Yeah, yeah, it's a little late for Barricade Day remembrance fics, but I didn't have Internet access then ^-^
Also a birthday present for Kchan88 (it's a little late for that too, technically, but oh well). Happy birthday dear, and it's all thanks to you that this story idea even came up!
So, welcome to my crack!fic (and also my first time writing for the Les Mis fandom). Enjolras and the rest of the Amis are old and (if not dead) in a nursing home with failing physical and mental abilities. Enjolras really doesn't want to use a cane. Progresses from there.
Rated T for mentions of drugs/alcohol.
I don't own Les Mis (or Shakespeare), although I really want a Pocket Jehan to carry around all the time :)
Kindly remember as you read that this is a crackfic and not to be taken seriously. And kindly remember to review at the end!
He blinks blearily, woken up suddenly by the name.
"Enjolras, please open the door!" the orderly outside pleads.
With a tired glance, the elderly man sees the problem. The door to his room is blocked by a large armchair, a nightstand, and a standing lamp. A proper barricade,Enjolras thinks, but he doesn't quite remember why he even built it. Joints creaking, he pushes himself out of bed and shuffles to the door. It's harder than normal to move, somehow. Enjolras grimaces as he pushes the furniture away from the door. The armchair takes so much effort to slide across the floor that Enjolras collapses into it as soon as the door is clear. That's where the orderly, Lilian, finds him when she enters the room, slightly annoyed.
"Did you blockade the door again?" The old man nods wearily. "Enjolras, you have to stop that," she chides, "You might get hurt and we won't be able to help you. Your mind and body aren't as strong as they used to be!"
"I beg to differ," Enjolras grumbles. Lilian turns aside to take the lamp back to its original position, but Enjolras notices when she rolls her eyes. He glares at her with the same icy anger he's always had- until she turns back around, cheery as always.
"Come on then, Enjolras, it's about time for breakfast!" The man goes to stand, but it strains him. He tries not to let Lilian see, however after a few staggering steps she rushes to his aid. "Are you all right?"
Enjolras grits his teeth and sits down heavily on the bed, bunching a handful of fabric in his fist. "I'm fine." His knees are trembling.
Lilian gives him a look that quite obviously says 'yeah, sure'. "I'll get a doctor in here this afternoon to check on you. Until then, you might need some extra help getting around." She leaves the room for a moment; when she pops back in she has a cane. A cane. Enjolras eyes it with contempt.
"I don't need that."
"Oh, Enjolras, it's perfectly natural to weaken as you age. This will help, I promise!" She offers the cane again.
"I'm not going to take that." He pushes it away feebly.
Lilian sighs. "Do I need to drag in the others?"
Frowning, Enjolras answers, "That won't work, since I don't need a cane."
Lilian leaves the room nonetheless, catching another orderly in the corridor. "Go get Courfeyrac." Then she disappears into a room across the hall. Enjolras can hear faint snippets of conversation. "Help…"
"What… this time?"
"Won't use… cane… stubborn."
A loud sigh, then Combeferre emerges with his walker and his bifocals slipping down his nose. "Enjolras, you are the most obstinate person I have ever met. Do what Lilian tells you, please."
"I don't need the cane." Combeferre smiles weakly at the protest. "'Ferre, tell them I don't need that infernal thing!"
"Even Bahorel used a cane."
"Bahorel had a stroke and barely lived!"
Combeferre sighs. "Enjolras, a cane will help you stay independent and get around faster. It's useful. Trust me and take it." He rattles his walker at his old friend.
An orderly pokes his head into the room. "Would either of you know where Mr. Courfeyrac could be? He's not in his room."
"Check the bingo room," Combeferre suggests.
"And don't call him Mr. Courfeyrac, it irritates him. Just Courfeyrac will suffice," adds Enjolras.
The orderly nods. "Sorry for the intrusion."
After the man leaves, Enjolras glances at the cane again. "I don't need it." He tries to get up. Combeferre dryly raises a white eyebrow at the other old man's attempts to walk, but he doesn't say anything.
"What's this I hear about Enjy getting old like the rest of us?" Courfeyrac, laughter lines prominent on his face, wheels himself into the room.
"What's this I hear about Courf liking bingo?" Enjolras retorts.
"I hate bingo."
"You like women," Combeferre presses a hand to his temple as he explains.
The newcomer smirks broadly. "I've still got it."
"You were flirting with old ladies?" Enjolras laughs.
"Hey, we're old men!"
"And between Enjolras whining and you flirting, we act like we are seventeen."
"I don't need that stupid cane, 'Ferre!"
Courfeyrac chortles. "Use the cane! Then you can be the mean old man you were always destined to be and hit people you don't like with it!" Enjolras can't hold a frown for long.
Lilian reenters the room. "Any luck, Mr. Combeferre?"
"Give us a moment more, Lilian."
Courfeyrac rolls himself over to the dark wooden stick, examines it, and then tosses it toward Enjolras. The other man catches it and hesitates for a moment before dropping it contemptuously on the ground.
They hear shaky flute music at the door even before the knock. "Prouvaire." Lilian opens the door from the outside, letting Jehan into the room. He lowers his flute for a moment to give them a melancholy smile before finishing his song.
"Did you know that Mary Shelley kept her husband's heart after he died?" the poet says, taking a seat in the armchair and setting down his flute. At the door, Lilian pales a little, but she stays in the room.
"Lovely, Jehan," Enjolras replies. None of them know if their friend has a point or not, but they don't especially mind.
"Just saying, if you fall and kill yourself, I don't know if I want to do that. Use the cane."
"Good point, Prouvaire," Courfeyrac grins fondly at Jehan. Combeferre shrugs and points to the cane.
"I DON'T NEED THE CANE."
"Bossuet said that the day before he fell down the stairs and broke his hip and two vertebrae," Courfeyrac reminds him.
"Three," corrects Combeferre, adjusting his bifocals.
"Feuilly never used a cane! Jehan doesn't use a cane!"
"I've had both knees replaced-"
"Jehan, you've basically had both legs replaced," Courfeyrac teases.
"-so I don't need a cane."
Combeferre is practical. "Enjolras, by the time Feuilly could see a doctor, he was too sick to walk even with a cane." There is a moment of silence among the four old friends. "However, Joly has carried a cane since we were young and he moves faster than any of us now."
"I'm not Joly," grumbles Enjolras, glaring fiercely at his friends.
"Your infamous Greek-god wrath doesn't work as well when your hair is white and your face is wrinkly," Courf comments wryly. Prouvaire and Combeferre go into wheezing chuckles.
"How long will it take for my own friends to believe that I don't need a cane?"
Jehan brandishes his flute half-jokingly at the protester. "The lady doth protest too much, methinks!"
"I've been going to protests, rallies, marches, for over sixty years now. I'm not weak. I can walk around a nursing home on my own."
Two orderlies come into the room. "Lilian, we need you. Now."
"I'm sort of occupied at the moment!" the young woman hisses.
"They found more alcohol in Grantaire's room. We don't know how he's hiding it anymore. It's an even stronger brew," they explain. Lilian leaves quickly, but not before gesturing sharply at the cane once more.
"Grantaire managed to hide more alcohol?" Enjolras is partially concerned and partially amused. Combeferre shrugs.
"Well, it was either that or opium and opium is sort of hard to conceal when you use it," Jehan says thoughtfully, "So R is just finding new ways to get around the orderlies."
"Ah, no matter," Courfeyrac angles his wheelchair towards the door, "I'm off to breakfast. Let's go, old people!" Jehan follows him out.
Combeferre looks back at Enjolras as he exits. "Will you come, old friend?" The corner of his mouth twitches upward in a small smile.
"'Ferre, wait. 'Ferre. Courf. Jehan- Jean Prouvaire. Wait. Don't leave- ugh." Enjolras can barely stand without support- it's like he's gotten weaker since the cane was first offered. He drums his fingers on the edge of the bed and glares so fiercely at the cane that he half expects it to catch on fire. Enjolras narrows his eyes, reluctantly reaching for the dark wooden cane. He will not leave his friends for his own stubbornness.
Leaning heavily on the cane, Enjolras hobbles from his room. Combeferre is right outside, waiting for him. "Nice to see you again. Let's go."
The two elderly men, one with a walker and one with a cane, amble down the hallway together.
What have I done sweet Jesus what have I done
I don't even know what a good idea is anymore XD but this was fun to write! It was difficult trying to decide how certain characters would act without their Brick youth and revolution. I hope you all enjoyed- tell me what you thought in a review!
Happy (belated) June Uprising Anniversary and birthday to Kchan88! :)