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[personal profile] eyes_adrift
I had something to tell him. Something to confess.

It would have been easier if I hadn't. Probably. At least until it came out. And it probably would have, one way or the other. That would have been worse.

Still, this wasn't easy.

There are things I shouldn't have done in the first place, but...

Hindsight, like they say.

Maybe foresight would serve me better.

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol let his hand rest at the back of the major's neck, fingers nestled through layers of thick, blond hair. The gesture felt easy, familiar, but no less affecting than the thrill of he'd felt when every angle and plane of the major's body had been unknown.

"It's not so bad, is it?" he murmured, voice light, half-teasing, half lazy sundrenched warmth.

Aryol sombered after a few moments, meeting the major's eyes with a careful, steady gaze.

"You don't have anything to worry about. I'll give you what you need."

He paused a moment.

"And then some."

His tone shaded to the affectionate and playful, but his eyes were still serious, black and soft ilke onyx.

"There's a first time for everything, comrade. I've never felt the equal of any man I've been with, before you. That's what you give me. One of the things."

Aryol gave a small shrug.

"I don't think you're a god either. Just a man, isolated from other men. Half by circumstance, and half...by choice."

He cocked his head.

"Am I right?"

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Nika smiled evasively.

"Why, I'm wedded to my wife and the Ministry, comrade. Like all good MENTs."

Spontaneously, he leaned in, flicking his tongue across the sniper's lower lip.

He thought of something, then, and his gaze trailed off, as his fingers continued to play across another man's body, unthinking.

"The Captain.." he began, carefully, eyes lowered, "the man from the other night."

The man who'd splashed his seed all over the soldier's naked, sweat-kissed back.

"The sniper. Kassian."

Nika thought of the last words they'd had about the deep freeze between Moscow and Leningrad, respectively.

His voice dropped almost to a hush.

"He urged me to surrender."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol reeled quietly, struck wordless.

His focus pulled in two different directions, each worthy and demanding of his attention, but as he searched the major's face, Aryol could see the engagement, the crispness in the man's gaze as he spoke about surrender.

The rest would wait, Aryol thought. Until it became too distracting.

Aryol gave the major an encouraging nod.

"Captain Irinarhov. Kasya," Aryol said.

He knew the man from the other night, all right.

"He urged you to surrender...to who? To what?"

Aryol frowned.

"To him? Kasya did? That...doesn't seem like him."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Liadov raised his head abruptly, Operativnik's insticts ingrained and involuntary.

"You know him?" he asked, sharply.

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol hesitated, feeling suddenly uncertain.

"Not...really. I met him for the first time, the other day."

The major's expectant regard shone vivid, intense like the eyeshine of a predator in the dark. Aryol imagined that guilty men must feel like he did, when that gaze fell upon them.

Compelled to confess.

He looked to the side.

"He's my partner's ex-lover. And..."

Aryol paused again, not quite finding the words.

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "Right, right," Nika mumbled, remembering what the soldier had said about Irinarhov and his Black Ops partner.

He looked up, hesitating.

"I'm sorry, muhzchik. I wasn't thinking."

Nika snorted then, and laughed in dry amusement.

"To Kassian?" he drawled, belatedly. "Don't be ridiculous. Of course it doesn't sound like him. I already told you, there's nothing between us, and if there were, it would hardly involve passionate subjugation on his behalf."

He glanced at the young sniper indugently.

"Don't feel bad. I thought he was hiding a quiet storm too, when I first saw him sitting before me at his inquest. But he's not. Sometimes you really can read a book by its cover."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: For some reason he didn't understand, Aryol felt worse.

He could say nothing, he knew - or that was to say, change the subject, bring up something else, and the conversation would flow past the mention of Kasya like the stream that swallowed a pebble thrown into it.

His and the major's comradeship was easy and casual like that.

But there was something that made words still and fade on his tongue, that made him study the texture of the linens underneath them instead of speaking.

He was quiet too long.

"I should tell you something," he finally said.

Aryol looked up then, gaze bare.

"Something about me. Something...well. Maybe you won't like it. But I need to tell you, anyway."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Liadov's brows wove inward mildly.

"We've passed the point where we can pretend to be strangers, then."

He paused.

"All right," he said quietly. "I accept that."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: "I guess I don't...have to tell you, exactly."

Aryol pressed his lips together, briefly.

"But I should. Because...it's not just about me. It concerns you, too."

Words were difficult, and Aryol didn't understand why, but he made himself meet the major's eyes.

"You should know. But I could just not tell you, if you'd rather. I don't think anything bad will happen if I don't tell you."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Liadov smiled, after a moment.

"You slept with him," he said. "You went and found him and slept with him."

He shook his head.

"Well, well. It's not my concern, muzhchik, who you get on your hands and knees for."

Nika kept his gaze studiously neutral.

"...unless it's me. Otherwise...it's of no consequence, and you can do as you will."

He paused.

"I should have known, though- the way you acted around him. It's good he gave you what you wanted. You'll have to tell me your secret."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: "...no," Aryol said, after a moment. "That's not it."

He winced. If that was the worst thing the major could think of, this might turn out to be pretty bad after all.

"I mean...that night. He was fun for the thrill, for the novelty of it, but only because I was sharing it with you. Only because I found you together on the bed there like close comrades, and thought it was interesting."

Aryol looked down again.

"I meant what I said earlier. Men just aren't interchangeable to me. I know that was just the other night, but I feel close to you. I don't need anyone else that way right now."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Nika frowned, mystified.

"Then I don't know what could be making you so wan," he said, bemused.

The soldier's retreating eyes were unsettling, and gave Nika a bad feeling in the marrow of his bones.

"It has to do with Kasya? The pedantic, grindstone-nosing citizen? Really?"

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol nodded.

"Really," he said. "I might as well just tell you now, after all this. Maybe I'm making it out to be more than it is. Maybe it won't matter to you."

He shrugged a shoulder, then let his hand drift from the major's neck to rest lightly at his shoulder, the touch more casual, and easier to dismiss.

"You recall, comrade, when were were talking about Kasya...Captain Irinarhov, that is. And how you noticed similarities between he and I, in the way we look? Well, all of us were at the range - me and my partner, that is, and Kasya and Niotkuda. Niotkuda noticed the same thing you did, only right away. And we all got to talking, and we think...well, Kasya and I think..."

Aryol's breath came even and steady.

His training kept him calm under duress, even as his insides fluttered.

"That maybe...somehow, he's my father. My real father. Only we have no way of knowing for sure. I could have been the child of a whore he slept with when he was young, in the war."

He breathed out, and let his gaze slowly move back to the major, trying to gauge his reaction.

"That's what I have to tell you."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Nika's mouth fell open, gracefully, upended like a cart of cherries.

"...My christ. What have I done to you?"

His hands sought the soldier's face, as his eyes filled with the salted guilt and bitter remorse that welled in his breast.

Thumbs caressed the stubbled cheeks, deceptively manful, even though Liadov knew he was young.

"I didn't know, muzhchik. Wouldn't have even thought..."

Did he look like Kasya? Maybe...

All he'd noted was that they had the same kind of hair.

Nika closed his eyes.

"My god," he whispered. "When did you find out?"

Then he shook his head again, thought better of it.

"Never mind. No matter. It's all right, comrade. Ignorance recuses you."

Thoughts hammered and battered at Liadov's psyche, including a nagging one that insisted that the soldier was still looking pregnant with confession, that something had been omitted...

"Wait...who the hell is Niotkuda?" Nika asked, belatedly.

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol frowned, still turbulent.

"It does? I mean, you're not - "

He broke off, trying to direct his thoughts.

"Oh. I'm sorry, comrade. Niotkuda is Lieutenant Isaev. Andrei Isaev, the one you were talking about at mess. I think of him as Niotkuda because that's what my partner calls him."

Aryol held the major's gaze carefully.

"You...didn't do anything, comrade. You didn't know. It's not your fault. It's mine."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Liadov met his eyes, perplexed.

"Well no, how could I have known? And how could it be yours? You couldn't have known either. It's simply a sick twist of fate."

If Kasya thought a little casual sex was alarming, if he had a moral crisis after simply jacking off and voyeuring, Nika didn't want to know what he would think at the revelation that he'd beat off to the highly ritualized and fetishistic buggering of his own son. Not only that, but he'd ejaculated all over him, while bracing his hand on his back.

Irinarhov would utterly unhinge, lose his mind if he ever found out.

Nika was thankful that his liaison with the soldier was so clandestine. He wasn't sure his already tenuous dynamic with the sullen sniper could withstand a killing blow like "you convinced me to ejaculate on my own son."

Liadov shivered.

"There, you've told me. That wasn't so bad."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol shook his head slowly.

"But...I did know. That's what I'm telling you."

He searched the major's eyes.

"The talk we had at the range. That happened before. I already knew that, when I broke in your window that night and found the two of you together."

Was it only last night? Aryol wasn't sure anymore.

He paused.

"Do you really think it's that sick?" he asked, quietly.

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: It might have been the longest silence Nika had ever allowed to persist.

The insistent part of his mind sat back and gloated coolly at its infallible perception.

"You what?"

The rest of his mind fumbled for purchase on a glacier.

"I..."

Liadov's lips parted, and remained so.

Yes.

"...I never had a father," Nika said, finally, "so I perhaps I'm not qualified to opine."

The words tripped blithely from his lips, despite his conflict.

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: The major's gaze was like a shield, as reflective as glass.

He looked, but could only see himself.

His own guilt, and uncertainty.

Aryol wanted to look away, but he didn't.

"I never had a father, either," he said. "Until now."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "And this is what you do with him," remarked Nika, without affect.

He was silent again.

"You let me seduce my friend into committing incest," he said, after a moment, in the same passionless tone.

"You knew. Yet you let both of us blithely go on thinking it was a harmless consensual lark."

His eyes raised, sharpened.

"But it wasn't consensual," he whispered.

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: "I thought - " Aryol started, but broke off, and let the protest die on his lips.

His throat felt dry and tight, and he made himself swallow.

The major's eyes brimmed with cool disdain, looking at Aryol in a way he'd never seen, at least, not seen directed at him.

At the killer in the alley, yes. At the supply captain. But not at him.

He looked down.

"I didn't do it to hurt you. Or him."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Liadov was still, expressionless.

"Then why did you do it? What was your motivation?"

He felt and mostly suppressed a shudder of compassion for Irinarhov, but it jolted his lips slightly, and to combat it, he pressed them into a grim line.

"No wonder you didn't want to take the mask off," he muttered.

And thank christ he hadn't.

Nika's skin felt cold and removed.

Another cognac was beckoning, but he remained in stasis, like a reclining statue, immune to the soldier's growing unease.

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: "I told you."

Aryol's voice was quiet.

"It was a thrill. It was exciting I'd never - "

He broke off again, thinking that maybe he should shut up, before he made it worse.

Aryol glanced upward, but only got as far as the major's naked chest, close enough to touch. To caress. Though now, all the intimacy had been abruptly stripped away, and they might as well have been standing across the room, for all the distance between them.

He took in a breath, and his lungs felt like they would cramp.

"That's why," he finally said, to the major's chest. "I was...enjoying having a secret."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "A secret."

Wasn't that just quaint. A secret.

Nika laughed bloodlessly.

"You and I weren't secret enough?"

His lip curled in a slight moue of distaste.

"You talked about more- you talked about fucking him! And I think you would have, wouldn't you. You actually would have."

Liadov ran his hand back through his hair, disbelieving.

"Your own father."

He reloaded his gaze and trained it on the sniper.

"You're more than a hedonist, aren't you. This is pathological for you, isn't it. You'd give it up for anyone."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol shook his head, more vigorously now.

"I just got through telling you, I don't want to fuck anyone else. I don't want to fuck Kasya, or my partner, or my..."

He hesitated, flushing.

"Or my CO," he finished.

Words surged behind his tongue as if wanting to break free in a torrent, but he held them back.

Aryol swallowed again, roughly.

"It's not the act...it's the companionship. The friendship. It's you."

His eyes crept upward, to meet the major's.

"That's why I told you. That's why I didn't want to keep that secret anymore."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "It's not the secret," said Liadov, carefully, almost gently. "It's the trespass."

Icicles broke from his tone.

"A confession doesn't absolve the act itself. Deimos admitted to all his murders, but that hardly assuages the rights of the poor shopgirls he violated."

Liadov exhaled, pinching the bridge of his nose with a thumb and forefinger.

"The point is that you decided to gratify yourself at the expense of our ignorance. What if I gave you a target to kill, without providing the evidence that it was your partner? Would you be embittered at having been deprived of that mitigating knowledge? Would it possibly impact your decision on whether to shoot or not?"

His eyes narrowed and he pulled his hand away.

"I bet it amused you, didn't it. You probably laughed the whole time you sick little prick."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol flinched.

His eyes flooded and he turned his head, wiping his face with the back of his hand.

"Is it really that bad?" he whispered, barely audible.

A vibration passed through his shoulders, but he took in a sharp breath and quelled it, forcing himself to hold still.

"Why?"

Aryol's throat tightened, and he had to take in a breath, then let it out, before he could speak again.

"Why is touching someone, making them feel good, giving them pleasure, why is that all right up until the point they're related to you, and then suddenly it's wrong?"

He shook his head, slightly, with the barest of motion.

"People say you're not supposed to fuck men, either, but we do it all the time. Everyone I know does it. But some people say that's wrong, correct? Why is one thing all right and the other isn't?"

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Liadov's eyes sought the sheets.

"It's not supposed to feel right," he intoned. "It's biological conditioning to be revulsed by sexual contact with blood relatives. If it feels right, then something is wrong."

He paused.

"But then again, you never touched him, really, so perhaps...you wouldn't know."

Of course, was it really possible to believe this young buck was utterly ignorant of civilization's conceptual mores on inbreeding?

"You don't know that he's really your father, do you?"

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: "There's no way to prove it," Aryol said, quietly.

He couldn't tell the major how he knew, how some intrinsic quality of Kasya's had resonated within him, like the instinct of a bird returning to its spring nest with unerring direction.

"But...I don't think that changes anything. If I believe that he is my father, it doesn't matter if it's actually true, or if it's not. As long as I believe it, and I'm not repulsed..."

He shook his head, shoulders caving.

"...then I guess there's something wrong with me."

Aryol felt his throat threaten to lock, but he surged onward, voice rough.

"I thought it was like someone who will suck you off, but thinks tonguing your ass is going too far."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "What? It's not--" began Nika, exasperated, then shook his head. "Never mind," he said. "The fact is, you don't know if you're truly, biogenically repulsed. You haven't been close enough. You haven't tried. You just know what you want in theory."

He rubbed his brow.

"For that matter, he might not be your father at all, and then you wouldn't have the inborn aversion."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol breathed out, and looked down.

"I don't know," he said.

He slumped, leaning on his elbow, rubbing the back of his neck.

"But you're right. I did do something that I wasn't sure if you'd like, or want, so I kept the truth to myself when I shouldn't have. In the name of my own gratification. Without regard to you, or Kas - Captain Irinarhov."

Aryol looked up.

His eyes were bleak, gaze hollowed and dark, strained around the edges. Regret constricted his chest.

He continued, choosing words with quiet care.

"And...it was wrong. I was wrong. I know it doesn't change the fact that I did it, but...I'm sorry, comrade."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Liadov was silent.

"I wouldn't have done it, had I known. No chance in hell."

He locked his gaze to the soldier's, a veiled intensity in his sleepless eyes.

"Do you think Irinarhov would have? Hmm? Do you think your shy and stone-tongued probable progenitor would leap at the chance to fuck his own offspring?"

His lip curled downward.

"Or did you know he wouldn't appreciate that, hence the reason you kept under wraps? Oh, you played this well, you did. I admire that."

What he didn't relish was the soldier's rote and manufactured mea culpa, where he apologized blanketly and automatically, restating all the accusations Liadov had broached back at him, almost verbatim.

As if he knew what he was expected to say, but didn't actually understand a word of it. But he knew what to say to make the problem go away.

It was a method Nika was all too familiar with in manipulative young thugs.

"You don't know that you're wrong. You don't think you're wrong."

Nika's eyes bored like glass.

"You don't know right from wrong."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: The words hit Aryol like tiny bits of shrapnel, stinging the surface, but slowly working their way in.

He reeled silently, searching, but finding nothing. Opening his mouth, then closing it. Looking away, at a loss for words, or anything else.

"I know - " he started.

He stopped again, breath hitching.

The conversation was strange and surreal, as if the whole world had turned on its end, and Aryol had fallen out the other side. He felt like he was suddenly somewhere else, trapped behind glass, looking out on a world that wasn't his.

"I know it's wrong to hurt someone," he said, finally, quietly.

He closed his eyes.

"I know that."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "Is that a stab at me, Specialist?" snapped Nika, suddenly. "Am I hurting you?"

He shook his hair out of his eyes, contemptuous.

"Yes, of course, now I'm the heartless Philistine, for daring to take issue with being manipulated. Do you understand what thin ice Irinarhov and I walk with each other, every day already? You've quite possibly destroyed that tenuous trust."

Liadov's breath felt like ice.

"I thought you were a man. You look like a man. But you're a selfish child."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: "No," Aryol said, voice breaking with sudden vehemence.

"That's not what I meant. I was talking about me. I didn't mean you. I meant me."

He shook his head, half inarticulate with frustration. Words churned and fought each other, and he struggled for a few moments, taking in the breath to speak, but releasing it unspent.

"I just meant...it was wrong of me to hurt you," he managed.

Aryol paused, jaw taut and hard.

"And Irinarhov," he added. "You say I don't know right from wrong, but I think I at least know that. That's what I'm sorry for. That's not what I wanted to do. I did what I did without thinking about the consequences, but...it was wrong."

He sought the major's eyes again.

"I didn't want to hurt you. I swear."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "Do I look hurt, Specialist?"

Nika waited a moment, then blinked minutely.

"No, you've put me in an awkward position, is all." He fingered the empty cognac glass on the nightstand, wanting more but knowing the wisdom of his limit. "It's not the first time I've found myself so placed," he added, dryly. "And I'm sure it won't be the last."

He looked up, intently.

"What is your name, anyway?" he asked, coolly.

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol hesitated, struck uncertain.

"I don't understand you, either," he murmured, though his tone was chased with a slowly-uncoiling lightness.

Aryol rubbed his neck, but didn't quite relax, holding still for a few moments in case the major suddenly changed his mind and lashed out, but the room was full of relative silence.

"Which?" he asked, eventually.

He looked at the major, gaze still tentative.

"My code name, or my real name?"

Aryol paused.

"You can have either...or both. If you want."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Nika looked at him wearily.

"Never mind," he said, dismissing it once more, like a fleeting notion.

He drew the bedclothes up around his chest and lay down once more.

"Get some rest," he said, after a moment.

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol watched the major, unmoving.

He opened his mouth but only let out a slow breath, then eventually uncoiled. His muscles ached, sore, like he'd been shooting.

Carefully, moving so he made as little disruption as possible, Aryol slid under the covers, lying next to the major, but not against him, like usual.

He gathered the coverlet under his chin.

Aryol stared up at the ceiling for a while, then closed his eyes.

"Kirill," he said, softly.

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Liadov sighed.

After a few moments he spoke.

"Kirill," he acknowledged, faintly. It fit, it suited.

Another pause, but when his voice returned, it was measured and modulated.

"I'm Nikanor Grigoriivich Liadov of the Interior Ministry."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol glanced sidelong at the major, out of the corner of his eye.

Nikanor Grigoriivich Liadov.

Nika, the killer had called him.

"Hi," he said quietly.

He paused.

"I'll get the light."

Aryol eased up and shut off the bedside light, letting darkness return to the room, as it had been before, when the major had arrived. When they'd fucked, touch heightened by lack of sight.

He got back under the covers.

"I don't know who gave it to me, but that's all the name I have. No family."

He pressed his lips together.

"No father," he added.

Aryol settled himself again, tucking the bedsheets close to his chest.

"They call me Aryol."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "In the Black Service. Yes, of course they would."

Nika was quiet, listening to them breathing, at odds.

"So you're not really Kirill. You haven't been for some time."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: "I guess not. Nobody calls me that anymore."

Not even the person who knew it.

"After I took up the rifle, after I killed, it was Aryol. And has been, ever since."

Aryol shrugged slightly, under the covers.

There was more, brimming on his tongue, but he pressed his lips together briefly to staunch the tide.

"Kirill...sounds like the person I used to be," he finished.

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "So I guess I won't call you that either," said Nika, evenly. "Aryol."

The cipher rolled off his tongue with a sharp, rolling brevity.

"At least if you're not Kirill Irinarhov, it won't sound quite so bad that you'd suck your own father's cock."

He tried for wry levity, but failed.

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: "Small favors," Aryol muttered, flushing, glad for the darkness.

He had been fantasizing about the name, idly, on and off.

Kirill Kassianovich Irinarhov.

He'd liked the way it sounded, but wondered if that would be part of his penance, now. To be denied the relationship he'd squandered.

Aryol wondered what Kasya would say. Maybe they would just have to pretend that Niotkuda had never said anything regarding their resemblance.

He frowned, feeling resteless. Aryol usually slept on his side, but instead, he lay on his back, not daring to turn either toward the major, or away from him.

Right now, either position would be far too weighted with significance.

"Grigoriivich," he said, quietly. "At least you know his name."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "I know his name. And his likeness. And his record."

Liadov lay still, unmoving and noncommittal.

"I have his medals and his photos."

He exhaled, finally.

"What do you want me to do? Keep my mouth shut? I can do that, Specialist. It's not as if Captain Irinarhov and I get together often and discuss our tender feelings. So long as he doesn't find out who I've been dallying with, your secret is safe."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: "Tell him," Aryol said, flatly.

He pressed his lips together.

"He deserves to know, doesn't he? And besides, you shouldn't have to keep the secret. Living with it, worrying about it, wondering if he'll find out one day. Better he knows now."

Aryol paused.

"In fact, I'll tell him."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "If it doesn't come up, there's no reason to say it."

Nika paused.

"He said he wanted to talk about what happened. I have no idea what he wants to discuss. It seemed pretty self explanatory to me."

Liadov shifted, re-settling his head on the regulation pillow.

"If it comes up, I'll level."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: "And if he finds out about you and me one day, and he figures it out?"

Aryol exhaled softly, and rubbed at his chest, under the covers.

"Well, on second thought, he's your friend. You know him better than I do. Whatever you think is best."

He was quiet for a few moments, then he turned his head toward where the major lay beside him.

"For him," Aryol finished. "And you."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "He's your father. And ultimately, it isn't about me."

Nika turned over, leveling his gaze at the the soldier.

"I'll tell him if he asks me who I've been sharing my bed with. Otherwise, I'll leave it to your...ha. Discretion."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: "All right," Aryol said.

He drew in a long breath, shifting, half-turning, but not quite. Just a more subtle lean in the major's direction.

"If you're comfortable with that. Well, as comfortable as you can be, considering the situation. And that you are involved, regardless."

He shook his head in the darkness.

"As long as we're on the subject, is there something I can do..."

Aryol paused, hesitating.

...a way I can make amends?" he finished, more quietly.

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Nika studied the darkness before his eyes.

"I see no reason there should be any bad blood, Specialist."

His skin crawled, vaguely, at the thought of what he'd been party to, and his perception of the man had taken a turn for the uncertain.

It seemed like such an impulsive, childish outlook, so at odds with the other adult aspects of his character. This fixation on a father figure, this unhealthy misunderstanding of erotic affection.

Liadov hesitated.

"You know...if I were a cynic...I would wonder if you pretended your lover was your father when you lay with him. Or whether you wanted the same from me. Or your commander. It seems like the man matters less than the age disparity."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol let out a short breath, almost a laugh, low and almost bitter.

"No," he said, simply.

"I have nothing to pretend, comrade. I have nothing to want, other than the man I'm with. Which now is you, and not anyone else. Is it wrong, to want a friend? Someone to share things with, including sex?"

He breathed out.

"I like you, Major Liadov of the Interior Ministry. I think we have fun together. And it's kind of nice, not to be taken for granted. Or worse."

Aryol's jaw tightened.

"Why the hell would I want you to be anyone else? I want you as you are."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "Why the hell would you want to bed your own pater familias?" countered Liadov, frowning.

He sighed.

"I understand very well that we've clicked along well. And I certainly am the last man to put any kind of leash on another. So that is not the issue."

Nika paused, delicately.

"I suppose the question is...if you see homo-incestual congress as a merry lark, what serious kinks are you indulging in? And is it something the MVD might be able to drag me over coals for? Could it bring me to ruin by association?"

He paused.

"Because much as I like you, friend, I don't want to be set upon by my own dogs for your paraphilic perversions."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: "Like...what?" Aryol asked, at a loss. "What else do you think I could be doing?"

He eyed the major in the darkness.

"You mean something that's worse than finding random men in the night, tying them up, and fucking them? After that point, does the MVD even care about what else you do in bed with your lover?"

Aryol shook his head.

"I don't understand what you mean. I haven't been with anyone else since I met you. And I don't intend to go running off to someone else's bed and do...I don't know, comrade. I've done a lot of things, but I don't have enough imagination to guess what you're concerned I'm doing elsewhere."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "Well, there are animals, children and shit unaccounted for."

Nika's voice was low and sueded, eyes lowered demurely, unseen in the blackness of the room.

"And snuff."

He leaned back, feeling his hair fan out on the pillow in overlong billows.

It was time for a trim.

"Are you killing young men, Aryol? Is that just another point on the compass? A little further on the latitude line of your pleasure-seeking conscience?"

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol was silent.

"That's what you think. You're wondering if I'm a killer. If I'm the killer. The one that you and your partner are looking for. Or if I'm just fucking animals and children."

This time, his laugh was bitter.

"You know, I think you're right. I think there is something wrong with me. Because I see what I did as being a thousand fucking kilometers away from being your sex killer. You're more concerned with the fact I was wanting to mess around with Kasya than you are with the fact I'm a sniper, and in fact I do kill people."

Aryol let out his breath in a low hiss.

"I do it because it's my job. But I don't get off on it. My partner does. But that's not me. I can't even understand how those two things could be the same...but since I don't the difference between right and wrong, what the hell do I know?"

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "Easy," murmured Nika, setting his arms behind his head.

He let that rest a beat.

"...I notice that shit remains unaccounted for."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: "Christ."

In spite of everything, Aryol let out a laugh.

"You fucking prick. I don't do anything with shit, either. Jesus."

He reached out and planted a hand on the major's ribcage, giving him half-shove.

Aryol rolled toward the major then, shaking his head.

"Look. I am who I am. I'm not perfect. But I don't think I'm a bad person. I'm not trying to hurt anyone. I went too far with Kasya but...no one ever told me about that kind of stuff. And if it's just something I'm supposed to know out of thin air, well, I didn't. You'd better believe I know it now, though."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "Don't let me spoil your fun," drawled Nika. "Just do me a favor, and when you say these things aloud, replace 'Kasya' with 'dad'. Just for the verity."

He sighed, rolling his head toward the soldier.

"I won't judge, Specialist. Do what you like, if it harms no one else. And perhaps Irinarhov has always wanted to screw the fruit of his loins, and you're the answer to a fervent nightly prayer. Who can say?"

Liadov laid a reluctant palm on the sniper's hip and felt him jump slightly.

"Sorry," he murmured. "I have cold hands."

He leaned in close and put his lips against the soldier's ear by feel.

"I don't think your mother would approve."

A pause.

"Fortunately, I'm not your mother."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol winced, even as the touch of the major's lips melted tension from his shoulders.

"Okay, now you're starting to weird me out," he muttered, but turned his head, so that their mouths were close.

He drew in a breath.

"You don't have to worry about me," he murmured. "I mean that."

Aryol reached out, and ran his hand down the major's flank, fingertips trailing lightly.

"Tell me, comrade, what you want."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "I don't want anything," replied Nika, after a leisurely spell. "You don't have to do anything."

He yawned.

"Sometimes things have to play out. Actions have consequences that can't always be smoothed over with a hand job and a smile. Sometimes time is the only remedy. Distance."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: "Yeah," Aryol said, after a moment. "I understand that."

For some reason, he thought of Leshovik. It was odd, since usually when he was with the major, Leshovik was the furthest thing from his mind.

He rubbed the major's side. It was a small, warm gesture, not so much sexual as affectionate, then he withdrew his hand. Aryol took a few moments to fix the blankets, making sure there was enough play for both of them.

He settled, not touching, but not far.

"Night," he said, quietly.

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "Da, spasiba."

Nika hesitated, then his hand found the soldier's hair, ruffling it gently.

"Dream sweet, muzhchik."

He settled in, letting his arm remain above the other man's hand, tangled tenuously in his dark tresses.

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: The simple weight at Aryol's scalp relaxed him, in spite of everything.

The comfort of contact, the connection of human touch. It eased some of the tightness he still felt in his chest.

Aryol's mouth twitched, faint and fleeting.

"You too," he murmured, and closed his eyes.

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Liadov paused.

"How about you?" he asked.

A beat passed as he considered the olive branch.

"What do you want?"

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol opened his eyes again, even though with the darkness, it was pretty much the same as having them closed.

"This is good. I'm grateful you still want to do this, considering."

The major could have kicked him out, after all. Sent Aryol back to his own room. Now that would have been distance.

"I've gotten used to sleeping with you," he added.

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "Let's just avoid that other thing, like a big pink elephant."

Liadov sighed, yawning in the darkness.

"Pretend we never saw it until it either leaves, becomes part of the decor or breaks the chaise."

That was standard MVD protocol as far as Moscow and Leningrad were concerned.

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol frowned.

"If...that's how you need to handle it, all right," he said.

He shook his head a little.

"If you need to talk, though, I can do that too. After we have some time and space, it might be easier to talk about it. I don't know. But if there's something you feel like you want to say to me, you can say it."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "No," said Liadov, calmly. "Just attempting to be..."

He turned over, resettling.

"...mindful of your needs."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: "I appreciate that."

Aryol lay quietly for a while, eyes tracing over the silhouette of the major's form. Shapeless in the night, but still definite, and present.

"But I was the one in the wrong, comrade. I'm not going to ask for much, not now."

He paused.

"I'm not that much of an ass," he muttered, but then snorted softly.

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: Liadov sighed, patting the soldier's thigh absently.

"Trust me...I've been far more wrong in my time than you'll ever be."

There was no percentage in being a hypocrite.

"Come here, against me. Go to sleep. We're all right for now."

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol hesitated a moment, but then moved closer, gingerly. He let their bodies touch and felt immediate warmth from the press of skin against skin.

He arranged himself against the major the way he was accustomed, the mass and play of their bodies and limbs familiar, though the feel of the man was different than anyone else.

Aryol eased his weight, slowly relaxing, pausing to fix his pillow and covers accordingly.

"That's good," he murmured. "Thank you."

[livejournal.com profile] nikanor_liadov: "It is good," said Liadov.

"...We shouldn't forget that," he muttered, drowsily, almost to himself.

The darkness that had been patiently waiting overcame him then, and he succumbed to slumber.

[livejournal.com profile] eyes_adrift: Aryol listened to the sound of the major's breathing, which turned even and easy almost immediately.

Asleep, as if nothing troubled him.

That was good too, Aryol thought.

Sleep was slow to claim him.

He stayed awake for a while, though he was relaxed, resting against the rise and fall of the major's chest. Eventually, it was the major's heartbeat that lulled him, and let Aryol slip gratefully into unconsciousness.
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