books2thesky: (pic#)
[personal profile] books2thesky posting in [community profile] gen_battle
Title: Might Have Known
Fandom: Les Miserables (2012 movie/musical)
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: canonical death, twisted internal monologue
Wordcount: 350


He had always been repulsed by the ragged street children, and by their careless thoughtless parents. What a terrible thing it was to bring a child into the world, and then to let it roam the streets with the common criminal scum, to let it run wild and learn only of the Law as something to squirm away from and spit on. How much did every degenerate father and worthless mother add to the evil in the world as they produced child after child only to let them be swallowed by the seething mass of lawlessness on the street, and spit out as full-grown criminals. He remembered that dark beckoning maw from his earliest years, and the jagged painful hateful effort of rejecting it.

He knew the child Gavroche, yes, as the child knew and hated him. The wildest and most insolent of the ragged children, laughing at the Law and its agents at every turn, a tiny stinging fly whose only joy was to imagine it could drive larger creatures mad. No more than a tiny fly now, but in five years a thief; if unchecked, in ten years a back-alley cutthroat. Javert knew what became of these children.

And yet.

There had been something in the boy’s face that night. Javert had caught only glimpses, in the confusion of capture and gunfire and death and life, but there had been something in the boy’s face. A defiance that was not simply the animal hatred of the lawless for the Law. A resolve that was not simply the petty obstinacy of a street child in the face of authority.

It made him remember that—though it had been a long time since he had had hope enough to look for it—something good might raise itself up even from the most wretched of origins.

Kneeling over the boy’s corpse, Javert reached out his hand to touch the pale dirty hair, then let his hand settle there. For the first time in his life, Inspector Javert rested his hand tenderly on a child’s head, as he had seen fathers do.
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