Your ship wasn’t a mistake. The silence that followed Joly’s words was deafening.
“But… but Enjolras said you hunt down slave ships…” Had the captain lied? Was it a lie he told himself to be able to sleep at night? Or was in the captain’s opinion everyone a slave of the monarchy?
“What was your cargo?” Jehan asked him. They looked like they wanted to hug Grantaire, but weren’t sure whether the man would appreciate the gesture. Grantaire didn’t know either.
“Livestock,” he said. “We were supposed to pick up livestock. But like, pigs! Not slaves!”
“Has anybody told you that specifically?”
Grantaire looked from one to the other. No, it could not be! “No- but- but-” He had heard captain Claquesous and first mate Montparnasse talk to each other about the smell and how it would never leave the ship. So it had to be pigs, right? Or maybe cattle?
“I- I would never-” He would never have helped them. He had joined them for his love for the sea. He had stayed there, despite the cruelty of the captain. He had given himself to the sea. There was no way their cargo was supposed to be slaves! People weren’t cargo.
Joly smiled compassionately. “It’s okay, Grantaire. We understand. You didn’t know. None of you knew, but the captain.” But it wasn’t okay. It was like everything Grantaire had known crumbled down right in front of his feet. He had never claimed to be the one who understood everything, but he had known a few essential things:
One, despite all his flaws, he was a good person or he tried to be at least. And two, working on the Patron-Minette he had been able to help other people to get their luxury goods or their essential food.
If the last thing wasn’t right, how could he still believe the first?
“How did you know?”
This time it was Courfeyrac who answered. “Enjolras has his contacts. They intercept letters for him with whereabouts about the trips. Depending on the timing we try to intercept the ship before or after they load their… before they load the people. It’s more efficient to help them escape, but it can cost a lot more.” Grantaire could imagine that. Rich people usually didn’t take it well to have their merchandise taken by others. If they couldn’t have it, no one could, right?
The code Enjolras had been trying to crack made a lot more sense now.
“And after that?” What do you do with the crew who helped with this cruelty?
“Then we destroy the ship, make it impossible to carry cargo for a long while.” And there it was, the answer Grantaire had been looking for. Drowning. She had died of drowning.
Jehan seemed to have sorted out the no hugging problem, and put their hand on Grantaire's shoulder instead. Grantaire stayed silent, and so did the others. It was a lot to take in, and part of Grantaire didn't want to believe them. Part of him wanted to shout at them, wanted to accuse them of lying, of sprouting the same lies their captain had told them. But something deep inside him told Grantaire they weren't telling lies. Grantaire had been sailing under Claquesous for a while now, and something had seem off about their latest trip. The not knowing their exact cargo, the way Claquesous had kept everything more a secret than any trip before. The way even Montparnasse, the first mate who had always followed the captain like a loyal dog, had seemed distant, had argued with the captain in public. He had never disagreed with the captain in public before. That was how he had secured his position as first mate, right? Claquesous had wanted a loyal soldier, a loyal follower. Not a capable one.
"I wanna be alone," he mumbled. His brain tried to process everything, but he just couldn't. It was too much and it felt like his brain was overflowing.
Joly shook his head. "No, you don’t want to," he said. He was right. Grantaire definitely didn’t want to be alone right now. He had no idea what he wanted. He just wanted this to all be a dream. To be able to wake up and realize none of it had been real, that he had just fallen asleep during his night watch. Or maybe he even didn’t want that.
It was a fucking mess right now.
“Come, R. Staying here alone won’t make you feel better. Let’s go to the kitchen, Joly will make you some food and then we will just be playing cards till the morning comes,” Jehan said.
Grantaire’s head shot up. “What did you call me?”
“Ehm, R. You know, Grantaire, Grand R, capital R?” Jehan said slightly embarrassed. “Is that okay?”
Grantaire nodded. “It’s just… a friend of mine always calls me that.” Called. It was called.
But the three others managed to get him out of bed and to the kitchen. During this walk Grantaire saw Enjolras talking to Combeferre, just as Courfeyrac had said. If the captain saw Grantaire, he didn’t show it.
During their card games, they just chatted away about what had happened in the ship, recoiled stories of earlier adventures (especially those who weren’t about slave ships). If they noticed Grantaire not participating in the conversations, they were subtle enough not to mention it.
Jehan had been right though. Hearing them chat together, just being friends together, it did make Grantaire feel better. It shouldn’t. These were the people who had attacked him and the Patron-Minette. And yet, Grantaire just couldn’t find it in himself to hate these three. Maybe he hated that part the most.
R - still one of my fav puns And at least they are being nice to him.2 maanden geleden