“Combeferre,” says Enjolras, making the best puppy dog eyes he knows. Mostly he opens his eyes as wide as he can and keeps them open until they're dry and hurt a bit.
“No,” says Combeferre.
“Please?” says Enjolras, tugging at his sleeve.
Combeferre gives him a Look; Enjolras lets go, and sighs. “Enjolras, I'm sorry, but I can't. You're welcome to come with me, you know.”
Enjolras groans. “And I can't do that either.” He shudders, because as much as he'd really like to skip Christmas festivities with his family, the fall-out that would follow wouldn't be worth the one peaceful day.
“You'll survive it,” says Combeferre quietly. He knows how rough it is for Enjolras even though Enjolras doesn't want to talk about it afterwards.
“They told me to bring someone, like they just assumed I would have someone ready, waiting. I don't know whether I can ask anyone else to subject themselves to that for me,” says Enjolras, and Combeferre snorts.
“You know what I mean,” says Enjolras, looking at his mug woefully, since there is no coffee in it anymore. He holds up a hand and starts counting people off. “Courf's taking Jehan to the parents, Bahorel and Feuilly are at the orphanage, Joly and Bossuet are with their girlfriend and – I don't know what Grantaire is doing, but I'm sure he's got something better to do than nursemaid me for three days in the middle of the country.”
He expects that to be the end of that, but Grantaire turns up in his battered van in the morning when Enjolras is just packing the last of the store-wrapped presents.
“Grantaire! What're you doing here?” asks Enjolras, waving him in. He can't really afford to spend time standing and chatting, so he hopes Grantaire won't mind him talking and packing at the same time.
Grantaire raises his eyebrows and watches him from the living room doorway. “Courf said you needed a hand?”
Enjolras freezes. “What?”
“Courf said something about your awful family and Christmas.”
Enjolras simultaneously wilts with relief and cringes. “Oh God, Grantaire, no. I couldn't ask that of you.”
“You didn't,” Grantaire points out, leaning against the doorway, looking immaculately wind-ruffled and amused.
“Right,” says Enjolras. “I – seriously?”
“You want me to spend Christmas with your family and make them not murder you, and you not murder them, right? Yeah, I can do that. I've got nothing better to do anyway.”
Enjolras falters, because he hadn't checked if Grantaire would be spending Christmas alone, and now he knows he would have been, Enjolras feels awful. “Thank you,” he says instead, pushing the edge of his suitcase down carefully so he doesn't crush any of the presents; Grantaire strides over and holds it in place so Enjolras can zip it up. “Thank you,” he says again.
“No problem,” says Grantaire.
It's a fucking problem.