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As I Would Not Be a Slave

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"I'd do anything. Black your boots."

The beast Enjolras keeps chained up inside him cracks an eye open at that. Ruthlessly he shoves it down, his breath quickening. "Don't offer that, Grantaire," he says harshly. "Don't abase yourself in front of me." It's an order he'd give on principle, of course. He more than anyone has reason to loathe the very idea of man on his knees before man. But it's also a plea. He has serious matters to attend to tonight, and he hasn't the time or the energy to deal with base instincts he thought he'd locked away long ago.

But Grantaire looks up at him with a wry grin and the gleam of challenge in his eyes. "Why not? You call yourselves the friends of the abaissé, and I've miserably flunked every other way to earn your friendship. Why shouldn't I slide that little bit lower to reach the last avenue to your good graces?" So saying, he slides loose-limbed out of his chair--oh, he's definitely been hitting the bottle tonight--and onto all fours in front of Enjolras. His words are sardonic, but once he's there he looks up at Enjolras as though unsure whether he's joking or serious. To Enjolras' horror, that look sends a bolt of arousal shuddering down his spine.

This has gone far enough. It's the last thing he needs right now. "Because," Enjolras says with steely composure, "you have no idea what you're playing at." His voice is calm, his hands locked into place at his sides; he would grab Grantaire by the hair and spit the words in his face to impress upon him that this isn't funny anymore, if he didn't know exactly which devil had whispered that idea in his ear.

Grantaire's eyes flick downwards and come to rest, for several seconds so excruciatingly pointed that Enjolras can almost hear them ticking away in his head, on the swelling in Enjolras' trousers. Then he looks back up into his face, his gaze at once submissive and defiant, and arches an eyebrow. "Don't I?"

Enjolras recoils. Grantaire, as though even his sense of balance depends on leaning upon Enjolras, sways and falls forward at Enjolras' feet. At once his voice turns tender, supplicating: "Oh, Enjolras, you should have said something. Did you think I'd mind? Here, let me do this for you. In this one little way at least, let me be of some use to you." He draws himself up onto his knees, one hand on Enjolras' thigh.

Every word goes straight to his cock. Breathing hard, struggling to keep his head, Enjolras hisses down at Grantaire, "This isn't of use to me. The very opposite, in fact. Do you think this is simply about lust? That I've been repressing some sordid little penchant for sodomy and just can't contain myself around your charms? Don't flatter yourself, Grantaire. There's a reason I keep my desires on a tight leash. Now get up off your knees before you find out how dangerous those desires really are."

Grantaire bows his head, soaking up the abuse. Guilt writhes in Enjolras' chest; in trying to put a stop to this folly he has inadvertently indulged in it, and every hard word that passes his lips only stokes the fire that has caught within him. And Grantaire is not getting up. On the contrary, he's sinking down, lowering himself slowly and deliberately until his cheek rests on Enjolras' left foot.

"What are you doing," Enjolras spits down at him, furious and terrified of how fragile his grip is on the vestiges of his self-control.

"Blacking your boots," says Grantaire. And he closes his eyes and presses a long, reverent kiss to the toe of Enjolras' shoe.

Enjolras' knees almost buckle under him. It's been years. Years. And when he came back to himself that first and last time and saw what he'd inflicted on another living soul, he swore never again. But Grantaire is mouthing at his boots with an expression almost of rapture, his tongue sliding out wetly to caress the leather, and when Enjolras gathers the presence of mind to try to kick him away, he takes it on the chin--literally--and doggedly returns to his self-appointed task without a murmur of complaint. It's more than compliance, it's a slavish joy in his own degradation, and it's like throwing oil on an open fire. Enjolras' whole mind is consumed in it. He watches, with shudders of heat spreading over his skin, as Grantaire licks the very dust of the streets off his boots. And when Grantaire reaches the sharp corner of the raised heel and tries to clean underneath it with eager lips and tongue, Enjolras, like a horrified third-party spectator to his own actions, watches himself raise his heel just enough to catch Grantaire's lower lip under the corner and grind it cruelly into the floor.

Grantaire cries out; Enjolras ignores it. Let him get a taste of what he's dealing with and see if he still wants it. He doesn't stop until he sees blood on the floor and Grantaire is whimpering with pain. Then he snaps back to himself and pulls his foot away, aghast, and so aroused he feels like he could tear right through the fabric of his trousers.

Grantaire lets out a tiny sob. His lip is split, the inside of it must be torn up and bleeding fiercely, and he's... he's using his tongue and his good lip to try to clean the blood off of Enjolras' boot.

It's too much. Enjolras yanks him away by the hair and hauls him up onto his knees, and backhands him across the face, knuckles cracking against his cheekbone. "What the hell do you think you're playing at?" he demands of Grantaire. "Why are you encouraging this? I'll hurt you. I have hurt you. This is no avenue to my good graces, Grantaire, I despise this part of myself, and I'll probably despise you if you don't have the self-respect to put a stop to it. Go on. Have some sense, for once. Tell me to walk out the door right now and I'll do it, and I'll thank you. I'd do it myself if this weren't the only thing that--the only way I can have--" He breaks off, shame stopping his lips. He can't remember ever being this hard in his life. "Stop me," he whispers.

Grantaire looks him up and down. Swallows blood. Closes his eyes. "Hit me again," he says.

Furious at Grantaire's complicity in his own degradation, Enjolras backhands him across the other cheek, and he lets out a strangled moan. For the first time, Enjolras realizes that Grantaire is hard, too.

"Anything you want," Grantaire says hoarsely. "Anything. Hurt me if you want, fuck me if you want, call me worthless, call me a filthy whore for enjoying it. Just let me be of some use to you."

Enjolras gives in. He hates himself for it. But he'd asked Grantaire to stop him, and instead Grantaire gave him permission--practically invited him--and now he's tumbling right over the edge of the precipice. "You do realize that's pathetic," he sneers, curling his fingers in Grantaire's hair and twisting, not even sure anymore how much is truth and how much is performance. "You've sunk so low that you think this is all you're good for, don't you?"

"Yes," Grantaire breathes, his face contorted in ecstasies of pain, "yes, because it's true."

"You want to be used."


"You'd beg for it, because you aren't sure you're worthy even of that." Enjolras cuts off Grantaire's reply by tightening his hand in his hair, pulling his head back until his bared throat can only work soundlessly up and down. "Go on then. Beg."




Enjolras throws him to the floor by his hair, and Grantaire curls in on himself, stifling a sob. Enjolras kicks him in the ribs from behind, the words rushing out of his mouth in a flood. "Go on, get to it, I know you're a wine-soaked degenerate and I've seen the way you look at me, so loosen your tongue and tell me. Let me in on one of your filthy fantasies. Ask me to make it come true."

Grantaire mumbles something indistinguishable into the floor. Enjolras yanks him up by the back of his cravat. "I can't hear you," he says coldly, certain that he'd be frightening himself right now if he had any sense left to be frightened. He forces his thumb into Grantaire's mouth and drags it roughly over the inside of his tattered lip. It comes out bloodied.

Grantaire seems to have forgotten the erection tenting Enjolras' trousers, forgotten that this entire travesty is for Enjolras' gratification. He looks ashamed, scared, almost shy. "I... I've dreamed of pleasuring you," he mumbles. "With my mouth." He averts his eyes and flinches as though expecting a blow.

Instead Enjolras grips him under the chin and forces him to meet his eyes. "Ask me nicely," he says, barely keeping his voice from shaking with anticipation now that he knows what's coming.

Grantaire takes a deep breath and somehow manages to look Enjolras in the eye as he whispers, "Please, Enjolras. Please let me suck your cock."


"Please let me suck your cock--I--oh God, Enjolras, I want to suck you off, I want to let you fuck my mouth, I want you to spend on my face or spend down my throat and make me swallow every drop, I want to taste you, I want to pleasure you, I... please, Enjolras, just this once."

Enjolras almost climaxes then and there. He manages to keep himself under control, barely, and nods. "Very well. Hands at your sides. Stay on your knees." He unbuttons the fall of his trousers, and finally, finally, his aching erection springs free. Grantaire presses a reverent kiss to the very tip of it, and a shudder runs through Enjolras' entire body.

"Go on, then."

Slowly, carefully, looking like he's trying to commit each moment to memory for all eternity, Grantaire takes Enjolras' cock inch by inch into his mouth. His mouth is warm, wet with spit and probably with blood, and seems to pulse and clutch at his heated flesh. Deeper, deeper, and there's still almost enough room for Enjolras to wrap his hand around the base when Grantaire chokes and pulls back. Enjolras, startled into a moan by the spasming of Grantaire's throat, barely gives him time to recover before seizing fistfuls of his hair and holding his head in place as he thrusts into his mouth. He has to distract himself somehow or he'll come immediately, so he starts to talk: "You're loving this, aren't you? Being debased. You think you deserve it. That you're lucky to get it. You like the abuse. The more I hurt you--the more you like it--" He forces himself deeper, ignoring--no, relishing--the way Grantaire's throat chokes and gags and convulses around the head of his cock. As if to confirm his words, Grantaire somehow manages to relax under the onslaught, his mouth going slack, and if one of Grantaire's hands weren't stealing furtively into his trousers to stroke himself, Enjolras might worry he's passing out for lack of air. He's not, though, and Enjolras groans as he feels the tip of his cock sliding against the silken heat at the back of Grantaire's throat. "And you know I--despise you sometimes--" he continues, "with your drinking, and whoring, and gambling, and idling, and spewing bile--without even understanding--what you're poisoning--" Grantaire's lips are barely an inch from the curls at the base of Enjolras' cock, and Enjolras can't resist thrusting, driving himself even deeper into Grantaire's mouth until he's fully buried inside him, pulling back just to do it again.

"But the worst part," he gasps as Grantaire chokes back an inhuman keening noise that vibrates up through Enjolras' groin, "the worst part is," and oh, he's can't hold it back much longer, "that I'm just telling you... what you want to hear." He thrusts himself in all the way to the hilt, holds himself there with both hands wrapped around Grantaire's neck, knows Grantaire's split lip is smearing blood all over the base of his cock. "All the things you don't believe," he chokes out, "and the one thing I'll never forgive you for--" But then he's over the edge, he's climaxing, he's so far down Grantaire's throat that he can feel his own hands tightening around it, and when he pulls back he's still spending, flooding Grantaire's mouth with his seed. Grantaire, true to his word, swallows every drop.

Enjolras' knees finally give way and he buckles down to the floor next to Grantaire. He feels hollow, even as the aftershocks race through him. Grantaire is gulping down desperate lungfuls of air and still frantically stroking himself. They are both kneeling on the floor, completely undone.

Enjolras realizes he'd been in the middle of a sentence, and breathes out a long sigh, taking a moment to collect himself before finishing it. "All those things you don't believe," he repeats softly, "and the one thing I'll never forgive you for is, you wouldn't believe me if I told you that you were worth more than you give yourself credit for." He reaches for Grantaire's cock, and Grantaire spends instantly in his hand with a gasp.

"Because it's not true," Enjolras continues, guilt beginning to gnaw at his insides. "You don't deserve any of it. I..." He looks at Grantaire, who is bruised and bleeding and staring at him with glazed, uncomprehending eyes. "Grantaire, I'm so sorry."

"What for?" Grantaire says thickly.

"All of this."

Grantaire shrugs. Coughs. Blinks a few times and runs his hands over his face like a man jerking out of sleep. "Asked you to, didn't I? You get off on dealing it out, I get off on taking it, works for me."

"Grantaire. Don't tell me you did all of this because you think you deserve it."

"Pft. Don't forget I was just as turned on as you were," Grantaire says evasively. He stretches, and Enjolras, seized by a sudden impulse, wraps an arm around his shoulders. Grantaire stares as though he's never witnessed such a gesture before in his life.

"Being turned on by something and believing it are two very separate things," says Enjolras. "I... don't think I could live with myself otherwise."

"Hmph, well, you're the expert on believing, I defer to your wisdom. Just try not to get turned on by this particular thing, O Annihilator of Man's Dominion Over Man, until I've had a few days to heal up."

Enjolras, very gently, cups Grantaire's face in his hand. "We're never doing this again. I'm never inflicting this on anyone again. Even this time was a mistake."

Grantaire buttons himself back into his trousers and steals a kiss on the palm of Enjolras' hand. "If you say so." He stands up, only a little bit unsteadily, and turns to the door. "All the same, if you change your mind..."