Title- It's Nothing
onesided E/M... BOTH versions! Oh-ho, I am evil...
"She's nothing special. So why does he feel like this?"

A/N- I've been a closet Eponine/Montparnasse shipper for as long as I've known about the wonders of Les Mis, but this is the first time I got up off my butt and wrote something for them. This makes more sense if you've heard the Complete Symphonic Recording or seen a production where they actually include the little bit of dialogue before Thenardier's gang tries to rob Valjean, but it's straightforward enough that no one should be confused.

Thenardier barks orders and the members of the Patron-Minette gang hop to their tasks. "You, Montparnasse! Watch for the law with Eponine!" He does as he is told with surprising speed. He usually does, when it's Thenardier, but the chance to talk to her is alluring enough to make him spring into action more quickly than he might otherwise have done.

She is leaning against the brickwork façade of the shop which borders the alley the Patron-Minette has set as its trap, and her expression is hard to read as usual. If he were a poetic sort, he'd probably say his heart did something stupid, like flutter, but he's not poetic and he never will be.

"Bloody students," he suddenly hears her mother mutter behind him. "What do they think they're at, slumming it in this part of town?" And in an aside to Babet, she adds, "If they'd let her, our Eponine would kiss their feet, foolish child that she is!"

And yes, there they are: students from the Sorbonne. A tall fair-haired man, handsome, and walking with the blond... him. The one who ruined it all.

Whatever "it" actually is.

Well, however you call it, it started maybe two years previously, when Thenardier started dragging his daughter along on their "jobs" as a lookout. Life hadn't been kind to her, but no amount of lice and dirt could change the fact that Eponine Thenardier had eyes that could stop a man dead in his tracks. Bright green, large and inquisitive, and entirely unsettling to him.

Montparnasse has been with a lot of girls in his seventeen years. Eponine ought to have been an easy catch. She wasn't. He had to pay her father to get her into his bed. If he were any other sort of man, that would probably bother him, but it doesn't. He had her, what did the details matter? And she certainly wasn't complaining, once he was through with her!

It was a pretty straightforward arrangement. He paid her father for the privilege of having her, or sometimes when one of them was feeling lonely they would seek the other one out and there was no need to involve Thenardier. They worked together in the Patron-Minette's jobs and fought back and forth so comfortably it was almost rehearsed. They managed pretty well as a team, all told. Yelling at each other didn't get in the way of pulling off some elegant heists.

And then she met him. That curly-haired student with the stupid naive grin and the stack of books about twenty feet high.

Montparnasse hates him. After she met that bastard, Eponine never came back to his bed. She even refused when he paid her father. She did other things for him, to avoid a beating from her father, but he never touched her there again. She also started following the rich boy around, came on less and less of the gang's jobs, slept out on the streets just to be away from her family and closer to him.

And that was how Montparnasse found out that he actually missed her when she wasn't around.

Eponine is nothing, he tells himself. She's not pretty like her sister or witty like her brother. She might be clever like her father, but who wants a clever girl anyway? Clever girls just cause problems. She's nothing special. So why does he feel like this?

It's nothing, he decides. Eponine is nothing, and that stupid rich boy is nothing, and the fact that seeing her trailing around after him like the love-sick waif that she is makes him feel nothing. (Probably because she ripped his heart out and he has nothing left to feel with.)

But that would be poetic, wouldn't it?