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You Dance Joy

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Enjolras has known Grantaire for years. He's always been goofing off in the back of music theory classes, taking them for a minor, so they were nothing he really needed and his commitment reflected that. They're friends with all the same people, but Enjolras wouldn't call them friends by any stretch of the imagination. He's never minded that. Grantaire doesn't take anything seriously, and it makes it hard to find common ground.

When Combeferre came back from the summer and talked about his plans for Puck, Enjolras was frankly skeptical. Grantaire seems willing to commit now, but Enjolras hasn't seen him do that for long, and Combeferre needs someone who won't back out or lose interest for Midwinter.

A few private rehearsals with Grantaire, though, have made Enjolras wonder if he's been misjudging him. He's still prickly, and laughs at the wrong things, and makes jokes more often than he doesn't, but Enjolras never saw him in his own element before. Watching him dance is …

“Do you think you can do that?” Grantaire asks, after demonstrating something that looks as easy to him as walking in a straight line is for Enjolras, the same way he does every new step that takes years of hard training to learn.

“I can try.”

Something isn't clicking in one of their smaller moments together. The big duet is going to take a lot of work, but it's not their only time alone on the stage, and Grantaire is in charge of choreographing all of it. There's a moment in the second act when Oberon takes his spy aside and is displeased and shaken to find that Puck's mind might be changing in favor of the revolution, and nothing they try works.

Grantaire is wandering through steps, switching styles so obviously even Enjolras can see it, but they might as well be in different rooms. But if Enjolras can intercept him when he's not doing the ballet, correct his posture, do a movement that looks like ballet, it might get what they're trying to do across.

Of course, that requires Enjolras to be able to copy some of Grantaire's easy elegance, and since he isn't used to Grantaire having anything close to easy elegance, he's having trouble with it.

“Well, show me then.”

Grantaire goes to his mark and starts his steps, and Enjolras mouths his words, pretends he's agitated, and grabs Grantaire's arm, halts him, presses in the middle of his spine until he straightens and extends a leg, feeling like an idiot and knowing it's not the right angle.

“Le Gros would cry,” says Grantaire, less mocking than sympathetic, yet another surprise. “Here, you be me for a second.”

“I can't do what you're doing.”

“You don't have to. Twirl around, whatever you think I'm doing, the important part is the correcting and I'll show you how to do that.”

Enjolras does, feeling like a fool, and Grantaire catches him easily with one hand in his and one in the center of his chest where he has to stand up straight or be forced to. They pause there, Grantaire counting the beat and Enjolras mouthing his words, and Grantaire slowly moves the position of Enjolras's arm into something that looks familiar. “What about the feet?” Enjolras asks once they pause there. Feet, it seems, are one of the more important parts of ballet.

“I can take the arm positioning as a cue. It's either that or you kneel to reposition me, and that's not a power dynamic we're going for.”

“It would be interesting, but you're right, I don't think it's what Combeferre wants.”

“Do you think you can do it?”

“Try, we'll see.”

He never catches Grantaire as easily as Grantaire catches him when he's demonstrating. The first three times, they end up in an awkward tangle of arms or something like waltz position. The fourth time, Enjolras catches him right, one hand flat on Grantaire's sternum, one grabbing his hand so he can force his arm into position.

Enjolras is just learning to balance Grantaire's weight, but he recognizes the squeeze of his hand as warning and braces for Grantaire sinking into one of his bends, a graceful lean of his whole body, balancing just enough of his weight on Enjolras's hand that both of them are tense with the effort.

“I think that should work if we can do it consistently,” says Grantaire, abruptly himself again, both feet flat on the floor, warmth and weight gone from Enjolras's hand. “Let's try it again with music.”

Enjolras flexes his hand and goes to his mark for the beginning of the interlude. Grantaire caring about something is a Grantaire he still doesn't know and still isn't sure he's comfortable with, but Enjolras can respect him and work with him, and if there's something else he's ignoring while they're so intimate, he can keep ignoring it for a little longer.

Perhaps not forever (and he's not sure what he'll do when that time is up), but for long enough to learn this dance.