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Time Flies

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Attention passengers, flight number CD228 scheduled for departure at gate 17 has now been delayed by 2 hours due to severe weather. Please report to the gate by 1730 for a 1800 departure.”

Grantaire scowled at the rain lashing the floor-to-ceiling windows of the airport. He hated Australia, Australian summers and freak storms that continued delaying his flight. He should have trusted his mother, never left France, never explored the world and become more ‘cultured’ and--

Yeah, that was a lie. Flight delays brought out the worst in him.

The worst in other people too, apparently. A blonde man sitting in the row of chairs next to him cursed loudly, slipping off the seat to kneel on the floor. It was a close thing to the airport fetal position favoured by backpackers short on cash and time and non-frequent fliers assaulted by barrages of flight delays and lost baggage. 

Grantaire couldn't really tell which category the man fitted into; the mane of hair, unwashed with an overgrown sidecut screamed backpacker, where the nice-looking red coat and expensive phone which had joined him on the ground screamed young businessman, unprepared for the extreme elements of international travel.

Slowly, very slowly, the man got back up to sit in his seat. The family next to him looked on with confusion, mixed with fear. 20-somethings traveling were a thing to be reckoned with

They got up and moved. Grantaire took the opportunity and decided to reckon.

“Would you like some light entertainment, while we wait? I can sing, badly, in three languages and play a mean game of charades,” he said in French, getting up and moving into the seat next to the man.

The man looked dumbly back. “Sorry, I’m...what?” He responded, also in French.

“Entertainment. You seem quite devastated by the two hours we will continue being in this miserable place and not being in France. Why make it time wasted?”

“It’s really not necessary--”

“I realise now I made the mistake of giving you a choice. There is actually no choice. You get entertainment, I get to cross off embarrass yourself at an international airport off my bucket list, and you’ll be laughing by the end of the first song. Sound good? Good. I’ll start with La Vie En Rose, perhaps? Give the tourists a show?”

At this point Grantaire was down on one knee in front of the man, one clammy hand clutched between Grantaire’s own.

“A serenade! People think French so romantic, it will be as if we’re destined to spend our nights together in the stars. Come on, play along, be the blushing virgin you know is inside of you!”

“Virginity is a social construct,” the man answered as if by rote. Grantaire couldn't help a smirk as the man did, indeed, blush even still. He launched into a rendition that would have Edith Piaf turning in her grave. When he finished there was a light smattering of applause, more polite than anything else.

Merci, thank you, thank you! I perform Wednesday’s and Friday’s, international airport terminals globally!”

The man was no longer scowling. Instead, he held out a hand.

“Call me Enjolras. Thank you, for that. I've just found out that the flight delay means I’m going to be late for my best-friends wedding, a nifty little event he neglected to inform me about until sending me the flight tickets back home.”

Grantaire grinned. “Grantaire. I’m in quite a similar dilemma, actually. Actually, in fact, the situation I’m in is completely identical. Apparently gallivanting across the continents isn’t an excuse to miss a wedding, they don’t do skype, and of them threatened to have my head if I didn’t show. Being named groomsmen and all that. ”

Enjolras quirked an eyebrow, intrigued. “Courf?”

“Courfeyrac. Old friend, very old friend, not good with time management but fabulous with people. Even while threatening them. Especially while threatening them. He’s definitely the one who organised the ticket.”

“Funny. I’m meeting with a Courfeyrac as well. Whose organisation leaves something to be desired, but at least he’s not as bad as Combeferre.”

Grantaire narrowed his eyes. “You wouldn’t happen to be the friend the two never shut up about, but never introduce to anyone either?”

“I’ve been abroad for the past 18 months." He paused, processing. "Wait, you know them?” He was like a big, blonde, sleep-deprived doe, eyes blinking widely at Grantaire. It was all too much for his poor little deer-brain to handle. Grantaire took pity.

“I’ve known Courfeyrac for a very long time, yes.”

Realisation dawned, like sunrise over a mountain. “You’re him. Oh my god. I need to call Courfeyrac right now. Oh my god.”

“Nope, no, don’t do that, timezones. Pre-wedding nerves. Bad planning. Why don’t you nap? Here, you can have my jumper.”

Enjolras’s head ended up in Grantaire’s lap. “Thanks.”

Grantaire shifted. “Yeah, don’t mention it.”