1. Please note that I have not read the brick, and I don't plan on doing so soon, so everything in this story is from my imagination, the musical and movie, and the things I read on a Wikipedia page, because I intensely suck at doing any sort of research.
2. I don't like being picked on for liking people I like, and liking them together. Though I also don't like being unrealistic. Please note though, anyone who might actually care, that this is an Alternate Universe. It is a completely different place, almost different characters. I am not trying to kill the wonderful work of Victor Hugo by removing his artistic integrity; I am just trying to create my own. And in my artistic vision, Enjolras has a first name, a baby sister, and he hasn't quite figured out his sexuality. If that bothers you, don't bother reading any more. I'm not trying to shove this in your face, I'm just trying to create an outlet for myself. And plus, if you choose to read the story, knowing that you hate the idea of the characters, then you're just bringing it on yourself, so don't go blaming me for it.
3. I am decently religious. This will not affect my take on this story. It does however have effects that I believe I should warn you ahead about. A: I don't write smut. This fic is rated T for language, and for the reality of the horrible conditions I wish to portray. I don't want to sugar-coat things, but I also won't be writing about sex lives. Believe me there are plenty of other stories that do that, I won't. B: I have an idealist attitude towards everything. It means that everything I do has this underlying current of hope and life running through it. This will be true in this case too, though I don't want to create a fairytale land where nothing needs to change.
4. I really do like my characters, but they haunt me to tell their stories. So, again, I'm not going to try to sugar-coat happenings that appear to me. Also, I have a really awful track record of updating. So, sorry about that. This will be left hanging, I can almost certainly promise that.
Disclaimer: Victor Hugo wrote the book, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg wrote the musical, not to mention Tom Hooper directed the beautiful 2012 movie version. Also, Aaron Tveit and Samantha Barks are my perfect Enjolras and Eponine, as well as most of the others from the 2012 movie. I also stole a few first names from another fic on this website, Victor Hugo High School, by JetGirl1832. Be proud, I liked the names you came up with so much that I actually thought that they were the actual names until I actually started researching a little. Coverart for this story is by Eponnia.
With that, situations are mine, and half the names are as well.
I hope you like the story. :)
Chapter 1: The Night
She woke up earlier than anyone else in the house. It was weird to walk around the place with no one up, especially considering how late many of her father's friends went to bed. Quietly, she stole into her parent's room, where they were both passed out, on top of the covers, barely clothed. Two others were sleeping entirely nude on the floor.
She snuck around them, until she could reach the dresser. She opened the second drawer and stole one of her mother's shirts. All of hers were in rags and this had been part of her daily ritual for almost a year. She'd steal a shirt, and wear it until she would get in trouble at school for it being so torn, and then she'd steal a new one. She found it almost unreal how lucky she'd been not to get caught, and that her mother hadn't realized that she was wearing the expensive shirts she bought at department stores around the city.
But, she'd been living like this since her father got caught and put in jail for a year, when she was almost 12. Before that, her parents had almost been reasonable, a little abusive to her and her younger siblings, but after that… Gavroche had run away the first time he'd gotten a bruise from her. And when she had been away for a week, at a school trip, Azelma had disappeared.
They hardly even noticed her around anymore, not in their drug and alcohol- induced coma's, it meant she wasn't beaten much anymore, but they wouldn't ever give her anything either.
She couldn't remember the last time she hadn't been hungry. And she couldn't bear the embarrassment of admitting to her school counselor that her parents were slowly starving her, so she couldn't get lunch at school either.
Who would care anyways, who would care about poor, unfortunate Eponine Thenardier. She had never been called into the principal, because no one believed she could actually pass high school. The counselor looked at her with pity in his eyes, and barely anyone else even noticed her.
She had seen every one of her teachers, at least the teachers of the classes she actually attended have to check their roles to make sure she wasn't lying and she was actually in their class. She just wasn't memorable and she liked it that way. It meant that she didn't get hurt.
There were two people who were sort of like friends. She didn't have friends, not really. She couldn't trust anyone, not enough for friendship. Friendship meant going home with people, and meeting parents. It meant getting smoothies from a café. She didn't want anyone seeing that close to her.
Benedict Grantaire was a hopeless alcoholic, he lived with his not so sober father, but the alcoholism he'd gotten from his mother. She was fine with him. He was blunt and constantly drunk, but he was better than most and most definitely better than the other guy who hung around. Alain Montparnasse was the son of one of her father's friends, and, at 17, he was already a heavy drug addict, and he carried a gun hidden in his baggy pants.
Quite honestly, he scared her. She didn't like anyone who knew her parents, much less anyone who was actually like them. How could she ever deal with someone who was like Alain? Cruel, hard, and disturbing. He hung around because he liked her. More than anything else, it was his attraction, his lust that terrified her. Meaningless sex was one thing, (though she had never actually had any, she was a virgin because of circumstance, not because of choice, necessarily) but lust and passion was something else entirely.
Still, she was too scared of him and his drugs and his weapons to tell him to stay away, so he stuck around. And if she had a true acquaintance in Ben, she also had a pretty strong bodyguard. At least she knew that she would never have to see Montparnasse again after she moved out. After she turned 18, which was the week of high school graduation, she intended to get as far away as she could, and Ben had told her he'd come with her.
She finally found a shirt she decided she'd be fine wearing for the next month or so, and turned, but she'd forgotten to close the drawer, and as she turned, she banged her knee, hard on the corner. She yelped, and then froze. If she knew nothing else, she would still know that noise was dangerous.
She stared at the bed, at her mother's bra-clad form, and hoped against everything she knew that her mother would choose this one time to sleep deeply. Hope was in vain though. Her mother sat up almost immediately, and after she'd blinked a few times, she saw Eponine.
And then the shouting began. Eponine ran as her mother screamed for her to stop. Yelling slut and bitch down the hallway as Eponine skidded in her socked feet on the dirty wooden floor. Though Eponine wasn't very fast, she was faster than her very high mother, and as she escaped outside, still shoeless, and in her worst pair of jeans, the ones she actually slept in, she heard her mother scream after her that if she came back, she would die.
Slowly, Eponine started the long walk to the school. One more month, she chanted to herself, pulling the shirt she'd risked so much to steal over her threadbare tank top and shivered to herself in the early morning air. She'd steal one of the athlete's shoes when she got to school, she had before, and she could again.
One month, and she would be free. One month. One month. One month.
His laptop beeped loudly. Another email this morning. That was unusual. He'd already answered his grandfather's question about graduation, and Marius' Latin question from last night, after he'd already gone to sleep.
Muting the news on the TV, he sat down once more at his desk, and read the new email. It was Lucas Combeferre, his vice president, with a question about the graduation party and speeches. He shut the laptop without answering; it was only about a half an hour until he would see him in the president's office, for an entire hour of business and planning. Combeferre just like to be ahead of things.
Combeferre was a great guy to have as a vice president. He loved philosophy, so he could keep up with the idealistic views that he as the president loved.
One month until graduation. One month, and then he could go on to college, and become the best defense lawyer that he could be.
He packed up the laptop, and carefully placed it in his bag, as orderly as he always did. Most of his school supplies were already in the bag, in the special places that he had made for them throughout the year. Putting the bag on his bed, he turned to the mirror in his private bathroom. A mirror that he kept conspicuously clean.
Not that he really liked to look at himself in the mirror; he just didn't like things that didn't fit in with his world. He kept his room clean, his bag organized, his schoolwork neat, and his bathroom immaculate. They had a maid, but she had his mother to deal with already and he hated to add to her work, knowing that she was almost in a worse situation than the storybook character Cinderella. And his mother was the wicked witch. The maid, Azelma, was a tiny girl, 16 at most, with a 6 month old baby, and no husband or lover. She'd been working for them for the last four years, and was one of the hardest workers that his mother had ever seen, which was the only reason she hadn't been fired when she had gotten pregnant.
It hadn't been her fault. She'd been raped going home from their house one night. He knew because she'd asked him to help her find the bastard. They hadn't succeeded, but he managed to give her money whenever he could, to help support herself and the baby, which she'd refused to give up, but still his mother was unrelenting.
He pulled the tie off of his rack, and quickly tied it around his neck, and turned down the collar. Uniforms. Most of his friends complained that they were at a private school that actually required uniforms, but he realized the necessity of them and didn't mind them. He didn't even try and customize his, though many of the other students did. They were just clothes, well-made, decent clothes. And he didn't mind them at all.
Looking at himself one more time in the mirror, to check his presentation as president, he grabbed his bag off the bed and headed downstairs.
His mother was in the front room, watching a celebrity TV show with pointed dislike. His little sister was eating an omelet at the kitchen table. She looked tiny in the large room, completely alone, but it was this idea of proper that his mother wouldn't let go of. Patria was only in fourth grade, 9 years old, and small for her age, but she'd inherited her mother's fine, straight blonde hair, and she was his pride and joy.
Leaning down, he hugged her, before taking an apple from a basket in the kitchen, and his car keys from their hook in the entryway.
His mother called him back. She was as regal as anyone he'd ever known, more like an evil queen than the trophy wife she was. As he turned to answer her, she stood, and though she was still in a long bed robe, her ropes of blonde hair were already in a knot on top of her head, and her eyes were dramatically lined and made up.
She pursed her lips, and straightened his tie and his collar, patting down his gelled hair before releasing him. He stepped away and turned his back, before making his tie a little bit crooked again, his little rebellion. He hated these little morning rituals, her dependence on appearance so great that she had to approve of his look.
It had only been recently that he had started noticing how manipulative she was, not that his father was much better, as a State Senator, he was gone for long hours of the day, and was nearly as concerned with appearances as his wife, but at least he would give them some benefit of the doubt.
Patria was rarely let outside. She was slightly mentally retarded, and instead of becoming a devoted, helpful parent, willing to help her child in any way possible, his mother had been just as selfish, and self-conscious as she had ever been. She couldn't stand the idea of her less than perfect child being seen, and so Patria was cooped up, tutored at home specially, so that she didn't even have the release of school or friends.
If there was a way to get her away from his parents and take her to college with him, he would do it. However, he had looked, and the only way to get proper custody would be if it was able to be proven that the parents were abusive, or the child was in a particularly bad situation.
However, he had managed to do one thing for himself. He had gotten into Princeton University, with both Marius and Lucas, and his parents believed that he would be going there to study Criminal Law. Instead, he would be going to a nearby college, the Thomas Edison State College, and studying Defense Justice.
His parents could not, and would not hold him back. He had decided that a long time ago. No, the perfect president of the Ridge Christian Academy would not be controlled by his parents. Alexandre Enjolras was too smart, too talented, too powerful to let them.
One month, until he could start doing something he really wanted to. One month. One month.