Hello all! Yes, here's ANOTHER Enjolras fic... Another humanizing one, too. I seem to write those a lot. But this one's a bit different... Hope you enjoy! Please let me know in a review if you do!
A huge thanks to frustratedstudent who gave me some professional advice on 1830's medicine... I so appreciate it!
Disclaimer: I am not Victor Hugo. If I was, I would be dead. And famous. And a man.
A Revolutionary Heart
"Enjolras," Combeferre declared as he walked into the apartment he and the revolutionary leader shared. "I need you to take your shirt off."
Julien Enjolras's shimmering blond head snapped up from where he was hunkered over his schoolwork, an eyebrow raised skeptically over his icy blue eyes. "I beg your pardon?"
"It's for a class," the other young man said simply. He put down his bag on his bed and crossed his arms.
"What kind of a class is that?" Enjolras blinked, his voice rising an octave.
"Medical studies," Combeferre replied, offering his friend a sheepish smile. "I'm supposed to give someone a physical examination."
"A physical examina...Why?"
"Only the basics," Combeferre went on quickly. "Only what we've learned so far. Pulse rate, temperature, reflexes, thyroid, heart beat, that sort of thing."
"I'd rather not," Enjolras chuckled dryly, looking back down at his own schoolwork. "I have an essay due on Tuesday. Why not ask one of our other amis?"
"Well I tried," Combeferre sighed, pushing his glasses up on his nose. "But Grantaire was too drunk, Feuilly was so eager to help he almost cut out his own kidney with my scalpel, Courfeyrac is so anxious about doctors he literally ran away, it's dangerous to talk about medicine to Joly because he will diagnose himself with the Spanish influenza before you can so much as-"
"Alright, alright!" Enjolras laughed a little, holding up his hands defensively. "If I let you do this, then will you leave me to my studies?"
"I promise!" Combeferre grinned. "Thank you so much, Julien!"
"You're welcome. I guess I really should be happy to oblige, since it's for a class and all…Finally deciding to actually do the work your assigned then?" Enjolras offered his friend a rare teasing smile, setting his pen aside and getting to his feet. "What do you need me to do then?"
"Well, unfortunately, I really do need you to remove your shirt, though I suppose I could have asked with more tact," Combeferre replied, going over to where his brand new medical bag lay at the foot of his own bed.
"It seems a little invasive," the Apollo-esque young man grumbled. But nevertheless, he began to remove his waistcoat and cravat, setting them aside and starting in on the buttons on his shirt.
"Sorry, mon ami," the medical student beamed. "But as your doctor…"
"Alright, alright," Enjolras laughed a little, finally removing his shirt and setting it aside, shivering slightly as the cool air of the room brushed against his bare, marble like skin, startlingly pale against his dark black trousers. "Now what do you need me to do?"
"Sit down. It'll only take a bit, I promise," Combeferre gestured to Enjolras's bed, where the beautiful young man shrugged slightly, taking a seat where he was told to. The medical student approached the bed, putting his bag on the mattress and setting a sheaf of paper and a quill by it, ready to take notes. "Right," he said in a professional tone, straightening and rubbing his hands together. "First I'm going to check your temperature, alright?"
"Sounds fine to me," Enjolras shrugged, honestly not paying attention to his friend's words, his mind already back on the essay. "Just please do hurry. I must complete my paper."
"I promise to go as quickly as I can, but still be through enough for my Professor," Combeferre smiled a little at his friend's dedication to his studies. "Now hold still for a minute."
To his credit, Enjolras did obligingly sit still as his Combeferre turned back to his friend, thermometer in hand, shaking down the mercury before holding it out to Enjolras. "Put this-"
"Don't tell me. Under my tongue?" Enjolras teased dryly, doing as he was told.
"Oh, you're just so hysterical," Combeferre rolled his eyes. He paused for several moments, watching his watch impatiently as the minutes ticked by, before reaching over and pulling the glass stick out of Enjolras's mouth, squinting at the numbers through his wire-framed glasses. "98.7," he grinned over at his friend. "One degree above average. Joly would suggest you begin to write your will."
Enjolras laughed at this, thinking fondly of his hypochondriac friend. "That he would. So what's next then?"
After about ten minutes, the examination was finally coming to a close. Combeferre was checking the glands in Enjolras's throat, and Enjolras had begun to fidget, ready to get back to work on his essay.
"And swallow- Enjolras! For the love of France, would you just sit still? I just have to finish here and check your heart and I'll be done!" Combeferre begged desperately as the blond man before him jiggled his leg up and down nervously.
"Sorry," the younger man sighed, swallowing as his friend told him to, wincing as Combeferre's fingers probed at the glands his neck. "I just cannot put off this essay another minute, truly…"
"Enjolras, please!" Combeferre pleaded, scribbling down notes and reaching for his stethoscope from his medical bag… A long trumpet looking object, with one wide end to rest on the patient's chest and a smaller end to go in the doctor's ears. "Just let me listen to your heart and lungs and I'll be done!"
Something fleeted across the back of Enjolras's mind, but he ignored it, his worry about getting his essay done overwhelming as he sighed, sitting back a little to give the medical student more full range of his chest and lungs. "Fine. But please do hurry."
"I'm trying," Combeferre rolled his eyes, putting the smaller end of the stethoscope into this ears and lowering the wide bell onto his friend's chest.
Combeferre professionally placed one hand on his friend's back and used the other to move the bell-like end of the stethoscope across his friend's chest, listening to his heart and lungs. His brows furrowed a little, and he moved the bell to Enjolras's back, mumbling "Just in and out, Enjolras," quietly, almost distractedly.
"Are we done then?" Enjolras asked almost crossly when Combeferre finally pulled back, scribbling like mad in his notes. "I have to write-"
"Your essay, I know," Combeferre muttered, but his voice sounded a little distant. Finally, he spoke again. "Hold on just one moment. I think I made a mistake."
"Alright," Enjolras sighed, willing to help his friend for a little bit longer. "What do you need me to do?"
"Just sit still," Combeferre replied in doctor-gentility before lowering the wide bell of the stethoscope to Enjolras's chest again.
This time, Enjolras's thoughts suddenly registered, and he pulled back from his friend's gentle touch. "I'm fine, Combeferre…"
"Your heart… It's…It's beating sort of…off-kilter," the medical student stumbled over his words, worry evident in his face as he pulled the smaller end of the stethoscope out of his ears.
Enjolras was still for a moment before nodding slightly, offering his friend a little smile. "Well of course it is! My friend comes barging in the room, telling me to quit working on my essay and take off my shirt so I can be a school project… I'm a little stressed!"
"But it's so…irregular, Enjy…"
"Don't call me that," Enjolras rolled his eyes. "Honestly, it's bad enough when Grantaire calls me Apollo but I'm not Apollo and I'm not Enjy, I'm just Enjolras, or Julien if you'd like or-"
"Quit trying to change the subject."
"I'm not trying to change any subject!" Enjolras said defensively as he got to his feet. "Now if you're quite finished, I'm off to finish my essay, thank you very much."
Flushed and obviously a little shaken, Enjolras grabbed his vest up off the floor and yanked it on, not even thinking that he wasn't re-dressed properly, and stormed over to his desk where he sat down, head in his hands, staring at the papers before him.
Combeferre froze behind him, a million questions racing through his mind. All he managed though was a meek little "Enjolras? I think you're forgetting something."
The beautiful young man glanced down at himself, reddened, and then got to his feet again, tugging off the vest and grabbing his shirt, pulling it back on. "Well you distracted me, Combeferre," he grumbled. "I was very focused on my work and you made me lose track of the time and now I'll never finish it."
And as the revolutionary plopped back down at his desk, beginning to write furiously, the medical student remained behind him for several minutes, sheer worry etched across his face.
That Night, 11:00 P.M.
"Good night, Julien," Combeferre mumbled from his bed in the darkness the engulfed the room he and Enjolras shared.
He heard the other man shift a little in his own bed before a tired "Good night, 'Ferre," came back through the dark.
Combeferre sighed a little and rolled over, trying desperately to shut his mind off and fall asleep. But his thoughts wouldn't leave him alone. There had been something definitely off about Enjolras's heartbeat earlier, and it wasn't just that it was racing quickly, as if he was stressed. It sounded…strange. Muffled a little, and very inconsistent. Uneasily, Combeferre opened his mouth as if to speak, but no sooner than he had, then did Enjolras's voice once again come from the darkness, simply, and calmly.
"You do not have to worry about me, 'Ferre. It's nothing horrible, and I've had it since I was a kid. Abnormal heart rhythm. It runs in the family."
Combeferre was silent for a moment, letting this sink in. Heart problems? Enjolras? Of course, the noble leader had never told him… He had never told anybody. It made him… Vulnerable? Not so other-worldly? Something. Finally, the medical student found his words. "I'm… I'm sorry, Julien…"
"It's nothing to be sorry about. I've had it forever, and it really doesn't effect me at all. Once in a while it hurts, like a sharp twinge in my chest, but that's about it. And that's about every other month or so. It's really nothing big," Enjolras mumbled quietly in the darkness.
Combeferre lay still for another moment before whispering softly. "So… Is that why you're so unafraid to die in the revolution?"
"This won't kill me, Combeferre," Enjolras chuckled a little, making the medical student blink a little at the blond's reaction. The two were quiet for a moment before Enjolras's voice came from the dark again. "But I'd be willing to die for Patria either way."
For some reason, this made the older student smile a little. "Of course you would, Julien. Of course you would."
And with that, the two fell silent, and soon fast asleep.
And that's the end! I hope it was enjoyed. Please review if you liked it, hated it, or have any ideas or suggestions!