glorious_spoon: (frisky women)
[personal profile] glorious_spoon
Title: don’t want no secret agent
Pairing: Hardison/Eliot
Rating: R
Warnings: None
Summary: Eliot breaks into Hardison’s apartment and cooks for him. It probably counts as romance, for them. Post-ep of sorts for The Order 23 Job.

A/N: So, I was trying to do a character study, but somehow everyone ended up naked instead. And then fluff happened. IDEK.


When Alec gets out of the shower the night after the hospital job, Eliot is in his kitchen chopping onions.

He's wearing worn jeans and an A-line tank, barefoot on the tile floor, the soft light picking out little flecks of premature gray in his hair. Anybody else would look completely unthreatening, but this is Eliot. The man never relaxes enough to look harmless; he always makes Alec think of those old martial arts movies where the cook suddenly turns and puts a knife through the ninja who's been sneaking up on him.

Not that Eliot would do that. Alec's a hundred percent sure that Eliot would never hurt him. Well. Ninety-nine percent. Ninety-five. At least.

He still pauses in the doorway, knocks even though this is his apartment and it's after one in the morning and he doesn't actually have a freaking clue what Eliot is doing here. Besides chopping onions. There's a pan of something that smells fantastic simmering on the stove.

"You know, I honestly was not aware that I had any pots and pans in this kitchen."

Eliot grunts, but it doesn't sound entirely unfriendly. "Must've come with the apartment. Risotto with fennel and onion. You should eat something that isn't microwavable once in awhile."

"Hey, now, Hot Pockets are a perfectly legitimate dietary choice."

Eliot's snort is impressive and he still hasn't turned around. This isn't the first time Alec's found somebody lounging around his apartment uninvited, but it's usually Parker. Not that he's complaining, mind you, but it's just. Weird.

There's a half-full bottle of white wine on the counter, a plain brown paper bag, onion peels, and a glass jug of olive oil.

"Where did all this come from?"

The rhythm of Eliot's knife doesn't pause. "I brought it ."

"So you, like, randomly decided to break into my apartment at one in the morning to cook for me."

"Is that a problem?"

"No, no." Alec held up his hands. "No problems here. You're just lucky I quit the habit of wandering around here naked, is all I'm saying."

Eliot glances up at that, finally, blue eyes narrowed and unreadable as he takes in the red and black Spiderman towel Alec has clutched around his waist. "Uh huh."

"I'm just saying," Alec repeats, edging into the room. Eliot scrapes the onions into the mixture on the stove, gives it a quick stir, and slaps Alec's hand with the flat of the blade when he reaches for the bottle of wine. "Hey, now, no need to get violent."

Eliot jabs the knife in the direction of the kitchen table. "That's for the food. Sit your ass down."

Alec hitches his towel up. "You mind if I put some pants on first?"

"It's your apartment."

Alec is almost sure he can see the edge of a smirk as Eliot turns back to the stove, and that makes him feel ornery enough that he just adjusts the towel and plops down into a kitchen chair. "So, you planning to tell me what was going on with you earlier?"

"What do you mean?"

"At the hospital."

Eliot's shoulders tighten, tense, still in a way that Alec has come to associate with mayhem and violence on an epic scale. He's quiet for a couple of seconds, then lets out a breath and sets the knife down. "I had something to take care of."

"In the middle of a job, you had something to take care of."

"Yes."

"Man, what's up with you?"

"What's up with--nothing's up with me, Hardison."

"Sure, yeah, you're just hanging out in my kitchen in the middle of the night for no particular reason."

Eliot shrugs tightly. If he's trying to be casual, he misses the mark by a long shot, but that ain't exactly surprising. For a professional thief, the man's not much of a liar. There was a time when Alec would have duct-taped his own mouth shut before he started mouthing off to Eliot in this kind of mood, but it's one AM and he's wearing nothing but a damp towel, and Eliot is tense and skittish in a way that Alec tends to associate with Parker.

The kids at the foster home, too. The new kids who showed up at Nana's with bruises and cigarette burns used to have that same look, before her rough brand of caring started to wear down the edges of the fear.

Anyway. Eliot's just about the scariest dude Alec's ever met in his life, but he's probably (probably) not going to stab Alec just for being a pain in the ass.

"That kid," Alec tries again. "The one you were talking to. He was pretty banged up."

"His father broke his arm," Eliot says without turning around. Alec sighs.

"I figured it was something like that. So that's your deal, huh?"

"My deal?"

"You know," Alec says. Eliot's fiddling with something on the stove. His hair is tied back in a sloppy ponytail and he's idly flipping the knife over and over in his free hand, like he doesn't even know he's doing it. That kind of thing used to disturb the hell out of Alec, but sometime in the last couple of years he got used to it. Now it's just Eliot, being Eliot. It's funny how much he looks like he belongs here in Alec's kitchen in the middle of the night, and Alec clamps down on that train of thought before it can go someplace he does not need to be right now. "Hey, man, we all get this way somehow. You think my childhood was sunshine and roses? Hell, no. Foster family they had me with before Nana was running a meth lab in the basement. And you don't even have to ask about Parker."

"Hardison--"

"I'm just saying. Ain't no shame in growing up rough."

"Hardison," Eliot repeats firmly. He reaches up and snags a couple of dishes out of the cabinet above the stove. "Nobody roughed me up when I was a kid, okay? It wasn't that."

"Oh." Okay, cool, so now he just feels like a moron. He spins his chair so that he's facing his wall of kitchen windows and a gorgeous lit-up skyline instead of Eliot's uncommunicative back. Which is why he doesn't realize Eliot has crossed the room until a hand drops heavy on his shoulder.

"I don't like people who hurt kids," Eliot murmurs. He's so close that when he reaches around to set a bowl of something down on the table, all Alec can smell for a minute is his aftershave and the super-strength Tide he washes his clothes with. It's only when Eliot steps back that he really registers the bowl of food. "And that’s not why I’m here. Now, seriously, eat."

***

It's all fantastic, which doesn't surprise Alec all that much. Eliot sits down with him and doesn't leave when he's finished, which kind of does. He looks like he's thinking, or maybe like he's planning something, and that's one hell of an unsettling look on Eliot, for a variety of reasons.

"So," Alec says once the silence gets too much for him. It takes maybe thirty seconds.

Eliot lifts his brows, like he can't imagine what Alec could possibly want to talk about. "Yeah?"

"I am sitting at my kitchen table wearing nothing but a Spider-Man beach towel, which isn't my usual attire of choice for company," Alec says. "I'm just trying to get a handle on why that is, exactly."

"Yeah," Eliot says. "I would have figured Batman was more your style."

"Oh, yeah, now with the stereotyping. That ain't what I meant, and you know it."

Eliot's eyes flicker over him. It's almost the kind of professional, assessing look he gives guys he's about to dismember with his bare hands on the job, but not quite. A little too personal, maybe; a little too intense, and when his mouth curls into a small, private smile Alec feels heat swoop unexpectedly through the pit of his belly.

Well, damn.

The thing about towels is that they don't exactly give much in the way of camouflage, and if he stands up right now this situation is gonna go from a little weird to seriously embarrassing. Eliot's grin widens like he knows that. "Like I said, it's your apartment. You want to go get dressed, feel free."

"Or?" Alec says. His heart is pounding and he feels giddy and stupid in a way he hasn't since he was sixteen years old and getting to third base with Shawna Mackie in the backseat of Nana's station wagon. Eliot stands up, bracing his hands on the table, but he doesn't step away and he doesn't stop looking at Alec. And shit, man, Eliot is stocky and scary and older than Alec. Eliot has scarred hands and hat-hair and could knock Alec out without breaking a sweat.

Eliot is grinning, all crinkled eyes and challenge, and damn if it isn't the hottest thing Alec's seen in months.

"Or you can stay out here. And not get dressed."

Oh. Okay, shit. So, they are doing this thing for real. "So this is, what, some kind of life-affirming thing?"

"If that's how you want to look at it," Eliot says. "Sure."

"You do guys?" Alec asks, then immediately wants to bite his tongue off.

Eliot just snorts. "Naw, this is all just the adrenaline talking."

Alec's never seen somebody looking so relaxed in his life. He can't decide if he wants to punch Eliot or--

Or.

"Well, shit."

"For a super-genius, you're not too quick on the uptake," Eliot says agreeably, and Alec would take exception to that if it weren't for the fact that Eliot is leaning across the table, hands braced on the polished veneer, if it weren't for the way he's still smiling when he kisses Alec on the mouth.

Ain't nothing careful about the way he kisses; it's hard and fast and exactly what Alec would have expected from Eliot if it had ever occurred to him to expect this at all. He doesn't pull back and he doesn't hesitate. His hands are on Alec's arms and the next time Alec's fully aware of anything else, he's standing swaying in his own dining room with a towel slipping precariously down his hips and an armful of professional rough-up artist shoving him back into the wall and sucking on his neck hard enough to bruise.

He gets his hands on Eliot's hips, a leg between his thighs, grinds up slow and sweet. Eliot pulls back enough to curse hoarsely into the curve of Alec's shoulder, and there's something heady about that, that he's the one who did that.

"We could," he manages, and then stutters to a stop, because Eliot's somehow managed to insinuate his hands into the tiny space between them and make short work of the knot holding Alec's towel up. If he moves at all, if Eliot pulls back, he's gonna be standing here bare-ass naked. "Uh. Bedroom?"

Too much, is what he's thinking, but then Eliot grins, steps back to let the towel slide down Alec's legs to land in a soft heap at his feet. For a long moment, he just looks, just stands there looking at Alec, and Alec just stands there and lets him. His heart is thudding wildly in his chest, and his palms feel sweaty.

"Sure," Eliot says finally, voice gone about three degrees rougher than usual. "Bedroom. Lead the way."

***

His calves hit the edge of the mattress, and Eliot topples him back onto the bed and climbs on top of him, pinning him easily with just his legs. Alec reaches out, just to touch; the thin undershirt is worn soft and ragged against his fingertips and when he tugs impatiently at the hem, Eliot chuckles a little. His legs are warm on the outside of Alec's thighs, all solid muscle flexing as he arches up to tug his shirt off, and the light coming in from the hallway shows up dozens of scars criss-crossing his torso. Alec reaches up without even thinking about it, runs his fingers over the twisting white shape of what looks like an old knife wound. Warm skin, raised and smooth, and Alec closes his eyes, traces the line of the scar like it's braille, like he can read the story of what happened with his fingertips--a stab, a slice, the blade skittering off Eliot's collarbone, perilously close to his throat, up and away over the solid muscle of his shoulders.

Eliot holds still for the examination, his eyes closed, his breathing deep and slightly uneven.

Alec could ask, and Eliot might--would probably--tell him something close to the truth, but that's really not where he wants this to go right now.

"Been wanting to do this for a while," he admits instead, letting his hands fall to grip Eliot's denim-clad hips. His jeans have a button fly and are slightly too big, loose enough to show the waistband of plaid-print boxers.

"Yeah?"

"Yeah," Alec says, and gets to work on his fly with fingers that feel huge and clumsy with eagerness. "Figured you'd punch me if I made a move."

"I ain't gonna punch you," Eliot says, dipping his head to kiss him again. He cups Alec's jaw with one rough hand--it's gentle, almost tender. His other hand drops to his fly, knocking Alec's fingers out of the way and making short work of the buttons.

"I got that much," Alec says, and then Eliot is rolling, hooking one strong calf under his thigh and flipping him over so he's on top, and that's just--he was not expecting that. "Jesus!"

"I sure ain't him."

"Oh, you think you're so funny--" Alec's voice trails away as Eliot arches off the bed to shove his jeans and boxers down. He kicks them off to land on the floor with a soft thwump, and then they're both naked, skin to skin. Eliot's leg is still hooked over the back of his knee and his cock is pushing up into the groove of Alec's hip, and Alec can't quite remember what he was going to say, anyway. "I'm just saying--"

"Shut the hell up, Hardison," Eliot says, smiling, and Alec does.

Isn’t long before he finds some better things to do with his mouth, anyway.

***

He dozes for a while afterward, riding the mellow buzz of orgasms and pleasantly sore muscles; distantly, he’s aware of Eliot sliding out of the bed, the catlike pad of his bare feet on the carpeted floor, but it isn’t until he hears the rustle of clothing that he manages to pry his eyes open. Eliot has his boxers on and appears to be untangling his jeans from the mess of clothing on the floor, and for a moment Alec just lets himself admire the view. There’s nothing elegant about his body; he’s broad-shouldered and thick-muscled and scarred, built for brutal efficiency rather than beauty. There’s something magnetic about him, though, all the same. Maybe it’s in the way he moves, in the quick grace of his hands--or maybe Alec just has a thing for short, stocky brawlers with Fabio hair. He’s pretty okay with that, actually.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” he asks eventually, and Eliot lifts his head, shakes his tangled hair out of his face. His expression is wary.

“Time I was heading home.”

“Uh, bullshit,” Alec says.

Eliot grins at that, sharp and unexpected. “I ain’t much on sleepovers, Hardison.”

“Well, I am, so it looks like you’re just gonna have to suck it up and deal, doesn’t it?” He magnanimously ignores Eliot’s snort at that. “Anyway, you owe me breakfast.”

“I owe you breakfast?”

“Yeah. You gone and spoiled me with all that romantic dinner nonsense, now how in the hell am I supposed to enjoy my Lucky Charms and Tang?”

That does the trick. Eliot’s mouth moves silently for a few seconds before he even manages to get a word out. “Lucky Charms and--Jesus Christ. Tell me you don’t, like, mix them.”

“Who do I look like, Parker? Naw.” He pauses just long enough for Eliot to relax, then adds, “I use strawberry milk.”

Eliot’s shoulders go up like a cat that just got sprayed with a hose, but the expression on his face now is all familiar annoyance, none of that weird, stilted caution. “When you drop dead of diabetes, I’m not gonna feel bad about it.”

“Sure you will. Especially when you could have prevented it by staying over and making me breakfast, like any gentleman would do.” He pats the mattress next to him, trying to project smooth confident charm as much as any man can when he’s naked and sweaty and has love bites on his hip.

“I look like a gentleman to you?” Eliot asks, and he kind of has a point, but, well. Alec knows him better than that.

“You did cook me dinner. I’m just saying.”

“I’m regretting that right now, believe me,” Eliot says, but he also puts his pants down and sits down on the edge of the bed. A short hesitation, and then he presses his lips together and says, “I don’t really--sleep.”

“What, the ninety minutes a night thing? I thought you were just--” Alec breaks off, raises his eyebrows, finally getting it. “Oh, you weren’t kidding. That’s cool, man. I got HD and all the sports channels your macho little heart could desire, right here in this very room.”

Eliot blinks, and then he shakes his head, and then, finally, he smiles. “I’m not getting out of this, am I?”

“Can I help it if I’m irresistible?” Alec asks, pulling down the projector screen with a negligent flick of his hand. “I think not.”

“Irresistible ain’t exactly the word I’d use,” Eliot grumbles, flopping back against the pillows. Alec turns the projector on, then cuddles up unabashedly, slinging an arm over Eliot’s broad chest and tucking his head into the hollow of his shoulder. Above his head, Eliot huffs out a laugh, but a few minutes later his hand comes to rest, warm and heavy, in the middle of Alec’s back.

Alec dozes off to the sound of thunking helmets, cheering crowds, and the rapid-patter delivery of some sports announcer he doesn’t recognize.

He wakes to sunlight and the smell of waffles cooking.

June 2016

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