And I could tell you, his favourite colour’s green,
He likes to argue. Born on the seventeenth.

“Must you put him down like that all the time?” hisses Courfeyrac in his ear as the rest of the room around them finally starts to turn up the volume again.
Only one corner remains quiet, and Enjolras’ eyes quickly find its inhabitant, a familiar rush of guilt pooling in his chest. He pushes it away and clears his throat.

“If he insists on causing a disruption, yes.” he says quietly to his friend, “And I would do the same to any of you,” Courfeyrac scoffs at that.
“I’m sure,” He says, not sounding at all like he believes it, “Enjolras,  I know you don’t consider him a friend, the way you do the rest of us, but that’s not an excuse for…”
“Who says I do not consider him a friend?” He snaps, a little too loud, causing Joly and Combeferre to look up from their conversation; though thankfully the object of their discussion does not appear to have heard.
“I…” he begins again, quieter, “I have never said…”
“Do you even know the first thing about him?” Courfeyrac asks.
More than you know, he thinks, but he says nothing, keeps his face impassive; that box once opened cannot be closed again.
“Enjolras what’s my favourite colour?”
“Burgundy,” he supplies readily.
“And what languages does Jehan speak?”
“Latin, Italian, Greek and Hebrew,”
“And in what direction does the foot of Joly’s bed face?”
“To the north,” he says, again with ease, already tiring of the questions.
“And what is Grantaire’s favourite colour?”
Green, any shade, his mind supplies promptly, but he says nothing.
“His hobbies?” still nothing, “What family does he have? Where does he live? What is his birth date?” Nothing, nothing, nothing. Better to seem to know too little than too much, he tells himself, though his fist clenches slightly at his side. Courfeyrac shrugs his shoulders at this lack of response, as if to rest his case, and goes to sit beside Combeferre; leaving Enjolras alone with his thoughts and a view of Grantaire, bent over his empty bottle, in the very corner of his eye.

It is strange to see him silent. Even when Enjolras has been particularly sharp with him, he is usually recovered within minutes and running off at the mouth again. Some days he waxes lyrical on art or Paris, others see him discussing history or politics or philosophy, always with his usual skepticism  still others are dedicated to his ‘conquests’ or the merits of one cafe or another; and then, occasionally  there are the days he speaks of his own life. Courfeyrac, and all of the others really, do not believe he listens on those days. 

Grantaire lets out a long sigh.

Your favourite colour is green, Enjolras thinks again, you are an artist; when you want to be at least. You also box, fence, dance and practice short-stick. You sing too, loudly and terribly for an audience, but softly, beautifully and gently when you think nobody is listening anymore. You profess loudly that you are ignorant and stupid and know nothing, but you can speak on any subject under the sun with authority. You debate a lot, not just with me, and you do it well, but you don’t always believe in your own points; you just like to argue I think. Your birth date is the seventeenth of May, but you told everyone it was in November and I wish I could ask you why you lied. You live just a few streets away from the Musain, and you have a box outside your window in which you keep flowers Jehan brought you cuttings of. You have a living mother, and a sister whom you adore and are never lacking in praise for. You hated your father for the cruelty he put your mother through before he died. You hate your eyes, because your mother says they look like his. I do not believe it. There is too much softness and kindness in them. 
People call you ugly, and I think it bothers you more than you let on, but you always have a kind word for them, and you laugh the name off. You allow your hair to grow, because one of the serving girls in the cafe’s front room once complimented its curls. You’ve had your nose broken during boxing, and more than once in bar fights. You have dark circles under your eyes, because you find it difficult to sleep except when you have consumed so much alcohol your body simply shuts down. You think, as everyone does, that I disdain you, that I hate you. I disdain alcohol, and I hate what it has done to you. You do not know that each time you pass out on a table, I worry you will not rise from it again. Each time you do I am overwhelmed with relief, but each time you do so ready to tear me down, to laugh at my beliefs. 
You do not believe in anything, and you seem to live only to mock me, lending your intelligence and kindness to all our friends, and saving only your bitterness for the idealist, the one leading your friends to what you think is their doom, the man so opposite to you in every way. I who embody everything you must surely hate.


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