Knock knock knock...
Your relaxation in the house was interrupted. You approached the door and opened. Immediately, you saw a beautiful woman in front of you. She had golden hair tied up, a few strands of her hair zig-zagging, and had blue eyes.
"Excuse me, but I am looking for work." She said. Her voice was as gorgeous as her face. She took a glimpse behind you and saw your place. She then blushed. "Um, I was wondering if you have any live-in positions..." She smiled. Live-in? Like... she'll live with you?
"Uuuuh..." You blushed back. You weren't exactly sure what to say. You had just moved in to your own place a month or so ago after you left your parents. For that length of time, you did tons of chores around the house. The woman then clasped her hands together.
"I am skilled at sewing. I can clean and do laundry. I am willing to do anything." She said. You bit your lip. You could use the help. But a part of yourself felt uncomfortable, especially when she said she'd do anything.
"You mind... Um... stepping in and..." You tried to word yourself carefully. You have no idea if this woman was legit. "W-we can talk?" The woman gave you such a pleasant smile and a joyful gasp as she walked in.
Throughout the next hour, you acquainted yourself with the woman, who was named Fantine. Little was known about her outside of her needing a job that allowed her to stay over and that she was more than willing to accept any sort of pay, provided it was constant. You had a decent amount of pay from your job over at the factory, more than you'd reasonably need, so you didn't mind parting a few Francs her way, even starting off with an advance pay of ten francs.
"Thank you!" She cherished the golden coins in her hands. Her expressions melted your heart and from that day onward, you knew you had made the right decision.
Throughout the next few days, Fantine had did what you asked. She'd clean your place, do your laundry, and essentially became a housemaid. Yet you felt uncomfortable doing this. Yes, you were paying her ten Francs a day, even extra as a tip, but you felt as though you were taking advantage of her situation. You tried to do your part of the work, though she always seemed to finish the chores first. The only thing you were able to do was cook food, which Fantine complimented. However, your living situation with Fantine got worse when you tried to make sleeping arrangements. Your house was a one bedroom arrangement, never even accounting for an extra person. The solution was simple, yet awkward: you'd share your bed with her.
Granted, you took some precautions to make the experience less awkward than it needed to be by building a small pillow barrier between you and Fantine, but that only resulted in even less space for you to move in, thus you had to sleep on your side, facing the pillows. Fantine didn't seem to mind this and in fact referred to it as "easy money, lying in a bed". It was still awkward sharing a bed with a woman you consider extremely beautiful. However, at one point, you forgot to make the barrier and your body was so adjusted to sleeping on your side. You soon found yourself in the arms of Fantine...
Though, to your surprise, she didn't seem to mind. She merely held you and stroked the back of your head. You weren't sure what was going on, but you noticed from her quiet breathing that she seemed to have been sleep-cuddling you. As if that wasn't odd enough, she then muttered something in her sleep.
Cosette? You weren't sure who she was, but from the way she seemingly muttered it while hugging you heavily implied Cosette was her daughter or someone she cared for. It felt pleasant to be coddled, even if she wasn't thinking of you. That said, you made sure that she wasn't hugging you when she woke up, as you didn't want to add any more awkwardness on top of the entire situation.
Throughout the evening, after getting off work, you'd try to see if you can find some sort of clue as to who Cosette is. Fortunately, you were able to get some sort of answer when you saw that Fantine, free from her usual duties, was writing a letter to someone. That night, you snuck by the table where she was writing and took a casual peek at the letter.
"My dear Cosette,
I'm still working very hard on finding a place for us... I think I might have found something for us to live in. Just wait a little longer while I pay for you to get better..."
That was all you were able to read before Fantine turned around. You tried to pretend you weren't reading it, but her shrunken pupils and blush confirmed that she knew.
"P-please..." She wasn't angry at you... "Don't kick me out..." You saw from her tears that she was begging.
"W-why would I kick you out? You're great!" You said. She blinked a bit.
"Y-you're not mad at me having a child?" There was a dumbfounded look on her face.
"I don't see any reason to. In fact, it kinda explains a few things." Fantine just looked away. You pulled up a chair and sat next to her. "You... like this place?" You asked her. Fantine hesitated before she nodded.
"I... Never really had a place to call my own before you took me in. You gave me a warm bed, good food, a constant pay... This might also be a good place for Cosette as well..." She whispered the last part. You looked around your house. It was pretty small for what it was.
"I'd have to do some heavy lifting before I can make sure it's a good place to live for two more people..." You saw the hope fade from Fantine's eyes. "But... I want to help you, just as you helped me." And soon, they returned.
"Thank you!" Fantine said.
"I'll swing by the factory tomorrow and see if I can convince Madeleine if I can get a raise." As you mentioned the name of your boss, Fantine frowned.
"Madeleine... He's the reason I don't have my job..." Your body froze a little. She then explained her situation to you, how she struggled to keep Cosette a secret out of fear that she'd not get a job because of it, only to be fired due to people assuming she was a prostitute. You felt a bit of anger seep inside you. Madeleine would never fire a hardworking mother over a tall tale like that. You gripped your fists.
"I'm gonna straighten things out with him." You left the house as Fantine cried out for you to come back. You knew why she was worried, but she can rest assured...
You won't be fighting him.
"Yes, is there something you want?" Madeleine was easy to access, though as of recently, he had been emotionally drained. You tried to keep the situation as brief as possible while his aide, a boy who was easily a quarter Madeleine's age, kept glares on you. You and him sat at the office where he worked.
"You see, I've recently took in an employee who I just discovered used to work here before she was fired. She said how there has been a misunderstanding, but that you fired her." You then got off your chair and went on your knees. "Please! She has a child that's sick and she needs every help she can! If it helps, I'll work double shifts for both of us, just please give her enough money to help save her child!" You cried out. Madeleine got off his seat too and helped you up.
"A child?" He asked.
"Y-yeah. Cosette. She hid that fact so she could get a job." There was a brief pause between you two. "... If... If you don't want to rehire her because of that, I can understand. I'm just asking for a raise to help support her as well." Another pause. You squirmed as Madeleine considered what to do... When his mustache began to move, you prepared for the worst.
"Bring Fantine here. I want to hear it from her." Madeleine's command was firm, yet sharp. You were compelled to do what he said as you went back to your house and told Fantine to follow you to the house. There, he brought Fantine in for a private meeting.
You waited outside his office, nay, his house, for what seemed to be hours. Thankfully, it was only one hour that passed before Fantine came out of the room. Before you could ask anything, she ran and hugged you.
"Thank you! I got my job back!" She held you tightly as you subconsciously returned the hug. "Not only that," she took out a letter and showed it to you, "Madeleine said he was gonna handle the rest of the payments I needed to make, so now Cosette can come live with us! I... I don't know how to repay you." She beamed at you.
"You're already doing it." Your mouth moved before your brain could think. Fantine blushed a bit and looked away. "I..." You tried to let go, but you noticed Fantine still kept her grasp over you. "If you want me to just be your employer, then that's oka-" That's when Fantine kissed you on the forehead.
"I can't pay you enough for helping me and Cosette." She said. You just smiled back and kissed her on the cheek.
"You can start by doing the same thing you've been doing. Though... Let me handle some of the work too. I don't wanna overwhelm you with work, especially after we fetch Cosette." You gave a chuckle.
"We?" Fantine asked.
"Yeah. I wanna come with you. I-if that's okay with..." Your voice lowered to a mumble, allowing Fantine to speak over you.
"Of course I will! With how you took me in, I'm sure you'll be a great help for Cosette." She said. You didn't feel hesitant, but rather welcomed the idea. You warmly smiled as you knew you actually fell in love with a maiden that was a maid.
Eventually, you and Fantine got on a carriage and rode off to Montfermeil where Cosette is. You and her went the whole trip close to each other.
"... I have a confession..." Fantine looked to you, "I... never really trusted men all that much. I fell in love with a man when I was young, and while he took my virginity and gave me a child, he didn't want the responsibility and he ran off... Ever since, I lost my faith in men. But... you managed to help me at my lowest, and you're helping me get Cosette..." She held your hand. "I think... I'm regaining that faith." She smiled. She held your hand as you gulped.
"I... I hope he doesn't have very big shoes to fill." You muttered.
"His feet are tiny, and besides, you can wear your shoes." As she said that, you two laughed.
Your carriage arrived at the inn where Cosette was left at. Fantine approached the door and knocked.
"Just a minute!" A deep, yet obviously womanly voice bellowed as the door opened. A large, fat lady looked outside and saw Fantine. Her eyes widened a bit before she went back. "She's here! She's here!" Her voice sounded oddly panicky. Fantine went inside, as did you. The smell of pungent beer nearly caused you to retch. What made Fantine retch, however, was seeing a little girl who looked almost exactly like Fantine, in rags, dirty, and looking like she had nothing to eat in the past few days. She was on the ground as Fantine noticed her bleeding forehead. You too noticed this.
"W-what happened?" Fantine saw the girl look up to her.
"Mom..." She weakly said.
"What happened to Cosette!?" Fantine shouted. You, however, just from looking at the panicked looks on the fat lady and what you presumed to be her husband, knew what happened.
"Seems Cosette was sick... from malnourishment." You gripped your fists as Fantine slowly realized what you meant.
"You... You were lying to me!" You never saw Fantine look this angered before. The two caretakers both squirmed and held up their hands.
"N-no! You just gave us a really bad child!" With that, you saw Fantine slap the lardy woman before she went to pick up Cosette.
"Hey! Wait a minute! You haven't paid for your ren-" That's when you just glared at the short man.
"Considering the shit service you gave, you'd be lucky if you'll ever see a single centime out of her." With that, you and Fantine leave with Cosette, though she had asked if you'd take a kid from their house named Gavroche and a dog named Chou Chou as well. A normal person wouldn't stoop to the low of essentially kidnapping a child, but considering what little care the two gave to Cosette, you felt like you were child services. You got in and, once you found Gavroche and Chou Chou, got them as well. "Consider this the refund." With that, you left the two child abusers to wallow in their lost meal ticket.
You, Fantine, Cosette, Gavroche, and Chou Chou all got onto the carriage. It was gonna be a huge adventure raising two kids and a dog, but you felt as though you can do it. Fantine just gave you a longing look and a smile. There'll come a time where you'll explain to Cosette who you are and why you're with Fantine, but for now, you'll just be regarded as her savior.
Midway through the trip, the kids and the dog wiped out. Fantine, knowing her daughter won't see it, began to cry.
"They were too good to be true..." Fantine muttered. You just held her.
"It's over now. Cosette will have a better life now. I'll guarantee it." You said. You saw Fantine's jewel-like eyes as they shimmered with her tears. Your heart began to beat.
"Promise?" She asked.
"..." You moved in and kissed her on the lips. "Yeah, I promise..."
And with that, you and Fantine also wiped out as the carraige took you five to Montreuil, where you'll live out the rest of your pleasant days...