Enjolras didn’t like flying but it was reluctantly part of his job. Working for Interpol meant you had to travel at a words notice and could be jetting off anywhere in the world. Also he was currently on a worldwide case. There were a two art thieves touring the world and leaving art museums and police forces in their wake. Enjolras and his team had been put on the case and had received a report from their headquarters in Florence. “Coffee?” Combeferre, his tech support, sighed, settling down next to him with a tray of coffee.
“You angel,” Enjolras hissed, pulling one out of the container and downing the scalding liquid.
“Courfeyrac and Marius are currently debating over the sweet and magazine section,” Combeferre informed him, Enjolras only responded with an eye roll. They were a team of four and unfortunately for Enjolras and Combeferre, Courfeyrac was an infant and Marius was his loyal puppy. It was so draining to travel with the duo. “Our flight is due to depart in half an hour, any more news on the hunt?” Combeferre asked eying the files that were wrinkled in Enjolras’ grasp. They hardly knew anything about the two art thieves that they were chasing. All they knew was that one was male and one was female and they were stunningly talented. They did all their own forgeries and undertook each heist on their own and in a unique way; it was just so impressive.
“They have been spotting exiting Florence Airport but the surveillance was lost as soon as they got into a taxi,” Enjolras muttered, the pictures weren’t that much help anyway. The girl, Mary Sue they had named her, had a new hairstyle every time a picture was taken and her eyes were covered with wide rimmed sunglasses. The man was also skilled, they had named him John Doe due to a lack of creativity in the team, and no camera or person had ever caught a glimpse of his face. It was usually due to hats or hoods but occasionally there was some more creative solutions; once he made out with a random stranger so their head would block his.
The flight was hell, as Enjolras expected it would be. It was only a two hour flight but Courfeyrac was intolerable. Enjolras had planned to sleep for the whole flight, listen to some relaxing music and just doze. “Do you wanna go see the market, Jolras?” Courfyrac asked, resting his head on Enjolras’ shoulder.
“We are here on work Courf!” Enjolras shouted for the tenth time this flight. Thankfully they arrived shortly after and Combeferre had the heart to spare Enjolras from his misery and deflect Courfeyrac’s intentions. They checked into the hotel but before Combeferre could say a word he was already gone. Some alone time was needed, urgently before they began the search. His feet took him to the Uffizi Gallery, the expected target of the robbers. He just sat there staring up at the majestic paintings, especially a beautiful Goya that caught his eye. Enjolras wasn’t that great on his artists but he knew a good painting when he saw one. A man settled down next to him, looking at the same Goya Enjolras was transfixed by.
“It’s impressive isn’t it?” the man laughed, breaking the silence that stretched like a void between them. Enjolras nodded with a small smile. The man was quite well built with brown stubble lining his jaw. Paint stained every item of clothing he wore and a brownish red paint was smudged on his cheek under blazing hazel eyes. He was clearly an artist.
“I love coming to art museums,” the artist smiled, “it’s so relaxing to just sit here and enjoy the art. Nothing can worry you when you take in the silence and beauty.” The silence returned and Enjolras smiled once again. No one else seemed to understand the appeal of silence with a companion. It was peaceful without feeling alone. Maybe this artist would be someone he would get to know more during their stint in Florence. Enjolras’ smile grew, he liked that idea. “Anyway it was nice meeting you suit,” the artist smiled, getting to his feet about ten minutes later and setting off out of the hall. Enjolras jumped up and darted after his new friend.
“I didn’t get your name,” he shouted after the disappearing figure.
“Nicolas Grantaire, pleasure to make your acquaintance,” he bowed before melding in with the crowd.
“Julien, Julien!” Marius shouted as he quite violently shook Enjolras awake. The blonde murmured as his eyes flickered open and face contorted into a glare. “There’s been another robbery,” Marius yelped before the knife Enjolras kept by his pillow was able to enter his stomach.
“What!” Enjolras exclaimed, flying past Marius in a blur.
“It was the Uffizi Gallery,” Combeferre explained as he pressed a coffee into Enjolras’ hands. “They’ve never struck this fast before, something must have spooked them into action,” he continued as Enjolras got dressed. “A Goya was taken, they noticed this morning because the painting was wonky on the wall. A check was undertaken and it was a forgery signed with the usual R,” Combeferre continued, not noticing Enjolras freeze in place. Goya, Uffizi, R, spooked them, ‘suit’, artist; it all clicked into place.
“God damn!” Enjolras shouted, throwing what remained of his coffee against the wall. Marius screamed once again and ran to get out of Enjolras’ blast radius. “That bastard, he tricked me. He played me!” Enjolras screamed and this time even Combeferre stepped away. He had never seen Enjolras this angry before and Enjolras had thrown some major tantrums throughout their time together.
“For god’s sake Julien, calm down and tell me what’s wrong!” Combeferre shouted, pushing him down onto the bed. Enjolras continued to shake with unrivalled fury.
“When we first arrived here I went to the Uffizi and sat looking at the Goya. Someone joined me and we talked. He left, calling me suit and gave a name. Nicolas Grantaire,” Enjolras hissed as a frown creased Combeferre’s forehead.
“R, Grantaire,” Combeferre muttered, understanding Enjolras’ fury. They had been played. But now they had a name, whether it was a real name or not was a different question but they had a name. “All do some checks on Nicolas Grantaire, you call base about the developments,” Combeferre continued. He knew Enjolras so well, exactly what he needed now was some way of distracting himself from the disastrous events in Florence.
They had a couple of days before any more news was delivered. Nicolas Grantaire was a real person and Combeferre guessed that was the thief’s real name. Enjolras couldn’t believe that the man he met would really give himself away like that but it was their only lead. Nicolas Grantaire had disappeared off every radar when he was sixteen. He was a rich child from London and there had been a massive police hunt to find him. The end of the search was a month later when unfortunately they had to admit he was probably dead. He had no priors or any reason to run away from a plush and cosy lifestyle and amazing prospects in the future, let alone to pursue a life of crime. However they now had a name and a face to go in the file and alert the authorities for. Enjolras would not let this audacious fool beat him now. “We’re going to Dublin,” Combeferre exclaimed as soon as he was off the phone with their superiors. Enjolras had been packed since the night of the robbery and was glad to be on the road once again. “Grantaire’s accomplice has been spotted in a bar in the capital and they have never been anywhere without each other. The Irish authorities have got every museum under surveillance but there has been no sightings near any of them. The thieves never raided a place without scoping it out first and preparing. They would have to show their faces sometime. The team arrived in Dublin a day later via an Aer Lingus flight, Enjolras especially hated local airlines, and there was still no news after that quick sighting.
“You’ve met him Jolras,” Courfeyrac stated as the four of them sat in a borrowed office. The Irish Police had leant them a conference room to conduct their operation in while they were here. “What was he like?” he asked.
“He loves art. When we spoke he was very passionate about a good piece of art and clearly knew his stuff. He was also obviously confident. He didn’t hesitate to come take to be and my badge was clear on my belt,” Enjolras explained, as he doodled on the page. Drawing the plans of the building and circling all the possible entrances. There had to be a way of doing it without alerting the very high security around the more prolific paintings. They carried on making calls and dancing around the red tape that came with international operations until late into the night when it started to get interesting. “There’s a gun fight round the back of the MART,” Courfeyrac shouted racing through the office. Enjolras, Combeferre and Marius were hot on his heels. They arrived at the MART ten minutes later and paramedics were already on the scene. “Interpol, let us through!” Enjolras shouted as he pushed through the crowd. The paramedics were crowded round a still breathing body. His face was contorted by pain but Enjolras would recognise him anywhere. It was Grantaire. Blood was streaming down from his shoulder as the medics tried to staunch it and lift him onto the gurney. “Interpol!” Enjolras shouted once again waving his badge at the paramedics. “This man is a suspect I need to travel with him,” he explained while handcuffing Grantaire’s uninjured arm to the gurney. The paramedics nodded with a confused glance amongst themselves but Enjolras was already aboard the ambulance before they could begin to doubt his motivations. “We’ll follow behind,” Combeferre nodded as the doors closed.
“Nice to see you again suit,” Grantaire whispered as the oxygen mask was lowered over his mouth.
“If you tell us what happened and who was involved I can get you a deal,” Enjolras stated the next day when Grantaire was deemed fit to be interviewed.
“Why would I sell out my best friend?” Grantaire snapped back, working the chain of the handcuffs around in his fingers.
“Your best friend shot you,” Courfeyrac stated from where he was sat in the corner.
“No, she didn’t but if I give you the person that did then he will squeal on her when you catch him,” Grantaire argued back as he investigated the key holes on the cuffs.
“I can promise you both two years, early release on good behaviour. Who knows what you will get if you do not cooperate with us,” Enjolras added and he could see Grantaire’s resolve weaken.
“I will tell you who they are as long as we get this deal and my enemies don’t,” Grantaire spoke up, his head proud but a clumsy smile on his face.
“Deal,” Enjolras nodded curtly but instantly. Grantaire’s smile grew into a smirk. It was then Enjolras realised that they may be playing right into Grantaire’s hands; but it was too late then.
“The men you are looking for are known as Patron Minette. Their leader is Thomas Montparnasse, and he is the one who shot me so can you please add attempted murder to the actually incredible amount of crimes that he has got away with. Also if you let me see their files I can add some more,” Grantaire practically beamed as he drummed his fingers on the side of the bed.
“I don’t think that will be necessary, you will be transferred to a safe holding facility while we find your accomplices and…” Combeferre began to explain but a brunette entering the room threw him off. She was wearing a wide brimmed hat and a pair of sunglasses; by Grantaire’s shocked reaction, she was his accomplice. “Get her!” Enjolras shouted as all four agents sprinted out of Grantaire’s room.
They chased her through the hospital but as soon as she entered the bustle of the busy streets, they lost her. Courfeyrac cursed as they all walked back into the building with the other police men on their tail. Enjolras stopped mid stride and cursed. If the guards were with them then who was watching their prisoner. Enjolras broke into a sprint, tearing through the lobby and to Grantaire’s private room. It was empty. The handcuff had been sawn through and a note lay in Grantaire’s place. “Thanks Apollo for the medical care and protection, I really appreciate it. My tip is still correct though. If you get Montparnasse and his thugs off the street the world will be a much better place. They have a safe house on Inisheer. I hope we will meet again. With love, R” Enjolras threw the note over his shoulder to a waiting police man before storming out to the surveillance room in the hospital. Someone had to have seen something.
Marius and Combeferre had beaten him to it and the hospital’s technical supervisor was winding through to the point where the police left Grantaire alone. For a few seconds it was quiet before a nurse walked into his room with a wheelchair. She was blonde and was carefully positioned so the camera could not catch her face. Grantaire sat up and they talked hurriedly with Grantaire gesturing to the cuff. She sawed through the chain and surprisingly slapped Grantaire across the face as soon as he was free. He then sat in the wheelchair and was taken out of the room. As soon as they left, they were lost in the crowd and Grantaire had escaped. “The oldest trick in the book,” Combeferre sighed. “And we fell for it.” Enjolras stared at the screen and the smirk on Grantaire’s face, “there’s three of them.”
“Thomas Eduardo Montparnasse,” Combeferre began passing Enjolras, Courfeyrac and Marius new files. “Leader of the Thenardier Crime family’s best hit squad. They go around recruiting petty criminals to the group and working with the known lone rangers. They have been known to associate with Grantaire and co. but they never get along and it never ends well. One of the members of Thenardier squealed on Patron Minette and said that they were incredibly determined to find and bring Grantaire and his associates to the group as they were old members that had run,” Combeferre explained as the three read through the known information.
“What about the safe house Grantaire told us about?” Marius spoke up from the corner.
“There is no known residency on Inisheer but there are many abandoned houses on the shores. It would be a perfect place for a hideout,” Combeferre explained.
“Also Grantaire has no reason to lie to us. We would be doing them a favour to get rid of Montparnasse and his cronies,” Courfeyrac shrugged from where he was typing on his phone. “We can be on the next flight to Inisheer, in two hours.” Everyone nodded. Enjolras hated flying. This damn job.
When they landed a women was waiting for them. “Hi, my name is Euphraise Lanoire. I have been sent by the Irish police to oversee your enquiries,” she smiled offering her hand to each of the men but lingering with Marius. Their little puppy was bright red and goggling at the brilliant icy eyes that were locked with hers. Enjolras rolled his eyes, Marius was ogling … again. He just couldn’t deal with beautiful women. And Euphraise was most certainly beautiful. Her blonde hair was in perfectly styled curls falling town over her shoulders. The blue dress was perfectly framed round her figure and her smile was enchanting. “We have noticed some movement around an old tourist information hut that has been disused for years. I’ll show you where it is,” she smiled, winking at Marius, before walking towards a worn land rover. The agents crammed into it and the drove over the rolling hills stopping as they looked over a small building in the valley’s base. “Here is it, I’m sorry I can’t come with you but I am not certified to do this,” she smiled as the four men got out of the truck and unloaded their equipment. The easiest way to go about it was probably to storm the base and take everyone by surprise. There was clearly movement inside the building when the four men arrived outside. They could see two entrances so it was decided that Enjolras and Courfeyrac would take the front door while Combeferre and Marius would enter through the back. Enjolras gave Combeferre and Marius thirty seconds before he kicked down the front door and Courfeyrac sprinted in.
The next few minutes passed in a sort of haze for Enjolras. He never liked fighting, he was more of a solving crimes kind of guy. But they got them all, apart from Montparnasse. In his mind he know that this was great and they were taking many dangerous criminals off the streets but he had wanted to make sure the man that hurt Grantaire was locked away for life. Enjolras shook his head slightly trying to knock these protective thoughts out. They called for backup before walking, leaving Courfeyrac and Combeferre watching their captives. As Marius and Enjolras approached, Euphraise was on the phone. “Monty escaped R,” she sighed quietly. Enjolras froze. R was Grantaire’s nickname and Monty was an overly casual name for a criminal. “I know, I know. I still think trying to manipulate the Interpol agents that have been chasing us is a bad idea. Yes they did catch the others. Anyway I am getting out of here before they come back. See you soon Nic, Istanbul right? Kk,” Euphraise spoke before hanging up and jumping back in the car. She raced off before Enjolras could confront her over the phone call. At least he knew where they were next. Istanbul.
Enjolras had never been to Turkey before. This whole case currently felt like a European road trip. Istanbul was a nice city but Enjolras really wanted to get onto the nicer parts of Europe where he felt more at home. They were sat in a rental van outside the Painting and Sculpture Museum for hours and hours into the first night when a sports car pulled up behind them. A blonde haired man laughed as he leapt out with a girl on each arm. Enjolras rolled his eyes as they watched the trio sit in front of the museum taking pictures in the dark with a bottle in each hand. “Drunk rich people,” Combeferre muttered, rubbing a tired hand over his face. It was an hour before the trio stumbled back to their car. They were all half asleep but snapped to attention when an envelope was slid under the door. Enjolras picked it up from the floor as Combeferre examined all the cameras. It must have been the drunk rich kids. It could have only been the drunk rich kids. But before Courfeyrac leapt out of the van they were already gone. Enjolras opened the envelope. Inside was a picture of Grantaire, stood with a jokey salute in front of the building they were guarding. In the back it said “Stereotyping will always be a downfall. Hope you enjoyed our performance! R and Co.”
“Enjolras,” Combeferre sighed, sitting down next to Enjolras’ desk. They were in Rome and it was two weeks since the museum in Istanbul had been raided. In that time the group had also hit Vienna without Interpol getting anywhere near. Grantaire and his compatriots had not been seen since and it was Montparnasse who had lead them to Rome. It seemed like he was tracking someone and this someone was currently holed up in Rome. “You’re obsessed,” Combeferre stated bluntly, attracting Enjolras’ attention.
“What? No I’m not,” he protested but looking down at his desk it was hard to argue. Pictures were taped to a board with colours linking everything, all the files were scattered as he tried to find some way of luring his target out of the woodwork.
“You haven’t done anything else since was started on this case and the team is worried about you,” Combeferre sighed and this time Enjolras was forced to concede and nod his agreement. “So we are going to continue this case and you are going to see the sights of Rome.” There was no room for argument in Combeferre’s tone.
And that was how Enjolras found himself nursing a glass of whiskey in a slightly shady bar. “Don’t say anything and stay seated,” a voice hissed from behind him and the barrel of a gun was pressed into the centre of his spine. Enjolras froze as the culprit sat down next to him. “I need you to listen to me without alerting anyone to our presence and running,” the voice continued as Enjolras turned slightly to see his assailant. It was Grantaire in a dark green hoody and sunglasses.
“I should arrest you right now,” Enjolras hissed as Grantaire ordered himself a double shot of whisky.
“But you won’t because you are too intrigued over what I would dare to come to you for,” Grantaire replied in a whisper.
“I think it has more to do with the gun,” Enjolras snapped back. Grantaire laughed quietly and removed the gun from Enjolras’ back, throwing it on the table. It was a water pistol.
“We need your help. It’s Montparnasse, he’s trying to kill me,” Grantaire replied, his body posture tense and ready to run at any moment.
Grantaire told him the whole story with a moment of reluctant admission. He was kidnapped from his plush London life by the Thenardiers as blackmail material for his influential parents. However his parent’s wouldn’t pay and the Thenardiers decided to train him to be a member of Patron Minette instead. That was where he learnt all the tricks of the trade and perfected his already high charisma and artistic skills. That was also where he met his two team mates that now had names, Eponine Thenardier and Cosette. They three of them ran together from the Thenardier’s training station and set out on their own life of crime. “Montparnasse has been chasing after us ever since as Eponine was his betrothed. He caught me once today and has described in very colourful detail what will happen to use when we are caught. I will surrender myself to you if you help us and lock him away,” Grantaire pleaded. There was no way Enjolras could say no to this proposal. The plan was created; Grantaire, Eponine, Cosette, Enjolras and Marius would go onto a train to Venice and lure Montparnasse on with them. Combeferre and Courfeyrac would fly to Venice to intercept them at the end. This was intended to give Marius and Enjolras six hours to find and detain Montparnasse while they were on a confined space. Enjolras had to admit that it was a solid plan seen as though Montparnasse was on his own. Now he just had to convince the team. That was actually surprisingly easy. “Of course, we’ll get at least two criminals out of it,” Courfeyrac shrugged as he went to buy the plane and train tickets.
“You should have more confidence in us Jolras,” Combeferre laughed, patting him on the back.
“We’re leaving later tonight, call your criminal mates,” Courfeyrac called out as they left the office at around three in the afternoon.
“Thank you for helping us. We are so grateful even though we have taunted you for years,” Eponine smiled as all five sat in a booth.
“I would hate for you to die before I could arrest you,” Enjolras replied, glowering at them but the trio only chuckled in response. Marius was still fawning over Cosette, also known as Euphraise, and it was making Enjolras feel physically ill. It seemed like Grantaire agreed with him by the frown on his face.
“It’s only R that’s going to die. Thenardier wants us back,” Cosette replied as see ate the sweets Marius had offered her. The puppy was too innocent for a con-woman.
“Apartly I am now too much of a liability to keep around,” Grantaire laughed slightly bitterly. Enjolras could tell Grantaire was scared. He kept up this façade of not caring and courage but his laugh was strained and smile dropped when ever her thought people weren’t looking. His nemesis was on this train, and one of them would probably not be getting off it.
“So the plan is that you do not leave this booth without one of us escorting you. Occasionally Grantaire and I will walk up and down the train to try and find Montparnasse,” Enjolras explained as he reluctantly offered his spare pistol.
“I don’t do guns,” Grantaire shook his head and wouldn’t take the weapon. Enjolras couldn’t decide if he was relieved or not; Grantaire would be much safer with a weapon of his own if Montparnasse arrived.
The next hour they stayed in the booth and were all going slowly insane. It was Cosette that broke the silence. “I’m going to get some food, Marius darling would you come with me,” she smiled sweetly. Within seconds Marius was stood next to her.
“Of course,” he beamed. The duo left with the food order of the whole group. Grantaire seemed to tense as soon as Cosette was out of the door.
“She’ll be fine with Marius,” Enjolras attempted to reassure him with a clasp of the shoulder. Grantaire flinched away.
“I know, Cosette can look after herself but I still don’t like it,” Grantaire snapped back but Eponine swatted him on the arm.
“Be nice Nic,” she replied sternly. “R has been looking after us for five years now and sometimes he finds it hard to stop fussing,” Eponine added, causing a blush to spread across Grantaire’s nose. Enjolras smiled. This was just like a normal family; teasing and fussing over each other. He couldn’t let them be separated but he had to arrest Grantaire if he survived this. Enjolras sighed as Cosette and Marius returned with plates of food. They ate and chatted aimlessly for another hour once Enjolras had assured them that nothing they said would be used against them. “Come on, we have to make a round,” Grantaire sighed as the clock struck eight, they had been going for just over two hours and Enjolras had been dreading this moment. It was like walking out of a safe hut and into the lion’s den. Now the time was upon them Enjolras was really starting to doubt if this plan was really a good idea. But they couldn’t back down now.
They fell into a tense silence as they walked with heads down and Grantaire’s hood up. It really wouldn’t do for someone to recognise him and alert Montparnasse. Then the whole plan would crumble away under their feet. Enjolras had never been so uncertain about something in his life. They reached the end of the train and Grantaire shrugged slightly. Again they checked every corridor and every booth but Montparnasse was nowhere to be seen. “I know the snake, he cannot disguise himself from me,” Grantaire reassured Enjolras as they arrived back at the booth. Enjolras just nodded as they both sat down dejectedly. Enjolras was so sure that Montparnasse would be there; this was their best chance to get a wanted criminal off the streets and it wasn’t clicking into place like he assumed it would. They did this for another two runs but as they were approaching the four and a half hour mark, Enjolras began to give up hope. “One more time,” Grantaire murmured, getting out of his seat and Enjolras nodded. They walked in silence and it took a while before Enjolras nodded Grantaire was not disguised. “Excuse me,” a sweet young voice spoke out behind Enjolras, he spun around and with a smile pointed the young boy to the toilets. However that was long enough. Grantaire was gone. No one seemed to know where he had gone or who had taken him but he was gone.
When Grantaire woke up everything was fuzzy. Light streamed down onto his face but only in very specific areas. He blinked a few more times and everything came into focus. He was in a box and he light was entering through what had to be air holes. His mouth was gagged and his hands bound tightly to the sides of the box. With one movement of his feet, he determined they were bound in the same way. It could only be Montparnasse. The wood was sturdy and no amount of pulling would dislodge his bounds. Montparnasse knew him all too well; he knew that there was one thing Grantaire was terrified of more than anything else, being immobilised. He just felt helpless and so scared that he would never get out. Frantic breaths tore out of his throat as he desperately tried to knee the top of the box and pulled on his restraints. There had to be a way out. There just had to. “Well the runt is awake,” Montparnasse’s voice laughed through the minuscule holes right above Grantaire’s face. Grantaire desperately tried to control his breathing in the face of adversity. Montparnasse dragged the lid of the box causing light to flood Grantaire’s vision and his eyes to flicker shut. That second of weakness gave Montparnasse the chance to undo Grantaire’s restraints from the box and cuff his arms behind his back before the disorientated Grantaire could respond. “See I know you too well Nicolas,” Montparnasse hissed in Grantaire’s ear as he was pushed forwards and down some stairs clumsily. In the basement was a bed and a tap that was over a drain. However the main feature that caught Grantaire’s attention was a ring on the wall next to the bed. It was a prison cell, there was no other way to define it. Grantaire was thrown down onto the bed and Montparnasse dodged Grantaire’s kicks to chain his bound hands to the wall. Grantaire continued to struggle as Montparnasse glided around his body stripping off all his clothes ruthlessly until he was only wearing his boxers. He couldn’t work out what Montparnasse had planned but he attempts at stopping him were getting him nowhere. The cold prickled his skin and shivers began to shake through his body. “I want to see you suffer before you die,” Montparnasse stated as Grantaire’s struggles began to grow weaker. “Thenardier was hard on me after you ran with our most precious members. But he promised me that if I caught you then you were all mine to do with what I pleased,” Montparnasse laughed manically as he removed the rope gag from Grantaire’s mouth. Before the abuse could start pouring from his lips, Montparnasse clasped a calloused hand over his mouth. “If you speak then this will be even worse for you. I trust your sense of self preservation,” Montparnasse smiled. Grantaire nodded, he did have a very strong sense of self preservation. He wasn’t going to die here and shouting profanity would only make that threat more imminent. Montparnasse slowly released his mouth and Grantaire just sat there shivering, his body tense. Montparnasse tore through his boxers, leaving Grantaire completely naked. Against his better judgement Grantaire opened his mouth to voice some displeasure. In a speed Grantaire didn’t know Montparnasse possessed the boxers were pushed into his mouth, tied onto the rope gag and that was fitted back in place. Grantaire renewed his pitiful struggled but Montparnasse was stronger than him in a normal situation.
By the time Montparnasse was done with his preparations, tears were streaming down Grantaire’s cheeks. His mouth was stuffed with his own dirty boxers and no sound was able to push past their fabric. A scratchy scarf was tied tightly around his eyes, making them sore whenever he blinked and blocking all light. His hands were still cuffed tightly behind his back but they had been disconnected from the wall. Instead a heavy metal collar rested around his neck and the chain pulled if he even tried to shuffle off the bed. “You don’t know how good this feels Grantaire. Seeing you all trussed up in front of me and not being able to do anything about it. Your friends will never find you and so I have all the time in the world to watch you suffer. There are cameras in his room. I will be watching you,” Montparnasse laughed once again before all sound was eliminated. Things were pressed into Grantaire’s ears, riding him of the only sense that remain. He panicked.
It felt like months before Montparnasse returned. Grantaire had just sat there sobbing and feverishly scrapping at the handcuffs until blood streamed down his fingers. He had never thought it would be this bad. He couldn’t believe that Montparnasse could crush him in such a way. He felt pathetic but he would do anything to just be allowed to have a drink of water and see again. He had even stooped to the level of drinking whatever drips filtered down from and sweat and urine soaked boxers in his mouth but that had already run dry. But he knew he wasn’t going to die. He knew Montparnasse would never give him that pleasure. His shivers were growing more erratic and it was taking more and more effort to breathe. First of all someone pulled off his gag and pulled out the boxers. Grantaire recoiled from the sudden, unforeseen movement. He fell back against the wall felt something give. Pain spread like a forest fire throughout his body and a scream was pulled out of his abused throat. Hurriedly the person pulled out the ear plugs sending shock waves of sound through Grantaire’s mind. “Stay still, all you are going to do is hurt yourself,” Montparnasse snapped as Grantaire fell limp in Montparnasse’s arms. His shoulder was broken. That was the only thing that could cause so much pain. However his attention was drawn away from it as a water bottle was pressed to his lips. The sweet liquid caused him to moan with pleasure as it trickled down his throat and more kept on coming. All sense of dignity was lost and it must have only been a week since his capture. Somewhere in the back of his mind Grantaire prayed that Enjolras would find him. The rest was preoccupied with begging Montparnasse not to leave him like that again. He could hear Montparnasse’s small chuckle as his arm was released and tapped to his chest to protect the broken bone. “All it took was a week for you to become so pliable in my hands. Maybe Thenardier will want you back if I can control you like this,” Montparansse hissed in Grantaire’s ear and was delighted with the whimper he earned in response. “Fear is the best control technique, and I have you terrified,” Montparnasse added as he used the pair of boxers to dry up the urine and sweat on the bed before shoving them back into Grantaire’s mouth. Grantaire had no strength to protest but this time the ear plugs remained off. “I’ll be back soon Nic,” Montparnasse laughed and he heard the door slam and lock. The tears continued. He was never getting out. He would never see again.
Grantaire could now determine how long it had been by his thirst. Montparnasse had come again once, approximately six days after the first time and gave Grantaire water and food. He had also replaced the boxers that were in his mouth with a new pair. Grantaire could smell the urine but resisted the urge to spit them out and struggle. He had come back two more times on top of that, each just less than a week apart. Struggling was pointless, he now had nothing to do but wait until Montparnasse came to give him water. He should be coming soon, it had been five days, he had to be coming soon. There was thumping footsteps upstairs and Grantaire scrambled upright. If he was well behaved for Montparnasse then maybe he might be allowed to see again, or maybe move; Montparnasse had been decreasing the bonds each time and now he wasn’t even chained to the bed. The collar still remained but it was settling to have it. Montparnasse was is everything now, nothing else mattered. The door was thrown open and Grantaire whimpered. “Oh my god R,” a voice sobbed. He didn’t recognise it, it registered somewhere in the back of his mind but he didn’t remember. The gag was pulled carefully out of his mouth and the blindfold was torn off. Grantaire couldn’t open his eyes. The light was too bright and he was scared. Montparnasse would not do this, Montparnasse would be gently and give Grantaire water.
“We’re here to save you,” another voice bombarded him as he began to cry once again. He hadn’t cried since that first week.
“Water,” Grantaire whispered before he faded into unconsciousness.
When they had found Grantaire, Enjolras was expected and warm embrace. Not that he couldn’t remember who they were. He had spent the past five weeks had been hell. The whole team had been working with Eponine and Cosette to find their best friend. No one knew where Montparnasse had disappeared to. It was even worse when someone thought they had seen him and it turned out to be a dead end. Their superiors were beginning to grow restless and only agreed if Grantaire was locked up when they did find him. Eponine and Cosette were reluctant with these terms but they needed the help of the law. In the end they found the boy that had tricked Enjolras and it was one of Thenardier’s minions, he pointed them in the direction of Saltzburg. No one had any idea how he had managed to get Grantaire there but there he was. Montparnasse was in custody and Grantaire was in the hospital. Apparently his injuries were not too bad; the break in his arm was a clan one so was patched up easily and the tips of his fingers had already begun to heal. What was most worrying was Grantaire’s mental state. The doctor’s said he had short term amnesia due to the trauma and serious Stockholm syndrome centred around Montparnasse as good behaviour was rewarded. Enjolras felt physically ill.
A week or so had passed and Grantaire’s physical state was almost back to how it should be. The only thing hindering him was the arm but that was going to be a long term repair. Enjolras had barely left Enjolras’ side since he had returned. The saying absence makes the heart grow fonder had never applied so readily to Enjolras’ life. The tales Eponine and Cosette had told him about Grantaire’s various misdeeds, when they had hours to kill, had made the seeds of his love grow. Seeing Grantaire’s trembling body had shattered his heart into a thousand pieces. However this was not the time for the passionate love that Enjolras contained. Now was the time for tender care and that was exactly what Enjolras was going to give him. The incredibly unfortunate thing was that Enjolras’ bosses were pressuring him for Grantaire’s imminent arrest. There was no way around it. It only hurt more when Grantaire began to open back up to Enjolras. The doctors were perplexed as to why Grantaire had latched onto Enjolras when there were people there who he had known for the majority of his life. The best idea had come from Eponine when Grantaire had burst into tears at the sight of her. Enjolras was the absolute opposite of Montparnasse, especially in physical characteristics. Montparnasse was average sizes, muscular, tanned with cropped black hair; Enjolras was tall and lanky, had porcelain skin and blonde curls. Eponine looked too similar to Montparnasse for Grantaire’s delirious mind. It was also decided that due to the imminent threat of arrest, Eponine and Cosette should leave. Enjolras was already regrettably responsible for Grantaire’s arrest. He would not be accountable for theirs too.
“Hey Enj,” a friendly face poked round the door as he knocked. Enjolras’ face lit up from where he was sat on the hospital bed with Grantaire asleep and curled up around his torso. Bahorel was an old friend of Enjolras’ and a lawyer. He had passed the bar a couple of months ago and was determined to represent Grantaire in court. They only had him on the thefts in Dublin where a confession was recorded from his hospital bed. All the rest was speculation. Bahorel suspected that this and evading the law and breaking out of custody would get him three years but he had a plan.
“Hey it’s really good to see you,” Enjolras replied, Grantaire didn’t stir at all from where he was laid comfortably.
“So this must me him,” Bahorel sighed and Enjolras just nodded bluntly. “I have a plan to get him a lighter sentence. There is definitely a confession on the system so there is no chance of pleading not guilty,” Bahorel explained, watching as Grantaire’s face twisted in his sleep. It was in some ways childlike. “I think we should plead insanity,” he stated. Enjolras hadn’t thought about that; in Grantaire’s current state there was a long way they could go with that line of questioning. The pair continued to discuss who to call and what routes to go until Grantaire awoke.
He blinked sleepily and took in Bahorel with a look of distrust.
“Morning Nic,” Enjolras smiled, “this is Bahorel, and he is going to be your lawyer when your case goes to trail.” Grantaire sat up slowly and offered Bahorel his not injured hand. He was still very suspicious of people but it seemed like Bahorel had the Enjolras seal of approval. Bahorel smiled slightly and shook the offered hand.
“Does that mean you are going to have to take in soon?” Grantaire asked quietly and it pained Enjolras to agree. Grantaire took a series of deep breath as it looked like he tried to seal off him emotions. “Okay, what is my defence then?” he whispered with his whole body shaking but he face expressionless.
Bahorel stayed for an hour or so explaining what the plan was. The next day was the one they all dreaded. Eponine and Cosette dropped by that night, dressed as nuns which Enjolras speculated may be blasphemy but they just laughed it off.
The next morning Combeferre arrived with four policemen who were there to take Grantaire into their custody. And Combeferre was there to take Enjolras’ resignation. He had be thinking about this for a while and he couldn’t carry on like this; he couldn’t watch people who had made bad mistakes be hunted like dogs and then locked away. He was going to become a lawyer. Enjolras had studied law at university but had decided to move on to be an Interpol agent. Now he was going to go back and complete the bar before setting up a law firm with Bahorel. It meant they could fight of innocent people and help the misguided. Enjolras smiled to himself slightly at the thought. “It has been a pleasure working with you Julien,” Combeferre smiled as he took Enjolras’ badge and gun before shaking his hand.
“You too,” Enjolras nodded and embraced him warmly. Combeferre would always be his best friend.
“Now for the less pleasant part of the day,” Combeferre sighed as Enjolras walked back into the hospital room. Grantaire was dressed in some clothes that Eponine had brought for him and he was sat on the side of the bed. His eyes were closed and his body was shaking. It was clear that he was using the breathing techniques that the psychologist had been teaching him to detail with the panic. “It’s time to go R,” Enjolras murmured as Grantaire stumbled to his feet. Enjolras couldn’t watch him go but he forced himself to embrace Grantaire for what was probably going to be the last time in a while.
The trail passed without a hitch and Enjolras was relieved when it was announced that Grantaire would have two years in a medium level secure psychiatric unit in France. Luckily it was quite close to Paris when Enjolras and Bahorel were going to set up their law firm. A maximum of two years before his lover would be free. Enjolras smiled as he waited outside the courtroom for Bahorel. They were going apartment hunting for Enjolras this afternoon as Grantaire was transferred before Enjolras would go see him that afternoon. He would be there for Grantaire all the way through the next two years and they would live a life together once it was over. Grantaire had already sworn he was leaving his life of crime behind. He admitted that he loved the life but he didn’t want to be on the run anymore. He wanted to settle down and live a life instead of running, always looking over his shoulder.
They found Enjolras a beautiful open plan apartment in one of the better and more sophisticated parts of town. And it was big enough for two; that was one of Enjolras’ criteria when it came to the property hunt, there had to be enough room for Grantaire when he came home. He would wait for Grantaire come home.
One year, three months and twelve days later Enjolras was stood grinning outside the prison. Grantaire was being released early for good behaviour and Enjolras was there to pick him up. He had passed the bar a few months ago and had been the one petitioning for Grantaire’s release to be brought forwards. He had finally done it. And they were going to be going home. Grantaire walked out in a daze as he squinted from the sudden light. A tight black t-shirt hung to muscles he hadn’t had when he was convicted and his hair was tangled where it curled at the nape of his neck. Enjolras had been visiting once a week since he was convicted but the visits had become less frequent as he was running a court case. The changes were still noticeable. Grantaire smiled tenderly at the sight of Enjolras waiting for him by the car. “Hey,” Enjolras whispered when Grantaire was stood in front of him at last.
“Hey to you too,” Grantaire laughed. Neither were sure what to do. It was Enjolras who broke the tension by diving forwards to plant his lips on Grantaire’s. The couple embraced passionately for the first time. Grantaire had been too ill for them to do this. Grantaire laughed against Enjolras’ lips as they stood there.
“Shall we go home,” Enjolras whispered when they finally parted. Grantaire smiled and nodded. They were going home.