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The Nothing Hurts 'Verse

Chapter Text

The kid said "oops, sorry, Mister!" as he went whizzing by. He did look mildly regretful in the glimpse Valjean got of his face; the pug sitting in the bike's basket growled and then rolled over, almost sending the whole contraption careening off balance again as he disappeared around the street corner.

Valjean looked down in mild despair, gave up on wiping his hands on anything, and somewhat pitifully tried to pull his shirt away from where it was clinging to his chest. At least he'd only come out in his undershirt and a pair of very old jeans, so no great loss.

"Should I go chase him down and arrest him?" a too-familiar voice drawled, and Valjean looked up to see Police Lieutenant Javert leaning against the passenger door of his unmarked car.

"Oh, no, please don't," Valjean said, doing what he was afraid was a terrible job of hiding his flusterment. "No harm done, I'm sure it was just boyish energy."

"Are you sure? I'd say it's a clear case of assault and battery."

"What?" Valjean asked.

Javert nudged at the wreckage between them with one well-shined boot. "To whatever it was you were carrying," he clarified, and then frowned. "Is that some kind of cake? I disavow any accidental puns involving batter."

Valjean looked at it again. The tray he'd brought out in a fit of optimism was clearly a total loss: most of its contents were a soggy, crushed mass on the pavement, and the rest of them were smeared down his front. A sad and crumpled cup rolled toward the storm drain, leaking a thin stream of dark liquid.

"What were you doing, anyway? You were only gone for fifteen minutes, and it's still early," Javert said.

"I thought I'd bring you some coffee," Valjean replied helplessly. "You've been out here all night."

"Coffee for the cops?" he said, one side of his mouth curling up into what was almost a smile.

"And donuts," Valjean added. "It doesn't seem to have come off very well."

"It certainly went on," Javert said, half to himself, with a dark look in his eyes that Valjean couldn't decipher, and added, louder, "Powdered sugar donuts, I see."

Valjean wiped roughly at the scatter of white across the hair that showed in the V of his shirt collar, above where the spilt coffee had soaked the white knit to his skin. It didn't help much, just got more on his hands. All of the sugar from the bottom of the box must have landed on him when he dropped it. "I've got, uh, cinnamon bagels in the house," he said. "I can put the coffeemaker on while I shower and change, if you'd like to come in and wait."

"Valjean," Javert said with infinite patience, "I'm running a stakeout, not a coffee date. Your daughter's being stalked, or had you forgotten?"

"You can watch for stalkers just as well in the house as outside?" Valjean offered with a cautious half-smile of his own. "Besides, you go off-shift in less than five minutes; I know better than to try to interrupt you when you're on duty. Your replacement's already here," he added, gesturing with one white-smeared thumb over his shoulder. "I already gave her her coffee."

"Of course you did," Javert said, and wiped one hand down his face. "Coffee and bagels?"

"And a shower for yourself, if you want one. I'm sure it's been a long night."

Javert raised his eyebrows. "Can I help peel you out of those wet things first?"

Valjean's only hope was that the powdered sugar would hide some of the blush. "Would that be, uh, professional?"

"As you said," Javert replied, locking the car door, "I'm off-duty as of thirty seconds from now. And this time you're not actually the suspect."

"Well, in that case," Valjean rubbed a hand against the back of his neck. Little streams of powdered sugar cascaded along the valleys of his pecs. "If you wanted to. You could."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah."

(they did eventually have the bagels. But they ended up having to re-heat the coffee in the microwave. Twice.)