Chapter 1: 4 am
Somehow, Grantaire always ends up here. Sitting on the floor of the kitchen, back pressed up against the wall. Thinking.
Four in the morning is never a good time to be awake, he thinks. Nothing good ever happens at four. An hour earlier saw the last night owls surrendering to sleep, and an hour more will have people- responsible people with lives and jobs - preparing for the day. 4 AM is a liminal space.
He’s been waking up at four a lot lately. Somehow that’s the exact time that his body likes to purge itself of whatever mistakes he’d made a few hours before. Part of him hates it, but another part is grateful that the nights he throws up are the mornings he’s less hungover.
But this morning (or maybe night? He’s never sure how to think of it) he’s only awake to think.
Moderation. Something about it must be working, because he hasn’t had a hangover in at least a week. But he only has nightmares when he’s sober. He keeps dreaming about being forgotten. Being hated. Being left behind.
It’s so much easier to sleep when the combination of his drink-de-jour and his pills (that he really shouldn’t be taking with alcohol, Enjolras keeps reminding him, but at least he’s taking them) knocking him out like a freight train. Like turning off a light.
But if the liver-destroying mix of mood stabilizers and tequila are a light switch, sober (or at least sober-ish) nights are watching a fire slowly die. Staring at the ceiling, waiting for the last embers of consciousness to flicker out.
He tried to sleep tonight (this morning?), he really did. But it was frustrating to try and be patient and relaxed, and he was too anxious with the anticipation of more dreams.
Moderation. Tonight he had had two shots. Two shots of rum, split between two vanilla cokes. Eponine made fun of him for drinking vanilla coke, and although he agreed that it was much deserved, at least nobody stole them.
Two shots... Grantaire may have failed math but he’s pretty damn sure moderation means less, not none, and three is still less than six. Fuck, four is less than six too.
Of course he had promised that he wouldn’t drink more after Enjolras went to bed. He promises Enjolras a lot of things.
Drinking rum makes him feel like his dad, he muses as he pours a shot into his glass. He isn’t sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but at least it means he can blame some things on genetics. His dad wouldn’t be drinking shitty bottom shelf rum with a knock-off Captain Morgan on the front.
He’d noticed over the years that his parents hid their problems in fancy bottles, calling themselves aficionados instead of alcoholics. He knew how to make both of their favorite drinks. He hadn’t even stolen liquor from the cabinet until he was nearly seventeen, his parents were almost always happy to pour a little amaretto in a glass for him.
He lets out a quiet chuckle. Fucked by nature and nurture, as per usual.
If Enjolras was awake he would probably point out that drinking a caffeinated soda is hardly the most effective sleep aid. But if Enjolras was awake, Grantaire probably wouldn’t be pouring this drink anyway. He pours a third shot. Might as well, he thinks. If he’s already gonna be a fuck up, why not go for gold?
That’s not a healthy way of thinking, and he knows it. He wouldn’t tell a soul, but deep inside himself he knows he doesn’t want to be healthy. He doesn’t want to get better. He’s been broken so long he wouldn’t know how to be better.
He slowly runs his finger back and forth over the scar on his wrist. It’s a habit he picked up awhile ago, and it’s strangely comforting. He wonders sometimes if he would ever actually do it. Kill himself. He’s been so close to it so many times, but something always holds him back. The scar is a reminder of closest he ever got. He sat in the bath with the razor pressing against his skin for a lifetime, trying to get up the nerve to just slice. He’s always been a fucking coward.
That’s not to say that he isn’t happy. Hell, he’s happier than he’s been in a long time. But that doesn’t mean he’s not still fucked up. He takes a sip. It tastes like shit, but he can immediately feel himself relaxing into the warm, bitter spice of cheap rum.
His therapist doesn’t like it when he calls himself fucked up. Enjolras doesn’t either (much to Grantaire’s chagrin, they share a lot of opinions), but what else is he supposed to say? He feels tangled up in all the acronyms and diagnoses, and “fucked up” is simple and straight to the point.
He absentmindedly taps his fingers on the countertop. He knows he has to sleep. He has to be up early in the morning to have breakfast with Joly and Bossuet. Breakfast wasn’t generally Grantaire’s forte, and he hadn’t gone out to breakfast with friends in ages.
He hadn’t ever explicitly said that he was trying to drink less, and none of the others had mentioned it. He had noticed though, that slowly over the last month, they had stopped inviting him to bars, and started making different plans. Jehan took him bowling last week.
He wonders is Enjolras talked to them. He can just imagine it, the tone of concern, the furrowed eyebrows. He hopes they don’t pity him. He would rather be hated than pitied.
His drink is rapidly disappearing. The glass is half empty, he thinks. He wrinkles his nose. Not his best joke. He’s still not tired. It’s nearing 4:30. Nearly dawn. He wonders if he can power through the day without sleep.
He used to do it all the time, but now it just leaves him exhausted and fucks his sleep schedule for a week. This must be what getting old feels like.
He wants to just crawl into bed under the warm covers with Enjolras and feel better. Hold him tight, and be held in return. He wishes it would fix everything. But if it was that easy he wouldn’t be alone in the kitchen.
They’ll fight in the morning. He can feel it. He hates it, and he knows Enjolras hates it too, but what else are they supposed to do? Grantaire is too stubborn to give up his habits, and Enjolras is too stubborn to let him down spiral for the rest of his life.
At least they usually make up fast. The thought of being wrapped up in bed next to the love of his life is too enticing to ignore.
Even if they fight in the morning, tonight can still be warmth and comfort.
Grantaire swirls the remaining rum and coke around his glass. He’s right on the edge of tipsy and drunk. Another liminal space, and a more fragile one too. He downs the rest of the glass. No use drawing out the inevitable so close to sunrise. He flicks off the kitchen light.
It’s time to sleep.
Chapter 2: walk 1 (storm)
content notes for this chapter: smoking, general pessimism and negativity, but what else is new?
(think of the walk chapters as intermissions almost. most of them will be shorter than regular chapters)
When he doesn’t know what else to do, he goes for a walk. It’s the last thing Grantaire’s held onto from his reckless teenage years into into his destructive adult ones. He used to run away. Not for long, but he would get in the car and drive anywhere. Anywhere but home.
Home is such a strange concept, he thinks, pulling his coat closer to shield the wind and snow.
He thinks it’s cheesy when people say the difference between house and home is the people you’re with, but some part of him agrees. He can’t stand being home alone. Even as a child he always felt happier surrounded by friends than by family. He makes friends easily, and always has, but he still can’t figure out why. He’s pretty sure that being his friend can’t be easy, and he’s not sure why anyone sticks around him. When he was a kid, he was weird and outgoing, full of wonder, and joy, and all that shit. Now he’s not sure what he is, but it can’t be good.
He flicks his lighter, his hand cupped around it in a useless attempt to block the wind. He swears under his breath, turning his back to the wind. It takes three more attempts, but finally he manages to light the cigarette.
The first drag is always the best. The way the hot smoke fills his lungs is comforting in a way, and as terrible as it is, Grantaire lets himself enjoy it. At least this is only killing him slowly.
He loves the snow. The part of him that believes in things like fate and destiny is sure that he was born in the deepest darkest winter for a reason. The cold and biting January weather is where he belongs. There’s a symbolism in that, he thinks. He makes a mental note of it, maybe later he can write a shitty poem about the snow.
Every time it snows, he feels like it’s been forever since it snowed. The first day is always a treat, a soft white blanket over the whole world transforming the familiar into the unfamiliar. This particular snow is unusually heavy. This snow is less like a blanket and more like an icy podium (not a lectern), lifting everything a foot higher than it should be.
His fingers are numb as he drops his cigarette butt into the snow. He can’t stand wearing gloves. He feels like his hands can’t breathe in them. The closest he can manage is the thin cheap knit ones, and even then only if he cuts the fingertips off. “Very aesthetic,” Jehan likes to remind him. “Grunge, even.”
Grantaire idly runs his hand along the guardrail over the highway, knocking away the snow. A blackhole, he decides. He’s a blackhole. Just sucking everyone into him and dragging them down with him. Even the sunlight can’t get away.
He opens his pack to pull out another cigarette and finds it nearly empty. He sighs. The sunlight’s been stealing his cigarettes, he thinks. He knows it’s his fault Enjolras smokes. “Only when I’m stressed,” he keeps saying. He’s always stressed.
Grantaire starts to wind his way into the short trail by the road. Or at least, the sign declares it a trail, he thinks “Depressingly Small Walking Path” would be better, but he doubts the city council would agree. Here the snow isn’t as slick, as apparently most people don’t go for a walk in a near blizzard. It’s satisfying to have his heavy boot prints be the first one to crash down into the snow and destroy it’s untouched perfection. He loves ruining it.
His favorite place to draw is halfway down the trail. In the fall he came here almost everyday, sat down on the bridge over the little creek, doodling whatever was on his mind. Skeletons, for awhile. He’s moved on to crowd-pleasing landscapes recently, in an attempt to make a little cash.
He almost wants to walk into the next meeting at the Musain in a highlighter green shirt with SELLOUT emblazoned on the chest in big black letters.
He doesn’t mind being a sellout. There’s no point in taking the artistic high ground and art-for-art’s-sake if he can’t pay the electric bills. He figures if he can churn out four decent oil landscapes a week, selling them for at least 20 a piece, he could be making some good money.
Now that he thinks about it, the shirt would be really funny. He makes a note to go to the craft store and get the cheapest blank shirt in the most garish color he can find.
As he gets down to the bench, he finds it unsurprisingly covered in snow. He doesn’t really have a plan for anything to do here, he didn’t even bring a notebook. He peers over the edge of the bridge at the motionless creek. He gathers up a snowball and hurls it over the railing. It makes a satisfying splat onto the half frozen water, pushing out a solid splash of the slushy creek.
He doesn’t want to go home.
He know’s he’ll just sit on the couch or on his bed and feel nothing. He’s sick of it. Nothing leads to empty, and empty leads to numb. The sharp wind and ice are a different kind of numbness than what he’s used to. He feels numb, but he feels alive. It’s getting late. Maybe by the time he gets back Enjolras will be home. He hopes so.
He lights a third cigarette, and starts heading back up the trail to the main road.
The streets in the snow look almost dystopian. There are no cars anywhere on the road, which is good considering the thick carpet of packed ice and snow is covering all the lane markers and crosswalks. It’s nearly ten, but the night sky is still as bright as the afternoon, only glowing a cloudless orange-pink. He’s never seen the sky that way before, and it feels like an omen.
He feels like the only person on Earth as he crosses the silent street, snow whipping through the air.
Chapter 3: waiting room
content warnings for this chapter: hospitals, implication of past hospitalization, mention of disordered eating
He’s late. He’s fucking late. He swore he was going to leave by 3:40, but he tumbled his way into the car at 3:50. It wouldn’t have even been bad if he hadn’t gotten lost in the building, breathlessly dashing into the waiting room at 3:58. He always hates going to the big hospital, but that’s where this new psych is. She’s not exactly new, but he only went to her once, and it was almost a year ago at this point. He sighs quietly to himself. He’s been more than negligent at this for awhile now.
There’s someone talking to the nurse at the desk where he’s supposed to check in (20 minutes before his appointment. Whoops.) Grantaire steps into line behind the guy. He’s still trying to catch his breath. He thinks he might need to work out more. He’s never been in a psychiatrist’s waiting room with this many people waiting. Well, not besides the outpatient thing... He shuts the thought down. There’s no point stressing about the past, he just needs to check in, meet with this woman, and convince her somehow to keep giving him medication without locking him up. Again.
The nurse beckons Grantaire over, as the man in line returns to a seat against the wall. He sees that her name tag reads “Aimee.” She’s about thirty, her blond hair is pushed back with an orange headband that clashes with her baby pink scrubs. Aimee looks tired.
“Hi, I’m here to check in for an appointment at 4,” he says, a little too hurried. Hopefully there won’t be any paperwork. “Okay, and can I have your doctor’s name?”
“Shit.” He winces at himself. There’s a kid nearby.
He pulls out his phone and fumbles his calendar open as fast as he can to find the doctor’s name. His calendar just says “shrink, 4:00, leave early.” He puts his phone back into his pocket and clears his throat. “I um... I didn’t write it down.”
The nurse sighs. “Sir, do you at least have your own name?”
Jesus Christ he is so embarrassed. He gives Aimee his name, and birthday, and insurance, and phone number. Taking unnecessary amounts of time at check in desks is a special kind of hell. She pulls up the right appointment, and tells him the doctor will come get him in about ten minutes. (Thank hell he got here late, otherwise he’d have been waiting for ages.) Here I am, he thinks as Aimee hands him a clipboard. A fully functioning adult.
The chair he chooses is exactly like all the others and is wildly uncomfortable, as is it’s role as a hospital chair. On the clipboard is a mood worksheet. Grantaire snorts. Those are 100% bullshit. To have a consistent mood scale, you need a consistent mood. One through ten just ain’t gonna cut it. He has to think about it though. He doesn’t want to seem too pessimistic, but he doesn’t want to overcompensate either. If he’s being honest it’s probably a four. He’s tired, he’s late, and he would kill for a cigarette. In ten minutes he could easily be a two. He circles six.
His leg won’t stop shaking. He’s not nervous, he’s not anxious. He just doesn’t want to be here at all. Waiting rooms are fucking purgatory. Uncomfortable wooden chairs with perfectly straight backs and ugly upholstery. Mass produced prints of paintings without purposes. Those stupid fucking pens with the roses on the end. The fake coziness is suffocating. It just barely covers up the harsh antiseptic scent of the hallways. He hates the way they try to make hand sanitizer smell like flowers. It just smells fake and sterile.
He somehow manages to push himself out of the awful chair, and returns the clipboard and the giant yellow rose attached to the shitty ballpoint.
He already knows exactly how the appointment will go.
The doctor will check his prescriptions and ask if he’s taking them accordingly (which is honestly a fair question.) She’ll ask about whatever symptom she thinks might be relevant. He hopes she picks delusions. Or maybe his interpersonal relationships, that’s alway fun.
She’ll probably remember he’s an artist. He hates showing pictures of paintings to people who are paid to care about him. The tone of voice they all use, the far too impressed “Wow!” The shallow compliments. If another random psychiatric professional tells him his landscapes look like Starry Night, just because they have g-d damn cedar trees in them he is going to scream. Compliments with no real substance. It’s another fake and sterile thing.
Hospitals are bad memory places. Even this hospital, which he’s never been to, calls back old things. He instinctively reaches for the bracelet he’s wearing and twists it around his wrist. It’s gotten too big lately, or rather he’s gotten too small. He knows all his eating and body stuff have been coming back, but it just seems like one too many things to worry about right now. He wishes he felt worse about all the weight he’s been losing.
If the doctor doesn’t come get him soon he’s gonna lose his shit.
He hates waiting. Grantaire isn’t historically know for patience. Waiting is all there is to do in hospitals. Waiting in waiting rooms, to go and wait in other rooms. Once he got left in a room that was totally empty except for an exam table to wait for almost 12 hours, only to be moved to a different room to wait for a different doctor. He feels like if he could spin them right, some of his psych ward and outpatient stories would be really funny. He’ll figure it out.
This appointment is just gonna be awkward. That’s Grantaire’s biggest concern about it. He’s going to have to explain everything that’s affected his mental health over the last ten months in the space of an hour. He’s not even sure he could do that with ten hours. He’s gonna have tell her about getting fired. Both times. He can’t wait to egg her on. He has to stop that, but lately he’s been getting cockier under pressure. Eponine called him an “instigator” the other day, and he can’t really argue.
He doesn’t notice that he’s been staring at his feet, hears the door to the back unlatch and he whips his head up to see a middle aged man, and another nurse (her scrubs are better than Aimee’s, Grantaire notices. Dinosaurs.) shuffle out into the waiting room. Dinosaur nurse looks down at her clipboard, and calls Grantaire into the back. She mispronounces his name. He braces himself and once again pulls his body from the chair with all his might. He takes a deep breath.
Time to face the music.
Chapter 4: bath
Content Warnings for this chapter:
self harm / alcoholism / suicidality / brief eating disorder
Grantaire takes only takes baths in two situations: straight up wasted, or wallowing in depression. This is the latter. He feels weird about baths. On one hand, he gets to just sink and relax and feel the layers of stress and filth melt off of him. On the other, he’s alone in the bathroom staring at his body and thinking.
He runs a finger over a bruise on his leg he hadn’t noticed yet. He’s always covered in bruises. He doesn’t even know what most of them are from. Grantaire’s always bruised easily, and that’s hard enough without being a clumsy alcoholic. There’s a huge one on his hip that he thinks might be from running into the corner of the stair railing. It’s also hard being a clumsy alcoholic who lives in a second story apartment.
He’s finally admitting it. It took awhile, oh Jesus did it take awhile. The progression from “fun at parties,” to “issues,” “problem,” to “alcoholic,” was a slow one. He’s not sure where to go now. The obvious answer is to drink less (he’s been trying, but it hasn’t been going well) , or to even just stop drinking (high score: 11 days), but where’s the fucking fun?
Grantaire swirls around the water, making spirals and shapes with the thin bubbles. That’s the real fucking problem, he thinks. At this point he just doesn’t have a big enough incentive. Sure, there’s money, and he knows that taking his pills with the wine or booze or beer (or whatever) he’s drinking that night isn’t great. But on the other hand, he’s pretty sure that if he stopped drinking he would either drive all his friends away (whether or not it would be on purpose he doesn’t know), or jump off a fucking cliff (which would definitely be on purpose).
He sighs. If he keeps casually mentioning suicide, one day he’s gonna mean it again and nobody will care. How long has it been since he meant it? A few months? Fuck. When he says it it sounds like such a short time, but to Grantaire it feels like its been ages. He used to keep track.
There are still things he does keep track of, he always knows how much everyone else has had to drink. Most nights he knows how much he’s had too, but it’s easy to lose count after 10. He counts because he likes to know how much his friends are having, half to make sure they don’t drink too much (Grantaire might not follow his own limits, but he still cares about everyone else’s) , and half so they don’t drink all his liquor.
The bath water is getting cold, but he still feels like shit. He opens the drain and let’s some water out, so he can add more hot water. There are definitely things he doesn’t like about his apartment (parking is hell), but water is a flat rate each month, and Grantaire is deeply thankful for that. He doesn’t shower at a rate anywhere approaching enough, but this way they can all be long at least, and he can just keep filling the bath and drowning out his thoughts until the hot water runs out.
He wishes he had a bath bomb or something. It’s been long enough that the stolen bubbles of Enjolras’ lavender body wash have mostly melted away. He’s sick of looking at his scars. They look bigger through the water, and brighter through the heat. Most of them are years old, but that just means he’s stuck with them forever. He sinks into the water. At least the one that said “FUCK UP” in giant letters faded away before he was old enough to cringe at himself for doing it. It’s not the only words carved into his flesh, but at least he can longer read or remember the others. It feels cheap, and he’s embarrassed by the marks. He can’t help it. He knows it’s pointless and self destructive to get embarrassed by old scars, but the Grantaire who carved out those words hadn’t even dropped out of school yet.
For awhile, every few months he would think, “Ok. This is rock bottom, I can only go up from here.” He had stopped thinking that way by the time he turned nineteen.
“Rock bottom” has become a banned thought from his mind. Every time he declares rock bottom he seems to find an exciting new way to take himself lower.
Deeper cuts. Fewer meals. Stronger drinks.
You can always get worse, and there’s always someone who has it worse than you. He shudders to think of what his future self will condescendingly think of his current pain.
Pathetic. He feels pathetic now. It’s a deeply painful feeling. He is not worth redemption. Grantaire is no longer a person, merely a bundle of jumbled vices and insecurities.
He only feels alive anymore when he’s on something. Anything.
The only drug he can’t stand is sobriety.
He disgusts himself.
The water is cold again.
He pulls the drain open. He’s too tired to fill the hot water a second time. He wonders if there was really any point at all in taking the bath. All of his coping mechanisms end the same way. He takes too long, and ends up falling back into and wallowing deeper into whatever he’s trying to distract himself from.
He watches the water drain until there is barely an inch left. He stands up, suddenly returning to gravity. As he reaches for the towel on the rack he remembers the vodka in his kitchen, and the thought of it makes his wet skin feel a little warmer.
He has nothing else to do today. He laughs. He can’t even convince himself it’s true. There are a thousand things he has to do. He won’t do any of them today.
Chapter 5: sober
content warnings: alcohol
this one's really short. sorry.
Sobriety makes Grantaire into real jackass. More of a jackass. He has a snide remark for almost everything, and unbridled anger at everything else. He punched a tree last night.
He forgets how bad it is every time. The worst part of withdrawal is knowing that you’re going through withdrawal. Grantaire feels like shit. His head feels like it’s going to burst. He hasn’t eaten anything since night before last, but he feels like he’s going to puke if he does. Feeling like shit only makes him feel like shit for feeling like shit. Feeling like shit means that he’s really, truly gotten bad.
He’s been hiding in bed all day, chainsmoking and drinking coffee, trying to make himself feel almost like a person. He’s shaky. He can see his cigarette twitching between his fingers. He wishes he had some weed. He wishes he had literally anything to drink, but the apartment has been emptied of all liquor, and half a bottle of midrange wine went straight down the kitchen sink. It’s a night off. It’s the third night off. This wasn’t his choice. One week sober.
He changes his mind. The worst part is that it just keeps fucking getting worse. At least yesterday he’d just had a headache for the most part.
He blacked out three times last week. Never used to happen. He doesn’t want to do this, but fuck. If he can’t make it a week he’s.....he doesn’t know. Bad. Yeah. His brain feels foggy and too sharp at the same time. He just feels sick. He has a fleeting fantasy of chugging paint thinner, rubbing alcohol, anything. Bleach.
He made the mistake of looking in the mirror earlier. His pupils are so dilated he looks like a fucking dog. Grantaire hasn’t looked this strung out in a long while. The bags under his eyes look more like bruises, and he looks almost frail. He couldn’t help but laugh out loud at his reflection. Surly and exhausted, bitter and empty. Rough.
It’s barely 11 am. He has a dumb TV show playing on his laptop, but he’s been staring at the mug on his bedside table for a few minutes now, watching the steam, following the patterns on the ceramic with his eyes. He’s been staring at shit all morning, there’s nothing else to do. He can’t think, he can’t focus, he can barely even feel anything at all.
He keeps thinking of begging Enjolras for mercy. Three days is enough, isn’t it? He could just go to the store right now and buy anything, but he can’t take being a disappointment today. Begging for mercy though, that’s not disappointing, it’s just pathetic and desperate. That, Grantaire can handle, and Enjolras is already used to it anyway.
He keeps telling Grantaire that he doesn’t have to bottle this up, that if he needs to scream or cry to just do it, get it out. He doesn’t want to. He wishes everyone would stop giving a shit about him and just let him be a miserable lush in peace.
That’s not true. Jehan has been keeping him distracted over text with updates on all the drama he’s been missing, and talking him through this nightmarish week in a way that only someone who has been there can. It’s the only thing keeping him together, even a little bit.
It’s almost noon. He ran out of cigarettes twenty minutes ago. He digs through his ashtray, looking for a butt with enough left to smoke.e doesn’t have the money to smoke like this, but he doesn’t know how else to get through this.
He’s so tired. He needs to sleep.
He needs a drink.
He just needs a fucking drink.
Chapter 6: bathroom floor
another short one, grantaire has a rough morning over a toilet bowl and is getting pretty close to a breakthrough
content warnings for this chapter:
!!!!EMETOPHOBIA WARNING WHOLE CHAPTER!!!
Four times in an hour and a half. Holy shit. Grantaire is no longer bent over the toilet, but still leaning against it for support, and his head is still halfway bowed into the bowl. His mouth is full of the horrible almost fishy taste he’s come to know as stomach acid, and he can feel a string of snot creeping out of his nose. He’s shaky.
It’s at this moment most people would groan and dramatically declare that they are never drinking again and break that promise within the week. Grantaire’s trying to lie less. He wipes away the glob of snot and tries to sit up a little straighter as he stares into the bowl.
He wishes he could wash the taste away but he’s already tried, and throwing up tea isn’t something he wants to do twice in one morning (and it is firmly morning now).
He can hear a phone alarm ringing in the other room. He holds his head in his hands and curses under his breath. Must be seven. The alarm stops, and Grantaire hears a quiet grumble through the door. He lets out a sigh. It’s not that he isn’t going to tell Enjolras he puked, he would just rather he didn’t see it happening. Nothing ruins the erotic mystique quite like the memory of your lover heaving over a toilet seat.
Not there hasn’t been a ton of erotic mystique lately anyway. Grantaire has had a rough couple weeks. He had joked about Enjolras taking advantage of him when he’s drunk. It wasn’t funny. Well, he thinks it’s funny, but he feels like at least 50% of his jokes are only funny to him. Everyone else thinks they’re depressing. Comedy is tragedy plus time, but maybe it hasn’t been enough time for anyone but Grantaire.
He has the emotional permanence of a toddler. Honestly that’s probably not fair to toddlers. Everything he feels feels like the only thing he’s ever felt, and the only thing he’ll feel for the rest of his life. It’s easy to make jokes about the dark swirling void of pain when twenty minutes later he’s laughing at some stupid meme.
And laughing does make it better. Sometimes he finds himself struck with panic when he’s in a good mood or has any real energy. He always has to wonder if he’s manic, or if he’s really, truly, happy so rarely that it feels unnatural and foreign. He doesn’t like either option, so he just laughs at himself until it hurts a tiny bit less to be alive. Maybe he’s more afraid of happiness than sadness, more afraid of living than dying.
He feels the bile rising in his throat again. There’s nothing left in his stomach, and it’s so much worse this way. He feels like if this keeps going his whole stomach is gonna fly out his mouth and into the toilet. He immediately regrets thinking that as another wave of nausea rushes over him.
He spits into the toilet. A long yellow string of spit hangs from his lip.
He’s so fucking tired. He needs to go to bed, but he doesn’t want to be passed out dead to the world when Enjolras leaves for work. He misses him. It’s the worst feeling in the world to be so near to someone and still not really see them and have time together. Grantaire has been drinking all night and sleeping all day recently, and it doesn’t exactly fit Enjolras’ schedule. There’s so much shit he gives up to do do this to himself. Love. Sex. Friends. A regular sleep schedule.
But this is what he does. Ugh. He can feel his stomach turning again. He’s exhausted and sweating, and his mouth tastes like hell. He feels disgusting, inside and out. He groans and heaves up another mouthful of nothing.
He might be finally be done with this shit. He might be fucking done.
He stands up, still shaking and nauseous. Where did he put that phone number?
Chapter 7: Rehab
Grantaire starts the long arduous journey toward recovery and hates every second of it
very short but thats because R and I both need a fuckin nap
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
It would be relaxing to sit there by the beach. It would be relaxing if he wasn't still shaking. If he wasn't angry for no damn reason. If the door wasn't locked. It would be relaxing if he had a G-d damn drink and another pack of cigarettes. He's almost out and the clinical assistants only go on store runs twice a week so he's gonna have to bum from fucking Marc all week. He does not like Marc. There are a lot of people here he doesn't like. Somehow when he got here he didn't expect to be the youngest in his house, and he didn't expect to be the only one who has never been to treatment before either. Grantaire the rehab virgin. He's been here for almost two weeks.
Detox had been fun. Five days shaking and crying in a room alone downing apple juice and those fucking awful tapering meds hoping to just fucking die. It’s a fucking blur. He slept through most of the detox process, but he's still having withdrawals.
The whole thing is still surreal and he’s already almost half done. He was wasted when he showed up. His official last drink was five mini vodka bottles on the plane.
He does feel different. He’s too angry to think about whether it’s “better” or just “different.”
His roommate is nice at least. A quiet man in his late forties with three kids. He said that he had asked someone from detox what Grantaire was like and they just said “young and angry.” The roommate was pleasantly surprised by the tired wreck that he really was. He was angry (and young too technically) but he wasn't gonna go around acting like a bastard to these people he's stuck with. As much as he wants to. Especially after someone stole his fucking Oreos, the Oreos tucked away in the back of the cabinet with a big R scrawled on them in sharpie. He's pretty sure he knows who did it but he can't prove anything.
He misses Enjolras. He misses him so much but it’s been hard to talk to him. It’s hard to talk to anyone right now, but especially Enj. There’s just nothing to talk about except rehab, and everything else just drives him crazy or makes him miss his life. He misses curling up on the couch with Enj. He misses falling asleep and waking up with somebody next to him. He misses being able to just talk about whatever and not be so caught up in his own head. His head is a fucking fogged up mess. He's gotten to the point where he can think about other things besides booze, but it's still right there in the forefront. He just wants a drink. And a nap.
At least he can do one of those things.
the oreo thing actually happened to me in rehab
Chapter 8: Hi I'm Remy, and I'm an Alchoholic.
I'm the creator of this fan fiction. Every single word you have read is ripped directly from my tragic life. Every. Fucking. Word.
I started writing this because I couldn't cope with my life and I needed an outlet. I regret that.
This isn't some joke. This isn't "heartbreaking" or "angsty" or "beautiful." This is real shit that happens to real people and causes real wreckage in our lives and the lives of those around us.
I'm done writing masochistic pity porn for people who turn around and laugh at this shit.
I'm not your joke, I'm not here to make you gush at the beautiful tragedy of Grantaire's life, and I'm not here to entertain you with the twisted tales of my life as a 20 something drunk who can't even string together more than three months of sobriety.