Bound to Thank YouFandom:
Lidochka Mihaylov featuring Nikolai Zuyev (NPC)Rating:
I wrote this while I was away, on 'Solo', which meant I lived in a field for 48 hours, two nights all alone, literally. No contact with other humans. It kind of ends abruptly, also, expect more fics with these two >.> Title and summary are from Kind & Generous
by Natalie Merchant
.Summary: 'For your kindness I'm in debt to you, and I never could have come this far without you.'Bound to Thank You
As the heavy oak door shut, the brunette standing behind the equally heavy desk breathed a tight, stressed sigh. Her fingertips were pressed against the surface beneath her and as she leant forwards the pads turned white from the pressure. Grey eyes skimmed the paper that was spread between those white fingertips and quite suddenly, knowing that with the retreating footsteps of her last visitor down the hallway beyond the doorway she was 'safe'. Lidochka Mikhaylov lowered herself into the studded leather chair behind her, rather less demurely than a woman of her position perhaps ought to have, but tiredness weighted her limbs and clouded her head, forcing all her effort into simply keeping her forehead off the desk.
Across the office, the one person in the entire world she trusted enough to let see her in such a tired, weak state opened up the drinks cabinets. Bottles and glasses clinked and Lidochka heard the splashing of liquid against the inside of shot glasses. There was the briefest pause as the man crossed the room and then a small glass of clear, strong smelling yet un-fragranced liquor appeared in her line of sight.
Lidochka looked up, one hand taking the beverage, she opened her mouth to speak before raising the glass though; but before she could vocalise anything she thought better of the words she wanted to form and ended up drinking instead, a fluid motion ending in another sigh as she dropped her hand back to the desk, empty glass and all.
"You're tired," Nikolai Zuyev started in Russian, taking it upon himself to initiate the conversation, "this can wait until the morning."
Looking down at the paper he had indicated, Lidochka shook her head, loose ringlets of hair moved subtly against her cheeks and neck, "I don't know what to do." To anyone else the leader would never utter such words as those, nor any to their affect. Weakness and confusion were not acceptable traits, she had a business to run in her father's absence, people were looking to her as the heiress to an empire for guidance, for strength and for the first time she truly comprehended the weight that rested on her father's shoulders.
Eyes were fixed upon her from across the desk and she looked up at the handsome Nikolai as he set his own emptied shot glass down, watching her the entire time. He was not a man of many words but Lidya - as he had come to call her - had learned to read the silence instead, and perhaps had also come to think of it as more important than the words in many cases. Now it was telling her that he was on the brink of speech.
"You will find a way."
"My father would know," she countered, exposing her self-doubt and turning her empty glass absentmindedly on the table top, eyes askance.
Nikolai smiled slightly, "Well," he began, the expression warming his features and to Lidochka seemed to warm the entire room, though she acknowledged that it could just as easily have been the vodka, "you are your father's daughter. Perhaps some rest and he answer will find you more freely." It was not a request or a suggestion. Nikolai had been her protector for almost as long as she could remember in one capacity or another. It had only been made official in recent years, once Nikolai's proficiency with a number of lethal forms of combat, strategy and the maturity of years to wield them had become apparent. Lidochka found reassurance though not in the fact that he would lay down his life for her, not in the way that he would kill for her, or maim anyone who made an attempt to harm her, but from the simple way he cared for her wellbeing. When he knew she was tired he told her to rest, when she hadn't found time in her schedule to eat, he would prompt her to take a break and do so or else physically bring her sustenance just to make sure she ate. Most importantly, when she was lost, confused or torn, agonising over a decision or awaiting instructions from her father in the gulag Nikolai supported her. He trusted her to make the right decision no matter the cost or consequence, not matter the weight of the choice and that sort of certainty she depended on more than she would ever be able to admit.
There were so many things when it came to her oldest, dearest friend that she would never admit.
"Perhaps," came her belated, quiet response.
Silently, the light smile remaining Nikolai picked up the vodka bottle and poured two more shots, one each. For a moment they looked at each other, raised their glasses just slightly and then knocked them back like they were full of water.
Another brief pause followed, their eyes met over the desk as both Russian's regarded each other silently for the space of several heartbeats with no words to fill the silence. Maybe the silence was so full already of everything that they did not say to one another that there was no real room for words after all. Then Nikolai held out his hand, pausing before he gestured to the closed doorway. Lidochka nodded slowly and pushed herself up and out of her seat. She gathered the papers that she had been poring over into a neat stack, slipped them into their brown file and then shut the whole thing away into a desk drawer which she locked and slipped the key she'd turned into her pocket.
As the petite woman, so young and small considering the power she wielded in Russia rounded her desk Nikolai offered her his arm. It was polite and respectful and though when she took it Lidochka knew and expected the chills that tingled through her skin and bone it was out of propriety that he escorted her from her office, nothing more.~*~