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The Fool's Guide to Seducing Eliot Waugh

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Forward: Bi Solidarity


Quentin was sick of hearing how much he needed rebound sex. It would have been one thing if the person lecturing him on it was up for it himself, but...well, here they were. He tried to not look at Eliot as the thought sailed past. Rebound sex wasn’t really what he wanted either way. He wanted normal. He looked down at the paper he was writing. He’d titled it Magical Applications in Thermodynamics

So, obviously, normal was just around the corner.

“Okay, Q what are the rules for the party this Friday?” They were sitting on Eliot’s bed. Quentin was surrounded by reference books and Eliot was perched primly on the edge, sipping wine as though he didn’t have any homework to speak of himself.

Quentin had been listening; ignoring Eliot wasn’t exactly in his skillset. But, he could pretend not to listen when Eliot went off on one of his tirades about finding a nice girl for Quentin to settle down with—or fuck for a night—or whatever it was he wanted for Quentin. 

“What?” he asked.

Eliot cleared his throat pointedly. “You know better than to actually bring homework to Wednesday Study Night with Eliot.”

“Maybe he is hopeless,” Margo said from her spot at Eliot’s vanity, continuing to file her nails without looking up. She had abandoned her own workbooks on the floor hours ago.

“Which one of us?” Quentin muttered as he pushed his hair out of his face and tapped the papers of his essay together.

Margo perked up, a wide grin spreading across her face. “Point, Coldwater.”

“Quentin, we can’t help you get past this post-Alice funk if you aren’t willing to give us something to work with."

Margo glared at him. “Don’t lump me into this—”

“Thank you, Margo!” Quentin puffed his chest out, triumphant. If Eliot wasn’t going to listen to him about not needing help finding a...whatever ...certainly he’d listen to Margo.

“—I just don’t think there are any women on campus for him. Lost cause and all that.”

Margo cackled as Quentin's face fell. 

“Spoke too soon, Q?” Eliot pushed a few of his books to the side so he could lean against Quentin, as if in hopes of making his point stick. “Now, how many girls are you going to go talk to before you are allowed to come to hide behind the bar Friday night?”

“How come you’re allowed to hide behind the bar?” Quentin asked.

Eliot looped an arm around Quentin’s shoulders and said, in his sagest of voices, “Because, darling Q, the bar is my wingman. You need to get your own.” 

Quentin looked at Margo with desperation, and she snorted. 

Quentin was not smooth. He knew this about himself. It was filed into his self-awareness catalog right between So Bi Can’t Sit Straight and Desperate for Physical Affection. He was trying to come to terms with editing the entry Knows Better Than to Fall in Love With Best Friend to something along the lines of Incapable of Not Falling In Love With Best Friend, but it was slow work.

On top of all that, Eliot expected him to hit on women at this party. 

For Eliot to expect him to be smooth—while he was considering such edits to his self-concept, while he was also trying to not pine after his best friend, while he was also getting exceptionally drunk because he kept making trips to the bar to talk to his best friend—was unfair of him at best and delusional at worst. At least, this was what Very Drunk Quentin concluded while pretending to not stare at Eliot talking to some random herbology bro across the room. 

It wasn’t his best work, he knew, but he could workshop it with Sober Quentin whenever he reappeared. 

“Jesus, Q, you’re going to chew right through the glass.” Margo plucked the empty martini glass he was unconsciously gnawing on out of his hand and replaced it with a bottle of water. “Besides, that’s Josh you’re glaring daggers at. We know Josh. We like Josh. Josh has good weed. El has a very strict don’t sleep with your dealer policy. You’re fine.”

“I am not glaring daggers at—”

“Quentin.” Margo stepped squarely between him and the bar. “Drink some water. Okay?”

“Okay.” He tried to avert his gaze, but Margo just followed him. 

“You’re reeking of stupid decisions. Nothing stupid without running it past me tonight, m’kay?”

“Okay.” She patted his cheek. 

Quentin slunk off to the back patio, trying to follow Margo’s advice without calling more attention to himself. At some point, Margo found him again. This time she brought a bottle of wine and a pack of cigarettes, which were both significant improvements from her last contribution. 

He told her so. She told him he was lucky he was cute when he was drunk off his ass. She challenged him to a duel between pirates they cast out of their cigarette smoke.

Eliot found them doubled over laughing when he came out to join them. Quentin immediately grabbed Eliot by the hand and pulled him down to sit snug against his side. He started to tell him how their duel had devolved into an argument over something about birds but got lost halfway through the story. 

He didn’t really remember. Margo didn’t either. It was hilarious, though, they both assured him of that. 

Eliot gave them both good-humored smiles, slid his arm around Quentin’s shoulders, and told Margo to pass the wine so he could catch up to them.

Quentin needed Margo’s help. It took some deep soul searching and three entire weeks more of Eliot’s campaigning for him to find a new girlfriend before Quentin could admit it, but what he was trying on his own was clearly not working. 

Arguably, what he was trying wasn’t much more than just silently pining, but either way, it wasn’t working.

The only time Quentin was absolutely certain he could get Margo alone was Tuesday afternoons during Eliot’s Advanced Meta-comp elective. Not because Eliot loved meta-comp. He really, truly hated it, which he announced loudly to the entire Cottage anytime he had an assignment due. Quentin knew Eliot never missed a lecture, though, because it was taught by Professor Blaine Northrop, who was by Eliot’s definition “the prototype of the perfect man.” 

Professor Blaine Northrop was tall, had short, perfect hair, and wore leather jackets as he drove to and from campus on his loud, obnoxious, magical motorcycle. Quentin sometimes referred to him as Hagrid in his head.

Because of the magical motorcycle. 


This particular Tuesday afternoon, though, Quentin was grateful for Hagrid, because he needed Margo’s help. He wasn’t sure if he needed help getting a reality check, or help to lobotomize himself, but he knew Margo was fully equipped to handle both. 

Margo’s bedroom door was open, but Quentin knocked anyway. 

“Thank fuck.” Margo turned away from her desk and waved for him to come in. “If I have to read one more paragraph about magic’s influence on the World Wars I’m going to have a fit that does not end well for Todd. Sit.” She patted the tufted bench at the end of her bed. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”

“So, Margo, you’” She tilted her head to the side and watched him fidget with his hands. “Right. I’m hoping that like—Okay, so...the thing is, I’m not sure what I’m asking you for. And the thing is, I like, haven’t had to have this conversation in a while so I’m not really sure how—”

“How to say that you’re bi, and you’re in love with our best friend and half the time he talks you can’t make up your mind if you want to permanently glue your mouth to his dick or if you want to bitchslap him for being so mind-bending-ly oblivious?”

The world did not deserve Margo Hanson.

“Yep. That. All that. Exactly that.”

She nodded and patted his knee.

“For what it’s worth next time, if you do decide to bitchslap him, I’ll back you up.” She waved a hand to shut her door and sat up a little straighter. “I wish I could say I’m surprised we need to have this conversation, but Eliot’s prime directive is defined by his self-depreciation, so he was never going to figure it out. That you’re bi, I mean—he is completely certain beyond telling that you’re straight for no reason other than that he actually wants you. Believe me, I’ve tried.”

Quentin opened his mouth to object but she waved her hand in his face. “Yes, yes, fucked up, I know. We can bemoan the depths of Eliot’s trauma later. Point is, if you want to seduce El, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve gathered years’ worth of knowledge. Could write theses on the matter. Many a man has begged at my feet for just a hint of what I know. Men have promised the world if only I would help them in such a quest, yet never has one asked that I have deemed worthy. You, Quentin Coldwater, are worthy...if you think you’re ready.”

Margo’s smile might have turned a little maniacal, but Quentin told himself it was merely theatrical on her part and not at all because she was subtly telling him that if he fucked up he was dead. 

“Wha’d’ya say, Coldwater?”

Quentin licked his lips. “You’re sure? I mean, you’re sure that he would even want...that. By me. Specifically.”

“That grand speech and that’s all the reaction I get?” Margo looked away as if in contempt, but then looked back sideways at him with a slight smirk. “What do you want to hear? That he throws himself on my bed like a fainting Disney princess over you? That I’m going to rip his dick off and give it to you for a pacifier if I have to listen to him talk about your adorable pouty face one more time?"

“I mean...If it’s...Yeah?” He was having a hard time forming words around his smile. 

“You’re both going to be nauseating when I’m done with you, Jesus Christ.”

Phase One: Steps 1 - 3

Step One: Do Not Give Him Any Excuses


Margo was very specific: if Quentin gave Eliot even the most infinitesimal reason to think anything happening between them might have been caused by any sort of substance or spell, Eliot would take that reason and run with it. There would be no compromising; there would be no arguing. Eliot would never believe it happened any other way, for any other reason. Margo sealed that promise with a one-hundred-percent money-back guarantee. 

Initially, Quentin took this to mean that he should approach Eliot on a random afternoon on a weekday, and Margo laughed. He’d clearly misunderstood. It wasn’t going to be convincing enough for Quentin to not be under the influence—Eliot couldn’t be under the influence either, or at least not significantly. Quentin pointed out that was absurd, and Margo asked if he wanted her help or not.

The problem, of course, was Eliot’s flask. The bottomless flask had always intrigued Quentin. He had always wanted to know more about the spell component and he had always wondered what was in it. Those things made it interesting, obviously. But then there were also the finer points to consider: how it looked in Eliot’s hand when he gestured dramatically with it, how his throat bobbed when he drank from it, and afterward, how he smirked if he noticed Quentin watching as he wiped his lips with the back of his wrist. And those were just the things he could think of off the top of his head.

Now, he realized the flask was a terror and a menace. Or, at the very least, a significant cockblocker. 

The only day Quentin would even have a chance was the one day of the week Eliot didn’t carry his flask on him. That day was Friday, because as Margo put it, “Daddy doesn’t fuck with sloppy party preparation.”

Quentin still tried to suggest approaching Eliot in the afternoon, before the party started. Margo sent him directly out of the room to get her a drink because she was going to need it if he thought that interrupting Eliot in full party preparation mode was a recipe for success.

So, to Quentin’s dismay, his shining moment was to be at that Friday night’s party, with all the world to see and all his competition flouncing about.

Step Two: Take Him by Surprise


Quentin looked longingly at the glistening drinks Eliot doled out to his guests. The signature cocktail of the night was a spicy, herbaceous tequila drink which, honestly, could have really helped. 

For the first time in weeks, Eliot hadn’t pestered Quentin to go mingle while he served his guests. That meant Quentin got to perch right where he wanted: on a stool behind the bar, out of the way while Eliot mixed drinks. Quentin loved watching Eliot like this. Sure, the sexy bartender thing worked for Eliot—with his tight waistcoat and shirt sleeves rolled up to his elbows, bare forearms flexing with each turn, or tut, or shake. But, Eliot also always looked so much more relaxed and content than just normal, every day. He shined a little more than usual; he looked refreshed after bringing half the campus together and starting them off on their way to enjoy their weekend. 

Once most people had their first round and the crowd around the bar started to thin, Eliot wiped his hands on a towel and picked up the last two drinks he’d whipped up. Quentin stood as Eliot moved towards him, all rejuvenated smiles and bouncing curls. He swayed in close enough that Quentin could smell his sweet cologne as it enveloped him.

“Come on, Q.” Eliot handed him one of the tequila cocktails. “I refuse to have a drink myself until each of my guests has what they want. I know you’ve been eyeing them.”

The deft little bit of eyeliner smudged around Eliot’s eyes was both a gift and a mockery. Quentin was never going to get over how just that little bit sent him over the edge every single fucking time. While he was distracted, Eliot clinked their glasses together and then, before Quentin could do anything, Eliot took a sip of his drink. 

Certainly, one sip wouldn’t disqualify him; that would be ridiculous.

He still heard Margo’s voice ringing in his ears: no excuses, no excuses, no excuses, or else he might be worse off than if he did nothing.

One sip couldn’t make or break it. This was Eliot. One sip—two sips, Quentin corrected himself, as Eliot watched him over the rim of his glass, tipping more drink between his lips—couldn’t possibly be enough to justify an excuse

Eliot swallowed and licked his lips. His eyes sparkled. He was excited for Quentin to try his cocktail. He wanted Quentin to like his drink. Quentin knew he would. Eliot knew he would, too, but it was important to Eliot to hear it. 

The way that silent understanding passed between them in an instant was, in and of itself, proof enough that he wasn’t going to survive waiting for another chance now that he was this close to it.

There simply wasn’t a way he would last another week of Eliot sitting next to him at breakfast, and insisting he share Eliot’s bacon rather than sulk over cold cereal, and Eliot making him a perfect latte just the way he liked after he drained his first, lazy cup of black. He knew he wouldn’t last another week of Eliot walking to class with him and telling him stories with all his performative gusto and playfully bumping his shoulder as they went. He couldn’t do another week of Eliot wrapping an arm around him when they sat together on the couch, making sure their glasses were full and making sure he felt seen, heard, and valued as part of their trio. And just laughing with him, genuinely enjoying his company, just existing in the same house together, in the same room together, in the same space together. 

He was so close. It would drive him insane if he came this close but didn't try. Another week of the Eliot-ness of it all would be too much, too much, too much. He knew what it meant to him, he knew what he wanted it to mean to Eliot, but he didn’t know. Another week of not knowing would be too much. 

Margo said he wasn’t reading into things too much. Margo’s confidence in his ability to do this was more than he ever could have hoped for; it was more than he deserved; he knew better; he knew that; he got it. But she’d told him. She’d told him to just do it. But one drink. If one drink was going to cost him...

It took Quentin exactly four seconds to think of all the ways it would be too much to wait, and he knew what he had to do. He downed his cocktail in two gulps—and yeah, it was really good, if he didn’t fuck up everything about their friendship with this, he’d have to ask for a special batch sometime—and he slammed his glass down on the table. 

“Eliot, um.”

“Wow, Q. Didn’t know—”

Quentin reeled him in by his tie, and kissed him. Barely. Quentin was supposed to be surprising Eliot, but surprising him with the world’s smallest, shortest kiss probably wasn’t the way to go about it.

But Eliot smiled. 

Eliot smiled.

He wrapped his hand around the back of Quentin’s neck and kissed him, sweet and slow.

They kissed for...a while. Quentin lost track of time as Eliot pinned him against the wall. Eventually, they made it to one of the bay windows, though Quentin couldn’t recall how, or who they pushed out of their way to lay claim to it. He didn’t think twice about climbing on top of Eliot to straddle his lap until he got there, but the way Eliot gripped the back of his thighs was encouragement enough to stay.

Quentin cupped Eliot’s jaw in his hands and focused everything he had on pouring a wordless confession into the space between their lips. Eliot’s tongue pressed against his—soft, gentle, curious, warm, focused—though Quentin couldn’t say which of them opened up for the other first. He tentatively wrapped his fingers into some of Eliot’s curls and Eliot actually moaned into his mouth like he was trapped in heaven. 

Eliot’s hands moved from his thighs to his back, just the lightest of brushes as Eliot touched him, felt him, kept him close. He could feel Eliot’s fingers as they flexed and bent and pressed over his spine and shoulders. There was nowhere on his body he didn’t want Eliot’s hands. Nowhere he hadn’t imagined Eliot’s hands. Nowhere he’d rather be than in Eliot’s lap, with Eliot’s hands on his body, kissing Eliot like he was his entire world. 

No, that wasn’t true.

Stairs,” Quentin panted the word, squeezing his eyes tight as Eliot’s tongue trailed across his jawline. Eliot didn’t respond. With his lips free to roam, he started nibbling and kissing his way over Quentin’s neck with luxurious attention. Quentin tried to memorize the feeling, certain that Eliot was about to break away laughing at him, laughing the kiss off, with some reason for why they shouldn’t.

Please.” Eliot’s breath wrapped around him as he whispered it. Quentin’s lips were back on Eliot’s instantly. Eliot ran a hand through Quentin’s hair, holding him firmly as if he would try to run. As if there was anywhere Quentin would rather be than in the Cottage, in this window seat, in Eliot’s lap, kissing him like there was nothing better in the universe.

Right. There was. 

“Okay.” Quentin pulled back, resting his forehead against Eliot’s. 

“Stairs?” Eliot asked.

“Stairs,” Quentin confirmed, smiling wide, “we should—yeah. Stairs.”

Eliot gripped his hands to help him balance as he climbed backward, but then Eliot didn’t let go as he stood. Instead, he laced their fingers together and pulled Quentin back to his chest. Eliot dropped a kiss on Quentin’s brow, then his forehead, then his cheeks. Quentin kissed him back lightly, in no rush to go anywhere. He was simply content to stand with Eliot, completely entranced, sharing his air. 

“C’mon,” Eliot said. Still holding on to one of Quentin’s hands, Eliot led him to the base of the staircase. When they got there he turned to drop another kiss against Quentin’s temple. “You’re so distracting,” Eliot muttered, the words fluttering against the shell of Quentin’s ear.

“You’re distracting.” Quentin smiled, his entire being feeling light as he started up the steps, pulling Eliot after him. Eliot followed without hesitation until they reached the first landing, where he gave Quentin a slight tug on his hand. They’d reached their decision point: down the hall or up to the attic. 

Quentin tucked his hair behind his ear as he turned to face Eliot. Eliot had already lost his tie. Quentin couldn’t remember when, but seeing Eliot taken apart just that little bit sent satisfaction burning through his gut. His own shirt was distinctly rumpled. They were still holding hands tightly as if letting go would unwind what had gotten them where they were. 

Eliot cleared his throat and started to ask, “Your room or—”

“Yours,” Quentin said. He’d made it this far. It was working. He could do this. 

Eliot smiled at him, squeezed his hand, and turned to scale the next flight of stairs.

Step Three: Take Him to His Room


Climbing to the attic took just enough time for Quentin’s confidence to deteriorate. Just because the perfect way their lips fit together was seared forever in Quentin’s brain didn’t mean it had even phased Eliot. 

Quentin could feel his palm sweating against Eliot’s—unsexy as hell. His hair was—well, he had no fucking clue what his hair looked like. What was he even wearing? Jeans that Margo had spelled too tight and a shirt Margo had pulled out of his closet he was positive wasn't his. He probably looked ridiculous. 

Then, they were in Eliot’s room. Then, Eliot’s door closed behind them. Then, Eliot grabbed him by the hips and Eliot pushed him backward and...oh. 


It had taken them so long to climb the stairs that Quentin had forgotten. When he considered how their lips were a perfect fit what he really meant was that it felt like they were never meant to be apart in the first place. 

Quentin had no idea how long they stayed pressed together against Eliot’s door, increasingly ravenous for each other. Time was an illusion. Air was a necessary evil. But fucking Christ, this was the second time in however long Eliot had pinned him against something and as far as Quentin was concerned, Eliot was welcome to pin him down to any surface he liked for the rest of eternity. 

Eventually, Eliot did pull away. He rubbed his nose against Quentin’s as if reassuring them both he wasn’t going far. 

“Hi,” Eliot said, breathing hard.

“Hi,” Quentin said back as Eliot kissed the side of his mouth.

Eliot pulled back a little further, and Quentin felt anticipation tear recklessly through him as their eyes met. Eliot’s eyes were incredible, gorgeous, all-consumingly stunning. Quentin knew this already. It was perhaps the farthest thing possible from new information. However, this was the closest Quentin had ever been to really get a chance to study them. Flecks of brown looked like gold up this close; he could see now the subtle, light green around his irises was dappled with even more complex shades. 

It wasn’t just his eyes, either, but the way Eliot was just standing there just looking at him. Having Eliot’s eyes on him the way they were was perfect in the same way that feeling Eliot’s lips against his was perfect. 

Quentin smoothed a hand down from Eliot’s shoulder to his wrist, holding on lightly. “Do we need to talk about any of this?”

“We can.” Eliot stroked his fingers through Quentin’s hair. He leaned into it, rubbing his cheek against Eliot’s open palm. Quentin held his breath as Eliot smoothed his thumb across Quentin’s bottom lip. “Do we need to?”

Quentin pushed himself up to kiss Eliot again. Eliot opened for him immediately; slid a leg between his thighs; placed one hand firmly on his hip to hold him in place. The restraint hit him good. He wanted to feel every piece of Eliot pressed in against his body, keeping him down, dominating him. Quentin reached around Eliot’s back to try and pull him closer as if there was any space left between them.

God, his pants felt tight. And god, he could feel Eliot as they ground against each other. Quentin gasped against Eliot’s mouth as Eliot ran a smooth hand from his shoulder to his hip to the curve of his ass with an approving grunt. 

Quentin started working on the buttons of Eliot’s waistcoat. It seemed to drive Eliot into a slow mania, biting Quentin’s neck, pushing his hands into Quentin’s hair, groaning against him like they were already naked.

“Let me take care of you,” Eliot whispered. Quentin nodded. The subtlest brush of telekinesis helped Eliot reach down and lift Quentin by his thighs as if he weighed nothing. Quentin wrapped his legs around Eliot’s torso and buried his face in his neck, breathing in deep. It was all he could do to not be completely overwhelmed by how fucking hot it made him: to be carried across Eliot’s room, to Eliot’s bed, because that’s where Eliot wanted him, and all for no reason other than that Eliot wanted to take care of him.

Eliot spread him out like he was precious, and Quentin bit his lip against making an embarrassingly needy sound. Without a word, Eliot ran his hands down the entire length of Quentin’s legs. He took Quentin’s shoes off, then his socks. Then, eyes pinning Quentin down stronger than anything yet, Eliot climbed up onto the bed and straddled Quentin’s hips to start unbuttoning his shirt.

Eliot asked as he went, “You know what you want, baby?” 

“I want you to fuck me,” Quentin answered. The words came more easily than he expected, despite all his nerves and arousal-induced haze. 

It was true. That wasn’t all he wanted, but it was true and it was an especially pressing part of the truth right in that instant. 

“You’re sure?” Eliot smoothed his hands over Quentin’s bare chest and leaned down to nip at Quentin’s collarbone. “There’s easier ways if you want. If you haven’t...before."

It wasn’t as bad as ice water, but only because Margo had warned him, and only because Eliot’s hands were still roving over his bare chest, and only because they were so obviously good together, and only because he’d already forgiven it for it before it happened. 

Really, because it was Eliot

“I can suck you off instead if you need me to prove how much I like cock or something.” He tried to say it with a laugh. He couldn't tell if it worked. 

“Tempting,” Eliot hummed as he brushed his lips against Quentin’s. Then he pulled back, eyes assessing him. Quentin wasn’t sure what he was looking for, but he was willing to give him as long as he needed. He didn’t want to rush this. It was too important. Eliot was too important.

“Okay,” Eliot whispered, more to himself than to Quentin. He reached out a hand and brushed his fingers down Quentin’s side. “Okay.”

“Eliot...” Quentin took his face in his hands. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, Q. I’m good.”

Eliot inhaled and closed his eyes. He wrapped his hands around Quentin’s wrists and pulled his hands away from his face, but not far—just far enough to kiss each of Quentin’s palms in turn, then the insides of both of his wrists. Eliot opened his eyes when he was finished and smiled. It was a kind smile, Quentin decided, not as wide as Eliot’s normal grin but just as bright. 

Quentin smiled back. “You seem to be wearing a lot of clothes for someone who’s ‘good’ with being offered either a fuck or a blow job.”

Eliot raised an eyebrow at him and his smile tilted sideways. 

“Or both,” Quentin amended quickly, “to be clear: not opposed to both.” 

Eliot gave him a full-bodied laugh that sent Quentin’s heart soaring. 

“Let’s get you more comfortable first.” Eliot’s eyes shifted a little with his voice—darker, warmer, more focused on what they were doing. Eliot slid backward to kiss him above his belt as he unbuckled it, and stayed there for a few luxuriating minutes until Quentin started to whine, sensitive and needy. Carefully, and tortuously slowly, Eliot worked his way back up Quentin’s body. He brushed his scruff along Quentin’s ribcage and rubbed his face in Quentin’s chest hair as he went, dropping kisses anywhere he could think along the way.

Once Eliot’s lips finally returned to his own, Quentin propped himself up on one elbow, his other hand settling behind Eliot’s neck to keep him there. Quentin desperately tried to give Eliot everything; he tried to convince Eliot he was right where he wanted to be and tried to convince himself it was working.

Eliot’s hands started working on his own belt, he fumbled a little as Quentin refused to let his lips go and they both laughed between kisses. Eliot smoothed his hands through Quentin’s hair and kissed him harder and deeper. He pulled Quentin up by his shoulders and pushed his shirt off. He ran his hands over Quentin’s shoulders, dropped his mouth to smooth kisses over his skin and Quentin let his head fall back. He needed to remember the feeling in the morning, and he was suddenly glad for how sober he was.

“C’mon, let me.” Quentin pushed Eliot back just enough so he could start unbuttoning Eliot’s shirt. The whole time, their eyes were locked together. It was slow work, as they both couldn’t stop stealing kisses and wouldn’t stop pressing hands and lips and tongues against bare skin.

Once they were both finally naked, some missing piece seemed to snap into place. Languid kisses quickly became scorching; their whines for each other started to turn feverish. Finally, Quentin settled back and Eliot knelt between Quentin’s thighs. Eliot leaned in, practically laying on top of him, with their hard cocks barely brushing together. 

“Let me take care of you,” Eliot whispered against Quentin’s ear, and Quentin arched his back, moaning as Eliot’s hands slid down his arms.

“Jesus Christ, El, anything." His fingers dug into Eliot’s back as Eliot lavished his tongue over his neck, over his pecks; down further, further, further still, until his lips were playing along the crease between Quentin’s thigh and groin. Quentin wound his fingers through Eliot’s hair; he was gentle, but it still set Eliot moaning pleasantly into the inside of Quentin’s thigh.

“Tell me again what it is that you want.” Eliot’s breath was hot as his lips just barely brushed against Quentin’s skin. “I wanna hear it.”

“Want you to fuck me.” Quentin tried to keep from bucking his hips up, letting Eliot’s hands roll over his thighs and his chest. “Jesus, fuck. Just want you...god, El.” Eliot’s fingertips grazed over his balls and Eliot made a satisfying sound. 

Eliot wrapped his hand around his cock and Quentin felt the shock through his entire body. He convulsed, rolled his hips into it, and Eliot looked pleased as he started to pump his fist up and down. 

The real thing was everything compared to how many times Quentin had imagined it. 

"You're…" Eliot started to say, still fisting Quentin’s cock while petting Quentin's thigh with his other hand. "Tell me again. Love hearing you say it."

"Eliot, " Quentin keened, voice strained. Eliot’s hands were too soft, too slow, too sensual, all while his goddamn beautiful eyes traced fire across his skin. Eliot made a sound at the back of his throat and leaned forward to kiss him. Their cocks slid together into Eliot’s hand, and the connection made Quentin gasp into Eliot’s mouth. Eliot’s hips rocked forward against Quentin, and Quentin wrapped his arms around Eliot’s back, hands grazing down his spine, over his ass, back to his shoulders—anything to bring him closer

Eliot’s lips were everywhere. He teased his way across Quentin’s jaw, his neck, his shoulders—he stopped to suck a bruise against his pulse. Quentin let out a strangled noise; there were few things he wanted more than to live the rest of his life marked by this man.

“Tell me,” Eliot whispered, breath hot against his neck before he kissed Quentin again, hard and deep and completely disallowing him to say anything. All the while, rutting against each other, Eliot’s palm wrapped around their cocks and accelerating the pace between them

“Eliot…Quentin kept panting between each kiss, “Eliot..."

Want you,” Eliot whispered so low, it made Quentin tip his head back and close his eyes with a groan.

Christ, El, fuck me,” Quentin begged, his voice breaking and his breath shallow. Eliot moaned in answer, as he finally released their cocks and grabbed Quentin’s thigh to hitch his leg around his hip. Quentin could feel Eliot's cock sliding against his body and he pressed into Eliot to feel it more. This was what he wanted—he wanted—he wanted—

“Want you,” Eliot whispered again.

Fuck, yes,” Quentin moaned back, hands roving, heart racing.

Eliot kissed him one last time before he grabbed Quentin's other thigh and maneuvered his legs wide and open. Quentin moved for him easily—he wanted Eliot to move him, he wanted to be exactly where Eliot wanted him. Eliot slid back and nuzzled Quentin's chest as he went. "Tell me if it's too much, but I'm gonna take my time prepping you."

"Please," Quentin whined, perfectly content to let Eliot do whatever he wanted if it meant they were together.

Hours later, when Quentin woke up, the sun was starting to peek through Eliot’s curtains. Eliot was out of bed and dressed, seated at his vanity selecting his jewelry for the day. Eliot looked relaxed, maybe even happy. 

Eliot could be happy, right? That was a possible outcome of this scenario. Margo might even say the expected outcome of this scenario. 

Eliot noticed him watching in the mirror and gave him a small smile. 

“Breakfast?” he asked. Quentin nodded. “I’ll meet you downstairs.” Eliot shut his ring box with a crisp snap and stood up. “Don’t be late. I won’t be stasis-spelling your pancakes.”

Eliot winked and shut the door behind him as he left. Quentin immediately rolled onto his stomach to take a deep breath of Eliot’s sheets. The bed smelled like Eliot: wonderful and clean and just enough masculine musk to drive him up the wall. 

He gave himself a few moments of solitude before forcing himself out of the bed. Gathering up his clothes from the floor, he reassembled himself as well as he could manage. 

He thought about walk of shaming it. Part of him wanted to walk of shame it for whoever was in the kitchen to see—to know. But, probably no one else would be in the kitchen. And if they were, they probably wouldn’t even notice. 

Margo would notice. And Eliot would know—though he’d probably just think Quentin was being lazy—but probably no one else. He wanted to say fuck it all anyways, march downstairs and stuff himself with Eliot’s pancakes wearing the clothes Eliot had peeled off of him the night before.

At the last second, he veered to his room for his regular fit jeans and a clean hoodie. 

Eliot greeted him just like a normal Saturday—like they were still perfectly amicable best friends who absolutely did not have mind-searing sex the night before. They still laughed through their whole meal. Eliot still squeezed his shoulder before clearing their plates when they were done. Eliot still washed and Quentin still dried because Eliot was still convinced that even the most sophisticated of cleaning spells wasn't good enough for his dishes. 

It was all just part of their routine. 

At least he knew they were okay.

The rest of the weekend was just more evidence they were okay. Nothing had turned bad, at least. That was fine. That was okay. It was better than some of the many worst-case scenarios that had plagued him since forever.

Sunday afternoon he was pretending to study alone in his room—specifically not thinking about how fine things were—when Margo barged through his wards and his door. She popped onto his bed with a self-satisfied smirk on her face. “What the hell did you do to him, Coldwater?”

He blinked at her, still doubled over his books, still not thinking about how things were fine.

“Answer the damn question.”

“What do you mean, ‘what did I do to him?’”

Margo glared at him. “It’s been two days. My best friend left the party he was hosting barely an hour in, with the man he’s been pining over literally since day one, and he is not telling me what happened. You know we fuck and tell in this house. So, I repeat: what the hell did you do?”

“Wait, he’s upset? I thought things were fine. Clearly not, like, great. But he’s been—don’t tell me he regrets it, Margo. I thought that at the very least, we were fine. Like, okay, maybe it was...underwhelming for him or whatever. Fine. We’ll just. I tried. Okay? I’ll with it.”

“Easy, boy. Calm down. That’s not where I’m going with this at all. He’s not upset. He’s headed straight into step four—which like, yes, called it—but he’s just...Not telling me anything. I thought I was at least going to get an overwrought description of how good your dick smells.” Margo looked Quentin over. “I’m just surprised is all.”

Quentin pulled his hair behind his head and glanced up at his ceiling. He glanced back at Margo, who had a predatory smile on. 

“I thought you said there were just three steps.”

“Three phases, Quentin. Phases. Seven steps.”

His mouth fell open; Margo just kept smiling at him.

“God. Fine. What’s step four?”

Margo nodded, seemingly satisfied. “Sweetie, step four is gonna be so much fun.”

Chapter Text

Phase Two: Steps 4 - 5


If silently pining was torture, confusedly pining was definitely worse. Eliot acted as if nothing had happened and things were fine. So, obviously, Quentin felt the need to follow his lead and act as if nothing had happened and things were fine. 

It wasn’t as though it was infuriating. 

Or aggravating. 

Or distracting.

Margo reassured him that things were fine. She told him things were good, even, but she kept her lips sealed as to why she thought that. 

Also not infuriating at all, Margo.


According to Margo, things were trucking along right as she expected and his job, at this stage, was to “not flip the fuck out.”

Quentin wasn’t flipping the fuck out. Flipping the fuck out would have looked drastically different than what he was doing.

The thing was, he’d seen Eliot kiss boys at parties. Eliot was always fast and hard. Always. Every time. If anyone knew what it was like to watch Eliot kiss other people, it was Quentin “Jealous and Thirsty” Coldwater. 

With him, Eliot had been heated but he’d also been soft. He’d been gentle, easy, slow, caring. Sleeping with Eliot had quite possibly been the most tender, loving fuck of his life. And yeah, okay, fine: even with all the context of their friendship it felt like a lot to use that word, but he didn’t know what else to fucking call it, so here they fucking were. 

Now, if Margo accused him of obsessing over all these facts laid on the table, that would have been one thing. But that was an entirely different thing than flipping the fuck out, thanks very much.

Now that he’d experienced the tenderness, he wanted more. With Eliot, it had been intimate, thorough, deep-down-in-his-bones satisfying, but the heat in it felt more like a fireplace in a winter cabin than a dangerous, untamed wildfire. 

It was a sizable fireplace. It was a huge, gigantic, fierce, roaring, blazing fireplace, not unlike the other huge, gigantic things Quentin got to experience that night but...still. He wanted the wildfire, too. He wanted to know how it felt when Eliot was rough and messy and dirty. He wanted to feel what those other boys felt when Eliot grabbed them with nothing more than instinctual, scorching mindlessness. 

Maybe it was hoping for too much, but he wanted to know what it felt like for Eliot to kiss him like that. He wanted to know what it felt like for Eliot to kiss him in every way conceivable. 

Mostly, he just wanted to know what made him different.

And wanting to know that was not flipping the fuck out, no matter what Margo said as she rolled her eyes at him...again.

Besides, it had only been three days. He was allowed.

Step Four: He’s Going To Call It A Fluke—DO NOT I Repeat DO NOT Let Him Get Away With It


The nice thing about classes and homework was that it did reinforce the normal parts of their friendship. By the end of the week, Quentin actually felt a tiny, little smidgen convinced that things actually weren’t entirely ruined between him and Eliot. He hadn’t advanced things, but Margo just kept reminding him to stick to her instructions; stick to the plan and don’t freak out was her mantra. 

When she walked him through the basics of steps four and five, it sounded like a complicated combination. It certainly sounded more complicated than getting Eliot into bed the first time had been. Margo just smiled at him and condescendingly patted him on the shoulder. She told him to leave the hard parts up to her, and just be ready when the opportunity to act presented itself.

It was Thursday night, and Eliot made the executive decision that he was preparing steak tacos for their dinner. As usual, Margo made excuses and said she’d be back when it was ready, but Eliot assigned Quentin the pico de gallo. Like anything Eliot asked for help with in the kitchen, the making of pico de gallo required careful, precise instruction to get the texture just right

Eliot explained it to him thoroughly.


Eliot didn't slide up behind him and take his wrists in his hands to show him how to cut the vegetables, but Quentin wasn’t above imagining it.

Helping Eliot in the kitchen was one of the things that most helped Quentin believe that things were still normal. It reminded him he was one of the few, select people Eliot allowed to see his passions. He knew seeing this part of Eliot as regularly as he did was special, and if that hadn’t been ruined...well...deep down, he knew he’d take that over getting Eliot’s dick in him a few more times if those were his only options. If that hadn’t been ruined...he’d be okay.

All that considered, he might have suggested more “family meals” than usual in their week since the last Cottage party.

Not that anyone was keeping track.


While they worked together, Eliot told him stories from his and Margo’s last trip to Mexico City, and about the little shop where they’d found the spices he was using to season their steak. He gave a thorough lecture about how magic-pressed was not the same as hand-pressed when it came to homemade tortillas. 

It actually wasn’t that different from his magic-washed versus hand-washed dishes lecture, but Quentin still nodded like it was revolutionary. 

Eliot really got going once the peppers and onions were sizzling in the sautee pan. He set Quentin to watching them and stepped away from the stove to make the sangria. He had a lot to say about the pros and cons of making sangria exclusively with in-season fruit and the acceptable exceptions thereof.

It was the sort of thing that would never have even crossed Quentin’s mind to care about, and Eliot had footnotes

Just as Eliot finished pouring a glass of sangria for Quentin, Margo returned. She watched with her hands on her hips as Quentin tasted it and appropriately praised Eliot for his masterful blending of citrus and wine. She looked between the two of them for a moment. She waited until Eliot’s back was to her and she had Quentin’s attention before she rolled her eyes dramatically.

“We’re going to Ithaca tomorrow night,” she declared. 

“Bambi, no,” Eliot groaned.

“Bambi, yes,” she mocked him and smoothly slid into her seat to load up her plate.

Eliot looked a little bit like he was suddenly spiraling out of control. He stared Margo down with wide eyes. His jaw had literally dropped open. His grease splattered apron wasn’t helping him look any more put together.

“Fine!” Eliot finally remembered how to speak. “Why don’t we just fuck off to Ibiza, then?”

“Oh, you can bet your ass: if students could get in year-round, we’d already be there.” 

Bambi …”

El, we’re going. We’re all going. Q has never been, and as his upperclassmen, it is our solemn duty to show him around The Wonderland at least once.”

Quentin sipped on his sangria, watching the tennis match between them. “I’ve always wanted to go to Ithaca.”

“Don’t get too excited there, Odysseus. She’s not talking about Greece.” Eliot threw his apron on the counter and sat at the head of the table, rubbing his temples, giving Margo a severely displeased look. 

“Ithaca, New York.” Margo beamed. “Hogsmeade for Brakebills if Hogsmede was nothing but drugs, sex, and rock and roll.”

“You’re overselling this.” Eliot still hadn’t taken his eyes off Margo. “The Wonderland isn’t even a real club. It’s a glorified bed and breakfast with club...elements.”

“The Wonderland is a fun, limitless, magical, boutique hotel and nightclub.” Margo drained her own sangria and refilled her glass from the pitcher. “And we’re going.”

From his initial impressions, Quentin was inclined to side with Eliot’s opinion of The Wonderland. Margo led them triumphantly out the portal to a small two-story house, with a white picket fence, white siding, and robin's egg blue shutters. It was well kept, but not exactly what Quentin had pictured from Margo’s description. 

The lobby fit a perfect stereotype of an old, white grandma’s living room, complete with doilies and faded carpets smelling faintly of cats. The receptionist—a young, Black styr, looking supremely out of place with their nose ring, horns, and gauges—greeted them warmly, and handed Margo their keys. Eliot hefted his and Margo’s bags and started heading towards the ancient, wrought-iron elevator, Margo at his side. 

“Why don’t we just take the stairs?” Quentin asked, pointing at the polished wood staircase leading to the upper level. Eliot and Margo exchanged a look, with calculating grins. 

“Should we let him take the stairs?” Margo asked Eliot.

“Well, he has the stamina for it,” Eliot answered. “He’d probably be fine."

Margo raised her eyebrows at Quentin over her shoulder. “Why don’t you just trust us on this one, sweetie?”

Quentin scuttled after them, trying to not swing his duffel bag into Eliot’s stomach as he squeezed himself in next to him. Margo cleared her throat and checked the number on their keys. “Level twenty-nine, please.”

The elevator lurched down.

They passed level after level of long floors of hotel rooms as they descended. Each level was a flash of different colors and decadent rugs. The deeper into the Earth they went, the more Quentin was glad he had listened. 

“Floor twenty-nine, please enjoy your stay!” a mechanical voice chimed, and Margo led the way down the hall. Their suite was luxurious, complete with velvet curtains and glistening chandeliers. Quentin pressed his nose up against the large picture window, where he could look down into a huge cavern to see the flashing lights of the nightclub below them. 

The wards were impeccable. He couldn’t hear the club music or any other guests—above, below, or to the sides. He noticed a little instruction panel next to the window, with the spell to switch the window to natural sunlight reflecting the weather top-side. For fun, he flicked it back and forth a few times before Margo shouted he was going to give her a headache switching between the dark cavern and the bright, mid-afternoon sunshine. 

Their living room had a marble fireplace and a wet bar, complete with a wine cooler Eliot was already rooting through. The bathroom was huge and decadent, with a steam shower, soaking tub, and marble vanity. Quentin poked his head in one bedroom, then the other; each had one king bed. 

Eliot followed in after him, two wine glasses in hand. He seemed to come to the same realization Quentin did, though with a very different conclusion. 

“That’s alright, Margo and I have shared a bed often enough." He handed one glass to Quentin. “Or, you know, whichever one of us ends up going to someone else’s room later tonight. You going to take one for the team for us, Q?” Eliot wagged his eyebrows and Quentin rolled his eyes trying to play it off.

They rejoined Margo in the living room, where she was sitting proudly on one of the two loveseats, sipping her own glass of wine. She exchanged a look with Quentin and her smile widened into a cheeky grin. 

Margo was absolutely the best wing woman he ever could have asked for. He owed her a gift basket. 

Or twelve.

In all honesty, having only two loveseats in the living room did look a little ridiculous. The space was clearly made for larger furniture, and Quentin wasn’t even one to usually notice such things. 

“What’s so special about this club anyway?” he asked, fidgeting with his hands as he and Margo lounged together, ready to descend to the club section of the hotel. 

Margo smoothed down the front of her little red dress and smiled. “First level is just a normal club, but then there's the fun levels. One area, they make you feel like you’ve snorted more cocaine than RDJ ever did, another area you can literally fly around and shit, all different things. Allegedly the spellwork really messes with real drugs, so don’t freak out if any staff check your levels, but personally, I think it’s just to stop people from pregaming. They do want you to pay for some booze.” 

“Um. Margo...what about...step one?” he muttered, hoping Eliot couldn’t hear them through the bathroom door where he was still primping.

“You’ve proven you’ll bang him sober. That part’s done.” Margo had a mirror out, checking her lipstick. “Phase two is all about showing him it wasn’t just a one-time thing.” 

“Right. Okay. So...magic-induced high.”

“Magic-induced high,” she affirmed, “all the benefits, none of the side-effects.”

Quentin stared at her a minute and waited for her to keep going. When she didn't he threw his hands up. “How are those spells not literally everywhere?”

“They're mostly all proprietary to the company that owns this place. Same company that hosts Encanto Occulto, actually, but even they’re picky about which of their locations they allow it at.” 

“And...they allow it at the one closest to the school?” Quentin raised his eyebrows.

“Get’em while they’re young.” Margo shrugged and shouted for Eliot, “Hey, princess, you ready to go?”

Eliot came out of the bathroom with a self-assured smile on his face. If Quentin was any amount of suave, he would have found a way to plaster Eliot against the wall and have his way with him right then and there. As it was, he was very much not suave, so he choked on his own spit instead. Margo sniggered at him, but at least Eliot had the decency to pretend to not notice.  

Always buttoned-up perfect and neat, tonight Eliot was looking...roguish, his fantasy-nerd brain supplied over all his internal screaming. Hair curled to the side, vest hanging open, shirt unbuttoned far enough down his chest to show off his chest hair—altogether the look would have completely ended him in the B.S. (Before Sex) era. As it was, in the year 1 A.S. (After Sex), the only thing he could fixate on was that he knew exactly how the texture of Eliot’s chest hair felt between his fingers. 

Eliot brushed past him and Margo, and headed straight for the door. “I’m waiting, aren’t you both coming?”

They blew straight past the first level of the club to the lower levels and it was, in a word, a masterpiece. 

The cavern was even bigger than Quentin would have guessed from his initial peek out their hotel window. It was at least the width of two soccer fields and looked like it stretched down for miles. A maze of dimly lit catwalks and swaying bridges and escalators linked platforms at all different tiers. All throughout, building-sized, opaque cubes, domes, and spheres glowed in bright, shining colors, like a kaleidoscope with obsidian walls.

Eliot and Margo pointed a few out as they led the way down into the catacomb of color and light. There was a tall pink rectangle that looked like it was at least three stories high. Margo told him it was one of several adrenaline rush rooms where you could skydive from heights no muggle would attempt or survive. On the opposite side, equally tall and yellow was a room they could take flying lessons. Eliot called out a platform with small, green, single-use pods for pseudo-heroin, and a collection of slightly larger purple cubes was for small-party magic-LSD trips. 

They were headed to one of the many dance floors, that was, apparently, Margo’s favorite: a medium-sized, light blue dome with air magically infused with opium that wouldn’t linger once they moved on to the next. Eliot tolerated it, because—and he made sure Quentin knew this was why—of all the areas with lighter alcohol restrictions, it had the best bar.

They entered the doors, three abreast, arms linked, and inhaled deeply as soon as they crossed the threshold into the Top 40 club-within-a-club. 

“And that’s what Fillory would smell like.” Margo giggled and kissed Quentin's cheek.

“Have you ever thought, though," he pushed his hair behind his ears, "about how like...going smell-blind in Fillory would be? I mean, think about it. Eventually, it’s got to just be your normal. And it’s got to work the same way with the high, too?”

Margo grinned and took a breath, ready to answer with her own theories when Eliot cut her off.

“Come, children, Daddy needs a drink.” Eliot grabbed Quentin’s elbow and steered him around the outside of the dance floor. Quentin laughed and happily followed after him. 

It took Eliot approximately two minutes to find a handsome stranger to talk to. Granted, the stranger was the bartender, and Eliot was actively trying to flirt his way into getting them a discounted tab for the night. But, he really didn’t need the reminder this early of how far out of his league he was stretching. 

“Quentin, I can hear you grinding your teeth,” Margo quipped. “Come dance with me.” 

“Margo, I really—can’t I just sit here and enjoy the high? Isn’t that what we’re all doing here anyway?”

“No, that’s what I’m doing here.” She raised her eyebrows pointedly at him. He screwed up his face trying to think of a good rebuttal. 

Eliot rejoined them at their hightop with three shot glasses balanced between his fingers. “Alas, no family and friends discount tonight, but I got us a free round. Cheers.” 

“Losing your touch, El?” Margo goaded him.

“Hardly. The night is young, and so am I.”

They toasted each other, and as soon as they’d drank them down, each of them snorted bubbles out their noses.

“That’s some good Harry Potter shit right there.” Margo smacked her lips. “El, c’mon. Q won’t dance with me.”

“It’s not polite to turn a lady down, Q." Eliot grabbed him by his shoulders and started steering him towards the dance floor. 

Quentin had thought the music was loud before, but it ramped up even higher once they passed through the sound ward separating the dancers from the rest of the room. 

Between Margo and Eliot, he didn’t feel completely out of place. They weren’t dancing together, it was still relatively early and it wasn’t crowded enough yet to necessitate it. But they were friends, they were having fun. It was probably the most relaxed he’d felt in weeks, with his two best friends, and that was really...exactly what he needed, everything, enough.

And not in the self-deprecating way he’d become accustomed to saying something was enough when it came Eliot Waugh, Gorgeous Amazonian Sex God of Virality and Homoerrotic Beauty.

Well...the opium was working, anyways.

Sure enough, as soon as they stepped back out onto the platform, Quentin felt as clear-headed as when they’d walked in—minus a few cocktails and the bubble-snort shot.

They worked their way through three more dance floors with ambient drug-highs before Quentin talked them into checking out some of the others. They went to the arcade, which advertised making patrons feel “in the zone.” Margo trounced them both at every single one of the shooting games, but Quentin won their impromptu dance machine tournament. 

Eliot called them nerds; they called him a sore loser.

They tried out a special exhibit room neither of them had seen before. It was a quiet, meditative space that was illusioned to look and feel like an open night sky with a moon hanging far above. The room was supposed to replicate something called Moon Brain, related to some practice of some Magician cult. He didn’t get the full story, as Eliot rushed him past the plaque explaining everything once he and Margo declared it was a waste of time. 

At that point, Margo started to complain that the mix of artificial highs was leaving a metallic taste in her mouth and she was getting a headache. She stayed through their stint in the stoner lounge, then begged off to bed. Eliot and Quentin both offered to go with her, but she repeatedly insisted in her most terrifyingly Margo way that they stay out and that she’d be fine. 

Quentin did feel a little terrible that Margo wouldn’t be out all night with them. The Wonderland had been her idea. However, he’d also caught the look she sent his way before she turned on her heel and started up the express escalator to the top. So, there was reasonable evidence that she wasn’t actually feeling sick. In reality, she was probably just heading back to the first dance floor to look for someone who wasn’t her two best friends she was trying to help along.

No pressure.

Eliot looped an arm around him, and they were off to the next part of The Wonderland: Eliot’s choice. As far as Quentin was concerned, it could be Eliot’s choice for the rest of the night.

Margo had warded her bedroom door so thoroughly, Quentin didn’t even recognize half the wards she had spelled in place to keep Eliot out. 

God bless that woman.

Quentin cleared his throat. “Hey, um...I don’t think you’re getting in here. If you want—”

“Well, either way, I think a good night's rest will do us both some...good,” the words rushed out of Eliot at a slightly higher pitch than normal. “I can spell the couch longer or whatever. I’ll be...good. You go grab the other bedroom.”

“El, that’s...” 

That wasn’t how it was supposed to go.

“I insist. Good night, Q.”

Quentin hesitated as Eliot turned quickly on his heel and marched back to the living room. Eliot cracked his neck and started tutting towards one of the loveseats. 

“Do you want some help at least?” The words tumbled out of him, faster than he could think about them. “Or like, I’m sure the bed is big enough for...?”

Eliot dropped his hands and shook them out. “No, Q. I’m good. You go on ahead to bed. I’m all good out here. Good night.”

Eliot glanced over his shoulder at Quentin, clearly wanting Quentin to get on with his night and not interrupt his spellwork again.

“Alright, um. I’ll just...leave the door unlocked in case there’s wards against what you’re doing or...whatever.”

Eliot performed a Mann Reveal. “Nope! No wards. Good night, Q.”

“Yeah. Um. Good night, El.” Quentin stood frozen to the spot for longer than he needed to. He wasn’t sure what he was expecting. 

For Eliot to not be able to manage the spell? He had it done in under a minute. 

For Eliot to glance back at him and immediately profess his unyielding desire for Quentin? He was just calmly starting to take his shoes off without even acknowledging Quentin was still standing in the hallway. 

Finally, Quentin turned around, walked to the bedroom, and shut the door behind him. He leaned back against it and sighed. He rubbed his face and grit his teeth against a frustrated groan.

Okay, so he was definitely, maybe freaking the fuck out a little bit, but it was fine. 

Step Four, Take Two: JFC, COLDWATER!


The next Cottage party rolled around, and Quentin set up at the bar again. Eliot looked a little surprised. He goaded him once or twice to go find someone to flirt with—he at least didn’t specify genders, thank fucking god finally, praise Bowie and whoever the fuck else helped with that. It was probably Margo. 

At least, that’s what he thought until Margo arrived fashionably late and pulled him away from the bar herself. 

“Margo, what the hell! That... worked last time,” he dropped his voice into a low whisper.

“If you two morons don’t know how to take advantage of a perfectly orchestrated there-was-only-one-bed situation, you two don’t get to make googly eyes at each other at the bar,” she hissed into his ear as they neared the dance floor. “Do you even want to know how much I had to tip them when I called ahead and asked them to shrink our sofas to miniature?” 

“Margo, we’ve already had this conversation,” he whined.

“Nope. You’re going to come here and you’re going to dance with me. But I promise,” she winked at him and spun herself underneath his arm, “he’ll love it.”

Dancing with Margo really just meant being her backdrop to make sure she looked good. She was flawless, and he just had to follow her lead. He wasn’t even paying attention—just letting himself move as her body dictated—when she pressed in close to his ear and she whispered, "Here he comes, honey."

Quentin glanced up, and sure enough, Eliot appeared to be extracting himself from a conversation with Todd at the bar. He started heading in their direction. The entire way, Eliot's eyes were locked onto him. 

Truthfully, Quentin was used to any number of Eliot’s looks doing things to his body.

He wasn’t used to that look doing things to his body.

Quentin reminded himself to let go of the breath he was holding.

He was definitely open to getting used to it.

Eliot took over as Margo’s dance partner, while Quentin bopped along next to them as best he could on his own. They were gorgeous together, and he easily could have appreciated the scene all night, but after just two songs, Margo unwound herself from Eliot. She motioned she was going for a drink and Eliot…stayed

He slid right up behind Quentin and settled his nose behind his ear. He dipped low enough that he could control how they swayed together with his hips pressed tight against him. Quentin felt lost and found all in the same moment; he couldn’t even begin to think of what to do with his hands. 

As if reading his mind, Eliot took control. He held one of Quentin’s hands in his own against Quentin’s chest, and then guided Quentin’s other hand to his neck. Instinctually, Quentin inched his hand a little further up to tangle in Eliot’s hair and felt lit up from the inside when Eliot gave a satisfied hum and the slightest of nods against the back of his head. Eliot’s other hand drifted down to Quentin’s hip and encouraged him to rock back into him. 

He could already feel Eliot getting hard; he wasn’t going to be too far behind. Quentin lost count of the number of songs they danced to, wrapped up in each other. Eliot kept them moving in time with the music, and Quentin let himself collapse into the natural high of just being together. He focused on Eliot pressing his lips to the back of his neck, tilting his head back to rest on Eliot’s shoulder as Eliot’s arms enveloped his body, smelling the mixture of Eliot’s cologne and sweat. The only things that existed were the points where their bodies touched, and feeling Eliot’s heartbeat against his back and Eliot’s cock pressed hard against his ass. 

Time didn’t matter anymore with their bodies pressed together like this.

"How about a smoke?” Eliot finally whispered close to his ear. Quentin felt his breath punched out of him as Eliot’s lips grazed against the shell of his ear and Eliot’s fingers trailed down the sweat-slicked expanse of his neck.

Quentin nodded and said a silent prayer of gratitude to his patron saint Margo for whatever she did to get Eliot to respond to him like this.

They settled against the low brick wall, facing the forest. They sat close together, thighs touching just barely, as Eliot shook out two cigarettes from his pack. Eliot handed Quentin one and lit it for him with a quick tut, then lit his own. Eliot always gave him one of his cigarettes and lit it for him; it was a perfectly normal thing for their friendship. 

Quentin shivered. It was cool outside, and the crisp air felt especially cold after feeling the heat between their bodies pressed in close on the dance floor. Without any hesitation, Eliot looped an arm around Quentin and pulled him tighter against his side. It was another perfectly normal thing for Eliot to do.

Though, when they’d just come from grinding against each other like clothes were a nuisance, it was easy to believe that maybe it wasn’t just normal.

As they sat there in companionable silence, Quentin reminded himself that was the whole point. He reminded himself that he wanted it to be different, just a little, and it was a good sign if it felt that way. He needed to trust himself, and Margo, and—he caught Eliot looking at him out of the corner of his eye with that almost-happy gleam he’d seen the morning after their first night together.

Yeah, he needed to trust that, too.

He tried to lean into how incredibly sexy it made him feel for Eliot to share all these things with him—his cigarettes, his magic, his time, his presence, himself. He tried to focus on how dancing with Eliot had felt. It wasn't like anything he’d ever felt on any dance floor, ever: secure, and hot, and like the person, he was with actually wanted him. Even dancing at The Wonderland had just been fun; not like what had happened just moments earlier.

It was a little bit easier to believe it wasn’t just normal, on a night like this when it was undeniable Eliot could have found companionship with anyone else if he wanted.

Quentin turned to look at him. Eliot’s hair was wild, and Quentin felt a thrill of delight that he’d done that to him. As soon as Eliot found a mirror he’d fix it, but Quentin felt a little satisfaction that he hadn’t yet, and that his mark would last a little bit longer. Eliot smiled at him, softly, and the arm around his shoulders squeezed him a little tighter.

Eliot took a long drag on his cigarette, then stubbed it out on the bricks beside him.

“One wonders,” Eliot started whimsically, “if I should get on my knees and blow you.” 

Quentin was glad he was holding a cigarette to his lips and not a drink. A spit take after an offer like that was probably peak unsexy. 

The thought was...goddamn, okay: the thought of Eliot Waugh willingly getting his pants dirty to give him a blow job, right outside the backdoor to the Cottage where anyone could walk past was definitely going to be something he obsessed over for a long fucking while. 

The way Eliot stayed relaxed next to him, looking at him like he’d suggested a perfectly normal thing, looking at him like he fully expected Quentin to say yes, looking at him like...whatever it was he was looking at him like...was almost enough to send him to his knees. 

“I think,” Quentin swallowed hard, and Eliot leaned in, almost brushing their noses together, “that you should take me upstairs and fuck me.”

Eliot had Quentin’s legs caught in his elbows as he buried himself into Quentin with a deep, emphatic groan. 

Quentin rolled his hips up to meet him and got a satisfying, almost inhuman growl right against his ear. Eliot bit down on his earlobe gently, and sucked, right in perfect timing as his hips snapped forward into him again. Eliot trailed his tongue around his ear, down his neck, and sunk his teeth into his shoulder with a moan. Thrusting into him, perfect and hot and— oh god, Eliot was hitting him perfectly, every single time. It pulled a feral sound out of Quentin he didn’t know he could make.

God, it was so fucking hot.

“You’re gorgeous, Q. Do you have any idea?” Eliot breathed against Quentin’s mouth, alternating between kisses and tongues mingling and hot, open-mouthed sighs. Quentin responded in kind, egging Eliot on with desperate, sensitive shivers and shaky breaths. “How you just...god...every goddamn time, Q. It’s unfair. It’s so unbelievably unfair. I fucking love it.”

“Show me, El.” Quentin gasped out as Eliot canted into him again, even harder. “Fuck me. Wanna feel you everywhere. Want to walk away from this bed feeling nothing but you.”

Eliot buried his face against Quentin’s chest. 

“Baby, how do you just say things like that?” Eliot kissed his sternum and released Quentin’s knees. “Roll over for me?” 

Quentin sat up and grabbed Eliot and kissed him hard and deep. Eliot crawled back on top of him, pushing him back to the bed, their cocks sliding together, tongues rolling against each other, moans swallowed up by each other. 

“Need you inside me.” Quentin tilted his head back, eyes closed, and Eliot kept kissing his jaw, his neck, his shoulders. Quentin reached down and wrapped both of their cocks in his hand and Eliot rocked his hips into it, with a mindless, uncontrolled sound. 

“You’re the one...distracting us,” Eliot said with a laugh, pumping his cock through Quentin’s fist a little faster. “Don’t worry, baby, I’ll—” Quentin thumbed a slick of precum off the tip of Eliot’s cock. “Shit, Q.”

Quentin arched his back as Eliot sucked down hard against the pulse in his neck. Eliot snuck an arm under him and bodily lifted him further up the bed. Quentin didn’t know if he used magic to help or not but it made his skin tingle like he’d been struck by lightning either way. Eliot coaxed Quentin onto his stomach with fleeting kisses across his shoulders. His hands were everywhere: over Quentin’s shoulders, down his spine, around his hips, fondling his ass. 

Finally, he guided Quentin’s legs apart and settled between his thighs.

“Eliot,” Quentin whined, and Eliot bent to kiss him right between his shoulder blades, “Eliot.”

“Shh, baby, I’m here,” Eliot said the words with his lips pressed to the back of Quentin’s neck as he slid his cock inside him again. Quentin curved his back into it, offering himself up; Eliot wrapped his arms around Quentin’s, interlacing their fingers; Eliot’s chest pressed against his back as a glorious, steady, grounding weight. Eliot’s legs held his in place, and the slide of their thighs together as Eliot thrust into him was heaven. Quentin cried for Eliot as he filled him, covered him, held him. He couldn't get enough of the feeling of being completely contained by Eliot’s body all around him, all while Eliot pushed him closer and closer to what he wanted. 

“Eliot, I need...fuck.” He could feel invisible fingers stroking his cock between his stomach and the bed. 

“What do you need, baby?” Eliot’s lips were everywhere: behind his ear, at the nape of his neck, under his jaw. “Tell me. It’s yours.” 

“Perfect, you’re perfect. Fuck, just need you.

Between Eliot’s powerful, incredible, perfect magic wrapped around his cock and Eliot’s real, amazing, perfect, cock buried in his ass, Quentin came within minutes. Eliot kept moving through him, kept pushing his body through it as he chased his own orgasm. 

“Don’t you dare stop.” Quentin shuddered at the overstimulation as Eliot started plunging into him with an even more feverish pace. “Wanna feel you inside me. C’mon, El. Give it to me.” 


“Don’t stop,” Quentin gasped as Eliot drove his cock home, all the way in, bottoming out, right where he belonged and where Quentin was his

Eliot finally came half-moaning, half-shouting his name. His deep, satisfied groans made Quentin’s heart thrum with pride. Each hard, final thrust sent Quentin spiraling into dazed, blissful contentment as Eliot shuddered and relaxed across his back.

Quentin dozed for a few hours but didn’t quite fall asleep. It was comfortable, laying in Eliot’s bed with Eliot’s arm draped over his chest and Eliot’s sleeping breath even and calm. He tried willing himself to sleep. When that failed, he studied Eliot’s face in the dim light. 

There were certainly worse ways to spend the time.

Quentin shifted slightly, trying to maneuver under Eliot’s arm without waking him up. He thought he’d succeeded until Eliot croaked at him, “Go back to sleep, Q.”

Eliot’s eyes were still closed, but his eyebrows twitched the way they did when he was trying to get Quentin to cooperate with something. Quentin snorted into the pillow. “Sorry, didn’t mean to wake you up.”

Eliot’s arm flexed around him, pulled him across the bed, and nestled his head under Eliot’s chin. He placed a firm hand on the back of Quentin’s head, fingers teasing into his hair. Quentin brushed his fingers through Eliot’s chest hair. 

Eliot took a deep breath like he was going to say something, so Quentin jumped in before he could.

“Thanks. For not kicking me out, I mean.”

Eliot let his breath go and hummed to himself. He brushed his lips against Quentin’s hairline.

“Let’s get some sleep,” Eliot whispered.

Step Five: Morning Sex 


Quentin woke up, still naked and still nestled against Eliot’s side, and it felt really damn good. 

Eliot was awake, laying on his back, staring at the ceiling. He held Quentin close with one arm; his fingertips traced shapeless trails anywhere his hand could reach, sending sparks through his skin. Quentin slid an arm low as he dared around Eliot’s hips. Eliot gave a small, contented hum, and squeezed Quentin just a little bit tighter.

“Good morning, Quentin.”

“Morning,” he said around a yawn. He stretched out a little and resettled himself as close as he could fit against Eliot. They sat in silence for a while, warm sheets wrapped around them, Eliot’s fingers still pulling goosebumps out of his skin. It was nice. It was the type of nice he could soak in for hours.

After a long, silent stretch, Eliot started to get fidgety. Though, not in a way that made Quentin feel like he was being pushed away. The opposite, actually: he kept pressing his fingers deeper into his skin, he kept brushing his chin, his cheek, his nose against the top of Quentin’s head. 

“I’d never kick you out, Q.” Eliot finally said, so quickly and so quietly that Quentin wondered if he meant to say it out loud at all. He wasn’t sure what to answer back, so the words hung heavy in the air. Eliot cleared his throat. “The way you said it last night. You should just know: I’d never kick you out.”

Quentin sat up, propped up on one elbow, and looked over Eliot’s face. Eliot watched him carefully out of the corner of his eye.

Quentin hesitated, then asked, “Has that been bothering you all morning?” 

Eliot turned his face towards Quentin and lifted a hand to tuck Quentin’s hair behind his ear. 

“You could say that,” Eliot murmured.

There was a question behind Eliot’s eyes he wasn’t giving voice to. Quentin desperately wanted to know what it was. He wanted to reach straight into Eliot’s soul and fill him with whatever answers he could give to whatever questions he had. Instead, he leaned over and gave Eliot a kiss he hoped said enough. 

They rubbed their hands and their bodies against each other in unhurried decadence. It felt teasing, easy, nothing serious; if Eliot didn’t want anything, Quentin was still within the realm of surviving a disruption. A few moments after he thought it as if Eliot had heard the thought, Eliot nuzzled his nose and kissed him deeply, and Quentin enthusiastically waved that realm goodbye. He snaked his hand between them and ran a finger along the underside of Eliot’s hardening cock. Eliot let out a shaky breath, almost a laugh.

“What do you want, baby?” Eliot asked him, carding his hand through Quentin’s hair. 

“I wanna suck your dick,” Quentin said between nips along Eliot’s collar bone, “and I wanna ride you after.” 

“Shit, Q” Eliot whispered, fingers flexing against Quentin’s back. 

Quentin raised his head to meet Eliot’s eyes. “Is that alright?” 

“Is that alright?” Eliot cupped Quentin’s chin and laughed through a few light kisses. “Christ, Q. Yes. That is alright. ” 

Quentin gave him a cheeky grin. “Well, I dunno. Maybe you don’t like morning blow jobs or something. Thought I should check.”

“Who do you think I am, Coldwater?”

The honest answer was obviously the sexiest man on campus, anywhere, in the entire world, bar none, but that seemed like it would lead to more questions and fewer blow jobs in their immediate future, which was simply unacceptable. 

His mouth needed a distraction before that answer came spilling out of him. Quentin leaned in and kissed Eliot hard. He nudged Eliot’s shoulder so he’d settle on his back, but he didn’t stop: as Eliot rolled, Quentin followed. He kept kissing him the entire way, smoothing his tongue against Eliot’s, demanding, devouring until Eliot was on his back and Quentin straddled his thighs. 

“You can pull my hair, if you want.” Quentin nuzzled into his neck and lightly kissed the corner of his jaw.

“Fucking hell, Q.”

“You wanna watch, or should I keep the covers on?” Quentin dragged his teeth down Eliot’s shoulder as he asked.

“Tease,” Eliot muttered, his head tilted back, eyes shut.

Quentin latched on to one of Eliot’s nipples and Eliot let out a small whine. Wrapping a hand into Quentin’s hair, Eliot gave an experimental tug. Quentin answered by curling his tongue around Eliot’s other nipple, which earned him a delightful, full-body shudder. 

Eliot had more than taken his time with foreplay up to this point, and he knew it.

“I deserve a turn, don’t I?”

Eliot made a broken sound Quentin didn’t know how to interpret, but it sounded like acceptance. 

He was taking it as acceptance, anyways. 

Quentin took his time studying Eliot’s body with his mouth. He took careful notes of what spots made his breath hitch, or made his grip tighten in his hair. Eliot was slightly ticklish down his left side, but not so much his right. He could hardly control himself—whispering Quentin, Quentin, Quentin —when he set to suckling the stretch of skin between his cock and hipbone. He could barely catch his breath when Quentin spread his legs and laved his tongue over his thighs. 

All things he’d always wondered, imagined, fantasized: now he knew

Quentin ran the tip of his nose over Eliot’s balls and then followed the same path with his tongue. He reached around to grip Eliot’s cock in his hand. Balancing the tip of Eliot’s cock against his bottom lip, Quentin looked up at Eliot. A shiver of arousal traveled the length of his body as he met Eliot’s eyes, dark and hooded; darker than he ever remembered seeing them by far. Quentin had Eliot’s full attention; he’d never craved anything more and he had it. 

Quentin licked his lips, the tip of his tongue brushing over Eliot’s slit with the barest of grazes. 

“Jesus, fuck,” Eliot whispered. His hand twisted gently in Quentin’s hair. Quentin just smiled and licked over his tip again. He took Eliot’s balls into his hand and Eliot sucked in a breath. 

Then, finally, Quentin wrapped his lips around the head of Eliot’s cock, and lost himself in it. 

“Q. Quentin...I’m right there, Q.” Eliot let go of his hair and tugged on Quentin’s shoulder. Quentin let go of his cock, but reluctantly. He rubbed his face against Eliot’s thighs, his balls, his cock, whining just a little bit. ”Damn, Q. So...” 

Before Eliot could tell him what was “so,” Quentin climbed up Eliot’s body and straddled his lap. Quentin was hungry for him. Last night wasn’t enough; sucking Eliot’s cock to the edge wasn’t enough. Nothing would ever be enough, he realized as his eyes held Eliot’s. 

The only reassuring thing was how obvious it was the same fire gathering in his balls was reflected back at him with equal intensity. He had to kiss him. He leaned forward and Eliot grabbed him by the back of his neck to pull him in the rest of the way. 

They broke away panting and not anywhere less frantic for each other. They tried to catch their breath while staring each other down. Quentin wasn’t entirely sure keeping their eyes on each other was really helping. He didn’t care. He never wanted Eliot’s eyes anywhere else. 

“Need you,” Quentin murmured, and Eliot hummed, deeply satisfied. Quentin leaned back and adjusted his position. He called some lube to his hand. As he started working it over Eliot’s cock, he lifted his eyes to meet Eliot’s again. His eyes had only gotten darker.

Quentin sat up straight, his own hard cock jutting out from him. He carefully reached behind his back, and once he had Eliot’s cock in his hand again, experimentally ran Eliot’s tip over his asshole. Eliot rolled his head back, already moaning as the experiment paid off.

“Can I?” Quentin asked. 

“Fuck, yes. Show me how you like to be fucked, baby.” Eliot’s voice was rough, and Quentin was positive he felt it resonate down the length of his own cock. A guttural gasp punched out of Eliot as Quentin spread his knees a little bit wider, and guided Eliot’s cock inside him. Quentin sank down smoothly, his head thrown back in ecstasy at the stretch of it. 

“Goddamn.” Eliot shifted his hips a little to roll up to meet Quentin and Quentin smiled at him. He started slow, getting used to exactly how to move his hips to give them both the most satisfaction. Eliot pushed his hair off his forehead. “Yes, fuck...touch yourself.”

Quentin drew two fingers up one side of his cock, then down the other, and watched Eliot bite his lip as he did. “You like watching?” 

Eliot snapped his hips up to meet Quentin on the downstroke. “Yeah. I do.” 

The way Eliot said it so plainly with so much raw authority—like there was absolutely no question in his mind that Quentin was going to do exactly as he’d asked—made Quentin’s blood sing. Quentin called more lube to his hand and spread it over his cock liberally. He glanced just up to make sure Eliot was watching as he wrapped his fist around himself and started pumping in time with his hips grinding down against Eliot.

Eliot was definitely watching. It was possibly the most focused he’d ever seen Eliot’s eyes and it was all directed at him, jerking himself off over Eliot’s stomach while he rode Eliot’s cock like he was made for it. 

Quentin was pretty sure he was made for it.

Eliot’s eyes drank him in, he licked his lips, ran his hands up and down Quentin’s thighs as they flexed with each up and down motion. 

“Could watch you all day like this,” Eliot whispered. His voice was deeper than usual, in a tone Quentin was beginning to recognize because...fucking hell because this wasn’t their first time doing this with each other.

“Sounds good,” Quentin answered. He ran his free hand through his hair, down his neck, over his chest to graze over his nipples. “Would fuck you like this every day—if you let me.”

“Oh my god,” Eliot said, disbelieving laughter shaking his chest, and he gave extra hard thrust upwards to meet him, “Q, you can’t just…”

“Can’t what, sweetheart?” Quentin asked, rolling the pet name over his tongue, trying it out. It felt right to call Eliot that, and the way Eliot’s whole body seemed to shudder in response made him feel like he’d hit the right note.

Say things like that.”

“Eliot—I’m only here because I want to be.” Quentin spread one hand wide over Eliot’s flexing abs, pressing down, just enough to add one more sensation. Eliot keened, his eyes about to slide shut in pleasure, but Quentin watched with satisfaction as he called Eliot’s attention back: he’d stopped stroking himself to play with the head of his cock. Quentin pressed a pearl of precum out onto his thumb and felt a rush of power as Eliot’s eyes followed it with precise focus as Quentin lifted his thumb to his lips and licked the bead off. A deep, unintelligible sound erupted from Eliot’s chest as he watched.

He never would have believed in a million years that he could make Eliot sound like that

“You get that, right?” Quentin murmured. He shifted the angle of his hips and Eliot let out a bone-deep, wholly enraptured groan as Quentin picked up the pace, skin slapping against skin. He started to jerk himself off again, harder and faster, and Eliot’s eyes kept their hungry focus.

Eliot knew, didn’t he? He knew what this was?

He had to. He had to know.

He needed Eliot to know. He needed to make sure Eliot knew. 

“When we’re together...I feel it, El. And don’t...This—if you think I don’t want this somehow, I can’t...” Quentin kept rambling, not entirely certain of what he was saying. “This is good, El. It’s good’s. I don’t even know, but it can’t feel this good for no reason. It feels this good because it’”

“Fuck, Q.” Eliot reached forward and gripped Quentin’s hips. “Baby...let me. Lean back, and...can I just? Let me.”

Quentin felt Eliot’s telekinesis wrap around his back and Quentin let himself fall backward, just a few inches before Eliot’s magic cradled him at an angle. Eliot bent his knees behind him and canted his hips up into Quentin with a snap. 

Shit,” was all Quentin could get out as Eliot pistoned his hips up again, and again, and again, faster and faster. 

“Keep touching yourself, baby,” Eliot gasped, breathless, “wanna watch you come all over me just like this.”

Eliot...god. You’re...” he groaned against the frustration of not even knowing what to say. Quentin let his head fall back further back into the cradle of Eliot’s magic. It felt like being touched by him all over, and the contrast of his gentle magic with the way Eliot kept frantically fucking into him was making his head spin in the best way. 

“You know I want to. Want to feel you shudder all the way down while you give me your cum.” 

Quentin bit his lip and groaned again. “El …”

“You want it harder baby?” 


“Tell me how hard you want it.” Eliot’s voice was a deep, rough growl and Quentin was certain, for a moment, that he was going to come from the sound alone.

“Hard as you can,” Quentin gasped out. “Give me everything. Can’t fucking get enough of you.”

“You’re so close, baby. I can see it. C’mon, baby. Come like you want me.” 

“God, all I want. All I can think about.”

“That’s right. I’m gonna fuck you nice and good right on past when you finally paint me. But need you to give it to me first.”


“Yeah, that’s it, baby, work your cock for me.”

“Eliot...fuck, I’m…”

“Harder baby.” Eliot emphasized the command with a few extra hard thrusts, making Quentin’s body convulse beautifully around each one. “You’re so hot. So, fucking sexy like this. Give it to me.”

Quentin choked back a sob.

“Make a mess of me, Q. C’mon.”

Eliot!” Quentin finally spilled out over Eliot’s bare chest, hot streaks bursting out of him in stuttering pulses. Eliot kept snapping his hips up into Quentin, shouting with exhilaration as Quentin mewled and rolled his hips against it. Eliot didn’t slow down.

“Yeah, baby, that’s it. That’s right. Fucking need it. Need you. Oh, can fucking feel you.” Eliot kept bucking against him, and Quentin kept crying out with each thrust. Eliot shouted, and then groaned as he released everything he had into Quentin. “God, Q.”

Acting on instinct more than anything else, Quentin immediately leaned all the way forward to kiss Eliot deeply, their chests slick against each other from the streaks of cum between them. Quentin shuddered; his thighs were trembling, but he didn’t want it to be over. He wanted to kiss Eliot like this for eternity. He didn’t want to go back to normal, he wanted this, and when Eliot was kissing him like this—hot, desperate, out of control—he could believe that’s what Eliot wanted too. 

Eventually, they slowed down, panting for breath against each other’s mouths, not able to keep going, but not wanting to part. Eliot tenderly wrapped him up in his arms to roll them to the side. He kept Quentin wrapped up tight in his arms once they were settled, and performed the tuts to clean them off behind Quentin’s back. 

There were a million things Quentin could think to say. Instead, he nestled his face against Eliot’s neck, and kissed his collarbone as gently as he could, while Eliot played with his hair, and pressed his lips against his forehead.

Chapter Text

Phase Three: Steps 6 - 7

Step Six: Use Your Words


On Monday night, Eliot caught Quentin in his bedroom doing homework and invited himself in. They ended up making out on Quentin’s bed for hours. Eventually, they did come to an agreement that they were hungry for dinner. Another hour and a few very long, very heated kisses later, they did finally decide they really were serious about food. Eliot whisked him downstairs to cook for the two of them. For their nightcap, they got a little wine drunk and it wasn’t long before they ended up back in Quentin’s room with their clothes on the floor. 

At Wednesday Study Night with Eliot, Quentin did legitimately need to study for an exam the next day. He sat on the floor of Eliot’s room, warning both Eliot and Margo that if he didn’t get to study he was leaving. Eliot pouted at him, but he seemed generally content to play with Quentin’s hair while he and Margo talked. Quentin had been worried about it at first, but it was actually, legitimately more relaxing than distracting until Margo dramatically made her exit. 

She announced her retirement for the evening with a pointed look at Eliot; she bid them a very good night with a pointed look at Quentin. Once they were alone, Eliot’s gentle fingers brushing through his hair turned into a full-on scalp massage. That turned into a neck and shoulder massage. That turned into an exchange of slow, luxurious blow jobs.

Quentin didn’t ace his test, but he passed. Eliot comforted him by fucking him within an inch of his life Thursday night. 

Or, maybe Eliot celebrated with him.

It’d been one of the two.

Quentin had gotten so used to starvation and hopelessness, he honestly hadn’t been prepared for this. It was so much. It was all the little details they were discovering about each other that best friends might miss, but lovers knew; all the time they spent inside each other, minds blown and bodies sated; doing absolutely nothing together in a way that felt like everything. It was almost exactly what he’d hoped for and nothing he’d expected.

It was also maybe a teensy bit overwhelming, but the last thing he was about to do was lodge a complaint about it. 

He’d been a little obsessed with Eliot since day one. He’d realized that, of course, but at the time he thought his obsession was merely past the point of sanity just enough to be embarrassing. Now, he realized he hadn’t even scratched the surface. Where his level of obsession had been intense, now, his obsession was almost feral. 

His prior obsession with Eliot had always been about wondering. Now he knew. He knew better than he knew his own name, most nights. 

Now, he was constantly obsessed about when he’d get another taste—a constant thrum of tonight, after class, this afternoon, tomorrow morning, please tonight coursing through him. Sometimes he obsessed about how he could be as much for Eliot as Eliot was for him—what did Eliot need, or want, or crave? Other times, he merely obsessed about all those things he knew about Eliot now. 

He certainly wasn’t obsessing about step six.

Not like Margo was, at any rate.

It wasn’t that he and Eliot didn’t talk. They talked all the time. They probably talked more than they did anything else while they were together. Eliot was a fascinating person and an excellent storyteller, and he had a way of pulling stories out of Quentin that he’d normally feel too self-conscious to tell. Quentin just liked talking with Eliot; that wasn’t something he normally said about people, but it was just as true as saying he liked having Eliot’s cock in his mouth. 

And he liked that a lot.

They just didn’t talk about certain topics. It wasn’t that they were necessarily avoiding those topics altogether. They’d look sideways at them; waft tentative allusions over them; wave at them as they passed by. They were just easily distracted. 

Frequently distracted.

And goddammit: justifiably distracted. 

Really, had Margo seen what Eliot looked like when he was ruined and flawless and sweaty and magnificent and spent? 

Well...okay, she probably had. 

But had she seen what Eliot looked like coming down his throat, with his hands pulling at his hair and his lips parted to cry out his name? Or what Eliot looked like roughly pinning him in place, folding him in half, pounding his ass, devouring him?

It wasn’t as though it was intentional. He definitely never consciously distracted Eliot from asking any time there was a natural lull in their conversation with huge, obvious questions filling up the silence. Just like he definitely never let Eliot distract him any time their talking points looked to be veering in a too-serious direction.

He understood Margo’s point. He really did. 

They’d get there. 

He promised.

He just thought Margo’s threats about castrating one or both of them if they didn’t get on with step six were a little...excessive.

The thing was, he knew Eliot well enough. So, there was part of him that legitimately felt words weren’t necessary. He knew Eliot too well to not believe everything he saw and felt when they looked at each other, got wrapped up in each other, gave everything they could to each other. That palpable reciprocity between them was worth so much more than a few words.

It was all there: all the evidence he needed that Margo wasn’t lying to him. He felt it, in the way Eliot kissed him and fucked him and touched him. He didn’t question any of it: from the way Eliot’s eyelashes dipped low when he called him baby, the way he licked his lips watching Quentin go down on him, to the way he drew his fingertips over Quentin’s knees when he pushed them apart. 

So, he was confident that they’d get there. It didn’t seem important to rush into it when words didn't feel necessary.

And frankly, it just wasn’t fair of Margo to expect him to...not...when Eliot looked at him like that any time they were alone together.

Cottage parties never had an official start time. Generally speaking, as soon as drinks started getting passed around, things got underway. Eliot had spent the better part of the afternoon setting up for the evening. Quentin tried to help as best he could, but Eliot was emphatically not having any of it, lest he get distracted.

A warranted boundary: party preparation was obviously much more important than step six.

Eliot was welcome to him whenever he was ready. Quentin had told him precisely that as they’d relaxed in bed together that morning before classes started. Between kisses across Eliot’s bare shoulder blades, his exact words had been, “Later tonight, it’s your choice. Whatever you want, however you want.” 

It was just the sort of thing they said to each other now. 

Quentin set himself up on his barstool, ready to watch Eliot tend bar for at least a couple of hours. Eliot’s eyes tore him apart piece by piece as he retrieved the never-used punchbowl from its shelf and then slowly, deliberately tutted it clean. Eliot kept staring him down as he mixed some juice and vodka; he didn’t even taste it before he placed a tray of empty glasses next to it. 

Less than five minutes later, Eliot had him bracketed between his arms, behind the double doors to the Cottage library. Quentin was already more than half-way hard and panting for him.

“Maybe you should have just stayed in my room, Q,” Eliot’s lips buzzed against Quentin’s cheeks as he said it. The pure possessiveness dripping over each word sent a shiver down his spine in the best way. “Now, we have a whole long way to walk back upstairs.”

“We could, um.” Quentin didn’t exactly have any words to spare. Nothing too out of the ordinary; it was just his daily reminder that exposure therapy did not seem to be helping alleviate any of the desperation he felt about getting Eliot inside him. “Fuck, El. Whatever you want.”

Eliot ran a hand underneath Quentin’s sweater until he could pinch an already peaked nipple. With half Quentin’s chest and stomach exposed, Eliot traced his other hand down his center: between his pecs, down to his navel, following his happy trail. Eliot’s hand slid into Quentin’s briefs and closed his hand around Quentin’s pants and belt buckle. He gave a firm tug, jerking Quentin’s hips towards him. It sent a shock right through Quentin’s body and he moaned. 

Eliot hummed approvingly at his reaction. “What if I decide I want you on the library table?”

Swallowing hard, telling himself sternly to not leap across the room to sprawl out on the table immediately, Quentin smiled up at Eliot. “Then I expect you’ll be fucking me on the library table.”

Quentin Coldwater.” Eliot pulled him by his belt, then pushed him backward until Quentin’s ass pressed against the table’s edge. “You are...”

Eliot didn’t finish his sentence before he was kissing Quentin fast and dirty. He wound both hands into Quentin’s hair as he rocked his hips against Quentin’s. Quentin pawed at his chest, his back, his ass; groping him as if Eliot’s body was the only place his hands could exist.

“You’re sure whatever I want?” he teased his lips across Quentin’s jawline to nibble at his earlobe. 

“Whatever you want—” 

Telekinesis had Quentin’s belt buckle undone in seconds. 

“Holy shit, El.” Quentin laughed. 

Eliot’s mouth worked to burn possessive brands across his neck as his magic worked Quentin’s pants and his boxers halfway down his thighs. 

“Do you have any idea how hot that is?” Quentin gasped, tilting his neck to the side, shaking and breathless and practically begging to be marked up.

“You wanna tell me?” Eliot wrapped his fingers around Quentin’s cock and pumped his fist around him a few times, all while he diligently sucked dark bruises across Quentin’s skin.

“It’s pretty fucking hot.” 

Eliot smiled against Quentin’s skin and kissed the side of his mouth. Slowly, Eliot dropped to his knees and his tongue took a very long, very wet first pass down his length. The edge of the table bit into Quentin’s bare ass as he leaned back into it. Quentin braced one arm against the table and grabbed a fistful of Eliot’s hair with his other. 

Jesus. Do you want to least ward the door?”

All Quentin got for an answer was a non-committal grunt as Eliot wrapped his lips around the head of his cock. He pressed his tongue against Quentin’s slit, already demanding whatever precum Quentin might give him, and Quentin was already prepared to comply. Eliot hollowed out his cheeks and sucked down hard on him—bobbing once, twice, again, again, again. Each slide of his lips or press of his tongue coupled with the sweetest suction from his mouth had Quentin gasping for air.

God, what he could do with his tongue.

“No,” Eliot muttered, taking his lips off Quentin’s cock barely long enough to let the syllable out.

Quentin couldn’t remember what they had been talking about. “No, what?” 

“No ward.” Eliot’s red lips glistened with his own spit. It set Quentin’s insides burning as Eliot’s eyes darted up to meet his. “If you want one, cast it, but not on my priority list.”

If there was any air left in Quentin’s lungs, it was gone. 

With a wicked smile, Eliot was back on him. Quentin’s grip tightened in Eliot’s hair. His head lolled back at the pleasure of Eliot’s mouth spreading over him again and again. “God knows I’ve walked in on enough...Oh, fuck. Holy fuckEl .”

Eliot groaned around Quentin’s cock and guided him by his hips to stand up from leaning against the table. Quentin nearly pitched forward he was so lost in what Eliot was doing to him, but Eliot firmly kept him upright. Quentin laughed at himself and pushed his hair behind his ears. 

“Eliot, you’’s insane what you do to me.” Eliot hummed, happy with the praise. He gave Quentin’s hip a light squeeze before letting go. One hand gently massaged the base of his cock, allowing Eliot to focus his attention on suckling the head again. Eliot’s other hand trailed back to his perineum with firm strokes that had Quentin muttering incoherently. 

“Look at me,” Eliot commanded softly, and immediately Quentin opened his eyes to meet Eliot’s. Holding Quentin’s attention, Eliot started sucking him down again, inch by slow inch. Eliot’s middle finger snuck back, back, back, and right as Quentin’s cock hit the back of Eliot’s throat, Eliot pressed his fingertip against Quentin’s asshole.

Quentin bit his lip, smiling, but trying to contain the howl of pleasure building in his chest. He widened his stance as best he could with his pants nearly to his knees; his entire frame twitched forward towards Eliot as Eliot worked him over. Eliot kept one hand between his legs and held his hip in his other, grounding him. All the while, Eliot’s eyes kept delving into Quentin’s and his tongue kept twisting around the underside of his cock. 

“Oh my god, Eliot.” Quentin breathed out, body shaking. Eliot closed his eyes, concentrating on sucking Quentin closer and closer to coming.

The double doors slid open and a woman popped her head in. “Whoops!” She sounded tipsy. “Looks like it’s occupied. C’mon babe, let’s—”

The doors slid shut, but the split second of exposure had Quentin leaning back, both hands braced on the table, failing at stopping his hips from bucking up into Eliot’s mouth.

“Oh, fuck...El...I’m—”

“You’re so sexy when you let go like this.” Eliot slid off Quentin, and took his cock in his fist, pumping insistently. "I love that I can do this to you. That you let me see you like this."

Eliot stood and crowded around Quentin again. He wrapped his other hand around the back of Quentin’s neck, and kissed him, all tongue and teeth and hunger.

“Want you,” Quentin breathed out between kisses, hips pulsing forward, keeping time with Eliot’s hand still moving around him with delicious pressure and a fantastic pace. “What—tell me what you want.”

“Turn around for me.”

Quentin shuddered at the deep resonance in Eliot’s voice. It sent chills running down his spine and pure desire searing through his gut. 

With his hands spread out on the table, Quentin bent over for him. Eliot patted his ass, massaged it gently. He guided Quentin face down to the table, carefully tilting his head to press his cheek against the smooth surface. Eliot ran his hands over Quentin’s back, over his sweater; back up and down his sides; over his shoulders, and down his arms. 

Eliot’s hands left his body for just a few moments, and Quentin felt the series of protection and prep spells that Eliot favored pouring through his system.

“Last’s nights might have still been in effect.” Eliot’s hands were back on him again, gently pressing down against his spine. “Relax, I’ve got you.” 

Quentin whined, “Just need you.” 

“I know. I know, baby. That’s why I’m here.” Very carefully, Eliot took Quentin’s wrists in his hands and pinned them at the small of his back. Quentin groaned and twisted, anticipation building. 

He kept Quentin’s hands in one of his and let his other hand drift over Quentin’s backside. He adjusted Quentin’s clothing carefully to make sure he was fully exposed, and carefully trailed a finger down the cleft of his ass. 

“Gonna fuck you so good tonight, right here, on this table,” Eliot promised in a whisper. Quentin keened low in his throat. 

Eliot always did.

The tip of Eliot’s cock pressed right up against him and he let out a low groan, feeling Eliot’s precum spread over him where Eliot teased him.

Baby, you look so pretty bent over for me.” He spanked his ass lightly.

“Fuck. Do that again,” Quentin moaned. 

Eliot sucked in a breath. “Maybe not tonight. Another time, definitely. Could take a paddle to you if you want.”

Quentin whimpered and Eliot pressed into him. Quentin felt his body give and let out a satisfied sigh as Eliot started rocking back and forth, splitting his open, taking possession of him. He could be Eliot’s for the rest of time; he’d never get tired of the way Eliot’s cock moved inside him.

“You’d like a paddle, wouldn’t you?”

God, yes, he really, really would love for Eliot to take a paddle to him.

“Maybe a cane?”

Fuck, yes, please, Quentin thought, but he wasn’t sure if the words made it out as Eliot bottomed out and stayed there. He needed, needed, needed…

"Please, El.”

Eliot was breathing hard. “God, you’re amazing. You feel amazing. You’re beautiful.”


“It’s okay, baby. I’m here.” 

Both of Eliot’s hands held on to Quentin’s wrists and he moved: fast, hard, electrifying, thrilling. There wasn’t any way for Quentin to move in response and nothing he could do except whine for more and cry out how good Eliot felt. He stayed in place, bent over and restrained; taking everything Eliot gave him, exactly how Eliot gave it to him, exactly how Quentin wanted it. 

Eliot was so fucking perfect for him.

As Eliot’s pace accelerated and as Quentin’s cries of pleasure heightened, he let go of Quentin’s hands and bent further over Quentin’s back, hands braced on either side of his shoulders.

“Shit, Q, I need you,” Eliot said between labored breaths. He lifted one hand to push Quentin’s hair to the side and licked a long line up the back of his neck. It sent a spike of pleasure straight through him.

Quentin let out a harsh breath. “El, please...please.”

“Gonna make you come all over this table. Make you think about this any time you come in here. Maybe we should tomorrow. I can make you think about what I did to you while we study in here all fucking afternoon.” Quentin didn’t have words to respond. It didn’t seem to matter. The way Eliot growled and pitched his hips against Quentin told him Eliot understood every needy sound he made.

His own cock screamed for attention as it hung hard and heavy beneath him. He needed Eliot to use him more than he needed release, though; needed to be perfect for Eliot; needed Eliot to fill him up with everything he could give.

Quentin spread his arms out on the tabletop. “Can’t get enough of you.”  

“Good,” Eliot gasped. “Not nearly done. Not ever enough.”

Quentin groaned. He spread his hands flat on the table and pushed himself up, arching his back, sobbing for Eliot to give him more. 

“You’re being so loud,” Eliot growled, reaching around Quentin’s chest to grab him and pull the curve of his back even deeper. “Goddamn, baby. You look so good like this. Body all bent for me. Wouldn’t be surprised if half the house knows who’s getting fucked in here tonight. And you know they all know who’s giving it to you.”

Quentin made a wild noise and tried pushing back harder against the demands Eliot’s cock made of him.

“C’mon, Q,” Eliot breathed out, voice deep and rough. “Don’t keep Daddy waiting.” Eliot slowed down. Taking the time to pull close to all the way out to then push back all the way in with one deft, hard trust—he repeated it, over and over again, pulling a body-wracking shudder out of Quentin every single time. Quentin shouted as the thrusts got harder, the pace slower and more torturous.

“Please,” Quentin whined. 

“Please, what?” Eliot twisted one nipple through Quentin’s shirt and moved his other hand to curve around Quentin’s neck, forcing him to tilt his head back even further. 

Quentin groaned, pleading, hoping his supplication was enough. He kept begging, incoherent and blissed out on Eliot’s cock. Eliot responded in kind, half-muttered praises falling from his lips the more he took and the more he gave. 

Eliot resumed his normal pace. The frantic slapping of flesh against flesh resonated in Quentin’s ears; heavy, ragged breaths from both of them, as Eliot kept going, kept moving, kept demanding. Quentin thought he might have heard the doors open again. He wasn’t sure, and he didn’t care. Eliot was right: he wanted the entire house to know who was fucking on the library table.

“Quentin,” Eliot moaned as he punched into him. “Quentin...Q…”

The rush of Eliot coming inside him was better than any sensation he’d ever known. Quentin bent himself into it, offering himself up to take everything Eliot could spill into him. Once Eliot caught his breath, he pulled Quentin flush to his chest. Quentin was content to let Eliot’s hands rover everywhere over him for a moment. 

“Eliot.” Quentin put his arms behind his head and sought out Eliot’s hair. Eliot guided his hands, planting affectionate kisses along his wrists and forearms as he did. Once Quentin’s hands were firmly wrapped around his curls, Eliot’s own hands drifted to Quentin’s cock, and started pumping. 

“Still need you all over this table, sweetness,” Eliot breathed against his ear. “Let me hear how good it makes you feel. What is it you want, Q?”

“Want you,” Quentin moaned, his eyes shut, head tilted back to rest on Eliot’s shoulder, fingers twisted into Eliot’s curls. “I want you all the time, El. Always. It’s insane how much I want you. Want just...everything. Want everything with you.”

“Want me to make you come?”

“Yeah, all over this table. All over the carpet. Wanna know we did this every time I look at it. Feels so— god, El. You feel so good on my dick.”

“You’re gonna come for me,” Eliot’s voice was deep and commanding. “You’re gonna come hard and fast aren’t you?”

Yes,” Quentin panted between breaths. 

“Wanna feel you ruined in my arms.” Eliot’s lips pressed against the corner of his jaw and trailed down his neck. “God, Q. Love how you feel in my hands.”

“Shit, El, just....keep. Oh, god.”

“Yeah, that’s it. You’re right there, aren’t you baby?” 

“Oh...fuck, El.” 

Streaks of come shot out from between Eliot’s fist wrapped tightly around his cock. Eliot worked him through it, whispering small praises and encouragement as Quentin kept going. Eliot waited until Quentin was fully spent to slip his cock out of him and guide Quentin to sit on a cleaner part of the table. Quentin gripped the collar of Eliot’s shirt and pulled him in close, catching his breath from his orgasm between scorching kisses. Eventually, he looked down at what he’d left on the table and smiled a little sheepishly up at Eliot. Eliot just nuzzled his nose against Quentin’s temple.

He watched quietly as Eliot performed the spell that would clean the table of all evidence of what they’d done, except for in their memories. Their pants were at their ankles, with their hair and shirts askew and wrinkled in very obvious ways. Eliot caught Quentin looking them both over and smiled at him, softly. He gently kissed Quentin’s forehead. 

“Ready to make our triumphant exit?” Eliot pulled his pants up and did up his belt buckle with a satisfied smirk.

Quentin glanced over at the wide couch on the other side of the library. “Not yet, can Stay here a minute?” 

Eliot kissed him on the lips and rested his hands on his shoulders as Quentin pulled his pants up. “Yes, baby. Whatever you want.”

They cuddled and talked about nothing until Margo found them: Eliot’s legs in Quentin’s lap, foreheads bent together, Quentin’s hands tucked underneath Eliot’s shirt. She offered them a bottle of wine and Eliot took it from her gladly as she snuck her hips next to Quentin’s, her legs falling over Eliot’s. Eliot kissed her on the cheek and Quentin put his head on her shoulder and they stayed there for hours passing the bottle between them. 

It was late when they made it to bed. Quentin stripped down to his boxers; Eliot down to nothing. They crawled into bed together and pressed lazy kisses to whatever strip of skin they could reach without moving much. 

When Eliot noticed Quentin’s eyes drooping, he nudged his nose against Quentin’s. “Hey, how about brunch tomorrow? We could...take a portal to the city? Make a day of it?”

“Yeah, El, let’s do that,” Quentin hummed, mostly asleep already.

Eliot pressed a kiss to his hairline, and tucked Quentin’s head underneath his chin; Quentin nuzzled his nose into the hollow of Eliot’s neck, and sighed, feeling happier than he had in a long time.

The next morning, Quentin and Margo waited for Eliot by the front door. He finally flounced down the stairs, spectacular as always in hot pink shorts and a navy button-down. He immediately wrapped Margo up in a hug, smiling brighter than usual at Quentin before he kissed her on the cheek. Quentin had a hard time not smiling back with equal measure as he rolled Margo’s sunhat between his fingers.

Margo tossed her hair over her shoulder and extended a hand out for her hat. “So, where are we going?”

Eliot’s expression faltered slightly; if Quentin hadn’t become even more intimately aware of every minute detail of Eliot’s face in the past week, he probably wouldn’t have even noticed.

“Q said we’re going to brunch.” Margo adjusted her hat on her head, then held her hand out for her purse. “I didn’t expect him to be picking or else we’d end up at Denny’s, so where are we going?”

“I’ve gotten better,” Quentin tried defending himself. Margo shot him a pitying look. 

“Yes, you have, baby.” Eliot stroked the back of his head absentmindedly. “I”

Margo pursed her lips, then turned, about to say something to Quentin when Eliot raised a hand between them.

“Perhaps the lady should pick, as we are merely her dashing escorts for the day.” Eliot held out a hand towards Margo. “Where are we off to, darling?” 

Quentin watched them exchange a quick, silent conversation before Margo sighed, shoulders drooping and put her hand in Eliot’s. “If you’re my escorts, that means you’re carrying my shopping bags later.”

“Oh, don’t worry, I’m well prepared to carry both of your shopping bags,” Quentin said with an exaggerated sigh. Eliot patted his shoulder, and they were off for the day. 

Margo settled on a bistro in Soho with bottomless mimosas and what she described as “killer” quiche and pastries. It was definitely a more upscale place than Quentin would have chosen, but a table for three magically opened up for them immediately upon their arrival. 

How magical.

Eliot excused himself to the bathroom and no sooner than he was out of earshot, Margo rounded on him with a severe dip in her eyebrows and a judgemental frown on her lips. Margo sipped her first mimosa gingerly as if deciding how to grill him on the status of step six. She surprised him with a different question instead, “Quentin, are you sure Eliot meant to invite me this morning?” 

“He didn’t say to not invite you.” Quentin looked at her, confused. “Why wouldn’t he want you here?”

“Is it possible you’re supposed to be on a date?”

“That’s not. I don’t think so? I didn’t think we were...doing dates.” Quentin felt his stomach tying itself in knots as Margo surveyed him with unforgiving eyes.

“And you’ve determined this after a week of excessively fucking each other? You’re chill just being fuck buddies? Didn’t peg you as that type.”

“I can be cool just being fuck buddies if that’s what Eliot wants.”

“So, you have talked then? And that was the line Eliot went with?”

“Well, not exactly, but it’s working, so…”

“Quentin,” her voice was sharp, “I wasn’t trying to help get the two of you together to watch you trip over your own sad, saggy balls at the finish line. Get your shit together, Coldwater. Pussy up, or fuck off.”

He opened his mouth to say something, but Eliot returned, sliding into the booth next to Margo with his shoulder bumping up against hers. He smiled at Quentin; it was a genuine Eliot smile; he was happy, but much more muted than his smile as he bound down the stairs less than an hour before. Quentin smiled back, heart pounding as he grasped at straws: anything but what Margo was suggesting. Sipping her mimosa, Margo’s eyes bounced between the two of them, and Quentin felt incredibly, irredeemably stupid.

“Eliot,” Quentin was laying on his back on Eliot’s bed, listening to Eliot go through his evening bathroom routine, "was today supposed to be a date?”

“Why? Did you hate it?" Eliot called back from the bathroom. "You could have left after brunch, Q. You didn’t have to stick around for shopping if you didn’t want to.”

“I wanted to.”

Dread prickled along his skin the longer the bathroom sink ran before Eliot answered.

“Okay. Well. Unless you and Margo and I have this polyamorous thing going on I don’t know about—which, not opposed, for the record, but I would like a basic awareness of the thing, you know—so, I’m not really sure how that would qualify. As a date, I mean.”

Quentin rolled his eyes even though Eliot wasn’t there to see it. “No, I mean…” 

He tapered off as Eliot came to the bathroom door with his towel around his hips and his toothbrush hanging out his mouth. He leaned against the doorframe and looked Quentin over slowly. Eliot’s eyes met his with searing intensity.

Very distracting.

“Why don’t you get undressed? We can talk about this more after if you want.”

Quentin sat up on his elbows. He lifted an eyebrow, all pretended ignorance, and feigned plausible deniability. “After?” 

“After I eat you out until you’re begging me to fuck you properly.” Eliot turned his back to Quentin and walked back into the bathroom to finish brushing his teeth. 

As he tossed his pants to the floor, out of the way, Quentin decided he got points for trying.

It wasn’t hard for people to start noticing. Aside from the fact that Quentin started and ended his days in Eliot’s room more often than his own, the two of them weren’t exactly subtle in the kitchen, or the dining room, or the living room—or anywhere else, for that matter.

The consensus seemed to be that most of the Physical Kids had expected something, eventually. The verdict seemed split whether that was because of their uncannily close friendship, or just because Eliot was Eliot, with Eliot’s style and magnetism and reputation. So, their pattern remained relatively undisturbed for about a month, until the public’s arbitrary expiration date for their “fling” passed. Then people started asking

“You and your boyfriend going to the bonfire tonight?” 

“Oh, we’re not dating,” Eliot would say, all smooth and calm even though his arm would be wrapped around his shoulders, or their fingers entwined, or either of their hands tangled in the other’s hair. “Quentin can speak for himself.”

“So, how’s the friends with benefits thing going with Eliot?”

Quentin’s responses were always much less smooth, especially if he’d just slipped Eliot a kiss before he got up to get them drinks or snacks or something—he usually forgot once he was accosted—from the kitchen. “Um. Yeah. I guess. I mean, we aren’t. But, um. Good?” 

Quentin wasn’t convinced that Margo wasn’t bribing their so-called friends and housemates to stir the pot with off-campus pizza.

The questions didn’t disturb Eliot in the slightest. He showed no sign of cutting back on how often he wanted Quentin in his bed, or how easily he responded to invitations into Quentin’s. He showed no sign of wanting to eat together less, or study together less; no lessened enthusiasm for sunny afternoons spread out over the lawn, or late nights lounging by the fire. He never shied away from public displays of affection, and he never shied away from calling Quentin sweet pet names, regardless of who was within earshot. He didn’t seem put off by anything, least of all how people seemed to be muttering about him—or them—privately or publicly. 

The straw that broke the camel’s back was Todd.

Quentin realized he probably could have anticipated that turn of events better.

Quentin was late joining Eliot outside at the grill: the two of them supposed to be making burgers for their weeknight “family dinner.” He was halfway through the kitchen towards the back door when Todd stopped him.

“Oh, Quentin! Is it true what people are saying? You and Eliot are like, a thing now?” he raised his eyebrows higher than looked natural. 

“Yeah, that’s been—a while I guess,” Quentin stammered, caught halfway to his destination. Just then, Eliot popped in and smiled brightly. He had grill tongs in his hand and dropped a kiss on Quentin’s temple while Todd kept talking a mile a minute.

“Speak of the devil! I thought you’d been spending a lot of time together, but Alice was telling me you actually hooked up last weekend? After the party? That’s so great for you two! I always knew you two had something .”

“Well. Not this last weekend?” Quentin felt like he was painting himself into a corner. “Well, we did. Last weekend. But, um. The first time was...a few weeks ago?” 

Eliot pulled a plate of raw burgers from the refrigerator. He was watching Quentin fidget and trip over his words with an uncomfortable precision. 

“Wow, where have I been?” Todd chuckled. “Well, good for you! That’s awesome!”

Eliot put the burgers and tongs back into the refrigerator together and grabbed Quentin by the hand. “Excuse us.”

“Eliot, where are—”

“Just come with me,” Eliot said. He dragged Quentin through the dining room, up the stairs, to Quentin’s room. 

“Eliot, it seems like you’re kind of freaking out,” Quentin said carefully, as Eliot telekinetically slammed the door shut behind them. Eliot kept tugging Quentin by the hand until they were both sprawled out on the bed. Without so much as a pause to situate themselves, Eliot kissed him like he needed the air from Quentin’s lungs to survive. 

“I can’t fucking stand Todd,” Eliot muttered.

“El, um. People have been saying things—like, way more pointed things—since we started and you’ve never been this bothered. Have you?”

“It’s Todd.” Eliot reeled him in again, tongue asking for entrance and Quentin wasn’t one to ever deny him that. 

“If people talking bothers you...we could. Um.”

God, Q.” Eliot was already shirtless and pressing himself closer to Quentin. “Can’t we just...If Todd thinks...I don’t care how ‘perfect’ Todd thinks we are for each other or how ‘wonderful’ Todd thinks it is that we’ we need his validation. I just—”

Eliot’s lips found the pulse underneath his jaw and Quentin groaned against it. 

“Please, baby?” Eliot’s whisper caressed his skin. 

“El, we should…” He was having a hard time remembering what they should be doing.

“What do you want, Q?”

“Wanna be with you. Whatever way you’ll have me.” Quentin swallowed hard. 

“Baby, I’ll give you anything.”

“El, I don’t think you’re getting what I mean...” Eliot coaxed his shirt off, started working on his pants like Quentin hadn’t said anything. “I want everything.”

Eliot pressed a hot kiss right over his ear. “I can give you that baby, I swear. I’ll scour every single sex spell grimoire known to mankind if I have to until I figure out how to give you everything you want.”

“No, that’s not—that’s not what I mean El.” Eliot’s mouth ran over his chest, all the way down, swift and smooth. Eliot pulled his soft cock into his mouth and started suckling him gently, like a question. 

“Want you, baby. Can I?” Eliot whispered rough and dark against his hip bone, hand slowly stroking him, thumb teasing the vein along the underside of his cock once he was hard. “Please, will you just...let me?”

“God, sweetheart, yes. whatever you want. I swear that’s just...always all I want. I want everything. I don’t know how else to say it. Want everything with you.”

“Gonna give you everything, darling.” 

Quentin whined. He didn’t know what else to say. Eliot seemed to sense his distress.

“Baby, what’s wrong? Let me fix it. Please, baby, anything.” Eliot kissed him again: deep, slow, intense. It was a kiss that soothed Quentin: a kiss where he could allow himself to fall back into remembering that Eliot did want him. He wasn’t crazy. They both wanted this so badly, it didn’t matter what was happening outside of them. Nothing else mattered because they were together in all the ways that actually did. Words didn’t matter.

Quentin wrapped his hands around the back of Eliot’s neck and wound his hair around his fingers. Eliot straddled him and pinned him down to the bed. His lips were perfect; the way their hips fit against each other was perfect; the way Eliot’s skin felt sliding against his was perfect.

He was so far gone for this man it was insane.

Quentin groaned into Eliot’s mouth, and Eliot pulled back, licking his way out of his mouth, a final caress of his tongue running over his bottom lip before Quentin breathed out, “Want you in me so deep I can’t see straight.”

“Q, Jesus Christ, your mouth.” Eliot laughed and wrapped his fingers around his cock again. “Whatever you want, baby. Just for you. Whatever you want.”

Usually, Quentin tried to defend Todd from some of Eliot’s more acerbic criticisms. But honestly: fuck Todd. 

Every day since Todd had stuck his nose where it didn’t belong had been off in some bizarre way. Either Eliot was extremely attentive like he felt the need to prove they were good together, or he was a little distant like he didn’t believe Quentin wanted anything to do with him no matter what Quentin said or did. Somedays, it was one in the morning and the other at night. It’d been a week and Quentin was at his wit’s end, and it had started with the afternoon Eliot tried to avoid Todd’s opinions on their non-relationship with sex.

He didn’t even know what was worth fighting about at noon, in the middle of the Cottage living room, on a Friday. Whatever it fucking was had started from a completely innocuous suggestion, and there was definitely no good reason for Eliot to react as badly as he had. Eliot was pacing and throwing his arms about; Quentin was standing uselessly by the piano, crossing his arms tightly over his chest. 

“Well, I don’t know why we can’t just like...go to dinner.” Quentin was struggling to keep his voice even. “Something normal. I don’t get why we can’t just…”

Eliot rolled his eyes, arms folded, hip jutting out to the side. “Well, fine! If you want to go to dinner so bad, why don’t you just say so?”

“Fine! Say it like it’s...just so fucking simple. Fine." Quentin tucked his hair behind his ears and twisted his fingers together. “Dinner. Tomorrow. I’ll...find somewhere in the city and we’ll take a portal and it’ll just be so fucking fantastic. LIke normal fucking people. So, you coming with me tomorrow night or not?”

“See? That wasn’t so hard, was it?” Eliot huffed, then went quiet. 

Quentin didn’t know what the look in Eliot’s eyes meant and Quentin wasn’t sure if he could handle any more of this conversation. The living room—which had definitely been occupied before they’d started yelling at each other about he didn’t even know what—had been vacated quickly and quietly. It was nearly empty now. He couldn’t tell what Eliot’s stiff shoulders and clenched jaw and furrowed brow meant

Eliot just kept staring at him, and Quentin just kept fidgeting. He let out a low, unamused laugh under his breath. “Well, alright, Q. Not that hard at all. I guess I’ll get out of your hair. I need a smoke.”

Quentin had zero comprehension of what had happened. Before Eliot could turn on his heel to leave, Quentin blurted out, “What the actual fuck, El?” 

Eliot sighed, and tilted his head back to talk to the ceiling, “I don’t know, Q. What point are you even trying to make?”

“The point...I want to take you to fucking dinner!” Quentin had his hands in his hair, pulled back from his head like he was going to rip it out. “What’s so hard about that?”

Why?” Eliot drew the word out like he was in agony.

The words were out before he could think twice about them. “Because that’s what boyfriends do!” 

Well. Step six. 

He knew they’d make it there eventually.


Eliot blinked at him once, his expression darkening towards anger rather than annoyance. “You’ll have to excuse my incredulity that you actually want to be seen in public together. Exclusively.” 

“What the fuck does that even mean?”

“Brunch seems a whole hell of a lot less pressure than dinner.”

Quentin took a deep breath. Damn Margo for being right. “That was...unintentional.”

“You literally asked a third party to come with us.”

“Okay. Yes. But that wasn’t...” Quentin pulled his hair behind his head and sighed. Well, step six was supposed to be all cards on the table, and he was already halfway there. “I wasn’t exactly thinking clearly, all that week. Um. I was kind of high on just being allowed to like...I wasn’t really paying much attention to much else.”

The only sound in the room was his heartbeat, and he was pretty sure it was loud enough to damage both of their eardrums.

“So. Um, in case you missed it: I’m kind of in love with you? So, it was kind of...a lot...that week. That’s it? That’ point.”

All the tension visibly dropped out of Eliot, replaced with wide eyes and a slightly stricken expression. He opened his mouth once, then twice. “Oh,” he finally said. 

“Jesus Christ,” Quentin muttered, “it’s not like—that shouldn’t be a surprise, El.” 

“Well, you’ve never said.” Eliot waved a hand dismissively and raised an incredulous eyebrow. 

“Oh my god. Eliot, seriously?” Quentin turned around in a circle, gaping at the walls like they would have a better answer for him. “How many times have I said what I—that I want...everything?"

Eliot drew in a deep breath, scowled at Quentin, then exhaled looking up at the ceiling again. “I thought that was just sex everything. If you wanted everything everything, you should have said. Or done something. Asked me out or...” 

Quentin spread his hands out wide for a second then crossed them tight across his chest again.

Sucking his teeth, Eliot looked away and then back at him from the corner of his eye. "Well, there's that I suppose."

"God, Margo’s been telling me to do this for weeks,” Quentin groaned and rubbed his hands over his face. “You do realize how smug she’s going to be over this?”

“Odds she’s eavesdropping?” Eliot cracked his neck and rubbed his temples. Quentin glanced towards the sofa on the other side of the room where she was pretending to read a magazine.

“Very good odds!” Margo shouted, flipping a page for emphasis. “And she’s going to be very smug, thanks very much!”

“Always rooting for us, Bambi.” Eliot sighed. His eyes darted across the room, looking everywhere but Quentin for a minute. Then, he nodded to himself, as if making a decision. He lifted a hand to Quentin. “Come here.” 

Quentin took it and slid into his rightful spot in Eliot’s arms.

“I hope that isn’t. Um. A deal-breaker?” he tried to laugh as he asked it, but it came out strained.

“Maybe.” He could hear Eliot’s smile in his voice, and relief immediately filled every cell in his body. Eliot kissed the top of his head. “Perhaps we should revisit over dinner? I know a nice place in Midtown we could go to. If you don’t already have plans tomorrow night?”

“Asshole.” Quentin took a deep breath and buried his face into Eliot’s chest, smiling.

He'd known they’d get there eventually.

Step Seven: Let Him Sweep You off Your Feet

Margo took it upon herself to supervise his attire for the evening. “So, finally made it to step seven. I was starting to worry."

Quentin held up his two ties for her. Neither of them had withstood Eliot’s judgment on the rare occasion he’d worn them, but they were the only two he owned. “Margo, I thought we were done. What the fuck is step seven?"

“You need to relax, Q.” Margo took the dark blue tie and lifted his collar to loop it around his neck for him. 

“How am I supposed to relax? I thought...we did the thing. We’ve been fucking for over a month—multiple times! A week! Who does that? And we had the feelings talk, and we...what else is left?”

“I don’t know if I’d call that a feelings talk, but it’ll work, for now." She smirked at him. “That is the step: you need to chill out, and let him sweep you off your feet.”

“Do you have any idea how much bullshit that sounds like?”

“Trust me. He’s going to romance you so hard, he’s gonna make You’ve Got Mail look like a horror film.” Margo folded his collar down and patted his shoulders.

“I mean, depending on how—”

“Shut up, Coldwater.” Margo grinned at him. "Take the win."

Eliot knocked on his door and let himself in. Neither one of them made any effort to hide their evaluation of each other. Eliot looked exceptionally hot in his burgundy blazer and black sweater underneath. Margo snorted and shook her head.

"Don't keep him out too late," she teased, not talking to either one of them in particular. As she waltzed out of the room, she kissed Eliot on the cheek.

Quentin tucked his hair behind his ears as Eliot crossed his room and wrapped him up in his arms. “She’s not giving away all my secrets is she?”

“Not enough for you to worry about." Quentin slipped a hand in Eliot’s and they headed for the stairs.