Jour et Nuit Étreinte

Chapter 2

"Éponine!"

They had been drinking that much was obvious but as long as they didn't yell angrily or throw something she was fine with that - none of them were angry drunks, they were flirtatious drunks for the most part though some were just plain humorous.

"There you are, Éponine!" Marius grinned as he left the stone leaders side and made to greet her. "We were beginning to wonder if you were going to drop in."

Looking around the Café, Éponine noticed that a lot of Les Amis de l'ABC were already passed out drunk across chairs or had stumbled back home. It was emptier than usual but still contained, awake, Enjolras, the leader she had mentioned before but more on him in a second, Marius, Courfeyrac and Grantaire.

Marius, we already know; he was Éponine's best friend, her protector in a way, and though many of the boys thought they were in love (or at the very least Éponine in love with Marius) their relationship was strictly platonic, Éponine often thought of Marius as another sibling, one that took care of her rather than the other way around. Marius was one of those easy-going people, he was compassionate, sympathetic and supportive - things that had drawn Éponine in the moment she had met him - he has thick brown hair, baby-blue eyes and his face was littered with freckles. At this point in our story, he's twenty.

Courfeyrac was a charming man three years older than Marius. He had a way with people; he was confident and unusually optimistic. Women completely adored him and he used that fact - a womaniser would describe Philippe Courfeyrac perfectly. He was also a devoted member of Les Amis de l'ABC and wasn't un-fond of his drinks. He was also brown haired, though it was curly unlike Marius', with warm brown eyes which laughed.

Adam Grantaire. Well, he was a different story all together. He wasn't a big supporter of the cause that Les Amis de l'ABC worked for but he was - for lack of better work - devoted to Enjolras. He was a cynical man but he had intelligence and knowledge, or he would, if he didn't inhibit it with gallons of alcohol. Grantaire was a drunk but his nature in all was even more easy-going than Marius and he was always friendly. He was often known as 'R' and he was seven years older than Marius - the eldest of Les Amis de l'ABC. His hair was darker than the other boys - black - and his eyes were practically grey.

That only leaves us with Enjolras, the man we have left alone for a while, skirting around him but now we will finally pay him some proper attention. Attention he deserves for he will come to play a large part in our story.

Antoine Enjolras, the leader of the revolutionary group Les Amis de l'ABC, was a charming but intimidating man and he had the looks to go with this. Tall, blonde, blue eyed and chiselled - he was described as an 'antique god'. He was often referred to as 'Apollo' for his stone-like nature and devotion to democracy, equality and justice. Enjolras as stated has blond hair, it was wavy and long, long enough the he tied it at the nape of his neck in a black ribbon, his eyes were a deep (in both senses of the word) blue which were surrounded by long, fair lashes. Women fell left and right for him but he never paid them any attention, for Enjolras they didn't matter, his revolution was all that did. He was the Logic of said revolution and had a way with words, so much so that he managed to gather the Les Amis de l'ABC together against the king. He would spend hours writing his speeches and looking at his plans - Enjolras' words were dangerous for they could convince people without much effort.

Marius was close friends with Enjolras, who was four years older than him, and Enjolras was the first person Éponine had been introduced to when she first entered the Café. At that point, she and Marius (for they were the same age) were fifteen and Enjolras was nineteen but Éponine was completely taken with him straight away though he said but two words to her.

"Welcome, Mademoiselle."

They were still the only words he had ever said to her but he always made sure to acknowledge her whenever she entered the Café. She replayed that fact that he had called her 'mademoiselle' in her head for a while since no one had ever called her since her family fell from working class station.

Marius grinned as he wrapped her in a hug, his gentleness feeling weird after a night of work but Éponine made sure she hugged him back as she usually would. Enjolras nodded at her when she caught his eye over Marius' shoulder and she could feel a light blush rise on her cheeks though it was hidden by her layer of dirt. When Marius released her, she sat down beside Courfeyrac who was just downing the last of his beer. Grantaire was up on his feet, dancing and singing in ways that clearly said he was past just being drunk.

"Easy, Courf," she laughed nudging his shoulder, "remember you've got to walk home."

He just grinned at her and pushed one of his still full pints towards her - Courfeyrac always made sure he had a least two waiting for him when he was in the mood for drinking. He was a sporadic drinker, unlike Grantaire, he would only have a few normally but when he did go for it, he completely went.

"Have you eaten, 'Ponine?" Marius called from where he was standing back with Enjolras.

Éponine's stomach made a strange noise but no one heard it over Grantaire's singing so she just smiled over at her best friend - she still wasn't very willing to accept their food unless the practically forced it on her something Marius always did.

"Yes, 'Rius, don't worry."

Marius frowned at her: he could always see through her lies, even when she thought she was at her most convincing - or at least that was what he thought. He could never see through her lies about her job or her home life. It seemed the deeper, more important lies, passed right under his nose. He let her think that he believed her but as soon as Courfeyrac had her laughing hysterically he went and got her food.

Éponine jumped as the plate landed in front of her and looked up.

"'Rius, really?!"

"Humour me."

We've said that Marius was easy-going but when it came to Éponine's health that mind was replaced with one that was full of protective instincts - he thinks of Éponine as a younger sibling, even though they're the same age, just as we said Éponine did. She gave him a sweet smile picking up the food and, just to 'humour him' took a bite. He nodded and returned to Enjolras, leaving Éponine shaking her head but secretly glad for the food and that she had Marius.

She sat and watched Marius and Enjolras work - this time planning the newest speech that Enjolras was going to make - more studying Enjolras than anything. We weren't joking when we said "completely taken", Éponine was probably slightly in love with Enjolras and perhaps that was why Les Amis thought she was in love with Marius - she was always looking at Enjolras but, since Enjolras would look at no girl especially not her (at least in Eponine's thoughts), there was no way she could be looking at him so it must be Marius, who wasn't usually far from Enjolras he was so devoted to the cause, she was looking at.

Éponine sighed as Enjolras flashed a rare smile at something Marius said. Slightly in love with him she may be but she never allowed herself to believe for a second that anything would become of it. Enjolras was rich, well-esteemed and stone-cold to the thought of women, kind as he may be, he would never look at her for more than a second and definitely not in the romantic way. She was a dirty gamine from the underbelly of Paris. She was just content to be in his company - though she was unsure how long it would last. Perhaps it was a good thing that he never spoke to her, she pondered.

******* <3 ********

Enjolras looked over Pontmercy's shoulder at the small huddled figure that was Éponine. He was sure she was hiding something from them, though it wasn't his business but Pontmercy's, unless she really could be so different each evening for no dramatic reason. He noticed that way she stiffened when Pontmercy hugged her upon entrance, though he had to push down a strange feeling in his stomach to focus on it, when usually she would beam and hug him back tightly - relaxing in the presence of her 'protector' not tensing. There was something different about her eyes tonight, he had noticed when he caught her eye to nod at her in greeting (the only interaction he ever had with her) and now she was sitting in the corner of a booth with Courfeyrac quietly eating the food Marius had given her when normally they'd have some sort of banter going on.

"So is Mademoiselle Éponine well?" he allowed himself to ask as he met Marius' eyes and the younger boy turned around to look at her quickly.

"I'm sure she's fine," Marius replied and Enjolras felt his brow crease, "Azelma isn't well at the moment, she just worried for her."

Enjolras nodded, his head still in his plans giving the impression that he wasn't really that interested but he felt his heart slacken knowing for tonight at least there as a reason for Éponine's changing personality. He wasn't sure why it mattered to him at all and reasoned with himself that it was because she was, loosely, part of Les Amis and therefore he cared about her wellbeing. She was part of their group but I think we all know it's a bit more than that because even stone gods feel, do they not?

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