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Mieux vaut en rire qu'en pleurer

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The door of Enjolras’ flat slams shut as he pushes a bloody and bruised Grantaire inside. The protest had turned rapidly into a riot, and god knows why, but Grantaire had been there when it had happened, resulting in his current state. It would be worrying if it had not been for a concerned Joly, back at the Musain, whom had checked on him and assured to a tensed Enjolras that he was good to go.

The leader follows him quickly inside, giving the artist a good shove that prompts him to the opposite wall more vigorously than necessary. But it’s not as if Enjolras cared right now.

They had not talked, or yelled for that matter, since they had left the café and he had grabbed Grantaire’s arm to take him back to his own flat. Everybody was supposed to meet there after the protest anyway, but the two of them needed to have a very nice and very long talk about self-preservation, preferably away from the ears of the Musain.

As soon as Enjolras closes his door, he turns around, furiously glaring at Grantaire from across the hall.

“What is wrong with you ?”

The artist is breathing heavily, resting his back on the wall for support, and Enjolras comes up to him swiftly before catching tightly the collar of his tee-shirt and giving, just for the sake of it, another good shove.  Grantaire’s back hits the wall again and his eyes shut tight with pain as he faces Enjolras’ fury. He doesn’t look scared though, and doesn’t seem to back down from his own opinion, self-preservation be damned, which only serves to make the leader’s rage fiercer.

This is going to be a very long night. 

“Tell me, now, Grantaire.” He hisses through gritted teeth.

Enjolras is angry with Grantaire. He wants to shake him by the shoulders again, and again, and again; he wants to yell at him for being so careless; he wants to tear him apart for being who he is.An insolently smart and self-sacrificing bastard.

Long story short, Enjolras is angrier than ever because the drunken cynic of the Amis, the stubborn sarcastic artist that gracefully managed to get hurt at a protest he was not even supposed to attend could have been seriously hurt, or, worse, dead.

Why? Just because he wanted to protect Enjolras.

In all his stupid selflessness and loyalty Grantaire had jumped in front of the leader during the protest-turned-riot, pushing him effectively to the ground while the police officer that was previously in front of Enjolras lowered violently his stick. The multiple blows he received from that action gave him a dislocated shoulder and a nasty bruise across his chest and arm; the police officers that sent him to cell later did not help at all.

So, Enjolras was pretty sure he had every fucking right to be angry.

After a few seconds of heavy breathing and icy stares, Grantaire sets his jaw and tries to get away from Enjolras’ glare and grip, to breathe more easily and also stop the embarrassment that tightens his chest at being so close to him. He puts is hands on the leader’s forearms to push him away but whether he lacks the strength or Enjolras is stronger than he is, he can’t do it. He does not look away though and sends back the deadly look he has been receiving for the past three hours. 

Enjolras is not so easily taken down, and manages to tighten his grip on Grantaire, pushing him further into the wall. He explodes as Grantaire tries to push him away, yet again.

“WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU !?” The violence of the yelled question and the push that accompanies it takes the breath out of Grantaire’s lungs, and he hisses in pain as his bruise hit the wall too viciously once again. Enjolras does not seem to notice as he leans in, blocking efficiently all escape for the artist.

His arms have lost their strength with the fight he put in the riot, and his hurt shoulder is taking the best of his energy so that the only thing currently keeping him upright are the hands at his neck and the leg between his tight. He closes his eyes, waiting for his heart to slow down and his mind to stop racing. He is not getting aroused by it, no way in hell and back. No fucking way.

“What the hell is wrong with you, Grantaire?” Enjolras asks, again, disbelieving. His voice is low and grave, almost too calm and composed to be taken as anything else but the threat that it is. A threat of honesty, hate and disgust; at least that’s what Grantaire thinks.

A lot of things , Grantaire think.

A composed Enjolras is even worse than an angry Enjolras.

He is speechless at the question for a while. His dizzy head does not help at all his thoughts to get into order. His confusion must show on his face because as his eyes try to focus on Enjolras’ expression, the leader sights angrily and leans closer. Their noses are almost brushing and Grantaire can feel Enjolras’breath on his skin, sending shiver down his spine. The hands around his collar are fixed into his neck, creating a new point of pressure that prevents Grantaire from concentrating as he would like to.

His breath catches in his throat as the leg between his thighs comes closer and closer, their bodies almost entirely touching, and finally brushes against his jeans. 

Enjolras must have felt it, but his blank face does not let any emotion pass. Grantaire is done, so done with everything.

“Why would you do that ?”His tone is softer now that he is closer, and his eyes are looking at him, scrutinizing him… expectantly?

This time the question registers and Grantaire can’t help but let out a strangled laugh that makes Enjolras frown. He tilts his head until it rest on the wall and looks at the ceiling. Everything to escape that look.

Is he for real ?

Why ? Why wouldn’t  I ?” The reversed question takes Enjolras aback and he almost loses his grip on Grantaire.

“If I had not done it you would have been currently lying in an hospital bed, in the coma or already dead !” His voice is strained and the high-pitched end of the sentence could be ridiculous in any other given situation. He looks incredulous but then shook his head quickly. He does not care what Enjolras thinks, it’s not as if he could understand anyway.

YOU could have been killed you idiot!” But apparently Enjolras can.

Because he is screaming back at Grantaire with the same disbelieving look in his eyes and maybe also a trace of fear in his voice(but Grantaire must have imagined it). “You could have been hit in the  head if you had not stand so straight, you could have been lying on the pavement bleeding for hours before someone noticed that you were still out there, after the police had taken all of us away, you could have died there in the cold of the street under the hits of corrupted police officers and I….”

“Why do you care anyway?”

 The question is barely above a whisper, but the fearless leader hears it nonetheless and stops dead in his track. He watches Grantaire, and now the artist is sure, there is fear in his eyes. There is fear, and if Grantaire knows one thing, it’s that he never wants to see distress in such glorious eyes again.

“I don’t know what I would have done once you were gone.”

The statement hits Grantaire in full force.

Enjolras’ voice is broken at the end by a restrained sob and his eyes are casted down.  His throat seems to hitch as he tries to say something else. The protest has been hard on him too, and all the pressure seems to leave him as he steps back with uncertainty. But that tone is worse than any grip to Grantaire.

He does not know what to say, he does not know how to say it…

 he just doesn’t know.

So he does the only thing he knows for sure. He turns back to his cynicism and self-loathing.

“You should not stop your great action for such a man as me. I’m nothing in the skim of the universe, barely a drunken worthless cynic. You’re so much above that, Enjolras, you’re worth so much more than just stopping everything because of me. You said it yourself, I don’t help your cause, I’m a parasite.” His voice stays a whisper but every word seems to be cutting into his leader’s heart.

Enjolras can hear the critical smile in his tone even if he can’t see it, and he just wants to take it away and crash it between his fingers. It’s not a beautiful sounds and it’s not a beautiful grin. He wishes so hard it was never a part of Grantaire, because it crosses him even more, and makes Grantaire look less than he truly is. 

But he knows that Grantaire is, as always, painfully honest, and that’s what makes Enjolras even more furious. Grantaire believes what he just said. He believes.

Enjolras looks up, fierce again and his arms that had gone soft earlier regain their original strength. His dark blue eyes are burning with passion and anger and rage, and that’s when Grantaire knows he is utterly and truly fucked.

“Stop deprecating, you have no idea what you truly are to me.”

It’s the voice he uses for his speeches, the one he reserves for ideals and belief, for rallying crowds, for creating hope. It does not belong to that conversation, even less so when Grantaire is the subject of said conversation. It prompts Grantaire toward mockery and it’s never good when it comes down to it.

“Oh, but please, dear Apollo, tell me ! What could I, a stupid drunk as you so nicely put it before, be to someone like you, a rich kid full of prejudice and dream?”  His grin grows even more mocking as he sees the question sink in Enjolras.

“Don’t you dare.” He hisses, furious .The reminder of Enjolras owns words, in a flash of lost temper but still his own words, sets him afire. 

In a few but quick movement, Grantaire is pinned feverishly against the wall again, Enjolras’ leg pressing between his tight, his hips brushing painfully against Grantaire’ s jeans , but most of all, Enjolras catches viciously Grantaire’ s lips with his own.

His grip tightens around the artist’s collar to give him a better angle of attack, and as they kiss heatedly, letting go of all the accumulated tension, one  of Grantaire’s hand come to tangle in his locks, deepening the kiss, while the other grips Enjolras’ back almost excruciatingly. They stay like that pushing and grunting against each other, losing touch with the reality outside one another.

But soon, a moan escapes Grantaire as the leader rolls his hips wickedly, and Enjolras takes the opportunity to conquer his mouth.  His tongue ravishes everything he can, playing sinfully with Grantaire’ s own and making the other man moan, again and again.

Enjolras likes to think he will never get tired of that sound.

When he lets go of the artist to catch his breath, putting his hands on the wall on each sides of Grantaire’s head, he takes a good look at him.

His pupils are blown wide and the so attractive icy blue of it has almost disappeared under  a dark circle. His cheeks are flushed and contrast vividly with the usual pallor of his skin, and his dark curls on his forehead are humid with sweat.

His mouth, slightly opened, is the concretization of sin itself. 

“You are everything.” Enjolras whispers close to his lips, warm breath brushing against them.

Grantaire is panting deeply and seems mystified. Whether it is by the sudden passionate exchange or its end, Enjolras can’t tell. But the look on his face makes the leader smug. He is the one to push Grantaire to such a state of grace.

He grins openly now, still breathless, and Grantaire, even though lightheaded after such a contact, can see the burning desire in his eyes.  His red lips are swollen and his blond hair is chaotic, but his grin, oh that damn grin. He is going to kill Grantaire thoroughly, that’s a certainty.

“That’s not an answer, Apollo.” Grantaire manages to say, trying and failing to keep his breath in check as his chest rises and falls too quickly. He almost does not end his sentence as Enjolras, resolute in a deliberate move to shut him up, rolls his hips to rub against the fabric embarrassing Grantaire, now cruelly hard.

He lost the last word in a whimper, and the shiver that runs through his entire body is a call for Enjolras. The leader lashes onto Grantaire, his mouth biting at the exposed neck with fever. He keeps his brisk movements of hips that make Grantaire tremble and he whispers evilly into his ear, after having licked it playfully “It’s an answer. Be serious.”  The glance he throws to Grantaire’s face is enough of a tall-tale for him.

The heat of his body against Grantaire’s own makes the cynic’s expression ecstatic, and the smile in his neck sends another shudder down his spine. His eyes are shut in what seems completion and the dazed sounds that pass his lips are all but orthodox.

 Even that state though does not prevent him from talking.

“I’m wild”. He breathes shallowly.

The answer comes too quickly to Enjolras liking and he rubs even more forcefully against Grantaire, enjoying the cry that leaves his mouth soon after. His own member has been uncomfortably hard since he pushed Grantaire inside and his movements coupled with Grantaire’ s wet lips and cool hands on his skin are enough to bring him soon to climax.

In a few more trust and grunts he finally comes, feeling hot element spreading in his boxer, his head raised to the light, and a victorious shout on his lips, and a revelation in his eyes. He pushes Grantaire against the wall once again with the last force of his trembling hips. Grantaire joins him a few seconds later, strangely enough silent but for a small cry, his mouth shuddering breathlessly and his eyes unfocused.

He rests his head on Enjolras shoulder, his entire body going limp into Enjolras’ touches.  His face is hidden in the crook of Enjolras’ neck and the activist can feel the short and spasmodic breath he takes through his mouth, ghosting above the apparent skin.

Enjolras is shivering with sweat and the weariness and tension of the day comes back to hit him strongly. He relaxes his head on the wall, next to Grantaire’ s curls and takes a few deep breath to steady himself, smelling the dust and cigarette, and cinnamon ?, that emanates from his hair . He attempts to find a position comfortable for them both, trying not to touch the too sensible parts of their bodies but feeling unable of holding them up for too long at the same time.  He has not felt this whole and blissful for a while.

That’s when, calmed and focused, he hears the small sounds coming from Grantaire. From his spot, he can’t see his face but he notices the small shaking of his hunched shoulders.  Worry washes over him as he wonders what went wrong.  He listens carefully, and now, definitely concerned, he tries to push away from the wall.

 It seems to him that Grantaire is gasping for air, even though he does not make any sound.

“Grantaire ?”He asks warily.

As he steps back, he notices also that both of Grantaire’ s hands have left his body, as if burned.  Both of them are on his mouth, preventing him from making too much sound. His face is still hidden by his black curls and the shaking of his shoulders becomes more and more visible as he takes some distance. Enjolras can hear when he concentrates a small penetrating sound.

Is he crying ? Oh God, what have I done ?

Enjolras is horrified and dread fills his stomach. Multiple awful scenarios come and go through his mind and blood leaves his face, as fast as it went to flush it a few minutes earlier.  He didn’t ask for his consent, did he? Maybe Grantaire did not want to have sex with him after all? Maybe he could not say stop because he could not breathe anymore? Maybe he pushed too hard on his bruise ? What if he broke his shoulder again ?

“Grantaire” He says again, more pressing this time, and the anxiety in his tone must have gotten to Grantaire. The other man lifts his head slowly, shoulders still shaking vividly, and somehow Enjolras is taken aback, not expecting this vision at all.

He had thought Grantaire crying, but the artist’s eyes are gleaming with joy, face heartfelt and pleased, and his hands come to rest on Enjolras shoulders again, keeping him close, bodies pressed together easily, even though Enjolras feels stiff and frozen.

What the… ?

 Now that the hands are gone from his lips, Enjolras can hear the small and clear sounds, somewhat high-pitched that Grantaire makes, and most importantly he can see the shining smile that is so unexpected on him, at any time of the day and especially at that peculiar moment.

After they just had an angry fight.

Followed by sticky sex.

In Enjolras corridor.

Because of a protest where he could have died.

Enjolras could not believe his eyes.

Is he laughing ?

No way. He definitely is.

“Grantaire ?” Enjolras voice is now really unsure “Is there something funny ?” He takes another step back, keeping one of his hand on Grantaire’s elbow to keep him standing while his other one comes to rest on his waist to steady him.

At the question Grantaire’ s laugh is even more open, an irresistible ring in the hall with its cheerful waltz of octaves, and the man is almost doubled over, gasping for air between spams of sounds.

Enjolras definitely feels odd. He would love to say that he was not offended, but that was not really the case.

Yes, he was definitely sort of offended. He just had sex with Grantaire, whom he had been pining on for months, and the guy is laughing. Laughing.

He doesn’t know what to do, whether to frown or to smile. Because, well, he is definitely laughing but  the sound in itself is nice really, crystal clear and all; it seems that another part of Grantaire has been awakened now that he is smiling and laughing without holding back on sarcasm as usual.  It’s a new Grantaire in a way, one that is not drown by his family, his alcohol, his work or his depression , and it’s something Enjolras could get drunk on when he thought about it.

“I’m…” Grantaire was trying to catch his breath but he could not for the life of him succeed, what with the hand on his waist making him squirm under its touch. It was always the same when he had sex, and his partners would often left him quickly, ashamed and suspicious. But this was Enjolras, and shame was not something he knew about. Suspicion sure, but not shame.

 “I’m so sorry.” He manages as he takes Enjolras’ hand away from his stomach. “I really am. Please don’t be mad” His voice is waving as he tries to control it.

He let himself fall on the floor because his shaking legs cannot take it anymore, and supported by Enjolras, he leans on the wall behind him. The fearless leader does the same on the opposite wall with caution in his eyes and doubt in his movements.

Grantaire takes in a few shaky breaths and with his hands smears away the tears that had gather in the corner of his captivating blue eyes.

“What is it Grantaire?” Enjolras does not want to take too long, and he would rather be mocked quickly, before the others arrived if possible. He still had somewhat of a pride, even after being laughed at.

“I’ll explain, I swear. Just, you know, don’t take it badly please ?”Grantaire was starting to ramble, his voice going high with unease, and he only did that when he was embarrassed. Which frankly was kind of always the case when he had to explain why he was giggling like a mad man after having sex.

Enjolras looks at him expectantly, his clothes disordered, the perfect picture of an avenging angel after a fight, and nods once.  Grantaire takes a deep breath and starts talking.

“So, I know it’s weird but…. you have to believe me, it’s just that… every time I have sex and I come, I kind of start laughing?” He looks unsure of himself while Enjolras looks at him bewildered.

“I don’t know why, but I can’t really seem to stop it ? Like I’ve tried but it never works, as you may have noticed, plus I’m really really ticklish so every time someone puts their hand anywhere near my stomach I can’t help but laugh so it’s really weird when I have sex… and I know it freaks some people out, and I swear I usually don’t laugh that much, I usually can stop it quickly, but I guess I’ve been waiting to have sex with you for so long, because I guess I kind of love you, and I don’t know how to control myself anymore…so if you wanted me to leave right now I would totally understand… and yeah… it’s maybe because I’m really glad to have sex, with you even more so, I don’t know, but here it is and there is nothing I can do about it… so now you know…”

Enjolras has a hard time understanding every word with the speed of his speech, but when he does, he blinks a few times in surprise.

That was… unexpected, to say the least. And kind of charming maybe ? Didn’t he just say he was laughing because he had a good time with Enjolras ? Did he also just say he was sort of in love with him?

And ticklish? Really?

Grantaire bits his lips while passing a hand though his hair and a pleasant flush comes back on his cheeks and neck. He looks everywhere but at Enjolras, his legs closed to his chest as if to protect himself, and Enjolras can’t understand why it would freak people out because he honestly thinks he has never heard or seen anything so endearing in his life. Enjolras keeps staring for a few minutes, their breaths the only sound in the flat, and Grantaire runs his fingers on the floor in shame, waiting for the verdict to fall.

It’s definitely endearing now that he thinks about it.

Enjolras can’t help but laugh at that. It’s so incongruous, and so delightful, and so definitely Grantaire.

“Are you serious right now ?” His tone comes a bit too suspicious and his gaze must show his confusion because Grantaire startles and looks down quickly.

“Yes, well, I know, hard to believe, hum… I should probably go then… It was nice anyway… I hope  you had a good time, yeah, anyway…” Grantaire goes to stand up but Enjolras, pulling himself together, is quicker.

He jumps up and launches himself at Grantaire who stumbles aside. They both hit the floor in a violent thud which makes Grantaire wince in pain, reminding him of his sore shoulder, while Enjolras manages to straddle Grantaire‘s waist with his leg. He will not try to see how ticklish he was right now because he had things to deal with first.  But he really hoped he could come back to that later.

The curly haired man looks up, astonished and wide-eyed but Enjolras does not get entranced by the look even if he wants to. He fidgets a little under Enjolras’ legs but the leader does not move a bit. Some things need to be said and he’s going to make them clear, right here, right now.

“Don’t you dare leave now, Grantaire.”He threatens as the other man takes in his position on the ground. “Also sorry for the knock on your shoulder, but you did not let me any choice, just so we’re clear”

“What?” Is the only thing he can manage before Enjolras’ hand flies to his lips, effectively stopping him.  Enjolras leans above him, overwhelming him, and puts his other hand on the side of Grantaire’s face.

“No, now you listen”

“ First: don’t ever apologize for laughing. You should not have to keep yourself from having a natural reaction and even more so such an expression of pure joy. If you want to laugh during or after sex, then do it, don’t contain yourself, it’s only bad for you. I really don’t get why you would try to stop it; if it’s how you react, then so be it. Also your laugh is the most charming sound I’ve had the pleasure of hearing and I don’t care if it’s because we had sex”

Grantaire is mumbling something that resemble strongly “not because,  but thanks to”.

Enjolras glares at him before going on again with all his honesty “I love hearing you laugh ok? Don’t put that into question thank you, because it means you’re happy, and I love it when you’re happy.” Grantaire nods, a bit grumpy. “Don’t judge me, I know it’s sappy, but I’m not the one who laughs during or after sex and thinks it’s stupid, clear ?” Grantaire looks offended now but Enjolras raises his hand and lets it hoover right above Grantaire’s waist to mark his point. Grantaire takes a deep breath and stays silent, pointedly looking at the hostile hand. It makes Enjolras smile, pleased with himself.

“Second : I don’t care what other people say, you’re not a freak. It’s really endearing actually if I may say so.” Grantaire blushes at that and wriggles a bit under an amusedEnjolras, trying to turn away but not succeeding.

“Third” And he takes his hand off of Grantaire’s mouth “Can I kiss you now ?”

Grantaire looks flabbergasted and frowns a bit.

“Aren’t you a bit late for that ?” a smile is tugging at his lips and Enjolras rolls his eyes

“Okay, it was my mistake, I should have asked you earlier, it gave me quite a scare by the way, but better late than never. “ He deadpans and then leans above Grantaire whispering softly “Please ?”

The hope in his eyes makes Grantaire opens his mouth wide in astonishment.

“Now, are you serious?”  he asks. When Enjolras looks at him waiting, he gasps at him. “For Christ’ sake, Enjolras, I just told you I’m in love with you and you’re asking if I want you to kiss me ?”

“Not the same thing Grantaire” Enjolras is stern. “Love and consent are two very different things”.

And Oh, Grantaire should have seen it coming. So typical.

“So ?” Enjolras asks, seating fully on Grantaire’s waist.

“So what ?” Grantaire is really confused now, and it doesn’t seem to get any better with time and communication, unlike what other people say.

“Can I kiss you please Grantaire ?” Enjolras is absolutely disbelieving now, arms crossed on his chest.

Grantaire can’t help but laugh a little at that too, and propping himself on his elbows, he gets nearer his leader.

“Yes, please Enjolras, kiss me.”

And so they are kissing again, more softly and slowly, taking their time to discover the other.Enjolras’hands go swiftly to Grantaire’s hair and Grantaire manages to get a hand on his cheek while helping himself up at the same time.

In the moment, they get lost into each other, touching and feeling. Warmth engulfs them, and they stay on the floor, not caring if anyone comes in.  But they are quickly taken back to reality as Enjolras tries to steady them up and puts both his hands on Grantaire’s waist without thinking. The dark haired man giggles in the kiss, squirming under the touch, his breath catching in his throat, and Enjolras can’t help but smile a bit. He does not get his hands away from their spot, slightly playing his fingers in circles on the soft and sensitive skin , and goes to kiss Grantaire’s jaw and neck while the other man laugh gleefully in his chest.

“I love it when you’re happy” He declares in his ear when Grantaire begins to laugh in silence, completely out of breath.

He stands, helping Grantaire on his way up and takes him into a long embrace, resting his chin on his head and stroking slightly at his curls and back. The other man lets out a small sound of contentment.

“You love it when you’re the one that makes me happy “ He can’t help but point out. Enjolras looks down at him at that, and feels if not sees the warm smile hiding in his chest under a mass of black curls.

“I guess you’re right. And I guess I also need to make you happy more often; just so that I can hear you laugh” He concludes before taking Grantaire’ s hand and guiding him to his  room, where they can change clothes before the other arrives, excited and exhausted by the protest.

 

 

Enjolras, from that day on, promised himself that he would make Grantaire laugh whole-heartedly as much as possible, trough sex or not, as selfish as it was, because, honestly, it really was the most endearing thing ever, no matter what Courfeyrac said.