Rain and wind often come together, which, Enjolras think, is the worst part. Still, at this exact moment she is tempted to curse the heavy materials of her dress more than the elements themselves. At least she knows Feuilly kept the pamphlets that had just been printed, so they won’t be too damaged – although Enjolras can’t say as much for her clothes; she can’t remember the colour her shoes were before they were covered in mud. Every step she takes, she feels like one of her shoes will leave her feet and stay stuck, probably sinking in the mud.
Thankfully, Enjolras manages to keep both of her shoes on, though by the time she reaches Feuilly’s rooms, she is certain she will never feel dry again.
“Here.” Instead of a greeting, Feuilly hands her a towel as soon as she opens the door to let Enjolras in, her expression a cross between amused and disapproving. “You didn’t have to come in this weather, you know.”
What a pitiful sight Enjolras must be to warrant that look. Feuilly’s face is pale – she has been working longer hours than usual, Enjolras knows, her workshop having lost several workers in the recent breakout of cholera. There are ink stains smudged over her cheek and nose, but she looks more respectable than Enjolras does, at the moment. Enjolras can feel cold strands of hair sticking to her face, dripping down her back. She choses not to address Feuilly’s question.
“I couldn’t even find a ‘bus,” she says instead.
“I can’t blame them, really.” Feuilly shakes her head stiffly. “Take off your dress and your shoes. Hopefully they will have time to dry a little by the fire while we work.”
A few minutes later, Enjolras is standing in front of the fire, wearing a linen nightdress of Feuilly’s that was too short for her, tickling her lower legs were it falls. Her thick blond curls are still dripping, but the dry clothes make her feel, at the very least, a little more human.
Feuilly is sitting on her bed, shoulder slumped. Enjolras had noticed she was looking tired earlier – but now that she, herself, is calmer, she can’t help but notice her friend looks especially exhausted.
“Sit here with me?” Feuilly calls, probably noticing Enjolras’ staring.
“Oh. I wouldn’t want to drip all over your bed,” she says. Feuilly’s bed looks so carefully made, every corner of the blanket tucked under the thin mattress, the thicker wool blanket folded at its foot.
“I’d rather you did that ruin the pamphlets.” Feuilly says, and Enjolras feels her own face heat up despite the chilly humidity of the room. She sits down.
“Besides, my bed is worth much less.” Feuilly continues, nervousness punctuating her words. “I’m not sure I could get them printed again so soon – ”
“We can be patient.”
“Well, you’re here, aren’t you? Because you weren’t patient.” Feuilly’s tone is disapproving, but she reaches up to comb a hand through Enjolras’ ruined curls. Enjolras’ closes her eyes.
“I’m sorry,” she says. Feuilly doesn’t respond, but her fingers continue combing through Enjolras’ hair, closer to the back of her neck, short trimmed nails scratching her scalp. Enjolras won’t force her to talk – she knows that rarely yields any results with Feuilly – but she lets her play with her hair, untangling strand after strand, a small puddle of water forming on the blanket. The pamphlets are still carefully hidden away inside a book on Feuilly’s shelf, and neither of them makes a move to grab them.
“I’m sorry, too,” Feuilly says eventually. “It will be alright.”
Enjolras feels herself nod, and Feuilly tugs her closer. She rests her head on Feuilly’s shoulder, and notices the room feels a lot warmer.
Tag: and a little heartbreaking
Café Musain, long before the barricades arise; when the rooms are still filled with life and laughter and hope long into the night.