Schloss Eberbach, 13th of June. A Saturday, one of the first really warm days that year. Klaus was on offical sick leave. Not that he felt the slightest bit in need of such a leave, but the NATO doctor had insisted. He had inhaled smoke from an explosion (which Klaus really had had nothing to do with, no matter what they seemed to think). So he got a little winded from his morning jogging - big deal. He should be able to handle office work without any problem, but no, the wimpy doctors had insisted - and had brought in the big guns to make him cooperate.
The Schloss was in excellent condition and none of the cars needed working on. Left with nothing to do but practice his shooting - which got rather boring after the first fifty or so rounds, no matter how big a handicap he gave himself - Klaus had decided to catch up a bit on his reading. Normally this would mean going through other teams' mission reports (which they wouldn't allow him to bring home with him, very annoying), if they weren't sealed; reading reports on suspected movements of the Russians and learning new skills, but since he was stuck in the castle he had quickly gone through everything he had brought with him and ended up with more frivolous reading material.
He was flat on his back in his bed, when the door to his room opened and a very brightly dressed person entered. Well, brightly for once as in pure white, rather than in royal blue, scarlet red or whatever outfit the peacock decided was a jolly good wear. No, for this occasion Dorian wore white - shirt, jacket, crisply pressed trousers, socks and expensive-looking shoes. Crowning his mane of hair was a tiny, white nurse's cap. In one hand he carried a basket, its contents covered by silver-coloured paper.
"How's my little sickling?" Dorian asked and went up to the bed, where he sat down by Klaus's hips and lowered the basket to the floor.
"I'm perfectly fine," Klaus insisted. When Dorian leaned down to kiss him, he let the book he had been reading rest on his chest.
They kissed for a long time.
"I'm glad to hear that, Klaus. I was a bit worried when Bonham informed me - I'm so glad that G thought of telling him the full story. Then I decided to come on over anyway to cheer you up a bit. You'll never guess what I have in- Klaus? Do you have a fetish for Indians that I would like to know about?"
Klaus blinked. "Ehm ... Nein?" He did, on very rare occasions, like Indian food, but the only Indian he knew personally would be Major Naviers. What was Dorian on about?
"Because I do still have that delightful black wig, I'll have you know. A little body paint, some feathers ... You could have a Stetson on and that buscadero revolver belt you keep down in the shooting gallery."
"American Indians? Not Asian Indians?"
"If you like Asian Indians I'm sure we can think of something fun too, but I was thinking of the American kind. Darling, you're reading a book about red cocks."
Klaus blinked, then snorted. "'ts a code name! The book's a spy thriller. Besides, it means Red Rooster, not Cock."
"A rooster's a cock, dear, and don't let anyone tell you differently. Ah, I should have known. And I thought that Polar Bear and Green Panda were silly names. Is the book any good, then?"
Klaus shrugged. "So far it's so-so. Agent A mentioned it to me, said he thought one of the characters might be based on me."
"Really?" Dorian said with a big smile. "Do tell?"
Another shrug. "I think he's wrong. His name is Steel Glove, Stålhandske. Finnish. Steel, Iron - I give A that Steel is also a metal, but nothing more. The other guy, though, Carl Hamilton, Coq Rouge he's ... interesting."
Then he looked from under raised eyebrows at how Dorian threw back his head and laughed gaily. Finally he muttered grumpily, "What?"
Still hiccuping a little from laughter, Dorian visibly reined in his mirth. "Steel Glove," he said and then had to laugh a little again. "The-the-the Red Cock an-and the Steel Glove. That ... That does sound like a-a-" He giggled. "-gay porn movie of the more ... sado-masocistic kind, my dear."
Klaus showed his disgust with a disdainful exhale.
"Besides, maybe they are based on both of us? Which brings to mind," Dorian then said, looking very thoughtful as he caressed Klaus's left leg, "that is it my birthday next month."
"I know," Klaus said swiftly, well aware that to forget Dorian's birthday was one of the most unforgivable sins in Dorian's opinion. At one point before they got together as a couple, Klaus's mission and Dorian's current interest had brought them together on that fateful day in July. When Klaus failed to congratulate Dorian even after the latter had dropped very heavy hints of the importance of the day, Dorian had left in a hissy fit and had pointedly not spoken to Klaus for two months. Why Klaus at that point in time would have considered this a punishment he to this day had no idea. Once they had got together, though, he had no real wish to anger Dorian unduly - and to forget a birthday would be very rude. He had, however, no idea what to get his lover. Birthday presents for Dorian were always a bit of trial-and-error and, sadly, Klaus mostly ended up in the error zone, even if Dorian worked hard to let him know that all his presents were appreciated. Maybe a painting with lots and lots flowers on it, this year?
"If you have nothing else in mind I wouldn't mind a spanking gift certificate ..." Dorian drawled and chose to illustrate this fact with patting as close to Klaus's rear as their position afforded him.
"Ehm ..." Klaus began eloquently and hoped he wasn't blushing. Immediate action was necessary to distract Dorian! "There's a gay guy in the books," he said hastily, knowing that Dorian did like hearing about such characters, especially if they were cast in a positive light. "One of the good guys. Also with SÄPO."
Dorian gave Klaus's hip one more, affectionate pat, obviously just to let him know that the rather blatant attempt at distraction had not worked. But he smiled as he did so and seemed genuinely interested. "Really? And does he get it on with either the Steel Glove or the-" His voice wavered, ever so softly, as the names obviously still amused him. "-Red Cock?"
"Don't call him that. And no, not so far, anyway. He did explain to Steel Glove in one book about the joy of ... ehm ... gay sex, though."
"Ooooh," Dorian said and pushed his hand in between the bedding and Klaus's buttocks. "And how does Steel Glove like the joys of gay sex, hmm ...?" Without waiting for an answer, he bent down and kissed Klaus. "These books - it's a series?- sound most interesting. I think I will have to check them out. Though purely personally,-" He lowered his face and placed another quick kiss, this one on Klaus's knuckles. "... I think that I prefer Iron Fists to Steel Gloves. Much more intimate that way." Then he deftly lifted the book from Klaus's hand and turned it. "What's it- Oh, Swedish, isn't it?"
"Ja. They're translated to English, but I thought I'd better read the original. I wanted to learn Swedish."
"Hmm," Dorian agreed, then laid down on top of Klaus, fitting their bodies together neatly, as he placed the book to the right of Klaus's head. ""Hmm. Not so different from Norwegian. You were on page 307. Hmm ..." He flipped closer to the start. For a moment he was silent, then, "What is 'tjänst'?"
"Ah. So ... 'It is true that the Palestinians mainly use the AK 47 Kalashnikov during their missions. Roar Hestenes had used one himself during a training in West Germany. 20 shots in the magazine, lies completely still and in balance even if you shoot automatic fire from the ..." He hesitated momentarily. "-hip. Surprisingly high precision if you shoot singles and use the gun as a rifle. An AK 47 is a formidable, terrible weapon. On the armrest behind him hung his shoulder holster with the service weapon, a Smith & Wesson, caliber 38, model 10.'"
"That's true, you know, it is a rather decent gun."
"I'm sure." Dorian flipped another couple of pages. "'The big question just now was pistol or revolver. This chiefly depended on the target. If the target was a living human being Carl would without hesitation choose his revolver, a Smith & Wesson Combat Magnum caliber 38; he had been allowed to test his way through about fifty different brands and makes before he had decided that this particular weapon suited him the best.'"
"Magnums really are the best."
"Yes, yes. 'His pistol was a Beretta 92 S 9 mm with 15 shots in the magazine. He had received a new one as a parting gift in San Diego. The shooting instructors had ordered it specially and somehow they had managed to get an image of his family shield through the American Embassy in Stockholm.' Family shield? He's a nobleman?"
"Ehm ... Ja."
"How interesting. What type?" Dorian's free hand caressed lazily down Klaus's body.
"A Swedish 'greve'."
Dorian's smile widened. "Which would be an Earl, I do believe. Earl Red Cock? Who is in the spy business? With a good friend called Steel Glove who enjoys listening to tales of gay sex? I think I like this book. Now where was I ...? 'He weighted the pistol in his hand. Loaded it weighed somewhat over a kilo, it was 217 mm long and 137 mm high. When he occasionally visited a pistol shooting club in Danderyd it was just this weapon he brought with him. The revolver would have gained unnecessary attention.' Klaus - this is porn."
"What? It's not!"
Dorian lifted an eyebrow. "Klaus? 'The weapon had never before been part of Swedish criminal history. It was a 7,62 mm Tokarev m/59 with eight shots in the magazine. It is a standard weapon in the Soviet army'. Oh, Klaus, it's porn all right."
"No, it isn't!"
"I can feel your reaction."
"A good save, my dear Iron Fist, would have been 'it's because of your presence, my love'." Then Dorian chuckled. "I don't mind, dearest. Now, let me see ... 'It was about the calibre of the murder weapon, 7,62 mm. It was a rare caliber for a pistol, where 7,65 mm was much more common, such as the Swedish polices' Walther.'" As he spoke, he began to slowly roll his hips. "'But 7,62 was exactly the caliber of the Tokarev pistol. One could almost certainly rule out all other guns.'"
Klaus shot his load long before Hamilton did.