yeesh, French Teens
This is the art I did for @takethewatch‘s amazing Big Bang fic, Unravel:
Éponine Thénardier can “unravel” time–jump backward a few minutes or hours and let events play out again, sometimes slightly different from before. It’s a secret little thing that she uses occasionally, to get herself out of trouble or avoid minor accidents. She’s never tried to do anything big with it because, on the whole, she’s happy with her life–her family’s inn is successful, they live in a nice neighborhood in Paris, and she’s in love with a kind and beautiful boy named Marius.
But when her lover is killed on the barricades of the June Rebellion, she has to try to fix it–even if it means using her power on a scale she’s never dreamed of. Even if it means throwing away everything else she has.
I can’t emphasise strongly enough how brilliant this fic is – it’s definitely one of those ‘read even if the character isn’t your Thing’ fics, so even if for some weird reason you’re not currently interested in Brick Éponine, go over and read it anyway.
If you’re one of my non-fandom followers and you like reading science fiction in historical settings and/or disorientating radical dissassembly of existing literary narratives and/or psychological exploration of what a sense of self would even mean without linear time, go and read it too.
It’s been such a great project and I promised myself I’d steer clear of the self-deprecation in this post so I’ll just say that I’ve learned so much while doing this, spurred on by the ‘welp this story is good and I need to at least attempt to do it justice’ feeling.
Oh and while you can click on these images to get a nice zoomed-in version – plus the whole picture for that one that didn’t play nice with the others – they’re also embedded in the text over at Ao3 and, well. They look cooler that way.
guys guys GUYS here is our Big Bang project! Link to the fic is above, but even if you don’t read the fic, definitely check out this gorgeous and creative artwork that shellcollector did. I keep finding new details to be amazed by, and I just can’t stop looking at the last one; with the weight of all the others behind it, it is such a powerful image.
“There’s one thing I cannot quite figure out yet,” said Courfeyrac behind her suddenly. Eponine tensed, glancing at him. He was staring at the newly weds, an odd, wistful expression on his face. “Are you in love with Marius, or with Cosette?”
If Eponine had played the lady as well as she wished she could, she would have probably left, after making sure that Courfeyrac knew he had greatly offended and scandalized her; as it was, Eponine was still ill-suited to the role; she could barely fit right in all the dresses she had now and had dreamed of for years, and she could pretend even less that she was as respectable as she ought to be; she’d seen too many things. Courfeyrac wouldn’t have been able to shock her even if he tried, and – if she’d judge the man properly, he wasn’t that kind.
“Neither,” she said, honestly, and when he looked down at her, blinking dubiously, she shrugs an amended, defensive: “A little bit of both, perhaps. I don’t know. What about you?”
“I thought it was just Marius,” Courfeyrac answered, genuine and almost pensive.
It figured, Eponine thought, nodding. Cosette was like that; one minute you hated her, and everything she was – everything you thought you’d be, one day – and the next she was smiling at you and your heart was beating just a little too fast. Or maybe that was just Eponine. She didn’t like thinking about feelings too much; she got wistful if she lingered on it too long; No Marius for her; certainly no Cosette. Still, it was beautiful, the way they looked at each other like they were each other’s entire world. Eponine couldn’t even be properly jealous.
Glancing back at Courfeyrac again, it wasn’t hard to see he wasn’t jealous at all either.
“It’s improper, to stand so near a lady, and not making her dance,” she told him, abruptly, a bit too sharply.
He startled, and then, he smiled, amused and charmed.
“Of course,” he told her and hold out his hand after a brief curtsy, every bit the gentleman. “Mademoiselle -”
Eponine still got a thrill every time she was called “Mademoiselle”. It was nice, feeling proper and respected and all that. It felt right, even, more and more.
“Monsieur,” she said, and took his hand.