PG-13 for language.
"I'm going to ask Maggie out," Parker announces during lunch, which is mostly a loaf of bread and a jar of jelly. She doesn't like peanut butter much.
Eliot looks up from whatever's he's doing that's annoying Hardison. Parker knows Hardison's annoyed because his mouth is twitching, and he keeps glaring at Eliot over his sports drink like he wants to fuck him or kick him in the head and he can't decide which one to do first.
See, and they say she doesn't pay attention to other people.
"Nate's Maggie?" Eliot asks.
"She's not Nate's Maggie, she divorced him because he's a martyr and a drunk and uncommunicative."
"Uh, where did you hear that?" Hardison asks.
Parker grins. "Oprah."
"So, when you say you're going to ask Maggie out, you mean to do girl stuff, like shopping?" Eliot's voice is loud in Parker's ear.
She's currently hanging upside down in a harness outside the distribution office at the Warner Brothers lot in Burbank, because Hardison promised her five hundred dollars to break in and steal a copy of Watchmen before it's released.
Five hundred dollars isn't a lot, but money is money and Parker loves money. Plus, she was bored and Top Chef isn't on for another hour.
"Why would I go shopping on a date?" Parker asks. "Don’t people generally try to get each other drunk and naked instead? I mean, technically, Maggie would be naked in a dressing room, but then there'd be no alcohol. I like alcohol."
There's some interference, like people are scuffling, which they probably are.
"I think what Eliot's trying to say," Hardison's voice sounds kind of breathless. Uh huh. "Is do you mean you want to date Maggie, like a real date, where you pick her up and you pay for dinner and hope you get laid, or are you just trying to bond? You know, girl stuff."
Parker thinks this over. "I like bondage," she says eventually, "but I like Thai swings better. It's always good when you can strap people to stuff during sex. I never did that with the other girls in school."
They're having dinner. Okay, they're standing around the microwave waiting for their mini pizzas to be done, but it's close enough for dinner.
"I asked her out," Parker says proudly.
Eliot and Hardison look up from staring in the microwave window.
"You did?" Eliot says, pushing his hair behind his ear.
"When?" Hardison asks. "We only got back twenty minutes ago."
"When you guys were having sex in the bathroom and thought I didn't know."
Eliot blinks. "We weren't -–"
"I would never -–" Hardison sputters.
"You have white stuff in your hair," Parker waves between them vaguely.
"I do?" Eliot brushes at his hair ineffectually.
"No," Parker admits, "but you could've."
Hardison makes a low whistle. "That was cold, Parker. Stone cold. High five."
Eliot does not approve of their high five and breaks it up. "So, you asked Maggie out. What did you say?"
"I called her on her cell phone and said I thought her hair was shiny, and she smelled nice, and did she want to have dinner sometime?"
"And that worked?" Eliot's seems generally surprised.
Parker elbows them aside to get to the microwave when the bell dings. The pizzas smell awesome, like fatty cheese and fake tomato sauce and lots of preservatives.
Parker rolls her eyes. "Of course, it worked," she says, cradling the pizzas to her chest. "Why wouldn't it?"
"So when I can tell her we're having sex?" Parker says when they're sitting around Hardison's loft. They're supposed to be going over logistics for something, but mostly they're just tossing popcorn at Jimmy Fallon on TV.
Jimmy Fallon is a tool.
Hardison chokes on his huge microwave pretzel and pieces go everywhere. Some of them even end up in Eliot's hair. "You should be more careful," Parker tells him. "You could choke like that. You should eat smaller pieces and chew more, but just with food, because nobody like being chewed on during sex."
Hardison wheezes. "You want to take this one?" he says to Eliot.
"Take which one?" Parker asks.
Beside her, Eliot shakes his head. His hair moves like he's washed it recently. That's new.
"Parker," Eliot taps her shoulder lightly, like he's giving her bad news or something. "You can't just tell her you're going to have sex."
Parker scoffs. "Why not?"
"Because people have to decide when they want to have sex," Eliot says. "It's supposed to be a joint decision."
Parker frowns. "But I heard lesbians bring U-Hauls to their first date, and if I'm a lesbian, I don't want to move in with Maggie until I know she's good in bed."
Hardison pushes Eliot out of the way to enter the conversation. "So, you're a lesbian? Can I watch?"
Eliot smacks him on the back of the head "No, you can't watch!" A pause. "Unless I can watch too."
Parker frowns. "Well, I don't know. I have to have sex with Maggie first, to decide if I'm a lesbian and want to bring my U-Haul on a date. Maybe you can watch afterwards."
Hardison and Eliot share a look. "Okay," they say together.
"I'm a lesbian," Parker announces two days later in the conference room. They're supposed to be looking at the mass of screens, going over some job which will rob the rich and feed the poor or something. Parker's watched Robin Hood enough to get the gist.
Sophie blinks. "That's nice, Parker."
"I still like boys," Parker assures her. "I just like girls too."
"Okayyyyyyyyy," Nate says. He was pointing at something on the screen, but now he's looking at Parker like he forgot how to speak.
"It's okay," Parker assures him. "It's all consensual. Maggie said she hadn't had sex with a girl since college, but apparently it's like riding a bike."
"Mag –- Maggie?" Nate sputters. "My Maggie?"
Parker frowns. "No, my Maggie. I'm still trying to get her to try my Thai swing, but I guess we'll have to work towards that."
There's a lot of yelling, which Parker lets Sophie deal with. She goes to the kitchen to get a popsicle instead. "I wish they still made Jell-o pops," she says, holding two red popsicles over her shoulder for the guys.
When someone takes the popsicles, she turns around, and Hardison's giving Eliot an unwrapped popsicle. "Whatever happened to Jell-o pops?" Eliot says.
"I miss Jell-o pops," Hardison sighs, slurping on his popsicle. "Jell-o pops were the bomb."
"Parker, I accept that you are an adult and you can date whomever you want to," Nate says an hour later. "You don't need my permission to date anyone, even Maggie."
Eliot looks up from his fourth popsicle. "You're blocking Oprah."
Nate glares at him; Eliot just rolls his eyes.
Hardison elbows Parker in the ribs. "What?" she says.
"Don't you have something to say to Nate," he prompts.
Parker thinks this over. "You're right, I don't need your permission to date Maggie."
They last a month.
That's two weeks longer than Parker's longest relationship.
Parker likes Maggie a lot. She smells good and wears nice clothes that she lets Parker pet in public, and Maggie really likes having sex in strange places, which Parker's all for, but in the end, it's just not her thing.
"I broke up with Maggie," she says at their weekly sleepover, which they don't call a sleepover because they're not 10 anymore, even though they watch 80s cartoons and eat lots of cereal and junk food like they're 10 and stay up really late and then can't get up in the morning.
Eliot spills a little of his bowl of Lucky Charms on the sofa. "You broke up with Maggie?" he says, brushing the milk on the floor.
Parker shrugs. "Yeah, I like her a lot, but she's all older and serious and I'm not ready to be tied down."
Hardison wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. He's twitching beside Parker and she thinks maybe she should tie him down. He's been chugging a liter bottle of Mountain Dew. "I thought you liked being tied down," he says, just dodging a smack to the head from Eliot.
"Well, I do," Parker says, "but, she said I spent too much time with you guys, too much time working, and she was coming between me and my money. And nobody comes between me and my money."
Hardison just laughs. "I hear that."
"I know you do," Parker says. "I've seen that money you and Eliot keep having sex on. It's kind of gnarly."
Eliot's mouth falls open, and Hardison just gapes.
Parker smiles. "Yes, I know, I win."