Fandom: Alex Rider books by Anthony Horowitz
Rating: No Warnings Required
Word Count: 700 words approx
A/N: Yassen faces a painful truth.
It Started With a Kiss
“You will need to explain yourself, Gregorovich. Are you telling me that – “
“It started with a kiss,” Yassen said blandly, ignoring the surprised splutter from across the desk. "These things normally do, although I imagine you wouldn’t know too much about that.”
Alan Blunt stared at him. “Mr Gregorovich, we don’t have much time. We cannot expect these people to wait forever. They have demanded our reply by tomorrow morning and you’re talking about – kissing. My operative is nineteen, Gregorovich and he –
“ – and he has been mine since he was eighteen. In fact, I could have had him when he was sixteen, but in my country we do not – “
“Had him? I hope you don’t mean – I really don’t think Alex is – well, that’s neither here nor there, but – you! Of all people! You were sent to kill him on at least one occasion.”
Yassen looked down at his hands. “Many a lasting relationship has started at work, Mr Blunt. Wouldn’t you agree, Mrs Jones?”
Startled, she looked up, avoiding Blunt’s eyes, but did not reply.
“The point is, Alex does not belong to MI6, Mr Blunt. He is mine. Mine to find, mine to rescue and mine to – grieve over, should things go wrong.” He fell silent for a moment, looking over Blunt’s head at the map on the wall behind. He continued, quietly.
“But things will not go wrong. You will send me the man called Wolf, and we will plan the operation together. We will bring back – “ he hesitated over the words - “Alex and his comrades, and we will see to it that Sbrijke– ceases to function. And then you will never see either of us again.”
Alan Blunt stirred. “Just a minute, Gregorovich. We have invested a lot of time and money in Alex Rider. He is our best agent. You can’t just – “
Yassen interrupted him coldly.
“I can, Mr Blunt, and I will. Although you have never paid Alex what he is worth, many people have found my services over the years worth very large amounts of money indeed. I’m sure you’re aware that I can afford to keep Alex for the rest of his life in whatever style he chooses. He will have no need of MI6 after he is safe.”
Mr Blunt simply looked at him for several minutes. Eventually, he nodded to Mrs Jones, who popped the inevitable sweet into her mouth as Blunt came to his decision.
“Have Wolf called in.”
She stood up and left the room as Mr Blunt turned back to Yassen.
“You take a lot upon yourself, Gregorovich. We will provide the support you require. But ask yourself this: you’ve led a successful and difficult life, and it’s understandable you should be thinking about retirement before it’s too late. Even the best of us can make mistakes as we get older. But Alex! That young man has so much potential - he’s barely scratched the surface of what he is capable of!”
Yassen shifted slightly in his seat but did not speak.
Blunt continued, relentlessly. “Do you really think he’s ready for a life in obscurity? Tied to an ageing lover who wants to keep him locked away from everything he has known?”
The silence in the room was absolute. After a long time, Yassen stood up, his eyes bleak, and turned towards the window.
“I cannot know the answer to that. I must hope that– that he - ” He stopped for a moment, breathing in slowly as if it hurt him to move. He looked down at the bustle of London far below as he reached for the words.
“I only know I should not want to continue my work, or my life, without Alex at my side.”
The door opened and he walked towards it, passing Wolf on his way in. Yassen looked back at Blunt for a moment. The steel was still in his eyes, but some of the composure was gone. He looked ten years older than when he had walked in.
“First, we will bring Alex back. And then – I will wait, and he will decide.”
~ ~ ~