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Playing Dress-up

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Must we go to this ball?” Feuilly, red-faced and disgruntled, fiddled with his cravat before the mirror.

Enjolras made a sympathetic face. “I like it no more than you. But Courfeyrac swears the couple he knows will fund our printing, and attending a costume party seems a small price to pay for speaking to them.”

Even if he had to wear these damned earrings. His hand automatically went up to touch his still-painful right ear. Still, he would rather get his ears pierced and dress up like Saint-Just than adopt the other costumes Courfeyrac and Bahorel had suggested.

The ball had a revolutionary theme, so Feuilly was dressed as Robespierre, to match Enjolras’s Saint-Just. Courfeyrac had tied Enjolras’s elaborate Saint-Just cravat for him, but Feuilly, who had dressed himself without assistance, was apparently unsatisfied with his own cravat. “It looks fine,” Enjolras said. Slightly crooked, but unremarkable.

“It’s crooked. Robespierre was a famously dressy man. If I must do this, I will at least do it right.” Feuilly gave the cravat a hard tug, unraveling it entirely.

This painstaking precision was an endearingly Feuilly attitude–-even on the subject of fashion, for which they both cared little. “Here. Let me.” Enjolras stepped closer, taking the cravat and tying it slowly. “There-–is that better?” He backed away a little, so Feuilly could see.

“Perfect,” said Feuilly, with a sudden, sunny smile. “Wait–-your earring is falling out.” He reached up to adjust it, with evident care to avoid being rough and hurting the still-tender piercing. “Now it’s fixed.”

Enjolras slipped his arm through Feuilly’s. “Shall we be off, then?”

“With pleasure, citizen.”