The rumble of the machine. Vadim couldn't quite sleep,
and he wasn't supposed to, but after three weeks guarding
the convoy, and more fake alarms than he could remember
- seemed there were no enemies in the mountains, only
shadows that moved and rocks that looked to these kids
like enemies. Baba Yaga out hunting children, some shit
like that. He was as tired as a long-rotten dog, decomposed,
bones already ground to dust. The mountains had the
colour of ground-up bones, anyway. Made for joyful driving.
conscript's name was Platon, like the old Greek, and
that was probably why they put him together with Vadim;
Vadim would sometimes say things hardly anybody understood,
especially when he was semi-drunk and not itching to
kill or brawl, so, it was two philosophers on the same
head nodded forward, and he wanted to curl up and sleep,
preserve warmth and sanity.
you have a girlfriend?" Platon glanced over, his
face too young, far too young to be here, the shaved
head made him look like a child.
nodded forward. "Concentrate on the road."
He wanted to sleep badly, could not remember when he
had really found any rest, and didn't have any idea
when he could expect rest again. And he kept nodding
off, thirty seconds, or a minute, while the trucks crawled
forward, mine sweepers checking the road bit by bit.
One mine meant the whole convoy had to stop, and that
amounted to something like seventy trucks. He was not
supposed to sleep, he was on duty. Only that he hadn't
been off duty for three weeks, and was starting to fray.
He was perfectly willing to mistake anything for a dushman.
really, that the bandits were starting to pick up how
to mine the roads. The first attacks had been screaming
and shooting and standing perfectly in the open, but
somewhere along the way, they had picked up skills.
He had heard they still refused to belly crawl towards
their targets, apparently they were too proud. But they
were starting to grow into it, the whole guerrilla thing.
Ambushes. They were getting trained to get better, and
one thing had to be said in their favour: They were
Platon reached inside his vest, showed him a photo.
didn't really look. "Nice."
seemed a little surprised, but then worked out that
being puzzled by a spetsnaz was the least of his problems.
obliged him. "Nice tits."
much for the bonding experience. Vadim did, on principle,
not show anything like photos. He didn't carry them
out in the field, as it were, and he sure as fuck wouldn't
let anybody comment on Katya's tits. And he didn't want
any comrades to stare at the children. These things
didn't belong together. He knew that the story went
his wife was really not much to look at, but then somebody
had told that other story of the Olympics, and the conscripts
had fallen silent. They had been nothing but children
back in the days.
jerked awake again, ironically because the truck had
stopped moving. Platon began to sweat, even though the
heating was off, saving power. "Oh god, please
glanced at the sweepers, who seemed concerned. Might
be a mine, might be a mock-up. It was hard to tell,
especially with the sleet and snow outside. The mountains
were starting to fuck them big-time. "Five more,
and you get a medal."
trips per medal. It was getting that dangerous.
stared at him. "I don't want a fucking medal ..."
laughed softly. "Then you're in the wrong place."
He pushed the door open, used the truck as cover as
he brought up the rifle. The ice rain was starting to
battle against the fur hat, the big woollen coat, visibility
was a joke. He saw absolutely nothing.
doors opened. Spetsnaz. Covering each other, while the
sweepers began their work of starting to excavate. No
alternative. Left was solid, vertical rock with boulders,
right was a chasm. Nothing new. Vadim was used to landscape
suddenly ending in this country, and hanging in mid-air.
briefly closed his eyes, burning from the cold, burning
from lack of sleep, burning with concentration.
you, he thought, checking the rubble for figures. We
are too big for you to take. Or maybe you planted this
and didn't think the next one would be so big and now
hold a fucking loya jirga about whether to attack or
not. He signalled, used the trucks as cover, crossed
the road and found himself a nice bit of rock that looked
like it had eroded from somewhere higher up. Rocks coming
his way was the last thing he wanted to think about.
could see more soldiers take position, hit the ground,
crawl, and felt his blood burn. He wasn't tired anymore,
could always get a feeling for the territory from up
there. He began to climb, snow and rain and ice trying
to crawl into him, and after the damned heat of the
summer in the lowland, it had to be fucking winter when
he got into this place. Just his luck.
hundred yards up - and he thought he could see movements,
scurrying, maybe small rocks that were dislocated and
began to dance down. Vadim paused, tried to see, thought
he could feel eyes and concentration on the trucks,
but didn't want to give away his position. He signalled
again and advanced a little more. No shots. No movement.
They stayed put. Not risking it this time. Not today.
The convoy was too well-protected.
would get one trip closer to his medal. Vadim waited,
heart pounding, cold as fuck, hands on the rifle nearly
without feeling, just enough left in his hands to be
able to tell he was still holding something.
lights flared once down on the road, and Vadim signalled
back to the convoy. He knew what he had seen, but there
was no point in fighting this battle, not with visibility
like shit. Not cold and tired like this. But he knew
that there had to be caves, and that they used this
position for an ambush. They might do it again. Good
sites were to be cherished. It wasn't too far away from
one of the Soviet strongholds, the kind where they sat
and waited, barricaded up and unwilling to venture out,
unwilling to leave, keeping losses down. Every now and
then, the dushmans would fire something at them, a grenade,
an RPG, stuff like that, and the Soviets would return
fire with everything they had, and usually stopped when
there was no more shooting from the other side.
had the feeling that was not what he was there for.
returned to his seat, cold and wet enough to drip, at
least the coat held the worst off, and went back to
half-sleeping, half-waking, and nodding off without
* * * * * *
cold. Fucking snow and ice, howling winds and thin air
that stopped him breathing with lead weights across
his chest, only allowing frantic, shallow breaths even
at the best of times. Much worse if he tried the slightest
physical exertion. Fucking mountains, deadly freezing
nights and goddamned fucking Mujas who kept him in a
maze of caves after caves. 'Is good, Daan. Is safe.'
And they'd nod. Fuck them. Fuck his weapons, his frozen
hands and the constant almost-frost bite.
of all, fuck the Russians! Fucking Soviet cunts in trucks
and impossibly big convoys. Fuck their furry hats and
sheltering vehicles and fuck even more their mere presence.
Bastards. If they had stayed back home in Mother Russia
he wouldn't have to freeze his bollocks off.
insurgents had been warned the convoy would be one of
the largest, but had they listened and stayed in the
fucking caves? Had they fuck. It was out again and braving
the elements. 'Go, Daan. Good, look. Watch our mines.
Good, Daan. Taught us. Watch effect.' They could watch
their own arses for all it was worth, if it were down
was trying to wiggle his fingers, had been holding his
AKM rifle for too long, the additional rounds on his
back starting to dig into his body. Too freezing cold
to be for hours on an observation post like this. Couldn't
feel his toes anymore, tried to move them as well, when
the convoy came into sight. Holy fucking Christ, he
started to count, ending somewhere around seventy. Shit.
No way, it would be suicidal to attack, no matter how
long the trucks had to stop when the first ones caught
wind of the traps. Dan checked to his left and right,
praying his 'friends' weren't so bloody stupid to disregard
wiped ice off the binoculars, shifted his weight, then
started to move slowly, crawling forwards on hands an
knees. Stopped when doors opened and soldiers came into
view. Knew they were highly armed and trained killers.
No one but Spetsnaz to guard the trucks, no one other
Shit. That man. The tallest of them. Dan
checked again, concentrated on movement, statue, body
a twinge of unexpected desire hit the pit of his stomach,
greed curling deep in his guts. Fuck. How could he have
forgotten amongst all the strain, frustration and physical
hardship that there was one need that was growing with
every time it had been satisfied. A bottomless vessel,
the more he filled it, the emptier it got.
stared, transfixed on the man, aware of a hidden desperation.
He had to find a way to follow the Russkie; of course,
it made strategic sense. The convoy would split and
make its way in two different directions. One South,
another deeper into the mountains and higher into inhospitable
terrain, and someone would have to keep track. Dan knew
just the place where the trucks were heading to, but
what was even more important, he knew in which of the
vehicles the Russian cunt sat.
slunk back once the convoy was out of sight, determined
to talk to the Mujas. Driven by the poisonous need,
but no plan yet. Pondered stake-out. Recce. Anything
that got him close to the Soviet outpost, trusting ideas
to come to his mind once he got there.
suicidal, but at least he wasn't cold anymore.
had convinced the insurgents easily, they would always
listen, just like children. He had gone on his own,
refused to take anyone else, claimed they didn't have
the experience and besides, how would they do their
had made it close to the garrison over night, despite
the extreme cold. Had learned from the Mujas how to
survive, wrapped in a thick Afghan coat and native clothing
on top and beneath his old army gear. Had a rough outline
of cave location in his head, never a map, too dangerous
should he get caught. He survived the bitterly freezing
gales of the night, holed up in one of the flea infested
caves. Shelter, even though he felt as if thousands
of those beasts were crawling upon him.
had been on the stake-out, mind-numbingly patient, for
several hours before he caught a glimpse of the one
man he was looking for. Grinning with bared teeth, could
get himself easily killed for his greed, but counted
on the other man being fucked-up and insane enough to
bite the bullet that he was going to offer.
chattering after another two hours, Dan had enough information
to satisfy his official mission, called the recce a
day and started his own operation. His body was almost
frozen solid, but the rattling snake of unsatisfied
lust was still coiling in the depths of his stomach,
suffocating him worse than the thin air of the Hindu
Kush's high altitude.
blindly towards his back, Dan fumbled for one of his
belt pouches, searching for a reminder of early days
and a leftover scrap from a bag, the one he'd been wearing
back in the days of his reporter disguise. Dan pulled
one glove with his teeth from his fingers, prised the
piece of fabric out of the pouch and grinned, eyeing
the soiled and torn Canadian flag he had haphazardly
stitched onto the front. Once bright red and gleaming
white, now dirty colour on tattered and frayed ground,
but enough contrast to stand out in the snow. Stand
out and be noticeable - for someone alert enough to
see it. The Russkie was a sniper, he'd spot the colour
that didn't belong.
here, kitty kitty, come to Dan
" he muttered
to himself, carefully placing the grubby scrap on an
outcrop of rocks, weighed down with some stones to keep
it from escaping. Just a piece of fabric, blown across
the mountains, of significance to no one, except for
one man who Dan would swear had an unrivalled perception.
He'd witnessed the other's sniper skills before, after
he had to do now was slink back and find his way to
the cave that provided shelter, be economical with his
rations, conserve body heat and wait.
had hated the cold from the first days of survival and
winter training, and that meant they'd established a
mature mutual hatred that Vadim started to feel comfortable
was fucking freezing, no surprise there, chest pumping
against the piercing cold air, but at least the drifting
snow became less dense, and the cloud cover was thick
enough to allow vision. Part of him enjoyed the mountains,
if it hadn't been for the treacherous ground of ice
and loose rocks, and the howl of the wind that could
sound like human voices. It was even worse when it sounded
like non-human voices.
was walking patrol. They knew there was bandit activity
here, but they assumed the bitches would stay in their
caves and villages, and that, in the logic of someone
entirely too much in love with the concept of spetsnaz
toughness and superiority, meant it was a good moment
to recce. Only a madman would be out in this weather,
under these conditions. They fanned out over the mountains,
even broke visual contact, every single one of them
on their own.
moved, thought he'd seen a rock formation that seemed
to potentially harbour caves, crouched, was tired and
slightly dizzy, brought the rifle out, took position,
observed the area through the sights.
No, a motion, small, fluttering. Bird? Signal? He checked,
the snow seemed to have been disturbed, but long ago.
Might have been mountain goats. Or it might be a sign
for other dushmans. He climbed higher, did a long, exhaustive
circular movement, came from the other side. Those rocks
looked fucking suspicious. He fumbled for the flare,
kept it close to his body, then advanced.
caves. The thing looked man-made, nearly square. Cloth.
Reached for it, then realised what it was. Fuck. He
pulled the hood off his winter gear, pulled the rags
away to bare his face, just in case he was standing
in a sniper's scope now. Canadian. Yes, right. He knew
he was here.
had been watching. Waiting, again that fucking patience
and battling hour after hour with the freezing bloody
cold that tried to wear him down, but he kept in his
position, only moving as much as he needed to stop his
body from succumbing to the mountains and their horrors
grinned, right before the surge of heat shot into his
body and pooled in his guts and then groin, taking the
grin and breath away, as well as the caution. So close.
Could shoot him, watch him die and the goddamned endless
white of the snow upon dull grey of rocks turn into
bright-red patterns of life and death and lust and fuck.
That wasn't what he wanted.
" murmured, Dan picked a small
stone, threw it towards the Russian from his vantage
point higher up. Hidden beneath an outcrop of rocks,
the cave mouth invisible from below. Watched the stone
take momentum and disturb the Russkie's vigilance.
here, cunt. I'm fucking here.
turned, eyes narrow. Hard to say where the small rock
had come from. Reached behind him, took the flag and
stuffed it into one of the ammo pouches, almost in an
afterthought, then began to climb, head bared, losing
heat, he was cold, his ears were numb, but he didn't
want to catch a bullet.
grinned, but too bloody desperate himself to relish
the triumph, watching the Russkie's progress towards
the cave. Closer, come close, and don't you fucking
shoot me, bastard.
was climbing higher. Fucking madness to walk into an
enemy position, but he was convinced it could only be
the Brit, and he had to be alone. Please let him be
alone. Vadim moved faster, trotted up, then crouched
to see what was there.
mouth of a cave. Good position. Hand on a pistol. "Is
fuckers don't usually have Canadian flags lying around
in the mountains." Dan's voice was coming from
behind the outcrop of rocks, the smirk was unmistakable.
Fuck, he was so bloody desperate he'd run into the garrison
to get to that body.
put my safety back on, Russkie, if you do the same."
raised the hand with the pistol, flicked the safety
on and slipped the weapon into its holster, then pushed
the rifle back over his shoulder. "Safety's on."
answer was a metallic click and then a shuffle and rustle.
"Same here." From the disembodied voice.
moved closer to the voice, could finally spot something
that was the silhouette of a body. Excellent concealment.
He could have walked right over him without seeing him.
"What are you doing here? Sightseeing?" Vadim
moved even closer, grinned lightly, to mask the need
that raged inside his body. Not a chance yet to groom
anybody in the garrison for sex. No target he really
wanted, but there was not much choice. If he wanted
a bitch, he better should start training one.
silhouette moved, started to form into a human shape,
thickly clothed in layers upon layers, sporting stubble
on the little skin that was visible in the rag-covered,
grinning face that emerged when Dan stood up. "I
heard it was hunting season in the Hindu Kush for shit-stabbing
Russians." Grinned so wide his teeth were showing,
the insult not an insult this time, too bloody horny
to bother with their usual rituals of enemy engagement.
waved the other inside, urging to step out of the howling
wind and biting cold. "I guess you haven't got
any fags on you?" The double-meaning escaped him
for a moment, but when he caught up, he smirked and
set the rifle aside, fairly securely out of reach and
in the back of the cave. "Running low on coffin
nails." And even lower on sex.
shook his head. "Don't even keep them as barter."
I want anything, I take it. I don't barter. He stepped
out of the cold, the lack of wind chill made it almost
warm, for contrast.
Dan muttered, but hadn't expected he'd be lucky, had
used up all his luck by still being alive, and together
with the Russian. He pulled his gloves and the sheep's
wool hat off, unwound the rag underneath and shook his
head. Sporting a veritable head of dark 'locks', his
hair growing annoyingly fast and no luxury as a barber
in sight. "You got your nice little bed warmly
made up in the garrison, haven't you?"
dry cough. "It's better inside. Barely." Vadim
regarded the man that blended in, looking nearly like
a beefy Afghan, still fucking attractive, despite the
wool in his face. "So, you bitches do operate in
this area", he said, thoughtfully. "Mountains
will swarm with my people. This is going to be very
unpleasant winter." As if any winter could ever
be pleasant. "My unit's outside."
shrugged, "Tell me anything new." Anything
at all, other than cold, danger, survival and blowing
up Russkies. That, and one of them right there for at
least a few minutes. "Guess you have the choice,
in that case, to either try and kill me straight away
and thus save yourself the trouble later, or stop the
afternoon pleasantries and get your cock out, because
I am fucking desperate." A few months ago he'd
be shocked at the frankness of his words, not any longer.
"Your unit can wait for half an hour."
glanced at the winter outside. Expose himself? He'd
seriously freeze his balls off. And spetsnaz out in
the mountains. That made it somehow ... interesting.
Oh shit. "Desperate for what?"
rolled his eyes, opened the long coat and dug through
the layers beneath, trying to avoid exposing any flesh.
"Desperate to get off, cunt. Have yet to find a
brothel in these fucking mountains."
pulled the gloves off and stuffed them in his pocket,
took the rifle off and placed it against the cave wall.
Wanted to feel the other, yes, but maybe ... maybe the
best way to rub against each other and not bare any
skin. Still wanted that perfect round ass. He stepped
closer to bring his hand against the other's groin,
rubbing it. "Half hour. Not second more."
an hour." Dan nodded, reached for the other's coat
and buttons, working in haste to discover without uncovering
the flesh beneath. His own cock already hard, his hands
were freezing within seconds of being exposed to the
air, but he'd be damned if he'd let himself be stopped.
"Been a long time." Got through the coat to
the tunic, shirts, vest and finally the belt, fumbled
with the trousers, "could come twice in thirty
nodded, surprised how fast the other worked, felt his
cold fingers on his flesh, his chest, and did the same,
fuck the temperatures, he assumed a mouth would be hot
enough. He pressed in, pressing the other against the
cave wall, wedged between sharp rock and demanding body,
while pushing against whatever resistance he could touch,
thigh, hip, hand. "Too long", he agreed. "Nearly
made me fuck fucking conscript ..." Hand warming
against the other's flesh, while pressing closer, didn't
want to touch him cold, but couldn't stop, either.
thing available to fuck
," Dan's husky voice
close to the other's ear, "
are goats or
sheep and I'm not that desperate yet." Dark chuckle,
then nothing but teeth digging into the muscle of the
other's neck, Dan's face burrowed into layers of shirt
collar and scarf, tasting skin. He didn't have much
room but pushed his groin into the Russian's, hands,
cocks, layers of cloth trapped between their bodies.
Preserving warmth, creating heat and friction.
Gasped out against Vadim's skin when cocks and hands
connected, hard flesh and ruthless strength, "won't
gave a silent groan, broadened his stance to get more
leverage, the bite on his neck always so fucking welcome,
even if it bruised, whatever, nobody would dare ask
him where those marks were from. Most wouldn't care,
and he'd deny anything anyway. Shut the fuck up about
these matters, bragging and gloating was for conscripts.
Took the man's cock, wanted more than that, but it would
do. Had to. Madness to go for anything more, and if
he had to be caught pants down by his own unit, at least
he'd be mostly dressed, never mind the searing cold.
grasp, getting himself off and the other as well, shoulders
pressed against the Brit's, could smell the mix of fur,
wool, sweat, weeks with only the most improvised cleaning.
But whatever vermin lived in the other's native clothing,
they would find it hard to find any place to live on
him. He was shaved and clean, smooth. They thought he
was especially reckless because he shaved before a mission.
They had this superstition about shaving before a mission,
about shaking hands, about saying the word "final"
in any context, and, of course, about taking photos.
They thought he was insane because he shaved. What a
strange place, this brotherhood of Afghanistan.
laughed. "Maybe one day I'll let you fuck me. Better
than goats." Made the point with a twist and increase
of pressure, pulled his lips back from his teeth.
was too far gone to balk, humping and grinding like
a mindless animal, pushing against the other's body,
teeth sunk into muscle and sucking on flesh. Taste of
sweat and body heat. "Fuck
could have meant anything, but the throwaway comment
had lodged itself somewhere in his lust-raging mind.
hand brutally stroking the Russian's cock, giving as
much as he was receiving. Desperation of months without
anything other than his own hand and his memories, images
of that Russian cunt and the taste and feel of the body,
the knowledge of power and matching strength. Had rarely
had the chance to jerk off, those goddamned mountains
owned his body and mind, and when Vadim twisted his
hand with an even harder stroke, that was it, enough
to make Dan crash and come, shuddering and pushing against
the other, as hard as he could, cursing under his breath,
eyes wide open and staring into nothing, teeth lodged
in the muscular neck.
laughed, breathless, he loved how the other lost it,
lost it so hard it would even take this confident bastard
minutes to put himself back together. "That's ...
it", good boy, he thought, with an odd familiarity
despite the months between sweaty Kabul and teeth chattering
mountains. Thrust hard, as if trying to crush the body,
which was going hard and raw with orgasm, came a few
moments later, pressing the other's neck into his shoulder,
anything to hold onto, whatever he smelt like, whatever
they had done.
was far gone and out of it, as always, since the very
first time of fucking instead of raping, torturing,
shooting or nearly killing. Lost himself completely,
every time he came, but only ever for a few seconds.
Precious moments of utter lack of control. He was leaning
against the other, who stood, legs going weaker.
wanted to drink and sit down, instead listened to the
shudders in the other's body, how he relaxed a little,
and knew the touch wasn't welcome much beyond this.
He stepped back, enough to keep the heat, pulled the
scarf from his neck, wiped them down, quickly, efficiently,
closed the coat, and found himself a rock to sit down,
breathing, feeling warm and relaxed, for once. He could
collapse right here and sleep. Checked his watch instead.
simply let everything happen, in that spaced-out moment
after orgasm, then stood himself, pulled up pants, closed
trousers, pushed down shirts ,vests and rags, and finally
fastened the long coat over his parka. Leaned against
the wall of the cave, looked at the other while rolling
one of his last cigarettes one-handed. "Any chance
for another enemy encounter?"
smirked, glancing up. "I think I'm stuck here all
winter. Secure that road." There really was only
one road, an artery that needed to be protected. "Establish
some footholds." The other knew that of course,
all he did was confirm it. His very presence could only
mean that. "Maybe two weeks, here?" Couldn't
propose anything else, couldn't show him the map, too
much information. "I'll be walking lots, you know."
He laughed. "Get my fitness up for summer. Fucking
shook his head, "Shit, no. Can't do it. Got to
go back." Wherever the fuck the 'back' was, nothing
for the Russkie to know. Lighting the fag he inhaled
deeply, revelling in nicotine and hands that were warm
for once; warmed by the other's body. Sated, he knew
the desperate need would be back with a vengeance. Too
soon. "Remember the cave on the plateau? The water
pain, hatred and mercy.
be there next month. Three weeks, max four." Endless
miles, on foot and mule through the mountains.
smirked, no humour. "You're covering lot of miles.
Don't think I can make it. Might be able to volunteer
if anything comes up, but I'm stuck here. Can't just
go sightseeing in Afghanistan. I'm officer, not tourist."
Would be nice, though. "Shit."
huffed, a dry laugh, equally without humour. "Sightseeing
is highly overrated, as impressive as the mountains
are." Impressive and deadly. Hated them - loved
them. Had become part of them, the Afghan mountains
were creeping into his blood and bones. Wanted to just
sod his orders, simply stay, at least for a day or two,
but even if he had the food with him, he couldn't. Had
his orders, impossible to defect, just for a fuck. Just?
frowned. The other wouldn't tell him where his base
was, and they might even find it with a little luck.
His hand went to the pocket with the map, which had
this area on it, and the part they were covering, too
much tactical information. Shit. He wanted to pull it
out and show and decide on a meeting point. Didn't think
he'd walk into an ambush. The man wanted his body, not
his death, not a victory won like that. But it would
be treason. That was exactly the kind of information
that was never supposed to fall into enemy hands. "I'll
try. You will have to be patient."
nodded, the signs of relief ghosting across his face.
Hope. Good. Perhaps another encounter. Inhaling deeply
some more of the smoke, he nodded. "I will be there,"
shrugged, added the inevitable, "if I'm alive,
of course. I'll be there in about three weeks, can wait
you're dead, no point in meeting", murmured Vadim,
then suddenly gave a grin that was not at all dark.
"Listen, stir some shit up in area. Just general
area of that cave. Whatever you do, I don't care. But
it might give me excuse to go there. Investigate."
Yeah, and it entails wounding and crippling my own comrades.
Then again, that was what the other man did. Where he
did it, now, that was a different matter.
dark brows rose, surprise and amusement. "Not sure
if I'd want you as my comrade." Smirked, but nodded,
special forces. Other guys think we're scary anyway."
But no, you don't want to be my comrade, because I might
jump you at night and fuck your ass.
make sure you're not there when I raise hell."
Dan was baring his teeth in a feral grin, with death
their constant companion, mocking the skeletal rider
came easy. "Unless you're into getting off with
quite there yet." Vadim shook his head, laughing.
"I like fight. Corpses don't do that."
shook his head, remembered - refused to remember, and
glanced at his watch instead, gestured with his chin.
"Twenty-nine minutes. Time for you to fuck off,
back into your cosy little garrison."
I might be ten minutes late?" Vadim replied, encountering
another set of raised brows.
my earlier boasting," Dan stubbed out the fag,
"I'm not up for another round. Must be the shit
food and the cold, definitely not my age." He grinned,
had the odd sensation for a moment that he felt at ease
with the enemy and their fledgling banter.
patted down his BDUs, found what he was looking for,
opened the pocket and tossed him one of the peanut butter
bars. His lunch for the patrol.
Dan caught the snack, figured it had to be one of his
own ones, grinned while tearing the wrapper open. "Looks
familiar." Bit off almost half of it, chewing too
fast, proof of how hungry he really was.
about twenty minutes late?" Vadim grinned and got
up, understanding. "I have five more clicks to
cover - will be shit, but I don't want to be in after
get going. I got to stay here over night, not suicidal
enough to cross the pass at night. So, unless you want
that corpse after all, you better make sure I don't
get any visitors." Dan shrugged, "besides,
I wouldn't go down without a fight."
glanced around in the cave. What a lovely way to spend
the night. How fucking dangerous. "You're scouting
our position," he murmured. "I wouldn't attack.
We are too ready. Or why are you here? Alone?"
grinned, swallowing, amused by the question. "Why
I'm here? Why the fuck do you think I'm here? Or do
you believe I happen to let scraps of coloured fabric
flying around carelessly?"
checked his pockets, found a bag of nuts, wrapped up
like he had bought them on the market, kept the beef
jerky because he was getting hungry, too. Offered his
full water bottle, he could always thaw more snow, after
all. "Can't leave kit lying around, though."
took nuts and water, beggars couldn't be choosers, polishing
off the energy bar before taking a few mouthfuls of
the water. Peanut butter taste was still vile, but he
could feel the calories kicking in, producing warmth
throughout his body. He stashed the nuts in the pockets
of his parka, beneath the coat, nodded his thanks while
handing the bottle back before searching his bergan.
"Here." Found strips of dried and spicy meat,
a handful of dates, offering them to the other. "Not
too bad, try them together." Reminiscent of his
words, back in another cave, and in the midst of summer
paused, remembering himself, beaten up and mentally
broken, sweetness and spiciness. Probably too spicy
for his taste, but he took some, careful not to take
much. He could get more, the other ... couldn't. Hissed
as the pepper or chilli kicked in, felt his mouth go
dry, then water. The dates soothed it a little, and
added a fruity, slightly grainy layer. It was a change
from the usual chow, which was the main point to be
recognised you," Dan watched the other eat, grinned
at the sudden hiss. He, too, was chewing on some meat
and dates, "followed you, found you, met you."
Shrugged, "that's why I'm here."
unknown dread up in the mountains. The faceless movements.
Dan. Shit. Good he hadn't shot wildly into the snow.
And that meant the other was here for him. How fucking
wrong, and why did it affect him. The other wanted a
hand job, wanted to get off, that was the main thing.
Vadim, of all people, should know to what lengths guys
went for sex. He nodded. "Yeah. That's why I'll
be at other cave."
Dan nodded, "That's why you and I will be at the
cave next month." He turned his head, following
the other's movements, as Vadim slung the rifle back
over his shoulder, still eating, but careful not to
use up all of his stash.
crossing. I better get going."
too, Russkie. Or as the Mujas say 'Allah Akhbar', God
is Great, and may he be with you." Dan chuckled
darkly, "not that I believe in any of that shit,
but don't let yourself get caught by them." He
shrugged, still leaning against the wall, watching the
made a rude gesture. "Fuck you, too." He grinned,
gave a mock salute, put the hat back on and left.
was still laughing when the other was out of sight,
surprising himself once again at the sense of ease he
felt. Almost comfortable, something insanely sane about
the banter and if he weren't so freezing cold, forced
to survive a night with temperatures plummeting well
into the minus double-figures, he'd spend some energy
thinking about it. As it were, unable to start a fire
with the garrison so close and patrols in the mountains,
he set up best he could in the furthest corner. Thawed
snow in his canteen, kept nuts and food close, and curled
up. Burrowed into his coat with a blanket wrapped around
him, Dan used whatever he had for insulation, his AKM
clutched in his hands.
despite the freezing cold. Dreaming of heat and sweat,
muscles and strength, and the salty taste of the Russian's