Alright, onto chapter 3! I've had a scary amount of free time this week so I'm glad to be posting as much as I have been. This chapter is kind of a filler chapter and there's some E/E fluff, of course! (I told you I can't help myself!) Thanks for the reviews/favorites/follows, they're awesome. I wish I could hug you all through the computer.
As always, happy reading!
It took Enjolras a while to finally get Eponine to start talking again. He had caught up with her, breathless and concerned, but she would refuse to say anything. He walked alongside her and let her blow off all the steam from her outburst. Enjolras thought it had been quite insensitive of Monsieur Germaine to bring up the whole topic of conversation, and he was a little bit miffed at Marius as well. He knew that Eponine was a little bit sensitive when it came to talking about the past. And he completely understood, too. When they had first started their relationship in a romantic way, they both saw it as their way of starting over; they still believed that all of their friends were dead, and starting a life together was an opportunity to be happy and not relive the miserable days that had come to pass.
He shoved his hands in the pockets of his waistcoat and glanced sideways at Eponine. Her brow was furrowed and she was biting her lower lip. Enjolras found her irresistibly adorable when she was deep in thought. "What are you thinking about?" he asked casually, hoping to get a response.
Eponine opened her mouth to say something, but quickly shut it and shook her head. "Nothing, really," she sighed, "it's just…now that I think about it I do believe I was a bit too harsh towards Marius. Monsieur Germaine was the one who brought it up after all. But—"
"Yes?" Enjolras asked. Secretly he was glad to have Eponine angrier at Germaine now. He had been very much out of line, and Enjolras was satisfied that she thought so too.
"It's just that I want Marius to see that I'm happy now," she said, lacing her fingers with his. Enjolras smiled. "Yes I was a thief, but I'm not anymore! I wish Marius could feel how happy I am, how happy you make me," she said the last part softly, her eyes shining up at Enjolras in adoration.
"Well, let's not think on it anymore tonight," he told her. They had arrived at their flat, and he could tell Eponine was exhausted. They had both had one hell of a day, to say the least! "The old problems will still be there tomorrow, along with new ones as well. It's best just to sleep on it and handle it in the morning." He unlocked the door to the apartment and stepped inside.
The flat wasn't huge, but it was perfect for two people. Enjolras and Eponine both had enough space throughout the house for their various belongings they had accumulated over the years. Books, trinkets, clothes, and much more! They had bought it a few weeks ago and it was truly their home. It was where they could be alone and enjoy each other's company for what it was worth; at home Enjolras didn't have to pretend like he did on the streets. It was nice to have a place to come to at the end of the day and relax with his love.
"You are always so wise, Jolras," Eponine said to him. She turned to face him and brought a hand up to cup his cheek. Enjolras relaxed visibly underneath her touch and placed his palm over her hand.
"Wisdom comes from experience," he stated, quoting an old saying he had heard once. "Now 'Ponine, to bed with you! I can see the sleep in your eyes!"
She shook her head in protest. "No. I'm not tired!" she objected, but her drooping eyes gave her away. Enjolras shook his head and rolled his eyes good naturedly. She was stubborn about such tiny things, but it was one of the things he loved best about her. He scooped her up into his arms and carried her back to their bedroom, Eponine giggling all the way.
The next morning when Eponine awoke, she was disappointed to find Enjolras had already left for work. She sat up and rubbed her eyes of sleep and dressed for the day. She cleaned her teeth and brushed her hair and even made herself a nice little breakfast of toast with jam and some coffee. She sighed in contentment as she finished eating and figured she had better find Marius and apologize to him.
When she went by his estate, the man who opened the door said that Marius had left for work earlier that day and gave her the address of his law firm. She arrived at the office and let herself in; looking around the room at all of the law books that lined the shelves, she couldn't help but trickle her fingers lightly over the worn spines. A thin layer of dust coated the tips of her fingers, which she was wiping off when a voice said:
"May I help you, mademoiselle?"
Eponine whirled around and was slightly annoyed to find Monsieur Germaine standing there. Leave it up to Fate to run into this man!
"Oh, Eponine!" he declared, his demeanor becoming more friendly—almost a little too friendly—Eponine thought to herself. "What are you doing here?" He flashed her a wide grin and walked closer to her.
"Oh, I was just looking for Monsieur Marius," she said, fighting the urge to smack the stupid grin off of his face. She was not happy with this man, and she needed to find Marius!
"Well I'm afraid he stepped out for a bit, but he should be back soon," Germaine cleared his throat and continued, "I am terribly sorry about last night. I probably shouldn't have brought up your former, uh, lifestyle." He reached out and put a hand on her shoulder, which Eponine promptly shrugged off.
"It's nothing," she lied. Where was Marius? She didn't like the way Germaine was staring at her, as if she were a gargantuan meal and he hadn't eaten in three days.
"No, no. I was completely in the wrong. It was rude of me to intrude on any unpleasant memories. After all," he said, taking her hand in his, "I hardly know what you've been through."
"That's right," Eponine said, jerking her hand away hastily. Who did this guy think he was? "In fact, you don't even know me at all." So stay away.
Thankfully, at that moment, Marius walked through the door carrying various envelopes and a briefcase with his hair windswept and sticking up all over the place. Eponine couldn't help but smile.
"Eponine!" he exclaimed when he saw her, the surprise evident on his freckled face. "I'm certainly glad to see you this morning!"
Eponine's smile grew wider at his genuine comment. "I'm glad to see you as well! Could we talk privately?" she asked, shooting a furtive glance at Monsieur Germaine. His face was impassive, but his eyes held something treacherous that Eponine could not quite place. Nonetheless, she did not want him eavesdropping on her conversation with Marius. The high regard which Eponine had placed him in last night was quickly becoming buried under Eponine's uneasiness towards his serpentine qualities.
"Yes, of course!" Marius said brightly, "Why don't we talk in my office?" He gestured with his head to a small room in the back where Eponine could see a desk and some chairs. She nodded her agreement and followed Marius into the room. She chanced one last look at Monsieur Germaine, but he had disappeared. Probably slithered away, Eponine mused sardonically.
"So," Marius began, closing the door after Eponine had stepped in, "what would you like to talk about?" He was fidgeting with his hands and he kept running them through his hair, which was already disheveled.
"I wanted to apologize for my little outburst last night," she started. Her voice shook slightly and she took a deep breath before continuing. "I shouldn't have shouted at you the way I did. It wasn't your fault at all! You didn't bring up the conversation, Monsieur Germaine did and I took it out on you—"
" 'Ponine," Marius interrupted, "it's quite alright. I understand if you don't want to talk about the past. It was a little careless of me to talk about it like I did."
Eponine shook her head vigorously. "No! I don't want you to think that this is somehow your fault. It's just—I have this new life now, and I wish you could see how happy I am. Before, I could only dream of the happiness that I have. Never in my life did I think that I would get to experience love like I am now, or the feeling of a full belly before you go to sleep." She stopped speaking and her eyes were brimming with tears.
"I was always so jealous of the way Cosette loved you and now I have someone who brings me joy every day. Enjolras is so kind to me, Marius. We take care of each other, and I can't wait to start a proper family one day…" she trailed off and smiled glumly. "Anyway, you see what I'm trying to say."
"Oh, 'Ponine," Marius whispered, pulling her into a hug, "I do see how happy you are with Enjolras and your new life. Seeing you happy makes me happy, too. You deserve it after everything you've been through."
Eponine beamed at him. "So, all is forgiven?" she asked, even though she was certain of the answer.
"Of course! It is a clean slate," Marius answered, releasing his hold on Eponine. "By the way, I've been meaning to ask you about your, erm, relationship with Enjolras." He raised his eyebrows at Eponine and she laughed nervously.
"What do you want to know?" she asked him raising her eyebrows at him in a mocking fashion.
Marius chuckled and motioned for her to sit down in one of the chairs across from his desk. "Well, what do you mean by start a 'proper family'? Are you planning on getting married?"
Eponine gazed at the floor as a light shade of pink colored her cheeks. "Actually…we are married. But not officially."
Marius' mouth fell open in astonishment at his friend's confession. "What do you mean by that?" He was trying to compose himself, but was finding it hard to keep his emotions in balance. First he runs into his friends after believing for seven years that they are dead, when in fact, they are actually alive. Next he realizes they are romantically involved. He never would've guessed they were married! Suddenly, Eponine's words from the night before came ringing back to Marius. Not a Thenardier anymore…
"We have no official record of our marriage. We can't go to the church and tell them we want to be married. We're afraid that Enjolras will be recognized and taken away to be hanged for his involvement in the June Rebellion. It's not something that we are willing to risk. The only proof we have is the words we exchanged, nothing else."
Marius ran a hand through his hair and slumped back into his chair. "I'll be damned," he breathed, "Is there anything else I need to know?"
Sorry this was a little long…again this was a little bit of a filler chapter but I think I have a pretty good idea of where I want this story to go. The story will start to pick up in these next few chapters. Reviews are much appreciated (as always)!