Take the Bottle Back
Summary: Fill for the Les Miserables kink meme. In which Enjolras should have considered what sort of consequences he might face for his actions.
Author's Note: YEEEEESSS, it's been so long since I've written something NOT hurt/comfort! AND IT'S FOR A KINK MEME, YESSSSS…
Disclaimer: I don't own Les Miserables. It belongs to Victor Hugo.
Enjolras liked to think that he had a fairly large reserve of patience.
When planning a revolution, much patience was required to avoid casualties and, of course, win; one had to plan carefully, line up the pieces on the chess-board just so, and that didn't simply happen overnight. Enjolras was accustomed to taking his time and knowing that the payoff would be a magnificent one. The fact that he had good friends, fellow enthusiasts of freedom eager to aid in the cause made the entire process much more bearable than it might be otherwise.
Except, of course, for one.
Enjolras did not hate Grantaire. He really didn't. What he hated was the skeptic's tendency to be a nuisance during their planning, his habit of spouting nihilistic speeches that usually fell along the lines of 'Life is terrible, nothing you can do about it, one day we're all going to be rotting in the ground and providing three-course meals for the worms, so why even bother?'
But even here, Enjolras's patience held fast. When Grantaire was on the reasonable side of drunkenness (drunk, but still coherent enough to offer proper conversation), the two would engage in debates over the concepts of freedom and purpose and government. Grantaire proved to be surprisingly knowledgeable, sharp, countering each of Enjolras's points in time- and some of them were actually semi-reasonable ones.
Point being, Enjolras had reasoned that Grantaire would, like most men, be far better off without so much alcohol in his system. A reasonably sober Grantaire was more than tolerable during the meeting of the ABC- drunk, he was more than a nuisance. Reasonably sober, Enjolras had patience to spare with Grantaire. But when drunk, that patience would drain at varying speeds depending on the night and just what Grantaire was doing to draw his ire.
On this particular night Grantaire was about halfway between drunk and sober, though plowing along at a steady pace towards drunkenness. It did not help that Courfeyrac had decided to overindulge as well and was egging the other man on. As good and loyal a friend as Courfeyrac was, Enjolras had discovered a long time ago that, when drunk, he and Grantaire formed an unholy alliance that was a terror to behold.
Grantaire would occasionally burst out loudly with conversation (and unfortunately, it was a fairly dirty one), and sharply enough that it cut through the discussion of dockworkers and their attitudes that Enjolras was having with Combeferre. Enjolras was largely unaccustomed to being interrupted, as his speaking abilities and bearing had a tendency to command respect fairly easily from others. While it seemed that Grantaire wasn't doing it intentionally, it didn't make having to stop short and back-track any less irritating.
"I think that perhaps the students at the medical school might be persuaded to our cause. They've probably studied the diseased and the starved, and it might be that we can show them the connection between this and the regime- assuming they haven't seen it already. We should-"
"-don't care how big they were, Courfeyrac! It's not size that matters, but rather what they care to do with them!"
Enjolras twitched. That was, to tally up the count, the fifteenth time Grantaire's voice had drowned out his own. Combeferre's eyes flicked to a point over Enjolras's shoulder to what must have been Grantaire's location. "Do you maybe want to continue this conversation later on? We've only got fifteen, twenty minutes before we usually leave anyway-"
"No." Enjolras bit out. "We've never stopped discussing important matters because of Grantaire's inability to stay sober before, and we won't be doing it now. We should send Joly and perhaps Prouvaire down to the medical school, as Joly unquestionably knows people there. He might be able to-"
"A contortionist in a circus wouldn't be able to twist themselves into those kinds of positions! She's not human!"
Enjolras slammed his hand down on the table before bringing it up to cover his mouth, from which he had just uttered a muffled but nevertheless foul word behind his teeth. Combeferre stood up. "I'll go make that suggestion to Joly and Prouvaire." Combeferre was one of the few of the ABC that knew exactly what kind of a terror Enjolras was when he had a mind to be, and likely did not want to be within range when Enjolras lost his temper.
And at this rate, Enjolras would lose his temper. His limbs were tensing, his face was getting hot, and the urge to stomp over and whack Grantaire across the back of the head was becoming incredibly strong. That would be undignified, unbefitting of the leader that the rest of the ABC club looked to for guidance though, and Enjolras knew that seeking an alternative solution would be best (even if it wasn't as satisfying).
After a deep breath, Enjolras turned around. Grantaire and Courfeyrac were cackling over something that would probably best not be repeated outside the walls of the Musain- or a bedroom- and the former had a fair grip on the bottle of absinthe in his hands. Enjolras mused again about the detrimental effect that alcohol had on Grantaire and, indirectly, their revolution.
It did not take a great leap of the mind to determine that removing the alcohol might remove the problem. But of course, this was easier said than done as Grantaire was an adult and could buy and consume alcohol whenever he damn well pleased, regardless of Enjolras's (and others') opinions on how it affected him.
Still… Enjolras could not recall a time when he had, seriously, confronted Grantaire about his drinking or even mentioned it beyond "Are you drunk again?" or "Grantaire, you've had too much wine, go home." It was an accepted fact amongst them that Grantaire was prone to drinking, usually to excess, and that the usual difficulties of dealing with someone consistently drunk would ensue.
Enjolras began to consider a course of action, one in particular occurring to him that would ensure Grantaire's attention. In most matters Grantaire listened to Enjolras without issue, even if he didn't agree with what was being said. But he was far less likely to heed the 'marble statue' when it involved a personal matter that he would likely view as none of Enjolras's business. Making sure that Grantaire had no choice but to listen was crucial if Enjolras didn't want to end up talking to air.
He settled on the course, took a deep breath, and stood up. The young man walked over to the table currently occupied by Courfeyrac and Grantaire and, without so much as a word, plucked the bottle from the table in the miniscule gap of time that it left Grantaire's grasp. He then coolly strode back to his own table without looking back around to see the dark-haired man's reaction. He did think for a second that he heard Courfeyrac utter a manic little giggle, but did not turn around to look. He didn't have to; of course Grantaire would have noticed by now.
He returned to his table, sat down in the chair that Combeferre had previously occupied, and set the bottle on the floor beside him. Once settled in, Enjolras crossed both arms over his chest and glared at Grantaire, just to be certain that there was no mistaking that he had definitely drawn the golden-haired man's ire.
Grantaire was looking around for his bottle (Courfeyrac evidently had avoided telling him) and in the process of scanning the room, did a double-take when he saw the look Enjolras was giving him. Enjolras saw his eyes flip down to the floor, where the bottle was probably at least partially visible, before rolling his eyes and standing up.
"Enjolras! I suppose you have a reason for swiping my bottle?" He asked as he sauntered over to the table.
"Indeed," Enjolras said, expression and posture unchanging. "I think you should know by now that I do very little without purpose."
"Oh, of course." Grantaire must have sensed that he wouldn't be allowed to just pick up the bottle and walk away with it, and so he sat down in the chair that Enjolras had occupied during his discussion with Combeferre. "Question is, what use do you have for it? You don't drink. Much, anyway."
"Why don't you try hazarding a few guesses as to why I might take your precious bottle from you, Grantaire? Let's see that sharp mind put to work."
"Hm." Grantaire bit his lip and leaned back. Over his shoulder, Enjolras could see that Combeferre and Bahorel were sitting with Courfeyrac and watching the exchange. Courfeyrac looked like he was expecting an excellent show of some sort, while Combeferre looked a little wary, and Bahorel as though he was trying to figure out precisely what was going on. "Do you intend to take up drinking? Perhaps joining the rest of us in having a little fun?"
Enjolras was a little startled by the genuinely hopeful note in Grantaire's voice and eyes, but then shook his head. "No. I have no desire for alcohol." Indeed, he had only gotten truly drunk once; and after that occasion, he had resolved to never do it again.
Grantaire looked disappointed. "Foolish of me to even suggest it: You are as pure as freshly-fallen snow, and alcohol would only serve to taint you." He sighed, and someone nearby overheard and snickered.
Grantaire drummed his fingers on the table and rolled his eyes to the ceiling in contemplation. "…You are, perhaps, playing a joke on me?" Enjolras didn't even deem the question worthy of response, and Grantaire waved his hand. "Right, right, I've forgotten who I'm speaking to. Shame on me."
"Shame indeed." Enjolras said flatly. "Try again."
"Ah…" And then, to Enjolras's irritation, the impression of honest consideration left Grantaire's eyes and became wickedly playful. "Are you jealous, Enjolras? Do you envy the Green Fairy for stealing my attention? I do promise that you're first and foremost in my heart- most of the time."
"Jealousy does not factor into it." If Grantaire started treating this like a joke, Enjolras knew he would lose the battle. "You come to these meetings, Grantaire, and you drink. It is at the very least an irritant. We- I- tolerate it, so long as your indulgences do not interrupt the meetings. Revolution cannot afford to be halted because one of our number feels the need to make a nuisance of themselves."
Finally, he saw a flash of understanding in Grantaire's eyes. "Have I done something to interrupt tonight?"
"You've been screaming in the corner with Courfeyrac for the last hour. It is difficult to have a conversation when one can't hear themselves think."
Grantaire seemed genuinely apologetic. "Well, I'm sorry then! That wasn't my intention at all." He cocked his head. "You needn't have taken my bottle, though: A simple 'Stow it, drunkard!' has worked well for others in the past." Grantaire had to know damn well that, in keeping with his general temperament, Enjolras was the last person that would bark something like that across a room.
"You've been becoming more belligerent of late." Enjolras said darkly, uncrossing his arms and leaning forward on the table. "More prone to drunken outbursts and generally bothersome activities. You are far sharper and more useful when sober, and we could use your mind at is full capacity. You need to stop drinking- or reduce it significantly."
"Next I suppose you'll start lecturing a fish on how it must stop swimming?" Grantaire's voice had a jovial note to it, and if anything he was brighter in mood than before.
"A fish cannot live without water. You can live without alcohol."
"Says the sober man." Grantaire muttered, and as though it had never been there, the warmth disappeared and Enjolras saw some contention in his gaze. The other young man was starting to lose his patience. "I will refrain from interrupting your important revolutionary verses, Apollo. I will be as quiet as a contented lamb and not bother you with my drunken ramblings. May I have my bottle back now?"
Enjolras's gaze was unflinching. "That would be rather counter-productive to your promise, wouldn't it Grantaire?"
"I daresay I can control myself."
Enjolras's offered a soft noise of disbelief, cocking an eyebrow. "Evidently not." Grantaire's face colored with either clear embarrassment or restrained anger- or perhaps a mix of both. "You can have it back when you leave at the end of the meeting." This, of course, was with the hope that keeping the bottle as a hostage might inspire Grantaire to be good.
"I shan't last that long. Your idealistic talk of a world made impossibly perfect is only bearable for a cynic of my caliber with the aid of alcohol." Grantaire grumbled, arms crossed and eyes narrowed in almost a perfect mimicry of the appearance Enjolras had had at the beginning of their conversation.
"We all must suffer on occasion." Enjolras had been about to add 'for the cause' onto the end of that sentence, but figured that doing so would only end in another cynical, nihilistic remark from Grantaire. He would come to a true devotion to the cause in his own time, if at all.
"Glad you see it that way! Because it's likely you'll be suffering as well." Grantaire's smirk was sardonic, ominous.
"He's not kidding, Enjolras! I've seen him deprived of alcohol before; we might as well just set the whole building on fire!" Courfeyrac called, apparently having been listening closely from his seat. Enjolras caught himself before he could roll his eyes.
"It's more than ten on one, Grantaire," He remarked. That was actually an understatement: The café was crowded tonight. "You are free to take your chance."
Grantaire huffed a low, long sigh and rolled his eyes shut. "Is there nothing I can say to change your mind?"
"I highly doubt it."
"Hm." Grantaire bit his lip, nodded, and Enjolras could tell he was thinking carefully. Something unreadable (but at the same time, unsettling) passed through the dark-haired man's eyes. Surely he wasn't contemplating violence? He could just as easily leave and go to a bar, and he wasn't so drunk that he couldn't grasp the consequences of such actions. "Well, in that case-" He circled around the table to stand in front of Enjolras. The blonde tensed, expecting some sort of grab for the bottle; but instead, Grantaire dropped down onto Enjolras's lap, straddling him, and then took the club leader's face into both hands and kissed him.
The room around them fell into an abrupt, shocked silence.
It wasn't some chaste, barely-there kiss one bestowed on an innocent lover, either: It was deep, surprisingly soft given its context, and more coordinated than Enjolras might have expected otherwise given that Grantaire was at least partially intoxicated. One hand moved to the back of Enjolras's neck, while the other disappeared entirely. Grantaire, without breaking the kiss, slid off of his leader's lap and guided Enjolras up and out of the chair.
Enjolras was too shocked to properly respond. Grantaire was not always the most predictable of the group, but he had never done anything quite this spontaneous. It was a jarring, unexpected move that would probably have him grinning from ear to ear later for managing to shake Enjolras up.
And strangely enough, Enjolras was not as horrified as he thought maybe he should be, given the act and the circumstances it was being performed in.
When Grantaire pulled back, he grinned triumphantly at Enjolras as the blonde stared dumbly at him. He then raised his left hand to eye-level and wiggled his now retrieved bottle in the air. "Thank you." He said brightly before taking a swig of the liquid inside and swaggering back to his seat. Enjolras watched him go with almost open-mouthed astonishment.
The rest of the room was still dead-silent, plenty of the outright gaping at the pair. It was a sharp cough from Combeferre, accompanied by a stern look around at the others in the room that prompted everyone to quickly go back to their conversations. As far as they were concerned, what had just happened did not happen, and they were never to speak of it again. Though a tiny, tiny percentage of them had ever seen Enjolras enraged at a singular person before, none of them were eager to incite his wrath.
Enjolras slowly sat back down, and did not speak for the remainder of the evening- and no one approached him to do so either.
Every now and then, Grantaire glanced over from across the room. His eyes would twinkle, and he would offer just a bit of a smirk.
…This ended up being more plot-y than kink or kiss-y. Forgive me if any of the characterizations (of which I think I only really touched four?) are off, I'm still new to this fandom and getting a grasp on it. I tried.