Actions

Work Header

i have waited with a glacier's patience (this tornado loves you)

Work Text:

5.
Nobody expects it, but Grantaire is an exposed nerve in a broken tooth when it comes to other people’s emotional problems. Everybody thinks of Joly, of Courfeyrac, of Bossuet, even, when they think about people overreacting at the sight of other people’s tears, other people’s problems. But Grantaire, Grantaire is just everybody’s neighborhood drunkard. Doing nothing. Worth nothing. Useful for nothing. These are things he knows to be true, believes them exactly as much as he doesn’t believe in God—only in the words his supporters say, which point back to Grantaire as the useless drunkard he is.

On the day Joly gets back from the doctor and the prognosis is worse, Grantaire is sitting at his usual table. He’s got his head buried in a book he isn’t reading for class, is pointedly not, not, glimpsing furtively at the huddle of his friends crowded around Joly. He doesn’t feel left out, doesn’t feel like he’s apart from them in such an intrinsic way. Doesn’t, doesn’t feel guilty for thinking about himself when Joly is so obviously having such a hard time of it. Doesn’t feel like he should, he doesn’t know, be doing something spectacular like baking him a cake or bringing flowers for him; doesn’t feel like he’s useless in the scheme of all of these people, all of these things and what is happening—

Combeferre has broken apart from the group. Grantaire only notices because he’s lifted his head from the table long enough to feel guilty about what he’s seeing and what he’s not doing. And he’s coming towards him, through the café, littered with chairs and tables. Grantaire’s always been weird about Combeferre, never known why, and it feels like, now, he’s walking straight towards him.

Grantaire’s heart rate picks up. It shouldn’t, but it does. He takes a sip of the nearest bottle of, well, something, and carefully pillows his head back into his arms. Maybe, if he pretends to be asleep, Combeferre won’t have any reason to talk to him. Will just leave and go away and let Grantaire feel guilty about everything on his own.

He doesn’t want to talk about it, except he kind of does.

“Grantaire?” he hears. He groans in response. It’s pretty convincing, he thinks.

Except Combeferre does not seem to think he’s asleep or drunk. Grantaire’s certain he’s losing his mind (or more so than he’s already lost it) when Combeferre reaches under his head to tilt his chin up until his eyes are meeting Combeferre’s. Grantaire looks at him for only a second before carefully sliding his eyes away. He shivers, for some unknown reason. When the most rational of all Les Amis pulls out a pocket light and blinds Grantaire with it, he’s more confused with anything.

He’s more when Combeferre looks at him, and pronounces: “You’re not drunk.”

Grantaire doesn’t choose to argue against that. He shakes his head, slowly, instead. Combeferre gestures at the door, and says, “Come with me.”

6.

How this ends up with Grantaire carrying a large pile of books, half a pizza, and a book full of what are probably dried moths, Grantaire does not know.

“The books are to remind Courfeyrac he has to study, the pizza is for Enjolras, and the moths are for me.” Combeferre would say. Combeferre does say.

He’s been tasked to carry these things to Combeferre, Courfeyrac, and Enjolras’ apartment, apparently because he’s the only one of them who wasn’t too busy Being Concerned at Joly, and because Combeferre is using his crutches today.

“Come in, sit,” Combeferre says, once they get to the apartment, have traversed the elevator and the hallway and braved the confused look of the doorman. (Grantaire doesn’t know how their apartment building has a doorman, because he’s pretty sure that the triumvirate spend most of their money on the Cause, but he rolls with it.)

Grantaire sits. He swallows, looks around at this whole room, which contains enough books it’s probably against the building code and more red than is probably advised. That’s Enjolras, he knows. Combeferre would never make a design decision as bad as the one he’s seeing.

Combeferre hovers in the doorway for the second, before leaving Grantaire alone in the room so he can disappear to what is probably the kitchen. He hears the click of an electric kettle, and the clink of mugs against a countertop, so he assumes that Combeferre is not preparing knives to slaughter him and dissect him as an anatomy study.

He laughs at himself for that thought, although he furrows his eyebrows for a second. And then he gets off the couch. He walks into the kitchen, to see Combeferre carefully spooning tea leaves into the filters in both mugs.

Combeferre looks at him. His skin is dark and beautiful in the soft kitchen light; he looks like he's glowing but Grantaire's not quite romantic enough to believe that or to even acknowledge it was a thing that he thought. Grantaire doesn't know why he's here, what he's doing-- why Combeferre has invited him in for what is apparently tea. Except Combeferre never actually invited him in, just gestured at him as though it was expected, even ordered, that he come in.

Grantaure swallows. As good as the tea smells, and the thought of staying here is enticing and also terrifying (not just because it's Enjolras's apartment, but also because it's Combeferre's-- who has always been soothing, always been calming in a way he hasn't been able to figure out). He looks around the kitchen and opens his mouth to speak, but the most rational of the triumvirate beats him to it.

"You should go sit down," says Combeferre. "I'll bring the tea to you when it's ready."

Grantaire goes back to the living room, sits down once more on the couch covered in so many soft things. Grantaire closes his eyes, just because he can, and because he's filled with so much restless energy, can barely convince his body to sit still.

Combeferre sits down next to him, after some time has passed. "Thanks for helping me carry all that," he says.

"You're welcome," Grantaire says, and when Combeferre hands him a mug of tea, "thank you."

Combeferre doesn't say anything. He looks down at his cup, which is undoubtedly made by artisans from the Amazon rainforest and sustainably fired. Or something.

It's quiet in the apartment, and then Combeferre, quiet and confident, blessedly, beautifully in control, asks, “can I kiss you?”

Grantaire nods. He leans forward.

1.

It's the biggest protest of the year, and Grantaire is there to heckle and to piss off the police with the hope that they'll ignore Enjolras and Combeferre and all the important people, the ones actually important for the running of the protest and the organization.

At first, Bahorel is with him. They're an unstoppable force; together, with their combined knowledge of fighting techniques, boxing and fencing and MMA, Grantaire is sure things are going well. they distract one police officer and then another; manage to calm down Enjolras when Bahorel gets punched, and are doing better than they've ever done before.

Until Grantaire gets separated from him. Until the cops bring backup, until the tear gas comes out and there's somebody pushing, and Grantaire is falling, falling, falling--

He wakes up in the street medic's tent, stretched out on the ground. He's got gauze wrapped around his head and it hurts, but not as badly as it could, and everything feels fuzzy and distant. Like he's seeing this in a movie or something.

Combeferre is standing next to him, above him, talking on his cellphone. Something about their positioning makes him feel something-- something interesting. Something scary, and weird, and-- good. The fuzziness in his head increases it. Grantaire blames it on what is probably a concussion.

Combeferre is saying something over the phone, something about a scene and cancelling. Grantaire stares up at him, and his eyes barely focus, but it’s worth it, because there’s a look on Combeferre’s face that he’s never seen before. Serene, in control, despite the chaos Grantaire can hear around them and the pain in his head.

“Who’re you talking to?” Grantaire says, or tries to say. He thinks it mostly comes out as a gurgle.

“Okay, good, you’re awake,” Combeferre says. He shines a light in his eyes, and Grantaire tries to blink away from it, but Combeferre is holding his head steady, gripping his jaw with his huge, skilled, warm hands.

And then Grantaire passes out again.

He doesn’t remember much else of the day other than the fact that somehow he wakes up at 3 am in the triumvirate’s apartment and stumbles home. He calls Eponine, who understands his gurgling enough to come over and take care of him.

3.

Grantaire doesn’t know why he thought to do it, other than the fact that Eponine had thought it was a good idea and he needed to get out of his head. And it had been a good idea, at first, had felt good and warm and worthwhile-- had done its job, had distracted him from the aching need for a drink, had made him feel less like the shit he is.

Except? Except now, he’s shivering to death in a park and he can’t, can’t remember the way back to his apartment, and he’s cold, and he can’t stop wondering, can’t stop wondering, can’t stop thinking about it--

His brain catches on the way the man had called him “good boy” as he whipped him, and then between kisses, and then at the end, and, and Grantaire can’t stop thinking about whether or not he’s even deserving of it, if he’d be deserving of it now, as he is, shivering in this park and he hunches over, curls his arms up around himself in an attempt to make himself warmer--

His back hurts, and he’s wearing his coat, but it stings, and Grantaire can’t, can’t, can’t--

He can’t do anything other than sit here while the worst of the shaking passes, until something happens that will make it possible to get out of here, get back to the warmth. He wants a shower and he wants a giant mug of hot chocolate and he wants to collapse into bed and he wants to bury himself under at least seven comforters but he can’t do any of it--

He distantly realizes he’s rocking back and forth on the bench. He hasn’t done that for years, since before the alcohol, since his childhood. It makes him feel a little better, a little more like he can move--

Still, it’s difficult. He falls asleep before he can manage to make himself move, despite the cold, despite the pain, despite the way that he wants to be anywhere but here. It can’t have been more than an hour when he feels himself being shaken awake, because it’s still the same amount of dark and the streetlights still haven’t switched off. He snaps to consciousness, worried about cops or concerned suburban parents or drunk people or, who knows, Montparnasse himself.

Instead he finds himself staring up at Combeferre’s face. He’s aware of how awful he looks, and it’s that thought combined with Combeferre’s presence that has him sitting up and combing through his hair, and then, because he can’t, can’t be handling this even if it is a hallucination, because he knows his brain and it’s possible, he reaches up to rub his eyes so Combeferre can see as little of his face as possible. Hell, maybe he can convince him that he doesn’t know him--

Grantaire gives up when he sees Jehan, who is holding hands with Combeferre and wearing what looks like a collar. Ze’s got zir hair up in a bun, tonight, which shows off the angle of zir neck, and zir freckled shoulders, bare despite the cold, and Grantaire should really not be as jealous as he is about how pretty Jehan looks in that collar, and he wants to hide, and that’s what has him getting off the bench and walking away.

“Grantaire,” Combeferre says. He sounds-- well, concerned, because who wouldn’t be? But his voice still has that tinge of authority, has something he recognized at the club tonight, and Grantaire does not want this shame and this guilt and he does not wants lots of things, and wants even more, and Grantaire can’t deal with this.

He walks away instead, and passes out on Joly’s front stoop, and doesn’t answer his questions about where the whip marks came from.

2.

Bahorel is the one who notices. He notices while they’re sparring, which makes it even worse, because they’re not alone, because they’re surrounded by people who Grantaire only knows here. His shirt rides up just enough so that Bahorel can see the pink of his lower back.

“Whoa, dude,” Bahorel says, in between blows. “I don’t know much about kink but I do know that whoever was hitting you was getting awfully close to your kidneys.”

“What?” Grantaire says. His eyebrows go up, and Bahorel gets a hit in, his first the whole morning. Grantaire goes sprawling to the mat. He pushes himself up and stands up next to Bahorel, who unceremoniously slings an arm around his shoulders.

“It’s okay that you’re kinky, I’m honestly not surprised,” Bahorel says. Then he boops him on the nose.

“What-- I’m not kinky,” Grantaire says. This whole thing is-- awful, and embarrassing. He feels his face heat up, and really hopes he’s not blushing. “Just. You know. Experimenting.”

“Whatever you say, dude,” Bahorel says, and then kicks him again.

As they’re heading off to the showers, after they’re done fighting for the day and Grantaire has enough bruises he’s sure his body is real, Bahorel throws a look at him over his shoulder.

“You know who’s really kinky? Combeferre. You should see the stuff in he keeps in his bedroom.” Bahorel says. He’s got a smirk on his face and his tone is so smug that Grantaire can’t help keep from blushing.

He tries not to say it, but he thinks: I already knew.

7.
Combeferre kisses him like he’s a treasure, like he’s a precious object that needs to be taken care of, and this is the way to do it. He brings a hand up to cup his cheek, and Grantaire leans into it, can’t help but push back, because Combeferre’s touch feels so good and he’s shivering and this is all he’s ever wanted. Combeferre brings their lips together again and the pressure is heaven.

“Oh my,” Combeferre says. He smirks like he’d expected this. “How good you are, and without me even asking.”

Grantaire can’t help but blush at that. Combeferre kisses him again, this time even more in control, and Grantaire just sinks into the cushions. He lets himself be maneuvered until he’s lying down and Combeferre is on top of him, and kissing him and it’s absolutely beautiful, and he doesn’t know what he did to deserve this but it must have been something good.

Combeferre kisses him and tells him he’s good and it’s everything he’s ever wanted and pushes him down into the cushions and Grantaire lets himself lose himself in this, and he finally feels like he deserves it, and it doesn’t hurt, and he’s so grateful.

Because Grantaire doesn’t feel so much like a useless drunkard, not when he’s like this, not when Combeferre is telling him what to do and asking him his safeword and the situation is everything he could ever want.

4.

It’s a Friday night, which means, these days, that Grantaire’s gotten himself out of the house and to the club he’s been frequenting. He goes in looking for-- he doesn’t know. Just something, something that will get him out of his head. Pain does it, better than most things, and this way at least he’s not self-harming. He can’t bring himself to think of doing anything else, here, either. He sees people disappearing off to rooms armed with brushes and….things, and he sees people getting tied up and suspended in air, but Grantaire doesn’t trust anyone enough for that. Doesn’t trust himself, even, not enough to know whether or not he could survive such a thing, or if he’d like it.

He finds someone, as always, and they hit it off. By the time the night is over, he’s pleasantly bruised and still pleasantly buzzed, and if she didn’t praise him once, didn’t call him good, well. He shouldn’t be as bothered as he is.

He makes it home, this time. He makes it all the way into bed before his skin starts to crawl, and he finds himself thinking, God, I should really stop doing this.

That line of thinking continues up until he’s half asleep, dozing off with thoughts of praise and...just kneeling at somebody’s feet. He wants nothing more than someone’s arms to crawl into, but he doesn’t know anybody who’d let him.

And then his phone rings. He flinches himself awake, is instantly aware of what a phone call could mean, at such an hour; he may not believe in their ideals but he believes in their lives--

He picks up. It’s Combeferre, talking about how Bossuet’s been hurt, something about a bar fight and police and he’s the closest, and he really needs to open the door because there’s a lot of blood loss. Grantaire doesn’t even think, just acts, just throws on a shirt over his boxers and sprints down the stairs.

And Combeferre’s right, there is a lot of blood loss, but this isn’t Grantaire’s first rodeo and he’d do anything, anything to save Bossuet--

It’s later, after, when the adrenaline wears off and Grantaire has made tea for all of them and sat them all down in his tiny kitchen, and offered coffee and snacks and homemade brownies, and Bossuet is alive and asleep and all of his wounds have been tended to, and covered in bandages from Grantaire’s meager first aid kit, and Combeferre and Joly are alright even though they’re both exhausted, and Combeferre’s stolen half his whiskey for Bossuet’s wounds, and Grantaire didn’t care, and it’s only after all of this that Grantaire sits down and feels like utter shit.

He collapses in the living room, on the softest chair because of his still-painful ass. He’s away from all of the people and he’s had tea, yet he still feels so drained and awful and he’s not entirely sure why. It can’t be normal, to be like this, he thinks; it can’t be normal to have had a great time at a club and gotten everything he wanted (or everything possible, anyway), and yet to feel so awful. He covers himself in a blanket, and cuddles up to it, and it’s not the real person he wants but it’s something.

Grantaire is still sitting there, in the same position, when Combeferre enters the room. It’s been long enough that the tea is cold, and that Combeferre must be asking him to make some more, so he carefully leverages himself off of the armchair. Except the movement makes his whole entire lower half hurt, and he flinches.

He stands up anyway. Combeferre is watching him with an unamused set of the mouth, but also somewhat surprised, like-- like he hadn’t expected this from him. Grantaire remembers that night with Jehan in the park, and the way that he had just run away. And then again at the street medic tent, and Combeferre saying so many words that Grantaire now recognizes as kinky.

“Grantaire, you’re shaking,” is what Combeferre says. He steps forward, giving Grantaire every possible opportunity to back away, and puts a hand on his shoulder. The grip is-- it’s soothing, reassuring, and Grantaire needed this, needs this, except Combeferre will think he’s so weird and strange and he has to, has to deny how much he wants this. “Why don’t you sit back down?”

Grantaire is too raw, too vulnerable, though, to respond, or to move away. He wants this, and Jehan is always telling him so much stuff about how he should do things he wants, and he thinks Jehan would know. He steps forward, instead, and very carefully doesn’t hug Combeferre, just-- invades his space a little, maybe. Maybe makes it easier if Combeferre does want to hug him.

“Grantaire,” Combeferre says. There’s a set to his mouth, and a curl of his eyebrow, and he looks so concerned. “Are you okay?”

“I--” Grantaire says. He hides his face, steps away, turns so he can avoid the careful gaze of Combeferre’s eyes, always so dark, always with the light illuminating them the same way it illuminates granite, turns it into something more than it is. “Maybe? I think it’d-- hurt more, if I sat back down, and that’s why I didn’t-- didn’t do what you asked, I’m sorry, I’m just, I can make you some more tea or something if you want, I mean--”

“Grantaire, may I?” Combeferre asks, and Grantaire doesn’t know what he’s asking for, still can’t see him, but he nods anyway, he fucked up, and he just wants to do what Combeferre wants--

He doesn’t know what he’s expecting, but it’s not Combeferre coming forward to envelop him, lightly, in his arms. It’s not Combeferre standing there, taller than him, and curling one hand around his neck, and letting the other rest against the small of his back.

They stay like that for a long time. Grantaire relaxes slowly, slowly, until he would crumple to his knees if Combeferre let him; he lets himself be held, and trusts Combeferre to hold him up. Because he honestly doesn’t think he can do it right now.

And then, it’s all he can do to not start crying, and he doesn’t want to do that in front of ‘Ferre, or his newly injured friend and one of his lovers in the other room, and he’s not weak, goddamnit, he can hold himself up and not cry just because someone hugged him.

He pulls himself away from the taller ami. His eyes are blurry and weird, but he pulls away and tries to keep it together.

“Did they put any cream where they spanked you, before you left?” is what Combeferre asks.

Grantaire tries not to let his surprise show on his face, and then blushes frantically. He buries his face in his hands, again, and hides, because this is so shameful, and because how could he have gotten himself into this situation, and he hates it, he really does.

“I-- I’m fine, really,” Grantaire says, into his cupped hands.

“That’s not what I asked,” Combeferre says. He sounds dangerously close and well, powerful, and there’s an undercurrent of something enticing, rich beneath his otherwise normal tone. And then, he steps forward, invading Grantaire’s space, and whispers close to him, and it’s all Grantaire can do to obey. “Look at me, Grantaire, and stop trying to hide.”

Grantaire looks at him. He barely knows what he looks like, just that that tone of voice makes him want to drop to his knees right there and kiss Combeferre’s shoes and that Combeferre could do anything to him right now. With just a few words.

“Did they put any cream on you?” Combeferre asks. He steps forward, and Grantaire can’t look away, can’t disobey a direct order, but he wants to. As Combeferre holds his face in his hands, he feels so vulnerable, and so nervous. He breaks eye contact unintentionally, only to have Combeferre tighten his grip on his jaw, and brush a finger over his eyelid.

Grantaire looks back at him. It’s so tender he can barely stand it, can’t stand it-- can’t help it when he shakes his head no.

--

 

Combeferre asks him, first, if he’ll let him take care of him. He says it like it’s so serious, and Grantaire doesn’t even know what he’s agreeing to, just that he trusts Combeferre. Just that he trusts the way that he had hugged him, had made him feel vulnerable and yet held tightly, and that he feels less awful with Combeferre’s hand on his neck and his presence, tall and powerful, next to him.

He nods yes, again. He swallows against it, and leans into Combeferre, who has placed his hand again on the back of his neck like it’s his birthright. Grantaire agrees. Combeferre leads him into the bedroom.
He has him take off his boxers, first, and Grantaire is embarrassed until Combeferre reminds him, softly, non-judgmentally, with a hand on the back of his neck and another in his hair, “I see bodies every day, Grantaire. Yours isn’t any different. You don’t have to hide.”

He takes off his boxers. It hurts a little, of course it does, but he grits his teeth and bears it. He doesn’t even know Combeferre in his capacity as a dominant, and yet can’t stand the thought of disappointing him. He stands there, waiting, shivering, while Combeferre goes into the kitchen and comes back with a small container of unlabeled cream.

“Here, lie down, alright?” Combeferre says. His voice is so soft, so caring. And so Grantaire does. He stretches out and he can’t see Combeferre, but trusts him enough that he’s not going to do something awful or, he doesn’t know, leave.

The first touch of cream over his abused skin is a blessing. Combeferre’s hands are warm and skillful, but it hurts, and he can’t help but let out a—he won’t admit it’s a squeak. He can feel Combeferre smiling at him.

“You’re doing just fine, Grantaire,” Combeferre says. Grantaire can hear the smile in his voice. “You’re doing more than fine, actually. These marks look like they hurts, and I can’t even imagine how good you must have been for the dom who put them on you.”

Grantaire actually does squeak at that. He buries his face in the pillow.

“In fact,” Combeferre says, and he can’t be joking, even though Grantaire worries. There’s another cold application of the cream to his ass, and with it comes the words, “you’re being so very good right now. So still, and so obedient. Following my orders without even trying.”

Grantaire could die, he honestly could. He doesn’t know what he’s done, but Combeferre sounds so calm, so happy, and the touch is soothing, is grounding. Bossuet’s in the other room, injured, but he doesn’t feel anxious at all. He lets himself lie there and float, in his own bed, which has been the place of so many
other, unhappier trysts (if they’re calling this a tryst). Which is covered in unruly bedsheets, where he’s drunk himself into a stupor, and yet Combeferre makes it feel entirely new. Like a whole new experience, full of light and laughter and this warm, floating feeling that makes him sure there’s nowhere better he could be. He doesn’t even feel the pull of the bottle, just Combeferre’s touch and his words and the sweet softness of the bed.

“Grantaire?” Combeferre says, sounding concerned, but not alarmed. Just careful. He realizes distantly that he hasn’t responded to any of Combeferre’s questions, his continued reassurance.

“Yes, sir?” he slurs. He thinks that’s what he’s supposed to do, anyway; it had been what pretty much everyone at the club had wanted. And Combeferre is taking care of him, is helping him, and he’d rather call him that than anyone else.

“Oh, R,” Combeferre says. It’s the first time he’s ever called him by that nickname. He stops applying cream and instead climbs onto the bed, where he maneuvers Grantaire until he’s comfortably ensconced in Combeferre’s arms, in his warmth. It’s easy, now, to fall asleep; Grantaire is warm and held and Combeferre, Combeferre keeps telling him over and over again how good he is, and Grantaire feels it.

He’s out like a light, before he has time to worry about Bossuet, or about whether or not Combeferre actually believes all of the things he’s saying.

8.

“We should-- you know. Discuss what happened.” Grantaire says, after. He’s curled up in bed, still comfortably cuddled by Combeferre. In all of his various experiences with him, he’s discovered that Combeferre has got to be the cuddliest person in existence, especially after a scene. It makes him feel-- not just vulnerable, but taken care of. Cherished.

All those scenes with strangers, orchestrations of pain and anguish, and Grantaire hadn’t even realized what he was missing. He hadn’t even realized that what he wanted was not that, but this: Combeferre feeding him dinner on his knees and tying him up and just saying things in that tone of his. Taking control of him. Taking care of him.

“You’re right,” Combeferre says. He’s facing Grantaire, this time, and they’re lying down like they’re hugging: arms around each other, noses almost touching. Well, almost. Grantaire’s not quite that tall. Combeferre reaches out to lightly tap him on the nose, and Grantaire smiles. “But maybe tomorrow? I want to let you float for a little more time. That was an intense scene, and you deserve to just chill for a little bit. Let me hold you.”

Grantaire shivers, and tucks his face up against Combeferre’s shoulder. Combeferre reaches up and strokes his hair, just lightly pets him. Grantaire feels-- Grantaire feels better than drunk, like this. He feels like everything is taken care of, all of his anxiety floated away a long time ago.

Combeferre rubs lightly at one of the marks where he bound him, and Grantaire can’t stop the high keening noise that comes out of him. Combeferre laughs, lightly, but it’s not judgemental. Just-- observant. Grantaire cuddles even closer, until they’re pressed up everywhere, skin touching skin. Grantaire loves this warm, safe space Combeferre has built for him. Even now he keeps strengthening it; as Combeferre strokes him all over, and tells him how good he was, how good he is, Grantaire can’t help but feel like nothing can hurt him here.

He falls asleep happy, and held, and serene. It doesn’t matter, here, about his emotional sensitivities, about the way sometimes the urge to imbibe calls him stronger than his own will, on dreary sundays, or the anxiety that bites him to pieces like so many mosquitos in the summer. It doesn’t matter about Joly’s illness and Bosuet’s injuries or Bahorel’s too quick, too knowing words; it doesn’t matter about Enjolras and his hate for Grantaire and everything he is. He’s got none of Courfeyrac’s charm and none of Jehan’s wit, but he’s got this, and that’s better than any gift anyone could ever give him, or any talent he could be born with. He has warmth and serenity and he has Combeferre’s arms around him. And that’s better than any medication.