pro_patria_mortuus: (Default)
When you're young, athletic, dead, and bored at Milliways, the available hobbies get surprisingly limited. In other words, for those who enjoy sparring, there's a whole lot of time to practice in.

Enjolras and Chuck Hansen, as they frequently do, have been killing some time this way. So when they come down the stairs, perfunctorily cleaned up but still kind of sweaty, it's in order to head to Bar for something to drink.

"--in case you aren't holding enough stuff," Chuck grouses, as they round a table.

Enjolras returns the mild look of someone who's heard this complaint before, but doesn't entirely understand it. "They are handy," he points out.
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: Hugh Jackman as Valjean, looking down, thoughtful and/or hiding his feelings (z Valjean reserve)
He's spoken to some of the others; the rest aren't answering their watches. Asleep, maybe, or affected by this strange switching of bodies too. Combeferre went in search of anyone he could find a while ago. A pragmatic division of labor, especially since he's still recognizably himself.

This remains weird. Enjolras is doing his best to ignore that, by dint of focusing on immediately practical matters. They're pressing enough that it's working reasonably well.

He turns his watch's hands to the correct number to call the last of their number. "Grantaire," he says into it. "I know I don't sound like myself, but it's Enjolras. Where are you right now?"

Maybe Grantaire will answer, or maybe he's passed out.
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: (to days gone by)
It's a fine autumn day: not too cold, with a light breeze and a clear sunny sky.

Also it's beautiful, or so Prouvaire has informed him with great certainty, although he sighed briefly over the lack of dramatically thunderous clouds. Enjolras is willing to take his word for it. He doesn't see the appeal of thunderous clouds, except that rain is necessary for crops, and so far as he can tell Prouvaire thinks nearly every day is beautiful in its own (sometimes dismal) way, but he has no particular opinions to the contrary.

They're walking arm in arm on the far side of the lake, not too far from the forest verge. It's a good day to walk with a friend. (They're both agreed that that, too, is true of nearly any day.)
pro_patria_mortuus: (to days gone by)
Bahorel was volubly gleeful at the prospect of learning swordfighting from a genuine medieval English knight who lived and made war with his longsword, and equally gleeful at the prospect of teaching him canne de combat. Enjolras isn't surprised at all by this; it's why he felt comfortable making the offer to Harry Percy in the first place.

This would probably be true even without Bahorel's current level of boredom. As it is, he'd probably leap at the chance to teach canne de combat to a dressmaker's dummy.

(A poor analogy. He's probably already done that, too.)

At any rate, the idea being mutually agreeable and their schedules being largely free, Enjolras and Bahorel and Harry have made their way together to the practice room upstairs.
pro_patria_mortuus: (to days gone by)
Enjolras is not, on the whole, a man with a great deal of appreciation for the beautiful outdoors. He's a city boy, and a man whose interest is mostly occupied by people, and abstract concepts concerning people.

But Milliways is a very enclosed place, and a very boring place, and there's no city to go walking in here. And Enjolras is also a fairly athletic man, who would prefer a lot more exercise than one easily finds around this place.

All of which is to say: he's out for a walk. At the moment, he's just stopped by the stables.
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: (to days gone by)
Enjolras spent the afternoon (or the loose Milliways equivalent) first in conversation with Courfeyrac -- primarily discussing certain philosophers of the mid-20th century, but also hearing an enthusiastically convoluted description of Courfeyrac's new favorite television shows. After that, sparring with Bahorel.

He's just washed up and changed into a clean shirt and waistcoat, and is considering between dinner and the library, when there's a familiar knock on the door. "Come in," he calls.

He doesn't yet know which friend it is, but all the same the smile of greeting started at the knock.
pro_patria_mortuus: (to days gone by)
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.
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: (Default)
Dear M. Fauchelevent,

I have recently been informed of certain matters which are of interest to you as well, and of which I believe you should be made aware. This is nothing urgent, I assure you, so far as I'm aware. Please find me at your convenience. My room number is 89. I remain,

Yours sincerely,

Jean-Sébastien Enjolras
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: (je ne comprends pas)
[A moment ago: approaching the Labyrinth.]

Bahorel enters, and with a shrug Feuilly follows. Enjolras pockets his watch and follows after them, ball of string in hand.

He finds himself on a broad flat plain of sun-bleached grass, strewn about with huge stones as if a giant had scattered seeds upon it. The sky is just as bleached, a pale and disconcerting greenish shade, without a cloud upon it. The air's warm and moist as spring.

Bahorel and Feuilly are nowhere to be seen.
pro_patria_mortuus: (Default)
"Please keep an eye on your watch," Combeferre requested. "I'd like to try using the watches to communicate with you from the Labyrinth. I want to test it and see if it works."

Enjolras dutifully kept an ear out for the watch's speaking chime, and checked it occasionally as well, just in case he had failed to hear it. He received one message, fairly promptly, saying that Combeferre believed they were approaching the Labyrinth. Then, what seemed to be hours, at least insofar as one can tell at Milliways. (Despite his occasional absent-minded checking, Joly's watches are useless for timetelling purposes.) Then another message: this one brief, reassuringly calm and cheerful, and apparently from inside the Labyrinth, but with sound that came and went like a candle flickering in wind.

For the rest of the night, nothing more.

Time at Milliways is strange. Enjolras knows that. Time in the forest is even stranger; he knows that too. If there's no particular evidence they're safe, neither is there particular evidence they're in danger.

All the same. He doesn't sleep well; he wakes at every noise that might possibly be a chime. In the early morning, he goes to find Feuilly.

Feuilly is answers the door with a book in one hand and his hair standing on end, looking as if he's been awake for some time, which is either an indication that Milliways time is being peculiar again or merely an indication that it's an interesting book. When the situation at hand has been discussed in as much detail as possible, they spend a little while longer discussing the Soviet Union, with watches open on the table beside them.

The watches don't chime.

Their course of action is clear. The conversation lulls; Enjolras picks up his watch, moves the hands to 12, speaks into it to everyone who's listening. He waits for an answer from the Labyrinth too, and hears only from Bahorel, in his room down the hall and eager for the advenutre of a rescue mission.

Grantaire doesn't answer, but apparently he's listened to the little voice-message that's left behind, because when the others gather by Bar, he's there too. He blinks at them with his usual faint bleariness, but follows along readily as they start across the lawn, making for the trees. It's good to see. Grantaire cares about his friends, that's always been plain to see, but it's good to see him acting usefully on their behalf as well.

Bahorel has a large pack. Enjolras hasn't inquired into its contents.

Grantaire has a bottle. Enjolras hasn't inquired into its contents either, although in this case it's easy to guess.

He's never ventured through the Labyrinth's doors, but he does know more or less where it is. Bahorel likewise, it seems. It's some ways along, where the forest meets the mountains.
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: (to days gone by)
There are a few exercise rooms scattered about Milliways, of various sorts and various levels of formal construction. A room with weights and a punching bag; a room with mirrors and a barre and strict signs about which shoes one is permitted to wear; a room with fewer mirrors, a closet full of various kinds of padding, another closet with practice implements like rods of wood and bamboo, a wood floor, mats of strange blue plastic to unfold or ignore.

It's in the last of these that Enjolras and Bahorel have been recently engaged in vigorous (and friendly) attempts to pummel each other.
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