They're at a Women's Union meeting when Eponine mentions it.

"It's the campus' Amnesty International student organization," she explains in a low voice while someone starts talking about why Bella Swan isn't the Antichrist and how people need to start being more forgiving with her character. "Enjolras needs more people and they're really good but I'm the only girl and I want to punch myself in the face sometimes."

Cosette nods before leaning over to cut off someone accusing Bella of being 'too romantic' with a loud and sharp reminder that there's no wrong way to be a woman before sitting back and looking at Eponine. "Yeah. Sounds fun. Enjolras is the hot blond, right?"

"Mhm." Eponine pauses, as if she's not sure if she wants to share this, before adding, "Marius is the club's treasurer."

Marius. Marius Pontmercy. He's adorable, really—well, no, he's not just adorable, he's gorgeous and he's sweet and he's got kind eyes and Cosette is pretty smitten with him. "I'm definitely in," she answers immediately, missing the fall in Eponine's expression when she leans forward to explain to the same girl as before that her favorites could never.


It's borderline embarrassing how much time Cosette spends perfecting her appearance. It's not so much that she wants to look good for Marius (though that's an added bonus) but that she'd generally like to make a good first impression. Besides that, she likes looking good, and that's reason enough for her.

She pulls on a pair of light blue skinny jeans that are torn a bit on one knee and a grey tank top, shrugging on an old plaid button-up she'd borrowed from her father and simply never returned. Once she's grabbed her bag and fixed her mascara she heads out, locking the dorm behind her and slinging her arm familiarly around Eponine's waist. When they get to the café off-campus where they hold their weekly meetings, there are about six boys there, most of whom Cosette doesn't know.

"That's Grantaire," Eponine says, pointing at a boy with a mop of dark curls under a red beanie. He half-waves vaguely before looking up and realizing who's talking.

"Ponine!" he calls out jovially, standing and moving to hug her. He's a little gruff and he smells vaguely of tobacco, beer, and sweat; he's tall, and lean, and built with a certain catlike grace which he seems to have misplaced and which Cosette credits to the alcohol. He turns to Cosette and beams. "And this is Cosette? We've heard so much about you."

"Cosette, I love you," a skinny boy with long hair pulled back in a ribbon calls out, and another boy, this one with dark curls almost as impressive as Grantaire's, picks it up with "Cosette, I do!" Grantaire and Eponine join in, grinning mischievously, "When we're apart my heart beats only for you!"

Marius, sitting on one of the armchairs, covers his face with his too-long sleeves, but even Cosette can see that he's blushing. Grantaire slings his arm around her shoulders, drawing her away from Eponine and making introductions. He does Marius first, even though she and Marius know each other, before pointing to the long-haired boy. "Jean Prouvaire. Once he starts kissing you and writing you poems, you can call him Jehan." Jean is wearing purple jeans and a tee shirt with a piece of burned toast frowning as a toaster crows You got burned! "That's Courfeyrac." The boy with the impressive hair waves cheerfully. "Combeferre. Jolllly. Or just Joly. But Jolllly, and his boyfriend, Bossuet. Musichetta is coming later—she's their girlfriend."

"Oh, I know Musichetta," Cosette says with a small smile before biting her lip and flashing Joly and Bossuet a thumbs up. "She's a babe. Nice."

They all look at her with something akin to affection and Grantaire takes his seat on the sofa again, patting the empty cushion next to it as Eponine takes her usual seat in the armchair next to Marius. Marius stares after her a bit longingly.

"What's all this?" Cosette asks, sitting between Courfeyrac and Grantaire, both of whom immediately perk up at another pretty girl, and Grantaire presents her with the laptop he'd been typing on with a flourish.

"This," he declares dramatically, "is our pride and joy." "The one thing that matters most to this group," Courfeyrac cuts in. "Forget history and revolution," Eponine adds. "This is what we're really here for."

Cosette just leans forward, frowning, sure that she's reading it wrong."It's titled 'Enjolr-ass: Fuckless Leader'."

Grantaire practically beams.

"See, it's not that Enjolras can't get laid. Or even that he doesn't want to. It's that he's so damn busy that he never bothers to, and he desperately needs it."

"You're just saying that because you want to shirtless hug him," Courfeyrac interjects, and Grantaire shrugs but doesn't deny it.

After a moment's consideration and study of the spreadsheet (most people have bet on Grantaire, and a handful have bet on Eponine; Courfeyrac stubbornly bet on himself), Cosette reaches into her bag to withdraw her wallet. "It's fifty each, right?" Grantaire nods, and she pulls two twenties and a ten out before dropping her wallet back in her bag. "Here. I'm in."

Grantaire's smile just grows at this and he seems inordinately fond of her already. "Alright," he says, taking the money and sliding it into his pocket. "Who for?"

"Me," she says, trying not to grin at Marius' clear horror. "Give me until Tuesday."

"He's got an international phone conference with someone from AI's London office this weekend," Grantaire objects reasonably, as if he wants to give her a chance to actually try to win. "You'll never catch him."

"I'm not above wrapping myself in nothing but the French flag and doing a striptease," she responds serenely, and Marius falls off his chair.

They're all in love with her at that point, and Courfeyrac leans over to lay his head in her lap and Grantaire wraps his arm around her shoulders while Jean leans over to press a sweet and gentle kiss to her mouth before inviting her to marry him. No one but Eponine moves to help Marius.


When Enjolras finally does arrive it's to a loud cheer. He looks vaguely irritated at the shouts of "Our fearless leader has arrived!" and Grantaire's mocking greeting of, "Apollo," though when he passes Cosette the corner of his mouth quirks up in a smile.

"Eponine or Marius?" he asks, and when she answers the former, he just grins wider. "Enjolras. Good to meet you, finally."

She shakes his hand and smiles in return, and Marius looks after them, entirely horrified.

The meeting lasts about an hour and a half. With another president it would probably get really boring really quickly, but there's something about Enjolras that makes everyone around them, even complete strangers in the café, literally stop and stare at him. He's practically glowing—he's entirely in his element, gesturing wildly and handing out pamphlets and press releases and he even has a folder with the Amnesty International logo on it that he gives to Cosette to start holding everything.

Combeferre and Courfeyrac are the most devoted to what he's saying, with Eponine and Cosette close after them, but Grantaire spends the entire time on a blogging site, occasionally interrupting with a well-placed sarcastic comment or question that gives Enjolras pause. While Enjolras speaks, he is in his glory, his unruly blond curls framing his face and occasionally falling over his eyes and his jaw set and his smile small but glorious and righteous and passionate. He's got the kind of fire that you don't think actually exists in people until you meet one of them—and Grantaire simply levels him down to nothing, knocks him down from Apollo to college student in seconds, and perhaps the others just aren't as shocked by it or maybe they don't even notice it, but there are few things more disconcerting than seeing Enjolras floundering, even if only for a moment. He always carries on like nothing's happened, though, and so Cosette just watches curiously, making note of how everyone behaves.

Marius is fascinated but almost more idealistic than Enjolras—whereas Enjolras wants to focus on the biggest issues, Marius wants to focus on everything and ends up going off on an entirely unrelated tangent somehow. Jehan scribbles away in his notebook, taking notes on whatever's going on and sketching along the margins. Joly and Bossuet share an armchair, listening with vaguely interested looks and going through about four coffee drinks each, and Eponine listens in absolute silence, her eyes following Enjolras carefully as if she doesn't want to miss a thing—no matter how intent Combeferre and Courfeyrac are, she doubts they're as dedicated as Eponine seems to be.

Cosette approaches Enjolras after the meeting and between her foot-long eyelashes and her sweet smile he would probably give her a couple limbs if she asked. Instead, she invites him to go for a walk with her—there are a few things he'd mentioned in the meeting today that she wants to discuss further—and he agrees, offering his arm like a proper gentleman type and grinning when she takes it. They start out talking about the issues at hand and end up talking about themselves. They share favorite bands and they share favorite books. And he's plenty cute, so this really should be no problem.

"Listen," she says when he walks her back to campus and to her building. "I need a favor."

"Go ahead," he says, and she grins.

"I need you to help me win a bet."


It's all very odd, to be quite honest. Cosette mentions casually that she's going out as she puts on her eyeliner Saturday morning, her Amnesty International folder in her bag and her lipgloss in her coat pocket, and Eponine perks up, suddenly wary. "Where are you going?" she asks, trying to feign nonchalance.

Cosette shrugs. "Enjolras' apartment. He's got some books for me."

"Oh." Eponine tries to smile without looking panicked. "Have fun." The minute the door is closed behind her, Eponine's phone is out, and she's sending frantic texts.


"Hey." Enjolras pokes his head out of his bedroom, gesturing to Jehan. "Listen. Cosette's dropping by to pick up some CDs."

Jehan looks up from his phone with an expression of pure horror. "CDs?" he squeaks, and Enjolras nods before enunciating slowly, his hands held up, palms facing out, as if trying not to startle the little poet.

"Anyway, can you get the door? I'm going to jump in the shower before she gets here and just in case I'm not out before then…" Enjolras trails off, and Jehan nods, looking strangely akin to a deer caught in the headlights, and with another frown at the poet Enjolras heads towards the bathroom.


Cosette knocks four times and rocks back on her heels as she waits for someone to open the door. It's Jehan, whose eyes widen when he sees Cosette. "Lovely to have you," he gasps, and Cosette presses a finger to her lips as if to shush him before whispering, "Where's Enjolras?"

"Taking a shower," he responds, and Cosette grins before pulling something out of her bag and unfolding it to show him.

It's a French flag.

She floats past Jehan. "I'll just wait for Enjolras in his room," she purrs, leaving her coat on the couch and closing his door behind her.


Jehan: I'M REALLY CONCERNED

Jehan: SHE BROUGHT A FRENCH FLAG

Jehan: I THINK SHE'S NAKED UNDER THOSE CLOTHES

Jehan: I AM NOT PREPARED TO LOSE FIFTY BUCKS GET OVER HERE AND HELP ME FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO


When Enjolras gets out of the shower, wearing nothing but a towel around his waist, all of Les Amis, the affectionate name for the AI student group, are sitting in his living room, staring at him awkwardly. All except Grantaire and Marius; the former is drinking a wine cooler he swiped from the refrigerator (one of Jehan's—Enjolras mostly lives on coffee and breakfast food), while the latter is staring resolutely out the window. "Nice to see everyone…?" Enjolras says, furrowing his brow, and Jehan nods, his face too pale.

"Hey," Courf says, standing and walking to Enjolras. "God, you're looking fine tonight," he murmurs, and Enjolras just watches him with a raised eyebrow as he comes closer. "How about we blow this joint?"

"No," Enjolras responds, walking toward his room.

Courfeyrac stares after him, about to shout something about how Enjolras' butt isn't that cute anyway, but Enjolras stops dead when he opens the door to his bedroom. Courfeyrac gets the briefest glimpse of Cosette lounging across his bed like something right out of Playboy, completely naked except for a strategically placed French flag, before Enjolras mutters "dear god" and slams the door shut behind him.

Eponine and Jehan practically knock the couch over rushing to crowd around the door and listen, and Courf listens at the crack between the door and the floor. It's silent for a few minutes, save the occasional low giggle, before suddenly—

"OH MY GOD!"

They all freeze.

Even Grantaire seems shocked out of his careful attention to the wine cooler and he stares at the door with a mixture of amusement and outright horror, and out of nowhere, they hear a tremendous crash, the sound two people might make when falling out of a bed, then—

"YES, OH, YES, RIGHT THERE."

Marius looks like he's about to cry and Courf suddenly draws back from the door and makes the sign of the cross, at first infuriated that it's not him winning the bet, before suddenly letting out a quiet "Go, Cosette!" that everyone else shushes.


Cosette falls over while pulling her jeans back on, taking advantage of the sound to let out a breathy moan, while Enjolras growls low in his throat, glancing at the door in amusement while he brushes his hair. They've been at this for the past sixteen minutes, making as much noise as they possibly can, and Cosette's just ordered a pizza online which should be arriving at her dorm's building when she gets back.

At the twenty-one minute mark they decide that they've had their fun and Cosette lets out a blood-curdling scream; a few seconds later Enjolras' grunts as he pulls his shoe on give way to something between a moan and a shout. They fall silent.

"We win," Cosette mouths silently, and Enjolras flashes her a thumbs up and a grin.


She opens the door, only for Eponine and Jehan to fall into Enjolras' room, and she smiles at them cheerfully. "I didn't expect to see you all here," she calls, looking delighted; as she walks by, Grantaire snickers and reaches into his pocket to pull out a small wad of bills, holding them behind his back; she takes them as subtly as she can, stealing his wine cooler. "Told you," she mutters, and Grantaire can't help but laugh as he takes the wine cooler back.

"I'll walk you out," Enjolras calls, stepping over Jehan and Eponine and holding a DVD in his hand, which he gives to Cosette along with her coat.

"Thanks," she says, dropping it, along with a folded flag, into her bag.

"I thought you were borrowing a book," Eponine says slowly, standing and dusting herself off.

Cosette flushes prettily and shrugs. "I changed my mind," she says by way of explanation, waving over her shoulder, and Enjolras rests a hand on the small of her back, leading her out the door.

Once they've closed the door to the apartment she pulls the wad of bulls out, counting them before handing half to Enjolras. "Two hundred, as promised. Gavroche and Bahorel were in on it too."

"Those bastards," Enjolras says without any real venom. He tips an imaginary hat to her. "Good luck dealing with Marius."

Good luck dealing with Grantaire, she wants to shoot back, but instead she just leaves, laughing under her breath.

The pizza delivery guy gets a fantastic tip.