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Aryol woke up happy.

He felt a lingering contentment, a sensation of safety and warmth, a knowledge that the major lay close to him. They slept in a tangle of supple limbs, twined together in the rumpled bed.

Liadov was stirring as well. Drowsily, Kirill realized something had woken them.

A sharp noise, a knock at the door.

It reminded him of that late night when Viktor had interrupted their post-coital lounging with a rap at Liadov's door, followed up by a punch to his face. The knock sounded so much the same, forceful and authoritative, that Kirill almost wondered if he were dreaming of that moment again.

It had been a little traumatic, at the time. A little less so now, to remember it.

The knock sounded again, louder. More insistent.

Against him, the major sighed, quiet and long-suffering. He shifted, moving as if to get up, but Kirill reached out and laid a staying hand on his chest.

"I think I should get it. You never know, maybe it's Viktor again."

Grinning, he left the major with a kiss and gently pulled away.

He glanced back at Liadov, who had settled back in bed, looking wryly amused.

"...or maybe it's your captain friend," Kirill added.

Aryol did not bother with clothing. He figured that anyone knocking on the major's door in the middle of the night should already know what he might be in for.

He opened the door, and there was Viktor.

Kirill stared for a moment, struck by the unreality of the moment.

Viktor, as if he'd stepped from a dream, though this was Viktor without his rifle, Viktor wearing a tank and workout pants, Viktor somehow looking strangely out of place.

They stared at each other. After a few seconds, Viktor glanced down.

"Christ, is that how you answer the door?"

Aryol stared at him pointedly.

"I'm not going to let you hit him again. You can try to hit me if you want."

Viktor scowled, but then exhaled sharply, shaking his head.

"No. No. It's not that. It's actually important. Urgent. I need to see Liadov. And...sorry for waking you," Viktor said. The last was more of a mumble.

"Who said we were sleeping?"

Viktor looked at him, his eyes deep and unfathomable cerulean. "Please."

Kirill frowned.

"What is it, another body?" he asked, more softly now.

Viktor grimaced.


It was enough for Aryol. He recognized the seriousness of Viktor's tone. He nodded and turned back toward the bed, where the major waited, head tilted and eyes narrowed with interest.

Kirill flashed him a small smile, curved slightly with irony.

"It's for you," he said.

Date: 2009-02-10 09:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nikanor-liadov.livejournal.com
Nika sat up, slowly.

"Specialist," he said, bedclothes falling to his waist. "Come for that drink?"

He lifted an eyebrow, letting a hint of suggestion permeate his tone.

"...Or something more interesting?"

Date: 2009-02-10 09:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leshovik.livejournal.com
"No, I - "

Leshovik broke off as Liadov's words sank in. More the low purr of his inflection.

He hesitated, thrown off for a moment, looking between them. Aryol smirked sharply, like a raptor.

"I...," he repeated, then blinked and re-focused. "No, actually. Is it all right if I come in?"

Viktor glanced behind him, out into the hall, which still appeared to be empty.

"It's serious," he added.

Aryol nodded and moved back at once, letting Viktor step into the room.

"I didn't know who to bring this to..." Leshovik started, pausing as he watched Aryol sprawl back on the bed.

He looked between the two of them again, then sat down deliberately on a chair, patting his pockets for a cigarette.


"...that's going to be distracting," he muttered.

Date: 2009-02-10 09:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nikanor-liadov.livejournal.com
"Sorry," said Liadov, with a quick flash of a smile.

Viktor was right; it wasn't exactly couth.

He rose from the bed and took a leisurely stroll across the room, pulling a black silk robe from across the back of a chair and pulling it on carelessly, glancing at Viktor from under his hair as he flipped it out from under the collar with both hands.

"Manners," he said, with a slight nod as he jerk the sash taut and returned to the bed. He sank back down, reclining against the headboard.

Not much he could do about Aryol and his shameless display of the goods, but then again, Viktor was probably used to that.

"Pray continue," he urged, politely, with a faint forward nod of his head, eyes holding steady with pleasant intensity in order to convey the extent of his attention.

Date: 2009-02-10 10:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leshovik.livejournal.com
Viktor shifted in his seat.

"It's...about Lieutenant Rakitin," he went on, finally.

At this, Aryol looked up, attention apparently caught, and rolled over onto his stomach to listen.

Viktor shook his head.

"I don't know what's going on with him, exactly, but I think he had a breakdown. I was in the gym and he started talking to me, not making a lot of sense. I didn't understand what he wanted at first, but finally he came out with it."

He paused. The details were a little hazy, even as he tried to recall what had transpired perhaps only a half hour before. Viktor recalled being really angry.

"He wanted me to...help him to commit suicide. I think he was serious about it."

Leshovik pulled the lieutenant's Makarov from his waistband, and set it on the side table.

"That's his sidearm. I had to take it from him."

Date: 2009-02-10 10:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nikanor-liadov.livejournal.com
Liadov sat up, and forward, eyes widening, then narrowing.

"What?" he bit off, succinctly, the word like the clink of ice against a glass.

It was almost as if it had to be a joke, but what a bad joke, and what a ridiculous premise.

After a moment he shook his head, disbelieving, vehement, pressing a hand to his face.

"Just what I need," he muttered, through his teeth. "Another child."

He drew a deep breath, so deep that his shoulders rose like aching wings, and stared down at the floor for several minutes, hard enough to burn a hole in the rug.

"All right," he broke off, abruptly, resolved, almost to himself. "That's fine. I'll deal with it."

He was really left with no alternative.

Nika's mind was racing, looking at loose ends, fingers seeking knots, while simultaneously trying to encompass the bigger picture.

It was entirely possible Rakitin would not be fit for his duties any more. He would need to requisition an independent stand-by, but without letting Moscow know what precipitated that need, because-

Liadov's thoughts broke off like an icicle and he whirled his head around to fix Viktor in his gaze.

"Did you tell anyone about this?" he demanded. "Notify medical or any authorities?"

Date: 2009-02-10 11:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leshovik.livejournal.com
Leshovik shook his head.

He didn't envy the major's position. With a killer on the loose, Liadov didn't need any more on his plate.

"No. Only Isaev knows. We have the lieutenant tied up in the laboratory. No one saw us bring him there. We figured you'd want to keep it under wraps."

He paused.

"Sorry. I didn't meant to dump this on you in the middle of the night, but I thought you needed to know first."

Date: 2009-02-11 01:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nikanor-liadov.livejournal.com
"Smart man," murmured Liadov, relieved. "Good."

He was already up, throwing off the robe, moving to the closet and reassembling his uniform hastily.

Meanwhile he counted off necessities.

"You were absolutely right to assume Specialist," he drawled. "Allmost like you know me. I feel like we're best friends already."

He turned, yanking his jodhpurs up and buttoning them, then reaching for a boot.

"No one can know about this outside of this base. We need to keep the circle small, tighten up, put a choke on it."

Nika fought with the boot, drawing it on, then turned his attention to the other, letting himself fall back against the wall for leverage.

"In many ways, I think the Lieutenant is a genius, but like most academics, he doesn't live in reality."

He tore into his shirt and fastened it up to his neck, then, deciding against bothering with his tie, opened the three topmost buttons.

"He doesn't see the ramifications of what he does, or the impact to others. Much like a child," he added, sighing.

He glanced up at Viktor, intently.

"But most distressingly, I don't think he understands what making these kinds of displays can lead to."

He pulled on his coat, leaving it open, and snatched up his cap, setting it on his head. He was aware that his body was still tainted with Kirill and himself, and his uniform was invisibly permeated with Oleksei.

Nika decided he felt like a very important whore.

He seized his keys. Now minus one, they felt inexplicably lighter. He absently tested them in his hand.

"If KGB finds out, he's finished," he said grimly. "And I don't mean just as a pathologist."

Date: 2009-02-11 06:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leshovik.livejournal.com
"Well, we've had so much in common," Viktor said to Liadov.

From the bed, Aryol coughed, loudly and with obvious intent.

Leshovik watched him roll out of bed and retrieve his jumpsuit, which was draped over the back of a nearby chair.

He turned to Liavov.

"Seriously...I understand. Believe me, you can't do what I do and not have seen some...inconvenient...people be made to disappear."

Not that a death squad would be called in to deal with someone like Rakitin, who could just as easily be sent to a psychiatric ward, and never be heard from again. But that was only a matter of scale.

Viktor glanced at Aryol, who, thankfully dressed once more, had perched on the edge of the bed to put on his boots, swiftly and with efficient motions, like he was on an op.

"I think we can keep a lid on this from our end," Leshovik said. "But the one thing that's not so predictable...is Rakitin himself."

Date: 2009-02-11 07:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nikanor-liadov.livejournal.com
Nika grimaced.

"No fucking joke," he replied, tersely.

He turned to Viktor.

"Take me to him."

Date: 2009-02-11 03:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leshovik.livejournal.com
[Continued here.]

Date: 2011-04-13 02:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wuhigerm.livejournal.com
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Date: 2011-04-13 04:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mivadevi.livejournal.com
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