Twenty-Five Things I Do and Don't Love About You
Summary: Fill for the Les Miserables Kink Meme. Drunk, Grantaire pens a list of the things that he loves about Enjolras- and the things that Enjolras does that hurt him. Enjolras finds it.
Author's Note: The list ended up being a strange mix of funny and sad. Oh well- Grantaire was drunk.
Disclaimer: I don't own Les Miserables. It belongs to Victor Hugo.
THINGS I LOVE ABOUT ENJOLRAS
-The way he can get the attention of everyone in a room with only a few words.
-The fact that he can accomplish the above point in just about any room with any sort of people in it.
-Going off that point, the fact that I have never seen him completely bested in an argument before.
-He actually does have a sense of humor, even if it is buried deeper than the lost city of Atlantis
-The fact that he was willing to put a fist in the face of that bastard who decided to get handsy with Courfeyrac and Jehan. Good friend, he is.
-His smile (I know I mentioned it already, I just really like it)
-His focus and determination
-If anyone could start a revolution, it would be him.
-His hair (that one time I touched it, it was very soft)
THINGS I DON'T LOVE ABOUT ENJOLRAS
-He keeps asking me if I'm drunk
-Seriously, everyone here already knows the answer to that question
-His handwriting. An otter gripping a pen between its stubby little paws would create something more legible.
-The way he looks at me when he asks if I'm drunk.
-When he says all I can do is drink.
-I am too capable of thinking
-And living and dying
-I can do more than drink, he just doesn't know it.
Enjolras blinked down at the paper and wasn't certain what to say.
It was one of those mornings.
Such mornings left Grantaire feeling more dead than awake, unable to do much more than occasionally shift or roll in bed. It wasn't even that his head hurt (oh God but it did), it wasn't even that his stomach was unsettled (dear God it was), but the alcohol had seemed to have stripped him of his very life-force, and it left him with only the barest of energy.
The sun was too bright in the room, but in a fit of drunkenness the week previously he had stumbled into them and ripped them from the windows. Grantaire had meant to have them repaired, but he kept forgetting, only reminded in the morning when the sun sent needles into his eyes made too sensitive by drink.
The night previous had been an overindulgence even beyond his usual. It left him unable to remember most of the events of the night previous, and the resulting hangover was even more miserable than his usual. It was on mornings like these that Grantaire began to seriously consider that he might have some problems with alcohol, and that maybe he should consider cutting back on his intake.
If all went as usual, that would last about half a week before he eventually returned to his typical drinking habits.
So deep was his stupor on this particular day that Grantaire laid in bed until almost noon, mulling over the possibilities of cutting back on alcohol, considering how realistic that goal was, reconsidering, and then eventually giving up on that train of thought and trying to recall what had gone on the night before.
He could dimly recall a conversation with Courfeyrac. Grantaire had not been in a good mood- something that had consistently preceded each of his stronger drinking binges- and his friends were attempting to cheer him. He could distinctly recall Bahorel offering to bring him down to a brawl he knew was happening somewhere, but Courfeyrac had driven him off, saying that Grantaire was less likely to be cheered and more likely to end up with his skull cracked.
He could dimly recall writing something last night at Courfeyrac's behest, but he had become so drunk in the process of doing so that the topic of said writing was a blur to him. It couldn't have been important, because God knew Courfeyrac had enough sense now not to ask anything crucial of Grantaire when he was that intoxicated, but Grantaire could not think of anything else that would have-
Suddenly, there was a knock at the door.
It was fairly easy to determine via knock who had come for a visit. Bahorel didn't knock so much as he pounded; Feuilly's knock was light, always a little hesitant to hit his hands anymore than they needed to be after all the work he did with them; Jehan's knock had a certain rhythm to it that was unmistakable; Bossuet or Joly rarely dropped by alone, and any knocks were usually followed by some murmured conversation; Combeferre would knock four times in succession; Courfeyrac's amount varied depending on his mood, and had no discernible pattern.
This was not a knock Grantaire recognized. It was two knocks, and then a split-second pause, and then another. Either the person at the door was uncertain that they had the right address, or one of his friends was rather reluctant to speak to him. If he had recognized the knock, he might have called for whoever he thought it was to come back later unless their visit was of a life or death nature.
As it was, Grantaire assumed that a stranger either needed to redirected or a friend needed speaking to (pretty badly, if they were so distraught that he could recognize their knock), and so he lifted his head from the pillow with a groan, then let it drop again when his head proved to be heavier than a hundred stones.
Another set of knocks, this time a little bolder- but still not one he recognized.
"Coming, coming," Grantaire called, voice cracking. "Half a minute." The few minutes it took to get to the door were spent solely on dragging himself out of bed and steadying himself so that he could walk. He'd just sort of stumbled into bed the night previously, and was still fully dressed. He had a strong feeling that another knock was coming, and almost threw himself against the door so that he could reach it in time.
With one last moment to compose himself, Grantaire yanked the door open with a sleepy "Hm?", but his eyes snapped open fully when he saw who was on the other side.
Enjolras had never come to visit Grantaire's flat before, which was an entirely acceptable reason as to why Grantaire would not have recognized his knock. To be fair, though, he wouldn't have expected Enjolras to sound so hesitant anyway. "Enjolras- What brings you here?"
He stepped aside and invited the blond in. Enjolras's expression had some tenseness to it, but was otherwise unreadable as he stepped over the threshold. However, once he got a good look at Grantaire's face, Enjolras frowned. "Are you all right?"
Grantaire realized that he probably looked like death warmed over and ran a hand through his hair. "Fine, I'm fine. I simply enjoyed my usual revelry last night is all." A horrible thought struck him. "Hell, that isn't why you're here, is it? I didn't do anything worse than usual, did I?"
"No, no- Not that I'm aware of, at any rate."
Then what are you doing here? Grantaire wanted to ask, but didn't want to give the impression that he was displeased with Enjolras's presence in his house. Indeed, if he were feeling better (and had a better idea as to why Enjolras was visiting) he would have been ecstatic that the younger man had come for a visit.
Though he didn't say the words out loud, Enjolras seemed to know what Grantaire was getting at. "I stopped by the Musain this morning," He began, and pulled something out of his pocket. "I left a few books there last night after the meeting." For a moment, Grantaire's heart sunk- he naturally assumed from that sentence that that was Enjolras's reason for coming.
"Well, I'm afraid I don't have them. You might check with Combeferre, as I'm reasonably certain that the man rescues orphan books off the street in his spare time. He'd never be able to pass up a stack so callously left alone in his own haunt."
His face lit up when he saw Enjolras's lips twitch upwards into a smile. It was rare indeed that he could say anything to bring such an action about. "I don't know if he's quite that passionate about books. But no, Grantaire, that isn't what I came for." The item he had removed from his pocket was a piece of paper. "I found this on the floor. By your table. I- I didn't realize it was you who had written it until after I'd read it, and I apologize for reading something that wasn't meant for my eyes-"
He handed it over, and Grantaire scanned the paper. It was a list, a fairly long one- no, it was two lists, and the title of the first was-
Grantaire's cheeks went red, and it took a great deal of self-control to not go back to bed, hide under the covers and play the if-I-can't-see-you-you-can't-see-me game. Enjolras had read this, had read all of it, and Grantaire could not for the life of him remember what had compelled him to write such a list. No, wait- Courfeyrac was going to die a slow and painful death when they next met, because clearly this monstrosity had been his doing.
His hair, his smile (twice!), his voice, the otter-thing- damn it.
While he could only dimly remember actually writing the list, it outlined rather well at what point his drinking had grown heavy enough to damage his thought-process. Even his handwriting had taken a turn for the worse once the 'things I don't love' part of the list started, and clearly by the end any attempt at a coherent and straight-forward thought was out of the question. Those last few, though…
That was why he was in a bad mood the night before.
"Jesus. I-" Grantaire quickly crumpled the paper, feeling his cheeks go red. "I'm sorry you had to see yet another variation of the green fairy's mischief made solid, Enjolras. Remind me to give Courfeyrac a solid kick up the-"
"No, no, really," Enjolras assured. "It's fine, I just- I'm sorry."
Grantaire froze mid-crumpling. "What?"
"I'm sorry. I…" Enjolras paced over to Grantaire's desk. Grantaire interpreted as a sign of restlessness rather than curiosity or a desire to put distance between the two of them. "Clearly I've hurt you."
"Your list says otherwise." Enjolras pointed out, looking back and nodding to the paper in his hands, which Grantaire then pointedly tossed over his shoulder.
"There were plenty of good things on that list as well."
"So I noticed." Enjolras turned away, ensuring that Grantaire couldn't see his face. "But those few things you mentioned at the bottom-"
"They were nothing, Enjolras, I was drunk and moody. You don't need to apologize."
"Yes, Grantaire, I do!" Enjolras insisted once more, this time turning around to face the older man properly. "I- Can't deny that we do not have the strongest of friendships."
Grantaire just managed to stop himself from snorting, because previously he'd been under the impression that they hadn't had a friendship at all. But Enjolras saying that they were without being prompted to do so (if he wanted, he could have easily chosen wording that did not bring friendship into it) made something in him rather giddy. "True."
"But you are my friend, and I said something that hurt you. I did not quite fulfill your assertion that I am a good friend."
"Good friends don't say that someone is incapable of anything but being an unthinking, unfeeling drunk." Enjolras said ruefully, shaking his head. "I was agitated and tired, but it's no excuse- it was thoughtless of me to disregard your feelings, and I am sorry."
Grantaire didn't really know what to do- Enjolras had never apologized to him before. This incident was an exception to the rule, that rule being that Enjolras would snap at Grantaire when he grew too drunk or loud or contentious during a meeting, and such a reprimand was usually well-deserved. Grantaire could not blame Enjolras for losing his temper and kicking him out of the Musain many nights: He knew how belligerent he could get while drunk, and Enjolras's comments rarely ran deeper than 'you're drunk, go home and stop bothering us'.
The only reason he had been so upset was because of the nature of Enjolras's remark: It went, to the best of his memory, "you aren't capable of anything, not thinking, wanting, believing, living or dying"- the implication, of course, being that all Grantaire was capable of was being a drunk with no purpose. And despite his protestations, it had in fact wounded him quite a bit.
"That's… Thank you. Apology accepted." Grantaire managed, and realized that he was wringing his hands. There was a somewhat uncomfortable silence between them after that, neither really certain what to say next. It was Enjolras who eventually broke it.
"I was… Surprised at the number of things in the first list. I didn't realize you thought so highly of me." Enjolras was looking at a spot on the floor and not Grantaire's eyes. He looked… Shy, which was surely something Grantaire had never seen from him before. Not from self-assured, confident Enjolras.
"Has no one ever told you as much?" He inquired. Surely he couldn't have been the first to offer such compliments.
"I've been praised for my eloquence, occasionally my intelligence." The younger man responded modestly. "But no one has ever praised me so… Wholly, before. I'm not sure my personality has ever been spoken so kindly of." That was a little more believable. As good a man as Grantaire knew Enjolras to be, he could come off as hardened and chilly on occasion; there was a reason, after all, why Grantaire often compared him to a marble statue. "Thank you for that."
Now Grantaire was the one who was looking at anything else at the room but his fellow occupant. "You have many admirable qualities. I have many reasons to- to like you."
Neither he nor Enjolras mentioned that the exact word had been "love".
Not wanting another dreaded silence to fall over them, Grantaire considered his two options: Hinting for Enjolras to leave, or asking him to stay. Given the depth of his affection and how long he had longed for the man to pay him a visit at home, the answer was fairly clear.
"Would you like some tea? I have tea. Tea that does not contain alcohol. If you would like."
"I would want to be any trouble-"
"It won't be any trouble." Grantaire assured, waving his hands towards the small table and chairs nearby. After a moment, possibly to consider whether or not this was a good idea, Enjolras wandered over to one and sat down. "Of course, this stove is the greatest piece of ineffective worthlessness to curse Paris since Louis XVI-"
"Now you speak only what I want to hear."
"Please, I needn't be a revolutionary to think he and the queen were useless as rulers. But as I was saying, this stove is useless, and the tea will likely take a while. If you're in need, I would gladly dedicate it to your barricade when it goes up." He continued to denounce the stove with his usual brand of cynical pessimism, but in his heart, Grantaire was practically dancing.
Enjolras is going to have tea with me. This is definitely one of the better days of my life.
I know Enjolras doesn't actually say the "Grantaire, you not capable of believing, thinking, wanting, living or dying" line until the barricade is being built shhhhhh pretend he said it before then shhhhhhh…