Grantaire has never killed a man, but it’s only because Enjolras hasn’t asked him yet, and he figures what he does, well, it’s close enough.
“Half the country,” Grantaire says, sauntering into the main campaign meeting room and tossing the latest polls onto the table, “thinks you’re the worst thing that has ever happened to politics.”
Enjolras doesn’t even glance up from his laptop. “And the other half?”
“Wants to fuck you.”
At that, he does glance up, and Grantaire simply grins back, teeth bared.
“I wasn’t aware we were polling for that.”
“Sir,” Combeferre cuts in from where he’s sitting surrounded by three laptops and heaps of files, “we are polling for everything.”
“Well then.” Enjolras rolls his sleeves up with a quiet sigh. “How do we make the whole country want to fuck me?”
Grantaire thinks on old contacts, on all the buried skeletons he has carefully marked and organized, and then he smiles. “Don’t look at me, sir,” he says, tone flippant, arms folded, “I’m just here to deliver information and help make your speeches a little less radical.”
Enjolras doesn’t say anything as Eponine starts running through visits and events and interviews, but then, he’s never had to.
Officially, Grantaire spends most of his time downsizing heaps of data into understandable material and helping Jehan make sure that Enjolras’ speeches only offend a maximum of four people at a time.
Officially, Grantaire is an aide, an analyst, a highly qualified writer that made his way into the Presidential Candidate’s core.
But behind heavy oak doors, in the back rooms of lavish country clubs, Grantaire is a charming young man with a toxic blend of ruthlessness and loyalty, with the ability to talk people out of money and into endorsements, and with enough information to press where it hurts.
Officially and unofficially, Grantaire answers directly to Combeferre, because he’s Enjolras’ campaign manager, because he’s the closest Grantaire can get to Enjolras’ without going to Enjolras himself, because there are things that Enjolras can only know the results of and not the methods by which they were achieved.
Combeferre knows everything Grantaire has done in the name of the campaign, everything he is willing to do, but he looks at him like he still can’t put all the parts of Grantaire together in a way that makes sense.
Grantaire doesn’t blame him.
Before everything, he had wanted to dance.
He took the classes, practiced until his feet bled and his eyes were wet with tears, and his shaking legs couldn’t hold him up anymore. He could have been great, he knows, but then one day his father took him aside, set heavy hands on his shoulders and told him that he was destined to be greater than this.
Grantaire remembers being too young to understand, to want anything else, remembers how he couldn’t seem to stop his tears even when his father’s hands had tightened painfully and his lips had pulled into a snarl.
The dancing stopped and it became harder to ignore the way he felt when he looked at boys, the way his heart beat faster and his face felt warm. But he was fifteen, and fifteen was old enough to know that the CEO of his father’s company was never going to be someone that kissed boys, so Grantaire pressed it down, and down, and filled all that space left behind with whatever alcohol he could get his hands on.
But being eighteen and angry and dependent on alcohol is never a good idea because instead of Stanford business school there was Columbia and political science and a place his father finally had no reach.
He didn’t sober up until his junior year. Spent the Christmas break in a rehab facility on the East Coast and never touched a bottle of Jack again because Grantaire was destined to be greater than this.
“Sir,” he says, pressing Enjolras into a dark corner, away from the panic of the rest of the team and the unending blabbering of CNN, “you did it.”
“We did it.” Enjolras replies automatically.
“No,” Grantaire says, and he’s closer than he meant to be, so close he can feel the rise and fall of Enjolras’ chest against his own, “you’ve won, Mister President.”
Enjolras’ jaw clenches, eyes narrowing. “Don’t. They haven’t announced yet.”
“It doesn’t matter, Mister President,” he says again, partially to be a shit but mostly because he knows he’s right, “you’ve won. It’s yours. It’s your name they’ll be announcing in seven minutes.”
Enjolras must see something in Grantaire’s face because he freezes. “How do you know?”
Grantaire just grins, sharp and sure, and the hands Enjolras puts on him, hurried and shaking, are victory enough.
The whispers in the White House are louder than anything from the campaign, and they echo throughout, pushing down on Grantaire from every angle. He’s a saving grace and a curse, a mastermind and a thug, he’s the reason that toothless pretty boy of a politician is sitting in the Oval Office and Grantaire laughs and laughs. Toothless is a hell of a thing to call someone who spent years working to get to the White House for the sole reason that it’ll be easier to tear down from the inside.
Once, someone calls him Kingmaker and it’s the only whisper that ever sticks.
“So,” Grantaire drawls, settling himself in the couch across from Enjolras, “did they give you the nuclear codes?”
Enjolras lets out a huff of laughter and turns the page of the report he’s reading. “Yes, they did.”
“Well, that was a terrible idea.”
Enjolras glances up at that, raising an eyebrow. “You don’t trust me with the nuclear codes?”
Grantaire shrugs. “No, Mister President, I do not.”
“You do realise,” he says slowly, half smiling, setting his report aside, “you helped put me in this office.”
Grantaire’s ambition never settled the way it should have. His future was never going to have him front and centre, not as a CEO and not as a politician, but there was a drive that forever hurtled him forward, that pulled him out of the bottoms of bottles and pushed and pushed until he ended up on the doorstep of politics newest shooting star.
He came ready to pull a fiery idealist apart at the seams and build him back up as something that could win but then Combeferre had pulled him aside, and said, “we don’t need a political advisor. We need a knife.”
Grantaire has always been a good knife, but when Enjolras pulls him close and maps out an order with his mouth against his throat, Grantaire could burn the entire world to the ground.
They’re in office two months when their first crisis arises and Grantaire has to trade out speech writing for damage control that is sixty percent threats.
“Senator,” he says, during an overpriced lunch, “we know about the affair.”
The man flushes a deep red, furious and terrified as he attempts to splutter out a sentence.
“We have her contact information,” he continues, warm smile in place, “and her agreement not to talk so long as an opportunity doesn’t present itself. And she seems to have a lot to say, you’re really into pillow talk, hm?”
“Are you threatening me, son?"
“Yes, sir, I am.” Grantaire folds his arms on the table and doesn’t bare his teeth the way he wants to. “The choice is yours. Do you want to leak a half bit story that we will kill within two weeks and flush your career down the drain with it? Or would you prefer we all keep our mouths shut and you get the signatures you need for your bill?”
The Senator barely waits for five seconds before extending his hand and Grantaire takes it with a grin, says, “pleasure doing business with you, sir.”
“You know,” Grantaire muses, blinking up at the ceiling of the Presidential Suite, “I thought fucking the President would give me more of an in.”
Enjolras scoffs but there’s laughter in his voice when he says, “I’m not giving you the launch codes.”
Grantaire turns his head to look at Enjolras, only to find him looking back and when he manages to speak, it’s hushed. “I meant the Plan.”
Enjolras closes his eyes with a sigh. “I’ve told you before-”
“Yeah,” Grantaire cuts him off, turning his gaze back to the ceiling, “I know. Plausible deniability.”
Grantaire’s view is blocked when Enjolras settles himself on Grantaire’s hips and leans down to take his face gently between his hands. “I’m trying to keep you safe.”
Grantaire wants to laugh and name all the things he has done for the campaign and this presidency but the sincerity in Enjolras’ voice keeps him from doing so.
“I know,” he says, and pulls Enjolras down into him.
“It starts tomorrow,” Enjolras says, two years in, still looking as sharp as the day Grantaire shook his hand for the first time.
Grantaire glances up from his laptop and Enjolras has his book laying in his lap, smiling faintly at him from where he’s sitting in bed. “What do you need me to do?”
“Stand beside me,” he replies, easy, like Grantaire’s heart hasn’t just found its way into his throat, “come to bed.”
“I think I’ve had my mouth around your cock enough times that we can drop the ‘sir’.”
Grantaire lets out a laugh, surprised and delighted. “Of course, Mister President.”
“Grantaire,” Enjolras warns, so he holds his hands up in silent resignation, shuts down his laptop and sits himself on the edge of the bed beside Enjolras.
“No turning back after that,” he offers, and grins when Enjolras scoffs.
“What,” he asks, “throw away a life times worth of work because you’ve suddenly gained some morals in the last two years?”
“No,” Grantaire shoots back, letting his voice show how ridiculous a notion it is, “I just really like this bed.”
“After we burn the Hill to the ground,” Enjolras says, pulling Grantaire in with his tie, “I’ll get you an even better bed,” and the way Enjolras bites at his mouth feels like a death sentence.