A/N: Hello! This is a rewrite of a fic from my old account, which is full of embarrassingly bad Les Mis fanfictions (in my defense, I was like 14 when I wrote most of them). Anyway, I noticed that one of these old fics had a recent review asking for it to be continued. Instead, I'm rewriting it because I'm now older and I know how to write better (I hope). I'm not sure how popular Marius/Éponine fanfics are anymore (it's been a good five years since I last wrote Les Mis fanfiction), but it's still a pairing I enjoy (at least, based on their musical portrayals). I'm not sure though if this will actually end up being an M/É fic. Anyway, enough introduction; on to the story!
His lips pressed against hers hungrily. She pulled him closer, their bodies pressed together and her fingers entangled in his hair. His hands slipped under her shirt and she gasped at the sensation of his hands on her bare flesh. He sloppily reached around her back to undo the fastenings on her corset, which fell to their feet.
"Wait," Éponine murmured, her lips still against his. She placed her hands on his to stop them from moving further up her waist. He started to kiss her neck and she couldn't suppress a giggle. "Marius! Someone might see."
They were still in the hallway of the Gorbeau House; they hadn't even made it into his apartment. Marius pushed the door open. Grinning crookedly, he picked her up and carried her inside to his bed, nearly tripping over a few stray books. The corset lay forgotten in the hallway.
Yes, Marius Pontmercy was very drunk. Éponine tried to ignore that and live in the moment.
When Éponine awoke the next morning, it took her a moment to remember where she was. She rolled onto her side and her eyes widened when she came face to face with a sleeping Marius. Even with his mouth hanging open and his hair sticking up every which way, she found him beautiful. She raised her hand to touch his cheek, but stopped inches from it. She sat up quickly.
"Shit," she muttered, quickly getting up. She hadn't gone home the night before. Her father would be furious. She scrambled to find her clothes, which were strewn around the room. She swore under her breath when she realised her corset was nowhere to be found; she would have to go without. Damn. It had been her only one. As quietly as possible so as not to wake the sleeping Marius, she dressed and headed for the door. Marius didn't stir in the slightest.
Outside in the hallway, she recalled where the corset had been left, only it was no longer there. Probably some other poor tenant of the Gorbeau House had seen it and taken it as her own. It wasn't uncommon for things to go missing in the Gorbeau House, if they weren't securely put away. Walking a few steps to the apartment next to Marius's, Éponine fished around in her skirt pocket for a key and entered her family's apartment.
Fortune smiled on the Jondrette girl, for her father was not yet awake. When she entered the small room, her father's snores greeted her, and her mother and sister turned to look at her. Meek Azelma was curled up by the small fireplace in which only a few burning embers remained, and her very large, very blonde mother sat at the small table at which the Thénardiers ate their meager meals, when they could afford to eat. That morning was not one such morning.
"'Ponine," Azelma murmured quietly in way of greeting. Their mother merely grunted in Éponine's direction.
Azelma stood and walked over to her sister. She took her hands in her own rather cold ones, biting her lip. Éponine frowned.
"What's wrong, 'Zelma?" She asked quietly, her brow furrowed in concern.
"I'm so sorry, 'Ponine," Azelma whispered, "but that boy you like... He was with a girl last night. I found her corset in the hallway." The words came out very quickly. Éponine opened her mouth to speak, but Azelma kept going. "But don't worry! I snatched it and threw it out in the snow. She'll have a job finding it."
Éponine nearly laughed. Her lips twitched upward.
"You're not sad?" Azelma asked her. She shook her head, unable to withhold a smile. Azelma's eyes looked back and forth between her sister's, then widened in understanding. "It was yours?" She mouthed. Éponine gave a small, almost imperceptible nod. Her mother noticed anyway.
"He pay you?" Delphine Thénardier asked.
"M-Mother!" Éponine spluttered.
"So yer out all night an' yeh got no money to show for it? Yer dad won' be pleased. 'Zel was out till sun up an' she brought back nearly five francs. Yeh want a beating?"
"It was just one night..."
"Yeh'd better get out there and get some artiche. Yer dad hit the bottle hard las' night; yeh got time. Go."
"I'll go with," said Azelma. "Maybe we can find your corset."
The sun outside shone brightly, despite the cold wind. The bit of snow that had fallen the night previous glinted in the sunlight.
"It was around here..." Azelma was saying, leading her sister down an alleyway. "I kinda just ran out and chucked it. Sorry, 'Ponine. I didn't realise it was yours."
"Nah, it's fine," Éponine replied. "I wouldn't have guessed either. 'Zelma, we really need to get you some shoes. Look at how red your feet are! Maybe at the church..."
"No way," said Azelma quickly. "Those wooden shoes they give really pinch. I'd rather go without."
"Then take mine." Éponine had managed to nick some proper boots from a small shop the year before. They were worn, but at least they were boots.
"I'm not taking your boots. I'll be fine. Ah, look! There it is." She skipped over to an old, slightly yellowed corset which lay in the snow. She picked it up and handed it to her sister. "Tah-dah!" Éponine smiled softly and took the corset. She took a quick look around and, seeing no one else in the alley, slipped it under her shirt.
"Jesus, it's cold!"
"Well, yeah. It was in the snow," Azelma giggled.
"Yeah, yeah, laugh all you want. Do me up, would you?" She turned so that her back was to Azelma, who quickly tied her corset for her. "Thanks." Suppressing a shiver, she added under her breath: "Snow in November... Jesus..."
The two continued on, heading towards the Pont Neuf to cross over to the Île de la Cité. With any luck, there would be some wealthy church-goers from the Notre-Dame they could pickpocket, though the church wasn't as popular after the stained-glass windows had been shattered a few months earlier by anti-Legitimists. Still, there was usually a fair amount of people there, many of them quite wealthy.
Once again, Éponine was rather fortunate and within a couple of hours, they had stolen four francs and ten sous between them.
"With what I got last night, we can have a proper feast!" Azelma was saying as the two neared the Gorbeau House. "Dad'll be pleased."
"Father's never really pleased though, is he? Not really."
"Eh, but you'll be spared a beating," Azelma said brightly. "Ooh, look!" She said suddenly, elbowing Éponine in the ribs. "It's your Monsieur Marius."
Éponine looked up to see Marius leaving the Gorbeau House. He caught sight of them and started towards them. Éponine smiled widely.
"Why, good afternoon, Monsieur Marius."
"Hello, 'Ponine," he said in a subdued voice. Then he closed his eyes. "Ah, why does the sun have to be so bright?"
"Feeling a little rough, monsieur?"
"More than a little. What exactly happened last night? I remember accepting Grantaire's challenge to see who could drink the most and then... nothing."
Éponine's face fell.
"Nothing after the first few drinks. Hey, are you all right?"
"Fine," Éponine replied, her voice very tight.
"So, er, what happened after that? And did I win?"
Éponine let out a short, bark of a laugh.
"No, of course you didn't. Even I drank more than you did; you just don't handle it well." Her voice was somewhat cold. "After you fell out of your chair, Combeferre cut you off, so I said I'd bring you home."
"I brought you home."
"So I didn't embarrass myself. That's good. I have a tendency to—"
"Oh, I didn't say that," she said in a hard voice. "You danced with everyone at the Musain last night, even an unwilling Enjolras."
Marius laughed a bit despite himself. "Well thank you for bringing me home. I'm glad I can count on you; you're a good friend. Courfeyrac probably would have brought me to a different tavern." When Éponine responded only with stony silence, he frowned in concern. "Are you sure you're all right?"
"Yeah. Just dandy." She pushed past him to walk inside and Azelma followed, biting her lip.
"H-Hey, I'll see you around, right?" Marius called after her.
"Well, seeing as we're neighbours..." With that she entered the building, Azelma right behind her, leaving behind a very confused Marius.
"'Ponine?" Azelma said gently.
"I don't want to talk about it," Éponine said shortly.
"It was nothing. Last night meant nothing. Just leave it, 'Zelma." And she continued up the steps to their apartment.