Feb. 1st, 2009 12:29 am
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[personal profile] eyes_adrift
Aryol laid his gloved hand on the doorknob, testing it silently.

The door was locked, but that was typical. The major took sensible precautions, considering there was a killer loose on base. Not that it could stop someone in Black Ops.

He shifted the lay of his rifle on his back and took out his lockpicks. He wore them on his gear belt in a soft leather case, carried them with him everywhere. That was standard procedure. A sniper never knew when he might have to break into a building in order to find a good nest to shoot from.

Or break into his lover's office in order to drag him to bed.

The lock was easy, and Aryol was good. It gave after a few seconds of work, and he put his lockpicks away and opened the door.

There was someone standing in front of him. Not the major.

A man, broad shouldered and broad chested. A broad brow, too, with short dark hair and a thick jaw. He looked somehow familiar, though Aryol couldn't place him immediately.

The man stared at Aryol, wide-eyed. Aryol wondered if he'd caught someone breaking into the major's office when he saw that Liadov was here too, standing to the side, leaning against the wall. Looking even more languid than usual.

Aryol smiled, slowly.

"Working late?"
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Date: 2009-02-01 10:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nikanor-liadov.livejournal.com
"I was," replied Liadov, amused.

He kept the words deliberately cryptic.

His eyes settled on the familiar sight of Kirill, lean and insouciant in his full shooting gear, now standing at an open door. Nika was no longer surprised by his creative invasions.

"And then Captain Oleksei appeared, like a gladiator at the gates, intent upon hammering out some pressing issues between us."

His lashes swept downward as he angled his gaze Taras-ward.

"Which were duly satisfied, njet?"

Liadov didn't wait for a reply, but let his lip curl into a faint, dry smile.

"Specialist, MVD Captain Oleksei of Leningrad. Captain, this man is a KGB OMON marksmanship Specialist; he goes by the name of Aryol."

Date: 2009-02-01 05:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eyes-adrift.livejournal.com
Aryol's smile widened.

"Nice to meet you, Captain Oleksei of Leningrad."

He held out his hand. Now he knew why the man looked familiar. He'd run into the captain and another MVD officer a few nights ago in the hall outside the major's room.

Captain Oleksei had looked almost wild-eyed for a few moments. Now, his jaw was hard as granite, so taut it looked like it could crack. He glared at Aryol. It didn't seem like he was going to shake Aryol's hand.

"I think we've met before," Aryol continued, conversationally. "Though the last time, I was a little underdressed for the occasion."

Date: 2009-02-01 05:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] taras-oleksei.livejournal.com
Taras frowned.

It was the naked chelovik from the other night.

His pulse was rumbling, violent and wild. When the door had first opened he'd been ready to hurl himself at the intruder, disable him with a swift punch under the jaw. That kind of adrenaline rush didn't die easy.

He grunted and nodded.

"Yeah, I remember."

He glanced at Liadov, who was watching them, a faint smile curving the corner of his mouth. His hair still looked messy, spilling across his forehead. His uniform jacket was rumpled.

Taras turned back to the specialist, who was blocking the door.

"We just had some Ministry business to discuss. But we're finished now."

The specialist gave him an appraising look, up and down, far too long and slow for Taras' taste.

"Oh, I'm sure you did," the specialist murmured. "I dropped by for a little Ministry business, myself."

Taras inhaled sharply, grimacing.

Date: 2009-02-01 07:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nikanor-liadov.livejournal.com
Liadov covered his mouth with his hand obliquely, but his eyes betrayed him.

He didn't know if Aryol was just assuming impropriety for his own entertainment or if there was something the sharp-eyed soldier had cued in on as compelling evidence.

He cleared his throat in a professional manner.

"Da, Kiryusha. Captain Oleksei- Taras, I suppose I should say- is part of the team sent here to audit my performance."

Date: 2009-02-01 09:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eyes-adrift.livejournal.com
"Oh really?"

Aryol stepped closer to the captain. Oleksei's eyes fixed on him with a palpable intensity, some burning, vivid emotion behind them. They were not the same color, Aryol noticed. One was as light as the other dark. The asymmetry added to that intensity. Aryol found it hard to keep his gaze from shifting between them.

He watched the fluid play of emotion across Oleksei's face for a few moments. It was like searching for fish in a fast-moving stream. Every so often he caught a flash of something familiar.

He let his head tilt slightly, smile curving at the corner of his mouth.

"And how did you find Major Liadov's performance, Captain?"

Date: 2009-02-01 09:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] taras-oleksei.livejournal.com
Taras' eyes narrowed.

He had the distinct feeling that this specialist was fucking with him. He bristled, stepping close to the young, dark-haired man with bold eyes and insinuating smile. Taras was taller than him by a small margin. Definitely broader and more muscular. The specialist had a rifle at his back, but Taras was standing in his personal space.

He held the specialist's gaze.

No fear, he saw, but there was something else that lit this Aryol's eyes.

Taras' lip twisted, and he leaned in, slightly.

"I'm not done with him yet," he whispered.

Taras moved forward then, shouldering the younger man aside.

"Excuse me," he said, belatedly.

Date: 2009-02-01 09:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eyes-adrift.livejournal.com
Aryol found himself moved aside, temporarily crushed between the wall and Oleksei.

Oleksei was solid muscle. Aryol couldn't have held his ground if he had wanted to. The dense, broad strength in the captain's body reminded Aryol of Lynx. He imagined Oleksei was just as heavy.

Still, there was no violence in the way Oleksei demonstrated his strength. He could have hurt Aryol, but he had not.

It was a warning. Maybe something more.

His pulse thrummed, pleasantly warm in Oleksei's wake. He caught Oleksei's he moved past, pure male animal and sex.

Aryol stood in the doorway, tracking Oleksei's heavy bootsteps as they retreated down the hall.

After a few moments, he let out a soft, appreciative whistle, then looked to the major, brows raised.

"Nice," he said, impressed.

Date: 2009-02-01 10:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nikanor-liadov.livejournal.com
"He's really kind of a dick," remarked Liadov, mildly, flicking a strayed lock of hair off his brow.

Aryol had seemed favorably inclined toward Oleksei in ways that had nothing to do with his personality, however, so Nika assigned the comment little weight.

Liadov exhaled, slowly, gathering himself. He reached for his abandoned glass of cognac, sitting askew and arrested on the corner of his desk and raised it to his lips.

"Spent some time as a state guest in one of our fine Northern hotels."

He took another sip, leveling his gaze at Aryol with one lofted eyebrow.

"Has some...personality quirks. Namely, he's an unvarnished criminal; if not a socipath."

Nika smiled wryly.

"Naturally, I find him charming."

Date: 2009-02-02 01:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eyes-adrift.livejournal.com
Aryol laughed.

"Naturally. You and your taste for deviant personalities."

He stepped inside, closing the door behind him, locking it with an offhand twist, for good measure.

Aryol sauntered up to the major and closed his hand around the glass. He pulled it out of Liadov's hand, gently, and took a sip, just enough to wet his lips.

"Hi," he said, grinning. "You smell good."

He gave the glass back. Aryol leaned against the desk next to Liadov so that their hips touched, close and companionable.

"I heard people talking about a dustup in the mess hall this morning, between two men in grey. Was that you and him?"

Date: 2009-02-02 03:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nikanor-liadov.livejournal.com
Nika laughed diffidently, averting his eyes; they stood in close quarters.

"Oleksei?" he said, evasively. "Christ, no. I didn't tangle with him until just now."

Liadov looked up, smiling in a coy and plasticine way.

"Nice to see you," he said, after a moment, as his smile faded into bronzed sincerity.

He reached up, cupping the back of the young sniper's neck with a gloved hand, massaging absently.

Date: 2009-02-02 04:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eyes-adrift.livejournal.com
Aryol felt a quiet warmth suffuse him.

There was an easy intimacy to the way the major touched him now. Simple, and yet it made Aryol's pulse stir anew. He turned fully against Liadov and caught his face gently, cupping it between the softly worn palms of his leather gloves.

He leaned in for a kiss, and made it slow and deep. He took his time at it, lingering, letting his tongue twine and caress Liadov's mouth, drinking him in. The major tasted like cognac.

Aryol broke off after a while, breathless.

"Nice to see you too," he murmured, and wrapped his arms around Liadov's neck. "Missed you."

Date: 2009-02-02 05:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nikanor-liadov.livejournal.com
"Da," intoned Liadov, softly, almost crooning. "Me too. But we're here now."

He nuzzled a little at the place beneath Kirill's ear, grazing it with his nose, then his lips.

"It's late, isn't it. We should go."

He caught himself before he said 'home'.

He was aware that he was holding Kirill a little more tightly than usual, touching him with more blatant tenderness.

Perhaps it was a counterreaction to the brusque and pseudo-Magadanesque encounter he'd just shared with Taras Oleksei; perhaps it was because...

Nika bit off the thought and tied it with a red ribbon, pushing it into a shadowy corner.

Soon everything would be illuminated, more than he would like.

Soon they would all be exposed.

He drew back, wiping a wayward smudge of what looked like gun grease from beneath Aryol's eye.

"You need a shower," he observed.

Date: 2009-02-02 06:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eyes-adrift.livejournal.com
Aryol chuckled, easily.

He stroked his thumb against the back of the major's neck.

"You, too. We can take one when we get back to the room, then dry off and get under the covers."

Even as he said it, he pressed closer, regaining ground, pausing to steal a kiss.

"Warm and clean and naked," he murmured against Liadov's lips. "What's better than that?"

He let out a soft, contented sigh.

"Okei. Come on then."

Aryol eased back, readjusting his uniform and rifle by reflex. Liadov's uniform looked like pretty much a lost cause at this point, shifted and rumpled, not quite in disarray, but veering close.

He reached out, tugging on the major's loosened tie.

"...I hope your captain friend didn't wear you out."

Date: 2009-02-02 08:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nikanor-liadov.livejournal.com
Nika paused, forcing a smile, but it was chagrined.

He exhaled, clasping the back of his own neck with his hand and lifting his gaze to Aryol's.

"So you know what we were doing," he said, not quite a question.

Liadov released himself and crossed his arms, shaking his head.

"It's not what I planned on, Kirill. It's not that I needed anyone else."

Nika looked him in the eyes, to reinforce his words.

"When he said it was MVD business, he wasn't entirely wrong. We'd met before, in what you might call a Ministry capacity. It's a long story."

Date: 2009-02-02 08:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eyes-adrift.livejournal.com

Aryol smiled, lopsidedly.

"I was being a smartass. But yeah, I did get that impression. The look on his face when I opened the door, the things you said."

He paused, considering.

"The things he said. And, you know, I think about sex all the time anyway."

Aryol shrugged, and met the major's gaze, clearly, and directly.

"I might be young, but I'm not naive about things like that. I know you had a life before you met me. I'm not going to say something like I don't care what you do, because I do care. But it also doesn't change the way I feel."

The major's body language had closed up, straightened shoulders, crossed arms. Aryol reached out and laid a hand on his wrist.

"You're not going home with him. You're going home with me. And right now, where we are, considering we just met, what, ten days ago, I don't expect more than that."

He cocked his head, curiously.

"But if you want to tell me the story, I'll listen."

Date: 2009-02-02 09:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nikanor-liadov.livejournal.com
Nika relented, reluctantly.

"Ten days," he repeated, a little incredulous. "Yes, of course. I certainly didn't mean to imply-"

The words trailed off and he paused, then smiled faintly.

"Well, it doesn't matter."

He turned away to flick off his sole desk lamp and mercilessly kill the halo of light. Then he opened the door and stepped outside, waiting for Aryol to join him in the hall.

The overhead lights flickered unreliably above them. Must have been a windstorm outside.

"I'll tell you about Oleksei, I have no problem with that. But let's get out of here first. It's not a long story. I didn't forsee it being a particularly impactful one, either, after the fact. The kind of thing you do on a whim and remember vaguely as a pleasant diversion."

Date: 2009-02-02 06:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eyes-adrift.livejournal.com
Aryol nodded.

"Yeah. I understand. Sometimes you need something. And sometimes you just want it."

Sometimes that line was blurry.

He joined the major out in the hall, and waited while Liadov closed and locked the door.

Liadov tested the lock with a firm twist of the door handle, thorough in spite of the fact that Aryol, or anyone else with the same training, could break in any time they wanted. He locked it anyway, because the locked door would deter a casual trespasser, and at least that was something.

Aryol liked that about him. There was an attentive care with which the major did things, like the way he adjusted his gloves, just so.

They started down the hall.

Aryol stretched his arms behind him. Their shoulders brushed, the contact brief and casual.

"What were you going to say before?" Aryol said, glancing at Liadov as they walked. "I think it does matter, if you had thought to say it."

Date: 2009-02-02 06:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nikanor-liadov.livejournal.com
Nika looked at him.

"I was going to say it felt longer than ten days. But of course ten days is a very short time, and I apologize for seeming...overly demonstrative."

The walk from his office to his room was relatively short; only a short few halls to traverse and all in the same wing. It had become like a reflex to him now, like walking in his own house.

As they approached his door, Liadov pulled out his keys, then hesitated, turning to Aryol with a dry smile.

"Did you want to get this, or should I?"

Date: 2009-02-02 08:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eyes-adrift.livejournal.com
Aryol smiled, almost a smirk, but not quite.

"You go ahead."

He leaned against the wall, watching Liadov open the door, then followed him inside. As Liadov turned to get the light, Aryol caught him from behind, wrapping his arms around the major's chest, pressing his face against the soft waves of tawny gold hair at the back of Liadov's neck. His chest rested solidly against Liadov's back.

Aryol's grip was firm. He tried not to hold on too hard.

"You weren't being overly demonstrative." He turned his face, whispering against Liadov's ear. "That's not what I...I don't think...I didn't say what I meant. Or something."

His words tumbled into each other, a little staccato. A little disjointed. Aryol took a deliberate deep breath, laughing at himself, exhaling against the major's skin.

"Sorry. It feels like it's been longer than ten days to me, too. It's just that I really like you, Nikanor, and I think it..."

He paused, silent for a beat, only breathing.

"Anyway, that's what I wanted to say. I don't want to make demands on you, because I'm not like that, but I feel...serious."

He let Liadov go then. Aryol turned and pulled his rifle off his shoulder so he could set it down on its customary place on the table, where he left it when he was here.

Aryol shook his head, after a moment.

"Sorry. That was a little heavy."

Date: 2009-02-02 10:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nikanor-liadov.livejournal.com
"Well, you carry it around all day," said Nika, deliberately, unfastening his tie and nodding toward the table. "I hope you at least switch shoulders every now and then."

He smiled.

"After all, you don't want to end up a grizzled, lopsided old man clutching his Dragunov to his chest and glaring out at the world."

His fingers trailed along Aryol's smooth, unlined face.

"It would be such a waste."

Breaking away for a moment, Nika pulled off his jacket and hung it in the compact closet, then began to unbutton his shirt. It was still slightly damp across the stomach as he pulled it off. He smoothed it idly with his hand, then slid it onto a hanger.

"There's something I have to tell you," he said, after a moment. "And there is something I need to tell you."

Liadov stared at the closet, keeping his face turned away.

"Between them, I would go with need foremost."

He turned, frowning, a faint crease between his brows.

"Kirill, this is more to me than a lark, I need you to know that."

Nika lingered by the closet, stilling the progress of disrobing for the moment as he watched Aryol with temperate eyes.

"I did not come here with the intent of engaging anyone this way. But it happened, and I wasn't displeased by that. I will not lie, Kirill; I am a cynic. I was of the mind that it would be no different than my casual encounters in Moscow; ill-advised, transient and clandestine." He smiled faintly at his own expense. "All those good things."

He paused, nodding at last, raising his gaze.

"And now I see it has meant more to me than I expected."

Date: 2009-02-03 12:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eyes-adrift.livejournal.com
Aryol nodded, slowly.

He had sat down in the armchair as the major was talking, listening with a small, lingering smile. He pulled off his boots, one after the other, and stowed them neatly under his seat.

Aryol was silent for a few moments, watching Liadov, holding his gaze. Liadov's eyes were low-lidded as always, but warm with sentience underneath.

"Okay," Aryol said, softly. "I'm glad."

He hesitated on the verge of saying more, but then just nodded again. He stood up, glancing down to unbuckle his gear belt. Aryol removed it deftly and draped it over the back of his chair, then unzipped his jumpsuit and stepped out of it, naked except for his dog tags.

He leaned back against the table to wait while Liadov finished undressing, at once aware of his nudity and relaxed, smiling faintly, the first stirrings of an erection warming his loins.

His hand fell to his hip, and he scratched at it, idly.

"Keep going," he said.

Aryol's voice was low, weighted with quiet gravity.

"Anything you need to say. I want to hear it."

Date: 2009-02-03 01:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nikanor-liadov.livejournal.com
"They're calling me back to Leningrad, Kirill."

He said it flatly.

Nika looked away, shaking his head. He didn't particularly want to meet Aryol's eyes, regardless of what lay there, be it pleasant indifference or indifferent resignation.

"Let's not talk about it now. The night is relatively young."

He leaned against a wall to remove his boots, then straightened, unfastening his pants and stepping out of them.

"Not until I've had a shower."

Date: 2009-02-03 06:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eyes-adrift.livejournal.com
Aryol stared at him, frowning, uncomprehending.

The weight of the major's words did not hit him at first. They seemed unreal. He was stuck for a long moment, feeling weightless, the seconds before freefall.

His chest cramped with sudden violence, and he flinched, belatedly.

Aryol swallowed. His lips moved, once, twice, his tongue on the brink of formulating words. Each time he swallowed them back. The major had said he did not want to talk about it. Not now. Not yet.

He exhaled, his throat constricting.

The major was not looking at him.

"I'll get the water ready," he whispered, and turned toward the bathroom abruptly.

Date: 2009-02-03 06:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nikanor-liadov.livejournal.com
Nika turned his head, looking after him.

"Did you want to hear about Oleksei?" he asked, attempting nonchalance.

He was right; Aryol was used to such cleavings of friendship, had made his peace with having no permanence in his life. Preferred it that way, in all probablity, thought Liadov. It made utter pragmatic sense in his line of work.

After a moment he sighed and pulled off his tank and shorts, throwing them into a green canvas laundry bag.

Then he ran a hand back through his hair, hesitating.

At last he followed Kirill into the bathroom.

Date: 2009-02-03 07:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eyes-adrift.livejournal.com
Aryol stood in the shower, hand stilled on the valve, staring without seeing.

He was vaguely aware that the major had asked him a question, and it was beyond him why Liadov wanted to discuss Oleksei at a time like this. Maybe there was more to the entanglement than Liadov had hinted, though Aryol didn't see why that should matter.

Aryol turned on the water, testing it with an outstretched palm. It ran ice cold for a few seconds, then slowly warmed up.

He heard the major's footsteps approach behind him. They were soft, bare feet on tile.

Aryol swallowed.

"When?" he whispered.
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