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In Pieces

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It is easier to say he loves this than he loves Valjean. Both are true in any case, and no words need to be used. There are no words to describe it at all.

They had started off so carefully, so gently, both so aware of how much they could hurt the other. It was easier to stay silent and find a different way to communicate. The first touch of tongues was to blame; before that, the kisses had been soft and close-mouthed, as if breaching that barrier would unleash a flood that would drown them both. And then one day, lying together on the sofa, he had moved in and Valjean had gasped at just the wrong – right – moment; he had collided with open lips, reacted in surprise and that was it, a frantic push and pull began which left them groaning and sticky, wet under their clothes and avoiding each other’s eyes. There was no going back from it, and he did not want to; their actions that day cracked a door onto an abyss he wanted to fling himself into, and never rise out of again. If that was Hell, it could have him.

Valjean’s muscles are hard as rock, his arms cords of iron, and even his own huge hands cannot circle those smooth biceps. He is so warm, always; even in this bedroom with never a fire lit, Valjean burns with a heat Javert prays will set him aflame. He is only too happy to die this way, wrestling that strength on this too-small bed – as if any bed could hope to contain them, as if the earth were big enough to hold this desire. Valjean smiles like a star bursting on the first day of the world, reducing Javert to nothing; an insignificance, a trembling wretch of a human who withers in the light of it. He answers in the only way he can, by kissing it, hoping to drink the glory into himself, be filled by the saint’s grace so freely given. And Valjean laughs, always, and pushes his trousers down and his shirt up, and all Javert can do is lie back and thank God with all his might that he has been chosen to have this bestowed on him. I’m just a man, Valjean says, as if any man could have ruined Javert so thoroughly, and made him love the fall this much.

He cannot stand the daylight. In the daylight they must behave as men should, polite and reserved, and ready to be civilised in case Cosette arrives on one of her frequent unexpected visits. And Valjean is patient always, with never an outward show of need. Javert watches him as he has watched him for so much of his life, with a gaze that appears almost angry, and always unwavering – Valjean in the kitchen, Valjean carrying tea, Valjean in the garden. Javert sits in his place, a beast in comparison, dead in the light and hungering for the dark, when Valjean will laugh and kiss him with that mouth, and say you wish it then? before turning him on his stomach and knocking down every defence Javert has spent the day pretending to make. But he is merciful, Valjean. He never makes him beg. But Javert knows he would, and knows he wants to, right up to the moment Valjean’s cock presses him open and the need for words is gone.

He thinks he cannot stand this wreck of himself, and the hunger that eats him alive. But in the night, there is nothing left to care about except pleasing the man on his back, taking his weight, pushing into it enough to draw the gasps and moans Valjean has no qualms about making. Sometimes he thinks he should do more; he entertains ideas of holding Valjean down and licking every inch of his skin, until the man comes at the first kiss on his cock…but then Valjean presses against his side and puts a hand on his stomach, and Javert squirms at the touch and opens his legs as easily as a whore handed a shiny Louis d’or. But there is no shame in it because, as Valjean is quick to breathe into his ear, there is no shame in love.

So yes, he loves him. And he lets himself be loved in return, with care so clear in every touch of Valjean’s fingers, with the time he takes to ready him with oil, and the murmurs to placate his nerves even now, just as the first time, when he said are you sure? and I don’t want to hurt you, when all Javert wanted was to be pinned to the mattress and have every thought pounded out of his head. Valjean has always been a quick study. He understood. But there was never any pain, and if there is now – well, it is not the physical kind.

 

*

 

Another night, another touch. Javert slides his tongue across Valjean’s Adam’s Apple, a silent barrier painted on his skin to hold back the words that will have to come one day. What is he supposed to do with Valjean’s love? He is not safe with it, when he is nothing more than a dog begging to be petted, a beast ravening for touch. Valjean parts his legs with his knee, pushes his arms above his head, holds his wrists in one strong hand and Javert is a prisoner stretched out for inventory, at the mercy of all the kindness Valjean is so free to mete out. He nearly comes from the touch of lips pulling at his nipples, at the rake of fingertips down the tender flesh of his inner arms; he squirms long before the insides of his thighs have breath on them, and the world has turned ten times before he can begin to hold back the groan, the thrust of his hips when Valjean’s mouth slides down his cock. ‘Let me touch,’ he says, but Valjean just sucks harder until Javert is a caveman again, unable to do more than grunt and thrust, saved from extinction only by the grace of a force stronger than he. He lies panting, a single raw nerve in the shape of a man, teased out then pulled tight so Valjean can pluck him at his leisure. He will say ‘please’ at any moment, he will sit and beg and looks forward to it…but Valjean knows when to stop so it will not come to that; he does not allow debasement in this room. He slips him open instead, looming in the shadows cast by the single candle, a moving statue of flickering bronze, pushing inside him to make him whole once more. It is the universe in miniature, exploding and remaking itself into something greater; pressure and aching until that moment of light, that place that makes him cry and twist, and causes Valjean to stutter his hips forward in response. And then it is easy, evolution from the first flash of light, the growth of heat until the inevitable moment of death. Javert grips the arms that are too big to be real, frantically palms Valjean’s chest, slick with sweat, pulling it close so it can slide across him and make them one. Closer…closer…he does not say, because he does not need to; Valjean needs it too, that moment where they meld, and it is always the most perfect of it all, skin on skin from knee to shoulder, lips in a frantic dance, Javert finally managing to wrap his legs around, locking Valjean where he belongs.

The moments afterwards are the only peace he knows. He floats in space then, one with everything, broken apart with no wish to come together again. He does not want to be himself, he wants the safety of Valjean’s shoulder under his forehead, the warm smell of him, the comfortable stretch of the man still inside him. Like this, he does not have to be anything else, and there are no words in him that he might say and expose himself with. Like this, he is all he ever wants to be, silent, in pieces, the parts of him kept from flying away by the gentle weight of Valjean’s boundless love.