The morning after a full moon always felt like the continuation of the nightmare of the past day rather than a break from it. As if he wasn’t quite awake yet, not quite human-shaped again. Even if, in the last two years, Feuilly had usually found himself on a plush mattress, his head propped on a pillow, fresh sheet around his body, he was always sore, bruised, an so hurt and detached from his body it was as if he’d woken up in someone else’s bones.
It wasn’t far from the truth. His body had been broken down into pieces and rebuilt into something else’s, and even though, afterwards, when the worst was over, he looked more or less like the boy that he had been before, his body wasn’t the same. It couldn’t be. It could never be again.
Chocking on a sob that bubbled in his (his) throat, Feuilly took a deep breath - or attempted to.
A sharp, stabbing pain to his chest brought tears to his eyes and down his cheeks.
“You have broken ribs,” a deep, soft voice floated through the agony. Enjolras. “Take it easy. We bandaged them but they’re not fixed yet.”
Feuilly became aware of a cold cloth on his forehead; he reached out an arm that didn’t-quite-feel-like-his to touch it, but the pain once again spiked, and he cried out.
“Take it easy,” Enjolras repeated. Feuilly focused on his voice, the perfectly formed vowels of his southern accent. “Valjean had to stay at the school overnight so Cosette has gone to find a healer. I’m - sorry. You were hurt more than usu- than we anticipated.”
“What happened?” He said as the spasms receeded. Even though the day was overcast as it usually was in Scotland this time of the year, Feuilly didn’t have the strength to open his eyes yet, the light in the room too brutal.
He heard Enjolras take a small breath, and Feuilly was thankful - Enjolras valued honesty and truth immensely, and his warmth was almost reassuring. His voice was compassionate, but never pitying.
“We don’t know. We found you a little further than usual this morning. It looked like you had a rough night.”
The euphemism would have made Feuilly laugh, if he could.
“Yeah,” he swallowed. He tasted blood at the back of his throat. “I don’t… I don’t remember any of it.”
The voice that came out between his lips sounded so small, so raspy. It didn’t belong to him, it didn’t.
“I know,” Enjolras said. He took Feuilly’s hand - the one place Feuilly didn’t feel bruised and sore and raw - and squeezed it gently.
Enjolras didn’t care much for empty words, so he said nothing. For five, ten, fifteen minutes - or seconds. Time slowed down when you were in so much pain, but it gave Feuilly enough time to tentatively breathe again. Inhale, exhale. The bandaged around his broken ribs were tight. Inhale, exhale. His head swam. He couldn’t remember anything. Enjolras’ hand was cool around his. Feuilly’s body had never ran hot before; was this new? Or did he have a fever? What else had irreparably changed?
He couldn’t remember anything. Had he hurt someone else? Was this why this morning was so different?
“Would it help,” Enjolras began tentatively, and finally blinking, Feuilly saw him bite his lip, face drawn and pale, as if he hadn’t slept. “If I told you it wasn’t you? Whatever happened, whatever might happen- ” and once again, Feuilly appreciated Enjolras’ honesty, his clear vision, knowing how useless it was to pretend the risk of Feuilly hurting someone wasn’t terrifyingly real. “It’s not you.”
Feuilly swallowed again, the taste of blood making him nauseous and dizzy.
It wasn’t him. He could move his toes, could open his eyes and see his friend sitting beside him, feel the broken ribs and the bruises and the cuts.
But it wasn’t his body anymore.
What did that make him?
“No,” he whispered. “It doesn’t help. I know it sounds good but. Sorry. It doesn’t help.”
Enjolras nodded gravely. Maybe Feuilly would share with him someday, even if he didn’t fully understand - and Feuilly wished Enjolras never understood. Maybe someday, he would find the words to explain, the energy, the strength.
But for now, he focused on Enjolras’ hand around his, and tried to sleep until Cosette arrived with the healer.