45. Separation Anxiety


It has been three days since Enjolras last saw Grantaire for any significant length of time. Several times, when they happened to be in the same place at the same time, Enjolras avoided his gaze and left as quickly as was possible within the bounds of dignity. Tonight, he is using his time-honored tradition of doing homework and writing an essay in a comfortable cafe when Grantaire enters. Enjolras appears completely focussed on his writing.

Grantaire hesitates in the doorway, then crosses to drop gracelessly into a seat across from him, uninvited. "'lo."

Enjolras glances up from his paper and then immediately back to it. "Hello."

Grantaire sits still for a minute, uncertain. "What's to do?"

"An essay," is the answer, delivered in a flat tone.

Another slightly painful pause. "Are you all right?"


Grantaire falls silent again, blocked, and looks at the tabletop.

Enjolras continues to write as if he were not there.

"Marcelin..." tentatively.

"Yes?" Enjolras does not look up when he answers.

Grantaire leans forward impulsively, reaching out to rest a hand over Enjolras'ss free hand. "Look--"

Enjolras pulls his hand away. "What do you think you're doing?"

Grantaire freezes. "Nothing. Trying to talk to you, is all." His voice dies away.

"Talking and -- that --" with a slight wave of the hand that had been on the table "are two completely different things. Do you want to talk to me?" Enjolras sets down his pen. "Talk."

Grantaire sits back, with a careful indrawn breath. "What did I do?"

"You did nothing wrong." Enjolras looks away from him again.

"Then--" a brief pause. "--what's going on?"

"I have been busy," with a glance at the essay.

"'course you have." Grantaire looks not in the least convinced, nor reassured.

"As a matter of fact, I am busy now." Enjolras picks up his pen again.

Grantaire summons what courage he has and makes a last attempt. "I'll see you tonight, then?"

"No, you won't. I have two books to read."

Another pause, this time of defeat. "All right," the R says then, very calmly, very casually, and stands again and heads for the door.

Enjolras says nothing to stop him.

Around two in the morning, there is a knock on Grantaire's door.

Grantaire struggles out of lightly sodden sleep, half-sitting up. "...mm?"

"It's me. Let me in."

He sits still a moment, braced on one arm, breathing unevenly. "'s open," he calls at last, hoarsely.

Enjolras comes in, his hair in disarray, his shirt buttoned incorrectly. "I'm sorry."

Grantaire stares mutely at him, bewildered.

Enjolras sits on the edge of the bed. "I thought -- I thought I could do without you. I was wrong. Forgive me."

Grantaire reaches out shakily to touch his cheek, still half-fogged with sleep and drink. "Marcelin...?"

Enjolras kisses him, then sits back slightly, afraid that his advance will be rejected. "I had such a dream, full of blood and tears and screaming. Help me forget it, I beg you."

Grantaire slings an arm around his shoulders and pulls him close, trembling. "It's all right," he murmurs.

Enjolras embraces him gratefully. "I'm sorry," he says again, before kissing Grantaire. "I'm so stupid."

Grantaire makes an inarticulate sound of protest, twining his fingers in Enjolras's hair.

"You've been drinking again," Enjolras observes, distasteful but mild. "Only fair, I suppose. I haven't been sleeping well." He sits up, pulling away again to kick off his shoes.

Grantaire keeps a hand on his shoulder, as though fearful that he might walk out even as he demonstrates his intent to stay awhile. "'m sorry," indistinctly but contrite.

"It is entirely my fault," Enjolras assures him, reinforcing the comfort with another kiss before he takes off his coat.

"I thought--" Grantaire returns the kiss desperately. "I just-- didn't mean to--"

"I said, it is my fault." Enjolras sighs slightly, then laughs. "And I've got my shirt on wrong. See what I'm like without help?"

Grantaire blinks blurrily a couple of times. "So you do." And sets about undoing the misfastened buttons for him, clumsy but efficient.

"You're so helpful," Enjolras says, half teasing, and kisses him again to confuse the process further.

"I try," Grantaire murmurs, after a breathless minute.

"You succeed, even when I try to stop you." Another kiss, and Enjolras attempts to offer like assistance.

Grantaire yields with a ragged sigh, his fingers smoothing Enjolras's hair once more.

"I've learned," Enjolras says, half to himself, while his fingers are busy.

"...What?" Grantaire finds wit enough to say, after an interval.

"I --" Enjolras falters upon trying to put it into words. "Never mind." Another kiss, in hopes of distracting Grantaire.

Grantaire is effectively distracted, his hands sliding under Enjolras's shirt.

Enjolras gently kisses Grantaire's neck. "Lie down, would you?"

Grantaire kisses him likewise, and acquiesces, sinking back against the pillow. "God. Beautiful."

Enjolras smiles, running his fingers along Grantaire's jaw and down his chest. "You have good eyes, if you can see that in this darkness."

"Don't have to." Grantaire reaches up to brush his cheek, blinking slowly.

"Ah, is that so?" Enjolras leans very slightly towards the questing hand and kisses its palm. "Now that you mention it, there are things I see better in the dark, too."

"Hmmm?" absently, as his fingers trail through Enjolras's hair again.

Enjolras leans over and kisses him, one hand slipping inside his open shirt. "When I can say them, I will. But not yet. Even in the dark."

Grantaire's arms slip around him then, tightly, fingers working sporadically at his shoulders.

"I missed you," Enjolras whispers in his ear before dropping a kiss just behind it.

Damn you. I should hate you for this, for pushing me aside so cruelly, freezing me, scathing me, and then coming back to me for comfort as if it were your right. I should loathe you. I should despise you. I should do anything but melt with gratitude into your embrace, as though the fault were mine, as though I'd deserved what you do to me. I shouldn't welcome you. I shouldn't let you touch me this way, after tearing me apart; I shouldn't accept your kisses unquestioning, eager to pleasure you, eager to surrender to you, damn you, after that. I should throw you out. I shouldn't let you use me like this. But I do, I do, oh, I do.

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