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Waking up

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After Grantaire has recounted what has happened to him - starting with Joly and ending with Enjolras assaulting Cosette - Enjolras makes him go back to sleep. Grantaire tries pointing out that he has already slept a great deal recently, and that they really have kept Joly waiting for too long, but unsurprisingly, Enjolras rather quickly ends up getting his way. Giving Enjolras whatever he wants is one of Grantaire's more prominent character flaws. And when it comes down to it, healing takes energy and Grantaire does feel tired.

He wakes to voices speaking softly above him and a familiar hand toying with his hair. Grantaire's head has been moved to Enjolras' lap while he slept, giving his still sleepy brain the dilemma of whether to move away immediately or to feign sleep so he can stay a little while longer. Enjolras settles it for him by instantly noticing that he is awake.

“Feel better?” Enjolras asks and moves his hand down to cup the back of Grantaire's neck.

Grantaire rolls himself out of Enjolras' lap and sits up with a tired groan, ignoring a throb of pain at the sudden movement. Joly, who is sitting next to the bed - and holding on to one of Enjolras' hands for some reason - protest loudly in surprise. It takes Grantaire a moment to realize that it is him sitting up that Joly is having a problem with.

“It's fine, I'm fine. See?” Grantaire says and pokes his bandage to prove his point – which actually hurts, since the wound really isn't gone yet.

“Here.” Enjolras says and takes his hand back from Joly to start unwinding Grantaire's bandage. “You can look him over now.”

Grantaire hasn't had a chance to see the wound before, so he can't say exactly how much it has improved. It does feels better and he can sit up on his own with only a slight throbbing of pain. He suspects that Enjolras' blood had focused on the interior damage over the broken skin, but when the bandage comes of it does look like there is new skin around some of the stitches. Judging from Joly's expression though, this is a vast improvement from the last time he saw it.

“Okay, I see your point.” Joly says to Enjolras. He starts poking at Grantaire's stomach in what seems like a systematic fashion, which doesn't make it less painful.

“But this really doesn't make any sense.” Joly continues and thankfully stops the poking to flatten his hand over Grantaire's stomach instead.

“Magic.” Grantaire says, aiming for dry and hitting out of breath instead.

“No, I get that. But if his blood speeds up healing, how come his wrist is still bleeding?” Joly says, making an exasperated gesture towards Enjolras, who helpfully lifts up a bandaged wrist for inspection.

“Magic.” Grantaire repeats and makes jazz hands. This is apparently more than Joly's scientific sensibilities can handle, and he simply looks between Grantaire and Enjolras in numb disbelief . Grantaire quickly takes pity on him.

“Alright. It's because Enjolras cheats.” Grantaire explains. “Blood magic is something for something, but Enjolras pushes the healing further than just the blood would allow, so his own healing stops for a while in exchange.”

“I don't see how that is cheating.” Enjolras says. “Since I give something in return.”

“Because according to Raoul nobody else can do that.”

“I think it's more that they've never really wanted to.” Enjolras says. “Are you done?” He then asks Joly and removes Joly's hand, which had been left resting on Grantaire's stomach. “Maybe we could get you a shirt.”

The t-shirt Grantaire had been wearing is unsurprisingly a lost cause. Bleeding all over your clothes will do that. Instead, Joly procures a clean t-shirt that fits Grantaire well enough and which belongs to Bossuet judging by the scent of werewolf clinging to it. They have left Grantaire's pants on him and he decides to keep them rather than borrowing more clothes. The fabric may be blood stained but it won't be so obvious with a coat over, and until he gets a proper bath he will be smelling of dried blood anyway.

After dressing, Grantaire spends a while convincing Joly that he should be allowed to leave the bed, and no, he does not need more sleep. Giving that Enjolras firmly sides with Joly in this case, it is something of an accomplishment when Grantaire is allowed in the living room, under the strict condition that he does not get out of the couch. Grantaire quietly admits to himself that this might be a good thing, since the short walk from Joly's room to the couch does turn painful on the last few steps.

It quickly becomes apparent that Enjolras does not like the t-shirt. At all. He hovers, keeping what seems like a reluctant distance, and glares at it every so often. It could be because the t-shirt – which Joly has either picked deliberately or from a hilarious stroke of luck – has the words 'Team Jacob' printed on the front. But Grantaire knows for a fact that Enjolras doesn't get that sort of references. He has spent much of the last two decades quoting any vampire fiction he could get his hands on at Enjolras - who tragically never has caught any of them beyond a very few Stoker references. No, Enjolras' problem with the t-shirt is much more basic.

“Okay. I know we have werewolf issues, but this is Bossuet. You can't seriously feel that as a threat.” Grantaire whispers when Cosette is in the kitchen and Joly has disappeared into his room with a bucket full of cleaning supplies.

“It doesn't smell like Bossuet, even beneath the werewolf.” Enjolras whispers back with clear frustration.

Grantaire sighs. He can't tell much of a difference himself; smell wasn't exactly a very prominent sense for him before. It still isn't, to be honest, not unless he makes a conscious effort. For Enjolras scent is very important though, something he relies on to a larger degree than Grantaire can really comprehend.

“Is it going to be a problem for you? That they all smell different?” Grantaire asks.

Enjolras frowns and manages to ignore his aversion to the shirt enough to sit on the coffee table in front of Grantaire. “I just need time to get used to it. I think I'm already adjusting to Joly.”

“What about me? I apparently don't smell completely human. How long did it take you to get used to it when that changed?” Grantaire asks.

Enjolras looks at him strangely for several seconds before replying with a note of hesitance: “You smell of me, Grantaire. It wasn't a problem.”

Right. “Of course I do.” Grantaire sighs in resignation.

“You didn't know?” Enjolras asks quietly while he absentmindedly brushes his fingers across the back of Grantaire's hand. A somewhat proprietary touch Grantaire suspects, and that right there is actually the crux of the matter, isn't it? Because vampires are territorial and Grantaire belongs to Enjolras – a fact Enjolras has done his best to undermine and ignore, but which the more base parts of his psyche remains very aware of. Enjolras owns Grantaire, and so of course if Grantaire's scent has changed it has been to smell more like Enjolras.

“I should have figured.” Grantaire shrugs. He doesn't elaborate further since Cosette returns then with a bowl of soup and they both silently agree to drop the subject.

Cosette takes a seat on the couch next to Grantaire and makes a very passable attempt at small talk with Enjolras while they both watch Grantaire eat the soup. Grantaire resents that a little, he's an adult who can finish a bowl of soup without constant supervision. Grantaire has never been one to starve himself and certainly not since Enjolras started relying on him for food. Enjolras knows that, the bastard, but still stares attentively until Grantaire is done.

Cosette is slowly working towards asking Enjolras more personal questions when Courfeyrac and Marius walks in. She doesn't exactly jump up to meet them, but it is a near thing.

“Marius!” she calls with clear relief, twisting around in her seat and reaching a hand out for him.

Marius lights up as he goes to her. He cradles her face between his hands and drops a reverent kiss on her forehead, while she pushes her hands in beneath his jacket. Neither of them speaks; they just stare quietly into each others eyes with adoration on their faces.

They are glowing. More so even than Enjolras at his most righteous, and Grantaire is compelled to look away, feeling somewhat worthless in comparison to such a display.

“You see what I meant about cavities?” Coureyfac says. “They do this every time they've been apart.”

“Yes, I see. We will just have to make sure they stay together then.” Grantaire says. Courfeyrac laughs in response and Marius manages to tear his eyes away from Cosette to smile at Grantaire.

“I don't mind that solution.” Marius says happily. “You look much better than last time we saw you Grantaire.”

“You too.” Grantaire responds. As far as he can tell Marius is completely healed by now. It helps that he must have taken a shower recently, since the only werewolf scent Grantaire can pick up is Marius' own.

“No, but really. Julien and Ray must be some kind of miracle workers.” Courfeyrac says, shamelessly fishing for an explanation.

“We cheated a bit.” Grantaire says. “This is Enjolras.” He points directly behind him, where Enjolras has retreated to. His new placement puts the couch, Grantaire and the coffee table between Enjolras and Courfeyrac. “Enjolras, this is Corwin and Marius.” Grantaire continues and twist around to look at Enjolras.

Grantaire realizes that he has made a mistake when he sees the look on Enjolras' face. His eyes are wide and his expression constantly changing. He is clearly aiming for blank but is struggling very much to get there. His eyes keeps flitting between Marius and Courfeyrac.

“I'm sorry.” Enjolras says, with something much too sincere washing over his face and his voice very close to cracking.

Grantaire feels his own panic rising. Enjolras had been fine when talking with Joly, which was why Grantaire hadn't thought Courfeyrac and Marius would be a problem. Now it's occurring to him that Enjolras had been talking to Joly for a while before Grantaire woke up, which is not an unimportant factor. And although Enjolras loved all of them equally, he had undoubtedly been closer to Courfeyrac and Marius than to Joly.

Enjolras latches on to Grantaire's shoulder, his fingers digging in in a way that will certainly leave bruises. He exhales slowly and his face gradually settles on something neutral before he focuses on Marius.

“...I'm sorry. I pushed Maria into a wall earlier. Grantaire said you would be mad at me for that.” Enjolras says, his voice much closer to normal this time.

“I... Oh, I mean.” Marius says glancing between Enjolras and Cosette with surprise. “If Maria isn't mad, I'm not either.”

“I'm not.” Cosette says. “He had a good excuse and he apologized very nicely.”

“Good. We're good then.” Marius says while twinning his hands with Cosette's. Enjolras inclines his head in a short, relieved nod, but his fingers are still digging into Grantaire's skin.

“His shirt was open when he apologized.” Grantaire says. “So yes, it was a very nice apology.”

“It was not!” Enjolras protests while Cosette laughs, which proves to be an incredibly lovely sound. Enjolras loosens his grip on Grantaire slightly.

“You'd missed a couple of buttons in your hurry, Apollo. It was open to a little above your naval. It was very nice for everyone involved.” Grantaire says, while patting Enjolras' hand and giving him a obligatory once-over to drive the point home.

Enjolras sighs and pulls at Grantaire's hair in faked annoyance. “And remind me, what were you wearing at the time?” He says and reaches down to tug at Grantaire's borrowed t-shirt.

“I'd just been shot. I think I'm allowed to be shirtless when I'm grievously wounded.”

“Yes.” Enjolras says and loosely curls both of his hands around Grantaire's shoulders before finally looking at Courfeyrac, who has been watching them with slightly amused consideration. “You don't happen to know what happened to the shooter? Grantaire's memory is somewhat limited at that point.”

Interestingly, Courfeyrac exchanges a look with Cosette before replying. Grantaire wonders whether he is simply checking because she has spent more time with Enjolras, or if he defers to her in general.

“He ran. Marius couldn't follow because we had to bring Grantaire to Julien. By the time we got back again he was long gone.” Courfeyrac answers.

“It was the same one with the mirror, the one we was following.” Marius says.

“I'm starting to really dislike that guy.” Grantaire sighs. Behind him, Enjolras growls lowly in agreement, before going completely still. He clearly hadn't meant to do that, which is worrying.

Perhaps the scent thing isn't going to be a problem after all, if Enjolras is already lowering his guard.

“How long has it been since you last slept?” Grantaire asks Enjolras, who frowns down at him, before abruptly turning his head to look at the door. Grantaire belatedly realizes that Marius has already done the same, seconds earlier.

“Not to be rude, but would you...” Courfeyrac begins asking in Enjolras and Grantaire's direction, apparently having the missed the cue that somebody is coming. He's interrupted by Jehan crashing through the front door.

Jehan stops, slightly out of breath, in the doorway and let's his eyes pass over them quickly, only pausing shortly on Grantaire, before settling on -

“Enjolras.” Jehan breathes out and rushes forward. Enjolras meets him a few steps from the couch, where Jehan tackles him to the ground. Or – since Enjolras has supernatural strength – where Enjolras lets Jehan pull him down. Either way, they both end up on the floor, Jehan eventually in Enjolras' lap, desperately patting each other over for injuries and speaking rapidly in French. Grantaire tries to tune them out, but nonetheless catches the words shot, die, sorry and his own name several times.

“What happened?” Joly comes out of his room to ask, apparently having been summoned by the noises.

“It appears I've been replaced.” Grantaire answers.

“Huh.” Joly says, having spotted Enjolras and Jehan. “By which one of them?” He asks while peeling a couple of large PVC gloves off his hands.

“Both.”

Joly tilts his head to the side, the better to study the two on the floor, who are still too busy clinging and whispering furiously to each other to notice anybody else. Joly raises an eyebrow and makes a thoughtful noise before disappearing into the the kitchen to wash his hands.

“If that is the case we will be happy to adopt you. Only, I think there's a couple of things you haven't told us.” Courfeyrac tells Grantaire and waves to Enjolras and Jehan's rather unusual display.

“I doubt Enjolras would let go of Grantaire.” Cosette says, perhaps with a touch of cold as she studies Enjolras. Her tone softens a great deal when her gaze moves back to Grantaire. “But you are of course more than welcome to stay with us if you want to, or need to.”

There's an underlying offer of help there, which they will have to prove is unnecessary as soon as possible. Still, Grantaire can't help smiling at the sentiment – even misplaced as it is.

“Jehan is an old friends, we've told you that.” Grantaire tells Courfeyrac, ignoring Cosette's remark for now.

“They haven't seen each other in a very long time.” He ads a little lamely after a short pause.

Nobody looks convinced by that explanation.

“Since when does John speak French?” Marius asks “And what is that dialect?”

Grantaire hadn't noticed until now, but Jehan is speaking a centuries old version of French, a southern dialect to be more specific, with some Parisian flair mixed in. Enjolras has backslided too and is matching Jehan, although with a few modern alterations once in a while. Judging by Marius expression, he is having trouble understanding this unusual and rapidly spoken dialect, which is probably why nobody has questioned Enjolras' and Jehan's repeated mention of barricades and death yet.

“A proper French one.” Grantaire says enunciating slowly as he adopts it himself. The words roll of his tongue naturally, and it occurs to him that he probably has been using it when speaking French with Jehan without noticing.

“Could we please speak a language everybody understands?” Joly says as he returns from the kitchen. He makes a beeline for Grantaire and presses a glass of water and a bottle of pills into his hands. “I've decided that we might as well help the magic along. This is iron tablets, take two now. You're also getting more antibiotics, but I've run out so that'll have to wait until Ray gets here.”

Grantaire parses that for a second before looking around Joly to catch Courfeyrac's eyes “Raymond knows? And Patrick is a werewolf. Clearly, there's a couple of things you didn't tell us.”

“Ray found out last night because somebody refused to go to the hospital, and I needed all the help I could get.” Joly says before Courfeyrac can respond. “Two pills. Now.” He ads and taps the back of Grantaire's hand.

God, I missed you. Grantaire thinks as he gets two pills out of the little plastic bottle and swallows them. When Joly sternly taps the glass, Grantaire drinks the water as well. He empties the glass just as Jehan climbs over the back of the couch and envelops him in a hug; jostling the glass out of Grantaire's hand in the process. Grantaire doesn't hear it hit the floor, so it must land somewhere in the couch - but, actually, he doesn't care about the glass right now, because being manhandled like that turns out to hurt quite a bit.

“Thank God you're okay. You are never allowed to be shot again. Enjolras and I have agreed.” Jehan says into the top of Grantaire's head, still in old French.

“nf...” Grantaire answers, finding words difficult with his face pressed into Jehan's shoulder. Also, pain.

“Careful.” Enjolras says above them. He pulls Jehan's hands away and resettles them in a much loser grip.

A horrified Jehan starts apologizing to Grantaire, but is interrupted halfway through by Joly reminding him to speak English, please, English is now the only official language in his apartment.

“Do you know anything else about the shooter?” Enjolras asks Courfeyrac and Marius calmly, as if he hasn't spent the last 5 minutes cuddling with Jehan. He looks more relaxed than Grantaire has seen him all day.

“Okay - I do like you - but really? You think we're going to ignore that?” Courfeyrac asks, waving at Enjolras and Jehan's previous spot on the floor and then, after a little hesitation, pointing vaguely in the direction of Jehan and Grantaire as well. They have rearranged themselves to give Jehan enough room to get a look at Grantaire's bandage without letting go of him.

“It would be the polite thing to do.” Grantaire says as he pulls his borrowed t-shirt down again. “Notice how I haven't asked why Maria knows so much about the horrible creatures of the night, or how Marius and Patrick ended up as before mentioned creatures. You don't have to know our back story to trust us - Which you hopefully already do, otherwise you shouldn't have let us in here.”

It wouldn't be completely unlikely, Grantaire thinks, that their good Samaritan tendencies had made them bring a potentially dangerous stranger into their home. And there was Jehan, of course. They couldn't leave a friend of Jehan's to bleed on the sidewalk, even if they didn't trust him themselves.

But surely that was a point in his favor as well – that he was a friend of Jehan. If they trusted Jehan they should give Enjolras and Grantaire the benefit of doubt by extension, and Grantaire had never lied to them – he'd omitted information at worst, but even then he thinks he made the omission clear to everyone. Withholding information, yes, any deception, no. He'd done his best to tell them what he and Enjolras were without telling them what they were.

And Jehan – it had to be very good deception to have fooled Jehan, who was an “old friend”. To do that would mean manipulating with Jehan's mind, which – well, technically Enjolras was capable of that. In theory. But it was very dark magic, the kind with irreversible consequences. Grantaire didn't think any of them would be able to smile at Enjolras this casually if they thought he would do something like that. Although, perhaps Marius just couldn't fold his face any other way when he was in Cosette's presence.

“You did say that we shouldn't trust anyone not human.” Marius says.

“Except for Grantaire.” Jehan corrects “And now Enjolras too, of course.”

“Because there's no point in trusting me if you don't trust Enjolras.” Grantaire says, mostly to win honesty points from Cosette, who seems to be the main source of suspicion. She does look surprised at the admission and turns her gaze away from Marius again to look searchingly at Grantaire.

“Let's not do this again.” Jehan says with exasperation “For my sake, at least. Just tell them about the storage unit.”

“We were always going to. Just trying to clear some things up about your mysterious friends first.” Courfeyrac says. “But as you command; When we came back, the guy was gone, and the trail led to a dead end. Instead we tried following his old tracks, the ones who got us there in the first place, and they led us to a rented storage unit that the guy has been visiting frequently. That's where he was, between attacking you in the alley and shooting Grantaire.”

“That's a couple of hours.” Grantaire says.

“Yes. One wonders what he's got in there. Sir Patrick had a bright idea when we told him.” Courfeyrac continues and absentmindedly gestures towards what must be Bossuet's room. “He says that Martin does temp work there sometimes.”

“Oh, yeah. I remember. His uncle is the manager. We only have to tell Martin to get in then.” Jehan says and straightens in his seat. He pauses and glances at Enjolras before adding. “He'll be thrilled to help. He's never stayed out of a fight if he could help it.”

Ah. Bahorel then.

Enjolras smiles with recognition and squeezes Jehan's shoulder as a thank you. Jehan seems to understand the meaning of the touch because he doesn't hint further and shifts his attention to Courfeyrac, Joly and Marius instead.

“You should tell Alexandre and Ariel as well, since everybody else knows. I mean -You should have told us long ago, not just now. But they certainly don't deserve to be kept in the dark as the only ones.”

“We are going to tell them.” Marius promises.

Courfeyrac nods furiously in agreement and takes a seat on the coffee table in front of Jehan. “We realize that it wasn't fair of us, but suddenly there was magic and monsters out there, Jehan.” Courfeyrac says honestly, and Grantaire feels Jehan shiver next to him at the use of his nickname. “We were just trying to keep all of you safe.”

“Fuck safe. If you discover monsters and magic I want to know. I'll always prefer knowing, no matter how unsafe it is. - And you know, I got attacked by a guy with a magic mirror and Grantaire has been shot. What you don't know can still hurt you.”

“Especially if it's monsters of the human-hunting kind.” Joly says and nods to Enjolras, who – to Grantaire's great disbelief – laughs softly and tips his head toward Joly in acknowledgment.

What? Enjolras doesn't...Usually when monsters are mentioned Enjolras either gets A) upset, when it's alluded to that Enjolras could hurt people, or B) righteously upset, when it's alluded to that other supernatural monsters hurt people. Laughing is not a response that has happened before....What were they talking about while Grantaire slept?

Courfeyrac sends Joly a look, which he takes in stride “I always voted for telling them.” Joly points out. “Speaking of which; who's calling Martin? It's just past five, so if we're lucky he might not have found any trouble yet.”

***

Bahorel has in fact found trouble in the shape of a prank on a professor in family law, which he admits can be postponed for an hour or so, but only if they have a very good excuse. Courfeyrac shamelessly promises him werewolves and Bahorel shows up at Joly's door less than twenty minutes later.

“That is the weirdest attempt at persuasion I've ever experienced.” He says as way of greeting. “But it definitely worked. Here I am and you've really got my hopes up. I don't know if I'll beat you up or congratulate you on your creativity if there aren't any werewolves.”

“There are werewolves.” Courfeyrac reassures him, before pausing and glancing questioningly at the others, who looks just as unsure of what to say. After several seconds of nobody volunteering to begin, Enjolras clears his throat and leaves his spot behind the couch.

“I'm Enjolras.” He says and offers Bahorel his hand. A smile that is much too honest spreads on his face when Bahorel shakes it.

“Grantaire.” Grantaire says while pointing at himself, hopefully taking some of the attention away from Enjolras' expression.

“Hello. I'm Martin. You're new. Are you werewolves?” Bahorel asks.

“No, not werewolves. But Marius and Patrick are.” Grantaire says, to surprised noises from everyone but Enjolras. “What? We don't have all the time in the world. He has a prank to get to.”

“...I do.” Bahorel says a little distantly as he turns and stares at Marius.

“I...Okay. Yeah, I...” Marius says very awkwardly, before hiding his face in his hand and sighing loudly. When he looks up again there's determination in his eyes.

“Okay.” Marius says and starts telling Bahorel about the monsters and magic.

Marius seems to have taking Grantaire's comment about time to heart, because his explanation is very short and to the point. All Grantaire learns about Marius and Bossuet's turning is that Marius was bitten by an unknown werewolf at night, and that Bossuet had the misfortune of showing up unexpectedly on Marius' first full moon. Grantaire suspects that there was a bit more drama to the events than that; there seems to be some holes and hesitations in Marius narrative, especially the conspicuous lack of Cosette, and sometimes he shares a loaded look with one of the others. Still, this is much more than Grantaire knew before

Bahorel is a surprisingly good audience, considering the strangeness of the story. He listens quietly without interrupting, and doesn't call them all crazy by the time Marius has reached to why they need to get into the storage unit and finishes.

“You do realize that you'll have to show me something, right?” Bahorel says “I'm inclined to believe you, but if we're pulling shit on my uncle I want someone to do something.”

“I can't...” Marius begins, turning to Courfeyrac for help, before being interrupted by Enjolras stepping forward, grabbing Bahorel's shirt and lifting him off the floor with one hand.

Bahorel laughs in surprise, and waves his feet around in the air, as if to check that he really isn't touching the floor anymore. Enjolras slowly stretches his arm all the way out, so Bahorel's head very nearly touches the ceiling.

“Okay.” Bahorel says, a little breathless. “But you could just be freakishly strong. Maybe you're one of those lean and really strong people.”

“Perhaps.” Enjolras agrees amused. After a moments thought he lowers Bahorel again, so their faces are closer, and lets his eyes change with a low growl. His pupils dilate until his irises are gone, while a ring of red creeps in from the edges. It's black and red swallowing up white and blue, and it's damn disconcerting to watch.

Bahorel immediately jerks back in Enjolras hold with a surprised curse. Then he starts laughing again.

“Shit, that's freaky!” He says with clear delight

“Are you convinced?” Enjolras asks, smiling again.

“Very.”

Enjolras presses a light kiss to Bahorels cheek, before setting him down and stepping back. Grantaire sighs at the sight. So far he has been going for friendly when dealing with the others, but Enjolras is clearly not in a mood for anything that subtle.

“I like you.” Bahorel chuckles “Vampire, was it?”

Enjolras nods, his smile becoming impossibly brighter even as Bahorel turns away.

“Nothing to add from the werewolf?” Bahorel asks Marius hopefully.

“I can only change if it's full moon.” Marius says while shaking his head. “I guess I could lift something too. Or you could cut me and it would heal quickly...”

“No.” Joly interrupts firmly. “There has already been way too much bleeding in here. You are not doing it too. I've nearly run out of bleach again.”

“What about you then?” Bahorel asks, turning to Grantaire. “Marius didn't say, but you look very good for someone who's just been shot.”

Grantaire silently lifts the bottom of his borrowed t-shirt to reveal his new, clean bandage, while he tries to formulate a diplomatic answer.

“Grantaire is Enjolras' thrall.” Cosette says before Grantaire can.

“I don't know what that is.” Bahorel admits.

“Neither does google.” Courfeyrac says darkly.

“It means,” Grantaire says hastily, before Cosette can start explaining. “It means that there's a little bit vampire in my blood. And - well, there's several very disturbing implications attached - but in practice it means that I feed him.”

He can't help smiling as he says it. I feed him has long been his response whenever somebody questioned what Enjolras was doing with him. It is surprisingly satisfying to say it to someone who will understand his full meaning.

Bahorel looks from Grantaire to Enjolras with troubled fascination. So does everybody but Cosette, with varying degrees of surprise. Most of them seems to have suspected already. But not Jehan, it appears, judging from the penetrating stare he is directing at Enjolras. Joly is the most blasé; he wordlessly picks up the little bottle and presses two more iron tablets into Grantaire's hand.

Enjolras only twitches a little under the scrutiny. Grantaire is honestly amazed how calmly he is taking it. Usually the word thrall makes him more hostile than even the most over-privileged of bourgeoisie.

“Time?” Grantaire prompts, before it's get awkward enough that he'll have to elaborate.

“Right.” Bahorel says. “When do you want me to sneak you in?”

“Grantaire should be fine by tomorrow.” Enjolras says.

“Grantaire's going? He's just been shot.” Jehan objects.

“Grantaire has been shot before, much worse than this.” Grantaire mutters.”I'll be perfectly fine.”

Enjolras grimaces at that and reappears behind the couch again, moving there much faster than a normal human would. Cosette jumps a little in her spot beside Grantaire, even though Enjolras makes sure to appear on Grantaire's other side, between him and Jehan. Grantaire reaches up once he's still and squeezes Enjolras' hand reassuringly to keep him from changing his mind.

“But you don't need to go with us, - and wouldn't tonight be better? If you can do it tonight?” Jehan says, directing the last part to Bahorel.

“I think he does need to come.” Enjolras says before Bahorel can respond. He looks regretfully at Jehan and brushes a hand over his shoulder in apology before continuing. “That mirror is not a common object and Grantaire knows more about this stuff than I do. More than Madame Marie too, I think?” He tilts his head toward Cosette.

“My knowledge is very basic and....mostly theoretical.” Cosette admits carefully. “It would perhaps be better if you came, but only if you're sure you are going to be okay by then.” Cosette tells Grantaire.

“Honestly, Enjolras' judgment is better than mine on that.” If nothing else, then because Enjolras tended to be overly cautious with Grantaire's injuries. If he thinks Grantaire will be able to go by tomorrow, then he most certainly will.

Cosette turns to Enjolras “And you're sure?”

“I've stopped bleeding.” Enjolras says. He peels back the bandage on his wrist to reveal flawlessly smooth skin, dark red smears of blood the only sign that the skin was ever broken. Joly immediately jumps forward and grabs Enjolras' arm to inspect his wrist.

“Which means that the worst of my healing is done.” Grantaire explains Cosette, while pointedly ignoring how Joly is pushing in between Grantaire and Jehan to better get at Enjolras.

“Tomorrow then?” Bahorel asks while pulling out his phone. “I really do have to go now, but I'll see what I can do.”

“I'll walk you out.” Marius says. He presses a quick kiss to the top of Cosette's head before following Bahorel out the door, presumably to give Bahorel time for more questions.

Grantaire is looking in Cosette's general direction, so he doesn't miss how a sad expression crosses her face at Marius departure. Some of his incredulity must show, because Courfeyrac catches his eyes and makes an expression that is clearly I know, right? Grantaire hopes that his answering nod manages to convey his deep admiration that Courfeyrac hasn't washed his hands of them both yet.

“Finally alone, Darling.” Coufeyrac says dramatically and moves forward to take one of Cosette's hand between both of his. “Come, let us talk in the kitchen 'til your beau returns.”

Grantaire watches with some dread as Courfeyrac pulls Cosette to her feet and they both disappears into the kitchen. Courfeyrac is probably aiming to get the proper definition of thrall out of Cosette. While Grantaire is aware that everybody will hear it soon enough, he does not think that Cosette and Courfeyrac conferring about their suspicions right now will be in Enjolras' and his own favor. All of them will have to know the mechanics eventually, but Grantaire would really prefer if they could go over the thrall thing after the others knew them well enough not to draw any wrong conclusions.

Once they all had their memories back would be preferable.

Which reminds him of Jehan.

“Maybe someplace with better lighting would help?” Grantaire suggests to Joly, who is currently holding Enjolras' wrist a few inches from his face to search for any sign of damage.

“Perhaps the kitchen.” Enjolras suggests. And okay, sometimes even Grantaire is surprised by how well Enjolras reads him.

Joly jumps on that idea with a gleam in his eyes. He tells Jehan to keep Grantaire in the couch before pulling Enjolras with him by the wrist. Enjolras follows him happily with a fond look.

There is some noises from the kitchen when they ruin Cosette and Courfeyrac's téte-à-téte. Judging from Joly's gleeful tone of voice, he is not an unwilling participant in the interruption.

“So...” Grantaire says, once he is alone with Jehan. “Questions?”

Jehan is slumped against the back of the couch. He rolls his head in Grantaire's direction at his words, and ends up watching Grantaire sideways.

“I get questions? You were being very secretive. All of you.”

“You get special treatment because you're my favorite.”

Jehan snorts. “I doubt that.”

He reaches over and pulls Bossuet's t-shirt down until Grantaire's collarbone is exposed. The bite mark on Grantaire's throat is old and faded enough that people usually only notices it if they are looking for it. The one at his collarbone, on the other hand, was open only a week ago and is distinctly mouth shaped. Jehan studies it intently.

“I don't know any lore, but I do know what the word 'thrall' means.” Jehan says.

“Yeah?”

“It's an old Norse word for slave.” Jehan says. “So I think I've got a general idea.”

Marius returns through the door then. Jehan lets go of the t-shirt to wave at him in greeting. Marius waves back a little awkwardly, before going into the kitchen too. The level of noise rises a couple of decibels at his arrival. Grantaire hasn't seen the inside of the kitchen yet, but he doubts that it's built to fit five people comfortably.

Grantaire turns back to Jehan.

“Maybe this isn't the best time to do this. We won't get far before someone comes out and interrupts us.” Grantaire admits.

“We'll start with the most important then; Tell me about the disturbing implications.” Jehan says.

“Apart from the name?” Grantaire says. “That's the main one. A thrall is a slave, basically - only a supernatural one, so there's mind control involved. I'm... I'm a subject to his will is how it was explained to me. If Enjolras orders me to do something, I have to. I physically can't not do it.”

“Enjolras wouldn't take advantage of that.” Jehan says, and Grantaire feels a swell of affection at the utter certainty he puts into the words.

“He doesn't.” Grantaire agrees. “But it's not just making me do stuff. It's... he can control everything. He could change my mood or erase my thoughts. Biological stuff too. My body hasn't aged because he doesn't want me to. Only he didn't do that on purpose, didn't know he could do that.“

“That's a bit worrying.” Jehan admits hesitantly.

“Trust me, we're aware of that. It's handy though.” Grantaire says and waves to himself. “I wouldn't still be here otherwise. And it's... Thralls usually only survive a couple of months. But if they get older – over a year or so – they usually stop thinking. It's a gradual thing, but in the end they stop completely. No awareness, really. Empty shells, just waiting for orders. And I'm – It's almost been 200 years and I'm still here. Still me, and no more mindless than usual.”

“Less mindless, I think.” Jehan says carefully. “More sober at least.”

Jehan curls his hand around the back Grantaire's and squeezes it. Grantaire turns his hand over and squeezes back with a soft smile.

“I'm not worried, I promise. Enjolras wouldn't do that to anyone, and certainly not to you.” Jehan says firmly.

“No.” Grantaire hums, closing his eyes with relief and relaxing into the back of the couch. “It's pointless with me anyway. Would do anything if he just asked.”

Jehan sighs. He untangles their hands and pushes some of Grantaire's hair away from his face.

“That's a bit worrying too.”

“Perhaps. But it's nothing new.” Grantaire agrees. As far as character flaws goes, he doesn't think following Enjolras like a shadow is his worst. Although it is the one that has nearly gotten him killed the most times.

“Any more questions?” Grantaire asks.

“The blood.” Jehan says immediately. He pulls the t-shirt down again to emphasize his meaning.

“Didn't I already do that? The feeding?” Grantaire frowns. “You have to be more specific.”

There's the loud noise of glass breaking from the kitchen, followed by Joly letting out a string a swearwords, liberally intermingled with Courfeyrac's name. Then there's the smack of somebody falling to the floor, which must also be Joly, judging by the way the swearing suddenly cuts of and are then picked up with impressive creativity. Cosette and Marius flees from the kitchen then, both with worried glances backwards.

“Too late.” Grantaire mutters to Jehan, before raising his voice. “What happened?”

“I may have broken a bottle of olive oil.” Courfeyrac answers as he speedwalks out of the kitchen as well.

And yes, on closer inspection his hands and the front of his shirts are wet with something shiny. Marius has got a a giant wet spot on his left leg as well, while Cosette seems to have come out unscathed.

“You exploded a nearly full bottle of olive oil in my kitchen! And Christ, Corwin! How did you even manage that?” Joly says, following just behind Courfeyrac. His entire back and most of his front is wet, probably from his tumble on the floor.

“I'm really sorry, but – Julien!”

Joly grabs for Courfeyrac's hair with oil-stained fingers. Courfeyrac yells in surprise and runs behind Marius for cover.

“You live with Stewart! This is not the worst thing that has happened to your kitchen. He ripped of the faucet only two weeks ago, and he's still alive!”

“Patrick has superstrength that fluctuates with the moon. You were telling a joke! This is why Ray doesn't let you have props!”

“Wait, it's Patrick Stewart?” Grantaire whispers “You call Bossuet Patrick Stewart?”

“Or Captain Picard.” Jehan answers. “Because he does great speeches.”

Grantaire snorts delighted.

“Jokes don't need props, Corwin! Now there's glass everywhere!”

“I've picked it up.” Enjolras says. He's been leaning against the doorway for several seconds, an amused grin on his face. There is of course no sign of oil on him at all.

Joly turns to look suspiciously at him..

“All of it?” Joly asks with narrowed eyes.

“I have very good eyesight and I'm fast.” Enjolras shrugs.

Joly only hesitates shortly, before pushing past Enjolras back into the kitchen. It's quiet as he inspects Enjolras' work until he calls:

“Thank you.”

His voice is much calmer. Courfeyrac clearly takes this as a sign that the worst is over, because he visibly sags with relief.

“Oh, thank you.” He enthuses and hugs Enjolras quickly before darting into the kitchen after Joly.

Oh, and Grantaire takes back whatever he had been thinking before, because a smile is spreading over Enjolras face and it is easily much brighter than whatever poor approximation Cosette and Marius had been doing before. They were like a fire in the night; appearing bright and warm, but only because the sun wasn't out yet.

Enjolras shifts his gaze to Grantaire, who is pretty sure his mind blanks out for a short second at the contact. Then Enjolras is moving across the floor to him. Again, moving much too fast – and usually he really has no trouble appearing human. This must be some kind of deliberate disregard, Grantaire thinks, forcefully pulling himself back to rational thought.

“What's going on with you, Apollo?” Grantaire asks in the old French dialect, to get some level of privacy.

“I'm happy.” Enjolras answers, completely unfazed by the question. Just....smiling at him.

“I've seen you happy. This is...you high.” Grantaire says, struggling for words.

“I can't get high. You know that.” Enjolras says.

Grantaire grimaces because, yes, he remembers. That had not been a good day. He is pulled from the memory when Enjolras curls a hand around the back of Grantaire's neck and presses their foreheads together.

...And then he just stays there. Weaving his fingers into Grantaire's hair and breathing.

It's nice, sharing breathe like that - not to mention having Enjolras this close and happy. Usually touching is for comfort. But right now Enjolras is nothing but happiness, nearly bursting with it. He even makes that low satisfied hum he always does while feeding.

The touch goes on much longer than usual, though. Even through closed eyes Grantaire can't help becoming increasingly aware of their friends watching. In the end he has to push Enjolras off – but only after having waited several seconds past the point of awkwardness, of course.

Enjolras doesn't pick up on this at all, because sometimes he is really bad at reading Grantaire – or maybe just willfully ignorant of things he doesn't agree with. Either way, he actually looks hurt when Grantaire shoves him away.

“If you don't watch it, this is going to be Trina and Katherine all over again.” Grantaire says.

Enjolras blinks at him and then the hurt gets replaced by exasperation. He sighs and shakes his head at Grantaire, as if all their reincarnated friends thinking they are a couple is no concern of his. As if it wouldn't be incredibly weird for everyone involved.

Admittedly, his perspective on that is very different from Grantaire's. He clearly isn't the one who gets inappropriate boners in his sleep because the bed smells of Enjolras. All of it. Always. No matter which pillow Grantaire uses or which side he sleeps on. If he didn't know better he would think Enjolras did it deliberately.

“You're welcome with me.” Jehan offers Enjolras and opens his arms wide in invitation. And just like that Enjolras is brimming again.

“Jehan.” Enjolras laughs, as if he's just rediscovered that Jehan is there. He accepts Jehan's offer immediately and practically crawls into Jehan's lap to snuggle close into his chest.

“You're ridiculous.” Grantaire pronounces, a little baffled. An adorable Enjolras is a rare creature and something in Grantaire's chest is clenching in a slightly new way.

“Happy.” Jehan corrects, while resting his cheek on the top of Enjolras' head.

Grantaire has seen Enjolras happy before but this is... overjoyed. Giddy? - Unprecedented is what it is. But then, they haven't ever met their previously dead, now reincarnated friends before.

And Jehan. Enjolras overflowing had started with Jehan on the floor. Grantaire wonders how Enjolras will look if they manage to get the rest to remember.

“Raymond.“ Marius announces, and Enjolras head snaps up, right before there's a knock on the door. Enjolras is out of Jehan's embrace and waiting at the entrance in a matter of seconds.

Grantaire lets himself slump sideways into Jehan's lap, so he can't see Combeferre entering. Something is crumbling in his chest and it's dawning on him that there isn't much he wouldn't do to make sure they all remember Enjolras again.

“Are you happy?” He asks Jehan in a whisper.

Jehan quietly starts braiding the hair at Grantaire's temple while he considers, before whispering back: “I'm worried, and I think you scared ten yours of my life last night. But I'm very happy you're here.”

Grantaire breathes out, a little relieved. He tilts his head to give Jehan better access and settles himself more comfortably, while he listens to Enjolras introducing himself.