SUMMARY: In which Valjean asks about Javert's super old-fashioned ponytail. Ridiculous established relationship kinkmeme fill.
CANON: Book/musical fusion.
PAIRING: Jean Valjean/Javert
NOTES: Kinkmeme fill for a request for "hair!porn." Assumes your usual fanon AU where nobody dies and they have bickered their way to a friendship/relationship. In this story I'm operating from the assumption that they're both demisexual and demiromantic (or in Javert's case, possibly aromantic). And yes, this is complete.
Javert stiffened at the feeling of Valjean's fingers combing through his tied-back hair, brushing against the nape of his neck. They had reached a delicate truce between them over the past year: not quite enemies, not quite friends, not quite lovers as he supposed most people would count it. Javert had not managed to find a word for what they were, save that he could not imagine anyone but Valjean in that place. Valjean was...inconveniently necessary, like food or water or air.
They did not often touch each other, and never without warning. There was too much history between them for that.
"I have been meaning to ask," Valjean said quietly, his fingers still carding through Javert's hair, catching occasionally and pausing to gently work out a tangle. Javert thought that perhaps he should draw away, but once the initial shock had passed, the sensation was rather pleasant, and so instead he leaned back in his chair and surrendered to it. Valjean continued: "Why do you wear your hair long? It's rather old-fashioned."
"I have never cared much for fashion," said Javert, who only had a new greatcoat because his old one had not survived the Seine, and because Valjean had insisted. He had managed an entire week before scorching one of the tails by standing too close to the stove, and their laundress no doubt cursed his name on a regular basis.
"Is that truly the reason?"
"It is ridiculous, and it will entirely ruin your view of me as wooden-hearted and dull."
Valjean laughed, low and warm; it was still strange to hear him laugh like that. Javert suspected sometimes that it would never stop being strange. "I am afraid you disabused me of that notion quite thoroughly during your convalescence." Valjean rested a hand on Javert's shoulder and squeezed. "But you don't have to answer if you don't wish it."
"I warned you," Javert grumbled, but he supposed it was hardly likely to be the most ridiculous thing Valjean knew about him at this point. "I suppose it is a habit born of the times I have lived. The king might change—God forbid, those republican ninnies might even overthrow him someday—the law might change, but I would not change. Thus the coat. Thus the hat. Thus the hair. I remained the same. I remained honest." And most of the time he could not afford new clothes, and sometimes not even the barber, but that was another matter entirely.
Valjean was silent, and his hands had gone still.
Javert felt suddenly awkward, more awkward than he had in months, and it made him want to snarl like a kenneled dog. "I told you it was ridiculous," he said, more harshly than he meant.
"It is not ridiculous at all." Valjean leaned over the back of the chair and and kissed Javert's forehead, chastely. It was a poor angle, the briefest press of lips to skin, but it did uncomfortable things to Javert's chest. "Javert—" Valjean cleared his throat, and there was something tender and nervous in his voice when he continued. "Will you—will you come to bed with me?"
"I was reading." Javert's throat had gone dry.
"You hate reading." Valjean pointed out mildly. "And your book is upside-down." He was tugging on the riband that held back Javert's hair, and then the pressure on Javert's scalp eased as his hair fell loose down his back. It was grayer now than it had been, but still thick, and if Javert had been a vain man, he would have counted it perhaps the only attractive thing about him; but he was not, and so he found Valjean's fascination entirely bemusing. "I'm not asking anything—I just would like the company. If you like. Whatever you like."
Valjean had worked his fingers thoroughly into Javert's hair now, massaging his temples, and it felt almost obscenely good, good enough to be a vice. Javert had always resisted vice, but he could not stop himself from closing his eyes and leaning into Valjean's strong hands, and he could not stop the small noise of pleasure that escaped his throat.
He did not know what he wanted, but there was only one way to find out.