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It had been six months to the day since Eliot had been formally asked to leave Brakebills, and he could feel the surge of magic running through his fingertips. So many people getting spells ready to bring people to the grounds. For all these people they chose who could do magic in a way they could bend to fit how they saw it should work. Much like he had done for a year and a half before he just taught himself how to do it better. Less hand work and more intuition. Much like he had as a child.

Being able to move things with a simple flick of his wrist was so much easier for his body to do, and they had hated it. But they had still awarded him with Master status. It was what they did when someone reached the top of their field. But it didn’t stop them from asking him to leave when he started teaching his ways to others. All they did was pull them into a room and make them forget, but they couldn’t do it to him.

He had fought to hard to be himself and learn all he could for them to make him forget and give him another life, one where he wouldn’t be quite him. They had realised it very quickly and instead simply asked him to not meddle with the school or people currently enrolled. If he was sought out and was willing to teach they wouldn’t stop him. Although many who did find him left once they realised he was a hedge.

Eliot only wished that he had allowed Julia to write about how he preformed spells and how it could change everything about how magic was taught. But he also knew that could end up with her loosing something she felt was her life and was making her life more meaningful. No matter how impressed they were with her and what she could do, he knew changing anything would mean her loosing six months of her life to a crappy cover story and the world loosing what she would do in the future.

And Eliot was not that selfish.

So it was by not telling them about Julia that he found himself at a party, her birthday party. Which fell a day before the term started at Brakebills. It was fascinating to watch her, tucked under the arm of a guy who if it wasn’t for how much he liked Julia he was sure he would try to steal.

He sipped his overly sweet wine, knowing that while it was cheap and bad; Julia had made an effort for him. Her eyes big and wide, showing the bottle she had got. Apologising before he even took a drink of the ruby red that she didn’t know and the man in the store said it was a good wine for the price. And Elliot couldn’t help thinking she had been conned, but drank it none the less just because.

He let his eyes scan the room. He felt them catching on a few guys but dismissed them quickly. He saw the partial recognition in their eyes at who he was, he could practically feel their pulses speed up and the crackle of magic. It wasn’t something he was interested in anymore. Since leaving.

It was no longer about finding someone to warm his bed, that wouldn’t complain about how much he drank or what he had taken. They were simply interested in saying that they had been taken to bed by Eliot. Being able to say they had been chosen to share his night.

He turns a corner, just to look out the floor to ceiling window.

Lights are beaming through the night, and he wonders if they know how amazing this place is. Able to look out at the city loud and vibrant, feeling like they are ants in a great design doing small things that seem completely pointless, but may change lives of hundreds of others out there.

Its the sound of a body falling into a beanbag chair, that distracts him from his thoughts of the grander design of this whole place. And normally he wouldn’t hear it over the music, but Julia insisted on it not being to loud and the noise was not one he ever thought he would hear again. Although he didn’t turn, just watched and listened.

And he felt it. Eyes. Eyes dragging up his back. Resting on the wide spread of his shoulders, which was different. So he focused down onto the area they stare was coming from.

His fingers tightened round the steam of his wine glass. It was like burning pure magic was just radiating around him, with it’s hot white glow. Completely untouched by the grimy hands of forced learning, sure he could see cracks in it. Ones from spells he knew all to well. Ones made to make people forget they had ever stepped foot in Brakebills. Like a thin dark thread wrapped round holding the magic hidden and in place.

And thats when he sees him.

This man sat on the chair, solo cup in hand. Condensation running over his fingers, the anxious biting of a bottom lip and the bounce of a leg. He was beautiful. The magic he had was just adding to it. Everything inside of Eliot was screaming at him to get to know him, help him understand what that feeling inside him was. That feeling that something wasn’t right.

So Eliot did what he did best, he fixed a smile on his lips and made his way as if to pass by him. But stopped. He leant against the wooden post and looked down, he blinked quickly when he saw that he was also drinking that god awful wine Julia had bought. And by the looks of it enjoying it as much as Eliot was.

“Not a great one.” He said his usual drawl in place, “I am sure she got conned.” Eye dart up to him, to the glass in his hand, and then the the cup. A slight frown that soon clears as the realisation comes through.

And with the look he gets from this man, Eliot knows that he is a goner.

Soft eyes and even softer hair, have his stomach flip and his palms sweat a little. And he wished on everything he had a cigarette to calm himself with. But another one of Julias rules had him cursing her only a little.

“She tried this time.” Came the answer, “She at least got an alcoholic one this time.” A nervous smile came across his face as he spoke. But Eliot took a step back as he fumbled with his cup, trying to lift himself from his seat. He can’t even see his face, because he is a good head shorter than him and his long hair is covering his down turned face.

The words don’t even have time to be formed in his head before the guy is scurrying off further into the crowd of people milling around the apartment.

Blinking and looking to his wine glass, Eliot wondered what had just happened. He didn’t think he got a only into girls vibe from the guy and he had never had anyone say he wasn’t their type. But they guy had left after managing to make Eliot forget every last person he had ever had in his bed before. All by simply looking at him.

Julia caught his eye and waved him over. Her eyes were soft and knowing; how she always seemed to look, except for when she didn’t agree with the teachers. But it was so subtle if you didn’t know her you couldn’t tell the difference.

He moved and sat himself on the arm of the couch. She turned and looked up at him, her hand resting on the top of his thigh. “He was the one I told you about, Quentin.” She smiled, it was sad and tight, “I was so sure he would be there with me. He believes in magic so strongly, it’s part of him.” Her hand gripped his thigh, “He also won’t have realised you were flirting, he doesn’t see what we do.”

Eliot knew for a fact right then that Julia had been spending time with Margo. He missed her everyday, but knew that unlike him they way they taught her worked. He wished Margo had come tonight, but her infatuation with some boy who had rocked her world was keeping her.

“He will be out on the balcony.” She smirked up at him, “Barely room for two people.”

And there was that part that was almost pure Margo. Pressing a kiss to her forehead as he stood, leaving the wine glass on the table and patting down his pockets. He pulled a carton of cigarettes out, waving them to show he had a valid excuse for being out there. She tipped her head back and laughed, James looked at her then Eliot. He shook his head and went back to talking to Penny, both of their hands moving frantically and their eyes bright with the ability to talk about a shared interest.

Eliot moved through bodies. Most moving out of his way, some he had to brush wondering hands away and one ever took him quick flick of fingers to stumble slightly. It seemed like people were just trying to stop him from seeing Quentin, getting to know this completely enchanting man.

So he slid the door open to the balcony, which was more just a private fire escape, but he wasn’t complaining one bit. Not with how Quentin was sat, legs through the bars and just staring out at the city.

And with that Eliot said a prayer that his pants wouldn’t be ruined, and sat down next to him. He felt the slight catch in his breath as he feet dangled so far above ground, but still he placed a cigarette betweens his lips and forced himself to use his lighter for once. “So there’s a party in there, and yet your out here.” He breathes out a puff of smoke thinking about how fun it would be to make it float across the river.

He can feel Quentin’s eyes on him, so he holds out the packet and looks at him. He sees shaky fingers move, grasp one before he quickly lights it and takes a breath. “I can go.” Quentin says, softly as the smoke drifts from his lips. His thumb jerking towards the door.

“Why would you do that?” Eliot mutters, his eyes watching the blush drift over Quentin’s cheeks and down his neck. “I like the company and you seem like the good kind.” Licking his lips, he rolls his sleeves up and he sees a slight recognition on the tattoos that now adorn his arms. And it makes him intrigued. “I can cover them if…” But he doesn’t get to finish before Quentin frantically shakes his head and shouts “NO!”

Blinking he looks at Quentin, as his fingers trace the patterns now running up his arms. He had never liked the idea of the stars other hedges got, with the level they were at inside. It seemed all to vulgar and childish. So anyone in his so called Coven had sprawling vines, that curved and spoke to those that knew what they meant, where he had got the idea from.

“I’ve seen these before…” Quentin murmured, “…these exact ones.” Eyes locked on his and Eliot knew that Quentin knew who had these and where they were from.

But what he hadn’t expected was for his eyes to glaze slightly, for what get like needles to prick across his skin and the feeling of that black thread being cut. “Oh…I forgot…I forgot about magic.” The words were soft and yet angry. And he knew that something had made Quentin remember what must have been the best day on his life.

Hands pulled back and Quentin stubbed out the cigarette between his fingers. “Light this. Show me I’m not crazy.” And Eliot did. A snap of his fingers and it was once again lit. “Oh…can you show me?” Came the soft question and Eliot beamed.

So right then, in the cool summer night he sat with Quentin and went through a whole packet of cigarettes teaching him how to light them. Knowing with each passing second he was falling deeper and deeper.

——————

It’s over a year since that first night and they are sat, leaning against the bottom of Elliots bed. Mugs of wine on the floor at their feet and Eliot is helping conjure the newest tattoo onto Quentins skin. It comes to life across his collar bone and Eliot can feel his mouth dry, it took everything to not follow it with his tongue, but he had gotten the idea that Q just wasn’t interested in him that way.

He had dated a nice girl from the coven for a few months until she up and decided to return to Brakebills, saying that while it had been nice she wasn’t learning what she had hoped. And left. Never talking to any of them again. And that had also been the start of Eliot sleeping in Qs bed with him, holding him and telling him that it was her loss. Brushing his fingers through much longer hair, pressing his lips to his forehead as he felt him fall asleep on the pillow next to him.

And Eliot knew he was pinning but he couldn’t see it ending.

Laying back his shirt unbuttoned, he took a sip of his wine. It was good. It reminded him of meeting Q that first night, even if it wasn’t the same wine, the way he had first spoken to him and not knowing it would have him falling head over heals. But he wouldn’t change it.

It was quiet as it could be for New York, they were drinking and smiling.

Not a word being said.

“Hey?” It was soft even for Q.

So Eliot hummed a responce.

“Hey.” This one was more sure and a hand touched his forearm.

He turned and he was met with lips on his own. Which were gone much to fast and worried eyes looked up at him.

Eliot didn’t stop the smile forming on his lips or the way his hand curved round the base of Qs skull. He didn’t even care when he tipped the half full mug over, as he pulled their lips back together. It didn’t matter that it was all still mouths and teeth. It was a horrible second kiss, but it was theirs.

So he kissed Q like he had wanted to that first night. Lips moving, the smell and taste of wine mingling with the sound of clothes moving and skin brushing. It was everything. It was like they had been doing this for years, as if they had lived a whole life being like this. He listens as Qs breath gets caught in his throat as his bites on his lips and tugs at his hair.

Feels Q push up on his knees, lets a hand wrap round his waist and pull him into his lap. The weight oh Quentin finally on him, as everything rushing south and a grain falling from his lips. Hands tighten on the shoulders of his shirt and hips grind down against his. He broke the kiss to have Quentins mouth slip down to his neck, feeling the marks being formed there. Long sucks and bites were being marked around his neck. HIs hands were holding tightly to Qs ass and hip, pulling his body closer; but not letting it move.

He wants this.

Eliot forces Q up on his knees, pulling his pants down and his boxers to join at his knees. But doesn’t get any further, due to his eyes being dragged over to Quentin who is laying on his back dragging his clothes off. He locks eyes with him, watching as he moves again to straddle his naked thighs.

Mouths are on one another within a second, hands are dragging over skin and Elliot flicks his fingers. A bottle is in his hand in seconds and a drawer is strewn over the room.

But it doesn’t stop the whine from falling from Quentins lips. The way his hips jerk against Eliots. The fact Eliot can feel a damp spot forming on his shirt, from Qs cock against him as him wanting this to be done quicker and while he knows that he could make it happen. He can’t.

Fingers are slicked and mouths are frantic against each other, as Eliot finally starts to prepare Q. Feeling the heat of his body pulling his finger in, working his way inside Q and making him clutch roughly against his shoulders.

It takes time.

But then Eliot is there. He is looking up at Q. Watching his mouth open and close. Feeling Q rock his hips, feels him start to really move.

He hears them, the sound of skin against skin and the way Q throws his head back and moans. Not caring who can hear, his own hands are gripping so tight he hopes that Q has bruises on his hips from him, that in the morning he can lick and kiss. Ones he can touch in the days following that had Q shuddering and blushing at.

It’s just them, in a room being together and he knows the smell of any red wine will take him back here. Being inside Q and never feeling this happy. And he can hear how quiet Q gets, the tightness is unbearable.

So grabbing tightly, he rolls them. Q sprawled out on his back, the wine spill under his back and he grabs his thigh. Pulling it up and over his hip. Then loosing himself, his hips rushing and Qs back bowing up towards him. So that his hand slips under him and starts to help him pull Q down onto his cock. Nothing about it is sweet anymore they are both just rushing towards an end.

And when it hits, it feels like they are floating and there is a chance they are.

When Eliot finally regains his senses, his face is tucked into Qs neck and fingers a winding through his hair. “I’ve wanted this for too long.” He whispers.

A slight shove of his shoulder had him moving, he turned his head to look at Q. Who was smiling softly, his fingers reaching out to come through his hair again. Like he couldn’t help himself. And Eliot found the time to wiggle out of his pants and forced himself to stand.

Holding a hand out he pulled Q up and pushed him onto the bed. He shrugged his sweat damp shirt off and clambered into bed. Clicking his fingers the lights went out, only the gentle light from the kitchen shone through the double glass doors leading to Qs bedroom. He wrapped his arms tight round Q and smiled. This was worth pining over, even if it felt like he had lived this before.