The Blood Of Angry Women

Chapter 5

Grantaire was greatly refreshed by his nap in the back of the lecture hall. He was awoken after the lecture was over by Courfeyrac, who was much kinder in this action than Grantaire had been to him just a few hours earlier. They agreed to go together to the Barriere du la Cunette for dinner.

Courfeyrac was troubled by Grantaire's relative quietness. A rather pretty wench dropped a tray near their table, and bent over to clean up the mess. Grantaire did not make one rude comment, leaving this task entirely up to Courfeyrac, who found it to be not quite as much fun without an accomplice and soon gave it up.

He studied Grantaire's stormy countenance. There was something in his eyes which reminded him of Marius' general air up until a few weeks ago. He thought that perhaps Grantaire felt guilty for Enjolras' accident, and settled on this explanation. He forgot that Grantaire had looked this way for a few days prior.

After dinner, they parted company. Courfeyrac had to go locate his mistress and assure her that she was not forgotten. Grantaire decided to stroll about for a bit. This stroll happened to lead him to Enjolras' building. He looked at the heavy oaken door nervously, then walked by it. He came to the cross street and decided that he'd better turn around and go see how she was. He paced back and forth several times like this. The fourth time, just as he was approaching the door again, Combeferre emerged from it.

"Well, hello!" he called. "Come to see how he is?"

"Yes, certainly," Grantaire answered. A pause. "So-- how is he?"

"Much, much better. In fact, I'm glad you came. He's talking of getting up to go to the café tonight." Combeferre sighed and shook his head. "It's all I could do to talk him out of it."

"Well, that's just terrible! Who does he think he is, trying to go to the café! Shall I go up and bind his hands and feet to the bedstead for you?" Grantaire smirked.

Combeferre frowned. "He's really not strong enough yet. He needs to rest. I wouldn't even let him get up to come to dinner, so he asked me to bring him something."

"Aha. Well, has the doctor returned today?" Grantaire didn't trust the boy, even if he was studying medicine now. It was the third subject he'd taken up since they'd known each other, and Grantaire thought that Combeferre had too many other subjects floating through his head to learn any of them properly.

"Yes! And that's another thing-- well, nevermind that. Enjolras is just fussy, I suppose. At any rate, the doctor says that he must be kept in bed, and I have to agree. Perhaps you can go talk some sen-- er, keep him company."

Grantaire nodded and trudged up the stairs. He knocked on the door an waited a moment. No reply. He knocked again. Still, nothing. He anxiously pushed open the door, fearing the worst.

The bed was empty. Upon the neatly spread blanket was a folded piece of paper, addressed to "Combeferre" in her bold handwriting. Grantaire glanced around the room quickly, saw no sign of anyone, and unfolded it.

"Dear Combeferre,
I shall not be kept down for long, not by illness or injury or overly cautious friends. I feel perfectly fine now, and anyway, I am far too busy to slow down. Is it any wonder that I should heal faster than ordinary men? I have more driving me than most do, as evidenced by the business taken care of last week.
You will find me at the café this evening, as always.
Fondest Regards,

Grantaire scowled at the paper, then flung it down on the bed and headed toward the Café Musain.

--Jeni Baron

Chapter 6