So in honour of rare pairs week i decided to post this fanfic i wrote some weeks ago and never posted. The ship is Enjolras/Jehan which i love and it’s basically based on a headcanon i had about blind Jehan. Mostly angst. Hope you like it :)
The smell of the blood was floating in the air. The fading smoke of the rifles was blurring the vision of the young men fighting, bringing tears in their eyes. The bullets were crossing the air and hitting them like raindrops wetting their clothes, only their clothes were wet in blood and the raindrops falling from the sky couldn’t wash it away. They were falling on the pavement, every time one among the others, and one by one, the young revolutionaries were sacrificing their lives for a dream, one single flame of hope and a future that might never be.
A cry managed to cover the sounds of the bullets and the canons, but a cry may be more painful than a bullet. A bullet goes only one way, a cry cracks the heart of anyone who hears it. Bahorel fell dead on the pavement, leaving his last breath in the hands of Jehan who kneeled beside him. Oh, who were they deceiving? They would die, each and every one of them. Romanticists of their time, filled with hope and a logical madness, fighting for ideals and visions and dying to see them from the heavens taking their place in the world. Jehan swallowed and looked around him, spotting a young man at the other side of the barricade fighting, resembling to a flower, a flower with thorns. He bit his lip. Alas, the world was not filled with flowers. It was beautiful yes, the skies were beautiful, the stars, the birds, but all these were up in the sky. Maybe that was the place all those who dreamt of happiness actually wanted to go. Because the world lower than the sky, lower than the higher building of France, this world wasn’t the one he had grown up thinking of. Life was beautiful for him, but keeping the beauty of life for himself, that was selfish. He couldn’t watch the rest of the world suffering and begging for a mouthful of bread, something that he considered granted. Maybe if he was blind he wouldn’t have to watch those people staying alive because they had to. But he wasn’t blind. And as he was able to see the sky and the birds flying, in that way he was able to see reality and fight it, so it would be the same for everyone. He was not blinded by wealth, by the happiness he had the right to live in. And he would never be.
“Ammunition! We need more ammunition!”
Enjolras raised his head, breathing heavily and looked around him. They were right. They needed more ammunition. He shook his head. If they didn’t stop shooting, they would run out of bullets before the end of the fight. But what could they do? He sighed and made to descend the barricade. A gunshot was heard, a scream made him stop and a bullet hit his chest on the right side, making him leave a cry, his body curving in pain. He shut his eyes closed wincing and he swallowed the blood he felt coming up his mouth. He raised his look and saw someone struggling to reach him through the fight, hitting the soldiers and calling his name. He couldn’t see who it was, his vision blurred from the tears gathered in his eyes, waiting to fall. He groaned. He had to go in the café, the bullets were few, he shouldn’t care about himself at the moment. He took a deep breath trying to ignore the pain and descended the barricade, heading to the café but just before he stepped into the room, a voice caused him and everyone else fighting to freeze.
“Fall back or I’ll blow the barricade!”
He came out staggering slightly and stared at the top of the barricade, his eyes wide open.
“Oh my God…”
Marius was holding a torch close to a barrel full of gunpowder, his eyes sparkling, seemed to have no conscience of what he was doing. Enjolras made some steps forward, in opposition to everyone else who stepped back in terror. Combeferre approached Marius trembling slightly.
The soldiers made to fend off as Marius held the torch closer to the gunpowder. A hollow sound, a gunshot that seemed to have come from nowhere, as if the fate had decided so, crossed the air and found Marius in the heart, this kind young man who hadn’t lasted enough to see life. He was now one of the others who had died, only one and yet one man added to another fifteen is the one who makes the difference. He fell back in Combeferre’s arms, who heaved a short sigh of terror, squeezed his friend’s hand one last time and then turned his head slowly, at least that’s what he thought, because what happened after seemed to last for ages but it was only a few seconds. Only a few seconds are needed to end a life or more. Fateful seconds. He looked at the barrel with the gunpowder, at the flame of the torch sparkling beside it and then turned at Enjolras, his eyes saying the last goodbye before he left a scream in an attempt to save the unsaved.
Enjolras felt his body numbed, his wound ached more and he shook his head terrified before he glanced at the other side of the barricade to meet Jehan’s eyes looking at him desperately. He managed to say nothing, only to move his lips with no sound coming out of his mouth but one word. "Run.”
A streak of successive explosions shaked the ground, destroying everything that dared to be close to them. Of course, there was more gunpowder hidden. The deafening sounds, mixed with the screams of terror, echoed in the streets of Paris, marked the walls and broke the silence the night was sinking in. Enjolras felt the air around him pressing him and his body flew back, hitting on the stairs while the wall of the café started collapsing around him, the wooden planks hitting his body. He was not dead. Oh, God, he was alive and he could feel all the pain overwhelming him. He felt his right arm burning, he cried in pain and clenched his fists hitting the wooden stairs, trying to hold back another scream, while more planks fell on him and some seconds later he was almost buried under the collapsed building.
Suddenly silence fell, as if a sheet covered all the sounds to bring calmness. Only the fire burning the furniture and the woods was heard. He groaned as tears of despair wetted his eyes and sobbed, breathing heavily. He wouldn’t die yet, he felt it. But he couldn’t do with the pain he suffered from. Blood was gushing from the wound on his chest, yet it was not enough. He swallowed exhausted, his head leaning back and he closed his eyes for a moment, trying to calm down and concentrate. Then a thought crossed his mind and his eyes sparkled. If he was alive, then some of the others could be too. He smiled as a fake hope sparkled in him. What better way to deceive yourself? He sighed and gathered all his strength, pushing the planks laying on him and stood on his feet groaning, feeling the pain pulling his body down again. He winced and looked around him, but at the same time he wished he had stayed where he was and waited to die. Because what he saw hurt more than his wound, than his burnt arm. He saw disaster and it resembled more to a nightmare than to reality. He made some steps staggering and then stayed still, his feet trembling and his blue eyes filling with despair. Everything was lost. Everything. The front side of the café where the barricade was built was almost destroyed. The barricade they had built some hours ago, with their hopes and dreams getting lost among the furniture and making it bigger to their eyes, the one that hid the future beyond its height, this barricade was lost. The flames were still devouring the furniture left, the last ray of hope seemed to dance in them, until it turned into ashes. But all those meant nothing to him compared to the horror he faced and made to averse his look, but it seemed impossible, as if fate held his head and made him face the failure. Because nothing was more important to him than the bodies of his dead friends laying on the pavement or on the remains of the barricade, most of them turning to ashes as flames surrounded them. He sobbed in shock and stepped forward, kneeling beside the first body he saw, touching the pulse, his fingers trembling. Dead. Courfeyrac was dead. Combeferre hadn’t managed to get away with Marius. Brave young man, he had tried to save the others. Vainly. Feuilly was dead. His body was laying some metters away, the burns deforming his face. Joly was dead. He was leaned on a wall, covered by blood. Bossuet wasn’t seen anywhere. Enjolras looked around him breathing with difficulty, the smoke in the air stifling him and he shook his head in an attempt to make himself believe everything was just a dream. But it was not. Oh, God, it was not and he started coughing and sobbing at the same time, staring desperately into the void, not knowing what to do. He opened his mouth in an attempt to call someone, but the only sound that came out was a weak and hoarse whisper.
No answer. Of course not. He couldn’t deceive himself anymore. It was over.
A groan was heard behind him. He turned his head abruptly, his heart skipping a beat, his eyes wide open. There was someone. Maybe he could save someone. He swallowed. A cough was followed by a hollow voice that was drown among more coughs.
“Enj… Enjol… ras…”
Under the table, in the corner. Enjolras saw someone there before the explosion. His thoughts were blurred. Yes, he remembered someone staring at him before he fell back. He himself had told him to…
He raised his head, his eyes sparkling and ran to the broken table, breathing heavily. He moved it away with a groan and looked at the man laying on the pavement, his heart beating fast.
Jehan turned his head to see him as he kneeled beside him, but he seemed to look into the void. Enjolras snorted and pulled him gently on the wall squeezing his hand but a cry stopped him. Jehan winced in pain and gasped for air, something that made Enjolras leave the hope he felt to have found behind and look at the young man laying in front of him. Oh, if he didn’t knew him, he couldn’t tell he was the same man as someone minutes ago. And he couldn’t be. He couldn’t be Jehan, this soft and beautiful young man with the sparkling eyes hidden behind the brown curls falling on his forehead and the red cheeks. This seemed to be a different man. His head was bowed, his eyes were red, half-opened and swollen, the right side of his face was burnt, covered in blood, his hair filled with ashes was stuck on his sweaty forehead. His right arm had almost paralyzed from the burns and a huge stain of blood was painted on his shirt. His chest was shaking up and down, trying to breathe, but the smoke was not helping him. Enjolras breathed shakily and caressed his cheek, as tears wetted his eyes. Jehan leaned his head back but still his look was vague. Enjolras capped his cheek with his trembling hand and came closer, unable to understand what was going on.
“Jehan…”, he said softly and pain overwhelmed him again, “I’m here…”
Jehan tried to look at the side Enjolras’ voice was coming from. He coughed and a tear came down his cheek as his lips curved a bitter smile.
“I…”, he started but his voice cracked as a sob escaped his mouth. “I can’t see, Enjolras…”
Enjolras froze in his tracks. His breath was cut. He stared at Jehan, yearning for this loving gaze he once gave him. But it was lost. Lost along with the last trace of hope remained in his heart. He swallowed and his hand touched Jehan’s wet hair, removing them from his forehead.
“You can’t…”, he stuttered and chuckled bitterly, as if he was unable to believe it. Jehan sighed and bit his lip trying vainly to hold back a groan.
“Are you…”, he started but a cough interrupted his phrase. “Are you okay?”
Enjolras raised his head and stayed silent for a moment. Then his hand reached his wound, the blood flowed between his fingers and his eyes flew back to Jehan, his head leaned on the wall, almost deformed from the pain, but with a small smile drawn on his lips. Enjolras shook his head. Oh, he was so brave. He took a deep breath.
“I’m fine.”, he said trying hard to keep his voice stable. He couldn’t see. He didn’t have to worry about him too. Jehan raised his eyebrows and a sparkle seemed to lighten his drained eyes.
“Thank God…”, he whispered and a cry of pain escaped his lungs. He winced and clenched his fists. Enjolras squeezed his left hand and unbuttoned his shirt.
“You will be oka-…”, the voice stopped coming out of his mouth as he saw the right side of Jehan’s body burnt, covered in blood, with a huge wound on his rib as if he had been stabbed. The young man’s blood was creating a pond, gushing every time he breathed. Jehan groaned.
“It’s bad, isn’t it?…”, he said weakly and chuckled. This chuckle broke Enjolras’ heart. Oh, he would die, he knew it. Yet, he was smiling. He shook his head. He couldn’t let him go like this.
“We… We will ask for help, you will be fine, don’t worry…”, he said quickly as if it was unable for him to utter his own words, knowing he was lying. Jehan nodded. He bit his lip. He couldn’t deprive him of hope, he always lived with hope sparkling in his eyes, and now that his eyes were blinded, only hope had remained. At least he would die still hoping.
He stood up and put Jehan’s hand over his shoulders, pulling him up gently so he wouldn’t hurt him more. Jehan swallowed as he put his trembling feet on the pavement and took a deep breath, trying to ignore the pain overwhelming him. Enjolras looked at the houses around. The shutters were closed, in every one of them. He bit his lip.
“Someone… Someone will help is, I’ll knock the doors…”, he stuttered and Jehan breathed shakily, gasping for the air he couldn’t get, his lungs filling with more and more smoke. Enjolras made some steps ignoring his own pain and knocked on the first door. He got no answer. He pulled Jehan forward and knocked on another door with more strength. The crackling of the shutters broke the dead silence. A young woman looked down hesitantly. Enjolras coughed.
“Please help us…”, he begged, his voice weak and he felt Jehan’s dead eyes staring at him, as if he was questioning him. He had said he was okay. The woman shook her head, trying to make her look apologetic and closed the shutters.
“No, please…”, Enjolras cried and held back a sob. Tears started coming down his cheeks as he moved forward. Jehan snorted, his coughing becoming more intense.
Enjolras didn’t speak, he just continued knocking on the doors, going as far as he could a then back again, crying and groaning, his fist hitting the wooden doors with as much strength as had remained in him, until he reached the last one, returning again to the start and when the silence answered to his calls one more time he made some steps forward and left a cry of pain as he fell on his knees and Jehan leaned again on the wall, sighing with exhaustion. Enjolras felt his body numbed and now he knew he couldn’t do anything to hide it. He hid his face in his hands and started sobbing, feeling his wound losing now more and more blood. It was over, everything was over and all that because of a soldier who decided to risk the lives of everyone as if they were nothing.
A hand fell on his shoulder and he turned his head slowly, his vision blurred by the tears to see Jehan smiling bitterly with a sad expression on his deformed face. He shivered.
“Just because I’m blind, Enjolras…”, Jehan whispered hoarsely, “It doesn’t mean I can’t understand the man I love…”
Enjolras swallowed and touched his hand, the one that had remained soft and pale like the old times, when they were dreaming with open eyes about tomorrow, about love and a future that never came. Jehan reached for his cheek. Enjolras took his hand and guided him until he touched his soft skin, feeling the blood flowing between his fingers.
“The bullet…”, he started, his voice weakening with every word. “The bullet found you on the chest…”, he raised his head in an attempt to find a way to stare at him one last time. “I saw it… But I didn’t manage to reach you…”
Enjolras flounced and more tears came down his face as silent sobs were convulsing his body. He was a fool. Of course, it was himself the one he was trying to deceive. Jehan was not an idiot.
“It’s okay Enjolras…”, he continued with a grin. “Anyway, I won’t be alone in heaven, will I?”
“Forgive me please!”, Enjolras cried with a sob and his trembling hands reached Jehan’s. Jehan shook his head as a tear came down his cheek and bit his lip. He bought Enjolras’ hand to his lips, feeling his breath getting shorter and shorter. He then raised his head up in the sky, but immediately he stopped. Oh, he had almost forgotten. He was blind.
Enjolras stared at him, his eyes filled with love and for a moment, he wished Jehan did so too. He was yearning for love, for forgiveness. In his eyes. But his eyes were empty.
“Enjolras…”, said suddenly Jehan, his voice hardly heard. “Please tell me… Are the stars beautiful tonight?”
Enjolras felt shudders passing through him and looked at him, his heart breaking. He raised his head and his lips curved a small smile.
“Oh, yes…”, he whispered. “They are beautiful. More beautiful than any other time. They give so much light to the darkness…”, he stopped as his voice was drown among his sobs. Jehan nodded and a smile brightened his face, making him look so beautiful despite the deformity of it. Enjolras felt his heart getting back into pieces as he heard the words coming out of his mouth, his voice imperious and soft, like it once had been.
"Light is given to us by God and may God take it from us if he desires to. But there’s beauty even in the darkness, for it’s the darkness where the most beautiful things are hidden. The stars won’t stop shining because night is surrounding them. The light can shine anywhere if one searches for it… But… “, he stopped for a moment, raised his head and for the first time Enjolras felt that he looked him deep in the eyes, ”… Oh, God… I must have been blessed… Because I had the chance to see the light itself.“
Enjolras thought for a moment that he was in paradise, his lips were curved to a loving smile and he was caressing Jehan’s hand gently. He leaned and left a kiss on his lips. Jehan smiled and swallowed, his breath almost cut. He held back a sob and tried to look at him.
"Will you hug me, Enjolras?… One last time?…”
Enjolras’ beautiful blue eyes were shining like diamonds behind the tears falling like waterfalls. He bit his lips and hugged softly the young man, trying not to hurt him, his hands trembling and folded his hair, hiding his face in his shoulder as he felt his hand embracing his back.
“I love you…”, he whispered among his sobs and snorted. Oh, he loved him, he loved him so much. And yet, he was losing him into his own arms. Jehan’s hand fell gently from his back and he felt his chest on him not moving anymore. He left a short terrified sigh and looked at him. But even the last traces of life he previously had in his drained eyes had disappeared and the eyes were open, staring into the void, the last light slowly fading. Only his lips had remained curved in a short smile.
Enjolras shook his head.
“No, please…”, he stuttered weakly and shook Jehan’s body slightly. “Not yet, not yet, please…”, his voice was drown among his sobs and he hugged the dead body tightly, now that he knew he wouldn’t hurt him, crying and kissing his hair, his body trembling, shaking, trying to bring him back, him and the old bygone days. But it was vain.
He could stay there and wait until he died. The smoke was stifling him. He held Jehan’s body tightly in his hug, breathing heavily, looking at the stars. He had lost much blood, he wouldn’t last long. His body was convulsing. He would die.
A thought crossed his mind and he flounced as he looked at Jehan’s dead eyes. Oh, he shouldn’t die. He had to do something before he died. He moved from his seat and held Jehan’s body for a moment, gazing at him one last time. Oh, he didn’t see a dead man. He saw a happy one. He knew he was happy. The smile remaining on his lips was implying it. He died happy, the hope hadn’t faded in him, just like he wanted him to do. He raised his hand, covered in blood and gently closed his eyes, his fingers trembling, looking once again into his dark eyes. He then leaned and kissed his forehead, cold and sweaty before he placed him softly on the pavement, caressing his hair and sobbing silently. His eyes were unable to change direction. He wiped the tears from his cheeks and stood up slowly, bowing his head and fending, his steps heavy and unstable.
The first room of the café was destroyed anyway. But the room at the back, the one where they once held their meetings, had remained untouched. He entered and stood still, looking around. A candle was still burning on a table in the corner. It was the one he used to write on when he stayed in the café until late in the night. A small vase filled with ink was still on it. He swallowed and approached, feeling the souls of his dead friends surrounding him, calling him to go with them. He shook his head, a fading smile curving his lips.
“Not yet…”, he whispered. “Not yet…”
He opened the drawer and took out a pen and a sheet of paper with doodled edges. He smiled. Jehan used to doodle flowers when he was bored. He took a deep breath and felt pain overwhelming him. He groaned. Not now, he shouldn’t die now. He swallowed, immersed the pen into the ink and put it on the paper. His hand started moving, despite the burns that made him wanting to scream. Nothing was more important to him than what he was writing now. He stopped from time to time, his body was curving from the pain, his hand was trembling. But no cry escaped his lips. He bit his lip and went on, his handwriting cursive and quick.
The pen left the last dot on the paper. Enjolras breathed shakily and raised his head to stare at the flame of the candle flickering in the darkness of the room. He smiled one last smile that brightened his beautiful face, his eyes sparkled and his curls seemed golden in the trembling light. Maybe Jehan was right when he said he resembled to a flower. To an angel. The light itself. His breath got shorter and he raised his look, staring out of the window at the night sky. One last tear came down his marble cheek. He bit his lip, wincing in pain. The stars were shining brighter than they did before. His last breath came out of his lungs and he smiled.
“I’m coming, my light…”, he whispered with love and his body fell lifeless on the floor, his hand dragging the vase with the ink which rolled to the corner of the table. His eyes remained open staring at the void, but hope seemed to be reflected on them. The ink flowed slowly on the table, blackening the doodled corner of the paper and dripping on the chair. Silence fell. The flame of the candle blew out.
The sun spreaded its rays on the sky, lightening the disaster of the last night. The soldiers approached the back room and pushed the wooden door, its crackling breaking the silence. They looked at the dead body on the floor. One of them shook his head. It was a pity, young beautiful men were lost in vain. Oh, but he was more than dead. He had fought the pain, the despair. He had fought death. And he had won.
A soldier took the sheet left on the table. The corner was filled with ink, a line was marked beside the last dot, when the pen fell off the hand of the one that was holding it. For them those were just lines. Lines that for some could have a meaning. But they were not just lines. They were lines that had marked the heart of the one that had heard them, lines he couldn’t take with him in heaven, he knew he had to write them down, to save the memory, the glory. The last lines of a man who had seen the light.
Light is given to us by God and may God take it from us if he desires to.
But there’s beauty even in the darkness, for it’s the darkness where the most beautiful things are hidden.
The stars won’t stop shining because night is surrounding them. The light can shine anywhere if one searches for it.
But, God… I must have been blessed… Because I had the chance to see the light itself.
He was blinded because fate had decided so. But the sparkling eyes of his soul were always open.