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Author: Bitterfig
Title: In Transit
Fandom: Eastern Promise/Everything is Illuminated (Crossover)
Pairing: Kirill/Alex
Summary: On his way to visit Jonathan in New York City, Alex stops over in London where his premium dancing gains him a potentially dangerous admirer.
Beta Reader: Fedink
Word Count: 1680
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Language, sexuality, references to violence.
Author’s Note: I’m not sure how I came up with this one. Gogol Bordello was in town for Lollapalooza which got me fantasizing about Eugene Hutz (which I do from time to time) which somehow lead to coming up with convoluted crossover pairings involving the character he played in Everything is Illuminated which lead to this story…
Disclaimer: The following is a work of fiction. Any illegal acts taking place within that fiction are NOT condoned by the author. Depictions of any questionable, illegal, or potentially illegal activity in said fiction does not mean that I condone, promote, support, participate in, or approve of said activity. I grasp the distinction between fiction and reality and trust that readers will do the same. I do not profit from the fan fiction I write, and all rights to the characters remain firmly in the hands of their creator.

In Transit



On his way to see Jonathan in New York, Alex stopped in England for the purpose of reacquainting himself with some long-lost family.  His mother’s cousin and her husband had moved to London years before.  Their daughter Nataliya, who was close to Alex’s age, remembered nothing of the Ukraine and there seemed to be nothing of it left in her.  She was an up-to-the-moment London girl, a great consumer of chips and the latest tabloid headlines who could text message 60 words a minute and preferred Natalie to Nataliya. 


As it happened, Natalie was every bit as good-natured and outgoing as her Ukrainian cousin (or was it second cousin?  Third?).  She made it her special project to show him a good time while he was in London.  For Alex it was like a dream come true, a real live Spice Girl showing him the town not to mention teaching him many fashionable new English expressions.  Words mattered a great deal to Jonathan and Alex was sure he would be much impressed. 


The climax of the evening was of course when Natalie took him to her favorite hip-hop nightclub where the music was louder and the lights infinitely more flashy than anything Alex had experienced even in Kiev.  There they danced and drank late into the night. 


After a particularly blistering display of his dancing prowess (which he was happy to note left most of the clubs patrons gaping in disbelief) Alex, panting and sweaty, retreated to the quieter lounge area for a rest. 


“I was very impressed by your dancing,” someone said.  A man who seemed to hang back in the shadows.


“You should be,” Alex answered with his usual immodest bravado.  “As the Sisters Sledge say I am the greatest dancer.”  Only then did he realize the man had spoken to him in Ukrainian.  “Are you from the Ukraine?”


“Russian.  My family comes from Irkutsk.  I have been in England since 1996.”


“You know English than?  Since we are in England it is appropriate that we should verbalize in the English tongue.” 


“Whatever tongue you like is fine with me,” the stranger said speaking English now.  He stepped forward into the light and Alex was able to get a look at him for the first time.   He was a tall, lean man in dark clothes with greasy, slicked back hair and piercing blue eyes which fixed on Alex with a certain consuming intensity.  He was also, as far as Alex was concerned, very old.  Far too old to be taking up space in such a happening nightclub though it didn’t look like he had been dancing. 


“I am Kirill,” the Russian man said taking the seat beside Alex, sitting so close in fact that their arms and thighs pressed together.   It immediately became obvious that he was stinking drunk.  He reeked of alcohol.  It reminded Alex of home and even through he had left only two days before, a wave of nostalgia swept over him.  He felt overwhelming warmth towards Kirill. 


“I am Alex Perchov.”


“Alex Perchov.  I will remember that name.  You’ll be a star one day, the way you dance.”


“How did you surmise I was Ukrainian?”  Alex asked.  He had figured that wearing his very Western tracksuit and gold chains he would pass as a native.


“During your last dance you were yelling ‘can’t touch this’ in Ukrainian.”


“I guess that would make it exceedingly evident,” Alex said giving the man a crooked grin that seemed to utterly enchant him. 


“You are a handsome boy, Alex Perchov.”  Kirill said slowly, as if through a haze.  He put his hand on Alex’s cheek, traced his thumb along his lip.  “I don’t think I’ve seen a smile as real as yours in many years.  The motherfuckers that I know, they only smile because they are plotting behind your back.” 


“That is very vexing, that you are in the company of those who fuck mothers.”  Alex said with sympathy.  He thought little of Kirill’s caress.  Alex was used to drunks being overly familiar.  Besides, he enjoyed attention and was usually disappointed that he wasn’t receiving enough.  With Kirill, it didn’t seem like that was going to be a problem. 


“None of that matters,” Kirill said waving his hand dismissively.  “Tell me about yourself, Alex Perchov.  How long have you been in London?  Do you have a place to stay, a job?”


“I arrived here only yesterday and will make my departure Tuesday.  I am only pausing fleetingly, en route to my true destination, New York City, where I will be reunited with Jonathan who is my BFF.”  The man looked at him blankly and Alex wondered if his English was really that good.  “My most intimate friend,” he explained.


“Your most intimate friend?”


“Yes, he is a collector, a writer, and also a Jew.  He has been to the Ukraine, where we had many illuminating adventures and since then we have exchanged many sincere letters from the heart and are deeply connected, although he has many habits and ideas that are strange to me.  See here,” Alex untangled one of his many gold chains.  A gaudy Star of David hung from it.  “I wear this bling in esteem of Jonathan.”  He said proudly.  Kirill wrapped his fingers around the star.


“You carry your symbols with you, like our tattoos,” he muttered more to himself than to Alex.  “It is good you have a friend.  Friendship, it matters a great deal to me, more than anything.  See that man in the corner, the man in the suit?”  Kirill gestured towards a small group of older men who seemed extremely serious and not at all interested in dancing. 


“The one with the face of death?’


“He is grim,” Kirill said with a smirk.  “That’s Nikolai.  He is my BFF, my most intimate friend and partner.  He looks out for me.  Right now he is talking to some men who used to do business with my father before he…retired.  They do not think they can do business with me, but I know that Nikolai will convince them.  A friend like Nikolai, who would die for you, that is very special.  I’m glad you understand the importance of friendship.”  Alex’s gold Star of David was still in his hand and he toyed with it, with the whole mass of gold chains hanging from Alex’s neck.  “Maybe we could be friends, maybe intimate friends.”


Alex thought he sounded very sad. 


“I am most welcoming of comradeship and involvement with others,” he said throwing his arm warmly around Kirill’s shoulders.  Oddly, the gesture seemed to upset Kirill rather than soothe him.  Although he had made every effort to touch Alex, he now jerked away from him.  “What is the matter?”


“I hope you are not going to stay here,” he said sharply.  “You should not stay in the West.  Life is soft here, no one knows their place.  It will make you weak and unmanly.”


“I must admit,” Alex said thoughtfully, “that my friend Jonathan does not seem like a proper man.  He will not eat meat for sentimental reasons and is fastidious like a geriatric Grandmother.  Still, I have learned that there are many habits of proper men that it would be superlative to see discarded.  When I was in development, my father would give me the discipline of beating me up, as proper men do.  Now though, I know that there are other ways to develop and I would wish those for my younger brother.” 


“No,” Kirill said, bitter anger in his voice.  “Your father’s way is right.  That is how things must be.  How else do you teach respect?  We need to know shame and fear, which is what keeps us in line.  If my father was here, do you think I would be talking to you like this?  I wouldn’t dare…”


“I am uncomprehending.  We are chatting in an affable manner, why would your father object?”  Alex asked.


Then he looked in Kirill’s eyes.


Alex could be obtuse and self-involved, but even he couldn’t mistake the undisguised longing he saw there. 


“Oh,” he said.  “Oh.”  He had no idea what to do but almost by instinct he reached out, put his hand on Kirill’s, which was clenched into a fist.  “It is okay,” he said.  “I am all for the ladies but it is okay that you want to be gay with me.  I am not enraged, why should you be?  Whatever your father has said, he is incorrect…”


He wasn’t sure if Kirill was going to start crying or pummel him to a bloody pulp.  He never found out.  Nikolai, the man Kirill had pointed out earlier, strode up to them and yanked Kirill to his feet.


“We are done here,” he said coldly in Russian.  “They are willing to deal with us.    Now go and wait for me in the car.” 


“What is this?  You give me orders now?”  Kirill snarled.


“I just cleaned up one mess of yours.  I don’t want to have to deal with another until tomorrow.  Go.”


And Kirill went. 


For a moment Nikolai glared at Alex then he spoke.


“That man you were talking to, you want nothing to do with him.  If he gave you a card or a number throw it away.  He is a sick and dangerous person.”


It was not what Alex expected, not after everything Kirill had said about his great affection for Nikolai and he found himself even more bewildered than before.


“What is the matter with you?”  Nikolai asked.  “Don’t you understand?  Is your Russian as lousy as your English?”


“I comprehend,” Alex managed to say.  “It is only that he said you were his most intimate friend.  If that is so no wonder he seemed so alone.”


Nikolai laughed harshly.


“Kirill is a monster,” he said.  “I am an even worse monster.  That is all you need to know about us.  If you are lucky, that is all you will ever know.”


Then he turned and walked out the door. 


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 5th, 2008 12:30 am (UTC)
You do realize this is the most amazing thing I have ever read.

Alex was so my favourite character ever in Everything is Illuminated, so this is just fantastic and hilarious and so well done and lovely. <3

You genius, you.
Aug. 6th, 2008 01:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much. I'm really glad you liked it (this is one of those stories that has shall we say a very limited audience so it's really great to know has someone to appreciate it).
Aug. 5th, 2008 07:39 am (UTC)
Brilliant. Quirky and fun in one moment, overwhelmingly sad in the next; and your characterizations were spot on.
You're a great writer.
Aug. 6th, 2008 01:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much.
Aug. 18th, 2008 09:57 am (UTC)
“It is only that he said you were his most intimate friend. If that is so no wonder he seemed so alone.”

I really loved that line. The hurt and searching of Kirill again is so saddening, and the contrast of his character to that of Alex's. And Alex is so wonderful here and just everything that he is in every detail. Lovely.
Aug. 18th, 2008 01:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, I'm really overjoyed every time I get a comment on this piece because both the fandoms are fairly obscure so the audience is very limited but it's really good to know there are people out there who can read and enjoy this.
Oct. 30th, 2008 10:07 pm (UTC)
You absolutely win the all the internet, forever, for writing this, you realise?

It's such a brilliant idea. The characterisations are all spot-on, and you do Alex's English perfectly :). Tragic and hilarious all at once. Hats off.

Would you mind if I recced this on my journal? I know a few other people who might conceivably know both fandoms, and whom I'm sure would love this. Thank you!
Oct. 30th, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much. I'm really pleased to know you liked the story. Please feel free to rec it on your journal. Anything that can expand the very limited audience for this story is more than welcome.
Nov. 8th, 2008 05:53 am (UTC)
I loved this, for a number of reasons. They've been pointed out already (involving two awesome and rare fandoms in one story, excellent characterization and writing of Alex's English, excellent portrayal of the emotions, mood, and thoughts of the characters, etc), but I thought I'd re-state them again ;]

Thanks for the wonderful read! It was just what I was looking for. :]
Nov. 11th, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, I'm really pleased to know you liked it.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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