As soon as he could breathe again, Enjolras flew to the balcony. Combeferre went to take his arm in concern, but Enjolras shook his head. He needed space, and air.
“No, France, nooooo,” Jehan was wailing.
“Are you kidding me, UK?”
“God, have you seen Austria’s results?”
Once outside, Enjolras gripped the balcony rail. He was so angry. So, so angry. Paris was strangely quiet that night, as if struck dumb by what happened.
The sliding doors opened behind him. Enjolras turned around, expecting Courfeyrac, but it was Grantaire. Of course.
“Don’t say you told me so,” said Enjolras savagely.
He turned back towards the city. Grantaire stopped next to him.
“I wouldn’t.” His voice was strangely quiet. “I always hope you’ll prove me wrong, you know.”
“I shouldn’t be angry”, said Enjolras, gripping the balcony rail tighter. “The people voted. I should accept those results.”
“You shouldn’t. First, only 40% of the people voted. Second, accepting the failings of the unwashed masses is not in your nature.”
“Don’t call them that. They’re not beasts.”
“But we are,” Grantaire countered easily. “We are nothing but animals who fooled themselves into thinking we had our instincts under control. But this, this is fear, instinctive fear. When people are afraid, they stop thinking. We could have predicted those results. It happened once, it will happen again. What we can hope for is that those results make people afraid again, but this time of what they did. And now…”
Grantaire took Enjolras’s hand, closed his fist, and pointed it towards the city’s roofs. Enjolras let him, bemused.
“Now, my fearless Enjolras, you are going to do what you do best; you are going to fight, you are going to shine, you are going to reassure your lost flock, and light a fire in their heart.”
Grantaire released his hand slowly. Enjolras kept it up, closed his fist tighter.
He felt better.
When he turned his head towards Grantaire, Grantaire was smiling slightly. Their eyes met, and Grantaire mockingly made a military salute. He turned towards the sliding doors and started to open them.
Grantaire stopped but didn’t turn around. Enjolras found he was disappointed.
“Thank you,” he said quietly.
Grantaire wriggled his fingers, “See you later, alligator.”
Enjolras snorted. He closed his eyes, breathed deeply, then went back to fight.