He didn't know what made him open his mouth and sing those words. They were so different, so completely opposite of everything he had said before. Because of that he wasn't really surprised when everyone started looking at him with wide eyes and questioning looks. He completely understood their shock, he was as surprised as they were. And yet, these words, which should have felt so foreign to him, rolled off his tongue easier than anything else he had said to them before.
He sang of life and death. He sang of the thing every woman and man think of, and he sang about his perspective of things. Through his words, his friends finally understood Grantaire and why he acted the way he did. They finally understood why he was always drunk, why he was always sarcastic and pessimistic about everything. After all, hasn't it been said that inside every cynic is a disappointed idealist? And here he was, Grantaire, the disappointed idealist. Because who else could sing of life and death in the way he had sung, if not a man who once thought everything was possible? A man like Grantaire. For even though it seemed like Grantaire didn't care about anything, that wasn't completely true. He wanted to care so much. He wanted to be like all the other friends of the ABC. He wanted to believe in freedom, to have that passion for something so much bigger than you, to be ready to die for something, to be happy to die for something.
And that, he supposed, was the reason he admired and loved Enjolras so much. He was everything Grantaire wanted to be, but just couldn't. He wanted to be able to believe, but he was too much of a realist for that. He was able to see the world in its true light. The world had crushed his idealism to early on. He knew how horrible the world was, and how naïve his friends must be for believing the world cared about them. He wanted to believe so bad, and yet he couldn't. Instead, he spent his life making jokes and drinking, never really commiting himself to anything. That was his way of dulling his senses, his way of slowly dejecting himself from this world. Because if you don't care about anything or anyone, no one can hurt you. And if you don't have any hopes that this world can change, nothing could ever disappoint you.
But he failed. In spite of everything, he still cared about life. He still cared for the world, and a tiny piece of him still believed that the world could be a wonderful place. And he cared about all the students, most of all, about Enjolras. His muse and leader. The one man he could never be like, yet the one thing that gave him hope for the future. And he had lived like that for a long time, fooling everyone, including himself, that he didn't care for anyone or anything. And then came the defining moment. The moment when the students realized everyone had abandoned them. When they realized that they were all alone, and the only thing waiting for them in the morning was death. So when that moment came, what did Grantaire do? All those protective layers of cynicism and sarcasm, everything he had told himself, about how he didn't care for anything, all of that came crumbling down. All that was left was Grantaire, the young man who was scared of the world around him. The young man who was afraid that he had been right all along. That the world really was that horrible place he always said it was. Because even though he had always preached that, a little part of him always hoped that he was wrong. He had started to believe that good things happen, and that there are things in this world that are worth fighting for.
And now here he is, at the barricades. The first time he actually started commiting to something, the first time he actually believed there was something worth fighting for, and this is what happens. The world disappoints him yet again. So now, the only thing left is to sing. Sing about his deepest emotions. Because, why not? Nothing really matters after all. When the sun shines and the new day comes, they will all die. Life is just a lie, just as he had always said it was, and yet he had always hoped it wasn't. There is no reward in the end. No one will remember them, nothing will change. Their death will mean nothing, just as their lives meant nothing. And so, he will sing. He will sing one last time, for his friends, and for Enjolras. He will sing for the people who finally gave him hope that his life could be meaningful. He will sing until the world around him perishes, and everything he is disappears forever.