- Title: Chopsticks
- Rating: K
- Characters: Éponine, Enjolras
- Words: ~2.000
- Genre: Humor, fluff (mostly fluff)
- Author’s note: I don’t know if this is what you were expecting because I got a little carried away and the chopsticks ended up becoming more a secondary thing in the story, but I really hope you enjoy this! :)
“It really is not that difficult, you know.”
Éponine glanced up at Enjolras, who was sitting in front of her, for barely half a second; then she just huffed and kept trying because, of course, she was not one to give up that easily. Enjolras, on the other hand, had finished eating a while ago and was now observing him with that huge grin that had appeared on his lips not too long ago.
“This is fucking ridiculous,” she mumbled under her breath.
It really was—they were. Ridiculous was the best word she could find to describe such a dysfunctional relationship as the one she had with Enjolras. He was Enjolras, for fuck’s sake—leader Enjolras, loved-by-everyone Enjolras, flawless Enjolras, and then there was her. Of all people, he had chosen to be with her and Éponine could not really tell what was weirder, the fact that he was in an actual relationship after years of denying any kind of attraction to girls or the fact that it was her the one he chose to be with.
It was not that Éponine’s self-esteem was terrible or that she thought she was not enough for him… okay, maybe she did think that sometimes, although the truth was she actually thought they somewhat made a pretty nice couple, despite their differences and all. However, she still could not help thinking it was ridiculous watching the two of them together; in the good way, maybe, but still ridiculous.
The reason why she thought this was because they were complete opposites. While she preferred dogs, he was more of a cats person; she loved winter, the cold weather and the snow but he was much fonder of the warmth of summer; her favorite films were horror ones while he could not stand them; the list of things that were different between the two of them was unending.
Then there was how gracious he was with everything he did, as opposed to her awkwardness and how easy it was for her to screw things up and make mistakes. Hell, she could not even use chopsticks properly.
“Alright,” Enjolras sighed deeply, and as she looked up at him again after having stopped fumbling with the food on her plate, she understood he was accepting his defeat as she saw him stand up, probably to go lie on the couch while she finished eating. TV was normally shit, or so he normally said, but he would probably find out something more entertaining than watching her finish her food if he turned it on.
However, she realized how wrong she was when, instead of making his way to the living room, she watched him stroll behind her.
“I’m not a child, Enjolras, I can—”
But she couldn’t, and he knew that too well. He also knew better than to treat her like a child. He most likely would not want to end that night with a black eye, but fortunately he knew what to do to appease her. Éponine would ramble over and over again about how she hated it, that power he had over her, that way of knowing exactly what to do every single moment—because, after all, he was still flawless Enjolras—but the truth was she actually loved it because it could only mean one thing: that he knew her perfectly.
“Just let me help you.”
Éponine, accepting her defeat, threw the chopsticks back on the plate nad looked bac at him, who was now closer to her. His body was practically pressed against hers and, for a second, she forgot that he was supposed to teach them how to use chopsticks because that warmth, that sensation of familiarity usually managed to make her forget about anything else.
“Alright, grab them again,” he instructed in a low voice, his lips next to her ear. Éponine fought as hard as she could to keep her cheeks from blushing, because the vibration of his words against her skin had caused her to shiver and she was damn sure he had noticed. A part of her was completely confident that Enjolras knew way too well the kind of power he had over her and relished himself on it; but then again, he could be pretty oblivious when it came to these things and he was never one to acknowledge his power or his intelligence or the fact that he was probably better than anyone at pretty much anything and everything. She would have snorted at this because, really, it was hilarious, but her thoughts vanished when she felt Enjolras’ hand grabbing her own. Éponine smiled at the fact that he was even trying to help her with his left hand, the one she used, even though he was right-handed. “Hold them firmly or your fingers will start to shake and you won’t be able to grab any food,” he explained as he quietly showed her the way she had to grab them so that she wouldn’t drop them while trying to eat.
“Like this?” She whispered almost sheepishly, although the grin that was now on her face was genuine. Enjolras merely nodded and focused on helping her actually use the chopsticks to grab some rice, but the way he was gently, absentmindedly caressing her right arm caused her to drop it all. “God, I can’t get it right if you keep doing that,” she complained with a groan, attempting to glare at him although she was not particularly in the mood to be mad at her boyfriend at that moment.
Enjolras just snorted.
“You can always just use a fork, you know,” he teased, allowing her to drop the chopsticks again by releasing her left hand but still stroking her right arm with his fingertips.
“I can’t get anything right, can I?” She whispered, more to herself than to him, although he could note the frustration on her voice.
“That’s a huge lie, Ep,” Enjolras retorted, crossing his arms in front of his chest when she proceeded to turn around still sitting on her chair, an eyebrow raised as she looked at him questioningly.
“You know, not everybody can be perfect at everything they do like you are. It’s not that eas—”
“I am not perfect,” he stated firmly, and the seriousness on his voice was what caused her to stop talking. She knew he did not take it too well when people reminded him how good he was. She knew he would rather bring the good out in other people rather than boast about his own greatness. She knew he considered her way better than she considered herself. But still, sometimes, she could not bring herself to believe him. “Éponine, you’re really good at so many things,” he mouthed, that familiar phrase ringing in her ears one more time as she looked away from him, sighing deeply.
“Alright. Then what am I good at?”
She had to ask that because, of course, she liked it when people paid attention to her. She liked to have someone care about her and actually show it; she liked feeling the way she felt back in her pampered childhood when her parents would give her all she asked for, not to mention how they always made sure to remember her how good of a girl she was, how she was their favorite and how they would never stop loving her.
Those were good times, indeed.
Barely anything was left of the little Éponine currently, although she had learnt a lot of things from her family and their friends… probably way too many. She was mischievous, one hell of a liar, she could snatch your cell phone while talking to you and you would not even notice, but those were not things to be proud of being good at. She was not proud of those things, and she still needed those reassuring words from someone telling her those were not the only things she was good at because, if there was anything left of that pampered child other than all the mean things she learned from her parents, that was the need for attention, for affection. That is the only reason why she asked him, and Éponine was almost sure that he knew exactly the reason—because he was Enjolras and he was smart enough and he knew her really well—but she also knew he would not mind answering that question for her, if that made her happy.
“What am I good at, Enjolras?” She inquired again and an impatient smirk appeared on her lips, because he was taking his time to answer. It was not until several seconds later that he finally glanced at her right in the eye, bending over towards her and placing each of his hands on one side of her chair behind her so that their faces were close enough for him to have to whisper.
“You’re good at holding your alcohol, for instance—and you know how terrible I am at that,” he started, and the corners of his lips rose a little bit when she chuckled, but he kept talking. “You make some hella good burritos. And coffee, your coffee’s great—I don’t think I would want to have any other coffee than yours when I wake up every morning. You also have a great sense of humor… you’re one of the funniest people I know, Ep.”
“Bullshit,” she let out a genuine laughter as she shook her head. Any of their friends was definitely way more hilarious than she was.
“I mean it! You manage to make me laugh even when I’m pissed or upset or sad, and not even my closest friends can do that,” he said reassuringly, and she loved how his grin had grown ever since he heard her laugh. “You are…” he continued, clearing his throat awkwardly, “you’re pretty, uh, damn good in bed, also. But that’s another story—”
“I happen to want to hear more about that story,” she interrupted, her eyebrows raised as she bit her lower lip amusedly.
“Another time, maybe,” he replied as he narrowed his eyes, because of course she would try and take advantage of any possible situation to make him feel awkward. He had brought this to himself, though, really.
“What’s your favorite?” Éponine asked after silently agreeing to leave that conversation for later and changing the topic. “Your favorite thing about me, that is.” If he said coffee again, she was going to chop off his balls.
The answer, however, was completely different and unexpected for her.
“The way you put up with me so easily, like you’ve always been used to my mood changes and how tiresome I can get sometimes and how I normally take everything out on you when it’s not your fault most of the time.” This time, his answer was almost instantaneous and she liked that. She liked that he did not even have to think about it, that it was so clear for him what he liked best in her.
On the other hand, she did take a few, long seconds to raise her voice again.
“You can be tiresome sometimes,” she nodded, agreeing with him, although there was a grin on her face that showed she was not a hundred percent seriously.
“Indeed,” he admitted after sighing in relief, satisfied that she could recognize some of his flaws, that she did not really think he was perfect. “You have a great patience when it comes to bearing with me.”
“Well, you’re not that bad when it comes to me either,” she replied contently, allowing one of her hands to make her way to his jaw and cheek, caressing them tenderly.
“Isn’t that what being a couple is about? Balancing each other out and all that stuff?”
Éponine loved the way Enjolras still managed to sound smart and correct even when she knew he had not much idea of what he was talking about. It was endearing, and it caused her to giggle and tilt her head to her side.
“Yes, yes it is.”
Enjolras mirrored her smile seconds later, bringing his face closer to hers to kiss her lips tenderly, as if trying to assure her he meant every single word he had told her earlier. And the best part was that she truly did believe them.
“So… your dinner—”
Éponine laughed at that comment and stood up, taking the chopsticks before walking away from the table.
“Yeah, I’m definitely grabbing a fork,” she nodded at him amusedly as she made her way to the kitchen.