By the time they reached the jail Enjolras had sunk as far as he could into the corner of the carriage. His side burned and he was sure that several of the stitches had pulled loose when the men and tossed him in. He avoided eye contact with the two guards who sat glaring in his direction and merely sunk deeper and deeper into the corner.
Finally the horses stopped and the men dragged the revolutionary out and all but threw him into the dark cell. Javert stopped outside of it, icy blue eyes holding something untold. He motioned for the guards to leave.
"Your little insurrection has cost more than you will ever know." Javert said coldly. "But don't worry, you won't have long to feel self recrimination, and you'll have...company soon."
"Go to hell." Enjolras said evenly.
"Too hot for my tastes," the inspector answered with a ghost of a smile.
Enjolras watched the man leave, his blue eyes finally closing half way as he sank to the filthy ground, not caring about it. He leaned his shoulder against the bars and his head just a little higher. A sigh escaped him and everything was lost to darkness.
At Valjean's home, the misfit group had gathered in the sunroom that overlooked the gardens. Grantaire paced, from the window to the edge of the chair Eponine was sitting and back again. Marius and Cosette sat on the couch, her slender fingers clasped tightly in his. Joly sat on the windowsill and glared at Grantaire, whom he had asked to stop pacing at least four times. Valjean stood next to the young medical student and started out into the gardens, lost in thought.
"There must be something we can do!" Grantaire finally exclaimed. "We sit all this time and think of nothing? They will execute him, and the won't wait long to do it."
"They'll make a show of it," Marius mused. "For future revolutionaries. To frighten people. If we can get him out before that..."
"But then they'll arrest you," Cosette whispered.
"Not if we do it quietly," Eponine murmured. "We can't let him sit and rot in jail!"
"He'll never have time to rot." Grantaire said. "I won't let him die as a sacrifice for the rest of us. I agreed to die with him, and for him, but I don't remember ever agreeing for him to take that burden from us." he said, looking at Marius.
"I agree," the younger man said quietly, standing. "Joly?"
The medical student was shaking slightly. "What can we do?"
"We need a distraction," Eponine said quickly. "Monsieur Grantaire, could you provide that? If so... I can pick a good lock."
Grantaire grinned. "I think I like the brains on this girl. I think I can muster enough noise to draw attention, yes. Marius, you go in with her and help get carry him back out -those bastards probably reopened his wounds- and I think we can pull it off." He glanced at Valjean. "We will have to run. I doubt the good inspector will consider his promise valid once we break him out. How will this affect you?"
Valjean looked started with the question suddenly turned on him. "I've lived my whole life running. I have two homes that I've kept rented through the years around Paris, and a home that I was looking to rent in London, though I doubt that Enjolras - nor Marius nor Madmoiselle Eponine - will be fit to travel across the sea. I can provide a house for us to hide away in until we can make it safely out of the country, if that is what you would like to do."
Grantaire looked at Marius. "What do you think?
The young lawyer nodded. "It sounds like the best plan we've had yet. Shall we try for tonight or in the morning?"
"We should get a few hours sleep and try before dawn. They will be busy with the execution preparations, we may have an easier time getting in." Grantaire replied.
Marius nodded. None would sleep, he knew, but it was well worth it to try. They'd need all the strength they could get.
Enjolras didn't know what time it was when the door of the cell was flung open and he didn't bother to look up when to men were thrown into the cell. "Company for ya," the guard slurred, obviously drunk on his late night shift.
He squinted in the darkness, the light coming in from the slit at the top of the cell that passed for a window did nothing to illuminate his new cellmates. One of them remained still on the ground, but the other forced himself to his knees and coughed violently. When the attack had passed, the figure stilled, but Enjolras could feel his was being watched. A quiet voice broke the silence, "My God, Enjolras? Is it really you?"
"Combeferre?" Enjolras gasped. "My word... I thought... Am I dreaming?" He struggled out of his awkward sleeping position and moved closed to his friend. "But Joly said he saw everyone fall!"
"We were both shot, but not fatally," Combeferre said, his voice trembling. "I told him to lie still, I thought perhaps if they thought we were dead they would leave us and we could escape...but they kicked me and I could not help...Courfeyrac tried to come to my aid. It was the end for us both."
"My word," Enjolras breathed. "I'm so sorry, Combeferre... If I'd known... If only I'd known... Marius wanted to go back but Joly said he'd seen everyone fall. Even little Gavroche." Anger began to seep into the blond man's voice. "He was only a child. A little boy and they shot him dead." He paused, his mind reeling around the fact, then his eyes moved to Courfeyrac. "How is he? And you? You said you were both shot."
"Mine's in the shoulder, I think it may have chipped the bone, damn painful little thing. Courfeyrac got one in the leg...but he's got a fever. They wouldn't let me have water for him." the doctor said softly. "He's been unconscious for about two hours now."
"Bastards," Enjolras growled. "The least they could do..." He stood suddenly, his eyes taking on an angry blaze as he hollered at the guard on duty. "You! Yes, you. Is it too much to bring an injured man water?"
The guard leaned against the bars and stared at him. "Water?" he echoed.
"Yes," Enjolras answered, his patience strained.
"You want water for an injured man?"
The blond straitened his shoulders and held his head high. "That's what I said."
The guard's dark eyes narrowed. "What, for that one there on the ground?"
"Yes!" Enjolras growled, agitation creeping into his voice.
"Fine." The guard disappeared, and was back a moment later with a cup of water. He opened the door of the cell and strode forward. He shoved Combeferre out of the way with his free hand, and turned Courfeyrac over so he was lying on his back.
Enjolras felt his stomach turn to knots. Good intentions were not to follow, he was sure.
The guard tipped Courfeyrac's head back, and the young student began to stir. He opened Courfeyrac's mouth before glancing up at the two of them. "Water for the injured man," he sneered. He pinched Courfeyrac's nostrils shut and forced the water into his mouth. Combeferre lunged at him.
Enjolras was right behind him, anger burning in his blue eyes. All pain in his own body was forgotten as he and Combeferre caught the guard unprepared and had him on the ground before anyone knew what was going on. "How dare you?" Enjolras hissed.
The guard punched Enjolras in the face, sending him stumbling backwards, and elbowed Combeferre who also fell away. He pulled himself up and kicked Courfeyrac viciously. "You think you were the only ones who lost friends? Comrades? You think you were the only righteous ones on that battlefield?" he demanded. He dumped what little water was left over his victim. "None of you can die soon enough for me." he said, locking the cell door behind him.
"It is not we who will rot in hell for our crimes on earth," Enjolras growled between clenched teeth. "The monarchy will fall and the people will rise."
The young man pocketed the keys to the cell and smiled coldly. "What's that? The people will rise? From what, their graves? I don't hear any singing, leader. All I hear is the people wailing and dying." He walked away.
Enjolras flung himself at the bars, rattling them and a cry of anger dying in his throat before sounding. He sunk to the grimy floor and turned his back to the jailers. "How is he?" he asked quietly, motioning to Courfeyrac.
Combeferre eased his friend to rest against his good shoulder so he could breathe more easily. Courfeyrac was taking shallow, shaky breaths, and he clutched feebly to Combeferre's jacket. "Easy, easy, my friend, it's over. It's over," the doctor whispered.
"Why don't they just... kill us and be done with it?" Courfeyrac murmured, his voice shaking as badly as he was.
"Hush. Just rest. We'll think of something." Combeferre replied. He looked at Enjolras. "Will anyone come for us?" he whispered.
"I... no. Not if they listened to me. I expected to be the only one here."
Combeferre laughed softly. "If Marius is alive, then he will come."
"He's alive, but..."
"That would spoil things, wouldn't it?" Javert's voice sounded from outside the cell and caused both fully conscious men to jump. "It would be such a shame for our deal to have to be off, Monsieur Enjolras, but if they come..."
"He will not. They will not. They won't risk it just for me." Enjolras said firmly. "You might want to have a word with your guards. If you want us to live long enough to execute, we probably shouldn't be murdered in our cell."
"The little water incident? Yes, he will be reprimanded. But you know that National Guard you killed? That was his friend."
"And that National Guard was ready to kill my friends. I had no choice," Enjolras argued.
"You placed your friends in that position. What else was he to do?" Javert snapped.
"Understood that the king is not God and that the people suffer beneath him!"
"God? The king is not God and you are called Apollo, are you not? A god among your followers? Hard to condescend when you cause suffering among your people as well."
"We fought for a cause!"
"And a noble idea at that. But that's all it is. An idea, a dream, you never had any hope of winning over what has already been established."
"Others will rise up. You're only making us martyrs by killing us now."
"Don't flatter yourself. All those who might have tried again died or will die with you."
"You're fooling yourself, Inspector. People long for freedom. It's human."
"Oh, don't worry. You'll have your freedom soon enough, and anyone like you."
Enjolras felt as if he might shudder at the sound of the other man's tone, but turned his back to him instead. It was pointless to batter back and forth with the steadfast inspector. Now he needed to focus on Combeferre and Courfeyrac.
Courfeyrac had passed out again, his breathing still uneven. Combeferre looked at Enjolras with tired eyes. "I need supplies..." he murmured. He shook his head, as if to tell himself not to think of what might be done to save each other.
Enjolras sighed and took a seat next to him. "It'll be over soon," he murmured darkly. "For what it's worth, I'm sorry that all of this has happened to you and to the others. None of you deserved this."
"Don't apologize. We all came to the table for our own reasons. We are given what time is permitted to us, and not more. There is nothing any of us can do to change that."
Enjolras nodded, taking the words for truth. He moved himself so that he could lean against the wall and did so, eyes lulling shut. Exhaustion had returned and the pain in his side flared again. He knew that if they weren't put to death soon all of them would die of their injuries and infection. How could they not in this environment? "Thank you," he murmured as he felt himself drifting towards sleep.
Combeferre smiled sadly, and held Courfeyrac a little tighter.
It was nearing dawn when Enjolras woke next. He could have sworn he heard a voice familiar to him. A drunken slur that he would have known anywhere. A dream, he was sure, until he heard the guard's raised voice.
"You there! Get away from here!" the guard yelled. Enjolras listened closely and heard his footsteps fade, and then the second guard's follow. He narrowed his eyes. Surely they wouldn't be so foolish as too...
"What? Can't a man 'ave a drink and not be...yelled at for it?" A loud hiccup punctuated the loud complaint. "It's not like...I 'aven't earned a drink now and then. You know what I mean? Everyone deserves a drink...now and then..."
"Have your drink elsewhere or you'll be tossed in with the rest of them!" the guard yelled.
Enjolras stirred a bit more, fully awake now. It was Grantaire's voice! He looked over to Combeferre to see he and Courfeyrac were sleeping fitfully in the other corner. The blond eased his way over to them and shook Combeferre awake. "Listen," he said in a low voice.
"What do you mean with the rest of them?" Grantaire bellowed, if anything increasing his volume. "What, with the rest of France? Surely you know wine is the only affordable thing 'round here." he slurred. "You can't tell me...as self-respecting men you've never 'ad a little too much to drink? Or maybe you aren't men at all." He taunted.
Enjolras rolled his eyes, and was startled the next instant to hear rattling at the door of their cell. "Eponine!" he hissed. "What are you doing here?"
She gave him a dirty look. "Having a party." She said mildly. "I'm picking the lock, what does it sound like to you?"
"You fool," he grumbled. "You should be resting, not here in this place! I didn't go with them to have you all guillotined next to me!"
She gazed at him with a look of feigned innocence on her face. "Would they do that? We hadn't thought of that. What, with all this sneaking around and making a distraction." she said, rolling her eyes. "Now be quiet." she commanded.
"You're the girl that came after Marius," Combeferre murmured as recognition set in.
"I am, now you hush too." With those words off her lips the door finally jingled open and a smile lit her face. "Come on! All of you!"
"Can you get Courfeyrac out?" Enjolras asked the doctor.
"I can." Marius said softly, suddenly appearing behind Eponine.
Combeferre smiled. "It's good to see you, my young friend."
Eponine turned her head. "Quickly! Grantaire cannot hold them off much longer."
They shuffled the unconscious man into Marius' arms and Combeferre and Enjolras scurried out as quickly as they could. They moved down halls, twisting and turning, and hearing Grantaire finally throwing up his arms and telling the guards in some rather colourful language that he was done for the night and promptly walked out, leaving the guards the shake their heads in irritation. It was late and the last thing they had wanted was to deal with a drunken man who waltzed right in to them. It was not until Grantaire stumbled - still keeping up his constantly rehearsed and very rarely fake facade - out of the jail area that he ran into his friends. He grinned at Enjolras. "Hey there, Apollo. Enjoy your stay?"
"I think I'll avoid it next time, thank you," the blond said with only a bit of irritation touching his voice.
"Certainly. We'll draw straws to see who plays the martyr next." Grantaire returned. He tried to sound cynical, but the smile on his face ruined the effect.
: A small smile perked Enjolras' lips and he felt Grantaire grip his shoulder. The other man seemed to freeze there. "Combeferre! Courfeyac! You.. How...?"
"We made like dogs and played dead." Combeferre said with a grin of his own. He glanced at Enjolras. "Look, I've made him speechless. Should we celebrate?"
"Perhaps when we're away from all this," their leader murmured and felt the drunkard next to him tightened his grip on his shoulder.
"C'mon," Grantaire said in a surprisingly gentle voice. "We all should get out of here."
Enjolras shook his head. "We can't go back... they'll look there first."
"We know." Eponine said. "We're not going there. Just trust us. Marius knows the way, we'll go by the back streets. We should be safe."
The revolutionary leader nodded, allowing himself to be led down the streets. He hadn't hoped they'd come. He wasn't sure if he'd even wanted them to, but they'd managed to escape... somehow. It seemed to be an eternity before they rounded the last corner and came upon a house in the poorer side of town. It stood, even if barely.
"Second floor," Marius said quietly. He turned to looked back and Combeferre and Enjolras. "Can you both make it?"
"As well as you," the blond man answered.
"I'd expect nothing less." Marius said.
Eponine led the way up the stairs. "M. Valjean? Cosette? It's us..." she called softly.
Cosette was the first at the door. "I was so worried!" she announced with tears in her eyes. She cleared the doorway to allow the men and Eponine clear passage. "Papa and I readied everything... There're more of you."
"Combeferre and Courfeyrac were jailed instead of killed," Enjolras said quietly. He waved Grantaire off as the elder man tried to usher him off to bed. "Give one of them mine. We won't have enough by the looks of this place, though we are thankful for it." He directed the last to Valjean.
"It is an honor." Valjean replied. "There are four beds, and one of you could make use of the couch." He added.
"I'll see if I can find someplace to boil water." Cosette volunteered. Marius caught her hand and squeezed it before she left the room.
Eponine stood to one side, unsure of what to do amongst them.
Enjolras was beside her without her knowing for a moment, his eyes looking steadily down on her. "You should go on to bed before you collapse," he murmured softly.
She jumped slightly, startled by the sound of his voice so close to her. She smiled quickly. "I'm not tired, I assure you. You should let m...Mademoiselle Cosette look at your stitches. I'm sure they weren't gentle."
"She's busy as it is," Enjolras answered in way of waving the matter off. "Won't you rest for a bit? You've done more than your share in this tonight."
"Thank you," she said softly, "for being concerned."
His blue eyes widened slightly. "Why wouldn't I be?"
She ducked her head. "No one..." she shook her head and didn't finish.
Enjolras reached around, touching her face lightly to pull her around to face him. "Your amongst friends now, Eponine."
She gazed up with him, an intensity in her eyes he hadn't seen before. "Thank you." she whispered again. "No one's ever said that before."
His hand lingered against her face for a moment then he pulled it away suddenly, turning away.
Eponine's face fell and she clasped her hands together. "I...I should go find supplies." She turned and nearly fled the room.
Enjolras turned and grasped her wrist before he knew what he was doing, stopping her. "Don't go."
She turned back, her eyes wide and uncertain. She didn't -couldn't- say anything, so she simply stood there, anchored by his gentle hold on her arm.
Enjolras was silent, unsure of his actions for once in his life, as he pulled her closer to him. He let go of her wrist and waited half a moment to see if she'd still run before he moved one slim hand up and gently tucked a loose strand of dark hair behind her ear. "Stay," he murmured softly, not even meaning to.
She turned her face towards his touch. "I will." she replied just as softly, an unspoken promise in her words.
A/N: We're done! For now… Who knows, there may be a sequel someday as there is much to do with it if we choose, but for now here it is.
Caligirl-HPLVR: Sorry for the late update, but now you know what happens! Yay!
AmZ:shudders: please never compare our lovely Enjolras to that imbecile Dean… He's nothing more than a loon that somehow made it Washington and made me laugh with glee when he got elected into a leadership position with the democrats… perhaps he'll take them down even further… one might only hope… (opinions of Takada Saiko, BTW, don't blame Anna-chan for my political obsessions :P ) But yes, Anna-chan did nicely on that little nickname, I do agree. That would be hers :)