A/N: This was quickly written, and even faster edited. I don't think there are any glaring errors in it, but if you spot any then please don't be shy in pointing them out. This is a gift for Geronimo after I told her about a fic I was reading and told me she wanted Grantaire cuddling a prostitute too. Sorry this got so dark!
“Your bones have been my bedframe and your flesh has been my pillow. And I’m waiting for sleep.”
She isn’t prepared for how ugly he is, the kind that doesn’t stop at the surface level. He’s in such a hurry to undress that he nearly trips over his trousers in an effort to get of them. She has to laugh at that. “I’m not going anywhere dear. Take your time.” At these words he visibly relaxes. Any muscle he has left loosens and his movements are slower; his breathing more measured as he pulls the bed covers down to crawl under. “Wha’ can I call ya, dear?”
“Grantaire.” He replies. His voice is gruff, permanently scratchy from years of abusing his throat with acidic liquors.
“M’ names Marie.” She offers, though he had not asked. She physically restrains herself from grimacing, for she loves her given name-Maude- after her grandmother, a lady of grace and dignity despite her social class. Marie is a prettier name for a whore though, and remembering that her grandmother never had to sell her body for bread money, she’s suddenly grateful to not have to be Maude in the moment. When it becomes clear that Grantaire is not going to help her out of her dress she sighs and begins unlacing herself with practiced ease. She’s stripped to her chemise when he entreats her to stop.
“I want you like that.” Is the only explanation offered.
She shrugs. “Wha’ever ya like.” The blanket is warm when she crawls under, laying so that she is facing him. “Now what is it you really want, dear?” These young men always wanted more, and why shouldn’t they? Was it not what they were paying for? It should no longer be a surprise.
“Just touch me.” He whispers, a flicker of pain and uncertainty flashes on his face for just a moment, so short she might even have imagined it.
“Do ya not get enough lovin’, Monsieur?” She asks, cloaked in her best flirtacious airs. Snaking her arm under the covers, she touches him there and he stiffens. A touch like that would ordinarily have brought him pleasure. Even now he can’t fully hide the rise it gets out of him, though it’s not the kind of touch he is craving.
He grabs her wrist and pulls it away, and for a moment she stiffens too, fear flashing in her eyes which she quickly shakes off with a forced laugh. “M’ apologies, Monsieur.”
If he accepts them he doesn’t say. He prompts her to turn on her side to face away from him. “Now come closer.” He says, and she does. She presses her body right up against his, trying not to shiver at how cold his skin is despite the blanket that covers them both. He wraps his arms around her and she braces herself for the pain that still comes with each penetration, but it never comes. Simply holding her close, he breathes in her scent, enjoying the feel of another human being all over; one who isn’t repulsed by the very sight of him even if she is paid to react so mildly. Eventually he falls asleep like this, his light breaths beating a steady tattoo on the back of her neck.
“Do ya not ‘ave any friends, Monsieur?” She muses aloud when she is sure he is deeply asleep. So she nearly jumps out of her own skin when Grantaire moans, a pitiful sound like a wounded animal. It seems to rip its way from his very core.
“No.” He says now. It takes several moments to realize that Grantaire is not yet amongst the land of the waking. “You have to save him Enjolras…..Why can’t you save him…..Why can’t you save me?” He’s mumbling but with this last sentence, another moan escapes, louder and more terrible than the last.
She knows she should do something, but now she’s glued to her spot, afraid to let this continue, but also afraid of angering him by waking him. “Monsieur?” She ventures to ask. “Monsieur, ya must wake up.” She wriggles around a little to get out from under his arm. “Monsieur.” She sits up to jostle his shoulder.
He jerks awake, his hand coming into direct contact with her cheek. Tears form in the corners of her eyes as she feels the tender spot, already stinging and warm beneath her fingertips.
Grantaire looks disoriented and then so contrite that she fears he’ll burst into tears. To her surprise nothing happens and instead he says, “I think I’m going to be sick,” before scrambling out of the bed to stand over the basin kindly provided for the customers to wash themselves of their post-coital sweat. He looks like he might be ill, all shaky and pale. A few moments later he is, and suddenly she can’t remember anything more pitiful than this young man as he stands in a small wooden room, vomiting from a nightmare he can’t explain, naked, and paying for the company of a woman so that he may sleep with her, and do only that.
Once finished, she starts to gather his clothing. “It might be best if you went home.” She can’t imagine how annoyed Mde. Coudray is right now with all the time he has taken up with her, and if Marie was honest with herself, Grantaire made her uncomfortable with his odd requests and derelictions.
“No, hold me again. Please.” He sits on the bed, and unable to refuse she sits next to him, pulling him down so his head rests on her lap. She strokes his hair and can feel the grease come off onto her fingers from weeks of not washing. He falls asleep again, and this time his sleep is peaceful. He doesn’t wake again until the moon is almost up. She doesn’t speak and he doesn’t try to as she gathers his clothing off the floor for the second time that night. Like the slow emergence from a dream he dresses and the room seems just a little warmer when he leaves with a simple, quiet thank you. Taking a moment to pray for the wellbeing of this sad and odd young man, she hopes guiltily that she’ll never have to see Grantaire again.
She’s not quite prepared for how much she thinks of Grantaire when she doesn’t.
KITTENS AND UNICORNS AND RAINBOWS OH MY! *Sparkles*