Run. Run. Run. The word had become blank noise at this point in time. And yet, Gavroche still obeyed it. His bloodied legs were beginning to give out, but he couldn't stop at this point. His heart kicked against his ribs at a rapid rate, but that didn't stop him. No matter how tired he got, he had to run. He jumped over fences, cutting his shins, knees, and thighs more and more. And each time, the pain slightly slowed him down. But he couldn't help it. If he stopped, he died. No other word for it. He died. It hurt so damn much, though. He wanted to scream for any of the Amis. Hell, he even wanted to scream for his parents. For Eponine. But it wasn't like they'd hear him.
Another gunshot rang in the air. And that forced Gavroche to fall to the ground. An explosion of pain erupted in his shoulder, and the hot crimson substance leaked from it. And quickly. His fingernails dug into the pavement as he tried to push himself up on his good arm. It didn't work in his favor. He fell back to the pavement quickly. Damnit... why couldn't he bring himself to scream? Even screaming for the police could somewhat benefit him. God, he just hoped that someone had heard the gunshot. He rolled onto his back, wincing at the pain in both his legs and shoulder. The edges of his vision were slightly darkened, and soon after, his vision was blurry and tears were running down his face. It hurt so badly.
He only blacked out for a few seconds. Just a few seconds. At least, that’s what it felt like to him. It was a harsh blow to the stomach that got him back into the cold reality. Looked like the Patron-Minette finally caught up to him.
“How much did you hear?” Gavroche was yanked off of the ground by the collar of his jacket by… was it Babet? He couldn’t tell who was who, other than Guelemer, with their masks on.
“I… I didn’t hear any of it! I just-”
A slam to the ground and another harsh yank off of the ground cut his words off. God damnit, he was in so much pain. He felt some sticky substance on the back of his head. Blood, most likely. The pain in his shoulder felt like it was trying to just kill him.
“How much did you hear?” The question was repeated, this time, Gavroche felt a small dagger press into his stomach a little bit. All it took was a flick of that knife to kill him. He went pale. Did he answer truthfully? No… it didn’t matter. Either way he answered, he’d be slaughtered. If he said he heard it all, they’d kill him to make sure he didn’t tell. If he lied, he’d be killed for not complying. And still making sure that he didn’t tell anyone. He bit his tongue, refusing to answer. A small sear was felt in his side, but it wasn’t horrible. “If you don’t answer, I will let your guts spill all over this pavement and let your friends come and clean it up.”
“Even… even if I, even if I do answer, you’ll kill me anyway.” Gavroche pointed out, the sear in his side becoming worse. He wanted to just kick and scream. But his legs refused to move. And if he screamed… he doubted that the Amis would get there in time. Even though they were pretty close to the Musain. There was no way in hell now that any members of his family would hear him. So screaming would just result in instant death. Actually, that didn’t sound all that bad at this point. So… well, if he could get these guys thrown back into jail…
His fear choked him. He couldn’t even open his mouth. He couldn’t talk, all he could do now was start to cry. Brave little Gavroche… crying. It was a funny thing, wasn’t it. “I don’t- I don’t know anything, I swear I don’t!” He managed to choke out, his vision once more beginning to dim. The blood loss from his shoulder, no doubt about it. He didn’t want to have to beg for his life. That’d be so damn pathetic. And it wouldn’t even matter. If he did, and they spared him, they’d cut his tongue out. He couldn’t win in any damn way. And it was so fucking pathetic. Pathetic, pathetic, pathetic. Was this the kid that those two boys looked up to? Was this the boy who the Les Amis allowed to join them just because of his bravery? No. No… it wasn’t. But that boy was knocked out. All that was left was this shaking, crying mess. He was dropped, and all he did was curl up on the ground, clenching his shaking jaw.
“You’re going to kill him, right?” Montparnasse’s voice was pretty simple to recognise. “So he won’t run off and tell them what’ll happen?”
Gavroche heard some rustling, and a familiar clicking sound. He squeezed his eyes shut, taking a shaky breath.
“Sorry, Thenardier. I’m not letting your kind ruin our plan again.”
“Soon, we will be able to erect the barricade. The citizens will-”
BANG. A second gunshot? The fuck was going on out there? Enjolras stopped speaking once he heard it. It sounded closer than the first one had. And he swore to god he heard a scream. It looked like the other Amis heard it too. He drew his own pistol off of his hip, moving towards the door.
“Enj, are you going to go see what’s going on?” Jehan asked, their hands folded together. Enjolras turned towards him for a moment, nodding. He saw both Combeferre and Grantaire stand up and go over to him.
“You’re not going by yourself. Grantaire, I think you’re too-”
“You too? Believe me, I’m more useful than I look.” Grantaire cut Combeferre off quickly, putting one arm around the taller gentleman. Combeferre sighed, pushing his arm off. Enjolras rolled his eyes at Grantaire, the lightest trace of a smile appearing on his face. Without saying anything, he opened the door and the three ran down the steps, Grantaire almost tripping a few times in his decently drunken state.
The streets were oddly silent. That was what struck the three first. There should’ve been something more going on. Especially after two gunshots. Did no one care? Grantaire couldn’t help but notice the fact that Enjolras’ fingers were shaking slightly. Without thinking, he reached out and squeezed them, Enjolras not doing anything in objection.
“It’s too silent… ‘Ferre, do you feel funny?”
“Funny? Define funny.”
“Like something, or someone, is watching us.”
“Uhm… somewhat, now that you point it out. Keep your gun ready. I’m going ahead.”
“Right behind you.”
The three went a bit slower, looking over each opening where someone could be hiding. Looking up at rooftops to see if someone was about to leap off and attack. Looking over at the fountain, the bushes… everywhere. Grantaire himself was a bit nervous now, almost crushing Enjolras’ fingers in his grip. Enjolras squeezed his hand back, not looking up at him.
“Enj… Enj, R, get over here. Now.” Combeferre’s voice got their attention. They ran over to the doctor, to see-
The gun in Enjolras’ hand fell onto the pavement. He went pale as he looked down at the body of Gavroche. It looked like he’d been shot in the shoulder, cut his legs up, and…
He felt Grantaire’s hand cover his eyes, but the image was already there. Combeferre grimaced, kneeling down and, just out of sheer curiosity, putting his fingers on Gavroche’s neck. No pulse. There wasn’t a way in hell that he’d lived through that shot to the head. No way in hell. But… did that mean the scream came from Gavroche? That wasn’t like him. Gavroche wouldn’t scream… unless…
Combeferre stood up quickly, taking his gun out. “Grantaire, let your boyfriend go and get your gun.” He ordered, Grantaire obligating. Enjolras took his gun off of the ground, looking around. “Gavroche wouldn’t scream. You know he wouldn’t. He’d only do it if he wanted us to come out here.”
Enjolras’ eyes widened, the cold cerulean burying into Combeferre’s soul. “Enjolras? Is something wrong? You look…”
“Cover your ears.”
As soon as he saw Enjolras’ gun go up, he obliged and moved to the side, the sound still rattling his skeleton. He looked to where he had been aiming and saw-
Was that a Patron-Minette member? He stiffled a shriek, watching as the taller figure looked down at his bleeding shoulder. Enjolras reached out and pulled Combeferre over, pushing both him and Grantaire back. Combeferre saw the blood coating the other parts of the masked person’s ebony tailcoat. That blood… it had to belong to Gavroche. It took a few moments for it to sink in. That was why he screamed, wasn’t it. To alert them. And they had been foolish enough to come investigate without the rest of the Amis. He looked down at Enjolras, the two sharing a look of mutual understanding.
“Hm… I was hoping that Courfeyrac would be here. Looks like we got the other two out though.”
What? Grantaire swallowed, fiddling with the trigger of his gun. “You want to explain what you mean?” He asked with authority, Combeferre giving him a cold look.
“Oh, nothing that concerns you. What about you go back to your friends?”
“These are my friends. Nice try.”
“Is that so?”
“Are you just going to keep…”
Chills were sent up his spine. Grantaire felt Enjolras roughly shove him away, grabbing Combeferre and forcing him over to Grantaire as well. The two didn’t question what he was doing. They watched as he spun on his heel and landed a kick to the stomach of… was that Montparnasse? And they heard three consecutive gunshots get fired into the air. Combeferre stood up, looking at Enjolras in shock.
“Go?! What the fuck? No!”
“That is an order, Combeferre. Go. Now. Take Grantaire.”
Enjolras rolled his eyes, bolting in the opposite direction of the Musain. Was he… no. He wasn’t going to get far before getting grabbed. Combeferre swore loudly, helping Grantaire up. Did he run after him? He looked at Montparnasse on the ground, delivering a swift kick to his head. Knocking him out. “Grantaire, we have to go after him later.”
“Later… he’ll be dead by the time-”
“He’ll… he’ll be fine, he’s smart. I need you to go to the Musain and inform the Amis of what’s going on.”
“And what will you be doing?”
“I’m going to make sure that Montparnasse doesn’t get away.”
“He looks out cold.”
“The Patron-Minette can be deceitful. Now go. I won’t rush off, I promise.”
Grantaire hesitated. He wasn’t… he didn’t want to leave Combeferre on his lonesome. “No. I’m not going.”
“Grantaire, this isn’t the time-”
“The Amis heard the shots. They’ll be coming out, because they know no one would use those three shots as a joke. We can explain to them when they get here.”
Combeferre sighed, having to admit that was a much better solution to what was going on. He looked back at Gavroche’s body. God… what would Marius think? He knew that Gavroche was the son of a girl that Marius was acquaintances with so… this would be great to explain. He took his glasses off, wiping the sweat off of his brow.
And the next sounds he heard destroyed what little faith he had in the rest of the night.
If he could run long enough, Enjolras knew that the gang would either tire, or kill him far enough away from the Musain that they wouldn’t be able to get back without bumping into either the police, or the rest of the Amis. Jeez, he felt horrible for roping the Amis into this. He didn’t have to fire those damn shots into the air. Yet he did. He fucking did. He knew that Combeferre would be waiting to hear either two gunshots consecutively. Or four. God, he hoped he wouldn’t have to fire four.
One advantage Enjolras had? Like Gavroche, he knew the city well. He knew where he had to go. He knew he could get there if he was still faring in the next few minutes.
Just keep looking forward. Look over your shoulder only occasionally to make sure you don’t slow down. If he didn’t succeed… he didn’t really want to know what would happen. What would become of the Amis? No. He wasn’t going to think of that. Just keep running until he got far enough. He dove into a ditch, covering his head.
“The brat’s fast, I’ll give him that.”
“Now isn’t the time, just keep looking! We’re not failing this.”
Enjolras kept silent, moving more into the shadows. He needed only one of them in the main path. He observed as they indeed split up, leaving the tallest of the group in the road. Good timing. He rushed forward and leapt up, running his knife across their face. Before they could grab his arms, he bolted once more, hearing distinct shouts. Just a block or two more until he could finally stop. As he ran, he slowly realised… Montparnasse wasn’t there with them. He must’ve been behind with Combeferre and Grantaire. God, he hoped that they were all alright. Quickly, he dismissed the thoughts and turned the corner, letting relief wash over him. He was going to make it. He was-
Bam. He stumbled back, looking up to see the seemingly most… physically imposing member of the group. Wait a minute… how did he know… that wasn’t Enjolras’ concern. He dug his elbow into his side, and rushed to the building in front of him.
“He’s going for that building!”
Good. If he could get all of them there, he would be successful. He kicked open the door and slammed it as he went in, throwing some old furniture on it. He took a few steps back, admiring how the abandoned home had fared so well. He smiled, going to access the-
That wasn’t what he was expecting. He looked up at the thin person in the plague doctor mask in surprise. He went to shove him aside, instead being seized by the wrist and getting shoved over the railing. Enjolras quickly scrambled to his feet, picking his knife back up and pointing it at the doctor. “Through the roof. Creative method of getting in.”
“And apparently for getting out. Oh, don’t even bother lying to me, I know you were going for the roof.”
“Oh, is that why I was heading for the stairs?”
The banging on the door didn’t unnerve him. He slowly crept back towards the stairwell, wrapping his fingers around the handle of his gun. He was a bit confused by the doctor’s silence, but he didn’t really care.
“Sorry. I must say, you really are as pretty as people have-”
“Keep your mouth shut.”
“Alexandre, I can see you moving towards the stairwell. I would not do that if I were you.”
How did this bastard know his first name? He only told one member of that dirty gang his damn name. And that was… no. This wasn’t him. He was a few inches shorter than Claquesous should’ve been. Enjolras locked eyes with him for one more moment, then proceeded to bolt up the stair-
He fell backwards, being caught by the collar. He looked up in agitation at the muscular member, freezing for just one second. And it looked like that was all they needed.
Honestly, Enjolras couldn’t help but shriek just slightly as he was thrown up against the wall. The knife dropped from his hand as he collapsed to the ground. The knife was kicked away from him before he could grab it. Damnit. Damnit. Damnit. He stood up and kept himself against the wall, knowing that if he bolted for the exit, he’d be seized again. He fucked himself over. God damnit, he felt so stupid. He should’ve known that they would’ve caught on to what he was doing. The small heap outside could always easily be recognised as a makeshift stool to get to the top of the building. He should’ve adjusted it when he had the chance. And he knew that there was absolutely no chance of running when the rest of the gang filled into the room. Enjolras clenched his jaw, feeling himself fall into fear. What would the Amis think? Would they eventually know that he was out for too long? No… no, he had one way. He took his gun off of his side. The masked persons aimed their weapons at him too.
“Oh dear, don’t try. You’ll waste your precious ammunition. You resisting will just make this a bit longer.”
“That isn’t what I’m doing.”
And he aimed the gun into the air, taking a deep breath. He silently apologised to each and every Ami, not being able to prevent two tears from coming out of his closed eyes.
‘I’ll make this better. I promise.’