Author's note: I asked for sad prompts the other day and got them. This is sort of the result of one - it started as a prompt fill and then wandered off to be its own thing. I actually managed to create a surprising amount of headcanonical context for this, so I may write a companion piece that actually explains a few things. But for now have this piece which is somewhat aggressively lacking context.
Enjolras looked at the letter in his hands without seeing it. His mind had gone blank, his fingers numb. Had he not been sitting down his knees would have given out. He heard a dim roaring in his ears that drowned out everything around him. When someone touched his shoulder he didn't feel it. His entire essence focused on one single task: denying the first sentence of the letter he held.
Someone touched him again, shook him, but he did not respond, did not notice, did not care. Hands he would ordinarily have recognized pried the letter from his icy fingers. He didn't react. His mind had room only for one thought: no. No, the letter was not true. No, there had been no accident. No, his world had not collapsed. No.
Voices spoke. They did not penetrate the fog, barely registered at all until he heard a voice speak the syllables his mind refused to process.
"No." His voice sounded foreign to his own ears, sounded as though it came from someone else's throat. His ears still roared; he had trouble even forcing the word from his lips. "No."
Again, someone touched his shoulder. Again he barely noticed. He felt cold.
Someone was talking to him, repeating his name, pleading with him. To do what? He couldn't focus enough on the words to tell, didn't want to focus on the words. His mind still felt frozen, a pit of ice filled with denial, with refusal. It could not be true. He knew that as clearly as he knew his name, as clearly as he knew the difference between good and evil, just and unjust. The letter could not be true, and so it wasn't.
He realized that he was trembling. He felt removed from it, a stranger in his own body. He looked down at his hands, examining his bone-white fingers as though seeing them for the first time. Everything seemed suddenly magnified, different, foreign. He lifted one of his hands and half expected it not to move. In the back of his mind denial ran in a constant loop.
Someone pressed a glass of something into his hands, curling his fingers around it and holding them there. The other person's hands were plump, tanned, well cared for. Enjolras could see the tiny hairs on the knuckles, the slightly ragged edge where one fingernail had come free and not been filed down well enough, the callouses caused by years of fencing. The hands were shaking.
Someone said his name again. It was the person who owned the hands, he thought, the person who had been speaking to him earlier. With an effort he drew his eyes up the person's wrists and arms, nearly getting lost in the swirls of the embroidered waistcoat before making it up to the person's face.
He knew that face. His mind, numb and cold, could not come up with a name to go with it. Not until his lips moved of their own volition did his brain catch up. "Courfeyrac."
The person — Courfeyrac — nodded. His lips moved; it took a moment for Enjolras to remember how to listen.
"He's not coming back," Courfeyrac said, and a tiny part of Enjolras not taken up in denial saw that he sounded shattered. "Please, I can't lose you too."
Enjolras shook his head. No. "No." But hearing the words, seeing Courfeyrac's lips move, feeling the way his friend shook, it all started to overpower the loop in his mind. He felt numbness trickle away from him and struggled to keep his grip on it, pushing away from Courfeyrac and squeezing his eyes closed.
"Enjolras. Enjolras please." Courfeyrac's voice broke. He gripped Enjolras' hands tightly, pressing them against the slippery glass, fingernails digging into Enjolras' skin. A drop of liquid hit Enjolras' sleeve; Courfeyrac was weeping.
His eyes opened again, opened against his will, opened to see Courfeyrac looking pleadingly at him, looking as though he were about to break in two.
The last of the numbness trickled away, leaving nothing to nourish the disbelief that fought to keep its grip. A spear of agony ripped through him, hot and heavy and impossible to deny.
"No," Enjolras whispered desperately. A firm hand landed on his shoulder, hot and rough. Bahorel. He said nothing, but when Enjolras turned to look at him he bowed his head, face grim. He squeezed Enjolras' shoulder, and in that moment Enjolras' world shattered.
A/N 2: Yes it's Ferre. Yes he's dead. Yes I'm sorry.