A/N: Hey guys. So this has been in my head for ages (and has been stopping me from updating my other fic, so sorry to those of you reading it) and I've been wanting to post it while at the same time completely hating it but I can't move on soooooo this is me just posting it even though I think it's terrible. Please please review and I shall probably edit and repost it sometime in the future incorporating any constructive criticism I get (if I get any) and other ideas I have. Also I'm thinking of writing a prequel to this, let me know if you want it. Thanks!

Combeferre tapped his foot against the table leg in irritation. This went on for a few minutes and gradually increased in frequency and volume up until the point where Courfeyrac, who was sitting beside him, decided enough was enough and kicked his foot a little harder that he would have had he not a half empty bottle of wine in front of him.

"Ow!" Combeferre complained, snapping out of his reverie and turning to affix an icy glare upon his innocently smiling companion.

"What's with you 'Ferre?" Courfeyrac asked lazily. "Why aren't you enjoying the party?"

"Because" Combeferre gritted his teeth. "This is not a party, this is a meeting that was supposed to start an hour ago and Enjolras still hasn't showed up." He glared across the room again.

Courfeyrac, though not functioning at his best, could still understand that Combeferre's tone was largely due to worry for his friend but he didn't know why he was worried. Enjolras could take care of himself. "Well… have you tried calling him?"

Combeferre glared at him. "Of course I have, and he hasn't picked up or responded to my messages or-" His tone turned urgent and he turned imploringly to Courfeyrac. "What if something's happened and he needs our help and we're just sitting here?!" He got up so suddenly he almost upended the table and stormed across the room to the door, ignoring Courfeyrac's feeble remonstrations from behind him. Acting on a whim, before he made it to the door, he veered off to one of the tables close to it. The one inhabited by a certain drunkard who was…. surprisingly sober. "Grantaire?"

"Yes?" Grantaire replied. "And before you ask, I only start drinking when Apollo gets here, hardly surprising this has never come up before but why is he not here yet?"

Combeferre sighed. Of course he only got drunk to annoy Enjolras. Not that he'd noticed, Enjolras was always the first to arrive. Except today. Still Grantaire was the most sober one here apart from himself and he did care about Enjolras. "I don't know, but I'm worried so I'm going to go to his apartment to check on him, care to join me?"

Grantaire's eyes widened slightly and he mutely nodded and stood up, following Combeferre out of the café and to his car.

The drive to Enjolras' apartment seemed to the two boys to take forever, but they had both managed to get themselves fairly worried by then and the two unanswered phone calls they made did not help.

Finally Combeferre pulled up to the curb outside Enjolras' apartment block and Grantaire didn't wait for the car to stop before jumping out and sprinting up the steps inside. Combeferre remained in the car a minute longer trying to calm himself and convince himself he was overreacting. Then he got out of the car and took the elevator up. Perhaps he should have told Grantaire it had been fixed. However when he stepped out on the 5th floor, the door to Enjolras' apartment was already open. He advanced, hesitatingly inside. He couldn't see anything unusual in the front room but where was-

"Combeferre!" He took a step back. That was Grantaire but he sounded...

"Oh no" Combeferre took off running down the hallway in the direction of the shout. Grantaire was framed against the doorway to the bathroom. Upon hearing Combeferre approach, he turned and glanced at him, horror and fear mingling on his face. Then he rushed into the room. Combeferre followed.

The first thing he saw was the blood. The red that stained the tiles, that soaked into his shoes as he walked. That covered Grantaire where he was huddled on the floor supporting… Enjolras. No. No no no. He was lying on the floor, his head in Grantaire's lap. Combeferre dropped to his knees beside him. He turned over his wrists and gasped as his fears were confirmed. He glanced, terrified at Grantaire who was carding his fingers through Enjolras' hair and muttering small comforting things he didn't believe while tears were silently running down his face. Combeferre then tore two strips of his shirt and bound them around Enjolras' wrists applying pressure holding them there but trying to be as gentle as he could. He was a second away from crying himself as he tried to process what he was seeing. Their fearless leader, marble statue soaked in such dark red it was almost black, his hair no longer blonde, his angelic features distorted by discomfort.

"Enjolras no why?" Combeferre whispered. Enjolras smiled weakly at him.

"I'm sorry 'Ferre" he said softly.

"No" Combeferre shook his head, tears starting to leak out of his eyes too. "You are not sorry and you are not going to die." He leaned forward and kissed his forehead before drawing his phone out of his pocket. "Keep pressure on his wrists" he told Grantaire and stepped out of the room to call for an ambulance leaving Grantaire alone with Enjolras in silence.

Grantaire took Enjolras' wrists, closed his eyes and began speaking in a soft voice. "I'm sorry. I am so sorry. If I had known, I would have, I thought that…"

"Grantaire." Enjolras cut him off. "You're not making any sense."

The cynic couldn't help a slight sad smile from creeping onto his lips. "I know. What I'm trying to say is, I should have been there for you and I wasn't and I will never be able to forgive myself for that. For abandoning you." He opened his eyes and they met those of the broken god in his arms.

Enjolras shook his head. "No Grantaire, what happened to me, is my problem, not yours, don't blame yourself."

Tears started making their way down Grantaire's cheeks again. "That is so like you. Always forgiving me, seeing the best in me even though I don't deserve it." He paused, looked up to the ceiling, took a breath and continued. "I know you can make it through but…." He took another moment to collect himself. "Just in case this is the end, I have to say, that Enjolras I-"

Combeferre walked back into the room and re-assumed his position on the floor. "The ambulance is on its way, you are going to be fine."

Enjolras shook his head. "Goodbye Combeferre" he said, his voice surprisingly clear.

Despite his better judgment, Combeferre reached out and grabbed his shoulders. "Don't say that, this is not goodbye." His voice was starting to take on a hysterical tone.

"Please". Finally Enjolras' expression changed. He looked so desperate and broken that Combeferre silently released his shoulders and sat back, still staring imploringly into his eyes. "Just say it".

Combeferre blinked and swallowed. "Goodbye" he said roughly. Enjolras looked satisfied. He shifted his gaze upwards seeking Grantaire's eyes.

"Goodbye Grantaire."

Grantaire let out a pent up sob. "Goodbye Apollo".

Enjolras' eyes slid closed and in the next second his chest fell not to rise again. Grantaire whimpered and buried his head in Enjolras' jacket, silent sobs wracking his body. Combeferre didn't move, he simply stared forward, at nothing, his expression painfully vacant. They would have stayed like that for hours had the ambulance not arrived a few minutes later.

Combeferre was numb as the paramedics took Enjolras from Grantaire's arms. He was numb on the way to the hospital. He was also numb in the waiting room, sitting there, unconscious of the blood that covered his and Grantaire's clothes.

Grantaire wasn't. Even though he knew he was being terribly stupid, he held on to Enjolras and it took three paramedics to finally convince him they couldn't help him if Grantaire didn't let go. They let him hold his hand on the way to the hospital though. Grantaire cried and shook sitting on the plastic chairs waiting for the verdict on Enjolras' life. If Combeferre couldn't feel anything, Grantaire felt enough for them both.

Combeferre made no move to comfort him. He couldn't acknowledge his pain because that might mean opening the door to his own. He was numb when a doctor told him they couldn't bring Enjolras back.

Both boys sat there for an hour, neither of them processing the time passing. Then Combeferre started speaking. "He was smart you know." His voice was flat. "Enjolras. He cut the long way. It would've taken four minutes." For the first time he turned towards Grantaire. "Four minutes. If we had arrived four minutes earlier…"

"I know" Grantaire interrupted calmly.

"What?" He wasn't a medical student, Combeferre thought, how could he know?

"I KNOW!" Grantaire yelled, also turning to face Combeferre. His voice was hoarse but not from yelling or alcohol like it normally was.

Oh. Combeferre knew he should say something, tell him he's sorry, he didn't know; but he didn't. He couldn't bring himself to. He took a breath. "We should tell the others."

"Yes" Grantaire agreed. He sighed. "Let's get it over with."

They both got up and walked out of the room, and out of the hospital. Combeferre took out his phone and texted Les Amis.

To: Joly, Bossuet, Courfeyrac, Jean, Bahorel, Feuilly,

Something has happened. Be at the Café as soon as you can.


Courfeyrac replied almost immediately.

'Ferre it's almost 1am, what happened?

1am. It couldn't be. Combeferre checked the time on his phone. It was. He didn't feel like he'd ever be tired again. That was alright. He'd never sleep. He didn't reply.

He hailed a taxi and he and Grantaire got in. They didn't speak on the way to the café, but what was there to say to each other? I'm sorry you've been through that? It would be true but Combeferre reasoned it would sound so fake it would be condescending.

Grantaire stared out the window as the taxi drove through the familiar streets but, if asked, he wouldn't have been able to say which city he was in.

When they arrived at the Musain, the rest of Les Amis were already there, talking in nervous confusion as to the purpose of this urgent gathering at such an irregular hour. They turned and fell silent as Grantaire and Combeferre entered.

Grantaire hesitated for a second before remembering. They mustn't look very ordinary, covered, as they were, in Enjolras' blood.

Joly was the first to get over his initial shock and the doctor in him took over. He rushed over to Combeferre first and, thinking it was his blood, started running his hands over his torso trying to find the source of the bleeding while interrogating the two of them. "What is it? What happened? Where are you hurt?"

Combeferre roughly pushed his hands away. "It's not mine" he said quietly. Joly stepped back, confusion outlining his features as he looked from Combeferre to Grantaire.

Courfeyrac meanwhile had noticed who was missing. One exchanged glance with Combeferre was all he needed to confirm his fear. "Oh no" he breathed. All eyes turned to him, except Combeferre's. He looked down at his feet, unwilling to meet his friend's eyes as he figured it out.

"Enjolras." Combeferre could only nod, still unwilling to look up, to see the reactions he knew he had caused, was causing.

Joy however, took Combeferre's arm and guided him into a chair where the others gathered round. Bahorel put his hand on Combeferre's shoulder. "What happened?" Jehan asked gently.

Combeferre took a breath and then: "Enjolras… he's dead."

A shocked silence prevailed.

"What?!" Bahorel spluttered.

Combeferre forced himself to keep going. "He killed himself, slashed his wrists. We were too late to save him, by four minutes. We watched him die."

Jean had started sobbing silently, Courfeyrac wordlessly pulled him into a hug letting him cry into his shoulder, looking himself as though he was only holding himself together through some supreme effort of will. Feuilly started pacing while Bahorel looked like he wanted to punch something.

Combeferre put his head down. He couldn't believe he was even in this situation.

Grantaire remained standing by the door watching as Combeferre slowly, haltingly recalled what had come to pass. He looked on as his friends received the news, he saw the raw pain and sadness and he couldn't deal with it. Unnoticed by everyone, he slipped out of the room. He couldn't bring himself to stay with the sight of his grief-stricken friends supporting each other

There was almost silence during the minutes that followed with everyone trying to come to terms with the news they had just received, until Joly lifted his head from where it had been against Bossuet's shoulder and started talking quietly, murmuring almost to himself. "But even if he had… that's still only four minutes, how could it be that they could have saved him if they had only gone to check on him four minutes earlier..."

Combeferre heard this. Tears filled his eyes again. Maybe Joly hadn't exactly said it but it was clear to him: his friends blamed him. And they had every right to.

He too, left the café. No one moved to stop him.

Combeferre was numb during Enjolras' funeral. He didn't speak when the others spoke, he didn't cry when the others cried. He sat there, trying to recreate the image of Enjolras that was being spoken of, trying to recreate the spark in his eyes and the passion in his voice, but he could only see their dullness and weakness in the last moments he spent with him. He was also trying to reconcile the version of his best friend that was being spoken of to the polished mahogany box on the altar.

He noticed Grantaire sitting at the back of the church. He didn't speak either. He just sat there. At one point Combeferre caught his eye, but he just looked away.

Grantaire arrived at the funeral late, slipping in at the back just before the doors closed. He sought out Combeferre at the front of the church in the pew reserved for Enjolras' closest friends. He met his eyes but Combeferre just looked away. Grantaire breathed in sharply and looked down at his lap where he was running the sharp edge of his nail across his thumb trying to suppress the tears forming again in his eyes. He was much too sober for this.

The ceremony ended. The rest of Les Amis stayed up by the altar after everyone except Grantaire left. They hugged each other and cried a bit more and placed reassuring hands on each other's shoulders and told each other things that were, Grantaire imagined, being too far away to make out the words, comforting.

Grantaire got out of his seat and took a step towards them, but hesitated. It wasn't his place to interrupt their perfect uncomplicated grief, he didn't belong. They could be sad because he was dead, but it was Grantaire's fault. He couldn't pretend to suffer the way they did. He turned and walked out of the church.

Combeferre rose awkwardly when the rest of his friends made their way to the altar after the funeral. They were supporting each other, expressing their love for one another. Combeferre hovered to one side, all but forgotten. He made some excuse or another and left. He never told them Grantaire had shown up.

It wasn't his place to be there. Maybe they didn't say it, but he knew he was blamed for what happened. He didn't belong with the innocent.

Almost in a trance, so unaware was he of his surroundings, Grantaire made his way home. He managed to open his door and walk over to sit on his bed before he finally lost it. If he thought he had been out of control at the hospital, it was nothing compared to what he felt alone, in his dark apartment, knowing that he had no one now, all his friends knew what he knew; it was his fault. He cried and he screamed and he repeated over and over that he was sorry and that he wished he had been there, that he wished he hadn't let any of it happen. At some point he ended up on the floor, at another his nails ended up digging into the soft flesh of his forearms, deep enough to draw blood. He didn't care, probably didn't notice.

Eventually his sobs were reduced to shuddering gasps and finally he fell silent. He lay there for what felt like hours, feeling the floor underneath him and the blood pounding in his ears. The last time Grantaire had been in an awful place, he hadn't been able to sleep. It got so bad that he had eventually gotten sleeping pills prescribed. He realized soon after that however, that alcohol worked just as well. He'd kept the pills though, stashed away in the back of bedside cabinet. Grantaire remembered this. He slowly got to his feet.

Combeferre was numb through Grantaire's funeral too.

If the other Amis were, it was because of shock. Only Combeferre knew why Grantaire had done it. It was the same reason he had for eying the syringes and pills at the hospital sometimes.

They were also in shock at the stark difference between the funerals of their friends. Whereas Enjolras' had been in a large church with soaring glass stained windows, full of all his friends, coworkers, relatives and two prim and proper aristocratic parents in their expensive Italian suits, his mother crying softly into a silk handkerchief, his father stony faced; Grantaire's funeral was in a small dingy church on the bad side of town. Les Amis were the only attendees.

There were no tears, there was only a question hanging in the air.

Combeferre knew that in Enjolras' absence, he was expected to take over Les Amis De L'Abaisse but he couldn't bring himself to. He knew it would never be the same. Perhaps he just didn't care anymore. He told the Amis as much, but that didn't stop them deciding to continue the meetings anyway. Joly, out of all of them, was the one to assume the mantle of leader. He would text Combeferre with the time of each meeting, but gave up eventually when it was clear Combeferre was not going to show up. Or reply.

Ostensibly Combeferre was coping. He was still studying to be a doctor, taking more shifts at the hospital than ever before and would smile and have a conversation with people he met or ran into.

That didn't stop him waking up screaming from nightmares almost every night. In his dreams, he saw both of them, Grantaire and Enjolras. They would yell at him that their deaths were Combeferre's fault, that it only he's opened his eyes he would have been able to save him. Then blood would start to seep into their clothes from hidden lacerations and their eyes would roll back and they would keep dying over and over again and their last words reminded him of what a horrible friend he had been and how he didn't deserve happiness because he stood back and let them be so agonizingly sad.

Months passed in this way.

It was Friday night. Les Amis were having another meeting, the fourth this week. It was two weeks until a protest, a big one. They were protesting the enforcement of the Defense of Marriage Act. It was an issue that was close to their hearts. They were expecting over three thousand people to participate and responsibility for it was entirely theirs. Needless to say, everyone was feeling more than a little stressed. Bahorel had tried to encourage his friends by giving a speech, but the room quickly fell silent again after he was finished. Perhaps he just didn't have the passion or the fervent belief in their cause that he would need to inspire anyone, or perhaps everyone was just too preoccupied thinking about the person who had both of those things.

"It's our fault you know." Jehan's soft voice broke the silence. The rest of the Amis turned to him, confusion in their eyes. "You know what I'm talking about and don't pretend we're not all thinking it!" Jehan's voice rose in pitch as the poet got more and more agitated.

The others glanced at each other but didn't say anything.

"Grantaire trusted us!" He shouted and stood up on his chair. "He only wanted us to be there for him! We were supposed to be his friends and we pushed him away. We…" He put his head in his hands and his shoulders started shaking with repressed sobs. Courfeyrac gently lifted his from the chair drew him into his arms, and kissed his forehead as Jehan cried into his shoulder like he had that fateful night almost a year earlier.

"He's right." Feuilly said, tonelessly. "We let him down." He glanced around the room. "All of us." The others muttered their assent.

The door of the back room opened, and a waitress stepped cautiously in. She had just started working at the Musain and hadn't yet been briefed as to the nature of the group that so often convened here. She cleared her throat nervously, causing everyone to look over at her as everyone turned towards here.

"Is-is there a Monsieur de Courfeyrac here?" She asked a little awkwardly.

"It's just Courfeyrac" the man in question replied stepping forward and smiling in an attempt to put her at ease.

She nodded and returned the smile slightly. "I was told to give you this" she told him, handing him a folded piece of paper. Courfeyrac thanked her and took it, a little bemusedly and the waitress smiled again and left.

Courfeyrac remained by the door as he turned the paper over.

'Courfeyrac (and the rest of Les Amis)


Courfeyrac slowly lifted his eyes to meet the others. "It's from Combeferre" he told them softly, disbelief and a small amount of fear evident on his usually charming features.

Silence prevailed over the back room of the Musain.

"Read it out."

Courfeyrac glanced at Joly before nodding.

"All right." He unfolded it, took a breath, and started to read.

'Dear Friends

I am so so sorry. I truly am. I know that will never be enough but for what it's worth I hope you know that.

I know it is my fault. All that happened. Enjolras, Grantaire, all of it. I was too blind to see what was happening and the truth is, I didn't want to open my eyes. I liked the comforting illusion that everything was alright, rather than make myself face an awkward reality. Now they are dead and I have no one to blame but myself. I thought for a while I was heartless, you probably did too. I felt like I couldn't behave like a normal human being and just be sad or guilty or whatever. I just, I couldn't handle it, any of it.

But now I now that I was wrong. And I have found my breaking point. I'm sorry I failed, I'm sorry I lost them, I'm sorry I wasn't the best I should have been, and I'm sorry I abandoned you. I didn't guide you as was my place to do. I know you must hate me now, but I have to say that I still love you with all my soul.


Silence fell over the room again as everyone tried to make sense of what they'd heard. None of them could believe Combeferre had actually felt like this.

"He thinks we blame him." Bahorel didn't much care for silence.

"I don't blame him!" Feuilly burst out. "We should have let him know he couldn't have done anything instead of letting him believe he could have."

"He did push us away though" Joly countered. Noise in the room dissipated as everyone agreed to let it rest, at least for the moment.

"'With all my soul'..." Jehan mused quietly. "That's too poetic, not like Combeferre at all. I wonder why he said with all my… all my soul!" Of course!" He yelled jumping up. He turned urgently to Courfeyrac. "'Courf', Combeferre speaks French, English and…?"

"Spanish." Courfeyrac finished his eyes widened as he realized the full implication of what Jehan was saying. "Soul is alma in Spanish. Do you think….?"

Jehan nodded. "I'm convinced of it."

"Sorry" Bahorel interrupted, not sounding apologetic at all. "But what the hell are you two going on about?!"

"Pont de l'Alma!" Courfeyrac all but yelled in response. "Puente del Alma! It was a clue! The bridge!"

He looked around at the others and saw the comprehension dawn in their eyes.

"Oh no" Bossuet sighed. "This isn't good."

"What are we waiting for?" Was Feuilly's reaction. "Let's go!"

Courfeyrac and Jehan exchanged a glance and then ran for the door, followed closely by the other Amis.

When they burst out of the Alma – Marceau metro station, they could see the bridge, outlined in street lights reflected off the still waters of the Seine. As they got closer they could make out a lone figure standing in the middle of the bridge, his head bowed and his hands resting on the railing.

Courfeyrac raced ahead of the others and screamed Combeferre's name as he made it onto the bridge. Combeferre looked up at him where he had stopped just a few feet away.

He looked calmly at him. "You came."

"Weren't we supposed to?" Courfeyrac asked incredulously as the others joined him, all, with the exception of Bahorel, breathing heavily.

Combeferre started to respond, when Jehan, disregarding the distance Courfeyrac had intentionally placed between himself and Combeferre, barreled into the latter and hugged him, starting to cry again.

Combeferre stiffened slightly and then tentatively hugged him back. "You mean… you mean you forgive me?"

Courfeyrac started crying now too as he stepped forward to look Combeferre in the eye. "My friend, we never blamed you." Jehan released Combeferre and stepped back, nodding his agreement with his lover's words.

Combeferre finally, for the first time since the night he had seen his best friend die, started to cry , openly and brokenly. "But… I don't understand… it's my fault…. I let everything happen."

"No it's not, and you didn't" Joly put in firmly. "If there is to be blame, we must share it."

"We've missed you!" Bossuet blurted out. "At all of our meetings. We couldn't believe after what happened we-"

"We couldn't believe we had lost not only two, but three of us." Courfeyrac finished.

Combeferre looked around at each of them. His friends didn't hate them. He'd pushed them away, not the other way around.

"In that case" he said managing to smile slightly, "would you mind if I joined your revolution? There are two people whose memories I would like to honour."

Courfeyrac smiled widely and rushed forward to pull Combeferre into a hug, the others following suit. Combeferre finally allowed himself to lose control, his protective walls came crashing down and he broke down and sobbed in the comforting embrace of his friends.

The protest failed. There had been a huge turnout, but some people (not Les Amis) had smuggled in weapons, and it had turned violent. The police were sent in to enforce control as it had turned into a full scale riot.

However as Combeferre faced the police batons and tear gas and smoke bombs, he could almost feel Enjolras' and Grantaire's hands in his own. They would have loved to see this.