"Hello?" Courfeyrac slides his copy of Enjolras's key into his pocket as he steps through the doorway. He never uses the key— he never has to— but after two days with no sign from either of his two friends, enough concern has been raised to warrant it. He is perfectly capable of handling meetings without them, but it is unusual for him not to have word beforehand. "Enjolras? Combeferre?"
He turns to the corner with the bed, and halts at the sight of them. Enjolras lies uncharacteristically still in his bed, Combeferre slumped on the floor at his side. It is, really, far too tender a sight to ruin by waking them.
Courfeyrac turns to slip back out the door, but stops at a soft sound from behind him.
"Good afternoon," Enjolras says quietly.
"And to you," Courfeyrac whispers back, tiptoeing toward him.
Enjolras's eyes blink open, but he doesn't stir further. "Did the meeting go well?"
"Passably well," Courfeyrac assures him, sitting at the foot of the bed. "Though it would have been better with you."
Enjolras hums his acknowledgement of the compliment. "Don't wake him," he says. "I do not believe he has been sleeping. It is a wonder he made it this long."
Courfeyrac raises his left eyebrow in an expression Enjolras has always hated. "You are encouraging sleep, so the situation must be dire. Joly was certain you must be on your deathbed not to turn up this morning. And for Combeferre not to send a note! It was all I could do to preserve order and prevent him from charging here himself."
Enjolras grimaces. "I am glad he did not. He would only fret over nothing. It is minor, and will pass soon. Combeferre has been diligent in ensuring it." His eyes flick softly over the man asleep beside him; his fingers tighten in Combeferre's hair. "He has rather worn himself down, I think, looking after me. He's a fine friend."
Courfeyrac frowns. Combeferre is, of course, a fine friend— the finest— but it is unlike Enjolras to give voice to such sentimentality. Especially on matters he considers obvious. "You're talking nonsense," Courfeyrac teases, cupping Enjolras's cheek with one soft hand. "You have fever."
"I know." Enjolras closes his eyes again. "Send him to bed."
"I thought you did not want him woken." Courfeyrac smoothes Enjolras's hair.
"My mind has altered," Enjolras says hoarsely. "His neck will be sore."
Courfeyrac smiles. "Sleep well, my friend, and wake restored."
Enjolras nods, already mostly asleep.
Courfeyrac watches as his flushed face relaxes into repose, then does as requested and nudges Combeferre with his foot. "Come on, up you get."
Combeferre shifts sleepily, rubbing one eye behind his spectacles. "Terribly sorry," he murmurs. "What— why have you come?"
"I worry," Courfeyrac says simply. He sounds anything but. "Jehan feared you had been arrested when you failed to arrive on time as is your wont."
"The meeting," Combeferre sighs. "I neglected to send word, didn't I? I meant to. I'm dreadfully sorry for the trouble."
Courfeyrac holds up a hand. "Calm yourself. There was no trouble. The meeting came off smoothly, and Feuilly took splendid notes for you to peruse at your leisure."
"That was very kind of him." Combeferre presses the back of his hand to Enjolras's forehead. It is cooler than it was after his turn in the night, but still decidedly fevered. He yawns and brings a hand to his own head.
"Are you ill also?" Courfeyrac asks, voice gentle with concern.
Combeferre shakes his head. "Weary, only. Enjolras was uneasy in the night. It was not conducive to rest."
Courfeyrac reaches to feel Combeferre's temperature anyway, which his friend submits to without argument. His skin, thankfully, is cool; he appears to be telling the truth about his state of health.
"Is there anything you need?"
Courfeyrac laughs softly. "I need you to come away and have a proper rest. A man needs a bed, and my wager is this is the closest you have come to one since he took ill."
Combeferre frowns. "I cannot leave him," he says. "He does not rest easily on his own."
"I will stay and fetch his water," Courfeyrac promises. "He seems to be over the worst of it." He strokes Enjolras's hair fondly. "You ought to go home for a few hours, at least. Regain your strength. You will need it when he decides he is well enough to resume work."
"He always does decide that rather sooner than I would prefer." Combeferre purses his lips and arranges Enjolras's hand on the coverlet.
"Something you and he have in common, then," Courfeyrac says. "A stubborn refusal to obey your own mortal limitations."
Combeferre smiles. "You never stop." It is chiding but without disapproval.
"No, that is yourself you are thinking of." Courfeyrac nods toward the man in the bed. "And, of course, him. I stop frequently."
"Very well." Combeferre stands, stretching awkwardly as his long limbs unfold from too many hours on the floor. He tries, rather fruitlessly, to straighten his wrinkled garments. "You will send someone to fetch me if he worsens?"
"I would not endanger one friend's health for the sake of another," Courfeyrac says.
"Thank you," Combeferre says, clasping Courfeyrac's arm. "I shall return in a few hours. He will need to eat by then and so, I suspect, will you."
"You know me rather well," Courfeyrac says. "Now go."
Author's Note: This was inspired by a glorious piece of art on tumblr, which I cannot link here because this site does not want me to, but it was adorable and it made me want to write a thing to go with it. I hope you enjoyed it!