"There's a boy climbing the barricade!" yelled Joly, as gun shots rang out from the other side of the barricade.
Enjolras looked over to where Joly had yelled, and saw a figure in a beige trench coat and cap climbing down the barricade, bent double. He noticed whips of chestnut hair falling from the cap, and caught a glimpse of those dark brown eyes that made his hard heart melt.
"What are you doing back here?" asked young Marius, helping Eponine down, blabbering on, not noticing the pain on her face. "Have you seen Cosette? What did she say? Has she read the letter?"
"Right, which one of those do you want answered first?" Eponine's wit made both men chuckle. Enjolras watched Eponine closely, wanting to run over to her, hug her, kiss her, but couldn't. He kept his distance, at the other end of the barricade, not ruining the moment between the girl he loved and his classmate.
"I took the letter to her house, and her father intercepted it at the door. He gave his word she will read it tomorrow-"Eponine's legs suddenly gave out, as she fell into Marius' arms. Pain washed across her face, whilst she was settled down on the floor. Enjolras threw his gun on the table, and ran over. "Eponine!" "Enjolras!"
Marius eased of her cap as Enjolras appeared, and touched Eponine's hair. He removed it his hand, finding it wet with a red liquid. Marius and Enjolras looked at each other in fear, whilst Eponine continued to gaze at Enjolras, oblivious, sitting up against the barricade. In fear, Enjolras looked back at her, tears of pain coming to his eyes.
"Eponine, you're hurt, you need some help-" Marius opened her coat, which she had clamped shut with her arms until then, and gasped, drawing the attention of Eponine and Enjolras. "Oh God, there's blood everywhere." Eponine's grubby, sack-made shirt was covered in blood, with a gunshot wound just below belt, in her waist.
Eponine grabbed Marius' hand when he reached out to touch her wound. "Don't you fret Monsieur Marius. It doesn't hurt." She said that to Marius, but looked at Enjolras, wiping away a tear that leaked out of his eye. "You're here, only a mere breathe away... And I can live with that..." Through the tears that were building in her throat, the men heard a "Hold me." escape from her lips. Marius, practically, made a grab for his childhood friend, but Enjolras had already slid Eponine into his big arms, leaving Marius with her legs. I almost lost her, thanks too you, once, thought Enjolras, I won't have you stealing her from me now, at the end... Enjolras knew she was getting very weak, and also knew that everyone at the barricade was watching, not getting help, because Enjolras hadn't said too.
Noticing the pain of loss on Marius' face, Eponine took his hand in hers, smiled, and muttered, "Keep me safe, Pontmercy." Her face turned to the broken expression on Enjolras' face, dropped Marius' hand, and placed it on his cheek. "And you, keep me close..." Enjolras bent his head to hear what she was trying to say. "... my rebel." Enjolras smiled at Eponine, and she returned it. Eponine's hand moved from his cheek to the back of his neck, and breathed her last, trying to pull herself up to his lips, to kiss him one last time...
Marius let out a big cry, and tried to grab Eponine away from Enjolras, to hold her limp body, but Enjolras didn't comply. He didn't do anything. He just looked down at her face, at her closed eyes, her slightly parted lips, at her dirt that was smeared on her cheek, and let a single tear fall, joining hers. Ignoring everyone, he took her head in his hand, bent down, and gave her the kiss she didn't get. He didn't want to stop. He didn't want to accept her death. He half expect her to open her eyes and smile at him, like she had so many times before, when he finally pulled away, but she didn't.
This had been the first time in a while Enjolras had felt so powerless. His arms went limp in defeat, and Marius took her from him, held her, and cried, "No! NO! Why God? Why Eponine?" All the while, the drunkard, Grantaire, had walked out of the crowd, over to Enjolras. He knelt down beside him, and put his arm around Enjolras' shoulders, bringing him back to reality. Enjolras looked at Grantaire, tears unshed, and was surprised. He had never seen Grantaire so sympathetic before, he's usually causing trouble at the meetings, drinking too much and forever insisting that they have a 'sing-song'. Enjolras had never seen this Grantaire before.
"I'm sorry." Grantaire said. "Truly. We'll take Eponine into the bar now, yeah? Get her clean; put her somewhere out of the rain, so you can visit her." Enjolras nodded solemnly, but raised his hand to stop the students who had started moving to take Eponine away from still-sobbing Marius.
"Marius," whispered Enjolras, "I... I need to take Eponine now." Enjolras had Eponine's body handed to him, and he took her into the tavern they were using as a base. It was effortless to carry her now; before, she was underweight, but a squirmer, making carrying her, a challenge. Now, Enjolras felt like he was merely carrying skin and bones. He lay her down on a table, kissed her fore-head, then ordered everyone out of the tavern, to get to work and give Marius a drink.
It was when everyone had left, he started to feel mad. "I gave you my heart..." he muttered, quietly, "I gave you everything... And this, this is how you repay me?" He grabbed her hand. "You leave me and destroy me!" As Enjolras yelled, he felt a stab of pain, because Eponine wasn't fighting back. "I was bound to fall for you, when i first heard you cry-" Enjolras couldn't take it, and broke down at Eponine's side. He cried for the times that had past. He cried for what could have been. He cried for Eponine. He lifted his head to see her face. She looked so at peace, for the hardship of her hard life was now gone, and the scowl she always seemed to wear, even when she was happy, had vanished. She was truly beautiful, more than Enjolras ever realized she was.
"Just think..." he said, chuckling slightly at the thought, "I had to fight with your father to let me marry you... If only I had married you then, instead of my plan of after all of this..." Tears returned to his eyes, as he whispered to her ear, "I'm sorry I made you wait."
Enjolras heard a scoff from the back room, and remember that the inspector was tied up in there, still, and had heard everything. Enjolras didn't care. That old miser needed to learn about love, and this seemed like a good way of doing that.
"You! In the uniform! What brings you too this place" Enjolras heard Joly demand from outside.
"I'm here as a volunteer! There's much I can do to help!" replied an old man.
Enjolras stopped stroking Eponine's tangled hair, stood up, and wiped his tears away. You will not die in vain, thought Enjolras, as he strode from the tavern, hearing that the army was approaching. He grabbed two guns of a table, and marched over to the old man.
"Take this, and use it." Enjolras held out one of the guns to him, "But shoot us in the back, and you will not live to tell."
"TROOPS ARE ADVANCING TOWARD THE BARRICADE! TROOPS BEHIND THEM, FIFTY MEN OR MORE!"
"Hold!" Enjolras commanded, waiting... I love you, my Eponine.