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08 October 2007 @ 01:28 am
Returning to Quarters by Moonlight....  
Nika left mess intending to return to his quarters.

It was nice out, for winter, however, and he lingered on his walk, crossing through the tank yard, occasionally gazing up at the night sky.

A blanket of stars, a dark bright blue, illumed from behind by unseen, uncast light.

He assumed Rakitin was right behind him, but he had yet to see Polya disembark the mess hall, or hear his companionable shout.

Perhaps Polya had business to attend to, like the nights he'd been privy to what Liadov had not.

Rakitin was ostensibly GRU now, and no longer objective and uncompromised, as far as Nika was concerned.

If in fact he ever had been. It seemed Rakitin's wandering eye for unguarded cock caused him to lapse in common sense. He'd said himself he could take or leave the KGB, in no uncertain terms that left Liadov fairly stunned at their utterance. Once, men were sent to the Gulagi for years for telling a single joke about the government- and here was Ippolit, boldly declaring dissatisfaction with his agency.

And then, this blase admission that he intended to jump ship for Volgin's outfit- well, Rakitin was either supremely brave and confident, or hopelessly naïve to think his kit and bags weren't bugged. Or his teeth, for that matter. Maybe he was more of a renegade than Nika had surmised.

It didn't change his feelings for the man, but it did mean he had one less uncontaminated soul to rely on in this corrupt outpost, if it came down to an issue of justice that conflicted with GRU wishes or politics.

He sighed.

Best not to think about that. Not until it came to it- if it did.

The stars were never-shifting, everlasting.

Nika smiled at them and shook his head.

"Men are fucking imbeciles," he whispered to them, confidentially. "And I foremost among them."
 
 
 
Aryol: long haireyes_adrift on October 8th, 2007 09:41 am (UTC)
Aryol waited, crouched against a tank.

He pulled up the collar of his field jacket around his nose and mouth to minimize the trail of mist left by warm breath in cold air.

Aryol had watched soldiers spill out of the mess hall and head off to their various barracks. Kasya and Niotkuda had left together, but Aryol hadn't been waiting for them. Instead, he'd kept an eye on the door to see when the MVD officer came out.

It hadn't been long before the man whose name he still didn't know had emerged and started toward the Main Wing, though instead of skirting between buildings, he'd taken the long route, heading straight through the tank yard.

A surprise, but a good one - there were more places to hide here, more shadows cast from the floodlamps on the wall, inky wells between tanks, like the one where Aryol crouched.

If he judged things right, the man would be passing in only a couple of seconds -

Hushed footsteps.

He'd judged right.

Aryol waited until the shadow of the man drew abreast of his position, then moved softly and swiftly.

He timed it so he emerged between tanks to catch the man from behind just as he passed, using his momentum to grab one of the man's arms, pulling it behind him, hooking his other arm around the man's waist, yanking him into the darkness. The man hissed, but struggled, fighting him instead of his own momentum, which spoke to MVD training, Aryol was sure.

Dangerous prey.

"Freeze," Aryol growled into the man's ear. "I've got you."
Ippolit Zosimovich Rakitinhajimenoippolit on October 8th, 2007 10:20 am (UTC)
Polya had lingered a little, bemused at the shapes bits of tea leaf chose to assume in order to pass on a message. Nothing he hadn't already known.

When he exited, cold air rubbing itself against his face like a cat, it was easy to make out Nika some distance ahead of him a blond smudge against grey buildings and night. He was moving in no great hurry. Polya trotted to catch up, intended to ask what he made of the new acquaintances.

Something flashed out from a space between tanks.

A man's arm.

It grabbed Nika and pulled him out of sight.

Polya broke into a sprint.

Blond, his mind gibbered imbecilely. He's fucking blond.

He took the turn into the darkness of the narrow metal-flanked alley with his gun in his hand, and aimed straight at the deeper shadow that was the murderer.
The Krasnogorje Flame Unit: Deimoskrasnogorje on October 8th, 2007 04:45 pm (UTC)
Dmitry bit back malicious laughter, listening to the struggling and the muffled shouts from the darkness of the corridor between heavy artillery.

It was unexpected, but probable that someone else had an ax to grind with Nikanor Liadov. A pleasant surprise, overall. He was only planning to trail the Operativnik back to his quarters, familiarize himself with Liadov’s habits and routine, and take his revenge later.

Listening to the rat-bastard strangle to death just around the corner was much more rewarding than following him back to his barracks and watching him sleep.

All at once though, a horrible idea crept up on Dmitry like a nightmare and kicked him in the stomach.

If someone else killed Liadov now, he couldn’t have the pleasure of doing it later.

He came out from shadows of the tank like a spring that had been compressed to its breaking point, then released all at once. The flame patrol soldier fumbled with the stolen AK for what seemed like a lifetime in the span of a half-second, and in that brief pause, he remembered something that seemed very out of place.

“Hold it lower, not like a fucking Kalashnikov.” the Fury was saying, “like this. Slightly tilted upwards, so that when you pull the trigger, the flames hit the enemy’s chest and face. The idea is to immobilize, immolate, and blind.”

“Let him go!” Deimos shouted into the shadows. “Come out with your hands up!”

In the nerve-wracking silence that followed, he was acutely aware that he was cradling the assault riffle against his chest as though it were a flame thrower, and in doing so, the sleeves of his pilfered GRU uniform pulled back, revealing the brutal scars that licked their way up his forearms.
Operativnik Nikanor Grigoriivich Liadovnikanor_liadov on October 8th, 2007 07:06 pm (UTC)
A killer wouldn't say freeze.

That was a professional command with specific meaning.

He stopped struggling at once, and his hand shot behind him, cradling his assailant's crotch roughly.

In the next instant, he was either spun or he turned, or perhaps both, and their mouths collided with inevitable, celestial force.
Aryoleyes_adrift on October 8th, 2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
His body sang with adrenaline and arousal, peaked by the man's immediate response.

Aryol pushed him back and shoved him up against the cold metal side of the tank, pinning him fast and kissing him hard, forcing a leg between his thighs.

His hands snaked between them, and urgently yanked at the man's belt.
Operativnik Nikanor Grigoriivich Liadovnikanor_liadov on October 8th, 2007 07:33 pm (UTC)
Liadov grunted at the jerking of his belt, but didn't resist.

His mouth was latched to the stranger's, devouring and hungry, and they both uttered guttural sounds unwitting, strange, lustful moans from behind crushed lips.

As luck would have it, his gamble was a good one, and he'd been right about the identity of his assailant.

If he'd been wrong...

Well, at least he'd have had the element of surprise on his side.

As it happened, the element of surprise came into play a few moments later.
Ippolit Zosimovich Rakitinhajimenoippolit on October 8th, 2007 07:43 pm (UTC)
What Ippolit saw ran so counter to what he had expected that his eyes and brain, both going at full tilt, ran directly into each other with a concussive force that dropped his jaw.

The impact rerouted through the bath of adrenaline to the tangle of fizzing neurons and expressed itself as,

"What the everloving son of a fuck...?"
Aryol: long haireyes_adrift on October 8th, 2007 07:51 pm (UTC)
Somewhere nearby, someone was shouting, but it barely registered, and had nothing to do with the crush of their mouths and the strain of their bodies and the ardor that lit through him like a tempest.

He pulled the belt loose and was working on the fly when he realized, dimly, that the shouting was close and seemed to be directed at them.

No, at him, in particular.

He tore his mouth away and whipped his head around to look down the row between tanks toward the source of the shouting. A man standing there with a gun.

Aryol shook, breathing hard, entirely pissed off.

"Christ, this isn't a party," he snarled.
Operativnik Nikanor Grigoriivich Liadovnikanor_liadov on October 8th, 2007 11:08 pm (UTC)
There was a small cacophony, suddenly, from both sides, but Nika was belated to respond. He'd never once been caught at a tryst, it was his charmed luck.

Except that it sounded somewhat like Rakitin, and that would be awkward, for a colleague to see him in such a compromising position...

But instinct overrode everything, after all these years in the Internal Service.

"Ruki hver" was the only sound that cut into Liadov's consciousness with absolute clarity. Hands up was a term he knew well and uttered often. He would have responded in his sleep.

When the stranger ripped his attention away to bark, Liadov swiftly pushed up from his position against the tank like a wary mink.

"What-"

There was Polya, he'd been right- he locked eyes with him briefly on impulse.

But it hadn't been Rakitin who shouted the directive.

No, he had only ejaculated some epithet of shock and dismay, which Nika had noted vaguely and regretfully.

But the other-

"Who said that?" he demanded, shoving his hair out of his eyes.

His head whipped around, and he caught sight of the other speaker, who stood illumed against the sodium lights at the other end of the tank row, AK trained on them with a deathgrip, as if he were afraid he might drop it.

"Looks like we're surrounded," he muttered ruefully, under his breath.

He straightened his collar.

"You," he called out to the shadowy GRU officer, raising his hands slightly. "Come here. It's all right. I'm a Major of Internal Service. Everything is copacetic here."

Da, his mind added sarcastically. Here, between the tank rows, in the dark with his belt undone, and his tongue down another man's throat.


Aryol: long haireyes_adrift on October 9th, 2007 03:15 am (UTC)
Aryol took a step away, still breathing hard, though he didn't move too far.

His proximity to his MVD lover was proprietary and defensive, as well as being instinctual, poised like a wary wolfhound, dark eyes narrowed and sharp.

Band together, show solidarity, watch out for your partner. They were as deeply ingrained to him as knowing how to shoot.

He looked behind them, to the quiet man who had cursed. Less of a threat than the other, he thought, if only by the virtue that he had a smaller gun.

After a moment he recognized the man - the pathologist, his newfound comrade's comrade. Probably noticed Aryol's ambush and ran up to save his friend.

Aryol's mouth twisted wryly, after a moment. He probably should have been more careful, but the opportunity had been just too good to pass up.

Aryol still didn't like being surrounded, still didn't like having guns pointed at them.

Not to mention being interrupted.

He kept his focus on the pathologist, watching him warily, letting the man he could barely call stranger handle the other interloper.
Ippolit Zosimovich Rakitinhajimenoippolit on October 9th, 2007 04:13 am (UTC)
Polya felt his pupils dilate at the raw erotic need that sparked off the two men, palpable as thunder.

He froze when the man who had Nika locked in a perfectly mutual embrace looked up to scowl.

Aryol. The kid from the Black Ops squad.

Well. That explained a lot.

Relief thudded into Polya's forehead like a brick.

The kid's face had been twisted into a look of perfect outrage, as if Polya had committed an esoteric yet hideous faux pas at a garden party.

Not a dismembering in progress, but a tryst. He'd caught someone not with a knife in his grip but his hand in the cookie jar.

In somewhere, anyway.

It was entirely too funny.

That there was another armed man on the other side of the pair made it a good deal less so.

What could have been an amusing, though heart attack inducing, misunderstanding now stood a chance of going downhill quickly.

Aryol was watching Rakitin, tensed, standing protectively beside Nika.

Slowly, keeping his eyes on Aryol's and carefully telegraphing every move, Rakitin returned the gun to his holster, and opened empty hands.
The Krasnogorje Flame Unit: Deimoskrasnogorje on October 9th, 2007 05:13 am (UTC)
Deimos was unable to find his voice. He stared, he gawked, with wide brown eyes, mouth agape against the warm balaclava. Outrage and anger and disgust mingled with curiosity and arousal.

It wasn’t an attempted murder, it was coitus interruptus with a dark, handsome stranger in a cold, black alley. Disheveled hair told tawdry tales. Belt buckles hung agape and tattled.

He moved when Liadov called him forward and let the muzzle of the riffle pitch forward, limp and lifeless in his grip.

Something whispered to him from the back of his mind and his pulse quickened. He could kill all of them where they stood. A gentle caress of the trigger, a spray of bullets. And he would vanish into the night again, like all those times before, and no one would know the truth.

It was hardly a worthy death for such a stunning, enticing victim as Liadov.

He watched Nika with cold, methodical eyes, but remained still and silent.
Operativnik Nikanor Grigoriivich Liadovnikanor_liadov on October 9th, 2007 05:55 am (UTC)
Nika scratched the back of his head awkwardly.

The other man had lowered his weapon, but done it oddly, like his wrists had suddenly broken.

"Really, it's all right."

Liadov pointed to the man he'd been previously enmeshed with.

"He's Special Ops."

Rakitin knew that, of course, but this GRU soldier looked almost...devastated. Devastated and revolted.

His eyes traveled down, looking for some identification. A name tag, whatever.

Then he frowned.

"What...happened to your arms, comrade?"

Aryol: Aryoleyes_adrift on October 9th, 2007 07:55 am (UTC)
Aryol watched the gun until it went back into its holster, then lifted his gaze to the pathologist's face. He nodded once, in quiet acknowledgment, before turning around to face the other way.

He didn't really know Lieutenant Rakitin, but he seemed nice enough, and if it came down to choosing between him and the other man with the gun, in Aryol's book, this was a more acceptable risk.

The other man, the one he didn't recognize, was suspiciously quiet. Aryol eyed him uncertainly.

There was something about him, an undercurrent of danger, something lethal in his narrowed gaze. The soldier reminded Aryol of other men he'd known in Black Ops, men who knew how to kill, and didn't much mind it.

Forward motion would be dangerous, he sensed, akin threatening a wild dog. He watched the man's eyes. Feral and dangerous.

Aryol held his ground, close and resolute at his MVD lover's side.
Ippolit Zosimovich Rakitinhajimenoippolit on October 9th, 2007 08:17 am (UTC)
The Black Ops man was still long enough for Rakitin to resolve that if he had to spend the afterlife explaining such a stupid way to die he would dedicate a fair portion of it to haunting the hell out of the both of them, before nodding and turning to face the other threat.

Rakitin was about to slip off into the shadows to allow them to convince the other to do likewise and let them return to their business, when he realized that he was thinking of the GRU man as a threat.

He couldn't have said why. Something about the stance, maybe. The way he held his gun, subtly off from the thoughtlessly natural way that slipped into the background of the base's life unseen, disturbing in the way of a doll that appeared almost, but not quite, human.

Maybe, a ticking, paranoid little box in Rakitin's mind whispered, he had stumbled on the murderer after all.

If so, the stranger had miscalculated badly. His mode was to seek one target, where now there were three.
The Krasnogorje Flame Unit: Deimoskrasnogorje on October 9th, 2007 08:37 pm (UTC)
“Comrade?” Dmitry laughed. Softly at first, then dark and indulgent, the maniacal laughter of unrestrained lunacy. The effect of the echo down the corridor of tanks was like strolling through a mad house at midnight on a full moon.

The endearment, the concern mingled with curiosity and confusion that hung thick on Liadov’s words and knitted his brow. It was all too much.

“Fire.” He breathed at last, “purifies the soul. You know my name and my sins. There is no need to search.” Deimos shouldered the AK and peeled the balaclava from his face with deliberate slowness. It came away like a second skin, revealing the wolfish smile that lay hidden under sheep’s clothing, the vicious, dangerous gleam in onyx eyes, the dark hair that stood on end like the fur of an angry tomcat.

“For tonight, call me your guardian angel.” He stole a glance at Aryol, mapping every curve and contour of the soldier’s face, locking it away in the shadowy catacomb of his mind for future reference.

His attention flickered back to Nika and his obsidian eyes narrowed. “You should be more careful going out at night, my love. They say there is a murderer on the lose. You could very easily be his next victim.”
Operativnik Nikanor Grigoriivich Liadovnikanor_liadov on October 9th, 2007 09:40 pm (UTC)
Liadov's face remained expressionless, as did his tone, but his surprise in actuality was total. Behind it stumbled recognition.

"You," he said, in a voice thick and quiet.

He nodded, slowly, and gave a soft, caustic laugh.

"Everyone," he said, with grotesque courtesy, "this is the butcher of Moscow. A former client, rehabilitated into a new profession. Flame-throwing. Isn't that quaint?"

He stepped forward, unwitting but intent. His voice dropped to a hushed subtone, a lullaby on the edge of a knife.

"But oh-ho, where's his flamethrower? He's not wearing his flamesuit, either. Where did they go, comrade? What poor soldier did you take that sheepskin from?"

Nika's breath began to mount and his eyes narrowed. He was moving closer.

"Did you hurt him, murderer? Where is he? Did you cut off his cock? Are you the one, comrade?"

He hit the side of a tank suddenly, viciously, with the flat of his palm.

"No change nor rest for the wicked?"

His voice had escalated to a clarion accusation.
Ippolit Zosimovich Rakitinhajimenoippolit on October 9th, 2007 10:24 pm (UTC)
Kill him.

Rakitin's mind sang with immaculate clarity.

Kill him now.

The scene before him was clean and sharp as a gift of a knife.

He attacked them. You saw and shot. They'll vouch for you.

Movement of air told Rakitin he was edging forward.

Nika's voice caught and maintained, effigy of an echo.

Murderer. Murderer. Murderer.

He would never get a better chance.

"He must have." Was his own voice so clear and cold? It didn't matter. "He was looking for his next victim. There's the riddle. What happens when a coward gets cocky and lays down the things he hides behind?"

It did matter.

That was what stopped him, ultimately.

Mad dogs weren't shot in the streets and covered in easy lies. It was uncivilized.

It was too easy.

It stopped Rakitin long enough for the fatal flaw to strike him.

A midnight murderer caught in the act. It would be impeccable in the eyes of the sane.

The mad wouldn't care. They would seek retribution.

On perpetrator and witnesses alike.

Polya nearly stopped breathing at how easily he had almost fallen into the trap.

He kept his hands frozen, away from his gun.

This was not his way.

Striking at the guilty was not worth hiding behind the innocent.

Justice would come under cover of daylight.

When the time came, he would burn alone.
Aryol: Aryoleyes_adrift on October 9th, 2007 10:29 pm (UTC)
Confrontation sharpened Aryol's senses.

The night was young and crisp, and distant voices echoed.

Mist rose in the air with every word the MVD officer hissed.

His anger was a palpable thing, sharp and tense like a blade, focused on the man he called murderer.

Aryol did not question - not the situation, not the danger, not the man he'd taken for a lover. He acted, and moved to join the MVD officer at his side, unthinking and instinctual.

The passage between the tanks was narrow, but wide enough for two abreast.

He stepped forward with careful paces, utterly focused, judging distance, and the particular angle that the murderer held his Kalashnikov.
The Krasnogorje Flame Unit: Deimoskrasnogorje on October 10th, 2007 02:39 am (UTC)
His smile never faded as Liadov taunted and mocked, postulated and postured with all the pomp and flare of a circus ringmaster. He kept his gaze even and his usual stoic indifference to the world constant even as his heart began to pound in his chest and his fingers went cold.

The rhetorical questions fell all around him, unanswered and smoldering.

Liadov was so fucking beautiful when he was angry, with the chilling majesty of a snarling white wolf provoked to attack, fangs sunk deep into the delicate windpipe of his prey. Dmitry found himself wondering if the MDV man had argued with such vehemence and malice against him at his trial.

The bang against the side of the tank jarred him from his sick version of reality, and he flinched back into the world before him.

The dark-haired stranger was closing in, but Deimos held his ground.

“I make an honest effort to save your life from a situation I deemed potentially dangerous… and this is my thanks.” He sighed indulgently, letting his eyes flicker to the star filled sky, keeping Aryol well within his peripheral vision.

“Nika, Nika. This wasn’t at all what I hoped our reunion would be like. You disappoint me, my darling.” His laughter was like black velvet. “Why don’t you tell your cock-weaving friend to fuck off, and then you can make it up to me properly? On your knees and sucking for my forgiveness?”
Operativnik Nikanor Grigoriivich Liadovnikanor_liadov on October 10th, 2007 04:42 am (UTC)
"It's all right," snapped Nika, pressing a hand against Aryol's chest, lingering slightly and gently.

Stilling the young soldier's progress.

"Stand down, comrade."

He turned his head, holding a gloved finger out, delicately, like the antlers of a butterfly.

"And you too, Polya."

Nika was silent for several moments, eyes locked to the flame soldier's fathomless, flat gaze.

"Of course I disappoint you," he said softly. "The world disappoints you. You've made sure of that, haven't you."

He looked down, tucking in his shirt and buckling his belt slowly, deliberately.

Liadov began to walk forward, slowly, unrelenting.

"No one would have disliked Dmitri, the boy. The man. But due to your own self-loathing, you couldn't believe that. You couldn't face the uncertainty. At least, if you were a villain, you would know that they would hate you, and know that it was justified. Your fear of being ostracized drove you to commit terrible acts. You became the vile creature you felt that you were inside. Did it serve you? That pre-emptive strike?"

He shook his head, and his sigh echoed hollowly between the tanks.

"And I disappoint you. You started building up to this moment your whole life. You started making sure of that at an early age. Becoming what you did. You come to us like this now, a murderer, an unrepentant miasnik- and you can be certain of rejection. And in turn, you feel vindicated that the world hates you, like you always surmised that it would."

Liadov tossed his hair back, out of his eyes. Leveling his brows.

"You want me to suck you off, comrade? Really?"

They were face to face now.

Nika dropped to his knees, abruptly.

His hand shot out, and grabbed the belt of the unknown soldier's uniform, jerking it forward roughly as he ripped it open.

"Will that heal whatever sick black blight powders your orchard?"

His hand crept over the murderer's groin, seizing slowly, leaning in, eyes icy and piercing.

"Will it make you whole? Will it cure your mind?"

Liadov's voice raised, sharp and demanding.

"Well? Tell me, Dmitri. Is that all it takes?"
Aryol: Aryoleyes_adrift on October 10th, 2007 07:14 am (UTC)
Aryol came to a halt where the MVD officer checked him, immediately, and without question.

That was what a partner did.

He stood vigilant, though, watching the events unfold with a dark and piercing gaze, watching the murderer with the distant regard of a raptor.

Aryol showed no reaction - not to the killer's taunts, nor the MVD officer's actions, shocking as they might be.

It was his game now. He called his own shots, Aryol could see.

Nika, the killer named him.

He looked like a Nika, didn't he, with the long hair that fell boyishly across his brow, and the sleepy, genial gaze. But Aryol knew that the heart that beat under that chest was wild and wanton, though made of iron. Willful, and manful, even as he got on his knees in apparent capitulation.

But this was no surrender.

Far from it, Aryol thought.
Ippolit Zosimovich Rakitinhajimenoippolit on October 10th, 2007 07:27 am (UTC)
Nika's movement was sudden and shocking as a gunshot, his words moreso.

They made sense. Perfect, beautiful, transcendent sense.

Even as they were given to the murderer, they fit into Polya's mind like a key into a copy of the same lock.

You couldn't face the uncertainty.

you can be certain of rejection. And in turn, you feel vindicated...

Polya had touched with intimacy the joints and facets of a life that moved only to the will of fear.

He, the murderer, was nothing. His fear was nothing. Better; a cumbersome, shabby object of no shame or value, fit to be set down at the roadside when it was needed no more.

Watching, awestruck, Polya comprehended that Nika, the magnificent bastard, was doing something gloriously cruel.

Polya wanted to embrace him in graitude and laugh with joy.

Nika had given Polya the incomparable gift of the ability to pity the murderer before he killed him.
The Krasnogorje Flame Unit: Deimoskrasnogorje on October 10th, 2007 04:48 pm (UTC)
His hand moved of its own accord to grip Nika’s wrist and pull the wandering hand away. Gradually, the murderer’s sick smile had faded into a scowl, and he trembled as he clutched the Operativnik’s arm.

Dmitry’s head swam with shock, questions and conflicting emotions numerous as moths gathered around the sodium lights. His malice was defused as Liadov kneeled before him, peppered him with harsh words, condemned him once again in a way that was far worse than Magadan.

He was aware that his other hand had come up to stroke Nika’s hair and he watched his fingers move mechanically to toy with the ringlets of silken flax. His stomach flipped over, but he was powerless to stop.

“No…”

Deimos shook his head and wisps of black fell across his brow.

“I want… I want to break one bone in your body for every day I suffered at Magadan. I would start here…” He squeezed Liadov’s wrist, consciously digging his fingernails into the soft skin of the underside. “and end with your neck.”

His words were scarcely above a whisper, carried away on the cold wind into the dark night. Harsh as they were, they carried no real promise of a threat.

Dmitry drew in a sharp breath of the frigid air with the horrible realization that torturing Liadov wouldn’t satisfy him either. It would end too soon, and he would be left with another broken cadaver and blood on his hands.

“Maybe..." he breathed, "there is no hope for me.”

Operativnik Nikanor Grigoriivich Liadovnikanor_liadov on October 10th, 2007 07:57 pm (UTC)
Liadov was silent for a moment.

It was certainly an odd tableau. One that would certainly look beyond depraved to any passersby. Some wry, backstage part of him couldn't help being amused at the idea.

"I don't think I have that many bones," he said, at last.

Dmitry had been happily ensconced in the Zone for longer than 206 days, after all. Although he had heard of cases where some individual's skeletons had slightly more or less. It still wouldn't be enough.

"You'd have to break some of them twice."

It seemed wrong, that the sensation of a sociopath touching one's hair felt no different than a mother's or a lover's.

That should be fixed, thought Nika, vaguely.

He'd just have a word with the godless sky. Sometime after
all his paperwork was done.

The man's nails bit bluntly into his wrist, but he kept his eyes inexorably locked.

"I didn't put you in Magadan, Dima. You put yourself there."

Liadov rose slowly to his full height, like a dance partner at the end of a dramatic denouement. The man's hand slipped from his head like water, but the one on his wrist remained.

"You created your own Zone, your own Siberia, wire by wire, when you chose to be a butcher, and you pushed humanity away. Did you never realize, Dima, that when you killed those girls, you were killing yourself?"

He shook his head.

It didn't matter.

Nika leveled his gaze.

"You deserved to be in Magadan. You don't deserve a second chance. But you've been given one, through circumstances beyond my influence. Much as it displeases me, I have no recourse."

He was aware of Polya somewhere behind him, that he'd made a small noise of dismay some time ago, probably wanting to clarify exactly how many bones were in the human body, and that babies were born with around three hundred, but then some of them fuse, and it varies from person to person...

"...you could go on to live a full and pleasant life in spite of your crimes. But you must let go of the idea that anyone but Dmitry is responsible for his own fate and self-loathing."

Obliquely, Nika wondered if he was ever going to get laid again after such a weird display.
Aryol: long haireyes_adrift on October 11th, 2007 05:46 am (UTC)
A silence fell.

The situation was painful in its intensity, awkward and uncomfortable. Raw emotion played across the murderer's face, set the angle of his shoulders taut. The MVD officer - Nika - was more stoic, but grimly focused, his stance just as tense.

Aryol frowned as he watched the tableau, and felt compelled to move forward.

The man, the MVD major, this Nika - had asked him to stay back, but there were times when a man needed the support of a comrade, even when he didn't know it.

Aryol's steps were careful, one at a time, deliberate in their slowness, calculated to be non-threatening.

He did not look at the man - Dmitry, the murderer - but instead kept his gaze averted, advancing only to the operativnik, stopping.

Reaching out, Aryol brushed a hand against the back of Nika's arm.

"We should go," he murmured.
Operativnik Nikanor Grigoriivich Liadovnikanor_liadov on October 11th, 2007 06:26 am (UTC)
Nika turned, quickly.

"Da," he said, almost on top of the other man's words. "I'm through here."

He smacked the stranger on the back, firmly, with his palm, then seized his shoulder.

The little feathery finger trace on his arm confused him.

Was that how you dealt with a child, or a mental patient? Did the soldier think he was irrational, in need of soothing?

Nika leaned in briefly as he passed, catching low, harsh words in the Specialist's dark hair.

"Take me to your quarters. I want to fuck you."
Aryol: long haireyes_adrift on October 11th, 2007 06:51 am (UTC)
A shiver lanced through Aryol, hit him where he lived.

He nodded once, recalling now their mutual, breathless passion up against the tank.

He wanted it, and he wanted it high and hard, from this man in particular.

Wanted the MVD officer to take him and uncoil his tension inside him.

Aryol said nothing, put acknowledged the man's words with the briefest of touches against his hip.

Even here, it felt achingly intimate, like electricity between them.

He strode down the corridor between tanks, strides lengthening as he walked, leaving the murderer behind.
Operativnik Nikanor Grigoriivich Liadovnikanor_liadov on October 11th, 2007 07:16 am (UTC)
Liadov pulled his cap down and struck his boot into the dirt.

He looked up at Rakitin.

"Hey, Polya. Walk back to quarters with us. I'd feel better seeing you home myself."

He paused.

"There are some bad elements about. And, in case you hadn't looked in a mirror lately...you're blond too."
Ippolit Zosimovich Rakitinhajimenoippolit on October 11th, 2007 08:03 am (UTC)
The intimacy of Liadov's movement toward the young Black Ops man, as if to murmur something in his ear, was a vivid reminder of what had been transpiring. Well, begun to transpire, before Polya and the murderer had charged in, like figures at opposite ends of an ill-lit hall of cracked, crazed mirrors.

That inadvertant stolen glimpse, two figures pressed together in shameless urgency, blazing in a private universe of riotous life.

Beside that, the murderer was a small, petty thing indeed.

They looked good together, Polya thought. The dark soldier and the frost-tipped policeman. He remembered them sitting across from one another, less than an hour ago, smiling, one cool and the other bright, both tinged by the corona of a shared joke.

Maybe this Aryol could blunt the razor pain that had shown its edge that night.

For a moment it looked as though Polya had been forgotten, but Nika caught his eye before he could slip away.

Ah, well. It wasn't a long walk, though it would no doubt be an awkward one. Anyway, Polya suspected, inwardly smiling, the two of them would soon have better things occupying their attention.

"Yeah," he acknowleged, smiling ruefully as he fell in beside the pair at a respectful distance, "but I'm not the one getting ambushed."

Polya looked back over his shoulder to where the stricken murderer stood.

"You're incredible, Nikasha," he said, shaking his head in awe.

Sheepish, Polya glanced away at the cold stars.

"Just-- do me a favor, hey? Try not to get hauled into alleyways by shadowy figures, no matter how dark and handsome they turn out to be? There's better places to meet, and I'm too young for a heart attack."

He watched his boots crunch across the ground and added, in an undertone, "I'd rather have to listen to you scream than find you under a sheet."
Operativnik Nikanor Grigoriivich Liadovnikanor_liadov on October 11th, 2007 08:19 am (UTC)
Nika laughed, wearily.

He let the Black Ops man lead, striding unconcernedly before them at a very slight distance, and Liadov fell back in beside Polya.

"Who says they're mutually exclusive?" he quipped, wanly.

But after a moment he tapped Polya's side with his elbow, and a slight, buried grin.

"Thanks, comrade. For coming after me."

He paused.

"Even if it was just me and some guy having it off like a couple of stupid opesdol. It means something, Lieutenant, that you're watching my back."

Nika turned, eyelashes flicking as he brushed a wayward snowflake away from where it had lit.

"I can trust you with my life. We were comrades before. Now we're really friends."
Ippolit Zosimovich Rakitinhajimenoippolit on October 11th, 2007 08:49 am (UTC)
"Ah, well," Polya said, touched, "if I don't save you from a spontaneous meeting with your lover, who will?"

He ran a hand through his hair.

"That is, besides the violent sociopath."

Wherever he had come from.

Polya grinned lopsidedly.

"It looks like you've got a lot of strange guardian angels."
Operativnik Nikanor Grigoriivich Liadovnikanor_liadov on October 11th, 2007 09:00 am (UTC)
Liadov frowned.

"Yeah..." he said, trailing off, uncertain.

He shook his head after a moment.

"I really don't know what to make of that. I only know that it wasn't motivated by any altruism."

Liadov shrugged.

"He's a dangerous man. I'm surprised he isn't killing secretaries. But I suppose the Fury has him on a short leash- and they've almost certainly given him something akin to a mild chemical castration, to 'take the edge off'."

A pause.

"I don't see another way they could use him, frankly, unless he was pilled up."

Nika made a face.

"Pleasant conversation," he said, snorting softly.

"Don't...mention this, if you don't mind, Polya. About me and...that guy."

He indictated the Black Ops soldier with a vague nod and raise of his eyebrows.

"It's not...well, the truth is, it only happened last night, and it was a completely spontaneous thing. I don't even know his name. I know nothing about what he does, and I like it that way."

Liadov smiled crookedly.

"It's not something I want to advertise, if you understand. I don't know what his situation is, but he alluded to a...significant other of some kind, with the unit he's with."
Ippolit Zosimovich Rakitinhajimenoippolit on October 11th, 2007 09:26 am (UTC)
Information. Good to know. Chemicals...

"Of course." Polya raised his hands, palms out. "I didn't see a thing."

Odd. They seemed so familiar and comfortable with one another, to not even know his name. Well. Not everyone did things in the standard order.

Apparently Nika had been telling the truth. Not that it was any of Polya's business.

A smile dented the corner of his mouth.

"Walked right by, head in the clouds."
Operativnik Nikanor Grigoriivich Liadovnikanor_liadov on October 11th, 2007 09:37 am (UTC)
"I'm going to be useless tonight," muttered Liadov wryly. "That was a real drain."

He sighed and brushed the fawn strands from his eyes absently.

"All I want is a nice warm conjack. That's all."

He studied the soldier's spartan and shapely posterior as the man paused by the door of the visitor's wing, and cast a sloe-eyed glance over his broad young shoulder.

"Maybe I'll drink it out of his navel."
Ippolit Zosimovich Rakitinhajimenoippolit on October 11th, 2007 10:04 am (UTC)
Polya snorted a laugh.

Eagle-eyed he may not be, but he didn't need that or the smoldering glances the two of them kept tossing each other to tell him it was past time to get the hell out of the way.

It was the kind of night that called for something like that. Fond obscenity, and the warmth of a comrade sleeping by your side.

The warmer air of the hall wasn't quite the same.
Aryoleyes_adrift on October 11th, 2007 10:19 am (UTC)
They walked down to their rooms at the end of the hall.

It seemed that they were all clustered together - the pathologist in the corner, Aryol next to him, then the MVD major across the hallway, as he'd discovered last night.

Aryol went to his door and unlocked it, then held it open for the operativnik to go in.

He looked toward his neighbor's door.

His gaze met the pathologist's, and he smiled warmly. Openly, without a trace of embarrassment, or apology.

"Good night," he told Lieutenant Rakitin.

After his MVD lover slipped inside the room, he followed, and closed the door behind them.
The Krasnogorje Flame Unit: Deimoskrasnogorje on October 11th, 2007 04:27 pm (UTC)
Dmitry stood alone in the silken darkness of the tank yard for a very long time. Time slowed, then stopped.

He watched Liadov and his companions leave, wide eyes and mouth agape, looking like an olive skinned fish that had been torn from its comfortable, watery home and thrust into an alternate reality where it was horribly difficult to move or breathe.

He flopped. He floundered. He failed.

An hour ago, he would have plunged a knife into the Operativnik’s back with depraved indulgence. He could still do it. He could open fire into the darkness and eliminate all three of them at once. But the riffle hung limp from its strap, and he didn’t start forward, didn’t reach for his knife in the shadows.

Instead, Deimos backed away from the shaft of light were Nika had kneeled before him. His soulless eyes flickered to the ground, and he stared blankly at the tarmac for a long while, a feral dog that sensed danger at the edge of a snare trap.

"You created your own Zone, your own Siberia, wire by wire, when you chose to be a butcher, and you pushed humanity away. Did you never realize, Dima, that when you killed those girls, you were killing yourself?"

He threw the Kalashnikov down because it was useless, turned, and ran as though the demons of hell were at his back, come to avenge every sin he committed against every nameless, faceless, wailing victim that he left in ruin.

Something, Captain called them, when he told the story. Tisiphone, his mind supplied as his heart raced and his boots pounded across the pavement. Avenger of murder.

Murder. Murderer.

"You deserved to be in Magadan. You don't deserve a second chance. But you've been given one, through circumstances beyond my influence. Much as it displeases me, I have no recourse."

Tisiphone had two sisters, but the names escaped Dmitry as he ran on and on. And together, they were the avengers of sins, pursued their targets to hell and back, drove them out of their minds. The Greeks knew them as Erinyes. It was a word he hung on to for it’s peculiarity, something that stayed with him because of the unusual sound and pronunciation.

"...you could go on to live a full and pleasant life in spite of your crimes. But you must let go of the idea that anyone but Dmitry is responsible for his own fate and self-loathing."

The Romans had a different, slightly more familiar name for the three sisters, though…

…there were lights on in the hovercraft hangar, he realized. Lights, brothers of his own, shelter from the storm that raged on in his mind. He reached the door at a dead run, feeling that his heart would burst in his chest…

…The Romans simply called them the Furies.