lark_in_flight: Cosette in a large bonnet glancing over her shoulder (curious glance)
Cosette Fauchelevent ([personal profile] lark_in_flight) wrote2016-01-24 01:00 am
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Marius has ducked into the hall to call for hot drinks. So it's Cosette and her father, alone at last in his Milliways room.

Part of her wants to weep once more for joy. Part of her wants to shout at him. She turns away abruptly to grab a quilt from his bed.

"Here," she says, "put this quilt over your lap, Father. It's winter here. You must take care of yourself! I tell you, we will be here often. You will grow quite sick of us! And then in Paris you will come to live with us. I have a room all ready. I won't hear a word against it. You will be with us, we will all be together, you will be a father to your little Cosette again, and we will all be very happy."

As she chatters she tucks the quilt around him, and pulls a footstool near. If he wants, he can put his feet onto it. Otherwise, she'll settle onto it, to sit at his feet like a confiding child.
road_to_calvary: (Anguish)

[personal profile] road_to_calvary 2016-01-24 10:39 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes. Well. She has never given him reason to think she might want him to go away - but that does not mean it was not in her best interests.

He looks down at their hands, and brushes his thumb across the back of hers.

'I am sorry if I have distressed you, Cosette. Forgive me.'
road_to_calvary: (Quiet Pain)

[personal profile] road_to_calvary 2016-01-24 10:55 pm (UTC)(link)
'Forgive...'

He shakes his head, bewildered.

'What reason have you to ask forgiveness, my child? You have done no wrong.'

She could never, and he is seized by horror at the thought that she believes herself in any way in the wrong.
road_to_calvary: (Such A Lonely Child)

[personal profile] road_to_calvary 2016-01-24 11:01 pm (UTC)(link)
'Never. Cosette, never.'

He has told many lies in his life, but not this time. He has been anguished, and worried, and in despair, but none of these things were her fault, and never angry.
road_to_calvary: (Anguish)

[personal profile] road_to_calvary 2016-01-24 11:09 pm (UTC)(link)
If he did not feel so tired in his muscles, he would bend forward and kiss her head. As it is, he just smiles down at her.

'Please, do not think I ever would be. You have done no wrong. You are my angel, and always have been - I knew nothing of love before you, and-'

He breaks off when a lump threatens his throat.

'...I am sorry, for everything.'
road_to_calvary: (Such A Lonely Child)

[personal profile] road_to_calvary 2016-01-24 11:33 pm (UTC)(link)
She is not the only one with a tear in her eye. To hear her say she loves him, it is all he needs in the world. But there is a weight on his heart too, because his situation has not changed, he is still dangerous to her blameless life and place in society.

'I will not draw away. But Cosette - living with you, I am not sure that is wise. There is much you do not understand, and I...you will say I should tell you, but I would not have you worry for the world. There is no need to taint your life, and to have my shadow at your door - there is no need, you see, I am quite accustomed to living alone. We may see each other often. Would that not be better?'
road_to_calvary: (Anguish)

[personal profile] road_to_calvary 2016-01-25 11:42 am (UTC)(link)
He releases her hand so he may draw his own across his face. They seem to be two people in the dark, unable to find the light - but he belongs where he is, while she and Marius should step forward into a future full of sunshine. He does not want to stay behind, but this life she speaks of - the chair in the corner, talking with the grandfather, the birds in the garden...oh, he wants it so much, but it is something that has never been within his grasp. He thought telling Marius the truth would set all possibility of it away from him, and he would be allowed to languish where he is. To find himself being pulled on...he does not know what to do.

'Cosette-' he tries, but what can he say? There is much he does not understand, and he would rather not know, for it is easier to stay in a state of blissful ignorance and simply bask in her presence, her hand in his.

He has never allowed himself that luxury, and will not now. But he is sorry to let it go.

'How do I come to be here? How did you come to find me? Was it Javert?'

He remembers Javert in his apartment, but the man has been there before and though it was only days ago, the memories dance in front of him like a dream. The fatigue is more clear, the knowledge of that black curtain being pulled over his head. And now it is gone, but it leaves him as he was before - happier, certainly, because she is here, but no more free.
road_to_calvary: (Anguish)

[personal profile] road_to_calvary 2016-01-25 04:59 pm (UTC)(link)
'Cosette...my child, I am not a saint. I am just a man.'

A pause, where he manages a smile.

'But yes, your father too.'

He does not know what to think about Javert, so does not try.

'I wanted to protect you, and I still do. Which is why...oh, your husband will understand, and you will listen to him, will you not? He will explain to you why it is not...why-'

He breaks off again, because he does not want to tell her his past. But it seems it may be the only thing that will let her understand.
heartbeneathastone: Self Portrait by William Sidney Mount, 1832 (Default)

[personal profile] heartbeneathastone 2016-01-25 05:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Did someone mention a husband? Here's Marius, returned at last, a tea tray in hand.

"Is all well?" he asks tentatively.
heartbeneathastone: Self Portrait by William Sidney Mount, 1832 (Default)

[personal profile] heartbeneathastone 2016-01-25 07:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, uh.

"Yes," Marius says, slightly taken aback. He sets down the tea tray and, coming to Cosette's side, says more forcefully, "Yes. I shall support you in all things, my love, and particularly in this."
road_to_calvary: (Oh No)

[personal profile] road_to_calvary 2016-01-25 07:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Valjean, who had turned his gaze down to his hands when Marius entered, looks up at him beseechingly.

'But, monsieur-'

Surely he does not have to explain to Marius why it is dangerous?
heartbeneathastone: Self Portrait by William Sidney Mount, 1832 (Default)

[personal profile] heartbeneathastone 2016-01-25 07:53 pm (UTC)(link)
"She knows, Monsieur," Marius says. "Monsieur Javert explained-- though I do not doubt there is more that only you can tell. Indeed, there is much you did not tell even to me, though you claimed to confess all!"
road_to_calvary: (Anguish)

[personal profile] road_to_calvary 2016-01-25 07:55 pm (UTC)(link)




Oh.

So, it was not a dream. Not some nightmare from his near-death fever.

He will just look at his hands again.
heartbeneathastone: Self Portrait by William Sidney Mount, 1832 (Default)

[personal profile] heartbeneathastone 2016-01-25 08:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Marius sinks to his knees beside Cosette.

"And for my part--" He bows his head, for a moment unable to go on. "You have done me a service I can never repay, and I have done you an injustices can never repair. And yet, you tell your own history all amiss! Any man could seem the monster you painted yourself to me, if he leaves out every good deed he has done-- and such deeds, Monsieur-- father!"
road_to_calvary: (Quiet Pain)

[personal profile] road_to_calvary 2016-01-25 08:44 pm (UTC)(link)
He is quiet for a long time.

Then he draws a long breath, and tries to order his words.

'It is because you are good,' he says, to Marius. 'If I told you anything, you would have insisted on what you insist on now. You would have let one or two deeds colour all else, and...and I did want to be honest.'

Because nineteen years a convict, silver stolen from a Bishop, a coin taken from a child, the hateful creature he once was...these are not crimes that can be erased by a day in a sewer, or a single confession of his past.

'Cosette-'

Words are so inadequate for what he feels for her, and how happy she makes him just by sitting at his knee.

'-there are some wrongs that can never be left behind. I have tried. But if you say we will be happy, it will be so. I will not go away again.'

He wants to tell her that some convicts are still men and he does not feel like one very often, but when he does it is because of her. But it all feels too big - her comment when she saw the chaine, the fact of what he was and how close he came to losing her because of it. It is too close to the bone, and he does not want to dwell on it.
road_to_calvary: (Heavenly Skies)

[personal profile] road_to_calvary 2016-01-25 09:02 pm (UTC)(link)
He smiles then, and makes a gesture to the air above him.

'My confession has been heard.'

One day, he will give it to Bishop Myriel in person, kneeling at his feet.

'But I know God has listened before. He has protected me more times than I can say. And he gave me the chance to find you.'

Proof enough.
heartbeneathastone: Self Portrait by William Sidney Mount, 1832 (Default)

[personal profile] heartbeneathastone 2016-01-25 09:13 pm (UTC)(link)
"If you have confessed yourself to God-- if you have proved your repentance with good deeds-- and deeds beyond goodness! Why, what more may be asked of any man?" Marius ventures a small smile. "And for myself, from this moment forward, I count it a cardinal sin to cross Cosette in the least of her wishes. That you cannot do."
road_to_calvary: (Quiet Pain)

[personal profile] road_to_calvary 2016-01-25 09:58 pm (UTC)(link)
He is quiet again.

And then again, he smiles, and nods.

'Yes. Of course, I will come. I will not refuse either of you.'



You can leave those wrongs behind. He will not tell her that it is not so easy, that he wishes it were, and that he has tried. But concealing the truth from Marius would not be leaving it behind, it would only keep it with him longer. Leaving Champmatheiu to his fate would not have been leaving it behind, it would only make it worse. Allowing Javert to be killed would not have been any kind of freedom. Conscience is a strange thing. Strange, and harsh, and it twists everything into what it should not be. He can be forgiven by any person but himself.

But he will not let any of this show, because he has no way to explain it. He tried once, to Marius, and could not make himself understood then.

heartbeneathastone: Self Portrait by William Sidney Mount, 1832 (Default)

[personal profile] heartbeneathastone 2016-01-25 10:05 pm (UTC)(link)
Marius grabs hold of Cosette's hand, then reaches for Valjean's.

"Good," he says. "Good. I am so very glad."

And he is, and not only because Valjean's acceptance has lightened some small portion of the great guilt pressing on him.
road_to_calvary: (Heaven)

[personal profile] road_to_calvary 2016-01-26 12:11 am (UTC)(link)
'And He has given you both to me.'

He will never not be thankful. No matter what else, Cosette has been worth everything and now Marius makes her happy. He wants nothing more. And now he will live with them! He does not know what to do with such happiness, and can only clasp their hands, his chest tight with joy.