The plane ride is uneventful.
Cato falls asleep. Valentine falls asleep. Jean sits miserably in the back of the plane and is investigated by chickens.
Valentine will answer a question or two more before he holds up a hand.
“That’s enough for tonight. I only have so many mysteries.”
...he might be allowed this again.
"Yes, sir. Thank you."
“You’re very welcome.”
He picks up the dishes still sitting on the nightstand, and heads for the door.
“I’ll be back to lock you up for the night — I really should bring you a clock, while you’re here.”
He spends Valentine's absence contemplating the optimal questions to ask if he has another chance at it.
When he’s restrained that night, it’s much like the time before. Valentine apologizes softly, once, for jostling his hand.
He’s pat on the head, like before, before the lights shut off and Valentine departs.
He sleeps very little that night. There's a cumulative strain on the muscles; it's difficult to bear.
(It's like being held, all night, by Valentine. He loves it more than anything.)
When Valentine unbinds him in the morning, he frowns, begins to inspect Jean’s back with his fingertips before he has a chance to turn over.
“...I’ll find something else for you tonight.”
His back is cramping too hard for him to sit up, and he's desperately tired, and he still has to quash disappointment at Valentine's verdict.
(Valentine is touching him -- gently, intimately, at some length. He'd make this trade every night, if he could.)
"This is fine, sir."
“I would prefer you not sustain any nerve damage in the next month.”
Alas. "Yes, sir."
(...a month. A month, and then ... Valentine wants him not to have nerve damage.)
(He's still naked. He needs to stop thinking about this.)
He leaves him, shortly, with his breakfast.
This day is much like the last. There’s a knock signaling the sandwich, this time.
He doesn't answer the door. Everyone in this house is perfectly capable of opening that door if it is supposed to be open.
Mostly, he sleeps: fitful, painful, sitting up with a book in his lap, but he can't stave it off, he needs it too badly.
He's asleep when Valentine returns.
He sets the dish he brought aside, sits at the end of the bed, waits a while with one of the books Jean has already finished.
Jean wakes, after a little; he makes a soft, sleepy noise of pain, before he opens his eyes and sees Valentine and goes quiet.
"You haven't slept much, have you."
It's sympathetic, not accusatory.
"...I'm all right, sir."
He straightens up, adjusts his clothes self-consciously.
"Have the burns been causing you trouble?"
Technically, they haven't been causing him trouble. None of his goals have been interfered with.
"No, sir," innocently.
"I suppose it's a good thing you'll be sleeping differently now, then."
He leaves food, takes plates away.
Jean eats, showers, waits.
Valentine returns, after a time.
He has a set of long leather cuffs, this time, four of them, with curling vines stamped into the leather. The brass hardware clearly locks.
"I admit I didn't expect to bring these out for this particular purpose, but I'm glad they're getting some use."
He desperately wants Valentine to put them on him.
"I'm very fond of them myself."
He sits, begins picking apart one of the buckles.
Jean -- still naked from the shower -- does his best not to watch Valentine's hands.
Somehow, he ends up hard anyway.
"...if you could help me. Three hands are better than one and a half, I think."
He hands him one of the ankle cuffs.