Grantaire had just assumed Enjolras had a boyfriend. Because really, when you looked like Enjolras, when you were as passionate and idealistic as Enjolras, when your eyes sparkled even just thinking about revolution, when those same eyes stared you down in disappointment… okay, great, now Grantaire was getting distracted again thinking about Enjolras’s eyes. The point was, when you did everything the way that Enjolras did, it makes no logical sense to not have a boyfriend. It makes no logical sense that an entire army of boys didn’t fall at his feet every day.
He had taken to loitering outside the law firm in which Enjolras worked, timing his smoke breaks with Enjolras entering and exiting the building. Grantaire himself was shoved into an office across the street, typing clickbait-y headlines into endless Word documents, cursing his life. He could paint as many portraits as he wanted in his apartment, but none of them would be enough to cover the rent of the tiny fifth-floor walk-up. Hence, clickbait.
Grantaire would save a lot of money if he just quit smoking for good, instead of just on-and-off since high school, but then what excuse would he have to constantly run into Enjolras?
“Morning, babe.” Grantaire winked as Enjolras rushed into the office, his hair a complete disaster zone, papers flying out of his briefcase. It was adorable.
Shamelessly flirting with Enjolras was pointless, and Grantaire knew it, but he couldn’t help himself. Plus, it always caused Enjolras to get a cute, scrunched-up expression, as if he couldn’t figure out why someone like Grantaire would talk to someone like him . Honestly, Grantaire knew it should probably insult him, but he loved it too much. Maybe he was just a masochist.
“Good morning, Grantaire,” Enjolras sighed. There was always a lot of sighing when Enjolras talked to Grantaire, which again: should be insulting, but was really just cute. “Busy with your journalistic integrity?”
“Top ten conditioners to buy in order to make your hair perfectly bouncy for fighting the revolution,” Grantaire deadpanned. “I’ll send you a link later.” Not that Enjolras needed new conditioner. Even in the intense wind-blown state Enjolras’s hair was currently in, it still made Grantaire’s throat tighten and heart race. ( How clichéd was that ?)
“I’ll be sure to check it out.” There was a 90% chance that Enjolras was being sarcastic, but part of Grantaire sincerely believed that Enjolras read his articles, if they could even be called articles.
Enjolras was the guy who attended every one of Courfeyrac’s community theater performances, who seemed genuinely interested when Combeferre rattled on about his medical research. Who had every one of Jehan Pouveraire’s self-published poetry chapbooks on a shelf in his bedroom. Who even went to open mic nights for the three weeks Marius Pontmercy attempted standup, although whether that was for genuine support or because, well, Marius attempting standup comedy was a train wreck you couldn’t take your eyes off of, Grantaire wasn’t sure. The point is, he supported his friends tirelessly, actually caring about their lives and careers and hobbies. If even an iota of that dedication could be directed towards Grantaire? He would probably die, although he would also probably die if it wasn’t. Where Enjolras was concerned, Grantaire was all just falling breathlessly at his feet, dying.
“Are you going to the housewarming party tonight?” Grantaire asked. The house being warmed, of course, was Joly’s, Bossuet’s, and Musichetta’s. The three of them had moved in together months ago, but the housewarming party kept being pushed back: first they lost power, then Bossuet sprained his ankle, then Bossuet got called in to work a shift the night of, then… well, Grantaire wasn’t sure, he just knew it was something to do with Bossuet.
Enjolras groaned– had Grantaire heard Enjolras groan before? He liked it. “Marius is trying to set me up with someone, and waited until after I said I would go to announce that his ‘friend’ is going too.”
Okay, so maybe Enjolras going to every one of Marius’s comedy open mics wasn’t just out of the goodness of his heart.
“I, ah, didn’t realize you were single.”
Enjolras laughed, a short burst from the back of his throat. Again, Grantaire wasn’t sure if he had heard that before. He’d heard Enjolras chuckle, sure– politely laughing at socially acceptable moments in college. But whatever this weird squeak was?
Grantaire didn’t like the way it made his heart physically hurt, or maybe that was just the three-day old coffee he had for breakfast. Either way, he was in pain, and well, if he could blame Enjolras? He sure would.
“No, why would you think that?”
Oh, just everything . “I don’t know man, you sure talk a lot about these ‘Liberty’ and ‘Justice’ fellows, I had to just assume they were your side pieces.” Nice save, R.
Another laugh. “That wouldn’t be very equitable, would it?”
Holy shit, was Enjolras actually joking with him?
“Nah, not if they all agreed. Hey, I’m in no position to judge; you do you.”
“Not my thing,” Enjolras said, frowning at his watch. “I have to work.”
Grantaire took one last puff off his cigarette. “Catch ya later, Apollo.”
When he came home from work, Gavroche was lying on Grantaire’s sofa– if you could even call it a sofa, and not just an old paint-stained mess he found on the side of the street last year. It had taken him a month and a half to rid the smell of cat piss from the atrocity, but the couch had grown on Grantaire.“Whatcha doing here, kid?”
“Uh, spending the weekend with you instead of my parents? Like all weekends? And also weeknights?”
Gavroche did indeed spend most nights on Grantaire’s couch. He knew better than to ask why. Besides, the kid could take care of himself, or at least had been taking care of himself. “Where’s Eponine?”
Eponine somehow lived in a studio apartment with two other roommates. Grantaire had been over exactly once, saw a bunk bed, and fled.
“Trying to get me to eat my veggies. By the way, you’re out of flaming hot Cheetos.”
Grantaire was not aware he had flaming hot Cheetos to begin with.
“Maybe that’s why I’m not dating anyone.”
“Because I have a kid crashing on my couch every night.” He threw his backpack down and joined Gavroche on the couch.
“No, it’s because Enjolras doesn’t realize you’re in love with him.”
He wasn’t that obvious, was he? “Have you and your sister been talking about me?”
Gavroche smirked. “Didn’t deny it!”
This kid would be the death of him. At least, if unrequited feelings for Enjolras didn’t kill him first.
“Stop telling your brother how much of a loser I am,” Grantaire said to Eponine the second he saw her at Joly/Bousset/Musichetta’s new-but-not-actually-that-new house.
She rolled her eyes and handed him a beer. “Talking to him is cheaper than therapy, and we all know you wouldn’t go to therapy anyway.”
“Hey, you have no idea how much of my grocery budget goes towards that kid.”
Eponine winced. “Do you, uh, need…” She was working three part-time jobs and putting herself through college, having not had, you know, the chance to do it when she was eighteen with the rest of them.
“Nah, Gavroche’s the closest to a son I’ll ever get, I gotta provide.” Grantaire beat his hand against his chest in what he thought was a funny and manly way. Eponine just stared at him.
“He’s like twelve years younger than you.”
“I was a very sexy seventh grader.”
Another eye roll. “You know you can’t say things like that aloud, right?”
Grantaire just whistled and walked away. If anyone asked, it was in search of more booze, despite the almost-full bottle in his hand. It definitely wasn’t to find whatever mystery man Marius wanted to set up Enjolras up with.
The universe was on his side for once, and Grantaire positioned himself in view of the front door when Marius and Cosette walked in, followed by… Cosette’s dad? That can’t be right. Or maybe the universe wasn’t on his side, because Grantaire had just taken a sip of his drink, and now it was sprayed all over Joly/Bousset/Musichetta’s new-but-not-actually-that-new carpet.
Well, at least this would be entertaining. Hoping he didn’t look like a stalker, Grantaire moved to stand a few feet behind Enjolras.
“Since you’re a criminal defense attorney and Cosette’s dad is a criminal, I thought you two could talk!”
Enjolras looked pained. Grantaire was enjoying this way too much.
Cosette’s dad, too, looked like he was about to wring Marius’s neck– a very common look for those spending any time with Marius. “I appreciate you trying to find me a lawyer, but I assure you, I do not need one.”
Grantaire could practically see the wheels in Enjolras’s head spinning: this wasn’t a set-up set-up, this was a new client set-up, and only Marius Pontmercy would think a housewarming party would be the socially acceptable place to make that introduction. He could not pay for better entertainment.
Both Enjolras and Cosette’s dad seemed at a loss for what to say to each other while still remaining the socially acceptable amount of polite. Cosette, bless her, didn’t seem to realize there was anything weird about this. Man, her and Pontmercy really were perfect for each other.
And he knew he wasn’t a superhero, and should just let this scene play out– Gavroche would get a laugh out of Grantaire’s dramatic reenactment later that night, at least– but it was the first time since college he had scene Enjolras in even a slightly awkward situation, and he felt compelled to swoop in. “Hey babe.”
Enjolras gave him the usual scrunched-up look. “What do you want, Grantaire?”
Well, shit. “You’re uh, not taking on any new clients right now. Remember?” He slapped a hand on Enjolras’s shoulder. “This man. Trying to save the world, but stretching himself too thin.”
A new look from Enjolras. Not the usual why are you flirting with me look, but a how do you know that look. It made Grantaire lightheaded.
Cosette’s dad extended his hand. “Jean Valjean.”
“How long have you two been together?”
“I– uh- we’re not–” Enjolras stammered.
“It’s been what, two years? Two and a half?” Grantaire couldn’t help himself from saying. Valjean nodded. Marius seemed completely unfazed, and Grantaire could swear that Cosette was mouthing I knew it!! Which, yikes, that’s something he would have to unpack later. “Anyway, I hate to steal my husband away, but I uh, need to talk to him.” He grabbed Enjolras’s arm and guided him towards the kitchen. “Listen dude, Marius Pontmercy is a hot mess, and you know you would have ended up agreeing to represent his father-in-law in like, television court or whatever, despite neither of you wanting that. Thank me later.”
“Yeah, like the reality shows where there’s a judge who does paternity tests; I mean I’m just assuming that’s what your job is.”
Enjolras smiled. Grantaire couldn’t tell if it was a wow Grantaire, I underestimated you, you’re actually amazing and we should get married smile, or a condescending you know nothing, Grantaire smile. Either way, had Enjolras smiled at him before? Probably not, because there was no way Grantaire would forget that.
“Yo, are you talking about paternity court?” Bahorel chimed in from his seat on the kitchen island. The fact that Grantaire hadn’t even noticed people in the kitchen was truly a testament to Enjolras. “I love that show.”
Enjolras glanced up at Bahorel and Feuilly and– was that Jehan, lying on the counter behind him? Who knew the kitchen would be so hopping? “Grantaire got me out of a situation by implying to Jean Valjean that we’re married.”
Feuilly laughed and Jehan bolted straight up. “And y’all didn’t invite me to the wedding?” Jehan said it so meekly that there was a part of Grantaire convinced he was being serious. “I would have sewn the fuck out of your chuppah.”
Enjolras raised an eyebrow. “And why would we have a chuppah?”
“To break a glass under. Duh,” Feuilly chimed in.
Grantaire couldn’t imagine a world in which he would have a traditional Jewish wedding. Or a traditional wedding at all. Or a wedding, period, although maybe a chuppah would make his estranged relatives happy. Still, Enjolras looked at him quizzically. “You have tattoos.”
“Jesus Christ dude, I literally have a tattoo of a mezuzah on my arm. I may not practice, but you can bet your sweet ass we’re still having a Jewish wedding, babe.”
“I, ah, didn’t know. Apologies.” Of course Enjolras didn’t know anything about him. Why would he?
“It’s cool,” Grantaire brushed it off. Of course, it wasn’t. “I’m gonna go find Eponine.”
He really had to stop hanging out with Enjolras. Flirting with Enjolras. Nearly touching the sun.
“I didn’t know you had a tattoo of a mezuzah,” Gavroche remarked at breakfast the next morning– who was Grantaire kidding, it was almost two pm. The kid could sleep in, and so could Grantaire.
Grantaire pointed at an ornate rectangle containing the letter shin hidden in the inside of his arm, in the middle of his sleeve. Okay, maybe it was pretty unnoticeable, unless his arms were pinned up over his head, and… damn, he really needed to stop thinking about Enjolras. And he had to stop telling a fifteen year old all of his issues, for that matter. Clickbait writing may be a shitty job, but Grantaire was pretty sure his only semi-shitty health insurance covered at least some therapy.
“Enjolras what, went to prep school?” Gavroche asked, mouth full of bacon. “He just doesn’t know many Jews, and yeah, he’s hashtag-woke enough to know that not all Jews don’t have tattoos, or not all Muslims don’t eat pork, or whatever, but he’s not hashtag-woke enough to assume the two of you would have a Jewish wedding.”
“You are wise beyond your years.”
“Eh, I just got all of that from watching Gossip Girl .” A pause, while Gavroche stuffed some cocoa puffs into his mouth, because that kid could put down food like there was no tomorrow. “Do Jewish weddings have a best man? Because dibs.”
Grantaire paused. “I’ve never actually been to one.”
“Well, I still have dibs. Hey, wanna come to my parent-teacher conference next week? Don’t give me that look, it’ll be hilarious.”
Grantaire’s smoke break on Monday morning lined up with Enjolras’s arrival at his office, naturally. “Morning, sunshine.” Enjolras’s button-down was splattered with coffee, and he was scowling before he even saw Grantaire. “Rough day?”
It was eight thirty in the morning. This might have been a new record for how early a day could be ruined. In lieu of responding, Enjolras grabbed the cigarette out of Grantaire’s hand. “I thought you quit,” Grantaire said. He had known Enjolras since they were both twenty, when they had overlapping philosophy classes, back when Grantaire could somewhat be bothered to give a shit– mostly, he was there to argue, because why else would anyone take philosophy?
Back then, they would smoke together outside the humanities building in between back-to-back seminars on Socrates and Plato. Well, smoke-slash-fight over Socrates and Plato.
“I’m on a new case,” Enjolras said. He always seemed to be on new cases. In fact, Grantaire was pretty sure that being a lawyer involved taking on new cases, arguing them, and then getting new cases again.
“Foster kid caught with pot. It’s a shitshow.” Enjolras breathed out a cloud of smoke. Grantaire should not have found that specifically so hot, but did. “Lamarque called me out for being at the office last night–” last night was Sunday, and honestly, Grantaire was surprised that Enjolras hadn’t just slept at his desk– “and then Pontmercy said it was okay, I had been out with my husband this weekend–”
“I didn’t know you were married,” Grantaire sputtered, his heart falling. How could he not have known this? Follow up question: how had Enjolras never mentioned a husband before this? Didn’t he just say he was single last week?
“I don’t. He meant you , and now Lamarque is all excited that I have something going on in my life that’s not just this case.”
Oh right, because Grantaire had been an idiot and flirted with Enjolras in front of people, people being Marius, who– really, Marius, who worked with Enjolras, who used to live with Courfeyrac, who was more tuned into their extended social circle than Grantaire, probably– seriously, how did Marius genuinely think that Enjolras and Grantaire were married ? Did it not occur to him that were there to be a wedding, there’s no way he wouldn’t have been there?
“Fucking Pontmercy,” Grantaire grabbed his cigarette back and took a deep breath. Shit, he was going to have to go through eight hours of clickbait-writing trying to pretend this wasn’t the only thing he could think about. You’ll be shocked by these ten relationships that Enjolras’s boss thinks are real!
“He asked Courfeyrac, who told him we eloped two weeks ago.”
“Fucking Courfeyrac.” He probably thought this whole thing was hilarious. Which yes, if you took a step back, it probably was.
Okay. Okay, okay, okay, Grantaire could focus on something other than Enjolras’s face, which was mixed into frustration and disgust and exhaustion because yeah, who wouldn’t have that reaction when someone thought you were married to Grantaire?
“Lamarque invited you to his retirement party on Friday.”
“You know me. Always livening up the criminal law parties.”
Enjolras stared. “As my plus-one.”
“Tell him I’m having kidney surgery. Or uh, liver surgery would probably be more accurate, because I’m going to need it after this conversation.”
“It’s not even nine am.”
“Hey, you don’t know I don’t have a bottle of scotch tucked into my desk drawers.” He did not, but that was more because ClickBuzz’s cubicle desks didn’t actually have drawers. “I don’t see why this is an issue, if you don’t want to hang out with me that badly, you don’t have to.”
“It would make Lamarque happy,” Enjolras admitted, reaching once again for Grantaire’s cigarette. He responded by just reaching into his pocket and giving him the whole packet. Enjolras took one and lit it. “Thanks.”
“So, you want me to go to a work party with you and pretend to be married.” This was a weird dream, right? Like soon tigers would start raining and the streets would flood with cotton candy, and Grantaire would wake up like huh, that sure was odd .
“It would, ah, make Lamarque happy.” Enjolras repeated.
Grantaire cocked an eyebrow. He couldn’t care less what his own boss thought about him, but for some reason, Enjolras was invested in other people’s opinions– Grantaire wondered if that extended to his.
“Sure. What the hell.” This was probably the closest Grantaire would ever come to actually dating Enjolras, and it wasn’t like he had anything to lose. A Friday night, perhaps, but his Friday nights usually consisted of getting beaten by a teenager at Mario Kart, and he could use the break.
Enjolras took a long drag of his cigarette, and fished a ring out of his pocket. “I owe you one.”
“You had a ring this entire time?”
He just shrugged. “May I?” Grantaire nodded in shock, and the ring was slipped onto his left hand. He noticed that Enjolras was wearing a matching one himself.
“You came prepared.” Of course he did, having all his I ’s dotted and T ’s crossed was Enjolras’s thing. Instead of just jumping headfirst into a probably terrible and potentially embarrassing situation. “Were you a boy scout in a past life?”
Enjolras grinned. “I got kicked out of scouting when I was eight.”
Grantaire burst into laughter because of course Enjolras did.
The two of them finished their cigarettes in a weirdly comfortable silence, considering the disaster that Grantaire was sure was about to play out.
“Good luck at work today, babe,” Grantaire said as he left to walk across the street back to his own office, waving with his newly-ringed hand.
“Are you married now?” Gavroche asked when Grantaire got back to the apartment.
“Shouldn’t you be in school?”
“It’s five thirteen. School gets out at three. You were young once, don’t you know this stuff?”
Grantaire did not know this stuff.
Still, no one at Grantaire’s office had noticed the ring, not that he really talked to anyone apart from should this TikTok go in this list, or did you use it for yours ? He had however, spent all day staring at it. During his lunch break, he wandered into the café where Eponine sometimes worked, practically shoved his hand in her face, and she didn’t point it out. (That didn’t mean she didn’t notice, though. Sometimes she’s just tired of dealing with Grantaire’s bullshit, and finds it better to not question stuff.) “Enjolras’s boss is under the impression that we’re married, and we’re going with it because Enjolras desperately craves Lamarque’s approval.” The and Grantaire desperately craves Enjolras’s approval bit was left unsaid.
Gavroche picked up a can– seriously, when had Grantaire bought Monster energy drinks, he hadn’t touched one since college– took a sip, and immediately did a spit take before bursting out into laughter. “Ha. Ha, ha, ha, this is going to backfire so bad.”
Sometimes Grantaire wished that he could be a better responsible adult person, because if Grantaire was the most responsible adult person that Gavroche had in his life, he would need years upon years of therapy in the near future. (Then again, he would need years upon years of therapy anyway because of, well, his parents.)
“Whatever dude, you do you,” Gavroche added, before another bit of maniacal laughter.
There was a knock upon Grantaire’s door sometime around eleven at night. Gavroche was lying upside down on the couch, narrating the Sparknotes for Great Expectations while Riverdale played in the background. Grantaire was trying to beat his Candy Crush high score, because even though no one played or cared about Candy Crush anymore, he had a bet going with Joly.
“Ew, are drop-by’s still a thing?” Gavroche complained. “Send a text first, ugh, what is this, Seinfeld?”
One day, Grantaire would ask how Gavroche had an encyclopedic knowledge of outdated pop culture references. But for today, he really should go see who’s at the door. Hypothetically, all of his friends had the address, but the only person who ever came over with any regularity was Eponine.
Another knock. Okay, it was really time to put down Candy Crush and figure this out. “Grantaire?”
Oh, fuck. Grantaire stepped up to get the door. “It’s your huuuusband,” Gavroche crooned.
If Enjolras was surprised to see Gavroche there, he didn’t show it. “I, ah, thought we could go over details for Friday.”
At eleven pm on a Monday, on the weirdest day of Grantaire’s life. Sure. Why not. This made perfect sense.
“Come on in.”
Grantaire’s kitchen table was an old picnic bench stolen from his stint as a substitute teacher at the Catholic middle school. (There were many, many reasons that job didn’t work out.) (And yes, stealing from children is wrong, but they were about to throw all the picnic benches out anyway, and yes, the wood was half rotted, and no amount of paint would erase the sheer number of penises carved into it, but Grantaire loved that table.) “Do you uh, want anything to drink?” Before waiting for Enjolras to answer, he grabbed two beers from the fridge.
“Corinth Brewing Company?” Enjolras raised an eyebrow. “They’re worker owned.” He sounded pleased. If craft beer was the way into Enjolras’s heart, Grantaire was willing to pay the extra money for local brews.
“So, honey. Creature. Human-shaped entity. You over there with the teeth in your mouth. Sweet eyes. Sunshine breath.” Grantaire said. “What do I need to play the doting husband on Friday?”
“To never call me any of those things,” Enjolras said, taking a sip of his drink.
“Cheese puff!” Gavroche called out from the other room. Why had Grantaire thought that even for a second he could get some privacy in his own home?
Was it his imagination, or was Enjolras holding back a grin? “Just help me convince my boss I have some semblance of a work-life balance so he can retire in peace,” Enjolras said.
Grantaire nodded. “Because clearly, this mythical work-life balance you speak of is real, because you definitely didn’t come here straight from the office.”
Enjolras ran a hand through his hair and sighed. “How long have we been married? Who proposed? Why was Lamarque not at the wedding?” The questions were prepped ahead of time, Grantaire could tell.
“We eloped in Vegas last weekend,” Grantaire said. “You took one look at my man-bun and fell head over heels. Couldn’t keep your hands to yourself but like, in a consensual way.”
Enjolras rolled his eyes. “I don’t like the term man-bun .” Of course he didn’t.
“We were married when I was fifteen, my father sold me to you for the low, low price of a dozen cows. No, sheep. No, biographies of French politicians.”
A sigh from Enjolras.
‘We’re middle-school sweethearts, got married straightaway after eighth-grade graduation, and now we’re raising a teenager.”
Gavroche appeared in the kitchen, having given up the pretense of pretending not to eavesdrop. “You met in college, got together last year, eloped a few months ago. Keep it as close to the truth as you can, duh . Have neither of you lied before?” He grabbed another Red Bull from the fridge– okay seriously, when did those get there? How had Grantaire not noticed the abundance of energy drinks in his own home?
Grantaire tilted his head towards a doorframe. “Wanna talk in there?” Not the way he thought he would ever be inviting Enjolras into his bedroom, but what the hell, this day had been weird enough.
Enjolras grabbed the beers and followed him.
“Ew, guys, you don’t need to consummate a fake marriage!” Gavroche called out, heading back to the couch for more Sparknotes-slash-Riverdale.
Grantaire scanned his room, trying to envision it through Enjolras’s eyes. Piles of dirty clothes littered the floor, but not as many as usual. A canvas set up in the corner with the sketch of the back of a head on it– no, it definitely wasn’t of Enjolras, Grantaire could claim plausible deniability. Besides, pencil sketches of perfect hair could be portraying anyone . Unmade bed, but the sheets weren’t obviously stained, so. Could be a lot worse.
Enjolras shut the door behind him, and for a second, Grantaire could envision this playing out like one of the romance novels Eponine swears she only read ironically (“ listen, my life is shitty enough, I just want to read about hot people falling in love, sue me ”). Grantaire sitting on the edge of the bed, Enjolras dropping the bottles to the ground in a moment of passion, and then walking to the edge of the bed, lowering himself on Grantaire…
“I didn’t realize you babysat so often,” Enjolras said, snapping Grantaire out of his daydream.
“Nah, he basically lives here. Well. Not full time, like he’s not here every night, but uh, most nights.”
“Is he okay?”
“Uh, probably not. He once said his parents didn’t even notice he’s not at their house most of the time, and Eponine backed that up, so um. Not the best situation probably.”
Enjolras nodded. “He’s fifteen?”
“Fifteen going on thirty. Seriously, he’s so much more mature than me, he’s really thirty, flirty, and thriving.”
“He’s what ?”
Grantaire scoffed. “Dude, one day we’re just having a chick-flick marathon, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” Courfeyrac would have his back there, Grantaire’s pretty sure.
“I don’t like the term chick-flick .”
Of course he didn’t.
By half past midnight, a plan was mostly in place. Like Gavroche had suggested, they were sticking with the story that they met in college, which was the truth. “Mabeuf’s philosophy seminar,” Enjolras recalled, and Grantaire was honestly so surprised that Enjolras could remember where they met– yeah, Mabeuf’s classes were great, and the arguments that Enjolras and Grantaire had in them were legendary, but legendary enough for Enjolras to remember?
They “eloped” at some point last year– “because you’re against the wedding industrial complex, right–” Grantaire had joked, which had prompted an eye roll from Enjolras. “I’m surprised you were willing to get married at all.”
Enjolras gave Grantaire a blank stare. “You were the one who implied it.”
Ah, yes. What would a conversation with Enjolras be without a reminder that every time they talked, it was because Grantaire went out of his way to see him? A reminder that Enjolras didn’t actually care about Grantaire at all?
Grantaire just shrugged and took a long gulp of beer. “If anyone asks, say it was a political statement. Something about getting married while we still have that right, so then when it gets taken away in a few months, you’ll have a cute anecdote to use for the cause.”
“I wouldn’t do that to someone,” Enjolras scoffed.
So even Apollo had his limits.
“Want another drink?” Grantaire asked, unsure of what else to say. “Or like, food or my actual hand in marriage or anything.”
“It’s late,” Enjolras said, which: yes, true, but Grantaire was under the impression that Enjolras had about as shitty a sleep schedule as Grantaire did himself.
“Uh, text me when you need the fake husband duties?” Grantaire said. “Or send a smoke signal. Carrier pigeon.”
Was that almost a smile Grantaire saw? And then, a much deeper frown. “The trains have stopped.”
Enjolras was silent.
“What, are we boycotting them or something?” At the look at Enjolras’s face, Grantaire burst out laughing. “Oh fuck, we are? All that’s gonna do is stop individual drivers from getting money, you can’t change the world by not downloading an app.”
The part of Grantaire’s brain constantly telling him to shut up usually worked overtime when Enjolras was around, but for some reason, it didn’t stop Grantaire from blurting out the next thing that came into his mind: “You can stay here. If you uh, want.”
“Gavroche is on your couch,” Enjolras pointed out.
“Bed’s big enough for two, babe,” Grantaire couldn’t stop himself from saying. “Or uh, my floor is comfy enough, I’m fine there,” Grantaire stammered. “God knows how many times I’ve passed out on it anyway.”
“Are you really fine sharing your bed?” Enjolras asked.
Fine? Maybe. He’s definitely thought about this situation before, usually with a hand wrapped around his cock. Would he be fine? That was questionable.
“Morning, baby.” Grantaire rolled over, Enjolras’s arm flopping off of him– shit, had Enjolras’s arm been there the whole time? He glanced down, praying he wasn’t as hard as sleeping next to Enjolras should have made him, because yeah, it was morning, but he didn’t want Enjolras to think he had been thinking about this scenario for years. (Which he had, but Enjolras didn’t need to know that.)
“Hmm?” Enjolras grumbled, before jolting awake. “Where am I?”
So Enjolras was useless in the mornings, Grantaire noted. “Uh, my apartment?”
“I need coffee,” Enjolras said. “And– shit, I have to be in court in an hour.”
“Ooh, are you gonna walk-of-shame into the courtroom? Your honor, exhibit A–”
“Grantaire, is this going to be a dick joke?”
“Well, it wasn’t, but it is now.”
Enjolras laughed, shaking his head. “I need to run to the office.”
“Yeah, you gotta tell everyone about your sweet new fake husband that no one has ever heard of before.”
“I need to get–”
“Let me guess. Breakfast. Evidence for your case. A puppy, because no judge will say no to a tiny golden retriever.”
“A change of clothes, actually.”
“You keep a change of clothes in the office?” Grantaire sat up. “Have you heard of a thing called a work-life balance? Not falling asleep at your desk, ever think to try it?”
Enjolras glared at him. “If I don’t work this much, people’s lives can be ruined.”
“Oh yes, the teenage shoplifters that go to jail because their lawyers were too busy getting railed. I hear they have support groups in prison for that sort of thing.” Grantaire struggled to get out of bed, but- damn, he was wearing his hedgehog-print boxers, how in the world did he think wearing just hedgehog-print boxers when Enjolras was sleeping in his bed would be a good idea? “Uh, wanna start coffee?”
“In your apartment?”
“Yeah uh, you should have coffee before court.”
Enjolras gave Grantaire a weird look but got up anyway, yesterday’s khakis all wrinkled up. Fuck, who knew wrinkled khakis could be so cute? Who let Enjolras fall asleep in Grantaire’s bed wearing just wrinkled khakis? Did Grantaire have a death wish? Was he ever going to get the situation in his hedgehog-print boxers to calm down enough to emerge from the bed? Or maybe he would be stuck there forever, which all things considered, wouldn’t be the worst case scenario. Like if you’re going to be trapped somewhere for the rest of eternity, a bed is a pretty decent place.
Eventually, Grantaire could emerge from his pile of blankets, stumbling into the kitchen wrapped in a blanket to see Enjolras pouring from the coffeepot into a travel mug. “Heading out?”
“Do you want to walk together to work?” Enjolras asked. He had the decency to have at least thrown on his crumpled button-down, but Grantaire was still dying inside at the sight of Enjolras, making coffee in his kitchen.
“Nah, I can work from home today.” His main motivation in going into the office was to see Enjolras across the street; it wasn’t like he needed to physically be present to write listicles. “What do you think about what your Zodiac sign says about your fake relationship style ?”
“Libra?” Enjolras asked.
“Libra: you’re the type to convince your boss you’re married so he can quit worrying about you in retirement. Your fake relationships are characterized by… bringing your fake husband takeout dinner? Buying him more cigarettes, because you keep taking them and he’s almost out? Bringing Combeferre back a book he borrowed like two months ago, because he knows you’re going to see him before he will?”
“I’m sure that applies to many Libras on the internet,” Enjolras said.
“Oh, definitely. Every Libra has a fake husband who borrows books from Combeferre.”
Enjolras laughed. Grantaire didn’t think he would ever get sick of hearing Enjolras laugh.
Grantaire did end up writing some astrology post: what Zodiac sign are you based off of the gay wedding you plan?
“Dude, your quiz is rigged,” Gavroche said, mouth full of instant ramen. “I took it like three times and kept getting Libra. ”
Grantaire just shrugged. So what if he kept thinking about Enjolras during the day? Enjolras, joking about horoscopes. Enjolras, in Grantaire’s bed. Enjolras, doing things that Grantaire couldn’t think about with a teenager across the table.
“Morning, babe,” Grantaire smiled, handing a cigarette to Enjolras outside his office.
“You’re being a bad influence,” Enjolras said, taking the cigarette and lighting it anyway. “You know, Joly gave me a talk on the dangers of lung cancer yesterday?”
“Ooh, did you see the accompanying powerpoint?”
“He made a powerpoint ?”
“Yeah, the animations are really something else. He takes me through it at least once a year.”
Enjolras laughed. “So you’re not working from home today, huh?”
“Nah, decided that I really needed to be in the office to remind people of fifteen celebrity couples you totally forgot were ever together.”
“James Buchanan and William Rufus King,” Enjolras said. “I don’t think I can give you fourteen more, though.”
Grantaire took a drag of his cigarette. “Not sure if my boss would consider them celebrities, but I’ll add them to the list.”
Two suits walked by, and Enjolras nodded at them as they entered the office.
“I should probably get going,” he said. “But, err, should I come over tonight?”
Grantaire raised an eyebrow. “Sure?”
“You know, to make sure we have everything set for tomorrow.”
Ah yes, tomorrow. The retirement party. The public spectacle of being Enjolras’s doting husband. What more could they have to prepare?
“Uh, yeah. Perfect.” Grantaire put out his cigarette. “Catch ya later, sweetheart.”
“Honey, I’m home!” Enjolras walked into Grantaire’s apartment, takeout pizza in hand, because apparently that was something that just happened to Grantaire now, like he was living in some old-timey sitcom. (Except couples in old-timey sitcoms never shared beds, and Enjolras and Grantaire definitely, definitely had.)
Gavroche rolled his eyes from the couch. “Ugh, stop being gross.” Then: “but I’ll let it slide if you do this worksheet of trig substitutions for me.”
“In the kitchen,” Grantaire called out.
Enjolras plopped the pizza box down and opened the fridge to grab beers, because Grantaire just now lived in some alternate universe where Enjolras was comfortable enough in Grantaire’s apartment to just help himself to things. “Combeferre laughed for a good fifteen minutes when I gave him back his book.”
“It was about a fake marriage,” Grantaire said, mouth full of pizza. “The books you read in class always seem to have a strong connection with whatever angsty adolescent drama is being recounted,” he quoted.
Enjolras stared blankly. “We’re not adolescents or in school?”
“He’s quoting an old-person movie!” Gavroche shouted from the other room, which made Grantaire shudder because was Easy A an old-person movie now?
“Except the book was about the mob so let’s hope Emma Stone isn’t right.”
Another blank stare.
“You don’t know Emma Stone– white girl cast as Chinese and Hawaiian in that movie you made us all promise not to see even though literally no one was going to watch it anyway?”
“Then duh, of course she’s wrong.”
“Beer me?” Grantaire asked. Enjolras nodded, and handed one over. “So, anything I should know for tomorrow?”
Enjolras shook his head. “Marius and Cosette will be there. Cosette knows this is a sham by now, because she has more than three brain cells, so Marius probably does too, but both are sworn to secrecy.”
“Awesome, so everyone will know by the end of the night.”
“Just, uh, pretend we do things outside of work?”
“We do things outside of work. This is a thing. We’re eating pizza, and you haven’t mentioned the injustices once.”
“This is work-related, though,” Enjolras pointed out, and ouch, that wasn’t untrue but Grantaire still didn’t like it.
“Ah yes, sorry my sparkling personality is not enough of a motivation to split a weirdly cheese-less pizza with me.”
“It’s not weird; you’re lactose intolerant,” Enjolras said. How did he know that? They must have had pizza near each other before, but damn, Grantaire did not realize how observant Enjolras was.
“He wanted to come over and is using this as a flimsy pretense!” Gavroche shouted. Had Gavroche been listening this whole time? Grantaire should really invest in a door between the living room and kitchen. Or, you know, a two-bedroom apartment.
“Ignore the kid, he’s on drugs,” Grantaire said, trying to move on fast so he didn’t have to hear Enjolras explicitly deny Gavroche’s statement.
“Ibuprofen! That you gave me! Hey, I’ll shut up if you google the double angle identities for me–”
Grantaire gathered up the pizza box and beers, and gestured to his bedroom door.
“Save a slice or three for me,” Gavroche said.
Grantaire was no stranger to eating dairy-free pizza from the comfort of his comforter, but Enjolras clearly was. They sat cross-legged, facing each other, from opposite sides of the bed, Enjolras looking like he wanted to ask for a napkin, but didn’t know how.
“We went to Joly/Bossuet/Musichetta’s party last week. We do pizza nights every– uh, what’s today, Thursday? No honeymoon yet, but we’re going to Paris once it gets a bit warmer.”
“It’s too cold to go to Paris, but not too cold for you to stand outside my office with a cigarette every morning in the cold?”
Grantaire shrugged. “Just spitballing here. Any other fake plans we need? Ooh, let’s get a fake pet– I’m thinking a mini horse?”
“We’re not getting a mini horse.”
“Wow, way to fake crush my dreams,” Grantaire laughed. “How soon can we file for a fake divorce?”
“Why has no one met you before? How has my marriage not come up in casual conversation until this week?” Enjolras asked.
“Fake marriage requires a lot more real planning than I anticipated, stud muffin.” Grantaire said, trying not to fixate on the fact that Enjolras had apparently been talking about him in casual conversation.
“Ixnay on the udstay uffinmay, got it.” Grantaire tossed back the rest of his beer. “I’m assuming you don’t talk about personal shit at work very often?”
Enjolras shook his head. “I never have personal stuff to talk about. There’s only so many documentary watching nights with Combeferre and Courfeyrac that people want to hear about.”
“Then not mentioning your hot lover isn’t out of the ordinary.”
Enjolras frowned. “If we were really together, it would be.”
Grantaire would be willing to bet that everyone in Enjolras’s office knew Combeferre and Courfeyrac’s names, knew which hospital Joly was a resident at, knew which street corners Feuilly sometimes busked at with his accordion. For someone who has complained so much about Marius never shutting up about Cosette, Enjolras talked about his friends an awful lot, and why should a husband be any different?
“Good thing it’s not real,” Grantaire said. He could feel his heart constricting, and prayed for a heart attack, because that fate would be better than his current one.
The retirement party was in Lamarque’s backyard, on the edge of the city. Grantaire wasn’t sure what he was expecting– an awkward office affair? A stuffy rented hotel ballroom?– but this wasn’t it. Standing on the edge of a patio, feeling overdressed in a button-up, clutching a bottle of beer so tightly that the neck was in danger of snapping off.
“This is my husband, Grantaire,” Enjolras had introduced him, saying the word husband like it was the most natural thing in the world. What was happening?
“Oh, yes! I’ve seen you outside the office!” Lamarque exclaimed, which: great, every single one of Enjolras's colleagues had probably noticed Grantaire loitering around, and a bunch of lawyers were surely smart enough to put two and two together and realize Grantaire was absolutely in love with him.
Except they all already thought him and Enjolras were married. Plus, Marius Pontmercy worked there, so they couldn’t all be bright.
“It’s nice to meet you, sir,” Grantaire said.
“Call me Jean.” Lamarque said. “It’s nice to know Enjolras has someone taking care of him outside of work.”
Grantaire nodded. “He does.”
If only that were true.
“I think your boss likes me,” Grantaire said, although Enjolras’s thumb was absentmindedly stroking Grantaire’s hand, so Grantaire wasn’t sure if he was saying anything comprehensible at all.
“Why wouldn’t he?” Enjolras asked, and for such a smart person, that sure was a stupid question.
Being fake married to Enjolras in front of people was a lot less exciting than being fake married to Enjolras back in Grantaire’s apartment. Mostly, it was making small talk with other lawyers. Grantaire was considering just getting a sign that said yes we’ve been married two months, yes I write clickbait, yes I’m the guy always smoking outside your office, yes I’m glad Enjolras has someone in his life too, yes I’m just as surprised as you are that he’s not just a robot programmed for justice .
“How’s everything?” Cosette walked up the corner of a patio that Grantaire had claimed. Someone had started a conversation about jurors, and all the “partners of the law partners” (Cosette was far too amused with herself for coming up with that) were intermingling to get away from legal jargon.
“Agonizing,” Grantaire said. He and Cosette weren’t close, sure, but she knew the situation and was easy to talk to, and Grantaire was going to die.
“You know this week has been the happiest I’ve ever seen Enjolras?” Cosette asked.
“Just something to think about,” Cosette said. “You didn’t have to be here, he could have told Lamarque you worked Friday nights, or were out of town, or that Marius was mistaken.”
“Marius was mistaken.”
Cosette glared. “That’s on you, buddy.” She looked out at Marius in the crowd, wildly moving his hands as he talked about something that would go over Grantaire’s head and sighed. “He is so dumb , and I love him so much .”
“You do you, man.”
“You know he named a fish after me before we started dating? When he was in law school, and I was working in the law library.” She smiled.
“And then the first time I went to his apartment, and asked about the fish, he told me it was named Ursula, because naming a fish a girl you’ve barely talked to is objectively stalker-y, even though I found it really cute.”
“Is there a point to this story?”
“Not really,” Cosette said.
“Boys are stupid and don’t say what they mean?” Grantaire offered. “Exhibit A: I’m stupid, and have never once told Enjolras anything.”
“Sure, that can be the moral.” Cosette sipped her drink. “You know, he really didn’t need to go to your apartment at all this week, even if you committed to coming here. You could have just texted. No part of logistics involves a sleepover.”
How would Cosette have known that? Gavroche could have told Eponine, who could have told Cosette, which is a bit of a game of telephone but not one long enough that Grantaire could plausibly deny it; stories don’t spin out of control in just three people.
“Ready to go?” Enjolras slid up to Grantaire, wrapping an arm around his waist like it was the most natural thing in the world. “Marius is showing everyone ultrasound pictures, and I can’t pretend to be interested in them again and– oh, hi Cosette! You’re here too.”
“I know exactly two of these people, and now they’re all picturing the inside of my uterus,” she sighed, and wandered off. “Marius!"
“That was a success, right?” Grantaire asked, glancing over at Enjolras in the passenger’s seat of his car.
“I really owe you,” Enjolras said.
“No you don’t, this is the most exciting thing to happen to me all month. Sorry, that makes my life sound sad, but uh, now you’ve seen what I actually do every day, so.”
“It’s not sad. At least you don’t keep a change of clothes in the office.”
The charade was over, retirement party done. No act to put on anymore, no reason for Enjolras to be anything but mildly annoyed with Grantaire.
“Which one’s your building?” Enjolras pointed, and Grantaire pulled to the side of the road. “Don’t forget to give me a five star driver rating.”
Enjolras rolled his eyes, but laughed anyway. “We should spend more time together.”
Yes, Grantaire was on board with that, but where was this coming from?
“This week’s reminded me that I only ever see you during cigarette breaks and group parties.”
“Are you trying to invite me upstairs or something, because I appreciate the effort babe, but there are much more coherent ways to do it,” Grantaire said before he could stop himself, because there was always going to be a part of him unable to resist flirting with Enjolras.
Okay. Car in park. Emergency break up. Vaguely check to make sure this is an actual parking spot, because Grantaire couldn’t afford for his car to get towed again. Know that Enjolras has no idea what he is saying .
Still, he followed Enjolras up to his apartment anyway.
As soon as he shut the door, Enjolras backed Grantaire up to the wall and brought his face to Grantaire’s, and– “Can I?” He asked, and Grantaire nodded so hard he might pass out.
Their lips met, in what Grantaire would consider the most surreal moment of his life. “Enjolras,” he breathed.
Enjolras’s mouth moved to the corner of Grantaire’s lips, making their way down his neck. “Enjolras,” Grantaire managed to say at least semi-coherently. “What are you doing.”
Enjolras immediately shot up and backed away. “I, uh, if I’m making you uncomfortable–”
“–you’re not, but what are you doing ?” Grantaire slumped down against the wall. “Because we’re done being fake married, we don’t need to fake do anything, and if you just want to hook up I would probably combust from happiness and horniness and like that’s cool, but, uh, I,” he stammered.
Enjolras joined him on the floor. “You what?”
“Like if this is just a one time thing I need to mentally prepare, or– shit, how do people do this?”
“Do you want this to be a one-time thing?” Enjolras asked.
“No, I– fuck, Enjolras, I like you.”
The world did not end. Grantaire could still breath. Enjolras was still sitting there, and didn’t throw water in his face or kick him out or make a citizen’s arrest (although Grantaire assumed he was against those, and were citizens arrests even a thing anymore?).
Grantaire would have to unpack the Han Solo-ing later, probably the next time he did a yearly original trilogy marathon with Joly and Bossuet and the two of them ask why he’s getting so choked at that line. “You what?”
“I, err, know?”
Well, shit. “For how long?”
“Grantaire, you’ve been shamelessly flirting with me since college.”
“I shamelessly flirt with everyone.”
“No you don’t.” Jesus Christ. “But um, I put the pieces together a few days ago.”
“Aren’t lawyers supposed to be better at logic-ing things together? What, should I have shamelessly flirted with you more , maybe make a powerpoint presentation, through together some talking points for a debate–”
Grantaire smirked. “Make me,” and if that wasn’t an invitation for Enjolras’s lips to get back on his, what was?
“No, we’re talking this out.”
Enjolras spent a summer in college as a camp counselor, Grantaire vaguely remembered, bracing himself for a barrage of incoming I-statements. I think this won’t work out. I feel uncomfortable by your constant attention. I don’t like you, Grantaire .
“I–” Grantaire tensed up– “think I like you. Or uh, I don’t think , because when have I ever been lukewarm on something, come on– I like you.”
Grantaire had stopped breathing. Enjolras pressed a hand to the side of his face. “I like you, Grantaire.”
“Can I get you on record saying that? Can you sign an affidavit? Am I using the term affidavit correctly–”
Enjolras leaned forward and kissed him again. “I like you.”
Grantaire was going to melt into Enjolras’s carpet. His lips were soft as they traced a path down his face, down his neck, hands fumbling to undo the buttons of the shirt Grantaire was now very glad he put on, if only to see Enjolras pull it off of him.
“Is this okay?” Enjolras asked, lips fluttering down to Grantaire’s chest.
“Fuck, Enjolras,” Grantaire moaned, tugging at his the hem of Enjolras’s shirt. “Get this off.” Enjolras detached himself from Grantaire for long enough to pull his shirt over his head, and Jesus Christ, Grantaire would have sworn he was sculpted from marble. “Why are you you–”
Enjolras sat up. “You’re asking me why I like you.”
“Doing research for your next piece? Twenty-seven not-actually-surprising reasons Grantaire is worth loving ? Or how’s the headline sixteen ways Grantaire could get fucked senseless if he stops questioning why someone would fuck him senseless ?”
All of the blood in Grantaire’s head rushed to his dick. Enjolras took his hand, and pulled Grantaire up. “You like me,” Grantaire stammered, squeezing Enjolras’s hand.
“Can I get back to what I was doing?”
Grantaire laughed. “You’re making it sound like screwing me is just an item on your to-do list.”
“How do you know it’s not? Wake up. Work on deposition. Interview witnesses. Blow Grantaire.”
And really, how could Grantaire continue arguing with that?
Enjolras leaned back in, his mouth colliding with Grantaire’s, and snuck a hand down to Grantaire’s belt buckle. “Not hedgehog-print this time, huh?” Enjolras said.
“Jesus fuck, do you have a hedgehog fetish or something?” Grantaire joked, moving to shove his underwear down.
Enjolras sunk to his knees on the carpet in front of Grantaire, spitting on his hand before running it up Grantaire’s cock. He swirled his tongue around the head before taking Grantaire’s whole length in his mouth, and holy shit, Grantaire was going to pass out, how was Enjolras so good at literally everything? (Well, maybe not everything, there was a time last year when a stilt-walker cancelled last minute for a fundraiser Enjolras was planning, and Enjolras tried the circus act instead, and ended up falling from six feet in the air and breaking two bones in his left arm. But still, being good at everything but stilt-walking is pretty damn impressive.)
Grantaire hadn’t finished this hard, this fast, since he was a teenager. “Fuck, Enjolras, if you don’t slow down, I’m going come in your mouth,” he cried, hands pulling through Enjolras’s perfect hair.
Enjolras didn’t slow down, his swollen mouth encircling Grantaire’s cock. Grantaire’s head lolled back against the wall and his vision turned to static as he came, whispering Enjolras’s name.
As soon as he came back into his body, Grantaire dragged Enjolras’s mouth up to his own, sucking Enjolras’s lower lip into his mouth. “I think I love you,” he whispered, then coming out of his trance: “Where the fuck did you learn how to do that?”
Enjolras blushed. “Courfeyrac and Jehan, err, got me a subscription to Cosmopolitan a few years ago.”
Grantaire burst out laughing.
“Their political content is improving, and they’re helping to increase voter registration and turnout amongst youth–”
Grantaire, pressing Enjolras into another deep kiss, discovered that the most effective way to shut Enjolras up was with his mouth.
Gavroche whistled as Grantaire unlocked his apartment the following afternoon.
“Is that a hickey ?”
“You’re too young to know what that is.”
Gavroche smirked. “I’m telling Eponine.”
Grantaire was too tired and happy to argue.