Iulian's Mistake

They were supposed to be alone that night -- no one in the diner but the two of them and the staff. Viktor had paid the owner -- a woman named Alcina -- quite a bit of money to make sure that none of their family would be there. To make sure that he and Florian would finally get a chance to have a proper date, to actually go out together and eat something that wasn't takeout delivered to one of their apartments during their weekends together. Something that wasn't stealing private moments with the looming fear of being caught... Of what might happen if they weren't careful enough.

The rest of the family knew that Viktor was gay. They'd known for a long time, hell, it was the only reason that Viktor had been given the incredibly important task of making sure that Nikolai Lazarescu's little girl -- Anna - was kept safe. After all, it wasn't like Nikolai had to worry about his cousin's faggot son deflowering his daughter...

But neither of them wanted to deal with what would happen if Nikolai found out the two of them were together. Florian's entire life depended on his father believing he was the son Nikolai wanted -- the son he had demanded when he funded Florian's transition... A straight son. But Florian had been just about as interested in fucking girls as he was in being one, which is to say: actively repulsed by the idea of it.

Which was why the moment that Iulian walked into Alcina's diner, both Florian and Viktor had been gripped by a sinking feeling of growing dread. The man was clearly drunk -- swaying back and forth, stumbling over his own feet.

Iulian Pavel stood over Florian and Viktor's table, his broad frame blocking out the light as he swayed back and forth, his thick arm resting on the back of Florian's seat, glancing between the two of them with an almost conspiratorial grin, the corners of his green eyes crinkled.

"Well, I'll be damned Viktor -- I didn't know you had yourself a girlfriend! And here everyone thought you were some kind of fucking faggot... Hell, you even bagged yourself Nikolai's little girl!"

Florian flinched, his body tensing as his mouth went dry, his fingers curling into a loose fist. That son of a bitch. No one was supposed to mention that -- everyone was supposed to pretend that Anna had died before they got to the States. But Iulian, apparently, was too drunk for common sense. Florian opened his mouth to speak but out of the corner of his eye, he saw Viktor's body language shift suddenly.

He had been tense before and Florian would've expected the tension to ratchet up with the insults... but the opposite seemed to happen. Viktor's shoulders were back, his posture loose and easy -- almost relaxed. His eyes were calm as he met Iulian's gaze... No, not calm. Detached? Cold? There was a distance to Viktor now that Florian had never seen before.

"Go home, Iulian. You're drunk." Viktor's voice was clipped and cool, low and soft.

"Yeah? What, ashamed to be seen with her? Not like I can blame you -- seeing what she's done to herself."

"I'm not ashamed to be seen with him." Viktor replied, a cold edge creeping up in his voice. "But you're not supposed to be here and you shouldn't be wandering around like that. It's embarassing."

Iulian laughed bitterly. "You would know embarrasing, wouldn't you? Everyone's seen your tattoos, Viktor. The ones you got in that Russian prison... or maybe...Maybe Nikolai doesn't know you're dating his daughter?"

Florian clenched his fists tighter as tears of rage and frustration pricked at the corners of his eyes, bile rising in his throat and the burn of embarassment in his cheeks solidified into a burning rage that Florian didn't know what to do with. So he swallowed it down. Florian was good at swallowing down his feelings, ignoring them for the good of the family. He looked at Viktor...

The only sign of irritation that showed on the other man's face was a tightening of the set of his jaw, his blue eyes narrowing. There was still no heat and the rest of his body seemed fully relaxed. It was...slightly frightening. The few times they'd gotten into fights, Viktor's anger had been hot and loud. It wasn't like this.

"Last chance, Iulian. Apologize to Mr. Lazarescu's son and go home before you make things worse for yourself."

Iulian scoffed -- either too drunk on liquor or too drunk on his own self-importance to realize just how big of a mistake he was about to make. He turned to Florian now, still grinning.

"Come on, Anna -- did you have to teach him how to fuck your pussy or are you taking it up the--"

Florian wasn't sure exactly what happened, everything moving too quickly for him to fully process it -- he didn't even have a chance to respond verbally before Iulian's face was colliding with the table at what felt like terminal velocity, shaking the entire booth.

There was a resounding SMACK and the sound of crunching bones, the clatter of silverware as it fell to the floor and the sharp crack of shattering porcelain.

Viktor was on his feet, his hand gripping tightly to Iulian's shirt and jacket. He'd...he'd seriously just...

Florian stared in shock at the thick rope of mixed blood and saliva that connected Iulian to the table as Viktor hauled him to his feet.

"See, you should have listened, Iulian." Despite the sudden outburst of violence, Viktor's cool hadn't broken. There was no passion in his voice -- he sounded downright disinterested in the situation and he remained disturbingly calm as he tossed Iulian onto the floor.

Florian stared at the broken plates, almost mesmerized by the smear of blood across the table, eyes fixed there for what felt like an eternity. When he finally looked back up at Viktor, he was standing over Iulian who was making a desperate scramble across the tiled floor in a feeble attempt to escape retribution for his stupidity.

"I gave you more chances than I should have -- because you're an important member of this organization, Mr. Lazarescu considers you one of his most trusted associates..."

Viktor's move to cut off Iulian's escape isn't rushed or hurried -- it was smooth, almost casual. He strode ahead, blocking the man's path. Iulian cried out in pain, a well-aimed kick putting a stop to his forward progress. The sickening crack of his breaking rib made Florian wince.

"But now you've made me question that trust -- given you don't have the common sense to see when you're making an incredibly stupid but easily avoided mistake." Viktor continued, kicking Iulian again.

Iulian gasped and wheezed, still trying to get to his feet -- still trying to get away. "Fuck you!" he choked out. "I don't know how Nikolai came to the conclusion that you were worth trusting -- you stupid Russian fa--"

"You have no sense of self preservation, do you, Iulian?"

A third kick connected with Iulian's face, sending him backwards several feet where he landed face up -- choking, spitting up blood and broken teeth.

Florian watched the scene unfold with a sort of sick fascination. He knew what Viktor did for his father most of the time. He knew it was violent. He knew that the reason Viktor had made it as far as he had, despite his "flaws" was because he was terrifyingly capable at committing that violence. Any time someone needed to be shown their place, any time someone needed to be erased -- Viktor was the one that Nikolai called in to take care of it.

He knew all of that. But he'd never understood it. He'd never seen it up close. Not like this, anyway. Yeah, Viktor had fucked a few guys up when Florian was still Anna but... This was different. He'd never seen just how terrifying Viktor could actually be.

And it was kind of hot.

Florian gripped the edge of the table, eyes fixated on the scene as Viktor lifed Iulian back onto his feet by the collar before slamming him into the nearest wall.

"Maybe I'm going to have to teach you some -- maybe you'll be more careful once you've seen exactly why Nikolai trusts me."

Each and every blow that landed made Florian wince, made his stomach churn... And made his cheeks hot. The sounds of flesh impacting flesh, of breaking bones were not causing the reaction Florian would've expected himself to have...

Then again, this was his boyfriend beating the ever-loving shit out of someone just for ruining their date. Just for bringing up the name Florian desperately tried to forget. And it wasn't like even when they fought, Viktor had been violent towards him. The closest it go was, when in the heat of the moment, when they hadn't seen each other in days, Viktor shoved him up against the nearest wall and... That was different.

That was just what happened when two people were stupidly, desperately in love and couldn't wait even five minutes to fuck them once you got them alone.

It took what felt like forever for Viktor to be satisfied with his work. Iulian was unconscious. Viktor dragged his limp body back to the booth, tossing him into the seat across from Florian with a sigh, shaking his head.

"Fucking idiot..." Viktor muttered, the feeling returning to his voice. Thank God. He looked over to Florian, leaning over to kiss him on top of the head. "I need to call your father, then we can deal with...this." He gestured tothe broken plates and mess on the floor.

Florian nodded slowly, staring up at Viktor with wide eyes, gripping the edge of the table for dear life, breath coming in hard and fast. "Yeah, right I..."

Viktor smiled at Florian -- probably with the intent to reassure him. "Flor, Alcina will understand. It's going to be fine, don't worry."

Florian wasn't sure how to explain to Viktor that he wasn't afraid or upset... That seeing all that anger and frustration taken out on Iulian had turned Florian into an oil slick. It had been shocking but... Well, knowing just how far Viktor was willing to go to defend him filled Florian with excitement. Being protected like that, seeing the pure ease and efficiency with which Viktor had executed every move... Maybe it was just that growing up in organized crime had royally fucked up Florian's idea of what "romantic" was. But he definitely planned on showing Viktor his appreciation later.

"Hey Nikolai -- yeah. Yeah, we've got a little problem. Ah, no nothing serious. It's Iulian -- yes, Pavel. He decided he was going to start mouthing off about your 'daughter'."

Florian watched Viktor's expression closely as he spoke -- the unnatural calm and cold was completely gone now. His tone was curt and clipped, yes but this was the man Florian knew. Whatever Nikolai was saying...Didn't seem to be good, though.

"No, I couldn't let him get away with that kind of thing. I have to protect your reputation, after all. Of course. Yes, I know. He'll be fine once he's gotten medical attention. I don't think his face will ever look the same but it will be a good reminder not to be an idiot again in the future."

Florian glanced at Iulian's unconscious form and shuddered. The man's face was, indeed, a complete disaster. Covered in lacerations from the broken plates on the table, eye swelling shut, lip split in several plce and he was missing at least three teeth -- which Florian could see glinting white and scarlet on the tiled floor.

But that wasn't the worst of it -- no. That was Iulian's nose which had been broken beyond recognition, smashed into his face. That...would definitely take plastic surgery to fix. If it could be fixed at all.

Florian felt a deep sense of sudden vindication. Served the fucking prick right.

"We're at Alcina's. Yes, Florian is here. Should I call someone to pick Iulian up?" A little pause. "Of course, I'll make sure he doesn't do anything too stupid, don't worry." Viktor shot a sly glance at Florian, almsot grinning. "Great. I'll take care of it then. Goodnight, Nikolai."

Viktor hung up the phone.

"What did he say?" Florian asked, slipping out of his seat and looking at Iulian with disgust.

"Don't worry about it." Viktor draped one arm over Florian's shoulder, tossing a rather large roll of bills onto the table and then a smaller roll into Iulian's unconscious lap. "Like I said, it'll be fine. Now let's get the fuck out of here and finish our date, yeah?"