Enjolras had spent the week leading up to New Year's as the only one in the office, because most people are sane and, you know, take vacation days. Hell, he would have worked Christmas if he could. It hadn’t been great, per se, because work in the last week of the year consisted mostly of catching up on paperwork, and when he finished and there still weren’t any new civil rights cases that people needed him to take on, he caught up on everyone else’s paperwork. But it was quiet– no Courfeyrac hovering by his desk for at least an hour until Enjolras agreed to take a lunch break, no Bossuet shredding the wrong papers on accident and then asking each and every person individually if they had backups, no Marius Pontmercy, well, Pontmercy-ing around the office.
He had spent Christmas Day eating Chinese takeout and watching Star Trek, because if he was going to spend all his time dreaming about bettering the world he might as well dream about bettering the world in space. He walked the pack of dogs that Joly, Bossuet, and Musichetta have adopted throughout the years, because the three of them were off visiting Joly’s parents and bringing seven dogs on an airplane is a lot, even for them. Sent happy Christmas texts to all his friends who celebrated. Fell asleep at nine pm, so he could get up early for work the next day. No one had accused Enjolras of having an exciting life, except occasionally Grantaire, and Enjolras was pretty sure he meant it as an insult.
But now, after a week of absolutely no human contact except for his DoorDash drivers, Enjolras was being dragged out.
“Even I think you need to see people,” Combeferre said, as Enjolras slid into the passenger’s seat of his car.
“I’ve seen people!” Enjolras protested.
Combeferre sighed his nervous sigh, as opposed to his tired sigh, trying-not-to-laugh-out-loud-at-a-good-pun sigh, or damn-that-was-a-nice-moth-we-just-saw sigh. “I’m going to tell him tonight.”
And that got Enjolras out of his leaving-the-house funk, because what? Who was him?
“Tell him what?”
“That I’m hopelessly in love with him.”
Enjolras racked his brain for people that Combeferre wouldn’t have seen in a while. It couldn’t be Courfeyrac, because the two of them did a Nora Ephron marathon a few days ago. Courfeyrac had tried to rope Enjolras into the movie night, but if Enjolras wanted to watch a blonde girl make eyes at a man not good enough for her, he would just go to Cosette’s house. Which, incidentally, he was, since Cosette and Marius had been hosting New Year's parties since they got married. But “not Courfeyrac” (and not Joly or Bossuet probably, or Marius for that matter) didn’t narrow down the list much, and hopeless? Since when was Combeferre hopeless about anything?
Bahorel had a girlfriend, but Enjolras couldn’t remember how long ago that was; they could be broken up by now. Feuilly? Jehan? Grantaire (For Combeferre’s sake, hopefully not Grantaire)? It could be anyone; it was true that Enjolras was the most oblivious to this kind of thing. For almost a year after they started dating, he thought Joly, Bossuet, and Musichetta just ran a dog rescue together.
“Everyone’s going to be there tonight?” Enjolras asked.
“Everyone and then some.” Which meant that he was definitely seeing Grantaire.
It’s not that Enjolras cared about being liked, because he didn’t. It’s not like he needed to get along with everyone at all– he had the middle school report cards proving that just wasn’t possible. But for the sake of his friends, it would be nice if he could go two minutes without fighting with Grantaire. At least if Grantaire was going to be there, Enjolras was at least going to get laid, thank fuck– it had been months since he had seen Grantaire last, and it wasn’t like he had the time to meet new people.
Marius and Cosette lived out in the suburbs, because why make anything convenient for Enjolras, ever. By the time they reached the Fauchelevent-Pontmercy household, Enjolras was ready to go back to bed.
“You made it!” Cosette hugged Enjolras the second he arrived.
“Enjolras,” Marius nodded.
“I’m so glad you’re here, Marius was so sure you wouldn’t show up,” Cosette blabbed.
The party was in full swing when Enjolras and Combeferre walked in– Bahorel and his girlfriend in one corner talking to Feuilly, Jehan cornering Cosette’s dad in conversation by a plate of appetizers, and Eponine hovering over an ancient iPod plugged into an equally ancient speaker, either picking or making fun of Marius’s playlist, Enjolras’s couldn’t tell.
And across the room, Grantaire. Grantaire, whose eyes had been focused on Enjolras since he stepped inside, with a look of disdain on his face. “Want a drink?” Enjolras asked Combeferre, who was scanning the crowd.
“I’m good,” Combeferre said. “I’m gonna go talk to Courfeyrac.”
Enjolras approached the table in the corner to pour himself some wine, because if Grantaire was going to be glaring at him all night, he was going to need it.
“Didn’t think you’ll show,” Grantaire said, handing him a glass. “Haven’t seen you in a while.”
“I’m not avoiding you,” Enjolras said.
“Never said you were.” Christ. “You’re just too busy fighting for meaningless rights to ever text me.”
“They’re not meaningless,” Enjolras snarled. “With every case, we’re setting an important precedent–”
“Ooh, is this the legal precedent speech again, because I think I know this one by heart,” Grantaire smirked. “Obergefell v Hodges completely screwed us by relying on the ‘sanctity of marriage…’” Air quotes and everything, he really did have his Enjolras impression down pat.
Enjolras rolled his eyes. “Someone’s been reading his Supreme Court opinions.”
“The better to fight you with, dear.”
“I’m surprised you even bother.”
“And miss out on this wonderful conversation? Never. There’s nothing I love more you being surprised that I know how to read.”
Enjolras sighed and raked a hand through his hair. “I promised Combeferre I would go out tonight, can you not make me regret that?”
Grantaire rolled his eyes, but grinned anyway. “I can think of a way to make that work.”
Everyone was milling about, it would be so easy to just slip away, find a closet or bathroom or–
“Who’s up for charades?” Joly called out, and everyone started to gravitate together. Later, Grantaire mouthed, walking away from Enjolras.
Joly, Bossuet, and Musichetta dominated charades, obviously. The three of them had been together so long, they were practically telepathic. “We can still win!” Courfeyrac shouted, throwing his arms around Combeferre, who blushed. And the whole time, Grantaire sat across the room, staring Enjolras down, biting his lip, seemingly doing everything in his power to distract Enjolras.
So during Jehan’s mime of “waiting for your husband to return from the war,” Enjolras stood up with his empty wine glass. “Does anyone want more wine? I’m going to get more wine.”
“Enjolras, there’s another bottle in the basement, you can grab it if you want,” Cosette offered.
“I’ll make sure he gets the right one,” Grantaire said, glancing over at Enjolras.
Marius and Cosette’s basement was as good a place as any. Because who was Enjolras kidding, there was no way he was going to be stranded in the suburbs for hours with Grantaire and not immediately tear off his clothes.
Grantaire practically growled the second they reached the bottom step. “Think they’ll notice if we don’t bring up the wine?” Because of course Grantaire was worried about getting caught, how dare he let anyone catch onto the fact that he had been fucking Enjolras for months.
“They’re too busy with charades.” Enjolras said, hoping it was true. He had double checked the door lock so even if someone noticed they were both gone, they still wouldn’t get caught– not that he cared much if people found out he was fucking Grantaire, but he would never hear the end of it. And yes, Enjolras realized how ridiculous it was for him to be sneaking around kissing boys in a basement when he had spent a good chunk of his career fighting for the right to kiss boys outside of basements, and he was probably too old to be doing stuff like this anyway.
Wasting no time, Enjolras sunk to the ground and started shove Grantaire’s jeans down, pulling his quickly hardening cock out from his avocado-print boxers, and was Grantaire trying to kill him with novelty-print boxers, did he not have any normal underwear–
Grantaire choked as Enjolras pressed a kiss to the inside of Grantaire’s thigh, scraping his mouth upwards before leaning back, waiting. Enjolras had never thought he would kill someone in the Fauchelevent-Pontmercy basement, but if he didn’t get his mouth on Grantaire soon, it looked like Grantaire would physically die. Which is too bad, because then Marius Pontmercy would find a half-naked body in his basement, and that just seemed like a terrible fate for everyone involved. “What are you fucking waiting for, Enjolras?”
“I’m waiting for you to ask nicely,” Enjolras said.
Grantaire shook his head. “Never.”
Enjolras ran his tongue up the side of Grantaire’s cock before taking the head in his mouth. Grantaire moaned, bucking his hips upwards as Enjolras welcomed him in further, digging his nails into Enjolras’s shoulders.
It had been a while since they had done this– a while since everyone had gotten together, and it’s not like Enjolras and Grantaire were actively seeking each other out. Whatever this was, it just happened whenever they were forced into the same place. Because Grantaire hated Enjolras, or so Enjolras thought, and this was something to do other than fight, and if fucking the most fascinating man that Enjolras knew would make them get along in front of their mutual friends, then so be it.
He brought his arms up, stroking against Grantaire’s base, roaming down and around until Grantaire’s ass was firm in his hands, dick filling Enjolras’s mouth. It could have been minutes; it could have been years of Enjolras sucking and squeezing and spitting, Grantaire panting and moaning, until he was spasming into Enjolras’s mouth. How did Enjolras go that long without seeing Grantaire’s dick, would he have to fish for invites for group hangs at Marius and Cosette’s more often– which sounded awful but might be worth it to feel Grantaire against him.
Once Grantaire came back into consciousness he pulled Enjolras up to his feet and buried his head into Enjolras’s neck, working to unbutton Enjolras’s shirt, shrugging it to the floor, as he kissed his way down.
“Condom?” Enjolras asked.
“Thought you would be over me by now,” Grantaire said. “Any chance there’s one–”
“In the basement of Marius and Cosette’s, with Cosette’s father living here, and them being married for four years? Not a chance.”
“Valjean could get it,” Grantaire smirked. “And all I’m saying is that Cosette’s not pregnant yet.”
“Grantaire, if you make me think at all about whatever sort of contraception Marius Pontmercy is using–”
“Diaphragm. Spermicidal lube. The sponge.” He stared Enjolras straight-on. “Enjolras, I think that you’re sponge-worthy.”
“Am I supposed to know what that means?”
Grantaire grinned, spitting on his hand and reaching down to grasp Enjolras’s cock, which was threatening to escape from his khakis– “fuck, Grantaire–” and began to work, Enjolras gasping at his touch, until he was close, so close– Grantaire switched hands, bringing one up from Enjolras’s dick to his mouth, fire in his eyes. Enjolras sucked at his fingers, almost if under a spell. Because he didn’t like Grantaire (or at least Grantaire hated him, which was the same thing, more or less), but with Grantaire’s hand stroking his cock, he would do anything.
Enjolras withered until he came, splattering over his bare chest. And that was that, another tryst in another basement, and now they could go back to pretending to tolerate each others’ presence in front of their friends.
Marius and Cosette’s unfinished basement didn’t have a bathroom, but there was a sink next to the washer and dryer. Enjolras could be at home, watching Captain Janeway risk everyone’s lives for a fantastic story. Enjolras could be upstairs, dealing with whatever situation Cosette’s dad was in and trying to figure out what the hellCombeferre was doing, because seriously, how did he miss out on his best friend being in love with someone else he knew?
But wiping cum off his chest while Grantaire watched was as good a way as any to spend New Year's Eve.
“Wait a few minutes and then come out?” Grantaire said, walking towards the door.
“I’ve been out since I was twelve,” Enjolras deadpanned.
“Funny– oh shit, it’s stuck.”
Grantaire sighed and sat on the basement steps. “The door is stuck.”
“Let me try.”
“Oh, do you not trust my door-opening abilities?” Grantaire rolled his eyes. Enjolras squeezed past him on the stairs, and yup, the door was in fact jammed shut.
“Fuck.” He slumped down against the basement wall. “Think you’ll be able to manage being trapped here with me?”
“Nah, I think I’m going to dig a hole through the floor. Tunnel my way out of here before your piercing gaze kills me.”
“You really can’t stand this.”
“Excuse me for hating myself a little after being used.” Grantaire shook his head, standing up to walk around the basement, and what did that even mean? Enjolras checked his phone– dead, because he hadn’t been charging it often, because he hadn’t been leaving the house, so he couldn’t text Combeferre to save them– not that Combeferre would even be looking at his phone instead of tracking down his mystery man.
So uncomfortably sitting around waiting for someone to find them it was.
“Weather’s nice,” Enjolras offered.
“No it’s not.”
Why did Enjolras even try? “How were your holidays?”
“Oh, you really want to hear about my movie hopping? Gonna lecture me about stealing tickets or something?”
“Hey, fuck coorperations, you deserve to sneak around into whatever poorly-made blockbusters you want.”
Grantaire smiled at that, at least.
After an eternity of sitting in terse silence, Enjolras spoke up again.
“What exactly did I do? Or is it that I’m too idealistic, too militant, too me –”
“It’s not you, it’s me,” Grantaire said, because why not confuse Enjolras with the most clichéd line he could? “You don’t care about me. You can’t.”
“You don’t know who or what I’m capable of caring about.”
“Oh, I do. It’s everything, Enjolras. Every injustice, every lost cause, so why would you even look at me, why would you bother to notice me outside of a screw in the basement?” Grantaire sounded disheartened, and since when did he care this much?
“You don’t want anything more than a screw in a basement,” Enjolras scoffed. “You’ve made that clear. I barely go out, we never have to see each other, so why even keep this up? I enjoy it, but you shouldn’t be sneaking around to fuck someone you hate–”
“I don’t hate you, Enjolras,” Grantaire said, pacing around the room. “Jesus fucking Christ, can’t you tell that I’m in love with you?”
Someone squealed– Cosette, perhaps? Which meant people were listening (hopefully not for too long), which meant that Enjolras and Grantaire weren’t trapped in the stupid basement anymore. If he wanted, Enjolras could sprint away. He didn’t.
“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody,” he could hear Combeferre say from upstairs. He was finally telling whoever it was that he liked them, and since Grantaire could hear him– was it Grantaire? It couldn’t be Grantaire.
“You want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible,” Courfeyrac finished. “When Harry Met Sally. Combeferre–”
Clapping, and cheering, and the squeal wasn’t even for Enjolras and Grantaire after all; it was for Combeferre and Courfeyrac. Enjolras should have seen it coming, honestly, how did he miss out on his two best friends being in love? Well, the same way he evidently missed out on a lot of people being in love.
“You’re what?” Enjolras asked. The door wasn’t jammed anymore, he could get up and go whenever. He stayed, sitting against the wine cellar wall.
“Dude, I thought you knew,” Grantaire said. “Since we met, fuck, why do you think I haven’t been telling people about this?” Enjolras wasn’t exactly sure, but had always thought it had to do with him. “Because letting myself be fucked by the guy I’m in love with, when I know nothing can ever happen, it’s fucking hell –”
“Why can nothing ever happen?” Enjolras asked.
“Because I’m me, and– and fucking look at you, Enjolras.”
“Three, two…” Enjolras could hear chanting from upstairs, and if Grantaire didn’t in fact hate him…
He rose and on the count of one, kissed Grantaire.
Grantaire with his eyes open and mouth agape and fuck, Enjolras wasn’t doing this right at all, and–
Grantaire was kissing him back. Grantaire was kissing him back, and not just because it felt semi-obligatory to kiss whenever they would fuck without feelings (okay, there were definitely lots of feelings there, now that Enjolras thought about it). Grantaire’s lips were warm and soft and Enjolras’s entire body turned to jelly, which seemed intense for a first real kiss, but Enjolras had been going at 100% intensity for his entire life, now wasn’t going to be any different.
“Happy New Year,” Enjolras whispered into Grantaire’s mouth, his hand coming up to brush against Grantaire’s cheek, Grantaire melting against his touch.
Another squeal– Jehan this time. Combeferre and Courfeyrac must be upstairs being cute again, or maybe Bahorel proposed to his comedian girlfriend, or it could be Marius being Marius, anything but all of his friends seeing him kiss Grantaire.
“I told you!” Courfeyrac shrieked as Enjolras and Grantaire jumped apart. Someone had opened the basement door, who knows how long ago. “I knew they were going to get together tonight.” He was practically jumping up and down from the top of the staircase. “So. How did this happen?”
“You said someone was going to get together tonight,” Combeferre corrected. “Someone. Us.”
“Know-it-all,” Courfeyrac smiled, pulling Combeferre in for a kiss, and Enjolras supposed he would have to get used to an inordinate amount of public displays of affection coming from his two best friends. “I still said getting the door unstuck would be a bad idea."
“Are we together?” Enjolras raised an eyebrow.
Grantaire nodded. “If you’ll have me.”
“Oh, we’re going to have the same anniversaries, this is fantastic.” Courfeyrac was bouncing off the walls.
“Glad you got off your couch?” Combeferre asked.
Enjolras glanced up– Courfeyrac and Combeferre were still standing at the top of the staircase, but everyone else had either lost interest or decided that some privacy would be nice– or, if Enjolras knew his friends, hanging just out of reach with their ears pressed to the wall.
Enjolras extended his hand, and Grantaire laced his fingers through. “Are you sure?”
He nodded, and they walked up to rejoin the party.