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Curiosity, or learning how to kiss your best friend

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If he were completely honest – which he tried to be, most of the time – Enjolras would have to admit he did not really expect this reaction from Courfeyrac. Laughter, very likely, gently teasing Enjolras for his request and his inexperience. Enthusiasm, most certainly, perhaps even pride about being asked this of the cold and disdainful Enjolras, though Enjolras knew Courfeyrac didn't think that of him – after all, he was one of his closest friends. And it was why Enjolras had approached him in the first place.

But of all the reactions, Enjolras didn't expect raised eyebrows and a half curious, half-worried look in those deep brown eyes. He didn't expect a blush.

“It's not that I don't want to kiss you,” Courfeyrac shook his head. “I'm just wondering – why, that's all. I mean, it's okay if you're not – you don't have to.”

Enjolras had to bite back a growl of frustration.

“It's not that,” he said. “I'm not doing this with anyone specifically in mind.”

One of Courfeyrac's brow rose above the other – and impressive feat, Enjolras thought – and a small smile began to turn the corners of his month upward.

“Well, except you, of course,” Enjolras quickly corrected. “But not like that.”

“Of course. Not like that.”

There had been a few moments of awkwardness in the course of Enjolras and Courfeyrac's years-long friendship; though they shared passions, they had very different temperaments, and different ways of dealing with people. For a moment, Enjolras worried he had just caused another one, but Courfeyrac simply leaned forward and gently kissed his cheek, bringing their bodies closer. The gesture's warmth and intimacy was already familiar, and Enjolras relaxed, bringing a hand on the back of Courfeyrac's neck hoping his friend understood he meant now, please, before I lose my nerve.

“Tell me if there's anything wrong, okay? I'll stop.” Courfeyrac whispered, and once more Enjolras thought of Courfeyrac's deep empathy, his profund understanding of people and their different languages, and a burst of love for his friend squeezed his heart. Courfeyrac's breath against Enjolras's skin was hot and it smelled like the sweet coffee he and Enjolras had been drinking just moments ago. It wasn't unpleasant.

Slowly, Courfeyrac brought his mouth closer and closer to Enjolras'. Enjolras closed his eyes let his body rest on the back of the couch, letting Courfeyrac's warm, soft lips gently push against his own.

Everything about this was new: blood rushed to Enjolras's head, and his toes tingled, and for a moment Enjolras felt nothing else but Courfeyrac's skin against his. Breathing was becoming difficult, too, but before he could say anything – before he remembered he could say something – Courfeyrac drew back.

“Yeah,” he said, wiping his month with his sleeve as Enjolras' eyes fluttered open. “I mean, it's a start, but you need to move.”

Enjolras' whole face burned.

“Oh.”

Courfeyrac smiled; his face was still closer to Enjolras' than it usually was, and Enjolras thought he could smell the soap beneath the body mist he recognized as the present he had gotten Courfeyrac for his birthday. He felt both hyper aware of everything about the body next to his – Courfeyrac's scratchy wool sweater, the amount of product he knew his friend put in his hair, the wiry muscles of his chest and shoulders – and numb in his own skin. He had forgotten he could move his arms, had no idea what his breathing was doing.

It was, for lack of a better word, unsettling.

“It's okay,” Courfeyrac continued, allowing Enjolras to focus on his voice. “You can just – move your hand on my back if you want. Turn your head to the side, open your mouth. It'll be a little better. I mean, do you want to continue?”

Enjolras blinked. “Yes, yes,” he said. “It's different, I mean. I don't know what I was expecting, but I want to know what kissing feels like.”

“Okay,” Courfeyrac laughed a little. “Well, this was a kiss, though. Like, we're slowly moving into making out territory if we keep going, just so you know.”

“I'm okay with that,” Enjolras nodded. “If you are.”

Courfeyrac didn't reply; instead he leaned forward again and immediately brought his lips to Enjolras'. This time, Enjolras was prepared. The sensation of Courfeyrac's smooth lips, his breath against his mouth, didn't overwhelm him completely. He was aware of one of Courfeyrac's hands coming to rest on his shoulder and remembered to move his hands over his friend's back, grounding himself on the texture of the coarse sweater under his fingers. He opened his mouth, as instructed, and cocked his head to the side to allow Courfeyrac to deepen the kiss. After a few seconds he turned his head to the other side, tentatively pushing against the other. Courfeyrac moaned gently and pulled away. It took Enjolras a few seconds to realize he was laughing.

In all honesty, Enjolras felt a little insulted. It hadn't been that bad, had it?

“What's wrong?”

Courfeyrac shook his head.

“You need to move your tongue, Enjolras. Tongues are – they're a big part of this too, so when you don't, it's – well. We call this the 'dead fish'.”

Enjolras grimaced.

“That sounds...”

“Unpleasant. Yeah. Not exactly what you want your date or whatever to remember about your first kiss, uh?”

Enjolras ran a hand through his hair and sighed.

“Wanna try again?” Courfeyrac asked, his earlier doubts seemingly completely replaced by his usual enthusiasm. Enjolras figured it wasn't due to his own inexperience and inexistent making-out skills, but maybe Courfeyrac enjoyed the role of instructor. His lips were red and glossy, but the way he looked at Enjolras wasn't insistent, or awkward, or uncomfortable.

“I-” Enjolras lay back against the couch again. “Maybe one last time. Just to see. One last time.”

“Okay.” Courfeyrac looked at Enjolras, brown eyes gentle. This time, he didn't lean forward, and Enjolras realized he meant for him to make the first move.

So Enjolras slowly raised his head towards Courfeyrac's, set his forehead against his friend's, and softly, quietly, kissed him.

Parting his lips, leaning his head, moving his tongue against Courfeyrac's; Enjolras tried to remember every step they'd gone through. Courfeyrac's hair tickled his face, and the strong smell of his body spray made him want to sneeze. Courfeyrac was warm, though, and when he wrapped an arm around him Enjolras let himself melt against his friend's body. He broke the kiss, resting his head on Courfeyrac's shoulder.

“Hey,” Courfeyrac said after a moment, his voice low. “This was nice. You learn fast.”

“There's no one, you know. No first date planned, no – crush.”

“Okay.”

“I just wanted to know.”

“Okay,” and Courfeyrac kissed his hair. “I'm glad you came to me.”

Enjolras finally raised his head and met Courfeyrac's eyes.

“Thank you for doing this. I don't think – I don't know if I'd want this to happen with, well, anyone. I just don't know if it's for me.”

Courfeyrac shrugged. “There's nothing wrong with that.”

“No,” Enjolras agreed. “There isn't.”

They stayed in each other's arms for a few more moments. Enjolras could feel Courfeyrac's heartbeat, slow and steady and comforting.

“I'm going to reheat my coffee, I think,” Courfeyrac eventually said, stretching a little. “Want to watch some Netflix after that? I mean, I've been binge watching some cute animal shit, but we can check something else, too.”

“Cute animals sound good, though I might fall asleep.”

“So more warm coffee for you too, got it,” Courfeyrac got up and winked. “Set the thing up, I'll be back in a sec!”

Enjolras watched him disappear into the kitchen, a smile on his lips. Then he turned towards the television and grabbed the remote.