Javert felt tears begin to form in his eyes as he walked through the streets of Montreuil-sur-Mer. He had nothing now. His job had been everything but now that was gone. The cold wind whipped his face and the rain soaked the clothing he wore. They had made him hand in his uniform which meant all he was what he was wearing.
It was impossible to the pay the rent without a job so now he found himself on the streets for the first time in his life. It was horrible. He sank down against the wall in an alleyway and considered giving up.
Then there were footsteps and shadows looming over him.
"Give us your money!" one of the men snarled.
"I don't have any."
The tallest man kicked his side and bent down to face him.
"I said; give us your money!"
"And I said; I don't have any," Javert replied, trying to hide his fear.
"Get him," the man muttered to his friend, who promptly drew a knife and began walking towards Javert.
However, Javert wasn't going to let them hurt him without a fight so he jumped to his feet and tried to run. He was weak from weeks of not eating properly and didn't get very far before one of the men tackled him, pinning him against the wall. There was a sharp pain in his lower abdomen as the knife was plunged into his body.
One of the men grabbed his jacket by the collar and roughly yanked it off of him. His shoes and waistcoat were soon gone too. Once they had taken everything worth taking they disappeared down the alley.
His first reaction was to get help but he found himself completely unable to move. Soon the cold began to take effect, his teeth were chattering and he was shivering. The blood seeping from his wound was making him feel nauseous and light headed.
As he began to feel consciousness slip away there was another shadow over him. This time instead of demanding money it knelt down beside him and checked his pulse. Suddenly Javert found himself being lifted up and carried out of the alley.
Valjean carried the old inspector back to his house. He had quickly taken Javert into one of the spare rooms and lit a fire. The man was absolutely frozen but in the light his wound didn't look too bad. Acting impulsively he stripped Javert of his wet clothes apart from his underwear which had remained dry. He ran through to his bedroom and grabbed a night shirt.
Once he was warming up Valjean got a bowl of water, a cloth and some bandages to treat his wound. Javert began to fall in and out of consciousness, he looked at Valjean and his eyes filled with extreme confusion.
Valjean spent the night perched on the chair beside Javert, making sure his condition didn't worsen during the night.
Javert awoke in a strange room and couldn't remember what had happened the night before. After a few minutes it all came crashing back, the men, the stabbing and then the warm arms carrying him away.
He looked to his left and saw the mayor sleeping in the chair next to him. It was then he noticed that his clothes had been changed and his wound tended to. His clothes were hanging on the back of a chair at the other end of the room.
"Ah!" the mayor exclaimed, "You are awake!"
"I was very worried," he sighed, "You looked on the verge of death when I found you."
"It was you that carried me?"
"Of course! I couldn't just leave you there!"
"Thank you," Javert smiled, "But I really must be on my way."
"No you won't," the mayor smiled, "I have asked a doctor to visit this morning, inspector."
Javert winced. The mayor apparently did not pay attention to town gossip.
"Are you in pain?" the mayor asked, misreading his expression.
"No, it's just…I'm no longer a police officer…" he trailed off, not quite sure what to say next.
"Ah," the mayor muttered, an unrecognisable emotion passing across his face, "Can I see your wound?"
At first Javert was reluctant but the mayor gave him no choice. He knelt down beside the bed.
"You're going to have to unbutton your shirt," he muttered.
"Oh yes," Javert mumbled, his face reddening as he quickly undid a few buttons to show the wound.
The mayor inspected the bandages but didn't remove them. After his inspection he buttoned Javert's shirt and looked up at him.
Suddenly memories came crashing back, memories of the chain gang, of a criminal that skipped parole and disappeared. He let out a short gasp.
"24601," he hissed as Valjean quickly jumped to his feet.
"You aren't feeling very well."
At the mention of his real name the mayor froze in horror. He stared blankly at Javert and then collapsed into the chair.
Then Javert surprised Valjean by letting out a short chuckle. He looked on as Javert continued to smirk to himself.
"You've been under my nose all this time," he smiled.
"I don't see what's funny about this situation."
"The irony of it all."
"Right," Valjean allowed himself a small smile, "But you can't arrest me now that you aren't a police officer."
"I could tell the police of your whereabouts," Javert replied, "But I won't."
Valjean was going to ask why but decided it probably wasn't the best idea. He didn't want Javert changing his mind. There was a loud knock.
"That'll be the doctor," Valjean announced.
"He should recover in a week or two," the doctor informed Valjean, "Just make sure he doesn't do much. He can walk around but don't let him leave the house. If his condition worsens send for me."
"Thank you, I will."
He opened the door and walked back into the room. Javert was halfway through getting changed, he had his trousers on but not his shirt. Valjean let out a yelp and shielded his eyes with his hand.
"What are you doing?" Javert almost shouted as he tried to put on his shirt quickly but failed miserably.
"I'm sorry! I didn't know you were getting dressed!"
"You could have knocked!" Javert exclaimed, "I'm done now, you may remove your hands from your face."
Valjean peered through his fingers first, just to be sure. Then, when he was sure it was safe, took his hands away. Javert was blushing furiously and fidgeting with the cuff of his shirt.
"Thank very much for everything but I am going to leave now," Javert announced, "I will pay you back."
"You aren't leaving, doctor's orders," Valjean grinned.
"Wonderful," Javert muttered, sitting down in one of the two chairs next to the fire.
They sat in silence for a while. Valjean seemed to be deciding whether to say something so Javert stayed quiet waiting for him to speak.
"Why are you no longer a police officer?"
Javert felt a panic overcome him when Valjean asked that question. He couldn't tell him. He'd only ever told one person before and look where that got him but he wanted to tell someone. He had to tell someone.
"I caught a few officers stealing from people and I reported it. Turns out the chief was in on it too," Javert paused before continuing, "They framed me for a theft so they could get rid of me."
"And now I'm living on the streets because I can't afford rent or food or anything for that matter."
"Then you will stay with me as long as you need to."
"Why would you be kind to me, 24601?"
"Why wouldn't I?" he asked in reply.
Javert stared at him for a moment.
"I don't have any choice in the matter, do I?" Javert sighed.