My eyes widened as the injured 'boy' fell into my arms.
'I'll leave it to you, Marius,' Enjolras said, patting by back as he climbed up to the top of the barricade. 'You're good at injuries.'
'Eponine?' I whispered, covering the gaping shotgun wound in her right.
'My-brother-just-got-shot-and-I-did-too-' she gasped, hemorrhaging terribly. I could do nothing to settle her but sit her down beside me. I touched her sweat-covered forehead lovingly, forgetting all about my fiancé back home. My best friend who was the reason for Cosette, was horribly injured, possibly dying right in front of me.
'Don't you fret, Mounsieur Marius,' the girl said. 'I don't feel any pain.' I felt for her so much I pulled her onto my lap without a second thought. A drizzle of water came down from the heavens, sluicing the dirt, sweat and blood off our bodies.
She smiled. 'A little fall of rain can hardly hurt me now.'
She was being so brave, I thought, as I pulled her closer to me, kissing and stroking her chestnut-brown hair. Eponine sighed, almost as if she was going to sleep, resting her head on my chest.
'Don't,' I whispered gently.
She snorted quietly. 'I'm not dying on you, silly, I'm just resting my eyes.
We sat for a couple of minutes, the scrawny yet strangely beautiful creature rising up and down on my chest. Grantaire stumbled past me, obviously having another bottle, but he just blinked and raised his eyebrows at me and carried on.
'Eponine.' I shook her softly. 'I'm here.'
She smiled. 'That's all I need to know.'
'Listen, if you recover, I promise you I'll keep you safe and close,' I gabbled, as the rain progressed to a slightly distracting pitter-patter.
'Mmm, I don't think I'll make it through this,' Eponine told me casually, as if dying was a daily thing. 'Rain will make the flowers grow,' she added, nodding at a single red poppy flower planted in the thirsty ground inches away from us?
Her calmness worried me, and I clutched her in a tight embrace.
'Eponine, please, no. You'll live! Dear God above, I...I wish I-' I turned my head away, turning slightly pink. I didn't want to say it, it was an act of betrayal.
'You wish you what?'
'I wish I could close your wounds with words of love,' I closed my eyes, and opened them again, expecting my best friend to somehow have disappeared. However, the girl was still there, blinking up at me with slightly confused eyes.
'Marius, just hold me now and let it be. Shelter and comfort me, please. That's all I ask. It's not going to happen.'
I couldn't help risking a teardrop then, because I just realised how much she meant to me. It was pure instinct that I reached down and took her hand.
'If I could show you how, you would live a hundred years. I won't desert you now, I promise.'
'The rain can't hurt me now.' Eponine said, the rain finally soaking us both to the skin. 'It'll wash away what's past. Keep me safe, close. I can rest in your embrace at last, because the rain that brings you here is heaven blessed.' Suddenly the rain stopped, bathing us in in a light blue clear light.
She smiled and changed her words. 'The skies begin to clear and I'm at rest.'
Eponine suddenly turned alarmingly cold, so she couldn't talk. I took her soft hands, rubbing them between mine, and opening my mouth slightly so she could get some warm breath.
'A breath away from where you are,' she continued, her voice weak. 'I've come home from so far...'
'Hushaby, dear Eponine,' I whispered, afraid of what was going to happen next. My voice cracked as I began to sob. 'A little fall of rain, remember,'
'Can hardly-hurt me-now-AAAAAAH!' she groaned delicately, scrunching up in my arms.
'No-no-Eponine!' I panicked. 'Not yet, not now, not ever! I'm here!' With one swift move, I was holding her tightly, my legs splayed out in front of her and my arms forming a shield as she turned towards me, tired.
'Safe, till you are sleeping,' I pulled her until she was level with my face, and I saw how pale and weak she was. I grew desperate.
'And rain,' I repeated.
'Will make the flowers...'
'Will make the flowers...' I couldn't help it, as she curled up. I kissed her passionately, desperately, my rough lips trying the best to revive my friend, my first love, my hope. There was a silence as I withdrew my face, my eyes, from hers.
'I'm sorry, Marius,' Eponine whispered, and she leant up to give me a second kiss. I closed my eyes, prepared to do whatever it took to make her happy. But her already cold body stiffened just as her soft lips brushed the tips of mine.
'Eponine? Eponine?' I opened my eyes, saw her dead brown ones staring back at me, unblinking. 'EPONINE!' I shouted, startling Enjolras and my other friends. The rain came back, plastering my hair to my forehead, absolutely pelting down.
'NO!!!' I sobbed. 'No!!!' I held the corpse of Eponine as close as possible to mine. My voice dropped to a whisper.
'Please, Eppy. Please, wake up,' I prayed. Her lips opened, nothing else, and I dared to breathe out.
'I love you, Marius,' a weak, shrill voice came out of her, and she went floppy.
I shut my eyes, blocking out the cruel evil world around me. I felt powerless, but I managed to reply:
'I love you too, Eponine.'