Like a vine to a trellis, Grantaire seizes on all the support he will never have on his own. For his every weakness, Enjolras has strength, for every vice a virtue: he counters drunkenness with sobriety, cynicism with belief, unspeakable lusts with chastity. Grantaire can never hope to be him, but he can admire him from afar.

One night, to his shock, he finds Enjolras crumpled up at the table after a meeting, whispering, "I can't."

"Drink," he says, an offer he's made a thousand times, "you'll feel better." And Enjolras, to Grantaire's great shock, accepts the absinthe and drains it with a grimace.

"You know what it's like to doubt," Enjolras says hoarsely. "Does it ever stop hurting?"

Grantaire does not answer, but takes his idol into his arms and presses a kiss to the marble forehead. Enjolras, the mist of the green fairy already clouding his eyes, looks up and kisses him fiercely on the mouth, clinging to him for comfort. Grantaire, bewildered, accepts the kisses and the desperation and the taste of the alcohol on Enjolras' breath.

The next morning, his Apollo does not shine half so brightly anymore. Grantaire keeps drinking, and looks away.