AN: A little one-shot for MissFiyerabaMeponineSherlock who was the 100th Reviewer on my 'What If... Enjolnine: The Extended Edition' fic! (If you haven't checked it out DO IT! DO IT NOW! I'll love you 5ever :'D). Enjoy!
Éponine had first started to appear at the Amis' meetings in late January. She had followed Marius in, sat down at a table with him and not spoken a work for the full ninety minutes that the meeting was in session. After that, Marius offered to walk her home, an offer she quickly accepted, taking the arm he held out to her with the biggest of smiles and practically skipping out of the Musain.
The Amis had found it strange, but didn't question it; Marius, himself, was new in the group, and the others didn't know enough about him to judge the situation.
As the meetings passed, however, the young gamine became more vocal; it all started with Enjolras' speeches about the greater good.
"Ha!" she scoffed one night. Combeferre turned to her and frowned.
"You disagree with him?" he asked, his tone implying that he didn't quite believe it.
"I just don't think he understands the bigger picture." She said quietly, before retreating back into her shell.
As the weeks went on, she got to know the Amis and they, slowly, got to know her. It was Marius, however, who knew the most about Éponine. Some would say he knew far too much.
"Why don't you leave your father, 'Ponine?" he asked her one night as he walked her home, "You're welcome to stay with me. You know that." Éponine sighed.
"If I leave, it'll only make things worse," she told him, "I'm sorry, Marius. Please don't ask me again." Marius opened his mouth to argue, but closed it again. He could see that he was fighting a lost battle.
*. . .*
"What is the deal with you and your little shadow, Pontmercy?" Grantaire questioned, his words slurring. Éponine hadn't arrived with Marius that night, and many in the group were taking advantage of her absence to question him about her.
"Shadow?" Marius frowned, "She is not my shadow, Grantaire. Her name is Éponine."
"Oh, we all know her name," Courfeyrac said, "But who is she? She just... popped up out of nowhere one night, and this is the first time we've seen you without her since!"
"She's a friend, is all," Marius said blushing, "She lives a hard life, you all know that. She has more experience with the cause than any of us. I thought she might be a valuable addition to the group."
"But she's more than that, isn't she?" Combeferre asked, his eyes knowing, "The way she looks at you when you're not looking, and the way you look at her all the time... if that is merely friendship then I think the word needs a new definition."
Marius blushed a darker red, "Don't be ridiculous," he said, flustered, "She's a friend. That's all. Now, goodnight, all of you." He finished hurriedly, rushing from the cafe with his face burning.
*. . .*
On the other side of Paris, Éponine wandered the streets alone, rain falling softly from the dark clouds blocking the moon. She couldn't bring herself to see Marius that night.
My Marius, she thought to herself, but that can never be.
She walked through the streets, not paying any attention to where she was going. That was, until she literally bumped into Marius as he went to walk up the stairs of his apartment building.
"Oh!" he exclaimed, "Good evening, Éponine." Éponine blushed slightly.
"Good evening, Monsieur Marius," she said. Marius frowned.
"You're soaked through!" he said disapprovingly, "Come upstairs, I've got a blanket and I can light the fire. You can't go around like that, you'll catch your death!" Éponine's eyes widened.
"Don't worry about me, monsieur," she said quickly, "I'll be fine. I'll be home in a few minutes, I'll get warm there."
"Will you?" he asked quietly. Éponine opened her mouth to speak before closing it again. They both knew that when Éponine returned home it would be to an empty apartment with no fire burning and no food for her supper. She simply sighed, pulling her shawl around her tighter.
"I'll be fine." She said firmly, looking down at the floor. She felt Marius' hand under her chin, tilting her head up until their eyes met.
"Please, Éponine," he said, "Let me help you."
Éponine found herself unable to say no as he took her hand and led her up the stairs to his apartment. Once there, he told her to sit where liked, leaving her to take the only armchair in the room. She sat down cautiously, fully aware that she was making the cushions on the chair wet and wondering if Marius would mind.
She watched him as he lit the fire, smiling slightly as she watched him move methodically around the room, carrying logs and then carefully setting them alight. He disappeared for a matter of seconds before returning with a blanket, wrapping it around Éponine protectively. His hands lingered on her shoulders before he pulled away, blushing for the second time that night.
"You... you weren't at the meeting tonight," he said awkwardly, desperately trying to get the blush to leave his cheeks.
"I didn't feel like it," Éponine replied quietly, looking up at him, "Did you miss me?"
"Yes." He said immediately, not waiting to consider what he said, "It was strange. The Amis certainly took advantage. They've got this ridiculous idea in their heads that I have feelings for you!" he chuckled nervously, not meeting her eyes. Éponine's face fell.
"Whatever gave them that idea?" she murmured, annoyed at herself for feeling disappointed. She had known, from the second she met Marius, that they could never be together, no matter how much she liked him.
Marius looked down, just catching Éponine's fallen face before she composed herself.
"Perhaps..." he said carefully, "They saw something the two of us didn't." Éponine looked up at him, confused.
"Like what?" she asked.
Marius crouched in front of her, taking her hand in his, "I'm not sure," he shrugged, "What do you think?" Éponine looked down at his hand, which was clasping hers lightly but lovingly. She smiled slightly.
"I think the Amis might have been right." Her voice was barely audible, just above a whisper. Marius smiled as he saw the corners of her mouth lift into a grin, watching happily as her brown eyes lit up.
"Do you know something?" he asked her, smiling even more as she shook her head, lifting it slightly to look at his face, "I think they were."
Éponine threw her arms around his neck, the blanket falling away and forgotten as Marius wrapped his warm arms around her.
"Do you love me, Monsieur Marius?" Éponine asked, her voice muffled as she spoke into his shoulder.
"I do, Éponine," Marius replied, kissing her head lightly, "I really do."
Et voila! I'm not really sure if you can tell, but I don't actually ship these two together, so it's all a little bit OOC :P But oh well! To MissFiyerabaMeponineSherlock, I hope you liked it and I hope that it is a sufficient think you for being Reviewer No. 100 on my longest fic yet! Reviews are a dream, so if you liked this (or if you didn't) please tell me what you thought! Until the next time, mes amis! *waves goodbye*