Read. Enjoy. Review. (The reading and enjoying are for you, the reviews are for me!)
I do not own Les Miserables, if I did ... everyone would be less miserable.

So this started out as a one shot. It was this little plot bunny that hopped its way into my head and would not leave. But the more I thought about it the more I realized that I absolutely loved the idea of watching Enjolras fall in love one sense at a time. And that is how this happened. The problem was that I was at almost 13,000 words and I had only covered one sense: Sight.
And so now I think it's going to be a five chapter story. (Maybe six, there might be an epilogue if anything feels unfinished or if you guys as politely enough. Assuming anyone wants to read past chapter one.)
Some things you might find in this story:
1. The name Gabriel. Enjolras is never given a first name. I love the idea of Gabriel, especially since that was the name of Aaron Tveit's character in Next to Normal.
2. Lots of the color red. (You can't have an Enjolras story without red.)
3. My first non-OC love story. I would love to give you guys an OC, but I can't. You see Enjolras and Éponine are my OTP. Of all the fandoms I'm a part of (and there are a lot) Enjonine are my entire heart. I will not give either of them someone else because they very clearly belong together.
Anyway, that's all... without further adieu ...

Chapter One: Love Comes in at the Eyes

Have you ever seen hell in someone's eyes and loved it?

"What are you doing tonight?" Grantaire asked, throwing himself down on the couch next to Enjolras. The blonde man, to his credit, managed not to glare at his friend as he gestured toward the books that covered the table in front of him. This was his plan for the evening, not whatever his friend had planned. No doubt a night of debauchery at whatever bar was Grantaire's new favorite.

His friend sighed as he leaned back into the couch, throwing his feet up on the table and knocking off some of the books to the floor. "R!" Enjolras muttered, shaking his head, "I need those."

"Need them, do you?" Grantaire asked, mocking. "Why?"

"To study," Enjolras muttered, pushing his glasses up his nose so that he could see the page in front of him better. "For the bar exam."

"The one that you won't be taking until June?" Grantaire asked him, a chuckle coloring his tone. "Apollo, it's October! You have time!"

Enjolras rolled his eyes, "I have to be perfect, R," he told his friend. It didn't matter, Grantaire would never understand. Grantaire had never had a plan in his life, and he probably never would. He always just skated by, doing the bare minimum. He didn't care enough to have any expectations for himself and he didn't give a fuck about anyone's expectations of him.

Grantaire rolled his eyes, "I've heard Courf talking about the bar exam," he told him. "You have to score a ten out of twenty on the written. That's hardly perfect. You could probably score that in your sleep."

"I need a better score than ten out of twenty to get a good internship," Enjolras argued, standing up from the couch so that he could move around it to pick up his books.

"You mean to please your parents," Grantaire countered. He shook his head and leaned over to take the book out of Enjolras' hands. "Come on, Apollo. One night is not going to ruin all of that. We're all meeting up at the Musain for a few drinks. It'll be like old times."

"The coffee shop?" Enjolras asked, glancing at the clock on his kitchen wall. "It's nine in the evening."

"You haven't been by lately," Grantaire told him. "They got themselves a liquor license. It's a coffee shop by day and at night they serve alcohol."

"I'd like the idea better if they only served coffee," Enjolras told his friend, trying to grab his book back. "It'd be quieter."

"The point of going out is not for it to be quiet," Grantaire argued.

"I could study," Enjolras countered.

"Or you could get drunk."

Enjolras gave up trying to grab his book from his friend. Instead he picked a different one off his table. Grantaire stole that one too. "I just," he shook his head, "What's the point?"

"To hang out with your friends?" Grantaire asked, "You know the ones that you've been ignoring for the last month."

"It hasn't been a whole month," Enjolras countered, shaking his head.

"I haven't seen you since Bossuet broke his arm," Grantaire told him, his eyebrows raised. "Ferre said that he hasn't seen you since September. Courf says that if it weren't for classes he wouldn't even remember what you look like."

Enjolras felt his lips turn up at the corners in spite of himself, his friends were always a bit dramatic. But perhaps Grantaire had a point. He had been neglecting them recently. And perhaps, he should go out to see them. "Has it really been that long?" he asked, finally glancing up from his books to actually look at his friend. Grantaire pursed his lips and nodded. Enjolras sighed, "What have I missed? Catch me up?"

"I think they would do better at catching you up on their lives than me," the brunette pointed out, "but I'll give you the highlights. When you weren't looking Courf decided that he wanted to practice family law instead of corporate. Ferre got accepted into a surgical residency. Bahorel does not want to be a lawyer anymore. A book editor requested to see some of Jehan's poetry, they want to publish it but Jehan is convinced it's not ready yet, so he did not respond. Bossuet's cast will be coming off in half a month, but he's decided that he wants to join an adult football team that plays on the weekends, so it's only a matter of time before he breaks something else. Feuilly got hired as an adjunct professor at the university. Joly is convinced he has ebola. And Marius is in love."

Enjolras rolled his eyes at the last one, "When is Marius never in love?" he asked.

"He swears it's different this time," Grantaire assured him. "Swears that all other loves pale in comparison to this one, and that he will never love someone as much as her."

"Who is she?" Enjolras asked.

Grantaire shrugged, "Some university girl," he told him. "I've only met her once or twice. He's bringing her tonight. To the Musain. You'll get to meet her. Marius likes her so I'm sure she's nice."

Enjolras raised his eyebrows at that, in his limited experience with women they never liked being described as nice. Grantaire smiled at him and nodded toward the hallway that led to his bedroom, "Go change," he ordered his friend.

"What's wrong with this?" Enjolras asked, gesturing toward what he was wearing.

"Nothing," Grantaire assured him. "As long as stuck up bastard with a stick up his ass is the look you're going for?"

Enjolras sighed, wondering why he bothered to put up with his friends. But he stood from the couch and moved toward his room so that he could change. A few minutes later he had traded in his white dress shirt and dark dress pants for a pair of jeans and a red flannel shirt. "Better?" he asked.

Grantaire looked at him for a moment before he shrugged, "I wish you wouldn't look so attractive," he sighed. "All the girls are going to be after you now. None of them are going to have time for me."

"Well maybe if you didn't have food on your shirt and paint on your face," Enjolras suggested as he grabbed one of his law books off the table (just in case) and headed toward his apartment door.

"Never mind," Grantaire chuckled. "As long as you're the nerd with the law text book at the bar I will be fine."


It took less than twenty minutes for the two friends to walk to the cafe turned bar. On the way there all Enjolras had to do was ask his friend about his latest project. With little more encouragement than a few nods and mmhmms from him Grantaire launched into a long winded, albeit entertaining, story about mural he was planning to tag the city hall with later that month.

Enjolras sighed, Grantaire had such potential when it came to his art. He only wished that his friend would use it for something more than graffiti.

They weren't the first ones from their group at the bar. Marius was already there, sitting on a bar stool next to a brunette girl that Enjolras assumed was the new love of his life. She had her back turned to them, so Enjolras had no idea what the girl looked like, but the way she and Marius were leaning into each other it was clear that they were very close.

Jesus, he thought to himself with a shake of his head, I really have been gone for a while.

Marius caught sight of them over her shoulder and gestured at them to move faster. Then, leaning even closer to the brunette he whispered something in her ear. Enjolras studied people almost as intensely as he studied books. And it was because of this that he did not miss the shiver that ran down the girl's spine when Marius' breath danced over her ear.

She turned to look at them, a smile on her lips and laughter sparkling in her eyes. She looked young, she couldn't be more than eighteen. Leave it to Pontmercy to rob the cradle. Her skin was tan, her cheekbones and collarbones were pronounced. Her eyes were the darkest brown he had ever seen. They were almost as dark as the hair that fell down to her mid back in graceful waves and loose curls.

She didn't look as innocent as Enjolras had imagined she would. Knowing the girls Marius had dated in the past he had assumed that she would be blonde, blue eyed, that she would wear minimal make up and way too much pink, most likely in the form of dresses. But this girl was the complete opposite. She was wearing dark jeans and knee high boots, a red crop top that showed off a flat stomach underneath a leather jacket. Her lips were a bright red and she had lined her eyes with perfect cat eye, was that what Musichetta called it?, eye liner. She had several piercings in her ears and a tattoo just below her right collarbone. It looked like a bird.

Whatever he had been expecting when Grantaire said that Marius had a new love ... it was not this.

"You got him to come out!" Marius congratulated as he stood up from his stool to throw his arm around Enjolras' shoulders in a one-armed hug. "I owe Courf ten euros."

The girl had stood up from her stool as well, she was studying Enjolras, her gaze starting at his feet and working its way up to the top of his head. There was a hint of mischief in her eyes, "So this is the famous Enjolras?" she asked. "The boys have been promising me for weeks that I'd eventually get to meet you."

"Of course," Marius interjected, moving away from Enjolras so that he could put his hand on the small of her back, pulling her closer to her two friends, "Nina, this is Enjolras. Enjolras, this is my friend, Nina."

Enjolras raised his eyebrows at the word friend, he wondered if Marius had gone and fallen in love with the girl without asking her to be his girlfriend. He had done that once or twice during their university years. It wouldn't be completely unlike him. The girl smiled at Marius, the mischief in her eyes softening into a warmth as she looked at him, "It's Éponine," she told Enjolras, barely looking away from Marius as she held her hand out for him to shake. "No matter what Monsieur Pontmercy tells you."

There was a playful teasing to her tone when she said Monsieur Pontmercy that made her eyes light up.

A moment later she had pulled her hand out of his grasp and turned to Grantaire, "Hello Taire," she grinned at him. "How is my favorite customer?"

Grantaire grinned at her and pulled her into a tight hug, "I bet you say that to all your customers, Ép," he answered, confusing Enjolras as he pulled away from her.

"I do," she told him with a nod. She backed up against the bar, her back facing the bottles of alcohol. She braced her hands behind her on the bar top and pushed, using her own strength to lift herself up onto the top of the bar and then, lifting her legs she spun halfway around and hopped down behind the bar. "But right now I'm only saying it to you." She winked. "So what will it be handsome? The usual?"

Grantaire nodded, "Perhaps only one shot for now though," he told her.

Her dark eyes flashed toward Enjolras, "On your best behavior tonight, huh?" she asked. "That's no fun."

"Wait!" Enjolras whispered, glancing between Éponine and Grantaire, "I thought she was Marius' new girlfriend. You didn't tell me he was dating a bartender."

The smile fell off the girl's lips. A blush rose to her cheeks. She quickly turned, busying herself with pouring Grantaire a glass of bourbon. Grantaire shot the girl a sympathetic look before he shook his head, "Ép?" he asked. "No. She's a bartender. And Cosette's roommate."

"Who's Cosette?" Enjolras asked.

"Marius' girlfriend," the girl told him as she placed Grantaire's glass on the bar. Enjolras turned to look at her, noticing the way her dark eyes almost looked dead. He missed the spark. "What can I get you?" she deadpanned, not meeting his eyes.

"A beer," he told her. "Whatever you recommend." She nodded and turned to move down to the taps to pull him a beer. Before she got very far he reached out and wrapped his hand around her right wrist. It was so small. He wasn't sure why he was doing this, he normally did not get involved with people's love lives. But he felt like he needed to say something to this girl to bring back the sparkle to her eyes. "Can I give you some advice?" he asked, not waiting for her affirmative before he continued, "Give up on him. He's not worth it."

When she glanced back up at him the spark was back. But instead of mischief, her eyes were simmering with a quiet anger. "And can I give you some advice?" she asked him, her voice little more than a hiss. "Don't touch me again." Her gaze flicked over him dismissively. "And don't bring a book to a bar."

His eyes shined so impossibly blue that she was sure he had his own sky inside of him.

She didn't like Marius' friend Enjolras. He was cruel and forward. And he talked about things that he knew nothing about and were honestly none of his business. What did it matter to him who she liked? And how could he say that about someone who was supposedly his friend?

She was sure that all of the group that called themselves Les Amisknew that she was a little bit in love with Marius Pontmercy. But they were all kind enough not to talk about it. At least not in front of Marius. At least not to Éponine's face. In fact, the only two people in the entire group who probably didn't know about her feelings for Marius were Marius and Cosette themselves.

But here comes the mighty, famous Enjolras with his too blue eyes and his unreadable looks and he thinks that he can read her just like that? No, she shook her head. He didn't know what he was talking about.

She didn't smile at him when she brought him his beer like she had smiled at Grantaire when she brought him his bourbon. She barely looked at him, in fact, as she slammed the Cuvée Des Jonquilles on the bar and moved away.

Still, as she served other customers she could feel his gaze on her. And every once in a while she would look up to see his blue eyes focused on her instead of on the book he had opened up on the bar top. She didn't know why he bothered bringing the book if he was going to spend the entire time looking at her, but she didn't really care as long as he didn't talk to her anymore.

Her sister Azelma moved closer to her, twirling a strand of her lighter brown hair around her finger as she watched Marius and his ever growing group of friends. "Who's the new one?" she asked.

"Enjolras," Éponine sneered, focusing on the glass she was cleaning rather than her sister or the man they were discussing.

Azelma laughed, "That can't really be his name can it?" she asked.

Éponine shrugged her shoulders. "That's what they introduced him as." She glanced down the bar at him, his beer was empty. He didn't seem the type to down an entire pint of beer in one go, but Grantaire was standing next to him, she had a feeling her usually drunk friend had helped him. "Do me a favor and go see if anyone needs another round, will you?" she asked.

Azelma smiled and shook her head, "No can do, Sis," she teased in a sing song voice. "Blue eyes over there seems to be trying to flag you down. And I will not be embarrassed by going down there only to be sent back here to send you."

Éponine sighed, that was an excuse. She knew it. The real reason her younger sister would not go serve the group was because Courfeyrac wasn't there yet. She had had a crush on the man since she had first laid eyes on him. Once he arrived she would be all about embarrassing herself. "Fine," she muttered, "but you're closing up the register tonight."

"I hardly think that's fair," Azelma called after her as she stalked down toward the more crowded end of the bar.

She didn't need to ask Grantaire what he wanted. She poured him two more fingers of bourbon and slid it across the bar to him before she raised her eyebrows at the new one. "Want another?" she asked him, nodding toward his empty glass.

For perhaps the first time since she had snapped at him he wasn't watching her. He had his gaze trained on the book in front of him. But when she spoke he glanced up at her and her breath caught in her throat. She hadn't realized it the first time they spoke, she had been too wrapped up in Marius. And the second time she had been too angry. But she noticed it now.

His eyes were blue.

Seriously blue. Almost sickening blue - full on Prince Charming, field of cornflower, perfect cloudless sky blue. "Someone should name a crayon after you," she murmured before she could catch herself.

"Excuse me?" he asked her, raising one of his eyebrows and watching her skeptically.

"What?" she asked, internally cursing at herself for being so stupid as to have spoken out loud. "I didn't say anything? Do you need anything else? Another beer? A highlighter? A reading lamp?" He didn't lower his eyebrow, but the left corner of his lips turned up in a smirk as if he found her amusing. She looked away from him, looking for anyone and anything that could serve as a distraction. "Ah!" she almost screamed when the door to the Musain opened and her roommate walked into the bar. "Cosette's here!"

Her announcement did not serve its intended purpose. Marius looked up from the group and smiled at the pretty blonde who had just walked into the room. He jumped up from his barstool and practically ran to her before pulling her back to his friends. But Enjolras? He never turned his gaze away from her. "Do you always do that?" he asked her after a minute.

"Always do what?" she asked. She knew what he meant. He wanted to know if she always changed the subject every time she was uncomfortable. But that was a stupid question, everyone did that. It wasn't only her.

He smirked at her again and shook his head, "Nothing," he told her. He was quiet for a moment, he turned his gaze back toward his book and Éponine thought that she was safe. She was about to walk away from him when he spoke again. "I don't know about a reading lamp," he started, still not looking up from his book. "But could I get a cup of coffee?"

They didn't normally serve coffee at this time of night. It wasn't so much a rule, as just that no one ever asked for it. But Éponine quickly nodded. "Sure," she told him, not making a move to make the coffee yet. "Not much of a drinker?" she asked, surprised that she was attempting to make conversation with the man that she was pretty sure she still hated.

He shrugged his shoulders, "I've got a lot of studying to do when I get home," he told her, finally looking up from the book on the bar. "I agreed to come out because I knew that R wasn't going to leave me alone until I did. But I never said that I would drink."

Éponine nodded, "Gotcha," she told him, finally looking away, looking for anything to distract her from the bright sky in his eyes. "Right!" she exclaimed after a moment. "Your coffee. Coming right up!"


A few hours later the bar had quieted down. They still had an hour until they officially closed up, but all the customers had left besides Les Amis. These were the times that Éponine liked bartending the best. When it was just them. She had sent Azelma back to her dorm more than an hour ago, with the last of the customers (But you told me that I had to close the register, her sister had argued. Éponine had just smiled and shook her head. Azelma had an early class the next morning, she did not need to be at the bar until two. I can take care of it, she had promised.)

Right now she was leaning across the bar, reading from a crumpled piece of paper. Poor Jehan had written a poem, decided that it was shit, balled it up, flattened it out, read it again, balled it up again, almost ripped it, and finally decided to let her read it before he threw it out. "Why don't you like this?" she asked him, crossing her arms on the bar in front of her and glancing up at the struggling poet with her eyebrows raised.

"Because it's shit?" Jehan asked her, gesturing toward the paper as if reading it a second time would persuade her that he was right. "Complete and utter shit."

"I wouldn't say that," Éponine countered. "I mean maybe this one line, We stuck together, our love was the glue. But the rest of it is really good."

"You think?" Jehan asked her, as he pulled the paper closer to him as if to get a better look at it. "I thought that line was complete shit. But perhaps the rest of it isn't so bad."

Éponine smiled at him. Jehan was the youngest of Les Amis. He was still in university while the rest of them were already graduated like Grantaire, or working on their masters. Jehan was a fourth year, one year ahead of her. She knew that a publisher had offered to read some of his poems, but the boy was too afraid to show them to anyone. She had made it her goal by the end of the year to build up his confidence enough so that he would show his work to someone besides her.

She took the paper back from him so that she could read a specific line. "I especially love this line," she told him before she lowered her voice so that she could give him a dramatic reading, "When eyes talk to eyes, all of the world stands still."

Jehan smiled at her, "Time waits and nature listens," he finished the next verse.

Éponine nodded with a grin as she handed the paper back to him. "That part is pure gold, my friend," she assured him.

Jehan grinned back at her before he leaned closer to press a kiss against her cheek, "Thank you, Ép," he told her as he pulled away. "If I ever publish this poem it will be dedicated to you."

Éponine shook her head, "You better dedicate the whole damn book to me, Jehan," she threatened playfully.

As Jehan pulled out his notebook to copy the savable parts of his poem onto smooth, uncreased paper she glanced up to see Enjolras watching her again. His brows were furrowed as if he was trying to figure something out. She would have called it a glare, perhaps, except that his eyes were completely open. They were not narrowed in the slightest.

The room quieted around them and for a moment Éponine could have sworn that they were the only two people in the room. But the moment did not last, she gave her head a shake and suddenly all the voices of the men were back.

It must have been Jehan's poem, she decided. Éponine had never been much of a romantic, except when it came to Marius. But it was impossible sometimes not to get wrapped up in Jehan's beautiful words. Time waits and nature listens indeed.

She shook her head again and moved toward the blonde man and his book. "Need something?" she asked him. "Another coffee?"

He shook his head, "I've just never seen anyone reassure him like that before," he murmured, cocking his head to the side and watching her intently. It was as if he was trying to figure her out. As if he thought that if he stared long enough he would know everything about her.

She shrugged her shoulders, "It's not that difficult to reassure him when it's actually good," she told him. "He's a fantastic writer. He just needs a bit of a confidence boost from time to time."

"It's not that," Enjolras told her, shaking his head again. "We all know he's talented. It's how easily you were able to do it. He's never believed me that quickly."

Éponine smiled, "The trick is to find something wrong with the poem before you praise it," she told him. "I learned early on that when I tell Jehan that his work is amazing, that I love every line and every word. He quickly finds something so terribly wrong with the poem that he tears it apart. But if I find something that I don't like, and I tell him that first, he's far more receptive to hearing the rest of the praise that I have for him."

"So you trick him?" Enjolras asked, raising an eyebrow. Éponine wondered if he ever raised both eyebrows at once or if it was always just the one.

She sighed and leaned on the bar, "I had a professor once that told me that when critiquing something you needed to make a compliment sandwich. This is good, this is something I would change, this is something else that is good. For most people that formula works. They hear whatever is wrong with their work, but it's softened by the two compliments. This formula doesn't work for everybody. Jehan, who is too critical of his own work needs to know that I will be critical too before he will listen to anything good about the piece." She shrugged her shoulders, "It's not so much a trick as learning which type of critique works best for him."

"You're in school?" Enjolras asked, a light dancing in his blue eyes that hadn't been there before.

Éponine nodded, "Only part time," she told him. "At least for the next couple years. I was full time for first and second year, but my sister Zelma started her first year in September and," she paused and looked away from him, his gaze was too intense for her. "Well, we couldn't afford for both of us to be in school full time, you know?"

When she finally dared to look up and meet his gaze he was no longer smirking at her, his brows were no longer furrowed as if he was trying to figure her out. His jaw was clenched, his shoulders were heavy, his blue eyes had darkened in resignation. Perhaps she had revealed too much, but at least he didn't look pleased with what he had learned.

"And so you dropped down to part time so that your sister could finish university on time?" he asked her.

She nodded and shrugged her shoulders, "She's my little sister," she explained, wondering if he would understand how important that was. "What else was I supposed to do?"

Her eyes were the color of earth kissed by spring rains, the hue that promises to stir life from dormant seeds.

He started visiting Cafe Musain more often. Almost every day, in fact. Sometimes it was for drinks with his friends, sometimes it was for a solitary beer after class, but most of the time it was for coffee in the morning or for studying in the afternoon.

Those were his favorite times. When the cafe wasn't as crowded as it was at night. When the only people in it were quietly nursing mugs of coffee. Or having quiet conversations amongst their study groups or a few friends.

If anyone asked him he was going to the cafe more often now because he had just remembered how much it felt like home. He had spent almost every afternoon and evening there when he had been in university. But when he had started his masters degree in law he had left it behind for the younger, more foolish university students. He swore that he hadn't realized how much he missed it until he had allowed Grantaire to drag him back.

But perhaps there was another reason his feet so often carried him to the Musain.

Éponine was the bartender on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. The rest of the week she worked there in the mornings before her classes and in the afternoons before seven when they started serving alcohol almost exclusively. Sundays she worked all day.

Over the last few weeks they had developed a bit of a routine. He would walk into the cafe and nod to her behind the counter. And then he'd move toward a large comfy chair in the corner and he would sit down. He liked that chair, it was far enough away from the tables that the study groups and the gossiping university girls did not bother him. And there was a large, low to the ground circular table in front of the chair that he could spread his books out on top of.

She would leave him there for a few minutes. And then once he had really settled in she would bring him over a large mug of coffee. He took his coffee black, the first day she had brought him cream and sugar, but after he had left it untouched she now only brought the mug.

One of the charms of the Musain was that their mugs did not match. It seemed that the owners just went to flea markets and bought whatever mugs caught their fancy. He liked to watch her when someone ordered coffee they intended to drink at the cafe. She'd narrow her brown eyes at them, her nose scrunching as she made a decision, and then she'd pick specific cups to match whatever she had discovered while studying them.

He wondered what she had seen in him that earned him the odd assortment of coffee mugs she had brought him over the weeks.

The first day it had been a black mug with a picture of a white cartoon cat giving the middle finger.

Two days later it was a white mug with a drawing of Jesus dressed as a goal keeper. It said Jesus saves, but Moses was offside so the goal wouldn't have stood anyway.

A day later it was a mug shaped like the head of one of the Ninja Turtles, maybe Raphael.

One day it was another white mug that had a picture of a scale on it and the words Too hot for my ^legal briefs.

Today it was a blue mug with the Superman logo. "Here you go, Superboy," she told him with a wink as she placed the mug in front of him.

This was a first. Usually she let him sit for an hour before she would talk to him. He looked up from his book, "What?" he asked, a smirk playing at his lips. "I don't even get to be Superman?"

She shook her head as she walked back toward the register, "Nah," she told him. "You haven't earned that one yet."

He liked afternoons at the Musain best because when it was slow and there weren't a lot of customers Éponine would come sit with him. He would never admit this to anyone, especially not her, but she was often a welcome distraction.

It had been looking like it was going to rain all day. and just as she was bringing him a refill in his Superboy mug the sky opened up. Absentmindedly Éponine put his mug down on top of one of his open books as she moved toward the window. "I've always loved the rain," she said, her voice soft. Enjolras wondered if she was speaking to him or herself. She barely turned to look at him, but she shifted slightly in his direction. Him then. "It just has a way of making things clean, you know?"

Enjolras shrugged his shoulders, "I was never allowed out much in the rain as a child," he told her, not looking up from the pages in front of him. "Too much mud."

Éponine snorted and turned back to the windows, watching as people ran down the street with umbrellas and newspapers over their heads in an attempt to shield themselves from the sudden rain. "I met Marius when it was raining," she told him, her voice even softer.

Enjolras did not want to look up. He knew what he would see. Her eyes always softened when she spoke about Marius. It would have been pathetic if she weren't so sincere about it. And something about that sincerity always made his chest tighten. But he looked up anyway, and as always, her dark eyes were warm and soft. "I don't see what you see in him, really."

"Of course you don't," Éponine answered back. "People have always been nice to you. They've always been kind to you." She shook her head. "I can count on one hand the number of people who have been kind to me -"

"Les Amis," Enjolras interrupted, he had never seen any of his friends be anything but good to Éponine. And if one of them had been rude to her, he would have spoken to them.

She glanced over her shoulder, her dark eyes narrowing into a playful glare, "If you had let me finish I would have told you I can count on one hand the number of people who have been kind to me before I met Marius and he introduced me to your friends."

Enjolras noticed that she did not seem to include him in the group of her friends. "Who was it?" he asked her. She raised her eyebrows, unsure of what he meant before she turned back to the window. "Who was kind to you?"

"Cosette," Éponine told him, her voice soft. "And her father. And my brother and sister." She shook her head, "That was it until Marius came around."

"So you met Marius in the rain?" he asked. He should have been studying. November was just around the corner and then it was only a matter of seven and a half months until his bar exam. But this girl intrigued him. And a few more minutes of conversation would not ruin his chances at a good score.

She nodded, "He gave me his umbrella," she told him. "I tried to give it back to him, but he refused to take it. So I suggested we share it. I pretended that I was going in the same direction as he was and we walked together." She shook her head, smiling softly at some memory that she was replaying in her head. "He was so awkward, stuttering and stumbling over his words. But I had never met a man so kind. At the end of our walk he was looking at me and he told me that he liked my eyes, he said they were friendly and reminded him of mud."

"Mud?" Enjolras scoffed. The worst part was that it did not surprise him. Marius had never had a way with women. Which is why it seemed to surprise all of Les Amis that Cosette was still with him. "That must have been flattering."

Éponine shrugged her shoulders, "It's better than having them compared to shit," she told him. "You gotta look on the bright side."

"I would never compare them to mud though," Enjolras argued.

She surprised him by turning from the window and walking closer to him. She sat down, not in a chair, but on the edge of the table, directly in front of him. "Jehan did once," she told him with a grin. She closed her eyes as if trying to remember the direct quote, "Earth kissed by spring rains, promising to stir life from dormant seeds." She shrugged her shoulders and opened her eyes, "It's poetic, but wet dirt ... still mud." Enjolras shook his head. She smiled at him, "Okay, Mister fancy law student, what would you describe them as?"

Enjolras surprised both of them by leaning forward, staring her straight in the eye. Their noses were no more than an inch or so away from each other. She was uncomfortable, he could see it in the way her pupils widened. She tried to pull away, but he reached forward and grabbed her chin between his index finger and his thumb. He held her still for almost a minute before he spoke, "Coffee," he told her, his voice little more than a whisper. "Coffee with swirls of golden cinnamon around the edges."

She stared at him for a moment, her delicate eyebrows raised. And then she cleared her throat, "Coffee," she murmured quietly. "Right. People need coffee."

And then before he could stop her, before he could say anything she had pulled her chin out of his grasp and practically run away from him.


He liked her better in the afternoons. Éponine was not stupid. She knew how to work a crowd, she knew how to please, and she knew how to work what she had. When she worked the bar in the evenings she wore dark colors, revealing tops, and heavy make up.

Enjolras could not blame her for it. It brought in tips from drunk guys who thought they stood a chance with the hot bartender. And from the little she talked about her family he knew that she needed the money. But he liked her better in the afternoons when the cafe was quiet and she dressed down.

Now for example she was dressed in a pair of ripped jeans, a black tank top under a maroon plaid shirt, and no makeup. She looked comfortable, rather than dressed up. Pretty instead of hot. He liked it. Her dark hair was piled on top of her head in a messy bun, there was a pencil stuck in it. Since there was no one at the cafe besides the two of them she had moved over to where he was studying and pulled out her own school work. At the moment she was sitting sideways in one of the large armchairs, her back resting against one armrest, her converse covered feet hanging over the other. She was squinting at the book in her hands as if she could not understand what she was reading.

Enjolras had been glancing at her every once in a while, not staring just glancing. At least that was what he told himself. "Do you need help?" he finally asked her.

She glanced up at him, her eyebrows raised. "Do you think I'm stupid?" she asked him. He shook his head, there were many things he thought Éponine was, stupid was not one of them. Stubborn, opinionated, strong, but never stupid. "Then why do you think I need help understanding something as simple as," she pulled the book closer to her face, squinting, "Maslow's hierarchy of needs?"

"Because you've been squinting at that same page for the last five minutes," Enjolras told her, not realizing until after the words had left his lips that he had just admitted that he had been watching her for the last five minutes.

If she noticed, she didn't say anything. "I just can't," she shook her head. "It's hard to make out the letters."

Enjolras smirked, he knew what she was talking about. He had experienced this himself a few years ago. "Do you get headaches?" he asked her, moving forward toward the edge of his seat.

She nodded.

"When you're at the computer do you start to fall asleep?"

Another nod.

"Need a bright light when you read?"

She nodded, her brows furrowed uncertainly. "Do I have a tumor or something?" she asked him, her voice hesitant, as if she were afraid that he was about to tell her that she only had six months to live or something.

He chuckled as he stood from his seat and moved closer to her, "Okay Joly," he teased her. He took his own glasses off and handed them to her, "Try these," he ordered.

She raised her eyebrows, but took his glasses and put them on before she turned back to the book in her lap. He knew his suspicions had been correct when a moment later her lips parted in surprise, her pupils widening, "Oh," she gasped quietly. "That is so much better."

She glanced away from the book and smiled at him, she looked adorable, blinking up at him from behind his glasses. Enjolras cleared his throat, not sure how he felt about that realization. "You need reading glasses," he told her. "You've probably needed them for a long time. You should have gone to the doctor to get your eyes checked when you first had trouble reading."

She shrugged her shoulders, "I don't really have the money for glasses or doctor's visits," she told him. She took his glasses off and tried to hand them back to him.

Enjolras waved off the glasses, "You can use them this afternoon," he told her. "I'm done reading for now."

She raised her eyebrows, "The studious Enjolras done studying for an afternoon?" she asked him, her voice colored with disbelief. She couldn't wrap her head around the concept.

He chuckled, "I am capable of relaxing, you know?"

"I don't know actually," she mused as she put his glasses back on and turned back to her textbook, "I've never actually seen it."

Enjolras smiled at her as he watched her read. He had been wrong the week before when he told her that her eyes were coffee colored. Perhaps sometimes they were. But when she was happy, truly happy, they were warmer than that.

During her happiest moments her eyes were the color of hot chocolate on a cold, winter night. When she glanced up at him and smiled, a dimple appearing in her cheek, the color wrapped around him like a blanket, engulfing him in its warmth.

Her eyes made him feel at home.

If looks could kill ... no, looks can kill.

She still wasn't sure how she felt about Enjolras. She supposed that she no longer hated him, perhaps she never had. But she wouldn't go as far as to say that they were friends, perhaps they never would be. They had a strange relationship, a routine that they never spoke about. She wasn't even sure if he noticed their changing relationship. There were times when he would look at her but she had the distinct feeling that he wasn't actually seeing her, that he was looking through her.

She was sure, actually, that he had never noticed it. And she never spoke about it for fear of losing it.

He would come by in the mornings and sit in the back corner, reading and occasionally watching her over the tops of his books as she dealt with the morning coffee rush. And then, only once the rush had quieted would he approach the counter to order his own coffee. It was always the last cup she made before she clocked out and prepared for class.

For weeks he followed her to the university, always a few meters behind her. She was sure that he thought that he was being sneaky, but she had grown up on the streets, she knew when she was being followed. Finally after three weeks of allowing him to stalk her she had finally turned to face him and demanded that if he was going to insist on following her from the cafe to the university the least he could do was walk with her.

He had raised his eyebrows at her, so he could raise both of them at the same time, and looked at her for a moment, a strangely intent look in his eyes, before he had walked away from her without a single word.

But the next morning when she left the cafe for class he fell in step beside her. They had walked to the university together every day since. Sometimes they talked, most days there were silent.

She thought that he preferred it that way. Enjolras liked to observe. He liked to watch the other students on the sidewalk as they walked to and from their classes. He liked to watch people on their way to work. He liked to watch Éponine when he thought she didn't notice.

The first few days they left each other as soon as they reached the main quad. But by the end of that first week walking together he started walking her all the way to her building. They never talked about it. It just became part of their strange routine.

After her classes she would rush back to the cafe for the afternoon shift. Those were her favorite times at the cafe, the afternoons. They were quiet, most people were at work or at school and rarely were there many people there. More often than not, it was just her and Enjolras.

They still didn't talk much. Mostly they just studied while sitting together. But it felt nice, to have someone to study with.

Sometimes she spoke, to fill the silence, she was sure that it annoyed him, but he never told her to shut up. So the more afternoons they spent together, sitting side by side studying and working on school work the more Enjolras learned about her.

She hadn't even realized it at first, how much she told him. How personal it was. His silence, broken occasionally by questions that he looked even looked surprised to be asking, was more inviting than an actual conversation with someone else.

By November she had told him about the first time she met Marius. She had told him about growing up with her parents, about how they had thrown her brother out on the street when he was a child and how Éponine had followed quickly after. Over mugs of coffee that he had once said matched her eyes she had told him about being forced to help her father on some of his jobs. She had told him about the beatings and the abuse and the countless nights on the streets until she and her brother had moved in with Cosette. She told him about her hopes and her dreams and how it had been Cosette's father who put it in her head that it might be possible for her to go to university.

She looked up at him one day, pushing the glasses she had stolen from him up on her nose and smiled, "I like talking to you," she whispered to him, so soft she was sure that he didn't hear her.

But he glanced up from his own book that he had been squinting at and nodded, "I like listening to you."

His response made her brave. "I like the way you look at me," she told him. His brows furrowed and she felt a blush rising on her cheeks. He thought that she meant romantically. She shook her head, quickly trying to put him at ease. "Not like that," she told him as she took off his glasses and handed them back to him. They had a routine with those too, passing them back and forth ever twenty minutes or so, sharing the clear vision and the headaches that came with studying. "There are times when you look at me and I'm sure that you don't even see me. But other times when you look at me, I know that you see me. Les Amis, I love them all, but often they look at me in pity, or as if I'm some sort of cause to fight for. You don't look at me like that. Cosette likes to paint me as some tragic heroine, strong despite everything I've been through. But you don't look at me like that either." She shook her head, wondering if she was even making sense to him. "When you see me, you see me, you know?"

She had turned back to her book. When he spoke it was so quiet that she was sure she had misheard it. But there was a moment when she could have sworn that he said, "I always see you."

Sometimes he would talk too, though it took him much longer than it took her to get personal. They talked politics, they debated laws, he quoted ancient philosophers. He talked about the weather as if it were the most interesting thing in the world some days. He'd tell her what he was studying and ask her about her own classes. Then it started to get more personal. He'd tell her about his plans for Les Amis, he didn't want them to just be a group of friends, he wanted them to make a difference in the world. He told her that he was going to be a lawyer because that was what his father wanted him to be. He was studying corporate law although that was not where his heart was. He wanted to make a difference, not make rich men richer - but there was a part of him that was terrified to tell his father that.

She liked to watch his eyes when he spoke. She had heard the cliched line eyes are the windows to the soul. She had never believed it, but as she watched Enjolras talk she realized that, perhaps, his eyes were the windows to his soul. They were intense when he spoke about politics. They sparkled with delight when they debated and she made a point that surprised him. They flashed with purpose when he spoke about his classes or Les Amis. They darkened and narrowed when he spoke about his parents, his father in particular.

They warmed whenever she looked up and their eyes met.

He didn't smile often, but whenever he did it reached his eyes. They lightened.

She wondered if it were possible to get to close to someone just by knowing what made their eyes light up.

She wondered if he knew how much she enjoyed being the one who made his eyes soften.

Occasionally their quiet afternoons were interrupted by other members of Les Amis. His blue eyes warmed when Combeferre or Courfeyrac joined them. They glinted with interest whenever Feuilly could get the time off to come discuss politics. They softened in quiet encouragement whenever Jehan was nervous about a new poem or Bossuet suffered a new injury. They glinted playfully whenever Joly was convinced he had a new disease. They narrowed, focused whenever Bahorel argued with him. They darkened with disappointment every time Grantaire got too drunk or ignored his attempts to encourage him into applying for art school.

The most drastic change was when he saw Marius. She had never seen the two of them together before that first time she met Enjolras when he came to the bar. But they had seemed like good friends. But now, every time Marius came by the cafe or someone mentioned him, Enjolras' eyes would narrow into a glare. His blue eyes would darken, storm clouds interfering with the spring sky. They would stay that way until long after the conversation subject had changed or Marius had left.

"What'd he do to piss you off?" Éponine asked one afternoon after Marius had interrupted their afternoon study session for coffee and a quick question about what he should get Cosette for their three month anniversary.

"What?" Enjolras asked, glancing up from the book he had been glaring at.

"Marius," Éponine told him as she threw herself back into her seat. She pretended to not notice the way his eyes tightened when she said their friend's name. "You start glaring at anyone who mentions him. You glower every time he enters a room. You guys are friends, right?" He nodded. "Then why don't you act like it?"

When he looked up at her, his eyes looked sad. She wondered what she had said to make him upset. He shook his head, "We are friends," he told her. "It's just -" he looked like he wanted to say more, his eyes dancing over her face as if trying to read her reaction to words he hadn't said yet. He sighed and shook his head again, "You wouldn't understand."

"You don't love him do you?" she joked. He smirked. She had been hoping for a laugh, but she would count the smirk and slight lightening of his eyes as a win. "Because I would definitely understand that."

"That's the problem," he whispered.

She didn't hear him.


"Your guard dog's here again."

Éponine felt her spine stiffen. She didn't need to turn around from the glasses she was washing to know who stood on the other side of the bar. It was a voice she had known since she was a young girl. A voice that had haunted her nightmares since she was a teenager and had finally run away from home.

"What are you doing here?" she asked, straightening up from the sink, but still not turning around to face the man. "Didn't I make it clear that I never wanted to see you again?"

"Yes," she could hear a smirk in the man's voice. "You made it quite clear as you were rushing around my apartment, picking up your clothes." She flinched at the reminder, that night had not been one of her proudest moments.

Finally she turned to look at him, "What do you want, Montparnasse?" she asked him, not quite meeting his gaze.

He smirked at her, "It's Montparnasse now, is it?" he asked her. "Last time I saw you, you were screaming 'Parnasse. What's changed 'Ponine?"

"It's Éponine," Éponine corrected as she looked away from him, silently praying that there was a customer somewhere down the bar that needed her. But it was a pretty quiet night and Musichetta seemed to have most of it under control. "And I'd thank you not to bring that night up again," she added. "I'm at work."

"Are you sure it's not because of him?" Montparnasse asked, crossing his arms as he leaned against the bar, his gaze turning toward the door where he was sitting at a small table a warm beer and a book in front of him. "What is he, your boyfriend?"

Éponine could feel a blush rising on her cheeks. She was thankful for the make up that would cover most of it and the dim lighting that would hide the rest. "No," she told Montparnasse honestly, pleased that her voice didn't sound disappointed. "We're just friends."

"We were just friends once," Montparnasse told her, still not looking away from where Enjolras was reading.

"We were never friends," Éponine corrected him. "You worked for my father and I thought I was in love with you. And you took advantage of that. Those circumstances do not a friendship make."

She couldn't be sure, but she thought that perhaps Enjolras was watching them. He had not turned a page since Montparnasse had approached the bar and she thought that she could see him peering at them over the top of his book. Montparnasse had been mocking him when he called Enjolras her guard dog, but there was something in the tense set of his shoulders and the clench of his fists that made Éponine think that he was forcing himself not to approach the bar and chase her visitor away.

Montparnasse chuckled, low and dark, "I bet that if I were to make one move on you, one unwanted advance he would be over here in an instant, making sure that you're okay."

Éponine raised her eyebrows at him, "You're assumption is wrong," she assured him. He finally turned to look at her, he thought that she was about to tell him that she wanted him there. He was wrong agaub. "You've already made two unwanted advances and he hasn't come to my rescue yet."

Montparnasse smirked at her, "Is that what you see in the pretty boy?" he asked her. "You think he's Prince Charming and that he's going to rescue you like you're some sort of damsel in distress?" He shook his head, "That's not your life 'Ponine."

"Éponine," she corrected again. "And I know it's not my life. But I also know that I'm never going to come back to you." Montparnasse raised his eyebrows. "He may not want me, he may not be Prince Charming, but we're friends," she explained, her gaze falling on Enjolras again. Now he was definitely watching. "He cares about me. When I was with you, I didn't know what that felt like. Now I do."

"And you're not going back?" Montparnasse asked, raising an eyebrow.

God he's handsome, Éponine couldn't help but think. She shook her head, both at her unwanted thought and his question. "Never," she assured him. She looked away for a moment before she glanced at him, "Now, unless you're going to order something I'm going to have to ask you to leave. I'm at work."

Montparnasse glanced down the bar, the picture of nonchalance, "I'll take a beer," he told her. "And I need you to come find me when you get a break. You may not want to talk to me, but I need to speak to you."

"You can have a beer," Éponine told him. "I won't guarantee a discussion."

He surprised her by not pushing the subject and she quickly pulled him a beer from the selection they had on tap before he walked away. Whether by accident or by design he picked the table directly across from Enjolras, on the other side of the doorway. She wasn't sure why, but it made her uncomfortable to have them so close to each other.

Something bothered her about what Montparnasse had said. Two things actually.

Your guard dog's here again.

That implied two things.

First that Montparnasse had been scoping out the cafe enough to have realized that Enjolras spent a lot of his time there.

And second that without her noticing Enjolras had added something new to their strange routine. She thought about the last few nights she had closed the bar. He was always there, from the start of her shift until he could walk her home. He always brought a book, ordered one beer that he did not drink, and ignored the wandering eyes of all the girls that were trying to catch his gaze.

She glanced up at him now, so used to the feeling of his eyes on her that she wasn't surprised to meet his gaze. His brows furrowed, as if silently asking her if she was alright. She waved off his concern.

He turned his head to look at Montparnasse. His eyes narrowed. She had thought that he was pissed at Marius, but it was nothing compared to the look he was giving Montparnasse.

If looks could kill, she thought.

Montparnasse would be six feet under.

Her eyes quickly filled with tears. He wanted to look away, this seemed private, but he had never seen someone work so hard to be strong.

They were sitting in the cafe one Sunday afternoon in early December. For the first time in months Éponine had the day off. She had forgone her usual seat and was instead sitting on the floor in front of Enjolras' chair, her back resting against his legs. She had a laptop resting on her lap and his reading glasses on as she typed a paper, every once in a while her gaze would drift from the screen in front of her to one of the several books laying on the floor around her.

Enjolras had given up studying for the afternoon and was instead catching up on his guilty pleasure, Game of Thrones. She had taken one look at the book in his hands and tried to give him his glasses back, but he had refused. "The print is so small," she had told him softly, still trying to hand over the glasses.

"You're working on school work. I'm reading for pleasure. Keep the glasses."

At some point while reading his hand had dropped from his lap to the top of her head. She didn't say anything and he didn't notice. The only reason he was aware that his fingers had been brushing through her hair was then when she stood up he lost the contact.

He glanced up from his book, his brows furrowed, wondering what had caused her to stand up so quickly. It did not take him long. By the door he could see Cosette standing, her shoulders shaking and her eyes filled with tears. In all the months he had known the blonde she had never cried. He wondered what had happened to upset the girl so much.

Éponine did not seem as confused as he was. She jumped into action. She placed her laptop on the table in front of her and quickly moved toward her roommate, she wrapped her arm around Cosette's shoulders and while whispering to her pulled the girl toward where Enjolras sat, his book forgotten.

She practically pushed the blonde into a seat before she knelt down on the floor in front of her. "What's wrong, Lark?" she asked, her voice little more than a whisper.

"I think we've broken up," Cosette whispered, her breath hitching in her throat as she spoke. "I think it's over between Marius and I."

Enjolras watched her face carefully. He had known it the first night he met her. Éponine was in love with Marius. It had surprised him that the brunette was such close friends with Cosette. But this was her chance. If it was true, if Cosette and Marius really had broken up then this was her chance to tell Marius how she felt.

He expected to see barely concealed hope and happiness on her face. He had expected to see joy.

Instead her jaw clenched and her eyes were full of sympathy as she reached up to brush some of Cosette's blonde hair out of her eyes. "Now why do you say that?" she asked her roommate. "Marius Pontmercy would never break up with you."

Cosette sighed, tears sliding down her cheeks. Éponine sighed and glanced in Enjolras' direction, she wouldn't meet his gaze, as if she knew what he was thinking. "Do you have a tissue or something?" she asked him.

He didn't, he had something different. He reached into the front pocket of his jacket and pulled out a red handkerchief. Despite her friend's tears Éponine scoffed and her dark eyes finally lifted to his face, "A handkerchief?" she asked him, her eyebrows raised. "Seriously?"

Enjolras shrugged his shoulders, "It's a classic," he told her.

"It's old fashioned," she argued. But all the same she took it and handed it to Cosette so that the blonde could wipe her eyes. "There," she said once Cosette was no longer sobbing uncontrollably. "Now, tell me what happened."

"We - we - we were t-talking about t-t-the future," Cosette stuttered out. "B-because b-by next f-fall I'm going t-to need to a-apply for - for master's p-programs. Y-you kn-know if I w-want one."

Éponine nodded in understanding, "And your father has suggested you look into Oxford," she murmured, a flash of understanding lighting her eyes.

Cosette nodded, "Papa, he r-really thinks t-th-that I - I - I could do well there."

"You would do well anywhere Cosette," Éponine assured her. "But you always loved England."

"B-but that was b-before I met M-M-Marius."

She flinched when Cosette sobbed out the name of the man they both loved. Enjolras wanted to reach out and touch her shoulder, to let her know that she was not alone.

He kept his hand in his lap.

"So you're giving up on Oxford?" Éponine asked.

Cosette shook her head, "I -I told Marius about it. I can't, I can't let Papa down. I h-have to try. I-I-I told Mar-Marius that he could co-come with me. W-We could l-live together."

"And he said no," Éponine said. She didn't need to ask the question. She and Marius were friends. She knew what he would say.

Cosette nodded, "H-he y-yelled at m-me. He s-said that he had t-too m-much debt. Th-that he could-couldn't a-afford to go to E-e-england."

"And then what happened?" Éponine asked, still running her hands through her friend's hair and making comforting noises every time Cosette looked as though she were going to get particularly worked up. Enjolras was amazed at how kind she was being. This was her chance, she should have been jumping for joy and rushing to comfort Marius, but instead here she was soothing Cosette.

"He left," Cosette sobbed, dabbing at her eyes with the handkerchief again. "And I haven't seen him in th-three days."

Éponine sighed. Here it is, Enjolras thought, his stomach tightening. Now she was going to tell Cosette that she was better off without Marius, she was going to say that she should only apply to Oxford and that she should forget Marius Pontmercy. And then she would go to the man and tell him that she loved him. And that she would never leave him.

Éponine Thénardier had surprised him enough in the time that he knew her that he supposed he shouldn't have been shocked by what she did next. But it seemed that the girl still had some surprises up her sleeve.

"Pontmercy is a fucking idiot," she told Cosette, grabbing the blonde's hand a pressing a kiss against the back of it. "You're intelligent, you're kind, you're funny, and so beautiful He is never going to find anyone in this world as perfect as you. No one as perfect for him as you. I'm sure he's stayed away for this long because he's embarrassed by how he acted. Call him, ask him for coffee," she glanced around the cafe, "not here. Somewhere without his friends spying on him. Tell him you love him. Tell him that that won't change, even if you go to Oxford for two years and he can't come with you. Ask him to wait for you."

"You think that will work?" Cosette asked, looking up at Éponine with hope shining in her eyes for the first time since she had entered the cafe. "You don't think it will scare him away if I tell him that?"

Éponine chuckled and shook her head, "It will work," she assured her friend. "I promise. And of course it won't scare him away. That boy has been in love with you since the day you met."

Cosette smiled at her friend, "We met because of you 'Ponine," she told her. Éponine nodded, she was well aware of that fact. "If he hadn't come to our apartment to pick you up for lunch that day -"

"I'll have to remember that for my maid of honor speech at your wedding," Éponine interrupted.

Cosette laughed, "You think there will be a wedding?" she asked. "One day?"

"Of course there will be," Éponine promised. "Unless you both become fucking idiots. I'm only going to talk you out of a break up once, so do not waste this."

Cosette leaned forward and pressed a kiss against Éponine's cheek, "Thank you," she whispered. "You are the one who knows both of us best. I knew you would know what to do."

"Yeah, yeah," Éponine waved off the blonde's gratitude. "Just call me cupid. Now go."

Cosette turned toward Enjolras, she held his handkerchief out to him, but then laughed. "I'll wash this before I give it back to you," she told him. "I doubt you want my snot in your pocket." Then her blue eyes very deliberately darted toward Éponine, "Isn't Nina great?" she asked.

"It's Éponine," the brunette sighed from the floor. Her correction drowning out Enjolras' quiet response of the greatest.

With one final look between the two of them Cosette smiled and quickly ran out of the cafe. Éponine did not look at him as she moved back to where she had been sitting before Cosette came in. She pulled her laptop back onto her lap and prepared to get back to work. She didn't want to talk, Enjolras would give her the space she so clearly wanted. He turned back toward his book.

But two minutes later and she still hadn't started typing. He looked away from his book to see that she had pushed his glasses up onto the top of her head and her shoulders were shaking. She had kept the tears in when Cosette was there with jokes and sarcasm, but now that her best friend could not see her she had started to cry.

Enjolras wished that he hadn't given his handkerchief to Cosette.

He looked around, there were still no tissues around. "Fuck," he whispered as he quickly unzipped his red sweatshirt and handed it to her. He heard her laugh, a bitter sound, but she lifted the sleeve up to her eyes and used it to wipe at her tears before she turned to look at him.

"You must think that I am so stupid," she whispered. "So stupid to fall in love with someone who will never love me."

Enjolras watched her for a moment, she had wiped the tears away, but they came back just as quickly. He shouldn't be staring at her, these tears weren't for him to see, but she intrigued him. He had never seen someone struggle so hard to stay strong. Finally he shook his head, "I don't think it's stupid," he told her. "And I would never think you were stupid. Love is never stupid."

"But being in love with him might be," Éponine countered back, her tone bitter.

"Why did you do it?" Enjolras asked after a moment.

"Do what?"

"Help her decide to fix it? You could have told her that it was over, she would have listened to you. And then you could have gone after him."

"No," Éponine told him, shaking her head. "I couldn't have. You've seen them together. They're both so fucking happy."

"But you're always so sad."

"And I love them enough to want them to be happy," Éponine told him. "Even if it is at my expense." She sighed and brushed determinedly at her eyes, wiping away all the tears.

She moved to hand the sweatshirt back to him, but he waved her off. "Keep it," he told her.

Her brown eyes were still watery when she smiled up at him, "Enjolras," she said softly. "My hero."

"Gabriel," he told her, surprising even himself. "My name is Gabriel."

Her eyes were the color of chocolate, warm and kind, when she smiled at him again, "Gabriel," she breathed.

His eyes were blue like the warm wool sweater that she pulled on when the air got that chill - comfortable, warm, familiar.
His eyes were that kind of blue.

It was the day before Christmas. Les Amis was having a party at the Musain, a secret Santa gift exchange, and Éponine had gotten permission from the owner to hold it after hours as long as she promised to clean up afterward and not to allow Grantaire to drink all of the alcohol.

There had been food (brought by Cosette and Marius who were happily back together). And drinking games (organized by Grantaire and Bahorel). And now the group was in the middle of a too long run of holiday music sing-a-longs (so ordered by Joly and Courf).

"This is the last one!" Courf promised from his place at the piano seat as he started the intro to a slowed down version of All I want for Christmas.

Éponine glanced up from her place on the right side of the piano and caught Enjolras' eyes. He was standing on the other side, the left corner. She smiled at him, playfully scrunching her nose before she rolled her eyes in Courf's direction.

Enjolras smiled back, his eyes glinting playfully as he mimed hanging himself.

Still, when Courf demanded that everyone join in, they both sang.

"I don't want a lot for Christmas,
There's just one thing I need.
Don't care about those presents,
Underneath the Christmas tree."

He moved from his spot, his eyes never leaving Éponine's face as he moved closer to her. Subtly, hoping no one would notice she shifted to her right, creating a space between herself and Combeferre so that there would be somewhere for Enjolras to stand. If he wanted to.

Perhaps he wasn't coming to stand next to her. Perhaps he was on his way to the restroom or something.

"I just want you for my own,
More than you could ever know.
Make my wish come true,
You know that all I want for Christmas is you."

He easily slid into the place between her and Combeferre. The bespectacled Med student grinned at his friend and threw his arm around his shoulders. Éponine wondered if she had misread the situation. If perhaps he had come to talk to Combeferre instead of her.

But then he patted Ferre on the shoulder and ducked out from under his arm so that he could turn to Éponine. A slow smiled spreading across his lips.

"I won't ask for much this Christmas,
I won't even wish for snow.
Oh I'm just gonna keep on waiting,
Underneath the mistletoe."

If she hadn't been looking forward, trying not to blush under his gaze she wouldn't have noticed the wicked smile on Courf's face.

She wouldn't have seen the not so subtle nod he gave the two of them before he lifted his right hand off the piano keys to point to the ceiling above them.

She glanced up, suddenly she couldn't hear the piano or her friends singing. All she could focus on was the little ball of mistletoe hanging from the ceiling. She lowered her gaze down to Enjolras, he was looking at it too.

She was about to move away, to laugh it off as a joke, but then his gaze was on hers. "What the hell," he murmured, "it's Christmas."

His eyes were so warm. And so blue. And so damn familiar. They reminded her of that warm wool sweater that she pulled out of her closet every fall when the air began to chill. She wondered how she could have ever hated his eyes. They were so warm, so comfortable.

They were the best kind of blue.

The only thing that could have been warmer than his eyes were his lips when they brushed against hers in a barely there kiss.

It was nothing special. But it left her dazed. And Les Amis cheering.

She was so surprised by his action that it did not even occur to her to wonder why no one had pointed out the mistletoe when she and Ferre had been standing underneath it.

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.

William Butler Yeats

Author's Note:

Well, if I had continued with the next sense this would have been one monster of a one-shot. As it is, it's simply one monster of a first chapter.
I hope you enjoyed it. Did you? Hmm?
The Les Mis section on this site makes me sad because there's not a lot in it, at least not recently.
And I kind of understand that. Musicals aren't everyone's cup of tea. And the brick is fucking huge and intimidating.
But it's such an amazing story, filled with so many fantastic characters. I just had to dip my feet into it.
And hopefully, I'm doing it some justice.
Anyway, if you enjoyed this chapter and you think I should keep going let me know. Reviews are like crack for me.
Until next time,
Chloe Jane.