Here's the next chapter, enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own Les Misérables or the characters. The rights to the aforementioned belong to Victor Hugo, Cameron Mackintosh, Jean-Marc Natel, Claude-Michel Schönberg, and Alain Boublil. All characters in this story are fictional and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
"'Ponine? 'Ponine? No... No, you can't leave me! Please... Please, no..." he sobbed.
"Marius, calm down and take the baby." Enjolras said, forcing his voice to be calm, though he, too, was worried for Eponine. It would do no good for both of them to freak out. Marius took the tiny baby girl from him, tears falling from his eyes. Enjolras started doing chest compressions on Eponine. Combeferre had taught him how to do it so long ago, he was surprised that he even remembered. But it was a good thing that he did because, after a minute or so, Eponine's heart started to beat again. Slowly at first, but it started to pick up speed. "She's alive." he told Marius.
"Oh thank God..."
Enjolras lifted her limp body.
"Now let's get her to the hospital."
The doctors were able to remove the bullets from Eponine's body without complications. Marius and Enjolras watched her as she slept in the hospital bed, the former of which was holding the small baby girl. Both were silent, both were worried. Then, without any warning, the baby started to cry. Marius then realised that he had no idea how to deal with children.
"What do I do?" he asked Enjolras.
"Try rocking her back and forth." Enjolras suggested. Marius tried gently rocking his daughter in his arms.
"It's not working, why isn't it working?"
"I don't know, Marius."
"Do neither of you know how to deal with a baby?"
They both looked at Eponine, who had awoken. She weakly raised her head.
"Give her to me." she said, a slight smile on her face.
"Are you sure? You're still so weak... You were shot..."
"I'll be fine, Marius." she assured him, "Please, give her to me." Marius handed her her child– their child. Eponine smiled brightly. "Hello, ma chérie." she murmured, cradling the tiny baby girl in her arms. The baby almost immediately stopped crying. She had just wanted her mother. Marius and Enjolras looked at eachother. Eponine watched them, amused. Then, looking at her newborn daughter, she spoke, "She needs a name."
"That she does." Marius agreed.
"What will you name her?" Enjolras asked. Eponine and Marius looked at eachother.
"Gabrielle." Eponine replied with a smile. Enjolras' eyes widened.
"You're... You're naming her after me?"
"Of course!" Marius replied, "After all, you are her godfather."
"I... I don't know what to say... Thank you..."
"I can't think of a better person to name her after." Eponine said with a smile. She could have sworn that she saw Enjolras' marble cheeks redden for a moment. She was tempted to point it out, but knew that he would fullheartedly deny it. She looked at little Gabrielle, who was now asleep in her arms. "She's perfect." Eponine murmured, smiling softly.
"Yes, she is." Marius agreed. "I can hardly believe it... We're parents now, 'Ponine. We have a daughter... The words seem so strange and yet so fitting. They seem right. We're parents."
"Parents." she echoed, smiling. She demurely crooked a finger at him, beckoning him closer. Knowing what she wanted, Marius leaned in and kissed her gently. Enjolras looked away, giving them a moment of almost-privacy.
"Marry me?" Marius asked her.
"I love you."
"I love you more."
"I love you most." Marius said before kissing her again. Eponine kissed him back and then looked at Gabrielle.
"Would you like to hold her?" she asked Enjolras. He seemed a bit apprehensive. "You won't break her. I promise." she handed her to him. He held her uncertainly at first. Then, a smile started to spread across his handsome face. He was holding a baby. The baby of his best friends. He was holding this tiny baby girl, whom they had named after him, and she wasn't breaking. Gabrielle slowly opened her eyes. Enjolras half-expected her to start crying again, but she didn't. She just stared up at him with her wide eyes, almost as if she was studying him. In a way, she was; she was analysing him with the curious, innocent eyes of a child. Apparently, she didn't oppose to him holding her and she drifted back into the peaceful realm of sleep.
Fascinated though he was by this tiny baby girl, he did not fail to overhear Eponine murmur to Marius,
"They're simply adorable!" which caused him to blush.
It was a very happy moment for all of them. Babies seem to do that to even the most miserable; they bring joy to those around them. Eponine, even having been shot, seemed to have forgotten her pain and was filled only with happiness at the little bundle in Enjolras's arms. Marius, though worried about the woman he loved, was ecstatic at being a father. Enjolras, though being a somewhat broken man, felt whole while he held the daughter of his two best friends.
"He's going to be a great godfather." Eponine murmured to Marius.
"Going to be?"
"You're right– he already is."
Until late into the night, the trio marveled over every little thing Gabrielle did, convinced that she was the single most adorable being in existence. How precious young life is, for one never stays young forever and aging is irreversible; but that is not to say that age is such a terrible thing. The old are something more youthful than the young; the young are sometimes more wise than the old. Such are the ways of life; the old teach the young and the young give lessons the old could never teach. Already, the infant Gabrielle had taught Enjolras how to open up his heart more and love.
Long after Marius, Eponine, and Gabrielle had fallen asleep, Enjolras remained awake, marveling at how his life had changed so much ever since Marius and Eponine reentered it. It was a good change. He felt like life had reason again. He had friends; he had a godchild. What joy! He would never be alone again. Not like before. The mere thought of the uprising of 1832 brought tears to the eyes of the marble statue– if he could be called such anymore. No, Enjolras was past being indifferent. He was a changed man now. Of course, he was still passionate about France, about Patria; but he had learned that there was more to life. He had learned that the hard way, when he had lost his friends.
Everything had changed; but, here, 'change' is a synonym to 'progress.'
Enjolras was happy.