A/N Of course, it's automatically a bit unfortunate to alter either of their deaths, since the canon scene is so flawless. Still, the idea of suicidal!R is just really fascinating to me somehow. Hence this strange little mess.
In a dream, will you give your love to me?
Beg my broken heart to beat, save my life, change my mind
If I fall and all is lost, no light to lead the way
Remember that all alone is where I belong
It is raining, the night when he finally decides to do it.
Cliché, perhaps. Ironically so. He doesn't give it much any though at all, which is hardly unusual—there are few subjects that he ever considers to be deserving of his attention. Or that he cares enough about to allot any of his thoughts to. One of those few is before him right now, pale amber and mocking as always in its constant copiousness; the other, equally haunting in its determination to never leave him alone, has no physical presence in this cold room but grips his heart as effectively as if it did.
Frost is on the windows, as well, combatting the slicing hiss of the fierce rain. It's all horribly, pressingly grey, nothing like the red and black so often preached in their warm circles of light and enthusiasm. Black, he reflects as his finger wanders the bottleneck of his willing poison, is so often degraded, unfairly twisted and portrayed as some sort of enemy. And yet there is nothing wrong with black. Black is valiant. Black is rich and strong and grand, everything he admires, everything that he will forever look in on and never be able to touch, himself. Grey, though; grey is all that he hates about this world. The streets of France are grey, now more than ever, constantly pressurized into feathered monochrome and never able to truly drink in any of the red and blue that is so determinedly whipped and trailed about it, clutched in the hands of hopeful men.
Hope. That's laughable, he thinks, and raises the bottle in a toast to some invisible companion, one who can chuckle bitterly alongside him. The rim brushes against air, and he takes it as encouragement to bring it back to his lips, gulp down as much of the burning ferocity as he can without flooding his throat entirely. He's not sure what he's looking for at this point, whether it's comfort or numbness—both are equally unattainable, in any case, but it does seem like most things are. He's long surpassed that point, and now he keeps drinking only to break down the walls of his mind, knock away and throw everything into a single heap, let it all burn rather than trying to focus on single thoughts.
It's funny as well, in an odd little way, that even in doing that—even now, at the very culmination of his pathetic existence, when all his thoughts and emotions are thrust into one blazing pit of twisted, conflicting madness—he still manages to dominate.
Further proof of just how ridiculous he is as a whole, that his whole existence should quite literally revolve around a single all-too-human entity.
He doesn't want to love Enjolras as much as he does. And that's stupid, as well, to go back and reflect on that now as though he doesn't obsess over it at every other waking minute, like it doesn't follow him into his dreams most nights, as well. But if this really is his grand finale (grand is absurd enough, even mentally, to merit another heavy swig), then there's no reason to limit himself. No reason not to let the thoughts tear through all of his halfheartedly constructed dams and just rip his mind away in a furious swirl of red and gold.
Red and gold, red and gold, red and gold. They dance in exquisite patterns behind his eyes when he lets them drift shut, his chin tilting down and his fingers slipping on the battered tabletop. Enjolras is red and gold, an angel woven of pure color and light, as completely heroic as anything that he or any other man could ever dream up. And, God above, the mere thought of him, of the bright eyes, the strong voice, the beautiful and fierce and prideful half-smiles, is heart-stopping, stomach-twisting, lung-freezing; sets off that wild buzz that always dances about his skull with no apparent destination, scrambling and racing in its efforts to get somewhere, anywhere.
Of course, it never does. And that, he decides with a heavy sigh as he lifts his head and forces his eyes open again, is what tonight is all about.
Maybe he'd talk, sing, if he so much as believed himself to have a voice anymore. But he knows that if he did try to push anything out, it would emerge bitter and sickened, the same way he always sounds when he's alone. The others, it seems sometimes, fuel him—all of them, perhaps, but Enjolras the most. Around Enjolras, he is someone whom he never can feel so much as a trace of on his own. Like their stunning golden-haired leader is a part of him, the most essential part, and the part that he misses so much now, that is forcing him, in its absence, to do what must be done.
The rain intensifies.
When he finishes the bottle, he thinks—that will be cue enough. He's on his fifth of the night, heavy enough that if he allows himself to go on any longer, he'll undoubtedly slip away from reality entirely, and he can't afford that—he's made this decision, and he's going to go through with it now, before he gets the chance to see Enjolras again, before that tiny smile steals his breath and his hatred all at once, fills him with that whispering warmth that always, even now, has to harness and hold back the raw determination which he requires so desperately.
After all, he is but a burden to them. A burden to Enjolras, certainly—acknowledged only in short scoffs and rolled eyes, and even if the rest cheer him on and laugh at his prods and jokes, there's no denying, even from a balanced viewpoint, that he's simply the least important aspect of them as a whole. In the scheme of things, he does not matter. And it is better, certainly, to be taken out of the picture entirely than to carry on as he does, weighing Enjolras and the rest of them down with his damned ugly existence.
He doesn't hate himself, not exactly. It is hard to hate something so damaged, even if that damage is entirely self-driven, even if he's the one who's continued digging this hole to trip and sprawl into, despising his actions and his character with each push but having no way to stop. Oh, the alcohol—it's the other thing that's led him here, and it, at least, will be with him till the end, a much more loyal infatuation than the Apollonian man whom he loved so ferociously and never came near possessing. The wine loves him, much more than he loves it, and he wonders if that's what he is to Enjolras—a disgusting, unwilling burden that he can't shake free, won't let himself release despite the way it haunts and assaults him at every bloody opportunity.
It's a fitting metaphor on several levels, he decides, and congratulates himself with a long, deep drink. The bottle is growing shallow, and his heart picks up from its already rushed purr, firing into overdrive, like it's trying to keep him doubly alive to make up for all the time he's cutting off from himself. Of course, he probably wouldn't make it that much longer, anyways; there aren't many beats to make up. He knows the fate of them all, surely, and he's sure enough that Enjolras does, too, even if so many of the others are blissfully ignorant. He is a member of Les Amis de l'ABC because he is in love with the man who leads them, and also because he is not afraid to die, even now.
It's a less spectacular death, of course, than he has so often dreamed. Or perhaps dreamed isn't the right word, because they weren't ever dreams, not exactly—imagined, at best, during a fleeting moment of closeness; blurred visions of leaping in front of a bullet, intercepting a sword strike, of feeling the blood hiss and pool in the fabric of his own clothing, sensing the warm touch of other hands supporting him—that's how it always ended, of course, in Enjolras's arms, grasping his shirt and sleeves and breathing his air and telling him over and over how much he loved him, how sorry he was about everything. And those were only the most ridiculous, operatic ones, because there were other fantasies, constantly lingering about. Slipping his fingers through those golden curls, touching his lips and neck and shoulders, feeling him, his body, kissing and grasping and loving on every level that there is or ever has been.
Those were the forbidden ones. The hated ones. The ones that reminded him of what a demented, twisted creature he really must be, to desire such intimacy of another man, and yet while women were flatly appealing enough, none of them were ever Enjolras, and none of them ever will be. So perhaps he is going to Hell, but that's well-deserved enough, and he doesn't care enough to be afraid.
The bottle is growing dry, only a few thin streams meeting his tongue as he tilts it towards himself once more. There is perhaps one swallow after this—only one, and then he'll let himself go free.
There are still questions, of course. He wonders, for instance, who is going to be the one to find him. They're all gone now, it being the hour that it is—those involved in their studies left especially early, but even the laziest of the lot did desire some amount of sleep, for it's the sort of night that no amount of warmly kindled companionship can diminish the chill of. They left him alone, like they so often do, and he doesn't mind, might even go so far as to consider himself grateful. It's easier this way, in any case.
But one of them will be in come dawn, and perhaps it will even be Enjolras himself, ever punctual, arriving before the rest to assemble his plans and organize his motivations. It won't be the peacefulness that he so often encounters, though. Instead, he'll find this mess, and perhaps hate the wrecked drunkard even more in death for it, for his need to so selfishly end himself.
He wonders if, upon finding his body, Enjolras will feel any regret at all.
Would he know? Have even the smallest, shallowest fragment of a thought that he could be the cause of this all, the reason for the utter destruction of one of his most overlooked companions?
It doesn't matter, in any case. He won't be around to see any of their reactions, to be hurt or disappointed by them, which is probably the best. Sighing scratchily, he instinctively takes another swallow.
Only air greets his throat, tripling its dryness and causing him to stop moving entirely—just for a moment, his stare awkwardly fixated on an unremarkable ceiling rafter that proceeds to scar itself into his vision, a sharp slice of dark mahogany brown, shaking with the greyness that now surges within him more fiercely than ever.
He lowers the bottle slowly, and it seems to take far too long before it's met with the resounding thud of glass against wood.
It's a very strange feeling, to be stepping off the very edge of the world—not sad, and he's not crying. He doesn't regret it, not now, and he'll never get the chance to do so later. There's no reason to go on, absolutely no future to him other than the pining and the poisoning that's become all that he is. Both things that only killed him the more he dwelled on and indulged them.
His legs shake heavily as he rises and kicks down the chair, lifts himself very gradually and purposefully onto the table itself. Splinters nudge the skin of his palms, but he doesn't care, he does not care. The uncaring, in fact, is such an intense thing in and of itself that it surges tactilely between his ribs, weaving here and there like a fiery snake, cauterizing all the bleeding gashes in his heart and stopping him from ever taking too deep a breath.
He can still tell him, he thinks—even if he's not here, and even if this sort of death is a quiet one, there's no one, nothing to stop him from saying it. He never has before, not even aloud to himself, perhaps because he thinks that such a thing will be irrevocably damning, but, like everything else, it doesn't matter. All he's ever done is indulge, so it's fitting that he should retain that sinfulness with his last breaths.
And no one can stop him from imagining, so imagine he does, taking a half-step forwards, hearing the table creak and groan underneath him, a ghostly overture to the low murmur of the rain from outside. He doesn't close his eyes, not entirely, but lets his lashes fall just slightly, breaking the bronze-lit room into dark-shattered fragments of helpless light. It's easier, in the blurred dimness, to envision him there.
He has spent far too long staring at Enjolras, memorizing every minute detail of his face, so they're all there now, from the strongly sculpted jaw to the wide, dark, glittering eyes. The mirage is smiling, too—a smile wider than all the sarcastic, bitter ones that were ever thrown towards him in accursed reality. And there it goes, something within his chest—perhaps his heart, but it feels like it's everything inside him, his fundamental self, twisting and throbbing in that desperate, gorgeous pain that he adores and detests so, so much.
He's sure that he says it, even if he can't hear his own voice, taking that last quarter-step to the very end of the table, so that his boots are pressing against the edge, the sharp corner clear even through their thick soles. Speaks to his dreams, gives them a sweet goodbye with the hope that maybe they'll be able to live on without him, in all their torturous glory. It's only fair, after all, only respectful, since he is dying for them.
"I love you," he says, and he means every word boldly and sincerely, for once doesn't detest the way that they fall into the air with such weight. They feel right, more right than any of the other nonsense that he's ever forced out, and that's enough to fuel him past the last little invisible bit of space, to reach up with horribly shaking hands and bring down the rope that he's already tied up, back at the beginning of the night, before he became too intoxicated to form proper knots. He knew, of course, that this was what he was going to do, even then. Perhaps he always has.
He can still see Enjolras through half-lidded eyes, and that pale, phantom figure, struck through with golden light, extends a hand, urging him, begging him.
I know. I won't do this anymore, I promise. Not to either of us.
His hands fall away, and as he folds forwards, as the bristled rope tightens, the burst of color that flares behind his eyes is neither grey nor white, neither black nor red, but instead the purest gold he has ever seen.