What the heck???
There we were, moments ago discussing things as foreign to him as automobiles and time travel, and now he was asking me why I kissed him??
"Sometimes my sense of judgment after a change in time can be a little wonky. Off balance." He nodded, and waited for more. "I still think like I'm back home---- oh, not that I go around grabbing men at random and kissing them! Hell, no! You can get arrested for that sorta thing."
"Here, as well."
"Yeh, I guess that did land me in jail for the night.... I suppose there's the idea that I will never pass this way again-- and with skipping through time, thats kinda how it is. See, odd things will act as a catalyst to send me somewhere. I think it was this vest, this time."
"Very becoming, by the way." I heard the sarcasm.
"Anyway, since I wasnt going to see you again---" I stood up and started collecting my things, making it easier to talk if I didn't look at him. "If you really want to know, Captain, I think youre hot." I giggled-- the rising storm made me giddy, thinking Id hitch a ride.
"Hot." he repeated.
"You know-- sexy, handsome--" I was babbling now. The 'you-can't-catch-me' idea works particularly well for speech, too-- saying things you'd never dream of saying, if departure wasn't guaranteed, immediate and permanent. Like telling your co-workers and boss what you really think of them, after you hit the lottery. Rain started hitting the window now, and I looked at him. He was glancing out through the drapes, as if not even a part of this discussion. I cleared off the table quickly, stuffed everything away, and decided to through caution to the wind. What was there to lose?
"When I first saw you, I thought you were the most gorgeous thing Id ever seen."
"And you just said you were done with telling lies."
"Hey, Im serious." Maybe it was my tone but something made him look in my direction. I held out my wrists with a timid grin. "Ya think I could get these off now? Maybe I could show you real proof about this time traveling stuff."
He called for the guard again, who came in, followed orders, and once more departed. Javert approached, and I snuck possibly my last look at that lovely uniform...
"You are definitely different than anyone I've ever met, too." I told him while rubbing my wrists. "And no matter what you think of me once I'm gone, I'm not likely to forget you. 24 hours is just 24 hours, sure-- but I'm sorry things couldnt have been a bit different."
"You flatter us both, Mademoiselle."
Lame attempt on his part, to shelve the subject. For all his posturing and authority, I suddenly got the impression he was afraid of women! Well, at least me. And probably with good reason.
"Whatever. Go on and think me terrible, but I tried for that kiss because I really wanted to. I was provoked, and again, Im sorry if I ruined your night."
He cleared his throat, and looked down his nose at me.
"And where is this proof you planned to produce?"
"Outside. Which way to the roof?"
"Are you mad?"
"You're asking me that, now? What do you think?"
"There's a storm, in case you can't hear it."
"Please, Javert. Youll see. I swear!"
He frowned, and then gestured to a door. It was a store room, and through this, a second door, with steps to the roof. He followed me at a quicker pace now, since I was scrambling like Igor for Frankenstien. Can't waste a perfectly good electrical storm!
I reached the landing and threw open the door. Rain began blowing in, getting us both quickly soaked. I felt a sudden pain in my arm-- Javert had grabbed me and pulled me back.
"What becomes of me?"
"Your history books-- do they say what becomes of me?"
The rain was lashing us hard by now, stinging our faces and with the almost constant thunder we had to shout to be heard.
"You become a police inspector, in Paris I think!" That's about all I could remember. Chief Inspector Javert. But there was a musical, too, and Victor Hugo's book. "-- And they even write books and songs about you!"
I was laughing now-- which seemed quite ridiculous, considering the danger I was putting us both in. I was actually glad to remember anything!
"Please, let go Javert! You'll see I'm telling the truth!"
He released my arm, and I started out onto the roof--- but just as suddenly he reached out and grabbed me again.
He yanked me back inside, pushed me against the wall and without a word of warning, kissed me.
I mean--- were talking SERIOUS-- hard, passionate and long! I was speechless-- obviously-- This was way outta left field and after a few seconds of shock, I threw my arms around him and kissed back. Delicious--- wonderful---Unbelievable!---
If there was ever an argument for missing your ride home, THIS was it!
A breathless moment followed-- we looked at each other, dripping wet and lost for words, and he then let me go.
A few steps away, I turned for one last look--- and with a roar of thinder, a blinding flash stabbed my eyes.
I was home. Safe, warm, home.
Crumpled on the second floor landing, the sounds of a late summer storm rolling away, off in the distance. I pulled myself up and sat on the stairs, but something in my pocket poked me--- the key! I had taken it by mistake in my rush-- it would be a cherished keepsake now,
I was almost disappointed to be back.
And I imagined a dim point in time, centuries before, where a man in a Captain's uniform stood in a doorway on a stormy night, staring across an empty roof---- with half a photograph in his hand.