Hugs Before Toast

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Chapter 5

Enjolras feels as if he is going to die. Ever since they had that dinner party at Cupid’s corner or Marius’s place and had this vegan chilli, that Marius had made, Enjolras has felt terrible. He is positive that Marius has tried to poison him during dinner, as he is sure that Marius might still have a bit of a grudge against him for forgetting his name and not going to his birthday party. All Enjolras wants to do is to lie in his bed and be left alone and sleep and not get up until he is better, but he knows far too well that isn’t going to happen.

Once he has taken his dose of medicine that Combeferre had dropped around for him, as Joly is refusing to see him due to his fear of getting ill. When he was in the denial stage of being ill and pretending that he wasn’t affected by the vegan chill, he saw Joly in the hallway and he was wearing a hospital mask and carrying a bottle of disinfectant while Bossuet was muttering about how it is a miracle that Joly hasn’t bought a hazmat suit yet.

Enjolras lies in his bed and tries to get to sleep, as the attempt to do school work has just gone out of the window as he just feels too ill to concentrate, and he throws his books to the floor. He counts sheep- but that doesn’t work as Enjolras really doesn’t like sheep. He counts all the names that start with an ‘m’, so he can call Marius them when he next sees him as a way of pay back, if he lives.

The door creaks open and there is a dip in the bed. Enjolras doesn’t look up from the ceiling, keeping his eyes focused on the one spot as he is positive that if he moves his eyes, he is going to throw up. “Hey Enj.” Grantaire’s voice comes into the room, sounding really quiet. “Just thought that I would keep you company.”

“Grantaire just go before you get sick.” Enjolras says with a groan, just wanting to be alone to have his pity party and play the world’s smallest orchestra for himself in sympathy. “I know that I might be sounding cruel but I am doing this for your own good.”

“Enjolras, I think that I am going to be fine.” Grantaire says with a smile as he settles himself onto the bed and props himself up with one elbow. “I have the immune system of a horse, a half robot, half real horse.”

Before Enjolras can kick Grantaire out of the bed, as he just wants to be left alone. Grantaire shoves a bottle of ice tea in his hand. “I brought a peace offering. I asked Combeferre if you liked anything in particular when you were ill and he said that you liked ice tea.” He passes the bottle over to Enjolras and closes his eyes in preparation of what Enjolras might do or say.

Enjolras looks at the bottle and then at Grantaire suspiciously, wondering why on earth is Grantaire being nice to him. The only answer Enjolras can think of when the thinks of the reasons why Grantaire is giving him tea and company, is that he wants to poison him with the tea and watch the murder takes place. Well he isn’t too sure if that is a Grantaire thing to do, to be honest, it is a bit more of an Eponine thing.

“It isn’t tampered with or anything.” Grantaire says. “I just thought that you would like someone to speak to. I believe that being ill makes folk a bit lonely as you can’t do anything apart from be sorry for yourself”

“Weren’t Courfeyrac and Bahorel planning for the group to go to a club or something for tonight? The Corinthe?” Enjolras asks, he wasn’t going to go clubbing with his friends that night due to his dislike of nightclubs and being in a room with drunken strangers dancing about wasn’t his cup of tea. If Enjolras was forced to go, he would stay in the car and read a book until his friends were finished and drive them home. Courfeyrac would call him boring, but Enjolras preferred the word ‘safe’ as he didn’t want any of his friends to be in an accident.

“They were,” Grantaire answers. “They are going tonight.”

“Shouldn’t you be with them? You like these kind of things.”

“I would rather be with you.”

“Grantaire, I am an adult.” Enjolras says with a sigh. “I can look after myself.” He puts on a bit of a smile in the attempt to show Grantaire that he can manage on his own. “You shouldn’t waste your evening with me. You don’t even like me that much and I don’t see why you should spend it with someone you hate.”

Grantaire lets out a loud snort and shakes his head in disbelief. “I do not hate you Apollo. Yes you annoy the crap out of me at times, yes you like to destroy all the happiness that I can have, and yes I know that you have taken my Glee box sets.” Grantaire lets out a sigh and waves his hand about as if he was swatting away a fly. “But the point is, I don’t hate you. I do actually like you-“ Grantaire drifts off at the end clearly wanting to say something else, but he just stops talking, just looking at Enjolras.

“I don’t hate you either, Grantaire.” Enjolras says after a few moments, not knowing what to say. He looks at Grantaire wondering why on earth Grantaire is looking at him as if he is wanting to know all the answers to the questions about him that or Enjolras has something on his face. “Why are you looking at me like that?” He asks.

“No reason.” Grantaire says as he moves his eyes to look at something else in Enjolras’s apartment, deciding to pay attention to the painting of the Bastille. He moves a finger to point at the poster. “Why do you have a poster of that?” he asks. “People are meant to have pictures of girls on motorbikes and puppies on the wall.”

“The storming of the Bastille is an incredibly important moment of the history of France and how it was the people who caused the uprising and not the government.” Enjolras says rolling his eyes, when Grantaire rolls his. It was always the same reaction from Grantaire, Enjolras would mention a crucial bit of French history and Grantaire would always ask why he cared about something that was in the past as it was so old. To be honest, in the eyes of Enjolras, Grantaire was a disgrace to call himself a French person. It is not as if he was expecting Grantaire to go around with a beret and a baguette, wearing the flag as a cape all the time and become a walking stereotype, but he wanted him to have more of an appreciation of being French, it didn’t help that other than himself, Grantaire was the only person who was French, as the rest of their group came from all over the place. Bahorel is from Scotland, Bossuet is from somewhere from the south, but no one knew where exactly. Courfeyrac was from Australia and moved over in high school. And Feuilly doesn’t even really know himself to be honest and he just says that he is a child of the world, instead of limiting himself down to one location.

“I know that you don’t care, but the Bastille is incredibly important.” Enjolras murmurs.

“I know that it is important to you.” Grantaire says lacking the usual tone. “I guess I care about it to a certain extent, but not as much as you as I don’t have a picture of Napoleon on a dart board.”

“It was a joke from Courfeyrac,” Enjolras groans sending a glare to the dart board where the picture of Napoleon has a got three darts in his eyeball from when Enjolras threw them there in a fit of rage when Grantaire turned his white shirts pink when he volunteered to do the washing. It was the first time and the last time when Enjolras let Grantaire near the washing machine unsupervised by him, Feuilly or Combeferre and Chetta.

“Isn’t that the picture that you got from Marius?” Grantaire asks. “Looks like you got angry with Marius and took it out on old Napoleon or you have many issues with him.”

Enjolras was going to open his mouth to give a list of his issues with Napoleon. He actually had at least fifty reasons why he personally thought Napoleon was a douchebag, and why he was near the top of Enjolras’s douchebag list, as Enjolras was sad enough to have a douchebag list. On the list had famous icons such as Kayne West, Jar Jar Binks and The Fonz. Normally Enjolras would be open and he would be rather willing to enlighten the world with his hatred of these people, but today he couldn’t be bothered to do so, as he is dying after eating vegan chilli. And when you are dying you are meant to be thinking about your happy memories of puppies and friends and not the people on your dochebag list. Plus there was also the chance that if he was talking about Napoleon he would bring up his hatred for Jar Jar Binks and he still wasn’t fully recovered from the last time he had to explain to confused Bahorel about his dislike for a Star Wars character and that lead to Enjolras finding a large poster of the character he hated on his door when he came home from being in the library as it was a Wednesday and it was Grantiare’s painting time. What made the situation worse was that the poster wasn’t not just stuck on their with a bit of tape but with nails as Bahorel had been so kind, to make sure the poster was stuck there. Grantaire didn’t even seem to know about the poster until Enjolras mentioned it, but it could be the fact that he was sworn to secrecy by Bahorel, or he had headphones in while he was painting playing heavy metal full blast, or Grantaire had a few drinks while he was painting and it was just common knowledge that Grantaire was nearly deaf after a drink or three. The poster had become a bit of a landmark for people in their apartment block and Enjolras has seen people take pictures with their door.

Enjolras shook his head and tried to push down the sense of sickness he felt as he shook his head too much. He takes in a deep breath. “There is really no reason for telling you.”

“You must be ill then.” Grantaire says in a tone of disbelief as he reaches over to place a hand on Enjolras’s forehead. “You must not yourself if you are not delivering the world with your scarlet opinions.”

“My views aren’t that radical.” Enjolras sighs.

“You made a student with a petition cry.”

“He was being wrong!” Enjolras exclaims. “He was misinforming people on what his petition was about and I doubt that he even knew what he was talking about.”

“Then you burnt his posters.” Grantaire replies dryly.

“Courfeyrac burnt them, I watched.” Enjolras replies.

“I do love the smell of burning propaganda in my home.” Grantaire says. “Do you think they can make an air freshener of that?”

“Don’t think so.” Enjolras grunts. “Do you want to talk about something more interesting than Napoleon or burning posters? Or you can leave if you want.”

Grantaire doesn’t say anything for a few minutes, running his tongue along his lip several times before he says anything. “We could ask those questions that roommates are meant to ask during those first few days instead of arguing about microwaves.”

“Fine.” Enjolras sighs as he realises that he isn’t going to sleep at all this night. But for some reason he is enjoying Grantaire’s company. It could just be with the fact that he is tired and he is ill right now, but he likes Grantaire a bit when he is not ill, tired and even when he is sober. Grantaire makes him laugh at times, not often, but he does. “You start.”

“What did you want to be when you were younger?” Grantaire asks after a few moments. “You have to be completely truthful.”

“Jedi.” Enjolras replies off the bat. “I really liked Star Wars when I was younger and I thought that light sabres were really cool. My parents never bought me one.”

“So beneath this marble sun god exterior you have, you are a nerd?” Grantaire asks as he wipes the tears from his eyes.

“Just because I am the way I am, doesn’t mean that I don’t indulge in ‘nerdy,’ things.” Enjolras says. “I do have other interests rather than politics and society.”

“But I would never think of you liking Chewbacca and Jar Jar Binks.”

“Don’t mention Jar Jar binks.” Enjolras mutters under his breath rolling his eyes. “He is a douche bag.”

“Is that the reason why we have the poster on the door?” Grantaire asks. “I thought that someone was drunk and they put it up there for the banter.”

“It was Bahorel, he found out about my dislike about Jar Jar Binks.” Enjolras says. “What did you want to be when you were younger?” Urging the conversation forward as he wasn’t wanting to delve into his hatred of Jar Jar Binks as to be honest, he didn’t want Grantaire to think that he was weird or weirder than he was already.

“A dancer.” Grantaire says. “It is not that exciting compared to being a Jedi, but it is all that I wanted to be when I was younger.”

“Why didn’t you become one?” Enjolras asks.

“Because I look bloody awful in tights.” Grantaire chuckles and before he knows it Enjolras starts to laugh as well. The image of Grantaire in tights is probably one of the strangest mental images that Enjolras is sure that he has had during the year. He is sure that Grantaire wouldn’t look that bad in tights, but he would probably have to shave his legs for the tights to look any good as living with Grantaire, you tend to find out how hairy a man can be and how they can put a mammoth to shame and that is just from their legs.

“Are you imagining me in tights?” Grantaire asks. “I know that all the boys want to see me in them.”

Enjolras turns over to his side so that he is facing Grantaire. He looks at Grantaire and he is thankful that the lights are off in the room so that Grantaire can’t see the reaction on his face. “I was thinking about how hairy your legs are and how you would have to shave them to wear tights.”

“I had to shave my legs for a school play once. Whole body actually.” Grantaire replies, shuddering slightly. “We were doing Othello for high school, it was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life.”

“It couldn’t be that bad.” Enjolras says shaking his head. “I had to be the bottom half of a pantomime cow once.”

“Bossuet was Othello, but I think that he got that part because he is black.” Grantaire replies. “Joly was Cassio.”

“I can see why the play went wrong.” Enjolras nods. “Bossuet and Joly tend to cause a bit of trouble normally, I think that Jehan is a bit scared of them. Who were you in the play?”

“Desdemona.” Grantaire says. “Bossuet lost the handkerchief before we went on the stage and we had to improvise using Joly’s boxers, and Bossuet forgot to strangle me, so I had to have a heart attack on the stage and die suddenly. My parents gave the play five stars though!”

“I thought that my school play was bad.” Enjolras says. “I was forced to take drama club as ‘stress relief,’ by the guidance councillor. I was Puck the mischievous sprite.”

Grantaire starts to laugh and he doesn’t stop after the first few seconds of when it is considered to be polite to do so. He wipes his eyes on the corner of his pyjama sleeve. “Sorry it is difficult to imagine you being the mischievous sprite.”

“Combeferre has the pictures and a recording of me in the play.” Enjolras sighs. “They are a bit blurry though, as he was laughing at my tights and the fact that Marius had trouble seeing in the donkey head and he tackled me on the stage.”

“I don’t think that drama club was a stress relief for you, especially when Marius was being an ass.” Grantaire laughs, that results in Enjolras laughing as well, as he does love a bit of a good pun every now and then.

“Hey R,” Enjolras says. “If you wear your Desdemona costume to Bahorel’s Halloween party, I will let you see the pictures and the moment where I get tackled by Marius.”

“I will wear it, only if you wear your costume.” Grantaire says rising an eyebrow.

“That is not fair, I might be letting you see the photos.”

“But it would be funny to see in you in tights.” Grantaire chuckles. “If I wear my costume, I am going to need to shave my legs for the dress. If you wear your costume, I will let you help me get ready and you can wax my legs.”

“Fine.” Enjolras says shaking Grantaire’s hand. Their hands seem to hold on for a little too much as they look at each other and then quickly look away, hands lingering for a bit too long. Enjolras would be lying if he said that he minded Grantaire’s hand on his.

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