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Special Forces Chapter X: Down and Out

July 1983, Kabul

Market. That fucking M again. Kabul in summer, heat and dust, an inferno of flies hanging like large teetering grapes on cut-open carcasses in the meat corner; a hellhole of voices, shrill and fast, movements of faded colours and dirt. Stink of sweat, animals, and half-rotten produce, the last island of activity and life in a dilapidated city enveloped in clouds of red dust. Stalls with nuts, spices, promising atonal symphonies of smell; beads, carved stones, lapis lazuli and turned wooden bowls. Pottery and tin vessels, fabrics, wool, spun and raw, dyes and flashes of brighter colours. Above all of this, the incessant noise and never-ending movements. Men, women in burkhas, and even more men. Rags around their heads, garments flowing, some with their faces almost fully covered, others with hats on their heads and long beards beneath, but all swathed from head to toe and their dusty feet in sandals. One as indistinguishable as the other to an uncaring eye.

All the same, except for one: faceless, nameless, but taller than anyone else. Dan was moving through the market. Incessantly. One with the sound and the smell, the ebb and tide of the human ocean. Looking. Waiting. Searching.

Vadim had hitched a ride with a patrol, just wearing standard issue, plus the ranks, which might lead to a problem here. He jumped out of the car, waved, and regarded the onslaught that was the market. He should be reasonably safe, nothing he couldn't handle, but he was weary. Paranoia was an art form in this place, and he squeezed through the hustle and mass of bodies, looked at some wares … blue, bubbly glass that made him think of the sky, lapis necklaces, and massive silver rings with semiprecious stones that had gone out of fashion about five hundred years ago.

He stopped at a place that served tea, nothing more than a dusty carpet under an improvised roof, and looked at the passers-by. They weren't an unattractive people, the Afghans. He started to be able to tell them apart. Tadjiks, of course, he spoke their language after his last posting, and recognized their features. Hazara, who looked like Mongols. The tall, bony, haughty-looking Pashtuns, who thought they were the true Afghans and everybody else was just a vaguely annoying guest who had overstayed their welcome.

Vadim stood, and sipped, and watched.

Dan was moving, forever forward from one place to the next, along the stalls, into the centre of the market then weaving back out again. He had managed to leave a note with the tea house owner, but it had been cryptic, and already over a month ago. A month in which a lot of shit had happened. So much had gone wrong, he didn't even want to think about it anymore. Down and out, he felt like the most hapless, clueless green-faced Nig the army had ever seen. He was still wavering between being so fucked off he was ready to slaughter half a dozen Afghans with his bare hands, and pissing himself with laughter at his misfortune.

Turning another corner, so damned hungry by now he was pondering stealing food in daylight, when he finally spotted his prey. No, his hope. What? Bastard. Prey. Whatever. The man he hadn't seen for over two months and who he needed to see more than anyone or anything else.

Walking casually closer, he was the tallest man in a throng of others. Same clothes, long flowing rags with just about nothing underneath, tattered sandals and rags wound around his head. Leaving nothing free but a small section of deeply tanned skin around his eyes and the eyes themselves. Dark. Almost black. Just one of the natives.

Vadim handed the tea glass back, pondered getting another one, but he didn't want to stay in one place for too long. The Pashtuns could always decide it was worth the risk to earn the bounty on another Russian's head.

He moved again, paused to get some hot, spicy meat things wrapped in a naan, and ate the steaming meat while he walked, on all accounts not intimidated by being outnumbered about ten thousand to one. Paused again to look at some stone lion figurettes that seemed to be Chinese, weighed them. The merchant told him it was 'smoked jade'. Whatever that was. It wasn't plastic.

Vadim pondered, then put them down. Nowhere to put them, nothing he could do with them, cheap or not, bargain, even … the merchant kept shouting lower prices and then annoyed Vadim. When he abruptly turned, he saw somebody - a pair of eyes, shoulders … tall, broad, massively broad for a country that seemed to know no muscles, only sinews.

Dan stood still for a heartbeat, in less than safe distance, aware there were others who might not like to see his face. Nor body. Nor still un-cut-out eyes, and least of all the fact he was still breathing. Instinctively about to dodge away when spotted, his eyes got drawn to the empty naan bread, some of the grease from the meat still clinging to it. Fuck. He hadn't had a decent bite for days. Not counting the half-rotten scraps he had found the night before. Had to keep a low profile for at least another week. So low in fact, he was close to licking the sand off the goddamned streets. But that bread. Food. Fuck, so hungry, gnawing pain in his empty stomach was slicing like a knife, twisting a few times for good measure.

He forced himself to step aside, blended into the next dim opening between two stalls, hoping the Russkie wasn't going to chuck the bread away before he could get his attention. Dan had a damn good reason to want to remain anonymous.

Vadim's nostrils flared. Possible. Impossible. The other ducked into an alley, and he turned fully around to follow, plucking some meat from his teeth with a fingernail, squeezed himself through a squabbling bunch of women, and came face to turban with the other. Stared. "You." He murmured, the food forgotten. Thirst, and hunger of a different kind. "Shadowing me?"

"You want that bread?" No reply, just greed, pointing at the emptied naan in the other's hand.

"Uhm." Vadim glanced at the bread, surprised. "Do you want it?" Offering it, still puzzled. "The meat's mostly gone, though."

"Holy fuck, yes!" Dan tore the naan from the Russkie's hand, half crouched, ducked his head and turned away, unwrapped the rag from the lower part of his face, and stuffed the bread in less than three bites into his mouth. Not turning back to face the other before replacing the rag, his face was completely covered again, except for the eyes. Chewing, greedy and starved, those dark eyes intensely focussed on Vadim.

Vadim watched, exasperated, at the display of hunger. He knew that from survival exercises, which were a bitch, especially in winter. "Stay here", he murmured, slightly taken aback at the need. Dan nodded, still chewing while looking around himself, ensuring that no one was close. Vadim turned back into the market, got another of those naans, with meat, and dried fruit and nuts, by the bag. Stuffed the latter into his pockets and returned, to Dan, looking like a native whose only visible feature were dark eyes, growing wide at the sight of hot food.

"Fallen on hard time, eh?"

"You have no idea." Dan nodded, glancing around. No matter how hungry he was, he couldn't take any risks. "Can't eat it here. There's a darker alley a bit further on." Eyes on the naan, but hell, better wait and live than eat now and end up in the gutter. "I have nowhere else to go."

Vadim raised an eyebrow, quizzically, but nodded and indicated for Dan to lead. Out of the bustle and hustle and the donkeys. It was relatively calm there, and much easier to keep an eye on. Safe enough for Dan to unravel his rag, enough to free his mouth. Vadim offered the naan to him, and leaned against the wall. "Eat. What happened? Your rebel band got killed? Blood feud? What happened?"

Snatching the naan from Vadim's hand, Dan took a large bite before he said a word. Chewing and talking with a full mouth, he couldn't help it. "You could say that." Forcing himself to chew some more before swallowing, knew if he were too greedy he'd just get sick. "The last bit. Got myself caught in the middle of some shit even I don't understand." He shrugged again, flashed a reckless grin. "Lost everything." Another bite, moved the hot meat around in his mouth. "No weapons, no money, no place to stay. Not eaten for days and my contacts won't turn up before at least another week." Chewing, fuck, this was good.

"You're looking at a man, piss-poorer than even your raw conscripts." Despite it all, Dan grinned, almost laughed, even. Starving, yes, but this shit was too fucked up to get him down, had kept his gallow's humour. "Haven't just got Russkies out for my hide, got some zealous goat-fuckers as well."

Vadim couldn't help but chuckle. The despair was comical, and Dan's way to deal with it felt almost Russian in its odd humour.

Dan was waving the naan about with a smirk. "Get your gloating in now, Russkie, it'll have to do for a while."

"Seven days?" Out of luck, money, even food. Vadim would love to take Dan with him and keep him for the time, getting sex and company and more, keeping him away from those bastards … just a week. He sighed. "I think you need bath and new clothes. You smell pretty bad."

"Aye, I know." One more bite left and the naan was gone. Hunger sated for now. Dan hadn't felt so good for a while. "I'm a flea-fest and nit-haven, but fuck all I can do." He replaced the rag as soon as he had finished eating, even though nobody was near.

"Bloody lucky to be alive, but my contacts won't like it when I have to tell them I got no equipment left." Still, he grinned, and shrugged. British humour at its best. "I wonder if living off rubbish in streets and rat-infested Afghan alleys gets me promoted."

Vadim laughed. "You could tell them you did that. Come." He had an idea, and the other would follow, but Dan protested. "I'd like to point out that A - I wouldn't be grinning if I found you in my position," no, he'd be pissing himself with laughter instead, "and B - where the fuck are you taking me?"

"Yeah, right", murmured Vadim. "Don't make such a ruckus." He headed towards one of the hamams, a small place, he sometimes visited here, rarely, though, because it was too dangerous to form a habit. He hadn't been here for months, though.

Strangely enough, the Major had brought him here, him and another soldier who was on the way up, another captain. Vadim just about managed not to stare at either man, nor to seem too eager not to take the offer of women. It was meant as a friendly gesture, but Vadim told him he'd caught some unpleasant shit last time and was let off the hook. But he did cherish the place.

Dan was looking around himself, wary, but strangely trusting his Russkie. The other wasn't stupid, had to be careful himself, couldn't risk anything either. His best chance to trust the enemy and do that lap dog thing for a while, at least with the Russian he knew where he stood.

Vadim knocked on the door, exchanged a few words with the young boy, and they were let in. Dan was astonished, but damn glad. "You think there's anyone here to shave my head?" Frowned, hated his hair completely cropped, but hell, he was so infested with critters he needed to get rid of everything. "And while you're at it, any chance for some rags that aren't crawling with lice? No point in the bath otherwise, aye?"

Vadim nodded. "That stuff needs to get burnt." He fumbled for money, handed the kid some and told him to buy a new set of clothes, native-style, and bring razors. "Get undressed. The water should be ready. Maybe not completely clean, but should do." He ushered him into the next room, which was already hot and steaming. "You lost weight."

Dan glanced around, ending up grinning at the Russian's care-taking. The whole situation was too absurd. Stepping through to the other room without a fuss, rolling his eyes. "Hey, you haven't even seen me naked, yet. How the fuck do you know if I lost weight?"

Shrugged, though, unwound the rag, his hair wild, worse than two months ago, when they had last managed to meet. Long, dark, matted, and most obviously not been washed for too damned long. Getting out of the rest of his clothes quicker than he'd ever done before, finally delivering a kick to the bundle of infested rags. Hands on hips, he turned towards the other, a haughty expression on his face. Grimy, but smirking, and yes, starved. "Say hello to my personal zoo."

Vadim shook his head. "No great exhibits, nothing truly exotic, sorry." He nodded towards the next door. "Water. Soap. The kid should return with razors soon."

"Bloody slave driver." Dan muttered, glancing over his shoulder. "You better watch your back, next time we meet I won't be so down and out and I'll have your arse quicker than you can utter 'poof'."

"Move it, princess." Vadim smirked. Nothing against that, but not now. Not. Right. Now. Damn. Too long. What, two months? Ten weeks? He stepped forward to open the door and Dan walked through, flashing a grin while walking. "And you're still a fucking bastard enemy soldier to me."

Vadim remained dressed for the moment. Didn't trust his body right now, and didn't want to be fucking with the Brit when the child returned. Wouldn't do. He liked this place.

Dan saw the water, steaming, the heat getting into his pores before he'd even lowered himself into the small pool. Taking the soap with a groan of relief. "I hate having my hair shaved." And face it, McFadyen, it won't just be your head that needs to have its hair lobbed off. Not with that infestation of creepy-crawlies above and beyond your nuts, performing a native dance as high as your eyebrows.

Vadim sat down on the stone bench, folded his hands. "Oh, I'll get to see rest your face? Isn't easy to tell whether you're gorilla or man right now."

"Thank you, arsehole. For mentioning that I hate having a damned beard, but at least it looks more native and less 'let's go spill blood of Daan'." Dan flicked out his middle finger in a rude gesture.

Vadim laughed. "Not converted to Islam, yet, huh? You'd be their 'brother' then. Would be smart move. Of course, Allah hates homosexuals. And you'd have to wear beard."

"The itching's so fucking bad, no bloody way, and they can keep their stones to themselves." Settling down into the water, soap foaming, hands roaming, Dan let himself soak up the heat. Fuck, that was good. Hellfire and damnation, he had to be thankful to his Russian cunt for all of this. Could be worse, though. Could be someone he didn't trust. Trust?

"Soak. That dirt is clearly measured in geological layers …"

"Aye, comrade, whatever you say, comrade, since you pay, comrade." Dan took the piss, then doing exactly what he'd been told. Soaking. Cleaning, and scrubbing himself. This was good. Better than good. Orgiastic. Would be even better with some more food.

Vadim watched, idly reaching into his pocket to pull out the bag of nuts, poured some into his hand and was eating them, one by one, enjoying the sight of the man who, in turn, clearly enjoyed himself. And started to look more human.

The kid arrived with a stack of clothes and a razor while Dan was lathering himself down for the third time. Vadim took the stuff off him and told him to leave them alone for a while. Following the kid, he bolted the door and sat down again.

Dan was dunking himself under water, washing the last soap out of his matted hair and ears, the pool had turned into murky dishwater with minuscule critters floating amongst the grimy soap bubbles. "Hey!" He turned his head round, saw Vadim eating, and pointed at the nuts. "Bastard." Pulled himself out of the dirty water.

"Hey, what?" asked Vadim, oh, but appreciating the view, naked, dripping wet body. The desire was getting pretty close to unpleasant. "You want some?" He grinned, suggestively. "I mean: Do you want … some?"

"Eh?" Dan was reaching for the nuts, but the other was snatching them away from his hand. "What the fuck's that, aye? My services for a nut?" Did his best not to grin, pawed at the packet again.

Vadim held the packet, but allowed Dan to latch on to it. "For clothes, food, wash, and maybe some cash. Depending on your … performance." He smirked, which changed to a downright dirty grin. "Would love to feed you some more meat."

"Well." Dan seemed to ponder while grabbing a handful of nuts. "That sounds like a hardship." Yes. Really. Terribly. "Downright abusive, if you ask me." Shocking. Disgusting. Sucking that bastard's cock? His life seemed to be going from bad to worse. "So, you want me to whore my cocksucking skills out to you for a few peanuts?"

"Yes. And I'll toss in some dried mangoes and apples, too."

Dan looked appalled, grimaced, stuffing himself with the nuts. Silent while chewing, until suddenly. "Deal." Flashed a grin. This was better than being on the run, stripped down to nothing. Bugger them. Bloody goat-fuckers. This was a hell of a lot better. Alive. Not too long ago when he had been sure he'd drawn his last breath.

"You feed me, clothe me, bathe me, help me survive - and you got me." Didn't add, not yet, the most important sentence: 'But if you try to buy my arse I'll kill you with my bare hands.'

Vadim grinned. "Deal." He surrendered the packet to a ravenous Dan who was wolfing the entire contents down in thirty seconds. Vadim felt an odd kind of humour creep up inside. Paying the enemy for sex? It was really just about keeping face, but he'd love this. It shifted the balance. He'd get sucked off, maybe allow the other to fuck him, but first, his needs. He swallowed dryly, fought hard, then lost, to place his hands on the wet flesh, tracing the lines of shoulders, arms … fuck. He moved away again, away from a smugly grinning Dan, and fetched the razor. "Get human."

"You don't want any nits, fleas and lice jumping from my beard onto your cock, eh?" Dan smirked, glanced around, looking for some drinking water. They usually had a jug somewhere. He'd got so used to most of the diarrhoea bugs, he was pretty much immune. "Head, beard, and …," he sighed and shrugged, "the rest's itching pretty badly, too, but you're not going to get that knife close to my balls. I'll do that myself."

Vadim smirked and checked the razor. Metal handle, and a pack of razor blades. It said 'Schick', whatever that meant, wherever that came from, must have been out of production for about fifty years. "I've shaved you before …" he murmured.

Dan grinned with raised brows, "My face, Russkie. Just my face. Remember?"

"For starters." Vadim took the beret off, then opened the cuffs and rolled the sleeves up. "Come. Razor's sharp, you won't feel thing."

"What, at my throat? When you slit it?" Still, Dan sat down on the stone bench after spotting the water jug, and taking a swig out of it. "What first?" Shrugged, "guess whatever. Just do it. Those bloody critters are driving me mad."

Vadim nodded, the blade was easily sharp enough, and he'd got the soap while Dan was still protesting. Soaped him up, then placed his hand on the man's shoulder, beginning to shave in slow, regular, calm strokes, every now and then wiping the blade on one of the rags. "I'd have been driven insane", he murmured, assessing the work after a couple strokes, and, satisfied, he continued, murmuring to himself. "Well, despite your state, you're clearly spirited enough to be entertainment this afternoon."

Rolling his eyes, Dan let out a groan. "Entertainment. That's what a man is reduced to, who lost his clothes in front of a rag-tag bunch of fucking goat-herders." He tilted his head, "Cheers, mate. Why don't you stab the next knife into the other side of my back and twist it a bit more." Humour his way of dealing with traumatic experiences.

Vadim chuckled while finishing up the chin, and the throat, just enjoying the sight of the fresh, bared skin, the lines he had memorized and didn't tire of. "I'll consider it", he said, somewhat belatedly. "But I'll leave clean corpse. So your people can actually identify you."

"Thanks, arsehole." Dan hid the grin by lowering his head. "Go on, then. It'll grow again, just get rid of the mane." He was going to look like some fucking skinhead without his hair, or like a Soviet conscript.

Vadim began to trim the long hair with his knife - no way the razor could do this - and touched Dan's head and hair at his complete leisure. Liked the hair. Probably caught some stuff off him now, but couldn't care. Strange, to enjoy this so much. Then he began to shave the head … oddly erotic, again. Never seen Dan like that. Naked in a new way.

Dan was tense. Knife. Russian. His head. Vadim. Blade scraping along his skin. Trust was a fickle lady. "I'll look like a freak." Muttered, distracting himself. "Might be your preferred look, but not mine. Not even a damned beret to cover my head." No beret, no insignia. Not a scrap of ID. He didn't exist anymore, at least not in Kabul. He'd vanish from the face of the earth without anyone knowing, if he succumbed to the Afghan mountains and the dangers it nurtured, its nature, and its human beasts - every kind and colour. "Nothing to hold onto my head anymore. Looks like I'll be sucking your cock for food, but entirely my way."

Vadim paused. "No. Food is free. I'll give you money so you can buy food." Dan's head hidden, lowered, Vadim couldn't see his facial expression. Surprise. Astonishment, his Russkie was more decent to him than he'd expected. Had hoped for a scrap to eat, but this treatment was more of a royal one. "You're treating me like I used to treat my pussies." Dan smirked, lifting his head.

"You shaved their heads? You weird man." Vadim chuckled while Dan muttered one of his choice obscenities.

Vadim was running a hand over Dan's shaved head as he finished. Odd. He had liked the long hair, even though Dan looked much cleaner now, and nothing that could be done about the hair. "Maybe I'll pay you to fuck me later … maybe." He smirked into the other's face. "Doesn't suit you. Not at all. You look ten years younger."

"Oh fuck, no more roughie-toughie squaddie? Is it choirboy, now?" Running his own hand over his head. Dan shuddered visibly and frowned.

Vadim grinned. "No, not boy. But … different."

"Awful. Don't want to see it." Dan decided to shrug in the end, had to get on with it. "Hand me the razor. Got to get rid of more hair."

Vadim changed the razor blades, put in a new one, then handed the thing over. "I mean, I could do that." Yeah, handle his balls and cock and ass. Not a bad thought, was what his body had to say to it.

"Bollocks." Dan flashed a grin, crap joke, but what to expect from a man with a head like a snooker ball. "I'm not going to have you slash away at my crown jewels with a sharp blade." Taking the razor, he stood with his legs apart, starting to work away at his pubes. Awkward. Chewing his lower lip while peering down. Wondered if he shouldn't just shut up and let the other get on with it.

"I'll find some vermin poison for you … don't have it on me, but I can bring it tomorrow." Vadim leaned back, watching; the strangely young face, not rough, with an inkling of what a young Dan had looked like. What he did like about this was Dan's obvious discomfort, and the way he handled himself. Have him smooth? Now, that seemed like a great idea. Worked for him, on several levels. "I can do it. If you don't mind me shaving your ass, too."

"What?" Dan stopped mid-motion. "Are you completely fucking bonkers and off the rail? Shave my arse? Why the fuck would you want to shave my arse? You're not going to fuck me, understood? I rather starve in the streets." He frowned, simultaneously doing small circular motions with the razor. Dark curly hairs at his feet and the uncomfortable realisation that he'd probably just chop off his own balls in an attempt to shave them. Thrice damned.

"Because lice and other things live even there." Vadim grinned. "Wherever there's hair. There's reason I prefer to go smooth." He shrugged, allowing the other to come to his own conclusions, and Dan muttered in due time, "damn." He knew when he was beaten.

"Apart from that … why should I force you?" Vadim continued. Because I still want you any way I can get you. Shit. He wanted to fuck him, but not like the first time. He wanted the other to want it, enjoy it, understand the lust.

"I'd kill you if you tried to force me." Sudden seriousness entered Dan's words and voice, and Vadim nodded understanding. He'd understood it the first time Dan said it, ages ago.

Dan nodded. Holding out the razor. "Alright." That itch was worse than having the Russkie fiddle about with that sharp blade near his cock, balls and arse.

Vadim stepped closer and took the razor. Still wearing his clothes - that should give Dan a little reassurance. Only a bit, didn't mean it couldn't happen, of course, but maybe it calmed him.

"How do you want me?" Dan winced. Bad choice of words, grimaced.

Vadim grinned. "Lie down on bench. On your back. I'll get some water and the soap." He headed to the tub while Dan reluctantly lay down. Knees up, arms at his side, strangely awkward. Vadim brought everything, then opened Dan's legs, despite the initial resistance, and pushed one knee up. Shit. This would be hard. Dark, bronzed skin, cock, balls, dark hair. Lots of good stuff right there. "Now, concentrate", he murmured, more to himself.

"Yeah, you better, fuckhead." Dan growled, wondering if he somehow behaved like a virgin on the wedding night. "Guess that's what it feels like for birds at the gynaecologist." Grumbling, but holding very, very still. Muttering after a moment. "One nick and I kick your balls in retaliation."

Vadim glanced up, hand with soap reaching towards Dan's balls, then gave a short laugh. "What if I lick blood away? Still kick?" He asked, sounding as innocent as he possibly could. No illusions about the range of acting he had.

"Aye," Dan muttered, glaring from his rather passive position. The tension in his body unmistakable.

Rubbing the soap over the skin, starting with the insides of Dan's legs, the space between thigh and balls, and on the other side, more soap, and down from the abs. Vadim ran the blade through the water and began to shave from the left thigh, carefully … but he liked how still Dan was, and how focused. "If you're not moving, I'll give you good reward", he murmured.

Dan cleared is throat. Unable to see much of the other, could lift his head but didn't dare to move much. "What reward?" Strange, that blade. Like courting an enemy.

"Something somebody did to me once. Wait and see." Vadim took Dan's cock and pulled it to the side to give a precise shave, liked the feeling in his hand. There would be time for that, too.

"That's … an ominous promise." Dan's breath stopped for a moment.

Vadim pulled it to the other side, and kept working. "You won't regret it. That much I promise." Now the balls. Tender, wrinkled skin, balls inside moving. He worked like he would shave himself, every now and then cleaning the blade.

Dan tensed, turned into a statue, bronzed, smooth, dark skinned, silent and utterly immobile. Even forgot to breathe.

Vadim took a towel, wet it and wiped Dan's front with it. "Now comes fun part. Turn around, hands and knees, one foot on ground." Changing the blade again. He wouldn't risk nicks or cuts there.

"No." Dan shook his head, ignoring the mild arousal.

Soaping his hands up, Vadim glanced at Dan. "Basic hygiene, Dan. Sex is later." His own body enjoying the closeness and sight, but he was dressed, and figured the other might not know … might be too flustered to notice.

"No." Dan was looking at Vadim, intently. "No fucking way am I going to get on my hands and knees."

Vadim put the blade down. "I won't fuck you. Not tonight. I wouldn't mind, granted, but it's about cleaning you up. And that means that hair needs to go as well." He watched the other, Dan's frown deepening.

"Of course you won't fuck me. Remember? I'll kill you if you try to fuck me."

"Listen. It's not different from physical examinations in army. Only I won't stick anything into you and ask you to cough, right? Take knife if you don't believe me."

Still undecided, Dan was lying tense, unmoving, just studying the other's face. Nothing, until a sudden, muttered "fuck!" and he sprang into action. Moved off the slab, turned over, did exactly what Vadim had asked him to do. Right knee on the stone, left foot on the ground. On all fours, kind of. He was angry with himself, more tense than before. How the hell could something that had happened so long ago affect so much? Fuck that. This was nothing. Lowered his upper body, head towards the slab, lifting his arse. Spread. Vulnerable.

Vadim hadn't anticipated how arousing that sight was. His cock stirred, twitched, and he wanted nothing more than break that promise. "Shit", he murmured. Vermin. Shaving. The task. His soaped up hands went between Dan's legs, dam, again inner thighs, then moved his fingers into the crack to soap up the hair there. Tight hole. Tight and hot. Just remembered it. Could almost feel his breath go heavier. "Will be over in minute", he murmured, trying to calm the other as he put the blade to skin and began to shave. Carefully, fingers preparing the way for the blade, moving flesh away and smoothing it.

Dan said nothing. Did nothing. Just listened, to fingers, blades, voice and breath alike. Didn't like it, no fucking way. Too tense, no way to let go and trust. "Hurry up." Murmured.

Vadim nodded, to himself, damn, he was hard, he wanted nothing more than have him now, shit, tried to force himself to think of something else, then did, that delicious sinful thing the Hungarian had done. Szandor. Oh yes, that man had shown him a few tricks when he thought two men were just about fucking.

"Done yet?" Dan muttered impatiently, but Vadim just took a handful of the water and rinsed the smooth skin, washed some hairs off, more water. Placed the razor down as he brought his face forward, thumb moving one cheek further out.

"What the …?" Dan protested.

Taste of soap, of water. Not too bad. Vadim ran his tongue into the crack, nothing bad about that, then moved to the hole, which tightened. Of course. He moved back enough to speak. "Relax. Just showing you something."

Craning his neck, Dan's body in fight or flight response. "What the fuck are you doing, Russkie." One false movement, false word, and he'd be out of the door. "You want to lick my arse?" Disbelief.

Tongue. Cock. No competition.

Vadim grinned. "Guess I just did." He moved in again, to play with that tensing muscle, amused and aroused, which was actually not a bad combination, by the other's disbelief. Pressed lightly against the muscle, circling it, all good and clean, soapy, but there was sweat, too, and the taste of Dan's body. His hand went to his own cock. He couldn't come into his uniform. Later. Patience.

Dan didn't breathe, held the tension.

Tongue flicked in, no resistance if it was wet enough, and out, to circle. In again, gently fucking that hole. Szandor had used this to get him ready for fucking, and Vadim would have done anything after that, including let the Hungarian have him any way he wanted. Mindblowing sensation, with the small sounds the other fencer had made, wet, obscene sounds.

Dan still wasn't breathing, not until he suddenly gasped, breaking some of the tension. Why the fuck did he even allow this? What was it all about? What … damn. Something happened in his body. Some weird assed sense of acceptance.

"You're fucking my arse with your tongue." Voice dry, low, somewhat brittle. Congratulations, Dan. The power of perception. Body something other than tense now; intense. And fuck that, he shuddered; grew hard. So much for control.

Don't stop.

Vadim paused, briefly, right hand resting on Dan's ass, steadying himself. He wanted to bite, kiss, suck, closed his eyes, wanted, wanted badly, relaxed his jaw muscle, then returned to Dan's ass. Dan, who couldn't quite suppress a strange sound. Forced, strangled, cursing elusive control.

Licking again, tongue finding its way inside, and, almost in an afterthought, Vadim took the other's cock with his left, not surprised it turned Dan on, he knew what effect that had on his body. Hand stroking him in time with the motions of his tongue, steadily pumping him.

Dan gasped. "Fuck, no." Control gone, no illusions. "No." Didn't move. Couldn't. Shit, that was ... didn't know. Remembered that finger up his arse, and how he'd wanted to kill that bastard for the intrusion but this … Shit.

"No." Liar. Yes. More. Pushed backwards, towards that mouth, forcing that tongue. "No!" desperate. More, fucking Russian cunt, give me more.

Vadim paused, to breathe, more than anything, to keep in control, maybe, he really only wanted to open his trousers and fuck him right here on the spot, right now. He should be wet enough to allow that. Hand still on Dan's cock. "You … alright?" Fuck. And when had he ever cared? They could beg him to stop, he never budged, never did.

"Aye …" Dan's breathing erratic, too far down the path of lust. No options. "Don't." No. Fuck, yes. No. Fuck! "Don't stop." Truth was a bitch without tits.

"Wouldn't want to get killed for this, you know."

"Won't." Dan pushed his hips back, into the face, hands gripping the stone slab with white knuckles. "Will if you stop."

Vadim flashed a grin, ah, exactly as intended, exactly what he wanted, well, some of it, at least. He closed his eyes and went back to work on Dan's ass, fucking him with his tongue, going slow and intense, tongue flicking in and out, or just licking, the taste of soap was gone now, it was Dan's sweat, which he liked, and the scent of lust. He could just imagine what Szandor had thought, having just peeled him out of the white jacket, pushed the white breeches down to go down on his ass, and Vadim's self-consciousness at the sweat and the fact he worried about being clean - obscene to enjoy this, even more obscene to beg for cock, one's own trapped in the breeches, untouched, on purpose. He made it easier for Dan.

One more thought, unbidden, for Dan. He shouldn't enjoy this. Shouldn't allow that tongue to fuck his arse, and then he cursed himself. Discarded all thoughts, just pushed back again and lowered his upper body until his face was pressed against the cool stone. Like a wanton whore, arse open, presenting himself; like the Russkie had done. Body begging.

That hand on his cock providing the last edge. Strokes intense, demanding, he was ready to give it up, give in, just touch. Body. Steam. Heat and water and the never-known sensation of smoothly shaved skin and that tongue ... Every second insanely intense, too much feeling. Too much and too different to topple over that easily. Minutes felt like hours, body moving in sync with hand and tongue, nothing but a puppet, forgetting himself. No thoughts. Just sensations. Nothing but a body, losing his mind. Completely gone, handed over. Prisoner. Slave. Whatthefuckever. Groans, whimpers, arms shaking, hands losing their strength, knee buckling. Body sliding further and further down, chest touching stone. Eternity. Timeless. Lust stayed on a plateau of painful intensity until then suddenly. No forewarning, body bucking, mind the centre of a lightning storm. Flashes across his brain, and Dan cried out when he came.

Vadim was impossibly hard, briefly wondered about what picture they provided, Russian special forces captain in combat gear, needing so much, breathless, and a smooth, oh no, more than naked enemy - foreigner, shaved head like a POW in the films. Somewhere in a nameless hamam guarded by nameless people, hidden away. He steadied Dan, who seemed ready to collapse, leaned against him to keep him on the bench. Wouldn't do to have him fall down now.

And Dan simply let himself give in like a boneless weight, slid onto the stone, lying in the other's arms for a moment. What a fucking inappropriate place to be, if only he gave a damn. Didn't. Couldn't. Just lay and breathed, eyes closed. He wouldn't even feel nor see his death coming.

Vadim tore himself from Dan's body, knew the man wouldn't be able to resist if he fucked him now, no way Dan had enough strength to do much more than bitch at him, but he believed him. Dan would kill him if he did that. He'd try, at least. And he couldn't get that other thing. Holding him. Too much on edge, needing too much. More contact would break his control.

Restraint. Vadim stood, all blood, all reason, all strength gathered in the middle of his body, and he gave a dry huff. Fuck that. He reached into a thigh pocket for a flask of vodka he kept around to wash out cuts or nicks, and to wash the dust from between his teeth, and emptied it. Taste. Not as bad as cum, but a reminder of what he'd done, and what he wanted, of the other, and he needed distance now. "You should rest."

He turned to face Dan again, whose head turned, body remained relaxed. Tiger. Kitten. Defenceless. Didn't think. Didn't want to. Overrated.

"You're hard." Dan's eyes open at last, looking directly at Vadim's crotch. "I'll suck you."

Vadim's cock twitched yes, but damn, he needed distance, knew too well what he'd do if that control was taken away. Knew himself too well. That throat wasn't enough. More. "Give me moment." He stood there, closed the flask and stowed it away, then reached with a hand into the basin to wash his face and neck, ran a towel over his skin. Wrong to want so much. Dan never allowed him to grow tired of him. It was the situation, war made life more intense, yes, and they met so rarely.

Suck me. Eye for an eye. Lust for lust. It only seemed fair. Vadim covered the distance, ran a hand over Dan's smooth scalp. Fuck. Nothing to hold him by, he looked like a different man. That was the key. Different man. Vadim opened his combat trousers, just enough to free his cock. No time to get undressed. Too dangerous.

"Straddle me." Dan ordered. The bench had the right width, right height. "Like I did." With a knife on a throat and the intention to humiliate. Different, now. Cocksucker. Loved cock. Didn't care. He turned over onto his back, looking up at the other, knees slightly bent. His whole body different, sensitised. Smooth, perfect. Except for the imperfections - some scars, no hair.

"Give me your cock."

Vadim swallowed dryly, then did, straddled the other's chest, kept the weight on his legs, and leaned in, moved down that body to reach his lips. Give me your cock. Shit, like a request, almost polite. His face twitched. At least, it wouldn't be easy to turn him around and fuck him raw, now. Good. Another anchor for his sanity. He was pretty damned close anyway. Wouldn't take forever. Brought his cock forward and down, one hand directing it.

He was pulled further down within an instant. Dan's hands at Vadim's hips, urging and pulling closer, deeper. Parting his lips, tongue meeting resistance, hardness, smooth and heated. Concentrating, easy task, relaxed and mellow, calm, his throat opened. Dan gave the Russkie's hips a harder push, forced that cock all the way down his throat. Shit, that reminded him. Of a time where he'd had no choice but to choke and gag and swallow, but now, he was in control.

It was good. Deeper. Almost painful, but hell, too sated to care. Fucking his arse with a tongue, fucking his throat with a cock. And still in control. Some semblance.

Vadim groaned, tight heat, being urged and needed, taken like that, he suppressed a curse, instead moved, needed to fuck, needed to have it, right now. Thrusting hard into the other's throat, who took the strain, the force, eyes closed, just sensation, almost gratitude, might be using too much strength but just couldn't stop, then, with another choked sound, came, feeling the throat around his cock frantically swallow in reflex. Needed both hands to steady himself, pulled back the next instant, wanted to collapse, but there was no room but on the other man.

Dan gasped for breath, coughing, but grinning, moved a hand to wipe his lips, wet with a trail of cum as the other pulled out. Clearing his throat, said nothing, head fallen back on the slab, relaxed, but hands digging into Vadim's uniform-clad arse. Muscles. Power. Just like himself.

Vadim didn't have the strength to get away, so just lay down on the other, possessive hands on his ass. Dan didn't complain, lay still, his body covered. One naked, one in uniform.

Vadim wanted to rest, rest his head against the other's, or his shoulder, just dipped down to lick Dan's chest, couldn't and wouldn't kiss it, scraped his teeth against the other's pec. Glanced up, saw his cum on the Brit's face. Shit. Licking it away would be too much like kissing. "You're messy eater", he said, grinning.

Dan's brows raised, lifting his head from the stone to glance quizzically at the other. "Guess I was just too hungry." Smirked, teeth and all, before trying to reach the spot of cum with the tip of his tongue. Contorting his face in the process, reluctant to let go of the Russkie's arse. His.

He suddenly huffed with dry laughter, out of the blue. "We're not enemies right now." One skin, another camo. "Haven't even got my hair. Let alone any semblance of uniform."

Vadim grinned. That humour told him it would be alright. He moved in to lick the cum off, didn't even like the taste of his own, whatever, wasn't much, but loved the feel of the other's stubble on his lips. The moment a razor stopped touching that skin, it grew stubbly.

"Hey, take that tongue out of my face, it's been in my arse!" Dan's lips morphed into a toothy grin, that tongue a quite indescribable sensation on his face. Almost … tender. A slow-gentle rasp, the opposite of a punch.

"Guess you're too deep undercover, huh?" Vadim grinned.

"Don't think I can get any more undercover. I'm covered by a Soviet officer." Dan smirked, letting his head fall back onto the slab, looked up at the ceiling. The other's weight was considerable, his own body muscular enough to tolerate the man on top. Odd. Sensed his reluctance to move, that weight was strangely reassuring.

Vadim gave a short laugh. "Next time I bring the whole Christmas tree, service ribbons and all, so you can enjoy it more."

Dan laughed, his whole body shaking. "The lametta would dig into me."

Damn, Vadim thought. This was the perfect place to be. "Can't have you get cold, eh?"

"Cold? Despite my bare head, highly unlikely. It's July." Dan smirked, one hand moving up towards the small of the other's back. Resting there. The other hand still digging into the Russkie's arse. "Even though that cum under my back is getting cold and sticky."

"Yeah. And there's that." Vadim was reluctant to leave, those hands on his body were firm, solid, but did, getting up from one of the best places in the world to rest. Narrowly beaten by the sun-drenched beach at Sochi. "Guess you need another wash."

"But not in the same water." Dan gestured over to where dirt, hair and vermin were floating. Moving his limbs, stretching. Still sated, remained on the bench, watching the other.

Vadim put the uniform back in order, body tingling still. Rest up, have a vodka or two, and lots of home cooked food. "Listen. I have some money on me, not much, can't have it stolen, but should be enough for meal and room. I have some … foreign money. That should keep your head above water."

Dan remained quiet. Lay on his side, propped up on his elbow, head in hand. Said nothing for a long time, just watching. Thoughts waging a war, should he accept it, could he. Had to. Had hoped he'd get help, a bite to eat, no denial. Had counted on the Russkie, but hadn't expected this. This ... taking care. Shit. Seemed he was supposed to stay alive.

Dan nodded at last. "I'll pay you back. I'll be on R&R shortly." Payback with goods, not money. More valuable and useful. Tit for tat.

Only when Vadim flashed a smile did he realize he'd been nervous the other might not accept. "Good. It's not my money, anyway. Loot." He shrugged. Turkeys usually had well-stuffed money belts. He wanted to go back, on top of the man, but had no reason to. "How long will you be gone?" Months, again. Weeks and months and wondering whether last time had indeed been that: last time.

"R&R? No more than three weeks this time. Including travel." Dan shrugged, running a hand down his hip, letting it fall towards his groin. Unfamiliar. Smooth, strange. Overly sensitive. The itch when it grew back would be hell.

Vadim checked his watch to not look at the other man. "I'll meet you tomorrow, same time, where I had my tea." Dan nodded while Vadim dug into his thigh pocket, and found the tight, hard roll of dollars. Fifty dollars. They actually had value in Kabul, pulled it out and placed it on the corner of the slab.

"Are you insane?" Dan stared at the money, sat up at last. "That's too much. I know Kabul like I used to know the Scottish Highlands. I don't need more than twenty bucks and it'll last a while. I just need a safe hole, some grub, nothing fancy. Keep some of your turkey stuffing, you might need it." Remembered another turkey, not so long ago, and the Russian's decency. Enemies or not, they'd long passed into No Man's Land.

Dan was probably right about the money. It was just that Vadim preferred to have him on the safe side. Vadim opened the roll, peeled thirty off and put them back in his pocket. Left the rest. Would have left thirty, but didn't want to start a discussion on it. Too mellow.

What now? Vadim straightened to look at Dan. "And poison, of course. Anything else?" Hoped his face betrayed he regretted to leave. Hoped he would be asked to stay. What for? Couldn't touch him, but wanted, wanted to undress, give him a massage, again, take his time with the other's body. Just spend the night.

Dan shook his head, a hand on the twenty dollars in his lap. "No. Nothing else. You don't particularly live in luxury, either." Sitting and looking, just watching again. Always this gaze. Dark eyes, resting.

Vadim shrugged. "I get by. What do I actually need?" Beyond feeding the family? Precious little. "Doesn't matter." What matters is that I get out of here alive, and you, too, he thought, but the last part of that thought did no longer surprise him. Been through too much already.

"I guess they're wondering where you've vanished to already, aye?"

Vadim inhaled deeply. "It's one of guy's birthday today. There will be party. Vodka. I better go. Few reasons to pass on party." And he'd better find a present on the market on the way back.

"Vodka." Dan suddenly grinned. "Reminds me to go back to your question if I need anything else. Can you get me some vodka? Any cheap shit will do. Haven't had booze for ages. Bloody goat-fuckers doing their Allah shit won't allow any drinks."

"Plenty of moonshine in barracks. I'll just do inspection tomorrow, when everybody's still hurting." Vadim grinned.

Dan stood up, lifted a hand in an indicated wave after dropping the dollars on the pile of new clothes. "Guess I get myself cleaned up again and then head off. Will be at the same place tomorrow. Have a good party, Russkie." Added, with a raised brow and a flash of teeth, "and don't do anything I wouldn't do when you're pissed. Not many unsuspecting 'reporters' on the streets of Kabul anymore." A jab, but strangely enough not a vicious one. An almost negligent piss-take. Odd, that. The things a man's tongue in one's arse could do. "I wouldn't trust anyone with a press ID these days."

Vadim paused, then flashed a grin. "Guess I have all press coverage I can handle." He frowned again, wondering just how many of Dan's sort prowled the city these days. "Just keep me happy, suka, and I won't stray from path, yes?"

"What did you just call me?" Dan tilted his head.

Vadim paused. "You owe me few of those. You're one who calls me 'cunt', Dan."

"Touché." Dan shrugged, grinned, relaxed. "In that case I owe you more than just a few, but I guess we're even." One rape. One torture. Accounts settled.

Vadim raised his eyebrows. "Joke, though. Would you prefer 'darling'?"

Dan smirked, gave a rude gesture with one hand, the other middle finger stuck down his throat, making gagging noises.

Vadim laughed at that, plucked the beret from under his epaulettes and put it on, checking that it had the correct angle. "Yeah, yeah. Very convincing."

"Fuck off and get pissed." Dan waved the other away with a dry sound, akin to a huff. Calling after Vadim, "and don't forget, you're my cunt."

Vadim turned to wink. "We'll see about that tomorrow."

Special Forces Chapter XI: Up Close and Personal
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 15 December 2006