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Fleeting Joys

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Grantaire jerks awake, certain Enjolras has died - his eyes closed, blood trickling off his mouth.

With despair, he tries to wipe off his mind the last strands of his nightmare, to remember what is real. That, was not. It could be, very soon. It was almost fun when it started, people laughing in the streets, and now they're in the middle of a goddamned Revolution, have been for two days already. Grantaire doesn't really remember in what house he's sleeping, he really doesn't want to know. Some kind of administrative building, that they took earlier and had to defend, for whichever reasons. At least there are carpets on the floor, and - why isn't Grantaire in his own home?

Because Enjolras is here, of course.

Except that he looks for radiant, golden hair in the pale light streaming from the window and finds nothing but shadows. Suddenly very awake, almost panicked, he searches among his friends, among strangers. Enjolras must be here, on watch or... something.

Grantaire ends on the roof and breathes with relief. Enjolras gazes at the town. Even with his face lost in the shadows, he's striking enough to make Grantaire pause, although maybe he's not entirely unbiased.

Enjolras quickly turns around. "Grantaire." he says softly, with oh-so-subtle disappointment in his voice, although it is flitting. "Come and see!"

"You were supposed to be sleeping." Grantaire mumbles.

"I know. I should. We're not finished. But I can't. It's a revolution!" He laughs, a little nervously. Grantaire realizes it's the first time he hears the clear sound. Enjolras points out the tricolore flags illuminated in the night. "We're winning. This is why we fought all this time."

His voice is vibrant, exalted, but it strains on its enthusiasm, his sentences are too short. He doesn't really sound like himself.

"Why you fought." Grantaire corrects.

Enjolras shrugs. "At least you were here." It's not what Grantaire meant - he was correcting the motivation - but it's true, he didn't really fight. He ran with others, he dodged hits, but he can't remember having struck with a weapon. It's hard to kill, harder than to die, perhaps. It could have been easier if he had known Enjolras was watching, but he didn't expect that, even if it's the reason he's here.

"I'd kill for you. I'd die for you. Just ask for it." Grantaire says very softly. He didn't even expect Enjolras to listen, to care.

"No. Do you really believe I think I deserve that? The Revolution is a noble cause. But this way, it would be unfair."

"Allow me to think the opposite. Ah, we definitely can't agree on anything." It doesn't get easier, offering his life, offering everything, and being rejected.

Enjolras stares at the night, then looks at Grantaire again, with a very familiar disappointment. "It's so sad," he murmurs, "that you can't understand, even living through this..."

Suddenly his arms are around Grantaire, and it's so good, so strong, that he feels himself burn in this embrace. Of course, it's not affection Enjolras offers him, only an attempt to comfort him for a deficiency Grantaire can't be bothered about. Why should he care? It never happened before, it probably won't happen again, and Grantaire can take delight in everything Enjolras deigns to grant him.

Grantaire's blood is burning in his veins, and he realizes Enjolras is drunk - he didn't touch any alcohol, of course, but the effects are the same, drunk with revolution, too much happiness at the same time. Grantaire knows this feeling of loving the whole world. For him, right now, he's almost sober, a sad result of the circumstances. At least he was, before being held in Enjolras' arms and breathing in his smell.

The embrace loosens, but Enjolras' hands are still on his shoulders and Grantaire can see him now, so close.

"I dreamt you were dead." He says shyly.

Then Enjolras leans towards Grantaire and grazes his forehead with his lips.

A void opens under Grantaire's feet, and for now he's flying, but he's cynical enough to brace himself for a fall. It's mad. It can't be happening. Grantaire is probably dreaming right now, useless and drunk, in some out-of-the-way corner. He restrains himself from embracing Enjolras back too tightly. He guesses that to Enjolras this is a gift, a symbol, anything, nothing about sensations or sentiment, but Grantaire can feel enough for both of them. His heart and his entire body fill up with this touch. It will consume him. Nothing will be left of him.

"Enjolras..." he moans incontrollably. At least he isn't crying. Or is he?

"I wouldn't want for you to die here," Enjolras says again, "without loving the revolution, without a good reason."

Grantaire should get angry, stand up for his right to choose what is a good reason to die, but he can't. "If you want to fight and die here, I
don't want to live either." His voice falters. "I'm yours. You know I'm yours."

"No one should own anyone." Enjolras replies, sounding annoyed. Then he pauses, probably lost in his irrelevant revolutionary rhetoric.

Except that he stares at Grantaire again, and asks "Do you desire me?"

An accusation, now. It's done, Grantaire is falling, and he falls laughing. It's too much feelings. Enjolras can talk all he want, he does own Grantaire, and he will kill him, won't he? stop his heart with joy and suffering too tightly laced? Of course, Grantaire can't be reasonable, and lie. He never could, not to Enjolras, even for a smile, even for the gift of not having his heart crushed under his boots.

"It's not... yes, I do, yes, yes, how could I not... but it's not important. Not the most important, by far. Oh, Enjolras, I admire you so much that I hate myself, I love you so much that I'd die on a word from you, and all you retain is how hard a touch from you make me? That I can't deny, but..."

Enjolras seems almost pleasantly surprised. "That's good. That it's not all you want from me, I mean. I'm still offering, though."

He hesitantly touches Grantaire's thigh, and looks at him as if he were afraid his behavior is inappropriate. Grantaire can feel arousal surge deep in his belly, nothing he can control, even if he's not even sure he wants this, not like this...

Who is he kidding? Of course, he does. More than anything, right now.

That's why he will ruin all his chances, like he always does.

"Why ?" he asks, almost terrified, "why are you offering this? Did I ever do what you wanted? You never asked for anything I could give. I didn't love your revolution - I couldn't, but I wouldn't even if I could - I hadn't any respect for your ideas - and I didn't leave - and I even liked thinking you might feel guilty of my death, if just a little bit!"

"I need the guilt to be put upon me, and you're doing it well. I believe in the cause, but I don't need to ignore those uninvolved lives that
will be lost. And you? Do you want - do you need - me to be cruel with you? Is it why you're hesitating?"

Grantaire is broken enough to consider the question. "No. I'll take anything from you. If it's the form your pity takes, I'll be the last to complain." oh, he wants this, he will adore this in every way, be it offered with disdainful mercy, guilt or one-time joy... yes, he's that pathetic, and can't regret it one bit.

"Sit." Enjolras orders. Still one hand on Grantaire's thigh, the other on his shoulder, he gets his back against the balustrade, and leans over him, kneeling. He clumsily opens Grantaire's trousers - Grantaire who, by the way, is already fully hard.

He moans when Enjolras takes him in his hand - not even for show, he can't help it. Looking up, he can see his face, serious and concentrated on the task. Wisps of hair brush his cheek. He breathes in his smell, again. He won't last long. Not that he'd want to. It's a gift bestowed upon him, and he wouldn't want Enjolras to get bored.

One of his hands wraps around Enjolras', giving him a rhythm. He seems to hesitate, but lets himself be led. Grantaire moans again and puts his other hand in Enjolras' neck, trying to get their mouths close. He meets resistance, and for a moment he wants very hard to beg for a kiss. But Enjolras puts his forehead on Grantaire's shoulder, letting him kiss his neck, and it's almost as good. Grantaire is almost convulsing now, taking all the pleasure in the world from Enjolras' tightened fist and the taste of his skin.

"I'm coming." He whispers through his teeth.

"Please do."

It shouldn't be hot, this distant politeness, but it's what finishes Grantaire, what throws him into a climax more intense that it has any right to be.

When he opens his eyes again, Enjolras, still kneeling, is wiping his hands clean.

"I would have licked it away." Grantaire murmurs. "Your handkerchief will be ruined." Then, coming back to reality - the whole thing, not bits. "I mean, thank you. Thank you for everything. I could..." He sits straighter, buttons his trousers. "Is there something I can do for you? Anything?"

"No." Enjolras replies. Then, more gently. "Not now, and not if you're thinking about sex - which you are, aren't you?"

"Yes." Grantaire smiles sheepishly, still lost in the afterglow. Enjolras is still as pure, as bright, as unattainable as ever. He was just being generous. Why should Grantaire be disappointed? It's still more than he ever hoped for.

Enjolras frowns at his handkerchief - ruined, as Grantaire said. When Grantaire proposes a swap - Enjolras accepts with an indifferent shrug -, it's less altruistic that he makes it seem.

"Let's not die tomorrow." he suggests. Not even for Enjolras. Not even for the revolution.

"Not tomorrow." Enjolras agrees.


The good thing is, nobody dies.

The bad ones... let's count, the politics get unpleasant - pleonastic, isn't it? - and the topic of a republic is postponed. It was predictable. If you had asked Grantaire. Well, he didn't know the exact ways in which things would go badly, but he did know it wouldn't end well.

And he could have guessed exactly how the matter with Enjolras would end, like nothing changed and never mentioned again.

There are days after that, when Enjolras talks about the stolen revolution, when he mentions the cruelty of having almost gotten what you craved, of seeing it slipping away helplessly. It would be so easy to say it, voice full of intent, yes. I understand very well. I know what you mean.

But Grantaire lets the opportunity go, and it's not like it matters anyway.