Warning: Depressing

Disclaimer: I don't own Les Mis or any of the characters

Empty Promise

He looks at her grave and he remembers her. He remembers her smile, her laugh, the warmth that was always in her eyes whenever she looked at him. In these moments that he lets himself remember her, he can almost imagine that she's there with him. But she's not and he knows this. He knows that she's gone. He reads the tombstone: Éponine Thénardier, 1816-1832. Rain will make the flowers grow. He places the flowers he'd been holding on her grave, Delphinium, Éponine's favourite. He sighs sadly and kneels down in front of the grave.

"Ah, 'Ponine..." he murmurs. He has a far away look in his eyes. He is remembering.

"Your tie is on wrong." says a girl walking next to him. He looks at her. She is a gamine. He takes in her ragged appearance, complete with matted hair, grime-covered skin, and gaunt look. He knows that she must have been very pretty at some point, he can tell. He sees it in her eyes. Those eyes... soft, chocolatey brown with secret flecks of gold. Those eyes that still retained the beauty of her youth.

"What?" he asks, looking down at his tie. It's his first day of law school and he is very nervous.

"Your tie, it's on wrong." the girl repeats, smiling slightly. He fumbles, trying to fix his tie. "Here, let me help you." the girl offers. She reaches up to adjust his tie and for the briefest of moments, her fingers brush against his. Both feel a spark of warmth. He blushes and pulls his fingers away from his tie, letting the gamine tie his tie for him. She finishes adjusting it for him and then steps back. She looks at him, taking in his handsome face, his emerald green eyes, and his jet-black hair. She smiles at him and he notices that her smile seems to brighten all of France. "I'm Éponine." she tells him, extending her hand to him. He shakes her hand and replies:

"I'm Marius."

Since that day, they were inseparable.

He looks at the grave again, wishing that Éponine was with him. He hadn't married Cosette, no, he had realised that he does not love Cosette. He loves someone else, but she is dead. She is dead, and it is his fault. He tries not to remember, but fails.

Marius grabs the powder keg and a torch and he climbs up the barricade. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees a musket pointed at him and a hand stopping it. He raises the powder keg and the torch.

"Fall back or I'll blow up the barricade!" he shouts. A guardsman looks at him and laughs cruelly.

"Blow it up and take yourself with it!"

"And myself with it." Marius replies. He lowers the torch to the powder keg, but before the flame touches the explosive, the guardsman shouts:

"Fall back!"

Marius puts the powder keg back down and puts the torch where it belongs. Then, he thinks he hears a voice.

"M-Monsieur... Marius." The voice is so quiet that he's not quite sure he really hears it. "Monsieur... Marius!" The voice cries out again. Marius looks around. "At your feet!" He looks down and immediately, he recognises Éponine.

"'Ponine? What are you doing here!? The barricade is no place for you!"

"I know... but I... I couldn't stay away, not knowing that you were here... not knowing whether or not you were alive..." she tells him. He kneels down when he sees her shudder in pain.

"Are you hurt?" he asks. She shakes her head.

"No... I'm dying..." she corrects him.

"What!? No, you can't die! I'll take you to one of the rooms in the Café, they'll dress your wounds. You'll be fine!" He grabs one of her hands to help her to her feet. She yelps in pain. "Have I hurt you?"

"A little," she admits.

"But I've only touched your hand."

"Did you not see the musket pointed at you?" she asks. He nods.

"And a hand stopping it."

"That was mine." she tells him as she holds up her hand so that he can see. He realises that the blackness in the middle of her hand is a bullet hole. "But the bullet traversed my hand and went out my back." Seeing the look of loss on his face, she whispers, "There is a way that you can help me better than any doctor," he looks at her. She continues, "Hold me." her voice is like a whisper on the wind. Marius takes the poor girl in his arms. "That is much better."

"'Ponine... why? Why did you take that bullet for me?" To his surprise, she laughs.

"Ah Marius, you are so blind!" she exclaims, still laughing. "You are the only one who has not noticed."

"Noticed what?"

"That I love you so!" she tells him. He gasps slightly, surprised. "Ah Marius, now you know! Oh, I've wanted to tell you for so long, but I feared that you would not feel the same way. But I no longer have any fear, for now I am dying. I have always loved you Marius, now you know and that is all that I need." She smiles and closes her eyes. For a moment, Marius thinks that she is dead and he starts to weep. But then she opens her eyes and looks at him with such love in her eyes. Her face is inches from his. Her lips brush against his for only a moment. She tries to smile again and dies. Marius is left holding her limp body. He will never again see her smile, hear her laugh, feel her tender embrace. She is dead. He is alone.

Marius feels tears falling from his eyes. He tries to remember the happier times that he shared with Éponine. A few memories come to the surface, not all of them are happy, but he was still with Éponine during those times. How he wishes she was with him now!

Marius is sitting alone in an alleyway. Tears fall from his eyes. His father has just died. Marius makes an attempt to wipe away his tears, but they keep coming. He buries his face in his hands and continues to weep. He feels a hand on his shoulder. He looks up and sees Éponine. She sits down next to him and wraps her bony arms around him. This comforts Marius.

They sit there for a while, just like that. Neither speaks, for words are not needed. After an hour of sitting there, Marius says,

"My father is dead."

"I'm so sorry for your loss, Marius..." Marius rests his head against her shoulder. She strokes his hair.

"Thank you for being here, 'Ponine." he says quietly. Éponine smiles slightly at him.

"I'll always be here for you, Marius." she promises him.

"But it was an empty promise..." he breathes, tears now rapidly flowing from his eyes. "You're gone now, 'Ponine. You're dead. You've left me..." He pulls out a knife from his pocket. "So now, I must join you." He plunges the knife into his chest and he immediately feels the agonizing pain rip through him. He drops the knife and collapses. As he lays on the ground, so close to death, Éponine appears to him.

"Hello Monsieur," she whispers. She's the same Éponine that Marius has always known, but different. She is no longer covered in the bruises or scars given to her by her father, she is no longer dangerously thin, she is no longer covered in grime, her hair is no longer in knots. She is Éponine as Marius has always seen her. She is beautiful. The pain has stopped now. Éponine holds out a hand to him and helps him up. Marius looks down at his body that he is no longer connected to. He looks at Éponine and smiles. He is happy now. He cups her face with his hands and kisses her full on the lips. "Come with me where chains will never bind you. All your grief at last, at last behind you." She sings softly. She raises her eyes to the heavens.

One by one, Les Amis de l'ABC appear.

"Take my hand, I'll lead you to salvation. Take my love for love is ever lasting." They sing with Éponine. Marius joins in, "And remember the truth that once was spoken: to love another person is to see the face of God."

Do you hear the people sing, lost in the valley of the night. It is the music of a people who are climbing to the light. For the wretched of the earth, there is a chain that never dies. Even the darkest nights will end and the sun will rise.

Well, I hope you enjoyed! Please review!