“C’mon, Manhattan would be a fun stop!”
“Manhattan is in the complete opposite direction of the one we are driving, you guys.”
“Then let’s hit it on the way back!”
“No, I don’t think you understand, we would literally have to PASS OUR STARTING POINT on the way back to go to Manhattan. It is the very definition of out of the way.”
“Enjolraaaaas, someone’s not being very adventurooouuuusssss!”
“I’m being /practical,/ we’re not going to fucking Manhattan! Maybe next summer.”
“Do you do that on purpose?”
“The — the looming thing, you loom, do you do it on purpose?”
“Take a few steps back, Captain, you’re freakin me out I’m suffocating over here.”
“Will you just hurry up we only have five minutes!”
“All right all right calm down keep your Depends on!”
When Combeferre came home to the sight of Courfeyrac sitting outside of Enjolras’s bedroom door and grinning in a way that couldn’t mean anything good, he frowned and took his headphones off.
“Courfeyrac, what are you doing?”
If possible, Courf’s grin became even more Chesire. “I like putting them into rooms together and seeing what ensues.”
“Wh –?” Combeferre hadn’t even gotten the question all the way out of his mouth before he could hear Enjolras shouting: “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, GRANTAIRE, GO BREATHE VODKA INTO SOMEONE ELSE’S FACE! THIS IS DUE TOMORROW!” He had to close his eyes and take a deep breath to keep himself from laughing.
“Courfeyrac, get him out of there,” he managed to say with only the smallest quirk of his lips.
Combeferre didn’t like to think that he had any enemies, not even in the state. Certainly, the monarchy was an oppressive one, but at the end of the day they were all humans, made of the same flesh and blood. If Combeferre could have his way he would prefer a lengthy discussion to violence, would prefer diplomacy to revolution. But that would require the other side to listen.
Grantaire felt Enjolras’s hand clasp his, felt strong fingers squeeze his palm. He didn’t know if he’d be able to stand looking, but of course he did; he’d spent his life looking, suffering blows to the heart with each burst of light, and here he was about to die, so what did it matter anyway? He turned for one last shock of sun and was not disappointed; there Apollo stood smiling, there Orestes stood comforting, there Grantaire finally found gratitude, admiration, fondness where once there had only been disdain and disgust and disappointment. Finally, redemption, at the end of it all.
Johnny heard the sound behind him and stopped. He felt the darkness around him clasp hold tighter and any hope of calling out for help lodged in his throat.
She flicked her to one side and tipped her head forward. He passed the necklace under her chin and brought the ends up behind her neck. Fumbling he tried to fasten the clasp.
“You know what I haven’t been in a while, Tobes? /Electrocuted./ Now /that/ shit sucks.”
“Charming. What made you think of it?”
“I dunno. Stuff. Things. Sometimes you just think of all the shit your immortality’s allowed you to survive and you just kinda can’t wrap your head around it and I guess now’s probably one of those times.”
He rolled a little of the compost between his thumb and first finger, letting it powder back into the planter. He finds it harder work to bend down to it nowadays, but the feel of the soil makes him smile wryly. He fumbles with a packet, tipping several seeds into his dirty palm.
“CHECKMATE!” Marley screeched, leaping to her feet. “CHECKMATE MOTHERFUCKER! CHECKFUCKINGMATE YA NASTY TRASH!”
“I DON’T BELIEVE IT I DON’T BELIEVE IT I’M JUST IN CHECK SIT BACK DOWN IT’S JUST CHECK!” Brendan screamed back, leaping up himself to scrutinize the board more closely.
“NO SHUT THE FUCK UP I WON! HA! SUCK IT! /SUCK IT!”/
“Wake up. Wake up, Grantaire!”
Grantaire grumbled, shielding his face from the light that suddenly burst past his eyelids. “I’m not violating any laws, I’m –”
“Grantaire, come on, you’ll miss it!”
/”Miss what?”/ He was a little more than half-conscious now and none too pleased about it. “Bloody fuck one minute you’re telling me to ‘sleep off the fumes of the wine’ and the next you’re telling me to –”
“TEN! NINE! EIGHT! SEVEN!”
Grantaire blinked, rubbed his face, then forced himself to really look around. The café around him was simultaneously familiar and strange, a place of his daily life newly strewn with streamers and lights and balloons and confetti. He pulled his coat around him and frowned. What was the date again?
“SIX! FIVE! FOUR! THREE! TWO! ONE! /HAPPY NEW YEAR!”/
“He’s turned /magenta,”/ Courfeyrac noted with glee. /”Jolllly,/ no need to be bashful!”
“I’ve no idea what you’re talking about. No doubt the two of you are suffering from mental fits, due probably to your remarkably poor hygiene.”
“Don’t try to /physician/ your way out of this,” Feuilly pushed. “Come on, tell us her name.”
“Uh, Courf?” Combeferre blinked around the bedroom. He could’ve sworn he’d heard him in here.
The comforter shifted a bit. It appeared Courfeyrac had dug himself a little burrow in his covers. Combeferre couldn’t stop a little half grin.
“He’ll come round, Courfeyrac,” he assured him, sitting down on the edge of the bed and tentatively patting one of the lumps in the blanket, hoping it was his head or something and not his ass. “You know damn well that no one can stay angry at you.”
“We should just start calling your house The Burrow,” Sparrow teased, flitting by to give Otto’s hand an affectionate squeeze.
Otto laughed. “Yeah, it’s starting to seem that way, isn’t it? I kinda like it.”
“What was that?” Grantaire nudged Enjolras. “I can’t understand you, you’re mumbling.”
Enjolras closed his eyes. He took a deep breath in through his nose, then slowly expelled it through his mouth. He removed his headphones.
“Grantaire,” he said. “For the last time. I am /not. Talking. To you.”/
“We’ve got just the right amount of leverage. Now is the perfect time to act!” Enjolras said.
Combeferre refused to be moved, meeting Enjolras’s hard blue gaze calmly. “There are too few of us. It’s too dangerous. If you care about the safety of –”
“Of course I care about everyone’s safety,” Enjolras spat, irritably shaking his hands through his hair. “But if we don’t do this now it’ll be /years/ before –”
“Then put it to a vote. Talk it over with everyone at the same time,” Combeferre cut across, never raising his voice. “It’s their lives. Let them decide what’s more important to them.” His gaze obtained a gravity that forced Enjolras to drop his. “Be the kind of leader you wish our king was.”
He paced up and down the kitchen, papers in one hand, tape measure in the other.
His wife glanced up from the breakfast bar, having looked for inspiration in the cup of coffee that was Luke warm at best.
He looked down quickly at the papers, and looked at her with a smile. A eureka moment, he knew those geometry lessons would pay off.
‘Yes Tina, the smaller washing machine will fit.’
Enjolras sighed impatiently, but did as he was told. Grantaire smirked before setting to work, using his paintbrush to cover Enjolras’s body with various geometric shapes. The first few strokes made Enjolras shiver, but eventually he grew accustomed to it. He relaxed, stood still.
When at last Grantaire was done he took a few steps back, now smirking more than ever. Enjolras rolled his eyes. “Grantaire, /what/ is so funny?”
In answer, Grantaire sidled up beside the older boy and passionately belted, “BUT YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO /CUUUUUT ME OFF!!!”/
“I fucking hate you.”
“You love him.”
“Courf, what –”
“You are sexually attracted to Enjolras.”
/”Courfeyrac keep your voice down.”/
“WOW YOU GUYS WOULD BE A REALLY HOT COUPLE WOW I NEVER REALLY THOUGHT OF IT BEFORE –”
“SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP.”
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