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Not With the Eyes, but With the Mind

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Stretching out their wings, Grantaire lies down on their bed, face down. Their last assignment was a mess; it was clear that the intended were not interested in each other. Those are the cases Grantaire hates the most. Sometimes they wonder if doing their job is the right thing, but on a base level, they know that Heaven knows what’s best for the humans.

If they’re told that certain humans are destined to fall in love, then fall in love they will.

Grantaire just wishes that they weren’t the one that had to do it.

They’ve barely drifted off to sleep when their handler’s voice floods into their mind.

Grantaire. Grantaire, we have a new assignment for you. The couple are in your vicinity; you can have this done by the end of the week.

Groaning, Grantaire sits up. You got it, Boss, they think back. Names, appearances, locations?

Cosette Fauchelevent and Marius Pontmercy, Grantaire receives, along with a flash of both of their faces.

Cosette looks startlingly similar to an angel they used to know. She has long, blonde hair that cascades in spirals down her back, and large powder-blue eyes, framed by dark, sweeping eyelashes. She’s nothing short of stunning, and Grantaire is a little envious of the man that Heaven has destined for her.

The other, Marius, is handsome in an… unusual way. Put simply, Grantaire wouldn’t turn him down if he propositioned them, but wouldn’t actively go after him. He’s tall and well dressed, with neatly-cut auburn hair – a particular shade that Grantaire has seen most often as a dyed style on women – and lovely brown eyes. A smattering of freckles decorates his cheeks, complimenting his pale skin.

Now they’ve been informed about their next target, Grantaire feels that usual tug that will lead them securely to the chosen people.

Cool, thanks, Jehan, Grantaire thinks at their handler. I’ll get right on that after I’ve slept for a bit. Any chance I could go back to Heaven for a while after that? Earth is making me tired.

Grantaire can feel Jehan’s amusement. We’ll see. Maybe only for a few days to recuperate.

Good enough for me, Grantaire thinks, before rapidly slipping into unconsciousness.

The next morning, when they wake, Grantaire decides to crack on with the new assignment – the promise of a trip home incentive enough.

Following their instincts leads them to a small café on the high street nearby and Grantaire spots Cosette almost instantly. She’s working, dressed in the standard uniform as she clears tables, chatting and smiling pleasantly as she goes.

She drops off her tray of mugs and saucers before coming back out onto the shop floor, tray still in hand. Grantaire walks in her direction, and then pretends to not see her, accidentally-on-purpose bumping into her.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” they apologise instantly, as Cosette babbles her own apology. Grantaire’s hand catches her round the wrist and they look directly into her eyes to cast the spell over her mentally while they say, “Are you okay? Did I hurt you?”

As always, as soon as the spell is cast, her eyes go a little unfocused. As they clear, she looks a little confused and woozy, so Grantaire says, “Hey, let’s get you sat down, I think I bumped you a little hard.”

She chuckles and says, “No worries, I’ll be fine.”

“Alright then,” Grantaire says, giving her a smile, and releasing her wrist, their work now half-done.

She gives them one last smile before slipping away between the tables to carry on with her job.

Grantaire smiles after her, and then heads off to find one Marius Pontmercy.

Grantaire finds him with another guy who is quite blatantly flirting with him. And the worst part is it looks like Marius is reciprocating. Grantaire groans and heads into the café anyway.

The café is exceptionally busy, and Grantaire takes advantage of the fact that there are no free tables, buying a drink and wandering straight over to Marius Pontmercy’s table.

“Is there any chance I could sit here?” they ask. “There are no free tables and I really need to rest my feet a little. I won’t bother you, I swear.”

The two look up. “Sure,” Marius says, at the exact same time as the other man says, “Well, I mean, we’re kinda-”

Marius gives the other man a confused look, and he quickly carries on to say, “Of course, absolutely, please, join us.”

“I’m Marius Pontmercy,” Marius says, holding out a hand to Grantaire.

A little bemused, Grantaire takes it, shaking it. “Grantaire,” they reply.

“Courfeyrac Leroy,” the other man says, not offering a hand to shake, but with a half-smile.

Grantaire just stays sitting with them for a while, listening to them flirt hesitantly and trying to convince themself that the spell is the right thing to do.

“I just gotta go to the loo,” Marius excuses himself, a while later, hopping to his feet and heading off.

Instantly, Courfeyrac turns to Grantaire. “Look, I don’t want to be rude, but I’m actually really into this guy and you’re making things weird.”

Grantaire sighs. “I know, I’m sorry. I’m going to save you a load of trouble and tell you that he’s not into you. There’s this girl – her name’s Cosette. He’s into her.”

As Courfeyrac splutters, Grantaire sends a quick thought over to Jehan. Hey, pal, have we got anyone lined up for a Courfeyrac Leroy?

Jehan’s instantaneous with their response. Yeah, there’s this person called Floréal Mercier. That couple’s next on your list. Why?

Perfect. You’re a star, J.

“I’ve never heard him mention a Cosette,” Courfeyrac is saying. “And you’ve just met him!” he then splutters. “How the fuck would you know?”

Grantaire looks him straight in the eye and quickly casts the spell with Floréal Mercier’s name woven into it. “I’m telling you for your own good. Now, do you know anyone called Floréal?”

Courfeyrac blinks. “Yes?” he says, hesitantly.

“Cool,” Grantaire says, happily.

Marius arrives back at that moment and Grantaire quickly casts the spell over him. “Right,” Grantaire then says, getting to their feet. “I best be off, actually. Marius, you really should try out the café called the Corinthe. It’s delightful. Courfeyrac, all the best.”

The two of them blink at him stupidly, and Grantaire grins.

On their way out of the café, they then realise that they now have to find Floréal Mercier too.

Just before Grantaire gets the chance to disappear – a wonderful ability that they will never stop being thankful for – Courfeyrac comes dashing out of the café, calling their name.

“Oi,” he says. “Why did you ask about Floréal?”

Well, that’s one way to do it. “I heard about her, and I thought I recognised your name. Do you know where I might find her?”

“Sure. She’s working at the Musain right now,” he says.

Humans are oddly trusting.

-

“This is Grantaire,” Courfeyrac says, sitting down across from the girl that Grantaire knows is Floréal, and two other people that Grantaire doesn’t know. Floréal’s typing away at her laptop and doesn’t even look up. It’s not looking good for this match. The other two break off from their conversation to look at Courfeyrac. “I met him-”

“Them,” Grantaire interrupts, sitting down next to him.

Courfeyrac blinks. “What?”

“It should be: I met them. I’m a them. No worries, carry on.”

“Okay,” Courfeyrac says. “I met them when they decided to crash my date with Pontmercy and tell me I had no chance. It was a start to a beautiful friendship.”

Grantaire laughs softly. Courfeyrac doesn’t seem overly heartbroken, though that could be the spell.

“I’m Combeferre,” one of the other people says.

“Enjolras,” the second one adds in.

“Cute,” Grantaire comments, idly taking in the large, Disney eyes on this Enjolras. Then they turn their attention to Floréal. “And you must be Floréal.”

“Must I?” she asks, dryly, not lifting her gaze from her laptop screen.

Undeterred, Grantaire continues. “You’re a writer, aren’t you?” They do a brief search for any information they can find about her, and they say, “Poetry, mainly, if I’m correct, oh, and that New York Times Bestseller.”

That makes the woman look up, with a look of mild interest on her face. “What do you know about poetry?” she asks, almost tonelessly.

“Everything,” Grantaire answers. It’s not even a lie. Grantaire has access to information about everything in the human world. They’re a gem on a pub quiz team.

She raises an eyebrow, unimpressed. “Cool,” she says, blandly, and then goes back to typing.

Grantaire can’t help but smile. They look at Courfeyrac. “I like her.”

“She just utterly dismissed you, how can you like her?” a dry voice asks.

Grantaire turns to look at Enjolras. The human is looking at them with curious eyes. “I’m not usually so easily ignored,” Grantaire says with a grin.

Enjolras’ eyes flicker up and down them. Enjolras says, “It’s nice to meet you. He/him pronouns please.”

Grantaire smiles. “It’s a pleasure,” they say, holding out a hand for Enjolras to shake. The moment their skin touches is the moment Grantaire knows he’s never going to get out of this alive.

-

Enjolras asks them out on a Wednesday morning, when they’ve known each other for three weeks, showing up at Grantaire’s flat unexpectedly, looking like he hasn’t slept all night. He’s carrying a bunch of flowers that are mostly crumpled and damaged, and Grantaire feels a twinge of regret for the poor things, quickly taking them off Enjolras and promising them silently that they’ll fix them when they have a moment to themselves.

Enjolras paces their apartment, listing off all the things that Grantaire does that pisses him off to no end, all the things that Grantaire does that makes him want to kiss them, and all the things that Grantaire does that are just downright endearing. He tells Grantaire that he’s never felt this strongly about anyone before, and that he’ll understand if Grantaire doesn’t feel the same way, but if there’s any chance –

Grantaire says yes before he reaches the end of his sentence.

Enjolras stops still and stares. “What?” he asks.

“Yes,” Grantaire repeats. “I’ll go out with you.”

“Oh,” Enjolras says. “Oh, good.”

Grantaire laughs, a little startled. They smile at Enjolras, who looks back at them seeming a little shocked but very pleased, and when they both lean in to hug, Jehan’s voice floats through his mind. This is a terrible idea, Grantaire.

Grantaire grins, arms wrapped tightly around Enjolras. I know.

And after that, it’s good. They spend more time together, and Grantaire spends a fair few nights at Enjolras’ apartment a week. They get to know each other more, and Grantaire falls more in love with Enjolras the more they learn.

They should have known it couldn’t last.

-

Hey, Grantaire. Next up we’ve got a Marc Enjolras and a Michel Combeferre.

Grantaire’s blood runs cold. Jehan… they begin slowly. I am begging you to tell me that you’ve got those names wrong.

Even as they plead, the images flash into their mind and, sure enough, it’s Enjolras and Combeferre. There’s no mistaking it.

Grantaire feels sick.

Grantaire, Jehan says, softly, I really am sorry. I- I did tell you that it was a bad idea. If it helps, I can get Éponine on this. Or I think Montparnasse is free.

No, Grantaire replies, steeling their nerves, don’t trouble them. I can do this. I’d prefer to do this. I just need… a little time. Please.

As much as I can get you, Jehan promises.

-

It takes Grantaire three days to work up the courage to face this, and once they have, they know there’s only one option. They approach Enjolras as he sits laughing and joking with Courfeyrac and Bahorel in the Musain.

“Hey, Enjolras, can we talk?” Grantaire asks, nervously looking down at their (soon to be ex-)boyfriend.

“Sure,” Enjolras says, immediately, smiling and getting to his feet. He follows Grantaire out the bar onto the street, where the cupid starts to pace nervously, running their fingers through their hair.

“R, what’s up?” Enjolras says, sounding worried, and when Grantaire stops to face him, he looks on edge.

“I’m sorry,” Grantaire says. “This has been really great, okay? You’re a great guy and I’ve had a great time and it’s been-”

“-great,” Enjolras fills in, his voice almost a whisper. Looking into his eyes, Grantaire notices that they’re slightly damp, almost as if he knows what Grantaire’s about to do. “Grantaire,” he says, softly, but Grantaire cuts him off.

“Yeah, it’s been great. But. It’s not going to work out between us.” Grantaire’s voice is cold and unfeeling, and they hate themself for it.

Enjolras shuts his eyes for a moment, seeming to gather himself, and when he opens them, there are real tears in his eyes. “Grantaire, please, don’t do this.” He reaches out to try and take Grantaire’s hand, but Grantaire pulls it away, feeling the stab of despair in their gut. Enjolras looks crushed. “I don’t- I don’t understand. Why? Things have been… great.”

Grantaire just looks away, down the street where they can see a group of friends chatting and laughing outside a bar. They know that two of them are destined to fall in love with each other. One of the others is destined to fall in love with someone who – Grantaire winces – is destined to be with someone else. Person one just doesn’t get a happy ending. Sometimes, it’s as simple as that.

One of Enjolras’ hands drift up to lightly brush against Grantaire’s face as he takes a step nearer. Grantaire looks back at him and feels their heart breaking.

“Enjolras,” Grantaire says, and is pleased that their voice doesn’t shake. As Enjolras gazes straight into Grantaire’s eyes, they prepare to cast the spell, Combeferre’s name ready in their mind.

“But-” Enjolras says, and his voice is weak and uncertain. Grantaire pauses; it kills them to hear Enjolras like this. “But I really like you,” he whispers.

“I know,” Grantaire says. They could cast the spell. Enjolras isn’t looking away.

Enjolras looks shaken. He drops his hand. “And… you don’t like me.”

Grantaire doesn’t want to, but they know an out when they see one. “Sorry,” they say, and watch as Enjolras takes it as proof that what he said is true.

Enjolras lets out a short huff of air that sounds like disbelief, or maybe shock, and then he turns away and stumbles inside.

They didn’t cast the spell. They let him go without casting the spell. They’re a coward.

They stand there on the street, trying to collect themself, trying to work out what to do now.

The door swings open, and Combeferre comes out onto the street, looking around. He spots Grantaire and marches over to them, slapping them sharply across the face. “How dare you?” he demands.

“Combeferre-” Grantaire tries.

“How fucking dare you!” Combeferre explodes. “How could you do this to him? Do you have a shred of humanity within you?”

And then it dawns on Grantaire. “Oh,” they say. “You’re already in love with him.”

Combeferre blinks. “What?”

“You’re in love with Enjolras,” Grantaire says. They’re eyes meet Combeferre’s, and they realise that this man in front of them cares for Enjolras so deeply. Grantaire couldn’t find a better person for Enjolras. They cast the spell.

Combeferre looks shell-shocked, and then he turns on his heel and runs back inside.

Grantaire nods to themself. This is the way it has to be.

-

The next time Grantaire sees Enjolras, they make up their mind. This is their job.

Enjolras’ eyes meet theirs across the street, and Grantaire casts the spell.

-

The very next day, Enjolras shows up on Grantaire’s doorstep. He’s subdued and quiet, and he looks at Grantaire for a very long time as he stands in the doorway. Neither one of them makes a move.

“Combeferre kissed me,” Enjolras tells them.

Grantaire just nods, turning away and going back into their flat.

“You have nothing to say about that?” Enjolras asks, following them in and shutting the door behind him. “Nothing? We just broke up, Grantaire.”

“He’s good for you,” Grantaire replies, desperately trying to keep their emotion out of it.

“I know you didn’t feel the same way – I know you didn’t love me, but did you not feel anything? You must have felt something!” Enjolras explodes, angrily. “Don’t you feel? Do you care about anyone?”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” Grantaire says.

“Don’t I?” Enjolras snaps. Grantaire can feel themself breaking. “I thought you cared about me. Clearly I didn’t know anything then, but now I do. You’re heartless, Grantaire.”

They don’t look at Enjolras. They keep staring away from him, because if they look at him, they’ll start crying. Shoulders tense, Grantaire says, “Please, leave me alone, Enjolras.”

“Why?” Enjolras asks, voice tight with anger. “Do you not like hearing someone say exactly what you are?”

“I’m not heartless,” Grantaire protests, and they turn round to face Enjolras, now. “I’m not.”

“But you never felt anything. I loved you, Grantaire.” Enjolras shakes his head. “I still do.”

Grantaire feels a tear fall from their eye. “I’m- I can’t-”

“Can’t what?” Enjolras demands.

“I can’t fall in love with you,” Grantaire says. “I can’t do it. You should be with Combeferre.”

“Why?” Enjolras asks. “Why do you think that I should be with him?”

“Because that’s what I’ve been told, okay? You’re destined to be with him, not me. It’s- It’s what you’re supposed to do. And who am I to argue with Heaven?” They can almost hear Jehan’s voice in their ear saying ‘usually the first in line’.

Enjolras shakes his head. “I don’t understand.”

“I’m a cupid,” Grantaire chokes out, and they watch the confusion and mild alarm spread across Enjolras’ face. “I was told to get Marius and Cosette together, and then to get Courfeyrac and Floréal together. And then I met you. I fell in love with you, Enjolras. I am in love with you. I really thought I could get away with that.

“Then they told me that I had to get you and Combeferre together, and it broke my heart. But I did it, okay? I did my fucking job. But you can’t leave well enough alone, can you? Can’t you see that you’re killing me? Just leave me alone. I don’t want to see you; it’s just a reminder that I can’t have you.” He pulls his wings in tighter around him, using them as a feeling of protection. He knows that Enjolras can see them now – now that he knows the truth – and he watches Enjolras’ eyes widen as he stares at the feathers.

“You-” Enjolras tries to say. “You have- You’re a- How?”

Grantaire sighs. “It’s a race, Enjolras. Human, demon, angel, cupid, etcetera.”

“How didn’t we know about your existence?”

“Some people do. Those people can see us for what we truly are. Try not to freak out when you next see Montparnasse. He’s a demon, so he looks like one, and it’s a little unpleasant. Don’t worry though; he’s not a danger to you.”

Enjolras shuts his eyes and shakes his head. “No. No, that’s not possible.”

Grantaire laughs, softly. “Believe me, sugar, it’s real.”

Enjolras looks at them. “Can I see your wings?” he asks.

Grantaire can’t resist the chance to show off – it’s been far too long since a human could see their wings. Stretching them out to their full extent – not easy in their moderately sized flat – they watch Enjolras’ face show his awe.

“Wow,” Enjolras says. Grantaire folds them back against their back, and sticks their chest out, defensively. They know that they’re puffing their feathers up too, an act of aggression and intimidation, but they can’t bring themself to stop.

“You going to tell anyone?” they ask.

Enjolras shakes his head. “No. No, I- I don’t think they’d believe me.” He shifts on his feet, looking at Grantaire curiously. “You said- You said you love me.”

Grantaire sighs. “Yeah. Yeah, I did. It doesn’t mean anything,” they lie. “Look, I’m an angel of love, I fall easily.”

“I don’t believe you,” Enjolras says.

Grantaire scoffs and attempts to turn away, but Enjolras’ hand darts out to grab their arm, stopping them. Grantaire looks back at him. One of their hands drifts up to lightly touch the back of Enjolras’ neck, holding him there. “Enjolras,” he says, quietly. “Go be with Combeferre. I promise it’s what you want.”

“Don’t tell me what I want.”

“He’s good for you,” Grantaire protests. “You-”

Don’t tell me what I want.” Enjolras looks at them with dark eyes.

Grantaire sighs. They drop their hand, and Enjolras lets go of their arm. “Enjolras, just go,” Grantaire says. They pull a face. “Look, I’ve been on Earth too long – it’s about time I go back to Heaven. Just let me go. Get on with your life. With Combeferre. You don’t really have a choice now, anyway. Staying away from Combeferre won’t be good for you.”

Enjolras frowns. “Why not?”

“Because of the spell,” Grantaire explains. “It’s my job-”

“You son of a bitch,” Enjolras hisses. “You put a spell on us? Against our will?”

Grantaire snorts. “Believe me when I say, Combeferre is not – was not against it.”

Enjolras blinks in surprise. “He- No-”

“He was in love with you already,” Grantaire says, with a sigh. “He’ll be good to you, Enj. Better than I could ever be. He’s human – I’m not.”

“I don’t care about human,” Enjolras protests. “I mean, sure, the wings might take a little bit of getting used to, but they’ve always been there, right? I just haven’t been able to see them.”

“Enjolras, you have to be with Combeferre. It’s your destiny.”

“Fuck that,” Enjolras snaps. “I decide my destiny.” He takes Grantaire’s hand, and pulls them towards him. “You love me,” he says. “So, don’t leave me.”

Grantaire’s the one to initiate the kiss, helplessly leaning in and pressing themself against Enjolras. “I love you,” they whimper.

“I know,” Enjolras says, and then he closes the distance. Grantaire can almost hear Jehan screaming in their mind, telling them to stop, to think about this for a moment, but Enjolras lips are pressed against theirs and it feels like Heaven. They wrap their arms around the back of Enjolras’ neck, holding him closer.

“Enjolras,” Grantaire whispers. It’s all they can say. It’s both a protest and a plea for more. Enjolras seems to understand that. “Enjolras.”

“It’s my life,” Enjolras whispers back, “and I choose to love you.”

Tears fall from Grantaire’s eyes. They glisten on their cheeks, as they ask, “What- What about Combeferre?”

“That’s not important right now,” Enjolras tells them, eyes serious. “What’s important is that you understand that I love you.”

Grantaire nods. “I understand.”

 “Good,” Enjolras says, gravely. And then he smiles. “I love you.”