Disclaimer: Not mine.
AN: So I sat down to write a Discovery fic but ended up sidetracked into writing for the Magicians instead.
This is kinda angsty but I wanted Julia and Q to talk to each other about Eliot and Kady so there's kinda no way to avoid angst there. But there's comfort too so... enjoy?
* what's the point of greater good *
She waits until Penny's back upstairs sleeping off the Monster induced headache, before going down to find Quentin.
She finds him stubbornly looking through the mountain of books, searching for any and every scrap of information on Enyalius they can get. He looks like he hasn't slept since the moment weeks ago when Eliot managed to surface for those brief few moments to tell them he was alive. Hope's a bitch that way.
"We need to stop him Q." Julia says, from behind him.
Quentin's shoulders freeze in place and he leans forward, hands clenching the spine of the book he'd just been about to pick up.
"You think I don't know that?" Quentin says, his back still turned to her and voice strained with barely contained anger. "What do you think we've been doing this whole time Jules?"
Julia swallows and fights back the urge to just leave it alone. The grief and loss and rage that's poring out of Q with his every breath is like ice to her own heart. He's her best friend, it's torture to see him like this and not be able to help.
But she needs to say this. The information Eliot gave Penny is too big. They need to talk about it, about what they're doing.
"We can't let him bring back his sister, I know you care about Eliot but-"
"Stop!" Quentin shouts and slams his fist into the table before finally whirling around to face her.
"I know Q." Julia says and steps forward, gently grabbing his hand and pulling it up to check the damage. The knuckles are bleeding, not badly but Julia's still overwhelmed by the useless wish that she'd still have her ability to heal. "But we can't unleash a second monster on the world, we can't even keep this one in check. I know the price of stopping him is-"
"Is not happening. We're not sacrificing Eliot for some shitshow of a greater good. Fuck greater good!" Quentin says, glaring at her and pulling away his hand. She lets him, just watches as he starts pacing in front of her aggressively.
"You want to get Eliot back. I get it, I do. But-"
"But nothing. We're getting him back and don't you dare tell me it's selfish, I don't care." He says and then catches her eyes, something spiteful crossing his face before he lands a blow Julia doesn't expect. "And don't pretend you wouldn't do it if it were Kady!"
Julia's heart stutters in her chest and she flinches at the unexpected name.
"That's-" She starts, feeling suddenly thrown off course.
"It's not different." Quentin barks at once.
"I wasn't going to say that." Julia says.
"Right." Quentin scoffs, rolling his eyes like he doesn't believe her.
"I wasn't. Q, I know you lo… I know what he means to you." Julia says, stuttering over the word she meant to use. But somehow it doesn't feel right, to use it without hearing it from Q first, no matter how sure she is that it's the right word. "I know."
And at the suddenly broken look that forms like cracks across Q's face she rushes forward to grab her best friend in a hug. He's shuddering, like he's barely holding back the sobs he's been keeping in for too long.
"I love him." He whispers into her neck and her eyes close on her own tears as her best friend inhales one more deep breath and breaks.
"I know, Q." She whispers into his hair.
"I miss him so goddamn much, it hurts to breathe." He sobs as they slide to the ground, Quentin still heavy in her arms. "Jules, I can't… I can't."
"I know. I know. It's okay, Q." Jules says, even though it's anything but.
She doesn't know how long they spend like that. With Quentin crying like his soul is being torn to pieces and Julia trying to hold him together in the only way she can.
"I'm sorry about throwing Kady in your face." Quentin eventually says once he's cried himself out, silence interrupted only by brief wet hitches of breath. They're still on the floor, backs to the table that's holding the research they're both too raw to get back to.
"It's alright." Julia says after a hesitant moment and clears her throat, trying to hide the awkward pitch in her voice.
"It's not." Quentin says and when Julia manages to gather the courage to flick her eyes to him they get caught by the sympathy in them.
Kady's a complicated mess for her.
All unsaid emotion, missed moments and longing that's amounted to pretty much just pain.
"How did you know how I… feel… about her?" Julia asks, unable to help herself. She doesn't think she's been that obvious, doesn't think even Kady knows, and she never actually tried to hide from her.
"Probably same way you saw how I feel about Eliot." Quentin says, his lips twitching into an exhausted reflection of a smile.
She laughs, hands rubbing over her eyes, wiping away the salt from her cheeks. They've known each other since kindergarten, Julia knows Quentin better than she knows just about anyone else. Seeing that he was in love with Eliot didn't really take much, she'd suspected even before the moment in the park where his eyes went from hopeless apathy to a burst of light so bright it's been keeping him afloat since, that was just the thing that confirmed it.
So yes, it's not hard to imagine her own heart is just as obvious to him, as his is to her.
"Yeah." She says and drops forward to hit her head against her knees with a groan.
"Have you, you know? Told her?" Quentin asks, something like actual curiosity entering his voice. It's the first real spark of Q she's seen since he's been forced to become the babysitter to the sociopathic god-killer wearing the face of the man he loves.
"No." Julia admits. "You?"
"Yeah." Quentin answers and Julia pulls up her head to look at him in surprise. Then again Q was always the brave one.
"How'd it go?" She asks, afraid she already knows, she doesn't really know Eliot well enough to have been able to tell but she hadn't noticed Q wearing a smitten, honeymoon face while they were on the key quest.
"Doesn't matter." Quentin says, his expression turning shuttered and closed off.
"Oh." Julia says, wishing it was possible to go off and punch Eliot in the nose for apparently having broken her friend's heart.
Unfortunately there's very little point when Q's heart is bleeding far more because of the Monster currently possessing him, and she can't really blame Eliot for that one.
"Love sucks." Quentin announces after a minute of staring into thin air.
"Really does." Julia agrees, mind on James, - which feels like a lifetime ago now but somehow still stings, - on Penny, who's sweet and kind and someone she could almost imagine falling for if she didn't know that it would hurt Kady.
And she knows that much, even if she's not sure if it would be because of Julia or because of the Penny she lost.
Mind on Kady, who's somehow weaved her way into both the best and worst of Julia's memories. So much a part of the person she's become she doesn't know how not to love her.
"I'm still getting him back." Quentin says, pulling Julia out of her wandering thoughts back to the problem at hand. Problem at hand of course being the fact they're about to unleash a second primordial evil onto the world because Quentin isn't willing to risk Eliot.
And Julia can't say she blames him. Isn't really the person who gets to cast stones here.
She'd once saved a monster out of a quest for vengeance. Quentin was doing it in the name of love.
She just hopes they're able to save Eliot without causing an apocalypse this time.
AN2: Let me know if I managed to make you tear up, please?