Grantaire tells the latest story in the saga (Jehan said he wasn’t allowed to call it a saga until he declaimed it in verse, which obviously he did immediately because nobody can ever say that Grantaire has turned down a challenge) of his shitty apartment after a meeting. It’s only the latest, and not even the worst—that honor goes to the time when his landlord actually climbed through his window and announced he was having a random inspection while blatantly looking to see if he could find Grantaire’s stash of weed—and for the most part, he’s getting the usual reactions. Mostly, it’s laughter-tinged horror or horror-tinged laughter, with sympathy from Éponine and Feuilly, who live in something of a shithole themselves, and long-suffering from Combeferre, who’s switching back and forth between listening and attempting to convince Musichetta that she should write an op-ed for the school paper on the Slut Walk she’s leading the planning on.
This time, there’s a difference, and that difference is Enjolras. Or, more to the point, the fact that Enjolras is listening. Grantaire misses the I’ve-got-a-new-cause expression on his face all through the story of his late-night adventures trying to get his landlord to care that the neighbors upstairs had overflowed their toilet and he’d woken to water dripping on his foot, but it’s impossible to miss him leaning forward and commanding the table’s attention (or maybe that’s just Grantaire’s) as the story winds to a close. “You can’t stay there,” he announces, the same way he says that corrupt politicians can’t be allowed to stay in office, like the force of his words will make it true.
“Fairly sure I can,” Grantaire says, because he’s conditioned to respond to that tone by being contrary so he won’t respond to it by climbing into Enjolras’s lap.
“It’s a health hazard, your landlord is probably in violation of more statutes than I can quote off the top of my head, and you can’t stay there.”
Grantaire rolls his eyes and takes a swig from his beer bottle. “This may not occur to you, since you’ve got nice cushy housing and don’t have to worry about this shit, but I can’t actually afford better. Not unless I find a roommate, which, shall I go through the last few of those I’ve had? There was the drug addict, the drug dealer, the professional clown who came back at two in the morning and almost gave me a heart attack because who wears a fucking clown costume at two in the morning, the—”
“Yes, I get it,” Enjolras says, all impatience, though his eyes widen at that last. “That’s why you should move in with me.”
There’s a long, disbelieving silence after that, interrupted only by Marius’s nervous giggle. Grantaire swallows and manages to collect his words. “Pardon?”
“Call it a temporary measure if you must, while you look for somewhere else or a sane roommate—”
“Let’s be clear that Enjolras does not fall under that category,” Courfeyrac interrupts, which is fair because he’s the only one of them who has actually lived with Enjolras (Joly once asked why Enjolras and Combeferre don’t live together and Courfeyrac just laughed for about four minutes straight).
“Or a sane roommate,” Enjolras repeats, glaring (at someone besides Grantaire! It’s practically a miracle), “but you can’t stay there, and I have a spare room.”
“I can’t afford your rent.”
Enjolras makes a sharp, dismissive gesture. Grantaire seriously considers being offended. “So pay me what you pay now.”
“I am not a charity case.”
“I never said you were. But your health and safety are clearly at risk where you’re living now—and what about your art?” Grantaire blinks, because he was fairly certain up until this moment that Enjolras thought that Grantaire’s only interest in life was to make his more difficult. “What if there’s another leak and your canvases get ruined?”
“Then the world is down one shitty piece of student art?” Jehan makes a protesting noise, but Grantaire ignores that in favor of looking around the table in an appeal for sympathy. “Would someone please tell him this is a terrible plan? Worse than that environmental rally last year.”
Éponine puts her hand over his with a deeply pitying look. “R, your next-door neighbor stabbed a man outside your door last month.” The traitor. Enjolras looks like he’s going to kill something, possibly Grantaire. “If Enjolras murders you for spilling paint on his carpet, at least it’s more likely to be a clean death.”
“It’s settled, then,” Enjolras says, as if anything has actually been settled at all, and turns to Combeferre to ask a question about an essay assignment they’ve just been given, leaving Grantaire gaping with his mouth open while he tries to collect the words to show Enjolras what a terrible plan this is—but then again, that seems to be Grantaire’s natural state these days. It was only a matter of time before it extended to something besides politics.
Enjolras shows up at his door at nine the next morning even though Grantaire is fairly certain he has a nine o’clock class on Friday mornings. Grantaire stares at him, leaning on the doorframe, when he opens the door to the pounding. He looks like he’s going to murder something. “This place should be condemned,” he half-snarls, and pushes past Grantaire into his apartment. “I brought my car, Combeferre is bringing his when he finishes classes for the day. There are boxes if you need them.”
“I am fairly certain I said no to your offer of charity last night.”
“As I said, if you want to move out of mine when you find somewhere, you can, but look at this.” Enjolras’s gesture encompasses the dinginess of the place, the suspicious smell of the carpet that’s lingered as long as Grantaire has lived here, the cracked plaster in the ceiling. “Why didn’t you go in with Éponine and Feuilly when they decided to find a place together?”
Grantaire shrugs. “With Gav crashing there every other night and Azelma at least once a week, it’s already crowded, and there aren’t a lot of places that cheap with an extra bedroom, let alone one that would fit any of my art supplies.” It’s not the whole story, but it’s as much as he’s willing to share.
“You have crates, good.”
Grantaire trails Enjolras around his apartment and doesn’t bother confirming that because it will only encourage him (because of course he has crates, they’re multi-use and make great furniture and they’re relatively cheap). “Seriously, if you want to make low-income housing your next cause, that’s fine, I’ll start looking up sources to counter you with, but I am not one of your causes.”
He almost shouts the last phrase, frustrated with the hour of the morning and the way Enjolras has already started putting miscellanea from his floor into an empty crate, the way his life has suddenly gone beyond his control. It makes Enjolras look up, startled and maybe, if Grantaire is reading his expression right, a little guilty. “I never thought you were. You’re my friend, R, and there’s something I can help you with. If you really want to stay here, then fine, or if you want help finding another place before you have to pay another month’s rent on this hellhole, I’ll help you, but I’m offering. I have the space.”
It’s a fact of Grantaire’s life that he can’t say no to Enjolras. Well, he can—frequently, and often at high volumes, but not when it matters, not really. Not from the first time Enjolras asked if he was coming back for their next meeting, not when he’s asked to make flyers or posters for another lost cause, and not, it seems, when Enjolras asks him to move in. “Fuck, fine. A temporary measure, I’m paying as much of rent and groceries as I can, and you tell me the second I start getting on your nerves.”
Enjolras snorts. “When have I ever had trouble with that?” he asks, with a tone Grantaire doesn’t quite recognize, but it feels like a peace offering so he just shrugs and starts packing his kitchen supplies up.
Mostly, when Les Amis meet up somewhere outside of meetings, it’s at Courfeyrac and Marius’s apartment, or sometimes at Joly, Bossuet, and Musichetta’s. As a result, Grantaire has only been to Enjolras’s apartment once, when Enjolras was sick and refusing to admit it and Combeferre needed an extra pair of hands to march him home and drag him in.
Going there in daylight, Enjolras and Combeferre there to help him haul all his shit up the stairs, is a different experience. There’s time for him to notice how big and airy the living room is, with massive windows on the south side letting in the light, how the carpet is set at a weird but very precise angle and there isn’t a coffee table in front of the couch, just a side table to each side of it, and how there’s actually art on the wall when he didn’t think Enjolras cared about art at all, photos in arty black and white and what looks like a framed child’s painting he doesn’t look too closely at. There’s even a television shoved into a corner, when Grantaire would have bet any money Enjolras would be above such petty human things.
“That’s your room,” says Enjolras, nodding at the far door. “I don’t use it for anything, if I left anything in there by accident just give it to me and I’ll put it away. Put anything for the commons spaces wherever it fits, just try to avoid the carpet in the living room when you set your chair out.”
“I’ll try not to clutter your life up too much,” Grantaire counters, putting down the last of his canvases down. Combeferre, behind him with the last crate, snorts quietly. “If I’m only going to be here a few weeks we don’t need to mingle china or anything.”
“Make yourself comfortable.”
“The only thing I’m doing today is getting these boxes out of your way and setting up my futon. I just packed all this shit this morning; I refuse to unpack it on the same day.”
Enjolras shrugs. “Whatever works for you. As I said, make yourself comfortable. This is your home for now, temporary or not. I’ll get you your key.”
With that, he disappears into his room, still managing to look as calm and put-together as if he’s been working on an essay in the library all morning instead of hauling boxes around. It’s pretty unfair, considering what a mess Grantaire is sure he looks. At least he has the comfort of knowing Combeferre is red in the face and looking tired. “You would tell me if he had a brain tumor or something, wouldn’t you?” he asks.
Combeferre rolls his eyes. “You’re worse than Joly. He’s being welcoming.”
“That might be worse,” Grantaire says after some consideration, and Enjolras comes out of his room again, key in hand, which he gives to Grantaire along with a flood of information about getting into the building and the laundry facilities in the basement. “Do I have to sign anything with your landlord?” he asks when Enjolras stops talking.
“Not today. At the end of the month, if you still want to stay by then.” Enjolras gives him a long scrutinizing look. “Should we have everyone over?”
Grantaire blinks at him. “Should we what?”
“A housewarming party,” Combeferre interprets, because Combeferre is the world expert in translating Enjolras into normal human being, and Combeferre understands exactly why this is so weird. And probably why it’s so weird for Grantaire in particular, but Grantaire tries not to dwell on that, because that way embarrassment lies. “Pizza, movies, that kind of thing.”
“You don’t have everyone over,” Grantaire says, when Enjolras just nods like that’s exactly what he meant even if it can’t possibly be. “Unless you do and I’m just not invited, which is rude.”
Combeferre sighs and walks into the kitchen. “I’ll text everyone to come over at seven, order the pizza for around then too.”
“Let me know if you need help setting anything up,” says Enjolras, and disappears back into his bedroom.
“I am pretty sure I have hallucinated the last twenty-four hours,” Grantaire says to no one in particular. Combeferre, starting the tea kettle, phone out, only sighs.
Grantaire starts hauling his things into his—Enjolras’s—bedroom. If he’s hallucinating, he may as well do it productively.
Any niggling doubts that he’s been left out of nights where Enjolras invited everyone over to his apartment are laid to rest when people arrive that night. There’s a lot of good-natured ribbing about Grantaire already being a bad influence on Enjolras, and Courfeyrac pretends stunned surprise to see anyone but the man himself sitting on the couch (Éponine, Cosette and Bahorel have taken it over, sprawled across each other, Marius sitting at their feet).
Enjolras just rolls his eyes and goes back to talking about low-income housing with Feuilly (because Grantaire was right, Enjolras isn’t always predictable, but when faced with a systemic problem he becomes so), and it doesn’t take long for everyone to forget the reason for the party and just have fun. Musichetta continues her noble quest of trying to teach Joly to ballroom dance to whatever music Jehan or Courfeyrac plays, Marius stares at Cosette like she’s a Disney princess and he’s a particularly enamored woodland creature, and Grantaire shares a drink and a brief chat with whoever’s closest, sprawled out on the floor because Enjolras’s carpet is obscenely comfortable.
By the time the first few of them have started to leave, Éponine has migrated over to Grantaire’s corner and propped her sharp chin on his shoulder, looking across the room at Enjolras, who’s laughing at something Bahorel is saying by the door. “So you’re basically fucked,” she says with no sympathy whatsoever.
“You don’t get to have an opinion, this is completely your fault, you’re the one who mentioned stabbing.”
“I didn’t think he would actually offer to move you in with him.” She ruffles his hair. “One of us should have done something about it before, really. Figured you had too much pride, I guess.”
“Look, this is a temporary measure.” He nods at his armchair, the one piece of real furniture he had besides an unsteady old table and a metal folding chair, both of which he left out on the curb by his old apartment. It looks out of place in Enjolras’s living room—not that anything really matches in Enjolras’s living room, but Grantaire’s lumpy, worn down, and comfortable old chair still sticks out. “I’ll be out next month, he’ll feel like he’s done something, I’ll have a month’s break from living in hell, it’ll be fine.”
“If you say so.” She stands up, using his shoulder to lever herself to her feet. “Look, I’ve got to get some sleep. Work tomorrow. Don’t be a stranger now that you’re living on the nice side of town.”
“As if there’s a chance of that. I’ll end up on your and Feuilly’s couch as much as I ever did.”
She sighs down at him. She and Combeferre, sighers extraordinaire. They should start a club. “Our lease is up in a couple months. If you’re that uncomfortable here we can always look for a place all together. The offer is always open.”
“I’ll keep it in mind.” It would be easier now than last year when he turned it down, but she and Feuilly and the kids have a rhythm, and he’s loath to get in the middle of it with his late-night wanderings and irregular work shifts. At least Enjolras is unlikely to be woken, given Grantaire isn’t completely sure that he sleeps at all.
“And in the meantime, enjoy the sight of Enjolras in his boxers every morning,” she finishes, just loud enough for Bossuet nearby to hear, and walks away before he can tell her she’s a terrible person and he isn’t speaking to her anymore.
Éponine’s departure seems to encourage everyone else’s, and it’s only a half hour before Courfeyrac is wandering out the door, assuring them that he’ll pine in their absence and leaving quiet in his wake. Enjolras has repossessed his couch, folded up on one cushion of it instead of sprawling over the whole thing, and Grantaire has decided that it’s too much effort to get off the floor. “What do you say, does your house feel warmed?” he asks when the silence gets too long and he looks up to find Enjolras staring at the wall past his left shoulder.
“The party was in your honor,” Enjolras counters, and then stands up, collecting bottles and trash and paper plates from pizza from where they’re scattered. Cosette and Combeferre made a nominal effort at cleaning up, but Cosette was hampered by Marius and Combeferre was hampered by attempting to mediate an argument between Feuilly and Jehan about who exactly the best poet of the last fifty years is (eventually Musichetta won by saying “It’s Shel Silverstein, you pretentious fuckers,” and Grantaire and Courfeyrac gave her a round of applause). “Does your house feel warmed?”
At a certain point, it’s probably offensive to insist that this is only temporary, it isn’t his home. He needs to do it in his head for his own sanity, but he doesn’t need to spit in the face of Enjolras’s generosity. “Sure, let’s go with that. Warm as summer.”
Enjolras smiles, and Grantaire doesn’t make him do that often enough, maybe as an unconscious attempt to keep his heart inside his own chest. It’s pretty devastating. “Good. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m sorry to leave you on your first night here, but I need to get some sleep.” He stuffs all the trash in the can in the kitchen. “Let me know if you need anything.”
“I should get along fine, I’m not long for the waking world myself.”
“Good night, then,” says Enjolras, and walks into his room.
Grantaire flops back onto the carpet and spends five minutes convincing himself that this isn’t some kind of elaborate dream before struggling to his feet and going to his (Enjolras’s guest) room to collapse on his futon, which only has sheets on it because Cosette is a saint, and fall asleep.
Everyone, Grantaire included, expects them to crash and burn within the first week, so Grantaire doesn’t unpack more than the essentials, things he can pack up again in twenty minutes or less if he needs to get out fast. After all, he and Enjolras are famous for not getting along—when they aren’t arguing outright, they’re ignoring each other for the sake of peace, and they only seem to agree when one of their friends needs help.
Somehow, though, Enjolras’s apartment becomes a place of truce—not just the absence of conflict, but the two of them actually manage to get along more often than not. Grantaire looks in the paper every morning and Craigslist every evening for apartments that won’t be full of cockroaches or assholes or the pervasive smell of mold, but it’s hard to want to move out.
Enjolras is more relaxed at home than he is while out in the world. He wanders around his apartment in the morning with a cup of coffee and the news on his smartphone muttering about the state of the world, his shirt unbuttoned because he apparently rebels against the bondage of clothes as well as the bondage of men. He watches the television in the background while he’s doing his reading or homework or work for the Amis, and hurls abuse at it constantly except when the Daily Show is on, which he watches religiously. He smiles when he texts Courfeyrac or Feuilly, and frowns thoughtfully when he does the same to Combeferre.
Grantaire also discovers the reason the carpet is at an odd angle within a few days, and that reason is that Enjolras was probably a cat in a previous life. On sunny afternoons when he’s in the apartment, he gets a pillow from the couch and follows the sunlight across the living room floor, perfectly on the path of the carpet, sprawling and smiling and lazy, usually ending up right in Grantaire’s path on his way to the kitchen by the time the sun starts going down. Every time, Grantaire wants to paint him all done up in hazy gold, pen stuck behind his ear, in some new unlikely position every time he passes by, scowling fiercely at his textbooks in sharp contrast to the peace of the rest of the scene.
“You don’t have to stay in your room all the time,” Enjolras says six days on, when Grantaire skirts around him in the afternoon on his way to refresh his tea. “If you prefer privacy, that’s fine, but if you want to paint where the sunshine’s best, feel free.” He shrugs one shoulder. “Face the canvas to the window, if you don’t want me seeing.”
“I’ll keep it in mind.”
Something about his tone makes Enjolras frown and shut his book, dog-earing the page because Enjolras is a terrible abusive book-owner whose favorites are covered in marks from years worth of pens and highlighters. “I know you don’t feel at home here, but it is your home for the time being. Don’t worry about inconveniencing me.”
“I’m very aware of how kind you’re being, I’m not going to inflict the smell of paint on you in response.”
“I don’t mind, R. And it’s not kindness—well, I suppose. But I want you to be comfortable here.”
Grantaire finally steps around him and goes to start the kettle. “Do you want tea?”
Enjolras sits up from his sprawl. “If it’s no trouble.”
“None at all.” Grantaire turns around to lean against the kitchen counter and meets Enjolras’s eyes again. “Does it make you uncomfortable that I’m lurking in my room, possibly cooking up meth?”
“It makes me uncomfortable that you seem to think this is a hotel. You make me tea and you know how the shower works and Éponine spent yesterday evening watching Breaking Bad on our couch, which you aren’t allowed to watch anymore if it gives you ideas, but the point is that she isn’t visiting me. You live here. You aren’t imposing. Understood?”
Grantaire blinks at him for a second. “Loud and clear.”
“Just … don’t tiptoe around. It’s unsettling, frankly.”
The kettle starts boiling, and Grantaire thanks every possible god and a few fictional ones for good measure that he has an excuse to turn around and busy himself with two mugs and the teabags. “I won’t. But I shouldn’t move my easel right now, so I’m afraid you’re going to be deprived of my sparkling company for the rest of the afternoon.”
“I’ll survive somehow.” Grantaire puts Enjolras’s mug on the floor next to him and straightens up to get his own. “Thank you.”
Grantaire doesn’t get a fucking thing painted for the rest of the afternoon, but when he comes out for dinner, he cooks enough for two and stays afterwards, stealing Enjolras’s laptop periodically to show him videos of cats on the internet because no one should concentrate on school work for that long. Enjolras, to his surprise, even lets him, and the two of them end the evening together on the couch, watching the Daily Show, Grantaire mocking Enjolras for his worrying crush on Jon Stewart.
It feels settled, nice, and Grantaire wants to run in the opposite direction as far as he can, if only he didn’t suspect it would make Enjolras unhappy. Not angry, he’s used to making Enjolras angry, and disappointed, and frustrated, but right now he’s smiling, and Grantaire doesn’t want to make him stop, so he stays until Enjolras excuses himself to bed with a pat to Grantaire’s shoulder, and he waits until Enjolras goes to class to look at the apartment advertisements the next morning.
Grantaire never sleeps as much as he should, but some weeks it’s worse than others, and his second week with Enjolras is particularly bad. The first two nights, he suffers through it, drinking a little more than usual and painting until late, watching the television in the living room long past time when it starts playing infomercials. The third night, he goes for a walk.
It’s not one of his better or safer habits, going out walking after dark. It’s probably safer now that he’s staying in Enjolras’s neighborhood, but it’s still not wise. Not that Grantaire has ever accused himself of wisdom. This time, it’s past one when he leaves, just after the light stopped leaking out from under Enjolras’s door.
There’s a certain kinship on the city streets at night (except when there isn’t, but Grantaire knows how to defend himself), and he spends a few hours wandering around, all the way to his old familiar haunts and back again, nodding at the people he passes. Some look familiar, some don’t, but most of them nod back anyway. Grantaire stuffs his hands in his pockets and when he feels less restless, he climbs back up to Enjolras’s apartment, letting himself in as quietly as he can.
Dawn is just barely crawling through the windows, and if it weren’t for Enjolras’s hair, Grantaire probably never would have even realized he was out of his room. He isn’t awake either, Grantaire notes, but asleep with Grantaire’s chair reclined all the way out, under a blanket.
Grantaire thinks about waking him, asking what had him up, apologizing if the noise of him leaving woke him, but Enjolras is snoring a little bit (and fuck, that shouldn’t be endearing, every little thing that makes Enjolras human shouldn’t be endearing, because everything was much easier to handle when it was just obsession and not … whatever this is) and he doesn’t have the heart. Instead, he finds a scrap of paper and scribbles a note apologizing if he woke him and pins it to the fridge with one of the magnets Enjolras never uses.
Sleep seems like a possibility, after that, so he goes to his room, gets out of his jeans, and crashes face-first into his bed for the next several hours.
It’s past noon when he gets up, and he missed his only class of the day, but his attendance is lackluster at best and he still aces his assignments so it isn’t going to be a problem. He stumbles out of the room and into the kitchen and almost shrieks when he almost knocks Enjolras over. Which is stupid, because Enjolras schedules all his classes in the mornings whenever possible so he can have the afternoons to do homework and plot the downfall of society, so of course he’s at home. “I didn’t mean to startle you,” says Enjolras. “I was just making lunch.”
“Lunch is good. I should make … breakfast. Lunch. Brunch.”
“Coffee,” Enjolras supplies, and then hands him a cup.
Grantaire gulps half of it in one go and doesn’t even care about the way his tongue and throat burn with it. “You are the pinnacle of humanity. A veritable font of generosity and caffeine, a—”
“You’re welcome.” Enjolras doesn’t move out of his way, or make any move to continue with the sandwich he seems to be putting together on the counter. “You were out last night.”
“Yes, sorry, I saw you when I came in, did I wake you?”
“I woke on my own and realized you weren’t in. I don’t know when you left. Or where you went.”
Enjolras is frowning, and it grows with every sentence until Grantaire has to turn away. “Sometimes I can’t sleep, and I go for walks. I should have warned you, I guess.”
“I just worried.” Enjolras shrugs, like that isn’t something monumental to say. Of course Enjolras worries about his friends, Grantaire is aware that he isn’t actually a robot, but Grantaire is used to annoyance more than anything else whenever he gets up to anything odd. “If you do it again, maybe leave a note?”
“Yeah, of course. Sorry, I’m really not used to having a roommate again.”
Enjolras finally goes back to putting his sandwich together, easily slicing two more pieces off the loaf and adding on Grantaire’s favorite toppings like it’s the most normal thing in the world. “Neither am I. I wasn’t sure if I should text you, or wait up for you, or anything.” He sighs. “It’s fine, though. Now, would you mind putting something together on the side, since I’m making sandwiches?”
Grantaire seems to have stepped into an odd alternate universe where they eat meals together when he came back from his walk, but he can’t say that he minds, so he goes about pouring them water and getting out pretzels and dip. He’d make a salad, but Enjolras is a great believer in vegetables on sandwiches, so it seems redundant.
They end up eating lunch over the counter in Enjolras’s kitchen without bothering to sit down at a table, in silence until they manage to start an argument over whether the Onion has anything close to the power of the Daily Show, and the awkwardness falls away.
Enjolras spends the afternoon studying like always, working his way across the floor, and Grantaire brings his own books out to work on the homework he’s shoved aside recently in favor of painting and falls asleep on the couch, wakes up sometime around sunset with a blanket on him and Enjolras clanging around in the kitchen making soup and muttering about being late to the meeting at the Musain.
Three weeks on, Grantaire finally finds an advertisement for an apartment that doesn’t sound unlivable. There are two roommates instead of one, but the ad promises the place is big enough for it, and when he talks to one of them on the phone she seems nice enough.
Enjolras is making dinner when he gets back from the studio, enough for both of them. “Did you have a good day?” he asks.
“Honey, I’m home,” Grantaire says as dryly as he can instead of answering properly, and Enjolras grins at him. “Pretty good,” he adds. “My advisor seems to think this semester’s work is going pretty well. I have an appointment to look at a place tomorrow, if it’s good I’ll be out of your hair before the month is up.”
If Grantaire weren’t growing worryingly used to Enjolras’s habits, he wouldn’t notice the way he pauses for a second before stirring whatever’s cooking on the stove. “Of course. Keep me updated.”
“Will do. I won’t just disappear one morning.”
Enjolras changes the subject to dinner and ranting about someone very misguided in one of his classes (“At least you cite your sources so I can debate you properly,” he says at one point, while Grantaire cleans the lettuce for a salad and tries not to grin helplessly down at the salad spinner), and dinner goes well. They’ve been eating more meals together, since the first lunch, and they almost have a routine: one makes the main dish, one makes the side, Grantaire sets the table and does most of the dishes, Enjolras does the pots, and both of them mutter about investing in a dishwasher.
It’s a quiet evening—Combeferre stops by and talks about an upcoming rally, and Grantaire ends up on the phone with Bossuet helping him figure out what to give Joly and Musichetta for their anniversary, and they’re both done in time for the Daily Show.
Normally, Enjolras is up for a while longer, but he stands up as soon as the show finishes. “I’ve got an essay to finish. Let me know how the apartment is tomorrow.” There’s a pause, and then: “Don’t take it unless you’d really like to. Remember, you’re still welcome here.”
“Of course.” Grantaire stays out in the main room a while longer, flipping idly through a few books he’s left around, before giving in and going into his room to paint, since he’s quite certain he won’t be getting sleep for a while.
His visit to the apartment is just before lunch the next day. The roommates are nice, just students getting by, their third roommate having had a family emergency that required him to go home for the rest of the semester. The place isn’t bad, no smell of mold, no neighbors screaming or major health code violations. They even seem to like him, laughing at a joke or two, and say he can sign the contract on the spot if he wants, and move in before the first of the month.
Grantaire walks out without signing the contract, making an excuse about thinking over a place closer to where he works, and calls Éponine as he heads out into the city. “Do you think he’d notice if I just stayed forever?” he asks when she picks up the phone.
“Probably.” She laughs at his theatrical groan before she gets quiet, the dangerous kind of quiet Éponine only ever is when she’s about to say something he probably doesn’t want to hear. “But probably not in a bad way.”
He sidesteps a suspicious-looking spot on the sidewalk. “What the fuck is that supposed to mean?”
“Just that this whole roommate thing has worked better than anyone thought it would.” It’s always heart-warming to know that his nosy friends have been talking about him, and probably his pathetic crush on Enjolras, behind his back. And it probably says something about him that he’s hardly even being sarcastic with that thought. “We all figured you two would have a knock-down argument within the first week and you would end up on my couch—which would be fine, again. But you’re getting along better at meetings, so unless you’re arguing at home …”
“We aren’t. Much, anyway.” He sighs. “But I can’t stay. It’s charity, I really can’t afford it unless I take out more loans, and I definitely can’t afford those.”
“And he can more than afford it. You’re giving him a break. Look, I get it’s hard to take this kind of thing, and I probably wouldn’t, but if you want to stay and he wants you there, then you can figure something out.”
“This was never going to end well for me. And it’s not going to.” Grantaire groans. “This whole thing was a mistake.”
Éponine makes her best attempt at a soothing noise, which is more an annoyed grunt. “Yeah, maybe, but maybe not. Think about it, okay? And come over here tonight, we’ll watch Muppet Treasure Island because Gav wants to be a pirate this week and I’m a great believer in the classics.”
“That sounds great. I’ll be there at seven?”
“See you then. And for fuck’s sake, turn down the apartment, I’m not helping you move twice in two months.”
“You didn’t do anything the first time but drink beer and eat pizza,” he tells the dial tone, and starts walking towards Enjolras’s flat.
Enjolras isn’t in, so Grantaire fidgets in his chair for half the afternoon, painting hazy watercolors of the sights from some of his nighttime walks, and barely manages not to spill his dirty water when Enjolras finally gets home.
Enjolras looks tired when he gets in, and he barely bothers to do anything more than take off his jacket before flopping into his usual patch of sunlight. “I’ll get you some tea,” says Grantaire. “Long day of dismantling the capitalist hierarchy?”
“Long day of everything, it feels like.” He already sounds better, though, and Grantaire looks out from the kitchen to find him sprawled on his back, eyes closed. “How was your visit to the apartment?”
“The people were nice, the place was shit,” he says, and mentally apologizes for maligning the place. “Smelled like six generations of cats had pissed there. I guess you’re stuck with me a little while longer.”
“Keep making me tea and I’ll never let you leave,” says Enjolras, and when Grantaire looks over again, he’s smiling.
Grantaire stops looking for apartments.
It doesn’t happen all at once, and it definitely isn’t a conscious decision, but one day follows another without him giving the ads more than a cursory glance, and he chips in on Enjolras’s rent check, which means he might as well stay the month.
There’s a growing routine, too. They make each other coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon, share lunch or dinner if they both happen to be in, walk to the Musain together and get some of their arguments out beforehand. They watch the Daily Show. Grantaire leaves notes whenever he has to take a late-night walk. Three or four times a week, one or several of their friends will come over, or one of them will go visit someone, so they even manage not to get sick of each other.
Grantaire hasn’t ever had anything like cozy domesticity before, and he hadn’t thought he would ever want it, but it’s easy to settle into, easy to call in two pizza orders and write grocery lists on the fridge and shout a vague warning before Bahorel invades.
The afternoons are probably what’s going to kill him in the end. When it’s sunny and when they’re both home, they spend whole afternoons never talking, Enjolras lazing like a cat and getting his work done, sometimes making angry phone calls to politicians’ offices, and Grantaire with his easel set up in the corner, painting anything but Enjolras. It’s nice. It’s torture, but it’s nice.
“You still haven’t unpacked,” Enjolras says one afternoon, out of the blue, and Grantaire almost drops his paintbrush on the floor. There’s newspaper down so he doesn’t ruin the hardwood, but it’s still not something he would relish.
“I didn’t think there was much use in it.”
“You’ve been here well over a month and you’re still living out of bags and boxes. I keep telling you, make yourself comfortable.” Enjolras rolls over so he isn’t looking at him mostly upside-down, which is unfortunate because when he’s right-side-up Grantaire feels he should probably take him seriously. “I’ll help, if you like.”
Grantaire opens his mouth to say no, he swears he does. He means to say that the two-month mark is coming up and he should be looking out for apartments, or maybe more honestly that he’ll bribe Éponine and Jehan over to help him set his room up into some arrangement that doesn’t involve a messy pile of boxes and crates in one corner and clothes on the floor. Instead, he finds himself saying “Sure. Once the sun’s gone down, though. I hate to deprive you of your basking time.”
Enjolras looks startled, like he’s surprised Grantaire has noticed him out on the carpet every fucking afternoon, but then he smiles. “After dinner, then.”
Grantaire cooks, mostly to give himself something to do with his hands, and afterwards they unpack all his boxes, moving him in until the apartment looks like his too—more of his dishes augmenting Enjolras’s small supply, his rug by the shower because Enjolras’s is wearing out. He doesn’t sleep that night, just goes for a walk, a route that’s starting to be familiar, and comes back well past dawn to find Enjolras waiting with an extra cup of coffee.
He’s fucked, but he can’t help being happy about it.
“You have outlived all expectations,” Courfeyrac tells him solemnly after their next meeting, dropping into the chair next to him without warning.
Grantaire raises his eyebrows. “I didn’t think my mortality was such a concern to all of you.”
“Well, it used to be because we figured your landlord would poison you or something, and then we were trying to figure out whether Enjolras would murder you.”
Enjolras is presently arguing with Marius over prison statistics, so at least he’s sufficiently distracted while Courfeyrac tortures him. “You weren’t worried I would kill him?”
Courfeyrac snorts. It’s sort of insulting. “As if you would. But no, congratulations on surviving. We should throw you a party.”
“You have a point. You should possibly get to it.”
“You should possibly fuck Enjolras and put everyone out of our misery,” says Bahorel, dropping down on his other side, because this is an ambush. It isn’t even a nice ambush, if they were feeling nice they would have sent Jehan and Feuilly and possibly Cosette. Maybe even Musichetta. He isn’t speaking to anyone, he is going to deprive them of the pleasure of his company forever because what.
Courfeyrac pats him on the shoulder. “He cooks you dinner. He never cooked me dinner.”
“You probably never did the dishes.”
“I also never had him making panicked phone calls at two in the morning because I went out for walks. And, actually, he never asked me to move in in the first place. It was a temporary arrangement—”
“This is a temporary—”
“Seriously, that stopped being an excuse two weeks in,” says Bahorel with a great lack of sympathy. “Do it for justice.”
“Do it so we don’t collectively die of sexual frustration.”
Grantaire buries his face in his hands. “Don’t I get the soothing version of this talk, where I get wine and ice cream and reassurances that I’m awesome even if I get kicked out on the curb?”
“Like he would.” Courfeyrac nudges him with a shoulder. “Look, nobody’s telling you to do anything you don’t want to do—shut up, R, seriously. We’re just opening your mind to the possibility.”
“Believe me, the possibility had occurred to me, and so did the fact that we’re finally getting along and maybe I shouldn’t make waves.” Both of them put their arms around him, which might be why they were sent as the delegation in the first place. They give the best hugs (not that there was a poll, but it’s widely and unofficially acknowledged that if you want the breath squeezed out of you Bahorel is the man to go to and Courfeyrac is the best at easy affection), and being sandwiched between them makes it a little easier not to think about kissing Enjolras in the middle of making dinner one night.
“I thought he would be the easy one,” Bahorel says mournfully, and ruffles Grantaire’s hair. “Keep it in mind.”
“Do you think I think about much else?” Grantaire inquires. It’s not quite true, but true enough that it’s embarrassing to admit.
Combeferre picks that moment to intervene, because Combeferre is a saint. “If you suffocate him, Enjolras is going to be unhappy.” Grantaire is going to revoke his sainthood. “Everything okay over here?”
“They’ve decided that since cohabiting with Enjolras has not resulted in my murder I should take it to the next level and see if that does it,” Grantaire explains, and gets a gentle whack on the back of the head from Bahorel. Well, gentle for Bahorel, which means that he’s about ninety-eight percent sure he didn’t get a concussion.
Combeferre nods like that somehow makes sense. “Let me know how that goes for you.”
Grantaire puts his head in his hands again. Maybe he’ll stay there forever. Or at least until someone who believes in sympathy comes over (or Éponine, Éponine would also work, she doesn’t do sympathy but she does let him hide his face in her couch or her lap and give him the occasional bottle of beer, but Gavroche is here tonight and she’s keeping him on a leash so he doesn’t start volunteering for things that will get him a record). “I’m not speaking to any of you.”
Someone pats him comfortingly on the head. Probably Courfeyrac. There are a few moments of relative silence while Grantaire refuses to lift his head and the conversations elsewhere in the room continue before there’s a shifting around him and they’re interrupted. “Is everything okay?” Enjolras asks.
“Our friends are giving me a headache,” Grantaire informs the table, since a headache might excuse the fact that he’s still refusing to look up.
“Then let’s go home,” says Enjolras, like it’s as easy as that, like he’s ever been anything but the last person to leave a meeting even if the official business is finished, and that makes Grantaire look up. Enjolras is standing directly in front of him, his mouth pulled in the way that Grantaire has come to realize means he’s worried, with Combeferre at his shoulder. Combeferre is too polite to actually look smug, but he feels smug, and Grantaire really hopes that Courfeyrac and Bahorel are keeping straight faces.
“You don’t have further arguments to beat into the ground?”
“Not at the moment, and if you want to change that, you can do it on the walk home. Come on.” Enjolras holds out an expectant hand, and Grantaire stands up on his own because he is not going to hold Enjolras’s hand given the talking-to he just got. Enjolras drops his hand when Grantaire makes it halfway up, but he keeps watching until Grantaire manages to extricate himself from the table and Courfeyrac and Bahorel, who don’t see fit to helpfully move out of his way.
“What’s your pleasure for tonight, then?” he asks when he shrugs into his jacket and Enjolras waves at Combeferre and everyone else (Grantaire isn’t waving to anyone, they’re all traitors and he isn’t speaking to them) on their way out. “Gun control, corruption in the government, I have a particularly good dissection of your thoughts on unemployment that I’ve been saving for a rainy day …”
“Don’t be stupid,” says Enjolras, but it’s a lot gentler than he would have said it a few months ago. “You’ve got a headache, we can save it.”
Grantaire tries not to think about kissing him, just reaching out and doing it. He’s close enough to the Musain still that if Enjolras told him no he could go back and invite himself to someone else’s place for the night. Instead, he shrugs and stuffs his hands in his pockets. “It’s not like we’ll run out of arguments.”
“No, but I’m not in the mood tonight.” Enjolras gives him a sidelong look that he probably thinks is subtle. Enjolras doesn’t do subtle well. “You’re okay, though? You didn’t look happy with Courfeyrac and Bahorel.”
“It’s all fine,” he says as airily as he can. “Our friends are dicks sometimes, but we already knew that.”
“They really are,” says Enjolras, rueful but with a smile starting to replace the worry. And then, half a block on: “Fine, I’m curious. Tell me what’s wrong with my thoughts on unemployment.”
Grantaire grins and starts in, and they’re both grinning as they argue by the time they get back to Enjolras’s apartment.
It’s not like there haven’t been cloudy days since Grantaire moved in with Enjolras. Most often, though, the rain and clouds come on days when Grantaire is at the studio or Enjolras is meeting with professors or they’re otherwise busy. After Grantaire’s talk with Courfeyrac and Bahorel, though, there are three days of rain, and neither of them has an excuse to be out of the apartment.
Both of them are edgy, even though they spend the afternoons out in the living room like always. Enjolras sits on the couch in a hunch instead of sprawling on the floor, holding his shoulders like there’s a knot in them, and Grantaire paints grey and blue and bruise-purple across his canvases, brightened by the occasional flash of gold. Grantaire feels like he’s holding his breath, and the feeling seems to spread until they’re snappish and Grantaire ends up slamming out to go to visit Éponine and Feuilly for dinner on the third day.
The fourth day, the sun is threatening to burst through the clouds at last, and since Enjolras has a meeting with Combeferre about something or other (they never have coffee, or nights out, they just have meetings, which Grantaire can never decide if he thinks is hilarious or sad, but he figures they must talk like normal human beings at least sometimes. Thank God they have Courfeyrac to keep them from turning into robots), Grantaire takes his place on the carpet. He only gets intermittent sunlight, but he finds he enjoys it, and he’s dozing by the time Enjolras gets home.
“Tired?” Enjolras asks when Grantaire barely bothers to raise his head from the floor in response to his entrance. The sun’s come out more clearly since Grantaire stopped paying attention, but it’s also progressed along the floor so only one of his arms is still in the patch.
“I don’t know how you stay awake every afternoon, I feel like a cat.”
Enjolras kicks his shoes off, which is the one piece of messiness he seems to allow himself out in the main room (his bedroom is a different story, especially when he has assignments due), and comes to sit directly in the sunshine, eyebrows raised like he’s daring Grantaire to try to take his spot. Grantaire doesn’t want to, particularly, but he knows if he rolled over once and a half he’d end up flopped across Enjolras’s lap, and that’s a temptation. “I can’t say that you look like one.”
“Take that back, I am adorable,” Grantaire says, and manages to sit up. At least he’s less likely to do something stupid like roll over and ask Enjolras to play with his hair if they’re on the same level.
Enjolras rolls his eyes, but he looks fond, and oh, that’s a dangerous thought, but it doesn’t go away, just grows. Enjolras is leaning on his hands, already more relaxed than he’s looked in days, sitting in the brightest spot in the room like he wants to make himself into a fucking beacon, and he isn’t looking away from Grantaire, saying he needs to do schoolwork or write something down from his meeting before he forgets it. “That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a cat,” he points out, and doesn’t deny the adorable part, which does stupid things to Grantaire’s heart. “Are we doing dinner tonight?”
“Sure.” Enjolras closes his eyes, smiling a little, and Grantaire moves to get up and leave him be, grab his brushes and go back to work on the assignment for his painting workshop, except Enjolras turns his head, sensing the movement, and Grantaire’s brain shorts out and somehow he ends up with his mouth on Enjolras’s instead.
There are a few seconds where he doesn’t think or breathe or do anything but register the feel of Enjolras’s lips against his, slightly parted like maybe he was breathing in to speak, and then he pulls back sharply, sucking in air. Before he can start to apologize, though, or meet Enjolras’s eyes, there are Enjolras’s hands coming up to his shoulders and he’s being kissed like Enjolras has suddenly decided he wants Grantaire to use up every last atom of oxygen in his lungs.
When Grantaire pulls away to ask what exactly is going on and if Combeferre possibly drugged Enjolras at their meeting, Enjolras just moves to pressing intent little kisses across his jaw, up to his temple, down to his neck, a flurry of movement that makes it just as hard to breathe as it was with their lips on each other’s. “No, wait, okay,” he finally manages, and Enjolras pulls away with this look on his face, stunned and happy and a little nervous. “Explain?”
“You were the one who kissed me,” Enjolras says, and Grantaire hates that it makes him look less happy. “Did you not want to?”
“Did I not—obviously I wanted to, did you not notice that my stupid pathetic crush turned into stupid pathetic being-in-love-with-you weeks—”
Enjolras kisses him again, hands framing Grantaire’s face, and they overbalance, Grantaire going backwards, elbow slamming against the hard floor where the carpet stops. He pulls away from Enjolras so he doesn’t bite and hisses out the pain, Enjolras hovering over him with that look still on his face, happiness and a hint of concern now. He brushes a piece of hair out of Grantaire’s eyes. “I asked you to stay,” he says, like it’s an explanation, and then he’s cradling the back of Grantaire’s head and pressing him all the way to the floor, climbing on top of him and settling in there like it’s the most natural position for them to be in.
And maybe it is, because Grantaire’s hands find their way to Enjolras’s hips easily, and Enjolras tastes like ginger and honey from his tea and he’s all in sunshine above Grantaire, and they pause there for a minute. “Seriously?” Grantaire finally asks.
It gets a familiar waspish look on Enjolras’s face. “Yes, seriously. I refuse to lay out an argument about why I want to be with you.”
“Be with me?”
“For fuck’s sake, Grantaire,” Enjolras sighs, but kisses him again, almost sweet except for the nip at the end. “Be with you. We’re doing this backwards, but I would like to date you, outside of our apartment, not that cooking and studying together isn’t good as well. And I want to fuck you.”
Grantaire makes a fairly embarrassing noise. “Christ God.”
“If you don’t object, that is?”
There isn’t really a chance of him mustering the words to answer that question, so instead he puts his arms around Enjolras’s neck, pulls them flush together and kisses him again, as deep and hard as he can manage, Enjolras’s mouth opening for his tongue. One of them groans, more vibration than sound, and Grantaire bucks his hips and pulls away again. “Fuck, fuck, I am going to start keeping lube and condoms in the couch cushions and Courfeyrac can go to hell if he objects.”
“We can do that next time.” Enjolras kisses him again, moves slowly down his neck. “On my bed, I don’t trust your futon, it came from that place.”
“It doesn’t have the plague, or bedbugs,” Grantaire complains, mostly for form’s sake. He isn’t going to object to being invited to Enjolras’s bed. Moreover, it somehow makes Enjolras laugh. “Your bed is fine.”
“Good.” Enjolras kisses him again. “But next time.”
“What this time, then? Sex on the floor?”
Enjolras shifts his hips, and he’s hard in his pants, and Grantaire is going to die, he is going to die of sex and Enjolras and nobody will cry at his funeral because they will know he died happy. “Do you want to get up?”
“Sex on the floor it is, then,” he says, a little dazed, and then “I’m going to blow you because I may actually cry if I don’t get my mouth on you,” and while Enjolras is still staring in gape-mouthed surprise, he tumbles them over, scrambling to keep them both on the carpet instead of on the floor.
Enjolras’s habit of wearing button-down shirts works out very well, because it means Grantaire can pin him down by the shoulders and still get him mostly undressed on top, pressing distracted kisses across his chest as he goes. They’ll have time for proper foreplay later, when Grantaire isn’t in shock and desperate. He’ll spend days kissing Enjolras everywhere, but for now he has an urgent problem and that urgent problem is straining the zipper of Enjolras’s jeans. “Oh my God, R,” says Enjolras from somewhere above him.
It’s enough to make him snap his attention away from Enjolras’s fly for a few seconds. “Tell me this is okay, please, or what I can do, or something.”
“Of course you can.” Enjolras’s voice hitches when Grantaire eases the zipper down. “Just leave me a little energy to take care of you afterwards.”
“Absolutely,” says Grantaire, and pushes Enjolras’s jeans and boxers down far enough to get out of his way. They can come all the way off later, he doesn’t want to deal with them right now, or anything but giving Enjolras the blowjob of his life.
“Take off your shirt,” Enjolras says before Grantaire can bend to begin, and Grantaire really isn’t going to deny him anything right now, so he pulls his t-shirt off and throws it somewhere behind him, and if Enjolras has anything else to say it’s going to have to wait because Grantaire bends and puts his mouth around his cock.
It’s been a while since he did this, long enough that it takes getting used to again, that he needs to remind himself how wide to open his mouth, how far he can take it at this angle. Judging by the way Enjolras clamps a hand in his hair like he needs an anchor, though, he’s really not objecting. Grantaire doesn’t bother to tease or go slow, once he finds his rhythm. That can wait. This isn’t going to be once, because Enjolras has taken leave of his senses and wants him and Grantaire is never going to let go.
Enjolras is talking, saying something about how amazing this is, how he’s going to keep Grantaire forever, and Grantaire loses himself in the taste, in the sunshine warm on his back while he coaxes Enjolras closer to the edge. Enjolras is tense, keeping himself from fucking up into Grantaire’s mouth, and Grantaire leans weight onto him to help—that’s for later as well.
And so, unfortunately, is letting Enjolras come in his mouth, so when Enjolras lets out a high whine Grantaire pulls off and gives him a few good strokes with his hand until he makes a strangled noise and bucks up, comes, reaching out blindly for Grantaire and pulling him close. Grantaire meets his mouth for a filthy kiss, all tongue and teeth and no finesse at all.
Enjolras fumbles at Grantaire’s crotch until Grantaire helps him, undoing his own fly and wriggling out of his pants, letting Enjolras get a hand on him as soon as Enjolras has the coordination to do it.
“Come on, please,” he manages, and Enjolras rolls him to his back, shucking off his own shirt as they go, his hands and his eyes never leaving Grantaire.
“Stay with me,” Enjolras says, mouth just a breath away from Grantaire’s, jerking him slow and steady and he should really not be this coherent after Grantaire blew him, Grantaire is going to have to do a better job later. “Don’t find another apartment. I want you to stay.”
“That place I looked at was perfect, I just couldn’t leave,” Grantaire admits, and Enjolras responds by biting a bruise into his neck way too high for his shirts to cover and jerks him faster. “It’s really fucking stupid to move in together before we’ve even started dating.”
“I don’t care.” His grip is firm and good and Grantaire is never going to get off this floor, because he is going to die, and Enjolras won’t look away from his eyes and he’s squirming and he’s going to have rug burn later but it doesn’t matter with Enjolras looking down at him like that. “We’re going to be good.”
Enjolras kisses him, and Grantaire comes, soon enough that he’s a little embarrassed, but Enjolras doesn’t seem to care, just kisses and keeps going until Grantaire bats him away, and then half-collapses next to him. Grantaire breathes until he thinks he can manage to open his eyes and finds Enjolras smirking at him like he has personally invented the orgasm. There’s a smear of someone’s come on his neck, but Grantaire doesn’t have the energy to deal with it. “We’re never going to be able to let Joly sit on this carpet again.”
That makes Enjolras laugh, which is Grantaire’s new favorite thing to do. He’s managed to maneuver himself into the sunshine again, and Grantaire thinks about suggesting that they get cleaned up and repair to a bedroom, anyone’s bedroom, but he stays instead, pulling Enjolras a little closer and letting their breathing even out until it almost matches.
They don’t make an announcement at the next meeting, mostly because they don’t need to, because all their friends are psychic (or Éponine jumped to a logical conclusion when Grantaire called her giddily after the third time they had sex and rambled for twenty minutes about how he’s going to paint a whole series about sunlight, at least after she asked six times if he’d taken E or something—which, well, yes, but not at all in the sense she meant it). They don’t even sit together, because Enjolras has a world to take apart and the best vantage point to watch him do it isn’t next to him, but everyone still smirks at them the whole time Enjolras leads the discussion on immigrant rights.
Éponine makes a beeline for him the second the meeting adjourns. “So I take it you won’t be moving out, then?”
“Not yet, anyway.”
She snorts. “Not ever, then. Enjolras is unhealthily attached to that apartment and you can turn your bedroom into a studio once you move into his room.”
Grantaire rolls his eyes. “That is definitely the cart before the horse.”
“Right, because he hasn’t practically been begging you to stay ever since he got you out of your last apartment.”
“Lies and slander.” Grantaire stands up and slings an arm around her shoulders, steering her back towards the main group, where she’s less likely to say something traumatizing. Of course, it also means that everyone else has time to slap him on the back and grin in varying levels of smugness, but it’s a burden he just has to bear. And if it just so happens to put him within reaching distance of Enjolras, that’s a total coincidence. “Nobody is going to get anything done for at least two weeks while they tell us they told us so,” he whispers while Combeferre makes a great point of talking loudly to Marius and Musichetta about a concert he wants to go see.
“That’s stupid, nobody did tell us so,” Enjolras says, and he smiles at Grantaire, which Grantaire doesn’t think he’ll ever get tired of even if his ability to win a smile from Enjolras has raised exponentially in the last few months.
“They will claim differently.”
“Look at the two of you,” Courfeyrac crows, right on cue. Grantaire widens his eyes in a silent I-told-you-so of his own.
“You do not get to take credit for any of this,” he says preemptively, and winces when he realizes that’s the first thing either of them has said to actually confirm it, not that they’ve planned to keep it a secret. Enjolras just smiles, though, and clasps his arm before letting go.
Miraculously, the meeting moves on like Grantaire and Enjolras are old news—and maybe they are. They got more sidelong looks when they first moved in together than they’re getting now. Everyone is still pretty generally smug, but other than Éponine and Courfeyrac nobody mentions it outright: Jehan gives Grantaire a wider grin than usual, Cosette smiles at Enjolras the whole time she takes him to task about intersectionality in their latest campaign, and Bahorel beams around at everyone benevolently like he’s Santa Claus and brought them all the best presents ever, but they keep it to themselves. (Grantaire really doubts that is going to last long, because he has long since accepted that their friends are codependent, everyone remembers what happened when Musichetta and Joly seduced Bossuet, but it’s good to have a reprieve.)
The meeting goes on a while, until it’s Enjolras talking with Combeferre and Courfeyrac and Musichetta about next semester’s classes and Grantaire and Feuilly arguing about who the best Impressionist was. Feuilly leaves first, and that leaves Grantaire on his own for a few minutes, shamelessly watching Enjolras until Enjolras turns and raises his eyebrows. Combeferre fills in the gap in the conversation easily, and Enjolras gives them all a little wave before coming over to Grantaire’s corner, eyebrows up. “Getting tired?”
“Enjoying the view, actually, but I won’t say I’m not ready to go.” He stands up and puts his coat on, since Enjolras is standing there expectantly. “Okay, then, let’s go home,” he says, and Enjolras smiles like the sun coming up.