Quentin looks up to find Julia leaning against the door of the bedroom she's claimed as her own. Her arms are crossed and she looks like she's fighting to keep annoyance off her face. She's failing, but it's clear she's trying.
"Yeah," he says, clearing his throat. He sighs and leans back into the couch cushions. The last week has been exhausting. "She left a little while ago. She's gone ."
Julia nods and pushes off the door frame, coming to join him on the couch. When she sits, it's with her legs tucked under her so she can sit facing him while resting her elbow on the back of the couch.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
Quentin laughs — a hollow, disingenuous sound, even to his own ears — and says, "Jesus. No. That's the absolute last thing I want to do."
"Okay." She bites her lip. "But you want to talk about something ." A statement, not a question.
Quentin glances at her, eyebrow raised. "Thought you couldn't feel people anymore?"
"I can't," she says. "Not everyone. Not like before I horcruxed. But it's you , Quentin. I've been able to feel you since we were kids. Since before magic was anything but a dream."
Quentin looks at her — really looks at her — and sees nothing but honest worry and compassion in her eyes. He feels guilty; she has so much on her plate already, trying to figure out what her current status as human or deity even is . He can't put this on her, not when she has more important things to think about.
"I'm fine," he says, giving her a false smile. "Just...drained."
"Bullshit." She says it lightly, without venom, but the look she gives him brooks no argument.
He opens his mouth, closes it, and scrubs a hand over his face. He doesn't even know where to begin .
When the silence drags on for too long, Julia puts a reassuring hand on his shoulder. "Q...at the park, when Eliot broke through...what was he talking about? Fifty years, proof of what concept? What does peaches and plums mean? It clearly meant something to you…"
Quentin stares down at his own lap and sighs, "Julia…"
"It's me, Q," Julia says gently. "You can't keep trying to carry all of our burdens. Let us help you carry some of yours."
The story spills out of him before he can stop it. He tells her everything — the mosaic, their son, their life … He tells her about growing old. Having grandkids. Burying Eliot in the garden and having to spend his remaining years alone save for sporadic visits from Teddy and the grandkids.
He tells her about the peaches and the plums. That first bite that brought fifty years worth of memories rushing back. The way the memories felt like confirmation of something he'd been thinking about already but was too afraid to ask for. Proof of concept.
And he tells her about rejection. About the second-guessing of his own memories that keeps him up at night. They'd been happy . He'd thought they'd been happy. He had been. Hadn't Eliot?
"So when he broke through," Julia says carefully, "what he said to you…"
"Yeah," Quentin answers. "And I don't— I guess it was just something only he and I would know, to prove it was really him."
"Or it could've been—" she starts.
"No," Quentin cuts her off. He's been delicately not thinking about that possibility since the moment Eliot shoved him to make his point. He can't think like that. It's not true and even if it were, it does him no good to think about it now, not when they might not be able to save him.
"Q...It sounded like…"
"I know," he says quietly, before he can think better of it. "I know what it sounded like."
She's quiet for a moment before she says, "So what are we going to do?"
"I don't know."
Julia takes Quentin's hand in both of hers. "We're going to save him," she says firmly. "We're going to put our brains together and we're going to rescue your prince from the dragon."
Laughter bursts out of him before he can think to stop it. Her encouraging smile feels like armor he wants to put on and never take off.
"I'm in love with him," he says helplessly. "And looking into his eyes and seeing that thing is killing me."
"I know," Julia answers. "I'm so sorry, Q."
She pulls him to her, letting his head rest against her shoulder. They fall asleep curled up together on the couch, just like that. It's the first time in weeks that Quentin manages an actually restful sleep.