[A/N]: Written for frustratedstudent. Sorry this was so late. Hope you enjoyed it, nonetheless! :) | Revised: 21/10/2017
There are times when I do not understand the constant fretting of my friend Combeferre. Does he not realise that I am well aware of the situation and consequences I am about to face? I know he can comprehend why I would choose to do this, but he has queried me about my sanity and involvement again and again for the past fortnight.
Whenever he comes, the colloquy would eventually venture into something like this:
'Is there no other way, Aurélien?' he'd ask me, as we sat in our company's lounging area.
I do not hide my ire, but merely limited my reaction to the twitching of my eye and by responding, 'You make it sound like I'm going to assassinate someone, 'Ferre.'
Combeferre laughs, but fixes me with an apologetic stare before replying, 'I do not mean to insinuate that, but given that you're one of the best savateurs in our group and that you have a licence to carry guns as Bahorel does, I cannot help but worry.'
I glare despite my reservations, so I snap at him, 'It's Lamarque's wedding, 'Ferre. I'm not Robespierre or St. Just. I will not be a sycophant and play god.'
'Hopefully so, and you are more than they. But if you are carrying a gun, please do not be exiled from the ceremony like Louise Michel,' he says, sighing.
I felt myself frown before saying, 'History repeats itself, but not in the same way again, Théo.'
Combeferre tilts his head to the left sadly. 'You are a rare eccentric of an occurrence, brother,' he says, however, his lips curling fondly as he resignedly leant back in his chair.
I did not want to give Combeferre more grievances to fret about so I jest instead as I lift a brow and reply, 'A statement which the others will agree upon.'
'Most of the time, perhaps, but I find myself in discord with them when it comes to who you really can be, Aurélien,' he responds, resting his cheek on a fist.
'You are my brother, Théo, so you know more. But they are kin, as well, so it doesn't quite change anything about their perceptions of me. I could say the same for you,' I say, humming nonchalantly before sipping the blue berry tea Jehan recommended.
I admit that I am more inclined to have caffeine in my system, but this tea Jehan recommended was brilliant and therefore, worth repeating of drinking. That confession needs no affirmation publicly, so a select few only know. It smells and tastes like honey and roses combined—I am not sure this simile is appropriate, but it's the best way I could think of to describe it.
Combeferre merely shrugs in reply, but cautions me not to lose my temper easily, in case the plan does not go smoothly. I respond that I will not because there will always be a way to salvage things if it does turn out badly.
'I hope you're right,' he says before we departed then.
I could not have been more wrong.
Well, I did not totally go cinglé on it, but the results weren't as I hoped it would be. A month ago, Bahorel gave us a lead that the wedding which I was supposed to crash would be at the Basilique Saint-Sernin in Toulouse. I wonder what we could have faulted or miscalculated in our research and plan as I stand here and see no sight of the woman I intended to stop from marrying Lamarque because he does not know that she was already wed to someone. Or that she is an ex-con artist who only wants him so she can sell secrets to countries. The subject covers her records well, but not well enough for Bossuet's reconnoitring skills.
Sometimes, I do not understand the man I grew to admire, but they say love can make people do stupid things. While I believe that no one is truly an idiot and that we only have moments of dim-wittedness, sometimes moments can last for days, weeks, or even years. This is why I do not want to be romantically attached to anyone, truly. It is not that I deem love is for the doomed, but that is not the focal point of my being and life, and I normally prefer my solitude.
Going back to the scene, however, I find myself being the groom's man to the wrong wedding in the right church. Did we truly fault in analysing our enemy's movement? I do not want to get disappointed, but I want to know how this happened. I've contacted Bossuet already, but he does not answer. I've tried the others, as well, but I get nothing but static from my device. Being intercepted has already crossed my mind, but how could that even occur when we've re-checked everything for at least ten times?
Nonetheless, I breathe so as not to blow my cover. I just have to go along and pretend I know everyone as I nod and smile properly. I cannot leave yet, since the man who was supposed to be in my place is still unconscious in the chambres downstairs. I knocked him out too well even for Bahorel's liking, but ah, well, the intrusion must proceed.
The ceremony commences with someone playing Dvorak's Romance Op. 11, and the ensemble begins walking down the aisle. I hurry towards the Maid of Honour behind them before anyone could complain about a missing person. I have not yet seen this woman who I am partnered with before, but she looks somewhat pained that I wonder what could probably paint such a distress on her face on a florid wedding such as this.
Anyway, I smile at her, and she grins as she puts her hand on my arm. Her grasp is light, but tight and stirs from me something I cannot exactly explain. I ignore it, and merely examine her face from the corner of my eye and notice a slight wetness in her eyelids. It is quite unfortunate that her auburn hair is in a tight bun and therefore does not do the job of hiding the tears she probably does not want people to see. But it must be only I who saw this since her friend – the brunette who she was talking to in front – does not speak of it to her. When her friend leaves for the walk, she becomes silent and pensive as she clutches the side of her Badgley Mischka sapphire gown.
Before our turn to stroll through the aisle comes, she mutters, 'Woe to the wed who weep.'
I chuckle slightly at her humour, and earn a genuine smile this time. '"Most ardently", madame,' I whisper as we begin walking. I do not know what came over me and made me quote from Pride and Prejudice, but I decide not to dwell on it further as we begin strolling through the aisle.
Her brown eyes light up a bit at this, and she clutches my arm more tightly. I pat her hand lightly as a photographer captures this moment of ours. When we've reached the front of the altar, I almost regret parting from her as I waited with the groom, who still has not noticed that his best friend is not the person beside him. But I look at her from the other side and see that her lids get teary as the groom continued to gaze in wonder at his bride.
Ah. Finally, her distress made sense.
But she masks her sorrows well by clutching her bouquet tightly as the rites commence. I cannot blame her, but I wonder why did she not say or do anything until it was too late.
However, I find myself frowning at this slightly and achieving no logical reason. I do not like this uncertainty. I cannot exactly fathom it. The ceremony stretches on and on as I wonder about the probability of this predicament of mine – if it matters or not. Perhaps not, I believe.
Yet I pursue glancing at the woman opposite me and find the want to converse more with her. I will do so later, unless someone from my base remembers to – oh, wait, all right, all right, I am supposedlystill in a mission. I must go about things professionally.
The wedding ceremony ends in a blur of flowers and tears and that cheesy Disney song from Tangled, but I keep my eyes mostly on the woman with the auburn hair and morose eyes.
I should have gotten her name earlier, so I could ask Bossuet to help me locate her since he owes me. In case he asks me about her, I'd just tell that she is a subject I need to study for a mission. That would work. Probably.
I shake my head sadly, nonetheless, and do my best to quietly get into the loo and change into my own clothes, but someone impedes me.
Damn it. I almost succeed without anyone noticing me leaving, but it's her.
'Hey, m'sieur,' a familiar voice calls me.
Doing my best to look calm, I breathe before facing her and replying, 'Yes, madame?'
'I forgot to ask for your name. I'm not sure I've met you during the rehearsals for this wedding,' she says, looking at me directly as she gives a hand for me to shake. 'I'm Éponine Thénardier.'
Thénardier? Hmm, this woman is more interesting than I thought.
But I take her hand, no matter, and kiss it briefly. I see her cheeks turn incarnadine even as she tries to hide it with a twitch of her lips as it curls against her will. I part from her hand before I begin to memorise her skin beneath my lips. I think I smell jasmine emanating from her hand.
I really must go.
'Nice meeting you, madame,' I say nicely before lying, 'And I was just busy during the rehearsals, so I couldn't attend. The groom had to fill in someone for me during the practices, but I promised I would turn up for his wedding, so this is the first time you met me.'
She chuckles. 'Ah, I understand. How about your name?' she asks, still smiling.
My eyes widen. It is not that I have forgotten my name, but I didn't think she would notice and persist knowing it. But what else have I to lose? It's not like I'm going to see her in the near future anymore.
I laugh and scratch my neck instinctively before looking into her eyes and saying, 'I'm Aurélien Enjolras.'
'A lovely name,' she remarks, nearing me. 'What do you propose I call you?'
I'm a bit startled by her proximity, but I should not let it faze me and blow my cover. So I match her gaze and curl my lips before responding, 'Enjolras.'
'Ah, I see,' she responds, her dark eyes glittering with something I should not even speak of. I do not know if I am challenged or aroused by it.
But the spell breaks when she corners me into the wall and shocks me as she says, 'So you're the one my sister is afraid of about her wedding tomorrow?'
I snap and become fully alert as I seize her hands and waist and take her with me into the restroom. She tries to fight me, but I fortunately succeed with minimum noise hassle.
I push her against the wall and do my best not to imagine another scenario entirely as her eyes glare at me heatedly. But I have to know how she knows who I am, so I clench my jaw and tighten my grip on her hands. She is clever enough about what to confuse and stir me since she starts to rub herself on my thigh. I stop it with a free hand.
'Madame, I do not wish to play games,' I say, gritting my teeth even as I feel my cheeks burning. 'How did you know about me? Is this wedding faux?'
'This wedding was a mistake for you, m'sieur. The wedding you are supposed to be in is set for tomorrow. I think I've done well placing my friend for this day. I had to protect my sister from possible persecution from the likes of you. I changed the names online and in the records here,' she explains, smirking. 'I had to find out who were after my sister, and voila, I found you – you, Enjolras of Les Amis de l'ABC.'
I glare at her. 'I have to stop Lamarque from making a mistake. He does not know who he's committing to tomorrow!' I burst tersely, tightening my hold on her even more.
Her brows knit in anger and she shouts, 'Well, fuck you! You don't know my sister, too! She does love François – she's stopped – I mean, we've turned away from our past criminal lives. We're not up to something! Anymore! We've changed! Perhaps, you should go to Lamarque himself and talk to him before assuming things you are not even sure of! Everything you've heard of is an allegation! Just that – a rumour! Oh, you bloody morons!'
I gasp, my mouth opening unconsciously. I close it and release her gently, but I do not part with her hand yet. I find myself rubbing circles on her wrist as I apologise. 'I – I'm sorry for assuming things. But if what you say is true, would you verify it to my group, as well?'
She takes my hand and puts it away before grabbing me and kissing me full on the lips. It took three seconds for the shock to wear off for me to respond. By that time, however, she kicks me hard in the groin and manages to black me out with a mean hook. My last memory of her is her standing over me with her black stiletto on my chest.
'Our lives are merely empty shells,' she says.
When I wake, I am lying in a bed back in our base in St. Michel, and see Combeferre worriedly talking with Courfeyrac.
'He just appeared on my doorway, Courfeyrac! He had nothing with him except a note and usb containing files on our subject,' Combeferre says, his arms crossed.
'I know, I know, 'Ferre, but at least he's alive,' Courfeyrac answers before seeing me regain my consciousness and going towards me.
'How long have I been out?' I ask the usual query.
'Just two days, Enj,' Courfeyrac responds, chuckling.
I merely sigh. I just feel defeated.
Combeferre comes in and hands me the note he was speaking of earlier. 'Someone left you this. Who's É?'
I take the paper from him and read it quickly. I try not to blush in front of them as I reply, 'A femme fatale.'
Combeferre and Courfeyrac look at each other confusedly.
This woman with auburn hair and morose eyes will surely plague me for the coming days.
It's all the same to me.
Rue Plumet. 14h50. 25/04.