Oh but what if this is the other way round? What if Athelstan is his first regeneration? And he sits, and he drinks with this man, this leader whom he admires despite their differences. And he finds that alcohol has a numbing quality, a certain forgetfulness he sometimes needs. He casts the thought aside until the times are darker and he feels alone in the world.
And when he is reborn, he knows what to do when the times are dark. He reaches for the bottle, the one thing he knows would save him: the one thing to rely upon. A certainty.
And there is another leader, harsh, ruthless, charming. Only this one is less rugged, more effeminate, yet still just as terrible in the face of danger. Loyal. True to his comrades. And the dark haired man, Grantaire, remembers times before France, when he knew a rugged man with the same determination, and the same blue eyes. Equally unattainable.
“Enjolras, will you drink with me?”
Athelstan: This is the worst vacation ever!
Ragnar: Is it because we tried to sacrifice you?
Athelstan: No, it’s because it’s a little humid– YES IT’S BECAUSE YOU TRIED TO SACRIFICE ME!
why Athelnar is canon
• ragnar sails all the way back to england to find athelstan
he has dreams about athelstan like all the time
he asks athelstan to join him in bed TWICE
athelstan left england despite his position and importance with king ecbert to go live with ragnar again
because holding and stoking hands
because he tried his best to give him a christian funeral
ragnar gave up his religion and his chance of being reunited with his friends and family in valhalla and demanded that he be baptised so that he could be reunited with athelstan in heaven