cosette visiting courfeyrac’s grave and thanking him for taking care of marius bye dudes

Oh wait I’m not sure any of the amis had graves.  Because they all died and there was no one left to bury them (except marius who was unconscious for like two weeks afterward) and even if they did leave people behind (like muschetta) who was going to come claim the bodies of the people the government had just killed as dangerous radicals? 

I suppose the national guard (or whoever cleaned up after them, I don’t know) would have piled all the bodies on a cart and dumped them in a pauper’s grave somewhere.  There probably wouldn’t be a marker, and marius wouldn’t have been able to find out where they were put since it’s not like he could go up to the police station with a month-old bullet wound in his shoulder and ask about the students who had been killed in last month’s rebellion. 

marius goes back to the musain for empty chairs at empty tables because there are no graves to visit.

ah yes you make a fine point

honestly when i’d said “grave” i was thinking along the lines of “the general area of wherever his body would have ended up” but “grave” just sounded nicer, ha

but yeah i hadn’t thought about marius not knowing where they are hm i must fix this now

let the change be noted, then: cosette visiting the decrepit remains of the musain and thanking courfeyrac for taking care of marius

yes i think that’s sadder thank you friend

She stepped down from the carriage several streets up from the corner she wanted.  The driver raised his eyebrows when he saw the direction she was going, but she paid him no mind.  She knew these streets well, had spent many hours on them with her father.  She knew the people here and she knew how to carry herself to blend in with them.  She was wearing the plain dress (a faded gray that might once have had aspirations at black) and headscarf she saved in the back of her wardrobe for occasions such as this.

Such opportunities were few, and they would be rarer still in the days ahead, with her husband’s sweet concern added to her father’s watchful eye.  But today her father was out “seeing about a few things” and her husband-to-be was sleeping–a peaceful, though exhausted sleep, at long last–and she had seized on the chance to get away, to lay eyes on the place she felt needed to see in order to begin to understand what her beloved was going through.

She had never been to the little cafe, but she found it easily enough (how could you not, when the bloodstains that still streaked the paving-stones all pointed to it, like fingers of infection spidering out from a wound?).  The sign was gone, probably carted away with the rubble of the barricade, but a ragged, singed scrap of red cloth still fluttered from the hinge of an upstairs window.

Inside, the rooms were bare, the walls marked with gunpowder and blood.  Broken bottles and trampled leaflets were scattered over the floors.  In one corner, a neatly-stacked pile of fabric strips stood at the ready.  The unused bandages were the cleanest thing in the room.

She took the stairs carefully, testing each creaking step before putting her weight on it, wondering what she would do if she could not reach the top room.  (She would climb the alley wall to the window; she knew she could do it–her father, for his own mysterious reasons, had trained her in all manner of unusual accomplishments–although it would be difficult in long skirts.)  But the stairs held, and she made it to the upper room, where the stains were everywhere and where, despite the open windows, the smell of smoke and blood still hung in the air.

This was it.  This was where they had made their plans together, laughed together, sung together.  This was where they had died–all those hopeful, hopeless boys who still haunted her husband’s dreams.  The room was empty, stripped of all furniture and bottles and papers, of everything but the blood, but she could feel their presence still.

He had told her, finally, last night.  Not about the fighting–that, he had recounted freely, first in gasps and incomprehensible cries as he burned with fever, then later, after he had awakened, more clearly.  But always the fighting: the rush for the barricades, the noise of the rifles, the rush of excitement and fear, the way the gunpowder flashed in the darkness, the pain of the wound.  It had terrified him–terrified him still, in his dreams–but it wasn’t the part that had truly broken him.

It was his friends.  The passionate, generous, impossible students and workers who had taken him in when he was alone in the city and given him a cause to believe in when the old causes were dead, and a family to love when his own family cast him out.  They were all dead now, every one of them, and last night he had told her about them for the first time over a candle and a cup of cool water, in that darkest hour of the night when his pain would not let him sleep.  His voice was so faint she could barely hear him, and it broke when he whispered the names: Combeferre.  Enjolras.  Jehan.  Lesgles.  Joly.  Feuilly.  Grantaire. Bahorel.


Once he had started, he couldn’t stop, and he talked for hours about them, tears running down his cheeks as he told her how they’d met, how they’d wandered aimlessly through the city laughing at things chalked on walls, how they’d stayed up far into the night talking of France and the glory that could be hers, how they’d breakfasted by the Seine on day-old bread and cheap wine.  She had cried with him when he’d awakened screaming, when he told her brokenly of the guns and the chaos and the fear, when the pain was too much for words–but now she sat silent and dry-eyed, feeling too much even for tears, as her beloved poured out to her the men who still filled his soul.  They had been so much to him, and now they were gone.

The tears pricked at her eyes now, as she stood in the middle of the room and listened for the echoes of their laughter.  She imagined them sitting there, in that very room, at tables littered with maps and pamphlets and lukewarm wine.  She imagined them teasing Marius for blushing about her, some of them pestering him for details of their first meeting, others groaning and rolling their eyes fondly at his head-over-heels love.  She imagined them dying.

The wooden pillars that held up the ceiling of the ramshackle room were pitted and scorched, as everything else was, but on one of them, another kind of mark caught her eye, and she stooped to examine it.  Five letters, blocky capitals, had been carved messily into the wood: COURF. 

They were about waist-high, at just the right height to reach easily when sitting at a table.  She thought of Courfeyrac sitting there in the middle of a meeting, listening but never content to have his hands still, scratching his name into the column.  It was unfinished–had he broken off to poke Marius in the ribs or clap his friend on the back?  Or had he never intended to carve more, content to leave this shortened version of his name, the way he was known among his friends?  He had–they all had–left so little behind.

“Thank you,” she whispered, brushing her fingertips over the letters.

this is the fic i followed you for ❤

yessss i saw the first line of the post and I was like THIS IS IT THIS IS WHEN I MET JULIA

it’s our old urls and everything wow

(but ugh how awkward i didn’t know how to talk to people on tumblr i just reblogged some stranger’s post and crapped all other their idea oops.  it’s a miracle we ended up friends tbh.  well not a miracle more it’s thanks to you being a kind and easygoing person.)


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