Now

Combeferre blinks one eye open and then the other. Streams of sunlight are pushing through the gap in Courf's daisy chain curtains (not a gift from Jehan, but one he certainly approved of) but it doesn't look to be too bright yet. 'Ferre rolls towards the center of the bed with a smile slipping across his face. He could get up to make some coffee, the thought does cross his mind, but he's not ready to just yet.

Just because he gets to watch his boyfriend sleep on the regular doesn't mean he's gotten tired of or used to it yet. He can't imagine he ever will.

Courf is curling into the center of the bed. He's always slept with his hand pillowed under his head since they were children (the notable exception being when he's holding Combeferre, of course) and he's doing it now. It makes him seem smaller, even though he's only a few inches shorter than 'Ferre. Two of his black curls are falling right down the middle of his face. They're so long they almost cover his nose, which is still a nose to make all the Middle Age sculptors wonder how the Greeks and Romans crafted such beauty. Combeferre wants to pull on the curls, but he manages to restrain himself. Barely.

Courfeyrac is growing his hair out even longer than usual right now; the plan is to grow it out as long as he can before the summer, then chop it off really short and donate the ends to charity. Combeferre is a fan of the plan for many reasons, not the least of which is that Courf's even longer hair is driving 'Ferre crazy.

Well, anything and everything Courfeyrac is or does drives Combeferre crazy. But now, he can tug on the curls and admire the nose and kiss the curve of the mouth…or the chin…or where the eyelids become eyelashes, almost any time he wants to.

Courf lets out a little puff of air that sends his wayward curls fluttering. 'Ferre shuffles a little closer – sometimes they fall asleep so close together that he wakes up feeling Courf's sleep-warm breath on his face. Then 'Ferre is reminded of that sleepover from fourteen years ago, when he was so afraid of the change coming their way.

God, if we'd known half of what was coming…It's strange to look back on all the things life has thrown at the pair of them. It's strange to look back on the Combeferre he was and the Courfeyrac his boyfriend was four, five, six years ago: the Courf who only dated girls and the 'Ferre who made pasta dinners, who felt he could only risk longing glances when Courf was asleep. All the pain and pining and heartache feels like a bad dream while he's facing the beautiful man beside him in bed.

Not that all of it has been bad, Combeferre muses. Marius and Cosette are married, Enjolras and Grantaire are finally(!) dating, Eponine and Musichetta's Young Girls Co. is taking on the world, Bahorel is three years sober, Feuilly has one steady job now and paid off his mom's debt, Joly and Bossuet are taking ballroom dance lessons in their spare time, Jehan is still giving curtains as gifts…The last three months have especially been Not Bad as well.

He mimes tracing the arches of Courfeyrac's eyebrows, which are a shade lighter than his eyelashes and his hair. He's heard Cosette and Eponine wail about how unfair it is that a guy has such pretty eyebrows, and though 'Ferre wouldn't say he's an expert on the subject, he'd have to agree. I love every shape I've seen you in, he projects to his boyfriend. Then he gives himself over to marveling at the freckles and the lines and the sleep-sighs and the hair and the one small mole Courf has right below his left ear. He has nothing pressing to do this morning anyway.

Who knows how long he lies in bed like that, happy and warm and watching his boyfriend sleep. Certainly not Combeferre. Long enough for his bladder to start to protest. He rolls away and out of bed as quietly as he can, checking the alarm clock as he goes. It's not even 9:30 yet.

Courfeyrac is stirring just as Combeferre comes back. " 'Ferre?" he murmurs.

"You want anything? Eggs, coffee?"

"Noooooooo." He stretches, long and languid across the pillows. He's wearing a red t-shirt the group made years ago, 'Ferre thinks at least eight. It has "Les Amis de l'ABC" emblazoned in big white block letters. The edges of the letters are fading now from all the many washes. Combeferre is thinking how unfair it is that Courf looks this delectable first thing in the morning wearing a decade-old shirt when Courf pushes himself up onto his elbows. He gives 'Ferre an almost shy smile.

"What?"

"Actually, there is something I want." Combeferre raises an eyebrow at the ammendment. "Come back to bed please?" Courfeyrac pleads, with big brown eyes and batted lashes and a soft earnest voice. 'Ferre feels an actual starburst of happiness explode in his chest. It makes his insides feel all fizzy and sizzling, like the edges of fireworks fading off into the night. He takes a running leap from the door – the happiness firework carries him in a jump up onto the bed. He lands right beside Courf, his legs falling ontop of his boyfriend's.

Combeferre asks, "Is this acceptable?" Courfeyrac pretends to think, scrunching his long, scuplted nose adorably. He hasn't even brushed the curls out of his face yet, so 'Ferre takes care of that for him (he has no control when it comes to Courfeyrac's hair.)

"Not quite," Courf says. He snakes his left arm between Combeferre and the bed, throws his other arm around Combeferre's shoulders, and pulls him as close as their bodies will allow. Courf then nestles his head into the hollow between 'Ferre's neck and his collarbone, humming softly as he does.

"There," he whispers. "This is perfect." He plants a tiny kiss on the skin above Combeferre's clavicle and the burst of happiness 'Ferre felt five seconds earlier is a children's-craft-kit-sparkle compared to the fireworks and sparks firing through his chest now. Courfeyrac's curls make for a perfect pillow, so 'Ferre rests his cheek atop them, squeezing Courf against him even tighter.

They're still for many moments, just enjoying the moment. Combeferre knows Courfeyrac hasn't fallen back asleep because he can feel the whisper of Courf's eyelashes against his shoulder every time Courf blinks.

"You ever think about how far we've come?" 'Ferre whispers into the beloved black curls. He plants a kiss there before the question has barely left his mouth.

Courfeyrac sits up so he can look at Combeferre properly but sidles closer and leans them both back against their headboard. "Of course. Kinda hard not to."

'Ferre plants a kiss on the tip of Courf's nose for good measure. "I'm glad we got here. I'm happy here." He squeezes with the arm wrapped around Courfeyrac for emphasis.

"Me too." Courf says it so simply and matter-of -fact that there isn't room for a single argument or counter-point (not that 'Ferre would want to argue this or doubt it, obviously.) Then he snickers. "God, there were times I thought I would never survive my feelings."

Combeferre blanches. "I'm sorry, what?"

"Well you know," Courf rests his head on 'Ferre's shoulder again. "Like when you were dating Montparnasse, for example." He gestures with his free arm, lazy and expansive and vague.

'Ferre lets out a loud HA! and Courf gazes up at him, managing to inject a healthy dose of hurt into his sleep-dazed, lazy Sunday morning eyes.

"What do you mean, 'HA!'? That shit hurt, seeing you with another man."

"No, I know it did, I just…" Combeferre can barely speak through the giggles, "It's just…I've been pining for fifteen years and I watched you date girl after girl…"

Courfeyrac is trying to make affronted noises, but 'Ferre is on a roll -

"How many conversations did we have where you agonized about asking Azelma out? Huh? How many?" 'Ferre is shaking his boyfriend with his one arm and pounding the mattress beside him with the other. "And then, how many of our dinner nights with Enjolras became us listening to you talk about how 'she was definitely the one' and how you could 'see your children already'…"

"Hey, you defended me at those dinners!"

"Yeah, because it was to Enjolras. And," he assumes a superior air and stares down at Courf, "I didn't want to arouse your suspicion."

Courfeyrac just shakes his head. "Ok, ok, I see your point," he concedes. "But we can't all have our heads and hearts as organized as you, babe. Not at thirteen."

Combeferre spares a thought for lanky thirteen-year-old 'Ferre – post length-growth spurt but pre width-growth spurt – watching Courfeyrac's curly head of hockey hair bob around the math classroom in a victory dance. He remembers thinking: Fuck. Me.

Organized indeed.

"For what it's worth," he says softly, "I thought I was doomed to be alone because of how much I loved you, even when I was with 'Parnasse."

Before Courfeyrac can look stricken at that admission, 'Ferre brushes his hair back from his face further and kisses him. Courf kisses him back with the disarming simplicity that always steals 'Ferre's breath. He dissolves into the kiss.

When he wants to take back some control, Combeferre pulls away to kiss down Courfeyrac's neck, enjoying the sounds he draws from his boyfriend's mouth. He feels Courf melt beneath his hands and lips and prides himself on a job well done this morning.

When they come up for air, Courfeyrac states, "I love you," in that broke-no-argument kind of way he has. He's gazing up at 'Ferre from his pillow. He looks small again, like something 'Ferre can pick up and cradle to his chest. He looks larger than life, somehow, at the same time: he takes up all of Combeferre's vision – if there were a tunnel, Courf wouldn't just be the light at the end of it, he'd be the thing that lead 'Ferre out in the first place. He looks perfect.

Combeferre feels his face split into a grin so wide it hurts his cheeks. "I love you too." It's a supernova of happiness that collapses this time, but it's much gentler than the explosion of fireworks before; all this is just warmth and love. 'Ferre can feel it pouring out him through his eyes and his smilling face. He can see it reflected back at him in the depths of Courf's dimples and feel it in the curve of his hand cupping Combeferre's cheek to draw him in for another kiss.

This kiss feels like the only slow dance 'Ferre has ever had, at the hotel bar the day after Marius and Cosette's wedding reception. It feels like three four time and crooning singing and the voices of their friends fading into the background. It feels like a dream…or, better than that. It feels like a promise of future dreams, dreams they will have together.

Courfeyrac's stomach grumbling is what gets them up for breakfast. He pauses in their bedroom doorway and looks back to 'Ferre putting on his slippers.

"For what it's worth, Combeferre, you're the 'definite one' I talk to Enj about now."

"The 'definite one'?" Combeferre repeats.

"The only one. 'Definitely the one,' and all that jazz." There are more vague hand gestures, but there's a blush and a lovely smile too.

Combeferre feels a lump form in his throat. Courf has always believed in that kind of love (he's adorable like that) but 'Ferre has never once allowed himself that luxury. He thinks he might be coming around to the allure of the idea.

"I'm sure Enjolras just loves hearing that," he manages to choke out.

"It's the price he pays for me listening to him gush about R," Courf replies with a sassy toss of his hair. "And deep down he does love it, because he loves us, and he loves that I love you."

Combeferre beams.

Then they head into the kitchen and, though it makes making breakfast infinitely more difficult, they manage to do it while holding hands the entire time.