DISCLAIMER: We here at Six Yards, Inc. have no intentions of claiming the characters created by Victor Hugo, although I'm sure we would both be quite happy if we could. Darth Pooky owns the stranger in the bar, but is willing to sell him to someone who is not a policeman.

WARNING: A bit PWP, because there is a distinct lack of good J/JVJ in the world. Enjoy.

"Meme Dans La Mort"

The older man slowly closed the door behind him, and sank back against it heavily, allowing his eyes to fall shut as he momentarily rested his head on the frame. Inside this house, his only safe haven from the world, he was nothing more than Monsieur Fauchelevant, a generous, alms-giving man living a peaceful, honest life with his daughter. But outside…outside, he was nothing more than that unfeeling, law-breaking convict, Jean Valjean, a man who only ever thought about himself and no one else. That was what he was in the law's eyes. Inspector Javert could never relinquish the chase after Valjean, the man he had pursued ever since the convict had broken his parole and he could never understand that Valjean was a changed man. To Javert, all convicts were nothing more than treacherous scum that would never be able to abide by decent lives. The law was there for people to follow, Valjean knew, but his circumstances had not been of hate or of disobedience, they had been out of love and concern for his family. That bread was meant to save his starving sister and her children, not to condemn his life for eternity.

But Valjean knew he had been in the wrong when he had taken the initiative to steal, and even more so when he fled his parole, and now he would dutifully pay for it, as every other man who had wronged the law before him. He should have known better than to hope he might have escaped his past at last. Valjean wearily pushed himself off the doorframe, grunting slightly as his exhausted feet protested against the weight he was putting back on them. He couldn't afford to drag this out any longer than he already had, though he wished more than anything else that he wasn't obligated to tell Cosette about Marius. Valjean was loathe to admit it, but he felt a deep resentment towards Marius for stealing his daughters heart away. Valjean's eyes stung with held back tears as he thought of what was about to come. He knew, this time, he wouldn't be imprisoned for just nineteen years. This time, when he was retaken into custody by the hands of the man waiting just outside his door, he would be incarcerated for life. The only good that could come of what lay before him was that when his daughter was at last to be wed, he wouldn't be forced to live through the agony of watching her go.

A lone sob escaped from between Valjean's lips, partially because of the searing pain that was setting his back aflame, but even more so at the knowledge that he would never see his darling Cosette ever again. It was almost too much for the poor man to bear.

Agonizingly slow, Valjean began to ascend the stairway leading up to Cosette's room, each step forward eliciting a new pain through his body, and an even worse pain piercing through his heart. Valjean wondered, upon seeing the sleeping form of his daughter, would he be able to bear telling her what was to become of him? Valjean shuddered, though the summer's night was quite warm, and he desperately tried to keep his despair at bay. He couldn't let his will slip away from him now, at the moment he needed it most.

After this, all my debts will have been paid, Valjean thought solemnly.

Bringing her lover, Marius, back from the barricades, was Valjean's repayment for the love Cosette had bestowed upon him as his daughter. Valjean knew, even through the doctor's doubts as to his recovery, that Marius would not die. Before Cosette, prison had made Valjean's heart cold, and all he could feel upon being released was a deep hatred of the world. Cosette had taught him what it was to love another again. In saving her Marius, Valjean had given her the gift of love that she had blessed him with for the past seven years. Yet, knowing this did not make the task before Valjean any easier. Another stifled sob emitted from Valjean's mouth, and upon reaching the landing at the top of the stairs, he again had to pause to rest against the wall. The knowledge that this would be his and Cosette's final parting was so overpowering, Valjean could barely even manage to stand. Finally, Valjean forced himself to get up again, and his feet trudged against the floor, scuffing the wood as he made his way down the hallway. Just next to Cosette's closed door was a small window, the only window along the stretch of the hall. Valjean, his dread consuming him once more, turned his head to glance out onto the street in front of the house, and he started in shock. Javert was not outside. Valjean quickly swiveled his body around to completely face the window, gripping the sill tightly with both hands as he frantically roamed his eyes over the abandoned street. It wasn't just a trick of his overwhelmed mind. Javert was gone.

Valjean's legs almost immediately gave out from underneath him and he sank to the ground, letting out a tremendous, shuddering gasp. Only now did he allow his already receding strength to ebb out of him, his shoulder slumping and his forehead coming to rest against his knees. Now, he wouldn't have to face the horror of telling Cosette of his past. Only the hardest task lay before him now; at last, letting Cosette go. But, in this moment, at least, it could wait until the morning.

oOo

Javert stood at the edge of the Pont-au-Change, elbows propped on the cold stone parapet firmly, hands clutching his thick, silver-streaked sideburns angrily.

Damn. Damn everything. And damn that monstrous fugitive!

The inspector could not properly recall when he had ever had to question authority or his morals, to choose between the two, seeing them as constant companions but now having to choose the less of two evils. What kind of choice is that? A mad one. Javert knew it well. He did not wish to choose either. If Jean Valjean had simply killed him, he wouldn't be in this ridiculous predicament! But he refused to give in. He would not take a side.

He remembered the alley. He recalled how curiously reserved he had been when faced with death and how astounded he had been when death had been denied to him. Imagine that, being confused and angry that one did not die!

Javert could not stop thinking about Valjean. He could not stop thinking about the choices the fugitive had made throughout the years, and then seemingly have turned around in an instant, choosing to let the inspector continue chasing him if he wished, caring not for his own life or the fact that he might be discovered releasing a spy and be deemed a traitor. He had done it for Javert. For himself. Such a concept did not register with the inspector. He easily recalled all the times he had seen Valjean in Montreuil-sur-Mer, always suspecting that he was not who he said he was, yet not minding this potentially dangerous fact until much later. When he found him again months later, there was an excitement there that he could not quite comprehend. The Gorbeau house incident, the scene at the barricades, the meeting at the beach…

It was the beach that had done it, really. Javert stood, watching Valjean in awe as Valjean willingly allowed himself to be led by the police to a fiacre, walking into the groping hands that had forever sought him out. When they had sat in the carriage, side by side, by all considerations alone, Javert felt as though he had gained something tremendous, though he did not know what. During the fiacre ride to Valjean's residence, Javert felt a flare in his chest, a foreign feeling he could not relate to. As Valjean exited the fiacre, the feeling gained a name: sorrow. Indeed, the concept Javert knew nothing of. But as the fugitive made his way to the house on the Rue de l'Homme Arme, Javert felt sorrow quite vividly. It was the sight of something walking away from him, something he was sure he would never see again. A man was giving himself in to the ones who had made his life miserable…willingly leaving his happiness behind. Javert had never known happiness. The only times he had felt real joy was when…

When he was around Valjean.

Javert paled.

The chases, the anticipation, the waiting, the palpitations of his heart as he approached the man who seemed to be as untamable and wild as wind, acting just the same…

Had he truly felt happy any other time?

Thus, he had sent the fiacre away immediately and hurried away from the house as fast as he could without running. And here he was now, on a bridge, looking down upon the black waters without really seeing it.

A splash sounded somewhere downriver. Javert did not look up, but his ears took in the sound keenly. There might be another splash yet tonight…

No.

He stopped himself there. He would not do any such thing. Valjean may have saved his life, but Javert had been the one who committed a crime this time. He had let Valjean keep his happiness at the cost of his own. He had to see it right. It was impossible to simply let a fugitive with multiple offenses to his name get away. The inspector raised his head, cold grey eyes scanning the rooftops of a city recovering from revolution, a city that might yet fall should another revolution strike. Javert knew that he was not going to end up like Paris. He might waver, but he would not fall. Valjean was out there. He was free for now, but Javert would see him back in prison. It might not be now, it might not be in a few years, and it might even last until they were both dead in their graves, but Javert vowed privately that he would indeed catch Jean Valjean at last. Somehow. In the meantime, he would stall for as long as he could. It was a fair trade; Valjean would remain free while Javert technically continued chasing him.

There. It wasn't such a hard decision.

But why did Javert feel such a pain in his chest?

The answer might have been revealed had the inspector remained at the bridge for a few more hours, where at dawn a white-haired man in worker's clothes passed by the bridge who could have helped the policeman in that regard. Instead, Javert went to his apartment, gun smoke in his clothes and burnt powder in his hair, blood speckled across his greatcoat. He slept, half hoping he would never wake up.

oOo

Five months following the fall of the barricade…

oOo

Jean Valjean sat at the bar of a dock-side tavern, picking up the shot glass in front of him and downing another gulp of the contents, the whisky burning the inside of his throat. Already, he could feel his mind beginning to haze over with the welcome feeling of ease. It was at least his seventh shot of the heavy alcohol. Sweeping over the place drearily from behind half-lidded eyes, he observed the other customers at their tables, drinking, swearing, laughing uproariously, some looking like they were just about ready to drop. This tavern was very popular among the sailors who stopped in the bay, returning from voyages or making pit stops to sell their goods. Most came into the harbor, and the first thing they went to do was get a drop of ale. Some just came to hear the latest gossip. Any man who wanted nothing more than to escape from the worries of the real world for a few hours was welcome here.

Which is exactly what Valjean was trying to do. In two days, Cosette was to become Madame le Baron Pontmercy.

Suddenly, the tavern door swung open again, disturbing the lull that had overcome the tavern and its occupants. An extremely tall man who wore a police officer's uniform entered the establishment warily, long graying brown hair swishing behind him as he swept towards the bar, casting a dark look over all of the customers. One could tell from only a glance that he was tired, but his stride was determined and purposeful as he made his way over to the bar. Whatever it was this man was after, it was clear he meant business.

Valjean, even though he felt the incoherency associated with all the drinking he had done in the past half hour, miraculously managed to see this man from the corner of his eye and with a start, he recognized him.

Javert.

Immediately, Valjean stiffened, but before he could make a move to leave the tavern, the inspector sat down beside him. Valjean quickly looked down at the bar table to conceal his face.

"Bartender, I wish to speak with you about the murder at the docks last week," Javert said tersely. Suddenly, he shuddered as a chill went up his spine, and he cast a glance to his side. Seeing that he was not alone at the table, he regarded the hunched figure beside him curiously. Valjean instinctively felt the piercing gaze on him, and flinched, drawing the collar of his coat closer to his neck and in a gruff bark, an attempt to conceal his actual voice, asked the bartender for another shot. The bartender, with a sigh of exasperation, obliged, and even as the other man threw his head back, downing another shot, Javert continued to gaze at him suspiciously. After a few moments, he seemed to find no further interest in his silent companion, and he turned back to the bartender.

While the inspector was preoccupied questioning the man behind the counter, Valjean cast a risky glance at his pursuer, blue eyes glazed over but alert. All the while he tried to form some kind of escape plan in his mind, though all the whiskey he was consuming was definitely not aiding his plight much. Javert finished questioning the bartender within a few minutes and then turned his gaze back to the man besides him, noticing his obviously drunken swaying immediately. Valjean soon realized that his intoxication had come with two side effects: one being a pleasurable sense of content and carefree spirit, the other an oncoming headache. He was going to regret this in the morning. Valjean let a small moan escape his lips and he moved a hand to his head, resting it on his palm which leaned on the bar table in front of him. Javert raised an eyebrow.

"Is there anything wrong?" he asked carefully.

"Fine," Valjean answered with a grunt, again adopting a gruff façade. However, he was quite unsuccessful in tricking Javert in the least, as he again swayed dangerously in his seat. Javert eyebrows furrowed as he registered how absurd that sentence sounded coming from one who was most definitely intoxicated.

"Funny," he stated, a slight smirk becoming him. "You don't seem like it."

Valjean froze in mid sway, suddenly becoming stock still and seeming to regain a bit of his surroundings as he felt Javert's hot breath run down his neck.

'What...was that...?' he wondered silently. Javert's face contracted in confusion, as he had done that unintentionally. Disregarding the action, he decided he might as well question this man too, as the bartender had not been much of a help. Though with how close this man looked to passing out, it wasn't likely he would be either.

"Do you come here often?" Javert inquired. The other man just shrugged vaguely. Assuming this meant a "yes", Javert took this as a sign to continue.

"I have come to the understanding that the victim of a recent murder, whose body was found not too far from here under a dock, was a regular customer here at this tavern. Did you happen to be here the night that the murder took place?" Javert questioned further. Again, the other man shrugged. Javert sighed in annoyance. It was clear to him now that the man was beyond any understanding of the answers Javert was requesting of him. Javert rubbed his temple with two fingers, aggravated that coming here had been a waste of time. This meant he was back to square one with the investigation assigned to him.

Valjean felt his head throb again, and he dropped his forehead to the bar, burying his face in his arms and groaning pitifully as the alcohol worked itself into a splitting headache. Oh, how he was going to regret this in the morning. Javert took in this sight with hostile eyes. He leaned in a little more, resting one hand on the counter to give himself leverage.

"How many drinks have you had?" he demanded of the man. Said man strained to lift his head off the counter and managed to give a weak, almost unperceivable shrug before exhausting his strength and collapsing back to the surface with a thud. Javert tisked and directed his attention to the bartender, who held up both hands, indicating that the strange man had consumed at least ten shots of alcohol. He turned his gaze back to the drunk resting on the bar face and wrinkled his nose in disdain; he loathed men like this. They felt as if they could free themselves from all responsibility, that by drinking they could shirk their duty to society. But as Javert insisted on repeating to himself every day, no one could. The law was the law.

Valjean could feel the inspector staring at him, and he was half-terrified that he had recognized him, but as he hadn't felt his cold, judicious hand clamp the back of his neck, he had some comfort in the fact that his drunken guise was satisfactorily hiding him. Now seemed like the best time to leave: before Javert got any more suspicious. Valjean lifted his head from the bar and gripped the edge of the wooden surface, trying to push his body backwards, but his hazy mind refused to let his body work with him, and he felt himself fall forward, his stomach flipping as he realized he was going to hit the floor.

Surprisingly, Javert, who had been keeping a watchful eye on the inebriated man, at that moment shot his arm out, grasping the man tightly by the arm and yanking him backwards rather hard to keep him from cracking his skull open. However, Javert's strength far exceeded his expectations and Valjean let out a sudden loud gasp as he felt the hand of his pursuer from the past twenty years catch his arm, jerking him the opposite way. Valjean twisted around with his arm and fell headfirst into Javert's chest, feeling a leanly muscled arm crush his head to the inspector's body. His cheeks flushed dark red and his eyes widened as it dawned on him just who's chest he was lying on. Secretly...he thought he liked it. The heat that embraced him, the musky scent that wafted just below his nose, the low hum of breath that reverberated in the other man's chest like music…

Of course, that could have just been the whiskey talking.

He quickly heaved his body away from Javert, slumping back into his old chair, a sense of defeat settling over him.

"Erm…thanks," he muttered, keeping his gaze fixed on Javert's knee. Javert looked at the man, almost amused, but his cheeks betrayed his inner emotions. The moment the man's head had touched his chest Javert felt his stomach lurch as he thought, momentarily, that it could have been him in the place of this drunken fool. How would his head have felt? Javert bit his lower lip discreetly, and turned away from the man, who appeared to also be uncomfortable at the sudden encounter.

"It was nothing," replied Javert with some hesitation. He crossed his arms, leant back in his chair and faced the bar, attempting to think about anything but the elusive fugitive.

'Damn Jean Valjean and damn my life,' he thought acidly.

Between the two men, there were several minutes of silence. Valjean every so often glanced over at the inspector, checking to see whether any recognition had sprung to his pursuer's eyes, but the cold grey orbs remained mute, speaking nothing of their owner's inner thoughts. Javert did not take his fixed gaze off a vague point on the back wall of the bar, his mind occupied with other things, like this disappointing trail of evidence he had been given to work with. This case did not appear to be going anywhere and that played angrily on the inspector's pride.

A cold, clammy hand suddenly gripped Javert's shoulder, and he turned around startled and irked by the action. A lean man who appeared to be slightly shorter than himself but just as muscular was looming above him, grinning at the inspector lewdly. Javert shivered as the man caught his eyes. Instinctively, he knew something ominous was about to take place.

Valjean, too, saw this with a growing sense of dread. His fists began to tighten, as if preparing him for what was to come, and his heart began to race as a curious flame began to spread throughout his chest, engulfing him in…what? What was this? It bubbled inside him, straining to be released, but its unknown properties frightened the fugitive.

Could it perhaps have something to do with Javert?

At that moment, the strange man's grin widened visibly. "Now you're a real looker," he commented, obviously enthralled with Javert's impressive lean physique. Valjean felt the fire grow hotter, and he could feel his face contorting into rage, but his eyes continued to be cemented to the stranger's face, burning a furious gaze into his head. The stranger continued, shifting his body weight to one side and crossing his arms on his chest, and licking his lips greedily. "Need a shoulder for yer head tonight?" he asked, leering at Javert, eyes undoubtedly full of unsavory visions. At this statement, both Javert and Valjean froze. Javert's heart seemed to stop as the dreaded implication settled in his mind, but he contained the fear easily, covering his face with a disgusted look.

"No thank you," he replied coolly. "I am perfectly well accommodated." It was not a crime to ask one to engage in such activities, but Javert was hardly the type to appreciate any eluding statement.

On the other side of the inspector, Valjean's fire raged white-hot. His fingers curled around his shot glass, minute cracks on the surface threatening to shatter the object into a thousand pieces. It was absolutely disgusting, inconceivable even! Just who did this man think he was, making such a blatantly dirty request of his inspector? Dirty piece of street scum that he was, how dare he even...wait. Valjean paused, a concept hitting him like a blow to the head. Was that a 'his' he put in that last thought? But why on earth would he say that? Could it be that he was…claiming ownership over his lifelong pursuer? Valjean turned scarlet. While he grasped for an answer to this, the stranger casually said,

"I can make you comfortable." He leant down to whisper in Javert's ear, his filthy breath blowing on the inspector's hair. "If ya let me."

Javert blanched, and stood up slowly as he tried to move to one side. "I think not," he replied. "And if I did want company, I would certainly have a better choice of companionship." A smirk played on the inspector's pale lips. The stranger's face contorted into an expression that was something akin to hatred. Javert made a move to leave, but a large hand clamped his wrist and yanked him back with a jerk that wrenched the inspector's arm from its socket. Javert let out a strangled growl as pain shot through his right shoulder.

"I don't think so. Yer comin' with me." The man's eyes were narrowed. The inspector threw the stranger's hand off forcefully, an expression of disgust crossing his face briefly.

"Perhaps you have some trouble understanding the concept of 'no'." Javert's voice was icy.

"More like I could care less," snarled the stranger, making another grab for Javert's wrist. Javert backhanded the man across the face, sending him sprawling across a nearby table and upsetting everything on it. The man swore as he crashed to the floor with a loud bang, receiving some violent kicks from the occupants of the table in retribution for disrupting their meal.

"If you would care to continue, the only comfort you'll feel tonight is the cold chill of a jail cell." Javert sunk a hand into the depths of his greatcoat, feeling for his handcuffs.

The man wiped his bleeding lip with a careless swipe of his sleeve. "A cop, eh? Shoulda known." He stood up shakily, a malicious smile forming. "No matter. It'll be like tamin' a horse."

"Sit down, you fool," growled one of the patrons whose table the man had ruined. "You don't want to be playin' with that one." He flashed a careful look at Javert. The inspector's reputation was known amongst quite a few people in the criminal underworld, although those who had actually seen him seldom could recount their tales to their fellow tradesmen. Most were still in La Force.

"'E's no different from the others!" scoffed the stranger. 'Cept a little more foreign lookin'." His smile widened as his eyes ran across Javert's dark hands. "I like that." Javert's face could not possibly have gotten any whiter and Valjean's face could not have twisted into rage any further.

"You're drunk, you imbecile!" tried the patron futilely. The stranger waved him off, and advanced on Javert.

"Now…let's try this again." He made a move for the inspector's wrists.

"I said NO!" yelled Javert, his countenance turning black as his eyes narrowed and his mouth curled into a snarl. He wouldn't let this filthy wretch touch him in the slightest. The handcuffs flew out of his pocket with absurd speed, but before they could reach their mark they were grabbed and thrown across the room. Javert swore, and sidestepped quickly, groping for one of his fisticuffs, coat swirling behind him. He had only just grasped the handle of his pistol when the stranger caught him in a bear hug, pinning the inspector's arms to his sides. No amount of strain would loosen the hold on him, and Javert writhed as he tried to throw the man off of him.

The bar's side chatter grew quieter as some of the patrons looked about for the source of the ruckus.

"By the time I'm done with ya, you won' be sayin' no," the stranger growled, starting to drag Javert away.

"Let me go!" yelled Javert, trying in vain to trip his attacker. His position, however, was such that it was almost impossible to reach the stranger's ankles, but Javert would not give up trying.

Valjean, who had watched this exchange with considerable scrutiny, suddenly snapped. All coherent thought of restraint was lost in a single instant as he flung the shot glass outwards, jumped to his feet and half-ran at the stranger who was restraining the inspector.

"Get away from him, NOW!" bellowed Valjean, retracting his right arm and slamming it into the side of the stranger's face as hard as he could. The stranger let out a roar of indignation and pain as he dropped Javert and toppled to the floor holding his jaw. Javert rolled out of the way to the cover of a table several feet from the pair feeling light-headed and severely winded as he moved himself to a crouching position.

"You rat, I'LL GET YOU!" yelled the man, scrambling to his feet and attacking Valjean. Valjean let out an uncharacteristically loud growl as he avoided a storm of punches and threw some of his own out, solidly connecting with the man's stomach and head. The man doubled back and socked Valjean in the nose, sending the older man to the floor with a cry. The man wasted no time and kicked Valjean in the mouth, making blood spurt everywhere as Valjean wheezed in response and swiped his left arm out, tripping the man and making him fall to the ground. Valjean jumped on the man's chest using his knees to hold the other down, and seized the man's head in his calloused, bloody hands, beating him against the hardwood floor until the stranger's muscles went slack causing him to slump unconscious, blood pooling around the two of them.

Javert, still crouched beside a table, watched this spectacle in horrified awe, as he tried to both realize what could have happened to him and understand that the drunken man whom had barely been able to manage a coherent sentence had come to his rescue. He was too stunned to even make a move to arrest either of them for fighting so great was the shock. He remained petrified as the drunken man rose to his feet, blood smeared on his clothes and face, his eyes dark with disparagement, his stance looking solidly like one completely sober.

Valjean had paid no attention to Javert during the course of the fight. He continued to do so, towering over the man who had dared to touch the inspector, breathing heavily. His eyes trailed to the blood the continued spreading across the floor, only half-aware that he himself had caused it. Somewhere inside of him, the goodness that he had acquired over the many years since the incident with the bishop was appalled, no, horrified. Not a life had he cut short at the barricades during the June Riots, but now, in a bar full of men that seemed beyond the concept of honor or kindness, in a place where the most base of men gathered every night…he had shed blood. Over Javert.

The very thought was enough to make what little sense he had at the time force him to retreat into the cloudy state of inebriation. He bitterly wiped the blood rolling from his mouth with his sleeve and walked towards the exit, shoving the door open. With that, he disappeared into the night, the darkness swallowing him up almost immediately.

Javert was still frozen, but quickly realized that the man who saved him was getting away. The inspector was not the type to thank people for their various behaviors; he himself never did, and he had no intention of thanking the stranger for stopping what would have been an inevitably wretched end for Javert. While the brawl between the drunk and the stranger had been a result over morals, it was still illegal, and Javert couldn't very well arrest a man lying on the floor in his own blood, quite near death if he wasn't already. Without so much as a hesitation, Javert righted himself, straightening his wrinkled coat, and hurried out the bar after the drunk.

If he had stayed but a moment longer he would have noted with some amusement the groans of the stranger as he regained consciousness, muttering quietly to never try and bed a cop ever again.

oOo

Valjean openly scowled, his eyes staring forward resolutely as he tried to route himself back to his shabby home on the Rue de l'Homme Arme. At first, his steps were determined and steady, but soon his legs began to wobble, quickly draining of any ounce of strength they had left, and Valjean's head swam. He shook his head in an attempt to will the dizziness away, but with growing dismay he realized that the world around him had now begun to spin. Faster and faster it spiraled in circles, his vision blurring, and this time when Valjean staggered, his foot catching on a lurch in the road, there was no one poised to catch him as he fell with a dull thud to the ground. Cursing furiously, Valjean dug his fingers into the cold dirt and struggled to pull himself back up onto his hands and knees.

But as luck would have it, Javert happened around the corner at that exact moment, turning down the street he suspected the man he was after to have gone down and he gave a small gasp of alarm when he found that very man down on his hands and knees. After only a seconds shock, Javert rushed forward and gripped the other mans shoulders tightly.

"What the devil were you thinking? Rushing out like that, drunk; are you out of your mind?!" Javert accosted the inebriate, putting his arms around the man's stomach and struggling to drag his weight upwards and set him back on his feet. The drunken man growled angrily, pushing against Javert's bulk again and staggering a few steps away.

"I am perfectly fine, now leave me in peace," Valjean objected, turning his back on the inspector, and swiping an irritable hand behind him as he attempted a few more steps forward. However, he quickly failed in his attempt as another dizzy spell washed over him. Again, Valjean moaned pitifully, swaying. It only took a few moments for this denial to sink in, and Javert answered with a growl of his own, drawing the man against him once more, this time forcefully, as the other again pitched forwards.

"You are a very stubborn ma-," Javert began to say, but he stopped suddenly as Valjean's face finally came into his view, Valjean being forced to turn and look the inspector directly in the eyes. Javert's eyes widened as the familiar voice at last connected to the familiar face. How could he ever forget that face…

"Valjean..."

Valjean flinched as he heard his name spoken aloud. Why did it have to be Javert? For God's sake, Javert was the one person he thought he would be completely safe from running into tonight, of all nights! A tavern. And not just any tavern, it had to be that tavern. The one he had decided to go to for that one night. It could never be said that Valjean had ever sunk so low as to get drunk before, never having consumed alcohol in his life, but tonight he had been desperate to lock his sorrows away. Had it all been just a coincidence, running into Javert once more in the tavern? Was it like all their other meetings over the years? Could he be certain that those too had all been coincidences?

If Valjean were was truly honest with himself, he recognized that there had been an ulterior motive for his visit to the tavern, with every intention to get himself wasted to the point he wouldn't be able to feel anything; not the inward struggle between his conscious, the pain, the despair, the heartache. Yes, the heartache. For in reality the other reason for Valjean's current state was that exact emotion, seemingly fitting if one were to look upon Valjean from an outsiders view. After all, how could one such as Valjean with so many secrets to keep, so many burdens to carry, so many dreams to let go, not feel heartache? Surely this heartache Valjean wished to escape from could easily be summed up by his constant fear of justice, and then his daughter's sudden engagement to a boy Valjean barely even knew, and even more seldom respected, that would take her away from her father so quickly and so completely?

Again, if Valjean were to be truly honest with himself, he would have to concede that in part, these two excuses did describe his slow, emotional torture to a degree. The idea of Cosette leaving him, the one person who had ever stayed by his side these long years during his self-induced exile, was the most painful thought that had ever crossed the distraught man's mind, even more so than the knowledge that as a former convict, he would never truly be free. But as of late, another, possibly even more disturbing turn of his mind's eye had been plaguing the aging man. For no apparent reason, as far as Valjean could tell, whenever he sat alone in the house on the Rue de l' Homme Arme without any with which to occupy his weary mind, his thoughts tended to stray back to a man he hadn't heard high or low from in months. And quite possibly never would see again. Inspector Javert had left Valjean that night of the barricades without so much as a word of explanation, and ever since that night Valjean had been left in a continual state of wondering.

This was the reason Valjean had been fruitlessly hanging onto by a loose thread to excuse his peculiar trail of thoughts the last few weeks. Inspector Javert, for some reason or another unbeknownst to the convict, had granted him his freedom. Perhaps Javert truly did have an ounce of pity in him, perhaps Javert was tired of the chase and felt no satisfaction now in turning Valjean in, or perhaps it was just a life for a life, a debt paid to Valjean for sparing Javert's life when he had been captured at the barricade. Any way Valjean looked at it, the same conclusion presented itself to him: why should he care? He was free, shouldn't he just be content with that and think no more of that man who had made his life a living hell for the past twenty odd years? But there was where Valjean had to halt. Those words weren't what he truly felt towards Javert...yes, his last twenty years being on the run had been a living hell, but Valjean knew deep down that he could never associate those words with his lifelong pursuer. And again, Valjean's mind would plunge into that mysterious abyss that revolved around his inspector.

Javert was indeed an anomaly to Jean Valjean. Whenever Valjean's thoughts wandered to the man, he felt a sinking feeling in his chest rather than a relief that the man was gone from his life forever. That sinking feeling...Valjean knew he had felt it before, but he couldn't for the life of him place it in all those forgone weeks he had dwelt on it. Not until tonight.Longing. Valjean actually missed his adversary. The idea was baffling and didn't make a shred of sense, but once the word was out in the open, Valjean could no longer deny it. And now that he had crossed paths with the inspector once more, Valjean felt his heart racing in his chest, his hands growing clammy, nervous perspiration wetting his brow. Oh God...the answer was right there. Cosette, of course, now that her father knew of Marius and had even sanctioned the secret of their love that she had burdened on her shoulders for a month (the first time and longest time she had ever kept a secret from her father), had gone on and on about how happy Marius made her feel at every chance she could, the lovesick dove that she was. Whenever Cosette had began to sink into her endless cooing, Valjean had tried his best to seem interested without actually listening to her words, lest those words send him spiraling further into despair. Only now did one of those conversations come back to him...

Love makes you feel so warm and complete on the inside...he makes my heart beat wildly in my chest...I get so nervous before going to see him, though when he's finally beside me I am alight with joy...

"Dear God...am I...?"

Almost immediately, Valjean began to struggle again, desperately trying to escape, but it was all a useless effort in Javert's steely iron grip. Still, Valjean did not tire, and it was only when his face suddenly turned ashen pale did he cease his thrashing.

"Javert, let me go…" Valjean begged weakly. All he received in return was another incredulous stare from Inspector Javert.

"Please, Javert…" he moaned, desperation starting to arise in his already strained voice. "I'm going to be sick."

Finally, Javert seemed to come out of his dazed stupor, releasing Valjean's arms just in time for the other man to double over and get ill on the sidewalk. The gagging and retching sounds emitting from Valjean's mouth were violent enough to make Javert cringe, the inspector looking on with a slightly pained look as the fugitive released the alcoholic contents from his stomach.

"Valjean..." he murmured again. But there was something different about the way Javert pronounced Valjean's name this time around. Different than how he'd ever said the name aloud. It wasn't with anger, annoyance, hatred, disdain…he said it gently, almost kindly. Slowly, Javert strode over to the miserable, wretched form of Valjean and kneeled down to his level, raising a hand to Valjean's shoulder and slowly sliding his thumb across it soothingly, attempting to calm the ill man before him.

"What am I doing…?" he asked himself incredulously.

"Ssh, shh…it will be fine, Valjean. Just let it out," Javert whispered soothingly. He murmured calming things in the other man's ear the entire time, waiting for Valjean's sudden episode to come to a standstill. Finally, Valjean stopped retching, and a blanket of silence enveloped both men, Javert waiting it out quietly as Valjean took a few moments to quell his uneven breathing.

"Ugh…I feel…horrible," Valjean eventually managed to get out. For perhaps the first time in Valjean's memory, Javert smiled.

"You will be sore tomorrow, no question," Javert conceded knowingly. Valjean heaved one last, gasping moan, and then shut his eyes gently.

"I guess this is what you earn for trying to drown all the miseries of the world with whiskey..." Javert heard him mutter quietly. The younger man immediately felt his muscles stiffen, the hairs on the back of his neck standing on end at those faint words, but he did not acknowledge that he had overheard. Slowly, Valjean opened his eyes once more, his gaze still staring forward, unreadable. That faraway look filled Javert with a sense of dread, which only continued to grow as the silence between them dragged on. Finally, Valjean spoke.

"Why didn't you arrest me, Javert?" The question was so soft, so hesitant, Javert almost didn't hear it. If the street they now kneeled on had not been completely deserted, with not even the evening birds lending a sound to the night air, Javert would have dismissed it as a trick of the wind. Almost immediately, Javert righted himself, drawing himself up to his full height as he quickly took a few steps away from Valjean, who was still leaning heavily against the sidewalk. Javert's eyes glimmered with a confusion that Valjean could neither place nor describe.

"I...must be going," Javert stammered, quickly spinning around on his heel and hastening to walk away. Valjean heaved a sigh. He hadn't been expecting anything more, but an answer of some form would have been a little more helpful.

Valjean let out one last groan, and then he hefted himself to his feet. However, his mind and his body did not seem to be on friendly terms, and so while his mind insisted he get up, his feet vehemently refused. Just as Valjean managed to stand upright, his legs once more buckled underneath him and he fell to the ground with a cry of frustration. This exclamation was not lost on Javert, and he froze mid-step, turning his gaze back to the misshapen form of Valjean, a queer combination of confliction and pity.

Sighing quietly, Javert made his way back over to Valjean.

"Come on," Javert said briskly, in the same movement grasping one of Valjean's wrists and heaving it upright, eliciting a sharp cry of surprise from Valjean. Once the man was steadied, Javert put one arm around Valjean's waist, using his free hand to slide one of Valjean's hands around his neck.

"Javert, what do you think you are doing?!" Valjean yelled with indignation. Javert just glared down at him in annoyance.

"It is obvious to me that you are in no condition to be walking home alone. You can barely sit up straight, let alone balance on your own two feet," Javert stated tersely, still holding Valjean's gaze with his own, more exasperated one. "I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if you collapsed on the side of the street any moment, awaking to find you have no memory of any of this. Come on, then."

Without waiting for further protest from Valjean, Javert began to move forward, still supporting the intoxicated man. Valjean, albeit grudgingly, had to admit to himself that Javert was right and it would be useless to struggle now. Otherwise he might just end up on the side of the street.

"Be careful," Javert cautioned. That being said, the two set off in the direction Valjean had originally been heading in. They moved slowly, more due to the fear Javert had of stirring another episode from Valjean's already weak stomach than anything else. After they had been walking for a while, Javert ventured to break the uneasy silence that had bestowed itself upon them.

"What exactly were these miseries you were trying to drown?" he asked Valjean quietly. Javert couldn't help but give a slight jump when Valjean laughed darkly.

"Surely you of all people aren't asking me that," Valjean replied. Yet, to Valjean's growing surprise, he actually found himself continuing, actually wanting to open up to Javert. Oh, the irony of that revelation was not lost upon him. "Always on the run, hiding from the world, living in constant fear….never being able to use your real name…."

A long pause followed this last statement, neither man grasping at anything to say. It was Valjean who again broke the silence.

"And now…my Cosette is to leave me all alone again as she goes on to marriage." Valjean barely forced the words out before the tears brimmed in his eyes. He blinked them away furiously almost as soon as they had come, not wanting to add humiliation to his list of despairs should Javert see. Javert remained silent, a look of guilt beginning to cross his face.

"…and this…this is all my fault," Javert breathed. Not knowing what else to say, Javert stopped walking. Valjean's breath caught in his throat. Had he really heard Javert right? He felt...a sense of responsibility for Valjean's current state? But that couldn't be possible, if it were true, then why would the inspector have been so relentless in his chase for the convict over the years? But the words he had spoken thus far tonight...and that night of the barricade...

"Valjean…perhaps it's the fact that I haven't gotten a proper bit of rest these last few nights but…I wish things were different between us," Javert admitted, gazing ahead at him through unseeing eyes. Valjean's heart skipped a beat. Even through the headache, which he was sure was going to split his skull in two at any given moment, and the momentary grief brought by the memory of his precious Cosette, Valjean had not overlooked the openness of those words.

"D…different?" he repeated, barely even a whisper. Javert's face openly flushed, to his deep mortification, and half of him thought that he shouldn't have said anything at all.

"…never mind. I-just-you…let's get you home," Javert stumbled over his speech, his ability to form comprehensible sentences lost for the moment. He took a step forward, resuming his pace from before. Valjean followed silently.

Before long, the two found themselves on the threshold of Valjean's small home. Due to Valjean's slightly drunken swagger, the two made their way clumsily up the steps, Valjean having to lean heavily against Javert once again, to the two grown men's utter embarrassment. Finally, they made it inside, where Valjean gratefully collapsed onto the sofa, laying his head back with a groan.

"…Thank you, Javert," he mumbled tiredly, his eyes only half open, but clearly glimmering with benediction. No longer were any traces of the hostility they had held a mere hour before to be seen, replaced instead with a trust that Javert felt somewhat unnerving.

"You are…welcome, Valjean," Javert answered, the kind, gentle words feeling foreign on his tongue. He stared silently at the man he had chased for nearly twenty years, lying on the sofa, completely helpless, and he shuddered. For one such as Valjean, who had been known widely in the criminal community of Toulon for his brute strength, it was almost impossible to take this situation in, the sight of a defenseless, weakened Valjean alone enough to make Javert's mind whirl. Coming to some form of a decision, Javert pulled up a chair, setting it next to the couch Valjean now lay on and sitting down in it.

"I will stay here until the morning to see that you are out of harm's way during the night," he said, leaning back in the chair as to get somewhat comfortable, as much as one can in a rickety old wooden chair, and he closed his eyes.

Though the sound escaped Javert's notice, Valjean did give a small sigh of relief. Before long, both had fallen into a deep, peaceful slumber, their breathing even and light.

oOo

Javert awoke suddenly to a curious rustling sound: fabric sliding against fabric. He thought, for a brief moment, that Valjean was simply shifting position on the sofa, and tried to relax his tired body into the chair.

Suddenly, warm hands roamed his shoulders and chest as a considerable weight was applied to his lap. Javert's eyes snapped open in surprise to find Valjean straddling him on the chair, his eyes half-glazed over and hands gliding over the younger man's clothes softly. The inspector stiffened and struggled, eyes widening in shock as he tried desperately to get an arm free, but was unsuccessful, as Valjean leaned forward, pinning both his crossed arms in between their chests.

"V-Valjean! Wh-What are you doing?" cried Javert, twisting and snapping his shoulders in an attempt to throw Valjean off him. Valjean, however, would not be deterred, and his hands made their way to Javert's collar, dipping just over the edge and letting out a shuddering sigh of utter bliss at the sensation of the younger man's smooth, dark, creamy-feeling skin under his fingers.

Javert's mind was in a state of chaos. What the hell was this? Valjean, a man he had spent a considerable amount of time tracking throughout the years and who had run from the law for many more, was touching him. Intimately. Something was grievously wrong. Panic began to cause the inspector's pulse to escalate as he stumbled around for some answer while at the same time trying to furiously get out of this humiliating position.

It struck him in an instant as Valjean's breath hit his face that the fugitive was drunk. Not as drunk as he had been at the bar, but more so. He had been amazed earlier that Valjean had managed to stand on two feet, let alone have any awareness as to what was going around him; ten shots of whiskey was enough to put even the strongest men out for a while...or so he thought. For a man of such bulk and mental wit as Valjean, the whiskey must have taken longer to get through his system. It was quite a logical conclusion but at the same time it was almost a frightening thought. If Valjean had been drunk enough then to get in a bar fight and injure a man that severely, what would his unhinged inhibitions allow him to do now?

Javert held back a gasp as the man's fingers brushed the skin of his neck gently, sweeping the hairs like a ghost and causing a shudder to crawl up the inspector's spine. He could not tell if it was in horror or pleasure, but the inspector was too shocked by the older man's actions to give this much thought. It was disgusting behavior; Javert wanted no part in it, and he most certainly would not want it from Valjean. Repulsion filled him as his morals screamed at him to do something while his body screamed against restraint. Was this going to be like that stranger at the bar? Javert's eyes widened at this, feeling another flood of panic rising to the surface, an urgent need to flee starting to override his usual good judgment.

Valjean glared at the inspector in annoyance. "What does it look like?" he slurred, sinking his hands a little deeper into Javert's collar, squeezing the man's shoulders gently as his thumbs caressed the prominent collarbone that jutted out visibly. The fugitive let out a soft moan as he realized what he was doing. He was straddling Javert, Inspector Javert, the man who had chased him across the country, the man who never ceased to somehow intrude upon the fugitive's daily life at some point or another. It gave Valjean a pleasurable feeling of power to understand that for once he was in control of something: veritably, the law. Yes, finally it was he who was controlling the law, not the law controlling him! Valjean observed Javert struggling uselessly under him, trying to get away from the hands that touched him in ways that didn't want. Oh, what a sight to treasure. So incredibly…what? What was this feeling? Valjean never finished his sentence as another small moan emerged from his mouth.

Javert was shivering involuntarily now as Valjean's hands worked his shoulders and his chest, massaging the muscles, sliding over the skin, stimulating his hypersensitive nerves, and he could not help letting out a small groan, shame rising to his cheeks as he did so. Damn him! Damn them both! It felt…Javert couldn't think of a word that was best suited to the situation. How could he? Such sensations had never passed through him. Why the devil was Valjean doing this anyway? "You should be in bed, not up and about like this," tried Javert through his groan, knowing it was a pointless and rather stupid thing to say as soon as the words left his mouth. He managed to get an arm free and struggled to push the bulkier man off him. Valjean lost control for an instant and swayed backwards. Javert jumped at this chance and made a move to try and get up, but Valjean pushed him roughly back in the chair and continued to explore the younger man's body sensually. Javert felt his breath hitch in his throat as Valjean's hands slipped under his shirt, the pressure still firm against his chest. He gripped the larger man's arms, desperately trying to push him off but failing; Valjean was just too big. He outweighed Javert by an impressive amount, and he knew how to keep someone from moving if he so chose. The inspector was no exception.

"I'm fine," muttered Valjean, slightly irked at Javert's continued futile attempts to escape. "Just let me be, and for once in your life, don't be so damned stubborn." Without warning, he captured Javert's lips fiercely with his own. Javert's eyes could have grown no larger. Time seemed to freeze for both men, Valjean in ecstasy as he felt his pursuer's cool lips on his, and Javert in a tangled mixture of horror, confusion, and…pleasure? No! It wasn't right, it just couldn't be right! Javert knew as well as anyone that feeling pleasure at something like this was disgusting, but this delightful squirming in his stomach was telling him otherwise. He hated it.

Javert whipped his head back, lower jaw quivering in utter bewilderment. "Valjean!" he gasped, his pitch higher than normal. He clawed at the older man's arms, digging his nails into the shirt and skin, trying anything to get away, but the fugitive remained inert. Valjean's eyes penetrated his possessively, and he growled at Javert's resistance. He took the smaller man's head in his hands and yanked him forward into another fierce, passionate kiss, causing Javert to gasp into his mouth while holding back groans of pleasure. Javert didn't know what to believe in anymore. This was wrong…but it felt so incredible, so…right. But Valjean was a fugitive, and a man no less! Javert was no stranger to what happened between men in prison. He had seen it before, after hours when the prisoners were trying to rest or relax. They acted something similar to this, and the men in Javert's position sometimes acted the same way the inspector did. Others simply gave in. Javert's mind refused to let Valjean do anything of the sort to him, but his body sparked and twitched in delight as he flailed helplessly against the larger man, grabbing, tearing at Valjean's arms, and kicking his feet desperately, trying anything he could to get the man off him. Valjean pinned Javert to the chair with his dead weight to assert that the inspector wasn't going anywhere, which sent Javert writhing harder. After a few moments of this, the younger man's foot caught hold of one of the chair legs, and the imbalance of weight caused the chair to tip over, sending the two of them sprawling to the floor with shouts of surprise. Javert wasted no time in escaping, but he could not manage to stand up on his feet; they shook in terror and would not follow the rest of his body at all. He moved backwards as fast as he could, cursing at his lack of control. Valjean moaned in pain as he cracked his head on the floor, and rubbed it gingerly. The large amount of alcohol in his system did not make matters easier; in fact, the crack complicated his headache much more than he would have preferred. Looking over, he noted Javert scrambling backwards, eyes wide in fear and confusion, his legs spastically kicking as though they were conflicted on what to do. Javert himself was confused on what exactly was happening to him. He was a few feet from the door.

But Javert wasn't getting away that easy.

Valjean started crawling on all fours towards the smaller man, his eyes still alight with that fiery hunger, and Javert felt his muscles tense up in fear. They tightened more and more to the point where when he put a hand behind him, he misplaced it, and fell to the floor with a surprised yelp. Valjean covered the distance between them within a single bound, and within an instant, he was on top of Javert again, straddling him so the smaller man was effectively pinned to the floor. His hands went to the sides of Javert's face, the sideburns brushing his palms, and he pulled the inspector up to his lips once more, forcing his tongue inside the younger man's mouth. It found Javert's tongue, and swirled around his pursuer's mouth, sensually tasting everything that was the rigid inspector. Javert squeezed his eyes shut as he felt Valjean's tongue slide into his mouth, and tightened his throat, desperately trying to hold back any vocalizations of his pleasure but as Valjean's tongue locked with his and pushed his head down to the floor, a groan was wrenched from his throat. The pure, mind-blowing pleasure! Yes, he grudgingly admitted to himself it was pleasurable, but why, why did it feel good? It shouldn't! A damn convict couldn't possibly make him feel-

He had to stop his thoughts once again as another groan worked its way out of him. All at once, Javert could have cared less that he was being overtaken by the man he'd been hunting for twenty years. He could have cared less that Valjean was a fugitive, lowest of the low or that he was an inspector and that his duty was to justice. All he knew was that a fire was erupting in his chest, and it begged for release…and Javert granted its wish. His tongue tangled with Valjean's, drawing moans of pleasure from the other man as their energies combined, fueling their desire for one another.

Valjean's grip on Javert's head loosened slowly through the hot, sultry kiss and trailed down the man's chest. Without preamble, they undid a button on the inspector's perfect uniform. Javert felt this, and immediately understood. There was indecision inside him, unsure of what he wanted yet knowing how it would turn out in the end. A false sense of control seemed to try and convince him that he had a choice. He did not think for very long. Something inside him released, and the fire was let loose, his passion overcoming his senses completely, dominating his mind so utterly, it was a wonder he could still control himself. He rubbed his hands vigorously along Valjean's thighs, moaning urgently into his captor's mouth as he felt Valjean undo one button after the other, eventually managing to completely loosen the top. The older man pulled Javert up and threw his top off, and Javert sat there half-naked in the moonlight, tongue locked with a man he was supposed to hate, wildly running his hands all over the older man's legs. Valjean gasped into Javert's mouth as his eyes fell in awe upon that beautiful dark skin, which had been bared to another for the first time in its owner's life. Javert was, without a doubt, exquisitely beautiful. The inspector ran his hands through Valjean's silky white hair and slid them down to the man's shoulders, sliding the jacket and vest off as casually as he could, never breaking the scorching kiss the two of them had contrived. Javert glanced down at the thin cotton shirt that separated his skin from Valjean's and suddenly, his nose caught a whiff of that delicious, thick scent that was Valjean. Javert could not help but let out a low whine, and claw hungrily at the visible part of the man's chest.

Valjean chuckled as his pursuer lost the carefully constructed visage of a cold-hearted police inspector and changed into a moaning, yearning, desperate man, shaking off all ties to his occupation, shivering as his every thought wrapped around that which was the fugitive. Valjean released his mouth from Javert's and leaned in to breathe dangerously close in Javert's ear.

"That's more like it," he whispered. Javert let out a loud groan and could not convince his muscles to move, struck by that warm breath that made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. Valjean took this opportunity to pull away slightly and slowly, seductively, remove his own shirt. Javert stared in awe as bit by bit Valjean's brilliant white skin revealed itself, every inch increasing that irrepressible desire that was in him to simply attack Valjean and devour him body and soul, to claim him for his own and never let him go. However Javert's common sense, little control that it had, urged him to stay and let that wildfire in his loins to grow. The inspector hardly noticed his breath quicken as he remained in a sitting position, eyes wide in amazement, Valjean in his lap still removing his shirt. Oh, how he wanted to pounce on him now! Valjean noticed Javert's eyes, hungry and anxious; watching him like a lion watches their prey. This sent a thrill through the older man, noticing with unparalleled joy that Javert no longer was looking at him as a man who had done the law wrong but rather had done the inspector wrong for not being there when he needed him. Twenty years had drifted by while their needless quarrel raged on. He raised the shirt above his head, slowly dropping it to the floor beside him. He watched Javert for any reaction, mainly (and fearfully) wondering if the inspector's eyes would notice the one, possibly sobering detail on his body, but the man's eyes remained clouded in lust. The strong fingers wandered to his chest, and Valjean felt his heart lurch: he had seen it.

But instead, Javert's digits skillfully stroked the older man's chest, touching every crease, every scar, every inch of skin that had been bared. Javert knew what Valjean had feared, but his eyes saw right through the offending lines: the five numbers branded on his chest. He saw them without really seeing them, and this put Valjean at ease briefly, but as Javert's fingers brushed his collarbone, he let out a small moan, treasuring the flurry of pleasure that shot up his spine as Javert's fingers seemed to electrify his very skin.

"Ohhhhh Javert," he whispered, gripping his hands around Javert's lean waist, rubbing the tense muscles he found. Javert growled, and then turned his euphoric expression into a smirk as he leaned into Valjean's shoulder.

"How about this?" he asked in a low voice, the smirk still plainly evident. He nuzzled his nose in the crook of Valjean's neck and then drifted up to his ear. Flicking his tongue out, he traced the edge of the cartilage with the tip, barely touching it. The effect was immediate. Valjean shuddered and pressed into the younger man harder, moaning softly.

"That," he gasped, "Is something I can get used to." Javert chuckled lowly, and pulled Valjean back down on top of him, rolling his back down on the floor, never breaking eye contact with the white-haired man. In the moonlight, his hair seemed to shine, like a wispy cloud.

"Is it now?" said Javert. His broad hands explored Valjean's back lovingly, tracing the scars and dips that lay there. Valjean's eyes shined reverently, and he leaned down to kiss the inspector once again. Javert's mouth stretched into an unperceivable, dark grin.

With that, he yanked Valjean's hips down onto his, hard.

Valjean cried out, eyes shutting as a thunderous wave of pleasure ripped through him from his loins, feeling Javert's unashamed need press against his. Javert moved their hips together again, this time causing Valjean to let out a loud moan. Again and again they slid against one another, Valjean's moans growing louder and louder, Javert growling possessively, almost unable to keep his hands from stopping. The pleasure was more than anything either man had ever experienced and they vocalized every bit of it, continuing to stoke their burning needs. As Javert unremittingly pressed their hips together, Valjean came to the realization that neither Javert nor the alcohol was doing anything to help him restrain himself. He could feel the passion, the desire, the impending lust gnawing at him, begging him to take the younger man, but he violently shoved it off. He wasn't going to go there just yet. He couldn't. For Javert's sake. The younger man had only just become acquainted with the idea of relationships with other men, and Valjean had enough sense at that particular moment to know that he couldn't pressure Javert into it. At first, it seemed he had been. Now, he knew he couldn't.

But Javert refused to let him be content with this answer.

Javert's hands slid down to Valjean's rear and grasped it tightly, and he felt the older man shudder above him, his chest rippling as the feverous feelings tore through his chest, spreading to every corner of his body. Javert started grinding them together harder, grating out a loud groan as Valjean pressed against him, exciting him to a level he thought not possible. Not that he had ever been to that level, of course.

"GOD, Jean…GOD, you feel so good," he gasped, letting the given name of the fugitive slip past his tongue. Valjean felt a happiness shine on him as he realized Javert trusted him enough to refer to him as someone so endearing to him. To be honest, they could not physically get much closer. But to think that Javert had allowed a fugitive, a lawbreaker full of everything the inspector despised, to get close to him and allow such a person to touch him in ways no one had ever before…it took quite a lot. Valjean could barely fathom why.

Valjean's thought were cut short as a moan ripped through both of them as a wave of carnal passion rocked the two of them, causing Javert to arch his back further into Valjean's groin and Valjean to tighten his hold on Javert's waist, wanting that pressure against him, no…inside of him.

At this thought, Valjean lost any self-control he previously had. His hands wandered down from Javert's waist to the waistline of his pants and his fingers hooked the edges, sliding the garment down slowly, watching Javert for any sudden movements. Javert made no move to stop Valjean, and instead seized Valjean's shoulders and drove his lips into the older man's neck, biting and sucking the man's delicious skin, never ceasing the rocking of their hips, which had become urgently violent. Like a loose rope, Javert's mind began to come unwound, and the ego that made Javert was slowly dissipating, leaving only the primal beast of a ferocious man in its place. Javert himself wasn't sure how much longer he could stand this. He slipped his dark hands beneath Valjean's waistband to get a better hold on the man's rear, causing a cry of delighted surprise from the older man, and their lips crashed together, desperate, hungry, and utterly filled with passion.

At last, Valjean managed to slip Javert's pants off along with his boots, and he tossed them off to one side. He fell to one side of Javert and with visibly shaking hands from the passion surging through him began to undo the buckle on his own pants. Javert watched this with rapture rampant on his face, eyes burning with want. He sucked in a breath as the cool air hit his groin, making it throb excitedly, and he arched his back, dragging his nails across the floor, moaning Valjean's name repeatedly. Valjean could not remove his pants fast enough; as he listened to Javert, the man who was said could never smile, moan, yes, moan his name, he felt a sharp throb in his groin and he quickly rid himself of his pants. He reclaimed Javert's body hungrily, running his hands up and down the inspector's thighs, making the man underneath him squirm at the motion.

Javert writhed and twisted with pleasure, moaning uncontrollably as the calloused hands caressed his skin, seemingly claiming ownership over every inch of his body. No feeling, no matter how celestial could have felt like this. Javert glanced down at Valjean's groin and felt a little more of his ego slip through his fingers. He seemed to just be holding onto his humanity by mere threads; his self was dangling by the end of the fast-unwinding rope that showed no signs of stopping. He threw his hands around Valjean's neck and dragged him into a burning kiss, his tongue asserting total dominance as it roughly tasted Valjean's mouth.

" Jean..." he moaned in a whisper, between breaths. "Jean, I want you." Was it really him who was saying these words? It seemed impossible that what felt like minutes ago he was struggling, refusing to give in to the wicked feelings that tempted him. Javert was well-known for his refusal of indulgence. But why this? Why now? His hands swept the small of the older man's back, working its way back down to his rear, where it grasped the skin there again, pulling the man hard onto him until their hips locked tightly against one another. "I…I need you." It came out as a desperate groan, and he slammed his lips against Valjean's once more. For a few seconds, his passion was returned. Then, Valjean stopped the kiss, his lips hovering just above Javert's. His eyes glowed amorously. Then, he breathed so quiet, Javert barely caught what he said, even with the fact that his lips were next to his.

"Then take me."

At this statement any control either man had was lost. Javert slipped from his rope and began falling into the abyss that was his primal demon, and Valjean's saintly affect had all but vanished. There was no man left in either of them, only spirits that demanded to be joined as one forever. Neither of them thought twice about this as they claimed every bit of each other that they possibly could, tongues dancing around the others', hands rubbing, caressing, holding, every inch of their bodies touching, no longer able to withstand the searing desires a moment longer yet neither could give a reason for why they were doing this. Javert rolled on top of Valjean, and then rolled them back, their lips not separating even for one instant as their demanding, fervent passion ate them whole.

Javert let out a growl so loud, he was sure the people outside in the street could hear him, and he slid down Valjean's legs, gripping the soft flesh tightly. Valjean's eyes widened, and his heart raced. There was no question as to what the inspector intended to do, but Valjean knew it was the end once he started. Not yet, not yet…

"Javert," he whispered. "Javert, don-AHHHHH!" He screamed in shock mingled with ecstasy as Javert's tongue assaulted his length, wrapping around it and slipping everywhere, stimulating every nerve, wetting every surface. God, these feelings! In that moment, Valjean came to an understanding. It seemed that Javert was meant for him. Even Cosette, the angel to his heart could not fill the void where Javert was now quite easily filling. He didn't understand why or how, but he accepted it nonetheless. Tonight seemed to be no accident. Fate had brought them together for this singular purpose: to make them inseparable.

Javert squeezed Valjean's legs to keep them spread open as the man gasped, moaned and writhed under his touch, shaking uncontrollably, chanting the inspector's name like he was clinging onto a lifeline, and Javert smirked mentally. It was amazing how such simple movements could turn the bulky, hardened fugitive into a helpless mass of pleasure. After a few moments, Javert looked up, eyes blazing with furious passion and desire, skin glowing in the moonlight.

"If I take you…there will be nothing left." His voice was serious, but almost shook with a fear, a kind of self-awareness that warned him that all his actions would be absolute. The absolute had always sat well with him; he relished his power and wielded it justly, making all his decisions final, but this…commitment, this point of no return, as it were…it was a sheer drop down an uncharted cliff. There would be no climbing back.

"Nothing left…?" repeated Valjean, dazed. "What…what do you mean?"

Javert did not respond. He gave another growl and threw his head down, attaching his lips firmly on the tip of Valjean's length. Valjean's breath hitched, and then he let out an unabashed moan of shuddering pleasure as Javert drove his lips down on him, moving slowly at first, letting all the miraculous sensations fly to the surface. The world seemed to stop spinning as time became theirs. Indeed, Javert was taking his sweet, slow time with the older man, working his lust to the brink. Valjean was quite certain he would go insane if something didn't happen, anything. The silver-haired man began to move faster, causing a gurgling sound to issue from Valjean's throat as he gripped the floor, trying to find some niche to drive his nails into.

Javert threw himself on Valjean's stomach like an animal, a black, fiery fervor consuming his eyes, teeth clenched together as one hand rigorously stimulated Valjean and the other snaked around Valjean's head, yanking him in with another loud growl for the most passionate, desire-laden, mind-blanking kiss either of them had ever had. The more Valjean whimpered and moaned, the more animalistic and primal Javert felt himself become, like he was no longer a man but a beast, a beast that no longer had an ego which to moderate. He ripped his lips away from Valjean to look him dead in the eyes, which were wide with tremulous need.

"If I take you, you belong to ME," he growled. "Every inch of you. You will never stray from my sights again." Valjean let out another moan in response, the inspector's dominating voice arousing him in a way he had not ever felt before. Had his voice always been that…beautiful? And when had Javert taken control of this situation? The tables had turned quite severely. Javert did not stop his vigorous stimulating, which drew breaths of delight from the older man as the inspector continued to stare him dead in the eyes. "Do you really want that, Jean? To be bound to me, even in death?" It came out as a whisper.

Valjean's gaze met squarely with Javert's, shining with just as much desire and need as his. It was at that moment he felt himself completely let go. What he had needed all along was clear to him now...and that man was right here in his arms.

"Even in death…" he whispered back, his voice filled with ardor and compassion. Javert's lips parted slightly, half-not expecting that answer. Still, he leaned in, murmuring quietly in Valjean's ear

"Eternity itself shall not separate us." He slipped his arms around Valjean's waist and turned him over semi-roughly, attempting to apply what little control he had left over his passions and planted a line of kisses down Valjean's spine, slowly leading down to the awaiting opening. Valjean shivered in the younger man's arms as the kisses trailed down his back, whispering Javert's name. Javert gave a small moan in response to his name, and as he finally reached Valjean's rear, he flicked his tongue out, grazing Valjean's entrance. Valjean writhed in pleasure as he felt Javert's tongue touch him, and tried desperately to control the sounds that fought for release in his throat. Suddenly, he stiffened as he felt a finger start to penetrate his opening. Pain washed over him and he felt a scream build up inside of him, but he bit his lip hard, the blood trickling down his lip the only outward sign of his distress. Javert's face contorted into a pained expression as he felt Valjean stiffen. The pain was unimaginable for him, and he certainly did not want to turn Valjean off to the ensuing events. He comforted his newfound lover by leaning over his back and whispering soothing things in his ear while slowly delving the finger deeper into Valjean's opening, reaching one hand up to grip Valjean's hand tightly in a reassuring grasp.

Valjean clutched Javert's hand tightly as more pain exploded within him. The further penetration hit him, and he moaned softly, trying to block out the uncomfortable feelings, but as Javert kissed him gently on the cheek, whispering soft things in his ear, the pain all but melted away in the light of the younger man's voice. It was like a soothing salve, a blanket of comfort that he cherished. Javert was trying not to lose the small, regained grip of sanity he had as he listened to his lover moan under him, and he slowly inserted another finger, all the while watching Valjean's face contract with pain briefly, countering it with his smooth baritone voice.

"You are mine, Jean. I will not hurt what is mine," he whispered gently.

"I..." Valjean didn't realize his breath was coming out in gasps until he actually tried to speak again. It was as if the pleasure had stolen his voice. "...I-I know you wouldn't..." He clenched Javert's hand tightly, winding his fingers between Javert's and interlocking them. "I-I am ready..."

"There will be no turning back." Javert nuzzled Valjean's neck, half-aware of the bite and sucking marks he himself made. They were displayed unashamedly, attributing to the passions they had succumbed to, and Javert could not help but feel a sense of pride. It was a sign of his change, a sign of acceptance of each other. He kissed the back of Valjean's neck softly.

"I know," said Valjean. He swallowed hard and trembled. "But there is no turning back now. We have come too far…" At this statement he paused, taking a hesitant breath in. Come too far…at the beginning of the evening they were in the same roles they had played a thousand times over. They had still been the hound and the hounded. But now…something had changed. There was a kind of feeling that Valjean could not explain emerging. Something he had not noticed before. He knew it had been there for quite some time, but he never took much interest in it…except now. It burned brightly, shining its brilliant light upon them both, and yet neither one of them saw it. Valjean could, perhaps, see it peripherally but that was the farthest extent he had ever gotten. It was a caring, a deep concern…no…something more. Valjean admitted that much to himself as he found himself answering Javert almost automatically, "And yet…there is nowhere I could possibly wish to be…except here."

Javert looked at him, feeling the truth in these words. It was a guard the fugitive had let down, and for some reason Javert respected that trust more than anything in the world. The fact that someone who should hate him trusted him enough to let them go this far was incredible, and an overwhelming respect showed itself in his soft, kind expression. Javert, too, had let his guard down. He bowed his head.

"You. I. We are one in the same. Our differences are vast, yet there is an unexplainable likeness. Only now do I see it, and I wish…I wish this had happened earlier, that we had not spent our entire lives running from ourselves." Valjean twisted his head to gaze at Javert. His eyes trembled, but there was clear understanding in them. Javert sucked in a shaky breath. "There is only one thing left to do." He removed his fingers slowly, prying another gasp from Valjean who shivered under his body. Javert felt himself hum, slowly realizing that this man was meant for him and no other. He was at Javert's mercy, so vulnerable that anything could happen. This recognition of submission sent a thrill spinning through him that shut off his senses completely. No longer was he Javert, merciless watchdog of the law. Now, he was only…what?

A beast. His eyes seemed to turn black.

"You," he growled in Valjean's ear, "Are MINE."

With that, he ripped his hand away from Valjean's tight grasp, and positioned himself at Valjean's entrance. Not a second later, he was making his way inside the older man. So far gone was Javert that he did not even consider entering softly; he pushed himself in, and he was nowhere near gentle enough to stop his new lover from crying out in pain.

Valjean slammed his hands flat on the floor as he screamed, an odd mixture of a searing flame and an indescribably wonderful sensation rocking though him. Still, the experience was painful, and tears welled in his eyes as Javert gripped his rear, digging his nails in the skin until wet blood trickled down Valjean's white thighs.

"Javert…Javert…" the older man moaned, lost for words. Javert, at that time, was lost in heaven. That is, he would have been if he believed in such a place. He had entered a world of white, and his soul at that instant was filled with bliss, feeling himself deep inside another, not quite able to comprehend what was happening to him. He pulled out. Valjean let out a held breath and gasped, letting his arms go limp, crashing to his elbows, sweat rolling down his forehead. Javert's eyes remained black and unreadable.

Now, the law was nowhere near them. Here, there was no force to control them, no book that stated the rules. There were only them.

Javert reached up and stroked Valjean's length as his thoughts were lifted elsewhere. Valjean let out a cry of need and arched his head upwards, feeling an impending wave bearing down on him. Javert positioned himself yet again, this time driving himself hilt-deep inside the older man, grunting as a shockwave of pleasure shook his very soul.

Valjean cried out again, but this time not in pain. It seemed that suddenly all the pain had vanished and left in its wake a feeling of sheer bliss not even the most potent amount of alcohol could bring on. This…this feeling! Oh, this feeling! If he could have touched heaven while he was alive, it would have felt something like this. Javert was becoming one with him. He let out a blissful moan as the thought crossed his mind, somehow caught deftly through the raging tide of other feeling that careened through him, unstopping, unyielding. As Javert moved deeper inside him, he felt his passion flare again for this man, a desire beyond words for this man who had been in his every thought for the past twenty years.

"GOD, Javert…God, YES," he moaned, his voice hitting a higher pitch. Javert reached his hand up and squeezed Valjean's hand again, reassuring the other man needlessly. Valjean tightly gripped Javert, as though he were the only link to reality, the one element in his life that was truly grounded. Javert slowly thrust into Valjean, and the older man let out a long, drawn-out moan, letting his lover know just how much he had wanted this. He was not alone; as the silver-haired man began to move inside of him, he could tell Javert reciprocated fully.

Javert, in a parallel mindset, felt a fire explode within his chest and tried to still his trembling hands, but found he could not. He gripped his lover harder, but no amount of pressure could stop them from shaking in an almost violent manner. The moans Valjean made were not helping by any means; they only excited him further, driving his desires and feeding his incessant want for the man below him. His every thought was focused on Valjean, and his insatiable desire for him. He needed him. Now. With this, Javert released all apprehensions and began to thrust rhythmically, groaning as wave after wave of unbridled passion swept through his body.

Valjean groaned even more, no longer being able to abstain from the emotional sounds that were emitted from his mouth as thrust after thrust sent an entirely new and thrilling jolt through him. Every bit of his body tingled, and as the thrusts became more fierce, Valjean felt his whole being get swallowed up in everything that was Javert, everything that was them, together. The moans became more and more desperate, Javert's movements evicting a sense in Valjean that a breaking point would be reached soon. He didn't know how much longer he could last; these sensations were eating him alive, his voice ringing with Javert's as they expressed their need for each other.

Javert had let loose all restraints on himself, anything superficial or learned completely leaving him. No more was there a cold, calculating, suspicious inspector; there was only a hungry beast, and this time, the title of beast fit absolutely. Indeed, he was a beast so primal that even simple language evaded him. His own name became meaningless. In his primitive state, only one concept made any sense to him: Valjean. His Valjean. He frantically pounded in and out of Valjean, his growling increasing to a cry. Valjean let out a high pitched moan and in that moment, Javert felt a rippling flare in his abdomen. With a possessive roar, he drove himself one final time into Valjean as hard he could, hearing his lover cry out equally loud as they came together, a blinding flash of white overtaking them both. The incredible overflowing shockwave burst through them simultaneously, and Valjean gripped Javert's hand so tightly, the other man would have been afraid of it falling off had he been coherent. They gripped each other, reality lost, a blank world expanding and creating a space meant for just the two of them, their limbs figuratively intertwining, all holds on everything they knew fallen. The tide lessened as their needs slowly passed, but to them, newly made lovers that they were, it seemed to last forever.

Javert pulled out of Valjean, drenched in sweat, still shaking with lingering desire. Valjean shook too, but he was not as energized as the other man, having gone through much more of the two of them. His limbs gave way, and he collapsed on the floor, exhausted and breathless, his chest heaving as sweat slid down his chest and legs onto the floor. Javert collapsed next to him a few moments later, unable to hold up his weight any longer. He was utterly fatigued. It was only natural for them, but such a passionate exchange at that age had done the other in thoroughly. It wasn't as if they weren't in good shape; as a matter of fact they were both incredibly fit, even by a young person's standards. In the ensuing moments, their breathing was sporadic, and each was content to lie beside the other silently, yet knowing exactly what the other was thinking.

It was Valjean who broke the silence.

"Javert…oh, Javert," he said in a lilting whisper, turning towards his lover. Javert swung his head ungracefully to the right to look at Valjean, his eyes not yet rid of their dark passion. He was not a beast anymore, but a master. There was clear desire and ownership in his gaze, and Valjean could have moaned had he not been breathless. Javert used what little strength he had to wrap his arms around Valjean and pull his lover on top of him. Valjean hummed contently, and laid his head on Javert's chest. Javert tightened his hold.

"Mine…all mine," he growled possessively. Without any words, Valjean snuggled his body closer to Javert, burrowing his head in the crook of Javert's neck and breathing in his heavy scent. A sigh of pure bliss slipped from between his lips.

"Now...and forever." he murmured, the heartfelt vow making Javert's heart skip a beat once again thanks to this man that now lay in his arms. As Javert lay trying to come to terms with what had just been said, Valjean wrapped his arms around Javert's neck tightly and pulled him even closer.

Javert's eyes shut as he felt that himself and the world were finally at peace with one another, perhaps for the first time in his entire life. For the first time, everything was as it should be. In the deepest recesses of Javert's heart, he knew this to be true. Never would he have to doubt again. Again, silence enveloped both men as each mulled over the intimacies that had been exchanged between them. Only a few hours earlier, both had still been enemies, the walls of deception and misunderstanding, the lingering emotions of mistrust, the roles of predator and prey, still having been engraved within them like the old testaments had been chiseled in stone. And yet, in just a few moments of complete and true passion, all those walls had been knocked down and left the two men stunned in the face of what lay before them. Unwavering emotion for each other, irrepressible love for the other and for their love in return.

Though both were terrified to admit it to the other, terrified that it was too soon to declare such things, they both realized that with what had just taken place, secrets could no longer be had. Someone had to take a chance. That someone was Javert.

"…I love you, Jean," Javert breathed, his voice so quiet as to be uncharacteristic for the imposing character of the inspector, "Your life is my life. If you die, I could not live. I would follow you, wherever you go. Even to death." He drew in a shuddered breath. "Don't you EVER leave me."

The sincerity of Javert's words left Valjean reeling. Valjean thought he'd never hear those words spoken aloud from the one man that mattered most to him. And yet, here Javert was, telling him that he loved him. It was almost too much for Valjean to ever have wished for.

"As would I…" Valjean replied quietly, after a moment's pause, "…but you must also make the same promise to me." Javert looked at him questioningly, not understanding what Valjean meant. Valjean swallowed hard.

"Never…never to leave me…not again. If you did, I-" He shuddered violently. "I do not think I could bear it..."

Javert's eyes darkened visibly at this statement, the mere thought of leaving Valjean now further from his mind than anything had ever been before.

"I could never leave you," Javert stressed seriously. "Not after this..." His cheeks suddenly colored as the events that were still so fresh in his mind sharpened even further. A pause, and then a chuckle, curiosity lending to Javert's voice.

"And to think this would not have happened had you not gotten drunk." He smirked in amusement. This earned him an irritable glare from his lover.

"I'd be careful what I was saying, if I were you," Valjean warned, narrowing his eyes in annoyance, "My opinion will most likely be ignored, seeing as I supposedly don't know what I am doing, but I am fully aware that I am drunk, and it seems to me that no one can quite say what the alcohol just might make me do…"

'Oh, we've already witnessed that full well,' was what Javert's mind immediately enticed him to say, but he thought better than to vocalize it, though he admitted to himself it would be quite entertaining to see what effect the teasing would have on this intoxicated version of Valjean. Instead, Javert just smirked.

"As you say, Jean," he conceded, a hint of his continued amusement still clear in the statement. Suddenly, Javert rolled the two of them over again and without a moment's pause, scooped Valjean up in his arms, causing the other man to emit a squeak of surprise. The sound alone was enough to almost make Javert bole over with laughter. This newfound ability he'd found in making Valjean let out such high pitched notes was definitely going to come in handy. Javert carried Valjean to the adjoining room, where the older man's bed waited, and he laid him down carefully, climbing into the bed beside him and wrapping his arms around Valjean securely once again as the covers were draped over the two of them.

"We'll see how you fare in the morning," Javert grinned, a mischievous glint still shining in his eyes, but only visible briefly as he leaned in to softly kiss his lover. Valjean only murmured a small, tired hum as a reply, feeling his eyelids grow heavy as the exhaustion began to take complete hold of him. Once more, Valjean wrapped his arms around Javert's neck, the two fitting together perfectly, as they had always been made to be, and finally Valjean let the darkness of sleep encircle him from the protection and warmth of Javert's embrace.

oOo

As the early rays of dawn flitted through the room's single window, casting beams of light across the still quiet room, Valjean opened his eyes, a smile and a sigh of content flitting across his lips. Feeling somewhat stiff from the position he had fallen asleep in, Valjean made to stretch out his arms. To his profuse puzzlement, he found both pinned under something, not exactly heavy, but having enough weight to hinder movement. Definitely not his pillow. A growing sense of apprehension filling him, Valjean chanced a downwards glance. And froze.

There was a BODY underneath him.

Whipping his eyes back up, Valjean's gaze rested on the sleeping, peaceful form of Inspector Javert, his face serene in the morning light.

"Wait…what…how…what's going on?" Valjean's thoughts frantically twisted and converged upon themselves, knotting into an unsolvable maze of questions with no answers. To Valjean's growing horror, he found that the last memory he could bring back was hearing Javert tell him that he would stay the night.

He didn't remember anything.

Javert growled lowly in his sleep, and turned over, arms encircling Valjean instinctively, pulling him in closer. Valjean's breath hitched in his throat. Desperately, he strained to remember, everything, anything from the previous nights events…surely something drastic must have happened for him to wake up in the arms of Inspector Javert.

And then suddenly, the memories came flooding through him like a tidal wave. He…he had been drunk. He hadn't been thinking straight…and upon seeing Javert asleep in the chair…his mind had clouded over…not being able to come to another possible conclusion or answer to his dilemma, he had crawled on top of him…had kissed him…and then…they…they had…

Javert, unaware of the turmoil now consuming his lover, pressed up against him even tighter, giving the older man's chest a small nuzzle with his nose. Valjean's eyes grew wide in disbelief, and he instinctively tried to pull away. Javert's unconscious hold on him only strengthened.

"J-Javert…" Valjean sputtered, again trying to struggle out from between Javert's arms. Javert's ears pricked up at the sound of his name, and finally, his eyes slowly opened, as though a curtain was being pulled away. The first thing his eyes laid on were Valjean's terrified face, the other man's eyes staring at him fearfully, and after a moment of confusion, Javert understood: Valjean's didn't know what happened.

"Jean..." Javert pleaded, his eyes laden with dread. Quickly, Valjean found his opportunity to try to get away, but he was quickly stopped as Javert sat up and pulled the frightened man to his chest.

"Jean, all you need to know is that it was right. You are fine. I am done chasing you," Javert attempted to reassure him, the words being the only explanations his desperate mind could lend him. Valjean couldn't leave him now. Not like this. Oh please, take anything, just not him.

"B-B-But…but…I…you…we…" Valjean stammered and stumbled as his protesting mind tried to form coherent sentences. Seeing no other choice if he were to separate his body from Javert's, Valjean pushed against him, Javert's grip easily giving out without protest. Under normal circumstances, not even one as strong as Valjean would be able to escape from Javert' s unrelenting grasp, but seeing the terror in Valjean's eyes, Javert no longer had the will to restrain this man whom he loved so deeply, but who now didn't seem like he wanted to have anything to do with Javert any longer. Finally freed from Javert's embrace, Valjean moved to the end of the bed, pulling his knees up to his chest and burying his head in them as the confusion overwhelmed in him.

For Valjean to curl up like that, to look so lost and defenseless…Javert's heart pulled as fear consumed him. Valjean's turmoil had to be greater than anything the inspector had ever seen the other man go through before. He hadn't even looked this helpless when he had spoken of Cosette leaving him, his daughter who meant the earth and the sky to him…Javert bit down on his lip hard as he agonized what to do. If he left Valjean alone now, he might run. If he tried to go after him, he might run. Not being able to come up with anything else, Javert decided to crawl to the edge of the bed slowly, as not to alarm the distraught man in front of him, stopping a good enough distance away from Valjean. Javert gazed at Valjean, Valjean's back turned to him, and he once again felt as if the world was crashing down on him. Valjean couldn't even stand to look at him. How could he have ever expected that this man would love him in return? But last night…all the things that Valjean had said…had they never been true?

"What, Valjean?" Javert murmured. "Was it wrong? Do you regret it?"

Valjean faltered, desperately grasping for an answer that to him seemed so far out of reach.

"I…" he began, his throat parched. "I don't know!" His voice was fearful, wrought with confusion and grief. What on earth was going on? Valjean pulled his legs further into his chest and squeezed them tightly, looking too much like a lost child. Javert felt a stab of pain in his heart as he saw this slow regression, and hoped to the universe that Valjean would not leave. The inspector's face was anguished.

"What are you afraid of?" he whispered.

In that moment, Valjean found himself speechless. He couldn't answer at all. For more than half of his life, he had wondered about the meaning of his existence. What could possibly be the reason God would allow such a forlorn and miserable being to exist? He often said it was for Cosette, but something deep inside him disagreed…there was yet another rationale, buried far below his consciousness. These past few moments, he had sat hiding from the world, hiding even from the man he trusted more than anything, and Valjean had tried to decipher his mingling feelings. There was shock, confusion, fear, apprehension…but then there was something else. Something else bubbling to the surface. He had not seen it. Or had he? Last night, at the mercy of this man, just as they had been preparing to become one, there had been a realization as clear as water that had struck him as hard as a blow to his head, and no less potent. This morning, the idea returned, but this time, at this exact moment, Valjean understood even more than he had last night. Javert's quiet plea made it clear to him exactly what it was.

It was love. Unconditional, unwavering love for this man.

Valjean lifted his head and turned to look Javert in the face. The anxious, pained, and worried countenance of the inspector met his eyes, mouth tensed in fear but muscles limp as a seemingly sad implication spread over him. He was afraid, afraid that Valjean was going to leave. There was protestation in his face, but a defeated mien that the older man was sure he had never seen before. As strong as Javert was, he could not bear to see Valjean in such distress…and be helpless to do anything to relieve the pain.

Then, a spark flickered in Valjean's warm, blue orbs. He realized that all he could ever want was sitting right in front of him, in the form of his once-merciless pursuer. He didn't want to believe it, but when there was so much inside of him that told him it was the right thing to do…that whispered to him in silent words, urging him to let go of himself and all cogitations. What else could he do? Javert cared for him. And he…he cared for Javert.

Without a word, he crawled back to Javert and sank onto his chest, leaning his head against a broad shoulder. Valjean had finally given in.

Javert shook as though he had been slapped. That one gentle touch had driven through him with the strength of a spear, and the inspector could not say how. An incredible relief spread through him, warming his tense nerves, calming his frazzled mind, but to a point where his raw emotions showed through his expression. Javert was so used to hiding himself that he hadn't the first idea how to recover a lost façade. A feeling of overwhelming power flowed through him, a sensation he had never in his life experienced yet he felt an uncanny sort of joy as it spread. Without understanding or resisting, he let it overcome him.

Valjean felt Javert's large hand gently pull his chin up, and his eyes widened as he took in the sight before him.

Javert was crying.

The younger man did not know himself why he cried, but he didn't care. He let the tears spill from his eyes, falling like precious stones and onto the older man's chest unguardedly.

"I'll say it once," he whispered, his lower lip trembling. "And I will say it again until we die in each other's arms." There was a pause as he gathered himself. "I love you, Jean. I will always love you."

With that, he pulled Valjean's lips up to meet his, relishing the fragile feeling, wrapping his arms tightly around the larger man, the tears still streaming down his face.

Valjean was in shock as he witnessed this rare spectacle unfold before him, feeling a sense of responsibility as being the only other being in this world who had ever seen the great Inspector Javert weep, and he kissed Javert back with all the sweetness he could possibly put into such a simple action, clinging to the younger man's chest with a gentleness unheard of between them.

Javert loved him. What shouldn't have been possible was here before the older man, and he reveled in the heartfelt declaration as he pressed against the dark-skinned man with his entirety. It was unbelievable, yet Valjean found his soul bursting with joy as Javert spoke without a trace of shame or falsity.

Valjean slowly pulled away from the kiss and reached a hand up to softly wipe the tears from Javert's eyes.

"Javert," he began quietly, taking a small breath. Javert's gaze did not move from Valjean's face. Valjean took another shuddering breath. "You asked me what I feared. What I feared is that it had all been an act of passion: an act of a drunken man on an innocent, pure man who wanted nothing more than to be loved. That it had all been fake." Javert watched him, grey orbs wide in confusion. Valjean refused to break their eyes as he continued gently. "But I know now that none of that is true." He wiped away another falling tear that slid down the younger man's cheek artlessly. "I love you with all that I am, Javert, and the only fear I can have now is that I would do anything to hurt you." He drew a stunned Javert into another soft kiss as though to seal this affirmation.

To his surprise, Javert pulled away quickly, shaking his head, and pushing Valjean away from him gently, breaking that lovingly-contrived eye contact. He had not yet stopped crying.

"No," he choked. "I am not the pure man here." He swallowed hard, trying to keep himself together. "I am a wretched soul who found sanctuary in the form of an angel. An angel who survived hell in which man had enslaved him. An angel who took pity on a dog." He looked up at Valjean, almost breathless. "It is for that very reason that I love you." He began to shake and his bottom lip quivered. "I…I do not deserve it." Suddenly, he gripped Valjean's arms tightly, and began to sob uncontrollably.

Something somewhere inside the formerly cold-hearted inspector had weakened and finally broken. What was it? His mask. The mask that had so long covered his emotions was now obsolete, and he could no longer bear the anguish of holding everything inside himself. Surprisingly, he wasn't ashamed. With Valjean, he felt a kind of connection that not even God above could have explained. Every painful thought, every tortuous memory, every bit of rage he had felt, he now let out in the form of tears, flowing as freely as a river, and everything went to Valjean.

Valjean, entrusted with such a burden, was momentarily bewildered. Such a sudden release of pain from a man like Javert was absolutely incredible. He held on to each and every emotion like a delicate flower, gathering them up inside of him and tucking them away, allowing Javert's mental burden to lessen. He wrapped his strong arms around Javert tightly, holding the sobbing man to his chest as he rubbed his back with one hand consolingly, the other flattening Javert's hair as he nuzzled his nose reassuringly on the top of Javert's head, his beard lightly grazing his forehead. Javert shuddered at the sudden contact, but did not stop his outpour of anguish.

"I am no angel, Javert. But if you must insist on seeing me in that way, I will insist with an equal stubbornness that you are as well." Javert's head shot up suddenly, eyes red and mouth twisted in an expression of utter confusion and grief. Valjean pulled his head back down on to his chest gently. "You have always upheld the law to its fullest, never wronged anyone in their life, or if you did, you have always tried to atone for it. You believe that you have caused all the misery in my life...when the truth is the only misery that you have caused me is love. Heartache that you haven't been beside me all these years." This time, when Javert's head came up, Valjean made no move to replace it. He fixed his gaze upon the other man, eyes warm and pleading. "Please, Javert…I love you. That is why I am here."

There was a small pause, and then Javert let out a cry that was filled with every emotion possible. In that distressing sound there was love, gratitude, anguish, sorrow, mercy, forgiveness, and most of all, joy. He flung himself at Valjean, and gripped him so hard that Valjean felt his lungs compress, but neither of them cared. They each had what they needed now, and that was all that mattered.

Slowly, minutes dragged on. Javert's sobbing quelled in time, and at last he sagged into Valjean's arms, feeling as though he could never be harmed again. A stranger looking upon these glowing pair would have seen a scene not unlike a child being held by its mother. The love was no less. Javert took a deep, shuddering breath, and whispered,

"Please…just never leave me. Never ever leave me." He clutched Valjean's arm and began to silently weep again. "I'm afraid. Afraid what will happen to me if I lose you."

"Oh, Javert…" Valjean breathed, the sound muffled through Javert's hair, but the compassion for his love ringing clear in his hushed voice. Valjean drew Javert in so hard, they could each feel the other's heart racing in their chest, the sound only lending more to this moment. "Do not torture your mind with such a thought...after last night...I could never will myself to leave you." At this, Javert sucked in a sharp breath, his body stiffening against Valjean's chest. Valjean only wrapped his arms around the inspector more, drawing him closer.

"If I did…" he continued, in barely more than a whisper. "…it would only be a tortured existence, a slow, painful, and agonizing existence. To be without you, to not be able to hold you in my arms, to not feel your arms around me, to not be able to kiss you again….it would be unbearable. My life would no longer be worth living."

When Javert lifted his head once more to gaze into Valjean's eyes, his own eyes still bloodshot, yet entranced, Valjean set his lips on Javert's with a passion almost bordering that of the ones they had shared the previous night, all the pent up doubt, fear, and love for each other revealing itself as they clung to each other, kissing fervently. And like that, all the fear, all the doubt, all the sadness and grief. Gone. Leaving nothing behind but pure and blind devotion and love between them.

"Ohhh, Jean…" Javert moaned softly against Valjean's mouth. "…it seems like this will never end…like it is a dream…" Here, a pause as once again Valjean silenced Javert with his own passion and fervency, in which Javert could not will his body to withdraw from for a few prolonged seconds. Finally, Javert was able to separate his lips from Valjean's long enough to finish what he had been trying to say, their breath coming out in short gasps. "…but if it is a dream, I am happy you are in it with me."

At this, Valjean smiled tenderly, and Javert drew him back in for another lingering kiss. After a few minutes, Javert pulled his lips gently away from Valjean's, his eyes glowing amorously.

"You…are not planning to go out today, are you?" Javert asked slowly, a shade of his former, sly self appearing briefly in his smile. Valjean, catching on to the implications behind the vague statement, grinned coyly, his eyes narrowing at his lover in a mixture of both surprise and amusement.

"It was not in my agenda for the day…" Valjean replied cautiously. "...why?"

Javert slowly allowed his smile to grow into a wolfish grin and in a swift move, pulled Valjean down on top of him.

"…as you don't appear to quite remember what happened last night, it might be in your best interest to...refresh your memory," Javert conceded, a small, mischievous growl making his voice deeper than normal. Valjean smirked, pulling Javert into a passionate kiss, but almost as soon as it had begun, Valjean cut it off abruptly, drawing an annoyed, slightly disappointed look from his lover. Valjean gazed down at the man below him, and then chuckled, Javert's annoyance then turning into a look of confusion. With another chuckle, Valjean responded to Javert's unasked question.

"Maybe I should consider getting drunk more often…" he mused, his small smile growing into a full-blown grin.

Javert said nothing, but grinned back at his love, and he pulled them back into a burning kiss.

Remember to R&R, people. Otherwise the authors will not be tempted to co-write another one. Which might actually be a good thing, considering we're too obsessed with J/JVJ for our own good.