Javert sat at his computer, reading yet another cruddy Fanfic.
"Why? Why are all but a handful of my fans total fools?" he grumbled. Valjean walked into the room, whistling and watering the potted plants.
"Hey, Javert. What is it this time?" he asked, a little too cheerily. Javert glared at him and turned back to the screen.
"Another romance. With Cosette. Why don't you get the stupid fans? Why ME?" he muttered darkly. What sort of Purgatory was this? How, even when dead, did Valjean manage to be happy most of the time? Javert watched him happily water the plants for a time, then turned back to the screen, more cranky than ever. It simply wasn't fair. They were dead. They should at least be equal in death, shouldn't they? He sighed. It seemed a policeman's lot didn't improve much with death.
"Well, Snookums, I'm off to pick flowers." said Valjean in the most innocent tone he could muster. Slowly, ever so slowly, Javert turned in his chair. He stared at Valjean for a time. When he spoke, his voice shook, fairly dripping with rage.
"You... you... what... I... my... name... is... NOT... SNOOKUMS! I AM INSPECTOR JAVERT! JAVERT! JAVERTJAVERTJAVERT!!!" he roared, trying his best to control his shaking voice. "My name has NEVER been Snookums! It never will be Snookums! JAVERT WILL NOT BE INSULTED BY A COMMON THIEF!!!"
"Well, my dear Inspector, pray tell what your first name is?" Valjean tossed back, grinning evilly. A look of bewilderment crossed Javert's face. To tell the truth, he hadn't the slightest clue.
"I'm... I'm..." he mumbled, trying to remember a first name.
"Well, if you don't know your first name, it might as well be Snookums!" Valjean said in a singsong voice. Moments later, he was dashing out of the room, dodging a poorly aimed vase, and laughing gaily at the roar of rage that followed it. Javert slumped back in his chair, his mood completely soured. Possibly for days. Great, he thought to himself. Not only do I want to kill the vast majority of my "fans", I'm starting to hate the roommate I'll have for what could, at this rate, be eternity. The real Valjean had traveled on to heaven with hardly more than a pit stop at Purgatory. Javert, however, had a bit to work out before he could travel on up. So, for his stay, they created a pseudo-Valjean, one that was supposed to look, think, and behave exactly as the real Valjean would. Right, he muttered darkly to himself. A Valjean on a sugar-high. He wasn't sure he trusted the logic that gave him the chance to be friends with the man who had inadvertently caused his suicide. He sighed and stood up.
"A walk," he stated to himself, "would be a good thing right now."
So, with a flick of a button, the lovely day spun into an equally lovely, clear night. The stars were shining brightly. And, here in Purgatory, the stars really did stay the same, unlike those on Earth, which, as a snotty little "fan" had pointed out, changed rather often. He strode off into the darkness.
Walking quickly, he made his way through the dusk to his favorite spot-- a hill from which, if he looked up, he could imagine himself completely engulfed by the stars. He stood there and sighed. He supposed it was reasonable to have that "Valjean" running hither and yon. After all, this was hardly Heaven, though few would call it Hell; it more closely resembled the gray mess where the two met-- though perhaps overlapped was a better word. It wasn't a perfect existence, but wasn't pure torture. Rather similar, he reasoned, to his life. Oh, he had liked his job, liked it very much. But while it was true he never aspired to win any popularity contests, he hadn't really wanted people to hate him. He'd thought it came with the territory of being the self-proclaimed Defender of All That Is Sane and Un-Chaotic. Now that he had had immense masses of time to reflect on his Earthly behavior, he wasn't so sure about that. He really hadn't made much of an effort to be refine his social skills or attempt to be friendly. Why should he? Friends were hardly necessary when fighting injustice; indeed, they more than likely would have just gotten in the way. Still...
Javert yawned. He'd been up for a long, long time, reading those degrading fanfics. He wasn't even sure why he was reading them in the first place; he hated reading. He laid down on the grassy hilltop and rested his head on his hands, staring up at the stars until The Sandman came and, true to his duty, clunked him over the head with a heavy bag of sand. Javert slept quite soundly.
* * * * *
"My love! Wake up!" whispered a feminine voice by his ear. Javert groaned and rolled over, swatting at an imagined alarm clock. Rather than cold metal, his hand contacted with what seemed to be warm flesh. It giggled. He simultaneously snatched his hand back and opened his eyes, fully awake in less than an instant-- an ability acquired through years of police work.
"Sweet darling, 'tis only me!" cooed the feminine voice that had woken him. Javert gaped. The girl seemed hardly more than fifteen! "Sweet Darling"? "My Love"? What sort of twisted parents did this girl have? Stealthily he whipped out his nightstick, hiding it behind his back, as he cautiously stood up. The girl did, too.
"Might I ask wha--" he was cut off by the girl, who lunged at him and planted a big, wet kiss on his lips. He was aghast. Mind racing, he tried to remember what they had said in Police Officer school. Nothing seemed to apply to the situation of having a fifteen-year-old girl with some obvious mental imbalances wake up and kiss a fifty-two-year-old dead Police Inspector, so he did the very best thing he could think of at the time.
THWACK! He clunked her over the head with his nightstick. Her eyes slid back into her head, and she sagged to the ground. He jumped backwards out of her weak embrace and wiped saliva off of his mouth, keeping a wary eye on the limp figure slumped on the ground before him. He wished desperately that there was a jail in this miserable Purgatory, but of course there wasn't. He didn't even have handcuffs. It was a wonder he was even allowed to keep his nightstick. So, arresting her for her behavior wasn't going to happen. Frustrated, he stalked off, leaving the girl to recover consciousness on her own.
Perhaps, he later reflected, that was not the wise thing to do. Moments after he began walking down the hill, the girl, newly awakened and sporting an ugly purple bump on the back of her head, tackled him from behind. With a grunt of surprise, he toppled forward and rolled the rest of the way down, landing with a CRUNCH! on top of the girl, who had clung to his back the whole time.
"Gack... Javvie dearest, you're squishing me..." squeaked a muffled voice from under his aching back. He shot up into the air as if he had landed upon a sharp cactus, and glared coldly at the girl, who was struggling to her feet and looking as if she needed a hand. He offered none.
"Javvie, my darling Javvie, won't you help me up?" she stared at him with pleading eyes. Not gonna work, he thought to himself with some satisfaction. He'd seen enough pleading eyes from the prostitutes and law-breaking beggar girls (and some of the men) he had arrested in his lifetime. Why couldn't they figure out that hearts of stone could melt, but his was of wood and could never yield to such nonsense? He had yet to even crack. Well... perhaps he had a little, when that madman Valjean had thrown him out of whack by sparing him when he'd thoroughly prepared himself to be killed, but that could hardly be considered fair play. He continued to stare coldly.
"Beloved, what is wrong? I came," she whispered in a dulcet voice and stepped closer to Javert's wary form, "to discuss the plans for our wedding!"
Had she announced herself to be a man, Javert could hardly have been more surprised. What on earth was wrong with this child? Something seemed quite fishy, and, now that he thought about it, distantly familiar. He couldn't quite put his finger on it, but...
Distracted by his bewildered musings, he failed to notice the girl making ready to spring again until it was too late. She flung her arms around his head in a death grip like that of a python's, and planted her mouth firmly-- and, again, rather wetly-- on his. As he flailed, attempting to extricate himself from this obviously insane young girl's embrace, he finally realized what had been bothering him. This was just like those pathetic Javert-Romance fanfics he'd waded through time and time again! Darkly, he wondered if Valjean-- the real Valjean-- had anything to do with this.
Try as he might, there seemed to be no way to pry this little beast off. Worse, he couldn't find his nightstick-- he must have dropped it during the roll down the hill. Resignedly, he realized he might have to wait until she either tried to breathe or passed out for lack of air, whichever happened first. She'd have to breathe, right? He wondered worriedly to himself. Mentally sighing, he realized that only time would tell. In the meantime, he'd just have to keep on trying to remove himself from this rather uncomfortable situation. Thinking quickly, he began to walk sideways-- the only direction in which his sight was not obstructed by the girl's head-- towards a tree. By rocking back and forth, he was able to clunk her head against the trunk, but to no avail. He couldn't get up enough speed with the added weight. He panicked. He began to run in circles. He jumped up and down, hoping desperately to dislodge her. He was finding it rather hard to breathe, himself, due to the fact that his nose was rather stuffy at the time, and breathing through his mouth was hardly an option.
Finally, just when he was on the brink of passing out, she let go. Stumbling backwards against a tree, he gasped for air. This simply could not be allowed to happen again! Why, oh why couldn't he have his handcuffs? His nightstick had been dropped in the fall down the hill, he had not yet recovered his breath, and he was, as far as he was concerned, utterly defenseless. Javert was beginning to feel rather afraid of this madwoman. Speaking of which... he glanced up at her. Mercifully, he had just enough time to shriek and dodge her, dashing and screaming away through the forest in a horrible state of panic. He ran until his lungs were bursting, then he allowed himself a short pause. He knew, without a doubt, that he couldn't continue like this much longer. He began darting looks about him, searching for an escape as much as preparing to run for fear of the girl. With a sigh, he realized that he'd have to look at this from another viewpoint. What better viewpoint to take than that of the man who had evaded him for most of his life?
"Sigh... oh, well. What would Valjean do?" he grumbled, wincing as his pride was deeply dented. Fortunately, looking at the world through he eyes of a very creative convict had its benefits. He was struck with an idea. He removed his beloved coat and, creating a makeshift scarecrow out of sticks, also put the hat which had somehow remained on his head through all that had happened onto the head of his little decoy. He hated to leave them behind, but he really saw no other way out of this sticky little mess. Then he climbed a tree. Once in the leafy branches, he was finally able to rest and catch his breath.
Eventually, she came crashing through the underbrush, trilling his name in a sweet soprano. Javert held his breath and nearly trembled in fear as she drew closer and closer to the tree he was in. Fortunately, she caught sight of the decoy and squealed. For the first time, Javert saw a little hole in his spur-of-the-moment plan. If she was to hang about the decoy, how would he ever get out of this tree? He nearly groaned, but caught himself and prayed instead that this girl had any sense.
It seemed she didn't.
"Oh, darling, why did you run from me? Don't you love me? Oh, dearest, if only you would speak! My love, though your heart was of stone harder than a diamond, you of course instantly fell in love with me because I was a random girl you had met mere days before your suicide! So, of course it cannot be that you don't love me any longer. Are you ill? I shall fetch medicine!" she cried, her face streaked with tears. Javert had to restrain himself from snorting. He was grateful for this new way of looking at the world; it had saved him from that insane child. He almost wished he could thank Valjean, but decided he'd rather be caught wearing a frilly pink nightgown in public than thank a convict.
Ow! Javert grimaced as he realized he was getting a terrible cramp in his leg from sitting in this blasted tree. She would gone in a few moments, he told himself, but that didn't ease the pain. He just couldn't wait any longer. Gingerly, he shifted his weight as quietly as possible. Unfortunately, he hadn't realized he was sitting on a dead branch. The tiny weight shift was all the branch needed to break. With a tremendous CRACK! Javert went crashing to the earth.
"Oh, my beloved! Let us flee!" cried the girl. Snatching up the scarecrow, she dashed off through the woods. Javert stared in disbelief, then, starting with a small chuckle, dissolved into whooping spasms of nervous laughter. Oh, of all the stupid things!
At long last he recovered, wiping tears from the corners of his eyes and straightening his irregular breathing. With a heavy sigh, he realized there was a good chance he'd see neither his coat nor his hat ever again. Straightening up, he tried to get his bearings. Glancing up at the sky, he tried to find some constellation he recognized, some star that would give him a clue as to what direction home lay, but to no avail. Resignedly, he walked to the base of the hill and found his nightstick. The going, he sensed, would be tough.
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