Well after the clocks of Paris have chimed their three-o'clock and all's well, Enjolras shouts in the darkness, "My God, no!"

There is a sharp intake of breath beside him, as Grantaire struggles to surface from his own dreams and sit up. "Are you--"

"No! Chantal!" Enjolras's fist smacks into the bed beside his leg. The anguish in his voice becomes despair, anger dissolves into grief. "God, what have I done?"

Grantaire reaches over to shake his shoulder gently. "Shhh. It's all right. It's all right--" urgently.

"It's not," Enjolras protests, still more than half asleep. "It's all my fault. Why wouldn't she listen?"

"Shhh." An awkward hand caresses his cheek. "You're dreaming again. Wake up."

"I -- Chantal -- what?" The final injunction works. "God, I'm sorry." Enjolras untangles his fingers slowly from the sheet, as if they ache from being clenched too long and too tightly.

"It's all right. It's all right, relax, you're all right." Grantaire embraces him gently.

Enjolras takes a deep breath. "Am I? No one has been shot since I fell asleep, this time?"

"I sincerely doubt it. That's it. Breathe. You're all right."

A sigh. "I'm sorry."

Grantaire smooths his hair. "Whatever for?"

"Flailing." Enjolras relaxes into the touch. "Was I talking again?"

"Shouting, actually."

Enjolras blushes in the dark. "Sorry. I'm sorry. I shouldn't inflict this on you."

"Hush. You can't help it, can you?" Grantaire drops a kiss to his forehead, a little shyly.

"No, but --" Enjolras pauses at the kiss. "I could shout at no one instead."

"And a lot of good that would do. Don't apologize, fair-haired boy."

The silence of suppressed comment for a moment. "I didn't mean to wake you."

Grantaire smiles gently in the dark. "If I thought you did, I wouldn't tell you not to apologize."

Enjolras half sits up and straightens the pillow before lying down again. "I don't want to dream."

"I don't blame you." Grantaire props himself on one elbow, tugging the covers back into an equitable arrangement.

"I'm so tired. I'm sorry."

Grantaire touches his cheek again gently. "Not your fault."

"I know." A yawn. "Still."

"Rest, lover. Try to sleep." Softly. "It's all right."

"I'll try."

"Do something, someone do something, someone help, oh God, please help," Enjolras pleads of the people he sees on the street, but they turn away. "It's burning, it's burning, help."


"Help me!" Enjolras takes hold of a nearby man's shoulders and shakes him, trying to get his attention. "They're dying, all of them."

"Who?" comes the maddening answer.

"Everyone! God, don't you hear them screaming?"

"Hush." And restraining arms are around him, immobilizing him, and the soft voice says in his ear, "There's nothing you can do, there was never anything you could do, stay out of the way-- it's all right, hush, all right, I'm here, you're all right, you're dreaming, Marcelin--"

Enjolras struggles a moment longer before waking. "Oh God. Not again. I'm sorry."

Grantaire buries a kiss in his hair. "It's all right. Shh. Easy. It's all right."

"I don't know how you ever sleep," Enjolras protests. He trembles in Grantaire's embrace, trying to slow his breathing.

"I sleep all day when you're not here. There. There, it's all right. Shhhhhh." Grantaire smooths his hair. "Breathe. It's just a dream."

"Do you? That must be terribly dull." Enjolras's tone is light, but he makes no move to regain any personal space, and he is still shuddering.

"There's nowhere near the excitement you have to contend with, no. Easy, lover. Easy. I've got you."

Enjolras takes a deep breath and lets it out in a sigh that has too much vibrato. "I know. I -- what did I do to you?"

"Me? Woke me up, that's all. It happens." Grantaire kisses him again, comfortingly. "What'd you think?"

"I don't know." Enjolras tilts his head back, seeking another, more direct kiss. "I never know what's real."

Grantaire obliges him willingly enough. "None of it's real. Don't fret."

"None of it? Even this?" Enjolras kisses his cheek. "I don't want to wake up from this part."

The darkness is nearly complete, but Grantaire's face is suspiciously warm. "Well, I'm not so sure about this part." His fingers slip into Enjolras' hair. "Relax, there. You're shaking."

Enjolras embraces him. "Am I?"

"You are." A hand rubs soothingly at his back. "Try to relax. Deep breaths."

"Oui, m'sieur." Another kiss, interrupting any pattern of breathing that might be established.

Grantaire yields, pulling him the scant half-inch closer that remains possible.

"Did you want to catch up on your sleep?" Enjolras asks after another, more prolonged kiss.

"Sleep is overrated," Grantaire murmurs rather breathlessly.

"Ah," more of a sigh than an answer. The embrace loosens somewhat, but only because Enjolras has freed one arm to trace his hand gently down Grantaire's side.

A long breath escapes Grantaire, and he shifts slightly, his arm tightening around Enjolras' shoulders.

No shouts in the darkness tonight. No unconscious violence. Nothing but somnolence for hours, then tears, then trembling, shuddering sobs.

Worn out by repeated nights of interrupted sleep, Grantaire does not immediately rouse at this. He shifts unconsciously, however, to throw an arm over his companion, sighing.

This soothes Enjolras slightly, but not entirely. He whispers something between gasps, then buries his face in the pillow.

Grantaire sighs again, subsiding back into stillness.

Silence wakes a drunkard, and, sometimes, a man who has not had a drink in months. Enjolras blinks and finds himself congested and the pillow wet. He gently pulls away and gets up to search for a handkerchief.

Grantaire stirs, blinking owlishly into the darkness, and half-sits up. "...Marcelin...?" Fuzzily.

"I'm right here." Enjolras wipes his eyes. "I'm sorry. I was -- dreaming again."

"I didn't hear you." Grantaire sounds inordinately contrite. "You all right...?"

"I didn't mean to wake you," Enjolras apologizes. "I'll be fine." He tucks the handkerchief back into his jacket's pocket. "I wish I could sleep through the night."

"I wish you could too." A hand reaches blindly for him, pulls gently at his arm. "Here. You want to tell me about it?"

Enjolras protests, "It was just a dream." He buries his face in Grantaire's shoulder. "Just a dream."

Grantaire embraces him tightly. "Of course it was. Of course."

"I'm sorry," whispered.

"Whatever for? I'm here for you."

"Thank you, but you need sleep."

Grantaire shrugs slightly. "I'm all right." Drowsily, but with assurance.

"You don't sound it." Enjolras kisses him softly. "You sound as if I have exhausted you."

"Mmh," says Grantaire, as though he would come up with a retort, but lacks the energy. "I'm all right." He strokes Enjolras' hair gently.

"You aren't, and it's my fault."

"Ahhhh, now, if you start apologizing, you will exhaust me." Grantaire kisses his cheek. "Don't worry about me, fair-haired boy."

"Must you call me that?" plaintive and tired.

"No." A pause, then, in a tone that would be shy were it not so sleepy, "Chéri."

Enjolras shakes his head slightly, looking away. "Go to sleep."

Another pause. "I will if you will."

"I'll do my best."

"All right," Grantaire says gruffly, and settles back again.

Enjolras stares up at the ceiling in silence.

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