A/N: I forgot a disclaimer in my last story, so this goes for the both of them. I do not on these characters, I promise. Enjoy!
I hate him, I think. This is a lie, and I know it. But the injustice of it all roils within me. Can't he see what he's doing to me? I turn the folded letter over in my hands. Marius' handwriting is narrow, not quite script but not quite print either.
Suddenly, a plan is crafted. I'm not a good thief for nothing; I know how to deceive and fight and scratch to get what I want. I'll forge a letter to Cosette, so heart-breaking that she'll never want to see him again. Marius will never know that it was me, and once he's over that simpering blonde creature, I'll be there for him.
On my way to Rue Plumet, I stop at a bookstore and nick some paper and a pen. I draft what I'll say.
I cannot keep on seeing you. You're naïve and pathetic and can't see how much everyone hates you. God knows how many men like me you've tried to lure in. Goodbye.
It's not my best work, but she'll buy it, the idiot. Now I just have to work on copying his handwriting. At first I just trace the letters like I did when Ma taught me and Zelma how to write. Once I'm reasonably good at that, I start writing the letter.
A man has been watching me since I left the store. He's definitely drunk, but looks harmless. As he draws nearer, I recognize him – it's Marius' friend of sorts, Grantaire.
"You'll regret that," he says, gesturing at my letter. "Revenge isn't as sweet as they lead you to believe."
"Begging your pardon, m'sieur, but you don't know what you're talking about," I reply harshly. Who does he think he is, nosing about in my business?
"Don't I?" he asks wistfully. "Unrequited love. The greates' tragedy. Do you know what love is?" He doesn't wait for he to respond. "Wanting the other person to be happy, even more than you want yourself to be. Putting him first."
"I guess," I reply warily. For a drunk, he's pretty coherent. So now I know what love is according to a drunkard. Everyone has different definitions. To see the face of God, to die for someone, lust, to live in the same house as someone, to be swept away by a prince, I've heard them all. "All's fair in love and war, Grantaire."
"You have a choice, 'Ponine. You can either write that letter and ruin Marius' life, with the small chance at your own pleasure, or you can deliver it like you said you would and make him the happiest man alive, and yourself miserable. It's a tough choice," he reflects, "but then, I've turned out all right. Bon soir."
Well, when he puts it like that . . . I rip the paper into tiny shreds and continue on my way, knowing I'll be rewarded with nothing more than a pat on the back for a letter well-delivered.