Maria you truly do know me!
Also I’m tagging this for #LesMisRarePairsWeek because I’m just in time before the end of the week 😀
28. Stop pinning this on me! You started it!
It is a peculiar sensation, to wake up in a world you don’t quite recognize. Courfeyrac has only felt it a few times before, mostly in the throes of truly spectacular hangovers.
Actually, the one thing that’s reassuringly familiar, this time around, is the hangover itself.
The unfamiliar things: the hotel room, which isn’t his. Enjolras pacing the length of said room, talking way too loudly for Courfeyrac’s pounding head. The ring on his finger which has already started to turn his skin green.
“I can’t believe,” Enjolras says. “I can’t believe I let you talk me into this.”
C o s e t t e Aesthetic
How strange, this feeling that my life’s begun at last / This change, can people really fall in love so fast?
If you are having a bad day, please unmute.
(Huskie puppy doesn’t quite get the howling thing. Sounds like a baby babbling.)
* day is fixed*
ok. i super needed this.
THIS. The whole world should watch this.
I am not saying that the lighting is implying something but the lighting really is implying something.
He knew he was dead the moment he opened his eyes. Had he been asked how he knew he would not have been able to say – he certainly looked the same as he always did, and the street around him seemed like any other street of Paris, albeit much cleaner and devoid of passing strangers. Around him his friends too were looking around, and a little ways a few guardsmen still in uniform watched the revolutionaries with guarded eyes. Combeferre knew with the same calm certainty that they too had died, lives lost in service to their cause and their country.
“Well this is a bit dull, don’t you think?“ Courfeyrac had come up behind Combeferre and clapped him on the back now, eyes bright and face devoid of the exhausted strain that had seemed a near-permanent accessory during those last weeks. “I always thought dying would be something grand, not just the same as living. Perhaps the purpose of Hell is to bore us all into second death?”
“You seem quite certain that we have ended up in Hell,” Combeferre remarked absently, eyes scanning the assembled figures in an effort to see how many of them had survived. Not many, it would seem. The visceral reminder of such a loss of life would have depressed him ordinarily but now he felt only calm acceptance, a serenity that he had never quite achieved in life despite his best efforts. Joly and Bossuet huddled close to each other, checking each other for injuries, while Prouvaire and Feuilly looked around with wide eyes at their new surroundings. One of the guardsmen made his way hesitantly towards them – Combeferre realized somewhat belatedly that there were no weapons in sight anywhere – and Prouvaire drew him into their budding conversation, gestures as grand as ever.
“Where else would a philandering revolutionary like me end up?” Courfeyrac asked, the grin on his face making it clear how much he believed his own words. “Though your presence is surprising, I will admit.”
Combeferre shrugged, clambering to his feet. “Perhaps your hypothesis should be reevaluated,” he said. “Certainly this appears closer to limbo than the inferno. If nothing else our standard conceptions of Hell would most likely not permit socializing among the souls of the damned.” Even as he spoke Prouvaire let out a burst of laughter and clasped the guardsman’s hand in delight while even Feuilly seemed amused.
“They do seem quite lax on that point,” Courfeyrac agreed. “Tell me then, man of science that you are, what has happened to us?”
Combeferre shrugged. “I haven’t nearly enough data to speculate,” he said.
“Use your imagination, then!”
“You asked me my opinion as a man of science. If you want flights of imagination you would be better off joining Prouvaire.”
Courfeyrac laughed. “Perhaps I shall,” he said, words undermined by the fact that he made absolutely no move to leave Combeferre’s side. “Maybe someone will come explain things to us.”
“You expect an orientation into the afterlife?” Combeferre asked, raising his eyebrows at his friend.
“It would be impolite of them to leave us without even a specter of understanding,” Courfeyrac said with a grin. It only broadened as Combeferre rolled his eyes.
“You are truly incorrigible,” he said, shaking his head.
Courfeyrac was about to retaliate, no doubt with another pun, but in that moment a nearly blinding light began filling the street, engulfing the buildings and pavestones as it grew. Combeferre and Courfeyrac looked at each other.
“Is that the understanding you desired?” Combeferre wanted to know.
“It’s a start,” Courfeyrac allowed. “I assume we’re to give ourselves up to it and be transported to the next plane of existence.”
“That would be a logical assumption,” Combeferre agreed. Neither made any move to step closer.
It was not Prouvaire but Bossuet and Joly who passed into the light first, walking hand in hand, radiating joy and confidence. They paused just before stepping into it, Bossuet looking back with a brilliant smile. Then they were gone, bodies engulfed by brilliance.
A few of the guardsmen were quick to follow, passing quickly across and leaving nothing to mark their presence but an intangible feeling of rightness and serenity. Courfeyrac and Combeferre glanced at each other. Slowly the others trickled through, all looking equally contented. Combeferre had never seen Feuilly so wholly relaxed nor Prouvaire so utterly blissful. At last it was only them left. Neither spoke a word, though they both knew why they hesitated.
It seemed to take a long time and yet not long at all before Enjolras appeared. His golden hair glowed more fiercely than ever, and the smile on his lips made it clear that he had accepted his fate with open eyes and eager arms. Grantaire lay next to him, hand pressed against Enjolras’ in a way it never had been when they lived. He too smiled.
The two woke nearly simultaneously, faces smoothing out as they took in what had happened. Combeferre kept Courfeyrac back, though he too wanted nothing so much as to embrace his friend. There would be time.
Enjolras let go of Grantaire’s hand and leaned in, pressing a gentle kiss to his forehead and murmuring something too low for the others to hear. Grantaire laughed, a laugh so devoid of bitterness that it seemed to come from a different man entirely, and clapped Enjolras on the shoulder. With a jaunty wave towards the other two he sauntered into the light, vanishing as the others had. Only then did Enjolras turn to his friends, and his smile lit up his face even more than his glorious hair or the light that beckoned them all onwards. Without a word he draped his arms around Combeferre’s shoulder and Courfeyrac’s waist, pressing their bodies close to him in a silent promise. Combeferre and Courfeyrac found each other’s hands behind his back and together the three friends stepped forward and into the light.
(I also had a prompt from @mayleavestars for JMBR coffee shop in space, so clearly I had to do space, coffee shop, and meeting the parents all at once!)
Joly looks up in alarm when Bossuet
skids into the shop during an afternoon lull, his momentum finally
stopped by the counter when he runs into it and promptly bangs his
personal communicator down on it. “I am ruining our weekend plans,”
“Did you forget an appointment
again?” Grantaire calls from the kitchen, where he’s making a batch
of his moon-famous muffins. “I keep telling you, we really need to
start a calendar for all of us so when we get Bahorel and Jehan to
cover for a day or two we can make the most of it.”
“I got a message from my parents,”
says Bossuet, eyes wide, and Joly freezes, because Bossuet adores his
parents, so it must be bad news. Musichetta, who has been ignoring
them with enviable serenity from where she’s planning out the week’s
menu, looks up, so it must be serious. “They bought tickets here
without telling me and they’re arriving this afternoon. On the next
shuttle. Mom sent the message from Earthport so I wouldn’t have time
to prepare myself.”
That is … not disastrous. But it is
definitely very nerve-wracking. Joly takes a deep breath and can
almost feel Musichetta and Grantaire taking one in tandem. He
recovers from his deep breath first. “Um, can I ask why?”
“She said something about bringing
the earth to the moon colony if the moon colony won’t come to earth,
but really it’s to meet you two. Well, three, I keep telling them you
aren’t technically our boyfriend, R, but you’re my roommate, so they
so we have a conversational safeword in my group of friends and it’s great, idk why more people don’t do this. whenever someone wants a subject to be dropped immediately no questions asked we just say “spleen” and we stop immediately and it’s a really good way to avoid crossing the line between teasing friends and genuinely upsetting them by accident, or stopping debates from turning into actual arguments
Wait but no this is actually a brilliant idea.
When I was a little baby high school student, I used to do the Living Chessboard at our local Renaissance Faire. We always used “forsooth” to indicate if someone was actually injured and needed to quickly end a choreographed fight. It was also very useful when doing little street improvisations because if someone tried to stop you, you could say “forsooth good sir, I must leave.” and they knew you couldn’t do a scene right then. We all used it in real life too, to say “no really” and it was amazing because there was a word used in a casual setting that meant “I’m not playing, I need you do listen to me.” So if someone tried to pick me up or tickle me, I could say “forsooth stop.” And I was instantly obeyed. I had “forsooth” long before I learned what a safeword was, and having a non-sexual safeword for everyday use amongst a circle of friends was the best thing ever. It made me feel very safe and listened to, even as a tiny 14 year old. Because let’s be honest, 14 year old me was teeny tiny and adorable and it’s easy to coo at kids when they say “no don’t pick me up!” but to have a word that every single person respected to mean “whatever I say after this MUST be listened to” was amazing. It gave me a definitive voice when it would have been easy to dismiss me.
So basically having platonic safewords is awesome and I’m all for it.
A couple nights ago, @robertawickham and I were complaining that Hugo took so much from Charles Jeanne’s story to make his Ideal Barricade Hero (Enjolras) and then class-bent him to be a bourgeois student, instead of the working-class guy Jeanne actually was.
And then we realized Hugo doesn’t ..actually say… Enjolras is a STUDENT. Just “an only son and wealthy”. And he LOOKS like a student (a ‘college escapee’) but that’s in the same sentence that claims he looks like a pageboy and we’re all pretty sure he’s not that. And hey, workers can BE wealthy! Class often correlated with income (very often) but it wasn’t dependent on that; it was dependent on what sort of work a person did– manual labor was working-class, intellectual labor was bourgeoisie, to oversimplify a ridiculously complicated social strata. So after like five minutes of shouting TO HECK WITH YOUR CLASS ISSUES, HUGO, WE’RE TAKING ENJOLRAS BACK FOR THE WORKERS we realized we…needed a plausible profession?
@amarguerite mentioned that printers could, depending on their job and position, be quite wealthy, and gave us a bunch of wonderful details and info which are included under the cut. And lo, IT IS GOLD. All of it goes together to make Enjolras being the wealthy only son of print-shop owning family work SO WELL?!?
A SMALL AND ONLY PARTIAL list of the ways that Enjolras being the son of a printshop-owner makes Everything Better and Nothing Worse
-As a printer Enjolras is a logical point of connection for many interest groups; people need printing done! I cannot even believe how easy this makes plothooks!
-Also as a printer, Enjolras would be in a position to earn trust very quickly, despite his age and appearance, by printing illicit materials, serving as a message center, and so on.
-Wealthy or not, he likely wouldn’t have the formal education needed to be student; but he would have access to a lot of books and a professional advantage in learning what he could. This explains his occasional slips with Latin and the like, as well as why he’s apparently managed to get an education that so much inspires his Republican convictions–he chose his own reading material, apart from the standardized curriculum.
– He WOULD be in a position to have the kind of knowledge we see him display in Enjolras and His Lieutenants–awareness of who’s ramping up their revolutionary discussions, who’s getting cold feet, what the general mood of the radical groups in the city are. He’d know because THEY WOULD TELL HIM, with the kind of work they give him and how often and what the tone of it is. He’s as close to an internet hub as they’ve got. A GREAT person to help organize your activist group!
– Printers, whatever their more abstract politics, could hardly help knowing and caring about the various censorship and speech laws, which directly affected their business. A printshop owning family wouldn’t have to totally support Enjolras in his more dramatic views to agree with him taking dramatic action, especially in 1830; but they could still like Louis-Philippe, be more conservative– or very radical! So many options! (more on this under the cut)
– Printshop culture generally leaned heavily on the sort of jokes and teasing and goofing around the Amis are seen to love, and narratively applauded for, at least equally an evolution of working-class culture (which it really should be) as of student culture (which it still would be!)
– but as an expected heir and future manager of the shop he’d still be used to interacting with bourgeois clients and businesses! And probably dress quite well when out of the shop, in a subdued, professional way.
-Gavroche is mentioned as doing the occasional odd bit of work in a printshop. If anyone wants, this gives a really easy hook for Gavroche and Enjolras’ interactions at the barricade.
– Wait! (I panic.) Isn’t Feuilly the only workingman in this group of students?? **checks**! Wait, no, Hugo doesn’t actually say that! He only says that Feuilly IS a worker. Enjolras ALSO being a worker takes away nothing from Feuilly; a wealthy shop-owner’s only child and obvious heir will have dramatically more advantages than an orphan. But it does acknowledge that the working class wasn’t a homogenous block or single sort of life experience.
-Enjolras and Feuilly’s relationship is so much more interesting this way?? and it stops Feuilly being the Token Worker in a city full of workers in a worker-led movement. Seriously, Hugo, screw your class issues so much.
-I have an excuse to draw Enjolras in a printer’s apron with his sleeves up. :Like, ALWAYS. That is SO what I’m doing today.
Below the cut: Longer discussion and more explanation, and some Q&A with Amarguerite (shared with permission!) for the use of anyone else who wants to adopt this headcanon/alternate reading! (please consider sharing this headcanon it’s so great I am so happy right now) Warning: VERY LONG.