The simple fact of the matter is that Grantaire cuts himself. It's not like he's going to sugar coat it with pretentious poetry and sad songs. He's cuts himself. He does it because he truly does hate who he is as a person. He's a worthless piece of trash and he's well aware of it. He's accepted it. Hell he's even embraced it. That is just one of the ways he deals with it. Drowning himself in cheap liquor and slicing his skin up so much that even his scars have scars. Logically he knows he has what people would call a problem but he really can't be fucked to try and fix it. There's no one he can blame it on when he sits and thinks about it. Well there's him obviously, but outside of him being a stupid fuck up there's no one else to blame. Not that he really wants to blame anyone, but it's just the truth. It's all on him. There was no tragic lost love that made him the way he was. His mother was distant and his father outright loathed him, but they were never abusive. He was somewhat popular in high school in a way that baffles him to no end. He was born into an upper middle class family so he rarely ever wanted for anything. There was no reason for him to be the way he was. The only person in this equation who was fucked up was him.
So getting together with Enjolras, which again is something that baffles him to no end, didn't change that. It's not like he expected it to. He was more realistic than that. Love and gooey, touchy feelings doesn't cure depression, and it doesn't make him any less garbage. He's just garbage that's allowed to roll around in a high class bin every once and a while. What he means is that getting together with Enjolras changed nothing outside of the fact that he was with Enjolras. And it's not that he wants to downplay how important Enjolras is to him. Because there's no way for him to truthfully do that. He loves him. He's been in love with him for years. The thing is though, that isn't a cure. In his month long honeymoon period of bliss, he managed not to mar his skin anymore. He was lucky that he and Enjolras hadn't gone past groping on the couch like a couple of highschoolers. The one time they went further, Grantaire changed the subject very effectively so that wasn't a conversation he had to have yet. He remembers Enjolras' start of shock when he first felt the jagged, raised scars scattered across his stomach, and then he looked at him, his expression indescribable and raised his shirt and kissed them gently. With all this he still can't talk to Enjolras. Because Enjolras is so good and so pure, he'd never be able to understand why Grantaire is the way he is. So he took his face in his hand and kissed him so soundly that he was left moaning in his mouth.
So this thing that he's doing now, the moping and hiding away in his room and ignoring all phone calls and texts and not having any for of contact with any of his friends, it's a new thing in their relationship. He doesn't know how to deal with the mess that is his life, so he doesn't. And Grantaire has always been a fair person. He's jovial and verbose and entertaining when he's around his friends, he's all in all a happy drunk when he's around them. He saves his tears and his angsty whiny bullshit for when they're not around. It's a miracle enough that they decided to tolerate his presence when he's nothing but a drunk, ugly, pathetic, downer, they shouldn't have to be subjected to his mood swings too. So breaking contact for a bit. It's just the smart thing to do really. It's typical enough of him that his friends won't get worried and bother him too much. So it works out well for everyone involved.
No one bothers him when he's on his bed and he can't move. Well he could move. He's moving every five minutes to take a gulp of his vodka. Good old vodka. Vodka never lets him down. He can depend on vodka more than he can depend on himself. But he's just laying there. He's been in his bed for the past five days and he hasn't gotten up to eat or bathe. He's gotten up once or twice to use the bathroom, but that's only because the vodka is going straight through him. But he's just on his bed and he's trying to breathe steadily. That's all he could do. He could breathe. And if he felt pathetic about that being all he had right now, he'd be the only one who knows. Because his friends truly are saints and they leave him be when he's like this.
The thing with him and Enjolras though, is that they're new. And Enjolras has never had to deal with him like this. So the banging on his door wasn't coming from anyone other than the man himself. This was also new. Him being disturbed when he was like this. Grantaire didn't know how to deal with it but it was probably a shitty thing to do, leaving him out there to knock until he got tired and walked away, or broke the door down which...well it was very possible. The boy is all passion and his deposit doesn't cover broken doors, so he shuffles out of bed, with his blanket wrapped around his shoulders and hopes to the God that he doesn't believe in, that he looks shitty enough that Enjolras would believe him when he lies and says that he's sick.
"You look like shit." Which...well yeah.
"You're so kind." Grantaire fake sniffs for show and leaves the door open. He looks at his apartment critically as he walks through it and it looks like shit too. It looks like he hasn't picked up a broom in years. There are empty soda cans and beer bottles everywhere. There are candy bar wrappers scattered across the floor and he wants to care about it. He wants to care about how well his apartment complements his existence but he finds that he doesn't care. He sinks down in his ratty couch and he didn't even have to fake the groan of exhaustion. He's so fucking tired that sometimes he can't breathe. His chest gets stifled and his breaths get caught in his chest and he just can't fucking breathe. Of course he can't explain that to the worried, golden Adonis standing in front of him.
"Do you have the cold?" He asks, his brows furrowing together.
"Just getting over it actually. Sit down. I won't bite without permission." Grantaire lies easily and pats the space next to him. "Seriously, you won't catch anything from me. Well not a cold anyway."
Enjolras snorts inelegantly, well as inelegantly as he really can, and obliges. They're still new enough that sometimes the silence around them is awkward. This time though, Enjolras is the one to break it. "I was worried about you."
"Yeah." Grantaire sighs. He's already tired of words. "Sorry."
"Don't be sorry." Enjolras looks at him like he's stupid, or maybe it's just concern. He can barely tell the difference. "If you were sick you should have called someone. We would have helped you. I'm pretty sure Joly would know what's good for a cold."
The silence that falls on them again is even more awkward. Grantaire's usually the one who tries to fill every space with words. He usually hates the silence. It's why he talks so much. He talks about nothing, about everything, about himself, about people, about history, about school. Usually all he fucking does is talk. Talk and drink. He's just so fucking tired right now that he can't. He can't do anything but look at his boyfriend; his perfect, amazing, talented, beautiful, caring boyfriend and sigh. Because he's at that point where he acknowledges how bad he is for him. He's just... When has Grantaire ever been the good choice? The proper choice? The logical choice? Never. No one in their right mind would date him. And Enjolras was very much in his right mind.
Unless this was just pity. If Grantaire was in his right mind he'd remember that Enjolras was the one who pursued him. Enjolras was the one who asked him out, Enjolras wanted him. If he was in his right mind he'd know all of this. But right now he's not. So he can't stop his breath from coming faster and his chest from tightening. His head is spinning and he's shaking and clutching his chest because jesus christ he just wants to breathe. Why can't he fucking breathe? Who's doing this to him? And he's distantly aware of the hand that's on his back, rubbing gently and the voice whispering soothingly in his ears but he can't make his body move the way he wants it to. He wants to tell Enjolras to stop worrying and that he's okay and that everything's fine but he can't because he can't think properly and Enjolras hates him and he's forgotten how to breathe and he's feeling everything closing in on him and nothing makes sense anymore. And he wants to sleep. He wants to sleep and he wants Enjolras to actually care about him and he wants to be able to take breaths and- fuck.
"Grantaire." He actually hears that firm but calming somewhat clearly. "Look at me."
And fuck. His head is spinning and his vision is blurred but he's trying. There's long, golden hair and a crimson hoodie and- "Breathe with me okay. We're just going to breathe now." And breathing. Right. He could try to do that. He tries to take some breaths. And it's helping. And he's just- "You're doing really well. Just try to keep breathing okay, and focus on me." And it's helping. And what the fuck? Is that man some sort of angel, because he's looking at him with a calm and reassuring gaze and Grantaire's responding to it and it's working.
When Grantaire can actually think properly again, his head is on Enjolras' lap and soft hands are carding through his hair. He feels ashamed. No one was ever supposed to see him like this, far less his boyfriend. He makes a wounded noise in his throat and the hands stop moving through his hair, which really wasn't what he was aiming for.
"How did you know how to do that?" He asks finally, after a few minutes of quiet.
"I looked it up." He replies fiercely. And if there's one thing he admires about Enjolras it's this. How sure he is about everything he does. "My boyfriend has panic attacks that he doesn't tell me about and-" Fingers start to run through his hair again when he bristles. "I wanted to be able to help him through it.
"Who told you?" Grantaire asks resigned.
"No one had to tell me." He presses a kiss to his forehead. "I'm not as oblivious as everyone seems to think I am. I know how much you hide from us R. And I want you to know that you don't have to do that. Not with me. I care about you and if you need help I want to be there to help you."
"Careful Enjolras." Grantaire chuckles weakly. "I'm starting to sound like one of your causes there."
"You are one of my causes." Enjolras whispers at him ferociously. His eyes are intent and his words are clear and concise as he cups Grantaire's face. "You will always be one of my causes. So will all of my friends. I want to make the world a better place for mankind, but I also want to make the world a better place for you all. I look into homelessness and poverty because of Bossuet and Feuilly, why can't I look into mental health issues because of you. If I'm not trying to make the world a better place for the people I love the most, who am I doing it for?"
"I...I never thought about it that way." Grantaire smiles, because there's nothing better than listening to Enjolras talk when he talks about something he's passionate about.
"I care deeply about the betterment of our society for the people R, but I also care about your well being. I care about you, very much and I would like it if you were happy all the time. I know it's not possible. But I want you to have the support system you need Grantaire to deal with all of this. You're a survivor but you don't have to do it on your own. Just tell what you need?"
"Right now, all I need is this okay." Grantaire says as he pulls Enjolras down into a loose embrace.
And he knows he can't just get better overnight. It's a lifelong struggle. Sometimes he'll be okay. Sometimes won't. Sometimes he just needs someone to hold him and whisper words of endearment, sometimes that isn't enough. Sometimes nothing is enough. But Grantaire still does what he knows how to do. He survives.
-This is another one of those cathartic writings I hurried down in an hour.
-A lot of it is based on personal experience.
-I don't really write in present tense, so I really hope I didn't mess it up too bad.
-If you have any questions please feel free to ask. Comments and constructive criticism are both greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading.