"She's called in sick for the whole week, boss man."
"Oh, I see."
"That's all? 'Oh, I see'?" Lucien looked up and met Raphael's steady gaze. "What happened between you two, Lucien?"
"Between us?" He shuffled the papers in front of him absentmindedly. "Nothing – just nothing. Just a bit of an argument, but that's normal."
Raphael remained silent; it was just the two of them in the office as Thomas and Vincent had gone down to talk to their current patient. "Look, I know it might not my place to comment, but that was pretty big, Lucien."
"I-" He sighed heavily and ran his hands through his hair. "I'm a mess."
"Oh, we all know that." Raphael chuckled. "Hear me out, okay?"
"Yeah, yeah go for it."
"I've known you since we were puppies in med school, so I've seen all your moods and your ups and downs." Raphael placed his hands in his coat pockets. "You're an amazing doctor, Lucien, and I do like you – even if that's hard to believe. But Fiera's an incredible doctor too and I like her and she's actually the only doctor I've seen that can even keep up with you. And you know that, even if you don't care to admit it."
"I know that."
"Hey, I'm not finished yet."
"I forgot how much you loved to talk." The pair chuckled and Lucien urged Raphael to continue.
"Anyway, if there's one thing you're going to regret, it'll be losing a doctor like her. I've never seen you quite as alive as you are when you're with her." Raphael turned and made his way out. With his hand on the door, he turned back to his colleague. "Keep that in mind, okay?"
"Yeah, okay." Lucien sent him a half-hearted smile, shoulders slouching with some unknown weight when the door slid shut behind Raphael.
"Ep?" Courfeyrac worriedly knocked on her door. "Come on, open your door Ep!" He paced before the closed door and was met with silence. "Please! Ep!"
"It's open, Courf." The man carefully opened the door and edged himself into her room. He looked frantically around the room and his gaze landed on the lump on the bed that was Éponine. He made his way to the bed and sat himself down by what he assumed was her head.
"You've hardly moved since yesterday. Are you sure you're okay?" Éponine lifted the blanket from her head, before tackling Courfeyrac's middle.
"I'm okay." She breathed in deeply. "I'm okay."
The pair stayed quiet, Courfeyrac methodically running his fingers through her hair. "Oh God. Why do you still have that?"
Éponine slowly turned her head in the direction of Courfeyrac's gaze and found the almost gaudy stitched doll on her bookshelf.
"It's from you." She smiled lazily. "It's my favourite too."
"That thing is so ugly, it's adorable." Courfeyrac continued staring at his hand-stitched gift from last year. It stared back at him with its black button eyes. It had curly, purple afro hair and wore nothing but leopard-print pants. "God, I am never sewing anything again."
"Hey, I like it!" She whacked his chest with a pillow and he retaliated by messing up her hair. "It's the best birthday present I've ever received."
"Oh man, what sorts of presents have you gotten?" Éponine started chuckling, which soon progressed to a full-blown laugh and Courfeyrac immediately joined her.
"Fiera Montague!" Fiera groaned, recognizing the voice of the man who was pounding on her door.
"Maybe if we stay quiet, he'll go away." Yeah, fat chance. Grantaire never goes away.
"I know you're in there." Grantaire paused, fist still pounding on the door. "You can't fool me! I've got the ears of a fox! I can hear you breathing! If you don't open the door immediately, the world will soon know you by another name!"
"Shit!" Fiera leapt off of the couch and Courfeyrac paused the video game they had been playing. "Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit!" She ran to the door, flinging it open and almost getting punched by Grantaire.
"Fiera! Darling!" He flung his arms out and Fiera stared at him, exasperated. "Let me in." He deadpanned. Fiera moved to the side, letting the bartender into the home.
"Fiera, who was that – Grantaire?" At that moment, Courfeyrac made his way into the foyer, eying the pair who were just standing there and staring at each other.
"Courf." Grantaire grinned at the man and then turned back to Fiera. "Now, why didn't you tell me?"
"Tell you what?" She crossed her arms, leading the two boys into the adjacent living room.
"That you haven't gone to work for the past two weeks, Ep?" Grantaire leaned forward, placing his elbows on his knees. He looked right at Éponine. "I had to find this out from your boss, you see."
"Wait, you found out from…from Lucien?" She visibly paled and she was glad that she was sitting down.
"Yeah, he came to the pub last night, but not only that." Grantaire lightly tapped her knee to punctuate the end of his sentence. "He remembers everything and he thinks that he's driven you away. Why didn't you tell me he remembered?"
"I don't know if you've noticed, but I'm still trying to come to grips with it myself!" Éponine frowned, leaning back running her hands down her face. "What happened exactly?"
The night before
Lucien didn't even know what he was doing at this dive bar. He was completely out of place in his dress pants and button up, but he was already too far gone to care. He would have skipped over the place, had he not caught a glimpse of the bartender and tripped his way inside.
Pestering a dude who he thought was Grantaire was a good idea in his already drunken mind, apparently.
"Hullo!" He plopped himself onto a stool, directly in front of the guy and grinned. "Gimme a – uh – oh! I'll have a…what's that thingy called? I don't know really. But the stuff I've already had tasted like shiiiiiit." He leaned in, whispering conspiratorially as if sharing a secret. "Can you gimme something fruity? I'd like to try that."
Grantaire looked at the obviously inebriated man before him, frowning and thinking that Enjolras really should not be acting like an idiot. He mixed the man a Shirley temple, hoping that the good doctor would not notice the lack of alcohol.
"Thank you, Gran-!" Lucien's eyes widened comically, opting to occupy himself by sipping on the drink. "You know – you know! You are like this guy I knew, but you know what?"
"Hey man, you all right?" Grantaire was getting nervous, watching as Lucien teetered from side to side on the stool.
"You used to call me Apollo." Grantaire almost dropped the glass he was wiping down, and he grasped the countertop as the blood rushed away from his head.
"I thought I was going crazy, but you know what? I can't be!" He took another long sip from his glass. "Because she remembered. Éponine remembered." He started chuckling and Grantaire was glad that there was absolutely no one in the bar. "But I think I fucked it up. She hasn't come to work in two weeks and if I were her, I would've left too because I fucked up." He sighed and tapped the side of his, now, empty glass.
"What'd you do?"
"I hugged her." Lucien – or Enjolras – chuckled ruefully. The fact that the guy wasn't calling the cops or a hospital or even asking if he had taken any drugs tonight didn't even register. "I hugged her. Because I thought she wasn't really there – like I was just imagining her. God, I'm such an idiot, 'Taire." Then his eyebrows shot up. "Oh, I called you 'Taire. You don't mind, do you?" He waited for Grantaire's approval and asked for a refill. "That's really good stuff. Whazinnit?"
"Why do you care? About her, I mean." He leaned against the back counter, crossing his arms across his chest.
"I've always been alone. All by myself, wondering if I'm remembering or just making stuff up to fill the spaces in my head. Or heart. Or whatever." Lucien started spinning the glass around in his hands, staring intently at the top of the cup. "Then she came in and was so good at what she did, so maybe then I figured even though I completely messed up, it's ok because she turned out just fine. It took a couple centuries, but she's fine." He pressed his face into his palms, staying silent for a moment before returning to his speech, waving a hand in the air. "And then – and then before everything exploded, I thought – she goes by Fiera now, you see – I couldn't not have Fiera around. She's so good and things felt normal again and real – it hasn't been real for a very long time, even if all of that was made up.
"And then I…she's Éponine. And she remembers me. Me, the Enjolras me – she remembers that, that one piece of me that I've kept a secret that's both so important and personal to me. And so all that stuff must have been real. And if she remembers someone like me, she must be special – so she became important to me, someone so incredibly important." He immediately looked at Grantaire, with a gaze so clear that it had the bartender wondering if he was even drunk. "It took me two weeks and it's been on my mind the whole time to make up my mind and realize; I need her, 'Taire. Because she makes things real and make sense and I'm alive again – that's what Raph said – and I'm part of something again. Because she's just right there and I need her. I don't want to be alone again." Enjolras raised a hand, wiping the tears at the corners of his eyes. And with a sigh he finished: "I can't be without her. I can't be alone again."
He then promptly passed out.
"Well, shit." Grantaire shook his head before picking up the phone to call the poor guy a cab.
Present - Today
"What'd he say about me exactly?" She leaned forward, but Grantaire did not relent. He opted to tell her that Enjolras had said some things about her remembering, but it was too personal for him to reiterate.
"I'm not at liberty to say." Éponine immediately frowned, but was not disappointed by what her friend had said. "You should ask him yourself."
"Okay, I get it." There was no trace of resentment in her tone, just acceptance.
"You should get back to work too." She glared playfully at the bartender who responded with a wiggle of his eyebrows.
"How'd you do that?" Courfeyrac popped in through the doorway from the kitchen. "I've been trying to get her to go to work for the last two weeks! It took you thirty seconds!"
"What can I say? I've got skills." The trio started laughing almost hysterically.
"Whatever you say, 'Taire." Courfeyrac shook his head, a smile on his lips, before returning to whatever he was doing in the kitchen.
"Hey! Boss man!" Lucien looked up from the patient file and paused his instructions, finding Vincent grinning from the door.
"Pardon me, Miss Cooper." He made his way outside, missing the young woman's frown of disappointment.
"Ooh, she's cute!" Then Vincent chuckled. "Of course she'd be into you, Mr. Professionalism."
"You did not just pull me out of the room because you wanted me to tell me of her attraction to me." Lucien crossed his arms, unimpressed, but smiled nonetheless.
"No! I was actually-" Vincent then backtracked. "You know she wants to get in your pants? And you're not going to do anything about it?"
"Come on, Vincent. Tell me what you were actually going to tell me. I don't have all day."
"Oh, right! Fiera's back at the office and-" He looked up just in time to see Lucien striding away. "Hey! Where are you going?"
"Take over for me, okay! Tell Miss Cooper to fill out the discharge form and she'll be out of here in no time." Lucien continued down the hall, towards the stairs by the elevators.
"And tell her to keep taking her meds! Thanks, Vincent!" And with that, Lucien Favreau was gone.
He took the stairs up two at a time, heart pounding in his ears, not quite sure exactly why his mind was both a mess and numb at the same time. When he got onto their floor, he paused to calm himself and smooth down his shirt, maybe straighten out his white coat and tie too.
What am I doing?
He took confident, equal strides to the office, his gaze latching onto the figure that was so unmistakably Fiera Montague (Éponine?). She was alone in the office, sitting quietly at the glass conference table. He walked through the doors and when she turned to face him, he was suddenly breathless.
"Hi." Wow, lame Enjolras. Good job. There was a small smile on her lips and her fingers twitched nervously at her side. He felt his own lips twitch up at an attempt to smile. Neither of them took their eyes off the other.
AN: Are author's notes better at the bottom? You tell me! So, uhm, all you reviewers and readers and everyone who's acknowledged the existence of this fic: thank you! Thank you for sticking around even with my odd update schedule!
Again, as always, if something is unclear please message me. There's that one question that's been asked, something like does everyone remember their past lives and think they're alone or...? The short answer is: you'll see. I've got a plan for those things and characters from before will be coming back (remember Henry Bates?).
If you follow me on tumblr, I said two things. First: I said that this series will be about 25 chapters. I don't know if that's going to be upheld because I do realise that is a lot of chapters. So it might just go to about 10-15 chapters if anything. Second: I said I'd be putting up two chapters (on Thursday lol) but it is now, obviously not Thursday and this is obviously one chapter. So, what I'm going to do is burn through typing the next chapter today (approximately 2000 words which is what I've been keeping up with, this one is 2231 words if you're wondering) so to keep things moving and I'll try to post that ASAP. I also have a oneshot that is burning to be written, so look out for that. ;)
Right, my tumblr is stillwritinghallelujah which has all my written stuff. My personal is something else and it's linked on that account.
Anyway, thank you again and please review! It gives me grins. And if there is a problem, don't hesitate to bring it up (just don't be mean because that's not nice).
I don't know what else I have to bring up...so I'll see you as soon as I finish that next chapter!