As I'm sure you all know, Jean Prouvaire is my favorite student (I actually like a teensy bit more than Enjolras *ducks flying tomatoes*) and Cehan (Jehan/Cosette) is one of my favorite ships. I mean, they're really cute together, right? I thought I'd share a short piece of Cehan fan-fiction that I wrote awhile ago. It's actually going to be part of a much longer (novella length) fan-fic about Jehan's life, based on my head-canon (Marius and Jehan are brothers - if you want to hear more of that theory, just ask in the comments and I'll be happy to explain everything). So if it seems a little disjointed, you'll know why :)
Something was wrong with Marius. Everyone knew it...even Enjolras who didn't really want to admit it. He rarely came to the cafe Musain anymore and when he did, he was dreamy eyed and restless. Something was definitely up. Courfeyrac, Marius' best friend, tried to worm it out of him more than once but was met with nothing but silence. In fact, it had been going on for so long that all the other students had almost forgotten it. Still, any new information about the situation was greeted with relish.
“I'm sure I know what Marius' problem is,” Courfeyrac said to Combeferre, who was busy reading.
“What problem?” Combeferre asked absentmindedly as he continued to read. Besides Enjolras, Combeferre was probably the least interested in Marius' problems...or lack thereof.
“Why he's being so...different, of course!” Courfeyrac answered.
“Really? I didn't notice anything really different about him...”
“Never mind, then,” Courfeyrac said. He should have known better than to try and interest Combeferre in such things. He went over to Joly and announced once again that he knew what Marius' problem was. Joly seemed more interested.
“What is it?”
“He's in love!” Courfeyrac said, grinning. That got everyone's attention quickly.
“Who's in love?” Jehan, the shy, quiet student, asked.
Now everyone wanted to know about Marius and his love life. Unfortunately, Courfeyrac found he had few answers for anyone besides the fact that Marius was indeed in love. The students, soon discovering that Courfeyrac had very little information, returned to their former pursuits. Enjolras and Combeferre, the ever steady ones, had not even stopped working and planning. Planning for the great revolution.
Marius returned to the cafe Musain the next day. He only stayed long enough to gather up a few things he had left the other day. But on the way out, he leaned over to Jehan. “I need to talk to you for a minute.” Jehan obligingly got up and went out, following Marius' lead. Courfeyrac noticed it, but said nothing. He would certainly be able to get the whole of the matter later.
Once outside, Marius turned to Jehan. “I've...I've met a girl,” he began, his words stumbling over themselves. “And...I don't really know what to do...to meet her, that is.”
“Why do you need me?” Jehan asked
“Well...I...well, I was wondering if you would write something...a little poem...or something like that. I could give it to her...and...maybe she would like it and...maybe it would help me start things off...?” Marius looked quite embarrassed and uncomfortable after this long explanation of his intentions.
Jehan thought about it for a moment, but, never wanting to disappoint a friend, he agreed. Almost as shy as Marius, or even slightly more so, he said, blushing slightly, “You'll have to tell me about her...so that I'll know who I'm writing to...” He blushed furiously. “I mean...just to help me have a vision for the poem...”
“She's a beautiful girl...she's so graceful and pretty with light brown hair and blue eyes.” Marius' embarrassment disappeared while he talked about the girl he loved. “We've never even spoken, just looked at each other in the Luxembourg. I...I don't know her name,” he admitted, “But it doesn't really matter...”
Twenty minutes later, Jehan finally returned to the cafe to many questioning looks. He ignored them all...a hard thing to do, took his coat and hat and returned to his lodgings.
Jehan sat down on his bed. He felt confused...as if something new was happening inside him. The longer Marius had talked of the girl he loved, the more a strange feelings had filled him. His heart had pounded, a sensation had filled him...something he, a poet, of all people should know about. Was it something akin to...love? But that was ridiculous...Marius had only talked of the girl for a few minutes. Surely something like that was impossible...wasn't it?
The next day, Jehan walked to the cafe Musain. On his way there, he noticed a girl, also walking in the same direction. He knew her by sight and name – it was Eponine, Gavroche's sister. “Eponine,” he called. She started when she heard the call, turned, saw who it was and visibly relaxed.
“Oh...it's just you, Jehan,” she said, favouring him with a rare smile. She hardly ever smiles, Jehan thought. He smiled back rather shyly. “I thought it might have been...” she started, then broke off. Jehan decided to let the matter drop as well. He might feel brave, even at the thought of the coming battle, but around women and girls he always felt shy. “What is it?”
“Well...Marius told me something yesterday and I need your help with one part of it...” Eponine's face actually lighted up at the thought of someone needing her.
“He told me that you helped him find a girl and...” Unexpectedly, Eponine turned away and would have been gone in moment if Jehan had not took her by the arm. “Eponine...what is it?” She shook her head.
“Go on,” was all she said. So Jehan did.
“I need to see her.”
Eponine's eyebrows raised in surprise but after a moment's hesitation she said “Come.”
Jehan wanted to see the girl for himself. He was sure that once he did, the strange feelings would disappear. Eponine led him to a secluded house in the Rue Plumet. The garden in front was overgrown with weeds and vines but his eyes caught movement in the tangle. He turned to Eponine but she had disappeared, silent as a shadow.
A girl suddenly stepped right up to the gate and Jehan caught a glimpse of her face. She was beautiful just has Marius had said and Jehan felt his face flushing, his heart racing and his brain incapable of coherent thought. Suddenly, their eyes met. The girl's eyes widened with surprise and she turned and fled. But it was enough. The damage had been done.
Jehan raced back to his apartment, uncaring of anyone who saw him. He rushed in, sat down at his old, scarred writing desk, pulled out some ink, a quill pen and several sheets of paper and began to write, torrents of words pouring out of him...
The reduction of the universe to a single being, the expansion of a single being even to God, that is love.
Love is the salutation of the angels to the stars.
How sad is the soul, when it is sad through love!
The future belongs to hearts even more than it does to minds. Love, that is the only thing that can occupy and fill eternity. In the infinite, the inexhaustible is requisite.
Love participates of the soul itself. It is of the same nature. Like it, it is the divine spark; like it, it is incorruptible, indivisible, imperishable. It is a point of fire that exists within us, which is immortal and infinite, which nothing can confine, and which nothing can extinguish. We feel it burning even to the very marrow of our bones, and we see it beaming in the very depths of heaven.
What love commences can be finished by God alone.
Jehan wrote for many hours, the words coming, it seemed, from his very soul. When at last he finished, his hands were cramped from writing for so long, but he hardly cared. He had written his heart onto paper. Now, he had but to get it to her. Then he remembered. Marius loved the girl as well.
Marius, had, in fact seen her first. Had fallen in love with her first. What right had he to take that all away from him? On the one hand, there was Marius' love for the girl...a beautiful, true love it certainly seemed – the kind of love that had often been the subject of his poems. On the other hand, he had only seen her for a few moments. True, he loved her but surely his love must be less than Marius'? Jehan made up his mind. He knew what he had to do.
Throughout the days later, no one could say exactly why Jehan seemed more pensive and quiet than usual. Why he often went off by himself. Why he seemed to seek the company of Eponine and gently, subtly avoid Marius. Why he grew paler and did not join in the other students' lighthearted discussions about the girls they loved. No one ever guessed...or ever would.