I swear I haven't abandoned my works in progress. Just so much rl drama too! But I'm back, and with one story in another fandom wrapped up yesterday, hopefully this will be updated more frequently.
Much of Enjolras' headcanon comes from my darling Jolene, who plays my Enjolras in rp and is pretty much Enjolras incarnate.
Somehow, in a few steps, the park had become the Rue de Seine. Grantaire was already unnerved enough that it didn't make much difference. Tristan smiled warmly, looking around them. "I thought perhaps familiar surroundings might put you more at ease."
"Croyez-moi, nothing's going to put me at ease under these circumstances," Grantaire countered, shaking his head. "Maybe things like this are typical for you wherever you came from, but on this planet, chatting up your boyfriend's dead father...not so much with the normal."
Tristan inclined his head, as if conceding the point. "Agreed. But, as you might say, it is what it is."
Grantaire still had no idea what to make of the entire situation. He had to be dreaming - he'd seen pictures of Tristan before. Not many, as Enjolras didn't like to leave reminders out in the open, but enough to have an image in his subconscious. And Tristan didn't seem to be the least bit bothered by the mixing of languages that had become pure habit for Grantaire. The older generation of Paris often reacted in annoyance, considering it a bastardization of their native tongue. "Faut pas croire que..."
Tristan shrugged. "Oui." The more Grantaire studied him, the more it was clear just how much Enjolras resembled his father, even down to the wry smile. "There is a point to all of this, Monsieur, I assure you."
"Ah, bon." Grantaire raised his eyebrows. "Je suis à l'écoute."
"There are fears Alexandre discusses with no one, not even you," Tristan said somberly, taking a seat on the nearest bench.
Grantaire joined him, frowning. "Alexandre?" As long as he had known Enjolras, the young activist had always gone by his middle name. Enjolras had mentioned once his first name was for Alexandre Dumas, his mother's favorite novelist, but that was the most it had ever come up. Actually, that was the most Enjolras freely discussed about his mother, too. Grantaire almost found himself hoping that Tristan could clear that up, but that would have meant this had some semblance of reality.
"Well, yes, it is his name." Tristan smiled fondly. "His mother chose it."
"Yeah, what about her, anyway?" Grantaire knew very little about his beloved's mother, and most of it came from Combeferre. After Tristan's death, she had spiraled into depression and hopelessness. As far as Grantaire knew, she had become completely unable to cope and was eventually admitted to a residental mental health center sometime in Enjolras' teen years.
"Diana had her difficulties," Tristan admitted, growing quiet and steepling his fingers together. "It was something I knew when I married her, but we had been able to make it work. After the accident...she wanted Alex to be all I was to her."
Grantaire winced. "That sounds a little creepy."
"No, not in any carnal sense," Tristan clarified quickly. "But I made the error of assuming I would always be her everything. She needed someone to lean on, and she was too lost in her grief to realize it was too much for a child to bear."
It actually explained a lot about Enjolras, come to think of it. And considering the man would have blamed himself for the invention of gunpowder if he got half an idea how, it was only logical to assume Enjolras blamed himself for his mother's ultimate breakdown. Grantaire nodded. "So, what, did he change his name because he wasn't worthy of it or something?" It sounded far-fetched as soon as he suggested it, but not entirely outside the realm of possibility.
"Non, nothing so dramatic," Tristan explained. "When his activism gained attention, he wanted to be sure no one would trace anything to Diana, in order to protect her. It's far easier to trace a person using their first name, after all."
"That...actually makes sense." Grantaire shrugged. "I don't know, I always thought Gabriel suited him. The archangel…."
Tristan just smiled. "Oui, puet-être." Grantaire could only assume his mirroring of the code-switching was part of the set-up to make him feel comfortable. Or a product of his own mind. It was getting harder to be sure. "But, to avoid making this a much longer tale than necessary, the fact is, Alex - or Gabriel, if you prefer - is as much his mother's child as he is mine. Her passion, he has in spades. And as much as he loves her, he fears following her path of destruction."
"Enj? Really?" Grantaire was skeptical. Which was not unusual for him, of course, but the circumstances made it feel stranger. "He's the strongest person I know."
"He would be glad to know you think so." Tristan met Grantaire's eyes, the force of his gaze almost uncomfortable. "And he is strong. Stronger still since he allowed himself to love. But we often fail to see what's in front of us. And, as good as love has been to him...in his mind, love led to his mother's ruin."
Finally, Grantaire got it. "He's afraid he'll fall apart like she did."
"Exactly," Tristan confirmed. "He isn't nearly as prone to melancholy as he once was, but it bubbles beneath the surface. And, just as he fears your demons might one day be too powerful and take you from him, he fears the same of himself."
Grantaire nodded. "So, what? Don't die? I'm all for that. When do I go back?"
"In due time." Tristan stood, nodding to Grantaire before he turned away. He started to walk, but then paused and looked back behind him. "But I warn you, it isn't a journey for the faint of heart."
Enjolras was greatly comforted by the fact that the Amis were on their way to New York. He kept telling himself, the others needed the support...but the truth was, so did he. Combeferre was his guide, and it had been hard enough getting through the mundane without him. They were all his brothers, and he needed them desperately in a crisis.
Joly had been dozing for awhile, but he had roused a few minutes ago and was studying the EEG patterns on Grantaire's monitor. They'd insisted it was just a precaution, because of the concussion on top of everything else, but Joly took his role as medical advisor to the Amis very seriously.
"Anything, Jol?" Enjolras asked tiredly. Joly's expression was interested, but not particularly alarmed.
"Nothing unexpected," Joly reported. "But it's rather fascinating. I have no idea whether he'll remember it or not, but he hears what we're saying. There's a definite change in the rate. REM sleep here and there - dreaming - which is good. I think, neurologically, he's clear."
Enjolras nodded. "And the rest?"
"Je ne sais pas." Joly's favorite cane was absent, and his fingers twitched as if reaching for it. "He's reacting to something, but there's no telling what might be going on in his head. Probably best to let his body heal first before addressing it while he's awake. Heaven knows he's got enough troubles without - oh. Merde!"
Enjolras was instantly on alert. "What?"
"His medical history." Joly began to bounce, clearly anxious. "You did mention the alcohol, right?"
"Oui." Enjolras frowned, trying to figure out what Joly was after. "They asked me if he drank; I told them he did. I also mentioned those dieu terrible clove cigarettes, if it interests you."
"Hey, they smell good," Joly argued, before shaking his head. "Jamais l'esprit. C'est n'est pas le point. What I mean is, did you mention the fact that he's been more drunk than sober for the better part of a decade?"
"I didn't want them to get the wrong impression," Enjolras replied. He knew how judgemental people could be of such things - he wasn't proud to admit he'd once been that way about it himself.
Joly rolled his eyes, standing. "I'll talk to them. Enj, the issue isn't his reputation. He's going to start withdrawing soon, and in his weakened state-"
That, Enjolras had never even considered, and he cursed himself for it. "Is there anything-?"
"Yes," Joly said, patting his arm, "if they know, they can medically ease the process. It won't be nearly as dangerous. I'll talk to them."
"Merci." Enjolras sighed. "I'm afraid I don't know much about this at all." He wasn't even sure what he was referring to - medicine, addiction, or relationships in general.
"Enjolras." Joly leaned down, looking directly into Enjolras' eyes. "Ne sois pas stupide. You've been the best thing that ever happened to Taire. Don't forget that."
Croyez-moi - Believe me
Faut pas croire que… - It would seem that… (so it would seem…)
Ah, bon - Oh, good
Je suis à l'écoute - I'm listening
Oui, puet-être - Yes, perhaps
Dieu terrible - Godawful
Je ne sais pas. - I don't know.
Merde! - Shit!
Jamais l'esprit. C'est n'est pas le point. - Never mind. That's not the point.
Ne sois pas stupide. - Don't be stupid.