Okay, I think I can officially say now that Enjolras and Éponine is my new obsession XD I usually hate to post a story that isn't completely finished but I know exactly where I'm going with this one so I'm going to make an exception. I don't own Les Miserables, or pretty much anything else. Enjoy!
It was a warm and lovely night. Just the perfect sort of night for walking and thinking, which he did often as of late. His friends had started to say he was smitten with his ideals, his thoughts, his books. Maybe he was. It wasn't like he was very well smitten with anyone or anything else. And besides, he was leading a revolution of epic proportions. This revolution would completely revitalize the Parisian justice system. This was the most important thing that he and his friends had done in their young lives. It quite likely would be the only important thing when all was said and done. He most certainly didn't plan to live to see the end. Better, he had decided, to sacrifice himself to the cause, to go down a martyr. He would be better remembered that way than as a disillusioned former revolution leader whose future life experiences would not compare to this one blaze of glory.
It was better to live in a world of ideals. Logic should dictate all, not emotion. He had lived his life by that mantra for as long as he could remember. Except, recently, he had been troubled by a new person in his life with an entirely new outlook. Éponine. She was not in his life, per se, but she hovered on the edges, clinging on Marius' every word. And that was what troubled him. Surely that was not a satisfying way to live? She let emotion dictate all of her choices, bend her to its every whim. She would do anything Marius asked her and for no logical reason. This hopelessly romantic beggar girl piqued his interest to no end.
He did not, however, consider the girl on this night. His mind could think of nothing but the battle to come. If anything, the girl would be a welcome distraction, but even his newest question to puzzle out could not dissuade him from the matter that had him focused tonight. He doubted anything could take away his focus, not from anything so important to his destiny as well as Paris'. There was so much to plan before the night was out.
So lost in thought was he that he almost tripped over a small bundle curled up on the pavement. He would have assumed it a dropped pile of laundry had it not been letting out a low keening sound. A wounded animal, perhaps? He could not help his curiosity, and paused in his walk to examine it. He reached out his hand to touch it and it jerked back abruptly, slamming back against the wall in its haste to get away. A face then, with wild hair surrounding it like a halo. A face that he was all too familiar with.
"Éponine…are you all right?" he asked. He winced at the stupidity of his question. Of course she wasn't all right. She was curled up in a ball of sorrow on the streets of Paris. She was about as far from fine as anyone could get.
The glare she gave him told him that her thoughts were exactly the same. "I'm sorry," he said. "Old habits. What's happened?" Her glare disappeared, to be replaced with a look of extreme pain and sorrow.
"Marius," she croaked. Of course. There was hardly need to explain. It was always about Marius. "I couldn't stand the thought that he would die and never know…I just had to tell him how I…felt…so stupid, really…he only has eyes for her…but I thought, maybe, if he knew…foolish little girl…'Cosette is my one true love. You are a dear friend, but nothing more. I do hope you can accept this and move on. You deserve happiness, but I am not the one to give it to you…'" Her head slammed back against the wall, pure agony written all over her small face.
For one of the first times in his life, Enjolras was at a loss. He was not equipped to deal with a woman grieving for a recently lost love. He was not equipped to dealing with Éponine and all of her emotional lack of logic period. All his life he had lived in his books. Why now, on the night before all of his ideals were to be realized, had fate decided to drop this most unwelcome distraction into his lap?
She had started keening again, and even more worrying, she was banging her head quite frequently against the wall behind her. He began to fear that she would bring much greater injury to herself tonight if left alone. She was clearly one to very much act upon her emotions, and he had a feeling they would not lead her to anything good after such a blow.
He sighed as he gazed at her distressed and crumpled form. Despite the fact that he could already feel a headache coming on, he could think of no other solution. When she went to bang her head back against the wall once again, he slipped his hand behind it, softening the blow as delicately as he could. Her eyes shot open, bloodshot and fierce. But her oft seen naïve curiosity was present once more. Whatever ledge she was attempting to throw herself over, he would bring her back. It was the least he could do for a girl who had lived such a tragic life.
"What are you doing?" she asked between hitched breaths, trying to quiet her sobs. "I am nothing to you."
"You may be nothing particular to me, but you are someone. You are not a faceless beggar. None of you are. I could not claim to fight for the freedom of all and then turn aside when a real person needed my assistance," he said kindly, trying not to allow his fierce passion to sneak into his words. He was not used to showing compassion, and especially not to a little street girl whom he barely knew.
Her next words though, made him glad that he had at least tried. Her eyes softened immensely after he finished speaking. In fact, her entire posture seemed to relax, at least the tiniest bit. "Monsieur, I do not deserve such kindness, but I thank you all the same," she said quietly. "I will be alright, I am certain. I have gotten through harder times on my own before. This time will be no different."
He could not help but be moved by this sad girl's attempt at bravery. Someone so young should not have to be strong all the time. "Please, mademoiselle, allow me to offer some assistance. I know I cannot do much for you but I will do all I can to at least make you comfortable while you deal with this grief," he said boldly. "And you may call me Enjolras. I don't much believe in formalities among friends." He offered her his hand. Smiling weakly, she accepted his offer, although she stumbled against him almost as soon as she got her feet under her.
"Enjolras…" she said softly. He felt an odd shiver up his spine. It was not often a girl…woman said his name, and he was certain that no one had ever said it like her. Her voice was rather sultry, without even trying to be so. "Thank you for your offer, but I cannot accept. I would never have the means to pay you back for such kindness. Unless of course…we could work out an arrangement…" She trailed off, biting her lip in a manner he was sure was meant to be seductive, but in the moment just looked sad. Her small hands moved slowly down his chest for a moment before he snatched them up with his own.
"Éponine," he said rather sternly. "You must understand, I am not offering to help you so that you may be in my debt. I would never take advantage of anyone in such a manner. There are no conditions to this offer. Consider it a gift if you will. I want to help you." She looked a little ashamed of her behavior then, but there was still a great dullness in her eyes that was beginning to scare him.
"How…how do I know I can trust your word?" she asked quietly. He could tell she was considering his offer with great care. He was sure it was not often that she ran into such kindness on the street, and it would certainly seem suspicious after a lifetime of being overlooked by fate.
"My word is all I have. I would not dare besmirch it by lying to anyone, especially one I count as a friend. I assure you, I speak with utter sincerity," he said, hoping that his kind tone was enough to make her believe him. After a few agonizing moments of silence, where he feared she would break away and run off as was her wont, she nodded lightly, sagging against him even more if that was possible. He realized then that the only thing holding her up was his hold on her wrists, and without much consideration he scooped her up in his arms. She barely weighed more than a sack of flour. This frightened him greatly.
"Hey! Just what do you think you're doing?" she asked harshly, struggling a little in his arms.
"I'm helping you," he answered gruffly, turning and striding off in the direction of the café. The owner owed him more than a few favors for bringing in so much business, and he was sure he wouldn't mind if he brought the girl there. "Whether you like it or not." She grumbled some words he was certain were not very polite, and certainly not fit for such a noble savior, but he also noticed that she shifted her arms to his neck to hold on better.
Whether he wanted to or not, he had taken on a little desperate beggar girl for the night. This was certainly not how he had pictured this night unfolding when he had first set out for his walk.