Hello Lovelies! Here I am with another two-shot! It's the story of Grantaire's darkest days that I've always alluded to in Amber (you can read this alone though). ((This also alludes to a big barricade scene, that's another two/three shot in the works)) ENJOY!

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Warning: Mentions of death, suicide, and suicide attempts...

Disclaimer: Alas, no...

Chapter 1: Downward Spiral

He was always good at holding everything inside. He was the jolly drunk, the jovial trickster, the bane of his Apollo's existence. If asked (which he never actually was, those who knew him just knew it about him.), he drank to drown all the bad out of his life. The rich ambers and reds that stained and hydrated his pallet brought him to a high that life never could, one that erased the disappointed faces of all those who were meant to be there for support, for love.

He was always good at holding everything inside, until he hit rock bottom. Until the blows came too fast and too hard to recover and the gods' nectar wasn't going to be enough to recover. Frankly if it weren't for the angel that was watching him somewhere, giving him the group (and the love) that finally re-defined family for him, he probably wouldn't be around to tell his story to anyone. (He might also owe some of it to the love masters of Fey and Han for knocking some sense into the resident marble block.)

It started four days after his own long distance call to his Father. Shitty timing on part of that bastard, but that's another story. He was never like Éponine or Enjolras with the major Daddy issues. He loved his father. Hell, the man was all he had left after his mother died when he was eight. But this, the reason for the call, was something he'd bottle'd up for a long time. (Deep down he knew his Dad knew, but he'd never actually come out and said it.) This little secret, knowing his family of conservatives and religious nuts would never accept him, was one of the reasons he drank so much. Drank away the looks of disgust from those aunts who scoffed at Luc Tate, a local boy who'd come out. Drank away the damnations his great uncle, the Reverend, gave in his countless sermons he was dragged too. But something inside Grantaire told him his father would be different. That's how he felt when he hit father's contact that Thursday night, sitting in his, Bahorel and Bousset's flat (though he didn't understand why Bousset still chipped in rent when he had technically moved in with Joly when Musichetta moved in.), a couple hours before a meeting down at the Musain.

It rang for a bit, but after the third monotone note, someone picked up.


"Hi Dad."

"Nicky, I should be scolding you! What's it been three, four months since you last called? How is everything?"

His father's voice was just the same; caramel that wasn't heated entirely, chunky caramel, yeah, that's how he thought of his Dad's voice. It was a perfect topper to the ice cream sundae that was his Dad. Just hearing it caused Grantaire to choke up slightly, fear overwhelming him.

"Nic, you ok there? What's wrong? Those meetings not going so well. I saw you in the papers for that barricade of yours. Brilliant idea, horrible execution."

He smiled, regaining his voice.

"Shouldn't you be reprimanding me for doing something reckless?"

"Eh, you're your own man now. Any how if it's something you believe in."

He choked up again, taking in a gasping breath.

"Not really something, more like someone."

The other end was silent for a moment before he nearly dropped the phone due to the canon blast of laugher that erupted in his ear.

"Nicky! You dating someone? Never thought I'd see the day! My little Nicky, finding happiness. Your mother would be so proud."

He smiled, feeling the tears welling up at his father's exclamation. What would come next? Would his father still be that excited? Would his mother still be proud?

"What's her name? Do I know her? Is it that pretty girl you always talk about? Pony?"

"No Dad, it's not Ép." He'd wondered why his father took sudden interest in the Thénardier clan, but it was a conversation for another time.

"Well, I'll be damned, you guys made other friends?"

"Not exactly, Dad, I've kind've been in love with someone in our group from the start really, ever since we met." He paused, taking in a deep breath. "Dad, he's the one I believe in."

There was silence on both ends. Grantaire knew he was turning blue with the breath he was holding. Finally he heard breath being sucked in on the otherside and he prepared himself for the onslaught of hate. He wasn't prepared for this.

"Oh Nicky, how come it took you so long to tell me?"

"Dad I'm….wait what?"

"Nic, if you weren't falling for that Pony girl, I knew something was up with you."

He couldn't help but laugh.

"You-you're not mad?"

"Mad? Why in the hell would I be mad? If this boy's who you love than he's who you love, nothing wrong with that."

He was speechless.

"Nicky, what kind of a man do you think I am? Being mad at my son for being in Love? Your mother would've killed me. She just may if I said any different. Just don't leave me without grandchildren alright? There are thousands of orphans who would love two new daddies."

He couldn't help but laugh.

"Dad slow down, at the moment he strongly dislikes me, on good days."

"He's that golden boy leader of yours isn't he?"

He spluttered slightly, causing his Dad to laugh.

"How? What?"

"This cause, I know it's not something you'd readily jump into. You're like me in that sense, someone had to be your sun and with that boy's hair, he's halfway there."

"Yeah, he really is."

"Nicky, never forget, no matter who you are today or tomorrow, I do love you."

"Thanks Dad, I love you too."

"Hey, and call more often ok? I want to hear how progress with golden boy goes."

He laughed. "Alright Dad, I will."

He ended the call shortly after, his father's words ringing loud and proud in his ear. He walked to the Musain with a smile and for the first time in forever, he didn't take a single drink that night, engaging in useful counter banter with his Apollo.

The group was pleasantly surprised, Éponine figured he'd come out to his Dad and it went well (alright, so Bahorel had told her when he got there, but she also had a hunch.). Even Enjolras smiled when Grantaire waved him goodnight, the second to last person to leave the café (Enjolras was usually last.).

"Night Enj."

"Night Taire."

Something fluttered deep down in his stomach as the inky haired artist turned to leave the café, something that motivated his next words.

"Hey R?"


"I liked this side of you. I would love it if he came more often."

That thing fluttered again when he saw Grantaire's eyes light up and the man try desperately to hide the wide smile that attacked his tanned face.

"He might just."

And with that the artist left the revolutionary in the café, both unknowing of the fact that Grantaire would almost be lost forever in a matter of days. And if it weren't for the awakening of this fluttering, this Grantaire might've died with the rest of him.

Four days later, while Grantaire was still on this wonderful high, he got another call. He quirked an eyebrow at the caller-ID… Aunt Adele? Leaving the counter top he went to his room and shut the door.


He was met with an onslaught of hysterics.

"Aunt Adele? Hello? Is everything alright? What's wrong?"

"Oh Nicky, no one knows why these things happen." He finally heard and something in those words made his stomach lurch.

"What things? Aunt Adele what's going on?"

"Oh Nicky, they found him at the bar this morning. There was blood everywhere, his hand was around that damn pistol Regis keeps behind the bar."

His knees went weak and he hit his bedroom floor, he could vaguely hear his name being called from his concerned friends.

"Who did they find?" His voice finally croaked out, dreading the answer he already knew.

He barely registered his aunt say it was his father. He barely registered the attempted comfort and condolences and the funeral information. He spluttered a goodbye before throwing his phone at the wall and collapsing.

Suicide. His father killed himself. And deep down, despite whatever his father had told him that night, his father killed himself because of what he said. Grantaire had ruined not only his own life, but now he'd caused his father to end his own.

He ignored the pounding of the door and the cries of worry. He simply sunk into the corner of his room and uncorked the nearest full bottle of whiskey, absinthe, vodka, anything he could find, and drowned himself once more.

He told his friends his father was dead. Not how he died, just that he was dead. He shrugged off their comfort, he just sunk into his bottle more. Over the next few days he only managed slight sobriety for the funeral. His friends came, they sat right behind him. He felt Ép's hand slide into his, Bahorel squeeze his arm and Musichetta comfortingly play through his curls, but he also felt the distance of his Apollo. Whatever they built that one night of happiness shattered with the first drained bottle that hit the wall.

When it was all over, there was a meeting. They begged Enjolras not to hold it. When that didn't work, they begged Grantaire to take the time off. Combeferre and Courfeyac shared worried looks as they saw Grantaire sink further and further, probably deeper than ever before, and they feared on what would happen at the meeting. The argument that was sure to happen.

And happen it did, probably the worst any of them had ever seen.

It started how it usually did. Enjolras would be in the middle one of his passionate steroid high speeches about how to better society and near the climax, Grantaire would snicker, loudly.

At first Enjolras tried to ignore him. He understood what Grantaire was going through, having lost his own father two years back, but he was also so disgusted by how much alcohol Grantaire had consumed in the last couple hours alone. But once Grantaire began to rise still putting in his two cense, he had to intervene.

"What Grantaire? What is it that I'm saying tonight that so offends you?"

The artist put his hand on his chest dramatically.

"Offend me? Nothing could offend me Apollo."

"Then what could you possibly be arguing against?"

"Only that all this, this attempt to better society, you're speaking to deaf ears."

"The people rose before, they'll rise again."

"They only rose after three days Enjolras, and only because, because of your leadership you jeopardized the life of all of your friends. The people didn't rise because of your fancy worlds Enjolras, they rose to defend their children."

The comment, the fear that Enjolras felt everyday that he'd hurt any of his friends, caused him to snap.

"How dare you! How the hell would you know any thing that happened that night. You were hammered behind the bar, not that tonight's much of a difference."

Grantaire simply laughed, a hollow broken laughed that frankly scared Enjolras, but he pushed that away, fuming at the insult.

"I washappy I was hammered, saved my ass from falling for nothing. Falling for a people that does not and will never care."

Enjolras roared with anger, bringing his fist down on the table, knocking over several glasses, causing the group to freeze, breath baited. Everyone feared the words and venom would drip out of Enjolras's lips next. They feared if the cynic could handle it.

Enjolras, ignoring the pleading looks from everyone in the group, ignoring the little tug in his chest begging him not to continue his path, but he hung that, he hung every warning and moved to stand right in front of Grantaire, his face inches from the beautiful cynic.

"If you believe in nothing, why do you come? The only thing you do is drown yourself in booze and waste your life away, hell you've already wasted it. You believe in nothing, your words mean nothing, you're just a drunk, a broken record and frankly I'm done with the nothing that spills from your lips."

No one spoke, no one breathed, jaws slacked open, even heartbeats froze for a moment. Grantaire stumbled back as if physically wounded. His eyes were wide with hurt. Apollo, his Apollo was disappointed in him, despised him. He crashed so far his Sun had left him, he was alone in darkness.

Putting his hand across his chest and bowing he looked Enjolras directly in the eye, searching for some redemption, but found clear blue icicles.

"I have challenged you oh great Apollo. I am the foolish Marsyas and I have lost. Flay me Apollo, flay me and take my heart." Enjolras stumbled back as well, his eyes melting slightly, but Grantaire had fallen too far to notice. He looked at Enjolras one more time.

"Take my heart Apollo, it was always yours anyway."

And with that he was gone.

If any of them had known that was almost the last time they'd see Grantaire, someone would've gone after him. If Enjolras had known this he would've torn after Grantaire and fell to his knees begging for forgiveness and taking back every word he said, every negative word he'd ever said to the cynic, his cynic, his love. But none of them knew, so they let him walk.

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