A/N: Some happy ficlet for Freedom909. Yes, I wrote something joyous in my modern day AU. Shameless Enjonine fluff here
A Reason For Location
"So you've worked all around the country, only to end up settling in the city anyway?"
Some snickers greet this question but for the most part the dinner guests throw surprised looks at the attorney seated near the head of the table. For his part Enjolras gives his colleague a calm, unfazed look. "I choose to be where the need is greatest."
"There is no shame in having other motivations, however personal," the other attorney says. "Then again you always were the crusading sort."
Enjolras merely nods, knowing better than to deny the truth in these words. 'What is it to them?' he muses even as he listens to the conversation taking another turn towards matters of labor law. His dedication to his cause is clear, but there is no need for him to explain the reason, or reasons for everything he does. Yet all the same the question remains in the air and on his mind for the rest of the evening, all the way till he heads home.
He is surprised to find the lights still on in the window, which he can see clearly from the street. When he looks up, he catches sight of a slender figure seated comfortably on the fire escape. He doesn't wave to this person but he loses no time in parking the car in the basement and making his way upstairs. He lets himself into his apartment and silently sets down his briefcase and his coat in a corner. "Eponine? What are you doing?" he calls as he rolls up his sleeves.
"Studying. Come on, it's a lovely evening," Eponine calls from the fire exit. She pulls out her headphones and moves to make room for him on the small landing. "How was the dinner?"
"Pretty good. You might have enjoyed it," he replies as he climbs out the window and moves to sit next to her. He can still smell a hint of citrus in her damp tresses and it's all he can do not to bury his nose in her hair or the back of her neck. "What are you looking up?"
"Intra-operative resuscitation, something I hope not to use too often," she says, pointing to the video she has been watching on her tablet. She squeezes his knee even as one of his hands comes to rest on her waist. "This lecture was held all the way in Geneva."
The mention of faraway places has Enjolras smiling wryly as he recalls the conversation at dinner. 'From the south to this city, then to Port town, and then back again,' he realizes as he looks back on years of being on the road. These are the places he's resided in, but in between he's travelled throughout the country for various cases as well as his campaign for a seat in Congress. It seems funny, almost ironic that all of that wayfaring would eventually lead him back to the life of a prosecutor working practically on a pro bono basis, but it falls into place in a very strange way.
After a while she reaches up to scratch the back of his head. "What's gotten you quiet, Auguste?" she asks lightly.
"Thinking." As he leans into her touch and the feel of her rough fingers against his scalp, he takes the time to get a good look at the city sprawling out below them. It is a metropolis of contradictions, with hovels and slums huddled up next to skyscrapers downtown, new glass mingling with old brick, and of course a river meandering through it all. ""Ever think of moving elsewhere?"
"Someplace busy-I was always a city girl," she replies. "Missing home already?"
He knows that she is referring to that southern town he once loved but left, and he knows he will never fully return to even if by some strange turn of chance his obligations to his kin get the better of him. "It hasn't been home in a very long time."
Eponine smiles knowingly as she sets the tablet aside in favor of wrapping her arms tightly around him. "So it's this then? This tiny apartment with me as your roommate-"
"My fiancée, you mean?"
She grins at this word and presses her face into his neck. "I sometimes still can't believe you asked."
"I'm more surprised by your saying 'yes'," he says before tilting up her chin to kiss her. She tastes of coffee and peppermint, and as mundane as this combination may be to anyone else, it's absolutely intoxicating as far as he's concerned. He feels her climb into his lap before she deepens the kiss but before he can scoop her up and carry her indoors they hear a crash from the alley below. "What was that?" he asks as she pulls away.
She goes over to peer over the fire escape railing. "It's just someone stumbling through-I think he's going to be okay," she says, pointing to a figure making his way out onto the street. She heaves a sigh of relief after a few moments. "No need for us to jump in."
"Is that what they're calling it at work? Jumping in?" Enjolras asks amusedly.
"What would you rather say? Scrubbing in?" Eponine quips. She gives him an apologetic look as she scoots up next to him again. "Sorry about that. It's second nature."
"I noticed it too," he points out. In that is all the explanation he needs as to why they can't possibly tear themselves away from where they have somehow chosen to settle. "Maybe we should go inside?"
"Oh, don't. Who knows who might come along next?" she teases. She laughs when he scowls at her. "I like the view. Just a minute longer?"
"Fine then," Enjolras says before slipping his arm around her shoulders again. Of course he knows that they won't be moving any time soon; in fact it's two whole hours before they decide to call it a night, but all the same it's a space in time that they are only happy to find here and now.