Enjolras cannot tell whether it is the right kind of party or the wrong kind of party, but he is uncomfortable from the moment he walks through the door. Courfeyrac holds onto his arm, preventing him from leaving with a genial, "There, now, everything's all right," when it is patently wrong. There is a group of boys in one corner, measuring doses of laudanum for each other. Courfeyrac accosts a friend who is carrying a bottle of what Enjolras assumes is wine. There is a cup of it in his hand before he can protest, and Courfeyrac says, "Oh, do go on and drink it."

There seems to be little reason to protest in the face of Courfeyrac's smile, and it is the end of the term, with all the papers and all the examinations quite finished and nothing to worry about. Enjolras drinks and realizes belatedly that not only is it far stronger than wine, but there is probably something else in the mixture -- opium, perhaps. He is not used to anything stronger than wine, and that only with meals. The surprise makes his head swim.

He stumbles to a chair, tugging Courfeyrac down to sit beside him. "Take the glass," he orders, handing the offending vessel to his friend.

Courfeyrac takes it, chuckling. "It won't hurt you."

"I don't want any, thank you." He does not mention that he already had too much, for he has not eaten in a day and the room is too close, too warm, too smoky.

"All right," Courfeyrac says in the tone of a man humoring a whim. "If you're sure."

"I'm certain." And he is disconcerted to find himself peculiarly fascinated by Courfeyrac's features. Surely he knows his friend well enough to recognize him, but the twinkle in his eyes -- is that new? -- and the sheen of his lip where he runs his tongue over it in a nervous, twitchy habit -- Enjolras is sure he has never noticed these things before, let alone found them entrancing. "You're handsome," he observes, and is immediately chagrined to hear himself say it. Before Courfeyrac laughs or taunts him, he stills any possible verbal reaction by kissing him.

Courfeyrac tastes of wine and the oddly bitter, strong drink he offered Enjolras. He responds to the kiss after half a heartbeat by tangling his fingers in Enjolras' hair and putting an arm around his shoulders, tugging him close though they are in separate chairs. "Dear friend," Courfeyrac murmurs before kissing him again, and Enjolras is startled, terrified to feel his deft fingers unbuttoning his pants. The terror only reaches his heart, no farther, for there is a twist in his stomach and he feels his hips shift into the touch, hears his own voice hoarse and desperate asking for more.

Courfeyrac moves away and the light returns, nearly blinding him though the room is dim. He wants to stand, to run out of the room, but Courfeyrac is sliding off of his chair and there is no time to get away or protest. Enjolras would hide himself, would scream, but Courfeyrac takes his hand in a grip so warm and familiar that he can hardly think, and Courfeyrac's mouth is quick and clever in ways he has never thought of nor wished to consider. He closes his eyes, wincing away from the world, but not before he sees a brightly clad girl writhing on a young man's lap, as wanton as if there were no one to see. He wonders where he is in a sharp stab of fear, and how far he is from home, but Courfeyrac squeezes his hand and does something he could never explain that causes a flame of desire to burn down his spine in shocking, sparkling passion.

He does not open his eyes to see Courfeyrac sit up, his lips wetter than before, and he does not move when Courfeyrac embraces him, murmuring some soft comfort into his ear. When Courfeyrac takes his hand again, he stands clumsily, almost falling until his friend catches him, steadies him, fastens his clothing and pats him on the shoulder. "Was that so bad?"

Enjolras peers at him, disoriented, before deciding that it is better not to see than to see without understanding. "I don't know."

"Let me walk you home," Courfeyrac offers, as he offered before they arrived in the airless, breathless room.

"All right," Enjolras says, as he said before.

They arrive without further mishap, Enjolras stumbling a little on the way and Courfeyrac shepherding him conscientiously.

In the morning, he has a headache and remembers the incident only vaguely, as if it were a strange dream. He decides not to mention it to Courfeyrac, for even if it had not been a dream he had no words to describe it.

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