“Just as long as everybody knows this is a terrible idea, I’m good.”
“Noted, Enjolras. Thank you for taking so very long to prove your point. All right, everybody, let’s go! The first round of shots are on me, and if anybody gets arrested, I’ll bring you a bouquet of flowers!” Bahorel shouted.
“Is that before or after you bail us out?” Feuilly asked with a smirk.
Bahorel gaped at him. “What do you think I am, made of money? You bail yourself out, half of you are studying to be lawyers anyway.” Feuilly laughed and shook his head fondly, but followed as everyone began to gather their things and leave the Musain.
“Will you be joining us?’ Courfeyrac asked, noticing that Cosette, Eponine, and Musichetta were wrapped up in their own conversation.
“Ah, nah, we’ve got better things to do than hang around with schmucks like you,” Eponine quipped.
“We’re doing a girls’ night, but thanks, Courf.” Cosette explained. “Jehan, Grantaire, how are we feeling today?”
Grantaire licked his finger and held it in the air as if checking the wind direction. “Like David Hasselhoff. Thanks though.” He demonstrated his gratitude by pulling the tree girls into an enormous hug and kissing them all loudly on both cheeks.
Eponine rolled her eyes. “What about you, flowers?” she asked Jehan.
Jehan grinned. “Like a gardenia balancing on an antique dagger. But I’ll stay with the guys, if it doesn’t offend.” The girls said their goodbyes, and the group was left alone in the Musain.
“Okay, so which pub do we start at?” Grantaire rubbed his palms together, ready to get started. “And remember, Courf, we only get to use cop pick-up lines tonight. Bonus points if you get them to show you your badge.”
It had been Courfeyrac and Bahorel’s plan to go on a pub crawl which specifically only included pubs frequented by cops in their off hours, as a way to celebrate everyone making it through mid-semester exams alive. Given how many times they’d been arrested when in places with no known police presence, Enjolras wasn’t far off in saying that this night was primed to be a disaster.
He just didn’t figure that it would be quite this disastrous.
So far, everything was surprisingly calm. The group was rowdy and obnoxious, sure, and middle-aged male cops weren’t good sports for being constantly hit on by Courfeyrac and Grantaire, but no one had been arrested yet. Hell, Enjolras was just starting to think that everything might be okay when he got a phone call.
“Hi, Mom.” Enjolras practically yelled into the phone as he stepped into the alleyway to take the call. The sounds of the pub and his incredibly loud friends faded, and he leaned against the cool brick of the wall to concentrate. “Do you know what time it is?”
“Yes!” His mother practically broke his eardrum with her shriek.
“Mom, fuck, quieter please,”
“Language, young man! I’m sorry, but I’m just so excited! I couldn’t wait until morning to tell you the news! Three bits of news, actually!”
“What news?” Enjolras had a sinking feeling in his stomach. What constituted good news in his mother’s book rarely meant the same for him.
“Your sister is getting married!” Enjolras hissed and held the phone away from his ear as his mother continued to squeal with glee. “Isn’t it just amazing? I didn’t think Jaques was going to propose so soon, but of course, it’s very romantic isn’t it, a whirlwind romance!”
Enjolras was going to cut in and mention that ‘whirlwind romances’ usually ended in disaster and a quick getaway, but then he remembered.
“What’s the second thing, Mom?”
“Hm? Oh, yes! Well, you do remember Gabriel from lycée?”
“That guy you were really creepily obsessed with? Yeah, I remember him.” God, did Enjolras ever. Gabriel had been just about the most pompous dick he’d ever had the misfortune to encounter, and he went to private school until university.
“We were not obsessed with him, dear! But after you told us you were gay, well, we just want to make sure you get to have the same kind of life as everyone else. And someone like Gabriel can make sure of that.”
Enjolras winced. His parents liked to hide their mild homophobia by insinuating that if he were to find someone to love on his own, he would end up in a dystopian nightmare where he would be forced to drink mojitos in South Beach until he was an old man, sadly watching as the mommies and daddies took their children to school. Enjolras had tried time and time again that they need not worry about Enjolras feeling unfulfilled, but the message never seemed to get through.
“Why are you talking about Gabriel in the present tense, mother?” Enjolras asked icily, deciding to skate over her comment.
“That’s my second piece of news! He’s divorced! And we’ve already talked to him, and he is more than happy to act as your date for the wedding, as well as the rest of the week, of course.
Enjolras was sure he was having a stroke. “The rest of the week?” He choked out.
“Of course! Oh, did I forget to mention, it’s a Christmas wedding!”
“Christmas is in six weeks.”
His mother tutted into the phone. “Yes, I know, dear. It’s very romantic.” The second
“Are you completely insane? I am not having Gabriel as my date!”
“Honey, Don’t be unreasonable.” Enjolras could practically hear his mother roll her eyes when she said it, while his own were bulging out of his eye sockets in exasperation.
“ I am not the one being unreasonable here!”
She sighed. “Name one reason you can’t do this.”
Enjolras froze up. “I’m not- I can’t- I have-” … work, is what he’d been about to say.
“Oh my goodness, you have a boyfriend, don’t you?” His mother gasped.
Enjolras paused, thinking it over as quickly as he could, weighing the pros and cons of this lie. Anything was better than having creepy asshole Gabriel hanging all over him all week. “Yes, mhm, I have a boyfriend.”
His mother squealed again. “You should have just told me! We absolutely have to meet him; I’ll set up a dinner for Thursday.”
Enjolras’s heart stopped. “What?”
“Oh! That’s the last piece of news! Your father and I are coming to Paris to help your sister plan the wedding -you know, since it is so soon- and we are staying until Christmas!”
Enjolras wished he could rewind about five minutes and decline this call the second his phone started ringing. Or rewind 19 years and not be born. Either one would work. “You’re going to be here for six weeks?” Even to him, his voice sounded weak and small.
“Yes.” His mother said crisply. “So tell your boyfriend. I’ll send you the details about dinner, you won’t have to worry about a thing. Oh, honey, I’ve got to go, your father wants to go to bed, and you know I just can’t refuse-”
“Ugh, mother, please!” Enjolras gagged. His mother laughed and hung up, leaving Enjolras shell-shocked and numb in the alleyway. What the fuck did he just do?