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you keep ending up in my shaking hands

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Grantaire presses his mouth slowly up the length of Combeferre’s spine, stopping every so often to bite at a patch of skin, or drop a more tender kiss here or there, as Combeferre’s bones shift and his muscles move beneath Grantaire’s tongue.

Combeferre’s sat in front of him, cross legged on the bed, an island in the sea of papers surrounding him. They’re lead out like a crime scene, outlining Combeferre neatly as he hunches over them in the dimmed lamp light, his glasses sliding down the bridge of his nose, frowning with concentration. At the feel of Grantaire’s mouth he startles a little beneath him, which quickly dissolves into a slow hum of appreciation.

Grantaire slides his hands over his lower back, wrapping his arms around Combeferre’s sides to splay open palms over Combeferre’s stomach and feel him breathe. Lazily, he rests his chin on top of Combeferre’s shoulder, glancing down at the open file in front of him, the pile of plastic wallets.

“I'd let you fuck me,” He breathes, against the skin of his neck.

Combeferre startles again at the words, with a slight hitch to his breath, and he turns is head just slightly in Grantaire’s direction, in recognition. “What?”

Grantaire moves his hands away from Combeferre’s stomach to knead them into Combeferre’s back. He catches a knot of tension with his thumb, and digs mercilessly into it, making Combeferre hiss a little between his teeth, to sit up from his hunched position and roll his shoulders under Grantaire’s chin.

“That’s what you said to me,” Grantaire murmurs, dropping his head and kissing Combeferre’s shoulder. “Did you mean it?”

Combeferre twists around to look at Grantaire and the papers crinkle in protest, rustling and shifting around them as Combeferre turns to catch Grantaire’s eyes. Grantaire leans back just slightly, the only point of contact being Grantaire’s fingers perched, lingering, on Combeferre’s skin. It feels significant, tension crackling between them like the papers on the bedsheets.

Combeferre touches the corner of his mouth, his jawline, as if checking his documentation, making sure Grantaire is still there. “Yes,” He finally says, clear but quiet, because Combeferre always likes to get the meaning right where Grantaire fumbles all over his words and tries to shove the meaning down somewhere no one can touch it. Mumbled, it would be unsure. Too loud would make it violent.

Grantaire feels a thrill in the pit of his stomach at the admission, and lets a smile pass over his lips without biting it back. It’s something they’ve never properly talked about - sex. It’s not like they’ve ever needed to, in particular. Happy riding on the thrill of hands, and mouths, and teeth. Each content with blowjobs and handjobs, kisses and muffled gasps. Yet “fuck” gets thrown around in offhanded corners (and not just when Grantaire’s stubble is blushing Combeferre’s thighs red, or when Combeferre’s mouth is marking his throat, a hand shoved into the confines of his boxers), and Combeferre’s comment was one of those thrown around mentions that had Grantaire arching up off the bed and coming all over his hand.

Except they haven’t fucked, and the thought of it has been growing like an itch under Grantaire’s skin that he’s desperate to scratch.

Then, Combeferre’s laughing, gently, a grin tugging at the edge of his lips. He presses forward quickly to drop a kiss to Grantaire’s mouth, hand dropping to the side of Grantaire’s throat, only to have his glasses bump awkwardly against Grantaire’s face; the laugh turning more sheepish.

The gesture makes Grantaire’s heart ache with the familiarity of it. Generally, Combeferre wears his contacts during the day, but at night, or lazing around the house, he tends to switch them over for his glasses - and forgets he’s wearing them. It’s terrifying, the little habits and routines they’ve fallen into. It makes what Grantaire’s trying to ask for feel more serious.

There’s a reason Grantaire hasn’t talked about this before, hasn’t just grabbed Combeferre one day and fucked him senseless - because it means something. Grantaire’s had casual fucks, quick fucks, one night stand fucks, but Combeferre means more than that. He’s curious, hot with it, wanting to know how it feels to press Combeferre into the mattress and bite at his neck, to have Combeferre inside of him and curling their sweaty hands together above Grantaire’s head - he wants to know it all - but he’s also scared. All the little insecurities bubble underneath his skin beside that itch, worried that sleeping together will change things somehow. Worried that somehow it will fuck things up.

No matter how much he shoves them down, speaks to them in Combeferre’s voice and along with all Combeferre’s stupid reassurances, they don’t dissipate.

He’s even more frightened about the fact they don’t make him want to have a drink.

(He’s frightened this is a new dependency he’ll one day have the withdrawal symptoms for when it’s over, without a Combeferre to help him through the shivers, or the headaches, or the anxiety, or the panic attacks, the palpitations, or the insomnia, or the depression).

“I can’t believe you remember that,” Combeferre tells him after he’s pulled back, gently tugging his glasses off and placing them to the side, on top of some bill or another. Without them, he kisses Grantaire again, slow and self-indulgent, hands sliding down Grantaire’s chest as Grantaire kisses him back, warmth unfurling in his stomach.

Sometimes he wants Combeferre so much, it’s like a pain.

“If you say shit like that to me, I’m going to fucking remember it,” Grantaire informs him, once he’s bitten down on Combeferre’s bottom lip and put some space between them. Combeferre laughs again and Grantaire joins him, before it’s muffled by one of their lips leaning forward into the others, stealing lazy, affectionate kisses.

When they break the kiss their breathing is a little rough, out of sync to one another, and Combeferre’s looking at him seriously as he rubs his thumb over Grantaire’s collarbone, even though Grantaire’s probably an unfocused blur at this point. “Now?” He asks, eyes flickering back and forth over Grantaire’s face.

Grantaire touches his fingers to his knees, then slides his palms over Combeferre’s thighs, resting them flat over his pyjama bottoms. “If you want,” He shrugs, purposely keeping the seriousness out of his voice, because he doesn’t need Combeferre thinking Grantaire will be disappointed if he doesn’t want this, and he doesn’t need Combeferre thinking Grantaire’s desperate for it either.

Sometimes Grantaire likes Combeferre without the contact lenses or the glasses, because it makes it harder for Combeferre to read him. It makes Grantaire feel less guilty about every other little unaired thought that Combeferre seems to see in the lines of his face.

It makes things easier.

“I do,” He affirms, making anticipation buzz through Grantaire’s bones, kickstarting the restlessness. Combeferre kisses Grantaire again, quick and tender, then awkwardly climbs over the papers to slide off the bed. “Let me put my contacts in and clear this up,” Combeferre says, gesturing quickly back the way he came.

Grantaire sits back on his knees, smiling as Combeferre pads into the bedroom. Then, he grabs Combeferre’s glasses and puts them back in the case left on the bedside cabinet. Then, Grantaire doesn’t know what to do with himself.

He sits himself down, cross-legged on the bed, and fiddles with an edge of a piece of paper before realising it’s probably something important and leaving it alone to tug his fingers at the bed covers instead. He feels anxious, nervousness edging on too tight and too much. He runs his fingers through his hair and edges up the bed to root through his bedroom drawer, picking up a condom and turning it in his fingers.

“I haven’t done this in a while,” Combeferre forewarns him, after returning to the room and picking up a pile of the papers, his back to Grantaire. Grantaire slides a couple of condoms out of the drawer, with some lube, and places it down on the surface of the cabinet to make it look like he’s doing something.

There’s a hesitancy to Combeferre’s voice, light and lingering, and when he turns around to look at Grantaire he pauses for a second before bending down to scoop up another pile. He goes through the rest like that, methodologically picking up a certain section of the mess and putting it back down where it came from, this time on top of the large drawers Grantaire has opposite the bed, beside his wardrobe.

“It’s fine,” Grantaire says, during this, sitting cross-legged again. “It’s not like it’s been recent for me either.”

The truth is, Grantaire hasn’t fucked anyone since he went into recovery, probably the most sensible decision he ever made. Fucking, dating, love, whatever, could have made an impact on getting sober, and here he is, literally about to screw that sentiment over.

So, yes, maybe he is fucking nervous.

Grantaire watches Combeferre move the last of the papers to the other side of the room and swallows. He turns back to him when he’s done, eyes taking in Grantaire’s body, his bare chest, the worn grey tracksuit pants he’d live in if he had the chance, and then steps back toward him. Meanwhile, Grantaire tries to stop fidgeting, placing his hands in his lap.

Quietly, Combeferre crawls up onto the bed, just the gentle sounds of the bed creaking under his weight and them breathing between them. There’s a clock on the wall that should tick, that should be adding a soundtrack to the moment, but the sound made Grantaire so anxious he’d pulled the batteries out one day, leaving it forever on five minutes past one. Now he only tells the time by the digital one on the sideboard, at this point angled beside the condoms and the lube, telling them how late it is.

Combeferre drops down onto his knees in front of Grantaire and gently cups Grantaire’s face in his hand, leaning down to kiss him. It’s soft, until Grantaire tries not to be nervous and takes control, kissing Combeferre hard until Combeferre’s hands fall from his face and grapple for purchase against his sides, gasping, brokenly and beautifully. Grantaire tugs on Combeferre’s bottom lip then lets him go, hand running down his narrow chest.

Combeferre’s mouth is red when he pulls back, lips damp and gleaming. He licks his lips and kisses Grantaire again before he can speak, tenderness with a sharp edge that Grantaire just melts into, eyelashes fluttering as Combeferre kisses him slow and dirty. Spitefully, Grantaire revels in the fact that Enjolras will never know what a dirty talker Combeferre can be.

“Lay on your back,” Grantaire commands, roughly once they part again, breathing ragged. Combeferre smiles at him, placidly, and kisses his shoulder as he tries his best to crawl around Grantaire. In the end, Grantaire moves to one side of the bed, as Combeferre shimmies up the other to lay back, head against the pillows, in the middle of the bed.

With a sigh, Grantaire crawls over him, straddling his hips and running his hands over the flat planes of Combeferre’s stomach, watching his stomach dip at the touch, concave in and shudder. From the pillows, Combeferre’s watching him, head tilted up and hair mussed, but when Grantaire begins trailing his tongue slowly above the hem of Combeferre’s bottoms, just the way he knows Combeferre hates, his head falls back with a moan.

Grantaire grins against his skin, sucking on his hipbone as Combeferre’s hand reaches down to tangle itself in his hair, tugging just enough to make Grantaire slide the pyjamas off of him, revealing dark blue boxers underneath, stark against his skin. He moves his mouth to the warm inside of Combeferre’s thigh, worshipping it with gentle kisses while absentmindedly sliding a hand up Combeferre’s stomach, dragging it over the trail of hair leading down toward his boxers. Combeferre slides his fingers over Grantaire’s as he begins kissing the other thigh in turn, squeezing it a little too hard, enough to make Grantaire sit up and look at him curiously.

He can’t read Combeferre’s expression so he kisses him, honestly, with care, on the mouth, leaning up his body until his back begins to cramp and he sits back again, running his hands back over Combeferre’s stomach. “Do you want this?” Grantaire asks, not being able to contain the hint worry behind his words.

Combeferre leans up to kiss the emotion out of his voice, harder, then nods. “I do,” He says while laying back on the pillows, repositioning them beneath his head to hand one of them to Grantaire.

Grantaire sits back with the pillow in his hands as Combeferre tugs down his boxers, shoving them off the bed and lifting his hips to let Grantaire position the pillow beneath him. Warmth floods through Grantaire’s stomach, sharp coils of want, and he takes a moment to sit back and look at Combeferre, mouth flushed, legs spread, cock half-hard, breathing slowly and looking at Grantaire through his eyelashes. With a muffled groan, Grantaire leans over Combeferre’s body to grab what he needs off the counter then positions himself between Combeferre’s legs, kissing one of Combeferre’s raised knees.

He coats generous amounts of the lube onto his fingers then gently dips his hand between Combeferre’s thighs to rub circles over his entrance, making Combeferre’s breath hitch. Grantaire rubs his other hand over his knee and glances up at him. “Tell me if hurts, alright?” He mutters, pausing until Combeferre nods, to press a finger into him.

Grantaire goes slowly, in increments, listening to ever gasp, ever time Combeferre’s breath stutters or he elicits a moan, watching Combeferre arch slightly off of the bed and his stomach drop inward, the slight shift of his hips. He moves onto another finger, and then another, easing into Combeferre’s body, his other hand splayed out over Combeferre’s thigh. He only pauses at the third, kissing Combeferre’s knee again, lingering there, and meeting his gaze before continuing.

The third has him hissing through his teeth, biting down on his bottom lip and fisting one hand into the sheets. It makes Grantaire stop, unsure of whether or not Grantaire is hurting him, but then Combeferre’s biting out “More” before Grantaire can check if Combeferre’s alright. A little reluctantly, he submits to the demand, pressing three fingers in, and hard at the sight of him.

Combeferre’s twisted slightly against the sheets, a thin sheen of sweat on his forehead and his teeth digging into his lower lip. His knuckles are white fisted in the fabric and he’s fucking beautiful, through and through, but Grantaire doesn’t say as much, just pushes his fingers deeper until Combeferre’s swearing.

“Are you ready?” Grantaire asks, slowly edging his hand back.

Minutely, Combeferre nods in return, letting out a shakily exhaled, “Yeah.”

Quickly, Grantaire shoves off his tracksuit bottoms, his boxers following suit, and settles on the bed, rolling on the condom and smearing it with lube, jerking himself off quickly before sitting in front of Combeferre’s thighs. He looks down at him, and the awkward angle, then says, “Maybe you should go on your hands and knees?”

It sounds fucking stupid, humiliating almost, at least in Grantaire’s head, but Combeferre just smiles, eyes hazy with lust and leans up to kiss him before turning over, the muscles in his back flexing.

Granting gently presses a palm against his back, flat, between his shoulder blades then positions himself in front of Combeferre’s entrance, their breaths the main focus of the room. He feels like he should give a warning, but decides it would just sound idiotic, then guides himself carefully inside of him, taking it as slow as his fingers were, moments ago. Beneath him Combeferre let’s out a noise close to a whine and drops his head down while Grantaire wraps his other hand around Combeferre’s hip, keeping him in place.

Grantaire takes a moment once he’s inside of him, feeling the heat, the tightness, feeling Combeferre’s breaths in time with his own. Combeferre doesn’t push him either, which he guesses means he needs it. They get used to one another, feel their bodies against each other’s, then Combeferre’s rocking his hips back and swearing at the feel of it.

It’s not beautiful. It’s not perfect. Grantaire’s thrusts start off too shallow and then they are suddenly too sharp, snapping his hips by accident and making Combeferre cry out in pain rather than pleasure, and when he does finally get the pressure right Combeferre’s pushing his hips back out of time with Grantaire’s thrusts, lustful and needy. Grantaire grips Combeferre’s hips so hard that at one point his hand slips and he slices Combeferre’s skin with his fingernail, pressing “Jesus Christ, Combeferre” into his spine, as Combeferre slowly aches down into the sheets below him, body cascading forward with each thrust until his head is touching the bedsheets.

It’s not as fast as Grantaire needs it to be, not as quick or dirty as what he wants, bucking his hips in held back gestures because Combeferre’s so tight and tensing beneath him at every breath, not open or pliant or loose, or any of the things it could be. Yet, Combeferre looks perfect beneath him, hair wrecked, sweat on his spine, muscles shifting beneath his skin, letting out a string of harsh words and approvals that sound so much more dignified than Grantaire ever could.

Grantaire misses him like this.

He presses his mouth against his back, wrapping an arm around his body and over Combeferre’s chest but it’s not enough. Grantaire wants to see his face, to see the way pleasure makes his eyelashes flutter, or his mouth form that perfect “O”. He wants to press their sweaty foreheads together and kiss between thrusts, to bite at Combeferre’s neck and his perfect collarbones and at any patch of skin he can reach. Instead, he bites at Combeferre’s shoulder, settling with what he can get. By the time he thinks about flipping them over the word “Please” is spilling from Combeferre’s lips, muffled, and Grantaire’s got a hand around Combeferre’s aching cock.

Combeferre comes with an equally perfect cry of something which could be Grantaire’s name, back arching beneath him and shuddering through it, and Grantaire feels regret. He wished he could have seen it, the way it looked on his face, Combeferre’s come spilling over Grantaire’s hand and onto his chest. Instead, the sheets are fucking ruined.

Grantaire kisses down his spine before pulling out of him, and rolling down to lay beside Combeferre’s figure, pulling off the condom and throwing it in the general direction of the bin. He wraps a hand around his dick, hushes a groan through his teeth, and admires the sweaty mess of Combeferre slowly easing himself down against the sheets, led out on his side and watching Grantaire through hooded eyes.

“I did that,” Thinks Grantaire, and comes, on a stuttered breath.

Beside him, Combeferre hums, low and sleepy, and shuffles forward to plaster himself against Grantaire’s side. He hooks a leg over Grantaire’s, rubbing his foot against the other's and presses his forehead against Grantaire’s shoulder.

It’s uncomfortably hot, but Grantaire can bare it for now, especially with Combeferre drawing inconsequential patterns on Grantaire’s stomach, his breath coming out sharp but steady on his shoulder. He feels himself smiling before he can help himself, happy in the post-coital haze because it wasn’t great, it wasn’t particularly mind-blowing or life-changing but it was Combeferre. Combeferre being his and letting Grantaire do that. It catches on something in Grantaire’s chest, making it hurt.

“It’s a good thing you moved those papers,” Grantaire observes lightly, grinning more than smiling, while sluggishly looking at the tangle of sheets around them.

“Yeah,” Combeferre replies, voice more steady but still sleepy as he braces an arm against the bed and pushes himself up. His hair is half plastered to his forehead, and Grantaire laughs at the image, gently shoving the hair back and curling his hand into it as Combeferre hovers over him. Combeferre smiles back at him, honest and pleased, then leans down for a kiss, slow and soft, easy and right. When he gets off the bed he pulls the wrecked duvet with him, chucking it in the corner of the room and walking to the bathroom.

Grantaire leans back against a pillow, letting the cool air touch his skin, drying the come on his stomach in a way that’s just great and feeling… well, content. A word which doesn’t come up in his vocabulary very often, if he’s honest, which he generally isn’t.

Combeferre comes back with a wet flannel to wipe off Grantaire’s chest, already having done the same to himself, then returns it to the bathroom sink. On the way back he grabs blanket from the top of Grantaire’s wardrobe, throwing it over the bed before crawling back beside Grantaire and beneath the material.

“Mr Responsible,” Grantaire jibes, murmured and fond as he lulls his head down onto Combeferre’s chest, curling up against his side and letting Combeferre tuck an arm around him, looped loosely around his middle.

“Oh, shush,” Combeferre scolds him, with as much fondness, and Grantaire grins at Combeferre’s in-eloquence because anywhere else Combeferre would have a comeback on his tongue, dry, offhanded and usually uncaring. Here, Combeferre is pressing his nose into his hair.

-

When Grantaire wakes up he’s sprawled out on the side, warm but without any covers, and the bed smells like Combeferre. The best bet was that Grantaire had chucked the blankets off sometime during the night. He always ended up getting too hot, and only in winter did he actually stay planted firmly beneath the sheets.

Grantaire finds out that Combeferre’s facing him, after he’s turned over, still asleep and on his side, beneath a heap of blankets. One arm is led out over the sheets, spread out toward Grantaire, and smirking, Grantaire tickles his fingers until Combeferre stirs, hand making a fist.

He kisses the fist first, and then Combeferre’s wrist, and then kisses lazily over the soft hairs on his arms to where his shoulder is peeking out from beneath the covers, then kisses his neck until Combeferre’s eyes are opening, squinting at Grantaire in the morning sun.

Grantaire grins at him. “I think there’s pancake mix in the cupboard,” He says, sneaking a hand beneath the blanket and finding Combeferre’s hip, trailing his fingertips over his hipbone. Combeferre’s eyes don’t stay on him long, sliding shut again after a moment, his body deflating into the mattress.

“Sounds good,” Combeferre murmurs, voice thick with sleep and grabbing Grantaire’s hand to pull him closer.

The eggs turn out to be what is making the refrigerator stink, so pancakes are off the menu, and Grantaire soon finds out there’s no cereal left (both by the empty boxes and Eponine’s rough note of “BUY CEREAL” on the refrigerator door) so they end up reheating some leftover pizza instead while Combeferre comments on how he’s surprised Grantaire’s never got scurvy.

All in all, it’s everything Grantaire could want.