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01 July 2007 @ 01:55 am
The Death of a Brother [Feburary 18, 1964, 12:00 am]  
[Continued from "Meanwhile, back at Groznyj Grad..."]

Kassian didn't think he should be the one to say it, but with Imanov still reeling from the shock of their discovery, it fell to him.

"There was another killing tonight," he said to Isaev over CODEC. "Aside from the mechanic."

He paused again.

"It was one of us, an Ocelot."

Kassian realized he was feeding Isaev information piecemeal, the way he'd learned it, trying to lessen the blow. But there was little that could be done to mitigate what he had to say next.

"It was Gurlukovich," he said. "Sergei."

Kassian closed his eyes briefly. "He's dead."

There was more to say, but he fell silent, to let his words sink in.
Leshovikleshovik on July 2nd, 2007 11:15 pm (UTC)
The sniper lowered his Dragunov.

The lights had gone out in the second floor hall of the building not long after he'd re-acquired his target.

He wondered, for a moment, if the other sniper had sensed him, divined his presence though the premonition of a sharpshooter's clairvoyance, or if there was another reason why the lights had gone out.

Ultimately, it didn't matter.

The sniper raised his rifle again, and switched his scope's optics to nightvision.
andrei_isaevandrei_isaev on July 3rd, 2007 01:35 am (UTC)
Isaev was actually running, taking the stairs to the second floor two at a time, and veering from the top landing to jog down the hall at a militant clip.

He wanted to get to Imanov, yes, but there was more to it than that.

Somehow he was mad to see Kassian, to look into his eyes and stare hard and long, and reassure himself that the sniper wasn't putting him off because of some sudden change of heart, effected by Liadov, or Imanov or...


No, he wanted to see Irinarhov because he hadn't seen him all day. Pure and simple. And he was afraid the sniper would leave before he could get there.

Hence the jogging, as if it were urgent.

What the hell was that all about? Andrei snorted, but didn't check his pace. He could see the end of the hallway where the door to the locker rooms were. The lights were off.

He paused, narrowing his eyes, slowing.
Kassian Irinarhovcapt_kasya on July 3rd, 2007 02:30 am (UTC)
Kassian twitched when he heard the footsteps echo up the stairwell.

Reflexively, he reached behind him.

His pistol rested snugly against the small of his back, but his fingertips only grazed the the stock before he paused.

It had to be a friend, he told himself.

He was hoping for Isaev, but even if it wasn't, no killer would announce his presence like that.

Kassian frowned.

The footsteps had stopped as well.

He stood silent for long seconds, but there was nothing.

Anyone would be cautious faced with a darkened hall, he told himself.

"Isaev?" he called, voice low and cautious, though he did not move.
Ippolit Zosimovich Rakitin: black and whitehajimenoippolit on July 3rd, 2007 11:54 am (UTC)
Though Captain Irinarhov had departed, it didn't feel as though there were only one person, and Polya, left in the room.

Remembering Liadov's earlier assurances didn't make the hairs on the back of his neck stop prickling.

Rakitin knelt by the corpse, for all the good it would do. Force of habit. The surge of focus and urgency was fading, leaving him feeling as amorphous as the expanse of damp sand left naked by low tide.

One of the showerheads was broken, skewed down at a tortured angle as though bowing to beg forgiveness. Drops of water fell slow and steady, casting echos into a silence larger than the space that contained it. Already a puddle had formed, the grid of tile visible through the film of shimmering reflection, warping and shifting into one another, reflection and refraction in lambent waltz, until the traceries lifted and flowed and seemed to make the grey angles and halftransparent planes of a man's face, a man who looked back without motion and smiled-

Ippolit jerked his head away.

He really shouldn't have eaten that fucking mushroom.

"There- there's no one else here, is there?" Rakitin said, as his eyes darted to every corner of the room. The question was of more immediate importance than Liadov thinking he was crazy.

Operativnik Nikanor Grigoriivich Liadovnikanor_liadov on July 3rd, 2007 09:27 pm (UTC)
Liadov watched the world outside. Groznyj Grad looked like a model in a snowglobe.

"No," he said. "Just us. And whatever form death takes."

He pictured it as an evaporating alcohol.

It made him want a drink. Nothing vicious. Maybe a smooth, nice Polish potato vodka. He had a bottle in his quarters.

Toast the kid off with a decent libation and a sound sleep.
Ippolit Zosimovich Rakitin: black and whitehajimenoippolit on July 4th, 2007 12:29 am (UTC)
"Right," Rakitin murmured to himself. "No one at all."

He got up. He'd long gotten over any sense of impropriety that came from poking at a dead man's remains, but no good would come of it now. Let the boy rest, for a while.

It had been a long night.

Ippolit could feel it catching up to him, steady and relentless.

No matter how far back you stood, it always got there eventually. All you could do was hold it at arm's length for as long as you could. As long as you had to.

People were all the same. One great, unintelligible mass, differentiated by marks and bruises and burns, identification without identity. That made it easy. He wasn't supposed to recognize them.

He'd been doing so well.

It had been a long time since the old nightmare of pulling the sheet down from the face of everyone he'd ever known.

"Crocodiles," Polya muttered, looking anywhere that wasn't the red scarf over the boy's face. "He promised to show me the crocodiles."
Operativnik Nikanor Grigoriivich Liadovnikanor_liadov on July 5th, 2007 03:59 am (UTC)
"...I bet they're not that hard to find," said Liadov, wryly.

He laughed quietly.

"I bet Major Krauss would be glad to give you a personal tour."
Kassian Irinarhovcapt_kasya on July 5th, 2007 07:10 pm (UTC)
Kassian pulled on his errant glove as he walked in, briefly watching Isaev approach Imanov and embrace him.

After a moment, Kassian purposefully turned his gaze, not wanting to make it seem like he was staring with a raptor's knife-thin regard.

He had no reason to watch them like that, and he also felt no need.

Instead, he approached Liadov at the window. Kassian saw no sign of the MENT's earlier ailment in Liadov's face; instead, he just looked tired. A little paler, perhaps, but no so that anyone would notice offhand.

"Someone will be here soon, to take Gurlukovich."

Absently, Kassian stuffed his balaclava and beret into a back pocket, and glanced across the room.

"Lieutenant Imanov is going to be joining Lieutenant Isaev off-duty in a couple of minutes. I'll be handling the rest of your detail for the evening myself, Major."

He said it in a solemn, professional tone, as if Liadov hadn't been fading, clutching at Kassian's arms not a half hour before. As if he and Imanov had merely tossed a coin to see who would get off duty early.

As if Gurlukovich wasn't lying dead on the floor.

Kassian followed Liadov's gaze out the window to the courtyard below. Snow drifted silently past his field of vision, but Kassian found his eyes moving to the tops of nearby buildings.

"I'll get you there safely," he murmured, half-distracted.
Operativnik Nikanor Grigoriivich Liadovnikanor_liadov on July 5th, 2007 08:42 pm (UTC)
Nika nodded slowly, then turned, buttoning his greatcoat with languid hands, showing his readiness to depart.

"What were you doing in the hall?" he asked absently.
(no subject) - capt_kasya on July 5th, 2007 09:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nikanor_liadov on July 6th, 2007 12:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - capt_kasya on July 6th, 2007 03:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nikanor_liadov on July 6th, 2007 03:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hajimenoippolit on July 6th, 2007 05:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nikanor_liadov on July 6th, 2007 06:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - capt_kasya on July 6th, 2007 07:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hajimenoippolit on July 6th, 2007 08:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
andrei_isaevandrei_isaev on July 3rd, 2007 09:33 pm (UTC)
"Kasya," he barked back, and went loping toward the sniper's voice.

He drew up, standing a slight distance away, and fell silent, as they looked at each other in the semi-darkness.

Isaev tossed a wayward sweep of hair from his eyes as he studied Irinarhov.

"How are you?" he asked, after a moment.

It was deceptively simple question, but loaded with unspoken intent.
Kassian Irinarhovcapt_kasya on July 3rd, 2007 10:11 pm (UTC)
Kassian expelled a short breath, then swept off his beret and balaclava in a single motion.

"Dasha," he said, and closed the short distance between them, pressing into Isaev without hesitation.

Kassian hooked his arm around the back of Isaev's neck and leaned up to kiss him hard, but slowly.

Part of him was taken aback by himself, and the impropriety of intimate relations with his comrade in inappropriate locales. Surprised his own vehemence, and by the sudden, aching need that thrummed inside him like a heartbeat, making his cock swell reflexively.

Another part wouldn't have cared right then if the door behind him opened and the MENTs came spilling out into the hall.

He shook a little as he broke it off and pulled back, though his mouth did not stray far.

Kassian wanted more. He needed more, but he knew he couldn't let it go too long, not now, not when they both had their duties.

"Sorry," he murmured, against Isaev's lips.

He paused, and relaxed his hold around Isaev's neck, but pulled Isaev's head down a little more and gently pressed their foreheads together.

Kassian let out another breath.

"I'm better now," he added, after a moment.
andrei_isaevandrei_isaev on July 3rd, 2007 10:27 pm (UTC)
"I came as fast as I could," Andrei whispered, unsure why his voice seemed to desert him.

He let his brow rest against Kassian's, for a long moment, feeling the warm, adrenalized skin against his own, still cool with recent sleep.

He cupped the back of the sniper's head in his hands, working them, letting black feathers of hair escape between his fingers.

"It's good to see you...comrade."

His lips ached to press in, but he held himself in check, maintaining their mouths' light graze.

"I see why you killed the lights. You were lying in wait."

He paused.

"Fucking snipers."
Kassian Irinarhovcapt_kasya on July 3rd, 2007 11:43 pm (UTC)
In spite of everything, Kassian let out a single, short laugh.

"Maybe I was," he said, but his voice was wry.

He relaxed against Isaev and sighed, letting his hand rest at the back of Isaev's neck, slowly rubbing his skin.

"I think this night was starting to get to me a little."

Kassian found it hard to admit. After the war, what could possibly be worse?

He wasn't sure if this was it, but regardless, he felt infinitely better just for Isaev's presence.

He remembered Isaev talking to him about the Theban Band, and his mouth tipped up. He'd always liked that story, but it made even more sense to him now.

Drawing in a long, slow breath, he let it out and pulled back slightly, raising a hand to push stands of moonlit hair out of Isaev's face.

In the dim lighting, the line of Isaev's cheekbones cut his face in shadow, making him look older. Sager, somehow, or perhaps just more discerning, accepting of Kassian's need. It was not a weakness, to want for the company of a man like Isaev.

"Good to see you too."

Irony laced his tone.

He hesitated, then looked back over his shoulder. "It's not good in there," he said, quietly.
andrei_isaevandrei_isaev on July 4th, 2007 12:10 am (UTC)
"Give me another minute," intoned Isaev, pushing him back against the windowsill. "I'm afraid of what I'll find in there. I know what's out here."

He paused, meeting Kassian's eyes with steady deliberation in the blue, stobing halflight.

"...I know what I have," he said, carefully.
Kassian Irinarhovcapt_kasya on July 4th, 2007 04:54 am (UTC)
The look in Isaev's eyes made Kassian's breath catch and his stomach drop, but he just swallowed, and nodded.

He could feel his heartrate pick up.

It made him feel younger, less jaded. Isaev had a knack for making him feel that way, he was starting to realize, like the roll of years and experience no longer felt so hard to bear, like it could be weightless.

He held Isaev's eyes, not wanting to break the intimacy of their gazes, though he felt disarmed nonetheless.

"I know you do," he said softly, and with wonder.

Kassian raised his hand again, but then paused to strip his glove off so he could stroke Isaev's temple with his bare hand.

He felt like he wanted to say something more, but he didn't know what he could say to do justice to his feelings.

Slowly, he leaned up to brush his lips across Isaev's with gentle deliberation, and he kissed with leisurely measure, as if the MENTs weren't waiting, as if no one had died.

As if it was just the two of them, and nothing else mattered.
(no subject) - leshovik on July 4th, 2007 06:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - andrei_isaev on July 4th, 2007 07:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - capt_kasya on July 5th, 2007 12:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - leshovik on July 5th, 2007 03:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - andrei_isaev on July 5th, 2007 05:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - capt_kasya on July 5th, 2007 06:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - andrei_isaev on July 5th, 2007 06:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - capt_kasya on July 5th, 2007 07:29 am (UTC) (Expand)