I had already written this, and for some reason I want to post it now. I know Ruspol is not everyone’s cup of tea, but to be clear this is in my Pottertalia universe, where Ivan and Feliks are both trapped in the wizard underworld, as gay men whose value is tied to producing heirs. Also Toris’s kids grow up calling Feliks their ‘Uncle’ but he’s not related to the Braginsky’s at all, his family is Polish and he’s connected to them through the business.
Trigger warning for major character death (mention)
“I thought, ‘what am I here for?’”
Feliks’s voice was empty and scratchy. He sat with his hands on his knees, staring past the wooden table filled with bottles of vodka and empty glasses. His eyes stung from hours of crying.
Across from him sat Ivan, his unlikely companion for the night. Feliks felt this whole household was collapsing, and there was nobody to lean on, so comfort came from strange places. Natalia had been in hysterics when the investigators brought Toris – no, Toris’s body – back to the house. And being the only one composed enough to do it, Ivan held his little sister while she wept and screamed and shook Toris and begged for him to wake up. He even had to pull her away so they could take the body to the coroner…
Ivan may not have been as close to Toris, but Natalia was his entire world, and it must have shaken him to see her in such a state. And so it was that Feliks and Ivan found themselves drinking together after the twins had been put to bed, although Feliks doubted anyone would be getting sleep tonight.
“All my life, I thought my entire reason for being was to protect him – to prevent this from happening. But now that he’s gone…” Feliks shook his head and smeared a hand across his face.
“But looking at those kids, I know he would be disappointed if I left. They can barely fucking read and they just lost their father. They need… they need me to – Liet needs me to look out for them.”
The tears came again, and Feliks lifted a shaking hand to his mouth. Exhausted from emotion and hazy from the alcohol, he admitted something to Ivan he hadn’t breathed to a single soul:
“I loved him, you know.”
He didn’t care that Ivan knew. Nothing mattered anymore, anyway.
“Like… really loved him.”
“I know,” Ivan said softly.
Feliks looked up in surprise. “You… do?”
Ivan shifted uncomfortably and stared at the floor. “I… I know what it’s like.”
Feliks let out a hollow laugh and reached for another glass. What a tragic pair they were, trapped in this business which somehow demanded heirs and death at the same time.
But then Ivan stood up, and to Feliks’s great surprise came to sit on the couch next to him. He had a strange look in his face, sad and yet gentle. His form was huge, and he smelled like cologne, and Feliks sensed a distinct shift in the atmosphere that made his hands unsteady.
Feliks set down the glass and turned nervously towards the huge man. Ivan was in his upper twenties now, he was impossibly broad and muscular and his presence felt overwhelming.
Feliks stared up at him, observing Ivan’s face more closely than he ever had, and it shocked him cause he had never really paid much attention to the strange violet color of his eyes. Then something froze him in place as Ivan leaned close, too close, and a hand came to brush his cheekbone as a soft kiss was placed on his lips.
Ivan pulled back, still staring at Feliks, whose heart was churning rapidly in his chest. He had never been kissed by another man before, that had been…
By some miracle Feliks found his voice. “Wh…what was that for?” he croaked.
The answer was simple, but there was so much more behind it, and Ivan’s cheeks were tainted a light red. “I-I’m sorry, I’m drunk, I shouldn’t have —”
Feliks was confused by how he felt, what he wanted. Not knowing what else to do, he picked up another glass and downed more vodka. Ivan didn’t move from his spot on the couch, looking away awkwardly.
Once Feliks felt he had enough alcohol in him, he dared to look back at Ivan, and Ivan looked at him again, and Feliks was never sure who leaned forward; maybe they both did, but they were kissing again. It was almost desperate. Feliks reached up with shaking hands and pulled Ivan’s face towards his, hot breath spilled over his skin as he let out a desperate, high-pitched sigh.
It lasted a good long few seconds before they broke away, but they didn’t pull away completely, and Ivan’s nose and lips still brushed against his as they breathed hard in each other’s faces. And then Ivan kissed him, softly, two more times, before Feliks pulled back in a daze.
Feliks felt like he had taken some kind of bewitching potion. His heart still roared, and he wanted more of whatever that was more than he had wanted anything before.
But Ivan stood from the couch and swiped up a vodka bottle. “I’m… going to bed,” he said awkwardly. “Good night.” And Feliks could only nod in a stupor, aware that his face must be flushed red as he stared at the table and listened to the faded footsteps of Ivan disappearing down the halls.