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Nothing Normal About It

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Eliot basked in normalcy. Margo was on his right, her feet resting on Eliot’s lap while munching on microwave popcorn, and Quentin on his right, his feet up on the coffee table and his arm pressed elbow to shoulder against Eliot’s. On the TV the credits rolled for a movie Margo had picked and Eliot barely watched, too concerned with the warm weight beside him. 

Emphasis on warm. 

Three months ago today Quentin had been dead. He’d been dust in the ether or whatever the hell the Mirror World was, his essence scattered and his life but a memory. It’d taken a month to find a spell, another to make the golem body to its exact specifications, and more nerve than Eliot had in both his lifetimes, but from nothing Quentin had gasped back to life, his hair long like it had been before the Monster. Before the nightmare that Eliot would give anything to forget. 

“You ok?” Quentin asked softly.

Eliot realized he’d been staring. He laughed it off. “Yeah. Can I get you anything?”

“He’s fine, El, just hand me the remote so I can find something else to watch.”

Eliot wrinkled his nose at Margo’s demand, lacing his fingers together with Quentin’s where it rested by his side. Absentmindedly. Casually. Like friends did. They did that now, things friends do. They were friends. Eliot looked at Quentin, his heart beating hard.

“Is this all we are now?” Eliot answered Margo, playful disgust coloring his tone even as he suppressed the war in his heart. “Just Netflix people?”

Her toes twitched in his lap and she sat up, balancing the bowl on her belly. “Do you have requests or just criticism?”

“Bambi, I would never dream of insulting you–”

“Oh shut up, you’ll give Q a migraine.”

Quentin laughed softly, just a huff, but it was so Q that Eliot could have died. 

“Do I get to have ideas?” Quentin asked. “I bet I know a lot of movies you guys haven’t seen.”

“No way you guys are going to nerd out with some sci-fi disaster while I sit here bored,” Eliot said. “I will pick something we all can enjoy.”

He picked Clueless (1995), which Quentin had never seen. Margo begrudgingly admitted that it was a modern classic, and they settled in with fresh snacks. The rain fell hard outside, somewhat making Eliot feel better about their humble evening plans. A year ago he would have likened spending a Friday night at home watching a movie without being hungover to premature death, but now it was a pleasure. Quentin hadn’t been able to enjoy anything a few months ago, and Eliot would stay in as much as he wanted. 

Eliot let Quentin’s hand go and settled his arm over the back of the couch instead, movie theater style, just barely brushing the back of Quentin’s shoulders. The movement pulled a little awkwardly at his side, and then down to his hip, and he grimaced. 

“You ok?” Quentin asked quietly as Cher stranded herself in West Hollywood while Elton sped away. 

“Peachy,” Eliot answered, adjusting himself and upending Margo’s feet in the process. She moved without comment, and that made Eliot more guilty than anything. Normally she’d curse him out, but her smooth little movement might as well have been a pity party. 

Margo had gotten the monster out, but his body hadn’t taken kindly to being broken like a wild horse, and recovery would be slow, even with magic. His cane leaned against the coffee table, a reminder of the whole experience in a nutshell. He’d really needed it a few months ago as they stumbled around in the dark, looking for ingredients and casting spells with open endings, trying to breath life into the golem that sat in Alice’s basement. 

“I can move,” Quentin said, lacking Margo’s subtlety but no worse in kindness. “We can go on the bed, and I’ll grab my laptop–”

“Nope.” Eliot popped the ‘p’ a little harder that he meant, an edge to his voice. He couldn’t tell Q that the only thing that might make him feel better would be for him to get closer, not farther away. 

They were in a weird place, for sure. Penny and Julia were gone to do whatever new parents did, and Kady had her hedge network to deal with, leaving Eliot, Margo, and Quentin alone. Alice had helped with the resurrection spell and then fucked off to join the Library clean up crew, leaving the penthouse one day with red eyes and an even stiffer gait than normal, but Q insisted it was fine. Better this way, in fact. 

Margo watched him now, feeding herself popcorn one kernel at a time and obviously plotting something. 

“What?” Eliot siad, a little defensive, drawing out the word. 

She didn’t answer right away. 

“Nothing.”

Eliot rolled his eyes and returned his attention to the screen, but the movie didn’t really hold his interest. He’d seen it too many times, and Quentin was just so close...

They’d talked about it, after a week or two with Q back on god’s green Earth. His new body required some tune-ups. Quentin had a hard time talking for a few days, his voice hoarse and with an unquenchable thirst for milk of all things, a weird side effect of the spell. Eliot’s pain had been at an eleven then, making his cane absolutely essential and any attempt at serious conversation ornery at best. 

“You don’t have to say anything,” Eliot had said, the clock ticking loudly at almost midnight, just as Quentin was trying to say something poignant. “I know what I said, and I meant it, but neither of us is thinking clearly right now and we don’t want to mess this up.”

Again, he’d added in his head, thinking of the heart-stopping moment when the steel girders around his mind had bent and the monster let him through. I’m alive in here, and all that. It had only been a flash, barely a second in the never-ending captivity in his own head. He’d said some things to get Quentin’s notice, and also because he loved him. Ten years, who gets proof of concept like that?

Quentin had nodded, his froggy voice croaking out an “ok” before he stepped between Eliot’s arms and hugged him. They’d kissed, once, in the dark kitchen in the middle of the night, because how could Eliot resist? Quentin had whimpered, and rose up to toes to get closer, but it hadn’t gone farther. After that, nothing. 

Suddenly, Margo rose up, setting her bowl on the table and grabbing the remote to switch off the TV. 

“Hey!” Eliot and Quentin responded in unison. 

Margo rolled her eyes. “The ending is boring as hell, and neither of you are watching anyway.” She stood, rifling through her purse at the end of the couch. “I’m afraid–” she pushed aside some of its contents, the myriad of tonics and potions Eliot knew she kept with her at all times. “That this evening has gotten a little too domestic for me, and you two will be the death of–” Her face lit up as she found what she was looking for, pulling out a little plastic baggie and wagging it between her index finger and thumb. 

“Gentlemen, the doctor is in.”

Eliot burst out laughing, the little bag of weed in Margo’s hand so non-threatening compared to his usual path of destruction. He’d tried to limit his alcohol consumption these last months, it was true, especially since he was on more medications both magical and pedestrian than he’d care to admit, but this was nothing. 

“Where the hell did you get that?” Eliot asked, whipping the bag out of her hands when she came back to sit.

“Josh,” she said, carefully neutral. Josh and Fen were in Fillory, taking care of business as they transitioned the kingdom over to native rule. Margo didn’t have much to say about it these days. “He stopped by and had some of the good stuff.”

“It’s Fillorian?” Quentin asked, his interest peaked. 

She shrugged “Who knows? He grows all sorts of shit in the greenhouse. What do you guys say?”

“Oh doctor,” Eliot said, falsely seductive, lying down with his head in her lap when she snatched the bag back. “What must I do to be granted your… treatments?”

Margo snorted, playing along. “Oh, just a little of this–” she grabbed Eliot’s wrist and plopped his hand on her left breast, “And a little of that–” She did the same with his right.

Eliot burst out laughing, giddy even without the weed, his body tingling in anticipation for a little chemical assistance. Everything had been so stressful lately, and he lived with the weight of the fact that he let Quentin go sleep in a separate bedroom than him every night. He let his fingers drag down, feeling the seam and lace overlay of her bra through her thin top. 

“You scoundrel of a man,” Margo said, thumbing through her stack of rolling papers. “How am I expected to work under these conditions?” Her smile turned devilish as her gaze left Eliot’s and settled on Quentin. “How can I work this way, Q?”

Eliot looked up, expecting Quentin to fondly roll his eyes at their banter. Instead he was flushed, his eyes dark and resting where Eliot’s hands spanned Margo’s ribcage.

“We all manage somehow,” Quentin said, appropriately cryptic but not enough to stop Eliot from heating up under his collar. He still wore a crisp button-down and linen trousers for their lounging night, he wasn’t an animal, but even the light clothing felt suffocating under that gaze. 

Margo set to work on rolling, her fingers skilled and quick as she leaned over the coffee table. It wasn’t typical for them, Eliot preferring alcohol and she those little pills that looked so trendy when an attractive stranger placed them on your tongue, but it wasn’t like they never smoked weed. He’d never asked Quentin whether partook, but his hair and undergraduate degree in Philosophy spoke for itself. 

She lit the joint and took a hit, holding it in while she passed it to Eliot. 

“I feel like I’m back at Purchase,” Eliot said, already giggling as the smoke warmed his lips. “No fancy vapes for Margo Hanson.”

“Vapes are for douchebags,” Quentin said, taking the joint from Eliot and getting his own hit. Like something out of a sitcom, they all sighed and flopped back against the couch cushions, noticeably more relaxed. 

Margo played with Quentin’s hair, feeling the crisp ends against the tips of her fingers. Neither magical catastrophes or major Depressive Disorder had ever given Quentin an excuse for split ends. Eliot considered himself one of the few people who knew how vain Q was about his hair, and it’d been a moment of silly relief when his new body looked like the Quentin he remembered most. Not the short-hair, grief stricken man he’d seen in flashes while the monster rode him around. 

Quentin hummed, clearly ok with the attention, but his body was turned toward Eliot’s, his chest an interesting little push against Eliot’s upper arm. He couldn’t be that high yet, but the brush of Quentin’s lips against the cotton-linen blend of his shirt was unmistakable. Like a kiss. A little teeth.

“Hey there,” Eliot said, trailing a hand up Quentin’s arm and pressing it to his shoulder. “Everything alright?”

“Not even a little bit,” Quentin said, his voice muffled against Eliot’s arm. Margo was pulling her hands through Quentin’s hair in earnest now, petting him. She scooched a little closer, her right knee hitched up on his thigh. They made an awkward little sandwich. 

“You can tell us about it,” she said. 

Quentin laughed, his smile a little disbelieving. Eliot leaned in a little more. 

“He doesn’t have to talk. I know another way. C’mere…” Eliot whispered, stroking a hand at the back of Quentin’s neck, nearly tangling with Margo’s. “Daddy will make it all better.”

Margo laughed and Quentin rolled his eyes and blushed. Eliot was about to back down when Quentin tilted his head forward.  

“M’k.”

Eliot’s heart stuttered and his head swam but he kept his fingers steady as he grabbed the joint from Margo. He took another hit, keeping his eyes on Q to see if there was any hesitation, holding the smoke in his mouth. Quentin parted his own lips and then Eliot leaned forward, nearly losing balance when a bolt of pain shot through his bad hip. He steadied by himself clumsily by taking hold of Quentin‘s face, bringing their mouths together to exhale the smoke into his mouth. 

Quentin shivered, and then relaxed under Eliot’s touch, his mouth slightly tacky. It was a corny thing to do, and Quentin was lousy at it, most of the smoke escaped, but Eliot had lost his appetite for teasing. He nipped a little at his bottom lip before pulling away. Quentin’s mouth stayed open, a barely-there smile curling at the corners.

“Better?” Eliot asked. Quentin didn’t protest when Eliot kept his hands on his neck, one stroking his hair back and the other just holding, steadying…

“It’s always good with you, El.” Quentin’s voice was overly sincere.

Eliot hummed, partway between an agreement and a stall. He couldn’t see Margo’s other hand, but guessed that it was wrapped around Quentin’s middle. Eliot knew he liked that, ticklish in the tradition way but also just deliciously sensitive if you held him just right. He remembered why he knew that, and how, and suddenly felt the weight of a whole lifetime lived resting in his heart. 

Fuck. 

He took a breath, and then another one as more of the high sunk in. He never got much out of weed, but looking at Quentin, his eyes closed, a little smile on his face as he brushed his fingers down Eliot’s shirt buttons, Eliot felt the euphoria all the potheads raved about.

He stood, and Quentin’s hand fell away. He reached for his cane, jerking his chin towards the kitchen.

“Water.”

Quentin laughed at something Margo said as Eliot ran the tap and braced his hands against the counter. They were cuddled together on the couch, and Eliot wouldn’t need three tries to guess where this was going. Which, great. Really. He could do this. If Quentin wanted an easy night of stress relief and mutual pleasure, Eliot could do that and not be weird about it. 

“You trying to flood the Nile over there?” Margo called. It was her way of checking in, making sure Eliot was ok with this and ok in general, probably. 

“Yup,” he returned, filling a glass and sipping it so as to not make a liar out of himself. He set the glass in the sink, leaning heavily on his cane as he made his way back to the couch. 

Margo was half in Quentin’s lap now, straddling one of Quentin’s legs and pressing a palm to his chest, just stroking. Feeling. Nothing about this was normal, but Eliot wasn’t jealous. A while back this would have been second nature to them, picking up a boy with Margo and leaving him wrecked for everyone else. But this was Q. 

“Q and I were talking,” Margo started, her face flushed.

Eliot lowered himself shakily to his seat again. “That doesn’t bode well.” 

“No, it does,” Quentin insisted, sincere to Margo’s coy, stroking his thumb over the bare skin where Margo’s t-shirt had ridden up.

He was smiling, silly, and Eliot loved him more than he could say. 

Margo disengaged, and Quentin scrambled to sit in Eliot’s lap, his knees bracketing his hips, but not sitting down fully, not yet. This way, he was almost as tall as him, would be taller if the couch wasn’t so damn squishy, and Eliot indulged in resting a hand on his hip.

“Hey.”

Quentin smiled, pushing Eliot’s hair back a bit. “Hey.”

“Want another hit?” Eliot fought to keep his voice casual. 

Quentin shook his head, leaning forward and pressing a soft kiss to Eliot’s lips. Easy, and slow. Margo settled beside him and Eliot pulled away with a shuddering breath. 

“You sure?” he asked Margo as much as Q, hoping he realized he wasn’t talking about the joint. He was a little high, they all were, but he wasn’t doing this without 100% enthusiastic participation, especially after their last foray with the emotion bottles. 

Quentin nodded, nearly knocking their heads together, and Margo’s mouth was already on his neck, searching for bare skin and pulling his collar aside to get it. 

“C’mon baby,” she said. Her voice was less breathless than when they were putting on a show for a stranger. 

This was Q, he thought again, emphatically. Ecstatically. Elatedly. 

He pulled Quentin down, a little grit to his grip on the back of his neck, and kissed him hard this time, palming his ass and encouraging him to seat himself fully. Quentin did, and Margo swept his hair away from his face when it nearly got in Eliot’s mouth.

They might have laughed about that, once. Before Quentin had been dead for three months. 

Quentin was a great kisser. Eliot didn’t know if the official Youtube kiss tutorials would agree, because the thing that made Quentin a great kisser had little to do with his mouth, but with the tiny struggle he went through. He couldn’t get close enough. He breathed hard through his nose and wiggled his hips and grasped where he could but it was like he wanted to crawl inside, and Eliot hadn’t ever known exactly what to do with that, what to do with someone who wanted you that much. 

“Shhh, baby,” he said, while Margo pulled her shirt over her head. “I got you.”

“El,” Quentin breathed when Eliot flipped him onto his back, crawling over him and kissing him against the pillows. “El.”

Eliot’s breath hitched. He still hurt. He cursed the monster and every monster real and fictional for the hurt he felt, the hurt that made him wince when he fell between Quentin’s legs and tried to cover him as was his God-given right. Margo’s hand on his back was soothing rather than sexy when he dropped his head onto Quentin's shoulder. 

“It’s alright,” Quentin said, his voice blown out like a glass bottle. He sat up, gently helping Eliot back to a sitting position. “You don’t have to do anything–  I just wanna–” Quentin tried to say something, but then let his hands to do the talking, his determined fingers working open Eliot’s pants as he fell to his knees. Margo’s mouth was hot on his neck. And then– 

“Oh my god.”

Quentin’s mouth was on him, sucking at the head of his half-hard cock as if he had been drowning and had found the surface. Memories, only somewhat formed from a drunken haze, saw a similar scene, with Quentin on his knees in his cottage bedroom, tears running down his face as he tried valiantly –  braver than any US Marine–  to take all of Eliot into his mouth.

It happened again and Quentin bucked a little as he took in too much too fast. Eliot got a hand on his head, pulling him off. 

“Slow. Go slow.” His own voice was blown out to high hell, just an agonized whisper. 

Quentin nodded frantically and got his mouth back where he wanted, using his hands on the base and bobbing his head with that perfect suction. 

“You always get this face on while someone’s doing this,” Margo said, a reassuring weight next to him as she worked on the buttons of his shirt. “Just stupid happy.”

“You would be too if you–  fuck, Q–” He threw his head back as Quentin swallowed around him. Margo caught him and kissed him savagely, hungrily, her tongue fucking into his mouth as Quentin worked at him and Eliot was lost in it, lost in the sensation until Margo was gone.

“Do you like that, baby?” she asked, sinking to her knees beside Quentin. She whispered in his ear, her hair tickling Eliot’s knee. “He likes it when you use your tongue– right there–” Eliot nearly hit the ceiling as Quentin tongued under the head. Margo smiled up at him, his wicked girl. “He likes to hold something. Would you mind if he holds your hair?”

And then Quentin made the absolute filthiest sound of assent with his mouth full and Eliot had his fingers in Quentin’s hair in an instant, holding, pulling–  maybe–  a little bit, just so Quentin knew he was there. That he was doing an amazing job sucking his cock, that Eliot would do anything to him that he wanted, would give him everything he had always been too afraid to give– sex, for sure, but also affection, touch, love– 

“Q–  Quentin, I’m gonna, please–”

Quentin didn’t back down, and Eliot arched off the couch as he came, the tension draining from his body as Quentin looked up at him through his eyelashes. 

Eliot sat boneless as Margo got Quentin a mug to spit in from the table, his mouth red and shining, and then Eliot got him back in his lap, kissing the taste of himself from Quentin’s mouth while Margo took a walk down the hallway. Eliot shed his own shirt and Quentin rested his head on Eliot’s shoulder as he thrusted his hips against him, dragging his cock over Eliot’s stomach that was still amazingly covered in his sweatpants. It was hot, and desperate, and Eliot got his arms around him as he rocked. 

“You don’t wanna come like that, baby, come on,” Eliot said even as he encouraged Quentin’s movements with his hands. “Margo will fuck you, we’ll make it so good–”

“And then you’ll fuck me?” Quentin said, stilling suddenly, rising up to meet Eliot’s gaze.

Eliot swallowed hard, his breath punched out of his chest. He couldn’t do that. Not if he had to ignore it in the morning. 

“Sure, yeah, Q I can do that if you want me to.”

“I want you to. Want you to fuck me right here.”

Margo came back before Eliot could respond, and Eliot helped arrange Quentin so he was seated on the couch beside him. Eliot knew it usually took more than voyeurism to work Margo up, so it was really a testament to his and Quentin’s little show that while Quentin caught his breath she just slipped off her underwear and climbed in his lap, holding a condom in her fingers and grinning when Quentin just nodded, desperately, his hands already on her hips. Eliot stroked his hair and kissed his face while Margo pushed his sweatpants down and got herself situated. 

“Isn’t she something?” Eliot muttered, another throwback. He was used to promoting Margo’s beauty to boys who were somewhere on the Kinsey scale and needed a woman to loosen their inhibitions. “It’s gonna feel so good, baby.”

“You both feel good,” Quentin said. “So good–  ah–”

Margo moaned as she took him inside for the first time, letting out a laugh and smiling. 

Quentin liked that, and Eliot turned him so that he could press himself against Quentin’s back, wind his arms around his chest and kiss his neck and really make him feel held. Safe. Margo kept the rolls of her hips slow and deep for now. Eliot smiled against his lips. Quentin had a cock she could enjoy, not too big, just enough for her to move on. Just enough to feel good. 

Quentin was so good at making them feel good. 

They stayed like that for a while, Eliot rucking up Quentin’s shirt nearly to his collarbones so that he could play with his nipples, feel him twitch under his fingers, but he knew that Margo liked it faster than this position could allow. Eventually Quentin was laid out flat on his back and Margo braced her hands on his chest as she rode, her hair a wild curtain of curls. 

“El– c’mere–”

Quentin seemed to be having a plenty good time all on his own, so for old times sake Eliot straddled Quetin’s chest and gave her a kiss, deep, just like she liked it. Quentin groaned as he watched them, and Margo drew her fingers between her legs.

“I’m gonna–” she said against his mouth, “I’m close.”

Eliot grinned and grasped her hips, tilting her forward and helping her move when her motions became jerky and erratic. He hopped off as she came, she fell forward over Quentin, treating Eliot to the slick sounds of them kissing. 

It was too much, and not enough, all at once. 

“I want him,” he heard Quentin say against Margo’s lips. 

“Of course baby.” Margo reassured him and then it was a brief tangle of limbs as Quentin was deposited back in Eliot’s lap and they were kissing, licking into each other’s mouths without a care for finesse. Eliot got Quentin’s sweatpants completely off, running his hands over his compact frame, trying to memorize this, record it, file it away for a rainy date when Eliot was inevitably alone again– 

“El,” Quentin gasped, running his fingers over Eliot’s nipples and twining them in his chest hair. “You said–  you said you would.”

“I did, baby.” Eliot’s heart broke at the plea in his voice but he just couldn’t. Surely this would give him redemption, the fact that he resisted pushing Quentin down on his stomach and fucking into him until barely even their friendship remained. Eliot stroked his face, his chest, down to the thatch of hair where Quentin’s cock waited, still hard and slick from Margo. “You’re too close.”

Blessedly, Quentin didn’t disagree. He held his gaze as Eliot finally wrapped a hand around his cock, jerking him fast and hard, aiming to tip Quentin over the edge. To get more of those noises spilling from his throat. 

“Why haven’t we been doing this the whole time?” Margo asked, curled up next to him, content to watch and lazily touch herself. 

Layered and nuanced trauma, Eliot answered in the part of his head that still formed coherent thought. Why indeed? Why hadn’t they taken Quentin in hand right from the get-go, made him theirs, made him his– 

“Feels so good, El,” Quentin gasped. “I missed your hands, miss you so much, I–”

“Shh,” Eliot said, his heart aching. He wouldn’t survive if Quentin said it. “You don’t have to say anything right now.”

“So close,” Quentin whispered, and Eliot focused on the task at hand. He squeezed, and pulled, and reached a hand around to press between Quentin’s ass. He came hot all over Eliot’s hand, letting out a groan that Eliot knew deep in his soul. He stroked him until Quentin whined and batted his hand away. His hair fell ridiculously messy in front of his eyes, his mouth stretched in a smile. 

“That was good,” Quentin said, getting an agreeing laugh from Margo. Eliot felt the fist around his heart tighten.

Things stayed stupidly tender after that. Margo dragged them all in the shower on the caveat that they were not going to soil the expensive sheets, and they stood under the blazing stream, kissing and laughing as they came down from their respective highs. Eliot ruffled a towel through Quentin’s hair, combing it back into a bun with his fingers while they stood naked in front of the bathroom mirror. 

Margo made an excuse and went to sleep in her own room, as was her typical wont, kissing them both on the cheek before making her way down the hallway, light on her feet as she always was after a good fuck. If only it was that simple. 

“Come on.” Quentin pulled on his hand. “Let’s get some sleep.”

He followed Quentin to his room and they put on soft and clean pajamas. Eliot even managed some sleep, lulled by Quentin’s warm breath on the back of his neck. 

He woke to the sound of an ambulance blazing by on the streets below. He checked Quentin, still asleep. Rising quietly, he pushed his arms into a robe as he made his way down the hall. He thought about pouring a drink, and then conversely about making a cup of tea instead, but forwent the kitchen altogether in favor of the balcony, rubbing his hands over his arms in the chilly summer night. 

The streets were quiet below, only the sounds of late-night wanderers making their way up to him. Laughing, talking, scuffing shoes, all normal. 

This was so not normal. Eliot dug his fingers into his palms. He refused to regret this. Quentin had needed him, and Margo had been there, so what? That wasn’t what bothered him. What bothered him was that he couldn’t ever truly have what he wanted. He would wake up, and make a signature Eliot Waugh breakfast and laugh and joke and make everyone comfortable. Too comfortable. And Quentin would leave soon, to go find Alice or himself or a new Fillory, and what would Eliot have?

“El?”

He nearly jumped as Quentin materialized behind him, wearing a Fillory shirt with a big clock tree embossed on the front. It was Margo’s, but oversized for sleep, and hung low on one of his shoulders. 

“Hey Q.”

Quentin sidled up beside him, slipping an arm around Eliot’s and leaning on his shoulder. 

“This is a nice view,” he said. “I haven’t even been out here yet.”

“It was still cold for a while. It’s nice now.” Eliot hated how flat his voice sounded, how hurt it was, even though Quentin hadn’t done a thing. 

A few minutes passed in silence. Quentin rubbed his arm, leaving a trail of warmth on Eliot’s chilled skin. Then he squeezed, looking up until Eliot met his gaze. 

“Can I kiss you?” Quentin asked, just a whisper. 

Eliot’s voice cracked. “Of course, Q.”

Quentin stood on his tip-toes and did just that, a soft press of his lips. Chaste even. Loving. He broke away, his breath warm as he spoke again. 

“Can I kiss you tomorrow?”

Eliot shivered, taking Quentin’s hand and pressing a kiss to his knuckles, squeezing his own eyes shut. “Yeah, tomorrow, any day you want–”

Quentin captured his lips again, stealing Eliot’s breath with a hint of more passion. Quentin’s hands circled his face, and Eliot pressed his into the small of his back. Backing them up, Quentin pressed him up against the high balcony wall. 

“Q–”

“Would you kiss me without Margo there?”

“Yes, yes–”

A shot of pain zinged through Eliot’s bad hip, and he winced, grimacing as he pulled away. 

“Sorry,” Quentin breathed, running a hand over the part of Eliot that might never get better. Eliot shook his head, leaning their foreheads together until the pain subsided. Somebody yelled from the street below, but it was all muffled to Eliot’s ears. 

“Q,” he started, leaning into his bad hip. The pain was good, it cleared his head. “What if I told you I loved you?”

Quentin smiled, a real one. Eliot hadn’t seen a smile like that from Q in this life. Just the other one. 

“You should go for it,” Quentin said. 

Pain be damned, Eliot got him inside and on the couch, leaning on his good hip so he could cover him and kiss him hard. He waited until they had sufficiently made out like teenagers, his heart singing, before lacing their fingers together and whispering the words in his ear. 

Quentin sighed, pressing one more quick to his forehead before saying: 

“I love you too, El.”

They barely slept, talking and touching well into the night, but when they woke up in their (their) bed, Eliot didn’t feel tired. 

Margo sized them up while they ate their cereal, her silk kimono drowning her small frame. 

“You two are gross,” she said with infinite fondness as she got a bottle of water from the fridge. “Love confession via threesome. Gross, but effective.”

Quentin giggled, and if Eliot could bottle the sound he would. He kissed Quentin’s cheek while he was chewing. 

“Thanks Bambi.”

She sashayed away, leaving Quentin and Eliot together ( really together now). 

“You’re welcome.”