Fantine sighed, reaching out to touch the small pool at her feet. As her fingers made contact with the warm liquid, the image of her daughter rippled as though she had dropped a pebble into it. Try as she might, she could never get her daughter's attention down on earth. But maybe that was a good thing: why would she want her daughter to be pining over the dead?
She had grown beautiful, her Cosette. Monsieur le Mayor had promised to care for her, and he had. Her Cosette was happy, well fed, and wanted for nothing. Though Fantine knew the Mayor's history by now (for she had the ability to watch everything he did up here, in Heaven), she could refer to him as nothing different. The poor man had suffered so, but she knew he and Cosette made each other happy.
It was a little over nine years after she had died, and Fantine knew things had changed. She herself looked beautiful again, her blond hair long and lustrous and her teeth numerous and intact. Only once, Fantine couldn't resist and she requested to look down upon Felix Tholymes, the father of her child and her first love. She was disappointed, but not altogether surprised, to find him unchanged. Just as fun-loving and careless as he had once been, without an ounce of responsibility. He was uncaring for the fact that he had a daughter, but for that Fantine was grateful. Monsieur le Mayor was a much better father than Tholymes ever would have been. And besides, Cosette was happy how she was, and Fantine wouldn't want to change anything.
She smiled down at the person she had sacrificed everything for, and felt proud. Her little girl had grown to be the person Fantine had wished she would. As a young girl she had suffered, and Fantine didn't know, even in Heaven, if she could ever forgive the Thenardiers for that. Funnily enough, she hadn't seen any of them up here with her. However, once Cosette had moved in with the kindly old man, she had played her days away and dreamt away her nights in quiet happiness and confidence in her Father's love. Now, as a young woman preparing for her wedding day, Cosette was jittery, but happy. Fantine warmly beamed down upon her daughter, who was about to experience something Fantine never had and never would.
Fantine did not worry anymore about her daughter's future. She had truly grown wings, wings of an angel and wings of happiness, and was soaring through her life. It was obvious that Cosette had everything she needed for her happiness, between the people who loved her and the virtues she carried inside of her. Fantine felt pride sear inside of her at the sight of her daughter. She was as happy as Cosette, or maybe even happier, to see her marrying someone who would love her and appreciate her as much as she deserved. Fantine knew better than anyone what it was like to be deserted by someone you loved, but Fantine knew that Cosette was finished being deserted.
On the dawn of life, Fantine thought Cosette looked radiant. She had prayed endlessly and worked tirelessly for her daughter's happiness in life and in death, and was glad to see it had finally paid off. Fantine had eyes only for her daughter, or else she would have seen the dark-haired man who was sitting next to her.
Georges watched as his son tied and re-tied his cravat, fixed his coat, then unbuttoned it and fixed it again. He watched Marius take his head in his hands and sit down on the chaise lounge directly behind him.
"Father!" he heard his son speak. Georges often spent time watching over his son, more often than not he was accompanied by his wife. But the former Mademoiselle Gillenormond was not here now, just Baron Pontmercy the elder watching over his son. It was not unusual to for Georges to hear Marius speak to him. For some reason that Georges did not understand, his son thought that he was not proud of him. Georges had often seen Marius lay awake at night wondering what his father would say to him if he had been there at that moment. "Father, help me. Help me to find the man who saved me. Help me to be a good husband to Cosette. Sometimes I feel the memories of my friends pressing in on me. Help me to move on, to start a new part of my life. Father, I hope I've made you proud. I know I still have to find Thenardier, and I'll look endlessly until I do..."
Marius trailed off and looked into his hands.
"Of course you've made me proud, my son," Georges whispered, even though he knew his son could not hear. "And you don't need my help with any of those things- the man who saved you is right under your nose!" Georges shook his head in disbelief that Marius could not see this himself. The old man soon to be his in-law was an enigma, someone even Georges didn't understand.
People in Heaven were not all-knowing, but they could watch over anyone they wanted at any given moment. Georges realized how stupid he must have been in his lifetime, how stupid everyone was. Once he took a step back from everything, like he was forced to in death, he understood so much more. He saw everything his son did, and many things that others did as well. He understood people better and could see mistakes before people made them. Despite the short-sightedness of humans, Marius still thought his son did remarkably well. Except for one thing.
"Forget Thenardier! Forget him!" He had been trying to cry this out to his son for ages, years, but Marius never listened. "He's not worth your time! I had no idea when I wrote that message. He does not deserve your help!"
But Marius never heard. Marius kept pushing on with his mission to help the man, the undeserving man who had robbed Georges, ruined his own family, abused Marius' betrothed, and was right now plotting a way to destroy Marius' soon-to-be father-in-law.
"You tried to help his son. You tried to help his daughter. Those were the Thenardiers who deserved your help. But they're gone now- forget the man! Forget him!"
But again, Marius did not hear.
Ah, well. Nothing lasts forever, and eventually Marius would be rid of this burden. Georges knew this. However, on this day, his son's wedding day, Georges could not have been prouder of his son. How he wished he could stand beside him on this day. He wanted nothing more.
There was a knock on Marius' door, and his son rose, his face concentrated. Georges himself had married the girl of his dreams, and was glad to see his son was doing the same. Glad to see that Marius did not give into the absurd rules of his headstrong grandfather. When Georges' father-in-law had turned Marius away and denied him the one thing he wanted most, Monsieur Pontmercy the elder had never been so angry. The obstinate old man had never known what was best for Marius, not from the beginning. Marius' father had seen how he terrified Marius as a little boy and fed him lies about his own father. He had tried his best to forgive his father-in-law, but it was hard to forgive the man who had taken away your son. When he had insulted the girl Marius loved, Georges had been about as offended as his son.
When Marius had gone to the barricades, Georges was there the whole time, watching over him and praying that his son would live. His prayers were answered, in the form of the saint, Jean Valjean.
An hour later on Earth, Marius was standing next to Cosette on the altar, getting married. Georges sat back and watched, a proud and glowing smile on his face. He was so happy that he smiled at everyone who was sitting around him at the viewing pools. He caught the eyes of a pretty blond woman with blue eyes, who had a similar smile on her face. Georges nodded to her. He had seen her here before, and he was glad to see her happy. He wondered who she was watching.