AUTHOR'S NOTE This is my first attempt at a songfic and I'm willing to bet a lot of money that it's a bad attempt. *shrugs* Oh well…I tried. Let me know if it's any good! The song is "Now and Forever" by Carole King.

DISCLAIMER I don't own the characters or the song. Sorry.

The baby was sleeping.

Now and forever…

She was a beautiful child. Love welled in her chest every time Fantine looked at her infant daughter. Cosette was as radiant as the morning's dawn.

You are a part of me,

And the memory cuts like a knife.

It was so close. Now that Cosette had been born, Fantine almost had what she truly wanted. Growing up without the love she longed for, her dream was to have a family of her own.

Didn't we share the ecstasy?

As soon as he returned to her. They would be complete when he returned. Fantine looked down at Cosette. They would be a family, a complete family, when he returned.

Didn't we share the daylight

When you walked into my life?

Cosette stirred in her sleep, cooing softly. Fantine reached down into the bassinette and stroked her daughter's hair. The baby opened her eyes, looking wide-eyed at the world around her. "Hello Angel," Fantine whispered. "Mama's here."

Now and forever

I'll remember

All the promises still unbroken

Cosette smiled at her mother. Her eyes still dark from birth, giving the baby eyes wise far beyond her years.

"You're beautiful, Cosette," Fantine told her daughter. "Belle." Cosette blinked her dark eyes. Lifting the child to her chest, Fantine murmured, "You'll never leave me."

And think about all the words between us

That never needed to be spoken.

While Cosette nursed, Fantine let her mind float back. It took her to a time not so long ago. She was just a child with a crush. She knew nothing of the world, knew nothing of men or lust or love.

"Let me show you," he'd said. "I can teach you."

We had a moment

Just one moment

That will last beyond the dream,

Beyond the lifetime

The past summer had changed her life. He taught her everything. The world was opened up to her in ways that she never knew were possible. Under his guidance, Fantine's childhood was left behind as the sun climbed higher and summer flowered completely.

We are the lucky ones

The days grew cooler. Fantine knew she was a woman. She was no little girl anymore.

Memories tumbled through her consciousness. He was so kind and gentle. Loving. And in the end, he had given her Cosette. Cosette was her everything.

Some people never get to do

All we got to do.

When he returned, Fantine's life would be full. She would have everything. Could do everything. It was frustrating to have so much but to be unable to do it. She would wait.

Now and forever,

I will always think of you.

The memories of him would not leave her mind. They'd had so many experiences together. The entire summer had been like Heaven. And Cosette was her Angel.

It drove a stake through her heart to remember. But she had to. She had to remember so that she could hold onto the feelings she once had. She was afraid that she'd never feel them again.

Didn't we come together?

Didn't we live together?

Didn't we cry together?

Didn't we play together?

He had only been a part of Fantine's life for a few short months, but it had felt like lifetimes. And it was another lifetime since he'd gone away. "I'll be back." She could still hear his voice. "I promise."

Didn't we love together?

And together we lit up the world.

Cosette finished nursing and looked up at her mother through big blue eyes. For a moment they stayed lost in a moment between mother and daughter.

Cosette looked like him, Fantine decided. She was her piece of him. She had his hair, his nose, and his smile. Just looking at Cosette made Fantine feel closer to her absent lover.

I miss the tears.

I miss the laughter.

I miss the day we met

And all that followed after.

As much as having the child close to her was comforting, it was painful too. Cosette looked like him, reminded her of him and he wasn't there. It hurt so much. She didn't know how much longer she could take it. Every day was just a little bit harder than the last. His image in her mind was fading.

Sometimes I wish I could always be with you

The way we used to do.

But she couldn't lose faith. She clung to hope as she clung to her infant daughter. Without it, she was lost and wandering.

Cosette was her constant. Her anchor. They would never be apart and one day, everything would fall into perfect place.

Now and forever

I will always think of you.

Now and forever

I will always be with you.

Once he returned.