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What, was "Rudy" on cable last night?

. . . Yes.

happy coffee-face, lounging coffee-face
Eliot Spencer vdistinctive
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75 Godiva, Sunday morning
If Parker had been any less than 100% enthusiastic about having Archie around, Eliot would have happily let him spend the whole weekend getting room service at the Arms.

But Archie was, however grudgingly, family. Which meant he got an invite to the small family brunch Eliot planned for Nana. And -- well, honestly, the old guy was pretty fun, once you got past the whole "could have been so much better for Parker growing up" thing. He had some amazing stories about his days at the top of his game. Eliot's favorite was the one about thwarting Nate the one time IYS sicced him on him.

And, well. Eliot wouldn't trade getting to see both his partners happily interacting with their family for the world.

[for the team and guests, and likely a lot of slowplay]

Parker was still beaming happily, and now telling Archie about turning into a ferret.

"...so I missed most of Christmas, but we did all the presents and food after I was back, and I can remember playing in the snow which was amazing." She paused and added, "And Hardison can't turn into anything this Halloween, because I think we should all go as the Three Musketeers. That would be harder if he were a teddy bear."

Archie was not doubting Parker, per se. But he was making the usual allowances for it being Parker, and her usual mode of communication and world-view possibly compromising the information he was getting from her.

"...does that happen very often?" He was talking to the rest of you, because this is new. Very new.

"To Parker, it was twice. Me and Hardison, only once." Eliot wasn't going to go into specifics. He recognized that expression. Archie wouldn't believe it until he saw it. "Lord only knows why."

"That seems rather -- problematic, if you intend to stay here indefinitely?" Archie's eyebrows were up, way up. Parker was giving him a mulish look and not saying anything, so he sighed. Whatever was going on, Parker was not going to budge on it. "I see. Well... I like your house, Spencer. Eliot," he corrected himself. "It's very open." So many open sightlines, so few places to hide. But still! Very nice.

Yeah, well. Eliot wasn't much of a hider.

"Thanks. Was originally a retail space, but this town's got a loose definition of zoning laws." To say the least. "Vents are nice'n big for Parker's purposes," when they weren't rigged with traps, "and there's room to expand if we decide to."

Were the hints adding up enough yet, Leach?

Yes, well. Yes they were. "Really."

He didn't sound all that happy. Or unhappy. Just very studiedly neutral. His expression was saying, I dislike your implication, young man.

Eliot folded his arms over his chest and stared blithely back.

He could read that expression loud and clear, Archie. Just look at all the fucks he didn't give about it. Sorry, he'd filled up on disapproving father figures growing up.

Archie's nostrils flared slightly at that smirk, but he bit down on the inside of his cheek to keep from snapping at Eliot. He hadn't gotten where he was by over-reacting at provocation. Even from someone deliberately being so provoking.

He chose his next words very carefully. "And you anticipate such a move... when?"

Eliot shrugged. "Ain't got no plans for it right now. We're pretty comfortable with the way things are."

Archie's smile had a glint of the feline about it now. "Is that so? You've discussed this?" He glanced sideways. "Parker?"

See, she knew Archie would get it. Especially with Eliot throwing all those hints at him.

"Sorta?" She frowned. "Kinda? We like our place above the diner right now, and Eliot likes his space." She shrugged. "Now he just sleeps over sometimes and we sleep over sometimes and we all play with Megabyte."

What, was Eliot supposed to pretend not to be basically married to his partners now?

"Val," he corrected absently. The dog in question came trotting up, tail wagging like crazy, and looked around at all the weird tension going on in the room.

"How... " Cozy. Domestic. Archie bit down on both words, and finally said, looking at the dog, "Cute. Val?" He held out his hand, avoiding looking at either Parker or Eliot while he processed all this. "Or Megabyte?"

Archie was out on the porch, sipping his drink, and getting his head around what he'd just figured out, so that there wouldn't be any awkwardness. Really, he quite liked Hardison (and the fact that he could intimidate him was an amusing bonus), and it wasn't that he disliked Spencer. It was just...

He wondered what Ford thought about the situation, then immediately shut that speculation down as futile and tiresome.