To make up for the lack of posting lately, please have a coda/epilogue/follow-up moment to The Marriage of Sir Enjolras, in which Enjolras finally follows up on an allusion and is Concerned.
The door does not quite slam against the wall; Enjolras is
too careful for that. Still, it is enough to startle Grantaire, whose attention
has wandered out the window of their chambers, his lute held loosely in his
hands. He turns, blinking, to find it is indeed Enjolras framed in the doorway,
his mouth drawn taught and troubled.
“Enjolras?” Grantaire asks, gentle and surprised both.
Concern etches Enjolras’ face into a field of furrows, but
it lacks the fierce intensity of matters of state. There is a vulnerability
there that lies solely between them, and Grantaire can think of nothing he has
done to warrant it.
Between them, something fragile and full of potential has
sprouted, but he fears what could disrupt this careful balance.
Enjolras steps through the door, replacing it behind
himself, and crosses his arms across his chest, distance rather than defense.
Trouble barely marks him – his hair curls like the scrolling in manuscripts in
the light of the midday sun, his fine, simply cut clothing frames him as
elegantly as any king upon a throne. His eyes, though, are deep and unreadable
as the unfathomable rivers that run through forests, dappled with shade through
“Before we were wed,” Enjolras says, quiet but far from deadly,
“you asked me if Ariadne truly believed in Theseus’ ability. You rather neglected
to mention he abandons her upon an island.”
Grantaire’s chest seizes as though with ice, and he sets his
lute aside, rising to his feet. He draws near, but does not close the distance,
does not know his touch will be welcome. Enjolras’ arms stay folded across his
chest. Very carefully, unusually so, Grantaire picks his words as though around
a patch of thorns and briars.
It is tempting to cut, to draw thorns of his own around the
fleshy vulnerability of his fear-heavy heart. But Enjolras is no fae, to twist
his words back upon him and entrap him. No, there is vulnerability and hurt
hovering there, not wounded pride.
“I suspected it only little more than did she, and would
have counted my sacrifice worthwhile all the same,” Grantaire says slowly. “Yet
that aspect of the comparison was not one I intended. I hoped then and know now
that your honor runs rather deeper, and should you desire it, the proof of this
is that my face is still my own. No arrogance runs in you, and I imagine even
you would ever take care with your sails.”
Gingerly, he steps forward, within hand’s reach, but no
farther. Grantaire lets truth settle upon his shoulders and weigh him down as
he tips his eyes up to meet Enjolras’ steadily.
“If I thought you Theseus,” Grantaire tells him, finally
reaching up, his fingertips lighting on the curve of Enjolras’ cheek, “then I
am better pleased still to find more of Dionysus in you.”
The slight tension in Enjolras’ shoulders eases, but his
mouth doesn’t move from the uncertain moue.
Grantaire pauses, then has to hold in a crack of laughter.
His eyes scrunch with amusement all the same, a reaction he can’t quite
control. “You never finished the tale, did you?”
Enjolras looks rueful, even as his hand comes up to cover
Grantaire’s, curving around it as he turns his head to kiss Grantaire’s fingers
gently. “I did not.”
“Well.” Grantaire slips his free hand behind Enjolras’ head
and very carefully draws him in, resting their foreheads together. “I shall not
spoil it for you. Suffice to say, Ariadne wins her joy and her freedom all the
same, much as I have won my own, and I count my happiness greater than any
found in legend.”
“Then I am relieved,” Enjolras murmurs, his hand so warm
across Grantaire’s. “Though I ask you to take more care for yourself in your
Grantaire can’t help the laugh this time, nor does he try.
He tangles his fingers in the fall of Enjolras’ hair and smiles softly. “I
shall endeavor, for your sake, to be clearer in my rhetorical flourishes.”
“And so I am satisfied.” Enjolras’ voice is light, almost
teasing, and he kisses Grantaire with a warmth that outshines the very sun