They’re in the middle of a meeting when Enjolras’ phone rings.
That’s not unusual—Enjolras almost never silences his phone because he always worries he’ll miss something if he does so. What is unusual is that it’s a ringtone that none of them have ever heard, which all of them had thought wasn’t possible.
Enjolras assigns unique ringtones to everyone in his phone, as if Caller ID isn’t good enough. To be fair, Enjolras never actually seems to look at his phone, absorbing the information from text messages as if by osmosis (or Combeferre, no one’s quite sure which), and unlocking his phone with the thoughtlessness of someone who does it more or less constantly.
The ringtone isn’t something Enjolras would normally assign either—he’s not a huge pop fan, and certainly not of this sort of song.
“Got a figure like a pinup, got a figure like a doll. Don’t care if you think I’m dumb, I don’t care at all. Candy bear, sweetie pie, wanna be adored. I’m the girl you’d die—”
When the ringtone starts playing, Enjolras stares at his phone for a long moment, his face draining of color, like he can’t believe it. Then he swipes the phone up and unlocks it in a moment, pressing it to his ear with an impossible to decipher expression.
“What do you need?” he asks, and his voice is somehow both unyielding and almost sweet.
Whatever the person on the other end of the line says, it must be upsetting, because Enjolras’ lips tighten until they’re white.
“I’ll be there as soon as possible,” he says, his voice hard, “and we’ll deal with this together.”
There is a pause as the other person replies, and Enjolras’ manner softens slightly.
“I promise. I love you too, little sister.”
With that, Enjolras ends the call and then strides out of the Corinthe, leaving Les Amis de l’ABC to stare at each other in shock, mouthing the words “Little sister?” in bewildered shock.
It takes them a moment to process, and then there’s a mad rush for the door as they run to catch Enjolras and demand answers.
Given the inevitable pile up that occurs at the bottleneck of the door, by the time the group makes its way out of the bar, Enjolras’ car is pulling out and driving away, moving at a rate that looks to be significantly above the speed limit.
Enjolras drives with his fingers tight on the wheel, biting down on his tongue to keep himself from exploding. Fleur-de-Lys hadn’t said anything about why she needed him to come see her, but his little sister wouldn’t call him unless it was important—they’ve been on the outs since their parents told him not to bother to come home again.
But this, this sounded important. His fingers flex against the steering wheel, tightening until the plastic creaks a little bit. He eases off at the sound, but only slightly and his knuckles are still white.
Fleur-de-Lys had been all but sobbing on the phone, and if there’s one thing that Enjolras has always trusted his little sister to be, it’s put together. She had played the popularity game with startling acumen all the way through high school, dating a string of athletes without too much in the way of brains, using them to enhance her own status and never giving anything up. Fleur-de-Lys had never sobbed. Sure, sometimes she had screamed at him, because apparently having an older brother who looked better in stilettos than she did could be a bit of a problem for her, but she’d never really cried.
There had been tears, at times, but never sobbing.
Fleur was a past mistress of the single perfect tear that barely smudged her eyeliner as it trickled down her cheek, eliciting sympathy as it went. She’d never condescend to something so petty as true crying.
Enjolras sometimes thought that she’d been born into the wrong century—surely his beautiful, manipulative, brilliant sister had been meant for political intriguing.
It could be exasperating and deeply enraging, to be related to her, because Fleur-de-Lys liked nothing so much as to stir up a scandal, and Enjolras thought it was decently likely that she’d engineered for his parents to find out about his arrest and his relationship with Grantaire at the worst possible time, just to see if she could get him cut off.
Still, he thought, hissing a breath out through his teeth. She was his sister.
It’s a long drive to Fleur-de-Lys’ private college, but she texted him her address while he was in the car and he makes it in less time than the GPS had thought, mostly through the judicious ignoring of posted speed limits.
He parks and stops to breathe for a moment. The drive let him cool his rage into something less likely to explode onto unintended targets but has not dimished it at all.
Getting out of the car, he approaches the dorm he was texted about, only to find a young woman with dark ringlets standing by the door.
“Fleur-de-Lys said you’d be coming. I assume you’re Enjolras?” she says, her voice crisp. Enjolras nods, looking her over. She’s not his sister’s usual sort of lackey—Fleur-de-Lys prefers her minions peroxide-blonde and brainless and this woman doesn’t look to be either. Perhaps college has been good for her.
“I’m Esmeralda, her roommate. I’m mostly here to open doors and then make sure that he doesn’t try to come groveling back to her.”
The word ‘he’ is spat out with unmistakable venom, and Enjolras wonders just who Esmeralda is referring to. There have been a lot of boys in Fleur-de-Lys’ life, ever since she entered seventh grade and learned that most of the ones she associated with could be manipulated with laughable ease. But there’s never been one who did anything deserving of Fleur-de-Lys’ real tears, or of a friend’s incandescent rage.
Instead of asking, he just nods. “Can you show me to her room, then?”
Esmeralda nods, gesturing him in, and then leads him up to the third floor and to one of the dorm rooms. She knocks, and then says, quietly “Fleur? It’s Esmeralda. Your brother’s here.”
There’s a long silent moment, and then the door is opened by a man with long, dark hair and a blue coat. Enjolras is waved in silently, and then the man leaves, shutting the door quietly behind him.
Fleur-de-Lys is sitting on one of the beds, looking worse than he’s ever seen her. For the first time in years, her hair isn’t perfectly coiffed, her makeup is smudged and she’s wearing sweatpants and a too-big t shirt that clearly don’t belong to her.
She looks up, and Enjolras’ heart breaks as she opens her mouth, about to explain, and tears begin to pour down her cheeks instead.
“Oh, Lys,” he whispers and crosses the room to wrap her in his arms. As soon as he has her, she starts sobbing, deep, ragged sobs that shake her shoulders.
Soon enough, she’ll stop and tell him what’s wrong and he’ll know who to ruin for hurting her. But for now, he has his baby sister in his arms, and that’s all that matters.