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We Go Round and Round

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Grantaire has a phaser pressed to his temple and a Capital soldier's arm around his throat and all Enjolras can see is red, the blossoming red of a bruise spreading across his cheekbone and the scream of red that'll tear him apart if that phaser goes off and the peek of red as Grantaire licks his lips and stares at Enjolras like he's trying to tell him something, but Enjolras doesn't know what it is because it looks too much like resignation and that is not something Enjolras can accept, not ever, and the red burn of fury that is taking him over, pounding through him with every heartbeat, making his hand twitch for his weapon as the Capital man makes his demands.

He thinks they won't sacrifice Grantaire for their cause, and he's right. But he thinks the only alternative is surrender, and there he's dead wrong. Enjolras glances to either side of him, at Combeferre standing to his right and Courfeyrac his left, and the others standing beside them. They meet his eye, and he nods, and the soldier smiles like he's won.

It's over in an instant. Combeferre takes half of the men and comes at him from the right, Courfeyrac the rest and comes in from the left. And Enjolras draws his blade and comes in head-on, drawing the soldier's fire onto himself and away from Grantaire.

It's Jehan who strikes the fatal blow, with a knife across the neck and the soldier's blood spreading red across the ground at their feet. Enjolras stares down at the body, his heart pounding, his whole body shaking because that was so close, it was so close.

He steps through the spreading pool of blood to Grantaire, who's still standing in the middle of it looking dazed, like he's been shellshocked by the sudden eruption of violence around him. Enjolras reaches to take him by the arm and Grantaire startles, come to life, and jerks away.

"Was that really fucking necessary?" he snarls, and before Enjolras can figure out how to respond that yes, saving Grantaire's life was really fucking necessary, Grantaire pushes past him and stalks back to the Musain, leaving bloody bootprints up the ramp into the ship.

"Give him a minute," Éponine says.

Enjolras turns and scowls at her.

She sighs and rolls her eyes. "He just had a phaser to his head. His adrenaline's through the roof. If you go after him right now, you two are just going to get into another fight, and that never gets either of you anywhere, does it?"

He goes after Grantaire anyway, because Grantaire's not the only one who has adrenaline pouring through him after that close call, and it needs an outlet. The ship's ramp rings under his feet as he stomps up it, announcing his pursuit.

Grantaire's waiting for him inside, arms crossed, eyes hard, already spoiling for the fight that Éponine predicted.

"You're not going to criticize me for taking that man's life to save yours," Enjolras starts.

Grantaire's brows go up and he gives a harsh laugh. "No. Christ. I'm grateful for my life, Apollo."

"Then what—"

"Did you think about any other alternatives before you decided the way to do it was to run headlong at the man with the gun?"

"I had to make myself the bigger threat so he wouldn't just shoot you."

"Had to." There isn't any humor at all in Grantaire's laughter. "You're a piece of work, do you know that?"

He turns and starts away, and Enjolras can't let him leave because the smell of blood still clings to him and has panic clawing at Enjolras's throat. He knows it's not Grantaire's, knows that he wasn't harmed at all, but the panic remains. He grabs Grantaire's arm to keep him there, jerks him back and means to say something else but loses his breath when Grantaire stumbles and comes in hard against his chest.

His eyes are wide and he takes a breath that parts his lips and Enjolras is moving without thought, pushing his hands into Grantaire's hair and covering Grantaire's mouth with his own.

Grantaire jolts as though the kiss is a blow, going taut in Enjolras's hands. He tries to pull back and say something, but Enjolras presses him back and bites the words off his lips. Éponine is right, they're just going to argue if they let themselves, and this is a much nicer way to reassure himself that Grantaire is safe and alive and unharmed.

They kiss until Enjolras can't breathe steady, until Grantaire is vibrating like a live wire in his hands. When Grantaire turns his head aside, gasping for air, Enjolras lets him. He moves his kisses down Grantaire's neck, biting, pulling the blood to the surface.

He lets Grantaire have a moment, but when he's still quiet, just leaning there and breathing hard, Enjolras pulls back and looks at him.

Grantaire meets his gaze, holds it. "Why?" he asks. "Why now?"

"You nearly died." Enjolras isn't sure it's enough, but it's the only answer he has.

Grantaire, though, nods like he understands perfectly. "Your bunk is closer."

So Enjolras guides him there, one hand on his hip and the other on his shoulder, stopping at every corner to push him back and steal a kiss, or suck another bruise high on his throat, where no shirt will cover it, or skim a and down Grantaire's side and thrill at the way he shudders against him.

They have to part to get into the bunk, because climbing in while distracted is just asking for a broken ankle. And when they're both in and the hatch is shut behind them, it's Grantaire who grabs onto him and pushes him back toward the bed. Enjolras falls back onto it and Grantaire climbs up over him, stares down at him with a wordless intensity, like he wants to make the image indelible on his memory.

He's thinking too hard, and Enjolras is here because he doesn't want to think, because the only thoughts that stay in his head right now are those of the soldier, the phaser to Grantaire's head, how easily it could have been Grantaire's blood spreading out at their feet rather than the Capital man's. He doesn't want to think, he just wants to feel, so he rolls Grantaire under him and works his way down as he pushes Grantaire's shirt up, and gives them both something else to think about for a long time to come.

Courfeyrac can get them into the air and back into the black. There will be Capital ships coming after them, but Combeferre will come and find him should the situation needs his immediate attention. Later, much later, they will surely have their argument, and Enjolras will drag Grantaire down to Joly's medbay and reassure himself that he's as uninjured as he seems, but for now, Enjolras will content himself with cataloguing every inch of Grantaire's skin, and letting himself be catalogued in return.

Space is very cold and very black, and they have a very long way to travel before they reach a safe harbor, but Enjolras's bunk is warm with the both of them in it, and the only red he sees now is the flush crawling down Grantaire's chest and his kiss-bitten lips. Maybe if Enjolras looks his fill, if he studies Grantaire long and hard, he can chase the memory of those terrifying moments away with these ones they'll make together.