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I've found love in the strangest place

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The plan, at least, had worked flawlessly, Javert reminded himself.

No matter how uncomfortable or how galling his current situation was, it had given Montblanc the perfect opportunity to pass on the information he'd gleaned from infiltrating the smuggling ring -- information that would let him follow the supply chain back to its source. His rescue was no doubt already underway, and letting these small fish escape today would preserve Montblanc's cover and give him the chance to pursue the same leads from the other side of the law. Before long, they would have evidence to arrest bigger fish -- the people who were actually smuggling the goods into France, not just small time resellers like this gang.

All in all, assuming the rescue went according to plan, he could rightly call it a wildly successful operation. None of this, however, made being tied to a chair right now any less frustrating.

They'd done a thorough job. Most likely Montblanc had told them to; a passing familiarity with the copper they'd captured was a detail that enhanced his cover, and he knew there were already plans to get Javert out, so he needn't worry about putting him in danger. As a result, he was all but immobilized. His ankles had been securely lashed to sides, not the front, of the chair legs, keeping his legs apart and making it nearly impossible for him to get the leverage needed to move the chair. A thick rope bound his torso to the chair back, preventing him from leaning forward to tip the chair even if his legs allowed it, and his arms to his sides; below that his arms had been pulled behind the chair, between the spindles, awkwardly bent at the elbows and with his crossed wrists tied together. Most irritating of all, he was gagged with a strip of rough cloth, which dried out his mouth and chafed the corners of his lips.

Still, he did not expect it would be too much longer until help arrived. They'd been instructed to give plenty of time for Montblanc to have his chance to pass the information after Javert's capture, whether by mouth or by document, but he estimated most of that time had passed by now.

Valjean would be among them.

That... was not a thought he should be entertaining, especially not now.

And yet, with nothing else he could do and not so much as a sound from his captors, he could not stop himself from thinking of it. If Valjean were to find him like this, with no one else to see them...

He was bound, helpless... well, not helpless; if he did not know that help was on the way, there were things he could have done to try to free himself. But right now, without having done any of those things, he could not move, could not stop Valjean from doing whatever he liked, touching him any way he pleased...

He very much doubted that Valjean wanted to do any of the things that he wanted to think about Valjean doing, and he should not be thinking about them now regardless. The last thing he needed was for anyone else to find him in the sort of state that thinking about it would put him in, or for Valjean to find him and, as it would not be his fantasy but the real Valjean, be appalled.

Even that thought was not enough to drive the idea completely from his head, but before long he heard the commotion that could only be his rescue, deliberately blundering so as not to actually capture any of the smugglers before they could lead the way to their suppliers. That, at least, refocused his thoughts on getting back to the case and putting Montblanc's information to use -- right up until the point where the door to the dingy storeroom he was held in opened, and Valjean stepped through, alone.

"Javert!" he cried out, as if there were anything about his current circumstances that was not expected; he hurried to Javert's side and laid a warm hand on Javert's shoulder, murmuring, "Let me get you out of here," before starting to work on untying the gag. "Are you injured? Was Montblanc able to tell you anything useful?"

At least the groan of frustration Javert made was likely to be interpreted as, 'You're asking me questions when I can't answer them,' and not, 'You're removing the only thing stopping me from telling you I'd rather you didn't untie me, besides what little dignity I still have and the certainty that you'd be horrified.'

Valjean hovered worriedly behind him, his hands brushing against Javert's hair and neck as he worked at the tightly tied knot in the strip of fabric. Javert barely managed to prevent himself from shivering at the light touches, imagining Valjean's lips against the side of his neck next, then Valjean's hands sliding down his chest, maybe plucking at his nipples, and he wanted.

Only this wasn't one of his fantasies, this was real, and real meant that all Valjean really wanted was to do just what he was actually doing: working the stubborn knot loose, and carefully removing the gag, while Javert sat there and tried not to get noticeably hard.

"No, and yes," Javert said once he could speak clearly, if a bit roughly thanks to the gag, because answering Valjean's questions unhelpfully was definitely better than anything he actually wanted to say.

"I would get you some water, but I imagine you should like to be untied first," Valjean said, already working on the ropes binding Javert's torso to the chair. He had to lean down further to reach them, and his breath feathered over Javert's ear as he spoke; this time Javert could not prevent a tremor from running through his body at the proximity of Valjean's mouth to his skin.

Valjean stilled. "Javert?" God, that was even worse, Valjean was clearly only concerned, but hearing his own name in low tones so close to his ear didn't help any of his problems right now.

"I'm fine, Valjean. Just... get me out of here," Javert grumbled, even if that wasn't what he wanted at all. The snug pressure of the rope around his body felt good, and now that Valjean was here he would just as soon stay like that while Valjean... did nearly anything, honestly, and he stopped himself there before his prick could take any more obvious an interest.

"Of course." Valjean went back to work, patiently loosening the knots in the rope wound around his chest until Javert was free... except that his hands were still tied behind him through the back of the chair, so all he'd gained was the ability to lean forward a little, and he was still tied up in Valjean's presence and it still wasn't getting him anything except a lot of embarrassment and frustration.

Valjean dropped to one knee behind him and began to untie the knots that bound his arms through the back of the chair. His fingertips lightly brushed the inside of Javert's wrists as he worked, and now Javert could not stop a gasp at the light touches to sensitive skin, gooseflesh prickling his skin.

"...Javert?" Valjean's hands stilled. Javert told himself that Valjean only sounded puzzled, perhaps worried... not breathless.

"It is nothing," Javert grumbled, though he was going to have to hope that Valjean did not pay much attention to the fork of his trousers, which was definitely... tented.

Returning to work, Valjean got his wrists untied swiftly, which was both disappointing and relieving, but now he was standing and moving around to the front of the chair to untie his legs and apparently also to chide him, "If you are injured..." Valjean's words trailed off as he got a good look at Javert, and a flush began to spread across his cheeks. "Ah, I... you..."

Javert felt his own face begin to grow warm, pinned in place by Valjean's gaze even though he was nearly free of the ropes that had held him. He did not even dare to move his arms from their uncomfortable position behind him. It was probably too much to hope that his glowers had much effect on Valjean anymore, though he tried anyway; certainly it did not stop Valjean from gaping at him with his mouth hanging slightly open, like a startled fish.

Valjean's tongue slipped out to moisten his lips, and Javert only just stifled a groan. That was... not helping.

"Ah, I... that is, is it...?"

"I cannot answer a question if you do not ask it, Valjean," Javert growled, sure that his fantasies were about to be crushed by Valjean's disgust.

Valjean stammered for a few moments more, Javert growing more certain by the moment that Valjean was horrified, before finally blurting out, "Is it me or the ropes?" and flushing a spectacular scarlet. "Or... or something else, I suppose, I... should not assume."

Oh, hell. "It's both," Javert choked out. "I can... control myself around you normally, if that's what you're worried about, and being tied up by smugglers is annoying, not..."

"But if it were me who tied you up...?" Valjean was still flushed, but now his expression had grown... avid, and Javert did not try to quash his groan this time, the heat that had flashed over his face before flooding his whole body now.

"Ah," said Valjean, his eyes wide and dark as he stepped closer, right up into Javert's space. "I'm going to kiss you now," he breathed, and then he sat down straddling Javert's lap, which definitely did not do anything to abate the tent in Javert's trousers, and pressed his mouth to Javert's, clumsy and reckless and perfect. Javert nearly injured himself hurriedly extricating his arms from the spindles of the chair behind him, so he could sink his hands into Valjean's soft curls and kiss back for all he was worth, and try not to grind his hips up into Valjean's even though he had probably never been so aroused in his life.

Then Valjean gave a low groan against his lips, and he couldn't help the way his hips jerked up despite his best intentions. Valjean ground his back down in response, definitely not unaffected himself, and Javert rolled his hips up more deliberately this time, a reedy sound muffled against Valjean's mouth... but then Valjean was pulling back, breaking the kiss and standing, his breathing considerably more labored than it had been before.

"We... we should not... here," he said, both sounding and looking a little bit dazed, and a glance below the waist set Javert's blood to rushing in his ears as he saw the shape of Valjean's desire beneath the fabric. "Not here," Valjean repeated weakly, and wrested his gaze from Javert's mouth, turning away for a moment before he remembered, "Ah, but you are still..."

"I can... my hands are free now," Javert stammered, even though the idea of Valjean kneeling down in front of him right now was... well. It sounded delightful, but not at all wise if they wanted to regain their composure before anyone else saw them.

"Ah, yes, I'll just..." Still flushed, Valjean turned away again, and Javert bent forward to work at the ropes that bound his legs, trying to clear his head while Valjean was largely out of his sight. It did not work very well.

Still, by the time he was finished, his breathing had returned to something like normal, and when he looked up at Valjean again, the man's color was closer to usual as he... finished tying off a neat coil of rope.

He watched transfixed as Valjean hung the rope over his arm beside another one like it, then bent down to pick up the ropes Javert had just untied. Valjean met his eyes as he wound them, just a thin rim of green around flooded pupils. "It would not do to leave perfectly good rope here to rot," he murmured.

"Fuck," Javert swore, heartfelt and reverent. It was going to be a long ride back to the inn.