The year is twelve hundred and something something. Margo can’t remember the specifics, when she thinks back on it now.
They’d been working a job for several weeks now, and the details of that have gone fuzzy as well. It had involved surveillance, endless days of waiting for the right piece of information to drop, nights taking turns on watch for signs of movement from a nearby camp.
She knows they were somewhere dry and warm, can feel the phantom grit of sand between her toes when she lets her mind sink into the memories. Julia would be able to tell her the exact year, probably, and where they’d been, and why they’d been there, but for Margo, just because something is important in the moment, doesn’t mean she needs to hold onto it forever.
Mostly what she remembers is the heat.
Inside the tent, El and Q are drowsing in one corner, Julia lying with her head in Margo’s lap in another. The temperature control spell they’d put on the comfortably enlarged canvas is starting to wear thin; they’ll have to reset it in the morning. But for the moment it’s bearable, cooler in the tent than it is outside, but just warm enough to impart a feeling of sluggish, peaceful oblivion over the four of them.
She can’t remember, now, why they could all lie around like this with nobody on watch, what the circumstances were for them being there all together, her entire world gentled in repose after a long day, curled up or stretched out like a litter of cats.
She’s comfortable here. She’s warm, and she’s safe.
Margo fights back against the feeling of restlessness for as long as she can, but something in her won’t let sleep come, won’t let the night sweep her away. Margo is used to boredom, of course, has lived through centuries and has experienced the utter extremity of the emotion, the way it burrows into the center of you, somehow even more deadly than grief. Margo has rarely ever truly wished for the end of her life, but when she has contemplated it, it’s usually because of boredom more than anything else.
This isn’t that bad, of course. But it’s bad enough that Julia notices her less-than-sanguine energy, and blinks open one eye, looking up at her.
“Not ready for sleep?”
“Mmm,” Margo says, noncommittal. She’s not ready for sleep, but she’s not sure she’s ready to move, either.
El shifts his head and tilts it at her, a silent question. Am I needed?
Margo dismisses him with a flick of an eyebrow, and Eliot settles back in with Q, whose breathing has gone even and slow, the slightest wheeze on every inhale.
And then Julia, rolling her head along the meat of Margo’s thigh, lifts a hand and pets it quietly over Margo’s stomach, another question without words.
Margo answers with a shift of her hips, with a hand coming down to pet softly through Julia’s black hair. Until Julia suggested it, Margo couldn’t have said that this is what she needed, but it’s obvious now, the way to break through the ennui, to settle herself into a measure of true calm.
She’s stressed, and it’s been some time since she’s been really stressed, working a job. Even after all this time, Margo is not by nature a patient soul.
Julia slides up her body in a sinuous movement and nudges her nose into Margo’s chin, inhaling deeply to smell her, and Margo turns her face into Julia’s hair, sniffing the musk of a long day of anticipation and no action. There’s a sourness to it, a dissatisfaction to the day, and it tells Margo that Julie needs this too, something to mark the day worth it, a point of pleasure to ground them in the moment so that this day doesn’t slip past and into the mists of time like so many others.
At this point, Margo does a cursory check on the other occupants of the tent. Julia’s hand is splayed on Margo’s stomach, up under her shirt and branded warm across her skin, and she’s sliding her palm in slow circles, moving lower, ever lower. In a minute, she’ll shift, her fingers will turn downward, they’ll slip—
El is looking at her, eyes shining in the dimness. Margo smiles at him, and he very slowly, very deliberately, brings a hand down and adjusts himself, running his palm against the bulge tenting the thin blanket he’d been using to cover his legs.
Julia kisses Margo then, so she’s distracted by the hot, slick slide of her lips, almost too warm in the growing heat of the tent, and then there’s the dance of a skilled lover’s fingers, now playing just at the edge of the dark curls between Margo’s legs. But when Julia lets her go and drops her face to Margo’s neck, sucking a slow mark that will fade within minutes, right against her pulse point, Margo looks back over to see that El is still staring, and that Q is not as asleep as she’d previously assumed.
His own eyes are flickering between El and the women, like he can’t decide where to look, and then El decides for him, grabbing Q’s arm and enacting a tricky maneuver that flips him over and lays him on his back, and from there, things go…
Things go molten, and as hot as a mirage in the desert; fabric is shoved away, clothing discarded into a shared puddle in the middle of the tent, breathing going shallow, sweat beading along brows, hair sticking messy to the back of necks.
Margo sinks her head onto the rolled up blanket she’d been using as a pillow, as Julia shifts, grinds herself on Margo’s thigh, and finally slips her fingers into the wetness between Margo’s legs. Margo makes a sound, something punched out from her chest without her permission, and it breaks a seal of silence, as El follows the sound with a quiet little sound of his own, an anticipatory groan, rumbling through his chest. There is the sound of kissing, of rustling, and Margo bites her lip as Jules slips two fingers inside of her, turning her head so she can see—
El, kissing Q like he means to suck the life out of him, Q, surging up to meet the touch like he’s starved for it, like they’ve been apart, and are finally snapping back together. How long has it been for them? For all of them? Oh, her Julia is so smart, to know they needed this, to make it happen for everyone.
“More,” she says, eyes on Q, on the way his hands have dug hard into El’s lower back, pushing and pulling on his bare skin until Margo can see the white indents that he leaves behind, as his hands move lower, as Eliot’s hips rut forward. They’re not connected, just sliding against each other with impatience and need, and yet it’s still slow: even as the intensity builds, it’s languorous and drenched in heat, in slick, and Margo can smell them, and smell Julie, smell herself, fuck.
Julia crooks her fingers, and captures Margo’s mouth again, demanding her full attention for a moment, but even without the visual, the sounds of Q and El are the perfect accompaniment to the growing swell of feeling low in her gut. It’s all happening quickly, the way she’d known it would the second Jules began touching her, and sure enough the steady rhythm of Julia’s fingers increases to keep time with the slap of skin from the other side of the tent, and it grows in tandem with Julia’s own squirming, her hips twitching, a wetness soaking the crease at the top of Margo’s thigh.
Julia places the heel of her hand against Margo’s clit and grinds down, and it’s almost too much pressure all at once, but Margo’s right there and she gasps, calling out wordlessly as she comes, the whooshing in her ears fading down just in time for her to hear a low grunt from El, an accompanying whimper from Q.
Clumsily, arms shaking, Margo reaches a hand down and curls it around Julia’s hip, urging her on. She’d flip her over, give her her fingers or her mouth, but she knows Julia, knows her sounds, and knows she’s so close, right there, teetering on the edge. Sure enough, Julia swears and bites down on Margo’s earlobe mere moments later, her legs spasming gracelessly, a shiver overtaking her entire body.
They don’t really talk, during the comedown. Tonight isn’t a night for words. It’s hardly the first time they’ve done this, and it won’t be the last, but Margo takes the moment and she marks it in her mind. She’ll remember how a day of nothing, of frustrating stagnation, contained at least this one moment of simple, carnal release.
And the dangers of boredom are held at bay.