Title- Desperate Measures
Characters/Pairings- blatantly E/E, featuring any and all of the Amis, including Bahorel who should not have been left out of the musical!
Summary- Enjolras's father has spent years trying to control his son, and he thinks he's finally found a way: arranged marriage. Needless to say, Enjolras is not happy about this, and takes matters into his own hands. Unfortunately, his method of doing so creates an entirely new set of problems. Getting married to a near stranger to avoid a much more unpleasant marriage wasn't what he had in mind, but it's his only viable solution. Shame the girl he's marrying is in love with one of his closest friends...
A/N- This plot is so cracky it's pushing the limits even I will go to. Believe me. I'm aware it's utter crack. I know that. But it was an idea that flatly refused to leave me alone, and if I was going to ever have a moment's peace, I was going to have to write it. I therefore solemnly promise that even though the plot is wholly ridiculous, it will not be in any way arbitrary or contrived if I can absolutely avoid it, and everyone will be as in-character as I am capable of making them.
July 29, 1830
Twenty-one-year-old Antoine Enjolras walked down the Rue Royer-Collard at sunset, his arm slung around the shoulder of his best friend, François Combeferre, carrying a musket in his other hand. Though their grimy faces, disheveled clothing, and slow pace spoke of exhaustion, their broad grins and the slight spring in their step suggested that whatever it was they had expended their energy on had been utterly worth every moment.
Enjolras was the taller of the two, but despite this he looked much younger. His golden hair was pulled back in a queue and his vividly blue eyes were dancing with the adrenaline-filled excitement that keeps men on their feet when all other reserves of energy have been sapped. Combeferre, by contrast, was of that dark complexion common to the southern provinces, his curly brown hair cropped short and his deep brown eyes half-concealed behind a pair of wire-rimmed spectacles.
"This, my friend, has been a glorious day," Enjolras said, his uncharacteristic grin growing even wider. "This is the day the people of France take back what is ours."
Combeferre nodded wearily. "Assuming, of course, that a solution agreeable to all can be reached as to what manner of government we shall build in the ruin of the old."
"This has been a very strange three days," Combeferre added. "I must confess, I expected more... disorder from a revolution."
Enjolras shrugged. "When the mind is bent on the extirpation of tyranny and censure, it cannot also turn to looting and wanton destruction."
"Perhaps. I rather suspect that not everyone sees it that way, however."
"They ought to."
Combeferre laughed and attempted to ruffle his younger friend's hair, causing Enjolras to scowl and duck away from him.
They reached the building, right in the middle of the block down which they had been walking, which housed both their apartments.
"This, Antoine, is where I leave you. When things were heating up on Tuesday, I promised Élodie I would visit her when it was all over. I expect she'll be very pleased to know that I'm still alive..." He trailed off suggestively.
"You disgust me," Enjolras said, but he was grinning. Combeferre had been chasing the pretty girl for months, and all she had done was flirt shamelessly and run away. It had been quite the merry dance, and Enjolras couldn't see why his friend put up with it, but it was still nice to see him happy.
Combeferre went his way. Enjolras entered the building with a nod to the porter and ascended the stairs, thinking longingly of his bed. He had run out into the streets the morning before and hadn't been home or rested since. When he opened the door of his flat, however, he knew at a glance that he wasn't likely to get any sleep for awhile yet.
Standing in the middle of the parlor was his father. Olivier Enjolras was a tall, imposing man who looked very similar to his son. He had been a general under the Restoration, and had retired some eight years previously, content to rest on his inheritance. He carried his cane with the casual air of a gentleman content in the knowledge of his own wealth and desirous that those around him be made aware of that same knowledge. Upon the entrance of his son, he regarded the younger Enjolras with the cool eye that precedes the calm fury of the bourgeois who does not wish to make a scene.
"Hello, Father," Antoine said, making a point not to sound as wary as he felt.
"Antoine." The tone was as cold as the gaze. "What is it you are carrying?"
"It is a musket."
"And why, pray tell, do you have a musket?"
"Because I was fighting."
Olivier nodded, his face very grave. "I thought as much."
The son looked steadily at the father. "What are you doing in Paris?"
"News of the... disturbances... in the city reached us yesterday. Your mother was worried for your safety, and I took a fast horse immediately."
This was the usual way of things. The father was angry and the son was defiant, but neither would let more than the slightest reflection of it show in their faces. Once a sufficient period of dancing around things had elapsed, then would come the raised voices and the outright fury (usually on both sides). Antoine expected that he would tonight be on the receiving end of another one of the angry lectures he had become used to over the past few years.
Tonight, however, Olivier seemed to have reached some sort of epiphany- or else he had simply reached the end of his rope. He said tiredly, "You disappoint me."
"No, Antoine. For once, you will not speak, you will listen. You are a rare young man. I know this. How could I forget? Your mother is constantly reminding me. Ever since you have come to Paris, you have... changed. You have these ideas in your head, and you refuse to listen to reason! I suppose you really do mean well, but you must see it's not natural. A country without a king is like a body without a head! A state cannot function without firm guidance from a-" His voice had been steadily rising, but seeing his son's face grow darker, he broke off abruptly. He took a breath, then continued in a much calmer tone, "No. No, I didn't come here for that. I am done arguing with you, Antoine."
He took a step towards the younger man and laid a graceful hand on his shoulder. "You are my only son," he said softly. "And I want to be proud of you as a father ought to be. But then you go and do things like this... you take part in this foolish uprising that's little more than a street riot-"
"There is a significant difference, Father, between the tumult of a riot and the unanimous voice of the Revolution."
Olivier closed his eyes in the manner of one who is trying to put a check on his temper.
"I think, my son," he said when he had calmed himself enough to look at him again, "that you are leaving me only one option. You are coming home with me, now."
Antoine looked his father dead in the eye and smiled. "I don't think so. Classes resume in three weeks; I cannot put aside my studies." Technically he could have. He stood to inherit an incredible sum of money; he didn't need the law degree. But, in the creed of the Enjolras family, what was wealth without power? To gain power, Antoine Enjolras had to begin as a lawyer. He was counting on this line of reasoning in his father, in order to have his way.
Olivier, as expected, frowned. "I am not going to tell your mother you were part of the fighting," he said. "It would break her heart."
"Perhaps she is stronger than you give her credit for," Antoine countered.
Olivier did not choose to respond to this. "This is not over, Antoine. You cannot rebel against the crown and by extent your family, without consequences. I have tried to be gentle with you in the past, because I know you're a good boy. However, you leave me no choice. In future, you cannot expect me to be so reasonable."
"Do what you like, Father," he replied firmly. "Cut me off, even disown me if you like. You cannot change what I know in my heart to be true."
Enjolras the elder gave his son a steady look. "Well then, I shall have to think of a better way to bring you to heel," he said plainly.
Antoine was not surprised by this statement; he had heard this sort of language frequently in the past three or four years. There was rather more resolution in his father's voice than at any previous time, but realistically there was nothing he could do that would change anything.
Famous last words.