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[personal profile] 51stcenturyfox
Title: Still Life
Rating: R(ish)
Pairing: Peter/El/Neal
Length: 700 (ficlet)
Summary: Neal paints Elizabeth
Notes: Whoever said watching paint dry was dull wasn't in this room on this afternoon.  Beta thanks to [livejournal.com profile] copperbadge  & [livejournal.com profile] neifile7 

A wash of warm gold from the western window glazed dark hair and bare shoulders, and Elizabeth squinted into the glare.

"Sun in your eyes, honey?" Peter asked. She nodded nearly imperceptibly and he moved in front of the window, blocking the early sunset and casting a long shadow onto the bed.

"'Scuse me, but I was using that light," Neal protested, meeting Peter's gaze. Peter offered El an apologetic look and moved out of the sunbeam. She groaned.

"Just close your eyes, baby," Neal directed. El shut them tight to bursts of carmine and ochre.

"What kind of paint is that?" Peter asked.

"Hm? Fast-drying acrylic. Perfect for making multiple copies in one evening if you... well, I wouldn't really need to do that for any particular reason, really." Neal coughed into his fist and El peeked, watched Peter put his hands on his hips. "See, the style I'm going for... I really should have gone with oil, but.." Neal trailed off and daubed at a tiny patch of white. "Come over here and take a look."

Peter moved next to Neal to survey his efforts. "Rosy cheeks."

"Tad too much vermilion. I got carried away."

"Impressionism, huh?"

"Renoir did do rosy cheeks," Neal said.

"But yeah. It's good. God, you are good."

Elizabeth laughed. "I want to see it!"

"Stop moving around," Neal chided. "And no, you can't see until it's finished, El."

"How long will that be? Do I have to lie here all night?"

"Impatient," Neal sighed. "You're always so impatient."

"She is. You are, honey," Peter said, as she shook her head. He reached into the bowl of grapes on the night table and tore one off the stem, popped it into his mouth. "Seeded."

"They taste better with seeds in them," El said, sliding her hand along the smooth white cotton of the sheet with an exaggerated stretch in his direction. "Can't reach, can't move. Feed me one?"

"Decadent," Peter pointed out, grinning. "This is a very decadent scene. Home before dark. Miles Davis on the stereo. Feeding my naked wife-"

"Nude," Neal intoned.

"-feeding my nude wife grapes as a master artist does his work."

"Her lover," Neal corrected.

"Our." Peter added.

"Oh no," El said. "That word."

"Lover?" Neal repeated.

"Yes." She waved her fingers in the air. "Not the sentiment, but the word itself. It's... I don't know, it's- It's cheesy. Oh! I forgot! There's cheese downstairs."

"Is there even a word for us?" Peter said with a laugh, shining a fat red grape with his fingers before offering it to Neal. "You. Bit me, conman."

"There are lots of words for us," Neal said. El watched out of the corner of her eye as Peter eyed his barely-wounded fingertips and Neal leaned in to give him a swift, apologetic kiss. "Mostly... French ones."

"There's French cheese downstairs," she hinted.

"Well, let's make it a picnic," Peter said, loosening his blue tie.

"Le déjeuner sur l'herbe," Neal agreed. "Manet."

"I'm not stripping down in Central Park," El warned.

"We could cordon part it off for FBI business," Peter pointed out as he unbuttoned his shirt and pulled it off his shoulders.

"But that would be against the law, wouldn't it?" Neal asked. "Abuse of power? That would be wrong, G-man."

"Don't call me that." Peter wagged a finger.

                                      "You love it," Neal said

                                                                     "But you love that!" El echoed.

Peter shook his head with a grin and Elizabeth heard the snick-slide of laces as he took off his shoes.

She watched in the mirror as Neal closed one eye and tilted his head, then stepped back. "I believe I am finished. Wait... let me...sign it," he muttered, then placed his brush on the nightstand.

"Movement? I can move!" El said gleefully. She shifted to sit up and Peter ran a finger along the edge of her back and over the curve of her hip, smearing a still-damp line of quick-drying pale blue acrylic onto unmarked flesh, making her shiver.

"So, artistic genius... how do you get acrylic paint off of skin, anyway?" Peter asked, quirking an eyebrow at Neal.

"Friction," Neal said, rolling Elizabeth over in one fast motion.

"New sheets!" El protested, even as she felt his breath at the juncture of her knee and thigh, moving upward, and her fingers made their way into his hair. She gasped.

"Worth it," Peter said, as he joined them.

Edouard Manet's Le déjeuner sur l'herbe
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