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Special Forces Chapter XXXV: Sudden Impact
 
 

December 1991, the Persian Gulf

Dan had been in a frightfully good mood since the previous morning. The camp was almost deserted, except for a few diehards like him and Vadim - who were all too keen on earning absolute shitloads over the holidays, while everyone else went back to their homelands. Whistling to himself, he had finished packing his bag, lighting a cigarette while looking at Vadim. "Ready for Santa?"

"You mean Father Frost?" Vadim answered, setting the last of the polished boots down.

"Aye, Father Frost, Santa, whoever. All the same." Dan grinned.

Vadim straightened, feeling that his lower back had locked up again, and he stood, slowly rolling his back, betraying the stiffness. "Okay. What will it be, then?"

"What do you mean? If you hope for gifts, forget it, it's not really a shopper's paradise around here, is it?"

Vadim looked at him ironically. "Well. We could kidnap that horrible plastic tree from the Mess, but the CO is rather fond of it, so that's a no." He put the rag and polish away, then pointed at Dan's boots so Dan would put them away. "And any sleds with reindeers would get shot down because they don't have a security pass, anyway."

Dan laughed while moving the boots, managing to smoke at the same time. "I could get myself a Santa hat and wear nothing but the red and white bobbled thing over my John Thomas. Would that cheer you up?"

Vadim looked at him. "Am I not cheerful?" He paused for a moment, thinking about it, and didn't believe he'd sounded particularly bitter or angry.

"Sure you are, but that's a saying, you know? Cheer up and be merry." Turning round, Dan picked up the bottles of booze - good booze - that he'd managed to acquire, and packed them on top of his bag." Got everything? Food, plenty of it, booze, and KY?" He was grinning from ear to ear, the scar in his face twisting.

Vadim extended a leg, touching his boot to his packed bergan. "Yes. Of course. Ever ready, as the saying goes." He reached for the bergan and hoisted it up on his shoulder. "Truth be told, I'm ready for a rest. Well. Afterwards. This is such a depressing place in winter."

"Just remember we're going to New Zealand in spring, smack bang into their autumn. Money's a good thing at the moment, I need to check in what state the farm is in."

"Yeah, I know, have been keeping my pay together for that, too." Not that he had huge expenses. There was precious little to buy, and what did he want to get that he'd only have to leave behind? Work was cheap in Kiwiland, so Vadim had heard from a former serviceman from that country, and their combined pay should be good enough to get a lot of things done.

Hoisting his own pack onto his back, Dan grinned. "And two days and nights in the safe house, away from it all, is almost as good as a holiday, aye?"

"Don't need much more to rest up", Vadim murmured. "Sex and sleep and food will be a nice change of rhythm." He followed, then locked the door behind them.

On the way out of camp, there was hardly a soul in sight. Jean was already off to France - he and Pascal had left the same day, and just Jean's absence made this place seem pretty empty.

Dan finished his fag before they reached the camp gates, exchanging a few words with the soldier on duty. The general consensus was that they'd be breaking up camp rather sooner than later, and that the mercs wouldn't be needed any more, at least not around this area. Dan nodded, glanced at Vadim, and shrugged. Plenty of places to go to, and he was used to never calling anywhere his home - except for the mountains and sky.

They soon reached the town, meandering through the streets, but without the need to cover their tracks or take any particular care, when they arrived at the safe house. "You got the key?" Dan asked.

Vadim reached into his pocket and pulled it out. "Aye." He handed Dan the key, standing back, casting a glance over his shoulder. Being secure and feeling secure would always be two different things in his world, and the latter almost unattainable these days, unless he lay at Dan's side, his view unimpeded. Or out in the open, something like a booby trapped cave, or an embassy, and even then, always an unspoken queasiness about his surroundings.

Dan was making a quip at Vadim as he entered, his head craned back. Stopping mid-sentence when a noise registered. A groan, harsh breathing, then a yelp of pain and the moment he whipped his head around, he was confronted with a body throwing itself from the bed, onto the floor, in the motion grabbing a weapon that had been close. Taking cover, and aiming the pistol at him, but Dan was already on the ground himself, hadn't had time to warn Vadim, as he threw bag, bergan and body half-way down the stairs.

Vadim had been a step behind, following inside, 'bringing up the rear', and locked the door. That was when he heard something. Human. And frantic motion, and he was down faster than any thought had registered. Rolling to the side, away from any line of sight and line of fire. "What the fuck?" he grunted, and then "Dan? See anything?"

"Shit!" Was heard from the ground, inside the room, and then an utterly desperate groan from the bed at the opposite wall opposite.

"Fuck, fuck, fuck!" In a different voice to the first one, from the bed as well.

That's when Dan raised his head, peering inside. "Matt?" Damn, he knew that voice, especially that groan. Turning towards Vadim, he gestured wildly, "I think …" he didn't have to finish the sentence, because the guy on the ground stood up, shielding the bed with his body as he did so. Lowering the weapon. Standing stark naked and with a flagging hard-on, the condom hanging from the circumcised head.

"Welcome." The voice commented dryly, only a hint of huskiness gave proof to what he had been doing, a few seconds ago.

Vadim stood, still looking around, feeling his pulse drop slowly back to normal. He leaned against the wall, door frame covering him, and looked inside. Focused on the man with the gun as he got an overview of the situation in the room. The dark haired guy with the condom wasn't Matt. So the guy on the bed was Matt, and since Matt had keys to the safe house, had brought himself some entertainment. Damn fine, dangerous entertainment. Vadim studied the man, all muscle, all tendons, physically perfect, as athletic as they came. "Only that we're not", said Vadim, moving into the doorframe.

Dan had scrambled up to sit on the doorstep, shaking his head. "Fuck, that was close."

The guy with the weapon opened his mouth, when the other voice interrupted. "I don't give a shit about welcome, close, or whatever the fuck." Matt rolled onto his side, half hidden behind the other's naked body, only his head and chest visible. Face was flushed, covered with a sheen of sweat, with an expression that was everything but happy. His voice breathless, and the way he slung an arm around the other guy's thighs, hand tugging at the hip, left no doubt as to what had been happening. "I need to fucking cum!"

Dan stared at both, eyes - as usual - hidden behind the shades, and he was close to bursting into laughter. This was too fucking hilarious. He glanced at Vadim and winked. "Hey, Hooch, want us to leave for an hour?"

Vadim studied Matt, and 'Hooch', as it were, and now the smell of sex hit his nostrils, never mind all the signs of it: the sweat, the arousal, and Matt's comical exasperation. Seemed Dan had been screwing with this guy, too, so everybody in the room was well acquainted on some level, but running into each other was still funny. "Don't think it would take that long", said Vadim, in a murmur.

"Suit yourselves." The man drawled as he placed the weapon beside the pillow. Discarding the condom, he lowered himself down onto the bed. Matt was lying on his back, now stretching his legs while reaching for Hooch, who made no attempt at returning to what he had been doing before. Instead casting one last glance at the newcomers, seemingly deciding they were safe, before sliding down Matt's body, who seemed completely taken by surprise, when he took Matt's hard cock into his mouth. Without a sound and no further hesitation.

Vadim felt his guts tighten at the image, both men just so perfect, and that Hooch going about it with clear skill. They were dismissed as not dangerous, nothing felt like it was set up for their pleasure, they were simply not deemed a reason to stop with what they'd been doing. And watching those lips take cock wasn't half bad.

Dan grinned. "Want me to introduce you? You already know Matt, Jarhead. And that's Hooch, Delta. Not that they give a fuck at the moment."

Delta. American super-soldiers with a very unfortunate track record of being sent out into the deepest shit Uncle Sam got himself into. The equivalent of spetsnaz, SAS, and, yeah, a whole lot of other special forces. Matt, while a decent enough soldier, shared the room with three killers. One of them sucking his cock. Vadim came a bit closer, but remained standing at the wall, feeling lust well up, just from the faint sounds and Matt's breathing.

Dan got up from his sitting position and slung the bergan onto the floor. Right beside one of the two chairs, which were the only furniture in the room apart from a low table and the fairly comfortable bed. Looking at Vadim, he shrugged and sat down on the chair, staring straight at the bed, as if the show had been put on just for his viewing pleasure.

"Want a drink?" To Vadim, as he angled for his pack. "It's Christmas soon, after all."

Vadim nodded, his mouth had gone dry, and it was hard to not look at either of them. Or both. "Yes. I need a drink." He looked at Hooch, who reminded him of Dan, back in Afghanistan. Before his hair had grown out of control, and before that scar on his belly; younger, fiercer, more silent, closed up, too.

On the bed, Matt was breathing harshly, then tilted his head backwards and closed his eyes, oblivious to the others in the room.

Dan poured a couple of generous shots of good whisky into the tin mugs, and handed one to Vadim, never taking his eyes off the Jarhead and the Delta. Taking a draught, he leaned closer, put the mug down, and pulled the long sleeved shirt off his body. Sitting with his legs crossed, Dan leaned back, slouched, chest bare, working on finishing the whisky.

Vadim just tossed the whisky back - the situation demanded too much of his attention to savour it. He could have been drinking moonshine, it wouldn't have made a difference, and Vadim was pretty sure Dan wouldn't berate him for it. He cast his eyes towards the bed, couldn't help but watch, the situation so very odd, especially looking at Dan, savouring both whisky and the view. He set the bergan down, still leaning against the wall, noticing everything about Matt.

The sounds Matt made were guttural. As suppressed as any soldier's, until his hips bucked up and one low groan escaped, coming from somewhere deep inside his body. His whole body jerked, fists twisting into the blankets, obviously cumming, while the Delta was just as obviously taking the orgasm in stride and swallowing Matt's cum, something that twisted and tightened Vadim's guts more. The Delta took it like a pro. Even waiting until he could clean the spent cock in one slow movement, before he lifted his head. Looking at the spaced-out kid, there was tension in Hooch's back, which only now became obvious. Now, that he sat without movement, back to the room.

"And what about you?" Dan suddenly asked, finishing off his whisky.

Vadim shivered, crossed his arms in front of his chest, unsure what to do or say. These men were Dan's lovers, not his, but right now, he was too aroused to care. Delta. A fucking American. He hardly dared to breathe, not sure how the guy would react, but Dan knew him and probably approached him right.

Hooch turned his head, one hand still on Matt's thigh, who was stirring, but too sluggish after the come-down to do more than breathing. "What do you offer?"

Dan glanced at Vadim as he stood up, a broad grin on his face. "Not my arse." Re-enacting their first encounter.

The Delta's lips quirked into a miniature grin of his own. "Mine neither."

"Done the sucking."

"Yeah."

Dan was opening his belt, pulled it out of the loops, and dropped it. Opened button and zip. "Mind being watched?"

Hooch shrugged, didn't seem he gave a damn. He turned round to sit on the edge of the bed, while Matt rose enough to roll onto his side.

Dan pushed his trousers down and bent over to undo his bootlaces, giving Vadim a perfect view onto his arse. "Cocks?"

Hooch nodded after a second and stood up, while Matt got himself together enough to sit. Sated and entirely at ease, despite Vadim's closeness.

Stepping out of the boots, Dan pulled the trousers and socks off, stood naked. His cock was mildly interested, as he regarded the Delta from head to toe. He nodded, appreciating the view. Good body, and the other knew it, there was no doubt. They stood close. No more than a hand between them. Assessing each other in silence.

Vadim sat down, blindly reaching for the chair. Dan. He'd imagined - well, torturously so - Dan with others, had seen him with Matt, with Jean, but that was an entirely different calibre. He wasn't jealous, strangely not, this was all nice and relaxed, 'at ease', as they called it, but he couldn't deny the impact it had on his body. All of it. Dan's panache, the ease with which the Delta operated, no urgency despite the sex. Two men seizing each other up, same thing on their minds. It was getting hot, and he shed the parka, blindly, unable to take his eyes from them. If he squinted and blurred the lines, they were mirror images of each other, like past and future, drawn together right here and now. Vadim just barely breathed.

Dan, the older man, finally reached for the other, stepping closer. Tilting his head, he was met with a minute hesitation, before the Delta's head angled as well, accepting and returning the kiss. Two men, both dark, ten years between them. Killers, one mellowed, the other as much on edge as a blade in a soldier's hand. Kissing with intensity, no time for preliminaries, no need for niceties. Hands on each other's bodies, pressed close, hips pushing and meeting in fierce grips.

Matt moved off the bed, staring at both, just as much as Vadim did, and found himself the other chair. Both of the kissing, groping men seemed oblivious, but the sureness with which they steered themselves to the bed, moved and lowered gave proof that neither had let their guard down.

Not until they lay side by side, facing each other, and all of a sudden Dan and Hooch turned into no holds barred. Making barely a sound, but each of their touches was intense, fingers gripping, hands merciless and bodies uncompromising. Teeth attacking, lips devoured, and the strength and vicious power with which their hips ground their cocks against each other's looked nothing but painful.

Vadim knew this well, knew Dan's fierceness like that, could feel every motion echo in his body, which reacted, demanding attention, too, every grinding movement making him more breathless. Muscles in his body pulled taut; he wanted - wanted to take part in this, but the way Dan focused on Hooch indicated this was for two men, not three. He wasn't welcome there, and he wasn't sure whether he could actually join, and he hesitated. Being watched, and having a complete stranger ... and at the same time, he wanted to touch and bite too, trust or no trust, shame or not. He glanced over to Matt, nothing but a flicker of a gaze, with the kid looking on as if he was watching cartoons - with rapt attention. Vadim reached for the bottle to do anything that wasn't wanking, wondered why he didn't, but truth was, he didn't want to bare himself so much. Felt very much the guest.

The fierceness intensified, and so did the speed and the recklessness, yet neither man made a sound except for their harsh breathing. As if neither could give in, nor back down, and it seemed they were fighting each other rather than getting each other off. Yet suddenly, both bodies tensed, taut lines of hard muscles beneath skin, as hips came down brutally and hands gripped so hard, they'd bruise lesser bodies. Teeth found skin and their movements became erratic, cumming with cocks trapped, mindlessly humping and grinding against the other's body.

Dan let go and rolled onto his back first. Groin and chest sticky, eyes closed, one arm thrown across his chest, he breathed into the come-down.

It was Hooch who lifted his head after no more than a few seconds, looking straight at Vadim, not even blinking. "You?"

Vadim's throat tightened. Two. The Delta had brought off two men and was now aiming at number three. Him. He couldn't speak, throat too dry, too fucking aroused at seeing Dan cum. There was a 'no thanks' and it was a lie, ridiculous under these circumstances. 'I'm alright' was the other lie. Vadim looked at Dan, who might have heard the offer, or didn't care, more likely. Delta. Spetsnaz. Did it come down to regimental pride? Not be intimidated by the enemy? He met the gaze then, as Dan didn't react much, and gave the faintest nod.

The Delta moved off the bed, too damn smooth for someone who'd fucked, then blown, then ground into another's body like a man possessed. Wiped cursorily at his chest and groin, as if he couldn't be bothered by the mess. He stood, close to Vadim, before moving even closer, so that Vadim had to open his legs, allow the naked body to step between his knees, and get onto the floor. Kneeling between his thighs, and despite it being winter, Vadim began to sweat. The Delta just did it. He really just did it. He couldn't take his eyes off the man, all that smooth confidence, and he could do nothing, not move, just accept what was coming.

Hooch didn't say a word, just reached for Vadim's fly, opened the belt, button and zip, pulled the fly apart, pushed down briefs, found a cock that was hard and twitched beneath his hand, and Vadim trembled, too aroused to play it cool. All the time Hooch kept his eyes on Vadim's face instead of on his hands. Working blindly. Still nothing, no sound, no reaction. Until finally, one corner of his lips quirked up in the same miniature grin he'd given Dan, and he lowered his head, sucked the cock between his lips, and proceeded to give head as professionally as a high class whore.

Vadim let a groan escape; different man, different way to do this. Alien, but good, it was forever since he'd had a blowjob from anybody not Dan, yeah, Gavriil, or Platon, fuck, the heat, the arrogance, and the motherfucking skill. His hands formed fists, pressed to his side, he didn't want to touch Hooch, and still wanted to. Body tightening up, knotting his guts, his tendons, and another groan came out, and before long he was panting, the Delta just perfect, fierce, obviously loving it. "C-close", he croaked, not sure he'd get included in the circle of guys that Hooch swallowed. He reached up, touched Hooch's shoulder, hot skin, the man glowing with heat, like a piece of desert. Touched the side of his neck where muscles rolled, and tendons stood out under the smooth skin, and he bucked up, so fucking close.

But Hooch didn't let up, didn't acknowledge Vadim's warning, instead increased his effort. Deeper, harder, and more reckless. Sucking Vadim off, without giving any chance to pull back.

Four eyes on Hooch's bare back, Dan's gaze flicking to Vadim's face and heaving chest, and Matt's eyes fixed onto each and every of Hooch's movements.

Vadim was too far gone to feel watched, the universe was centred in his groin, and he came, the orgasm painfully intense, eyes closed as he came, teeth bared like he was in pain. Face flushed, sweating, breathless, no thought left, all paled and seared away with the force of the sensation. Only then, slowly recovering his senses, his eyes opened. Something didn't make sense. Why would Hooch do that - he was obviously spent, and happily so. Sex always was about something mutual, unless it was the kind of sex that he no longer wanted. Or only wanted when that darkness rose up. Right now, there was no darkness, just breathless astonishment. "Why ... did you do that?"

Hooch shrugged, licking his lips as he sat back on his heels. Regarding Vadim in silence, Vadim's eyes meeting his with that same, astonished expression. The silence was broken by Dan, who waved a hand negligently from across the bed, laconically introducing, "Vadim, Hooch. Hooch, Vadim. Spetsnaz, Delta. Delta, Spetsnaz." Which caused Matt to grin and Hooch's lips to quirk once more, before he stood up, still between Vadim's legs.

Vadim nodded, tucked himself back in, the only guy in the room who was now pretty much dressed, and stood as well. He offered a hand, still meeting that unwavering gaze. He didn't feel threatened - fuck, giving a blowjob was usually not a way to open hostilities - but Hooch seemed very ready, very prepared. "Whatever reason you did it, thanks." Glancing over to Dan and now fully aware he'd been watched. By his lover. Eyes again returning to Hooch.

The Delta's shoulder went up again, in his customary shrug as he shook Vadim's hand. "Pay me back some other time."

Vadim nodded. Now the world made sense again, but there was the thought that there would be another time. This was, then, not a singular occurrence, not an accident. He owed the Delta one, and that was a strange feeling, but logical. "Ok." Never mind his guts tightened at the promise, or threat, or deal. Deal.

Hooch held the hand for one moment longer, before he let go and turned away, looking from Matt to Dan and back again, before pointing at the bottle with a questioningly raised brow.

Dan grinned and nodded, behaving as if nothing had happened. "Sure, there's enough for everyone, Vadim and I were going to have a Christmas party, but I guess the party has already started." He poured the drinks, laughed at Vadim's state of dress, while the three of them remained naked, and listened to Matt telling them about going home for Christmas in three days - which took him approximately four sentences, and Hooch reporting he'd be off and sent to another place of high risk in the world - which took him about three words. Vadim didn't quite join in, he sometimes asked a question, but most of all watched and listened, relaxed, and finding himself liking Dan's 'mates'. None of them as grating as Jean.

Drinking, sharing their plentiful food, and 'being merry', until the two Yanks had to leave, and then they were on their own, enjoying each other's company and bodies. Together, with the memory of a Delta lingering.

* * *

A couple of days later, they made it back into camp with barely an hour to spare before they had to be off on their first shift. They'd be working several doubles, and with Vadim being a temporary team leader for one of the two remaining teams, they'd be working hard for their money, but hell, it was triple pay.

The first shift went without any hitch and when Dan returned for hand-over, looking forward to get scran down his neck before heading out with the next shift, he was told his charge had cancelled and there was no more work that afternoon. He waited for Vadim to wave him off, who had to do his own double shift, and headed towards the post house, checking for any mail. To his surprise, there was a message from Matt, asking him if he could make it to the safe house that very afternoon, before the kid was about to head off for Christmas. All coded, of course, in case of unlikely interceptions, and signed with Ho Ho Ho. Dan grinned and whistled as he went about signing in weapons, handing kit over and cleaning himself. He had enough time for shower and food, leaving a message for Vadim, in case he wasn't back on time.

Dan was soon off to the safe house, this time more careful, but the place was empty, except for the furniture, a load of water bottles, and the obligatory pack of condoms. He had barely enough time to settle in when the door opened and Matt entered, grinning like a kid on Christmas morning.

"What's up, mate? You look awfully pleased."

Locking the door, Matt's grin grew even wider. "Got my orders, I'm not coming back. Going to stay back home for a while."

"And that's a good thing?" Dan winked.

"Fucking A! Been forever since I've seen my boyfriend, can't wait for, like, some quality time."

Dan laughed, nodding. "Aye, I can understand that. Wanted to see scruffy old me to say good bye?"

"Yeah." Matt slung a bag off his shoulder and dropped it onto the table. "And to give you your Christmas present." He rummaged through it.

"My … what?" Dan pushed the shades up onto his forehead, taken by surprise.

"Christmas. Present. December." Matt grinned. "Remember, old man?"

"It's not really jingle bells around here, is it?"

"Nope, but I'm playing Santa today, anyway." Fishing a parcel out of his bag, Matt dropped it onto Dan's lap. "Open it."

"Damn pushy for a kid."

Matt rolled his eyes, sat down on the bed and proceeded to take off his tunic, while gesturing with his chin to the soft parcel, wrapped in gaudy paper.

"Alright, alright, I get it." Ripping the paper open, Dan found a football shirt, Matt's favourite team, a pair of running shorts and a running top, all from the shop the yanks had on camp. When he pulled the garments apart to look at them, something heavier fell out with a clatter. Dan picked up the box and stared at it in disbelief. "Love-Handcuffs? Where the fuck did you get them from? Do you have a sex shop sale on at camp?" Dan shook his head, grinning. "And are you trying to tell me something?"

Matt was laughing out loud, hands on his belt, grinning widely. "Thought you might appreciate them one day, buddy. You never know." He winked while opening his fatigue trousers. "And where I got them from … it's my secret."

"Cheeky bastard. I should have taught you some manners when I had the chance, or is the Delta letting you get away with everything?" Dan grinned like a loon.

"Maybe?" Matt winked again, lifting his butt off the bed to slide trousers and underpants down. "Maybe not?"

"Which reminds me, you have forgiven me for meddling, aye?"

"Sure, buddy, even though I almost shat myself when he turned up."

"Didn't look to me as if you were shitting yourself, the other day."

Matt just grinned and shrugged, seemed he had taken over Hooch's infuriating habit of refusing to talk. He was unlacing the boots and getting out of them, before socks and trousers came off. Sitting naked on the bed, he really was a prize to behold. A perfect beefcake, all muscles, finely sculpted, and clearly not only enjoying his sports, but a great fan of the gym.

Dan huffed, reaching for his fags before putting the presents away, when a card fell out of the folded shorts. "Christmas card?"

"Can't do without, buddy."

Dan opened the envelope and pulled out the card, which sported a scantily clad Mrs Santa with long blond hair, and he laughed at the irony. Inside Christmas wishes and three addresses.

"My mom and pop's, my apartment, and the other one's my unit's." Matt remarked, as he lay back on the bed, head pillowed on his arms. "Do keep in touch."

Dan smiled, touched more by this than he let on. "I will." Reached for a pen in his own bergan, he scribbled Maggie's address onto the back of the envelope. "You can contact me through the embassy, that's the safest way. Haven't got a clue where I'll be going next, but don't think we'll stay here much longer."

"Time for a change of view?"

"Wouldn't say that." Dan popped the envelope on top of Matt's bag, pulled the shades out of his hair and grinned at the jarhead. "Not with a view like that."

"I've got an hour." Matt laughed, "I'm officially shopping on the market. You think you can get it up, old man?"

"I show you any time, kid."

"As in, like, now?"

"Damn right." Grinning, Dan peeled himself out of his clothes. Locating condoms and lube nearby, he sat down on the bed.

"And what do you want as a good bye shag?"

"Exactly that."

"Would have thought you get fucked enough these days." Grinning, Dan pushed Matt's legs apart and knelt between them.

"But I like getting fucked." Matt pushed a lazy fist into Dan's abs. "Don't forget that."

"How could I." Leaning down, Dan proceeded to kiss the kid thoroughly, before he came back up for breath, murmuring, "Or perhaps you should give me one last reminder."

Matt was still laughing, with growing huskiness, as Dan was going down on him.

* * *

When Dan returned to camp a couple of hours later, sated and mellow, he walked past the mail room once more. It was about to close and the guy in charge was waving him inside. "What's up?"

"Got a message here for Rocky."

"Vadim?"

"Seems so."

Dan picked up the piece of paper.

"Figured I can hand it to you just as well, since you're an 'item'." The guy was making a kissie face.

"Aye, and Merry Christmas to you, too, arsehole." Dan grinned, flicking the birdie as he left the tent. Turning the piece of paper in his hands, it hadn't even been folded over and the note was there, for all to seen.

'Fri 1900 - SH? H'

Dan grinned, wondering if Vadim would decipher the message as quickly as he had, and wondered, too, if the question mark turned into a full stop. Friday. Tomorrow. Vadim was on night shift, but Dan had the day one. They could swap … and all Vadim would have to do was ask. Whistling a crooked tune, Dan kept turning the piece of paper. An opportunist, alright.

* * *

Dan had already been fed in the empty mess, which ran on skeletal staff, and was chilling out in the hut after a long run. His knees were aching, particularly the one which had had surgery, but he put it down to lack of running and too much gym work. Sitting on the bed with the shades over his eyes, he was smoking a cigarette, the room illuminated by a lamp with a single light bulb.

Vadim returned after the shift, handed in his gear; being teamleader, if only provisionary, meant to work twice as hard, be twice as attentive, and probably twice as tired. Today, he felt every year of age, plus ten each for every year spent in prison. He needed a shower urgently, was pretty sure he could tell this country from all the others he'd served in by the taste of its dust and the particular way it fucked up his skin. Inside, he saw Dan sit there, and the smell of smoke immediately combined with the taste of dust. "Hey", he murmured, by way of greeting.

"Welcome back, you poor sod." Dan smiled and pushed himself up. "Double shift is a killer." He walked over to where they stored the soap bags and towels, took one of each of Vadim's, and gave a gentle prod. "Come on then, I'll take you to the showers."

Vadim nodded, thankful for the guidance. Good money, if he could even care right now. He was no slacker, certainly not, but back in the days, he'd been ten years younger. He just didn't recover as fast anymore. One day he'd wake up and feel every muscle ache. He peeled himself out of the armour and the layers underneath, ran a sweaty, dirty hand through his hair. "That farm of yours better be really nice."

Dan laughed, shaking his head 'no'. "It's a piece of rotting crap in acres and acres of land, with an old apple orchard that doesn't yield usable fruit anymore, and endless scenery of mountains and lush green land." With a hand in Vadim's lower back, he guided him out of the door and into the darkness. "'Nice' is not the right word."

"Mountains", snorted Vadim. "You know I'm a city kid."

"Aye, and fuck you, too." Dan groused gently, getting a bright, if tired grin from Vadim. Vadim knew he was being grouchy, but, damnit, it felt good being grouchy. And it had the desired effect - attention, and Dan's closeness and banter. Walking him towards the shower blocks, the whole camp seemed deserted, they didn't meet a single soul, even though some of the men were still around.

"By the way, as for 'nice', there was a message for you." Dan barely hid the grin.

"Oh shit. Katya?"

Dan's hand in Vadim's back jerked, as if hit by electric voltage. He almost stopped dead in his tracks, but got himself under control. "No. The message read 'Fri 1900 - SH? H', pronouncing every letter and number.

Vadim frowned, thinking for at least ten seconds. They entered the showers, he deposited the wash bag and the towel and reached for the water, while Dan leaned against the stall, arms folded across his chest and slouching like a hooker. Vadim paused. "Fuck. Hooch?"

"Congratulations, bright-eye." Dan grinned mercilessly.

Vadim seemed to consider something. "I'm on shift on Friday, anyway."

"And I'm on the later one." Pushing the inevitable shades up from his eyes, Dan waggled his brows before letting them slip back down. "And I'm willing to swap. If you want." If you want him.

Vadim paused. Hooch. If you want. Technically, he owed the Delta a blowjob. He started the water and soaped himself, shedding the red dust fast, immediately refreshed as the water cooled his skin and made him feel far more alive. He closed it down again, grabbed the towel, dried his face first, then ran the towel over his short hair, his neck, then towelled himself down quickly. "He's certainly fast to come calling for repayment", he murmured, thoughtful.

"Repayment? That what you think of a chance at casual sex with a bloody fit body and someone other than little old me?"

"Well." Despite the fact Hooch hadn't actually spoken, Vadim didn't see anything nasty or unpleasant in the message. Hooch inquired whether he was available. But was he really available? "Are you sure, Dan?"

"Why wouldn't I be?" Picking up the pile of dusty kit, Dan wondered. "It's just sex. I had plenty of it, I figure it's your turn, and why not? We shared Matt, we shared Jean, we even shared Hooch. If he wants you, and you want him, then just go ahead. He won't be here for much longer."

"I wouldn't ... mind." Vadim still felt strange. Discussing the options with his lover, the only man he'd ever loved, desired, nearly died for. It was fair, wasn't it? With Dan screwing around with others, and Hooch would never become the bother than Jean was. Looking into Dan's face, he couldn't see any jealousy or reservations. Just sex. It was just sex. And it was certainly nice to be wanted. Funny thought. "Delta, eh?" He shook his head, laughed softly. "Oh shit."

Dan grinned, "they are still way behind SAS. Don't you forget that." Slapping Vadim's towel-clad buttock, he pointed the way. "But tonight it's ex-SAS for you, with a plate full of sandwiches, a bottle of water and the need for a good grope before shut-eye." Dan's way of describing 'cuddling'.

Vadim grinned. "Delta? Overrated. Lost without all their shiny expensive kit." And more often than not tossed into battles that they couldn't win, because the Army types were jealous or whatever. The typical infighting. It was a bit sad to know that guys like Hooch could get killed because of some smartass wearing a general's uniform. But then, he reflected, that was pretty much the lot of the fighting man. "Make that two bottles of water."

Following Dan to the tin hut, yawning already. Seemed that the Hooch thing was settled. That was a date, then. Strange thought, but on the other hand, why worry more than Dan did? He was really too tired for that. What could happen? He'd repay the blowjob. No big deal.

* * *

Vadim was there first. An easy forty minutes before the time given in the note. He believed in being early under such circumstances. Had checked the usual stuff, but didn't actually expect any trouble. He was well-rested, but his stomach seemed tight, a bit nervous like he'd been when he'd stolen away to meet Dan in Kabul. Anticipation. Only, Dan had been the feast that had to last him and keep him sane for another stint in that godforsaken country. Here, it was more casual, but still strange.

He opened the door. Hooch wasn't there, yet. The bed. Two chairs. Vadim frowned, paced the room a few times. Thought Dan was out there on patrol, and hoped Dan kept his mind on the job and didn't dwell on him, on what he might do, or not do. Ah, stupid - he'd most likely do it. Hooch had something that Matt and Jean lacked. Maybe mystery? He grinned at that thought. They all had their story, each one different, some tragic, some epic, some just random. He sat down, ran his hand through the short hair, then decided to shed the parka. Sat down again, mostly to keep himself from pacing.

At exactly nineteen hundred hours, there was a knock on the door, a second pause, then the scrape of a key in the lock. Seemed Matt had given the Delta the key to the safe house. The door opened, but there was no silhouette of a man standing in the 'vertical coffin', instead a shadow, standing to the side before stepping through after making certain all was as he'd expected. Tipping a finger to his temple, Hooch gave a silent greeting before locking the door and walking closer. He stood, looking at Vadim, and the corners of his mouth twitched upwards in the trademark miniature grin.

Vadim nodded and gave a grin. Most small talk sentences, like 'I got your note' faltered. It was too obvious to mention it, really. He studied the man, thought of how Hooch had just gone to his knees to suck him, with hardly so much as a word. 'You'. That had been it. "I don't like debts", he murmured, continued to grin, though.

Hooch shrugged with another small grin, peeling himself out of the parka. He was chewing gum, which he fished out of his mouth and stuck to a piece of paper, stashing it in one of the pockets. Wearing a pair of fatigues, desert boots, and an army issue t-shirt underneath, he was going low-key. "No debt." Hooch shrugged again, "opportunity." He reached for one of the water bottles and emptied almost half of it, before he sat down on one of the chairs.

Vadim nodded. "Aye." Watching him drink, certain things about him like Dan - even though Hooch had very different facial features, they resembled each other enough to be from the same extended family. In a way, that was true. Who could tell whether Hooch had Scottish ancestors? 'Hooch' was very likely not the name that was in his passport. Vadim inhaled deeply, consciously filling his chest with air, then slowly breathed out, to centre himself. "Right. You must have found the single most unsuitable guy for smalltalk or flirting." He gave a laugh and stepped closer, a certain amount of humour now creeping into his voice. He shed the jacket, the belt, the shirt, felt the cool air on his nipples.

Again that economic grin and Hooch looked up, all the way from Vadim's groin, up his chest, to his face. "No. I win those stakes." His hand reached for Vadim's hips and he pulled him closer, but not without waiting a millisecond before touching. A silent, split second request for permission. Equals, that was what he regarded Vadim as, and Vadim felt himself relax more; nothing bad would come from this and he followed the pull.

"What do you offer?" Hooch drawled, giving another pull, until Vadim stood between Hooch's legs, face right up against Vadim's groin.

Again, the blowjob. Different way to do it, and that motherfucking skill. Vadim grinned, felt his guts tighten. Remembered Matt's almost comical despair, his need, remembered Hooch grinding against Dan. All great options. Delta. Killer. He bent down, looked at Hooch's eyes, the dark stubble, saw the strength in that man, and thought he'd like to see him cum, would like to see this man struggle with himself. "I'm up for anything", he murmured. "But Dan's a better cocksucker than I am."

Hooch nodded, one hand running up Vadim's inner thigh. To the balls, once, then back down again. "Mad Dog doesn't offer ass." One brow raised, the ghost of a grin. "You?"

Offer ass. Sounded less bad than 'fuck me'. Vadim looked at him thoughtfully, but thought, yes, he'd 'offer ass'. Nothing inside him struggled against that thought. It didn't seem to change anything - Hooch would probably not mock him for it. His jaw muscles tightened, once, twice. Not many men he'd trusted enough - few who'd ever tried. Truth was, Hooch was just as professional about it as a whore, nothing indicated scorn, spite or any nastiness. Strange. American. The very thought that he'd allow himself to get fucked by the proper cold war enemy - that was defiance. It was 'fuck you' to the KGB. He'd choose this, and he'd enjoy it. "If you give a hand", he murmured and opened his belt.

"Sure." The dark eyes widened then returned back to their usual, controlled self. True to his word, Hooch gave a hand right there and then. Opening the button and zipper for Vadim, he pushed down trousers and briefs. One hand went up towards the bare chest, the other splayed on one muscular buttock, which made Vadim move forward, tensing his ass. Leaning closer, Hooch trailed his tongue along the length of Vadim's cock, before leaning back and taking a good look. "Shaved." Silence. "Fucking good." He once more leaned forward, this time taking the cock between his lips.

"Was a ... swimmer, once." Vadim groaned softly, hands reaching for Hooch. The neck, hair, shoulder, but he didn't push, allowed Hooch his own rhythm, his own way to do things, as he grew fully hard under that attention, that focus that Hooch showed. No reservations.

Working on Vadim's cock, every movement and touch were controlled and perfect. Designed to arouse and keep the interest up, but never mechanical. His hands, calloused and warm, were wandering across Vadim's body, until Hooch pulled back, regarding the cock for a moment, then glanced up, meeting Vadim's gaze. Yet he said nothing, simply moved back down and swallowed as much of Vadim's cock as he could, making Vadim groan again and close his eyes. Taking his time. No rush, no pressure. As if he had all of the night, however unlikely.

Vadim gently moved with those motions, enjoying them, but keeping things under control - himself, lust. Felt Hooch's jaw move under his fingers, wondered how often the Delta had an opportunity for sex, because, damn, this felt good - something inside relaxed, as if lowering his guard actually involved a physical muscle. He knew why Hooch did it. Hooch made him relax, put him at ease, and he smiled at that thought.

Pushing Vadim's trousers down, Hooch finally came back up again. Getting out of the chair, he stood and offered another grin. Looking, watching, all the time, as he pulled the t-shirt over his head and threw it into the corner of the bed. Vadim shed the boots, socks, trousers and pants, removing everything, even the watch, as Hooch got rid of his own clothes, until they were both naked. Vadim met the Delta's gaze again, that deep, friendly, perceptive gaze that Hooch used like conversation. Vadim sat down on the bed, still looking at the Delta's face, then lay back, pulled his legs up. "Back or front?" he asked.

Hooch moved to the bed, standing close to it. "Front." He was merely half-hard, as if the cocksucking was more of a business than pleasure. It probably was. Amusing. Much like Vadim had used cocksucking himself - to get a partner ready for sex.

"Okay."

Getting onto the bed, Hooch knelt, looking down at Vadim, gazing at his ass. Dark eyes intent. "Good ass."

"Thanks." Vadim stretched out, touched the wall with his fingers, then relaxed. Getting fucked face-to-face. He was up for that and he opened his legs further, bringing one knee to his chest. Enjoying the rapt attention, as Hooch focused on him with the same intent as if he disarmed a bomb, or held a target in his scope. It was a great feeling, taking up somebody's mind like that.

Hooch's hand moved between Vadim's legs, touching, gliding, the other joining the travels across dam and balls, towards the cock, but never quite touching, instead staying close to the hole, circling. Slowly urging Vadim, without pressure, to lift his legs, and Vadim raised them, brought them up without a second thought. He wanted Hooch, wanted to get fucked, and he stared at Hooch's cock, which hardened under the scrutiny. It had a good size. He'd take that, and he assumed Hooch knew exactly what to do with it, probably had the same skill and control. His own cock twitched at the thought. "Do it. I'm quite … ready."

Hooch's lips quirked up once more. "I wasn't." An odd admission, delivered with a strangely relaxed humour, which made Vadim pause, then smile.

"Okay." Maybe he should suck his cock, too, and Vadim considered it when Hooch turned to the side, reached purposefully beneath the bed and brought out a tube of Astroglide and a condom. Dropping both onto the bed, Hooch's eyes narrowed slightly as his hands once more moved up the inside of Vadim's thighs, to the knees, resting there, as if trying to feel the pulse through the muscles.

Vadim shifted his weight slightly, moved closer, then remembered the scar down there and wondered if Hooch knew what it meant. This scar didn't look like an accident. He reached up for a pillow and stuffed it under his neck.

Leaning forward, Hooch lowered his head to leave a wet trail with his tongue, running all the way from between Vadim's pecs to his cock, then lingering at the scar, as if he could read Vadim's thoughts, making Vadim squirm and shiver, his muscles tensed lightly, playfully, and Vadim curved his back with the kisses. The tenderness endearing, Hooch so focused on him despite the fact he hardly spoke. Vadim couldn't help but wonder what was going on in the Delta's head, but couldn't ask. He wouldn't get an answer.

Hooch came back up, the miniature grin ghosting across his face until it settled in his eyes and tugged on his lips. Tearing the condom open like a pro, Hooch showed nothing but concentration, measured control, his cock remaining hard and unwavering as he rolled the condom down. The lube at hand, his fingers worked cool, slick gel into Vadim's ass.

Vadim lifted his hips, fingers entering him, warmth and coolness, strength and slickness, and he couldn't help that moan. Knowing he'd get fucked properly very soon, wanting this, from this man, too, while Dan was doing his shift. Vadim's breath caught at a clever twist of fingers, and he lifted his legs further, watching Hooch, expecting him to move on. He found another pillow and stuffed it under his ass, his hands then free to touch Hooch's arms, the tanned skin, dark hair, the whole man fit and younger than he was, and half-grinning down at him.

Coating his own cock, Hooch focused once more on Vadim. Eyes fixed on Vadim's face, as if reading each and every reaction, feeding from every sound and breathless movement. He remained poised for a moment, just looking, concentrated, while his fingertips trailed back up towards Vadim's pecs, to circle, touch, then twist the nipples, which made Vadim groan, more eager now to get fucked, if that was possible. Just the skill - different to Dan, but with all the consideration that he liked. With fucking respect.

One hand guiding his cock, Hooch began to enter with excruciating control, drawing another long groan from Vadim, making his legs and ass tense, only to get the most out of it.

Slow, so slow, with no urgency whatsoever, sliding in and filling, stretching, the feeling with the condom slightly different, but of course, made sense to be safe, even if Vadim would have liked to tear that barrier away, feel him properly, feel him cum inside, too, but they weren't there, yet. His own cock twitched at the thought, the intrusion, and that intense look of concentration on Hooch's face. Vadim suddenly laughed, semi-breathless just from the building tension. So careful, so deadly. His fingers tightened in the blanket and he bared his throat, unconscious, but the heat and being filled felt so fucking good.

Hooch's half-grin changed when his lips parted. If possible, his dark eyes became even more intense, more focused. Nothing escaped their gaze, and even when Vadim had loosened enough to accommodate his cock fully, he remained poised, deep inside. Making no sound, except for an expelled breath, with Vadim breathing slightly faster, so alive in this moment, so much enjoying himself. Still, once more, hardly a movement except for the most minimal rocking, which nevertheless echoed deeply in Vadim's body, making him groan. Hooch's hands started to wander across the body beneath him. Nipples, cock, the inside of Vadim's thighs, all the way up to the arms and shoulders, taking his time. Some touches light, almost tender, others deliberately strong, surprising Vadim with that tenderness and consideration. That man clearly in awe with his body, fully focused on making this good for him, and Hooch seemed to have no intention of ending this treatment.

And what about him? Did he delight in the control? Delight in the way his partners lost control? Vadim bared his teeth, grinned up at Hooch, felt trust and heat and a strange kinship to the American, and thought he got it. Hooch drank him up, feasted on him with all his senses. Seeing this man gorge instead of taking small bites and savouring … that had to be a sight to behold. "You're killing me", murmured Vadim, and Hooch's head tilted slightly, listening with the same intensity with which he watched and touched, while keeping himself hard deep inside of Vadim's body. "But you … know that." Vadim reached up to Hooch's left nipple, twisting it, which seemed to actually surprise the Delta, whose parted lips twitched. Vadim grinned. "Let go, soldier. I … can guard your back."

All movement ceased, for one moment, as Hooch looked down, reading the flushed face beneath him. His hands travelled up Vadim's legs, resting at his shins, and pushing, slowly, without demand, but Vadim was quite willing to be opened further, allowing it to happen. Vadim's legs went up until they were pressed against his chest, allowing Hooch to lower his body, change the angle, until their faces were barely an inch apart, making Vadim groan again.

"Spetsnaz …" Hooch murmured, before a grin flashed across his face and he nodded. "Yeah."

And that was it. Vadim didn't have time to think about him being Spetsnaz, getting fucked by Delta, the old enemy thing paled as a kiss followed - another surprise - and as demanding as anything before had been controlled. Devouring, now, with taste, teeth and lips, where only Hooch's eyes had feasted before, with Vadim welcoming the lips, hungry. Opening up, his own kisses desperate, heated, answering a bite with a bite, a sucking, open-mouthed kiss with a groan and the same. Further heated up by hips moving in sharp, small thrusts, as if Hooch's body had to get used to abandon, building up the heat as much in himself as in the other. Vadim could only use his hands, pulling, kneading, massaging what he could get, arms, shoulders. Touching that throat, too, feeling pulse thunder underneath, arching his body to greet and take, but also give, working against Hooch, eyes every now and then flickering to the door. But they were safe. Safe with each other and in this place.

Hooch's eyes never closed, but he was still trusting Vadim to guard his back. The older man and seasoned soldier. A comrade in arms of an unlikely kind and a comrade he'd trust. Arching up, away from devouring Vadim's lips, to change the angle once more and find leverage once more. Vadim still tasted him, felt his lips echo with the other's, intimate just like the fucking, trust, need, hunger. Saw Hooch's muscles move, smelled him, primal and male, dust, testosterone, a smell that was Hooch, and he groaned again as Hooch shifted. Small wonder the Delta had taken this position - it gave him all the power over what angle, which speed, how deep. It wasn't about being face to face, it was, like everything, about control, about the ability to build the lust slowly and completely at his bidding. But Vadim wasn't complaining, when it all changed again.

Thrusting hard suddenly, fast, with an abandon that still contained control, as if Hooch's body was simply unable to give it up fully. No sound, except for harsh breaths, and those dark eyes fixed on Vadim. Face, body, movement, as he fucked Vadim with hard, rhythmic thrusts. The violence as controlled as the essence of the man.

Vadim opened his lips wider, panted, fought the sounds, but wasn't quite successful, because it felt so good and he didn't have to hide it, didn't have to pretend. It wasn't the barracks. Never more one of those quick, desperate fucks, he was free to make a sound. Perfect. Hooch read him and gave him exactly what he needed, how he needed it, but their deal had a sharp, barbed edge to it. Instead of losing control, Vadim had to fight to preserve some of it. Mutual control, mutual watchfulness when he wanted nothing more but to close his eyes and let go. Vadim tightened his muscles, felt the pressure build, but he wouldn't be able to cum, didn't want that fucking control, wanted to be swept away and it was impossible, and at the same time, his body was rapidly heating up, ready to explode.

Hooch's head snapped to the side, sweat dripping from his neck, chest and face onto Vadim. Swift glance to the door, his thrust slowed, but never decreased in intensity. Vadim groaned loudly, didn't want it to slow, wanted it to go fast, hard, frantic, brutal. Tried to cum, felt himself tighten, but couldn't get there. Slower, still, more excruciating, and Hooch's hands kept running from Vadim's thighs up to his ankles, back down again, until they moved from the abs to his panting, slick chest. Resting there, as Hooch lowered his head. Lips across Vadim's, murmuring hoarsely, "I take watch."

Vadim met the gaze, felt sweat trickle down his temple, his nostrils flaring at the smell, their smell, mingling, fresh, healthy, sweat. Watch. Double. Meaning. Watch his back. Watch. Him. Watch him lose it. It wasn't control, that Hooch was after, not all of it, it was again that feeding off him, that delight in watching him. And Vadim smiled, realising fully how much he liked being watched, see himself reflected in another man's dilated pupils. He nodded, pulse beating into his throat, and he reached to his cock, stroking himself. Eyes falling closed, entering his own space, leaving anything outside this room outside, the other man fully inside him now in so many different ways.

And Hooch sped up once more, intensifying the thrusts, if at all possible. Rhythmic, hard and without the slightest attempt to hold back any strength of his body. Trained to kill, honed to survive, and fucking Vadim as if it was the last thing his body would do in his life. All the time staring down, not the smallest nuance in Vadim's face escaping him.

Vadim clenched again, deliciously tightening around that cock inside him, legs shifting to pull closer, demand, ask, invite, fist tight around him, filled to bursting, and, arching his back, he began to finish himself off. Tensed up, taut, tight, all power now focused on himself, that selfish need to cum, and it was easy, knowing he was watched. Easy to let go, groan as he fucked his fist, every motion intense and nearly brutal, as he found that edge and crossed it, cumming so very hard across his hand, stomach, chest.

Instead of becoming erratic, Hooch slowed when Vadim came, savouring every expression, each sound, never getting enough. Only then, when Vadim fell back, chest heaving to try and catch a breath, splattered with his cum, did Hooch launch into the last few short and extremely powerful thrusts. That was all he needed to cum, transfixed on the man beneath him, dark eyes almost closing with the intensity of his orgasm. Letting go as much as he could, but without a sound except for noisy breaths, inhaling harshly. He shuddered during the come-down, head lowering, but eyes still open, still focused on Vadim's face.

Vadim's blue eyes in stark contrast to his flushed and sweaty face, nearly serene in their sudden and complete clarity. Truly seeing the man he'd accepted as a lover, and Vadim marvelled at the other man's expression; it wasn't openness or vulnerability so much as maybe joy, something amazingly human and untainted.

It took Hooch mere seconds to get himself fully under control once more, but he'd been there, had lost it as much as he'd ever be able to in such circumstances; had fed on lust and given in return. Lowering further until he could kiss Vadim once more, who kissed back, still amazed and also very lazy. Legs falling back down, while Hooch one-handed secured the condom and carefully slid out. Sweat making their bodies glide against the other's.

Vadim pulled the pillow from under his ass and instead stuffed it under his neck too, then reached up to pull Hooch close, in the last moment not just pulling him close, but merely touch his neck in an invitation. The hint of a pull, hand running over Hooch's shoulder, as the Delta followed the invitation. Rolling off Vadim, but lying close. Bodies touching. Resting after another glance at the door and a swift check of the room.

"Strange", Vadim murmured. "Feels … like I understand … when I really don't. Do I? No idea."

Nothing at first, then a dry chuckle, while Hooch's hand moved through the cooling cum across Vadim's body. Trailing lazily, until he reached the spent cock. Just lying there, covering. A strange and affectionate gesture. "Spetsnaz, eh?" That was all Hooch commented, but when he lifted his head, a hint of a smile played on his lips. Seemed Vadim understood better than he was giving himself credit for.

"Vympel, even", said Vadim. Another act of defiance to flaunt a word that had been a secret once. Two superpowers outdoing each other in secrecy and creating killers. He stretched out, looked at Hooch, his body heavy and resting. A strange, tender feeling - 'just sex' Dan called it, but Vadim had the odd feeling that this would stay with him. "All told, you're much saner than I was at your age … I dealt with it differently. Both inside the barracks and outside." He reached for the water bottle and offered it to Hooch, who took a long draught, while Vadim wiped himself down with a piece of the blanket, and Hooch wiped his hand before it wandered back to its resting place. Strangely possessive gesture, and yet there was nothing demanding about the man who had gone to his knees and sucked a cock after no more than a single word.

"Different culture, different traditions," Vadim mused. "Much changed in the meantime. But I remember the pressure … that bone-grinding pressure. I wore that mask, and sometimes, I ripped it off and turned into a savage, screaming for blood like an animal. Ultimately, that was the only thing that kept me human." He smiled at Hooch, feeling protective of this younger killer, hoped against hope that Hooch would remain saner, never truly descended to that level.

"I don't flip on the job." Hooch shook his head, before he rested it on Vadim's shoulder. At ease with the other's body as if he had known the man for many years. "Just do what needs to be done." He shrugged and the corner of his lips twitched once more, the indication of a grin. "Got my opportunities." And Vadim was undoubtedly one of them. And Dan. And, it seemed, the kid.

Vadim nodded, studying Hooch's features. Opportunity. Yes. He'd been that and more, because Hooch had given so much more and, reflected Vadim, so had he. He inhaled deeply, a contented sigh, touching his forehead to Hooch's. Assuming Hooch had time. He had. Dan's shift would end in the early hours of the morning. Pulling a double, so he could meet Hooch. Generous, hard-working Dan. "My watch … I have time."

"Got a couple hours." Hooch nodded before falling silent. He had used up his contingency of words, but he didn't fall asleep. Those eyes of his didn't seem to be able to close. Letting his hand wander across Vadim's body instead. Slowly, deliberately, exploring with his fingers what he couldn't have asked with words. Silently mapping another man's terrain, and being completely at ease. As much as he ever could.

Vadim watched him, didn't mind him touching the scars, reading his muscles, enjoyed in a relaxed, calm way how much appreciation was in that focus on him. His hand in turn touching lines of muscles, the round firmness of a shoulder, the stubbly skin of a throat, the small dark nipple on that sculpted chest, the navel that sat there, undisturbed, with no scar, no moonscape of scars and craters, smooth, inviolate, bronzed flesh. Physically in peak condition, with that disciplined mind, his sharp senses. What a soldier.

Hooch remained silent all of the time, while some of it his hand rested, but his eyes never fully closed. Until it was time for him to get up, take a leak and wipe himself down with cold water. He was still watching Vadim as he climbed back into his clothes. Watching, as he zipped up the parka, and watching, as he tied his boots. Still looking down at the naked Vadim on the bed, who'd stretched out comfortably, gazing at him. Hooch suddenly decided something and fished a pen out of his jacket, together with a dog eared note pad. Scribbling down a few lines and numbers, he ripped the sheet off and put it onto the chair close to the bed. "Be in touch." Not a request, not even a question. A statement, but not a demand.

Yes. Dan had said that Hooch would soon be on his way. Off to fight his country's wars. Vadim stood, stretched his legs by standing on his toes for a moment, then crossed the distance and took Hooch's hand, pressing it, his left hand briefly trailing the lower arm, touching the skin while returning the gaze. The barrier was back, the mask, Hooch would leave the room and be the man his comrades and superiors knew. "I don't have an address", Vadim murmured, almost as if to apologize. "But I will be in touch. Godspeed, soldier."

Hooch's hand remained in Vadim's for a while longer, the grip firm and steadfast. His lips curled up in his trademark miniature grin, before he nodded once. "Greet Mad Dog from me." His grin grew for a second, before his hand slipped out of Vadim's and he turned and left towards the door. Unlocking and checking. His back once more showing the constant alertness and concentration. Control, or his life would be worth nothing.

With that he left into the night.

Vadim closed the door, locked it behind the man. He was relaxed, well fucked, more than that. Something there. Something that was way beyond 'opportunity', well beyond 'just sex', but he couldn't place it, couldn't quite name it. He stretched his arms, shoulders, his back - getting fucked like that always put a strain on his lower back, just a twinge, but nevertheless noticeable.

He looked at the bed, thought he could rest, maybe sleep, but then he could rest in the tin hut in camp. He got dressed, checked the time. Two and a half hours until midnight. He'd get a good solid sleep in before Dan returned. He tidied up the room - ready for whatever encounter happened here next - then unlocked the door and returned to camp.

He showered, got himself a bite to eat, mulling things over, thinking about Hooch and at the same time vaguely amused that the American occupied his mind so much. But he did. Vadim did a basic, short workout, largely based on isometrics, then had another quick wash, merely freshening up, shaving. Returning to their tin hut, he cleaned and packed his kit, the mindless routine of any well-disciplined soldier. Eventually, when everything was sorted, he lay down, face buried in Dan's pillow, with Dan's smell on it.

* * *

The sound of vehicles arriving in camp was later than usual. Almost an hour late, accompanied by the sound of tired voices. Dan amongst them, with additional duties as team leader, it took another half hour before his footsteps were finally heard approaching the hut. Stumbling with tiredness, he was caked in dust when he entered the hut. Still trying to be quiet, hoping to find Vadim there and not in the safe house, and hoping not to wake him, but damn, he was bone weary.

Vadim woke, pleasantly though, not a start, no terror, no fear. Just awake, knowing it was Dan. He reached over to switch on a small light, then stood up, yawning, as Dan smiled at him, hardly able to stay still without weaving, too drowsy.

"Hey, sorry Russkie. Didn't mean to wake you." Smiling, he wiped his eyes, leaving a streak of clean skin in the dirty face. "Was a shit shift."

"Yeah. My shift. Don't worry." Vadim helped Dan out of his red dust caked kit, and slipped into his camo trousers himself to walk him to the showers. The least he could do, and natural by now, one of them always helping, covering for the other, like Dan did for him. One of the perks of being in this place together.

"Had a good time?" Dan managed to get out before he was shoved gently under the hot spray of the shower. Eyes on half-mast.

Vadim grinned. "Better than yours, I can tell." Taking Dan's hand and squeezing some shower gel into it. "I'm afraid I can't wash you in camp. The rest of your team should hit the showers in a few moments." Well, his team, strictly speaking. They did arrive soon, all weary like Dan. They'd been funnier and wittier before the shift started, and Vadim nodded and waved and dragged Dan back to the tin hut, to towel him down and tug him into bed.

And Dan just followed like a puppet, standing with his head drooping as he was towelled down. When it seemed he had already fallen asleep, he suddenly raised his head, smiling tiredly, as his hand went to the back of Vadim's neck. "Was it worth it?"

Vadim met his gaze, felt almost caught for a moment, didn't quite know how to take it, how to understand it. Why did Dan ask? Worth it? Exchange Dan's work for his pleasure? Was it? "You were there with me, in that room", he murmured. "He sends greetings, too."

"No, that's not what I meant." Dan rested his forehead against Vadim's, still smiling sleepily. "And I sure as fuck hope I wasn't there with you. If it's a hot threesome, I'd like to be there in body as well." He chuckled and even that sounded tired, giving his voice a raspy softness. "Was it worth a goddamned double shift? Did you enjoy yourself? I bloody hope you did. Hooch's a good guy." He added, with another tired chuckle, "I think."

"He is. And I did." Vadim opened his arms and pulled Dan into a tight embrace. Kissing his neck, affectionate kisses that didn't lead to anything. "I enjoyed myself a lot. He's a strange guy. But it's good I got to know him a bit better." Getting Dan down onto the bed, covering him and still holding him tight, but Dan turned, until they lay face to face. Not saying anything for a long time, his eyes closed, breathing evenly. He wasn't asleep, though, his hand in the back of Vadim's neck, thumb occasionally stroking.

Dan opened his eyes suddenly, with heavy eyelids. "I do love you, Russkie. Just so you know." As if Vadim didn't, possibly couldn't know, and he smiled crookedly.

"I know. Fuck, I do, too." Vadim kissed Dan's forehead, his lips, felt that deep tenderness again, but without desperation, just acceptance, and calm. "Kept … thinking of you, comparing." He should probably shut up right there. "Nothing like you, nobody."

"Don't do that." Dan shook his head, eyes finally succumbing to tiredness again. "It's alright, aye? Just enjoy what you can get as long …" and the crooked smile grew into a grimace for a second, "as long as you love me." Admitting far more than he had intended. An insecurity he hadn't known was there, and which vanished as soon as it had arrived and voiced itself. "Aye?" Murmured.

Vadim inhaled deeply. Like that was the price. Like being able - allowed - to do this meant he'd never grow resentful, and it never touched their love. Liberty the price to pay for being able to stay together. Was that why Jean was still in the equation? "I wouldn't stop. Not even if …" He didn't want other men. Maybe that was one of the reasons why Dan had encouraged him yesterday, so he tried it, alone, without Dan involved. Encouraged to take a liberty he hadn't wanted. But now he did. Now he was glad for it. And Dan had others. Even if that itched - especially if it was Jean - if that was a liberty that Dan needed, he'd accept that. They were both free. No marriage. No exclusive vows, no reason to turn down an opportunity. That last word was now so tied up with Hooch that it made Vadim smile. "As if I could ever tire of you, stupid fuck."

Dan's smile turned into a grin, before rapidly drifting out of consciousness. "That's good." Murmured, he yawned and burrowed into Vadim, hardly able to string the last words together. "And you'll always be my cunt."

Vadim laughed, softly, barely more than audible breathing. "Sleep, Dan. Tomorrow is another day." And we'll be together.

Holding Dan who relaxed into sleep, it was strange to hold one man and fondly remember another. Like a comrade, with some odd kinship, an understanding that he found hard to put into precise thoughts or words. Protectiveness played a role, recognizing something of himself - younger, and simultaneously less and more messed up - in somebody who used to be an enemy and now was just another fighting man. Part of a select elite of killers, impervious to normal moral standards. Dan had found a friend in Jean. Hooch very much felt like a friend to him.

 
 
Special Forces Chapter XXXVI: NAAFI
 
 
Warning for Readers

The following work of fiction contains graphic homosexual interaction, violence and non-consensual sex. With this work of fiction the authors do not condone in any way any form of intolerance and injustice, e.g. racism, sexual harassment, incitement of hatred, religious hatred nor persecution, xenophobia and misogyny. Neither do the authors through this work of fiction promote violence nor make light of such grave matters as genocide, any taking of human life, murder, execution, rape, torture, persecution of sexual orientation.

By accessing this work of fiction you hereby accept and agree that this is a work of fiction and does not reflect in any way the opinions of the authors. The authors do not necessarily endorse the views expressed by the fictional characters.

By accessing this work of fiction you hereby indemnify the authors against all claims and actions whatsoever arising from reading the work of fiction.

All characters are fictional. Any similarities with living or deceased people are coincidental. In case of real life events, creative license has been applied. Special Forces is intellectual property of Marquesate and Vashtan. Copyright © 2006-2009. All rights reserved.

 

 
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Published 19 March 2008