Eponine looked down in surprise at the prostrate figure in the alley.  "M. Marius!" She gasped.

            "Oh, hi Eponine." He groaned, staggering to his feet. 

            "What happened to you?"

            "I was put in jail and my friends broke me out…and then they beat me up."  Marius sniffled.

            Eponine was sympathetic.  Things like this were rather common in her family. She helped him regain his balance and patted him on the arm.

            "And my Cosette left me for another man."  He wiped some dirt off of his face with the back of his hand.

            "Aw, gee, that's too bad." Eponine brightened considerably. 

            Marius looked at Eponine for the first time.  "Hey, 'Ponine, would you, er perhaps like to grab dinner sometime?" 

            Eponine nearly swooned.  "Yes! Of course, I would!"  She smiled.  "You'll fit right in at home too.  Now that you're a criminal, Papa, can't object."  She paused.  "What did you get put in jail for anyway?"

            "A mixture of plagiarism and rabble-rousing." 

            Eponine frowned.  "Hmmm…we'll leave off the rabble-rousing part and tell 'em plagiarism is a really gruesome form of murder.  They'll love you!"  She clung to his arm, happy beyond belief. 

            "Wow! Can I really join your father's gang?" Marius asked. 

            "Don't see why not."  Eponine replied as they walked down the street arm in arm. 

            "I think this is the beginning of something wonderful, 'Ponine." Marius said, putting his coat over her bare shoulders.

            "Me too.  I can't stand my old boyfriend.  He's so jealous and vindictive.  I could do with a sweet fellow like you, M. Marius.  Why, just the other day, he knifed a guy for just looking at me." She chattered merrily about the details as the two turned the corner.   

            Marius whimpered.