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While Hidden, I See and Destroy

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The Groznyj Grad Living Novel



November 15th, 2009

(no subject)


August 4th, 2009


Viktor turned around, and spotted a sniper.

Or at least, he spotted the business end of a sniper rifle poking out from black camouflage netting, high up on the bunker near the east wall of the Grad.

The sniper usually followed, in his experience.

Awareness bloomed through him, slow and visceral, straight from the tightening at his groin to the shiver that bit into back of his neck. He felt utterly naked, standing out in the open as he was with a rifle on his back, a sniper's perfect target.

A second passed, then two.

Leshovik frowned.

There was no unknown sniper lurking the base, he reminded himself, belatedly. He had embraced Lynx's lie so wholeheartedly it had become his easy and unthinking truth.

He hesitated for a long moment, breathing steadily.

"What the hell," he muttered.

He made a quick line for the bunker, crossing the distance without catching a bullet in the head.

The door was not locked. It opened to a empty, dusty space and a ladder leading up to an open trap door in the ceiling.

Viktor braced himself in the doorway, neither in nor out, just in case.


There was a long pause.

"Sidorov." Irinarhov's voice filtered down from above.

Viktor exhaled.

His surname sounded like a stranger's. He had not heard it spoken aloud since he'd gone into black ops. Seven years.

"Irinarhov," he said, slowly. He'd heard no surprise in Kasya's tone. It occurred to him that he must have spotted Viktor approaching. "What are you doing?"


Viktor's eyes narrowed.

"If you're beating off up there - "

"Fuck you."

Another pause.

"Come up, if you want."

Leshovik scowled, then adjusted his Dragunov and grabbed the ladder rung. He climbed up with rapid-fire steps, slowing as he reached the top. He poked his head inside the space above. Irinarhov was sitting against the low wall, the stock cradled in his lap, barrel leaning against the ledge. Muzzle jutting out beyond the netting, just a few inches.

"Spending some quality time with your Mosin?"

Kasya's dark gaze settled on him, wordless and heavy. After a second, he held out his hand.

Viktor hesitated before easing one hand off the ladder and reaching back for his rifle. He pulled it over his shoulder and offered it up to Irinarhov, who took it and leaned both rifles against the wall carefully before holding out his hand to Viktor again.


Viktor climbed inside. He settled himself across from Irinarhov, who pulled the trap door closed. The space was not large. The two of them and their rifles took up most of it. The edge of Leshovik's boot brushed Irinarhov's thigh. He moved slightly.

"Izvinit." Viktor glanced around.

Small concessions had been made toward both comfort and utility, he saw. A faded rug had been cut to fit around the trapdoor, and a standard-issue blanket lay in the corner. There was a battered paperback sitting on top of an upended crate.

"So what's this place? Your little love shack?"

Irinarhov looked at him sharply.

"No," he said, after a moment. "I just come up here to think."

Kasya's voice was low, barely a mutter. The line of his jaw was dark with an extra day's stubble. He looked tired, Leshovik realized, studying him closely for the first time. Eyes bloodshot, like he'd been drinking.

"About what?" Viktor asked.

Irinarhov's eyes skipped away from his, and he turned his head to look out over the base.

"Can you picture me as a civilian?"


Kasya turned his head again, frowning at him.

"You heard me."

Viktor snorted.

"Doing what? You're not civilian material, Irinarhov. You'd never make it. Face it, you'd be happy being in the military until the day you die."

He saw a spasm ripple across Irinarhov's features, tightening his jaw in its wake.

Viktor narrowed his eyes.

"Why do you ask?"

Irinarhov's gaze shifted, down and away.

"Just wondering," he muttered.

"That's a hell of a thing to just wonder."

Viktor could read the tension in the hard set of Irinarhov's shoulders, hunched and defensive. His stubbled jaw was taut. Leshovik was struck by an eerie sense of familiarity.

"Why do you ask," he said again, more sharply. "You're not thinking of leaving."

Kasya was silent for a moment.

"Isaev," he said, finally. "It's Isaev."

"It's Isaev what?"

"Isaev's leaving the military."

Viktor exhaled, letting Kasya's words soak in. He felt something cold and dangerous coil around itself inside him.

"And you're looking for the excuse not to join him."

Kasya's eyes shot to his.

"No," he snarled.

"Don't lie to me. Or yourself."

"I didn't say - "

"You didn't have to, you fuck."

"It's not - "

"It is. It fucking is." Viktor's gaze boiled. He stared at Irinarhov, who stared back, eyes lit like coals. "You asked me because you knew what I would say, what you wanted to hear. It's just like Hungary."

"It is not."

They scowled at each other.

"I asked you," Kasya bit out, each word dangerously soft and vehement. "Because you know me."

Viktor leaned back, suddenly.

He was aware of how close they sat, how tight their confines were. How Irinarhov smelled like cordite and leather and gun oil, chased by other scents masculine and subtle.

Leshovik was aware of his pulse, accelerating under his skin.

"You're right," Viktor whispered. "I do."

Irinarhov surged forward then, before Viktor realized what he was going to do. His mouth met Leshovik's in a shockingly hard kiss.

Viktor felt his lips move against Irinarhov's reflexively. He seized Kasya's lapel, crushing the material in his fingers.

The taste of him was still familiar, Viktor realized.

A second later, he pushed Irinarhov away, violently.

"Fuck, you fucking fuck. What was that?"

He stared furiously at Irinarhov. He could feel himself shaking.

Irinarhov's shoulders rose and fell on short, shallow breath. He was still leaning toward Viktor, half-poised and predatory.

Viktor realized he had been right, that this was the Kasya he knew, the one who could return a slight tenfold, in the most insidiously intimate way. He was struck by a sense of imminent danger, like the feeling he was zeroed in a sniper's sights.

He reached for his rifle, and drew it against him. Kasya's eyes followed the motion, narrowing.

"Say something, damn you," Viktor hissed.

Irinarhov turned away.

Leshovik breathed slowly, waiting. Irinarhov was silent.

Viktor knew the drill.

"Fuck your mother, then."

He pulled open the trap door and swung his Dragunov delicately over his shoulder, positioning it so he could climb down without catching it on the ledge.

"He told me he was leaving," Irinarhov said, as Viktor began to ease down the ladder.

A taut and angry part of Viktor wanted to keep going, heedless to Irinarhov's mumbled words as if he hadn't heard them, but he found himself pausing, hands locked around the ladder rungs.

"He said he wanted to tell me now, so it wouldn't be a shock when the time came. He's going back to his old life in Leningrad. There's not much place for an ex-sniper there. Where would I stay, what would I do? Honestly, Vitya. Honestly. If Black Ops cut you loose, would you know what to do with yourself immediately? Would you know how to make a life? He doesn't want to be taking care of an old man for the rest of his life. He wants an equal, and not a responsibility."

Viktor's lips pressed together. He stared at the wall in front of him.

"And you don't think you're up to it?"

He could hear Kasya's breathing, quiet and rough.

"I don't know," Kasya whispered.

Viktor exhaled.

Silence existed between them as a subtle yet palpable thing, like the change in air pressure before rain.

"Neither do I," he said, quietly.

He turned his head, and found Kasya looking at him. There was a rawness in his gaze, in his dark, liquid eyes, that Viktor was not sure he had ever seen before. It was not so much pain or desperation as it was a terrible awareness, keen and consuming, like hunger.

Leshovik had to turn away. It took him a few moments before he found his voice again.

"But at this point, Kasya, I don't understand what you think you have to lose."

He started down the ladder again, and this time, Irinarhov let him go.

July 24th, 2008

(no subject)

Viktor turned the corner, heading down the connecting hall to the visitors' wing. The cold grey walls were becoming familiar. It reminded him of something Aryol had said to him, once.

Home is where you hang your rifle.

Aryol had said it with sagacity that went beyond his twenty years. He had never reminded Leshovik of Kasya more than that moment - the murmured words, the hint of a smile that tugged at the corner of his mouth, the quiet authority behind his words.

Leshovik supposed it was true enough, for people like Aryol, the ones that had been uprooted so often they had learned a certain resiliency.

People like Viktor simply never learned some things.

Viktor's right shoulder ached vaguely, felt a little stiff. Made he'd slept on it wrong. He tugged on the strap of his rifle, adjusting the lay.

It was middle morning, late for a sniper. He'd slept in after Alexei had gotten up. They'd had another good night together, reconnecting. Viktor had been edgy, restless with unspent frustration. Alexei had fucked him hard and hot, and then soft and slow. Now, Viktor felt mellower, some of his edge shaved off.

He still wore yesterday's clothes, not that anyone would notice. Just about all he owned were urban camo fatigues.

Leshovik walked through the empty corridor until he got to his room, second from the end. He avoided looking across the hall at the last door.

A shower, he thought, then a change of clothes.

Viktor patted down his pockets, searching for his key.

A noise from across the hall made him look up.

The latch clicked open, then the door opened, and Major Liadov stepped out of his room.

The major was a study in contrasts. His uniform was crisp and neatly pressed, immaculately fitted, but under his MVD cap, his eyes were sleepy and his hair long and defiantly tousled, as if Liadov was a man who played by the rules and broke them, as well.

They stood in front of their respective doors, staring at each other for a moment.

Viktor noticed that there was a faint shadow under Liadov's left eye.

"Hey," he said, hesitantly.

Viktor wasn't sure what he wanted to say.

The last time he had seen Liadov, Viktor had greeted him with a punch.

"About the other night..."

June 14th, 2008

Last Dance

I tell myself it's for the best, and I believe it, too.

That's what Alexei would say.

But at the same time, I doubt, the way a pious man lies awake in bed at night, the way a fighter pilot's hand clenches on the yoke.

Only I'm not a pious man, or a pilot, but I am a sniper.

And sometimes snipers have their moments of doubt, quiet seconds with sweaty palms and blurred vision and trigger fingers frozen in place.

I think about Aryol, and I wonder if he'll be all right. I have to trust that he will. I owe him that much. It's the least I can do, to treat him like a man who's capable of making his own decisions.

After all, if someone had told me, way back when, not to get involved with Kasya, would I have listened? Even if they told me he'd break me apart, I still would have done it anyway.

When you're young, you're invincible.

...at least, until you break.

Only I don't think Aryol is going to break. If he was, it would have happened long ago. He's been through some pretty tough shit for a kid, and somehow I get the feeling I don't know the half of it. I never really wanted to hear it.

That's Aryol, carved from pure, hard granite, just like his -


I mean, if Aryol is anything like Irinarhov, it's only because of my expectations. I made him my Kasya, one I could control, I shaped him to grow to my liking. I'm the common denominator in the equation.

Still, Aryol is Aryol.




It's for the best.

...Liadov had better treat him right.

November 10th, 2007

They say confession is good for the soul.

Well, it's good for something.


'You don't have to pay his debt, Niotkuda.'Collapse )
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.

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

September 29th, 2007

I know I've been avoiding him.

Aryol, that is. I have to talk to him, about...well, about a lot of things. Him and me. How things have changed. What they'll be like in the future. About Kasya, if I want to be a real masochist about it.

But the weight of those nascent conversations drag at my conscience like guilt. I should talk to him, but I don't want to.

I'm not a coward, but I guess I'm afraid.

I'm afraid of what he wants to do to me. I'm afraid of what I'll let him do, in the name of guilt. I know I've treated him like shit for a long time, used him in place of Kasya, who was infinitely more intractable and incendiary. I had Aryol, because I couldn't have Kasya, and now it's like history has repeated itself.

What is it they say? Like father, like son?

Okay, that's fucking creepy. And I still don't believe it.

But as long as the two of them believe it...Christ. What am I supposed to do?

I need to tell Aryol that I need space. That I can't be with him right now. That I don't want to eat with him, work out with him, train at the range or sleep in the same bed with him.

I don't fucking want to take showers with him.

But it's easier not to say anything. It's easier to avoid my quarters in the guest wing and stay in Lynx's quarters, in that freakishly large bed. It's easier not to go to the firing range, where Aryol will probably go to get in some shooting time with Kasya.

It's easier to just be with Lynx. Seems like he has a lot on his mind, too, which actually makes me feel better - no one's perfect. We're all just trying to figure this out.

Funny thing is, in spite of all this, I think I'm feeling better than I have in a long time. Yeah, I have a lot on my mind, but overall, things aren't bad.

And some things, like Lynx, are damn good.

I don't know how that works.

Yeah...I suppose I should talk to Aryol sometime soon.

...but maybe it can wait another day.

September 12th, 2007

Christ on a flagpole.

People say that sometimes it takes almost losing everything to give you some perspective.

I didn't lose everything, but there were times it sure as hell felt like it.


Yeah. Now I have that in spades.

'...if I run my hand up the underside of you, am I going to slice my palm?'Collapse )

September 6th, 2007

Leshovik followed Aryol from the range, trailing like an obedient dog.

He felt drained somehow, less than before, all the gold leached from his sun-bright hair, features accentuated to wan, razor sharpness by the frown that tightened hollowed cheeks and turned his eyes the hard, flat blue of a choppy sea.

It hadn’t been all that long ago that everything had been different, but Leshovik didn’t know how it had changed, except somewhere along the way, within the past few days, Aryol had grown up.

Leshovik knew it wasn’t that, though. Aryol must have grown up a long time ago, while Leshovik wasn’t looking, like a plant that bloomed in a neglected corner of the garden and was only stumbled upon unexpectedly after it had grown as tall as the fence, somehow overlooked until then.

Aryol was a man, not a kid.

A man, with a man’s needs, not a kid that would do whatever he said because Leshovik was the adult.

He reminded Leshovik both more and less of Kasya now.

Kasya, who had broken him apart the last night they’d been together, rummaged through the fractured pieces until he found the one he wanted, then claimed it for his own, kept it like a war trophy.

Kasya, who was supposedly Aryol’s father.

They walked back to the building where they had been quartered, and Aryol didn’t pause, but instead went right to his room, glancing sloe-eyed at Leshovik over his shoulder as he disappeared inside, though he didn’t close the door all the way.

Leshovik watched that, understanding the implication.

If Leshovik wanted sex, he would have to go to Aryol.

They would fuck in Aryol’s room, not his.

From a practical standpoint, he didn’t mind. They were further away from that scrawny prick Lemsky that way, and they would only have one neighbor, since Leshovik’s room was adjacent to Aryol’s.

But there were reasons that had nothing to do with practicality that made Leshovik hesitate, linger in the hallway fingering the strap of his rifle, brushing a hand over his short, pale crop.

He eyed the door for a while, but finally went through it.

Aryol stood in the middle of the room, waiting for him, watching Leshovik through half-lidded eyes, already naked and unabashedly aroused, prick jutting in front of him like the bayonet on the end of a rifle. His gear and clothes littered the floor around his feet, though he’d put away his Dragunov, at least. It sat neatly on top of the footlocker.

Leshovik could still remember when they’d first met, and Aryol had been a skinny, scrawny kid splayed underneath him, all arms and legs.

Aryol had filled out since then, and now Aryol’s body reminded him of Kasya’s, lean and strong and smooth, dark and olive-toned. Aryol was taller than Kasya, Leshovik thought, though more slender, but the same wiry black hair crowned the eerily familiar face.

At the range, he’d noticed that Kasya had a few silver hairs threading through the black, lines around his mouth and faint crow’s feet at his eyes, all signs of age, though it looked good on him. It made the memory of Kasya seem far younger than the Kasya that lived now; more like Aryol, that silently ruthless past-Kasya was, or maybe it was only the other way around.

“Let’s take a shower,” Aryol said, his voice low and whetted by need.

Even the voice was similar. Not quite as deep, not quite as low and resonant with quiet purpose like Kasya’s, but that came with age and experience. Aryol’s voice was lighter, brighter, but still held a rough edge that made it familiar.

A shower would be good, Leshovik thought, almost reluctantly.

Leshovik needed a shower like he needed a cigarette, like he needed Lynx to fuck him.

But even so, he hesitated, meeting Aryol’s endless ebon gaze.

After a moment, Aryol smiled darkly, and turned to go into the bathroom.

Leshovik’s gaze dropped, lingered on Aryol’s ass, and that reminded him of Kasya, too. Round, shaped firm with muscle, but soft and smooth, too. Leshovik enjoyed fucking that ass, spreading the cleft, burying himself deep.

Aryol had fucked him in turn, though only once, only a day ago, and even then, Leshovik wasn’t sure it counted, since he’d had…company. It had been different, with the three of them. Leshovik found himself wishing Lynx were here now.

Slowly, he unshouldered his rifle, and sat it next to Aryol’s on the footlocker. They were identical, save for the kill tallies carefully painted each stock. He had over three times as much as Aryol’s mere sixteen.

“Fifty-three,” Leshovik whispered, closing his eyes for a moment.

He stripped off his clothes and gear, left them on the floor intermingled with Aryol’s. Later, they might not even be able to tell them apart.

The shower was a large open area, and as soon as he stepped in, Aryol was all over him, wet and hungry, pressing him back against the wall, tongue in his mouth, knee parting his thighs, hand curling possessively around Leshovik’s stiffening cock.

Water ran in hot rivulets between them, streaming down their bodies, turning their skin slick.

Aryol’s prick stabbed into Leshovik’s thigh, so sharp and sudden that Leshovik had no choice but to yield, breathless, shivering. He wasn’t used to Aryol being like this, so fiercely aggressive. It reminded him too much of Kasya to be able to enjoy it, but Leshovik didn’t know if he wanted Aryol to stop, either.

Aryol’s hand brushed between his legs, fingertips seeking, reaching up to touch the soft furrowed ring of muscle that opened to the deepest part of him.

Leshovik went still.

“Let me fuck you,” Aryol whispered, in his ear.

Leshovik’s chest clenched.

It was everything he didn’t want, yet it felt inexorable as death.

“I’m still sore from yesterday,” Leshovik said.

Aryol laughed.

“Did you ever not fuck me when I was sore?”

He pressed the tip of his finger inside, no lube.

Leshovik tightened reflexively, clenching, grunting.

“Did you ever even ask?”

Aryol’s words vibrated against Leshovik’s ear, damning and hot, and Leshovik shuddered.

He knew Aryol was right, and there was nothing he could say.

He’d fucked Aryol multiple times in a day before, two or three, used him well and thoroughly, and not particularly gently, either.

Leshovik couldn’t say why he’d done it. Maybe it was still something about Kasya, that he wanted Aryol to be Kasya, wanted to fuck him like he wanted to fuck Kasya, rough and relentless, to pay him back for that last night.

But he knew, keenly, that Aryol wasn’t Kasya.

He might be Kasya’s son, but he wasn’t Kasya.

It wasn’t right, for Leshovik to have done that.

It wouldn’t be right, to refuse Aryol now.

Leshovik thought about what Lynx had said to him.

I think you should give yourself to your spotter.

“All right,” Leshovik whispered, and Aryol laughed.

Aryol pulled his finger out and hauled Leshovik around, pushing him into the shower wall. Leshovik absorbed the impact against his chest, resting his face against the tile, closing his eyes.

He didn’t protest when Aryol slicked himself with soap, didn’t resist when Aryol spread his cleft, didn’t flinch when Aryol pushed in.

The sharpness of it made him lose his erection, and he was too tense, and the soap burned, but he only hissed raggedly as Aryol fucked him.

Leshovik gritted his teeth, clinging to the wall, trying to control the trembling of his shoulders.

He didn’t attempt to bear down and give as good as he got, but instead he just rode it out, let the pitch of Aryol’s thrusts drive his hips into the wall, again, and again and again.

Leshovik didn’t know if he could bear it, take it until Aryol was done, even though it never took very long for him, but then Aryol stopped suddenly, holding still for several moments, prick resting heavy, swollen and rock-hard inside him.

He wanted to ask what was wrong, though he didn’t, but before he could do anything else, Aryol slid his arms around him, wrapping over his chest, holding him close, hands pressed over his heart.

Leshovik trembled.

With slow, trailing lips, Aryol kissed the back of his neck, whispering, murmuring the same low soft words Leshovik said to him when Aryol needed comforting, and that almost made it worse.

Aryol started to move once more, more slowly now.

Leshovik felt himself start to get hard again, and his breath hitched into a sob.

After a few leisurely thrusts, Leshovik let himself respond, and they moved in unison, naturally falling into their shared rhythm by instinct, just because they knew each other that well, and the near-unbearable clench of his ass eased.

Aryol finished quickly enough, coming into Leshovik with a low cry and an urgent buck, spilling hot inside him. His arms tightened around Leshovik’s chest, and he pressed his face against his back. They stood that way, letting the water stream around them while Aryol’s breathing slowed, while his prick softened.

Finally, he pulled out of Leshovik with a lithe twist of his hips, and the trickle of semen that ran down Leshovik’s thighs was washed away by water, cleansed as if it had never happened.

Leshovik had to fight to keep from shaking as Aryol turned him again, pressed his back against the tile and dropped to his knees, wordlessly. Leshovik’s hands clenched at his sides as Aryol took him into his mouth, brought him deep, lips and tongue hot and hungry.

Leshovik’s dick wanted it, bloomed instantly and viciously, betraying him like it always did.

He fought it until he couldn’t anymore, and had to give in, gasping and shuddering.

He buried his hands in Aryol’s hair and leaned his head back, letting the water stream down his face.

When he came, it was hard, like the recoil of a Dragunov, and he shuddered as the report echoed through him.

Aryol swallowed Leshovik’s essence, taking it inside him, and it felt just like he claimed one of those fractured parts of Leshovik as his own.

August 22nd, 2007


My chest feels like it's going to cave in.

I need a fucking cigarette.

I need to talk to Lynx, dammit, or this is going to kill me.

'I'm coming home,' he said. 'That prick Lemsky had better be there.'Collapse )
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