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3 Nights

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Jules didn’t know when she started spending more time at Elliot’s house than at her own. Last semester she and Rue had spent most of their time sprawled out on her bed or sitting on the floor, washed out in the hazy light that filtered through her curtains. Then she had been grounded and wasn’t able to go anywhere but her house. 

Sometime after that, she had met Elliot for the first time and now she found herself sitting on his bed while he waltzed with Rue in front of her. They weren’t really dancing, not seriously at least, but Rue fell easily into his arms like they had been doing this for years. They orbited each other like twin stars on the edge of a black hole, pulling away and then colliding back together. 

Supernova. 

Jules watched as Rue fell back and headed towards the bathroom, waving back at the two of them lightheartedly. Elliot collapsed next to her on the bed. The warm lamplight of his room reflected off his hair, making it glow, dripping in gold and honey. 

Before she could talk herself out of it, she pressed a kiss to his lips. He responded eagerly, his palm resting against the bare skin on her abdomen while her palm raised to cradle his cheek. 

They kissed like they were running out of air, curling into each other almost instinctively. Like they were the last two people on Earth. 

Jules pulled away first, wiping spit from her lips as she looked at him. “I think she has a crush on you.” 

“Who?” 

“Who else?” Then, just in case he didn’t get it, she added, “Rue.” 

Elliot moved closer to her, pressing their bodies together from shoulder to hip. The warmth of his skin against hers was intoxicating. “Should we all just fuck?” 

Jules giggled and he pressed open-mouthed kisses to her neck, teeth scraping lightly against her skin when he couldn’t hold back his grin. 

Distractedly, Jules considered the idea. She had to admit that it had some merit to it. She liked Elliot. And Elliot liked her. 

She softened when she remembered how just a few days ago he had called her fascinating and fuckable and said that it was hot that she and Kurt Cobain had the same haircut, which was by far the best compliment she had ever received. Much better than anything any of the guys she had hooked up with before had ever told her. 

And she knew that he liked Rue. She had known even before she had asked, back when Rue had first introduced them. That’s why she had thought she wouldn’t like him. But he had told her the truth when she had asked, which she admired. 

And Rue had to like him too, at least a little bit. She was the one who had invited Jules to his house after all and she couldn’t hide the happy glow on her cheeks when she danced with him. 

And Jules liked Rue. And she thought Rue liked her too. 

The idea lingered in her head long after Rue came back and Elliot left for the same reason. When Rue curled into her side, her hair falling between them and frizzing up with static, Jules decided to put it to the test. 

“Truth or dare?” she asked. It was more of a formality at this point since none of them ever chose truth. 

“Dare.” 

“When Elliot comes back, you should kiss him.” 

Rue’s nose wrinkled, but not in distaste. She looked curious. “For how long?” 

“Ten seconds.” 

“Alright.” 

Rue kissed Elliot hesitantly at first but then melted into it. Jules watched as his hand went to her hair and pulled her flush against him. Distantly she realized that the music was still playing, soundtracking the scene. 

When they pull away, the only thing she could think to say was, “that was more than ten seconds.” 

Elliot looked over at Jules instantly, his hand stilling where it was still poised behind Rue’s head. “Was that a dare?” He asked it like he wanted it to be more. 

“Maybe.” She paused, then committed herself. In for a penny, in for a pound. “Truth or dare?” 

“Dare.” 

“I dare you to lick from here,” she pressed the tip of her finger to just below her navel then dragged it up, slowly but surely, to the edge of her sports bra, “to here.” 

He paused, considering. “Wow, your girlfriend is sexy," he said, looking over at Rue. 

Rue made a look crossed between disgust and agreement. It made Jules want to kiss her. 

Elliot grinned wolfishly back at Rue and then kneeled before Jules, hands coming up to either side of her hips to pull her closer to him. Tantalizing slow, he circled her navel with his tongue and then drew it upwards towards her chest. Jules stared at Rue the whole time, maintaining pointed eye contact. 

He pulled away when he reached the edge of her bra but his hands lingered on her hips. His head turned to face Rue and Jules realized she could get used to this sight. If only she could decide what to look at: the toned expanse of Rue’s stomach cut between her sports bra and the band of her underwear that she wanted to kiss the same way Elliot just did for her, or the platinum curls on Elliot’s head that she wanted to run her hands through as he kissed her again. 

Jules wanted both of them. 

It was surprising how easily Elliot slotted into her dreams of the future. She could see him in their New York City apartment, sitting on the couch and playing his guitar for Rue while Jules cooked them dinner. She could see her and Rue going to all his gigs and cheering him on from the crowd and then going home to curl into each other on their king-sized bed. She could imagine a life full of Elliot’s music and Rue’s laughter. She wanted to wake up with the two of them next to her, the three of them against the world. 

Her voice cracked as she spoke up. 

“Truth or dare?” It was an open invitation to either of them. 

“I’m tired,” Rue responded, flopping down on the bed next to Jules. Elliot climbed up after her, causing the mattress to bounce as he laid down on her other side. “Truth.” 

“Do you like Elliot?” 

“Yeah, he’s my friend.” 

“No, do you like like him?”

“Oh.” Rue looked up at the ceiling, lips pursed. “This feels like a trick question.” 

“I won’t be mad if you do. I promise.” 

“Okay.” Rue sighed, exhaled, and pressed her hands to her forehead. “Then, yeah, I guess I like him.” 

Elliot made a sound of discontent from her other side. “You guess? Well, that’s flattering.” 

Jules giggled. “Elliot, truth or dare?” 

“Truth.” 

“Do you want to date Rue and me?” There it was. Her big idea, out in the open and ripe for the taking like a peach in an orchard. She waited to see if Elliot would pick it. 

Elliot sat up, propping himself on his elbows to look at her. “Both of you?”

“Well, yeah. I’d date you and Rue, Rue would date you and me, and you would date both of us.” 

“Word,” Rue echoed next to her, half-heartedly pumping a fist in the air. 

“That sounds fantastic. You’re both fucking great.” Elliot’s grin in the lamplight reminded Jules of when they interrogated him back when they all first met. She was convinced that she wouldn’t get along with him because he wanted to fuck Rue. She’s glad things turned out this way instead. 

He likes them both, genuinely, wholly. 

“Can I kiss you?” 

She nodded and he leaned in, capturing her lips gently but firmly. One hand ran feather-light touches along her side while the other traced up her jawbone to cradle her neck and turn her head up towards him. Her neck strained with the motion but she was too lost to care. 

They fit together perfectly. 

Elliot pulled away, breathing heavy, and Jules melted. 

“Rue?” he asked, lips quirking up into a grin. 

Wordlessly, she responded, leaning over Jules and taking his head into her hands. She pulled him towards her and kissed him. The side of her coat brushed over Jule’s stomach and she could feel the cotton of Elliot’s shirt on her other side where he was pressed against her. 

She had never felt more at peace. 

When the two of them separated again, cheeks flushed, Rue collapsed boneless back onto the bed. “That was amazing,” she said, completely and utterly blissed out. 

The three of them laughed, voices tangling together into one giant wave of happiness, fizzing and bubbling and crashing over them. 

Jules could get used to this. The three of them were perfect together. They were all a little bit sarcastic and fucked up, wild and free and straining to take all that life had to offer, but deep down were sweet and caring. She saw it in how genuine Elliot could be at times or how Rue didn’t try to hide her bashfulness or clumsiness around her. They cared for each other and that’s what mattered. 

They didn’t need anyone else but the three of them. 

“This was a good ass idea,” Elliot murmured. Jules reached out and took his hand, and then Rue’s. 

“You’re welcome.”

Jules wanted to immortalize this moment forever, just so that she could never possibly forget it. 

The song Elliot had put on spun to a stop, the track fading out and drowning the room in a comfortable silence. For a moment, the only sound was their breathing rising and falling, slowly intertwining into one melody. It pulled them together, their heartstrings wrung taught. 

“I’m gonna go put something else on,” Elliot said, rolling off of the bed. Jules could hear him bustling around the room until he came to a stop and a new song started playing. 

“Come on,” he said, coming to stand at the edge of the bed. He held out a hand to each of them. “Let’s dance.” 

The three of them spun and spun, making circles until coming back to hold each other again. Elliot was the best dancer out of the three of them, moving right on time with the track and twirling them when things got too boring. Rue would interrupt their dance to pass either of them a quick kiss, anywhere from their mouths to their cheeks to their necks. Jules followed the two of them and spun between them, raising her arms in the air like a bird or a ballerina poised to take flight. 

Together, they formed a three-pronged constellation, their very own Orion's Belt. They collapsed into each other, smiling and laughing as they tried to keep from falling to the ground. 

Jules was breathlessly, deliriously, happy. 

She never wanted this moment to end. She would be content if only she could spend the rest of her life at Elliot’s house, spending time with the two people that she loved.