the_obverse: (boozin')
[personal profile] the_obverse
Sometimes, after a man drinks enough, he wants some cool air, and a space where there's no one around.

. . . or at least, so Grantaire assumes the logic was, now that he's sobered up enough to realize that he's surrounded by trees, and the building of the bar is nowhere in sight.

There have been smarter decisions in his life. On the other hand, there have been stupider ones, too.

Date: 2014-01-13 04:10 am (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: Enjolras in profile, head bowed, rifle in hand. (marble lover of liberty)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
Enjolras is not a man much enamored of nature. He is aware, distantly and intellectually, that there is much of use in it, and much that other men find worthy of both study and enchantment. Still, these matters -- trees, grass, flowers, clouds, sky -- have never held especial interest for him.

That remains true. But Milliways is a teacup to be imprisoned within, however many newspapers and baffling strangers it contains. There are few friends, no cause, no city streets. A man chafes to explore the edges merely for the chance to see something new.

He had come to the forest's edge out of curiosity and boredom mingled, and walked a ways down the nearest path. Just when he was considering whether to continue on or go back, he saw Grantaire's back disappearing between trees along a narrow path like a goat-track.

Enjolras is not overly sanguine about his own ability to navigate through unknown woods. But he is even less confident in Grantaire's, especially if Grantaire has been drinking; which, it must be admitted, he usually has been, even if his steps appear steady enough.

Enjolras weighs his options. Then he makes a mental note of the direction of the sun and of the open lawn behind him, and follows.

Date: 2014-01-13 04:37 am (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: (is it simply a game)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
It wasn't so dark near the edge of the forest. It's not yet sundown; but twilight is creeping on, and the tall trees here have blotted out the sunlight with astonishing rapidity.

Enjolras hears Grantaire's voice, too low to understand at this distance, but with a familiar cadence. Discoursing on nothing to no one, for the sake of the empty words. There is plenty of precedent for that.

Enjolras would like to be getting back. A city street at evening or night he knows, with or without the lamps lit. A forest is different; he doesn't know what lurks in these shadows. He had learned Paris's streets by the mile and by the inch, but there is very little known here. He pushes forward. The track has grown quite faint, but the underbrush isn't thick.

Date: 2014-01-13 04:55 am (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: (you're no longer a child)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
The Inferno. Enjolras, disobligingly, does not pick up the quote.

"No."

Not Virgil nor Dante nor beast; no poet, either.

Date: 2014-01-13 05:15 am (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: (is it simply a game)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
Faintly exasperated, "Did you want to get lost?"

If so, Enjolras could have spared himself at least half this trip.

(Although he might not have in any case. Milliways is a teacup to be trapped in, and if Grantaire is endlessly irritating, he's also something of a friend. Grantaire and Gavroche are the nearest pieces of home available, other than newspapers.)

Date: 2014-01-13 05:31 am (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: (time for us all to decide who we are)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
Enjolras's face tightens in irritation. It's familiar -- of course it's familiar -- but that nearly every conversation descends this way does not stop him from finding the pointlessness of it wearisome.

(He has nearly stopped looking for other voices to speak up, to turn the conversation aside with a joke or a distraction. It hurts like a knife every time he realizes that.)

There are replies to make. None of them are worth making; they all presuppose a serious discussion.

"It's getting dark," he says instead. "I intend to return to the lawn. Come or not as you like."

Date: 2014-01-16 05:14 am (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: (guide and chief)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
It must be the trees blocking the light. It was only twilight not long ago. He could see well enough to walk, the whole way here. Enjolras doesn't know deep forest -- perhaps, he thinks, this is usual -- but his sense of time is certain enough, no matter what strangeness Milliways possesses.

The shadows have grown deep around them.

At any rate, twilight or night, there is nothing to be gained by delay. Enjolras turns back. Pushing a reaching branch aside with his walking stick, he starts back down the path.

(Was it this faint before? It must have been. But there is a path, and it leads in the correct direction, and there is a dim glow to see by that can only be moonlight; it will serve.)
Edited Date: 2014-01-16 05:29 am (UTC)

Date: 2014-01-22 05:32 am (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: (to days gone by)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
Enjolras glances back.

He may be forgiven, perhaps, if he does not as a rule assume that Grantaire's questions are asked with the expectation of an answer. At times he answers them anyway, but this one had not struck him as worth pursuing.

He turns his eyes forward again. The path is faint and needs watching, especially for a man unaccustomed to forest trails, and Grantaire seems to be hanging back in the shadows in any case. Enjolras has no idea why he would want to.

"I had gone for a walk. There's little enough new scenery here. I was in the forest, I saw you, I followed."

It seems of little enough importance to him. His tone says so.

Date: 2014-01-22 02:06 pm (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: (guide and chief)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
The reason is that they are two men, and nothing of philosophical allegiance nor pragmatic concerns hung in the balance; there is no significance to it. Enjolras has not devoted a second thought to it. He would be bemused that Grantaire is doing so, if he realized.

"Combeferre, I think, would disagree."

There's a faint humor to the words. And yet --

And yet it's the first time he's said Combeferre's name aloud in weeks. He hadn't entirely realized, until the word was in his mouth. That awareness coils in his stomach like an illness; it's wrong, it's awful. Their friends aren't here, no one here knows them, no one here can share their smiles or praise their names. Enjolras has not said any of his friends' names in speaking to or about them in longer than he can count.

At least he can do so with Grantaire. However little his conversation ever signifies, however the others' absence hurts like a missing limb -- there is, at least, that.

Date: 2014-01-23 05:16 am (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: (time for us all to decide who we are)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
If it's the wrong tense to use -- and it is, of course -- Enjolras doesn't want to correct it, even in his thoughts. It will serve.

Especially now, in this silence. It's only the two of them; it's only been the two of them, of the adults in the back room of the Musain, since they were shot hand in hand, and came to the bustling peopled loneliness of Milliways. Around them: strange trees, stranger shadows, and silence.

Direct, and a little impatient: "Do you really believe that?"

If only Grantaire would be serious, one could talk to him seriously. He's capable, but he won't do it.

Date: 2014-01-23 05:52 am (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: Enjolras in profile, head bowed, rifle in hand. (marble lover of liberty)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
"Liberty."

"France. Equality, humanity, progress."

He could continue.

"Kindness is not the point."

Kindness matters. Of course it does; it must. But it's for humans among each other in the day-to-day, not ideals. Those shine high above, inspiring, to be served.

Date: 2014-01-24 04:35 am (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: (time for us all to decide who we are)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
"Kindness," says Enjolras patiently, ignoring the last sally, "is a matter of human society. Unkindness likewise. Both are concerns of human interaction."

The faint track they were following has broadened; it's nearly a proper path. This allows Enjolras to glance back more easily as he speaks, though he still keeps his attention on the path more than otherwise.

"To speak of an ideal being kind or unkind makes no sense. They give comfort and courage, they shine before us, they are certainly good, but not in the manner of a man choosing to give another bread or walk past his pain."

"As for insects, I doubt they can be kind, but I don't know. I am the wrong man to ask about their beauty in any case."

The right men are not here to ask. But Enjolras can only and ever be himself.

Date: 2014-01-26 05:30 am (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: (you're no longer a child)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
The trouble with Grantaire is that he has a brain, and he refuses to use it; he has courage, and refuses to back it with convictions; he sees human society, but only its failings.

Except when he does use his brain and his courage. There are things Enjolras will never forget.

But he's not consistent; he's never serious when he can be irritating instead.

"You look for the worst in it."

Date: 2014-01-26 06:09 am (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: (we strive towards a larger goal)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
Enjolras frowns.

"There was only one path. It had no forks."

"And yet this does look different." He does not much like the admission, but it's the truth, and thus must be made. "I have been thinking the same."

Multi-layered bad puns are wasted on Enjolras. Sorry, Grantaire. (Fortunately, Grantaire is quite willing to make them for his own amusement alone.)

Date: 2014-01-26 06:27 am (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: (je ne comprends pas)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
Enjolras has drawn to a halt. He looks down at the path clear beneath his feet.

And then, frowning, back at Grantaire.

The other man isn't so far back, but all the same the shadows are deeper where he is; it's peculiar, it makes little sense when Enjolras is carrying neither torch nor lantern, but it remains true. All the same, the path is clear to see, and wider than it was before.

Date: 2014-01-26 06:39 am (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: (time for us all to decide who we are)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
"I'm sure," he says.

And then, "Can't you see it? Come over here where the light's better."

Where is that light even coming from? It was the sky before, or so he thought; but now it seems more focused, however dim it remains, and yet there's no source to be found.

Date: 2014-01-29 05:20 am (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: (time for us all to decide who we are)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
The shadows are deep all around them.

There's no purpose in worrying about what lies within them, Enjolras feels; wild beasts must be rare, and humans may be dealt with according to their disposition; he has a cane, even if Grantaire does not, and will repurpose it if he must; whatever these pools of shadow hold is of no concern unless it emerges. Still, he's alert.

The trees are thinner above the path. (That must be it.) The light that filters down is dim, a murky twilight, but sufficient.

He waits, patient.

Date: 2014-01-29 05:38 am (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: (here upon these stones)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
Enjolras had not thought himself to have notably better (non-metaphorical) night vision than Grantaire. Well, apparently it's the case. And, after all, Paris had lampposts; even when the lamps were broken, there were candles in windows.

"Come, then." He touches Grantaire's shoulder -- light, companionable enough, in passing and brief -- and steps forward again.

"In circles or straight, this path must lead somewhere."

Date: 2014-02-01 04:56 am (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: Enjolras in profile, head bowed, rifle in hand. (marble lover of liberty)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
Not in circular paths with no forks to take towards a better outcome, no.



At any rate, the path remains, and in fact widens slightly. There's a dim gleam ahead, like sunlight through thinner trees; a cold breeze slides along beside them, and ruffles the hair at the back of Enjolras's neck.

Date: 2014-02-01 05:35 am (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: (is it simply a game)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
It's a familiar sort of comment from Grantaire: ridiculous, and not worth responding to. The path was there, plain to see, whether or not Grantaire's eyes were sharp enough to perceive it. It always was.

He continues on.

The cold has come on astonishingly fast. It feels like winter, though it was a warm October day.
Edited Date: 2014-02-01 05:40 am (UTC)

Date: 2014-02-01 06:07 am (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: (we strive towards a larger goal)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
It's sunlight, at any rate.

The golden brightness is welcome, but also confusing. It was night a moment ago; it was twilight before that, when the trees were thinner and Grantaire was stumbling deeper into forest. But now the sun is bright, and the air has a cold bite that cuts through Enjolras's jacket. He's frowning.

His breath is a fog in the air. He glances back, briefly, but doesn't stop.

Date: 2014-02-01 06:24 am (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: (we strive towards a larger goal)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
Enjolras would in fact appreciate the self-restraint, if he knew. The idea does not occur to him.

Seeing in Grantaire confusion, cold, and no help whatsoever, he turns his frown back to the winter sunlight filtering between the trees.

Date: 2014-02-01 06:39 am (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: (we strive towards a larger goal)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
Enjolras's jaw tightens briefly.

He does -- of course he does; how else would a man function? How else would a world? -- and yet there's snow on the ground up ahead.

He strides on. There's nothing for it but to push through, and see what comes.

What comes is the Milliways lawn, and a thin skim of snow drifted across the ground, and ice edging the lake. Across it, the stables, the greenhouse, the bar.

Date: 2014-02-02 08:44 pm (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: (we strive towards a larger goal)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
Enjolras doesn't recognize the quote, but it doesn't matter.

"The season seems the only visible change," he says, when they've progressed a little further.

As for what's inside, of course, there's no way to tell as yet.

Date: 2014-02-02 09:33 pm (UTC)
pro_patria_mortuus: (we strive towards a larger goal)
From: [personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus
"Dante would recognize very little here."

Enjolras is not complaining about that; Dante's loving depictions of hell's torments never held much appeal for him. Purgatory and paradise, likewise. He has always preferred the ascent of earthly Progress in human society.

The wind bites through the light wool of his jacket. Grantaire, shivering in only shirtsleeves and waistcoat, must be freezing.

If he were any of their other friends, Enjolras would tuck an arm through his, even put an arm around his shoulders; little enough against a winter wind, but friendship warms a man more than wool. Wandering outside drunk and half-decent is foolish, but foolishness should not deserve pain. But this is Grantaire, who smells like a wineshop floor, who often looks as if he's been struck whenever Enjolras does something as simple as touch his shoulder, for reasons Enjolras has never cared to think about too closely. There is a gulf between them, all misunderstandings and sarcasms over things unspoken, that Enjolras has never known how to bridge.

The café will be warmer, at any rate, and perhaps it will hold some answers.
Edited Date: 2014-02-06 04:28 am (UTC)

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