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rewriting the stars

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It’s been two weeks since they saved the world and restored magic. Two weeks since they did more than that; two weeks since they awoke magic in a way it hasn’t been awake before. Two weeks since Julia appeared in the nick of time to stop Alice from destroying the keys, since they opened the portal, since they bound the monster back in Blackspire.

And it’s been approximately eleven days since the partying started. Quentin’s not quite sure how many days he’s spent drinking, dancing and celebrating being alive. He’s not sure if he knows everyone who’s in the house but he’s fine with that. They’re safe and they’re alive and they’re together. Most importantly, together.

“There you are. I knew I could smell moping in the air.” Margo’s standing in his doorway, a shimmery red dress making her skin glow.

“I’m not moping,” Quentin denies. He puts the book he was reading on the nightstand.

“You’ve been moping since Julia appeared and sent Alice off on a quest. Missing your little girlfriend?” Margo raises her eyebrow at him.

“Alice isn’t my girlfriend - “

“Good, then I can fix whatever is wrong. Chop, chop. There’s a party downstairs that you need to attend.” She moves towards his closet, making a disgusted sound at the state of it.

Her dress is backless and even as mopey as Quentin is, he can appreciate the way it accentuates Margo’s figure. Her back looks soft and smooth and Quentin’s mind supplies the memory of how it felt under his hands and mouth when they slept together.

Margo turns back to him and catches him staring. A smirk crosses her lips.

“Be a good boy and put this on and maybe you’ll get lucky tonight.”

She throws a pair of skinny black jeans at him. Quentin flails to catch them but still ends up with a face full of denim. Quentin fights the urge to stick his tongue out at Margo when he hears her chuckle.

“This will do nicely.” Margo takes out a dark green henley out of his closet. He’s pretty sure it belonged to Penny. He’s a hundred percent sure it’s Penny’s because he remembers stealing it when he left their shared room, thinking it would make Penny miserable. Not his best moment.

Quentin takes his sweatpants off, leaving them in a pile on the floor. He puts on the skinny jeans, swearing under his breath when they get stuck halfway up his thighs. Margo sits down on his bed, her fingers caressing the soft henley.

“You never talked about the mosaic.”

Quentin freezes, his zip halfway done.

“Uh...”

Margo tilts her head to the side. “The letter didn’t say much. It did say that you guys were happy and had a family.”

Quentin closes his eyes against his-not-his memories of Teddy and Arielle and Eliot. He licks his lips, his mouth suddenly dry.

“We were happy,” he eventually manages to say.

Margo hands him the henley and he swaps it for his grubby t-shirt.

“Why aren’t you happy now?”

Quentin falls back on the bed, jostling Margo in the process. He shrugs.

“Not that easy.”

Margo bumps his shoulder.

“He’s never easy in the ways that matter.”

Quentin barks out a laugh, because isn’t that the truth?

“C’mon, Q, let’s find El,” Margo commands. She grabs his hand, leading the way down the stairs and through the crowd. Quentin feels like he’s hit by a wall of heat and sound, so he lets Margo lead, tightening his hold on her hand.

Margo waves at some people, tugging Quentin closer to her when she wants to share gossip about others, her breath hot against his ear as she recounts that time an alumni was found in the Dean’s office, drunk off his tits, magical graffiti on the wall proclaiming the Dean as the worst lay the alumni’s ever had and Q can’t hold his laughter in because it figures. Margo loops her arm around his waist and he returns the gesture, his fingers closing around the shoulder, his thumb stroking her skin.

“There he is!” Margo turns towards Eliot with that uncanny ability she has, knowing where he is before Quentin can even look around for him. They stumble to Eliot, who’s mixing drinks, a silver waistcoat over a floral shirt making him look debonair.

“Can I interest you in a Royal Fuck?” Eliot takes a dirty glass, puts it on the table where it magically gets cleaned.

“Always,” Margo drawls.

Eliot holds eye contact with her as he grabs a shot glass and fills it with Crown Royal and Sour Apple Pucker. Q licks his lips, entranced by the electricity sparking between Eliot and Margo. He would be lying if he sad he didn’t find them extremely hot whenever they did that – then again he finds them hot all the time. Eliot takes another glass, his heavy gaze moving on to Q, who feels it like a punch to the gut. He’s tried keeping his distance but when Eliot looks this good, when he’s looking at Q like that with that look in his eye. He’s allowed to find it hot, okay. Margo squeezes his hip hard, digging her nails in. He sucks his bottom lip in as Eliot mixes the shot, never looking away from Q as he prepares a third one.

It’s not as if everyone around them ceases to exist or anything. Q is aware of the noise of people and music, the humidity of so many bodies in one space, dancing, talking, drinking, fucking. He feels the bass thrum through the floor, feels Eliot’s eyes on him, Margo’s fingers on him and he tells himself it’s okay. This once. He’s going to do better tomorrow.

Eliot hands the shots to him and Margo, his skin warm and soft against Q’s. It’s too much for Q, all of a sudden, and he looks at Margo. Her heated gaze is on Eliot. He can still feel Eliot’s gaze on him.

They don’t say anything, bringing their shot glasses to their lips, downing them in one go. Quentin looks away from Margo’s full lips wrapped around the shot glass, catches the way Eliot’s throat moves as he swallows the alcohol and he knows, he knows how this will end. At least this time he won’t be cheating on anybody.

Eliot looks away from Quentin, fixes Margo with a smile. “Enjoying the party?”

“Mmm, everyone’s being boring. I’ve missed hanging out with you boys.” Margo leans closer to Q, her fingers finding their way underneath the waistband of his low slung jeans. Q twitches feebly as she drags her nails over the sensitive skin of his hipbones.

“Shall I make us Suck, Bang and Blow?” Eliot leans in close to them, booping her on the nose with his finger.

Quentin squirms against Margo, his mind flooding with memories – of the time the three of them fucked, of the countless times he and Eliot had sex back in Fillory – and bites back a moan. He puts the empty shot glass on the table, his fingers digging into Margo’s shoulder.

She smirks, her voice low and husky, “Now you’re talking.”

Eliot winks at Quentin, his eyelashes looking extra long against his eyes outlined in soft black kohl.

“Three Suck, Bang and Blows coming up.” Eliot’s hands are nearly a blur as he grabs his favourite drink shaker and starts pouring alcohol into it.

Quentin lets out a breath in a whoosh, disappointment flooding through him. Of course Eliot meant a stupid drink. Of course Q’s read too much into it.

Margo notices his reaction, turning her head to look at him fully. She takes his chin in her other hand and angles him for a kiss. Q hums, pressing closer to her, his tongue licking at the seam of her lips, his eyes slipping closed when he feels her tongue against his. Margo takes charge of the kiss, her hips pressed against his, her hand moving from his chin to comb through his hair, down the back of his head where she burrows her hand in his hair and tugs.

Q moans, not caring about anything but the feeling of Margo, her breasts soft against his chest, her hand tight in his hair. He lets his hand move from her shoulder down her back, dragging his thumb down her spine, over her tattoo, the jagged edges of his nail leaving a faint line behind. He lets his head fall back and opens his eyes, taking in Margo, her lipstick faded, her chest heaving slightly.

“You look so pretty like that, Q,” Margo declares. “Don’t you think so, El? Look at him. His eyes are so glossy, just from a few hair pulls, my lipstick all over his mouth...”

“Bambi.” Eliot bites out. “You promised to behave.”

Margo hums. Quentin doesn’t even try to figure out what’s happening, not when Margo is still carding her hand through his hair, pulling every so often. He can feel himself growing hard, can’t help the press of his hips against Margo’s.

“I guess I lied,” Margo drawls out.

“You need a drink,” Eliot says, thrusting two glasses towards Q and Margo. Q blinks, not wanting to move his hand from where it rests at the dip of Margo’s back, where he can feel sweat start to bead up. He looks away from Margo, from the self-satisfied smile and that approving look in her eye, the one that makes him want to sit at her feet, content to have her play with him any way she wants. He looks at Eliot who’s studiously not looking at him.

Oh. Margo has a plan. Q is happy to go with any of Margo’s plans; he has a feeling that however this one turns out, he will be happy.

He takes the glass from Eliot, brings it to his lips and tips his head back and downs the drink in a few deep pulls. Margo’s hand moves from the back of his head to trace the column of his throat, her thumb resting against his Adam’s apple, following it as it bobs up and down. Q feels hot – the alcohol burning down his throat has nothing to do with it.

“Christ.”

He can swear he hears Eliot speak but when he looks at him, Eliot’s drinking his cocktail.

“Good boy,” Margo praises him. She takes her drink from Eliot. “Why don’t we sit down? El, you too.”

“Margo...”

Q follows. Eliot resists.

“Don’t get your panties in a twist, were just going to sit and sip the delicious drink you made. Nothing you don’t want will happen.” Margo shrugs her shoulders. “Your virtue is safe.”

Margo shoos two freshmen from the couch with a flick of her wrist. She pushes Quentin down by the arm of the couch and sits in the middle, patting the empty seat on her other side. “See, El? No temptation. Besides me, of course. But you never have to resist me.”

The smile Eliot plasters on his face is more like a grimace, that one he wears when he’s around people he doesn’t like. Still, he sits next to Margo, his thigh pressed against hers, leaving space between him and the couch’s other arm. Q lets the alcohol do its job, sprawling against his bit of the couch, his limbs loose, his left hand reaching to trace patterns on Margo’s bare back. That dress really is something. Q’s seen Margo in royal finery, in latest fashion, in nothing at all, but he thinks this dress is his favourite look yet, the way her hair cascades down her back, tickling his fingers. He imagines her hair against his skin, imagines Margo teasing him, braced above him riding him hard, leaning just far away that he can’t kiss her, the ends of her hair setting his skin on fire with the sensation. He wouldn’t be able to reach up to kiss her, not with Eliot holding him by his shoulders, telling him to be a good boy, to let Margo take her pleasure.

“Alright there, Q?” Margo leans into him, turned towards him slightly, a knowing smile on her lips.

“Ye- yeah, I’m fine.” He stutters, his throat dry as a desert.

Margo runs her fingers from his knee, down and inside his thigh, Q doesn’t even pretend he’s not straining to feel more of her touch. Margo’s hand in so close to the crease of his thigh, he can’t help but suck his lip in when she pushes her sharp nails against him, sharp even through the rough denim he’s wearing.

“Water. We all need water.” Q can hear Eliot say. He looks at him, but Eliot is already out of his seat, walking towards the kitchen.

“It’s alright, baby. He’s coming back. He won’t want to miss this,” Margo consoles him, leaning in to kiss him again, an open-mouthed kiss that makes Q moan. “Fuck, I forgot how needy you are. Not my usual, but then again it’s you.”

Q decides that it’s time for his comprehension skills to take a holiday. He runs his hand up Margo’s back, to her neck, carding his fingers in her hair and brings her down for another kiss. He remembers the way Margo kissed him the first time, the way she took charge and just let him be, let him experience – he’s thought about it countless times since.

“I need you to concentrate for a minute, Q.” Margo says after breaking the kiss; she takes his face between her hands and looks him in the eye until he wants to squirm, this time because it’s so uncomfortable. “I’m going to use a truth spell on you and Eliot because if I have to spend another day around a mopey El, I will kill him myself.”

That brings him crashing back from sensory high. “A truth spell?”

Margo waves her hand. “Magical version of fuck, marry, kill, all it will do is make you answer truthfully, then it wears off.”

“Are you sure...”

“Of course I’m sure. You better appreciate this because I went to the fucking library for it.”

“Water!” Eliot announces, his voice loud over the music and clamour as he comes close to them, carrying three glasses. He looks between Margo and Q and puts the glasses on the table with more force than necessary.

Margo’s still looking at Q, so he nods. “Yes. Uh, water, yes, good idea.”

“Glad to see someone’s still thinking with their brain,” Eliot says and pushes a glass of water towards Q.

Q takes it and nearly loses his grip when Margo elbows him and turns her eyes towards Eliot and then the water.

Oh, right. The spell.

Q reaches over the couch for Eliot’s – anything, really, aiming for his hair but ending up with a handful of Eliot’s ear. He’s not sure what to say, only he knows he has to have Eliot’s undivided attention for – a second, twenty, tops, hopefully.

“You should get your ears pierced, Eliot! They’re so pretty! You could wear Margo’s hoops -”

“Jesus, Q, you’re drunk.” Eliot tries to free himself from Q’s fingers, but Q tugs on his ear instead, pinching the lobe.

“No, really, you could get it pierced here, or,” he traces the shell of Eliot’s ear with the tips of his fingers until he’s got the cartilage in his grip, “or here, like a pirate! You already dress like a pirate! Oh, you could wear Margo’s eye patch! And we could get you a parrot, like cancer puppy...”

Margo leans back, trapping Q’s arm against the couch, giving Eliot a chance to escape.

“Okay, mister, you need to drink some water, Eliot is right.”

Quentin takes the glass of water Margo hands him and brings it to his lips. Margo winks at him before turning to Eliot.

“You should get your ears pierced, you know.”

Eliot rolls his eyes at her, his fingers tracing patterns in the condensation on the glass. Margo sips her water and lets silence settle between then – or rather, lets the music and chatter settle between them, waiting just long enough to make her next sentence believable.

“Let’s play Fuck, Marry, Kill.”

“What are we, twelve?” Eliot pursues his lips in a frown.

“C’mon, El, it’s just some fun! Or I could make out with Quentin again...”

The look Eliot sends Margo is extremely unimpressed – Q remembers that look from their life in Fillory, and their first big fight after Q asked Arielle out. He takes a long sip of water, shuddering at how cold it is.

“Fine, do your worst, Bambi.”

“Fuck, marry, kill... Mayakovsky -” Eliot groans, “me and... Quentin.”

“Fuck you, marry Quentin, kill Mayakovsky,” Eliot’s reply is so instant that he looks startled.

Margo hums, taps her pointer finger against her lip before smirking and turning to Quentin.

“Same question, honey. Fuck, marry, kill, Mayakovsky, Eliot and me.”

“Fuck you, marry Eliot, kill Mayakovsky. That guy’s a dick.” He adds the last words under his breath.

Margo puts her glass on the coffee table and throws her arms around Q’s and Eliot’s shoulders. “Well, gentlemen, it’s a limited time offer.”

“Offer?” Q asks stupidly.

“For you to fuck me,” she explains, her voice smug. She runs her hand up Q’s neck into his hair, scratching his scalp. “What do you say?”

“I’d rather you fucked me,” Quentin replies and has the rare victory of making Margo’s breath stutter.

“That can be arranged, baby. What about you, El? Care to join? Or watch?”

“No, thanks. I need more drinks.” Eliot extracts himself from Margo’s hold and stands up. Q feels it like a punch to the gut and has to stop himself from instinctively curling up.

“Suit yourself.” Margo shrugs and gets up, too, tugging Quentin up. “We’ll be in your bedroom. Your bed’s better for tying Q up.”

Quentin lets Margo lead him to Eliot’s bedroom and tells himself that it’s the next best thing to having Eliot there. At least they’ll be in his bed, surrounded by his scent. He carefully doesn’t acknowledge how much of a sad idiot it makes him.

Margo doesn’t say anything until they’re in Eliot’s bedroom, where she pulls Q into her arms, tugging his head against her neck, her fingers scratching gently at the back of his neck, half comforting, half arousing.

“I know him, Q, he won’t be able to resist. Let’s give him a show he’ll want to be a part of, hmm?”

Q nods against her neck. He presses his lips against her pulse, nibbling her skin when she sighs. He feels her hand slide back into his hair, her nails scratching against his scalp before she gathers a fistful of his hair and pulls hard enough to tug his head away from her throat. Q moans, his head falling back. Margo puts her other hand on his shoulder and pushes down.

“On your knees.”

He drops to the floor hard enough to feel the jarring sensation in his knees; it only adds to his arousal. It’s been building since he saw Margo in her dress, since he caught a glimpse of Eliot in his ridiculous silk waistcoat, since Margo put her hands on him. Her fingers are still tangled in his hair and she pulls him towards her.

“You’re going to eat me out against the wall. I’m going to come all over your face and then I’m going to peg you.”

Quentin’s eyes open at that and he looks up at her, the way her breasts are heaving, her lipstick smeared around her mouth, her hair mussed from where he had his hands in it. She looks breathtaking and Quentin would do anything she asked of him, now or any other time.

“Yes, please,” he says against her stomach, her silk dress caressing his oversensitive lips.

“Stay on your knees,” she orders and tugs him towards the wall opposite the entrance door, which was left wide open. Q follows, as always.

Margo leans against the wall, her legs splayed apart. Q runs his hand from her feet up to her thighs, feeling the faint stubble of hair growing back. He leans in to lick a stripe up her thigh, his hands bunching the skirt of her dress up her hips, and his breath comes out on a long-drawn moan when he sees she’s not wearing any underwear.

He doesn’t waste any time, shouldering Margo’s legs further apart, and buries his face in her neatly trimmed pubic hair. He remembers this, remembers the sweetsalty scent of her. He’s suddenly desperate to taste it again. Margo hooks her leg over his shoulder, giving him better access. He uses one of his hands to spread her open, the other steadying her by the ass, his little finger resting against her cleft.

He licks her from her slit to the top of her clit, his tongue broad, filling with the taste of her slick. She’s wet already and Quentin’s only too happy to nuzzle his face against her, smearing her over his face.

“Q,” Margo tugs his hair.

He laps her clit with the tip of his tongue, switching to circling it, which earns a breathy moan and her hips moving against his face. He continues to circle her clit. He smells the salt of her slick all over her, her flesh growing warmer and warmer against his face and he’s suddenly hit with a memory of doing this before, of the way she guided him and gave him instruction. He slides one of his fingers inside her, his cock stiffening up at the feeling of wethotsilk surrounding his digit. He adds another finger, Margo grunting at the slight stretch, adjusting around him. He crooks his fingers inside her, feeling the silky plush of her inner walls. With the tip of his tongue he draws shapes, his fingers moving in and out steadily, taping against her g spot with every slide. Margo’s breathy moans above him keep him grounded, spit and slick mixing on his face.

“More to the front,” she instructs, her hips riding his face faster.

He turns his hand slightly, keeping up the tapping rhythm of his fingers, licking at her, his head moving up and down, the motion pressing his tongue harder against her.

“Fuck, Q, you look good on your knees.” Q hums at the praise, his lips closing around her slit to suck lightly, his tongue lapping. He moves his hand faster, hearing the squelch of her slick as it drips out. “Doesn’t he, El?”

Q moans, imagining the scene from where Eliot stands, Q on his knees, his head burrowed between Margo’s thighs, the sounds and scent of sex filling the room, the way Margo looks when she’s close. He can hear the door closing and then Eliot’s footsteps coming closer.

“Kiss me.” Margo demands.

Quentin undulates his tongue against Margo’s clit, pushing his face against her more firmly. He feels Eliot crowd close behind him. He can feel the outline of Eliot’s cock against the back of his head and it’s hotter than he expected. His wrist feels like it’s going to cramp any moment now but he doesn’t want to disappoint Margo. He speeds his fingers up and moans when Eliot presses into him, his body covering Q’s as he kisses Margo, whose hips ride Q’s face in earnest. The hand in his hair tightens and he feels Margo spasm around him, her walls clenching and releasing rapidly, her clit throbbing against his tongue. Eliot kisses the moans right out of her throat, crowding in closer, until Q can barely breathe. He keeps his fingers moving inside Margo’s pussy, licking at her folds. Margo pushes him away and he comes up for air, looking up at her and Eliot, as they exchange kiss full of teeth and bites.

Q nuzzles Eliot’s hard cock with the back of his head, wishing he could go down on him right there and then. He wants to taste the both of them at the back of his throat, that he could be covered in their scent as he comes.

Eliot pulls away from the kiss, his thumb wiping away a smudge of Margo’s lipstick from her cheek. Margo looks down at Quentin, carding her fingers through his hair. “Good boy. I want you to suck El while I fuck you. Would you like that?”

Quentin’s trapped in her gaze, unable to look away, unable to say anything but the truth. “Yes, god, yes, please -”

Margo turns his head gently with the hand on his cheek. She extricates herself from Quentin’s grasp and pushes both him and Eliot towards the bed before disappearing in the direction of Eliot’s closet.

“Get comfortable.”

Eliot’s eyes catch Quentin’s as he walks backwards to the bed. Q fights hard not to drop his gaze and follows Eliot, still on his knees. The way Eliot looks at him becomes hotter. Q pitches forward eagerly, mouthing at the outlines of Eliot’s cock through his trousers, smearing them with Margo’s slick. He steadies himself with his hands on Eliot’s thighs, losing himself in the feeling of cotton against his lips.

“Fuck, Q,” Eliot rasps out. “Wait, lemme just - “

He pushes Q’s head away and undoes his trousers, letting them fall around his ankles, together with his boxers.

“Are you sure you want this, baby?” Eliot presses his hand to Q’s cheek. Quentin nods, eager and desperate.

Eliot sits back on the bed, his legs spread apart and gestures Q back. Q doesn’t have to be told twice. He nuzzles El’s thigh, mouthing at the silky hair, his hands settling in the vee of Eliot’s hips. He covers his teeth with his lips, El steadying his hard cock with his hand and Q just – he just goes for it, letting Eliot’s cock fill his mouth, taking him as deep as possible, until he can feel the head of Eliot’s cock at the back of his throat. He gags.

“You don’t have to choke yourself on my dick, Jesus.” Eliot takes him by his hair and hauls him off his cock. His hands are trembling.

Quentin gasps for air, and bites back a whine.

“Let him. If he wants to choke on your cock then why not?” Margo’s voice sounds from behind him; Quentin couldn’t agree more.

“Bambi.” The nickname is sharp in the air.

“I want to,” Quentin gasps out. “I want to choke on your dick.”

Eliot’s hand in his hair tightens to the point of painful. Quentin closes his eyes and moans, his hips humping the empty air in front of him. “Please,” he whines.

“Christ.” Eliot swears, his head falling forward, still keeping Quentin away from his cock.

“Do you want him to beg, El?” Margo comes up behind Quentin. “I’m sure he wouldn’t mind. Would you, Q? Do you want to beg El to let you suck him dry?”

Quentin nods because yes, yes he does. He’s missed Eliot’s cock, the way it fills his mouth, the way it smells, the way it stretches his cheek when he tongues the head, the way it feels in his hand, hot and heavy.

“Please, El,” Quentin croaks out. “Please let me suck you. I missed it.”

“Aw, he’s missed your cock, El. How can you say no to that?” Margo teases, leaning her hands on Quentin’s shoulders. “If he’s missed your cock as much as he’s missed my vulva, you’re in for one hell of a ride.”

Eliot makes a broken sound and hauls Quentin closer to him, pulling him up, until he can kiss him. Quentin licks at the seam of Eliot’s lips, shivering at the feeling of Eliot’s tongue stroking his own. Margo pets his hair, Eliot fills his senses with his scent and taste and Quentin’s in heaven.

He pulls away from the kiss, intent on going down on Eliot, because the only thing better than kissing Eliot is blowing him. Q opens his mouth, taking Eliot’s cock in as deep as he can, breathing through the gagging sensation. His hands move to Eliot’s hips, squeezing them, urging El to move. He does, small jerky movements that make the head of his cock hit the back of Q’s throat until he shifts and moans and El’s cock slides down his throat.

“Fuck, Q, fuck,” Eliot stills in Q’s mouth, his body taut with tension.

Q feels Margo kneel behind him, and reach over around him to undo his jeans, pushing them and his underwear down his thighs.

Quentin lets out a moan, Margo’s lubbed up finger circling his perineum, once, twice, before pushing in gently, just the tip of the finger and back out. Q moves his hips back against her finger, letting her know it’s okay.

“Don’t you think he looks delicious, El? His lips red from my lipstick, my come on his face, the way he fought to swallow you down... And he’s so eager for me to fuck him, he’s pushing against my finger already.” Margo’s voice sounds like molten silk, low and slightly hoarse, her breathing slightly laboured.

“Shit, Margo, don’t, I’ll come,” Eliot warns her, his fingers tightening in Quentin’s hair. Quentin cants his hips so that Margo’s finger slides in deeper, stretching him slightly.

It sounds like heaven to Quentin, who takes in a deep breath and swallows around Eliot’s cock, straining to bury his face in Eliot’s pubic hair.

Eliot lets out a broken moan, his hips stuttering sharply and Quentin can feel him coming at the back of his throat. He swallows, his lips tight around the base of Eliot’s cock. Margo’s working her finger into him, first knuckle, then the second, petting his lower back.

“Good boy,” Margo praises him.

Quentin whimpers, which makes Eliot moan, his cock softening in Quentin’s mouth. Quentin pulls back slowly, his eyes opening to take in the sight in front of him. Eliot’s holding himself up with one hand behind his back, the other one still in Quentin’s hair. His shirt is rucked up, exposing his stomach, his chest heaving. There’s a thin sheen of sweat on his face and his lips look red – from Margo’s lipstick, from where El bit them to keep himself quiet.

Quentin pulls off Eliot’s cock, but not before swirling his tongue around the head for the last time. He coughs once his mouth is empty, swallowing a few big gulps of air. Margo takes that moment to start sliding a second hinger into him. Quentin’s head falls into Eliot’s lap, his hips moving in tandem with Margo’s fingers.

As much as I’m enjoying the view, I’m not going to fuck you here, Q. I hate carpet burn on my knees.”
“Please, Margo,” he whines.

“Get on the bed.” She orders him and Quentin groans as she pulls her fingers out.

Eliot grabs the bottom of Q’s henley and pulls it over his head. He tugs Quentin up and around, until it’s Q who’s sitting on the bed and Eliot’s kneeling in front of him. His cock, heavy and pink, juts up from his lap. Eliot tugs his jeans and underwear off before closing his fist around Q’s cock, only the head peeking above his thumb. Eliot squeezes and Quentin whines, his head falling back, his hips pushing up into Eliot’s grip.

“Don’t make him come, El. I want to see how long we can make him last.”

Eliot smiles at that, slow and dirty. “I like how you’re thinking, Bambi.”

“I always knew orgasms improved your attitude,” Margo quips as she gets on the bed on her knees. She pats the middle of the bed. “El, get here. Q, you’re going to be on top of him.”

Eliot pumps Q’s cock one last time, squeezing tight before releasing him. Q humps the air for a few seconds, watching as Eliot shucks off his trousers and boxers and undoes his waistcoat and shirt. El leans in to kiss Q, who can still taste him at the back of his throat. Q raises his head, straining to keep the kiss going but Eliot pushes him back gently.

“It’s alright, Q, I’m not going anywhere.” He gets in the middle of the bed, propping himself up against the headboard.

Q knows that’s not true – El’s not going anywhere now but tomorrow he’ll be as distant as he was in the past few months. Still, he nods and scrambles up the bed, making himself comfortable on Eliot’s lap, facing him, like Margo ordered.

Margo runs his hand down his back, from the top of his spine to his ass, her finger still sticky with lube. “I was going to peg you,” she muses out loud, “but I think you’d enjoy being fingered by me and El more.”

Q can’t help the way his hips press against Eliot’s slowly hardening cock. “Yes, please.”

He can see El and Margo having one of their silent conversations but he doesn’t mind. So far, it’s working out well for him. He can hear Margo open the bottle of lube. Eliot trails his hands down his back, grabbing two handfuls of Quentin’s ass and squeezing. Quentin moans, rutting against Eliot’s stomach.

A quick smack on his ass makes him hiss.

“None of that. You only get our fingers, Coldwater,” Eliot instructs him, his hand kneading the flesh he’s just slapped.

Margo pushes him flush against Eliot’s chest so that his ass sticks out. He can feel two of her fingers going back into him and sighs. He can’t help moving his hips but obediently puts more weight on his knees so he can raise himself slightly above Eliot, making sure he can’t hump him.

“So obedient,” Eliot praises him.

“Think he should get a reward for that, don’t you think?” Margo asks.

“You’re right,” Eliot agrees, his lubed pointer finger circling Q’s hole.

Quentin holds his breath, his thighs tensing in anticipation. He can feel one of Margo’s fingers slipping out and being replaced by Eliot’s broader one. The stretch burns in a way that always makes Q realise how much he’s missed it. He pushes back against the pressure, his breath coming out in a loud whoosh.

“Think you can take another one of mine, Q?”

He nods at Margo’s question, bracing his hands on Eliot’s shoulders. Margo slides her finger out, Eliot slides his finger in, deeper, tapping lightly inside of Quentin. It distracts him from the uncomfortable feeling of lube being squeezed out down his crack. When Eliot slides his finger out, Margo slides two of hers in, slicked up. She stays buried in him, letting Eliot be the one to stretch him slowly, slowly, so slowly it sets the ends of Q’s nerves on fire. He rests his forehead on Eliot’s shoulder, squeezing it with his hand when both Margo and Eliot’s fingers are buried deep in him.

“More,” he demands, his voice high.

“So eager,” Eliot murmurs, kissing the side of his neck. “Stay in, Bambi.”

Margo trails her nails down Quentin’s back, scratching red patterns into his skin. He shifts at that feeling, leaning into it. Eliot pulls his finger out, applies more lube and slowly works the tips of his two fingers into Quentin. He can feel each millimetre as a pressure-stretch that burns on the brink of being uncomfortable. Margo scissors her fingers inside of him, making him keen out loud and that’s too much: he can’t keep the sound in any longer. He moans and keens as Eliot works his fingers into him.

“Well done, you’re taking his fingers so well, Q. He’s up to his second knuckle now,” Margo tells him, her fingers moving, scissoring up and down and sideways, ever so gently.

“Please, please, please,” he chants, his thighs giving out and bringing him flush with Eliot’s hard cock.

“It’s okay, Q. Just a little bit more and you can come, I promise,” Eliot soothes him, his other hand closing around the base of his cock, squeezing tightly.

Q nods his head against Eliot’s shoulder, his eyes squeezed shut tightly, tears filling them. He’s so close, so full, Margo and Eliot are giving him exactly what he needs.

He keens at the feeling of Margo and Eliot’s fingers tangling deep inside him. He ruts his hips against Eliot’s stomach, moans filling the air.

“We’re going to move now, Q. Let us take care of you.” Margo covers him with her body, her breasts pressing against his back and he can feel her hard nipples. He wishes he could see what the three of them look like together, he wishes he could see the expressions on their faces as they take him apart, their fingers moving out and in, a stream of words he doesn’t understand escaping Quentin’s mouth as he tells them how good the feel, how much he loves this, loves being taken apart by them, how much he loves being between them, how much he loves them.

Margo presses a kiss to the back of his neck before applying her teeth, the pressure building together with the tempo of their fingers. Q can hear the bed creaking with the force of their fucking, can hear their breaths in his ears, can feel their fingers filling him so well and so deeply and he’s so, so, so close, Eliot’s cock a hard, hot line against him, he wants to come so badly...

“Good boy,” Eliot says in his ear and Quentin comes apart.

*

Quentin is always slow to wake. He drifts in and out of dreams, his limbs heavy and soft with sleep, his eyes gritty, unable to open properly. It takes him a few blinks before he can focus. He wishes he could live in a dark, cold cave as his hangover catches up with him.

He needs to pee but he’s too comfortable to get up, his back plastered against Eliot’s chest, El’s arm thrown over his hip, his hand resting heavy on Q’s thigh.

This time Q knows what happened, remembers everything. He raises his head and turns to see Margo, her hair tangled around her head, one of her hands resting on El’s neck, the other tucked under her chin.

Q’s head is swimming, so he takes his time. He closes his eyes again and lets himself savour this – Margo and Eliot, close to him like this. He knows that El will be awkward as hell in the coming days but he’ll deal with it. They’ll deal with it. He knows what this was – the high of brining magic back, a party, drinks, Margo’s refusal to back down. He knows that’s not who Eliot is, not in this world.

He pillows his cheek on his left palm, and sighs deeply.

“You’re awake,” Eliot rasps against his neck, making Q stiffen. “Why are you awake, you asshole, don’t wake up Teddy, he’s still asleep.”

Q’s heart stops for a good few seconds before taking off like a shot. He knows Eliot isn’t awake yet.

“Shhh,” he soothes, reaching for the hand Eliot has thrown over his thigh. “Go to sleep, I’m asleep too.”

He squeezes El’s hand and gets gathered more tightly against El’s side. He lets his fingers tangle with Eliot’s. He missed this, missed being held by Eliot, missed being surrounded by his scent. He burrows his nose in Eliot’d ridiculously luxurious pillow and thinks back to the rough linen pillows they had in their home in Fillory. Sometimes he still thinks he’s somewhere on a psych ward because how could it be that all of this is real? How could he have survived it, survived losing Arielle and Eliot, twice?

Eliot twitches against his neck, shaking his head, trying to get Quentin’s hair out of his face. It won’t be long until he wakes and Q’s not sure what to do; he’s not sure he’s strong enough to pull away right now, to untangle himself from Eliot before he’s rejected again. It’s easier to pretend to be still asleep, to leave the decision of how to act up to Eliot, to follow his lead.

So he relaxes his fingers, taking deeper breaths, squeezing his eyes tightly together until he sees colours behind his lids.

He can spot the moment Eliot comes to very easily. He remembers it from fifty years in Fillory, the way Eliot wakes is the way a swimmer comes to the surface, little by little and all at once. Quentin takes in a deep breath and fights to relax his body even though he wants to brace against what he knows is coming.

Instead of pushing him away, Eliot nuzzles his face into Q’s neck and inhales deeply. He presses his dry lips to the nape of Quentin’s neck, leaving them for a beat, two, three. He curls around Q’s body, fitting himself like a blanket and stays there.

Q draws in a breath through his nose, startled.

“I know you’ve been awake for a while, Coldwater.”

Eliot’s voice is gravely and deep with sleep. He nuzzles his face in Q’s hair and makes a noise of discontent, raising his head up and putting it back on Q’s hair. “Your hair always ends up my nose.”

“Sorry, I’ll cut it,” the words leave his mouth before he can even think them through.

“Don’t you dare,” Margo butts in, and Q can feel her hand reaching over El’s face to pat his hair. Eliot makes a disgruntled noise as Margo pokes him in the eye. “If you cut it short, I won’t have anything to pull.”

“Bambi’s right. It relaxes you better than a blow job if I remember correctly.”

“Um.” Quentin’s not – not sure what to say to that. This morning after is not turning out the way he feared it would. “What - “

“I want eggs benedict,” Margo declares from her side of the bed. “Uber Eats delivers at... what time is it anyway?”

Eliot moves his hand from Quentin’s to his left hip, tugging at it so that Quentin turns to face him. Margo blinks at him, a satisfied smile on her lips.

“About noon, I think,” Eliot replies, his hand skimming Q’s back, drawing patterns with enough pressure to make sure the touch isn’t painful or ticklish. “I could eat. What do you want, Q?”

Frankly, what Q would like are some answers but it doesn’t look like he’s very likely to get them right now.

“Pancakes with - “

“- Maple syrup and bacon, you’re reading my mind,” Eliot jumps in and yes, that is what Q was going to say.

Margo raises her head and zeroes in on Eliot’s nightstand on Q’s side of the bed.

“Hand me El’s phone, will you, Q?”

Q reaches behind him, contorting in an awkward shape until his left hand hits the smooth surface of Eliot’s phone. He grasps it, making a noise at the back of his throat when it nearly slips from his grasp and hands it to Margo who takes it and grabs his hand abruptly.

“What the fuck?”

She stares at Q’s hand, scrambling to sit up on the bed, the phone forgotten, the sheet exposing her naked body. She pulls Q’s hand closer to her.

“Ouch, Jesus, Margo - “

“El, your hand. Now.”

Eliot wiggles between Q and Margo until he’s flipped on his back and gives Margo his right hand.

“No, you idiot.” She reaches for his left hand. “Huh. Congratulations.”

“What?” Eliot asks, a frown on his face.

Margo raises their hands one next to the other, holding them by their wrists. There, on both his and Eliot’s left ring fingers are. Rings. Golden rings. Bands, really. Golden bands. Wedding bands.

“What the fuck,” Eliot says flatly. He looks at his hand as if it belongs to someone else.

Q looks at his hand and swallows. “There’s no way we got married last night. We weren’t that wasted.”

“Not to mention you both fell asleep the moment you came,” Margo adds. She shoots Q a quelling look. “Okay. We’ve got to figure this out. But first, food. And water. El, do you have any of your sober up potion left?”

“Medicine cabinet,” Eliot says, still staring at this hand. He takes the ring between this thumb and pointing finger and pulls but the ring doesn’t budge. He twists the ring no problem, but the moment he goes to pull it off, it won’t move.

Margo gets up from the bed, shivering in the cold air. She walks towards El’s en-suite bathroom, her fingers flying over the screen of his phone. Q looks at Eliot’s face for clues but there’s nothing, aside from puzzlement. Margo riffles through the medicine cabinet, swearing as something falls into the sink, startling Eliot from his reverie and he looks up at Quentin.

“We’re gonna get out of this. I know you don’t want to - I mean, this isn’t Fillory or anything, maybe it’s just a stupid prank by Todd or something. I know you don’t want this - “ me “ so don’t worry. No expectations, I mean.” Quentin brushes his hair behind his ear and looks away from Eliot’s eyes. He’ll find a way out of this for Eliot. This is not who Eliot is when he has a choice. Margo’s spell last night, it must have backfired...

“Q -”

“Got it!” Margo comes back into the bedroom, opens the bottle and takes a swig of the potion. She passes the bottle to Quentin and throws Eliot’s phone on the bed. “Food will be here in 20. C’mon, out of the bed. We can’t figure this out while we’re still naked, I know how that ends, with everyone distracted and me fucking you both with a strap on.”

Q twists on the bed, hanging off it to retrieve his jeans from last night. He nearly loses his balance and falls; Eliot grabs his thigh to stop him from slipping off the bed, his hand hot against Q’s skin, even through the thin bedsheets.

“Thanks,” Q mumbles when he straightens up. He gets off the bed, puts his jeans on, giving up on his underwear. He hops around awkwardly from one foot to the other, dragging his jeans up his legs. He looks up to see Margo watching him with an amused expressions. She’s wearing Eliot’s floral shirt from last night and a pair of silk boxers. She passes Quentin his henley and he puts it on.

“Uh, I gotta -” he disappears in the bathroom, closing the door behind him. He can hear Eliot and Margo talk as he relieves himself, washes his hands and stares questioningly at his reflection in the mirror.

“C’mon, let’s go downstairs,” Margo orders and Q does.

He looks at the gold band on his ring finger, nearly tripping down the stairs. Margo steadies him with a hand on his upper arm. Q runs his fingers over the band, marvelling at how solid but light it feels.

“Do you think it’s got something to do with -”

Margo shushes him and glances over her shoulder. Eliot’s just emerging from his bedroom. She pitches her voice low, “Possible. I’ll go to the library after breakfast. Just – don’t tell El, okay? It’s my fuck up and I want to give you a solution before explaining.”

Even Margo thinks that he and Eliot shouldn’t be together.

The dining table is full of clutter; no people sleeping on it, thankfully.

“I’ll have to step out to get the food.” Margo points at the door leading to London (or wherever they need it to lead, Q supposes). “I expect you to be here when I’m back.”

“We won’t go back to bed without you, Bambi.” Eliot’s wearing a silk kimono, deep purple colour striking against his pale skin.

Quentin is, understandably, he thinks, confused. “You’re going out in this?” He gestures at her get up.

“Mmm. Saves on tips.” Margo marches off to the kitchen, leaving Quentin alone with Eliot for the first time since they woke up. He darts a few glances at Eliot from the corner of his eye and feels himself colour when Eliot catches him.

Eliot sits down in one of the chairs, the long sleeves of his kimono falling down to show off his sinewy forearms. Quentin remembers biting Eliot’s forearm last night when Margo was fucking him slowly and maddeningly, keeping him right on the precipice.

“Sit down, Q.” Eliot pats the chair next to him and fishes out a box of cigarettes from his pocket. He pats the pocket a few more times and looks in the cigarette box. “Damn, I lost my lighter.”

Q sighs. His fingers are already forming signs for a small flame and by the time Eliot puts a cigarette in his mouth, the flame is dancing on the tip of Q’s fingertips. Eliot leans in, grabs Q’s wrist to steady him and lights his cigarette, his eyes closing on the first inhale. He squeezes Q’s wrist and releases it.

Quentin shakes his hands off, killing the flame. He should have kept it going, he thinks, as goosebumps erupt over his whole body. He catches Eliot looking at him with interest, his eyes zeroing in on Q’s hardening nipples.

“I’m cold,” he offers.

El chuckles.

Margo comes back with two glasses of water, puts them in front of them and crosses her arms across her chest.

“Chop, chop. Drink up.”

Q takes his glass of water and sniffs it suspiciously. Margo gives him an unimpressed look. He gives her a shrug in response and drains the glass. It’s not as if this situation could get any worse.

Not that being married to Eliot is bad. It’s not. But being married to Eliot without giving him the chance to say no... That’s bad.

Eliot lounges in his chair, a glass of water in one hand, a cigarette in the other one. He looks decadent and inviting and Quentin’s very tempted to crawl into his lap and let those long kimono sleeves whisper against his skin every time Eliot takes a drag of his cigarette or a sip of water. He imagines being allowed to do that, being able to just sit with Eliot, touching, without having to worry about coming off as creepy or needy or clingy or whatever the fuck other words apply to guys like Quentin.

Quentin really needs to pee.

He gets up awkwardly, gesturing towards the bathroom.

“Uh, be right back.”

He spends a few minutes sitting on the closed toilet lid, staring at his hand. When he can’t stand it any more, he gets up and looks at himself in the mirror. His hair is all over the place, falling into his eyes in the front, stuck up at an angle at the back. His eyes are slightly red and he’s pale – his usual hungover look.

He stares at a hickey where his neck meets his shoulder and is instantly transported to last night – Margo teasing him with the dildo, her breasts brushing his back. Eliot’s mouth sucking at his skin as he held Quentin flush against him, Quentin’s dick sliding on Eliot’s stomach, wet with spit and come. His head thumps against the mirror and he groans.

Yesterday he was so sure he could handle the fall out of sleeping with Eliot, even knowing that Eliot wasn’t interested in a relationship. But it’s different in the daylight, it’s different now that they have fucking wedding rings on their fingers. He knows he’s a shitty person; when he first saw the ring a part of him fucking cheered because Eliot was his and he was Eliot’s how sick is that? Being happy that the guy you’re in love with is magically married to you, without his consent?

“Get a grip, Coldwater,” he says to himself, with one last look in the mirror.

Back in the dining room, Margo is gone. Eliot’s still in the chair he was in; he waves at Quentin lazily.

Quentin’s eyes dart around the room. It would be rude if he sat somewhere else, he knows that much. So he sits next to Eliot and prays Margo is back soon. A minute becomes two, becomes three.

The silence is intense. Quentin can hear the clock ticking, snores from the living room, the creak of his chair whenever he shifts position. He thinks he can hear Eliot’s cigarette burning up, the silence is that loud and oppressive and if it goes for even a moment longer he’s going to scream.

God, he wishes Julia was here. She’d know what to do. Or at least she’d know how to help him stop his brain from going into overdrive.

Be brave, Q. Say what needs to be said, I’m going to help you. He hears Julia’s voice in his ear as if she was standing right there beside him and she might have been – he’s not sure how her goddess powers work but either way, the urge to scream himself hoarse disappears and instead he feels like words are bubbling up his throat.

He looks at Eliot from the corner of his eye; Eliot looks around, as if he’s spooked. He catches Quentin’s eye and that’s it, Q can’t hold it in any longer.

“It’s not Fillory, you won’t have to stay married to me forever, don’t worry.”

Eliot tilts his head to the side, considering him. He opens his mouth, once, twice, before coughing.

“What if I want to stay married to you?”

Q blinks. Eliot’s still looking at him, his cigarette all ash, holding together by a thread. That’s not what Quentin expected. It’s not what – He frowns, trying to swallow the bitter words, but failing.

“You said that I’m not – that you’re not, not if we have a choice - “ He can’t look at Eliot. This is too important, too big, too raw. He looks at his hand instead, at the ring he’s been fidgeting with. It feels natural to have it there.

“I knew that what you were going to say was important and I couldn’t -” Eliot flicks the cigarette to the floor, ash flying to the air. He puts his glass on the table, runs his hand through his hair. “I couldn’t handle it, Q. All those emotions. All that... Fuck, I never felt so much love for anyone in my life and then it was taken away from me, it was just a dream and I thought that was all I deserved, alright?”

Eliot chuckles bitterly. “Because guys like me drink ourselves to death or die in a way that makes people speculate whether it was an accident or suicide.” He pauses, takes a breath and says quietly, “I didn’t want to do that to you.”

Quentin, well, Quentin can understand that, especially the last part. He remembers being floored by the force of love for Eliot that day in Fillory when their memories came back. He remembers the way Eliot looked, peach juice wet on his chin as he refused Quentin’s heart. He could understand that but he couldn’t understand now.

“And now?” He asks, his voice breaking on the two words.

The ring leaves a faint impression on Quentin’s left ring finger. That patch of skin seems a little bit shinier when Quentin pushes the bottom of his ring against the plush flesh of his finger. He wonders how long it would take for him to get a tan line around his ring, seeing as he’s always nearly sickly pale. Wonders if it would be possible. Thinks it’s not a good idea to wonder.

“Because I know there’s more to me now. That I can be more now. You’ve shown me that – that it’s okay to hope. And... It’s a proof of concept, isn’t it?” Eliot taps his fingers against his knee, tap, tap, tap, pointer finger three times, pinky, ring finger, middle finger, pointer. “I would have to try really hard to fuck it up before you gave up on me and that scares me because no one has ever stuck around, aside from Bambi. And she’s only been in my life since Brakebills. Not having you was easier than losing you, then. I won’t be good for you, not in this timeline. You deserve someone who’s easy to be with, like Alice,” Eliot says.

Quentin barks a laugh at that. “If you think Alice isn’t fucked up then you obviously don’t know her.”

“Food’s here!” Margo calls out as she steps out of the closet.

Quentin balls his fists, Eliot closes his mouth. Now is not the time.

Margo eyes them as she walks in, hesitating for the briefest moment. She puts the bags on the table, pushing them towards Quentin and Eliot.

“We’re gonna eat and then hit the library to figure out how to get you unmarried,” Margo announces, cutting up her eggs benedict on the styrofoam box they came in.

“Sounds good,” Quentin says at the same time as Eliot says, “No need, Bambi, we’ll stay married.”

Margo stills the fork between the box and her mouth, her eyebrows shooting up her forehead.

“You need to get your story straight, boys.”

“We’ll work it out,” Eliot says at the same time as Q bites out, “I’ll go to the library with you.”

Quentin shoots Eliot a look. This is... This is too good to be true. Margo gestures between the two of them with her fork.

“I’m going to have a nap after this food. You should, too. And then you should talk. And then we decide what to do.”

Quentin tucks into his still warm pancakes and immediately covers his chin with maple syrup. He reaches for a napkin when Eliot swipes his thumb on his chin and sucks the maple syrup off it. Quentin’s hit with lust and anger, unsure how to react.

“You have the best ideas, Bambi.”

*
Quentin’s not too proud to pray. He’s especially not too proud to pray to Julia for help with Eliot.

He does it after napping – on his own bed, ostentatiously, both sides empty. He knows that he and Eliot need to talk. He also knows that he can be a coward when it comes to this. So he gets off the bed and kneels by the window, his hands on his lap, his eyes closed. He barely thinks of Julia when he sees her. Which... his eyes were closed.

Just because it’s in your mind, Quentin, doesn’t mean it’s not real. Julia says to him and okay, fuck her.

Okay, Dumbledore.

She chuckles and it sounds like a thousand chiming bells. Quentin looks at her questioningly.

Side effect of goddess powers. According to people, goddesses should laugh that way so... She shrugs. Anyway. You and Eliot.

Did you have something to do with this? Quentin points at his wedding band.

Julia smiles, a secretive smile, one that wouldn’t have crossed her lips before. Quentin wants to throw his hands in the air.

No, but I might consider it if you two idiots don’t get your heads out of your asses.

It’s not... It’s not that simple. Quentin shakes his head.

Yeah, it is. Trust me, it is. Talk to him, Q. Say whatever you need to say. Don’t... don’t stop the words, okay? Promise me you won’t.

You’ll help me? He pushes his hair back behind his ear.

Julia touches his shoulder and suddenly he’s back in the bedroom, her voice a soft whisper in his ear, Always.
Quentin loves Julia but he’s not sure if he approves entirely of her taking so many tips from Dumbledore.

He takes in a deep breath, anxiety filling his chest until it’s too tight to breathe. Normally, here’s when he starts hyperventilating but instead the tight feeling changes and Quentin’s just plain... angry. Scream his head off, what-the-fuck-were-you-thinking angry.

Maybe Julia knows what she’s doing. She knows Quentin enough to know that the only way he’ll get through this conversation is if he’s angry, if there’s a sense of injustice that he needs righted and that’s what she gives him, that’s what fills him to the brim. His mind goes back to the last thing Eliot’s said to him before Margo came back and oh, he is ready.

He’s had enough of people trying to protect him, he’s had enough of protecting himself. He’s had enough of hiding and letting things happen to him and accepting what’s happening without standing up for himself. He gets up from the floor, throws his door open and makes his way to Eliot’s room, where he doesn’t knock but barges in straight away.

Eliot’s sitting on the bed, looking up at the door that swing open unexpectedly. He looks startled and lost and Quentin has had enough. He points his finger at Eliot.

“I spent 50 years with you. I know you’re a fuck up, Eliot. I’m not going to lie and say you’re not because you are and so am I, okay? I know that you’re messed up, I was aware of it when I said we should give it a go. I’m not some... some naive bicurious teenager who has no idea what they’re doing so stop pretending you need to protect me, you dickhead.”

“Q - “ Eliot raises his hands to placate him.

“No. You’re going to listen to me.” Quentin stalks up to Eliot and jabs his chest with his finger. “I wanted you to choose me because I chose you and I would chose you every day. We’re both messed up and it’s not going to be easy and we’re going to fight and we’re going to hurt each other. I know this and I still want to do it because we work, okay? If you don’t want me, then say it but don’t give me some bullshit about protecting me or choosing my happiness over your own because that’s a ton of bullshit.”

His chest is heaving, like it usually does when he has a panic attack but the way he feels is so completely different. He feels like he’ll be able to take whatever comes next. He’s done it, he’s said everything he’s been holding in since Eliot rejected him and instead of hurting, saying it out loud helped. Fuck, he should send a thank you card to all of his past shrinks, they might have been right, there. He’s definitely buying Julia a bottle of her favourite vodka. Even if he has to leave it as an offering, rather than sharing it with her.

Eliot runs his hand over his face, his body sagging in on itself. “I thought I was being considerate -”

“You were being a fucking martyr and I remember telling you many, many times back in the Mosais that it’s not an attractive look on you.” Eliot, sagged in his chair, looks like he’s both afraid and hopeful that his dream will come true. It makes Q’s heart hurt.

“Jesus. Okay, okay, I get it. I was stupid, I was a coward. Being with you scares the crap out of me, okay? Knowing I could be this happy, it’s... I never thought I could have it. I would always choose you, when I’m not being a coward. So can we...”

Eliot’s not looking at him, the way he learned not to look at Quentin when they were having tough conversations back in Fillory. He remembered, Q realises. He remembered that it was difficult for Q to do this, to talk about his feelings and look at people. Eliot remembered and made sure not to make this harder on Quentin. And Quentin is an idiot, for taking so long to realise.

He releases a long sigh, “Yeah, yeah we can. But-”

Eliot looks up at him, his eyes zeroing in on a strand of hair in front of Q’s chin. “But?”

“You don’t get to choose for me and I don’t get to choose for you. Ever. This is non-negotiable.”

Eliot turns his head to the side. “So if one evening I decide we’re having Chinese for dinner without consulting you - “

Quentin gives him a flat look, making Eliot’s mouth twitch in a smile. “I know you’re trying to wind me up but it’s not gonna work, you ass. I mean if you decide that I’m better off without you or some shit like that – you can’t. This is my life and it’s my decision.”

“Deal.”

“And we’re gonna talk. If you’re feeling like shit or if I’m feeling like shit, we’re gonna call each other out -”

“So we avoid a fight like the one we had about Arielle?”

Quentin nods. “Yeah. You still haven’t apologised for that, by the way.”

“I’m sorry. I was a dick.” Eliot cups Quentin’s hip, a firm enough touch that gives Quentin the option to move away.

“Yeah, you were. I loved her the way you love Margo.”

Eliot nods. “I know that. I always knew that. I guess, part of why I was such a dick about her was that I missed Bambi.”

“I thought it was because you’re a huge biphobe.” Quentin crosses his arms on his chest. Eliot winces.

“I promise I will check myself. I can’t say it’s not going to be a process for me, not with my past and all that crap I’ve internalised. I am sorry, Q.” Eliot squeezes his hip and rests his forehead against Quentin’s stomach.

Quentin’s arms fall to his sides, his hand raising to brush through Eliot’s hair.

“I don’t care if you’re good enough or not. I choose you, okay? If nothing else, believe that.”

Eliot nods against Q’s stomach and releases a sigh.

“I believe in you, Q.”

Q smiles at that. He tugs Eliot’s hair, guiding his head back until Eliot looks at him.

“We’re doing this. We’re staying married?”

“Yeah, we are. But we’re still gonna get a wedding. You’re not getting out of it that easily.”

Q bends, his lips covering Eliot’s with enough force to knock him off balance. Eliot laughs through the kiss, his arm wrapping around Quentin who scrambles into his lap. Q buries his fingers in Eliot’s hair, holding his head gently. He kisses Eliot with everything he has – the love, the rapidly diminishing anger, the happiness and giddiness filling his body – and feels him respond in kind.

“Finally!”

Margo’s exclamation breaks their kiss. Quentin turns to look at her, blushing slightly when he notices Alice standing there with her.

“Hello, Alice.”

“Q,” Alice replies. “Hi, Eliot. I hear congratulations are in order.”

Eliot hums, squeezing his arms around Q.

“We got drunk last night, played fuck, marry, kill and woke up married.”

“Who were the choices?” Alice asks, curious in spite of herself.

“Me, Q and Mayakovsky,” Margo replies, leaning against the door frame.

Alice blinks a few times and looks at them blankly. “You ended up fucking Margo and getting magically married. I take it no one thought to check on Mayakovsky?”

“Well, shit.”