Author: Pairing: Bahorel/Grantaire Rating: PG
"Merry Christmas, Dion. Merry bloody Christmas." Bahorel threw himself into a chair and stole the remnants of Grantaire's bottle. Grantaire smirked at him.
"What has happened to you, my good friend, that could put you in such a mood in this charming holiday season?" he asked, leaning forwards, hands clasped together in the very image of an attentive schoolchild. Bahorel waved a hand in the air.
"Mother and her letters."
Grantaire's smirk grew wider. Mother Bahorel's letters were well known to him, and indeed, to anyone who frequented the caf, for Bahorel's own complaints could be heard throughout the building each time he received one of her lectures. Having met the formidable woman once himself, Grantaire fully understood why Bahorel, so voluble to others, said nothing to his own mother against those sermons.
"Enough said, Denis. Drink."
"I won't refuse."
"I'd worry if you did."
There were worse ways to celebrate Christmas Eve than by getting drunk in a small café with a good friend, Bahorel decided. Especially if his mother didn't think so.
* * * * *
Two weeks after Christmas and the snow was melting too fast for Grantaire's liking. He picked his way through the icy puddles in the street as quickly as possible, grimacing as he felt them seep through the fabric of his clothes.
As happens on such cold and soggy days, it was only a matter of time before somebody cheerfully leapt into a puddle beside him.
"How old are you, Bahorel?" Grantaire sniffed and ducked into the nearest café. It wasn't the one he had been aiming for, but the warmth inside beckoned much more urgently than the thought of trudging further through this wet to find one of better quality and greater cost.
"I'm twenty nine. Which is older and therefore wiser than you."
"I'm answering your question."
"We've been here half an hour and you only answer it now?"
Bahorel shrugged and grinned. "I only just remembered you asked it."
Rolling his eyes, Grantaire made a show of turning away from his friend and inspecting the dilapidated state of the table they were both sitting at. He picked at one of the scratches on it with his thumbnail, idly widening it.
He continued to ignore Bahorel as the other mans hand drew his own gently away from its destructive task. He tried to ignore Bahorel as he felt him draw closer towards him. He couldn't ignore Bahorel any longer when he was being kissed.
"I should probably punch you for that," Grantaire remarked, not unpleasantly, a few moments later. "But you're both larger and quite likely to be stronger than I am so I doubt that action would achieve anything useful." He frowned and looked sharply at Bahorel. "It is a very good thing this place is dark. You couldn't have chosen somewhere with fewer people to take advantage of a drunk companion?"
"Nobody saw. Besides, I doubt anyone could take advantage of you." Bahorel snorted.
"Are you doubting my pure and innocent heart?" Even Jehan, always ready to believe the best of people, would not have fallen for the tone of indignation with which Grantaire now spoke.
"I suppose that's fair," Grantaire allowed and finished his drink somewhat more quickly than normal. He rose.
"I have a sudden urge to be elsewhere. Home," he announced. Bahorel remained seated for a few moments. Grantaire prodded him.
"Aren't you coming?"
* * * * *
Nothing much had changed over the months. Bahorel still had his mistresses and Grantaire his girls. If Bahorel found that he preferred the company of Grantaire to Lucille or Jeanne, he would only admit that Dion had the more interesting conversation. There were no sudden revelations of feeling, no declarations of undying love.
The chill of March was more piercing than the Christmas snows and, suffering from a cold, Grantaire could not sleep. He gazed instead at the body next to him, its arms wrapped tightly around him, possessive even in sleep.
These wakeful nights had given Grantaire hours of silence in which there was little to do but reflect. Alone, he might have tried to read in whatever little light he could create, but he dared not risk disturbing Bahorel who was very insistent that he should never be woken before he wanted to be.
Blaming the thoughts, so ridiculous, on his current poor health, Grantaire's mind turned to considering the nature of his relationship with Bahorel. It was true enough that he took great pleasure in Denis' company, romantic or not. It was true also that he missed Denis when the other man was off on one of his customary jaunts around the city. Was that love?
Grantaire laughed, amused at himself. He didn't know. This subject was something best left for Jehan to ponder. Suddenly tired, he shook his head and settled back, impulsively kissing the hand he held. Gently, he stroked Bahorel's dark hair, loosened in sleep, with his free hand.
Bahorel grunted and, though he remained asleep, pulled an unresisting Grantaire closer still.