The Blood Of Angry Women

Chapter 2

Grantaire carefully pulled the blankets over Enjolras, unable to tuck the torn shirt modestly around her. She was still unconscious, but breathing deeply now. As soon as he was satisfied that he'd made her as comfortable as possible, Grantaire began to rummage in the cupboards, searching desperately for a bottle. Of course there was nothing here. He sighed and resorted to pacing the floor. At long last, the concierge showed up, with a doctor at her heels.

Grantaire studied the man carefully, as he escorted the old crone to the door and nudged her out. He was a wizened old man, but old men were generally the best doctors, in his experience, and less likely to be shocked by odd situations.

"Look, you're not going to believe this, but.. I've just discovered that my friend is a woman," Grantaire said in a hushed tone.

The doctor stared at him oddly for a moment, then proceeded to Enjolras side. "The concierge told me that one of her student tenants had been struck by a carriage?" He lifted her head slightly from the pillow and quickly examined it. "And seems to have quite a nasty bump."

"H-- she wasn't struck; I pushed her out of the way." Grantaire answered. "Damn fool carriage drivers! Could have killed us both." He averted his eyes as the doctor began to examine her.

The doctor prodded at the bruise on her stomach for what seemed like forever, and he also found that she did indeed have a fractured bone - her left arm. It was a clean break, which required no setting, and he simply splinted it.

As he was tying the final knots in the splint, Enjolras woke up.

She looked around her room hazily. "Grantaire?" she murmured, confusedly. She looked down at herself, and clumsily pulled the blanket up tighter. "What's going on?"

Grantaire glanced up from the newspaper he'd picked up and had been scanning, simply for the sake of putting his eyes elsewhere. "You were almost struck by a carriage - both of us. In the process of escaping it, I'm afraid your arm--"

Her eyes flew wide open. "Grantaire! I-- I--" She looked down at herself, and it dawned on her that she was wearing only a blanket. She glanced at the doctor, wide-eyed.

"Hush. You need your rest now. Perhaps I should send your friend out for a few moments? Monsieur Grantaire, perhaps you can explain later what happened?" He smiled kindly at Enjolras, and made a dismissive motion toward Grantaire. Grantaire obeyed without question. Anything to set Enjolras' mind at ease.

As great as the urge to wander off to a wineshop was, he remained in the hallway just outside Enjolras' door until the doctor opened it again.

He left a bottle of tonic, to be administered three times a day, and strict instructions to Grantaire to watch over his friend all night long, and to not to let Enjolras sleep longer than an hour at a time. Grantaire nodded, thinking silently that he'd better enlist help in that endeavor.

Enjolras, now in a fresh shirt thanks to the doctor's assistance, peered at Grantaire nervously. She still had the blanket pulled up to her chin, as if no amount of modesty could be too great. "Perhaps you could go ask Courfeyrac to come and stay with me. I don't want you to miss a night's sleep over me, and he doesn't have class in the morning."

Grantaire turned around and stared at her. How did this pretty girl end up in boy's clothes, in school, and so fierce and militant and radical, he wondered. And then, did she even realize that he knew? Should he tell her?

"I-- I'll do that, if you'd like. I'll send the concierge up to sit with you while I'm gone." He hurried out of the room, and nearly ran to Courfeyrac's room. After a very brief explanation of the accident, they returned to Enjolras' flat. Grantaire lagged behind a bit, as he'd stopped at a wineshop on the way there. He bought a bottle of brandy and tucked it into his coat pocket.

Perhaps, if he'd had to, Grantaire might have stayed awake all night to save Enjolras' life. As it happened, with the protection of having Courfeyrac there, he sat on the floor, laid his head on the edge of the bed, and fell asleep around two a.m., after finishing most of the brandy. Courfeyrac, engrossed in a book that he'd plucked off Enjolras' bookcase, did not pay too much attention. He completed his task every hour, as instructed, stifling a yawn now and again. It would not be the first sleepless night of his life in Paris, though it may very well have been the most boring.

Grantaire finally awoke midmorning and switched places with Courfeyrac, who chose to stretch out on the floor and catch a nap, too exhausted to even walk home. Grantaire sat in the chair at the other side, and watched Enjolras' beautiful face, peaceful in sleep. Finally, unable to resist, he leaned in and kissed her on the forehead.

Enjolras' eyes snapped open in an instant. "What the hell are you doing?"

--Jeni Baron

Chapter 3