She was cold to the touch. Eponine had always been so warm and full of life. Her dark brown hair lay tangled and blood stained around her shoulders. She stared at him so hauntingly, so heartbreakingly.
"Eponine?" Marius asked, holding his hand out for her again. She took his hand, letting him draw her near. "Where have you gone 'ponine?"
"You killed me."
"I didn't!" Marius shook her, clutching her shoulders and staring into her dark brown eyes. "Please 'ponine if my words could bring you life."
Eponine rose up on her tiptoes and pressed a kiss against Marius' unsuspecting lips. He hesitated before slowly kissing her back. "No!" He shouted pushing away from her and covering his face in shame.
"'Please, 'ponine. Don't do this. You are my friend nothing more." Marius touched his fingers to his lips, relishing the cold feel of where her lips had been on him. He cared so much for Eponine, how could he have let her die?
Marius turned and saw Eponine lying on the ground, crumpled into a heap of her oversized bloodied, rags.
"No 'ponine!" Marius rushed to her side, kneeling and cradling her in his arms. "You can't die again. Not because of me."
"You never loved me." She croaked in pain, clutching her stomach in agony. "You never saw me there."
"I always saw you, I always loved you."
Marius screamed her name as the dream shattered around him.
"Marius, Marius!" Cosette touched his shoulder gently, jumping when he jerked away from her. "It was a dream, Marius."
"I'm sorry." Marius groaned, holding his throbbing head. "I'm sorry."
"It was a nightmare, just like the others." Cosette brushed her blonde locks over her shoulders as she sat up straighter in their bed, holding his hand comfortingly. "You're safe."
"Cosette," Marius turned over and gathered his wife into his arms. "Make it stop."
"Shh," Cosette pulled him close, letting him burrow his face into the pillow of her bosom. "It's going to be alright, Marius." She smoothed her hand over his ruffled hair, pressing tender kisses onto his head. "Was it more dreams about the war?"
"Yes. Cosette, please make the pain go away." Marius cried, clutching his chest. "Everyone I cared about died at the Barricade. Why did I live."
"So that life can go on." Cosette whispered, gently nudging his chin up. "You were saved so that we could be together. Your friends smile down on us."
"No, they torment me. I see them everywhere." Marius held to her waist fearfully. "There in the shadows I see Enjolras now." He could see his closest friend standing there, the single candle flame flickered on his facial features. There was a stream of blood dripping down his forehead.
"There's no one there Marius."
"I'm sorry Enjolras." He cried out, hiding his face against her soft skin. "Please make him go away Cosette."
"Go away Enjolras," Cosette said softly, going along with Marius in hopes that it would calm him down.
"Is he gone?"
Marius peered at the place in the room, sitting up carefully. "He is gone." He let out a sigh of relief and glanced at his wife. "You did not expect to marry such a tormented man."
"I knew that the war would wound your spirit. You lost your friends and the people who have always been there for me."
"I love you Cosette," Marius leaned towards her and kissed her timidly, letting the kiss grow in intensity. "I'm sorry," He pulled away from her as his hands started to wander. "I will not use you to drown my sorrows."
"Let us drown together," Cosette pressed her hands to his chest and leaned in to capture his lips with hers. She knew that in the past it had helped calm his edge, settle him back into a peaceful night of sleep. She couldn't deny that in his turmoil Marius became a frenzied lover.
Marius rolled over on her, letting his weight press her into the bed. "I need you Cosette." He let his need press against her through the layers of their nightclothes teasingly.
Cosette smiled up at him as he started sliding up her nightgown, letting him settle where she welcomed him heartily.
"I need you Marius." A voice whispered like the wind through the room. Marius' eyes flew open as they were joined and he looked around the room desperately.
"Marius?" Cosette asked nervously.
"Marius." He could see in the dark, the shape of a worn brown hat over a softly curled mess of dark locks, the tan overcoat and that wide smile of the girl he had killed because he was too vain to see her.
"No!" He shouted, prying himself away from his wife and curling into a ball beside him, sobbing into his hands. He could see her standing there beside the bed, staring at him. He could feel her cool hand touching his bare skin.
"Marius, it's alright." Cosette whispered, her warm touch overrode Eponine's ghost like sensation. "I should have let you rest. Just lay here in my arms and I will protect you from these accursed spirits."
"I failed them all. I thought of you and killed Eponine. I thought of Eponine and killed them."
"Don't say that Marius."
Marius slammed his fists into the mattress, "Make this stop! Take my life if it will end it!"
"I have known my share of pain, Marius. My mother, her spirit visited me when I was a child. You must just go on with your life, see them as a guardian."
"They aren't guarding me, they're torturing me." Marius stared at the figure of Eponine, begging her with his mourning eyes to leave him be. "I am sorry Eponine."
The figure smiled at him, reaching towards him to brush her fingers along his cheek. "Say sorry for everything you did to me, but I'll still be dead. I died because I am so loyal to you. Loyal in life and loyal in death."
Marius smacked the invisible hand away and leaped from the bed. "I'm going for a walk. I need air."