Grantaire didn’t know how long he sat there, but eventually the food was ready. Joly rang a bell and quickly the crew found their way to the kitchen. They were laughing with each other, were trying to cross the line and then sent back by a quasi-stern looking Joly with a ladle. Once he actually hit someone with it. It turned out to be the infamous Bossuet, as the man received a kiss after being hit on the hand.

He didn't want to meet all those people or hear their jokes. Didn't want them to introduce themselves, even when Joly had whispered their names already. Didn't want to know who was Combeferre's one and only love, or the Jehan who was loved so much by their friends that everyone would lose on purpose just to make them smile. He didn't want to see the flowers woven in Jehan's hair. Grantaire didn’t dare to ask them where they had gotten them. Somehow he wouldn’t be surprised if a bird had brought Jehan the flowers. He definitely didn't want to hear the offer to braid his hair too.

He didn't want them making him feel like he was welcome.

One who didn't come to dinner was the captain. When Grantaire pointed that out, Joly just smiled. "Yeah, that’s Enjolras. He seems to forget dinner a lot of the time. I usually save him a plate." He nodded at the plate he had held behind.

"Maybe you can bring it to him?"

Grantaire didn't want it. It would mean getting back to that cabin. Back to those chains. Back to the man who had put him on this ship in the first place.

He found himself unable to say no.

When Grantaire opened the door (no knocking, he refused to knock) he heard Enjolras' voice say "not now Joly. I'm busy."

It didn't stop Grantaire from entering. "And so is Joly with making sure you don’t accidentally starve yourself." Not that it mattered for Grantaire whether he would starve.

Enjolras looked up from the map he had been staring at. He looked tired, but maybe that was just the dim light here. A god didn’t become tired. “Ah Grantaire. You can put it on the table. I’ll eat later.”

Grantaire scoffed. “Yeah sure. Why do I find it hard to believe that? At least try to show Joly some gratitude.” Was he really lecturing the captain, his fucking prisonguard, about how to treat the other pirates?

Enjolras smiled, but it wasn’t like the smiles he had given Grantaire before. Grantaire certainly didn’t feel it this time.

“I just need to finish this.”

Grantaire leaned against the door frame. “And then you need to finish something else, and something else, while your food lies forgotten on your table.”

“You don’t need to lecture me on eating food or showing Joly gratitude. You were the one who kept throwing it at the walls.” It was the first time since Grantaire had met the captain that Enjolras showed any kind of annoyance. Even when Grantaire had thrown food at him or had cursed him he had just simply smiled.

“No, don’t even think that this is the same as that,” he spit out. “Joly is your cook, your crewmate. You should appreciate him for everything he does for you. He takes care of you, and you just push that aside as the arrogant bastard you are because you’re used to be treated that way with all your godlike powers. Me? I’m merely your fucking prisoner, at the mercy of your whims. So don’t ever, ever , think you can compare that.”

He spit on the ground before dropping the food a bit too hard on the table. “Don’t expect me to worship you.” He left the cabin.

It was so, so infuriating, the way the captain spoke. He tried to tell Grantaire that they were a large family here. He showed him the crew and when Grantaire saw the way the crew talked to each other, heard how lovingly Joly told about his friends, Grantaire could have almost believed it. But then Enjolras would open his mouth and it would crawl under Grantaire’s skin. That arrogant bastard who expected everyone to just worship him, to do as it pleased him. Joly had been nice to Grantaire, even given the circumstances, and yet Enjolras threw the gesture of the cook aside like it was nothing.

Everyone seemed to worship the captain. Grantaire refused to join them, as he had told Enjolras. He would not give him the satisfaction. That goddamn smile, he would not fall for it.

He stopped at the front of the ship, stared over the water. It had always been soothing for him, just looking over the water and hearing the water crash against the ship. Even when captain Claquesous had been in one of his moods, it had always been able to calm Grantaire down.

Not today. Because who was he fooling? Enjolras had been patient with him, had tolerated everything until now. But now? Grantaire was quite sure he had crossed a line with his speech, and he could only wait for the repercussions to follow. As he had said to Enjolras, he was merely the prisoner here in Enjolras’ mercy to do with as he pleased. For the world Grantaire had died the moment he had entered the Mussain. And the worst part? With Éponine gone there was no one who would care about that.

The sun had almost disappeared before someone disturbed Grantaire. He had heard Joly talk to Bossuet earlier, had heard them wondering whether they should talk to Grantaire, wondering about what had happened between him and the captain. But they had left Grantaire alone, and Grantaire had been glad about it. They were friendly, Joly had been kind to him. But the moment Enjolras would give an order, they would be his enemies too. Grantaire didn’t want to get attached to his enemies.

It wasn’t Joly or Bossuet or even the captain himself who disturbed him. It was the first mate’s husband, Courfeyrac, who joined him in silence. Grantaire refused to break that silence.

“He ain’t all bad, you know,” Courfeyrac eventually said.

“And you’re such a good judge of character?” Grantaire asked. “As far as I know you’re the one sailing under the black flag.”

Courfeyrac smiled. “Yeah, I realize I might not be the most believable person for you, as you don’t know me and I’m one of them. But I was once like you, you know. I sailed with the navy, defending my country and transporting important cargo.”

“What happened?”

Courfeyrac shrugged. “The navy ain’t that kind to those who don’t visit the ladies of pleasure, if you know what I mean. The moment they caught me being intimate with a man, my life was done. They wanted to execute me on point. I would have died there if Enjolras hadn’t showed up. He saved my life.”

“And therefore your life is his to own now?” It sounded a lot like those stories about fae.

Courfeyrac laughed. “No, nothing like that. I was wary of course. I mean, you don’t sail under the black flag lightly. But he understood, gave me time to adjust and to realize that this is really the life I wanted.”

Grantaire grimassed. “No offense because you seem like a nice fellow and I’m glad for you you got time to think about it, but at least you got that choice. You chose this. I’m merely put on this ship and no one tells me why.” Courfeyrac was easy to talk to. Not in the way Joly had been easy to talk to. Joly had just talked a lot about the crew, about his friends. His adoration for his friends had been clear with every word he spoke.

But Courfeyrac actually listened to Grantaire, and somehow Grantaire felt like Courfeyrac actually understood him.

“That is for the captain to tell,” Courfeyrac said.

Frustrated, Grantaire groaned. “Yeah, like he is going to tell me anything.”

“Have patience,Grantaire,” Courfeyrac said. “Enjolras might not show it the best way, but he means well. He wants to change the world, and sometimes he just forgets anything else. He forgets that other people don’t see the big picture as he does. Or he just simply forgets anything else exists.”

“He forgets us mortals,” Grantaire muttered.

Nevertheless Courfeyrac heard him. He nodded. “Yes, he forgets us mortals.” Finally someone who saw the mysterious captain the same way.

When Grantaire finally returned to the cabin, Enjolras was still there. The captain had fallen asleep at his desk. The food still untouched. Grantaire wasn’t sure he was supposed to be at the cabin, but he had no clue where he otherwise should go. At least he had had a bed here. The chains lying useless in the corner. Grantaire pretended so hard not to see them.

He was already lying in the bed when his gaze drifted back to the sleeping captain. For the first time he actually looked his age.

Sighing, Grantaire stood up again to cover the captain in one of the blankets. It was nothing, not really. He was just making sure the captain wouldn’t wake up being cold and use Grantaire as a punching bag to warm up again.

Reageer (1)


    Oooh something I'd happening there 😏😏

    3 maanden geleden

Meld je gratis aan om ook reacties te kunnen plaatsen