[identity profile] krasnogorje.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] groznyj_grad

The hallways were silent except for his boot clicks on the tile and the occasional plaintive mew coming from the bundle clutched to his chest.

Io murmured reassuring words to his quarry, stroking her head through the blanket to keep her still.

So far, so good.

The East Wing was disserted; no one saw him invite Major Krauss’ beloved Persian cat into room 307 and no one saw him emerge with the Major’s feline half an hour later, dripping wet and wrapped in a moth eaten green blanket.

He thought he was home free, until he saw the soldiers standing at the bottom of the stairs.

If he saw them, they saw him, and there was no use in turning back to find an alternate route.

“Comrades!” He called cheerfully to them, descending the stairs with grace and enthusiasm. “How are you, on this lovely, lovely morning?”

The blanket in his arms meowed, and struggled.

Date: 2008-02-01 06:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] utrov.livejournal.com
"Equally lovely," Utrov returned.

The blond man coming down the stairs was dressed in the uniform of a small unit of soldiers whose job was, reportedly, to set things on fire. Specialization, the wonder of the modern world.

The green lump in his arms made a muffled squeak.

Vasily gave it a considering look.

"Your blanket sounds unhappy."

Date: 2008-02-01 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andrei-isaev.livejournal.com
Andrei had been shooting seven kinds of nonsense with Savva across the hall, and now he looked up, frowning.

"What's this chush?" he muttered, noting the struggle-bundle with faint unease.

Flashes of his mother's dead stole, endlessly biting each other's tails with glassy eyes.

"Hey," he yelled, breaking away from the wall. "If you set any living thing on fire, comrade, I will break your face over my knee. Then I'll fuck your skull and shoot off. You hear me, Little Matchbox Boy?"

Animals, that was what got to him. Not men, not people, who largely invited their own misery.

"Let that poor thing go. Whatever it is."

Date: 2008-02-01 07:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ocelottery.livejournal.com
"I'll help," Savva volunteered, following Andrei.

He could see, now, why Kolyin was so uptight about Flame Patrol all the time. Savva had written it off at first, all stolen scarves and unit pride aside.

Arkady was uptight about a lot of things, but torturing small animals wasn't okay in Savva's book, either.

He glanced to the side, at the GRU captain he didn't recognize.

Technically a superior, even though Ocelot Unit didn't answer to GRU.

"First day?" he asked, in an undertone. "Don't worry, this type of thing doesn't happen all the time."

Actually, it did, but the GRU captain didn't need to know that.

Though he would probably find out soon enough.

Date: 2008-02-01 08:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] utrov.livejournal.com
"Yeah," Utrov answered. "Just got here."

He glanced at the flame soldier and the bundle he held on to, despite shapeless and pitiful attempts to escape.

He leaned in toward the man who had spoken to him and inquired, with a hint of disbelief, "That guy, he wouldn't actually..."

Both of the young blond soldiers looked dead serious, and ready to back up the threat.

Looked like killing a helpless animal was something they didn't put below the guy, whoever he was.

"Why don't you put it down, comrade," Utrov suggested, giving the flame soldier a low, flat stare, and sizing him up. "Three on one isn't quite sportmanlike. I might have to feel a little bad about it while picking your teeth out of my knuckles."

Date: 2008-02-01 10:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ocelottery.livejournal.com
"Oh my god!"

Semeyonev's generously curved mouth fell open, and he stared at the cat in disbelief.

"What did you do to it?"

Animals didn't come that color naturally, and Savva was pretty sure Major Krauss' cat was white. If that was indeed the same cat...

"That is one pink pussy," Savva muttered to Andrei.

Someone had to be the one to say it first.

Date: 2008-02-02 05:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andrei-isaev.livejournal.com
"Like you'd know from pussy," snorted Isaev.

He frowned, crossing his arms, slowly.

They all studied the miserable, flat fuschia face with wordless solemnity. The quiet was punctuated by the cat's mournful yarling.

"Krauss is going to flip his shit," Andrei murmured obliquely to Semeyonev. "He's still pretending that cat is just fat. It's not fat," he added, significantly, "believe me."

He raised his lip in a whisper and leaned onto his hip, inclining his head toward Savva.

"My mother's persian used to flash the rosebud at the russian blue next door. My baby sister let her get out once, and when she came back, that belly was low-swinging like an old man's balls."

He nodded for emphasis.

"That's no fucking immaculate conception."
There was no telling how Krauss would react to finding his beloved persian pregnant and pink.

Date: 2008-02-02 05:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] utrov.livejournal.com
"Do me a favor, comrades," Vasya requested of the soldiers beside him. "Say again that this doesn't happen every day."

The florescent feline leveraged round eyes at him in a look of pure despair.

Utrov's thoughts went to his fellow pilgrim, now lodged in parts unknown.

He raised a beseeching eyebrow toward the cat-botherer. "And that, whatever he used, there isn't enough to do the same thing to a horse."

Date: 2008-02-02 07:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] utrov.livejournal.com
Utrov burst out laughing.

"Well, there's your answer."

He knelt and held his hand out to the long-suffering Persian.

"Scorn for the oppressor, eh? A fine Russian spirit."

Date: 2008-02-02 10:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ocelottery.livejournal.com
Savva eyed the cat as the Flame soldier released it.

The fur, normally thick and fluffy, was still damp enough to fall more sleekly across the cat's body, if a bit tousled. And pink. Regardless, Semeyonev could see what Andrei had pointed out, the cat's round and distended belly now more clearly apparent.

Savva watched the cat tentatively make its way toward the GRU captain's outstretched hand.

He winced, turning back to Andrei.

"The kittens...aren't going to turn out the same color, are they?" he whispered.

Date: 2008-02-04 10:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andrei-isaev.livejournal.com
Andrei gave Semeyonev a look of dubious incredulity.

"Are they what? Good christ, Savva- you know that's not how these things-"

Then he stopped, reconsidering briefly.

Given that Semeyonev's proud and promiscuous personal history of breeding was all same-sex, it was not particularly instructive in animal husbandry.

If Savva's born-goluboj logic purported to espouse the disturbingly Lamarckian theory that dyeing a cat the color of an abused anus would give it rosebud colored kittens, Isaev couldn't exactly doubt it.

His lip curled up and died in a dry smile.

"So how did you get those cock-sucking lips, anyway? Did your dad punch your mom in the mouth?"

Date: 2008-02-04 04:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ocelottery.livejournal.com
Semeyonev's cock-sucking lips fell open in shock.

"What? No! You take that back!"

Savva shook his head vehemently.

"My dad would never punch my mom! Ever!"

He gaped at Andrei for a few seconds, but then slowly started to frown as he thought about that.

"But maybe...maybe it was my mom who punched my dad," he admitted.

Date: 2008-02-04 06:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] utrov.livejournal.com
The cat rammed its mutant-rose head against Utrov's hand, purring enormously. Not that traumatized, then, if it could forget its misery at the first person to offer physical comfort.

It gave him an accusatory glare as he stood. Well, hell.

He was interrupted in wondering how long the pink would stay on his hand by a sudden question.

Vasily blinked at the flame soldier.

"Fuck, comrade, I don't know. I never asked for a list," he responded, glancing at the other two soldiers and half listening to their banter. "It'd've been a hell of a pilgrimage."

Damn, but that one did have spectacular cock-sucking lips.

Date: 2008-02-05 01:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] utrov.livejournal.com
"Sorry, I was distracted," Utrov say, turning back to the flame soldier. "Did I just get called a Muscovite whore?"

Date: 2008-02-05 03:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andrei-isaev.livejournal.com
Isaev laughed.

"Your predecessor was probably called worse."

Savva was looking at him.

"May he rest in peace," added Andrei.

Date: 2008-02-05 05:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] utrov.livejournal.com
Sobriety solidified around Utrov's features.

"Did you know him?" he said quietly.

This member of the fortress's flock of blonds had the build of a bruiser and the careless grace that said he knew how to apply it. The sculpted, arrogant face of an aristocrat.

He sounded like he knew something.

Something about the unexpected news of Molokov's unnatural demise had woken a hunger in Vasily to know more.

Nothing like the words "you don't want to know."

MVD Major StickUpHisAss had made it sound like the culprit was still on the scurry. Maybe Utrov had been sent deliberately to be the next course. Like a virgin tied to a stake for the local dragon.

Wouldn't that be funny.

"I didn't even find out about it until after landing. I had to get it from the weird little German wearing a dead wolf."

Utrov snorted under his breath.

"Like they thought I'd be afraid of ghosts."

Date: 2008-02-05 05:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andrei-isaev.livejournal.com
"Sure I did," said Isaev, shrugging, offering a vague smile. "He came through every three months."

He pulled off his beret and ran his fingers through his hair before putting it back on.

"Sometimes he joined our weekly poker game while he was on base."

Andrei sighed.

"Too bad it had to be him. Mikhail was a great guy, and just passing through. He didn't deserve this. Having your dick lopped off and tucked into your own throat is no way for your comrades to remember you."

Date: 2008-02-05 06:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] utrov.livejournal.com
"Jesus Christ!" Utrov's eyes widened to twin earthtoned eclipses. "Are you serious?"

The soldier said it like he was discussing the damned weather.

Utrov shook his head in astonishment.

"Just what the rancid hell is going on in this place?"

Date: 2008-02-05 09:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ocelottery.livejournal.com
It seemed like everyone was in the mood for reminiscing.

He almost brought up the time he'd mistakenly sucked off Molokov in the supply closet, thinking he was someone else, but Savva ultimately decided against it.

If the GRU captain really was Molokov's replacement, he had enough to worry about. And besides, he seemed traumatized enough already.

He turned to the Flame soldier instead.

"Well, I don't know you from anyone else in your unit, except for that girl, so I can't say anything if the German asks."

Savva shrugged, and looked down at the ugly little cat only made uglier by its artificial coloration.

"As long as the kittens turn out okay, I guess it doesn't matter."

Date: 2008-02-05 09:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] utrov.livejournal.com
Utrov gave the flame soldier a long stare.

His was the kind of titter suspended from sanity by a hangnail and not trying particularly hard to hold on.

"Sounds like there was one person who didn't like him," Utrov said coolly.

Date: 2008-02-05 07:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andrei-isaev.livejournal.com
"You'll be fine, priyatel," Andrei said with an Atlas-worthy sigh.

He looked at the import's dark, deep-set gaze and narrow face. He had a high forehead beneath a mess of thick wayward hair in average brown- the uneven grow-out of what was probably a military crop at some point.

"You're not this sick fuck's flavor."

But when the new supply Captain turned on the flame soldier with sudden ire, Andrei blinked, surprised.

"They have a sick fuck on their squad, Captain. But it's not this one. He's a violinist, and general prankster. No more."

He couldn't fault a little nervous laughter. Not when he'd just quipped a highly inappropriate joke about a dead man himself.

"I don't really have much occasion to speak to the German," said Andrei, vaguely. "And even less to discuss his cat."

"...riveting as I'm sure the topic would be," he added, wryly.

Date: 2008-02-05 11:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] utrov.livejournal.com
"Eh?" Utrov said, looking back at the flame soldier.

His mind had wandered.

It didn't follow directions so well these days.

Mad little giggles.

He shrugged.

"Just trying to calculate how much fuel you go through. Your commander looked happy as a cat in cream to see the shipment."

It seemed like the big one knew a fair amount about what was going on here. He might be a good one to ask about the pair of ill-matched MVD...

Nah. It was none of Utrov's business. Furthermore, he didn't care.

The cat, once attention no longer focused on it, showed its disdain by sticking its leg in the air and attempting to wash it.

Good luck with that.

"I'll leave this out of my dealings with Krauss."

He watched the cat's doomed attempts to get itself into some semblance of order.

"It's better as a surprise."

Date: 2008-02-06 02:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andrei-isaev.livejournal.com
"He might enjoy it," remarked Andrei breezily. "You never know."

He paused, shouldering his AK.

"As I recall, Molokov was found wearing a not dissimilarly hued lace-trimmed teddy."

This last he added with a tip of his jaw and a faintly sardonic drawl, marking the blackness of the humor.

Date: 2008-02-06 05:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] utrov.livejournal.com
Utrov rolled his eyes.

"Now you're plain dicking me, comrade."

Date: 2008-02-06 07:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] utrov.livejournal.com
The flame soldier's face held no sign that he was joking, and no further play at being a gibbering lunatic.

Utrov took a moment to absorb the information.

"Well," he concluded philosophically, "if you're going to go out, you might as well dress for the occasion."

He paused.

"And, no. I haven't received any 'invitations.' But I've been advised not to accept."

An eyebrow lifted sardonically.

"Or at least to stick to the salad."

Date: 2008-02-06 11:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ocelottery.livejournal.com
Savva turned to Andrei.

"So...what are we supposed to do about the cat, anyway?"

He nodded at the pink feline, which continued to wash itself in a sort of obscene way. Savva tilted his head, watching.

He could probably do that, he mused.

Savva pressed his lips together, thoughtfully.

"Should we take her back?"

Savva shrugged.

"Maybe we can just drop her off at the Major's office and say we found her while on patrol."

Date: 2008-02-12 04:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andrei-isaev.livejournal.com
Andrei frowned.

"Yeaaaah," he said doubtfully. "Okei..."

He shrugged, crossing the strap of his AK over his back.

"Sure. What's the worst that can happen?"

Famous last words, Isaev felt sure, when it came to Krauss.

Date: 2008-02-12 07:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ocelottery.livejournal.com
Semeyonev winced.

"Well...I hope we don't find out."

He nodded at the GRU captain, and then at the Flame soldier, for good measure. No hard feelings, he decided.

He glanced down the hall. Krauss' office wasn't far.

Savva paused, and looked from the cat to Andrei.

"Will you carry her? I don't know how."

Date: 2008-02-13 03:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] utrov.livejournal.com
"Last I saw him, he was hauling barrels of fuel around, looking like a kid in a candy store," Utrov said.

He looked to the soldiers, the shorter-haired of whom was eyeing the cat warily, as if calculating an angle of attack.

"Don't look so nervous," Vasya told him, smiling wryly. "It won't rip your throat out unless you provoke it."

He glanced down the hall in the direction of Krauss's office. He had been heading there, serendipitously enough. There were a lot of forms he'd received that looked like strange mistakes, or someone's idea of a joke.

"Mind if I tag along? I've got business with the German, and regret will keep me up nights if I miss the look on his face."

Date: 2008-02-14 08:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ocelottery.livejournal.com
Savva shook his head, helplessly.

"No, that's not what I meant," he told the GRU captain, nodding at the pink cat.

He glanced at Andrei.

"I wouldn't know how to carry her, because of the kittens. I don't want to hurt them."

Then again, the Flame patrol soldier hadn't seemed to have any special technique.

He shrugged, and sighed.

Savva nodded at the GRU captain then.

"Sure, come on, it's just down the hall."

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