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One holiday, of many

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Grantaire hits snooze, hard. You'd think it might hit back.

“It's eleven already,” says Enjolras, who has been half-awake since six-thirty and attempting to idle in bed ever since. For most people that wasn't a task to be completed, idling, but for him--

“You've put in eighty hours this week,” Grantaire tells his pillow, and Enjolras. “The people of New York and greater America have declared today a national holiday for all government worker kind. Go back to sleep. We're not getting up until I awaken naturally, so you have at least another year or so.”

“But we could--”

“Sleep,” says Grantaire, then goes back to it.

Eventually Enjolras sleeps, curled around Grantaire, Grantaire curled into him. By the time Grantaire starts to stir again, the sun has climbed high in the sky and there are no more shadows across the bed. Enjolras opens his eyes and feels more refreshed than he has in a long while, with half a mind to go for a good hard jog before the sun starts setting (soon enough, now), only Grantaire is turning to kiss his neck where it tapers into shoulder.

They make love lazily, unhurried. They draw out kisses, let touches linger, pay attention to every favored spot they know. They know a lot. Each knows the other's body better than his own. The soft skin behind Grantaire's left ear, the dip of his lower back, the backs of his knees: places to touch on Grantaire's body that make him wilder. Grantaire knows to vary his open mouth on Enjolras' nipples with hints of teeth, and to draw red lines down his back with scratching, one hand never far from gripping his hair. When Grantaire turns around again, and Enjolras comes into him like that, they mimic the pose they had slept in. Now they are very awake. They revel in each other.

In the shower Grantaire laughs and talks and soaps them both, and Enjolras washes them off and dries them. He's starting to get into the spirit of the holiday now, especially when Grantaire snatches at his towel and runs, towel-less himself, giving Enjolras no choice but to give chase.

Normally such provocations are curtailed by the call to eat and to work, but today is different. He catches Grantaire halfway down the hallway and brings him down and licks Grantaire free of all the water droplets that are on him. Grantaire never stops laughing.

They eat out for breakfast – lunch – quasi-dinner – at the 24-hour diner down the street. It's a classic affair, with a lot of neon on the walls and blue pleather booths. They order everything their hearts desire on the voluminous menu and drink from bottomless coffee-cups.

Grantaire has insisted on a breakfast theme – “Everybody loves breakfast--” and they may have overdone it, but such is the wonder and danger of diners. From behind a heaping plate of golden-brown pancakes and fluffy eggs and sizzling bacon and savory hashbrowns and cheesy grits and the garlic mashed potatoes they'd ordered as a side for some reason, sipping a thick chocolate milkshake, Grantaire grins at Enjolras.

“I feel like we're forgetting something,” he says. Enjolras kicks him delicately under the table. They dig in and don't speak again until the third pancake.

Grantaire's sigh is happy. His fork stabs onto Enjolras' plate to try a portion of his omelet. Then he says, “I can't believe how long it's been since we've done this.” He likes the omelet, and goes back for more. “What do you want to do tonight?”

Enjolras could rattle off any number of destinations, preferred or places they've meant to visit; prepare a list of activities, draft them up a schedule, but – the easy, relaxed look on Grantaire's face, half-dreamy, has been elusive as of late. Close to foreswearing the art world entirely (he says) and starting to mutter about wanting to set all of Tribeca and its “snob” galleries on fire, Grantaire needs the day off as much as Enjolras. They don't need to go to a museum.

“Let's go home,” Enjolras says instead, helping himself to the forgotten plate of french fries at the end of the table. Grantaire's eyebrows are rising, but in the good way, like before he kissed or opened his mouth and wrapped his lips around--

Okay, home. Definitely home. “Watch a movie, or something. We can order in later. Just stay in.” Enjolras cuts his pancake in half decisively, then eats a half. Then he says, “It's been a long time since we did that, too.”

Grantaire's smile holds, spreads. “Deal,” he says. Enjolras pushes his plate across the table to let him finish the omelet. Grantaire wields his fork, but his expression flares a little: “No calls,” he says. “No texts. No emails. No work. No phone.” The fork is balanced on the ceramic, and Grantaire extends a hand, palm up, expectant.

Enjolras blinks back, trying to look innocent, which he hasn't been for some time, but it's the look most effective on Grantaire. “I swear this isn't a work-from-home ploy. Everyone's off, anyway, no one's checking email,” he lies, lightly. But Grantaire is unwavering, and after a moment of détente Enjolras gives over his phone, though it pangs him. Grantaire tucks it into his back pocket.

Grantaire is looking very satisfied, and sets to filling his mouth with sliced strawberries. Enjolras doesn't know whether he wishes there were fresh whipped cream to dip them in or not, for the sake of their fellow diner patrons. He'd be forced to come around to Grantaire's side of the booth.

They finish off as much they can and leave a big tip for the patient waiters and stroll back hand-in-gloved hand, warmer where they touch against the cold. They argue about what recent movie to try to find a viable streaming link to, debating cinematic merits back and forth. They settle on Skyfall at the last, since they were supposed to see it that one night with Jehan and Courfeyrac that fell through, and are sick of not being up to date on Bond.

It's five flights up the stairs to their loft but worth it for the rooftop view of the city skyline, and for the balcony. They had moved into Soho in lower Manhattan when it was just starting to be cool, six years and a century ago, and though they are besieged now by Gucci and Anthropologie and haute coffee, they cling to the place for the view. When it is warm enough they like to fall asleep outside on the lawn furniture or the hammock or wrapped up together in the big wicker swing Grantaire had insisted on. (“Look, a man has dreams--”)

Inside they have high ceilings and brick walls, and they have built up the big industrial space slowly, over the years. A corner studio with lots of light for Grantaire. An office at the other end for Enjolras, long instead of broad, where he can pace, and yell as necessary on Bluetooth at the incompetent staffers underneath him without disrupting Grantaire's work.

A welcoming open living room full of couches and avant-garde chairs, where their friends often gather and sometimes sleep. A pool table in red felt at the center, that Courfeyrac generally commands. The bar at one end hand-built by Grantaire of dark oak. Artwork covers the walls, too little of it Grantaire's, but that is a battle Enjolras has come to know to be unwinnable. Grantaire's paintings are mostly in their bedroom, if they are up at all.

The bedroom is the smallest partition in the loft – only just big enough for the old-fashioned canopy bed from an estate auction (“Dreams, Enjolras. A man must follow his dreams”), the wooden dressers and a desk that is theirs. They have their private spaces; everything in the bedroom is shared. The desk is covered in the detritus of partnership, taxes waiting to be done in the top drawer, concert and opera tickets pinned to the bulletin board, their favorite framed picture from Eponine and Combeferre's wedding, each in his own best man's suit (“Eponine has declared me a man of honor, which means you have to call me that all weekend, in bed”). The bedroom is small because they don't need anything in it except each other.

In the living room, Enjolras begins the lengthy process of digging up a workable link to the movie while Grantaire makes stovetop popcorn in the kitchen. He comes back with a big salty buttery bowlful, snacking as he walks as though they hadn't just raided the diner of all its foodstuffs. Then Grantaire plops down on their favorite couch, an overstuffed futon that folds down easily into a bed, and starts to espouse his excitement for the new Bond and the many merits of Javier Bardem.

Enjolras finds a promising link -- good quality, and the audio matches up with the action, and they won't mind the Russian subtitles underneath --and transfers the play to the big screen overhead. He approaches trying to look his most jealous, but Grantaire is grinning and he licks the salt from his lips, and he puts the popcorn on the coffeetable and reaches up to draw Enjolras down.

“Come on, you know you wouldn't kick him out of our bed, what with the eyes and the accent and--” but Enjolras must kiss all thoughts of Spanish lovers away. Then he sits and Grantaire sprawls out horizontal and puts his head in his lap, and Enjolras cards fingers through his hair, and starts the movie.

It's good. It's really, really good. They watch engrossed and passing the popcorn bowl back and forth. The themes of government security along the usual over-the-top espionage reminds Enjolras that there are many emails piling up and waiting to be checked, but his phone is in Grantaire's pocket and very far away. He focuses on motorcycle chases across rooftops instead.

Grantaire is immediately in favor of the new Q, sitting up and actually leaning in to observe the scene where the hipster tech briefs the jaded spy and gives him spy-tech presents. He expels a breath. “My God. Goddamn. Is it just me or are they totally about to fuck?” He eats more popcorn. “Christ, he's adorable. Look at that pout.”

“I'm partial to 007,” says Enjolras, clearing his throat. He's a man of action; he appreciates its display.

“I know,” says Grantaire. “I'm admiring Q on your behalf. I'm thinking how to play him, later.”

Enjolras starts laughing, and starts getting hard, and considers pausing the film, but Grantaire shakes his head when he reaches to do so (“Later, one must practice patience and yoga, Mr. Bond--”) so they keep watching.

Then Grantaire almost rolls off the futon when Javier Bardem's villain stalks onscreen and attempts to seduce a tied-down Daniel Craig. After that they hit pause.

He tangles his hands in Grantaire's hair as Grantaire takes him in, swallows all of him, with the hunger and enthusiasm of a young MI-6 computer genius bent on proving himself to the agency's most notorious spy and infamous Don Juan.

Enjolras does what James Bond might do in such a situation, which is to hold Grantaire's head at just the right angle, and thrust into his mouth, slow at first, like picking a lock, then with confident surety when Grantaire opens up. His hips settle into a rock and roll and Grantaire can hum and moan and suck all at the same time, a most admirable trait (Enjolras may or may not say this aloud with a crisp British accent)

and they come shuddering together, Grantaire with a hand on his own cock, Enjolras halfway down his throat and spying blue eyes.

They clean up and Grantaire settles back down to use his lap for a pillow. Enjolras drapes a loose arm around him and presses play.

By the end there are tears in Grantaire's eyes. He smooths them across Grantaire's cheekbones with his thumb until they are gone. They curl up closer on the couch.

Finally Enjolras speaks to break the silence. “That was excellent. Aren't you glad it won out over The Hobbit?

It takes Grantaire a while. “Yeah. It's just hard not to react to Dame Judi Dench.” Then, a while after that: “I think this is the longest we've gone without an interruption since, like, forever.”

He can feel his phone burning a hole in Grantaire's pocket, but he won't say so. He thinks about it instead, and it's too true to be debated. His phone is always ringing and lighting up with emails, and Grantaire will take to texting then, and he can't remember the last time they have watched a movie like this, just the two of them.

So Enjolras says, “I'm sorry. I am. We should – we should institute a technology-free zone, sometimes, maybe. Do a throwback to when we were starting out.”

Grantaire's expression is shifting at the idea. His smile overtakes the tear-streaks. “You mean like when we couldn't afford cable and stole internet from the neighbors, and ate mostly macaroni and cheese from blue boxes, and you were a godforsaken intern running a campaign and I was flunking out of art school? You mean like that?”

“For a few hours, a few nights a week,” says Enjolras, sure of it now. “It'll keep us humble. We can pretend like we're in another time entirely.”

Grantaire tilts in to kiss him, eyes open. He pulls back a little to consider Enjolras. “You are many things, my love, but humble is not one of them. Still, I like the time-travel concept. We should get costumes, and props, and--” and they go back to kissing about it.

They decide to have a movie marathon and The Hobbit gets its chance. Midway through, their stomachs are rumbling again and they're full of the restless need to wander an evergreen countryside.

They order Thai food from the latest restaurant to open in the neighborhood and take an intermission while they wait for the food. They go downstairs and outside and cover ten blocks before doubling back. Grantaire puffs merrily on his e-cigarette, and Enjolras keeps their stride brisk, arm-in-arm; they don't pretend that they are dwarves on a quest. Much.

They overtake the delivery man on their way in and climb the stairs to second breakfast, as it were. They resume the movie and eat on the couch, sharing the meal between them in plastic cartons full of spicy noodles and curried vegetables and fried rice and plum sauce to dip their summer rolls in.

Grantaire whines at the cliffhanger finale and starts up tangent about Samwise Gamgee's admirable heroism that leads them into Tolkien considerations for a while but they've grown sleepy with feasting and the double-dose of media. When they go to bed, however, they find that they are not too tired. They've had sex two or three times after a fashion but that isn't their record for a day. Not even close.

In the dark, Grantaire's eyes are a beacon of brightness Enjolras relies on. Grantaire naked against him is their natural state. It's primeval, it's Neanderthal (Grantaire likes to point out that there is growing evidence the Neanderthals were peaceable cave artist-types), it's the foundation of them. They have built upon it, over the course of years. He is with Grantaire and Grantaire is with him, and together they are so much better than apart. Both of them are better.

Enjolras uses his considerable strength to ease Grantaire up and over him. Grantaire covers him like a cloak. When Grantaire understands, which he quickly does, he kisses the side of Enjolras' mouth. His “I love you” is murmured into Enjolras' jawline.

He says it back. He wonders at the time when the words were a hidden thing between them, but they are always wondrous. “It's been a long while for this, too.” When Grantaire says nothing, Enjolras says for them both, “Too long.” Long enough since Grantaire has slid into the cradle of his thighs, since he has asked Grantaire to do that. Sometimes he needs it more than he knows how to ask. He's not very good at asking for anything.

Since it has been so long Grantaire is attentive. He is never not, but there is a look in his eyes similar to when he has had a breakthrough on a painting. He moves with painstaking attention to detail, and with broad, daring strokes. When Grantaire is in him, wide-eyed with it, their breath is intermingled, their bodies' current connected, and it's as though a circuit has been closed. Only lust and love is left between them, everything is bared; there are no masks here. Enjolras puts his head back and his arms and legs around the whole of Grantaire like he can encompass him and takes Grantaire as deep inside him as they can take.

Grantaire cannot stop kissing him. They cannot stop kissing, even when coming, especially then. That is nearly secondary. First is Grantaire's tongue in his mouth, Grantaire filling him up, the concept of completion a palpable thing. Too fleeting, after its peak. But afterward Grantaire trails fingers over every ridge and valley of Enjolras' belly, and keeps his cheek which wants for shaving against Enjolras', and Enjolras does not lose the feeling of being rounded off. That is the secret of how they love. He'll never share it.

“What was our record?” Enjolras asks. “Do you remember?” He knows he does. He still asks.

He can feel Grantaire's lips smirk where they are pressed in his hair. “Seven point five, or eight, depending on how you look at it. The day you got your first big promotion.”

“This was a better day,” says Enjolras, and Grantaire agrees.

Next week they break the record.