AN: Yep! Little old me, back again! Enjolnine was driving me MAD! It just won't let me write it, I mean, it shouldn't be this hard! Then again, this chapter hasn't left my mind ALL DAY so hopefully now that it's out of my head, I'll be about to finish the Enjolnine chapter.
Thanks to all you lovely amazing awesome people who reviewed/favourited/followed the last chapter: I LOVE YOU ALL! And it tells me that I must be do something right with this fic, so I'mma go ahead and keep writing! Anyways, enough of my pointless yapping: ENJOY!
Jehan found that he couldn't keep the feisty woman, who had inspired him so much in so little time, out of his head. Whenever he wrote, he found himself relating it to her, had the idea not come from her in the first place. And many ideas did come directly from her, for, each day, he found himself seeing something in her that he hadn't seen the day before.
Éponine was in a similar situation; the little man who had infuriated her so seemed to change over the coming days. She couldn't always place what it was about him, but something different always caught her eye.
On the first day after their argument, Jehan noticed the disheartened look that graced Éponine's face from the moment he saw her leaving her house (if it could be called that) at around half past seven in the morning until the moment she first saw Marius at the meeting that evening.
On that day, Éponine noticed the light blush that covered Jehan's cheeks whenever she caught him looking at her... or had she been staring at him and he had caught her? She wasn't sure, but, either way, her gaze turned steely in a matter of seconds, and his face would go slightly pink before he turned away.
On the second day after their argument, Jehan noticed the limp in her step as she walked through the doors of the Musain, once again early for the meeting. This time, however, he was just coming in behind her. She managed to get herself to a table, before collapsing into the chair. Jehan was about to approach her, before reconsidering; he didn't think he wanted another argument so soon. He had far too much inspiration as it was, and there was something about the way her eyes filled with something suspiciously like passion when she got angry... and he was off again, this idea striking him as the perfect topic for a poem.
On that day, Éponine noticed Jehan's reluctancy to sit down opposite her. He had stood there for a moment, about to step towards the table where she was situated, before rushing off to his table by the window, taking a piece of parchment and a pencil out of his bag and scribbling away for over an hour, well into the meeting.
On the third day, with no meeting scheduled for the Amis, Jehan wondered if he'd see the young woman who had so captured his life. He didn't think she'd appreciate his going out of his way to see her. But, then again, that was what he needed: her feistiness, her anger, her frustration... that was where his inspiration came from. So he set out to find the gamine, hoping that she would provide more fuel for his now exhausted inspiration.
On that day, Éponine found herself missing the young man who had angered her so. It was strange, but she felt like some kind of bizarre connection had formed between them. She wasn't yet sure whether it was a connection of friendship, or a connection of dislike, but it was a connection nonetheless. She wondered if he would still be the shy man she had first argued with (or rather argued at) when she next saw him, or whether he had noticed the connection as well.
The two's paths crossed again later that morning. Éponine was on an errand for her father, handing scrawled notes to members of the Patron-Minette, something about a raid that evening. It wasn't easy, what with her twisted ankle from two nights ago when she had tried to escape from her father's grasp, and the bruised ribs she had as a result of her attempt to flee, but she was managing.
Jehan was searching the crowds at the market, knowing that this was usually where Éponine could be found during the day (he had heard Marius say it many times after all: 'I'm going to meet 'Ponine at the market', 'the market's where 'Ponine will be', 'I wonder if Éponine is at the market yet...'). Every so often, he thought he spotted her, talking to this man, or that man, but by the time he got close enough to look properly, she was gone.
By lunchtime, Jehan was beginning to tire in his plight to find Éponine. He had been searching all morning, and yet, still, the gamine evaded his sight.
Éponine had also been on the lookout for Jehan, knowing that the young poet often took walks around the city; she had spotted him, after all, walking along, through the market, down the street, into the park. Such things as a man whistling a happy tune as he walked through poverty-stricken streets caught the eyes of many. Éponine supposed Jehan should count himself lucky for that: it was so very unusual for Éponine to follow the crowd.
But she had noticed him. And he had noticed her.
It was mid afternoon when he spotted her. Not within the time during which he was searching for her, but after he had given up and was making his way home.
There she was, calm as anything, leaning on a wall just inside an alleyway. He face was composed, her shawl pulled around her, her injured foot lifted off of the ground as she put all her weight on her unhurt limb.
And she spotted him too, though she kept her face as unreadable as she could to avoid him noticing her recognition; she couldn't bear to see that blush again. It infuriated her to no end that he was embarrassed when she was in the situation she was in. Living the life she lived. The way he looked at her was if... was if he knew so much more about herself than she had let on. And that certainly wasn't allowed.
Jehan approached her carefully (like a mouse, Éponine noted to herself, always like a little mouse). When he reached her he didn't know what to say for a moment; what should he do? He had to anger her. Yes, that was what it was. And so, he took her hand in his, kissing it gently.
"Good afternoon, mademoiselle."
Éponine was shell shocked; what had just happened?! He had started a conversation. He had willingly invited her to talk to him. Not only that, but he had called her 'mademoiselle', a term only ever used for distinguished bourgeois girls with rich fathers and mothers who stayed at home all day ordering the servants around. Miss Éponine Thénardier certainly did not fit into that category.
"I don't think so, monsieur," she said quietly, looking away from him.
"Oh," Jehan said, genuinely surprised and a little bit shocked that the gamine was still composed; he often heard her tell Courfeyrac and Grantaire to stop called her 'mademoiselle'. Why was it different with him? "Oh... alright then." And with that, he dropped her hand as if it were on fire.
Éponine groaned, "Why must you be so..." she struggled to find the word, for he wasn't timid anymore; no, this man was not a coward. But he wasn't quite as infuriating as she remembered. What was he? "So... You?!" she demanded. Jehan chuckled.
"It would be difficult for me to be someone I am no, mademoiselle," he said, his ever-soft voice piercing through the noise around them.
"Agreed," Éponine said, still looking anywhere but his face, "So I must ask, monsieur, for you to stop calling me mademoiselle. I am far from a bourgeois girl worthy of such a title..."
"But you are still a lady," he protested, "And, tell me, mademoiselle, what am I to call you if not by a title of which you most certainly are worthy?" Éponine looked at him then, for his voice had been so much firmer, so much more insistent.
His eyes were bright, she realised, and so very blue. He had a small smile on his face, as if he had just accomplished something.
"Why must you be ever so consistent in knowing more than you should, monsieur?" she asked quietly, "And why must you be so indirect? So timid and yet... confidently so. Who are you?"
"Jean Prouvaire," he said, his smile widening as he held out his hand, "You may call me Jehan."
"I didn't ask your name," she said, pushing his hand away as she walked past him and into the street, "I asked who you are. They mean different things, and therefore require different answers."
Jehan smiled at the wall that he was now faced with, before turning around and jogging to catch up with the still-limping Éponine, "I fear I know more about you than I do myself," he told her as he walked at her side down the street, through the now clearing market.
"Then I would suggest that you keep your nose out of my business," she said enigmatically, "There are things in my life that you are better off not knowing."
"But you make them so obvious, so clear!" he protested, "You try so hard to hide it, but in doing so you just make it more prominent. Not to the average eye," he added hastily as she pulled her shawl around herself tighter, "But to an eye that notices things. To certain people who look rather than just seeing."
"Seeing is not so bad," Éponine said, "It keeps you out of trouble that you should have no part in."
"Oh, but doesn't it make life much more boring?!" he asked rhetorically, laughing at the very idea of it.
"What is your business with me, monsieur?" Éponine demanded, stopping suddenly in front of Jehan with her arms crossed and a determined look on her face, "You seem to know everything about me, though you won't spare me any details. You say I tell you without meaning to, that you look. So, tell me, Jean Prouvaire... what do you see?"
Jehan considered before answering; she was asking something that required so much depth, so much detail... how could he sum it all up in the way she was inadvertently asking him to?
He smiled slightly as he leaned in to whisper in her ear.
"I see the world," Jehan murmured, "In a way I have never seen it before."
And with that, he walked away, leaving Éponine standing in the street, confused as to what his words meant, as Jehan grabbed hold of the inspiration she had offered him.
And once again, the two knew that it would not be their last meeting. They would most definitely be seeing each other again.
The real question was: would they see too much?
Chuck me a review if you fancy it (they make my day, really they do! Even the bad ones!), I'll try and update again at a time that's remotely reasonable (I.e. not in about a year). *Typos are apologised for, I'm sorry, I'm lazy and I never proof read properly! XD*
A little Key for you:
... = subject/character change
*insert line thingy that comes above this authors note here* = time change
I hope that helps.. XD Thanks for reading!