The night passed once again. Grantaire couldn’t sleep. Everytime he closed his eyes, he saw the captain and he heard the promise. Or was it merely a threat? Being able to leave the room, after all these days it sounded so tempting, but maybe that was exactly Enjolras’ plan. Maybe Grantaire was finally going to figure out why he was still alive, why he was held there like the captain’s pet.
But Enjolras had smiled while making the promise, and Grantaire wanted to believe that damn smile so badly. Wanted to believe it was a nice gesture, instead of a trap waiting to close down. But he couldn’t let himself believe that, not even over that goddamn smile. Showing teeth was a threat in every animal language. How could it mean something good here?
But eventually the dark gave way to the light, and with the light the captain came too. Grantaire didn’t notice the way the sun rose behind the captain like a halo. Really.
Enjolras had brought him food once again, was once again watching how the dark haired man ate. But when Grantaire had finished the meal, he didn’t disappear again. This time he stepped forwards, sat down next to Grantaire on the bed. In his hand he held a key.
It felt… weird not having the familiar weight of chains around his neck or wrists. “Come,” Enjolras said without looking back, knowing Grantaire would follow.
The confidence, the utter arrogance, of thinking that Grantaire would just follow him without trying anything, it was just infuriating. It made Grantaire want to grab anything he could get his hands on, try to hurt that man and his ego. Try to show him he had made a mistake by removing the chains. That they were still enemies, that Grantaire knew he was still the prisoner, even with the promise of some stupid housetour.
Instead he wordlessly followed the man.
The sun was bright after so many days in the dim lit cabin. Grantaire needed to push his eyes almost shut to prevent himself from being blinded. He heard so many familiar noises, the way the wind played with the sails, the creaking ropes. And yet it was so different from the Patron-Minette.
A man, around the same age as Enjolras, stopped next to them. "So this is what you've been hiding up there," he said. “Now I understand while we’ve barely seen you these past days.” He winked at Grantaire and poked Enjolras in his ribs. Grantaire felt so, so uncomfortable under the man’s gaze. This man had murdered his colleagues. And now he was expected to smile at some jokes, like the man didn’t act like Grantaire was some manwhore?
“I’m not his pet,” he snapped through gritted teeth. Unconsciously he touched his bare neck.
The man didn’t hit him, just like Enjolras had never hit Grantaire for his foul mouth. Grantaire had expected it. His own captain had hit him for less, so why would the enemy not do that? Instead he laughed. What was it with these pirates that they just laughed about everything? Were they insane? (You had to be a little insane for this profession, right?)
“Good for you,” the man said. “Enjy here gets his way way too often.” Once again he poked the captain in his ribs. Enjolras didn’t strike back or punished his unruly crewmate. Instead he straightened his back.
“This is Combeferre, the first mate,” he said. “Combeferre, this is…” Silence. Enjolras looked questioning at Grantaire. Grantaire didn’t answer. Awkward silence seemed like a fitting rebellion.
Combeferre started to laugh. “All those days you’ve been swooning and you don’t even know his name? God, Enjolras, what would you do without us?”
Somehow Grantaire couldn’t let him make fun of the captain. It just wasn’t right, he told himself. The captain was supposed to get respect, to be the one in power. Captain Enjolras was supposed to be that fearless leader.
“Grantaire,” he said. “My name is Grantaire.”
Enjolras nodded. “And that is your cue to go back to work, Ferre,” he said. Grantaire noticed how the captain and his first mate kept using nicknames, used names . No captain, no sir.
Enjolras led Grantaire away from Combeferre. “Don’t mind him,” he said. “Combeferre is… well he is Combeferre. He’s one of my most loyal men, but well, he really likes making fun of others.” He sighed. “Of me.”
“Is that what they call murder these days?” The captain ignored him. Grantaire could only follow the captain. Who knew what those pirates would do without the protection of their captain?
He led Grantaire somewhere inside again. The cells? No, it turned out to be the kitchen. “This is Joly, the cook and the only person on this ship I trust with my food," Enjolras said while gesturing at a young man.
Graintaire raised an eyebrow. "What happened to having a trustworthy crew?" he muttered to himself.
Nevertheless, Joly heard him. The cook laughed. "Oh, it's not a case of not trusting them. It's a case of 'they would burn the whole ship down before they can make something edible'".
He put down the knife he had been holding and offered Grantaire his hand. For a split second Grantaire wondered whether he would be quick enough to grab that knife, but then he shook Joly’s hand.
“Nice to meet you, welcome on the Mussain.” He turned to Enjolras. “I can take it from here, captain.”
Enjolras nodded. “I’ll leave you to it, then.” He left Grantaire alone. Grantaire wanted to beg him to stay. Don’t leave me here. What would Joly do? He was even more a stranger than Enjolras.
Joly pointed at a basket with potatoes. “Do you know how to peel them?” Grantaire slowly nodded. Wait, this man was going to give him a knife? Grantaire hadn’t known what to think of this entire situation, but he slowly came to realize these pirates were lunatics. Who else would give him a fucking knife?
But Grantaire sat down, took the knife, started to peel the potatoes.
“Have you met a lot of us?” Joly asked him.
“Uh, just you and the first mate,” Grantaire answered. He wasn’t even sure he was allowed to talk with the cook. Enjolras had left no instructions.
Joly nodded. “You’ll meet the rest of us during the meal then. Has Combeferre told you already about Courfeyrac?”
Joly laughed. “Lucky bud. Trust me, he will. He will tell everyone who will listen about the pretty eyes of his husband, about how perfect he is.” Somehow Grantaire wouldn’t call himself lucky in this situation.
Time flew by while peeling potatoes. Joly turned out to be an easy talker. He told Grantaire about the crew, about newlywed Combeferre and Courfeyrac, and how the party after the wedding had spun out of control because of some man named Bahorel, combined with a lot of liquor (but Bahorel was a friend, he reassured Grantaire at least twice). He told about his partners Bossuet en Musichetta, about the way Bahorel would always lose cards from Jehan, but it was a loss on purpose to make his friend smile. About Feuilly, about how Cosette had left behind her adoptive father to be on this ship. He made them sound like real people, with real love and real fears.
That makes us human too. And that is something you cannot rhyme with your reality. The words of the captain echo in his head. They were no humans. They were monsters and he couldn’t forget that. He couldn’t.
Joly never mentioned the captain.
“Is that what they call murder these days?” Haha. This comeback made my day.2 maanden geleden
And JBM + Courferre, yay! Also, sounds like Bahorel