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it's raining more than ever

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The sound of spluttering raindrops echoes in Enjolras' ears and puddles splash up around his feet as he walks through campus in the rain.

It's not pouring, but it's raining steadily enough that Enjolras, who's had the misfortune to forget an umbrella, is soaked through anyhow.

He really regrets not taking the time to grab an umbrella when he stops outside of his PoliSci classroom, twenty minutes early as usual, and he becomes acutely aware of water slowly rolling down his skin under the cool air of the building.

Goosebumps appear on his arms and Enjolras glances down at his soaked through, thin t-shirt, mentally berating himself for forgetting to bring a jacket as well as an umbrella. He heaves a sigh, leans back against the wall, and resigns himself to spending the next few hours freezing in his wet clothes.

As he waits for the current class to come to an end, Enjolras does his best to distract himself from his soaking clothes and the increasing chills going through his body. He pulls out his notes and tries to focus on reviewing them, but his thoughts keep drifting to the sweatshirt he knows is laying on his kitchen table right now.

For a brief moment, Enjolras considers ditching class to get his sweatshirt along with his umbrella, but he quickly dismisses the idea because there’s a test coming up and he really doesn’t want to miss the lecture.

“Why, hello there, Apollo.”

Enjolras glances up at the voice to see Grantaire smirking at him. Grantaire, who always smirks at him, and always greets him on the way to history class, and always has the nerve to call him Apollo no matter how many times Enjolras says not to.

His usual response seems like too many syllables right now, so Enjolras forces out a curt, “Hey,” instead, because he doesn’t quite trust himself to say more without his teeth starting to chatter.

It must throw Grantaire off because, instead of grinning and making some comment meant to get under Enjolras’ skin and walking off, he frowns and steps closer, looking Enjolras up and down.

“I have two theories,” Grantaire finally says. “One: you decided to take a lovely stroll through a car wash. Which, from experience, is not as fun as it sounds. Or, two: there’s a wet t-shirt contest happening somewhere around here. And if that’s the case, is there anyway I can be one of the judges?”

“It’s raining,” Enjolras grits out between his clenched teeth.

“Is it?” Grantaire’s eyes twinkle in that way that makes Enjolras want to strangle him or to grab him by the neck and pull him closer for reasons Enjolras doesn’t quite fully understand. “So did you forget to check the weather report? Or did you forget that even though you might be the physical reincarnation of Apollo, you probably don’t have literal sun god powers?”

Enjolras has been getting progressively colder throughout the conversation, but he hasn’t frozen enough to lose the capacity to roll his eyes. “Forgot my umbrella,” he stutters, unable to keep the chatter out of his teeth this time.

Grantaire takes another step closer to him and now there’s less than a foot of space between the two of them. Sucking in a deep breath, Enjolras tries to ground his mind to stop himself from scooting closer and basking in the warmth he feels radiating from Grantaire’s body.

“You know,” muses Grantaire, “I think I like talking to you more when you’re capable of saying more than three words at a time.”

“You like talking to me at all?” Enjolras asks in mock surprise. He knows that for all their arguments, Grantaire finds their conversations just as fun as Enjolras does.

Grantaire either misses or ignores the teasing in Enjolras’ question because a soft smile plays around his lips as he responds seriously, “I love talking to you.”

And this is one of those moments where Enjolras feels like there could be more than fond eye rolls and gentle teasing between them. It feels like there’s a bridge they have to cross and one of them just has to take the first step.

The door to the PoliSci classroom opens and students pour out into the hall. Enjolras takes a small step backwards, glancing at the ceiling and knowing the bridge will have to be crossed another day.

“Uh, class is going to start soon.” He moves to grab his backpack.

“Wait, um,” Grantaire bites his lips for half a moment before continuing. “You look cold.”

This time Enjolras refrains from rolling his eyes, even though his goosebumps and shivering must be painfully obvious, and settles for shrugging one shoulder.

“Here,” Grantaire says. Before he knows it, Grantaire has pulled off his jacket and is settling it around Enjolras’ shoulders. Enjolras doesn’t protest, not only because Grantaire is gone before Enjolras can even try to stutter out a word, but also because the jacket is warm and Enjolras can’t help the smile that forms on his half-frozen face as he stuffs his arms into the cozy, slightly-too-long sleeves.

He settles down into his desk and hugs the jacket tighter around him, basking in the newfound heat and inhaling the faint smell of Grantaire. As the lecture starts, Enjolras makes a vague mental note to return Grantaire’s jacket the next day at the Musain.

The next day, Enjolras is leaving his apartment for the meeting when he spots the jacket lying by the door. He goes to grab it and then hesitates. It would probably be best, he thinks, if he washed it before giving it back. Besides, there’s still rain in the forecast and he might need it. I’ll give it back at the meeting next week, Enjolras tells himself.

Enjolras never does give the jacket back, not does Grantaire ask for it.

 

------

 

Grantaire eyes the dark gray sky, flickering with random bursts of lightning.

He’s torn between going ahead and sprinting out in the heavy rain or waiting to see if it lightens up and hoping he can make it to his next class on time.

“It’s really pouring out there, isn’t it?”

He knows the voice immediately, having heard it give numerous speeches, and he thinks he should’ve become immune to it by now, but his heart still speeds up a little faster every time he hears it.

Turning to look at Enjolras, who has come to a stop next to him and is also eyeing the tempestuous sky, he’s met with a sight that is very different from the last time they ran into each other on a rainy day. Instead of dripping wet in a thin shirt, Enjolras is decked out in a rain coat and rain boots, armed with an umbrella in hand.

“Remember your umbrella this time?” Grantaire smirks at him.

“I had a presentation in Ethics today. I didn’t want to look like a drowned rat,” Enjolras says.

Grantaire bites his tongue so he doesn’t say that the only thing Enjolras could possibly look like is an adorable drowned puppy.

“Sooo….,” Grantaire drags the word out as he tries to drag his gaze away from Enjolras and fails. “Think if I sprint fast enough I can make it to my drawing class without becoming the next victim of Poseidon?”

He watches in fascination as Enjolras’ face morphs into an expression that is part incredulous and part amused- a combination of slightly furrowed brows and slightly upturned lips. As far as Grantaire has observed, it’s an expression almost entirely reserved for him and he gleefully attempts to put it on Enjolras’ face as much as possible.

Because his brain has gone a little fuzzy and his thoughts a little jumbled, which always tends to happen around Enjolras, he doesn’t immediately notice the umbrella being pushed in his direction until it pokes him in the side.

“Take it,” Enjolras says simply.

Grantaire glances at the proffered item, and as tempting as it is, he shakes his head. He still remembers how adorably pitiful Enjolras looked the last time he faced rain without an umbrella and, despite better attire this time, Grantaire’s not going to take it from him.

“No, I’ll be fine.” Fighting back a smirk, he adds, “Wouldn’t want you to end up looking like a drowned rat.”

Something familiar sparks in Enjolras’ eyes that Grantaire recognizes from the start of most of their arguments, but as soon as he opens his mouth he seems to change his mind and closes it.

Then he says, “What if I walk with you?”

Grantaire’s about to protest that too because surely Enjolras has better things to do and Grantaire doesn’t want to be an inconvenience, and besides, a little rain never hurt anybody. But then Grantaire looks at the sincere look on Enjolras’ face and his class is starting soon and it really would be easier if he wasn’t soaking wet when he got there and even though he loves to bicker and contradict everything Enjolras says, he’s never actually been good at saying no to him.

He tries for nonchalance as he shrugs and says, “Sure.” His heart, on the other hand, picks up speed, thumping slightly faster against his chest while Enjolras opens the umbrella and stands close so they both fit under it.

“Lead the way,” says Enjolras. And Grantaire tries not to think about any irony in that; he tries very hard not to think about the fact that Enjolras would trust him to lead him anywhere, even if it was just across campus, or the fact that, no matter what cause Enjolras is leading on a given day, no matter Grantaire’s beliefs, he’s always willing to follow Enjolras to any ends.

The walk to his class is much slower than it would have been if he had tried to go it alone, with the both of them huddled together trying to stay under the umbrella and avoid the largest puddles. Grantaire might be late for class, but he’s honestly lost track of time. He’s lost track of most of his surroundings except for the awareness of Enjolras’ heat and energy pulsing like a tiny sun right next to him.

Not for the first time, Grantaire wonders what would happen if he told Enjolras what he was thinking. Oh, Grantaire spoke his mind all the time, but he hadn’t told Enjolras everything. He hadn’t told him exactly what he thought of Enjolras. Sure, he’s said the bits about Apollo and idealistic revolutionaries, but he hasn’t said- well, everything.

They reach the art building faster than Grantaire wants to, even though it feels like it’s been one of the longest walks of his life.

They stop right outside the entrance, and he’s about to bid Enjolras goodbye when suddenly there’s a hand grabbing his and something being pressed into his palm.

Grantaire’s goodbye dies in his throat as Enjolras closes his hand over his so that they’re both wrapped around the umbrella’s handle.

“Take it,” Enjolras says once again. There’s a softness in his eyes that almost hurts Grantaire to look at.

With the feeling of Enjolras’ hand almost entwined in his, Grantaire wants to say okay, he wants to say anything, everything, but for once none of the words will come out.

He should say something. He opens his mouth and-

Lightning cracks through the sky, a booming clap of thunder following directly after, loud enough to feel the vibrations, and-

Grantaire and Enjolras jump back from each other, startled. Enjolras has let go, leaving Grantaire to hold the umbrella. He can’t quite tell, but he’d say there was almost a look of triumph on Enjolras’ face.

“I can handle being a drowned rat for the rest of the day.” Enjolras flashes him a small, pleased smile before walking away.

“Drowned puppy,” Grantaire mutters to himself, glancing back and forth between the umbrella in his hand and the retreating blond figure. Finally, he shakes it off and heads inside to class.

 

------

 

A small drop of water falling on his nose stops Enjolras in his tracks. A few seconds later he feels another drop land on his hand. Then another drop.

He sighs, wondering why his weather app didn’t warn him of potential showers.

“Son of a- ,” comes loudly from behind him. It causes Enjolras to turn and look for the source because that sounded a lot like-

Grantaire’s standing about twenty feet away, glaring at the sky like it’s personally offended him. The rain drops are heavier, but still falling slowly.

Enjolras feels a grin forming on his face and ponders when he exactly started getting this warm, pleasant by just being in Grantaire’s presence.

“Hey, R,” he calls, walking over to him. And because Grantaire has obviously been a bad influence on him, he adds, “You know, you probably won’t start melting because of a couple drops of water. I hear that only happens to wicked witches.”

Grantaire stops glaring at the sky and looks at Enjolras. He smirks. “And who says I’m not wicked?”

A large raindrop lands directly on Enjolras’ forehead, making him shake his head and wipe it off.

And then, from Grantaire: “Forgot your umbrella.” It’s not a question, but a grumbled statement.

It makes Enjolras pause because he realizes-

“You never returned my umbrella,” he tells Grantaire, accusingly.

“I know. I forgot your umbrella.” Grantaire shoots him a pointed look, eyeing him up and down. “You never returned my jacket.”

“I-,” Enjolras can feel the heat spreading across his face as he looks down at what he’s wearing. It’s Grantaire’s jacket. Of course it is. It just happens to be the most comfortable thing in Enjolras’ closet and he didn’t even think twice when pulling it out and putting it on this morning. “I meant to. I just-“

Grantaire waves him off. “Don’t worry about it.” He sucks in a deep breath, looking Enjolras up and down again. A shrug and he looks away. “I like it on you, anyway.”

Enjolras… doesn’t know what to say in response so he casts about for another subject. “Where were you headed?”

“Home.” Grantaire sends another frown up to the sky. The raindrops are still falling sporadically. “Or I was before it started raining. Even if the rain stayed this light, I’d probably be soaked by the time I walked all the way to my apartment. What about you?”

“I was about to head over to the Musain.” Enjolras bites at his lip, feeling strangely nervous about asking this next part. “Do you want to come? We could probably walk there without getting too wet since it’s not that far away.”

Grantaire blinks, his expression equal parts surprise and suspicion. “Is this just a ploy to get me to help you with planning for the next meeting?”

“No,” Enjolras laughs. “But I wouldn’t mind the company.”

“Then I’d be glad to accompany you.”

They start walking, Grantaire falling into step beside Enjolras. The Musain is only two blocks away but, naturally, as soon as they’ve gone only half a block, the rain starts to pick up. Something about the rain causes Enjolras to gravitate closer toward Grantaire. Their arms brush up against each other and Enjolras is met with the warring sensations of both warmth in his stomach and chills down his body.

There’s an almost static energy between them, Enjolras thinks, which is puzzling because there’s no lightning to be seen in the sky, only rain clouds.

It takes them less than twenty minutes to walk to the Musain from campus. The rain still isn’t heavy but is enough of a shower that they both have water dripping from their curls.

They reach the entrance of the Musain; instead of going inside, however, Grantaire stops right outside the door, giving Enjolras an indescribable look.

“What?” Enjolras frowns. He doesn’t know why, but he thinks this might be another opportunity they have to cross that bridge.

Grantaire slowly shakes his head and Enjolras gets the feeling that there are dozens of thoughts running through his head at once. His mind must finally settle on one and he says, “You’re just… cute when you’re wet.”

This is it, thinks Enjolras. The moment to cross the bridge.

“Can I kiss you?”

Well, Enjolras has never been one to walk across a bridge when he can jump off it instead.

“Can….?” Grantaire starts to repeat and then trails off, staring at Enjolras with wide eyes as the words sink in. Enjolras watches his throat move as he swallows and attempts to speak. “Why?” he finally asks.

“Because I want to.” It feels slightly strange to put into words these thoughts that have only existed in his head until now and that he’s barely acknowledged to himself. Enjolras can’t take them back now though, and he wouldn’t even if he could.

Grantaire’s eyes are still a bit wide, but there’s more awe and hope than anything else in them now. “Okay.”

Enjolras slowly moves until he’s up against Grantaire. “But I only want to if you want to.”

Everything about Grantaire softens and in the next moment his lips are on Enjolras’ and his hands are wrapping around Enjolras’s upper arms.

The kiss isn’t as soft or tender as Enjolras expected it to be. There’s a hunger coming from both of them, Enjolras grabbing Grantaire’s hips to pull him closer and Grantaire pushing Enjolras up against the wall of the building.

It goes on for seconds or minutes or who knows, and Enjolras is barely aware of anything else except this moment and the sound of the falling raindrops mixing with his thumping heart. They finally pull away from each other, but not too far.

“I think I’m glad I forget your umbrella,” whispers Grantaire.

Enjolras nods. “Umbrellas are overrated. Who needs ‘em?”

He can’t resist the urge to kiss more raindrops off of Grantaire’s lips.

“…. I do still want my umbrella back, though.”

“.... But I take it you’re keeping my jacket?”

“.... Yes.”

“.... Works for me.”