It had been a month, maybe more, since she had reconciled with Enjolras. They were back to taking things slowly, they'd hardly done more than kiss and cuddle since the reconciliation. Not that she'd wanted to, of course. She'd marveled at the simplicity of their relationship. She didn't have to put on airs with him, no pussyfooting around, no payments of any sorts. They could be two people who cared for each other, on a level that wasn't purely sexual. She'd evaded most of her customers for the last month, her sister taking up the slack, and Eponine giving simple pleasures and filling the men on strong ale to knock them out. Her father would never believe her if she told him Enjolras and she were in love. She wasn't ready to pull the money out and buy her freedom. What if everything fell apart with Enjolras? It wasn't that she didn't trust him, it was that she didn't trust herself.
She didn't trust many things and she certainly didn't trust the fact that her monthly cycle had yet to come.
"Why do you look so pale?" Azelma questioned her sister as she pulled her ratty clothes from a dusty trunk. The sister's shared a room, which was convenient for midnight conversations but not convenient for privacy.
"It's nothing." Eponine replied, mentally questioning herself how long it had been since she had been with Enjolras. It hadn't been long after her last cycle. She'd always been overly careful with her clients, making the preparations and precautions. But Enjolras had been planned spontaneity. She'd had a few scares in her lifetime. The first had been when she had first been with anyone, it had Montparnasse. Of course as a foolish young girl the idea of the boy she cared about becoming the father of her child had been romantic and ridiculous. Montparnasse would have been a terrible father, and no doubt a father now to countless fatherless whores' babes. But of course those times had been scares, but this was more plausible.
This was well over a month. Quickly nearing the beginning of a second month with not a drop of crimson on any undergarments.
She'd professed this worry to him, when she'd given him the chance to leave her. He'd said he wouldn't leave her or a child. But she couldn't help but worry that with the revolt he was leading a child would be impractical. There were ways to abort the pregnancy. Every whore knew the tricks. Pressure to the abdomen, falls down stairs, and if worse case a rod or sewing needle. As unpleasant as those methods were, it wasn't part of many whores' plans to fall pregnant.
But the child would be Enjolras' – how could she deny a man like him the rights to a beautiful baby? Even if the mother was a whore, if the child was born a bastard, Enjolras could recognize him as his own and give whatever he had to the infant. Enjolras wasn't the sort of man that would simply ignore his own flesh and blood and send her away like a scarlet letter.
"You don't look alright." Azelma commented, teasingly examining her older sister's hair. "You look worried."
"I'm fine 'Zelma."
"You going to see your little rich man tonight?" Azelma smirked, tickling her fingers along her sister's side. "Are you going give your little rich man all that he wants tonight?"
"Our relationship isn't like that." Eponine protested, batting the girl's hands away.
"Are you courting a eunuch? If a man doesn't want sex or at least some variation of carnal pleasure – then he's not a man. Or he's incredibly incompetent and embarrassed. I'd check into that if I were you."
"Azelma, please." Eponine gritted, shooting her sister a deathly glare. "Can you please go find someone who will shut your mouth up for a few hours."
"You mean would you like me to go do your job?" Azelma laughed at her sister before leaving the bedroom.
What if she was pregnant? How did she even begin to tell Enjolras? Or her father? Her father. If she was pregnant and she began to show her father would demand to know who the father could be. He already knew she spent more time away from the Inn than she typically done, she was sure that he suspected something. Her own trepidation towards being with Enjolras long term would certainly be hindered by a child. She'd have to completely give her life over to an infant, to a husband. Ha! A happy husband and a happy home were not things written in the great book for Eponine's life. She could hardly believe she even made it nineteen without ending up bloodied and dying in a seldom visited side street. She'd only ever been injured, close to life threatening, once – by Montparnasse nonetheless. She had had an old habit of talking out of term with him. When they'd been children she'd been his same size, but well into their teens she was more petite, malnourished, frail boned. He was a rough brute now, no longer sweet and gentle. Corrupted by her father, nonetheless.
How could she trade the rough life she knew so well, for a life of finer things. A life with a good man, in a good home, and love. Love? Why was she even thinking of love. Eponine Thenardier neither loved nor was loved. Except unless you considered her bizarre obsession with Marius Pontmercy and her new relationship with Enjolras. But of course Enjolras had been a 'relationship' that she had never expected. Wasn't that what love was? That thing that happened when you weren't expecting it.
There was a knock on her door, she quickly grabbed her wrapper, wrapping it around her chemise and opening the door. "Enjolras? What are you doing here?" He looked a little disheveled, sleep deprived, his hair was tousled.
"I came to see you."
"Here? What if my father catches you here?" Eponine let him slip through the door, shutting and locking it behind him. "Keep your voice low."
"Your sister showed me where to go." Enjolras explained, "I apologize for how I look currently," he glanced down at his clothes. "I was up all of last night reading and working."
"So you came to risk your neck to see me?" Eponine wondered what would have happened if she had been servicing a client.
"If your father catches me up here, say that you're in with a customer. I'll say that I'm paying – if that's not good enough-"
"You're far too dressed to be a customer." Eponine laughed, clutching her wrapper around her tighter. She'd never seen Enjolras in such a state. "What's wrong with you, you don't seem yourself." She reached up touched his cheek.
"I spent a good portion of the night thinking about you."
"You said you were readin-"
"I lied. Eponine you've made me become a different man. I no longer feel like the pure, naive, sheltered man with a revolution on his mind."
"Eponine please, I just have to say this I just have to let you know that I love you." The impassioned fool of a rebel, caught Eponine and kissed her. They were no strangers to each other's kiss. But this kiss surprised Eponine, it was the first time anyone had said her name and I love you. Plenty of men had professed love for the women they pictured Eponine as. But this was a first, a beautiful first.
"Eponine?" It was her father.
"Dammit!" Eponine hissed, eyeing the door fervently. "This. Off." She whispered, pushing his waist coat off of his body, followed by reaching for the hem of his undershirt and pulling it over his head. She dropped her wrapper in the pile of discarded clothes, shaking her hair out wildly.
"I'm busy father." She explained, trying to sound preoccupied, which wasn't hard as she drug Enjolras to her bed. She took a quick breath as she looked at Enjolras, whispering. "I love you too." She had to say those words before she pushed him onto bed and made it look as if he were a customer and not her lover. He caught ahold of her, pulling her down astride him. The profession of love felt more intimate to her than actually making love to him before.
"I'm coming in." Her father bellowed through the locked door that he was currently working on unlocking.
Eponine was surprised that Enjolras so readily went along with this scheme. He buried his fingers into her hair, pulling her down against his bare chest. Lips against hers, kissing her with passion and need. Either the kiss or the sound of the door swinging forced the air out of her lungs. She clenched, fearful.
Father, this is Enjolras, my lover. Funnily enough a gentleman paid me to sleep with him and I'm using that money to buy my freedom from you. However, I'm in love with him and… Enjolras, we're expecting a baby.
Eponine gasped, either from Enjolras' wandering hand or the image of that scene playing through her mind. Everything was falling apart.
"Ah, I see you're busy 'Ponine. I just wanted to remind you that I've promised you to 'Parnasse for the evening."
"Mhm." Eponine mumbled, her lips were preoccupied by Enjolras unrelenting kiss. She could feel her father's scrutinizing eyes on them. This was less "customer" and more "lover" looking and she hoped he didn't question.
"Have a good time with 'er, my lad." Thenardier laughed as he moved across the room and left.
Eponine pulled up for air, rolling away from Enjolras. Her chest was heaving, her lungs burning, her lips tingling. "I'm sorry you had to endure that."
"Who's 'Parnasse?" Enjolras asked, his own chest heaving up and down with rapid breaths.
"A childhood friend, an adolescent enemy." Eponine cringed at the memories. "He was the first man to have the pleasure of having me. I'm sure you don't want to hear about that." She wasn't certain she knew how to convince Montparnasse that she didn't want to go any farther with him. He was a persistent man.
Eponine turned and looked at Enjolras, he lay silent on the bed, hands folded over his shirtless abdomen, quietly contemplating unspoken thoughts. She scooted closer to him, wrapping a gentle arm over his chest, her cheek resting on his arm. "I'm sorry, I'm sure you didn't even want to hear that much."
"I wish it could have been me."
"No you don't. It's painful the first time for women. Part of that curse of Eve. I only think of that pain when I'm with 'Parnasse."
"But did you love him?"
Eponine laughed harshly, "I've never loved anyone… Until I met you." The pause had been unintentional, but it had added to the moment. "I do love you."
"I'm going to take you away from here."
"I have the money, you know that."
"No, we're going to get married and after the revolution you and I are going to move into the country and have children."
"That is going to be our life Eponine."
"I'll teach you to read and you can teach our children-"
Someone had obviously been up long enough during that night that today he'd been resolved into a blathering fool. "I'm pregnant." He wasn't going to stop talking of his dream life for them until she said something that would interrupt him.
"What?" He turned and met her gaze. "You're-"
"My cycles well over a month late."
"And you know that I'm the fa-"
Eponine covered his mouth with her palm. "I've been faithful to you. I've done the least that I can do without doing nothing with the men that I'm tossed. You'd be the father."
"I told you this could happen and I understand if this isn't what you want. I'm aware that are ways that we could end the pregnancy, if you want to wait."
He pulled her close to him, bringing her flush to him. "I want this baby and I want you." He ran his hands across her petite frame. "If you're going to have my baby we're going to have to fatten you up."
If you're going to have my baby.
A/N: I hope you don't mind such a delayed update. I had to toy with this for some while. I know, I typically write Eponine and Enjolras having a baby but this will have turns to it. I promise. I hope this seems as canon as AU can be. Of course Enjolras would be very different now that his mind's plagued by pretty women and their feminine wiles.