Hugs Before Toast

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Chapter 6

“Happy Halloween.” Grantaire says cheerfully with his dress on and with a stupid amount of lipstick on. He raises the front of his dress and shows off his waxed legs off proudly.

Earlier on the day, Grantaire had been serious about getting ready for the party and wearing the costume. Enjolras had been secretly hoping that Grantaire would decide to back out through out the day as he wasn’t wanting to wear tights. Even when he had to wax Grantaire’s legs, that Enjolras did take some enjoyment in doing so, as Grantaire swore a lot, he had been hoping that Grantaire would just wear a shirt with a stupid comment on it to the party.

“I will go and get the tights on then.” Enjolras grumbles as he makes his way into his bedroom.

“And the photos,” Grantaire shouts over his shoulder. “I am expecting to have some photos taken with you tonight. We need to make a celebration of two classic characters from Shakespeare uniting.”

“Whatever Grantaire.” Enjolras shouts over as he closes the door to delve into his wardrobe to find the stupid costume that he had kept for some reason. Even though he is disliking the situation he has put himself in, Enjolras smiles a little bit.

The next day on Facebook, Enjolras’s wall is covered in pictures of a slightly tipsy Puck and a Desdemona smiling together like idiots. Puck had lipstick on a cheek, while Desdemona has lost all lipstick from his mouth.

Enjolras liked all of those photos and he saved them onto his phone, but he wouldn’t tell anyone of course.


“So who has any plans for Christmas?” Marius asks over his glass of hot chocolate, while Cosette is furiously knitting a scarf while gossiping to Joly who is feeding Cosette carrot sticks as she knits. Grantaire briefly wonders if this is a part of the strange hippy life style of free love and tie dye that is meant to be a part of the university lifestyle. Through years of being programmed from the internet and all those crappy coming of age films, Grantaire wouldn’t be surprised if someone pulls out a guitar and they have an orgy of music and ‘becoming closer to another in a rather sexy manor.’

“Yesterday was Halloween.” Combeferre says over from his laptop, peering over his glasses. “It is too early to think about Christmas.”

“Christmas isn’t for another fifty four days.” Jehan says from his book. “Or if you want to be even more precise, it is not for another seventy seven thousand and seven hundred and sixty minutes.” Jehan holds out a finger as they look at their watch. “In fact Christmas isn’t for another seventy seven thousand and seven hundred and fifty nine minutes now.”

“So time is a ticking.” Courfeyrac says. “Halloween is yesterday and we have been getting ready for that since March, and now that it is over we move on to Christmas.”

“You know that not all of us celebrate Christmas.” Enjolras says. “There are other important holidays for us to celebrate than Christmas.”

“Well Hanukah is soon.” Joly says nodding into Grantaire’s direction. “And we will end up learning how to use a dreidel sometime in the future I think.”

“You wish,” Grantaire snorts. “I am not attempting to teach you how to play dreidel again. I have a scar from when you threw it at my head when you lost.”

“It slipped out of my hand!” Joly exclaims. “I didn’t throw it.”

“Yes you did.” Bossuet says trying to hide his comment with a loud and clearly fake cough, but it fails as Joly sends him a glare and swats at his shoulder.

Enjolras snorts loudly and sends a look over to Grantaire from over his text book. Grantaire only raises his eyebrows in return, taking amusement in the way that Enjolras hides his face into his text book. Maybe his face is that hideous to make Enjolras have a reaction like that, Grantaire wouldn’t be surprised if that was the reason for that reaction. But last night, Enjolras didn’t really seem to really care about his face that much, well he must have cared about his face to a certain extrent and he was somewhat attached to it. Grantaire would be lying if he said that he hadn’t thought about kissing Enjolras before, and last night was a dream come true. But then again Enjolras had been drinking so it was probably the only reason he was nice to him.

In the morning, Grantaire was a bit surprised when Enjolras was rather nice to him, and he had even said good morning to him. What made things even more surprising was that Enjolras wasn’t even on his third cup of coffee for that to happen. Enjolras would say good morning to him on occasion but it was rare and he had to be rather caffeinated to be sociable. Even though he hasn’t had his morning cup of coffee, Enjolras will always say good morning to Feuilly, well he doesn’t actually say good morning, but he and Feuilly will just grunt at another in the morning as they nurse their cups of coffee. It is as if they are in a secret society that Grantaire doesn’t know about it. Grantaire is sure that he would be allowed to join Enjolras and Feuilly’s coffee drinking grunting society, but he only likes his coffee and some of his men Irish and he doesn’t understand grunting, but Grantaire is efficient in understanding the languages of burps and Joly’s voice when it goes all high pitched when he is very angry.

“The most important matter about his subject.” Eponine says with her voice rising above everyone else’s who are talking about the game nights where something has ‘slipped’ out of Joly’s hands. Joly’s voice being the loudest and the highest out of everyone’s in the group, as he protests that things rarely slip out of his hands. “What are you getting me for Christmas?”

“A box of matches and a box of crayons.” Grantaire replies instantly. “So you can be creative with colour and fire if you want to be.”

“Isn’t that dangerous?” Enjolras asks with a raised eyebrow.

“Probably,” Eponine shrugs as she turns the page of her magazine, sounding far too casual about this thing that Grantaire would like her to. It scares Grantaire a little as he is positive that you can make a weapon out of matches and crayons. It would be a colourful Molotov cocktail that would leave puddles of colours as well as fire. There is something that is poetically brilliant about it to Grantaire, but he can’t place his finger on what makes it poetically brilliant, well some of his friends are literature students so at least he has people to ask instead of just Joly and Bossuet who say things such as ‘Explosions are really cool.’

“If you do get that,” Combeferre says, “Please don’t go near my apartment or my microwave. Bahorel is still paying me back for the one he destroyed last week.”

“What did you do to his microwave?” Enjolras asks. “Were you involved Grantaire?” Enjolras says turning his head over in Grantaire’s direction at the back table in the room, where Grantaire is nursing a plate of nachos.

“Not every situation that involves Combeferre’s microwave involves me.” Grantaire says raising his hands up in defence. “Contrary to your belief, I do have other friends than just Bahorel and Combeferre and I don’t spend all my time there. I do go to classes and other places.”

Enjolras blinks for a moment, not knowing what to say. He looks over to Grantaire who is just looking rather pissed for being blamed for destroying a microwave, once more. Enjolras doesn’t need to be in Grantaire’s paint splattered boots to know that if he was Grantaire and he was getting blamed for a microwave being destroyed, he would be rather pissed as well. And the part with Grantaire getting his head nagged off by him, isn’t fun in the slightest. The worst part about it is that Enjolras knows that he is guilty for making a matter worse than it needs to be, and turning an argument that could be resolved in a matter of minutes into a full blown one that results in the celling being blown off in a day’s long argument at their worst. Enjolras doesn’t want to fight with Grantaire, he doesn’t like to shout at him and the guilt that he feels is unbelievable and heavy on his chest. However, he doesn’t exactly want to say that he is sorry either, especially with all of their friends around. He does the next best thing. He places a hand on Grantaire’s wrist and gives him one of the most sincere looks that he can muster. One that means that he is truly sorry. Grantaire just looks at him, with a mixture of confusion, as if he hasn’t experience such kindness from him before.

As Enjolras turns his head to listen on what Marius is saying, he feels a squeeze on his wrist. He turns his head around and looks down and he sees Grantaire’s normally paint covered hand, clutching onto his wrist. He looks back at Grantaire and mouths the words, ‘I’m sorry.’ Grantaire only nods but he has a small smile tugging on his lips. It takes Enjolras all his power to force his gaze back on to Marius who is going about his normal drivel about his girlfriend, from Grantaire’s eyes, who are focused on him, as if he is the answer to all of the questions of the world. It feels impossible, but Enjolras manages to do it with Grantiare’s hand still on his wrist.

“So how did you destroy the microwave?” Coufeyrac asks loudly, in the attempt to block out Marius. On a regular basis, Courfeyrac says that Marius is his best friend, so it is a bit rude for him to speak over him, but the more Enjolras thinks about it, the more that he realises that Marius has probably told Courfeyrac the same story millions of times and there is the very good chance that Marius first told Courfeyrac the story for the first time in the middle of the night, probably wearing his frog footy pyjamas, so really it is no wonder that Courfeyrac tries to drone him out.

“I wanted to have pineapple on my pizza, as the pizza place didn’t have any, so I had to get a regular boring pizza.” Bahorel sighs as he takes a sip of his drink.

“I don’t see how this involves the microwave.” Jehan says with a look of confusion on his face.

“You haven’t gotten to the best part of the story.” Combeferre’s voice is dripping with sarcasm.

“What happened?” Feuilly asks.

Bahorel lets out a sigh and tries to put up a front of casualness about him. Bahorel shifts over in his chair, so that he is even farther away than he already was from Combeferre, maybe to act as a safety measure, so that Combeferre has to take down Joly and Feuilly, before he can get to Bahorel if he wishes to punch him. “Because there was no pineapple on my pizza, I thought that I could make my own pineapple pizza. I couldn’t be bothered putting my pizza back in the oven, as I didn’t want it to go all weird and burnt.”

“Just cut to the point.” Grantaire shouts over.

“I put a pineapple in the microwave to heat it up and my plan didn’t work.” Bahorel says in one quick breath, flinching once he has said it as Combeferre has shifted in his seat. Because Enjolras has known his best friend for some time and because when you are best friend with someone for a while, you tend to know everything about them, such as their fear of birds or how pissed they get when someone breaks their second microwave in the past two months. Enjolras also knows that Combeferre is similar to him when he is angry, meaning that Combeferre probably shouted at Bahorel for several hours and has possibly banned him from using a microwave for the rest of the year.

“Was it pineapple from tin or a packet?” Courfeyrac asks.

“None of those.” Combeferre says. “It was a whole uncut pineapple, with the leaves still on and everything.”

“Were you drunk?” Eponine asks.

“Maybe if he was drunk, he would have more sense in him.” Combeferre spits out.

“I’m really sorry.” Bahorel says, wincing slightly.

“I know that you are.” Combeferre sighs. “When I get the new microwave, you aren’t using it.”

“I think that you shouldn’t even go near it.” Enjolras says. “For Combeferre’s sanity.”

“It is exam season soon, and I don’t think that Combeferre is able to cope with the stress of another broken microwave.” Courfeyrac says patting Bahorel’s shoulder in the attempt to calm him down, but Bahorel seems to tense up even more. Enjolras believes that maybe the thought of Combeferre during exam mode is a terrifying thought to Bahorel, to be honest, Enjolras can’t blame him. He does consider himself lucky that he isn’t roommates with Combeferre this year, as according to Joly, med school is a bitch and from Bossuet he had found about Joly’s exam stress where he got upset because he couldn’t revise in the shower as the pages in his books would get wet, and then he got more upset as he tried to revise in the shower, thinking that he could not get the pages wet and then he dropped the book and ruined it. If Joly was that bad, Enjolras doesn’t even want to think about Combeferre and what he is going to be like, and he certainly doesn’t envy Bahorel.

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