In the end, all was well.

Nothing could bring back the friends he had lost, but Marius had learned to be okay with that. He had slowly stopped seeing their faces in everything bright, and everything passionate, and everything which might make him happy. He found he could breathe again, and did not realize until then that he had been lacking in air for so long.

He still had nightmares, and far too often would wake Cosette with his cries. Cosette, with her swollen belly, marking the second time she was to produce tangible evidence of their love. The first child slept soundly in the next room, though Marius always worried his dreams would disturb her.

Nights were the hardest time for Marius, when every second of sleep brought bittersweet memories of Courfeyrac's joy, of Enjolras's energy, of Bossuet's apologetic grin. The daytime was Cosette's turn for mourning; the loss of her father was still raw and sharp in a way Marius's grief no longer was, and she still heard his voice in every echo of laughter in a way Marius, blessedly, no longer did.

Their daughter's name was Fantine, for the mother Cosette could scarcely remember. She was the light of Marius's life, in many ways, and though he regretted bitterly that she would never the meet the man who should have been her godfather, he found some solace in knowing that Courfeyrac's death had not marked the end of all that was bright in his life.

"Have you not an intimate friend?"

He hadn't, not any longer, but he had a family now, Cosette and his daughter and soon another child. They were his, forever, to love and to hold, and there were still days when he could not get out of bed, when the guilt of living weighed him down so that he could not move or speak for the pain, but he no longer wished that he had died with them. He was alive. He was alive.

He was alive.