Grantaire awoke to the single most ungraceful sound he ever heard his lover make. He pulled himself out of bed and followed the noise to the kitchen, where he saw Enjolras doubled over the sink, vomiting.
Panic set in and Grantaire was at his side, pulling back the loose strands that fell over Enjolras's shoulder and gently rubbing his back.
"What's wrong?" he asked, trying to keep his voice steady.
Enjolras groaned in response and hurled up another chunk of what looked like last night's dinner.
Grantaire placed a hand on his forehead. "You're burning up! Come, we have to get you back to bed. I'll send for Joly. He doesn't live far."
"That's not necessary," Enjolras croaked. "I am only feeling a little nauseous. There is no need to disturb him."
Then he vomited again.
"Joly won't mind. Let me get you back into bed. I just want to make sure it's not something serious."
Enjolras relented. Grantaire set a bucket by the bedside and then called for a gamin to fetch Joly. Enjolras vomited two more times before Joly arrived, and Grantaire stayed beside him, holding back his hair and trying desperately to keep his worries to himself.
When Joly arrived, Grantaire stood on the far side of the room, playing with his shirt to keep from pacing while Joly examined Enjolras. Finally, Joly approached him.
"What did you eat last night?"
"We ate that new restaurant across town," said Grantaire with a frown. "Madame Lucille's?"
Joly pursed his lips. "Ah, yes. I know the place. Did Enjolras eat any of the seafood platters?"
"It's food poisoning." Then Joly turned sheepish. "Laigle and I went there last month and we both came down with it. When we didn't show up to any of the meetings for a week straight? That is what we had."
"And you didn't think to mention this to any of us?"
"We didn't think anybody would go there. It's on the other side of the city, after all!" Joly shook his head. "Anyway, Enjolras will be fine. He just needs to drink a lot of fluids. No coffee or alcohol. Do not try to feed him anything he does not normally eat, and he needs plenty of rest. This will pass in a day or two. Call me or Combeferre if he's not better on Monday."
"Thank you, Joly," said Grantaire as he saw his friend out.
Then guilt set in. He was the one who had suggested Madame Lucille's. Enjolras had wanted to stay somewhere closer, but Grantaire insisted. If only they had gone to one of their usual places! It was not as though they were celebrating a special occasion. Why had Grantaire not heeded Enjolras's request?
"It's not your fault," called Enjolras softly, a small smile on his face. "There was no way you could have possibly known."
"It was not your fault. It was no one's fault. These things happen." Then Enjolras groaned and turned over, the bucket barely muffling the horrible sound he made.
Grantaire cringed, the guilt not completely eased. Fluids, Joly said. Enjolras needed to drink. Water was a safe bet, Grantaire knew, and so he quickly promised Enjolras that he would be right back and knocked on a neighbor's door, asking to borrow one of his buckets. He went down to the well, fetched the water, and returned, immediately pouring some into a glass.
"Here, Enjolras, drink this," said Grantaire, gently lifting Enjolras upright enough so that he could drink. He helped him sip the water until it was empty, and Grantaire filled the glass again and placed it on the bedside table. "I'll make you some soup."
He retreated into the kitchen, preparing the least offensive soup he knew how. His heart sank every time he heard Enjolras throw up into the bucket. Grantaire had gone through his share of food poisoning incidents before, and he remembered how awful he felt. He hated that Enjolras had to experience it now, too, and all because of his poor choice in restaurants!
And yet Enjolras did not hold that against him. Grantaire did not understand it, but the thought made him smile.
The soup done, he went back to the bed and helped the sleepy Enjolras sit upright.
"You don't need to feed me," he said in between spoonfuls. He did not move to take the spoon away from Grantaire, however, and he raised no further complaint than that.
After the bowl was emptied, Enjolras settled back into the blankets and closed his eyes. Grantaire watched him for a minute, gently brushing away his hair from his face and then leaning in to kiss his forehead. Grantaire stood, but Enjolras grabbed his wrist.
"Stay with me."
Grantaire smiled and lowered himself back onto the bed. "Of course." And so he did until Enjolras drifted to sleep.