Quentin woke up to bright sunshine hitting his face. He could hear laughter from downstairs, realized Eliot must have made food again, really hoping it was breakfast. Eliot did that a lot, cook for the crew, after sneaking out of the school to exotic food markets in New York, selling ingredients Quentins never even heard of in his life, but tasted like heaven on his tongue.
Most of the time it was dinner, sometimes lunch or brunch, but maybe this was an exception, maybe this time it was breakfast. It had to be. Quentin searched though the bed, looking for his phone, looking up the time. It was 1pm. Lunch then, not breakfast.
Quentin groaned. He had not participated in any of the usual friday night Cottage activities, the day before. He had wanted to get up early on saturday and get some things done for class, instead he had slept for 14 consecutive hours, and he knew what that most likely meant for him. Looking around the room, he tried to find the power to get out of bed, but his chest felt to heavy. He tried to distract himself with listening to some music, but felt tears in his eyes, just seconds after he freed his headphones of their knots, put them in his ears and pressed play.
He tried to steady his breath, started thinking of his friends downstairs.
“Pasta? How do you always know what I`m craving?“, Margo turned to Eliot, looking absolutly delighted. Eliot smiled, it was always good to keep his Bambi calm and happy. He had actually planned to do something more extravagant, like pastry chicken bundles or steamed mussels, but sometimes classic Spaghetti Napoli were enough. Maybe he had also made some buffalo mozarella plates with croatian Prsut he had found in a little mediterranian store, but he had thrown a party the day before and he was exhausted.
“Wow Eliot this tastes so great! Are you italian or something?“
“Yes, Todd. He is italian, didn`t you know?“
Margo could be an asshole sometimes but her little games were too much fun to not join in. Even Alice was having a hard time not bursting into laughter after Todd started trying to impress Eliot with his language skills.
“Where`s Quentin?“. She asked.
“Probably still asleep.“
“You should get him. He loves it when you cook.“
She was right. There was someone missing at that table.
Quentin had given the distractions up. His head was buried in a pillow, he was curled up in a ball and couldn`t stop crying. The sounds of his friends` discussions made their way up to his room. It sounded like they were in a great mood. Quentin was aware he could be a part of that, that he could wipe the tears from his face and just walk down, grab some food, defeat his loneliness, but he just couldn`t no matter how much he wanted to, his body had shut off.
And there wasn`t even a reason to it. He had no fucking reason to feel sad. His life was amazing. Magic was real and it had chosen him, while Julia had to fight with all she had to just get a little scrap of the power that was handed to him, just like that. And that wasn`t all of it, no on top of that for some reason the literal coolest people Quentin had ever heard of adopted him into their little group. They had no reason to do that, no reason to befriend the depressed nerd, but they did and they were /great friends. He knew Margo and Eliot made fun of him sometimes and Alice could be distant and cold, but even through his anxiety he was aware of how much they cared for him.
So why couldn`t he just be happy? Why did he have to be this fucking disaster of a person?
“Q?“, it was Eliot. He didn`t manage to stop crying. He didn`t even manage to look up. Maybe Eliot would realise what a mess he was, hopefully he would leave him alone. First there was nothing, then a dip in his mattress and a warm hand above his hip.
“Q, if you need space I`ll leave but if I can help you in any way...“, Q shook his head quickly, regaining the strentgh to do at least so much. He didn`t want Eliot to leave, he didn`t know how he could help, he just wanted him there, but he didn`t want him to see him like this. His whole mind was just screaming no to everything to his whole existence to-
“I am here.“ Quentin could feel Eliots fingers hesitantly curling up. Eliot was never hesitant. He took a deep breath.
“I am okay. I am sorry. Nothing is wrong I swear, I swear I`m okay.“ Quentin tried to get up. He couldn`t not notice the tears falling from his face onto the pillow.
“You know I went out into the city yesterday right? I got you something. Don`t be mad.“ A quick movement of his hand and there was a bottle of pills Eliot handed over to Quentin.
“I saw an empty bottle of these in your room. I noticed you weren`t very well and I thought- just in case-“,
“Thank you.“ Quentin finally got up. “It really wasn`t your place to do that. I don`t know if I can start taking them again. I don`t think I wanna know how you got them. But thank you.“
He leaned his head against his friend shoulder. Eliots arms wrapped around him, holding him tight. He could feel lips brushing against his forehead and buried himself deeper into his friends arms.
“Looks like someone has kissed sleeping beauty awake!“, Margo and Eliot exchanged a look. Quentin felt himself smiling from ear to ear.
“Il cibo è delizioso!“
Quentin laughed, grabbing himself a plate. He had no clue what was happening with Todd and Margo but the food really looked amazing. He had to moan after he took the first bite.
“Fuck, El you are a genius.“
“I know.“ There was a reassuring grip on Quentins hand. He had been right. His life was amazing.
“You are getting married.“
“I- uh... wow.“
“Yeah.“ Eliot paused, looking down. “You know what?“
“I really thought it would be you. When he talked about the true king of Fillory or whatever he said, i thought it /has to be Quentin. I mean I was high as fuck but still. And I wasn`t even happy for you. I felt guilty because that was probably your fantasy ever since you were a little child, I do now too. But I couldn`t do that. Be happy for you. I didn`t want Fillory to take you away from me, Q. Not you too.“
“I thought it would be me, too, if I am being honest. I hoped it would be me. I didn`t even think about you at the time I just thought this is it. This is my destiny.“
“I know you didn`t think about me. You didn`t care ever since you and little miss perfect became a thing. Oh wait maybe you did, for a couple hours during which I was completly passed out drunk until I felt your and Margos hands on my body. But hey you didn`t seem to have any trouble denying that and blaming me after she found out. It`s not like I am hitting rock bottom, it`s not like you exactly know how that looks like, how that feels, except you do. You just didn`t think about me.“
“Eliot that`s not fair.“ Suddenly everything felt heavy again. His throat tightened, his whole buddy felt weak, he wanted to throw up. He really hadn`t thought. He had had Alice and somehow he had stopped caring for the boy who had held him through whole nights when he had felt like this. He remembered curling up against him through countless of those nights, and then suddenly stopping. Remembered being totally fucked up by the emotion bottles and the wine, remembered making out with Margo, both of them wanting their friend to join them, trying to wake him up. Looking deep into his disorientated confused eyes, kissing him deeply, crawling into his lap, Eliots hand in his neck, kissing down Eliot`s body trying to make him moan, later moaning in return... he remembered curling up into his arms. He remembered the shock he felt the morning after, the anger at Eliot, at himself but also at this way to beautiful boy taunting him.
“Life`s not fair. Deal“
The awful feeling somehow got even worse. Quentin felt like he was on fire. Eliot didn`t notice. He got up.
“i`m sorry El. I`m so fucking sorry. But I can`t do this.“
Quentin turned around and started walking away, not knowing where he was going just trying to get /away from Eliot, from his feelings, but he couldn`t. He broke down after a couple of minutes. Not long after he could feel this damn boys body wrapping around him again.
“I`m sorry, Q. That wasn`t okay. I`m sorry.“
How could Eliot be like that? Forgive him after all he´d done, even apologizing. He didn`t deserve it.
“No, don`t be. You are right. You are so right.“
He pushed himself against Eliot, trying to reach his face, why was this boy so fucking tall, he wanted to feel his lips again, his entire body, he wanted him so much, because he knew he didn`t deserve it, but he also knew-
“It`s the last chance we have.“
“Q, you don`t have to do this, I`m not mad, I-“
“I want to, El, I want you so much, I want to do it right. This is the last chance to do it right. Let`s do it right.“
And even in the worst moment of his life, after killing the girl he loved to protect his friends, Eliot was holding him, trying to calm him down.
“You have to stop Quentin. You have to stop.“
He had spent way to many nights in bed with Eliot after that happened. It wasn`t as easy as it was back in Brakebills, not with the oath Eliot had to give, but innocent touches were okay and thankfully Fen was very understanding.
He was in Eliots arms, too, when the other girl he loved died.
“I miss her too, Q. I miss her,too.“
This time it wasn`t just him curled up in the embrace. Eliot held him tight on one side and their son on the other.
“We all miss her.“
The mosaic could wait. They had realised it already, that there was no going back for them. This was their life now and they had their whole life left to complete the riddle, but not now. Now was the time to let their little family heal.
“How could you do this?! Why didn`t you just let me go though with this?!“
“You know why. I told you why, back on our first day in Fillory. I can`t lose you.“
“You will lose me. We will lose each other, will lose everyone, even the memories of each other. The loss couldn`t be bigger“
“That`s not gonna happen! You know I will find you, that I will always find you no matter what.“
Eliot wrapped his arms tightly around Quentin. He could feel his tears against his neck.
“I told you remember? In Brakebills, when they first wanted to wipe your memory off me. I am going to find you and I am going to seduce you and we will have a great and glamorous life together. You just have to trust me okay?“
There was some laughter through the tears. They stayed like that, in their tight embrace, until they got seperated.
“Quentin. I found you.“
They were in bed together. Days ago he had been abducted by this- by this strange man, but the man wasn`t strange,was he? That`s why Brian, no not Brian, why Quentin crawled into his bed in the dark of night. Maybe it was Stockholm Syndrome? But Brian knew, he /knew this was not a stranger, not really, when he called him Quentin it felt /right, magic felt right, being with, with- him. It felt somewhat right, but it felt very very wrong at the same time. Quentins head was a mess, Brians? He wasn`t sure anymore.
“Wake up, not Brian. We have planned a busy day.“, that voice, that fucking monotone voice, it wasn`t right, the way he talked wasn`t right the way he-
He murdered in cold blood. Open throats, open ribcage, torn off heads, so much blood spilling, spilling everywhere... Brian had told himself he didn`t struggle because if he did, he would join the pile of broken bodies beneath his feet, but Quentin knew that wasn`t all of it, he wanted to be there, he wanted to be with him, to do what he said, to be taken care of by him.
Maybe he will stop the murder, will stop hurting people, if Quentin`s just good enough for him.
He- who was he even, the name Eliot fell in their conversation and it felt /right but not completly right, no, there were so many names, Ora, Monster... weird memories in Brians mind, panic in Quentins, when he had asked, it just said “I`m me.“, he couldn`t care less what Quentin called him as long as he was pliant. He called him Eliot most of the time but it /stung so he had started avoiding names. His name hurt, too, made him dizzy.
Everything was a game for this, for Eliot? He didn`t seem to care about any of his kills, except for a little glee he felt, like a little child seeing a rainbow, but he seemed to care for Quentin and maybe /maybe if he got Eliot attached enought to him, maybe he would stop the killing for him. Maybe they could play another game.
It was strange how this- Eliot wasn`t pushing himself on him. He had thought that was what was going to happen, with all the orders, with some of the touches, the way he spoke. Sometimes Quentin wanted him to, wanted him to go farther then ordering him to eat, and sit and trail after him like a shadow, wanted his hands all over him, being pushed against a wall, a mattress, to his knees, he felt that shiver almost everytime he got close to him.
Gods, what was wrong with him? This guy had /kidnapped him, had taken his whole life away, had made him watch awful traumatizing things, things that would haunt him for the rest of his life, why did he want to please him?
He couldn`t stand the violence anymore, couldn`t stand all the blood and gore, all the horror. Eliot, no this monster, had told him how he wanted to kill all of Quentins friends. Brian didn`t know any of them, but he knew watching them die so painfully would hurt him, would break him.
There haven`t been any tears since the day in the bookshop, when he was taken, just shock and confusion and guilt and... something else. Lust? Love? Both? He didn`t understand himself anymore.
Now there were tears, heavy ragged breaths, a tightness, a weakness. Suddenly, he was on the floor, curled up, head buried in his knees, hands on his head, so many tears.
Of course he was there, he was always there, just watching him like a pet.
“You look pretty like this. You should do it more often.“
It was the first time in a while Quentin wanted to truly be left alone by him. There were memories, warm hands, warm arms, warm bodies curling around each other. Calm.
Now there was just cold. The monster didn`t know what cold even was, so the heating was never right and Brian never dared to say anything about it. Now the cold felt like it was slicing him up.
There was a hand raking through his hair.
“But it is a sign of sadness right? Do not be sad, not Brian. There is no reason. We are together.“
Quentin felt anything but calm. He needed something- someone, needed /Eliot whoever that was, he knew he needed him but somehow he knew he wasn`t there.
There was only the monster.