|C'est La Vie
Author: Athena Writer 24601 PM
Eponine is being abused terribly, and Marius is extremely concerned. Can he help her before it's too late?Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Friendship - Eponine & Marius Pontmercy - Chapters: 7 - Words: 11,824 - Reviews: 87 - Favs: 54 - Follows: 112 - Updated: 01-23-13 - Published: 07-24-12 - id: 8355314
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hello, readers! I decided to write this today, and it turned out decently. So read and review, and please enjoy! C'est la vie means "that's life".
C'est La Vie
It was a beautiful day in the streets of Paris. The sun shone and small children ran about laughing, their mothers talking peacefully. Marius Pontmercy sat on the street bench and relaxed. Only one thing was off about today.
Eponine was running late.
Marius checked his watch and frowned. It's not like he was irritated. He had nothing to go to that he would be late for by waiting for her. But it worried him. Eponine was hardly ever late. In fact, he couldn't remember the last time she was.
But here it was, twenty after six, and his best friend was nowhere to be seen. Every day they would meet at six o'clock, to talk and eventually walk home together. It was lucky they lived next to each other, for he didn't like walking alone.
It wasn't as if she was sick or staying home from the streets today. He'd seen her just that morning, smiling at her cheerfully waving form, and then laughing quietly as she went to pickpocket a tall man. She waved his bag of coins happily before disappearing into the alleyway.
Eponine was always bothered if either she or somebody else was late. Tardiness was not something that went along with the little firecracker of a street girl. It always amazed Marius how strong and defiant she was.
A crash from an alley behind him made Marius jump. He turned to see Eponine stumble out, wincing. A man lunged after her, shouting vulgar things.
"'Parnasse, go away!" She snarled, hissing in pain as he grabbed her arm.
"Fine," he growled, shoving her, hard, as he walked away. She tripped on a loose cobblestone and fell to the ground in front of Marius, cursing as the ground scraped her.
"All right, 'Ponine?" He asked.
"Oh, Marius, you startled me!" she said, brushing herself off. "I'm fine, thank you."
"Who was that man?" he said suspiciously, offering a hand to her.
She took it gratefully and stood. "Nobody important. I don't know him, my father sent him after me."
"You called him Parnasse. Clearly you know him."
Eponine took a sudden interest in her worn shoes as she sat next to him on the bench. She seemed unsure of what to say. As she leaned back, Marius caught a flash of something dark on her skin before her coat slipped over her arm.
"'Ponine, what's that?" He grabbed her wrist gently.
She jerked away, almost as if she was afraid he would hit her. "Nothing, Marius. You don't need to be so concerned about me all the time."
He took hold of her wrist again, this time more firmly. Before she could react, he pulled her sleeve up and his eyes widened at the multiple, dark bruises on her arm. "What are these from, 'Ponine?" He asked softly.
A dark look overcame her dirt-streaked face, mixed with something else. Shame? He couldn't tell.
She turned away. "I-the Inspector caught me stealing."
"Come on, 'Ponine, Javert wouldn't do all that. Maybe a slap or two, but this is a lot-"
"Marius, please! I just want to be left alone!" she burst out, pulling her arm from his grip. He wasn't sure, but he thought he saw tears welling up in her sad eyes.
"Alright," he told her wearily. He wasn't going to let this go, but for now he felt his friend didn't need the badgering. "Can we still walk home together?"
A small smile graced her face. "Of course, M'sieur."
He took her hand gently and stood, heading down the street. After a few minutes, Eponine loosened up and they were soon laughing and talking like the best friends they were supposed to be. They stopped at the old stone bridge to look over at the Seine, Eponine even walking along the edge in a devil-may-care manner, grinning.
All her joy vanished, however, and Marius felt her stiffen, as they neared her house. A look of dread replaced her smile, and she took a deep breath.
"I'll see you tomorrow, Marius," she said tightly.
"Will you be alright, 'Ponine?" Marius asked, putting a hand on her shoulder. "You're welcome to stay at my flat."
"Oh, no, Marius, I could never ask that of you. Thank you, I will be fine."
Marius cast her a worried glance as she disappeared into her home, the old door that never locked properly creaking. He went inside his own place at sat down to write a letter. No sooner had he started, however, when a huge crash came from the other side of the wall. He heard Thenardier screaming, probably at Eponine.
She yelled something back, and he heard flesh being hit. It didn't take much to figure out it was 'Ponine's skin that had received the blow. He winced with every cruel word and smack he heard. He knew he probably shouldn't intervene; Eponine hated people sticking up for her. She wanted to fight her own battles. Besides, Thenardier was a very dangerous man. He could as easily assault Marius. He knew he would only get Eponine hurt more if he went over. But it was so hard for him to bear her screams, especially as he heard the unmistakeable sound of a leather belt being brought down. He was shocked. How could a father do something so horrible to his own daughter? How long had this been going on? Sure, over the years he'd heard a colorful assortment of arguments and insults, which upset him, but never had he heard such a racket or witness Thenardier beating Eponine.
Finally, he stood to go over, but as if the evil man sensed him, the noise stopped and he heard the door opening as he left. Now the only noise was Eponine's sobs, echoing through both homes.
He peered through the hole in the wall. She was curled up on the floor, bloody and crying. He felt a surge of anger. He wanted to strangle Thenardier, but he took a deep breath and tried to calm himself down. Chasing down a gang leader was not a smart decision.
He checked that Thenardier had indeed left before he rushed over to check on Eponine, who lay shaking and crying.
Marius reached for her, and she flinched before she realized it was him. "M'sieur Marius..." she said weakly, relieved. "I'm sorry you had to witness that."
"Don't be sorry, 'Ponine. It's not your fault," he said softly, brushing hair out of her eyes. "Come on, I'm taking you to my place."
She protested, but he didn't listen as he carefully scooped her up and walked out of the crumbling apartment into his own. Fortunately, he had a guest bedroom that he gently laid her in. She had bruises all over her body and back, and Marius was not sure what to do. But he bandaged her bleeding wounds and decided he would fetch Joly in the morning to check on her.
"Why didn't you ever tell me, 'Ponine? I could have helped you..."
She smiled sadly. "He always does that. You won't ever be able to help. It's alright, really, I've gotten used to it. He says I deserve it."
"That's horrible." Marius said.
"C'est la vie."
"That's life," he whispered. It was awful, the way she was used to this. She thought it was fairly normal.
She nodded and drew a painful breath, her abdomen thickly bruised. "Goodnight, Marius."
He kissed her forehead and squeezed her hand. "Night, 'Ponine. Sleep well."
He went to bed. It was early but he was tired and had nothing else to do. He didn't sleep very well, seeing as he was too worried about Eponine and she kept moaning in pain.
In the morning, he was startled to see her, up and about to leave. "'Ponine!" He said, startling her. "Where are you going?"
"I have to go out and make some money. Or steal. But my father won't be happy if I come home with nothing," she explained apologetically.
"You're father's never happy," Marius mumbled.
"I'm much better, I really am." she told him, but he could see her flinch as she reached out to the doorknob.
"'Ponine, nobody heals from that kind of beating overnight."
Eponine sighed. "Really, I'm fine. Thank you so much for your kindness, M'sieur, I assure it is not necessary. I have to meet my father and his gang soon." He saw her shudder at the thought of it. He thought it was awfully unfair that she was forced to rob and steal. Had Eponine been raised in a proper, caring home, she would most likely be a fine, happy young lady. But she had been hurt her whole life, raised in rags and poverty, struggling to stay alive. That was what the Les Amis were fighting for, to free the citizens from their destitution. It wasn't fair, the people of France deserved more.
"Take care, 'Ponine." He watched her go as she limped out the door. He could only hope she would be safe today. Perhaps, within time, the abuse would get better.
How wrong he was.
Thank you so much for reading! I would really appreciate reviews, and could you please give me ideas for the next chapters if you want more? Constructive criticism is appreciated, but not mean reviews:)
If you want me to write more you have to give me ideas. What should happen, what problems should Eponine or Marius have, etc. I NEED LOTS OF IDEAS FOR THIS STORY! :)
Well thanks again! So long!
Je t'aime! :D