Pairing: Mild Yassen/Alex
-Summary: Tulip Jones was a hard woman to shock, but this chilled her to the bone.
-Word Count: 1015. ;_;
- Beta'd by: The lovely hjbender
Tulip Jones was a hard woman to shock.
She helped monitor London’s CCTV and had seen people shot, stabbed, and kicked in the face until they wouldn’t get up. These were usual occurrences at these hours in the morning.
But this was unlike any of those things, and it chilled her to the bone. Not that you could see any evidence of her shock on her face.
The video was in greyscale and the quality was nowhere near the best, but the two figures on the screen were unmistakeable.
One tall, pale, black-clad man with the body of a dancer was standing under a lamppost and his trench coat caught in the wind. He leant on the light and even through the thin glass screen, he radiated an elegant kind of danger.
The other man—no, boy—was the one that really caught Tulip’s attention. He had shaggy hair and was wearing sporty clothes. He was straddling a bike.
She left, walking briskly to Alan Blunt’s office. “Alan, I think you might want to see this. Alex Rider is talking to Yassen Gregorovich.”
“Yassen Gregorovich is dead.”
“They’re in Hyde park.” Picking up the remote sitting innocently on the desk, she pointed it at the screen. A picture of the two filled the screen. The only evidence that it was a live feed was the swaying hair of the teenager. The two MI6 workers stood in silence for a moment.
“Audio,” Alan’s voice cut through. Tulip pressed a button.
“—leave me alone.” A smooth voice with only the slightest hint of Russian came through.
“Afanasiy.” The voice was sharp.
“Sorry, Afanas.” Alan’s brow furrowed as the two embraced. They separated and Alex shivered, ‘Afanasiy’ removing his coat before draping it onto the teen’s shoulders. They sat on a bench nearby.
“Dispatch a team to monitor. I want information.” That said, Blunt turned and went back to his work.
The conversation was over.
“So, why are you here?” Alex was sat on the back of the bench, feet leaving muddy prints on the seat. His bike was just behind him on the grass.
“They were following me.” Yassen looked up at Alex, whispering. “I had to get out of Russia.”
Pulling the coat tighter around his shoulders, Alex inhaled. It smelled like Yassen. Like smoke and spices and gunpowder and sweat. Alex found it comforting. He sniffed again before replying. “What made you think that being with me would be any better? They stalk me—hell, they’re probably watching us through the CCTV right now.”
“That’s why I dyed my hair red, changed my clothing style and now introduce myself as Afanasiy Vlasov.” His voice was still quiet.
“No shit, Sherlock.” Alex shivered again. “Anyway, I’m getting cold again.”
“What do you want me to do about it?” Yassen quirked a dyed eyebrow. When Alex flushed and stuttered, his lips twitched into a smirk.
“Let’s just go home!” The boy’s blush was deeper now and Yassen let a small chuckle slip. Alex gave him ‘the two-fingered salute’ before quickly accelerating off across the grass, bike wheels kicking up mud. Yassen had to run to keep up—not that it was very hard.
Tulip Jones was a hard woman to shock.
But as she focused the camera in the front garden of their best agent’s house, her skin paled and she felt light headed.
Quickly, she changed to a different camera.
This was one thing Alan couldn’t know about.
“You don’t need to carry me, I can walk!”
“Last time you said that, you fell into a pond.” The Russian wrinkled his nose at the stench of stagnant water emanating off the teenager mounted on his back.
“You shouldn’t have embarrassed me!”
“I did no such thing,” Yassen replied coolly.
Alex stuttered. Eventually, he shut up and the only sound in the night was the gentle swish of Yassen’s coat and the squeak of Alex’s bike wheel.
“Turn right here.” Stopping in front of the door, Alex knocked. “And put me down.”
Releasing his grip on muscled thighs, Yassen let Alex slowly slide down until his feet touched the floor. He winced and hobbled up to the door just as Jack opened it.
“Just stick my bike by the side door, Afanas.” Yassen turned and did just that, walking back to the door. “I’ll introduce you two in a minute. Jack, could you go sort out the guest room for Afanasiy?”
Jack ogled Yassen for a minute, taking in the man’s attractive form. “I, uh . . . Yeah, sure! Come in!”
Alex shooed her. “Guest room, then talk.”
She scurried away quickly, eager to please the ‘new friend’.
There was a beat of silence. Then:
“Why were you flustered earlier?” Yassen queried.
“When you were complaining about being cold. If I remember rightly, what I said had no sexual connotations unless you were specifically thinking that.” The blond was silent.
“I . . .” Alex started to shake. “I’m sorry. I just . . . I just get lonely . . . I’m fifteen and hormonal and segregated from the world. It’s hard.” Tears slowly dripped from the teen’s cheeks.
“Alex. Look at me.”
A gloved hand yanked the slightly chiselled chin up and brown met blue.
“You have a house and a guardian who loves you. You have school friends. You have a social life. My parents died when I was fourteen. I had no other relatives so I was cast out on the street. My upbringing was in no way luxurious and it was lonely. I begged people, Alex. It’s the most degrading thing I had to do in my life and look at me now. I survived, even if only by my ‘natural talents’. You’re lucky, Rider.”
Alex sniffled and clutched the other man’s coat, embracing him tightly. “I never knew . . .”
Yassen kissed his forehead, then hoisted Alex into his arms and walked inside.
“Not many people do. Now let’s get some sleep.”
Alex smiled. “Yeah . . .”