Sunrise Beyond A Barricade


Enjolras' final exams were only a few days away now; the trouble was he could barely concentrate on anything now except his personal torment. When Marius had returned from his honeymoon with Cosette he was shocked to find his cousin engaged to Éponine. He had tried to speak to Enjolras about it only to find that Enjolras had no interest in speaking about the matter. Then Enjolras matter-of-factly told Marius that he was more interested in gossip-mongering than any woman he had had the displeasure of speaking with in his whole life. Marius knew then that Enjolras was truly torn up about the whole thing, due to his irritableness. He would keep an eye on things; as much as Marius respected his cousin he did not agree with the marriage; Éponine was far too good for Dumont.

Éponine and Enjolras relationship had deteriorated so badly since their disagreement that they hardly spoke. They bumped into each other in the hallway on the night of her engagement party.

"Oh excuse me Monsieur."

"Éponine." He nodded. Enjolras would not give her the satisfaction of calling her Madame.

"If I do not see you before, good luck with your exams." She was not beyond polite small talk.

Enjolras grinned. "But you will see me this evening."


"At your engagement party."

"Forgive me sir; but I don't remember inviting you." If Enjolras could not be happy for then she would not have him join in the celebrations.

"Cosette is ill, Marius has asked me to accompany him as his guest." Pontmercy was finally useful for something.

Éponine's lip pulled into a thin line. "Very well then. I will see you this evening; excuse me." She huffed slightly and brushed past him to continue to her room.

Enjolras had no interest in going to watch Éponine prance around like a prized pony, but he couldn't help but feel like he had set something in motion. Ever since his brush with Montparnasse he had been concerned for her safety.

Enjolras dressed in his finest suit jacket attire and turned up to the gathering determined not to ruin Éponine's evening. He stayed close to Marius and tried to avoid her, but he could not avoid the whispers circulating the room from all of the women he happened to pass by. They had realised he shared his home with the bride-to-be and it was certainly uncommon for a man and a woman to be sharing living quarters when they were not wed. He blushed when he heard the comment that he was incredibly handsome and she could not understand how he was unattached.

Halfway through the evening Éponine approached the pair and greeted Marius with a smile.

"Marius...Dumont suggested we share a waltz. We are to be family soon after all."

Marius' eyes crossed over to Enjolras for a moment and then back to Éponine.

" 'Ponine I'm terribly sorry, I must speak to my Grandfather, it is something quite urgent and it's the first time I have seen him free this evening. I will be back in a few moments, Enjolras, you'll keep her warm for me won't you?" Marius stepped back and with his hand on Enjolras' back gave him a gentle shove in her direction. He walked briskly over to his Grandfather before either could protest.

They did look a bit silly standing on the ballroom floor with everybody gliding around them so Enjolras cleared his throat and took up position. One hand on her waist and one holding hers. As they danced Éponine's anger subsided.

"I hate it when we argue Enjolras."

"As do I. I pray you will forgive me." He could be a perfect gentleman when the need arose.

A flush rose in her cheeks. "I do believe that every eye in the room is upon us."

"Let them stare. I overheard one of the ladies telling her friend that it is a crime I am not wed."

"Oh really?"

"It gets better. She went on to say that if she were not already married she would pursue me simply for the beautiful children we might one day produce."

'Ponine laughed. "Oh they are terrible aren't they? What am I getting myself into Adrien?" She almost rested her head on his chest as they waltzed before realising that would really give the crowd something to gossip about.

As the night approached its end Dumont and Éponine stood at the front of the room and thanked everyone for coming. Dumont was in the middle of his speech when he was rudely interrupted.

Enjolras and Marius were looking around the room and noticed there were a lot more people than before. Thenardier's gang had gatecrashed the celebration in the same way that Éponine's mother and father had done at Marius and Cosette's wedding. They looked rediculous, but they were not here to hobnob with the elite.

"Isn't there a rule somewhere that says you have to ask permission to marry somebody's daughter?" Thenardier called out.

"Who are you?" Dumont asked.

Éponine cringed behind him. "No..." She whispered.

Madame Thenardier spoke up this time. "This little missy here's our girl."

"Éponine's parents are dead." Dumont insisted.

"Well she lied then didnt't she?" She replied.

While the Thenardier's were busy making a commotion it allowed the other gang members to slip between the crowd and pickpocket their finery.

Éponine put her hand on Dumont's arm. "Please I can explain."

"It's true?" He wouldn't even let her finish.

It was then one of the ladies in the crowd shrieked that her necklace was missing, and another that her earrings were gone that Dumont recognised Thenardier from the wanted posters in the streets.

"You are the leader of the street gang of thieves that haunt Paris."

"Thief is a bit harsh isn't it?" Thenardier quipped. "I like to think of it more like borrowing. Éponine was always our best lookout; hasn't she told you?" He grinned a toothy smile.

Éponine was panicked now. "I have distanced myself from them...I haven't even seen them in months. Please Dumont you must believe me. That is not who I am anymore."

Dumont ignored her. "Call the police." He instructed. Thenardier's gang started to run for the exits. He turned and looked down on her. "You lied to me."

"Is it any wonder why? I swear, I have been off the streets ever since the June Revolution."

"I suppose this is where you tell me you were involved in that disgrace aswell." When Dumont saw her eyes give a tell-tale glance down he laughed. "You have to be joking. I don't even know who you are." Dumont brushed her off and turned to walk away from her. "Our engagement is over."

Éponine was crying now. She couldn't even look at anybody else in the room, all of the upper-class were staring at her with utter contempt. She turned to head for the hallway that lead to the staircase, all she wanted to do was leave as quickly as possible. When she reached the top of the stairs she felt somebody grab her. She felt sick as she recognised that horrible breath on her cheek.

"Hello 'Ponine dearest. You're looking posh tonight."

" 'Parnasse, take your hands off me this instant."

"We have some unfinished business you and me..." One of his hands held both of Éponine's roughly behind her while the other held his knife to her. She began screaming at the top of her lungs as he dragged her down the stairs.

Her screams attracted the men. Enjolras ran to the top of the bannister and called out to her. "Éponine!" He turned to Dumont. "Aren't you going to help her?"

When Dumont simply turned his head Enjolras was disgusted. "Marius come with me, quickly!"

Marius and Enjolras ran down the stairs and out onto the street. It was raining now which made visibility poor. They ran down the pavement to the nearest alleyway, trying to work out where Montparnasse had taken her. It dawned on Enjolras just how little time they had so he told Marius to run and fetch the Police Inspector as fast as he could. Marius almost protested; worried for Enjolras' safety, and then told him to be careful before running off. Enjolras then ran as fast as he could praying he was going in the right direction. He ran down another alley, and then another. Crestfallen he didn't know where to turn, until he heard Éponine's screams again. He took off after them and found them in one of Paris' darkest corners. Montparnasse had her against the wall tearing her gown with his knife. Enjolras launched at him, tackling Parnasse away from her. The knife flung out of his hand and slid across the wet cobblestones.

Éponine called out to him in horror. "Enjolras!"

He scampered to try and collect the knife off the ground but Montparnasse was hot on his heels. " 'Ponine; run!" He wanted her as far away from here as possible. For once in her life she didn't argue and she ran barefoot now away from the two men. Her shoes had been lost in the struggle.

Montparnasse tackled Enjolras before he could reach the knife and settled for trying to throttle him instead. Enjolras began to gag under the other man's hands and thrust a knee up into his groin. Montparnasse doubled over in pain and rolled off him. Enjolras grabbed the knife but it was slippery in the rain. The two men continued to struggle and then it was all over. Montparnasse had grabbed the knife off of Enjolras, so he forced them both into the wall. Montparnasse went face first, but instead of dropping the knife like Enjolras had expected him too 'Parnasse clung to it, as he fell, driving it through his chest. Enjolras stepped back and watched as the life crept out of him. He stood to catch his breath for a moment and then ran off to find Éponine.

He found her by the docks. She had removed what was left of her gown and climbed up the side of one of the buildings overlooking the water. The rain was still pouring and her bodice clung to her small frame, she was shivering cold. Frightened of what she might be thinking Enjolras called up to her.

"What are you doing up there? For Christ sakes get down this instant!"

" 'Parnasse was afraid of heights." She called back. "I hoped he wouldn't follow me up here."

"You don't need to fear him ever again. Please get down before you fall!"

"Would falling really be so bad? I have nothing life is finished."

Enjolras removed his jacket. "That is not true! Do not make me climb up there..." He warned.

Reluctantly Éponine began to work her way back to where she had climbed up, but everything was slippery and she was barefoot. One foot slipped and she screamed. She tried to regain her composure and her balance but in her fright she was now shaking like a leaf. It was a long way down into the Seine. Petrified to the spot she simply slid down the wall of the building until she was sitting on the ledge, at least now she wouldn't fall.

"Don't move!" Enjolras called to her before beginning the climb himself. He cursed as he almost slipped but after a few moments he had found his way up to the ledge. He reached out his hand for hers. "Give me your hand..."

She inched her way over to him slowly until he was within her reach. She grasped his hand and he helped her down. When they were both safely back on the ground he wrapped his arms tightly around her. "Don't ever scare me like that again."

She shook as she leant into his chest. "Montparnasse?"

"He fell on his knife. He is dead, he can't hurt you anymore."

She cried tears of relief. "He could have killed you." She looked up into his eyes.

"You are safe now. I'm taking you home." He lightly brushed the damp tendrils of her hair away from her face.

Éponine hadn't seen this level of vulnerability in him before. "What did you mean when you told me that Marius is a fool?"

"I don't recall..." He lied.

"Yes you do." She cut him off. "The night of his wedding, when you were helping me with my said that he was a fool for not wanting me. Why would you say that?" She was determined to get the truth out of him this time.

Enjolras' heart began to beat a little faster. "You once told me that Pontmercy sees you for who you really are. But he doesn't even scratch the surface. You are brave, intelligent, capable...and a beautiful young woman. Neither Marius or Dumont ever deserved you..."

"Is this why you have been so foul-tempered? I knew you felt it..."

"You remember?" He was referring to their kiss.

"Adrien..." She leant up to his face and let him close the distance this time.

Her lips were cold from the rain and Enjolras' were trembling. She let him set the pace, wanting to be sure that he wanted this. He embraced her face with one hand and ran the other through her hair as he kissed her. His tongue found hers and they kissed again, and again savouring each moment. They only broke to catch their breath and Enjolras was concerned that she was still shivering. He was not surprised though her bodice was soaking wet, she must have been chilled to the bone.

"Home?" He asked her and she nodded, 'Ponine was grinning like a Cheshire cat and giggled when he scooped her up in his arms. He carried her all the way back to his flat.

When he got her home he set her down in the bathroom and insisted Éponine get warm lest she catch pneumonia. He began to draw her a bath but she placed her hand on his arm, halting him. "I can think of a better idea." She tugged on his hand leading him to his bedroom. When they got there she turned in his arms and kissed him again, gently pulling on his shirt until they fell backwards onto the bed. Éponine was steering them now, she deftly undid each of his buttons on his shirt as fast as her fingers would allow. She slid the shirt off of his shoulders and he began to hesitate.

"Are you sure about this?" He whispered; now lying above her.

She gave him an answer by moving his hand to the ties at the front of her bodice. He breathed heavily as he pulled at them revealing her breasts. Enjolras had never been more nervous about anything before. He helped her remove the rest of her undergarments until she lay naked underneath him. She began to blush lying there, and Enjolras realised that this was her first time too, well her first time that truly meant anything. He leaned down to kiss her again and managed to kick off his boots and unfasten his pants. They were both naked and he wasn't sure where to proceed from here. She moved up to him and began nipping at his neck, quick heated kisses and he began moaning. She wrapped her arms around his chest and gently lowered herself down onto him. She looked into his eyes as he entered her, his mouth was slightly parted, she felt amazing to him. Once he was fully inside her he picked them both up and lay her back down onto the sheets, not breaking their union. He began thrusting inside of her and the gentle friction elicited moans of sheer ecstasy from Éponine. His name burst forward from her lips in short sharp gasps.


Despite neither of them being experienced their bodies blended together seamlessly. Their lovemaking was slow and concentrated and soon Éponine couldn't take much more. She was moaning and gasping until suddenly she cried out and shivered beneath him. She melted around him now, wrapping her legs around his hips and clinging to his broad shoulders. When he was nearing his end he started moaning, until he finally released himself inside her.

He rolled off of her still gasping and soon he was lying on his back with Éponine curled up with her head on his chest. They were both content to lie in silence for a few moments, still taking in what they had shared.

" 'Ponine?" He was the first to break the silence.

"Mmmm?" She murmured.

"Do you regret what just happened?"

"...No. Do you?" She was terrified of his answer.

"I do not. But it certainly makes things more complicated."

"How so?"

"It is not traditional for a man and a woman to make love when they are not married."

"It is also not traditional for them to sleep under the same roof either. We've already been breaking the rules Adrien. We're not hurting anybody, why should it matter?"

"I do not want to give you false expectation that is all."

She did not know where he was going with this line of conversation.

"I am not expecting you to get down on one knee."

"I am a position to propose marriage...not to anyone." His tone was far too serious.

Éponine raised herself up on one elbow. "Stop overthinking this. Can't we just be together and enjoy the moment? Nobody needs to know if you don't want them to, and the last time I checked you didn't care what people think anyway."

Enjolras chuckled. The girl knew how his mind worked and knew exactly what to say.

"I am lucky to have you in my life Éponine."

She curled back up into his side. "As am I."

He kissed the top of her head before closing his eyes.

Enjolras tossed and turned that night, there was a reoccurring dream that still haunted him. It was the night the barricade fell. He was trapped under the wreckage but he could see Grantaire standing in the doorway of the Cafe Musain. Enjolras wanted to save him, but he couldn't, he couldn't move his legs, he was pinned to the spot by the wood that pierced his side. Grantaire was his best friend. If Grantaire had to die then wasn't it only fair that Enjolras died alongside him? He watched Grantaire fall to the ground as the bloodstains seeped from his chest. He fell to the ground still clutching his wine bottle. Enjolras screamed out to him but it was too late.

He woke and sat up with a fright. Enjolras was breathing heavily and remembered he was not alone. His sudden movement had woken Éponine and she sat up next to him and placed a comforting hand on his arm.

"Are you alright?"

"It was just a dream." He lay back down and she followed him.

"Would you like to talk about it?" She ran her hand lightly over his chest.

"I was back at the barricade. I see Grantaire being shot. I...try to get to him, pull him out of the way, but I can never reach him in time."

"You need to let them go don't need to feel guilty that you are happy."

"I know...I just...I miss him. He may have been a drunkard but Grantaire was my best friend." A single tear fell from his eye.

Éponine saw this and kissed the tear away as it slid onto his cheek.

" 'Ponine..." He murmured. This level of affection was going to take some getting used to.

She responded by straddling him and kissing his lips gently once, twice, and then Enjolras gave in and kissed her back. She deepened the kiss and slipped her tongue in his mouth.

He moaned in protest, his body betraying him. He had never realised how much he craved physical intimacy with another person. Without stopping to think he moved his hips and slid up into her.

Twenty-Two years of not being slightly interested in the female body and now he would have her twice in one night.
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