“Come on Enjolras, I don’t think today is the best day to be recruiting.”
Enjolras continued marching on towards the campus green with the single-mindedness of a soldier, doing an excellent job of ignoring Combeferre’s pleas. It was 10 o’clock in the morning on January first. Nevermind the fact that most students were still gone on their winter break, or that the few who remained were still hungover in their beds, Enjolras was on a mission. “Whether it’s a good day or not, Combeferre, the world is waiting to be changed.”
Heaving a huge sigh, Combeferre slowed his pace and fell back into line with Courfeyrac. Courfeyrac, who should have been among the few laying hungover in their beds. “If I didn’t know better, I’d say he was still drunk.”
He received a small grunt in reply, and turned away from Enjolras’s increasingly distant figure to focus on the friend he might actually be able to help. Courfeyrac was a mess on a good day – not that that was a bad thing for him to be. Courfeyrac as a mess was still more kind and energetic than most people at their best. Nevertheless, today was not a good day. Today Courfeyrac was pale, with bloodshot eyes and hair sticking up at all angles, wearing a ratty white t-shirt and what were, essentially, boxers. He wasn’t even wearing shoes, a fact which Combeferre was ashamed he didn’t catch before they were both dragged out of their apartment by the whirlwind that is Enjolras. A cool breeze rolled through and prompted a violent shiver that shook Courf to the tips of his hair, prompting Combeferre to shrug off his sturdy grey jacket and wrap it around the other boy’s shoulders. “Don’t worry Courf, I’m sure he’ll realize that this is useless after an hour or two of standing in the cold, trying to pass out pamphlets to the only ones here this time of year – the pigeons.”
That comment brought out a hint of a smile, and Combeferre deemed it safe to reach out and wrap an arm around his barefoot friend’s shoulder. Both men stopped when they heard a large splash come from up ahead and upon straining to see what caused it, it was Courfeyrac who spotted a shining blonde head emerge from the large fountain in the middle of the campus green. Courf began shaking from laughter rather than exposure to the elements, standing on the sidewalk guffawing while Combeferre – ever the concerned and rational friend – ran ahead to pull Enjolras out of the clutches of the freezing fountain. The time it took Combeferre to make it to the fountain was enough for the fearless and passionate Enjolras to stalk over to the stone edge of the structure and climb out, looking rather like a dog who had reluctantly succumbed to a bath at the hands of its owner. Wise enough to notice that Enjolras was seething enough to practically evaporate the water dripping off of his person, Combeferre clamped down on the laughter threatening to break loose and simply raised an eyebrow at the man. “A little cold out for a swim, Enjolras. Joly would be going on and on about hypothermia if he were actually awake right now.”
Enjolras emitted what seemed to be a growl and shook out his hair, attempting to regain some of the impressive presence he usually commanded. Realizing this was unlikely to happen after tripping and falling into a fountain – how did he even fall in, the stone partition was almost half his height! – Enjolras settled for casting his gaze around the green. The sight was disappointing: Everywhere he looked there was no one. Enjolras had woken up that morning with a plan. Admittedly it had been more of a half-baked drunken thought bunny, created the night before with an equally drunk Courfeyrac and Combeferre, but it had stuck with Enjolras even through his morning hangover haze, filling his entire being with purpose. Enjolras had always been a person of passion and belief, and often the task of refining those beliefs fell to Combeferre and Courfeyrac. When he was a teen there had been no outlet for his passions except these fervent debates with his two friends, and while they were welcome occasions, they didn’t even begin to satisfy the burning need Enjolras felt, the need to do something. He had hoped that going to college, somewhere far away from his old restraints, would give him the freedom to enact change in the world, but after a semester filled with lackluster organizations that refused to take a substantial stand his hopes had dwindled. Then last night, as he was bemoaning his predicament over the bottle of wine he had claimed for himself out of Courfeyrac’s stash, a solution came to him as if from an angel of God. That is, if angels tended to be drunk, half-naked, and named Combeferre. “Just fuck those organizations, Enjolras. They don’t have your...your…”
“Majestic flowing locks?” Courfeyrac loved to pet Enjolras’s hair when he was drunk. And when he was sober.
“No no no,” Combeferre waved away the suggestion with a flick of his hand. “They don’t have your passion. You don’t need them. You should just make your own organization and you can do all the fucking radical shit you want!”
All the fucking radical shit you want...so maybe Enjolras’s angels weren’t quite as eloquent as messengers of God tended to be, but the point was a good one nonetheless. And now here he was, hair dripping and clothes plastered to his body in the middle of campus, with a bitch of a hangover. And there were his heavenly messengers, dry but looking equally horrendous, laughing up a storm as he shivered in the freezing January air. Well Enjolras would not be swayed from his New Year’s resolution, and his friends would just have to bear the honor of helping him start this organization since they planted the idea in his mind in the first place. Despite his faith in the resolution itself Enjolras was beginning to realize the futility of passing out pamphlets today. One more sweep of his gaze around the green and he confirmed that it was indeed empty. Combeferre must have sensed his disappointment, as he always did, because he took a break from trying to rub warmth back into Courfeyrac’s hands to pat Enjolras’s still dripping shoulder. “Don’t worry Enjolras. You don’t want the people who stay in bed all day on your side. You want the people like you, so full of passion that they defy the normal order of things. And you want people like me and Courf, who believe in people like you so damn much that we’ll follow you outside in freezing weather with New Year’s Eve hangovers, even when we know it’s a longshot.”
“I would just like to interject something.” Enjolras and Combeferre turned to Courfeyrac who, in addition to being unkempt and shivering, was now also red-faced from laughing. “I did not choose to follow either of you out into this godforsaken day. I would much rather be in bed sleeping off a hangover. I do, however, believe in you.”
“Well, look who finally woke up!” Combeferre reached over and smoothed a hand through Courfeyrac’s wild hair, the sight of which brought a small smile to Enjolras’s face.
“You’re right, Ferre. Thank you both for being here. I admit I didn’t think this through very well, I’ll blame the Merlot.”
Courfeyrac pointed an accusing finger at Enjolras. “You’re damn right you didn’t. But then again, I didn’t think I needed socks when I left the apartment today and look how miserable I am now. It’s hard to think things through when your head is pounding.”
“Well, we’re all already here – we may as well try and make some good out of our efforts,” Combeferre laughed.
“How? There’s nobody out here and all the pamphlets are ruined from my dip in the fountain.”
Courfeyrac cackled and lifted up his shirt to reveal a small stack of papers tucked suspiciously into the waistband of his boxers. Much to the amusement of Enjolras, Courf pulled the bundle out with a flourish and presented them to a very pink Combeferre. “I made some flyers of my own last night. There may be some typos, but you can thank drunken me for having the foresight that many sober people lack.”
Enjolras smiled as Ferre finally took the papers from Courfeyrac’s hand. “Well, let’s get to it then. There’s got to be somebody wandering around this campus.” And then Courfeyrac decided to reach down and scratch his thigh, half bare even with his boxers. “But first,” Enjolras amended, “let’s go get Courfeyrac some pants.”