Enjolras is going to kill Courfeyrac.
Not really, of course--it is, after all, Courf’s twenty third birthday, and it’s very unkind to kill one of your best friends on their twenty third birthday. But Enjolras is seriously going to glare at Courfeyrac resentfully whenever nobody’s looking, because this is fucking ridiculous.
Because Courfeyrac demanded a Pirate cruise for his birthday.
Because Jehan, enabler that they are, booked one for him and for all of les Amis . (Enjolras is going to kill Jehan.)
Because Courfeyrac, delighted by the festivities and by turning twenty three, demanded not only that everyone attend, but that they “dress appropriately,” to boot.
Because Jehan, knowing Enjolras all too well, arrived ready to thwart all of his plans with an extra pirate hat tucked under their arm and a shit-eating grin on their face.
Enjolras doesn’t even feel like a pirate; he feels like… well, exactly what he is: Courf’s awkward, sober friend in a cheap party hat with little to no conversation skills applicable to this situation and absolutely no idea how to deal with the way-too-attractive fucking fake pirate that keeps embarrassing him in front of people he’d really like to maintain at least a little respect from, thanks much.
“What say you, blondie?”
The mass of drunken pirates-for-the-night have shambled his way once more, lead by--
Lead by the pirate who had introduced himself as le Grand R, à votre service, with a wink in Enjolras’s mortified direction. Who had removed his shirt roughly ten minutes into the cruise to Courfeyrac’s blatant (and Enjolras’s hopefully-a-little-more-subtle) delight, revealing muscles and tattoos and a kind of wonderful bulk to him to go along with his ruggedly attractive face, and God, Enjolras could have sworn that pirates weren’t really his type just yesterday, and yet-
“Sorry, I-” Enjolras can feel his cheeks heat, can hear Marius’s friend Éponine snickering, and clears his throat. “What?”
“What say you, blondie, to a rebellion?” He’s smirking, staring Enjolras down with those dark eyes of his, and Enjolras isn’t quite sure if somebody--Courf, maybe, he’s so drunk--told him to say that, or if it’s just a part of the script, but it’s too much, it’s all too much, it’s--
Enjolras straightens up, shoves his hands in his pockets, narrows his eyes, hopes it’s enough. “I don’t say anything to mockery, as a matter of fact.”
The deck is so quiet, all of a sudden--was that his doing?
Shit, it’s Courfeyrac’s fucking birthday.
He needs to be somewhere else right now. This isn’t working.
Enjolras takes his leave--God knows how, because his brain isn’t really connected to anything, right now, but he does, and he finds himself sitting in some corner at the front of the boat, pressed up against the shadows and pressed into a gap in the notably-historically-inaccurate metal sheeting. It’s not the best spot for hiding from all of one’s friends, but it’s dark out, and they’re all drunk, anyways.
At least the water is beautiful.
Actually, the night is pretty beautiful, too--warm and clear, hardly any breeze. Enjolras brought a jacket, and tied it around his waist--which is very practical and deserves nowhere near as much ridicule as Courf seems to believe--before they left the dock, but he doesn’t need it at all.
Which he should have realized earlier, maybe--after all, if R can be shirtless, Enjolras hardly needs a jacket.
He shouldn’t be thinking about R.
He doesn’t want to be thinking about any pirates, actually, of any kind, hot or otherwise. (Though he is, for the record, hot.)
Enjolras just wishes that he could meet anybody in, like, a normal setting. Maybe at a coffee shop, or maybe because they’re in a class together, or maybe because they have a mutual friend. Not a fucking pirate ship.
Upon second thought, it’s not like Enjolras has a particularly large pool of “people he likes very much” to analyze.
Upon further thought still, it’s not like Enjolras has a particularly large pool of “people who like him very much,” either, discounting his friends, who are wonderful, really, truly amazing, just…
Just not really right now.
Enjolras hears Bossuet let out a whoop on the other side of the boat, and then the voice of the other, not-R pirate--Bahorel, maybe? Something like that, and then--
Enjolras may or may not let out the slightest, most dignified, must justified squeak. Because R is standing above him, so close it must have been an accident, still shirtless, a cigarette halfway to his lips and still unlit, staring at Enjolras. “Hello,” Enjolras manages, trying not to stare back.
R shakes his head, blinks a few times in the dim light spilling from the cabin windows. “What are you doing here?”
“I-” Oh, if only Enjolras had an answer that wasn’t ridiculously embarrassing. He bristles. “I could ask you the same thing.”
R sighs, seems to drop some facade, rubs across his face. “I’m just- I know I’m working, and I know it’s your friend’s party, but I- I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, and it’s late, and I just need a few minutes, you know? And a cigarette. Please don’t tell my boss.”
Enjolras very nearly starts up on his workers-ought-to-have-enough-rights-as-to-not-be-overworked-to-this-extent-in-the-first-place-and-also-I-am-no-rat spiel, but he’s tired too, and it doesn’t quite seem appropriate, right now, so he nods mutely, scooches over to make a little room, pats the deck beside him.
Which was a very bad idea, because R smiles a wonderfully charming, beautiful, grateful smile, and settles down, and there really isn’t all that much room, which means Enjolras can feel where they touch at the knee and arm and ankle, and R is still shirtless, what the hell.
But he can deal. R needs a break. Enjolras can deal.
“So, Blondie. Apollo,” R begins, and okay, no, Enjolras, actually, cannot deal.
Enjolras rests his cheek on his knee, shuts his eyes. “Please don’t call me that.”
When he opens his eyes again, R is looking at him with something strange in his eyes. “Okay.” He takes a breath. “Okay. Enjolras.”
Enjolras frowns. “How-”
“Your friends were talking about you. I overheard.” He pauses. “Sorry.”
“It’s fine.” Enjolras extends a hand to shake, but it’s cramped, awkward, and while R takes it, he looks too bemused, doesn’t introduce himself in return.
“Not that I’m not happy to meet you, Enjolras,” he says, and there’s something in the way he says his name that feels so different. Enjolras is probably dreaming, but he’s pretty sure it sounds reverent. “But-”
Enjolras drops his hand. “Sorry. Just. I would have introduced myself, but then you already knew my name, but we were still… doing introductions, in a way, and I don’t know your name, not really, and I just-” He stops himself.
“Oh.” There’s that smile again. “Oh, I’m Grantaire.” He extends a hand. Enjolras shakes it.
“It’s nice to meet you, Grantaire.” It’s not a lie. Not at all.
Enjolras is pretty sure they both let the handshake linger for a little too long--fine by him. When it drops, Grantaire gets around to lighting his cigarette.
“Do you want a smoke?” he asks.
Enjolras shakes his head before he can think to consider that maybe he ought to say something less definite, maybe he ought to try to seem a little more normal for once in his life. “No,” he says, instead, “I don’t- I don’t smoke.”
Grantaire laughs under his breath. “I should have guessed.”
Enjolras stiffens; he’d been trying, really, he had, and there’s no reason for Grantaire to point out the fact that he is hopelessly more prudish and boring than all of his friends. “Meaning?”
Grantaire frowns, looks him over, seems to run something over in his head. “Well, you don’t-” he sighs. “You don’t really seem like you’re having a very good time here, is all.”
There is no way that Enjolras can fairly say otherwise. “No,” he says. Maybe he’s easier to read than he’d thought.
There’s a pause, a break, then, in the conversation, before Grantaire says, softer even than before, “Why?”
“Why are you here?”
“Because-” Enjolras breaks off, picks at his shoelaces. “Because it’s Courf’s birthday and he’s my best friend and usually we go so well together because I just stay away from his parties and other than that he’s one of the best people I know but it’s his birthday and I had to come and he wanted it to be here, so-” he fades off.
Grantaire nudges him with his shoulder companionably--or, rather, it would be companionable, only he’s still shirtless, and Enjolras still has no idea how to react when people are “companionable” so Enjolras freezes a little and it doesn’t quite work.
Grantaire’s still smiling, though, so he must not have messed up too badly.
There’s shouting in the background; Courf’s laughing rises over the rest. Enjolras is glad he’s having fun.
“So,” Enjolras manages, trying to keep his voice steady. “So why are you here?”
He laughs, bright and beautiful and maybe a little too loud, seeing as they’re both trying to be covert, here, but it’s okay, it doesn’t matter. “Well, I work here. I am a professional pirate, and in the twenty first century, too. How’s that for a kicker?”
Enjolras finds himself smiling, too, and all of a sudden, he can feel Grantaire’s gaze heavy and hot on him in the heavy summer air. “I mean, why do you work here?”
“Bahorel got me the job.” He shifts, and all of a sudden, there’s a whole lot more… Grantaire in contact with Enjolras’s side. Wild. “He thought I’d make a good pirate.”
“He was right.”
Enjolras could almost swear that Grantaire blushed, then, but it must have been the light, because Enjolras doesn’t make people blush. Unlike Grantaire himself. “You don’t like my piratical antics.”
He does his best to hide behind his hair, because that so isn’t true; he doesn’t like a lot of things about the situation, yes, but if there’s one thing that he has liked in his entire life, it’s this bright, loud man shirtless, tattooed, and in Enjolras’s space. “I don’t like parties,” he says, instead of all that embarrassing nonsense.
“Are you saying you do like me?” He’s teasing, and there’s a tinge of a familiar affect there, and Enjolras colors pink behind his curls. Thank God for them.
Enjolras mutters something indistinct, and he’s about to stand, find another dark corner somewhere, when he feels the lightest brush of fingertips in his hair, over his ear.
There’s a strange phenomenon, Enjolras has noticed, in which every so often--usually when interacting with particularly attractive men, but also when faced with very admirable people in general (Feuilly comes to mind), and also when forced to make a decision at a new restaurant--his brain simply refuses to function, and thus, so does his body. Very inconvenient, really, in nearly all situations, because how is one ever supposed to make a good impression (or order an appetizer) with little to no control over one’s own body?
Anyways, Grantaire brushes the hair away from Enjolras’s face, and Enjolras is frozen, and Grantaire is looking at Enjolras like he had been doing, earlier, and honestly, Enjolras can’t say that he had expected this at all, but now that it’s happening, it’s wonderful, and Grantaire has stopped moving but he’s still impossibly close and he looks as though he’s waiting for some kind of cue from Enjolras’s end, which would be all well and good except for the fact that Enjolras’s brain is broken, it is off, and this is important, and-
He manages a nod.
And then Grantaire is leaning in again, and Enjolras can smell the rum that Bossuet had spilled on him earlier and a little sweat and maybe a little cologne, too, and his eyes are fluttering shut, and Grantaire is so, so, close, and-
Enjolras jolts back, nearly hits his head on the side of the boat, stares at Bahorel, poking his head around the corner. Lets his gaze flit back to Grantaire, who still has his eyes shut and is muttering curses under his breath.
“ R,” Bahorel hisses. “R, I need you for this part, please stop making out with customers and help me and do your job.”
“Shit.” Grantaire opens his eyes. “Shit, Enjolras, listen, I’m sorry, I-”
Enjolras nods, struggles to breathe. “Yeah, no, go. Yeah.”
Grantaire lets Bahorel tug him away, and Enjolras watches.
He almost got what he wanted.
He sits there for a little longer, then dons his pirate hat and goes to blend in with the back of the group, beside a tipsy Combeferre, to watch Grantaire stride across the deck and throw jabs at Bahorel and swing a saber around.
Somehow, the party isn’t quite so unbearable anymore. Still not Enjolras’s thing, mind, but it’s not as bad. And so he has a drink, and he smiles when his friends look over at him-- are you okay, their eyes ask--and he wishes Courfeyrac a happy birthday once more, and it isn’t until the dock comes back into view that Enjolras realizes that he probably won’t get to see Grantaire again.
Not that there was much of a first time, really, but-
But Enjolras likes him, God damn it, and it isn’t really fair.
The boat lands; all things, after all, must end.
“Hey.” Jehan nudges his shoulder, and really, Enjolras hadn’t even seen them approach. “You okay?” they ask, and at least somebody’s said it aloud, instead of just thinking it.
All of a sudden, Enjolras has this strange impulse to tell them everything--or, as much as there is to tell, anyways. “I almost kissed Grantaire. R.”
They frown. “The pirate?”
“When I say almost, I don’t mean- I don’t mean that I decided against it, I mean that we just got interrupted, because he was working, and Bahorel needed him, but-” he casts a glimpse back towards the deck, but Grantaire is gone.
“Shit,” Jehan says, “That’s pretty cool, Enj. You don’t do that a lot, good for you.”
Enjolras shrugs. The point is pretty moot, now.
They lean their head on Enjolras’s shoulder, just for a moment. “‘S okay,” they mumble, before Feuilly reels them back in and convinces them back into their shoes, and then Enjolras is left to figure it all out himself.
Or, rather, Enjolras is left to deposit his pirate cap somewhere surreptitious and pull his jacket on and start walking to the Metro. The others are going dancing, he’s pretty sure, but both Courf and Ferre assured him that he didn’t have to go to that part, and right now, he could just use to go home.
(Maybe go home and jerk off to Grantaire a little. Whatever. He’s only human.)
It feels a little colder now than it was on the boat. It isn’t, probably, not really, but that’s the way it feels. He’s thinking about just that, in fact, and the reasons why that might be the case, when he hears running footsteps behind him on the street and he very nearly panics and reaches for his pepper spray before Grantaire shouts, “Enjolras!” loud against the quiet of the night.
Enjolras doesn’t freeze, but he certainly does pause. “Grantaire?”
Grantaire skids to a stop in front of him, now jeans-clad and fully-shirted and no longer quite so barefoot. “I’m not actually a pirate,” he says, inexplicably.
“I-” Enjolras frowns, considers whether he is going to have to reconsider how much he likes this guy. “I know?”
Grantaire winces. “No, I mean, I have a cellphone.”
Oh. Oh, okay, like this, then.
“You want my number?” Enjolras hazards.
He shrugs. “I mean… if you want to give it to me.”
Enjolras is having a hard time not smiling. “I want to.”
“Dope,” Grantaire says, fumbling in his pockets for his phone. “Dope.”
Enjolras is also having a hard time not remembering very, very vividly what it was like to almost kiss Grantaire. Maybe if he just… Yeah, maybe if he just leans in like this, while Grantaire is bent over and not paying so much attention, maybe-
He kisses Grantaire.
Grantaire freezes beneath his hands, his lips, and then is back in motion a moment later, melting against Enjolras and kissing back and pulling a little closer, right there on the street. And whatever Enjolras had been expecting is somehow still lackluster compared to this, compared to having Grantaire’s hands, large and calloused, on him in the summer heat, because this is…
This is so good.
Somebody walks by them on the sidewalk, Enjolras can feel it. They pull away. Enjolras still has to take a good long moment before he can open his eyes.
It’s been a while since he kissed somebody. It’s possible that nobody has ever kissed him like that, not ever.
Grantaire is staring at him, staring at his mouth, one of his hands still lingering at the back of Enjolras’s neck. “Oh,” he says, after a short period of time in which Enjolras, watching closely, is pretty sure that he can’t get any words out at all.
Enjolras finds himself smiling.
Grantaire smiles back.
“Listen,” Enjolras says, letting himself luxuriate in that good warmth of Grantaire’s hand before he makes himself ask what he just needs to ask, because if he doesn’t, he’s pretty sure that he’s going to be kicking himself for the next forever. “I certainly understand if you don’t want to, but I know that I- I really like you, and I’m not going out with the rest of them, and you’re really, really hot, and do you want to come home with me?”
Grantaire is staring, again.
Enjolras shoves his hands in his pockets, looks down. “Or, that’s fine, too. Sorry. I- I got ahead of myself. Sorry.”
Grantaire shakes his head frantically. “No! No, Yes, I do want to do that. I- Yes.”
They don’t talk all that much on the way back to Enjolras’s apartment--though somewhere in the middle they do get into a debate about the nature of piracy in the 18th century--but they sit so close on the Metro that Enjolras can feel Grantaire’s whole side against his own. It’s nice. On the walk from the station, Grantaire links his arm with Enjolras’s.
Enjolras shuts the door behind them, turns on the light. It’s strange, seeing Grantaire in his apartment, next to the chair that Combeferre likes, his hands shoved in his pockets. Weird. He kisses him.
From there, it goes quickly--Enjolras lets his fingers slip up under Grantaire’s shirt, lets himself touch like he’d wanted to, earlier; Grantaire pulls him closer and kisses him deeper and then pulls his shirt off; Grantaire slips those big warm hands up under Enjolras’s shirt and holds him tight, so tight, as Enjolras struggles to breathe with it all; Enjolras suffers to pull back for just a moment so that he, too, can be liberated of his shirt; Grantaire buries his face in Enjolras’s neck and bites and sucks and kisses and surely leaves a mark; Enjolras gasps out something akin to “Bedroom,” and Grantaire asks “Where is it?” and Enjolras shows him; Grantaire strips out of his jeans and his briefs and Enjolras does the same and Grantaire flops down on the bed and--
Enjolras is frozen for the hundredth time that night, eyes fixed on Grantaire and Grantaire’s fucking body and Grantaire’s fucking dick , because oh.
“D’you-” Grantaire shifts, starts to look uncomfortable in his own skin and on Enjolras’s nice sheets, and Enjolras is, suddenly, there with him, there beside him, there against him.
And, really, oh.
Grantaire pulls him close, so close. And maybe Enjolras had some grand designs about blowing Grantaire or letting him fuck him or… God knows what else, but now Grantaire is kissing him and Enjolras can feel his dick up against his thigh and his hands on him, and this is enough. He could never break away from this, this is enough.
He melts. He lets Grantaire rub against him, revels in it, moans louder into his mouth than (he’s pretty sure) he ever has before. Grantaire’s dick is pretty great.
It’s even greater--it’s all even greater--when Grantaire reaches one of those fucking hands down and takes both their cocks into it and jerks them off together, all warm and firm and fucking excruciating in the extent of the perfection. Grantaire is still kissing him, but by now, he’s shifted down, back down to kissing Enjolras’s neck, and Enjolras knows he’ll have marks there by morning, and he knows they’ll stay, but damn professionalism, damn modesty, that’s what he wants.
“R,” he gasps out, “Grantaire, I-” He doesn’t know what he wants; he doesn’t even know what he wants to say.
Grantaire groans, low and deep and long, and the sound alone is enough to push Enjolras just that much closer.
Grantaire is kissing him again, jerking him off faster, and there’s a funny little kick to Grantaire’s hips that tells Enjolras that he’s just as close as--if not closer than--he is. “Oh, God, Enj,” he chokes out against Enjolras’s lips, against his cheek.
Enjolras clenches his fingers on Grantaire’s back and holds him close and he’s sure that he’s left scratches there but Grantaire just kisses him deeper and holds him closer and then-
And then Grantaire is coming, hot and sudden, and Enjolras has a weight atop him that would be so pleasant were it not for the fact that he was so, so, so, so close, and now Grantaire is taking a moment to rest and not jerk Enjolras off.
Oh, God, but Grantaire is hot, and he’s right there, and Enjolras can grab at his ass and thrust up against his hip, desperate as anything, even as he lies there, blissed out, and that--warm skin, heavy breathing, the give in his hands--is enough. He rocks up a few more times, breathing heavy against Grantaire’s cheek, and then he, too, is coming.
“Grantaire,” he gasps, and Grantaire opens his eyes and watches in what looks like awe.
Enjolras wakes the next morning. He’s not quite sure when they fell asleep--he hadn’t really meant to fall asleep at all, though it is, of course, a near inevitability, but the birds are chirping and there is sun shining through his window and hitting him directly in the face, and it’s morning, and Grantaire is not there.
He opens his eyes a little more.
Yeah, Grantaire is gone.
Enjolras had been so sure that it had gone well. Grantaire had gone home with him. They’d kissed, they’d slept together, Grantaire had held him close afterwards and they’d mumbled half a conversation for a while. It had been nice, and Grantaire was the one who had asked for his number, and-
And oh, God, he’d never given it. He’d kissed Grantaire instead, but then he’d forgotten to give his number, and now Grantaire is gone.
He’s going to have to go on another pirate tour. He’s going to have to wander around the city, looking for those dark curls, he’s going to have to mope around for months, he’s going to have to Instagram stalk every--
Actually, there’s a note on the bedside table. Enjolras fumbles for it, rubs the sleep from his eyes, and stares down at it. It reads, near-illegibly:
Had to pick up a friend from the airport.
Forgot to tell you--sorry! I am free
Later today if you want
To get coffee and tell me why
I am wrong about pirates.
Or we could see each other
Some other time if you are not free.
Or not--it’s in your hands.
I’d love to get coffee, though.
Below the note is phone number, still scrawled out but clearly written with more care than the rest. And for a moment, just a moment, Enjolras kind of understands Marius, just a bit--not that he’d ever admit it--because he could swear that his heart is fucking soaring.
Enjolras is pretty sure he's never sent a text so fast in his life.