As soon as they stepped inside, the noise hit Cosette, an overwhelming mix of music and voices. The next thing she registered was the heat. There were too many bodies pressed into the apartment, and although no one seemed to mind, Cosette absentmindedly missed the cool night air outside. She instinctively leaned closer to Marius, trying to catch what he was saying, even as the music flooded her ears. Sticking close to Marius also ensured that she wouldn’t get lost in the crowd of people surrounding them, most of whom were strangers to her. If this was how they spent their weekends though, it made sense that Cosette wouldn’t recognize them- she hadn’t been to a real party like this while in college. Or…ever, actually. Not that she’d admitted that to Marius when he invited her out, forgoing that specific fact about herself in lieu of just beaming and eagerly agreeing.
Her lack of experience in places like this was more a product of her dad’s opinions than anything else anyway. He wasn’t exactly the biggest supporter of anything that might involve boys or drinking, and he certainty didn’t like the idea of events that might expose her to both of those things at the same time. So she’d avoided places like this growing up, sticking with a smaller, and calmer, group of friends. There was no denying that she’d always been curious though. And while there was a part of her that wanted to follow that curiosity and strike out on her own, mingling with the people that surrounded them, she ignored that part for now. It was just as nice to stay close to Marius, the gangly boy from class who seemed to think it was a big deal that Cosette was here at this party with him.
The music softened for a moment as the someone switched to a different song, and Cosette finally caught what Marius was saying- he wanted to take her to meet one of his friends who was apparently already at the party. Nina? What that what he’d said? That didn’t seem quite right, but Cosette shrugged, deciding that whoever his friend was, she’d love to meet them. Besides, Marius seemed excited to introduce her to his friends too, which was just another endearing thing about him.
"Of course I want to meet them! Lead the way," she told Marius, leaning in to make sure that he could hear her, and quietly biting back a grin as she did so. Maybe it was because she wasn’t the most experienced in these matters, but there was something thrilling about being at a party with a cute boy. This was part of the quintessential college experience, right? That was the way it always seemed to go in books and movies at least.
Marius’ hand in hers distracted her from those thoughts, and she let him led her through the crowd, finally stopping when he apparently spotted whoever it was they were looking for. Belatedly she realized that he was calling for Eponine, not ‘Nina’. Eponine- it was a pretty name, but an unusual one too. Not that she could really judge though, considering her own name had gone out of fashion ages ago. Cosette stayed by Marius, waiting to see which guest that name belonged to, and watching as Marius rapidly attempted to signal someone over to them with his free hand.
There was always a comfort that came with parties. A comfort and a freedom. Eponine had always supposed that’s why she’d always been so drawn to parties. There was a strange sense of community with a group of strangers. Thought tonight she wasn’t wandering around mingling with actual strangers—she promised she’d stick with Marius’ friends.
Marius had been practically raving about this girl he was bringing to the party and Eponine had nodded, pretending to be excited too. It wasn’t so hard to fake with how enthused he was anyway.And now, splitting a flask and a smoke with one of Marius’ friends, Eponine had to admit she felt pretty good.
She’d almost forgotten Marius was even coming with his lady-love. Almost. Marius’ friends were rowdy enough that Eponine found herself fitting right in. She’d been rolling a joint for one such incompetent friend when he shook her shoulder and slurred something loudly at her that she still couldn’t make out. She looked up, and saw Marius gesturing at her. Eponine’s eyes lit up as she spotted him, smirking she shoved the half rolled joint to whoever was closest to her.
"You boys are going to have to roll your own joints for the rest of the night." She declared bounded off towards Marius and…What was her name? Eponine glanced at the girl standing close to Marius and the moment she did she wanted to turn around and get lost in the crowd.
Cosette. She remembered the other girl from childhood and even in her state it felt like a slap in the face to see her again. She felt a sense of shame, pushing it away she managed to join the two with a smirk, leaning unsteadily on Marius.
"Marius, you’re late. And I’m drunk. Who’s your friend, huh?" The fake casual tone came easy to her, as she silently hoped the other girl would have no memory of her.