A/N: And now we're at this chapter! A Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!
Thank you so much to everyone who's read, followed, and reviewed this story. Special thanks to all the guests, to kp_mushu, Freedom909, Smiles1998, shadows-of-1832, the equestrian potterhead, keepcalmandreadhp, and Smithy. Special mention to hihiyas for basically hearing out, talking through and basically helping me work out many of the scenes in this fic.
Epilogue: In All Things
The morning of April 24 finds Enjolras already at the law office, meticulously composing letters and case digests for colleagues who are not likely to do the necessary reading till the last hours of the weekend. He bites the inside of his cheek when he checks his watch and finds the time to be a little before eleven; in a few minutes he will have to start preparing for another long awaited appointment. 'All the same I'd like to get ahead and claim some of the next few days,' he decides as he presses the 'send' button on yet another email.
He catches sight of his cell phone lighting up and he reaches for the gadget before it can start ringing. "Hello Combeferre," he greets calmly.
"Enjolras. Have you forgotten what day it is today?" Combeferre asks in a harried tone.
"I certainly have not. It's scheduled for one in the afternoon. Two hours is more than enough time," Enjolras replies. He raises an eyebrow at the hubbub of conversation on the other end of the line, but when he figures out the substance of this fuss and fury he almost can't help laughing. "I gather that Eponine isn't there yet?"
"I told her that she didn't have to scrub in for one of our ER cases-"
"You'd have better luck telling water not to be wet."
Combeferre groans exasperatedly. "That's no excuse for either of you."
"We cannot undo work or the past few hours," Enjolras points out." Rest assured that I will be there on time. I'm sorry if this is rather untoward."
"Of course," Combeferre says a little more jovially. "Traffic is bad, so I'd get moving if I were you."
"Noted. Thank you, Combeferre," Enjolras replies before ending the call. He checks the clock again and grits his teeth before sending a last round of messages and then packing up his papers. 'I wasn't expecting this either,' he realizes as he changes out of his usual shirt and slacks into a more formal suit. There are still some days when he fears he'll wake again in a hospital room, or be confronted with darkness and a void where the past year has been. Yet he only has to feel the sun shining on his face or hear his friends talking or even just Eponine's laughter to begin to dispel the shadows. The rest he can manage mostly on his own.
As he finds a parking space near the courthouse he catches sight of a taxi also pulling up to the nearby curb. In a moment Eponine steps out, carrying her usual bag as well as a dress carefully wrapped in a garment bag. She scowls playfully when she catches sight of him. "You're not supposed to see me yet!"
"You're still in your scrubs. It doesn't count," he reminds her. The smell of antiseptic still lingers on her hands, lending an odd sort of familiarity in this situation. "There's no rule against getting married in that attire though."
She sticks out her tongue in a show of mock disapproval. "You're just impatient." She glances towards the courthouse entrance, where her siblings and their friends are watching with aghast and amused expressions and looks at him conspiratorially. "I'll be with you in fifteen minutes."
"Make that half an hour. You two have to freshen up," Musichetta says briskly as she rushes to meet them. She sighs at Eponine. "You're the only doctor I know who'd scrub in on her wedding day."
"There's a first time for everything," Eponine quips but she does allow Musichetta to lead her to where Cosette, Fantine, Azelma, Florence, and Ari are waiting to whisk her off to get ready for the ceremony.
Prouvaire clucks his tongue at Enjolras as soon as the ladies are out of earshot. "Usually it's the groom waiting at the altar, but now you've thrown even that out the window."
"As if you wouldn't do something just as outrageous when you and Grantaire have a chance?" Feuilly points out.
Grantaire slings an arm around Prouvaire's shoulders as they enter the courthouse and the hall designated for the ceremony. I'll have all of you know that we have quite the party planned for when Jehan and I can bring our son home."
Bossuet looks up from retying his shoelace, only to duck again when he nearly collides with Joly. "You guys got the adoption done already?"
"We're almost there," Prouvaire says. He brings out his phone and scrolls to a photo of a boy who appears to be around four years old, with olive skin and dark hair. "He's adorable."
"And answers to the name of Darren," Grantaire adds more loudly.
Gavroche nods to Enjolras. "You'd better take care of my sister, or you're going to be acquainted with this once she is through with you," he says while bumping his own fists together for emphasis.
Courfeyrac stops in the middle of bouncing Alexandra in an attempt to get her to sleep. "You didn't give me the same warning when I married Azelma!" he says in a stage whisper.
Gavroche thumbs his nose. "No, she was the one I warned."
Courfeyrac blanches amid the laughter of the rest of the group. "By the way there are some lovely young associates who I've been talking to and they've mentioned that they would like to meet my interesting brother in law."
Gavroche's cheeks redden, more so when the topic now turns to his own dating prospects. In the meantime Enjolras cannot help checking his watch, more so when he sees that the fifteen-minute mark fast approaching. He sighs when he hears Combeferre chuckling. "I am not nervous."
"You're fidgeting. There is nothing wrong with that, my friend," Combeferre reminds him. He smiles wistfully at his friend. "It's not going to be settling down for you two. You are going to do great things together, and get into a lot of trouble at that."
"A good thing we are well practiced in that line," Enjolras notes.
Combeferre sighs. "Too well." He looks to where Florence has just entered the hall. "Everything ready?"
Florence nods excitedly. "Places everyone!" She grins as she runs up to Combeferre and takes his hand. "Do you mind if I stand here too?"
Enjolras doesn't hear the rest of this conversation, for his attention is swiftly diverted by the hubbub that ensues as Cosette and Azelma enter the hall. Fantine follows shortly after, leading Elodie by the hand, and then Ari and Musichetta. A murmur sweeps through the room even as Enjolras now catches sight of Eponine walking down the aisle. She has eschewed the usual flowing white bridal gown and veil ensemble in favor of a sleek off-white dress and simply wearing her long hair down and pulled back from her face. The only piece of jewellery she has on is the necklace he gave her several weeks ago. Yet all the same it's Eponine's bright smile that has Enjolras feeling as if his heart will burst out of his chest. His breath catches when she closes the distance between them and puts her hand in his. "You're so beautiful," he whispers.
She ducks her head but there is no hiding the slight blush that rises to her face. "It's not exactly traditional, I know."
"Nothing is," Enjolras says. 'There is no other way we could be, and there is no other way I'd have it,' he tells himself even as the justice of the peace begin the ceremony.
At last the officiator nods to Enjolras and Eponine. "You two may now exchange your vows," he intones.
Enjolras takes a deep breath to collect himself, even if he has written down these words himself and rehearsed them time and again. For a moment everything seems to go still but he sees Combeferre bringing out the wedding bands, while nearby Azelma and Musichetta are already passing around tissue paper. He then meets Eponine's eyes, which are bright with a happiness and certainty he has never seen before. "I, Auguste Vincent Dautier Enjolras, take you Eponine to be my lawfully wedded spouse. I will honor you in your endeavours, share with you both joys and challenges..." He pauses to put Eponine's wedding ring on her left hand. "I will be loyal to you in all things, and to love you all the days of my life."
Eponine nods as she squeezes his hand and also slips his wedding ring onto his finger. "I, Eponine Sabine Sorel Thenardier, take you, Auguste, to be my husband, companion, and partner for life. I promise to be at your side through all that comes our way—the good and the bad, the expected and the unexpected. I will be true to you and love you from this day and forevermore."
The officiator clears his throat over the sniffles coming from some of the onlookers. "I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride."
Enjolras allows himself only a brief kiss, but all the same he feels Eponine smile against his lips. "Something funny?" he asks, seeing the mirth in her face even as they make their way down the aisle.
"We've finally made it," Eponine whispers. "Rather, we're making it."
"It's only the start," Enjolras agrees. He takes her hand and feels her fingers wrap around his as they step out of the courthouse and into the still busy afternoon.