The Task of Memorising
Nicolas finds his way around the cafe with relative ease now, though at first the unfamiliarity had a difficult habit of confounding him. He sits at his table and softly murmurs his speeches to Combeferre, who dutifully writes them down. He manages his schoolwork in much the same way. He is accepted despite his difference; even loved; and when he meets a new Ami, there is always the same ordeal. He runs his long fingers over the man's face as they encounter each other for the first time: his fingertips present an image of every dedicated follower, and thus he begins.
After a few days of having them ever-present at his assembly, Nicolas knows all of them by voice, by footfall, or by any personal mannerism with even a slight sound. That is middle.
A very select number he can recognise just by breath upon the air, and the scent of skin. Those are the honoured.
Still, he does occasionally prefer to make doubly sure of their identities by taking their features under his hands. So perhaps it is just that he does not have Feuilly well memorised that he so often repeats the gentle mapping of the fanmaker's countenance.
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