(Hi everyone! This fanfic is about how Combeferre and Enjolras met and how their friendship grew into something as special as it is. For all of you who are following my other fanfic 'No place for a revolutionary', please know that I haven't forgotten about that one and that an update is coming very soon! Hope you enjoy this one in the meantime)
It was on a cold December evening in 1825 that they first met. Snow was falling that night and it wrapped the world in a spotless, virginal blanket of white. A seventeen year old brown-haired student was trudging the streets of Paris towards his apartment, desperate to get to the warmth of his rooms.
He had only just moved to the city to study Medicine and still had to find his way around. Although his classes were fascinating to say the least, the student was easily distracted by the city life around him.
Yes, there was plenty of richness and beauty to be seen, if you knew where to look. The poverty however, was what shocked the boy from the country in Southern France to his very core. Of course, he had known about the miserable life of the poor. But seeing it in real life was something else entirely. It hurt his heart.
Sunken deep into thought, the medical student almost fell over a hunched man, who was leaning heavily against the city walls. "Excuse me monsieur", he said gently. The figure didn't respond, only shook his head and turned away, obviously trying to hide his face.
Combeferre, for that was the name of the medical student, eyed the man carefully. No, not a man, only a boy. Maybe even still a child. Blonde curls, somewhat darkened by the filth of the streets, successfully covered the boys eyes. He was holding himself in a seemingly uncomfortable way and his whole body was shaking from cold. Combeferre knew instantly the boy had to be injured in some way.
Even though the blonde looked dirty enough to fade away into the sweepings of the street, his clothing surely wasn't one often seen on the poor. It confused Combeferre to say the least. What was an obviously wealthy child doing hurt, dirty and alone in the slumps of Paris, in the snow, at night?
Without hesitating he placed a hand on the boy's shoulder and gently turned him around, so he could face him. The blonde flinched, but did not fight him. "Are you alright?", Combeferre asked him.
The boy looked Combeferre in the eyes and then shrugged him off defiantly, mumbling he was perfectly fine and certainly not in need of any help. The medical student frowned at that, he surely begged to differ. Before he could respond however, the boy turned again and tried to walk away.
He only made it a couple of steps before he collapsed against the wall again; hissing at the pain the movement had caused him. He refused to look back at Combeferre however and pushed himself up, trying to regain a steady footing but failing miserably. This time he fell forward and the medical student was only just in time to catch him.
"Get off me", the boy all but spat at him, although there was not nearly as much power behind his words as he would have wanted there to be. He tried to push away again and Combeferre let him, although he kept close so he would be able to catch the blonde should he fall again.
"I don't need your help, leave me alone", the boy said again. But Combeferre had already made his decision. How could he, a medical student, abandon this person now while he was so obviously in need of help. Every fiber in his body screamed at him to just swoop the boy up and carry him to his apartment, but something told him this defiant child would not appreciate it all that much. So instead, he asked: "Can I get you to your home or parents perhaps? They must be worried."
The blonde boy laughed darkly which resulted in a bout of harsh coughing. "I wouldn't be so sure of that monsieur", he mumbled sourly. "My parents don't live here. I just moved to Paris on my own account and I can manage my way home perfectly fine."
Combeferre was shocked to say the least. The boy couldn't be a day over fourteen. He was a son of wealthy parents that much was clear, and yet he was all alone in this city. "Well, where do you live if I may ask?"
The boy didn't answer at first, but then muttered he still was figuring that one out. So he has been roaming the streets all this time, Combeferre thought. There was no way now he would leave this boy alone. "I'm sure you are capable of caring for yourself, but my apartment is not far from here. You look as if you haven't eaten or slept in a few days; you're cold and my apartment is warm. Please, do me a favor and get some rest there. At least stay for the night", he said, hoping the boy would just oblige. He didn't know the boy at all and yet he felt strangely protective of him.
"I don't need any charity monsieur", the blonde answered, although his whole body seemed to scream for help. "But you are right, I am cold and tired. And you are very generous to offer me a place to stay for the night. I will pay you back, that much I promise."
"There is hardly any need", Combeferre answered. He sighed in relieve. "It is that way". He offered the boy a hand, but it was roughly pushed away.
The small distance to his apartment took a lot longer than necessary. The blonde insisted on walking himself, too proud to accept any help from the older student. It was only when the trembling got so bad and his knees started buckling with every step he took that Combeferre had enough and just took the boy in his arms, despite his harsh words of resistance. There was no way the blonde was able to get up the stairs by himself anyway.
"That was rude monsieur", the boy said to him, standing on his own feet again when they arrived at his front door. But before he could say more, he made a soft, pained noise; his eyes rolled back in his head and he passed out, nearly falling back down the stairs as he did. It didn't surprise Combeferre all that much. The boy looked dead on his feet and it was only expected his exhausted body and mind gave up on him.
Combeferre once again took his protégé in his arms and carried him inside. He was now shaking uncontrollably and the medical student put him in his own bed and covered him with blankets.
He'd gladly take all the curses and insults the proud boy was no doubt going to throw his way tomorrow. But at least for now, he was warm and safe.
(So this is a new idea for a story. A story where I want to show the beginning of the friendship between Combeferre and Enjolras, based entirely on my own imagination of course. Did you like it and should I continue? Please let me know!)