Quentin, shockingly, actually feels refreshed. It’s Saturday night, and he got to spend a pretty nice day with his dad. They went for a hike in one of the parks they’ve always liked going to, ordered in some Mexican, and played a few different card games. Quentin limited his cheating to normal sleight of hand, deciding that using actual magic wouldn’t be fair. His dad actually enjoys trying to spot when Quentin does something sneaky, so they’d incorporated it into the games. Anytime his dad called him out correctly he gained a point, but if he was wrong then Quentin gained a point. It eventually devolved into Quentin making a bunch of misleading motions trying to throw him off, as always, but it was fun.
Now Quentin’s basically turned in for the night, so he sits on his bed and checks his phone, seeing a text from Julia. Right, Brakebills allows cell phone use on the weekends since there aren’t classes going on. It’s not something Quentin’s ever taken advantage of, since he doesn’t have anyone to be texting anyway.
>>> Q!! How’s your dad?
He’s good, he had about a gazillion new planes to show me
>>> Same old Mr. Coldwater. We’re getting lunch Monday right? You won’t ABANDON me again?
I’m sorry! I told you something came up. But yeah, should be good for Monday.
>>> Yeah, preeetty sure you mean someone, not something
I mean, Eliot needed my help with something, I didn’t want to say no
>>> Uh-huh. He needed your help finishing off his stash of weed and eating the fancy burgers he was bbqing.
>>> I hung out with Alice instead, I saw you guys making googly eyes at each other in the backyard
Our eyes were entirely of the normal variety. I’m sorry for bailing on you.
>>> It’s ok, I know you have it baaad for him
I do not
Ok, jeez! Fine, he’s like, the most amazing person I’ve ever met? Besides you of course, before you say anything.
>>> Mmhmm, keep talking. The voodoo dolls I’m making for Sunderland’s hw could use some GOOGLY eyes
First of all, they’re not voodoo dolls, she specifically said their interactions with the human they represent are limited to location tracking
And fine. He’s… nice to me. And really thoughtful. And fun. He makes me laugh, and he listens to me when I talk, and there’s like, a lot more to him than people think
Speaking of Eliot, a message comes in from him. Quentin clicks it to read:
>>> We need a deciding vote on an urgent matter. I’m not allowed to tell you who’s voted which way, but I can tell you there is clearly a correct answer which I fully trust you will provide
Lol ok, what’s this urgent matter?
He switches back to see what Julia wrote.
>>> Oh boy, it’s worse than I thought. Although I already knew it was bad since you DESERTED your best friend just to stare into his eyes for a couple hours.
I mean they’re really nice eyes
>>> You have to do something about this before you end up sleepwalking into his bed 😂
He rolls his eyes to himself and looks at what Eliot’s just sent:
>>> For our next party, should the theme be 90s tv shows, or 90s bands?
It can’t just be 90s themed so everyone’s happy?
>>> I will pretend you didn’t just suggest such a ridiculous idea.
I mean, seems like there’d be more variety and stuff to talk about if it was tv shows, so that’s my vote
>>> You have chosen wisely. Margo is now going on a sore loser rampage through the Cottage 😂
“Curly Q!” His dad calls from the base of the stairs. “There’s only one taco left. You want it, or should I toss it?”
“Oh, yeah one sec!” Quentin leaves his phone on the bed and runs downstairs for the last taco. It’d be a shame to waste food. He carries it with him upstairs and starts typing back to Julia while holding it in his mouth.
It’s not funny, it’s a PROBLEM. On Thursday Eliot pranced down the stairs looking like… if fucking Prince Charming was dressed by the Great Gatsby in a vest that was handmade to accentuate his perfect jawline, as if that’s even possible, and I was too distracted to study for the next hour. Just. How dare he be so hot.
>>> Um… Q?
Yeah, yeah, Julia’s about to make fun of him for his overly poetic phrasing and annoying tendency to paragraph-text, but he’s on a roll. He keeps typing, thumbs flying over the keys.
And he’s so tactile, he’s like that with everyone, but he doesn’t realize what it DOES to me
At the party last weekend he put his head on my lap and like, he can’t just DO that to me. I had to excuse myself after 2 fucking minutes like a disaster of a human who can’t handle his own hormones
>>> So the crimson vest’s a winner, huh? Good to know.
Quentin’s about to ask Julia what she’s talking about when he glances at the top of his screen. His taco falls out of his mouth. Oh no. Oh no no no. This cannot be happening. The name Eliot hits him like his textbook did the first time he tried and failed to perform a levitation spell. How did he let this happen? He goes back and forth between the threads and quickly realizes the last messages from both Eliot and Julia had started and ended the same way. God fucking damnit. He makes sure to open the thread with Julia this time and triple checks it before writing:
I just texted Eliot by accident instead of you gushing about how hot he is. Help.
>>> Did you mention him by name specifically?
>>> Fuck. Um, ok. Can you play it off as a drunk text? Maybe that’s like, less embarrassing?
It’s not a good idea. But it’s also not a terrible idea. Most importantly, however, it’s his only idea. He writes out a message to Eliot.
So I’m super drunk right now. And it’s Saturday night so probably you are too so if we just decide to forget this ever happened then maybe we’ll actually forget this ever happened.
>>> You always make that many literary references when you’re drunk?
Three little dots appear, and then disappear. Then reappear. Then disappear again. Quentin’s heart is pounding and he can’t decide between literally gluing his eyes to the screen or throwing his phone all the way across the room. Texts are coming in from Julia but he doesn’t open them yet. Finally, Eliot sends his message.
>>> Is that really why you left that party so early?
This is torture. Quentin has died and this is what he’s going to have to put up with for eternity. Being forced to live through worst-case social scenarios forevermore. Next up he’ll be forced to make rounds performing coin magic at a party full of apathetic people who think magic tricks are for three-year-olds. He starts word-vomiting all over his next text and presses send before he has to spend a single second more deliberating over how to respond.
I swear I can be a normal friend and I really don’t want you to be creeped out or uncomfortable so if you don’t wanna be friends with me now I get it but I swear I can be normal
An entire minute goes by with no response. Quentin stands up and starts pacing. Finally a new message appears.
>>> When are you back?
Tomorrow around 4. Please can we just forget this happened.
>>> Problem is, Quentin, I’m not drunk. And I don’t think you are either.
Ok, what the fuck does that mean? How does Quentin respond to that? Why can’t Eliot just put him out of his misery like a normal person and say something like “yeah this is awkward, let’s never talk about this again.” Then he sees that Eliot’s typing again.
>>> We’re fine. Enjoy the rest of your time with your dad. Text me when you’re on your way back?
He finally flips back to his text thread with Julia to see 4 unread messages.
>>> What is happening?
>>> You can’t just disappear, what is he SAYING
>>> QUENTIN MAKEPEACE what is going on, what did you say???
>>> Don’t you dare leave me in the dark!
I have no idea what’s happening.
>>> Tell me everything.
Please prepare a grave for me behind the Cottage. I will be needing it to crawl into when I come back.
>>> Was it really that bad?
I don’t know, he just… told me to text him when I’m on my way back to Brakebills?? Probably so he knows when to hide from me. God.
>>> Or he wants to know when to be ready to fuck you ;)
Oh my god, that is so not what’s happening here. Well I’m off to lie awake in my bed for hours. Night.
He locks his phone and flops down onto his bed. He can’t help thinking about what Julia said. That isn’t what’s happening here, right? Why does Eliot have to be so cryptic? Problem is Quentin, I’m not drunk, and I don’t think you are either. What does it mean? It sounds like it could almost be flirty, but probably it’s just Eliot trying to make things less awkward. A futile effort, because awkward follows Quentin around like Todd follows Eliot. Or, worse, he’s saying that he can’t forget about it and this means things have to change between them. They’ll go from really close friends to awkward acquaintances. As predicted, it takes Quentin a very long time to fall asleep.
The next day goes by much faster than Quentin wants it to. He watches tv with his dad, has a nice lunch with him, and then it’s time to head to the portal. He really does need to get back. He has homework to finish and he needs access to the Cottage library. He considers sneaking in through the back door, but he’ll need to cross through the common room anyway to get to the library. So he sucks in a breath and goes in through the front. He’s a bit early, so maybe—
“I thought you were gonna text me when you were coming back?”
Fuck. Eliot’s sitting on the couch facing the door, lounging back against the armrest and staring at him.
“Yeah, sorry, I just thought—”
“Come upstairs with me? To talk?”
Oh no. “Can we… do we really have to? Can’t we just…”
Eliot’s already standing up and walking over to the stairs. Quentin sighs and follows behind. Well, it was nice having friends here while it lasted. Here comes the awkward “I’m flattered, but” talk. Eliot takes him up to his bedroom and gestures to his bed. Quentin sits precariously on the edge, ready to leap off the second this becomes too much and he has to make a break for it.
Eliot closes the door and sits next to him, leaving about a foot of space between them. “You were trying to text Julia, right?”
“Uh, yeah.” Quentin tilts his head down, doing his best to hide behind his hair.
Eliot hums and stays quiet for a few seconds. “If I suck your dick, will you still want to be friends with me?”
Quentin actually chokes on his own saliva. “What?” he stutters out.
“If I suck your dick,” Eliot repeats slowly, “are you gonna still want to be my friend?”
“I don’t understand what’s happening right now.”
Eliot pauses for a bit, considering, and then says, “I don’t have a lot of friends, Quentin.”
That makes Quentin look up. “Um, I’m sorry, what? You’re like, the most popular person on campus.”
Eliot waves a hand dismissively. “Different things. Popularity, being recognized by people, having a reputation… doesn’t mean there’s a lot of people I’m close with. Last year it was really just me and Margo, and now there’s you… it’s important to me. Being your friend.”
“Um. Ok. I mean, yeah, same.” What the fuck? Is Eliot offering him a pity fuck to help him get over this?
“I don’t… I don’t know if this is a good idea,” Eliot says, looking at Quentin as if he has the answer to whatever question he’s not quite asking.
“Look, it’s fine, you don’t… you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do, God. That’s not… We’re good. I’m gonna go study.”
Eliot grabs his wrist before he can stand up. “What do you mean, anything I don’t want to do?”
Quentin actually laughs. “I mean, you just offered me like, sexual favors to… I don’t know, try to be a good friend?”
“I’m sorry, what?” Eliot says with a confused smile. “That’s not what I’m doing.”
“Then, can you please just explain what’s happening here?” It comes out louder than he intended, sounding almost frantic.
“I’ve always been attracted to you, Q!” Eliot blurts out, nearly matching Quentin’s volume. “That’s— I don’t think I’ve been particularly subtle about that. I didn’t realize it was something you thought about too, but if it is then maybe… I don’t know. I don’t know.”
Quentin feels like he’s gotten all the wind knocked out of him. “Oh.”
“Yeah, oh,” Eliot says, rolling his eyes.
Despite himself, Quentin’s actually letting himself get a little hopeful. “So if you want to, and I want to… then…”
“These types of things can get complicated,” Eliot sighs out, running a hand through his hair. “I just… I need to be sure that if we do this, things won’t be weird between us.”
“Well, I mean, they’re already kind of weird, right?” Quentin scooches closer to Eliot so their thighs are touching. He’s maybe not entirely processing what Eliot’s been saying, because after hearing that this is something Eliot wants, something he’s thought about, Quentin’s brain is consumed by one particular thought process. He brings his hand to Eliot’s cheek, and Eliot audibly sucks in a breath.
“Of course we’ll still be friends,” Quentin says. And then he leans in. It takes a moment for Eliot to relax and let himself melt into the kiss, but when he does, he really does. He pulls Quentin on top of him as he falls back against the pillows and brings his hand to the back of Q’s neck, holding his head firmly in place. Quentin presses both his hands against Eliot’s chest while Eliot reaches his free hand underneath Quentin’s shirt, stroking up and down Q’s back while pulling him down closer and closer until every part of Quentin is pressed flush against Eliot’s body.
Quentin’s starting to get hard, and it feels like Eliot is too, so he lifts his hips up slightly and grinds down against him. It’s the smallest amount of friction, but both of them break the kiss at the contact and Eliot actually yelps. They’re both breathing so heavily that it would be funny if Quentin were any less turned on. Eliot roughly yanks off Quentin’s shirt and flips them over, pressing himself on top of him and kissing down his neck.
Quentin wants to beg for more, wants Eliot’s hand on his dick right the fuck now, but he knows it would be ridiculous to say anything like that out loud. He settles for a moan that comes out louder than he intended, and fists his hand in Eliot’s hair. He starts pushing Eliot’s head down lower, and he thinks he’s being subtle about it, but Eliot stops and breathes out a chuckle.
“Don’t worry, I was very serious about my offer to suck your dick. But I’m gonna take my time with you. Just relax.”
“It’s, um, hard to relax when you won’t touch me anywhere below my collarbone,” Quentin says, straining his hips upward, trying to rub against Eliot again.
Eliot’s head snaps up at Quentin’s words. His expression is mostly surprise, but his mouth starts to form into a grin. “You know, maybe I’ll take even longer than I was planning until you learn to be patient. Wouldn’t want to miss any spots.”
“Oh my God,” Quentin groans. True to his word, Eliot keeps sucking on Quentin’s neck, and agonizingly slowly starts moving down toward his nipples. He takes his time there, licking around each one without making direct contact, until he finally wraps his whole mouth around and sucks hard. Quentin gasps and tugs on Eliot’s hair, but he’s not pulling him away. He just needs something to pull on, to release some of the ridiculous amount of tension that’s building up.
“Eliot,” he pants.
“Yes?” Eliot sing-songs right against his skin.
“Fuck, please El, I’ve been so patient. Please.” Dear God, Quentin is whining like a petulant child who was promised a lollipop, but he can’t help it. He’s so hard, and he needs to be touched.
“Please what?” Eliot’s tone is different. Darker. He’s lifted his head to stare right at him. Quentin gulps.
“Touch me. Please.”
“I already am, Q. Tell me exactly what you want.”
“Jesus— you know what I want you fucking tease. Suck my dick, or jerk me off, or fucking… I don’t know, anything. I need it.”
He hates the self-satisfied smirk Eliot gives him. “Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?”
“And take off your shirt,” Quentin adds while he’s still able to use his words.
Eliot fixes him with another sharp look. “You really think you’re in a position right now to be so bossy?” Eliot traces his fingers feather-light over his cock, taking his hand away when Quentin whimpers and tries to buck up into the pressure.
God, what is happening? Sex has never been like this for Quentin. It’s always just been him and his partner trying to figure out how to make each other feel good, trying things out, sometimes succeeding and sometimes not. Right now everything Eliot does is succeeding, and he hasn’t even fucking done anything yet. And why is that so hot?
Eliot takes pity on him, thank God, and does take off his shirt. But before Quentin can touch the beautiful pale skin that’s now on display for him, Eliot takes off both their pants and underwear and ducks down between Quentin’s legs.
At first all he can feel is hot breath, which, ridiculously, is enough to cause precome to start dribbling out of his cock. Eliot hums in approval. He licks over Quentin’s inner thighs, his balls, and finally touches his tongue to the head of Quentin’s dick.
It’s so much stimulation, and Quentin is gasping and practically writhing on the bed, but it’s still not enough. Even as Eliot takes more of his cock into his mouth, wrapping his tongue around, bobbing up and down with the perfect wet slide of his lips, Quentin still wants more. He doesn’t even know what that would look like, until he feels one of Eliot’s fingers rub lightly over his hole.
“Oh my god, yes, please.”
Eliot pulls off and looks up at him. “You’re sure? Have you um, done that before?”
“I mean, I’ve never been like, fucked before I guess? But I’ve been fingered.”
Eliot nods. “Ok. Let’s do that. Do you mind if I… there’s a cleaning spell, it doesn’t hurt or anything, just might feel a bit weird.”
“Oh my god, magic is awesome,” Quentin laughs out. “Yeah, that sounds perfect.”
Eliot gives him a strange smile and places a soft kiss on his knee. He does a quick tut, and it does feel weird for a second, but it’s kind of refreshing in a way. Eliot takes out some lube from his nightstand and slowly presses one slick fingertip in.
“This ok? I’ll go slow.”
Quentin narrows his eyes in a glare. “Not too slow.”
Eliot laughs and hums in agreement. “Don’t worry, you were very patient for me. No more teasing, promise.” Eliot slowly slides his finger deeper, moving it around just a bit. Quentin wants to ask for another, but he knows he should probably wait or it might be unpleasant. Eliot seems to sense exactly when Quentin’s body is ready to take more, and slowly inserts another.
“That’s so good, oh my God,” Quentin babbles. He looks at Eliot and sees him with his hand around his own hard dick, stroking himself slowly and unevenly.
“God, you’re so hot,” Eliot pants. They keep going like that, intensity building slowly but surely. Eliot finally slides in a third finger. It feels so fucking good. Eliot’s hitting his prostate only occasionally, but Quentin can tell it’s on purpose. So much for no more teasing.
Eliot’s jerking himself off faster now, and he starts thrusting his fingers into Quentin faster to match. The building pressure starts increasing at what feels like an exponential rate, and suddenly Quentin finds himself shoving his hips against Eliot’s fingers, trying to take them even deeper.
“El, I… I’m so close,” Quentin gasps out.
“Fuck. You gonna come like this? Just from my fingers? That would be so fucking hot.”
“El,” Quentin cries. He pushes his hips forward once, twice, and on the third thrust he’s coming. His hand flies to his cock almost out of habit, stroking himself through it as he spills over his stomach. Eliot’s fingers still inside him and his breath starts coming in uneven gasps, faster and faster as his hand flies over his dick. But it’s not fair, Quentin wants—
“Let me,” Quentin says, grabbing onto Eliot’s wrist to still him. “Please, can I?”
“Yeah, yeah of course. But I’m like, really close so— oh fuck!” As soon as Quentin had heard “yeah” he’d repositioned himself to kneel in front of Eliot and had immediately taken his cock into his mouth. It really is too big for him to get it all the way back, but it doesn’t seem like that’ll be necessary, or even noticed, given the state Eliot’s in.
“Oh God, fuck, Q, I’m—” it’s probably about 15 seconds until Eliot tugs hard on Quentin’s hair in warning, trying to pull him off. Quentin struggles against it, keeping his mouth in place as Eliot comes apart into his mouth. He can feel Eliot’s dick spasming, come shooting over his tongue and down into his throat as he swallows. He half wishes he got to suck Eliot’s cock for longer, but it’s also insanely hot how quickly Eliot fell over the edge, how turned on he was from getting Quentin off.
They both collapse next to each other, Eliot tutting out a spell that leaves Quentin feeling dry and somewhat clean. He really has to learn that.
After they take a few minutes to catch their breath, Quentin breaks the silence. “Jesus. I guess your, uh… skills haven’t been exaggerated. Maybe um, maybe next time you could actually fuck me?”
Eliot stills beside him. Quentin turns and can’t interpret the look on his face, but it doesn’t look good.
“What’s wrong? Was it not... was that not good? For you?” It’s hard for Quentin to imagine that not being good, but maybe he was too focused on himself. He certainly thoroughly enjoyed it. It was better than any sex he’d ever had, if he’s being honest. And Eliot had seemed pretty enthusiastic about it, and he’d definitely gotten off on it, but maybe—
“Are you kidding? Q, that was…” He laughs. “Very good. I just, um…”
Eliot’s fidgeting with the covers, and Quentin wonders if he wants to be alone but feels bad asking for it. Maybe Quentin’s overstaying his welcome. “Do you want me to go? I don’t have to stay.”
“No! No of course not. I just, uh…”
“El, come on. Talk to me.”
Eliot bites his lip. “I don’t know if I can do this again,” he says. Ah.
“Oh. Ok, right. That’s fine. I have homework to finish anyway so…” Quentin knows he’s failing to hide the hurt in his voice, but if he can just get out of here fast enough he at least won’t have a complete breakdown in front of Eliot.
“No, that’s not—”
“Don’t worry, still friends,” Quentin forces a smile. “Just like I promised. We’re good.” Quentin climbs out of the bed and starts putting his boxers back on.
“I don’t think I can do this again because I’m afraid I won’t be able to stop.”
The words come fast, like Eliot’s trying to force them out before they disappear. Quentin pauses mid-motion, tripping over his underwear and nearly falling flat onto the floor. He manages to land on the bed instead.
“What does that mean, exactly?” Quentin says carefully.
“This is what I was worried about when I said…” Eliot sighs and looks away. “I don’t just think you’re attractive, I… I have… feelings, I guess.” Eliot says the word ‘feelings’ like he often says the name ‘Todd.’ Like an unwelcome visitor.
At the confession, Quentin’s stomach starts fluttering out of control. Eliot continues to talk, still not looking at Quentin. If he was, he’d almost certainly stop talking at the smile that’s threatening to split apart Quentin’s entire face.
“I know that’s not how it is for you, and that’s fine. It’s not a rare occurrence that someone finds me attractive and is curious what it’d be like to sleep with me. And that usually works out perfectly. But with you—”
Quentin cuts him off with a deep kiss, cupping his jaw gently but solidly. When he pulls away, he still lingers close for a few moments, feeling Eliot’s breath soft against his lips.
“I’m gonna show you my whole text thread with Julia from yesterday, ok?” He reaches down to the floor and pulls out his phone from his jeans pocket. He opens the thread and scrolls up to the point before the panic texts, hands Eliot the phone, and keeps his eyes schooled on his face.
After he gets through the first couple, Eliot’s eyes widen a bit. “The most amazing person you’ve ever met? Not cheesy at all.” But the corners of his mouth are tilting up. He snorts when he reads Quentin’s argument about the voodoo dolls, saying, “Pedantic as always.” Then he gets to the next text, where Quentin listed off a barrage of reasons for Eliot’s amazingness. It’s by no means a complete list, but he hopes it’ll help get the idea across. Eliot’s reaction to it is difficult to read. At first his eyes light up, but he bites down on his lip instead of smiling.
When he finally looks up, he says, “I do have nice eyes, thank you for noticing.”
“Yeah, well, I also noticed all that other stuff. That is expressly not just about how hot you are.”
“It’s a sweet sentiment, even though you may be off on some of the specifics.”
“What does that mean?”
Eliot hands him back his phone. “Really thoughtful? Q, I’m pretty much the most selfish person to ever exist.”
“Ok, that’s complete bullshit. You make an effort to make me feel included all the time, even when you don’t have to. And whether or not that means something to you… it means a lot to me.”
Eliot audibly swallows. “Ok,” he says breathily. “So um, given all of… this…” he gestures both hands nebulously in the air, “what exactly do you propose we do?”
“Gosh, if only there was a label or something for when two people are attracted to each other and have feelings for each other. Man.”
Eliot rolls his eyes. “You little shit. Fine. That’s what you want?”
“I don’t know, did you think of something to call it? Cuz I’m drawing a total blank here.”
“We’ll be boyfriends, then. That make you happy?”
Quentin hums and kisses Eliot chastely on the lips. “If it makes you happy.”
Eliot kisses him back, long and slow and sweet. “Yeah. It does.”