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I got a picture in my locket, that says baby I love you

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“One should always be drunk. That's all that matters...But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you chose. But get drunk.”

― Charles Baudelaire, Paris Spleen

 

It was a hell of a party. But then he shouldn’t be surprised, the best parties are always held around June, as the gays throw their pride around and straights rise to try and top them. Not that they ever do.

He and Margo had gone out and wound up at two- maybe three parties, it all got a bit blurry after a while. After all those cocktails and that one party that was 90% ambient marijuana, and that bottle of vodka they may have stolen from a bar-

They stumble back home to the Physical Kids cottage at about five in the morning, Margo clutching the empty bottle and him dangling her discarded Jimmy Choo’s from his fingers. They fall through the door with a clatter, kicking over the umbrella stand by the door and bunching up the rug.

Margo cackles into his chest while he is laughing through her hair which has fallen in his mouth.

Then a beautiful face appears over them.

“Quentin!” he exclaims, dropping the shoes with a thunk so he can reach out and make grabby hands at the man.

Quentin frowns at them both.

“It's 3 am.”

"And you're still up?"

"Julia and I were studying in the library."

"You got drunk in the library?"

"I, what- I'm not the drunk one, you guys are!"

He looks so grumpy. Eliot wants to kiss his face.

Beside and or on top of him, Margo giggles.

“Nice pj’s.”

Eliot wills his eyes to stop being foggy to focus on Quentins sleep pants and grins when he sees that they’re patterned with Hobbits. He redirects his grabby hands to touch them.

“Aww, Q,” he giggles, lifting up the hem to tickle up his calf just because he knows it will make Quentin squirm, “My little nerd.”

“Um, how drunk are you two?”

“What are you a cop?”

Quentin rolls his eyes at Margo and then bends down. It’s a bitch for him to help them both stand, what with Eliot being so much taller than him and Margo knocking into him with the vodka bottle. But he manages it eventually while Eliot is leaning across his shoulders, twirling his fingers through his hair. When he next tunes back in Bambi is propped up against his other side and Quentin has made the bottle disappear.

“Okay,” Quentin huffs, “Now we go upstairs … some-fucking-how.”

Eliot presses his grin into the top of Quentin's head. 

He and Q have been … well, dating isn't the right word. And they aren't just fucking because some nights Quentin will just cuddle up beside him, and more than once now Eliot has helped him through his classwork either by helping him with his tuts or just running his fingers through his hair. It's a between points relationship. Unspecified.

Whatever it is they have been doing it since about a month after Quentin started at Brakebills. One night, filled with liquid courage and after about an hour of being teased by Eliot and Margo he'd kissed Eliot and then dropped to his knees to suck him off only to not be able to figure out his belt at which point Eliot got him to his feet and suggested just making out until they weren't so drunk tomorrow. They've been … whatever-ing ever since. 

And Eliot-

Eliot has a fondness for his Q that is unlike anything he's ever felt before. A love, really. Though he hasn’t said so out loud, has never said it outloud to anyone who isn’t Margo. But he has recently let himself start thinking it.

Eliot loves him, but not the way he loves Margo. Margo is the other half of his bitchy bedazzled soul. Quentin is the permanent flutter in the bottom of his stomach, the smile that he wears without even trying. The person he always always wants to look at.

He loves when Quentin is bratty, when he is happy, and even when he is sullen and sad. He wishes he could help him more when he feels down, and it frustrates him, but he loves him so so much even when he hasn’t showered in a week and is the grossest person on campus.

He also loves how perfectly he fits under Eliot's arm. He loves that he is such a giant nerd and is as unashamed by it as he is about being the world's neediest bottom. He's … good. So good.

He's not one of Eliot's first-year boys.

He's not like anyone Eliot has ever met before in his life.

And how he is holding Margo to his side, panicking every time she wiggles in his grip because he’s trying to be a gentleman.

Which immediately turns his mind to Q being ungentlemanly, and how his head would explode if Eliot and Margo took him to bed and popped his threesome cherry. 

“Okay,” Q huffs when they are finally up the stairs and he is hip checking them towards the bedroom, “Alright, almost there-”

“Bathroom first,” Eliot tells him, taking the opportunity to kiss his ear. Q has cute ears. The cutest ears, and that is not the vodka talking.

“Huh?”

“Bathroom,” Margo agrees, stretching out the ‘ooo’ sound, “I am not sleeping in this face, Coldwater.”

“Hmm, Mama doesn’t abide pimples.”

“Abide?” Quentin shakes his head, “Okay. Hold on, we’re going to the bathroom.”

“Yay!” someone says, maybe him, maybe Margo he can’t really tell. 

Quentin maneuvers them into one of the Cottages communal bathrooms, and after a moment of indecision, he dumps them both into the tub. The world spins and Eliot giggles at the sickly feeling, giggling harder when his eyes refocus and he sees Quentin’s beet-red face. Margos skirt has ridden up her thighs and Quentin’s eyes keep darting from them to Eliot’s chest peeking through his mostly unbuttoned shirt. With a smirk, he slips his hand to tuck between Margo’s thighs and watches as Quentin’s face gets impossibly redder. Eliot can only imagine the chaos bouncing around in Q’s baby bisexual brain.

Fuck- okay, what are we doing here?”

“Under the sink, there’s a … thing.”

“A box.”

“Yeah, a box. Get that.”

Quentin bends over under the sink and out the corner of his eye he sees Margo’s head tilt to admire his ass … at the very moment he is as well.

“Not bad,” she hums.

“You have no idea.”

She presses her smirk into his cheek.

“Not yet.”

Quentin pulls out the large Tupperware box and his eyes boggle.

“W-what is all this stuff?”

“Potions,” Eliot waggles his eyebrows, “Youth potions.”

“You can’t possibly need all these just to take off your makeup.”

“Hey, it takes a lot of work to be this fuckable. Coconut oil first.”

Eliot claps his hands and says “Chop-chop!” and they dissolve into giggles again when Quentin glares at them.

Quentin blobs the Coconut oil onto their face and leaves them to rub it in themselves, watching with a mix of fascination and mild horror, probably at the horrific way lipstick looks when it smears. 

He chokes off a scream when Margo tells him to wait halfway through and takes off her eyelashes.

Jesus . I thought you were so drunk you- fuck , okay.”

When they’re done Quentin wipes off their faces, carefully tucking their hair out of the way.

“Cleanser next, baby.”

Quentin locates the cleanser and takes a moment to read the instructions on the bottle. Then he pumps the bottle onto some fluffy wipes and carefully runs them over first Eliots and then Margo’s face. He is careful around their eyes and mouth, mumbling about chemicals and the poison hotline. Eliot preens under the intimacy of the touch

They let the cleanser dry and Quentin holds the box down for Margo to shuffle through. Bambi has a face mask for every occasion. 

“These-” she waves the tub of pear scented under eye patches in his face, “And then this-” the tub of clay face mask, “-Leave them on for ten minutes and your ass is as smooth as a baby's face.”

“Other way round.”

“Huh?”

“Never mind, let me just-”

He peels the under eye patches out of the tub, carefully like he is handling live leeches. He squishes them under their eyes, grimacing when one makes a squelching noise. Next, he opens the face mask. He holds it up to his face and hums.

“That smells nice.”

“It’d better, it cost eighty dollars.”

“Eighty-!” Quentin boggles at them, “What the fucks in here?”

“No idea,” Margo shrugs, “Don’t care.”

Quentin handles the jar like he is holding a small child, fingers shaking as he dips the plastic brush into the goop. He smears it across both their faces, huffing every time they move or speak and he has to go over an area again. Eliot keeps ‘accidentally’ smearing his just so Quentin will keep touching him. 

As they are letting the mask do its work Eliot coaxes Q down so he can slip some of the patches under his eyes as well. Q flushes prettily as Eliot smooths his hair out of the way and keeps one of his hands on the back of his neck as he applies them.

“There we go,” he whispers, “Now those bags under your eyes will be less roller case and more carry on luggage.”

Quentin snorts and kisses the palm of his hand as he is pulling away.

“Thanks, swamp thing.”

Eliot smiles though he doesn't get it, feeling the mask on his face crack slightly on his cheeks.

Ten minutes pass and Quentin wipes their faces off and then wipes oil over their fresh new skin, rolling his eyes when Margo makes him dry their faces with a fan. 

Eliot doesn't remember how he got them out of the bath, he gets too caught up in the crinkle between Quentins eyebrows. When he zones back in he is sitting on the edge of his bed watching Quentin help Margo into a set of Eliot's pajamas while also keeping his eyes firmly closed. Margo is grinning from ear to ear, giggling when she brushes against Quentins hands, making him splutter and flush redder. 

Eliot giggles with her. When he's sober he will have to explain to Q that Margo really doesn't mind him looking. 

Quentin guides Margo back to the bed, and now it’s Eliot's turn. Quentin keeps his eyes open this time. 

When they are all dressed Quentin tucks them in and doesn't really fight when Eliot snags his arm and pulls him into bed between them.

Eliot tucks himself up against Q’s side and slips his one of his legs between his. Across from him Margo lays her head on Q’s shoulder and hugs a pillow to her chest. The blanket settles over them, engulfing them in a warm cocoon. Above him Eliot hears Quentin sigh before he feels a kiss be pressed against his hair.

And Eliot feels-

He just feels so much.

Tilting his head up he gives Quentin his best puppy dog eyes.

“Read to me?”

Ever since he learned about Eliot's dyslexia Quentin had been reading to him before they went to sleep, excluding those times they uh, wore each other out too much to do so. First had been the Fillory books, which they had breezed through. Quentin thought it was because he was enraptured with the story. In truth Eliot could not get over how beautiful Quentin looked, how he shined with happiness as he read him the words that saved his life. It was amazing, and Eliot never wanted it to stop. After that came the Lord Of the Rings, then the Earthsea Chronicles, and they are currently moving through Harry Potter. Eliot finds he sleeps best after Q reads to him.

And those times when Quentin was too sad to get out of bed let alone read a book, Eliot had read to him. It was hard, halting because of the way Elliot's eyes refuse to read a line in order, and he often had to stop to translate a word, but he loves every moment because of the way the tension of Quentins shoulders eased and he was able to get actual resting sleep rather than the exhausting depression naps he was running on. It’s not a cure, but Eliot will do a shit ton of small things if it helps Quentin win the daily battles he has to fight. 

“My books in the other-”

Eliot gestures sharply, there is a flash of red, and The Chamber of Secrets comes flying in to land softly on Quentins stomach.

“-room,” Quentin snorts, kissing him once more on the head before picking up the book, “Okay. We were in the forest, with Aragog.”

“I hate that fucking spider,” Margo grumbles, eyes already closed.

“He’s misunderstood,” Quentin argues as he finds the page he dog eared.

“He tries to kill them!”

“Hey,” Eliot slaps her arm that’s laying across Quentins stomach, “Spoilers.”

Margo grumbles and settles back down, halfway to sleep already.

Quentin opens the book and begins reading. His voice is gentle and has a lulling rhythm that has Eliot’s eyes drooping before the chapter is even finished. He fights against the feeling, not wanting to stop looking at his … his-

“Q?”

Quentin hums just as Eliot’s eyes lose the battle and slip closed.

“Do you wanna be my boyfriend?”

If he was fully awake and sober he would have noticed the long moment of silence. But he is sleepy and buzzed and all he can think about is how nice Quentin's chest feels under his cheek.

A hand slips through his hair, twining with his curls.

“Yeah,” Quentin whispers, “Yeah I do.”

Eliot smiles and kisses the shirt clad chest under his face.

“Yay. Goodnight.”

Sleep pulls him away and the last thing he feels is a pair of smiling lips pressing against his forehead.