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A Summer Breeze

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It has been another beautiful day, the latest of a long line. May is sliding towards June, hours of light stretch on, the air is a little warmer at every dawn. Javert stands at the front door of the Rue Plumet house, coffee in hand, and breathes in the scent of cut grass and newly-turned earth. The sun shines in a cloudless sky, sending beams through the trees to light the water drops on fresh new petals, reflect off the scrubbed paving stones, gleam off the white of Valjean’s hair.

His wandering gaze stops there, along with his thoughts. To his private wonderment, there is an urge to smile. He does not give in to it; not until Valjean, ever alert, turns at the weight of a gaze on his back. Javert sees his eyebrows twitch upwards, and is then suffused with warmth as Valjean smiles, one of those smiles, a grin too happy to be shy. He feels himself respond in kind and cannot do a thing to stop it. It is almost a relief when an automatic thought comes, telling him he is an old fool, they are both old fools, smiling at each other across a garden like children.

He pushes off the doorframe with his shoulder and ambles over the lawn, so recently scythed into submission. He is not decent; shirtsleeves only, no waistcoat, no cravat, no coat, but there is no need to stand on ceremony here. His polished boots press into the cut grass, and release a fresh burst of summer with every step, while Valjean sits back on his heels and wipes a dirty hand over his brow. The flowerbed before him is rich and dark, cleared of weeds, and his trousers tell of the day’s toil. His thighs are brown where he has wiped his hands off, and wet at the knees from the pressure of leaning into the edge of the bed. It rained last night, just a little, just enough to bring everything to life this morning. Javert knows nothing of gardens, or flowers, but he knows what makes Valjean happy and it is this; a day outside, fresh air, sunshine, working with his hands to create something from nothing. There was a note from Cosette this morning, inviting them to luncheon the next day, and this evening…Javert’s eyes slip back to the muddied trousers as he sits on the bench next to the flowerbed. This evening probably holds laundry, unless the garments are not needed until the housekeeper comes.  But he has discovered there is satisfaction to be found in household tasks; he, who only ever found it on the streets before now. It is a different satisfaction, but fulfilling all the same.

He sips from his mug and then holds it out to Valjean, who takes it with such warmth in his eyes, Javert has the urge to kiss him. He refrains because it is not proper to do such things outside, even if they cannot be seen. Still. The thought is there.

‘You have worked long today,’ he says instead, as Valjean takes a drink, and nods.

‘Well, it will not be tamed by itself. And you do so hate mess.’

Javert rolls his eyes, even as the corner of Valjean’s mouth turns up.

‘Do not pretend you do this for me. You are enjoying yourself.’

Valjean returns the mug and tilts his head to the side, and back.

‘Yes,’ he says, simply. ‘I am.’

Javert watches him survey his handiwork. They have lived here a year together, and he still cannot be sure what these expressions mean. He hopes – prays, even – that it is satisfaction, and happiness, and peace, because the man deserves that. He hopes Valjean feels as he does, no matter how impossible it seems when he tries to deconstruct it with logic. That he is lost, but gladly so. Unsure of what they are doing, but unwilling to give it up at any price.

‘This is not the sort of garden I am used to, you know. I’m not sure I know how best to proceed.’

Javert quirks his eyebrows up, and glances around the place in turn. It is far from the wilderness it once was, though the area around the front gates is still as unruly as ever. The rest looks, to his unpractised eye, in various stages of approaching perfection – but he has never worked the earth, and could likely name only five species of flower and vegetable stalk in the multitude before him. Bereft of opinion, he settles for a quiet, ‘oh?’

Valjean nods again, not looking at him but rather at some bush in the corner, pruned into what Javert presumes is the proper bush shape, growing next to things he has been told tend to do well in the shade.

‘The convent garden was uniform, and for vegetables only. I knew flowers in my youth, of course, but-‘

A slight shrug. Valjean looks back at him, and smiles again. Javert flounders a little in the sensation it brings, as he always does.

‘Can you not just put in what you like? That would seem to me the point.’

‘Yes, I could. But – well, there are some flowers that will grow in different colours, and not match as well as they could. Some that will kill each other if they grow too fast, and sap the earth of what another needs.’

Javert is aware of Valjean’s eyes on his throat, even as he goes on, ‘and species that grow best with others next to them, even if they are different shades, and you would not think they could match at all.’

Yes, thinks Javert. That, I can believe.

‘Well,’ he says, and offers the mug back over. ‘What’s to be done? Books? I can fetch some, if you want to read on the subject – but please, spare me the details. I am happy to look at your work, but we both know an attempt to help will only cause disaster.’

Valjean laughs then, a sound to be remembered, and held inside, and treasured later when they are forced apart by duty, or obligation. And he turns on his knees, and sets the mug down on the bench next to Javert’s leg; he puts himself between his thighs and stretches up to kiss him.

‘I will spare you the details.’

It is said a minute later, because outside or not, Javert will not even try an attempt to resist him.

‘In fact, I will spare you the books. Will you walk with me? The Luxembourg has all the flowers I need, and most will be in bloom. I can promise you a decent display, if no more understanding than you came with.’

Javert looks into his eyes, and slowly, lazily, puts his hands on Valjean’s arms and runs them up over his shoulders. Another kiss then, which would be chaste if only it were not so soft, and did not linger quite so long.

‘Yes,’ he says, because it is a thing he says now. ‘I will walk with you.’

 

*

 

The heat of the day has abated a little by the time they have walked the gardens. They had arrived late in the afternoon, as Javert had insisted Valjean eat something before they left, and of course both had to wash, and dress in respectable clothes. Javert steps along now, his cane tapping neatly on the path, vaguely wishing to be back at home without these layers on, free of the cravat that is too warm in this heat, and the hat that traps air next to his head. Such discomforts were never thought of before this year, even after hours of summer patrols – indeed, may not have been thought of today, were his thoughts not turned to the sight of Valjean washing the day’s work off his body, scrubbing at his hands, and face, and chest, with his trouser buttons open, and suspenders hanging down around his backside. He smells of soap even now, wafts of it coming to him on the breeze as he walks at his side. Once again, there is the urge to kiss him. Not on the mouth.

‘Are you all right, Javert? You are quiet.’

‘Mmm. Quite well, thank you.’

At least the warmth is a good excuse for any flush on his cheeks. He glances across, smiles a little, and tries to draw his attention back to the gardens.

‘Where else would you like to go?’

Valjean looks thoughtful. ‘Somewhere in the shade, I think.’

‘To see what will grow by your wall?’

A short laugh. ‘Because it is hot, and you look uncomfortable.’

Javert shoots him an exasperated glare.

‘I can manage perfectly well, Fauchelevent. Standing while you peer at flowers is no great difficulty, and I am not so old-‘

Valjean is holding a hand up, looking amused.

‘A jest, that is all. I have seen enough, I think. But is very hot, and I believe I would like a rest before starting back. You may not be so old, but I am.’

Chagrin turns to faint alarm, and Javert turns to him properly.

‘Do you feel unwell? We can take a fiacre back to the house.’

Valjean just smiles again, and for a second – a second where Javert’s heart thumps faster against his ribs – it looks as though he might reach for his arm. It is a familiar gesture, because neither are mean with their touch at home. But it is quite different outside, and Javert is relieved when Valjean seems to catch himself, and lets his hand drop to his side instead.

‘There is nothing wrong, bar a desire to get out of the sun for a few minutes. Shall we?’

He gestures to their left, where one of the paths leads out to the trees planted around the edges of the park. The Luxembourg had fallen into disrepair for many years, but trees care nothing for that; they stood while the gardens were neglected, and they stand now everything is restored, casting a cool shadow over paths and allowing a respite from heat, or company, or both. Javert nods and falls into step as Valjean steers them away from the thoroughfares that are emptying now sundown approaches, in anticipation of the gates being locked.

‘We should not take long. They will close us in.’

Valjean tilts his head a little, and says, ‘we can climb out.’

‘You can.’

‘And I will help you if you need it.’

It warrants a glare, so receives one, but Valjean only looks amused. Javert rolls his eyes, and tries to find a response that is not too cutting, nor will dredge up a past they are both happy to leave behind. By the time he has one, Valjean’s head has turned towards the undergrowth.

‘Is that…? A moment, Javert, please.’

He is left standing on the path, bewildered and bemused in equal measure as Valjean disappears into the trees. Some flower, no doubt, or a variety of leaf. They all look the same to Javert, no matter how many times the differences are explained.

‘What is it?’ he says, to empty air.

There is no reply, and no sound. Javert casts an eye up and down the path to see if the police are on their final patrol before the gates are closed. He sees no one so waits a moment more, but then tuts under his breath and follows.

‘Valjean? We really should be-’

The words falter on his tongue as he steps into a small clearing, and sees Valjean kneeling beside a bush, touching the stalk of a small bloom. It is not the flower that makes his breath catch. Once again, the sun has thought to bestow itself on Valjean’s hair, a few low beams falling through the branches to make him shine. Javert can only stare. The broad expanse of shoulder that stretches the fine material of his coat, the way his back tapers down to his waist, the muscles of it visible as he bends – and yet, his fingers are so light on the stem, his face so gentle, his touch one that would never hurt anything, or anyone. Javert’s mind flits back to this afternoon, watching him wash himself in their scullery. His hands are so careful with everything but himself; he had scrubbed as though oblivious to the contours of his body, the lines of his chest and the bulging muscles of his arms.

‘I have not seen one of these for years. Look! They were Cosette’s favourite when she was young, and…Javert?’

He is looking. Dear God. But Valjean rises now, peace falling to concern.

‘Are you sure you’re all right?’

He comes closer, his hand closing around Javert’s bicep in concern. Javert drops his cane, puts his own hands up to Valjean’s face, and kisses him.

It is a kiss given on impulse, but no less reverent for that. Valjean makes a small sound of surprise, and tenses under his hands. But it is only a second and then he melts into it instead, pushes to deepen it, his tongue brushing Javert’s lower lip.

‘Oh,’ he says a moment later, when his mouth is free, and smiling. ‘I suppose you are quite well after all.’

‘I am not. I am afflicted.’

‘A terrible affliction.’

Valjean kisses him again, and then again, and Javert’s brain supplies him with words he should say – that they are outside, and in public, and this is terrible behaviour. But he retorts with facts; he started it, and it feels nice, and he has come to the point where he cannot refuse Valjean a single thing, and moreover, does not want to.

The kiss goes on for a long time, and the sun feels terribly hot when he pulls back. His hands are still on Valjean’s shoulders though, and Valjean’s on his waist, and if someone comes along there will be no way to explain it as anything other than it is.

‘We should go.’

‘Mmm.’

But Valjean does not let him go. He looks amused again instead, and looks around, and then – with quite unfair deliberation, Javert thinks – presses his lips to the sensitive skin at the base of his ear.

‘…Valjean. Stop. We’ll be seen.’

‘We’re not on the path, and there was no one on it anyway.’

His breath flutters warm against his neck, and Javert feels a thrill of excitement run along his collar and earth itself in his throat. It makes his voice tight, a little higher than normal.

‘Yes, but-‘

Valjean pulls back, and looks up into his eyes. Javert could curse the man for looking quite this good when his face is open with happiness.

‘You have been looking at me strangely all day. Is this why?’

Javert swallows, embarrassed.

‘I…well. You look very well today. Do you object if I watch you, and enjoy that you are happy?’

Valjean chuckles softly and moves a touch closer, so the buttons on their coats touch.

‘I do not object to you watching me anymore, just as I do not think you truly object to me kissing you.’

‘But,’ his voice sounds weak to his own ears. ‘We are in pub-‘

Valjean’s lips cut him off, and Javert gives in to them. Just for a moment, he thinks, never mind that one of the hands has left his waist and he can feel it sliding around to his buttock. His nerves flare, and he pulls back with a small puff of breath.

‘Valjean-‘

He looks around again. Valjean takes advantage of the bared expanse of neck, and kisses it softly once more. Javert feels this is happening in a dream; he cannot be standing outside, in a public garden in the middle of the city, with another man’s lips on his skin. It should be awful. But it is the opposite of that, and he feels his cheeks heat as Valjean moves closer still, and insinuates a strong thigh between his legs.

‘I saw you watching me when I changed clothes. Why did you not say anything then?’

A good question. Javert flounders as a tendril of pleasure curls its way into his belly.

‘You wanted to come here, so I-‘

‘We can come here any day.’

Valjean is walking them backwards, so slowly Javert barely notices at first. He does not miss the way his eyes flit left and right, checking they are indeed as alone as they seem. Javert tries to pull himself together. Is there any sound? Voices, footsteps? No, none. But still, there might be in a moment. Anyone could walk off the path, just as they did. And he knows the police check the grounds before they are closed, because he has done it himself before. What would he do if someone he knows comes through these few trees, and finds them? A fine sight that would be – old Inspector Javert, spending his retirement with his back against a tree, becoming aroused as a man presses against him. Because Valjean is right there, and he is getting aroused, and it is most inconvenient.

‘We can also do this any day, Valjean, and somewhere that will not get us arrested.’

‘Mmm. True.’

Valjean does not let him go. He kisses him again instead, and Javert is helpless to resist. Nerves make his muscles tight, sharpening his senses. It is strangely intoxicating to be in the open air, surrounded by heat and the smell of grass, with lips touching his and a solid body giving pressure between his legs. He makes a small sound. Valjean breaks the kiss and breathes out hard. It is only then that he sees he is not the only one affected; Valjean’s cheeks and neck are red, and the rise and fall of his chest is plainly visible.

Javert licks his lower lip, the world drawn back into focus. They are outside, and Valjean is getting as hard as he is. That is the truth of the situation, and he is not sure how best to proceed.

‘Did you do this on purpose?’ he asks, with no hint of animosity.

Valjean shakes his head, and glances around again. ‘I did not. But now we are here, and-‘

And, indeed.

They remain still for a long moment, looking at each other. The question hangs in the air, and Javert knows that if he dropped his hands from Valjean’s shoulders and straightened fully, the man would let him go and they could go home. And when they got there, no doubt they would have each other’s clothes off in minutes, and he would be bent over something, or on his hands and knees on the floor, and Valjean would push inside him and…

He swallows hard again, and rubs his hips forward, grinding just a little on Valjean’s thick thigh. The man’s eyes widen, and the tip of his tongue comes out to wet his lips. He rubs again, and then chokes quietly as Valjean flexes his muscle and pleasure shoots up between his legs.

‘We should not-‘

‘-no.’

But neither let go. Javert is very sure of this. He is not imagining it. His hands do not move, and one of Valjean’s is still on his buttock, keeping him pulled into the pressure. He lets out a nervous laugh, but it turns into a tiny moan when Valjean catches it in his mouth, kisses it away, and pushes his body against him. He is so solid, so strong, and as Javert knows from experience, it is so easy to give in to this desire when it is Jean Valjean causing it. And more, on this occasion – it is Jean Valjean asking for it, and he so rarely does that.

He takes a deep breath, and bends his knees slightly. It allows him to push flush against the leg, and causes him to gasp again as Valjean lets out a noise and flattens him bodily against the tree at his back.

‘Are you – Valjean, really? This is-‘

‘I know.’

Javert glances left and right, and sees Valjean do the same. Their eyes catch, and hold, and then Valjean laughs and Javert cannot help joining in. A nervous laugh, both of them, but still neither let go.

‘We are acting like children.’

Valjean’s smile extends, and he flexes his leg once more.

‘Yes.’

His fingers grip tight at the sensation; he barely hears the word, and it takes a moment to re-focus. When he does, Valjean is still but his eyes are intent, and he is biting his lip. Javert kisses it on impulse, short and sharp, and then looks around again.

‘Well, what to do? Shall we continue?’

‘Do you want to?’

‘Do you?

He is aware his voice is breathy, and there is no hiding the stiffness between his legs. He cannot see Valjean’s, but feels it in the groove of his hip. Still, they could stop. Take a moment to calm, walk home like respectable gentleman, fuck on the hallway floor when they close the front door. The image comes back to him; clothes pulled off, the floorboards under his hands and knees…he swallows, and it seems like a long time to wait to have it.

‘Valjean? Do you?’

‘I want to know what you’re thinking of to have that look on your face.’

Valjean’s face is intent. Nervous. But there’s that twinkle in his eye, the too-rare spark of mischief that Javert rolls his eyes at and does everything he can to encourage.

‘I was thinking how long it would take to get home.’

‘Yes. As was I.’

‘So…’

‘So.’

Nerves sink through his body, circle the arousal in his gut and make it swell. Valjean touches his mouth to his jaw, scrapes softly with his teeth, and then looks around.

‘No one will see unless they come off the path.’

It is almost a question. Javert nods.

‘It will have to be quick.’

‘And quiet.’

‘Yes.’

He must be bluffing. This is Jean Valjean; a man who never does wrong any more. Who Javert often suspects of indulging his desires simply because he is too much of a saint to say no, never mind that he appears to enjoy them well enough. But this? This is outrageous behaviour, and while he knows himself exactly deprived enough to want such a thing, he would never believe it of Valjean.

Except it is Valjean that moves first, and slips a hand between them, and Javert almost makes a noise just from the sight of his trouser buttons being opened, one by one slipping through their holes, falling away and taking his resistance with them. He closes his eyes when the hand disappears inside, finds its way under his shirt and closes around his straining prick.

‘Can you be quiet, Javert?’

‘Past experience says no.’

‘Well.’ Valjean chuckles again, tight and nervous. ‘You will have to try.’

His hand is warm, soft, too gentle. It tickles along his length, drawing pleasure to the skin and playing along it with his fingertips. Javert closes his lips tight when they circle the head, and heat rushes to gather under the touch.

‘There is no time to fool, Valjean. There will be a patrol. We…oh…we must-I suppose there is nothing to…I will use my mouth if you desire, but you should not dirty your knees any further, people will notice, and…’

He trails off at Valjean’s sheepish expression.

‘What?’

‘Well-‘

Valjean continues to stroke, but his other hand finds something in his pocket. Javert stares at the small bottle of oil, and his eyes whip up to meet Valjean’s even as he stops teasing, and starts to rub in earnest.

‘You…Lord…you did plan this.’

‘I did not! I swear it, Javert. I simply…you were looking at me when I washed, and I thought, when we got home, perhaps-‘

He shrugs, and does not look nearly as contrite as he should. Javert wonders if the man wants this because it is something he has never had the opportunity to do before, or if it comes from a youth spent out among trees with no one to touch him. Or perhaps it is simply a chance taken, and what of it if it is any of these things? They are here now. Javert’s mouth falls open to let him breathe through the throb of pleasure each pass Valjean’s wrist brings, acutely aware that his trousers are hanging open, there is a hand working his cock, that he is a mostly-respected ex-policeman about to get fucked in the middle of the Jardin de Luxembourg.

‘…oh God,’ he says. It is nearly a whine. The floorboards of their hallway evaporate, and get replaced by the reality in front of him. It will happen here, because they want it, and it is ridiculous, and he will not do anything to make Valjean feel he has made an improper suggestion.

‘We do not have to. We should not. You are right.’

Valjean’s hand stops. It does not release him, and Javert licks his lower lip again, and tries to pretend he is not desperate to push into it.

‘We certainly should not.’

Javert sees an expression of shame begin to creep onto Valjean’s face, and he cannot bear it, he will not allow it. So he kisses him, short and fast, and mutters against his lips;

‘As I said, it will have to be quick.’

‘Javert-‘

Valjean looks around again, but Javert does not. He unbuttons Valjean’s trousers with speed that was not granted to him, and then looks him in the eye.

‘Come along, Valjean.’

He turns, takes as firm a grip on the tree as he can manage, and looks back over his shoulder.

‘Whenever you’re ready.’

‘…are you sure?

‘Yes. But I may not be in a few minutes, when there are police walking down the path. Come along, Valjean.’

He sounds more sure than he feels. Everything is so real, all of a sudden – the cloying, sticky heat of the evening sun, the grass, the warm air on his backside as his trousers are drawn down his hips. He shuts his eyes, and mutters a halting prayer for forgiveness at the flare of arousal when he hears oil on skin. He can see it in his mind; Valjean’s big, strong hand slicking his cock, that look of concentration he gets, the set of his shoulders as he watches to make sure he has used enough…  except it is normally done in the privacy of their bedroom, and now they are outside in the gathering dusk and will absolutely be arrested if they are caught. He wants to laugh at how stupid it is, and whimpers a groan instead when fingers press between his cheeks, and begin to stroke him open.

‘For God’s sake…Valjean, there is no time.’

Valjean steps close, presses a finger into him and murmurs at his ear.

‘I will not hurt you.’

He has said it before. The care in his voice though; it is always enough to turn Javert’s stomach to liquid. He sags slightly, moans, presses back on to the gentle intrusion. His prick aches, all the more when Valjean lifts his shirt and exposes it to the air. There is something filthy in all of this, and yet he cannot think of it as sordid. He has learned not to be ashamed of eagerness, not when it is for Valjean.

‘I know. I know. Come on, please-‘

He forces his breath to stay long and quiet as the finger pulls out of him. He stays still, pleasure clutching between his legs as he hears Valjean step up close. It is always the best feeling in the world; that moment of anticipation before being taken. A drug he has long since lost the desire to fight. Valjean is solid behind him, an immovable object to push back on – but Javert remains motionless, and squeezes his face closed in order to keep silent when Valjean’s cock slides along the inside of his cheeks, parts them where he wants it, presses against his hole; Javert’s fingers tighten against the bark as he feels himself give, stretch open, allow himself to be filled. It is a slow, strong push, and all he can do is take it, and then push back, and try not to make a sound when Valjean grunts, draws back, and then thrusts into him until he is buried as deep as he can go.

They stand for a moment or two, breathing, adjusting, listening. For one horrifying second, Javert thinks he hears voices, but it is just in his mind. He thinks. He is starting not to care. A bee comes to investigate the bead of sweat trickling down the side of his whiskers, and a squirrel showers a leaf down near his hand, and all he wants is for Valjean to move.

He turns his head as best he can, panting over dry lips.

‘Quickly now.’

‘Are you-‘

Yes. For God’s sake, it is too late to ask that, come on.’

Valjean huffs a laugh. Javert feels his fingers curl around his hips and draw him back, pulling him securely on to his cock. He wants to laugh as Valjean starts to move, starts to thrust pleasure into him, and up him, and through him, because this is scandalous behaviour, and look at him, look at them, two old men fucking against a tree like boys who cannot resist an impulse. And he cannot even blame any such stupid youth, because he cannot resist this impulse; he who is presenting his backside to be filled, and unable to stop grunting at how good each push feels.

‘Sssh, Javert. Please, try.’

‘I am. I am trying.’

Valjean presses to his back, and curls an arm around his waist. He is hot, and fast now, and his breath is wet on the nape of his neck. Javert tries to spread his legs to allow him deeper but his trousers stop him, and all he can do is hold on and try to keep his balance as he takes what he is given. It is always good with Valjean, but this is impossibly so; he is restricted, can barely move, held steady by one strong arm and the tenuous grip of his fingers on rough bark. Parts of it flake away as he scrabbles to keep hold, because he cannot resist thrusting back to meet each push as they rub over the nerves inside that light his body up like fire. His teeth fix in his lip, his breath rasps out of his throat and Valjean is getting faster, and harder, and deeper, and he cannot possibly stay quiet, he needs a hand to finish him, but-

Fingers clamp over his mouth. Valjean stops moving. Javert fights it on instinct, wriggling back to get more, trying to ask why he would stop, why…

There are voices.

His blood turns to ice in half a heartbeat. He freezes solid, the only movement in him the leap of his heart into his mouth. It pulses there, matching the throb between his legs..

They are male voices, deep and solemn. Police voices, he thinks, and a wave of panic rises. He is half-bent against a tree of all things, his trousers around his thighs and a prick in his arse.

‘They will pass.’

Valjean breathes it in his ear. He sounds…he does not sound nervous. He should, but he does not. He sounds excited, and aroused, and Javert cannot decipher how this can be, until a split-second before he realises what is about to happen.

‘Val-‘

Valjean begins to move again. Very slowly, but with deliberation in every pore of him. He keeps his hand over Javert’s mouth, and draws himself back until only the very tip of his cock is still inside. He will pull out, Javert thinks with relief. We will dress, and go home, and finish there. He is still thinking it when Valjean sinks back inside him, pushes over that spot inside that makes him want to yell, drags over it with such quiet force that Javert feels his legs will give way. Heat swarms back to his body and gathers between his thighs; he whimpers into Valjean’s hand and feels his muscles start to tremble under the pressure. And all the while, the voices get louder, closer, and yet Valjean does not stop fucking him.

‘Quiet, now. Quiet.’

He nods, and squeezes his eyes shut, and tries to listen for the patrol, but all he hears is Valjean’s skin sliding slowly against his, the tiny rustle of clothes, birds, leaves in the branches above, the quiet rasp of liquid oil around his rim, pushed in and out until he thinks he might fall. His cock is fat and leaking in the air, still uncovered, still desperate, and if he were capable of hating Valjean he might now, as his hand comes around and grasps it.

His mouth tries to open to let out a sound, but Valjean keeps his grip as tight there as it is light on his prick. Bent as he is, Javert has no choice but to watch himself getting worked, helpless to anything but his body’s desires. His ears register boots on pebbles, and a laugh, and a conversation – ten feet away, maybe less – and all he can do is stare with wide eyes as Valjean rubs his cock and plays at the tip, and does it so lightly he is forced to thrust into the hold. He is full, and pleasured, and toyed with, and his thighs are beginning to tense and shake. Valjean is hard inside him, pushing deep, and in the end all he can do is hold, tremble, and pray the voices move past. They take an age. They are stopping, he thinks, frantic with fear and with need, his shirt stuck to his back and air trapped in his throat. They will find them, and bring the handcuffs, and shout, and he will still have to come even if they stand there and watch. Valjean is as close as he is; he can hear it in his breath and short snap of his hips, the fingertips digging into his waist. The grip around his mouth is loosening as he thrusts harder, and Javert sucks air in – loud, too loud, but Valjean’s fingers cannot seem to close again. They are loose and slipping against his lips, and he wants to cry out but cannot and so lets one into his mouth, sucks on it in desperation to hold himself back, hears Valjean gasp against his neck and press another in against his tongue.

‘What are you doing, Allard?’

‘I thought I heard something.’

He knows Allard. And the other is Duchamps, and one of them is coming closer. Valjean jerks into him and holds, breathing into his neck, one single fingertip drawing a line down the leaking slit of his cock. Javert bites down, tears in his eyes, knowing they are feet away from discovery, knowing that a single noise will be the end of them. And still he wriggles back on the cock in him, and Valjean’s arm closes like a vice as he shudders against his back; there is a wet rush between his legs as someone says, ‘come on, it’s late’. Javert’s head draws back and he scrabbles at the trunk; stitches pop on his trousers as his legs force them to stretch because he needs it deeper, he needs these fingers to hold him back more than he needs to breathe; his cock is aching and wet, he is sucking like a whore, and there are policemen right there but it is not enough to stop him. Valjean’s teeth scrape his earlobe, his finger catches on the ridge of his cock and a bolt of lightning hits him between the legs; voices sound again, Valjean breathes his name, and he cares for nothing but the white haze of release as he lets go, coating Valjean’s fist, the tree, dripping onto the grass as he rocks silently on the length in him, rigid and broken in one, unable to care for anything but this.

 

*

 

‘Have they passed?’

It is said some moments later, and still quietly, Valjean’s face pressed into the back of his shoulder.

‘I think so,’ he says in response, and stares dazedly at the broken pieces of bark littering the ground, and his jagged fingernails, and the tell-tale lines of white in front of him.

 ‘I did not think you could surprise me any longer.’

A soft chuckle then, and Valjean draws back at last.

‘Well. I am glad you are wrong.’

But he looks apologetic when faced, and his face is flushed red from exertion. Javert would smile to reassure him, but he cannot make his muscles work.

‘Do you mind very much? I could not seem to help it, I’m sorry.’

‘No.’ He kisses him instead. Just briefly, and smooths down his hair where it has gone astray. ‘I do not mind. Do not apologise to me for wanting something, Valjean.’

He looks down at the wrinkles in his trousers, and adds, ruefully, ‘even if these wrinkles will be hard to get out.’

Valjean chuckles again, and sets to making himself respectable. Javert hopes he has said enough. He knows he is not angry, but it does not follow that Valjean will believe it when he tells him. He does not have the energy to do it now. It takes all he has to straighten his clothes, and grimace at the thought of the walk back in this state.

Valjean holds his arms out for inspection. ‘Do I look respectable?’

Javert eyes him up and down. How does he manage to look so unassuming? It is a skill he has never mastered, even when he was supposed to. Valjean looks like any old man, except he is anything but.

‘You will do. Come along.’

Allard and Duchamps are up ahead. Flowers line the path, and it is cooler now the sun has finally gone down. Valjean hums under his breath as they walk, and Javert cannot help but smile a touch, and glance over.

‘You are far more daring than I would have thought.’

Valjean raises his eyebrows. ‘Given you know my past, that is surprising.’

‘Yes, but…it is different.’

Valjean’s gaze turns hazy and he smiles, and Javert knows he is thinking of what they just did. Damn him. Now he is too.

‘Mmm. I suppose it is.’

He is altogether too pleased with himself. Javert rolls his eyes, and lengthens his stride. Then curses, and shortens it again. ‘Well. Next time, bring a towel.’

‘A tow- oh.’

Valjean’s cheeks turn pink. Javert stares at him, incredulous.

‘After what you just did to me, that is what makes you blush? You are impossible, Valjean.’

He catches the sideways glance, and then they are both smiling. A laugh causes one of the policemen to turn around and see them, but it no longer matters. We are both old fools, he thinks. But old fools who make each other happy, and perhaps, after all, there is nothing wrong with that.

‘Next time?’ Valjean murmurs from the corner of his mouth, as one of the policemen recognises Javert and offers a bow.

‘We will see,’ he returns in kind, and lets the Inspector’s mask fall back into place to greet his old colleague. He is grateful that, these days, it is not a thing he will have to wear for long.