Grantaire lamented loudly, face twisted into a pained expression of hurt. “I don’t know why you refuse to tell anyone, but I am so fucking exhausted of pretending that you don’t love me back.”
“Grantaire.” Enjolras chided softly, his head hanging from where he sat on the couch. They were in Grantaire’s apartment, where they had spent the past two weeks together every night; only in secret. No one could know. “You know why I don’t want to tell them.”
“No!” R countered, voice high pitched and choked. “I don’t know why. You won’t give me a straight fucking answer!” He breathed heavily for a moment, chest heaving with exertion. “I would be embarrassed to be with me, too. But if you’re ashamed of us, then I need you to just say so.”
“I’m not ashamed of you, Grantaire.”
“Then why? Because the way I look and act towards you hasn’t changed. All of our friends look at me and think I am still absolutely pitiful.” He sighed, voice catching. “Do you know what it’s like to sit there and take that? To have to hear ‘Oh, R. I’m sure he could love you.’ and ‘I hope your heart moves on soon’ from our friends when I get to come home to you every night already?” His voice was beginning to waver, his vision blurring with the tears he had been holding back for weeks.
“I’m not ashamed of you, Grantaire.”
“Honestly,” He bit back a hoarse sob, “It doesn’t matter how many times you say that. Until you tell me why you can’t love me openly, I won’t believe it. I’ll believe that you are embarrassed to be with someone of the likes of me.”
Enjolras slowly stood on wavering feet, and Grantaire distantly recognized that his face, too, was damp with what seemed to be tears. When Grantaire cried, he sobbed and yelled and wept like a hurricane. It seemed when Enjolras cried, he was quite the opposite.
Funny how they switched like that; the immovable object and unstoppable force turning on one another, switching roles so easily.
“I am not.” Enjolras whispered, voice obviously strained. He looked up to meet Grantaire’s eyes. “I promise I’m not. Can I explain? Can you give me a moment to explain, and please try and understand?” His voice was soft as R had ever heard it; more resembling a whisper of wind than his usual tumultuous words.
Grantaire nodded, moving to sit on the couch and taking Enjolras’ previous spot. Normally, when thinking, Enjolras never slowed. He paced and murmured beneath his breath, hands moving in a flurry of expression, face contorted. Now he stood as still as Grantaire had ever seen him; it was sobering, and Grantaire’s heart stopped racing, his mind slowing so he could listen.
“You know I’ve never been with anyone before and that I want to take things slow.” He paused for a moment, drawing in a shaky breath. “You’ve been really wonderful about that and I appreciate it more than I can say. You and I are transitioning from a friendship and that can be really tricky to do without perturbing that relationship. Our friends won’t see it that way.” He admitted, bringing up a hand to thread in through his curls. “If we told them we were together; that we loved each other, half of them would be planning our wedding, and the other half would be questioning you on our s-sex life.” He brought the hand down from his hair to rub at his mouth. “You know how uncomfortable that makes me. I’m demisexual and I really love you and want to be with you. And share that with only you. That’s our business- not theirs.
“I want to take this slowly. That means without the added pressures of our friends. I love them all to bits but you know they would push us.” Enjolras approached Grantaire, settling his hands into R’s dark curls, forcing him to look up. “I don’t want to rush this. I want to enjoy you and learn you. If that means keeping it from them for a little while, then that’s what has to happen.”
“You’re not embarrassed of me?”
“No, my love. I am proud of you.”
“I’m sorry-” R began, his voice hitching. “-for not understanding. I am so so sorry.”
“And I’m sorry for making you feel unwanted.” Enjolras bent down to rest on his knees before Grantaire, pressing a soft kiss to the corner of his mouth. “Can you just give me a little more time?”
“Enjolras, you can have all the time you need.” R murmured, a sad and watery smile decorating his features.
“We have all the time in the world.” Enjolras corrected.