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Fear of Flying

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It was one of those days when she didn't know what to do with herself. And, with Parker, that was never a good thing. She wandered into the kitchen, nibbling the end of her finger and feeling at loose ends. She stood silently by the counter, watching as Eliot deftly chopped vegetables for the dinner he was preparing.

When they'd moved into the warehouse that would become their home, Eliot had overseen the construction of the state-of-the-art kitchen himself. It nearly rivaled the best cooking institutes, with its top-of-the-line appliances and every gadget one could imagine, including a few Parker still had no idea of what they were for.

When it was safe to do so without losing a digit, he looked up at her, conveying a question with raised eyebrows.

Parker removed the finger from her lips, shifting awkwardly. "Um, do you need any help?"

He shook his head. "Nope. I got this. Thanks anyway," he added in what was obviously an afterthought.

"It's just… you always cook for us."

"I enjoy cooking for us. You know it relaxes me after a tough job."

"Right, I know."

"Go," he made shooing motions with his hands. "Go relax.

"Relax. Right." She turned and started out of the kitchen.

"Parker," his call stopped her. "Is everything okay?"

"Sure, just, you know… nothing to do."

Eliot rolled his eyes. "That's what relaxing is. The luxury of being able to do nothing."

"I guess I need to practice that."


Parker found Hardison in the living area, engrossed in the latest computer game. Naturally, even before they'd moved in, Alec had set up the most advanced audio-visual tech available. Complete surveillance, a fantastic home theater system, and of course at the center was the best computer network in the world. Well, that part Parker wasn't sure about, but Hardison assured them that it was, and she had no evidence with which to disagree.

"How's the game going?" she asked.

It took a moment for Hardison to respond. When he did, he didn't take his eyes off the screen. "Great. I'm almost to level nine."

"Is that good?" she asked.

"Good?!" He spared her a glance. "I'll have you know, only 10% of players ever reach level nine."

"Oh. That's nice."

After a few moments of concentration, he addressed her again. "Okay, what's wrong?"

"What do you mean?"

"This is me you're talkin' to."

Giving in, Parker sighed and slumped down onto the couch beside him. "It's just… Eliot has his cooking stuff, and you have all the computers… I feel like I haven't contributed to our… you know, our…"

"Home?" Hardison offered with a grin.

"Yeah, that. I feel like I haven't done anything."

"Babe, that's not true. You're the one who found us this great place to live, in the perfect location, and made sure it suited our needs. You oversaw all the security. You even managed to convince Eliot to move in."

An Eliot who was the happy King of his kitchen domain and would now defend that home to the death if necessary.


Hardison took a hand away from the controller long enough to pat her arm. "Trust me and stop worrying. Relax. You've earned it."

"Relax," she muttered, heaving herself up off the couch to make another circuit around the room.


Back in the kitchen, Eliot was now putting the veal into the oven.

"I feel like I haven't contributed anything," Parker blurted.

Eliot pulled a beer out of the fridge, opened it, and took a swig before answering. "You can set the table," he offered. "And of course, the clean-up is yours and Hardison's," he added with an amused smirk.

Parker cast a look over the mess of meal prep, but started pulling plates and utensils out of their cupboards. "How sad is it that I'm actually happy about that?" she said, primarily to herself.

Eliot set down the bottle, walked over to her, and took her by the shoulders. "It's all good," he told her. "Better than good. You gave us a home. You're our glue," he acknowledged in a rare admission. "You're everything we need you to be." He gave her a brief gentle kiss, then returned to his beer.

Parker smiled to herself as she set the table. Maybe there were other ways to contribute after all.


The idea came to Parker a few days later, but it was another week before she could set it up. Saturday night proved a perfect time for the reveal. Everyone was full from another gourmet meal, and Eliot had even been coaxed into pulling out the guitar and singing a few songs. Then, as the last notes faded, Parker sat up from her place at Hardison's side.

"I have a surprise," she announced.

"What surprise?" Eliot asked, sharing an alarmed look with Hardison.

"Well, I kept thinking about something that could contribute. And I finally figured it out."

"Told you it wasn't necessary," Eliot protested.

"But I wanted to," she told them as she took Hardison's hand and tugged him up from the couch. She pulled him along with her, grabbing Eliot's hand as well. "Come see!"

Parker led them into the bedroom alcove, where they saw the new addition she'd put in. A set of climbing ropes hung down from the beams high above the floor, fitted with swing-like harnesses.

They were directly over the bed.

Parker smiled in self-satisfaction as her boys took in the new addition.

"Um.. that's…." Hardison swallowed, his fear of heights warring with the possibilities in his mind.

Eliot had no such issue. He nodded. "I can work with this," he told them with a suggestive wink.

"Alec?" Parker asked as they both waited for his pronouncement.

"I got a feeling I might just get over my fear of heights after all."

"Amen, brother."

The three of them would battle and conquer their fears, together.