Dutch Courage

by Kadorienne

 

 

Dorian looked around at the spartan hotel room gloomily. The low-slung couch he was occupying was reasonably comfortable, and there were all the basic necessities of life, but there wasn’t anything to do. Oh, there was a television, but the idiot box seldom offered anything Dorian found diverting, so he was thrown onto his own resources, namely a glass of wine and a good book (he’d brought a volume of the stories of Saki for this mission), but it was so bloody quiet. These nights on NATO missions were always so bloody dull. It wouldn’t be so bad if he could rent a suite and share it with his team, then he’d have some companionship to while away the evening before it was time to sleep. But if his darling Major decided to come to his senses, they had to have privacy for him to do so in. Thus, he sentenced himself to night after night of boredom, waiting for a call or a knock that never came.

There was a knock on the door.

Dorian jumped. He stared at the door. Telling himself that Klaus (no one else had a knock like that) was probably just going to tell him something about the mission didn’t stop his pulse from quickening, or his heart from leaping in hope.

Quickly he set down his glass and book and stood, fussing with his hair and clothes hurriedly as he walked to the door. He adopted a provocative but not too overt stance before undoing the deadbolt and slowly opening the door with a soft, seductive smile.

What he saw froze the smile on his face.

It was the Major, all right. All six foot two inches of gorgeous German manhood, in the requisite boring tailored suit and horrible tie, just oozing masculinity and repression. He was examining Dorian with narrowed eyes, and not smiling – that was nothing new. What was new was the way his right arm was braced on the wall beside the hotel door, as he leaned on it heavily, and the slightly unfocused look of his eyes.

A second after Dorian opened the door, Klaus straightened up and lurched inside. Dorian got a noseful that confirmed what he already knew but couldn’t quite believe: his dear Major was falling-down drunk.

Dorian quickly locked the deadbolt again and turned to stare at the other man. “Major, did something happen?”

Klaus frowned, in the perplexity only possible to the seriously drunk. “Happen?” he asked, and added with slow deliberation, “What do you mean?” He was speaking English, but slightly slurred and with a noticeable German accent. Sober, he almost never showed an accent, unless he was exceptionally angry. Dorian knew that hearing a soft “g” lapse into a “ch” was generally a signal to get out of punching distance.

“In case you haven’t noticed, Major, you’re drunk.” Dorian had only seen Klaus drunk once before, that time in Spain. He had ended up brawling in the street with Mischa. “Something must have happened. You never get drunk, at least not when I’m around.” Out of habit, he tossed his hair coquettishly. “Why, I might take advantage of you – if I weren’t a gentleman.”

At those words, Klaus shocked Dorian even more. He pounced. Dorian tried to sidestep him, thinking Klaus was about to attack, but instead he found himself being crushed in a powerful bear hug. He managed to keep his feet, which was a good thing, because Klaus wasn’t very steady on his own feet and was now leaning heavily on him.

“Maj-“ Dorian began, stunned, but was stopped by a clumsy but very emphatic whiskey-flavored kiss.

“Mmph,” Dorian said, and found that he couldn’t resist kissing back. Klaus’s tongue tasted of whiskey and tobacco and merged with the aftertaste of wine in Dorian’s own mouth. Shaking slightly, Dorian gave in to the sensations until Klaus released his mouth.

“Major?” Dorian gasped. “What are you…?” His voice trailed off, because it was pretty obvious what Klaus was doing. He was nuzzling Dorian’s neck and his hands were roaming frantically. Dorian had a fleeting inane thought that this must have been what it was like in the backseat of a 50’s drive-in.

Including the factor that these unpolished advances had to be fended off, because as Dorian had said, he was a gentleman.

“Major!” he said firmly, pushing himself away. Klaus grabbed for him, but Dorian backed away quickly. He found himself wondering if Klaus was going to chase him around the room, but Klaus abruptly lost his balance and sat on the edge of the bed.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, still slurring. “C’mere.”

“And have you hate me tomorrow, when you’ve sobered up and realized what you’ve done?” Dorian shook his head. “No matter what you might think, Major, I am not a rapist.”

Klaus stood again and staggered in Dorian’s direction. At first Dorian intended to flee, but Klaus’s swaying made him instead move to catch the man before he fell. This put him in range of more of Klaus’s inelegant gropings, which was a problem if he was going to hold on to his resolve. Fighting off Klaus’s advances wasn’t something he had ever expected to find himself doing, but under the circumstances he really didn’t have much choice.

“Major, stop it!” Dorian drew a ragged breath. What if this was going to be his only chance? He couldn’t stop himself from groaning when one of Klaus’s hands found its way under his shirt to fondle his bare skin. He closed his eyes and enjoyed the touch for a minute, but then took himself sternly in hand. Whether this was a case of in vino veritas or just simple drunken lunacy, he had to put the brakes on. He didn’t just want to lay Klaus, he wanted them to be lovers, to share a bed for the rest of their lives, to build up genuine trust. That couldn’t start on a foundation of a first time when one of them was unable to consent. No matter how allergic Klaus would be to him tomorrow after this embarrassing display, Dorian was better off having proven he could be trusted than seizing this dubious opportunity.

Reluctantly, he started to extricate himself from Klaus’s embrace again. It wasn’t easy; Klaus had lost a good bit of motor coordination, but he was still strong as an ox. “Major, why don’t you lie down for a bit,” he suggested. That turned out to be a frying-pan-and-fire proposition, because while Klaus let Dorian push him down onto the mattress, he pulled the Earl with him. Dorian’s resistance was wearing thin. If he’s this drunk he’s probably too drunk for anything to happen, Dorian reassured himself, but then Klaus pressed against him more strongly and he found out he was wrong. The man really was a tank.

That did it. Dorian wrenched himself away abruptly, not trusting himself to withstand any more temptation. He backed away from the bed, relieved when the Major gave in to the alcohol and slumped back on the pillows. “C’mere,” Klaus mumbled just before he passed out.

Dorian studied his beloved wistfully. He had either just proven his true honourable nature to the man he loved, or else given up the only chance he would ever have to bed him. Now Klaus would probably avoid him like the plague for at least a year before coming round to seeing how meritorious Dorian’s conduct had been. Dorian was going to have to start all over with him now.

He made himself as comfortable as he could for the night on the couch, bleakly telling himself he had done the right thing.

***

Dorian woke up the next morning to see Klaus sitting up on his bed, holding his head in his hands. Quickly, Dorian rose and fetched the only remedies to hand: a very small shot of whiskey and a tall glass of cold water. He presented both to Klaus, who took them and downed both rapidly without a word.

“Better?” Dorian asked softly, taking the water glass and refilling it.

Ja,” Klaus muttered, swallowing a bit more water. He sighed and some of the tension left his face, so the rehydration must be kicking in. He looked down at himself, then at Dorian, apparently noting that they were both still fully dressed, sighed, and heaved himself off the bed and headed for the bathroom.

Dorian sat on the edge of the bed glumly.

When Klaus emerged, face washed and teeth brushed, the two men looked at each other warily. Dorian was trying to find something to say when Klaus gritted out, “Why didn’t you?”

“Because you were obviously not in control of yourself. Not that it wasn’t awfully tempting to take advantage of the situation, but not at the cost of having you hate me the next morning.”

Klaus frowned, picking up his water glass and downing some more of it. “So you did want to….”

“Of course I did, you idiot! What do you think, that I’ve been amusing myself all these years?”

“I didn’t realize you were that… scrupulous,” Klaus said.

Dorian scowled up at him. “Just what do I have to do to prove to you that I’m not a complete scoundrel?” he demanded.

Now a spark of incredulity came into Klaus’s eyes. “I don’t think you are. I just… if I’d realized you’d stick at this, I’d have had less to drink last night.”

The thief stared at him, uncomprehending. “What?”

Klaus scowled at the glass in his hand. “I’ve, I’ve been trying all week to, ehm….” He squared his shoulders but did not meet Dorian’s eyes. “To tell you that I’ve changed my mind.”

“You….” Dorian stopped, unbelieving.

“I decided about a month ago,” Klaus went on, his words in a rush, as if he’d better get them out now before he could think better of it. “But I couldn’t figure out how to tell you, so I decided to just wait for our next mission together and wait for you to, to flirt, and this time I’d accept. But you didn’t, so I realized that I’d have to make the first move. But when I tried, I, ehm, couldn’t. It was just too embarrassing.” From the way Klaus’s face flushed as he continued to scrutinize his water glass as if it held the secrets of the ages, it was still too embarrassing. “So finally I just kept drinking until the idea of knocking on your door and, ehm, starting things didn’t bother me.”

Dorian could scarcely believe his ears. “You’re saying… you got drunk on purpose?”

Klaus didn’t look at him. “Yes.”

Joy swept through Dorian. He took a half-step forward, then glanced apprehensively at the clock. “Damn. We have just over an hour before your intrepid alphabets will be expecting us for the day’s work. I suppose we’d better wait for tonight to—“

Dorian didn’t get to finish. Klaus swept him into his arms and stopped him with a kiss, this one not at all clumsy. When it was over, Klaus reached for the lamp’s switch, not releasing his firm hold on Dorian.

“I am not working up my nerve all over again,” Klaus informed him before kissing him again.

“What about the alphabets?” Dorian asked breathlessly when the kiss ended.

“They can wait. Now hush.” Klaus dragged the Earl onto the bed as he had done the night before. But this time, Dorian made no attempt to resist.

 

 

Eroica