The skeptic looks up from his table. There they were, standing in all their glory. The human equivalents of the sun and the moon, looking down at the cold, dark ocean that is Grantaire. He wasn't quite sure when it started. He wasn't quite sure just how long they'd been standing there either. He watched as Enjolras knits his brows. Grantaire could not tell if it was out of anger or worry. He wouldn't be surprised, though, if he was angry at him. He's fucked up enough today. He probably deserved it. Nothing less expected from the passionate leader. Combeferre, on the other hand, held more of a cold expression. He was not entirely sure. He must not deserve Combeferre's attention this time around.
He wasn't sure if it was him thinking anymore.
He must not have realized that his smile slowly dropped, because Enjolras looked at Combeferre, who was equally confused. He looked back down on the empty bottle that's been sitting on his table for a while. It wasn't his. He promised them he wouldn't touch another bottle for at least a week. He knew at least how to do that. They trusted him to do that. He hasn't touched a single bottle since --- he was not sure when the last time was.
He watched Enjolras pull two wooden chairs from the table next to them, then they sat down in front of him.
Something was wrong, Grantaire could tell. Something happened and he wasn't sure if he was ready for it. He was almost numb to it at this point.
"Grantaire." There it was again. This time, it demanded more attention. He looked up, not sure which one of them had spoken. He couldn't talk, but he looked at them anyway. Their eyes were burning through his soul and he could feel it. One word, and he'd explode. He felt Combeferre's warm hands on his.
"How are you feeling?" It was that question again. Grantaire felt his insides churn. He never understood why Combeferre chose to ask that first instead of "are you okay?" or "is everything alright?" like any normal person would do. It infuriated him so much. He never did it with anyone else. Just Grantaire. Probably because Grantaire can't be trusted enough to with his own emotions. It made him uncomfortable. It required him to think. It required him to be careful with his own words or else Combeferre and Enjolras would be up on his ass for it until he has no choice but to have a long conversation with them about it.
He does not want to think. He doesn't want to talk.
And he thanks and curses god for extremely observant boyfriends, because they didn't push him. Grantaire doesn't like that. He needs them to keep talking. Maybe not to him, but he needs to hear them. He didn't want to think, but he needed them to keep talking. His discomfort must've been apparent, because he felt another hand on his. It was cold.
Grantaire wondered why that was, how Combeferre, the moon, could be warmer than his opposite, the sun, Enjolras, whose hands were colder. He never understood it. He doesn't want to. He loved and hated the contrast.
They waited. It was a challenge. Grantaire hated them for that. He curses their neverending patience even in heated debates. He never understood it. Maybe it was because he lacked it himself. Of course it was. Ever since Enjolras and Combeferre argued together against Grantaire in every meeting, he'd been the first one to fall apart. It was fun, but it wasn't what he needed today.
He started feeling uncomfortable under their gaze. He curses Enjolras and his piercing icy glare that threatened to tear him apart. He curses Combeferre's supposedly soft stare that kept pushing him. He curses everything about them at this moment.
Until finally, Grantaire's walls fell apart.
He felt hot tears forming in the corners of his eyes and he had to look away from them. Curse them both and whatever black magic they used to cause him to break down.
A warm hand had found its way under Grantaire's chin, forcing him to look at his boyfriends again. Curse them all.
"Go away," were his last words and the last push that finally made him start sobbing. Endless tears rolled down his cheeks until he felt arms wrap around him.
And it went on like that for an hour. Grantaire being a sobbing ugly mess and Enjolras and Combeferre being good boyfriends and comforting him with words he couldn't seem to understand. He eventually ran out of tears and was too exhausted to let out another sob.
Enjolras was the first to pull away to kiss him on the forehead, which made him feel so much worse than he already does. When Combeferre pulled away, he felt his warm hand petting him. It wasn't helping.
Grantaire dreaded the next few hours. He walked in between them, each holding his hands tightly, almost possessively when they saw people staring at them down the streets. Who wouldn't stare at them? Who wouldn't stare at Enjolras and Combeferre, who were both attractive for the opposite reasons? Who wouldn't want to look at Enjolras, who stood out from everyone, his very image radiating power? Or Combeferre, who seemed darker and more calculating, but demanded attention from everyone?
They had to take second glances for Grantaire, who looked...average, compared to them. He wasn't as unattractive as he made it seem to be, but right now, he knew he was right. He knew he wasn't worth looking at as much as they were.
They must've noticed it as well, curse them, because he felt Enjolras' cold arms around him, and Combeferre's wrapping around his arm. He was already so short and wasn't worth looking at, but his boyfriends made him seem more obvious and a part of them that everyone seemed to notice him more.
For each stranger's stare, Grantaire looked lower and lower, though he did not seem to notice Enjolras and Combeferre staring back at them, almost as though they were challenging everyone on the streets who dared look at their lover.
Grantaire was quiet the entire time. Enjolras and Combeferre seemed to be talking about something. It was probably about the cause. Again. Grantaire usually listens, but he didn't want to think, and he was desperately trying not to. He looked at the ground, watching their feet walking in sync. Enjolras and Combeferre went to their classes earlier before the meeting, they were better dressed than Grantaire, who wore the same clothes he used when painting, so he was covered in all kinds of paint stain. He couldn't help but stare at their boots, compared to Grantaire who had been wearing his worn out sneakers that he'd been wearing since he was a teenager.
Stop thinking. Grantaire kept his eyes on the ground. Stop thinking.
He suddenly felt cold fingers on his chin, and he couldn't allow himself to think enough to let his boyfriend force him to look at him dead in the eyes.
Enjolras scanned his face, and Grantaire tried to struggle but Combeferre, curse him, had his long arms around him, keeping him from pulling away from them.
"Combeferre," he squeaked. "Enjolras. You guys can't just do this, we're in the middle of the streets---"
Enjolras then roughly forced Grantaire look at his surroundings.
They were back at Enjolras and Combeferre's apartment.