“This poor child. You need to save him.”
Eliot raised an eyebrow as he turned his attention over to Margo, who was sitting at her desk.
“Explain?” He had just been lounging on her bed, feeling sorry for himself whilst Margo did some computer work for her job. His interest was slightly peaked, however, so he climbed off of the bed and walked over to his friend.
“So I was on Craigslist,” she started to explain, but Eliot cut her off.
“You said you didn’t want to watch a movie because you had work to do,” he pointed out with a small pout.
“Oh shush, stop being so needy. I took a little break to go apartment hunting for you,” she continued.
“Oh? What’d you find?”
“Read,” she grinned, nudging her laptop a bit in order to give Eliot a better view. One of his hands gripped the back of her chair as he leaned down a bit, resting his chin on Margo’s shoulder. He squinted his eyes slightly as he began to read the Craigslist ad displayed on her computer.
25m Seeking Roommate
Uhm, hi. My name is Quentin.
“What kind of name is Quentin?”
“It’s even more tragic once you click on his profile and see his last name,” Margo grinned. “Now keep reading,” she poked his side.
Eliot rolled his eyes, but obeyed because it was Margo. Disobeying Margo was just not allowed.
I really need a roommate. Like ASAP. My best friend moved out, she’s going to grad school in Los Angeles. How freaking cool is that? Fuck. Sorry. I’m sure you don’t care. Oh wait. Can you even swear on Craigslist? Is that against the rules or whatever? Anyway, like I said, I desperately need a roommate. I live in a 2 bedroom apartment in Harlem. Your rent would be 900 a month and we’d split the utilities.
“Does this boy just type every single thought that comes to mind?” Eliot laughed. It was sort of sweet. No, scratch that. It was incredibly sweet. A sweet, rambly boy -- Eliot’s favorite.
He didn’t wait for Margo to nag him again to keep reading once again.
Here’s my phone number if you’re interested or want a tour or whatever: (XXX) XXX - XXXX
(pls don’t be creepy)
Edited on May 2nd, 9:32 AM: (Apparently this needs to be said, but being creepy includes sending me dick pics at 2am. Yes, I’m calling you out Dave. You woke up my dog. Fuck you. Oh wait, to everyone else, I forgot to mention I have a pup in my original post? So uh if you’re allergic, you probably won’t wanna live with me. His name is Teddy though and he’s very cute!)
“Oh no,” Eliot’s eyes widened.
“Oh yes,” Margo laughed.
Eliot was laughing now too.
“He should have known. I mean, it is Craigslist, after all,” he pointed out.
Margo shrugged. “He seems like a good time to me. You’re meeting him for coffee tomorrow. 10 AM. At that little cafe we went to before we saw Kinky Boots a few weeks ago,” she told him simply.
His eyes widened.
“What the fuck, Margo?”
“What?” she turned her chin up a bit so she could put those big brown eyes of hers to work. “I don’t see the problem,” she told him innocently.
“I don’t want to meet some random guy from Craigslist. I’m not that desperate,” he said, tearing his gaze away from hers so he could look at the email again. “What if he’s the creep? What if his email is just one big ploy to lure unsuspecting victims to his apartment so he can kill them?”
“That’s why I suggested the cafe. So you can feel him out first, make sure he’s not sketchy,” she explained. “It’s really not a big deal, El. But if you really don’t want to meet him, you can always take Todd up on his offer,” she suggested in a sing-song voice.
“How dare you even think for a second that I would live with Todd,” he responded in pure disgust.
“He’s not that bad.”
“He’s on a bowling team, Bambi. Bowling."
“Okay, fine. You’re right,” she scrunched up her nose. “So come on, let’s pick out an outfit for tomorrow,” she added, her eyes full of delight. Dressing each other up was one of their favorite pastimes. The two of them almost transferred to FIT in order to be fashion designers. They met during undergrad at Hunter College and both of them were terribly bored of their majors. Eliot’s was art history (He had drunkenly picked it on a whim and was too lazy to change it) and Margo’s was media studies. They had big dreams, though. So why not fashion design? They could be bigger than Versace. Margo and Eliot -- the dream team.
However, their plans quickly changed when they soon realized that they had a bigger passion than fashion -- partying. Freshman year they lived in the dorms (Right down the hall from one another. It was incredibly convenient.), so throwing parties of their own wasn’t really possible, unless they invited 3 people max. However, during their sophomore year, they got an apartment of their own. Eliot argued that he couldn’t afford the gorgeous 2 bedroom with the perfect view of the city, but thankfully Margo’s very rich dad paid the rent, thinking it would get Margo to like him. It did not. The gesture was appreciated, though. Well, at least it was by Eliot, who was already in quite a bit of debt that made him feel sick to his stomach just thinking about.
Their parties were pretty epic, to say the least. Their dealer and fellow classmate, Josh supplied quite the drugs that truly elevated their little events that they held on a monthly basis. Eliot soon realized he had a knack for cocktail making and coming up with elaborate little appetizers to serve. He really just loved hosting, and so did Margo. Therefore, on a whim, they decided why not open a restaurant? A classy little place they could call their own. So, Eliot ended up impulsively going abroad to Paris to get a culinary degree. Margo was more interested in the logistic side of it all, so she stayed back in NY and switched her degree to business. It was hard being apart, but it wasn't permanent. When the two of them were reunited again, they got a job together at a swanky steakhouse in downtown Manhattan. Margo was a hostess, and Eliot was the sous chef. It wasn't what their end goal by any means, but the process of opening up your own restaurant was quite slow and tedious. It was a work in progress, but they were getting there.
“An outfit? Margo, this isn’t a date,” he raised an eyebrow.
“So? You still need to look nice. Make a good impression. Prove you’re not a creep .”
Eliot ended up wearing one of his favorite outfits the following day to meet Mr. Quentin Coldwater. (Seriously, what a mouthful of a name that was. Poor kid.) He was wearing his favorite deep green button-down, with a vest and some black slacks. It was simple, but it made him feel good.
He really needed this apartment. Finding a place to live in the city was a nightmare of a task. Either you found a decent looking place that surprisingly wasn’t the size of a shoebox, but it was in a bad location or you found your dream location, but the apartment itself had rent so high that the idea of being able to afford to eat more than once a day whilst living there was actually laughable.
The apartment Craigslist Boy was offering up was in a decent area and the rent wasn’t terrible. He could afford it. He wished he could stay at his old place, however. That unfortunately was out of the question, though.
He had shared a gorgeous little apartment that he loved to pieces with his Bambi for quite some time. It had a great view, the neighbors were alright (Todd was a bit annoying, but Eliot definitely has had worse neighbors in the past), everything was perfect. The only real con was that the rent would go up slightly each year, but they always would renew their lease. Always.
That was up until this past month when Margo had blurted out last minute just as their lease was about to renew that her boyfriend, Josh, (Yes, the very same recreational drug dealer Josh from undergrad that Eliot never in a million years would understand why Margo chose to be with. She was happy, though. That was all that mattered. Right?) had asked her to move in with him.
Eliot was in shock, to say the least. He hadn’t gone a day without seeing her in years since he had come back from Paris. Now he was suddenly expected to wake up without her? They had a routine. Now he was supposed to have his morning coffee alone? Who would he make Eggs Benedict for on Sunday mornings? The very idea of it all made him feel like an extremely sad, lost puppy.
He wanted to beg her to stay. It was pathetic, really. Fortunately for his pride, though, before he could even begin to plead, Bambi chimed in and started on a rant saying it was a ‘stupid idea’ and that she was going to tell Josh ‘no.’ She hated change just as much as him, but Eliot knew deep down inside that she wanted to take this next step with Josh.
She loved him.
Eliot had never been in love. He doubted he ever would get the honor. He would be a complete and utter idiot to pretend he didn’t know what it looked like, though. He could see what they meant to each other.
So he told her no.
The next day he easily found some very nice girls to take over their lease.
He could’ve just stayed there and found a new roommate. It would have been more convenient. All his stuff was already there. The two of them had spent years decorating the place to make it a place that really felt like home. Margo even said she’d leave all her furnishings there. It just didn’t feel right, though. It was time for a fresh start -- A new chapter in his story.
God that sounded lame.
If he ever said that out loud, Margo would surely laugh in his face.
He smiled slightly as the sign of the cafe was now in his line of sight. He and Margo had only been here once, but it was a really sweet place. It felt really cozy. He loved it.
He was just beginning to wonder if Quentin was here yet when he realized he had no idea what the guy even looked like. Shit. Maybe there would only be one lonely boy sitting there, holding up a sign that said ‘Quentin’ on it. Unfortunately, that was not the case. The cafe was pretty crowded and there seemed to be zero lonely boys in his line of sight.
He chewed on his lower lip as he waited in the slightly too long line. It was moving pretty fast, though, so he couldn’t complain too much. He was admiring one of the blueberry scones in the glass display case when he suddenly heard someone clear their throat in an agitated sort of way.
He looked up and quickly realized he was next in line.
“Oh, sorry. My bad,” he told the man at the counter with an apologetic smile.
The man did not seem to accept his apology. Rude.
“Just a small coffee. No cream or sugar,” he said. “Oh! And one of those blueberry scones,” he added, as the worker turned to grab a cup for his coffee.
A few moments later a steaming cup of coffee and a small paper bag with a scone were being handed to him after he had paid.
“Thank you -” his voice trailed off as he searched for the man’s name tag. He squinted a bit as he read the small lettering. “-Penny,” he continued with a charming smile.
The charm clearly did not work.
Penny huffed and gestured for the next customer to come up and order.
Eliot got the hint.
Just as he was turning to leave he felt a strong body stumble into him. It was sort of a blur and he’s not really sure what had even happened. His scalding hot coffee nearly spilled on the boy, but it didn’t, thankfully. His scone on the other hand had not been saved. It was now on the floor, broken.
“Oh shit, I’m so sorry,” Eliot apologized, for the second time within 10 minutes. Was this going to be a habit for him? He wasn’t even sure if it was hit fault this little collision had even occurred.
“Fuck. No, I should be the sorry one. It’s my fault. I was distracted. Wasn’t looking where I was going,” the boy mumbled, leaning down to pick up Eliot’s broken scone. “I’ll buy you a new one,” he said a bit louder as he stood up, finally looking up for the first time.
Eliot’s breath hitched. A wave of something hit him. He wasn’t entirely sure what it was, though.
Whatever it was, Eliot tried to push it to the side as he looked into the pretty boy’s eyes.
It was a struggle to look away.
Had they met before?
There are tons of cute boys with long hair and sweet brown eyes in New York.
Eliot was probably just confusing him with a one night stand of his in undergrad or something.
Yeah, that's it.
“Quentin, you’re such a dumbass,” Penny grumbled, walking over towards them with a new scone. “Here, sorry about him,” he sighed, handing the new scone to Eliot and taking the damaged one away.
“Get it together, Coldwater,” he glared, giving the boy a shove before heading back behind the counter.
“Ow,” he grumbled, rubbing his arm.
Eliot couldn’t help but grin as the realization set in. “I’m Eliot,” he blurted out.
Quentin’s eyes widened.
“O-oh,” is all he said as his cheeks flushed a gorgeous shade of light pink.
Eliot could practically feel the panic radiating off of him.
He was clearly embarrassed. It was one thing to have an awkward encounter with a stranger and never have to see them again. It was another to have an awkward encounter with a stranger and then realize you might have to live with said stranger.
“Hey, no, it’s okay. It’s just a scone, and I got a new one. Let's go sit down, yeah?” His voice was quiet and soothing, trying to calm the panicked boy down.
He barely could make eye contact with him. He seemed to be resorting to trying to hide behind his long, pretty hair. It looked so silky and smooth. Eliot wanted to tug it. Gently, of course.
Quentin stayed quiet for a moment, but he finally peaked up at him and nodded.
Good boy, Eliot thought to himself.
No, stop that. He’s not yours.
“C’mon, there’s a booth over there,” he gestured to an empty one in the corner of the cafe.
Once they sat down, Eliot frowned. “Oh wait, you don’t have a drink.”
“I’m kind of already hyped up on caffeine. Probably shouldn’t have anymore. I just got off my shift and we can have free coffee while we’re working,” he rambled, playing with the string of his black hoodie.
Eliot felt slightly overdressed in comparison to Quentin’s casual attire, but it was fine.
“So I take it you work here?” he raised an eyebrow, putting two and two together. Penny knew him and he had said he just got off of work, so it was safe to assume this was his place of work.
Quentin nodded again. “Your friend Margo suggested we meet at a cafe a few blocks away but their coffee is honestly shit. No offense if you like it there. Actually, yes offense, I said what I said,” he shrugged and Eliot wanted to laugh.
He was too damn cute.
Such a grumpy little thing.
He loved it.
“So, you want to tell me about this spectacular apartment of yours?” he asked before taking a sip of his coffee. Damn, it was good. When he came here with Margo he only had some tea.
“Oh, yeah,” he said, pushing some of his hair behind his ear, giving Eliot a better view of his face. He tried not to stare, but he desperately wanted to admire his strong jawline and incredibly long eyelashes. It was unfair, really.
Quentin pulled out his phone and fiddled with it a bit. “I took some pictures of the place if you want to see,” he shyly said, handing his phone to Eliot. “It’s pretty nice. In a good area. Management is decent. Well, I mean. Marina is kind of scary, but she’s harmless. I think,” he said.
Eliot scrolled through the photos. The place seemed lived in and homey. It was nice. It kind of reminded him of his old place. Well obviously his own apartment was much better decorated, but he didn’t mind taking on a new project. Also, this bedroom at Quentin’s place was way bigger than his old room. It even had a walk-in closet. He’d be an idiot not to move in.
He couldn’t come off as too desperate, though (even though he certainly was). He needed to play it cool. Who knows, maybe Quentin didn’t even want him to move in?
“Your place seems lovely,” he told him genuinely as he handed the phone back.
Quentin’s face brightened and Eliot swore his chest was going to burst.
“Oh! I’m glad,” he smiled happily, the hair from behind his ear had fallen forward again. His reaction was just so genuine and pure. Either Eliot was the biggest sap in the world, or that truly was the most beautiful smile he had ever seen in his entire life.
The smile was contagious.
The two of them chatted for a little while longer as Eliot drank his coffee. They ended up splitting the scone. Quentin insisted he try the chocolate chip one instead next time. Next time. Eliot wouldn’t mind at all visiting the floppy-haired boy at work. Seeing him get all flustered as he took Eliot’s order would just make his day.
“So tell me about this Dave guy you mentioned in your post?” Eliot teased as they walked down the street together. Quentin had mentioned that he needed to get going so he could feed his dog, and then he shyly went on to ask Eliot if he’d like to tag along to see the apartment. Well, he asked so nicely, it would have been impolite for Eliot to say no.
Quentin let out a huff.
“You’re not funny.”
“No. I’m not, but you certainly are. Margo thought you were a riot,” he said, poking his side gently.
“Yeah, yeah. Whatever. I know putting your phone number on Craigslist is just asking for trouble. But my email is a cluttered disaster and I just figured it would be easier,” he shrugged, dragging his feet a bit as he walked. Eliot had to slow his pace significantly to make sure he didn’t abandon the boy without meaning to.
“So is Margo your girlfriend or something?” he blurted out, like he had been holding it in.
Eliot’s eyes went wide with surprise.
“Margo most definitely is my other half, but my girlfriend? No. Never,” he said, draping his arm around Quentin in a casual manner. “She has her own boyfriend. She moved in with him. That’s why I need a new place,” he went on to explain. "She's letting me stay with her for now, but I don't know how many more nights I can take listening to their very loud, very vanilla sex," he laughed. Eliot didn't even need to look over at Quentin to know that he was blushing.
“Margo, my love! Guess who no longer is homeless!” he sang happily as he shut the front door behind him.
Margo was currently sitting on the couch, her feet propped up on the coffee table as she scrolled through her phone. Her head popped up and she smiled widely. “I take it he wasn’t a serial killer?”
“Well, that’s still up for debate. He’s terribly cute though,” he sighed dreamily as he flopped down onto the couch beside her, resting his head on her shoulder.
“Hey, you said yourself that this wasn’t a date,” she reminded him and he rolled his eyes.
“I know. A man is allowed to pine, though,” he argued with a pout.
“Hmm, true. I’ll let it slide. But just this once,” she murmured, running her hand through his tousled curls.
“So tell me about him?” she asked curiously.
He adjusted himself so he was now resting his head in her lap, his face looking right up at her. “He’s so cute, Bambi.”
“You said that already,” she mused.
“I know, but it’s true. Really, he’s so damn adorable. He bumped into me after I ordered my coffee and he was all flustered and blushing,” he smiled, gazing up at her.
“Shut up, you had a meet-cute with your new roommate?”
“Maybe. Jealous?” he teased.
She rolled her eyes and urged him to continue. “Go on.”
“Well, apparently he works at that cafe? One of the guys who works there -- this tall, buff guy who is incredibly hot,” he trails off. “Sorry, I digress. Anyway. He works at the cafe, and his coworker is kind of an ass to him. I feel bad. He seemed used to it, though,” he said with a frown before continuing.“We sat down. He showed me some pictures of the place. We shared a scone. I went back to his place. Met his landlord. Signed the lease. Got the key. Now I’m here,” he told her simply, trying to not make a big deal of the situation, although he secretly was still buzzing from it all.
“I said tell me about him, not giving me a vague plotline of your day,” she glared.
He sighed overdramatically and rolled his eyes. “If I keep talking about him, I’m just going to ramble about how badly I want to daddy him and never let him go,” he told her flatly. “Besides, you’re meeting him tomorrow when you help me move in. So you can learn about him for yourself,” he added with a shrug and her eyes widened.
“Oh hell no. I’m not helping you move furniture,” she argued.
“I already called movers for that, relax. I need you to help me decorate though,” he pointed out obviously to her.
“I can’t believe your closet is bigger than mine,” Margo groaned, her tone full of pure jealousy.
“Poor Bambi,” he cooed, leaning up against his dresser as he looked around his new bedroom. It had only taken a few hours to finish moving everything in and get situated. This definitely could work.
He honestly thought the entire process would take a lot longer, considering his cute roommate would probably be a massive distraction for him. However, Quentin had texted him and said someone called out of work last minute so he wouldn’t be home until later. It probably was for the best.
The two of them spent the rest of the day lounging around, watching movies in the living room. Quentin’s dog, Teddy, an adorable mini American Shepherd, was cuddled up in Margo’s lap. He absolutely adored her. He didn’t blame him. They currently were in the middle of the second Harry Potter film when the front door opened.
“Oh shit, is this Chamber of Secrets?” he practically was bouncing on the balls of his feet with excitement. Teddy jumped off the couch and ran over to greet him happily, his cute little tail wagging up a storm. Quentin grinned and crouched down to give him a pet.
He was wearing an outfit pretty close to what he was wearing yesterday. Simple black jeans and a t-shirt, nothing special. Eliot wanted to rip them off of him.
“Oh I like him,” Margo murmured to Eliot just as Quentin came over and sat down on the floor, close to Eliot’s feet, despite the fact that there was plenty of room on the couch.
“You must be Quentin. I’m Margo,” she said in a sickeningly sweet voice, practically purring. She was laying it on thick. Eliot gave her a glare, wanting her to cut it out. Don’t scare the boy, please.
Luckily, Quentin was too engrossed in the film to even be phased. “Hey, nice to meet you,” he said, giving her a quick glance before looking back at the screen. “My best friend Julia says the fourth one is the best, but this one has always been my favorite,” he rambled, pulling his knees up to his chest and hugging them close to his body.
“Mine too,” Margo chimed in. “Looks like we’ll have to be good friends then. I practically have to beg Eliot to watch Harry Potter with me."
“Oh! What house are you?” Quentin asked her excitedly.
“Dear God,” Eliot groaned, pinching the bridge of his nose. “What have I gotten myself into?”
Eliot let the two of them nerd out for a bit whilst he went over to the little bar area he had set up. After making two drinks for himself and Margo he focussed his attention on Quentin, trying to decide on what to make him. Maybe something on the sweeter side? He settled on a blackberry mojito. He’d love it.
“-I’m sorry, but Darren Criss’ A Very Potter Musical is pure perfection. It's a literal work of art. I seriously cannot believe you just said that,” Quentin said with a horrified look on his face. Eliot was trying his best not to laugh at how absolutely delightful it was to see this boy all worked up.
“It’s overrated. I said what I said. Come at me, Coldwater,” Margo shrugged, taking the glass from Eliot. “Thanks,” she gave him a sweet smile. Eliot leaned down and pecked her lightly on the cheek before crouching down so he was now eye level with Quentin.
“Here,” he murmured softly.
Quentin’s eyebrows shot up. “For me?”
He rolled his eyes playfully. “Yes, for you. It’s a mojito.”
“Oh, thanks,” he said quietly, taking it from him.
Eliot quirked his head to the side a bit as he watched him take a sip. His eyelids fluttered shut for a moment and he hummed happily. Success.
Eliot smiled and ruffled the boy’s hair a bit as he stood up and moved to sit back down beside Margo on the couch.
She raised an eyebrow and gave him a look.
Oh shush, Bambi. I’m just being nice.
He wrapped an arm around her and pulled her close, but kept his gaze on Quentin.
That boy was like something out of a wet dream of his. It was absurd, really, just how perfectly he fit his type. Such a sweet, bratty boy. He wanted to eat him up. Desperately.
The three of them ended up watching the rest of the movie and about a quarter of the 3rd, chatting and making little quips here and there. It was fun, honestly. He loved watching Margo and Quentin get animated over the littlest of details. Once you got Quentin going, that boy could truly ramble up a storm. His face would just light up, and he’d gesture with his hands. He could barely sit still. Eliot absolutely treasured it.
“Alright kids, mama’s gotta get going. Josh is here to take me home,” Margo said with a small yawn as she stood up.
“Oh, okay,” Quentin said a bit sadly.
Believe me, I feel the same.
It was Eliot’s first night without Margo in an embarrassingly long amount of time.
He’d be fine though.
“I’ll see you at work tomorrow, “ she said to Eliot, cupping his cheek in her small hand as she pressed a chaste kiss to his lips.
“Thanks for helping me move in,” he replied, looking up into her pretty doe eyes. They were like a sea of warmth. They made him feel like home. God, it was going to be so weird living without her. He missed her already.
Then, Margo was gone, leaving just the two of them. Well, 3 if you count the dog. Eliot smiled as Teddy scampered over to Quentin and booped his cheek with his snout. Quentin rolled his eyes and smiled. “I gotta let him out for the night. I’ll be right back. Just gonna take him for a walk around the block,” he told Eliot as he stood up.
Eliot’s eyebrows furrowed slightly. He glanced down at his phone to check the time.
It was nearly 1:30 in the morning and he was going to go for a walk alone? Nu-uh. No way.
“I’ll come with you,” he said, trying to keep his tone light and casual. Unfortunately, it came out rushed and slightly panicked. Quentin, the smart boy that he is, caught on. Well, sort of. A+ for effort.
“Are you afraid of being alone here or something? I swear it’s not haunted,” he laughed, grabbing Teddy’s leash. The dog started jumping up and down with excitement.
“Uh-huh. Sure. I’m still coming with you,” he replied, deciding to just go along with Quentin’s incorrect assumption.
The two of them ended up walking in silence for a bit. It wasn’t awkward though. It was actually sort of comforting. Was it odd that for some reason he felt at peace walking in the dark in the middle of the night with a boy he met yesterday? Probably.
“I uh, hope you like living here,” Quentin suddenly said.
Sweetheart. Why do you have to be so fucking adorable?
“I don’t think you need to worry about that,” Eliot smiled.
The next few weeks of living with Quentin weren’t terribly difficult, but with their work schedules, they really didn’t get to see each other too much during the day. By the time Quentin was getting home from his shifts at the coffee shop, Eliot was usually heading out to the restaurant, and their days off almost never lined up. The one exception to this tragic outcome was at night. Every night after Eliot would come home late from work, the two of them would have a drink or two and just talk. It was honestly kind of nice. The more Eliot got to know Quentin, the less he wanted to just fuck him and the more he genuinely started to like the guy. He was kind, but also incredibly bitchy and irritable. He also was hilarious. Eliot hadn't gone to bed a single night since moving in without his abs hurting from laughter. He’d never laughed like this with anyone before. It was ridiculous, really. Maybe a little pathetic, even. Whatever. It was great and he loved it. He wouldn’t change it for the world. Well, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch. But maybe just being friends would be okay? Eliot couldn’t remember the last time he had a male friendship that didn’t end up with a dick in someone’s mouth. First time for everything though?
Tonight was Saturday, and they definitely had more than their usual 2 drinks. They both were giggly messes. “N-no! I’m not prank calling Margo!” Quentin practically squealed in protest. “Nope. You have to,” Eliot grinned mischievously, shoving the phone towards him after dialing her number, making sure to dial *67 first so his number came up as unknown. The two of them were currently in the middle of an intense game of Truth or Dare as if they were back in middle school.
Quentin gave him a panicked expression and Eliot just shrugged and leaned back on the couch, resting his hands behind his head as he prepared to watch the disaster that was sure to come.
“Hello? Who is this? It’s midnight. What kind of asshole calls this late?” Margo snapped.
Quentin was still panicking, not knowing what to say. Apparently the boy had a bit of performance anxiety.
“I can hear you breathing,” she deadpanned and Eliot let out a laugh. His eyes widened and he slapped his hands over his mouth, trying to shut himself up.
“Seriously, El? You two are idiots. You’re paying for brunch tomorrow as an apology,” Margo said before abruptly hanging up the phone, causing the two boys to burst into laughter.
“You ruined the prank!” Quentin pouted, storming over to Eliot so he could give him a shove.
“Me? You’re the one who just sat there frozen like a deer in headlights,” he retorted, crossing his arms over his chest, he was still smiling like an idiot though.
Quentin glared and sat down on the floor in front of Eliot. “Fuck off,” he grumbled.
Such a brat.
Quentin really liked sitting on the floor for some reason. He just seemed to feel more comfortable. Eliot didn’t exactly feel the same, but to each their own.
He watched as Quentin reached over and picked up his glass of wine from the coffee table. His fingers fumbled a bit and the wine sloshed around in the glass, dangerously close to spilling.
“Okay, I think you’ve had enough tonight, mister,” Eliot said, swiftly reaching down to grab the glass out of Quentin’s grip before an accident could happen. This was Eliot’s rug after all and it was vintage. His friendship with Quentin might actually end if he spilled wine on his baby.
“You’re not my dad,” Quentin practically whined, laying down on the floor, spread out like a starfish as he peered up at the ceiling fan.
“Brat,” he said, nudging Quentin’s side with his foot.
Quentin turned his head to look at him and he stuck his tongue out, a playful gleam in his eyes. “What’re you going to do about it? Punish me?”
He knew Quentin was just joking around, but it still made him feel things.
Pull yourself together, Eliot.
“You’d like that wouldn’t you?” he teased, tossing one of the couch pillows at him.
“Yes,” Quentin breathed out, the amusement gone from his face.
Eliot felt frozen in place. Had Quentin meant to say that? Probably not. The poor boy was probably going to feel so embarrassed tomorrow, that’s if he even remembers what he said.
Eliot was thankfully interrupted from his internal little panic session by Teddy running up to him. He nudged his leg and made some whining noises.
You’re my lifesaver, Teddy. I owe you one. I’m going to go and buy you a bunch of new toys tomorrow. You’ll be thriving, I swear.
“I’ll let him out,” he said quickly, not even giving Quentin a chance to respond as Eliot swooped the little pup up into his arms and headed towards the front door.
He didn’t look back once at his roommate, despite desperately wanting to. Desperately wanting to know what sort of look was on that pretty face of his. Had the two of them actually been flirting? Or was it just the alcohol? He knew the most probable answer would be the latter, but a man could dream.
After about 15 minutes of being outside with Teddy, he came back inside to find that Quentin was no longer in the living room. He frowned at the sight in disappointment. Maybe he just went to the bathroom or something?
He let Teddy off of the leash before settling back down on the couch. He picked up his glass of wine and finished it off in one big gulp. When 10 more minutes had passed and there still was no sign of Quentin, it was pretty safe to assume that he had gone to sleep. He sighed and brought their empty glasses into the kitchen and placed them gently in the sink. They were his favorite wine glasses. He only ever used them for special occasions.
He’d used them every night the past few weeks with Quentin.
Eliot wasn’t really that tired, and he was starting to sober up quite a bit, so he decided to get some work done. He sat down on the floor, in the spot that Quentin likes so damn much for some reason, and placed his laptop on the coffee table. The restaurant was hosting a dinner party for some Wall Street executives in a few weeks and the head chef wanted him to help come up with the menu. It was a pretty big deal for him.
After writing down the details for one of the appetizers (Fresh Alaskan King Crab Salad with Early Summer Corn, Little Gem Lettuce and Seasonal Vegetables), he decided to finally head to bed. As he was walking towards his room, he was distracted by the sound of some whimpers coming from Quentin’s bedroom.
He frowned, taking a step closer and pressing his ear up to the door to hear better.
The whimpers were soft and muffled. He sounded terribly distressed. It was pretty clear he was having a nightmare.
Should he wake him up?
Would it be an invasion of privacy to just barge in?
He almost decided to just leave him be, but the whimpers intensified, and Eliot was quite positive at this point that the boy was crying.
He felt an ache in his chest.
“Fuck it,” he muttered.
He slowly turned the doorknob and opened the door, giving him full sight of Quentin, squirming around in his bed and sniffling.
Eliot sighed shakily and made his way towards the bed before dropping to his knees. He bit his lip, bracing himself for a most likely negative reaction as he placed his hand gently on Quentin’s shoulder, shaking him a bit. “Hey, wake up,” he whispered.
Quentin’s body stilled for a split second before he went back to being a squirmy mess.
He shook him harder.
“Quentin,” he said a bit louder and more stern.
He let out one last whimper before his eyelids fluttered open, revealing his glassy brown eyes. He was breathing heavily, practically gasping for air. The look on his face was pure terror, which soon turned into mortification. He knew Quentin would be embarrassed, but he had no reason to be. It was just them. Eliot would never in a million years hold this against him.
Eliot waited a few moments for Quentin's breathing to steady.
“You had a nightmare,” he finally murmured, pushing Quentin’s sweat-soaked hair away from his face.
“S-sorry,” Quentin sniffled. “Did I wake you up?”
He was the one who looked like he just went to hell and back, and he was worried about Eliot?
“No. I was worried about you, though,” he frowned.
“Sorry,” is all he said again as he buried his face back into his pillow.
“Hey, no. Don’t apologize,” he quickly said, hating the fact that he was so upset.
“Are you okay?” he asked quietly. It was a dumb question to ask. Obviously he wasn’t okay. At least his body was calm again, and he didn’t seem to be crying. That was a small relief.
“Not really,” he mumbled into the pillow.
“You want to talk about it?” he hesitantly asked.
He stayed quiet. Eliot took that as a big fat no.
“You want me to get you some water or something?” he suggested, unsure of how to make the situation better. He just knew he felt this deep urge to do something, though. Anything at all to try and help.
Quentin moved ever so slightly so his face was no longer completely hidden in the pillow. All Eliot could see was one of Quentin’s pretty eyes. It was red and puffy from crying.
“Why are you being so kind to me?” he asked him quietly and Eliot honestly felt like he had just been slapped in the face.
“Why wouldn’t I be kind to you?” he asked, horrified. They were friends. What kind of fucked up question was that?
“I don’t know,” Quentin mumbled, burying his face back into the pillow to hide.
Eliot sighed, figuring he wasn’t going to be making any more progress tonight. “Well just let me know if you need anything, okay?” he said, moving to grab the blanket so he could tuck Quentin in a bit. The moment his hands touched it though, his eyes widened.
It was wet.
He bit his lip and gently pressed his hand down on the bed.
“U-uhm, Quentin? I think you wet the bed."
Quentin’s body visibly tensed up again as the realization set in. He quickly sat up, a panicked expression on his face. “Oh fuck. Fuck fuck fuck.” He watched as tears started to form in Quentin’s eyes again.
All Eliot wanted to do was hold him.
So he did.
He got up off of the floor and sat down in one of the dry spots on the bed before pulling Quentin close to him. “Shhhh, it’s okay. Don’t worry about it. It was an accident,” he cooed, cradling the back of his head in one hand as his other was rubbing small circles on his back.
What sort of fucked up nightmare did this boy have to make him such a wreck? Eliot felt sick just thinking about it.
He just sat there for a few minutes, rocking the two of them a bit as he held him, listening to Quentin quietly sniffling. Eventually, the sniffles stopped completely and Quentin’s body relaxed. “It’s okay, Quentin. Really, it is,” he murmured, pressing a soft kiss to his temple. “Let's get you cleaned up, hmm?” he said, letting go of him for just a moment so he could get up off of the bed. He then grabbed the boy’s hand and tugged him towards him. Quentin didn’t even protest. He led him towards the bathroom and he turned on the shower. “Give me your pajamas and I’ll put them in the wash with your sheets,” he said. “I’ll wait outside the door, just toss them out after you get undressed, okay?” he said and Quentin simply nodded sadly.
He cupped Quentin’s cheek and just held it there for a moment.
He wanted to just give this boy the world. He desperately wanted to see him smile again.
Eliot was so goddamn pathetic. He’d known him for barely 2 months and he was acting like he was the love of his life or something.
Get it together. It’s embarrassing.
By the time Eliot had finished putting the sheets, blanket, and pajamas in the washing machine, Quentin was already finishing up with his shower. Eliot searched through the linen closet to see if Quentin had any spare sheets, but apparently he did not. Eliot knew Quentin was a bit of a disaster, but come on. Only one pair of sheets? Really? Eliot would need to do something about that, ASAP.
He walked back into the room just as Quentin stepped out of the attached bathroom wearing only a pair of boxers. Eliot tried to ignore how nice his body looked, but that seemed to be an impossible task. This is what he had been hiding under those baggy clothes? His body was small but surprisingly muscular and it was covered in an absurd amount of soft-looking hair.
Eliot was pretty sure he was staring.
He felt his cheeks flush as he looked up at Quentin’s face.
He just was standing there, looking shy and embarrassed.
Well, that won’t do. That won’t do at all.
“All clean?” Eliot smiled.
He nodded, refusing to make eye contact with Eliot.
He sighed and held out his arms. “Come here.”
Quentin obeyed, no questions asked. Didn’t even hesitate.
The boy wrapped his arms around him tightly, burying his face in Eliot’s chest. “Seriously Quentin, it’s okay,” he said, resting his chin on the top of Quentin’s head. He was the perfect height for this. It was like Quentin was made for him.
Stop being a sap.
“Promise?” Quentin asked quietly.
“Promise,” he replied. He meant it. “Come on,” he said, pulling away so he could grab Quentin’s hand.
As he tugged him towards the door, Quentin asked, “Where are we going?”
Eliot glanced back at him. “We’re going to sleep. Obviously,” he replied.
“But --” he began to protest, but Eliot cut him off.
“Shh. For some reason, you don’t have any extra sheets. So you’re sleeping with me. I’m tired. I’m sure you’re tired. We’re going to sleep,” he told him, leading him into his own bedroom that was across the hall.
He was pretty positive Quentin’s brain was freaking out right now, but he didn’t protest anymore.
“Stop thinking so loud. It’s just sleeping,” Eliot scolded him gently.
“Sorry,” he grumbled, climbing into Eliot’s King Sized bed.
Eliot got in after him and tried to stay towards the edge of the bed, wanting to give Quentin space.
Quentin seemed to have calmed down quite a bit compared to when he first woke up. The hot water from the shower probably helped to relax him. Eliot was grateful for that.
"You sure you don't want to talk about it?" Eliot asked, moving a bit so he was now facing Quentin.
"It's not stupid. You don't have to tell me if you don't want to, but it might help to talk about it?"
Quentin took a deep breath in and moved so he was now laying on his back. Eliot recognized it as a coping mechanism that he himself had. It was easier to admit things if you didn't have to look at someone. It made you feel less judged.
"I don't really remember much," he admitted. "But there was this girl with blonde hair and I think Penny was there?" he said.
"Penny? Oh. Well, it all is starting to make sense now," Eliot teased, trying to lighten the mood ever so slightly.
"Oh fuck off. He's not that bad. I mean yeah, he's sort of terrible, but still," Quentin said, his brattiness slowly returning.
Eliot stayed quiet and patiently waited for him to continue.
"Penny was holding her back and she was screaming my name. She was devastated. I didn't even try and reach out to her, though. I just let her break down. I let her crumble to pieces and I have no idea why. It was like I was frozen. I couldn't move. It was on a loop. I was forced to watch it over and over again." Quentin wasn't looking at him, but Eliot could tell his eyebrows were furrowed and there was most likely a frown on his face.
What the hell was Eliot supposed to say to that?
He decided on, "At least it was just a dream. It's not like it really happened. I promise, there's not some pretty girl in distress because of you," he reassured him, wanting to reach out and pull him close, but deciding against it.
Quentin decidedly had had enough of the topic because all he ended up saying in response was "Night, El."
“Night, Quentin,” he said quietly in return.
“ Hey. You should uhm -- You should call me Q” Quentin replied, pulling the covers close to him as he moved onto his side so that he was facing Eliot.
“Call me Q. My friends call me Q,” he mumbled sleepily, nuzzling the side of his face into the pillow.
Eliot smiled slightly and closed his eyes. “Night, Q.”
When he awoke the next morning, he was uncomfortably warm, which was an unusual way for him to wake up considering they kept the air conditioning pretty low at night.
He went to rub the sleep out of his eyes, but he realized his right hand wouldn’t budge.
When he opened his eyes he honestly didn’t know what to think.
Quentin was not only clinging to him like his life depended on it, but two of Eliot’s fingers were in Quentin’s mouth.
Quentin was fast asleep though, just happily sucking away on Eliot’s fingers like they were a lollipop.
To make matters worse, the boy was gently humping his leg.
No big deal.
Quentin was obviously embarrassed last night, but if he woke up now, he might actually combust.
Okay, maybe that wasn’t the best choice of words.
He’d definitely never want to face Eliot again, though.
He gently tried to pry the boy off of him, but he just seemed to grip him tighter.
Quentin let out a small whine.
Eliot rolled his eyes and smiled.
Fine, you can have a few more minutes before I get up and try and pretend none of this ever happened. But only because you're so damn cute.
He snuggled closer to Quentin and sighed happily. Eliot wouldn’t mind one bit waking up to this every day. He knew damn well it would never happen again, though. So he might as well enjoy it while he could.
Besides, Quentin just seemed so relaxed and at ease. It would be cruel to take that away from him, especially after last night. So technically, he was just doing the boy a favor, right?
A little while later, Eliot forced himself to pull his fingers out of Quentin’s wet, hot mouth. They came out with a satisfying pop and he noticed Quentin’s face immediately scrunch up in protest.
Such a needy boy.
He pressed a sweet kiss to the tip of his nose.
He noticed a tiny little smile form on Quentin’s lips, and Eliot’s heart nearly burst out of his chest.
After spending about 5 minutes trying to carefully pry the sleeping boy off of him without waking him up, Eliot finally succeeded and headed into the kitchen to make some coffee.
He felt slightly hungover, meaning Quentin was going to feel much worse than him.
He was going out for brunch with Margo soon so he didn’t make any breakfast for himself, but that didn’t stop him from making something for Quentin, who most likely would be having a very rough morning today. He settled on making some chocolate chip pancakes. He wasn’t sure when Quentin would be getting up, but he figured they’d be okay reheated in the microwave.
Afterward, he grabbed a glass of water and some ibuprofen and brought it into his bedroom. Quentin was still fast asleep, snoring softly. He now was in the middle of his bed, all sprawled out and laying on his stomach. Eliot smiled at the sight.
He placed the water and pills on his bedside table along with a little note.
I made you some pancakes. Microwave them for a minute. They’re chocolate chip. I’m going out with Margo, so if you need something, just text me.
He looked down at the sleeping boy before him and sighed. “What are you doing to me, Q?”
“So you and Coldwater had quite the night,” Margo had a casual tone to her voice, but Eliot knew damn well she’d been wanting to talk about it since the moment they sat down at the restaurant.
“How long have you been waiting to say that?”
“Oh shush. Spill. You got drunk with our boy? You look positively wrecked. I take it more than just some innocent prank calling occurred,” she was almost giddy with excitement. Margo constantly was prying for information on the Quentin situation. Unfortunately, up until now, there was nothing really to tell. Well, it’s not like Eliot had been trying to actively pursue the boy and had just been failing miserably. He genuinely was just trying to be his friend. Nothing more, nothing less.
“It’s not what you think,” he assured her as he picked up his mimosa and took a pretty large sip.
She raised her eyebrows. “Oh? Explain.”
“Well, first of all, drinking with Quentin last night wasn’t a first time thing,” he bit his lip and paused for a moment before blurting out quickly, “It’s sort of a nightly thing?”
Her jaw dropped. “And this is the first I’m hearing of this?”
“I just knew you’d think it was a bigger deal than it is,” he told her with a shrug. “Honestly nothing ever happened between us. I’d get home from work every night and we’d have a drink and just talk. About life. Ourselves. We've been getting to know each other. It's been really nice, actually,” he told her, feeling as if he was sharing a secret that he didn’t want to share. His time with Quentin felt special. It was theirs. It was just for them.
Apparently his face had betrayed him and made it obvious that he was currently getting far too sentimental in his thoughts at the moment because Margo’s face suddenly softened.
“You don’t have to tell me anything else if you don’t want to. You know I’m just too nosy for my own good,” she told him quietly as she reached out to rest her hand over the top of his.
“No, it’s fine,” he said with a nod, snapping out of his sappy mood. “So yeah, last night wasn’t the first time we drank together without you, but it was definitely the first time we got drunk. Well, Quentin was definitely drunker than I was. Such a lightweight. So predictable,” he grinned.
“So you two got drunk and decided to play some middle school games?” she mused.
Eliot shrugged. “It is what it is. It was fun.”
“Apparently too much fun,” she smirked.
He rolled his eyes and leaned back in his chair. “We didn’t have sex, Bambi. I still don’t even know for sure if he likes guys,” he told her bluntly.
She furrowed her eyebrows in confusion. “But something clearly did happen last night.”
He stayed silent for a moment. “I mean, yeah. It’s not a big deal though?” he said, but it came out more like a question.
“Are you going to share with the class?” she asked, getting a little exasperated at this point. Eliot didn’t blame her, he was being extremely weird about it all. He was still trying to process last night himself.
“Well uhm, first I made a joke?”
She gestured for him to continue. “If you don’t speed this story up I’m going to leave,”
“You would never.”
“Just get on with it, lover boy,” she groaned.
“Uh so yeah, I made this joke about him being a brat? And he played along, but at the same time, I think he was sort of into it? Like I think we were flirting, Bambi,” he told her. He knew he was totally contradicting himself right now. He still was in denial about the idea of Quentin liking guys, but deep down he wasn't stupid. He knew. Quentin 100% was flirting with him last night, even though it was most likely just the alcohol.
“You sound like a 13-year-old girl. Why are you so surprised he’d flirt with you? You’re hot. Lots of guys flirt with you,” she shrugged.
“I know, but it’s Quentin. It’s different with him. I just--I can’t fuck this up,” he said, feeling stressed and confused beyond belief.
He’s never really thought for even a minute he had a chance with Quentin. He didn’t know why, but he just was so incredibly special. He seemed untouchable to him from the very moment they met. Too good for this world. He deserved better than Eliot.
“Stop self-deprecating. You’re a fucking catch. If you want to fuck him, go for it. I don’t see the problem,” she frowned.
“You know damn well I don’t want to just fuck him,” he said quietly.
“So we’re at this point of the pining then. Seriously El, it’s only been a few weeks. We’ll go out tonight and you’ll meet some other boy with pretty hair and you’ll move on. I swear. Quentin’s nice, and I absolutely adore him, but he’s not God’s gift or anything like that. It’s just a boy, and you need to get laid,” she told him, in a lecturing sort of way.
“Maybe,” he sighed.
“So, are you going to continue the story or what?” she asked.
Eliot wasn’t even sure if he wanted to tell her the rest. Maybe she was right. Maybe it had simply just been far too long since he got laid. Sex wasn’t what he wanted from Quentin though. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. He most definitely wanted to fuck that boy into next week, but he wanted more than that. He wanted to take care of him and make him happy.
You’re getting sappy again, El. Cut it out. It’s disgusting.
“Well me being me, I freaked out and ran away. I went to go take the dog for a walk and when I came back inside, he was already in bed asleep,” he shrugged, looking down at his half-eaten plate of waffles.
“Fine. I’ve clearly struck some sort of nerve with you today, and I’m sorry, okay? You don’t have to tell me any more,” Margo said after a moment. “So you genuinely really like him, huh?”
“You don’t like anyone, though. Except me, of course.”
“There’s a first time for everything,” he smiled weakly, just as his phone vibrated, signaling that he had received a text.
If you don’t make me pancakes every day for the rest of my life, I’m going to be pissed.
He laughed as another text quickly followed it.
Thank you, btw. For everything.