Oh but what if this is the other way round? What if Athelstan is his first regeneration? And he sits, and he drinks with this man, this leader whom he admires despite their differences. And he finds that alcohol has a numbing quality, a certain forgetfulness he sometimes needs. He casts the thought aside until the times are darker and he feels alone in the world.
And when he is reborn, he knows what to do when the times are dark. He reaches for the bottle, the one thing he knows would save him: the one thing to rely upon. A certainty.
And there is another leader, harsh, ruthless, charming. Only this one is less rugged, more effeminate, yet still just as terrible in the face of danger. Loyal. True to his comrades. And the dark haired man, Grantaire, remembers times before France, when he knew a rugged man with the same determination, and the same blue eyes. Equally unattainable.
“Enjolras, will you drink with me?”