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Penny travels right into the hallway outside Julia’s apartment because fuck walking up all of those stairs like some kind of muggle, and that’s when he hears it. At first, he only notices the bass from the loud music coming from Eliot and Margo’s apartment. Some kind of boho indie crap he would only listen to if held at gunpoint. They aren’t the quietest neighbors, which he knows from the time he’s spent in Julia’s apartment, so it’s not that much of a shock. However, it’s not just his ears he’s able to hear with thanks to his psychic abilities. That’s why he hears something else, right in his head, as if he’s standing right next to him.

“Eliot, oh god, El”

Quentin. Penny is going to murder him.

“Don’t stop, right there! Eliot!”

Penny is going to murder him slowly.

He turns on his heels and flings the front door open, letting it hit the opposite wall. The door to Eliot’s bedroom is shut, but the voices and the music fall silent so he knows they heard him.

He yells into the quiet apartment, “Fix your damn wards, Coldwater!”

Without waiting for a response, he turns to leave. However, because his day can’t get any worse, the bedroom door opens and a half dressed, very disheveled Quentin and Eliot stumble out towards him.

“Wait, Penny! Oh god, I um--” Quentin is rambling, and Penny really doesn’t care what point he’s trying to reach.

Eliot places a hand on Quentin’s shoulder and steps in front of him. He gives Penny a steady look, seemingly unbothered by the whole situation.

“Look, Penny,” he starts, “I’ll help Q fix his wards.”

“Thank you,” Penny grumbles.

“If,” Eliot continues. Penny rolls his eyes. Of course there’s an ‘if.’ “If you don’t tell anyone else about this. It’s not that we’re trying to keep it a secret, but you know how everyone can be. We’re just waiting for the right time to tell them.”

“Dude,” Penny says, “I don’t know how to tell you how much I truly do not care.”

Quentin looks at him with those pleading puppy dog eyes that probably gets him his way with everyone else and takes a step forward. He says, “Please, Penny, just don’t tell anyone yet.”

“Whatever,” Penny agrees. “Just fix your wards.”

He walks out of the apartment without waiting for an answer and pulls the door shut behind him with a flick of his fingers. He takes the two steps across the hall, opens the door to see Julia sitting at the kitchen table, and asks, “Since when is Coldwater fucking Eliot?”

 

~~~

 

Julia has to take a minute to collect herself and reach for a napkin to clean up the coffee she just spilled all over her chin because, “What the hell, Penny?!”

Penny just shrugs and plops down in the chair across from her. After she’s settled herself and placed the half empty cup a safe distance away, she gives him an exasperated look.

“What are you talking about?” she asks, again.

“Seriously, you don’t know?” he asks. “They weren’t exactly being quiet when I walked by just now.”

Julia felt like she was maybe having some kind of weird fever dream because nothing Penny was saying was making any sense. She laughs a little at him and clears her throat.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she says, “Q is out with some college friends. If Eliot has someone over, it’s probably one of his Grindr hookups because Margo is in Fillory for the weekend with Fen.”

Penny gives her a wry smirk and says, “Oh, trust me. It was Quentin. He and Eliot practically begged me not to tell anyone.”

Okay, so that was a lot to process. She was a little hurt that Quentin would lie to her about where he was, but then she started thinking about it. All the times Quentin and Eliot had said they were going to run errands or do laundry or work on a spell over the past few weeks. Oh, those little shits. She grins at Penny.

“We can have some fun with this,” she says.

“No,” Penny says.

He points a finger in her direction with a stern look on his face, which honestly only makes her smile grow wider. He continues, “You’re going to keep your mouth shut because I don’t want to think about this again for the rest of my life, and Coldwater may be weak, but I don’t want Eliot coming for my shit.”

“Oh, don’t worry about Eliot,” she says. “This is between me and Q.”

Penny rolls his eyes and sighs. She was going to win this one, and they both knew it.

It took her a few days to figure out what to do with the newly discovered information because she had to be smart about it. If she let on too much, Quentin would figure out she knew, and where was the fun in that? She kept her mouth shut while Quentin kept making excuses to go across the hall and Eliot kept showing up at their apartment unannounced. It was surprising that she hadn’t figured it out sooner honestly, but the two of them had always been close. She just hadn’t realized how close they’d become.

She was genuinely happy for both of them. Quentin had been in love with Eliot for years, and she’d been trying to get him to do something about it for months. How dare he keep it from her now when things were getting interesting? It was her best friend duty to never let him live it down. She just wasn’t sure what her plan was yet.

Then, in the only way it really could have, it happened.

 

~~~

 

Margo is trudging her way up to their third floor walk-up. She has to fix that portal because what was the point of a magical portal between worlds when it dumped her outside their apartment building instead of in their actual apartment? She’d had a good visit with Fen and stopped a talking raccoon uprising, which was a pretty successful weekend by Fillory standards. Now, she was just exhausted and could not wait to get herself a glass of wine and enjoy a nice bubble bath for the rest of the night. That’s her plan at least, until she hears something that stops her in her tracks before she turns the corner on the last flight of stairs.

“Eliot, stop!” Quentin shrieks. “Julia and Penny are home!”

She presses herself against the wall and peeks around the corner just enough to see Eliot crowding Quentin against the wall in the hallway. He’s got his arms wrapped around his waist and one hand firmly planted on Quentin’s ass. He leans down and kisses Quentin’s neck, and Margo has to cover her mouth so that she doesn’t audibly gasp.

“Margo won’t be back until later tonight, so we could take this to my place,” Eliot says.

Quentin doesn’t answer, but he does push Eliot backwards until they land against her and Eliot’s apartment door. Margo watches as Eliot opens the door without ever taking his hands off Quentin, and then it shuts behind them. Those little fuckers. Not that she wasn’t happy Eliot had pulled his head out of his ass, but how dare he not tell her! She was supposed to be his best friend, and best friends told each other when they were hooking up with their other best friends.

She may have been mad at Eliot, but she wasn’t a cockblock. So instead of barging in on them, she walks right into Julia and Quentin’s apartment without knocking. Julia and Penny barely even turn their heads from where they’re curled up on the couch watching a movie because all of them are just that used to each other coming and going. She marches right over to them and drops her purse on the coffee table.

“I just ran into Eliot and Q outside,” she says, testing the waters.

Julia gives Penny a knowing look, and Penny sighs. Okay, so they definitely know something then.

She continues, “I’m team Queliot here or whatever, but I propose we have some fun before we let these idiots know their gig is up.”

“I was thinking the same thing,” Julia says, a grin forming on her face.

“Excellent,” Margo smiles, “Now I’ve got a plan, but I need accomplices.”

“Nope,” Penny says. “I am not getting involved in this.”

“Fine,” Margo says. “Julia and I can handle it.”

“Why don’t we just tell them you know?” Penny argues. “It’s not really a big secret anymore if we all know.”

“Because,” Julia says, “we may know, but they don’t know that we know. That means we can mess with them for not telling us.”

“Exactly,” Margo nods approvingly.

“This is a bad idea,” Penny warns.

Margo pats him on the head, making him swat her hand away and Julia laugh.

“Don’t you worry your pretty little head,” Margo says. “We’re just going to make them squirm a little bit.”

 

~~~

 

It’s a few days later when Quentin is in the library at Brakebills looking for a book Kady had asked them to make copies of for her. They had all technically graduated by now and had alumni keys except for Kady, who was still expelled. Quentin and Julia helped her out with her hedge safehouse when she asked, and that was what had brought them all back to their magical alma mater today.

Eliot was busy in Fillory for the afternoon, but Margo, Julia, and Penny had come along with him. The three of them were acting weird. He had half a mind to ask why they’d even come in the first place if they were just going to sit there at a table with their heads pressed together gossiping instead of helping. He shakes his head though and lets it go. The sooner he finds this book, the sooner they can leave and get back to his and Julia’s Game of Thrones marathon. He’s thumbing through the titles on the bookshelf a few feet away when Margo approaches him.

“Hey, hot stuff,” she says. “Any luck?”

He gives her a questioning side eye but doesn’t ask about the nickname. It’s not that unusual for her to pick on him.

“Uh, not really,” he admits. “It’s got to be somewhere in this section though.”

“Hm,” she says, then she trails her delicate fingers up Quentin’s arm. Okay, now he’s questioning this. She continues, “I’m sure you’ll figure it out. You’re such a capable man, after all.”

“Uh,” he laughs and tucks his hair behind his ear. He says, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

She smiles.

“Oh, just that you and that big,” she drags out the word with a pointed look down his body before continuing, “brain of yours always seem to find a way.”

“Okay, you’re being really weird,” he says accusingly.

Margo laughs and looks down at her feet.

“I’m sorry,” she says, “I think I’m just feeling a little lonely with Fen all the way in Fillory, and when you have a connection like you and I do, it’s just easy to ...oh, nevermind. I shouldn’t be telling you this.”

“You can tell me anything, Margo,” Quentin promises. “You know that.”

She looks up at him through her lashes and seems to consider him for a moment. Then she steps closer to him and reaches her hand out to slowly trace her fingers down his spine. He gulps, and she stops right above the top of his jeans.

She leans forward and whispers in his ear, “I hardly think here with all these people is the best time to do this. If you really want to continue this discussion, you have my number.”

He furrows his brow as she steps back and winks at him.

“Just something to think about,” she says, then walks back over to the table where Penny and Julia are still sitting with their faces buried behind some books.

What the actual fuck, Quentin thinks.

Later that night, after Eliot gets back and Quentin gives him a truly spectacular welcome home, they’re laying in his bed. Penny and Julia went out for the evening to see some show she’d been begging him to take her to, so they have Quentin’s place to themselves. That wasn’t an opportunity they could let go to waste.

Eliot is leaned back against the pillows with Quentin settled on his chest. Quentin has been mindlessly running his fingers through Eliot’s chest hair, just enjoying the closeness. He always craves cuddles and attention after sex, and Eliot was never one to turn him down. Now that his mind is a little less preoccupied, he’s thinking about what happened earlier with Margo though. It must show too, because Eliot asks, “What are you thinking about so hard, baby?”

He presses his hand flat against Eliot’s chest and reaches up to peck his lips, pulling away with a soft little smile.

“Margo said something weird earlier in the library,” he says.

“Hm,” Eliot hums. “Margo says a lot of weird things, so you’re going to have to be more specific.”

Quentin laughs and says, “I think she was trying to hit on me?”

Eliot sputters out a laugh then. He says, “Okay, that is weird.”

“What, you don’t think Margo would want to hit on me?” he asks. “She was being pretty blunt about it. It was like she was trying to get me to be her booty call or something.”

Eliot smiles kindly at him and says, “You’re adorable, Q, but you’re not exactly Bambi’s type. I’m sure you just misunderstood her.”

“Maybe,” Quentin agrees, “but I’m telling you, she was practically groping me. It was weird.”

Eliot runs his hands up and down Quentin’s back, making him shiver. He says, “Don’t worry about it, Q. It’s Margo. I doubt she meant anything by it.”

“You’re probably right,” Quentin says.

He lays his head back down on Eliot’s chest and lets himself be lulled to sleep by the sound of his heart beating away.

 

~~~

 

The next day, the gang is gathered in Eliot and Margo’s apartment. Penny had kicked Julia and Quentin out because he needed to meditate before he astral projected to help Kady with whatever hedge crisis she had going on. They’d stopped asking why he didn’t just go to his own place to do that a long time ago.

Eliot is in the kitchen preparing cocktails, because he’s a good host, when he sees something out of the corner of his eye. He keeps his back turned but subtly glances at the mirror overhead to watch as Margo approaches Quentin at the kitchen island.

Quentin is bent over digging through his bag for something, and Margo not so subtly reaches out and smacks his ass. Eliot almost drops the glass in his hand but just barely recovers. He watches as she leans forward to whisper something into Quentin’s ear, and Quentin’s face turns bright red. Quentin gives her a bewildered look as she makes her way back to her bedroom and closes the door.

Quentin’s eyes dart up to Eliot, and he rushes around the kitchen island to get to his side.

“Did you see that?” he hisses.

Eliot finishes the cocktail with a few drops of lime. He sets it to the side before leaning against the counter to face Quentin.

“Actually, I did,” he says.

Something isn’t adding up here. Sure, Quentin is definitely hot, but there’s no way Margo would try anything with him. Not when she knew how Eliot felt about him. That’s when it hits him.

“Oh, that bitch,” he says.

He’s grinning now, and Quentin is still giving him a confused look.

“She knows,” Eliot explains.

“What?” Quentin asks, clearly not caught up to his revelation.

“She knows about us,” Eliot says, “and she’s messing with us because I haven’t told her.”

“You think so?” Quentin asks, and Eliot nods. Quentin pushes, “She could actually just want to sleep with me, you know. She said she hasn’t stopped thinking about me since that night first year, and oh my god, she knows.”

Eliot grins as Quentin finally gets around to the conclusion he’d reached. He lifts his hand to quickly brush some of Quentin’s hair back behind his ear. Julia was still busy in the living room, but he doesn’t dare lean forward to kiss him just yet. Instead, he says, “We need to go talk to Penny.”

He grabs Quentin’s hand and drags him to the door. Quentin just barely has time to yell over his shoulder, “Be right back!”

Eliot bursts through the door with Quentin in tow and walks right up to where Penny is sitting on the window seat. Penny doesn’t open his eyes, so Eliot snaps his fingers in his face. Penny opens one eye then and scowls.

“What do you want?” he asks.

“Margo knows about us,” Eliot accuses.

Penny sighs and rolls his eyes.

“They’re nosy,” he says. “You had to know they’d figure it out.”

Quentin sputters, “They?! Who’s they?”

Penny looks a little cagey then, and Eliot isn’t in the mood for games. He asks, “Who else knows, Penny?”

Penny mumbles, “Julia and Margo.”

“You told Julia?!” Quentin shouts.

Penny just shrugs, which Eliot thinks is awfully brave of him to do when Eliot is towering over him and contemplating the many ways he knows to murder someone.

“Look at it this way,” Penny says. “They both know now, so there’s no need for all the secrecy. Just tell them you know that they know, and I can finally stop being in the middle of this damn soap opera."

“Unless,” Quentin says.

Eliot turns to look at him, and he feels a grin tugging at his mouth when he sees Quentin’s wheels turning.

“No,” Penny warns. “No ‘unless.’ This ends now.”

“We could mess with them,” Quentin says, ignoring him.

Eliot smiles. He knew his time cultivating Quentin’s dark side would pay off, and that devious little smirk on his face was the best thing Eliot had seen all day.

“They don’t know that we know that they know,” Eliot says.

“Exactly,” Quentin agrees.

“Oh, we are going to get them so good,” Eliot says, his voice full of glee. Then he turns to Penny and adds, “And Penny, if you tell them we know, I’m going to cut off your dick.”

Penny just groans as Eliot drags Quentin back across the hall.

 

~~~

 

Margo is sitting on Julia’s sofa the next day, flipping through a magazine and pretending she doesn’t know that Quentin and Eliot are together next door. She was still playing it cool and letting Eliot have his fun. Besides, she’d already planted the seed with little baby Q. She had to let him freak out a little bit before she made her next move.

Then her phone rings. She looks down and sees Quentin’s name on the caller id. Well, maybe this was going to be easier than she’d thought. She turns the phone around to show Penny and Julia before swiping to answer. Julia was clapping her hands excitedly, and Penny just shook his head.

“Hello Q,” she says, a smile loud and clear in her voice. “To what do I owe this pleasure?”

“Well, I’ve been thinking about what you said the other day, uh, in the library,” he says.

Okay, wait. This wasn’t how this was supposed to go. She was nothing if not cool under pressure though, so she’d play along.

“What about it?” she asks.

Quentin says, “Maybe I’d like to continue that discussion. If you know what I mean. It’s just, I can’t stop thinking about you.”

“What,” she deadpans. So much for cool under pressure.

“Yeah,” Quentin continues, “Julia is going to be out tonight, so I thought maybe you might want to come over? Unless I’m reading things wrong here.”

She shoots a worried glance toward Julia, who mouths ‘what’ at her. She motions toward the phone frantically before setting it down on the table and putting it on speaker.

“Uh, no, you’re not reading things wrong,” she says. “I’d love to come over tonight.”

Julia slaps her hand over her mouth, and Margo widens her eyes at her.

“Great, I’ll get some wine, and I’ll see you at 8,” Quentin says.

“Okay,” Margo says. She clears her throat and tries to regain some composure. She says, “See you then, hot stuff.”

The line cuts off then, and she and Julia both fly out of their seats.

“What the fuck was that!” Margo yells.

“I don’t know!” Julia agrees. “I can’t believe he would do that to El--”

Then they both stop. They look at each other. Then they look at Penny.

Margo leans forward, placing her hands on her knees as if she is speaking to a child.

“Penny, do they know that we know?” she asks.

Penny doesn’t answer. He just gives them a miserable look.

Julia steps up to Margo’s side and crosses her arms. She asks, “Well?”

Penny throws his hands in the air and grumbles, “They know that you know.”

“I knew it!” Margo shrieks.

Julia laughs and says, “Oh, they really want to play this game then.”

Margo can feel a new plan forming, and she grins. She turns to Julia and says, “They don’t know that we know they know we know.”

“Whatever you’re thinking, please don’t,” Penny begs.

Margo grins.

“Cancel your plans tonight, you two, because we have a date to get ready for. Coldwater isn’t going to know what hit him.”

 

~~~

 

Across the hall, Eliot and Quentin are high fiving and laughing hysterically as Quentin hangs up the phone.

“That was perfect,” Eliot says.

Quentin grins. He’s pretty proud of himself for not cracking when Eliot was next to him biting his tongue the whole time to keep from laughing.

“Okay, so now what?” Quentin asks.

“Now let’s go make them squirm,” Eliot says.

They make their way across the hall, and Eliot stops him before he opens the door. He runs his fingers through Quentin’s hair, messing it up a bit.

“We’ve been alone in the apartment for like half an hour. They definitely think we’ve been having sex,” Eliot explains.

“Remind me again why we haven’t been having sex?” Quentin challenges.

Eliot pats him on the butt and grins.

“We have plenty of time for that,” he says, “but getting revenge on our best friends is the priority right now.”

Quentin just rolls his eyes and laughs as he enters the apartment.

Julia looks up to smile and wave at them, and Quentin nods at her. He and Eliot stop in the kitchen. Penny seems intent on not acknowledging their presence, and that’s probably for the best. So, they hang back and watch.

Julia and Margo are sitting close on the couch with their heads bent together.

“They’re freaking out,” Quentin muses.

“Oh yeah,” Eliot agrees. “Poor little Bambi never saw this plot twist coming.”

“Surely they’re planning on backing out now,” Quentin says.

Margo stands up then and starts walking towards them. Eliot raises his eyebrows at Quentin and nods. He walks away a few paces, giving them space. Margo walks right up to Quentin. He doesn’t back away and tries to give her what he hopes is a convincing smile.

“So, Q,” she purrs. “I’m looking forward to our date tonight.”

He shoots a quick glance at Eliot, who he can tell is listening.

“Really?” he asks.

“Oh yeah,” she says. “I’ve been wanting this for ages, so I’ve got all sorts of plans for you.”

“Uh, great,” Quentin says. “Guess I’ll see you later then.”

Margo smiles at him and says, “Guess you will.”

She winks at him before leaving the apartment.

Eliot rushes back over to his side then, and Quentin whispers, “What the fuck, El? She’s not backing down!”

Eliot looks thoughtful for a moment before smiling and wrapping his arms around Quentin.

“If she wants a date, we’ll give her a date,” he says.

“Eliot, I don’t know,” Quentin starts.

“I’ll be over a little before 8 with a bottle of wine,” Eliot says. “Just trust me.”

Quentin supposes he doesn’t have any other choice.

 

~~~

 

“Okay, it’s go time,” Margo says a little before 8.

She’s hiding out in her apartment with Julia and Penny while Eliot is most definitely across the hall with Quentin, despite saying he was going out tonight. Let it be known that Margo does not do anything halfway. She’s dressed in her tightest fire engine red dress. It shows off her assets extremely well, if she says so herself.

“I can’t believe you’re going through with this,” Penny says. “What are you going to do if he doesn’t back down?”

He’s given up his pretense of being over the whole thing by now, and he actually looks interested as he sits on top of their countertop swinging his feet. She grins at him.

“Oh, we aren’t the ones backing down tonight,” she promises.

 

~~~

 

Across the hall, Quentin is panicking.

“What am I going to do, El?” he asks. “How far am I supposed to go with her?”

Eliot places his hands on Quentin’s shoulders and looks him dead in the eyes. He says, “Q, I don’t care if she wants to suck your dick. You are not backing down.”

Quentin’s eyes go wide, and Eliot rolls his eyes.

“Don’t worry, she’ll give up way before you do,” he promises.

Quentin runs his fingers through his hair and says, “I hope so.”

Eliot immediately reaches out and fixes his hair for him. He’d spent a good 15 minutes earlier making sure it was just so. Quentin’s hair was the least of his concerns at that moment though.

“You just need to be your cute little self when she gets here,” Eliot reassures him. “I’ll be in the bathroom if you need backup.”

They glance at the clock, and it’s exactly 8. Eliot does a quick spell to turn on some low music from the bluetooth speaker. He twists his fingers again, and Quentin watches as two wine glasses fill up with the expensive wine he’d brought.

“Show off,” Quentin mutters.

Eliot grins at him and leans in to kiss him on the cheek. Then there’s a knock on the door.

“Okay, show time. You got this,” Eliot says.

He disappears into the bathroom and pulls the door closed behind him. Quentin takes a deep breath before stepping forward to open the door.

 

~~~

 

Margo has her hand pressed against the doorframe in an exaggerated sexy way when Quentin answers.

“Hey, Margo,” he says, a cute little grin plastered on his face.

His hair is pushed back in a perfectly messy on purpose look, and he’s got tight black jeans and a fitted navy blue button up on with the sleeves expertly rolled up to his forearms. Props to Eliot, because he did a fantastic job dressing him. She doesn’t miss the way he gets distracted by her tight dress.

“Hey, Q,” she says, giving him her winning smile. “Can I come in?”

“Yeah, of course,” he motions her inside.

She spares a glance to her right where Julia is hiding around the corner and sees Julia give her a thumbs up. She grins at her before stepping through the doorway.

“Wow, you really went all out,” she says as she appraises the apartment.

The lights are dimmed, and there’s soft music playing at the perfect volume to not drown out their conversation. She knows it’s Eliot’s playlist because she knows Eliot like the back of her hand. He’s bringing his A game, and so is she.

Quentin walks over to the table and picks up the wine glasses that are already perfectly symmetrically poured. Another point for Eliot. He hands one to her, and she smiles as she takes a sip. Quentin takes a lot more than a sip though. He’s practically downing his like a shot, and she has to try not to laugh. This is going to be a piece of cake.

“So, Q, I was surprised you called,” she starts.

He clears his throat and says, “Yeah, uh, I was surprised you offered. When a beautiful girl like you flirts with a guy like me, who am I to say no though?”

“Hm,” she agrees. She takes a step closer. “Well now you’ve got me here. What do you want to do with me?”

His eyes dart towards the bathroom, and she grins. Bingo. That’s where Eliot’s hiding then.

“That depends,” Quentin says. “What do you want me to do with you?”

She sets down her wine glass and confidently walks right up to him. He gulps. She places her hands on his hips and says, “I want you to have sex with me, Quentin.”

She bites down a laugh at how big his eyes get. It’s a testament to her strong will that she doesn’t move or lose it in the time it takes for him to back out of her arms.

“Well, I should probably, uh, get some condoms then,” he says. “They’re just in the bathroom. I’ll be right back.”

He practically runs to the bathroom and slams the door behind him. She makes a beeline for the front door and flings it open. Julia nearly falls over where she had her ear pressed up against it.

“He’s not backing down!” Margo hisses. “He went to get condoms!”

Julia’s eyes get wide, and she says, “Well shit, they’re bolder than I thought.”

Penny walks out of Margo’s apartment then and rolls his eyes. He asks, “Aren’t you guys done with this yet?”

“No,” Margo says, “because they won’t back down! I think I might actually have to have sex with him.”

“Please, Coldwater wouldn’t dare,” Penny scoffs. He snaps his fingers, and Margo’s top three buttons come undone. She gasps at him.

“What did you do that for?” she asks.

Penny shrugs. He says, “Show him your bra. He’s scared of bras, can’t work ‘em.”

Julia hides a laugh behind her hand at that, and even Penny cracks a smile. Fine, Margo could work with that.

 

~~~

 

As soon as Quentin shuts the door behind him, he starts hyperventilating.

“What? What is it?” Eliot asks.

“She’s not backing down! She wants to have sex!” Quentin whisper shouts. “I told her I was getting condoms.”

Eliot’s eyebrows nearly shoot up to his hairline and he nods. He says, “Damn, she’s good.”

Quentin gives him an exasperated look.

“What do I do?!” he asks.

Eliot turns and digs through Quentin’s bathroom drawers until he pulls out a box of condoms. He takes out a handful and shoves them into Quentin’s hands.

“You go back out there and you seduce her until she cracks,” Eliot instructs him.

Quentin whines at him, “El, I’m tired of this. Can’t we just tell her?”

“No,” Eliot says, pointing a finger in his face. “We do not negotiate with terrorists.”

“Fine,” Quentin says.

Eliot opens the door telekinetically and shoves Quentin out of it. He stumbles out into the living room just in time to see Margo hurriedly closing the front door.

“Oh, leaving so soon?” he asks.

She turns around, and he has to take a moment because holy fuck her entire chest is hanging out, bra included.

“Just ran across the hall to freshen up,” she assures him.

“Hm, of course,” he says. “Well, uh, you look great.”

“Thanks,” she says.

Neither of them says anything for a minute, and he dares to hope this might be when she cracks. No luck though because she stalks toward him then not unlike a predator coming for its prey. He only has a second to guess what’s coming before she throws herself into his arms.

The condoms fall to the floor, and he barely catches her thighs without falling over as she wraps her legs around his waist. She tips his head up by his chin and starts kissing him. Passionately. There’s a moment where he’s not sure what he should do and starts kissing back. Then he thinks of Eliot behind the bathroom door, and the last thing he wants is for this to go any further with Margo.

“Okay, stop! You win!” he yells.

He pushes her off of him, and she goes easily. She lands on her feet and looks up at him with a knowing grin.

“What’s wrong, Q?” she asks, her voice dripping with faux innocence.

He takes a step back away from her and says, “I can’t have sex with you.”

“And why not?” she drawls.

“Because I’m in love with Eliot!” he exclaims.

Margo gasps. She says, “You’re what?!”

The bathroom door bangs open. He turns his head to see Eliot walking towards him. He’s got a bright smile on his face, and Quentin smiles back.

“You love me?” Eliot asks, his voice full of disbelief.

Quentin reaches out his arms and wraps them around Eliot’s waist when he gets close enough.

“Yeah, baby, I love you,” he says.

Eliot presses his forehead against Quentin’s and says, “I love you too, Q.”

The front door opens then, and Julia and Penny tumble through it.

Quentin leans up on his tiptoes to press a kiss to Eliot’s lips. Everyone awws around them, and Eliot pulls away with a laugh.

“Well, fuck,” Margo says. “I just thought you guys were banging. I didn’t know you were in love!”

“Surprise,” Quentin says through his smile, his arms still wrapped around Eliot.

“Why didn’t you tell us instead of making us do all this?” Julia asks.

Eliot smiles down at him before looking back to their friends. He says, “We were going to tell you soon, but then Penny couldn’t keep his mouth shut, and you know I’m not one to back away from a challenge.”

Margo steps forward then with a smile and says, “Well, you were a formidable competitor.”

Eliot shakes her hand as they both laugh.

“Hey, I was the one who almost had sex with you,” Quentin argues.

She pats him on the cheek and says, “You did good too, Q.”

Penny turns to go back to Margo and Eliot’s apartment then and says, “Thank god this is over. None of you better ever pull this shit again.”

They all four burst out laughing at that, and Quentin hides his face in Eliot’s side. Knowing them, this wouldn’t be the last of the shenanigans to come.