Even when teary, Cosette looked beautiful. Pink rimmed her enormous blue eyes, and the tear trickling down her cheek seemed to match the diamonds ornamenting her floofy wedding dress perfectly. "I'm nervous, 'Ponine."

Eponine nodded sympathetically. Loose threads dangled from the hem of her bridesmaid's dress, and she sported an impressive black eye from a drunken brawl with her father at the post-reception party earlier that day. They'd had their real wedding, the one for all three of them, a few weeks previously, on the anniversary of the barricades, in the garden of Cosette's former residence. In Eponine's opinion, this wedding was just a wonderful excuse to devour several pieces of cake. However, Cosette, a strict observer of social protocol, had decided to wait until after the formal wedding to consummate their relationship. "Wedding night jitters, eh? My mum used to say that she wished she'd had more of them. Well, it's normal and all. Just-"

"No, I'm happier than anything. It's just that… I don't… I've never… the nuns, they never said anything about…" Cosette gestured helplessly. "You know."

Understanding dawned on Eponine's face. "Oh."

Cosette nodded, seeming almost ready to burst into tears again.

"Well, it's not that difficult! I mean, if my parents could do it, you certainly could.I know-first I'll teach you how to give a hand job. That way, I won't have too much of an unfair advantage when it comes to pleasuring him." She rooted around under the bed, finally reappearing with-

"What are you doing with one of Marius's left socks?"

"You'll see," Eponine answered with a confident shrug. Sitting on the bed, she held the sock up. "Now, imagine that this is a cock. Obviously, it takes a while to remove one's clothes, but you want to start by putting your fingers here and here- stop laughing, Cosette, not all of us were raised in an atmosphere of prudery- and then…"

Marius headed down the hallway. Where was that book he'd been reading, anyway? It contained the most fascinating economic-sociopolitical theories…

"All right, now try again. No, use a bit more pressure! You're not going to break him, you know."

Peering into the doorway, he saw Cosette stroking a sock that Eponine held, a look of extreme concentration on her delicate face.

"Oh, Cosette, you're so exquisitely talented!"Eponine gasped in a comically deep voice.

Cosette giggled and covered her mouth with her hands.

Marius's eyebrows quirked as he attempted to make sense of the situation. Finally he said, "Pardon me, but I couldn't help wondering. Why are you fondling one of my socks?"

A blush crept onto Cosette's face. "Erm…"

Eponine tried to speak; instead, cackling too hard to form a coherent sentence, she flopped forward onto the bed.

"Never mind," Marius said politely, and continued down the hallway. Cosette and Eponine behaved so enigmatically at times!