AN: I'm sooooo sorry that this is a day late! I started back at school yesterday, so things are getting hectic and I'm having friendship troubles so I'm trying to find time for writing :/ This hasn't been proof-read (it's, like, one in the morning) so mistakes are inevitable. I hope you enjoy it anyhow!
Prompt: What if Éponine and Enjolras' relationship finally started getting back on track? Enjoy!
Enjolras returned at four o'clock on the dot that afternoon, just as he promised he would. He stopped on his way to the government buildings to arrange his surprise for Éponine and the twins with Cosette, and then stopping again on his way back to pick up said surprise.
He walked in to find the twins sitting on a blanket on the floor, staring at the door and glancing at the clock every few seconds.
"Good afternoon, mademoiselles," he said, bowing to them as he entered, a picnic basket in his right hand, "And what have I done to deserve such a beautiful welcome home?" The twins ran at their father, attaching themselves, apparently permanently, to Enjolras' legs.
"You came back!" Elyse squealed happily, "Like you pwomised!" Enjolras chuckled.
"Papa doesn't break promises anymore," he told them, placing the basket on the floor so that he could give the two of them a proper hug. Éponine came out of the bedroom she shared with Enjolras, folding a sheet as she did so.
"They've been sat there all afternoon," she said, smiling slightly, "I couldn't move them. Why do you have a picnic basket?" Enjolras raised his eyebrows.
"I won't insult your intelligence by questioning whether or not you know what a picnic basket is for," he said, smirking, "But I do believe that the purpose of me having one is rather obvious."
Éponine frowned at him, "We can't go for a picnic, Enjolras, it's the middle of December!" she exclaimed, "Do you want us to all catch our deaths out in the cold?!"Enjolras shook his head at the twins as if they were sharing knowledge that Éponine didn't.
"Who ever said that you had to have a picnic outside?!" he asked, standing up with the twins still holding on to his legs for dear life, "Besides, if you ask me, indulging in an impeccably made picnic, courtesy of Cosette, by an open fire is much more appealing than sitting outside." Éponine shook her head incredulously.
"You really are full of surprises at the moment, Apollo," she muttered as the twins ran off to get their teddy bears (because it was simply against the rules for Pierre and Georges to miss the picnic). Enjolras kissed her cheek.
"I should hope so," he replied quietly, "I feel as though I have a lot of making up to do." Éponine frowned sadly.
"You need to do no such thing," she chastised him, "You're here, and that's enough. How did your meeting with Moreau go?" Enjolras grimaced.
"He's certainly not a happy government official," he said as the twins came running back into the sitting room, "But, we can talk about it later. First, we have a picnic to enjoy!"
Three days later, Éponine and Enjolras were on their way to visit Azelma with the twins and Gavroche. Azelma had been working as a nursery maid for a widow with four young children for almost three and a half years, and though neither of the sisters liked to admit it, their respective demanding jobs resulted in them only ever seeing each other occasionally.
Azelma was bright eyed and cheerful when she opened the door to let the five of them in, "'Ponine!" she squealed, wrapping her arms around her sister tightly, "I've missed you so much! How are you?" Éponine laughed.
"I'm fantastic," she said, "It's been far too long, hasn't it?"
"Far too long," Azelma agreed, turning to Enjolras, "It's good to see you, Enjolras. You're taking care of my sister, aren't you?"
Enjolras wasn't entirely sure how to answer; he had, after all, barely seen Éponine over the past weeks. And the fact that she had found out that she was pregnant in that time, and hadn't told him for three weeks, said a lot about how much he really was looking after her.
"He's trying his best," Éponine answered for him, sending her sister a cheeky smile. Azelma suddenly had the twins clinging to her legs, and she laughed as they giggled.
"Auntie 'Zelma!" Evette hugged her leg tightly.
"Hello, Evie," she said, crouching down to give the twins proper hugs, "Goodness, haven't you got big! You'll be as tall as Gavroche, soon, just you wait and see!" Evette laughed.
"Talking of my little brother," Azelma continued, standing again, allowing Elyse to resume her position attached to Azelma's leg, "Long time, no see, little 'Vroche! You need to stop growing! Look at you, you're almost as tall as I am!" Gavroche hugged his sister, smiling.
"I've missed you, 'Zelma," he told her, "'Ponine's gotten all boring again since she found out she was pregnant..." Azelma moved back immediately, her eyes wide as she stared at a now uncomfortable Éponine.
"Now that she's what?!" Azelma demanded, "Christ, Éponine, you're standing there pregnant and you think the best conversation started is 'It's been too long'?!"
Éponine shifted her feet awkwardly, "I didn't want to spring it on you," she said defensively, "And it's hardly something I can write in a letter! I was going to tell you once we'd sat down..." Azelma sighed.
"Well, I suppose you'd better come in," she said, "Quietly, mind you; I've only just managed to get Adélie to sleep, and she's an absolute nightmare when she wakes up early."
"Gosh, she was just a baby when I last saw her!" Éponine exclaimed, "How old is she now?"
"Just turned three," Azelma said, smiling fondly as she led them through to the sitting room, "She's just under a year older than the twins. Now, tell me all about what's been happening, leading up to and after you finding out that you're pregnant. I can't believe I'm going to be an aunt for the third time..."
They reached the sitting room, where the three other children that Azelma cared for, Beltran, Jenette and Félicité, were sat on a blanket in the centre of the floor, playing with what looked to be a set of wooden soldiers.
"Beltran, you cheat! Everyone knows that the strategies of war state that no one may switch sides half way through a battle just because they're losing!" Félicité said, crossing her arms stubbornly.
"It says no such thing!" Beltran protested, "Besides, this game is completely unfair! It's two versus one! I'm outnumbered!"
"Yes, but you're older," Félicité stated, "That means you should be smarter and therefore capable of fighting a battle alone. Then again, you're a boy so I'd expect this stupidity..."
"I think that's quite enough of that," Azelma said firmly, walking into the middle of their 'battlefield' and crossing her arms authoritatively, "Félicité, apologise to your brother for calling him stupid." The girl sighed.
"I apologise," she said grudgingly, "Though Maman says it's wrong to apologise for being right."
"That rule doesn't apply to games," Azelma said, "Beltran, in future, learn that, if you're losing, it is more graceful to accept defeat and surrender than to switch sides. Stick to your cause. I'm sure Enjolras could teach you a thing or two about that." Beltran huffed, glaring at his younger sister.
"It was a stupid game anyway," he grumbled, "I'm too old to be playing with toys."
"I suppose you don't want to set up that domino course like I promised we would then..." Gavroche said dismissively. Beltran faltered.
"Well," he said, "Dominos aren't toys, per se... I suppose it'd be alright if we played with them." Gavroche grinned.
"Alright then," he said, "I'll see you later, 'Zelma." He said, following the seven-year-old out of the room and up the stairs to the playroom.
"Wait for me!" Jenette called after them, "I want to play too!" she raced after them as fast as her little legs would carry her, though admittedly slower than her brother, who was three years older than her. Félicité huffed.
"Well, I'm not too big for toys," she said, stalking out of the room with the intention of going to have a tea party with her dolls. As she reached the doors, she paused, "I apologise for Beltran and Jenette's manners, Éponine and Enjolras. It's very nice to see you." Éponine smiled widely.
"It's nice to see you too, Félicité," she said. The girl smiled before skipping out of the room.
"You've taught them well, Azelma," Enjolras said as they sat down, Elyse making herself happy with the wooden soldiers, now abandoned on the floor, and Evette crawling into Azelma's lap.
"I've tried my hardest, that's for sure," she said, smiling slightly, ""Beltran is a clever little boy, despite the fact that he thinks anything remotely related to literacy or numeracy is pointless. I dread to think what will happen if Madame does choose to send him away to boarding school when he turns eleven. She's been contemplating the idea for a while."
"I'm sure he'll be fine," Éponine reassured her, "The twins will be starting school soon... they're growing up so fast! I'm not sure where the last two and a half years have gone..."
"You can say that again," Azelma muttered, "Talking of your daughters... tell me about this pregnancy! Who else knows? When did you find out? Do you have any names yet?"
Éponine laughed, "How about we tell you the whole story?" she said, "It'll be much more informative than you firing random questions at us."
So Éponine and Enjolras told Azelma everything, from the twins second birthday to when Enjolras first left for work.
"You mean... you honestly mean to tell me that Papa has been in prison for five months and you haven't told me before now?!"
"Sorry about that," Enjolras grimaced, "I suppose it slipped our minds."
"Slipped your minds?!" Azelma shrieked. Éponine hurriedly continued telling her about how Enjolras was barely at home whilst working in Paris to stop her sister from exploding.
"When he came home late one night, I snapped," Éponine said, sounding just as a ashamed as she felt, "I ended up telling him that I was pregnant in the middle of our argument, and it came out a bit... shouty."
"A bit?" Enjolras teased, "You practically blew my head off!"
"We can argue about the specifics or we can finish the story," Époninesaid, waving her hand dismissively, "Anyway, it's been a month since I found out now." Azelma shook her head.
"You've certainly had an eventful few months, haven't you?!" she laughed, "Honestly, Éponine, you used to be so easy to control, not that I can talk; I was the same. Never would I have thought we'd actually get out and have our own lives!" Éponine laughed.
"I know what you mean," she said, "But we seem to have surpassed everyone's expectations there. Even Enjolras'!" The last part was teasing, and Enjolras grimaced and rolled his eyes as Éponine chuckled, taking his hand in hers.
Azelma laughed as Jenette came running into the room.
"Miss Azelma!" she said, "Adélie is crying!"Azelma sighed.
"Which one of you woke her up this time?" she asked, standing Evette on the floor as she stood up.
"Félicité got annoyed at Beltran again," Jenette told her, "She shouted at him, and Addie woke up." Azelma threw apologetic glances at Éponine and Enjolras.
"Go on," Enjolras said, smiling slightly, "We should be getting back anyway. We promised Cosette that we'd drop by on our way home, and we need to be back in time for supper."
Azelma hugged Éponine, "I'm sorry we didn't get to spend more time together," she said, "Next time we'll have a proper catch up, alright?"
"Oh! That was another thing I meant to tell you," Éponine exclaimed, "Cosette's father has invited all of us to his house for Christmas. He said that you, and Madame, and all the children are welcome. And I'm sure everyone will be pleased to see you, 'Zelma." Her younger sister grinned.
"I'd love to," she said, "And I'll check with Madame. I'm sure the children would enjoy the outing. I'll write and let you know." Azelma hugged Enjolras, before fixing him with a stern look, "No more leaving my sister, you hear me?" she said threatening, "And you'd better make sure she has everything she needs." Enjolras nodded solemnly.
"You have my word, Azelma," he said, smiling slightly at her satisfied nod.
"Bye, Auntie 'Zelma," Elyse said, climbing to her feet and hugging her aunt, Evette doing the same immediately afterwards.
"You two will be good for your Mama and Papa, won't you?" Azelma checked, smiling at the twins. They both nodded as Gavroche appeared in the doorway. His grin faded .
"We're leaving?" he whined, "But we only just got here!" Azelma hugged her brother goodbye.
"I'll see you at Christmas, Gav," she said, kissing his cheek and thoroughly enjoying the way it made him squirm. He sighed.
The party showed themselves out as Azelma went off to check on the children. Éponine sighed contentedly as they climbed into their carriage and it started on its way back to their apartment.
"That was nice," she said quietly to Enjolras as Gavroche and the twins played a game of I-spy, "It was lovely to catch up with Azelma again. And it'll be wonderful if she does come for Christmas." Enjolras smiled.
"I'm glad you enjoyed it," he replied, "We need to do things like this more often, I think. We need to be a proper family more. It's all very underrated." Éponine smirked.
"Nothing like a good surprise to shock you into realising what's important," she teased. Enjolras laughed.
"You think you're joking," he said, "But that's completely right." Éponine hooked her arm through his, leaning her head on his shoulder.
"I'm glad everything's going back to normal again," she told him, "I've missed you, Enjolras."
"And I you, Éponine," he replied, kissing the top of her head, "I won't be leaving again anytime soon, don't you worry."
"If you leave again, it's not me who should be worrying," Éponine laughed, "Evette promised to set Gavroche on you if you left again, remember? I'm almost completely certain that he knows where the rest of your weapons are. If I were you, I wouldn't fancy my chances."
When Enjolras and Éponine were walking home from the Musain a few evenings later, Enjolras found himself confused.
"Hmm?" Éponine said, her hand clasping Elyse's tightly as the little girl tried desperately to sprint away from her.
"How many people actually know that you're pregnant?" To Enjolras, it had been rather obvious all evening; Éponine had refused any and all alcoholic beverages offered to her, and, if he was honest, it had looked like she had been trying to stop herself being sick for the majority of the evening. This was certainly not helped by Joly's sudden obsession with the fact that vinegar helped fight infection, and so insisting on holding Jehan's hand in a bowl of the foul-smelling liquid for the best part of an hour, simply because the younger man had a paper cut.
"Well, there's you, me, Gavroche, Joly, Azelma, Cosette, Grantaire and..." she paused, "Well, that's it."
"No one else?" he asked, "Not even Monsieur Fauchelevent?" Éponine shook her head.
"It didn't seem right to tell anyone when you didn't know," she shrugged, "The only reason I told Cosette was because she'd have murdered me if I didn't, and Grantaire guessed after I stormed out of the Musain a few weeks ago. He's much more observant than we give him credit for, I'd be careful around him, you know..."
"So... no one knows?" he asked, frowning.
"Only a few people," Éponine said, "Is that a problem?" he shook his head.
"Though I think it's a matter of importance that we tell people before more of them start guessing," he said, "Goodness knows, I'd rather the information came out of our own will as opposed to that of the Amis..."
"Well, there I agree with you," Éponine muttered, "I'd hate to think of all the teasing we'd have to go through from Courfeyrac and Bossuet if we didn't tell them ourselves..."
"How are we going to tell them?" Enjolras asked, "Last time we have Combeferre and Gavroche to do it for us... it's up to us, this time." Éponine grimaced.
"It shouldn't be that hard... should it?"she asked, suddenly unsure. Enjolras opened his mouth to speak then stopped.
"I have absolutely no idea how to do this." He muttered.
"Neither do I..." Éponine frowned, "This is ridiculous! We should just come out and say it!"
"You mean like you did with my parents the first time?" Enjolras chuckled, "Because that worked out so well..."
"Actually, it did," Éponine said, "Your parents ended up liking me, didn't they?"
"'Ponine, you can't honestly be considering..." before Enjolras could finish talking, Éponine had passed him Elyse's hand (leaving him struggling to keep a hold on the two toddlers) and marched back towards the Musain.
Pushing the doors open in a way that made the entire room fall silent (which was saying something considering it was only the Amis present and they made more than enough noise), Éponine stood in the doorway as everyone turned to look at her.
"I... am pregnant. Again," a few mouths dropped open, a few people started muttering and Grantaire stood in the corner with a smile on his face that clearly said 'I already knew that'.
Enjolras appeared in the doorway behind her, one of the twins resting on each of his hips, "Er... goodnight, everyone!" he said hastily, before pulling Éponine away, "Was that wise?" he asked when they were a few minutes away.
"Possibly not," Éponine shrugged, "But at least everyone knows now."
"Well... everyone except Marius. And my parents." Enjolras pointed out. Éponine shrugged again.
"They can wait," she said decisively, taking Evette from him, the little girl's eyes closing slowly. Éponine chuckled, "It's definitely past someone's bedtime."
"Yes, it's definitely time to get home," Enjolras agreed, "If only because it's freezing..."
"It's almost Christmas," Éponine said happily, "It's my favourite time of the year. When everyone gets together and we go to church in the morning, and we share presents and everyone's happy..." Enjolras smiled.
"Next Christmas, we'll have another addition to our family to enjoy the occasion with us," he said, smiling. Éponine returned his smile.
"That we will, Apollo," she said, "And Baby will be a special little one indeed. He or she is going to symbolise so much more than just our marriage and relationship. Baby is going to be the times we got through. The hard times."
"Baby is going to be the little one who brought us all back together," Enjolras agreed, "And he or she doesn't even know it yet."
"That's quite a legacy to continue," Éponine said jokily.
"But they'll still be ours, no matter what he or she does," Enjolras said, "And that will always be the same."
"Forever," Éponine approved. And neither of them doubted it in the slightest.
I sincerely hope that made up for the wait! I'm not too happy with it myself, as my creative juices are running on low (:/) . Another thing I'd like to say is that, when the Extended Edition reaches 3 chapters behind the one-shots, updates will slow to once a week, being updated on a Sunday. I don't have a new installement tonight, but I want to get 2 up tomorrow to make up for my lack of updating over the last couple of weeks.
Reviews and my favourite thing in the world, favourites are amazing and if you want to head over to the Extended Edition and leave a few reviews there, you'd be most welcome! Thanks for reading :)