Claimer: Ours, not yours
Rating: R for sexual situations
Warnings: Language, sexual situations, yaoi, yuri, pedophilia
Beta: yomimashou apologizes for taking so long ;_;
Dragomir awoke very early to the soft sound of Niles’s even breathing and the warmth of his slender form pressed against him. Dragomir smiled softly, an expression that had been all but forgotten during the past weeks of his confinement, and let his eyes close slowly. He would savor the time with Niles a little longer before he dared disturb the other’s rest.
After a long time spent relishing the simple pleasure of waking up next to Niles again after so long, Dragomir dared to breath a sigh of both relief and contentment. He’d slept so well the past night; it felt as though he was completely rejuvenated after so long spent gradually falling apart. He’d barely slept during his nights in prison, and even compared to his time spent on the battlefield, the hygiene situation had been almost unbearable. At last, he’d been able to shave and to bathe, to change clothes before bed (not that he wore any now), and most importantly, he’d been with Niles for all of it. There was no way Dragomir would allow himself to be separated from Niles again, not after they’d only just been reunited, and Dragomir had no intention to giving in, not even to Colonel Lawley.
Gently, Dragomir leaned forward and pressed a kiss to the back of Niles’s exposed neck as he trailed a finger deftly over Niles’s chest. Dragomir knew Niles was not yet fully recovered; he was very thin and still quite frail—thin enough, almost, for Dragomir to count some of his ribs. It would take a lot of good eating to get him back to a healthy weight, and Dragomir longed to cook for him. Niles felt exceptionally delicate in his arms, after all the weight he’d lost, and his peaceful expression made him seem all the more innocent and fragile. Still, Dragomir trusted himself to be gentle, and since their reunion, hadn’t been able to get enough of Niles. Leaning forward a little further, Dragomir shifted Niles in his arms and kissed him hard on the lips to rouse him; it was just early enough that they had plenty of time to get ready for work, and still late enough that Dragomir felt Niles was rested enough after last night’s long overdue strenuous activities.
Niles had been drifting towards waking in a state of semi-somnia, and when Dragomir kissed him, his eyes fluttered open and he smiled softly at Dragomir. Snuggling further into his embrace, Niles rested his head against Dragomir's chest, not willing to get up yet, since that meant leaving Dragomir's arms. "G'Morning," he murmured lightly, not making any movements towards getting up; he knew that, once he was on his feet, the soreness of his thighs and rear would only become more acute, and, though he didn't mind it, especially in exchange for what he had gotten, he wasn't eager to face it, either, when he could instead remain in Dragomir's arms.
However, he also knew that they had work to get to, and that they would have to rise eventually. Besides, with Dragomir returned to him, Niles' appetite had returned in full, and he was starving. Finally gathering up the willpower, he sighed into Dragomir's chest. "I suppose we ought to get up eventually..."
“Yeah,” Dragomir murmured, opening his eyes again with another smile. He was looking forward even to the daily irritants of getting up and going to work; he’d missed every detail of his life while he’d been away, and he was eager to get back to all the details, no matter how mundane he was certain they’d soon become again. Giving Niles another light squeeze and affectionate kiss, Dragomir slid out of bed and wandered over to his wardrobe. It would be nice to wear fresh clothes, even if it was only his uniform. Dressing haphazardly, as per his custom, he walked over to Niles, buttoning his shirt as he went, with his vest and coat under his arm. “Are you hungry?” Dragomir asked, unable to resist kissing him again. He hoped he was; Dragomir was determined to make sure Niles ate a lot to make up for the last few weeks, and he himself was looking forward to a meal of more than dry bread and water.
Niles nodded hurriedly, slipping his jacket over his shoulders, and he gave Dragomir a quick peck in return. He was dismayed to find that his uniform, when buttoned up, hung loose over his frame instead of fitting snugly and properly, but smoothed it and adjusted it to the best of his ability before making his way over to the vanity. "I'm famished...you?" he asked, glancing at Dragomir over his shoulder before sitting. He couldn't help but cringe slightly; he was really quite sore after last night (how many times had it been? Four? Five?), but it had been Dragomir's first night back, and it only made sense to try and make up for lost time. He pushed his discomfort from his mind with the knowledge it would recede for the rest of the day and began brushing out his hair before selecting a burgundy ribbon and tying it back, perfect the first time. In the time Dragomir was gone, he hadn't had time to fret over it, and he now found he was quite used to the length. It wasn't so bad.
Rising and smiling to Dragomir once more, he gestured with the brush. "Shall I do your hair now?"
Dragomir had just finished tying his cravat and was pulling on his vest when Niles asked. “Thanks,” Dragomir grinned with a nod, tucking his blouse into his knickers sloppily as he made his way over to Niles. He took a seat, so that Niles could reach, and smiled apologetically at Niles through the mirror. His hair, as of yet, hadn’t received much attention at all, and would be in need of some serious brushing before it could be pulled back and even construed as presentable. Dragomir buttoned his vest as Niles started working out the tangles, and decided that he too was starving. “I wonder what the servants have prepared,” he mused, pleased by the simplicity of it all.
Niles smiled with a shrug as he carefully worked all the knots out of Dragomir's hair, one by one. He was sure to be extra gentle, and though it took a bit longer, when Niles was through, it looked just as nice as before. Carefully, he gathered the small amount of hair at the nape of Dragomir's neck and tied it off with a green ribbon, pleased with how it came out. "I don't know, but I'm sure it'll be great," he replied with a grin. "You're all done. Shall we go down now?"
Dragomir tilted his head back to smile up at Niles before getting to his feet and throwing his jacket on over his shoulders. “Let’s go,” Dragomir said happily, taking Niles by the arm and leading him downstairs. A feast had been prepared, of course, with all the lavishness of a holiday, and Dragomir grinned, taking his seat next to Niles and hoping the sheer amount of food would encourage him to eat as much as he could. Dragomir helped himself to a large helping of fruit, and intentionally avoided the toast; he knew it’d be better than the stale stuff he’d lived on, and the availability of butter was quite a luxury in comparison, but all and all, he was perfectly content to stick to the fruits and yogurts, meats, and sweet tea cakes.
Niles served himself a large portion of everything; he felt as if he hadn't eaten for weeks, and since he almost quite literally hadn't, he didn't worry about eating too much. Throughout his life, Niles had always had a fairly small appetite, nibbling his meals and only ever eating miniature portions of everything except when it came to sweets. But then again, he also had an abnormally small stature, and he never held himself back; whenever he was hungry, he ate until he was no longer hungry. Until three weeks ago, he had had a very steady, if abnormal, eating pattern, to which he was looking forward to returning.
Amazingly, when he had finished breakfast, he had consumed three pieces of toast, two oranges, four pastries, two plums, two bowls of yogurt, and seven glasses of juice. It was a little bit disgusting, actually, and he flushed with embarrassment when he realized that he had eaten more than Dragomir usually did. Trying to avoid commentary on how much he had eaten, he smiled. "So...um...ready to go, then?"
Dragomir watched, grinning, as Niles consumed plate after plate of food, and couldn’t help but laugh amusedly when Niles cleaned his plate for the last time, a good few minutes after Dragomir had finished. “Yeah,” Dragomir chuckled—it felt wonderful to experience mirth again. “I am ready if you are.” He stood up and replaced his napkin on the table, smiling softly over at Niles. “I’m so glad you had such an appetite. I’ve been worried about you,” Dragomir said seriously.
Niles blushed hotly. "I'm glad you're glad, and not grossed out," he mumbled embarrassedly, then offered a small smile. "But I am feeling a lot better...now that you're home." He slipped his own hand into Dragomir's, standing up on his toes to place a kiss on his cheek before laughing playfully and tugging at his arm. "Let's go, then. We don't want to be late on our first day back!"
The drive went by quickly and breezily, as did most everything, to Niles, now that he was happy again, and soon, they arrived at the office to find it in tumult. Everyone was bustling somewhere in a flurry of paperwork, and Niles looked around blinkingly, then looked up to Dragomir. "What's going on?"
“I don’t know,” Dragomir answered, glancing around with a furrowed brow. He noted the Colonel, who seemed to be packing his desk into a box, and narrowed his eyes with a snarl. Dragomir longed to punch him in the face for all that he’d done, but he restrained himself and looked around the room for Lt. Colonel Delancy. It seemed as though she were directing operations; several desks were being moved, and as all their surfaces had been cleared, Dragomir wasn’t quite sure which ones were being relocated. He hoped that one was Niles’s, and that he’d at last be allowed to return to his original location. Perhaps, Dragomir thought with relief, Niles’s old superiors were at last retuning to their own office and their own affairs? With Niles at his heels, he made his way over to the Lt. Colonel and bowed politely. “Good morning, sir,” Dragomir addressed, speaking as if he’d never been gone because it was simply easier. “What’s going on?” Hh asked, looking around the room again. Then, he added quickly, “Do you need any help?” Dragomir was eager to get back into the swing of things, and what better than by doing something that he was adept at—namely, not paperwork.
Corinne glanced at Hirlea for a moment, offering him a grin. "Welcome back," she greeted enthusiastically, "For starters, you can move that desk...that one over there." She pointed to a desk over off to the side, her grin widening. "Move it...over there?" She motioned to another small group of desks, at one of which Captain Kaiser was already working. She left him to figure out what she had meant, then walked away; after all, she had other jobs to oversee.
Niles hung at Dragomir's side, still confused over what was going on, when Colonel Lawley approached, with Captain and Major Holtcombe at his heels. He sneered at Niles, pursing his lips. "Well, it seems as if this is goodbye again, Christian. It's a shame, really." He turned on his heel, walking briskly out of the room. The twins gave him identical sneers, then waved and called, "Bye, Christian!" before also marching out of the room.
Niles felt overwhelmingly relieved as he saw their backs moving away, and smiled up at Dragomir again. "It's really all over, isn't it?"
Dragomir watched their retreating figures, as if to make sure that they really were leaving, before turning back to Niles with a smile of relief. “Yeah, I think it is.” Discreetly, he found Niles’s hand and gave it a light squeeze. Everything had improved so drastically all at once that Dragomir knew it would take a little while to sink in. Still, he let out a sigh of relief and grinned, walking over to the desk the Lt. Colonel had pointed him to. “That must mean that this is yours, right?” he asked with a grin. At last, Niles would be near him again! Never again would they be separated, never. “Will you grab the other side?” Dragomir asked, already hoisting one end up. He took most of the weight, and with Niles’s help, they returned it to its proper spot. Dragomir took his customary seat atop it, and waved to Julian with a neutral expression. Dragomir knew he owed Julian his life with Niles, and so he would make every effort to be decent to him.
Julian ignored Dragomir’s greeting and stood with a small smile to Niles. “Good morning Niles,” Julian said cheerfully to Niles, before flashing a somewhat indignant frown at Dragomir. He had no intention of acting any differently. “It’s so good to see you back at work.” He paused, and bit his lip, adding through his teeth, “You too, Dragomir.”
Niles smiled brightly. "Good morning, Julian! We're glad to be back, aren't we?" He looked up at Dragomir, sitting up on his desk as he always used to, and his smiled melted into a look a pure, happy love. He was just so overwhelmingly happy to have Dragomir back, and he found himself suddenly wishing that he could be alone with Dragomir again. Though he was really very glad to be back at work, it had been so long since he had been able to be affectionate with Dragomir, and last night wasn't nearly enough to make up for it. He sighed and rested his head on his hand wistfully.
Corinne glanced across the room and noticed Christian looking longingly up at Hirlea, and she couldn't help but feel empathetic. She sighed, looking around, then made a decision. After all, she didn't really need them around right now for anything, and it'd be nice to make them happy. "Christian! Hirlea!" she called across the room. "Go...get those records we talked about. I expect you back here promptly at one. Got it?" She winked, then walked away quickly; she had other business to attend to.
Dragomir blinked after her, stunned for a moment, before turning back to Niles with a smirk of pure delight. He knew what that wink meant, and they would take every advantage of her generous allotment of time.
“What records?” Julian asked curiously. They’d only just gotten back, and already they were off to do something… He’d been hoping that he’d get to work with Niles…and even if he was working with Dragomir, too, it would be better then watching them go off together to do something while he had to sit around and finish the defense paperwork. It simply wasn’t fair. “What are you working on so soon?”
“Important ones…” Dragomir smirked, not removing his eyes from Niles as he stood, already mentally undressing him. He didn’t have the time to waste on Julian; they only had five hours until one, after all. “It’s urgent, but we’ll be back at around one.” He smirked all the wider, at last looking at Julian with a little chuckle. He looked completely oblivious. Good. “I hope you’re ready, Niles,” Dragomir added, turning back to Niles playfully.
Niles jumped to his feet, grinning through his blush, and nodded vigorously. "Oh, yes, of course, sir!" he responded eagerly, following Dragomir out into the hall. As soon as they were out of earshot, he looked up at Dragomir in excitement; neither even paused as they headed off in the direction of the records room, but Niles somehow managed to keep up with Dragomir's pace. "We ought to thank the Lt. Colonel later," he pointed out with a sheepish smile.
Dragomir nodded, hardly thinking about what Niles had said and instead looking down at him lustfully. He hoped Niles would remember; he was already thinking only of what was to come. They reached the records room and Dragomir opened the door for Niles, waiting only just long enough to shut and lock the door behind them before capturing Niles’s lips in a bruising kiss. Dragomir didn’t want to wait; he’d been gearing himself up the whole walk, and he was desperate to get Niles undressed again. He shrugged off his own oppressively warm jacket before slipping his arms around Niles’s waist and removing his belts, deepening the kiss eagerly.
Niles kissed back, allowing Dragomir to press him up against the door and arching against him eagerly. As he thought of what was to come, he felt his own heart rate increase with anticipation, and, as Dragomir was busily removing his clothing, Niles managed to find the buttons of Dragomir's vest, trying his best to get them undone the right way; he knew if he didn't hurry, Dragomir was going to resort to breaking them.
Finishing the last button of Niles’s jacket, Dragomir pushed the other’s coat off of his shoulders and broke the kiss, moving to his neck hungrily. “I missed you,” Dragomir murmured meaninglessly against Niles’s neck. They’d been together a whole night already, but Dragomir was sure Niles knew what he meant; it was as if the only way he could forget the weeks of separation was by making sure they were as close as possible as much as possible. He slipped his hands beneath Niles’s waist band teasingly, untucking his blouse, and pressing against him lightly before moving to the buttons. Dragomir pushed Niles against the door a little harder, and ground their hips together as his hands made their way deftly up Niles’s chest undoing buttons. He was grateful Niles was almost finished with his vest; the sooner everything was off, the sooner he could feel Niles’s skin against his own again.
Niles cried out when he felt Dragomir's hips pressed against his own, and he momentarily abandoned his work as his hands fell to his sides weakly. He willed himself to continue, however, and returned to the buttons; he longed to feel Dragomir's skin against his own, and he knew he had to keep at the buttons. Finally, after what felt like forever, he managed to get the last button undone, and he eagerly pulled the vest open, pushing it off of Dragomir's shoulders as best he could before reaching up to begin on his shirt. His hands were already beginning to tremble, and he knew he had to hurry before he lost control altogether.
Dragomir removed Niles’s shirt at last, and feeling Niles’s hands fumbling at his chest, took them into his own momentarily, pressing a kiss to his fingers before he finished what Niles had started and shrugged the shirt off of his shoulders. Dragomir felt a slight sense of accomplishment at the fact that they’d managed to remove his upper garments before he’d broken anything, but he wasn’t sure if the good fortune would save his knickers; already, they felt so tight, and as Dragomir captured Niles’s lips in a kiss and felt the warmth of his skin against his own, things became even more unbearable. Still, first things first, Dragomir thought, smirking against Niles’s lips as he dragged his fingers teasingly down the other’s torso. He hooked his thumbs on the waistband of Niles’s knickers and slid them down ever so slightly, pressing up against him, hard, and grinding their hips together all the more desperately to satisfy his craving for friction.
Niles whined loudly, squirming and wiggling his hips against Dragomir's, trying to get him to remove his knickers, which were feeling all too tight and too restrictive. However, for the time being, he pressed his lips to Dragomir's again, still feeling the need to be closer, to prove to himself that Dragomir was actually here, was actually with him again, and that he wasn't alone.
Julian glanced up at the clock as he finished filling out the paperwork on Dragomir's trial. What time had they said they'd be back? Exactly how long did they need to get a few records? Julian didn't care how "important" they were, they couldn't possibly need until one to get them. There had to be something else they were up to...and Julian wanted in on whatever it was that they were doing. They had obviously made some special arrangement with the Lt. Colonel, and he refused to be left out.
Julian stood with determination and made his way towards the door, where he bowed to the Lt. Colonel. "Sir," he began cautiously, "I need to get something to complete my report. Requesting permission for leave until one, sir?"
Corinne raised an eyebrow. Just how stupid was Kaiser? Had he not realized what she had meant by her generous order? Well, she rationalized, maybe he really did need something. Still, just to be sure. "Permission granted, Captain, but please, I warn you not to go to the records room. I can assure you with certainty that it is occupied." With a nod, she looked back to her work, hoping that her subordinate really was not as slow on the uptake as he seemed.
Julian bowed his gratitude with a quizzical expression on his face. How could the records room be ‘occupied’? The records were available for everyone’s use, and no one would want to spend much time in such a cramped and dark room unless they were looking for something. Perhaps that was what Niles and Dragomir were doing? Julian left the room and headed down the hall in the direction of the office. If they really were simply looking for something, maybe they’d be glad for the extra hand? Either way, the Lt. Colonel’s enigmatic warning had sparked his curiosity.
As Julian approached the door, hear heard a distinct banging noise as the old door shook in its frame rhythmically. Julian picked up his pace, hurrying to the door as fast as he could. Perhaps the door was jammed and they were looked inside, struggling to get out in vain, for no one would be moving through the halls in the mid morning—no one except for himself. How lucky they were that he’d come to their rescue. Then, as he reached the door, Julian froze in mid step. Now that he was closer, he could hear something else; the muffled moans of pleasure just distinguishable from behind the door. His face fell and the color drained from his face. How had he not realized?
“Faster!” he heard Niles gasp, and he took a few stumbling steps backwards as the blood rushed back to his cheeks in a deep blush.
He had to leave right away! He had no right to be listening, and he should have never come in the first place. He felt awful and embarrassed and perverse; the sounds Niles was making were enough to driving him crazy, and a sick part of him wanted to stay and listen and to imagine, but Julian knew that he couldn’t. He couldn’t invade Niles’s privacy that way. Swallowing hard and trying not to think about what he’d seen and heard, Julian ran back to the office, pausing outside to catch his breath and wipe the hot tears of envy from his eyes. Julian opened the door and bowed curtly to the Lt. Colonel before returning to his desk and burying himself in paperwork. He’d quite forgotten to take out a paper that could have served as the thing he’d gone to retrieve, but he wasn’t thinking clearly enough to be concerned. He’d gotten back before one, right? And that would be all Lt. Colonel Delancy would care about.
Corinne watched Kaiser return to the office in partial amusement and partial exasperation; how could he have been so stupid as not to realize what was going on. She couldn't help but put her forehead in her palm and shake her head... What was she going to do with him? She never thought she would come across someone less fit to be in the military than Christian, but ever since the appearance of Kaiser on the scene, she was reconsidering.
With his hand already on the door, Dragomir pressed a kiss to Niles’s lips one last time. He was going to visit his family to assure them that he’d quite recovered from his time spent in prison, and also to see his brothers, who’d arrived the day before to meet Amelie. He was excited to see Marius and Razvan again, since he’d only seen them once (briefly at his mother’s funeral) since before he’d left for Hispania. Their visits were rare and far between; in the past, it had been difficult for them to visit due to the limited space, but now that he lived with Niles, things were much easier to manage. Additionally, Marius and Razvan had five toddlers between them, which complicated things further. This time, both their wives had stayed home with their young children—when Amelie was a little older, they’d be introduced.
“I’ll be back at around five,” Dragomir assured, running his hand across Niles’s cheek as he pulled away. As happy as he was to visit his family, he would miss Niles. Even after the week that had gone by, neither of them had recovered yet from the time spent apart. Still, it was only a day, and afterwards, Dragomir would be taking Niles to meet his brothers as well. After all, Dragomir didn’t think Niles even knew he had other siblings, and the twins had both expressed their interest in meeting Niles to Tatiana in their frequent letters. With one final goodbye, Dragomir set off. They’d be back together that evening, and besides, Niles, too, had plans for the afternoon.
After bidding Dragomir goodbye, Niles hurried to finish his own preparations for the day. He knew he would miss Dragomir quite a bit during the time that they were separated, but Dragomir had warned him ahead of time of this meeting with his family, and so Niles had had time to prepare an outing of his own.
Though he usually had his clothes brought and tailored at home, Niles had, on occasion, ventured out shopping in the past, and had found it to be fun. In the past, it had been a little lonely, the main reason why he didn't do it more often, but now he didn't have to worry about it anymore; he had friends to bring along. For today, he had scheduled to meet Nicephore and go out shopping together while Dragomir was away.
Once he was satisfied with how he looked, Niles headed out into the bright May morning, happy for the nice weather. He had agreed to meet Nicephore at a park that was in walking distance for both of them, then walk to the shops; after all, it was a nice day, and there was no need to bring the automobile. The walk to the park was a little lengthy, but Niles barely noticed for the pleasant sunshine, and it hardly seemed like long at all before he spotted Nicephore seated on a bench in the distance.
Niles grinned and waved and picked up his pace to a jog, slowing to a stop at the boy's side. "Good morning!" he greeted cheerfully, and was glad to see Nicephore smile back. The boy always seemed so lonesome and serious; Niles hoped that, now that they were friends, he could cheer him up a little. He noticed that he was wearing the blouse that had formerly been Niles'; Niles had insisted that he keep it after the trial, as a gift for all his help in proving Dragomir innocent, and really the poor boy deserved it, after all that he had been through. With a final smile, Niles clasped Nicephore's hand in his own, and together, the two started off down the street.
They had only been walking for a little while, however, chatting lightly, when a pair of people in the distance caught Niles' attention. They were two men, exactly the same height, tall and tan like Dragomir. As they got nearer, to Niles' great surprise, their faces, too, greatly resembled Dragomir's, so much so that Niles couldn't help but let out a noise of surprise. "Oh my god!" he exclaimed before he could hold it back. "You look just like Dragomir!"
“What?” One of the two asked, grinning with an expression of bemusement. He was surprised that such an elegant and wealthy looking guy knew his older brother. A military acquaintance, perhaps? He turned to his twin brother and lifted his brows quizzically. Razvan seemed to have an idea of who it was, as a small smile of recognition had slide across his lips.
“You must be Niles,” Razvan said knowingly. “We haven’t been introduced, but I’m Razvan, and this is Marius. We’re Dragomir’s younger brothers.” Razvan bowed mildly with a smile, and nodded to Niles’s companion graciously.
“Oh yes, of course!” Marius said eagerly, bowing as well. “Viorica pointed you out to me at the funeral. Sorry we haven’t gotten the chance to meet until now.”
“But we’ve heard a lot about you from Tatiana. It’s very nice to finally meet in person.” Razvan added. “And I find it especially interesting that we simply ran into each other.” Turning to his brother, Razvan bit his lip. “I hope it doesn’t change Dragomir’s plan too much?” Then returning his gaze to Niles, he added, “And I hope we haven’t disturbed you on your outing, either. We were just walking to see how much the city had changed.”
“Who’s your friend?” Marius asked interestedly. Like Dragomir, he had no regard for formalities, and his nonchalant attitude was a constant irritant of his brother.
Niles blinked. "Dragomir has more siblings...?" he asked vaguely, then clapped his hands over his mouth, blushing at his own lack of manners. "Ah- I'm Niles Christian, it's nice to meet you!" he exclaimed, bowing, "And this is my friend, Nicephore Colville." He smiled and nodded to Nicephore, who bowed politely as well. Laughing and still pink with embarrassment, Niles turned back to the newly-revealed Hirleas. "I'm sorry that I was surprised...I just... Dragomir never told me he had brothers!" It was curious to him why Dragomir would have kept such a thing from him, but then again, maybe it just never came up, and he didn't think about it. "I'm sorry to have disturbed you. Was Dragomir coming to see you today?"
“Nice to meet you too, Mr. Colville,” Razvan said politely with another small bow. He wondered why the two appeared to be of such different classes, but supposed that Niles and Dragomir’s own trans-class relationship was evidence enough that Niles cared little for tradition, and he was impressed.
“We’ve never been mentioned? Not once?” Marius said in mock horror, widening his eyes and covering his mouth with his hand. “How cruel! Dragomir must have simply forgotten us all together!” Razvan put on an irritated smile and cut his brother off.
“I’m sorry, he’s only joking.” Razvan sighed. He wanted to make sure Niles’s impression was a good one, but while he was working very hard to be polite and dignified, his brother was making no effort at all. “We live very far away, in Southern Galia, so I’m not surprised our names haven’t come up. We usually only get the chance to visit once a year or so, and it’s been a long time since we’ve seen Dragomir on an occasion unrelated to tragedy.”
"That's so sad!" Niles exclaimed. "But—I'm sure Dragomir hasn't forgotten you! It just never came up, and all, and things..." Trailing because, really, he had no idea why Dragomir had never told him, he instead took a better look over the two brothers. They were both tall, like Dragomir, but lacked the muscle tone and physical prowess that he possessed. Besides their eyes, however, the two looked almost identical, and Niles wondered if they were twins. "You sure look a lot alike... though, you're not as sexy as Dragomir..." he thought aloud, then realized what he’d said and clasped his hands over his mouth again. "Ah! I'm sorry, I didn't mean to say that..." His face was hot again, and he felt like an idiot. So much for making a good impression...
Nicephore looked on, amused. Though he wasn't very familiar with Captain Hirlea, his family was quite lively, and Warrant Officer Christian was....well, Warrant Officer Christian.
At Niles’s comment, Razvan eyes widened with surprise and Marius doubled over with laughter. “We’re—we’re twins,” Razvan explained quickly, blushing as well and ignoring both his brother’s loud howls of laughter as well as Niles’s second comment. “Dragomir is five years older than us,” he added as Marius straightened up, trying to get a hold of himself.
“Sexy?” Marius sniggered again at the word. “That’s one way to put it.” He smirked broadly and commented, “Viorica was quite right; you really are adorable.” Yes, Marius could see why Dragomir liked him. His older brother had always been brilliant with children, and Niles had a childlike naivety about him and an innocent charm that he was certain was what had initially infatuated his brother with Niles. He was silly, too—always a bonus. “I suppose you and Dragomir have had a lot more interesting things to do aside from chat about family, right?” Marius commented with a knowing look as he crossed his arms. He’d spent the morning talking to Viorica, and he knew all the gossip. And, she had assured him that her information came from a very reliable source: apparently Dragomir’s and Niles’s superior was very lenient and understanding of the ‘male condition’. Marius laughed again at the recollection and his brother shook his head at him. Razvan was too much of a prude to indulge in gossip.
Niles blushed hotly at Marius' statement before he could really compute what Razvan had said to him. "Ahh—that is to say—recently—I mean, well... we've been—ahh!" He didn't even know what to say about the "adorable" comment, he was too flustered and embarrassed to even think about it. He took a deep breath and did his best to regain his composure, turning to Razvan and smiling through hi blush. "That's so cool that you're twins...I've always thought it would be cool to have a twin." He nodded thoughtfully. "And I'm five years younger than Dragomir, too! How coincidental." He laughed, and, for a moment, was able to forget his embarrassment.
Nicephore coughed slightly into his hand and looked the other way awkwardly at the Warrant Officer's twin comment, and chose to say nothing.
Razvan was surprised to learn that the three of them were the same age—Niles seemed quite a bit younger, especially now that Marius had managed to completely embarrass him—and Razvan didn’t quite know how to recover the situation, or what to make of Niles’s newest comment. He seemed very odd… “Oh, yes, well…having a twin can be a bit of a burden, sometimes, too.” He smiled mildly, only half joking; he didn’t need to look at Marius to know he was making a horribly pathetic and hurt looking face.
Niles blinked, surprised by the comment. He couldn't imagine how anyone could dislike having siblings; Niles felt greatly slighted in the fact that he had neither brothers nor sisters, and he couldn't imagine having such a luxury and not wanting it. He didn't really know what to say. "But...I'm sure that it's more fun than it is burdensome, right?" He felt bad for Marius, who looked like a kicked puppy, and couldn't imagine that Razvan had been serious. Still, he offered a bright smile, glad, more than anything, to be meeting Dragomir's brothers.
Razvan shrugged and stole a glance at Marius, laughing and shaking his head at his brother with a slight note of exasperation. His brother’s current behavior was exactly why it was a burden. Marius never took himself seriously, and as they were twins, they were always being compared to one another, and Razvan hated it. He liked being different, and he wished that more people would acknowledge it.
“Of course it is!” Marius said, his enthusiasm having returned after at last getting a reaction from his brother. “See, he laughed. He’s not serious.” Marius pushed Razvan playfully and grinned at Niles. “You don’t have any siblings, do you?”
“It’s Dragomir.” Razvan interrupted, gesturing down the street from which they’d come. “He must have come looking for us.”
“Oh, it is!” Marius grinned wider and waved animatedly. “He’ll be surprised that that you found us, Niles.”
"No, I—" Niles was in the midst of responding when Razvan gestured to the figure down the street, and Niles looked up to realize that it was Dragomir. His face lit up, and he smiled brightly, taking off in a jog to meet Dragomir halfway. "Dragomir! How come you never told me that you had brothers?" He laughed, smiling up at him. "Me and Nicephore ran into them while we were going shopping!"
“Niles!” Dragomir said eagerly, taking his hands and pressing a discreet kiss to his fingers. “I’m sorry, surely I must have mentioned them to you at least once?” Dragomir bit his lip and looked up as his younger brothers made their way over, followed by Niles’s friend. Turning back to Niles, he chuckled softly. “I had no idea you’d bump into them today. I was going to make dinner and have you over to meet them tonight, but I suppose this is just as well.” Marius stopped at his side and grinned at him, while Razvan hung back slightly. “They live so far away that—”
“We already explained.” Marius interrupted. “What brings you out?”
“I forgot to get something for tonight,” Dragomir explained. “I’m glad I ran into you, Niles,” he added, leaning in and pressing a soft kiss to his cheek, ignoring Marius’s sniggering.
"Not that I remember," Niles replied, smiling and leaning in close to Dragomir, still not eager to be too far apart from him. "But it's all right. I'm excited to come to dinner!" He leaned up and pecked Dragomir back, then added, "I guess you have to finish making dinner and all, and we haven’t had a chance to go shopping yet." He smiled back to Marius and Razvan. "Still, I'm really glad I got to meet you early!"
Razavan bowed and Marius nodded happily. “Yes, it was very nice to meet at last.” Razvan smiled, straightening.
“And don’t worry,” Marius added, “Now you’ve met everyone that’s still around.” Marius grinned and turned to Dragomir. “Do you want us to help?”
Dragomir nodded to his brother and looked back to Niles. “Have fun.” He smiled gently. “Everything should be ready at around five.” He leaned in for a final time, daring to place a quick kiss on Niles’s lips before turning to follow Marius. “See you tonight.”
“Bye Niles, we’ll see you again this evening. It was nice to meet you, Mr. Colville," Razvan called, jogging backwards to catch up. How sweet Niles and his brother were together, Razvan thought, turning to face where he was going. He was glad they’d found each other.