pro_patria_mortuus: (let us welcome it gladly)
Enjolras ([personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus) wrote2015-04-30 11:43 pm

(no subject)

Yesterday was a long and exceedingly strange day.

But it ended with reunion, and one more friend here, long-lost, and with all the joy and celebration that accompanies that. Even the next morning, the sunlight seems brighter for the memory.
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[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-05-02 04:43 am (UTC)(link)
Combeferre sits on his bed, drinking his coffee, and says nothing. He's still sleepy, but also deliriously happy. He has seen a happier Paris. They've found Jean Prouvaire. Combeferre's thoughts are, for once, settled and slow-moving and calm.
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[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-05-03 02:37 am (UTC)(link)
"Good morning," says Combeferre, smiling back. "The best morning in a long time, in my opinion."
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[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-05-03 03:57 am (UTC)(link)
Combeferre has spilled coffee on his shirt. It's only a drop, but he dabs at it ineffectually. Ah, well, it will be covered when he puts on a waistcoat.

"Prouvaire found a Paris in the Labyrinth," Combeferre says, in lieu of trying to say how deeply happy he is. (There's little point in that, after all. Enjolras surely knows.) "I don't know if he told you. Joly and I found one, too--a different one. I didn't see Prouvaire until we were out on the lawn."

Thinking of the moment, he smiles again, or perhaps he had never stopped.
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[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-05-03 04:37 am (UTC)(link)
"Yes," says Combeferre. "Bossuet and Courfeyrac did--they had adventures, and Bahorel and Feuilly had even stranger times. You saw Feuilly's mask?"

Combeferre takes another sip of coffee. "What was your Paris like? Ours was--a delight, in every way, and then coming back to find Prouvaire--" It's too much good fortune to be believed, even if Milliways may not be the ideal place for all of them.
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[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-05-11 03:43 am (UTC)(link)
Combeferre gives Enjolras's hand an answering squeeze, then raises his eyebrows at the mention of Hugo's funeral. "Oh?" Enjolras's dryness makes it clear that this funeral was no placid and dignified affair. Even if it wasn't already clear from the mere fact that it was Hugo's funeral.

"That must have been an...event."
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[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-05-12 02:39 am (UTC)(link)
Combeferre, much as he loves Enjolras, can't help needling him on occasion.

"Were you recognized?"

This is, the narrator is afraid, such an occasion.
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[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-05-13 03:49 am (UTC)(link)
Combeferre bites his lip to avoid snorting aloud. But he sobers, and hesitates before asking, "And how did you find 1885, in our Paris?"
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[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-05-14 01:39 am (UTC)(link)
Combeferre puts a hand on Enjolras's shoulder. The shock of recognition when he and Joly arrived in the Paris-with-airships, a shock that swiftly dissipated into a flood of joy--yes, Combeferre knows there are no words to describe how it feels to go back. Even to a Paris so changed.

"Still," he said. "It was Paris. Haussmann couldn't render it unrecognizable, I'm sure." Combeferre has read of Haussmann's work; he knows the answers to the questions he would otherwise ask about the planning and construction of Paris in 1885.

"The rue Mondétour--we came there, too, Joly and I, though in a Paris even stranger than the one you found. You say you met no one you knew? Did you converse with anyone at all?"

Edited 2015-05-14 01:40 (UTC)
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[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-05-14 03:03 am (UTC)(link)
Combeferre's eyes narrow. "Truly? Enjolras--that was in our Paris, too. Carved by Feuilly himself. They'd preserved it, as a monument to Feuilly. And to everyone who fought in the June Revolution. As they called it. It succeeded, you see." Combeferre blinks hard. "But Feuilly was the one named on the plaque, since the words were his."
Edited 2015-05-14 03:05 (UTC)
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[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-05-14 03:50 am (UTC)(link)
No, he doesn't.

"The uprising happened much as we remember it," says Combeferre, "but there was help, at the end. It wasn't just outliers like us and Saint-Merry left at the end. The other barricades held, the people rose in greater numbers and pressed their chance harder--I think perhaps the cholera epidemic wasn't as bad, in that Paris, though I'm not sure. And there was no rain on June 5th." No rain. The sun came out, the clouds dispersed, and men were saved. France was saved. It was that simple, that providential.

"And then--a Republic. Elected by a free and sovereign people, with no desperately poor people on the streets. I don't know the precise policies in place. Likely justice was still incomplete, but it was far less dire than in our world. A true Republic. And all of us a part of it. You were a statesman, had been for decades at that point--Joly was a scientist, Feuilly did great work for Poland and other nations, and their people who took refuge in France...and there were airships. In the 1860s, there were airships. And Matelote owned the Corinthe, and it was..."

Combeferre searches for the right word to describe the difference. He settles on, "Clean."
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[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-05-15 01:24 am (UTC)(link)
Enjolras says nothing, but it's not difficult for Combeferre to know what he's thinking. Enjolras is quiet but transparent, and in any case, Combeferre is thinking the same thing.

"I think it was a real Paris, not a dream," he says. "As I understand it, the Labyrinth takes us to places that exist, albeit in other worlds, other universes. That Paris is as true as ours." Combeferre has no words for the joy and the pain of that--something so wondrous, so real, and so unattainable for them. But still real, still true.
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[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-05-15 03:10 am (UTC)(link)
Combeferre squeezes Enjolras's hand again. There's nothing to be said. It hurts to see Enjolras weep, even from joy, but--there's nothing to be said. Nothing Enjolras hasn't already said. It is good. Not as good as they had wanted, but good.
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[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-05-15 03:54 am (UTC)(link)
"Mostly that, yes," says Combeferre, "that corner, and some of the area around it, and the inside of the Corinthe, of course." He pauses. "It had pictures of the wall, of certain regular patrons of note. Including our friends. Matelote had stories to tell us, about our 'uncles', and their friends--she thought we were our own nephews."

He wonders, suddenly, what it would have been like to encounter his older self in this world. "We had no chance to see more," he says. "We were whisked back to Milliways shortly after arriving at the Vivent les peuples wall."
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[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-05-18 04:47 am (UTC)(link)
Combeferre twines his fingers with Enjolras's, their joined hands resting on Enjolras's shoulder. He remembers the picture of Enjolras on that other Corinthe's wall. Enjolras was smiling, and had faint lines extending from his nostrils to the corners of his lips, and faint furrows in his brow.

Combeferre might have met that Enjolras, too, an Enjolras who had been a public servant for decades, whose love for France had been allowed to burn steadily for years. He looks down, unable to stop his eyes going blurry.

"Yes." Still, he had the privilege of knowing this other Enjolras existed. Still, he knew it was all real.
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[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-05-19 03:58 am (UTC)(link)
Combeferre blinks again, but this time it's because the sunlight has shifted and is now reflecting painfully off of the windows and Enjolras's hair.

"No, I didn't have the chance. Last night--the Bar was busy, and we all had so much to discuss." He smiles. "I can't wait to tell them."
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[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-05-19 04:15 am (UTC)(link)
Combeferre rises, too. He's finished his coffee, so nothing spills when he's careless with the cup.

He pulls a waistcoat at random from the closet. A somber gray, like every other one he has. He shrugs it on. "Feuilly might be awake." Unlike some of their other friends, Combeferre does not need to add.
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[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-05-19 04:55 am (UTC)(link)
Combeferre hadn't worn mourning at Milliways. When he arrived, most of his dearest friends were already here--all except Feuilly and Prouvaire, in fact. He knew they were dead, but to him they were simply--elsewhere, and he had reason to hope they would appear.

But he couldn't fail to notice Enjolras's regular mourning attire. It was a daily tribute to their friends, and a moving expression of Enjolras's grief for them. To see Enjolras reach for light, bright colors--

Combeferre smiles, pulling on his coat, and says nothing. They'd never discussed Enjolras's mourning--they'd never needed to--and there's no need to discuss the end of it now. Enjolras's frame of mind is plain to see. Combeferre, still smiling, suspects his own is equally so.