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[personal profile] leshovik
Okay, so you know how when sometimes you wake up completely disoriented, and for a few moments, you have no idea where you are or how you got there?

That was me this morning.

I woke up alone in bed with a hangover, and my jumpsuit was unzipped all the way down. Better yet, my dick was hanging out and I had dried semen on my pant legs. Even better than that, I wasn't in my own room.

It took me a few minutes to remember how the whole thing got started.

[livejournal.com profile] leshovik: It was good to have access to a real gym again.

Leshovik rubbed a towel over his damp blond crew cut as he strolled back to the locker room.

In spite of everything, he felt good. The workout had focused him, took his mind off Aryol and Lynx and Kasya, and slowly ground away his tension, leaving him sweaty and loose, muscles prickling with a pleasant, adrenalized burn.

The gym had been quiet. Only a few people working out after evening mess, and the majority of those had been finishing up, not starting.

He'd been half-hoping that Lynx would be here and Aryol and Kasya wouldn't, but he hadn't recognized anyone except Niotkuda. Not that he really expected anything else.

Leshovik had worked out for a solid hour - stretches, kettlebells, pushups, speed bag. Far cry from the cave, making due with rocks for weights and a rough stone floor. Another one of those benefits of civilization.

Showers were another. He ducked into the locker room, pulling off his grey tank, stopping to strip out of his workout clothes. He could hear the shower running in the communal shower area.

Leshovik wasted no time heading in. There was a tall, broadshouldered man with the perfectly defined back of a weighlifter standing under the spray. Big guy.

As Leshovik glanced again, he realized it was Niotkuda.

He nodded offhandedly, and stepped up to one of the showerheads, turning it on.

"Hey," he said, briefly, figuring there was no sense in being rude.

[livejournal.com profile] andrei_isaev: Isaev blew the water from his face and looked to the side.

The voice wasn't familiar to him, but it seemed congenial enough, if tentative.

He was only mildly surprised to see Leshovik. Viktor. Leshoviktor.

Andrei had ceased calling him "Kassian's Viktor" with grudging good nature, in the face of Kassian's good grudging nature, and now he wasn't really certain how to refer to the man his comrade had been in l with all those years ago.

It was also surreal, although not disagreeable or unwelcome, to be called regularly by his old squad name again- but Leshovik had apparently decided it suited.

"Comrade," he acknowledged, breaking a warm smile. "Come on in. Water's fine."

He glanced over the soldier's lean, tau form, which had a fair similarity to Irinarhov's, he realized, although there was a more lank feline quality to Viktor's frame.

Isaev wondered idly if that was a common physique to snipers. Maybe they aligned better with the ground if they were average height and average weight, with a tight profile.

He tipped his head in a fraternal up-nod.

"Looks like you got in a good bout. You're good with the gloves. Ever spar?"

[livejournal.com profile] leshovik: "Some," Leshovik said, grabbing the soap.

Part of him felt surprised by Niotkuda's open and easy acknowledgment of him, but apparently the Spetsnaz lieutenant wasn't the type to bear ill-will for his lover's former flame just because. That suited Leshovik just fine. Easier that way.

"More when I was younger, before I became a sniper."

He smiled a bit.

"Have to be careful of these."

Leshovik held up his hands briefly. They were wide with long, graceful fingers, the kind of hands that looked like they should be painting a picture or playing a piano. Conducting an orchestra.

Flying a plane. Or yes, even finessing the trigger of a sniper rifle. But not boxing, not with delicate hands like that.

He paused to regard Kasya's massive, strapping lover, whose body and build echoed Lynx's so strongly, he almost felt automatically well-disposed to like him.

Broad chest and strong arms and wide, powerful hands. This was the physique of a fighter, no doubt. He'd noticed Niotkuda go at the heavy bag with fierce and brutal punches.

"What about you?" he asked. "You look like you've gone more than a few rounds."

[livejournal.com profile] andrei_isaev: "Used to," replied Isaev, carefully lathering his hair with shampoo.

He rinsed it once, until the water ran clear, then set at it again. His pale slavic mane was thick enough that he usually washed it twice after a workout.

"Until they barred me."

He glanced at the sniper's hands.

"Those," he repeated, with an obscure smile and a touch of emphasis.

He turned, and tilted his head back as he rinsed his hair under the heavy spray.

"I had no idea you had to have pretty fingers to pull a trigger one time. Or set a scope, for that matter."

A grin touched the corners of his mouth.

"What do ugly-handed snipers do?"

[livejournal.com profile] leshovik: "Miss," Leshovik said, deadpan.

He held Niotkuda's gaze, solemn and stoic for brief moment, as if he were divulging closely-guarded sniper secrets.

Then he grinned.

Leshovik chuckled to himself as he stepped closer to the spray, tilting his head back, savoring the warmth and driving force of the water.

"Christ, that's good," he muttered. "You don't know what it's like, comrade, to go without showers for months on end, and live off sponge baths. After a while, you never feel clean."

He shook his head and sighed in rare and utter bliss.

Leshovik held up a lazy hand and wiggled his fingers.

"Nerve damage, fractures, arthritis," he said with a shrug. "All things a sniper wants to avoid, but could come with sparring or competition."

He paused, and regarded Niotkuda up and down for a few moments, studied the thick and sculpted lines of muscle. Pure power and strength, in a body like that. He knew from experience how strong a man who had that kind of muscle mass was.

"Why were you barred?" he asked, finally. "Kill someone?"

[livejournal.com profile] andrei_isaev: Andrei tightened his fingers briefly on his hair, as water coursed through it, and his lip tightened slightly.

"I did," he said, lightly, after a moment. "Once."

He released his hair, and began soaping his shoulders and chest perfunctorily.

"They still let me fight. That was before I was recruited for the Lynx Squad."

He paused.

"And before Colonel Volgin became enraptured with the idea of a soldier who could stop a man's heart with his fist."

Isaev spoke without particular gravitas, and the words were studiously neutral.

"Now...I'm confined to the bag."

He slid the soap over his stomach, looking down, soaping the planes and ridges and all the little golden hairs that proceeded southerly, as if it were important work requiring his attention.

"So I suppose we're both in the same boat there."

He paused.

"Surprised you're out on your own tonight. How did you shake your little lamb?"

[livejournal.com profile] leshovik: "Fuck," Leshovik said, scowling instantly at the mention of Aryol. "I'm fucking avoiding him, comrade. Little fucking prick."

But Aryol wasn't little, was he? Taller than Leshovik now, more muscular too. He just had the frame for it.

Leshovik hesitated.

"Look...I don't know if it matters to you, but it might matter to Kasya. I'm going to break things off with Aryol. At least for a while. He's getting..."

Leshovik gestured vaguely, not quite finding the words.

"He's being a fucking asshole. And yeah, maybe I was an asshole too, but..."

Like father, like son, he thought, suddenly and viciously. Both of them dispensed with merely taking an eye for an eye.

Their idea of vengeance was more like repayment with interest.

Belatedly, he began to soap himself down, rubbing his skin vigorously.

"Anyway, yeah. So if he comes complaining to you guys...I just want you to know, I have my reasons. And they're good ones."

[livejournal.com profile] andrei_isaev: Isaev's fingers moved over his loins and thighs, sweeping back up, transiently soaping his cock and balls before moving back down to his calves.

"He won't come crying to me," Andrei replied. "I don't like him, to tell you the truth."

He turned to meet the sniper's eyes, squarely.

"He made a great first impression. But at a second glance...frankly...he strikes me as a capricious little son of a bitch."

He shrugged.

"My eyes decieved me. I don't think he's Irinarhov's son. He's got no good Russian character."

He soaped his buttocks, and stepped back under the spray to rinse, chasing the suds with his fingers.

"Still...if my comrade thinks the brat's his progeny- well. Then I can't disavow him of that notion, and I wouldn't try. He could use more anchors in his life. Fucking misanthrope," he added wryly.

[livejournal.com profile] leshovik: That make Viktor laugh, in spite of it all.

"Yeah," he said.

He paused to wash his hair. As short as it was, it didn't take much. More of a scalp massage than anything, but he lingered at it, enjoying it. Another tiny pleasure reclaimed.

Leshovik couldn't disagree with the assertion from Kasya's own lover that the reticent sniper was a misanthrope. Leshovik actually found that funny, but he sombered as he thought of Aryol.

"All right," he said, rinsing off his hair.

He leaned out of the spray to catch Niotkuda's gaze.

"I'm glad you understand me. I'm not blameless, but..."

Viktor paused, glancing off to the side, his blue eyes dark and still for a few moments.

"I'm trying to do better. Maybe it's too late to change how I do things."

He shrugged, smiling slightly and suddenly.

"But what the hell, right comrade? Might as well give it a shot."

He resumed washing, scrubbing his skin, lingering over his privates without shame or hesitation. That was another thing about living in the wilderness in close proximity to other people. Modesty became highly irrelevant, even moreso than in the army.

Gingerly, he touched cleft of his ass, fingers tracing to the small puckered opening as he washed. Still sore, but getting better. That was good.

Viktor looked up.

"Hey...about earlier. Boxing. I shouldn't have said it like that, or been so casual about mentioning it. That was pretty tasteless. I apologize. I can imagine that it's not something you enjoy talking about."

[livejournal.com profile] andrei_isaev: Isaev raised an eyebrow.

"It's not something I've ever talked about, actually."

He lingered under the spray for a moment, watching Leshovik, who bathed with great relish, unselfconscious as Andrei himself, and quite possibly more.

He turned off the tap, and stepped out from under the showerhead.

"Never gave voice to it. Not to anyone, apart from my best comrade here. And he's like a brother."

Isaev shrugged.

"You seem like the kind of chelovik who would understand a checkered past better than most. Wasn't hard to say."

[livejournal.com profile] leshovik: Viktor nodded.

"It's almost a requirement for black ops," he said, dryly. "I can't judge you for something like that, not with the kind of work I do."

He shrugged, and luxuriated under the spray for a little longer, unwilling to finish his shower just yet, even though Niotkuda was leaving, and they were in the middle of a conversation.

Leshovik rinsed himself off and caught up with Niotkuda in the locker room, grabbing a fresh towel.

"What about you?" he asked as he dried himself off. "Where's Kasya tonight? Holed up in his bunk, reading?"

[livejournal.com profile] andrei_isaev: "Don't know," said Isaev, carelessly, toweling his hair off with rough efficiency. "Cagey bastard has his own little secretive permutations."

He snorted, smiling vaguely, glancing up as he progressed to his body.

"I could ask, but...well, imposing implicit obligations are a sabotistic proposition in the end. That and I don't really mind his being an enigma. He can't help it."

He shrugged.

"He's probably spending some quality time with your piece of junior ass. That would explain his not mentioning it to me. He thinks I have an axe to grind."

Isaev shrugged.

"I don't," he added. "Blood is blood. If he thinks...I accept that."

[livejournal.com profile] leshovik: Viktor nodded.

"I don't believe it either, but that's just me. It's too coincidental. Too much of a wish fulfillment."

He rested one leg on the bench in front of him and leaned forward to dry off his legs and feet.

"For both of them, maybe. No families, that kind of shit."

Leshovik shook his head.

"Fuck. Listen to me. Never mind."

Last thing he probably wanted to do was to get too critical of Kasya and piss off Niotkuda. Might as well try not to make any more enemies than he already had.

Viktor knew that sometimes he just had to shut the hell up.

He threw the towel down and grabbed his urban camo jumpsuit out of the locker where he'd stored it earlier. He pulled it on over bare skin and zipped it.

"None of my business, anyway."

Viktor snorted and sat down to pull on his boots, glancing sideways at Niotkuda.

"So what is there to do around here? Is there some kind of officer's club? Back in civilization for the first time in months, and the last thing I want to do is hole up by myself, reading or something."

[livejournal.com profile] andrei_isaev: Isaev paused as he pulled on his shorts and jodphurs, buttoning them.

"No, no. I think...you're right, comrade."

He reached for his telnyashka and shrugged, stretched up into it.

"I wanted him to have family...but not an ungrateful little cuss like that."

Andrei looked sheepish.

"Not that he's much younger than I am."

He rolled his eyes, wryly.

"Although it seems like that was always Irinarhov's thing, doesn't it? You're not much older than thirty yourself, are you?"

[livejournal.com profile] leshovik: "Thirty-three," Leshovik admitted. "I was pretty young when..."

He trailed off, then shrugged and laughed, but there was little humor in it.

"Well, it was eight years ago. I was twenty-five."

Viktor gave his bootlaces a final tug, then glanced up at Niotkuda.

"He must have..." he started tentatively, pausing.

He studied Niotkuda's expression.

"He must have told you about me. I don't suppose it was flattering."

Viktor's gaze wavered, then dropped.

"And that was probably well-deserved."

[livejournal.com profile] andrei_isaev: "Davai, he talked about you."

Isaev laughed, looking up from the bench where he was pulling on his boots.

"He said you were dead."

Then he sobered slightly, rising.

"It...made him withdraw for a long time. Your death."

Then he lifted a brow, as he pulled on his jacket and buttoned it.

"When we met, I asked him if he preferred being with a sniper. That it was two of a kind, and maybe there was common ground there."

He looped his shoulder holster over his head and fastened the belt, looking down as he did.

"...he got a pained expression. Said it was 'difficult.' Competitive, he said."

Andrei turned back to his locker, and took his peripherals from the top shelf. He swathed the scarf loosely around his neck, and pulled on his gloves, but foreswore the beret, stuffing it into his pocket and leaving his head bare so that his hair could finish drying.

Then he dusted off the front of his uniform, smoothing non-existant wrinkles, as he looked up to meet Leshovik's slate blue eyes.

"But he never said anything disparaging about you."

[livejournal.com profile] leshovik: Leshovik looked down.

"Then I guess he's a better man than I am."

He got up, shaking his head, smile turning both bitter and wry.

"Ah, it's ancient history now, comrade. It doesn't matter."

He couldn't tell Niotkuda that he'd wanted to kill Kasya, those nights he had him zeroed in his scope. That he'd even watched Kasya and Niotkuda together, pressed up against a window, entwined and hungry for each other, and had thought about pulling the trigger.

And he'd gotten off on that, Viktor remembered, belatedly. It was a bit awkward now.

He grabbed his Dragunov from the weapons locker, and slung it over his shoulder.

"It's funny, though, what you said, about him withdrawing."

Leshovik frowned.

"I honestly didn't think he'd care, if he even found out. That's one of the reasons why I did it. Went into black ops, that is. I didn't think anyone really needed me to be alive."

[livejournal.com profile] andrei_isaev: "He never told me how it ended," said Isaev, carefully, shutting his locker. "He said you were killed in action, but that it was already over by then. Never could get him to expand on that statement."

Andrei grabbed his AK belatedly.

"Not that I pressed him."

He started toward the door, lingering companionably apace.

"I thought it was something he might come around to relating at some point, if our comradeship got off the ground."

"Started life as a fling," Isaev added, vaguely. "Same day he transferred in."

He glanced at the sniper.

"One of those things."

Pausing, he studied Leshovik.

"A better man," he remarked, frowning. "I don't see it. You seem like a decent enough chelovik to me, brat."

[livejournal.com profile] leshovik: Viktor registered the compliment, but barely. His head snapped up and he looked at Niotkuda incredulously.

"Same day?" he echoed. "A fling?"

His eyes flicked back and forth rapidly, studying Niotkuda's expression, but he saw no jest there.

Suddenly, he laughed.

"You brutal fucker. It took me months to even get him to kiss me. But I suppose that was fucking Troy, wasn't it? Those walls had never been breached."

Still, he looked at Niotkuda with a new appreciation. Handsome devil, with laughing grey eyes and broad smile. And like Lynx, he moved near-silently, and without effort, Viktor couldn't help but notice.

Niotkuda looked to be about twenty five, the same age Viktor had been back when he'd met Kasya.

Leshovik started forward to follow Niotkuda, though he didn't know where they were going. Somehow, it didn't seem to matter much.

He shook his head.

"Though I guess he could have been hopping beds for eight years afterward, for all I know."

[livejournal.com profile] andrei_isaev: Andrei tilted his head, amused.

"He didn't want to be friends. Believe me, he tried valiantly not to interact with anyone. Especially me and mine. Hated me on sight, I think, actually. He wanted nothing to do with me. Snarled that I was a 'troublemaker', in the most surly, unflattering tone."

He shrugged, lightly, sighing.

"But I don't really ask. And even if I did...no isn't a viable answer in the Isaev procedural."

They were strolling down the hallway now, in no particular hurry.

Isaev thought it was only germane to address Leshovik's cryptic comment. He did so, after a discreet pause, and a slight lift of his brows.

"And no, actually...apparently...there's only been you. And me."

[livejournal.com profile] leshovik: Leshovik shook his head, and laughed.

"Damn," he said, because there really wasn't much else he could say to that.

His mouth curved into a wry and sideways smile.

"Well...I'm working at not holding grudges. Letting go. So I'll say I hope he's happy. I hope you both are."

He meant it, though the wounds he carried were still bitter, and tender, though he was pretty sure he didn't hate Kasya anymore.

Viktor glanced at Niotkuda, and his eyes glinted.

"You look like a troublemaker, Niotkuda. That's probably part of the appeal."

He laughed.

"Same day. That's fucking hilarious, comrade."

[livejournal.com profile] andrei_isaev: Isaev was expressionless for a moment, then the corners of his mouth minted a brilliant smile, a little darker and more argent than the one before it. It carried a knowing patina.

"You look like a troublemaker yourself, comrade. I shouldn't wonder, should I?"

He laughed, shaking his head.

"Irinarhov does all right with a grudge himself, so I wouldn't feel overly alone, were I you."

They were crossing the skybridge to the barrack wings now, and Isaev glanced down the hall with an incline of his head.

"Split a bottle with me?" he asked, genially. "Seeing as we're ostensibly both stag tonight."

[livejournal.com profile] leshovik: "Sure," Leshovik said, and hit Niotkuda's shoulder companionably. He tilted his gaze up to catch the Spetsnaz lieutenant's eye, grinning.

"I'd like that."

He followed Niotkuda down the hall.

"I've gotten into my share of trouble," he admitted. "Like anyone, I suppose. And did my share of bed-hopping after Kasya, too."

He considered Niotkuda for a few moments as they walked, amused by the swing of the man's overlong hair. Physically, they were worlds apart, save for their coloring. But there was something sharp and provocative about Niotkuda that reminded him of the way young Viktor used to be.

"Lynx calls you his stavlennik," he said. "He had nothing but praise for you."

[livejournal.com profile] andrei_isaev: "I'm no ingenue myself," remarked Isaev. "I've never seen the point of that, when getting off feels so fucking sublime."

But the other thing this Viktor said, this Leshovik, about Lynx...

That took him by frank surprise, and he actually felt a slight flush, as he demurely lowered his eyes.

"Well...that pleases me immensely. I won't lie. I spent every moment trying to hone my skills to his level, trying to match the matchless."

He raised his head.

"I love that man," he said, without irony.

Then he pulled out his keys.

"I figure we might as well use the Captains' barracks. More nicely appointed, and better yet, uninhabited, save for our friend Irinarhov. Maybe he's in."

Andrei doubted it, however. If Kasya were available, he'd have heard from him by now.

[livejournal.com profile] leshovik: "Sounds good," Viktor said.

He smiled at the keys Niotkuda pulled out of his pocket so readily. That Niotkuda felt comfortable enough to commandeer Kasya's barracks was a pretty clear indication that their relationship had moved beyond a fling.

He waited as Niotkuda unlocked the door and ushered them inside. Leshovik looked around the barracks, and found them to be as sparse and spartan as Kasya's barracks had been back in Hungary.

"Looks like he's not here."

Leshovik spotted a book sitting on the footlocker at the end of one of the bunks. He moved to pick it up. The Iliad.

Viktor laughed and set it down. "Still, with this ancient stuff," he said, shaking his head, though he really wouldn't have expected anything else. Even back then, Kasya had been firmly set in his ways.

He unslung his Dragunov and set it next to the weapons locker, and then found a wall to lean against, and looked back at Niotkuda.

"Lynx is a good man. Easy to trust. At this point, I think I'd follow him if he decided we needed to do a deep recon of Hell."

[livejournal.com profile] andrei_isaev: Andrei pulled open the footlocker, where he'd stashed several bottes of liquor, grabbing one and uncapping it, offering the first sip to the guest.

Neither he nor Kasya drank overmuch, left to their own devices...but what amounted to moderation for a Russian was still probably indulgence to any other race on the globe, saving perhaps the Irish.

He got a feeling that Leshovik was not a guy who stood on ceremony, so he didn't offer any, unwinding his scarf and swinging up into an unoccupied bunk.

"Feel free to join me. Kick back."

Isaev paused, eyeing Leshovik obscurely as he played with his gloves, drawing them off with slow, toying motions.

"...You're close, then. You and Rys'."

He paused, opening his mouth slightly, as if airing a question before speaking it outright.

"Because Kassian thought...well, it was his impression the two of you...might be enmeshed. On a more than soldierly level."

He raised his hands, mildly.

"Don't ask me how he came by it. But he claims to know you well enough."

[livejournal.com profile] leshovik: "Fucking Kasya."

Leshovik took a healthy swallow of liquor, savored it like cigarette smoke. He closed his eyes for a moment.

It had been a long time since he'd even had a casual drink. They didn't bring liquor along on an op, and before that, there really hadn't been the occasion. Bunked up at various bases, waiting to be deployed. Always the outsider. Regular Red Army avoided special ops soldiers like ants confronted by an obstacle that had fallen across their trail. They simply gave a wide berth and continued on, going out of their way to act as if black ops didn't exist.

As much as he liked the mystique, Viktor decided that he liked having a drink with a comrade better.

He licked his lips and then handed the bottle back to Niotkuda.

"How does a guy who doesn't talk to anyone pull things like that out of the fucking air? That's what I want to know."

Leshovik climbed up easily and joined Niotkuda on the upper bunk, leaning back, resting against the wall.

A smirk tugged at the corner of his mouth.

"Yeah, we're enmeshed. It actually started just a few days ago. I wasn't expecting it, and Aryol..."

He gestured vaguely.

"But...I don't know. I think he's...good for me, for lack of a better way to explain it. I feel like trying to be a better human being around him."

He glanced at Niotkuda.

"That must sound crazy, huh," he said. "Or do you know what I mean?"

[livejournal.com profile] andrei_isaev: Isaev snorted.

"Not crazy," he replied. "That's his whole MO."

He paused, grinned, shaking his hair and scratching his head.

"Works, though. Even if you don't know why you're doing it."

Then he was silent, considering, but found his mind couldn't really wrap around the schism between lover and commander as far as Lynx was concerned.

He let it go.

"No idea how Kasya pegged it. But he seems to think a hand on the shoulder is as telling as a cock in the ass."

A wry smile and a slight roll of his eyes followed the words.

"Kind of old-fashioned."

[livejournal.com profile] leshovik: Viktor snorted.

"I guess."

He leaned back.

It was still hard for him to reconcile the Kasya that was Niotkuda's old-fashioned lover and the Kasya that had come to him that last night and fucked him through the mattress. Had Kasya picked up on some subtle cue he'd given off in regards to Lynx because the bastard was just that astute about human nature, or had Viktor's manner betrayed something else, something only a lover would recognize?

Leshovik made a face, then sighed.

"But yeah. That's why I'm going to break things off with Aryol. Not because I hooked up with Lynx, but because Lynx made me realize that it wasn't real healthy. For either of us."

He laughed.

"I mean...he fucking looks like Kasya. That's pretty sick. And there were times..."

Viktor trailed off and shook his head.

"Ah, never mind, comrade. You probably don't want to hear about that. Anyway. They sure put Lynx back to work right away. I haven't seen him all that much since we got here."

He looked at Niotkuda more closely.

"Have you heard anything? Are they going to give him back his old position?"

[livejournal.com profile] andrei_isaev: "Actually," said Andrei, levelly, "I do want to hear about Kasya."

He took a measured sip, and locked his gaze on Leshovik's.

"Seems to me that finding a perfect simulacrum bodes a kind of passion deferred."

He offered the bottle, leaning slowly back against the wall.

"So I do want to know, Vitya. Was he the love of your life?"

He paused, eyes light and intent, but empty of condemnation.

"Is he?"

[livejournal.com profile] leshovik: Leshovik's breath caught like someone had just punched him in the gut, and he reeled silently for a moment. Then he reached out and swiped the bottle from Niotkuda's hand and took a liberal swallow.

"Fuck, Niotkuda," he said, wiping his mouth. "You are Lynx's fucking heir, all right. You guys don't mess around. Go right for the killing blow, one shot, up close and personal."

He thrust the bottle back at the younger man, but met his gaze levelly.

"Kasya's not the love of my life. But he did fuck me over. Turned me inside out and backwards and I'm only just straightening myself out now. I didn't realize how messed up I was."

Viktor's gaze was hard and clear, though without the flicker of anger.

"That's why...things are so fucked up between me and Aryol. I treated him like I wanted to treat Kasya. All the things I wanted to recompense Kasya for, I took out on Aryol. If that kid's fucked up, it's my fault."

He looked away.

"I didn't come here to badmouth your lover. I was an ass to Kasya too. I'd say we were equally to blame."

Leshovik let out a long and deliberate breath, let out the tension that had spiked in him as an act of will, like purging emotion before taking a shot.

He turned his gaze back to Niotkuda.

"So you don't have to worry. I'm not here to steal him back. I think I have something good now. Healthy. And I want to see where it goes."

[livejournal.com profile] andrei_isaev: "I'm not worried," Isaev said, quietly.

"But if he were something to you...I would understand."

He ran his hand back through his hair, testing its dryness. Not quite, but almost.

"You see...I wouldn't stand in the way of that. Something that was meant to be. If you and he were starcrossed, and all that chush sobachyj-"

He fingered the tip of the bottle and slowly raised it to his lips.

"What did he do?" he asked, soberly.

[livejournal.com profile] leshovik: "No, no, no."

Leshovik's eyes widened, alarmed.

"Oh god no. Fucking, no, Niotkuda, that's the last thing I want. Jesus. Look, no offense, but...I wouldn't want to deal with that again. I'm glad he has you. It makes it easier, in my head, to know that he has someone, and there's not this..."

He waved a hand.

"...thing, lurking out there, that I would have to worry about. Wondering what he was thinking, if he was going to..."

Viktor's expression hardened, and became a frown. After a moment, he held out a hand for the bottle.

"All right, if I'm going to tell you about this, I need more of that. And maybe a cigarette too. You mind if I smoke? I fucking started smoking again. Fucking Lynx."

[livejournal.com profile] andrei_isaev: Isaev smiled, wryly.

"You sure he's good for you?" he asked, but he levered his body off the bunk in a slow hang and dropped onto the floor.

He strolled over to the small table where Ilya kept his stash and pulled a few cigarettes out, sticking them in his mouth to hold as he took another bottle out of the footlocker.

Kassian was going to think he'd had a bender in his absence, Isaev thought, amused.

Then he turned back to the bunk, tossing the bottle onto the bedspread beside Leshovik and vaulting himself back up.

"Need a light?" he asked, out of the corner of his lip, as he pulled out a matchcase.

[livejournal.com profile] leshovik: Leshovik snorted.

"Except for the cigarettes, yeah. Eight years. Eight years, without a single smoke. And then the past few days..."

He shook his head, but patted down the pockets of his jumpsuit and pulled out the last of the cigarettes Lynx had given him.

"Here, I have some too. I'm not here to drink all your booze and take all your cigarettes too, comrade. I can contribute, though it's not much."

Carefully, he lined them up on the coverlet, and picked up the new bottle. He worked at opening it.

As he unscrewed the cap, Viktor eyed the cigarettes sticking out from the generous curve of Niotkuda's mouth.

"Yeah, actually," he said, after a moment, "I could use a light."

[livejournal.com profile] andrei_isaev: "I don't smoke," said Andrei, striking a match on the side of the bunk and giving a half-grin around the cigarettes.

He lit one, inhaling against the flame until it caught.

Then he plucked it out and offered it to the sniper.

The others he put aside carelessly.

"These are my ration surplus. Useless, except to my chainsmoking bunkmate, but when they pile up here, they serve no purpose at all. You're welcome to them."

[livejournal.com profile] leshovik: Leshovik's brows lifted slightly, but he took the proffered cigarette and stuck it in his mouth. He closed his eyes as he inhaled, savoring it, but turned his head to exhale, blowing the smoke away from Niotkuda.

"God. I'm never going to take that for granted. Who knows when I'll fucking decide to quit again and it'll be the last one."

He drew in another breath.

"I should quit, though. Don't want to start getting short of breath every time I work out again. Fuck."

Viktor smoked for a while, and then drank some too, downing several generous swallows, letting the alcohol burn down to his chest and warm him.

The hard planes and angles of his face eased somewhat as his expression relaxed and his eyes went half-lidded, but he was quiet for a while, thinking.

"So you really want to hear about me and Kasya? How it ended? What he did to me?"

Leshovik shook his head.

"It's not pretty, comrade, and like I said, I'm not here to bad-mouth him. To dish the dirt on your lover. I'm not that much of a bastard...or I'm trying not to be."

His lips pulled with halfhearted wryness.

[livejournal.com profile] andrei_isaev: Andrei regarded him steadily.

"I would," he said.

He sat back, once more, sliding out of his jacket and letting it fall to the floor.

A tel'nik was far more comfortable for lounging in, and he wanted to be at ease for this.

"You know," he said, slowly, "there are a lot of things about me that aren't exactly pretty. Whatever it is, I should know, shouldn't I."

He took a drink, and slid the bottle back toward Leshovik.

He idly admired the sleek sheen of the sniper's crop and the sharp profile below it.

"You should tell me. And don't put a shine on it."

November 2009


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