A/N: So, I have finally given in to my plot bunny and written some E/R. I have never written anything for romance before in my entire life, so I apologise if this sucks :) Also, there is a teensy bit of sexual behaviour in this. Definitely not pornographic, no mechanics or anything, but it's there. I didn't intend for iy to be there originally, but it's not very explicit and, I don't know, it felt like the correct progression of things. So there you are, don't you judge me :)
Also, I am now on tumblr! I haven't posted much yet, but I will do soon. Les Mis things, this piece probably included. You can find me at scrapbooktales or RainInMyCuppedHands for original works if you want to come say hi :) Also, if you like the idea of Les Mis modern au comic (:D) go check out apollocomic on tumblr, whose sublimely beautiful drawing style inspired me to get this written down.
Scrapbook Tales is my Les Mis modern AU, volumes of which will be posted whenever inspiration strikes.
Scrapbook Tales #1
Precipice (they were often on the edge of something more)
For months, they balanced on a line together, each pulling the other this way and that. They were not friends (though they shared friends and that is nearly the same thing) and they were not enemies. They existed alongside one another and some days it was companionable and some days it was not.
There were evenings at the cafes and friends' apartments when they tore into one another's flesh with their words, seeking out the places that would bleed most. Enjolras would find all of Grantaire's old wounds and thrust fresh daggers into them, and Grantaire would take a sledgehammer to Enjolras's marble perfection and do his damnedest to smash it into powder and never quite succeed (but that only made the blows hurt all the more, not all chips are on the surface).
In times like these, when they would spit poison into each other's faces, hate would coil around their hearts and dig its claws into the pulsing surface. Somehow, though, it was always gone by morning, leaving nothing more than bitter-tasting tongues from forming words so cruel. And if that bitterness was a little bit like regret, well, both would elect to suffer it rather than wash it away with an apology (sometimes 'sorry' waited in their throats, but they would inevitably choke on it before it left their lips).
It starts innocuously, with coffee, because there was no one else to go with but each other. Both of them are making a Herculean effort to keep their words calm and civil, and Enjolras asks Grantaire about his art, and Grantaire makes Enjolras laugh for the first time since the beginning of their acquaintance, and it begins to look something like a certain kind of friendship. And after that, their rows, while still bloody and vicious, stop just short of murderous.
Grantaire is the most surprised of them all when he becomes useful to the group, in some capacity. He leaves the Musain one evening, having shredded Enjolras's arguments and made no move to stitch them back together in some better way. At three in the morning, he finds himself opening his door to Apollo, with a stack of papers in his arms relevant to his speech earlier. He has a blaze of purpose in his eyes and a single word on his lips ('again').
Enjolras expounds, in Grantaire's flat at three in the morning, and it is a little different this time. Grantaire tears it up verbally once more and the pieces drift to the floor between them.
At noon the next day, Enjolras closes his mouth on the last syllable of the speech and waits for Grantaire's barrage of criticism (this is the pattern they grew into, in the small hours). Silence sits thickly in the flat. No criticism comes. For the first time, in the quiet wake of Enjolras's speech, Grantaire has nothing to say. Instead he nods, once, slowly, holding Enjolras's eyes, then gets up to make them coffee.
When Enjolras presents the rigorously edited speech to a panel of his university professors, they can find no fault in it. It is flawless.
They still argue. They still leave most meetings covered in invisible bruises and blood, with a few particularly hurtful words still sticking in their skin.
Neither can remember the moment they began to feel as though they wanted to breathe each other's air (or rather, when Enjolras began to feel that way. Some days Grantaire felt like he had wanted that since he drew his first breath) though when asked, either might reply the first moment they actually did ('Be serious.' 'I am wild.'). They were simmering in the aftermath of a boiling row with more heat than hurt in it and Enjolras bent close to Grantaire's face, fuming, to deliver his murmured reprimand. Grantaire had replied with a wolfish grin, a grin with danger in the corners, and his arctic eyes had glittered savagely. His words were a contradiction, soft but sharp, almost a whisper. They were meant just for Enjolras; they did not have to travel far. There were centimetres between their lips.
Their lines begin to blur after that. The air between them crackles and sparks. Each are waiting, breath held, for the inevitable plunge.
It happens on a bridge (how appropriate, Grantaire thinks), where they've somehow ended up alone in a frost-bitten night, and Enjolras is trying to fumble out a stilted apology for some senseless insult Grantaire has already half forgotten when he suddenly rips the cigarette from between Grantaire's lips and crushes their mouths together. It's not gentle or sweet or anything else that love is meant to be, it's desperate and messy from both sides, but Grantaire's world shrinks down to the tearing chill of the cold wind on his skin, the scalding, delicious heat of Enjolras's tongue in his mouth and the painful line in his back where he is being pressed against the bridge railing.
They still argue, and afterwards they kiss the bruises and the blood away, and pick their own harsh words from each other's skin with their teeth, and wash the bitter taste from their tongues with whispered words ('I love you').
In some iridescent moments, there is something even more than that.
The sun, sinking towards the west, gilds their bare skin. It has steeped the room in liquid gold, making it feel like a place outside of life and outside of time. Their sheets glow and Grantaire is languidly stretched out on them, with Enjolras's knees anchored either side of his waist. The light burnishes the lines of their bodies. The air between them burns.
For Grantaire, there is nothing more in the world than the marble curve of Enjolras's throat as he tips his head back and light pours down his neck, the arc of his back shadowed vertical against the wall, the way that sunbeams rest in the dip of his collarbone and ignite in his hair. For Enjolras, no more than Grantaire's held gaze and the way the sun fills his eyes as it might fill water, and now, as he closes them with a trembling sigh, the dark ink strokes of his eyelashes on his pale skin, his dark curls spilled on the sheet, black on white on black on white, but his lips kissed raw and red.
Lazily, they stoke the furnace between them and light a fire in one another's bones (their faces are not close, but it seems more intimate somehow this way, the distance allowing them to fully observe their lover's face, the palms of their hands pressed to the other's, fingers interwoven) and fuse their souls together.
At times like these they transcend the boundaries even of love, and fall into something greater still.
A/N: Thanks for reading, I'd love some feedback, please do review and let me know if you like it!