Enjolras freezes up when he first hears it.
“What do you mean Grantaire has a date?” he manages to get out, trying and hopefully succeeding to keep the panic out of his voice.
“Well, he is technically allowed to date,” Combeferre says. “You did break up with him.”
Which, well, yes, he did.
“I know he’s allowed to date,” Enjolras says, petulant. “He’s just…not allowed to.”
Combeferre pinches the bridge of his nose and does that thing with his eyebrows that means that he’s counting to ten mentally, and Enjolras wonders if he sound feel offended that Combeferre is using the same tricks on him as he does Courfeyrac when Courfeyrac is being impossible.
“That makes no sense, Enjolras,” Combeferre tells him.
“He’s got a date,” Enjolras says again, incredulous. “He’s got a date.”
Combeferre sighs. “It’s been a month,” he reminds Enjolras.
It has been a month. A very long and quiet month wherein Grantaire only shows up occasionally for meetings at the Musain, and is always quiet when he does and leaves straight after the meetings end with Joly and Bossuet, sometimes with Bahorel in tow.
He hasn’t actually spoken to Grantaire in a month and he misses him more than he admits to anyone, but Grantaire obviously feels differently, judging by how quickly he’s jumping back into dating.
He wonders who Grantaire is going out on a date with, wonders if Grantaire is going to be wearing that bottle green sweater of his that Enjolras loves so much, wonders if Grantaire is going to kiss his date and invite them up to his apartment, wonders if Grantaire would laugh as he shimmies out of his jeans like he always does when he’s with Enjolras. There’s a feeling that he cannot readily identify growing in his chest, one that makes him feel like he should punch someone.
Someone like Grantaire’s date.
He should punch Grantaire’s date.
“I don’t like that look on your face,” Combeferre says. “It’s the look you have before you do something incredibly stupid. Whatever it is you’re thinking, do not do it, because it’s a stupid idea.”
“I want to punch Grantaire’s date,” Enjolras tells Combeferre, because he doesn’t keep secrets from Combeferre.
“You’re not allowed to punch Grantaire’s date,” Combeferre says patiently. “You told me I could punch you if you ever tried to do anything stupid back when we were eight, and I will hold you to that. You are not allowed to punch Grantaire’s date.”
“But Combeferre,” Enjolras, well, whines. He’s allowed to whine in front of Combeferre. Combeferre would never tell.
“Enjolras.” Combeferre sighs. “You’re not allowed to punch Grantaire’s date just because you’re jealous.”
“I’m not jealous!” Enjolras protests. “It’s just— I just—” The awful feeling in his chest intensifies, and now that Combeferre has pointed it out, Enjolras has to consider that the feeling in his chest might be jealousy. “I don’t want to talk about this anymore. Can we go back to studying?”
Combeferre, bless him, does just as Enjolras asks.
It’s not like Enjolras is actively trying to learn more about this date Grantaire is going on. It’s just that their friends are talking about it, and Enjolras overhears things because he’s got very good hearing, that’s all.
He overhears Jehan saying that Eponine set Grantaire up on this date to get him to stop moping. He overhears Bossuet telling Feuilly that he asked Grantaire to wear his favourite pair of skinny jeans and his green sweater on his date. He overhears Cosette saying that Grantaire’s date got them a table at the restaurant she’s been meaning to try out for a really long time now. He overhears Musichetta asking Bahorel if he would take Grantaire’s 7 p.m. shift at the Musain while he goes on his date.
He doesn’t mean to, but suddenly he has all these information that he doesn’t know how to ignore, doesn’t want to ignore.
There isn’t really a story behind their breakup.
It’d been building up for weeks. Grantaire was busy with his final project and Enjolras was busy studying for his exams. They’d been seeing each other less, and getting more and more restless when they had to spend time with each other. They were fighting more about smaller things, and each time the fight would be cut short by one of them storming off instead of them arguing their way to a consensus, like they’d started doing ever since they got together.
So when Enjolras had sat down to eat dinner with Grantaire and said I think we should breakup, it wasn’t all that surprising that Grantaire had just shrugged and agreed.
(Enjolras hadn’t been disappointed by how easy it was to get Grantaire to agree with him, or how he didn’t get the fight that he was expecting to get, except he was.
It was the one thing that he really didn’t want Grantaire to agree to.)
“I need you to tell Combeferre that I’m hanging out with you tonight,” Enjolras tells Courfeyrac in lieu of a greeting when Courfeyrac opens the door.
“Do I even want to know?” Courfeyrac asks, stepping aside to let Enjolras in. “Would this have anything to do with Grantaire and his date tonight?”
“I’m not going to tell you,” Enjolras says. “You need to be able to say that you know nothing if Combeferre asks.”
Courfeyrac blinks at him. “Plausible deniability.”
“Yes,” Enjolras says, and flops onto Courfeyrac’s couch with ease, “that.”
Courfeyrac sighs. “E, you’ve got that look on your face, the one that says that bad things are going to happen and you’re going to be the cause of them. Am I going to have to bail you out of jail?”
“Probably,” Enjolras says, dragging the word out as he considers the question. He still really wants to punch Grantaire’s date in the face, so there’s a good chance that he might get arrested for assault. “I am really not okay with Grantaire going on a date.”
Courfeyrac’s frown softens immediately. “You broke up with him,” he says gently.
“I know. I’m really not okay with that too,” he says, and isn’t even surprised to feel that his chest feels lighter at the admission. “I want to fix that.”
He hasn’t been able to admit that he made the wrong choice in breaking up with Grantaire. He misses Grantaire, misses having him around, misses knowing that he’s coming home to Grantaire even when they’re at their busiest and don’t see each other as often as they’d like. Even in the days leading up to the breakup, Grantaire still told him he loved him every morning before he dashed out of the apartment to the studio. Enjolras misses that, most of all.
Courfeyrac looks at Enjolras for a long moment before he heaves a sigh. “I’ll cover for you,” he tells Enjolras, mouth pinched slightly. Enjolras knows how much Courfeyrac hates lying to Combeferre, and it’s probably unfair to ask Courfeyrac to do this for him, but if anyone can pull one over Combeferre, it would be Courfeyrac. “It’s been horrible seeing the both of you sad the past month. I hope it works out tonight.”
“Me too,” Enjolras says with feeling.
Grantaire shows up outside the restaurant at five to seven, freezing in his track when he sees Enjolras. By that point, Enjolras has already been there for twenty minutes, wringing his hands together, biting at his lip, dreading the moment where Grantaire shows up, but also hoping that Grantaire would come sooner.
“What are you doing here?” Grantaire asks, and Enjolras hates the downward curl of Grantaire’s lip, hates that he put that look on Grantaire’s face.
Maybe coming here was a bad idea. What if Grantaire has already decided to move on without Enjolras? What if Grantaire has already decided that being in a relationship with Enjolras was more effort than it was worth?
“I—” he says, and falters, because he hasn’t thought this through. He might be ruining a good thing for Grantaire. This is why Combeferre needs to green light all his ideas before he acts on them.
“No matter,” Grantaire says, eyes hard and determined. “You can be where you want to be. If you’ll excuse me, I have a date to get to.”
“I don’t want you to go on a date with anyone else,” Enjolras blurts out just as Grantaire brushes by him. He catches Grantaire’s wrist and stills him, because now that he’s said it, he might as well say it right. “I wasn’t okay with the breakup,” he tells Grantaire softly. “I’m still not okay with it now.”
Grantaire turns over to stare at him. “What are you even talking about?” he demands. “The breakup was your idea.”
“I made a mistake,” Enjolras tells him, and tightens his hold on Grantaire’s wrist, as if he could keep Grantaire just by holding onto him with all he’s got. “We were both so busy, and I was looking for an easy way to handle us, but that was wrong, I never should’ve been looking for one. Our relationship isn’t something to be handled in the most convenient way possible, it’s more important than that. You’re more important than that. I miss you.”
When Grantaire doesn’t say anything, Enjolras adds, “I still love you.”
Grantaire breathes in sharply, like he’s surprised by that, like he’s stunned that Enjolras could still be in love with him.
As if Enjolras could even fall out of love with him.
“Don’t go on a date with anyone else,” Enjolras says, sliding his hand down from Grantaire’s wrist to slot their fingers together. Grantaire’s hand is warm in his, and he’s holding back tightly, and it’s just as good as Enjolras remembered. “Go out on a date with me, instead.”
Grantaire’s eyes dart to the restaurant for a second before he starts walking in the opposite direction, tugging Enjolras along.
“Can I tell you a secret?” Grantaire asks.
“Anything,” Enjolras says.
“I wasn’t really looking forward to that date anyway,” he tells Enjolras, lips curved up in a smile.
R WHERE ARE YOU
DO NOT GO AWOL ON ME YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE AT THE RESTAURANT
R I PROMISED MONTPARNASSE YOU WOULD SHOW UP I SWORE ON MY HONOUR
fuck i’m going in your place this is unacceptable
shit you would’ve hated montparnasse what was i thinking
shit i think i like montparnasse a lot more than i thought i did
you know what? it’s good that you didn’t show
don’t wait up for me tonight
“Grantaire,” Enjolras whispers, shaking Grantaire’s bare shoulders lightly. It’s 3 a.m. and Grantaire is half on Enjolras, his face tucked into Enjolras’ neck, and snoring lightly. “Grantaire.”
Grantaire groans and doesn’t open his eyes as he says, “What?”
“Grantaire,” Enjolras says, and his urgency must resonate in his voice because Grantaire’s eyes blink open slowly, still fuzzy with sleep, to look at him. “Grantaire, will you be my boyfriend again?”
Grantaire laughs at that, presses his face back to Enjolras’ neck, and says, “Yes, you idiot, yes.”