|Do You Believe In Nothing?
Author: Daughter of Thranduil PM
An elaboration of Grantaire's failure at the Barriere du Maine. Enjolras can't forgive him for letting him down. PLEASE review!Rated: Fiction K - English - Enjolras & Grantaire - Chapters: 6 - Words: 9,785 - Reviews: 26 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 05-24-06 - Published: 03-04-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2828846
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Enjolras, his normally pallid cheeks tinted by a flush of anticipation, was checking on the preparations with Combeferre and Courfeyrac. They were talking about ammunition with one of the men from the Cougourde when their attention was taken by a loud, drunken voice behind them.
"Oh Luc!" sighed Combeferre sadly. "Please say you didn't!"
But he had.
Grantaire was drunk beyond belief, shouting nonsense at the top of his voice. Men were either staring at him in shock, or laughing at him.
"Why did he come here?" asked Enjolras furiously. "He does not belong here!"
Combeferre looked at Grantaire with eyes that were wells of pity, but Courfeyrac – all his mischievous playfulness gone at this time of action – glared at him angrily. However much he played around at other times, he took this day very seriously.
"Stow it, you wine-cask!" he shouted.
"Grantaire," Enjolras called. "Go and sleep your wine off somewhere else. This is a place for intoxication, but not for drunkenness. Don't dishonour the barricade."
The colour drained from Grantaire's face, and the effects of the alcohol wore off completely. He saw the piteous look he was receiving from Combeferre, the exasperated face of Courfeyrac and Enjolras's glare. He squared his shoulders.
"You know I believe in you."
"Let me sleep it off here."
"Go and sleep it off somewhere else." said Enjolras.
But Grantaire, still regarding him with troubled, gentle eyes, persisted:
"Let me sleep here and, if need be, die here."
Enjolras looked scornfully at him.
"Grantaire, you're incapable of believing or thinking or willing or living or dying."
"You'll see." said Grantaire gravely. "You'll see."
He sat back down at the table near the window, refusing to budge. The others turned away impatiently and, when no one's eyes were on him, Grantaire slid a gleaming carbine from his pocket, cocked it and laid it on his lap beneath the table.
"You will see, Julien." he muttered in a voice unintelligible to the others. "I am capable of so much more than you think!"
And so saying, he laid his head on the table, and succumbed to sleep.
Grantaire knew no more until he was jerked sharply back into consciousness some time later. Looking up, his bleary eyes saw a flash of gold.
Grantaire shook himself. Enjolras was alone – which meant only one thing. The others were dead, for he would have deserted none of them!
'What the hell is he doing?' Grantaire thought in bewilderment.
Enjolras was standing with his back to a wall, making no attempt to defend himself. There were a group of National Guards standing before him with primed muskets and he was not fighting them!
Grantaire was trying to comprehend the situation when he heard Enjolras's voice, as calm and steady as it always was, say two words that carried across the room.
Grantaire sat for a moment, frozen in horror, until he heard the sergeant cry: "Take aim!"
In a moment, all flashed clear in Grantaire's mind. If all the other Amis were dead, then what was the point of staying alive? This was his chance to prove that he did believe; that he was not worthless; that he could stand as tall and proud as all of the others had. He got to his feet and ran across the room.
"Long live the Republic! I am one of them!"
He stood beside Enjolras, who flashed him a glance of bewilderment. His blue eyes showed no disdain – only confusion.
"Might as well kill two birds with one stone," said Grantaire; and then, turning to Enjolras, he added gently. "If you don't mind."
Enjolras clasped his hand and smiled.
And suddenly, nothing mattered to Grantaire. Not his headache; not the horror outside; not the muskets pointing at his chest. Enjolras had smiled at him. Accepted him. Made him feel like someone worthwhile. Everything was alright now…
An earth-shattering explosion sounded in the small café and the two surviving rebels were suddenly pierced by flaming shards of pain. Grantaire grimaced at the pain, but his cry died on his lips as the world went dark around him.
"Where the hell am I?" Grantaire sat up and looked around him.
He was in a garden – a wide green expanse of trees and plants, dotted with stone benches. The sun was shining brightly overhead, warming his face. He could hear birds singing cheerfully.
He passed his hand over his face and looked down at the ground. Enjolras was lying on the ground beside him, his eyes shut, a peaceful expression on his face. The memory of the insurrection flooded back. He was dead. He's been shot by a firing squad.
"Julien, wake up!" Grantaire called softly. Enjolras's eyes snapped open and he sat up quickly. Grantaire smiled softly. Enjolras looked back at him with confusion and gentleness in his eyes.
"You gave up your life for a cause you cared nothing for." he said, his voice soft and uncertain. "After all I said to you. Why?"
"I told you." smiled Grantaire, reaching out to put a hand on the blond's shoulder. "I didn't need to believe in the Republic. All I needed was to believe in you."
"Thank you, mon ami." replied Enjolras, his eyes shining. He held out his hand.
Grantaire, smiling from ear to ear, accepted it and shook it warmly. Mon ami...that was what he had died for!
"Ah! Here they are! We wondered when you two were going to join us!" called a teasing voice suddenly. A voice that only could belong to Courfeyrac.
They shot to their feet and looked round, grins lighting up both their faces, to see eight young men running towards them. Eight young men, whom they recognised at once.
There was Courfeyrac, radiating cheerful mischief, his hair all over the place, with his arm around a beaming Prouvaire. Nearby was a laughing Joly, who was clapping L'Aigle on the back while Combeferre mirrored the gesture, his eyes shining with joy.
Feuilly and Bahorel, yelling like school boys, were bringing up the rear, each with an arm slung around a young man with floppy chestnut hair and green eyes – Claude LeClair; the ami who'd died before they could make their stand.
"You finally got here!" cried Combeferre happily, embracing a somewhat dazed Enjolras, as Bahorel gave Grantaire a hearty clap on the back.
"Where is here exactly?" asked Enjolras.
"A place where there is no injustice, mon ami!" grinned LeClair, shaking his hand.
"A place where we are all united by friendship!" cried Prouvaire happily.
"A place where we are united by our loyalty!" smiled Feuilly. Grantaire and Enjolras shared a meaningful smile.
"Yes," said Enjolras softly. "By loyalty, and because we all believe."