Despite what some of his friends might believe, Courfeyrac can be both tactful and discreet. He hadn’t asked any questions when Marius
had shown up at his door asking for a bed, and hadn’t made a single ribald joke
(despite the provocation). Marius had taken the offer of a shared bed without
complaint – further proof that something was wrong.
Courfeyrac’s bed is narrow enough that even with Marius
curled up as tight against the edge Courfeyrac can still feel him shiver and
hear his uneven breaths. Courfeyrac wants to tell him that it’s alright, that
whatever has happened he’s safe now and that Courfeyrac will make sure its so.
But even if that were true, it would be the wrong thing to say. Marius isn’t a
child, and he bristles at anything that seems like sympathy.
Instead, he gently throws and arm across Marius’ shoulders
and chest and pulls him in closer towards the center of the bed. Marius goes
still, but at least he isn’t shivering any longer.
“It’s cold,” says Courfeyrac – softly, because Marius’ ear
is only inches from his mouth, and perhaps because of the superstitious sense
that one loud sound would be enough to send Marius back into the snowy night. “If
you come under the blankets we’ll both be warmer.”
“Oh,” says Marius. He relaxes a little – is Marius ever
truly relaxed? – and leans ever so slightly in towards Courfeyrac. “Yes, that –
that makes sense. If you like.”
“Thank you,” says Courfeyrac. He leaves his arm where it is,
and Marius doesn’t ask him to move it. Marius breathing grows steadily softer
until at last it drifts into the shallow rhythm of sleep.