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Go On and Take It Off

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If you asked any of Cosette’s friends to use one word to describe her, that word would be “perfect.” She seemed to have her act together, she was drop dead gorgeous, and she always had the perfect retort. Cosette would sometimes get sick of it, and every time Marius said she was perfect she would respond, “I’m just human.” (It took her a while but she finally managed to get him to stop saying it as often.)

For all of her supposed perfection, Cosette had one weakness, and that weakness was for Groupon.

Cosette loved the website. She had Groupons for pedicures and manicures, stone massages and a keratin treatment, and that was only in the folder marked beauty. She had taken a 7am boot camp and a French cooking class; she had also gone bungee jumping (though she kept that a secret from her Papa). When she was bored, she would Groupon; when she was upset she would Groupon; on this particular occasion she was tipsy (okay, drunk) Grouponing.

She had met up with Grantaire because she had a Groupon for half off margaritas at a local restaurant. Grantaire appreciated the invite, and as thanks paid for their cab to the Musain where they continued their fiesta by doing tequila shots. They were ended their night at a burrito place that Grantaire had asked (bullied) Marius to take them too. It was while hanging with her boy friend and her boyfriend that she realized she missed her girl friends. While Marius tried to keep Grantaire from doing a shot of super XXX hot sauce, Cosette opened the Groupon app on her phone and started looking for things that would make for a fun girls’ night out.

The next morning when she woke up blurry and hung over, she checked her phone and saw that she had several new email notifications. That was how Cosette found out that she had bought a Groupon for half off tickets and a free drink for an all male review.

She sent an enquiring message to Musichetta, who she had assumed would not have any issues with the planned girls’ night out venue (and if Musichetta’s response of HELL YESSSSS!!! was any indication, Cosette had been right.) She posed the question to Eponine as a hypothetical, and when the answer she got back was of hypothetical disinterest she got craftier.

Message from: Cosette

Why not ☹????

Sent 10:04 AM

Message from: Cosette

Do you have someone who would be jealous? Maybe someone you’re keeping secret? Who wears glasses? (Wagging my eyebrows at you Courfeyrac style)

Sent 10:06 AM

(“That bitch,” Eponine muttered at her phone. When Combeferre sleepily mumbled what she responded, “nothing,” before snuggling back into his side.)

Message from: Eponine

Fine, I’ll be there

Sent 10:07 AM

This was how Cosette ended up picking Musichetta and Eponine up for a night out on the town.

Musichetta was more than happy to be there. In fact it had worried Joly how excited she seemed, to the point where she not only had the standard hand sanitizer he always made her carry, but a floral shawl that only Jehan could love. Eponine seemed less than thrilled and had her arms crossed in the back seat, occasionally looking at her phone with a smile before quickly typing out a response. Cosette was, personally, happy to be having a girls’ night where they weren’t in their pajamas and asleep by midnight. Yes, that was all good and fun, but she wanted a proper night out.

As they waited outside of the club, Eponine’s body language became more closed off. Musichetta put an arm around her shoulders and squeezed gently, “Loosen up girly. This is supposed to be fun. Just imagine all those lovely men dancing.”

“I see that every night at work, and it’s not lovely. It’s just embarrassing.” Eponine muttered darkly, glaring at Cosette.

Cosette deflected the glare like a pro, standing on tiptoes to see if the doors were open yet. “Don’t be a spoil sport. Besides those men are drunk amateurs. These men are professionals.”

“So we’re secretly going to the ballet?”

“Oh, look, the line is moving!” Musichetta squealed, jumping up and down excitedly. She dragged Eponine along and Cosette followed, determining that she will have to give Eponine her free drink.

In fact, judging by Eponine’s response to the ticket taker’s oil-slicked body and flirty nature, she might just have to buy Eponine a bucket of alcohol.

“I never would’ve guessed you’d be so uptight about all this,” Cosette remarked, gesturing around the red and zebra print room as they followed their spandex-clad host to their table for night.

Eponine shrugged, scowling at a group of happily laughing bachelorette partygoers. “Excuse me if the idea of having some guy I don’t know, who probably has some totally depressing life, grinding against me while I put dollar bills in his g-string is unappealing.”

“Please, it’s not like they force you to buy a private dance.” Musichetta said sagely. “In fact, they would prefer someone who likes it. It’s like if a kid is playing with a toy, and another kid sees that they are having fun, then that kid will also want that toy.”

“You know a lot about this.”

“I used to date a guy,” Musichetta responded vaguely before ordering a drink.

Cosette and Eponine shared a look that roughly translated to We need to know more before ordering their own.

The show didn’t actually start until they were halfway through the pitcher of mojitos that Cosette ordered for the table. The lights went down and voice informed them that flash photography was not allowed, but was that a bad thing? “Live in the now ladies,” it crooned. “And remember ladies: you can look, but you cannot touch. But I think I see a lot of law breakers in the building.”

This line brought a loud cheer from the crowd, but Eponine only snorted. When Cosette and Musichetta sent her questioning looks she responded, “That line is from Magic Mike.”

“Wait, you don’t like male strippers but you watched a whole movie about male strippers?” Musichetta asked.

Eponine started to turn red, muttering into her glass, “I don’t have to explain my life choices to you.” When they continued to look at her in disbelief, she said, “Look to the stage, I’m not what you paid for tonight.”

They watched as a cop put an audience member under arrest for sexiness. They watched as a professor stripped down to nothing but his tie and a thong. Musichetta did more than watch with President Abraham Lincoln, whose clothes had to be taken off to preserve “Truth, justice, and the American Way.” When she stepped down from the stage, she took a wad of ones out of her bra, “Apparently I’m a good assistant.”

“Alright, ladies, our next act comes to us from Westeros. He’s a wild man whose been kissed by fire—give a big welcome to the Lord of Sexy.“

“Jesus, this place just steals ideas left and right.”

Musichetta put a finger to Eponine’s lips. “Shush, I wanna see if he’s naturally kissed by fire.”

The spotlight fell on a tall man in a fur cape standing with his back to audience, shaking his hips to a techno remix of the main theme for Game of Thrones. He started removing the cape and with a flourish threw it to the audience, leaving nothing but a fur loincloth and a freckled back. Musichetta and Cosette cheered wildly while Eponine managed to muster polite applause. They all stopped as soon as the Lord of Sexy spins around.

“Please tell me that I have actually blacked out, and this is a dream,” Eponine said, her eyes going wide and unable to look away from the stage.

“Then this is the weirdest shared dream ever,” Cosette responded, also unable to look away.

“Whatever. Go Feuilly! Shake that money maker!” Musichetta yelled, throwing a bunch of singles on the stage.

At the mention of his name, Feuilly looked towards their table and seemed to go pale, stopping mid pelvic thrust. He made eye contact with each of them before nodding to himself, as if resolving his own personal conflict. He continued to pelvic thrust his way down stage and grabbed a very enthusiastic blonde, dragging her on stage, picking her up and holding her with one arm as he starts to slide down her body.

“Oh. My. God.” Eponine said, covering her eyes with her hands. “What is happening with my life? Tell me when this is over.”

“I didn’t realize Feuilly had those type of,” Cosette pauses when Feuilly does something particularly obscene with his hips. “Moves,” she manages to choke out.

Musichetta continued throwing singles, obviously not sharing the same feelings as Cosette and Eponine. “Come on, ladies, this is supposed to be fun!” She whooped when Feuilly picked the blonde up and wrapped her legs around his waist. “Do you think he can teach some of these moves to the boys?”

“You have no shame!” Eponine hissed, removing her hands for a moment to glare at Musichetta before realizing to do so she would also have to see the stage. She immediately hid behind her hand again.

Cosette patted her on the back while throwing a few singles on the stage, deciding to get into the spirit of things. Musichetta was right; this was supposed to be fun.

When Feuilly was done he picked up his fur cape with a flourish, bowed to cheers and yells. Eponine had not moved from her position since the start of his dance. She, in fact, refused to remove her hands from her eyes until the very last dance, when she heard Musichetta squeal and saw Feuilly dressed (if lack of clothing counted as dressed) as Hawkeye, pelvic thrusting in unison with the rest of the Avengers. Feuilly again tried (and failed) not to look their way, but did send Captain America over to them after hearing Musichetta yell for a dance. (She actually yelled, “Come Captain my America,” which didn’t make much sense to him, but he had learned that for the most part the audience managed to never make sense this late in the night.)

Musichetta started fanning herself while waiting for the room to empty out after the show was over. “Cosette, that was the best idea you’ve ever had.”

“Is it over?” Eponine asked, still unwilling to move her hands.

Cosette handed her the remainder of her drink. “It’s over.”

“Good,” she replied, polishing the drink off. “I am telling Joly and Bossuet about your behavior here tonight, young lady.”

“No, you’re not. If you do you’re walking home,” Musichetta threatened breezily. “Do you want to wait for Feuilly in here or outside?”

They bickered for a few moments about whether waiting was actually a good idea before Musichetta finally won (it all came down to the fact that Musichetta had driven them here, and Eponine swore that as soon as she could she was buying a car that didn’t die every thousand miles).

They waited outside for a while before Feuilly finally walked out, smoking a cigarette. He saw them and looked as if he was debating ignoring them and running but finally decided against it, giving them a little wave and walking over to them. He got out his pack and offered it to a still distraught looking Eponine.

“I’m too emotionally scarred to smoke,” she said, while shaking her head.

Feuilly just shrugged in response and put the pack back pocket.

“You have some moves!” Musichetta exclaimed excitedly. She put an arm around his waist and bumped her hip against his. “Do you think you could show my boys some? Obviously not anything too taxing for Bossuet, but Joly is surprisingly flexible.”

Feuilly frowned at her. “I’m not teaching your boyfriends how to please you in bed.”

Musichetta barked out a laugh. “Oh honey, they don’t need help with that. I just thought it might add some fun.”

“Please tell me you don’t want me to teach Pontmercy too?” Feuilly asked in exasperation.

Cosette turned a shade of pink. “I thought Courfeyrac said you quit, uh, dancing.”

Feuilly let out a puff of smoke. “That’s what I told him because I was sick of him asking why they would hire me over him.” The mere memory made him roll his eyes. “The money is pretty awesome though, and cigarettes are expensive.”

“I can never, ever bum a cigarette off you again,” Eponine groaned.

“Then why do you have all those other jobs?” Cosette asked, trying to focus on anything but the idea of Feuilly teaching Marius, Joly and Bossuet dance moves.

Feuilly just gave another shrug in response. “This is only part time work. Besides, who wants Lord of Sexy on their resume?”

“Darling, we have to figure out a better name for you.” Musichetta said. “I already started making a mental list.”

“It’s only because this wasn’t my act. The manager veto’d my original idea.”

“Which was?”

“I would have been The Big Pole. My outfit would have been a take off the traditional western Kraków folk costume.” Feuilly sounded almost bitter as he added, “There would have been Polka music.”

Cosette patted his shoulder sympathetically while Musichetta shook her head. “Only you would find Poland sexy.”

“Does Joly know you’re here?” Feuilly asked.

“Oh no, he’d make me bathe in bleach,” she responded cheerily. “Then he would find you and make you do the same.”

“This is too much,” Eponine whined. “Can we just go home now?”

“Yeah, I gotta go. I’ve got a late shift.” He gave Musichetta and Cosette quick hugs. When he moved towards Eponine she just offered a hand, which he shook.

“She’ll be better by tomorrow,” Cosette whispered, before he walked off.

As they walked to the car Eponine said, “We are never talking about this again.”

“Why not?” Musichetta asked, sounding genuinely confused.

“I agree.” Cosette added quickly. “It was fun but maybe for Feuilly’s sake we should just not mention it. Ever.”

“Prudes,” Musichetta replied. She put her arms around both girls’ shoulders and gave a little squeeze. “We don’t have to say anything else after this, but I feel like it should be said: Best. Girls’ night. Ever.” She immediately dropped her arms when Captain America strolled out, starting a conversation about how she was an excellent audience member.

“If it’s not ice cream and booze next time I’m never talking to you again,” Eponine whispered to Cosette as soon as Musichetta started talking about wanting to teach some of the Captain’s moves to her boyfriends.