His second date with Grantaire had gone so well that really, Enjolras should have known that something would go wrong eventually. He also should have guessed that the something would come in the form of Courfeyrac.
“If you don't tell me who you're texting this instant I will be forced to take drastic action,” the curly-haired brunette warned from where he was perched on the arm of the sofa.
“What kind of action will that be then Courf?” Enjolras asked without any real curiosity, not bothering to look up from his phone.
“I don't know yet,” his friend conceded, “but it'll be drastic.”
Enjolras only raised an eyebrow at his friend before tucking his phone back into his pocket. The angle was a little awkward because he was still sitting on the sofa, but he wasn't going to risk leaving his phone anywhere Courf could reach it, that was something learned from experience.
“Oh come on,” Courfeyrac sighed, dramatically slumping down on to the sofa next to Enjolras, “What's with all the secrecy?” A thought seemed to occur to him at that moment, “Unless it's a guy. Enjolras are you texting a guy?” he sounded far too excited.
“Honestly Courfeyrac, why are you suddenly so interested in who I'm texting?”
“Because, you haven't stopped texting pretty much all weekend,” and Courf's eyes are alight with excitement, “Practically every time I see you you're smiling down at your phone. You must really like him,” and there's a sudden seriousness in the young man's voice.
“I do,” Enjolras conceded, unable to hide his smile. Since meeting Grantaire even the thought of him is enough to make Enjolras smile.
“I'm happy for you Enj, really,” and then the seriousness is replaced again by uncontrollable excitement, “Can you tell me about him or is he like a super-secret-boyfriend?”
“He's not my boyfriend, we've been on two dates,” Enjolras rolled his eyes.
It was true, it had only been two dates but they had been texting constantly, and he'd seen him at the cafe on Thursday and Friday. Enjolras was planning on asking Grantaire how he’d feel about making things more official, as in ‘officially’ in a relationship, can’t date other people, calling each other pet names and being disgustingly cute. Because more and more Enjolras couldn’t help but wanting all of that cliche boyfriend stuff. It was new and interesting territory for him.
“So you've already been on dates? Why didn't you tell me?”
“Because, I wasn't even sure there was anything to tell,” Enjolras shrugged, trying to get back to his essay notes.
“And now?” Courfeyrac was never one to give up so easily.
“And now I'm busy Courf,” Enjolras didn't mean to be so short with his friend, but he really was busy and while part of him did want to sit and talk about Grantaire, another part of him just wanted to keep the cynical artist to himself.
“I will find out you know,” Courfeyrac shrugged, “one way or another.”
And honestly, Enjolras should have known then that this was going to end badly.
It really started that night, when nearly all of his friends decided to pile into his and Combeferre's place for movie night. Normally Enjolras could avoid movie night because it was usually hosted by Courfeyrac and Marius, but Marius was on a date.
“It's my noble sacrifice as his roommate to give him the apartment tonight, because that kid really needs to get laid,” Courfeyrac said by way of an explanation.
Enjolras wasn't exactly thrilled at the idea of playing host to the extra seven students for the night, but Combeferre gave him that look that said 'they're your friends Enjolras, be nice' and he'd had to relent.
Still, when he woke up in the morning to find Jehan and Courfeyrac snuggling in an armchair, Joly, Bossuet and Musichetta entangled in a pile on the floor and Feuilly and Bahorel taking up one whole sofa each, he couldn't help but think how innocent they all looked when they were sleeping. He said as much to Combeferre when he joined his roommate in the kitchen.
He was a little surprised when he got back from his shower to find all of his friends awake and grumbling in the kitchen. It usually took much more fanfare to get them all up in the mornings.
“I'm heading out,” he called from the front door, pulling his shoes and coat on.
“Wait!” Courfeyrac called, “You're going to that new coffee shop right?”
“It's not actually new,” Enjolras frowned.
“But there's coffee yes?” Courfeyrac asked, like he was talking to a small child.
“I'm not bringing you all back coffee,” Enjolras rolled his eyes, “I'm heading to the library after that, before my afternoon lecture.”
“No you idiot, we're coming with.”
Enjolras could only gape. He was panicking a little. He hadn't wanted Grantaire to meet his friends yet, and certainly not this way. God, not all at once. This was a nightmare.
He was very aware that his friends could be a little...intense, and he didn't want them to scare Grantaire away. And yes, maybe a small part of him just wasn't ready to share, but who could begrudge him that?
“No, that's fine, honestly. I was joking, I don't mind bringing back the coffee,” he was desperate. He locked eyes with Combeferre, silently pleading with him to help. But his oldest friend merely raised an eyebrow and smiled. Traitor.
“You're acting a little strange Enjolras,” Joly frowned from where he was pulling on his own coat, “Are you feeling well?”
“I'm feeling fine,” Enjolras sighed, “I'm just not sure why you all have to come with me is all.”
“We're out of coffee,” Combeferre shrugged.
“No we're not,” Enjolras frowned. They never ran out of coffee. But from the look Combeferre gave him, it wasn't entirely an accident. Enjolras frowned at his friend, why the elaborate ruse to force him into introducing Grantaire to his friends? Because that was surely the plan here.
And it worked, because there was no logical reason he could come up with to keep his friends away from the cafe. He only had time to text Grantaire a brief warning before they were out of the apartment and on their way.
He still hadn't received a reply from Grantaire by the time they arrived. Luckily he managed to usher his friends to a few tables before they tried to approach the counter. He gave Combeferre a pointed glare before hurrying over to the counter himself.
The little blackboard had yet another message that made Enjolras have to work to keep his face straight, and the drawing had changed. He looked at Grantaire's handwriting for a second before he read the words.
'Today your barista is:
A little tired actually, thank you for asking.
For your drink today I recommend:
You choose your own drink because you're an independent person-of-varying-gender-identity who don't need no man (to tell you what coffee to order)'
The accompanying drawing was a caricature of a little androgynous person with a large coffee in their hands. He really had to work hard to keep his expression neutral and void of the amusement he felt.
“Are people still telling you you're funny?” He asked with a little feigned grimace when he leaned against the counter to talk to Grantaire. But when the curly-haired man looked across at him with a grin he couldn't fight his own smile.
“Are you going to comment on my sense of humour every time you come in here?”
“Only until you start being funny,” Enjolras shrugs a little but the joking tone in his voice gives him away.
“Screw you, I’m hilarious,” but he was grinning too widely for Enjolras to take it as a reprimand. And then they were both laughing lightly, still smiling.
“I should warn you about my friends,” Enjolras frowns slightly, sparing a quick glance for the ruckus that his friends were causing at the tables they'd pushed together.
“I'm sure they can't be that bad,” Grantaire shakes his head, the expression on his face is fond. Enjolras wants to kiss him again.
“Oh no, they're definitely worse,” Enjolras chuckles.
And then Courf is skidding to a halt next to him.
“Okay, I know what everyone wants,” he smiles, but then it falters, “Shit, I've forgotten again. Combeferre!” he calls, “Can you just text it to me?”
Enjolras turns back to Grantaire to give him a pointed look that screams 'see, what did I tell you?', Grantaire chuckles back at him.
“Why hello there,” Courfeyrac smiles, noticing Grantaire for the first time, “It's a pleasure, I’m sure.”
“Courf. No,” Enjolras warns his friend, glaring hard.
“What?” Courfeyrac asks, trying for innocent. And Grantaire is trying very hard to suppress his laughter.
“And you can shut up as well,” Enjolras turns to the barista, but his glare loses its edge as he looks into the blue eyes partially obscured by curly black hair.
Courfeyrac is looking between them, his confusion turning into understanding into amazement and giddy excitement. And then Combeferre is there with a scrap of paper in his hand and a knowing smile.
“Is that-?” Grantaire asks gesturing to the paper in 'Ferre's hand. Combeferre nods and hands it over.
“So, you would be the endearingly funny, yet sarcastic and cynical artist then?” Combeferre asks as Grantaire turns to start making the drinks.
“'Ferre!” Enjolras hisses, a blush creeping onto his face.
“Endearingly funny? Really?” And he looks far too amused at Enjolras' obvious discomfort.
“That's not- He's misquoting me,” Enjolras can feel the blush burning his cheeks.
“Somehow I don't quite believe you,” Grantaire chuckles, “And now you can't deny how utterly hilarious you find my sense of humour.”
Courfeyrac is watching the proceedings with the look of child who's Christmas has come early, while simultaneously tapping his fingers rapidly on the screen of his phone.
“Yeah well, clearly my higher brain function isn't quite working,” Enjolras mutters, earning another laugh.
Neither boy has noticed the small crowd they've attracted, thanks to Courfeyrac's excited texts, that also went unnoticed. But when Enjolras does notice the small audience he glares at them harshly.
“I feel like I'm missing something,” Bossuet frowns.
“It appears our fearless leader has been holding out on us,” Courfeyrac grins.
“Who's your friend Enj?” Jehan asks with his usual politeness.
“Uh, this is Grantaire,” Enjolras really just wants the ground to swallow him whole.
“Pleasure to finally meet all of you,” Grantaire smiles brightly at them as he places another cup down on the counter, “I've heard so much about you.”
“All of it lies I'm sure,” Courfeyrac smirks.
“You must be Courfeyrac right?” Grantaire asks with a smirk of his own, “Perpetual jokester with the almost preternatural ability to make friends with anyone? And you’re Combeferre, a better friend than any of them probably deserve and the person you definitely want by your side in a crisis?” he looks towards the others then, indicating them as he mentions them.
“Bossuet, unluckiest guy you’ll ever meet but also the strongest and most cheerful, with another third of his happy relationship Joly, the doctor-in-training who cares about his friends to such extremes. Not forgetting Musichetta, la hermosa señorita que mantiene a estos dos chicos en su sano juicio y con conexión a tierra. De hecho, mantiene todos estos chicos de hacer demasiado, sin duda la más ruda de todos vosotros.” Enjolras can’t help but bite his lip at the sudden burst of rapid spanish, unbearably turned on and more desperate than ever to kiss Grantaire silly.
“Jehan the poet extraordinaire with the fiercest protective streak who can match Bahorel in a fight. Bahorel who is of course smarter than he thinks he is and always willing to go to bat for his friends, especially if it means breaking some idiot’s face. Last, but certainly not least, would be Feuilly, the hard working autodidact I’m more than half convinced Enjolras is not so secretly in love with. But well, from what I’ve heard I can hardly blame him.”
While he was talking he was still making drinks, so by the time he was done he was just putting down the last cup, carefully arranged on a tray. Enjolras couldn’t help but notice his friend’s surprised, impressed and amused expressions and felt a flare of pride for this amazing artist. There was no way he wasn’t going to make this beautiful man his.
“Did I get it all right? I mean, like I said, I have heard a lot about all of you, it’s not hard to make an educated guess as to who’s who, but if I got anyone wrong just lemme know,” Grantaire smiles, but Enjolras can see the uncertainty and slight panic there. If he had to guess he’d say this was one of those instances where R spoke before really thinking, or rather, spoke as he was thinking.
“No, you got every one,” Enjolras beamed. He didn’t even mind that Grantaire had basically deduced and parroted what he admired about each of his friends.
“I like you,” Bahorel declares with the kind of decisiveness he tends to say everything with. It leads to agreements and enthusiastic greetings. Grantaire is smiling and laughing, looking more relaxed, but still casting nervous glances at Enjolras every few minutes.
They’re inevitably broken up by other customers coming in and needing to be served. And Enjolras knows as soon as he reaches the tables with his friends he’s going to be mobbed, he’s not eager for that in all honesty, so he lingers as long as he can in Grantaire’s general area. Until the man himself shoos him away.