Grantaire watches Enjolras more than anyone. Sure, he misses all of his friends, but sometimes he just can’t bear to look an anyone other than Enjolras. Enjolras had been it for him. Now Grantaire was gone and all he can do is sit back and watch Enjolras burn.
The revolutionary still has the spark in public. He’s all fiery passion and flaming ideals and it’s all Grantaire can do to keep himself from reaching out to touch him like he could’ve been able to do three months ago. It’s all he can do to stop himself from ghosting his transparent fingers over Enjolras’ bicep and murmur soft words of encouragement that he knows Enjolras won’t be able to hear.
It’s all he can do to keep himself away.
* * *
He died three months ago. Jehan’s. He’d been on his way back from Jehan’s when it happened. He forgot his laptop there. He had been driving home when the home when his brakes failed and the horns started blaring. He ran right through the red light and a car hit him on either side, effectively crushing his body and snuffing out his life.
He bares no marks in death.
His body is smooth, pale and see-through. It’s like his color had faded out when his life did. He is like a shadow; seeing, hearing, but never saying. Cursed to live as a fly on the wall forever. Sometimes he’ll mutter something to himself and he’ll just wait for someone’s ears to perk up, someone’s head to snap towards a strange noise. It never happens.
He stops speaking. Who’d have thought?
* * *
The first time Enjolras goes to see Grantaire’s grave, Grantaire is right behind him. The blond wears his red coat to ward off against the chill in the air. Grantaire would’ve been freezing; he’d always been prone to getting cold. He doesn’t feel temperature anymore. It was like he’s been detached from every human feeling.
Enjolras stands for a long time, staring at the simple headstone before he finally bows his head in silence. Grantaire moves to stand in front of him, on top of his own body. He can feel it clawing at him. Grantaire gets a better look at Enjolras’ face and he sees tears resting on the high cheekbones. Grantaire tries to close his eyes, but he can’t make himself look away, can’t tear his eyes away from the horrific sight. Longing slashes its way through his gut and he tries to pull Enjolras close, only to phase right through his body and stumble behind him for a few steps.
“I love you,” Enjolras whispers to the tombstone. He drops a small item into the dirt, and Grantaire sees a grey ring before Enjolras closes the dirt back over the tiny hole. He walks away, swaying because of the strong gusts of wind and maybe even his lack of will to fight them.
Grantaire sits in front of his tombstone for a long time, trying to pull himself together. All of his fragile self-control is threatening to fall apart, to drag him down with it. He can’t cry anyway.
* * *
He goes to see Enjolras that night. He’s sitting on Grantaire’s side of the bed, curling into the pillow Grantaire always used to use. His head is buried in it and Grantaire can hear the violent sobs wracking through Enjolras’ body. Grantaire stands in the doorway for a long time. He wondered at first why it took Enjolras so long to go see him, but now he knows. He just knows, and he understands. It took Enjolras this long to work up the nerve.
Grantaire silently moves towards the bed, sitting where Enjolras normally sleeps. He wonders if Enjolras sleeps on his old side to be closer to him or if he doesn’t want to touch it. Maybe Enjolras can still faintly smell Grantaire’s cologne. Maybe he imagines Grantaire there when he wakes up in the morning. Maybe he says goodnight to the empty bed beside him.
Enjolras lays down then, burying his face into the pillow and sobbing out Grantaire’s name a few times before he stills. It’s painful for Grantaire to watch, this kind of misery and mourning. Especially with the man he loves, if he can even feel love anymore.
Enjolras eventually stops crying and is reduced to just sobbing. Grantaire aches to reach out and touch him, to try to soothe him anyway possible. He knows he won’t be able to feel him anyway. He sits with his head in his hands beside Enjolras, wishing for any other outcome than the one he’d gotten.
* * *
He watches Enjolras stay up all night, staring at the ceiling as tears stream down his face. The next morning, his eyes have dark circles under them and he looks paler than Grantaire ever remembers seeing him. Enjolras rolls out of bed at 7:34, an hour later than he normally would, and trudges to the bathroom, breathing heavily. He sounds like he’s having a panic attack, and it’s all Grantaire can do not to scream.
Enjolras can’t breathe. It’s all Grantaire’s fault and Grantaire can’t keep doing this to him. He can’t, he can’t, he can’t, he can’t. Enjolras sits in the bathroom against the cool tile of the floor, trying to regain his composure. He breathes deeply for a while until he’s finally able to stand. Enjolras braces himself on the bathroom sink, back shaking with the tears that are falling down his face.
“Oh god,” he groans, leaning his forehead against the cool mirror to anchor himself. “You’d laugh at me for being so weak. You’d be so much stronger than I am right now, R. But I’m not strong. Not without you. I can’t do this without you. I can’t.” Enjolras looks like he’s breaking inside, like his walls are slowly crumbling and the only thing he can do it brace himself for the destruction. “I’m not myself anymore. I’m not even a person. I’m a robot. I don’t even see t-the point.” He looks back down at the sink and quietly says, “Everyone says that you can probably hear me, but I doubt you can. You would’ve shown me that you could. You would’ve given me something.”
No, he wants to say. You're the strong one, Enjolras. You're holding on. I would've followed you into death a moment later. You're the strong one. I wish I could show you. I want to show you. I'm right here. I've always been here. I always will be right here, please believe me. Enjolras...
Grantaire longs to touch Enjolras one last time. He longs to bury his fingers into the soft blond hair that he can barely remember the feel of and hold on forever. He doesn't want to leave Enjolras, but he already has.
He pulls out a bag and there’s all different kinds of makeup in it. Enjolras takes out something half-used that looks like a liquid and covers the dark circles under his eyes. Grantaire wonders how many times he’s had to use it before. He looks marble again; fearless and ready to win. He shudders, staring at himself in the mirror until he makes a broken noise in the back of his throat and sobs echo throughout the empty apartment again.
In that moment, Grantaire isn’t the only transparent person in the room.