Upon Combeferre's advice, Enjolras agreed to abide by his mother's invitation to visit the family for Easter. Time away from the city would be good for him, Combeferre said, for he had been working much too hard and too long lately. Had it been anyone else, Enjolras would have vehemently disagreed with the suggestion, but he trusted Combeferre's judgment.
The holiday was boring and loud. His cousins produced a litter of children each since the last time he saw them. The screaming and the pulling and the shrieking and the constant thumping of footsteps above his head, below his feet, outside his bedroom door, and sometimes inside his own closet were enough to drive him mad. So without a word to his father, he grabbed his coat and went for a walk in the woods behind his parents' villa.
Ah, this was peace. It was not that he appreciated the birds chirping and the soft sway of the leaves in the spring breeze. That was Prouvaire's job. But it was silent, and he felt his headache start to slip away when he caught sight of a man in a red waistcoat and a pocket watch run past.
Enjolras thought the event strange, but even stranger was that the man's face was too familiar from the portraits Enjolras had seen in his many books and studies. But it couldn't be. If this was truly him, he would be an old man by now, around Enjolras's grandfather's age. And yet, there was no mistake.
"Robespierre!" Enjolras whispered in awe, and he made haste after him.
It wasn't long before Robespierre disappeared into a cave that Enjolras had never seen in the woods before. Perhaps Robespierre had managed to escape his executioners, and this was his hideaway. That still did not explain his youthful appearance, but no matter. Enjolras knew that if he followed, he could meet Robespierre, a dream he never thought that he could attain.
He peered into the cave cautiously. Surely Robespierre would be wary about any pursuers, and that was why he was in a hurry in the first place. Perhaps he was being chased by those who had faked his death to save face!
The cave was very dark. Enjolras took a step inside, calling for Robespierre gently, but as soon as he moved into the shadows he lost his footing and slipped further into the darkness.
The darkness gave way to red, white, and blue light. Enjolras saw the images of revolutions past, and he saw moving portraits of kings and queens, and he saw citizens of France living, suffering, and dying.
Finally, he landed with a soft thud in an empty room with nothing but a table with biscuits and coffee and a door that only a cat could pass through.
Enjolras climbed to his feet. A familiar voice called out to him: "Are you perhaps looking for Robespierre?"
Enjolras turned. "Feuilly?" But the man was nowhere in sight.
Still nothing. In fact, the floor was level with no holes or slopes.
Feuilly sighed. "Here! The door!"
Enjolras went to the door and knelt down to peer through it, but before he could he saw the face of his friend on the knob. "Feuilly! What happened to you?"
But Feuilly ignored him. "Are you looking for Robespierre?"
"Yes, of course, but what happened to you?"
"He's in here, but you are much too big to come through."
"But why are you a doorknob?"
"Why are you not a doorknob?"
And Enjolras had no answer.
Feuilly sighed again. "Look, if you want to come through here, you're going to need to shrink down a few sizes. You're not going to fit. There are some instructions on the table if you're so inclined to follow Robespierre."
Feuilly, even if he was a doorknob, was another whose judgment Enjolras trusted with his life (even if he was acting odd, but then, he was a doorknob, so Enjolras could hardly blame him), so he looked on the table to see a note on the bottom of the cup of coffee that simply said, Drink me. The plate of biscuits sat atop another note that said, Eat me. Enjolras also noticed a key on the table, and he took it and decided that to first take a sip of the coffee.
With luck, the coffee worked to shrink him down to size. Feuilly applauded his foresight in grabbing the key. After unlocking the door, Enjolras thanked Feuilly for his help and stepped through.
Before he could turn around and ask Feuilly how he could turn him back to a human, the door had vanished into a mist and Enjolras found himself in a forest. There, he took a glimpse of Robespierre hurriedly rushing away, and Enjolras followed, calling after him.
And then, Robespierre vanished again.
Enjolras scowled. Could Robespierre simply not hear him? This was beginning to become a little infuriating. Surely whoever was in pursuit of him before was no longer! Unless, of course, Robespierre thought Enjolras was that person.
A different approach, then, once he figured out which way the man had gone.
He wandered a bit more into the forest, only to be approached by two figures in what even Prouvaire would call ridiculous outfits. And yet, he knew the two men, and the style just simply didn't suit them.
"Joly! Bossuet!" Enjolras called as he approached them. The two simply stared at him, unmoving and expressionless. What, now even they must act odd as well? Even so, surely they would be as helpful to him as the Doorknob with Feuilly's Face was. "Have you seen Robespierre come by?"
Still nothing. They weren't even blinking. Were they even real? This place certainly was very strange indeed!
Enjolras had no time for this, but when he tried to move past them, the two, in unison, hopped right back in front of him to block his path.
"You're being rude," said Bossuet. "No 'Hello' or 'How are you today?'"
"Sick, if you must know," said Joly. "My nose is itchy and my eyes are watery and my throat is awfully sore!"
"And as for me, I've nearly been trampled by a horse and suffocated by a cat, and all before getting out of bed this morning!"
"How could you have been nearly trampled by a horse before even getting out of bed?" asked Enjolras incredulously. But, knowing Bossuet's luck, it was not impossible.
"He came trampling in through the front door and across my bed!"
Enjolras pursed his lips and nodded. "I… see. I am very sorry to hear that, but very relieved to see that you are alright. Joly, I hope you get better soon. But have you seen Robespierre come by?"
"How are you, Enjolras?" asked Bossuet with a grin.
Why were his friends acting so odd? "I am well, thank you, but I have seen Robespierre with my own eyes, and I must find him! Will you help me? Have you seen him?"
What sort of question was that!
"I wish to ask him many questions. I wish to ask him about his survival, about his intentions to help the people of France once more, about the Republic, and why he has chosen such a strange hiding place, and why he looks as though he hasn't aged in nearly forty years!"
No, this was infuriating.
"Because I wish to know! Do you not want to?"
Joly and Bossuet both shrugged. "We'd rather play."
Enjolras really had no time for this. "Good day to you both, then. I must be on my way."
It was not long before Enjolras came across a cottage. Had he not looked at the window the precise moment he had, he might have missed the sight of the familiar red waistcoat of Robespierre.
This must be his home! Enjolras walked to the door and gently knocked. Hopefully, Robespierre would think this a friendly visitor and not his pursuer.
The door opened, and finally, at long last, and no mistake about it: it was Robespierre, the man himself. Enjolras smiled, but before he could open his mouth in greeting, Robespierre ushered him inside.
"Quick, you must help me find my notes!" he exclaimed. "I am running especially late!"
"Late? For what?"
Having no interest in hindering Robespierre from making his engagement on time, Enjolras did exactly that. As he searched through Robespierre's desk (now, really, why was he not looking here but at all?), he came across a tin can full of biscuits. He ignored them and continued searching.
"Oh, please feel free to help yourself to the biscuits," said Robespierre as he frantically searched through the trunk.
Now, Enjolras recalled Feuilly the Doorknob and how the coffee made him shrink. Perhaps the biscuits would make him grow? And so he politely declined the offer, for finding Robespierre's notes was vastly more important.
"No, no, don't mind it all. Besides, I have found them!" said Robespierre as he held a bundle of papers in the air. "Please, they are from my great aunt and they are simply to die for!"
Well, since Robespierre insisted…
Oh. Now his arms and legs were coming out of Robespierre's cottage. Fortunately, the man had escaped the house in time, but unfortunately, he was calling for help for his home needed an exorcism.
This was not certainly the Robespierre that Enjolras had expected, but he could hardly blame the man. What other conclusion could someone draw from this?
He knew he shouldn't have eaten the biscuits.
Ah, but now there was Joly and Bossuet! Surely they could clear this up!
"We can get him out through the chimney!" said Joly.
"I'll go!" Bossuet volunteered.
Well, at least they weren't going to try to kill him or exorcise him. But this logic was not Joly's. The man was smarter than this!
As Bossuet climbed the ladder to the roof, Enjolras said as gently as he could, "Actually, Joly, perhaps if you could find a way to shrink me down to size…?"
Bossuet nearly fell off the ladder. "Joly! It spoke!"
"Like I said: it's a demon!" cried Robespierre.
"You must make haste, Laigle! I would help, but I'm afraid my fever has worsened."
Enjolras really had had enough, but unfortunately, were he to try to escape himself, Bossuet would lose his balance and fall. Even if he was acting strange, Enjolras could not bring himself to do that to his friend. So he tried to explain himself, more softly this time, so as not to startle Bossuet off the ladder.
Unfortunately, neither Bossuet nor Joly nor Robespierre would hear him, and Enjolras could hear him making his way down the chimney. Then, a puff of soot emerged from the fireplace and tickled Enjolras's nose.
And then he sneezed.
And then from the window, he saw Bossuet flying away.
"LAIGLE!" Joly cried, and he took foot after his friend in flight.
Enjolras felt awful, but things took a turn for the worse when Robespierre decided to take matters into his own hands and burn his own home down.
There was no reasoning with a man in a panic. Before Enjolras could try to maneuver himself out of the house, for now Bossuet's safety was no longer a concern, he noticed a garden. Perhaps something there could help him shrink down? Or at least, if he grew to an even bigger size, the house would break and he could escape death by fire. So he plucked a carrot from the garden and took a bite, only to quickly shrink down to a size smaller than he was before.
Enjolras decided not to put faith in Robespierre noticing that the "demon" in his house was no more and made his way out of the cottage. He ran into the garden, the grass and the flowers towered over him now, and tentatively looked to see if he could not find the man. Perhaps he could find a way to grow back to a normal size? But would Robespierre have anything more to do with him, thinking him a demon?
Did Enjolras want anything more to do with Robespierre, since he was not the man that he had expected? Ah, but could Enjolras expect himself to act any differently if such an event were to happen to him? He supposed he could, now that he thought about it, but no matter. Robespierre had looked for notes, and he was late for an engagement of some sort… perhaps he was to give a speech! Perhaps he was to go into Paris or another city to bring about a Republic! This, Enjolras knew he could not miss.
"My, but you are the most beautiful flower!"
Enjolras froze. "Prouvaire?"
He should have been less surprised to see that his friend Jean Prouvaire was a daisy.
Enjolras sighed. "Do I look like a flower to you?"
Prouvaire the Daisy chuckled. "Yes, of course!"
And Enjolras was not surprised by that answer at all. That certainly was something that Prouvaire, flower or not, would say.
"You are a flower in Robespierre's garden."
"So you must know his comings and goings."
"Oh, yes, I most certainly do! He is always leaving in a frenzy, and when he returns he is no less intense but more calm and focused! Though I do not see him coming very often, for when the sun is asleep so am I. But the going! Oh, he is always so determined, so passionate!"
"Do you know where he goes?"
"Alas, I do not. I cannot follow, and he does not speak to the flowers about where he goes when he is going. He is often too busy to."
Enjolras wondered how a man as busy as Robespierre had time to maintain a garden, but Enjolras supposed that, even if Prouvaire was a flower, he probably did a good job of it himself. Enjolras honestly could not tell, though, especially from this size, and when he was bigger his focus was elsewhere.
"Do you know which way he goes?"
"Oh, he goes every which way!"
"Did you see where he went now?"
"Oh, no, I did not. I was much too focused on you, New Flower."
"My name is Enjolras." Though Prouvaire knew that.
"It is a pleasure to meet you, Enjolras."
"It was a pleasure to meet you too, Prouvaire." This was ridiculous.
"I did not tell you my name!"
"Right. I must be going now."
"But you do not know which way you must go."
Enjolras shrugged. "I will figure it out."
"Or you could ask the caterpillar! He knows everything! He is that way, if you are curious."
Well, that was the most helpful anyone around here has been since Feuilly the Doorknob. "Thank you kindly, Prouvaire," said Enjolras, heading in the direction Prouvaire the Daisy had pointed with his leaf.
Enjolras moved through the grass and flowers and weeds, staring down any insect whose gaze lingered too long on him and keeping a sharpened twig on hand in case any of them thought to attack. None of them did, always scurrying off as soon as Enjolras made eye contact with them. Soon, he stumbled upon a mushroom with a caterpillar reading a giant book upon it. This must be Prouvaire's caterpillar.
"Excuse me, sir? I was told that you could help me find Robespierre."
Enjolras felt his face go white when the caterpillar turned and had the face of none other than Combeferre.
Only but of course.
Combeferre said nothing and turned back to his book. Enjolras frowned and felt a little hurt. Combeferre never brushed him off like this before.
Combeferre the Caterpillar kept reading. Enjolras made his way in front of the book, hoping that perhaps Combeferre did not see his face clearly enough and that if he did, he would not treat him with such disdain.
"Combeferre, it's me! I am in need of your help!"
Combeferre took his gaze away from the book and frowned. He studied Enjolras's face for a long moment, but when he spoke, it was not what Enjolras had hoped for. "Who are you?"
That stung. "Combeferre, it's me, Enjolras!"
"I am very busy right now. Is there something I can help you with?"
Enjolras knew that Combeferre did not like to be interrupted while reading, and he often avoided doing so if he could. Still, even if he could not, Combeferre never treated him scornfully.
Suddenly, Enjolras found himself no longer wishing to be in this strange world anymore. It was doing horrible things to those he held dear.
But not before he saw Robespierre once more.
"Combeferre, I was hoping if you could help me find Robespierre."
Combeferre the Caterpillar looked down upon Enjolras once more. "He is far from here. You'd never make it in time."
"So you suppose I should grow bigger?"
"Why would you want to be bigger?"
"Because humans are not meant to be this small. I was originally much taller."
"Hmph, so you were, human." Combeferre patted the mushroom. "Eat a piece of this. It should help you."
"Thank you," said Enjolras, and he took a piece of the mushroom and did just that. He was not sorry to get away from the caterpillar with Combeferre's face and voice but could not be Combeferre himself.
It did not take much of the mushroom for Enjolras to grow back to his right size, and he still had some leftover. Pocketing it, for who knew when he would require it again, he took a glance at his surroundings. Somehow, he had wound up in another forest and was no longer near Robespierre's cottage. Just as well then. All he needed to do was go the direction that—
Wait. He had forgotten to ask the caterpillar where to find Robespierre in his haste to get away.
Not one to be disheartened, Enjolras wandered a bit before he found a path. That was rather convenient. What was inconvenient were the signs pointing every direction: right, left, straight, backwards, up, and down. He half-expected and hoped that a sign would point him to Paris, or Arras, or even a sign that said Robespierre. But nothing.
Determined, Enjolras decided to take some way, because it was better than no way, when he heard a light chuckle from the trees. All he saw when he looked, however, was a crescent of teeth in an impish smile.
He frowned and kept moving. He had no time for this nonsense.
"Where are you going? The fun has only just started!"
Enjolras halted. "Courfeyrac." Of course it was.
He turned to see Courfeyrac's eyes above the crescent of teeth, also full of laughter. Enjolras crossed his arms as Courfeyrac sang a little tune. What nonsense was going to come this time…
Oh, Courfeyrac was a cat now. A Cheshire cat even. How fitting.
"You seem to be in such a rush! Where might you be running off to?"
"I'm looking for Robespierre, if you can help with that."
"I can, as a matter of fact," said Courfeyrac, purring and leaping to another tree branch in a manner that no cat should be able to, no matter how graceful. "He went that way."
Courfeyrac the Cat pointed with his tail, and Enjolras smiled. "Would you like to come with me?"
"Come with you where?"
"To see Robespierre!"
Enjolras started. "The man you told me who went that way!"
Courfeyrac was still grinning. He was doing this on purpose!
"Oh, never mind," said Enjolras. Still, he trusted Courfeyrac's initial direction and started to head down that path.
"Oh, but wait!" cried Courfeyrac, reappearing in a tree above Enjolras's head. "If you really must know where Robespierres go, you could try asking the Mad Hatter."
"No, thank you."
"Or the March Hare?"
"No, that is quite alright. I have no interest in dealing with any more madmen."
Courfeyrac gleefully laughed then. "Oh, my dear Enjolras, we're all mad here!" And then he disappeared into thin air.
Enjolras could not even bring himself to be surprised anymore, and so he continued in the direction that Courfeyrac had originally sent him towards.
After walking for a few minutes, he stumbled upon a structure that resembled a topsy-turvy Musain. The sign on the door said "Mad Hatter and March Hare," and remembering Courfeyrac's words, he decided to venture inside. Even if Courfeyrac wasn't Courfeyrac, perhaps there was some truth to his words.
The inside looked like Prouvaire had stolen Grantaire's and Feuilly's paints and had a field day on the Musain. Chairs were of colors of pink, green, and blue, the tables were red and purple, and the lights were of hues of splattered yellows, oranges, and lilacs. Loud, jovial, and drunken singing came from the corner. And there, sharing bottles of wine between the two, were none other than Bahorel… and Grantaire.
Enjolras turned on his heel and promptly left the building.
He was going to kill Courfeyrac.
A large hand pulled him back in, and Enjolras found himself face to face with Grantaire's eager eyes.
"I don't have time for this," said Enjolras.
"But it's your unbirthday and we have to celebrate!"
Bahorel was at Grantaire's side and helping to push Enjolras to the table they had set up in the corner. "Indeed! It is your unbirthday, Enjolras, and we have to celebrate it!"
"Bahorel, Grantaire, this is completely unnecessary—"
They sat him down at the table and poured him a glass of wine. Or was that absinthe? Oh, yes, that was absinthe. Enjolras tried to stand, but the two had him sit right back down as they began singing boisterously.
Enjolras sighed. "Oh, just get this over with," he muttered as the two continued with their song. He hoped at the very least he would get a cake out of this.
The song ended with the line, "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" and Enjolras just glared at Grantaire, who only returned the gaze with a wide, hopeful smile.
"Well?" asked Grantaire.
"Why is a raven like a writing desk? You must know; you are very smart!"
Enjolras really did not care why a raven was like a writing desk.
"Oh, but Grantaire, we have another visitor!" said Bahorel, clapping Grantaire on the shoulder. "You there! Sir! Is today your unbirthday as well?"
"I have no time for this!" cried the newcomer. "I am running late!"
"Robespierre!" Enjolras breathed, and sure enough, it was the man himself running through the colorful Musain, only to be apprehended by Grantaire and Bahorel. "Bahorel! I expected better of you! This man is Robespierre, and he is a man to be respected and honored!"
"But I am respecting and honoring him!" said Bahorel with a grin. "For it is his unbirthday as well!"
"He is running late for an engagement!"
"Indeed I am!" cried Robespierre. "Unhand me at once!"
And so they did by dropping him into the chair next to Enjolras. When he tried to get up to leave, they promptly had him sit back down as they broke into song once more.
Robespierre turned to Enjolras. "How long must I endure this?"
Enjolras sighed. "I don't rightly know." But wait, he did not recognize him? This could certainly work to Enjolras's advantage, though he always imagined Robespierre as a man to remember faces more easily than that. "While I have you here, though, Robespierre, I have some questions I'd like to—"
But Robespierre ignored him and took out his pocketwatch. "I am unforgivably late! Excuse me gentlemen, but I must make my leave!"
"But wait!" cried Enjolras, but the man was gone.
Enjolras quickly followed him, trying his best to ignore the saddened calls of Grantaire behind him. After chasing down the path he was certain Robespierre had taken, Enjolras found himself at a loss, for once again, he was lost. Of course.
"So, how was the Mad Hatter and the March Hare?"
The familiar crescent teeth appeared before him.
"Courfeyrac, what was the meaning of sending me to them? They knew nothing of Robespierre! Which I suppose I should have expected of Grantaire, but Bahorel…!"
The full Cheshire cat appeared, his grin never fading. "I thought that you could use a moment to relax, and Robespierre too. You were both so very tense. And you did find Robespierre there, didn't you?"
"Well, yes, but…"
"So there was your meaning!"
"But Robespierre ran off before—"
"Oh, so you are on the hunt for him again, I see? Well, well, well. In order to find Robespierre, you must first find the king and queen, you see."
Enjolras scowled. "I have no interest in kings or queens."
"Ah, I know, you are a republican! Just like Robespierre. And that is why you must find the king and the queen."
Now it made sense. Robespierre had never stopped with his goal of giving France a Republic, and he was to stop Louis-Phillipe! And so, he was late for some sort of engagement towards this goal. A speech, perhaps, like Enjolras had suspected? Or a meeting with the king himself!
"So I must return to Paris! But which way do I go?"
"This way," said Courfeyrac as he opened a door on the tree that led to the Palace of Versailles.
And so, Enjolras found himself in the garden of Versailles, surprisingly quiet and yet not surprisingly so. It was almost peaceful, but he knew that if Robespierre was about, it would not last. He needed to find him before then.
As he made his way to the palace, he stumbled upon three gamin in the shape of playing cards painting white roses red. Perhaps for the color of revolution? He left the boys to their pranks. He had more important matters to attend to.
It was not long before he came upon a pair of royals playing croquet, but the king was not the king Enjolras expected. No, this man also looked familiar but only from books and studies.
"Louis XVI!" Which meant that the queen was… "Marie Antoinette!"
This was impossible! They were dead! Beheaded before the people! Unless they had managed to escape their execution like Robespierre had, for he had been beheaded before the people as well. No, no, no, this could not be! No wonder Robespierre was in a rush! His work was left far more unfinished than Enjolras could have possibly ever fathomed!
Where was the man in question, anyhow?
"You there! In the bushes!"
Enjolras had been spotted. For a moment he thought to steal away, but then he thought of the gamin cards and their prank and decided against it. What if he inadvertently led the monarchs' guards to them? He would not be able to live with himself if he had done that. Furthermore, he was here for Robespierre, no matter what the man's plans were. For now, Enjolras meant neither Louis XVI nor Marie Antoinette any harm.
"Who are you?" Louis XVI demanded.
Enjolras emerged and crossed his arms, staring defiantly. "I am Enjolras," he declared.
"'I am Enjolras,' what?" chirped Marie Antoinette, her eyebrows raising like a mother scolding a child for bad manners. Enjolras pursed his lips and narrowed his eyes. Marie Antoinette tsked. "It's 'I am Enjolras, Your Majesty.'"
Enjolras shook his head.
"Such impertinence!" Marie Antoinette huffed. "Do you not know who we are?"
"I know precisely who you are. You are Louis the Sixteenth, and you are Marie Antoinette."
"King Louis, and Queen Marie Antoinette."
"I should see you beheaded for this!"
"What, by guillotine? Somehow you two and Robespierre were able to escape from it. I am confident I will be able to as well."
Marie Antoinette's face turned scarlet. "Do not speak that name in my presence! Guards! Arrest this man!"
Enjolras could not believe this, and yet, he could. "I am to be arrested for speaking an unpleasant name? This is only one of the reasons why the people rose against you! You also leave them starving in the streets while you and your husband live in luxury, driving our glorious nation into ruin!"
"Indeed they have," cried Robespierre from behind Enjolras. "Which is why I am here to stop them!"
Marie Antoinette shrieked, and the guards, all also dressed as playing cards, rushed in to surround both Enjolras and Robespierre. Enjolras did not shirk, for he stood with Robespierre, even if it meant his death. Standing with Robespierre, after all, was standing with France.
"Off with their heads!"
"Wait, my dearest," said Louis XVI as he gently placed a hand on her arm. "Killing them outright would be unpopular. Perhaps we should give them a trial first?"
That was more intuitive than Enjolras ever gave the old king credit for.
"Yes," said Enjolras, "we demand a trial by our peers! A trial by the people!"
"Indeed!" Robespierre agreed, and more quietly to Enjolras, he said, "Perhaps this way, we can turn the tables on them, and they shall be the ones on trial. Then they shall be the ones beheaded, and France shall have a Republic, and the people will be free!"
As the guards led them to the courthouse, Enjolras found, for the first time, that he did not regret following Robespierre through the cave and into this mad, mad world.
Enjolras half-expected the courtroom to be as colorful as the topsy-turvy Musain was, but it was a normal courtroom of browns and whites and wooden panels and chairs. Enjolras was a mite disappointed, but upon realizing that, he wanted to smack sense into himself. Now he was going insane, as well!
All the witnesses and the jurors and the judge, who was, of course, Louis XVI himself, took their places as Enjolras and Robespierre stood side by side at the podium. Enjolras peered at the jurors, hoping that Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were honorably enough to indeed gather peers and not lackeys. To his delight, Joly and Bossuet were among them. This boded well.
Except when Marie Antoinette insisted that they were guilty as soon as the trial began.
"No, no, dear," chided Louis XVI gently. "We must call upon witnesses. This must be a fair trial, after all."
"Very well. First witness!"
In marched Bahorel and Grantaire. Enjolras was unsure how he felt about Grantaire's appearance, but Bahorel was a passionate friend to Enjolras and the cause…
Wait, was that a bottle of absinthe?
"We are here to celebrate Marie Antoinette's unbirthday!" they said as they broke into song.
Enjolras slumped over on the podium and buried his face in his hands.
"Fools," said a voice in his ear that was not Robespierre's. Enjolras glanced at his shoulder.
"Combeferre! You're a butterfly!"
Combeferre harrumphed as he flapped his wings together, settling on Enjolras's shoulder. "That I am."
"I somehow thought you'd be happier about that."
"I am not unhappy. Oh, that Cheshire cat is back."
Enjolras looked up and saw, in the middle of the impromptu unbirthday party Bahorel and Grantaire threw, Courfeyrac sitting upon Marie Antoinette's head with the most mischievous grin. If Bahorel or Grantaire noticed, they gave no indication and instead seemed intent on distracting the queen with a lavish present of a diamond necklace.
Enjolras was impressed, for they surely meant it as an insult, but before Marie Antoinette could react Courfeyrac made his presence known to her by leaping off her head and into the cake (Enjolras banished the childish thought that he didn't get any cake), splattering frosting and crumbs all over her face and dress. She lost her temper once more, screaming in a rage.
"Off with their heads!"
Courfeyrac laughed and jumped off the cake, kicking more pieces into Marie Antoinette's face. He leaped into Enjolras's arms, purring happily while Combeferre chastised him not at all harshly. Bahorel and Grantaire, with big grins, set off away from the queen, both grabbing Enjolras as they did so with Joly and Bossuet not too far behind them.
"Running is good," said Grantaire. "You need to run."
"Wait! Where is Robespierre?"
"Never mind about him," said Bahorel. "If you go back, you are sure to lose your head. Now, run!"
Enjolras glanced at the butterfly on his shoulder, who only nodded. He sighed. If Combeferre insisted…
Oh, were those the king and queen's playing card soldiers coming after them now with spears and rifles?
Yes, running would be good.
Before too long, they came to a door with a knob with Feuilly's face. How convenient!
"Feuilly! Let us through!" Enjolras cried.
Feuilly only stared at Enjolras as the group stopped in front of his door, the angry mob behind them drawing ever closer.
"You do realize you are dreaming, right?"
"What are you talking about?" demanded Enjolras, the shouts of the monarchs and their guards behind him growing louder and louder.
"You just need to wake up."
"Wake up, Enjolras!"
Enjolras awoke with a start. He found himself in the barren room of his apartment with Combeferre sitting by his bedside. Enjolras frowned.
"You're not a butterfly."
If Combeferre was startled or confused by the statement, he did not show it. Enjolras realized the insanity of his words, but he did not reveal any trace of sheepishness and instead changed the subject.
"And I thought I had gone home for Easter."
"It's Christmas, Enjolras."
Enjolras stared at Combeferre for a moment, and the events of the party the night before came back to him. "Oh. Yes. You are right. "
Combeferre sighed and rubbed his temple. "Perhaps you should refrain from drinking absinthe in the future."
"… yes. Perhaps I should."