Never a bloom so soft
Pearls, petals, and petticoats,
Never a wish so smooth
Might you stay a while longer?
It had all started innocently enough. Jehan had written a sonnet about a pretty stranger in the corner of the café and had left it on the table. The barista for the morning shift had picked up the poem and hung it on the wall. Grantaire thought this was the most hilarious thing ever, Jehan had blushed, and Marius’s eyes had lit up.
The next day, there was another poem next to Jehan’s, written on the back of a paper napkin. It wasn’t nearly as lyrical and smooth as Jehan’s, but it was honest and ecstatic. Grantaire had laughed from his chest and proceeded to rib Marius worse than he had Jehan. Enjolras had scowled at the wall, and Courfeyrac had gathered into a slow smirk which promised mischief.
When the Amis wandered into the café the next evening, there were five poems and letters hung on the wall. And thus, it was born: The Musain Cafe’s Wall of Candid Confessions.
I saw you from across the room, and I swear I heard angels sing.
The sun shone just for you, and your hair was spun gold.
We locked eyes, and my heart was forever yours.
I don’t even know your name, but I’m sure it’s magical and golden.
I am lost without you, sweet Angel of the Morning.
Grantaire liked to check The Wall every week before the Amis’s meetings. There were always some interesting confessions that made him snicker or scoff. Sometimes he would point out individual notes and read them to the café at large. One day, he gave out a hoot of delight, dropped his index finger onto a particular letter, and cleared his throat: “Ahem! ‘When I see your luscious black locks, I can’t help but wonder how often you condition your scalp.’ How poetic! How romantic! One wonders on another’s bathing habits. I’ve seen it all, bury me in peace!” Grantaire proceeded to flop into his chair and lounge as though struck down by vapors.
The general group gave a good snicker at his antics, but not Enjolras. He had a piercing look about him, eyes narrowed and lips pursed. “You say that about every letter up there, Grantaire. I admit, most of those letters are way too flowery, but I doubt even the most artful declaration is protected from your censure and criticism.”
Rising like the Kraken from the Deep, Courfeyrac turned wide eyes on Enjolras. His face split into a terrifying smile as he asked, “Why Enjolras, was it your confession R just ripped apart?”
“No?” Enjolras turned the statement into a question, feeling the impending doom of another of Courfeyrac’s schemes…
And the kicker: “Oh, well why not write one, yourself, and see what he has to say about it!”
“That would defeat the purpose of anonymity?” Enjolras was known for being hopeful, after all.
“Yes, it would, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. He reads all of them anyway and I bet he’ll rip yours to shreds.”
“There are more important things to do than write silly love letters to non-existent amours!”
“So you’re scared.” That insufferable smirk…
“I’ll do it if it’ll make you shut up.” He agreed to write a damn love letter, a good love letter, under two conditions: He wouldn’t tell them when he posted it, and he would only reveal it was his letter if Grantaire roasted him over it. And that’s how that started: The Great Hunt for Enjolras’s Heart.
Dat ass. Is that vulgar? I don’t care. Dat ASS. Marius Pontmercy, get in my bed.
Of course, Grantaire was the most resolved hunter for Enjolras’s note. He didn’t know if he was ecstatic to see just how terrible Enjolras was at romance, or determined to see his idol shine through once again.
And so it went: Grantaire kept a look out for any poems or confessions about French Revolution and Enjolras never declared that a roasted letter was his.
“I bet he’ll write it in red,” Eponine snickered that first week, “Or on red paper. That man is a subtle as a brick.”
Combeferre nodded along with her, a soft smile on his face. “He can be very subtle about some things. He is unbelievably insensitive about his own feelings, though, so I would love to see how this works.”
The meetings always seemed to waft onto that topic sooner or later: their most emotionally constipated revolutionary leader, writing a love letter? No one could really wrap their heads around it. Except for Bahorel, oddly enough. He understood Enjolras’s frustration. He confronted Enjolras after one of their meetings to offer his support. “I understand the confusion one’s feelings can create. If you write from your heart, it’s just honest. No ridiculous language, no Shakespearean sonnets. You have a way with words, but you’re no Jehan.”
“Do you think I need help composing my letter?” Enjolras felt trapped in a corner. He really did need help, but he had too much pride to admit it with Courfeyrac’s spies everywhere. Google was out of the question, Courfeyrac would just know…
Bahorel looked unimpressed with his false bravado. “Of course. You would have posted it by now if you weren’t having any trouble with it.”
Enjolras blinked. “Oh. Who’s to say my confession isn’t already up there and Grantaire never called on it?” He felt rather clever.
“Yeah…Sure…” And Bahorel left it like that, walking away with a waggle of his eyebrows that was not the least bit seductive, but every bit suggestive. Enjolras couldn’t help but feel as though he was being made fun of.
You’re too good for him. I wish I could tell you in person, but it’s not my place. You would probably punch me in the face and ask me what I know of love. Well, here’s a newsflash: I know a lot, because I love you.
A few weeks into the Great Hunt, Grantaire showed up at Courfeyrac and Marius’s apartment looking frazzled and frustrated with life. “Make it stop,” was all he said before stomping into their kitchen and raiding their pantry for Marius’s chocolate covered almonds or the candied pineapple. Rather than either, he ended up with the baked cheddar and sour cream potato chips.
After exchanging a cursory look of caution with Marius, Courfeyrac flopped into the rickety chair at the wobbly kitchen table and swatted his hand at Grantaire to sit and stay a while. Marius was red in the ears from the unfamiliar situation, aaand Grantaire was giving Courfeyrac his Dead Eyes. (Courfeyrac was very familiar with Grantaire’s Dead Eyes. They usually entailed deep disappointment with his soul and other levels of displeasure over what Grantaire considers Unspeakable Events. Those events usually involve Enjolras and Courfeyrac’s meddling, so this really wasn’t anything new.) Courfeyrac liked his odds if the confrontation turned into an argument. “Tell me your troubles, dear boy.” Grantaire unblinkingly deadpanned tearing the potato chip bag open and stuffing a large orange chip into his mouth. (The Dead Eyes didn’t go away. This was par for the course. Courfeyrac knew he had to dig himself out of three layers of Disdain before Grantaire was back to being his casually cynical self.)
“If I have to dig through one more letter to wonder if it’s Enjolras’s amateurish or heartfelt declaration to some random ninny or someone who actually deserves him, I’m going to tear out my hair and cry into a bottle so I can drink my own tears after stuffing every confession on that wall down your throat.” Grantaire was testy. This was, again, nothing new. And it seemed he was sober, so there was always that. Grantaire was always testy when he was sober. Courfeyrac had to act accordingly.
“Now, is this because the suspense is killing you, or because you’re scared he might actually write about you?”
Grantaire gave a slow blink. (Dead Eye Layer number 1, broken) “Why on earth would he write about me? There is literally zero reason for him to write about me. That’s insane.”
A pause. “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
Grantaire gave a good Exorcist head whip, and puffed exasperatedly, “Marius, you aren’t helping,” at the red faced man still standing in the corner of his own kitchen. Marius murmured an apology and continued to look like a kicked puppy. (But Grantaire had been smiling as he snapped at Marius, so Courfeyrac considered that Dead Eyes Layer 2 down.)
The only way to break that third layer was to further provoke. “If you’re so concerned about it, why don’t you just stop reading the letters?” Courfeyrac was really courting the devil. He should give more thought to his life choices.
Grantaire’s eyes flashed their startling blue that people only ever got to see when he argued with Enjolras or was caught in the tide of his muse (both of which were, for all intents and purposes, the exact same thing.) “If I do that, it would be like admitting defeat!” (Dead Eyes officially gone.)
“No, it would be like walking past free tickets to see Bastille live, and I know how you feel about Pompeii.”
“…shut up.” Grantaire seemed to think about it for a moment, “Yeah, no, I’m a lot more emotionally invested in this situation than I am with Bastille.”
Courfeyrac didn’t let his expression change at all, but he felt a little piece of himself crumple in pain. He never meant for this to actually burden R. It was supposed to be a bit of ribbing at Enjolras, and maybe something of a wakeup call for both sides, but Enjolras was taking too long and dragging it out. He told Grantaire as much. With fewer words. Which is to say, he agreed that Enjolras was dragging this out like a sissy. “I’ll get him to post something, and then we’ll be done with it. How does that sound?”
“Fantastic. Where did you get these chips?”
When I think about you, my heart stops beating. If I hold your hand right now, will you laugh it off? Will you hold back just as tightly? Would I laugh it off, for that matter? No one is more scared than me. I don’t want to mess this up. You’re pure poetry, and I’m just…not. I would probably laugh it off, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t mean it. Every time I touch you, I mean it.
The paper stared mockingly back at him. He didn’t know where to start. Enjolras unbraided and rebraided his hair three times, staring at the blank paper, before picking up his pen and writing absolutely nothing. Writing from his heart was hard when he didn’t know what was there. Bahorel doesn’t know what he’s talking about. WHY DID I LET COURFEYRAC TALK ME INTO THIS?
Glancing around his Spartan living room for inspiration, Enjolras’s gaze landed on some of Combeferre’s shoes on the floor by the kitchen door, Jehan’s flowers he demanded they keep on the windowsill above the sink, and Courfeyrac’s message in fluorescent magnet letters on the fridge. Enjolras knew he didn’t know of love, but he knew of friendship. And loyalty. But those were too vague for The Wall. His confession would stand out too much. And it wasn’t much of a confession if all his friends already knew that he cared for them in a non-romantic way.
That made him stop: did all his friends know that he cared for them? He thought of Joly’s frantic doting, of Feuilly’s calming expression turning to fire, and Grantaire, lounging in the back with his bottle, spewing poison and vitriol, the stubborn nonbeliever sent to try his resolve. Oh. And that’s when he knew. He tucked his chin to his chest and scribbled the furiously at the blank paper.
“You don’t know, because you make my blood boil. I can’t help but wonder if you know how much I care. All I ever have to say are words flung in the heat of the moment, but I always look back at you with soft eyes, especially when you laugh. Not your boisterous laugh, meant for the group; no, I love your soft laugh. The laugh that makes you look down to hide it behind your drink; that makes you look down, so I can look at you without the electric blue blaze of your gaze to blind me. Then, I can look at you, and feel.”
He left the note at the café the way all the other anonymous posters did. Enjolras scrapped the first half of the note, thinking it was too specific. He wrote in purple pen, because it was all he could find at the time. When he came back the next morning to find it hung up next to the other confessions, the purple stood out next to all the black and blue. It made him blush while he ordered his coffee, to know that his personal thoughts are there in the open for anyone to read.
The usual morning crowd was clustered around the new postings; some pointing to familiar hand writing while others gushed over who they thought was being anonymously praised. Enjolras couldn’t bring himself to look over the rest of the notes while there were other people around, so he took his coffee and left.
Whenever you look at me, I burn in your gaze. You are the sun, and I am a satellite. I can only reflect the power you cast out into the universe. Without your light, I would wither and die, but I would die for you anyway, if you asked it of me. My life is dark when you are not there. Life has no meaning without your rays to shine on my face. I am but a mortal, allowed to bask in your immortal presence.
Before the meeting, Courfeyrac cornered Enjolras by the toaster. “Post something. I don’t care what it is, just do it. It’s ridiculous, how long you’re talking. Just admit you can’t write a good love letter and let it go.”
Enjolras delivered a slow blink to rival Grantaire’s deadpan. “Mhmm. I already posted something.” He slithered his way around Courfeyrac’s skeptical stance and made his way to his usual table.
As everyone starts trickling in, Grantaire lifts himself from his seat to start in on the new batch of postings. He scoffs at the first one he reads out and blinks at a couple more. He chuckles to himself as he reads another.
When he gets to the note written in purple, he stops. He blushes and looks down, looking less than pleased, but he moves on and doesn’t read it out loud. By the time he gets to the end, Grantaire has torn apart at least four overzealous declarations. Turning a curious gaze at Enjolras, Grantaire seats himself in his usual chair by the back. He doesn’t call Enjolras out, but he knows. Enjolras knows he knows.
He’s in quite the predicament.
At the end of the meeting, the Amis shuffled their pamphlets into their bags and rolled poster designs into long tubes. Everyone was buzzing, ready to leave. Enjolras watched them all pack from his seat on the windowsill. He was trying to sort out what he wanted to do with his new-found feelings. Should he talk to Grantaire? Should he say anything at all? He had never realized what he had was a crush, but now that he had acknowledged the fact, he realized why people called the feeling a crush. His chest felt tight and his heart was hammering out quite the beat. Really, there was nothing pleasant about the way he felt right then. It felt more like anxiety than anything. But it was nothing new; this was how he felt every time Grantaire argued with him. That’s why he wrote in his letter that Grantaire made his blood boil. It’s just that it was a newly persistent feeling. He was thinking about this too much.
As he looked up, waving away Combeferre at his side, he noticed Grantaire was stood at his table by the window. And he was clearing his throat. Everyone else was gone. Oh. We’re going to do this, are we?
He took a step forward into Enjolras space whispering, “If I’m wrong, don’t hit me.” His eyes were electric blue. That was the only thought Enjolras got out before tentative fingertips were soft against his cheek; soft, sliding slowly into his hair. His mind was completely paralyzed. His heart was aching with effort. Everything in the room washed out and he was left with quivering lips parted in anticipation. He knew. He knew what this was.
Grantaire tilted his head slightly, electric eyes lidded while he lent in to Enjolras’s space. “Do you permit it?” He asked, the tip of his nose brushing Enjolras’s cheek. The slightest brush of contact froze Enjolras. Was this real? Enjolras could only give a small whine of terror before he gently pressed his own parted lips to Grantaire’s. He felt like he was dying. He felt truly alive. Grantaire’s breath was in his mouth, panting softly to match his own. Enjolras felt Grantaire press into the kiss, saw his eyes flutter before closing. He heard the breathy moan Grantaire tried to hide in his throat. If Enjolras wasn’t sitting on the windowsill, his legs would have given out at the sound.
Both Grantaire’s hands were in his hair now. When did they get there? Enjolras couldn’t help but hesitate before placing his own hands on Grantaire’s waist, needing to pull him against himself, but not sure if he was allowed. He whimpered into Grantaire’s mouth again, feeling the artist slide his lips along his own. Oh. So this was a kiss. Enjolras felt his own eyes close to the sensation, concentrating on nothing but the warm breath in his mouth and the wet slide of soft lips against his own. So help him god, he was going to swoon.
And Grantaire’s body was closer. Did he pull him closer? Enjolras was all about consent, was he pressuring Grantaire into this? But no, Grantaire was the one who asked him, this wasn’t his move, Oh… Oh… that’s a tongue. Dear God, that’s a tongue. Grantaire was pressed against him now, hands still safe in Enjolras’s hair, but still bodily pressed against Enjolras’s front. Enjolras’s hands were wound around Grantaire’s waist, snaking up his back into his lush, long black hair. (Now he was wondering about how often Grantaire conditioned his hair, but he would never breathe that thought to a soul.) Grantaire was warm against him, filling all the empty spaces Enjolras didn’t realize his body had. He felt flushed and frankly aroused by every move Grantaire made; every shift of muscle in his back, every twist of tongue against his own. He couldn’t help the small sounds Grantaire was pulling out of him. Small ‘ah’s and ‘oh’s, and strangled whimpers.
Enjolras was practically keening into Grantaire’s mouth when he pulled away with a soft exhale against his jaw. “Enjolras,” he was murmuring, trailing a hand from Enjolras’s hair to his collarbone, “Enjolras, Enjolras, Enjolras…” a reverent mantra chanted softly into his ear. Enjolras held him tighter, closer, feeling the ache inside expand. Could he believe this? Was this real? Was Grantaire really in his arms like this? Was this what he wanted? Did he actually like him this way, or was he just—
“Grantaire, are you— please, are you sure?”
He chuckled into his neck, “I’m the one who should be asking that.”
“N-No!” Enjolras pulled away to look Grantaire in the eyes, “You’re here with electric blue eyes, and razor sharp wit, and k-kiss me into incoherency and you have the-the audacity to suggest that you should be asking me if I’m sure?” He wrapped his arms around Grantaire’s shoulders, pulling him close again. “No, Grantaire. You’re the one who needs to be sure.”
Grantaire let his hand fall to Enjolras’s chest, above his heart. His eyelids were fluttering with emotion, but his mouth was relaxed, pliable, as far as Enjolras could tell. I want to kiss him again. I need to kiss him again. As soon as he raised his gaze back to Enjolras’s face, a gentle smile on his lips, the blond was overcome. How could I have been quite so blind to how I felt, truly? How long have I let him slip by? He pressed his lips to Grantaire’s jaw, trailing his kiss down to his ear. Letting his lips brush against the shell, he whispered, “Do you permit it?”
With a breathy moan, his knees gave out and Enjolras was left with an armful of warm Grantaire, desperately pawing at the back of his shirt. “Permit it, he asks. Are you sure, he questions. You are the worst. Just let me love you.” And with that, Grantaire sealed their lips once more.
I know the two of you are in lOvE and all that, but cool it down every once in a while. You both went from Blushing Virgins to Insatiable Make-Out Masters in .05seconds. Cool that shit. You’re giving us all cavities.
But who am I kidding; I’m just jealous my boyfriend doesn’t approve of PDA when there are already two stupid couples spewing their happiness everywhere. Damn your happiness! And your unintentional stroking of my sex drive!
Maybe I’m just Horney.
I’m still leaving this here as a PSA.