Peter's surprised to hear the television when he walks into the house after midnight; El's usually pretty religious about getting enough sleep. Probably how she manages to be such a ball of energy most of the time.
He heads into the den, and she's on the couch, asleep in the glow of the tv, with the evening news burbling away. And Neal's asleep next to her, slumped with his head against her shoulder.
Peter snorts out a laugh, picks the remote up from the coffee table and clicks the news off. Neal shifts, slumps over further, turns his head into El's neck, and…Peter just stands there for a moment, transfixed, remote forgotten in his hand, because Neal's lips are parted against El's skin, Neal's breath is shifting her hair.
He finally makes himself move, grabs Neal's shoulder and shakes it, a little more roughly than he normally would.
"Gunf?" Neal says into El's shoulder, and then blinks awake.
"Time to go home, Neal," Peter says.
El loves it when Peter fucks her like this. Well, she loves it when they fuck pretty much any way. (Okay, except for reverse cowgirl. They tried that for about three minutes once, and something about the angle just hurts.)
A lot of times she's very, very active in bed. Which is great. But once in a while…like this, when she's still half-asleep, when Peter is gently arranging her and she just feels warm and limp and loved…it's a wonderful change-up.
"Mmmm," she says as Peter nuzzles into her neck. He seems to spend an awful lot of time on just one spot, licking and sucking, and after that goes on for a long time she wakes up a little bit more, because this is odd.
"Peter," she says, and he immediately dives for a nipple, which, hmmm, is a distraction technique.
It's a very good distraction technique, followed by others that are even more effective, so it's quite a while before she falls back, sweaty and sated, and remembers that, hey, something is going on here.
"What?" she says.
"What, what?" he says, and ohhh yeah, something is going on.
Neal's chopping tomatoes for a salad and Peter's—Neal's not sure what Peter is doing. Opening and closing the refrigerator, picking up a stack of napkins and putting it back down, starting to walk out of the kitchen and turning to walk back in.
"What?" Neal finally says, and Peter groans and puts his face in his hands.
"There was something…a few weeks ago…and I keep thinking about it…and El said I had to talk to you."
Neal goes on full alert, tensed and waiting for something seriously bad, which means that on the outside he's completely relaxed, languid even, slouching against the kitchen counter. He's been perfectly well behaved lately, not even a hint of criminality, so what the hell.
Peter lowers his hands enough to look at Neal and then raises them again.
"Peter, come on, you're scaring me here," Neal says, giving up on looking relaxed. He stands up all the way, but keeps his weight on the balls of his feet, ready to cut either way instantly if something's wrong enough that he needs to run. Jesus, he hopes he doesn't need to run.
"You remember that night, middle of the Hegelmeyer case, I was late on a stakeout and you and El were here?"
"Hey, we were working!" Neal says. "Okay, we had a glass of wine or two, but we were trying to figure out what caterers Hegelmeyer might have used, so we could think out an undercover angle, and our brains got tired so we flipped on the news for just a minute, and—"
Neal stops and looks at Peter some more because—he's not getting this right, this can't be just Peter bitching at him for not working hard enough; Peter knows better, and he looks too freaked out for that to be the problem anyway. That would be minor grousing that Peter would launch right into with relish, not something El would have to talk him into bringing up.
Neal closes his eyes and tries hard to remember the specifics of that evening. He fell asleep, right, and then Peter shook him awake and sent him home, a little more grouchily than usual. Huh. Why..oh.
"I fell asleep on El, right? Jesus, Peter, you didn't think—come on. You know we weren't doing anything. Come on. Not that she's not beautiful, I mean, just—you know we weren't."
"I know," Peter says, but he still looks miserable. "I know. You are both good people. Both good, beautiful people. Which is kind of the problem."
"Why is it a problem if we're—wait, did you just call me—"
And then Neal shuts up, because Peter reaches out and puts his hand on Neal's face, runs his thumb across Neal's bottom lip.
"Your mouth was against her neck," Peter says, "and it was open and you two looked so good together, so good."
Neal struggles very hard not to lick, to suck, because that can't be what Peter means. Can it?
"I'm bi, did you know that?" he blurts.
Peter keeps stroking his lip, but he grins. "Neal. I know what fabric blend you prefer in your socks. Of course I knew that, idiot."
"I thought—" Neal gives in a little bit, just runs the tip of his tongue across Peter's thumb, and Peter gasps.
"I thought I knew you pretty well too," Neal says, and Peter laughs, said, "I didn't know this either. Is this…the three of us…is this okay?"
"Jesus, yes," Neal says, and his knees go wobbly, he thinks he might actually fall over, but then Peter gets an arm around him and Neal is not going to fall over at all because that would keep him from getting upstairs, and he is very interested in getting upstairs really, really fast.
When they get to the bedroom Peter taps on the door in shave and a haircut rhythm, and Neal grins at him and adds the two bits taps, and El opens the door and smiles at them both.
She's in a nightgown. A very low-cut, very hot nightgown.
"Looks like somebody was assuming that would go well," Peter says, and El says, "I had hopes."
And Neal can't wait any longer for something he hadn't even known he was waiting for. He steps up to El, puts his parted lips softly against her neck and looks at Peter.
Peter's flushed and smiling. He steps closer and gets one hand in Neal's hair, one hand in El's, and moves to kiss the other side of El's neck while his fingertips stroke against Neal's scalp.
"So, you wanna watch the two of us sleep?" Neal says, because he can't let this go without at least a little teasing.
"Nobody's getting any sleep tonight," Peter growls, and Neal can't manage any response except a moan.