Ugh class had been awful. He just wanted to go to his room and lie down before whatever party Eliot and Margo inevitably threw.
Of course Todd was there when he walked into the cottage. Not that he disliked Todd really, but seeing anyone was going to not be what he wanted.
"Quentin! Are you going?" Todd asked rather excitedly.
"Oh um hey Todd. Going to what?"
"The homecoming dance of course, silly! It's not mandatory, but first years are encouraged to go. The administration thinks it's a good way for first years to socialize with everyone else. So are you going? You have to!"
"Oh um I hadn't thought about it." Which was true. He hadn't. He remembered Julia saying something about how he should find a date and a tux so they could double with her and Kady. He'd honestly rather stay in his room and read Fillory again. Julia was probably going to get mad at him for not doing more first year events. What was one night, he figured? "But I guess yeah I'll go."
That answer made Todd smile, "Great! You have a date yet because I have this friend?"
Something about that question made him think it was leading somewhere he didn't want it to. "Yeah I do. I'm uh I'm going with Eliot." he had to say that right as Eliot came into the lounge didn't he?
"Where we are going dear Q?" Eliot asked a little perplexed.
He rubbed his neck. Why did these situations happen to him? "Homecoming dance. I um do you want to go with me?"
Eliot looked between Quentin and Todd and somehow picked up on Q's uneasiness as he answered, "Of course Quentin. I thought you'd never ask." Eliot wrapped an arm around Quentin as he spoke.
"Oh cool. Great." He wriggled himself out from Eliot's arm and pretty much ran up to his room.
He flopped on his bed and breathed out. What the fuck did he just do? He liked Eliot. They were friends and maybe he wanted to be more than friends, but Eliot didn't want that. Eliot probably only said yes because he felt bad for him.
He was brought out of his head by a knock at his door.
"Can we talk, Q?"
"Sure Eliot what's up?" He's gonna tell me sorry but he can't. It's alright. They'll say he got sick or something. He wasn't even interested in going to the stupid dance and now here he was upset Eliot was going to bail on him.
"What are you doing in an hour?"
"Nothing I think?" This wasn't what he thought Eliot was going to say.
"Good. Meet Margo and I in the lounge in an hour."
"Wait, why you and Margo?"
"Quentin, we're going to a dance. I am not letting you wear anything in your closet and I need Margo to help me figure you out."
"One hour Quentin!" With that, Eliot was gone from his sight.
He had not thought this through. Of course Eliot and Margo would want to take him shopping. Ugh. What was his life? The frustrated noises he made were muffled by the pillow.
He was downstairs one hour later as requested.
"Well I guess that will do?" Margo asked as she looked him up and down.
"What?” He replied back with a bit of disbelief that she could have a problem with his t-shirt and jeans combo. They were just going shopping.
“Nothing. Just let’s go.”
“Ready?” Eliot questioned as they met him at the portal to the city.
Margo nodded as she pulled Quentin through the portal. He glanced behind him and gave a pleading look to Eliot, but it was no help as Eliot just chuckled.
The portal let them out in Manhattan near one of Eliot and Margo’s favorite stores; Barney's. He understood Margo’s look earlier. He was so very underdressed for shopping here.
Margo led them to the formal wear section and started pulling pieces for him with the help of Victor; the Barney’s salesman.
Eliot, meanwhile perused on his own knowing already the colors they'd decided on for Quentin's suit.
Everything was overwhelming. Margo and Victor kept pulling things and making unpleasant noises when he walked out from the changing room. He was so thankful Eliot stopped Margo from going into the room with him.
"Q honey you have got to stop slouching. Victor and I cannot see the full effect if you're not standing up straight."
"Sorry Margo." He'd been put in a rather lovely navy blue suit and was turning around at the mirrors. He looked completely different. He doubted anyone would recognize him.
"Oh my god Quentin is that you?"
Oh god. Oh no. He knew that voice. He hadn't heard it in a few years, but it was unmistakable. Please don't be him, please don't be him, he whispered to himself hoping the universe would listen.
He slowly turned towards the voice and yep, it was who he thought. Thanks Universe.
Standing by the changing rooms was none other than his old boyfriend; James. James was still so handsome. Why did he always look so good? Oh god he just wanted to fall in a hole. They'd parted on decent terms a couple of years before, but he still felt the need to prove he was okay.
"Uh hey James. It's been a while."
"It has. You look great Q. Some fancy occasion? You were never a suit guy from what I can remember."
"Oh this? Yeah my school is having a dance and I'm going, but I uh, needed a suit." James still had that stupid smile. He glanced around, but Margo was too busy looking at more suits and Eliot... where was Eliot?
"A dance huh? I remember having to drag you to all that stuff when we were together."
"Yeah well I'm trying to be a bit more social I guess."
"Oh Q I found a tie for you. It'll be perfect for any of the suits you get." Eliot suddenly interrupted the conversation and he was so thankful.
"Thanks El. Um this is James, my ex and uh this is Eliot, my boyfriend." He motioned between the two and honestly the word came out before he thought. Eliot didn't seem to miss a beat. With a wink and a smile towards him, Eliot shook James's hand.
"Oh that's great. Really it is Q. I'm glad you found someone." James gave him a hug. "Don't make it two years before we see each other again. I still care about you as a friend Quentin."
"I won't I promise. It was nice seeing you James."
James walked away and he relaxed a bit.
"An ex huh?" Eliot asked once James had gone from sight.
"Yeah we dated for a few years in undergrad. Sorry about calling you my boyfriend. I um I kinda panicked."
Eliot put a hand on his shoulder and squeezed, "Quentin it's alright. What's a lie between exes? Now come on you have more suits to try on."
Some part of him felt Eliot was holding something back, but he was probably just projecting.
It took four hours, but finally Margo and Eliot found him a suit that checked all their boxes and matched perfectly with what Eliot had found.
He spent the whole week trying to not get too excited about the dance that weekend. He tried to remember how he felt before he was going. But then Eliot became his date and all the not caring went out the door. Why did he have to have dumb crushes on people who only thought of him as a friend?
Finally it was the night of Homecoming. Julia had asked him to come over to her room above the library to get ready. She was nervous and so was he. She helped him get dressed and even tied his tie.
Sitting on her bed in his suit probably wasn't the best idea. Eliot was going to yell at him, but it was Eliot's fault for not keeping a better eye on him, he thought.
"I can't believe you got yourself into this 'fake dating' situation Q. Are you at least going to tell him?"
"Julia you've been my friend for my whole life, you should know I don't always make the best decisions. What do I need to tell him?"
"That you love him, dummy."
"I don't love him." He threw a pillow at her for even considering that prospect. He liked Eliot sure. He had a very large crush on the man, but love? That was a bit too much. This was not helping his trying to be calm about the whole thing. "So I will not be telling him that."
She rolled her eyes, "Well I guess it's almost time huh? Ready to meet up with our dates?"
"Yeah I guess. Let's go."
Julia's words echoed in his mind as they made their way over to the cottage to meet Kady and Eliot. And oh, there they were, waiting outside.
Eliot looked so fucking hot. Eliot was always good looking, but something about how he looked tonight was just more.
"Hey you okay?" Eliot asked with a tinge of concern that brought him out of his head.
"Um yeah. I'm uh good. You?"
"Yeah I'm good."
The illusionists had completely turned the gymnasium into something else entirely. Lanterns were strewn across the ceiling. Hues of gold were everywhere. A dance floor stood where the welters board normally resided. There was an actual DJ. It was beautiful.
"May I have this dance?"
He looked up as Eliot held out a hand.
"You sure? I mean we just got here and we don't have to. You don't have to dance with me. We can just get some punch or.."
He was cut off by Eliot abruptly grabbing his arm and pulling him towards the dance floor.
"I said yes to coming tonight Q and I want to dance with my date."
"Okay." He tried swallowing every feeling down. They were just friends dancing. He wasn't the most coordinated but he made an effort.
The music was poppy and he was actually dancing not horribly.
But as was his luck, the song changed to a slow dance. There he was, in the middle of the dance floor with Eliot.
"We don't have to. We can sit down."
Eliot pulled him closer. "I told you I wanted to dance with you."
The way Eliot said those words sent shivers down his back.
Eliot had an arm around his waist and it felt like it was always meant to be there. He rested his head on Eliot's shoulder as they swayed.
They danced for quite a while longer and it just got too much for him. He needed to not have these feelings. He made an excuse about something and headed for the nearest exit to get some fresh air.
He was sitting under a tree when he heard another familiar voice call his name.
"Quentin!" Eliot shouted into the night.
"Over here," he responded.
"I couldn't find you in the bathroom and Julia said she saw you run out here." Eliot told him as he sat down next to him. "You feeling okay?"
"Yeah I uh just needed some fresh air."
"Mmhmm." Eliot gave him that look that he knew meant Eliot didn't believe him.
He couldn't could he? He couldn't tell Eliot Waugh that he'd fallen in love with him. He couldn't tell Eliot about all the times he looked at him for too long, or relaxed a little too much into the touches.
Eliot was looking at him with that soft gaze.
"Hey um," and he reached up and kissed Eliot on the mouth. "I um I kind of really like you a lot." he said as he broke the kiss.
Eliot did nothing except cover Quentin's hand with his, cup the back of Quentin's neck and give him a deeper, more passionate kiss. "I like you a lot too Q. Why do you think I said yes?"
"I thought you were being a friend and helping me avoid a bad date with Todd's friend."
Eliot laughed, "No not at all."
They were kissing again and it was wonderful. Eliot's lips were perfect and so was his mouth. He wanted to keep kissing him forever.