One month later-

Fire crackled at the hearth of the fireplace, throwing shadows across Marius' face as he read out loud.

"...Does it follow from this that the general will is exterminated or corrupted? Not at all: it is always constant, unalterable and pure; but it is subordinated to other wills which encroach upon its sphere..."

They were sitting on the chaise longue together, Rousseau's "Social Contract" open between them, taking turns reading. It had become a evening custom with them.

Enjolras put his arm around Marius' shoulders and the boy looked up from the book, grinning.

"Shall we stop there for tonight?" He asked. Marius nodded.

"We might as well-" He laughed as Enjolras pulled him even closer, their lips meeting, Marius threading his fingers through the other boy's hair. Eventually, they broke apart, Enjolras settling against the arm of the chaise, Marius lying against his chest.

"How does your leg feel?"

Marius shrugged as his lover wrapped his arms around him.

"I barely notice it now. I can feel it when I dream sometimes, and afterwards, but it's nothing like before."

"Good." Enjolras said.

There was a pause and then the blond laughed suddenly.

"What?" Marius turned to look at him curiously.

"Just... when I woke up this morning... it felt like the first time. This feels like the first time. Do you remember? We were in the dormitory, and I'd woken up first and for the longest time I couldn't understand why you were in bed with me... And then you woke up and kissed me and... nothing mattered anymore."

"Except us." Marius added.

"Except us."

Silence fell for a moment and then Enjolras gently maneuvered out from underneath his lover. Taking the hand that was offered, Marius pulled himself off the chaise longue, the blond catching him, letting him lean on his shoulder.

Marius spoke suddenly as they made their way slowly up the stairs.



"Do you ever... do you ever regret this? You were hurt so much just to keep this alive and I wonder sometimes... do you have any regrets?"

Enjolras stared at him, trailing a finger over the boy's cheek.

"None." He murmured. "And you? Do you ever regret meeting me?"

"I'm Enjolras, by the way."

"Let's forget about what the world thinks."

"I know I love you. I know I can't take my eyes off you. I know I'd die for you."

"They can't stop this from being real. Because this is real. And they can't erase that."

Marius smiled, leaning forward, lips over Enjolras' ear.