They Went On Their Way

Author:   Pairing: Courfeyrac/Bossuet  Rating: PG

"Let's see where Marius is going," Bossuet said. "Let's see where the man is going, let us follow them, eh?"

"Bossuet!" exclaimed Courfeyrac. "Eagle of Meaux! You're a prodigious fool. Follow a man following a man!"

They went on their way.

-- Les Misérables, Marius, Book Six, Chapter XV

* * * * *

Courfeyrac laughed. "Well, we will leave the mystery of Marius's amours as just that. A mystery it will remain, for we have better things to do this day than follow a man following a man."

"Indeed," said Bossuet. "For I am already a man following a man, as you have been leading me around all afternoon, and I have yet to know where we are going."

"You are following me?" Courfeyrac asked. "And here I have been thinking that you had some grand destination in mind where we would spend our hours in pleasure and good company!"

"Alas," Bossuet said. "For if neither of us has a plan then we must resort instead to walking the streets with only ourselves for company."

"Well, there is worse company to be found, I am sure," said Courfeyrac. "And worse places to be than Paris in the snow."

"Perhaps for those with warmer coats," said Bossuet. "But as for me, I should like to find a warm fire and a full glass and look at Paris through a closed window."

"Then I know just the place, my friend," Courfeyrac said. "If the company may be permitted to stay the same, I can suggest a nearby café of the best kind, where we can find warmth for our fingertips and our stomachs."

"Lead on," said Bossuet. "I am numb with anticipation."

Laughing, Courfeyrac slung his arm over the other man's shoulders. "Then let us fly there quickly, my L'aigle."

* * * * *

"Bad luck!" said Courfeyrac, looking at the closed door and dark windows of the café.

"Bad luck indeed," laughed Bossuet. "For now the snow comes down heavier, and my coat is soaked through, and you have brought me far from home to the door of a café that is not open for us."

"Far from wherever you make home these days, perhaps," Courfeyrac said. "But we can get to my home quickly enough from here if we jump over a few walls."

"Cold and wet and now made to leap over walls! You are trying to murder me, Courfeyrac."

"Nonsense," said Courfeyrac. "We'll be warm and content before you know it."

* * * * *

"Dear me," said Courfeyrac, peering over the stone wall. "I didn't realize it was such a drop." He pulled himself over the top and jumped lightly down to the ground. "But we're back in the streets again, and home is just around the corner."

"Would that this snowdrift had not been just below the wall," Bossuet said. His own jump had not been so graceful as Courfeyrac's, and he sat on the ground, a sad figure in a dripping coat.

"You are not hurt, are you?" asked Courfeyrac.

"In dignity only," said Bossuet. "And that is worth little enough today."

Courfeyrac smiled. "My Bossuet still jokes, and all is well. Come! Take my arm, my shivering friend, and I will guide your faltering feet to a warm room."

Bossuet took Courfeyrac's offered hand, and they walked arm-in-arm down the street, Bossuet occasionally slipping on a bit of ice while Courfeyrac seemed to walk ever steady and sure.

"How is this?" exclaimed Bossuet. "We walk in the same Paris, but you are as dry as wine while I begin to wonder if my clothes have not frozen to my skin. You tread swiftly while my careful step manages to catch in every hole in the ground."

"There is a simple answer to that," said Courfeyrac. "I am me, and you are you. And here we are!"

"And look at that," Bossuet said. "The snow has stopped."

"And the lamps have been lit. A pretty night, my friend! A night for wandering the streets, if you wish. Shall we forget the comforts of a warm room and take ourselves to the world again?"

Bossuet looked so wretched, standing in his sorry coat with melted snowflakes dripping from his nose, that Courfeyrac leaned over and kissed him quickly, laughing as he did so. "A jest, my duck," he said. "We don't want our friend to be unhappy."

Courfeyrac started to go inside, but before he had gone a step he was hit in the back with something cold and wet. He turned around and was treated to another snowball, this one sending his hat to the ground as Bossuet laughed heartily.

"I should not be the only one to be a victim of this weather," Bossuet said.

It was some minutes later that they went inside, both covered with snow and blue with cold, but with laughter in their shining eyes. Soon they were in Courfeyrac's warm room, stripped of wet clothing and wrapped in thick blankets, with a bottle of wine between them.

Bossuet, stretching out on the floor and resting his head on Courfeyrac's legs, sighed. "For all those hours of wandering and despite being frozen and falling and having all manner of ill-humoured things happen, this day has ended rather well. A warm room."

"Which is everything I promised," said Courfeyrac.

"Good wine," said Bossuet.

"I will not disagree," said Courfeyrac.

"And, I will concede, pleasant company."

"The best," laughed Courfeyrac. "And what better way is there to end a day?"

"None that I can think of," said Bossuet.

"I confess," said Courfeyrac, as he bent to kiss Bossuet again, "that this is where I planned to end up from the beginning."

Story Index