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Jean Valjean at the Convent - LES MISERABLES (Jean Valjean)


RedVelvetHeart

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More of a hurt/comfort fic than a sneezefic - fans of Les Mis who wanted a different ending may enjoy!

Shadows crowded around Jean Valjean as he sat in the dark convent. He was ailing, feverish. Months ago, he'd been stricken with bilious fever after carrying a wounded Marius through the miasmas of the Paris sewers. He'd always had a strong constitution and was able to hide the seriousness of his illness from his dear Cosette - sending her away for a week "as a precaution". She did not question it, and was far too worried about her wounded and similarly feverish Marius to concern herself with her father. She rejoiced as Marius recovered his strength, never noticing that Valjean never truly recovered his.

And then he left. He had to. She was so happy, so fortunate, so in love. She was to be married into a great family, to have all of her dreams come true. He had given her all he could. She was living in her castle on a cloud, but if he was exposed as a felon, she would lose it all. And so, for her, he left.

But his heart was broken. How lost he was without her, this golden child he had raised. She was all he had - he had no wife, no family, no friends he could trust. He lost his appetite. He grew weaker. He came to the convent for forgiveness and they cared for him. Made him eat when he didn't want to. There were moments when he thought he might recover, when he thought there might still be love in the world enough to sustain him.

And then he caught a cold. He went to bed sniffling, and woke up sneezing. Over the course of the day he grew worse, coughing and congested. Then the fever came - it fell on him heavily and gravely, and he knew in his bones that he was very ill. A doctor was summoned. Valjean was ordered to stay in bed but he came before the altar instead. He needed to pray, he needed to be with God, to confess long-confessed sins, and to beg God to bless Cosette and Marius, and give them the happy lives they deserved. He wanted so much for her.

He drifted between sleeping and praying. He was cold and he shook. He felt a shadow closing in - the presence of death, a presence he had felt many times before in his tumultuous life. But this time he wanted to give in.

And then there was a soft light that dispelled the darkness, and he saw someone before him. 

"Fantine?" She smiled, pale and loving. She kissed him, and he felt her love and gratitude. "Fantine, I tried - I tried - "

She touched his face and he thought that she was singing to him. He closed his eyes. It sounded like angels. "Take me home," he whispered.

"Papa!"

He opened his eyes. It could not be, it was a fever dream...but no, she was vivid and real. She was so beautiful, and her eyes were filled with love and tears - for him. 

"Papa, papa, are you all right? Why did you leave? Why didn't you write?" 

"Oh my child, my child - am I forgiven?" he said. And Marius was there somehow, and he said something about needing to be forgiven himself, and of the night in the sewers. But Valjean could barely hear it. 

"Papa," Cosette said, touching his forehead, her tears spilling over. "Please don't leave me."

"Leave you, my child? No...no, never." He took her hand. His child, his beautiful daughter. Her light and her love filled him with strength and anchored him once again to the world. 

"The sisters said you...they said...you were very ill, and I...."

"No, shhh, no Cosette. It is only a cold. I will be well. I promise." Over Cosette's shoulder, Fantine smiled and faded into the shadows.

-------------------

All that night she stayed up and watched over him, holding his hand and laying cool cloths on his forehead. He muttered in his sleep and little groans of illness escaped his lips. Tears came to her eyes again as she thought of all he had done for her and for Marius. When he slept soundly, she read and re-read the letter he gave to her once they had managed to get him into bed. His confession. Why had he not spoken of these things before? Why had he kept so much from her? And why did she not see how ill he had been, and, God, WHY had she not gone looking for him sooner?

She laid a hand once again upon his feverish brow, heart breaking to see him so weak. Her father was larger than life to her, heroic, and a pillar of strength. She had never seen him ill, not really. Oh, he would catch a cold from time to time - she used to tease him for his booming sneezes that would startle her and make her jump and then laugh. But it never seemed to slow him down, he never seemed to suffer. Or could it be that she just didn't notice? 

She gazed down at the man who had loved and cared for her all these years. Never again would she fail to notice when he needed her.

-------------------

Jean Valjean, sitting up in bed, sneezed loudly into a handkerchief - "HaTCHOO!" and blew his nose. "Bless you!" Cosette said. She handed him a fresh handkerchief and adjusted the pillows behind him.

"Thank you," he said, thickly congested and sniffling. "But Cosette, you bustn't fuss over be like this. I'be fide. It's just a bad cold."

Cosette gave him a look that said she was not fooled, but did not argue. She kissed his forehead, which was now mercifully cool. "Drink your tea, Papa," was all she said. 

He obeyed, submitting to her care. He was deeply grateful to be reunited with his daughter and to have such proof of her devotion. Yet at the same time, he was somewhat rueful that she had to see him this way. He had always wanted to spare her any worry, had carefully shielded her from any of his troubles. Yet she was a woman now, and it was her lot to worry about her husband, her children when they came, and yes, her father too. That was the way of life. Still, he would spare her what he could.

He thought of how close he had felt to death last night, of the fever vision of Fantine and the nearness of God. He had been ready to go. Someday he would. But for now, he would rest, he would eat, and he would take any medicine they gave him so that he could regain his health and be a source of strength to his Cosette once more.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, superimmunegirl said:

More of a hurt/comfort fic than a sneezefic - fans of Les Mis who wanted a different ending may enjoy!

Shadows crowded around Jean Valjean as he sat in the dark convent. He was ailing, feverish. Months ago, he'd been stricken with bilious fever after carrying a wounded Marius through the miasmas of the Paris sewers. He'd always had a strong constitution and was able to hide the seriousness of his illness from his dear Cosette - sending her away for a week "as a precaution". She did not question it, and was far too worried about her wounded and similarly feverish Marius to concern herself with her father. She rejoiced as Marius recovered his strength, never noticing that Valjean never truly recovered his.

And then he left. He had to. She was so happy, so fortunate, so in love. She was to be married into a great family, to have all of her dreams come true. He had given her all he could. She was living in her castle on a cloud, but if he was exposed as a felon, she would lose it all. And so, for her, he left.

But his heart was broken. How lost he was without her, this golden child he had raised. She was all he had - he had no wife, no family, no friends he could trust. He lost his appetite. He grew weaker. He came to the convent for forgiveness and they cared for him. Made him eat when he didn't want to. There were moments when he thought he might recover, when he thought there might still be love in the world enough to sustain him.

And then he caught a cold. He went to bed sniffling, and woke up sneezing. Over the course of the day he grew worse, coughing and congested. Then the fever came - it fell on him heavily and gravely, and he knew in his bones that he was very ill. A doctor was summoned. Valjean was ordered to stay in bed but he came before the altar instead. He needed to pray, he needed to be with God, to confess long-confessed sins, and to beg God to bless Cosette and Marius, and give them the happy lives they deserved. He wanted so much for her.

He drifted between sleeping and praying. He was cold and he shook. He felt a shadow closing in - the presence of death, a presence he had felt many times before in his tumultuous life. But this time he wanted to give in.

And then there was a soft light that dispelled the darkness, and he saw someone before him. 

"Fantine?" She smiled, pale and loving. She kissed him, and he felt her love and gratitude. "Fantine, I tried - I tried - "

She touched his face and he thought that she was singing to him. He closed his eyes. It sounded like angels. "Take me home," he whispered.

"Papa!"

He opened his eyes. It could not be, it was a fever dream...but no, she was vivid and real. She was so beautiful, and her eyes were filled with love and tears - for him. 

"Papa, papa, are you all right? Why did you leave? Why didn't you write?" 

"Oh my child, my child - am I forgiven?" he said. And Marius was there somehow, and he said something about needing to be forgiven himself, and of the night in the sewers. But Valjean could barely hear it. 

"Papa," Cosette said, touching his forehead, her tears spilling over. "Please don't leave me."

"Leave you, my child? No...no, never." He took her hand. His child, his beautiful daughter. Her light and her love filled him with strength and anchored him once again to the world. 

"The sisters said you...they said...you were very ill, and I...."

"No, shhh, no Cosette. It is only a cold. I will be well. I promise." Over Cosette's shoulder, Fantine smiled and faded into the shadows.

-------------------

All that night she stayed up and watched over him, holding his hand and laying cool cloths on his forehead. He muttered in his sleep and little groans of illness escaped his lips. Tears came to her eyes again as she thought of all he had done for her and for Marius. When he slept soundly, she read and re-read the letter he gave to her once they had managed to get him into bed. His confession. Why had he not spoken of these things before? Why had he kept so much from her? And why did she not see how ill he had been, and, God, WHY had she not gone looking for him sooner?

She laid a hand once again upon his feverish brow, heart breaking to see him so weak. Her father was larger than life to her, heroic, and a pillar of strength. She had never seen him ill, not really. Oh, he would catch a cold from time to time - she used to tease him for his booming sneezes that would startle her and make her jump and then laugh. But it never seemed to slow him down, he never seemed to suffer. Or could it be that she just didn't notice? 

She gazed down at the man who had loved and cared for her all these years. Never again would she fail to notice when he needed her.

-------------------

Jean Valjean, sitting up in bed, sneezed loudly into a handkerchief - "HaTCHOO!" and blew his nose. "Bless you!" Cosette said. She handed him a fresh handkerchief and adjusted the pillows behind him.

"Thank you," he said, thickly congested and sniffling. "But Cosette, you bustn't fuss over be like this. I'be fide. It's just a bad cold."

Cosette gave him a look that said she was not fooled, but did not argue. She kissed his forehead, which was now mercifully cool. "Drink your tea, Papa," was all she said. 

He obeyed, submitting to her care. He was deeply grateful to be reunited with his daughter and to have such proof of her devotion. Yet at the same time, he was somewhat rueful that she had to see him this way. He had always wanted to spare her any worry, had carefully shielded her from any of his troubles. Yet she was a woman now, and it was her lot to worry about her husband, her children when they came, and yes, her father too. That was the way of life. Still, he would spare her what he could.

He thought of how close he had felt to death last night, of the fever vision of Fantine and the nearness of God. He had been ready to go. Someday he would. But for now, he would rest, he would eat, and he would take any medicine they gave him so that he could regain his health and be a source of strength to his Cosette once more.

 

 

 

Wow, this is VERY touching!  You capture the characters so well; I can tell you know the show and its themes.  I'd love to see this fic continued!

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Thank you!! I had seen the movie a while back but finally saw it on stage, and it was AMAZING. And I like happy endings so I had to invent one!

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