Title: The Colour Page
Fandom: Les Miserables - All Media Types
ABC是Association for Based Creations的缩写（凑缩写而已 反正就是个同人组织）. Enjolras作为ABC的首领是那个提出要搞ao3的人。Grantaire是fandom顾问。俩人就一起工作争吵
It was even kind of cruel when you walked out of a comic con and went home. The fantasy and amazing worlds were all behind you, and you just had to go back to the normal and dull reality which was so incomplete and full of injustice, sadness and prejudice. At lesast, that was what Enjolras felt as he drove down the street with Combeferre and Courfeyrac.
Courfeyrac was even more excited than yesterday, the opening of this comic con, talking about all the actors and actress and cosers he had met. Combeferre looked a little tired, so he just nodded and smiled while listened mindlessly with his phone in his hand. They were almost home and it was over 12:30.
“I even met Eponine.” Courfeyrac said again, and finally, Enjolras decided to respond to that so he could at least skip to the next fanfic author he loves.
“I saw you two talk.” he said as he stopped and waited for the green light.
“Oh I want to fuck her.”
“You want to fuck every fanfic author you like.”
“Whatever you say, Enjolras, you are the one who has the least sexual experience in this car and I’ve already got her number.”
“She gave you number because she thought you as a reader.”
Enjolras found himself boring enough to even notice what an overwhelmed Courfeyrac had said. He suppressed the desire to fight back on this meaningless topic, and the desire to say some cons about the “least sexual experience” thing.
He blamed the psychological gap after the past two days.
“We also talked some serious stuff though, which is really weird in a comic con.”
Combeferre looked up from his phone and tossed an questionary look to Courfeyrac.
“Well, we started with the mericora’s post about legitimacy of fanfics, and she listed over 20 reasons why the fanfics are legal, from the huge reader group to some cites from copyright law. And that was the exact moment when I know I would fuck her.”
This brought a few thoughtful minutes to the three of them, before Combeferre broke the silence.
“No.” he replied to his phone, “I will fuck her.”
Courfeyrac nearly chocked by his tongue, looking totally frightened. It was the first time their sexual preferences conflicted, definitely because Combeferre chose not to think about anyone Courf wanted.
Enjolras drove into their parking pot, and offed the engine. They got out of the car and went upstairs to their own rooms while he noticed that Courfeyrac had been quiet for astonishingly two and a half minutes. He opened his room door, then looked back to see the two Cs both standing there waiting for him. Courfeyrad sighed.
“I can hear you planning something, Enj.”
Enjolras nodded, matter-of-factly: “We need an archive of our own.”
Most of the people involved in fanfic writing had the couscous to remain anonymous, not only because people actually didn’t want to pour too much personal informations into the internet even though they spent much more time on it, but also, there was a common sense that fanfics were very likely to be illegal.
Enjolras hated the thoughts about it.
His most interested field was Star Trek. He even tried to write himself, ended up with struggling out more than 5 short stories over the past 10 years, then decided to only be a reader. When 11-year-old little Enjolras first watched Star Trek, he was totally amazed by its progressiveness. In Star Trek, civilizations varied fiercely, societies respected different cultural backgrounds, and women held social positions of equal importance with men. Beyond its imagination and sci-fi theme, Star Trek lined out a future Enjolras wanted for years.
So, assumably, even though he knew there were a lot of writers focusing more on the bromance between Kirk and Spock, he believed that people just had the right to do so. Courfeyrac was one of his best mates and he was a bisexual (or a pansexual, more accurately). Joly no-doubly prefer male although he had never bothered to officially confirm it. If fangirls liked Kirk and Spock together when they wrote their own stories, there should be no law stepping in.
It was all about right and freedom. Like mericora said in her post on LJ, fanfics were some kind of transformative works of non-profit.
The not-for-profit part was essential.
Enjolras didn’t want people to think themselves illegal while doing something definitely their rightful rights. So he stepped out of his room wearing his red pajama and knocked Courfeyrac’s door.
It was 7:30 in the morning, Courfeyrac swore something loudly inside but opened the door instantly, as it could be no one but Enjolras.
“I need Eponine’s number.”
“Don’t go too far with your filthy mind. I need it for a serious purpose.”
Courfeyrac blinked. His mind recalled something automatically before he could properly think.
“Archive of our own.” he blurted out dryly.
“Glad you still remember.”
“How the hell does this link to Eponine’s number?”
“Obviously I think she is a suitable candidate to start this thing with.” Enjolras was running out of patience, “I want a website, or not only a website, where people can share their transformative works freely with those having the same interests. It’s like fanfiction.net but more than that. More organized and a easier access to download.”
Courfeyrac just stared.
“Well, I need some raw ideas and a discussion with someone who is a writer.”
“Whatever.” Courfeyrac looked defeated. He went in his room and fetched a pencil and piece of paper, “There, it’s the number you want. And just tell me to do anything necessary when you need me on this ‘archive of our own’, dear leader-in-red.”
“I am going to.” Enjolras took the piece of paper with Eponine’s number on it.
And, he thought as Courfeyrac shut the door, it is quite a good name.
The curtain that Grantaire never bothered to close of course couldn’t prevent the annoying sunlight from waking him up. He swore and struggled back to sleep like every noon, and finally sat up on his misery bed getting dressed like every noon.
He especially didn’t want to wake this time, because he dreamt a dream in which Marvel released a new series about “Wine Bottle”, who was a god-level hot superhero.
To be honest, he once imagined himself to be a cynic in 19 century Paris, with a wine bottle forever in either his right or left hand (the other holding a painting brush). He thought he would prefer wine at that time, while he preferred beer and vodka in modern age.
But the painting things would never change.
He glanced at the fanart he had done last night while walking to the bathroom. It was a scene he had in his subconscious for nearly a month, about Doctor and Master, drifting in the universe.
Almost the whole canvas was covered by different degrees and kinds of blue, among the blue there was stars and a TARDIS. It looked firstly cold and lonely, then, if focusing on the TARDIS, you could find some curved spaces and timelines of warm yellow.
The two, the very last two, only had each other in the massive endless universe. And that was enough.
Grantaire washed his face with random thoughts bumping in and fading out of his mind. He barely remembered having a class to attend two hours ago. Well, for the students majoring in art, courses were relatively less important while the final work took a larger part of the grade.
As for him, it was not a bad idea to finish up a fanart which looked not that like a fanart and handed it over by the end of the term.
Phone was always filled with notifications when he checked it every noon. Sometimes there would be countless appraises on his blog, about the fanart he posted recently. And there would be some news about his friends, mostly from Joly and Eponine.
Only rarely, Courfeyrac sent him messages not only directly but also before 11 am, which was Grantaire’s early-get-up time and Courf’s a-little-late-get-up time.
Even more seldom, Courfeyrac sent him a link at 9 am in the morning.
He sighed, and opened the link. Either there was something really terrible happened in this world, concerning all of them, or, there was something about Enjolras.
The goddamn adorable leader who sleep 2 am in the night just like Grantaire, but get up earlier than 7 am in the morning.
Enjolras was a mystery for him. How could someone sleep only 5 hours a day? And unfortunately, Grantaire liked mysteries. He liked things that were overwhelming.
The link was a website, made of deep red and white, neat and organized like what Enjolras would like. He didn’t notice the title because it seemed like a very strange name. But the purpose and function of this website was not hard to be seen. Grantaire understood it few seconds later. It was a website for fandoms.
He knew fandoms, a lot, he watched all the movies and tv series and read all the comics. He knew fandom works as well, and was the first group of fanfiction.net and livejournal users years ago. Eponine messaged him first because he painted a fanart for one of her most popular novellas. That was how their friendship began.
Whatever Courfeyrac wanted from him, he was already involved because the website could be easily telled to be Enjolras’s another masterpiece.
Grantaire indeed protested. He ordered pizza and then modified the Doctor/Master fanart, carefully took a picture of the fanart before posting it on the internet.
At about 3 pm, he grabbed his phone and texted Courfeyrac.
What you fabulous people want from me this time?
Courfeyrac must had been waiting for him all day. He replied him instantly with a huge smiley face.
XDDDDD! you wake up finally!
I woke up 3 hours ago.
Before he could tossed his phone on his bed again, Courf called in.
“What the hell you are calling me!” Grantaire shouted in frustration dramatically, “ You know I am not capable of talking to people!”
“Oh, my poor R, you really don’t want to do anything connected to Enj, do you?”
Grantaire could picture Courf’s thoroughly pleased face because of his misfortune.
“What is he doing, again?”
“The website, obviously. Actually he picked up the name I firstly used. I didn’t think he could make it seven weeks ago although I literally wavered because he is Enjolras. But when we finished it…R, it’s amazing!”
Grantaire tried so hard to catch up: “It is a fandom web. Do he knows that it is a fandom web?”
“Of course. He did it. No, not really. He searched me, Combeferre, Jehan, Marius and Bossuet. We three did a good frame work, Jehan responded for the typesetting and Bossuet the code. Oh, Marius. Marius invested it.”
Grantaire was still not able to catch up. He felt rather confused. Enjolras was always doing things, that was not a surprise. Enjolras wrote some fanfics before, which he never let others read it ever since. So the fandom part should not be a surprise as well.
He had quietly attended their meetings since his first year in this university.
“You haven’t brought it to the meetings.” he added before Courfeyrac could say anything, “It’s been over a month and you don’t see it as a Les Amis thing and — dose Enjolras really know that fandom websites are always full of romantic stories between characters rather than serious sequels of the original work?”
Courfeyrac chocked by his laugh: “I think he knows well enough, R.”
“Then what do you want from me.”
“We need someone to test the system, someone creates and appreciates fan works. We are calling this person ‘fandom consultant’, who can give us practical and useful advices that would really help.”
“And you think I am suitable.”
“He thinks you are perfectly suitable. You’ve been into this for so long and you know almost all the fandoms. You built great reputation in this circle already.”
Grantaire wanted to argue. It was kind of amazing that however conveyed, ideas from Enjolras could always provoke him. But he found himself not wanting to ruin it this time. Honestly, he was more than willing to do things like this, things he would really enjoyed.
“R, I’m not intended to interfere your decision and Combeferre tried to warn me that due to the ‘feelings’ you are processing you may not agree to do it. But I know you would like it. We know you would like it. There is no one else better…”
“I will do it.”
Courfeyrac sounded relieved instantly and started to blurt out nonsense. Grantaire knew Courf was not happy for the website but for him. They might not be very close if comparing to the two Cs and Enjolras, the triangle. But they were friends, no doubly.
“Just, don’t punch me too hard if I ruined your sweet Enj’s ambition.” he smiled to the phone, “You know I can’t help myself doing it.”
“No, I’d rather you do. I enjoyed watching you two quite a lot. There is some…intensely twitching sexual tension every time.”
“I wank on those memories daily.” Grantaire said dryly.
“Me and Joly have already written a fanfic for you two.” Courfeyrac grinned.
“What do you think of it?” Enjolras asked when Grantaire put a bottle near his mouth.
He blinked, forgot to continue and drink. The triangle were debating about legitimacy again. Although they never doubted it, they had to find a way to make the website entirely safe.
“I think you’ve done enough.”
Enjolras frowned, started to say something backwards, then suddenly Grantaire didn’t want to hear it.
“You invited me as a fandom consultant, not a counsel. I know nothing about law, so I can only judge it in a general way. And I think that’s already enough. You’re the ones who are defending the legitimacy, at least have faith on it.” Grantaire paused and drank, “I’m just…please indulge me by not intendedly pulling me into this subject anymore. It feels awkward.”
“You agreed to do this.”
“You asked me to.”
It was very ridiculous to require a positiveness from him. He was happy do join in the archive-of-our-own thing but there had never been a normality of him when facing Enjolras. Combeferre and Courfeyrac and everyone else knew and were okay with that, while Enjolras didn’t.
He fucking foresaw this.
“I’m sorry.” he said abruptly, “Just go on your subject and leave me alone.”
Enjolras definitely wanted to comment on this but controlled himself successfully. Grantaire knew he couldn’t blame Enjolras because he didn’t know.
Surprisingly, Enjolras changed the subject to the next one, which was “a more distinctive characteristic”. They had already have most of the necessary functions of a fandom website. Users could directly download the work they like on the main page of a fanfic. They provided formats of pdf, html and doc, which were automatically created when a work was uploaded and posted.
“I can’t ensure the stability of the doc format.” Bossuet shook his head, “There’re too much problems about different versions of Microsoft Word.”
“Then we could just remove it. The website should feels perfect and easy to use, we provide doc whenever the code is thoroughly completed.” Combeferre suggested.
Enjolras looked at Bossuet for a permission, then nodded: “Okay, we remove it.”
“And if possible, add epub.”
Enjolras was not expecting and a little surprised by Grantaire’s joining. He had to admit that it is a good proposal. It reminded him Grantaire was the most experienced user in this room. He was surprised because Grantaire were being really prospective.
“Don’t look at me like this, Apollo. I may not be comfortable working with you, but alcohol and fandom smooth me. I do have a brain, to your astonishment.” Grantaire toasted on him, “And one more thing, I’ve been thinking of it for days. Please at least give your website a nick name, for remembrance and introducing, if you’re not intended to change it.”
Enjolras just thought, then nodded: “What’s your suggestion then?”
Grantaire was going to feel sick and strange because everyone was waiting for him to say something.
“Is that too weird?” he retreated, “Archive of Our Own, AO3.”
Joly blinked rapidly at him, Grantaire waited for whatever he was going to shout out.
“R, you are brilliant! That is brilliant!”
He knew this, he knew this whole thing would go completely wrong like this eventually.
“Just saying.” he murmured and shifted, trying to get rid of the embarrassment.
Enjolras didn’t comment or argue on this, so he was impressed too. Grantaire wanted to look up to see what expression the blondie was wearing, but he wouldn’t dare. He was always brilliant in front of his friends, while never dared to be brilliant in front of Enjolras.
General Enjolras didn’t say anything and led the meeting on. Ninety minutes later, Grantaire was drunk and drained, suffering from both tiredness and thrill.
He couldn’t tell what exactly happened after the meeting. Part of him wondering how could his friends let him go home alone like this when the cold and wet wind blowed him to sober.
A cold wind was particularly unwelcome when it was wet as well. Those winds would tear one’s bone apart, freeze the mind and kill the pathetic little hope inside. Grantaire could never fight against them.
He looked up to the night sky, then looked down, then looked aside to find Enjolras walking with him.
“What the fu—?!”
Enjolras, startled a little, was studying him. The expression on that perfect lined face suggested that Enjolras started to catch up with his logic.
“So you recognise me,” he seemed relieved, “which means you’re soberer now.”
Although relieved, Enjolras still looked worried. Grantaire stared him for a moment and burst out laughing: “You must be kidding me, Apollo. Are you worrying about me? You can’t be worried about me.”
“Why can’t I?”
“Because I said so.”
“And I’m always doubting you, you know.”
That argument made sense to Grantaire.
They remained silent for a while, then Enjolras seemed decided to talk to him.
He tried, and sighed.
“I don’t how much you listened afterwards, anyway, we discussed about some characteristics of AO3. One of them is called ‘kudos’, which could be given when the reader thinks this work worth a praise. It kind of…reflects how good a work is.”
“Really good one. Then other readers can refer to it.”
They fell back into silence again. The wind was softer as they turned to the street where Grantaire lives.
There was 150 feet remained. Then 100, 80, 60, 50…10.
Enjolras stopped first. He turned to look Grantaire right into the eyes.
“Well, R, if working with me is that hard for you, then don’t push yourself.” he said even softly.
Grantaire didn’t know what to say. He liked it when Enjolras used his nickname. The night and alcohol made him even more intended to be honest to himself, so he admitted that he actually wanted to be with Enjolras, however painful it would be.
“Your judgement has never been wrong.” he said finally.
Grantaire smiled, because Enjolras didn’t even try to deny it: “So you were not wrong about me, about me suitable for a work like this. I like it when people dig out new possibilities of a character. I want to serve the people who can do that.”
“So do I.” Enjolras stepped back a little, “I want this website to be a good thing, to people, to us. If you think all these worth it, then tolerate me and don’t throw your sentiment to your innocent friends anymore.”
The reality fell back on Grantaire again, but he was glad. He eventually felt less illusive. He hated illusion because he was already impractical enough.
“Please enjoy it.” Enjolras said, before he turned and walked away.
His Apollo was indeed infectious. Grantaire could find some urge to make AO3 better deeply inside of him. Unbelievable. It was like…gravity. And with that he knew which was upside and which was another.
Red, he liked red. The website was made mostly of red.
He had a good taste.
Sleeping less than five hours gave Enjolras a gift called night time. It felt like the world was observed every night by him. He gathered informations for unknown upcoming reasons. He needed to see, because he needed to know, because he wanted to see the future. Was there really a luciferous tomorrow, or what else should be done to achieve one?
Enjolras preferred tea than caffeine. He relied so much on the nights, when people stopped for a brief moment, leaving another day behind. He could taste how everybody lived in the past few days, to know what they would be like the next morning.
Eponine posted another chapter of her new fanfic yesterday. It was in alternate universe, a modern setting. The story was about spies and codes based on Merlin. Arthur Pendragon was the king of Britain and Merlin was sent to be his servant as a spy, working for a faked country named Blessland. Blessland, under control of sorceries, wanted to restore its position as the governor of Europe, as the first step to take down the whole world.
She had an unlimited talent of implying stories. Enjolras could tell the trace of Greek mythology twisting beautifully with ideas from Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. She would definitely make a fortune simply by selling some original stories, but she dedicated her talent into fan works. Enjolras respected that.
His phone buzzed, a text from Marius.
oh my god do you know her
Enjolras thought of all the informations in his head, and he couldn’t make Marius any sense. He unlocked his phone and was going to text Marius back, while the phone buzzed again with another text from that somehow frantic boy.
im sorry but i want all of you to know so i mass texted it
He frowned, and aborted typing.
Almost a minute later, another text bumped in.
thanks joly she’s definitely not a ghost and…oh maybe she is but a very fair one. i just saw her on the book-sighing this afternoon, her name is Cossette. yes the rising star who wrote One Day More. can you believe it? i mean, she smiled at me sweetly and we talked for four minutes and she ASKED MY NUMBER. R i think i need some wine thanks for offering.
Enjolras soon lost his interest, although he was wholeheartedly happy for his friend. It was very obvious that Cossette was interested as well, Marius had enough reason to mass text all his friend because he fell in love so quickly and mutually.
That was a good thing, that was very rare. That kind of love was a miracle in this world.
He was brought to a lighthearted mood. The news page now seemed dull to him. So he closed the web page and picked his phone.
Marius must be busy texting back everyone now, so he hesitated on the contracts. Combeferre slept early, Courfeyrac must be texting Marius. Bossuet and Joly and Jehan…it may literally startle them if receive a non-purpose text from him.
He chose Grantaire.
He started with a capital R and deleted it. Different subjects flew through his mind and he would be so regret later because he used the worst one.
It’s not good for one’s health to drink so late.
Enjolras waited and waited until he lost his patience. He lost his patience frequently. There were always things waiting for him, so he just left his phone on the desk and went to the book shelf on the right side of his room.
Voltaire was good. Voltaire thought. The roughness and loneliness of a Russian stuck there like needle and bone. Enjolras forced himself into Voltaire for over ten minutes. Then he couldn’t hold himself back from reaching for his phone anymore.
There were messages. He must had missed the buzzes because of Voltaire.
sorry i just wasn’t expecting that. so you also heard about marius? i dont know. do you think it a good thing?
okay. if you dont want to talk to me or you was intended to send it to marius and chose the wrong num from ur contacts, its alright
The last text was from thirteen minutes ago and Enjolras panicked. He hadn’t panicked even when he was nearly sent to prison and he panicked for missing some massages he had waited for.
Grantaire’s last message stung. It was full of retreat and self-doubting and…pain. Enjolras felt terribly sorry for letting his friend down. He didn’t even know how but Grantaire seemed started to value his contact all of a sudden.
He sent back a message as swiftly as he could.
Sorry, I was reading. Voltaire. Yes I think it is great for Marius
He paused, thought of what to say, and kept going.
Do you think it is good for AO3 to category works based on fandoms and relationships?
The waiting was not that long this time. Grantaire should be checking his message occasionally.
yeah, of course. and tags, maybe. maybe sorting and filtering works by tags
Enjolras widened his eyes by reading this suggestion. Grantaire understood his idea really, really good. How could he never thought of this before?
Tell me a way to praise you without making you think it perfunctory.
drink with me
Enjolras chuckled because he should have known it.
He didn’t reply. A whole day’s operation finally worked on him. Lying on his bed, he felt content and peace. The past 18 hours were not a waste.
And Grantaire. They exchanged ideas about the website without arguing. He made their friendship closer rather than ruined it again. Grantaire even invited him to a drink. Enjolras knew it wasn't serious but he was satisfied to himself for trying Grantaire on this project, for trying Grantaire on something he liked.
Before he fell asleep, his phone buzzed again. Marius called a party friday night to introduce Cosette to them.
Grantaire had to hand over a painting about “A Floating Air Conditioner” by 8 am in the morning so he skipped sleeping last night. His tutor who created this subject must have a stroking or something. Or, he knew about Grantaire’s fanart trick and was too strict to his student.
To wake in the afternoon was anything but comfort. He opened his eyes seeing a setting sun and a room full of vague grey. People went home from work, with relax and content, being stuck in the traffic. Thick air flew through his lung, bringing exhaust into every cells and vessels. It felt fucking like another century.
There was a reason why Grantaire took every chances to avoid waking up in the afternoon, why afternoon was so inadequate for him.
He moved out of his bed, tried to put on a relatively clean shirt. He pushed to his limit to fight agains the depression brought by the surroundings. Washing his face with cold water and some fresh fruit might be a good idea but as there wasn’t any trace of fruits, he chose wine, the closest one.
Grantaire magically managed to handed over the painting on time. He drew a thin coating drifting in god know where within which there was full of happiness and warmth, surrounded by some remote and furious images. That painting was not bad, he knew it, and he tried to create satisfaction to himself by recalling it in his memory. But that didn’t work, so he fetched and checked his phone, swearing.
Nothing happened. No war broke out during the last eight hours. No one died. No one called him except Eponine.
Eponine called him every day.
He dialed her number by sheer memory. The routine must be done otherwise he wouldn't know how to start his day. First thing, alcohol, secondly, Eponine, who always picked up his phone within 10 seconds.
“You worked late last night and woke up in the afternoon, didn’t you? And you are drinking now.”
Eponine sounded anxious.
“It’s too early.”
It was too early for her being anxious.
“What? You told me that waking up in the afternoon once caused a panic attack on you and now I’m on my way to your flat because I care about you and you tell me it’s too early?!”
“No, I didn’t mean it. I…well, I admit that I’m drinking and depressed but today feels… okay.” Grantaire looked guiltily at the wine bottle in his hand, “Thank you, ‘Ponine, it’s very sweet of you to check me every day in case I committed suicide with loneliness and rums and wines and vodka.”
Eponine hang up right after that and Grantaire knew there was something wrong about her. She literally asked his condition, possibly to make sure if his condition was qualified enough to help her.
There was a guy, Marius Pontmercy, who grew up with Eponine but in a totally different social rank. Eponine’s father earned his living running an inn, a very small and filthy one. Most of the customers were tourists visiting Rosol Abbey, which was Pontmercys’ property. Grantaire could understand Eponine’s affection (even infatuation) to that Pontmercy boy. And he do understand him to only regard Eponine as a endearing friend. He and Marius even made friend to each other. That boy was too enthusiastic about everything.
He didn’t blame him, until he found Marius’ acquaintance with Enjolras.
If Eponine was running to her best friend so helplessly, then Grantaire could at least expect some news about Marius.
He sighed, burying his face in his hands.
He felt sorry and sad for Eponine already.