If yesterday had been a battle, today was a circle of Hell. Bullets flew in every direction. This time, casualties were unavoidable. Out of the corner of his eye, Enjolras saw Courferyac fall, bleeding from his throat.
Swallowing bile, he ducked down, reloading his pistol. Another scream made him look up. Jehan this time. Enjolras felt like vomiting.
He stood yet again, cocking the pistol, when he stumbled back, a bullet buried in his right shoulder.
Suddenly, he felt a hand on his shoulder. Combeferre was pulling him out of the line of fire.
"What are you doing?!"
"Coat off. I'm getting the bullet out."
"Why-" Enjolras shrugged out of the coat.
"Because they need to see you alive!"
Enjolras didn't bother arguing. The pain in his shoulder was too intense.
Combeferre thrust a bottle of Merlot at him.
"Drink. Three swigs." As Enjolras knocked the bottle back, Combeferre all but ripped off the sleeve of Enjolras's shirt, seizing a penknife, pressing the point against the wound.
"Brace yourself. This will hurt like hell."
Enjolras stared at the blade as it slid into the bullet wound, probing for the bullet. Then the knife struck muscle.
Enjolras looked away quickly, gagging. He hated blood.
"Almost there- there we are!"
The bloody bullet rolled across the cobbles and Combeferre tore a strip off his shirt, wrapping it around the wound.
"Now get back up there!"
Enjolras seized his pistol, stumbling back to the barricade. His shoulder
was slowing him down- and it had to be his right shoulder, hadn't it?
Cursing, he switched hands. Better be at the front of the line. Didn't want to shoot any on his own side.
There weren't many of them left now. Feuilly, Combeferre- there came ascream from behind him and Enjolras's stomach clenched- and Marius, thank God. And Grantaire, who was sitting in the wineshop, undoubtedly stone drunk, and their unknown ally, who'd killed Javert.
Two minutes later, Enjolras felt his body give out. His shoulder hurt too much, and he could feel blood oozing through the bandage. He landed hard on Combeferre's corpse. Gore stained the back of his shirt. Fighting the urge to vomit, Enjolras pulled himself up, just as another body fell from the barricade.
Enjolras half-ran, half-fell towards Marius.
"No, no, oh God!"
He rolled the body over, feeling relief and terror wash over him in the same moment. He was alive, but wounded.
The blond threaded his fingers through Marius'.
"I'm here. Right here. Where are you hurt?"
"Leg." He grimaced.
Another scream from the barricade. A tear slid through the dust and blood that covered Enjolras's face as he scrabbled for the knife that Combeferre had used. He staggered back to Marius, knife in hand - their ally, the one who hadn't given his name, was dragging Marius back. Marius, losing blood rapidly, was in no condition to fight him.
The man looked up as Enjolras all but ran towards him.
"No. I'll take him. You run."
"Don't argue with me!" Enjolras shrieked. The ally sighed in defeat, awkwardly handing Marius over to Enjolras.
Enjolras shifted Marius's barely-conscious body onto his good shoulder.
"Hang on to me."
The march of the National Guard was coming closer. Another minute, and they'd be over the barricade. They needed to get out.
The wineshop. It was closest and he had to get Marius to safety.
He forced the door open, shoulder howling in protest.
Sure enough, Grantaire was slumped at the bar counter, a bottle before him.
Enjolras gave him a long look, then continued up the stairs with Marius.
They hurried across the room, Enjolras now all but carrying Marius.
There was a crash from below. They were inside.
The blond put a finger to Marius's lips.
"Don't you dare-"
"...I'm glad it'll be with you..."
Enjolras held him tighter, planting a kiss on his forehead.
"We're not dying. Not here."
The door flew open, and three men dressed in the colors of the National Guard rushed into the room, stopping dead, cocking their muskets.
Marius closed his eyes.
"Haven't you hurt us enough?" Enjolras asked. "Look at us, we're dying already."
The soldiers glanced at each other.
"It's like shooting a flower..." One murmured.
"We'll do whatever you want, just don't kill us!" A few more tears and he'd have them... oh, there were advantages to being born with the face of an angel...
There was an echoed explosion as all three guns shot at once.