These stories are too similar to NOT fanfic. Sydney Carton, Eponine – both wander the streets of France alone at night, tortured by the knowledge that the one they love loves another, yet still peaceful.

Tale Of Two Cities is defined by one character: Sydney Carton. I sort of have a little bit of a tiny crush. On a fictional character. Sad, I know.

On My Own. The best song ever written. Words cannot explain. Enough said.

The cobblestones listen.

Usually they lay dormant and asleep, pounded into apathy by the many harried footsteps passing over them, but tonight something intrigues them. Two soft and silent sets of steps in the dead of night. In the witching hour when no one is awake, they wander alone; they are slow, ponderous. They are different from the hustle and bustle of most. Who are they?

The cobblestones listen.

Eponine's POV

And now I'm all alone again, nowhere to turn, no one to go to,

Without a home, without a friend, without a face to say hello to,

And now the night is near

Now I can make believe he's here.

Sometimes I walk alone at night

When everybody else is sleeping

I think of him and then I'm happy

With the company I'm keeping

The city goes to bed

And I can live inside my head

All alone. Alone, alone. It was a song weaving through her head. But where once she had shrunk from it and hid form it, she now embraced it. The empty Paris streets hummed and echoed with the words alone, alone.

On my own

Pretending he's beside me

All alone

I walk with him till morning

Without him

I feel his arms around me

And when I lose my way I close my eyes

And he has found me

She found one lone star in the ink black sky and smiled to see it so bravely shining through the darkness. It gave her hope.

"I'm supposed to wish on you, right?" she whispered. "But I don't think it works for me. Believe me, I've tried and tried, but nothing ever happens." Mist kissed her upturned face as she closed her eyes. Love, she thought, was like a mist. It came when least expected. It was soft and consuming. It took forever and a day to run its course, and when it was finally gone something felt empty.

The mist turned to rain. The cobblestones gleamed under the soft fingers of rain. It was so heartwrenchingly beautiful that she felt like crying and laughing at the same time.

In the rain the pavement shines like silver

All the lights are misty in the river

In the darkness, the trees are full of starlight

And all I see is him and me forever and forever

In every raindrop, she could see a part of her life. Birth . . . a less than idyllic childhood . . . her youthful daydreams . . . her daydreams had not changed much. They still involved a handsome prince, but it was just a fantasy in the end – there was no happy ending for her after all. His face shone in her mind, untarnished by despair and unrequited love.

And I know it's only in my mind

That I'm talking to myself and not to him

And although I know that he is blind

Still I say, there's a way for us.

Alone, alone. The raindrops were a symphony that played along with the words in her head. They harmonized against the pavement; they serenaded the night with their beautiful, wild song. She tipped her head back and caught some on her tongue. Raindrops, she thought, tasted like a new spring day – hopeful and lovely and promising new life.

I love him

But when the night is over

He is gone

The river's just a river

Without him

The world around me changes

The trees are bare and everywhere

The streets are full of strangers

She was ashamed to find tears on her cheeks. As if they would make a difference. She'd cried her fill. But the rain camouflaged her tears beautifully.

I love him

But every day I'm learning

All my life

I've only been pretending

Without me

His world would go on turning

A world that's full of happiness

That I have never known

Despite the tears, she felt more at peace than she ever had in her short life. At last the uncertainties were done away with. Her world was stable at last: she was sure in her love, he was sure in his. She had nothing left to hope for, and strangely this was comforting in its certainty. Life had been static for far too long.

I love him

I love him

I love him

But only on my own

The song faded and left her alone, alone, alone.

But not quite.

Sydney's POV


That was the only way to describe what he was feeling.

He, who had never amounted to anything except drunkenness, was to die tomorrow. Yet he had never felt happier. Now, at last, he could offer something to the girl he loved: his life. And because of that, she would remember him with a smile on her lips and love in her heart for him. What more could he hope for? But it pained him to realize he would never again see her face. He drove away this sad thought with the memory of how soft and sweet her lips had been under his. One last kiss, from the unconscious woman to the doomed man. For some reason this struck him as funny.

He blamed the euphoria. It was stronger than any drink he'd ever tasted (and he'd had enough to kill a full grown bull elephant).

But as euphoric as he felt, he had one question. Why had fate chosen him? An unremarkable English lawyer, almost boring in his normality. He would have been happier without her. Would have lived a full life. The doubt took hold of him. He no longer felt as joyful.

It began to rain. He spotted a figure far down the street and wondered who else would be out at this late hour. As he drew closer, he was startled to see the tranquil face of a young girl turned skyward. It struck him that she looked a little like the one he loved; the girl had the same sweet, young, serene but passionate face.

"Bonsoir, mademoiselle," he said courteously. "Good evening, miss."

Her eyes snapped open and fixed on his face. "Bonsoir," she murmured. She began to turn away, and he caught sight of her tear-filled put a hand on her thin arm. He could feel bones through the ragged coat.

"Why do you cry, mademoiselle?" he asked softly.

She faced him and the tears flowed down her cheeks. Angrily she brushed at them. "I don't see how that's any of your business. Monsieur, I may look young, but hardship has aged me."

Still speaking softly, as if to an injured animal, he said "What is it you need? Food? Money? Perhaps I can help."

"You cannot help me." The fire left her eyes. The tears continued and she let them fall unchecked now. "Unless you have the power to turn a man's heart."

"Ah." An unexpected pain sliced through him "I understand, better than you may think. I love a someone too. But she loves another."

"It's a pain hardly to be lived with." The peace returned to her face. "Unless you know how to walk alone."

"I think we've both had to learn how." He smiled a little. "Love...the best of times, the worst of times."

"The age of wisdom, the age of foolishness," the girl replied.

"The season of light, the season of darkness, the spring of hope, the winter of despair. . ." He laughed now. "Life, death, happiness, sadness – that's the answer. That's why fate chose me. Love is the only thing worth living for. It is what being human means. Love is the basis of humanity!"

Far from being lost by his transports of happiness, the girl now seemed to glow. "That's why," she murmured. "Because without love and heartbreak, we could not exist. I am a better person because of it. That's why I live."

Moved by their emotions, the strangers embraced for a long time. Then they drew back and looked at each other – at the new assurance they both had now. Then, without a word, they went their separate ways. Each was a little richer for the meeting.

They went to death. But they went to life.

Philosophical ramblings. That's all. But when you feel alone, just remember – there is someone, somewhere, who cares. I didn't do this for reviews; I did it for myself...but I hope you like it.