Grand R and the Seven Amis

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Grand R and the Seven Amis

Postby WhoIam » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:22 pm

I'm just going to see how this works out, as it's my first attempt at a) AU, b)a full-length story, and c) anything about Les Amis. As this is the prologue, I wrote it in that fancy fairy-tale style. If you think the entire fic should be written this way, just the prologue, or perhaps none of it at all in this fashion, please let me know. And also, should I continue it or keep it to myself? *clicks submit before she can change her mind*



PROLOGUE

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away, there lived a maiden named Fantine. She was very fair, her hair seeming to be woven from the rays of the sun, and she was possessed of teeth which poets likened to pearls. Men came from miles away to ask her hand in marriage, but Fantine was beloved of a college student named Félix Tholomyès, who never spoke to her of marriage. The young maiden's father, exasperated with her stubborn refusal to wed, agreed with the King of that kingdom to have Fantine marry him.
Fantine was distraught, for King Thénardier was old, and unattractive. However, her father insisted, and Fantine was wed. The ceremony was swift, and it was not long before Fantine found she was with child.
One night, she was sewing by the window so that she could admire the freshly fallen snow. Quite by accident, she pricked her finger on the needle. As she watched, three drops of blood fell onto the ebony windowsill. She smiled, enchanted by the play of the three colors together. She murmered, “Oh, how I wish that I had a child that is as white as snow, with lips as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony.”
Months later, the queen gave birth to a healthy child; but, rather than the daughter she had imagined, she was gifted with a young son. He was as white as snow, his lips red as blood, and his curly hair as black as ebony. The maids gasped at his haunted, waxy appearance, which to them spoke to the horrible tales of vampires that were told in those days.
Fantine had caught ill a few weeks before, and was in very bad condition. On her deathbed, she named the child Grand R, which was a rather unusual name, and died. Despite the odd quality of the name, which most supposed to have been the brainchild of a fevered mind, the babe was christened Grand R, as it was the young Queen's dying request. The king grieved for his beautiful wife, taken so soon, but after twelve months had passed, he consented to remarry.
His second wife was hideous. There was speculation by the court of the King that she was descended from ogres. Nevertheless, the greedy King knew the woman was possessed of much gold and jewels, and took his advantage of her riches. The new Queen was named Gulnare, a family tradition.
King Thénardier had by Queen Gulnare two daughters, naming one Éponine and the other Azelma. The two girls were fairly pretty, which was a genetic miracle considering the looks of their parents, and the Queen prided herself on the two children.
The Queen, however, had a secret possession which she had kept secret from her husband. This possession was crafted by ogres, and within its confines resided a fierce entity which represented truth and justice. The object was a hand mirror, and the entity within was called Javert.
Queen Gulnare was vain of her looks, allowing herself to believe that she was pretty, and often posed a question to Javert. “Mirror, mirror, who cannot lie, just how beautiful am I?”
Javert consistently responded, “My Queen, you are not considered fair, with crooked teeth and facial hair.” The Queen believed that Javert was being sarcastic, as it was so obvious she was beautiful.
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Re: Grand R and the Seven Amis

Postby Mademoiselle Mabeuf » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:31 pm

:lol: :lol: I can't wait to read the rest. Great start, AJ.
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Re: Grand R and the Seven Amis

Postby Rachel » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:32 pm

Not an abomination at all, I quite like and will be curious as to how you continue it.

(But Fantine/Thénardier, yuck)
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Re: Grand R and the Seven Amis

Postby WhoIam » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:36 pm

I know, it's creepy, but Fantine doesn't have any really acceptable pairing for marriage and I'm not terribly fond of OC's. They complicate things. :lol:
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Re: Grand R and the Seven Amis

Postby IBelieveInYou » Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:41 am

This was awesome :lol: :lol: Is it going to be some sort of a fairytale Medley? Please continue soon! So glad to know les Amis will be there!
Then I saw their trembling features warp and, gradually,
Their foreheads turn pale and dissolve in front of me,
And everyone, like a stream that flows into a sea,
Became completely lost in a dark immensity.

Victor Hugo, The Slope of Reverie

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Re: Grand R and the Seven Amis

Postby WhoIam » Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:34 am

I worked on this in longhand while I was gone, so I could present you with the first chapter. Please please please tell me if you like it, if you hate it, or if there's anything I can work on.

CHAPTER ONE

“Come on, then!” Grand R shouted across the courtyard from a window. “I'll bet you can't catch me!”
“R, please wait up!” Princess Éponine was careful not to tear her dress; she knew how pretty it was and didn't want to spoil it. “I'm coming as fast as I can.”
Despite her mother's obvious dislike for the Prince, Éponine tried to get along with him. After all, he would be King one day.
“Where are we going, anyway?” she asked as she caught up to the prince, who was impatiently tapping his foot.
“I want to see if the Tower is unlocked.” This idea stopped Éponine in her tracks.
“R, you can't! That's the Queen's private study!”
“I'm the Prince,” he pointed out huffily. “I can do what I want.”
“Yes, but R, it's dangerous up there. My mother told me so,” Éponine said seriously.
Grand R rolled his eyes. “Éponine, you're such a girl. What's life without a little adventure?”
“Safe,” she pointed out, and the prince shot her an exasperated look.
“It's my eighth birthday. I'm not a baby anymore,” he said.
“I don't care about how old you are, I care about you getting hurt.”
“Fine, if it means that much to you, I don't need to see the Tower.” Grand R didn't let her see him smile.

* * *

Grand R smiled to himself. Éponine's nurse had caught them playing, and Éponine had been hurried away to get cleaned up. Funny how dresses could get so dirty but they still sent Éponine out to play in the ridiculous things.
He didn't need to visit the Tower. He wanted to.
When Éponine had disappeared from sight, he took off in the opposite direction. The Tower loomed ominously above him, but Grand R shook the shivers from his spine. “Don't be a sissy,” he told himself. “You aren't doing anything wrong.”
The crawling feeling didn't go away. If anything, it intensified as he opened the door to the portrait room.
The walls were hung with paintings, awful paintings of sallow-skinned men and women. Their eyes were haunted. Their lips were thin and pale. And their expressions nearly sent Grand R running back down the stairs.
One woman looked to be in immense amounts of pain. A man wore a sick grin stretched abnormally on his bony jaw. Another had white shadows tracing his face, that made him look creepily like a skeleton. There was a painting of a young girl, done in dusty colors, who seemed to have a deranged grin on her face. There were cobwebs on the chandelier.
Grand R stepped away until his back was against the door. Quivering, he tried to steel himself, but directly above the other door was a terrible portrait of a woman who looked like a crow and a snake and a corpse all at once. He swallowed, and closed his eyes, running across the room until he hit the oak door.
Thump. Grand R scrambled away from the door. He didn't even dare to breathe. He tried not to make a sound as he tiptoed back across the room, to the safety of the other doorway. Maybe Éponine had been right, he thought uneasily.
He slowly started to close the door and back out of the room. He was already out of the portrait room when the door creaked loudly.
He flinched, and froze. One. Nothing moved. Two. Still nothing. Three- Nothing. He was safe.
Grand R crept back through the portrait room. This time, he was sure to avoid hitting the door.
Slowly, he pushed the door open a tiny bit.
Inside the tower, a hulking woman muttered under her breath, her back to the young prince.
She snatched a mirror off her desk. Holding it high, she said, “Mirror, mirror, who cannot lie, just how beautiful am I?” At her voice, Grand R gave a start. It was the Queen.
The hand mirror fogged over, and when the smoke cleared, a man's face was staring back at her. Grand R squeaked in surprise, but neither the mirror not the Queen heard.
The man in the mirror looked rather irritated. “You called me to ask the same question again?” he asked. “Someday I'll jump off a bridge. You'll be sorry then.”
“Yes,” Queen Gulnare said. “Mirror, mirror, who cannot lie, just how beautiful am I?” She glared at him. “Javert, stop dancing around it and tell me already.”
Javert sighed. “My Queen, you are not considered fair, with crooked teeth and facial hair.”
The Queen straightened, looking irritated. “Your words are sharp, Mirror. I don't appreciate sarcasm.”
“My Queen, I have no vanity which you can assail. I may have claws like a woman, but you have the beard of a male.” Grand R was transfixed by his next words. “When I say that you're ugly, I tell you true. Even Grand R is fairer than you.”
Queen Gulnare dropped the mirror. “What – how dare you – Grand R, as in the Prince?”
Javert smirked and nodded. Grand R couldn't breathe. The Queen would be furious if he was caught here, especially now.
Queen Gulnare set the mirror facedown on the desk. “That stupid child. How dare he be more attractive than me? What could he have in appearance that I lack?” Javert's snort from the desk was muffled.
“No, it cannot be. Grand R is not handsome at all. Is he?”
The Queen let out a noise, a gutteral growl that started deep in her throat. By the time it reached her mouth, it had become a harsh wordless scream of rage.
Grand R couldn't move, frozen in place by terror. He tried to keep his breathing level, but it was all he could do not to faint.
The Queen picked up the mirror again, and Grand R ran, not bothering to close the door behind him.
When he reached his bedchamber, he hid beneath the blankets and tried to imagine knights on adventures and fairies and enchanted princesses and anything but his stepmother's awful roar and those terrible paintings on the walls.
He was so focused on not focusing on the Queen's rage that he didn't realize anyone else was in the room until the covers were dragged off him and a fist connected with the side of his face.
His vision turned black with pain; stars winked at the corners of his eyes when the darkness faded.
He barely had time to register Queen Gulnare standing above him before her fist slammed against his nose. Tears sprung to his eyes unbidden as blood rushed forth.
His stepmother snarled, “Not so fair anymore, are you?”
She hit him again and again, slapping him and kicking when he curled into a ball on the floor.
When finally the beating ceased, Grand R lay sobbing at her feet. Queen Gulnare grabbed his arm and twisted it cruelly. “If you tell your father about this,” she threatened, “you'll get much worse.”
Grand R listened to her receding footsteps until they were too faint to hear. He struggled to stand, collapsing onto his bed after a few staggering steps.
When he finally gathered enough strength to stand, he forced himself to walk down through the castle halls to a courtyard well. He hid his face to hide the blood and bruising when he asked a servant girl who was near to draw water for him.
When the young girl complied, he splashed his face in the bucket, washing the blood clean.
His eighth birthday was to be celebrated that night, but he didn't know how to avoid his father seeing the bruises he could feel forming on his face.

* * *

Grand R entered the dining hall with his head high, not even trying to hide the purple marks on his cheek and surrounding his eye.
King Thénardier rose to his feet. “Where did you get those bruises?” he asked. His face betrayed only the slightest anger and concern. Grand R thought to himself that it was probably more for the disrespect done to the crown than for his son's well-being. The Queen glared at Grand R, but he couldn't let her scare him.
“I got in a fight. You should see the other boy. Stupid peasants don't know anything,” Grand R said, feigning carelessness.
The King laughed. “Well done, then. Eight years old, and a man already!” He resumed his conversation with some courtier.
Grand R could not breathe easy during the festivities with his stepmother's eyes on him. He fidgeted through a juggler's antics, a bard's cheerful melody, and many other such performances.
When finally the party drew to a close, he ran upstairs to his bedchamber and threw himself onto his bed. He closed his eyes, hoping and praying that this was the only time his stepmother would ever hit him.
It wasn't.
Last edited by WhoIam on Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Grand R and the Seven Amis

Postby Gervais » Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:51 am

Poor little R. :( I love this someday, though, and good luck with future rhyming with Javert. :wink:
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Re: Grand R and the Seven Amis

Postby redmiserable » Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:29 pm

This... is... so... CUTE!!!!
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Re: Grand R and the Seven Amis

Postby WhoIam » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:09 am

Chapter Two

King Thénardier died when Grand R was fourteen. The Queen's beatings became more frequent after his burial, new bruises forming on the Prince's skin every few days. He tried to avoid the strikes by keeping to public areas, but eventually he would get caught alone.
It was when he was sixteen that her attacks finally ended. He'd drunk far more alcohol than was prudent for a teenaged boy, and the intoxication made him reckless. When his stepmother struck him, he struck her in return. The beating that night had been sound, but the next day Queen Gulnare received inquiries as to why she had a black eye. Afraid to be exposed, she stopped physically beating Grand R.
It was shortly after his eighteenth birthday that he made a valiant effort to stay sober for a night.
“Please, R, it would mean so much to me if you would not pass out on the table on my birthday this year,” Princess Éponine said, reminding her stepbrother of the celebration the year before, on her fifteenth birthday.
He'd tried to convince her otherwise, but to no avail. “I'm so terribly sorry to tear you from your much-needed absinthe, R, but I still possess a shred of dignity and – pardon my language – I'll be damned if I allow you to destroy it with your habitual inebriation.”
The entire day of the celebration, he drank nothing but water, despite a pounding withdrawal headache.
That night, the Queen found him in his bedchamber and beat him as she had that eight-year-old child he once was; he cowered and curled up as if he was still that child.
When morning came, he didn't leave his room. It was only when night fell that he walked out of the castle with bottles clinking in a sack.
The night was chilly and damp. The moon could not be seen through the thick black clouds that obscured the night sky. Grand R rolled his eyes at the ominous conditions as he tipped back a bottle. Clearly the universe was having a good laugh at his expense.
The sun, still below the horizon, was starting to flush the sky pink when he reached a small town near the edge of a forest. The innkeeper raised his brows when Grand R requested a room to sleep in, but made no complaint when the coins dropped into his hand.
When Grand R woke, the sun was barely setting. He realized vaguely that he'd slept in his clothes, but didn't bother changing them when he drank the last dregs of his absinthe from the night before.
The sky was clear tonight, but only the stars lit his way; the moon was new, and no one seemed keen on walking towards the dark pine woods ahead at night.
The path he walked down was fairly straight, but the forest that was ahead made Grand R's palms sweat. He'd heard stories at court of wolves and bandits hiding in the woods. The moon's absence that night didn't ease his apprehension.
“I'm doomed,” he muttered to himself. “I'll be eaten by a wolf, or killed by bandits for my absinthe and the clothes on my back.” The absinthe he drank was the only thing keeping him from running back to the castle. The absinthe, and the bruises on his body.
The pine needles made a whispering hiss when the cold breeze stirred them. He shivered, the wind feeling as though it blew straight through his body. Nervously, Grand R drank from his bottle.
The howl of a wolf in the distance made him freeze. Scarcely daring to breathe, in case a predator was near enough to hear him, he listened intently.
The wolf's howl came again, from farther away. It wasn't coming nearer, at least. Grand R was reassured, at least for the moment.
He slowly began to walk again, keeping absolutely quiet. Every shadow looked like a man's silhouette; each shift of the trees made him flinch.
He only relaxed when he saw a signpost which said that the nearest town was but a few miles away. The forest would soon be behind him, he could perhaps take a few days to rest in the town ahead.
He began to talk to himself, maybe because the cold silence around him stifled him, maybe to drown out his thoughts.
“And all of this from a woman's vanity! Oh, vanity,” he muttered. “The patching up of everything with big words. A kitchen is a laboratory, a dancer is a, a professor, a tumbler is a gymnast, a boxer is a pugilist, and apothecary is a chemist, a wig maker is an artist, a hod carrier is an architect, a jockey is a sportsman, a wood-louse is a pterygobranchiate.” It was nonsense, but speaking put his mind at ease.
“I call it affectation, not vanity.”
Grand R spun on his heels. A man stood on the road behind him.
“I've been waiting for you to realize I was here.” Grand R backed away. By the scant light of the stars, he could see the other man was tall, with lean muscle, not bulk. The man's voice was cold, collected, calm.
“It did take you longer than I expected, but I suppose the drink could account for that.”
Grand R saw the glint of a knife in his hand. “I'm sorry, but I don't believe I caught your name?”
“Does it matter?”
“I'd like to know the name of the man who killed me. You know, for decency's sake. Telling me what I did to deserve it would be nice, too.”
The man stepped closer. Grand R edged away very slowly.
“I'm called Montparnasse by most people.”
“Who's most people?”
“The people I kill.” He says it so conversationally, Grand R nearly drops his bottle.
“Um – oh.” Grand R tries to think of something, anything, to say that could distract the other man. “Um, so I like your hat.”
The man straightens. He's close enough that Grand R can see the pride etched on his features – wait, how did he get so close?
“So do I. Pity I have to kill someone with such good taste.” Is this man toying with me, drawing out my death by giving me hope and then snuffing it out?
“So- um. Montparnasse, what do you do for a living?” What kind of a stupid question is that?
“I'm an assassin-for-hire.” Oh, God, Grand R really is doomed.
“Who hired you?”
“As if I'd tell you.”
“Well, I'm assuming I know the person, obviously. So, who could it be?”
“I suppose you'll never know.” Before Grand R could fully appreciate the meaning of the words, the man took a quick step forward and his knife flashed. Grand R stumbled backwards, the knife barely missing him.
“Well, you're quite handy with that,” Grand R observed, trying not to panic.
“Thank you.” The man lunged again, and Grand R ducked below his attack.
“Remind me – how many people have you killed?”
“Several.” His quick answer was accompanied by a swing of the knife. Grand R bit back a cry of pain; his sleeve was torn, exposing the bright red line of blood. Montparnasse thrust at him again, this time catching Grand R in the shoulder.
“How much?” The words were out of his mouth the second he thought them.
The man standing above him paused. “What?”
“How much did she offer you to kill me?”
“That's none of your business.”
You're about to kill me! It's my business most of all!”
“Forty francs.”
“Fifty francs if you leave me alive, and anything you want out of the sack, as well.” He can hardly believe he's bargaining for his life. He's barely drunk enough for this.
Montparnasse contemplated this offer. “Maybe.”
“Sixty francs.”
“Better.”
“Seventy, seventy, all right? Take all the money I have for all I care.” Grand R couldn't help the pleading in his voice.
“Done.” Montparnasse took the sack and rifled through it, perusing the clothes with interest. “These are very nice,” he remarked. “You do have excellent taste.”
“Take them.”
“Don't worry, I will.” Montparnasse dropped the sack on the ground and took the money from Grand R's hand. “Get out of here.” It was not a suggestion.
Grand R picked up the sack, which was much lighter than it had been. The road ahead was black, and his arm and shoulder bled sluggishly. Now that death was no longer imminent, the pain was much sharper.
Grand R realized much too late that he didn't have any money when he finally made it to the town on the other side of the forest.
“If you don't have money, we can't help you,” the local innkeeper said.
Grand R wasn't very surprised.
A benevolent doctor who sought no pay for his good deeds would have been very useful, so of course there were none like that in the town. Grand R slept on the street, and when the sun set, he set off again, towards the mountains, the absinthe in his sack dwindling and the food even less present.
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Re: Grand R and the Seven Amis

Postby Gervais » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:15 am

I can see Montparnasse being hired to not kill surprisingly easily. :lol:
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Re: Grand R and the Seven Amis

Postby redmiserable » Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:27 am

Oh, Montparnasse. Not after the victim, but the money.
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Re: Grand R and the Seven Amis

Postby Mademoiselle Mabeuf » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:15 am

*gigglesnort*
This is fantastic, AJ. "You're so ugly, even Grand R is fairer than you!" *chokes*
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Re: Grand R and the Seven Amis

Postby WhoIam » Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:32 am

CHAPTER THREE

Grand R closed his eyes, trying to block out the fading sunlight. His hands were pressed to his temples in a vain attempt to ease the ache. His shoulder protested vehemently.
He barely managed to stand before he was doubled over, retching. The ground spun around, and he dizzily tried to right himself.
When he could stand straight without feeling like he would throw up, he gasped out, “I am never drinking again.” His tongue was sandpaper; it was like having a wad of cotton in his mouth.
It was almost funny. He told himself that every time he woke up like this. But he always ended up with a bottle in hand that night.
Grand R muttered half-coherent complaints as he reached into the sack for a quick drink. To his surprise, there was less than half a bottle left.
“How much did I drink this morning?” He didn't expect an answer. There wasn't anything left in the sack now, so he figured he might as well leave it there.
Grand R downed the last of the absinthe, hoping to wash away the headache. He threw the bottle into the street, ignoring the smash as the glass shattered.
The town was quiet; a few people were walking quickly home, shielding themselves against the autumn wind.
Grand R shivered, picking up his pace and wincing as he caught his arm on a post. The pain hadn't been this strong when Grand R's head was pounding.
He found himself wishing for the hangover.
“What god did I vex to bring this torture upon me?” he said, rubbing his arm. “I need a drink.”
The walk to the next town was uneventful. Grand R breathed a sigh of relief when h made it through the town gates. There were no vain assassins this time, at least.
He jumped in surprise when a woman's scream pierced the air. A dirty figure fell to her knees, sobbing.
“Are you all right?” Grand R asked, touching her shoulder gently. She shoved him away, cradling a tiny form in her arms.
“My Camille, my Camille,” she moaned, clinging the bundle tightly to her chest. She looked up at him with bloodshot eyes, and the movement allowed Grand R to see the bundle more clearly.
The thin yellow body of a baby was wrapped in the soiled cloth. He stumbled back, shocked.
“My Camille,” she whispered again, tears running down her face and leaving clean streaks in the dust on her cheeks.
Grand R turned, trying to hold back tears he hadn't realized were in his eyes.
There was an old man leaning against a shop and coughing. People were ill and starving and cold and poor.
Grand R closed his eyes, trying to calm down. His memory called up the riches of his father the King, and the court. The lavish dinners, the nice clothes.
He'd seen the poor before, of course. The city around the palace had its own poor. But he'd always been kept away from the worst of it.
He was not drunk enough to handle this.
Grand R left the town quickly, trying not to think about the people he was leaving there.
“There's nothing you can do, there's nothing you can do,” he repeated under his breath. He didn't have money or food, he didn't have anything but the clothes he wore.
When the tiny sliver of moon that was visible that night was directly overhead, Grand R reached the foothills of the mountains.
He could feel the beginnings of another headache, a withdrawal headache.
“Well, I suppose things can't get worse,” Grand R said. And promptly, someone decided to prove him wrong.
A man came around the next bend in the path.
“Hello,” the man said.
Grand R didn't answer.
“I'm sorry to trouble you, but I had a map, and it got soaked by the river back there,” the man said, gesturing behind him, “and I don't know how to get to the Royal Palace from here.”
Grand R sighed. “Follow the path, keep going through the forest, eventually you'll get there. About three days of walking.”
“Thank you.” The man sat next to him. “Do you mind if I sit? I'm starving.”
Grand R flinched at the word starving. This man hadn't seen the people in that town. He didn't know what starving really was.
“Thanks,” the man said, taking Grand R's silence for an affirmative. “I suppose you're wondering why I'm going to the Royal Palace.”
“Not really.”
“Well, my father was a baron, and I inherited the title, you see. So I'm traveling to the Royal Palace because I'm a baron.” He passed Grand R a piece of bread and a bit of cheese. Grand R decided the man wasn't a very rich baron.
“Um, okay.” He needed a drink. Did this boy even have anything to drink?
“Thank you for the directions. If you're ever at the capital and need anything, lodging, money, whatever, come to me. I pay my debts.”
Grand R thought about pointing out that he hadn't done anything particularly magnanimous. He decided that the man would probably force repayment on him anyway.
“Here.” The man passed him a card, with the words BARON MARIUS PONTMERCY embossed on it. Grand R accepted it without protest, rolling his eyes when the baron's back was turned.
“Goodbye,” Baron Marius Pontmercy said when Grand R stood to go. “I hope to see you again someday!”
“Whatever,” Grand R muttered under his breath as he followed the path into the mountains, not looking back.
The mountains were rather pretty from a distance, Grand R decided. Close up, however, they were dizzying. He winced as a wave of nausea passed through him. Maybe that was just the withdrawal.
He'd never wished absinthe grew on trees before.
The mere fact that he hadn't collapsed during a wave of headache and nausea should have been encouraging. The absence of truly terrible symptoms, however, only made Grand R certain that he would fall to the ground in convulsions in the mountains, rather than the foothills, where at least people were more likely to pass by to help.
False dawn was turning the sky at his back pink when he realized the foothills were behind him and he was truly amongst the mountains. The path was less well-tended, rocks strewn across it.
When he rounded a bend obscured by a rocky wall, Grand R sighed in relief. A valley, finally. Probably there was some form of sustenance down there, in the woods.
Naturally, whatever god loathed him so much obviously couldn't let Grand R get away with something even as simple as finding food.
As soon as Grand R couldn't see the path anymore, he slipped in a spot of mud. Normally this would only inconvenience him, but a sharp branch caught his arm and ripped his wound open again.
“Oh, for the love of...” Grand R exhaled sharply when he touched the gash, which was bleeding. “Damn it, damn it, damn it.”
He pulled himself to his feet. The tree in front of him suddenly split into two. The world spun around way too fast. Damn it.
He felt his stomach rebel and dropped to his knees as the baron's bread and cheese came back up.
The terrible taste of vomit lingered in his mouth, burning his throat. “Oh, I am going to die here, alone and cold and sick and in pain and starving and tired...”
He dragged himself upright and slowly tried to get back to the road.
He started to question his route when he realized he hadn't seen a boulder when he went off the path.
Fortunately, he didn't have to stop and think about it. The next second, the ground gave way beneath Grand R's feet and he was being assaulted by thorns as he slid into a ravine.
When he finally stopped sliding downhill, Grand R shakily got to his feet and brushed himself off.
“Note to self,” he muttered, “the woods are full of dangerous things. Like branches and misplaced dirt.” There was a tiny little trickle of a stream running through the gully, hardly worth calling a brook. “Better than nothing, I suppose.”
Grand R tried very hard not to think of what wild animals could have done in the water he was now using to wash out his mouth.
He looked up when he spat the water out. He couldn't quite recall which side of the ravine he'd been on before he fell. Shrugging, Grand R walked down the length of the gulch, following the creek that slowly flowed through it.
Eventually the high walls disappeared from around him, and he found himself fully immersed in a forest that looked exactly the same whichever direction he turned.
“This is wonderful. I have no alcohol, so I'm practically dying of withdrawal, I have no food, so I may as well starve to death, I'm completely lost in dark, unfamiliar woods, I'm exhausted, and I'm talking to myself.”
Ahead, Grand R could see a gap in the trees. A clearing, maybe. Probably another stupid ravine.
It was a clearing. “Well, what do you know,” Grand R muttered. “How lovely. A clearing, so I can maybe see the sky or get rained on properly.” As if he'd conjured it, a light drizzle began to fall. “As a completion of my misery,” Grand R said.
To his surprise, however, the clearing wasn't empty. A large house stood rather prominently in it, rain falling from the graying eaves and the shutters closed tightly. It didn't look abandoned, just neglected, as if the owners didn't care what their neighbors thought of their house.
Considering the occupants lived in a forest in the mountains, nowhere near a road, neighbors probably were few and far between.
The sun was bright now, it was mid-morning at the earliest, maybe even noon. If Grand R hadn't been so tired, he probably would have thought it through better, but he was definitely not thinking straight.
Grand R opened the door; it wasn't locked. The house was in disorder. Papers and books were scattered through the rooms, and plates and silverware were haphazardly balanced on any surface big enough to hold them.
Grand R stumbled up a flight of stairs. There had been a sofa, but despite his exhaustion, he did have some standards, and he didn't want to sleep in spilled-soup-or-possibly-vomit.
Seven beds were in the long room at the top of the stairs, in a neat row. Carved into the headboard of each, in messy script, was a word.
DOPEY
GRUMPY
DOC
HAPPY
BASHFUL
SNEEZY
SLEEPY
Grand R wasn't sure what to make of labels like that. However, maybe he qualified for that last one.
He managed not to collapse from fatigue until he reached the seventh bed. He lay stretched out on the blankets, completely oblivious to the tapping of rain on the roof.
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All the world's a party, and I'm usually the awkward wallflower in the corner with a glass of water and a copy of Les Mis.

Rachel
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Re: Grand R and the Seven Amis

Postby Rachel » Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:47 am

*shields Grantaire behind arms*

Don't you hurt him anymore!
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Clearly, I have fantastic luck in the dating field.

Quotes to live by:
"This is highly illegal!" ~Inspector Javert (The Girl Nextdoor)

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WhoIam
Posts: 1756
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Re: Grand R and the Seven Amis

Postby WhoIam » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:22 am

CHAPTER FOUR

“What the hell?” Grand R shouted as he tried to sit up, gasping for breath. The man who had just landed on his stomach scrambled to his feet.
“What the hell yourself!” the other man said. “This is my bed. This is my house. Who the hell are you and what are you doing here?”
Grand R's eyes widened. “Oh. You, um, must be the owner of the house?”
“Damn right I am, so I would be very happy if you would get out,” the red-headed man said angrily, gesturing at the door.
“Okay, okay, sorry.” Grand R said, holding up his hands placatingly. The man watched him warily as Grand R got up and left. As he passed through the door, he turned back. “Oh, and, uh, sorry about the blood.”
“What blood?” the man asked suspiciously. He looked away from Grand R to glance at his blankets. A dark red stain marred the pale blue cloth.
“Where did that come from?” The redhead said, his voice calmer.
“My arm, but...” Grand R trailed off as the man grabbed him by his other arm and dragged him down the stairs. There were several more men down here, most of them eating.
“Joly, Combeferre, there was a man in my bed, he needs help.”
“There was a man in your bed?” A man with curly brown hair asked, a smirk on his face. “Don't tell me -”
“Shut up, Courfeyrac,” the redhead said. “Joly, Combeferre, he's bleeding!”
A man with dark brown hair jumped to his feet. “Why didn't you say so?” He led Grand R into the next room, a kitchen. Drawers were opened hastily and shoved shut just as quickly. “Where are the damn bandages?” the brunet asked.
“I found them, here.” The redhead passed the brunet a bundle of cloth. The brunet set straight to work, cleaning the cut carefully.
“This might sting a little,” the brunet warned. Grand R hissed when the ointment the brunet was dabbing at the wound made contact with his skin. “Sorry.”
“S'okay,” Grand R managed to say while the man wrapped his arm in clean white bandages.
The brunet straightened and smiled. “There. Now, I'm sorry if this seems rude, but what are you doing in our house?”
Grand R blushed. “I was – well, it was raining, and I was tired, and I was hungry and I hadn't drunk anything since last night, and I just needed to lay down. And your house was just sort of... here. If you don't want people walking in, you might try a lock,” he added. “I'm sorry.”
“You haven't drunk anything since this last night?” the brunet asked.
“Nothing. Well, I had the last of my absinthe then. And I walked here until about... midmorning?”
The brunet rolled his eyes and ran out a door without answering. He returned with a bucket filled to the brim with water. He dipped a cup into the bucket and handed it to Grand R. “So, do you have a name?” He took another cup and filled it for himself.
“Um, yes.” Grand R gave the brunet a look.
The man scoffed, then said, “Hello, my name is Combeferre. What's yours?”
“That's more like it. Pleased to meet you, Combeferre. My name is Grand R.”
Combeferre nearly dropped his own cup. “You're what?”
“My name is Grand R. Yes, I am the Prince. No, I don't plan to go back, and I'd be very pleased to hear it if you didn't plan to report my presence here.”
“You couldn't have, I don't know, lied?” Combeferre said.
Grand R frowned. “I could have, I guess. I don't know, I haven't had alcohol since last night, I'm too sober for all kinds of name games. I take it this means you aren't going to tell people I'm here?”
Combeferre closed his eyes, as if trying to compose himself. “I don't see any reason to, I suppose. But, if you don't mind me asking, what are you doing out here without an escort?”
Grand R shifted uncomfortably. “That's sort of private.”
“I can respect that. It won't stop anyone from wondering, though.”
Grand R didn't know how to proceed. Fortunately, though, a distraction came in the form of another resident. The curly-haired man breezed into the room, smiling. “So, you were in Feuilly's bed? I hope you were having fun.” The man sat down on the edge of the table. “Charmed to meet you, I'm Courfeyrac.” He extended his hand, but Grand R shook his head and pointed at his bandaged right arm.
“Sorry, I can't. But it's nice to meet you. I'm Grand R.”
Courfeyrac did a double take and stared at him. “Are you trying to pull one over on me?”
“No.” Grand R sighed. “Can you get over your shock in the next two seconds? I don't want to talk about it.” Grand R suddenly hoped he didn't sound rude. He didn't even know Courfeyrac.
“All right. You don't have to worry about it; your secret's safe with me.” Courfeyrac grinned. “Wait! Did you tell Combeferre?” Courfeyrac asked.
“Um, yes?” Grand R said.
“It's not going to stay a secret.” Courfeyrac smirked.
A chorus of “What?” and “No!” and “Are you joking?” erupted from the living room.
One voice stood out. “Oh, Ebjolras is goig to love thad.” This was followed by several sneezes.
“Is he really going to stay here?”
“I don't see where else he can go.”
“We don't know anything about him!”
“I talk nonsense when I'm drunk,” Grand R called. When Courfeyrac snorted, he gave him a look of mock offense.
“I paint sometimes. I'm really awful at it, you should see some of my work. I tried a portrait once; it ended up looking like a pig in a dress.” A few snickers this time. Grand R continued, “I've tried boxing. As it turns out, a ten-year-old can beat up a grown man.” This time Grand R could hear a proper laugh.
“I'm no good with women – Irma Boissy hasn't spoken to me in four years. Apparently, I'm 'impossible,' or something. Though come to think of it, that may have been the portrait's fault.” The laughter increased. Grand R smirked and looked at Courfeyrac again. He was struggling to hide his own laughter.
“There. Now you know about me.” Grand R stood and walked to the doorway. He leaned against the frame, smiling.
One of the men on the sofa stood and crossed to Grand R. “Welcome, Grand R, Prince of the Kingdom, Heir to the Throne. We will allow you to stay, on one condition.”
Grand R tried not to show his confusion. What sort of... condition?
The man rubbed his scruffy beard thoughtfully. “You have to do the dishes and the laundry.”
“What?”
“Chores, Grand R. Ever heard of them?” The man clapped him on the shoulder. “I'm Bahorel.”
A man with a kerchief held to his nose waved. “I'b Joly. Dod't cobe too glose; I'b sigk.” Behind Joly, a bald man rolled his eyes.
“ You're always sick. I'm Laigle,” he said, tipping an imaginary hat. “Or Bossuet, whichever you prefer.”
“Which is to say, call him Bossuet or you may very well catch his luck,” a tall, thin man said, half-standing. “I'm Jean Prouvaire, that is, Jehan. Jolllly here is, unfortunately, a bit psychoneurotic.”
“Prouvaire likes to nickname people,” Courfeyrac said, sprawling across the sofa. Bahorel sat on top of him. “Get off!” Courfeyrac protested, trying to push the muscular man onto the floor.
“My name's Feuilly,” the red-headed man said. “Sorry I was rude when I found you.”
“Don't apologize; I would have screamed at you if you'd been in my bed.” Grand R smirked wickedly and sat on Courfeyrac's legs. “MMMMFFFFF!” was the muffled complaint.
“Do you have anything to drink?” Grand R asked, ignoring the squirming man beneath him.
“Combeferre keeps the wine under lock and key, ever since last winter,” Bahorel said, twisting so he could glare at Courfeyrac.
“What did he do?” Grand R asked.
“Drank three bottles in two hours and proceeded to ransack the house and carve ridiculous nicknames into our headboards,” Feuilly said
“They were very stupid nicknames, even by Prouvaire's standards,” the bald man – Bossuet, Grand R remembered – said. Prouvaire hit him playfully.
“He designated Feuilly 'Sleepy,' since he works the most out of all of us. He's usually asleep by now, actually,” Combeferre said. To prove the point, Feuilly yawned.
“Prouvaire was 'Bashful.' To save you the trouble of asking why, he blushes whenever he talks to girls, when he's proud of himself, when he's sick, when he's tired, when he's reading, when he's cooking, when he's eating...”
“Enough!” Prouvaire said, throwing a pillow at Feuilly to cut him off. His cheeks were pink.
“My point exactly,” Feuilly said, nodding in his friend's direction.
“Bahorel was 'Grumpy,” Prouvaire said.
“I'm only grumpy when I'm drunk. It's not as accurate as Bashful.”
“Shut up, Grumpy,” Prouvaire muttered. Everyone laughed. Grand R could feel Courfeyrac trying to, but it was hard with Bahorel seated on his chest.
“Combeferre was 'Doc'; that one's probably obvious. And Joly was 'Sneezy.'” Bossuet said. “He christened himself 'Happy,' though he wasn't quite so the next morning.” Only Courfeyrac didn't join the laughter this time.
“Excuse me, dear Laigle. I believe I had the last laugh on you.”
Bossuet turned bright red. “That nickname was stupid.”
“Actually, it was Dopey.” Courfeyrac quipped.
“It was a stupid nickname, and I don't know why we didn't just get new headboards after that fiasco.”
“Because my charm and wit must be memorialized,” Courfeyrac said.
Prouvaire had been staring at Grand R for half the conversation now. “What?” the newcomer asked, trying not to show his annoyance.
“R,” Prouvaire said, sounding as if he'd decided something. “I shall call you R.”
Grand R felt a pang of homesickness for Éponine. He cast it aside.
“So, how about that wine?”
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All the world's a party, and I'm usually the awkward wallflower in the corner with a glass of water and a copy of Les Mis.


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