Or For Worse

by Kadorienne

 As soon as it was decent to do so, Klaus stepped outside with the excuse of a cigarette. No one else was outside; the night was chilly, and everyone else was flocking around Z and his bride, congratulating them.


"The life of the party, as always."


Klaus didn't bother to turn around. He hadn't really expected the Earl to leave him alone out here for long. "You didn't make a spectacle of yourself for a change." Only his tone made it a compliment.


"You really don't give me enough credit. As if I'd rob the bride of her day of glory."


"Yes. Let them enjoy it while it lasts." Klaus hadn't intended to say it out loud.


The Earl looked surprised. "You don't think they'll be happy together?"


"They're as likely as not to get divorced. Their children will be reduced to pawns in their parents' battles. Or alternately, he could get himself killed on a mission because he doesn't have the sense God gave a screwdriver, and leave her a widow before they've had time to get tired of each other." He took a drag of his cigarette. "But what can anyone do? There are millions of years of evolution behind them, telling them that because they're both young, healthy and good-looking they should procreate. None of us would be here if it weren't for that compulsion."


Dorian stared at him. "This is what you think about at weddings?"


Klaus shrugged, throwing his cigarette onto the pavement and grinding it under his heel. "I don't believe in happy endings."


After contemplating the dark sky with him for a long moment, Dorian said softly, "You're right."


Klaus was startled. "What?"


"We'll never have a happy ending," Dorian continued, serene.


"'We '?"


"Of course we won't. If you ever take me up on it, it'll be trouble all the way." Dorian tilted his head to one side and smiled. "To start with, it'll be years before you really believe that I wouldn't rather have someone experienced enough to be a fantastically skilled lover. You're also going to be petrified that I'll do something really bizarre and kinky to you, break out the handcuffs and whipped cream without warning." Klaus turned away and lit a fresh cigarette. Dorian continued calmly. "You'll never stop worrying that NATO or the Army will find out, and I'll never stop worrying that your Catholic conscience will drive you to foul up my capers. You will always feel guilty for not having been strong enough to resist sleeping with another man, let alone a professional criminal, and I'll always wish I had been able to settle for some pretty boy who wouldn't complicate my life." He shook his head, rueful. "You'll pester me to give up theft, I'll nag you to take vacations and spending them nailing me to a mattress someplace romantic. You'll try to make me wear tamer clothes and you'll get mad when I ogle other men even though I've been completely faithful to you for years already." Klaus turned his head swiftly and stared at Dorian. Too quickly for deflection, Dorian snatched Klaus's cigarette away and tossed it to the ground. "And I'll pressure you to quit smoking so that I can continue to roger you for many years to come." He shrugged, easy and elegant. "In sum, we'll fight like a cat and a dog except when we're making mad passionate love, and we'll only stop when either the KGB, Interpol or the cancer sticks put a stop to it for us."
Klaus looked at him for a very long time.


"That's an offer I'll accept," he said at last, and kissed him.