I was working on a dramatic beyond-the-barricade E/R story, and this just popped into my head, thanks to tumblr. Also, the Boys of the Barricade were freaking tanning on a rooftop and it was glorious and watching tumblr explode took up my afternoon. So, a short modern AU. Language rating, because Grantaire is not one to watch his mouth.

Disclaimer: I don't own any of this and I actually do love Beauty and the Beast.


The rest of the students in their flat – or apartment, as the Americans insisted upon calling it – spent hours debating whether Grantaire and Enjolras were gay or simply French, and found it hysterical. Enjolras didn't understand; they were both and the whole debate made no sense to him. Grantaire thought it was even funnier than most of the perpetrators.

A cynical art student, a overly passionate law student, and a totally awkward student of everything. Marius had changed majors so many times, Grantaire had lost track of what he was doing now. Nor did Grantaire much actually care. They'd gotten themselves into this exchange program, a full year in New York City, and it was actually kind of nice. Sure, the whole of Les Amis were briefly separated, but Skype was a wonderful invention. And Courfeyrac had a suspicious way of being able to get most of them to various academic conferences in the New York area. Everyone had long since questioning his connections. Besides, Enjolras had got it in his head that he could save America from itself and Grantaire found it amusing to watch. He was grateful New York had at least legalized gay marriage; he personally didn't care what anyone thought of him and his boyfriend, but Enjolras probably wouldn't have shut up about it otherwise.

It was well-known that Grantaire refused to leave his bed before 11 am, except in cases of extreme emergency. He scheduled his classes to accommodate this requirement; he'd rather take an evening course than have to stifle homicidal, hungover urges when everyone in the morning class turned to him for oh-so-expert advice on Monet simply because he was French. In New York, Grantaire had been able to justify his schedule to Enjolras – not that this had ever stopped him before, but it made life easier. There seemed to be a code among serious artists that 8:00 only came once a day and that was the way it should be. Grantaire was totally fine with this.

He had only one love, one Apollo, but Grantaire had developed a fondness for screwing with young co-eds. He'd never lead them on to expect sex, and the smart women chuckled at him and watched his game. Apparently, they were as fond of watching him take these girls for a ride as he was. He could whisper random French phrases to them and have them swoon, because he was so romantic. His fellow art students laughed, because most of the time, he was merely expressing negative opinions of overrated painters. He carefully taught one girl to try to seduce Enjolras with a low, seductive, J'ai extrêmement peur des Français. Watching his Enji react, then gently explain to the girl that there was no reason to be terrified of French people...then slowly put things together and give Grantaire that look... It was a treasured memory.

So, all in all, the States weren't half bad. Well, they wouldn't have been if Marius-Fucking-Pontmercy hadn't found some cute blonde thing at the student union. Her adoptive father had brought her to America when she was young, something about injustice, blah, blah, blah. And she was from Paris orginally. Marius had been less than impressed when Grantaire reminded him that so were they. But he was in love with this French-American expatriate, whatever term he was using to romanticize her today, and Grantaire usually got stuck listening to it, because dearest Cosette worked 8-4 at a preschool and most of Marius' classes this quarter were in the late morning to afternoon. Enjolras was usually up and out by nine at the latest. And somehow, for some reason, Marius took this as an invitation to tell Grantaire all about everything, standing in the bedroom door, which Enjolras always forgot to close. Grantaire was beginning to wonder if it was a passive-aggressive move on his lover's part, because he knew Marius took an open door as an invitation. Enjolras always shrugged and reminded Grantaire that "getting up to close the door is always an option, mon chéri." Like that was going to happen. It was the principle of the matter.

So another morning and yet again Grantaire had a pillow over his head, groaning at Marius' cheerful, "Bonjour!" He sounded exactly like he belonged in the opening number of Beauty and the Beast – a film which most of Les Amis had been banned from watching in the company of Americans, because they felt the need to point out the historical inaccuracies. Or Enjolras would remind everyone that if this was before the French Revolution, it probably wasn't going to end well for Belle and Prince Adam. (Marius had learned the prince's name from Cosette, and Grantaire was still all "What the fuck?" over it, because, really? Who even knew that?) Grantaire loved to argue that the clearly English butler could have gotten them passage out of France when the shit hit the fan, or maybe Belle and Adam would have been sympathetic leaders, because she'd been a peasant. And by that time, they were generally the only ones left in the room.

Grantaire considered lobbing an empty wine bottle toward the doorway, but the last time he'd done that, he'd hit something other than Marius and it had ended with Enjolras' exasperated, "This is why we can't have nice things, Ranier!" He always used Grantaire's first name when he was really annoyed. Sometimes, in tender moments, he recalled its meaning and wondered why Grantaire hated it so much.

"But it means 'strong counselor,' 'Taire. That's rather nice, don't you think?"

Grantaire scoffed. "And a counselor I most certainly am not. You couldn't pay me enough to sit around listening to people whine about their issues."

And that generally ended that, but it almost got a smile out of Enjolras, and that was usually worth it. But now Grantaire was listening to Marius go on and on about how the so-perfect children that so-perfect Cosette worked with were asking him when they were going to get married and wasn't it so cute. And Grantaire liked children, but it made him miss Gavroche, and wonder what the kid was going to be like after a year away, and he had very specifically set out on a path of high-functioning alcoholism in order to avoid uncomfortable feelings. Also, it was pretty much expected of any aspiring artist to have at least one addiction, and alcohol was legal.

"They're so adorable," Marius gushed.

"I'm sure they are," Grantaire muttered, because "Fuck, leave me alone," would have had Marius acting like a kicked puppy the rest of the week.

"She's so wonderful with children. I'm sure she'll be a great mother."

"Yes, I'm sure." Grantaire peered at the clock. Still another hour before Marius needed to leave for class. But this time he had an ace up his sleeve, a rare occasion. Enjolras had been out extremely late with a social justice fundraiser, and this was the one morning a week he didn't have anything scheduled. Usually, he still got up and out, but today, he was catching up on his sleep, buried beneath the comforter. This time, he'd left the door open on his way in. And since Grantaire slept on the side of the bed closer to the door, he was pretty sure Marius only saw him and had assumed that Enjolras was out. Grantaire smiled and nudged Enjolras with his knee. "Morning, Apollo."

Marius looked surprised as Enjolras sleepily poked his head out from under the covers, blond curls a mess. "Oh, I..."

"Have fun with Cosette today," Grantaire called, flashing Marius his best shit-eating grin. "If you could close the door on your way out, I'm going to fuck my boyfriend senseless. Unless you'd like to watch.'

"Ah, no, that's...quite all right." Marius quickly retreated, closing the door firmly.

Enjolras blinked blearily. "I shouldn't be in bed this late."

Grantaire pressed him back against the mattress, kissing him firmly. "Oh, yes, you should."

Enjolras didn't even try to resist.


That was fun! My first official Mizzie fic. Love my barricade boys.