It was strange, feeling the need to allow a man some privacy at such an intimate moment, but there it was all the same. Enjolras sat in the corner of Stark’s sofa, naked except for the thin satin housecoat tied loosely around his waist. Tony lay across him, head resting on his exposed thigh; a blanket tucked in around his hips, more a gesture than for warmth.
As Tony spoke, Enjolras kept his gaze on the nearby open window, as looking down at him felt wrong, felt accusatory somehow. Instead, he watched transparent curtains flutter as a summer breeze pressed into the bedroom to fight against the artificial air conditioning. It reminded him that there was still life outside, and given the stillness of the room, the chill in the air and in the conversation.
“I don’t remember it, I mean I know — I’ve got the jist, I’ve been told.” Stark paused; every time he did that Enjolras was positive he could hear the man’s heart pounding like distant gunfire. “And I don’t know if I should feel guilty for that — for not remembering, or if I should be — you know. Thankful.”
Even as he said the word, it was obvious he didn’t like the taste of it on his lips. It was selfish, he must think, to not remember. To sleep easier because the thoughts and ideas felt more like forgotten dreams than reality.
“You had the very best intentions.” Enjolras said quietly, glancing down only long enough to meet Stark’s eyes for a moment. He placed his hand gently against the crest of Tony’s head, stroking his hair lightly.
“But is that —” Tony swallowed. There was a pause, a slight shift, as he had to convince himself he ought to continue. “Is that enough?”
“It must be.” Enjolras replied, squinting as the sunlight moved from behind a cloud and shone brighter into the room. “You acted with the security, the desires and the future of all citizens in mind. It is so that tragedy befell your friends — as it did mine, but personal sacrifice cannot be measured against progress.”
Enjolras sighed, his fingertips sliding along the curve of Tony’s ear. He knew what it was like to watch a barricade fall, to see those who’d trusted him fall. He knew, better still what it was like to claim the life of a man whose only wrong was being on the other side. He’d cried for him before this body had even cooled. A single officer in the National Guard — his brother claimed by his bullet and to show for it, all he held in the end was Grantaire’s hand and the knowledge that he’d seen his friends murdered.
“But it is better.” Enjolras murmured at last, bending down to press a promise and a kiss against Tony’s lips. “It is better that you do not remember.”