It’s 1800, and 31-year-old Valjean escapes for the first time, pursued by a 20-year-old Javert, who’s still not quite done growing and trips over his own feet sometimes, and is really hungry all the time. Javert follows him out of Toulon, through the villages, up and down hills and valleys, tracking him like a bloodhound. And just as he closes in on him, they get overtaken by a band of the Chauffeurs of the South - fearsome robbers who roast homeowners on coals to get them to say where they hid their valuables.
Valjean, as an escaped galerien, blends in well and agrees to join their gang. But the next house they set out to rob turns out to have an unexpected house-guest: Javert.
And that’s when Valjean realizes there’s no way he’s watching Javert get tortured, even if it means going back to Toulon. He likes the kid. He’s always liked him, way more than is proper, in fact. So he goes to find Javert at night and discloses everything about the gang’s plans to him.
(then it turns out Javert was basically only chasing him because he couldn’t stand the thought of not seeing him every day and things get really intense and they do it)
They team up against the gang and contrive to have the lot arrested. And then Javert is faced with a tough choice: can he disclose Valjean’s identity to the soldier guard after all they’ve been through together?
From this point on, Valjean can either keep on escaping - perhaps with Javert in tow - or get returned to Toulon, but Javert’s testimony in his favor makes it so that he doesn’t get any additional time for the escape attempt and only has one year left, which he decides to tough out, warmed by all the eye-sex he and Javert now share on daily basis.
(then things get really intense and they do it, a lot, at every opportunity and in every corner)
Alternatively, Javert recaptures Valjean relatively early on, and as they’re on their way back to the bagne, that’s when they run into the robbers. Instead of Valjean asking them for help and ratting on Javert as a guard, Valjean pretends Javert is also an escaped galerien and in fact his chain-gang boyfriend. Javert is a bit shocked that Valjean doesn’t take advantage of the opportunity to have him killed, but readily plays along. Valjean discovers that there are deep reserves of badassery to the tall gawky kid, and then realizes Javert actually aims to undermine the gang from within and have everyone arrested, so he joins forces with him, because the kid seems to have no sense of prudence or danger and is sure to get killed without Valjean’s strength of four men supporting him.
Bonus points for a gang member taking a shine to Javert and basically trying to seduce him or wrestle him away from Valjean, prompting a violent reaction in Valjean that leaves him terrified of his own emotions.
Extra bonus points for a scene where Valjean and Javert sit around a campfire with the rest of the gang, someone’s playing guitar, Javert has his head in Valjean’s lap, and Valjean thinks: oh my God, this is everything I want in life.