Hugs Before Toast

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Chapter 3

There is a special tradition about Joly and Bossuet’s soup and game night, and it has always been there even when they were in middle school together. No one knows about how the tradion of soup and game night had started, but if there is the threat that there might not be one, Grantaire is positive that the world would surely end. To Grantaire his favourite day is Monday, just for the fact that he knows that he is going to get a warm meal and he gets to spend time with his best friends and play some games. So when Joly had mentioned that he was inviting others around to soup and game night, Grantaire was feeling a bit worried as it meant that people would be poking their noses into their tradion and it didn’t help that Enjolras and his friend who has the broken microwave was going to be there. It is probably the first time that Grantaire is not looking forward to a Monday.

“Oh try to cheer up, Grantaire.” Joly says as he heats up a pot of soup. “You are acting if it is a wet weekend.”

“You know that I like the rain.” Grantaire mutters under his breath as he snaps the breadstick that he is gnawing at in half.

Joly lets out a loud sigh. “Fine then, Grantaire please cheer up as you are acting if it is a sunny weekend. Is that better?”

Grantaire doesn’t say anything and he decides to go into the living room where he finds Bossuet playing a game of Mario kart with the guy who has lived in the apartment block next to theirs for the past year. Jehan Prouvaire, is one of the most brightly coloured people that Grantaire has ever seen in his life, with his pastel blue hair, his bright green shoes and his tendency to wear the most awful jumpers that Grantaire has ever seen in his life, he looks like a walking acid trip. Every time that he sees provaie, he is wearing a hideous jumper that looks like a granny has knitted if someone has slipped something into her tea and she decided to knit while hallusating. Today’s number is an awful jumper that is too big for Provaire’s willowy frame but the arms are too short, it is several shades of horrendous colours that clash horribly, making it look like the whole decade of the seventies has just exploded on the him with the patterns. What makes it most distinguishable is the fact that from the back there is a stuffed cats behind complete with a tail, and what makes the thing better is that when Provaire wins his race, he squeezes the cat’s nose and the cat meows to the tune of jingle bells. Never in his life has Grantaire wanted to murder a jumper so much in his life, he had the thoughts about throwing it on bonfire and he can just hear the tune of jingle bells fading away as the fire burns though the jumper.

“Do you want to play?” Bossuet asks.

“I think that it is a stupid question.” Grantaire says as he squeezes himself down the middle of Bossuet and Provaire and picks up a controller, choosing to be Koopa as Grantaire can relate to the guy, and they both are guilty for having a thing for blondes, but Grantaire is not at the stage where he would kidnap one and make a plumber go and rescue them, plus he is positive that Enjolras would kick his ass.

Like his choice in jumpers, Provaire decides that they should play on the track that looks like an acid trip. It is that moment that Grantaire decides that he dislikes Provaire, as he is that ass hole who chooses to play rainbow road. Bossuet is doing terrible at the race and he keeps falling off the track and swearing loudly when he does. Grantaire himself isn’t’ doing that much better either but he is falling off the track as well and he is dragging Bossuet down with him. Provaire is somehow managing to win and Grantaire cannot understand how he is winning, maybe the power of his rainbow jumpers are helping Jehan win.

“Isn’t that Bahorel’s roommate?” Joly asks as he points to a tall guy with glasses and a rather normal coloured jumper compared to Jehan’s. Grantaire swears under his breath as Bahorel’s roommate looks kind of pissed when they make eye contact. Next to him, is Enjolras who looks rather sheepish and when they lock eyes and he moves his eyes to the ground. Grantaire does the same as he does feel a bit bad when he thinks about their argument.

“I think that he is.” Provaire says, as he is getting dragged away from the game by a boy with insanely curly hair and bow tie and stupid looking shoes that somehow go with his bow tie and match perfectly- the boy must have powers to pull of such a look and somehow Grantaire envies him. Grantaire looks over to Provaire and the boy and they are talking about something rapidly and with great enthusiasm judging by the way that the boy with the bow tie is flapping his hands about and how Jehan is giggling loudly about something.

“Did you and Bahorel choose a new microwave?” Bossuet asks as he crosses the finishing line on the game and he and Joly high five.

“Yep, it looks cool, “Grantaire replies as he goes back to the memory of earlier on when he and Bahorel were microwave shopping, where Bahorel insisted that they should get a badass microwave one that plays a stupid little tune when it is finished cooking. But it also had to be the most expensive one in the shop and Grantaire is positive that he isn’t going to be able to eat for the next few months as his share of the microwave blew out his food budget. “It is a new one, so don’t you worry. I might have to eat at your place more often though as I won’t be able to buy food for the rest of the year.”

“That expensive.” Bossuet says as he clasps Grantaire’s shoulder almost looking fond. “I remember when I bought that remote control helicopter and I had to eat the free samples from work as I blew my food allowance.”

“I still think it was a waste of money, as you crashed it into a tree five minutes after you opened the box.”

“The controller was faulty!” Bossuet exclaims “You know it.”

“We all know. The land lady’s cat defiantly knows about it, no wonder Whiskers will no longer go near you after you made him fall off the window sill.” Joly says as he places a comforting hand on Bossuet’s knee. He turns to face Grantaire. “You should go and say that you are sorry.”

“I was hoping that you wouldn’t make me do that.” Grantaire says with a ever so suffering sigh as he stands up and gives Joly his best puppy dog eyes. However they seem to have little effect on Joly, as Joly only points to Bahorel’s roommate. “You are the worst best friend ever.”

“I will make sure to remember that when you call me at three in the morning asking me and Bossuet to pick you up from the gas station at three in the morning as you have gotten lost and you have managed to lose all of your clothes apart from your underwear.” Joly says giving Grantaire a shove in the direction of something.

Grantaire walks over to the kitchen where Enjolras and his friend are talking about something in a hushed tone, and seem to be having a rather serious conversation about something; both of them are nursing bowls of soup. When Grantaire approaches the two of them, Enjolras mutters an excuse and leaves with his bowl of soup. His friend just stays there but he eyes Grantaire up and down. “Can I help you?” He asks, adjusting his glasses.

“Hi, I don’t know if you remember me or not.” Grantaire says looking down at the ground as he feels the look that the other guy is giving him is like the one that his math teacher in high school would give him when she was asking for Grantaire’s latest excuse for not doing his homework.

“I do remember you,” The guy says in a low voice. “I tend not to forget the face of someone who broke my microwave with a flaming tennis ball.”

Clearly he is a bit angry, Grantaire thinks as he tries to think about the next thing to say, opening and closing his mouth as he thinks that he has found an idea, but then he forgets it the moment that he is about to say it. “I’m really sorry about that. It won’t happen again. I won’t even come into your apartment ever again.”

“I think that is a bit unnecessary.” The guy says adjusting his glasses once more. “Hopefully it is going to be a one time thing, as I want to be safe in my own apartment in flames and I don’t want to see my ”

“I don’t know if you will be that safe with Bahorel as your roommate.” Grantaire chuckles. “I’m Grantaire by the way.”

“Combeferre.” The other guy says. “I’ve heard stories about you, from Enjolras and Bahorel.”

“Good ones or bad.” Grantaire asks nervously, as he can’t do with someone who he has just met judging him for all the shit that he has pulled within the past few days as Combeferre looks like the type of guy who would be questioning his choices big time.

“The ones from Bahorel are questionable, especially about the one where you got into a fight with a claw machine while drunk.” Combeferre says with a tone of amusement.

“I was really wanting that bear.” Grantaire says ignoring the burning sensation that was happening with his ears as that was the story that Bahorel told to all the new people he met if they knew Grantaire. It happened in their first year and what makes it more embarrassed is the fact that Grantaire cried over not winning a bear even though he could have bought at least three bears with the amount of money that he spent on the claw machine.

“The ones that Enjolras tells me make me confused.” Combeferre says. “There was the one when he first met you, you were naked. There was the one about the fight with the microwave and there was the story about the ghost in your apartment who makes coffee.” Combeferre sends a knowing look towards Grantaire. “I would love to set up cameras in your place and see if the ghost makes coffee, maybe we can get the show on the network.”

Suddenly the image of Combeferre wearing a Ghost Buster’s uniform and using the weird hover thing that they have goes into his mind and the theme song starts to play in his head and it is stuck there. He could imagine Combeferre being a Ghost Buster, he looks all nerdy and looks like the type of guy who would be into hunting ghosts and all that.

“The apartment ghost is a really clever one.” Grantaire says putting on a laugh. “Look I am really sorry about the microwave and me and Bahorel put our food money together and we have bought you a new one, as Enjolras wouldn’t want you to be oppressed over a microwave.”

Combeferre shakes his head and looks over to Enjolras who is browsing the bookshelf. “He was exaggerating a bit with that.” Combeferre says almost fondly. “He spent the whole morning going on about how oppressed I am without a microwave, I was just going to buy a new one but he stopped me from doing so.”

“So are we cool then?” Grantaire asks hopefully.

“We are fine now.” Combeferre says with a nod of finality and gives Grantaire a hand shake. Grantaire fights the urge to knuckle punch Combeferre as he doesn’t do handshakes, but Combeferre looks like the type of guy who give out handshakes for everything, maybe it is because Combeferre is wearing a jumper and jumper wearing guys tend to handshake a lot. “I think that you should go and talk to Enjolras, as he has been avoiding you like a guilty puppy.”

Enjolras doesn’t look up from the book shelf when Grantaire approaches him. Grantaire has brought a cup of coffee to make a peace offering to him, and he places it awkwardly on a space on a book shelf.

“Thanks.” Enjolras says quietly as he takes the cup. He turns around to face Grantaire , but avoids eye contact with him. “I’m really sorry for everything.”

“It was my fault.” Grantaire says as he places a hand on his neck. “You were just looking out for a friend, that is all. If you broke Joly’s leg, I would be upset.”

“Thank you for filling the coffee machine.” Enjolras says after a few moments of silence. “It is appreciated.”

Grantaire opens up his mouth and closes it again, really not knowing what to say. Normally someone would just punch him in the face and that would be it, he has really never had to use his words before, so this is a new situation for him so he is a bit lost. “I’m sorry.” He says making eye contact with Enjolras, in the attempt to show how sorry that he is. “I apologised to Combeferre and everything.”

“That is good.” Enjolras says nodding slightly.

“Do you think that we are going to fight a lot?” Grantaire asks, as he should be know this in advance, as he thinks that they are going to be at each other’s throats a lot, but he feels that he should ask anyway, as he might be wrong.

“Probably.” Enjolras admits after a few moments. “I am a bit of a difficult person to live with. And I am rather good at getting people not to like me.”

“I kind of like you, you seem to be alright.” Grantaire says. “You are a nice person, I guess. I am not just saying that so you don’t put me on the guillotine, as I do rather like to have my head attached to my body.”

Enjolras moves his eye back onto the ground once more and in a certain light, Enjolras face looks a bit pink. But it is probably just the heat of having so many people in Joly and Bossuet’s small apartment. “I think that threating to execute you was a bit too far.”

“I probably deserved it.” Grantaire shrugs. “Most people just punch me in the face and that is it.”

“I was probably just as bad.” Enjolras replies. “I tend to make things blow up more than they should, I was debate captain in high school.”

“I can easily see that.” Grantaire shrugs. “You have a way of sharing your views about things.”

“Come on you two.” Jehan’s curly haired friend calls over. “We are playing strip Monopoly and Joly will even remove his leg when all of his other clothes go away.”

“Your friend is a bit bizarre.” Grantaire says, shaking his head at the idea of playing strip Monopoly as is a bit strange, he is fine with playing strip poker but strip monopoly just sounds strange. What do you do in the game? Take off a piece of clothing as you go to jail? Make someone take off a piece of clothing as you get £200 when you go around the board again.

“It is just typical Courfeyrac.” Enjolras says fondly. “You have to love him anyway otherwise life would be dull.”

“Come on you guys, Marius has taken off his tie and Eponine has lost a shoe.” Courfeyrac’s voice comes through again.

“Should we go?” Grantaire asks.

“I can’t think of anything better to do.” Enjolras says as the two of them make their way to the living room to find that in the short time while strip Monopoly has been going on, Bossuet has taken off his hat, Jehan has taken off his hideous jumper and Joly is too busy pressing the cat’s nose and playing the tune of jingle bells as some sort of victory music, as Courfeyrac makes a big show of taking off his bow tie and throwing it at Jehan who catches it in between his teeth. What makes it strange is that Combeferre is completely shirtless and is currently taking off his trousers while he mutters about how the game is rigged as he is almost naked and they have been playing for ten minutes.

Maybe the point in this game is trying to make Combeferre lose all of his clothes as soon as he can. Grantaire joins in and he certainly doesn’t take any pleasure in telling Combeferre to hand over his glasses when Combeferre lands on his property.

Enjolras doesn’t join in the game and he spends the time muttering about the dangerous of capitalism, Grantaire smiles anyway. Out of having all the roommates in the world, he is stuck with Enjolras. But he doesn’t really mind now. Besides he could have a worse roommate and it is clear that life won’t be dull for a while.

Enjolras and Grantaire are arguing about something and they are definitely making sure to let everyone know that they are annoyed at another. Courfeyrac is doing his best to understand their argument, but in reality he has no clue what they are shouting about, as they are shouting in French, and Courfeyrac only knows the words of, dog, cheese and shower. He doesn’t understand what they are saying at another and it doesn’t help that they are speaking so quickly at another, but he can tell that they are rather pissed at another, by the way that the little vein on Enjolras’s forehead as made its appearance to the world and Grantaire’s face has turned bright red. Jehan and Marius are huddled together on one of the booths that is closest to Enjolras and Grantaire and they are writing words down and muttering to themselves in French.

“What are they saying?” Bahorel asks.

“Grantaire is saying something about Enjolras’s mother.” Marius replies. “Wait, actually he is saying something about his grandmother.”

“Oh Grantaire please don’t do that to Enjolras’s grandmother.” Jehan sighs shaking his head at the words of the napkin that he was writing on.

Courfeyrac looks down at the napkin and he pulls a face, maybe it was a rather good job that he couldn’t understand French as Grantaire was being disgusting and who would want to do that to Enjolras’s grandmother, she was lovely and she made cookies.

“What are they saying now?” Joly whispers.

“Oh Enjolras has called Grantaire a bastard.” Jehan replies. “And he has mentioned something about the guilloteen.”

“That is kind of him.” Bossuet chips in. “Enjolras is such a nice person.”

“Do you know what they are fighting about?” Eponine asks. “They were like this when I walked in to here.”

“I heard the word toaster thrown about several times,” Marius shrugs. “I don’t know if it has any importance to their fight. I think that it must have some importance as no one really brings up toasters in a fight.”

“Well I don’t really think about toast when we argue.” Courfeyrac says. “I don’t really associate toast with the times when you talk about your girlfriend for more than the half hour during every three hours that we agreed on.”

Marius opens up his mouth to say something once more, judging by the look on his face, it is clear that he is thinking of something to say to defend Cosette’s honour. Courfeyrac doesn’t mind Cosette and he likes the fact that she makes Marius rather happy, but he does dislike the fact that she makes Marius so happy, that she is the only thing that he can talk about, and after a while Courfeyrac gets a bit bored of hearing how Cosette has perfect teeth, especially when it is three in the morning.

Thankfully Marius doesn’t say anything as he gets distracted by the argument. Jehan is leaning so much that there is the risk that he is going to fall out of his seat. Bahorel and Eponine just look confused and Joly and Bossuet are a mixture of looking concerned and looking amused.

“I don’t see why you are getting upset over a toaster.” Grantaire says, thankfully he is speaking in English. “The dial is there just so you can change how long the toast is in there.”

“But I have my preferences and you can’t keep changing them.” Enjolras replies in English as well. “I like my toast golden brown.”

Courfeyrac looks over to Jehan, just to make sure that he is hearing them correctly. The argument that was mostly two of his friends screaming at another was about the brownness setting on a toaster. To be honest, Courfeyrac is a little disappointed, he was expecting Enjolras or Grantaire to have done something more dramatic to get the explosive reaction from the other. He has to admit that an argument over toast is somewhat impressive, as Courfeyrac hasn’t seen anyone get as passionate about toast such as the two of his friends. Hopefully Enjolras and Grantaire would stop arguing soon or Courfeyrac brushes up on his French so that he can understand them when they fight.

The itch on Enjolras’s nose has been bothering him for too long, and he is positive that if he doesn’t scratch it within the next few seconds, he is going to go crazy. Enjolras tries to think of nice things to help distract him from the sensation in his nose that within each second he is getting more and more positive that a fly has crawled up there and is starting to make a family cabin in his nose. Sometimes Enjolras wondered why he would make himself do these things for his roommate, but he decided it would be his olive branch after the argument they had about the TV colour contrast settings.

“Enjolras stop moving.” Grantaire says over his canvas, face not showing with his hair being the only thing that is visible. “I can’t draw you if you keep screwing up your face like that. It is a drawing of you that I want, if I wanted to draw something ugly I would have looked in the mirror and done and self portrait.”

Enjolras lets out a sigh and wonders if he should have gone to the library or the Musian for the afternoon after his class to let Grantaire go and get his course work done, instead of coming home and getting a toga thrown at him when he walked into the door and being forced to become a model for Grantaire. He is standing in the middle of the bathtub with a bunch of grapes in one hand and a bottle of wine in the other, as Grantaire, who is perched on the toilet seat as he draws, claiming that the bathroom has the best light in their apartment. Enjolras tries to ignore the ache that is forming in his arms, as he desperately wants to move his arms as he is positive that it is unnatural for a real person to hold a pose for a long amount of time without being made out of marble.

He wonders why he is doing this for Grantaire, but he is remembering the offer that Grantaire made for him, that he would make pancakes for dinner that night and he would wash the dishes after. It wasn’t much, but Enjolras was rather happy to miss out washing the dishes, as Courfeyrac has burn some pages out of his law text book about homosexuality that he didn’t agree with, and it has ruined the pot that he had thrown the pages in and set them on fire, and Enjolras can’t get the ashes and the burnt pages out of the bottom of the pot. Enjolras would have thrown out the pot, but it is the only one that is in the apartment and Enjolras doesn’t have the money to buy a new one. The longer that Enjolras stands still, he wonders if it is truly worth it.

“Are you almost finished?” Enjolras asks. “ I think that my arms are about to drop off.”

“Art and beauty are worth suffering for.” Grantaire says poking his head from the side of the canvas, with his face covered in paint that resembles a bad case of chicken pox that have been mixed in with a rare tropical disease to make them all the different colours that they are.

“Couldn’t you just take a picture of me and use it to help you paint?” Enjolras asks with a long suffering sigh, as he fights the urge to break open the bottle of wine that he is posing with to dull the pain of standing like a statue for whatever the amount of time that he has done for already.

Grantaire pokes his head from the other side of the canvas once more and rolls his eyes. “Enjolras, are you unable to appreciate art?” He asks. “Why should I want to just get a picture of you, where I could have the real life model who keeps breathing and it helps to keep the picture of life moving and help make a simple painting be more than just a few strokes of a brush on a canvas?”

“You could get Cosette to film me,” Enjolras suggests. “She has a new camera.”

“That wouldn’t be the same.” Grantaire sighs as he sticks his paintbrush on his ear, getting blue paint into his hair without seeming to care about it or the drips of paint that is making its way down his cheek. “Do you want to take a breather from this?”

“Thank you so much.” Enjolras exclaims as he throws the bunch of grapes into Grantaire’s direction and he throws off the flower crown that was his headpiece that Grantaire had borrowed from Jehan, before Grantaire can even say how long his break would be. As Enjolras steps out of the bathtub waving his arms about in as many different positions that he can and as quickly as he can, in the attempt to regain the feeling in his arms and to lose the painful stiffness in them, his foot catches on the front of his toga, and he can feel himself fall forwards out of the bathtub. Grantaire swears loudly and he moves his strong hands onto Enjolras’s mid-section before his face can even skim the wooden floor of the bathroom.

Enjolras gets up on his feet and tries to avoid Grantaire’s eyes, that keep following him as he makes his way to sit on the side of the bathtub. Grantaire has basically saved his life…well not really, as Enjolras is sure that there are a higher number of people who have died putting on their trousers than falling out of a bathtub in a toga. Well there is a first time for everything thing.

“Dude, are you alright?” Grantaire asks as he perches himself back on the toilet seat, moving the canvas away from his face.

“I’m good.” Enjolras says placing his hands over his ears to prevent Grantaire from seeing the colour that they probably would be turning. It was rather embarrassing to be honest, and Enjolras is being rather thankful that he is wearing other clothes than just his toga that was just a sheet, as the whole thing of Grantaire catching him would be more intimate than it was already, plus the sheet could slip down and make everything more weird. “Thanks for that, I think that death by bathtub would be a bad way to go.”

“It would be.” Grantaire says fiddling around with the paintbrush that is behind his ear. Enjolras is still surprised that Grantaire hasn’t noticed that there is paint on his face, or he knows about it, but he is choosing to ignore it. “It is a good job that I saved you. I don’t want your pretty face to be hidden by a coffin, it would be a crime for the undertakers to put the lid on top of your coffin when the times comes..”

“I doubt that I could have so much influence on someone to make them go to prison. Besides I would probably be old and wrinkly by then, as I don’t plan on dying young.”

“You could get hit by a bus tomorrow.” Grantaire says.

“Then I will use the time that I have on earth to do something productive.”

“What will that be then Apollo?” Grantaire asks leaning back on the toilet seat with a smirk forming. The paint that is on his cheek is starting to dangerously make his way down Grantaire’s cheek and it is hanging by his chin, threating to drip onto his shirt.

“I would do lots of things.” Enjolras says leaning forward from his perch on the bath to reach across to Grantaire’s cheek. He places a careful hand down his cheek, trailing his down it slowly to remove the paint from Grantaire’s face. Grantaire’s eyes follow his hand and he gulps as Enjolras runs his thumb to swipe up the paint. Enjolras catches Grantaire’s eyes and he quickly moves his hand away as if he has been electrocuted by Grantaire’s skin.

“You had paint on your face.” Enjolras says slowly as he shoves his hand into Grantaire’s personal bubble to show the blue mark on his hands.

“What are friends are for?” Grantaire nervously chuckles as he stands up and moves up from his perch from the toilet. He picks up his easel and he paints in one swoop and leaves the bathroom in such a hurry with the curtains bellowing slightly as he closes the door.

Enjolras lets out a sigh and he wonders if he has pushed too many boundaries this time. He takes in a deep breath and he counts to ten in the attempt to push away the tight feeling in his chest. Drinking the bottle of wine is starting to feel a bit more tempting as the seconds go past. He doesn’t know why he is feeling like this, maybe it was the first sign of a brain tumour or something. It had to be that, as Enjolras didn’t normally care how people reacted to things that he did.

He goes into his bedroom, removing his toga throws it onto the sofa. Grantaire’s door is closed completely and there is the loud noise of Grantaire’s music. Normally Enjolras would complain about Grantaire playing his musical loudly, but at the moment and probably for the first time, he lets Grantaire play his music as loud as he wants, as he has possibly traumatised Grantaire for the rest of his life.

Grantaire still makes dinner for the two of them, but he avoids eye contact with Enjolras as much as he can and Enjolras’s attempts to make conversation are shot down, with one word answers from Grantaire. Throughout dinner he keeps noticing that Grantaire keeps touching the cheek that Enjolras put his finger down. It almost makes Enjolras feel bad for what he has done, he has basically broke Grantaire . A part of Enjolras wishes that Grantaire would shout at him as the silence is killing him, Enjolras doesn’t like him as he is made to spend too much time with his thoughts.

“Courfeyrac is wanting to know if you want to go to the Musian with us tomorrow.” Enjolras says in the attempt to make conversation and break the atmosphere.

Grantaire only lets out a shrug as he almost pours out the whole bottle of maple syrup on his pancakes without looking at Enjolras.

“It would be fun and I am even going.” Enjolras says. “I thought that I can take a break from course work.”

“You must not be feeling well.” Grantaire finally says.

“You are acting as if I don’t do anything else apart from study and annoy you.” Enjolras replies.

“Well you also spend too much time in the bathroom and spend far too much time on your hair as well.” Grantaire says. “You were in the bathroom for half an hour this morning.”

“Well I was wanting to look good for all the people that I might meet today.” Enjolras curtly replies. “There is no reason for looking sloppy.”

“I thought that you were just trying too look good in the attempt to get a date.” Grantaire says through a mouthful of pancake.

“Who would want to go on a date with me?” Enjolras chuckles, shaking his head at how stupid the notion of someone wanting to go on a date with him is, as there is a better chance of pigs wanting to fly.

Grantaire mumbles something, but Enjolras isn’t too sure if he has heard what he thought that he heard as Grantaire has half a pancake in his mouth. Either Grantaire said something on the lines of ‘I would,’ or he said something about the roof. There is a better chance of Grantaire talking about the roof. Enjolras decides to let the idea go out of his mind and he decides that trying to convert Grantaire into hating Game of Thrones is probably more important than something that he may or may not of heard.

After a month of communal living and basically being adopted into this large group of people Grantaire has learnt many things, he has learnt to label all of his food in the communal fridge that is in Epionine’s and Musichetta’s as if there is no label, the food isn’t his anymore. He has learnt that things go to hell if he forgets that he has to wash the dishes, and Enjolras isn’t that keen on having to drink his coffee out of a bowl. He has learnt not to piss of Jehan too much as he punches harder than Bahorel. He learns that even though Enjolras’s family only seems to live about half an hour away, Enjolras doesn’t speak to them and no one should ask questions. He learns not to ask questions about Cosette’s past or Epionine’s. He also learns not to ask Marius about his love for Cosette or about his hatred of peacocks. Basically he has learnt not to ask any questions about anyone. And he has learned how to piss of Enjolras as many ways that he can. It is not that he deliberately tries to annoy Enjolras, it just happens. It is like an avalanche effect takes place, he opens up his mouth or he leaves one of his shoes on the ground and all hell breaks loose. He does try his best to get on with the Greek god who is living with him, as he would like to have an actual conversation without a fight, but as the days go on, that possibility is looking less and less likely.

Most of the time, Enjolras doesn’t even really speak to him that much. Instead of words, Enjolras communicates with him in glares, and Grantaire has become rather good at interpreting them, he likes to believe. He thinks when Enjolras stares at him with his eyes narrowed down and when he is in the kitchen, it simply means ‘Grantaire, you bastard, where are my fucking Cheerios’?’ (That look is rather a common one, as Grantaire has taken up to playing his new game called ‘hide the cereal.’ He only puts the box on the top self as Enjolras can’t reach up there without the use of a chair or a tall friend.) When Enjolras stares at him with his fists clenched and his nostrils flaring about (Seriously, he could put Pontmercy out of the business for having the most passionate nostrils.) and they are in the living room this translates as, ‘Grantaire, why the hell are you watching Glee? I am trying to study.’ And Grantaire’s personal favourite is when they are in the Musian and he is laughing too loud with the unfortunate person who is sitting with him, Enjolras will just glare at him and try and grab the closest object as if he is going to launch it at his head, but thankfully Combeferre and Courfeyrac are rather good at removing the dangerous objects from Enjolras’s reach. That glare means ‘Grantaire if don’t shut up while I am trying to talk about pandas, I am going to turn your balls into beads for Musichetta’s cornrows and she will look amazing.’ Usually when he gets that glare from Enjolras, he will just shut up as even though there is no doubt about it that she will look fabulous with his testicles in her hair, Grantaire will prefer to have his ones attached to his body.

They are in the Musian right now and Enjolras is making the best effort to not speak to him, speak about him or even look at his direction, meaning that Grantaire has pissed him off quite a bit. However Grantaire doesn’t exactly know what he has done this time, it is not as if Grantaire keeps an agenda for pissing off Enjolras( ; 7 am, hide Enjolras’s cereal; 8 am, leave his clothes about on the furniture and put Legos on the floor; 9 am, Breakfast (Enjolras’s Cereal and toast with Enjolras’s special butter) 10 am; get drunk and pass out for several hours in the bathtub; 2pm, burn all of Enjolras’s text books, eat all of his food in the fridge, watch Glee for hours on end with the volume up, leave the toilet seat up, convert all of their friends to the ‘dark side,’ and become the leader of the dark side, and leave the lights on when he leaves the room.) Usually if he does something to piss off Enjolras, it just happens, it is something that Grantaire takes pride in as he is a rather creative guy who goes with the flow, but he has no clue on what he has done to upset Enjolras this time, does he care? Yes he does, as he is pretty sure that Enjolras has his own agenda to annoy him with as well, (All day: Crush Grantaire’s sprit while looking fabulous.) and Enjolras has the potential to make his life a living hell. Grantaire isn’t too sure what Enjolras would do, but he knows that Enjolras would take it to the extreme and he has already removed all the spoons from the kitchen before and it was the day that Joly had made soup for everyone one and Grantaire had to eat his with a fork.

Eponine is at the table with him and she looks up from her colouring in book that she keeps on her at all times for when she is bored with what is going on, and she likes to use her creativity when she is bored. Grantaire doesn’t really mind as she could be doing something ‘creative,’ with fire, and her colouring a picture of a dinosaur isn’t that dangerous, well it could be because it is Eponine. “Enjolras seems a bit weird today. He has that weird vein on his forehead.”

“Do you think that that vein has a name?” Grantaire asks.

Eponine colours in the cat in her colouring book’s nose blue and scrunches up her nose in concentration and for a few moments she doesn’t say anything. “It looks like a Simon.” She says finally.

“How did you come up with the name Simon?” Grantaire asks with a tone of disbelief as how the hell did she come up with a name for a vein? It must be one of Epionines’s special skills that no one knows about, like her ability to hide in small spaces or to know if someone’s hair colour comes from a bottle, but considering the fact that most of their friends have unnatural hair colours it is rather easy to guess who’s hair colour is not home grown, not unless you count blue as being a natural hair colour, maybe on the Planet Zog, population; Jehan Provaire.

“Enjolras looks like the type of guy to give something that is coming out of his body a stupid, posh name.” Eponine shrugs. “I named the pimple that he had last week, Nigel.”

“Remind me why we hang out together?” Grantaire asks.

“I doubt that it is just because of my good looks.” Eponine says dryly. “Because I have a lovely personality?” She says putting on a fake smile and showing too much teeth that makes her look rather menacing, but it loses some effect as he is colouring a picture of a cat.

“Can’t be that Ponie.” Grantiare says as he takes a crayon and he helps to colour in the picture, as his activity of looking at Enjolras has become a bit boring, and he is positive that Enjolras is becoming a bit freaked out by the fact that the only thing that he is doing is just watching him talk to his friends about something important. Pandas? Grantaire is sure about that he has heard Courfeyrac and Enjolras mention the word panda, several times in the past ten minutes. Grantaire isn’t too sure if they are talking about the animal, or insulting celebrities’ make up as there is a copy of a gossip magazine on the table that Courfeyrac is pouring over.

“You have a nice personality and all,” Grantaire shrugs, as he doesn’t want to piss of Eponine that much, as to be honest, she kind of scares him a bit even though they have known each other for a while now. But the fact that she has threatened to murder Montapanasse or ‘Monty,’ as she has taken up to calling him. What makes it worse is that she has threated Monty to death with her bare hands if he even speaks to her again, has made Grantaire extra afraid of her. The fact that she dresses like an evil queen from one of those young adult novels and her liking of dark lipsticks doesn’t help Grantaire feel safe. “But I think it must be due to the fact that you like Glee and shows tunes.”

“Glee is pretty good.” Eponine nods. “I really wanted to be a part of glee club in high school, we never had one though. We had a street fighting ring instead.”

“As most public schools with a low budget do.” Grantaire replies, as he puts his signature on the bottom of the cat’s foot in a crayon, and writes Eponine’s name down there as well. “My school was that bad, we didn’t even have street fighting taught to us, we had to learn things like maths, and I still failed.”

“I don’t think failing maths is the biggest deal in the world.” Eponine says. “I think as long if you can fake enough confidence and have the ability to take down your enemies from the inside, you are going to get far in life.”

“What job would I need that for?” Grantaire asks.

“Assassin.” Eponine says as she picks up her bag and leaves the café, without even saying good bye to anyone or even being noticed. That is the thing about Eponine, she has the ability to move quickly and without being noticed. Grantaire thinks that her History and literature degree is completely useless as she would be a rather good ninja and every time that Grantaire suggests that to her, she threatens to kill him. Already she is going to be a good ninja, Grantaire can see it.

He later finds out that the reason that Enjolras was acting the way that he was to him from Courfeyrac, was simply because he put the empty carton of milk in the fridge after he used it. Enjolras was being a bit over dramatic in Grantaire’s eyes, as there is no point in crying over an empty milk cartoon in the fridge. Later on in the day, Grantaire buys several bottles and even a few bags of milk and puts them in the fridge, to show that he is not as bad as Enjolras likes to believe.

As Grantaire goes into his apartment after being at the art studio, he finds Jehan sitting on the stairs talking to a skull that is covered flowers and has roses coming out of it is eye sockets, being rather chatty to it , talking about Wilde’s Doreen Gray. Grantaire stops and just looks at Jehan wondering if he has gone mad, or Jehan has gone mad and if the skull is real or not.

“Are you talking to a skull?” He asks.

“Who else am I meant to talk to?” Jehan asks sounding clearly annoyed from being interrupted from his one sided conversation with his skull. “Jeremy was telling me about some symbolism in Wilde’s word. You can join us if you want.”

“I think that I might miss out tonight, I am sure that Jeremy is great conversation but I have work to get done.” Grantaire says, wondering if he dies before Jehan, if Jehan will take the liberty of removing his skull and painting it and using to talk to. Maybe Jehan would use his skull like a puppet, and move his jaw as he ‘speaks.’ It wouldn’t surprise Grantaire if Jehan did that to be honest. He will write it on his will, instead of donating his body to science, he will donate it to Jehan and Combeferre and Joly can do their medical hokey pokey on the rest of it. Plus it stops a good coffin going to waste, even though Grantaire is positive that there are only a few things that you can do with a coffin other than just keeping corpses in it. Maybe use it as a unique coffee table or as a bed, or use it as a bobsled with several friends. Grantaire is sure that Joly, Bossuet, and Musichetta would form a bobsled team with him, despite the fact that neither of their names are Bob.

“Well if you want to talk to us, feel free.” Jehan says waving as Grantaire enters his apartment.

Sometimes it was probably better not to ask, especially when it came to Jehan Provaire.


Within a few weeks of living with Grantaire, Enjolras wonders why he is so distracting, as it is unnatural for someone to be that distracting. But Grantaire has somehow managed to cross that line that exists between being an nuisance to being a full out atomic bomb of just being distracting with lasting radiation of not being able to concentrate for the rest of Enjolras’s life. The strange thing about it is that Enjolras is positive that Grantaire isn’t being aware of how annoying that he can be.

Grantaire has tattoos, and it is one of the first things that Enjolras learns about Grantaire after a few weeks of moving together. Next to learning that Grantaire doesn’t do the dishes soon on, this leads to Enjolras having to eat his breakfast cereal in the measuring jug and drink is morning coffee from an egg cup, (which manages to be a rather good espresso cup, Enjolras has to say so)as he didn’t have the time to wash any dishes before he has to go to his lecture. But the discovery of tatoo’s are more important, as he discovers pretty soon that Grantaire is basically allergic to clothes in the morning and Enjolras is often greeted with the sight of Grantaire being bare chested when he wakes up as Grantaire has worked out or has been boxing.

Grantaire has long indicate patterns all around his arms that trail up onto his back that look like flowers, maybe roses as there are thorns on them. When Enjolras first discovers that Grantaire has tattoos, he can feel this weird pain in his chest and the fact that his face goes red. He had no clue about why he was having chest pains when he was looking at Grantaire, so Enjolras being Enjolras googled his symptoms, as he when he asked Combeferre about having chest pains after looking at Grantaire’s tattoos, Combeferre told him to kindly piss off as he was wanting to study. He would have asked Joly, but he didn’t want to trigger Joly’s hypochondria as he still felt bad after the time he sneezed on Joly when he had a cold and Joly had a panic attack after it and had to leave the Musian early with Bossuet and Grantaire. When he googled chest pains, the first result that he got was that he was having a heart attack, and Enjolras was positive that he wasn’t having one as he wasn’t having any other symptoms.

“Hey Enj.” Grataire says as a greeting when Enjolras walks into the kitchen wearing his pyjamas. He passes Enjolras a cup of coffee and doesn’t say anything for a few minutes, and continues to make breakfast. It kind of frightens Enjolras about how domestic the action their routine has become over the past few weeks. Enjolras didn’t expect to become this domestic so soon and Joly and Bossuet have been making jokes about them being a married couple, that scares Enjolras even more. From his research on the internet, he has figured out that he likes Grantare more than he should, but it is Grantare’s fault as he is seemingly allergic to shirts in the morning and when he works out in the morning, he has tight shorts. Enjolras is positive that Grantaire is trying his hardest to be distracting, it has to be that. As Grantaire laughed at him after he walked into a wall as he was too busy staring at Grantaire’s when he was doing one armed push ups. Enjolras thinks that he has never recovered from that, even after he walked into the wall he tried to play it ‘smooth,’ by acting like he meant to hug the ground, but he is rather sure that Grantaire isn’t convinced. The things that Impressesive Enjolras the most recently is the fact that he and Grantaire have been getting on a lot better recently, and arguments between them have died down slightly. They still aren’t best friends but they have been getting on better. That is another distracting thing about Grantaire, he makes Enjolras smile even when he is going on about Greek gods, even though Enjolras has little interest in them.

Once Enjolras is one two is second cup of coffee, Grantaire begins to speak to him, as it is the safe time to speak to Enjolras in the morning, as Grantaire has learnt the hard way not to engage in conversation with Enjolras until he has had at least two cups of coffee in his system, as someone will end up in tears.

“I was thinking last night.” Grantaire says with a mouthful of pancake in his mouth.

“Sounds dangerous.” Enjolras says. “What were you thinking about?”

“I was watching Beauty and the Beast and you know how Belle had Stockholm syndrome?” Grantaire asks. “As to be honest, who would want to be with a hairy guy?”

“I think that the point of the film is that Belle saw the beast for he was and not for his appearance. You know, looking at a book past the cover.” Enjolras replies taking a sip of coffee. “You know, appearance doesn’t matter when true love is about.”

“I was wondering if pets have Stockholm syndrome.” Grantaire says. “You know that they love their owners and we keep them hostage.”

“That is idiotic.” Enjolras shakes his head at how stupid the question is, as normally Grantaire had more normal questions about why humans are still alive, even though as a species we do stupid things, but getting the idea of pets having Stockholm syndrome from Disney is a new level of stupid. He knows that he should be used to Grantaire’s tendency to ask rather random questions in the morning. He doesn’t really know why Grantaire does it, but it is probably one of those weird habits that everyone has, such as Musichetta’s tendency to sing in a high pitch voice, even though she has a lovely alto voice, or Joly’s tendency to know all things dinosaur related or Jehan’s tendency to enter their apartment in the middle of the night just to look at Grantaire’s owl models. Enjolras has briefly wondered if giving Jehan the spare key was a good decision to make, but then again he likes the fact that Jehan fills up the coffee machine and writes poems down on a sticky note before he leaves and just gives the apparent a quick tidy up to top it all off, so Enjolras can’t complain. “Dogs love their owner.”

“But that is the point of Stockholm syndrome, they love the person who is keeping them hostage and they care for them.” Grantaire says waving his fork around. “For example, you might have Stockholm syndrome as you tolerate me and I might have you kept in hostage, and it would be the only time that you would care for me, because I have the power over you.”

“You know what is funny, I thought that the paperwork that I was signing, was from the school and not from you.” Enjolras snorts. “And the last time I checked, I didn’t have a chain around my ankle to hold me in here. And I hope that I didn’t as I don’t want you to be the one who holds me against my civil liberties.”

“I don’t think that I could do that Apollo.” Grantaire replies. “Or if it did happen, I think that the world would have to end.”

The conversation seems to end after that and Enjolras looks over his notes for his lecture in the morning, while Grantaire is doing the puzzle at the back of the cereal box. He occasionally looks over from his note book to Grantaire when he sees that Grantaire is looking at him at the same time. Enjolras hides the smile on his face, but it is failing, and it only results is Grantaire pulling a face that makes Enjolras snort loudly, much to Grantaire’s delight. That is the routine during the rest of breakfast. Enjolras will pretend to study while Grantaire makes faces at him. Enjolras also tries to pretend that he doesn’t find Grantaire that funny, but he knows that isn’t going to work, as Grantaire has heard him laugh far too many times.

As Enjolras is about to leave the apartment to go to his morning lecture, he turns over to Grantaire, who is washing the breakfast dishes. “Grantaire, you know what you said earlier?” Enjolras says as he slips on his coat. “I just don’t tolerate you, I do actually like you.”

Enjolras doesn’t know if Grantaire’s smile can get any wider.

When Enjolras wakes up this morning, he is met with the sight of Marco/Maurice/Marius? Who is by his bedroom door standing next to Cosette, and a red headed boy with a suitcase who is wearing a trench coat who is standing behind him.

“Good morning Enjolras. Is Grantaire here with you?” Cosette asks as she walks into his bedroom uninvited and Marius and the boy follow her. She sits on the bed while the other two hover around uncomfortably in his bedroom.

“Grantaire!” Enjolras calls over his shoulder as he herds Cosette and the other two out of his room, thankful that he decided to wear pyjamas during the night ,as it would probably be traumatising for Cosette’s love sick puppy to see his pride and glory first thing in the morning. He pushes them into the living room where Marius has perched himself on the arm of the chair and Cosette is raiding the fridge while the red headed boy stands awkwardly by the door and he is still looking as scared as he was before. “Maurice wants to see you.”

“What?” Grantaire calls from his bedroom with his voice thick with sleep, he makes his way into the living room stumbling into a wall as he walks into a scene. He looks at the group of people who are into the living room, with a look of confusion. “Is this an intervention?” He takes a step backwards and holds out his hands to defend himself in a karate motion. “If you want the drugs, they are at Bahorel’s and Combeferre’s place. Under the kitchen sink.”

“No, it is not.” Marius says glaring at Enjolras. “It is Marius.” He says directed mostly to Enjolras. Cosette pats his shoulder, while the red headed boy just looks scared.

“Then just forget about what I just said then.” Grantaire says as he moves to perch on the arm chair.

“This is Feuilly,” Cosette says after a few moments, as she moves from Marius to the red headed boy who only waves his hand. “Feuilly had a bit of a problem with his old roommate and you guys are lucky, as he is going to be your new roommate.”

“Are you serious?” Enjolras asks. “We have a small apartment, where is he going to sleep?”

“The couch is a pull out one.” Marius answers as he pulls off the cushions of the sofa and pulls out the bed to demonstrate. Enjolras is slightly surprised as he didn’t know that the sofa was able to do that and judging by the way Grantaire is looking at the sofa, it is clear that he didn’t know about the sofa either.

“I didn’t know the sofa could do that.” Grantaire says with a tone of surprise. “I could have been sleeping on a bed during my TV binges instead of the normal cushions. It would have made Game of Thrones so much more comfortable to watch.”

“Is that all you care about, not the fact that we are having another roommate?” He asks Grantaire with a tone of disbelief. He can’t believe that Grantaire isn’t even thinking about the extra food that they are going to need or the bills, but he is more concerned about the sofa, maybe this is why he got chest pains when he looked at Grantaire.

“Did you ask anyone about this?” He asks Marius.

“Valjean told me to find someone who was responsible and I thought that you and Grantaire would be a good example for Feuilly and you have a nice apartment.” Marius says as he wrinkles his nose in disgust, as he picks up the bit of Grantaire’s sandwich that he had just stepped in and throws it at the table.

“We will just let you to settle in then?” Cosette says to Feuilly, patting his shoulder. “We need to go back to the office and we will send the Feuilly and you guy the paperwork.”

“You know that they are probably going to snog.” Feuilly says, with a look of disgust, the second that the door closes behind Marius.“When they had parked the car to get here, they just snogged each other when they thought that I had gone out to get my bags.”

Enjolras shudders the thought of Marius actually doing something like that to a girl is a bit of a horrible thought that he wants to get out of his mind as soon as possible. Enjolras would rather crack open his skull and pour bleach into his brain than think about Marius kissing a girl. He probably uses tips that he got from Courfeyrac and Cosmo magazine.

“Did anyone else have a weird mental image or was that just me?” Grantaire asks.

“No we all had one.” Feuilly says as he takes off his jacket. “I am sorry that I have just come here unexpectedly. I won’t take up much room and I have jobs as well as class, so I won’t be here much anyway. I will help pay the bills and I follow any rules.”

“That is good,” says Grantaire. “The first rule is to knock before entering as one of us might be naked and I don’t want to repeat of what happened last month.”

Enjolras goes bright red and he looks in the other direction so that he can hide his face from Grantaire, as Grantaire starts to bark out a laugh at the memory of their first meeting. “You knew that I wasn’t expecting anyone in this room.” He hisses.

“Well at least you knock now, Enjy” Grantaire says as he reaches over to ruffle Enjolras’s hair and making it even messier than normal. Enjolras bats off Grantaire’s hand and tries to smooth out his hair to get his signature Enjolras fluffiness that he favours with his hair.

“Do I want to know?” Feuilly asks.

“Probably not.” Enjolras says shoving a hand over Grantiare’s mouth when he speaks. He tries not to show too much disgust when Grantaire licks his hand, as it is just gross. Enjolras is positive that if Grantaire did that to Joly, he wouldn’t be alive as Bossuet would have murdered him. “Why don’t you skip unpacking and we can introduce you to some of our friends in the Musian?” Enjolras suggests wiping his hand against his trousers, while Grantaire looks incredibly smug. “We can even buy you breakfast as a treat.”

“The Musian’s great you know,” Grantaire says as he holds open the door for Feuilly and Enjolras. “The place looks as shady as fuck, but they do great pancakes. It shows you that you shouldn’t judge a coffee shop with how shady the street it is in.”

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