And so Grantaire found himself the next day standing in front of the infamous inspector Javert himself. The man looked at him like he was trying to stare right through Grantaire’s clothes and skin, right into his head. Perhaps he could read minds. If he could he would hear some mantra like 'why did I agree to this. Let it be over. Let it be over. Let it be over'.

"Your acquaintance said you would be the perfect man for this position," Javert eventually said. "Why?"

Grantaire shrugged, trying to act like himself. Why was it in moments like this he suddenly forgot how to act, or talk, or breathe?

"Because you have a mission and I want to help with that mission," he said. Technically he didn’t know what job he was trying to get. All he knew was that he was a great fan of Javert and wanted to help him.

"Have you heard of Les Amis?" Javert asked.

Grantaire laughed. "Heard of? They fucking made me live with them for weeks. Excuse my language sir."

Javert looked intrigued. Grantaire knew he had to be very careful with his words. Of course he needed to convince the inspector he hated the captain, but he couldn’t give the inspector the leverage he needed to arrest the entire crew.

"Made you?"

He scoffed. "Yeah, made me. Our ships… collapsed and they decided I needed to be rescued. I had no saying in it."

"So they kidnapped you?"

"Well, they released me in this god forgotten place, so I wouldn’t call it that?" They entered dangerous territory.

"How did they treat you?"

Grantaire stayed silent for a while. "Well… they didn't hurt me. They fed me. But I had no fucking choice. That captain of them decided I needed to be saved, like he is some kind of savior who knows what's best for everyone," he spit out.

Javert smiled. Somehow it felt more like a predator showing their teeth than the happy human emotion it should show. He seemed almost pleased with Grantaire’s answer.

"You seem suitable for the position," he said. He stayed silent. Grantaire stayed silent. Javert seemed like the kind of man who could not appreciate it if he was interrupted during silences for dramatic effect.

"In a house close to this is a man on house arrest," he continued. "You might know this man, as he poses himself as captain Enjolras." Grantaire tried to keep a straight face. The utter disgust of Javert was noticeable in every word he spoke.

"He needs to be fed, to be made sure his needs are met. But let me warn you: He is… quite charismatic, if I may say so. He will definitely try to get you to his side."

Grantaire nodded. He knew what the inspector was saying. Don’t fall for his charm. Unlucky for him, that moment had passed ages ago.

"I survived being on the same ship as him," he answered. "And the moment I had the choice, I was gone. I have no intention of returning."

Maybe it was a risk for Javert that Grantaire already knew the man. Maybe it was just a test, or did the inspector already know of the coup that would happen?

Or maybe knowing Enjolras was, in the eyes of the inspector, Grantaire’s greatest benefit. He hadn’t fallen for the captain, as far as Javert was concerned. He would be able to resist the man once again. (Except that he definitely couldn’t resist that goddamn smile).

It had almost been too easy, but Grantaire left the office with a new job, a job that paid him for his secrecy, which meant he earned a lot more than he had made as the shipbuilder's errand boy. It was almost too easy to pick up the food, to walk to the address given to him and to pass the guards. He smiled at them, nodded as a greeting and entered the building. Who had thought he would be able to enter such a heavily guarded building without anyone questioning him?

He had no message from the mayor yet. It would be a risk if he had known it without getting the job. If Javert called their bluff, Grantaire definitely wouldn’t be the one hanged that night. A single trip to the cells until they had all the answers seemed more likely. He would be a dead man either way.

It was a small house, barely more than a chamber with a toilet. A bed against the wall, a small table with a single chair against the other. Some books piled on the table to keep the captain sorta entertained. Enjolras himself was sitting on the chair, a book open even though it didn’t seem like he was reading a single word.

“I brought food,” Grantaire said. He had no idea what else he could say. The way Enjolras was sitting there, folded forwards, shoulders hanging down. It was barely a shade of the man Grantaire had met. The man wasn’t meant to be locked down in a place like this. He was a man who needed his freedom, who would fight for his freedom. But instead of fighting he seemed like he had given up.

Enjolras barely reacted. A simple wave to put the food down on the table was all the answer Grantaire got. But it wasn’t like the way Enjolras could completely lose himself in a project. Grantaire was certain Enjolras wouldn’t finish the meal.

“Oh seriously?” Grantaire said. “I’m risking my life to be here and you can’t even say hello?” He was sure Enjolras knew it was him. He was risking everything to be here, to deliver a stupid piece of bread. He deserved at least his attention.

“Then what do you want, Grantaire?” Enjolras said. He sounded tired.

“Like, I don’t know, a ‘hello Grantaire, it’s good to see you. Thank you for the food’? or even a ‘what are you doing here Grantaire? Are you working with Javert?’” Anything but the silence he got now. Enjolras could be so unpredictable. One moment he could act like he needed Grantaire, like Grantaire was the only person who could help him. And then the other he would barely acknowledge his presence.

“But why would I say that?”

“Because… because we’re all trying really hard to get you out of here.”

“Why bother? You’ve seen the surveillance. There is no way out of here.”

Grantaire shook his head. There was no arguing with this man. “You know, Javert warned me you could be really persuasive. That you would try to turn me to your side. But really? All I see here is a pathetic human who doesn’t even try. The Enjolras I have met wouldn’t give up so easily. That man would use anything in his advantage to get out of here, to save Nassau and the world. But you?”

Once again he shook his head. “I pity you. You’re nothing more than an empty body. It’s like you want to be locked away here. I pity you, Enjolras, and I feel sorry for the people who rely on you. They need you and you’ve abandoned them.”

Enjolras turned around. The chair scraped on the floor. “Don’t you dare say that,” he said. “Don’t you imply like it’s been easy, sitting here, not even knowing what is going on outside. How my crew is doing.”

Grantaire scoffed. “Oh, does that hurt your precious princess feelings? Because, yes, you have it easy here. It’s bad out there. People are scared. Javert wants to wipe the entire town clean and people are fucking dying. And yet here you are, pouting because you’re almost out of books to read.”

“Then what do you want?”

Grantaire grimassed. “It’s not me who needs you. I’m merely a pawn in this game, moved around by forces greater than me. But what I want? I want you to fucking act like you care. Like you care that I, and with me a lot of good people, am risking my life for you. Because face it, Enjolras. Everyone here are merely pawns, but you? You’re the masterpiece in this game of chess. You’re the one who will make checkmate.”

He slammed the food down on the table. “So if you ask me what I want? I want you to play your fucking part when I return tomorrow.”

He left. While passing the guards he heard them whisper about how Javert had found a good one, one who really seemed to hate the captain.

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