AUTHOR'S NOTES: When I answered the James fic challenge on the Fried-Potatoes website, I mentioned to someone that I did the story from the Major's point of view and wondered if it would be radically different if I'd done it from James' point of view.
That was the thought process behind this. Three characters, three points of view, one story--done in two different scenarios. It is also #1 in the Inside Out Cliche Series. This cliche - Kidnapping
I only ask that you refrain from posting any spoilers in your reviews.
DIFFERING POINTS OF VIEW
DIFFERING POINTS OF VIEW
By Margaret Price
THE THIEF, THE NEO NAZI, AND THE RUSSIAN
This was the first thing Dorian was aware of as he slowly returned to his senses. Pain was the second. He tried to move and realized he was bound to a chair, his hands secured rather uncomfortably behind his back. He was also gagged and blindfolded. His captors weren't taking any chances.
"Hey, he's awake again," one of the voices said with a laugh as the thief raised his head and struggled to sit up.
"Just in time," another replied.
Dorian recognized this voice as belonging to a man named Hans, although he was certain the name was a fake. He was the bastard who had lured him into the trap that got him captured. Instead of meeting an art collector, he was confronted by Neo Nazis. The next thing he knew, he was being beaten within an inch of his life by a group of skinheads.
"Show the gentleman in," Hans was saying.
Dorian heard the door open on what must have been the far side of the room. More unfamiliar voices filtered in. The door was closed and a new voice spoke.
"I thought you said he was unharmed," the newcomer said in a disapproving tone—in Russian. Up until this point, everyone had been speaking German.
Dorian felt his heart miss a beat. Shit, KGB! Since when did they do business with Neo Nazis? His Russian was admittedly weak, but he knew enough to follow what was being said.
"The queer didn't suffer any permanent damage, Mr. Chekov," Hans replied. "He tried to put up a fight."
Dorian could hear the smugness in his voice. Bloody sadist. Oddly, he and the others continued in German, while the newcomer spoke exclusively Russian. Perhaps his German is a weak as my Russian.
"Do you have the money?" Hans then asked.
"As agreed," Chekov replied.
Dorian stiffened. I'm being sold? It was bad enough to be captured by Neo Nazis, but the thought of being sold like common chattel offended the thief's aesthetic ideals. He heard a solid thump that must've been a briefcase of some sort being placed on a desk. There was the snap of a lock, a creak of hinges, followed by Hans giving a satisfied grunt. Just how much did you sell me for, you Nazi bastard?
"Untie his feet," Chekov ordered. "I'm not carrying him."
"You might want to," an unknown voice replied. "He kicks."
Dorian couldn't help smiling to himself upon hearing this. At some point, while he was being moved from one place to another, he had managed to place a well-aimed kick to the private parts of one of his captors. The retaliation was unpleasant to say the least. It was also the reason he had been unconscious.
"I can handle a faggot who kicks," Chekov replied coldly, his voice drawing nearer as he spoke.
Dorian jumped when someone suddenly started to remove the ropes from his ankles. He decided it was probably unwise to lash out at this particular time. Especially since he had no idea how many others were in the room.
Suddenly the door burst open and a panicked voice called, "Hans! The building's being surrounded by NATO!"
"What?" Hans gasped.
There was a great deal of commotion in the room as the occupants clamored to the windows. Then Dorian realized the Russian had not moved from beside him.
"They must be after the queer!" someone snarled.
"NATO doesn't give a shit about a civilian faggot thief," Chekov replied coolly.
"He's one of their contractors!" Ernst protested in English, his American accent unmistakable. He realized his error immediately and repeated himself in German.
"You stupid Yank, where did you hear that? The only interest NATO would have in this faggot would be to hand him over to Interpol."
"You commie bastard!" Hans snapped accusingly. "You led them to us!"
"Don't flatter yourself, you're small potatoes. They're after me. I expect they're still upset that I took out one of their agents."
"Who did you kill that has all of NATO on your ass?" Hans snorted derisively. "Iron Klaus?"
Dorian heard the man beside him light a cigarette and take a long drag on it as if contemplating whether or not to divulge this information. When he did, he felt his heart turn over.
The room was overtaken with an awestruck silence.
"You killed Iron Klaus?" Hans said in an almost horrified tone. It was replaced with one filled with rage. "And you led all of his men here! You fucking moron! I thought you were a pro?"
Dorian wasn't sure what happened next. Someone must've reached for a gun because the next thing he knew, Chekov was firing a weapon that was so quiet it had to have a silencer on it. He counted eight quick shots, in groups of two. This guy is a pro. Two shots each to the heart, no doubt.
Dorian heard four bodies fall and then the Russian was rifling through the papers on the desk. It was all a set up just to get some information. He's not interested in me at all. He heard a snap and realized Chekov was reloading his gun. Eight shots in a seven shot clip. Definitely a pro. Is that what you did to my Major, you commie bastard?
Suddenly the man was back at his side and removing the gag from his mouth. "I don't expect you'll be yelling for help," he said as he pulled Dorian to his feet.
After hearing about Iron Klaus, Dorian had no fight left in him and meekly got to his feet, only to wince in pain. Walking was not going to be easy.
"Come on," Chekov said gruffly, taking him by the arm.
Dorian decided to follow his now late-captors' lead and speak in German. "Look, whoever you are," he said quietly, "I'm not going to be able to move very fast."
Dorian felt the grip on his arm tighten slightly but was uncertain as to whether it was meant as a threat. "At the risk of sounding crude, they kicked me in the nuts. Several times. They thought it was funny." And you probably do, too.
A pause. "Then I'm glad I killed them."
Dorian was so stunned by this reply that he found himself at a loss for words. He meekly followed the Russian as he was guided from the room and out into a corridor. He heard more voices but the man beside him did not slow down. He moved at a steady pace until they reached the lift. Christ, this guy is cold. Am I going to be your next victim? Or are you being paid to deliver me somewhere?
Just as they were entering the lift, he heard what sounded like an explosion in the direction of the office they had left behind. A bomb? You left a bomb in that office, didn't you?
"Someone stop that fucking Russian!" a voice that seemed far away called as fire alarms started to sound all over the building.
Dorian was suddenly shoved into the corner. Then he heard more quick shots until the doors fully closed. A moment later, the Russian seemed to be talking to himself. Dorian realized he must have a radio unit when there was a reply.
"Target acquired," Chekov said curtly.
"Are you in position, sir?" The reply was in German, which puzzled the listening Dorian.
"Yes. There are no other civilians in the building. Begin the operation."
Dorian sagged further into the corner into which he had been unceremoniously thrust. He's leading NATO into a trap. The KGB are going to pretend they're Neo Nazis, and there's no Iron Klaus to stop them.
"We're ready, sir," the voice on the radio said.
"Proceed," the Russian replied. Then to Dorian, he said, "Hang on. This is going to be a fast trip."
Dorian didn't have a chance to ask what he meant before the lift seemed to drop out from under him, plummeting he did not know how many floors before jolting to a halt. He ended up in a crumpled heap on the floor. He heard the doors open followed by a click. Chekov must've locked them open. The Russian moved out and Dorian heard another lift open and another click. He's locking all the lifts on this level. NATO will be trapped up there!
A minute later, Dorian heard Chekov giving more orders in his radio unit before he returned and moved to where the thief sat in a heap on the floor. Dorian turned away, his face to the wall. If you want me to get up, you're going to have to drag me. To his shock, instead of being dragged to his feet, the Russian was kneeling beside him, untying his hands.
"Are you going to kill me?" Dorian asked bitterly. "Say I was trying to escape?"
There was a pause. When the reply came, it was in English. "You idiot, haven't you figured out who I am yet?"
Dorian jumped at the sound of the familiar voice and pulled off the blindfold, turning to see the Major pulling his long dark hair out from under a hat. He was looking at him with an almost amused expression on his face. "Major…" he breathed. "You're not… I don't…" He put a hand to his head, his mind reeling. He was glad he was already sitting down, because surely his knees would've failed him by now.
The Major sat down, leaning back against the wall and lighting a cigarette. He then offered one to the visibly shaken Dorian. "Once my men have rounded up those animals, I'll have you taken to a hospital."
Dorian nodded absently. Then it occurred to him that the Major wasn't running off to supervise the operation. Instead, he seemed to be acting as the thief's bodyguard. "You came after me," he said at last, still not quite believing it himself. "You negotiated my selling price and paid it."
"The money was counterfeit."
Do you always have to burst my bubble with reality? "So, you wouldn't pay good money for me, is that it?" Dorian said bitterly.
"No. I knew I'd be blowing up the case and the office I'd left it in," the Major replied succinctly.
"Destroying the fact that you got the information you were after."
"I wasn't after any information, although that's what NATO thinks I'm doing here. The fact that those idiots actually had any was a bonus."
Dorian blinked. "You weren't after information?"
"You were after me? Specifically?"
But you still covered your ass so no one would suspect that's the real reason. "Why?" Dorian asked pointedly.
The Major sat thoughtfully a moment before saying calmly, "Because life would be far less interesting without you in it."
Dorian was taken aback by this reply. What are you trying to tell me, Major? "Is that the only reason?"
The Major gave him a steady look. "For the time being."
Because you still don't think I'll be discreet, do you? Dorian sighed heavily and leaned his head against the German's shoulder. He was amazed when he did not tense up, pull away or yell at him. You need me to say it, don't you?
"Major," Dorian said quietly, "despite all the outlandish things I say and do, I'd never do anything to jeopardize your career."
The Major turned slightly, put a hand beneath the other man's chin and lifted his bruised face in order to look into his eyes. "Never?"
"Of course not. I love you."
To Dorian's astonishment, the Major suddenly kissed him very gently on the mouth.