11 November 2008 @ 08:16 pm
Connecting Flights  
Title: Connecting Flights
Author: Lilith ([info]lilithilien)
Fandom: Alles Was Zählt
Characters: Roman/Andrew
Summary: Just a chance meeting, just meaningless sex—exactly what Roman needs right now.
Rated: Smutty
Word Count: 2800 words
Disclaimer: So very much not mine.
Note: This is set between the "Julian Lives" idiocy and the Steinkamp Ice Show. It's dedicated to [info]sdk who reminded me just how sexy Roman was back in those early days. See for yourself! Unbetaed, so please let me know if you see any errors—style or canon!—and I'll fix them.

Heathrow Airport was not a nice place at the best of times. After a 26-hour flight with a stopover in somewhere that could have been Singapore but might just as easily have been Hong Kong, it was hell. Melbourne's sparkling beaches were a distant memory in this grey corridor, with its windows overlooking the grey English tarmac and the grey wintry clouds stretched across the horizon. Roman's eyes longed for colour, or for sleep, he would be happy with either, but his flight to Munich was delayed and his bed was many hours away. Coffee, then, the strongest he could find. Black and bitter and piping hot, that was just the thing to take off the damnable damp that permeated the terminal.

"Two pounds thirty," the girl at the kiosk said, looking as weary as Roman felt. He reached for his wallet but frowned, flustered, when he saw he'd forgotten to swap out the Australian bills.

"You'll take Euros?" he muttered, unsure why, since there weren't any of those in his wallet either. He blamed jetlag.

She nodded. "Four euros," she yawned. Highway robbery, if he'd been able to pay it. Which he wasn't.

A slow curl of steam rose off his coffee, tempting him, so close but unattainable. He held out a ten dollar bill to her, its rich blue hues looking so out of place here. She stared at the plastic currency as if it was an alien creature.

"Wot's that then?"

"It's Australian. It's worth more than four euros, I promise."

"Can't take it," she shrugged. "Have you got the money or not?"

The steaming cup continued to taunt him. Roman glared over it, his eyes locked on the girl, tempted to spray German curses that would probably get him locked up in the bowels of Heathrow for days. It didn't sound so bad, actually. At least he could sleep.

Then out of nowhere, Roman heard someone say, "I've got it."

A five pound note appeared as if from nowhere. No, not from nowhere; it was connected to a hand that reached, graceful as a bird, over the counter. And the hand was connected to what, even swathed in a bright red windbreaker, was obviously a broad, muscular arm, which led up to a wide stretch of shoulders that shook with merriment when Roman's eye trailed higher to take in the smiling face.

Andrew. But that was impossible. London was too big a city, Heathrow too busy an airport, for such a chance meeting. Yet as the girl fumbled change into the awaiting hand that seemed so very solid, Roman had no choice but to believe in the impossible.

"Danke sehr," he said, knowing it was not nearly enough but all he could manage.

"Don't mention it. You looked like you could use it." Andrew's German, always overlaid with that lazy American slur, sounded dusty, like it had been stored too long in the attic. Roman wasn't sure he'd ever heard anything quite so beautiful. He had the urge to unpack it, to unwrap each word and gently inspect it for every change that time had brought. It felt like a lifetime since he'd said goodbye to this man, but it felt like yesterday that his world had spun while they frantically kissed for the last time. Roman wondered if he could blame jetlag for this as well.

"What are you doing here?"

Andrew started to answer, but an announcement over the loudspeaker interrupted him. "Virgin Atlantic flight number 45, London to New York City, has arrived at the gate and will be boarding in ten minutes. All passengers should make their way to Gate 32…"

"That's my flight," Andrew drawled, "but we've got a little time." His hand rested on Roman's shoulder, already guiding him down the corridor. Andrew seemed to have a plan, as he always did, but this time Roman gladly surrendered to it. The steady touch wasn't absolutely necessary—Andrew's bright coat stood out like a cardinal in a flock of crows and Roman would have followed it anywhere—but it wasn't unwelcome either. Determinedly it pierced through the dim haze that dulled his senses, still on Australian time, and yanked him back to the here and now.

The area around Gate 32 was packed, but across the way was an alcove full of lockers. Andrew led him to the end of the row and slipped behind, leaning one shoulder against the metal. "This is better."

Roman braced his back against the opposite wall. His hands cupped around the coffee, once so tempting, now forgotten. "So, New York? Going on vacation?"

"Not quite," Andrew answered with a broad smile. "I've been picked up as director of choreography at the New York Theatre Ballet—I start next week."

"Andrew, that's great," Roman said. The enthusiasm he mustered surprised even himself, but it was worth it to see Andrew's face shining with happiness. "That sounds like the perfect place for you."

"I think so, yeah. It's just a small company, but tons of talent. And you?" His face clouded. "I heard about the German championship. I'm sorry—"

Roman waved off the sympathy, even knowing that for once it was probably genuine. "It was bad luck, that's all. But that's in the past."

A studiedly casual eye scrutinised him, only the slowly creeping eyebrow signalling that Andrew suspected more of an answer than Roman had offered. It was an unsettling feeling, if only because it'd been so long since anyone in Essen had bothered to look for anything underneath. Roman sipped from his coffee, finding it'd gone cold. He could taste its staleness now, and he set it on the ground.

"So," Andrew asked after a moment, "what's in the future for Roman Wild?" And the voice was too casual too, that drawl throwing him off guard and making Roman wanting to confess that he didn't know. That his future had been skating on the very edge of his blade ever since his surgery … that his hopes of a comeback had crashed on the ice there in Dortmund … that his heart had been shattered, repeatedly, and that he stupidly hoped it'd be shattered again…

"I'm the star of the next Steinkamp ice show," he answered, praying that boldness would mask his doubt and guilt.

"Well done, Roman." The praise was as gentle as the hand on his shoulder again. Roman realised he wasn't quite sure how the hand had gotten there; he hadn't seen Andrew move. Then again, he hadn't forgotten the grace in every one of his ex-lover's gestures. "Let me guess," Andrew proposed, "you're on the way back from visiting your parents."

Roman huffed softly. "The jetlag's that obvious, is it?"

"It's hard to miss. So they still haven't had enough of the Australian sun?"

"Hardly. They made it clear that the only thing that could bring them back would be grandkids. And since that's not likely to happen anytime soon…"

When Roman shrugged, he realised that Andrew's hand had slid down to his elbow and was now resting on his forearm. His thumb rubbed small circles against the soft leather of his jacket. It was almost enough to make him forget the frustration of dealing with his parents. It was definitely enough, for once, to quiet his worrisome tongue.

"So … does that mean there's no one right now?"

An image of Deniz fluttered through his mind like a plastic bag caught on a breeze. It lingered for only a second, snagged on a twig of memory, but when Roman shook his head it broke free and blew away. "There was, but it's over now." "Or it should be," he added silently. "You?"

"I'm going to New York. I'm a free man."

The smile, somewhat bittersweet, made Roman wonder if that was by choice or if once again Andrew was leaving someone behind. Suddenly the pain of their parting came back to him, as visceral as if it was present tense. He wasn't wondering about the choice he didn't make, the life he hadn't had. No, their relationship had been flawed from the start, and no matter what had come since, Roman didn't doubt that he was better for letting it go. That didn't stop him from remembering how his skin would come alive under the man's touch.

"I've missed you," he blurted out.

"I've missed you too, Roman. I wanted to call, especially after Dortmund, but…"

"…but we both were going about our own lives, like we said we would," Roman finished for him. "It's okay, really."

Andrew nodded agreement, but his eyes searched Roman's face for something more. He seemed to find it after a second's study; his smile returned with the expression Roman remembered as one of his favourites: serious, playful, and determined. "Well," he said, drawling silky smooth as he placed a hand on either side of Roman's head, "I could ask how Nadja and Annette are doing now, but I can think of better ways we might spend the next ten minutes."

Roman was glad he didn't have his coffee now; he would surely have spluttered it across his lap. "Nadja and Annette are fine," he quickly offered, his smile joining Andrew's. "Terribly boring, to tell the truth. There's no news."

"That's what I hoped you'd say."

Suddenly a hand sank into his hair, disorienting in its suddenness and grounding in its solidity. Lips crashed against his, warm and wanting, inviting him to sink into them and forget, forget everything, even if it only for a few minutes.

He could do that, couldn't he? The logical portion of his mind had never had any problem shutting down before; all it took was Deniz sailing into the room. He could turn off his spinning mind now and stop worrying about what would happen when he got home…

An insistent growl from Andrew let him know that he wasn't successful. "You're thinking too much," he could almost hear the man say, and "it's physical, not mental." The hand curved round his skull convinced him further, dragging him deeper into the kiss, the tongue twined with his urging Roman to surrender. Fleetingly he felt the urge to wrestle back control, but the weight of the body crushing his made that futile. Fingers tightened in the tangles of his hair, tilting his head back and drawing a groan of surrender from his throat. Andrew's other hand slipped between them, inside Roman's jacket, insistently fingering its way across the warm cotton tee. Roman knew it was coming but he was still shocked by the sensation that roiled through his body when a thumb brushed his peaked nipple. His needy whimper would have embarrassed him but at this point he was past caring. Andrew's mouth slid down his throat as if hoping to trap the source of the sound, sucking, soothing, drawing out moan after helpless moan.

Roman's hands were doing their own share of exploring. Rediscovering, really, he thought as he wormed his way under Andrew's coat and traced the skin of his lean back. His dancer's body felt so very different from Deniz's athletic frame, taut where the other man was soft, wiry where he was broad. Andrew felt both familiar and different, like an image super-imposed on an old photograph, one sharp and focused, the other no less real in its ethereal permanence. It was yet another contradiction that Roman conveniently chalked up to the jetlag, to the same feeling that was permitting him to do this in the sight of god knew how many security cameras and the chance of an elderly English matron happening upon them any minute. Under any other circumstances that last thought would have made him shrivel, would have made him stop and sabotage himself by asking, "Here?" Now, as Andrew's deft fingers tugged at his zipper, the fear of discovery was rapidly turning his simmering blood to a boil. In the distance he heard the boarding call for Andrew's plane and knew that just a few feet away there were grandparents kissing children goodbye and businessmen shuffling humourlessly into their first-class seats. Any of them might wander back to find the two bodies moulded together. But as Andrew's fingers tightened around his erection, Roman realised it wouldn't matter one whit. It certainly didn't stop his own hand from slipping inside Andrew's jeans and wrapping around his hard length, from smiling at that defenceless, unhooded tip on the pads of his finger, from gasping as folds of flesh stretched and tightened in his palm.

It didn't last long; it couldn't, not with reminders to hurry barked over the intercom at increasingly annoying intervals. But it didn't matter. Andrew had not forgotten how to touch him with those long, purposeful strokes that bombarded him with sensation, and with that excruciatingly sharp pinch of his nipples that pulled everything into pinpoint clarity. Gasping for air, Roman pressed his forehead against Andrew's shoulder. He opened his eyes to see their hands moving together, flowing together like cream and cocoa, the image so luscious it made his mouth water. Needing to touch it all, Roman stretched his fingers out and brushed against the knuckles pistoning up and down. Andrew stilled for a second and then followed his lead, spreading his hand to encircle both widths. His fingers slotted into place with Roman's, locking like cheap Swedish furniture, the touch tight, intense.

Together their hands slid, ever faster, each stroke more urgent, stealing his breath away until Roman was left panting into Andrew's jacket. Andrew's voice sounded just as ragged as he gasped into Roman's hair. Roman knew the sounds they made must carry out into the corridor, in his ears they drowned out the din of the world's busiest airport, but he didn't care. Not when he was fast approaching incoherence, when he knew that he could just let go of all his anger and regret and thinking. There was no room for any of that, it faded to insubstantiality in the face of the solid hand around him, the firm chest pressing him back into the lockers, the earthy voice that groaned out in English, "Come for me, please, Roman…" More insistent than the boarding calls, it demanded he obey, and Roman did with a throaty growl, his climax spurting out thick and white upon their joined hands. It rolled down their hands, sluicing through their entwined fingers, its slickness bringing off Andrew, who immediately slumped bonelessly against him.

For a few seconds they stood unmoving, waiting for their breath to slow. "Wow," Andrew said against the side of his head.

"Yeah, wow," agreed Roman. He looked up and smiled at Andrew, and was greeted by a kiss in return. They broke apart then, both chuckling over their messy hands. Roman moved to wipe the stickiness on his shirt, but Andrew pulled a handful of McDonald's napkins from his pocket just in time. "I knew I grabbed these for some reason."

"Always prepared," Roman grinned, "thanks." He wiped himself clean and arranged his clothes—not great, but definitely no worse than anyone who'd just travelled halfway around the world. After only a second of fuss Andrew looked his polished self, as usual. Roman stepped forward with a smile that felt oddly shy, cupping his hand around the back of his head. "And thanks."

Andrew leaned forward and their lips met once more, moving unhurriedly against each other. Over the years Roman had forgotten how sweet the man tasted, but he savoured it now and swore he wouldn't forget again. Just to remember, not to hold onto, and the distinction was very important right now. Still, he probably would have been happy to sample him for hours, floating in this happy fog, were it not for an intrusive voice over the loud speaker:

"Calling passenger Andrew Wellington for Virgin Atlantic flight 45. Andrew Wellington, please come to the boarding area immediately…"

"I'm sorry—," Andrew said, "I've got to—" He stumbled over the bag he'd tossed on the floor, flailing as he clutched Roman's arm for balance.

"Go, go," Roman assured him, righting him, laughing as he let Andrew walk away.

The world didn't spin, his heart didn't break. Andrew turned back with a wave but no promises to write, and no pleas to come with him. And Roman watched him go. The world seemed a little less grey for having this moment of unexpected brightness, his heart warmed by something stronger than coffee. It was an infinitely freeing feeling, sex not being immediately followed by a feeling of remorse. He was bone-weary but not obliterated. For the very first time today—no, for a long, long time—Roman didn't think jetlag was to blame.

**** The End ****