A/N: About two months ago, Hannah and Marianne sent me an email suggesting I wrote my own version of Granatire-gets-Enjolras-drunk-and-they-reveal-their-secret-love story, but I am not really a fan of Enjolras/Grantaire and the trope didn't strike me as funny enough with only two characters, so instead we have here a Bossuet-gets-Enjolras-drunk-and-Enjolras-reveals-his-not-so-secret-hate-of-many-things story. Enjoy!
Bossuet supposed that it was, technically his fault that Enjolras had drunk himself under the table, but he wasn't going to admit it when he could shift the blame to Bahorel and Courfeyrac. Courfeyrac had already been in his cups when he ordered six bottles of red wine to commemorate the fallen martyrs of the July barricades, and to toast to the death of their nascent republics and Bahorel not only had a tricolor flag he had affixed to the hanging chandelier in the backroom of the Musain, he had known the names of most of the fallen. Enjolras, in an abstracted and almost irritable mood since Louis-Philippe had appeared in the Hotel de Ville, had echoed the toasts with grim relish.
About an hour later, Courfeyrac sadly remarked that they were almost out of wine and Combeferre startledly remarked that at least half-a-bottle of it was in Enjolras.
"What?" asked Joly, turning his attention away from a splinter wound on his palm that he was sure was gangrenous. "Are you sure?"
"There was a bottle on the table here," Combeferre said, tapping the top of the table he was sharing with Enjolras and Bossuet. "I certainly did not drink two-thirds of the bottle and Laigle had only the one glass since he got concussed near Notre-Dame and cannot keep much down."
Bossuet decided not to mention that he had been refilling Enjolras's glass when Enjolras wasn't looking, for lack of anything better to do and instead faked a puzzled look. "How do you know you didn't drink most of the bottle?"
"If he had drunk past his limits, he would be favoring us with misremembered selections of Rossini," said Jehan, irritable from lack of sleep. "He is as silent as the grave… well not exactly, since he just told us that Enjolras drank so much but you cannot expect good metaphors when I've had to sleep on barricades and in the hallways of the Hotel de Ville for the past week!"
"Enjolras," Combeferre said, holding up a finger. "Please follow my finger with your eyes. I believe you have exceeded your tolerance."
"Nonsense," Enjolras said, his usually perfect French, with its pure Loire accent, transformed into a slurred amalgamation of sibilant consonants. "Citizen Combeferre, you underestimate my tolerance. If I did not possess an extraordinary amount of fucking tolerance, I would have asked Grantaire to a duel in the Bois de Boulogne and shot him in the arm to keep him from ever coming back here to weaken the general enthusiasm."
Courfeyrac peered at him. "Enjolras, you sound drunk. I think you are drunk."
"On anger alone!" snapped Enjolras.
"Alright, you're an angry drunk," Courfeyrac corrected himself, taking Enjolras's glass away. "And a mean one."
"That is a false accusation, citizen," replied Enjolras, wobbling to his feet. "I fucking hate Grantaire, do you know where he was when we were rallying to arms? Fucking- fucking drunk in a café. You were there Joly, you reported it to me. I judge each man on his conduct, not his character, his conduct was fucking abysmal, Charles X levels almost. I hate Charles X, we fucking shoved his divine right of kings right up his a-"
"Ooooooh my," said Joly, gaping at Enjolras in undisguised astonishment. "Enjolras, would you be really angry if at this point I… I called upon my medical experience to say that you ought to go home and sleep this off."
"Fucking lack of discipline," Enjolras said, not to be deterred, attempting to pound the table and instead hitting Combeferre sloppily in the shoulder. "We all suffer from it, you know why? Because we're a fucking discussion club, not a militant group, we need fucking training, we know how to hunt and how to use a gun for hunting, but... no, fuck, we just had three days of hands on training on barricades, we're good. We're really fucking good now. Not like Grantaire, he makes me hate humanity, and I don't like that. I like humanity, it's a good thing. Humans are good! In general. Not if they're corrupted by society and become fucking ultras. I like you fellows a lot, you're my brothers in arms, but Joly, you're never actually sick when you say you are, and Bossuet, you're always injured when you say you aren't, and Courfeyrac, you keep leaving barricades to fix your clothes, and Bahorel, you have no fixed habits and never come to the right meetings, and Jehan, your poetry doesn't make any sense, and Combeferre, you have about four pistols hidden about your person at all times and never share them, that's a bad aristocratic habit, and Feuilly… where the hell is Feuilly? He's not fucking here, that's his problem, and Grantaire's is that he has wasted all this glorious human potential and it makes me angry. Fucking hate him. Fucking waste. Like- like this whole fucking Lafayette business. I used to think him a fucking decent sort of republican- fucking hate him. He should fall off a cliff."
"Here, here," said Bahorel, who probably could have cared less that Enjolras was drunk, but did not wish to put in the effort. "All aristocrats to the lantern."
Enjolras made a sort of lurching gesture forward and Bossuet realized, to his utmost horror, that Enjolras was trying to climb onto the table.
"Enjolras, what are you doing?" demanded Combeferre, grabbing at one of Enjolras's flailing arms and missing.
"Proselytizing," Enjolras slurred, using Bossuet's head as a lever to pull himself onto the table.
"Ow," said Bossuet.
Feuilly chose to walk in at that moment and took in the sight of Courfeyrac and Combeferre vainly lunging after Enjolras to pull him off of, respectively, Bossuet and the table, Enjolras staggering forward gesturing vaguely at a corner of the room that was supposed to represent the future, but really featured Joly and Jehan yelling frantically at the other to do something, and Bahorel nonchalantly leaning back in his chair. Feuilly did the wise thing, and calmly backed out of the room, closing the door behind him.
"Fucking- fucking stolen," Enjolras managed to get out. "That is what happened to our revolution, citizens, it got fucking stolen. By whom? By those more inter… interesting… interested with their livelihoods than the liberties each man is naturally endowed with—"
Courfeyrac let out a snort at, 'endowed', causing Enjolras to trail off in some confusion.
"Maybe you should get down off the table," suggested Combeferre.
"No," said Enjolras, his gaze suddenly focused. "I'mna wave a flag in their smug fucking faces, that's what I'mna do."
"Oh my divine watchmaker," said Joly, terribly alarmed. "Enjolras, there's a gap between the table and where the flag is hanging."
"Oh shit," said Jehan, eloquence gone. Feeling that he was not really doing justice to the sight of their captain leaning sideways off a table, batting at a tricolor flag like a cat at a piece of string, he added, "This is not exactly the sort of brush with death that is commonly celebrated in republican discourse."
"Nonsense, let the poor man do what he wants," argued Bahorel. "The only place we're free in this blasted country is in this back room."
"We are not free from the laws of gravity," snapped Combeferre.
"What's he doing?" Courfeyrac asked with some alarm, as Enjolras looked calculatingly at the hanging flag and began hunching down.
"Nonononono," Combeferre said hastily. "Don't touch the flag Enjolras, it's attached to the chandelier you're going to-"
It was too late. With the sort of leap that would launch da Vinci's flying machine off of a parapet of an Italian fortification, Enjolras lunged at the tricolor flag.
"Oh hell," said Bossuet, beginning to feel guilty about the wine.
Enjolras, clinging to the bottom of the flag with the same stolid determination as a mountain-climber to the peak of Mount Snowden, began to pull himself up the tricolor and to try and unknot it from the chandelier.
The backroom of the café was a flurry of confused action and even more confused shouting, though the general gist of it was, 'Oh hell, Enjolras is hanging onto the chandelier, what the fuck are we going to do'.
"He can't weigh that much, he never eats, he won't cause the chandelier to fall," Joly said hysterically. "Oh my supreme being, Enjolras! Why are you untying the only thing holding off your impending fall?"
"Falls are not pleasant experiences!" Jehan exclaimed.
"No, generally not," snapped Combeferre.
"Come on," said Courfeyrac, grabbing Bahorel and pulling him over under the chandelier. "Come on, arms like- like…." The alcohol had impaired Courfeyrac's spatial awareness and he accidentally knocked heads with Bahorel and the two staggered back, dazed.
"Someone ought to catch him if he falls," said Bossuet, getting carefully to his feet.
That someone happened to be Bossuet, as Enjolras, with a cry of triumph, succeeded in freeing the flag and plummeted straight onto Bossuet. Bossuet tumbled backwards, somehow ending up face-down on the floor, with Enjolras and the tricolor flag on top of him.
"Fuck the monarchy," Enjolras said muffledly, twitching a corner of the flag.
"I'm going to ban wine from the back room from here on out," said Combeferre.
"Good choice," Bossuet agreed.
The ban held, as did the unspoken moratorium of mentioning why Enjolras did not drink, until Grantaire stumbled into the back room one day and ordered everyone a tumbler of brandy in celebration of what he believed to be the founding of the republic (he was two days late, but Bossuet thought that was actually quite good for Grantaire).
"Grantaire," said Courfeyrac, looking anxiously at Enjolras, "go drink in the front rooms, here we're drunk only on liberty."
"Deliberately so," said Joly, with a cough to show his distress.
Enjolras leveled a cool stare at Grantaire. "Overindulgence shows us the worst parts of ourselves. In those wishing to rise to the absolute, it is not permissible to act in a manner less than befits a Robespierre."
"I'll gladly be a Danton, then," said Grantaire and with a last, sad look at Enjolras, emptied his tumbler of brandy and shuffled out. Enjolras sat down again, withdrawing inward and, much to the relief and happiness of the rest of the Amis, gazed into the distance and left untouched his full glass of brandy.