"Oh. I didn't know that news had spread so fast." Lynette replied, blushing.
"All of Paris could hear the battle raging on, dear. And I'm sure, like me, all
were secretly hoping for your success." Florence told her, winking. Lynette looked
down, flashes of the battle racing through her head. She'd pushed it to the back of
her mind when Enjolras was hurt, and now that she was alone with her thoughts, it
all came flooding back. They'd fought for the very people who'd abandoned them.
Great men had been murdered because others were too afraid to stand beside them.
Combeferre, Grantaire, Éponine, little Gavroche… all dead and gone, fates decided by
the cowardice of others. Irate tears welled up in her eyes, and she closed them
immediately, not wanting Florence to see them. The older woman obviously noticed
her change in ambiance, however, because she instantly fell silent. They worked the
rest of the way in silence, and, once her tears had dried up, Lynette took the
opportunity to sneak a peek at the little girl sitting on a stool in the corner. She'd
just realized how, without Angelika, they might never have been let into the house in
the first place. She looked to be no older than seven, perhaps even younger, and her
eyes, the same dark shade as her mother, watched her Maman's skillful movements
with a curious eagerness that you would find in most other girls her age over things
like candies or hair ribbons. Abruptly, she caught Lynette's gaze, who smiled kindly.
The child giggled and turned away shyly, playfully refusing to meet her eyes. After
this, Florence finished wrapping up her knees, and, to her surprise, the burning
liquid that the nurse had been cleaning her wound out with had now cooled, leaving
a soothing sort of tingle. Lynette got off the counter and bent her knees slowly.
There was a dull aching, but to her relief, she could stand and walk without much
pain. "Looks much better." Florence commented, smiling.
"They are. I cannot thank you enough." Lynette grinned back, then turned to
little Angelika. "And you, my friend; thank you as well! If not by your urging, I may
not be standing here right now, and my friend might be dead!" Angelika broke out in
a small, bashful smile, staring at Lynette commendably. Florence took Lynette's
hands then, and squeezing them, said, "No trouble at all. And speaking of the little
miss, you, my dear, have lost too much sleep as it is. Off to bed now, Angelika." She
continued, waving the little girl off.
"No mama! What about Miss Lynette? Where will she sleep?" Angelika cried
"Oh. Yes, I seemed to have forgotten about that. We only have one spare
bedroom, you see…." Florence trailed off, turning back to Lynette.
"She can sleep in my room!" Angelika burst out excitedly. Lynette chuckled,
then said, "I appreciate the offer, little one, but I think I'm going to stay with my
friend tonight. I want to make sure he's alright."
"Oh, ok. I guess that's important." Angelika sighed, trying to mask her
"But… how would you like to play with me tomorrow?" Lynette asked, trying
to enlighten the child's mood. It worked like a charm, a beam lit of the girl's face.
"Ok! I've been looking for someone to play with my dolls with me!" she bubbled
"That sounds lovely! But for now, can you listen to your mother for me?"
Lynette smiled. The little girl nodded vigorously, then, without another word,
turned and began skipping down the hall. "Much obliged, Lynette. That was very
helpful." Florence said, watching her daughter go, wide-eyed.
"No trouble at all. She seems like such a sweet girl." Lynette replied, smiling
"She really is, just so lonely. There aren't any other girls her age in the
neighborhood, and with my husband always gone preforming his boonmaster duties
and I working around the house, she so often ends up playing by herself." Florence
sighed sadly. "That's why she takes to strangers so well; it's one more person who
might agree to play with her."
"Well, it's the least I can do, and I'm happy to help." Lynette assured good-
"Well thank you, I know she'll appreciate it." Florence smiled appreciatively.
Then, she straightened her skirts, saying, ""Now, why don't we get you situated for
the night? You looked exhausted, dear." And for the first time in that long, dreadful,
horrifying night, Lynette felt the complete exhaustion she'd worked her way
towards. She was surprised when she didn't collapse right then and there, now that
she realized the full-on extent of her weariness. So, she simply nodded with a tired
smile on her face, and Florence led her back to the guest bedroom without another
word. There, she sat Lynette down in an overstuffed armchair, then scurried out of
the room, disappearing for several minutes, and Lynette was left alone with her
unconscious companion. She found she couldn't take her eyes off of him, scouring
his body for signs of hope. Had he just stopped breathing? No, there was the uneven
rise and fall of his chest. Was that a clenched jaw she saw? Perhaps… maybe…
hopefully. No, she was past hopeful. She needed his survival. He'd become her rock in
these short few days, and if he was jerked out from under her, she didn't know what
she'd do. She settled her eyes on his face, which, even in its contorted pain, she
realized to be flawlessly handsome. It reminded her immensely of a mythology book
her brother had once brought her, one with a stunning picture of the sun god Apollo
on the cover. Just the cover alone had greatly intrigued her, with its flaming palette
and powerful image of this strong, beautiful, golden-haired ethereal figure driving a
chariot made of fire. And now, here was the earth-bound Apollo, lying bleeding and
broken in the house of a stranger. How could man be so cruel as to attempt to
destroy one of God's own angels? Obliterate the son of the sun? She abruptly
realized she'd drifted over to his bedside, and, with great prudence, she reached
down and took his hand. It was ice cold, colder than she thought possible for human
skin. She held back a small gasp when she made contact, but forced herself to
remain a firm hold. It was as if he was made from marble; he was so pale, so taciturn.
And yet, when she reached her free hand up to feel his forehead, it was so
swelteringly heated, it could have lit a match. Such a difference in temperature could
not have been healthy. The fever had obviously grown in fervor, and she closed her
eyes, taking a deep breath. "Please," she murmured, but a breath in tone, 'come back.
Rouse. Stir. Please."
"Did you say something dear? I—oh." Florence asked brightly, stopping in
her tracks when she saw them. "Forgive me, I should have knocked." She said,
"Oh no, it's fine. I was just… checking his temperature." Lynette told her
"Yes, speaking of that, I brought this little brew to hopefully pacify it a bit."
Florence smiled, handing her a cup of strongly aromatic, brown liquid.
"But how will we get him to consume it?" Lynette questioned, taking it from
her and looking down at the mixture.
"Unfortunately, the only thing we can do now is pour it down his throat." She
grimaced in reply, gaze flickering to Enjolras.
"But isn't that—" Lynette began, but then bit her tongue. If it could save him,
they needed to do whatever was necessary. "Nevermind. Alright, let's try." Florence
nodded somberly, then they both turned and walked towards their comatose victim.
Lynette picked his head up off the pillow, and gingerly pried his jaw open. Each
involuntary movement she inflicted made her wince; she felt like she would
somehow break him if she made a wrong shift. "Ready?" Florence asked. Lynette
nodded, the closed her eyes as Florence advanced with the cup. Would he choke?
Would this do more harm than good? Too late to turn back now, as she could hear
the liquid trickling into Enjolras's mouth. Seconds passed, when suddenly; there was
a brief sputtering, a wet sensation on her hand. Her eyes instinctively snapped open,
and she saw Florence's remedy running down his face, spewing out his mouth and
seeping out of his nose. She looked to Florence in panic, but, to her surprise, the
woman looked relieved. "Is he alright? Why is he—" she began, but l'Madame cut
"He's fine. That's actually a good reaction, it means his pharynx sensed the
liquid suddenly presiding and reacted to it. Even though much of it came back up,
this means he swallowed some of it." She explained, smiling reassuringly. Lynette let
out a sigh of respite. It was one of those moments when she realized how lost she
would have been should Florence have sent her away; she would have been
completely flustered by this action, not knowing anything of medicine. Enjolras
would have been as good as dead if he had been left exclusively in her hands. "Thank
you." She said once again, beaming, relieved, at the nurse.
"Once again, you're welcome. Now, there's a few things here for you as well,
dear." Florence responded, turning back and walking to the bundle she'd been
carrying when she'd entered.
"Oh?" Lynette inquired curiously. Florence held up a dress, soft green in color,
and Lynette stifled a groan. She hadn't worn a dress in who knows how long, finding
them to restrict motion much more than pants did. She endured it when she had to,
but her preference had and always would be a durable pair of trousers. But, she took
the garment anyway, thanking her, because she knew her tattered, filthy clothes
would not last much longer. "And there's also more aloe salve for your wounds,
some extra bandages should they be required, and then in that there basket there
are some toiletries, treatments, and other necessities for the morning, as well as an
extra blanket for you." Florence explained, pointing things out as she listed them.
Then, she turned to gaze uncertainly at Lynette. "Are you sure you'll be alright down
here with no bed? Or are you…" she trailed off, eyes widening slightly and flickering
to where Enjolras lay as something clicked in her mind. Lynette realized what she
was pondering, and a blush sprang to life in her cheeks. "Oh! No, of course not. I'm
not… we're not…" she exhaled, somewhat pacifying her stuttering, "I was just going
to retire to that chair."
"Oh. Of course. Forgive me, it was out of line for me to assume otherwise."
Florence answered, and now it was her turn to flush.
"No trouble at all, Madame, it is only natural for you to wonder." Lynette said,
eyes downcast rather awkwardly, cheeks still burning.
"Well, if you're sure you're settled, I think I'm going to head up to bed. If you
need me for anything whatsoever, please; don't hesitate to wake me." Florence
stated, though it resounded with a twinge of commanding. Lynette smiled. "Alright
Florence, thank you. For everything."
"Careful child, you'll wear those words out." Florence chuckled, winking.
"Well, I'm just trying to express the fullness of my gratitude." Lynette replied
sincerely. "Goodnight, Florence."
"Goodnight Lynette." The generous woman replied, then exited the room. As
soon as she was gone, Lynette turned to the basket and snatched up the blanket,
blowing out the room's remaining candle before heading towards the armchair. She
was past exhausted; her eyes couldn't even stay open as she walked towards sleep.
She stumbled into the chair, not even taking the time to properly wrap the blanket
around herself. She sighed deeply, relishing the wondrous feeling of just reclining
back and resting her eyes, not having to think about freedom or barricades…
Barricade. Revolution. It all came flooding back at once, and being alone in the dark
with her thoughts was no help in preventing that sudden influx. All the happenings
of the day had sent her into an emotional overload; she doubted any other being had
ever felt so much in one day. And worse yet, she couldn't even let all those bottled
feelings out because she'd needed to remain strong for the men following her. And
followed they had… right to the slaughterhouse. So many chivalrous men dead,
children dead, freedom and hope dead…
And then, as flashing images of the day's horrors played over and over in her head,
Lynette did what she'd never done before… and cried herself to sleep.
A/N: Florence didn't mind after all! What a relief too; Enjolras's condition is nothing short of critical. =/ This is just a short little chapter, and it's more like a part two of the last one, anyway. There are still questions to be answered, so keep reading! :D And feel free to R&R! ;) ~DonJuana