Author's note: This was written for the ever lovely and supremely talented Cheese, who is TheOnlyCheeseLeft on AO3 and whose work is always amazing. This version is actually slightly different from the tumblr version, because the latter was written quickly and this one has been looked over a couple times to fix the awkward language use that happens when I write quickly. I suppose anyone who's thoroughly bored can play spot the difference if they want to. I suppose you could call this a late addition to Courferre week if you squint, but I leave it up to you to decide.
Courfeyrac was not entirely unsurprised to find Combeferre still awake when he let himself through his friend's front door. He had meant to drop off a stack of pamphlets and be on his way, but the faint glimmer of light peeking out from under Combeferre's door made him change his mind. Pamphlets tucked under one arm, Courfeyrac made his way across the cluttered front room to knock on the bedroom door.
He heard rustling as Combeferre extricated himself from whatever heap of papers and books held his attention this time and then footsteps as Combeferre moved to open his door. Courfeyrac grinned brightly at him and the half-concerned expression on Combeferre's face was replaced by a raised eyebrow.
"To what do I owe the honor of this unannounced visit?" Combeferre asked.
Courfeyrac offered him the pamphlets with a perhaps unnecessary flourish, making the small flame of Combeferre's candle flicker wildly. "I knew you were waiting for these," he said. "And I did not want you to spend even a second more than necessary in uneasy anticipation. As I had no other pressing business this evening I thought I would surprise you by leaving them here, but your habits have foiled my efforts to do good without recognition. I am most put out, I promise you."
"And nothing to do, I'm sure, with you not wanting such things in your own rooms these days," Combeferre said, though the faint curve of his lips showed that he was amused. "But you have my thanks." He smothered a yawn behind his free hand then reached out to take the pamphlets from Courfeyrac.
Courfeyrac frowned. "How long have you been working?" he wanted to know.
"I have much to do these days," Combeferre said with a slight shrug. "As Enjolras would say, needs of the mind outweigh needs of the flesh."
"And as you would say, a neglected flesh does nothing to help the mind," Courfeyrac said. He reached out and plucked the candle from Combeferre's grip. Ignoring his friend's protests, he held it close to Combeferre's face and examined it, pursing his lips.
"You're more than just tired, you're completely worn down," he diagnosed after a moment, returning the candle to his somewhat blinded friend. "When was the last time you took a break?"
Combeferre sighed. "Courfeyrac," he began, thereby essentially admitting that it had been far too long since he had allowed himself time off.
"I do know my own name," Courfeyrac said, cutting him off. "Were you going to argue with my learned conclusion, or have the fates chosen to smile on us tonight and cause you to admit to your own weariness without prompting?"
Combeferre rolled his eyes. "I'm not the only one who's been working hard recently," he said.
"Indeed not," Courfeyrac agreed. "But only you can talk Enjolras into a bed, which I notice that you have done, and only he can convince our ever valiant Feuilly to rest, though he never tries. You, however, are my responsibility and I would be a disgrace to my name if I allowed you to run yourself ragged."
Combeferre's eyebrows crept up again. "The name you yourself have rejected?"
"Not rejected," Courfeyrac corrected. "Altered, as one alters a suit to fit with changing times and girths. But don't change the subject on me, I won't have that."
"Then what will you have?" Combeferre wanted to know, still sounding amused. He swallowed another yawn, the flickering of the candle making the shadows under his eyes look even more pronounced than they were.
"Bed," Courfeyrac declared. "And tomorrow we will do something fun. You can take me to a museum and lecture me about the history of weaponry until you're blue in the face and I'm bored stiff if you must, but I forbid you from working. Say, isn't it Sunday tomorrow anyway? Not only I but our God on high command you to rest. You cannot argue with Providence, can you?"
Combeferre looked as though he might be prepared to do just that, so Courfeyrac shook his head.
"No, don't try. True, if any could it would probably be you, but even you must admit that it would do you good to take a rest."
"And yet you stand here talking, thereby preventing me from doing as you ask," Combeferre said, but Courfeyrac could tell that he wasn't vexed. He laughed.
"You of all people know that I don't always have the best judgment," he said with a grin. Then, more seriously, he added, "But I am certain of my judgment in this case. Will you promise me to take time for yourself tomorrow? For me, if not for yourself?"
Combeferre returned the laugh. "That tactic would be more effective by half if I did not have sisters," he said. "But I take your point, and I must admit that concentration has been harder to come by lately. Perhaps a day of rest would do me good."
Again Courfeyrac grinned. "I knew you were a reasonable man," he said, crossing the distance between them to pull Combeferre into an embrace.
"Occasionally I wonder," Combeferre said, a little dryly. "Were I as reasonable as I like to claim I would not be friends with all of you."
"You love us far too much to ever leave us," Courfeyrac declared. "And if you ever think to come to your senses we will certainly do our best to keep you from running off to more sensible pastures. We would, I assure you, be utterly lost without your guidance." He pulled away and propped his hands on his hips. "But you were going to bed, were you not?"
"I was under the impression that I was being courted, or perhaps threatened," Combeferre said. Then, "Would you care to stay? Reasonable or not, I might not be trusted to keep my word without your encouragement."
"You always keep your word," Courfeyrac said. "But certainly I will stay. I was just waiting for you to ask." He stepped into Combeferre's bedroom properly, pulling the door closed behind him. "Have you space in your bed for two this time, or is it once more covered in books?"
"The bed is clear," Combeferre assured him. He moved away, casting his face into shadow. "I have told you before, you happened to catch me at a bad time."
"Yes, yes, quarterly reorganizing of your library, I know," Courfeyrac said. "I maintain, as I did last time, that one would expect a desk to serve as a better repository of books than a bed, but I suppose you would know better than I in this matter."
Combeferre didn't answer and Courfeyrac busied himself by removing his outer clothes, draping them carefully over Combeferre's chair and the foot of his bed. His hat found a place of honor on the desk. He found the nightshirt he kept at Combeferre's home for just these occasions with ease and within a few minutes both he and his friend were climbing into the bed, all the candles but one blown out and filling the room with the smell of smoke.
They pressed together in the bed, limbs entangling with practiced ease. Combeferre blew out the last candle and settled back down, allowing Courfeyrac to rest his head against his chest. The two drifted off to sleep rapidly, each quietly rejoicing in the other's presence, while on the desk the stack of pamphlets sat patiently, ignored for the moment in favor of healthful rest and the promise of the spontaneous holiday to come.