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It's Actually Not A Mess

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Explaining all of their relationships to outsiders of their group of friends was a little hard. To most people on the outside, it looked like they all had messy drama filled lives. 

 

The people who thought that, couldn’t be further from the truth. 

 

Over the years, Eliot has learned that their lives couldn’t be further from drama filled messes that most of them had come from before.

 

Margo and Eliot had met in college, both of them spending more time drinking and doing coke than actually studying.

 

Fen, Margo’s wife, well… let’s just say, that her father tried to sell her to Eliot, and that’s enough said on that utterly fucked up situation. The fact that she wasn’t so traumatized that she couldn’t have a relationship at all, was actually a bit of a surprise to most of them. The bigger surprise was the fact that she was still on polite speaking terms with the man, and Eliot wasn’t sure his own daddy issues could hold up to figuring out exactly why that was for long enough to understand. He was actually okay not knowing. 

 

It seemed, sometimes, it’s better not to poke your own triggers, even to understand your friends better, and Eliot had had a hard time figuring that one out for himself, but the world is more relaxed when he doesn’t press those buttons. 

 

He was sitting at one of the couches in The Magicians, a local BDSM club that Margo had become the owner of less than four years ago. Eliot and Fen helped out here at times, but Eliot tended to wander more than he stayed most days, too busy chasing after vogue photo shoots to stay in one place for more than a month. 

 

He’s just recently gotten back from Prague, and can’t help but want to come down to Margo’s little haven to relax a little. Fen was next to him on the couch, leaning against Eliot’s arm with a little smile as they watched Margo on the platform with her newest pet.

 

Fen was a natural voyeur, and Eliot could relate to that on an intense level. The urge to watch something utterly beautiful was always on the mind of a photographer, and Margo -and her cute new pet- were stunning. It was a closed room, and Eliot had watched Margo ask her new little one under no uncertain terms if he was okay with being watched, before Eliot had been allowed to take the seat next to Fen. He leaned against her, pressing a kiss to her soft hair while they got cuddly, as if this was a romantic movie date. 

 

Eliot could think of nothing more beautiful than watching Margo take a lovely sub down to headspace until they were utterly reliant on her. 

 

Fen have a soft little sigh into his shoulder, nuzzling him before she spoke at a gentle whisper. “Quentin’s not always a puppy, you know Margo, she loves her pain sluts and bottoms, but when she asked him earlier if she could introduce you two in a scene for the first time, it’s like puppyspace just came over him without question.”

 

Eliot made a curious little noise in the back of his throat, eyes riveted on the sub on stage. Normally, Margo was his main character for these scenes, watching her take charge, but the pup was utterly adorable . He wasn’t wearing anything that Eliot could really call puppy gear other than knee and elbow pads. Hell, he didn’t even have a fake pair of ears or a tail. Just some soft grey sweatpants and a tee shirt with soft socks. 

 

But it was undeniable, this sub was absolutely deep in petspace, fully believing himself to be a coddled pet. 

 

It wasn’t even sexual. There were no plugs. No nudges into Margo’s groin to initiate playtime, no belly up tummy rubs that ended in a hard on. 

 

This wasn’t a scene , so much as pure adoring headspace. He sighed back, feeling himself relax into the soft couch. “He’s beautiful.”

 

Fen nodded. “He really is. I was going to say that you should see him taking her favorite strap, but that sort of thing sounds cheap in this situation. He’s so young and innocent in this headspace. He just wants her absolute love and attention.”

 

Eliot could think of nothing more perfect than a sub with a soft non-sexual headspace to be at their most vulnerable in. “That would be cheap… but for fun, if I were to ask how beautifully he takes her favorite strap,” the one that was the size of his arm and even he had trouble taking, “well, I wouldn’t mind an answer.”

 

Fen turned her head up with a little grin, giving him a kiss on the cheek. “Beautifully, and eagerly. A natural even. He’s never once asked to top. He’s been Margo’s favorite boy for over a month now.”

 

Eliot felt actually surprised at that. He and Margo talked as often as their schedules allowed for, but she made a point not to mention her subs without prior permission first. It’s not that subs didn’t want her for very long, or even than she lost interest after a while, but Margo had a knack for finding a sub the perfect fit, and usually ended up sending them on their way within a few weeks, to a perfect dom who would treat them properly.

 

“Oh, do you think you’re going to end up sharing?”

 

Fen have him a soft little smile, looking pleased. “I love sharing, but I doubt he’ll be perfect for us forever. I feel as though she’s very close to finding his perfect fit. We almost had a near miss a while back though, another domme named Alice. She didn’t take to being called Mommy very well. That could have ended badly.”

 

Eliot’s eyes were soft, so soft. “Bit of a little, huh?”

 

Fen made a so-so gesture. “Well, somewhat. He likes calling his tops mommy, but we haven’t seen him with a boy yet. He might not feel the same way for daddies.”

 

Eliot was more than a bit of a daddy, when it came to cute boys. He liked to coddle them, tease them, give them embarrassing little kisses until they hid in his neck and asked for cuddles. He understood the need to coddle more than most. 

 

“Well, babies aren’t for everyone. Did they click otherwise?”

 

Fen’s mouth turned into a little frown. “Well, she liked spankings well enough. He was pleased with that. But I don’t think their compatibility continued beyond that. She didn’t seem like much of a top herself.”

 

Eliot nodded sagely. It didn’t matter if you were a man and your partner was a woman, even straight or bisexual men can have preferences on topping. Understanding that what a person wants out of a sexual encounter isn’t so easy as tab A in slot B and move on with your lives. Obviously, if he didn’t want to top, forcing it on him would be a horrible idea that leads to later resentment and unfulfilling sex. 

 

“Probably for the best, then. How did you all meet, anyways?”

 

Fen smiled, giving a wistful little sigh as she leaned her head against Eliot’s shoulder again, making herself comfortable. Eliot’s eyes were so soft as he watched her. “His childhood best friend has a platinum membership here, she’s a regular with her sub, James. They dragged him along at one point, saying he agreed to try it out, but he’d been so nervous, the poor thing, ended up hiding in her sub’s lap half the time.”

 

Eliot snorted, amused. “I’m sure he appreciated that a lot.”

 

Fen let out a little snorting giggle, not looking away from where Quentin was half buried in Margo’s lap now, looking half awake. She was petting his hair and giving him little cooing noises. 

 

“Actually, he seemed delighted by the cuddles, it was Julia who ended up annoyed when it apparently kept her boy out of subspace from worry the whole time. Okay, I say she was annoyed, but she was just as worried. It wasn’t until Margo stepped in and got introduced that everyone calmed down a little. He latched onto her fairly easily instead.”

 

Eliot cooed a little. “Oh, sweet shy pup. Do you think he’s imprinted on Bambi?”

 

Fen gave a firm nod. “Oh, very much so.”

 

Eliot raised an eyebrow. “Enough that you two would keep him?”

 

Fen seemed to think that over for a few seconds before giving a little smirk. “He loves us, and we seem to have imprinted back. It’ll take a greater-than-god power to pry him away, but you know us, we aren’t jealous. If he wants to play with others, what can we do but ask for a front row seat?”

 

Her little shrug was almost innocent, but Eliot could see an eager glint in her eyes. Eliot raised an eyebrow. “Does he happen to like knives?”

 

Fen had a very specific kink, pretty much her only one she preferred to participate in instead of watch. Fen gave him a knowing smile, shaking her head. “No, he’s terribly vanilla. Likes spankings, bondage, getting flogged. No knives or blood play in the slightest.”

 

Eliot’s eyes were wide, looking back up at the platform with a new gaze entirely. If she loved him that much, and he didn’t even press any of her very specific kinks, then he must have be wonderful in so many other ways. He made a curious noise, watching the man slowly go from playful to sleep in Margo’s arms. He looked so utterly relaxed on her. Absolutely purely trusting.

 

“What’s your favorite thing about him?”

 

She smiled, looking like that answer was way too easy. “El, when he trusts you, he let’s go so completely, there’s nothing he wouldn’t do in that space. That sounds like everyone’s dream sub, a little one who follows your every whim, but he’s more than that. He’s got us completely wrapped around his little fingers.”

 

Eliot could imagine Fen being wrapped around a sub’s every whim, but Margo was a little harder to imagine. He considered it while they watched the two on the platform. Margo was laying with him, letting him curl up against her chest while she ran her fingers through long brown hair.

 

“Hmmm… I never thought I’d have to be the stern one in our polycule.”

 

Fen snickered. “You think so now. I think you’ll be the softest of all of us.”

 

Eliot gave her an offended look. “You take that back!”

 

Fen kissed him on the cheek, grinning like mad. “Never.”

 

***

 

Quentin slept in the backseat most of the way home. He’d woken up just long enough to let Margo and Fen usher him off into Fen’s mom-van, before passing out against Margo’s chest again while Eliot started up for the drive back home. He’s missed being home this past month. Normally, his work kept him in New York, but he’s been so busy. He’d been busy even before he left, which was apparently when they met their little pup. 

 

“Has he ever gone into puppyspace before?”

 

Margo nodded, playing with one of Quentin’s limp hands. “A few times. Normally more energetic than this, likes playing tug-of-war. He’s been on a deadline the past week, my poor sleep starved baby.”

 

Eliot was struck by how much it ached that he’s missed so much while being away so little. He’s missed an entire imprinting process, he’s missed watching a new sub settle in with his best friend -and possibly letting the little one imprint on him as well, though he hoped it wasn’t too late to try- and he’s missed just being with Fen and Margo. He’s missed his best friends, he’s missed curling up in bed with them, being intimate with them, watching them with each other, or with subs.

 

He’s missed so much more than a month away, and he’s aching to catch up with everything.

 

He looks in the mirror to see just about nothing changed, Quentin basically passed out against Margo’s chest while Fen pet at him. Eliot didn’t know him well enough to desperately want to be a part of that yet, but there was an urge there, to play with his hair. He had longer hair, not like Margo and Fen, but long enough that Eliot might convince him to let Eliot wash it, play with it. 

 

Margo’s been basically gushing over him for a month now, which means she’s kept a mild level of interest in all conversations, but for Margo that was basically the declaration of love. Eliot and Fen were fairly sure she didn’t even realize how bad she had it if she was still trying to find a possible domme for him outside their circle, but it likely wouldn’t take much to convince her he’s meant to be there. Not if Quentin got attached to Eliot as well. If you’re attached to Eliot and Margo, there’s next to no chance of getting rid of them now. 

 

It was late, but that didn’t mean there weren’t any cars out. The one true downfall to cities, would be the traffic, and it took longer than he’d liked to really get back to the house. Margo, ever the enforcer, had absolutely no issues with waking up her boy, who grumbled at her and tried to bury himself in her neck for a few more minutes of sleep. She wasn’t swayed by sad grumbles and nuzzles, basically shoving him out of the back of the van without regret. 

 

Quentin glared at Margo for a moment, while Eliot stretched from the drive, before following after Fen with the air of a cat who meant to take that tumble, thank you very much. Eliot didn’t bother hiding a grin at the sight, exchanging a look with Margo, far too amused. She looked just as besotted, in her own way. 

 

They all went straight to beds after getting ready to sleep. Eliot was a little sad to see Quentin going to a room that wasn’t Margo and Fen’s, but he shrugged, heading into their space anyways, climbing up into the bed the size of a small house itself, and slotting himself up behind Margo. 

 

“No puppy cuddles when you get home?”

 

Margo let out a little sigh, half asleep, fully relaxed now that her friend was finally there. “Normally yes, but he’s an anxious little thing, slept in bursts all week before he finally turned in a finished draft this morning. He said he might pass out for a day now.”

 

Eliot nuzzled at the back of her hair, relaxing into the bed while Fen curled up under his hand on Margo’s other side. He was glad to be back now. He’s going to say no to any shoots taking him out of the city for a while. He’s fine just where he was right now. 

 

He might sleep for a day himself. Travel sucks. 

 

***

 

Eliot woke up past noon, Margo was already awake like a respectable human adult, Fen was in the backyard cooing at an angora rabbit that acted like an angel towards Fen, but hated Eliot and Margo with her whole heart.

 

They had a very nice enclosure for her in the house, but rabbits jump , so they tend to avoid that room when she’s inside.

 

Margo was looking out the glass doors to the backyard with a little frown when he came in the room. He raised an eyebrow, trailing a hand over her shoulders as he passed. She grunted, going back to making a smoothie at the counter. “I assume you’re well rested now?”

 

Eliot gave a sad little groan, scrubbing a hand at his right eye as he boosted himself onto the counter behind her, as opposed to making his own lunch. “No. I could sleep the whole day. But you’ll torture me for it later.”

 

She grinned at him, putting the lid on before turning on the blender. “I’m glad that you think of the consequences like an adult with an actual job. Someone other than me and Fen have to.”

 

To be honest, their house tended to have people coming and going regularly, so who she was implying could have been anyone, but he had to ask. “Oh? Like… Quentin, for example? Is he a reasonable adult?”

 

Margo snorted, pulling down a fancy glass to pour the pink mixture into. “Reasonable, bah, he’s self employed and his schedule reflects it.”

 

She took a moment to pour a tall glass of smoothie, before giving him a little smirk. “I’m going to go wave this under his nose until he wakes up. He’s not supposed to take his pills on an empty stomach. Then we can have a little us time. I missed you.”

 

Eliot couldn’t hold back the tired little grin on his face. “Me too, Bambi.”

 

***

 

Eliot’s first official meeting with Quentin was actually more of a meeting with a moving lump on the couch. 

 

Eliot spared half a second to imagining himself pulling up the blanket only to be attacked by one of Fen’s more volatile rabbits, but the lump was far too big for that. 

 

Unless it was multiple rabbits waiting for his guard to let down so they could get him alone. 

 

He’s only been home for two days now, he goes back to work in two more, but apparently, he’s not been getting nearly enough sleep. 

 

The lump sighs, before stretching out on the couch Eliot had been planning on planting himself on to binge watch Ru Paul on Netflix. Eliot should have claimed that couch earlier. The lump seemed very friendly with it. 

 

The blanket pulled aside and the previously known lump, now known by Quentin, gave him a single glance before squeaking and going back to hiding under the blanket. Probably from being watched. Eliot couldn’t hold back a stupidly fond smile. No wonder Margo got attached to him almost instantly. He was all… puppyish and shy. He pressed both their buttons. 

 

Eliot knelt down next to the couch, giving a little poke to where he assumed Quentin’s side was. The lump squeaked again, squirming away from him. “Hey, I don’t mean to be rude, but are you looking for solitude? I can leave you alone if you want, but if not, I don’t mind the company.”

 

The lump became a human again, Quentin poked his head out of the comforter just enough to look at him, eyes big and curious and oh so pretty. Eliot wanted to lose himself in those big eyes. 

 

“I’m okay with company. It’s just a depression nap.”

 

Eliot winced. “Yeah, I know those well. What hour are you on?”

 

Quentin squinted over at the tv, before wincing himself. “Six.”

 

Eliot nodded, getting back up so he could grab the basket he brought into the room, before plunking himself down on the couch in the last available spot. “That’s not too bad. Mine used to get to day two. That was back before I met Margo. She never let me get past hour twelve before she was pestering me about meds and therapy appointments.”

 

Quentin let out a little sigh, curling up so he was taking most of the rest of the couch, the top of his head a few inches from Eliot’s thigh. “Yeah, she’s really great like that.” 

 

Eliot hummed, wondering how soft Quentin’s hair was if he played with it. But it also looked a little limp, so probably best he didn’t at the moment, so he looked back to the tv, pulling up the Netflix que until he found what he was looking for. “I don’t know if you like Ru Paul, but I haven’t been home in a month. We’re watching it.”

 

Quentin hummed a little, stretching like a cat in sunlight instead of an adult in a depression nap cocoon. He looked all pleased with himself right now, still half asleep and sinking back under again. Eliot had to hand it to him, for a depression nap, it looked so luxurious. Probably because that was Margo’s spare 200$ down comforter that no one was allowed to touch under penalty of death unless they were her wife or Eliot. 

 

Eliot didn’t know if this was a bratty side of Quentin coming out and looking for a punishment, or if Quentin somehow had her that wrapped around his little fingers, but it was amusing either way. 

 

Margo didn’t trust as easy as a professional domme should, but she could scene with just about anyone if they weren’t a jackass within the first five minutes, but to end up one of her regulars for a whole month, if not, a new permanent regular, Quentin had to be something special. 

 

Or maybe… maybe he’s just likable. Margo said he was a high strung super nerd, and those were their favorites. Margo and Eliot tended to collect people with special interests. Margo said he wrote children’s novels and was obsessed with the Fillory and Further series. Fen had a knife and rabbit obsession. She’s even turned them both into actual crafts, minor blacksmith work at a shop in town, and raising angora rabbits for the wool.

 

Which, coincidentally lead to Eliot’s weird special interest himself. 

 

He pulled over the basket he brought into the living room with him, pulling out a long going project he’d had to put on hold while he was out of town on a shoot this past month. 

 

“You knit?”

 

Eliot nodded, moving just a little with the start of a lace shawl as he looked over his charts to see exactly where he’d left off. “I do. Fen sells angora wool to a nice little knitting shop in town, and I got dragged along to knitting circles a few times. I was so bored I let them teach me.”

 

Quentin smiled a little, leaning up on one arm so he could watch Eliot as the man started on a new row of the work, trying to remember the pattern from muscle memory as he went. Oddly enough, it made him a little nervous to have that gaze so intent on his hands. Eliot was particularly good with his hands -in just about every way there was- but the look was pure wonder. Quentin was expecting him to work a miracle with these hands, some string and sticks.

 

Eliot took a breath, pausing to look at the chart again, before relaxing into the cushions so his shoulders weren’t so tense, before picking up the needles again. 

 

It’s okay to get nervous sometimes. Eliot found himself nervous if he thought he’d be judged, quite a bit of the time. But he didn’t feel judged right now. He felt like he needed to perform so absolute miracle to utterly enchant the man next to him. 

 

His hands were completely steady as they worked. It was going to be a lace shawl for Fen. Margo tended to go for a more modern look, but little French farmgirl Fen, she liked a good homespun blanket, a nice modest linen tunic and pants. Fen always appreciated a nice lace shawl. 

 

The two of them watched Eliot work more than they watched Netflix play in the background. Eliot couldn’t help but think it was a lot more intimate than knitting with someone could usually feel. 

 

A quiet little companion. Not the most interesting thing in the world, you could get a cat for the same. Though, he supposed, to a pet owner like Margo, it probably seemed like the perfect companion in all ways. 

 

Eliot could see the appeal. 

 

When Quentin finally started speaking up again, he’s managed to wedge a throw pillow between himself and Eliot’s hip, so he could keep his head up to see without holding himself there. “You work with Vogue, right?”

 

Eliot hummed a little, glancing down to see him watching Eliot’s hands with a hypnotized look about him. “I do.”

 

Quentin nods, pulling the blanket further around him. Eliot had the weirdest craving for a depression nap of his own. Eliot’s depression naps had never looked cozy before, all wrapped up in a comfortable blankie and sleepy blinks. Eliot’s has usually been four days without a shower and too exhausted and hot to manage clothes, much less a full blanket. Quentin was a nester. He looked comfortable

 

That was a stage of depression that Eliot doesn’t think he’s ever hit himself before. So deep and continuous that the exhaustion feels normal enough to let you luxuriate in it like a womb. Comfortable in absolute misery as long as you had a nest to burrow in. Quentin looked used to it. 

 

That was the rut stage. The one where you repeat a pattern over and over for no reason other than stability. 

 

Eliot was going to ask if Quentin had taken his pills for the day -worried this nap was the result of forgetting- when Quentin finally spoke up again, half asleep, lulled by the sound of the tv and gentle clacking of the needles, repetitive motions of Eliot’s hands. 

 

“My Dad works for Vogue too sometimes. He does travel articles. They always ask him to do more than he’s willing to travel for though, so it’s not many.”

 

Eliot’s hands stopped on the work, considering all that, and not really able to come up with a proper reply to that. “And that’s… is that good?”

 

Some people had shitty fathers. You don’t want to poke a hornets nest. Quentin sighed, nodding into the pillow next to him. “He’s awesome. But really embarrassing. He still keeps my baby pictures in his wallet. Mom doesn’t do that. She pretends I don’t exist as long as she can get away with it.”

 

Ahh. The mommy issues are strong with this one. But a good father -at the very least, a well meaning one, it sounds- was a rarity in Eliot and Margo’s life most of the time. It’s good to hear. 

 

Quentin was asleep again before Eliot could think of a reply to that one.