Five Things that Never Happened to Ariel Enjolras

[I have seen this idea in all sorts of people's journals but most memorably in Basingstoke's where the things that never happened never happened to Clark Kent. Each of these is a drabble. Please close your eyes and take a deep breath between each one, as they occur in widely divergent universes. The things that really happened to Ariel Enjolras are recorded here.]

I. Green Fairy

The smell of cut hay brought tears to his eyes, not from hay fever, but from nostalgia. It had been so lovely to be outside of politics and metropolis for a few short days, to be someone who did not have to hate.

When the Jardin du Luxembourg's lawns were freshly mown in the corner closest to the Musain, he drank absinthe greener than the grass, begged Grantaire for some lesson that might further his cause and win back his strayed lover's heart, and called him "Ferdinand" between fevered kisses.

Grantaire never mentioned the mistake. They spent a year together.

II. Rubies

The heat of the day left the city slowly, and it was not until the night breezes blew that anyone thought clearly. He woke before dusk fell, ate a little, and began his toilette. He oiled his limbs until they gleamed. The plain loincloth that had served for the day was no longer sufficient; he changed it for one with gold embroidery. A necklace at his throat was a gift and a treasure. That done, there was nothing to do but for the eunuch to call him.

Such was the life of the prince's favorite until the royal eye looked elsewhere. [1]

III. Inkstains

The senator from Auvergne hailed a fiacre, his many notes on the day's proceedings in his overfull bag. When he arrived home, the cook had prepared dinner and his companion greeted him with a smile. "How was it today, cher?"

"The Basques have been fractious about the proposed highways and the Bretons are holding up the negotiations with Britain about tariffs, again. I sometimes wonder how we ever accomplish anything."

Ferdinand touched his hand. "Democracy, mon adoré."

Ariel smiled. "Yes. It is so very complicated."

"Do you ever wonder if we --"

"No, love. You did the best thing."

"I know." [2]

IV. Blonde

"Enchantée, monsieur," she said in her Teutonic accent that made even that practiced phrase harsh. He saw Ferdinand wince, but felt no pity.

"The pleasure is mine, mademoiselle," Ariel said, bowing to kiss her hand.

Something glinted in her Germanic eyes. "Perhaps it is."

"Hélène," Ferdinand said softly. "Shall we dance?"

"I would dance with your Monsieur Enjolras," she said, and swept Ariel away with an imperious rustle of skirts. Her will was irresistable. When she murmured in his ear, "He's mine," Ariel knew what he had lost: a lover, a country's hopes, a Republic, gone on a woman's whim. [3]

V. Gold

The Bourbon Restoration in 1855, said to be for the good of France, succeeded in part because of the charm of the new king -- young, handsome, wiser than his father Louis-Philippe -- and in part because of his wife's vaunted diplomatic skills. It was a marriage that made no international friends by blood. Her parents were dead by then and never knew. It saved the trouble of paying them to leave the country.

Queen Arielle won millions of hearts with her eloquence, but her ladies-in-waiting lived in fear of their lives if anyone, anywhere, should find out the great lady's secrets.


1) For Daegaer, who likes Alexander the Great.

2) Ariel is from Lempdes in Auvergne, current population 9200. He has not done so badly for a small town boy. Visit the website even if you don't read French. It's dear.

3) Hélène Louise Elizabeth of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, born in Ludwigslust, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Germany, was the actual wife of Prince Ferdinand-Philippe of France.

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