Orestes Fasting and Pylades Drunk

Utter, complete silence, a deafening kind of quiet. AU in which Grantaire wakes up after the battle to find that Enjolras has died without him. Angsty, slightly grisly descriptions.


1. Orestes Fasting and Pylades Drunk

The silence, more than anything, was what woke him. Utter, complete silence, a deafening kind of quiet. What hit him a second later was the stench. Blood, gunpowder, his own absinthe-stained breath--alone they were bad enough, but the combination was dizzying and he felt nausea bubble up inside of him. He retched a few times, but the only things that came up were stomach acid, sour and disgusting, and a few bitter swallows of alcohol. The room was dusty-looking, as if someone had taken the cheery interior and painted over it with sickness.

Three bodies were all that he saw at first, all of them on the filthy floor with the remnants of his stomach and a few smashed bottles. A freezing wave of dread and sickness washed over him, turning his hot blood to ice. No. It could not be. He crouched down and reached out hesitantly, feeling slightly out-of-body as he watched his hand grip the arm of the nearest corpse. He was frozen like that for a few moments, not daring to turn the body over. He closed his eyes and took a deep, shuddering breath. The limbs were heavy and lolling and he had to steel himself before he dared glance at the face, at the blood smeared over the dark green waistcoat and milky white skin, some of it dry and some still wet. When he did, he could not help the scream, the cry of horror and disbelief and gut-wrenching guilt that escaped from his cracked and bleeding lips.


Instantly his mind was bombarded by a dizzying and confused array of images--Courfeyrac at the Musain, showing off to Jehan as he slammed down his hand of playing cards, revealing the royal flush--Courfeyrac, complaining to him about his strange, dimwitted roommate, the Bonapartist Marius--Courfeyrac, singing to Feuilly on the fan-maker's birthday, presenting him with a handmade Polish flag--Courfeyrac, chest heaving with terrified and then joyous sobs as he told him about his relationship with Jehan and he, in turn, assured him of his support--Courfeyrac, helping him home after he drank himself into oblivion after a fight with Enjolras--Courfeyrac, dead on the ground before him.

He could not breathe, could not think, could not do anything. His ears were ringing, but he thought he heard, somewhere in the distance, someone crying hysterically. Then he realised that it was himself. "Courfeyrac, no, no, Courf--"

He cradled his friend's head in his lap, letting his tears drip down onto Courfeyrac's face, cleaning a path through the grime of gunpowder, letting his hands entangle themselves in the messy shock of dark curls, letting his eyes wander before focusing on the glassy green mirrors. He dropped his head onto Courfeyrac's chest, searching desperately for a heartbeat, for some kind of sign, for anything-but the dead man's lifeblood had already been spilt. He was gone.

He slowly eased Courfeyrac back to the floor, gently arranging his limbs and closing those eyes-now he could be sleeping-and took a deep breath, turning to the other two bodies. The next was Combeferre. A shudder ran through his body at the sight of the scholar (the Guide, he was called) mangled body, the face crusty with blood, but he forced himself to move on and simply brushed back a stray lock of ginger hair, and closed the eyes, inquisitive in life and reproachful in death.

The third was Joly (or Jollllly, as they sometimes called him-a clever pun created by Jehan, about him soaring on four ailes). A small burst of laughter bubble up inside his chest before he could stop himself-the idea of what Joly would say if he could see himself was too much. He could practically hear the young hypochondriac's indignation and anxiety at this poor treatment of the dead, the lack of hygiene, the blood and soot that decorated his own normally cheerful face. He glanced down at his hands, which were coated in blood (none of it his own) and dirt, and imagined Joly's reaction to how he was handling his body. The medical student would start blabbering about some disease or other and run to the nearest mirror so that he could stare at his tongue. Despite his anxiety, Joly was ordinarily a perfectly cheery fellow-had been, his subconscious reminded him, because he's dead now, isn't he?

Any laughter that had been in his throat died away and he stood, pausing only to close Joly's warm brown eyes that now saw naught but stars. He made his way down the staircase slowly, as it was choked with abandoned muskets, smashed bottles, and paving stones. More bodies, bore grief and pain and hopelessness and need for a bottle in his hand awaited him. Feuilly and Bahorel, each one's hand inches from the other's, eyes wide and staring. One of the tables held Gavroche, little innocent Gavroche, who had taken in two children off the street, and his emaciated sister (Eponine, he thought-her name was Eponine).

The street was full of bodies, some friend, some foe. Bossuet, the unlucky one, bald head coated in a thick ooze of blood. One of the bodies belonged to a young law student who had a love of dominoes. He had played the fellow and lost spectacularly. Now the boy's legs were crushed under the remnants of the fallen barricade, upon which were more bodies, more numbers, more sons and brothers and husbands to be missed.

He noticed that Marius, Courfeyrac's roommate, was nowhere to be found. He sincerely hoped that the boy had not bothered to join the fight after all, and thus lived to see another day. Jehan, the loving poet, was slumped against a barred door, his once-beautiful gingery-blond hair matted and filthy, tear tracks visible through the dirt on his sweet face.

He stepped out of the shady awning of the Musain but stopped again almost instantly. Something was just brushing the top of his head. He back up, confused, and glance skyward, expecting anything, anything, but what greeted him. Chief, leader, activist, god, Apollo, Orestes, Enjolras. He let out a strangled cry and fell backwards, landing hard and scraping his palms. The stinging was nothing compared to the sick nausea, the horror and stabbing sensation that was burning through him, setting him on fire. Enjolras was hanging upside-down from the second-story window, a red cloth caught between the fingers of his right hand, golden curls askew, bright, impossibly blue eyes closed. His mouth was a line of grim determination painted red. Blood, brilliantly, shockingly scarlet, stained his white shirt.

He could not make a sound. Every breath was ripped forcefully from his shuddering body, racked with sobs and curses. No. No. "'Pollo," he mumbled thickly, hardly aware of anything but the sight of this majestic creature, this fallen angel. His hands scrabbled in the puddles of blood that collected in between the uneven paving stones of the street. "No," he whispered, voice hoarse and cracked.


The street was silent; nothing stirred. He was utterly alone in this dark abyss, this cesspool of hatred and death. He curled himself into a ball and screamed. the sound pierced the night like a gunshot and he was grateful for it, for the broken silence. His life had been dark before the battle, but now it was utterly spent. His only source for hope had fallen as only an angel, a god, can. Nobody loves the light like the blind man.

Grantaire's light had been put out.

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