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Eliot was the one who got him water and brought him up to his room, helped him put on pajamas and settled him into bed. He didn't even ask before crawling in under the blankets right next to Quentin, taking the comparatively smaller man into his arms.

Quentin was equal parts wanting to tell him to fuck off and more touch starved than he'd ever been in his life. It felt like something had broken inside of him, something he'd never fix but felt a consuming urge to--by means of what, he couldn't be sure. Eliot was being so damn sweet and comforting, only confirming the fact that what they just went through was deeply fucked up when Quentin desperately just wanted to bury the broken pieces and forget it ever happened.

At some point, he started crying and it overwhelmed him. Being so overwhelmed made him start bawling his eyes out, and that made him grateful for the slight chest under his head and deceptively strong arms around him.

Quentin wasn't sure how long he cried for. Eliot was silent, save a few soothing assurances--at face value they didn't mean much, but the fact that Eliot cared enough to say them meant something to Quentin. His slender fingers were carding gently through Quentin's hair when he finally felt the weight of his tears miraculously exit his body, tearducts dry and breathing under control.

"You didn't have to do this for me," Quentin said softly.

"Of course I did," Eliot soothed.

Quentin pulled back to really look at him--it felt like he didn't look at Eliot once during their months away. He wasn't quite as rail-thin as Quentin remembered in Antarctica but his cheekbones stuck out in a way that was more gaunt than sexy. Quentin knew that he was definitely in the same boat, even worse off from his final.

He gently reached up and ran a few fingers over a dark curl, freshly cut, freshly washed. Eliot's gaze didn't falter until Quentin's hand reached Eliot's jaw--obviously an item of insecurity. The twistedness of it was even more obvious now that Eliot still didn't have much meat on his bones. He knew that if Eliot wanted him to stop touching it, he'd make himself clear. His eyes had gone from Quentin's chest back to his face before letting them slip closed and leaning into the hand resting squarely on his one lifelong malcontent. "They can't fix it," he whispered. It was one of the only times Quentin had ever heard him speak of it. "Not without major reconstructive surgery. And the risk..." Eliot shook his head.

"You don't have to talk about this if you don't want to."

"It's a carefully avoided subject of conversation when I'm in bed with someone but I know they're looking at it. What they're thinking."

Quentin couldn't help an amused turn of his lips, "What am I thinking?"

Eliot didn't even hesitate, "I wish this asshole would get out of my bed so Alice can come into it?"

"You really think that little of me?" Quentin said it playfully, Eliot just blinked. With that, Quentin got closer and kissed Eliot full on the lips.

Maybe what surprised Quentin the most was the way Eliot kissed him back like they just found out they were dying. He tasted deliciously like cigarettes and spiked coffee and pears and Quentin couldn't get over how good it felt. Eliot was a spectacular kisser, jaw be damned, then Quentin felt a sturdy hand on his neck, the other one slinking over his side to settle on his hip.

Quentin had always thought of himself as straight, maybe with a couple of exceptions, but kissing a guy felt so right too. Or...maybe that was just kissing Eliot? Mentally he kicked himself for not encouraging this ages ago--of course he'd wanted Eliot the entire time. At least since that first time they sailed on the Husdon; Quentin could still see the way Eliot's hair seemed to capture the setting summer sun.

They did have to pull back for air at some point, drawing a lopsided smirk from Eliot, "I didn't know you were into guys."

"I didn't either."

Eliot looked him over, something like mischief glinting in his eyes, “If you wanted, we could find some other stuff you didn’t know you were into.”

“Are you implying that you want to fuck me?”

“No,” Eliot said it factually, almost quickly, giving a long enough pause for Quentin to raise an eyebrow, “I’m saying that I want you to fuck me.”

The bluntness of the request caught Quentin off-guard but at this point, after everything they’d been through and after the fundamentally draining experience that was Brakebills South—this might as well happen. Quentin had been back to New York for a couple of hours now and he still felt like the completely emptied out husk of what might have been the person he once was. Arguably he wasn’t the same person at all, even down to his physical form. And this…whatever that was about to happen with Eliot, felt like exactly what he needed as much as it felt like the total antithesis of everything he should have been looking for.

Then again, when had that ever stopped him?

“I need a minute,” Quentin said, his voice softer than he wanted it to be.

Eliot’s demeanor changed from smugness to something infinitely more soft, so much so that Quentin wanted to ask him to just be a smug bastard again. He held back. “You need a minute as in, your magic being drained is making it hard for you to get it up and you need extra attention or as in, you don’t want to do this? Because if you don’t want to do this, I’m not offended or anything I just—don’t want to keep making passes at you if you need to rest.”

Quentin paused in consideration, “I do want to do this. I mean I didn’t think I did but I…” He closed his eyes and shrugged, “I really, really want to but I’m not up at all.”

“Lucky you, I’m very, very good at giving my partners the attention that they need.” Eliot paused again, looking Quentin over and noting the deer in the headlights kind of look in his eyes, “Have you ever fucked another guy?”

“I’ve never done anything with another guy,” Quentin said softly.

“Aww,” Eliot smiled, reaching to gently push Quentin’s hair out of his eyes, “You’re in for a treat, I’m a good first time. We’ll take it as slow as you need to but fast enough to have fun.”

Part of Quentin was pleased that Eliot wasn’t uppity about his lack of sexual experience when it came to this. Some people were, and Quentin always supposed that the ever-impeccably-tasted Eliot would be (not that he’d thought about it—okay, maybe, he’d reasonably thought through it in a completely heterosexual and platonic way.) He took a breath; he was in good hands, Eliot had done this before.

“Okay. So where do we start with…starting?”

“That’s up to you.”

“Why does it have to be up to me, you’re doing stuff too.”

“Quentin,” Eliot sighed out his name, looking to the ceiling for an answer before looking back to the young man in his arms. “My proverbial lights are very, very green all the way through right now. Not to scare you but there’s little I wouldn’t do with you. Your lights are all—very yellow, and I need to know what’s going to make them green and where your red lights start too. This is a clumsy metaphor, but you know what I’m trying to say, right?”

It made sense. Quentin had just never engaged in a conversation of this nature, usually these things were done in the heat of the moment with enthusiastic moans to lead the way, soft little ‘yes’-es and hands to guide hands or mouths or…other parts. This was uncharted territory, but he knew that kissing Eliot felt really good and he knew he wanted to do other things too but didn’t quite know how to get there (and how to make his body want to get there.)

“I really liked making out with you,” Quentin said, getting closer once more.

“Then I think that’s a really good place to start.”

Eliot returned Quentin’s little smile before pulling him into another kiss that was more passionate than Q would have bargained for. Even when Quentin was indulging in his little fantasies about Eliot it more often than not imitated those badly done pornos starring best friends who just happen to be horny and alone and agree to jerk each other off because what’s a little cum between friends, they didn’t have to tell anyone. Sometimes he’d let himself think about Eliot wanting him, Eliot sinking to his knees in front of Quentin like he accidentally-on-purpose witnessed that night in the observation tower, but he only let himself go there mentally because he didn’t actually think Eliot possibly could have wanted him like that.

Quentin didn’t think anyone could possibly want him the way that Eliot unabashedly wanted that dick that night. He’d convinced himself long ago that he was like oatmeal or the easy listening radio station; bland enough to be worth keeping around, but nothing to get riled up about. Eliot’s heated kisses were slowly telling him a different story, though.

One hand was sturdy on Quentin’s back while the other was carefully carding through his hair as Eliot’s mouth and tongue made him forget where he even was. When Quentin pulled back for air, he found their bodies were pressed flush together and reveled in the warmth between them. Eliot took the opportunity to start kissing his neck. Between that and the hand in his hair, Quentin found himself gasping. “Promise me,” Eliot’s husky whisper began, “that if I do something you don’t like you’ll stop me, okay?”


“Do you like this?”


“Good.” Quentin could hear the smile in his voice, moaning as Eliot’s teeth nipped along the sensitive area right over his pulse. He could tell Eliot wasn’t looking to leave a mark and Quentin supposed he was okay with that—one less thing to explain to the others (though they’ll probably know what happened the minute that the duo step out of Quentin’s bedroom.)

Quentin let his hands slip under Eliot’s shirt to rub over his sides gently. His skin was soft and Quentin could feel all his muscles and bones as he let his hands move over Eliot’s ribs, then back down to his hips which elicited a quiet moan and a tug to Quentin’s hair that had him moaning too.

So this is what they always meant by the phrase ‘exploring each others’ bodies.’ Quentin could have kicked himself for doubting in the power of fictional romances (not that he had a wealth of experience with those, either.) He had his eyes closed as he thumbed over Eliot’s hipbone and moaned again at what could only be his boner grinding into Quentin’s raging semi.

(The motion, of course, was quickly getting him harder and more needy for Eliot’s touch.)

“Clothes off?” Quentin asked softly, gasping the words more than actually saying them.

The smirk on Eliot’s face was something very close to devious, “Yes, sir.” He moved to unbutton his own shirt, but Quentin stopped him with his hands—if Eliot wanted him in charge, then he could take the lead. Eliot reveled in being put in his place, even if it was in a more gentle fashion than he was used to and just about preened as Quentin undid all of the buttons on his shirt and stripped it off his lithe frame.

Quentin took his own shirt off and wasted no time in getting Eliot’s pants and (soft, silky) underwear off and letting hunger overtake his gaze as it wandered all over Eliot’s exposed body, eyes lingering on his flushed, immense cock.  It was clear that Eliot drank that in too. Quentin gave him a little smirk, taking Eliot’s hand and putting it on the waistband of his pajama pants, “Be a good boy and take my pants off.”

“I don’t want to be a good boy,” Eliot smirked, using his hand to instead stroke Quentin over the soft fabric of the pants, drawing out a quiet moan as he felt his cock harden to its fullest, “but I do want that dick…”

“We need my pants off for you to get to it.”

Eliot huffed before leaning down—Quentin wasn’t sure what he was up to until he felt Eliot’s hot mouth right near his pelvis, pants being gently yanked down by Eliot’s teeth like he’d done this a million times before. The look in his eyes alone would have gotten Quentin painfully hard if he wasn’t there already, and Q felt compelled to stroke his hair as he skillfully stripped both the pants and underwear down his legs and off.

In a smooth motion, Quentin had Eliot straddling his hips. The weight of him alone felt really good, and seeing just about every inch of skin practically made Quentin’s mouth water.

“Do you by chance have any lube in here?” Quentin’s eyes widened and Eliot just gave him an assuring smile, “Don’t worry.” He pulled back only just, performing a series of complicated-looking tuts and in the next moment the length of Quentin’s hardness was slick with clear lubricant. “Normally, you need to prepare a guy with your fingers first but lucky you, that awful Antarctic wonderland gave me a new lease on life and—well, let’s just say we don’t need to worry about that right now.”

Quentin nodded breathlessly, the idea of Eliot just recently having been fucked by someone—or multiple someones?—turning him on more than he thought possible.

As easily as breathing, Eliot shifted again to take Quentin’s at this point throbbing and embarrassingly leaking hardness inside of him with a loud moan. “Fuck, Quentin, that feels so fucking good.”

“Jesus fucking Christ…” Was all Quentin was able to moan out, the feeling of Eliot’s tightness all around him almost making him dizzy. It had been so long since he got any, save the fox thing, and these feelings as a human after not being touched at all in so long were just sublime. It was a bonus that Eliot was someone he really cared about, and someone who was very good with his hips. Quentin let his fingers run over soft skin, settling on his hips and moaning again and again as they thrusted in unison.

It took all of a minute before Quentin couldn’t resist anymore and wrapped one of his hands around Eliot’s girthy hardness, clumsily stroking because it was a little bit hard to concentrate on good form (and he hoped it would suffice—Quentin had never jerked another guy off, much less someone with such a big dick.) Eliot did seem to be enjoying himself though. His pale body practically glowed in the afternoon light and Quentin couldn’t believe it took him so long to realize just how fucking beautiful Eliot was. The way he was panting and moaning out Quentin’s name added a whole other layer of splendor to a sight he wasn’t sure he deserved to be privy to.

But here he was, buried to the hilt in the agonizingly tight heat that was slowly making him believe that maybe the world wasn’t as terrible as he thought.

Eliot leaned down to kiss him, one hand on Quentin’s neck and the other steadying himself to better keep moving his hips. Quentin couldn’t concentrate on being fucked and being made out with and efficiently stroking Eliot’s pretty cock so he stilled his hand and let himself indulge in the messy kisses. Everything about this was kind of messy and fumbling but that was part of what Quentin liked about it most; he didn’t have to pretend he was something he wasn’t. Quentin let his hands roam over Eliot’s thighs before going back up until one of them was over his chest. He felt the fast beating pulse as he moved to rub over one of his nipples, drawing a particularly sharp mid-kiss moan. When Eliot pulled back from the kiss, his eyes were practically glazed over with lust and he gave Quentin a broad smile, “Still good?”

“Can’t believe how good.”

“I know,” He smiled again, leaning to kiss Quentin’s neck. It made him moan louder, trying not to yell in Eliot’s ear but wanting to voice his extreme satisfaction all the same. “I like those noises you’re making, Q. This is a really fucking good look for you.”

“You look—fucking good, too,” Quentin was barely able to speak, he wasn’t sure how El could still be so articulate but he supposed Eliot was Eliot even in the heat of the moment. He moved his hand back down to Eliot’s hip, feeling a hand moving over his and pressing down on it—

“’M getting really close,” he gasped, “grip my hips hard and thrust as deeply as you can.”

“Who’s in charge here?” Quentin asked the question softly but firmly. Eliot cursed under his breath at Quentin’s change in tone, which only egged him on further. “Is it you?”

“No, sir,” the response was immediate and automatic and found a way to go directly to Quentin’s cock. He’d witnessed discussions around BDSM-type stuff and obviously caught Eliot that one night but that was as far as his experience went, so this was also new territory for him. Mentally he filed that away for…safekeeping. Maybe pretending to be something he wasn’t could have perks, or maybe this was a facet of himself too. It was too murky to parse through; Quentin had just been chasing whatever felt good and right and whatever would make Eliot feel good too.

“That’s what I thought,” Quentin answered with a little smirk before following Eliot’s instruction anyway. He thought for a moment about teasing him but wanted to be indulgent—everything had been so difficult for so long that they deserved some indulgence, especially Eliot.

Eliot’s moaning got much more needy and breathy and desperate as Quentin held him hard enough to bruise and thrusted with muscles he didn’t even know he had. At first a tinge of worry made its way through him, but Eliot was tough and was practically screaming for more. “Don’t stop,” he moaned, Quentin could swear there were tears in his eyes, “Q don’t stop, don’t fucking stop..!”

Without warning, Eliot was spilling all over Quentin’s torso and both the sight of it and the sensation were enough for Quentin to moan deeply and finish inside the other. Eliot leaned down and pulled him into a kiss (which was also unexpected—he was pretty sure at this point Eliot would be dismounting, dressing, and heading for the door.)

“That was so good,” Eliot breathed after a long moment of kissing and another long moment of the two of them catching their breath. He was still on top, their bodies pressed together and Quentin was enjoying the weight and the heat on him despite how sweaty they’d both gotten.

“Yeah, you were amazing,” Quentin was trying to hide that he was actually blushing, but Eliot cleared the hair from his face and kissed his cheek gently.

Eliot smiled, a real genuine smile that Quentin hadn’t seen in a long time and pride filled him knowing that he did that. Gently, he ran his fingers through Eliot’s disheveled curls and drank in the sleepy and satisfied look on Eliot’s face as he did. “I could nap, right here.”

“What’s stopping you?”

“The fear that I’m crushing you or I’ll roll over and fall off your bed and break my beautiful dick.”

Quentin snorted softly, “There’s room for both of us to lay down together. Comfortably. No beautiful dick breaking allowed.”

A soft laugh bubbled out of Eliot and he carefully maneuvered so he was right beside Quentin, who turned on his side to better hold Eliot. “I should be giving you the post-sex cuddling aftercare, you were the virgin,” Eliot said softly, though he made no move to actually…move.

“We can take turns. Besides, you called me sir so…you’re good.”

“It was really hot, seeing that side of you,” Eliot’s eyes were closed and he said it almost like he was saying something he shouldn’t be. Quentin supposed that around now was when they were supposed to internally figure out what this meant for them.

He really didn’t want to fucking do that, he was sure Eliot didn’t either.

There was a pause between them before Quentin looked at him again, “Do you want to get some rest?”

“I’m sure you do, you’ve had a big day.”

They didn’t say anything else. Quentin was already half asleep, waking only for a brief moment to catch the feeling of a chaste kiss being pressed to his lips.