~3~

Dorian turned the full wattage of his best smile onto the scowling man approaching his table at the cafe. Klaus was adorable when he was mad. And of course, he was mad most of the time.

"What did I do, darling?" he asked as Klaus took the chair across from him, glaring.

"Nothing. Yet. Keep it that way."

Dorian handed over the drink he had already ordered for Klaus, who looked exasperated at this thoughtful gesture. "You've been letting someone else annoy you, Major? Are you trying to make me jealous?"

"Idiot," Klaus growled. He lit a cigarette and blew the smoke in Dorian's direction, though the early spring breeze diverted it before it reached the thief. "You had better have it here."

Dorian was the picture of injured innocence. "Of course, darling. You didn't think I wouldn't, did you?" He nudged the newspaper folded beside his glass. Inside them were several sheets of papers that he was not supposed to have.

Klaus took the paper casually and scowled as if reading the headlines. Then he put it back on the table with a curt nod.

"You're welcome," Dorian said sweetly. "I'm glad you're so pleased. So what does NATO need from me next, Major?"
Klaus gave him a cool look. "My Chief does have another job for you. Apparently they need you to drive me up the wall. The usual idiots don't do a good enough job of it, it would seem."

"Of course they don't." Dorian leaned over and let his fingertips trail lightly over Klaus' thigh. Klaus couldn't very well kill him in public, after all, with so many witnesses about. "No one can drive you up the wall like I could."

Klaus frowned. "Stop that," he ordered. "We're in public."

"Would you prefer to go someplace private and continue?" Dorian cooed.

"Yes," Klaus answered briefly.

Dorian's eyes widened and he stared at the love of his life in disbelief. He made such invitations at every opportunity conversation offered, and Klaus replied with a snarl at best, with physical violence at worst. He had never expected to receive any other kind of response.

And now Klaus had pulled the rug out from under him and was quite casually agreeing to his flippant suggestion. His manner was as businesslike and irritable as always. He might have been agreeing to letting Dorian steal a painting from a suspected spy. Only the slightly greater than usual tension of Klaus' fingers as he stubbed out his cigarette gave any indication of anything unusual.

"What?" Dorian asked at last, feeling quite foolish. His usual self-possession had quite deserted him.

Klaus looked at him coolly. "You heard me." He picked up his drink and knocked the rest of it back brusquely.

A thousand questions were rushing through Dorian's head. Why now, what exactly did Klaus want, what had changed his mind, was it mere curiosity or would there be more occasions in the future.... But he resolved to treat the gift horse in the proper manner and restrained his curiosity. He simply stood up. Klaus glanced at him, shoved the newspaper into his coat pocket, lit a cigarette -- was it Dorian's imagination, or did Klaus' hands tremble ever so slightly? -- and rose to follow him.

 

 

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