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Make Your Home in Me

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The seasons change faster than Grantaire's arm heals, and Joly still has him restricted to the easiest of tasks when autumn comes, and brings the harvest with it. He chafes at being forbidden to help just when Enjolras needs his help the most, but Enjolras glares just as fiercely as Joly whenever Grantaire starts making noises about doing even slightly more strenuous work, and Grantaire shuts up because he has no doubts whatsoever that Enjolras will convince Joly to put him on bed rest if he thinks Grantaire is pushing himself harder than he should.

Still, when the day of the harvest comes, it leaves Grantaire feeling restless and furious. "You need me," he says, stirring the porridge on the stove as it finishes thickening, because cooking is one of the very few things Enjolras will let him do without putting up even a token protest. "That's why I'm here, because you can't do it on your own."

Enjolras is too quiet for too long. Grantaire twists to look over his shoulder and finds Enjolras watching him, much too somber. "That's not why you're here," he says, firm and unyielding. "Not anymore. I need you for more than just your strength, R. I've done the harvest on my own before, it hasn't killed me yet. But I won't risk you, not for anything. You can help when Joly says you're ready, and not a day earlier."

Grantaire ducks his head and stirs the porridge vigorously. He still doesn't know how to deal with the fact that Enjolras loves him, with the fact that he says it so freely and so earnestly. It makes his heart flip over and clench tight, every time.

When he's had a moment to collect himself and isn't feeling quite so overcome, he leaves the porridge on the stove and goes over to Enjolras, slides into his lap and wraps his arms around his neck, leaning in to breathe unsteadily against the side of his neck. "I love you so much," he says, and if their porridge is a little overcooked by the time they get back to it, neither of them mind.

Later, Grantaire goes out to bring Enjolras lunch and discovers that half of Amity has descended upon their fields, Fantine and Éponine coordinating their cowhands while Courfeyrac wields a scythe and Combeferre and Jehan follow behind him, tying the wheat up into bundles. Grantaire has to lean against and fight to catch his breath, overcome once again.

With the help of their friends, they finish with the harvest before the first frost descends, leaving everything crisp and pale and icy. It gives way to warmer temperatures within a few days, but soon enough winter comes in earnest, and Grantaire struggles to accustom himself to the idea of there being little work to be done about the farm, aside from feeding and watering the animals and the unending and thankless task of bringing firewood in to add to the woodstove.

It's strange to Grantaire to have so much time on his hands, with nothing to occupy it but to cuddle up close against Enjolras and get to know his husband in ways they scarcely had time for during the growing season. When Joly declares his shoulder healed up well enough to resume all normal activities, Grantaire celebrates his newfound freedom by dragging Enjolras to bed, piling the blankets high over them both, and not letting him out until evening, when the whole day has passed them by.

Winter is cold and harsh out West, but they find warmth and happiness with each other. And when winter gives way to spring and the cycle of the farm begins anew, Grantaire stands in the middle of the road leading to town, on the crest of the hill that overlooks their land, just where he'd been when Enjolras had first brought him home. The fields are dark and rich, fresh-tilled and already turning green as the sprouts of this year's crops work their way up out of the earth. There's a lot of work ahead of them, but there's nowhere else in the world Grantaire would rather be.

Enjolras is a warm presence at his side. He slips his hand into Grantaire's and presses in against his shoulder. "What are you thinking about?"

Grantaire shakes his head. "Nothing. Why?"

"You look happy."

Grantaire has a husband he loves, and who loves him in return. He has a home, family, friends, a community, a hundred and one things he'd never dreamed were possible back East. He has a life here, and it's a good one, and he's so grateful.

"That's because I am," he says, and pulls Enjolras in for a kiss.