This was inspired by a tumblr prompt and I churned it out extremely quickly, so a bit nervous but yes:
Of all the terrible ideas Grantaire has ever gone along with, this one takes the cake.
The worst part is, it shouldn't be a bad idea at all. Enjolras, as they left his flat, hadn't seemed to have thought twice about reaching down to tangle their fingers together as a blatant display of their… Jesus fuck, Grantaire licks his lips nervously, glancing again at the clasp of their hands, at contrast of Enjolras's red sleeve against his own bare, pale, tattooed arm.
Their arms swing a bit with each step, and Grantaire can feel his stomach swinging with them.
This is a terrible idea. The very worst.
For starters, the position of their hands complicates the action of reaching into his back pocket for a cigarette far too drastically for it to be of any worth. So, there goes smoking.
And then there are the people. Other people. People on the street. People in shops. In cars. In houses. People who will - who are, probably, but Grantaire can't find it in him to raise his eyes for a closer look - staring at them, this mismatched pair sauntering down the street in the peachy haze of early evening. Definitely staring. He can practically feel the itch of their glares into his downturned forehead as they pass a bus-stop, a line of traffic, a swarm of nattering school children and their mothers and nannies.
They follow him with their eyes, scoffing, eyebrows raised. Could anyone blame them? It's human nature to wonder at abnormalities, and Enjolras's hand in his own is about as blaring and freakish an abnormality as a melon-sized nose or a second head.
Enjolras leads them across the street, tossing him a bemused frown at the sudden slowing of pace, but Grantaire is too busy staring at the fold of their hands - their joined, sweaty, unmatched hands - to pay him any heed. He stumbles along like a distracted puppy, relying almost fully on Enjolras's direction to get them where they need to go, the toes of his worn trainers dragging against the cracked pavement.
Some hands were made for one another, formed as such to fit perfectly into the palm of their mate, but Grantaire's are not those hands.
His hands are too-large and too long, his fingers too crooked, his skin blemished and marred with pale scars from the deep-fryer he'd manned during a brief stint at McDonald's in high school, smudged with charcoal and graphite, the nails flaking from lack of nutrients, flecked with paint and whatever else he's dug his fingers into. His hands, put plainly, are a joke. And they do not belong in Enjolras's hands, just as he does not belong with Enjolras.
That is why this is a bad idea. The very worst idea.
No sooner has he been granted a wish he'd never previously thought possible, than he's going to lose it, because people will stare - are staring - and people will talk, and they will all see what Grantaire sees, what Enjolras, by some freak stroke of luck, has not yet noticed; Grantaire, with his flaking nails and his oily skin and his crooked nose and teeth, with the rings around his eyes, the split shoulder seam of his t-shirt, the knots in his hair, could not possibly hope to inhabit the same plane of existence as Enjolras, let alone his bed. Let alone the spot at his side, where a warm, pale hand waits to catch his as he pulls away.
At any given moment, his luck will run out. Stones will be thrown, children will scream, old women will huff and puff and mean well when they attempt to inform his boyfriend that he appears to have snagged a tagalong hobo on his way to wherever. There will be sneers, and Grantaire will stand behind Enjolras like a child that's been told off in front of the entire class for failing an exam that everyone else passed, all round shoulders and downcast eyes and ruddy cheeks as he prays to the gutters to open their jaws and swallow him whole.
And then Enjolras will begin to question it. Enjolras will turn, will see him and remember that this is Grantaire; a drunk, good-for-nothing, messy, lazy addict. A sad clown with a naturally red nose and overlapping front teeth. Enjolras will see him, and Enjolras will ask himself why. Or, alternatively (and this fear is somehow realer, more terrifying than the others, as he feels himself slow to an almost stop against the tug of Enjolras's hand in his), Enjolras will grow tired of having to tug him along like a wayward puppy and will let go to scratch his noise, or type something into his mobile, or whatever else might require the letting go of Grantaire's hand; Grantaire's hand, which doesn't fit but couldn't stand the cold or the empty of being left alone. Grantaire's hand, which needs the solidity of Enjolras in it to be whole, to be there, to be something. Matter. Existence. Enjolras will let go of him, and he will -
"What did you say?"
Pausing briefly in his broad stride to raise an eyebrow over his shoulder, Enjolras tightens his grip on their hands. Briefly. A squeeze, a reminder that he knows, and it's all right, and he's not let go yet.
Grantaire shakes his head, unable to voice the thoughts that increased in traffic on the roundabout that is his brain. Loud, buzzing, terrible thoughts. If he speaks them, they might come true. And even if not, he couldn't open his mouth to save his life. The fear grips him like a vice, stiffening his muscles, creaking in his joints as they start up on their way again.
They are almost there (and Grantaire cannot speak through the clench of his jaw).
(And he can feel those stares through the shivering, clammy membrane of skin stretched across his forehead).
Enjolras tightens his grip, draws closer, so that they walk almost shoulder-to-shoulder, their elbows tucked between them.
(It's mildly uncomfortable, but Grantaire hangs on for dear life).
(He is aware of the poor fit, of the contrast).
Enjolras's hand around his own exerts an almost excruciating pressure.
(But it is there. It is there, on his own, and he is there. And they are there together.)
They cross the street a final time, the facade of the Musain drawing sharply into view.
(Enjolras's hand is still in his. And he can breathe.)