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Sunny ukulele days

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It was one of those days where nothing could be awful.

It was sunny, really sunny, without a cloud in the sky to remotely soften the deep blue color outside of the window. Outside you could see people lazily walking; to warm to be in any sort of rush. A dog barked in the distance. A light breeze was coming through the open window, cooling the room comfortably. All sound and smell was as though multiplied, everything felt more. Grantaire sighed wistfully and plucked one of the strings on his ukulele. Jehan would have been thrilled with his poetic thoughts.

Grantaire was sitting on the floor, leaning against the cool wall. Enjolras, who was sitting in a chair in the other end of the room, flicked a page in his book. A comfortable silence, so unusual when they were alone, existed. Enjolras hadn’t planned on spending the day with Grantaire, he had only wanted to go over the pamphlets for the next rally, but they had started talking, and Enjolras didn’t have any more plans that day anyway.

Enjolras brow was furrowed as he read, and he quietly touched the end of his braid, absentmindedly as if he wasn’t aware he was doing it. The ukulele didn’t even make him glance up from his book, that’s how engrossed in the pages he was.

Right, the ukulele. Grantaire had gotten it for his birthday from Joly and Bossuet one year when he had made the mistake of telling them he wanted to buy a guitar so he could learn how to play. It was their idea of a joke; they had both almost fallen over laughing when they saw Grantaire’s face. But, hey, Grantaire wasn’t just going to waste a perfectly good instrument, especially one he had been gifted, whatever the reason behind it had been. And it was a beautiful instrument, all sleek and chestnut brown, light as a feather, feeling fragile but still surprisingly strong for such a tiny object. So, jokes on Joly and Bossuet, because that day Grantaire had gone to the public library and gotten all the books they had on how to play an ukulele. Six months later and he was starting to get pretty good, if he could say himself.

Enjolras coughed. Grantaire looked up from his daze and raised an eyebrow when he saw Enjolras looking at him.
“Are you…” Enjolras coughed again, looking down at his book and then up again. His lips were red, distractingly so, as if he had been biting on them. “Are you actually going to play?”
Grantaire raised his eyebrow even further, and strummed a chord. “You want me to play something?”
Enjolras cheeks tinted pink, he actually blushed, and then he nodded, chin held high. “That’s what I implied, didn’t I?”

A smile was forming on Grantaire’s lips, small but still evident as he continued looking at Enjolras. He soaked him in, committing every detail as if this was the last time he would see the man. Enjolras was sitting curled up like a cat, with his knees up to his chin. The blond hair was pulled back in a braid in his neck, but still a few strands of hair escaped from their bonds and sought their way down Enjolras’ face.

“So, are you?”

Grantaire blinked, and hastily looked away from Enjolras. He felt his own face heat up. Damn it.
“Yeah, sure. What do you wanna hear?”
Enjolras stared at him. “What do I wanna hear?” He looked as if he never had been asked such a strange question before.
“...Yes? That’s what I asked.”
Enjolras glanced around the room, as if looking for an escape. “I don’t really know, actually. I don’t care, I just wanted… Well. I don’t care.”
Grantaire nodded, being unusually kind and not teasing Enjolras for his stuttering reply and uncommon anxiety that was clear as the day outside. Grantaire looked around the room as well, as if looking for inspiration. He strummed the strings on the ukulele, closing his eyes, his hands forming chords without him really thinking. He let his hand be in control, form in what shapes it wanted, making chords and melodies as if he was sleeping. Dreaming up a song. It had happened before.

When he opened his eyes again, he almost stopped playing. Enjolras was sitting in his chair, book laying forgotten on the floor beside him. His eyes were fixed on Grantaire, clear blue and wide, staring as if he wanted to burn a hole through Grantaire’s shirt. Grantaire’s fingers automatically continued strumming the strings on the ukulele and he, still watching Enjolras’ crestfallen face, started humming and forming words that sometimes made sense but more often did not. He still couldn’t take his eyes away from Enjolras. It was as if something had pulled them together, a connection neither of them wanted to break.

Then silence fell. Grantaire stopped playing, letting his fingers hover hesitantly over the strings. He closed his mouth. Swallowed. His mouth suddenly felt very dry.

The only thing that could be heard was the sound of birds outside of the window, people talking and walking and laughing like normal. But Grantaire felt like something had changed inside the room. The tension, that a couple of minutes ago had been relaxed and calming, was now thick and tense. Grantaire wasn’t sure what had just happened. It was as though he had missed five vital pages while reading a book; he had skipped a part and now he didn’t know where the characters were, or where they were heading.

Then Enjolras finally moved, and broke the eye contact. It was probably only been three or four seconds since Grantaire had stopped playing, but it had stretched into hours, and it made them both blush even harder. They suddenly looked away from each other, searching for something to say.

“That was…” Enjolras cleared his throat once again, picking up his book and fiddling with his bookmark. He took a breath as if he was preparing to jump from a cliff. “That was beautiful, Grantaire”.
Grantaire could do nothing but stare. “Thank you”, he said, a few seconds too late for it to sound normal. Enjolras bit his lip, but didn’t say anything. Then he opened his book again and looked down at the page with a face that was way too warm for it to be normal. Maybe he had a fever? He ought to go to Combeferre for help. His throat felt all dry, as well. And this stomach-ache really couldn’t be good. The words on the page blurred together as he forced himself not to look up, not to meet Grantaire’s magnetic gaze that made him squirm in his seat.

Grantaire swallowed, and looked out of the window. The sun shone bright and clear, just like it had done five minutes ago. A smile was forming on his lips. The look on Enjolras’ face had been something magical; something to save in his mind for bad days. For days way worse than this. He leaned back against the wall, the smile quickly growing into a large grin that would be hard to hide would Enjolras look his way. However, Grantaire had a hard time finding a part of him that cared, even a little bit. Every thought was replaying Enjolras’ face, his words.
“That was beautiful”.

Some days, nothing could possibly be awful.