I didn't, she had her own key. You gave her a key?"
"Parker's lock, Parker's key."
"Oh." Evan hung his head, Eliot saw him worrying his lip before he nervously asked, "Are you two..." and inclined his head in the direction of Eliot's bedroom.
"Would it matter if we were? You've been gone nearly three years without a word."
Shaking his head, Evan took a few steps toward him, obviously contrite. "No, I know, I... it was never... and I didn't mean to. I tried to warn you that I'd be gone..."
Pissed, Eliot growled out, "Don't! I'm not some chick." His hands threaded through his hair, frustrated, and started to pace tensely. Evan stood there, quietly waiting for him to decide what was going to happen next. On his third pass around the room, Eliot stopped and glanced around. For the first time he realized a few things were in the wrong place.
Evan noticed and cleared his throat, "Ah Parker, she's an attack first, ask questions later kind of girl."
As he spoke Eliot watched as Evan's hand moved and unconsciously rubbed against his stomach. Eliot's brow lifted, "She hit you, because you broke in?"
Eliot's lips twitched breaking out into a wide grin at the thought of Parker defending his place against Evan. He'd been training her, she could fight and hit harder than most people would ever expect.
Nervously Evan dipped his head, a small smile graced his lips. "Yeah, she was a bit surprised and a little impressed."
Eliot couldn't stop thinking about it, and was only surprised he didn't need to rush Evan to the hospital and laughed, "I'm sure she was – it was her design. Like I said: her lock, her key."
"She was pounding me good, but stopped when she saw it."
Eliot glanced at the covered painting. He wanted to ask Evan if he was going to stay, but Eliot already knew the answer. It was only a matter of time, then Evan would go and disappear again.
Turning, Eliot looked back at Evan and choked out, "How long, before...?"
Holding his gaze, Evan moved until he stood in front of Eliot, "A little while."
Eliot swallowed and huskily asked, "Long enough to inspire another painting?"
Evan moved in closer until Eliot was breathing in Evan's familiar scent. Evan's reply of "Yes, yes..." was swallowed by Eliot as he closed the gap between their lips as he accepted Evan's embrace.
Tomorrow, he'll worry about the lonely nights – right now was about relearning Evan's scent, his taste. It won't carry him through forever, but for right now... it'll do.
Summary: While on leave, Evan looks up someone who was once more than a friend. Crossover with Leverage Eliot/Evan