By the time Grantaire is three months along, they’ve already moved into their own, separate brownstone flat in a quieter part of the city. It’s not too far from anything, but the neighborhood is nice, full of young families just getting by. Enjolras feels as though they fit in quite well.
Grantaire is especially careful when they’re moving their belongings in, making sure not to lift boxes that are too heavy for him and stopping to rest when he knows he needs it. Enjolras doesn’t doubt Grantaire’s devotion to their child, it’s not that. No, he’s just surprised he’s treating it religiously, not a joke to be heard from him. He seems almost somber, and Enjolras would pass it off as a pregnancy mood swing, except they have an appointment tomorrow and Grantaire doesn’t seem all that excited.
He confronts him later on that night, when they’re lying in bed. A million thoughts race through his mind. What if this is moving too fast for Grantaire? He admonishes himself though, because it’s been a year, almost to the day, since they started this. Grantaire is in love with him, as he is with Grantaire, so that can’t be the problem. He relaxes himself and knows the only way to get an answer is to ask.
“What’s bothering you?” he says into Grantaire’s hair. He’s been clingy too, which Enjolras doesn’t mind. He likes holding Grantaire like this, his head on Enjolras’ shoulder, Enjolras’ arms around his waist, one hand cupped on the belly already forming there. Omegas grow faster than Beta mothers, even though their pregnancy is ten months as opposed to nine. The last month determines whether the child is an Alpha, Omega or, on immensely rare occasions, a beta. Yeah. Enjolras had been digging up as much research as he could. He’s got a list of questions to ask the obstetrician when they go tomorrow.
Grantaire is silent for a moment before he says, “Nothing.” Enjolras knows what Grantaire sounds like when he’s lying to someone.
“Or maybe you could just tell me so I don’t have to pry too much and so we can go to sleep,” Enjolras suggests. He brushes his lips thoughtlessly against Grantaire’s brow. “Please just talk to me.” He doesn’t expect Grantaire to start to cry or to clutch at him and bury his face in his shoulder. “Grantaire,” he says in surprise, holding him close and sitting them up. “What’s going on?”
“I am so terrified that I am going to do something wrong and screw this baby up,” Grantaire hiccups into the skin of Enjolras’ neck. He rubs up and down Grantaire’s back and just listens, for once. “I’m afraid I’m going to do something while I’m pregnant and mess it up, because I always mess it up, even you used to say it. My father says it. I am a fuck up. That’s all I’ve been and I don’t want to fuck up this baby. I don’t want to fuck them up Enjolras.”
Enjolras doesn’t know what to say. There are so many things to address, but first he apologizes.
“I am so sorry that I’ve said that to you in the past,” he says.
“Don’t be. You were right, most of the time.”
“Not about this,” he says vehemently. “You aren’t going to do anything purposefully to hurt this child. You aren’t. I know you, Grantaire, and I know you aren’t. Never intentionally. And if anything happens, it’ll be the fault of nature, not you.” He holds him tight for a moment, because Grantaire seems reluctant to believe him and let go.
“Always the logical one, eh?” Grantaire says wetly against his neck. He sniffles and Enjolras forgets about the snot on his skin because he’s just succeeded in relaxing his mate. Not completely, and probably not for long, but for now, in this moment in time, Grantaire is willing to close his eyes, take a deep breath and nod against him, even if he doesn’t seem convinced all too much. But still, he’s accomplished something.
In an effort to steer the subject toward something more innocent, Enjolras says, “What about names?”
Grantaire actually giggles against him and peers up. “Really? And I thought you wanted to go to sleep.”
“Maybe I want to talk about baby names,” Enjolras says. Then he sobers. “Maybe I want to make sure you’re okay.”
“I will be,” Grantaire says quietly, getting comfortable against him. His heart swells a bit. “As long as you stay.”
“Obviously,” Enjolras says with a snort, and Grantaire laughs before going soft with sleep, letting out a yawn. “We’ll be alright,” Enjolras says softly, sliding them down so they’re lying on the bed again instead of sitting up.
It’s a few minutes later that he hears, “I kind of like the name Jacquelyn for a girl,” mumbled sleepily against his chest.
Enjolras can’t help but smile.
Their appointment is for noon, so Enjolras rushes out of his last class of the morning in order to pick Grantaire up from home in time to get to the doctor’s office. Grantaire comes out in a long sleeved t-shirt that hugs his baby-bump just right, making him look extremely pregnant, even though he’s not that far along. He hops into the car and makes a face at Enjolras’ staring.
“You look beautiful,” Enjolras says, because he knows Grantaire has always thought he was ugly and that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Sure enough, Grantaire rolls his eyes, although he does have a bit of a blush infused in his cheeks, and says, “Shut up and drive before we’re late.” But he does take Enjolras’ hand in his lap when it’s offered to him.
They walk into the clinic together, waiting for their names to be called, and then they’re waiting in a room, the nurse saying their physician would be there in a few minutes. Grantaire is laying on a cushioned examining table, his head back with his eyes closed, and Enjolras can’t stop staring at his stomach.
“I can feel your eyes on me,” Grantaire says, eyes still closed. There’s a smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth.
“Good,” Enjolras responds walking right up to his bedside and leaning down to kiss his cheek. He sneaks a hand over his stomach and gives it a rub, loving the feeling of the firm flesh of Grantaire’s belly under his palm.
“I am not a god-damned Buddha, stop rubbing me,” Grantaire grouches.
“I like how you feel,” Enjolras says honestly. “You’re carrying my child, our child. It’s awe inspiring.”
Grantaire cracks an eye open and lifts an eyebrow, saying suspiciously, “Did you just say that me being pregnant is awesome, but in fancier words?” Enjolras is still laughing when their physician walks in. She’s an older woman, her hair already graying, and she gives him an appraising look.
“Glad to see the room is filled with smiles.” She gives them a soft grin herself. “I’m Dr. Blanchet. I’ll be with you for the rest of the pregnancy.” She turns to Enjolras. “Are you the Alpha parent?” He nods. She turns to Grantaire next. “And I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that you’re the Omega parent?”
“Guilty as charged,” Grantaire says, about to sit up, but she lifts a hand to stop him.
“Oh, there’s no need, Grantaire. Stay comfortable. I’ll just be asking you and you’re partner a few questions.” She questions them for a few minutes, asking about medical history and the likes. Once she’s done filling out paperwork she gives them another grin. “Shall we check on the little one then?”
Enjolras feels his heart hammer in his chest as the ultrasound machine is wheeled out. He gingerly helps Grantaire roll up his shirt, earning him a smile from the other man, and then winces with him as Dr. Blanchet spreads the gel on his stomach. She gives him a sympathetic smile.
“Cold, I know,” she says. “It won’t last too long.” Then she takes out the wand and glides it across skin and gel, searching for their unborn child. Grantaire’s hand finds his at some point and squeezes with such ferocity that Enjolras would think he was in pain if he wasn’t there himself to see that Grantaire wasn’t. He makes a face and squeezes back reassuringly before the doctor lets out a little satisfied noise and turns the machine’s screen toward them.
“There they are,” she says and Enjolras feels his throat close up as he stares at the little alien looking thing on the screen. It’s… kind of creepy looking, he won’t lie. And it’s small. He hears a gasp and turns to look at Grantaire who’s staring wide-eyed at the screen, his free hand hovering over his stomach.
“As you can see –well, maybe you can’t – it’s a bit more developed than a female beta’s fetus would be. Obviously that’s because-”
“He’s an Omega. Faster growth, but a longer pregnancy period so the body can decide whether the baby is going to be an Alpha or Omega and then develop it. Or a beta, though I doubt that’s going to happen to us,” Enjolras finishes. He’s still staring at Grantaire, whose eyes are glassy and breath has quickened.
“I see you’ve been doing some research,” Dr. Blanchet says archly.
Grantaire let’s out an incredulous laugh. “He never likes to go into a situation uninformed,” he says softly. Enjolras still hasn’t looked away from him.
Clearing her throat, Dr. Blanchet hits a few buttons on the machine and says, “I’ll go pick up the prints for you in the main office. Give you two a moment, shall I?” With that she’s gone.
“Oh my god, that’s our baby,” he says, exclaims rather, staring at the screen. He finally pries his eyes away and looks at Enjolras. “Enjolras that is… this is…”
“Makes it all the more real, doesn’t it?” Enjolras says quietly, a smile on his face.
Grantaire swallows hard and squeezes his hand again. “We’re gonna do right by this baby, aren’t we Enj?”
“Of course we are,” he whispers, because Grantaire looks like he’s finally put his faith in something and it’s filling Enjolras with so much happiness, because it’s something they made together. It can’t get any better than this, and if it does then he is truly blessed.
Dr. Blanchet comes back a little time later and says they can clean up. Enjolras helps Grantaire sit up and then takes the tissues offered to him by the doctor and quickly cleans him up. He runs the tissues over the medium swell of Grantaire’s belly and gets him good and clean before tugging down his shirt and helping him down off the examining table.
Dr. Blanchet then hands them the print outs and informs them of their next appointment before seeing them off. Enjolras drives them around the city for a little while after that, Grantaire looking through the printouts, one hand over his belly, rubbing at it.
“I thought you weren’t a Buddha?” Enjolras says dryly.
“I’m not. Buddhas don’t rub themselves.”
Enjolras gives a chuckle and heads home when Grantaire starts to yawn. They’ll just head in for a nap and look at the pictures again when they wake up for lunch.
“So what are you doing for your anniversary?” Marius says out of the blue a week later at the Musain.
Enjolras looks up from his notes and says, “Come again?”
“Yeah, you and Grantaire’s anniversary is like, this weekend,” Courfeyrac says, sitting down in a backwards chair, his legs straddling it from behind. “Whatcha got planned? Hot, pregnant sex?”
“Jehan, come tell your beau to stop being obscene,” Enjolras says, rolling his eyes. “And to be honest, I hadn’t really thought about it.”
They’re all quiet for a moment before Combeferre says, “Why not?”
“I didn’t think it was that big of a deal,” Enjolras says, frowning. Out of everyone, he’d think Ferre was on his side. Apparently he’d misjudged the importance of anniversaries. After all, it was only the day that he had first asked Grantaire out. Then again, when put that way, it sounded a lot more important than it had before.
“This is the day one of you finally decided to breach the ocean of unresolved sexual and romantic tension between you both!” Courfeyrac says, halfway standing. “How is that not a big deal? Especially for you two?”
“I…” Enjolras shakes his head. “Alright. So. I have no idea what I’m actually supposed to do for something like that.” He blinks a bit. “My head feels fuzzy and I’m unsure.” He turns to Combeferre. “What the hell does that mean?”
“It means you’re confused,” Combeferre says helpfully.
“And inexperienced,” Courfeyrac throws in. Jehan helpfully bops him on the head and shoots Enjolras a smile.
“We can help!” Marius eagerly offers, a bit like an overexcited puppy. “Can’t we lads? We can help.”
“Of course we can help,” Feuilly says, coming to sit with them. “What are we helping with again?” he asks Bahorel.
“Fuck if I know,” the other man responds sitting beside him.
“We’re helping Enjolras plan an anniversary surprise for Grantaire,” Marius says helpfully.
“Oh,” Feuilly says. “Okay. Makes sense.”
“What is that supposed to mean?” Enjolras asks, a bit indignant, before Combeferre cuts off Bahorel’s response.
“Enough! Let’s get on with this shall we?”
“Operation First Anniversary A La Sex coming right up!” Courfeyrac says with a chortle.
“Never let him name anything ever again,” Enjolras says.
“Agreed,” Jehan responds, and smacks Courfeyrac upside the head again.
Enjolras hears Grantaire come in at around eight o’clock. He’d had a late class today and insisted that he would be fine with Eponine picking him up and dropping him off. Really, it only gave Enjolras more time to perfect the preparations. He’s nervous, which is new to him because he is never really nervous. But Grantaire has a way of making him feel things he usually doesn’t, so Enjolras doesn’t really mind much.
Grantaire calls out his name, and Enjolras can imagine how puzzled he must be, to enter a dark apartment, seemingly devoid of his partner, without any word on why it was happening. Grantaire calls out again and then Enjolras can barely hear a sigh as the man mutters to himself and makes his way toward the bedroom and, unknowingly, Enjolras.
Anniversaries. Who knew?
“Damned twat probably forgot, and no matter how much I – oh fuck,” Grantaire says, as he pushes open the bedroom door and stares, his mouth hanging open.
Enjolras can’t help the stupid grin that comes to his face. The room is dim except for where the bed is, seeing as it’s surrounded by over one hundred candles on the floor and the lamps on the bed side tables are switched on. He’s sitting there in the middle of the bed, three gifts by one side and a basket of goodies Grantaire had started craving on his other. He knows that in a few seconds Grantaire will recover and tell him to wipe the grin off of his face, but for now, he’ll relish in it.
“Happy Anniversary,” he says, the smile firmly in place.
And three, two, one…
“Wipe that stupidly smug grin off of your face, Hugo Enjolras,” Grantaire snaps, still shocked. Enjolras cringes a bit at the use of his first name and nods.
“No more smugness,” he agrees, but then beckons Grantaire to the bed. “Come on.”
Grantaire drops his messenger bag at the door, kicking it closed after the fact. He treads carefully around the candles, making his way to the bed. The feeble light from the flames casts him in beautiful shadow, accentuating his stomach and making him seem bigger. Enjolras really does love it.
Grantaire sits on the bed, and it’s then that Enjolras notices he’s got a little box in his hand. He raises an eyebrow and Grantaire shrugs.
“I was actually just gonna wrap myself in wrapping paper, but I figured you’d get home before me, so I scrapped that idea,” Grantaire says with a shrug and Enjolras rolls his eyes, because he doesn’t doubt it. “So I got you this instead.” He hands it over then stops halfway through to lean into Enjolras’ space and kiss him softly. “Happy Anniversary, by the way.” Then he gives him the package.
Enjolras opens it and doesn’t know what he was expecting, but it isn’t a photograph of him and Grantaire slumped against each other, asleep. It’s framed, and the time stamp goes back four years. He knows exactly what it’s a picture of, and his chest gets uncomfortably tight at the memory and the sight.
“Les Amis’ first rally,” he says quietly. He looks up at Grantaire who shrugs.
“Don’t ask me, I was drunk for most of it,” he says nonchalantly.
“I didn’t know anyone had taken a picture of us,” Enjolras says.
“I was looking through one of Eponine’s old cameras and I found it.” He looks away. “That was the day after we first met.” Enjolras remembers that too. He smiles and puts the picture on the night table on his side of the bed, then leans forward and kisses Grantaire again.
“I know,” he says. “Thank you.” Grantaire shrugs and looks away, but Enjolras is almost positive there’s a blush infusing his cheeks.
“So!” he says, trying to change the subject. “What did you get me?” He grabs for the goodie basket and opens that, taking a box of Hello Panda cookies and munching on those. “Besides the food, which hey, this is great.” He pops another tiny cookie into his mouth and grins, chocolate staining his teeth.
“You disgust me,” Enjolras says, which is a lie, because he finds a pregnant Grantaire pigging out on sweets fucking hot, but okay. Whatever, he needs to save face. “This one first,” he says, handing him a large, striped-wrapped package. Grantaire takes it carefully, putting the cookie box to the side, and unwraps it. He tosses the paper to the side and smoothes out a baby blanket. It’s soft, made of cashmere, and it’s white. On one corner, the letters E/R separated by a forward slash are embroidered in black. Grantaire looks up at him and swallows. They haven’t really started shopping for baby things yet, seeing as they want to wait until the shower Eponine and Cosette are forcing them to have to see what they need to buy in the end. They have a registry already, Enjolras had made sure of that, and the room right beside theirs is reserved the baby, but they haven’t physically gone out and gotten stuff together yet.
This is the first baby-centered item to enter their home. It will not be the last.
“I thought we could take it to the hospital,” Enjolras says, with a small shrug. He’s pretending not to see the tears in Grantaire’s eyes, the ones he’s trying not to cry. “So everyone knows whose baby it is.”
“It looks like we’re naming our child after an American emergency room,” Grantaire says, and lets out a wet laugh that sounds like a suppressed sob.”I think it’s perfect. You have done well, young padawan, and I know you don’t know what that is yet, but soon, we’ll have a Star Wars marathon and you’ll understand.” He’s got a daffy grin on his face. “Thank you.”
“There’s more,” Enjolras says, thinking of the others and all the suggestions they gave him. Family, personal interests, and then you end it with an anniversary gift about the two of you, Marius had said. The others had agreed and so Enjolras had followed.
Grantaire frowns. “What the fuck else could you have possibly up your sleeve to top this?” Enjolras rolls his eyes and hands him the next page, rectangular in shape and covered in Starry Night decorated wrapping paper. “Oh I wonder what’s in here,” Grantaire says with an eye roll as he unwraps it. “Could it be… art supplies?” he snarks. He opens it up with a chuckle, but Enjolras is still smirking about it. Grantaire gasps. “You fucker,” he says. At the top are two tickets to an exhibit at the Louvre. Grantaire had been blabbing about it months ago, when they were still courting. Enjolras had never forgotten. Under those is art supplies. “Oooh, oil pastels,” Grantaire croons. He takes those out and opens the package, rolling them in his hands, testing them on his thumb. “Expensive art supplies then,” he says, squinting at Enjolras.
“You wanted oil pastels,” Enjolras shrugs.
“That was like, six months ago.”
“You still didn’t have them when we moved in,” Enjolras points out. “I just made sure they were of better quality than you would have originally bought for yourself because I’m not frugal and you’re art deserves to be made out of good tools.”
Grantaire stares at him for a minute then nods. “You’re right. I am amazing and I deserve good things.” Grantaire smiles softly now. “That’s why I got you.” Enjolras smiles at that and watches Grantaire put the art supplies aside. “Okay. I know you’re not done. Good things come in threes. What’s so great it had to be saved for last?”
Enjorlas hesitates at this. He has the last gift in his hands and he really hopes he didn’t mess this up. It’s about them, as a couple, this gift. He just hopes it’s enough to get across what he’s trying to promise. “Here,” he says, handing over a thin, rectangular package. “Careful, there’s glass,” he warns.
Grantaire rolls his eyes and tears open the package. “Oh look, it’s a picture. Great minds, huh? I don’t see how this is…” he trails off and swallows hard, then slowly looks up at Enjolras. “Is this… Did you seriously…?” Grantaire can’t even speak and Enjolras guesses that means he got it right.
It’s the picture Grantaire had drawn of him the night he had first asked him to dinner. It’s still around, Enjolras had left it in a drawer, and when he had been panicking on what to get for the last gift, he had stumbled across it and believed it was perfect. There are lines on it, from being folded over so many times, and it’s a bit faded, but Grantaire’s mobile number and signature are still scrawled across the bottom. The date is there too, today’s date, the only difference being it’s for a year earlier.
“Shit,” Grantaire says and he’s crying freely. “You kept it,” he says, like that’s the most important thing he can think of. “You kept my fucking stupid drawing of you, oh my god.”
“Of course I did. Don’t be silly,” Enjolras says, taking Grantaire’s face into his hands and brushing away his tears with his thumbs.
“You don’t even like art,” Grantaire says, his voice thick.
“I like you. You come with art,” Enjolras says.
“Oh? Just like? Is that any way to treat the mother of your child?” Grantaire jokes, looking down with a giant smile on his face, still crying.
“You’re not a woman, Grantaire,” Enjolras snorts. “And no,” he says afterwards. He leans close and says, “I love you,” his breath brushing across Grantaire’s lips.
Grantaire closes the last of the gap between them and kisses him, his lips warm and tasting of his salty tears against Enjolras’. Enjolras smiles against his mouth, and lets his hands curl around Grantaire’s neck and shoulders.
“Mmm,” Enjolras hums against Grantaire’s lips.
“I love you too,” Grantaire whispers.
“Mhm,” Enjolras acknowledges, sitting back a bit. Grantaire tries to suppress a yawn, but ends up just rubbing his eyes instead, like a child. Enjolras wonders if their baby is going to look like that when they get tired. He hopes so. “To bed with you, then,” he says, packing the gifts away.
“What?” Grantaire says, honestly confused. “Why? I thought we were going to have super hot pregnant anniversary sex?”
Enjolras stares at Grantaire and says, “Fuck. They told you I had help. I’m going to kill Courfeyrac.”
“Of course I knew you had help, Enjolras,” Grantaire says with a laugh. “Except all I got out of them about what they helped you on was Courf making the sex comment. I was looking forward to that.”
“I’ll give you sex if you can stay awake,” Enjolras says, skeptical. He gets a frown and then a glare out of Grantaire when the other man realizes he’s too tired. “I thought as much.”
“I hate you,” Grantaire grouches as Enjolras turns on the lights and blows out the candles. It takes a minute or two, but he gets them all out then goes to help Grantaire undress. “I’m not that big yet,” he complains.
“I know, but I like undressing you,” Enjolras admits, and that shuts Grantaire up. He gets him into just his boxers and then tucks Grantaire into bed beside him. “I think we did okay for our first anniversary,” Enjolras says.
“Mmm, yeah,” Grantaire says sleepily.
Enjolras snorts. “And you wanted sex. Please.”
“Shut up. More sleeping,” Grantaire says and Enjolras does.
Enjolras is leaning against the doorframe to the living room and staring in fascination at the scene in front of him. There’s a yoga ball on the couch and a yoga video of a pregnant woman doing some kind of stretch on the screen. What’s catching his interest the most is Grantaire on the floor, on a yoga mat, copying her every move.
His belly has grown over the past month and as they hit the four month mark, Grantaire’s seriously starting to look pregnant. His stomach has the look of a beer belly, almost, if he were to describe it to someone over the phone. Except it’s softer looking, and swells more around the center before sloping down. Grantaire is in a white tank top, see through in some parts from his sweat, and it makes his bellybutton pop.
Grantaire stretches down and Enjolras swallows audibly. He’s getting painfully hard and has the sudden urge to just bend Grantaire over and fuck him. Or better yet, lay him back so he can see him and that beautiful belly of his. Oh god, Enjolras has a pregnancy kink, Grantaire is going to kill him when he starts asking for more babies.
“You okay back there?” Grantaire says seemingly from nowhere, doing a side stretch and then folding his legs up a certain way under his belly so he can stretch back a bit. “I can smell you from here, lover,” Grantaire says obscenely. Or maybe Enjolras just thinks he sounds obscene because he looks obscene.
“I’m fine,” Enjolras says, trying to keep his cool. It’s stupid; he knows Grantaire can smell him, can probably feel the heat coming off of him already. Grantaire, the bastard that he is, keeps going with his stupid pregnant people yoga.
“If you say so,” he says in response. “I was just curious though. What are you thinking about right now? The truth now, Apollo.” He sounds so smug, Enjolras just wants to-
“I want to lay you back on your stupid yoga ball and fuck you with your legs up in the air,” Enjolras says, managing to sound casual even though he’s gagging for it. He’s quite proud of himself actually. He’s even prouder when Grantaire’s scent spikes through the room. He doesn’t go through heats anymore, not while he’s pregnant, but his sex drive is through the roof. The video gets paused and Grantaire slowly turns around on his stupid yoga mat and stares at Enjolras.
“Well?” he says expectantly. “Are you going to grab the ball and fuck me or not?” He’s got his debate voice on, like they’re going onto the floor to fight about some issue or the other. Enjolras literally lets a growl rip from his throat and he disappears for a minute to grab lube from their bedroom before stalking back into the living room to find Grantaire already on his feet. He grabs him by the arm and drags him over to the other side of the room and gets the damn ball off the couch. “Someone’s excited,” Grantaire says.
“Oh my god, shut up,” Enjolras says, making him sit on the ball and slowly lay back, the ball moving back to support his back as he lay on it. “Hitch your legs up,” Enjolras says, “around my waist, let’s go.” Grantaire looks hesitant and he’s just so cute on his back. “I’ll help,” Enjolras reassures him. He gets him out of those stupidly tight shorts and unzips his own pants, pushing them down until he can step out of them. He brackets the ball in with his feet and slowly gets Grantaire’s legs around his waist. Grantaire hands him the lube and Enjolras starts to prep him, all the while watching Grantaire’s cock get trapped under the swell of his belly, cursing the fact that Grantaire only self lubricates during heats.
“Done, done, done,” Grantaire starts to chant. “Oh just go already, you arse, go.”
Enjolras listens for once, slicking himself up and lifts Grantaire’s hips up. The ball rolls under to support his upper back while Enjolras holds the rest of him up and slides into him. His stomach almost touches Grantaire’s as he thrusts, and Grantaire’s cock bounces against his tummy and Enjolras’ stomach. He is so ridiculously turned on by this right now.
It is the single hottest thing Enjolras has ever done or ever thought about doing. Grantaire’s ankles are crossed at his back and the ball keeps rolling back and forth with the force of Enjolras’ thrusts. Grantaire’s tank top has ridden up, his belly showing fully now, spurring Enjolras on to go harder, faster. Grantaire’s arms are thrown above his head, braced on the wall where he can reach it and he’s almost screaming with pleasure.
Enjolras knows he’s not going to last long. He’s not. Not with his mate looking like that, all pregnant and sweaty and completely debauched. It’s driving him mad. He grunts and then he let’s go of one of Grantaire’s hips to pump at his dick for a moment before Grantaire is clamping around him and coming. His cum gets all over the front of Enjolras’ shirt, but he doesn’t care because he’s coming and thanking the lord that he doesn’t knot when he’s not in heat either.
He gives it a minute for them to relax and then he’s slowly pulling out and Grantaire is hissing. He lets Grantaire’s legs down gently and then takes his hands and helps him sit up on the ball. Grantaire looks especially adorable this disoriented, his face still red, pupils still blown wide from his orgasm. His shirt is twisted and Enjolras makes an attempt to straighten it out.
“I want a shower,” Grantaire says, leaning forward until he can press his face into Enjolras’ stomach. He grimaces as his cheek gets smeared with cum and says, “Eeww.”
“That’s yours,” Enjolras says. “Stop complaining.”
“Shower with me?”
“I have class in fifteen minutes,” Enjolras says apologetically, because don’t get him wrong, but he’d love to. He would. It’s just, he has a quiz today and he can’t miss it.
“Ugh,” Grantaire groans leaning back and sighing. “Okay, kiss me and get changed then kiss me again and leave. Sound like a plan?”
“I thought I was the planner?” Enjolras says, even as he’s bending to kiss Grantaire on the mouth then on the forehead. “Get in the shower, yeah? I’ll check in before I leave.”
He helps Grantaire stand and goes to change out of his sex stained clothes. When he gets out of their room he knocks on the bathroom door and walks in to Grantaire about to step into the shower. He helps him and steals another kiss before he really runs the risk of getting to class late.
“Call if you need something,” Enjolras says as he leaves the bathroom.
“Yes, dear,” Grantaire says mockingly, but Enjolras knows he will if he does need anything.
For now though, he runs off to class and hopes he’s not too late.
The next week, Enjolras gets a little surprise when he’s packing up at the end of his political science class. He’d been dropped off by Grantaire, something he’d been a little hesitant to let happen, but Grantaire had promised to wear his seatbelt every time he got behind the wheel and to be super careful. Anyway, as he’s getting the rest of his books packed away, nodding to a few classmates that are doing the same, he hears his name and turns.
His professor is currently chatting Grantaire up and pointing to where he is in the back of the class. Grantaire nods his thanks and makes his way to him. Everyone in his class literally stops and stares to watch him go. There’s only one other Omega in class with him, and she’s female, the rest are betas, but Grantaire’s far enough along that everyone can tell he’s pregnant without needing special senses.
Enjolras can’t keep the smile off of his face.
“Hello,” he says, the smile widening. Grantaire is in one of his shirts, a shirt he’s worn to class, so there’s that too. Everyone can see, see how much Grantaire is Enjolras’. “This is a surprise.”
“A good one?” Grantaire says, adjusting his beanie with one hand, the other hand resting on his belly.
“Of course,” Enjolras says softly as he leans in for a kiss. A few catcalls go off around the room and he smiles against Grantaire’s lips. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”
“I missed you,” Grantaire says with a shrug, as if it’s not a big deal. “And the baby missed you,” he says, slyly.
Enjolras frowns. “I don’t think the baby can miss me yet,” he says. “I don’t think they know when I’m around or not.”
Grantaire gives him the ‘bitch please’ look and says, “Well they’ve been kicking around all day and driving daddy up the wall, so yeah, I think they miss you.”
“And I think you’re exaggerat- wait, what?” Enjolras says, dropping his pencil case. “Did you just say the baby-”
“Mhm,” Grantaire says, obviously pleased with himself and astutely ignoring the excited whispers and iPhones taking pictures and video of them. Instead, he takes one of Enjolras’ hands and presses it to the side of his belly, pressing down a little. “Right there,” he says, and Enjolras feels the movement under his hand and chokes on his next words because it’s so beautiful, to feel that little life, aware and moving inside of him.
“Holy shit,” he whispers, and he looks up with a grin. Grantaire’s face is stuck in a smile.
“I was going to wait for you to get home, but then I decided I wasn’t nearly patient enough,” he admits. Then he winces. “Ow, okay. I think we have a football star in there, that fucking hurt.” He rolls his eyes. “And now I have to take a piss.” He turns to the room still full of students. “Anyone know where washroom is?”
“End of the hall to the right,” one of the students, Vincent, says. Grantaire nods his thanks and then squeezes Enjolras’ hand before letting go.
“Be right back. Don’t gossip too much, yeah?”
The second he’s out the door, everyone starts talking at once.
“I didn’t know you had a mate, Enjolras!”
“He’s pregnant? Congrats, man.”
“Wow, he is huge, how many are in there? Expecting triplets, eh?”
“Omega babies develop faster,” and now it’s the Omega girl, Tristan, talking. She shrugs. “He’s what, four, five months along?”
“Four,” Enjolras says, raising an eyebrow.
“Thought so.” She nods. “Well, I have a class next. And I’m sure you all have something better to do than berate Enjolras about his personal life.” She leaves after that, and even the professor looks a bit chagrined.
“Oh god, did he reprimand you all?” Grantaire says, coming in slowly, a grin on his face. Enjolras rolls his eyes and starts to walk over to him. Grantaire looks to be about to meet him halfway, but he stops to places a hand on his stomach and feel a kick. A beta, this time some guy named Gill, walks forward with a look of awe on his face and touches Grantaire’s belly. Grantaire hates it, he hates people coming up to him and doing that. He really does. He’s told Enjolras a thousand times.
What the fuck?
Grantaire just stares at him and a few girls come up to do the same thing. He has this horrible look on his face and suddenly steps back out of their grasp and glares at them. Enjolras runs over, trying to restrain himself from thumping the idiots over the head. What the hell?
“What gives?” one of the girls say, a bit petulantly at that.
“Excuse me for not wanting to be felt up by someone other than my boyfriend,” Grantaire says. “Paws off, kitten.”
“We didn’t mean any harm,” the first guy says.
“You didn’t even fucking ask,” Enjolras snarls and they all take a giant step back. “If he doesn’t want to be touched, don’t touch him. I don’t see how that’s so hard to grasp.”
“Pregnant women let people do it all the time,” the second girl says, and a few kids are escaping now. The professor is long gone.
“Oh, and you think they like it? Because you’ve been pregnant have you, and you like strangers going up to you and putting their hands all over you without asking, right where the most precious thing to you in the world is?” Grantaire says incredulously. Enjolras is literally going to see red if someone objectifies Grantaire again.
“Um… then can we? If we ask?”
“No,” Grantaire snaps.
“You’re his Alpha. Can we ask you? Doesn’t it work that way? Don’t you tell him what to do?” the first girl says, as though she’s actually confused about it.
This. This is why Enjolras is always pushing for more education to the public on Alphas and Omegas. Because Alphas aren’t tyrants and Omegas aren’t slaves that have to follow their mate’s every word. And he hates that people think that. Grantaire is stiff beside him and he is never going to let Grantaire anywhere near any of his classes again.
“I’m his Alpha, yes. And my job isn’t to boss him around like he doesn’t have a fucking say in anything,” Enjolras says lowly, slowly, his The Cause voice coming on. “My job is to protect him from assholes that don’t listen to him, make sure he’s happy no matter what situation he’s in, and love him with everything I’m made of despite the choices he makes.” A few of them are quiet. “Grantaire, I think it’s time to go to lunch.”
“That I’ll agree on,” Grantaire says quietly and Enjolras leads him outside before the others can start talking smack about either of them. He gets them down the hall and out into the courtyard before he collapses onto a bench with his head in his hands. Grantaire lets him lean his head against his belly, Enjolras wrapping his arms around his sides, letting himself close his eyes and feel the vibrations of the baby inside of him. He could stay like that forever, he’s sure, with Grantaire’s hands carding gently through his hair.
That is, until he hears a gurgle and remembers he said lunch.
“Shit, you’re hungry,” Enjolras says, leaning back and rubbing his face. “Why didn’t you remind me?”
“You seemed upset. Relax. I am an adult. I can wait, you know.”
“You’re also pregnant and just got fucking objectified by a bunch of political science majors who should know better,” Enjolras points out. “You need to keep your strength up since you’re eating for two, and you’re probably upset too.”
“I’m fine,” Grantaire says, and he really does seem fine. “I’m used to people giving me shit. I don’t let it bother me anymore.” It hurts Enjolras’ heart a bit to hear that coming from him, and with such honesty too.
“Not anymore. Not while I’m around,” Enjolras says, standing up.
“I know that,” Grantaire says with a put upon sigh. “Now, you were saying something about feeding me?”
Enjolras smiles. Yeah. Grantaire is fine.
It’s at the next Les Amis meeting that things get a little shaky.
It’s going fine, Enjolras has made his speech for the night and now they’re filling out paperwork for permits so they can have their next rally and he feels it. An uneasiness in the café, starting in his stomach and radiating out. He ignores it for a few minutes before it comes again, this time stronger and he finally takes a look around. Nothing looks out of the ordinary. The night crowd is coming in, the back bar is opening, the stage is getting set up for the next act and-
The back bar is opening. Grantaire.
His head immediately swivels to where his boyfriend is, in one of the booths in the back. He’s staring at the bar, at the people that are leaving with drinks and his hands are clutched on the table. He’s grinding his teeth, Enjolras just knows it, and he looks pale and peaky. Enjolras suddenly remember he’s had to quit drinking cold-turkey what with the surprise pregnancy. How could he have forgotten how hard it must be to just stop after being addicted for so long?
“Meeting adjourned,” Enjolras says suddenly. “I’ll e-mail the rest of the details.”
“But we have an hour left, at least,” Courfeyrac says.
“I need to leave earlier,” Enjolras responds, his tone brooking no argument.
“Okay, okay. Fine. Go,” Courfeyrac responds. He gestures to himself, Combeferre and Marius. “We’ll finish up here.”
Enjolras nods his thanks and packs up his bag, walking over to Grantaire. He doesn’t even make it to him before the other man is grabbing his coat and running outside. Combeferre shoots Enjolras a worried look, but he brushes it off and runs after Grantaire.
Enjolras finds him outside, forehead pressed against the brick wall of the Musain. Enjolras approaches him slowly. He doesn’t know if Grantaire will snap, or get angry or sad. He just wants to be careful, is all.
“Are you okay?” He places a hand on Grantaire’s shoulder.
“I feel like I’m going to vomit,” he responds softly. “I want to drink so damn bad and it is literally killing me. I didn’t think about it much before because I was too busy but now, sitting around and just watching everyone around me.” He swallows audibly and turns around. “I feel so fucking weak.”
Enjolras hugs him then, just takes him into his arms and hugs him. Grantaire has to bend a bit awkwardly to put his face in the crook of his neck because of his belly, but besides that, he holds on tight and shakes a bit. Enjolras feels helpless again, and he wonders why it’s always Grantaire making him feel this way.
“Let’s go home, yeah?” Enjolras says into his hair. He feels Grantaire nod. “Whenever you’re ready, no rush.” In the café doorway, Marius and Jehan are making concerned faces, but Enjolras just rolls his eyes and mouths ‘heading home’ to them. They get the picture and leave. Grantaire mumbles something then and Enjolras looks down. “What was that? Speak up, R.”
“I said, I don’t want to mess them up,” Grantaire repeats.
“Who? The baby? R, we talked about this. You’re a smart man, please get it through your head and trust yourself a bit,” Enjolras says, slightly annoyed.
“I’m the last person I trust.”
“Do you trust me then?”
“You know I do,” Grantaire grouches. Enjolras let’s go of him just to take his face in his hands and make Grantaire look him in the eyes.
“Then trust me when I say I know you won’t take a drink because you care more about that baby inside of you than your alcoholic cravings,” Enjolras says, voice steady and so full of conviction, he’s sure not even God himself could contradict him.
“Not fair,” Grantaire says, after a moment. “You’re making sense again.”
Enjolras laughs. “That’s kind of what I’m supposed to do.” He zips Grantaire’s hoodie up against the night air. “Come on. Let’s get you home, yeah?”
“Yeah,” Grantaire says. “Thank god we walked. I need a bit of fresh air after that.”
Enjolras links their hands together and smiles when Grantaire gets a stupidly bashful look on his face. He decides to be the biggest cheese-ball in existence – because he can and because he knows that Grantaire will appreciate it – and brings up Grantaire’s hand to his lips to brush a few kisses over his knuckles.
“Okay, that’s enough Romeo. You’ll get me all amorous, and then what?”
“Then I’ll take care of you when we get home,” Enjolras says, very matter-of-fact.
“I might hold you to that.”
“I hope you do.”
They’re walking home from an afternoon at the park when they see her. Grantaire had been feeling sick to his stomach and had been craving fresh air, so Enjolras had thought the park would do him good. It had, and they’d stayed far enough away that other couples wouldn’t be swarming them.
Then they saw her.
Her being an alpha female that looked like she was in her eighties, cruising down the tree-shaded sidewalk. She’d been walking slow, taking her time and enjoying herself. But Enjolras has noticed a kind of sadness to her, and the fact that she had been alone had alerted him to something. Being naturally drawn to his elder Alphas, he’d taken Grantaire’s hand and dragged him over to her.
And now they’re talking.
“What happened?” he asks, the first question out of his mouth. He catches himself, because it’s rude, but she just smiles.
“I see you’re out and about with your mate. How are you doing, dear?” she asks Grantaire, ignoring the question for a moment.
“Better,” Grantaire says with a soft smile, a respectful nod.
“It’s hard, I’ve heard. Carrying one of those around.”
“You’ve never had one?” Enjolras asks. She shakes her head slowly.
“My mate died before we could really have any children,” and Enjolras feels a hollow pang in his chest, Grantaire squeezing his hand. “She was beautiful. Would have been an amazing parent, as I’m sure you’ll be, young man,” she continues, nodding toward Grantaire.
“Thank you,” he manages to choke out.
“I’m sorry for your loss,” Enjolras says slowly. It must be a terrible thing, he muses, to lose one’s mate so early in life.
“I’m only glad that she went first,” the Alpha woman says and Enjolras frowns.
“Why’s that?” he asks without thinking.
She gives him a long, hard look. “It is much easier for an Alpha to live without their mate. They’re strong enough to carry on, thanks to evolution.” She pauses. “But it’s very difficult for an Omega to live without their Alpha. They lose their anchor, they can’t make it through heats alone. Because they’re submissive, scientifically at least, they lose a very large part of them.” She looks off to the side. “Most die soon after of a broken heart.”
He hears Grantaire gasp beside him and Enjolras immediately gets nauseous. He turns to Grantaire, who’s pale and a bit shaky. “I’m not going anywhere,” he says instantly. Grantaire doesn’t calm; Enjolras isn’t expecting him to.
“I apologize,” the Alpha says sincerely. “I didn’t mean-”
“It’s alright,” Enjolras cuts her off with, backing away with Grantaire. “We’ll take our leave now, thank you for the conversation.” He doesn’t wait to listen to her response, just drags a quivering Grantaire away from her and takes the long way home so he can calm down. It doesn’t matter how many times he tells Grantaire he isn’t going anywhere, that even if he did he has utmost faith in Grantaire that he’ll be able to continue on with their children to ground him. Grantaire still clings and looks pale, terrified, his head bobbing up and down and then side to side as he tries to shake the thoughts out of his head.
“Grantaire, please, please trust me,” Enjolras says, because he must be the only Alpha in the history of them that has an Omega that doesn’t trust him
“I trust you, I trust you. It’s everyone else I don’t trust, Enjolras. Everyone else. And me, I don’t trust me. If everyone else does something and I’m alone, I can’t trust myself to – to not…” He trails off on the end of a choked sob.
Enjolras doesn’t know what to say to that. He just holds Grantaire closer and tries not to cry himself.
A call in the middle of the night pulls Enjolras from their bed. Grantaire doesn’t wake, so Enjolras takes the call in their room.
“There better be a good explanation for this,” he hisses into the receiver.
“The Urchin is here,” Combeferre says and Enjolras sits up. The Urchin, AKA Gavroche.
“What happened?” he says urgently, sitting up in bed. Now Grantaire moves, makes a mewling sound and his eyes flutter. There’s movement and the phone is passed to someone else.
“LaMarque is dead,” Gavroche says tearfully, addressing the senator formally to throw anyone off as to who the information came from if anyone was listening in on their conversation.
Enjolras feels his stomach drop. They’ve been working with the Senator for almost a year now, Enjolras longer due to their working relationship. The fact that he’s succumbed to the cancer that had plagued him for years makes Enjolras want to sob in sadness. Instead, he swallows hard.
“Put The Guide back on,” Enjorlas says, his voice surprisingly steady. He hears more movement.
“It’s me,” Combeferre says.
“Tomorrow, emergency meeting,” Enjolras says. “We march on the day of his funeral.” He hears Combeferre’s sharp intake of breath. “Think about it: he was the only one taking us seriously. He was the only one on our side,” Enjolras says. “We need to show everyone that we were serious, even without him. That he was not the backbone of this movement; we are.”
Combeferre is silent. Then he sighs. “You’re right. Ok. I’ll send out the messages now. We’ll meet up tomorrow. It’ll probably be the day after next, but we’ll get full details in the morning when the rest of France finds out.” There’s a pause. “Are you sure about this?”
Enjolras takes a moment to flick his eyes over to where Grantaire has settled back into sleep. His chest gets tight. “Am I sure I want to liberate France?” he says softly. “Of course I am”
He doesn’t tell Grantaire until he has to leave. Grantaire is sitting at the kitchen table, flicking through a magazine as he checks his e-mails. He frowns as Enjolras gets his coat on and heads to the front door.
“Where are you going?” he asks.
Enjolras debates lying to him. Then he says, “We’re rebelling at LaMarque’s funeral procession.”
Grantaire is staring at him in shock. “What?”
“And no, you’re not coming,” Enjolras continues. “That’s why I didn’t tell you. How long is this going to take? I don’t know.” He stops. “Did I answer all of your questions?”
“The hell you didn’t, you bastard.” Grantaire’s face is red in anger and he stands up. “Fuck you, I go where you go.”
”Not when you’re carrying our child,” Enjolras snaps. “Don’t you dare do something stupid like that.”
“Oh and I’m supposed to let you do the stupid thing?” Grantaire snaps back.
“Drop it Grantaire, this isn’t your fight. It’s none of your concern,” Enjolras says. It’s the first massive fight they’ve had since they’ve gotten together, he distantly realizes.
“You’re my concern. And you’re going out there,” Grantaire says, his eyes ablaze with emotion.
“There’s no point in you going-”
“Please let me go, I won’t do anything stupid. I’ll listen to you. Just don’t make me wait here, wondering, believing you’re hurt or worse-”
“Grantaire, you don’t believe in anything!” Enjolras finally yells in frustration. Why can’t Grantaire understand he’s trying to protect him? They could get seriously hurt out there, if Grantaire gets hurt somehow he could lose the baby, Enjolras could lose Grantaire…
When he looks up, Grantaire’s face is horribly blank. He falls back into his seat with a hollow thump and looks at the wall. Enjolras plays back his words and he grimaces at them. It didn’t sound very good.
“Grantaire,” he says weakly, but the other man won’t even look at him. His hands are clenched on either side of his swollen belly and he won’t look at Enjolras. Enjolras just sighs. “Don’t wait up. And for my sake, if not for God’s, please stay inside.”
It’s all gone horribly wrong.
The majority of them are arrested, Eponine’s been shot (and Grantaire is going to kill him when he finds out on the news), the last he saw of Jehan he was getting beaten by billie-clubs and he’s not sure about anyone else. He lost track of Marius a while ago, Combeferre, Joly and Courfeyrac have been dragged away by the National Guard and it’s a mess. A lot more people turned out than they initially believed would. However, they hadn’t stayed. They’d abandoned Les Amis. Enjolras thinks he’s the only one left. He’s in one of the cafés they used to hang around, on the top floor which might have been an apartment, but the owner is long gone.
He’s alone for now, but his heart sinks as he hears footsteps on the stairs leading up. He won’t be alone for long.
He’s a bit surprised it’s the National Guard that greets him. He’s by a window, the sun shining through. There are guns trained on him and he just stands up taller. Enjolras is completely terrified, his heart hammering in his chest. He doesn’t dare show it though, holds his head up high and stares at them. He’s unarmed. The worst they’ll do is arrest him.
Suddenly, there’s a shuffling by the back of the room. The National Guards don’t move, but Enjolras cranes his neck to see who it is. Have one of his friends found him?
His stomach drops when he sees who it is.
Grantaire is standing there, on the broken steps, staring at Enjolras in complete horror and anguish. He’s pale, in a green hoodie with a hand on his belly and Enjolras snaps out of whatever revolutionary daze he’d been in. What the fuck is Grantaire doing here?
He pushes his way through the National Guard and while a few of them aim, they all eventually lower their guns once they see that Grantaire is pregnant. Enjolras tries to see Grantaire’s angle. Maybe they won’t arrest a pregnant person?
But no, Enjolras is not going to back down with these fuckers just because his mate is trying to save him. He falls back into the daze, stares them down as Grantaire stands beside him. He doesn’t understand. This isn’t Grantaire’s fight.
Suddenly, he hears softly, “Do you permit it?” beside him. He looks over to where Grantaire has come to stand beside him. The other man’s eyes are wide and wet, staring in earnest and fear. It’s then that Enjolras gets at least some of it; Grantaire is making it his fight. He’s rising up like no one else has.
Enjolras feels invincible. With his mate by his side, he takes Grantaire’s hand and feels as though he can do anything. He smiles, and it must be vicious because the Guard look at each other in shock. He lifts the flag in his hand a bit, just to throw it up in the air before they get arrested and-
Enjolras gasps in pain as he goes crashing to the floor, however many bullets piercing his chest. He can’t think through the pain and the shock that they had shot him without a reason. He hadn’t posed a threat, he’d just lifted the flag. They should have arrested him, not shot him. They could have hit Grantaire-
Enjolras is aware of shouting. He lolls his head over and there’s a few rookies, probably the trigger-happy idiots who shot him, getting yelled at, looking horrified. Enjolras doesn’t understand their mortified looks – he’ll heal, he’s an Alpha – until he tunes into the words being yelled at them.
“…shot the Omega. You shot him! He’s pregnant, couldn’t you see? What did you three think you were doing? I didn’t even give an order…”
Shot the Omega.
They shot the Omega.
They shot Grantaire.
Enjolras feels panic bubble in his chest along with the blood bubbling his mouth as he turns his head toward Grantaire and realizes the hand in his has gone limp. He looks at Grantaire, lying beside him, his eyes closed, his skin a deathly shade of while. There’s red blossoming on his chest and Enjolras lets out a strangled, blood-filled scream at the sight.
It’s a blur after that, with ambulances and medics and other officers leading the offending ones away and Enjolras can’t for the life of him think of anything other than Grantaire’s still, unbreathing form beside him on that wooden apartment floor before everything goes black.
The feeling of guilt slams into his lungs the moment his eyes open and he gasps for air. He flails, and a hand restrains him from getting up in the hospital. Looking up and realizing the hand belongs to Combeferre makes him relax for a split second before it all hits him again and he is outright screaming.
“Where is he?” he keeps saying. “Where is he? Combeferre where is he? Bring me to him, bring him to me! Someone, someone bring him to me! NOW!”
He gets sedated.
The next time he comes to, he’s much more solemn. He lies in his hospital bed with wide eyes, staring at a wall. Joly and Combeferre have been speaking in hushed tones a bit aways from his bed. Enjolras couldn’t care less. It is his fault that Grantaire got shot. He let Grantaire stand with him. He should have sent him away. He shouldn’t have thoughtlessly provoked the National Guard. He should have protected Grantaire. That’s his job.
His wounds are healing, as Alpha wounds are wont to do. He remembers Combeferre saying something about eight holes in his body that he’ll always have as scars, but he doesn’t care. Alphas have healing properties in their blood. He’ll be healed in another week or so. But Grantaire…
“Where is he?” he finally says in a low, hushed voice.
Courfeyrac shares a look with Combeferre and says, “He’s in a separate room in the ICU.” Enjolras closes his eyes. He fights the urge to scream. Combeferre had already told him that the authorities weren’t pressing charges because of what happened to Enjolras and Grantaire, just as long as Les Amis didn’t sue them either. They weren’t so everyone was getting off scott-free.
“I need to see him,” he says as calm as he can manage. Surprisingly, Courfeyrac pulls out his phone and calls Jehan. He asks the other man to get a nurse and relay their request before hanging up. A few minutes later, a harried looking woman comes in and smiles.
“I heard I was needed?” she says.
“I need to go see my mate,” Enjolras says blankly. The woman looks at him shocked. “René Henri Grantaire. He’s in the ICU with a gunshot wound.” He pauses. “Please.”
“I am so sorry, Monsieur Enjolras. If we had been previously told, we would have moved you into the same room. Alpha/Omega mates share hospital quarters by law,” she informed him. “No worries. If your friends would be so kind as to help me, we can get you to his room. There’s an extra bed there and I’ll get you registered into that room instead right after. Does that sound like a plan?”
Enjolras feels numb, but he nods. He needs to be with Grantaire. It’s agony being away from him. Courfeyrac and Combeferre help the nurse and he’s there in no time, being wheeled into the room only to have his breath taken away. Grantaire looks so small and pale in the hospital bed. He has dark bruise-like smudges underneath his eyes. He’s so swaddled in blankets and covered in tubes and machines that Enjolras can’t tell if he still has his baby belly or not. The possibility that they may have lost their child and it was Enjolras’ fault makes the man feel sick and dizzy with grief.
“Is the…is he-” He can’t make himself ask as Combeferre wheels him closer to the bed. Courfeyrac couldn’t be trusted to not speed the chair down the halls. Enjolras reaches out a hand and it stops above Grantaire’s mid-section. He just can’t. “The baby…” His voice breaks off and he chokes on tears.
“Is fine,” the nurse assures him and Enjolras breathes out a sigh of relief. “They both are,” she says and Enjolras has to smile because both the baby and Grantaire are going to be alright. “And so is your mate,” the nurse continues, looking at his charts.
Enjolras freezes. He thinks he hears Courfeyrac choke on a gasp, but he’s only looking at the nurse so he can’t tell.
“What?” he asks.
“I said, both your children are fine and your mate is on his way to recovery.” She frowns. “Monsieur, are you alright?”
“I… both of my children…?” he trails off, eyes wide. He gets dizzy and suddenly the world is sideways, Combeferre and Courfeyrac catching him before he can fall out of the wheelchair. The nurse calls in for help and Enjolras is moved to the spare bed. He blacks out of shock and fatigue. He’s not fully healed and the shock of the situation hadn’t been good for his system. When he comes back to himself, Jehan, battered and bruised black and blue Jehan, is sitting in a plastic chair beside Feuilly, who’s sporting his own cuts, and looking at something in his hands.
“They look like aliens. Where’s the head? Well I mean, that one’s head?” he hears Jehan say.
“I don’t know. Ask Joly when he comes back,” Feuilly answers. He rolls his eyes and looks up, catching sight of Enjolras. “Look who’s awake. Hey there Sleeping Beauty.”
“Enjolras!” Jehan says cheerfully, scooting his chair closer, Feuilly following. He thrusts ultra sound scans at Enjolras, whose breath catches in his throat at the sight of them, and smiles. “The nurse got these for us. They only found out it was twins when they did an emergency ultrasound on Grantaire. The way they were positioned made it hard to see Enjolras-Grantaire baby number two the other times you guys got him checked out. But they did an extensive one to check for damage, apparently. Anyway, they’re totally okay!” He’s smiling but Enjolras is just staring at the photos.
They do look odd, he admits, but no more odd than every other ultra sound picture in the world. There are two heads, he notes, two arms and legs, though they are separated. They probably won’t look alike, he muses to himself. When he looks up, Feuilly and Jehan look concerned.
“Are you alright?” Feuilly asks.
“…I think so,” Enjolras says. “Why?”
“You’re crying,” Jehan says softly. Enjolras discovers his friend is correct as he touches his cheeks and finds that they are wet. There’s a feeling in his chest that he can’t place.
“I think you’re relieved,” Combeferre says from the doorway, coming in with coffee and Bahorel. Feuilly smiles at his boyfriend and snags his cup from Combeferre.
“Where are the others?” Enjolras asks, because Ferre is right, he does feel relieved.
“Courf had to go to class, Marius and Cosette are with Eponine and Joly is trying to find a nurse who will set up a hand sanitizing station outside your room so no one gets unduly sick.” He rolls his eyes in the end, while he tries not to smile.
“It’s just his way of showing he cares,” Jehan says, patting Combeferre knee.
“Yeah, by being a wee bit of a freak,” Bahorel mutters. Jehan smacks his arm. Enjolras feels like everything is almost back to normal until he turns his head to the side and sees Grantaire in the hospital bed and feels sick all over again. Feuilly follows his gaze and frowns.
“He’s a grown man, Enjolras,” he says. “He made his decision. It’s not either of your faults that what happened actually happened.”
“I want to know why, though,” Enjolras says.
“Because he loves you and couldn’t bear the thought of living without you?” Jehan says in a ‘duh’ tone of voice. “People panic sometimes.” Something flashes in Enjolras’ mind and guilt takes him by the heart again as he stares in horror at Grantaire. He knows exactly what happened.
“Oh my god,” Enjolras says quietly because it had been his fault in the end. Before he can explain himself to any of his friends, Grantaire starts to move on the bed beside his and Enjolras’ mouth snaps shut. For a moment, Enjolras thinks nothing is going to happen, but then Grantaire’s eyes flutter open. He looks around dazedly, a small smile tugging at his lips when he catches sight of them all, his eyes widening at Enjolras. “Can we have a minute, boys?” Enjolras says distantly. “And can someone help me into a chair?”
Combeferre gets him into the chair with Bahorel’s help and then they leave with Jehan and Feuilly, promising to return to the rest of their friends. The chair is right near Grantaire’s bed and the first thing Enjolras does is slide his hand into Grantaire’s and squeeze. Then he opens his mouth and sobs, “I am so sorry.”
Enjolras isn’t one to apologize. He makes sure that the actions he performs and the words he says are all without regret. He isn’t in the habit of excusing himself when he feels like he should never have a reason. But right now? Right now, looking at all the damage he has caused to someone he holds so dear to him, he wants to apologize a million times and more.
The small smile that had been on Grantaire’s face dissipates. His eyes fill with tears and he tries to take his hand out of Enjolras’ but Enjolras won’t let him. He holds it tighter and hopes to God that Grantaire can find it in himself to forgive him.
“I’m sorry. And one day, I hope I can have your forgiveness, but-”
“You’re sorry?” Grantaire says, looking at him with tired, reddened eyes. “I’m sorry,” he spits. “But when I saw that they had you cooped up in the café, and that they had guns on you…” His voice is hoarse from disuse and it cracks now. “I was so terrified of being alone. I was so terrified that I wouldn’t be able to survive without you and I put myself and – and the…” His hands curl blindingly around what he can feel of his midsection.
Enjolras had known it. He had. He’d known that Grantaire had thought of the old Alpha’s words, how Omegas didn’t last without their Alphas. And so Grantaire had done the only thing he could do in that moment: he’d gone to stand with Enjolras because it was too painful for him to think of a life alone.
People panic sometimes, Jehan had said. It’s an understatement.
“That’s my fault,” Enjolras insists, because when he knows he’s to blame, he’ll own up to it. “I promised you I would never give you a reason to fear and I did it anyway. I wasn’t thinking of us, I wasn’t thinking of our family. I was thinking of France. I did it again. I overlapped my personal life and my work, and it almost killed you.”
But Grantaire is shaking his head. “Don’t blame you,” he says drowsily. “Blame m’self. See? Told you I would be bad at this. No good at all, that’s me…” He’s drifting off again, or maybe he’s just tired. “We’re not gonna die, are we?” he says, arms around himself, protecting what he’s carrying.
“No,” Enjolras says chuckling and crying at the same time. “No, the doctors have said you’re recovering, if slowly.”
“Omega genes,” Grantaire mumbles. “You’re all healed up and I saw you get it worse than me.”
“They shot me eight times,” Enjolras says. “According to Combeferre. They only shot you once. I think it was a stray bullet, actually.” He’s trying to make things better but he feels like the details are just making it worse. “It wasn’t our fault,” he echoes Feuilly. “It was theirs.” Enjolras isn’t so sure he believes it, but he’ll let it go for now because Grantaire is alive and well and so are his children.
“Fuckers,” Grantaire says. “Almost killing our baby.”
Enjolras automatically corrects, “Babies,” and Grantaire stops and goes, “Huh?”
“They…” Enjolras swallows hard. “They scanned you. To make sure everything was good in there.” He points to where Grantaire’s arms are curled. “There are two of them. Twins.” He still hasn’t wrapped his mind around it, seeing as he’d been worrying about Grantaire, but now that Grantaire has dropped the subject and Enjolras is working on a plan to fix all of this, he can finally start to grasp the entirety. “Twins don’t even run in my family.”
“They do in mine,” Grantaire says, sounding out of breath. “Pictures. Are their pictures?” He tries to sit up, but he winces in pain and Enjolras immediately starts to mother-hen.
“Stop it, you’re going to hurt yourself more. They got you in the right shoulder, you’re not fully healed yet. Lay back,” he says, helping Grantaire get comfortable. His own pain is a buzz in the back of his mind. Once Grantaire is settled, he grabs the ultra sound scans and hands them to Grantaire. His face goes from exhausted to euphoric as he sees exactly what the doctors had.
“And they’re alright?” he asks. There’s guilt in his face for risking them like that, and Enjolras knows it well. They can work through it together, he’s sure of it.
“They’re fine. Perfectly healthy. Apparently, Omega bodies shut down to prevent damage to their offspring if they’re with child and they get hurt,” Enjolras says, quoting Combeferre. “They’re going to be just fine.” The smile on Grantaire’s face makes Enjolras feel like he’s finally done something right.
“Can you forgive me?” Grantaire says softly, looking at the photos. “Can you forgive me for almost throwing this all away?”
Enjolras swallows hard. “There’s nothing to be forgiven for,” he says honestly, hoping Grantaire can hear it in his voice. “But if you need it, you have my full, wholehearted, undivided forgiveness for anything you deem worth needing it.” Grantaire smiles again. There’s still a tightness in his eyes and around his mouth, but Enjolras is sure he can slowly help get rid of it. “Neither of us was thinking,” he says softly. “We’ve made mistakes, but we’ve come out on top. Are you ready to forgive yourself Grantaire?” He knows it wasn’t Grantaire’s intention to get either him or his children killed, and he knows that it’s something Grantaire will have to live with almost happening, but he has to move on.
“Soon,” Grantaire says, eyes closed.
It’s enough for now.
“I think I have to apologize again,” Enjolras continues. “For what I said to you before I left.” Grantaire opens his eyes and looks at him quizzically. Enjolras wishes he didn’t have to repeat what he said but it looks like he has too. “When I said you didn’t believe in anything.”
Grantaire’s face gets sad, and there’s a melancholy smile on his lips. “There is only myself to blame. I never made it apparent enough that I believe in you.”
There are few times in a person’s life that they get that one pure moment of unadulterated thought and everything makes sense to them. The past, the present, the future. It is a moment quite like this that Enjolras gets caught in at those words. Because of course Grantaire believes in him. He believes in Enjolras like Christians believe in a heaven, like a Sunday believes there’s a Monday. It is more than an Omega believing in his Alpha; this belief was there before their bond even formed. It is natural, instinctive and makes complete, logical sense. Of course Grantaire believes in him. He might not believe in anything else, but he believes in Enjolras and that is enough for Grantaire.
Enjolras gives a soft, incredulous laugh and rests his head on the hospital bed by Grantaire. He feels hands stuck with tubes carding their fingers through his thick locks.
“I believe in you too,” he finally chokes out. Even though Grantaire had done unexpected things, even though he’d risked himself, he’d still been the only one with Enjolras at the end of the day, facing the death of all his dreams with him. He believed in Grantaire just as much. The hands tighten and still in his hair for a moment before Grantaire lets out a shaking breath and continues to stroke his fingers through his curls.
They lay like that for a while until a nurse comes in to check their vitals and sees Grantaire up and about. She congratulates them on their pregnancy and does some checking of the machines Grantaire is hooked up to. Grantaire should be out in a week, she says. And then she leaves.
“So, twins run in the family?” Enjolras asks, visions of two pairs of baby feet pattering around their spacious apartment, two bottles on the kitchen counter, two cots in the nursery. He makes a mental note that he’ll have to go pick up another of those personalized blankets.
“Yeah,” Grantaire says softly. For all Enjolras knows about Grantaire’s life, he doesn’t know much about the other man’s family. “I have a twin sister that lives in Cardiff.”
“In Wales?” Enjolras says, surprised.
“Yeah. She moved when she got old enough. Said France was too closed minded. Didn’t believe in saving it,” he says, trailing off. “About that. What you are going to do now?”
Enjolras had been thinking about it in their moments of silence. He sighs, bone-deep and tired. “No more marches. Or rallies. It’s obvious there aren’t enough believers for that. We’ll just fight for the rights we started with, petition, donate to charities.” He stops. “Hopefully try to train Gavroche’s generation, maybe start something in them. It seems they have to be raised into it.”
“If you think I’m going to let you raise our babies to be little revolutionaries…” Grantaire says, only half threatening. Enjolras shakes his head. He’s done with the dangerous stuff. All it’s gotten him is his family almost killed. Even he knows a lost cause when he sees one, and this time, it hurts. Grantaire sees the loss on his face and presses a kiss to his hand. “I’m sorry.” Sorry that the people didn’t rise, sorry that I put us through all of this grief, sorry that your dreams have been destroyed by the people you were dreaming for.
“I know,” Enjolras says, and he doesn’t cry, but he mourns. He mourns the could-have-beens and the should-have-beens and the horrible would-have-beens before shaking his head and siting up. “Who else in your family is a twin?”
“Both my parents,” Grantaire says. “And both their parents. And both their grandparents. And both their great-grandparents, and so on for a generation of ten before them. On both sides. No, don’t ask. It’s an anomaly that my parents ever even met, don’t even get me started on how everyone else did.”
“And they were all betas?”
“Except for me, yeah,” Grantaire says. “What about you?”
“Purebred,” Enjolras says honestly, though a bit resentfully. His parents hadn’t let him forget it and they’d become estranged for that very reason. “And an only child. You don’t talk about them much.”
“Not much to talk about,” Grantaire says. The nurse had taken out most of the tubes in his hands, and un-swaddled him some, his body slowly coming out of shock. He braces his hands on his stomach, presses down and Enjolras knows he’s getting some relief from feeling their children – children – kicking in there. “Mom died when we were fifteen. Dad never knew how to handle an Omega child, much less an Omega son. On top of that, he was a right bastard. My sister helped with my heats and we left the house at eighteen. She went to study in Wales and I went to study in Paris. Haven’t seen dad since. Haven’t seen her since last year.”
Enjolras feels his heart tug. Grantaire already knows about his fallout with his family, although he’d never known the hereditary details. He’d always been hesitant to tell Enjolras about his familial details, and now Enjolras can see why. It’s not pretty.
“We’re never going to be like that,” he assures Grantaire. The other man laughs.
“I know we’re not. You’re too good for that and I’m too afraid of becoming him to risk it.” He’s staring at the hands pressed against his belly. Enjolras brings his hand to join Grantaire’s. Grantaire cups his hands around Enjolras’ and presses them close to his skin. When Enjolras feels the ripple of movement, he lets out a breath of relief. Grantaire smiles. “I knew you needed that too.”
“Of course I want to feel them.” He stops. “Twins, wow. Why didn’t you see this coming?”
“I wasn’t really thinking of family history. I was more thinking, ‘oh shit, there is a living thing growing inside me that I am supposed to take responsibility of’. And I mean, there’s you. You’re an only child so…”
“We’re gonna have to get double of everything,” Enjolras tiredly muses.
“Yeah,” Grantaire responds softly.
They go home on a Tuesday.
Both he and Grantaire stumble through their door and collapse on the couch in a pile of arms and limbs. He holds Grantaire close to him and lets out a sigh of contentment. It’s a lot better than he’s felt in days, so he cherishes the moment. Next Monday he’ll be back in classes and accepting speech-writing requests, and he knows the same goes for Grantaire and his classes as well as taking commissions and working at the Musain.
For now, they have the rest of the week to themselves and Enjolras thinks he’ll be completely content to chill here with Grantaire. Or…
“You should call your sister,” he says from nowhere.
“Isn’t that what family does? They keep each other updated. Does she even know you’re with me?” Silence. “Does she know you’re pregnant?” More silence. “Grantaire! If I was close with my family, they’d be hearing all about it.” Because he was proud damn-it. “I just… I never…” He sighs and Enjolras suddenly feels guilty. “I’m sorry. You’re right. If you’re not up to it or just don’t want to, I understand,” he says. Maybe they aren’t close. Maybe Grantaire just isn’t comfortable.
“No. You’re right. For once,” Grantaire jokes. “Get me a phone and I’ll call.”
“I… really?” Enjolras asks “I don’t want to force you into anything…”
“She deserves to know. We are close. I’ve just… gotten lazy,” Grantaire admits. “And you guys are important. Get me a phone.
Enjolras reaches over the edge of the couch cushion and picks up one of their bags from the hospital bag up and off the floor. He fishes inside of it for his phone and hands it to Grantaire. “Unless you want yours,” he says as an afterthought. Grantaire hadn’t been specific.
“S’fine. She just won’t recognize the number.” He dials her number in then and holds the mobile up to his ear. There’s a few moments when he waits, laid out against Enjolras, his head on Enjolras’ chest. He perks up though on the third ring and sits up a bit, Enjolras following so Grantaire can lean back against his chest comfortably.
“Hello?” Enjolras hears, grainy and tinny on the other hand.
“Remi,” he says. “It’s René.” He’s got a small smile on his face and it brightens the paleness of his skin. Enjolras likes it.
“René!” Enjolras hears squealed. “Oh god, I haven’t heard from you in months, you idiot. Don’t ever do that to me again!” He hears some hysterical laughter in the background and Grantaire rolls his eyes.
“I’ve been busy,” Grantaire says.
“…I uh… I found my mate,” Grantaire says softly, turning his head to make eye contact with Enjolras. Enjolras’ heart swells at the sight.
“You… René!” she screams and Grantaire holds the phone away from his ear and puts her on speaker. “Tilda come here! My brother found his mate!” she yells and Enjolras frowns.
“The people of the United Kingdom are a lot better educated in Alpha/Omega manners than the people of France,” Grantaire clarifies at her insight and knowledge. There’s a smaller voice in the background and Enjolras raises an eyebrow. “She’s at work. She’s a civil rights lawyer.”
Enjolras is impressed.
“Who is he? What does he do? What does he look like! Tell me, R!” Enjolras hears from the phone.
“He’s right here you brat,” Grantaire says and Enjolras smiles.
“Hello Remi,” he says to her and she squeals.
“R he sounds hot. Is he hot?”
“He’s hot,” Grantaire says and Enjolras’ cheeks heat up. “Awh, now he’s blushing.”
“What’s your name blushing stranger?” he hears Remi ask.
“Hugo Enjolras. People just call me Enjolras. Pleasure to meet you, Mademoiselle,” Enjolras says.
There’s a tinkling laugh then, “R, what does he look like?”
“Blond like Apollo, clear eyes, pale skin. A bit like a girl, actually,” Grantaire teases and Enjolras nips at his ear playfully. This all seems to please Remi.
“Be careful R, you might have one on your hands,” she teases easily back and Enjolras has a feeling he’d really like her.
“Oh I don’t think so,” Grantaire says dryly. “He knocked me up.” Enjolras’ eyes go wide. Really? That’s how he’s going to do it?
Remi doesn’t catch on right away. “A female Alpha can knock you up too you know. Silly little – Wait, what did you say?” Grantaire just smiles and leans back in silence. Enjolras tries not to laugh. “René are you… you’re pregnant!?” she screams and who Enjolras assumes is Tilda laughs in the background. “Oh my god. Oh my god! I’m going to be an aunt.” She repeats it over and over until Grantaire cuts her off.
“Alright, I get it, you’re excited too,” he says with a laugh.
“How many months are you? How long have you been together?”
“I'm a little over 5 months and we’ve been together a little less than a year and a half,” Grantaire says. “Or something like that.”
“My god, I need to visit! Send me pictures of you! Send me pictures of the baby. Hell, at this rate, mind as well send me pictures of Mr. Enjolras there,” she says.
“Babies,” Enjolras corrects, because there are two, excuse you.
“TWINS! Alright that makes sense,” she says, sobering. “I want pictures. Unfortunately, I’m very busy here with the English. So…” She stops. “When’s the baby shower?”
“I don’t know. Here, write down this number,” Grantaire says and he rattles off what Enjolras recognizes as Eponine’s cell. “Don’t call her now. She’s recovering from a riot, but call her next week. She’s my best friend and has most of the details for that rubbish.”
“Oh yeah, I heard about that. She’s part of Les Amis?” Remi says and both Enjolras and Grantaire fall silent. “Boys?”
“Um… yeah. So are we,” Grantaire hedges. “Actually. Enjolras was the leader. Is, rather.”
There’s silence. “Grantaire,” Remi says, using his last name for the first time. Grantaire cringes and Enjolras thinks maybe they’re in trouble. “The leader was shot and hospitalized. Shot and hospitalized with his pregnant mate.”
“They weren’t supposed to shoot us,” Enjolras says a bit helplessly.
“OH MY GOD YOU TWO WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU I CAN’T EVEN RIGHT NOW HOW COULD YOU TWO BE SO STUPID?” She breaks off into English and Welsh swears, and Enjolras and Grantaire look at each other solemnly. They’d talked it out more in the last week, settled some things. They aren’t healed, not emotionally or mentally, not fully, but they will be in the future.
“We know,” Grantaire finally says, his voice thick with unshed tears. “Remi, we know.” Remi stops her abuse and sighs, the sound crackling through the speakers.
“I’m definitely visiting,” she says tiredly. “Get some rest then, the both of you. I’ll be around in a few weeks, a month or two at most. But I am coming in time for your baby shower.” She snorts. “God damn-it, you’d mind as well move to the UK if you don’t like it there so much you have to rebel.”
“Revolt,” Enjolras corrects and he has a feeling she doesn’t like it, so he smiles and Grantaire giggles. “You rebel in a rebellion with rebels. You revolt in a revolution with revolutionaries. We are the latter. Or at least we were. I’m just speech writing now and getting my law degree, with a small dose of social-justice on the side.” He stops. “And I think we’d miss France too much.”
“True,” Grantaire says. Enjolras can see the truth in his eyes. “For all that France has faults, she is home.”
“I can’t argue with that,” Remi says softly.
Enjolras clears his throat. “No, I don’t suppose anyone can.”
In the early morning light, Enjolras sits back and watches the golden sunbeams wash over Grantaire’s skin as he sleeps. Grantaire’s hair is tousled, the curls spilling across his pillow as he lays on his back. His arms are stretched about his head, crooked at the elbow, and Enjolras’ eyes trace the moles and birthmarks that mar his soft skin. The little blonde hairs on Grantaire’s chest glint gold in the sun and lead Enjolras to follow the dark line of it down to Grantaire’s belly. He’s grown over the past month, lost more weight than Dr. Blanchet had been happy with due to the stress of his time in the hospital. It reminds Enjolras to look up at the man’s right shoulder, to the angry, pink pockmarked wound still healing there. It spiders out across his shoulder and down his chest, where the surgeons had had to cut away at him. Enjolras still gets choked up looking at it, but they’ve talked what happened to death and now they’re just trying to move past it and heal.
Enjolras is sitting at the foot of their bed, watching Grantaire sleep. The sheets are pooled around his waist and around Grantaire’s legs even though the flat is a bit chilly. It’s heading into the winter months, and they might be getting snow soon.
Enjolras has a little black box in his hand. He’s had it hidden in a draw for a while now, but today he’s taken it out. Inside is a simple silver band. It’s nothing fancy, neither of them like fancy, but it’s enough. Enjolras had known, oh he had always known, that he was going to ask Grantaire to marry him. He’s nervous though, nervous for so many reasons, and he doesn’t feel like naming a few.
Enjolras wonders if he should wait for Grantaire to wake up or if he should wake the man himself, but the decision is made for him when Grantaire starts to stir and lets out a jaw-cracking yawn. His eyes blink blearily and when he catches sight of Enjolras, he smiles softly. It makes Enjolras’ chest hurt, and for a moment, he wonders if all this love and romance was a good idea in the first place, because this feeling can’t be healthy. But then Grantaire rubs a hand over his stubble-covered jaw and rubs the side of his protruding belly and Enjolras knows he’s made the right decision for himself. He crawls over and gently straddles Grantaire’s legs, making sure not to crush them.
“Morning,” he says with a smile.
“Good morning,” Grantaire says back and leans up on his elbows to kiss him. He makes a face half-way through, and snorts. “Babies say good morning as well,” he says against Enjolras’ lips and Enjolras runs his hands down the sides of Grantaire’s belly and smiles. “You okay?” Grantaire says. “Oddly silent for you.”
“Yes, I just…” Enjolras gets off of his legs and sits on the other side of him, where he usually sleeps. He helps Grantaire sit up and then takes his hands in both his own. “Can I ask you something?”
“Of course,” Grantaire says, cautious all the same. “Anything.” His brow furrows in a frown and Enjolras places a kiss on it, smoothing the wrinkled skin out with his lips. “Seriously, what’s going on? I’m actually a bit worried.”
“Don’t be,” Enjolras says, his chest getting tight, the feeling of nerves that only Grantaire can give him seizing him again. “And whatever your answer is, just know that it doesn’t matter in the long run. That it’s okay to say no. Just remember that.” He bites a lip and raises his eyebrows.
“Okay?” Grantaire says a bit confused. “I guess…”
“Right, okay,” Enjolras says, reaching into the sheets where he’d left the ring-box, and brings it forward. “Um… God I’m never like this, but, Grantaire, would you do me the honor of marrying me?” he says, looking down at the box, before looking up at him through his lashes.
The look on Grantaire’s face can only be described as shocked. His mouth is open, his eyes wide. He starts to blink, and his mouth gets a bit tight as he sucks on his lower lip. His hands go to tangle themselves in the sheets by his waist and he opens his mouth a few times. His expression changes to one of confusion.
“I… don’t understand,” he says, and this was one of the reactions that Enjolras was afraid of. “We’re bonded, why do we need to get married?” Grantaire asks a bit hysterical. Grantaire has a point, Enjolras knows this. Between Alpha/Omega mates, marriage is pointless. Their bond is stronger than words on a piece of paper. They’ve already been registered as mates downtown, so he can see why Grantaire is a bit confused. Marriage is a beta thing. Enjolras’ parents hadn’t even been married, though he suspects Grantaire’s were and that he may also be hesitant because of how their marriage turned out.
“It’s just… I’ve always been fascinated by it,” Enjolras admits. “And I thought it was an amazing thing, that even though these people aren’t bonded they still find a way to do it, and still honor each other, with nothing solid in-between. It’s… brave. It’s courageous and risky and yet beautiful.”
“But we do have something bonding us! It’s stupid and redundant to do it that way!” Grantaire says, and he looks… afraid.
“Grantaire, it’s alright, I told you, you didn’t have to say yes-”
“But!” he stops and swallows hard. “I’m just…”
“Tell me what’s wrong? I know it’s unconventional, but … it’s important to me. To be just that more legal and show everyone just how much I really do love you. I want to be with you naturally and legally. I just…” It’s hard to explain. People tend to take them less seriously because they don’t have anything but a bond, but it’s more than that. It’s knowing that they have something to show for themselves. No one can see a bond, but they can all see a wedding band. He shakes his head. God, that’s so stupid. “I’m sorry, I’m being foolish. Of course this is enough, I don’t know why I-”
“No!” Grantaire shouts and snatches his hands. “It’s not that it’s stupid… I’m sorry I said that. I didn’t mean it. But Enjolras…” He stops and looks away. “My parents’ marriage was shit. And I… thought I could escape all of that when I realized that it wasn’t required of mates. But…” He looks up now. “I’ve… always wanted to, I think. Because my whole family said it was special. Even the more caring members. My mother herself was sad that I might never get married and…” He lets out a breath and closes his eyes. “I can’t right now though,” he says, his voice sounding sad. “I’m not ready for it. Not right now. I’m sorry.”
“Don’t apologize,” Enjolras says, feeling a bit better about, even though his embarrassment about it was still simmering. “So it’s not a no?”
“No, but it’s not a yes either,” Grantaire says. “After all that’s happened recently… I can’t take on that yet.”
“Yet,” Enjolras says, then lets go of Grantaire’s hands and takes the box. He places it in Grantaire’s hands and closes them around the object. “Then you ask,” he says, the idea hitting him hard. “You ask when you think you’re ready. You ask me. And I’ll wait. If you never do, that’s alright. If you do, that’s good too. Whatever you want. It’s yours now. It always was, but now it’s in your hands.” He smiles at the look of Grantaire’s face as he realizes just what Enjolras has done. He’s given him that power, that leading role, that control that usually was accredited to Alphas.
“Okay,” Grantaire says with a small smile as he takes the box and hides it away in the nightstand on his side of the bed.
Enjolras is hacking away at his laptop, finishing up a speech for one of the French senators. He hears the front door open and he knows its Grantaire coming in from work. If he’s correct, it’s Cosette dropping him off.
He looks up from his place on the couch in the living room and Grantaire is smiling at him from the doorway.
“What?” he says, blinking up at him as Grantaire gets closer. Grantaire’s hands go to Enjolras’ hair where it’s done up in a messy bun on the top of his head. It had been bothering him all day, so he’d just gotten it out of his face.
“I like your hair up like this,” Grantaire says softly, the smile still on his face. “You look amazing with it.”
“You always look amazing. Amazing and perfect,” Enjolras says, turning his head to kiss the palm of Grantaire’s hand as it caresses his cheek. He isn’t expecting Grantaire to snort and roll his eyes. Or maybe he is, but it still surprises him a bit after all this time.
“I never said I was perfect,” Grantaire says.
“No, I said that,” Enjolras says, tugging him onto the couch. He shoves the laptop onto the coffee table and saves his work. “Tell me what you don’t like about yourself and I’ll try and convince you otherwise.”
Grantaire lifts an incredulous eyebrow but sighs, lying back on the couch and placing a hand on his belly. “Always an argument with you,” he says halfheartedly before Enjolras sees him really thinking about it. “My nose is crooked. So are my teeth. I have discolored patches of skin on my face and the rest of my body. My fingers and hands are calloused, my hair is a mess. I have… moles and shit all over. My scars,” he emphasizes. “Old and new. I’ve got an under bite. That’s just physical stuff that I don’t mind, per say, but I know it’s not attractive. I don’t kid myself, Apollo.”
Enjolras used to ask others, before they were dating, if they found Grantaire attractive. Not many had said yes, and those who had were more attracted to his talents than to his face. Enjolras knows Grantaire is unconventionally attractive. He just wants Grantaire to see that just because he’s unconventional, doesn’t mean he can just cross out the attractive part.
“Your nose is crooked because you’ve been boxing since you were a child,” Enjolras says. “And you’re good at it. It gives you a roguish look, and I like it. You’re teeth are janky because you grind them when you fence, and you’re fingers and hands have calluses because you paint and draw. You are a master of the arts.” He pauses to nudge Grantaire’s foot with his own. “I adore your hair; it adds to your character, as do your birthmarks and moles. I like to think of them as stars forming constellations. The patches of discolored skin are only from too much time in the sun, and once again it makes you look like an artful masterpiece, like the things you paint. And you’re under bite is so slight, please, Grantaire,” he says with a chuckle. “As for your scars, well, they each tell a story. Some you got working, others you got because you were feeling hollow and needed a way out. Still others,” and now his eyes drift to the scar that’s on Grantaire’s shoulder from the revolt, “they tell of mistakes and courageous actions. They tell of belief.”
When he finally makes eye contact with Grantaire, his face is a mixture of sadness, surprise and gratefulness. “You are something else, Enjorlas,” he says. “I don’t know why I’m surprised. Although, I could say, I’m not as surprised as others would be.”
“I love the way you look,” Enjolras says with a shrug. “Especially carrying around our children.” He turns on the couch so that he’s facing Grantaire now. He puts his hands on either side of Grantaire’s belly and leans over in half, pressing the side of his cheek to it, feeling the subtle movements of their children underneath the skin. Enjolras lets out a sigh of contentment, and he feels Grantaire, go and undo his bun so he can run his fingers through Enjolras’ hair.
They spend the afternoon like that in silence and when Grantaire gets hungry, they get up and head to the kitchen, Grantaire taking the hair-tie from his wrist and handing it back to Enjolras for him to put his hair up in a bun again.
Enjolras is sure Grantaire is going to succeed in giving him a heart attack by the time the pregnancy is over. Currently, he’s struggling to the laundry room with a giant basket full of clothes. Enjolras can hear him cursing under his breath as he has trouble, and he makes his way over to the room. Outside, snow is falling. It had excited Enjolras at first, and he’d been sure they were going to have a good day. Now, those hope are dashed to pieces because he knows there’s going to be an argument.
“Grantaire, put the basket down,” Enjolras says pointedly. Grantaire makes the mistake of turning around, and Enjolras grabs the basket from him, setting it on the ground by the washing machine. “Are you insane? You can’t be heavy lifting.” Grantaire is large and round, and he’s taken to waddling since he hasn’t gotten used to his newfound largeness yet. There’s a glare on his face that any lesser man would have cringed from.
“First it’s ‘Grantaire, put that bottle down’. Now it’s ‘Grantaire, put that basket down.’ What’s it going to be next? Grantaire sit down? Grantaire don’t get out of bed?” Grantaire yells, a bit hysterical.
Enjolras can see it from his side. Grantaire wants to do more, doesn’t want his entire life to be put on hold for the next few months. He must be going a little stir crazy. And while he can understand the Omega’s frustration, he also understands that Grantaire needs to be careful.
“I might if you don’t listen!” Enjolras snaps back in frustration himself. “You can’t… do things like you used to. The sooner you get that into your head, the easier this is going to be.”
“So what, I’m an invalid now?” Grantaire yells back.
“Yes,” Enjolras snaps. “That seems like a good approximation of things. If you’re going to insist on hurting yourself and them.” He jabs a finger mercilessly in the direction of Grantaire’s belly and the man flinches. Enjolras immediately regrets that, knowing Grantaire is still not over what happened at the protests two months ago.
“Fuck you,” Grantaire says softly, and storms out of the laundry room. Enjolras hears their bedroom door slam closed and sighs in defeat as he does the laundry. He takes a shower after that, glad of the weekend, and when he comes out, he casts his mind about for ways to make it up to Grantaire. He may not have been wrong in his reprimanding, but he had been wrong in his execution of it.
Enjolras goes into their room, ready to say something to calm Grantaire down, maybe fetch him whatever he’s craving or flat out apologize and let Grantaire berate him, when he realizes Grantaire isn’t there anymore. He sighs again and goes to check the living room which is also empty, as is the unfinished nursery with the boxes of matching cots that have yet to be assembled. He checks his office, a strong sense of foreboding tying his stomach up into knots and when he finally goes into the kitchen to find it also empty and the front door of the flat open he feels as if he’ll throw up. Grantaire’s mobile is on the kitchen counter and his coat it on its peg by the door, but the door is open and he’s nowhere in the house, so he must be out.
Enjolras sends out a mass text asking if Grantaire is with any of their friends and only gets confused or concerned responses back. He tells them all not to worry about it and ignores the simultaneous threats from Eponine and Bahorel. Those two, sometimes. He shakes his head, grabbing his coat, hat and scarf, taking Grantaire’s things too, and runs out of the building.
It’s snowing. It’s cold. Grantaire is pregnant and alone and without a coat or hat. Enjolras wants to cry out of fear and also scream, because it’s his fault this time, every time if he’s honest. He’s always upsetting Grantaire, even when he doesn’t mean to. No wonder the man has no interest in marrying him.
It doesn’t take long to find Grantaire. With a mixture of deduction and the tug of their bond leading him around, he finds Grantaire at the park, sitting on the snow covered sidewalk by a lamp post. He’s visibly shivering and when Enjolras kneels down in the cold in front of him, he can see where there are tears freezing to his cheeks, his nose running. He’s wet down the front and Enjolras sighs softly.
“Did you fall in the snow?” he asks, his voice low.
“Yeah,” Grantaire says grumpily, sniffling.
“Come here,” Enjolras says, wrapping his arms around him and holding him close. Grantaire is freezing, and as he clings to Enjolras, Enjolras puts his hat on his head and wraps his scarf around Grantaire’s neck. He stands them both up and gets Grantaire into his downy coat, zipping him up. Grantaire is silent the entire time. It’s dark out, and instead of taking them home, Enjolras takes Grantaire to an all-night diner. They get a secluded booth in the back and Grantaire wordlessly goes off to the single-serve bathroom beside them to dry off his shirt. Enjolras hears the hand dryer go on and then relaxes, taking a moment to drop his head into his hands.
“Can I get you something?” Enjolras looks up and is met with a woman looking to be about in her late thirties. He can smell the Alpha of her.
“I… yes. A regular coffee and a decaf. Be sure not to mix them up.” He gestures to Grantaire’s seat. “Pregnant Omega.” She nods knowingly, so he wonders if she’s bonded and in a few minutes, comes back with empty coffee mugs. She leaves and comes back with two coffee pots. One has a brown band, the other an orange.
“This one’s decaf,” she says, waving the one with the orange band. She pours it into Grantaire’s mug. “This one’s regular,” she continues, pouring it into Enjolras’ mug.
“Thank you,” he says.
“Tough time, you two?” she says, gesturing to the empty seat.
“I understand. My mate, he’s been pregnant three times. It’s hard the first time around,” she says, patting him on the shoulder. “It gets easier. And it’s worth it when the baby comes.”
“We’re having twins, actually,” Enjolras says, feeling a swell of pride push through the guilt and worry.
“On the first go?” she says, sounding impressed and taking out her ordering pad.
“He’s a twin,” Enjolras says shrugging. “I’ll have the special. I don’t know what he’s having.”
“Take your time, sweetheart,” she says kindly. “This one’s on me, alright?”
Enjolras looks up in surprise. “But-” She points to her nametag, which says Elaine, and then to the sign above the door that says Elaine’s Diner and he simply says, “Oh.” She winks and leaves, Grantaire walking out of the bathroom at that exact moment and sitting quietly in his seat.
“I’m sorry,” he and Enjolras say at the same time. Small smiles come to their faces.
“I was wrong to say what I did,” Enjolras says, without preamble. Grantaire sits back and waits, hair still damp. “You don’t… you’re not always hurting yourself or them. You never do, and if it happens, it’s not purposeful. I shouldn’t have brought that up. I know you’re having a tough time still,” says Enjolras softly. “That was low and unfair of me. That,” and now he refers to the riot that had landed them both in the hospital, “was on the both of us, not just you.” He leans back and runs a hand through his curls, looking up at Grantaire. “Forgive me? All of this is just so taxing on your body. I just… I don’t want you straining yourself and hurting you. It’s as much about you as it is about them, don’t you understand? I want you all safe.” He gathers Grantaire’s hands in his own and presses warm, wet kisses against the frigid skin of his fingers. “I am so cruel sometimes, and I don’t understand how you put up with it, but thank you. I don’t deserve it.”
Grantaire sighs and tilts his head back as he closes his eyes. He takes a deep breath before looking back at Enjolras and opening his eyes.
“You’re a dick,” he says plainly. “And you were the worst. I’m glad you see that.” He pauses. “And you were also right about me taking it easy. I hurt all over now. I shouldn’t have run out like that. That was stupid.” He looks away now. “Not so sure about… about the other thing,” and Enjolras knows he’s talking about the incident. “But whatever. I’m working on it. You shouldn’t have… and I know you didn’t mean it like that but…” He shakes his head. “I hate feeling like this. I hate feeling like I’m a fuck up and I hate believing it and for the first time, you didn’t help.”
“I know,” Enjolras says, sounding wrecked even to himself.
“Work on it,” Grantaire says firmly. “Or else I will punch you in the face next time, as much as I love you. You fucking deserve it sometimes.”
“I know,” Enjolras says. He feels like shit about it.
“Now. I think you sufficiently feel like a mega twat, which you are, so I’m going to order breakfast foods and feel better about expressing myself while you wallow in it,” Grantaire says with a bright smile, sneezing to the side. Enjolras does smile, despite his in fact feeling like a mega twat. Elaine comes back and takes Grantaire’s order of the Strawberry Shortcake pancakes. He drinks his coffee happily.
Their food comes and Enjolras eats in silence, his ankles hooked around Grantaire’s. He wonders if he’ll be couched. He wonders if Grantaire will forgive him soon or if this will carry out to the rest of the pregnancy or longer. He starts to panic as he overthinks it all.
“I can hear you thinking. Stop. Stop worrying about it too. I’ll get over it and so will you,” Grantaire says around a mouthful of strawberry and whipped cream. He points his fork at Enjolras. “I’m serious.”
“You scared the shit out of me when I saw you weren’t home,” Enjolras blurts, because it’s been bothering him. He swallows hard around his food and looks Grantaire in the eye.
“That was stupid, I admitted that already. And I’ll say sorry just in case I forgot to. Sorry for running. I’m just so used to running from my problems,” Grantaire says with an unashamed shrug. He has whipped cream on his nose and Enjolras leans over and wipes it off.
“I love you,” he says, unembarrassed to be saying it in a public place. “I really do. If I ever make you think I don’t, tell me and I will show you just how much I do,” Enjolras says vehemently. “Because I do, Grantaire, I do. I might not know how to show it correctly all the time but I do.”
Grantaire is looking at him with a soft look on his face. He nods slowly and takes Enjolras’ hand across the table, squeezing it and holding it loosely in his as he continued eating. They go on like that for a bit and Elaine comes and takes their plates, telling Grantaire she has the bill covered before leaving them to sit around a bit.
“Don’t you think there’s a reason we’re supposed to be together?” Grantaire says.
“Yes,” Enjolras responds immediately.
“Then no matter what happens, just know that we’re meant to stay together.” He looks at Enjolras with a glint of determination in his eyes. “And that’s how it’s going to be.”
Enjolras, for the life of him, feels better for some reason. He thinks he might understand the roles of Alphas and their Omegas a bit better. Sure Alphas are the strong, dominant ones, but it’s so easy for them to get lost and lose themselves. It makes sense, that when that happens, their Omegas are the ones to bring them back, and the only ones capable at that.
Enjolras smiles at him and bundles them both back home with a wave of thanks to Elaine. He feels infinitely better.
Grantaire wakes up with a fever.
Enjolras blames himself and makes the Omega as comfortable in bed as he can. He then sneaks out as Grantaire falls back into a fitful sleep and heads to the kitchen. As he procures the fixings of chicken soup in the house, he calls Combeferre.
“He’s got a cold,” Enjolras explains. “Obviously he can’t have any medicine for the pain or fever, so what do I give him instead?”
“We have some tea for pain and colds,” Joly says clearly and Enjolras frowns for a moment before rolling his eyes.
“Am I on speakerphone?”
“Of course,” Joly says. “Now, we’ll bring you over the tea. It tastes foul though, so he may not like it. You’re making soup, correct?”
“Yes,” Enjolras says, turning on the stove.
“Good,” Combeferre says. “Do that trick with the ice I taught you at university and we’ll be there soon.”
“Oh!” Joly exclaims. “Air out the house in the afternoon. You might not be able to get sick easily with your Alpha genes, but Ferre and I are easily susceptible. And it won’t do for Grantaire to recover and then get sick all over again.” He hangs up for the both of them and Enjolras glares at his phone before starting to chop defrosted chicken.
He gets the soup good and going, one of the only things he can actually cook, and then goes to check on Grantaire. He’s shivering even though he’s covered in a sheen of sweat and Enjolras feels so guilty. He sits on the bed and settles Grantaire more comfortably, running gentle fingers through his hair. Grantaire’s eyes flutter open.
“I hate everything,” he says miserably, then coughs and sneezes simultaneously.
“Where does it hurt?” Enjolras asks.
“Head. Throat. Achy everywhere.” Enjolras presses a kiss to Grantaire’s temple, simultaneously checking his temperature against his lips. Grantaire is burning up. He helps the man lay back down and then goes into the kitchen, checks the soup, and heads to the freezer. He pulls out their ice-cube tray, wets a face cloth in icy water before wringing it out and wrapping it around the ice-cubes. He goes back to their bedroom to find Grantaire back asleep. He slides the icy bundle under the back of Grantaire’s neck. Combeferre had taught him this when they were doing undergraduate studies and roomed together. The ice helped dilate the veins that were carrying the blood to Grantaire’s brain and therefore brought down the fever.
Well, at least he hopes. He hasn’t used that home remedy since his first years of graduate classes and that had been at least two years ago.
Enjolras finishes up the soup and let’s Joly and Combeferre in. Joly has several bags of loose-leaf tea in a basket beside air-freshener in an aerosol can. Enjolras refrains from rolling his eyes and says thank you, offering them a seat at the kitchen table.
“How’d he get sick, anyway?” Combeferre asks gently.
“Fell in the snow,” Enjolras says quickly.
“This wouldn’t have anything to do with you texting the lot of us last night asking where he disappeared off to, now would it?” Combeferre asks with a knowing smile. Enjolras glares. “Right then. We’ll leave it at that.”
Joly, meanwhile, unpacks the tea and a sweet looking tea-ball. “Alright, this one is for headaches, but it’s got skullcap so he’s going to be making faces. This one,” and he points to a different tea bag, “is for the cold since he can’t have cold medicine what with the whole pregnant thing. It will also taste bitter. But it’s going to help. Let it steep for five minutes before you give it to him. Instead of sugar for sweetener, use honey; it’ll help his throat.” He pauses. “Did you get all of that? I don’t want to be here longer than I have to be and get unnecessarily sick.”
Enjolras and Combeferre share a look before Enjolras says, “Yes, I got it all. Thank you Joly.” He claps Combeferre on the back as the other man gets up. “Ferre. Thank you for coming.”
“Anything for our friends,” Combeferre says and, placing a firm hand on Joly’s lower back, guides the man out of Enjolras and Grantaire’s flat. Enjolras shuts the door behind them and sighs, getting a bowl out and filling it with soup. He heads over to their bedroom where Grantaire is struggling to sit up.
“Give me a minute and I’ll help you, yeah?” Enjolras says, placing the bowl down and propping Grantaire up with a few pillows behind his back. “How are you feeling?”
“Bad,” Grantaire says miserably. His eyes are red and bloodshot, his skin is pale and he looks tired.
“I brought you soup. Can you try some for me?” Enjolras asks softly. Grantaire simply nods and let’s Enjolras spoon soup into his mouth until he’s drifting off again. “Joly and Combeferre were here and brought some tea that’ll help with the cold and pain. Which do you want first?”
“Pain,” he says, rubbing his forehead. “Please.” It sounds so needy and tired that Enjolras pulls Grantaire close to him and kisses the spot behind his ear that he loves. After that, he settles him into bed and brews the tea, bringing it into their room in Grantaire’s favorite mug, a tacky, tourist thing they’d gotten on one of their dates to the Eifel Tower.
“Try this, yeah? There’s honey in it,” Enjolras says. Grantaire’s face when he takes a sip is beautifully disgusted and Enjolras laughs, kissing his scrunched up nose and puckered mouth.
“This tastes like death,” Grantaire grouches, taking another sip and almost gagging. “Oh my god, Enj, I can’t with this.”
“Just a little more,” Enjolras coaxes. “It’ll help with the pain, I promise. Then you can go back to sleep.”
“Bathroom first,” Grantaire says into the mug. He drinks the whole thing, to make Enjolras happy Enjolras knows, then slowly gets up with Enjolras’ help to go use the bathroom. He tucks Grantaire back into bed after that, collecting the bowl and mug and dumping them in the sink. He gets himself some soup, finishes a paper for class and a speech for work, and then sends out e-mails to Grantaire’s professors saying he’ll be missing classes the next day. He calls Eponine to ask her to tell their boss at the Musain that Grantaire won’t be in tonight or tomorrow and she wishes him luck and agrees to get the message across.
Enjolras heads to bed after that, curling protectively around Grantaire’s feverish body as he falls into sleep. He wakes up several times in the night to help Grantaire get to a bathroom, get him some tea for his cold and to try and bring down his fever using the cold cloth trick again.
At six in the morning, Grantaire’s fever breaks and so does Enjolras’ apprehension. He’d been close to calling Dr. Blanchet and seeing if she wanted him to bring Grantaire in if the fever persisted. Now though, he moves Grantaire from their bedroom to the guest room on the other side of the flat, tucking him in and making sure he’s comfortable. He plugs in a space heater, closing Grantaire’s door behind him. Then he gets to work on cleaning out the house of germs.
He starts by turning off the heat even though it’s freezing out along with all the snow. He opens all of the windows, hoping Grantaire is warm enough in the guest room, then strips the sheets in their room and washes and dries them alone. He covers their bed in new, fresh sheets, does some laundry while he waits for the sheets to finish drying and then puts those away as the wet clothes go to dry. Enjolras cleans up a bit more around the house, reheating last night’s soup so Grantaire can have something for lunch. He makes more of the cold tea that Joly left and leaves that to cool as he shuts all the windows and puts the heat back on.
Enjolras then takes the soup and tea to the guest room where he can see Grantaire sitting up through the crack in the door. He’s about to go in when he hears Grantaire’s voice, soft and gentle, speaking to himself it seems, though Enjolras knows Grantaire never speaks to himself so kindly. He focuses his hearing and feels his heart in his throat as he realizes what Grantaire is doing.
“… crazy man, your Papa is,” Grantaire’s voice intones softly, to the children in his womb. “But he takes care of us, and he loves us, okay? Don’t forget that. Because sometimes I do and it takes a while before I remember again, but he always pulls through. You two are going to be safe and happy, alright? Hey, you don’t you start kicking your brother or sister. Or – ow – or me, excuse you. Little shit-starter like your Papa, aren’t you? Whoever else is in there with you is laid back like me, nice to – never mind, oh my god, you two.” He laughs to himself and Enjolras leans his forehead against the doorjamb for a moment because he can’t breathe. Grantaire continues with the soft words and quiet, half-hearted reprimands. It’s beautiful and warms some part of Enjolras up that he hadn’t known was cold.
Clearing his throat, he pushes through, Grantaire’s head snapping up and the words stopping. He looks caught out, but Enjolras doesn’t let on that he’s heard anything, just says, “Afternoon, R,” and sits by him with his bowl and mug of tea. “How – how are you feeling?”
“Better,” Grantaire says cautiously, taking the mug, taking a sip and then taking a moment to glare at the contents of the mug before taking another sip. “Are you okay? And is that soup for me?”
“I’m fine,” Enjolras says, a bit surprised. “And yes it is for you. Do you need help eating it? And why would you think I was anything other than fine?”
“I can eat by myself, thanks,” Grantaire says, taking the bowl and spoon from him with shaky hands. “And I asked,” he says more slowly, looking up from under his eyelashes, “because you’ve got tears on your cheeks.”
Enjolras’ hands spring to his face, and Grantaire is right, there are tears. He wipes them away and lays down on the bed next to Grantaire, his face by Grantaire’s belly. He’s caresses it through the sweater he’d bundled Grantaire in, pressing a kiss to the fabric that he wonders if Grantaire can feel.
“Hello darlings,” he says softly and sees Grantaire smile from the corner of his eye.
“Did we really need them all to help us?” Enjolras grouches from the couch. Currently, Courfeyrac, Bahorel, Feuilly and Combeferre are all inside the nursery figuring out how to put the cots together correctly. Grantaire has his head laid on Enjolras’ lap where Enjolras can run his fingers through those thick curls and rub his stomach. On the couch across from them, Eponine, Bossuet, Jehan and Cosette are going over a catalogue full of party things, planning the baby shower. Marius and Joly are out getting everyone food.
“No,” Grantaire answers sleepily. “But they’re the only family we have so they’re going to help anyway.” He yawns and Enjolras scritches his fingers through Grantaire’s hair.
“A bit, yeah. I wanna nap, but all I can hear is Combeferre telling Bahorel and Courfeyrac not to be idiots and break something while Feuilly chuckles. And when I tune that out, I can hear Jehan and Cosette squealing over something or the other while Eponine tells them to keep it down so we don’t hear and Bossuet snores.” He pauses. “Why is Bossuet even on the baby shower committee?”
“Because he’s the only other one with a baby and has been through it with Chetta?” Enjolras says with a shrug. “I don’t know love. I can move you to the bedroom, you know.”
“Yes, but Marius and Joly are coming with food and I’m craving something greasy and Indian, so I have to wait here for my food.” He’s smiling, but his eyes are fluttering shut. He’s been tired lately and Enjolras would worry if Dr. Blanchet hadn’t told him this was going to be a normal thing around this month’s stretch.
“They’ll be here shortly,” Enjolras says, because they’d better be or they’d get a barrage of texts from him. And it wouldn’t be pretty. His protective instincts were getting more and more defined as it drew closer to the twins due date. Grantaire pretended to be annoyed by it, but they both knew he liked being taken care of.
Just then, Enjolras perks up. He can smell the scent of Marius and Feuilly coming up the steps to their flat. But there’s someone else with them, someone that smells at the same time familiar and unfamiliar. They’re a beta, that much he can definitely tell, but besides that…
Grantaire sits up on the couch, taking a moment to let the blood rush back down his head before he’s turning it to the door. The look on his face is one of surprise and he’s smiling from ear to ear. Enjolras is completely distracted by the transformation that comes over his face at the smile that he misses it completely when Marius, Joly and their mystery guest enter. It doesn’t escape his notice though when Grantaire stands up and says, “Remi!”
Enjolras looks over then and doesn’t quite gasp, but he is a bit surprised. Standing by a suitcase right beside Joly and Marius is a woman that looks very much like Grantaire. Her hair is long and dark, the ringlets curling into her eyes, her eyes that are almost as blue as Grantaire’s are. She’s got a feminine edge to everything that makes her look like a fairy. She’s beautiful, and not in the unconventional way that everyone attributes to Grantaire. Eponine seems to notice this as well and sits up straighter, hooking a strand of hair behind her ear. Enjolras gives her a look that says ‘what the hell are you doing?’ and the beta just shrugs at him and beams a grin at the woman that Grantaire is hugging.
“Oh my god, R you’re huge,” Remi exclaims with a tinkling laugh. “Shit, you’re gorgeous right now, you know that?”
“As opposed to not when I’m full of babies?” Grantaire jokes.
“Obviously,” Remi says and points to his belly. “May I?”
“Of course,” Grantaire says and Enjolras knows he loves that his sister asked first. She puts her hands on his belly and bites her lip as she feels the babies moving around. Enjolras can sympathize with the look in her eyes; that’s how he feels every time he looks at Grantaire, never mind touches him.
“I am so excited!” she exclaims letting go. Then she sniffles and Grantaire takes a step back, one hand resting on his tummy the other one held in front of him as if he’s warding something away.
“Don’t you dare start crying,” he warns seriously. “Remi, I swear to god…”
“I’m sorry, it’s just. I’m so happy for you,” she says, turning to the side. Eponine takes this as her time to shine and stands up, handing her a tissue.
“I cried too, once I got over the shock,” Eponine admits and Remi smiles widely at her.
“I recognize your voice,” Remi says. “Eponine, right?” she asks batting her lashes. Grantaire frowns.
“Stop flirting with my best friend,” he says, looking at Eponine. “I gave you her number so that you could talk about baby shower stuff, not to screw each other the second you set eyes on each other.”
Remi turns to him. “You’re not the boss of me. I’m older.”
“By like, two minutes,” Grantaire says, putting his hands on his hips and Enjolras snorts a laugh because he looks like an oversized, angry teapot. Remi perks up at that and looks around Grantaire’s large frame and grins when she sees him.
“Oh hello there. Are you the one my brother’s shacked up with? Please say yes.”
“Yes,” Enjolras says, walking around to wrap an arm around Grantaire and kiss his temple. “I suppose so.”
“Pictures do you no justice,” Remi says with a nod.
“I agree wholeheartedly,” Grantaire says. “Take it as a compliment that she’s flirting, sorta. Means she likes you.”
“Oh?” Eponine says. She smirks. “Good to know.” Remi winks and Grantaire just looks resigned.
“Oh whatever,” he says. “Marius! Joly! Who brought me curry?!” Grantaire yells going to the kitchen where the boys were unpacking the food they brought. Enjolras laughs and shakes his head. Remi nods to the next room and Enjolras grabs her suitcase, leading her to the guest room she’ll be staying in instead.
“Alright. What is it?” Enjolras asks, looking at her. It’s odd still. She looks so much like Grantaire except she doesn’t.
“He looks good,” she comments lightly.
“If that’s your way of seguing into saying you’re surprised I’m taking care of him, I resent that,” Enjolras says outright.
“Straight to the point,” Remi says nodding. “I like it. You’ll make a good lawyer.” She sighs. “Keep taking care of him. My brother loves you, that much I can tell. And it seems you do as well. So.”
Enjolras shakes his head. “Of course I do. He’s my mate.”
“That’s nature though,” Remi points out.
“I’m not with him just because it’s in my nature,” Enjolras says, offended. “I asked him to marry me, he’s the one that said no.” He snaps his mouth closed, because he hadn’t been planning on saying that.
Her eyes widen a bit. “That’s not common practice among Alpha/Omega couplings.”
“No, no it’s not. But I want it anyway. So that he knows I’d have wanted to be with him even if we weren’t naturally supposed to be.” Enjolras looks away from her. “I guess he needs some time to realize that.”
“I guess so,” Remi says contemplatively. She nods her head, satisfied. “Alright then. You might want to get back out there. I think my brother is going to kill someone over his curry and Eponine and I have some… business to attend to.”
“Whatever it is you’re planning, she’s a good person and she’s been through a lot. Treat her gently, please,” Enjolras says, waiting until she nods in agreement to leave. He finds Grantaire sitting in the nursery between the two correctly put together cots. He’s eating his curry with a happy face and grins with a mouthful up at Enjolras. He can see the half-chewed food in Grantaire’s mouth.
Enjolras smiles. He’s never seen a more beautiful sight.