The thing about Lily is, after she’s had a good joint – or rather, “sandwich” – she gets nuzzly. Marshall naturally receives the brunt of her affections, but if he has to get up to go to the bathroom (which can be an epic quest after a sandwich), she often just moves on over and snuggles against Ted. Ted usually tries to stay focused on whatever movie it is they’re watching – or are pretty sure they’re watching, thank you very much Switched Video Case Incident of ’99 – but sometimes it’s hard to ignore the fact that he has Lily curled up right there, warm and soft and smelling a little of pot but mostly of girl.
He doesn’t envy Marshall. Well, he does, but in an abstract way, not in a “Marshall has Lily and I don’t” way. They are so well suited to each other that it just doesn’t occur to him to be that sort of jealous.
The three of them don’t spend all of their time sandwiched out of their gourds, of course. Marshall being in pre-law and Ted needing to be able to see the paper he’s drawing on, let alone the lines that he’s drawing, make that an impossibility. Not to mention that Lily comes back to the dorm room a little way into second semester looking shaken because no fewer than five of her classmates have quietly dropped out due to an excess of sandwiches.
“I’m pretty sure one of them was into baguettes, too,” she says sadly, and the three of them vow never to go that way.
But it’s a sandwich night when Lily gets scared during Jurassic Park and squeezes in between Marshall and Ted instead of Marshall sitting in the middle as usual, and maybe that’s why Ted puts his arm around her without thinking about it. His arm goes around her waist and Marshall’s arm goes around her shoulders and, just to complete the secure little circle, the two of them reach to hold hands across her stomach. It all comes perfectly naturally.
Lily sighs and gives them both a shaky smile, then turns her head to kiss Marshall. Ted watches them with that feeling of not quite envy. Mostly he’s just happy for them, and it’s that happiness that curves his lips into a little smile, and it’s that little smile that Lily kisses when she turns her head to him next. Her mouth is warm and trusting and sort of not innocent but Ted’s just befuddled enough to kiss her back instead of adhering to the Bro Code – something that should certainly be on his mind considering that the bro in question is holding hands with him.
He surfaces from softness and the taste of raspberry lip gloss back to what passes for reality while his mind is swimming somewhere between worry and the need to eat all the donuts in the world and giggle endlessly at the same time. Lily still has her eyes closed. Marshall doesn’t. Marshall is watching him over Lily’s shoulder, and his expression is not condemning, merely curious.
“Your mouth is pretty,” Ted manages to articulate, and Lily opens her eyes and grins at Marshall because she has psychically intuited that Ted is talking to both of them. That must be the case, because then she puts a fingertip under Marshall’s chin and pulls him toward Ted.
Marshall’s breath smells like overly sugared coffee and the stubble on his upper lip scratches against Ted’s lip.
Or maybe Lily just likes to watch boys kissing, who knows?
Anyway, it’s not a bad thing. A little weird, but it’s interesting to note that although Marshall’s mouth is harder and rougher (not to mention bigger) than Lily’s they still kiss the same way as each other. God knows they’ve had plenty of time to learn kissing from each other, after all.
They’re not paying attention to the television any more, except that Lily finds the remote to pause the movie and the screen freezes on the T-Rex halfway through eating the lawyer. It would be a terribly gross background except that all three of them have better things to do than to look at the television. The noises they make – kissing sounds, a gasp from Lily as Marshall’s hand finds her inner thigh, a surprised squeak from Ted as Lily’s hand in turn finds his thigh – are just better heard without the overlay of screams and roars.
The bunks are barely wide enough for one person to lie on, let alone three. Lily maneuvers them so that Ted’s on the inside, Marshall’s on the outside, and she can sprawl out on top of them both. She does this with such a minimum of fuss that Ted has to ask, “Lily, how long have you been planning this?”
She doesn’t bother dissembling or denying anything. “A while.”
“Lilypad, you’re too sneaky,” Marshall says.
Lily just gives them a winsome, unperturbed smile and starts unbuttoning Marshall’s shirt from the bottom. About halfway up she pauses and gives Ted’s t-shirt a meaningful yank by way of a hint, and Ted starts to wriggle out of it.
Neither of them comment on the fact that this has gone well beyond her usual standard of nuzzly. The best Marshall manages is, “Lily, wha...” and then Lily yanks her own top off and stretches out on top of them and says, “I just want to touch you both,” and, well, there’s really not a lot that can be said to that, is there? Especially not when Lily looks so touchable, her black bra making her skin look even paler and the way she’s applied her eyeshadow giving her eyes an inscrutable feline gaze.
Well. Ted still briefly considers saying, “No, Lily, we shouldn’t,” but then her little hand is on his chest, rubbing circles across his bare skin, and she’s got her mouth against Marshall’s shoulder, and it’s hard to tell but Ted thinks the expression on her face is one of frustration at not having enough hands.
Marshall confirms this for him by reaching over and planting his own larger hand on Ted’s chest next to Lily’s, in a very definite yes we should sort of way. Their bro telepathy is still in its infancy, but the part where Marshall pinches Ted’s nipple between his thumb and forefinger and rolls it lightly helps the message get through. Ted makes a tiny broken noise at the back of his throat.
“Oh, you two,” Lily says, voice uneven, and then she’s scooting back off them to sit on her heels at the foot of the bunk, leaning forward like a lepidopterist examining a particularly fascinating species of butterfly, Marshallus mosbii. “There. Have some room.”
Ted only has a second to realize he’s rolled onto his side to face Marshall and that Marshall has done likewise before they’re joined at the mouth and chest and hip. Leaning into Marshall like this is like being supported by a giant redwood or something, a big old tree that’s lived for over a hundred years and laughs in the face of logging.
He kind of wants to leap up and write a poem about it, but he’s of sound enough judgment not to go anywhere while Marshall’s tongue is in his mouth. Besides, Lily is pretty much sitting on his feet.
The part where it should get weird is when Marshall’s hand slides down his back to settle on his ass, and it doesn’t get weird then. But it should definitely get weird when Ted’s hand sneaks in between their bodies, working Marshall’s belt buckle open – only it doesn’t.
And it doesn’t get weird when they’re both dragging their jeans off, Lily helping when their pants get to their knees.
And it still doesn’t get weird when Marshall’s big hand wraps around his and Ted’s cocks, making Ted moan and Lily let out a whimper.
After that, Ted stops waiting for the weirdness to ensue and just focuses on rocking his hips toward Marshall, because he can’t not. Marshall’s hand is moving too slowly and it’s not enough, almost but not enough. He finds the long line of Marshall’s neck with his mouth and kisses then sucks, feeling Marshall’s pulse thrumming under his lips. The sudden erratic jerk-twist of Marshall’s hand says, that’s very distracting, Ted.
But it’s enough, and Ted comes into his best friend’s hand, and moans into his best friend’s mouth, and one or both of these things sets Marshall off right after him.
“Oh, God!” Lily sounds impatient and frustrated and Ted musters the effort to roll onto his back and look at her. She’s on her knees, legs spread a little, one hand down the front of her jeans and the other clinging onto the frame below the upper bunk to help her keep her balance. “You couldn’t have held out a little longer?”
Marshall nonchalantly wipes his hand off on Ted’s t-shirt – Ted protests mildly but then uses the cloth himself on their messy stomachs – and then reaches for Lily, pulling her toward them. She goes to lie down with them and Marshall stops her with one hand on her hip. Lily gets it and moves right up the bed, wriggling out of her jeans on the way.
Ted has to sit up to make enough room for Lily to straddle Marshall’s face. He ends up moving behind Lily, and slides his hands around her to cup her breasts just as Marshall starts working her with his tongue. Lily yelps with surprise and pleasure. She is no longer complaining about the show being over too soon.
The three of them doze together for a little while, after Ted’s convinced the guy from next door who comes banging angrily at the door that Lily screaming was just Jurassic Park, really.
“I think you two need to play together more,” Lily says.
“Sandwiches sometimes have kind of a negative effect on my sex drive,” Ted says without caring overmuch how ridiculous the statement sounds under the circumstances.
“Oh, really?” Ted has his eyes shut but he can hear the wicked smile in Lily’s voice. “We’ll just see about that.”
The hand on his cock is definitely Marshall’s; he recognizes it. The hand between his thighs, playing with his balls, is Lily’s, and her touch is lighter, and Ted realizes very quickly that recovery won’t be a problem.
The end result, it seems, is no more sandwiches, but lots more sex.