"It's getting late," Enjolras says, mostly because he can't think of anything else to say and the silence, while not uncomfortable, has been stretching on for awhile now. And it is getting late- he'd only meant to stay at Grantaire's for an hour at most while they talked about a new t-shirt design for their upcoming rally, but then one conversation led to another and here Enjolras is sitting in Grantaire's living room revising his latest speech while Grantaire sketches beside him. It's been five hours since Enjolras arrived.
This happens a lot, actually.
Not Enjolras crashing uninvited for hours in Grantaire's living room, he's never done that before. But things involving Grantaire have a tendency to unexpectedly turn into something else. Quite often, Enjoras had found.
He honestly never expected Grantaire to stick around their group very long. He didn't seem to care about the things they fought for, not really, but he kept coming back. And he easily became one of them when Enjolras had expected him to have a hard time fitting in with his cynical outlook and seemingly general disdain for the human race. Despite all of Grantaire's mocking at their causes, he wants to help and frequently lends his time and services to the causes he doesn't seem to care for, which surprises Enjolras even more.
And then there are the times when he expects to get into an argument with Grantaire only to find them both laughing together five minutes later, or times when he expects Grantaire to scoff at his latest movement in trying to change the world and instead he receives a look full of fondness and a gentle smile. There are times when he intends to ignore a smirk Grantaire threw his way only to think about it hours later as he lay in bed. Or times like this, right now, when Enjolras had only meant to stay for a short while but then he'd got caught up in Grantaire, and hadn't even asked if he could stay, just made himself comfortable and probably overstayed his welcome, and now-
"It's getting late."
Grantaire looks up at him. "Do you have to go?"
No, Enjolras wants to say. Because he doesn't have to, he doesn't want to, there's something about Grantaire that-
He can't finish the thought because he's been here for hours already and Grantaire has been polite enough not kick him out yet. Enjolras isn't enough of a fool to think that Grantaire wants him invading his home for half of the day.
"I should probably go," is what Enjolras ends up saying because it's the truth but it doesn't reveal how much Enjolras doesn't particularly want to leave.
"You sure? Your speech doesn't look quite finished."
It's not finished, but Enjolras can always finish it at home and he should really get out of here soon before he decides that Grantaire's couch is so comfortable that he invites himself to a sleepover.
"Combeferre and Courfeyrac will worry," Enjolras explains, which really isn't a good excuse at all because he worries his two best friends on a daily basis so that's nothing new. Besides, he can always send them a text if he decides he suddenly wants to permanently move in with Grantaire. Not that Enjolras suddenly wants to move in with Grantaire. Although he does start to wonder how much rent would cost and what Grantaire might act like in the mornings after just getting out of bed.
Enjolras shakes those thoughts out of his head and gathers up the papers he's been writing on. Grantaire gets up and grabs Enjolras' coat.
"Thanks," Enjolras says as he takes it and puts it on. Grantaire smiles and walks with him to the door.
"So, uh, I'll see you later?" Enjolras asks hesitantly. When exactly did it become so hard saying a simple goodbye to Grantaire? When did he decide that he really had no interest in saying goodbyes to Grantaire at all?
"Yeah. Yeah, I'll- I'll get that design finished for you as soon as I can," Grantaire answers, reaching for the door handle. And this is it, Enjolras has hung around for quite long enough, although it hasn't felt quite long enough at all, and now he must be going home.
Grantaire twists the door handle and opens the door.
There's a moment where neither of them move, they both just stare outside at the dark sky- the very, very dark sky- and the swirling blizzard that seems to be bombarding the city. Huh. It had barely been cloudy when Enjolras had walked over here.
In the next moment, Grantaire slams the door shut and grabs Enjolras' sleeve, hauling him further back into the apartment.
"Holy shit, it's freezing out there!"
He starts to rub his hands vigorously up and down his arms and then does the same to Enjolras as if he were the one that wasn't wearing a coat.
Enjolras swats his hands away even though he really didn't want to object to Grantaire touching him. "I'm fine."
"I didn't know there was going to be a blizzard."
Enjolras didn't know either because he doesn't usually keep tabs on the weather. He's only got his coat with him and a pair of sneakers that aren't going to be much protection against inches of snow.
He sighs. "Do you have some boots I could borrow? And maybe a scarf?" He's not looking forward to walking home in the cold but if he could do it wrapped up in Grantaire's scarf then maybe it won't be so bad.
Grantaire looks at him as if Enjolras just declared 'Long live the king'. "You're not going out there."
Enjolras struggles for something to say because it's not like can stay here, can he?
"Look," Grantaire says, and his tone of voice is the one he uses when he thinks Enjolras Is Wrong, "if you try to walk home, you'll be up to your knees in snow. What if you got pneumonia? I think Combeferre would kill me. What if you died? I think I'd kill myself."
Okay, so obviously walking home is a bad idea. "I could call a cab," Enjolras suggests.
"Nobody wants to drive around in that." Grantaire gestures wildly as he talks. "Are you really going to make some poor bastard brave that mess to come pick you up?"
He doesn't want to, no, but he really can't just invite himself to sleep on Grantaire's couch no matter how much he wants to. "It's really not that far of a walk."
"Are you-" Grantaire cuts himself off. He folds his arms across his chest and looks down at the ground. "If you want to leave, fine. I don't want to keep you here against your will."
Wait, no, that's not right. Enjolras is willing, Enjolras is very willing. "No," he says, "I just don't want to... impose."
Grantaire looks up from the ground and furrows his brows as he gazes at Enjolras. Then his expression softens and his body relaxes. "Christ, Apollo, you're not imposing." He's using his Enjolras Is Wrong tone again, and while Enjolras tends to find it annoying, right now it's surprisingly reassuring.
"Alright," says Enjolras and he has to restrain himself from running over and happily flopping onto the couch.
Grantaire rolls his eyes. "Just take your coat off and sit back down. You can finish your speech."
Enjolras strips off his coat and as he does, something clatters to the ground. It's his phone. He picks it up and sees that he has missed calls and texts from Combeferre and Courfeyrac.
From Combeferre: Where are you? Are you still at Grantaire's? A big snowstorm just blew in so stay where you are. Unless you're outside. Please don't stay outside.
From Courfeyrac: Answer your phone, E!!!
From Courfeyrac: R's not answering his phone either. I don't know if I should be congratulating the two of you or possibly planning funerals.
From Combeferre: If we don't get a response from you by midnight, we'll consider sending out a search party.
Enjolras texts them back, feeling guilty that he left his phone on silent and in his coat pocket for hours without bothering to check it. He lets them know that he's safe and stuck at Grantaire's. He doesn't let them know that the situation really doesn't bother him at all.
He settles down onto the couch and spreads his papers out in front of him. Grantaire sits down as well with his sketchbook and soon they're both working again in comfortable silence and Enjolras fights to keep the smile off his face.
And then out of nowhere there's a loud bang.
Enjolras jumps and looks around but he can't identify the source of the noise. He looks to Grantaire. "What was that?"
Grantaire's chewing on his lip and frowning. "I think... uh, I think my heater just went out."
Grantaire looks contrite. "It, uh, it does that sometimes. Usually it comes back on the next day."
"You- you just sit around without heat? It's the middle of winter! You could freeze to death!"
"Calm down." Grantaire looks amused now. "If it goes out and it's cold enough, I light a fire." He nods to the fireplace.
Enjolras glances to the fireplace then back to Grantaire. "Is it cold enough right now?" He doesn't know why he asks. He knows it's cold enough, there's a blizzard outside.
"Yeah, it is." Grantaire gets up. "Just sit tight, Apollo, I won't let you freeze."
It takes around ten minutes- and by that time Enjolras can already tell that the temperature in the apartment is dropping- but Grantaire gets a fire going.
Grantaire sits back down, slightly closer to Enjolras than he was before and Enjolras really, really doesn't mind.
"Are you warm enough?" Grantaire asks.
Enjolras nods. He has a fire on one side of him and Grantaire on the other and he's very warm.
Grantaire looks him over thoughtfully. "I should probably feed you. When was the last time you ate?"
Enjolras groans. "You make it sound like I'm a dog that needs to be taken care of." He shoves Grantaire's shoulder playfully.
Grantaire smirks. "I was thinking a cat, actually. Do you like sandwiches?"
"Who doesn't like sandwiches?"
"Eh, good point. You know what else would be good right now?"
"I don't have hot cocoa."
Grantaire leans closer to him. "I have coffee though. I could even put marshmallows in it."
Enjolras grimaces. "How about just plain coffee?"
Grantaire laughs. "Plain coffee and sandwiches it is." He stands up and goes to the kitchen.
Enjolras gets back to work on his speech and when Grantaire comes back with sandwiches and coffee, Enjolras gives him a grateful smile.
"This is nice," Enjolras says as he eats.
"Well, I'm no chef, but it's good to know I can manage to make a decent sandwich."
"I wasn't just talking about the sandwich," Enjolras returns quietly.
"Oh, well, yeah, the coffee's okay, I guess, but admittedly that didn't take much work. I don't have a coffee maker, so it's just instant."
Enjolras swallows and he wants to convey how that's not what he meant either, but he has a feeling that Grantaire might already know. Grantaire knows a lot of things. Still, Enjolras says, "No. It's all nice. All of this."
Grantaire doesn't answer; he keeps his gaze steady on his coffee mug and fiddles with a pencil in his hand. His breathing doesn't seem quite even but Enjolras isn't sure if he should ask about it.
It's quiet again but it's different now. There seems to be some kind of energy in the air. Enjolras wonders if it has something to do with the blizzard.
Grantaire takes their empty plates back to the kitchen. While he's in there, he calls to Enjolras confusedly, "Hey, do you know why I got a text from Courfeyrac saying, 'Congratulations and/or rest in peace'?"
Enjolras snorts and calls back, "No idea." When Grantaire walks back into the room, the air feels back to normal.
Picking up his papers and straightening them out, Enjolras grins at Grantaire. "I finished my speech."
Grantaire seems a lot more relaxed than he did moments ago. "You did?"
"Yes. Do you want to read it?"
"Yes." Grantaire looks as though there's nothing more he'd rather do and all but grabs the papers out of Enjolras' hands.
Enjolras watches Grantaire's face as he reads over the speech. He's fascinated by the way Grantaire's smile grows with each page he finishes. It's less sarcastic and teasing than his usual smiles and Enjolras wants to make Grantaire always smile like that.
Eventually, Grantaire sets the pages down and looks up at him. "It's great. Like always. Can't wait to hear you give it." His voice is nothing but sincere and Enjolras has to look away because the energy in the air is back and his insides are feeling a bit fluttery.
His gaze lands on the fireplace. Most of the wood has burned and the fire is much dimmer now.
"Where do you keep your firewood?" Enjolras asks, intending to rekindle the fire. He doesn't get a response. When he looks up, Grantaire is sitting very still with wide eyes and the color is gone from his face.
"I forgot," Grantaire whispers. "I was going to pick up more firewood the other day and I forgot."
Oh. But it wasn't all that bad, right? Sure, there was a blizzard going on outside and the heater was broken and they were about to run out of firewood but it could be worse. Grantaire could've been stuck here alone and Enjolras could've been lost in a blizzard. Enjolras would much rather be stuck here with Grantaire.
"I have an idea," Grantaire says suddenly and he grabs a sketchbook. When he rips out one of his drawings and starts to crumple it, Enojolras gasps with realization.
"No, stop it. What are you doing?" Enjolras grabs the paper and smooths it out before Grantaire can throw in the fireplace.
"Trying to keep us from freezing. Most of the drawings in here aren't even good. Setting them on fire would probably be an improvement."
Enjolras smooths the drawing out even more and studies it. It's detailed and even though Enjolras doesn't know much about art, he can tell Grantaire spent time on it. "I think it's good. And I happen to have a better idea."
He quickly crumples up the pages of his speech and tosses them in the fireplace. He watches the fire roar back to life.
"Enjolras...," whispers Grantaire, sounding wounded. "I feel like there's a joke to be made here about Apollo's words going up in flames but...." Grantaire trails off and there's no humor in his voice. He just sounds sad.
Enjolras turns to look at him and Grantaire's staring back, eyes intense and full of emotion, the firelight dancing across his face. Enjolras likes Grantaire's eyes. He wants to tell him that. Tell him that he likes his eyes and his smile but-
"You didn't have to do that," Grantaire says.
"It's just a speech." Enjolras shrugs. "I can always rewrite it."
In the next moment Grantaire is swearing under his breath and then he tears another picture from his sketchbook and throws it into the flames before Enjolras can protest.
Grantaire shrugs at him, but he doesn't look sad anymore. There's a smile playing on his lips. "It's just a picture. I can always redraw it."
"You didn't have to do that."
"If I had to choose between burning my art or letting you freeze to death, then it's no contest. I'd take a torch to everything I've ever touched a pencil to."
Grantaire's eyes are intense again and Enjolras is torn between wanting to stare at them, to get lost in them, and feeling the need to tear his gaze away.
Enjolras looks away and casts his thoughts around for a new subject. Grantaire saves him when he brings up news about the new band that Jehan has formed.
And then they just- talk. They talk and they laugh and once they almost get into an argument but it fizzles out before either of them build up any steam. And then-
"It's getting late," Grantaire echoes Enjolras' earlier words.
Enjolras hums in agreement. It's late and he has half a mind to curl up and fall asleep on the couch.
"You can sleep on the couch," Grantaire tells him and Enjolras smiles sleepily because sometimes Grantaire just knows. "It'll be warmer here, by the fire. Hold on, I'll get you some blankets."
Grantaire leaves the living room and comes back with an armful of blankets. He dumps them on top of Enjolras.
"I, uh, I also brought some pants and a sweatshirt in case you didn't, um, want to sleep in that." Grantaire gestures to the clothes on top of the pile of blankets.
"So I'll, uh...." Grantaire jerks a thumb back towards his bedroom. "Goodnight?"
"Wait," Enjolras says, "you could... sleep in here, if you wanted. Since it will be warmer."
Grantaire starts to say something but then he stops, shakes his head and clears his throat. "Have you seen the size of that couch? It won't fit the both of us and I'd rather not sleep on the floor."
"Are you sure? Do you have enough blankets? Because you gave me," Enjolras pulls apart the pile, "four of them."
"I have plenty of blankets on my bed." Grantaire smiles gently at him. "Night, Apollo." Then he leaves.
"Goodnight," Enjolras calls after him.
His eyes catch on the sweatshirt that sits on the blankets. He could just sleep in his clothes, he knows, he does it often enough. But Grantaire's sweatshirt looks particularly inviting and before he thinks too hard about it, he strips out of his own clothes and into the ones Grantaire left him.
The pants are a bit loose and they barely reach his ankles but they're soft; the sweatshirt is thick and baggy and warm and flecked with pain stains.
Enjolras lays down on the couch, covers himself with blankets and just breathes for a moment. He breathes in the scent of fire and ink and something that's uniquely Grantaire.
He drifts off to sleep with a small smile on his face.
He doesn't know how long he sleeps but when Enjolras wakes up, it's dark and the fire is barely going, mostly just faint embers visible in the night. And it's cold.
Enjolras doesn't have near enough energy to try and get the fire going again. He burrows further under the blankets and tries to ignore the chill and will himself back to sleep.
His efforts prove useless. He's tired, but he's too cold to fall asleep and keeps tossing and turning trying to find a warmer position. His feet feel like ice even though he's still wearing his socks.
He finally gives up. Maybe it's the cold or the fuzziness from lack of sleep that spurs Enjolras into what he does next. He stands, scoops the blankets into his arms and stalks to Grantaire's room. He opens the door and stops in the doorway.
The first thing he notices is that Grantaire is a liar because he doesn't have plenty of blankets, he only has one. The second thing he notices is how much colder it is in the bedroom than in the living room. The third thing he notices is how peaceful Grantaire looks in his sleep. The fourth thing Enjolras notices is how much he really, really wants to go curl up next to him.
Walking over to the bed, Enjolras drops the blankets on Grantaire and then crawls into bed as close to Grantaire as he can get without actually touching him.
The movement is enough to rouse Grantaire from sleep. "Enjolras?" he mumbles, blinking confusedly. "What time is it? Is something wrong?"
Grantaire frowns at him. "Did the fire go out?"
"Yeah," Enjolras says. "'M too tired to keep it going. Can I stay in here with you instead?"
"Yes," Grantaire answers quickly. He bites his lip. "I mean... If that's what you want."
"It's what I want," Enjolras whispers. He makes himself comfortable under the blankets and closes his eyes. But he's still cold and doesn't think he can fall asleep.
After a few minutes, he opens his eyes and sees Grantaire lying there looking wide awake.
"Are you okay?" Enjolras asks, shifting slightly.
"I'm okay," Grantaire says faintly. He gives Enjolras a reassuring smile. "More than okay."
"Good." Enjolras grins back and pulls the blankets tighter around him.
Grantaire raises an eyebrow at him. "How cold are you?"
"Really cold. Aren't you cold?"
Grantaire huffs out a laugh. "It's a lot warmer with you beside me. Um," he bites at his lip, "if you're really that cold, you can come closer."
There's not a whole lot closer that Enjolras can get but he gladly presses his body up against Grantaire so they're touching from shoulder to foot. Grantaire is surprisingly warm for how cold the room is.
Enjolras' fingers brush against Grantaire's under the covers. Before he can change his mind, Enjolras intertwines their fingers. Grantaire lets him and he doesn't let go. He turns his head and presses his nose into Grantaire's neck.
There's a soft chuckle from Grantaire. "How is your nose so cold?"
He maneuvers until he's better facing Enjolras. Then he places a kiss on Enjolras' nose. He pulls back and his mouth is hovering less than an inch from Enjolras' lips.
"Is this okay?" Grantaire asks, voice unsteady.
"It's okay. It's more than okay."
The distance between their mouths closes. The kiss is slow, languid, and fills Enjolras with warmth from head to toe. He squeezes Grantaire's hand tighter.
They pull away, breathless.
"I love you," Grantaire says softly, reverently, and they both freeze. Grantaire bolts upright, the look on his face making it clear that he hadn't planned on saying that.
Enjolras forgets to breathe for a few seconds. When he does take another breath, it feels as though the world has shifted and things are suddenly clearer. Because he hadn't expected Grantaire to admit he loved him, not at all, but now Enjolras thinks that maybe he should have.
"Don't say it back," Grantaire tells him. He doesn't apologize, like Enjolras was half expecting, he doesn't even look slightly apologetic. His voice is quiet and clear. He looks considering. "Not that I don't want you to say it," he continues on. "But if you say it right now... I might not believe you." He watches Enjolras for another moment before lying back down, fixing his gaze on the ceiling.
Enjolras takes a deep breath, feels the world once again slotting into a clearer picture. He scoots closer to Grantaire and rests his chin on Grantaire's chest, waiting until the other man makes eye contact with him. When he does, Enjolras simply says, "I like you."
Grantaire studies his face and Enjolras waits patiently and then, finally, Grantaire's lips quirk into a half smile. "Now, that, I think I might be able to believe."
Enjolras smiles back and snuggles into a comfortable position into Grantaire's side. He closes his eyes as he feels a hand start to rub soothingly up and down his rib cage. He thinks it will be impossible for him to ever feel cold again, not with all the warmth he currently feels inside him.
He didn't expect to fall in love with Grantaire. But now he doesn't feel all that surprised. Things involving Grantaire have a habit of unexpectedly turning into something else.