An Enigma Of Some Few Weeks, Abruptly Ended By Death

Author:   Pairing: Combeferre/Grantaire  Rating: PG-13

It is with some regret that Combeferre turns his back on Grantaire, whose blood sings with absinthe, but whose eyes refuse to open.

He will not think of it later, but for a moment the barricade is quiet, and Combeferre's thoughts turn to things unsaid that should, he now thinks, have been spoken.

But Grantaire will not wake, and the time for such thoughts quickly runs out.

* * * * *

Grantaire is never quite sure what happened to bring Combeferre to his bed.

To be honest, and these words never leave his mouth, no matter how much drink he swallows, he sometimes thinks Combeferre must be just a touch wrong in the head.

This is quite far from the truth.

* * * * *

The first night is awkward, and neither of them will ever mention it.

That there is a second night is quite a surprise.

* * * * *

He does not usually pay much attention to Grantaire's speeches, but he has had enough wine this night that the cynic's words begin to sound eloquent, and he imagines the future in them.

When his lips suddenly stop the talk, surprising both of them, he thinks it is a gesture of appreciation for opinions and philosophy and contradictions.

When it happens again he is sober, and he continues simply because he cannot think of a reason why he should stop.

* * * * *

They rarely speak when they are alone. Combeferre reasons that they use up all their words in streets and cafs and have none left for beds.

It never occurs to him that what they do is another way of speaking.

* * * * *

There is a day in the caf when Grantaire calls Combeferre "my love" in the midst of a tirade. This is not an unusual thing to come from his tongue, and he would think that he means nothing bu it but for a look he catches in Combeferre's eyes.

He assumes that it is a look of fear and that Combeferre wishes that their situation not be revealed to the others. He decides to use the phrase more often and is surprised when Combeferre, instead of brushing it aside, responds in like.

This goes unnoticed by any but themselves.

When they are alone they address each other by their given names, if they do so at all.

* * * * *

It is past midnight, and there is no moonlight streaming romantically through the window to illuminate the room. Combeferre is awake, staring into the darkness, his arm being crushed under the weight of the body beside him.

Grantaire snores lightly. He has thrown off the blankets, but Combeferre feels that his skin is cold. He feels the chill himself and rolls over, wrapping his other arm around Grantaire and pressing his warm lips briefly to a shivering shoulder.

Grantaire breathes silently, and the night is peaceful.

* * * * *

When they spend nights apart, they sleep badly, although neither will ever mention this to the other.

* * * * *

There is a time when they whisper each other's names into the night. Afterwards they collapse, laughing, and fall quickly into sleep, tangled together in the cool air.

They smile upon waking in the morning, and Combeferre feels that he understands things.

Together they believe in everything and nothing, one a skeptic, one who puts hope in dreams. Together they are ridiculous, but the world outside is hard and painful, and perhaps the ridiculous is needed.

Combeferre puts on his coat. He kisses his lover's ugly cheek and laughs wryly as he leaves.

Grantaire smiles. Finding a bottle on the floor, he raises it in salute before bringing it to his lips.

It is June, and the world outside is full of rain and sorrow and hope and dreams.

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