pro_patria_mortuus: (to days gone by)
Enjolras ([personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus) wrote2015-06-09 11:32 pm

(no subject)

Cubefall is a three-day carnival, according to Bar's explanation. At sundown on the third day, everyone who transformed themselves will return to their original shape, unless they choose otherwise.

Enjolras still has no personal desire to change shape. He has little curiosity on the matter, and no sense of whimsy to be touched. The symbolism of the holiday, with its themes of rebirth and renewal and burning down the old world to forge a better future, touches him deeply, but even that wouldn't be enough on its own to get him to do something like this.

But for his friends -- for Combeferre and Joly's delight in science, for Bahorel's rough and physical companionability -- and, it must be admitted, for the dumbfounded delight that he knows will greet this action from every single one of his friends -- for that, halfway through the afternoon on the last day of Cubefall, he asks Bar for his viewscreen again.

He looks over the options again, though he knows them, and he knows which he'll select. Then he taps the third option.

Abruptly, a golden, lean, leggy dog stands where Enjolras was an instant ago.

For several moments the dog is unnaturally still, utterly motionless except for the swell and fall of ribs in breathing. Even his eyes don't move, except the reflex of blinking. It might be a statue of a dog, graven in fine gold wood and set in place.

Then he shakes himself all over, and all at once it's not a statue but a dog. Carefully at first, and then with growing ease, he trots outside.
clayforthedevil: (woof)

[personal profile] clayforthedevil 2015-06-10 04:15 am (UTC)(link)
Bahorel is loafing in the sun by the lake and considering seeing how far he can get into the mountains before nightfall when the door to Milliways opens again. Again, smell and other senses that don't align with anything human make announcements long before sight.

Bahorel blinks in genuine surprise. Really? Enjolras?

He runs over in serious speed mode. And yes, there's Enjolras, and yes, he's ...some sort of fancy dog? Very definitely Enjolras, though. Bahorel greets him in the mostly-silent way their bodies currently allow, with nudges and quick nuzzling and as much delighted astonishment as lupine body language allows, which is in fact quite a bit.
clayforthedevil: (woof)

[personal profile] clayforthedevil 2015-06-10 05:02 am (UTC)(link)
Bahorel is almost too pleased to grin about the tail. Almost. But he's also grinning about everything else, making no pretense about how glad and proud and yes, surprised he is at Enjolras for actually doing this. He nudges and headbutts Enjolras again, then drops back into a play? stance for a moment. Options for activity are slightly limited for them both right now--no grand oratory is going to be happening, for certain-- but there is still so much to do, outside in the sun.

clayforthedevil: (woof)

[personal profile] clayforthedevil 2015-06-10 05:36 am (UTC)(link)
Bahorel considers only for a moment and then moves in mock-start chase a couple of times. Run!
clayforthedevil: (woof)

[personal profile] clayforthedevil 2015-06-11 02:07 am (UTC)(link)
Running in the wolf body is an amazement; it almost seems he's built for it, now, in a way human bodies couldn't be (he can't say how--that's Joly and Combeferre's study-- but he can feel it).

And Enjolras is definitely built for running, now, which means Bahorel can run all out to keep up, something he hasn't done for long before. He grins and lowers his head.
wings_of_a_swan: (Default)

[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-06-11 03:27 am (UTC)(link)
Combeferre and Prouvaire, by mutual consent, fly out of Milliways and into the woods.

Flying above the treetops--racing alongside Prouvaire, doing loops and twists--it's exhilarating and calming at once, somehow. Healing. For the first time since the barricade, something inside Combeferre relaxes just a little.

He swoops down, Prouvaire flying parallel to him, and sees two dogs on the ground, approaching a stand of trees. No--one is a wolf, black and fierce, and the other is a slim golden dog of a breed Combeferre can't identify.

Prouvaire sings, and Combeferre blinks. Bahorel, is the first note, and Combeferre isn't surprised, not truly. There's something lycanthropic about Bahorel at the best of times, and something distinctly Bahorelian about this wolf's bounding forward.

Enjolras, is the second note. Combeferre gives Prouvaire an incredulous look, but Prouvaire sings out an affirming phrase.

They both circle lower. "Bahorel?" Combeferre calls out. Despite Prouvaire's vouchsafing, Combeferre hesitates, feeling foolish, before adding, "Enjolras?"
clayforthedevil: (woof)

[personal profile] clayforthedevil 2015-06-11 03:32 am (UTC)(link)
Oh look, a distraction! For some people, probably! Bahorel grins and runs harder.
wings_of_a_swan: (Default)

[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-06-11 04:11 am (UTC)(link)
It can't be Enjolras, can it?

But the dog's head turns to him, and Combeferre recognizes it from Enjolras's vidscreen earlier, and sees the familiar look in its eyes. It's strange, to see that look in a dog, but it's unmistakeable. "So it is you," he says.

Prouvaire, offended, sings out, I told you so, which Combeferre disregards. He turns back to Enjolras instead. "Are you enjoying it? I'm finding it--oh, invigorating."

Why not the unicorn? Prouvaire sings, but Combeferre has no idea if Enjolras can understand either of them.

He does not ask Bahorel why he chose a wolf, or if Bahorel is enjoying it. Both questions are obvious.

clayforthedevil: (woof)

[personal profile] clayforthedevil 2015-06-11 11:59 am (UTC)(link)
Bahorel does keep racing, circling the trees before bouncing back to his friends. This body likes to run! And he and his body have always been highly indulgent friends to each other.

But this body likes to snap at flying things too, and he leaps in clearly hopeless mock-attack in greeting towards Combeferre before flopping down on his back next to Enjolras and yipping a hello to Prouvaire. A hello, and a look, he did it!
wings_of_a_swan: (Default)

[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-06-11 12:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Combeferre holds himself just out of reach of Bahorel, not out of fear, but out of teasing. It's fun! He grins as Bahorel snaps uselessly at him.

"I'm happy you tried it," Combeferre says to Enjolras. "I think we'll all find these transformations...educational." As well as fun, and it's just as well to have a pleasant occupation at this time of year. He circles lower over Enjolras, brushing his wing over Enjolras's fur. It's strange--Combeferre can imagine how the fur would feel to a human hand, but it feels entirely different to a pterosaur's wing.

Prouvaire twirls and cavorts in the air. Yes, he did! He didn't pick the unicorn, but he did it!
clayforthedevil: (woof)

[personal profile] clayforthedevil 2015-06-13 08:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Why, for Enjolras that expression is very nearly smugness. Bahorel approves entirely. He rolls over to shove playfully at Enjolras with his forehead, happy and fiercely proud; of Enjolras, of all his friends, with their absurdities and daring.

As if in response to that thought, a shadow passes by from much higher up than Prouvaire or Combeferre's wings. Bahorel grins at the stretched silhouette of Joly's robot-self, and takes off running after it. The mood demands he fights, or dances, or races, but moves , somehow; and there are few enough hours left to do all of it in this form.
Edited 2015-06-13 20:14 (UTC)
wings_of_a_swan: (Default)

[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-06-14 04:23 am (UTC)(link)
Combeferre and Prouvaire soar overhead, sometimes in tandem, racing each other, diving in helical twists around each other and pulling up just before, but more often floating away in different directions, staring intently at different things from the strange view high above.

Prouvaire bumps Combeferre's wing, and Combeferre looks up to see...

Joly, sings Prouvaire, and this time Combeferre believes him.

They both swoop down to low-hanging tree branches near Enjolras and Bahorel, and that's when the vidscreens appear before them.

Prouvaire's song in response sounds like a dirge.
clayforthedevil: (somewhere)

[personal profile] clayforthedevil 2015-06-14 05:13 am (UTC)(link)
Bahorel thumps the no button instantly, too. He's thoroughly enjoyed the last few days, but he wants to see a sunset in proper colors again. He stretches for a moment, and then that's that, and he's standing on two legs and in full loud clothing again.

He would make a comment about that last, but then there's Prouvaire's song. All right; it's the end of something, and a new Something, at that. It can have a moment or two of solemnity.

(More than that, though, is highly unlikely. The wolf body didn't have as much urge to talk, but he is entirely back to himself now, and it's been days.)
vive_lavenir: (Default)

[personal profile] vive_lavenir 2015-06-14 05:35 am (UTC)(link)
Combeferre hits the no button with no internal debate. He has to hit it with his human nose, which perhaps exemplifies why he needs no debate. The wings with their pycnofibers were enormously fascinating, but he wants his legs back, and he never intended this to be anything more than an educational experiment. One nose-bump at the button, and Combeferre is back on his feet. He swings his arms and stretches out his fingers. It's good to have fingers, and especially thumbs.

Jehan also needs no internal debate, but he does have a sharp pang of melancholic regret. He takes one last aerial cartwheel, and sings a long melodic line of phoenix-song. Oh, if he could only retain the ability to assume this shape at will. If only he could capture this moment forever, and return to it whenever he pleased. If only he'd have something beyond the fading memory of thrilling flight and transcendent song. If only.

But he won't. He sings a final mournful note, and hits no.

Once Jehan is human again, he stalks over to a tree and sinks underneath it, pressing his face into his hands. He wants to concentrate and remember.
vive_lavenir: (Default)

[personal profile] vive_lavenir 2015-06-14 06:27 am (UTC)(link)
Jehan looks up at Enjolras--familiar, human Enjolras. Remembers identifying him by the golden luminosity of his soul when he was in dog form. Jehan will never see that soul, or any soul, again. Though of course one might say he's still seeing Enjolras's soul right now. It's visible in the confused earnestness on Enjolras's face, tangible in the comforting hand on his shoulder. Jehan raises a hand to cover his friend's, and smiles faintly.

"It's a hard thing for me to give up," Jehan says, in response to the question he senses from Enjolras. Flight, beauty, song, simply being a phoenix--he's been wrenched away from it now, and it's painful and cold.
vive_lavenir: (Default)

[personal profile] vive_lavenir 2015-06-14 07:11 am (UTC)(link)
Jehan blushes. He can't help it. He should be used to Enjolras's sincere declarations by now, but in truth there's no getting used to them. Direct sunlight burns no matter how long one basks in it. And Jehan's never been good at not getting shy or embarrassed. He doesn't know what to say--there's no good enough way to convey the mix of affection and humility he feels at such an extravagant statement from such a man.

"I'm honored that you would say that," he manages to say. He still misses the song and the flight, of course. But--it would be arrogance to think there's any truth to what Enjolras said, but Enjolras's words light the way to a different truth. There's beauty and transcendence to be found in this form as well. It was in this form that Jehan met all of them, after all.
clayforthedevil: (somewhere)

[personal profile] clayforthedevil 2015-06-25 03:35 am (UTC)(link)
"Of course he'd say it. It's true. So of course you miss it." Bahorel joins them at the tree and crouches down next to Jehan, still watching the shifting colors of the world intently. "It was yours; anyone could see that. What could you have more right to grieve than losing something of yourself? But you've seen that part of yourself in full, now."
vive_lavenir: (Default)

[personal profile] vive_lavenir 2015-06-25 03:51 am (UTC)(link)
Jehan blushes again and lets his head drop down to his knees, putting a hand on Bahorel's shoulder.

When he raises his head again, it's only to say, "We've all lost our lives, but losing this form--it's a form of death, in its way."

He looks at Combeferre, who has walked over and knelt next to him. "In its way, perhaps," says Combeferre somberly, "but you're still here, so I much prefer this way to the other."

Jehan gives a sad smile of acknowledgement and lets his head fall to his knees again.

Combeferre rises and looks at Enjolras. "How did you enjoy the canine experience?"
Edited 2015-06-25 03:51 (UTC)
clayforthedevil: smile (smiling gray)

[personal profile] clayforthedevil 2015-06-25 09:05 pm (UTC)(link)
Bahorel nods in agreement with Jehan's claim on their deaths. Their also-selves, their other-forms of a few days' life, are gone; they've lost a body, a claim on a certain place in the world; what else is death? Especially now.

But of course Enjolras and Combeferre wouldn't see it that way, though he's not sure how they do see it. For now he just puts an arm around Jehan's back and smiles slightly at Enjolras' assessment of the experience.
vive_lavenir: (Default)

[personal profile] vive_lavenir 2015-06-26 03:13 am (UTC)(link)
After a few deep breaths, Jehan raises his head again, leaning against Bahorel, who he knows will understand.

Enjolras and Combeferre understand different things, and Jehan values that too. He smiles at Enjolras's "it wasn't bad," his melancholy swept aside by a sudden flood of mirth.

"I'm so happy you did it. The unicorn would have been more mythic--but I'm sure the dog's nature was worth experiencing, as well!"
Edited 2015-06-26 03:14 (UTC)
wings_of_a_swan: (Default)

[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-06-26 03:30 am (UTC)(link)
Combeferre looks from Prouvaire to Enjolras, taking in both Prouvaire's dreamy voice and Enjolras's almost-grimace, and stifles a snicker. He would look around for something to stare at to help keep his countenance, except he knows if he does, his eye will fall on Bahorel. Which is no help.
clayforthedevil: (grey laugh)

[personal profile] clayforthedevil 2015-06-30 07:28 pm (UTC)(link)
"A unicorn, really?" Bahorel grins, but he won't tease, not the way he would have if Enjolras hadn't tried something. "I suppose we couldn't all have the truly creative choices."

Yes hello Combeferre, he's laughing at you now. Bahorel is no help at all ever.
wings_of_a_swan: (Default)

[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-07-02 08:31 pm (UTC)(link)
"Perhaps the powers behind Cubefall knew it was no use giving creative choices to an almost-lawyer," says Combeferre, who is also no help to himself.

He is, however, deeply content. He was able to try being a pterosaur. Prouvaire, despite his present sadness, could be a phoenix for a while, and Combeferre is entirely in accord with Enjolras that this form expressed part of Prouvaire's true nature. Bahorel evidently enjoyed his experience as a wolf to the hilt, and Enjolras--that Enjolras transformed at all, largely to satisfy Combeferre's curiosity and Prouvaire's sense of poetry and Bahorel's sense of humor, was a very sweet gift. Combeferre smiles.
vive_lavenir: (Default)

[personal profile] vive_lavenir 2015-07-02 08:55 pm (UTC)(link)
Jehan, still mournful, is nonetheless warmed by his friends' presence, even more so than their words.

It was a sublime experience, and it will make for a good poem.