The last two days until the trial were almost like a dream. Or, well, a nightmare. It happened so fast. Twice a day Grantaire brought Enjolras his food. They barely spoke, as Javert had somehow realized Enjolras would be trying to turn Grantaire. Maybe he had realized too Grantaire was the key asset in this trial? Grantaire was no longer allowed to enter the room alone, but had to be accompanied by a guard. For his own safety, Javert had written in the letter he had used to inform Grantaire. It made it very difficult for Grantaire to stay in contact with Enjolras. All he could do was hope the man had had enough time to prepare for his secret masterplan.

An hour before the trial would start, Grantaire had been ordered to visit Javert. So here he was, standing in front of Javert. Again. The man still looked really frightening. Once again Grantaire had the feeling this man could look inside his head. Once again he just knew Javert knew every lie he had told.

"You know what is expected of you?" Javert asked him briskly.

Grantaire swallowed. The inspector had something about him that made Grantaire feel really small. He nodded. “You want me to tell the jury what he has done to me,” he mumbled. It still felt so wrong, deliberately telling the world… well, not exactly lies. He had told Enjolras he wouldn’t lie. It already felt so wrong to tell those parts of the story, let alone to make things up. He wouldn’t be able to live with himself if he would even lie about anything Enjolras had done.

But he had to tell those parts of the story that made Enjolras look like a bad person. There were many parts like that in their story (‘their story’ sounded really cringy, right? It was just how they had met), so he even wouldn’t have to exaggerate.

The inspector nodded. “Exactly. You’ve told me before about the things he has done. How he has taken you. I want you to tell the jury every detail you remember about those events.”

Grantaire swallowed again. “And what about his crew?” Enjolras had told him to ask this question. By honoring Enjolras’ request, he wasn’t just an enemy of Enjolras, he was also betraying his friends. For Javert it must look like he was afraid of payback (and maybe he actually had to be afraid of that).

“I can guarantee you a safe place with protection,” Javert said. “They will not hurt you, and if they even try, it will be enough cause to have them arrested as well.”

Even though the trial was about Enjolras, his actions were also reflected on the crew. They had been there, they had listened to Enjolras’ orders. Javert hadn’t arrested them and as far as Grantaire knew, he wasn’t planning on arresting them - yet. But any new misstep would be enough to arrest and sentence them as well.

Grantaire nodded and straightened his collar. Inside his pocket he held the speech Courfeyrac had brought him a few hours earlier. We will win this, he had whispered while handing Grantaire the letter. Grantaire had not even dared to open it. He didn’t want to read the words they had written for him. The also-not-lies he had to tell. Because, technically, Enjolras had been good for him too. But by telling only that, he would have to keep silent about the other side. About their start. And by only telling the jury about their rough start, he would be lying about the good Enjolras could do.

He still felt so conflicted.

When entering the courtroom he felt nauseous. There was Enjolras, standing there in his red coat, looking majestic as ever. He didn’t even seem nervous about this, even when the people were deciding over his fate. Combeferre stood beside him. In honor of the moment, he was also wearing a long coat to look as official as possible.

Javert stood on the other side of the courtroom. In between them was the jury, some old men with ugly wigs and the man Grantaire assumed to be the mayor. In the public was almost the entire crew present.

“My dearest jury, may I present our last witness of the evening, Grantaire.” Grantaire stepped forwards. Everyone looked at him. Oh, how he wished he could just disappear. Give this godforgotten task to someone else, and just let him stay on the beach with Gavroche.

Combeferre stepped forwards. As Grantaire was a witness for the prosecuting side, he could ask his questions first. “Grantaire. Can you tell us how you know Enjolras?” he asked.

Grantaire nodded. “I- ehm, I met Enjolras on his ship,” he said. He knew he was supposed to stop talking - or at least according to Combeferre. But with Enjolras’ eyes fixed on him, that almost unnoticeable small nod of encouragement, he had to keep talking. “He had taken me.”

“But with a good reason, I believe?” It was a good attempt to change the situation. Grantaire could talk about how his former captain had betrayed him. How he was sentenced to death, just by being there. How Enjolras had saved his life.

Instead he shrugged. “Does it really matter what his intentions were?” he responded. He couldn’t look at the crew, but even while avoiding their gaze, he just knew how they were staring at him. “Point is that he took me without permission. That he locked me away for days, chained down like an animal.”

He heard the collective gasp of the crew. Just felt their stares. He couldn’t look at them. Couldn’t look at Enjolras. Couldn’t look at Javert.

“And how about when you arrived in Nassau? And the time before that? He let you go, didn’t he?” Combeferre tried to save the situation. Grantaire could even hear the jury mutter to each other.

Once again Grantaire shrugged. He really spent too much time around Gavroche. “Yeah he let me off his ship, in a town I don’t know to fend for myself. I wouldn’t call that kindness.”

Every single word felt like poison. The speech he had been supposed to give, was burning inside his pocket.

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