AN: TECHNICALLY it's Sunday. But I never put my clock forward. So I'm going to go right ahead and say 'YAY 4 UPDATES IN A WEEK DURING TERM TIME!' XD
This is it, dear readers. The chapter we've ALL been waiting for. No prompt for this one, as I really don't think we need one. I'm actually astounded at how many of you guessed at things that will happen in this chapter before they even happened, and even sent me prompts for things that I was already planning to include :'D Gahh, you guys are amazing.
So here it is: THE BABY CHAPTER :D Enjoy!
"Enjolras, I don't think you've truly thought about the implications of Éponine having your child." Enjolras frowned confusedly at his father.
"What do you mean?" he asked. When he had received his father's letter asking him to come home for a day (alone), Enjolras had made the arrangements as soon as possible, worried about what his father wanted to talk to him about. He had left Éponine in the capable hands of Combeferre and Courfeyrac, with a promise from Gavroche to come and find him at his parents' house immediately if anything happened.
However, now that Enjolras was there, he felt that he had had something of a wasted journey.
"Pregnancy is never an easy thing for women," his father explained, "Though they often insist that men don't understand, sometimes men understand perfectly, though it often takes a shock to make them realise it. Not only is pregnancy difficult for women, it can be... dangerous." Enjolras visibly stiffened.
"What do you mean, 'dangerous'? he questioned, considerably more worried about Éponine now that he had heard this news and was miles away from her.
"There is a reason you were an only child," his father started haltingly, "Your mother and I always wanted many children when we were first married. We had it all planned. We both had stable jobs and we were bringing in a lot of money. We had the means to look after four, maybe even five, children. When your mother first became pregnant with you we were overjoyed. The pregnancy was all completely fine... until your mother went into labour.
"There were... complications. The midwife, nor the doctor, ever fully explained it. But your mother almost died. It was because of this that we both agreed to never even try for another child. The consequences could have been too great. So we spent all of our time on you, spoiling you, making sure you wanted for nothing and that you were always happy. We knew that we were lucky to both be here to see you grow up."
"And you think this could happen to Éponine?!" Enjolras asked worriedly.
"It could happen to anyone, Enjolras," his father shrugged, "I just thought it better to make sure that you were informed of the fact." Enjolras nodded absentmindedly, his thoughts now completely focused on Éponine.
Perhaps they had been stupid. His father was right; neither of them had ever assumed that the implications of Éponine being pregnant could be as severe as death. He couldn't live without her, he knew that for sure. But they had both become so attached to Baby, despite he or she not being born yet. He knew that, if he had to make a choice, he would choose to save Éponine above the baby. But would Éponine agree? He didn't think so.
His thoughts were interrupted by a series of shouts and the sound of someone running down the corridor leading to the living room. Gavroche burst through the doors, the sound of one of Enjolras' parents' maids chasing him.
"Excuse me, monsieur, but you can't just come in! I'm going to have to ask you to leave!"
"Don't worry, Matilda, I know this boy," Enjolras waved her off as she entered the room behind a panting Gavroche, "Gavroche, why are you here? Has something happened?"
"You... you need to come... quickly!" Gavroche said, still panting slightly, "I came... as fast as I could... ran all the way here. You need to come back, Enjolras! Right now!"
"Gavroche, calm down," Enjolras said, kneeling in front of the boy, "What's happening?"
Gavroche smiled slightly, "The baby's coming!"
Enjolras froze where he was, not knowing whether to be overjoyed or overcome with worry. Gavroche sighed, almost angry, and tapped Enjolras on the cheek.
"No time to panic," he insisted, "We need to go. 'Ponine needs you, Enjolras! No one else: you." This was enough to snap Enjolras out of his shocked stupor, and he stood up, not even bothering to say goodbye to his father or the maid who still stood shocked in the door way. He ran out of the house, Gavroche on his heels, and skidded to a stop in front of his parents' carriage, where the driver was waiting for him. He helped Gavroche in before getting in himself.
"Where is she, Gavroche?" he asked desperately.
"At your flat," Gavroche said breathlessly, tired out after all the running he'd had to do. Enjolras relayed this to the driver, who set off immediately after hearing the tone of urgency in Enjolras' voice. The revolutionary leader collapsed back into the seat, his mind going around in circles, always getting back to a single thing:
Is Éponine going to be alright?
He ran up the stairs to their flat three at a time, not even bothering to wait for Gavroche. He burst into his and Éponine's flat and could hear the midwife's soothing voice through the open door to their bedroom. He dashed in, crouching beside the bed to hold Éponine's hand as she tried to breathe through another contraction.
"I... I thought... that you weren't coming." She said, her face contorted in pain. He smiled slightly through his concern.
"And miss the birth of our child? You didn't really believe that I'd let that happen, did you?" she chuckled slightly, before gasping in pain, her free hand whipping to her bump.
"How long... until this... stops?!" she asked desperately. The midwife smiled apologetically.
"Every birth is different," she told her, "Some take ten minutes, some take forty-eight hours." Éponine's eyes widened.
"Two days?!" she shrieked, "If you think I'm doing this for two days then you can forget about it!"
Enjolras stroked her hand with his thump comfortingly as the midwife's trainee wiped sweat from Éponine's forehead with a rag, "It'll be fine," he said soothingly, "Just think about afterwards, when you can hold Baby in your arms and look at his or her little face. It'll all be worth it."
"I really wish you could feel the pain I'm in right now," she growled, "I swear to god, Enjolras, nothing can possibly be worth this."
"Baby can," he said firmly, "And you know it." Éponine's face soften slightly.
"I do know," she said quietly, "I'm sorry. I'm just... I can't do this, Enjolras. I swear, all of the beatings I went through from my father and his gang... that was nothing compare to this."
"You can do it, 'Ponine," he said, kissing her forehead, "I know you. You're the strongest woman I know. If anyone can do it, you can." She smiled, before squeezing his hand tightly as she was hit with yet another contraction.
"If this is what I'm like..." she muttered, "I dread to think about how Cosette is going to cope when she and Marius decide to have children."
The midwife interrupted the two, "Éponine, I think it's time for you to start pushing."
"Oh, joy," she said sarcastically. The midwife smiled wanly, looking like she'd heard I all before.
As Éponine began pushing Enjolras stayed loyally at her side, murmuring soothing words of encouragement, despite the fact that the midwife had suggested that he should leave. The midwife's trainee stood beside the midwife herself, holding a blanket ready to take the baby.
It was a further ten minutes before the baby was born, screaming the entire apartment block down. Éponine looked to the midwife desperately, and Enjolras was, for the third time in under an hour, frozen with shock. As the midwife's trainee wrapped the baby in the blanket, she smiled at the pair.
"Congratulations," she said, handing the still-screaming baby to Éponine, "You've got a little girl." Éponine fell back against the pillows, the baby on her chest, tears of happiness rolling down her cheeks. Enjolras also had tears in his eyes, peering at their daughter wrapped tightly in the blanket with a disbelieving smile on his face.
"We've got a daughter," he said quietly, as if him saying it would make it a bit more real. Éponine just nodded, struck speechless by the tiny girl in her arms.
"Relax whilst you can, Éponine," the midwife said grimly, "There's another on the way." Éponine bolted upright, careful not to damage the baby in her eyes. Enjolras' head whipped round to stare at the midwife.
"What do you mean 'another'?!" Éponine demanded, "Another what?!"
"Another baby," the midwife said, "It's twins. Didn't you know?"
"Do we currently look like two people who knew that they were having twins?!" Enjolras asked, barely believing his ears. Twins?!
"Did you go to see a doctor before you came to me?" the midwife asked, frowning, "He should have told you that you were having twins."
Éponine and Enjolras looked at each other and both sighed, "Combeferre." They said simultaneously.
"I told you we should have gone to a qualified doctor," Éponine said accusingly.
"Combeferre is qualified!" Enjolras argued.
"He was only qualified for a few weeks when we went to see him!" Éponine said, "That's barely qualified!"
"If I could interrupt the two of you for just a moment," the midwife said loudly, "I need some peace." Her face was set in a concerned frowned as she felt Éponine's still big baby bump.
"Is... is there something wrong?" Enjolras asked, suddenly worried for his other child; anyone would say that Enjolras couldn't possibly feel a strong connection with the other baby due to the fact that he'd only known about it for about thirty seconds. Enjolras would promptly disagree; this baby was his child after all. He would always love him or her, whether he had known about their existence for thirty seconds or thirty years.
"The baby's breached," the midwife sighed, "Not uncommon with twins. Doesn't make it any less dangerous." Enjolras' face paled, thoughts of what his father had said rushing back into his head.
"How dangerous?" Éponine asked, her face determined.
The midwife looked both thoughtful and apologetic, "If we try to turn the baby... the chances of the baby surviving are around half. If you give birth to the baby as it currently is, which is feet-first, it's more likely for complications to occur, which puts the mother's life on the line, but gives us more of a chance to save the baby. And... I don't think we have time to try and turn the baby; he or she is already on their way."
Éponine looked up to Enjolras, her eyes meeting his before looking down at the baby in her arms. In that second that their eyes met, he understood.
"You can't," he muttered, "I won't lose you, 'Ponine. It's almost happened twice already. I'm not prepared to risk it a third time."
"I have to," she said, tears in her eyes, "This is our child, Enjolras. The child we didn't know we were going to have. I know it sounds silly but... already I feel this attachment to it. I can't risk losing it, Enjolras, I just can't." Enjolras sighed, looking away, knowing that he had felt exactly the same thing.
He kissed her lightly on the lips as she passed him the baby. "I love you, Éponine," he said, leaning his forehead against hers.
"And I love you," she said quietly, "Look after Baby."
"Of course," he said, kissing her one last time before being ushered out of the room by the midwife's trainee, and having the door shut behind him.
Enjolras sat on the sofa, the baby in his arms, with his eyes tightly shut as he tried to stop tears spilling from them. He and Éponine both knew that Éponine would rather risk her life than risk the baby's. The bundle in his arms, which had quietened down since she was first brought into the world, gurgled, causing Enjolras to open his eyes to identify the source of the sound. The look on the baby's face made him smile, despite the fact that all he could think about was whether Éponine was going to survive.
"We've been waiting a long time for you, little one," he told her quietly, "You look like your mother," he continued, talking because it gave him something else to focus on, "You have her nose, and her dimples. You have my eyes, though. You definitely have my eyes. You don't have a name yet; we never did decide on one. I thought you'd be a boy, but your Mama always said that you'd be a girl. I really should trust her more often; she is always right, after all. But don't tell her I said that."
He stopped for a moment, his mind filling with the things he and Éponine had yet to do: they hadn't gotten married; they hadn't secured the future of France; they hadn't named their baby (either of them); they hadn't been to see his parents again; he hadn't taught her how to play the violin as she'd asked him to do almost a year ago. So many things not done.
"Your brother or sister was a surprise, you know," Enjolras murmured to the baby, "And he or she has put your Mama in danger. But I don't want you to ever hold that against them. If your Mama survives, then you'll be the luckiest little girl in the world. If your twin survives and your Mama doesn't, then your brother or sister will be a blessing, because your Mama would have given her life for them.
"It's not the first time your Mama would have been willing to die for something you know. Papa was a silly man just over a year ago. I was naive, and I didn't quite know what I was doing. I was willing to die for my country, and so was your Mama. But when your Mama got hurt, I realised that I shouldn't be willing to die for my country; I should be willing to die for her."
The time stretched out, and Enjolras wondered if that was a good of a bad sign; Éponine was strong, that much he knew, and if the other baby was anything like her then they would both make it out alive. But every second that ticked past when he was still faced with a closed door was another second that made Enjolras doubt if his fiancé and their child would survive.
The baby in his arms eventually fell asleep to her father's voice, listening (if it was possible for a child so young to actually listen as opposed to just hearing) to her Papa's stories of the barricade, the revolution, and her Mama. He told her of her many uncles, of her grandparents, and of her godparents. He told her of all of the things she would experience in life. He told her of the things he dreamt about.
When the door finally opened, Enjolras sat up straight, stirring the baby in his arms. The midwife came into the living room, holding a second bundle. The two babies cried together, almost in harmony, as the midwife approached him.
"You have another daughter, Mr Enjolras," she said. He smiled as she handed the second baby to him, and he stood there with a baby in the crook of each arm as his face fell serious once more.
"Éponine..." he said, "Is she..."
"Exhausted? Yes. But she'll be absolutely fine. She coped very well, and I've made sure that everything's in order." The midwife assured him. His legs felt weak with relief, and the midwife almost stepped forward to support him, thinking he was about to faint; it wouldn't be the first time she'd had to deal with that situation. But he recovered quickly, nodding his thanks to her before re-entering the bedroom.
Éponine managed an exhausted smile as he sat on the bed beside her.
"You did it," he murmured, "I told you that you could."
"Two babies, Enjolras," she said, shaking her head in disbelief, "We have twins. Two little girls."
"And they're absolutely perfect," he told her, "All thanks to you."
"And you," she said, "I couldn't have done it without you. Thinking about you, it kept me going. I knew that I couldn't leave you alone with our babies." Enjolras leant forward and kissed her head. Éponine took one of the babies out of his arms, holding her lovingly to her chest expertly.
"You're a natural," Enjolras said quietly. She smiled, looking down at the gurgling bundle in her arms.
"You have three girls in your life now," she teased.
"I'm practically surrounded by females," he said sarcastically, rolling his eyes, "I've no doubt that the Amis will be absolutely smitten and will have absolutely no idea how to react." Éponine laughed quietly, her eyelids drooping as a yawn escaped her lips.
"Sleep," Enjolras said quietly, taking the baby back from her, "We'll all still be here when you wake up."
"Sing to me," she murmured, although she was already almost asleep, "Sing to us." Enjolras smiled; he was most definitely in love with this woman. Her asking him to sing to her was a habit that he himself had come to love.
He did as he asked, and when he had sung a single song through, both Éponine and their babies were fast asleep. Enjolras couldn't bring himself to move, however, and so he simply shifted into a more comfortable position beside Éponine, and watched over his family. The three girls in his life, sound asleep and happy around him.
And he knew that, whatever his parents did or could have done when he was a child, none of it would ever make him want for nothing more than the scene that he was currently part of.
I know some of you said that you liked the idea of a mini Enjolras, but really: I couldn't miss the opportunity to have Enjolras, Gavroche and all of the Amis confronted with two more girls alongside Éponine and Cosette XD It would have passed up too many hilarious prompts and storylines for the future.
So, I was speaking to my cousin's girlfriend (who basically tells me whether or not my personal idea for prompts are crap or not) and she said that this would be a good time to start the Extended Edition, because it's at a new point in Éponine and Enjolras' lives.
I disagree :D I think I can write much more for you lovely people before I start editing and adding bits. Oh, and I'm evil and I'm going to make you wait. Sorry, not sorry! XD
I will thank each and every one of you for reading though, whether you were there for the beginning when I uploaded something stupid like 4 installments in one night, or whether you've started reading more recently when I only update every week or so. You're all amazing, and I know I'm lucky to have such lovely readers.
I think this chapter was rushed in places, and I know I could have included a lot more detail on what was actually happening, but I wanted to focus more on our dearest Enjolras in this chapter, seeing as he always seems to be a bit of a grey area when it comes to... well, anything that isn't the revolution XD
I hope you enjoyed, and feel free to drop me a review and/or a prompt; every review makes my day, whether its a happy review or one that contains constructive criticism. You're all amazing human beings and I thank you very much for reading *bows out*
P.S. sorry for the stupidly long AN XD