"Oh, you've remodeled," Grantaire said absentmindedly as he continued to nurse his sore head. The snapping of fingers brought him back to the world in front of him and he quickly said, "Sorry but you did hit me pretty hard."
"Whatever," said Eponine with a wave of her hand and then continued talking to Enjolras. "But it's amazing that you're even alive. I thought for sure that you had somehow been erased."
"Uh . . . you do realize I'm not a doll, right?" Enjolras asked as his head was twisted from side to side and Eponine examined him.
"Oh! Sorry, just trying to get use to this whole thing," Eponine quickly said. "So you pretty much brought about all this by yourself? All the change that has been happening?"
"Hey! I helped to," grumbled Grantaire.
"Shut it or I'll hit you with something else."
He probably should've remained silent then and there but instead he mumbled, "Like what? The house?"
That earned him a quick slap to the back of the head as he yelled out, sporting a pouting face. He remained silent for the rest of the time as Eponine pretty much interrogated Enjolras, asking him about everything that he had done for the Afterlife. She also got the story on how he came back though parts were still fuzzy, even for him.
Finally, Eponine turned towards Grantaire and said, "I'm still not going to forgive you for a while for what you did."
"I know," he said looking down at the ground.
Eponine paused, frowned slightly, and finally just said oh to hell with it and went over and hugged Grantaire. "This doesn't mean I'm not mad at you," she said. "But I am glad that you're back."
"Yeah," said Grantaire with a small smile. "Me too."
"See, I told you Eponine wasn't that terrifying."
"You said what about me?"
"I didn't say anything!" cried out Grantaire as he put his hands up and then quickly gave Enjolras a glare. In fear of getting hit again, he then asked, "So what have you decided to do? I've noticed the remodeling and everything."
"I'm working at the library, helping to collect works from Earth and also getting originals from here published. It's a lot more fun than it sounds."
"I'll take your word on it," replied Grantaire with a laugh.
"Also, sorry but I kind of threw all your stuff out. Not that you had anything really but there isn't another bed anymore."
"Naw, it's alright. Besides, I doubt you'd even want a room next to me."
At first, Eponine didn't get it but Enjolras did and as his face went red he yelled out, "Grantaire!" This of course caused Eponine to understand and she quickly hit Grantaire upside the head again. It hurt but it was worth it Grantaire decided over all.
Sighing, Eponine said, "You need to see everyone Grantaire. Jehan has been crying you know."
Grantaire winced at this and nodded. Getting up, he gestured for Enjolras to follow him and Eponine led them outside. As they walked through town, Grantaire noticed how much livelier it seemed now. Everyone seemed happier and more free.
They got to the same little restaurant that Grantaire had often went to and it was pretty much the same. Small, homely, it was surprisingly welcomed. As Grantaire and Enjolras took a seat, Eponine went to a phone so that she could contact everyone to get over as quickly as possible.
"What should I say? Or should you talk first? Will it be odd, me being here?"
Grantaire was shocked to realize that Enjolras was a bit scared upon seeing them again. Granted, the last time he'd seen them was in 1832 and that had ended with nearly everyone getting killed. Thinking of this made Grantaire frown as he asked, "Enjolras, do you still feel responsible for the June Rebellion?"
"How can I not? Yes, they followed me but for what? Only Marius got out alive and that was extremely lucky. But what of Jehan? Of Joly or Courfeyrac? What am I to say to them? Not even their death brought a change to the government of France."
"Please do not beat yourself up over this," said Grantaire softly. "It wasn't—"
"Don't you dare say it wasn't my fault because you know damn well it was."
"Then wait for their reactions before you see if they blame you. You can't just assume how they'll react. They are your friends Enjolras, above all else," said Grantaire and when even his words barely seemed to ease him, he then placed his hand in Enjolras' and squeezed.
Enjolras sighed but smiled nonetheless. "Thank you, Grantaire," he murmured right as Eponine sat down.
"Alright, so they're on their way now. Also, I should warn you that Gavroche is with them as well."
"So we have Marius, Cosette, Jehan, Courfeyrac, Joly, and Gavroche then?" asked Grantaire.
"Yep," said Eponine. She glanced at Enjolras and then rolled her eyes and said, "Enjolras, there is no need to be worried. They'll love it that you're here and alright."
"How could you even tell?"
She shrugged her shoulders simply replying, "I just could."
They didn't have to wait long until suddenly a small form burst through the door and Enjolras nearly fell out of his chair. "Oh it's good to see you!" cried out Gavroche. "And you to Grantaire! It's been to long."
Enjolras was a bit surprised at first but eventually eased up slightly and said, "Yeah, good to see you again as well."
Grantaire laughed and said, "You're that enthusiastic about seeing me again really?"
"Of course Grantaire! How could I not be?" asked Gavroche with a smile.
It was at that point that Jehan and Courfeyrac came in, probably having been with Gavroche before he'd taken off running. Upon seeing both Grantaire and Enjolras, Jehan rushed forward, wrapping his arms around both of them.
Tears were already falling as he said, "Oh god! I missed you two so much! I was so worried about you. I didn't know if you were alive or what. Please don't ever leave again!"
"I'm sorry Jehan. I truly am but it won't happen again," Grantaire quickly promised, Enjolras doing the same.
Courfeyrac actually held back the tears but it was clear how much he had missed both of them. They began to talk, everyone calming down a bit when finally Enjolras had to ask, "Will any of you please tell me this? It's killing me but I must know if you blame me for what happened."
"Not at all," Jehan replied immediately, no hesitation what so ever. "So what if you led us? We followed willingly."
"Yes," said Courfeyrac. "I could never blame you for what happened."
"Me to!" cried out Gavroche. "I was in it all the way. You're family Enjolras and you don't back down from family."
"Family . . ." murmured Enjolras, liking the way it sounded. He was about to ask something when a familiar voice said, "Enjolras."
He turned to see Marius and Cosette standing there and he stood up, quickly giving Marius a hug. "It is good to see you," he said.
"Yes, it is," Marius agreed. "Let me introduce you to my wife finally. Cosette, Enjolras. Enjolras, this is Cosette."
"How do you do?" asked Enjolras and gave a slight bow of his head.
"Quite well. And yourself? We were all quite worried about you."
"Even yourself? One who has never laid eyes upon me?"
"Of course. A friend of Marius is a friend of mind."
It was at this point Jehan commented, "I feel like I'm watching a movie from based the twenties."
"Oh shut up," replied Enjolras, breaking the illusion. "Is it so bad if I actually use manners?"
"Do not fret, I think it is quite kind of you," said Cosette with a smile. "How about we sit now?"
"Yes," said Marius quickly. "I want to know what happened to you and Grantaire. And Eponine even told me on the phone that you've had a part in this. The Afterlife that is."
"I should've known you'd be the cause of all this change," said a voice suddenly and everyone turned to see Joly. "Hey guys."
"Joly," breathed Grantaire as he jumped up and ran to him. "How are you?"
"I'm alright. Better now that I know you and Enjolras are alright," said Joly. He had to stop and blink several times, saying, "God and I told myself I wouldn't cry."
"Oh go ahead. Jehan already did," said Gavroche.
It seemed that those were the only words needed before Joly was clutching onto Grantaire, hugging him desperately. "I missed you so much."
"Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere," replied Grantaire.
After their moment was over, Joly came to Enjolras and quickly hugged him to. "I'll be honest. I'm surprised you're hugging me. What about the germs?"
Even though there were still tears on his face, it lit up with a smile as he said, "First off, we're in the Afterlife. We can't get sick. Second of all, I got over that a while ago."
"Well congratulations on that," said Enjolras with a soft smile as well.
They pulled up another seat for Joly and the table was now crowded but cozy as well. Enjolras and Grantaire told their story again, pausing whenever someone had a question or comment. When they were finished, the group started talking on happier things.
Current interests, housing, jobs, how everyone was, were brought up in their conversation. It was the first really joyful experience that Grantaire or Enjolras had experienced so far. Grantaire even gave Enjolras a kiss in answer to Gavroche's question if they were finally together.
Enjolras automatically blushed at being kissed in public but everyone's smiling faces eased him up. As he looked around the table, he thought of the word Gavroche had used, family. It was something that Enjolras had never really believed in but maybe it hadn't been the right kind of family either. Maybe it truly was something you earned when you became more than friends.
He wouldn't find out until later but Grantaire was thinking along the same lines. I finally have my family, he thought. We're still waiting for the others. Combeferre, Bosseut, and Feuilly, but they'll get here someday. Eponine, my closet friend in the world is with me and the love of my life as well. I can't think of a better way to spend the rest of eternity.
"Grantaire, what are you smiling about so happily?" asked Enjolras with a laugh.
He simply continued to grin and gave Enjolras a soft peck on the cheek. "Hmm, nothing much."
AN: Last chapter, I thank you all for reading this and hope you've enjoyed it. I certainly have enjoyed writing it. I'll probably write more for this pairing and maybe others in Les Miserable as well.