pro_patria_mortuus: (to days gone by)
Enjolras is at a table with a book and a plate. (It contains some crumbs that used to be a chicken sandwich, a mostly untouched small cake of the sort that Bar persists in giving him unrequested, and -- inexplicably -- a small candy heart with the incomprehensible word LOL stamped on it in pink. Enjolras has no particular desire for candy, especially of a self-evidently joking sort, and thus has ignored it.)

More importantly, he has a book about the history of Ysalwen's Thedas, which he's reading thoughtfully.

The bar is bustling, as often. A few of his friends are about; the spy is across the room, monitored but outwardly ignored. Enjolras has no intention of speaking to him without cause, if he's given a choice in the matter.
pro_patria_mortuus: (the people have not stirred)
He wakes.

He's in his room at Milliways. Not Auvergne; not France. In Milliways, in the darkness of the middle of the night, with a counterfeit moon pale in the sky outside and Combeferre a motionless sleeping lump on the other side of the bed.

Everything is too dark, too still, too empty, too Milliways. He swallows, but whatever's in his throat stays where it is.

The seconds tick past. There's no clock, of course. What would be the point of one, here?

At last he gets out of bed, moving as quietly as he can for Combeferre's sake. Everything seems at once loud and muffled, in the midnight stillness. He lights a candle, slitting his eyes against the match's flare, and sets it down on a table where some confusing but safely nonflammable gadget will block the worst of the brightness from Combeferre. It won't wake Combeferre, he hopes; it might, but they both sleep through the other's reading often enough, and he wants the light, right now. He settles on the couch.

There's nothing he wants to do, exactly. Nothing in his power, at least. But he won't be able to sleep again any time soon.
pro_patria_mortuus: Enjolras in profile, head bowed, rifle in hand. (marble lover of liberty)
Whether Enjolras has been asleep for a night, or a week, or some other and less easily definable stretch of Milliways time is a matter for metaphysical speculation. Not his, however. So far as he's concerned, he went to bed last night; now, slowly, he wakes.

The sunlight is bright on his face. There's a faint background noise of gurgling from Combeferre's copper still in the bathroom. The sheets are twisted around his feet, and Jeanne is--

No. There's no eagle on the bedpost, and why would there be?

Enjolras rouses himself enough to sit up, and scrub his hands over his face and through his tangled curls. That dream was not only long and extremely vivid, but it seems to be persistent. Scraps and shreds of it still hang about the morning air. One moment he's entirely present in the moment of this morning, and the next moment he's nearly convinced that Jeanne is a flash of white in the corner of his eye.

(The eagle -- the soul-birds that followed around each of them -- is obviously some unfathomable construct of dream-logic. But the rest of the dream is easy enough to account for. A vivid dream of coming from 1830 along with several of his friends, with action and anger fresh in their hands, with the Milliways library at their fingertips, with the ability to bring home notes and facts and forewarning and even microscopes and water filters -- it's easy enough to see how his mind manufactured such a thing. Even now he aches with the fierce urge to be doing something about it all. That's nothing new that this dream brought; every single day at Milliways he's felt that fierce aching frustration, and every day he's set it aside.)

He scrubs his face again, and extricates his feet, and goes to start the coffee and wash up.
pro_patria_mortuus: Enjolras in profile, head bowed, rifle in hand. (marble lover of liberty)
It's a clear, fine night at the end of the universe. The afternoon was warm and sunny; it's night now, well after midnight, and the sky outside the window is bright with strange stars. By the Milliways calendar, capricious creature though it is, today was June 5. It's June 6 now, technically, in the dark hours between midnight and sunrise.

On this date, in 1832, Paris was an eventful place. A morning funeral, an uprising -- by afternoon, barricades -- by the evening of the 6th, violently and brutally suppressed.

Enjolras and Combeferre are still awake. They're not discussing the date, or past events. Indeed, they've discussed such things very little today. They have, instead, been reading. Every so often one or the other will read a passage aloud, or comment upon it, and then a conversation will unfold: a discussion of the future, or a friendly argument about its proper shape or interpretation. When silence falls, it's to resume reading, not to brood in silence.

If every so often one or the other of them seems to be reading more slowly than usual, and looking through the pages of his book -- or if a heavy silence falls in the middle of an argument, and is not immediately filled -- well, doubtless it's only distraction.
pro_patria_mortuus: (let us welcome it gladly)
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.
pro_patria_mortuus: (je ne comprends pas)
When Enjolras and Bahorel return from a sparring session to room 89, it's with the idea of the loan of a book, and drinks, and doubtless conversation. It turns out, however, that Joly and Combeferre are already in the room.

This is fine, of course; it's no trouble whatsoever. And the rooms are as much Combeferre's as Enjolras's. It's only that Combeferre and Joly are elbows-deep in some kind of experimentation which distracts a certain amount of attention.

There are weird devices that beep and blink with multicolored lights. There are wires and whirring noises. There's a green liquid that's steaming somewhat ominously, although Joly catches Enjolras's glance and assures them both in a bright voice that it's perfectly safe. (Bahorel looks faintly disappointed to hear it.) There's Combeferre's pterosaur specimen, decanted from its jar and hooked up to one of the weird devices, which is producing a warbling wail like a drunken songbird.

It's not worth asking about the experiment just yet, let alone inquiring what world and time those mechanisms might have come from. Enjolras leaves Bahorel to ask anyway, and poke at things, and generally make a nuisance of himself. He himself goes to wash up.

A few minutes later, in shirtsleeves with a freshly washed face and hands, he returns to the main room. He's just in time to see a fountain of brightly colored steam shoot for the ceiling. The little devices are shrieking and warbling, and Joly makes a startled sound -- Enjolras has covered the distance to the table, he's reaching to pull them away, whoever's nearest, out of danger -- but just as his hand closes on Combeferre's sleeve, either his vision wobbles or the air itself does, and they're somewhere else.

Quiet falls like a weight. The table with its devices and bubbling liquid and pickled pterosaur is still there, but the devices have gone silent. Joly is here, Bahorel, Combeferre; his arm is solid under Enjolras's hand.

But under their feet is lush greenery. Strange plants surround them, and a blue sky overhead. The air is warm and swampy and full of unfamiliar odors. There are buzzing noises, and a clattering of strange insects, and somewhere far off a bleat deeper than any sheep or goat. No walls. No buildings; no civilization; no humans in sight, except their little cluster. Nothing familiar at all.

For a heartbeat, they're all wide-eyed.

Then Bahorel is shouting with laughter, and Joly exclaiming and Combeferre starting to sputter questions.

Suddenly there's a loud buzz, and a large dark shape falls from the sky in a rapid, erratic path. Enjolras pushes forward on instinct, putting himself in front of Combeferre, sees Bahorel doing the same--

And they're back in his familiar room at Milliways, just as they were, except that there's a beetle the size of a small dog on the table, tucking its wings away.

(It's only later that any of them will realize just how many days passed in the course of those few moments. This is why you shouldn't play with pterosaur corpses and time-manipulation devices you don't fully understand, kids!)
pro_patria_mortuus: (the people have not stirred)
[Just before: bringing unwelcome news to Valjean.]

It's very warm indoors, after the chill and quiet of the lake and the tension of that conversation. The café hubbub is like a heavy weight in the air. Enjolras stops by Bar to retrieve his note to Valjean. It's irrelevant now.

Then he goes upstairs to room 89.

Combeferre is in the bathroom doing something probably experimental with the still's piping, to judge by the clank of metal and the way the copper boiler is currently gurgling. Good. Enjolras would have gone in search of him or Courfeyrac or Feuilly before long, otherwise. But he doesn't need to disturb his friend immediately. His presence nearby is comfort.

He hangs up overcoat, hat, coat. Removes his gloves, props his walking stick against a table. There's a fire lit; this room is warm too, but it's cozy now rather than oppressive.

He drops into a chair with a weariness he didn't let himself acknowledge around Valjean. The old man's pain and fear and weariness mattered far more, then. Now Enjolras rests his elbows on his knees and, just for a few moments, his forehead on folded hands, and breathes out.

It's done, at least.
pro_patria_mortuus: (to days gone by)
In Room 89, the television is on. Courfeyrac has been mastering the arcane mysteries of the remote control.

Previously, this meant a great deal of switching between channels at random intervals; Enjolras arrived in the middle of this exercise, and settled down with a book and his thoughts to affectionately ignore Courfeyrac's entertainment. (It was a bit like being in a mostly empty café or near an open window, except that the sound abruptly flickered to a new scene every so often.) But then Courfeyrac found a show created by the Tourism Board of France.

Right now, a cheerful woman's voice is explaining the Lemon Festival of Menton.
pro_patria_mortuus: (guide and chief)
Enjolras has, over his months here, gotten more or less accustomed to conversations with Bar. With Combeferre looking on in fascination, however, he's newly reminded of the depth of peculiarity inherent in a discussion in which one half of the dialogue comes in the form of notes in orange crayon (and legible but extremely strange and rather childish handwriting, to 19th century eyes) written on small paper napkins.

Nonetheless, the conversation is reasonably productive. Their request -- primarily Combeferre's request, though Enjolras raised the question with Bar -- was for either more shelving to be installed in their current room, or for a larger room intended for two and with enough storage space for the collection of oddities and equipment Combeferre is likely to keep amassing.

"And no cherubs," Combeferre added. "If you please."

Bar indicated, via orange notes, that shelving would be possible, but that a larger room was equally possible and likely more useful, and that she suggested examining the options to see if they would suit. It's fair enough, Enjolras has to admit. If none of them seem workable -- for example if every large room involves blue and cherubs or Bahorel's rocks-and-red-velvet... thing -- then they can always return to request shelves and any other modifications Combeferre would prefer.

So Combeferre and Enjolras are now making their way through the upstairs hallway comparing room numbers with those inscribed on a ring of keys.
pro_patria_mortuus: (Default)
Enjolras asked the bar for enough dinner for two or three, something that would keep for a while if required to, and received a basket. He hasn't investigated its contents. Instead, he just thanked Bar and went upstairs to put it in his room, and then to see whether Combeferre had gotten lost in the library or the infirmary.

As it turns out, minimal searching is required: Combeferre is in the room already.
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